LADY ON FIRE
Cutting edge French director and screenwriter Céline Sciamma has been appointed as president of the jury at the Giornate degli Autori (aka Venice Days), a sidebar to the Venice Film Festival. She will preside over a special jury made up of 27 young European cinephiles present in a campus. “[Sciamma] has thoroughly upended the basic structure of our society and masterfully created new images and new memories. With her latest film, ‘Petite Maman,’ she has provided further proof that the prevailing canon of film production can indeed be challenged,” said Venice Days’ artistic director Gaia Furrer. Sciamma’s earlier credits include: “Bande de filles” in 2014; “Tomboy” in 2011 and “Naissance des Pieuvres” in 2009. The appointment is a homecoming of sorts for the director of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” ever since she was shortlisted for the 2014 LUX Prize at 27 Times Cinema, the initiative organized by Giornate degli Autori, the European Parliament’s LUX Audience Award and Europa Cinemas, in collaboration with Cineuropa.
PARAMOUNT PRODUCTION PACT
Two Paramount Global-owned companies on different sides of the planet, the U.K.’s Channel 5 and Australia’s Network Ten have joined forces with Fremantle Australia to co-produce “Riptide,” a four-part thriller series. They are also hatching another drama project with details to be disclosed later this year. “Riptide” will be filmed in Melbourne, Australia and feature “Eastenders” star Jo Joyner as a newly-married woman whose husband disappears. Scott Major (“Lie With Me,” “Neighbours”) is set as the series’ director, Natalie Mandel (“Lie With Me,” “Wanted”) is producer. “Riptide” is expected to play on Channel 5 later this year. Fremantle will handle distribution internationally. Other cast include: English actor Ciaran Griffiths (“Shameless”), and Australian actors David Berry (“Outlander”), Peter O’Brien (“The Unusual Suspects,”), Ally Fowler (“Wentworth”), Pia Miranda (“Mustangs FC”), rising stars Benny Turland (“Neighbours,”), Asher Yasbincek (“The Heights”) and Yazeed Dahar (“The Hunting”) and newcomers Benjamin Samaddar and Sonya Suares.
LOVE AFFAIR WITH LONG DISTANCE LOVE
Warner Bros. Discovery U.K. has green-lighted a second season of “90 Day Fiancé UK” just days ahead of the launch of the first season on Discovery+ on July 24. Produced by CPL Productions, a Red Arrow Studios company, the show is a British iteration of a highly successful WBD global franchise. The action follows eight Brits involved in long-distance relationships. It traverses the awkward reality of long-distance romance, collisions of cultures, explosive family dramas and dating dilemmas. Casting for “90 Day Fiancé UK” series 2 is underway now and will drop in the U.K. in mid-2023.
Blackhall Global Partners-owned Shinfield Studios, the 85,000 square meter production facility coming to Berkshire, England, has begun construction on the “main phase” of its development following “significant” development financing. The studios, which will boast 18 sound stages, have secured £261 million debt finance ($308 million) from Cain International. Law firm Farrer & Co represented Shinfield in the deal.
The studio has already opened four temporary stages and is scheduled to open a further 14. Disney were among Shinfield’s first clients.
Blackhall also own Atlanta’s Blackhall Studios and are developing a 19-stage studio in Santa Clarita, currently scheduled to launch in 2025