Ahead of its Berlinale world premiere, Federation Entertainment’s thriller Bad Banks has scored sales in the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Produced by Letterbox Filmproduktion and Iris Productions, the six-part series is part of the Berlinale Series section which has ramped up over the past few years to bring television to the film festival. Set in the ruthless world of international finance and the stock market, Bad Banks has been sold to HBO Europe for all territories in Central Europe and Scandinavia and to Channel 4’s Walter Presents in the UK. RTE in Ireland, Sundance TV Iberia in Spain and Portugal, RTP in Portugal, SBS in Australia and Rialto in New Zealand have also acquired. The series was partly shot in Berlin and is written by Oliver Kienle (Stronger Than Blood, Four Hands) with Christian Schwochow (Paula, NSU German History X) directing. Paula Beer (Frantz) stars with Désirée Nosbusch, Tobias Moretti, Barry Atsma and Le Grand Bleu‘s Jean-Marc Barr.
Filming has wrapped on event series Das Boot, a co-production from Bavaria Fiction, Sky Deutschland and Sonar Entertainment. Inspired by the Oscar and Golden Globe nominated Wolfgang Petersen film, and Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s bestselling novel, the $32.8M production premieres at the end of 2018 in Sky territories with Sonar handling international distribution. Andreas Prochaska directed the large-scale series that features 79 actors and nearly 1,000 extras. Cast includes Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread), Tom Wlaschiha (Game Of Thrones), Lizzy Caplan (Masters Of Sex), Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men) and James D’Arcy (Marvel’s Agent Carter), among others. Das Boot is set in fall 1942 and follows two intertwined narratives. In occupied France, U-612 is ready for its maiden voyage, preparing to head into the increasingly brutal warfare with its young crewmen. As the 40 young men take on their first mission, they struggle with the cramped and claustrophobic conditions of life underwater. Meanwhile, at the port of La Rochelle, the world of Simone Strasser (Krieps) spirals out of control as she is engulfed in a dangerous liaison and forbidden love. Tony Saint (Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley) and Johannes W. Betz (Der Tunnel) are the head writers.
British distributor Cineflix Rights has acquired a raft of North American content ahead of its London showcase. The firm has struck deals with Fusion Media Group, the Disney/Univision joint venture; Vulcan Productions, the TV arm of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s philanthropy firm; and Canada’s Fahrenheit Films. From Fusion Media Group, Cineflix will distribute City Porn, a four-part series that goes behind the scenes of the sex industry in Las Vegas, Portland, San Francisco and New York. This follows Fusion’s previous doc Miami Porn. It has also picked up Vulcan’s one-off documentary The Cold Blue, which looks at the combat missions flown by the B-17 Memphis Belle over Europe. Finally, it has taken First Response: Paramedics, a 12-part ob-doc series from Fahrenheit Films. The deals were struck by Anthony Kimble, SVP, Co-Production and North American Acquisitions. Chris Bonney, CEO of Cineflix Rights, said, “Our London Showcase event is a great way of introducing our latest titles to buyers before we launch them at Mip TV, and I’m delighted to be boosting our 2018 slate with these diverse new shows from our North American and UK producer partners.”
Vivendi Entertainment has closed a series of offshore deals for its French gameshow Couple Or Not. The show, which was named by Deadline as one of the Ten International Formats To Watch For In 2018, has been picked up in Russia, Thailand and Hungary and is being developed in Spain and Italy. The show follows a pair of contestants having to figure out who is in a relationship and who isn’t, with five rounds and a final standing between them and a 50,000 euro cash prize. In Russia, Mastiff is producing 25 episodes for UTV; in Thailand, Channel 3 has ordered 26 episodes from production company Zense; and in Hungary, TV2 is producing a 25-episode order. Magnolia is developing it in Italy and Xanela Producciones is developing in Spain. The show was originally produced by Vivendi’s Flab Productions, for French network C8.