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Drama Awards 2019

Vice strikes deals with Tencent, Mediacorp

Viceland has greenlit Antenna Pictures’ true crime series How to Rob a Bank

Multiplatform media company Vice has secured two content partnerships in Asia, one with Chinese VoD giant Tencent and another with Mediacorp in Singapore.

Vice Studios will produce an 8×25′ series for Tencent exploring global youth culture, trends and tribes in countries such as Japan, India, the UK, Germany, the US, Russia, Nigeria and Jamaica, as well as China.

The as-yet-untitled programme “will shed light on a decentralised global culture where particular scenes or sets of people are no longer the sole source of all trends – a post-millennial world where movements, attitudes, styles and changes are found in all corners,” Vice said.

The series is set for a late-2019 release on Tencent Video. Hosi Simon, CEO of Vice in Asia-Pacific, said: “Young people in China are at a real inflection point. Taking inspirations from every corner of the world, they’re putting them through their own, very distinct lens to create something very unique and new – freely and at an unprecedented scale.”

Lexian Zhu, deputy director of documentary content management center at Tencent Video, added: “Growing up amid the booming of the internet, young Chinese are boldly showing their own personality, and growing into a young generation with unique values.

“Tencent Video is looking forward to tracking the global trends shaping this, searching for the creative sources of inspiration and bringing it to our audience so that they can better engage with the wave of globalisation and their place in the world.”

Vice has been producing premium youth video content in China since 2010, including docuseries Just Dance, which profiled street dancing across the country, and Trap in Southwest, which covered the burgeoning and competitive alternative music scene in Chengdu and Chongqing in the south-west of the country.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, Vice will bring its slate of original content to local audiences via Mediacorp’s digital entertainment service Toggle. Programming set to be made available on demand includes Vice Reports, The Cute Show and 10 Questions You Always Wanted to Ask.

In related news, Vice’s network Viceland has greenlit true crime series How to Rob a Bank (8×60′) from Blue Ant Media’s London-based factual prodco Antenna Pictures.

Each episode tells the story of an ordinary American who spirals into becoming a bank robber, with extraordinary consequences. Jago Lee, MD of Antenna Pictures, described the show as “an edgy, surprising and legally complex show to pull off, full of fascinating human stories.”

It comes as Antenna Pictures has hired Debbie London as director of operations and Tom Keeling as executive producer.

Operating out of Antenna’s London office, London will manage Antenna’s operations, business affairs and coproductions negotiations, while Keeling will bolster the studio’s US development and production capabilities.

London arrives at Antenna Pictures after working at Al Jazeera Television as director of business affairs and rights management, having previously held roles at Channel 4, National Geographic and Discovery.

Meanwhile, Keeling has spent the past decade making popular US documentary and drama-documentary series such as Banged Up Abroad (National Geographic), two seasons of See No Evil and The Devil Speaks (Discovery ID) and Bodycam (Discovery).

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Drama Awards 2019
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