BAFTA is in China this week as part of a delegation attending the GREAT Festival of Creativity in Shanghai. The Duke of Cambridge, BAFTA’s president, opened the festival on Monday to start the UK season of the Year of Cultural Exchange that will celebrate UK and Chinese creative talent and help forge new business relationships between the nations. A first step announced today is a scholarship program that, beginning in 2016, will see the British academy offer financial support to Chinese and British nationals for studies in film, television or games as an international student in either the UK or China. In addition, the BAFTA Scholarship recipients will receive mentoring from industry professionals and access to BAFTA events.
Mel Brooks is bringing his shtick to the UK. A one-night-only Mel Brooks Live In London event will see the legendary EGOT winner take the stage at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London for his first-ever solo show in Britain. Mel Brooks Live In London is a Brooksfilms Limited and Corniche Pictures event and will take place on March 22. “It will be an evening the audience will never forget — whether they want to or not,” says Brooks.
ITV Studios Global Entertainment has signed the first international format deal for Star China’s primetime entertainment series Sing My Song. Vietnam’s VTV3 has commissioned a 10-episode local version of the series from Cattiensa Media, which will air in early 2016. ITVSGE has also signed a deal for 12 Yard’s primetime family entertainment format Big Star’s Little Star with VTV3. A 26-episode series will be made by Multimedia JSC for air in July in a Saturday evening slot. This is the second Asian deal for the format, after Korean channel JTBC commissioned its own version of the show. Sing My Song is a studio-based music contest, searching for the best original songs in the nation. Big Star’s Little Star features celebrities who team up with their young children to win as much money as possible for charity. In the UK, the second season on ITV was watched by an average of 3.8M viewers and had an 18 share.
The Doha Film Institute will welcome more than one hundred leading film industry professionals to Qatar later this week for the first edition of Qumra, a new event dedicated to the development of emerging filmmakers from Qatar and around the world, taking place from March 6-11. 29 projects at various stages of production have been selected to benefit from the experience of international film industry professionals in bespoke mentorship labs and meetings designed to propel their projects to the next stage. Doha Film Institute CEO, Fatma Al Remaihi said: “The projects selected for Qumra are by filmmakers we have worked very closely with over time through our grants and development programmes. We are in a unique position to catalyse their work to the next stage through this intensive programme which has been designed with each their individual needs in mind.”