OZU FAN SET FOR RETURN TRIP TO TOKYO
German filmmaker Wim Wenders is to be the president of the jury that decides the main competition prizes later this year at the Tokyo International Film Festival.
Wenders has frequent connections with the Japanese capital and last year shot his “Perfect Days” film in the city. The film recently appeared in competition in Cannes and earned Yakusho Koji the best actor prize.
The Tokyo festival confirmed plans to host a celebration of Japanese director Ozu Yasujiro, who was born 120 years ago and died exactly 60 years later. Wenders previously shot 1985 documentary “Tokyo-ga” as a tribute to Ozu.
“For this festival happening 60 years after the death and therefore 120 years after Ozu’s birthday, my declared master, makes the occasion very special to me,” said Wenders.
The festival is set to run Oct. 23 – Nov. 1 (Wed.) in the Hibiya-Yurakucho-Marunouchi-Ginza area. While Ozu celebrations have been announced elsewhere in the world, details of Tokyo’s Ozu celebration activities and screenings have yet to be confirmed.
Netflix has revealed the five filmmaking teams who will receive funding and professional support to make a short documentary on the theme of Connection, as part of the second year of its Documentary Talent Fund.
The successful recipients and their projects are:
Anna Snowball and Abolfazl Talooni – “Iranian Yellow Pages”: Iranians in London, trapped between two cultures, search for connection by placing weird and wonderful adverts in the Iranian Yellow Pages.
Anna Rodgers and Zlata Filipovic – “Two Mothers”: An unusual bond compels an Irish mother of twins to travel to war torn Ukraine in order to rescue the woman who carried her babies.
Caroline Williamson and Troi Lee – “Turn Up the Bass”: The story of Troi Lee (aka ‘DJ Chinaman’), a deaf DJ and pioneer of the U.K.’s deaf rave scene, as he and his deaf rave team put on his 20-year anniversary show.
Logan Rea and Krishna Istha – “First Trimester”: Follows a transgender performance artist as he interviews hundreds of potential sperm donors live on stage in a quest to find the perfect connection, one that will enable him and his partner to start their family.
Olivia Smart – “Black People Can’t Swim”: Drowning isn’t an option as three people tackle their biggest fear.
Each team will now produce a short documentary between 8-12 minutes long with a budget of £30,000 ($37,685) that will be released on Netflix’s YouTube channel in the New Year. As part of the process they will undergo bootcamp training from specialists at Netflix who will coach and host workshops covering all aspects of production including legal, creative, HR, production and finance.
The Netflix Documentary Talent Fund was created to break down barriers of access for emerging filmmakers.
HONG KONG CENSORS ITS RECENT PAST
Three films appearing at the Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival in Hong Kong have been censored. The festival and directors of the three films decided to go ahead with presentations of the films, but with blank screens and muted sound in place of the footage removed on government order. The festival advised viewers that the disrupted visuals were not an error or a technical malfunction.
“Because some short films need to be cut due to the order of the ‘Film, Newspaper and Article Management Office,’ the director replaced the cut part with black screen and silence, so there will be a long time in the middle of the screening. This is not due to damage to the screening file or technical failure. Please be patient,” the festival said on its website.
Details of the cuts have not been communicated. However, all three films appear to reference the 2019 pro-democracy activities which brought two million people to Hong Kong’s streets in opposition to proposed government policies. The films are “My Pen is Blue,” a melancholy time travel story; “Please Hold On,” in which two people navigate the past; and “The Reticent Wave,” about a woman choosing to remain in in Hong Kong.
VFX supervisor and co-founder of Animal Logic, Chris Godfrey has received the 2023 Sydney UNESCO City of Film Award during this year’s Ian McPherson Memorial Lecture at the ongoing 70th Sydney Film Festival. His visual effects credits include “Mortal Kombat,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “The Great Gatsby,” “Tomorrow When The War Began” and “Australia.”
“Chris is an excellent choice for the award, not only as a pioneer in visual effects but for his significant contribution to the screen industry both at home and abroad,” said Kyas Hepworth, ahead of Godfrey’s festival lecture, an in-depth conversation with “Mortal Kombat” producer E Bennett Walsh.
ALONE FORMAT HAS COMPANY
“Alone: Australia,” the first iteration of A+E Networks’ “Alone” format produced in the Asia-Pacific region, is now the most watched SBS-commissioned series in the network’s history. It averaged over 1 million viewers per episode on linear TV and On Demand. Produced locally by ITV Australia, “Alone: Australia,” a self-shot, ultimate survival competition show that finds contestants dropped into the remote wilderness, where each must survive entirely alone, premiered as SBS’s highest-rated program of 2023. It tripled its audience via OnDemand and catch-up viewing inside two weeks. By the end of its 12-episode run, “Alone: Australia” was the number one show across all Australian broadcaster VOD platforms.
“Alone” premiered on The History Channel in the U.S. in 2015 and is now in its tenth season. Adaptations of the format have been produced in Denmark (seven seasons), Norway and Sweden. Channel 4 also ordered a U.K. iteration of the format earlier in 2022, to be produced by The Garden and released later this year.