Italy’s Eagle Pictures Seals Sony Deal; BBC Studios Australia Snags Dating Format ‘The Matchmakers’; Norway-UK Sign MoU To Boost Film & TV Collaboration; Nominees Unveiled For Arab Critics’ Awards For Euro Films – Global Briefs

Eagle Pictures Seals Italy Distribution & Production Deal With Sony

Tarak Ben Ammar’s Italian distribution and production house Eagle Pictures has sealed a distribution and production deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment which will take effect from 2023.

“The deal with Sony represents an important step in consolidating the company as one of the biggest players in the sector alongside Disney, Universal and Warner Bros Italia,” said Ben Ammar in a release.

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Eagle Pictures was Italy’s top-performing distributor in the second quarter of 2022, thanks in part to its long-standing relationship with Paramount which saw it handle the Italian release of Top Gun: Maverick

Under the deal, Eagle Pictures will handle the Italian release of SPE features and the partners will also produce five Italian and European films together, which will then be distributed internationally via Sony’s worldwide distribution network.

Ben Ammar is already collaborating with Sony on two international productions,  Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, which is in cinemas, and The Equalizer 3, which is currently shooting in Italy.

BBC Studios Australia Snags Dating Format ‘The Matchmakers

BBC Studios Australia has landed a major SBS dating format following matchmakers from Jewish, Muslim and Hindu cultures as they help singles find long-term partners. The Matchmakers comes from the producer-distributor’s Australia and New Zealand production arm and dives into the world of dating apps and social media from a religious viewpoint. The show offers a front-row seat into the negotiations critical in bringing two families together in these disparate cultures. Airing next year, The Matchmakers will be exec produced by Anita Jorgensen. BBC Studios is distributing internationally. BBC Studios Australia General Manager Kylie Washington said the show will explore “family expectations and life ambitions against a backdrop of cultural expectations.”

British Film Commission, Norwegian Film Commission Strengthen Ties

The British Film Commission and the Norwegian Film Commission have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to boost collaboration between the UK and Norwegian screen industries, as well as facilitate film and high-end TV production between the two territories. 

The accord aims to build on a track record of productions that have shot in both territories including Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning (Paramount, 2023), No Time to Die (MGM/Universal/Eon, 2021), Black Widow (Marvel, 2021), Tenet(Warner Bros. 2020), The Postcard Killings (Good Films Collective, 2020), The Innocents (Netflix, 2018).

The agreement was signed in Oslo on Wednesday in a ceremony presided over by the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre, the U.K’s ambassador to Norway, Richard Wood, CEO of Innovation Norway Håkon Haugli, and Director of the Norwegian Film Institute Kjersti Mo. 

Nominees Unveiled For Arab Critics’ Awards For European Films

The 23 nominees in the running for this year’s Arab Critics’ Awards For European Films have been unveiled. They include A Ballad by Aida Begic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Beautiful Beings by Gu­mundur Arnar Gu­mundsson (Iceland), The Happiest Man In The World by Teona Strugar Mitevska, (North Macedonia) and EO by Jerzy Skolimowski (Poland). The awards, which are in their fourth year, are a joint initiative between European Film Promotion (EFP) and the Arab Cinema Center (ACC). This year, 76 Arab film critics, hailing from 15 Arab-speaking countries, are participating in the vote. The winners will be announced during the Cairo International Film Festival in November. The previous three winners were God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya by Teona Strugar Mitevska (2019), Undine by Christian Petzold (2020) and 107 Mothers by Peter Kerekes (2021).

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