Germany’s ZDF Enterprises, experts in crime and the production and sales outfit behind Nordic Noir original “The Bridge” and Swedish mega-hit crime thriller “Before We Die,”  is at it again. This time round, the commercial arm of German public broadcaster ZDF has greenlit “Body of Water,” an eight-part crime drama showrun and written by Brendan Foley. Production is scheduled for 2021.

A Northern Irish writer, Foley has built up Nordic Noir credentials, co-writing Lionsgate and Viaplay series “Cold Courage” (pictured above) and adapting Finnish crime drama “Man Who Died” for Elisa.

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Brendan Foley (c) filmfoley.com

Production partners include Nucleus Media Rights, with offices in London, Los Angeles, Milan, Mumbai and Seoul, and Italy’s 3zero2, part of France’s Euro Media Group.

Euro Noir “Body of Water,” which ZDFE will bring onto the market, begins when the bodies of a man and woman are dredged up three years apart from the River Thames and a Venice canal, both suffocated and bearing similar, mysterious markings. A male British detective travels to Venice to investigate, in uneasy alliance with a young Italian female investigator. “Body of Water” will largely be spoken in English, which opens up Noir to even larger audiences.

John Hopewell contributed to this Bulletin.


Supported by Screen Australia’s Enterprise Business and Ideas program, advocacy organization For Film’s Sake has announced Attagirl, a new film development lab designed to assist female and non-binary filmmakers.

Attagirl will invite as many as 12 female or non-binary-led creative teams to participate in a 10-month incubator program to help develop narrative features for the digital marketplace by focusing on three main pillars: story, market and audience. The program was created by For Film’s Sake executive director Sophie Mathisen.

Originally, Attagirl participants were meant to travel to and participate in three international film festivals. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, it has pivoted to a mostly digital format backed by the Toronto and Sydney Film Festivals.

Teams will be assigned a mentor who will engage script, audience and financial consultants to support the development and production of the projects. At Sydney Film Festival 2021, the teams will be invited to participate in a financing forum.

Importantly, the involved creative teams will retain full copyright of their work, as Attagirl and For Film’s Sake have no financial interest in the projects. Interested parties can find more details and apply on the lab’s website.


Spain’s DeAPlaneta and Globomedia – a The Mediapro Studio company – will collaborate on a new made-for-TV adaptation of Javier Castillo’s bestselling mystery-thriller novels “El día que se perdió la cordura” (The Day Sanity was Lost) and “El día que se perdió el amor” (The Day Love was Lost).

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El día que se perdió la cordura SUMA Editorial

With an opening suitable for the peak TV era, the story starts with a naked man carrying a decapitated head through downtown Boston. Local investigators team with a psychiatric hospital director and an FBI agent to try and figure out the circumstances leading up to that night. Their own safety and sanity quickly come into question as details are revealed.

In the three years since the first was published by SUMA Editorial, the books have been translated into 10 languages in more than 40 countries, while reaching the number one spot on Spain’s best-seller lists.


Popular U.K. TV personality Paddy McGuinness, current host of “Top Gear,” will present BBC One’s new musical game show “I Can See Your Voice,” coming in 2021.

The program enlists teams of two for a musical guessing game in which they are presented with a group of potential Pavarottis who lip sync and give clues about their vocal talents. The contestants must then guess which one has a voice fit for radio, and who should stick to singing in the shower.

The contestants will receive help from a regular panel of celebrity experts and one guest superstar singer which will change week to week. At the end of each episode, after the group of singers has been narrowed to one, that person will sing a duet with the guest superstar musician. If the voice is sweet, the contestants take home a cash prize. If it’s sour, the money goes to the poser.


Sky Italia and Banijay Italia have closed a deal on all future seasons of “Pechino Express,” the Italian adaptation of the Belgian-Dutch original format owned and licensed by 4MAT4. A premiere date has not yet been announced, but according to Banijay, the series will launch on Sky and NOW TV soon.

In the program, teams of two are dropped into environments culturally and geographically distant from their own with a backpack of supplies and a €1 a day budget. Together, they must survive relying on their individual skills and the good will of locals. At the end of the season, the winning couple are given a cash prize to donate to a charity of their choice from one of the places they visited along the way.

Magnolia/Banijay Italia has produced eight seasons of the series so far. The format has sold and aired in 16 countries since 2004.

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Pekin Express Banijay Italia