In today’s Global Bulletin, U.K.’s National Theatre filmed plays to stream on Amazon Prime Video in the U.K. and Ireland; Mubi boards U.K., Ireland rights for Paul Verhoeven’s Cannes title “Benedetta”; Anton Corbijn directs Sergei Polunin ballet documentary “Dancer II”; BANFF sets indigenous screen industry summit; Bild Studios and Lux Machina form Virtual Production partnership; and the third season of International Emmy-winning series “Bluey” will premiere globally on Disney.
Four stage productions filmed by the U.K.’s National Theatre will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in the U.K. and Ireland from June 11.
The productions include “Frankenstein,” directed by Danny Boyle and written by Nick Dear, in which joint Olivier Award winners Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternate the roles of the creature and Victor Frankenstein; “Fleabag,” written and performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge; and “Hamlet” with Benedict Cumberbatch, directed by Lyndsey Turner. In addition, in “Ian McKellen On Stage,” the thespian performs extracts from some of his most iconic performances as part of his 80th birthday celebration.
In 2020, Prime Video and Amazon Studios donated £500,000 ($708,690) to the Theatre Community Fund, launched by Olivia Colman, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Francesca Moody to provide hardship grants to theater workers and freelancers across the U.K., as well as a £1 million donation to the U.K. Film and TV Charity’s COVID-19 response towards a grants scheme to help the industry recover from the pandemic.
Streamer and distributor Mubi has acquired all rights for Paul Verhoeven’s “Benedetta” for the U.K. and Ireland.
Directed and co-written by Paul Verhoeven, “Benedetta” will receive its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in July. The filmmaker’s last feature was the Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning “Elle” (2016).
Set in the late 17th-century Italy and inspired by true events, the film follows a woman who joins a convent in Pescia, Tuscany, as a plague ravages the land that surrounds it. Capable of performing miracles from an early age, Benedetta’s impact on life in the community is immediate and momentous.
Inspired by the book “Immodest Acts,” written by historian Judith C. Brown, the film stars Virginie Efira (“Elle”), Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”), Daphné Patakia (“Nimic”), Lambert Wilson (“The Matrix Reloaded”) and Olivier Rabourdin (“Eastern Boys”), and was co-written by David Birke.
“Benedetta” was produced by Said Ben Said at SBS Production, Michel Merkt and Pathé. Pathé is also handling international sales.
Following the success of 2016 biographical documentary “Dancer,” featuring ballet superstar Sergei Polunin, acclaimed director Anton Corbijn (BAFTA-nominated “Control,” “A Most Wanted Man,” “The American”) will direct “Dancer II.”
The documentary will feature multiple extended dance sequences as Corbijn and Polunin explore the transformative world of performance. It is produced by Academy Award and BAFTA nominee Gabrielle Tana (“Dancer,” “Philomena”), in association with WestEnd Films, with Maya Amsellem and Sharon Harel serving as executive producers.
The project is currently in production. WestEnd is handling world sales.
Canada’s Banff World Media Festival has announced a new initiative, the International Indigenous Screen Industry Summit, aimed to facilitate conversation, highlight, and empower indigenous media industry professionals from around the world. The event will take place June 21 on the Festival’s virtual conference platform, and is timed to Canada’s National Indigenous Peoples Day to celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures and achievements of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.
The program will feature a panel discussion around the future of indigenous broadcasting and streaming; a conversation exploring Canadian indigenous stories on a global stage; a masterclass with the stars and creative team of FX’s “Reservation Dogs,” a new half-hour comedy that follows the exploits of four indigenous teenagers in rural Oklahoma; and several other sessions including an opportunity for Canadian First Nations, Inuit and Métis producers to meet national and international broadcasters, streamers and strategic partners in a one-on-one speed-meeting format.
U.K.-based leading Virtual Production specialists Bild Studios have entered into a strategic delivery partnership with Los Angeles-based Lux Machina, to create a Virtual Production team. The new joint venture aims to provide the film, television, and live event production industry with real-time VFX production technology.
Bild has worked on productions including “Detective Pikachu,” “Brave New World,” “Avenue 5” and “Infinity” and large-scale productions for MTV EMAs, Dubai World Expo, Madison Square Gardens, Cirque de Soleil and Eurovision, as well as concerts and tours for Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Jay Z and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Lux Machina’s credits include “The Mandalorian” and projects for Google, Facebook and Salesforce.
BBC Studios and Disney have announced that a third season of kids’ International Emmy-winning series “Bluey” will premiere globally on Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney Plus in all territories outside of Australia, New Zealand, and China, following two successful seasons of the hit show on Disney.
Created by Joe Brumm and produced by the Emmy-winning Ludo Studio for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and BBC Studios, “Bluey” follows an inexhaustible six-year-old Blue Heeler puppy who lives with her dad, mum and four-year-old little sister, Bingo. In every episode, Bluey uses her limitless Blue Heeler energy to play and turn everyday family life into extraordinary adventures.
“Bluey” is produced in association with Screen Queensland and Screen Australia.