TV Ratings: ‘Black Panther’ and ABC Chadwick Boseman Tribute Top Sunday

Following the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman Friday, ABC aired “Black Panther” and a tribute to Boseman on Sunday night.

Both programs scored big numbers for the Disney-owned network, as viewers tuned in to see the likes of fellow “Avengers” stars Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Winston Duke, Mark Ruffalo, and Paul Rudd discuss the significant legacy that Boseman has left behind.

In total, 6.1 million viewers watched “Black Panther,” delivering a Sunday night-high 1.4 rating for the Disney-owned network. The remembrance special “A Tribute For a King,” followed with a 1.1 rating and 4.7 million viewers, the second largest tally on the night.

The tribute also featured words from Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Marvel chief Kevin Feige, Disney’s Bob Iger, and Iron Man himself Robert Downey Jr., who said Boseman’s passing has left “a void now.”

“He was having this immense success, in a strata of his own, humble hardworking, always smile on his face,” Downey said of Boseman. “‘Black Panther’ was hands down the crowning achievement of the marvel universe. The one where people got to vote with ticket sales we require this. It is a fantastic movie that leveled the playing field.”

Elsewhere on the night, CBS came in a tie for second, with “Big Brother” ticking down from its last Sunday showing to a 0.9 rating and 3.8 million viewers. “Love Island” followed that with a 0.3 rating and 1.5 million viewers, even on its previous episode. Earlier in the night, a new edition of “60 Minutes” drew 6.1 million viewers and scored a 0.5 rating. An “NCIS: New Orleans” replay rounded things off with a 0.2 and just under 2 million viewers.

That tie for second was with NBC, which was dominated by sports coverage on Sunday night. An overrun of PGA BMA Golf Championship scored a 0.6 rating and 3.7 million viewers, while later on coverage of the NHL game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Islanders scored a 0.5 rating and 1.6 million viewers. A “Cannonball” replay delivered a 0.4 rating and 1.8 million viewers in between the two.

The CW aired the MTV Video Music Awards, which scored a 0.2 rating and 758,000 viewers for the network. The full VMA ratings picture will become clearer when the numbers for the other networks that carried it become available.

Fox aired reruns of its Animation Domination Sunday lineup, all of which scored a 0.2 rating. “The Simpsons” led the way in terms of total viewership with 809,000, followed by “Family Guy” with 774,000 and then “Bob’s Burgers” with 680,000.

Univision averaged a 0.3 rating across the night, with back-to-back episodes of the Mexican version of “Masked Singer” averaging a 0.4 rating and around 1.3 million viewers.

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‘A dog’s breakfast’: NSW strata by-laws need to catch up to the 21st century


If you will excuse the pun, strata law in relation to pets is a dog’s breakfast. An appeal is pending on whether by-laws that impose blanket pet bans are “harsh, unconscionable or oppressive”. Individual NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal members have held they are, while the tribunal’s appeal panel thinks not. Since 2015, strata legislation has made it impermissible to oppress your neighbours. Before that, it was apparently OK.

This should indicate problems with strata law. Governments have never understood that private citizens cannot be given unlimited power to run their own communities. Some level of autonomy is necessary, but common sense and a basic understanding of government, tell us that humans can make poor decisions that harm their fellow man. The fact that a majority agreed to a rule, does not make a rule good.

Pet by-laws are well overdue for an update.

Pet by-laws are well overdue for an update.Credit:James Alcock

Strata schemes have repeatedly proved this with their pet by-laws. Some run for pages and would be laughable if they did not cause so much distress, wasted time and money. This could be avoided with a simple legislative rule that prohibits schemes banning pets, forcing schemes to focus on the power tribunals have always had to remove problem animals. When trying to solve a problem, it makes sense to focus on the actual problem.

Pet bans are a hangover from when Australians lived on quarter-acre blocks. This led to a belief that “people should not keep dogs in apartments”. This no longer makes sense. Most housing lots are now small; dogs do not have space, and their barking can disturb neighbours. Neither leads people to believe they should be able to ban their neighbour’s dog. If a dog is being kept cruelly, you contact the RSPCA; if it disturbs you, you contact the council. If the dog is well-cared for and makes minimal noise, you mind your own business. Strata schemes should be no different. If you don’t want to share a lift with a dog, don’t live on collectively owned land.

Twenty-five years ago, when deciding the fate of Fluffin, Ruffin and Muffin, three Californian condominium cats, Justice Arabian said, “In any community, we do not exist in a vacuum. There are many annoyances which we tolerate because not to do so would be repressive and place the freedom of others at risk.” Justice Arabian was in the court minority and the kitties were evicted, but in response to community sentiment, the California legislature passed a law prohibiting condos banning pets. A similar amendment was introduced last week to the NSW upper house. It is only a matter of time before it or a like reform is made.

Cathy Sherry is an associate professor at UNSW Law and the author of Strata Title Property Rights.

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Govt announces 7-day state mourning on ex-Prez Pranab Mukherjee’s death

The government on Monday announced a seven-day state mourning following the death of former president Pranab Mukherjee.

In a statement, the home ministry said that as a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, state mourning will be observed for seven days throughout India from August 31 to September 6, both days inclusive.

“During the period of state mourning, the national flag will fly at half-mast on all buildings throughout India, where it is flown regularly, and there will be no official entertainment,” the statement said.

The date, time and venue of the state funeral will be intimated later, it said.

Mukherjee passed away at Army Research and Referral Hospital here on Monday at the age of 84.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Netflix Offers Free Streaming of ‘Bird Box,’ ‘Two Popes,’ Episodes of ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘When They See Us’ and More

Netflix has released a smattering of original movies and series completely free to stream — no account needed.

The streamer’s new “Watch Free” site, available free to any internet user worldwide, is a bid to land new paying customers: Each of the titles available free has a pre-roll sizzle reel highlighting a range of Netflix original programming. At the end, Netflix prompts viewers to sign up for an account.

“Visit netflix.com/watch-free to get a peek at the type of entertainment you can expect from us by watching the first episode of some of our most popular shows,” Netflix says on the site.

Netflix movies available free to stream right now are Sandra Bullock thriller “Bird Box,” Adam Sandler comedy “Murder Mystery,” co-starring Jennifer Aniston; DreamWorks Animation’s “The Boss Baby: Back in Business”; and Oscar-nominated “The Two Popes” with Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins.

On the TV side, Netflix offers a half-dozen titles — however, it’s making free only the pilot episodes of each of the series. Those include hit originals “Stranger Things” and reality show “Love Is Blind,” Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us,” “Grace and Frankie” starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, “Elite,” and “Our Planet.”

On its free-streaming landing page, Netflix notes, “The selection may change from time to time, so watch now!”

Netflix’s expanded “sampling” strategy has been used for years by premium pay-TV networks like HBO and Showtime. During the COVID pandemic, pay services supercharged the scope of the free trials and free content, aiming to convert home-quarantined free samplers into paying subs.

The new free-streaming selections from Netflix were first spotted by Indian tech-news site Gadgets360. “We’re looking at different marketing promotions to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience,” a company rep told the site.

Note that Netflix’s free titles can be viewed only on the web via a computer or on an Android device (Apple iOS browsers are not supported). You can’t stream the free content on connected-TV platforms.

Netflix’s launch of the new free-streaming landing page comes after it dabbled in sampling earlier this year. This past April, it made a selection of 10 documentary films and series available for free on YouTube, positioned as a resource for home-bound teachers and students. In February, Netflix offered the 2018 original movie “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” free to watch for a limited time in the U.S. as part of promoting the sequel.

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Vulnerable COVID-infected people turned away from hotel quarantine


Vulnerable Victorians who tested positive to coronavirus and have nowhere to safely isolate are being turned away from hotel quarantine, which some fear could spark another community outbreak of COVID-19.

Dozens of requests for emergency accommodation from high-risk Victorians, including some who are homeless and others with complex medical needs, have been rejected, despite the applicants testing positive to COVID-19 or being deemed a symptomatic close contact of a confirmed case.

Melbourne's Stamford Hotel hosts guests in quarantine.

Melbourne’s Stamford Hotel hosts guests in quarantine.Credit:

A government employee, who spoke to The Age on the condition of anonymity, said at least 37 applications were rejected in August.

“The risk of causing an outbreak in the community because we can’t accommodate these people is extreme,” the source said. “Some of what’s happening here is really, really concerning. There are all these really vulnerable people who are just falling through the cracks because the system hasn’t been set up to handle it.”

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In one case, a COVID-19-positive man who had severe mental health issues and was struggling with homelessness was refused quarantine accommodation because the program was unable to support the complexity of his needs. He continued to move around the community while infectious.

In another case, a man who tested positive to the virus resorted to sleep in a fire-damaged building with no heating or running water because his application for accommodation was lodged at 6pm on a weekday and all applications are approved by the Department of Justice and Community Safety before 5pm.

Victoria’s botched hotel quarantine program for returned overseas travellers has been linked to 99 per cent of second-wave coronavirus cases in Victoria.

As the number of returned travellers to Victoria dwindled in July, the program began providing accommodation to Victorians unable to safely isolate at home for 14 days or who posed a risk of transmission to others due to shared living amenities such as bathrooms.

Another Victorian man with a disability, who was a close contact of an infected person and had symptoms of the virus, was sent back to isolate in the group home he lived in, despite serious concerns about the risk he would infect others.

After his application for emergency accommodation was rejected, the man remained in a home shared by others with disabilities, who use the same kitchen and bathroom facilities.

A single mother of two children with autism, one of whom tested positive to the virus, was also rejected by the program, a government source said. Clinicians deemed the family were inseparable due to the children’s complex needs.

A request was made for them to be able to isolate together in a hotel. The woman’s application was rejected because she had an autism assistance dog for her children.

After staff handling their application challenged the decision, the family was offered emergency accommodation through the Hotels for Heroes program, which supports frontline healthcare workers who are required to quarantine or isolate.

Other Victorians exposed to the virus have been sent back into aged care homes, supported residential living facilities, or had their applications rejected because they have failed to fill out their date of birth or were homeless and therefore had no fixed address, the source said.

A state government spokeswoman said any cases rejected by the hotel quarantine program were referred to specialist welfare services, including mental health, drug and alcohol and disability support.

In August, about 8 per cent of referrals to the emergency accommodation program were deemed unsuitable due to highly-complex needs.

The government on Monday could not confirm how many of the 37 rejected applicants were offered alternative emergency accommodation through other services.

“A lot of them just went around in circles and stayed out in the community until they were eligible for clearance,” the government employee said. “There is a big gap particularly for people with mental health issues or a disability.”

The source said Victorians deemed “low-risk” by public health officials were accepted into the accommodation, while high-risk applications were rejected.

“It strongly comes across that there is a risk aversion,” the source said. “It seems that anything that poses any risk to the hotel quarantine program, so anyone who has behavioural or mental health issues, who needs specialised medical care or additional support, they are being knocked back and then they are just being let back out into the community.”

The government spokeswoman declined to comment on the specific examples of people who had been refused emergency accommodation in hotel quarantine.

“There are rigorous assessment processes in place to determine whether emergency accommodation in a restricted hotel environment can meet the specific needs of each person,” she said.

“When someone is referred to the program, we discuss any health, medical and welfare needs directly with them to gain an insight on whether a hotel setting is suitable for their quarantine or isolation period.”

Homeless and other vulnerable people who cannot get into emergency accommodation can access the COVID Isolation and Recovery facilities set up across inner Melbourne. These centres are overseen by St Vincent’s Hospital which also undertakes the intake and assessment for these facilities.

There are four isolation facilities for Victorians exposed to coronavirus and experiencing homelessness to isolate and recover, run by Anglicare Victoria, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Launch Housing, Sacred Heart Mission and VincentCare.

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Rahul Gandhi, Congress pay rich tributes to ex-President Pranab Mukherjee

Former President Pranab Mukherjee passed away on Monday at the Army Research and Referral Hospital here after being on life support for nearly three weeks. His former party colleagues along with former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi paid rich tributes to the 84-year-old leader.

“With great sadness, the nation receives the news of the unfortunate demise of our former President Pranab Mukherjee. I join the country in paying homage to him. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family and friends,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

The Congress, too, condoled the death of the former President. The party, on its official Twitter handle, said: “We are deeply pained by the passing of Pranab Mukherjee. Former President of India and one of the tallest leaders of the Congress Party, Pranab Mukherjee will always be remembered for his integrity and compassion. Our prayers are with his family, followers and the nation.”

Congress national media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala, condoling the death of the veteran Congress leader, said “an era has come to an end”.

“An era has come to an end. Your thoughts, memories and sense of commitment to the party, the people and the nation lives on… Rest in Peace Pranab Da,” Surjewala tweeted.

“Deeply saddened at the demise of former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. The nation has lost a great leader, thinker and statesman. His entire life was dedicated to the service of the nation. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and supporters. May his soul rest in peace,” another veteran Congress leader and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted.

Mukherjee was hospitalised for the past 21 days and turned critical following a brain surgery. The veteran leader was admitted to the hospital at 12.07 p.m. on August 10.

Mukherjee was President of India from 2012 to 2017. He was conferred the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, in 2019 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.

–IANS

aks/in/ash

 

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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SoundExchange Names Esther-Mireya Tejeda Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

SoundExchange has announced the appointment of Esther-Mireya Tejeda as chief marketing and communications officer. Tejeda will report to SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe.

According to the announcement, Tejeda will oversee the company’s brand strategy and marketing, global communications and public relations, industry relations, and public policy groups as well as a team of nearly two dozen marketing and communications professionals, multiple partners, and agency relationships.

“The music industry is at a pivotal point, with the transformation to digital requiring us to rethink the rules and so much at stake for creators of all types,” said Huppe. “Esther brings a unique blend of experience, talent, and ability to find innovative solutions that will enable SoundExchange to drive positive change in the industry and advocate on behalf of music creators.”

Before joining SoundExchange, Tejeda was senior vice president and head of corporate communications at Entercom, where she structured the company’s first strategic communications organization. At Entercom, she directed the integrated communications for the company’s acquisition of CBS Radio and the launch of its digital streaming platform, Radio.com, and developed communications architecture for its portfolio of radio stations, digital audio and podcast brands, and live concerts and events. Tejeda also has held executive positions at Univision, PepsiCo, Diageo, and others. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Women in Media and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Public Relations Association.

“I am thrilled to be part of the SoundExchange mission and to serve as a passionate advocate for our community of over 200,000 music creators,” said Tejeda. “SoundExchange is at the critical intersection of music, technology and data in today’s digital-first world and is uniquely positioned to help shape the future of music during this transformational time.”

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How Victoria can leave lockdown, safely, and avoid a return


Victorians are desperate to see a road out of their current situation. After one month of stage 4 restrictions, including a night-time curfew, and six months of varying degrees of restrictions, Melburnians in particular long for a return to some kind of normal life.

A few things are clear. First, lockdown works! For example, stage 3 restrictions averted between 9000 and 37,000 new cases in Victoria. The combination of mandatory masks and stage 4 restrictions has led to a steady decline in the seven-day average of new daily cases, which is now approaching double digits.

Effective as lockdowns are for the control of COVID-19, there is huge collateral damage and as a result it is very difficult to maintain community support indefinitely. And in any case, the idea of lockdown is not just to reduce coronavirus transmission, but to buy time to strengthen interventions that are proven to work but do not require disruptive lockdown.

These measures will allow us to live in a functioning society for at least the next 12 months, without a game-changing intervention like a vaccine, preventive therapy, or an effective treatment drug. Nevertheless, Victoria should resist external pressure to announce a time-bound “road map” until it is clear what the epidemiological situation is at the time of decision-making. It was a mistake when the state moved from stage 3 to stage 2 during the first wave of infections under pressure from the National Cabinet. Lifting the number of people allowed in a household from five to 20 overnight probably contributed to the rapid spread of the virus through north-western Melbourne in the early stages of the second wave.

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In considering the transition from stage 4 restrictions, there are a number of criteria to consider. First, the elimination of community transmission, possibly for seven to 10 days, is an absolute criterion for easing restrictions. If we are to avoid another significant wave, this must be the aim.

Case numbers will need to be reduced enough to allow effective track and tracing.

Case numbers will need to be reduced enough to allow effective track and tracing. Credit:Paul Jeffers

After so much sacrifice, Victorians don’t want to move into stage 3 and find ourselves in the same situation as Sydney where health authorities have been putting out spot fires for the past two months despite an excellent, decentralised test and trace system. In spite of the low numbers, NSW is identifying new mystery cases almost every day. And for those who think Victoria could tolerate this level of transmission, it’s worth looking at South Korea. After months of low daily numbers, comparable with NSW, since mid-August the country has been reporting between 200 and 500 new cases every day, despite its excellent test and trace system.

The second consideration for exit is Victoria’s test, trace and isolate strategy. This needs to be enhanced in a demonstrable way, where both the community and the government can have confidence that spot fires can be detected and extinguished quickly following the easing of restrictions. For this we need greater adherence to testing guidelines (get tested as soon as you have symptoms) and we need to improve the state’s capacity for contact tracing. If everyone with a slight illness was diagnosed on day one of symptoms, and their close contacts were effectively traced within 48 hours, Victoria would see a rapid decline in new cases.

The key to improving both community buy-in and government performance is to be more community centred. Much work is under way by DHHS and local government organisations to enable us to be satisfied at a minimum that the system can cope and that community attitudes to testing are strong. When people are tested they should be assessed for their support needs so they can quarantine while awaiting their results and, if positive, self-isolate for 14 days. We would like to see authorities reporting publicly on its progress in specific areas of its test-trace-isolate capacity.

Thirdly, mask wearing needs to be improved. Masks work well in the Victorian community setting but there is every reason to believe we could get much more out of masks. Innovations like making high quality surgical masks available free to all Victorians, stronger recommendations among young people, including high school aged children, and providing additional incentives for their correct use should be adopted. Innovations such as the Victorian government’s advertising campaign are welcome in this regard. Recent studies have reinforced the effectiveness of masks in preventing coronavirus transmission. However, it is also now apparent that face coverings such as bandannas and scarves are not as effective as disposable masks and reusable masks that are made in accordance to recommended specifications. In addition, it is important to communicate that face shields, unless in combination with masks, are not effective.

Fourthly, we need watertight systems to prevent virus transmission in workplaces, especially those who have repeatedly demonstrated their vulnerability, such as meat processing plants. They should conduct urgent risk assessments and implement measures to prevent further outbreaks, such as screening for symptoms, including fever, on arrival at work and isolating quickly if required. They should also consider operational measures such as reducing the processing rate for animals and carcasses and mandating face coverings.

Finally, policies and procedures must be in place to protect the elderly in residential aged care homes and to prevent spread to our health care workers by improving infection control procedures. In residential aged care facilities, there need to be well-defined benchmarks of practice, such as having designated infection protection and control co-ordinators in each facility, adequate stocks of PPE and clear policies of referral of infected residents to hospitals.

With these elements in place, together with the existing commitment to tightening and optimising testing, quarantine and isolation, and adherence to mask wearing, physical distancing and hand-washing guidelines, Victoria is in a strong position to move out of stage 4 either on September 13 or soon thereafter. The better the test, trace and isolate system and mask wearing, the fewer ongoing restrictions will be required.

Michael Toole is an epidemiologist and principal research fellow at the Burnet Institute. Brendan Crabb is director and chief executive at the Burnet Institute.

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Solution is to double down on comedy: Vir Das on trolling of comedians

Actor-comedian Vir Das says it’s not always easy to create comedy when people are quick to take offence but the only answer to online trolling is to double down on humour.

Last month, several stand-up comedians including Das, Rohan Joshi and Kaneez Surka alleged that their personal contact information and addresses were leaked online.

Some Twitter users also dug out screenshots of past jokes of comedians to claim they had used Hindu gods in their punchlines.

When asked about the challenge of doing comedy while facing threats and social media vitriol, Das said the experience can be daunting but one must not stop creating new content.

“Since January, I’ve had fifteen legal notices and a High Court hearing to defend my comedy. But I’m privileged to hire people to do that. I am always conscious of the fact that younger comedians aren’t. The one thing we all agree on is that the solution to this is more comedy,” he told PTI.

In May, a plea had claimed the comedian’s Netflix fictional series “Hasmukh” had maligned the reputation of advocates. The Delhi High Court, however, declined to grant interim stay on airing of the show.

Das, also known for his Bollywood films “Delhi Belly” and “Go Goa Gone”, said his learning from an experience like this was to channel it into his writing.

“You have to double down on doing comedy, may be not double down on that specific joke. Learn if something is wrong with that joke but double down on comedy. If you’re going through an experience like this, I hope you’re writing 20 jokes about the experience, the comedian said.

Das has come up with a new charity special Inside Out, which is based on his experience of doing comedy amid the pandemic. The special emerged after the coronavirus thwarted the comedian’s plan for a 36-country world tour, prompting him to reach out to his audiences via screens.

Done over Zoom calls and aimed to raise funds for several causes, the comedian realised the potential and pieced together more than 40 live shows to make the special.

“I began asking the audience, what’s the first thing you want to do once the pandemic or the lockdown is over. I underestimated how vulnerable people were, especially in March, where we thought ‘we are going to die, lock yourself up.’ I started to get very real, vulnerable and visceral answers.

“It hit me that this is a real conversation I get to have with the audience. People started tuning in from across the world, Russia, America, England, South Africa and Wuhan (China). I realised this is the only time when the entire world will be going through the exact same thing at the exact same time.”

“Inside Out” is the first special where the comic isn’t feeding off the energy of a live audience. The experience of being “boxed” in a Zoom call, Das said was “extremely intimate.”

It led to several unscripted, funny moments, from the sound of someone flushing the toilet or parents of an audience member coming in the frame to say hello to the artiste.

“Being in a box, the same size as that of your audience is very democratic. You get a glimpse into their lives. It may not be a very energetic connection but it was extremely intimate.”

Das is overwhelmed with the reactions coming his way for the special and said doing shows amid the lockdown kept him going.

“When you come to a comedy show you’re operating under the assumption that the comedian is doing a lot to make you feel better. What you’re completely forgetting is that you’re doing a lot for the comedian as well.

“You’re giving me the ability to practice my art form but also sending laughter my way. So having a 7 PM show, four times a week to look forward to, where I am doing hour-and-a-half of comedy every night got me through lockdown.”

The comic is glad that his world tour couldn’t happen as it gave him the opportunity to try something like “Inside Out”.

“I was feeling at the top of my comedic abilities. Then I started doing these shows to keep myself strong. I feel like I’m a better comedian for giving up control, letting the audience take me on a journey, he added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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‘La Jauría’ Co-Producer Kapow Boards Conecta Fiction Series ‘Follow Me!’ From Mulata Films (EXCLUSIVE)

Marking another step in its journey to become a scripted drama force in Latin America, Buenos Aires-based Kapow is set to co-produce “Siganme!” (“Follow Me!”), a biopic of ex-Argentine president Carlos Saúl Menem, a politician whose figure and mistakes anticipate those of the contemporary world.

Set up at Argentina’s Mulata Films, which originated the series, “Follow Me!” will be introduced to possible co-production partners at this week’s Conecta Fiction, which runs Sept. 1-3 in Pamplona, northern Spain.

Although he has become a name that some Argentines refuse to even utter, arguing it brings bad luck, Menem gained power in 1989 thanks to his undoubtable charisma, wild promises of enriching Argentina and vacuous slogans, one of which provides the title to the series. He is remembered for rampant corruption scandals and massive public borrowing, encouraged by a cavalier IMF, which helped stoke Argentina’s dramatic economic collapse in 2001 — none of which stopped Menem from being re-elected and ruling Argentina until 1999.

Billed as a comedy drama and political thriller, Mulata Films and Kapow explained in a presentation that the film also reflects the global political climate of the ’90s. “He did the total opposite of what he promised, but was still re-elected,” said the producers.

“This is a political thriller without precedent, charting a crucial era in Argentina and Latin America, the ‘90s, the most spectacular period in all the 20th century when it comes to the transfer of wealth from Latin America to the U.S. and Europe,” said Agustín Sacanell, who heads up Kapow with Lucas Rainelli.

For Mulata Films, the strategic partnership with Kapow associates it with “one of Argentina’s most significant international players, which gives us the confidence that we can make this project a reality,” said Mulata Films partner Maite Echave.

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Pablo Giles, Maite Echave, and Pablo Destito Courtesy: Maite Echave

“Follow Me!” adds to a building portfolio of high-profile international series co-productions which saw Kapow produce “Stockholm,” Netflix’s first series in Argentina, then partner with Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín’s Fabula on the latter’s first two international drama series: soccer biz corruption themed “El Presidente,” showrun by Academy Award winner Armando Bo, a co-scribe on “Birdman”; and Lucía Puenzo’s gender crime thriller “La Jauría,” first fruit of an exclusive first look deal between Fremantle and Fabula. Both series are aired on Amazon Prime Video.

Kapow’s bet on links with standout companies and creatives and quality international series comes despite — or because of — a very difficult moment for Argentina’s TV industry which saw Argentine TV ad revenues plunge 60% at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

Even before that, with Argentina’s TV ad market contracting, Sacanell told TodoTVNews last November that Kapow had to grow in scale. “There are many more opportunities for big projects, with the ambitious of conquering other regions, than small ones,” he said.

Over two decades of existence, Mulata Films, headed by Echave, Pablo Giles and Pablo Destito, has set out to bring a sense of entertainment to doc series, reconstructing Latin American lineage dinosaurs in “Creating Prehistorical Beasts,” or catching a philosopher on the run, pursued by characters embodying absurdist philosophical theory in the three time Intl. Emmy-nominated and Japan Prize-winning “Truth Lies.”

In 2020, Mulata Films has bowed the second season of “Dr. Faga,” a portrait of child heath expert Eduardo Faganello, on Señal Colombia and Uruguay’s TV Ciudad and sold with distributor SidewayFilms shows to Olympus, including “Creating Prehistoric Beasts” and “Malos Pasos,” an extreme sports doc series, to Globosat. “Grooming,” a TV movie on the online phenomenon, is just about to air on Argentine culture channel Canal Encuentro.

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Agustin Sacanell Courtesy: Maite Echave

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