As filming begins on new ITV drama Girlfriends, written by The Syndicate’s Kay Mellor, the supporting cast has been set to join leads Miranda Richardson, Zoe Wanamaker and Downton Abbey’s Phyllis Logan. From Rollem Productions, the contemporary six-part series follows three friends struggling with the responsibilities that come with being a modern woman of a certain age. Acorn Media Enterprises is the North American partner. Among the new cast are the Harry Potter series and Ripper Street‘s Matthew Lewis and You, Me & Them‘s Anthony Head; as well as a host of actors including Daisy Head (Guilt); Chris Fountain (Coronation Street); Steve Evets (This Is Us); Elena Saurel (Midsomer Murders); Thailia Zucchi (The Windsors); and Emmett J Scanlon (The Fall). Mellor also directs and exec produces, as does ITV’s Polly Hill. All3Media is handling international distribution.
About 1,100 movie theaters in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu shut down Monday, protesting a new entertainment tax. According to local media, cinema owners have gone on strike over a 30% levy at the municipal level, which would be in addition to the 28% Goods and Services tax that went into effect at the national level on Friday — meaning 58% of ticket sales could revert to the state and force increased prices. Tamil Nadu’s capital is Chennai, which is home to the Tamil (or Kollywood) film industry. “Theaters are shut due to our inability to pay taxes,” Abhirami Ramanathan, president of Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners and Distributors Association, was quoted as saying by local media. “We request the state government to sort out the confusion immediately,” he said. Should the taxes be maintained, there is fear that it will make going to the movies unaffordable for a vast majority. Discussions reportedly are underway to sort out the issue while producers are concerned that their films are not currently playing. Ivan Thanithirian producer Dhananjayan Govind tweeted the below and later urged the people of Tamil Nadu to wait until the situation is resolved rather than watch pirated versions: