THE TELCO REPORT

Volume LI, No. 19, October 04, 2019

International Television Program Magazine

Published since 1969

Forward & Intelligence

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TECHNOCRAT OF DEATH

ZDF Enterprises has announced that it will be distributing “The Secret Underworlds of the SS–Hans Kammler’s Shadow Empire.” Historical/investigative research by ZDF has brought to light documents that reveal one of the last secrets of World War II, the whereabouts of SS General Hans Kammler. Hitler’s Chief of Secret Weapons was one of the leading figures in the Nazi hierarchy not only organized the construction of so-called “Miracle Weapons,” but was also responsible for securing Nazi looted property in secret tunnels. He also had significant influence on the establishment of concentration and extermination camps.  Kammler was declared dead in 1948 by a German court, the SS General having  allegedly committed suicide in May of 1945. But recent documentary evidence and other sources question the official version of the story, suggesting that he survived the war and was brought to America because of his knowledge of the secret German armaments projects and to prevent him from falling into Soviet hands. This new documentary, scheduled for launch late this year, investigates what really happened to this “technocrat of death” (52’).

CONTACT: ZDF Enterprises, Mainz, Germany. Tel. 49-6131-991-1601. Fax 49-6131-991-1612. Web: www.zdf-enterprises.de

 

 

McDONALD NAME A+E PRESIDENT

A+E Networks has named Steve MacDonald President, Global Content Licensing & International, it was announced October 3 by Paul Buccieri, President, A+E Networks Group, to whom he will report. In his new role, MacDonald will oversee the A+E Networks global multi-platform and library content licensing initiatives, as well as the company’s international activities. MacDonald, a 24-year veteran of Fox, joins A+E Networks from Twentieth Television. Most recently he was Executive Vice President, General Sales Manager, Basic Cable with oversight of Broadcast Syndication. During his tenure, he directed Twentieth Television’s revenue growth strategy, driving content licensing sales for the domestic off-net syndication distribution of sitcoms, dramas, reality, original programs and all library product. Additionally, he oversaw the premiere feature film and library window sales.

CONTACT: A+E Networks, New York, NY, USA. Tel. 1-212-210-1400. Fax 1-212-210-9476. Web:  www.AETNinternational.com

DIVERSIFY TV EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Reed MIDEM has announced the shortlist of programs in the running for the MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Awards 2019. Dedicated to championing and promoting diverse and inclusive content that can make an impact on wide audiences; the third edition of the MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Awards will be held on October 14, 2019, at the Carlton Hotel. The 21 nominated programs, all of which have been broadcast in the past 12 months, have been recognized by the Pre-Selection Jury for providing a fair and accurate representation of BAME, LGBTQ+ and disabled communities. They are also seen as standing out for originality and excellence in terms of storytelling, casting and production values, challenging stereotypes, and showing a positive impact.

CONTACT: Reed MIDEM, Paris, France. Tel. 33-1-4662-1777. Fax 33-1-4662-1797. Web: www.mipworld.com

Entertainment

 

LOBSTER COMPETITION

“Bahama Lobster Pirates” follows six commercial lobster boats as they harvest lobster. The crown jewel of the Caribbean, the Bahamas is a pristine paradise featuring white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, and diverse sea life. But, underneath these tranquil waters, a war rages—a lobster war. The lobster fishermen scour lobster habitats along the sandy Bahama Bay, in search of spiny lobsters. Through the course of these ten episodes, six commercial lobster fishing boats compete to see who can harvest more lobsters in the season. Adding to the drama, the Bahamian government says that anything in the ocean, including the lobster beds, is the property of everyone. These lobster fishermen are not only competing with each other, but through the course of the season, they are continuously fighting to beat unlicensed poachers, known as the Bahama Lobster Pirates (10 x 30’).

CONTACT: Behr Entertainment Ltd., Airmont, NY, USA. Tel. 1-845-368-1281. Fax 1-845-369-8219. E-mail  wbehrent@aol.com

ANTHONY ANDERSON TO APPEAR ON “EXTREME MAKEOVER”

HGTV adds more star power to its highly anticipated reboot of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” as actor and producer Anthony Anderson, an executive producer and star of ABC’s critically-acclaimed hit comedy series “Black-ish” and executive producer of “Grown-ish” and “Mixed-ish,” joins the lineup of special guests. Anderson will come aboard to work with the series host, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, an award-winning actor and star of the ABC sitcom “Modern Family.” Together with volunteers, special guests and other experts, including the show’s regularly appearing designers Breegan Jane, Carrie Locklyn and Darren Keefe, they will help execute life-changing home transformations for families. The all-new version of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” debuts early next year.

CONTACT: Scripps Networks, Knoxville, TN, USA. Tel. 1-865-694-2700. Fax 1-865-690-9964.  Web:  www.scrippsnetworksinteractive.com  

 

WORLD WAR II DRAMA

Janson Media has announced the digital release of the feature film “Fortress of War” to VOD markets in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. This World War II historical war drama portrays, with incredible accuracy, the heroic defense of the Brest Fortress, which took the first major blow from the Nazis on June 22, 1941. The film follows the troops as they held a border stronghold for nine days of intense fighting, led by the regiment commanders Peter Gavrilov, Commissioner Efim Fomin and the head of the 9th Frontier Andrei Kizhevatov. The Brest Fortress is a 19th-century Russian fortress in Brest, Belarus. The battle marked the start of Operation Barbarossa of the German-Soviet War, when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. “Fortress of War,” a Russian language film, subtitled in English, was directed by Aleksandr Kott, and stars Aleksey Kopashov, Andrey Merzlikin, and Pavel Derevyanko (138’).

CONTACT: Janson Media, Tappan, NY, USA. Tel 1-845-359-8488. Email: info@janson.com  Web: www.janson.com

Children’s

GROWN-UP WORLD

Developed and produced by BBC Children’s In House Productions, Biggleton is a unique preschool live action series (50 x 11’) which takes place in an imaginary town where a young cast of five- to seven-year-olds play out their own version of a grown-up world. A young police officer, a gardener, a scientist, a farmer, a hairdresser and a vet are among Biggleton’s residents, whose town environment has been recreated using cardboard and beautiful hand drawn detail.  From the Biggleton Obstacle Race to looking after a noisy puppy, their jobs and daily lives explore what it means to be part of a community, whilst inspiring children to role play and stretch their imaginations. Cake Entertainment will handle distribution outside the U.K. (50 x 11’).

CONTACT: Cake Entertainment, London, UK. Tel. 44-0-207-307-3230. Email: tpeck@cakeentertainment.com   Web:  www.cakeentertainment.com 

 

INCLUSIVE ADVENTURES

Based on the Children's Book "The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived" by Daniel Errico, “The Bravest Knight” follows Sir Cedric, now grown and married to Prince Andrew, as he recounts tales of his journey to his daughter Nia, who is training to become a brave knight herself. Directed by Shabnam Rezaei, the new series is groundbreaking for its inclusivity, featuring Nia, played by Storm Reid, who wants to be a Knight, a family with two Dads (T.R. Knight as Sir Cedric and Wilson Cruz as Prince Andrew), and for the first time in children's TV, a main character that is openly gay. The animated series boasts additional stars including Saturday Night Live's Bobby Moynihan as Grunt, the troll who lost his bridge and Teri Polo as Saylor. The star-studded cast also includes RuPaul as the Big Bad Wolf, Wanda Sykes, Steven Weber, AJ McLean, Jazz Jennings, Maz Jobrani and Christine Baranski, in the role of the Red Dragon (26 x 11’).

CONTACT: Big Bad Boo Studios, Vancouver, Canada. Tel. 1-604-688-6484. Email mona@bigbadboo.ca  Web: www.bigbadboo.ca

BEST FRIENDS?

Finnish production company Haruworks has struck a distribution deal for their show, “Worst Best Friends.” Zodiak Kids, part of Banijay Group, has come on board to secure co-production partners for the property and will hold worldwide distribution rights to the completed series. The news of the collaboration follows 18 months of heartfelt development work on the series which is based on the kids’ novel by Finnish author Miikka Pörsti. South Africa based Lucy Heavens (“Space Chickens in Space”) has written the bible and two sample scripts, and Brink Helsinki has created the fresh visual style (52 x 11’).

CONTACT: Zodiak Kids, London, UK. Tel. 44-207-013-4000. Email: sales@zodiakkids.com   Web: www.zodiakkids.com

Documentaries

 

RETURN TO BERGEN-BELSEN       

“Memory After Belsen follows the granddaughter of a Bergen-Belsen survivor on her journey to the place of her family’s destruction. Her visit with the Bergen-Belsen Memorial director serves as a vehicle for exploring issues and tensions in Holocaust memory. The film includes commentary from some of the most important contemporary thinkers in the field, such as Lawrence L. Langer, Jeffrey Hartman, Marianne Hirsch, Michael Marrus, Mel Brooks, and noted Holocaust artist and child survivor Samuel Bak, among others (60’).

CONTACT: Global Telemedia Inc., Naples, FL, USA. Tel. 1-203-247-3888. Email: gt@globaltelemedia.com  Web:  www.globaltelemedia.com

SUMMER TRADITION IN SOUTHERN ITALY

Directed by Giovanni Totaro, “Happy Winter” has its broadcast debut on the PBS documentary series POV on August 12. The film is an Indyca and RAI Cinema production in co-production with Zenit Arti Audiovisive, in association with Inthelfilm, Onirica, and American Documentary | POV. Part of a summer tradition that has continued to thrive since the 1960s, Mondello Beach draws crowds of people who now look to enjoy a simple life. Through creative and vibrant footage, Totaro captures the energy of Mondello Beach, its huts with colorful tops and clusters of beach umbrellas. The beachgoers too, are bright and jubilant—they play cards, cook and share food together, sing and dance in unison. The community on Mondello Beach is a respite from realities of the outside world, where Southern Italy’s economy remains sluggish. It’s a happy, viable lifestyle—just for the summer (60’). 

CONTACT: Public Broadcasting Service, Alexandria, VA, USA. Telephone 1-703-739-5000. Fax 1-703-739-3889. www.pbs.org

 

IMPORTANT INVENTIONS

ZDF Enterprises, together with internationally recognized production companies, is starting a new series about the greatest inventions of mankind. “Great Inventions” will be a long-running series explaining what lies behind the inventions which we use every day, and which have shaped our world. The series shows how these breakthroughs came about, how they developed and reveals new stories about their discovery. Production has already begun and the first 35 episodes will be gradually completed between the end of 2019 and the middle of 2020. The first commissioned producers involved in “Great Inventions” are World Media Rights, Off the Fence, doc.station and k22film. Other seasons are already planned. Rights are available for all media worldwide, with ZDF Enterprises responsible for marketing. The subjects of the productions cover an unusually broad spectrum spanning the most diverse areas of interest. Topics range from batteries, beer, cars, combine harvesters, computer games, condoms, the fridge, glass, jeans and lasers to rollercoasters, satellites, the submarine, sun cream, the supermarket, suspension bridges, the Velcro fastener and X-rays (35 x 50’).

CONTACT: ZDF Enterprises, Mainz, Germany. Tel. 49-6131-991-1601. Fax 49-6131-991-1612. Web: www.zdf-enterprises.de

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