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SALES

Kids’ content distributor Federation Kids and Family and ZDF Enterprises have sold all three seasons of hit series “Find Me in Paris” to streamer Disney Plus as part of a worldwide multi-territory deal, while Italian state broadcaster RAI also picked up season 3 following on from its successful run of the first two seasons.

Broadcast in over 80 territories, “Find Me in Paris” (78 x 26’) follows the story of Lena Grisky, a time-travelling ballet dancer from 1905 Russia trapped in modern day Paris, and the many dilemmas she faces finding her place between two worlds. The series has also been a social media hit across all platforms, with the soundtracks registering 18 million streams across all music streaming platforms for 2020/2021 and its YouTube channel recording 46.1 million views to date.

“Find Me in Paris” is produced by David Michel, Zoé Carrera Allaix, and Cecile Lauritano for Cottonwood Media and co-produced with ZDF, ZDF Enterprises, Be-Films and the Opera National de Paris. Co-created and co-executive produced by Jill Girling and Lori Mather, with Leila Smith as executive producer, the series is directed by Matt Bloom (“Hank Zipzer”), along with directing team Ronan and Robert Burke (“Free Rein”).

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“CONNECTED” Nippon TV/Envision Entertainment

Meanwhile, “CONNECTED,” the first series under a co-production partnership between Japan’s Nippon TV and the U.K.’s Envision Entertainment, will launch worldwide format rights sales at the upcoming Series Mania Forum at Lille in March. With a concept inspired by Nippon TV’s scripted series “Double Booking,” “CONNECTED” will combine both online screens and conventional single camera set-ups unfolding in a shared universe where characters from all over the world are connected to each other through the internet using their online research skills to solve crimes and form an online community known as Homebound Detectives, working from their homes. The series has been designed to expand to localized versions, featuring diverse characters from different countries, while all belonging to the same shared online universe. The Japanese version of “CONNECTED,” which will air in Japan on Nippon TV in Apr. 2022, features a twenty-something Homebound Detective in Tokyo striving to solve a crime with the help of his international online peers. Envision Entertainment and Nippon TV are in advanced development for a U.K. version of “CONNECTED” which is set in the same shared universe.

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“Noughts + Crosses II” BBC/Mammoth Screen/Ilze Kitshoff

Elsewhere, ITV Studios has struck a deal with the CBC, Canada’s national public broadcaster, for a raft of scripted and non-scripted titles. Scripted shows include courtroom drama “Showtrial,” Swedish police procedural series “Thin Blue Line” and the second series of the acclaimed adaptation of the best-selling novel by Malorie Blackman, “Noughts + Crosses.” The deal also sees long-running soap “Coronation Street” extended, adult animation “Ten Year Old Tom,” comedy dramas “Bump” and “Spreadsheet,” Scandinavian thriller “Greyzone” and several factual titles including “The Queen Unseen,” “Paul O’Grady For The Love Of Dogs” series 10 and the “Royal Variety Performance 2021.”

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“The Unusual Suspects” APC

And, co-producer and distributor About Premium Content has sold hit comedy heist drama “The Unusual Suspects” to NRK in Norway, SVT in Sweden, DR in Denmark, RTL in Belgium and RTS in Switzerland, who have taken free TV rights for the series, with Stod 2 in Iceland and HOT Israel taking pay TV and SVOD rights. Canal Plus Poland has picked up basic TV, pay TV and SVOD rights, while AMC Networks’ Acorn TV in the U.K. has acquired SVOD rights. The series follows a police investigation that exposes cracks in Eastern Sydney’s sparkling façade following a $16 million necklace robbery from self-made businesswoman Roxanne Waters’ home in an elaborate heist. Starring Miranda Otto (“Homeland”), Aina Dumlao (“Sanzaru”) and Michelle Vergara Moore (“Condor”), “The Unusual Suspects” is produced by Aquarius Films’ Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford for SBS Australia.

Also, Dubai-based content distribution and production company SynProNize has acquired Turkish titles — love story “Dangerously in Love” and love triangle drama series “My Dangerous Wife” — from Global Agency for licensing into Thailand.

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“Cat” Netflix

STREAMING

Indian actor Randeep Hooda (Netflix original film “Extraction”) will debut in a series with Netflix’s drama series “Cat,” produced by Movie Tunnel Productions in association with Jelly Bean Entertainment. The series is directed by showrunner Balwinder Singh Janjua (“Unfair & Lovely”) and co-directed by Rupinder Chahal (“Puaada”) and Anutej Singh. A crime thriller set against the backdrop of the Punjab hinterlands in northern India, Hooda plays an innocent man sucked into a drug trafficking conspiracy between gang lords, cops and political powers.

FELLOWSHIP

The U.K.’s National Film and Television School (NFTS) will award its annual honorary fellowship to BBC chief content officer, Charlotte Moore. NFTS chair Patrick McKenna will present the fellowship, awarded each year to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the industry at the school’s graduation ceremony on March 4 at the Odeon Leicester Square in London. Moore joined the BBC in 2006 and took up her current role as in Sept. 2020. Under her leadership, the BBC has achieved record-breaking figures for iPlayer and attained global and critical success with titles including “Normal People,” “Killing Eve,” and “I May Destroy You.”

APPOINTMENT

Chalkboard TV has appointed Tom Popay to the role of creative director, reporting into managing director Mike Benson. Popay joins from Stellify Media, where he served as head of development and worked on “Blind Date” for Channel 5, “Celebrity Snoop Dogs” for Channel 4, “Can’t Touch This” for BBC One and “Flinch” for Netflix. He replaces Bill Hobbins, who is moving into the newly created position of director of programs to deliver “One Question,” Chalkboard’s new primetime gameshow for Channel 4. In his new role, Popay will spearhead the development of new business in both the domestic and international markets, and drive Chalkboard’s non-scripted ambitions.

MENTORING

The Production Guild of Great Britain, in partnership with the British Film Commission, marked the completion of its inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Mentor Scheme on Feb. 21 at a House of Commons reception hosted by the Minister for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Kemi Badenoch. The scheme launched in Aug. 2021 with the aim of helping underrepresented talent working in U.K. film and high-end TV production reach the next level of their career in their chosen field. 15 mentees working at entry, early, experienced and expert levels in departments represented by the guild’s membership – including production, accounts, assistant directing, locations, post-production and VFX – were matched with experienced senior industry mentors who have worked on some of the biggest titles recently made in the U.K., such as “Killing Eve,” “Luther” and “Gangs of London.”

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“Vienna Blood” Endor Productions

RECOMMISSION

“Vienna Blood,” the period crime drama set in 1900s Vienna has been recommissioned for a third season, following good ratings across Europe and a successful premiere in the U.S. on PBS. The series, which will begin production this spring, has been commissioned by ORF (Austria) and ZDF (Germany) and acquired by BBC Two and PBS. Produced by Endor Productions (“Deep State”), a Red Arrow Studios company, and MR Film in Austria (“Maximilian”), the new episodes will again be adapted by screenwriter Steve Thompson (“Jericho”), based on the bestselling novels by Frank Tallis. Red Arrow Studios International will distribute the series globally.

FESTIVAL

German filmmaker Andre Diwisch‘s “Refugee by Mistake” took home the Grand Prize at the fourth annual Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival on Tuesday. The film won $30,000 in cryptocurrency, as well as a custom NFT trophy signed by Oscar winners Michael Douglas and Juliette Binoche. Douglas, the festival’s 2022 guest of honor, presented Diwisch with the prize during a virtual awards ceremony that streamed on YouTube and was produced by Meihodo’s New York headquarters. Designed for young and emerging filmmakers, the Meihodo Festival is one of the largest short film festivals in the world, and this year marked the first time a global film festival awarded winners with NFTs and cryptocurrency.

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Michael Douglas, Juliette Binoche Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival