In today’s Mipcom Roundup, ViacomCBS announces MIA attendance and its investment commitment in the Italian industry, NENT Studios U.K. and Amazon Prime Video make major casting announcements, All3Media sells “Roadkill” globally, Fremantle acquires distribution rights on “Day Zero” and the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announces winners for the International Emmy Kids Awards.
ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) announced its upcoming participation at this year’s Mia Market in Rome where the organization will present its strategy and plans for Southern Europe.
On Saturday, Laura Abril, head of VIS EMEAA, and Jaime Ondarza, executive VP and GM for ViacomCBS Networks South Europe and Middle East, will attend Drama Talk and host a roundtable discussion titled Business Creativity: The Pursuit of Excellence, inviting speakers from top production companies and studios to explore new models for the drama space.
VIS will also debut its new ViacomCBS International Studios Award, selected by a panel of experts at VIS and given to the best project at this year’s Drama Pitching Forum.
“Italy is a key market for us, and we are committed to investing heavily in it in terms of development and production,” said Abril in a statement. “Our focus in the region is to work on qualitative, original Italian content with a local flavor and a global appeal at the same time, while we continue to deliver on our commitment to create the best content for different markets and platforms.”
“VIS is integral to the transformation of ViacomCBS Networks International,” added Ondarza. “The decision to focus on the development of our studios is the result of our strategy aimed at strengthening the synergies between different markets and consolidating the positioning of ViacomCBS Networks as a key player on all platforms. The production of qualitative content for multiple platforms is at the core of our strategy.”
NENT Studios U.K. has announced additional casting for its upcoming drama series “Close to Me,” currently in production and based on the best-selling novel of the same name.
Variety had previously announced that “Wonder Woman 1984” star Connie Nelson and former Dr Who Christopher Eccleston will lead the cast. They are now joined by Susan Lynch (“Save Me”), Leanne Best (“Young Wallander”), Ray Fearon (“His Dark Materials”), Henning Jensen (“When the Dust Settles”), Rosy McEwen (“The Angel of Darkness”), Tom Taylor (“Us”) and Nick Blood (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”).
In the show, Nielsen plays a woman recovering from a year-long blackout resulting from a fall. As she begins piecing things together from the time she has lost, she realizes things aren’t as idyllic as they seem for herself, her husband (Eccleston) or their children (Taylor and McEwen).
Amazon Prime Video and Bambú Producciones , one of Spain’s leading independent production houses, have unveiled casting details for their upcoming co-production “Un asunto privado.” Three-time French Academy César-nominated French actor Jean Reno (“Léon: The Professional”) and two-time Spanish Academy Goya-nominated actress Aura Garrido will headline.
Set in the late ‘40s in Galicia on Spain’s northwest coast, an upper-class policewoman attempts to track down a serial killer who has been terrorizing the area for months.
The eight-hour series was created by Bambú’s Teresa Fernández-Valdés, Ramón Campos and Gema R. Neira, a trio responsible for several of Spain’s biggest international hits across the last decade including “Gran Hotel,” “Velvet” and Netflix’s first Spanish original “Cable Girls.” David Pinillos and María Ripol direct.
All3Media International has closed a raft of pre-sales for “Roadkill,” an upcoming political thriller produced by The Forge and starring Hugh Laurie and Helen MaCrory, commissioned by BBC One in the U.K. and PBS Masterpiece in the U.S.
“Roadkill” was picked up by HBO in the CEE region, Nordics and Portugal and ABC in Australia for first window, ABC Commercial for home entertainment and Stan for SVOD. KT Hitel has picked up the series in Korea, TVNZ for first window in New Zealand, NPO (Netherlands), Magenta TV (Germany) Intervision (Greece and Cyprus), Kinopoisk (Russia and the CIS), Siminn hf (Iceland), Telefónica (Spain). In the U.K. and Eire Dazzler Media picked home entertainment rights.
Set to premiere in the U.K. on Oct. 18, the series also features as part of this year’s Mipcom online screenings.
Fremantle has closed an international distribution deal on Tencent, Keo Films and OoS Pictures’ prestige conservation documentary “Day Zero.”
Co-directed by Emmy-winner Kevin Sim and Virginia Quinn, Chiwetel Ejiofor narrates the film, filmed over a three-year period to shine a spotlight on the frontline workers devoted to addressing the rapidly building global water crisis. Will Pugh (“McQueen”) was DoP and Marcy Cox produced for Keo Films.
“Day Zero” features interviews with top scientists and experts in the field of water conservation to emphasize how large the problem has already become and forecast a desperate future if major reforms aren’t forthcoming, and soon.
The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences have announced this year’s International Emmy Kids Awards winners in an online presentation broadcast on the Academy’s website and the Mipcom Online Plus platform.
British cartoon “The Tiger Who Came to Tea,” adapted from Judith Kerr’s eponymous book for Channel 4, won the Kids: Animation Award. It’s produced by Lupus Films, Tiger Tea Productions, HarperCollins Children’s Books, and Universal Pictures.
“Finding My Family: Holocaust – A Newsround Special,” from BBC Children’s In-House Productions and CBBC, won the Kids: Factual & Entertainment Award. In the made-for-TV film, Holocaust survivor Steven Frank takes his teenage granddaughter to Auschwitz where she and the audience learn about the horrors of his experiences.
And Australia’s “Hardball,” from Northern Pictures, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Screen Australia and Create NSW, won the Kids: Live-Action Award. The series follows a group of young students who learn that the new kid in town has an uncanny knack for handball.