WarnerMedia Shakes Up EMEA Leadership Teams – Global Bulletin

In today’s Global Bulletin, WarnerMedia shakes up its EMEA leadership teams; MBC Group launches a new talent development initiative; See-Saw Films promotes Samantha Joly to head of marketing; Twenty Twenty hires James O´Reilly as creative director; a raft of unscripted series sell globally; and the British Academy Scotland Awards announce this year’s winners.

RESTRUCTURING

New WarnerMedia France and Benelux, Germany-Austria-Switzerland country manager Iris Knobloch has realigned her leadership teams across EMEA.

Olivier Snanoudj, Eric Broet, Caroline Lang, Guillaume Coffin and Gregory Schuber will assume leadership positions for France and Benelux, with Willi Geike, Steffen Schier, Peter Schauerte, Sylvia Rothblum, Matthias Heinze and Tim van Dyk assuming leadership responsibilities for GAS.

Snanoudj and Schier will lead theatrical distribution for the France and Benelux and GAS markets, respectively, while Lang will continue to lead TV distribution for France and French-speaking territories with Rothblum doing the same for GAS and Israel.

Home entertainment and consumer products in each region will consolidate under one leadership, helmed by Broet with the support of Yves Elalouf and Jérôme Ollagnier. Schauerte will lead Home Entertainment and Consumer Products for GAS, supported by Veronika Tiedemann and Stefan Hausberg.

Schuber and van Dyk will lead the marketing teams in the two territories including publicity, franchise management and data. Geike, who recently resigned from his long-time position of country manager, will change roles to head the company’s local theatrical production for GAS. Broet will supervise local theatrical production for France and Benelux.

TALENT

MBC Academy, the educational and training arm of MBC Group, has announced Fikraty — “my idea” in English — a new initiative to discover and develop writing talent in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world.

Participants in the program will receive specialized tutoring and encouragement in realizing their ideas in screenplay form. Eventually, the program will work with MBC Group and its Shahid VIP streaming platform to adapt the top submissions to the program into TV productions for the network.

As part of the program, participants will also have the chance to receive financial backing through a $250,000 special fund, financed by MBC Group chairman Waleed Al-Ibrahim, developed specifically for the program.

PROMOTION

U.K.-Australian production shingle See-Saw Films has promoted Samantha Joly to the newly created position of head of marketing and publicity for the company’s film and TV projects. Working from the company’s London offices, Joly will head marketing and publicity-related activities on all the company’s film and TV projects, reporting to managing directors Iain Canning and Emile Sherman.

New responsibilities will include the development and leadership of a global marketing and publicity strategy for the company and its international sales arm Cross City Films. Joly’s promotion corresponds with the expansion of See-Saw’s creative team which included the appointments of executive producer Elinor Day and Joanna Laurie.

HIRING

Warner Bros TV Production U.K. Group company Twenty Twenty has appointed James O´Reilly as its new creative director, reporting to managing director Leanne Klein and working out of the company’s newly established Bristol offices which will serve as the company’s headquarters starting in 2021.

O´Reilly is tasked with overseeing the creation and production of new original content for the company’s slate, and to continue backing the company’s existing catalog of ongoing series. He joins the company after more than a decade at Blast! Films, serving as creative director for the last four years.

SALES

Following on the heels of its highest ever ratings for Channel 4, hit U.K comedy program “Taskmaster” has sold to TV4 in Sweden and Finland and SBS Viceland for Australia, bringing the total number of countries where some version of the series is available to 106.

While the original version, starring Greg Davies and creator Alex Horne, is now available in 94 territories, 12 others have produced local versions of their own, including in New Zealand where the latest remake premiered to stellar ratings just last month.

*****

Beyond Rights and PBS Distribution have closed a deal to send psychological thriller series “Halifax: Retribution,” Australia’s highest-rated debut drama of 2020, to the U.S.

Destined for PBS Masterpiece Channel and Amazon Prime Video, “Halifax Retribution” is produced by Beyond Lonehand, a Beyond group company, for Nine Network Australia. The series is a decades-later update of “Halifax F.P.,” a multi-award-winning procedural series which ran from 1994-2002. Rebecca Gibney, star of the original, reprises her longtime role, joined by Anthony LaPaglia (“Empire Records,” “Without a Trace”).

*****

Germany’s Leonine Studios has sold format rights to several of its popular i&u-produced primetime entertainment programs into the U.S., U.K., France and Spain.

Small vs. Tall,” a talent show pitting children with amazing talents against local celebrities, has been optioned by Critical Content in the U.K., Keshet Productions in the U.K. and Deeply Superficial in France. Now in its ninth year of production, the German original was recently commissioned for three additional episodes by Das Erste.

Globomedia in Spain and WeMake in France each picked up format rights to the off-the-wall game show “They Have No Idea What Will Happen,” a massive hit for RTL regularly drawing a 10% market share and up to 3.3 million viewers.

AWARDS

Celebrating the best in film, games and television produced over the last year in Scotland, the British Academy Scotland Awards announced this year’s winners on Tuesday evening.

Top honors for best actor and actress went to Ncuti Gatwa for his work in Netflix’s “Sex Education” and Glenda Jackson for BBC One’s “Elizabeth is Missing.” Matt Pinder took best director – factual with “Murder Trial: The Disappearance of Margaret Fleming,” which was also honored as the year’s best factual series. The awards for best scripted television program and for best director – fiction went to Robert McKillop for “Guilt,” BBC Scotland’s first drama series commission.

2020 BRITISH ACADEMY SCOTLAND AWARDS

ACTOR TV

Ncuti Gatwa, (“Sex Education”)

ACTRESS TV

Glenda Jackson, (“Elizabeth is Missing”)

DIRECTOR – FACTUAL

Matt Pinder, (“Murder Trial: The Disappearance of Margaret Fleming”)

DIRECTOR – FICTION

Robert McKillop, (“Guilt”)

ENTERTAINMENT

“Scot Squad: The Chief’s Election Interviews,” (Jack Docherty, Joe Hullait, Iain Davidson, Marie McDonald)

FACTUAL SERIES

“Murder Trial: The Disappearance of Margaret Fleming,” (Matt Pinder)

FEATURES

“A Country Life for Half the Price,” (Kate Humble, Andrew Jackson, Louise Scrivens, Iain Robson)

GAME

“Autonauts,” (Aaron Puzey, Gary Penn)

NEWS & CURRENT AFFAIRS

“The War Next Door: Scotland and the Troubles,” (Brendan Hughes, Harry Bell, Morag Tinto, Andrew Chambers)

SHORT FILM & ANIMATION

“Betty,” (Will Anderson)

SINGLE DOCUMENTARY

“Being Gail Porter,” (Harry Bell, Anne-Claire Pilley)

SPECIALIST FACTUAL

“Greg Davies: Looking for Kes,” (Jenny Dames, Richard Bright, David Arthur, Tim Niel)

TELEVISION SCRIPTED

“Guilt,” (Robert McKillop)

WRITER FILM/TV

Paul Laverty, (“Sorry We Missed You”)

AUDIENCE AWARD

“Outlander,” (Ronald D. Moore)


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