NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) and the Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), with presenting partners Arab Institute of Cinema and Media and Dutch Culture United States team up for a short film festival that takes place the weekend of December 10 and 11.
The annual event, titled NFMLA Film Festival InFocus: Middle Eastern, Arabic and Dutch cinema, will offer virtual film screenings followed by live questions and answers. The films are directed by emerging filmmakers from the Netherlands, Lebanon, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Iran, France, Belgium and the United States.
The program features the US premiere of “Nervosa,” the latest work by NFMLA alumnus Thessa Meijer, and award-winning Tribeca short “Leylak,” by co-directors Scott Aharoni and Dennis Latos.
Festival panels to feature conversations with Palestinian writer-director Hany Abou-Assad (“Omar”), whose next feature film “Huda’s Salon” will be distributed by IFC Films, and the Saudi filmmaker Haifa Al-Mansour (“Wadjda”).
The NFMLA and the Academy also brought together industry professionals to participate in this year’s edition, including Robert Walak and Alisa Tager at Anonymous Content, Tanja Tawadjoh at Black Bicycle Entertainment, Beatriz Sequeira at Blumhouse Productions, Annamaria Sofillas at Topic / First Look Media, Talha Asad at HBO, Allie Moore at Left Handed Films and Brie Neimand at ViacomCBS.
The festival’s programming is supported by Los Angeles City Council member Mitch O’Farrell.
Veteran film producer Liz watts joined the Anglo-Australian company Rocking films as director of film and television, Australia. Watts joins his own company Spirit Pictures and brings up with his hatched projects as part of a first look deal with Matchbox Pictures of Universal International Studios. Until June of this year, Watts was a co-founding partner of Porchlight Films, which was wound up after 23 years in business. At See-Saw, she will oversee all Australian projects of See-Saw and the Picking Scabs subsidiary and report to the Joint Managing Directors Emile sherman and Iain Canning, as well as the UK-based Creative Director of See-Saw Helene Gregory. Watts previously collaborated with See-Saw on Garth Davis’ “Mary Magdalene”. His other credits include “True History of the Kelly Gang” by Justin Kurzel and “The King” by David Michod. – Patrick frater
Meanwhile, the director of “See No Evil” Karen kelly is to be the new president of the industry body Directors United Kingdom, Winner Steve smith. James hawes (“Black mirror”) and Anna thomson (“Objects of Desire”) were appointed vice-presidents. Filmmakers Abigail Dankwa, Avril Evans, Zoe Hines, Jessica Hobbs, Alex Kalymnios, Tinge are also on the board.
Krishnan, Lisi Russell and Carolyn Saunders, Directors UK CEO Andy Harrower, CFO Guy Gibbons and Non-Executive Director Deborah Stones.
BBC Studioworks, the commercial subsidiary of UK broadcaster BBC which provides studios and post-production services to the television industry, will operate the upcoming television studio at Kelvin Room in Glasgow, Scotland. The move is the first step in BBC Studioworks’ ambitions to open additional studios across the UK, and is a response to the growing demand to make more TV shows in Scotland.
The 10,500 square foot studio, co-funded by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, will open in the fall of 2022 and will be a multi-camera installation offering state-of-the-art suites and ancillary spaces, including including changing rooms, a green room and offices.
International distribution company Activity area sold the documentary format “Emergency Call” to the Japanese public broadcaster NHK. A local version of the show that follows the ups and downs of an emergency call center through the ears and eyes of the people who work there, will air on NHK in January 2022.
The format was originally created by De chinezen for Belgian broadcaster VRT Eén, the Flemish public broadcaster. Lineup Industries manages the worldwide distribution of the series, which was carried out locally in Belgium, Australia, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.
The US version of the format, produced by 8 Hours Television and hosted by the actor Luc Wilson, has also sold to Nine Network in Australia, TV3 in New Zealand and Talpa TV in the Netherlands.
Australian content distributor Fred Media licensed the two seasons of the reality TV series “The Circus” to Hayu for streaming in UK and Ireland, Benelux, Canada and Australia. A Striped studios manufacturing for NBCU New Zealand (Bravo TV), “The Circus” follows the ten members of the Weber family who live, work and perform together under a circus tent. “The Circus” has just been reissued for a third series of 10 x 30 minutes. It will be delivered later in 2022 and Fred Media will distribute it again. – Patrick frater