In today’s Global Bulletin, ITV’s “I’m a Celebrity…” relocates, San Sebastián announced WIPs, Mikkelsen is honored, MY Entertainment hires, Banijay finishes German setup and Formula 1 gets an anniversary docuseries.
ITV tentpole reality program “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!” will trade the jungles of down under for a rundown castle in the U.K. after COVID-19 travel restrictions have made producing the show in its traditional New South Wales home too challenging a prospect.
First launched in 2002, the series has become one of the most important in ITV’s catalog and this February received a three-season renewal. It boasts an average audience of more than 9 million viewers per season and dominates the social media landscape during and after broadcasts. It has spawned several local formats in other territories and an ITV2 spin-off, “I’m a Celebrity: Extra Camp,” which was dropped by the network earlier this year due to rising production costs.
A change of venue seemed preferable to postponement, as ITV had already lost its big summer reality show “Love Island,” stating that it would not only be difficult to produce under current health and safety guidelines, but ill-advised to promote the kinds of activities typical of the program. A one-two punch of losing “Love Island” and“I’m a Celebrity…” could have been devastating for the network.
Series presenters Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly will return as hosts.
San Sebastián today announced the six projects making up this year’s WIP Latam section, a permanent feature replacing last year’s Films in Progress. This year’s selection is headlined by the latest from Iván Fund, whose debut “The Lips,” co-directed with Santiago Loza, screened at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard in 2010; Manuel Nieto’s “The Employer and the Employee,” starring “BPM (Beats Pre Minute)” standout Nahuel Pérez Biscayart; and Maximiliano Schonfeld’s highly anticipated third feature “Jesús López,” a San Sebastián Proyecta title in 2018.
Juan Sebastián Mesa returns to the Spanish fest with “The Rust,” presented as a project at 2017’s Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum. Joining the established directors in this year’s section are two first-time feature filmmakers, Jerónimo Quevedo with “The Fossilized Remains” and Federico Adorno with “Boreal.”
Selected from 229 applicants, the six features included in this year’s field will be competing for the WIP Latam Industry and Egeda Platino Industry Awards. This year’s WIP Latam will run Sept. 22-24 with both onsite and online formats.
Mads Mikkelsen will join Mexican filmmaker Michel Franco as honorary recipients of this year’s Sarajevo Film Festival’s Honorary Heart of Sarajevo awards. There, as part of the Sarajevo Film Festival Masterclass Program, co-organized with Variety, the Danish actor will also host a masterclass available to stream on the festival’s website.
After a promising early career, rising in parallel with fellow Danish filmmaker and frequent collaborator Nicolas Winding Refn, Mikkelsen’s global breakout role came in 2006, when he played Le Chiffre in the James Bond film “Casino Royale.” Other standout roles include a 2012 Cannes Best Actor Award-winning performance as Lucas in “The Hunt,” Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the critically acclaimed television series “Hannibal,” and turns in both the MCU and Star Wars universe.
Most recently the actor appeared in “Another Round” from Thomas Vinterberg, a Cannes Festival selection, and will star in next year’s sci-fi feature “Chaos Walking.”
New-York based production company MY Entertainment (MYE), specialists in the international format business, has made its first high-profile hire for the company’s newly launched premium content division, One Foot Forward Entertainment, announcing Joanna Zwickel as head of development.
Reporting to MYE president Michael Yudin and COO Joe Townley, Zwickel will oversee the company’s push into premium content developed for digital platforms. MYE grew to prominence on the back of a successful non-scripted strategy and strong international partnerships with independent producers, and will now look to repeat the feat in the premium content marketplace.
Zwickel comes to One Foot Forward from MRC Studios where she served as VP of TV development. She has also spent time in development at The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Blumhouse’s TV division. Her series credits include Hulu’s “Fyre Fraud,” Peacock’s “Angelyne” and Sundance’s “No One Saw a Thing,” and many others.
Banijay has finalized its post-Endemol Shine buyout structuring in Germany, announcing that Marcus Wolter will head the company’s operations for the territory as CEO and co-partner. Companies within his purview include Brainpool, where he is managing director, Banijay Productions, Good Times, Endemol Shine Germany, MadeFor, Raab TV, Lucky Pics and MTS Künstler Management among others.
Wolter has been with the company since 2018, coming from Endemol Shine Germany where he was CEO and chairman for Northern Europe for Endemol Shine Group.
Under the restructuring, current Brainpool managing director Fabian Torres will fill the role of managing director for Endemol Shine Germany, joined by Ute März, who was been appointed co-CEO of the outfit. Other leadership positions at Banijay Germany will remain unchanged.
Celebrating this year’s 70th anniversary of one of the world’s most popular motorsports leagues, Sky Sports in the U.K. are teaming with Formula 1 racing on a new seven-part docuseries titled “Race to Perfection,” a behind-the-scenes look at the rise and sustained success of F1 racing.
The series promises never-before-seen access to rare archival footage, interviews with some of the sport’s biggest names and a “fresh perspective to the history of the popular sport.” From Senna to Schumacher, the story of F1 will be told through the stories of its drivers and the crews who make the circuit possible.
Produced by Sky Sports’ F1 team, “Race to Perfection” will launch on Sky and NOW TV on Sept. 12. NBCUniversal Global Distribution will handle international sales.