As Content Television expands its U.S. and international footprint, the company has made two key promotions. Saralo MacGregor will widen her role to include U.S. acquisitions and development alongside Jonathan Ford, who is taking the lead on the distributor’s worldwide sales. MacGregor, who was formely EVP Worldwide Distribution and joined Content in 2001 from NBC International, is now EVP Acquisitions, Development & Sales. She is based in LA and is charged with acquiring and developing content in the U.S. and Canada. She will continue to lead the company’s sales to Australia, New Zealand and Japan. In the U.S., Content has first-look deals with Peaky Blinders’ Caryn Mandabach Productions and with Edyson Entertainment. Ford, who previously managed the company’s EMEA television sales and oversaw worldwide digital and on-demand sales, has been named EVP Sales & Distribution. Based in London, he now oversees worldwide sales across the Content Television and Content Digital divisions. Prior to joining Content in 2006, Ford worked for Sony Pictures Television International as Director Digital Initiatives.
In memory of award-winning Italian director and screenwriter Francesco Rosi, who died Saturday in Rome, the Berlin Film Festival will screen 1970’s Uomini Contro (Many Wars Ago) in its upcoming program. The anti-war drama takes place on the mountainous Austrian-Italian front during World War I. A Palme d’Or winner for 1972’s Il Caso Mattei and a Golden Lion laureate for Hands Over The City, which Venice screened again in 2013, Rosi stories often were based on real people who in their quest for power met their downfall. “The loss of Francesco Rosi is the loss of an outstanding filmmaker,” says Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick. “With their explosive power, Rosi’s films are still persuasive today. His works are classics of politically engaged cinema.” Rosi won the Silver Bear for Best Director in Berlin in 1962 with Salvatore Giuliano and was granted an Honorary Golden Bear in 2008.
After last week’s commission of Apocalypse Slough, Sky1 has ordered another ambitious drama, Fungus The Bogeyman. The four-part series based on Raymond Briggs’ classic family story will be produced by Imaginarium Studios, in partnership with Double Negative’s TV department, DNeg TV. A mix of live-action and animation, Fungus The Bogeyman is an adventure story of smelly monsters, dangerous humans and what happens when the things that go bump in the night move in next door. The series is written by Tom MacRae (Threesome) and exec produced by Chloe Sizer and Jonathan Cavendish for Imaginarium Studios, and Cameron Roach for Sky. The series will be produced by Ben Evans (Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!) and directed by Catherine Morshead (Downton Abbey).
Acorn Productions, the UK rights and production arm of RLJ Entertainment, has entered into an new deal with drama producers Linda James (Valhalla Rising, Submarine) and Tim Vaughan (William And Mary, A Touch Of Frost) and their new London-based indie Sly Fox Productions. Acorn’s Hilary Strong and Basi Akpabio will work closely with James and Vaughan to develop and produce a broad slate of new drama for UK and U.S. broadcasters. Under the arrangement, RLJ Entertainment will take distribution rights in the finished programming created by Sly Fox.