In today’s Global Bulletin, “F9” advances U.K. release date; BAFTA to expand learning programs; Russian online content market Key Buyers Event: digital extends dates; Sky rejigs acquisitions team; and James Bond installation in Austria receives European Film Academy honor.
Justin Lin’s keenly anticipated “F9,” the ninth instalment of the Fast and Furious franchise, will release in the U.K. on June 24, advanced from its original July 8 date.
The two-decade-old Universal franchise has earned more than $5 billion around the world. In the film, Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto is leading a quiet life off the grid with Letty and his son, little Brian, but they know that danger always lurks just over their peaceful horizon. This time, that threat will force Dom to confront the sins of his past if he’s going to save those he loves most. His crew joins together to stop a world-shattering plot led by the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver they’ve ever encountered: a man who also happens to be Dom’s forsaken brother, Jakob (John Cena, “The Suicide Squad”).
The film also stars returning cast members Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster and Sung Kang, with Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell and Charlize Theron. “F9” also features Grammy-winner Cardi B as new franchise character Leysa, a woman with a connection to Dom’s past, and a cameo by Reggaeton performer Ozuna.
BAFTA will expand the work it does to find and support new talent in the U.K. and globally, and will relaunch its year-round learning and talent development program in 2022 with plans to engage over 10 million learners online and equipping 80,000 people a year with the tools to develop a career in film, games and television via events, competitions and initiatives.
In addition, year-round support will be provided to 4,000 emerging talents through initiatives including BAFTA Breakthrough, BAFTA Crew, Young Game Designers and other newly-developed initiatives.
The expansion is made possible by the ongoing redevelopment of BAFTA’s headquarters at 195 Piccadilly in London. The venue will be a creative center for film, games and television and the central hub for BAFTA’s U.K.-wide, and global, learning and talent development program. The redevelopment will give BAFTA its first ever dedicated learning space, as well as state-of-the-art technology and increased revenues, with the aim of building a more inclusive and diverse industry, in keeping with the ambition of its recent internal review.
Comcast-backed pay-TV operator Sky has rejigged its acquisitions team, with U.K. executive Sarah Wright leading acquisitions across the Sky group. The new model is part of a realignment across the group that sees the launch of common content brands such as Sky Crime, Sky Nature and Sky Documentaries across all the operator’s markets.
Meanwhile, directors of acquisitions Katie Keenan and Lucy Criddle will manage all film and series acquisitions activity across the group, respectively. Local acquisitions heads Daniele Ottier (Sky Italy) and Matthias Kistler (Sky Germany) will become part of Sarah’s leadership team while retaining their local reporting lines into programming heads Elke Walthelm and Antonella d’Errico. Ottier and Kistler will continue to lead all local deals with major and independent licensors, but also work closely with Keenan and Criddle on all Pan-European deals.
International online content market Key Buyers Event: digital, organized by Roskino with the support of the Russian Ministry of Culture, the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development of the City of Moscow and the Agency for Creative Industries, which will be held on June 8–10, is now extended by three days for screenings and online negotiations. This is in order to accommodate a surge of content available from 119 Russian companies.
Over 500 international executives from 66 countries have already confirmed their attendance.
The European Film Academy has awarded the James Bond installation in Austria, 007 Elements, the title “Treasure of European Film Culture.”
Located 3,040 metres above sea level on the mountain peak of Gaislachkogl, the installation focuses on “Spectre,” which was shot in Sölden but also features other titles in the long-running Bond film franchise.
With the title, the European Film Academy wishes to raise public awareness for places of a symbolic nature for European cinema and places of historical value that need to be maintained and protected. The European Film Commissions Network has called on its members to propose places for this honor.
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