I gotta hand it to Sandy: he’s reinvented himself more times than Madonna. (Remember when he took that job with Ovitz’s ill-fated TeleTV?) So now the former Fox TV Entertainment Group chairman is running a global digital entertainment studio for aspiring filmmakers launching today with film producer Deepak Nayar (Bend it Like Beckham, Buena Vista Social Club). It’s called Filmaka, and the hype is hilarious: it’s “a new model for developing entertainment properties, and identifying and rewarding talent. Filmaka is committed to inspiring, celebrating, and rewarding creativity and talent by providing professional opportunities for undiscovered filmmakers and writers from all corners of the world through a variety of competitions that are juried by industry leaders.” Sounds like yet another opportunity to raise and then dash the hopes and dreams of Hollywood wannabes. Cruel fun.
A side note: there’s no need for résumé inflation in these kinds of announcements. Sandy Grushow has a fine showbiz pedigree, but he was not “responsible” for American Idol. It was Rupert’s kid, Elisabeth Murdoch, who loved the 2001 British monster hit Pop Idol and lobbied Daddy to put it on the air after Grushow told the show’s producers that Fox wouldn’t even pay a license fee for the program. Only a direct order from Rupert himself to Peter Chernin to Grushow got American Idol launched on Fox. Facts are facts.