Siân Heder’s “CODA,” an Apple original film, has won the 2021 Sundance Film Festival: London Award presented by BIFA.
The award was voted for by 40 leading professionals from the British film industry assembled by the British Independent Film Awards.
The film follows Ruby, a CODA or Child of Deaf Adults, who is torn between pursuing her love of music and her fear of abandoning her parents. The film stars Emilia Jones, Eugenio Derbez, Troy Kotsur, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Daniel Durant, and Marlee Matlin, and is produced by Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi and Patrick Wachsberger.
It had its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S., where it won best director U.S. dramatic, U.S. grand jury prize: dramatic and the audience award: U.S. dramatic. Walsh-Peelo attended the London event with Heder joining virtually for a Q & A.
The film will debut in cinemas and on Apple TV Plus on Aug. 13.
Sundance Film Festival: London concluded on Sunday with a gala screening of “Zola,” attended by director Janicza Bravo. It opened with the U.K. Premiere of “The Sparks Brothers” attended by director Edgar Wright and brothers Ron and Russell Mael, the subjects of the documentary.
In all, the festival included 15 feature films, two short film programs, panel discussions and industry events at Picturehouse Central.
AMC Networks has picked up Fremantle’s dystopian drama “Anna,” and will premiere the series exclusively on AMC Plus on Nov. 18. “Anna” is created and directed by Niccolò Ammaniti (“The Miracle”), inspired by his eponymous novel, with the series’ scripts co-written by Francesca Manieri. The series is a Sky Original, commissioned by Sky Studios for Sky Italia. It’s produced by Mario Gianani and Lorenzo Mieli with Lorenzo Gangarossa for Wildside, in co-production with Arte France, Fremantle, The New Life Company and Kwaï with support from Creative Europe – Media Programme of the European Union. In the series, young Anna fights for survival in a post-apocalyptic world, ravaged by a virus which kills adults but spares children.
LaLiga, which runs the top two divisions of Spanish soccer, has struck an agreement in principle with CVC Capital that could net the league €2.7 billion ($3.2 billion). The deal, which needs the approval of all 42 member clubs, would see LaLiga sell a 10% minority stake in a new holding company, but leave intact the league’s governance and media rights. The cash injection would have to be spent on infrastructure, marketing, brand building, digital technology and similar development projects that grow the game. Some 90% of the total would go to women’s soccer, semi-professional and non-pro parts of the game. CVC Capital has previously invested in the Six Nations Rugby Union and a company handling the International Volleyball Federation’s commercial rights.
The BMO International Film Festival of South Asia in Toronto (Aug. 12-22) will open with Satyajit Ray’s “The Home and the World” (Ghare Baire, 1984) as part of a birth centenary homage to the Oscar-winning Indian filmmaker that also includes screenings of “Charulata,” “Nayak” and “Jalsaghar.” The festival, the largest South Asian-themed film festival in North America, will screen more than 100 films and host some 50 events including masterclasses and workshops with Shabana Azmi, Sharmila Tagore, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Goutam Ghose, Kumar Shahani, Deepa Mehta, Anup Singh, Abhay Deol, Divya Dutta, Richie Mehta, Shama Zaidi, Shantanu Moitra and Hamza Haq.
There are several themes running through the festival including films with LGBTQ, mental health and discrimination subjects. The festival’s Canadian Panorama theme showcases South Asian Canadian topics, including S.B. Edwards’ feature “Fall Back Down.” The festival will close with Rotterdam winner “Pebbles” and Berlin selection “Chronicle of Space.”
BIFA and ScreenSkills joint Unconscious Bias Training (UBT) program, developed and funded by ScreenSkills, is returning later this month, joined by two new programs: Anti-Bullying and Harassment Training and Fair Recruitment and Inclusivity in the Workplace Training. The training sessions will build on ScreenSkills’ existing suite of entry-level e-learning modules. Starting Aug. 18, this year’s UBT will go live with its Creative Process program for writers, directors, executives and commissioners; its Physical Production module for production crews; and a wider UBT for All program which acts as a general introduction to UBT. Sessions will run until March of next year, supported by the ScreenSkills Film Skills Fund and contributions from U.K. film productions. Established in 2018, the UBT was developed to aid BIFA voters in eliminating subliminal biases while watching films and during the voting process. Since then, the training has been opened up to other organizations in the audiovisual industries, including to BAFTA juries.
ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group has acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to action-thriller “Crawlspace,” produced by SP Media Group’s Steven Paul and Scott Karol. The announcement comes as shooting is set to wrap this week. In the film, Henry Thomas (“E.T. the Extra Terrestrial”) plays Robert Dewey, a family man experiencing a bad run of luck who finds himself trapped in the crawlspace of a cabin used by violent poachers to hide a small fortune. Joining him in the film’s impressive cast are Jennifer Robertson (“Schitt’s Creek”), Olivia Taylor Dudley (“The Magicians”), Catherine Lough Haggquist (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) and C. Ernst Harth (“To All the Boys: Always and Forever”). “Crawlspace” is directed by L. Gustavo Cooper and written by Jacob D. Wehrman. Alejandro Brugues, Mark Holder, Christine Holder and Andrew Wilson executive produce.
Amazon-owned IMDb TV has acquired AVOD rights to 3D-animated kids’ series “100% Wolf – Legend of the Moonstone” for the U.S., and will launch the series on August 12. The series is produced by Australia’s Studio 100-owned Flying Bark Productions with commissioning broadcasters ABC Australia and Super RTL Germany, and Studio 56. 26 CGI episodes have been ordered, based on the eponymous series of children’s books from author Jayne Lyons. The series has now been sold to more than 80 territories, including to Amazon Prime Video in the U.K. and Discovery Kids in Latin America. In 2020, a feature film adaptation of the IP sold to more than 70 territories worldwide.
100% Wolf Credit: Studio 100