Extra: BBC Studios names Brass COO, operations; Fantasia Fest doc lineup

Martha Brass tapped for COO position at BBC Studios BBC Studios Productions has named Martha Brass its chief operating officer, productions. Brass (pictured) will report to BBC Studios Productions CEO Ralph Lee, ...
July 22, 2021

Martha Brass tapped for COO position at BBC Studios

BBC Studios Productions has named Martha Brass its chief operating officer, productions.

Brass (pictured) will report to BBC Studios Productions CEO Ralph Lee, working with him and stakeholders across BBC Studios and the BBC Group to deliver on Studios Productions’ growth plan. She’ll be responsible for the overall BBC Studios Productions P&L, overseeing commercial and business development. Brass will also be accountable for business operations and production across BBC Studios Productions.

She joins BBC Studios from France’s Newen Group, where she was director of international operations. Brass was also previously CEO of international operations at Endemol Shine Group.

“I’m delighted that Martha is joining BBC Studios Productions and bringing her wealth of global commercial and operational experience to this pivotal role, as we set out our ambitious growth plan to develop even more creative hits for a wider range of clients,” Lee said in a release.

Channel 4 commissions Trash Monsters from Naked

UK broadcaster Channel 4 has commissioned a new celebrity-focused non-fiction special, Trash Monsters, from Fremantle production label Naked.

The 90-minute special sees a trio of celebrities donning specially designed “trash suits” made up of their own household garbage to make them each confront their consumer habits. The show, hosted by comedian Jon Richardson, is designed to highlight issues around climate change and inspire both the celebrities involved and viewers to think about their impact on the planet and curb their waste output. The celebrity who reduces their carbon footprint the most will be declared the winner.

Trash Monsters is produced by Naked and was commissioned by Harjeet Chhokar, commissioning editor, factual at Channel 4. Executive producers for Naked are Natalie McArdle and Matthew Cox, and the showrunner is Ben Cook.

Go Button commissions series at Super Channel, partners with Cineflix Rights

Toronto-based Go Button Media has announced that Super Channel in Canada has commissioned its new historical docuseries, Secret Nazi Expeditions, with Cineflix Rights on board as its international distribution partner with a focus on pre-sales.

The 6 x 60-minute series focuses on the work of an elite team of Nazi scientists who searched the far reaches of the globe for ancient artifacts alleged to possess mystical powers in the name of Hitler’s regime.

“Super Channel has been an incredibly supportive broadcaster to our business this year, so we couldn’t be more pleased to move into production with them on this second history series,” Daniel Oron, Go Button Media’s co-founder and series executive producer, said in a release. “We are also thrilled to be working with Cineflix Rights for the first time. The team was extremely enthusiastic about this new series from the first conversation and, given Cineflix’s impressive track record and extensive international network, I have every confidence that Secret Nazi Expeditions will soon find a raft of excellent homes across the world.”

Secret Nazi Expeditions is set to begin production soon. It’s Go Button’s second Super Channel Fuse Original commission this year, following the World War Two series Forgotten Frontlines (6 x 60 minutes), co-commissioned by SBS Australia and Off The Fence.

Fantasia reveals doc slate for 2021 festival

Organizers of the Fantasia International Film Festival have unveiled the documentary lineup for the 2021 event, which includes several docs about cult filmmakers and genres.

Fantasia’s “Documentaries from the Edge” program for 2021 was curated by recently appointed section director Celia Pouzet and programmer Alyssia Duval-Nguon. The event will run as a hybrid event from August 5 to 25 in Montreal.

The films screening at Fantasia will include filmmaker Hayley Garrigus’s “anti-documentary” You Can’t Kill Meme, an examination of online personalities who believe they’re the prophets of their era; Straight to VHS, in which filmmaker Emilio Silva Torre uncovers the history of an infamous 1980s Uruguayan direct-to-video cult classic; Dear Hacker, Alice Lenay’s debut documentary, a “visual letter” about her experiences tracking down an online invader; Satoshi Kon, The Illusionist, a film about the late anime filmmaker (Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress) from French documentarian Pascal-Alex Vincent; Kier-La Janisse’s extensively-researched genre exploration Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror, which won the Midnighter Audience Award at SXSW; Alien On Stage, which follows the low-budget stage adaptation of the classic 1979 sci-fi horror film Alien by a group of British bus drivers; Joonas Neuvonen and Sadri Centinkaya’s Lost Boys, about the death and disappearance of Neuvonen’s friends after the celebration of his previous film, 2010′s Reindeerspotting: Escape from Santaland; and Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché, about the life and legacy of the frontwoman of the cult band X-Ray Spex, from filmmaker Paul Sng.

Fantasia’s “Documentaries from the Edge” program will also feature the event “Konversation: Takayuki Hirao Meets Pascal-Alex Vincent,” a discussion between Satoshi Kon, The Illusionist filmmaker Vincent and Japanese animator Hirao (Pompo: The Cinéphile), who worked under Kon, about the filmmaker’s legacy.

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