Soccer Sexual Abuse Drama Floodlights Set at BBC Global Bulletin

DRAMA

“Floodlights,” a feature-length single drama for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer tells the story of Andy Woodward, the former professional soccer player whose revelations about the sexual abuse he suffered as a youth player sent shockwaves throughout the industry. In 2016, Woodward went public about sexual abuse by his youth coach, Barry Bennell. After doing so, hundreds more men, many also victims of Bennell, found the courage to speak up about their experiences of abuse, lifting the lid on a national scandal in the U.K.’s most popular sport.

Gerard Kearns (“The Last Kingdom”) portrays Woodward and the cast also includes Jonas Armstrong (“Hollington Drive”), Morven Christie (“Lockwood & Co”) and Steve Edge (“Benidorm”).

“Floodlights,” made with the full cooperation of Woodward, is written by BAFTA-winning screenwriter, Matt Greenhalgh (“Control,” “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”) and directed by BAFTA-nominated Nick Rowland (“Calm With Horses”). It is produced by Expectation, part of BBC Studios’ portfolio of indies in which they hold a minority share, in association with Only the Best. .

Woodward said: “Since speaking out in 2016 I wanted to continue to encourage people to talk without fear, to make a change. ‘Floodlights’ tells my story, which no child should ever have to go through. I hope this film helps to stop abuse in football and in all areas of life.”

“Floodlights,” due this spring, was commissioned by Piers Wenger, director of BBC Drama and Charlotte Moore, BBC chief content officer. Executive producers are Colin Barr for Expectation, Lucy Richer and Clare Sillery for the BBC and Sue Horth and Grant Best.

APPOINTMENT

Josh Berger, former president and managing director of Warner Bros. U.K., Ireland and Spain, who also served previously served as BFI chair, has been appointed as chair of the board of trustees of performing and creative arts institution the Brit School. Established in 1991 with the support of The Brit Trust, the school has trained over 10,000 young people in music, theatre, dance, media production, and visual arts. The school’s alumni include Adele, Loyle Carner, Tom Holland, Amy Winehouse, Cush Jumbo, and many other notable artists, and creative professionals working at leading companies including Apple, BBC, Facebook, Sky, and TikTok.

Berger is the producer of Guy Ritchie’s upcoming film “The Interpreter,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal; executive producer of “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore”; and a producer of the Tony-winning musical “Ain’t Too Proud.”

FORMAT

MBC’s new reality format “Bloody Game” is set to bow internationally at the upcoming MipTV market (Apr. 4-6). Styled as a psychological mind game competition where 10 players are isolated in a luxurious mansion to play a survival game as they eliminate one player each per episode. It creates a microcosm of society showing the contrast between the haves and have-nots, and allows all kinds of conspiracy, betrayal, lies, and slanders to the 10 competitors whilst they strive to become the sole survivor and win the prize money. When shown in Korea, “Bloody Game” attracted new subscribers to Korean streamer Wavve, the key investor and a partner of MBC for the show. Internationally, the format is already optioned to France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and The Netherlands. The format sales team as well as the producer/director Jung-Hwang Hyun will participate in the market onsite and Jean Hur, director of format Sales and co-development at MBC says that they are confident that “Bloody Game” has the potential to inherit the international fame of their hit format, “The Masked Singer.”

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