Jalmari Helander’s ‘Immortal’ Begins Shoot; Sony-EbonyLife Writer Program; Sky Germany Slate; Daniel Bruhl Zurich Jury; Genghis Khan Feature — Global Briefs

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WWII Action Film Begins In Helsinki

Principal photography has begun on Immortal, the World War II action film from Rare Exports director Jalmari Helander, in which a man goes to war against the Nazi army in the Finnish wilderness. Starring are Jorma Tommila (Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale), Aksel Hennie (The Martian), Jack Doolan (The Hatton Garden Job) and Onni Tommila (Big Game). Filming will take place in Lapland and Helsinki, Finland. Petri Jokiranta and Subzero Film Entertainment produce. Executive producers are Mike Goodridge, Gregory Ouanhon and Antonio Salas. As previously announced, Stage 6 Films acquired worldwide rights, excluding the Nordics, which will be handled by Nordisk Film. Pic is backed by the Finnish Film Foundation, Business Finland – Audiovisual Production Incentive and MTV Cmore.

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Sony Pictures & EbonyLife Writers Initiative

EbonyLife and Sony Pictures Television are launching Alo, a program for writers of African heritage. The word ‘Alo’ is from the Yoruba language and translates as ‘once upon a time’. The Alo website will open for fixed periods beginning this Friday when writers can submit their TV scripts and story documents, which will then be reviewed and shortlisted by the Alo team which is comprised of creative executives from both EbonyLife and SPT. The free initiative is open to professionals, freelancers as well as up-and-coming writers. Submissions “must pay homage to Africa’s unique cultures, diversity, heritage and people”. Successful candidates will have the opportunity to enter into a series pilot development agreement with SPT and EbonyLife. Entrants can reside outside Africa but must be of African heritage, born in any of the continent’s fifty-four countries or have proven citizenship as a native of the country, or be first generation children. The initiative it is open to submissions from the U.S., Canada, the UK and EU, Australia and New Zealand, and Africa. Further regions may be added at a later date.

Sky Deutschland Originals Slate

Sky Deutschland has unveiled a trio of new original series: Crime series Autobahn (10 x 45) comes from producer Action Concept in association with Sky Studios. The lead writers are Sven Frauenhoff and Andreas Brune. Even as kids, brothers Ali and Leo loved fast cars and motorsport, today, as police officers, they know how to keep their cool while chasing suspects at 150mph; Tender Hearts (8 x 30) is produced by Odeon Film in association with Sky Studios with Eva Lia Reinegger set to pen the series, with Pola Beck as director. Set in the year 2036, the show follows Mila, who is frustrated with her dating and sex life and decides to order a humanoid love robot; Chameleon (8 x 45) comes from Isarstraßen Film in association with Sky Studios, and is penned by lead writer Christian Jeltsch. Set in the murky and mysterious world of corporate lobbying, it follows Max ‘The Chameleon’ a calculated and smooth operator who begins to question himself after he meets Vallery, a new, mysterious lobbyist.

Zurich Jury President

German actor Daniel Bruhl will preside over this year’s Zurich Film Festival Feature Film Competition jury. The Rush stars will be joined by director Stéphanie Chuat, producer Andrea Cornwell, and former Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick. “The Zurich Film Festival, taking place now for the 17th time, presents the most beautiful discoveries every autumn, as well as the most anticipated films of the year. It is a great honour for me to judge the competition entries this year as Jury President together with other colleagues, and I thank Christian Jungen and Elke Mayer for their trust. I am looking forward to ten exciting days of cinema,” said Daniel Brühl.

U.S. Producer Eyes Genghis Khan Epic In Mongolia

Los Angeles-based producer Wendy Kram says she is planning to collaborate with Mongolian producers on a new Genghis Khan epic feature, following the enactment of Mongolia’s new film incentive legislation. Jay Liotta is writing the project, which is set in the 13th Century, chronicling a story of geopolitical conflict where unlikely partnerships bridge cultural, ideological and personal differences. The team are eyeing pre-production in the spring and production in fall next year. “The timing for Godsend is excellent, as Mongolia’s Parliament last month passed a globally competitive 45% film incentive for films made in Mongolia,” said Liotta. “The script conveys a side of Mongolian culture that has never been told by Hollywood and questions historical perceptions and prejudices. When taking on a period piece it must have contemporary relevance, and this script does,” added Kram.

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