Amazon Freevee has released the first images of Mischa Barton in the revival of long-running Australian soap “Neighbours,” production on which started April 17 in Melbourne. The images also feature cast members Jackie Woodburne and Alan Fletcher.
The new series will premiere exclusively for free on Amazon Freevee in the U.K. and U.S. this fall and will include streaming rights to thousands of episodes from the previous seasons, which will be available prior to the new series’ premiere. The series will also stream on SVOD counterpart Prime Video in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Australia’s Network 10, the home of “Neighbours” for 36 years, will retain first-run rights in the country.
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The new season is a continuation of the long-running daily drama series about the lives, loves and challenges of the residents on Ramsay Street in Erinsborough, Australia, a fictional suburb of Melbourne.
Barton plays Reece, a mysterious American who arrives in Erinsborough with a secret agenda. The actor is known for her role in the hit Fox drama series “The O.C.,” on which she starred for three seasons as well as for the ABC series “Once and Again.”
Meanwhile, Indian streamer Disney+ Hotstar has set series “School of Lies,” produced by BBC Studios and created by “Human” writer Ishani Banerjee and “Paatal Lok” director Avinash Arun Dhaware. The series is a drama thriller set in the fictional Dalton Town, surrounded by hills, where a 12-year-old boy goes missing from a private boarding school, and the subsequent domino effect it causes. The cast includes Nimrat Kaur, Aamir Bashir, Geetika Vidya Ohlyan, Sonali Kulkarni, Jitendra Joshi, Vir Pachisia, Shakti Anand, Mohan Kapur, Varin Roopani, Divyansh Dwivedi, Aryan Singh Ahlawat, Hemant Kher, Parthiv Shetty, Adrija Sinha and Aalekh Kapoor.
The annual London TV Screenings will return from Feb. 26 February to March 1, 2024. The third annual event in 2023 attracted 28 studios/distributors, an 87% increase on the 2022 edition, and more than 500 international buyers. London-based distributors All3Media International, Banijay Rights, eOne, Fremantle and ITV Studios founded the event.
Leading First Nations media executive Dot West, acclaimed director, the late Shirley Barrett and award-winning showrunner, writer and director Tony Ayres have been conferred honorary degrees by the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). Each were awarded Doctor of Arts, Film and Television at AFTRS’ annual graduation ceremony held last Friday in this, the 50th anniversary year since AFTRS’ establishment in 1973.
Barrett was a screenwriter, director and novelist who made three feature films including the 1996 Cannes Camera d’Or winner “Love Serenade.” Barrett’s posthumous honorary degree was accepted by her husband, Chris Norris.
Warner Bros. Discovery and AIS have announced an extension of their partnership in Thailand, with a new HBO channel pack. The new standalone HBO channel pack offers five channels – HBO, HBO Family, HBO Hits, HBO Signature and Cinemax – and subscriber access to HBO Go, regional streaming service. The pack will be available to AIS customers for as low as THB99 ($2.91) per month – for the first three months, thereafter THB149 ($4.38) per month – or THB999 ($29.4) per year from now until July 15.
Channels in the Warner Bros. Discovery pack on AIS PLAY, which launched in March, include: Warner TV, CNN International, HLN, Eurosport, Food Network, Asian Food Network, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Discovery, Discovery Asia, Animal Planet and TLC.
The BBC has revealed two new factual commissions at Wales Screen Summit, both of which are being produced out of Cardiff and made by South Shore. Eight-parter “Andi Oliver’s Big Bash” (working title), for BBC Two and iPlayer sees the renowned chef and restauranteur bring her party organizing skills to towns and cities across the U.K., galvanizing communities with her belief in the power of food, good vibes and music to bring people together and lift the soul.
Another eight-parter for BBC Two and iPlayer, “The Hairy Bikers Go West,” sees the return of best friends Si and Dave who will travel from the north to the south of the U.K. discovering the producers, farmers and chefs that are contributing to a modern British culinary revolution.
Nils Hartmann, executive VP Sky Studios Deutschland and Italia and Tobias Rosen, VP Sky Studios Deutschland, have revealed the appointments of Julia Rappold as senior executive producer and Stella Flicker as executive producer on the German team. Both roles report to Rosen, who in turn reports to Hartmann.
Rappold will be responsible for the production, execution and delivery of Sky Studios’ scripted original slate across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Prior to joining Sky Studios, Rappold worked as a producer at Lieblingsfilm where she developed and oversaw cinema and TV projects across a range of genres including comedy “Beckenrand Sheriff,” war drama “Das Glaszimmer” family drama “Familie is nich.” Before joining Sky Studios, Flicker worked as a producer at Letterbox Filmproduktion, overseeing and developing projects including courthouse-drama “Conti” andweekly TV crime show “Notruf Hafenkante.”
Damien Viel has been appointed chief digital and marketing officer at Banijay – a newly created role at the content powerhouse. Viel, who was previously Twitter’s managing director in France, will be in charge of strategizing marketing and digital diversification, reporting to Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti. Before Twitter Viel worked at Google.
“In Damien, we have a visionary leader, with a track record that speaks for itself, and he will be a great asset to our group as we look to further fulfil our growth ambitions and elevate our brand on the global stage,” said Bassetti.
Monica Gleberman has joined public relations firm Lon Haber & Co | IPPR as senior vice president. She will be based in New York, working closely with company founder and CEO Lon Haber. Gleberman started her professional life as a journalist before moving into public relations. She has also hosted the podcast “Silence on Set.”
“We’re beyond fortunate to have Monica as part of our team of truly remarkable industry professionals,” said Haber. “Her expertise, ingenuity, compassion, professionalism and intimate knowledge of the inner-workings of the entertainment industry are unrivaled.”
Director and writer Mark Cousins (“March on Rome,” “The Eyes of Orson Welles,” “Women Make Film”) will receive the honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award at the 29th Sarajevo Film Festival (Aug. 11-18) in recognition of his contribution to the art of film. Cousin’s first visit to Sarajevo was during the siege, in the mid-1990s. He and the Edinburgh International Film Festival had visited the Obala Art Centar cinema, where they showed films in support of Sarajevo’s besieged citizens.
“Taking films from the Edinburgh International Film Festival to Sarajevo during its siege showed me why movies matter. Most things I’ve done since have been influenced by those scary, inspiring weeks in 1994. Going back to Sarajevo for the first time, after 29 years, will open a dam of emotions for me. The honorary Heart of Sarajevo will take pride of place in my home and remind me of the need to take risks, to act in solidarity. I can still learn from the young man I was and, far more so, from the pioneering people in Sarajevo who understood that movies aren’t just a pastime. They are a crucial part of our lives. I’m so grateful,“ said Cousins.
The festival will also hold a screening of “March on Rome” as part of its Dealing with the Past strand. Previous recipients of the Heart of Sarajevo Award include: Jesse Eisenberg (2022), Ruben Östlund (2022), Sergei Loznitsa (2022), Paul Joseph Schrader (2022), Wim Wenders (2021), Michel Franco (2020) and Mads Mikkelsen (2020).
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