Mediaset has taken a stake in Tunisian satellite broadcaster Nessma in a move that will re-unite longtime allies Silvio Berlusconi, Mediaset's controlling shareholder, and Quinta Communication's Tarak Ben Ammar. Mediaset and Quinta will each own 25% of Nessma. The deal will give Mediaset access to 7.5 million new viewers in North Africa, a base that Mediaset said will expand to Mediterranean Europe by year's end.
Real sci fi
Finnish production company Blind Spot Pictures has signed a co-production agreement with Oliver Damian's 27 Films Prods. for its planned Nazis-in-space film "Iron Sky." Billed as a dark sci-fi comedy, the "Iron Sky" tagline is: "In 1945, the Nazis went to the moon. In 2018, they are coming back." The trailer for the film has become a surprise hit on YouTube .
Luxembourg-based producer Josian Gilbert of Eifel Tech and Australian producer David Hannay of Vitascope have boarded the European feature "The Voice of God." Written and to be directed by Cologne, Germany-based American director Karl Haupt, the $4 million project is a romantic/psychedelic love story set in the 1960s art scene of Cologne.
Actress Zhang Ziyi broke from the festivities Wednesday at the Festival de Cannes to ask for money to aid the victims of the May 12 earthquake that struck her native China. Asking guests gathered at the Chopard Beach to observe a minute of silence, Zhang announced the launch of the Zhang Ziyi Foundation. At the ceremony was Chopard's Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, actor Christian Slater, festival general delegate Thierry Fremaux and THR publisher Eric Mika.
Gift of film
After spreading the love through the film world with luxury gifting suites at movie festivals, Nathalie Dubois- Sissoko is moving into movie production with her shingle NDS Films. NDS Films is based in Los Angeles but also will operate in Paris and Dubai and is developing several projects.
Portuguese fado-singing legend Amalia Rodrigues, who died nine years ago at age 79, will be the subject of the first feature film from Portugal's VC Filmes, "Amalia," to be directed by Carlos Coelho da Silva. Rodrigues, the most popular singer in the history of Portugal, will be portrayed in the film by stage actress Sandra Barata Belo.
Under Peace Arch
Peace Arch Entertainment has completed licensing agreements in international territories for 31 motion pictures and TV series at this year's market. Deals included the romantic comedy "The Deal" as well as the dramas "Winged Creatures" and "Chapter 27."