Gabriella Carriere has joined Fremantle as group head of strategy, reporting into Andrea Scrosati, group COO and CEO continental Europe. Carriere joins from Sky Italia where she held the positions of Sky Wifi marketing senior director, media and commercial partnerships director and strategy director since joining in 2016. She replaces Van Truong, who held the position for five years and is now head of special projects, reporting into Scrosati and working closely with CEO Jennifer Mullin and the rest of the leadership team.
Scrosati said: “Gabriella is an exceptional talent. I had the great opportunity to work with her in the past and she always struck me for her unique analytical and business skills and understanding of the media market. Her experience and innovative approach will help us continue to define a strategy that will be key to Fremantle’s very ambitious global growth plans.
Carriere added: ““Fremantle is home to some of the best creative talents in the business, with a unique combination of local excellence and strong global network supported by an extraordinary management team. I am excited to embark on this new journey and now really looking forward to a new challenge, working with Andrea and taking up this ambitious new role at Fremantle.”
Meanwhile, Jess Fowle and Andrew Sheldon, who along with Glyn Middleton, founded U.K. production company True North in 2002, are stepping down at the end of the year. Sky Studios bought the outfit in 2017, with Sheldon and Fowle staying on as creative directors. The “A New Life in the Sun” producer has revealed that Katy Thorogood, currently creative director at Ricochet where her slate includes “The Repair Shop” and “The Bidding Room” for BBC, is set to join in the newly created role of chief creative officer later this year. Norma Wisnevitz has been promoted to CEO from her current role of COO. Executive producer Christian Hills has been upped to creative director, based in Leeds, joining existing creative director Fiona O’Sullivan in Manchester. The team also includes newly appointed head of production, Elaine Morris. True North currently employs 150 people across its HQ in Leeds and its office in Manchester.
Banijay Finland will produce a local version of U.K. format “SAS: Who Dares Wins” for Nelonen’s SVOD platform Ruutu. Set to air this year, it will feature a line-up of celebrities who will be put through a series of physical and psychological tests. The format sees recruits undertake a unique version of the special forces selection process to discover if they have what is required to be chosen for the elite training corp. The Finnish training team is headed up by Navy veteran Janne Lehtonen, who is joined by a team of former elite servicemen to run the course and provide a unique insight into the process. Finland marks the seventh territory adaptation of the format created by the U.K.’s Minnow Films. Banijay Rights holds the global distribution rights for the format.
The Motion Picture Association (MPA), representing the world’s leading producers and distributors of film, television and streaming content, which was founded in 1922, is celebrating its centenary. Since its founding in the age of the silent film, the MPA has championed storytellers, developed tools to protect their content against ever-evolving threats of piracy, and supported the production and distribution of its member studios’ films. MPA members – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Netflix Studios LLC, Paramount Pictures Corporation, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Universal City Studios LLC and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. – are taking this opportunity to reflect on their contribution to the industry and the industry’s contribution to culture.
Cineflix Rights has scored a raft of sales on its scripted slate. MX Player (India) and Filmin (Spain) have acquired both seasons of Israeli police corruption thriller “Manayek.” MX Player has also bought four seasons of supernatural series “Wynonna Earp”. Hot (Israel) has bought two seasons of darkly humorous crime caper “Happily Married” and Icelandic political drama “The Minister.” Talpa Network (Netherlands), Sky Italia, and Rai (Italy) have acquired season 4 of “Coroner,” while Acorn TV (India), Sky Italia, and BritBox (Africa) have bought U.K. crime series “Whitstable Pearl.” TG4 (Ireland) has acquired French crime drama “Rebecca” and STV (Scotland) has bought the U.K. and Ireland rights to Australian psychological thriller “Secrets and Lies.”
Netflix India’s action-drama “Rana Naidu,” the local adaptation of Showtime series “Ray Donovan,” has wrapped filming. The series marks the coming together of nephew-uncle duo, Rana Daggubati (Rana Naidu) and Venkatesh Daggubati (Venky Naidu). Shot in Mumbai, the Hindi-language series is mostly set in Mumbai and follows the life of the city’s go-to fixer. Rana Naidu does the dirty work for the top power players – making the problems of the city’s celebrities, superstar athletes, and business moguls disappear. The cast also includes Surveen Chawla, Sushant Singh, Abhishek Banerjee, Suchitra Pillai, Gaurav Chopra, Ashish Vidyarthi and Rajesh Jais. The series is directed by Karan Anshuman and Suparn Verma and produced by Aaron Sunder of Locomotive Global Inc. Format rights are licensed by ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group.