HBO Max Boards ‘Lucy The Human Chimp’; Cannes Lions Goes Virtual; France’s Brut Launches Streamer; Lifted Entertainment Hires — Global Briefs

By Jake Kanter, Nancy Tartaglione

HBO Max Acquires 'Lucy The Human Chimp';
Hat Trick International

HBO Max Boards ‘Lucy The Human Chimp’
HBO Max has boarded Keo Films’ Channel 4 feature documentary Lucy The Human Chimp, which recounts the story of a chimpanzee raised as a human and Janis Carter, the woman who took on the task of helping to give her freedom by living with her in the wild. Directed by Alex Parkinson, the film premieres this spring and uses previously unseen archive film and photographs, as well as dramatic reconstruction. The HBO Max deal was brokered by Hat Trick International’s senior sales executive Jonathan South.

Cannes Lions Goes Virtual
Advertising festival Cannes Lions is to become a “fully digital” experience this year after it was canceled completely last year amid the pandemic. The event, which takes place June 21-25, will become Cannes Lions Live, just as other events on the French Riviera have embraced virtual alternatives. Next week, the annual MipTV gathering will be staged online. Cannes Lions is due to take place just two weeks ahead of the Cannes Film Festival, which is currently sticking to its guns on a physical event.

France’s Brut Launches Streamer
Growing Paris-based online media group Brut has thrown its hat into the SVOD ring, today launching BrutX in France. The subscription streaming platform will offer films, series, documentaries, long-form interviews, shorts and animation including original productions and international acquisitions. Priced at 4.99 euros a month, BrutX programming will focus on “the major concerns of new generations,” including the environment, women’s rights, diversity, the fight against discrimination and more. Brut was founded in 2016 by Studio Bagel’s Guillaume Lacroix and former Canal Plus producer Renaud Le Van Kim. The digital media group says it has one billion users in 60 countries (including the U.S., UK, and Mexico) who watched a combined 20 billion videos in 2020. Its demographic is primarily in the 18-34 age range. Among notable acquisitions for France, BrutX is kicking off with Veneno, the hit Spanish series that follows the life of 1990s transgender icon Cristina Ortiz Rodriguez and which was released in the U.S. on HBO Max last year, as well as the UK’s Adult Material, which aired on Channel 4.

Lifted Entertainment Hires
ITV Studios’ entertainment label Lifted Entertainment has hired a trio of development executives. Former Channel 4 daytime commissioner Ramy El-Bergamy will spearhead development from the north of England, while Sean O’Brien and Susannah Haley have joined the London-based team as development producer and development executive respectively. O’Brien joins from Fremantle’s Talkback, where he played a role in the development of Netflix’s Too Hot to Handle. Haley has worked on shows including Channel 4’s The Rob Rinder Verdict.

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