International Insider: Residuals In Spotlight; Venice Ends, TIFF Begins; Gaga & Mieli Deep-Dives

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Let’s Talk About Residuals Baby

Possible blueprint?: As is so often the case days, it all started with a tweet. Writer-director Carina Adly MacKenzie took to X (sorry, we have to) to throw a proverbial grenade into the long-running debate around streaming residuals – the U.S. unions’ long-held desire for writers and actors to be compensated fairly when shows on the likes of Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+ perform above expectations. “Fun fact: in France, Netflix already reports their viewership to writers monthly and pays writers based on that viewership, because it’s the law there,” wrote Carina. “They literally already have that system in place.” Curiosities on both sides of the Atlantic were piqued and the Deadline TV team set out to investigate, looking into the question of whether models in France and other European nations could provide a blueprint to solve one of the biggest sticking points in the labor dispute rumbling Stateside.

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Patchwork: What we discovered, as ever, was a high degree of complexity, nuance and a patchwork of different agreements. You can read our full report on European streaming residuals here but, in short, Netflix and other streamers have versions (sort of) of these success-based models in France, Germany and Sweden. The former is the furthest away from what the U.S. unions want and dates back to a keen sense of cultural protectionism along with strict laws relating to author’s rights in France. Germany and Sweden’s agreements, on the other hand, are more akin to what the WGA and SAG have been demanding, and they certainly had Deadline commenters intrigued. The agreements are by no means perfect. We heard talk of payments only just filtering through years after shows hit their success metric along with varying degrees of transparency, but they are certainly something to work from.

Artificial agreements: Speaking of something to work from, I revealed earlier this week that ITV and UK actors union Equity are progressing on a landmark deal that will, for the first time, include provisions for AI and cloning on the soaps. U.S. unions, I hope you’re still paying attention. The negotiations, which will lay down a marker for upcoming talks betweeen Equity, the BBC and producer trade body Pact, pertain to the protection of actors’ likenesses so that their faces are not used in other shows, thereby leading to less work for performers. If signed off, and the noises are positive, it would be a first-of-its-kind deal, and one that, once again, has echoes of what the WGA and SAG have been fighting tooth and nail for. One to keep an eye on.

Venice Concludes; TIFF Kicks Off

Coup de Chant: After 10 days of pasta, Aperol, and boat rides, industry insiders are packing their bags and getting ready to hitch a ride to Ontario. Yes, Venice Film Festival may be drawing to a close, but Toronto has barely begun. In week two, the main Venice headline-generator was, of course, Woody Allen, who returned to the Lido with Coup De Chance, his first French-language feature. Allen has been a controversial figure for several decades now following public sexual assault allegations by adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, which he has denied and for which no charges have been brought. Coup De Chance received a pleasant response from audiences at the Sala Grande in Venice, where it earned an enthusiastic five-minute ovation, and Allen appeared to skate through the film’s official festival press conference without any tough questions about Farrow. But as he walked the red carpet with his wife, Soon-Yi Previn, and two daughters, around 20 protestors stood outside chanting slogans including “no rape culture” and “a rapist is not a sick man, he is the healthy son of patriarchy.” A day earlier, banners that read “Island of rapists” and “No Golden Lion for predators” went up around the festival in protest against Allen and Roman Polanski, whose movie The Palace debuted out of competition.

Widely panned: Unlike Allen, Polanski — who fled the U.S. in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor — did not travel to Venice. The Palace has been roundly panned by critics, with Deadline’s Damon Wise describing the film as a “dreadful hotel comedy” that reduces Polanski to a “laughing stock.” Films that fared better with critics and audiences this week include Ava DuVernay’s latest feature Origin, which earned an 8-minute-plus ovation, while Richard Linklater grabbed attention with his Glen Powell-starrer Hit Man. A comprehensive list of all our Venice reviews can be found here.

Festival merry-go-round: Venice wraps on Saturday but on to Canada we go. Opening TIFF this year is Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film, The Boy and the Heron. The sell-out screening will mark the film’s international debut following its secretive rollout in Japan, although, sadly, the iconic Miyazaki will not attend. Other premieres to look out for include The Holdovers by Alexander Payne, Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins, and Les Indésirables by Ladj Ly. And while there is some uncertainty over pre-sales due to the strikes, we had the scoop on a few titles still drumming up business, including this story on the WME Independent package The Beast, which has Samuel L. Jackson in talks alongside Suicide Squad actor Joel Kinnaman. Check back on Deadline this weekend for coverage of the Venice awards and the opening days of TIFF and read this neat Toronto scene setter from Deadline Editor-In-Chief Mike Fleming Jr.

Going Gaga For Gaga (Corp)

Born this way: To Asia, where Liz Shackleton sat down with execs at Tokyo’s Gaga Corporation, the firm that counts iconic president and CEO Tom Yoda at the helm. The company has been going about its business rather well of late, producing Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Cannes hit Monster and buying the likes of Tár, Tenor and Everything Everwhere All At Once for domestic. Upcoming releases include a clutch of Cannes acquisitions: Justine Triet’s Palme d’Or winner Anatomy Of A Fall, Tran Anh Hung’s The Pot-au-Feu and Victor Erice’s Close Your Eyes. “We don’t set out to pick Oscar winners – we just do our research and buy films we fall in love with,” Senior Operating Officer Satomia Odake tells Liz, who gave our Asia Editor an insight into how Gaga selects its movies. Dive deeper.

Eyebrow-Raising Pact

Against the grain: Members of the international film community couldn’t believe their eyes earlier this week when news of a filmmaking pact between Israel and Russia dropped in the Jerusalem Post. The vast majority of said community has spent nearly two years freezing Russia out – pulling shows, ceasing distribution and banning delegates from festivals – but the Middle Eastern nation has instead embraced the invaders of Ukraine with a deal to “create films together and work with film archives,” according to Russian Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova. Both parties said the deal had been in the offing for a whopping 15 years, and had been Israel’s idea in the first instance. The move speaks volumes about the Israeli government’s current desire to go against the grain, and we have reported in recent weeks on Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to quash freedom of expression via a set of new media laws (his Communications Minister disputes this view). “Have they lost their minds?,” queried an open-mouthed Anna Zharova, co-founder and CEO of the Israeli-Ukrainian Alliance, who took to Facebook to sound off about the news.

Bella Italia

Lorenzo profile: Big Deadline Italian sitdown this week with The Apartment Pictures founder Lorenzo Mieli. Our own Anthony D’Alessandro spent a week in Italy shadowing Lorenzo and the result is a healthy deep-dive spotlighting the way in which one of Europe’s top producers operates. “We find amusement in doing things that have never been done before, but also are very ambitious, which goes beyond the boundaries of Italian cinema, beyond the rules of the game in the Italian industry,” says Call Me By Your Name auteur Luca Guadagnino, one of a number that Anthony spoke with to build up a picture of Lorenzo’s habits and outsized impact. Dive deeper here to get the skinny on the Priscilla and My Brilliant Friend producer.

All the Luck: After more Italian producer content? We’ve got you covered. Deadline International Editor Andreas Wiseman sat down with producer-distributor Lucky Red for a wide-ranging chat covering Woody Allen and Luc Besson’s latest pics, the firm’s enduring relationship with Netflix and the chances of a company sale. Read on (and also see Essentials below).

The Essentials

🌶️ Hot One: Italian production and distribution stalwart Lucky Red is teaming with local pubcaster Rai on drama series Belcanto, about the roots of opera in Italy, per Andreas.

🌶️ Another One: India’s ZEE5 Global’s slate of original series and films are beginning to pay dividends for the South Asian content streamer in the U.S., Jesse revealed.

🌶️ More heat: Sipur, the Israeli studio behind Euphoria creator Ron Leshem’s Bad Boy, struck a multi-year deal with local network Reshet13.

✉️ Open letter: From the likes of Martin Scorsese, Olivier Assayas and Joanna Hogg, calling for Berlinale Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian to be reinstated.

Festival latest: Korea’s Busan will open with Because I Hate Korea.

🚪 Exiting: BBC sport boss Barbara Slater, who is calling time after 40 years with the corporation.

🚪 Second exit: Showmax’s Yolisa Phahle, after nearly two decades.

🏝️ ‘Love Island’: An All Stars edition was finally confirmed by ITV.

🌎 Breakout: Xavier Giannoli’s TV debut Of Money and Blood was featured this week.

🍿 Box OfficeOppenheimer reached $851M globally after strong China start.

🖼️ Slate: Netflix unveiled a South African slate featuring the first project from Mandla Dube’s three-pic deal.

👁️ Teaser: From those cheeky Crown publicists, who teased that the final season will feature Prince Charles’ (now the King) marriage to Camilla Parker-Bowles.

🎥 Trailer: For Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, a movie this Insider author is not ashamed to admit is his most highly-anticipated release of the year.

Zac Ntim contributed to this week’s Insider.

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