Global Bulletin: Jerusalem Film Fest Cancels Summer Edition, Plans for December

After a number of attempts to delay this year’s Jerusalem Film Festival, organizers have now scrapped plans for a summer edition following a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Israel, which has resulted in new restrictions from the Ministry of Health on gatherings of large groups, expected to last several months.

Instead, a winter edition is now in the works for Dec. 10-20. The new event will include several films selected for the original summer festival as well as new titles ready to launch this winter. JFF is also developing a series of online programs intended to showcase festival selected titles on the Jerusalem Cinematheque-Israel Film Archive’s streaming platform.

“This is a difficult and painful decision as we have been working on the 37th edition of the Jerusalem Film Festival over the course of the past year,” said Noa Regev, director of the Jerusalem Cinematheque and Jerusalem Film Festival, and Elad Samorzik, artistic director of the Jerusalem Film Festival, in a joint statement.

According to the release, more than 150 films from 60 countries had been screened and selected to participate in the festival’s already finalized program.

“We believe there is no replacement for the physical encounter created by a film festival and its audience, filmmakers, and film on the big screen, and therefore, we will do everything in our power to hold the winter Jerusalem Film Festival edition during the month of December,” the statement said.

FESTIVALS

Locarno Film Festival has announced the 43 short films in this year’s Pardi di domani international and Swiss competition sections of Locarno 2020 – For the Future of Films. The shorts will be available to stream online globally, with theatrical screenings in Locarno and Muralto.

More than 2,200 shorts were submitted for consideration this year, with the mammoth task of choosing the final 43 left to a selection committee headed by Charlotte Corchète. The shorts will compete for the 2020 Pardino d’oro and Pardino d’argento, as well as several other prizes. This year’s jury includes Filipino visual artist, film and documentary maker Kiri Dalena, Senegalese writer and director Mamadou Dia and Claudette Godfrey, senior programmer at SXSW.

Locarno has also launched a new initiative partnering 14 promising talents with filmmakers already known to the festival public for their previous appearances at Locarno. A series of conversations between the multi-generational talents will be made available on the festival’s digital platform Aug. 5-15.

Further details and the complete competition lineup are available on the festival’s website.

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Sarajevo Film Festival will award Mexican director, writer and producer Michel Franco with its Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the cinematic arts and past support of the Balkan festival.

A retrospective of the filmmaker’s work will also be held as part of the festival’s Tribute To program.

In 2009, Franco’s debut feature “Daniela and Ana,” a Directors’ Fortnight premiere, brought the director to Sarajevo for the first time. He has since returned as jury president in 2017, when his latest feature “April’s Daughter,” a Cannes Un Certain Regard Jury Prize winner, screened in Sarajevo’s Open Air program.

Franco joins an elite list of former winners including countrymen Alejandro González Iñárritu and Gael García Bernal.

SPORTS RIGHTS

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Games Federation Partnerships (CGFP) have hired global sports broadcast producers Sunset+Vine as the host broadcaster responsible for bringing what will be the most TV coverage in the games’ history to a global audience of more than 1.5 billion. The deal includes an option to extend coverage to the ’26 and ’30 games.

From July 28-Aug. 8, 2022, Sunset+Vine will broadcast 19 sports as well as the opening and closing ceremonies for more than 2,000 hours of total coverage, now available to rights holding broadcasters for international distribution. The company will also offer a range of services including a 24/7 channel recapping the day’s best action and six uninterrupted feeds featuring a mix of live and delayed content.

As part of the deal, Sunset+Vine will also lead the Host Broadcast Training Initiative in the West Midlands region of the U.K. intended to address the lack of diversity in the creative sector. Some 200 young people, half from underrepresented communities, will participate in the 12-month educational program. During the games, at least 15% of the technical and production workforce will come from the Birmingham area, resulting in 150 new creative sector jobs for the duration of the games.

SERIES SALES

Red Arrow Studios Intl. has sold two series to Germany’s ZDF, crime thriller “The Bank Hacker” and Season 1 of the factual series “The Weekly,” already licensed in Australia, Spain and Portugal.

“The Bank Hacker” follows a con man just out of prison as he attempts to rebuild his personal wealth, seized by police two years earlier. After meeting a young computer hacker at a convention, he cracks a plan and the two put together a team to pull off a daring digital heist. De Mensen produces for VTM in Belgium.

From The New York Times and Red Arrow company Left/Right, “The Weekly” brings international NYT articles from the page to the screen featuring the journalists who wrote them. Originally broadcast on FX and Hulu, Season 2 is in production.

FORMAT

French broadcaster M6 has commissioned Endemol Shine France to produce a local version of Tuesday’s Child and The LEGO Group’s hit traveling entertainment format “LEGO Masters,” making it the eighth broadcaster to order a local version after the U.S., U.K., Australia, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Sweden.

Since launching on Fox in February, “LEGO Masters” became the top new series in the U.S. with more than 36 million unique viewers across Season 1. In the Netherlands and Belgium it led the Saturday night slot as the most watched entertainment program and on Nine in Australia, Season 2 has been the most watched entertainment premiere of the year so far.

The LEGO Group and Endemol Shine Group are the exclusive distributors of the format and all finished tapes of “LEGO Masters” globally.

DOCUMENTARY

Channel 4 in the U.K. is ready to spice up your life with its newly announced documentary series from 72 Films titled “Girl Powered: The Spice Girls,” which will use hundreds of hours of archival footage and interviews to recount the history of one of pop music’s most influential acts.

Beginning with the group’s formation in the mid ‘90s and spanning through their recent reunion world tour, the series will aim to contextualize the band’s history paralleled with evolutions in modern feminism based on the life stories of its members.

Rob Coldstream and Clare Cameron (“Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain”) will direct and executive produce the new series, commissioned by Alisa Pomeroy, Channel 4 commissioning editor, documentaries.


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