ITV Studios’ Shiver has appointed Richard Hastings to the new role of Creative Director of Factual Entertainment, Formats and Daytime. The former BBC Entertainment exec created such programs as BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen, BBC Two’s The Hairy Bikers’ Cook Off and BBC Three’s Young Talent Of The Year. He will develop and producing new factual entertainment programming at Shiver, ranging from returning formats to factual-led entertainment for UK and international broadcasters. Shiver produces the vastly popular Come Dine With Me format.

downton abbey christmasIt’s never won a major BAFTA and has been nominated only once as Best Drama Series, but as Downton Abbey prepares its end with the upcoming sixth season, the period drama will be the subject of a BAFTA tribute and receive a Special Award this summer. On August 11, members of the cast and crew will attend the BAFTA Tribute to celebrate the series’ global success. The award will be presented in front of a live audience with the event filmed and co-produced by BAFTA and ITV Studios for broadcast on ITV later this year.

The Directors Guild Trust/Directors Guild of Great Britain, Directors UK and Stage Directors UK have joined forces to create a new charity. The Directors Charitable Foundation will draw on the experience and resources of the groups to focus on training and developing directing talent, promoting the art and craft of directing to a wide public and in due course on assisting professional directors in financial distress. The foundation will receive core funding from Directors UK and will actively participate in fundraising. Professor Vladimir Mirodan, Chair of the Directors Guild Trust, is Chair-elect of the Directors Charitable Foundation; Tom Roberts, Vice-Chair of Directors UK, is Vice Chair-elect and Piers Haggard, Chair of Stage Directors UK is also Vice Chair-elect.

Based in LA with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei, Los Angeles-Beijing Studios (LABS) has set itself a mission “to evolve the Hollywood studio system from the outside in with a strategic model focusing on china-and-hollywood__130605112955-150x150__130925193515__131105220131__131105231458merchandising, franchising and global co-productions.” LABS was co-founded by CEO Al Ovadia, who previously headed the licensing department and interactive division at 20th Century Fox and was EVP Consumer Products at Sony. Shenzhen-based Hotland Film Ventures, backed in part by Shenzhen Ventures, Beijing Film Academy and the Youth Film Studio in Beijing, has entered a joint venture with LABS, said to be worth more than $300M for initial China-U.S. co-production funding. Hotland says it aims to raise a total of $1.6B. LABS says it has lined up Frank Marshall to executive produce an animated China-U.S. co-pro feature from its Funtoon division. Elsewhere, it has over 100 intellectual properties in its development pipeline led by producer and LABS exec Sriram Das. Of those, there are about 20 completed screenplays in the works including sci-fi, fantasy, animation, action-adventure and star-driven thrillers. Co-production status has not yet been determined.