Singer-songwriter Sam Ryder will represent the U.K. at the 66th Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Turin, Italy in May 2022 with the song “Space Man.” With over 12 million followers and 100 million likes on TikTok, Ryder is currently the most followed U.K. music artist on the platform. The search for the U.K. representative was led by 2022 partners, the global music management and publishing company TaP Music.
As the world went into lockdown in March 2020, Ryder uploaded the first of his now famous covers onto TikTok and his vocals quickly caught the attention of celebrity fans including Justin Bieber, Sia and Alicia Keys. Ryder is signed up with Parlophone.
Ryder co-wrote “Space Man” with Grammy-winning songwriter Amy Wadge and Max Wolfgang.
Ryder said: “Having been a fan of Eurovision since I was a kid I am so honored to have been presented with the opportunity to sing at an event alongside some of Europe’s most talented creatives, performers and songwriters. I hope to sing my head off in a way the U.K. can be proud of, and to showcase a song I wrote with my friends last summer makes the whole experience even more special.”
The U.K. placed last in the 2021 contest.
World of Wonder, the multi-Emmy winning company behind the globally successful format, “Drag Race,” is heading to MipTV (Apr. 4-6) to meet with international partners and further extend the franchise. World of Wonder co-founder and producer, Fenton Bailey, will be attending the market alongside Sally Miles is in charge of spearheading formats internationally for the company, and Matt Habib, senior VP, global brand partnerships responsible for content acquisition of the “Drag Race” brand.
The original U.S, series, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has become a mainstay of primetime television over the course of 14 seasons. Spin-off formats include “Untucked,” “Drag Race All Stars,” “Celebrity Drag Race” and “Drag Race Vs The World.” Most recently, the first spin-off format of “RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. Vs the World,” was broadcast as the flagship series on the newly launched BBC Three linear channel.
Meanwhile, Korean TV show “I Can See Your Voice” continues to have success in the format market, with conformation of a Portuguese adaptation. Portugal broadcaster, SIC will launch the show this year, hosted by Cláudia Vieira. Production will begin this spring and the show will air six episodes. The musical guessing format which launched in 2015 is now in its ninth season in Korea. Some 25 international adaptations have been commissioned, including those in the U.S., U.K., Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Philippines, and Thailand. A first season in Estonia takes to the air this month. – Patrick Frater
Casey Affleck will be on the jury of Italy’s Riviera International Film Festival which will run May 10-15 in the town of Sestri Levante on the Ligurian Riviera. The Oscar-winning actor (“Manchester by the Sea”) will be on the jury of the physical event’s main competition which is dedicated to global works by directors under 35. Besides the fest’s main strand there will also be a separate competition dedicated to documentaries on environmental issues and sustainability.
“I am excited to join the jury of RIFF – Riviera International Film Festival – with such a talented group of people in a such beautiful place,” Affleck, who will also be holding a master class during the fest, said in a statement.
The Riviera fest, now at its fifth edition, is founded and headed by Los Angeles-based Italian producer Stefano Gallini Durante. – Nick Vivarelli
A+E Networks U.K. has commissioned two-part special “British Injustice with Raphael Rowe,” produced by Title Role and presented by investigative journalist Raphael Rowe, who spent 12 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. In each episode, Rowe will guide viewers through a shocking case and disturbing series of events which sent innocent men to prison; and the way in which lives were shattered and justice denied by the failures of the British criminal justice system. “British Injustice” is scheduled to air in the U.K. on Crime+Investigation in May 2022.
U.K. production company Hell Fire! is developing a high-end TV drama series based on the bestselling DI Charley Mann novels by R.C. Bridgestock with the working title “Mann.” The The novels were created by former senior investigating officer Bob Bridgestock and his wife Carol, a senior clerical officer, who together have a combined 47 years of policing experience with West Yorkshire Police. They have consulted on the original series of BAFTA winning “Happy Valley,” and BritBox original “The Beast Must Die.” The Hell Fire! series will follow the unconventional female detective protagonist Charley Mann and will tell how she spent much of her career climbing the ranks and fighting to earn the D
Hell Fire! is also developing several TV drama and documentary concepts based on Bob Bridgestock’s prolific career as a detective with Walking the Line, R.C. Bridgestock’s TV consultancy company and production consultant Sarah Jarvis. These include true-crime docu-drama series fronted by Bob Bridgestock, examining some of his most gripping and high-profile criminal cases, using never seen before evidence and archival police footage mixed with interviews and high-end cinematic reconstruction, with the working title “Murder Box.”
The Film and TV Charity has launched the Freelancer Connector Grants pilot scheme where 10 grants of up to £3,500 ($4,600) are being made available to individuals and organisations to support project management, core activities, facilitation and administrative costs for projects running within the pilot’s funding period of May 2022 – Feb. 2023. Applications for the pilot scheme are now open.
Qualifying projects will need to be peer-led and will be required to meet at least one of the scheme’s overall objectives of helping professional film and TV freelancers to – gain peer connections and have routes to support they can access in the industry; feel less isolated; gain confidence; gain skills and/or knowledge from their peers that will aid their professional development; and have greater knowledge of how to access emotional support and work/career support.
Colm Bairéad‘s “An Cailín Ciúin” has won the audience award at the recently concluded Dublin International Film Festival. The Dublin Film Critics Circle awards were also revealed at the event.
DUBLIN FILM CRITICS CIRCLE (DFCC) AWARDS
Best Film: “Vortex”
Best Director: Laura Samani, “Small Body”
Best Screenplay: Terence Davies, “Benediction”
Best Actress: Anamaria Vartolomei, “Happening”
Best Actor: Udo Kier, “Swan Song”
Best Debut Feature: Blerta Basholli, “Hive”
Best Editor: Sean Baker, “Red Rocket”
Best Cinematography: Frédéric Noirhomme, “Playground”
Best Ensemble: “Róise & Frank”
Best Documentary: “Maisie”
Best Irish Film: “An Cailín Ciúin” (The Quiet Girl)
Best Irish Documentary: “Vicky”
Special Jury Prize: “Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest”
George Byrne Maverick Award: Tristan Heanue
Michael Dwyer Discovery Award: Kelly Campbell
AER LINGUS DISCOVERY AWARD
Colm Bairéad, director
Kate Dolan, director
Rioghnach Ní Ghrioghair, director
Special mention: Jade Jordan (actress), Ellen Kirk (production design), John Cutler (editing) and Dean Murray (sound).
BEST DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
“Three Minutes, A Lengthening” (Netherlands), Bianca Stigter
Special mention: “North Circular” (Ireland), Luke McManus
Best Irish Short
“An Encounter,” Kelly Campbell
Special mention: “Don’t Go Where I Can’t Find You,” Rioghnach Ní Ghrioghair
Best International Short
“Stiletto – A Pink Family Tragedy” (Turkey), Can Merdan Dogan
Special Mentions: “In Flow Of Words” (Netherlands), Eliane Esther “Bots & Store Policy” (France), Sarah Arnold
ICCL HUMAN RIGHTS FILM AWARD
“Young Plato,” directed by Neasa Ní Chianáin and Declan McGrath.
Special mention: “Hive,” Blerta Basholli