Majority Of UK Screen Biz From ‘Privileged’ Families; BFI Player Classics U.S. Launch; Keshet & Key Talent Adapt ‘The Blind’; Sky’s ‘Devils’ S2 Underway – Global Briefs

Tom Grater
·4 min read

UK Screen Industries Survey Highlights Socio-Economic Imbalance
A new survey has found that the majority of people working in the UK’s screen industries are from a background that is classified as ‘privileged’. The survey, conducted by the Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre and backed by ScreenSkills, analyzed data from the latest edition of the Office for National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey in 2019. Their research found that 53% of those surveyed from the screen industries, including the film, TV and games businesses, were from a privileged background. Looking specifically at the careers of key creative roles, specified here as arts officers, producers and directors, the number rose to 61%. That was in comparison with 38% across all industries. The definition of having a privileged background is those who had at least one parent whose job was a higher or lower managerial, administrative or professional occupation. In contrast, the screen industries employed only 25% from a ‘working class’ background, i.e. those whose parents were employed in routine or semi-routine occupations, or who were long-term unemployed, compared to 38% across the wider economy. The survey identified a total of 12 points in a person’s career where it said class-based inequality or exclusion could occur. It also outlined six strategic priorities to address the issues and better balance the industries, including setting targets for diversity hiring, and enacting a better talent pipeline for those from working class backgrounds. You can see the full survey here.

BFI Player Classics Launches In The U.S.
The British Film Institute is launching its classics-focused VOD platform in the U.S. as a standalone service for the first time. BFI Player Classics will offer a curated selection of 200+ British or British co-produced movies, from Hitchcock to Loach. Alongside some of the marquee titles – such as Ridley Scott’s debut Boy And Bicycle, David Lean’s Hobson’s Choice, Ken Russell’s French Dressing and Carol Reed’s The Third Man – there will also be a selection of films that pushed the boundaries of cinema, pioneering the exploration and representation of issues such as race, gender, sexuality and disability, including movies from Horace Ové (Pressure), Laura Mulvey (Riddles of the Sphinx), Ron Peck (Nighthawks, and Strip Jack Naked); Menelik Shabazz (Burning an Illusion), Sally Potter (The Gold Diggers), and Gurinder Chadha (I’m British But…). The service will available for $5.99 per month, after a seven-day free trial, through the BFI’s official website. “BFI Player Classics brings together a collection of British films – the cinematic DNA of the UK – that is essential for anyone who wants to see and understand the best of British film,” said Robin Baker, Head Curator at the BFI National Archive. “Alongside well-known classics, the Oscar-winners and the box office hits are many real discoveries. The collection is also an insider’s guide to the places and cultures of the UK across the last 100 years – from the famous Ealing comedies to the infamous Carry-On films, to Britain’s delight in its home-grown horror films.” You can watch a new trailer for the content here:

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Keshet & Key Talent To Adapt ‘The Blind’
EXCLUSIVE: Keshet International, the global production and distribution arm of the Israeli media company, is teaming with Los Angeles and New York based outfit Key Talent Management to co-develop a feature based on a short story written by the Jewish writer, playwright and poet Jacob Steinberg. Originally published in 1912 by Der Fraynd newspaper, The Blind centers on Hannah, a visually impaired woman who, through an arrangement instigated by her parents, marries a man who she is led to believe will provide a stable and happy life. Finding herself trapped and isolated in her new union, Hannah soon makes some devastating discoveries about her new husband, quickly realizing that Israel is not the man she thought she’d married. “We are thrilled to be working with Keshet International to bring this compelling thriller to screen. With its unexpected twists and turns, The Blind is a story that deserves to be brought to wider audiences, as it inspires hope and champions the strength of the female spirit,” said Key Talent found Tal Drori.

‘Devils’ Underway On Season 2
Sky’s Patrick Dempsey financial thriller Devils has commenced filming on an eight-part second season. The show, which aired on The CW in America, co-stars Alessandro Borghi and is set in the world of global finance. It is produced by Sky Italia and Lux Vide in collaboration with Sky Studios, Orange Studio, and OCS. Frank Spotnitz’s Big Light Productions has also joined Season 2 as a co-producer. Joining the cast are Li Jun Li (Damages), Joel de la Fuente (Law & Order), and Clara Rosanger (The Rain). Devils Season 2 will be directed by Nick Hurran (Sherlock) and Jan Maria Michelini (I Medici). The writers include Spotnitz, James Dormer, Naomi Gibney, and Caroline Henry.

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