French In Motion Forms LA Chapter; MSR Media Hires VP Development; Coogan Boards ITV’s ‘Stephen’; BBC Buys ‘The Terror’ – Global Briefs

French In Motion Sets Up In LA
EXCLUSIVE: French In Motion, the non-profit that brings together French and American professionals from the film and TV industry is launching a new chapter in Los Angeles. Headquartered in New York with an existing chapter in Washington DC, the org supports international co-productions and collaborations between France and the United States through its partnership with the Gotham Film & Media Institute and has been doing so since 2016. The org is also creating an honorary board, composed of talent from the independent film and television industry whose work and influence span both sides of the Atlantic. U.S.-based French filmmakers Mathieu Demy and Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire have both joined the board alongside French In Motion’s Founder Nathalie Perus.

MSR Hire
Production outfit MSR Media has appointed Nick Royak to the newly-created role of Vice President of Development. Royak has ten years in the biz, including stints as Senior Acquisitions Manager at Gravitas Ventures, where he acquired over 200 titles. At MSR he will focus on developing feature film materials submitted to the company as well as taking on internally initiated projects. He will report to MSR Media’s Producer, Philippe Martinez, and will also contribute to the company’s slate and distribution strategy, reporting to MSR Media International CEO Karinne Behr. “At MSR Media, we pride ourselves on having a closely-knit group of exceptionally talented people that drive the company’s production and sales activities, and Nick will fit right in. His creative vision and proven production expertise will be an undeniable asset for us,” said Martinez.

Steve Coogan, Sharlene Whyte & Hugh Quarshie Lead ITV’s ‘Stephen’
Stan & Ollie actor Steve Coogan, Small Axe‘s Sharlene Whyte, and Holby City star Hugh Quarshie are to be the leads in ITV’s follow-up to Paul Greengrass’ BAFTA-winning 1999 drama The Murder of Stephen Lawrence. The three-part series portrays the struggle for justice 13 years after Lawrence’s death in a racially motivated attack while he was waiting for a bus in south London. Whyte plays Lawrence’s mother Doreen Lawrence, while Quarshie stars as Neville Lawrence after playing him in the original drama. Coogan takes on the role of DCI Clive Driscoll, who led the investigation into the murder. Stephen is made by Hat Trick Mercurio Television, the production outfit co-owned by Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio and Hat Trick Productions, the Jimmy Mulville-run indie behind Matt LeBlanc’s Golden Globe-winning Episodes. Frank Cottrell Boyce (Hilary And Jackie) and Joe Cottrell Boyce (Treasure) are writing Stephen, while it will be directed by Alrick Riley (The Cops). Madonna Baptiste (The Stranger) is the producer, while Greengrass and Mark Redhead — who produced the original drama — serve as executive producers. Mulville and Mercurio are also executive producers.

BBC Acquires AMC’s Horror Anthology Series ‘The Terror’
BBC Two and iPlayer have acquired the first season of The Terror from AMC Studios International. The 10-part series is inspired by true events and is a fictionalized account of Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition to the Arctic. The Crown actors Jared Harris and Tobias Menzies are among the stars in the drama, which first premiered in 2018. The executive producers are Ridley Scott for Scott Free Productions, alongside David Kajganich and Soo Hugh.

BBC News Closes Senior Roles
BBC News editorial director Kamal Ahmed, head of news output Gavin Allen, and head of current affairs Joanna Carr have had their posts closed as part of a restructure of the BBC News board. The changes, which come into effect next month, will see the board shrink from 11 leaders to eight. Within this group of eight, a new senior controller of the BBC’s international news services will be hired. Mary Hockaday, controller of World Service English, will fill this role in the interim. BBC News director Fran Unsworth said the overhaul will deliver more value for audiences and help modernize the broadcaster’s output.

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