In today’s Global Bulletin, HBO Max commits to 100 original productions in Latin America over the next two years; SPT launches a new Creative Diversity Fund for its TV production companies; YouTube Originals commissions “Terms and Conditions 2”; Atresmedia picks up remake rights to Nippon TV’s “Mother”; and Sheffield Doc/Fest unveils the lineup for this year’s Rhyme & Rhythm strand.
Two months after unveiling its first original series lineup for HBO Max out of Latin America, WarnerMedia has announced that over the next two years the streaming platform will develop more than 100 local productions across the territory as Max Originals. The first third are already in production, with several scheduled to release as HBO Max rolls out across Latin America and the Caribbean in June.
Two new series from the 100-production commitment were unveiled as part of the announcement. “Bilardo, El Doctor del Fútbol” is a four-part docuseries about Argentina’s World Cup-winning soccer manager Carlos Bilardo, while “Frankedla’s Hidden Scars” is a stop-motion anthology horror series for kids produced by Cinema Fantasma.
Upcoming originals run the gamut of genre and format, with fiction and documentary series, feature films, specials and reality programming all in the works. Key titles among those already announced include action comedy “Búnker” – which just wrapped shooting last month – and romantic dramedy “Amarres” from Mexico; freestyle rap battle series “Días de Gallos” and literary adaptation “Amongst Men” from Argentina; military action series “Mil Colmillos” from Colombia; and missing persons drama “Los Ausentes” out of Brazil.
Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is launching a new Creative Diversity Fund which will operate across its international production group as part of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Sony Pictures Action initiative. Developed with the British Film Institute (BFI), the program was established to better diversify the pool of creative talent in the television industry.
SPT and BFI will work across SPT’s roster of international production companies, starting in the U.K., to seek out, develop and support talent from underrepresented backgrounds. Eventually the program will spread and create new opportunities for individuals by offering resources to support engagement with projects at SPT companies.
The fund has already attached itself to an original series treatment from writer Dipo Baruwa Etti, commissioned by Blueprint TV, and backed the placement of an assistant script editor on two TV productions via Eleven Films’ Duly Noted training program for people of color.
YouTube Originals has commissioned a follow-up to its popular music documentary “Terms and Conditions: A UK Drill Story,” produced by Century Films. In “Terms and Conditions 2,” the spotlight will shift away from London’s drill music scene to focus on artists from across the U.K. and examine how they use rap and drill music to address highly contemporary social issues. BAFTA-winning filmmaker Brian Hill (“Only Human”) will executive produce the sequel for Century Films, which will be directed by a team of young filmmakers. The original earned producer Kandise Abiola a Bafta TV Craft nomination and has more than 1.3 million views on YouTube.
Japan’s Nippon TV announced that Spain’s Atresmedia has acquired the scripted format rights to its drama series “Mother” (11 x 60 minutes) and will be remaking the series in Castilian Spanish later this year. The story follows a female schoolteacher who kidnaps a student that she discovers is being abused at home. The desperate move activates maternal feelings in the teacher and rejuvenates her life. The Atresmedia agreement is the eighth international deal for the series following other license deals with CJ E&M (South Korea), MF Yapim (Turkey), STB TV (Ukraine), JSL Global Media (Thailand), Radiant Pictures (China), GoPlay (Indonesia), and Incognita (France). – Patrick Frater
Sheffield Doc/Fest has unveiled the titles which will be included in the Rhyme & Rhythm section at this year’s festival, running June 4-13 in person and online. Combining music, performance, visual art and sport, the Rhyme & Rhythm sidebar will feature 20 films from around the world, half making their European or International premieres.
A mix of feature-length and short films, the selection includes films profiling major cultural figures such as Charli XCX (“Alone Together”), Blondie (“Blondie: Vivir en La Habana”), Joséphine Bacon (“Call Me Human”) and The Nightingales’ singer Robert Lloyd (“King Rocker”).
RHYME & RHYTHM 2021 PROGRAM
“Alone Together,” (Bradley Bell, Pablo Jones-Soler, U.S.A.)
“With Sonia Wieder-Atherton,” (Chantal Akerman, France)
“Blondie: Vivi ren la Habana,” (Rob Roth, U.S.A.)
“Call Me Human,” (Kim O’Bomsawin, Canada)
“Drawings of my BF,” (James Cooper, U.K.)
“Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra,” (Nel Minchin, Wayne Blair, Australia)
“Gallant Indies,” (Philippe Béziat, France)
“King Rocker,” (Michael Cumming, U.K.)
“Lift Like a Girl,” (Mayye Zayed, Egypt, Germany, Denmark)
“Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over,” (Beth B, U.S.A.)
“Maisie,” (Lee Cooper, U.K.)
“Men Who Sing,” (Dylan Williams, U.K.)
“No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics,” (Vivian Kleiman, U.S.A.)
“Raymonde el Bidaoia,” (Yaël Abecassis, Israel)
“Roses. Film-Cabaret,” (Irena Stetsenko, Ukraine)
“Shelly Belly inna Real Life,” (Cecilia Bengolea, Argentina, France)
“Son Chant,” (Vivian Ostrovsky, U.S.A.)
“Soy Cubana,” (Jeremy Ungar, Ivaylo Getov, Cuba, U.S.A.)
“Stormskater,” (Guen Murroni, U.K.)
“The Witches of the Orient,” (Julien Faraut, France)