Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am, “Britain’s Got Talent” judge Ashley Banjo, presenter Charlene White and actor Jimmy Akingbola (“In the Long Run”) will lead U.K. broadcaster ITV’s programming for Black History Month this October.
The programming includes “Will.i.am: The Blackprint,” a one-hour documentary that follows Will.i.am’s personal exploration of what it means to be Black and British, in the country he calls his second home.
In summer 2020, Banjo was thrust into the centre of the Black Lives Matter movement when the pro equality routine performed by his troupe Diversity became one of the most complained about moments in U.K. media regulator Ofcom’s history. A year on from then, “Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White” (working title), and having won a BAFTA as a recognition of the importance of his routine, Banjo goes on a journey into his own past and also a journey of discovery into British history.
In “Charlene White: Empire’s Child,” White embarks on a journey to uncover the roots of her connection to the British Empire, as she tries to figure out why so many Black Britons, despite all their positive contributions, are still fighting to be recognised as British. And, Akingbola returns with another season of “Sorry, I Didn’t Know,” where panelists answer questions about Black history.
BBC Studios Productions has appointed Martha Brass as COO, reporting to Ralph Lee, CEO of BBC Studios Productions. Brass will work alongside Lee and with key stakeholders across BBC Studios and the BBC Group to deliver Studios Productions’ growth plan.
Brass joins from the Newen Group, one of France’s largest producer-distributors of audio-visual content, where she was director of international operations. She was previously CEO, international operations, at Endemol Shine Group, which included a dual role heading up Shine France as interim CEO, leading the merger with Endemol France. Prior to the merger, Brass was COO of Endemol Group. She has also held senior roles with production houses 19 Entertainment and Fremantle.
Some 47 films will compete for the Heart of Sarajevo awards at the 27th Sarajevo Film Festival (Aug. 13-20). Competing in the feature film category are “The Elegy Of Laurel,” Dušan Kasalica (Montenegro, Serbia); “Things Worth Weeping For,” Cristina Grosan (Hungary); “Bebia, À Mon Seul Désir,” Juja Dobrachkous (Georgia, U.K.); “Celts,” Milica Tomović (Serbia); “Great Freedom,” Sebastian Meise (Austria, Germany); “Looking For Venera,” Norika Sefa (Kosovo); “Moon, 66 Questions,” Jacqueline Lentzou (Greece, France); “Murina,” Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović (Croatia, Brazil, U.S., Slovenia); and “The Hill Where Lionesses Roar,” Luàna Bajrami (Kosovo, France).
Competing in the documentary category are “Bosnian Broadway,” Jasmina Beširević (Croatia); “Disturbed Earth,” Kumjana Novakova, Guillermo Carreras-candi (Bosnia And Herzegovina, Spain); “Divas,” Máté Kőrösi (Hungary); “Every Sunday,” Keti Papadema (Cyprus); “Horizon,” Tanja Deman (Croatia); “The Same Dream,” Vlad Petri (Romania); “When We Were Them,” Danis Tanović, Damir Šagolj (Bosnia And Herzegovina); “Žžž (Journal About Želimir Žilnik),” Janko Baljak (Serbia); “Sunny,” Keti Machavariani (Georgia); “Factory To The Workers,” Srđan Kovačević (Croatia); “Les Enfants Terribles,” Yaramaz Çocuklar, Ahmet Necdet Çupur (Turkey, France, Germany); “Looking For Horses,” Stefan Pavlović (Bosnia And Herzegovina, Netherlands, France); “Recipe For Hate,” Filip Čolović (Serbia); “Reconciliation,” Marija Zidar (Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo); “Soldat Ahmet,” Jannis Lenz (Austria) and
“Landscapes Of Resistance,” Marta Popivoda (Serbia, France, Germany).
The second series of the BAFTA winning “The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan” will include production roles that have been created to accelerate the careers of talented individuals within the industry from underrepresented groups.
Expectation and Channel 4 are backing the initiative and co-funding the paid and credited roles within the current production of the Expectation and Momo G produced show.
A paid promotion within the crew to support someone to secure ongoing career progression, is another opportunity that has been funded. In addition, five paid entry-level positions are embedded into the production to give new talent the opportunity to learn from senior production staff during the production as part of Expectation’s partnership with MAMA Youth.
Series 2 of the show will also see the launch of “Lateish Introduces…,” a stand-up strand to showcase the next generation of rising comedy stars from across the U.K.
Rainmaker Content has inked a distribution agreement with Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group), the operator of the Viaplay streaming service to distribute selected scripted Viaplay originals.
The agreement starts with four Viaplay originals – “Big Lars” (8 x 45’), a spin-off from the popular Danish comedy series and film “Klovn” and “Thunder in My Heart” (8 x 23’) starring Swedish actress and singer Amy Deasismont. The deal also includes “Two Sisters” (8 x 23’), based on the best-selling novels by Hannah Widell and Amanda Schulman, and “What About Monica” (8 x 25’), a coming-of-age thriller created by Julie Budtz Sørensen based on her award-winning Danish podcast “Det med Liv.”