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COMMISSION

Former Manchester City and England soccer player Micah Richards fronts “Player Pranks,” a show commissioned by Sky, produced by Zig Zag and Krempelwood. The show sees the Premier League winner team up with his Sky Sports colleague Adam ‘Smithy’ Smith for a top-secret mission to prank the great and good of football. In each 30-minute episode, Micah and Smith take to the field with hidden cameras, ingenious props and comic actors to inject mayhem into the lives of some of the U.K.’s most famous soccer personalities, when they least expect it. Stars include former professional soccer player and manager, Chris Kamara, England national soccer star Jill Scott, Micah’s fellow Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher, and former Spurs and England star Jermaine Jenas.

The four-part series will air on Sky Max and Sky Sports this August as part of the countdown to the 2022/23 soccer season.

Danny Fenton, CEO at Zig Zag said: “Bringing together the infectious Micah Richards in conjunction with Adam ‘Smithy’ Smith and a series of pranks played on football legends for Sky feels like the perfect entertainment combination. We hope the viewers have half as much fun watching it as we did making it.”

Barbara Lee, commissioning editor at Sky said: “We are huge fans of Micah Richards at Sky Max and are delighted to be working with him. He brings infectious fun to everything he does so he’s perfectly cast in this as a mischievous prankster.”

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Rob Gilby, Singapore Media Festival Courtesy of SMF

FROM DISNEY TO DENTSU

Former Disney executive Rob Gilby has been appointed by Dentsu International, the multinational advertising agency, as its CEO in the Asia Pacific region. Replacing Ashish Bhasin, who retired in December, Gilby will start from Sept. 5, 2022 and remain based in Singapore. He was MD of Disney in Southeast Asia from 2013 before being ousted in a 2017 reshuffle. Since then, he founded investment and advisory firm Blue Hat Ventures and amassed a string of non-executive board and advisory roles, including Singapore’s Ministry of Communications & Information, the InfoComm Media Development Authority and the Singapore Media Festival. He took an executive position at measurement firm Nielsen in October last year. The new role involves 11,600 staff and stretches over 18 territories.

BACK TO EARTH

Amazon Prime Video has picked up rights to “Rocketry: The Nambi Effect,” a star-studded Indian drama film that was the directorial debut of actor R. Madhavan. The film released in theaters in India and limited international territories on July 1. Amazon says the film will get a global online release as soon as July 26. The biographical drama is based on the life of Indian space research scientist Nambi Narayanan, who was framed for espionage and imprisoned in 1994. The film chronicles his achievements, his passion for the country’s space mission and the accusation that eventually became the biggest personal and professional setback of his life. Produced by Tricolour Films and Varghese Moolan Pictures, the film stars Madhavan, Simran, and Rajit Kapoor with a cameos by Shah Rukh Khan and Suriya.

DISTRIBUTION

Abacus Media Rights has secured worldwide distribution rights for “The Frontier,” a high-end factual series created and produced by Emmy-nominated Daniel Sharp at Dash Pictures. Financed by Amcomri Productions, the 6 x 60’ documentary series, which will dispel the legends of the Wild West, is currently filming in Texas. Each episode is crafted from a mix of cinematic reconstructions, modern day interviews with leading experts, and accompanied by cinematic graphics and maps, sound design and music.

PARTNERSHIP

Get Me Out Productions, the Los Angeles-based production company best known for unscripted content including Crackle Plus reality series “Men of West Hollywood,” has set a partnership with Film Fixers Balkans, a production company and advisory service operating in 19 countries across Europe, under which they will open a joint office in Athens, Greece, and partner on content projects focusing on unscripted production.

The deal represents a European expansion with a focus on Greece for Get Me Out Productions, a U.S.-based family business founded by Greek-American producers Akim Anastopoulo and Hali Anastopoulo. Film Fixers Balkans has advised and supported Balkans-based shoots for shows including “WWE Total Divas,” “90-Day Fiance: Happily Ever After?,’ “Naked & Afraid” and “Running Wild with Bear Grylls.” The companies will produce joint projects in addition to offering production advice and services, sourcing crews and locations, and facilitating engagement with tax incentive programs including EKOME tax rebates for other partners and clients.

EVENTS

From Aug. 24 – 26 Cape Town will host FAME Week Africa, three days of exchange and networking, meetings, screenings and conferences including MIP Africa, part of the global MIP Markets, Cape Town International Animation Festival, Muziki Africa and Media Entertainment Solutions Africa. Featured speakers include Dorothy Ghettuba, director of Africa originals at Netflix; Neo Paulus, filmmaker and photographer, Eva Obadia, senior director, communications and partnerships, International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; Tim Crescenti, president, Small World IFT; Khalid El-Jelailati, indie filmmaker; Mimi Bartels, head of production, FilmOne Entertainment; Mehret Mandefro, Emmy-nominated producer, writer, and director and Cofounder of Realness Institute; Mounia Aram, African Animation specialist; Camille Eden, VP of recruitment and talent development for Nickelodeon; Sarah Jane Nicholson, MD, Paradise Sound System; and Namakau Star, recording artist.

Events include Sounds of Muziki Africa talent search, Women in Film and Television morning, the FAMEous party, film screenings, Emerging Artists’ program exhibition and Metaverse Summit.

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