WestEnd Films has launched a global sales campaign for Guillem Morales’ (“The Miniaturist”) revenge thriller “The Duchess of Malfi,” produced by Miriam Segal’s Good Films Collective (“Postcard Killings”). Based on John Webster’s classic Jacobean play, the feature adaptation was penned by Luke Garrett (“Ruby Strangelove Young Witch”).
Casting for the period drama is led by BAFTA-nominees Morfydd Clark (“Saint Maud”) and Sam Riley (“Control”) with BIFA-nominee Dominic Cooper (“Preacher”). Equally impressive is the film’s behind-the-scenes lineup, including Academy Award-nominated DoP Pawel Edelman (“The Pianist”), BAFTA-nominated costume designer Carlo Poggioli (“Cold Mountain”), and Editor Joe Randall-Cutler (“I Hate Suzie”). Shooting will begin in November in Italy, with WestEnd set to present the film at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival virtual market.
“There are no better times than these to tell the story of ‘The Duchess of Malfi.’ Webster’s masterpiece is ready for new, young audiences as its themes are so relevant today,” said Morales in a release.
“Since directing the play many years ago, it’s had a lasting impact on me. The themes of social inequality, class and the treatment of women could not be more relevant or immediate to the world we live in now,” added Segal.
The Cairo International Film Festival has moved up its dates to avoid overlap with Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea fest and has promoted programmer Andrew Mohsen to artistic director. Cairo, which is the Arab world’s oldest and most prestigious film event, has now set Nov. 26-Dec. 5 as the dates for its upcoming 43rd edition, shifting into an earlier calendar slot than its previous Dec. 1-10 position. The Cairo date change follows disruption recently caused on the Arab film festival circuit by Saudi Arabia’s nascent Red Sea Festival which moved its inaugural edition from November into a December 6-15 slot. The Cairo and Red Sea events will now run back-to-back.
The decision “came after a deep look at the international and Arab film festivals’ agenda, with hope that the new dates will allow journalists and filmmakers to attend the various festivals and engage with the latest productions and cover the different events” the Cairo fest, headed by prominent Egyptian producer Mohammed Hefzy, said in a statement.
E4 is launching four new shows this fall, with each series’ pilot to be broadcast on its linear network and streamable on its digital platform All 4. The lineup includes outdoor adventure competition series “Naked, Alone and Trying to Get Home,” produced by Avalon; dating shows “The Love Triangle” from Naked and MGM Television’s “Kinky Daters”; and marital program “One Stop Wedding,” produced by South Shore. The four-pack’s release schedule kicks off on Aug. 31 when “Kinky Daters” premieres in primetime on E4.
Amazon Prime Video has unveiled a new U.K. original comedy series, “Backstage with Katherine Ryan,” which will launch globally in 2022. The series, a blending of live stand-up comedy shows with behind-the-scenes action, is produced by Expectation. In the show, Ryan will invite A-list comedians to perform on stage and hang out backstage at London’s Roundhouse. Included among the list of invitees are Frankie Boyle, Sara Pascoe, Judi Love, Ivo Graham, Jo Brand, Nish Kumar, Joel Dommett, Rosie Jones, Rob Beckett, Sue Perkins, Tom Allen, Michelle de Swarte, Jimmy Carr, Desiree Burch, Seann Walsh, Nick Mohammed, Sarah Millican, Joanne McNally, Russell Kane, Geoff Norcott, and Darren Harriott.
In Argentina, Amazon unveiled that its highly anticipated original Diego Maradona soccer bio-series “Maradona: Blessed Dream” will launch globally on Oct. 29. In the series, Nazareno Casero (“Chronicle of an Escape”), Juan Palomino (“Magnifica 70”) and Nicolás Goldschmidt (“Supermax”) take turns playing the iconic Argentine striker through various stages of his life and career, from his humble upbringing in Argentina to his playing career at Barcelona and Napoli as well as the Argentina National team – winning the 1986 World Cup – and life after football, managing several of the world’s biggest clubs. The series is produced by BTF Media with Dhana Media and Latin We co-producing. Alejandro Aimetta was the series’ showrunner, also directing episodes shot in Argentina, Mexico and Uruguay.