In today’s Global Bulletin, Blue Ant Media and Content Catalyst Fund team to promote women creatives working in unscripted; Abacus Media Rights secures rights to “Four Hours at the Capitol”; La Biennale di Venezia opens the call for applicants to this year’s Venice Gap-Finance Market; Goldfinch picks two video game IPs to develop as film and TV projects; and Fremantle acquires “Good With Wood” in several key territories.
International production, distribution and channel operation company Blue Ant Media will partner with Julie Bristow’s recently launched development and funding outfit Content Catalyst Fund (CCF) to develop, produce and distribute female-led unscripted content for the Canadian and global marketplaces.
CCF will handle scouting and identifying standout unscripted project ideas for development and eventual production, focusing on true crime, lifestyle and documentary series. Blue Ant will then step in and produce and eventually distribute the selected projects in collaboration with CCF, with Bristow acting as executive producer.
“Partnering with CCF and Julie offers us a unique opportunity to bring new voices and projects to Blue Ant Media and the world,” said Laura Michalchyshyn, CCO and co-president of global content production at Blue Ant Media. “Not only will this joint venture allow us to grow the unscripted side of our business, specifically in popular genres like lifestyle, docu, reality and format programming, but it will also position us at the forefront of progressive, brilliant new content created by women.”
Bristow added: “CCF’s curation and development expertise, and the production and distribution clout of Blue Ant Media, offers female creators a powerful new opportunity to turbocharge their ideas and roll them out internationally. This announcement is just the beginning: CCF plans to bolster its executive production capacity with talent that will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that includes buying and selling exciting projects in North America and around the world. This will allow us to give our new pipeline of female-generated, unscripted programming the very best start in life.”
Abacus Media Rights has picked up international rights outside the U.K. on the upcoming documentary “Four Hours at the Capitol,” produced by Emmy Award-winning producer Dan Reed (“Finding Neverland”) and directed by Jamie Roberts (“The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty”).
Commissioned by BBC Two, the 90-minute documentary is a full investigative account of the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, including a deep dive into its premeditated organization. Opting against voice-over, the feature is narrated instead by the participants and insiders through interviews and footage taken on the day.
La Biennale di Venezia has opened the call for its 2021 Venice Gap-Financing Market, which will remain open to applicants through May 16. The Market itself runs Sept. 3-5 within the framework of the 78th Venice International Film Festival.
As many as 33 feature-length films will be selected to participate at the Market, including 3 Biennale College Cinema projects, joined by 10-12 VR projects. Attendees will be invited to a series of one-on-one meetings with producers, sales agents, distributors, financiers, broadcasters and fund representatives.
U.K. production house Goldfinch has tapped Red Thread’s “Draugen” and Tequila Works’ “Gylt,” two popular video game IPs, as potential film and TV projects for development and production at the company.
Both games were developed using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, which has partnered with Goldfinch on a development program partnership for video game properties since Oct. 2019. Goldfinch will now work with the Talenthouse creative community to create pitch treatments for the two selected games, including a 90-second trailer which will be shared at the Cannes Film Festival this summer.
Fremantle, Plimsoll Productions and Magnify Media have closed a multi-territory deal on the popular unscripted format “Good With Wood,” a competition series that shines the spotlight on carpentry.
Shot in a purpose-built woodshop in the U.K. forests, amateur woodworkers professionals at the beginning of their careers are tasked with large scale builds which will test their abilities down to the smallest details. Over several weeks, the co-habituating contestants are whittled down as the builds get more difficult from episode to episode.
The format, produced by Plimsoll, was picked up by Fremantle from Magnify Media for Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Poland, Israel, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Australia. “Good With Wood” will begin broadcasting on Channel 4 in the U.K. this spring.
Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for AlUla has launched a new regional film commission, Film AlUla, to promote the region as a destination for film and TV shoots offering competitive financial incentives, diverse filming locations, production resources and professional local support for international productions.
The city of AlUla is one of the oldest on the Arabian Peninsula, built in the 6th century BC, and larger territory is home to Hegra, a 200,000-year-old lithic monument which was Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Exact details of the future financial incentives are not yet available, but in its announcement the commission promises free bespoke production support and consultation; location scouting; expert knowledge of filming in AlUla, the rest of Saudi Arabia, and the wider region; assisting with sourcing a professional local and regional supply chain of experienced crew, talent, production companies, and rental equipment; and year-round sunshine.