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Cairo International Film Festival, having recently confirmed that this year’s 42nd edition will be held in person in November, has opened the window for submissions to the Cairo Film Connection sidebar, part of Cairo Industry Days.

In its seven years of operation, Cairo Film Connection has helped Arab filmmakers secure funding and partnerships on more than 100 films from across the region. Last year, the event provided more than $200,000 of support between the shortlisted filmmakers.

Eligible projects must be feature length, fiction or non-fiction, from a filmmaker of Arab nationality or origin with at least one finished film on their resume, feature or short. Interested parties have until April 4 to submit via the festival’s website.

Cairo Industry Days is entering its third year in partnership with the Arab Cinema Center, which unites global industry professionals for a series of masterclasses, panels and events designed to promote and provide global networking opportunities to regional talent.

“We are working with our partners to deliver a rich, accessible and diverse industry program of which some elements will be delivered digitally in parallel with its key events that will be held at the Festival’s location,” said Aliaa Zaky, head of Cairo Industry Days.

This year’s festival will run Nov. 19-28. Festival organizers assure that mandated health and safety guidelines from the Egyptian government and World Health Organization will be strictly adhered to.

APPOINTMENT

Spain’s Telefonica and Atresmedia have appointed Atresmedia Studios CEO Ignacio Corrales as managing director at Buendía Estudios, the new powerhouse partnership between Spain’s two largest content investors. According to IHS Markit estimates, the two spent around €1.45 billion ($1.6 billion) on programming in 2019.

Buendía, approved by European Commission antitrust authorities in June, was created to promote Spanish and Latin American talent globally while producing high-end content with broad international appeal for third-party operators such as global streaming platforms.

“Our company was created with the aim of becoming the studio of reference for the creation and production of content in Spanish for the whole world,” said Corrales in a statement.

A pillar of the Spanish audiovisual sector, Corrales was appointed CEO at Atresmedia Studios in 2018. Previously he held executive positions at Vertice 360, Spanish broadcaster TVE, Lavinia and NeverSeen.

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Mel Giedroyc Marco Vittur

COMMISSIONS

U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 has ordered “Good With Wood,” a new six-part factual series from Plimsoll Productions, hosted by popular TV presenter Mel Giedroyc.

Each episode of the series takes contestants into the woods for one big build to be judged by expert woodworkers who will consider factors such as design, technique and skill before picking the best project in each episode.

Plimsoll’s Grant Mansfield and Karen Plumb will produce out of the company’s Cardiff offices. Magnify Media will handle global distribution of the completed series. Channel 4’s Daniel Fromm commissioned the series.

*****

BrightSpark East, an Argonon Group company, has been commissioned by Channel 5 for a pair of docu-series focusing on several of the world’s most impressive waterways.

Following a formula BrightSpark employed on “World’s Most Scenic Railway Journeys,” now in its second season at Channel 5, “World’s Most Scenic River Journeys” feature six rivers across six episodes, following them from source to sea and introducing viewers to the people who live along the way.

A second yet untitled series is also in the works. A three-part program exploring the Mississippi River and the history, culture and engineering of North America’s longest river. Both series were ordered by commissioning editor of factual Daniel Pearl and are set to begin production soon.

FESTIVAL

Switzerland’s Locarno Film Festival today announced the lineup for its Locarno 2020: A Journey in the Festival’s History selection. Curated in response to the outstanding circumstances facing this year’s festival due to the global pandemic, all the films featured at previous editions of Locarno, and were selected by major directors of the projects selected for this year’s The Films After Tomorrow lineup.

Currently “on hold,” the filmmakers chose 20 films they considered emblematic titles from the festival’s 70-year history. All 20 will be available to stream for free online in Switzerland, with 10 screening in Locarno theaters from Aug. 5-15.

Global streaming platform Mubi is partnering with the festival to bring parts of the section to audiences outside of Switzerland wherever possible. Mubi will also host its fifth Direct from Locarno global special, featuring titles from last year’s program for subscribers to watch from home.

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Stranger Than Paradise Locarno Film Festival

LOCARNO 2020: A JOURNEY IN THE FESTIVAL’S HISTORY SELECTION

“Germany, Year Zero,” (Roberto Rossellini, Italy, France, Germany, 1948)
“Love Meetings,” (Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy, 1964)
“Entranced Earth,” (Glauber Roch, Brazil, 1967)
“Charles, Dead or Alive,” (Alain Tanner, Switzerland, 1969)
“Invasion,” (Hugo Santiago, Argentina, 1969)
“In Danger and Deep Distress, the Middleway Spells Certain Death,” (Alexander Kluge, Edgar Reitz, Federal Republic of Germany, 1974)
“India Song,” (Marguerite Duras, France, 1975)
“Perfumed Nightmare,” (Kidlat Tahimik, Philippines, 1977)
“Land of Fire All Night Long,” (Clemens Klopfenstein, Remo Legnazzi, Switzerland, 1981)
“Stranger Than Paradise,” (Jim Jarmusch, U.S.A., Federal Republic of Germany, 1984)
“The Terrorizers,” (Edward Yang, Taiwan, 1986)
“The Jester,” (José Alvaro Morais, Portugal, 1987)
“The Seventh Continent,” (Michael Haneke, Austria, 1989)
“Metropolitan,” (Whit Stillman, U.S.A., 1990)
“Rapado,” (Martín Rejtman, Argentina, Netherlands, 1992)
“Au nom du Christ,” (Roger Gnoan M’Bala, Ivory Coast, Switzerland, 1993)
“A Moment of Innocence,” (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Iran, France, 1996)
“Horse Money,” (Pedro Costa, Portugal, 2014)
“No Home Movie,” (Chantal Akerman, Belgium, France, 2015)
“M,” (Yolande Zauberman, France, 2018)