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ACORN TV MAY 2022 HIGHLIGHTS

MONDAY 2 MAY, SIGNORA VOLPE STREAMING EXCLUSIVE

Renowned actor Emilia Fox whisks us away to stunning Italy for action and intrigue in this brand-new original drama, as a disillusioned British spy who turns detective in and around Umbria, the beautiful heart of the country.

To the casual observer, there's nothing remarkable about Sylvia Fox (Emilia Fox, Silent Witness, Delicious, The Pianist). An intelligent, confident woman in her 40s, she tends to keep quiet about her formidable linguistic abilities, impressive knowledge of weaponry, and skills as a markswoman. Questions about her professional life are met with bland answers about an unspectacular career in the Civil Service. Which is only very slightly true - because until recently, Sylvia was a high-ranking British spy. When she arrives in Italy for the wedding of her niece Alice, she's disillusioned with her job at MI6 headquarters in London, and in need of a break. But then, the bridegroom disappears, leaving a dead body in the lake at the bottom of his garden, and Sylvia takes it upon herself to solve the mystery and save Alice from disaster.

Despite the unpromising start to her holiday, Sylvia is enchanted by Umbria, the green heart of Italy, and is surprised and pleased to find herself reconnecting with her estranged sister Isabel Vitale (Tara Fitzgerald, Game of Thrones, Belgravia), who lives in the handsome hillside town of Panicale. When she stumbles upon a beautiful, derelict old house, Sylvia decides to buy it, quit her job and start afresh.

But Sylvia was never cut out for a quiet life and finds herself involved in a bevy of fresh mysteries - from the disappearance of a young woman a quarter of a century ago, to the theft of a truffle pig, and a blackmail plot against the son of a Russian politician. At first, Carabinieri Captain Giovanni Riva (Giovanni Cirfiera, American Crime Story; The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Queen of the South) resents Sylvia's interference, but he soon begins to seek her help. Jamie Bamber(Innocent, Marcella) also stars.

TUESDAY 3 MAY, AGATHA RAISIN SERIES FOUR

TV favourite Ashley Jensen (After Life, Catastrophe, Extras) returns as the eponymous Agatha Raisin, a London PR guru turned Cotswolds super sleuth, in the colourful, much-loved hit show based on the late MC Beaton's best-selling books. Series four sees the detective agency continue to thrive, and there's no shortage of mysteries for this chic and sharp detective to solve. Having decided not to spend any more time dwelling on her AWOL on-off partner, James (Jamie Glover, Waterloo Road) Agatha and her merry band of helpers, including loyal assistant Roy (Mathew Horne, Gavin & Stacey), have more cases to crack including a jam competition that spirals into a sticky mess when a judge is mysteriously murdered. Wilkes (Jason Barnett, Bridgerton) hires our favourite formidable PI, to keep a lid on things.

When James turns up to whisk Agatha away on a seaside trip to work on his new book, the last thing she expects is to end up in Snoth-on-Sea and become a murder suspect. And in an even more shocking turn of events, she finds herself called in to investigate when her ex-fiance's fianceee is murdered the night before their wedding...

MONDAY 23 MAY, THE MADAME BLANC MYSTERIES

Escape to fabulous France with TV favourite Sally Lindsay (Coronation Street, Still Open All Hours, Scott & Bailey), who not only stars as the lead, but also created and co-wrote this charming and entertaining series.

When Mancunian Antiques dealer, Jean White's (Lindsay) husband, Rory, is killed in a car crash on the way back from a business trip in France, life as she knows it is changed forever. Not only has she lost her husband, but she soon discovers that he was living a double life and has blown all their money - leaving her destitute and penniless.

With everything taken from her, Jean reluctantly relocates to their one remaining asset - a cottage in French antiques hotspot, Sainte Victoire, where she begins to investigate Rory's mysterious death. There she finds an eclectic bunch of on-screen legends, including Judith (Sue Holderness - Only Fools and Horses), Dom (Steve Edge - Phoenix Nights), Jeremy (Robin Askwith, Confessions) and Charlotte (Sanchia McCormack, Broadchurch). But Jean quickly learns that the circumstances surrounding the accident are more suspicious than they first appeared. When a series of antiques-related mysteries erupt around the village Jean gets caught up in Sherlockian shenanigans - but can she solve the case close to her heart? Historical artefacts, happy-go-lucky characters, and a loveable lead: The Madame Blanc Mysteries is a modern murder-mystery with heart and humour.

MONDAY 30 MAY, PROS AND CONS SERIES ONE

This Danish crime-drama follows a pair of ex-con artists Nina and Erik, who retired from their adrenaline-fuelled lives as con artists when they became parents and moved to the Copenhagen suburbs. In their younger days, alongside their partner in crime Jacqueline, they could cheat anybody out of anything. Now, 17 years later, living as law- abiding citizens, with their teenage daughter and eight-year-old son, their marriage is on the rocks. And when Jacqueline turns up out of the blue... things go from bad to worse. Threatening to reveal their past if they don't join her in a grand con, scamming a large pharmaceutical company, the couple must navigate two very different lives as con artists and suburban parents in a deadlock. But smaller lies lead to bigger ones and as their plans unfold, they find that old habits die hard...

MONDAY 9 MAY, THE CHILD IN TIME

Internationally acclaimed actors Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog, The Imitation Game, Sherlock) and Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire, Line of Duty, Trainspotting) star in this TV adaptation of Ian McEwan's award-winning novel. Stephen Lewis, a successful writer of children's books, is confronted with the unthinkable: he loses his only child, four-year-old Kate, in a supermarket. In one horrifying moment that replays itself over the years that follow, Stephen realises his daughter is gone. With tenderness and insight, the film explores a marriage devastated by the loss of a child. Kate's absence sets Stephen and his wife, Julie, on diverging paths as both struggle with an all-consuming grief. With the passage of time, a balance of sorts returns, until hope surfaces and triumphs unexpectedly.

Also stars Stephen Campbell Moore (The History Boys, The Go-Between) and Saskia Reeves (Luther, Shetland).



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Father Of Flies

Having sated horror fans and critics thirst for creepy chills on its UK premiere at Grimmfest now Father of Flies - a tightly paced, beautifully constructed, and terrifyingly disorientating psychological horror - from director Ben Charles Edwards (A Bird Flew In, Quant), is set for its general release on digital from 101 Films on 11 April.

The haunting and atmospheric feature is dedicated to the late Nicholas Tucci (You're Next, Myth), who gives a compassionate and complex performance as the lead, in one of his final film roles. This nightmarish film is an emotionally charged entrancing journey that oozes with tension and shocks.

Having broken up with his wife who is struggling with a mental health illness (Sandra Andreis - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Only You Only Me), newly single dad, Richard (Tucci) invites his new partner Coral (Camilla Rutherford - The Darjeeling Limited, Gosford Park) to live with him and his children in their remote house, in the snow-covered mountains.

With the sudden departure of their mother, the children are unhappy and unsettled with the new set up - rebellious teen Donna (Page Ruth - Shameless, For Your Consideration) is suspicious of the new woman in their lives and is rarely home, while vulnerable and hearing-impaired Matthew (Keaton Tetlow - Mother, Eddie, Milo and the Box) is forced to share this bleak and lonely space with the strange newcomer - who sports a disturbing plastic massaging mask and is distant and disinterested in her inherited family.

As the hostility grows and claustrophobia sets -in, the tension reaches boiling point and the family is confronted by an ominous presence, a dark, deadly malevolence... what is this terrifying supernatural force and what does it want?

This evocative tale is unrelentingly suspenseful, eerie, and sinister, packed with frights and anxiety-filled terror.



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Streamline

Dive into Streamline, an emotionally rich coming-of-age-film, and a supremely impressive directorial debut from Tyson Wade Johnston, who also penned the piece. This gritty and gripping feature is produced by Australian swimming legend Ian Thorpe and stars Hollywood favourite Brit actor Jason Isaacs (The Harry Potter Franchise, Mass) is now set to wow UK audiences with its digital release on 11 April from 101 Films.

15-year-old Benjamin Lane (Levi Miller -Pan, A Wrinkle in Time) is an introverted and gifted young swimmer, on the brink of qualifying for the Olympics. Pushed by his ruthless coach, Glen (Robert Morgan - Hacksaw Ridge) and his sacrificial mother, Kim (Laura Gordon - Undertow), it's unclear if he actually wants the life he's seemingly being forced to pursue.

When his enigmatic and estranged father (Jason Isaacs) is released from prison and tries to repair their damaged relationship, Benjamin struggles under the physical and psychological pressure and begins to self-destruct.

Drawn into the debauched lifestyle of his two older brothers, Dave (Jake Ryan - The Great Gatsby, Home & Away), and Nick (Sam Parsonson - Hacksaw Ridge, Love My Way), Benjamin is pushed to the limits as he's forced to grapple with deep-seated childhood trauma while navigating the toxic masculinity of the flawed, angry, and broken men around him. Can he escape his troubled past and choose the right lane for himself?

What ensues is a compelling, gritty, and immersive tale of young man struggling to define who he is in a male-orientated world of conflict, anguish, pressure, and competition.

Boasting beautiful cinematography as well as a masterful and moving performance from Levi Miller, Streamline is a powerful and pertinent sports-drama like no other.



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The Good Karma Hospital Series Four

Good news it's time for a spoonful of sun-soaked TV medicine as we head back to The Good Karma Hospital and the stunning shores of Kerala, South India for a fourth series of the hit ITV drama. Following its recent run on ITV, reaching viewing figures of almost 4 million, The Good Karma Hospital Series 4 arrives on DVD courtesy of Acorn Media International, alongside The Good Karma Hospital Complete Series 1 - 4 DVD Box Set on 11 April 2022.

The Good Karma Hospital began with junior doctor Ruby Walker (Amrita Acharia - Game of Thrones) travelling to Southern India in search of work and a distraction from a major heartbreak. A position at the under-resourced and over-worked Good Karma Hospital quicky envelops her and kick-starts a brand new chapter of her life...

Three seasons later and the tirelessly working team at this trusty and thriving tropical Indian hospital is as busy as ever. The fierce and passionate Dr Lydia Fonseca (Amanda Redman - New Tricks) must confront her complicated past and is forced to face some home truths in order to save her boyfriend Greg (Neil Morrissey - Line of Duty), from getting deported.

Ruby is still reeling following Gabriel's (James Krishna Floyd - Of Kings and Prophets) shock departure. Struggling with an uncertain future, she makes some rash decisions - but must find an outlet for her rage before she loses control...

Series four sees the arrival of two new docs - charismatic British Asian Dr Samir Hasan (Harki Bhambra - Call the Midwife) and Dr Nikita 'Niki' Sharma (Rebecca Ablack - Ginny & Georgia), a privileged and headstrong young doctor who is determined to get a taste of real life, working in a community hospital.

As with all families, this medical family has their ups and downs, yet they are bound by duty to their patients - and love for one another. No one shift is the same, and in the face of chance encounters, new-found political enemies, deadly viruses and complex relationships - this family has a lot on their hands...

We prescribe an escape to the sunny shores of South India for The Good Karma Hospital - where you'll receive a dose of warmth, charm, community spirit and plenty of drama.



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Superhost

From the acclaimed director of Z and Still/Born Brandon Christensen comes his latest horror Superhost. This Shudder Original gets its UK Blu-ray debut from Acorn Media International on 4 April 2022 and will also be available on DVD and digital. It's one hell of a trip we advise you to watch.

Pack your bags and get ready for a fun-filled horror ride with travel vloggers Teddy (Osric Chau - The Flash, Supernatural) and Claire (Sara Canning - Z, A Series of Unfortunate Events). Like and subscribe to their Superhost channel and share their adventures.

We join the Superhost influencer couple as they embark on their latest video review, and they're hoping this is the one that can earn them more subscribers. A house in the woods could be the perfect opportunity to create new content and attract new followers. But is there more than meets the eye with Rebecca (Gracie Gillam - Scream Queens, Z Nation) their host with the most...?

Slowly they begin to realise that something isn't quite right with Rebecca, and as they start to investigate, they discover more than they bargained for. It's not just a five-star review she's after, there's something far more sinister at play...could it be toast for the Superhosts?

Look out for horror favourite Barbara Crampton in a bloody brilliant cameo in this wickedly fun feature - and DON'T FORGET TO LIKE AND SURVIVE.



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Acorn TV April 2022 Highlights

MONDAY 4 APRIL

HARRY WILD EPISODES 1 & 2 - TWO EPISODES WEEKLY ON MONDAYS THROUGH 25 APRIL

Meet Harry Wild, a brand new detective on the block. She's outspoken, feisty, with a twinkle in her eye, and played with elan by multi-award-winning actor Jane Seymour OBE (Live and Let Die, Wedding Crashers).

Hanging up her gown as a literature professor, Harriet 'Harry' Wild, can't wait to retire and start a brand-new phase of life. However, things take an unexpected turn when she's the victim of a mugging and is soon catapulted onto very a different career path.

Her son Charlie (Kevin Ryan, Guilt, Copper), a senior police detective, persuades his reluctant mum to stay with him and his family to recover. When Harry gets wind of her son's latest investigation - a murder that has him baffled - she notices striking similarities to an obscure Elizabethan play and takes it upon herself to 'help' with the case. A chance encounter brings her in front of her mugger Fergus Reid (Rohan Nedd, Whitstable Pearl) but instead of turning him in, she sees potential in the troubled teen and gives him the chance to redeem himself, enlisting him as her sidekick. Following her successful, albeit ill-advised, involvement in the case, Harry discovers a new lust for life.

She and Fergus embark on a new world of mystery solving, from a fledgling serial killer with a Dostoevsky fixation, gamblers running snuff games, and a wealthy Dublin matriarch strangled during a video call. Also stars Stuart Graham (The Fall, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Amy Huberman (Finding Joy, Striking Out).

MONDAY 4 APRIL

THE STRAITS SERIES 1 UK PREMIERE

Brian Cox, Mr Succession himself, takes the lead in another story of passing on power in the family business. Starring alongside Rena Owen (Once We Were Warriors) in this Australian drama set around the turquoise waters and lethal wildlife of Australia's Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait. The exotic, darkly humorous crime drama follows The Montebello clan, who run a successful enterprise. But this is no ordinary business - it's smuggling drugs into Australia, and guns and exotic wildlife out of the country - relying on blood ties and loyalty from the locals. When Harry (Brian Cox), the head of the family, starts to plan who will succeed him, a power struggle is sparked between brother and brother, wife, and daughter. Under attack from gangs, the family must band together through torture, assassination, and imprisonment.

MONDAY 11 APRIL

CARDINAL - SERIES 1 - 4 BOX SET STREAMING EXCLUSIVE

Based on Giles Blunt's best-selling books, this internationally acclaimed Canadian-noir detective series is now available for a box set binge as series four arrives on Acorn TV this month. We re-join Detective John Cardinal and Detective Lise Delorme who are back on duty in Algonquin Bay. The detectives are called in when a politician's husband goes missing, but after the discovery of a shocking murder and another abduction they realise that they have a much more chilling case to contend with.

MONDAY 11 APRIL

CANDICE RENOIR SERIES 4 (SERIES 1 - 4 AVAILABLE) UK PREMIERE

Our favourite award-winning French detective drama returns for a fourth gripping series, which is fraught with danger for Inspector Renoir (Cecile Bois, Gloria, Germinal). When Candice is called to testify in a criminal trial, her investigative methods are ridiculed and to add to her troubles, her invaluable deputy inspector, Antoine Dumas (Raphael Lenglet, Elle, High Lane) has left to join a more prestigious police unit. And there's worse to come when a new case takes her back home to northern France, where she finds out that her own mother is embroiled in a string of murders.

Candice's personal life is also proving a challenge as she questions her relationship with David Canovas (Stephane Blancafort, Secrets), the charming commander of the Anti-Gang Brigade. And could there be someone new on the horizon?

MONDAY 11 APRIL

ROSAMUND PILCHER DOUBLE BILL THE SHELL SEEKERS & FOUR SEASONS

Academy Award-winner Vanessa Redgrave (Call the Midwife) takes the lead in the mini-series adaptation of The Shell Seekers, one of Rosamunde Pilcher's most famous best-sellers that was voted one of BBC's Big Read 100 novels in 2003. When the daughter of a successful painter (Maximilian Schell, Deep Impact), Penelope Keeling, has a heart attack, her children try to persuade her to sell one of her father's most famous works for financial security, but her brush with death leads her to reflect on her life and her own fascinating story.

MONDAY 25 APRIL

Rosamunde Pilcher's Four Seasons follows the wealthy Combes family in their magnificent country estate Endellion. Patriarch Alex is the head of the estate, alongside his two sons: the eldest Stephen, a high-powered financier, and his youngest child Charles. After many years of unruffled tranquillity, life at Endellion suddenly changes when Stephen's ex-wife returns, bringing a family fallout in her wake.

MONDAY 25 APRIL

BALTHAZAR SERIES 4 UK PREMIERE

Our favourite French forensic pathologist, the charming and eccentric Raphael Balthazar (Tomer Sisley, Messiah), returns for a fourth thrilling series of the hit TV drama, solving Paris' most disturbing crimes in his inimitable fashion, not least his ability to communicate with the dead.

We join Balthazar seven months on from the tragic events of series three and everything has changed. With his partner and friend Helene Bach gone and another important person in his life awaiting trial in prison, Balthazar is partying harder than ever. But he can't run away from his problems forever and everything comes crashing down when Captain Camille Costes (Constance Labbe, Camping Paradis) comes into his life...His new partner is outspoken, humorous, and full of boundless energy, and she has a bone to pick with Balthazar. Camille is a force to be reckoned with but can she help Balthazar face his demons head on?

Cases include a less than smooth flight to Paris where passengers have been poisoned, a killer is on the loose and the plane is on course for a crash landing plus there's a mysterious case of body parts uncovered in a Parisian suburb. Can Balthazar collaborate with Camille, or will he lose his head when a torso is found?



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Project Gemini

Prepare for lift-off with Russian sci-fi survival thriller Project Gemini. From director Serik Beyseu (Russkie Gonki) this stellar action-adventure boasts high production values and impressive CGI and is set to thrill UK audiences with its launch on 28 March from Ignition.

Three years after a deadly virus destroyed life on Earth and rendered it inhabitable, humanity's fate depends upon finding an entirely new home.

An international expedition is formed to find a suitable planet, and the future of humankind lies in the hands of one determined, courageous crew, Steve (Egor Koreshkov - Jetlag), David (Dmitriy Frid - The Balkan Line) and Leona (Martinez Lisa - Project Gemini). Sent to terraform a planet dubbed Tess, the interstellar squad embark on a mission to save the world...but there is something sinister waiting for them in the dark.

When the launch malfunctions, the team find themselves in an unknown part of the galaxy. As they venture into unchartered territory, they soon realise that a cosmic creature has its own plan for the planet... A high stakes fight for the future ensues; could this be a new beginning for mankind...or the end of it? Let the countdown commence for Project Gemini, an out-of-this-world, battle filled feature, filled with spine-tingling suspense.



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The Babadook & Lake Mungo Limited Editions

Following the release of The Babadook and Lake Mungo in acclaimed Limited Edition versions in 2021, Second Sight Films now brings these two bona fide horror classics to Standard Edition Blu-ray. The Babadook will also be available as a Standard Edition 4K UHD. All versions will be released on 28 March 2022.

Jennifer Kent's acclaimed, unsettling chiller The Babadook stars Essie Davis (Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries), as a grief-stricken mother who is desperately trying to bring up her troubled son the best she can, will a new book be the answer to his sleep woes, or is it the beginning of an unimaginable nightmare?

Following the violent death of her husband on the day their son Samuel )Noah Wiseman) was born, Amelia struggles with his erratic behaviour, and is still battling with the never-ending grief. Refusing to celebrate Samuel's birthday as it's inextricably linked to such a traumatic time, life is a struggle and the one person who's always been there for her, her sister's (Hayley McElhinney) patience is wearing thin.

As Samuel's seventh birthday approaches his fears get worse, hes convinced a monster is coming to get them, and he won't settle, no matter how many bedtime stories he's told. When an intriguing storybook appears on the bookshelf, Samuel becomes convinced that the Babadook is the monstrous creature he's always feared and as Amelia senses the ominous presence herself, she slowly begins to unravel.

Seminal Australian horror Lake Mungo from director Joel Anderson was originally released in 2008, and the documentary-style chiller has made far reaching ripples, thrilling horror fans and inspiring budding filmmakers across the globe and establishing itself as a cult classic.

When 16-year-old Alice Palmer tragically drowns while swimming in the local dam, her grieving family start to experience a series of strange, inexplicable events and become increasingly unsettled. Seeking out the help of a parapsychologist, they learn that Alice had been living through extremely troubling, disturbing times and hiding deep, dark secrets. Now they are desperate to know what haunted their daughter and what is happening to them.

Does Lake Mungo hold the terrifying truth?



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