In today’s Global Bulletin, Acorn TV greenlights “Queens of Mystery” season two; NATPE Budapest confirms in-person event in August; Lionsgate Play unveils “U-Special” — its second original series in India; ITV commissions relationship drama “You & Me”; Dave Johns joins the cast of “I’m Still Ethan”; Mexico’s Dopamine creates a new in-house entertainment team; Spanish courts proceed with a reckless homicide case against adult film star Nacho Vidal; Front Row nabs “The Present” and deals it to Netflix; and the New Voice Awards reveals its 2021 winners.
AMC Networks-owned streaming platform Acorn TV has renewed its Primetime Emmy-nominated British crime series “Queens of Mystery” for a second season.
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Created by Julian Unthank (“Doc Martin,” “New Tricks”), who co-writes with Matthew Thomas (“Marcella”), season two sees the return of Julie Graham (“The Bletchley Circle”), Sarah Woodward (“The Pale Horse”) and Siobhan Redmond (“Unforgotten”), joined by newcomer Florence Hall (“The Princess Switch: Switched Again”). Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ian Emes (“Goddie-Two-Shoes”) is directing.
Season two is currently in production in Southeast England, and will be made available as either three two-hour films or a six-part series. Acorn Media International is distributing internationally, with Acorn TV holding onto rights in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain and Latin America where it will premiere as an Acorn TV Original Series.
NATPE Budapest will return to the city’s InterContinental Hotel for an in-person event running Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 and will adhere to strict guidelines outlined in “NATPESafe” to produce a responsible event, according to the organization.
On-site activities, including an exhibition floor and meeting spaces, will be combined with online components for those who cannot attend in person, including virtual screenings, presentations, and other networking tools.
In addition to its own guidelines, NATPE Budapest will work with local authorities to ensure a safe marketplace experience.
University campus romance “U-Special” (working title) is set as the second Indian original series from Lionsgate Play, Starz and Lionsgate India’s streamer launched in 2020.
Akarsh Khurana (“Karwaan”) is showrunner, and the cast includes Sumeet Vyas (“Unpaused”), Arjun Mathur (“Made In Heaven”) and Parambrata Chatterjee (“Black Widows”). Lionsgate Play recently announced its first Indian original series, a local adaptation of “Casual,” to be directed by Kunal Kohli (“Fanaa”), starring Lara Dutta (“Housefull”) and Prateik Babbar (“Jaane Tu”).
ITV has commissioned “You & Me,” a new relationship drama from Jamie Davis to be produced by Dominic Treadwell-Collins’ ITV Studios label, Happy Prince. The series is both Davis’ first screenwriting commission, and the first for Treadwell-Collins’ new company.
A romantic dramedy with thriller undertones, “You & Me” is told across two different timelines, before and after life-changing events experienced by its three main characters.
Treadwell-Collins will executive produce with Russell T Davies (“It’s a Sin,” “Doctor Who”), overseen by ITV head of drama Polly Hill. Treadwell-Collins and Davies previously worked together on Hugh Grant-starrer “A Very English Scandal.”
BIFA-winning actor Dave Johns (“I, Daniel Blake”) has attached to star in Freida Films and Enon Films’ upcoming drama “I’m Still Ethan,” with newcomer Louie Collibee set to debut in the titular role.
“I’m Still Ethan” is written and produced by Phoebe Lorenz and Amelia O’Loughlin and explores the impact that long-term imprisonment has on those closest to the detainees. Ethan, a young boy, struggles to understand his own place in the world after one of his parents is incarcerated, and begins to see himself from the judgmental viewpoint of those in the community around him.
Award-winning poet and musician Kae Tempest (“Hold Your Own”) provides the film’s original music with BIFA-nominated Raffaello Degruttola (“Flim: The Movie,” “Transference: A Bipolar Love Story”) directing.
Mexican production shingle Dopamine (“Hernán,” “Amarres”), part of the Salinas Group, has unveiled a new entertainment team operating under its larger global content unit. Thirty-year industry veteran Xevi Aranda will step in as the unit’s first director of entertainment, joined by team members Sebastián Reyes and Begoña Marí who will, at first, focus primarily on production in Mexico and Spain.
Already a leading name in high-end drama production across the Spanish-speaking world, Dopamine is opening the new unit to diversify the types of productions it backs, with global audiences in mind. Dopamine has, since its founding in 2017, made hay working with international co-producers and commissioners such as TNT/Warner Media, Nent Studios U.K. and The Mediapro Studio in Spain.
Spanish adult film star Nacho Vidal, the subject of an upcoming Starzplay original series in Spain, is facing growing legal problems as Spanish courts have moved forward with a reckless homicide case against the actor, giving prosecutors 10 days to formalize their case.
On July 28, 2019, photographer José Luis Abad died in Vidal’s home after smoking dehydrated venom from the endangered Colorado River toad, reportedly during a ritual led by Vidal. Originally, three men were arrested following the incident but according to a Spanish magistrate Vidal is the only suspect still being charged after proceedings against his cousin and another party were dismissed.
Starzplay’s upcoming series, focused on the Spanish adult film industry in the ‘90s, started development long before the alleged incident, and it is not yet known what effect the current court case may or may not have on the program once it goes into production.
Farah Nabulsi’s Oscar-nominated short film “The Present” has been acquired by MENA distributor Front Row, which has already sold the film to Netflix worldwide, where it will premiere March 18, excluding France, Japan and French-speaking Africa. The Middle Eastern rights were acquired directly from Nabulsi and the rest of the world from Premium Films. The film is already available in the Middle East on Apple TV, Google play and OnDemand.
“The Present” is produced by Ossam Bawardi and Philistine Films and stars Saleh Bakri (“Wajib,” “Rattle The Cage”) in the story of a father and daughter who struggle to pass through several West Back checkpoints while looking for a gift for their wife and mother.
The TV Foundation, collaborating with the Edinburgh TV Festival, has revealed the winners of this year’s New Voice Awards where Channel 4 won the day, scooping the Debut Director, Debut Writer, Debut Presenter and Best Broadcaster for New Talent Awards.
Winners were announced via The TV Foundation’s Twitter account in an entirely online ceremony presented by Channel 4 News presenter Ayshah Tull, “The Masked Singer Unmasked” host Will Njobvu and director Femi Oyeniran.
2021 NEW VOICE AWARDS WINNERS
VICTOR ADEBODUN DEBUT DIRECTOR AWARD
Ashley Francis-Roy, (“The Real Eastenders,” Channel 4)
DEBUT WRITER AWARD, SUPPORTED BY SKY
Yolanda Mercy, (“BBW,” Channel 4)
DEBUT PRESENTER AWARD, SUPPORTED BY ITN
Yinka Bokinni, (“Damilola The Boy Next Door,” Channel 4)
TEST CARD PILOT AWARD, SUPPORTED BY THE FARM
“This Abled Dancer”
ALL3MEDIA NEW DRAMA SCRIPT AWARD
Rachel Clark, (“The Godstone Girls”)
ALL3MEDIA NEW COMEDY SCRIPT AWARD
Lucie Brownlee, (“Wife After Death”)
FUTURE PRESENTER AWARD
MENTORS OF THE YEAR
Katie Hindley, Zoe McGivern, James Gandhi
BEST AGENCY FOR NEW TALENT
Moxie by Studio71
BEST PRODUCTION COMPANY FOR NEW TALENT
BEST BROADCASTER FOR NEW TALENT
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