Directors’ Fortnight has added a special screening title to its lineup for this year’s event which kicks off at the Cannes Film Festival next month. The Nothing Factory, by Portugal’s Pedro Pinho, is described as a riff on the subject of industrialization, unemployment and the workers’ struggle. Fortnight chief Edouard Waintrop calls it “a highly original film oscillating between intimate drama, social realist comedy and the occasional musical number.” Pinho is also a cinematographer whose credits include 2008’s Bab Septa and 2013’s Un Film Du Mundo.
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is set to honor composer James Newton Howard with its Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema. An opening ceremony concert will be conducted by the Oscar and Golden Globe nominee, and Grammy and Emmy winner, with music from Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Also receiving special Crystal Globes at the 52nd KVIFF are directing/screenwriting collaborators Ken Loach and Paul Laverty whose I, Daniel Blake won the Palme d’Or in Cannes last year. Among other honorees is filmmaker Vaclav Vorlicek who is receiving the President’s Award for Artistic Contribution to Czech Film. Further, the fest will world premiere the digitally-restored version of 1966 Oscar winner The Shop On Main Street by Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos. KVIFF runs June 30-July 8.
FremantleMedia has acquired a 25% stake in UK indie Duck Soup Films. Formed by producers Libby Durdy, Bekki Wray-Rogers and Jessica Holyland whose credits include This Is England and Utopia, the Yorkshire-based company works across TV and film. It has won the BFI Vision Award and has received investments from Creative England and Channel 4. Fremantle has made a series of investments over the past 18 months including in such outfits as Gurinder Chadha’s Bend It TV, Abot Hameiri, Naked Entertainment and Man Alive Entertainment.
Meghan Lyvers has been named SVP, Co-Productions and Development, CBS Studios International. In her new post, Lyvers will relocate to the company’s EMEA headquarters in Amsterdam, reporting to Armando Nuñez, President and CEO, CBS Studios International, and David Stapf, President, CBS Television Studios. Lyvers, formerly a senior programming executive at CBS Television Studios, will develop opportunities in both the U.S. and the international market. She joined CBS as SVP Drama Development in 2014, working on such series as MacGyver, Bull and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Her other posts include as producer at Management 360 and VP Development and Production at Tribeca Productions.
Lenny Henry’s UK-based production company Douglas Road has optioned debut novel My Name Is Leon by Kit de Waal. The plan is to turn the uplifting 1980s-set story into a TV film. The book has been shortlisted for several prizes including the Costa First Novel Award. It won France’s Plume de Bronze Award for Fiction. Henry discovered the story, about a nine-year-old who finds a new family where he least expects it, when recording the audio book. Douglas Road was formed by Henry and BAFTA-winning producer Barbara Emile and in 2015 became part of the Endemol Shine Group.