DNI Makes Deena Edwards SVP Global Branded Solutions
Discovery Networks International has named Deena Edwards SVP of global branded solutions. Edwards is an 18-year Discovery veteran who has worked in everything from sales to marketing and education. In 2010, she was promoted to SVP of integrated content for Discovery Channel and Science Channel. Her new role will see her spearhead the construction of global and regional branded entertainment solutions for advertising clients across original productions, digital media and Discovery Enterprises Intl. She’s based at Discovery HQ in Silver Spring, MD.
Made In Qatar Section Unveiled For Doha Tribeca Fest
Nineteen Qatari productions will be showcased at the upcoming Doha Tribeca Film Festival. The lineup of local fare is the largest since its launch in 2009. The Made in Qatar section is designed to highlight the nation’s emerging film industry and includes 15 world premieres. All 19 will compete for the development award that carries a $10,000 purse. The features are Jan Xavier Pacle’s Angel In June about a sweet young girl who develops a terrible illness in Doha’s Filipino community; Lockdown: Red Moon Escape, the first Arab zombie thriller directed by Mohammed Al-Ibrahim and Ahmed Al Baker and Lyrics Revolt, a documentary about the Arab Spring explored via hip-hop artists of the Middle East. Directors of the film that started as a student project at Qatar’s Northwestern University campus are Shannon Farhoud, Ashlene Ramadan, Melanie Fridgant, Rana Khaled Al Khatib. The Doha Tribeca Film Festival runs November 17-24.
Keshet Sells ‘Master Class’ Format
Keshet International, the sales arm of the company behind the original Israeli format for Homeland, has closed deals on its musical talent series Master Class. The show has been sold in to NICE in Sweden and Norway and to an undisclosed channel in Hungary. The territories will produce local versions of the format that’s headed into its second season in Israel. There, Tedy Productions makes the hourlong show that features children singing classic songs. In a twist, there are only positive critiques and no eliminations. The first season was Israel’s 2nd highest-rated show in 2011.
Steven Berkoff Joins ‘Frankenstein: A Deathly Odyssey’
Greece’s Minus Pictures has added veteran British actor Steven Berkoff to the cast of its Frankenstein: A Death Odyssey. The film is the fifth from Greek director Costas Zapas whose first four pictures will be screened in a retrospective at the upcoming Thessaloniki Film Festival. This latest take on Frankenstein will be shot in English on location in Greece. In The Mood For Love composer Shigeru Umebayashi is on the score. The film was part of the Toronto 2011 Producers Lab and centers on a reporter investigating the Frankenstein myth and a theater troupe performing the book.
Rogers Says It Might Cherry-Pick Astral Media Assets
Rogers Communications said today it would consider acquiring parts of Montreal-based specialty broadcaster Astral Media. Canada’s telecommunications regulator last week rejected BCE’s C$3 billion ($3 billion) bid as bad for consumers and giving too much control of Canadian broadcasting. BCE asked the government to overturn the October 18 decision by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission. Toronto-based Rogers, Canada’s largest wireless operator, would consider bidding for some parts of the company if BCE’s appeal fails. Astral’s assets include radio stations and more than 20 television channels including MusiquePlus and Super Ecran. Rogers’ most recent acquisitions include its acquisition with BCE of professional sports conglomerate Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. in August and its purchase last week of Score Media Inc.