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Antonio Banderas is set to host the 2021 Spanish Academy Goya Awards on Feb. 27 in Banderas’ hometown of Malaga. It is the actor’s first time hosting the awards, and he will share duties with María Casado, one of Spain’s most respected television journalists and president of the Television Academy.

Banderas, among Spain’s best-known cinematic exports for decades, has five Spanish Academy nominations and an Honorary Goya of his own. But it was only this year that the actor finally took home a trophy for his work in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory,” a performance which also won him best actor at Cannes and an Oscar nomination.

According to the Academy, there are plans to limit audience capacity and impose strict health and safety measures based on expert recommendations at the time the ceremony is held. Banderas’ production company Teatro Soho TV will help produce the ceremony which will take place in the Teatro del Soho theater, also founded by the actor.

“We want to deliver the best we possibly can to our audience, and Antonio Banderas is undoubtedly among the best,” said Academy president Mariano Barroso. “When contacted, he put himself immediately at our disposal to help ensure the gala is held in a responsible manner.”

The Goyas are taking place a month later than they normally would, but organizers confirmed their plan well ahead of the Oscars moving dates from February to April, and have not since moved the date.

COMMISSION

ViacomCBS-owned U.K. broadcaster Channel 5 has commissioned several new series from seven BAME-owned and managed production companies as part of its BAME indie initiative launched last year. Under the initiative, nine BAME-owned small and mid-sized production companies were teamed with Channel 5 commissioners to back projects for eventual mainstream delivery.

Indie companies selected to participate include Big Deal Films – “Greatest Christmas Toys” and “The Greatest Toys of all Time”; Afro-Mic – “Scenic Ireland: Coast to Coast”; Chatterbox – “Poshest Home Sleepover”; Ten66 Television – “10 Ways to Add 20k To Your Home”; Doc Hearts – “Living with Chronic Pain”; King of Sunshine Productions – “Most Expensive Celebrity Break Ups”; and Meridian Line Films, whose project details and title will be released soon.

Partnerships were set up in collaboration with the TV Collective, whose founder-director Simone Pennant praised the deal as “an example of what can be achieved when a broadcaster moves beyond platitudes to take positive action.”

FESTIVAL

Raindance Film Festival will partner with Shift72 for this year’s 28th edition and move entirely online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival will run Oct. 28 – Nov. 7. In a statement released on Wednesday, Raindance presented social distancing and self-isolation hurdles as an opportunity to “refresh and reinvent the festival experience,” and outlined ways it will do so.

Shift72, which has already helped events such as Visions du Réel, SXSW and Cannes’ Marché du Film adapt to an online format, will now do so for Raindance. Digital offerings will include screenings and panels as well as a special retrospective of the as-yet unannounced 2020 Raindance Icon Award recipient.

The festivals Raindance Immersive virtual reality sidebar will be handled by Viveport and include virtual gatherings in which participants can create avatars and interact with one another in a 3D environment.

STREAMING ORIGINAL

Rakuten TV has announced “The Secrets of La Roja – World Champions 2010,” an original soccer documentary following the 2010 Spanish National Team through that year’s World Cup, held in South Africa. The documentary will launch July 9 across Europe on Rakuten TV’s Rakuten Stories channel.

Spain went into the 2010 World Cup among the tournament’s favorites, having won the European title two years prior. Rakuten’s documentary will feature testimonials from some of that team’s most beloved players including Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández, Iker Casillas, David Villa and legendary coach Vincente del Bosque.

Grupo Secuoya co-produced with Rakuten TV. The documentary joins other popular soccer docs on the platform such as “Inside FC Barcelona,” “MessiCirque” and “Andrés Iniesta – The Unexpected Hero.”

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La Roja Credit: Rakuten TV

FILMING

Shooting has started on new Spanish thriller series “Ana. The Game,” co-produced by Germany’s ZDF Enterprises and Spanish broadcaster RTVE with Tornasol and DeAPlaneta. The six-hour series is adapted from writer and series creator Roberto Santiago’s popular novel “Ana.”

Eleven-time Spanish Academy Award-nominated actor Maribel Verdú (“Pan’s Labryrinth,” “Y tu mama también”) headlines the series to be directed by Goya-winning filmmakers Salvador García Ruiz (“Isabel,” “La Caza, Monteperdido”) and Gracia Querejeta (“Unknown,” “15 Years and One Day”).

In the series, Verdú plays Ana Tramel, a criminal lawyer in a rough patch forced to defend her brother after he is accused of killing a casino manager. Tramel and her team find themselves facing off against a massive and corrupt gambling corporation, which is based on extensive research done by Santiago over a three-year development period.

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Ana. The Game Credit: ZDF Enterprizes

FORMAT DEAL

Mumbai-based Indie distributor GoQuest Media has licensed a format deal for hidden-camera show “What the F***?!” with Germany’s Bavaria Entertainment in the first major deal between the two companies. The German version of the series has already been commissioned by an as-yet-unannounced broadcaster and will be delivered Summer 2021.

Participants on the program secretly master a previously unknown and often uncharacteristic skill before dropping their new talent on family and friends in front of hidden cameras. The program is based on the Dutch format “What the Frans,” a hit for NP01 in the Netherlands and TV2 Norway.

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What the Frans Credit: GoQuest Media