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In today’s Global Bulletin, Italy’s Oscar contender “Notturno” named European Movie of the Year; U.K. extends furlough scheme; “Zappa” doc gets European distribution; BBC Studios and Bilibili team for culture series “Ancients”; Paul Moore to take over as chair of U.K.’s Creative Diversity Network; Fremantle takes format rights to “The Great Giveback”; and “RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K.” adds celebrity judges.

Italian director Gianfranco Rosi’s high-profile doc “Notturno,” (pictured) which is Italy’s candidate for the international Oscar, has been named European Movie of The Year by the 25th edition of Capri, Hollywood Film Festival.

Capri, Hollywood is dedicated to launching Oscar hopefuls and establishing a bridgehead between Hollywood and Italy’s film and showbiz communities. The event is being held online this year, rather than on the island of Capri, off the coast of Naples. It will run on Italian platform MyMovies from Dec. 26, 2020-Jan. 2, 2021.

Rosi shot “Notturno” over three years along the rattled borders of Iraq, Kurdistan, Syria and Lebanon in his signature observational — but also empathetic — style. The impressionistic doc captures people who have long been contending with the ravages of war and terror, most recently inflicted by ISIS.

After launching from the Venice Film Festival, “Notturno” has played at a slew of other top international fests, including Toronto, New York, Tokyo and Busan and garnered critical accolades. – Nick Vivarelli

EXTENSION

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has extended the existing furlough scheme until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages. Sunak also confirmed he would be extending the government-guaranteed COVID-19 business loan schemes until the end of March.

So far, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has supported 9.6 million jobs across the U.K., including some in the arts, with more than one million businesses accessing loans to help them through the crisis. Sunak had announced a $1.9 billion lifeline for the arts sector in July.

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Kerry McNabb and Frank Zappa in “Zappa” Yoram Kahana/Piece of Magic Entertainment

DISTRIBUTION

International theatrical distribution company Piece of Magic Entertainment (POM) will release Alex Winter’s “Zappa” in cinemas across Europe from March 2021, excluding U.K., Ireland, German-speaking territories, and Poland.

POM has theatrically released acclaimed documentaries such as “Apollo 11,” “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool” and most recently “David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet.”

POM acquired “Zappa” from Great Point Media, who also funded the film. The deal was agreed between Great Point’s VP sales Toby Melling and POM CEO Caspar Nadaud.

CO-PRODUCTION

BBC Studios and Chinese streaming platform Bilibili have announced that “Ancients” will be their first international co-production to feature Chinese stories. The six-part series will bring together the history of early Eastern and Western civilizations (Ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Indians, Greeks and Romans) using documentary visuals and CGI to examine the rise and fall of the world’s greatest ancient cultures on a single epic timeline.

The co-production follows BBC Studios and Bilibili’s multi-year strategic cooperation agreement in October. “Ancients” is currently in preparation for production. It is co-produced by BBC Studios and Bilibili and will be distributed by BBC Studios. – Patrick Frater

CHAIR

Paul Moore, broadcaster ITV’s group communications and corporate affairs director is to become the new chair of the Creative Diversity Network (CDN), the organization championing efforts to increase diversity on and off screen within the U.K. TV industry, from Jan. 2021.

Moore succeeds Maria Kyriacou, president of ViacomCBS Networks U.K. who will remain as a CDN board member.

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“The Great Giveback” Fremantle

FORMAT RIGHTS

Fremantle has acquired global format rights, excluding Ireland, to reality format “The Great Giveback.” The format sees well-off families meet and make real connections with less fortunate families in their community, and make a long-term commitment to helping others and working with them to better their futures.

Originally created by Motive Television in Ireland, the show was a ratings hit across all demographics when it launched on Virgin Media One earlier this year. Fremantle Poland is producing a local adaptation, which is currently underway and set to air on TVN.

JUDGES

Actors Elizabeth Hurley and Sheridan Smith, TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, musician MNEK and model Jourdan Dunn are among the celebrity guest judges on the second series of hit BBC Three show “RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K.” that bows on BBC iPlayer Jan. 14.

They will join RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Graham Norton, and Alan Carr to make a panel of “Drag Race” judges.

The “RuPaul’s Drag Race” franchise, including “RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K.”, is produced by World of Wonder.

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“RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K.” BBC/World of Wonder/Ray Burmiston