19 items from 2015
Rome – Netflix has set exact dates and pricing for its upcoming launches in Spain, Portugal and Italy.
The streaming subscription video service will bow in Spain on October 20; Portugal will segue a day later on October 21; followed by Italy on October 22.
After a free one-month trial, pricing across all three Southern European markets will be the same, Euros 7.99 ($8.90) per month for standard definition, basic single connection. Two simultaneous connections in HD format will cost Euros 9.99, and a premium plan of four simultaneous connections in Ultra HD will cost Euros 11.99.
Netflix will be available on Smart TVs, tablets, smartphones, computers, and various video game consoles and set-top boxes connected to the Internet, in addition to Apple TV and Google Chromecast. In Spain, Netflix will also be streaming via telecom-service operated Vodafone TV. In Italy it will be available through both Telecom Italia and Vodafone.
As for what content Netflix will be offering, »
- Nick Vivarelli
Italy’s Leone Film Group has closed a deal with journalist Alan Friedman to acquire 50% of the worldwide rights to a new documentary based on his upcoming bioography of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The deal also grants Leone 50% of worldwide distribution rights to the docu as well as an option to produce a fictionalized TV series inspired by the billionaire’s larger-than-life story. The book, entitled My Way: Berlusconi In His Own Words, is based on… »
Famed Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose sex parties popularised the term 'bunga bunga' in the pop culture zeitgeist, is getting his own documentary and potential TV series.
Leone Film Group has done a deal with American journalist Alan Friedman for the rights to a high-profile documentary about Berlusconi in the works right now, a doco which uses around 28 hours of video interviews with the man himself along with hundreds of hours of other interviews and conversations held over an 18-month period.
That's not just it though, the deal also includes an option to produce a fictionalised TV series based on Friedman's book about Berlusconi's rise from media mogul to Italian Prime Minister.
Friedman's authorised biography "Berlusconi: The Epic Story" hits shelves next month. The director of the doco, currently titled "My Way: Berlusconi in his Own Words," has not yet been disclosed.
Friedman has said in a mandate »
- Garth Franklin
Trim of beard, raspy of voice, puckish of demeanour, Nanni Moretti has hardly changed since he pottered about on his Vespa in Dear Diary, the 1993 art-cinema hit. There’s perhaps a dusting of grey in his face-fuzz these days – but it’s a long, long way from the big-hair-and-tache look of his early comedies in the 1970s. Rather improbably, Moretti is today seen as the elder statesman of Italian film: the heir to the new-wave heroes who revolutionised European and world cinema in the 1950s and 60s. The actor, writer and director’s simply shot, occasionally whimsical and often wry films are perhaps less resolutely cinematic than the likes of Fellini, Antonioni or Bertolucci, but his record of seven Cannes competition selections, »
- Andrew Pulver
Despite winding people up wherever they roam, Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond actually made the biggest show in the world, with Top Gear apparently boasting 350 million viewers in 214 countries.
Top Gear may have a very British sense of humour, but this hasn't stopped several nations launching their own versions.
Top Gear is truly taking over the world, as it has now landed its own Chinese version on Shanghai Dragon Television, after an initial attempt back in 2011.
There is of course a Chinese Stig and the usual features, with BBC Worldwide stating that it "mirrors the UK show's irreverent humour, presenter camaraderie, epic races, outrageous stunts and challenges, unique celebrity guest participation, and its often eccentric methods of testing cars".
Patrizia d’Addario, who wrote a book about her alleged affair with the Italian prime minister, said in a court statement she was planning to make a film about it
A woman who wrote a book about her alleged sexual relationship with Silvio Berlusconi says she is planning to make a film about the affair.
Patrizia d’Addario made a statement to a court in Bari, according to a report in the Telegraph, at the trial of entrepreneur Gianpaolo Tarantini and six others who are accused of a string of crimes, including “aiding and abetting and inducing into prostitution”, in connection with allegations that they supplied Berlusconi with women for sex parties in exchange for public contracts.
Continue reading »
- Andrew Pulver
Rome — A battle between rival Pope Francis biopics has just kicked off, with shooting starting this week in Buenos Aires on two feature films about Jorge Mario Bergoglio, both toplining Argentine A-list actors as the former Jesuit priest and tracing the path to his groundbreaking papacy.
Thesp Rodrigo de la Serna, who played alongside Gael Garcia Bernal in Walter Salles’s “The Motorcycle Diaries,” is playing the former Buenos Aires bishop, a son of Italian immigrants, in Italian director Daniele Luchetti’s “Call Me Francesco.” This roughly $12 million pic is being fully financed by prominent Italian producer Piero Valsecchi, who is planning a theatrical and a made-for-tv version. Luchetti’s credits include past Cannes fest contenders “Il Portaborse,” “My Brother Is an Only Child,” and “Our Life.”
- Nick Vivarelli
Paris — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are among the nearly 50 political figures who participated in France’s unity march staged Sunday in Paris. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in India, and President Barack Obama did not attend.
Almost 3 million people peacefully demonstrated in Paris. Some were singing the National Anthem, the Marseillaise, others were shouting “I am Charlie,” “I am a Jew” and “I am a cop” to pay homage to the 17 people killed in the two terrorist attacks that hit satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket at Porte de Vincennes this week. About 3.7 million people marched across France on Sunday.
Here is a photo that captures the spirit of today's march for Freedom across Paris Courtesy of @Gary_Farkas pic.twitter.com/6yyuXAkEJc
— Elsa Keslassy (@ElsaKeslassy) January 11, 2015
Arp, the French guild of authors, »
- Elsa Keslassy and Leo Barraclough
Anita Ekberg, the Swedish actress whose onscreen persona was best encapsulated by a scene of her wading sensually into the Trevi Fountain in “La Dolce Vita,” died Sunday in Rocca di Papa, near Rome. She was 83.
Ekberg, who had long been living in Italy, had been hospitalized recently due to several unspecified illnesses, her lawyer Patrizia Ubaldi said, confirming her death. She had been in a wheelchair for several years after breaking a hip.
Ekberg was one of cinema’s most famous “sex goddesses,” as renowned for her performances as she was for her alleged list of romances with major stars such as Frank Sinatra and Gary Cooper. In addition to “La Dolce Vita,” which made her an international film icon, Ekberg starred in “War and Peace” with Audrey Hepburn, “Artists and Models” with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin and “Paris Holiday” with Bob Hope.
She auditioned for, but lost out on, »
- Brent Lang and Nick Vivarelli
As the world reacted to the killings at French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, the European media community took to social media to express outrage, sympathy and solidarity with the slogan #jesuischarlie (I Am Charlie). Thousands also took to the streets of Paris and other European capitals, and political cartoonists around the world also published reactions. Artist Banksy’s sketch of what many have tried to put into words drew more than 1 million retweets.
One of Paris’ most prominent Arab filmmakers, Nabil Ayouch, who operates out of Paris and Casablanca, said he certainly wouldn’t back down after the Charlie Hebdo slaughter. “It’s a sad day. I’m still very shocked. This attack will reinforce my determination to move forward by denouncing in my films the craziness of those who believe that they can act and kill in the name of a religion,” Ayouch told Variety.
Ayouch’s last film, »
- Variety Staff
The coming year promises to bring further consolidation in the European TV biz as deep-pocketed telcos like Spain’s Telefonica entrench themselves further in content provision and quadplay services. There are potential acquisition plays from such giants as Vodafone and BT, while sports rights remain a key bone to be fought over, impacting the business in different ways. The new year also offers the prospect of some power plays from two of Europe’s heaviest hitters in Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Europe and French conglomerate Vivendi.
What Murdoch plans to do next, following the creation this year of Sky Europe — which merged his UK, Italian and German pay-tv operations — is likely to have a seismic impact on the European and international TV landscape. Rumors have been rife that Murdoch, who has stayed one step ahead of his competitors for the majority of his career, plans to divest his 39% stake in »
- Ali Jaafar and Nancy Tartaglione
19 items from 2015
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