The British Film Institute (BFI), in collaboration with skills body ScreenSkills and other industry bodies, has launched a strategic review designed to develop long-term solutions to tackle the current and emerging skills needs of the screen industries. The review will address the issues of improving inclusion of people from underrepresented groups, and the imbalance between London and the southeast of England, which are thriving, and other parts of the U.K.
The focus of the review is film and high-end television production, and its scope is across the entire talent development pipeline, from secondary education, further and higher education through to vocational training, apprenticeships and continuing professional development.
The U.K. Skills Review will be trialed through pilots in 2022-23.
BFI chief executive Ben Roberts said, “Future proofing the industry’s skills is one of our key strategic priorities. This review will help us to stay ahead of the immediate and long-term demands of our rapidly evolving sector. It will also help us to meet our vision of ensuring people from all backgrounds, and wherever they live, have the opportunity to access jobs in film and television production across the whole of the U.K.” – Naman Ramachandran
U.K. studio Aardman Animations has unveiled the voice cast for its upcoming series “Lloyd of the Flies,” heading to CITV in the fall of 2022. Lloyd himself, a middle child of 453 from a family of houseflies, will be voiced by Tom Rosenthal (“Friday Night Dinner,” “Plebs”), joined by Alex Lawther (“The End of the F***king World”) as his best friend Abacus. Other cast members include Teresa Gallagher, Callum Scott Howells, Peal Mackie, Rob Rackstraw, Ayesha Antoine and Marcel McCalla. The series will be Aardman’s first entirely CGI production made completely in house at its Bristol studio.
AMC Networks International and Canal Plus’ M7 Group have extended their multi-year, multi-territory partnership in Central and Eastern Europe, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. The deal includes enhanced distribution for all AMC Networks International’s Pay-TV portfolio in each of the countries, including linear and VOD content. In addition to the AMCNI portfolio of 10 Pay-TV brands, the Czech Republic and Slovakia will see wider distribution of Sport1. In Hungary, the deal includes the addition of the UEFA Champion’s League and Serie A soccer from Italy.
Monika Oomen and Lars Wagner are joining WarnerMedia’s leadership team for its kids business in EMEA as head of brand communications and franchise management, and head of kids channels CEE, respectively. Oomen will step into the role immediately and handle development and implementation of brand and communication strategy for WarnerMedia’s kids and family brands. Wagner will join the company on July 1, and be responsible for curating and managing the WarnerMedia Kids platform in CEE. Both will report to Vanessa Brookman, head of kids EMEA.
In response to the multiple new ways theatrical work is being distributed and accessed, particularly since the start of COVID-19 lockdowns, Directors UK has appointed Paul Sharp to the newly created position of director of licensing where he will work to ensure that all the organization’s 7,800 members are fairly compensated for their work. Paul joins Directors UK from the Royal Opera House where he handled negotiations of fees, contracts and rights for all the theater’s international production activities.
Crispin Lilly, former CEO at Everyman, will step in as interim CEO at charity organization MediCinema while the company’s board recruits a full-time successor for seven-year CEO Kat Mason, who will step down in August. Current MediCinema director of operations Paul Giggal is moving up to COO, and will work alongside Lilly and the future CEO. MediCinema works to improve the wellbeing of NHS patients by building cinemas inside hospitals, leaving room for beds to be wheeled in for screenings. Although many of the cinemas were closed at the onset of COVID-19 lockdowns, several have reopened with social distancing guidelines in place.
Balázs Krasznahorkai, who worked as an assistant to László Nemes on Oscar winner “Son of Saul,” won best feature film at the Hungarian Motion Picture Awards on Saturday with his feature directorial debut “Ravine.”
The film follows obstetrician Bálint Grassai, who left his native village as a youth to attend medical school, leaving behind a son he never met, the result of a brief affair. When Bálint returns to bury his father, he is confronted with his son, Simon, now a self-destructive and rebellious 17 year old, beholden to local gang leader Dumitru.
“Pilate” won awards for TV film, director for Linda Dombrovszky, and actress for Ildikó Hámori. The drama centers on Anna, an elderly woman from a small provincial town, who has been recently widowed. Her daughter, a big city doctor, believes that the best thing would be to take her mother in. However, their relationship breaks down, and Anna’s spirit withers.
Dénes Nagy, the Berlinale’s best director winner this year, won the Hungarian screenplay prize for “Natural Light.” Best actor went to Tibor Gáspár for “The Inventor,” directed by Bence Gyöngyössy. Árpád Sopsits’ “Strangled” was named top TV series.
The awards ceremony, held at Balatonfüred’s Anna Grand Hotel, was the closing event of the Hungarian Motion Picture Festival. – Leo Barraclough