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FESTIVAL

Switzerland’s Visions du Réel will honor Argentinian filmmaker Lucrecia Martel at its 54th edition (April 21-30). She will give a masterclass during the event, which will accompany a retrospective of her work.

Martel’s films, shot with sensual and ambitious cinematography, examine the existential crisis of the Argentinian middle classes, the country’s suffocating social mechanics, and the ghosts of its colonial past. Her films pay great attention to detail, are steeped in a joyous cinephilia, and feature a hybridisation of fiction and reality.

Emilie Bujès, artistic director of Visions du Réel, described Martel as “a vital, rare and extraordinary figure in contemporary film […] who, with each of her films, succeeds in translating universes with audacity, in composing an adventurous, troubling and singular body of work, one that constantly challenges global cinema.”

Martel broke through in 2001 with her first feature, “La Ciénaga, which won a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. This was followed by “La niña santa” (2004), which was selected in competition at Cannes, as was “La mujer sin cabeza” in 2008. Her fourth feature, “Zama” (2017), world premiered at Venice.

Martel made a powerful incursion into non-fiction filmmaking in 2021 with “Terminal Norte.” This project foreshadows her next film, also non-fiction, which is due in 2023.

ADAPTATION

Following a competitive auction, Fremantle’s Passenger and Sinestra – with whom Fremantle have a first-look deal – have acquired the television rights to Nathan Newman’s debut novel “How To Leave The House,” ahead of its publication in spring 2024.

Taking place over the course of 24 hours, “How To Leave The House” follows Natwest, a precociously intelligent but anxious 23-year-old who orders an embarrassing package to his house on the eve of his departure for university. When it doesn’t arrive, he is forced on an odyssey around his small town to retrieve it.

The project marks the first collaboration between Fremantle’s recently acquired Passenger founded by Richard Brown (“True Detective”) and Sinestra, a new production company set up by Emmy-winning director Johan Renck (“Chernobyl”) and producer Michael Parets (“Spaceman”) who have signed a multi-year first-look deal with Fremantle. Parets, Renck and Brown will executive produce alongside Newman, who will also adapt the novel for television. 

The deal was brokered by Sheila David at Catapult Rights, acting in conjunction with Brotherstone Creative Management. North American book rights were sold at auction to Patrick Nolan at Viking Penguin, with Anna Kelly at Abacus Little Brown publishing in the U.K.

APPOINTMENTS

One of Us, the VFX studio whose recent titles include “The Sandman,” the Fantastic Beasts franchise, “The Matrix Resurrections” and “Bridgerton,” has set cofounder and director Rachael Penfold as CEO.

Neil Boughen will take on the role of CTO, Rob Shears head of production, with Aimee Dadswell moving to production executive, working alongside Louise Hastings, and Ben Harrison as head of resourcing.

FINALISTS

British broadcaster UKTV and Female Pilot Club have revealed the four finalists of their 2022 script call for TV comedy pilots by women, for women. The call for submissions invited women to submit original comedy scripts featuring female lead characters over the age of 45. The finalists will receive development help from the two orgs before a live reading with top flight comedy talent in 2023.

The finalists are “Dancing on Ice” winner and “Emmerdale” and “Coronation Street” actor Hayley Tamaddon; Leigh Douglas, known for acclaimed one-woman show “Sacrament”; “Romeo & Juliet” and “Little English” actor Nikki Patel; and “Bubonic” and “M*n and Women” writer Sydney Stevenson.