6 items from 2015
"It's a train wreck – there are people who want to see it and leave," PBS's Nature Ep Fred Kaufman said, of fake nature scenes and/or programs. His franchise relies “on a loyal audience that comes back, week after week, so we feel a responsibility to be truthful and accurate, and there are a lot of people who like that and expect that. I don't feel any pressure; we're very proud of the fact we're standing alone.” Kaufman, addressing TV critics on the final day of Winter… »
- Lisa de Moraes
Discovery got some bad press when they held a fake documentary during Share Week. PBS took notice of that and are playing on that by saying they will never do that. As usual when preparing for the upcoming fall season, the network is making sure fans know Nature will not be the victim to the same. The news broke of their promise over today as they announced this news. Here is what Fred Kaufman had to say.
It’s a train wreck – there are people who want to see it and leave, on a loyal audience that comes back, week after week, so we feel a responsibility to be truthful and accurate, and there are a lot of people who like that and expect that. I don’t feel any pressure; we’re very proud of the fact we’re standing alone.
I am glad that they open up about this. »
- Sarah Peel
PBS and BBC have inked a multititle co-production deal also involving BBC Worldwide, PBS president-ceo Paula A. Kerger announced at Monday’s Television Critics Assn. press tour.
The pact will create eight to 10 new programming specials across roughly 20 hours per year, both one-offs and multipart series, to air on PBS nationwide. The specials, which may be part of PBS’ schedule or featured in ongoing PBS series, including “Nature” and “Great Performances,” will cover a full range of genres — natural history, history, science, religion and the arts.
“PBS and the BBC share similar public service missions and the same commitment to producing entertaining and educational programming of the highest quality,” said Beth Hoppe, PBS’ chief programming executive and general manager. “We look forward to a long and successful partnership bringing the best from both organizations to the table.”
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
TCA 2015: Additionally, the broadcaster has ordered two new “Masterpiece” dramas and two documentary series on nuclear weapons
PBS has inked a co-production deal with BBC and BBC Worldwide, PBS’s president and CEO Paula A. Kerger announced during Monday’s Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena.
Additionally, the broadcaster has ordered a new Civil War drama series produced by Ridley Scott (“Gladiator”) and two new “Masterpiece” series. Also, PBS will produce two new documentary specials focusing on nuclear weapons.
Under the BBC pact, the companies plan to produce eight to 10 new specials to begin premiering as early as this summer. »
- Jethro Nededog
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has unveiled its 2015 line-up which includes films representing 54 countries, 23 world premieres and 53 U.S. premieres. The U.S. premiere of Niki Caro’s McFarland USA will close out the 30th fest. Based on the 1987 true story and starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello, the film follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. The unlikely band of runners overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well.
The festival runs from January 27-February 7.
Below is the list of World and U.S. Premiere films followed by the list of titles by sidebar categories.
A Better You, USA
Directed by Matt Walsh
Cast: Brian Huskey, »
- The Deadline Team
A self-acknowledged "showcase for Academy Award frontrunners," the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is often overlooked for the actual films that earn it festival status. An amalgamation of international discoveries and ’merica’s circuit highlights, the Sbiff curates a week of best-of-the-best to pair with their star-praising. The 2015 edition offers another expansive selection, bookended by two films that aren’t on any radars just yet. Sbiff will open with "Desert Dancer," producer Richard Raymond’s directorial debut. Starring Reece Ritchie and Frieda Pinto, the drama follows a group of friends who wave off the harsh political climate of Iran’s 2009 presidential election in favor of forming a dance team, picking up moves from Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev thanks to the magic of YouTube. The festival will close with "McFarland, USA," starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello. Telling the 1987 true story of a Latino high school’s underdog cross-country team, »
- Matt Patches
6 items from 2015
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