Venice Critics’ Week Names New Head
Venice Film Festival independent sidebar Critics’ Week has hired Beatrice Fiorentino as its new General Delegate, replacing Giona A. Nazzaro who left earlier this year to take the reins at Locarno. Fiorentino is a journalist, critic and teacher who has been a member of the Critics’ Week selection committee since 2016. “I proudly and with great enthusiasm take on this challenge, aware of the responsibility that was trusted on me. Together with the selection committee and the new programming team we will work in continuity with the path of those who preceded us. We don’t have to create anything new. We will keep our gaze well focused on the present and the future of cinema,” she said.
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Nick Manzi Among Lionsgate UK Departures
Nick Manzi, head of productions and acquisitions at Lionsgate UK, is set to leave the company, we can confirm. As we revealed earlier this month, Lionsgate UK is shedding around 15-20 staff as part of wider Motion Picture Group cuts. The UK office has seen a near-complete overhaul in the last six months with long-time CEO Zygi Kamasa moving on and Nicola Pearcey set to leave at the end of the year. Company vet Manzi, an ever-present at major festivals and markets, joined Lionsgate when it was still known as Redbus more than 20 years ago and has been involved in more than 100 films in his time at the mini-major. Films have included Gurinder Chadha’s box office hit Bend It Like Beckham, Oscar winner The Lives Of Others and The Railway Man. Lionsgate has yet to reveal its UK hierarchy going forward, but as we first reported, there will be a more centralized strategy out of LA and fewer UK production investments. Screen first reported news of Manzi’s imminent departure.
BBC Studios Cuts Gender Pay Gap
BBC Studios has made further progress in reducing its median gender pay gap, according to a report published on Monday. The Doctor Who and Top Gear producer’s median pay gap stood at 9% this year, down from 10.3% in 2019. Its mean gender pay gap also reduced from 17.6% to 15%. The median gap is the more widely used metric, as it looks at a figure that falls in the middle of an organization’s highest and lowest salaries, meaning it is not skewed by a small number of high earners. Elsewhere, BBC Studios’ median BAME pay gap dropped from 10.2% to 6.6%, while it was down from 8.6% to 6.3% for disabled employees.
YouTube, Grain Make ‘Creator Spotlights’ Series
YouTube has teamed with Oscar-winning company Grain Media to make a series of original documentaries spotlighting female creators. Yammy, ClickForTaz, and Saffron Barker will star in 20-minute Creator Spotlights documentaries, directed by an all-female team. The trio, who have millions of followers, will discuss issues including mental health, family, and disability with the aim of raising awareness and helping others. The films are executive produced by Anna Murphy and Adam Mitchenall for Grain Media and Victoria Jaye, EMEA creative executive at YouTube Originals.
Newen Hires EVP Distribution
Distribution outfit Newen Connect has hired Leona Connell as EVP Distribution. Based in London and Paris, Connell will work on both the French and international markets, reporting to Chief Distribution Office Rodolphe Buet. She was previously Senior VP of Sales at NBC Universal.
Cinesite Hire & Promotions
Cinesite, the digital entertainment studio, has hired Disney and Blue Sky alum Hank Driskill as Group Head of CG for Feature Animation. The company, which has credits including Fantastic Beasts 3 and The North Water, has also promoted Holger Voss to Group Head of CG for Visual Effects, Alexander Savenko to Group Head of Production Technology, and Danny Smith to Group Head of Infrastructure Technology.