“The Mandela Project,” a five-part documentary series about the legacy of Nelson Mandela, will debut on BET‘s YouTube channel on July 18, the day celebrated globally as Mandela Day. BAFTA winner, chef and musician Big Zuu; international soccer star star Patrice Evra and F2 soccer freestyler and “Britain’s Got Talent” performer Jeremy Lynch; “Blackish” star Marsai Martin; Miss South Africa and Miss Universe (2019), Zozibini Tunzi; and the new “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” Jabari Banks, will each explore a different project focused on a subject close to their heart. They will meet the people central to making a meaningful difference to their communities across the U.K., U.S. and South Africa, with the whole story linked to the man who has inspired them – Nelson Mandela. The series will also feature unheard anecdotes and personal stories from Mandela’s grandson, Ndaba.
The series is produced in Africa by Paramount’s international studio, VIS, through the YouTube Originals Black Voices Fund in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Shurwin Beckford serves as showrunner. Nadine Zylstra is global head and Laurel Stier is global head of unscripted content, YouTube Originals, while Margaret Burris is the creative Lead on the series.
U.K. natural history producer Wildstar Films has appointed Doug Mackay-Hope as senior VP, development and production. Mackay-Hope was previously head of development for the BBC Natural History Unit, where he oversaw series “Big Blue Live” and “Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur.” The new hire follows the recent appointments of Juli Porter, who joined Wildstar from her previous position as COO of Whisper, as COO; and staff executive producer Anwar Mamon, who joined Wildstar from the BBC Natural History Unit.
Meanwhile, Abacus Media Rights, which recently acquired Flame Media, will retain the services of that company’s content sales and acquisitions director at Flame Media, Fiona Gilroy, who will manage producer relations and acquisitions throughout Australia and New Zealand and look at funding models. Gilroy previously built and managed international content sales businesses for Film Australia and SBS.
Elsewhere, James Mathews has been promoted from head of business affairs, legal and operations to the newly created position of COO at Beyond Rights while finance director Mike Ibberson will become CFO. Pat Bruen joins as finance director, reporting into Mike Ibberson. In the acquisitions team, Sarah McCormack is promoted from senior VP to executive VP, while Claire Runham has been elevated to senior VP and co-ordinator Hannah Rideout becomes acquisitions executive. Aleix Catala and Elisabeth Bland in the operations team are promoted to director of operations and operations executive respectively.
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