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In today’s Global Bulletin, West One International will distribute climate doc “Earth Emergency,” Cheng Cheng Films gets “A First Farewell” for North America, Discovery U.K. commissions a docuseries on the Children of God cult, Drama Team’s “Jerusalem” goes into production, the British Independent Film Awards announce nine craft category winners and the Red Sea International Film Festival opens the call for its Lodge training program.
West One International has closed a deal with Moving Still Productions for international TV distribution rights for the climate change documentary “Earth Emergency,” narrated by Richard Gere with contributions from Greta Thunberg, Jane Fonda and the Dalai Lama, as well as a roster of distinguished scientists and environmentalists.
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Picking up where its predecessor, the short film anthology “Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops,” left off, “Earth Emergency” paints a more hopeful picture of the future if warnings are heeded and changes are made soon. However, the film warns that if left unchecked, feedback loops amplify the threat of rising temperatures and speed up global warming in ways that many aren’t aware of.
“If I could ask one thing of you, it would be to educate yourself…spread that knowledge, spread the awareness to others,” said Thunberg in a release. “Most people I know haven’t even heard of feedback loops or tipping points, chain reactions, and so on. But they are so crucial to understanding how the world works.”
New York-based Cheng Cheng Films has secured North American distribution rights to Wang Lina’s Berlin Crystal Bear-winning feature “A First Farewell.”
The first Uyghur-language film in nearly 30 years at the Berlinale, “A First Farewell” was shot over four years as Lina documented her young protagonist’s life in her hometown of Xinjiang, calling into question the virtues of assimilating to mainstream culture, and what gets left behind through the process.
It’s produced by Shanghai Eternity Media & Culture Co., Tencent Pictures Cultural Media, Khorgos Mgtv.com Interactive Media, Beijing Medoc Film Group, Emei Film Group and Shanghai Bridgestream. Flash Forward Entertainment handles international sales.
Discovery U.K. has commissioned “Children of the Cult,” a new five-part true crime series revisiting the dramatic rise and fall of the Children of God cult in the U.K. in the 1970s and the ensuing criminal investigations of several of its members.
Events which unspooled in the half-century after the cult’s founding are shown through the first-person accounts of three British women who were born into the organization but managed to escape and eventually bring their abusers to justice.
Clare Laycock, senior VP, head of lifestyle and entertainment brands at Discovery ordered the series, which was commissioned by Charlotte Reid. Bernie Kay will executive produce for Mentorn Media, with Hugh Ballantyne directing and Alicia Kerr editing.
Drama Team, in association with ITV Studios and HOT, have kicked off shooting on their new thriller series “Jerusalem,” created by “Blank Bullet’s” David Ackerman.
Inspired by Ackerman’s previous career in national security and the multicultural nature of the city, “Jerusalem” unspools in the lead up to the Jewish fast of Tisha Be’av and the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha. It turns on Superintendent Amir, a well educated and culturally literate lawman who too often puts his work ahead of his own family, especially as he and his officers race to prevent a devastating event which threatens the Old City.
Ilan Abudi (“Stockholm”) directs with Chaim Sharir (“Hostages”) and Mosh Danon (“What Happened in Olso”) producing. The series’ all-star cast is headlined by Doron Ben David (“Fauda”) and Rotem Sela (“The Chef”).
The British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) announced winners of its nine craft categories with “His House” and “Misbehaviour” topping the day, each scooping two prizes.
Debut filmmaker Remi Weekes’ “His House” scored an impressive 16 total BIFA nominations this year and notched its first two wins over the weekend for Best Effects (Pedro Sabrosa and Stefano Pepin) and Best Production Design (Jacqueline Abrahams). “Misbehaviour,” Philippa Lowthorpe’s revisiting of the Women’s Liberation Movement, was recognized for its costume design (Charlotte Walter) and makeup and hair (Jill Sweeney).
Other prizes went to Lucy Pardee for her work in casting “Rocks,” “Saint Maud” DP Ben Fordesman for cinematography and Yorgos Lamprinos who edited “The Father.” Riz Ahmed’s “Mogul Mowgli” scored best music thanks to the efforts of composer Paul Corley, while Best Sound went to Nick Ryan, Ben Baird and Sara De OIiveira Lima for “The Reason I Jump.”
The Red Sea International Film Festival has opened the call for applicants to its Red Sea Lodge training, mentorship, creative and professional development program.
Now in its second year, the program invites 12 project teams, six from Saudi Arabia and six more from across the Arab world, of directors, producers and screenwriters to participate in five workshops over eight months, four virtual and one online, and to compete for one of two $100,000 prizes. All participating projects are also eligible to apply for financing through the festival in a new format which allows the Lodge to back more projects.
Applications for filmmakers working on their first or second feature project are open from Jan. 25 through Feb. 27.
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