FIFA+ & Others License Football Doc ‘Brazil 2002: The Real Story’
World football-focused streamer FIFA+ has acquired 90-minute feature doc Brazil 2002: The Real Story for territories including Asia (excluding Japan), Turkey and New Zealand following a deal with distributor Abacus Media Rights. The doc has also sold to Canal+ Group for Canal+ Foot and myCanal (France); Sky Deutschland (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg); Sky Italia (Italy, Republic of San Marino, Vatican City, Malta, Capodistria, Montecarlo and Italian speaking Switzerland); DBS Satellite Services (Israel and West Bank); Supersport Africa (for Africa); NOS Portugal (Portugal and PALOPs); Movistar Plus+ (Spain); and Stan (Australia). Sky in the UK, Front Row Filmed Entertainment (Middle East) and Viaplay (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) were unveiled as buyers back in February when the doc was announced. TelevisaUnivision also announced its acquisition of the film for North and South America (excluding Brazil), as part of the slate of originals coming to ViX+, through a deal with doc co-producer Trailer Films. Collective Media Group and Entourage Sports & Entertainment produced the doc, which tells the story of Brazil’s FIFA World Cup 2002 win in South Korea through the eyes of the dressing room. It uses six hours of unseen archive material shot by Brazilian football legend Juliano Belletti during the tournament, which forms the backbone of the story.
Roger Casamajor, Macarena García & Lola Dueñas Among Cast Of Movistar+’s Drama Series ‘La Mesías’
Spanish streamer Movistar+ has set the cast of upcoming family trauma drama series La Mesías, with a mix of established stars and newcomers. Roger Casamajor, Macarena García and Lola Dueñas are among the lead cast, along with Carmen Machi, Ana Rujas, Albert Pla, Amaia, Biel Rossell and Cecilia Roth. Debutantes are Irene Balmes, Bruno Núñez, Carla Moral, Iona Roig, Lluc Jornet, Sara Martínez, Arlet Zafra, Joana Buch and Ninoska Linares, who will play the teenage cast in the show, which is a Movistar+ production from creators Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo in collaboration with Suma Content. “The casting process was spectacular,” said Ambrossi, who along with Calvo is behind shows such as La Llamada and Paquita Salas. “We have always mixed big names with new talent and in La Mesías we are taking this to the max.” The series, which follows Enric, a man tormented by a childhood shaped by religious fanaticism and the yoke of a mother with messianic delusions, began shooting on August 16 and will run for 22 weeks in different locations across Catalonia, Spain.
Abacus Media Rights Hires TVF’s Will Stapley For Acquisitions
Amcomri Group-owned Abacus Media Rights has appointed Will Stapley as Head of Acquisitions. Stapley has been Head of Acquisitions and Partnerships at another London-based content distributor, TVF International, since 2016. He began at Abacus this week and will be at Mipcom next month selling newly acquired shows such as Bright Yellow Films, Samson Films and Groove International’s feature doc The Ghost of Richard Harris, true crime drama Maxine from Clapperboard Studios and Downfall of the Porn King: The Ron Jeremy Story, a Channel 4 two-part doc from BriteSpark Films exploring the rise and fall of the world’s biggest porn star. Jonathan Ford, Managing Director of Abacus, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Will to join our growing team. Our continued growth is dependent on securing the right productions across both scripted and unscripted content. Will’s extensive experience and established producer relationships will enable us to further broaden our wide-ranging and high-end portfolio of programming.”
Blue Ant Bolsters Canadian Production Ranks
Blue Ant Studios has hired Aileen Gardner as Head of Production, Canada, and Zachary Frank, previously of Cream Productions as VP, Development. Gardner will report to Laura Michalchyshyn, CCO and Co-President, Global Production, Blue Ant Media and her Global Production Co-President Sam Sniderman. Working closely with Gardner, Frank will report to Jennifer Harkness, SVP, Unscripted. Gardner has experience in the UK, US, and Canada at companies such as Mentorn Media, Endemol, Cineflix Media and Scott Brothers Entertainment. Since arriving in Canada she has overseen shows such as Discovery’s Nazi Hunters. Frank has worked on shows such as CNN’s History of the Sitcom, Discovery ID’s If I Should Die) and Bell’s Fear Thy Roommate.
Lionsgate Strikes Library Deal With India’s MX Player
Lionsgate features films such as Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2, War and Destruction: Las Vegas are being added to Indian ad-led VoD service MX Player from this month. The North American company struck the deal to place more than 50 Hollywood titles with the streamer, which offers more than 200,000 hours overall and operates in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Mansi Shrivastav, Senior Vice President, Content Acquisitions and Alliance for MX Player, said: “Our partnership with Lionsgate allows us to bring some of the most popular and commercially acclaimed Hollywood films to our viewers in their local languages. This partnership also enables us to attract new users to the platform while consolidating our existing audience base.”
BBC Acquires Kids Comedy-Adventure Series ‘Vegesaurs’
The BBC has licensed kids animated comedy-adventure series Vegesaurs from Germany’s Studio 100 Media. The Australian short-form series — from Cheeky Little Media in association with the ABC, France TV and Studio 100 — will launch on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer later this year. Based on a concept created by Gary Eck and Nick O’Sullivan and targeted at upper preschoolers, the series is billed as “a fresh take on the dinosaur genre with unique vegetable and fruit-shaped characters which can only be found in this show.” It follows young ‘Tricarrotops’ Ginger, who lives in Vegesaur Valley, a little garden of Eden bathed in sunlight with nutrient-rich soil, lush vegetation and even temperatures. Each episode is a mini-adventure driven by Ginger and her friends, the baby ‘Pea-Rexes,’ leaning into themes such as sharing, friendships and play.