Extra: Kew takes “Leaving Neverland”; Smithsonian Channel expands reach

Kew Distribution secures int’l rights for Leaving Neverland Global sales house Kew Media Distribution, a division of Kew Media Group, has secured the international distribution rights to Dan Reed‘s forthcoming documentary ...
January 18, 2019

Kew Distribution secures int’l rights for Leaving Neverland

Global sales house Kew Media Distribution, a division of Kew Media Group, has secured the international distribution rights to Dan Reed‘s forthcoming documentary project, Leaving Neverland (pictured)

Produced by Reed’s Amos Pictures for HBO and Channel 4, the two-part doc explores the experiences of James Safechuck, at age 10, and Wade Robson, at age seven, who were both befriended and sexually abused by legendary musician Michael Jackson – who was acquitted of molestation charges in 2005 and died in 2009.

Through interviews with both men – now in their 30s – as well as their mothers, wives and siblings, Leaving Neverland looks at the complicated feelings that led Safechuck and Robson to confront their experiences after each had a young son of his own.

Under the deal, Kew Media Distribution has acquired the international distribution rights to the film (excluding the UK and U.S.).

“Acquiring the distribution rights for Leaving Neverland reinforces our commitment to providing strong and emotive programming to Kew Media Distribution’s roster of clients around the world,” said Jonathan Ford, EVP of sales at Kew Media Distribution, in a

Leaving Neverland was commissioned by Channel 4′s commissioning editor Tom Porter and will premiere across HBO and Channel 4 this spring.

Leaving Neverland will also enjoy its world premiere in the Special Events category during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, held in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah.

Smithsonian Channel expands int’l presence

Smithsonian Networks and Toronto’s Blue Ant Media have partnered together to expand the distribution of Smithsonian Channels across Asia-Pacific, Turkey, Israel, the Middle East and Africa.

Under the deal, Blue Ant will operate the network’s HD and 4K SVOD platforms, free-to-air and pay-TV linear television services and branded programming blocks in the territories.

The two organizations have previously collaborated to launch Smithsonian Channel in Canada, and partnered to jointly launch Love Nature, the global 4K wildlife- and natural history-focused linear and streaming platform.

“Blue Ant Media has a suite of global brands, with great programming, that are rapidly growing in popularity all over the world, and a strong team on the ground in multiple territories internationally, which will see Smithsonian Channel grow its footprint even further in markets such as South East Asia, India, China, Japan, Australia, Middle East and Africa,” said Ward Platt, CEO, kids & global networks at Blue Ant Media, in a statement.

Endemol Shine’s Prodigies lands in Spain 

Endemol Shine Group will be adapting its shiny floor, prime time entertainment format Prodigies for audiences in Spain.

Originally created by Endemol Shine France, the musical talent format focuses on three categories (song, dance and instrumental) and sees children aged seven to 15 years in age interpreting some of the greatest tracks in classical music history for the chance to named the country’s top prodigy.

The kids’ acts will be judged by an expert jury formed by some of the Spain’s biggest stars in the three categories, including choreographer and ex-dancer Nacho Duato; opera singer Ainhoa Arteta; and orchestra director Andrés Salado.

The Spanish adaptation will be produced by Shine Iberia, part of Endemol Shine Iberia, and will be known locally as Prodigios. Spanish pubcaster TVE will broadcast the series.

Prodigies has previously aired in France on France 2, Italy on Rai 1 and in Albania on TV Klan.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.