Afternoon subscribers. Max Goldbart here with your weekly dose of International Insider news and analysis and he’s been as busy as ever over the past seven days. Scroll down to learn more.
Of paramount importance
Via-Who? ViacomCBS is no more. primordial (or Paramount Globel to be precise) is here and streaming is the name of the game. This week’s Investor Day charted a new course for the recently merged company, with SVoD Paramount+ positioning itself as almost entirely responsible for the expected growth. And there was plenty for the international world to follow Deadline US’ expert coverage.
Canal+ ties: Paramount+ has rolled out to dozens of global territories over the past year with more to come. Among a barrage of Investor Day announcements, CEO Bob Bakish revealed a merger with Canal+ in France, which will see Paramount+ enter France as an offer to all Canal+ Cine Series subscribers. Bakish described the partnership as a “tough set” (what will they think next?) And the move reflects one of the roles that ViacomCBS (Paramount, sorry) wants the streamer to play: making territory deals that allow it to make distribution inroads into the nations he deems most important. Canal+, which is well placed to profit from this type of operation, has entered into similar partnerships with American media companies in the recent past, including Disney in 2019 around the launch of Disney+.
(International) content is king: This old favorite from Sumner Redstone. Tom Cruise and Shari Redstone were in attendance as Paramount revealed it would triple its spending on streaming content to $6 billion by 2024. The first shows come from outside the United States. include Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of A gentleman in Moscow and a remake of the cult classic sexy beast from Sopranos showrunner Michael Caleo. Cared for. Then there is Germany The Chemistry of Death based on the novels by Simon Beckett and South Korea Black mirror-ish The low, the first series to emerge from ViacomCBS and CJ ENM’s mega content deal. ViacomCBS International Studios is involved in the production of all of the shows, a sign that the band won’t be giving up their long-term rights.
Will it work?: How it all plays out will be fascinating, but one thing is for sure, Paramount+ is headed for a crowded market. Investor Day was littered with questions to Bakish and co about how the hub will be funded and how the streamer expects to set itself apart from the Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ juggernauts, as well as new competition (HBO Max , Peacock, etc). All of these streamers are focusing on Europe and Georgia Brown, head of Amazon Europe, took advantage of a Berlinale Series event to deliver that great claim: “In my mind, we are a European streamer”. So, Paramount placing all the eggs in the mailing basket could clearly have catastrophic consequences. The general feeling was that the group’s non-D2C services will be “carefully managed” in the coming years, with little room for growth, and a stock price fall the day after Investor Day will not really inspire confidence. What follows could be an uphill struggle and we will follow it to the end.
Golden end to the difficult Berlinale
Go forward : Since Covid numbers began to rise in Germany the first week of January, the 2022 edition of the Berlin International Film Festival was destined to be fraught with difficulty. Organizers responded to the Omicron wave by bringing the industry-focused European film market online, while deciding to stride valiantly with an in-person festival condensed into a reduced six-day format, with the final four days dedicated to catch-up screenings. The event’s ‘2G’ conditions saw reduced cinema capacities, compulsory masks and regular testing for the public. In total, the festival recorded 128 positive cases, a not inconsiderable number but which represented only 1.5% of the tests carried out, which organizers said was lower than that experienced by the city of Berlin at large.
Winners: This year’s winner of Berlin’s top prize, the Golden Bear, was the much-loved Alcarras (pictured) by Spanish filmmaker Carla Simon. A jury led by M. Night Shyamalan made the call, crowning the film which details the life of a family of peach farmers in a small village in Catalonia. Other winners of the night included Hong Sang-soo The novelist’s filmby Natalia Lopez Gallardo Dress of gems, Claire Denis’ Both sides of the blade, and Rabiye by Andreas Dresen Kurnaz versus George W. Bush. See the full list of winners here.
The EFM offers: Despite being forced to move online, the European film market has seen some action this year. Sony’s $60 million pact for the Tom Hanks comedy was particularly eye-catching. A man called Otto at the start of the festival, a record for the Berlin market. Today EFM confirmed to have hosted 600 exhibitors this year (compared to 504 in last year’s digital edition) from 62 countries and 1,300 online market screenings, slightly less than last year . “The EFM has again created clear and vital momentum for the film and content trade on its traditional date at the start of the film year,” said EFM Director Dennis Ruh.
The Mania series is coming
Around the TV: As the dust settles from a successful Berlin in person, attention turns to the world of television and the French series Mania. The organizers revealed on Thursday the shows, juries, panels and guests who will be present in Lille next month and it’s going to be big. Nine shows from six countries will take part in the prestigious International Competition, including that of Michael Hirst Billy the kid, and Hirst (pictured) is guest of honour. Plenty more for attendees to sink their teeth into throughout the week, including co-pro pitch sessions and talks from a series of the biggest names in the industry. More info here.
Mip TV Misfortunes: The big launch of Series Mania took place the week when I reported on start-up problems at RX France, owner of the other major future market in the television industry: Mip TV. A corporate restructuring driven by last summer’s merger has resulted in several departures in recent weeks, to our knowledge, and replacements in a set of newly created positions have yet to be found. Major UK distributors are considering whether to exhibit.
Bullying and mental health back on the agenda
“Shocking, surprising, discouraging”: The UK’s mental health crisis and issues of bullying and harassment have been on the agenda again this week with the release of The Film & TV Charity’s long-awaited investigation. Read here for more details, but the bullying statistics are alarming, with more than half of the 2,000 respondents saying they had been bullied, harassed or discriminated against in the past year. Charity CEO Alex Pumfrey described the statistics as ‘shocking, surprising and discouraging’ and said she expected things to improve following high-profile incidents involving Harvey Weinstein and Noel Clarke.
“Green Signals”: There have been “green shoots” on mental health, said Pumfrey, who pointed to the number describing their mental health as “poor” and plateauing “good” over the past two years, which may not seem like to be progress but obviously came during an intense period of confinement, illness and financial difficulties. Speaking at a panel hosted by Deadline in Berlintwo UK leaders who have a keen ear on the issue, Sarah Mosses and Rebecca Day, have highlighted several improvements that have taken place since that first lockdown. “When the pandemic started there was a real feeling that people were saying ‘I can now pause and think about what I need, how I might want to work in the future and how we can get there’ “, said Day, a Psychologist who produced a documentary in 2018 Become an animal. The industry is undoubtedly increasingly innovative. Amazon Prime Video diversity boss Margy Elliott revealed in Berlin that the streamer is deploying advisers on set for several of its productions, following the success of the measure on Barry Jenkins Underground Railroad. For far too long, these issues have plagued the screen industries, and Deadline will keep readers updated on the work being done to address them.
Deadline Meets Alia Bhatt
main lady: Bollywood star Alia Bhatt has spent the last decade as the leading lady of Hindi cinema, winning awards and attending top-notch premieres. To M caught her earlier this week to talk about an upcoming feminist tale Gangubai Kathiawadiwhich premiered at the special gala in Berlin, signing with WME and the Covid pandemic.
Propaganda battles: As we prepare for (possibly) World War III, check out Foreign Affairs Correspondent Hollie McKay’s fantastic special report for Deadline on the propaganda war already being waged in Ukraine. “For Ukrainians trying to navigate the nagging uncertainty, it’s another layer of the seemingly endless cross-border battle,” writes Hollie, who has spoken to many senior officials in the region. Full report here. Do not miss.
🌶️ hot of the week: Brooklyn nine nine star Stephanie Beatriz will feature with The Vampire Diaries actor Paul Wesley in a horror thriller History of evil. Shudder has shipped for the US, UK and Australia.
🌶️ Another: Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. had the scoop on Chris and Paul Weitz Spanish Dracula.
🌶️ Yet another: Sherlock star Sian Brookes is to lead BBC One crime thriller blue lights from Salisbury poisonings creators Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson.
🚚 Moving: British indie veteran Alexandra Fraser moved at independent Spirit Studios supported by Channel 4.
🏆 Latest awards: To help and Its dark materials writer Jack Thorne has been recognized for Outstanding Contribution to Writing at the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards.
🍿 Box office: by Robert Pattinson the Batman has a Chinese launch datejust like Tom Holland’s Unexploredboth in March.
🎦 Trailer: A new era for Downton Abbey, with the highly anticipated film due out in May.
🧢 woozy: BBC One has set the premiere date for Steven Knight’s long-awaited sixth and final season of Peaky Blinders.
Tom Grater contributed to this week’s International Insider.