Picomedia & WeiT Team On Drama ‘Kurgan’; Yo-Yo Champion Joins ‘The Sweepers’; 14 Arab Films Get Red Sea Grants; India’s FnP Media Makes Hire – Global Briefs

Italy’s Picomedia & Russia’s WeiT Partner For ‘Kurgan’

Italian scripted producer Picomedia, part of Asacha Media Group, and Russian producer WeiTMedia, part of Banijay, have partnered to co-produce six-part drama series Kurgan. Based on true events in 1982, the show begins in Northern Italy, where a 14-year-old boy in an affluent Italian family has a medical condition that no doctor in his country can treat. Bullied at school and desperate to fit in, he learns of a pioneering treatment by a Russian orthopaedic surgeon, Gavriil Abramovich Ilizarov, in the city of Kurgan, Siberia. Co-written by Russian and Italian scriptwriters, the 6×60 minutes series will be produced in both languages with an Italian female lead and Russian male counterpart.

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Yo-yo Champion Joins ‘The Sweepers’

EXCLUSIVE: Yo-yo world champions Gentry Stein has joined Michael Matteo Rossi’s upcoming action film The Sweepers; the project will mark Stein’s acting debut. The film also stars Steven Martini (Major Payne), Diane Robin (Robocop) and Vernon Wells (Road Warrior). It tells of a family fighting over the head spot in a criminal organization. The project will shoot in Los Angeles. “We’ve found the perfect role for Gentry in the film – you’re going to see him a lot more on the screen after this,” said Rossi.

Red Sea Backs 14 Arab Films

A total of 14 Arab films have received grants as part of the Red Sea International Film Festival’s 2020-2021 funding programming for Arab filmmaker. The projects will receive both production and post-production financing from the Read Sea Fund. The fund aims to back films that shine a light on narratives from emerging filmmakers from the Arab world. The fiction features and documentaries hail from Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Qatar, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. They are:

Farha, directed by Darin J. Sallam (Jordan, Sweden) Fiction Feature

The Sea Ahead, directed by Ely Dagher (France, Lebanon, USA, Belgium, Qatar) Fiction Feature

Communion, directed by Nejib Belkadhi (Tunisia) Fiction Feature

Take Me To The Cinema, directed by Albaqer Jaafar (Iraq, Egypt) Feature Documentary

Soula, directed by Salah Issaad (Algeria) Fiction Feature

Quareer, directed by Ragheed Al Nahdi, Norah Almowald, Ruba Khafagy, Fatma Alhazmi, Noor Alameer (Saudi Arabia) Fiction Feature

Life Suits Me Well, directed by Al Hadi Ulad-Mohand (Morocco, France) Fiction Feature

Recovery, directed by Rashid Masharawi (Palestine) Feature Documentary

Route 10, directed by Omar Naim (Saudi Arabia) Fiction Feature

Basma, directed by Fatima Al-Banawi (Saudi Arabia, Egypt) Fiction Feature

I Am Arze, directed by Mira Shaib (Lebanon)_ Fiction Feature

Inshallah A Boy, directed by Amjad Alrasheed (Jordan) Fiction Feature

The Arabic Interpreter, directed by Ali Kareem (Iraq, Germany, Qatar) Fiction Feature

The Wind Also Sings, directed by Hadi Ghandour (Lebanon, Tunisia) Fiction Feature

India’s FNP Media Hires Girish Johar

Indian production company FNP Media has appointed experienced exec Girish Johar as Chief Operating Officer. Johar has worked on more than 150 films across multiple languages including Hindi, English and Marathi. At FNP, he will attempt to grow the company’s output across various platforms and formats.

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