GETTING IN FRONT OF THE COMPETITION
The International Olympic Committee said on Thursday that Swiss-based, Chinese-owned Infront Sports & Media would handle broadcast right sales in much of Asia for the next series of Summer and Winter games.
The deal covers 22 territories including Afghanistan, Brunei, Cambodia, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam – but not China, Japan or South Korea, and runs 2026-2032. That means it will cover the Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics and the Los Angeles 2028 and Brisbane 2032 Summer games. The 2030 Winter Olympics, which have yet to be allocated a host, and all Youth Olympic Games during this period will also be covered.
Infront, which is headed by Philippe Blatter and has been owned by China’s Dalian Wanda since 2015, replaces the Japanese advertising and marketing giant Dentsu, which had handled the rights since 2014. Infront already handles Olympic broadcast tights in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dentsu and other companies have been charged in Japan with collusion in commercial contracts for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. A former Dentsu executive is charged in a separate Olympic bribery case. And the company is implicated in a French investigation into IOC vote buying.
“We look forward to working with Infront to ensure fans across the region have access to comprehensive Olympic coverage, through both digital and free-to-air television,” said Anne-Sophie Voumard, the MD for IOC television and marketing services.
The Pattaya Film Festival in Thailand got under way on Thursday evening with a breezy ceremony that preceded the screening of classic Thai movie “Pattaya, Don’t Burn,” attended by its director Adirek Wattaleela. The festival is part of a campaign to highlight local culture and attractions other than the city’s famous nightlife. Its screening schedule includes a mix of recent Asian art-house titles (“Lunana, A Yak in the Classroom,” “Rehana” and “Return to Seoul”) as well as a selection of Pattaya-set movies and Thai classics. Several will get open-air screenings on the beach.
Taiwanese filmmaker, Tom Lin Shu-Yu (“The Garden of Evening Mists,” “Zinnia Flower”) has completed principal photography in Kuala Lumpur and Vancouver on his first U.S. film, romantic comedy “Worth the Wait.”
It follows a year in the interconnected lives and romances of an all-Asian ensemble cast. The players include Lana Condor (“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before”), Andrew Koji (“Bullet Train,” “Warrior”), Ross Butler (“Shazam!” franchise,), Sung Kang (“Fast & Furious” franchise, “Obi-Wan Kenobi”), Elodie Yung (“The Cleaning Lady,” “Daredevil”), Karena Lam (“American Girl,” “Zinnia Flower”), Osric Chau (“Supernatural,” “The Flash”), Ali Fumiko Whitney (“The Road Dance”), Ricky He (“The Good Doctor”), Tan Kheng Hua (“Crazy Rich Asians,” “Kung Fu”) and Lim Yu-Beng (“Rebel Moon,” “Mr. Midnight: Beware the Monsters”).
The film has a screenplay by Maggie Hartmans. It is produced by Dan Mark and Rachel Tan under their shingle, King Street Pictures (“Snakehead”); George Lee and Marcus Englefield on behalf of their company, Storyoscopic Films (“Animal Crackers”); and Vincent Xie of Waymaker Pictures. Its financiers are Waymaker Pictures and Jupiter Peak Productions
Four awards were presented at the conclusion of the 23rd Nippon Connection Film Festival in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, which was attended by some 18,500 visitors.
The Nippon Cinema Award went to Suzuki Masayuki’s “Yudo,” while the Nippon Visions Jury Award was awarded to “Your Lovely Smile” by Lim Kah Wai. A special mention from the jury went to “Sayonara Girls,” by Nagakawa Shun, while the Nippon Visions Audience Award went to “Hoarded on the Border,” by Kayano Takayuki. The Nippon Docs Award was claimed by “My Anniversaries,” by Kim Sungwoong.
Selected films of the festival will be shown as part of the thematic focus “Cityscapes & Countryside” in the upcoming months in the cinemas of the Rhine-Main area. Festival organizers announced that the event will return next year from May 28 to June 2, 2024.
Short film “Kaur” will release exclusively on BritBox U.K. – available via ITVX Premium – from July 18. The film, which explores identity, faith, racism and female empowerment was created, written, produced by and stars award-winning filmmaker and full time U.K. National Health Service doctor Parvinder Shergill from Pinder Productions and co-produced and co-written by Juggy Sohal from Flip the Script Network, in association with Raise Creatives.
Also starring Nina Wadia (“Aladdin”) and Stephen Uppal (“Hollyoaks”), the film follows Avani (Shergill) and her decision to wear a Sikh turban for the first time. It’s a choice that is very much against her father’s wishes whilst her mother (Wadia) is supportive but struggles with the tensions it causes within the family as her husband wrestles with his own faith.
“Kaur” is being developed into a feature film written by Shergill, which will introduce five new key characters into the storyline.
FILM CHALLENGE SHORTLIST
The BMW-BFI Filmmaking Challenge shortlist has been revealed. The films and themes are:
Christopher Chuky’s “Blades”: A group of young Black boys run into a building. One of them is about to do the unimaginable.
Tulsi Shivaan’s “Daytimers”: An insight into Daytimers, the South Asian DJ collective that are breaking new ground in Britain.
Kristina Pringle’s “Rice Ball”: Told through animation, a young Taiwanese schoolkid is afraid to bring her lunch to school out of the fear of being ridiculed for being different.
Alia Ghafar’s “Hen Do”: En-route to her hen weekend, bride-to-be Faye kills the vibe with a bombshell confession.
Jason Bradbury’s “We Collide”: A queercore romance – a visceral and immersive exploration of the power of the mosh pit and finding love in the most unlikely of places.
Ncuti Gatwa, Terri White and Asif Kapadia will judge the overall winner to be announced as part of the BFI London Film Festival closing night on Oct. 15. Michaela Coel, who is supporting the execution of the filmmakers’ visions, creative influences and production process, said: “The level of talent and creativity they’ve displayed is exceptional. As a mentor, it’s been an enriching experience to witness their dedication and passion for the craft.”
The Transilvania International Film Festival has set the Full Moon Creative Lab, designed for European scriptwriters specializing in genre TV series: thriller, fantasy, and horror. The program, supported by Creative Europe MEDIA, consists of creative residencies taking place in Transylvania (Romania) until 2025, during which candidates will be mentored by international professionals.
The selected participants will be guided from the rough idea stage to a comprehensive bible document, including the first season outline and a breakdown of the pilot episode.
The lab has enlisted as facilitators and mentors screenwriter and producer Frank Spotnitz (U.S.), producer and writer Agathe Berman (France), producer Eilon Ratzkovsky (Israel), scriptwriter and director Geo Doba (Romania), TV series producer Gabriela Iacob (Romania-Spain), broadcaster and producer Johnathan Young (U.K.) and screenwriter, director and producer Anne Feinsilber (France).
The call for projects for Full Moon Creative Lab is scheduled for early July 2023 and will be open to writers from all EU member countries.