Tag Archive: Caroline Torrance

  1. Alef One, Banijay Rights & France Televisions Join Forces For MH370 Drama

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    Banijay Rights, the leading distribution arm of Banijay Group, has today confirmed it will distribute the highly-anticipated, dramatic mini-series, Flight MH370, with France Televisions broadcasting the show in France.

    Produced by Alef One, headed up by Nora Melhi (The Tunnel; Riviera), the 6 x 52’ drama, explores the biggest mystery in aviation history, surrounding the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which in 2014 was lost somewhere over the South China Sea carrying 239 passengers.

    The predominantly English language mini-series is based on both the novel by Ghyslain Wattrelos, who lost his wife and two of his three children in the tragedy, and the other by Florence de Changy, the journalist, who investigated the disappearance with surgical precision.

    The show boasts a raft of critically-acclaimed creative talent, with showrunner Gilles Bannier (Spiral; Tin Star; The Tunnel), and writers Tim Loane (Versailles, Das Boot) and Laurent Mercier (The Club, Eden). At the helm, alongside Melhi as co-executive producer, is Nadine Nohr who was integral to the distribution of landmark titles, The Bridge and Broadchurch.

    Told from multiple perspectives across seven countries, Flight MH370 retraces the odyssey of Wattrelos, a man whose world was literally turned upside down overnight in a way that defies belief.  With the main characters based on real people, Flight MH370 tells the intriguing story not only from the viewpoint of the next of kin but also that of journalists, scientists, pilots, politicians and others whose lives have been affected by this catastrophic turn of events – reliving the moment their worlds came to an abrupt halt on that fateful night. For the families of the 239 victims, this moment marked the beginning of the rest of their lives.

    Caroline Torrance, Head of Scripted at Banijay Rights, comments, “This is a gripping, real-life drama that has impacted many – in Europe, Asia and the Americas – for more than five years.  We are looking forward to discussing the series with leading international broadcasters who are keen to partner on a scripted production that has a truly global perspective.  Created by leading talent with an award-winning track record, we believe Flight MH370 will be a true event drama at its very best.”

    Nathalie Biancolli, Head of International Scripted at France Television, said “This will be a high-quality drama, interweaving the investigation, fiction and reality to create a gripping story. This tragic disappearance has shocked everyone and continues to perplex the international community. Developing Flight MH370 with Alef One and Banijay Rights is a way for France Télévisions to shine a light on the plight of Ghyslain Wattrelos. We are also excited to work with the very talented Gilles Bannier. ”

    Nora Melhi, Executive Producer at Alef One, said, “Our aim is to tell a true story through the lens of an intimate and geopolitical thriller.  The best way to do this story justice is to tell it as a drama and candidly delve deep into the real and imagined machinations of this tragic flight. Flight MH370  is a  relatable, multi-character and compelling contemporary suspense-filled series about the greatest civil aviation mystery of all time. Having collaborated with Gilles Bannier on The Tunnel, I knew he was the ideal showrunner for this series.”


  2. Banijay Rights Signs First Look Development Deal with Ellie Wood of UK Production Company, Clearwood Films

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    Banijay Rights, the leading distribution arm of Banijay Group, has signed a first look development deal with Ellie Wood of UK independent production company, Clearwood Films. The agreement will see the partnership working together to develop and produce TV series for the UK and international markets.


    This new development relationship reinforces the international success of Banijay Rights’ existing high-profile coproduction partnerships, including the recently announced first-look agreement with UK indie, Greenacre Films.


    Clearwood Films was founded by Ellie Wood, who has worked on award-winning dramas such as Bleak House, The Line of Beauty and Decline and Fall.


    Ellie Wood said, “’I am very excited to be working with the team at Banijay Rights. The company’s experience and global presence will be hugely beneficial in putting us and our forthcoming shows in front of the key international players.”

    Caroline Torrance, Head of Scripted, Banijay Rights added, “This new partnership further bolsters Banijay’s commitment and expertise in Scripted programming, and capitalises on the continued growth we are witnessing in the drama market. Clearwood Films acts as the perfect partner for Banijay Rights and we can’t wait to get to work with Ellie to further diversify and expand our Scripted offering.”


    The first production to emerge from this deal will be Stonehouse, based on an idea by John Preston.  Preston is the author of the highly-acclaimed novel, ‘A Very English Scandal’, upon which the recent multi award-winning, three part television mini-series was based.

    Politician John Stonehouse faked his death on the 20th November 1974, leaving a pile of clothes on a beach in Miami. It was presumed he had gone swimming and drowned, or possibly been killed by a shark.  Despite the lack of a body being found, obituaries were published.  But Stonehouse was in fact en route to Australia to set up a new life with his mistress and secretary, Sheila Buckley.


    John Preston said: “I’ve always been fascinated by the Stonehouse story. It’s every bit as bizarre as the Jeremy Thorpe affair and similarly tells the tale of an extraordinary character whose misadventures threatened to bring down the government.”


    Preston will co-write the drama which is currently in development. Wood is also producing a feature film adaptation of Preston’s acclaimed novel, The Dig, the true story of the discovery of the Sutton Hoo treasure, set to go into production this summer starring Nicole Kidman and Ralph Fiennes.