Legendary U.K. animation studio Aardman (“Chicken Run,” “Wallace & Gromit”) is teaming with filmmaker Gurinder Chadha (“Bend It Like Beckham”) on a new feature film project for family audiences. Described by the company as an “exuberant, warm-hearted musical,” the currently untitled Bollywood-inspired feature will follow Bodhi, a young Indian elephant from Kerala who dreams of becoming a famous Bollywood dancer.
Chadha is currently co-writing the screenplay with Paul Mayeda Berges (“What’s Cooking”) under their production banner Bend It Networks. The two companies will enlist top Indian voice talent, musicians and designers to develop the look and feel of the project.
“Aardman is a great British national treasure. I am honored and excited to bring my unique British Asian vision to their acclaimed animation studio. Their work has so much heart, humor and affection, and we share a love of authentic and joyful underdog stories about memorable characters – so it really is a perfect match,” said Chadha in a statement.
Aardman creative director Peter Lord added: “We are so excited to be collaborating with Gurinder, a truly great director whose beautiful, funny, and warm storytelling we have long admired. Her talent, when combined with the team here at Aardman, promises something new and extraordinary in the world of animation.”
Seven.One Entertainment Group has closed a first-look deal with John de Mol’s TV content development company Talpa Concepts for the German Market. Under the deal, Seven.One secures exclusive first access to any format developed or licensed by Talpa Concepts, and will be the exclusive producer of any future Talpa TV formats in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for the next seven years. De Mol is the co-founder of Endemol and founder of Talpa Media and the creator of iconic formats “Big Brother” and “The Voice,” among many others. Talpa Concepts was established in 2020 alongside Talpa Entertainment Productions and Talpa Distribution after De Mol sold his previous company, Talpa Media, to ITV.
Beyond Rights has closed a series of deals with broadcasters across the Middle East and Africa, sending more than 270 hours of scripted and unscripted programming to the region. Among the deals, OSN has picked up 190 hours of factual programming including observational documentaries such as “Maternity 24/7” and “Hitched n Vegas,” as well as a series of lifestyle programs including “Love It or List It.” Discovery MENA also picked up season five of “Abandoned Engineering” for the region and Africa. Other African deals saw AETN pick up seasons seven and eight of “Love It or List It” and two seasons of “Filthy House SOS.” BBC Africa snagged the British version of “Pooch Perfect,” with CBS picking “Murder in the Outback: The Falconio and Less Mystery” and “Handsome Devils.” Also in Africa, Azam Media picked up “Halifax: Retribution.”
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