×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Isabella Rossellini Hosts Sky Arts Hub’s Biggest Project: ‘Master of Photography’

Sky is known for taking “The X Factor” to the next level in Italy. Now in a bold experiment, it’s launching the first European talent-competition show dedicated to photography, with Isabella Rossellini as host. “Master of Photography,” which will see Rossellini return to work in television after decades, marks the most ambitious production spawned by the Milan-based Sky Arts Hub since it launched a year ago to conceive and commission content available to Sky’s 21 million subscribers across Europe.

“The challenge,” Rossellini says, “is to try and show how a visual artist, in this case a photographer, expresses his art.”

She notes that it’s harder than with singers and dancers. During her career, the actress and model has worked with star photographers such as Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Based on an original format that was adapted from the success of previous photography-themed shows on Sky Arte in Italy, “Master of Photography” will debut on Sky in the U.K., Italy, Germany and Austria, and run for eight episodes. The winner will get €150,000 ($167,600), the biggest prize ever offered in a European photography contest, plus the privilege of having the picture hang in a prominent European museum.

The contestants travel all over Europe and face different challenges, including shooting monuments, nature, famous people, nudes and night photos.

“We are not looking for a super-specialized photographer,” says Roberto Pisoni, who heads the Sky Arts Hub. “We are basically looking for an ‘eye,’ someone who can be well-versed in various types of photography.”

The jury comprises three internationally prominent photographers: Germany’s Rut Blees Luxemburg, Brit Simon Frederick and Italy’s Oliviero Toscani.

In this age of cellphones and selfies, photography is going through an extraordinary change. “People photograph each other every second,” Pisoni points out. “At the same time we know that photography can be something very refined. And this seemed to us a great way to give the audience the opportunity to really understand what good and bad photography really is.”

Luxemburg adds, “Of course TV and photography are almost diametrically opposed media, which makes it a challenge for us as well. But it’s about the knowledge of photography, and bringing it to an audience, and I think that can be done.”

“Master of Photography,” which is a collaboration between Sky Italy, U.K., and Germany, will be the third Sky Arts Hub production to beam simultaneously across Sky’s European platforms, following “Operation Caravaggio,” a docu about the various theories behind the theft of a Caravaggio masterpiece, and “Artists in Love” a series of one-hour docus on great love stories between artists, including Picasso and Dora Maar, Salvador and Gala Dali, and Johnny Cash and June Carter.

More TV

  • Inside Taronga Zoo

    Nat Geo Wild and More 4 Snap Up Australian Doc Series 'Inside Taronga Zoo'

    Cineflix Rights has pre-sold Australian wildlife documentary series “Inside Taronga Zoo” to Nat Geo Wild for the U.S. and More 4 for the U.K. The 10 part series is produced by McAvoy Media for Nine Network Australia, where it will air as “Taronga: Who’s Who In The Zoo.” “Inside Taronga Zoo” follows the 240 keepers and vets caring for [...]

  • Watchmen HBO

    TV Review: 'Watchmen'

    “Watchmen,” the 1980s DC Comics series whose popularity demands adaptation and whose singular vision makes that near-impossible, might be too much itself to bring out the best in any artist. But it has brought out the most in Damon Lindelof. As a follow-up to HBO’s “The Leftovers,” Lindelof returns to the cabler to remix and [...]

  • Mary Higgins Clark

    Reel One, Element 8 and La Sabotière to Develop Mary Higgins Clark's Crime Novels

    Montreal-based producer and distributor Reel One Entertainment has partnered with U.S. producer Element 8 Entertainment and Paris-based La Sabotière to develop an anthology series based on the novels of American crime writer Mary Higgins Clark. U.S. screenwriter and author Ilene Rosenzweig, whose credits include “Station 19” and “Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce,” is attached as writer [...]

  • Informer

    Mipcom Roundup: All3Media and Blue Ant Sell in Asia, Lagardère Buys in Spain

    In Variety’s third Mipcom Roundup Alibaba’s streaming platform Youku gets BBC programs, Lagardère buys full ownership of Barcelona’s Veranda, Banijay rolls out Guinness World Records series, Blue Ant International sells and renews and All3Media Intl. extends into Japan and Taiwan. All3Media Strikes Deals in Japan, Taiwan All3Media has grown its footprint in Asia thanks to newly announced [...]

  • Help Wanted: Amazon Studios International Execs

    Help Wanted: Amazon Studios International Execs Talk European Expansion

    If there’s a perfect example of Amazon Studios’ strategy with its local-language international TV content, Japan’s “Documental” would be it. The series revolves around 10 comedians who battle to make one another laugh in an elimination-style competition. James Farrell, Amazon Studios’ head of international originals, said it was a good example of an unconventional idea [...]

  • vernon-subutex

    Studiocanal Closes North America SVOD on ‘Vernon Subutex’ with Topic (EXCLUSIVE)

    CANNES —  Forging what could well be a fertile relationship, Studiocanal has sold North American SVOD rights on Canal Plus Creation Original “Vernon Subutex,” and “Pros and Cons,” from Denmark’s SAM Productions, to First Look Media’s Topic. Targeting “culture cravers,” “an audience deeply involved in social, political and cultural issues of today,” general manger Ryan [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content