‘My Octopus Teacher’ Indie CCO Allison Bean Moves To Wildflame
Allison Bean, Chief Creative Officer of My Octopus Teacher producer Off the Fence (OTF), is moving to Welsh factual indie Wildflame Productions. As Creative Director, Bean will drive Wildflame’s international push, with the indie having been behind the likes of Discovery+’s Brink of Disaster and Smithsonian Channel’s Secrets of the Celtic Grave. Bean has spent 16 years with ZDF Enterprises-owned OTF, overseeing the likes of Oscar-winning feature My Octopus Teacher and Stan Lee’s Superhumans for History. She was hailed as a “major figure in the international production and distribution industry,” by Paul Islwyn Thomas, Wildflame CEO, who “built the business from its inception to an internationally renowned powerhouse of factual production.”
Queer Charity Out On Screen Launches Programming Fellowship
EXCLUSIVE: Charity and queer arts organization Out On Screen has launched its inaugural Programming Disruptor Fellowship, a mentorship initiative for BIPOC 2SLGBTQIA+ film curators. Through the fellowship, three emerging film programmers who identify as BIPOC 2SLGBTQIA+ will receive $10,000 and the opportunity to be an integral part of the curation of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival 2023, where selected fellows will be credited as Festival Programmers. The initiative is led by Out On Screen’s Artistic Director, Charlie Hidalgo. Applications are open until January 13 to programmers across Canada. Hidalgo said: “This Fellowship will empower BIPOC 2SLGBTQIA+ curators to give a platform to the voices that are questioning systems of oppression and reshaping our culture.” 2S refers to Two-Spirit, a modern umbrella term used by some Indigenous people in North America (what they term Turtle Island) to describe gender-variant individuals in their communities
Banijay Ups Helen Greatorex To Head Of Format Acquisitions
Banijay has moved swiftly to replace Head of Format Acquisitions Carlotta Rossi Spencer with Senior Global Development Producer Helen Greatorex. Rossi Spencer’s move to oversee Banijay’s global branded content push was unveiled yesterday and Greatorex will step into her shoes, taking charge of bringing in non-scripted titles with hit potential for the French-headquartered super-indie’s catalog. Greatorex, a former Endemol Shine Group Acquisitions Manager who has been in the Senior Global Development Producer post for just more than a year, will continue reporting to Global Head of Content Development James Townley. “Helen has long been an integral part of the team and it’s great to have her taking on the acquisition reins,” said Townley. “Her content know-how is extensive, and her ability to recognise an emerging hit is like no other.”
Uncork’d Entertainment Acquires ‘Firenado’ & Spanish Horror
EXCLUSIVE: LA’s Uncork’d Entertainment has acquired Firenado, a disaster movie from filmmakers Scott Jeffrey and Rhys Frake-Waterfield (Blood and Honey). The film follows four scientists who uncover a ground-breaking technology capable of controlling weather, which malfunctions and creates a fire tornado, and then stumble on an organized crime home invasion while trying to assist an evacuation. Keith Leopard, President of Uncork’d, negotiated the deal with Dark Abyss Productions ahead of an early 2023 release. In further news, Uncork’d has acquired Spanish horror anthology film set Vampus Horror Tales, which feature segment from the likes of Victor Matellano, Isaac Berrocal and Manuel Martínez Velasco. Set on Halloween night, it introduces Vampus, a gravedigger and body snatcher, who introduces “four twisted tales of love, murder and assorted horrific acts.” Betina Goldman of One Eyed Films negotiated the deal with Leopard.
Discovery Heads To Iceland For ‘Ice Cold Catch’
Discovery U.S. and Discovery+ are shining a spotlight on Icelandic cod fishing via a Deadliest Catch-esque factual series from UK indie Renowned Films. Ice Cold Catch will follow the rookie greenhorns who seek to pilot Icelandic longline boats and make their fortune in freezing, treacherous waters. The greenhorns must pass a gruelling three-week trial and if they impress their captains and crew mates with their attitude, endurance and potential, they may be awarded a place on board through the high season. Renowned already makes Copwatch America for BET and Backyard Envy for Bravo. “Both the filming teams and the fishermen on board those boats went above and beyond to deliver a truly remarkable series that, despite multiple lockdowns and challenges, is gripping, revealing and reveals the brutal beauty of fishing in Iceland,” said exec Kate Maddigan.
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