The European Commission has reached an agreement with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft on a code of conduct to combat the spread of illegal online hate speech in Europe. Under terms of the agreement, the Internet companies have agreed to “quickly and efficiently” tackle such instances and establish internal procedures and staff training to guarantee that a majority of such content is assessed and removed within 24 hours. Tensions have risen in Europe in the wake of deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, and today’s move follows a joint statement in March by the extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council that said the commission would intensify work with IT companies to counter terrorist propaganda and develop a code of conduct by June. The EC definition of illegal online content is based on the Framework Decision on Combating Racism and Xenophobia, which criminalizes “public incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, color, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin.” The groups, however, also stressed today the need to defend the right to freedom of expression.
Principal photography starts in June on Borgen creator Adam Price’s Rides Upon the Storm, with casting now set. Lars Mikkelsen (House of Cards), Ann Eleonora Jorgensen (The Killing), Simon Sears (Follow the Money) and newcomer Morten Hee Andersen are starring. The 10-part faith-based drama from Denmark’s prolific public broadcaster DR is a co-production with Arte and Sam Le Français. The first season will air in 2017, with a second season set for fall 2018. The story focuses on a family of priests in the Church of Denmark and is inspired by Cain and Abel. Producer Camilla Hammerich says it “deals with the concept of faith in a broader context, namely as that which leads us through life. The awakening, when faith seizes us, and perdition, when faith abandons us, are the dramatic counterpoints … and the extremes between which our protagonists must navigate on their journeys.” Price’s Borgen has scooped several major awards and been sold in more than 80 countries. DR has been instrumental in the evolution of Danish drama, beginning with 2007’s The Killing, followed by the political intrigue of Borgen, family drama The Legacy and this year’s financial crime thriller Follow The Money. StudioCanal is selling Rides Upon the Storm worldwide.
Josh Lawson (House of Lies, Anchorman 2) is set to play that most iconic of Down Under exports, Paul Hogan, in a miniseries based on the Crocodile Dundee star. FremantleMedia Australia is producing for Australia’s Channel Seven. The story follows the one-time Harbour Bridge laborer who broke into Australian television and eventually the world stage — and scored an Best Screenplay Oscar nomination. Justine Clarke (Tangle, Time of Our Lives) and Ryan Corr (Banished) also are starring with Laura Gordon, Nikki Osborn, Sean Keenan and Marny Kennedy. The script is by Keith Thompson (The Sapphires) and Marieke Hardy (Packed to the Rafters). Production is underway in South East Queensland. FMA’s Jo Porter and Seven’s Julie McGauran are executive producers.
Finland’s Rabbit Films, founded by four friends better known as The Dudesons, has hired Jonathan Tuovinen to spearhead the company’s international distribution expansion plans. As Head of International, Tuovinen will manage global sales of Rabbit’s formats catalog together with U.S.-based Director of International Sales Jukka Hildén. Tuovinen previously was Director for Formats and Production at NBCUniversal International Studios, where he worked with such formats as Top Chef, Real Housewives, Hollywood Game Night, House, Law & Order and Monk. Rabbit’s original productions include musical comedy talent show King, adventure reality series Ultimate Expedition and entertainment show Posse. Rabbit also produces international formats locally including Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Saturday Night Live.