Mao's Last Dancer (2009) - News Poster

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Pet Acquired by Orion Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Films

  • DailyDead
A kidnapper gets more than he bargained for in Pet. Starring Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo, and Jennette McCurdy, the psychological horror film has been acquired by Orion Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Films, with Us theatrical, VOD, and DVD release dates slated for December.

Press Release: Los Angeles, CA (October 4, 2016) – Orion Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Films announced today that they have acquired the psychological thriller Pet, directed by Carles Torrens and written by Jeremy Slater. The film stars Dominic Monaghan (Lost, The Lord Of The Rings Series), Ksenia Solo (Black Swan, Lost Girl), and Jennette McCurdy (iCarly, Sam & Cat). Pet had its World Premiere at the 2016 South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin. Orion Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Films will release the film in U.S. theaters and on demand on December 2, 2016, and it will be available on DVD on December 27.

In the vein of Hard Candy and Gone Girl, Pet
See full article at DailyDead »

City of Sydney CEO Monica Barone on the virtues of filming in Sydney

The Bleeding Steel team.

Film production spend in Sydney was worth around $50 million in the last year, according to the City of Sydney.

In 2015—16, the City of Sydney.s film liaison team approved more than 1,300 film and photo shoots across Sydney, including 31 major TV drama series and feature films..

City of Sydney CEO, Monica Barone, said the city has streamlined the application process, making filming in the city easier and cementing Sydney.s lead over other Australian cities as a top film location.

.With China set to overtake the Us as the biggest movie market, we can expect an increase in the number of Asian film productions in Sydney. This puts the spotlight on the best our city has to offer, attracting interest, tourists and investment that supports jobs and the local economy," said Barone.

.Our dedicated film liaison officer provides valuable assistance to producers in scouting and securing filming locations,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Aussies and Kiwis invited to join AMPAS

Four Australians and three Kiwis have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

A record 322 screen practitioners from the Us and around the world have been invited to join the organisation. The previous high was 276 in 2013.

The Down Under contingent comprises visual effects wizards Tim Crosbie and Daniel Barrett, producers Bruna Papandrea and Rebecca Yeldham, sound mixers David Lee and Jason Canovas and writer-director Niki Caro.

Despite the Academy.s efforts to diversify its membership, out of the 25 actors invited to join only seven are women.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said, .It.s gratifying to acknowledge the extraordinary range of talent in our industry. This year, our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization..

This year Crosbie was nominated for an
See full article at IF.com.au »

Watch: Teaser Trailer For 'Bonnie & Clyde' Remake Starring Emile Hirsch & Holliday Grainger

So this is happening, and I guess you better just just deal with it. The story of "Bonnie & Clyde," immortalized in Arthur Penn's iconic 1967 film, is now being told again by Bruce Beresford ("Peace, Love & Misunderstanding," "Mao's Last Dancer" and "The Contract") with Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger as the outlaws. The results? Well, see for yourself below. A two-part, miniseries production between A&E, Lifetime and History, the budget looks certainly small screen—HBO this isn't. And really, it doesn't make much of a case for standing on its own outside of the movie we already know. That being said, we like the leads, and with Holly Hunter and William Hurt in support, we suppose this might get a watch out of morbid curiosity from our end. "Bonnie & Clyde" arrives on your TV on Sunday, December 8th and Monday, December 9th at 9 Pm. Watch below. [Deadline]
See full article at The Playlist »

Screen Australia announces new internships, almost $360,000 in funding

Screen Australia has committed almost $360,000 in funding to assist 15 filmmaking teams and three new internships.

The announcement, made earlier today, confirmed eight new projects will receive Screen Australia support while another seven teams will benefit from continued funding..

The new projects to receive support include I Am Jack, Confessions of a Super Man, Long Tan, Mulan, Common Foe, and Soundtrack..

Three internships, developed through Screen Australia.s Talent Escalator Project, will send Australian filmmakers overseas to further develop their chosen crafts..

Writer/director Alex Murawski will work alongside Bruce Beresford in Los Angeles for three months on Beresford.s latest production Bonnie and Clyde.

Natalie Lindwall will gain six months experience in the UK working with Ecosse Flims as a development producer, and producer Raquelle David will spend six months in Toronto working with Niv Fichman at Rhombus Media..

Also through the Talent Escalator Program, Screen Australia will assist directors Cris Jones,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Veteran film and TV actor Penne Hackforth-Jones passes away

Actor Penne Hackforth-Jones, a pillar of Australian films and TV for more than 40 years, died in Melbourne on Friday from lung cancer, aged 63.

Her illness was diagnosed in 2012 but she wished to keep the diagnosis private while her father was still alive. She relocated to Melbourne in 2011 to be close to and care for her elderly parents both of whom died recently.

.Penne responded to her own terminal diagnosis with great courage and grace,. said her sisters Jos Hackforth-Jones, Simary Hackforth-Jones and Olivia McNally. .Her health deteriorated in April, but she was able to remain at home because of the wonderful support from her Gp, Mercy and Alfred Palliative care units and friends. Her last weeks were peaceful and happy. She died surrounded by flowers and cards from those closest to her and cared for by family and close friends. She was dearly loved by relations and friends and much
See full article at IF.com.au »

Awg announces 2013 National Screenwriters Conference line-up

  • IF.com.au
The Australian Writers. Guild (Awg) released their first line-up announcement for the biennial National Screenwriters Conference, which will take place at Mornington Peninsula in Victoria from 20-22 February 2013. Shameless creator Paul Abbott, announced as international headliner last month, will be joined by a host of industry elite including John Collee (Happy Feet, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World), Craig Pearce (The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet, Strictly Ballroom), Stephan Elliott (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Easy Virtue), Jacquelin Perske (Spirited, Love My Way, Little Fish, The Secret Life of Us), Keith Thompson & Tony Briggs (The Sapphires), Ian Simmons (Good News World, Good News Week, The Sideshow) and Peter Moon (Fast Forward, Full Frontal). "We bring together an unrivalled number of preeminent writers at the top of their game for the Nsc, which is a not-for-profit event. The retreat-like setting creates a hothouse of ideas,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Miley Cyrus Won't Be In That Lifetime 'Bonnie & Clyde' Movie After All, But Bruce Beresford Will Direct

It's a good news/bad news sort of thing with Lifetime's brewing remake/retelling/whatever of "Bonnie & Clyde." So let's just get it into it... Remember how Miley Cyrus was in talks for the role of Bonnie? Well, you can axe that notion (phew). There's no word on what caused negotiations to break down, but maybe her fiance Liam Hemsworth showed her Arthur Penn's original movie and she realized stepping into the role made famous by Faye Dunaway in a schlocky cable version of the story probably wasn't the best idea. Speaking of schlock, the project does have a director now in Bruce Beresford. He's the guy who has directed movies your parents like over the last couple of decades, like "Mao's Last Dancer," "Driving Miss Daisy," "Double Jeopardy," and "Peace Love & Misunderstanding." An odd choice of helmer for this gritty crime tale, but he's likely pretty affordable. The project is.
See full article at The Playlist »

The Sapphires passes Tomorrow When the War Began on all-time box office list

Feel-good indigenous film The Sapphires has passed 2010 teen hit Tomorrow When the War Began at the box office and now ranks as Australia's fourteenth most successful local film of all time.

The Hopscotch-distributed film, which has been in cinemas for eight weeks, has grossed more than $13.5 million at cinemas and ranks just behind 2009 drama Mao's Last Dancer (which Hopscotch also released in conjunction with Roadshow).

.The Sapphires is the gift that keeps on giving," Hopscotch Films/Entertainment One managing director Troy Lum said in a statement. "It.s such a pleasure to be involved in this film that keeps breaking records and giving people so much joy. Long may it continue..

The film has outperformed early expectations as strong word-of-mouth has continued to attract audiences. The Sapphires is set in the late-60s and follows four singers (played by Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell) from a remote Aboriginal mission,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Saving Mr. Banks Begins Production in Los Angeles

  • MovieWeb
Saving Mr. Banks Begins Production in Los Angeles
Disney began production today on Saving Mr. Banks, the account of Walt Disney's twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to P.L. Travers' popular novel, Mary Poppins, and the testy partnership the upbeat filmmaker develops with the uptight author during the project's pre-production in 1961.

Two-time Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) will essay the role of the legendary Disney (the first time the entrepreneur has ever been depicted in a dramatic film) alongside fellow double Oscar-winner Emma Thompson (Howards End, Sense and Sensibility) in the role of the prickly novelist. Before actually signing away the book's rights, Travers' demands for contractual script and character control circumvent not only Disney's vision for the film adaptation, but also those of the creative team of screenwriter Don DaGradi and sibling composers Richard and Robert Sherman, whose original score and song (Chim-Chim-Cher-ee) would go on to win Oscars at the 1965 ceremonies (the film
See full article at MovieWeb »

The Sapphires hits $3.63m at box office, releases iPhone app

Musical Australian film The Sapphires has crept to $3.63 million after one week at the local box office.

The film, set during the Vietnam War when four talented singers from an Aboriginal mission in Victoria were discovered by an unlikely talent scout, is showing on 279 screens, giving it a strong screen average of $12,031.

Screen Australia noted that The Sapphires had now joined a number of other local films to break the $3 million mark in its opening week including: Happy Feet 2, Tomorrow When the War Began, Mao's Last Dancer and Australia. Upcoming local films slated for wide release on more than 200 screens include Kath and Kimderella (September 6), Bait 3D (September 20) and Mental (October 4).

"This is the first time in many years that Australian films will be so eagerly anticipated by audiences in cities and regional centres across the country," Screen Australia chief executive Ruth Harley said in a statement. "Screen Australia is
See full article at IF.com.au »

The Sapphires opens with $2.34m at box office

Feel-good Australian film The Sapphires has made an impressive debut at the local box office, opening with $2.34 million.

It is the biggest opening weekend by an Australian film this year and even ranks slightly ahead of Happy Feet Two's $2.21 million last December. That film had a far larger budget and screen count, although its performance ultimately proved disappointing for distributor Roadshow.

The Sapphires, set during the Vietnam War when four talented singers from an Aboriginal mission in Victoria were discovered by an unlikely talent scout, was shown across 279 screens, giving it a strong screen average of $8387. Including previews, the film has grossed almost $2.6 million in total. It was the second biggest film over the weekend behind The Dark Knight Rises, which grossed $2.74 million across 501 screens in its fourth weekend.

The Sapphires' opening weekend box office performance is just below Hopscotch's biggest ever local hit, 2009 drama Mao's Last Dancer (which
See full article at IF.com.au »

Stephen Sewell plans to make directorial debut

Acclaimed playwright Stephen Sewell hopes to make his directorial debut with an adaptation of his 2011 novel Babylon.

Production company Jaggi.Shute is currently in the process of financing the $3.5 million film.

Producer Liz Shute told If that she hopes the film will be funded through private equity, state agencies and an La-based sales agent: "We're not going down the usual Screen Australia route."

Babylon tells the story of an English backpacker who gets more than he bargained for when he hitches a ride with an enigmatic man named Dan. Jaggi.Shute first purchased the rights to the novel after Sewell came on board as consultant on another film.

Bruce Beresford (Mao's Last Dancer) and Janine Pearce (The Reef) will act as executive producers, with Beresford hoping to mentor Sewell through the directing process. Casting will be completed by Maura Fay Casting.

Shute says the plan is to begin filming later
See full article at IF.com.au »

Movies that suck: an obsession

The compulsion to see movies you have already been warned to avoid is the central wiring defect in the male moviegoer's psyche

My son and I always go to see action movies together, usually on the night they come out. This is partly because of a psychological imperative known as the Scarface Protocol, a powerful directive governing the relationship between fathers and sons, stipulating that all action movies must be seen, even if they star Jake Gyllenhaal. But it is also because there are never very many movies worth seeing in the first place, and even the worst action movie is going to be more entertaining than watching Adam Sandler.

Last week, my son was out of town with some friends who wanted to see a new action movie. I will not disclose the name of the film, because I do not want to spoil things for everyone else. I
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Bruce Beresford Helms "Taliesin"

Veteran Aussie filmmaker Bruce Beresford ("Driving Miss Daisy," "Mao's Last Dancer") has signed on to direct "Taliesin", a biopic about fabled American architect Frank Lloyd Wright says The Hollywood Reporter.

The title refers to the architect’s former home and studio in rural Spring Green, Wisconsin. The rambling hillside compound was the focus of scandal as Wright built it for himself and his married mistress Martha "Mamah" Cheney.

In 1914, while Wright was away, a domestic worker murdered Cheney, her two children and four others by locking them inside and setting fire to the building. Beresford says the story only covers a section of Wright's life and "doesn’t whitewash him into some sort of saint."

Nicholas Meyer penned the script while J. Todd Harris and Ed Bachrach are producing. Beresford has recently been scouting locations in and around Chicago.
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Australia's Red Dog: does this underdog know enough tricks to travel?

Australians have been lapping up a homegrown film adaptation of Louis de Bernières's dog tale. But, like Muriel's Wedding, can Red Dog succeed abroad?

"Love, and a bit with a dog. That's what they want." That, in Shakespeare in Love's eyes, was the infallible formula for popular success, as Australia has recently been finding out. A kelpie/cattle-dog cross has made big eyes at everyone and become the star of 2011's homegrown box-office sensation, Red Dog. Based on the Louis de Bernières novella and chronicling the real-life travels of a much-loved pooch through western Australia's Pilbara region in the 1970s, the film opened strongly on 11 August and continued building an audience on successive weekends. A four-legged fable has become a four-quadrant phenomenon: at the time of writing, it's taken A$13.7m ($14.4m), and was on the scent of the top 10 highest-grossing Australian films ever.

No one likes to kick a dog,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Peter James Acs Asc photographic exhibit opens at Acs

  • IF.com.au
The Australian Cinematographers Society opened its photographic exhibit for world-renowned cinematographer Peter James Acs Asc last Friday. James is better known as the cinematographer behind critically-acclaimed and popular films such as as Driving Miss Daisy, Black Robe, Meet the Parents and Mao's Last Dancer..However, he is also a passionate stills photographer: his works have previously been exhibited in Sydney, Toronto and Los Angeles. The current Acs exhibit,.titled Man in the Landscape, includes images from his Lifesaver book, which was published in Australia and the USA, as well as black and white shots from a series also called Man in the Landscape. "This represents 20 years ..this black and white series," James said. "The lifesavers...
See full article at IF.com.au »

Screenwriter Jan Sardi elected president of Awg

Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Jan Sardi has been elected president of the Australian Writers' Guild (Awg) following the end of Tim Pye's four-year term. Sardi, the screenwriter behind films such as Mao's Last Dancer and Shine,.has served on numerous Awg committees including recently as chair of its feature film committee and as an organiser of the National Screenwriters Conference. "I'm honoured to have been given this opportunity to represent our nation's storytellers as president of the Australian Writers' Guild, an organisation I've been a proud member of for thirty years," Sardi said in a statement. .Under Tim Pye's presidency, the Guild has grown to become one of our leading industry organisations and I look forward...
See full article at IF.com.au »

This Week in DVD & Blu-ray: The Green Hornet, The Dilemma, A Somewhat Gentle Man, and More

This Week in DVD & Blu-ray: The Green Hornet, The Dilemma, A Somewhat Gentle Man, and More
This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s. The Green Hornet (Blu-ray available as single-disc and Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD Combo) The Green Hornet is a complete mess. Michel Gondry may be credited as its director, but it plays far more like a Seth Rogen comedy, with only occasional opportunities afforded to Gondry to inject his off-the-wall visual flourishes. Had Gondry and Rogen shared a more consistent overarching vision, the film might've been something special, but as it stands the story is too clumsy and shapeless to satisfyingly coalesce as a whole. And yet, I greatly enjoyed watching it. For all its faults, Rogen's self-aware spin on the superhero genre overcomes its lack of narrative momentum by never running out of amusing conceits to play
See full article at Slash Film »

Mao’s Last Dancer DVD Review

In 1981, ballet dancer Li Cunxin defected to the United States after a lifetime of training in the People’s Republic of China. Twenty-eight years later, his autobiography was adapted by Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy) and became one of the highest-grossing Australian films of all time...too bad it wasn’t a better movie.

Mired by stolid direction and unimaginative filmmaking, Mao’s Last Dancer emotionlessly spells out its themes and plots in such a way that even its occasional dips into melodrama fail to evoke the eye-rolls they deserve. Much of the film unfolds in flashback, detailing Li’s childhood in an unnamed village of northeastern China and his adolescent training in Beijing.

Played as a teenager by Australian Ballet dancer Chengwu Guo and an adult by Birmingham Royal Ballet Principal Dancer Chi Cao, Li struggles with a lack of talent and must instead develop his skills through sheer
See full article at Shadowlocked »
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