In today’s Global Bulletin, Argentina restarts production with new health and safety regulations, Sovereign Film Distribution picks up Melina León’s award-winning debut “Song Without a Name,” ITV preps for Black History Month and commissions “The Confessions of Frannie Langton,” and IDFA will honor Gianfranco Rosi.
After a shutdown of more than five months, the Argentina government this week presented its “General Protocol for the Prevention of COVID-19 in the Filming and/or Recording of Fiction for Film, Television and Platforms,” where the measures were approved by the country’s Ministry of Culture, allowing production to resume in the country.
More than 20 leading industry organizations aided in compiling the 70-page document and endorsed the final version.
Under the agreed conditions, each production must provide to the Ministry of Culture a shot-by-shot breakdown which will be evaluated to establish if a project can be executed within the new guidelines. Scenes with physical contact will face additional scrutiny and require additional tests for cast and crew.
The document also proposes that jobs on set be rotated in shifts so specific groups will interact with the same individuals each day. No team member, regardless of role, will be allowed on set with a temperature of more than 99.5 degrees, and anyone who can work remotely is encouraged to do so. Any cast or crew member who cannot socially distance and fulfil their responsibilities will undergo the most up-to-date testing possible once a week, even in the absence of symptoms.
Andreas Roald’s newly-established U.K. company Sovereign Film Distribution has picked up U.K. and Ireland rights for New York-based Peruvian filmmaker Melina León’s “Song Without a Name,” a 2019 Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight player.
A black-and-white crime thriller, the feature is based on a true Peruvian story during the country’s 1980’s political crisis. There, Georgina, a young Andean woman, has her newborn daughter stolen by a fake medical clinic. In her search to find and recover her child she meets investigative journalist Pedro Campos and the two work together on the case.
Among the slate of features to play in French cinemas when they reopened in June, after Sophie Dulac Distribution picked it up, the film has also sold to Film Movement in the U.S., Trigon in Switzerland, Reading Bloom in Italy, Arc Films in Japan, Mad Distribution in MENA, HBO in Eastern Europe and Netflix for Latin America apart from Peru.
British Broadcaster ITV will celebrate the U.K.’s Black History Month with a slate of specially commissioned new programming and channel branding for the month of October.
Four programs have been announced so far. “Loose Women” and “Strictly Come Dancing” presenter Alison Hammond will host “Alison Hammond: Back To School” (working title), in which she will visit key British historical sites and while focusing on stories often left out of public school curriculae and shining the spotlight on important Black figures in the country’s history.
“Sorry I Didn’t Know” is a twist on the traditional U.K. comedy panel show, hosted by Jimmy Akingbola, star of hit ITV sitcom “Kate and Koji,” which tests its participants’ and audiences’ knowledge of under-represented history. “Black Comedy Legends” is a one-hour factual special looking back on trendsetting Black comedians using archive footage and interviews. And “Charlene and Friends,” hosted by ITV news presenter Charlene White, will use various forms of media to examine racism from a vibrant perspective more digestible by younger audiences.
ITV has also commissioned an adaptation of Sara Collins’ debut novel “The Confessions of Frannie Langton,” to be produced by Drama Republic.
The novel, a biting depiction of race, class and oppression, will be adapted into a four-part murder mystery mini-series, also be written by Collins, who was awarded the Costa Award for a debut novel in 2019.
In the book, set in Georgian London, Frannie Langton is a woman born into slavery on a Jamaican plantation who is brought across the Atlantic to work in the home of celebrated scientist George Benham and his wife Madame Marguerite Benham. Drama kicks in when the couple are found murdered, Frannie lying next to their dead bodies. Accused of a murder of which she has no memory, Frannie must fight her way out of addiction and try to recall what happened that night.
The Netherlands’ International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) will honor Oscar-nominated Italian director Gianfranco Rosi as this year’s guest of honor for the hybrid online/in-person event, running Nov. 18 to 29.
Accompanying the honor, the festival will host a retrospective of the filmmakers’ previous works, including 2016 Berlin Golden Bear-winner and 2017 Oscar nominee for best documentary feature “Fire at Sea,” 2013 Venice Golden Lion-winner “Sacro Gra,” “Boatman,” “Below Sea Level,” “El Sicario, Room 164” and his upcoming feature, the culmination of three years of work, “Notturno,” which will world premiere in Venice next month.
This year’s hybrid version of the festival plans to screen around 200 films in 15 cinemas in the Dutch capital city, including 10 films hand-picked by Rosi from among his favorites. It will also stream three virtual cinemas which will play films and live online events featuring filmmakers and industry figureheads.