Berlin’s just concluded European Film Market (EFM), which had a physical edition this year after two online editions in 2021 and 2022 due to the pandemic, has reported “record results” according to the organizers. There were 230 stands and 612 companies from 78 countries and more than 11,500 market participants from 132 countries. Some 773 films were shown in 1,533 screenings, including 647 online screenings and 599 market premieres. The total number of buyers also rose to 1,302. 629 film projects were presented on the new Producers & Project Pages.
“After the past two irregular years, we’re pleased to return to the physical in full force, and with a vibrant, bustling and strong market. The exhibition areas at Gropius Bau and the Marriott Hotel were sold out, and the exhibitors reported strong sales and good business. The decision to group all the market happenings together with the Berlinale Series Market and the market screenings at Potsdamer Platz, and to provide the industry with an efficient infrastructure, was extremely well-received by our market participants,” said EFM director Dennis Ruh.
Elsewhere, submissions are now open for the third edition of the U.K.’s Birmingham Film & TV Market. The event links emerging producers and filmmakers with top executives from some of the biggest production companies in the U.K. and will take place Oct. 27 at Birmingham’s Grand Hotel.
Limited to 50 filmmakers, each team receives one-to-one meetings with senior representatives from industry-leading film and TV companies such as Merman, BBC, ITV, Sky Original Film, Channel 4, Paramount+, Goldfinch, Curzon and more.
BBC Studios has secured a global first-look deal outside of Australia with Big Owl Pictures, the Australian production company founded by former head of television at Warner Bros Australia, Shaun Murphy.
The multi-year deal offers BBC Studios a first look on Big Owl Pictures’ slate of original factual entertainment and entertainment formats and a commitment to co-develop paper formats through BBC Studios global production network including Los Angeles, U.K., France, Germany and Nordics.
During his time at Warner Bros Australia Murphy was responsible for executing “The Masked Singer,” “The Bachelor,” and “First Dates” among others.
The #1 Korean box office hit, “The Point Men,” will stream on Rakuten Viki exclusively from March 3. The film, which stars Hyun Bin (“The Swindlers”) and Hwang Jeong Min (“Ode to My Father”) and is directed by Yim Soon Rye (“Whistle Blower”), displaced “Avatar: The Way of Water” from the top box office spot in Korea when it debuted in January and surpassed one million box office tickets sold within a week of coming to theaters. “The Point Men” arrives via Rakuten Viki’s movie rental service following a limited theatrical release in the U.S. Viewers can access the film for $4.99 at Viki.com.
“The Point Men” is based on true events that unfolded in Afghanistan in 2007. A Korean diplomat is dispatched to Afghanistan when a group of South Korean tourists is taken hostage by the Taliban. When all measures fail and one hostage is killed, he is forced to team up with a special agent to rescue the survivors.
After DAZN Group’s acquisition of Eleven Group businesses and U.S.-headquartered social media creative agency Team Whistle, Marc Watson, who co-founded Eleven and was its CEO until the acquisition, has been appointed chief commercial officer.
Watson will lead the rights and content acquisition strategy and drive other commercial initiatives across DAZN Group. He replaces Jacopo Tonoli, who after 14 years with the company.
Meanwhile, Vice Distribution, the global distribution and content licensing arm of Vice Media Group, has appointed Alexa Dubard as sales director, EMEA, global distribution. Dubard will focus on escalating the value of Vice’s brand within Europe, the Middle East and Africa and diversifying distribution revenue streams. The executive joins from Passion Distribution, where she worked with partners across France, Germany and Benelux and brought new television formats to air, including “Drag Race” in France and Holland.
Leading Asian label T-Series has expanded its music catalogue, chair and MD Bhushan Kumar has revealed. New Bollywood acquisitions include the upcoming instalment of the Hera Pheri franchise, “Satya Prem Ki Katha,” “Bawaal,” “Fighter,” “Sanki,” “Yodha” and films in the Baaghi franchise.
“Each movie stands out and is so different from each other, we are definitely excited to be working on these albums and truly look forward to bringing an eclectic mix of music that will cater to audiences both new and old,” Kumar said.