Channel 4 Visits ‘Murder Island’; Breaking Through The Lens Opens For 2021; Christina Ricci Thriller; Discovery+ Doubles Down On ‘Faking It’ — Global Briefs

By Jake Kanter, Tom Grater

The Victim
STV Studios is behind BBC crime series 'The Victim' BBC

Channel 4 Visits ‘Murder Island
Channel 4 has commissioned STV Studios, the producer behind BBC crime drama The Victim, to make genre-bending immersive competition format Murder Island. The six-part series blends factual entertainment and crime drama by asking members of the public to play detective in a murder mystery penned by a yet-to-be-announced major crime writer. They will have one nail-biting week to compete to find out if they’ve got what it takes to solve a murder. The series was developed by STV Studios’ creative director for factual, Craig Hunter; director of development Lucy Hazzard; and executive producer Jonathan Smith. Executive producers are Hunter, Smith, Sara Evans, and David Clews, who also directs. Motion Content Group co-produces with Melanie Darlaston executive producing. Murder Island is funded from Channel 4’s Contestable Pot – a ring-fenced fund to find innovative, channel-defining formats.

Breaking Through The Lens Unveils 2021 Plans
EXCLUSIVE: Breaking Through The Lens, the year-round program that seeks to be a practical resource for underserved filmmakers, has unveiled its plans for 2021 and has opened submissions. Ten filmmakers with projects in need of financing will be given the platform to pitch to film investors, distributors, and sales agents at Cannes and TIFF, with plans set for either virtual or physical editions. This year’s jury features: Roadside Attractions’ Angel An; Altitude’s Vicki Brown; Gamechanger Films’ Lynette Coll; STX International’s Pamela Drameh; former Entertainment One exec Priya Giga; Sky Original Films’ Laura Grange; former head of Netflix International Originals Funa Maduka; financier and producer Lauren Mann; and The Polkadot Factory’s Victoria Thomas. Submissions close on March 32, with the finalises to be announced at Cannes.

Christina Ricci Starring In Thriller ‘Monstrous’
Christina Ricci will lead the cast of Monstrous, the supernatural thriller that Screen Media and Film Mode Entertainment have pacted to acquire rights on. Ricci will star with Colleen Camp. Chris Sivertson is directing from a script by Carol Chrest. The story centers on a traumatized woman fleeing from her abusive ex-husband with her 7-year-old son. In their new, remote sanctuary they find they have a bigger, more terrifying monster to deal with. Robert Yocum, Sasha Yelaun and B.I. Rosen are producing alongside Johnny Remo. Screen Media is acquiring the world outside of North America, UK, Japan and Middle East, and Film Mode is handling international sales in partnership with Screen Media. High Octane has acquired Middle East, North Africa and Japan.

Discovery+ Doubles Down On ‘Faking It’
Streamer Discovery+ is extending its Faking It brand following the success of Faking It: Jimmy Savile. Shearwater Media will make another three specials, focusing on Michael Jackson, U.S. family killer Chris Watts, and serial killer Ted Bundy. The producer will also produce series Faking It: Tears of a Crime, which will delve into some of the most enthralling cases in UK and international criminal history. Finally, Shearwater is making another Savile documentary in the shape of Jimmy Savile: Hiding in Plain Sight (working title), which examines how the deceased BBC presenter got away with decades of pedophilia. Steve Anderson and Jeff Anderson are the executive producers for Shearwater Media.

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