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John Malkovich, Fanny Ardant Comedy-Drama ‘Mr. Blake At Your Service!’ Nets Slew Of Deals For France TV Distribution

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EXCLUSIVE: France tv distribution has unveiled a first round of deals for best-selling French writer Gilles Legardinier’s feature directorial debut Mr. Blake At Your Service!, reuniting John Malkovich and Fanny Ardant on the big screen.

The film has been acquired for Germany and Austria (MFA+ Film Distribution), Italy (Adler Entertainment), Portugal (Nos Lusomundo), Spain and Portugal (A Contracorriente Films), Switzerland (Praesens Film), Bulgaria (Cinelibri), Poland (Best Film), former Yugoslavia (MCF Megacom Film) as well as for Australia and New Zealand (Rialto Distribution).

The comedy-drama is adapted from Legardinier’s 2012 best-selling French novel Complètement Cramé! which sold more than one million copies sold in France and was translated into 17 languages across 22 countries.

Malkovich stars as Andrew Blake, a recently widowed British businessman who takes a job as a butler in a faded manor house in northern France, close to where he and his late wife spent the early days of their romance.

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The arrival of this very British guest will be a turning point for the eccentric lady of the manor, played by Ardant, and her exhausted staff, who have all lost their way.

At the same time as resetting his own life, Blake will spur them back to life, prompting them to start working together to restore the manor’s former beauty and revive their individual quests.

Malkovich and Ardant previously appeared on the big screen together in the 2015 period drama Casanova Variations.

The cast also features Belgium’s Émilie Dequenne, who won best actress in Cannes in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Palme d’Or winner Rosetta in 1999,  and French actor Philippe Bas, best known for the crime series Profilage.

Mr. Blake At Your Service!

Ricardo Vaz Palma, Bidibul Productions

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“From the beginning, when France tv Distribution announced the project, we didn’t have any doubts that the film adaptation of this bestseller, could be one of the most important titles in our slate of titles,” said David Mitjans, Head of Acquisitions at Spain’s A Contracorriente Films.

“I am very happy to bring this Picture to the Italian theaters and to all the moviegoers who are always looking for authentic, emotional and uplifting theatrical stories,” commented Marco Colombo, CEO of Italy’s Adler Entertainment.

The feature is produced by Luxembourg’s Bidibul Productions and France’s Superprod.

“We’re glad to see the strong interest from buyers all around the world since we launched this project, distributors are convinced like us in its commercial potential,” said Julia Schulte, SVP International Sales at France tv distribution, and Renan Artukmac, Deputy SVP International Sales.

Mr Blake at your service! has all the right elements to be a great popular film: it’s based on a huge literary success translated in many languages, a feel-good comedy with crossover of generations and cultures, and interpreted by strong, glamorous cast on top of their games.”

Universal Pictures International France will theatrically release the film in France in late 2023.

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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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