LONG STORY SHORT
Chinese filmmaker, Bi Gan, best-known for his single-take feature “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” has seen his “A Short Story” picked up by Kino Lorber for distribution in North America. A fairy tale that follows the relationship between man and cat, the film had its world premiere in competition at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and now has its North American premiere in the Currents section of the New York Film Festival. Kino Lorber plans to qualify “A Short Story” for the 96th Academy Awards, showing it theatrically nationwide in early 2023 in tandem with a theatrical re-release of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” “Kino Lorber rarely acquires short films, but Bi Gan has packed more cinematic delight into the fifteen minutes of ‘A Short Story’ than many feature length films deliver in two hours,” said Kino Lorber SVP Wendy Lidell. The deal was brokered by Les Films du Losange.
QUEEN OF QUEENSLAND
Regional film support body Screen Queensland has appointed veteran executive Courtney Gibson as the organization’s CEO, with effect from Monday. Gibson has previously held similar roles at Screen NSW and the South Australian Film Corporation. Other professional experience includes roles as executive head of content creation and head of arts, entertainment and comedy at ABC TV, programming production executive at Nine, commissioning editor of documentary at SBS, director of programs at Endemol Australia and MD of Jungle Entertainment.
Filming in the state is currently underway on Brouhaha Entertainment’s adaptation of “Boy Swallows Universe” for Netflix; Disney+ sci-fi series “Nautilus”; Legendary Pictures’ “Godzilla vs Kong” sequel; Bunya Productions’ “Limbo” series for ABC TV; and action-thriller “Land of Bad,” starring Russell Crowe and Liam Hemsworth.
Netflix is partnering with Saudi Arabia-based production training studio SPT (Studio Production Training) run by rising young Saudi producer Hajar Alnaim, to launch “Below The Line KSA,” a development program that will help impart production skills to fifteen young talents in Saudi through on-set training and workshops focused on art department and production roles.
The program, which is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia, aims to help foster an infrastructure of below-the-line talent in the country by providing access to vocational and practical training, inspired by global best practices. It “will enable up-and-coming filmmakers in Saudi to break into the industry and generate a qualified network of talent for the local film industry,” according to a Netflix statement.
“Below The Line KSA” is being rolled out in two phases. The first one kicks off in November with a 10-day workshop focused on crafts. The second phase will run in January as another 10-day workshop focused on roles for aspiring line producers, production managers, and assistant directors. Selected candidates will have the opportunity to join a Netflix production.
Zee Plus, the co-production & development arm of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd has pre-sold its regional travel-cooking series, titled “The Spice Trails: Latin America” to Australian public broadcaster SBS Food Channel. The show, which is currently in post-production is being made in partnership with Mexico’s TelevisaUnivision. The 12-part show, shot in 4K UHD, criss-crosses Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Argentina in search of the spices and herbs used in the region and their history. The series will be ready in November, with SBS looing to broadcast it in 2023. Zee is looking to develop other versions such as “The Spice Trails – Asia, Middle East, and Africa.”
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