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Peter O'Toole dies aged 81

15 December 2013 1:16 PM, PST

The star of David Lean’s Lawrence Of Arabia who earned eight Oscar nominations has died at Wellington hospital in London following a long illness. He was 81.

O’Toole was reportedly born in Ireland – there is some dispute over this and it is said his birthplace may in fact be Leeds – and despite his global fame and London residency remained very much a son of the country.

The Irish president Michael Higgins, a personal friend for several decades, led a list of tributes and called O’Toole “one of the giants of film and theatre.”

O’Toole served two years in the Navy before attending the Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art in the early 1950s. He cut his teeth with a series of major roles in regional theatre for several years and eventually landed his cinematic breakthrough as Te Lawrence in Lean’s 1962 classic Lawrence of Arabia, which earned him one of eight Academy Award nominations.

The »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Peter O’Toole, 1932-2013

15 December 2013 1:16 PM, PST

The star of David Lean’s Lawrence Of Arabia who earned eight Oscar nominations has died at Wellington hospital in London following a long illness. He was 81.

O’Toole was reportedly born in Ireland – there is some dispute over this and it is said his birthplace may in fact be Leeds – and despite his global fame and London residency remained very much a son of the country.

The Irish president Michael Higgins, a personal friend for several decades, led a list of tributes and called O’Toole “one of the giants of film and theatre.”

O’Toole served two years in the Navy before attending the Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art in the early 1950s. He cut his teeth with a series of major roles in regional theatre for several years and eventually landed his cinematic breakthrough as Te Lawrence in Lean’s 1962 classic Lawrence of Arabia, which earned him one of eight Academy Award nominations.

The »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Academy sets make-up, hair shortlist

14 December 2013 7:31 PM, PST

Academy hierarchy announced on December 14 that seven films remain in contention for the make-up and hairstyling Oscar.

The films in alphabetical order are: American Hustle; Dallas Buyers Club; The Great Gatsby; Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa; and The Lone Ranger.

On January 11 2014 all members of the Academy’s make-up artists and hairstylists branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films.

Following the screenings, members will vote to nominate three films. The nominations will be announced on January 16 and the awards show is set for March 2. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Make-up, hairstyling Oscars shortlist

14 December 2013 1:31 PM, PST

Academy hierarchy announced on December 14 that seven films remain in contention for the make-up and hairstyling Oscar.

The films in alphabetical order are:

American HustleDallas Buyers ClubThe Great GatsbyHansel & Gretel Witch HuntersThe Hunger Games: Catching FireJackass Presents: Bad Grandpa;The Lone Ranger.

On January 11 2014 all members of the Academy’s make-up artists and hairstylists branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films.

Following the screenings, members will nominate three films. The nominations will be announced on January 16 and the 86th awards show is set for March 2. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Academy sets make-up, hairstyling shortlist

14 December 2013 1:31 PM, PST

Academy hierarchy announced on December 14 that seven films remain in contention for the make-up and hairstyling Oscar.

The films in alphabetical order are:

American HustleDallas Buyers ClubThe Great GatsbyHansel & Gretel Witch HuntersThe Hunger Games: Catching FireJackass Presents: Bad Grandpa;The Lone Ranger.

On January 11 2014 all members of the Academy’s make-up artists and hairstylists branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films.

Following the screenings, members will nominate three films. The nominations will be announced on January 16 and the 86th awards show is set for March 2. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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The Exchange options Girls

13 December 2013 10:29 AM, PST

CEO Brian O’Shea announced on December 13 the company has optioned screen rights to How To Pick Up Girls.

Eric Weber’s 1968 self-help book is based on a series of columns comprising Weber’s interviews with women that started in the 1960s.

The Exchange will develop and produce the project in association with producer Josh Sugarman for the Tenafly Film Company.

Weber will develop the script based on his book and act as executive producer. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Production over on He Never Died

13 December 2013 10:24 AM, PST

Shooting has concluded in Toronto on Alternate Ending Studio’s He Never Died starring Henry Rollins. 108 Media handles world sales.

The crime-thriller centres on a cannibal who is forced to reassess his life. Jason Krawczyck directs from his screenplay and Zach Hagen of Alternate Ending Studio is the producer with Adam J Shully. Rollins serves as executive producer.

“We have been truly blown away by what this team has achieved on this shoot under Jason’s inspired leadership and lead by Henry’s unwavering commitment,” said Shully.  

“This movie is going to show fans the world over a totally new side of Henry Rollins,” said Hagen. “He absolutely nailed this role. This performance is dramatic, sometimes frightening, and brilliantly sardonic.” »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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PGA to honour Fruitvale Station

13 December 2013 10:14 AM, PST

Ryan Coogler’s feature directorial debut will receive Producers Guild Of America’s 2014 Stanley Kramer Award.

The presentation will take place at the 25th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on January 19 2014.

The Stanley Kramer Award was established in 2002 to honour “a production, producer or other individual whose achievement or contribution illuminates and raises public awareness of important social issues.”

Fruitvale Station is an important film that raises awareness about an injustice that we encounter in the news with grim regularity,” said PGA awards co-chairs Lori McCreary and Michael De Luca.

“First time writer/director Ryan Coogler has captured the hearts and minds of both audiences and critics with his poignant portrayal of the true story of Oscar Grant.”

Fruitvale Station is released by The Weinstein Company and recounts the story of a young Bay Area man’s final day before he was shot by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer. The film premeired »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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The Price Of Desire wraps

13 December 2013 8:00 AM, PST

Exclusive: Principal photography has wrapped on Mary McGuckian’s The Price Of Desire, about modernist designer Eileen Gray.

On the final day of the shoot the production staged a reenactment of the February 2009 record-breaking $28m Paris sale at Christie’s of Gray’s Dragon Chair.

The reenactment will be the opening scene and recreates what remains the highest price paid for an item of 20th century design.

Cheska Vallois of Galerie Vallois, who bid for the anonymous private client who bought the chair, plays herself in the production and famously explained the high price-tag to reporters immediately after the auction by saying “it can only be the price of desire.”

The Price Of Desire focuses on how rival modernist Le Corbusier questioned Gray’s reputation as one of the most powerful influences on modern architecture and design.

Orla Brady plays the lead role of Gray opposite Vincent Perez as Le Corbusier. Alanis Morissette and [link »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Omar, Ilo Ilo win top prizes at Diff

13 December 2013 6:46 AM, PST

Hany Abu-Assad’s Omar won best film in the Muhr Arab feature competition at this year’s Dubai International Film Festival (Diff), while Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo won best film in the Muhr AsiaAfrica section.

Abu-Assad also won best director in the Arab feature section, while Yasmine Raees won best actress for Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Khan’s Factory Girl. Best actor went to Hassan Badida for Moroccan filmmaker Hicham Lasri’s They Are The Dogs, which also picked up the Special Jury Prize.

Special Mentions went to Mohamed Amin Benamraoui for Adios Carmen and to Moroccan actress Raouia for her roles in Rock The Casbah and Pillow Secrets.

Ilo Ilo was also a multiple prize-winner, adding to an already weighty awards stash, by taking best actress for Yeo Yann Yann’s performance. Best actor in the AsiaAfrica section went to Irrfan Khan for his role in Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox, which also won »


- lizshackleton@gmail.com (Liz Shackleton)

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FindAnyFilm teams with PlayStation

13 December 2013 6:42 AM, PST

VoD service FindAnyFilm.com has secured a new partnership with PlayStation.

FindAnyFilm is now using the PlayStation Store Api, which means that titles available from the PlayStation Store are now available through FindAnyFilm and its partner sites Yahoo Movies, Indie London and Cine-Vue.

This is the first time an external partner has joined the PlayStation Store Api.

Created by the Industry Trust for IP Awareness in an attempt to combat online piracy, FindAnyFilm aggregates cinema listings, DVD, Blu-Ray and UltraViolet releases and legal digital download and streaming services to offer an alternative to illegal sites.

Mark de Quervain, partnerships director of FindAnyFilm, said: “It’s great that Playstation Store is now part of FindAnyFilm.com as the content is already connected to users’ home systems giving them an easy route to watching and enjoying films.”

The PlayStation store is available on all PlayStation Network (Psn) connected consoles. In addition to 20,000 downloadable games and add-ons, the store offers »

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Hubert Bals Fund reveals 14 projects

13 December 2013 4:41 AM, PST

Harmony Lessons director Emir Baigazin and Uncle Boomee… director Apichatpong Weerasethakul among those selected by the Hubert Bals Fund of International Film Festival Rotterdam (Iffr) to receive grants for post production and for script and project development.Scroll down for full list

In its Fall 2013 selection round, the Fund allocated €161,700 to projects from nine Asian, Eastern European, Latin-American and African countries.

The selection was made out of 464 applications, the highest number of funding applications to date.

Five Hbf-supported projects get the opportunity to further develop their project as part of the Boost! programme.

Two of the 11 projects selected in the script and project development category are from Thailand. Cemetery of Kings by Golden Palm winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives), and By the Time it Gets Dark by Anocha Suwichakornpong, who won a Tiger Award for her feature debut Mundane History in 2010.

Emir Baigazin (Kazakhstan) also receives funding in this category for his »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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New Europe Coalition planned

13 December 2013 4:07 AM, PST

A coalition of film professionals from the EU’s new Member States is likely to be one of the results of the Audiovisual Summit in Warsaw this week.

Tentatively called New Europe Coalition (NEC), the initiative aims to raise the profile of the new Member States and their audiovisual industries within political institutions on national and European level, with public broadcasters and in the European film industry at large.

“We are completely dissipated and the visibility of our countries is not what it used to be - or should be - so there is a need to work together,” said Hrvoje Hribar, CEO of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, at the end of the two-day event.

In addition, Polish producer-director Dariusz Jablonski (Apple Film) announced that a follow-up meeting to take the next step and launch NEC would be held during next February’s Berlinale at the offices of Scripteast.

Recommendations

A series of recommendations were drawn from the »


- screen.berlin@googlemail.com (Martin Blaney)

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Australian firms strike China film deal

13 December 2013 3:53 AM, PST

Agreements set to produce seven family features worth $78m.

Shanghai Hippo Animation Design Company is to partner with two Western Australian companies on seven animated children’s and family films in the next three years worth $78m.

The estimate comes from Hippo founder and chief executive Kerr Xu and the two Australian companies are Vue Group and Zac Films.

“We might go bigger though,” Xu told ScreenDaily from Perth. “80% of the money will come from my company and 20% from my Australian partners.”

There are plans to create a fund for further feature film joint ventures between China and Australia – a fund that other producers will be able to tap into with the right scripts.

When established later this year it will have $10m available but the target is $50m.

“For an Australian producer to be given a guarantee of a certain level of release in a market such as China is phenomenal,” said Xu, adding »


- Sandy.George@me.com (Sandy George)

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Australian companies strike China film deal

13 December 2013 3:53 AM, PST

Agreements set to produce seven family features worth $78m.

Shanghai Hippo Animation Design Company is to partner with two Western Australian companies on seven animated children’s and family films in the next three years worth $78m.

The estimate comes from Hippo founder and chief executive Kerr Xu and the two Australian companies are Vue Group and Zac Films.

“We might go bigger though,” Xu told ScreenDaily from Perth. “80% of the money will come from my company and 20% from my Australian partners.”

There are plans to create a fund for further feature film joint ventures between China and Australia – a fund that other producers will be able to tap into with the right scripts.

When established later this year it will have $10m available but the target is $50m.

“For an Australian producer to be given a guarantee of a certain level of release in a market such as China is phenomenal,” said Xu, adding »


- Sandy.George@me.com (Sandy George)

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Hot projects on Screenbase

13 December 2013 3:27 AM, PST

New films on Screenbase this week include Absolutely Anything starring Simon Pegg alongside the reunited Monty Pythons team, as well as a new Ari Folman animation based on Anne Frank’s life and diary.

Terry Jones will direct Simon Pegg in the story of a disillusioned schoolteacher who is granted magical powers by aliens, which are voiced by Jones himself alongside Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, and Michael Palin. Robin Williams will also feature.

The comedy is jointly produced by Bill and Ben Productions and Phoenix Film and financed through Absolutely Anything Plc. International sales are handled by Gfm Films, which sold several territories at Afm, including Icon for Australia, Svensk (Scandinavia) and Telepool (German-speaking).

Shooting is expected to get underway on March 23 in London.

Anne Frank animation

Ari Folman is currently writing the script for a family driven animation based on the life and diary of Anne Frank. Folman will also direct.

The film will »


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Holland: Europe's “mental Iron Curtain”

13 December 2013 3:25 AM, PST

A “mental Iron Curtain” has formed between Western and Eastern Europe, according to Polish film director Agnieszka Holland.

In a keynote speech delivered at the From Media to Creative Europe summit in Warsaw, Holland said: “Paradoxically, when Europe was divided, the mutual curiosity and the knowledge of our cultures was much bigger.

“It was then when we could talk genuinely about a European cinema and its wide distribution both in cinemas and on television.

“Today, more than in the times of the Cold War, we are dealing now with a mental - and not a political - Iron Curtain.

“During the last 20 years, one could very distinctly observe the paradox: the more Europe has been working economically and politically, the more its cultural bonds, mutual curiosity and the knowledge that comes from this, mutual concerns about problems, lives and preferences has dissipated.”

Holland expressed concern that more energy was being expended by European film-makers on budgetary issues »


- screen.berlin@googlemail.com (Martin Blaney)

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Holland: “mental Iron Curtain” divides Europe

13 December 2013 3:25 AM, PST

A “mental Iron Curtain” has formed between Western and Eastern Europe, according to Polish film director Agnieszka Holland.

In a keynote speech delivered at the From Media to Creative Europe summit in Warsaw, Holland said: “Paradoxically, when Europe was divided, the mutual curiosity and the knowledge of our cultures was much bigger.

“It was then when we could talk genuinely about a European cinema and its wide distribution both in cinemas and on television.

“Today, more than in the times of the Cold War, we are dealing now with a mental - and not a political - Iron Curtain.

“During the last 20 years, one could very distinctly observe the paradox: the more Europe has been working economically and politically, the more its cultural bonds, mutual curiosity and the knowledge that comes from this, mutual concerns about problems, lives and preferences has dissipated.”

Holland expressed concern that more energy was being expended by European film-makers on budgetary issues »


- screen.berlin@googlemail.com (Martin Blaney)

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Diff: docs growing in strength

12 December 2013 7:00 PM, PST

A strong line-up of documentaries including Mahmoud Kaabour’s Champ Of The Camp and Jehane Noujaim’s The Square, about the Egyptian revolution, were attracting as much critical and public attention as the dramas at this year’s Diff, highlighting the growing strengh of factual filmmaking in the region.

Other stand-out docs included Ahmed Nour’s Waves and Mohamed Amine Boukhris’s War Reporter, which both received world premieres in the Muhr Arab documentary competition, and Jose A Alayon’s docu-drama Slimane, which premiered in Arabian Nights.

The Muhr AsiaAfrica documentary section also contained strong titles such as Sara Rastegar’s My Red Shoes, looking back at the Iranian revolution; Tan Pin Pin’s To Singapore, With Love and Riann Hendricks’ The Devil’s Lair.

Arab fiction titles such as Mohamed Khan’s Factory Girl; which also had its world premiere at Diff; Laila Marrakchi’s Rock The Casbah; Thierry De Peretti’s Apaches and Caroline Link’s [link »


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Middle West prepares for Madness

12 December 2013 7:00 PM, PST

Egyptian filmmaker Wael Omar is developing a sequel to his documentary, In Search Of Oil And Sand, which captured the lives of Egypt’s elite at the moment of Gamel Abdel Nasser’s coup d’état in 1952, entitled Madness At Noon.

The sequel will follow the fate of the elite after Nasser’s rise to power, through an international incident in which the leader ordered the arrest of France’s entire diplomatic Corp on spying charges alongside members of the Egyptian elite who had remained in the country. 

“It captures the moment that the coup d’état transforms into a revolution – and the witch hunt against the vestiges of the old regime really begins,” said Omar, who produces under the Middle West Films (Mwf) banner.

In Search Of Oil And Sand, which premiered in the Abu Dhabi Film Festival last year, is due to air on channels affiliated to Us public broadcaster PBS early next year and »


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