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SERIES

U.K. broadcaster BBC has acquired CNN‘s Primetime Emmy winning series “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy.” The six-part series follows Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as he travels across Italy to discover the secrets and delights of the country’s regional cuisines. In each episode, Tucci visits a different region or city of Italy, showing viewers how the diversity of Italian cooking offers a gateway through which they can glimpse Italy’s history and culture.

The show, which is produced by CNN and London-based film and television production company RAW, has already been renewed for a second season and will be available on BBC Two and streamer iPlayer from Feb. 27.

Tucci said: “It has been a dream of mine to make this show for many years and a great joy to make it with CNN and RAW. I am so honored that it has been acquired by the esteemed BBC.”

Jo Lapping, head of factual acquisition, BBC, added: “We’re excited to take viewers on an unforgettable journey with the fantastic Stanley Tucci across a country renowned for its incredible food – it’s a brilliantly entertaining and mouth-watering experience we know viewers will enjoy.”

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BBC

Meanwhile, filming has begun in Belfast on six-part BBC One drama “Blue Lights,” from Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson, the writers of “The Salisbury Poisonings.” The series follows three rookie police officers working in Belfast and the odds are at least one of them isn’t going to last.

Siân Brooke (“Sherlock”), Martin McCann (“Marcella”), Richard Dormer (“Game of Thrones”), Katherine Devlin (“The Dig”) and newcomer Nathan Braniff lead the cast alongside John Lynch (“Tin Star”), Jonathan Harden (“Time”) and Valene Kane (“The Fall”). It is directed by Gilles Bannier (“Trigger Point”) and made by Two Cities Television and produced with support from Northern Ireland Screen as part of their continued partnership with the BBC.

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Yeon Sang-ho’s “Hellbound”. Netflix

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Yeon Sang-ho, the South Korean director behind the “Train to Busan” films and Netflix hit show “Hellbound,” has stuck a deal with Korean games firm Smilegate to develop content from Yeon’s IP. He has promised to create a fictional universe by next year. Other properties may be developed as games, films, series or web comics. Smilegate, which has been in business for twenty years, produces games for mobile and PC. It is best known for MMRPG “Lost Ark” and first-person shooter “CrossfireX.” Yeon is also currently readying sci-fi film “Jung-E” for Netflix. – Patrick Frater

SALES

Distributor All3Media International has sold documentary “The Anti-Vax Conspiracy” to BBC Select in North America, Discovery Plus for Italian-speaking territories, Now TV for Hong Kong, and Public Television Service for Taiwan, alongside NRK (Norway), Sýn hf (Iceland), DPG Media (Belgium), Canal Plus Polska (Poland), RTV Slovenija (Slovenia) and Eesti Rahvusringhääling (Estonia).

Produced by Caravan and Quicksilver Media for Channel 4, U.K. and Arte, France, and directed by Colette Camden (“Imagine”), the film explores the origins and growth of the anti-vaccination movement and its impact on global efforts to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The documentary, which recently won the Association for International Broadcasting award for Investigative Documentary TV and Video, was previously sold to HBO Max for Latin America.

APPLICATION

Breaking Through The Lens, a non-profit organization focused on measurable actions to provide finance access to women and non-binary directors in the industry, have now opened submissions for qualifying filmmakers to submit feature-film projects in need of financing, with ten to be selected and given the opportunity and platform to pitch to film investors, distributors, and sales agents at Cannes and Toronto. The scheme is open to female and non-binary directors from around the world with a feature film project in late-stage development. Required fields include a finished script, a producer with feature-film experience, and a finance plan. Applications can be submitted here.

APPOINTMENT

WarnerMedia International has appointed Nermin Eroğlu as executive producer, working across development and production for HBO Max originals commissioned and produced in Turkey, reporting into Mia Edde, executive director Turkish content, WarnerMedia International, who is responsible for all originals commissioned and produced in Turkey for HBO Max. Antony Root, executive VP and head of original production, WarnerMedia, leads the pan-EMEA original programming team that commissions and produces originals. HBO Max is due to launch in Turkey in 2022. Prior to joining HBO Max, Eroğlu was a producer at production company Ay Yapim, and between 2017 and 2019 was the deputy general manager, drama at Kanal D.

DEBUT

Indian actor Chandan Roy Sanyal (Busan 2021 selection “Deep6”) is debuting as a writer, director and producer with psychological comic thriller “Suzie Q.” Produced by Vibrant Media, Sanjay Kumar Pal, Sanyal, and Abhijeet Singh Baghel, co-produced by Krranti Shaanbag, and directed and co-written by Sanyal and with screenplay and dialogues by Juhi Shekhar, the film is set to release soon.

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Chandan Roy Sanyal