News round-up: Yes Studios moves into factual; Abacus to shop JMW Turner doc; Eccho secures ‘Endless’ pre-sales

44 Hours

Yes Studios moves into factual

Israel’s Yes Studios is launching documentary feature 44 Hours for acquisition as part of its push into premium factual sales.

The film is a Yes Docu and Einat-Emma Shamir production, co-produced with Neue Celluloid Fabrik Filmproduktion and SWR, in co-operation with ARTE and directed by Rotem Gross. Yes Studios handles the worldwide distribution.

The 1 x 83-minute film tells the story of Gil Avni, a sports-mad, healthy 33-year-old father of two, who was rushed to hospital after being taken suddenly ill. When he is swiftly pronounced brain-dead and given only a few hours to live, his family and friends visit to say their goodbyes.

What nobody knows – neither the medical team nor his relatives – is that Gil is aware of what is happening around him and can hear every single word, which he memorises.

Sharon Levi, managing director at Yes Studios, said: “Yes Studios’ scripted programming has been successful worldwide as we always seek out great stories with universal appeal.

“We are now evolving our business to incorporate premium factual programming; whether produced for Yes TV, co-produced by us or from producers worldwide, our factual focus will be on presenting buyers with the most compelling, thought-provoking and surprising stories we can find.”

Abacus to shop JMW Turner doc

Abacus Media Rights has acquired global sales rights, excluding the UK, to arts documentary Decoding Turner.

JMW Turner’s paintings are world famous, but what if they’re not what they seem? This new one-off film will change the way we interpret some of Turner’s most familiar works as two enthusiasts, joined by art historians and academics, reveal the hidden codes they believe are woven into his paintings.

Commissioned for Sky Arts by Phil Edgar-Jones, director of Sky Arts and Entertainment, the 1 x 90-minute film, due to air in June, will explore the secrets within many of one of the most beloved artist’s bodies of work.

Eccho secures ‘Endless’ pre-sales

International distributor Eccho Rights is bringing drama series Endless to the global market, and has already secured pre-sales for the upcoming Turkish series.

The Sürec Film-produced series (original title Fedakar), has been licensed to Achla TV in Israel and Happy Channel in Romania ahead of its premiere on Turkey’s Kanal 7 on 18 March.

Endless (240 x 45-minutes) tells the story of Tarık, who has been on a mission for a year, to find the man that murdered his sister. He finally identifies the killer’s motorcycle at a young man’s house and goes to avenge his sister’s death. But he is not home, and the only person Tarık can lay his hands on is the killer’s sister, Elif. She swears that he is innocent, but Tarık kidnaps her, as bait to lure her brother Sefer.

Holding Elif captive, Tarık expects to crush her spirit until she turns on her brother. But the young woman who has devoted everything to her family, has the strength to go to any lengths to protect Sefer. And this strength awakens something in Tarık, something he didn’t know he had been missing his entire life.

“High volume dramas from Turkey have become a hugely attractive option for broadcasters looking for long-running series that consistently pull in good viewing figures in both afternoon and prime time slots. And with Sürec Film producing, buyers are assured of a premium production,” says Handan Özkubat, Director of Turkish Drama at Eccho Rights.

Tree On A Hill

S4C & BBC Cymru Wales order ‘Tree On A Hill’

Welsh broadcaster S4C and BBC Cymru Wales have commissioned a new dark comedy drama titled Pren ar y Bryn (aka Tree On A Hill).

The series is being produced by Fiction Factory, part of the Tinopolis Group, in association with All3Media International and investment has come from Creative Wales.

Written and created by Ed Thomas, the six part series tells the story of Margaret (Nia Roberts) and Clive Lewis (Rhodri Meilir) – unlikely heroes whose quiet lives are changed in an instant when they find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Set in a bypassed town at the edge of a valley, this is a story about crumbling values, resilience and transgression being the key to liberation.

Rockie Awards nominees announced

The Banff World Media Festival has announced the nominees for the 2023 Rockie Awards International Program Competition.

The annual awards recognise excellence in television and digital media from around the globe, with the ceremony to be held during this year’s festival on 12 June.

Leading nominations by company this year are the BBC with 21 nominations, and FX Networks, National Geographic/Disney Branded Television and Warner Bros. Discovery, which are all drawn with five apiece.

Visit for the full list of categories and nominees.

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