“Fleabag” star Phoebe Waller-Bridge is launching a £100,000 ($120,000) Keep it Fringe fund, a new initiative to support artists at the Edinburgh Fringe festival. Waller-Bridge serves as president of the Fringe Society. The fund, supported by the Fleabag for Charity campaign and funds donated to the Fringe Society, will distribute 50 bursaries of £2,000 to individual artists or companies bringing work to the Fringe in 2023. It seeks to protect artists’ prospects by removing some of the growing barriers to performing.
“Fleabag” launched as a play at the Fringe in 2023.
Waller-Bridge said: “For a creative, the festival is one of the most unique places on the planet to launch work, meet other artists and be discovered by audiences, agents, producers and the media. For me, today’s announcement is incredibly personal. Edinburgh Fringe gave ‘Fleabag’ a game-changing platform for everyone involved and we are thrilled that the show can continue to pay it forward to the creatives of tomorrow and contribute to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to take their work to this amazing festival.”
The fund will launch March 10.
The Fleabag for Charity campaign was launched in 2020 during the pandemic by Waller-Bridge, DryWrite, Soho Theatre and Annapurna Theatre in partnership with National Theatre Live and Amazon Prime Video. All funds were raised through streaming the NT Live production of “Fleabag” and donated to charities on the front lines of the pandemic.
THE U.K.’s Scorpion TV has closed a string of sales on documentaries “Meeting the Beatles in India” and “A President, Europe and War.” “Meeting the Beatles in India,” produced by Emmy-winning director-producer Paul Saltzman, has been picked up by Germany’s Koch Media, Italy’s Nexo Digital and Norway’s Film På Farta. Executive produced by David Lynch and narrated by Morgan Freeman, the documentary revisits 1968, when 23-year-old Saltzman spent a week hanging out with the Beatles at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
VRPO the Netherlands and YLE Finland are the latest European broadcasters to acquire France Télévisions’ documentary “A President, Europe and War,” which provides a fly-on-the-wall account of French president Emmanuel Macron’s handling of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in its first few months. The film was licensed by SVT Sweden, VRT Belgium and NRK Norway in the run-up to its launch at Mipcom.
A report on female audiovisual professionals working on European TV fiction production records marginal improvement in the number of women working in the field. The report, titled Female audiovisual professionals in European TV fiction production – 2021 figures, has been published by the European Audiovisual Observatory and analyzes the composition of key positions in over 50 000 TV/SVOD fiction films and series episodes produced between 2015 and 2021: directors, writers, producers, directors of photography, composers and lead roles.
The share of female professionals in European TV fiction production ranges from less than 10% (composers, cinematographers) to over 40% (producers, lead roles), the report finds. In 2021, 37% of TV fiction episodes were written by female writers, but only 22% directed by female directors. The numbers are slightly above what they were in 2020.
German author and curator Barbara Wurm will be taking over as head of the Berlin Film Festival’s Forum section, the sidebar dedicated to independent and avant-garde cinema.
The Forum, which has been part of the Berlinale since 1971, is independently curated and run by Berlin’s Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art. Wurm succeeds Cristina Nord, who is returning to the Goethe-Institut after four years. Anna Hoffmann will provide support as the section and program manager. Uli Ziemons and Ala Younis will continue to be responsible for the section’s Forum Expanded component.