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Extra: “Spiral” wins Nat Geo WILD’s RED Challenge; Red Arrow distributes “Story of Toys”

Samuel Guiton’s “Spiral” wins Nat Geo WILD’s RED Challenge  Samuel Guiton’s documentary short Spiral won Nat Geo WILD’s RED Challenge at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Awards ceremony on Thursday (Sept. 28). Launched ...
September 29, 2017

Samuel Guiton’s “Spiral” wins Nat Geo WILD’s RED Challenge 

Samuel Guiton’s documentary short Spiral won Nat Geo WILD’s RED Challenge at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Awards ceremony on Thursday (Sept. 28).

Launched by Nat Geo WILD and RED Digital Cinema, the challenge saw seven filmmakers outfitted with state-of-the-art RED camera equipment and given 15 weeks to create a five-minute short film. Filmmakers were given full creative freedom and were asked to “reinvent, reinvigorate and inspire with their vision of modern wildlife storytelling”.

The seven films are being judged on the execution of theme, originality and photographic quality.

Guiton’s winning project Spiral (pictured), filmed using macro photography, follows a snail on a journey home, battling through a microscopic world of adventure and danger. Guiton will receive a RED Digital Cinema Weapon 8KS35 camera package and production gear valued at US$75,000.

“The impact RED cameras have had on Nat Geo WILD’s projects is immeasurable so we were thrilled to give up-and-coming filmmakers the opportunity to take them out for a test drive,” said Geoff Daniels, EVP and GM of Nat Geo WILD, in a statement. “It’s almost unheard for a filmmaker to get this level of camera equipment to make a project of their choice, no strings attached. It was incredible to see how they took advantage of the technology.”

Other finalists included Ben Masters’ Wildlife and the Wall, focusing on the impact of President Trump’s proposed U.S./Mexico border wall on the area’s wildlife; and Jack Wylsons’ The Call of The Sky, about the escapism of bird watching.

All seven finalists’ films are available to watch on National GeographicNat Geo WILD and RED Digital Cinema’s YouTube channels.

Red Arrow International to distribute new factual series The Story of Toys

Indie TV prodco Pernel Media has appointed Red Arrow International to distribute the new factual series The Story of Toys.

Originally produced for French pubcaster France 4, The Story of Toys (w/t, 6 x 45) explores the world’s most iconic toys and how they relate to a country’s history and culture. Each episode is dedicated to one specific toy group, from high-tech toys such as drones or video games to costumes, monsters and miniatures.

Each episode features three children from three different countries — France, U.S. and Japan — who discover more about their favorite toys as they go behind-the-scenes with some of the world’s most famous toy brands.

Netflix to pump $500 million into original Canadian productions

The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Netflix have inked an agreement that will see the global streaming service pump a minimum investment of $500 million into original Canadian productions over the next five years.

“As part of this investment, Netflix will continue to work with Canadian producers, production houses, broadcasters, creators and other partners to produce original Canadian content in both English and French,” said a Government of Canada release (Sept. 28).

Netflix will also create Netflix Canada, a permanent film and TV prodco — a first of its kind outside of the U.S.

While it’s unclear how the investment will be divided, the deal will also see support for French-language content on the streaming platform, with a CAD$25-million investment and marketing strategy that includes  “pitch days” for producers, recruitment events and other promotional and marketing activities.

“Today’s announcement affirms there’s more to come as Netflix launches Netflix Canada, our permanent production presence in Canada. We look forward to continuing our work with Canadian talent, producers, broadcasters and other local partners to create Netflix originals in Canada for many years to come,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix, chief content officer, in a release.

For more on this news, check out Playback’s coverage here.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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