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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

12 items from 2014

Accelerated release for Around the Block

16 April 2014 2:11 PM, PDT | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

Writer-director Sarah Spillane.s debut film Around the Block will test the viability of a short window between theatrical and home entertainment release.

The drama starring Christina Ricci, Hunter Page-Lochard and Jack Thompson will begin a limited cinema roll-out at the Cremorne Orpheum on June 16 - one month before it.s released on DVD, Blu-ray and digital platforms.

Producers Brian Rosen and Su Armstrong are hoping the accelerated release, with Screen Australia contributing to the $200,000 P&A spend, will provide a bigger upside than a conventional cinema season and then waiting 120 days for ancillary revenues.

The film is booked at the Randwick Ritz on June 23 and dates in Melbourne and Canberra are to be confirmed. There will be Q&A screenings with the director and key cast, excluding Ricci.

Pinnacle Films will release the title on DVD, Blu-ray and all major digital platforms including iTunes, Big Pond Movies, Foxtel, Google Play, »

- Don Groves

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Us deal for Oz thriller The Code

3 April 2014 2:05 PM, PDT | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

DirecTV has bought Us rights to Playmaker Media.s The Code, a six-part series about two brothers who stumble across information about a new technology - information that people in the highest political echelons will kill to keep secret.

ABC-tv commissioned the thriller, which stars Dan Spielman (An Accidental Soldier, Offspring), Ashley Zukerman (The Slap, Rush), Adam Garcia (Coyote Ugly, Bootmen), David Wenham (Top of the Lake, Killing Time), Lucy Lawless (Spartacus), Aden Young (I Frankenstein, Rectify), Chelsie Preston Crayford (Mystery of a Hansom Cab, Underbelly: Razor), Adele Perovic (SLiDE), Dan Wyllie (Rake, Puberty Blues), Aaron Pedersen (Jack Irish, City Homicide), and Paul Tassone (Underbelly).

The show was created by Shelley Birse and written by Birse, Blake Ayshford and Justin Monjo, directed by Shawn Seet (Love Child, Underbelly, Mystery of a Hansom Cab) and produced by Playmaker.s David Maher and David Taylor and Birse.

Developed through the Scribe Initiative »

- Don Groves

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Father and son combine on Australian drama

17 March 2014 7:33 PM, PDT | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

For the best part of 20 years Chris Blackburn tried his hand at writing film scripts, a sideline to his day jobs as a newspaper and TV reporter, reality show producer and, currently, as a co-executive producer on Big Brother.

Eighteen months ago he had an idea for a crime drama about a young man whose sister has been brutally murdered, set primarily in a row of vacant houses near his home on the north coast of Nsw.

Blackburn wrote the script and asked his son Tim, a TV editor who has directed several short films to direct. Entitled Burns Point, the film is now in day seven of a 21-day shoot in and around the town of Ballina.

Asked how he.s financed the film, Chris tells If, .It.s mostly me. I.ve saved up for this and put money aside." Cast and crew are working on deferred. fees in some cases. »

- Don Groves

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Dan Mor tackles Arrowhead

12 March 2014 4:49 PM, PDT | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

Dan Mor in Arrowhead


Playing the lead in the sci-fi adventure telemovie Arrowhead, Dan Mor is in Coober Pedy working 12-hour days and battling intense heat, flies, dust and wind and, 12 metres underground, bats.

All that is physically demanding but the Israeli-born actor is relishing the chance to play Kye, a character who embarks on a psychological and emotional journey after his spacecraft crashes on a desert moon.

It.s the feature writing and directing debut of Jesse O.Brien, produced by TV1 in association with Us-based Gorilla Pictures. O.Brien wrote the script in 2009 and teamed up with Gorilla Pictures. Eric Johnson and Eric Machiela, whom he and DoP Samuel Baulch met when they were at film school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 10 years ago.

The plot follows Kye, a military prisoner who is forced to transform his body and soul to survive, accompanied by a computer named Reef.. The »

- Don Groves

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Cast unveiled for Nine's Gallipoli

2 March 2014 6:56 PM, PST | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

Kodi Smit-McPhee, Harry Greenwood, Tom Budge, Lincoln Lewis, Matt Nable, Anthony Hayes, Lachy Hulme and Ashleigh Cummings are among the big ensemble cast announced today for the Endemol Australia/Nine Network miniseries Gallipoli.

A three-month shoot starts in and around Melbourne on March 17 with Glendyn Ivin (Beaconsfield, Puberty Blues) directing. The screenplay by Christopher Lee (Howzat! Kerry Packer.s War, Paper Giants, Rush, Police Rescue) is adapted from the best-selling book by Les Carlyon.

The producers are John Edwards (Howzat! Kerry Packer.s War, Beaconsfield, Paper Giants, and Offspring), Imogen Banks (Puberty Blues, Offspring) and Robert Connolly (producer of Balibo and The Boys, director of Underground: The Julian Assange Story, The Slap). Nine.s co-Heads of Drama Jo Rooney and Andy Ryan and Endemol Australia CEO Janeen Faithfull are executive producers. .Smit-McPhee plays 17-year-old Thomas .Tolly. Johnson, who lies about his age to enlist with his brother Bevan in the »

- Don Groves

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Monaghan to relinquish full-time role at Screentime

25 February 2014 1:38 PM, PST | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

Des Monaghan has decided to step down as executive chairman of the Screentime Group, producers of the Underbelly franchise, Janet King and Cloudstreet, at the end of May.

Bob Campbell, who co-founded Screentime with Monaghan 18 years ago, will run the company as managing director. The Banijay Group bought a majority stake in 2012.

Monaghan will continue his association with Screentime as a consultant and producer of several projects including the Batavia miniseries for Network Ten.

"It's been an extraordinary run, a fantastic 18 years," he told If. "Television is a very tough game and it's getting tougher. The pressure on program directors is almost impossible with the total unpredictability and the fragmentation of audiences..

"I have had the very great fortune of having Bob Campbell as my business partner. It is fair to say that the success of the company far exceeded our initial expectations."

When Banijay bought into Screentime Monaghan was offered a five-year contract. »

- Don Groves

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Sizable audience for Fat Tony & Co

23 February 2014 2:55 PM, PST | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

The Nine Network.s crime drama Fat Tony & Co. easily won its timeslot on Sunday night. The premiere of the Screentime-produced series starring Robert Mammone as the infamous criminal Tony Mokbel drew 1.379 million viewers in the five capital cities. Adding the regional audience of 443,263, the first episode had a national average of 1.834 million, peaking at 2.06 million.

The second episode was watched by 1.236 million in the capitals/1.6 million. The nine-part series features other original members of the Underbelly franchise including Vince Colosimo as Alphonse Gangitano, Gyton Grantley as Carl Williams, Les Hill as Jason Moran, Madeleine West as Danielle McGuire, Simon Westaway as Mick Gatto, Gerard Kennedy as Graham Kinniburgh, and Kevin Harrington as Lewis Moran The premiere of season four of Seven.s Downton Abbey pulled 1.125 million (down 206,000 on the launch of season three last year) in the capitals, 1.74 million nationally, and ABC.s Rake had 617,000.

The debut of Matchbox »

- Don Groves

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Paz Vega, Carmen Maura Head Down Under With Jim Loach

20 February 2014 4:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Hong Kong – Spanish stars Paz Vega and Carmen Maura join with Edward James Olmos in the untitled new picture by British director Jim Loach which starts shooting next month.

The director returns to Australia where he previously made “Oranges And Sunshine” (pictured) with Emily Watson and Hugo Weaving.

Scripted by Judy Morris (“Happy Feet 2,” The Eye of the Storm,” “Babe: Pig in the City”), the picture is the tale of a 12 year old boy who tries to escape his dysfunctional, multi-generational Spanish family.

Production begins March 3 at the Adelaide Studios in South Australia and in the state’s Barossa Valley and Flinders Range wine country.

Rattle & Hum Films presents a Met Film and Southern Light Alliance production, with Stewart le Maréchal and Anna Mohr-Pietsch producing for Met Film alongside Timothy White (Son of a Gun, The Boys Are Back) and Anna Vincent for Southern Light Alliance. The South Australian Film »

- Patrick Frater

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Exotic cast for new Jim Loach film

19 February 2014 6:55 PM, PST | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

Spanish stars Paz Vega, Carmen Maura and Antonio de la Torre together with Edward James Olmos and Love Child.s Jessica Marais head the cast of Jim Loach.s movie which starts shooting in South Australia on March 3.

Scripted by Judy Morris (Happy Feet 2, The Eye of the Storm), the plot revolves around a multi-generational, dysfunctional Spanish family and a 12-year-old boy, Savino, who realises he has to escape to effect change. Sydney newcomer Michael Crisafulli will play Savino with Jarin Towney (Two Little Boys, Underbelly) as his buddy Skeet.

It.s the first film from Timothy White (Son of a Gun, The Boys are Back) and Anna Vincent.s Southern Light Alliance, an unofficial co-production with Stewart le Maréchal and Anna Mohr-Pietsch of the UK.s Met Film.

Vincent tells If that White was introduced to the project from an international contact, she then met the UK producers in »

- Don Groves

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Australian drama lands Us deal

18 February 2014 7:53 PM, PST | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

Cmd Distribution has acquired Us rights to The Playbook, an Australian drama about a basketball coach whose life is torn apart after a tragic accident.

Shot in Victoria, it.s the feature writing and directing debut of Darran Scott, a former actor who has produced several documentaries and short films.

Scott tells If that Cmd has agreed to release the film on at least 40 screens in North America and on DVD and VoD. That will be a far wider spread of cinemas than at home, where it played on 15 screens in the six capital cities last July, restricted by a lack of marketing dollars.

The privately funded film used the producer offset and got a grant from Film Victoria.s Regional Location Assistance Fund. The cast includes Mick Preston, Harry Borland, Dennis Coard, Lauren Clair, Kath Gordon and newcomer Lloyd Edwards. Australian and NBA basketball star Luc Longley has a cameo. »

- Don Groves

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First Image: Russell Crowe’s Helming Debut ‘The Water Diviner’

1 February 2014 5:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

London — The first image has been released from the set of Russell Crowe’s feature helming debut, “The Water Diviner,” which is shooting in Australia before moving on to Turkey. Mister Smith Entertainment is handling international sales on the epic adventure pic, which stars Crowe and Olga Kurylenko (“Oblivion,” “Quantum of Solace”).

The film is set four years after the devastating battle of Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I. Australian farmer Connor (Crowe) travels to Istanbul to discover the fate of his sons, reported missing in action, where he forges a relationship with the beautiful Turkish woman (Kurylenko) who owns the hotel in which he stays. Holding on to hope, and with the help of a Turkish officer, Connor embarks on a journey across the country to find the truth about the fate of his sons.

The supporting cast including leading Turkish actors Yilmaz Erdogan (“Once Upon a Time »

- Leo Barraclough

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Crushed aims to break the mould for indie films

12 January 2014 8:27 PM, PST | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

Writer--director Megan Riakos. psychological thriller Crushed is continuing the rising trend of self-funded Australian films where cast and crew forego fees in return for a share of the profits.

Production wraps in Mudgee, Nsw, on January 17 after a 19-day shoot. The plot follows Elia, a young woman who returns home after her father dies. The death is ruled a murder and her mother becomes the prime suspect.

Sarah Bishop (whose credits include MTV's Deadbeat Dads and web series Skitbox TV and Bondi Hipsters) plays Elia and is serving as one of the producers along with Riakos and Robbie Miles, the La-based development executive at Sam Worthington.s Full Clip Pictures.

The cast includes Les Hill (Underbelly), Roxane Wilson (Home and Away), Aaron Glenane (Drift), Robert Preston (Redfern Now), Jamie Irvine (Anzac Girls), Helmut Bakaitis (The Matrix), Patrick Connolly (The Outlaw Michael Howe), Benjamin Mathews (Love My Way) and rising stars »

- Don Groves

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

12 items from 2014

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