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Leonine Studios Buys Into ‘A Perfect Crime’ & ‘Open Heart’ Doc Maker Gerbruder Beetz Filmproduktion

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EXCLUSIVE: Fast-growing European production group Leonine Studios has bought into compatriot Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion, the company behind Netflix’s first German docuseries, we’ve learned.

Munich-based Leonine has bought 50% of Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion GmbH & Co. KG (Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne) and 100% of Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion Lüneburg GmbH, both of which are part of Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktiongruppe. An option to acquire the other 50% of Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion is included in the transaction, which closed today.

Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion is one of German-speaking Europe’s foremost documentary producers with credits for Netflix’s first German original docu-series, A Perfect Crime, the 2013 Academy Award-nominated Open Heart and The Cleaners, which debuted at Sundance International Film Festival in 2018 and won several awards.

It has made more 250 productions productions and is soon launching ReeperbahnSpecial Unit 65, a ARD Mediathek show supported by the German Motion Picture Fund that was awarded best docu-series of the year 2022 at the Berlin Series Festival. At Mipcom, another new show, A Century of Sex Education, will be presented to buyers.

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Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion — which has bases in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne — is now part of the Leonine Production division that also includes Hyperbole, i&u TV, Madame Zheng Production, Odeon Fiction, SEO Entertainment, W&B Television and Wiedemann & Berg Film.

It will remain independent following the deal, with Christian and Reinhardt Beetz continuing to lead the company as Managing Directors. Leonine Studios CEO Fred Kogel, who oversees non-fiction production and acquisitions licensing, is joining the Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktionsgruppe management team.

Georg Tschurtschenthaler, Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion’s long-serving senior producer and showrunner, becomes the producer’s Chief Creative Officer. He’ll oversee the development slate new high-end documentaries and series.

“With Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktionsgruppe, we have strengthened our position in the documentary sector with the most high-profile production company in Germany,” said Kogel.

He added the acquisition “opens up a wide range of opportunities” in the German local and international doc markets. “We will invest in our own high-end IPs with international potential and in the development of original content. Christian and Reinhardt Beetz are pioneers and known for their groundbreaking, high-quality productions, which are also internationally successful and have won numerous prestigious awards.”

He called the Christian and Reinhardt Beetz are “two of the best creative minds together with their outstanding team” and added that their strategy “fits perfectly with Leonine’s premium content ambitions.”

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Christian and Reinhardt Beetz said in a statement: “The international documentary film in the prime segment is facing great challenges. The quality requirements for the productions have multiplied and the market has become highly internationalized. Global audiences expect first-class, high-quality documentaries. In order to continue working from Germany for the global market, a strong partner is essential.

“As part of Leonine Studios, we have a multitude of exciting opportunities to realize national and, above all, international cooperations and co-productions. We are focusing on further expanding our slate of high-end documentaries with a global appeal in the film and series sector, and intensifying our long-standing partnerships with broadcasters, streamers and distributors.”



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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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