Production has wrapped on “Asian Persuasion,” a New York Asian tale of a down-on-his-luck chef who cooks up a scheme to marry off his ex-wife in an attempt to escape substantial alimony and child support obligations, before realizing that he wants a second chance. Featured actors include Black Eyed Peas’ Apl.de.Ap, Yam Concepcion (“Nightshift”), Janice Sonia Lee (“Emily the Criminal”), Ami Sheth (“Most Beautiful Island”), Rachel Alejandro (“Ang Larawan”), Fe Delos Reyes (“Lumpia with a Vengeance”), Joyce Keokham (“Denture Adventure”), comedian Rex Navarrete (“Badass Madapaka”), Imani Hanson (“An Angry Boy”), Devin Ilaw (“Virtue”, “The Annex”), Renee Rogoff (“Carma”), Mairin Lee (“Marcy”), Hamilton’s Marc delaCruz, RAW founder Josh Kesselman, CaliStar, and Tony Labrusca (“ML”, “Hello, Stranger: The Movie”). It was directed by Jhett Tolentino from a script by Mike Ang and is now being edited by Aacharee Ungsriwong (“Come Here”, “Maybe, Marriage”). Production is by Jhett Tolentino Productions banner in association with Brooklyn-based Planet X Studios.
France-based Cyber Group Studios has agreed to produce a feature-length animated film “Nanami and the Quest for Atlantis” with Japan’s Nippon Animation. The fantasy adventure film is based on 1994 Japanese TV series “Tico and Friends.” The new film, telling a tale of a girl touring the oceans with her orca friend, will be a 2D animation targeting 7-14 year-old viewers and will be directed by Takekiyo Hitoshi (“After-School Midnighters”). The companies do not disclose a delivery date for the completed film but say that it will be followed by a spin-off TV series. These will be the first elements of a longer-term relationship that could involve other Nippon Animation series and new properties and initiatives.
“Supernatural Academy,” a Peacock first-run animated series about adversarial twin sisters, has found multiple additional broadcasters around the world. With production and rights sales handled by London-based 41 Entertainment, the 16-episode series has been licensed to ABC Australia, The Walt Disney Company (Japan), New Zealand’s public broadcaster TVNZ, MBC Middle East, HOT Israel and Bell Media’s Crave in Canada ahead of playout next week. Adapted from “The Supernatural Academy” novels by Jaymin Eve, the television series was created by Allen Bohbot and Jaymin Eve with Gillian Horwath as head writer, original songs by John Majkut and animation services by ICON Creative Studio in Vancouver. Larissa Diaz (“Supernatural,” “Falling Skies,” Hallmark’s “When Calls the Heart”) and Gigi Saul Guerrero (“Marvel Superhero Adventures,” “Into the Dark,” “Super Monsters,” “Nina’s World”) provide the lead characters’ voices.
Dash Pictures’ six-part travel series, “Fantastic Friends,” has been sold to HBO Max EMEA, TVNZ and Bell Media by the international distribution arm of factual content specialist Off The Fence. Hosted by James and Oliver Phelps (the Weasley twins from the Harry Potter franchise), each episode sees them travel to a destination to meet up with one of their famous friends, who then take on the role of tour guide. The cast includes the twins’ Harry Potter co-stars Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) and Luke Youngblood (Lee Jordan), as well as Maisie Williams (“Game of Thrones”), Sophie Skelton (“Outlander”) and Haley Joel Osment (“The Sixth Sense”). It is produced and directed by Emmy nominated filmmaker Daniel Sharp (“Vikings: The Rise and Fall”).
The series is scheduled to launch on Bell Media’s Crave in Canada (in English and French) on June 17, before rolling out on HBO Max EMEA in July and TVNZ on August 6. Dash Pictures is now in production on a second six-part series of “Fantastic Friends,” produced by Sharp and Agata Pieczynska (“For the Love of the Game”).
Meanwhile, Red Arrow Studios International has closed several international deals for documentary “Elon Musk’s Crash Course” (1 x 75’), an exposé of the billionaire Tesla chief executive and potential Twitter buyer, which premiered on FX and Hulu in the U.S. in May. New global broadcast partners for the show include Bell Canada, Australia’s Nine Network, AMC Networks International for Spain and Portugal, TVNZ and Israel’s Yes channel.
“Elon Musk’s Crash Course” is part of Red Arrow’s The Weekly: Special Edition, a collection of standalone documentaries, produced by the New York Times and Left/Right, a Red Arrow Studios company.
“Yu-Gi-Oh! Sevens,” the seventh series in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime franchise will launch on Sky’s Sky Kids app in the U.K. and Ireland in October. The series takes place in the futuristic town of Goha and introduces new protagonist Yuga Ohdo, a fifth-grade, elementary school student, who loves both inventions and dueling. In his quest, Yuga successfully manages to install a new set of rules of his own creation known as “Rush Duel”, allowing for more fast-paced and frenetic dueling. In addition, Sky Kids, which already debuted seasons 1 of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Vrains” and “Yu-Gi-Oh!,” has unveiled season 2 of both Yu-Gi-Oh! series. Konami Cross Media NY, Inc. handles the distribution and licensing of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise outside of Asia.
The National Film and Television School (NFTS), Scotland has launched a multi-camera TV conversion program (July 25-Aug. 12) in partnership with BBC Studioworks and Glasgow City Council. The program is designed for individuals with some screen industry experience or transferable skills, giving them the working practices, knowledge and understanding of multi-camera production to kick-start their careers.
Following BBC Studioworks’ appointment as operator of the new Kelvin Hall studio in Glasgow, due to open in the fall, and the growing demand to make more TV shows in Scotland, the requirement for local skilled TV crews is expected to grow significantly. The three-week free course comprises a week based at Kelvin Hall, with access to BBC Studioworks’ studio facility, and two weeks in the NFTS 4K TV studio in Beaconsfield, with both accommodation and travel to Beaconsfield paid for. Paid work opportunities for the participants will be available following the course.
Creative U.K. has opened applications for the Simon Relph Memorial Bursary, supporting emerging producers in the early stages of their film career. The bursary of £15,000 ($18,400) supports the career development of new independent producers by enabling them to build their slate of projects, grow their key industry networks, and access mentoring from sector leading figures, which have previously included Tim Bevan (Working Title) and Elizabeth Karlsen (Number 9 Films).
The bursary was launched in 2018 in recognition of the commitment to new talent demonstrated throughout the career of Simon Relph (1940-2016).
The British Film Institute (BFI) has unveiled a £1.1 million ($1.3 million) into animation via the BFI Short Form Animation Fund, which has announced this year’s 15 recipients. Ten of the recipients received up to £120,000 for production and five were awarded £10,000 for development.
The funds were awarded via the National Lottery and the BFI partnered with the StoryFutures Academy on the fund. Three previous recipients are set to screen at Annecy this week: “Beware of the Trains,” “The Debutante” and “Scale.”
The Welsh government has unveiled a £1 million per annum ($1.1 million) funding package for films intended for theatrical release. Welsh Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, revealed the package at Wales’ first Screen Summit in Cardiff on Wednesday. To streamline the funding, Ffilm Cymru Wales will process the fund on behalf of Creative Wales. The government says the package will generate £12 million for the Welsh economy.