NBCUniversal Inks TV Series Deal With Lovefilm
Amazon’s European service LoveFilm has secured an agreement with NBCUniversal International TV Distribution to deliver audiences on-demand access to hundreds of episodes of iconic American TV. Deal includes recent and library titles including comedies like the U.S. version of The Office starring Steve Carrell and 30 Rock starring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. Deal also includes NBCU science fiction dramas like Heroes as well as David Hasselhoff’s 1980s cult TV classic Knight Rider. Lovefilm’s latest major studio deal follows agreements with ABC, BBC and ITV.
Dominic Cooper To Play Ian Fleming In Miniseries
British actor Dominic Cooper has been cast as 007 creator/author Ian Fleming in a four-part biopic for BSkyB’s Sky Atlantic. The miniseries tentatively titled Fleming is set during World War II when British Naval Intelligence recruited the future author for its undercover campaign against the Nazis, according to Deadline sibling Variety. Fleming’s wartime experience inspired his creation of the British who first appeared in print in Casino Royale in 1953. Ecosse Films is producing the mini written by John Brownlow and Don Macpherson and directed by Mat Whitecross. It will film in the UK and Budapest and air on Sky Atlantic this year.
‘The Frackman’ Focuses On Australia Gas Controversy
Director Richard Todd is shooting The Frackman, a theatrical documentary scripted by John Collee that focuses on Australia’s contentious coal seam gas issue, which involves a process somewhat similar to the extraction of natural gas from shale. The protagonist is Queensland landowner and pig shooter Dayne ‘The Frackman’ Pratzky, a prominent campaigner against CSG mining. Todd has filmed some scenes in the U.S. when Pratzky met with his friend Josh Fox who made GasLand. Screen Queensland and Screen West are investors, Hopscotch eOne is the Australian distributor and international rights are being handled by U.S.-based Cargo Entertainment. Producers are Simon Nasht, and Trish Lake. It’s a topical issue in Oz as several CSG operators plan to mine large tracts of the country, including outer suburban areas. - Don Groves
Hong Kong Creates Fund Competition For New Filmmakers
Hong Kong’s government today announced an initiative designed to support first-time filmmakers, Film Business Asia reports. Create Hong Kong will establish a competition for screenplay and production proposals that seeks to identify new talent, newly appointed Chief Exec CY Leung announced. Winning directors and their teams will receive full funding for their projects — up to a maximum $520,000 (HK$4 million) — from the Film Development Fund. The existing fund partners with other investors and is allowed to provide up to 40% of the budget for films costing less than $1.94 million (HK$15 million). In late 2012 the territory’s government auditor critically examined CreateHK’s Film Development Council, but Leung offered continued backing.