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Chinese-Australian co-pro ‘At Last’ to shoot in Queensland

20 April 2017 5:05 PM, PDT

Australia-China co-pro 'Guardians of the Tomb' (formerly 'Nest') stars Chinese mega-star Li Bingbing..

The official co-production treaty between China and Australia entered into force in 2008. Since then, despite growing interest in working with the burgeoning film power, only a handful of official co-productions have been made. They include The Dragon Pearl, 33 Postcards.and The Children of the Silk Road (made under a Mou prior to the signing of the treaty)..

However in the past 18 months, things have started to shift. The biggest co-pro to date, Kimble Rendall.s Guardians of the Tomb (formerly Nest), shot on the Gold Coast early last year, and gangster film Dog Fight shot in Victoria last September. Both films are now in post..

Two other projects, Pauline Chan.s My Extraordinary Wedding and Nadia Tass and David Parker.s Tying the Knot,.have been issued provisional approval but are yet to enter production. »

- Jackie Keast

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Peter Weir to make rare public appearance at the 2017 Adg Awards

20 April 2017 3:54 PM, PDT

Peter Weir on the set of his last feature 'The Way Back'.

Adg CEO Kingston Anderson told If earlier this year that he was angling for a high-profile director to present the Feature award at this year's Adg awards.

Now we know who it is: Peter Weir will present the Best Direction in a Feature Film award at the awards in Melbourne.

Weir will bestow the award on one of the five nominees; Garth Davis (Lion), Simon Stone (The Daughter), Ben Young (Hounds of Love), Craig Boreham (Teenage Kicks) and Jonnie Leahy (Skin Deep).

.It is a great privilege to have one of Australia.s pre-eminent directors, Peter Weir, presenting the award for Best Direction in a Feature Film," said Adg CEO Kingston Anderson..

"We have a tradition at the awards to have our best feature directors presenting this award. Directors who have presented the award in the past include Fred Schepisi, »

- Harry Windsor

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Short Film Fellowship recipients to premiere shorts at Sff on June 13

19 April 2017 11:42 PM, PDT

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Tickets are now on sale for the world premiere of four short films directed by the recipients of the 2016 Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship. Anya Beyersdorf, Brooke Goldfinch, Alex Ryan and Alex Murawski will screen their films at Dendy Opera Quays on June 13 during this year.s Sydney Film Festival..The next crop of Fellows to receive $50,000 will be announced on the night.

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If checked in with Goldfinch earlier this year, as the filmmaker was editing her film, 'Outbreak Generation', about a woman who finds herself the sole carer of an eight-year-old boy in the middle of a global epidemic. Goldfinch previously directed short 'Red Rover' in the States while studying filmmaking at Nyu, and completed a director.s attachment on the set of 'Alien: Covenant' with Ridley Scott last year.

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Where did you shoot Outbreak Generation, and how many days did you have? »

- Harry Windsor

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Aacta changes feature film eligibility, introduces online award

19 April 2017 9:37 PM, PDT

Entries for this year.s Aacta Awards open today, with the eligibility policy for feature films changed in a move designed to improve selection transparency and recognise non-traditional releases..

Previously there was a two-tier entry process for feature films. If a film had received a traditional theatrical release, it was directly eligible to enter, while films that didn.t meet that criteria were able to enter via a .pre-selection. stream; a jury-assessed pathway said to be based on merit..

Last year, Crushed director Megan Riakos.criticised Aacta for a lack of transparency around the way films were selected via this second stream..

Off the back of consultation with industry bodies, guilds and advocacy groups, Aacta has decided to scrap the previous two-tier scheme and replace it with a single pathway..

Under the new policy,.feature films are eligible to enter if they have received at least a week-long commercial cinema »

- Jackie Keast

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'Leftovers' director Mimi Leder on the show's debt to the Aussie New Wave

19 April 2017 9:22 PM, PDT

(l-r) Scott Glenn and Mimi Leder on location in Broken Hill.

HBO.s critically acclaimed The Leftovers returns to Foxtel this week after shooting a large chunk of its third and final season in Australia last year.

The show tracks the impact of The Sudden Departure, in which two per cent of the world.s population vanished without a trace, on those left behind.

As the show.s regular director and Ep Mimi Leder (Deep Impact) puts it: .If you.re going to do a show about the end of the world, what greater place to go to than Australia, which is practically at the end of the world to us (laughs)..

Leder and the production team, including creators Damon Lindelof (Lost) and Tom Perrotta (Little Children, Election), on whose novel the series is based, were inspired by the Australian films of the 70s.

.Season two was very much inspired by Picnic at Hanging Rock, »

- Harry Windsor

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Courtney Gibson named Jungle MD as company ramps up TV slate

19 April 2017 5:55 PM, PDT

Courtney Gibson..

Former Screen Nsw boss Courtney Gibson is headed to Jungle, where she will serve as managing director..

Gibson joins the production company — known for.Here Come the Habibs, No Activity and The Moodys.— as it ramps up its TV drama slate. Jungle has a long-form series set to go into production in August, as well as another series in development from showrunner Kristen Dunphy..

Jungle CEO Jason Burrows said the team were excited to have Gibson on board..

.She has fantastic instincts for creating great television, with significant experience across so many genres..

Gibson left Screen Nsw last December. Before that she served as Nine Network's programming production executive, director of programmes at Southern Star, and executive head of content creation and head of arts, entertainment and comedy at ABC TV..

.I have a huge amount of respect for the team at Jungle; they're such a class act »

- Staff Writer

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See Saw and Jump team on ‘The Legend of Monkey’ for ABC, Tvnz and Netflix

19 April 2017 5:05 PM, PDT

(L-r): Josh Thomson, Chai Hansen, Luciane Buchanan and Emilie Cocquerel (Photo: Geoffrey Short)..

See Saw Films and Jump Film & TV have kicked off production on.The Legend of Monkey for ABC, Tvnz and Netflix..

To be shot on location around Auckland, the 10x30. children.s series is an adaptation of the 16th century Chinese fable Journey to the West. It.follows a teenage girl and a trio of fallen gods on a journey to bring an end to a demonic reign..

The Legend of Monkey will star Chai Hansen (Mako Mermaids, The 100) with Luciane Buchanan (Filthy Rich, Blue Rose), Josh Thomson (Terry Teo, 7 Days, The Project) and Emilie Cocquerel (Lion, An Accidential Soldier)..

Head writer is Jacquelin Perske (Seven Types of Ambiguity, Spirited), who will work alongside Craig Irvin (Nowhere Boys) and Samantha Strauss (Dance Academy)..

The lead director is Gerard Johnstone (Housebound, The Jaquie Brown Diaries), with Irvin to direct additional eps. »

- Staff Writer

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Safc selects four Indigenous filmmakers for Adelaide Studios residency

18 April 2017 4:30 PM, PDT

Kiara Milera on the set of Warwick Thornton's 'Sweet Country' in 2016, with Michael Fairbairn, Dylan Rivers and Drew English. (Photo credit: Tanith Glynn-Maloney).

The South Australian Film Corporation (Safc) has selected four indigenous filmmakers for a writing residency at Adelaide Studios. new Pirrku Kuu Hub..

The Pirrku Kuu Hub, a dedicated story room for Aboriginal screen makers, is a key initiative of Safc.s Aboriginal Screen Strategy.

As well as access to the space, the four.—.Kiara Milera, Joel Brown and brothers Edoardo and Michael Crismani.—.will participate in Safc-led professional development opportunities throughout the year.

Edoardo Crismani's documentary The Panther Within premiered on Nitv in March, and his short drama 440 was selected for the Safc.s Aboriginal Short Film funding initiative in 2016.. . Michael Crismani wrote, directed and produced short film I Kept the Beat, which aired last year on Nitv and Sbs On Demand, for the Nitv/Safc Microdocs Initiative. »

- Staff Writer

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Four Indigenous filmmakers to take up residency at Adelaide Studios

18 April 2017 4:30 PM, PDT

Kiara Milera on the set of Warwick Thornton's 'Sweet Country' in 2016, with Michael Fairbairn, Dylan Rivers and Drew English. (Photo credit: Tanith Glynn-Maloney).

The South Australian Film Corporation (Safc) has selected four indigenous filmmakers for a writing residency at Adelaide Studios. new Pirrku Kuu Hub..

The Pirrku Kuu Hub, a dedicated story room for Aboriginal screen makers, is a key initiative of Safc.s Aboriginal Screen Strategy.

As well as access to the space, the four.—.Kiara Milera, Joel Brown and brothers Edoardo and Michael Crismani.—.will participate in Safc-led professional development opportunities throughout the year.

Edoardo Crismani's.documentary.The Panther Within.premiered on Nitv in March, and his short drama.440.was selected for the Safc.s Aboriginal Short Film funding initiative in 2016.. . Michael.Crismani.wrote, directed and produced short film.I Kept the Beat,.which aired last year on Nitv and Sbs On Demand, for the Nitv/Safc Microdocs Initiative. »

- Staff Writer

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‘The Little Death’ remake 'Kiki, Love to Love' opens 20th Spanish Film Fest

18 April 2017 4:27 PM, PDT

Spanish filmmaker Paco León came across Josh Lawson.s The Little Death via the film.s European distributor Vertigo-Wild Bunch, who offered him the chance to make his own version..

.They sent me a DVD to watch and I loved it,. León tells If..

.They promised me the freedom to transport the stories to my universe. Also, producing a film is so hard. In this case, the producers were making it easy for me so I had to do it..

Moving the story to Spain, the director relied on his own sense of humour to guide how far to push the boundaries — .How far to go with the explicitness of the situations, how sassy situations could be, etcetera...

.Each person, depending on their education, culture and personalities has their own limits of what defines good taste,. the filmmaker says.

The result is.Kiki, Love to Love,.the.opening night »

- Harry Windsor

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Bo Report: 'The Fate of the Furious' speeds ahead, 'Manje Bistre' bows

18 April 2017 12:30 AM, PDT

The Fate of the Furious..

Universal.s The Fate of the Furious raced to the top of the Aussie box office over the Easter long weekend, pulling in $10.1 million.

The eighth installment in the franchise bowed on 697 screens; a whopping average of $14,452.

Globally, The Fate of the Furious has narrowly broken the record for the biggest opening weekend ever, having made.$USD532.5 million ($AUD700 million). The previous record was held by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opened on $USD529 million in 2015.

Back in Oz,.Beauty and the Beast.was knocked down to second place.with earnings of $3 million; a fall of 39 per cent. The Disney title has grossed $40.4 million after four weeks..

The Boss Baby.has maintained third position, falling 18 per cent to take just under $2 million. The Fox/DreamWorks animation, now in its third week, has a cume of $16.3 million..

Also in its third week is WB.s The Lego Batman Movie, »

- Jackie Keast

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Luke Sparke’s ‘Occupation’ to shoot on the Gold Coast

17 April 2017 10:50 PM, PDT

Red Billabong..

Luke Sparke is following up his feature debut.Red Billabong with sci-fi pic.Occupation..The film, about a small town that bands together after a devastating ground invasion, will shoot next month around the Gold Coast and northern Nsw.

Dan Ewing, who lead the cast of.Red Billabong, will also star in.Occupation.alongside New Zealand.s Temuera Morrison (The Osiris Child , Moana, Star Wars: Episode II and III).

Other cast include Stephany Jacobsen (Battlestar Galactica), Rhiannon Fish (The 100), Charles Terrier (Neighbours), Bruce Spence (Mad Max 2), Felix Williamson (The Great Gatsby, Underbelly), Charles Mesure (Desperate Housewives), Zachary Garred (General Hospital), Izzy Stevens (Puberty Blues), Trystan Go (The Family Law) and AFI award winner Jacqueline McKenzie (The 4400).

Occupation will be produced by SparkeFilms, with Red Billabong producer Carly Imrie returning. .

.I.m very excited and proud to bring such a varied and talented ensemble cast to this Australian film, »

- Staff Writer

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Sue Maslin readies TV drama 'Fallout', Schumann biopic 'The Variations'

17 April 2017 10:22 PM, PDT

(l-r) Jocelyn Moorhouse and Sue Maslin on the set of 'The Dressmaker' (photo: Ben King).

Kicking off tomorrow, the Gold Coast Film Festival (April 19-30) will screen 32 feature films from 13 countries, including four world premieres and nine Australian ones, plus a host of shorts, events and filmmaker Q&A.s. The fest will also host a series of 14 panels covering a range of screen industry topics. On April 22, producers Jan Chapman, Sue Maslin and Trish Lake will talk about their experiences in a session entitled .Producing: Money Vs Time...Maslin will also be this year.s special guest at the third annual Women In Film lunch on April 21. Presented by Screen Queensland, the lunch recognises the contribution of women in film and television in Australia. On the eve of the festival, Maslin speaks to If about the push for gender equity and her slate of projects.

What will »

- Harry Windsor

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When it comes to a diversity of films, the elephant Is the room

17 April 2017 9:07 PM, PDT

Deakin University's Deb Verhoeven.

Australia enjoys a diverse array of cinema releases each year. For instance, in Australia in 2014, there were 484 new release feature films that screened in Australian cinemas more than 50 times each. If we include films screened in festivals and those with a more limited cinematic release the number of new releases jumps to over 600 titles (source: Kinomatics Database)..

In fact more and more films are being released over time. The evidence tells us so. In Australia alone in the ten-year period from 2006 to 2016 the number of films released almost doubled (from 333 to 609). But this increase isn.t always easy to see. This is because the vast array of film titles released in Australia are not distributed on an even playing field. For example, we are particularly interested in how films from a range of different countries, what is called .source diversity., are made available to Australian moviegoers. »

- Deb Verhoeven and Bronwyn Coate

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