Welcome to the Inside Pictures May newsletter. It’s felt like a minute since the last one in October last year and we we are so happy to receive so much of your news on awards, announcements and career changes – thank you for sharing!

Before we get onto your news, we’d like to share some of our own:

For the very first time the Inside Picture project work presentations for the IP2020 cohort took place online. Once again we had international top-level executives and producers (some of them alumni), listening, commenting and providing detailed feedback to each project pair. We are sure a lot of our alumni can empathise with the 2020 participants, the nerves are the same even when it’s delivered online! Yet again the panel were impressed with the quality and finesse of the presentations with participants demonstrating learning garnered throughout the programme.

The new cohort for IP 2021 were announced last week. 20 participants will partake in Module 1 (online) and Module 2 (online LA time) and we are more than hopeful for the remainder of the programme to be delivered in person. We are delighted that Fiona Lamptey, Director of UK Features for Netflix will be our Ambassador for this year and look forward to her insights into the ever shifting landscape of film and TV.

ALUMNI NEWS

Hugo Grumbar (Alumni 2005-6) through his company Embankment, sold, arranged financing and is an Executive Producer on THE FATHER which recently won the Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay at both the Academy Awards and the BAFTAs. The film will release in cinemas through Lionsgate on 11th June.

Dries Phlypo (Alumni 2020) has produced MY DAD IS A SAUSAGE, written by Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem with Johan Heldenbergh, Savannah Vandendriessche and Hilde De Baerdemaeker in the lead. The film is a Belgian, German and Netherlands co-production from A Private View, Leitwolf and The Film Kitchen. Zoë is best buddies with her father. When he suddenly and inexplicably decides to become an actor, the rest of the family thinks he’s having a burnout. Zoë is the only one who believes her dad is an amazing actor waiting to be discovered. Releasing on 23rd June.

Justin Kelly (Alumni 2018) is a co-producer of SÉANCE, soon to be releasing in the US  by RLJE and Shudder, Camille Meadows (Suki Waterhouse) is the new girl at school, six girls invite her to join them in a late-night ritual, calling forth the spirit of a dead former student who reportedly haunts their halls. But before morning, one of the girls is dead, leaving the others wondering what they may have awakened.

Amit Dey (Alumni 2015) in his role as head of Non-Fiction at MRC is an Executive Producer and Financier of THE SPARKS BROTHERS which releases in the US on June 18th and in the UK late July via Focus Features. It’s a musical odyssey through five weird and wonderful decades with brothers/bandmates Ron and Russell Mael celebrating the inspiring legacy of Sparks: your favourite band’s favourite band.

Ulrich Schwarz (Alumni 2020) produced sci-fi thriller STOWAWAY which released on Netflix (as Netflix Original) in selected territories in April and soon exclusively to theatres in Germany by Wild Bunch Germany. Maximilian Leo (Alumni XX) was also a producer on this film. Directed by Joe Penna, STOWAWAY charts how, on a mission to Mars, an unintended stowaway accidentally causes severe damage to the spaceship’s life-support systems. An XYZ Films, augenschein, RISE PICTURES and Rainmaker Films production.

A selection of highlights from talent represented by Vanessa Henneman’s (Alumni 2016) Henneman Agency:

  • Carice van Houten stars in BBC series TEMPLE s2.
  • Halina Reijn set to direct A24 production BODIES, BODIES, BODIES.
  • Ellie de Lange played opposite Jenna Colman and Tahar Rahim in Netflix BBC production THE SERPENT. 
  • Feature film DO NOT HESITATE directed by Shariff Korver starring Joes Brauers is set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
  • Actor Julian Looman starts shooting THE IBIZA AFFAIR for SkyOne.
  • QUO VADIS, AIDA? (featuring Joes Brauers, Reinout Bussemaker and TeunLuijkx – nominated for Best International Feature.
  • THE MOLE AGENT (original music score by Vincent van Warmerdam) nominated in the Best Documentary category for the Oscars 

Gijs Kerbosch’s (Alumni 2018) Halal has produced the following three documentaries and one feature: YAB YUM is an intimate portrayal of the rise and fall of one of the world’s most iconic brothels. Online cinema release and TV broadcast in the Netherlands this spring.  

 THE TASTE OF DESIRE premiering at Hot Docs 2021 as part of the Special Presentations section is a poetic trip around the world, the oyster – with its sensual and lavish associations – acts as metaphor to explore human desires and drives, linking stories of a New York burlesque dancer, French Michelin-starred chefs, a Swedish oyster diver, a Japanese pearl maker and a terminally ill English psychologist.  
 
ALL-IN produced by Cassette for Timescapes in co-production with Halal, amongst others is in competition at CPH:DOX 2021 and part of the official selection for Hot Docs 2021. A stylish coming-of-age docu from an absurd holiday paradise in Turkey, where two young men are trying to find their way in a new world. 

STRANGER’S ARMS directed by Emma Westenberg is a film intertwining stories based on real events with a fictional plot for a hybrid scripted-docu, filmed four years ago on Long Island, NY. Three friends on the brink of adulthood reunite over summer and stumble upon a cold case murder. Fuelled by boredom they take matters into their own hands, winding up on a journey attempting to solve the decade old unresolved investigation. Streaming via Indy Film Fest April 29 – May 19.

Raymond van der Kaaij (Alumni 2013) and his company Revolver will shoot four new films this year. This week, CROSSING by Dutch director Jacqueline  van Vugt, a co-production with Dries Phlypo’s (Alumni 2020) of A Private View (Belgium) and Siniša Juričić (Alumni 2015) of Nukleus (Croatia) and with Dutch broadcaster NTR on board started shooting in Croatia.

This summer shooting for THE DAM will commence. Based on true events, it’s a story of a financially-struggling black father of five who finds his life turned upside down when the school bus that he is driving crashes into the Westdene Dam killing 41 white children.
 
UNDER THE NAKED SKY is planned for July, directed by debut director Lilian Sijbesma and a Dutch/Belgian co-production with Belgian Serendipity Films.
 
THE BURSARY is in pre-production with shooting planned for end of this year, the debut of South-African director Nomawonga Khumalo who’s short ‘Five Tiger’ just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. 

Tobias Alexander Seiffert (Alumni 2017) of Tobis Film has co-producer credit on THE MAGIC FLUTE, a modern retelling of Mozart’s popular opera which just wrapped shooting in Salzburg, Austria. The film stars  Iwan Rheon, Jack Wolfe, Asha Banks and F. Murray Abraham.

He also executive produced for Tobis the second season of pandemic thriller series SLØBORN which started shooting at the end of last April, with ZDF Enterprises boarding for sales and the first season sold to Cinedigm in the US. Aired in Germany in July 2020 on ZDFneo, the show’s first season is the most successful ZDFneo series in the ZDFmediathek so far.

Inside Pictures 2015 alumnus Aleksi Hyvärinen just wrapped on his upcoming feature THE TWIN starring Teresa Palmer, based on a script written by Aleksi and his partner in Taneli Mustonen, the latter also directing. Breaking the record on Inside Picture collaborations, Aleksi produces through his Don Films banner, with executive producers Joris van Wijk (Alumni 2015), Film Constellation’s Fabien Westerhoff (Alumni  2013) and AMC / Shudder’s Emily Gotto (Alumni 2020).  THE TWIN has been selected for Frontieres at the upcoming Cannes Marché and is slated for delivery in Q4 of this year. Following the aftermath of a tragic accident that claimed the life of one of their twins, Rachel and husband Anthony set out to rebuild their lives in the quiet Scandinavian countryside with their surviving son. What begins as a time of healing soon takes an ominous turn when the family realises that some secrets are so evil they need to be buried twice.

Andrea Scarso (Alumni 2017) is executive producer on three exciting projects:  VOYAGERS, a group of young men and women, bred for intelligence and obedience, embark on an expedition to colonize a distant planet. But when they uncover disturbing secrets about the mission, they defy their training and begin to explore their most primitive natures. THE UNITED WAY is the epic story of a football club, a city and a man who did more than most to bring success to both. As told by, co-written and featuring Eric Cantona. THE LOST KING is a UK comedy-drama inspired by the remarkable 2012 true story of finding King Richard III’s remains under a Leicester car park. Steve Coogan has co-written the script with his Stan & Ollie and Philomena collaborator Jeff Pope. Stephen Frears is aboard to direct the Baby Cow-produced feature.

Debra Liang (Alumni 2020) and Laura Wilson (Alumni 2016) struck a deal for LevelK title and multiple Sundance award winner HIVE. Debra also been selling the official Finnish Oscar Submission 2021 TOVE (biopic of the Moomin’s creator Tove Jansson) which is being released theatrically in the UK by Bluefinch in July.

Ioanna Stais (Alumni 2020) of Heretic successfully sold to major territories Berlinale’s Golden Bear winner BAD LUCK BANGING OR LOONY PORN.

Jonathan Halperyn’s (Alumni 2018) Hero Squared has co-produced MRS HARRIS GOES TO PARIS, a widowed cleaning lady from 1950’s London falls madly in love with a couture dress and decides she must have one of her own. This British-Hungarian coproduction was shot in Hungary and Budapest towards the end of 2020 before moving to London and Paris. Focus Features has secured world rights and the project received support in Hungary from the National Film Institute.

Ivy Vanhaeke (Alumni 2015 producing and co-managing the fiction department at De Mensen) is to produce DIAMONDS for Netflix with director Rothem Shamir (Fauda), a story set in the Jewish community in Antwerp. De Mensen has commenced shooting the six -part series LOST LUGGAGE with ARTE and VRT as co-producers, inspired by the aftermath of the attacks of 22 March 2016 at Brussels Airport. Their first Netflix film FERRY is going to be released on Friday.

Amy Jackson (Alumni 2016) has just wrapped production on Graham Moore’s directorial debut THE OUTFIT starring Mark Rylance, Johnny Flynn, Dylan O’Brien and Zoey Deutch. The film was shot during the pandemic this year in London.

Alexandra Hoesdorff (Alumni 2017) is currently in post-production with LEMON AND POPPY SEED CAKE by multi award winning director Benito Zambrano. The film is a co-production between Filmax and Deal Productions. Pre-production projects include POISON, to be directed by Désirée Nosbusch, SAVING MOZART by Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe winning director Gérard Corbiau and LIKE SUGAR by award winning director Heidi Greensmith.

Daniel Campos Pavoncelli (Alumni 2015) is one of the producers on French-Italian co production PROMISES written and directed by author and playwright Amanda Sthers (HOLY LANDS). The film is set in Italy and London and commenced shooting in Rome in March this year, cast includes Jean Reno, Kelly Reilly and Pierfrancesco Favino.

Helena Danielsson (Alumni 2014) is producing HILMA which will commence shooting in September. An English language biopic of the revolutionary Swedish artist and feminist pioneer Hilma af Klint, whose unconventional art and spirituality meant that her 1,300 works remained largely unknown for decades. Today, af Klint is recognised as one of the Western world’s first abstract artists, an achievement made even more impressive by the static, male-dominated artistic scene that surrounded her. Written and directed by Lasse Hallström (WHATS EATING GILBERT GRAPE, CHOCOLAT and THE SHIPPING NEWS).

Mike MacMillan (Alumni 2019) and Sol Bondy (Alumni 2018) have joined to produce ANY OTHER NIGHT, directed by Michiel Ten Horn. This week, they announced the cast in Variety, with Gillian Jacobs and Marwan Kenzari set to star. XYZ are handling sales.

Verena Gräfe-Höft (Alumni 2019) is in the middle of financing female led thriller DESIRE OF THE PREY – a German-Canadian Coproduction that was also her project for Inside Pictures. The project has secured BKM funding in Germany and the she hopes to shoot in Canada in October. Partners on the film are Protagonist (UK) and Elevation (CAD).

We would like to extend our congratulations to producer Bert Hamelinck, (Alumni 2011), who fought hard to make Oscar winning SOUND OF METAL. Read more about the struggle here.

AWARDS

Arvind Ethan David’s (Alumni 2008) broadway show, JAGGED LITTLE PILL, been nominated for 15 Tony Awards, (more than any other show in history other than HAMILTON!), won the Grammy for Best musical theatre recording 2021 and will be opening in Australia, at the Theatre Royal Sydney in September. His company Prodigal Inc also closed a first look deal with Warner Media and J.J. Abrams’ BAD ROBOT, with a particular focus on musical theatre.

Adrian Sturges (Alumni 2002) was series producer of THE THIRD DAY which has received three BAFTA nominations and has picked up two prizes, the C21 Drama Special Prize and the RTS Award. The show, starring Jude Law, Naomie Harris, Katherine Waterston, Paddy Considine and Emily Watson was a HBO and Sky presentation of a Plan B and Punchdrunk production. 
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UNORTHODOX, the Netflix show that Henning Kamm (Alumni 2016) executive produced has been nominated and won several awards over the past few months since the last newsletter, namely:

  • BAFTA Television Award nomination as ‘Best International’
  • Peabody Award nomination
  • 2 Golden Globe nominations
  • Gotham Award nomination
  • PGA Award nomination
  • AFI AWARD
  • Shira Haas and Amit Rahav won two Film Independent Spirit Awards in their respective categories
  • Jeff Willbush won a Satellite Award

CAREER NEWS

Luane Gauer (Alumni 2016) acquired and supervised for Focus Features Oscar, Bafta, WGA and Critic’s Choice award winning PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN. She has now moved on to Protagonist Pictures as Head of Acquisitions as of August 2020.

Eun-Zi Kim (Alumni 2018) is now General Manager of THE AOS, a new audio content brand, based in Berlin and co-founded by Universal Music. THE AOS stands for The Art of Storytelling and provides audio-blockbuster development-production-marketing-and-distribution as a one-stop-shop. For THE AOS format follows content i.e. they are open to all genres, story worlds and formats. So if you have projects that go beyond your wildest financing dreams > Eun-Zi can’t wait to read them!

Charlie Kemball (Alumni 2017)  is now the Head of Acquisitions & Business Development at  Piece of Magic, which specialises in the international theatrical release of high-end features and documentaries around the world.

Simon Gillis (Alumni 2014) was promoted earlier this year to COO of See-Saw, expanding his role across TV as well as film. Read more about his appointment here.

Spyro Makesinis (Alumni 2011) within eOne/Hasbro is now EVP and Head of Sales for EMEA and Asia in the International Distribution team (handling sales of film and TV shows to broadcasters, streamers and AVOD).

Ivan Wormley (Alumni 2005) has started a film marketing and distribution consultancy for independent producers at http://mo.na/ivan. Ivan ran the creative marketing team at Universal for many years and created campaigns for Quentin Tarantino, the Coen brothers, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Greengrass, Jason Blum and more. He now wants to make expert creative marketing and distribution advice a flexible and accessible resource for producers at every stage of production. He’s offering 20% discount and free chemistry sessions for IP attendees.