Hong Kong icon Johnnie To will head the jury of the sixth edition of the Malaysia International Film Festival (MIFFest) next month. Other jurors include: Truong Ngoc Anh from Vietnam, Ryuichi Hiroki from Japan, Zizan Razak from Malaysia, and Eric Khoo from Singapore.
The event will open with the world premiere of “Eraser,” directed by Mark Lee See Teck. The Malaysian film features the final on-screen appearance of the late Adibah Noor, a beloved Malaysian gem known for her timeless charisma. MIFFest will play “See You at the Rally,” directed by Taiwanese filmmaker Kanny Chang as its closing title. The festival is set to take place at LaLaport BBCC from July 23-29 and will play a total of 42 films from 15 countries.
The festival is building its impact through a series of collaborations with other events. It will screen a selection of genre titles from this month’s Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival including “Iron Mask” from South Korea’s Kim Sung Hwan, and the Asian Premiere of “SINGLE8” from Japan, directed by Konaka Kazuya.
Its Taiwan program includes: well-traveled “American Girl” by Fiona Roan; “Coo-Coo 043” by Chan Ching-lin; “GAGA” by Laha Mebow; “I WeirDo” by Liao Ming-yi; “Heavy Craving” by Pei-Ju Hsieh; “A Silent Gaze” by Huang Hsin-yao; and “Day Off” by Fu Tien-Yu.
The festival will also present a lifetime achievement award to Taiwan cinema icon Sylvia Chang.
The accompanying Awards Night will be held on July 29 at Zepp, Kuala Lumpur.
Charlie Chaplin’s 1929 classic, “The Circus” will screen on the Aug. 6, the last day of the Wh?nau M?rama: New Zealand International Film Festival in Auckland accompanied by live musical score that is performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and conducted by Vincent Hardaker.
“The Circus” was one of the biggest films of its day. Chaplin’s Tramp stumbles into the circus arena as a lonely thief and exits transformed. As he walks a tightrope of love and loneliness, he dodges lions, mules, and a despicable ringmaster, who has only hired him because his mess-ups are much funnier than his deliberate attempts at humor. In many ways, the film is a love-letter to the community of performers and an allegory for Chaplin’s own showbiz journey, from struggling at the lowest levels of vaudeville to becoming the most famous person in the world.
Screen Queensland has announced the appointment of Tanya Ellen as the screen agency’s new head of content to lead development and production funding programs in the state. She takes up the post from July 3 and replaces Mag Scholes.
Ellen is a practicing lawyer who is well versed in how environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) is shaping the screen sector, both in Australia and abroad. She was previously named as one of Screen Producers Australia’s Ones to Watch program a decade ago. She has since worked as a creative producer across panel, reality, news and morning shows, as well as film and documentaries.
“Tanya’s extensive experience across screen production, including her legal and academic practice, equip her with a unique skillset to support the sector across Queensland to be robust, resilient and ready to take advantage of sustained growth in local production,” said Screen Queensland’s acting CEO, Dr Belinda Burns.
Lee Sears has been appointed executive VP, head of international advertising sales and integrated marketing for Paramount Global, reporting into Pam Kaufman, president and CEO of international markets, global consumer products and experiences and to John Halley, president of Paramount Advertising.
In this role, Sears will lead Paramount’s international advertising organization, formerly known as Velocity International, as a newly aligned group under the global sales organization with oversight of sales, monetization and strategy for Paramount’s direct-to-consumer streaming business. In addition, Sears will oversee ad sales for Paramount’s linear pay TV portfolio outside the U.S. and the UK, including linear sales, sponsorship, and brand solutions, social and digital and live events.
Sears was previously executive VP and head of digital, ad sales and events, overseeing Velocity International.
SAUDI FILM FUND
Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Fund – which is the film production support arm of the Red Sea International Film Festival – has forged a partnership with the region’s Film AlUla to offer a production grant for filmmakers with projects at least partly set in AlUla, the sprawling area of Saudi desert with a lush oasis, sandstone canyons and an ancient city.
At least 10 projects from Saudi Arabia, the Arab world and Africa will be selected to receive grants as part of Red Sea Fund’s third production cycle. The Red Sea Fund and Film AlUla will be credited as co-producers of the films selected for funding
Submissions will be free from creative constraints, according to a statement which added that they will be judged on the quality of the production, talent and script as well as basing a portion of the project in AlUla. At least 15% of screen time for feature films and 40% for shorts is required. In addition to a monetary grant, selected projects will receive additional financial, logistical and administrative support on-the-ground.
Chris Nelson has been revealed as the winner of SISTER and South of the River Pictures (SOTR) initiative Screenshot 2023. Alex Forsyth and Daisy Doris May are runners up, and three further finalists (Nathaniel Brimmer-Beller, Laith Elzubaidi, and Katie Payne will receive bursaries to help develop their next live performance.
Produced by Clare Fitzgerald for SOTR and SISTER, in partnership with heads of development Lina Stroud (SOTR) and Kasheina Vencatasawmy (SISTER) and their development teams, the initiative provides opportunities for emerging comedy writer-performers to showcase their work with the potential to develop their original idea from stage to screen.
Olivia Colman, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Rosie Jones, and Munya Chawawa along with Ed Sinclair (SOTR), joint creative director of scripted Naomi de Pear (SISTER) and producer Holly Pullinger (“This is Going to Hurt”) led the judging panel.
Nelson will be brought onto the SISTER/ SOTR development slates and commissioned to write a pilot episode of “Transgressions,” with runners up Forsyth and May receiving treatment commissions for an original idea.
HUMAN RESOURCE SOLUTION
The Film and TV Charity has responded to data from its most recent Looking Glass survey, which highlighted that nearly half of managers who had dealt with complaints of bullying didn’t feel appropriately skilled to do so, with the development of new guidance and resources to support them.
Listen, Acknowledge, Act – Bullying Support for Employers complements the charity’s existing Bullying Advice Service for individuals experiencing bullying. The guidance and resources are broken down into three sections, informed by collaboration with HR and legal advisers as well as mental health, and industry experts: Listen: practical advice about Active Listening and the provision of meaningful support;
Acknowledge: how bystanders and managers can create an anti-bullying culture in the workplace and ensure people feel heard; Act: guidance around the appropriate course of action for employers, according to the perceived level of risk.
The Listen, Acknowledge, Act guidance is housed within a new dedicated section of the charity’s website titled, Support for Employers.
Bollywood star Emraan Hashmi is making his South Indian film debut with “OG,” where he plays the antagonist. Directed by Sujeeth and produced by “RRR” producer DVV Entertainment, the film stars Pawan Kalyan and Priyanka Mohan in the leads. The film is currently in progress in Hyderabad.