Check out the series promo for the 8th series of What's Up TV. Hosted by Jacqueline Shepherd and AJ King, the Sky 1 show will run for 6 weeks from Saturday 4th July at 1pm. Guests include Tablib Kweli, Jessica Wright from TOWIE, Tito Jackson and Hugh Dennis to name a few.
Nuzhat Ali and Sharma Walfall have won the Channel 4 and Northumbria University Writing for Television Award at the Northern Writers’ Awards ceremony in Newcastle this evening.
Launched by Northumbria University in partnership with Channel 4 as part of the Northern Writers’ Awards last November, the new award seeks to identify raw and diverse writing talent from the North of England. The award is one of the many initiatives launched as part of Channel 4’s 360 Degree Diversity Charter launched earlier this year.
Nuzhat and Sharma were selected from 264 entrants to win the award, which offers them the unique opportunity to be mentored through the script commissioning process with Lime Pictures and RED Production Company. As part of the judging process, six finalists pitched their ideas earlier this spring. From July 2015, the writers will spend ten months being mentored by Lime Pictures and RED Production Company.
Film Movement has acquired Olivier Award-winning playwright Debra Tucker Green’s feature film debut Second Coming, which stars Idris Elba and Nadine Marshall as a modern-day London couple who find themselves in the middle of a miracle.
Written and directed by Tucker Green, Second Coming follows Jackie (Marshall) and Mark (Elba), a middle- class couple who, along with their 11-year old son, Jerome (Kai Francis Lewis), must grapple with a unique situation. Jackie has just learned that she is pregnant, but she hasn’t been intimate with anyone for a long time, including her husband. She confides in her co-workers but takes a while before she tells Mark. When she finally breaks the news, Mark does not take it well, and the family must find a way to recover. Click here to watch the trailer.
Polly Hill, the BBC executive responsible for WolfHall, Poldark and The Missing, has been appointed the new controller of BBC drama commissioning, one of the most powerful jobs in UK television. Hill succeeds Ben Stephenson, who is leaving to join Star Wars director JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot production company in the US.
Hill, who is currently head of independent drama at the BBC, has overseen productions including BBC1’s Poldark, The Missing, Ripper Street and Death in Paradise, and Wolf Hall, The Honourable Woman and The Shadow Line on BBC2.
Television newcomer Kascion Franklin has been tapped to play the lead role in Danny And The Human Zoo, BBC One’s upcoming 90 minute one-off drama which is inspired by the life of Lenny Henry and hails from Happy Valley indie Red Production Company.
Danny And The Human Zoo tell the story of Danny, a talented impressionist from a working class Jamaican family. When Danny wins a talent competition, he soon finds himself working the comedy circuit. Audiences can’t get enough and applaud Danny as he effortlessly morphs into Mohammed Ali, Tommy Cooper and Frank Spencer, eventually hitting the big time on TV. But when an unscrupulous manager takes advantage of Danny, he hits rock bottom. Having made his name by becoming other people, Danny has to save himself by finding out who he really is.
Kascion Franklin, repped by RED Talent Management, will lead the cast of the one-off drama as Danny. Other cast members include Lenny Henry (The Syndicate) as Danny’s dad Samson, Cecilia Noble (The Bill) as Danny’s mum Myrtle, Arthur Darvill (Doctor Who) as Danny’s Manager Jonesy, Richard Wilson (One Foot In The Grave) as promoter James Broughton and Mark Benton (Waterloo Road) as seasoned entertainer Syd Bolton.
The BFI (British Film Institute) has appointed Deborah Williams to the new role of diversity manager. Williams commences her role at the BFI on June 1 to help push forward its diversity agenda and augment the Three Ticks initiative across all BFI funding activities. Joining the BFI from Arts Council England (ACE) where she was senior officer, policy and research, equality and diversity, Williams will sit within the BFI Film Fund team and report directly to Film Fund director Ben Roberts.
Developed by the BFI and backed by UK producers’ association Pact, Three Ticks requires all recipients of BFI Lottery film production funding to demonstrate commitment to encouraging diverse representation across their workforces, creating opportunities for training and skills development and on-going career progression, and advancing the portrayal of under-represented stories and groups on screen. Williams’ responsibilities will include working with BFI head of production Fiona Morham to support producers of BFI-backed productions – of which there are an average of 25-30 per year – to implement the Three Ticks guidelines.
Roberts said he had been encouraged to see the industry engage with the Three Ticks guidelines introduced last year and said Williams had an “inspiring approach to diversity which is constructive and enabling”.
“Deborah’s appointment is the most important next step for us in supporting the implementation of the guidelines and working with the industry on addressing perceived challenges to diversity, as well as supporting us here at the BFI as we strive to diversify the UK’s filmmakers, the kind of stories told on film, and the audiences who enjoy them,” he added.
Williams said the BFI had “set the tone and shown real leadership around diversity in the industry”.
“Developing the three ticks, working with partners and supporting the industry as it rethinks and reimagines the world around us on film is an opportunity that I relish and am greatly looking forward to embracing,” she said of her new role.
TriForce Creative Network (TCN), (formerly known as TriForce Promotions), has announced the launch of its new production company TriForce Productions. Supported by Red Planet Pictures, TriForce Productions will focus on creating quality, mainstream content, showcasing new voices and emerging talent to the broadest audience.
Tony Jordan MD, Red Planet Pictures, says; “I have followed the TCN’s work over the years and have always seen them as a driven company, genuinely invested in the development of talent and in changing the face of our industry for the better. The issue with diversity in the industry is not a lack of talent, just a lack of avenues for that talent to be reached. The TCN are opening up those avenues. We are delighted to provide creative backing to TriForce Productions, to help broadcasters access that talent and engage their audiences with programming that better reflects our contemporary culture.”
Toby Jones (Marvellous, The Girl), Lesley Sharp (Scott And Bailey, The Shadow Line) Wunmi Mosaku (Dancing On The Edge, In The Flesh) and Adeel Akhtar (Utopia, Four Lions) are set to star in BAFTA-winning Peter Bowker’s adaptation of John Lanchester’s critically acclaimed and bestselling novel Capital, produced by Kudos for BBC One.
Joined by Rachael Stirling (Detectorists, The Bletchley Circle), Gemma Jones (Marvellous, The Lady Vanishes), Robert Emms (Atlantis, War Horse), Bryan Dick (Wolf Hall, Eric And Ernie) and Radoslaw Kaim (Spies Of Warsaw, Wallander), the line-up will also include multi-award-winning Indian actress Shabana Azmi and, fresh from her Olivier award-winning role in West End musical Once, Zrinka Cvitešić.
Set on a single street in South London, Capital is a portrait of a road transformed by soaring property prices: what was once the home of modest lower-middle class families, Pepys Road has been continuously gentrified into a street of multi-million pound houses.
reed.co.uk, the UK’s largest job site, has released the shortlist for its sixth Short Film Competition which sees up–and-coming filmmakers compete for the chance to win a top prize of £10,000. The competition received 572 entries this year, the highest ever in its history, as filmmakers took on the challenge to create a three minute short film based on an original idea around the theme ‘The Question.’ The work submitted by the 12 shortlisted filmmakers feature a variety of interpretations on the theme, covering everything from romance to religion.
Now in its sixth year, the reed.co.uk Short Film Competition was created to provide career changing opportunities for young, up–and-coming British creative talent and to have their work seen by industry professionals.