Disney appoints APAC CEO
Disney has named Luke Kang as President, Asia Pacific, following the departure of Uday Shankar, which was announced in October and will take effect from Dec. 31. Kang, however, will not take over Shankar’s duties in India, with a unique role set to be done for the region by Rebecca Campbell, Chair, International Operations and Direct-to-Consumer for Disney. Kang oversees the studio business in Australia / New Zealand, Greater China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia.
‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ goes to Amazon
An animated series Star Trek: Lower Deck first premiered on Amazon Prime Video in several international regions including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan and India. The 10 episodes of the first season, produced by CBS, will be launched on January 22, 2021. Directed by Mike McMahan, the show is aimed at the support team that serves one of Starfleet’s most important vessels; Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid, Noel Wells and Eugene Cordero are among the voice cast.
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MBC Group Leader steps down
Sam Barnett has returned to the position of CEO at Dubai-based broadcaster MBC Group 12 months after retiring from the company after a 17-year stint. He replaces retired Chief Executive Marc Antoine d’Halluin but will take on a unique role as an adviser to the board. Separately, MBC has also hired Majid Al Ibrahim as the board’s representative.
Distribution of European Cinema ‘Zappa’
Cinema expert Piece of Magic Entertainment has built European rights (excluding the UK, Ireland, German territories, and Poland) to Alex Winter’s documentary Zappa. The company plans theater releases in all of their areas, allowing a pandemic. The film was sourced from Great Point Media, which handles sales.
Season 2 ‘Beforeigners’ has begun
Paul Kaye, Ann Akin, Jade Anouka, Billy Postlethwaite and Philip Rosch have teamed up with Nicolai Cleve Broch and Krista Kosonen for Season 2 of Beginners, who is currently filming in Norway. The HBO Europe series comes from Rubico TV in Banijay and follows Oslo’s multi-time police team who are reunited with another unusual case. It is created by Eilif Skodvin and Anne Bjørnstad (Lilyhammer) and directed by Jens Lien.
IFFR Cinemart Line-up
The Rotterdam International Film Festival has announced the participating projects in various fields of industry this year. The event runs Feb. 1-5 in an online incarnation due to an ongoing pandemic-related outbreak. A total of 17 films were selected for CineMart, their flagship program. You can see the full list here.
Leila Almas Rose, Jonathan Stoddard and Mark Jeffrey Miller have joined the drama team Jacir, which is set to fire in Memphis, Tennessee. Written and directed by Waheed AlQawasmi of Jordanian-American, his debut, the English-Arabic film follows Jacir (Malek Rahbani), a Syrian refugee who is resettled to a rough neighborhood in am Memphis. Amy Williams performs with Al Kapone and Kurt Clayton.