In today’s Global Bulletin Vivendi’s 2020 finances are up 2.4%, the Young Artist Academy announces this year’s award recipients, All3Media picks up “A World of Calm,” West End Films sells “Rams” in key territories and Fremantle promotes Seb Shorr.
In a year marked by the coronavirus pandemic, Vivendi saw its consolidated revenues go up by 2.4% to €11.6 billion ($13.7 billion) during the first nine months of 2020, and up 1.3 % during the third quarter.
The group’s subscription-based activities, especially at Universal Music Group and to a lesser extent Canal Plus Group, have bolstered Vivendi’s revenues. Canal Plus Group’s revenues were up 6.6% for the first nine months of 2020 and up 7.3% for the third quarter of 2020. The company’s international activities grew a strong pace with revenues from international operations rising by 27.4%. The addition of 1.2 million subscribers around the world, and the integration of M7, a leading pay-TV company in Europe operating in Benelux and Central Europe, as well as the launch in Myanmar, boosted the company’s results.
On the downside, the pandemic impacted the revenues from TV operations in mainland France, as well as Studiocanal’s revenues which dropped by 19.6% compared to the same period in 2019, as the filming and distribution of movies were affected by the health crisis. During the first nine months of 2020, Vivendi’s net financial debt fell to €3.1 million ($3.7 million) as of Sept. 30., compared with €4.1 million ($4.8 million) last year.
Vivendi boasts a large financing capacity with long term credit lines available in the amount of €3.1 billion ($3.7 billion). It recently acquired 28.3% of the share capital and 21.5% of the voting rights of the French media group Lagardère SCA.
The Young Artist Academy has announced this year’s special merit recipients to be honored at the Academy’s 41st award ceremony on Nov. 21.
Patrick Stewart will receive the Academy’s Lifetime Achievement award, to be presented by friends, co-stars and former First Officers Jonathan Frakes (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”), Ian McKellen and “Star Trek” franchise owner Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, son of creator Gene Roddenberry and regular featured actor Majel Barrett. Roddenberry will also receive the Contribution to Science Award, presented by “Star Trek: Original Series” star George Takei.
Best Ensemble Cast will be presented by Scarlett Johansson, a Young Artist Academy alumna herself, to her “Jojo Rabbit” co-stars Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie and Archie Yates. Kelsey Grammer will be honored with the Icon Award, presented by “Frasier” co-stars David Hyde Pierce and Jane Leeves. Bill Mumy, Will Robinson in the 1960’s original “Lost in Space” series, will present the Community Leadership Award to Maxwell Jenkins, who plays the same role in Netflix’s reboot.
The 41st Young Artist Academy Awards will be the first held digitally, streamed on YouTube and available on VivaLiveTV.
All3Media will partner for the first time with Jane Root’s factual production shingle Nutopia to distribute “A World of Calm,” based on the popular Calm app.
Produced for HBO Max in the U.S. and featuring an A-list cast of narrators: Mahershala Ali, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Idris Elba, Oscar Isaac, Nicole Kidman, Zoë Kravitz, Lucy Liu, Cillian Murphy, Keanu Reeves and Kate Winslet, the series invites its audience to relax with “bedtime stories for adults” and stunning visuals.
Under the deal, All3Media will handle international distribution outside of the U.S. and Latin America. The series is a collaboration between the Calm app and Nutopia. Jane Root, Nicola Moody, Michael Acton Smith and Chris Advansun serve as executive producers, and Sara Brailsford and Fiona Caldwell as co-executive producers.
London-based West End Films has secured a raft of deals in key territories for “Rams,” the English-language remake of 2015 Cannes Un Certain Regard winner “Hrútar,” starring Sam Neil (“Jurassic Park”).
In the U.S., Samuel Goldwyn Films will distribute the film, directed by Jeremy Sims (“Last Cab to Darwin”) while deals were also closed with Signature Entertainment in the U.K., Koch Media in Germany and Italy, Paradise (Russia and the Baltics), Canal Plus (Poland), Phoenicia Pictures (Middle East), Jetsen Huashi Media (China), MCF Megacom Film (former Yugoslavia) and Encore for airlines.
Village Roadshow will distribute in Australia, where the film received investment from Screen Australia, Screenwest and the Western Australian Regional Film Fund.
“Rams” was adapted by Jules Duncan and produced by Janelle Landers and Aidan O-Bryan from WBMC.
Fremantle has promoted Seb Shorr to executive vice president of commercial and business affairs for the company’s scripted business.
Shorr will be responsible for supporting the company’s drama labels in negotiations of development, co-development and co-production for scripted content. In the role, he will work closely with Fremantle’s recently promoted president of global drama Cristian Vesper and the company’s international team. He will also oversee negotiations for first look and talent deals and scripted IP acquisitions.
Since 2017, Shorr has been head of legal and business affairs for international co-production at Fremantle after joining the company from Lookout Point, where he was head of business affairs.