Channel 4-backed U.K. independent content production company Spirit Studios has teamed with James Watt, co-founder of multinational brewery BrewDog, to produce “Mission Finpossible,” a drama documentary aiming to to highlight the issues facing the world’s shark species. Humans kill over 120 million sharks a year, mainly for their fins for soup and many shark species are now under considerable risk of unrecoverable decline with some species having declined to near extinction in recent years. The shark is an apex predator and crucial to maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems.
Spirit Studios, whose previous content activism campaigns include global mental health movement #IAMWHOLE, will produce the documentary that will feature an original scripted element together with input from the world’s leading shark experts and archive footage. BrewDog is funding the project and will also produce an exclusive beer to raise funds for shark support groups around the world. The documentary is currently in production and discussions are ongoing with distribution partners. Executive producers are Spirit Studios’ Matt Campion and Martin Sadofski and BrewDog’s James Watt.
Matt Campion, co-founder and creative director of Spirit Studios, said: “Not only are we be focused on creating an impactful film that will drive awareness and change attitudes around the issue of shark extinction, we aim to encourage ‘couch activism’ and inspire people to make the changes needed to reverse the decline of these magnificent, much misunderstood and indispensable creatures.”
James Watt, CEO and co-founder of BrewDog added: “Sharks are being killed at an alarming rate and 90% of the world’s sharks have been killed in the last 50 years. Unless something changes quickly, sharks face extinction, and if that happens the whole ocean eco-system will fall apart. With 70% of the air we breathe coming from the ocean saving the sharks is vital for our planet’s future.”
As Serbian world men’s no. 1 tennis player and vaccination sceptic Novak Djokovic has won a court battle to stay in Australia and defend his Australian Open title, Discovery is celebrating its 10-year deal with Tennis Australia with a raft of new on-air talent. Announced in Sept. 2021, the agreement includes all linear and digital rights to the tournament and extends Eurosport’s association with the Australian Open that first began in 1995, with Discovery broadcasting 250 hours of live coverage from the Australian Open across its platforms including Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2.
With Barbara Schett and Mischa Zverev covering the action on-site in Melbourne from Jan. 17-30, professional tennis player Alizé Lim will be the new face fronting Discovery’s coverage from the Cube studio in London, where she will be joined by seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander, three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist Johanna Konta and former world no. 4 Tim Henman.
With 25 Grand Slams between them, Chris Evert and John McEnroe have agreed new deals with Discovery that will showcase them during the network’s coverage of the Grand Slams throughout the year – starting with the Australian Open. Champions Boris Becker (Matchball Becker in Germany), Justine Henin (ESP Tennis Club in France) Alex Corretja (La Casa del Tenis in Spain) and Roberta Vinci (in Italy) will front local flagship linear and digital shows as well as joining Discovery Eurosport’s international coverage as the tournament progresses. In addition, world no. 8 Casper Ruud will provide interviews to Discovery and will write a new Players’ Voice column for Eurosport.com.
Producers Barry Diller and Sonia Friedman have confirmed that Aaron Sorkin‘s West End adaptation of Harper Lee‘s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” directed by Bartlett Sher, will open at London’s Gielgud Theatre in March. The work features Atticus Finch, a widowed lawyer in Depression-era Alabama, who defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice. Rafe Spall will play Atticus Finch in the theater adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning novel that previously had a Broadway run from 2018-2020.
Joining Spall in the cast are Harry Attwell, Amanda Boxer, Poppy Lee Friar, John Hastings, Simon Hepworth, Laura Howard, Lloyd Hutchinson, Gwyneth Keyworth, Tom Mannion, David Moorst, Pamela Nomvete, Jim Norton, Patrick O’Kane, Jude Owusu, Harry Redding, David Sturzaker and Natasha Williams.
Gregory Peck won the best actor Oscar for his portrayal of Finch in Robert Mulligan‘s 1962 film adaptation.
The annual Kidscreen Summit 2022, which was due to take place as a live event in Miami from Feb. 14-17, has now been rescheduled for July 18-21, due to the “impact of the omicron variant on the industry’s ability to travel internationally and meet in person,” organizers said on Monday. Kidscreen Summit Virtual will move forward as planned from March 7-11, and all attendees who are registered for the live event will also have access to this event. Held in February 2020, the most recent Kidscreen Summit live event brought together more than 2,200 attendees in Miami.