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Extra: BBC sets Christmas slate; “Strong Island” wins at Gotham Awards

BBC gets festive this Christmas season British pubcaster BBC has unveiled a festive slate of programs for the coming Christmas season. Anchoring the slate across BBC1 is a Strictly Come Dancing Christmas ...
November 28, 2017

BBC gets festive this Christmas season

British pubcaster BBC has unveiled a festive slate of programs for the coming Christmas season.

Anchoring the slate across BBC1 is a Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special that will see six celebrities from previous seasons take to the floor, while BBC2 will follow Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders as they head to France’s Champagne region in Joanna & Jennifer: Absolutely Champers.

Also on BBC2 will be Christmas-inspired culinary programs, as Nigella’s Christmas Table sees the celebrity chef head to the countryside, while Mary Berry opens her kitchen to some of UK TV’s best-loved faces in Mary Berry’s Christmas Party. Berry will also reunite with Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perikins, formerly of The Great British Bake Off, in A Big Christmas Thank You as they visit a “well-deserving” community in South Wales.

Inside the Factory will explore the 24-hour production line of a Christmas cake factory, while Christmas treats of the past will be recreated by four modern confectioners in The Sweet Makers.

Highlighting BBC4′s natural history slate will be The Reindeer Family and Me, which follows Scottish wildlife filmmaker Gordon Buchanan to the Arctic Circle; Snow Bears, which documents polar bear cubs as they learn to survive; and the 90-minute slow TV special Wild Wanderings: Turtle, Eagle, Cheetah, revealing animal behavior on land, sea and sky.

Famed film actress Judi Dench, meanwhile, will embark on a journey to uncover the mysteries about trees; World’s Weirdest Winter will showcase snowboarding crows, seemingly suicidal penguins and ‘snownados’; and Elvis: Rebirth of The King tracks Elvis Presley’s five-year renaissance in Vegas.

Strong Island takes Gotham Awards

Director Yance Ford’s Strong Island (pictured) took home the honors for Best Documentary at the 27th annual Gotham Awards Independent Film Awards in New York on Monday (Nov. 27). 

The 107-minute film,which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, traces the arc of a family across history, geography and tragedy while providing intimate insight into the tragedy of the filmmaker’s brother more than 20 years ago who, during an altercation with a young white mechanic, was lost to gun violence.

Digital giant Netflix previously acquired the worldwide rights to Strong Island, which has been named to Cinema Eye’s fifth annual list of “Unforgettables”.

 Grammy Awards unveils Best Music Film noms

Amir Bar-Lev‘s Grateful Dead documentary Long Strange Trip and Sam Pollard’s Two Trains Runnin’ are among the music documentaries nominated for the Best Music Film at the 60th annual Grammy Awards.

The category recognizes the artist, video director, and video producer for outstanding concert/performance films or music documentaries.

Also nominated in the category are Andrew Dominik’s One More Time with Feeling, profiling singer-songwriter Nick Cave; Allen Hughes’ The Defiant Ones, which tells of the unbreakable bond of trust and friendship between music legends Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre; and Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre‘s Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music, an eight-part series tracing the ongoing sonic revolution of music.

Pollard’s Two Trains Runnin’ tells the story of two groups of young men that went looking for blues musicians Son House and Skip James in 1964.

The Grammy Awards, which will be held in New York on Jan. 28, recognizes the best recordings, compositions and artists of the eligibility year, which runs from Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017.

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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