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BOOK

“Irrfan: Dialogues with the Wind,” a book about the experiences of Geneva-based filmmaker Anup Singh who directed the late Indian actor Irrfan Khan in two acclaimed films — “Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost” (2013) and “The Song of Scorpions” (2017) — will be published by Copper Coin on Feb. 14. Khan, India’s then best-known actor globally with credits including “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008) “Life of Pi” (2012) and “The Lunchbox” (2013), died in 2020. The book was revealed on Jan. 7, on what would have been Khan’s 54th birthday.

In the book, Singh offers an intimate glimpse into the working relationship between a director and an actor as they trudge through mutual wariness, uncertainties, and blunders and during the course of the journey reveals an insight into the creative processes of both artists. The duo had a third project planned together — “Lasya” — before the actor was taken ill.

The book has a foreword by Indian cinema legend Amitabh Bachchan, who writes: “Irrfan Khan. The intensity. The responsibility of the intensity. The silent righteousness of the responsibility. The eloquent eyes of his silent righteousness. If I were to present an actor whose mere appearance could speak its mind with sophisticated elegance, I’d instantly point to Irrfan Khan.”

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Anthill Studios

LICENSING

Streamer Amazon Prime Video has closed a multi-year licensing agreement with Nigeria’s Anthill Studios, the Lagos-based powerhouse behind cinema hits “Prophetess,” “Day of Destiny” and “ElevatorBaby,” led by Niyi Akinmolayan. Under the agreement, Prime Video will have exclusive, worldwide distribution rights to Anthill’s slate of theatrical releases, starting in 2022, which will be made available Prime Video members worldwide following their theatrical release in Nigeria.

Amazon entered the Nigerian market, popularly known as Nollywood, via a multi-year licensing deal with Nigerian production outfit Inkblot Studios.

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Helen Perry, Stephanie Fyfe, Heather Larmour, Alice Ramsey BBC

COMMISSIONING

BBC Writersroom has revealed the appointees for the new assistant commissioner roles that were announced in March, 2021, when the department was moved to Salford as part of the overall scheme of decentralizing the corporation. Helen Perry joins as assistant commissioner for Wales from Bad Wolf, where she was script executive for season 2 of HBO/BBC drama “Industry”; Heather Larmour joins as assistant commissioner for Northern Ireland from Kudos, where she was a script editor on “Grantchester” and Steven Knight’s “SAS: Rogue Heroes”; and Stephanie Fyfe as assistant commissioner for Scotland. They join Siobhan Morgan, assistant commissioner for the North of England during Alice Ramsey’s maternity leave.

The new assistant commissioner roles will have dual reporting lines to the Nations commissioning editors — Ben Irving, Tommy Bulfin, Gaynor Holmes and Jo McClellan who are the drama commissioning editors for Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the North of England respectively — and head of new writing Jessica Loveland.

In addition, 16 emerging talents have been chosen as drama room writers for the 2021-2022 period, including Alex Riddle, Alvin Yu, Benedict Lombe, Brennig Hayden, Carlo Kureishi, Emilie Robson, Faebian Averies, Fionnuala Kennedy, Georgia Affonso, Gillian McCormack, Houmi Miura, Nathan Ellis, Paris Ventour, Rosanna Suppa, Sarah Gordon and Tim Barrow.

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Bengi Ünsal Muhsin Akgün

APPOINTMENT

Bengi Ünsal, currently head of contemporary music at London’s Southbank Centre, will take over as director of the city’s Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in March 2022 from Stefan Kalmár, who served from 2016 until 2021. Ünsal will become the first woman to serve as the organization’s director in 55 years. Alongside the ICA’s visual arts, film and education programs, Ünsal will look to commission, produce and present a broader range of live performances; to build on the success of the ICA’s recent night-time programming; and to further expand the digital arts program that grew during the COVID-19 pandemic with the launch of the Cinema 3 digital platform.

During Ünsal’s tenure at the Southbank Centre, she was responsible for a year-round program of more than 200 contemporary performances. She previously served as artistic and managing director of Istanbul’s live performance and multi-arts venue, Salon IKSV.

TRAINING

The British Film Commission (BFC) is extending its partnership with The Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB) by investing a further £100,000 ($135,500) in several targeted PGGB training courses, designed to increase access to experienced and diverse crew as new stage space continues to expand in the U.K. The investment is the second made in PGGB by the BFC under a partnership that sees PGGB supporting delivery of the BFC’s government-backed Stage Space Support and Development Strategy. The funding will enable PGGB to deliver training for three key production office roles identified by industry as needing urgent support – production secretaries, production co-ordinators and line producers. Training programs will be developed by PGGB and delivered from Jan. 2022 onwards, with applications going live later this month.