International Insider: Bonjour Cannes Film Fest, Au Revoir MIPTV; Southeast Asia Deep Dive; Believe In ‘Bluey’

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Good afternoon Insiders, thanks for always sticking with us. Max Goldbart here talking you through a packed week in the global entertainment world. Read on, and sign up here.

Bonjour Cannes Film Fest

More from Deadline

Here they come: Cannes head Thierry Frémaux delivered a strong selection of titles Wednesday that will make up the festival’s 77th edition, running May 14 to 25, as the eagerly-awaited Cannes presser took place and Deadline kept you well informed. One of them we already knew – Francis Ford Coppola’s much-discussed epic Megalopolis, which Mike Fleming revealed earlier this week. Other filmmakers set for competition slots include Ali Abbasi, who brings The Apprentice, a feature pic about the early life of Donald Trump. Andrea Arnold returns with Bird, starring Barry Keoghan, and Jacques Audiard’s latest, Emilia Perez, a musical with Selena Gomez will also debut on the Croisette. Elsewhere, Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino returns with ParthenopePoor Things filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos will launch Kinds of Kindness, his latest collab with Emma Stone. David Cronenberg returns with The Shrouds, and Paul Schrader will debut Oh Canada starring Jacob Elordi, Uma Thurman, and Richard Gere.

English-language presence: Notably, there’s a strong English-language and American presence in the main competition, with a whopping 10 English-language titles in contention. That’s more than half the Competition. Frémaux described the high number as a  “coincidence” in a short interview with Mel following the announcement. Amongst the familiar names, however, there were still some international discoveries to be found. Two relatively new female filmmakers, Agathe Riedinger and Payal Kapadia landed competition spots with their respective features All We Imagine as Light and Wild Diamond. There was also a strong showing from Chinese filmmakers, which Frémaux noted at yesterday’s presser as a welcome return for a country that has been less present on the international film stage of late. There are three Chinese filmmakers in the lineup and another from Hong Kong. There is also a first Somali film. And Saudi Arabia landed its first spot at Cannes with Norah, by Saudi director Tawfik Alzaidi, which debuted last year at the Red Sea Film Festival. Check out Andreas’ analysis for more.

Big studio titles: Surprisingly, Frémaux didn’t announce any more big studio titles set for those coveted out-of-competition slots. The festival has already locked George Miller’s Furiosa and Kevin Costner’s Horizon: An American Saga. As customary, the festival will continue to announce new titles in the coming weeks and Frémaux said we should expect up to 10 movies to be added to the festival schedule. We’re also still waiting on the announcement of this year’s Competition jury, which Barbie filmmaker Greta Gerwig will lead. We have truly entered the Cannes run-in.

Au Revoir MIPTV

To London we turn: And then there was one… MIP event per year in Cannes. The 61st and final MIPTV concluded earlier this week on a somewhat emotional note but with little surprise attached to the sentiment. Numbers were well down on last year, although this gave attendees the opportunity to spend more time in meetings and enjoy a bit of the Cannes sunshine (and also weather some Cannes rain) – maybe the thing shouldn’t cease to exist after all. As has been well publicized by this fair website, the RX-organized event is packing its bags and moving to the English capital from 2025 to run concurrent with the London TV Screenings. More information was incoming about the shape MIP London will take and by the end of the confab some of the questions posed by all and sundry at the beginning had been answered. Based at the Savoy Hotel and IET from February 24 to 27, the target will be distributors that want to be in London but do not have a base there. These sales houses will pay a fee to rent out areas, suites and join networking hubs in the area, and buyers and delegates will be invited in. RX chief Lucy Smith said conversations are taking place over the future of MIPDoc and opportunities for the children’s TV community, with more updates incoming. She grew visibly emotional when bidding farewell to the confab that launched in 1963, although she acknowledged negative feedback such as “It’s about time” and “What were you waiting for?,” so there was understanding of the unease that had been growing around MIPTV’s existence for some time. We await more info on MIP London. For now, read all our MIPTV coverage here including big deals for The Traitors distributor All3Media International, Embankment Films and Israel’s Keshet, and a sales launch for James Norton’s new show.

Canneseries rolls on: The future of Canneseries, which has itself been running concurrent with MIPTV for seven years, remains very much a live question. While MIPTV was clearly on its way out, Canneseries had its buzziest lineup to date, attracting the likes of Michael Douglas, Daniel Brühl and Kyle MacLachlan to promote big streamer launches Franklin, Becoming Karl Lagerfeld and Fallout respectively. Canneseries insiders were clear that the fest will continue unencumbered by the changes to MIP and attendees were speculating as to whether it could move in the calendar closer to either October’s MIPCOM Cannes or the Cannes Film Festival. Screenings were well attended and, while it is nowhere near the size of its bigger movie sibling, it very much had the feel of a fest on the up. On the ground, Stewart and I spoke with the likes of Douglas, Brühl and Canneseries jury president Sofie Gråbøl, whose jury opted for Succession-esque German family drama The Zweiflers for the top prize.

Southeast Asia Deep Dive

Prime Video and Disney+ have stopped commissioning originals in Southeast Asia
Prime Video and Disney+ have stopped commissioning originals in Southeast Asia

Row backs: If you didn’t know much about the streaming landscape in Southeast Asia, then you will by the time you’ve finished Jesse and Sara’s excellent analysis. The piece is a tale of what happens when huge U.S. players enter and then swiftly exit a region sizzling with talent. Southeast Asia at one point was deemed a key growth area for the likes of Prime Video and Disney but the money has drained away as these global players have retrenched. Netflix remains the only major American streamer still commissioning across a region that incorporates the likes of Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Unsurprisingly, local industries have been hit hard but Jesse and Sara teased out some possibly more surprising knock-on effects of the row backs, which can be read lower down in the piece. At present, producers are in talks to buy back the rights to their content with Disney and Prime Video, with several starting to re-package projects to pitch to other potential buyers. This was a story that needed telling.

Black Actors Defend Francesca Amewudah-Rivers 

Francesca Amewudah-Rivers
Francesca Amewudah-Rivers

“Deplorable racial abuse”: The casting of up-and-coming star Francesca Amewudah-Rivers opposite Tom Holland in a West End production of Romeo & Juliet should have been met with celebration but, as is all too often the case in the culture wars era, it was instead met with a dollop of nastiness. In response, almost 900 Black actors signed an open letter Wednesday decrying the horrendous abuse that Amewudah-Rivers has faced on social media since the casting anno, with signatories including No Time to Die star Lashana Lynch and Enola Holmes’ Susan Wokoma. “The racist and misogynistic abuse directed at such a sweet soul has been too much to bear,” they said. It is simply devastating to see such a young, budding star be hit with this torrent. The Jamie Lloyd Company, which is behind the Romeo & Juliet play, also defended Amewudah-Rivers. Not that we needed it, but in other culture wars-related news, a Daily Telegraph columnist questioned the “absurd decision” to cast Egyptian-born Amir El-Masry as her ancestor Thomas Wyatt in the upcoming Wolf Hall Season 2. The late, great Hilary Mantel, who wrote the source material, had previously argued that “we must take on board the new thinking” of representative casting.

Believe In ‘Bluey’

Everyone’s favorite heeler dog: Jesse sat down with the creator of everyone’s favorite heeler dog this week, and I can tell you with a fair bit of certainty that he’d been looking forward to this one. The big question on fans’ lips was of course what is happening to the potential Bluey movie and Joe Brumm let us know that 30-minute special ‘The Sign’ — four times the length of regular episodes that launches in a few days — will play a key role in what shapes the story of anthropomorphic Australian sisters Bluey and Bingo in the longer form. “I’m loving going longer on ‘The Sign’, and I’d love to try to go longer — I definitely would not rule that out,” he said. Bluey‘s success cannot be overstated. The series is a global smash that delights kids AND adults around the world and is testament to the power of storytelling. And if that’s not enough to give you paws for thought (sorry), then dive deeper here.

The Essentials

Anthony Hopkins and Noa Cohen
Anthony Hopkins and Noa Cohen

🌶️ Hot OneFilming has wrapped in Morocco on biblical thriller Mary starring Anthony Hopkins as King Herod and emerging Israeli actress Noa Cohen as Mary.

🌶️ Another: The Night Manager is back, with a supercharged two-season order from the BBC and Amazon.

🌶️ Hot hot: Matthieu Kassovitz is returning to directing for passion project The Big War – the first pic he has helmed in 13 years.

🍿 Box office: Nancy has been reporting from CinemaCon in Las Vegas amid an increase in the global box office projection for 2024 to $32.3B.

🌎 Global Breakout: Hannah Abraham spotlighted Gangnam Project, the Canadian-British kids co-pro that taps into the phenomenon that is K-pop.

💵 Auction: Donations to the Cinema For Gaza auction topped $200,000, with Joaquin Phoenix, Spike Lee and Olivia Colman memorabilia put up for sale.

🗳️ ElectionLine: Jake sat down with British broadcasting alums Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel.

📖 Review: For Back to Black, critic-splitting Amy Winehouse pic from Sam Taylor-Johnson.

🤝🏻 Done deal: Netflix tied with the Colombian duo behind The Hijacking of Flight 601.

🏪 Agencies: CAA centralized its global TV division to the U.S. and UK.

🏆 Awards latest: Saltburn’s Alison Oliver was among the The Irish Film And TV Academy’s rising star nominees.

Festivals latest: Israeli film festival Seret criticized its longtime UK partners for backing out of this year’s event.

🎥 Trail: Netflix’s French language thriller Under Paris got a bit Jaws-y

Zac Ntim contributed to this week’s Insider

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.