The 65th BFI London Film Festival (Oct. 6 – 17) has added George Clooney’s “The Tender Bar,” starring Ben Affleck, Tye Sheridan and Lily Rabe, to the program. Clooney is expected to be in attendance. The film follows a boy growing up on Long Island who seeks out father figures among the patrons at his uncle’s bar.
Also added to the programme is Indonesian filmmaker Edwin‘s film adaptation of Eka Kurniawan’s acclaimed novel about an impotent aspiring assassin – “Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash.”
The festival has also revealed the first of its 2021 Screen Talk line-up, which is supported by The Liberation Initiatives, with acclaimed directors Jane Campion, Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Asghar Farhadi joining “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong and Norwegian actor Anders Danielsen Lie for a series of in-person talks.
Meanwhile, the surprise film at the ongoing San Sebastian Film Festival is Pablo Larraín‘s “Spencer,” with Kristen Stewart playing Diana, Princess of Wales. The film will screen Sept. 25.
Larraín has previously participated in the festival with works including “Tony Manero” (2008), “Post mortem” (2010), “No” (2012), “El club” (2015), “Neruda” (2016) and “Ema” (2019).
STXtelevision, a division of Eros STX Global Corporation, has partnered with Reel One Entertainment to develop and produce an English language adaptation of “Team Chocolate,” the Belgian series honored as best drama series at the first Diversity TV Excellence Awards at Mipcom and also won the 2017 Prix Europa for Best European fiction series. STXtelevision and Reel One have secured the format rights from French independent distributor Wild Bunch TV and are committed to casting the show with the same character specific attention, authenticity and care that was a hallmark of the original series.
The original series follows Jasper Bloom, a young man with Down’s syndrome who starts his first job in a family-run chocolate factory, working with a diverse team of employees with a range of disabilities. Bloom falls in love with one of his colleagues, but when the girl of his dreams is whisked away to a far-off city, he and his new friends set out on a road trip to find her – sparking a journey of adventure and self-discovery.
The series was produced by Belgian TV production company De Mensen, whose credits include “Beau Sejour” and the hit Netflix crime drama “Undercover,” in collaboration with Theater Stap, a theater company that works with disabled actors, many of whom starred in the show.
Following its world premiere at the opening night of the 2021 Telluride Film Festival and the People’s Choice Award for documentaries at the Toronto International Film Festival, National Geographic Documentary Films has set the U.K. theatrical release of “The Rescue.” The film by award winning directing duo E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin will be released by Dogwoof in U.K. cinemas from Oct. 29.
“The Rescue” chronicles the daring rescue of 12 boys and their coach from deep inside a flooded cave in northern Thailand in 2018 and the filmmakers use never-before-seen material and exclusive interviews to piece together the high-stakes mission, highlighting the efforts of the Royal Thai Navy SEALs and U.S. Special Forces.
Whip Media, the L.A.-based international software platform and aggregator of entertainment-related data, has added two new data reports to its arsenal which will track the most viewed films and original streaming series each week. The Whip Watch Report will include a top 10 list of the most-watched films by U.S. viewers, including both in theaters and streaming platforms. It will also include a top 10 list of the most-viewed original series on major platforms from the previous week, supplementing its pre-existing Binge Report, which ranks shows with the most binge sessions – when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the TV Time app within a given day. – Jamie Lang
APC Studios is expanding its French production arm APC Stories with the appointment of experienced producer Agathe de Lorme. The executive has held a variety of roles including creative producer for Netflix series “Mortel” and Canal Plus “Validé” before joining the TV unit at Agat Films & Cie.
Working with Emmanuelle Guilbart, Laurent Boissel and the APC development team, de Lorme will manage APC Stories’ upcoming scripted series and documentaries in France.