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Arcadia revs up with remit to produce films by and about women

23 March 2017 5:21 PM, PDT

(l-r) Lisa Shaunessy and Leonie Mansfield (photo credit: Nick Prokop).

Experienced producers Lisa Shaunessy ('Killing Ground') and Leonie Mansfield ('Kick-Ass 2')] recently formed a new venture, Arcadia. The company was created with the aim to produce projects with 80 per cent female writers, directors and protagonists.

They work alongside former international sales agent Alexandra Burke, who runs Arcadia.s distribution arm. Shaunessy and Mansfield talk to Jackie Keast about their decision to come together. ..

Lisa Shaunessy:.

The start of Arcadia was so organic, it took us all by surprise. A casual dinner, some red wine, a desire to tell women.s stories, work with great filmmakers, reach international audiences. You know, the usual.

I feel like I was looking for my tribe for such a long time and these two incredibly talented, smart, internationally experienced, similarly-thinking women just walked into my life at the right time. »

- Jackie Keast

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Arcadia Films revs up with remit to produce films by and about women

23 March 2017 5:21 PM, PDT

(l-r) Lisa Shaunessy and Leonie Mansfield (photo credit: Nick Prokop).

Experienced producers Lisa Shaunessy ('Killing Ground') and Leonie Mansfield ('Kick-Ass 2')] recently formed a new venture, Arcadia Films. The company was created with the aim to produce projects with 80 per cent female writers, directors and protagonists.

They work alongside former international sales agent Alexandra Burke, who runs Arcadia.s distribution arm. Shaunessy and Mansfield talk to Jackie Keast about their decision to come together. ..

Lisa Shaunessy:.

The start of Arcadia was so organic, it took us all by surprise. A casual dinner, some red wine, a desire to tell women.s stories, work with great filmmakers, reach international audiences. You know, the usual.

I feel like I was looking for my tribe for such a long time and these two incredibly talented, smart, internationally experienced, similarly-thinking women just walked into my life at the right time. »

- Jackie Keast

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StudioCanal to release Summit Entertainment titles in Australia, Nz

23 March 2017 3:54 PM, PDT

StudioCanal Anz CEO Elizabeth Trotman.

StudioCanal will distribute films from Lionsgate.s Summit Entertainment label in Australia and New Zealand after the two companies signed a long term output deal.

Summit's films were previously released in Australia by eOne. Titles such as John Wick: Chapter Two and the upcoming Robin Hood, starring Taron Egerton and Tim Minchin, will now migrate over to StudioCanal's release sked.

Other titles included in the deal are the action thriller Granite Mountain, with Alex Russell, Josh Brolin, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges and Taylor Kitsch, and sci-fi crime thriller Kin, starring Jack Reynor, James Franco and Zoë Kravitz.

StudioCanal currently distributes Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment film titles in Germany, and Lionsgate handles StudioCanal.s film library in North America.

.We are delighted to extend our relationship with our partners at StudioCanal into another major territory,. said Lionsgate group chairman Patrick Wachsberger and international COO Andrew Kramer. »

- Harry Windsor

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StudioCanal to release Summit titles in Australia and New Zealand

23 March 2017 3:54 PM, PDT

StudioCanal Anz CEO Elizabeth Trotman.

StudioCanal will now distribute films from Lionsgate.s Summit Entertainment label in Australia and New Zealand after the two companies signed a long term output deal.

Summit's films were previously released in Australia by eOne. Titles such as John Wick: Chapter Two and the upcoming Robin Hood, starring Taron Egerton and Tim Minchin, will now migrate over to StudioCanal's release sked.

Other titles included in the deal are the action thriller Granite Mountain, with Alex Russell, Josh Brolin, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges and Taylor Kitsch, and sci-fi crime thriller Kin, starring Jack Reynor, James Franco and Zoë Kravitz.

StudioCanal currently distributes Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment film titles in Germany, and Lionsgate handles StudioCanal.s film library in North America.

.We are delighted to extend our relationship with our partners at StudioCanal into another major territory,. said Lionsgate group chairman Patrick Wachsberger and international COO Andrew Kramer. »

- Harry Windsor

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Artist Ian Strange traces eight years of his work through ABC iview series

23 March 2017 3:39 PM, PDT

Artist Ian Strange first became captivated by the idea of home once he left his own, moving to New York from Perth over eight years ago..

Home has formed the running theme in the multidisciplinarian artist's work since. He built a full-scale replica of his childhood home from memory on Sydney.s Cockatoo Island in 2011, and has gone on to create installation works using homes in post-gfc America and post-earthquake Christchurch, New Zealand.

The artist's conception of home as an idea has changed throughout the process, he told If.

.I began to realise that as an adolescent, feeling isolated by the stability of suburbia was actually quite a luxury. There are a lot people who are feeling isolated because of its instability and how tenous it can actually be."

The last eight years of Strange.s work have been documented in a six part web series now availabe on ABC iview, »

- Jackie Keast

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Joanna Werner preps ABC TV-movie to shoot in July, 'Dance Academy' release

23 March 2017 3:10 PM, PDT

On location shooting 'Dance Academy'.

Speaking to If from her home in Melbourne, Dance Academy producer Joanna Werner begins by apologizing for the .squawking. that might erupt at any moment.

.I have a nine-week old-baby who.s happy — at the moment. I found out in week one of pre-production that I was pregnant, and I.ll always remember exactly how long it takes to make a movie because she was born two weeks after we finished the film..

The Dance Academy feature, in 211 cinemas around the country from April 6, revisits the characters we last saw in the series, which ran on the ABC for three seasons beginning in 2010.

The show.s success on Netflix in America helped Werner and series co-creator Samantha Strauss put together the feature with the backing of Screen Australia and the show.s German distributor Zdf Enterprises.

StudioCanal came onboard as the Australian and New Zealand distributor, »

- Harry Windsor

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Australian documentary 'Digilante' to make international premiere at Hot Docs

22 March 2017 5:19 PM, PDT

Melbourne-based filmmaker Mike Nayna (Dayne.s World, Fancy Boy) will screen his half hour documentary Digilante.at this year's Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

Held in Toronto in late April, Hot Docs is North America.s largest documentary festival, conference and market. This year the fest will present 230 documentaries from 58 countries..

In 2012, Nayna uploaded a video, shaming racists on a Melbourne bus, which sparked international media attention and resulted in two jail terms.

Digilante explores the initial incident, the media explosion and the ripple effect it had on the lives of the people involved..

The film was the season finale in a series of five half-hour documentaries produced as part of the ABC and Screen Australia.s Opening Shot initiative last year.

Since 2013, Opening Shot has commissioned 19 documentaries. Digilante is the first to be selected for Hot Docs..

Mark Conway from Checkpoint Media (Dayne.s World, Fancy Boy) and »

- Harry Windsor

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Australian documentary 'Digilante' to make world premiere at Hot Docs

22 March 2017 5:19 PM, PDT

Melbourne-based filmmaker Mike Nayna (Dayne.s World, Fancy Boy) will premiere his half hour documentary Digilante.at this year's Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

Held in Toronto in late April, Hot Docs is North America.s largest documentary festival, conference and market. This year the fest will present 230 documentaries from 58 countries..

In 2012, Nayna uploaded a video, shaming racists on a Melbourne bus, which sparked international media attention and resulted in two jail terms.

Digilante explores the initial incident, the media explosion and the ripple effect it had on the lives of the people involved..

The film was the season finale in a series of five half-hour documentaries produced as part of the ABC and Screen Australia.s Opening Shot initiative last year.

Since 2013, Opening Shot has commissioned 19 documentaries. Digilante is the first to be selected for Hot Docs..

Mark Conway from Checkpoint Media (Dayne.s World, Fancy Boy) and »

- Harry Windsor

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Where does latest twist in the 'House of Hancock' saga leave screenwriters?

21 March 2017 6:15 PM, PDT

Mandy McElhinney as Gina Rinehart in 'House of Hancock' (2015). Cordell Jigsaw Productions.

The two-year saga of Gina Rinehart.s battle with Channel Nine over House of Hancock (2015) came to an apparent end last month with the broadcaster unreservedly apologising to the mining magnate.

The two-part miniseries, about the life and family of Lang Hancock (initially advertised as a true story but later featuring a disclaimer with the word .fictionalised.), had been dogged by legal action since it first went to air. After the final episode was broadcast, Rinehart issued a statement listing 20 .glaring errors.. These fell in broadly three categories: sheer inaccuracy, portraying her as an unloving daughter, and implying unfair business practices.

Now Channel Nine has publicly acknowledged that .Mrs Rinehart had a close and loving relationship with her father Lang Hancock.. The Sydney Morning Herald and news.com.au have variously reported that the show won.t be streamed, »

- Steven Maras

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Bruce Beresford to shoot 'Ladies in Black' in Sydney

21 March 2017 3:57 PM, PDT

Bruce Beresford.

Bruce Beresford will shoot Ladies in Black in Sydney later this year, after securing production investment funding from Screen Australia.

The feature is based on Madeleine St John.s 1993 novel The Women in Black. The book was turned into a musical by musician Tim Finn in 2015, though the film is an adaptation of the novel, not the musical.

Set in Sydney in the summer of 1959, Ladies in Black is the story of suburban schoolgirl Lisa, who takes a summer job at a large department store where she works alongside a group of saleswomen who open her eyes to a world beyond her sheltered existence.

The film will be produced by Allanah Zitserman and Samson Productions. Sue Milliken. Beresford and Milliken have written the screenplay, and Morris Ruskin of The Ruskin Company will executive produce.

Beresford said he had been obsessed with adapting the book since being introduced to it by Clive James. »

- Harry Windsor

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Lingo Pictures recruits publishing exec to capitalise on book to TV market

20 March 2017 4:19 PM, PDT

Shona Martyn..

Former HarperCollins executive Shona Martyn is headed to Lingo Pictures, as the production company looks to respond to the booming business of book adaptation.

Martyn was the publishing director of HarperCollins in Anz until late last year, a role that encompassed local and international fiction and non-fiction.

Prior to that she was the publishing director at Transworld/Random House, arts editor at Vogue, editor of Good Weekend and founding editor of HQ Magazine. She was a member of the Sydney Writer's Festival board from 2003 to 2011.

"I am delighted to be joining the team at Lingo Pictures as their exclusive book scout at a time when the thirst for transforming books into TV and film has never been stronger,. said Martyn.

.There are many splendid stories just waiting to be made and many opportunities for authors as a result..

Lingo Pictures is owned by producers Helen Bowden (The Slap, »

- Staff Writer

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Lingo Pictures recruits publishing exec to captialise on book to TV market

20 March 2017 4:19 PM, PDT

Shona Martyn..

Former HarperCollins executive Shona Martyn is headed to Lingo Pictures, as the production company looks to respond to the booming business of book adaptation.

Martyn was the publishing director of HarperCollins in Anz until late last year, a role that encompassed local and international fiction and non-fiction.

Prior to that she was the publishing director at Transworld/Random House, arts editor at Vogue, editor of Good Weekend and founding editor of HQ Magazine. She was a member of the Sydney Writer's Festival board from 2003 to 2011.

"I am delighted to be joining the team at Lingo Pictures as their exclusive book scout at a time when the thirst for transforming books into TV and film has never been stronger,. said Martyn.

.There are many splendid stories just waiting to be made and many opportunities for authors as a result..

Lingo Pictures is owned by producers Helen Bowden (The Slap, »

- Staff Writer

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Colleagues farewell well-loved unit nurse Jacquie Robertson in Melbourne

20 March 2017 4:11 PM, PDT

Robertson fishing in Karumba in 2005.

Script supervisor Pam Willis Burden remembers her friend and colleague, who died at home in New Zealand earlier this month.

Film and television industry colleagues in Melbourne recently gathered to say farewell to Jacquie Robertson, a well-loved unit nurse.

Jacquie came from New Zealand and amused many crew members with her strong accent and funny expressions.—.like "chilly bin" for eski.

Her film career began with Crocodile Dundee in 1985 and she worked on over 40 feature films as well as television series, travelling all over Australia and overseas.

Some of her prominent films include The Matrix, The Quiet American, Star Wars II, Moulin Rouge, The Thin Red Line, Paradise Road and Dead Calm.

As a main-unit nurse on feature films, she was responsible for crew and cast often numbering in their hundreds, and she co-coordinated the medical department for multiple units.

She had her table and »

- Pam Willis Burden

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'Dance Academy' scribe Sam Strauss preps story of royal mistress 'Sheila'

20 March 2017 3:44 PM, PDT

'Dance Academy' star Xenia Goodwin shooting in New York (courtesy Werner Film Holdings).

Screenwriter Samantha Strauss makes her feature debut this month with Dance Academy, based on the show she created with producer Joanna Werner in 2010..

Earlier feature scripts went nowhere, the writer tells If. "I.d written a film before that had a young female protagonist and that was incredibly difficult to get up. We were told at the time that it.s not a market for Australia."

But the support of StudioCanal and the show's German partner Zdf made a Dance Academy feature possible, and Strauss is thrilled with the result.

"Everything I.ve ever worked on, you just hate everything you.ve ever written and every moment is awful and you can.t imagine what it looks like," she said..

"This is the first experience where. no I shouldn.t say that (laughs). But when we saw the rough cut, »

- Harry Windsor

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Bo Report: Peppa Pig hits Oz as ‘A Cure For Wellness’ and ‘Loving’ debut

19 March 2017 10:39 PM, PDT

Peppa Pig My First Cinema Experience: Peppa's Australian Holiday..

Kong: Skull Island has maintained its hold on the Aussie box office, earning $3.2 million over its second weekend.

Despite losing 128 screens — the film is now showing on 395 — the Warner Bros release only dropped 34 per cent. It's made $9.5 million so far.

Not far behind was Fox.s Logan, which took $2.9 million in its third week. Wolverine's final outing has now made $19.5 million overall..

Hidden Figures.continues to hold third position, ringing up just under $1.1 million. The Fox title has made just over $15.4 million after five weeks.

Debuting in fourth position was eOne.s Peppa Pig My First Cinema Experience: Peppa.s Australian Holiday. The animated pig.s foray onto the big screen earned $814,782. With previews, that takes its cume to $1.1 million.

Lion is still in the top five after nine weeks, earning $553,091. The Transmission title has made $28.6 million so far and has »

- Jackie Keast

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Debut feature 'Choir Girl' to shoot in Melbourne in early April

19 March 2017 10:29 PM, PDT

Indie feature Choir Girl is set to go into production in early April on location around Melbourne..

The film marks the debut of writer-director Michael Wormald, a former editor who directed shorts.The Death and Life of John Vaughan in 2008 and Legacy in 2014.

Choir Girl is a drama set in the 90s about a lonely photographer, Eugene, who becomes obsessed with a fifteen year-old girl who is trapped in the illegal sex trade.

The film, to be shot entirely in black-and-white, is produced by Ivan Malekin of Nexus Production Group and Lucinda Bruce. Daniela Ercoli is the associate producer.

Cast includes Roger Ward (Mad Max), Peter Flaherty (The Leftovers), Krista Vendy (Neighbours), Andy McPhee (Ali.s Wedding), Kym Valentine (Neighbours) and Vca grad Sarah Timm.

Budget is around half a million, with shooting to take place over 24 days, including a stint at Docklands Studios.

Bridget Borgobello is the casting director »

- Harry Windsor

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Andrew Wiseman resigns as Aidc CEO

19 March 2017 6:32 PM, PDT

Andrew Wiseman..

Following the conclusion of the 2017 Australian International Documentary Conference (Aidc) less than two weeks ago, conference director and CEO Andrew Wiseman has announced that he will not seek to renew his position..

Wiseman, who stepped into the role last November, plans to pursue his own film projects.

.This has been a great experience," he said. "The Aidc is a wonderful organisation that makes a major contribution to documentary, factual and unscripted content in Australia and internationally. I.ve been very happy to have been part of it, but after a great deal of reflection, I.ve decided my own projects are now my priority."

Wiseman.s credits include.On Richard.s Side, Kokoda, My Brother Jack, After the Deluge, Curtin and Waiting at the Royal.

Aidc co-chairs Fiona Gilroy and Denise Eriksen said they respected Wiseman.s decision and congratulated him on his work on this year.s conference. »

- Staff Writer

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Megan Brownlow, Joanna Werner and Jenny Taing join Screen Australia board

19 March 2017 6:08 PM, PDT

Joanna Werner..

The Federal Government has made three new appointments to the Screen Australia board, including PricewaterhouseCoopers. Megan Brownlow as deputy chair.

Brownlow, who has worked in media and marketing for 20 years, is the editor of PwC.s annual publication The Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook.

She.s joined on the board by producer Joanna Werner (Dance Academy, Secret City) and financial services lawyer at Vanguard Investment Australia, Jenny Taing. Each will serve a three year term.

In a statement, Minister for Arts and Communications Mitch Fifield said Brownlow.s experience as a media and entertainment industry advisor would add a strong commercial element to the board.

He also said Werner.s experience in children.s content would be invaluable, and Taing.s regulatory and governance work across different sectors would bring a high level of expertise to the board.

Other members of the Screen Australia board include Nicholas Moore (chair), Al Clark, »

- Inside Film Correspondent

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