Sky and Channel 4 in the U.K. are partnering to bring Sky Sports’ coverage of this season’s F1 final to the entirety of the territory on both networks simultaneously. It looks to be an historic night for F1 and the U.K.’s highest-profile racer Lewis Hamilton, who could clinch his eighth world title cementing his place at the top of the sport’s all-time winningest drivers. At present, the seven-time world champ is tied on points with Belgian driver Max Verstappen, meaning that whoever finishes higher at Yas Marina will walk away with this year’s title. The historic race is being billed as Lewis v Max: Decider in the Desert.
“Sunday’s Grand Prix is one of the biggest sporting events in the last decade, and could be an historic moment for British sport,” said Sky executive VP and CEO for Europe and the U.K. Stephen van Rooyen. “We’ve chosen to gift the race to the whole country at Christmas through our partnership with Channel 4, so everyone can be part of a huge national moment as Lewis Hamilton goes for a historic eighth World Championship title.
“The brilliant Sky Sports Formula 1 team will give viewers on Channel 4 and Sky Sports the best insight, commentary and analysis of every twist and turn of this most eagerly anticipated final race of the season. Additionally all Sky TV customers will have live coverage of the important qualifying session on Saturday, and the race on Sunday – which we will also show live on Sky Showcase,” he added.
Boutique movie streamer Mubi has picked up rights to stream seven films by Wong Kar-wai, creating a season around the iconic Hong Kong-based director. Five have been digitally restored. Uploading on Dec. 12, the series starts with “In the Mood for Love,” and continues with “Chungking Express,” “Fallen Angels,” “Happy Together,” “2046” and wraps up with “Ashes of Time Redux” on Jan. 23. The season also includes 2004 film “The Hand,” which was Wong’s extended version of his contribution to anthology film “Eros.”
Deb Spinocchia is to join BBC Studios Australia and New Zealand in January as head of development and content, production. Spinocchia joins from Screentime Australia where she was Executive Producer of “SAS Australia” and “The School That Tried to End Racism.” Before that she was an executive producer at Seven Studios, where she oversaw productions including “House Rules,” “Zumbo’s Just Desserts,” “First Dates” and “Back with the Ex.” She has also worked as a producer for Southern Star Entertainment, Endemol Shine, Fremantle Media, SBS and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, on shows including “World’s Strictest Parents,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Big Brother,” “Undercover Boss” and “Beauty and the Geek.”
Italian content streaming platform ITsART has unveiled the details of its first-ever Christmas TV lineup for the coming month. Backed by the Italian Ministry of Culture, the service will host three new festive events which will be available to viewers in 28 countries across Europe. Included in the upcoming holiday content are a group of culture-themed documentaries including “Caravaggio, The Power of Light,” “The Last Movie Painter” and “N-Ice Cello: Storia del violoncello di ghiaccio”; Operas Under the Mistletoe, a selection of several iconic operatic performances; and Christmas Soundtrack, a collection of concerts including Ennio Morricone’s tribute, Antonio Vivaldi’s Christmas Concert and The New Year’s Concert as performed by the Symphonic Orchestra Giuseppe Verdi.
VodafoneTV, a set top box system that offers New Zealanders bundled access to free-to-air channels, Sky TV pay-channels, streaming services, three days of rewind and digital recording facilities, is to be halted from September next year. The operator said its decision reflects “the changing content landscape.” The system was launched only four years ago. But it failed to reach anticipated user numbers and consistently ran at a loss. The company now recommends that the devices be recycled.
Discovery Inc. and Samsung are partnering to raise awareness of protections needed to conserve the world’s wild tiger population with a new short film titled “Eye to Eye with the Tiger,” created in partnership with Discovery’s Project C.A.T. (Conserving Acres for Tigers). The short follows wildlife photographer Yashas Narayan as he moves around India, accompanied by Bafta-winning filmmaker Vikram Singh who directed the film, tracking down one of the wild cats in hopes of capturing a hunt on film.
U.K. performance venue group Troubadour Theatres have announced a deal to create a new temporary cutting-edge film and TV studio at Brent Cross Town in north London. Named Troubadour Brent Cross Studios, the production hub will open in early 2022 in a refitted Toys ‘R’ Us building which has been secured for a three-year period. In addition to the new site, Troubadour is also establishing a local Skills Academy, running in conjunction with Troubadour Meridian Water Studios, to provide opportunities to local communities to be trained in various parts of the film and TV industries. Operating across all Troubadour sites, the Academy will generate around 500 training opportunities per year and create between 150-450 employment opportunities. It’s estimated that the new Brent Cross Studios will facilitate 150 such training opportunities in its first three years.
IFFSA (International Film Festival of South Asia) Toronto and the IFFSA Talent Fund have unveiled the five winners of film funding distributed as part of the organization’s 2021-22 South Asian Canadian Film Projects program. Splitting a $75,000 cash prize, five shorts of between 10-15 minutes will be backed by this year’s funding including “The Chase” by Gurjeet Bassi, “Indian Standard Travel Time” by Kashif Pasta, “Copeless” by Jaska-ran Singh, “My Son Went Quiet” by Ian Bawa and “Another Visit” by Haaris Qadri. Selections were made by celebrated Canadian filmmakers including Anup Singh, Ali Kazimi, Sami Khan, Supinder Wraich and Rup Magon, each of whom will also contribute as mentors to the young filmmakers throughout the program.