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8 items from 2014

Funding for first Australian Muslim rom-com feature

25 November 2014 9:04 PM, PST | | See recent news »

During a break in filming the Sbs telemovie Saved in 2009, actor Osamah Sami told director Tony Ayres and his co-star Claudia Karvan an amazing story.

Sami related how his first marriage lasted precisely one hour and 48 minutes. .I immediately thought, .there.s a film in that,.. Ayres tells If.

Andrew Knight came on board to collaborate with Sami on the screenplay of Ali.s Wedding and Screen Australia has agreed to invest in the project.

At one point Ayres was keen to direct but he has a full schedule as the Ep of Glitch and Nowhere Boys, so Wayne Blair will direct the romantic comedy.

Sheila Jayadev and Helen Panckhurst will produce for Matchbox Pictures, with Ayres, Michael McMahon, Greg Sitch and Nina Stevenson as EPs.

The plot follows Ali, the son of a Muslim cleric, who is caught between his sense of duty to his family and following his heart. »

- Don Groves

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Us format deals for three Oz series

17 November 2014 11:31 PM, PST | | See recent news »

Us studios have bought the format rights to Offspring, Fat Cow Motel and East West 101. Word of the deals emerged today during panel sessions at Spa.s Screen Forever conference. Endemol Worldwide Distribution has sold Offspring to Us producer Mandeville Television, which has done a script deal with the ABC network. Mandeville Television president Laurie Zaks told If that if the show gets the go-ahead it will be produced by herself and Mandeville principals David Hoberman and Todd Leiberman. She said she hoped the show.s creators, John Edwards and Imogen Banks, will be involved in the Us remake. During a panel on Selling Formats to the Us, Hoodlum Entertainment.s Tracey Robertson said a format deal for mystery Fat Cow Motel has been signed with the ABC network, negotiated by her Us agent ICM. In turn she said ABC has funnelled the project to ABC Studios and a writer has been attached. »

- Don Groves

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Industry to celebrate Equity milestone

31 August 2014 3:19 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Actors Equity is marking its 75th anniversary with a two-day summit on creativity and diversity.

Performers, producers, directors, writers, casting directors, agents, artistic directors, network and broadcast executives and digital strategists will assemble for a series of panels, workshops, in- conversations and key note speeches.

Equity 75: A Summit of Creativity and Diversity will be staged at the Sydney Theatre Co. from October 26-27. The topics will include brand-building, the art of the audition and the roles of producer and women in theatre.

Running parallel to the conference will be the chance to meet with casting directors for round table discussions.

Equity says, .Thanks to the strength and unity of our members we have won residuals, rehearsal pay, overtime, annual leave and so much more. Equity continues to improve wages and conditions for performers every single day. Equity campaigns and lobbies for an industry that treats performers with respect, values local content, »

- Don Groves

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Director, cast set for Rinehart telepic

14 August 2014 8:18 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Mark Joffe will direct the Nine Network telemovie on the world.s richest woman Gina Rinehart and the troubled Hancock/Rinehart dynasty.

Joffe (A Place to Call Home, Wild Boys) will start shooting at the end of this month in Sydney and Western Australia.

Love Child.s Mandy McElhinney will play Rinehart in the telepic produced by Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder.s Michael Cordell, Claudia Karvan and Paul Bennett.. Karvan won't have an on-camera role.

Set primarily in 1980-2002, the plot follows the public feud between Gina and her father Lang Hancock.s second wife Rose Lacson, her struggles to rebuild the company following her father.s death, and her recent battles with her children over their multi-billion dollar inheritance.

Lang and Gina are inseparable, the perfect team, and Gina is confident she will soon inherit the family business. But their relationship is rocked by a series of tumultuous events.

What »

- Don Groves

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Matt King joins Oz production company

4 May 2014 2:27 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Matt King..

UK actor, comedian and writer Matt King today embarked on a new career with Australian production company Cjz.

As the newly appointed development executive King will work with Cjz.s development and production teams.

King collaborated with Cjz MD co-founder Nick Murray in Australia in the 1990s when he served as a comedy writer on Full Frontal and Jimeoin.

Before moving back to Australia with his family last month he filmed a role in Paddington, a comedy about a young bear from Peru who moves to London in search of a home and family, starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins and Jim Broadbent, directed by David Heyman (producer of the Harry Potter franchise and Gravity).

He played the co-lead opposite Claudia Karvan in Southern Star Entertainment.s Spirited in 2011. He also appeared as the cult character Super Hans in the Channel 4 comedy Peep Show »

- Don Groves

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Aacta awards 2014: Gatsby sweeps movie gongs for Baz Luhrmann

30 January 2014 9:30 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Hollywood extravaganza The Great Gatsby dominates movie category while Redfern Now scoops best drama series

Video: Jacki Weaver - 'I'm a little bit overwhelmed'

A David-and-Goliath battle between a low budget film set in Laos and an extravagant Hollywood production of The Great Gatsby ended with the giant victorious at Australia's Academy Awards, the Aactas

Baz Luhrmann's blockbuster, filmed entirely in Sydney studios with computer graphics helping to create the F Scott Fitzgerald story's Long Island and New York backdrops, took six of the top prizes on 30 January, including best film, director, and adapted screenplay for Luhrmann and long-time collaborator Craig Pearce. This brought its tally to 13 following its sweep of the craft awards announced two days earlier at the country's top annual film and TV awards.

In the television categories, Jane Campion's quirky crime series Top of the Lake, a four nation co-production set in rural New Zealand, »

- Lynden Barber

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Aacta Awards: Goliath slays David

30 January 2014 12:53 AM, PST | | See recent news »

If the 3rd annual Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards could be categorised as a David vs Goliath battle between The Rocket and The Great Gatsby, Goliath is the hands-down winner.

Baz Luhrmann.s opulent romantic drama won six awards tonight, for best film, director, adapted screenplay, lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio, supporting actor Joel Edgerton and supporting actress Elizabeth Debicki.

That.s in addition to the six awards in craft categories plus the Aacta award for outstanding achievement in visual effects bestowed on Luhrmann.s film on Tuesday.

Kim Mordaunt's The Rocket, which had 12 nominations versus 14 for Gatsby, had to be content with just one trophy, for Mordaunt.s original screenplay.

The outcome is likely to reignite the debate about the near-impossibility of comparing a lavishly-mounted 3D film financed by Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures, which cost $160 million, with an independently-funded Lao-set film from a first-time director budgeted at about $2 million. »

- Don Groves

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Shane Bourne to host Aacta Awards

15 January 2014 2:07 PM, PST | | See recent news »

Actor and comedian Shane Bourne will host this year.s Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (AACTAs), broadcast in a 90-minute presentation on Thursday, January 30, at 8.30pm on Network Ten.

Bourne will lead the night of peer-voted awards, live performances and special appearances from personalities across the Australian television and film industry.

AFI | Aacta CEO, Damian Trewhella, said .We are delighted Shane will host the 3rd Aacta Awards Ceremony. Shane is an AFI Award winner and audience favourite, and a well loved and respected member of the screen industry.. Bourne said, .I am really looking forward to being involved in the 3rd Aacta Awards and providing the social lubricant to help ensure a great night for all as we celebrate the year.s achievements in television and film. And if the official after party is just a fraction as good as the scenes from The Great Gatsby then »

- Staff writer

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