Director “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral” mike newel and actor Jason Wang (“The Gentlemen”, “Dungeons & Dragons”) launch the Kingston International Film Festival (KIFF) to support independent filmmakers in a post-pandemic world. From June 24 to 26, the festival is a 50/50 partnership between Blue Elephant Movies and Pink Theater which aims to address the decline of the independent film industry by establishing a new platform for emerging talent and creating opportunities that will connect new filmmakers and industry experts. KIFF also received early support from Oscar-winning actor Dame Vanessa Redgrave and “Star Trek” actor Marina Sirtis.
The Festival’s announcement follows a BFI report which found that investment in the independent film industry in the UK had fallen by 45% and that only twenty-two films accounted for 78% of UK film production spending. KIFF will be led by festival directors David Cunningham and Christopher Haydon and will take place in venues around Kingston, hosting screenings, events and workshops.
“KIFF is a more practical, solid and hopeful way forward for the film industry than the often ostentatious approach of other film festivals,” Newell said. “The industry is crying out for a festival like this that is passionate about championing emerging indie talent, especially those just starting out, to help create opportunities for talent that is too often overlooked.”
Leonine Studios named Sarah Bremen and Keri Putnam to its advisory board. Bremner is a former president of Array Filmworks, the independent distribution company launched by Ava DuVernay, which oversaw the company’s slate of productions, including such titles as Ramin Bahrani’s Oscar-nominated “The White Tiger,” and The CW’s hit series “Naomi.” Putnam has spent the last decade as CEO of the Sundance Institute, which has seen its revenue increase 300% during his tenure. She also oversaw the Sundance Film Festival.
Cinemas in Hong Kong have received financial support under the city government’s fifth round of pandemic relief funding for businesses. The program provides a one-time grant of HK$50,000 ($6,410) per screen to each licensed cinema operator. The maximum grant per circuit is $1.5 million ($192,000). The government said all 64 sites applied and the money was paid on Tuesday. Cinemas in the city have been closed several times by government order and were closed during the 2021 New Year and Chinese New Year holidays. Seating restrictions and bans on concessions also applied when they were open. As the government pursues a zero COVID policy and the city suffers from the beginnings of an omicron wave, cinemas in Hong Kong are currently closed again. –Patrick Frater
the Doha Film Institute The Qumra event dedicated to promoting new Arab film fare through mentorships and organized networking with top industry executives has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns. It will run online for the second consecutive year. The online edition of DFI Qumra 2022, scheduled for March 18-23, will feature its usual one-on-one sessions, as well as panel discussions, meetings and other networking opportunities for selected projects and their teams. – Nick Vivarelli
South Korean content exports (games, movies, music and TV) grew 16% in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, to $11.9 billion, according to data from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism published on Monday. Games were the largest component of exports, worth $8.19 million and up 23% from 2019. Smaller segments grew their exports at a faster rate, likely reflecting the “ParasiteIn fact, films grew by 43% and were closely followed by cartoons with export growth of 36% and distribution of 29%. Export growth has cushioned the blow to the sector from COVID. While overall revenue from the content sector barely budged, weighing in at $107 billion, movies suffered an overall decline of 54%, reflecting the closure of theaters. The animation and music sectors also suffered double-digit declines. Online games and cartoons have been the winners, enjoying a COVID dividend in both domestic and export markets. –Patrick Frater
“Music school», a new musical feature film starring Shriya Saran and Sharman Joshi, went into production in Hyderabad, India, with additional health and safety measures to deal with a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the region. A dedicated team has been appointed to sanitize the studio, exterior filming locations and all vehicles used by the cast and crew. A full-time GP has also been hired to be on set for any potential medical emergencies and everyone on set must practice social distancing, wear masks when not on camera and take COVID screenings. weekly. Produced by Yamini Films and written and directed by Papa Rao Biyyala, the film tells the story of two teachers who struggle to bring an otherwise boring school system to life.
Shriya Saran, Sharman Joshi