Art and Experience: This week, French actor Juliette Binoche wins Zurich’s Icon Award, Grasshopper takes “The American Sector” for North America, “Killing Eve” writer Rob Williams creates “Screw” for the U.K.’s Channel 4, and the World Economic Forum at Davos is postponed.

The 16th annual Zurich Film Festival, running from Sept. 24 to Oct. 4, will award its most prestigious prize to French actor Juliette Binoche. The Academy Award winner, who is presenting her recent film “La Bonne Épouse” at the fest, will receive the  Golden Icon Award, marking the first time the prize has gone to a French actress.

Binoche has appeared in more than 75 movies to date, working with the likes of Jean-Luc Godard, Louis Malle, André Téchiné, Leos Carax, Kryszstof Kieslowski, Abbas Kiarostami, Claire Denis and Olivier Assayas. “In the year that France is our guest country, it’s a great pleasure to honour a true icon of French cinema,” said the Swiss fest’s artistic director Christian Jungen. “Binoche is an extremely versatile actress who chooses her roles with great care and embodies her characters with such depth, both in dramas and comedies.”

Binoche said: “I am very happy to come to the ZFF in this year that is so special for the world and for the cinema. It’s great that the Zurich Film Festival exists and can defend the cinema and the various international cultures represented through the films it presents to its audience. I’m very touched to be honored with the Golden Icon Award, but above all, it’s the films and the directors who made them that will be honored through me.”

Former recipients of the Golden Icon Award include Cate Blanchett, Glenn Close, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Douglas, Richard Gere and Sean Penn.

DISTRIBUTION

Grasshopper Film has taken North American distribution rights to Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez‘s Berlinale 2020 documentary “The American Sector,” produced by Asterlight.

“The American Sector” takes viewers on a road trip around the U.S. to where sections of the Berlin Wall are stored or displayed, thirty years after its iconic fall.

Joe Poletto, founder of Asterlight, said: “I think this film has a special resonance for those who remember or want to explore the fall of the Berlin Wall. ‘The American Sector’ is a meditative film that gives people a chance to really stop and think about the meaning of monuments, context, history, and what historical artefacts mean to us decades after an event.”

The film premiered at the Berlinale in February and was a selection of the San Francisco International Film Festival, Art of The Real at New York’s Lincoln Center, the Maryland Film Festival and Moscow’s Beat Film Festival. Upcoming screenings include London’s Open City documentary festival, Warsaw’s Watch Docs festival, Kosovo’s Dokufest, Tel Aviv’s DocAviv, and Montreal’s RIDM.

Grasshopper Film will release the film in early 2021.

COMMISSION

“Killing Eve” writer Rob Williams, BAFTA-nominated for “The Victim,” will write six-part prison drama “Screw,” produced by STV Studios (“Elizabeth is Missing”) for U.K. broadcaster Channel 4.

The series follows a woman prison officer (‘screw’ in prison slang) in an all-male prison who goes above and beyond for her prisoners, but she has her own secrets and a past that if discovered, could cost much more than her job.

Caroline Hollick, Channel 4 head of drama, said: “With previous experience of working in prisons, Rob’s writing comes from a truly authentic place, having had direct experience of a world which often comes with preconceived judgement. ‘Screw’ offers the audience an insight in to the challenges and struggles faced behind bars for both prisoners and police officers; told with humor, humanity and hope. Rob has approached this familiar genre with a brand-new, fresh perspective, and we can’t wait for audiences to fall for his distinctive, flawed yet loveable characters.”

Williams said: “There is so much more to prison and those who live and work there, than misery and violence – and I’m incredibly proud to be working with STV and Channel 4 to show this in ‘Screw,’ alongside the authenticity inspired by my experiences as a civilian worker in various prisons.”

Sarah Brown, creative director of Drama for STV Studios said: “Channel 4 feels like the perfect home for ‘Screw’ – we’re so excited to be working with the team to bring Rob Williams’ witty, subversive and memorable gang of prison officers to life on screen.”

Williams is creator, lead writer and executive producer for the series, with Karla Crome (“The Stranger”) joining the writing team. Sarah Brown is executive producer for STV Studios (“Elizabeth is Missing”) and Brian Kaczynski, producer (“Peaky Blinders”).

Banijay Rights is handling global distribution.

DAVOS

The World Economic Forum has rescheduled their annual Davos meeting from January 2021 to early next summer.

“The decision was not taken easily, since the need for global leaders to come together to design a common recovery path and shape the “Great Reset” in the post-COVID-19 era is so urgent,” the Forum said in a statement. “However, the advice from experts is that we cannot do so safely in January.”

During the week of Jan. 25, the Forum will digitally convene high-level ‘Davos Dialogues’ where key global leaders will share their views on the state of the world in 2021.

Since February, some 1,200 members from business, government and civil society have joined the Forum’s COVID Action Platform following the outbreak of the pandemic. In September, the Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit will bring the core principles of the Great Reset into focus, asking how participants can contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive future.

Source: Variety