Ang Lee leads Taipei masterclasses; ITV Studios/Something Special strike formats deal; Sky hires “The Office” producer Anil Gupta; U.K. launches theater safety campaign; Coalition for Change makes decisions; and Mark Cousins to receive new European Film Academy award.

The 2020 Golden Horse online masterclasses, part of the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, will be led by chair Ang Lee, and feature Palme d’Or winner Ken Loach, Venice Golden Lion winners Roy Andersson (“About Endlessness”) and Andrey Zvyagintsev (“The Return”), “Tomorrow’s Another Day” producer Johan Carlsson, and “Blue Is the Warmest Color” producer Vincent Maraval.

The physical sessions will feature Golden Horse winning actor Yeo Yann Yann (“Wet Season”) and Hong Kong Film Awards-winning production designer Man Lim Chung (“Project Gutenberg”). Japanese Palme d’Or winner Hirokazu Kore-eda will participate in the Golden Horse Studio workshop physically alongside Japan Academy Film Prize-winning production designer Hanatani Hidefumi (“125 Years Memory”), and food stylist Anna Lee (“Life of Pi”).

The festival runs Nov. 5-22 with the awards ceremony taking place Nov. 21.


ITV Studios’ Global Creative Network and Armoza Formats have agreed a deal with Korea’s format-led production and distribution outfit Something Special to create and develop two new formats to take to the international market. The collaboration is backed by the Korea Creative Content Agency.

Something Special will represent the shows in Asia and ITV Studios will represent international rights. The new formats will be launched in 2021.

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Anil Gupta Sky Studios


Writer and producer Anil Gupta, two time BAFTA-winner and Emmy-nominee for “The Office,” has joined Sky Studios, Comcast-owned Sky’s development and production arm, as creative director for original comedy in the U.K.

Gupta’s remit is to focus on in-house production and he will report into Jon Mountague, Sky Studios’ director of comedy, working closely with Zai Bennett, managing director of content, Sky U.K.

Gupta’s credits also include comedies “Goodness Gracious Me,” “The Kumars at No. 42,” “Citizen Khan” and popular BBC Radio 4 comic fantasy series “ElvenQuest,” starring Stephen Mangan.


The Society of London Theatre and U.K. Theatre have launched a campaign titled See It Safely to support venues as they navigate the challenges of re-opening, and to instil audience confidence. To display the See It Safely mark, venues have to sign up to a code of conduct to demonstrate that safety forms the foundation for their reopening plans. After an approval process that ensures that venues meet U.K. government COVID-safety norms, they will receive a toolkit that includes signage and a video, and training, on-going support and advice.

More than 140 theaters have already accessed the toolkit that has also been shared with other organizations in the U.K. live events sector, including Assn. of British Orchestras, British Assn. of Concert Halls, Concert Promoters Assn., Music Venue Trust, National Arenas Assn., and One Dance U.K.


Newly formed U.K. television industry body Coalition for Change met for the first time and decided that in the short term, it would be drafting ​an industry-standard zero tolerance statement to highlight its stance against all forms of bullying, harassment, racism, and ableism, which will be agreed on and released in the near future and adopted as industry standard.

In the mid term, coalition members agreed to interrogate and establish several measures ahead of the next meeting in January 2021: including broadcasters agreeing to ​look at their current whistleblowing measures and the setting up of a sub-group chaired by Sky’s Zai Bennett and UKTV’s Richard Watsham that will convene with producers’ body Pact to create a common code of conduct for commissioning and a common code of conduct or framework for producers.

Attendees included Pact, union Bectu, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky, UKTV, Amazon Prime U.K., BAFTA and regulator Ofcom.


The European Film Academy is introducing a new award category, the EFA Award for Innovative Storytelling, and the first winner will be U.K. director Mark Cousins for “Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema.”

Produced by Hopscotch Films, the film is a 14-hour odyssey, using almost a thousand film extracts from 13 decades and six continents, featuring the work of the world’s greatest women directors.

Narrators include Tilda Swinton, Jane Fonda, Adjoa Andoh, Sharmila Tagore, Kerry Fox, Thandie Newton and Debra Winger.

Cousins will be guest of honor at the ceremony on Dec. 12 to accept the award.

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Thandie Newton in “Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema” Hopscotch/Dogwoof