Screen Ireland has revealed a further round of stimulus measures to support the sector during the pandemic. The new measures are designed to aid production companies and creative talent in developing slates that are ready to move into production once lockdown measures lift. The measures include a slate development fund valued up to €3M; an additional €1M in development support; financial planning support up to €150k total; and a funding scheme for skills development. As part of the investment, Screen Skills Ireland has repurposed two of its funding schemes. The Festivals and Events Funding Scheme has been repurposed as a Skills Development Events Funding Scheme and The International Bursary Award Scheme has been repurposed as a Bursary Award Scheme to support industry professionals to take online skills development courses. Screen Skills Ireland will also introduce two new funding schemes. Additionally, 90% of funding is being provided upfront on all development loans to Irish screenwriters and production companies through to 31st May 2020. Existing development and production loan offers which are due to expire in the coming months are being extended to 31st May 2020, and marketing and distribution support has been provided for upcoming Irish film and TV releases.
Tim Roth To Star In NZ Boxing & Identity Drama 'Punch', The Yellow Affair Launches For Virtual Toronto Market
Channel 4 has commissioned Dragonfly Film & TV (part of EndemolShine UK) to deliver fast-turnaround observational documentary series, Pandemic: On The Frontline (w/t). Filmed across three weeks, the three-part documentary series will chart how West Midlands Ambulance Service is dealing with the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cameras will capture the day to day realities of the NHS as they manage the global pandemic on the frontline. The series will show the ambulance service dealing with more than four thousand 999 calls a day, which is a fifteen percent increase and up to eight thousand 111 calls a day, which is more than double the number of calls normally.
National Geographic has commissioned UK producer Blink Films to make three-part series X-Ray Earth. The show will follow top geologists and explore the latest scientific data from thousands of sensors across the globe to x-ray the deep interior of our planet and reveal hidden dangers within it. Blink creative directors Dan Chambers and Justine Kershaw said: “Earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions are all driven by hidden forces and faults deep inside the Earth. The crucial questions for scientists are when will they stir? What will they do? And how will it impact us? X-Ray Earth uses the latest technology and the world’s leading experts to give us the answers.” X-Ray Earth launches in the U.S. in spring and in the UK over the summer.
Scandi sales firm The Yellow Affair has acquired transgender drama TV series from New Zealand, Rurangi. The story follows trans activist Caz Davis who returns to the rural dairy community he fled ten years ago, hoping to reconnect with his father, who hasn’t heard from him since before Caz transitioned. As father and son slowly reconcile, Caz finds himself swept up in the environmental fight which is dividing the town. The show had a high number of gender-diverse people in creative and crew roles and it also had guidance from a trans consultation panel at each stage from draft script to final edit and featured training on gender and sexuality awareness. Max Currie directed, creators were Cole Meyers and Oliver Page with Cole Meyers serving as series writer. Producer was Craig Gainsborough for Autonomouse. The lead roles are played by Elz Carrad, Arlo Green, Āwhina Rose Henare Ashby, Kirk Torrance and Ramon Te Wake. The show was selected as part of the Berlinale Series Market and The Yellow Affair will commence sales immediately. The series is expected to be released in Aotearoa, New Zealand, in August 2020 via NZME.
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