Amazon Donates $600,000 To Germany; Arrow/Red Planet Book Options; Papercup Raises $10.5M; BBC Studios Inks Lionsgate Play Deal — Global Briefs

Jake Kanter
·2 min read

Amazon Donates $600,000 To Germany
Amazon Prime Video has donated €500,000 ($600,000) to a German relief fund for entertainment industry workers who have been left without income by the coronavirus pandemic. Amazon, which counts Deutschland 89 among its German originals, has donated to Backstage Heroes, a fundraising campaign led by STERN magazine. Amazon’s support is part of a $6M commitment announced earlier this year to support the European production community.

Arrow Options Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski Books
UK producer Arrow Media has optioned journalist Nicole Weisensee Egan’s Bill Cosby investigative book Chasing Cosby: The Downfall of America’s Dad, as well as Samantha Geimer’s memoir The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski. Both will be turned into documentary series, with the latter co-produced with Handel Productions. Anna Davies, executive producer, development, Arrow Media, said: “Both of these stories are ultimately about the abuse of power and the power of celebrity.”

Red Planet Options Female-Led Novels
Death In Paradise producer Red Planet Pictures has also optioned a brace of books. The company has taken the TV rights to Megan Hunter‘s The Harpy and New York Times best-selling writer Antony Johnston’s The Exphoria Code. The former is about a marriage altered entirely by an affair, while Johnston’s novel is a techno-thriller featuring a brilliant but troubled young MI6 hacker. “With unique female protagonists, these two books, whilst very different, share a boldness of proposition, compelling characterisation and storytelling,” said Red Planet’s joint MD Belinda Campbell.

Sky-Backed Papercup Raises $10.5M
Papercup, an AI startup helping the likes of Comcast-owned Sky News dub content into other languages using machine learning, has raised £8M ($10.6M) in a funding round that includes further investment from Sky itself. The round was led by LocalGlobe and Sands Capital Ventures, while other backers include GMG Ventures, Entrepreneur First, and BDMI. The tech startup was founded in 2017 and has helped Sky News reach new audiences on YouTube by translating broadcasts into Spanish. The channel, Sky News en Español, has since generated more than 26M views.

BBC Studios Inks Lionsgate Play Deal
BBC Studios has partnered with Lionsgate Play for the first time in a deal that will see the Indian streamer take a raft of UK drama, including Benedict Cumberbatch’s Brexit: The Uncivil War, the BBC’s non-musical adaptation of Les Misérables, and period drama SS-GB.

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