The TV Foundation, an umbrella charity of the Edinburgh TV Festival supported by YouTube and Screen Scotland, is partnering with Louis Theroux on Looking for Louis, a new talent search venture to seek out the next generation of investigative documentary filmmakers. The search is being executed at Theroux’s Mindhouse Productions in partnership with The TV Foundation and Amazon Prime Video and supported by The TriForce Creative Network. Those looking to apply will be required to submit a one-page pitch for a two-minute micro-doc, with a shortlist of 10 selected to make their film, shot on a mobile phone. Six finalists will then be selected to attend and screen their work at Edinburgh, where Theroux and his production company partners Nancy Strang and Arron Fellows will announce the winning film.
Keshet International and Tokyo Broadcasting System Television (TBS) have closed a scripted deal on a new police procedural, based on a concept co-developed by Keshet and Canada’s Facet4 Media. “Deep Crime Unit” is created and written by Ilan Ulmer and Samuel Goldberg (“Silo,” “Mildred & The Dying Parlor”), and follows an elite scuba underwater investigation unit in a case-of-the-week style drama. TBS’s Hidenori Iyoda, producer of the mega-hit series “Naoki Hanzawa,” leads production in Japan, working with executive producers Atar Dekel, Keshet VP of global drama, and Anna-Sue Greenberg and Stephen Greenberg of Facet4 Media. Shooting is planned for this summer, and the series will premiere in early 2022 in on Sunday nights at 9pm. Keshet International will distribute the finished series and format globally.
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German Broadcaster ZDF has picked up Metrotone Media’s feature-length documentary “Dis/Informed,” a deep dive into the appeal of conspiracy theory and how people are drawn in by misinformation. Specifically, the film examines the seemingly odd cross-section of the yoga wellness movement and QAnon conspiracy theories, particularly among women. It features input from several experts in the field, including CNN regular Nina Jankowicz, New York Times featured authors Dr. Mia Bloom and Dr. Sophia Moskalenko, U.K. doctors Imran Ahmed and Kyle Taylor, Mother Jones editor Kiera Butler and Oxford Internet Institute’s Phil Howard. “Dis/Informed” is narrated by Charles Kriel, who also co-directs with Katharina Gellein Viken (“People You May Know.”) Abacus Media Rights is handling world sales.
The BBC has greenlit two new reality productions, “Yorkshire Firefighters” – headed to BBC Two, and “Paul Merson: Football, Gambling and Me” (working title) for BBC One and iPlayer.
Filmed using state-of-the-art techniques and technologies while filming during the worst of the COVID pandemic, “Yorkshire Firefighters” will take viewers closer than ever to real-life emergencies faced by firefighters on a regular basis. Its four-episode run is produced for the BBC by Wise Owl Films, a Lime Pictures company. It will premiere a new episode weekly, starting on July 29.
England and Arsenal star soccer player-turned-pundit Paul Merson’s struggles with gambling have seen him lose a fortune over the past three decades. Now on the path to recovery, Merson embarks on a first-person look back at how his outwardly charmed life was upended by gambling, and the often toxic relationship between gaming, government and soccer in the U.K. The hour-long documentary is produced by Little Gem for BBC One and iPlayer.
Iris Knobloch; Artemis – the Pinault family’s holding company represented by François-Henri Pinault and Alban Greget; and Combat Holding, have created I2PO, Europe’s first special purpose action company (SPAC) co-founded and lead by women and its first dedicated entirely to entertainment and leisure. Established as a newly incorporated public limited company in France, I2PO launches today with a €250 million ($295.5 million) private placement, which could increase by another €50 million ($59 million) if an extension clause is exercised in full, in an offering to qualified investors and listing on Euronext Paris.
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