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Pedro Almodovar’s “The Human Voice” sets U.K. release; Rainmaker hires; new outfit Gag Reflex Productions launched; Kidscreen Summit goes online; and Goldfinch and Stakhanov strike first look deal.

Pathé has set a Nov. 7 U.K. release date for Pedro Almodovar‘s short film “The Human Voice,” starring Tilda Swinton. The film will be launched at a special event screening in cinemas across the U.K. and will be followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with Almodovar and Swinton.

The film, Almodovar’s English-language debut, was shot over nine days in Madrid in July and premiered to critical acclaim at the Venice Film Festival. It is a re-imagination of Jean Cocteau’s short play for an era in which isolation has become a way of life. Tilda Swinton’s unnamed woman paces and panics in a Technicolor apartment where décor offers a window into her state of mind.

APPOINTMENTS

Rainmaker Content, the recently launched international distributor specializing in drama, factual and special event programming, has appointed ex-Sky Vision executive Karen Wise as head of sales. She will also provide strategic insight into content development and acquisition.

Singapore-based Caroline Clarke has been appointed sales consultant for Asia, Middle East and Africa, reporting into Wise. Also ex-Sky Vision, Clarke will lead the company’s Asia and MEA sales strategies.

Former Kew Media executive Colin Kiely is taking up the role of director of operations and digital distribution, working closely with COO and co-founder Vicky Ryan, with additional responsibility for expanding the company’s digital presence around the world.

PRODUCTION COMPANY

Production and distribution outfit DLT Entertainment (CBBC’s “Monster Court”) has invested in Gag Reflex, the Manchester-based talent agency that represents comedy and variety talent, and launched a new regional production company called Gag Reflex Productions.

President of DLT Entertainment Donald Taffner Jr. joins the company board alongside Gag Reflex’s founder and director Lee Martin. Gag Reflex Productions will develop daytime, children’s, game and panel shows, to be produced outside of London. Martin will run the outfit with creative assistance from DLT’s creative director, Darren Smith, and head of entertainment, Phil Tredinnick.

ONLINE SUMMIT

Due to ongoing COVID-19 uncertainty, annual kids entertainment industry conference Kidscreen Summit will now take place online from Feb. 8 to March 5, 2021.

The event will kick off with a market week that will include scheduled pitching opportunities, networking formats, discussions, mentoring, screenings, expert advice and cocktail parties.

The bulk of this year’s sessions at the popular conference program will be spread out over three weeks in the best window possible for live access across time zones. And they’ll be available on-demand until the end of March.

FIRST LOOK DEAL

U.K.-based film and TV financier and production company Goldfinch has announced a first-look deal with podcast creators Stakhanov (“Football Ramble”). The deal gives Goldfinch the opportunity to develop and produce TV series and feature-length films adapted from Stakhanov’s podcast titles. In turn, Stakhanov gets the first look to create podcasts from Goldfinch’s productions, and the companies have the option to develop IP together.

The IP the companies have jointly optioned is the article “5DIMES” by David Hill, the tale of the rise and sudden disappearance of William Sean Creighton, whose 5Dimes online sportsbook established him as one of Costa Rica’s most wealthy, and therefore targeted, inhabitants, whose body has been rumored to have been found on three different occasions.