Christopher Lee Documentary ‘Life and Deaths’ Notches Pre-Sales newsbhunt


Abacus Media Rights has pre-sold the feature documentary “The Life and Deaths of Christopher Lee,” to Sky Arts, SBS Television Australia; to NonStop Entertainment for Scandinavia, Iceland and the Baltics and to Movistar for Spain.

Lee is known as the Dracula character and for transitioning from 1960s Hammer horror films to a distinguished acting career that encompassed James Bond films, the “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” franchises.

Less well-known are his aristocratic Italian roots, a close family connection to James Bond novelist Ian Fleming, Lee’s wartime experiences in the British and Finnish military, post-war Nazi-hunting adventures and a side career as a heavy metal rock singer. As an actor, Lee achieved a Guinness world record for the highest number of screen appearances.

Produced in association with the British Film Institute and Trigger Films by Canal Cat Films, “Life and Deaths” is an innovative documentary which uses fresh interviews, archive material and multiple forms of traditional and cutting-edge animation, including marionation, to bring one of the world’s leading actors back to life on screen.

A-list directors and actors set as contributors include Peter Jackson, John Landis and Joe Dante, as well as Lee’s niece, actor Dame Harriet Walter.

Directed by Jon Spira (“Reel Britannia,” “Hollywood Bulldogs,” “Elstree 1976”), produced by Hank Starrs (“Reel Britannia,” “Being Frank”) and executive produced by Adam F. Goldberg (“The Muppets Mayhem”), the documentary is narrated by popular actor and voice artist Peter Serafinowicz (“Star Wars,” “John Wick 2,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”) who plays the voice of Lee.


Streaming platform, Prime Video has added Chaupal, a leading Punjabi video streaming service, to Prime Video Channels in India. Chaupal offers a line-up of Punjabi language content including movies and web series. Prime members can purchase an annual add-on annual subscription to Chaupal with an introductory offer of INR 599 ($7.20).


The Zurich Film Festival is honoring Geneva-born producer Michel Merkt with its career achievement award. Over the course of his career, Merkt has produced and financed more than 100 auteur films. His most recent, “Passages,” directed by Ira Sachs, will screen at this year’s ZFF. Some 15 of his titles have screened previously at the festival, including “Capharnaum,” by Nadine Labaki, “The Sisters Brothers” by Jacques Audiard, “The Triangle of Sadness,” by Ruben Ostlund and Ma Vie de Courgette,” by Claude Barras.


OUTtv, an LGBTQ+ television and streaming service, has commissioned a second season of its hit competition series “Sew Fierce,” produced by Sonic Nursery. The new season started production this month and is set to launch on OUTtv in Spring 2024.

The eight-episode second season will see design mentor Jaime Lujan, aka Lucinda Miu, return to the show, and be joined by a new co-host, the London-based drag legend, Crystal. “Sew Fierce” sees eight drag designers compete in weekly challenges to create new looks, in the hopes of winning a cash prize and a sewing suite from machine company Singer. A panel of judges evaluate the looks based on the appearance and construction of the garments, eliminating one designer each week.


Bus Stop Films has announced the appointment of Joanna Agius, Trent Blackett and Fiona Stuart to the organization’s board. Bus Stop Films, winner of the 2023 Screen Producers Australia award for breakthrough business of the year, is a disability-led not for profit social enterprise which uses filmmaking and the film industry to raise the profile of people with disabilities, on both sides of the camera. Bus Stop makes films with, for and about people with disability and from diverse communities and backgrounds.


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