International TV Newswire: Latest on ‘Money Heist,’ Sheffield Doc/Fest, ‘Dark Money’

In this week’s International TV Newswire, “Money Heist’ fanbase heaves with anticipation at Part 3, two prominent European doc fests change directors, All3Media confirms “Dark Money’s” pre-sales credentials; ZFD favorite “Worst Witch” gets an NHK makeover; and Econet Media’s satellite TV biz goes into administration:

‘Money Heist’ Part 3 Anticipation Boils

Two weeks out from its July 19 Netflix global release, expectation for “Money Heist” Part 3 (aka “La Casa de Papel” Temporada 3) is coming to a boil. “Money Heist” Parts 1 and 2 ranked as the second most-binged SVOD Spanish-language show in the world in June, app TV Time revealed to TodoTVNews this week, beaten only by “Alta Mar,”· the latest from “Velvet’s” Bambu and another Netflix show. Adding to the excitement, “Money Heist” Part 3 does not now appear to be just an extra season, moreover, but creator Alex Pina’s ambition to create the biggest Spanish series ever. Already, at a June 20 Madrid press conference, Pina announced that he hasn’t just got an idea for a “Money Heist:Part 4” but that it’s actually gone into production. “Money Heist” 3 takes the series global .shooting in five countries, is obviously bigger-budgeted more of an action thriller, and teases out more explicitly the original’s appeal to viewers who think they’re outcasts, marginalized, hard-done by: Read much of the world’s disaffected youth. After Rio is captured, the gang gets together to rescue him. “This is a declaration of war on the system,” says the Professor in the official trailer. “And we are the resistance, and we won’t hide.” After slaving away at scripts for 20 years, Pina now has a chance to make a series which might be the biggest-budgeted Spanish show ever and play with a narrative which is its time jump and narrator mind bends, takes series, often compared to 19th century novel, to the level of modernism. Who can blame Pina for wanting more?

Festival Director Cíntia Gil Swaps Lisbon for Sheffield

The Sheffield Doc/Fest and Doclisboa announced today that festival directors Cíntia Gil and Davide Oberto will be leaving the Portuguese festival this October, with Gil taking over as festival director for Sheffield in November. She will continue as a member of the board at the Portuguese documentary association Apordoc. For his part, Oberto stepped down to focus on his work at the Torino Film Festival, where he is curator of the TFFdoc and italiana.corti sections. The Apordoc board is using the interim time to prepare a new direction for the festival, and says they are looking for “New voices to define the future of Doclisboa.” An announcement will be made at the festival’s close on Oct 27.

All3Media Moves ‘Dark Money’ Internationally

Independent distributor All3Media has closed a slate of pre-sales in key territories for The Forge’s (“National Treasure”) upcoming original family drama “Dark Money,” set to broadcast on BBC one starting July 8. Brazil’s Globoplay and Japan’s U-Next platforms picked up the series at pre-sale stage. Australian free-to-air broadcaster ABC and pay-TV Sky in New Zealand also pre-bought rights, with RJL Entertainment scooping home entertainment rights for both territories. European deals include RMC Story in France, Switzerland and French-speaking Africa, ETB in Basque-speaking Spain, VRT in Flemish-speaking Belgium, ITI Neovision Ale Kino+ in Poland and Siminn in Iceland. The series premiered at France’s Série Series and participated at the Munich Film Festival over earlier this week.

Dark Money_portraits. Picture shows: Manny Mensah (BABOU CEESAY), Isaac Mensah (MAX FINCHAM), Sam Mensah (JILL HALFPENNY). Photographer: Colin Hutton
CREDIT: BBC/The Forge/Colin Hutton

The ‘Worst Witch’ Heads East

Germany’s ZDF announced that Japanese broadcaster NHK has licensed seasons 1 and 2 of the popular live action kids’ series “The Worst Witch,” and will produce a Japanese version using local actors popular among kids and family audiences. Based on the popular works of Jill Murphy, the series was produced by the U.K.’s CBBC Productions along with ZDF, ZDF Enterprises and Netflix. The series mixes live action and over-the-top CGI to tell the story of Mildred Hubble, an ordinary 10-year-old girl who discovers she has magical powers. The English-language version already consists of 39 half hour episodes, with a third season currently in production.

Worst Witch
CREDIT: BBC / Matt Squire / Geraint Will

Econet Media’s Satellite Business Seeks Protection from Creditors

African pay TV operator Econet Media, which operates under the Kwesé brand, has put its satellite TV business  Website TechCentral reported on Thursday that the move, made earlier this week, came after Econet Media has run up more than $130-million in external liabilities and was unable to pay suppliers. According to Econet Media CEO Joseph Hundah, cited by TechCentral , the filing will have “no impact” on the upcoming launch in South Africa of Kwesé Free TV,in which it holds a 20% stake. Royal Bafokeng Metix, part of Royal Bafokeng Holdings, and Moss Mashishi’s Mosong Capital hold 45% and 35% equity participations respectively.

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