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18/12/2009

DRG Agrees Comedy Pilot Deal

Leading London-based distributor Digital Rights Group (DRG) has announced a new collaboration with Filmaka, the digital entertainment studio and global community of filmmakers.
It is sponsoring a competition, alongside Canada's national public broadcaster CBC, to search for the next worldwide hit television entertainment format.
At the same time, DRG has signed a development deal for the comedy series Blowout with up and coming filmmakers Michael Kinney and Max Herholz, discovered through its first Hard Times themed Filmaka short film competition.
DRG's Justin Judd said: "We were very impressed with the scope of ideas submitted to the Hard Times competition and are looking forward to working with Michael and Max on the development of Blowout, a series which we believe has fantastic potential on the international stage.
This competition is the perfect way to give talented filmmakers an opportunity to get their projects in front of leading creatives in the television industry and we eagerly anticipate the response to our new TV format challenge."
Comedy series Blowout set amidst the wheeling and dealing of a second class used car lot, was chosen for development from almost 200 entries to the first DRG sponsored Filmaka competition.
Launched in March 2009, the competition saw filmmakers submitting a one - three minute film based on the theme Hard Times. Eighteen of these were then selected to submit a second short film and a pitch detailing their vision for their television series. Blowout creators Kinney and Herholz are now in development with DRG on a script for a television pilot and DRG continues to review competition submissions for further development.
In the new competition, launching this week, members of Filmaka's creative community are challenged to focus on ideas for the next global hit reality or game show format idea. Partnering DRG in sponsoring the project is CBC Canada. Julie Bristow, CBC's Executive Director of Factual Entertainment, said: "We want to encourage creativity from a grassroots level."
Filmaka's Deepak Nayar (Producer of Bend It Like Beckham) commented: "We are very excited to see the response to this competition from Filmaka's global community of talented filmmakers.
"Collaborations with renowned companies such as DRG and CBC Canada allow our members to draw on a wealth of experience in creating shows for an international audience, providing the perfect opportunity to develop their work and showcase their skills."
Entrants must submit a visually enhanced written pitch outlining the basic concept and structure of the show, how players/contestants enter and progress through the show and how its winner is selected.
DRG and CBC are open to a range of ideas - from the classic studio-based game show or primetime entertainment format to a show which challenges contestants physically or a reality game hybrid - provided the idea is new and unique. Entries will be judged by DRG and CBC's specialist in-house development team and five entrants will be awarded funds to shoot 15-minute pilot presentations.
DRG, CBC and Filmaka will then enter further development discussions with the makers of the entry they believe has the greatest potential to become the next hit television format.
The deadline for submitting pitches is January 24, 2010.
(KMcA/BMcC)
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