News

Top Nollywood producer Obi Emelonye appointed as creative director of Screen Nation Awards

0

One week after the Screen Nation nominations were announced, Obi Emelonye, Nigeria’s most successful Director/Producer of the last few years now firmly takes the helm as Creative Director for the 9th Screen Nation Awards. The Nigerian born, British-based filmmaker will bestow his artistic vision to a variety of homegrown and international African heritage stars from the UK and international film & TV industries.

The 2014 nominations saw global Nigerian talent lead the way with the overwhelming number of nominations in the much coveted People’s Choice African International Awards section with Ghana, South Africa and Kenya making up the numbers. Nigeria was also well represented within the highly competitive UK Screen Awards with Oscar contender Chiwetel Ejiofor and star of The Butler, David Oyelowo being the picks of the nominees. You can see the full list of nominees and vote for your favorite rising African talents exclusively at www.screennation.com

With all the major nominees converging on London for the film Bafta’s on the week before, this year’s Screen Nation is set to be one of the ‘hot’ awards ticket of the 2014 awards season. And with Obi at the helm the prestigious ceremony is anticipated to also host many Nigerian dignitaries and elite stars from both Hollywood and Nollywood who will attend to celebrate diversity.

(more…)

News| Broadcasting’s poor ethnic mix has an impact on everyone – via The Guardian

0

(Image source: www.sfgate.com)

Reposted from The Guardian

Media folk tend to be, if not leftish then certainly liberal – with a small "L". Thinking of themselves and their industry as modern, forward-looking and in the best sense progressive, and naturally absolutely committed to equal opportunities. But in the midst of so many things going so swimmingly well – the position of women in broadcasting, for example, is arguably improving and even disability post-Paralympics has a higher profile than ever before – something else has gone very wrong indeed. Whereas in 2003 Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people amounted to 7.6% of the creative industry workforce they now account for just 5.4% – a drop of a third over a decade during which their proportion of the population at large has grown significantly. In short, the position of BAME Britons in broadcasting and the creative industries is now significantly worse than it was ten years ago. So much so that a visitor from Mars – or even Brixton – might well be wondering if what was going on amounted to direct and deliberate racial discrimination.

This must count as one of broadcasting's biggest moves backwards, with plenty of potentially contributory factors.

ITV's London licensees – LWT and Thames (the latter replaced by Carlton in 1993) – used to see a clear commercial purpose in representing the capital's diversity – on air and off. It is probably no surprise that all three companies – and especially LWT – provided starting points for non-white production and executive talent who then moved off around the rest of the industry.

(more…)

‘Why do black actors like Idris Elba have to go to the US for success?’ – via The Guardian

0

Idris Elba is one of a slew of black British actors forced to go to the US to find success

Reposted from The Guardian, written by Hugh Muir

Delicious rebellion on the Today programme as Simon Albury, the former chief executive of the Royal Television Society, addressed the trail of black British actors heading to the US for the career breaks they can't get here. How to explain the problem, asked Justin Webb. Easy, said Albury: the problem is "walking through your newsroom in the middle of London, when London is 40% black and minority ethnic and seeing one Asian, who is there to bring the guests in. Fourteen years ago, broadcasters said they were going to improve diversity and representation. We have had 14 years and very little progress."

He's right; too slow. And yes, that includes the Guardian.

Here's the puzzle: how can America be a superior bet for the likes of Idris Elba, Adrian Lester, David Harewood, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, given its history of racial strife and the astonishing inequalities that still exist? We think of the UK as more racially tranquil. So why is the US a better springboard?

Part of the answer, says writer Carol Russell, of the Fresh Voice Initiative, is industry specific. "The US increased its focus on diversity in the late 60s. This meant that talent both behind the camera and in front of the camera were able to learn their craft, which in turn led to shows such as The Cosby Show being made for primetime audiences, which in turn proved to be training grounds for the next generation of talent."

Some of it reflects perceptions of minority progress in both countries. Casting directors largely reflect society as they see it.

In the US, where there is massive inequality but also a substantial black middle class, they can envisage minorities in all sorts of situations and cast accordingly. Here that is more difficult to achieve.

Then there are corporate considerations. A 2011 report predicted black American buying power will reach $1.1trn by next year. That buys a deal of corporate attention. In Britain black and minority ethnic spending power is estimated at £300bn, but that has yet to trigger corporate reappraisal. Communities perceived as economically marginal will also be culturally marginal, because the cultural gatekeepers largely react to the landscape shaped by commerce. Sad our actors go west, but unsurprising.

For regular news, updates and opportunities, follow us on Twitter at @Scene_TV and 'Like' the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SceneTV

News| 12 Years A Slave lands 9 Oscar Nominations

0

It looks like this year's Oscars will be a three-horse race with Gravity (10 noms), American Hustle (10 noms) and 12 Years A Slave (9 noms) leading the pack. The 86th Academy Awards take place on Sunday 2nd March. 

See the full list of noms below:

Best picture

12 Years a Slave

American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club

Gravity

Her

Nebraska

Philomena

The Wolf of Wall Street

Best director

David O Russell, American Hustle

Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity

Alexander Payne, Nebraska

Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best actor

Christian Bale, American Hustle

Bruce Dern, Nebraska

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

(more…)

Corrie’s First Muslim Family Joins the Street

0

Coronation Street to introduce its first Muslim family in 2014

via Radio Times

The family of Kal Nazir (Jimi Mistry) is to be introduced to ITV soap Coronation Street over the coming months in a plotline that will see Weatherfield's personal trainer open a gym in the area.

"We've already established that Kal's son and daughter both live with Kal's mum and dad, so we're going to bring them onto the Street," producer Stuart Blackburn told RadioTimes.com "It'll be the first Muslim family that Corrie has ever had."

Kal will go into business with his father Sharif (to be played by Marc Anwar) and corner shop owner Dev Alahan (Jimmi Harkishin) when they open a gymnasium at Victoria Court, the complex at the end of Victoria Street where Leanne (Jane Danson) and Nick Tilsley (Ben Price) currently reside.

"We've cast Kal's dad, who I'm already loving on paper. He's a man who retired some time ago after making enough money," revealed Blackburn. "You can imagine that he's had some health problems and his wife has told him, 'you're not going to work for 12 hours a day any more, you blithering idiot'."

Jimi Mistry's character Kal made his debut back in December 2013 when it was quickly established that he was a widower wth two children. Speaking at the time, the former EastEnders star said: "He's an alpha male – I think they were keen to bring in a strong male character. I like to think of him as someone who's quite charming and inspiring, but you can tell there's definitely another side to him. And this is what we’re going find out."

The family of Kal Nazir (Jimi Mistry) is to be introduced to ITV soap Coronation Street over the coming months in a plotline that will see Weatherfield's personal trainer open a gym in the area.

"We've already established that Kal's son and daughter both live with Kal's mum and dad, so we're going to bring them onto the Street," producer Stuart Blackburn told RadioTimes.com "It'll be the first Muslim family that Corrie has ever had."

Kal will go into business with his father Sharif (to be played by Marc Anwar) and corner shop owner Dev Alahan (Jimmi Harkishin) when they open a gymnasium at Victoria Court, the complex at the end of Victoria Street where Leanne (Jane Danson) and Nick Tilsley (Ben Price) currently reside.

"We've cast Kal's dad, who I'm already loving on paper. He's a man who retired some time ago after making enough money," revealed Blackburn. "You can imagine that he's had some health problems and his wife has told him, 'you're not going to work for 12 hours a day any more, you blithering idiot'."

Jimi Mistry's character Kal made his debut back in December 2013 when it was quickly established that he was a widower wth two children. Speaking at the time, the former EastEnders star said: "He's an alpha male – I think they were keen to bring in a strong male character. I like to think of him as someone who's quite charming and inspiring, but you can tell there's definitely another side to him. And this is what we’re going find out."

For regular news, updates and opportunities, follow us on Twitter at @Scene_TV and 'Like' the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SceneTV

Bafta Film Awards 2014: The Nominations

0

Embedded image permalink

The 67th Bafta Film Awards will take place on February 16th at London's Royal Opera House. As expected, Gravity and 12 Years A Slave lead the pack; see below for the full list of nominations. 

(more…)

News| Steve McQueen: UK industry ‘hugely behind’ on diversity

0

Reposted from ScreenDaily 

12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen has told ScreenDaily that the UK film industry is “hugely behind” when it comes to employing a racially diverse workforce.

“The UK is behind on that, hugely. I think it has to be seriously looked at. Whatever I can do to help on that personally, I’m up for. It can’t continue,” he said this week in London.

Virtually none of the leading production, distribution, sales and finance companies in the UK are led by non-white executives and few of them can count many BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic people) employees among their senior executive ranks. There is a similar picture among the public financiers, talent agencies, post-houses and studios.

“I don’t know why that is,” said BAFTA-winning director McQueen. “I didn’t meet one black person when I was making Hunger. On Shame, I didn’t meet many at all, though American crews are more mixed. I’m often the only black person there [on the set].”

Asked how he thought the industry could improve the lack of ethnic diversity in its ranks, Shame and Hunger director McQueen pointed to a perception problem but also said that those in positions of authority needed to be held accountable: “How does it happen? Does it happen at schools? People often look at the movies and see it as a Mecca on a hill but actually it’s like any other job…I don’t know the answers. I know I don’t like it. It’s something to make executives answer, make them feel uncomfortable about and maybe they’ll do something about it.”

This year Creative Skillset figures revealed a decline in BAME representation in the UK production, distribution and exhibition sectors between 2009-12.

BAME representation in full-time film production dropped from 12% in 2009 to 5.3% in 2012.

(more…)

News| London Live Unveils ‘Multicultural’ News & Current Affairs Anchors

0

London Live presenters Gavin Ramjun, Claudia-Liza Armah, Louise Scodie and Marc Edwards

Reposted from The Guardian

Local TV channel London Live has unveiled a team of four to anchor its news and current affairs coverage, with presenting backgrounds that include France 24, This Morning, the BBC and the Jewish Chronicle. The channel, backed by London Evening Standard and Independent owners the Lebedevs, said that it worked through 5,000 applications to pick "multicultural and multi-talented individuals" to reflect the diversity of the capital.

The team consists of Marc Edwards, a presenter on France 24 and EuroSport who also voiced Danny Boyle's London 2012 opening ceremony; Louise Scodie, a broadcaster and writer with credits including Marie Claire, the Jewish Chronicle and shopping channel bid-up.tv; Claudia Liza Armah, who has presented BBC3's 60 Seconds news update and BBC News Interactive; and Gavin Ramjaun, who has worked on ITV's This Morning and Daybreak as well as CBBC Newsround and BBC Sport.

"Our presenter team is a fantastic mix of multicultural, multi-talented individuals who reflect the audience they'll be talking to every week," said Vikki Cook, London Live's head of news and current affairs. The former Sky News executive says that the aim is to give the channel, which is billed as the biggest launch since Channel 5 in the 1990s, a "very distinctive look" compared with rivals BBC London News and ITV's London Tonight.

The team will front London Live's five-and-a-half hours of news a day. There will also be at least one hour of original current affairs programming and a documentary strand to showcase digital film-makers. London Live said it is close to announcing a number of on-screen video journalists.

In October, London Live announced that it was recruiting 50 people, including on-air talent and producers, to fill its as-yet-unfurnished studios in Derry Street, west London. The 24-hour channel has a slimline programming budget of £15m a year – a third of the cost of the BBC News Channel. From 2014, London Live can also bid for £5m a year in licence fee money from the BBC until 2017.

For regular news, updates and opportunities, follow us on Twitter at @Scene_TV and 'Like' the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SceneTV

News| Should Twitter play a part in deciding TV shows’ future? via The Guardian

0

The Wright Way

(The Wright Way: BBC1 dropped the Ben Elton sitcom after it faced criticism on Twitter)

Via The Guardian

Twitter's increasingly hand-in-glove relationship with TV was highlighted again on Sunday night, with nimble-footed ITV responding to the loss of signal for X Factor and I'm a Celebrity viewers in central and northern England by keeping them up to date via the hashtag #BlankScreenUpdate.

However, on the flipside, some industry executives have expressed concerns that Twitter's realtime feedback loop could be killing new shows at birth, with negative social media reaction preventing them finding their feet and building an audience over several series.

Earlier this year BBC controller of comedy commissioning Shane Allen warned that the instant reaction and "crucifying" of new comedies on Twitter made it harder for new programmes to bed in. BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore, speaking on Monday at a Bafta breakfast in London, played down the impact that social media networks such as Twitter had on TV executives and the chances of shows being given second series, saying it was "just one element of the feedback we are getting".

To read the full article, click here

For regular news, updates and opportunities, follow us on Twitter at @Scene_TV and 'Like' the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SceneTV

Web Series Star Aaron Fontaine Lands Role in Hollyoaks

0

 

Aaron Fontaine as Sonny Valentine in Hollyoaks

Reposted from Digital Spy

Hollyoaks bosses are bringing back Sonny Valentine with a new actor in the part. Aaron Fontaine, who starred in the web series Venus vs Mars, has been cast in the role of Sonny and has already started filming with the Channel 4 soap. Viewers will see Sonny arrive back in the village in January, shaking up life for the McQueen family. Long-time fans will know that Sonny is the brother of Carmel's late husband Calvin Valentine. As Calvin was killed by Theresa McQueen (Jorgie Porter) in 2010, the return of Sonny could bring back bad memories for all concerned. Show chiefs have a dramatic storyline on the way for Sonny, but full details of what's in store are being kept under wraps. 

Speaking to Digital Spy, Fontaine commented: "Joining Hollyoaks has been a great experience. There are lovely people here and everyone has been really welcoming."

Hollyoaks is Fontaine's first TV job but he has previously worked in a number of theatre and short film projects.

Sonny was previously played by Devon Anderson between 2006 and 2007, who then on went on to play Billy Jackson in EastEnders.

Congrats and good luck to Aaron!

For regular news, updates and opportunities, follow us on Twitter at @Scene_TV and 'Like' the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SceneTV

 

Go to Top