Film Independent awards American Factory
Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar’s Academy Award-winning film American Factory was presented with the best documentary honor at the 35th Film Independent Spirit Awards, held on Saturday (Feb. 8) in Los Angeles.
The documentary (pictured) from Participant and Higher Ground Productions takes place in post-industrial Ohio, where a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in an abandoned General Motors Plant.
American Factory, which first premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, had its debut on Netflix in August. Jeff Reichert and Julie Parker Benello are producers. Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann serve as executive producers.
The annual event recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the “finest independent films” of the year to a wider audience.
BBC Studios signs output, licensing deals
BBC Studios has closed deals with Japanese OTT provider U-NEXT and Viacom18 — a joint venture between ViacomCBS and TV18, based in Mumbai — at its annual Showcase in Liverpool, England.
The studio’s first-ever multi-year output deal with U-NEXT will see the provider access more than 3,000 episodes of SVOD localized titles, including BBC’s Top Gear. The license period began this month.
U-NEXT has provided BBC Studios content to its customers for more than seven years. This new deal “elevates the partnership to a new level,” according to the studio.
Elsewhere, BBC Studios has struck a deal with Viacom18, which will see the latest series of Top Gear air on the Indian entertainment network’s English channel, Colors Infinity. The long-running automotive series is currently in its 28th season.
To date the studio has secured broadcast deals for the latest series throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Australian broadcaster Nine Network will premiere seasons 27 and 28 this year, while TVNZ has secured the premiere rights for seasons 27 and 28 in New Zealand.
Breaking Music heads to Argentina, Germany
The 60-minute documentary Breaking Music from Film & Arts — the arts and entertainment brand from AMC Networks International – Latin America — has been commissioned in Buenos Aries and Berlin.
Slated to premiere later this year, the film will explore the connections between different music genres — tango and classical — and showcases “world renowned artists.” The documentary follows German baritone Benjamin Appl on the streets of both capital cities, as he looks for similarities and differences between the genres.
Trinity Contenidos is associate producer and holds exclusive rights for international distribution. Frame Zero Argentina has been commissioned for the production.
The film is directed by Marcelo Lezama, Film & Arts general producer, and written by Martín Preusche.