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5 items from 2016

Italian government reveals $435m film fund details

2 February 2016 1:28 AM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Minister hails shake-up which could bring “60% more finance” to industry; Sorrentino, Bertolucci, Benigni embrace the changes.

The Italian government has unveiled long-awaited film finance reform which promise to shake-up the local production, distribution and exhibition sectors.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, together with culture minister Dario Franceschini, late last week announced a new annual fund of $435m (€400m) for the Italian film industry.

According to the announcement, the Cinema Fund and a raft of tax breaks and subsidies will take effect from 2017.

“Each year, 12% of Vat tax revenue gained from companies exploiting film content – including TV broadcasters, internet service providers, phone operators and film distributors – will feed into a fund amounting to no less than €400m,” explained Franceschini following a meeting with top Italian industry figures including film-makers Bernardo Bertolucci (Last Tango In Paris), Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso), Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty) and Roberto Benigni (Life Is Beautiful).

He added: “This is not a corrective intervention, but a »

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Oscars 2016: Ian McKellen asks why no gay man has ever won Best Actor

26 January 2016 2:38 AM, PST | The Independent | See recent The Independent news »

The current diversity debate surrounding the 2016 Academy Awards has squarely settled on the issue of race, thanks to conversations sparked by the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. Yet, Sir Ian McKellen offered a keen reminder that diversity issues within the awards race are widespread. "No openly gay man has ever won the Oscar. I wonder if that is prejudice or chance," he reflected at a recent BFI event (via The Guardian). McKellen, of course, is openly gay himself; as well as being a committed activist and co-founder of Lgbt charity Stonewall. He further mentioned both occasions he'd carried an acceptance speech to the Academy Awards marked with the words, "I'm proud to be the first openly gay man to win the Oscar"; though he's never been given the opportunity to say those words on stage. His Best Actor nomination for Gods and Monsters in 1998 saw him lose to Roberto Benigni for Life is Beautiful, »

- Clarisse Loughrey

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Uma Thurman, Alexandra Daddario Join Marjane Satrapi’s ‘Extraordinary Journey’ (Exclusive)

25 January 2016 1:24 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Uma Thurman (“Kill Bill”), Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips”) and Laurent Lafitte (“Little White Lies”) have joined Bollywood star Dhanush in Marjane Satrapi’s “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir.”

Alexandra Daddario (“True Detective,” “San Andreas”) is in advanced negotiations to take one of the lead roles.

TF1 International reps the English-language project and will kick off pre-sales at Berlin’s European Film Market.

Gemma Arterton (“Hansel And Gretel”), Abel Jafri (“Timbuktu”) and Seema Biswas (“The Queen Bandit”) complete the cast.

“Extraordinary Journey” will mark the most ambitious project undertaken by Satrapi, the Iranian-born French comicbook artist and filmmaker behind Cannes’ jury prize winner “Persepolis” and “Chicken With Plums.”

Satrapi made her English-language debut with “The Voices” starring Ryan Reynolds.

Luc Bossi’s Brio Films is lead producing. Vamonos Films, Italy’s Paco Cinematografica and India’s Little Red Car are co-producing. “Extraordinary Journey” has already been picked up by SquareOne in Germany. »

- Elsa Keslassy

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This just in... Academy's New Diversity Plans Announced

22 January 2016 1:30 PM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

After the emergency meeting of the Oscar's governing board (51 players strong) to discuss what to do about their sorry track record of diversity these past few years -- #OscarsSoWhite had become the only story out of the Oscar nominations -- they've announced plans for changes to take effect immediately following this Oscar season.

It boils down to a plan to significantly expand & speed up the initiatives President Cheryl Boone Isaac had already put in place with one very significant change.

New Members* 

Though they've been adding more members annually already, between now and 2020 they vow to double the number of female and diverse voters. The Academy currently has about 6,261 voting members with estimates of women and nonwhite members making up about 1400 of that number so expect a couple those more members.  Three New Board Members

The 51 seats will increase to 54 with the new members chosen by the President. (All eyes »


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Keeping it honest by Anne-Katrin Titze

14 January 2016 8:36 AM, PST | eyeforfilm.co.uk | See recent eyeforfilm.co.uk news »

Géza Röhrig: "This is kind of when my childhood was over." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

László Nemes' trenchant Son Of Saul (Saul Fia), co-written with Clara Royer, cinematography by Mátyás Erdély, sound design Tamás Zányi and an unforgettably unsettling performance by Géza Röhrig as Saul Ausländer, clothed by Edit Szücs, today received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Deniz Gamze Ergüven's Mustang, Naji Abu Nowar's Theeb, Ciro Guerra's Embrace Of The Serpent and Tobias Lindholm's A War were also honoured.

Son Of Saul director László Nemes at the New York Film Festival Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Slavoj Žižek, Roberto Benigni's Life Is Beautiful, Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List impacting Stanley Kubrick's The Aryan Papers, what Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds has in common with The Sound Of Music, the profound impact of a visit to Auschwitz at age 17, the fragility of civilisation, »

- Anne-Katrin Titze

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5 items from 2016

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