PBS Distribution will be the North American distribution partner for West Road Pictures and All3Media International series “Ridley.” It stars Adrian Dunbar (“Line of Duty”) as Detective Inspector Alex Ridley, who has retired from the police after 20 years of dedicated service. Now working in a consultancy role, Ridley resumes his partnership with his former protégée, DI Carol Farman (Bronagh Waugh, “Unforgotten”), when she turns to him for help on a complex murder investigation.
The series, which consists of four two-hour episodes, is currently filming across Northern England, and will premiere on ITV in the U.K. It has sold to NPO in the Netherlands, VRT in Flemish Belgium, BritBox for exclusive Australia streaming, Pumpkin TV has China VOD rights, and RLJ Entertainment has secured DVD/Video rights for Australia and New Zealand.
“Ridley” is written and created by Paul Matthew Thompson (“Vera”) and co-created by Jonathan Fisher (“Blood”), MD of West Road Pictures, an All3Media company. Executive producers are Thompson, Fisher and Ingrid Goodwin (“Blood”) and directors are Bryn Higgins, Noreen Kershaw and Paul Gay.
Meanwhile, Fremantle-distributed water crisis film “Day Zero,” narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor, has found homes on Amazon Prime Video, The Roku Channel and Pluto TV to commemorate World Earth Day on April 22. The Keo Films and OoS Pictures-produced documentary from Emmy-winning filmmaker Kevin Sim, captures stories about communities hit by water shortages.
Tech giant Tencent carried “Day Zero” in China after it was created by the company’s chief exploration officer David Wallerstein, while BBC Africa, Nat Geo (Latin America), Rai in Italy and Japan’s NHK are among a number of international broadcasters to acquire the film.
MBC Studios, the content production arm of leading Middle East and North Africa media company MBC Group, has commenced production on Arabic-language series “Rose & Layla” in which Egyptian icons Yousra and Nelly Karim co-star together for the first time. It is written by British screenwriter Cris Cole (“Mad Dogs”), directed by U.K. film and television director, Adrian Shergold (“Cardella”) and produced by Maged Mohsen and Safa Aburizik,
The action/dark comedy series with 10 50-60 minute episodes follows the adventures of two financially challenged and somewhat comedically incompetent detectives as they wend their way through a mystery, crossing unlikely paths and encountering wild characters. Each episode will see Rose and Layla brought a few seemingly random steps closer to uncovering the truth about an audacious banking fraud that is about to take place in Cairo.
“Rose & Layla” will premiere on Shahid VIP in the final quarter of 2022. International distribution will be managed by Till Entertainment.
Paramount-backed broadcaster Channel 5 has ordered its first true crime drama since venturing into scripted content three years ago. Entitled “Maxine,” the 3 x 60′ drama will tell the story of a major British manhunt, and will be produced by Clapperboard, sister company to Chalkboard Television. The drama will examine the investigation of school assistant Maxine Carr and her caretaker fiancé Ian Huntley, who was later imprisoned for the double murder of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. The three-part drama will explore the couple’s tumultuous relationship through Maxine’s perspective; why she lied for him and how she became public enemy number one; as well as reflect the scale of the police investigation and subsequent media frenzy. Mike Benson and Julie Ryan are executive producers on the series. Laura Way is director, whilst Simon Tyrrell is writer. Abacus Media Rights are distributing the show internationally. – Manori Ravindran
Seasons 1 and 2 of “The Pandavas,” based on characters from Indian epic the Mahabharata, will premiere April 23 on Warner Bros. Discovery‘s South Asian kids’ channel Pogo. Inspired by local legends and mythological tales, the childhood of the Pandava princes — Righteous Yudhishtir, Powerful Bheem, Astute Arjun, Adventurous Nakul and Valorant Sahadev — is retold and brought to life with their adventures and heroic battles. The series (13 half-hours per season) is produced in collaboration with Hi-Tech Animation using CGI technology. A further two series of “The Pandavas” are in development.
The 41st edition of the Istanbul Film Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, has concluded with an awards ceremony. The winners are:
Golden Tulip – “Vortex” – Gaspar Noé (France, Belgium, Monaco)
Special Jury Prize – “Mariner of the Mountains” – Karim Aïnouz (Brazil, France, Germany, Algeria)
Golden Tulip Best Film – “Klondike” – Maryna Er Gorbach (Turkey, Ukraine)
Special Jury Prize (in memory of Onat Kutlar) – “A Night in Four Parts” – Ali Kemal Güven
Best Director – Tayfun Pirselimoğlu (“Kerr”)
Best Screenplay – Nazlı Elif Durlu, Ziya Demirel (“Zuhal” & “Ela and Hilmi with Ali”)
Best Actress – Ece Yüksel (“Ela and Hilmi with Ali”)
Best Actor – Ahmet Rıfat Şungar & Barış Gönenen (“A Night in Four Parts”)
Special Mention – Denizhan Akbaba (“Ela and Hilmi with Ali”)
Best Cinematography – Sviatoslav Bulakovskyi (“Klondike”)
Best Editing – Buğra Dedeoğlu, Selda Taşkın (“Zuhal”)
Best Art Director – Natali Yeres (“Kerr”)
Best Original Score – Taner Yücel (“Tell Me About Your Darkness”)
National Documentary Competition
Best Documentary – “Eat Your Catfish” – Senem Tüzen, Adam Isenberg, Noah Amir Arjomand (U.S., Turkey, Spain)
Special Mention – “All-In” – Volkan Üce (Belgium, France, The Netherlands)
Seyfi Teoman Best Debut Film
Best Debut Film – “Zuhal” – Nazlı Elif Durlu
National Short Film Competition
Best Short Film – “Our Ark” – Deniz Tortum, Kathryn Hamilton (The Netherlands, USA, Turkey)
Special Mention – “The Night Generation” – Yasemin Demirci
International Competition – “Vortex” – Gaspar Noé (France, Belgium, Monaco)
National Competition – “Ela and Hilmi with Ali” – Ziya Demirel
National Short Film Competition – “Lakeshore” – Aziz Alaca
Young Masters Competition
Young Master Award – “Playground” – Laura Wandel