Hello, and a warm welcome to International Insider. As the film half of the industry prepares to reunite in Cannes next week, here’s what you need to know from the past seven days. Want to get in touch? I’m on [email protected] And to get this delivered every Friday, sign up here.
Cannes We Dig It?
Yes, we can: It’s actually happening, Tom Grater reports. After an unprecedented 26-month gap, Cannes Film Festival returns next Tuesday, and it won’t look like any edition that has come before. Firstly, international travel remains a challenge. The U.S. is on France’s “green list,” which for vaccinated travelers should keep entry barriers to a minimum, though Deadline spoke to people this week who were still unclear how they would demonstrate their vaccinated status due to the lack of a QR code on the U.S. vax card. The UK is on France’s “orange list,” which means more restrictions but travel should be fairly simple for those double-jabbed. One week ago, it looked like anyone coming from the UK without their second shot would be subject to a seven-day quarantine upon arrival, but a last-minute exemption secured by the festival means that now won’t be necessary.
Inventive solutions: Not willing to take the risk over said quarantine, several Cannes regular companies told Deadline this week that they had dispatched teams of their younger, not-fully-vaxxed staff to the French coast a week early to allow them to see out their isolation periods in comfort and then be free to head down to the fest. “It’s like Love Island,” joked one member of a PR agency whose colleagues have been serving their time this week doing emails by the pool. Some – including our Tom – will be subject to PCR tests every two days once there. The festival has set up a special testing center near the Palais and slots are now bookable; it all seems fairly slick so far.
On the ground: For anyone planning to attend, make sure to pack some light clothing – temperatures are due to hit 33C next week (91F). That’s some sweaty red carpets. We’re not expecting the same level of glamorous parties, and in fact, some of the major venues like the Carlton are closed this year, but drinks invites are arriving in inboxes and there is a palpable effort to drum up festival spirit despite the enduring specter of the pandemic. And let’s not lose sight of the fact that this year’s Cannes has a pretty spectacular film program. Several people told Deadline this week that they see the line-up as the richest selection of arthouse European fare for years. If things run smoothly, it could be a real treat for those who manage to make it to the Riviera. Deadline is dispatching a team of reporters to Cannes and we’ll bring you everything you need to know – from film reactions to on-the-ground gossip and Covid complications – as it happens. Follow along here.
Waking Up To Wrongdoing
Eyes opening: It’s been four years since Harvey Weinstein was toppled in a torrent of allegations that echoed on this side of the Atlantic, and yet the #MeToo scandal is only just catching up with the UK industry. In a raw message to members last week, BAFTA chair Krishnendu Majumdar said sexual misconduct allegations against actor Noel Clarke and producer Charlie Hanson have brought “shame” on the British film and TV business and must act as a “wake-up call.” There are signs that eyes are opening — even if it’s years too late.
Many meetings: BAFTA was among a number of industry bodies, including producer trade group Pact and union Bectu, that took part in a roundtable with UK ministers on Tuesday. They sat down to thrash out a plan for tackling bullying, harassment, and discrimination in the creative industries. This was in addition to plans for a high-level screen sector summit on the issue of sexual harassment, spearheaded by Time’s Up. BAFTA will be present, while Deadline understands that other major players have agreed to participate.
Sky sets standards: In actions speak louder than words news, Comcast-owned Sky has overhauled producer protocols on bullying and harassment. Sky was caught in the crossfire of allegations against Clarke, given its close relationship with the actor and producer on hit series Bulletproof. Sky has since canned the show. Its new rules require all cast and crew to undergo workplace respect training and an exit questionnaire, while they will also have access to a safeguarding representative. Other broadcasters and streamers should follow suit. Read Sky’s procedures here.
Clarke collateral continues: We revealed this week that the BBC has halted work on an adaptation of Alex Wheatle’s book Crongton Knights. The project was housed at Clarke’s All3Media-backed outfit Unstoppable Film & Television. “We are not progressing any projects with Noel Clarke at this time,” a BBC spokeswoman told us. Clarke vehemently denies wrongdoing. Full scoop.
Best Of The Fests
Locarno: We got line-ups this week for two influential film and TV festivals, which are preparing to take place in-person. First up was Switzerland’s Locarno Film Festival, which is slated for August 4-14. Ferdinando Cito Filomarino’s Beckett, starring John David Washington and Alicia Vikander, will open the fest with its world premiere. Joining the movie for a screening at the Piazza Grande will be titles including John Swab’s Ida Red, starring Frank Grillo, which will world premiere. Screening in the Concorso Internazionale strand, which features international works from around the world, will be 17 world premieres, including Abel Ferrara’s (pictured above) Zeros And Ones starring Ethan Hawke. Full details.
Series Mania: Over in TV, Series Mania, much delayed by the pandemic, unveiled its screenings. Taking place August 26-September 2 in Lille, France, the festival will host the international premiere of World Productions’ BBC series Vigil, starring Suranne Jones and Rose Leslie. Series in the international competition include Kamikaze, HBO Max’s first Danish original, and Anna, a Sky Studios original in which a 13-year-old girl contends with a viral contagion that kills off all adults in Sicily. Hagai Levi, co-creator of Golden Globe-winning The Affair, chairs the international jury. More here.
📽️ In the frame: Doctor Who actress Catherine Tate has landed her own Netflix comedy series, Hard Cell. She will play different characters in the prison mockumentary. Netflix released a first look. Go deeper.
🌶️ Hot one of the week: Michael Sheen and David Tennant are returning for a second season of Neil Gaiman fantasy drama Good Omens. Amazon has ordered six new episodes. Peter White had the story.
🍿 International box office: F9 opened in 22 new overseas markets, lifting the international box office cume to $335M. Nancy Tartaglione has the details.
🗣️ Deadline’s International Disruptors: Our Diana Lodderhose spotlights key executives and companies outside of the U.S. This week, a deep dive into Federation Entertainment, the production-sales studio behind Canal Plus’ hit series The Bureau. Full piece.
😔 RIP Menelik Shabazz: Described as a true pioneer in the development of contemporary Black British cinema, Shabazz died aged 67. Read his obit.
⚽ Euro 2020 ratings: England’s historic win over Germany scored the biggest UK audience of Euro 2020 to date. It peaked with 20.6M viewers on BBC One. More here.
🚚 On the move: Endeavor China has appointed media and entertainment executive Sum Huang as CEO. Nancy had the story.
🎦 Trailer dash: John Leguizamo crime movie Dark Blood has been picked up for distribution in North and South America by FilmRise. We got a first look at the trailer. Watch here.
📺 One to watch: Season 2 of Aisling Bea’s excellent Channel 4/Hulu comedy This Way Up premieres in the UK on July 14. You can watch the teaser here.
Not Who: The BBC is yet to even confirm that Jodie Whittaker is exiting the Doctor Who Tardis, but speculation is rife about who will wield the sonic screwdriver in future seasons. One actor we can count out of the race is It’s A Sin’s breakout star Olly Alexander after UK tabloid The Sun pegged him as the favorite for the role. Alexander’s rep took the gossip in good humor, posting a playful statement knocking down the excitable reports. “Even though Olly is often contacted by Cybermen, I’m afraid I have to exterminate this speculation,” she said. “As nice as it is to see interest in this story regenerate, it just isn’t true. As Ood as it might sound, Olly is focusing on his music, for the time being.” Words to both delight and disappoint Whovians everywhere. Here’s the full story.
Tom Grater contributed to International Insider.
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