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In today’s Global Bulletin, London’s Christmas Pantomime set to go forward with a significant contribution from The National Lottery; EFM moves its upcoming Italy in Focus sidebar to 2022; “Dramaworld” finishes Season 2 filming; Cake will spotlight animated series “Tish Tash” at Mipcom; and this year’s Frankfurter Buchmesse Film Award winners are announced.

PANTOMIME

Qdos Entertainment and LW Theatres have announced that Julian Clary will headline this year’s “Pantoland at the Palladium” Christmas special running Dec. 12-Jan. 3, supported by a joint initiative with The National Lottery.

To aid in facilitating a safe and enjoyable pantomime experience, The National Lottery has agreed to purchase all socially distanced seats left empty in compliance with relevant government and public health guidelines. Up to 250,000 tickets are expected to be available, with more than 20,000 free tickets going to National Lottery players.

Hosted at the London Palladium, the special will feature panto regulars Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot, as well as past stars Ashley Banjo and Diversity and Charlie Stemp. West End stars Beverley Knight and Jac Yarrow will make their panto debuts.

“Christmas 2020 needs a Pantomime, and this one at The London Palladium has never meant so much to our industry and our audiences,” said Andrew Lloyd Webber in a statement. “LW Theatres operates as a not-for-profit and we are delighted that The National Lottery’s support will enable Qdos Entertainment and producer/director Michael Harrison to stage this socially distanced production.”

Webber has been outspoken about the need to support live theater and London’s West End district, as well as the restaurants, hotels and other hospitality business in the area during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MARKETS

Originally selected as the Country in Focus for the 2021 European Film Market (EFM) at the Berlin Film Festival, Italy will instead be honored at EFM 2022 as a result of organizational and infrastructural Covid-19 restrictions applied over recent months.

In 2022, the EFM will present and promote several diverse attributes of the Italian audiovisual industry through the dedicated Italia in Focus sidebar, curated to offer opportunities for networking with Italian producers, distributors, investors and creatives, as well as spotlighting upcoming Italian productions.

Launched in 2017, EFM’s Country in Focus program has previously featured Mexico, Canada, Norway and Chile.

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Courtesy of Juliane Eirich/Berlinale EFM

FESTIVALS

As a result of recent changes to COVID-19 restrictions in the Czech Republic, Ji.hlava is transitioning from a hybrid online-in-person model to a 100% virtual format. Exact details will be shared at a press conference on Oct. 14.

Due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic across Europe, the Czech government will execute a two-wave plan from Oct. 9-12, completely banning, among other things, sporting, cultural and other leisure events and limiting activities of public authorities, schools and restaurants.

“We have always preferred the festival to happen physically as we draw our inspiration primarily from screenings in cinema halls, discussions and personal meetings,” reads a statement released the festival today. “However, the situation has changed, and we respect that. Therefore, we want to see the currently closed cinemas in the Czech Republic as an opportunity and a challenge. This year again, we will treat you to a full-fledged festival program as well as the tenth edition of the Inspiration Forum, sharing all the events online, in a surprising and engaging form.”

PRODUCTION

Third Culture Content has finished production on the second season of its cult hit “Dramaworld,” a bilingual comedy set and filmed in South Korea, with Endeavor Content handling distribution for both seasons one and two.

Season one sees leads Liv Hewson (“The Santa Clarita Diet”), Sean Dulake (“Operation Chromite”) and Justin Chon (“The Twilight Saga”) return, joined by Daniel Dae Kim (“Lost”), Brett Gray (“On My Block”), K-Pop star Henry Lau (“A Dog’s Journey”) and Ha Ji-won (“Manhunt”), as well as a host of A-list Korean cameos.

Created by Josh Billig and Chris Martin, who also directs, the award-winning first season of “Dramaworld” debuted on Netflix and Viki in 2016 to strong reviews and awards in South Korea, France and the U.S., including Most Popular Foreign Drama of the Year at the Seoul International Drama Awards.

Season 2 is co-produced by Third Culture Content and South Korean production company Raemongraein (RMRI).

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“Dramaworld” Credit: Third Culture Content

DISTRIBUTION

U.K.-based kids entertainment specialist Cake has signed on to distribute “Tish Tash,” a new preschool series from Studio Gale in South Korea, August Media Holdings in Singapore, Synergy88 Entertainment in the Philippines and BAFTA and Emmy-winning U.K. studio Karrot Entertainment.

“Tish Tash” follows a young bear named Tish, her family and her imaginary best friend Tash as they invent new worlds in which to adventure, play and problem solve.

Having recently debuted in South Korea, the 2D animated series will be spotlighted by Cake at this year’s virtual Mipcom.

“Tish Tash has huge potential – a fresh take on what it’s like to have an imaginary friend, something most children have experienced and can relate to,” said Cake CCO and managing director Ed Galton in a release.

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“Tish Tash” Credit: Cake

AWARDS

The 2020 Frankfurter Buchmesse Film Awards have been announced and will be honored in a live streamed ceremony on Friday, Oct. 9.

Charlie Kaufman’s “I’m Thinking of Ending Things,” based on the novel by Iain Reid took Best Literary Adaptation while Maria Schrader’s Netflix Original “Unorthodox,” based on the book by Deborah Feldman, screenplay by Anna Winger and Alexa Karolinski, won Best Literary Adaptation Series.

Caroline Link’s “When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit” scooped Best Adaptation for Children or Young Adults and “French New Wave,” published by Reel Art Press, nabbed the Best Illustrated Book on Film Award, granted by the Motovun Group of International Publishers. Sophie Deraspe’s “Antigone” was also recognized with a special mention.

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Courtesy/Netflix