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ViacomCBS experiments with remote shooting; Manchester’s Space Studios plots expansion; ZDF sells kids’ content; Discovery ups Tony Qiu; BBC commissions “Uncle Vanya”; and Antalya reveals competition line-up.

ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) and ViacomCBS Digital Studios International (VDSI) are partnering with the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) and VodafoneZiggo to remotely produce MTV’s first live 5G remote production.

The show will feature Dutch MTV EMA’s Push Award winner Emma Heesters performing live on Sept. 10 from a boat on a river in Amsterdam, with an MTV presenter based on-shore, in a COVID safe production enhanced by 5G.

The live show will be recorded and broadcast live by VCNI with multiple AI cameras and drones using VodafoneZiggo’s 5G network, allowing for remote production.

VCNI and VDSI are co-champions of the IBC’s Accelerator Programme 2020, a project designed to ignite “broadcaster firsts” for 5G and remote productions.

STUDIO EXPANSION

Space Studios in Manchester, U.K., production home to “Devs,” “Peaky Blinders” and the upcoming “Morbius,” has announced expansion plans that will see 105,000 sq. ft. of stage space across eight sound stages when complete.

Initial design work for the proposed new stages is expected to commence in fall 2020 with a target date for planning approval of summer 2021. Construction could begin as early as fall 2021 which would see the new facilities opening a year later.

CONTENT SALES

“School of Roars,” “The Jungle Book” and “The Worst Witch” are among the 350 hours of German children’s programming that ZDF Enterprises has licensed to Brazil’s Globoplay, Chile’s VTR and TV3 in Spain respectively.

“School of Roars” was picked up by NickJunior and Netflix for Latin America

Elsewhere in Latin America, Canal Once in Mexico has bought “Mister Twister” for their Once Niños channel while Colombia’s Señal has taken “The Jungle Book” and “Scream Street.”

Catalan channel TV3 has licensed “The Worst Witch” and “Sam Fox: Extreme Adventures” and renewed “Zoom – The White Dolphin” and “Peter Pan – The New Adventures,” while two of Portugal’s pay TV channels have acquired titles with “Mako Mermaids” going to SIC K while “The Athena” will air on Dreamia’s cable channel, Biggs. Portugal’s public broadcaster RTP has bought “Heirs of the Night” and “The Athena.”

APPOINTMENT

Discovery has appointed Tony Qiu as senior vice president and general manager, East & Southeast Asia, effective immediately. He will also serve as head of Discovery Networks’ global location based entertainment business. He will oversee all aspects of business development, operational performance and digital growth across the company’s portfolio of entertainment brands. Qiu is currently based in China and will relocate to Singapore in his new role.

Qiu joined Discovery in 2018 and was previously leading the company’s business across Greater China and Korea. Prior to joining Discovery, Qiu was with Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com.

COMMISSION

BBC Arts has commissioned a film of Olivier Award-winner Conor McPherson’s new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” from Sonia Friedman Productions and Angelica Films (an All3Media company). The film will have a theatrical release prior to being aired as part of the BBC Arts ‘Culture In Quarantine’ initiative.

Directed for screen by Ross MacGibbon, the cast of the two-hour film includes Toby Jones, Richard Armitage, Rosalind Eleazar, Aimee Lou Wood, Anna Calder-Marshall, Dearbhla Molloy, Peter Wight and Roger Allam.

As the first British theater production closed by the pandemic to be filmed in situ, the production team adhered to strict COVID-19 protocols.

COMPETITION

The 57th Antalya Golden Orange film festival (Oct. 3-10) has revealed the 12 films vying for its national feature film competition. The films are “Fractured,” “Dersaadet Apartment,” (Dersaadet Apartmanı), “It’s All About Peace and Harmony,” “Derviş Zaim’s “Flashdrive,” “Weasel”, “In the Shadows,” “Ghosts,” “Two Types of People,” “Red Snow,” “Fragrance,” “Penny Bank” and “Food for a Funeral.”

The films will compete across 16 categories, including best film, first feature, Special Jury Prize, and an award for a female filmmaker.