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International Insider: Festivals & Markets In Turmoil; LFF Kicks Off; Support For Iran Protests; Banijay Goes Beyond; International Oscar Race Hots Up

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It’s Friday, you’re starting to think of the weekend, so it must be Insider time. Join me once again as the Deadline International team cast a critical eye over the big news stories this week. Read on.

NATPE AND EDINBURGH IN TURMOIL

NATPE, via Facebook

Nasty news from NATPE: This month was supposed to be all about people getting back together at industry events. Certainly, in the international TV industry, everyone we speak to is – genuinely, for once – excited about returning to Mipcom (or Mipcom Cannes, as it’s quietly been rebranded) later this month. However, October has started horribly for fans of travelling to entertainment industry confabs: On Monday, NATPE filed for bankruptcy instead collecting its things from Miami and moving them to the Bahamas as planned, and then it emerged the Edinburgh International Film Festival has gone the same way. NAPTE, which has been hosting execs, producers, syndicators and distributors for decades, cited Covid as its downfall in a Chapter 11 filing. Market watchers had been murmuring privately about the organization’s financial health following its decision to postpone this past January’s Miami event and this proved to be the case in the end. Fans of talking shop around the pools and bars of the Fontainbleau (me included) must be sad with the development, and it’s hoped a restructuring package can save the operation. Whatever the case, NATPE says it will press on with its Nassau conference in January 2023 and hold its NATPE Budapest event in June. Dade Hayes had more here.

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Edinburgh castled: That wasn’t it for the bad news. Later in the week, the trustees of the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI), the charity that runs the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Filmhouse Cinemas in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, announced they had appointed administrators, will cease trading immediately. A statement pointed to “a perfect storm” of rising costs and falling admissions due to the pandemic, exacerbated by the UK’s deepening cost of living crisis. Tragically, the news came just months after the Festival celebrated its 75th anniversary – it is the world’s oldest consecutively running event of its kind. Stars such as Paul Mescal (Normal People) and director Charlotte Wells (Aftersun) had attended. Staff at all three sites are expected to be made redundant and it can only be hoped that funds are found from somewhere to save this piece of history from the end. Zac’s report provides more.

LONDON FILM FESTIVAL KICKS OFF

Emma Thompson at after party for Matilda The Musical

BB/Deadline

What do Rishi Sunak & Emma Thompson have in common?: The 66th London Film Festival kicked off Wednesday evening with the world premiere of Matilda The Musical, the latest big-screen classic of Roald Dahl’s classic tale. The film appeared to play well with the opening night audience on a cool night in the UK’s capital at the Royal Festival Hall. And, as ever, the screening was a star-studded event with an eclectic collection of names, including Rishi Sunak, the former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, who recently failed to become Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party. Our man Baz grabbed a few minutes with Emma Thompson, who plays the fearsome Miss Trunchbull in the film, and found out her previous role in Nanny McPhee meant she wasn’t the terrifying presence on set that she was hoping. The LFF runs from October 5-16, and the hottest ticket in town is the debut of Rian Johnson’s hotly anticipated Knives Out sequel, which closes out the festival. Earlier this week, Netflix revealed that the film will receive a wide release in 600 U.S. theaters and select international cinemas before it drops on the streamer on December 23.

SUPPORT FOR IRAN PROTESTS GROWS

Nazanin Boniadi

Nazanin Boniadi (inset)
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Naoko Scintu/Getty

#HairForFreedom: Isabelle Adjani, Bérénice Bejo, Juliette Binoche, Laure Calamy, Marion Cotillard, Julie Gayet, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Isabelle Huppert and Alexandra Lamy were among a group of high-profile French actresses showing their support for Iranian women on Wednesday as the Mahsa Amini protests entered a third week in Iran and worldwide. Amini died in police custody on September 16 after being detained for not wearing her hijab properly in accordance with the country’s strict religious laws and allowing some locks of hair to escape. Joining other women around the world, the French stars got behind a video campaign, hashtagged #HairForFreedom, showing them cutting a lock of their hair in solidarity. Needless to say, it quickly went viral. Iranian-born The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power star and Amnesty International UK Ambassador Nazanin Boniadi also showed her solidarity this week with a heartfelt guest column on Deadline on the suppression of women in Iran and the need for all women to be vigilant about upholding their rights around the world. Back in Iran, the anti-government protests – led by women and students – continue in spite of a harsh crackdown by authorities. The government has also targeted non-state broadcasters and the internet, prompting French satellite operator Eutelsat to put out a statement on Thursday that its satellites had been jammed from within Iran.

BANIJAY GOES BEYOND

Mikael Borglund and Marco Bassetti

Beyond International’s Mikael Borglund and Banijay’s Marco Bassetti

Beyond; Banijay

Scheme Implementation What?: The independent production world has become increasingly consolidated over the past decade or so, and much of it has thanks to French powerhouse Banijay. This week, Deadline was first to break the news Banijay had made its largest acquisition since buying Endemol Shine Group two years ago by entering into a bizarrely titled arrangement called a Scheme Implementation Deed to acquire Australian factual producer-distributor Beyond International. The acquisition deal – let’s call a spade a spade – is worth around $30M, representing a good premium for shareholders of Mythbusterscompany Beyond. This isn’t a game-changer deal in the same way the Endemol Shine deal was, or Banijay’s 2016 merger with compatriot Zodiak Media Group, for that matter. However, it takes another indie player off the market and means Banijay’s sales library stands to grow to 138,000 hours once the agreement closes. With Mipcom around the corner, producers and distributors around the world will be buzzing to know if this deal represents a wider wave of international consolidation, and whether their companies might be part of that goldrush. It wasn’t the only international M&A deal this week, with Leonine Studios (see below) and Newen Studios both purchasing indies. Read the breaking news on Banijay’s deal here.

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Into the metaverse with Mediawan: France’s Mediawan Rights took a step into the Web3 world this week. We broke the news the fledgling distributor had launched a metaverse space for acquisitions execs ahead of Mipcom. You might think sending buyers deeper into the digital world just before what’s likely to be the biggest physical market in somewhat is counterintuitive, but anything that gives you an advantage over your rivals, and gets people talking, can only be a good thing in the long run. We’ll be keeping an eye on how Metawan performs in coming months. Check it out here.

INTERNATIONAL OSCAR RACE HOTS UP

Who’s your money on?: There were a raft of announcements around entries for the Best International Film Category at the Oscars this week as the October 3 deadline for submission hit. So far, around 85 entries have been made public against 93 final submissions last year. Some territories do not publicize their submissions, so the final tally remains to be seen when the Academy publishes the official list. Buzzy contenders in the category so far this year include Lukas Dhont’s Close for Belgium, Alice Diop’s Saint Omer for France, Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front, Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO for Poland, Park Chan-Wook’s Decision To Leave for Korea and Santiago Mitre’s Argentina, 1985 for Argentina. Two territories have declared they will not be running this year. Russian said it would not be participating this year amid deteriorating relations with the West following its invasion of Ukraine. Egypt will also not take part this year after its selection committee decided not to send a film for the lack of a credible candidate.

THE ESSENTIALS

Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion Managing Directors Reinhardt Beetz and Christian Beetz

Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion Managing Directors Reinhardt Beetz and Christian Beetz

Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion

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🌶️ Hot One: We revealed Germany’s Leonine Studios has bought compatriot doc maker Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion.

🌶️ Another One: Thomas Vinterberg’s debut TV series set its cast and went into production.

🌶️ Another? Sure: UK podcast house Novel hired Universal Studio Group’s Neil Krishnan to oversee a film and TV push. Max broke it.

🌶️ One more for luck: Michael Ball will revisit Aspects of Love in reimagined Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Baz with this one.

🗣️ Speaking out: Bernie Ecclestone slammed rival Formula 1 docs as his Lucky! series added broadcast and streaming partners, as I revealed yesterday.

🤝 Done deal 1: BBC Studios increased its stake in UK drama house Firebird Pictures to 100%.

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🤝 Done deal 2: Mel had the scoop on Meridian Pictures partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Hakawati Entertainment. 

🤝 Done deal 3: eOne struck a first-look deal with BAFTA winning writer-director Paul Andrew Williams, as Max revealed.

🙅 No deal: RTL Group will not sell French broadcaster M6 after exploring sale options. More here.

🇮🇪 Out of Ireland: Kilkenny’s Lighthouse Studios is developing a crime drama based on graphic novel Savage Town.

Zac Ntim and Melanie Goodfellow contributed to this week’s Insider

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Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs

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Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’

Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.

Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’

EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.

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London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul

To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide 



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‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards

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Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.

Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.

The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)

Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.

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 In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.

Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.

Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.

Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.

The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.

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Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark

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EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.

Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.

Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:

While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.

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Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide.  As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.

On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”

Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.



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