Sky and London’s Tottenham Hotspur, featured in the 2020 edition of Amazon Prime Video’s hit “All or Nothing” documentary series, will work together to make the club’s Sept. 19 fixture against London rivals Chelsea Football Club the world’s first net zero carbon major soccer match, ahead of next month’s UN COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.
The match, supported by COP26 and the English Premier League (EPL), is being branded as #GameZero. To achieve the goal of net zero carbon, the organizations will reduce on-site emissions as much as possible and offset remaining emissions through off-site projects which remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Measures to be taken by Sky and Tottenham include minimizing emissions from matchday activities such as energy used to power the game, travel to and from the stadium for both fans and clubs, and dietary choices inside the new world class stadium.
ITV has secured the domestic broadcast rights to the England women’s national soccer team’s tournament qualifiers and friendlies for the next four years. Starting this season and running through the ’24-’25 campaign, the Lionesses’ World Cup and European Championship qualifiers, as well as all its friendlies, will broadcast on ITV, ITV4 and be streamable on the ITV Hub. Already the broadcaster for the men’s national team, ITV has established itself as the home for international football in the U.K. for the foreseeable future. The Lionesses’ first game under the new deal kicks off on Sept. 17, when they play a World Cup qualifier against North Macedonia.
As cinemas remain closed in the southern Indian state of Kerala due to COVID-19 uncertainty, keenly anticipated superhero film “Minnal Murali” joins the ranks of direct-to-digital premieres and will bow on Netflix. Produced by Sophia Paul for Weekend Blockbusters (“Bangalore Days”), the film is directed by Basil Joseph (“Godha”).
Popular star Tovino Thomas stars as ordinary man-turned-superhero Murali, who is struck by a bolt of lightning, which bestows him with special powers. The film also stars Guru Somasundaram, Harisree Ashokan and Aju Varghese. The film will show in its original Malayalam-language, with dubs in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and English.
Jamie Oliver Productions and Plum Pictures are teaming on a new TV format in which the celebrity chef will lead the search for a future star in home cooking, with a book deal at Penguin Random House on the line. For the show, Oliver will mentor contestants and share his knowledge and experience gained while developing 25 cookbooks of his own. In addition to a traditional elimination style cookoff show, contestants will be pressed to fine tune their book concepts and recipes for home cooks. The show’s season finale will feature three finalists who will prepare several dishes from their books, but only one will score a publishing deal with Michael Joseph at Penguin Random House.
Russia 1 TV Channel has commissioned Banijay’s WeiT Media to produce a local version of the popular singing competition show “Mystery Duets” for a weekly primetime slot on Russian Television and Radio (VGTRK). It’s the first international format version of the series, which was created and produced by Banijay France’s DMLS TV for TF1 earlier this year. The show also has 20 territory development deals in place with the likes of ITV Studios, Banijay, MTV3, Vincent TV and Blu Yazmine, among others. “Mystery Duets” is distributed by Can’t Stop Media.
This year’s 10th anniversary Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival (EMIFF) will present celebrated German filmmaker Wim Wenders with its highest honor, the Evolution Honorary Award. The festival has also confirmed that Benito Zambrano’s (“Solas”) “Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake,” set on the Spanish Mediterranean island, will kick off this year’s festivities as the EMIFF opening film. EMIFF will run Oct. 27 – Nov. 2, with Wenders’ tribute taking place over the opening weekend including a special screening of his 1991 film “Until the End of the World.” Other recipients of the festival’s 2021 honors: the Vision, Icon and Evolutionary awards, will be announced over the coming weeks.
All3Media International has closed several key sales deals for Story Films’ true crime drama “Deceit,” commissioned by Channel 4 in the U.K. and which debuted on the channel last month. In Europe, the series was scooped by Sweden’s TV4; VRT in Belgium; NPO in the Netherlands; Greece’s Nova TV; CMore for Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden; and BETV for French Speaking Belgium. HBO Europe acquired rights for several territories in CEE, Spain and Portugal and Canal Plus Group will broadcast the series in French-speaking Europe. In the Asia Pacific region, Stan in Australia, Sky Network in New Zealand and Pumpkin Film in China all acquired the series’ broadcast rights. WarnerMedia Latin American also signed a deal to bring the series to its HBO Max platform.
Based on real life events, “Deceit” follows an undercover police officer who is tasked with acting as bait in a honey trap. The show’s ensemble cast includes Niamh Algar (“Raised by Wolves”), Eddie Marsan (“Ray Donovan”), Harry Treadaway (“The Crown”), Sion Daniel Young (“Doc Martin”), Rochenda Sandall (“Line of Duty”) and Nathaniel Martello-White (“Collateral”).
Picomedia, part of Asacha Media Group, and Russia’s WeiTMedia, part of Banijay, are partnering on a new six-part drama series, “Kurgan,” based on a true story. In the series, set in Northern Italy in the early ‘80s, a teenaged boy from an affluent family is diagnosed with a medical condition which nobody in Italy can treat. After learning about a new treatment developed by a doctor in Kurgan, Siberia, his family must decide if they should uproot and sacrifice everything on a gamble move to Cold War-era Russia in hopes of receiving help the boy needs. The series was co-developed and co-written in both Italian and Russian and will be produced in both languages featuring an Italian female and Russian male in the series lead roles.
Remarkable’s head of development Tom Williams has been hired to the same role at Fremantle company Thames. Williams’ recent credits include developing ITV’s upcoming singing show “Starstruck” and BBC One’s “Richard Osman’s House of Games Night,” as well forming part of the team which brought NBC’s “The Wall” to the U.K. He also created, developed and produced ITV’s “Best Christmas Ever” comedy entertainment show.