BBC Studios Inks First-Look Deal With Gobstopper Group
BBC Studios has signed a first-look deal with Gobstopper Group, the company behind MTV’s Just Tattoo of Us and Revenge Prank With DJ Pauly D & Vinny. As part of its expansion plans, Gobstopper Group has launched Mermaid Studios in Belfast, helmed by Paddy Mckenna, the former head of development at Sony-owned Stellify, and Neil Dimmock, who joins from BBC One’s Sunday Morning Live. Gobstopper exited Keshet-owned production group Greenbird last year via a management buyout. Keshet International previously had a first-look deal with the company.
New Saudi Regional Film Commission
A new regional film commission is launching in Saudi Arabia, Film AlUla, which is being set up by The Royal Commission for AlUla in the northwest region of the country. As the country continues to invest heavily in its film and TV industry, the new body will promote the region, which is roughly the size of Belgium, in a bid to attract production. AlUla contains a UNESCO world heritage site, Hegra, and also boasts wilderness, desert oases and several microclimates, as well as its historic central city of the same name. The commission said that financial incentives will be available to producers.
Climate-Focused Doc Fund
The UK’s Doc Society has launched a global fund that will supporting stories and impact campaigns focused on climate and biodiversity. The Climate Story Unit will oversee a fund which will have an initial two applications this year. The first round closes on March 4 and the second will run in the Fall. The grant pot available for round one is $800,000 and will support 6-8 projects with grants ranging between $20,000 and $100,000 per project. The projects can be long form, shorts, and episodic documentaries, as well as podcasts and AR/VR. Stories will be prioritized that embody inclusion and diversity across team and subject matter, and exercise responsible practices when engaging story participants and communities. “Our board and team saw no other option than to commit a major part of our time, energy and resources to meet the growing ecological crisis, which is also a racial and social equity crisis,” said Jess Search, Doc Society Co-founder. “We are proud to have launched our Climate Story Unit under the leadership of Megha Agrawal Sood.”
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