Abacus Media Rights has sold documentary “The Beatles and India” to HBO Max for Latin America, BritBox North America for the U.S. and Canada, Channel 4 for the U.K., Foxtel for Australia, Channel One for Russia, and A Contracorriente Films for Spain, with more deals in the pipeline.

Inspired by Ajoy Bose’s “book Across The Universe – The Beatles in India,” the film marks Bose’s directorial debut, is co-directed by Peter Compton and is produced by Reynold D’Silva, CEO of Silva Screen Music Group.

Abacus MD Jonathan Ford said: “Using rare archival footage, an array of unseen recordings and photographs, eye-witness accounts and stunning location shoots across India, ‘The Beatles and India’ energetically reveals a fascinating journey which was to have a profound impact on The Beatles’ spiritual lives and their music.”

“The universal appeal of the subject has been one of our main aims in creating this project and we are sure it will strike a resonant chord with audiences,” D’Silva added.


Meanwhile, Endeavor Content boarded Russian SVOD operator START’s action-drama series “Hope”, to represent the project for global distribution, marking its first ever Russian-language series acquisition. Directed by Elena Hazanova (“Petrushka Syndrome”), “Hope” stars Victoria Isakova as a ruthless assassin for the Syndicate – a criminal organization she was forced to work for as a teenager in exchange for getting out of prison.

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Subzero Film Entertainment


“Rare Exports” director Jalmari Helander has commenced principal photography on “Immortal,” in which one man goes to war against the Nazi German army in the Finnish wilderness. Filming is taking place in Lapland and Helsinki, Finland.

The cast includes Jorma Tommila (“Rare Exports”), Aksel Hennie (“The Martian”), Jack Doolan (“The Hatton Garden Job”) and Onni Tommila (“Big Game”).

The film is produced by Petri Jokiranta and Subzero Film Entertainment. Executive producers are Mike Goodridge, Gregory Ouanhon and Antonio Salas.

Stage 6 Films has acquired worldwide rights, excluding the Nordics, which will be handled by Nordisk Film. The film is backed by the Finnish Film Foundation, Business Finland – Audiovisual Production Incentive and MTV Cmore.


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Daniel Brühl Pascal Buenning


German actor and filmmaker Daniel Brühl (“Next Door”) will preside over the jury for the 17th Zurich Film Festival’s feature film competition, where he is joined by Stéphanie Chuat, co-director of “My Little Sister,” producer Andrea Cornwell (“Saint Maud”) and the former director of the Berlinale Dieter Kosslick.

The jury president of the documentary film competition is Asif Kapadia (“Amy”), who is joined by Hanka Kastelicová, vice president of HBO Europe’s documentary film department, Gregory Kershaw, co-director of “The Truffle Hunters,” cinematographer Sophie Maintigneux (“Mario”), and producer Michela Pini (“Bad Tales”).

The jury of the focus competition is headed by director Sönke Wortmann (“Contra”), and jury members include actor Sandra Guldberg Kampp (“Wildland”), editor Caterina Mona (“Finding Camille”), director Pierre Monnard (“Needle Park Baby”) and producer Ada Solomon (“Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn”).

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Lucca festival

Meanwhile, the 55th Lucca Comics and Games festival will go ahead in the historic town of Lucca, Italy, Oct. 29-Nov. 1 as an in-person event. Creators across the worlds of comics, games and storytelling in the form of music and cosplay will be present. The theme of this year’s festival is “to rebehold the stars: light” after a year of darkness, and the event will celebrate the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death.


U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 has commissioned two-part documentary series “Downfall of the Porn King: The Ron Jeremy Story” (working title) from BriteSpark Films, which is part of the Argonon group. Jeremy was an American porn legend who crossed over into the mainstream, hobnobbed with Hollywood stars and performed in more than 2,500 films. However, in August this year, Jeremy was indicted in a Los Angeles court for 30 counts of rape and sexual assault, against 21 women. He currently awaits trial.

With exclusive access to some of his alleged victims, key industry players and archives, the series will explore Jeremy’s rise and fall.

The series was commissioned by Channel 4 factual senior commissioning editor Anna Miralis and will be produced by BriteSpark Films with executive producers Nick Godwin and Tom Porter, producer Lisa Charles and director Storm Theunissen. International sales will be handled by Abacus Media Rights.

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Ron Jeremy Everett Collection

Meanwhile, BBC2 has commissioned three-part series, “Inside Dubai: Playground of the Rich,” from Spun Gold TV which goes behind the scenes of the fast-growing city which now counts 52,000 millionaires and billionaires among its three million inhabitants. A tax haven and an ultra-modern, aspirational city, Dubai boasts the world’s tallest building, the world’s most expensive hotel and the world’s biggest shopping mall. The city has also had its share of reputation problems to deal with as it positions itself as a liberal gateway to the Gulf. The series meets the individuals who live and work there to find out what makes the city tick.

The series producer and director is Chris Taylor, and executive producers are Teresa Watkins and Daniela Neumann for Spun Gold. It was commissioned by Emma Loach. The series is being distributed by ITV Studios.

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“Inside Dubai: Playground of the Rich” Spun Gold TV