RIGHTS

Channel 4 has acquired U.K. and Ireland broadcast and streaming rights for Indian festival favorite and box office success “Dostojee” (“Two Friends”), directed by Prasun Chatterjee.

Set in 1992-93, when Hindu-Muslim tensions escalated in India in the aftermath of the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the Bombay bomb blasts and percolated down to a remote village on the India-Bangladesh border, the film follows the friendship of two eight-year-old boys. Palash (Asik Shaikh), the son of a Hindu Brahmin and Safikul (Arif Shaikh), whose father is a Muslim weaver, are best friends, but fate intervenes.

The film world premiered at the 2021 BFI London Film Festival, and after travelling to 32 film festivals in 26 countries and winning eight international awards, it was released theatrically in India in Nov. 2022 and proved to be a box office success. Previously, it participated at the Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum and at Indian lab Film Bazaar from where it went to the Cannes Film Market as part of the ‘Film Bazaar Goes to Cannes’ initiative.

PROMOTION

Newen Connect, the distribution arm of Newen Studios, has promoted Leona Connell from executive VP, distribution, to chief commercial officer (CCO) of the company, working closely with CEO Rodolphe Buet. Based between London and Paris, Connell will focus on international and French markets across film and TV and will broaden her remit to oversee a team of 20 sales representatives across cinema and TV.

Connell joined Newen Connect in 2020 with the remit of optimizing the value of the outfit’s multi-genre content catalogue with broadcasters and platforms. She currently leads the fiction and non-fiction TV sales team in France and internationally and supports the financing of Newen Connect projects. Connell also develops co-production partnerships and pre-sales.

The creation of the CCO role follows the integration of the TF1 Studio International distribution team under the Newen Connect banner in 2022, and supports the distribution company’s ambition to optimize the value of its film rights.

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