BBC One’s ‘New Blood’ Sets Cast; ‘The Idol’ To Open Ajyal Youth Film Festival – Global Briefs

Mark Addy (Atlantis) and Anna Chancellor (The Hour) have been set to star alongside newcomers Mark Strepan and Ben Tavassoli in BBC One’s upcoming investigative crime drama New Blood. Created and written by Anthony Horowitz (Foyle’s War, Injustice), the story focuses on two junior investigators from different law enforcement units who are thrown together in contemporary London. Also joining the cast are Ariyon Bakare (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell), Kimberley Nixon (Critical), Mark Bonnar (Line Of Duty), Aiysha Hart (Atlantis) and Dorian Lough (Peaky Blinders). Addy plays an experienced police detective who has found himself left behind by younger and more ambitious officers, and his professional and personal bitterness causes problems for Rash (Tavassoli), who’s trying to learn from him. Chancellor’s character Eleanor Davies is the Director of the Serious Fraud Office and Stefan’s (Strepan) overall boss. Clever, tough, pragmatic and aware that her job is an impossible one, she relishes her work — but her personal life is not a happy one. Eleventh Hour Films is producing the seven part series.

Oscar winner Helen Mirren will be honored with the 2015 IFF Career Achievement Award at the Opening Night Gala of the 29th Israel Film Festival on October 28th at the Steve Tisch Cinema Center at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. “We are very proud to honor such an extraordinary talent as Helen Mirren, whose work inspires and emotionally moves millions of filmgoers around the world,” said Meir Fenigstein, Founder and Executive Director of IsraFest Foundation. Mirren most recently starred in Simon Curtis’ Woman in Gold, and nest appears in Trumbo and Eye in the Sky. Recent film credits 100 Foot Journey, Hitchcock, The Debt and The Last Station. She received an Academy Award, Golden Globe, SAG Award and BAFTA Award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006).

The third annual Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute, will open November 29 with the Middle East Premiere of The Idol. The film by Oscar-nominated Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad recently sold to Adopt Films for the U.S. (Full disclosure, Deadline’s Ali Jaafar is a producer.) The Idol tells the inspirational true story of Mohammad Assaf, an amateur singer from Gaza who became a worldwide sensation after winning the live-singing competition Arab Idol in 2013. The film had a successful world premiere in Toronto and is screening this week at the BFI London Film Festival. Other Middle East premieres will includeJafar Panahi’s Taxi, this year’s Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear winner; Cannes Un Certain Regard opener An, by Japanese director Naomi Kawase; Tigers from Oscar winner Danis Tanović; and Nanni Moretti’s Mia Madre.

Pathé has begun principal photography on Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom. The film will shoot for seven weeks in Botswana and the UK. Guy Hibbert wrote the script based on the book Colour Bar by Susan Williams. David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Jack Davenport, Terry Pheto, Tom Felton, Arnold Oceng, Jack Lowden and Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael star. The epic love story is based on true events. In 1947, Seretse Khama (Oyelowo), the 26-year-old King of Botswana, fell in love with Ruth Williams (Pike), a 26-year-old London office worker. Their marriage was opposed not only by their respective families but also by the British and South African governments. But Seretse and Ruth defied family, apartheid and Empire to triumph over every obstacle flung in their path and in so doing they transformed the poorest country in Africa into one of its most peaceful and prosperous. The film is produced by Rick McCallum, Brunson Green, Justin Moore-Lewy, Charlie Mason, Peter Heslop and Oyelowo. Pathé’s Cameron McCracken, BBC Films’ Christine Langan, the BFI’s Ben Roberts, Ingenious Media’s Eleanor Clark Windo and Hibbert exec produce. Pathé has UK and French rights and is selling in the rest of the world.

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