News round-up: Eccho snags Korean drama deal; Scorpion’s ‘Seahorse’ sells; TVF joins Netflix-bound David Foster doc
CJENM’s Eccho expands SBS scripted format deal
Eccho Rights, the Nordic-based distributor backed by CJENM, has struck a new scripted formats pact with fellow South Korean media giant SBS.
The agreement with SBS Contents Hub will see Eccho represent SBS scripted formats Queen Of Ambition and Incarnation Of Money, expanding the companies’ existing scripted format pact.
Queen Of Ambition is about a born into poverty who will let nothing stand in her way as she tries to rise to the top, while a hopeless romantic man will sacrifice anything for her. The show has already sold across Southeast Asia, French-speaking Europe and Romania.
Incarnation Of Money is a legal thriller about a prosecutor and four conspirators who kill a real estate mogul to steal his wealth but must face up to their crime years later.
“These are two series that really took South Korea by storm during their original runs, but have universal themes and strong, emotive scripts that make them ideal candidates for international remakes,” said Deborah Youn, head of Asia business at Eccho Rights.
Sangil Yun, of SBS Contents Hub’s global business team, added: “Eccho Rights has a proven track record of getting scripts adapted across borders, ensuring that the remakes retain the ingredients that made the originals so successful, but also providing something new to the international market.”
In recent years Eccho Rights has compiled a large scripted format catalogue from several South Korean production houses such as CJ ENM, Pan Entertainment, JTBC and SBS, with more than 20 script adaptations in development around the world during the past 24 months.
VPRO, TV4 snag Scorpion’s Seahorse
VPRO Netherlands and TV4 Sweden have picked up a documentary about a gay transgender man who decides the carry his own baby.
Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth is from UK production company Grain Media and is sold by Scorpion TV. The doc debuted on the BBC’s factual strand Storyville last year and is set against a backdrop of increasing hostility to trans people.
Scorpion TV has also sold The Twinning Reaction to CBC Canada and TF1-owned Histoire in France.
The film is from Lori Shinseki and lays bare a tragically failed human research-experiment from the 1960s, in which identical twins were separated in infancy and studied secretly by psychologists over many years.
In other news, Scorpion TV has acquired a trio of new films. The Point of No Return (1 x 56 minutes or 1 x 95 minutes), from filmmakers Noel Dockstader and Quinn Kanaly, takes viewers behind the headlines of the first solar-powered flight around the world.
Scorpion is also representing psychologist-focused A Cure for Fear from First Look Media and Fishing Expedition Amazonia, which is from Out There Films and follows extreme angler Steve Townson on an adrenalin-fuelled adventure to the remote rivers of the Amazon rainforest.
TVF joins Melbar’s Netflix doc about David Foster
Specialist factual distributor TVF International has partnered up with Melbar Entertainment Group in Canada on a documentary about composer-producer David Foster that will become available via Netflix.
David Foster: Off The Record premiered at TIFF in September last year and was commissioned by Bell Media for Crave and CTV, where it has secured more than 6 million views to date according to TVF.
The film, which will premiere on Netflix in the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand in July, profiles entertainment icon Foster and claims to offer “unprecedented access” to his private life and stories about how he helped to launch stars including Whitney Houston and Andrea Bocelli.
Interviewees include Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, Chicago, Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie and Michael Bublé, while Barry Avrich produces and directs.
Cream strikes Indrani, GK Reid deals
North American producer Cream Films has struck a co-production partnership with Indian-Canadian director, photographer and activist Indrani and producer, multidisciplinary artist and social justice advocate GK Reid.
Cream, Indrani and Reid will create, develop and produce feature documentaries with a focus on social justice. Indrani and Reid will work closely alongside Cream president Kate Harrison Karman and EVP Corey Russell.
Indrani has been behind recent film Girl Epidemic and Legendary Lady White Snake, while Reid has collaborated with artists including Rihanna, Beyonce and Prince, and directed ad campaigns for global consumer giants.
Indrani said: “Believing that artists as myth-makers shape the parameters of the possible, my work explores transformation and the intersection between mythology and reality from diverse perspectives, to inspire change. I am thrilled to work with Cream’s proven expertise in achieving these goals for good.”
Reid added: “We are excited to create meaningful and disruptive work through collaboration with a remarkable team like Cream, bringing together unique visions for equality and sustainability, and nimble but powerful approaches. We look forward to creating game-changing content together.”
Collins Avenue turns into Story Street
Asylum Entertainment Group’s (AEG) media outfit The Content Group (TCG) is rebranding its recently acquired prodco Collins Avenue Entertainment to Story Street Entertainment.
Dance Mom’s producer Collins Avenue’s marked the first acquisition for TCG, which launched in 2018 when Steve Michaels bought back Asylum from Legendary. TCG and AEG’s roster of companies includes drama-focused Clovis Entertainment and Audity, an audio company.
Story Street will continue to focus on lifestyle programming and will also expand into new genres including true-crime programming and shiny floor formats. The company will also target third party formats to be adapted in the US.
Jodi Flynn, president of TCG, will continue to oversee the company and work alongside SVP of development Lindsay Schwartz, executive director of development Andi Walker Ochoa, and development executive Mitchell Parness.