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Gutsy Animations, the Finnish production company behind the cutting-edge family TV drama MOOMINVALLEY, have struck a deal with Columbia Records, part of Sony Music Entertainment, which will see numerous Sony artists contribute songs to the show’s soundtrack.

The first series of the animation – which is based on the beloved Moomin stories by Finnish-Swedish author and artist Tove Jansson – is currently in production. MOOMINVALLEY will consist of 13 x 22-minute-long episodes and will be broadcast in 2019 on Sky One and Sky’s on-demand service NOW TV in the UK and public broadcaster YLE in Finland, with many more deals under negotiation worldwide.

As a result of the collaboration with Sony Music, each of the episodes will include a featured track by one of the record label’s artists.

Marika Makaroff, Creative Director and Executive Producer at Gutsy Animations, said: “From the beginning of this project we have been ambitious with our vision – and it has paid off in spades. I’m thrilled to be partnering with Sony Music, which is home to some of the world’s best artists, and can’t wait to announce the incredible names that will be writing brand new music for Moominvalley. What we’ve heard so far is truly magical – it perfectly captures the sense of wonder and spirit of adventure so central to the world Tove created.”

Ferdy Unger-Hamilton, president of Columbia Records UK, said: “We are very proud here at Columbia Records to collaborate with Gutsy Animations on the MOOMINVALLEY soundtrack. The Moomins are culturally important around the world and we have a fantastic line up of artists across Sony Music Entertainment contributing featured songs to the soundtrack.”

The full line-up of Sony Music Entertainment artists contributing featured songs to the MOOMINVALLEY soundtrack will be announced in the coming months, ahead of the animation airing in spring 2019. The tracks will complement an original score composed by Finnish musicians Pekka Kuusisto, whose father composed with Tove Jansson in the 1970s and wrote the Finnish National Opera’s Moomin Opera in 1974, and Samuli Kosminen.

The Moomins are one of Finland’s biggest exports and have a global fan base. They have enjoyed popularity in the UK since the 1950s, when the original Moomin comic strips were published in the Evening News newspaper. MOOMINVALLEY has the approval of Moomin Characters, the business set up by Moomin creator Tove Jansson and her brother Lars in the 1950s, and Bulls Licensing, their global licensing agent.

For further information please contact Caitlin Allen at Riot Communications on

020 3174 0118 / caitlin@riotcommunications.com

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Cast and characters of MOOMINVALLEY

  • Moominmamma – Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, A United Kingdom, An Education)
  • Moominpappa – Matt Berry (The IT Crowd, Toast of London, The Philanthropist)
  • Moomintroll – Taron Egerton (Kingsman, Eddie the Eagle, Testament of Youth)
  • Snorkmaiden – Akiya Henry (Bing, Bottersnikes and Gumble, Noddy in Toyland)
  • Sniff – Warwick Davis (Harry Potter, Star Wars, Life’s Too Short)
  • Little My – Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl, A Royal Night Out, Carrie Pilby)
  • Snufkin – Edvin Endre (Eddie the Eagle, Vikings, Nameja gredzens)
  • Ninny – Mayumi Kawai
  • Teety-Woo – Matt Lucas (Bridesmaids, Doctor Who, Little Britain)
  • Too-Ticky – Katie Leung (Harry Potter)
  • Misabel – Rebecca Root (The Danish Girl, Boy Meets Girl)
  • Mymble – Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous, French and Saunders, Shrek)
  • Emma the Stage Rat – Alison Steadman (Gavin & Stacey, Pride & Prejudice)
  • Hemulen (Female) – Susie Brann
  • Hemulen (Male) – Joe Wilkinson (Rovers, Miranda, Him & Her)
  • Mrs Fillyjonk – Kate Winslet (Titanic, Revolutionary Road, The Reader)
  • The Muskrat – Will Self (Shooting Stars, author of Phone and Sky Arts drama The Minor Character)
  • The Ghost – Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd, presenter of Travel Man & Crystal Maze)

About Gutsy Animations

Gutsy is a team of creators and producers who believe that the world is in need of funny, clever, gutsy and – above all – meaningful content. All of its productions are aimed at international audiences and based on a concept of genuine social impact.

About Sony Music

Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars.  The company boasts a vast catalogue that comprises some of the most important recordings in history.  Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

About Columbia Records

Founded in 1887, Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in pre-recorded sound.

Columbia Records went on to release records by an array of notable singers, instrumentalists and groups. From 1961 to 1990, its recordings were released outside the U.S. and Canada on the CBS Records label before adopting the Columbia name in most of the world.

Today it is a premier subsidiary label of Sony Music Entertainment. Its roster features some of the most famous names in music history alongside some of the finest cutting edge artists in the world today. In the UK it is led by President Ferdy Unger-Hamilton.

About Moomin Characters

Oy Moomin Characters Ltd is the owner, originator and official company responsible for supervising and managing the Moomins’ brand, copyright and registrations. The company was started in 1958 by Tove Jansson and her brother Lars Jansson and even today is run by family members. Sophia Jansson, Lars’s daughter and Tove’s niece, is Chairman of the Board and Creative Director at Moomin Characters. All characters from Moominvalley are registered trademarks.

Moomin in the UK

The Moomins are currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity in the UK. Last year, a series of major Moomin-themed events and exhibitions took place, including Southbank Centre’s immersive Adventures in Moominland and Kew Gardens’ Easter Festival. Dulwich Picture Gallery presented the first major UK exhibition of work by Tove Jansson – including not only Moomin drawings but also Jansson’s surrealist-inspired paintings of the 1930s and abstract works of the ‘60s, her satirical anti-war cartoons and book jacket designs – and the Moomins featured prominently at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

A diverse range of quality Moomin products are available in the UK, from new Collectors’ Editions of the original Moomin stories (published by Sort of Books) and a guide to the Moomins, The World of Moominvalley (published by Macmillan Children’s Books), to 100% cashmere sweaters and other accessories from fashion label Chinti and Parker.

Campaigns Manager – permanent, based in London

Salary – £ Competitive

Are you passionate about culture and entertainment? Have you got a track record in comms? Riot Communications is hiring. We want to make the world a better place and we know that theatre, film, TV, books, art do just that. We thrive on devising and executing smart, creative, positive communications strategies that deliver real, measurable results for our clients in these sectors. If you would like to work on some of the UK’s most significant cultural moments, have a lot of fun and make a difference to people’s perspectives while you’re at it, apply now for our Campaigns Manager role.

About Us:

Riot Communications is a multi-award-winning PR agency, specialising in culture and entertainment. Clients include: Moomins; Penguin Random House; Mammoth Screen; Gutsy Animations; William Hill Sports Book of the Year; The Astrid Lindgren Company; Book Trust; Arts Council England; and The Royal Society.

We are looking for an exceptional and experienced Campaigns Manager to join our energetic team.

About the role:

You will be responsible for creating and implementing PR campaigns that are in line with our agency ethos: intelligent, passionate, collaborative, and disruptive.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead and project manage campaigns independently and as part of a team, delegating as required
  • Delegation to junior team members
  • Liaise directly with clients and manage your own clients
  • Liaise directly with and manage talent
  • Organise and attend regular journalist meetings
  • Organise and implement events
  • Help to generate new business and participate in new business activities
  • Manage personal administration

About you:

  • Be a proactive self-starter – you’ll be personally motivated and get things done before being asked
  • Have excellent attention to detail
  • Have experience of delegating to junior team members
  • Be an exceptional communicator in all mediums – writing clear, creative copy is essential as is a natural social ability on the phone and in person
  • Be super-organised
  • Be curious – you will go out of your way to discover new things, and will be eager to question and to learn
  • Be imaginative and thoughtful – your approach to work will be considered, and you will think about things laterally
  • Be able to work independently and as part of a small organisation that places team-work at the heart of the business

Essential Criteria:

  • Minimum 4 years of solid publicity experience either in-house or at an agency
  • A passion for culture and entertainment
  • Event organisation skills
  • Demonstrable experience of creative digital PR

If this sounds like you, we would love to hear from you. Please apply in writing to info@riotcommunications.com with a CV and a covering letter explaining why you should be our next employee, including your current salary and notice period by Friday 21st September 2018. Only candidates invited to interview will receive a reply.

Pan Macmillan are excited to announce that the audiobook for publishing phenomenon Peter James’ upcoming thriller Absolute Proof will be voiced by Downton Abbey star, Hugh Bonneville.

Inspired by an unforgettable, real-life phone call received by the author nearly 30 years ago, Absolute Proof is a breathless race against time to solve the greatest mystery of all: absolute proof of the existence of God. With 13 Sunday Times number one bestsellers and 19 million copies of his books sold worldwide, Absolute Proof marks a major milestone for Peter James, as his most epic and ambitious stand-alone thriller to date.

Peter James and Hugh Bonneville first met in 2008 when they discussed the possibility of Bonneville playing James’s character Detective Superintendent Grace in a TV adaptation. Although the adaptation did not move forward, the two have remained close friends. The audiobook will be their first official collaboration.

Hugh Bonneville is no stranger to the topic of religion, holding a theology degree from Cambridge University where he was taught by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Earlier this year, Bonneville presented the standalone documentary Jesus: Countdown to Calvary, a historical examination of the events leading up to the execution of Jesus of Nazareth by the Roman government.

Peter James said: “From the moment I met Hugh I knew that I wanted to work with him, so when I was asked who I thought would make an exciting narrator for Absolute Proof he was the natural choice.  Hugh is an incredible actor and his reading really captures the suspense and excitement in the book. I’m delighted with how it’s turned out.”

Hugh Bonneville said: “When you pick up a Peter James book you know it’s going to be impossible to put down. Absolute Proof is a thriller that grips from the outset but it’s also incredibly thought-provoking, asking some of life’s biggest questions about science and faith, setting big pharma and high church on a collision course that could change the world. I was thrilled when Peter asked me to provide the narration for his latest, most compelling book.”

The audiobook for Absolute Proof was recorded in partnership with Audible, who will be releasing it as an audio first exclusive in the US in October.

#AbsoluteProof

Published by Pan Macmillan on 4th October 2018 in hardback (£20) /ebook (£16.99) / audiobook (£24.99)

This autumn, to mark the publication of his highly-anticipated new book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, global phenomenon Prof. Yuval Noah Harari will discuss the most urgent issues of our times at a special how to: Academy event in London on Thursday 27th September.

Harari will be joined in conversation by award-winning actress, director, activist and Harvard graduate Natalie Portman, who is one of a number of high-profile figures who have read and recommended Harari’s books in the past – alongside the likes of Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. Portman has also studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where Harari now teaches.

The event will see over 2,300 readers and fans come together at Central Hall Westminster to hear Harari expand on some of the arguments he presents in 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, as well as Portman’s own thoughts and experiences as an activist and humanitarian.

Published on 30th August by Jonathan Cape, the book’s easily-digestible chapters tackle a number of contemporary issues, both personal and global; ranging from Brexit, fake news and the future of welfare, to mental stability, ecological cataclysm and technological disruptions. Over the evening Harari will turn his attention to some of the most provocative and insightful questions he poses in the book, and how we can all find our focus in this increasingly complicated 21st century world.

Prof. Yuval Noah Harari said: “I am very much looking forward to talking with Natalie. We were both born in the myth-factory of the world, and much of our careers have revolved around the tension between myth, science and science fiction. I am keen to hear her take on reality, fiction and everything in between. Neither of us is known for dodging difficult issues – so it should be interesting.”

Michal Shavit, Publishing Director at Jonathan Cape, said: “It’s been extraordinary to see how powerfully and resoundingly Yuval Noah Harari’s ideas have resonated around the globe since publication of Sapiens and Homo Deus. We are thrilled that Natalie Portman and Yuval Harari will be marking the publication of his new book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, with a conversation about some of the most urgent themes confronting us today. This is an incredibly important and timely book that will no doubt resonate with an ever widening readership of this great 21st Century thinker.”

John Gordon, founder and CEO of how to: Academy, said: “I’m enormously excited to be hosting an unmissable conversation between Yuval Noah Harari and Natalie Portman. This promises to be an extraordinary event featuring two inspirational people together on stage for the first time.”

Tickets for the event will go on sale on Friday 13th July and will be available from www.howtoacademy.com. The event forms part of a programme run by how to: Academy featuring leading scientists, business theorists, Nobel Prize laureates, philosophers and authors.

#21_Lessons / Twitter: @harari_yuval / @JonathanCape / FB: @Prof.Yuval.Noah.Harari

Specialist culture and entertainment PR agency Riot Communications has appointed Alison Clarke as a Board Advisor as the agency continues to grow.

Clarke, who recently won the PRCA’s most prestigious award – Mark Mellor Outstanding Contribution to the PR Industry – has long been a champion of Riot, most recently mentoring Riot Director, Adele Minchin, as part of the PRCA / PR Week Fast Track Mentoring scheme.

Clarke brings to Riot 25 years of experience having led Weber Shandwick’s Asia Pacific office, and heading Hunsworth PLC’s Business Development, before taking the helm at Grayling UK and Ireland. Clarke now runs her own consultancy business.

Preena Gadher, Managing Director of Riot said: “Working with Alison is a very exciting prospect for our agency as we focus firmly on growth and continuing to deliver outstanding PR expertise to our expanding range of clients. Her vast knowledge and experience in the industry will be invaluable, especially in business development, helping us achieve our ambitious goals for the agency. We can’t wait to start working with her!”

Clarke said: “I’m looking forward to working with the team at Riot . They have an exciting and dynamic business with plenty of potential. It’s going to be an exciting journey.”

Clarke will begin working with Riot this month.