ITV is shortly to begin production on Season 2 of Grantchester, for air in 2016. The period drama about a sleuthing vicar is produced by Lovely Day. James Norton is returning as Sidney Chambers, the charismatic, charming, crime-fighting clergyman, and Robson Green will return as his partner in crime, Police Inspector Geordie Keating. Also in the cast are Tessa Peake-Jones, Morven Christie, Kacey Ainsworth and Al Weaver. In the new season, which begins a year after the last concluded, Sidney and Geordie have to face up to the consequences of becoming such an accomplished crime-fighting duo. Six new episodes will be filmed in London, Cambridge, and Grantchester. The initial run averaged 6.6M viewers and a 24% share on ITV; Masterpiece co-produces and airs in the U.S. Lead writer is Daisy Coulam with John Jackson (Being Human) and Joshua St Johnston (The Enfield Haunting) also scripting. Endemol Shine International handles overseas distribution.
Sony Pictures Television Networks has acquired Dutch premium movie service Film1 following regulatory approval from the European Commission. SPTN now fully owns and operates the five premium pay-TV channels under the Film1 umbrella along with its Film1 Go service. The acquisition represents a key move into the Dutch market for SPT, where audiences are increasingly coveted from theatrical to home. All five Film1 channels continue to be carried on the Ziggo cable TV platform and include Film1 Premiere, Film1 Action, Film1 Comedy & Kids, Film1 Spotlight and Film1 Sundance, and feature premium movies from Dreamworks, Fox, Paramount, MGM and Warner Bros as well as the market’s leading independent film offer. The deal expands SPT Networks’ Western Europe footprint which also includes Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the UK and Ireland.
The Venice Film Festival is inaugurating a new policy, at least this year, for its Classics section. For the first time, the recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement has been given “carte blanche” to select some rare, forgotten or underestimated films for the sidebar. This year, Bertrand Tavernier, will speak to the public before the screenings of four masterpieces he has personally chosen as Guest Director. They are: Jean Grémillion’s 1949 Patte Blanches; Alberto Lattuda’s 1953 The Vixen; Pál Fejös’ 1933 Sonnenstrahl; and Michale Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1946 A Matter Of Life And Death. Tavernier is a connoisseur of classics as co-head of the Lumière Institute in France. Also, Italian director Francesco Patierno will chair the jury of film students which, for the third time, will award the Venice Classics Award for Best Restored Film and the prize for Best Documentary on Cinema. Among the restored masterpieces of the section this year are: Aleksandr Nevskiy by Sergei Eisenstein; Federico Fellini’s Amarcord; Akira Kurosawa’s Red Beard; Claude Chabrol’s Bitter Reunion; Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Boys From Feng-kuei; Ernst Lubitsch’s Heaven Can Wait; Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salò, Or The 120 Days Of Sodom; Hope by Yilmaz Güney; and We Want The Colonels by Mario Monicelli. Venice runs from September 2-12. The full lineup is coming July 29.
James Fox and Kitty Walshe have been appointed Joint Managing Directors of Remarkable Television. The Endemol Shine company makes such entertainment programs as Pointless, Deal Or No Deal, The Million Pound Drop and Two Tribes. The duo will have a remit to further expand the primetime lineup. Further, Susan King, current Head of Production at Remarkable, has been promoted to Director of Production. Fox has held numerous senior positions at Endemol Shine UK, most recently as Creative Director of Remarkable Games. Walshe joins from TwoFour where she was Head of Features and Daytime. Her credits include the recent commission of Dr Know for Channel 4. She previously worked at Remarkable as an executive producer on such shows as Secret Eaters, Gok’s Fashion Fix and Supersize Vs Superskinny.
Pinewood Studios Group has appointed Naoise Barry as Head of Production at Pinewood Productions Ireland. He joins from his current position as Film Commissioner for The Irish Film Board where he has worked for the past 14 years and established the Film Dublin Partnership and the Network of Regional Film Offices. Barry will take up his new position in mid-August.