In today’s Global Bulletin, BBC Two and BBC Music announce a behind-the-scenes Amy Winehouse doc; Netflix supports a new series development masters program in Italy; Amazon Prime Video reveals release details for Indian original feature “Joji”; M6 commissions a French version of “Domino Effect”; and Red Arrow unveils its MipTV lineup.
BBC Two and BBC Music have commissioned a documentary feature celebrating the life and legacy of musician Amy Winehouse. Working titled “Amy Winehouse: 10 Years On,” the film will exploit the benefit of a decade of hindsight to paint a more holistic picture of Amy Winehouse the person, rather than the troubled public figure which is often presented of her.
The special is told largely from the point of view of Janis Winehouse, Amy’s mother. Suffering from MS, which threatens her long-term memory, Janis was motivated to show the world the Amy she knew, and immortalized her memories on film while she still can.
“I don’t feel the world knew the true Amy, the one that I brought up, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to offer an understanding of her roots and a deeper insight into the real Amy,” said Janis in a release.
The feature is part of a larger plan to celebrate Winehouse’s life across TV, iPlayer, BBC Sounds and BBC radio. BBC Radio 6 is compiling an Artist Collection for her music, BBC Radio 2 is planning a documentary on how Winehouse has influenced the generation of female musicians which came after her, and BBC Radio 1 is planning to revisit several of Winehouse’s best-loved performances as well as commissioning a one-hour documentary of its own.
Marina Parker will direct the BBC Two special, produced by Curious Films and commissioned by Patrick Holland and Catherine Catton. Rachel Davies and Max Gogarty are commissioning editors for the BBC and Dov Freedman and Charlie Russell will executive produce.
Netflix has teamed up with Milan’s Civica Scuola di Cinema Luchino Visconti film and TV school to support its Master in Series Development program, which is a first-of-its kind educational initiative in Italy. The program was launched on Wednesday with an online press conference attended by Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini.
Enrolment will kick off in mid-April on the program, which aims to form development executives who can shepherd scripted content from development all the way to post-production and promotion.
“We are extremely pleased to collaborate with Civica Scuola di Cinema to launch this master, which is new among [Italian] programs and has at its core two elements that are very dear to Netflix: excellence in training and offering new concrete opportunities to the Italian audiovisual industry,” said Netflix VP of Italian Original series Eleonora “Tinny” Andreatta.
The Netflix-supported masters program in Milan is the latest initiative by the streaming giant to engage with Italy’s production community following the launch last year of a more than $1 million coronavirus hardship fund in tandem with Italy’s film commissions and the announced opening of its Italian hub in Rome in the second half of 2021. – Nick Vivarelli
Amazon Prime Video will launch its upcoming Indian crime drama “Joji” globally on April 7. Directed by Dileesh Pothan (“Thondi Muthalum Driksakshiyum”), the feature was written by Syam Pushkaran (“Maheshinte Prathikaaram”) and produced by Bhavana Studios.
Inspired by “Macbeth,” the film follows the titular Joji, an engineering school dropout from a wealthy family with ambitions to become a super wealthy Non Resident Indian, living more than half of the year outside the country but retaining his citizenship. However, his father, the source of his material wealth, looks down on him and sees him as a loser. If Joji is going to realize his dreams, he’ll have to do something drastic.
“Joji” stars Fahadh Faasil (“Thondi Muthalum Driksakshiyum”) in the titular role alongside major film and TV actors Baburaj, Shammi Thilakan, Alistair Alex and Unnimaya Prasad in key roles.
Sony Pictures Television (SPT) has launched Sony One, an app platform developed with Nigerian company MTN which hosts a selection of SPT film and TV content. In addition to catalog content, users will be able to order recent releases to stream on an individual rental basis.
Sony One will be offered in streaming packs with and without data and is available to download through the Google Play and Apple stores. MTN customers are eligible for a free, three-day trial.
France’s M6 has ordered a local version of competition series “Domino Effect,” to be produced by Endemol Shine France. The order comes off the heels of a Dutch commission of the Endemol Shine North America Format to be produced by the company’s offices in the Netherlands for RTL4.
The series pits teams of two head-to-head to build the most ambitious and extraordinary structures they can with domino pieces. Each week the ante is upped as builds get more complicated and a panel of judges, headed by YouTube domino sensation Luly Hevesh, gets more critical. According to Banijay, further European commissions are forthcoming.
Red Arrow Studios International has shared details of its upcoming MipTV slate, headlined by returning series “Vienna Blood” and “Departure.”
Produced by Endor Productions and MR Film for ORF in Austria and ZDF in Germany), “Vienna Blood” follows Max Liebermann, a student of Freud, and detective Oskar Rheinhardt as they investigate a series of grizzly murders in the Austrian capital. “Departure” is produced by Shaftesbury and Deadpan Pictures for Global in Canada and investigates of a high-speed train crash.
Other programs headed to MipTV include formats “Stealing the Show!” and behind-the-scenes series “Secret Treasures of the Museum,” factual programs “The Weekly: Special Edition,” “Framing Britney Spears,” “Behind History” and “Surviving Australia.” Rounding out the slate are Endemol Shine Australia’s “Married at First Sight Australia” and Kinetic Content’s “Married at First Sight USA.”