In today’s Global Bulletin, the U.K. selects James Newman for Eurovision 2021, Ringside and Newen close scripted deals in the U.K., BBC commissions a young men’s mental health doc with Roman Kemp, and the New Voice Awards announces its 2021 short lists.
BBC, BBC Studios and BMG have confirmed that Brit Award-winning and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter James Newman will represent the U.K. at 2021’s Eurovision Song Contest after the 2020 edition was postponed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 65th Eurovision is scheduled for May and will take place in Rotterdam.
Newman’s original entry will be revealed at a later date, and the BBC and BMG will collaborate on the track’s release with BMG handling publishing. BBC Studios will produce the U.K.’s coverage of Eurovision 2021.
Among Newman’s catalog of original songs are “Waiting All Night,” performed by Rudimental and Ella Eyre; “Lay it All on Me,” performed by Rudimental and Ed Sheeran; “Blame,” performed by Calvin Harris and John Newman; and “Therapy,” performed by Armin Van Buuren and James Newman.
Gub Neal’s Ringside Studios and France’s Newen have closed their first two deals with British scripted talent, taking a stake in upstart production company Fictionhouse and committing to a multi-project development deal with 44 Drama.
Fictionhouse was launched by Dominic Cooke and Kate Horton, former artistic and executive directors at London’s Royal Court Theatre. The company will look to bring their decades of combined theatrical experience to the TV industry.
Recently launched by former Touchpaper Television managing director Rob Pursey, 44 Drama will work with Ringside to foster two new scripted projects intended for international audiences, with Pursey, who oversaw the BBC and SyFy hit “Being Human,” writing one.
The BBC has commissioned a new documentary from Twofour examining the issue of young men’s mental health, based on the untimely death of radio producer Joe Lyons in August of last year. In “Roman Kemp: Our Silent Emergency” (working title), Lyons’ colleague and best friend Roman Kemp will explore ways of encouraging people in need to seek help, possible preventative action that anyone can take and the lasting impact that suicide can have on friends and families.
The one-hour documentary will be produced by Twofour, an ITV Studios company, for BBC Three. David Brindley and Nic Patten will executive produce with Josh Allott directing.
The TV Foundation and Edinburgh TV Festival have released the shortlist of emerging talent selected for the New Voice Awards, to be held digitally on March 19. Now in their fourth year, the awards were established to better recognize the most exciting undiscovered creative talent in the region and the companies that best support them.
Prizes to be presented this year include the Victor Adebodun Debut Director, Debut Writer and Debut Presenter awards for individuals in those fields who received their first professional credits in 2020. Other prizes include the The Farm’s Test Card Pilot award for an un-commissioned pilot or webseries completed in 2020, the All3Media New Drama and Comedy Script awards for the writers of exemplary unproduced scripts in those genres, and the Future Presenter award.
Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival has announced several additions to its 2021 program, headlined by an intimate conversation between Colin Farrell and festival director Gráinne Humphreys. British filmmaker Francis Lee (“Gods Own Country”) will participate in a discussion about his new film “Ammonite,” casting directors Margery Simkin (“Avatar”) and Louise Kiely (“The Green Knight”) will discuss their work and producer-publicist-festival strategist Kathleen McInnis will speak to emerging filmmakers about getting their films in front of audiences.
Two new Irish premieres have also been added to this year’s lineup, unspooling March 3-14, in Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin’s HBO documentary “Tina,” about musical artist Tina turner, and “Just 1 Day,” the Hong Kong-set directorial debut of screenwriter Erica Li.
In recognition of International Women’s Day, March 8 will see a special selection of female-helmed films screened including “Daughters of the Dust,” “Welcome II the Terrordome” and “Belle,” as well as the short film “Mamans.” The following day will see the festival host a special seminar on Black women filmmakers featuring “Belle” director Amma Asante, focusing on diversity and representation.
The U.K.’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has awarded £5 million ($7 million) to 33 independent cinemas across England, in it’s latest round of coronavirus support for the sector.
The British Film Institute, on behalf of the DCMS, allocates these awards to help cinemas weather the disruption as a result of closure and enable them to reopen once restrictions are lifted. –Naman Ramachandran