UK and U.S.-based factual entertainment and wildlife producer Plimsoll Productions has acquired a minority stake in specialist distributor Magnify Media. Under the pact, Magnify, founded by former DRG Managing Director of Acquisitions and Formats, Andrea Jackson, will have exclusive rights to distribute Plimsoll’s catalogue. The company will also continue to work with third-party content. Plimsoll’s upcoming projects include Life At The Extreme With Davina MacCall. It is currently producing 23 series and over 125 hours of programming for both domestic and international networks, including The Story Of Cats for ITV and has a 50-hour order for Camp Zambia (Love Nature, Smithsonian, Blue Ant International). Jackson joins Plimsoll’s Creative Board and Senior Management Team.
BAFTA has opened applications to the BAFTA Scholarship Programme, which enables talented British citizens, who are in need of financial support, to take an industry-recognized course in film, TV or games in the UK. The deadline for applications for the 2016-17 academic year is June 17. Recipients are granted up to £12K towards course fees, as well as mentoring support from a BAFTA member, and free access to BAFTA events around the UK. Previous recipients include Daisy Jacobs, whose 2014 animated short, The Bigger Picture, won a BAFTA and was Oscar-nominated; and Ian Forbes who was cinematographer on BAFTA-winning animated short Edmond. For the 4th year running, three students will receive a Prince William Scholarship, supported by BAFTA and Warner Bros which comes with a work placement within the Warner Bros group of companies.
Japanese director Naomi Kawase has been names as President of the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Kawase is a previous Camera d’Or winner (1997’s Suzaku) and in 2015 opened Un Certain Regard with Sweet Bean. Her other features to run in the main competition include Shara, The Mourning Forest (Grand Prize), Hanezu and Still The Water. She was on the Competition jury in 2013. Kawase is also the founder of the International Nara Film Festival, dedicated to promoting the work of young directors
Jameson Parker has been appointed Director of Development at Vancouver-based Brightlight Pictures. Parker is an award-winning Canadian actor and producer, as well as a co-founder of Whiskaye Films. His credits include TV movie The Mechanics Of Love for Pixl, and sketch comedy pilot The Peter N’ Chris Show with Don Ferguson Productions. He most recently serves as Executive Producer on White Ninja, the first narrative series developed for Vine, starring Paul Scheer. Brightlight’s feature credits include the upcoming Little Pink House with Catherine Keener, Slither and The Wicker Man. President Shawn Williamson exec produced Sony’s The Interview and is a producer on Fox’s Wayward Pines.
Starz Worldwide Distribution has expanded its distribution agreement with Israel’s yes to include pay-TV and SVOD rights to The Girlfriend Experience and Ash Vs Evil Dead. The Girlfriend Experience will premiere on yes VOD on April 11, day-and-date with the U.S. broadcast. It will air the series weekly on yes Drama starting May 17. Ash vs Evil Dead will bow May 16 on yes Action and yes VOD, with the second season airing near day-and date with the 2016 U.S. premiere on Starz.