Global Bulletin: Steve McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ Sells Across the World

BBC Studios sells Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe”; ZDF commissions natural history series “Africa From Above”; “Married at First Sight” gets live wedding; ITV orders game-show format “Game of Talents”; travel format “Heads and Tails” goes to Spain; Jellyfish promotes Natalie Llewellyn; German Film Office opens in New York; and Monte-Carlo TV Festival sets 2021 dates.

BBC Studios has secured several global pre-sales for Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen‘s anthology series “Small Axe.”

The series will be available on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. and has pre-sold to Australia (Foxtel Group), France (Salto), Spain (Movistar+ – Telefonica), Russia (KinoPoisk- Yandex), and Greece (Cosmote TV). The series will premiere on BBC First channels across Asia, Benelux, and Turkey, and on BBC Brit in South Africa. It will bow on BBC One in the U.K.

Set from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, and with a cast including John Boyega and Letitia Wright, each of the five films in the anthology tells a different story involving London’s West Indian community.

“Small Axe” is a Turbine Studios production for BBC One in association with Lammas Park and EMU Films while Amazon Studios is co-producing within the U.S.


Germany’s ZDF Enterprises has announced a 10-part natural history series “Africa from Above,” produced by their U.K.-based subsidiary Off the Fence Productions. Currently in production, the series looks at Africa’s landscapes, cities, people and wildlife from a new perspective by taking cameras to heights.

ZDF Enterprises is lead partner as well as the global distributor, and joining them on the production are South Africa’s Homebrew Films, ARTE, Austrian public broadcaster ORF, and Britain’s UKTV, owned by BBC Studios.


Redseven Entertainment, the German production division of Red Arrow Studios, will feature a first ever live wedding on the German version of their hit “Married at First Sight” franchise. It will air live on SAT.1 Nov. 4 as the season seven opener for “Married at First Sight” Germany (“Hochzeit auf den ersten Blick”).

The new season will follow 12 singles across eight episodes and relationship experts will match the couples until they face the final decision of whether to stay together, or divorce.

Now in 29 countries, “Married at First Sight” has multiple seasons and spin-offs in countries including the U.S., U.K. Denmark and Australia.

Red Arrow Studios is part of European media giant ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE.


U.K. broadcaster ITV has commissioned Fremantle’s Thames to produce a local, seven-part version of Spanish game-show format “Game of Talents.” Each episode will see contestants team up with a celebrity as the pairs work together to try and figure out the hidden talents of eight mystery performers.

The format, devised by Fremantle, is now entering its third season in Spain. It will air on ITV in 2021.


Paris-based global distribution TV company Oble has teamed with the Ukraine’s TeenSpirit Studio to adapt travel show format “Heads and Tails” for Spain. In every episode, before discovering a new holiday location, two hosts have to toss a coin to decide who will enjoy unlimited budget top travel and who will live under $100 for the next three days.

The Spanish version, titled “Cara o Creu,” will be shot in Valencia and broadcast on A Punt by the end of 2020 with eight episodes, supported by the local tourism board.


Jellyfish Originals, the children’s animation production division of animation and VFX studio, Jellyfish Pictures, has promoted head of IP development Natalie Llewellyn to managing director.

Llewellyn will lead the creative and commercial efforts of Jellyfish Originals and drive the development, distribution, rights negotiation, financing and commercial strategy of its originals slate.


German Films and the Goethe-Institut are jointly opening a German Film Office in New York office Oct. 1. Headed by Sara Stevenson, the office is set up to strengthen the presence of German cinema in the North American market. The office is supported by a total of €100,000 ($117,000) from different German government departments.

Upcoming events include an online sneak peak of the first two episodes of “Deutschland 89” and a drive-in screening of Visar Morina’s film “Exile.”


The 60th edition of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival, postponed from its usual June slot because of the coronavirus pandemic, has announced new 2021 dates. The festival will now take place June 18-22, 2021 with a new competition format. The festival team will imminently meet studios, television networks and digital platforms, to invite them to Monte-Carlo.

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