STARS ACTING UP AT BUSAN
Oscar-winning Korean actor Youn Yuh-jung (“Minari,” “Pachinko”) will headline the Actors’ House section of the upcoming Busan International Film Festival, it was announced on Thursday.
Introduced in 2021, Actors’ House is a special series that connects audiences and film enthusiasts with iconic actors from the current generation through its in-depth discussions. “There’s much anticipation to hear her words of wisdom, as she’s known for her insightful observations,” said the festival.
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Others this year include: Han Hyo-joo, Song Joong-ki and Korean-American actor and author John Cho. Han is known for performances in 2015’s “The Beauty Inside,” “W” (2016), “Happiness (2021), and last year’s “The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure.” She will be in Busan with Netflix-backed “Believer 2” and recently appeared in the Disney+ original series, “Moving.”
Song, who hosted the 2021 Busan festival’s opening ceremony, was recently seen in “Hopeless,” one of the handful of Korean films in Cannes this year. He previously appeared in “Space Sweepers,” (2021), “Vincenzo” (2021) and 2022 series “Reborn Rich.”
Cho, one of the first Korean-American actors to play lead roles in U.S. television and film, is now regular in the “Star Trek” film franchise and was star of the screenlife film “Searching” in 2018.
ADELAIDE – INDONESIA
The Adelaide Film Festival has set Kitty Green’s locally-filmed “The Royal Hotel,” as its opening night title and another South Australian film, “My Name’s Ben Folds – I Play Piano” as the closing gala screening. The festival runs Oct. 18-29.
Like the Busan festival, Adelaide will host a special sidebar on Indonesian cinema. Selected titles include “Galang” (dir. Adriyanto Dewo), “Like & Share” (dir. Gina S. Noer), “Monisme” (dir. Riar Rizaldi), “Orpa” (dir. Theogracia Rumansara), “The Exiles” (dir. Lola Amaria) and “The Tone Wheels” (dir. Yuda Kurniawan). Indonesian Oscar contender “Autobiography,” by Makbul Mubarak, was the winner of the feature competition at Adelaide last year.
The six films in this year’s feature fiction competition are: thriller “Blaga’s Lessons,” from Bulgarian director Stephan Komandarev; time-shifting puzzle “Embryo Larva Butterfly,” by Greek-Cypriot writer-director Kyros Papavassiliou, about a couple who wake each day to a different time period in their lives, testing their relationship to its limits; Iranian filmmaker Behrooz Karamizade’s “Empty Nets”; queer Spanish road movie, “On The Go,” from directors Julia de Castro and Maria Gisele Royo; “Sahela,” directed by Australia’s Raghuvir Joshi, about a young Indian-Australian couple facing up to the notion of cultural shame; and the previously announced “You’ll Never Find Me,” a claustrophobic psychological thriller from Adelaide filmmakers Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell.
The jury for the fiction and documentary feature competitions includes: Green, Goran Stolevski (“Housekeeping for Beginners,” “Of An Age”), film critic David Rooney; Indonesian film curator Alexander Matius; and former head of the ABC’s drama and entertainment department, Sally Riley.
Eight projects of multiple genres, including magic realism, fantasy, horror-thriller, women’s empowerment, cross-border politics, LGTBQ+ and mental illness, have been selected for the 16th edition of the National Film Development Corporation, India’s Screenwriters’ Lab.
Avinash Arun who won two awards at the Berlinale for “Killa” (2014) has his new project “Boomerang” at the lab and participants also include Sanju Kadu (“Kosla”); Rohan K. Mehta (“Absent”); Neha Negi (“Chhawni”); Vatsala Patel (“Daant”); Biswa Ranjan Pradhan (“Pramana Patra”); Diwa Shah (“Chab”); and Savita Singh (“Ballad of the Circus”).
This year’s mentors include the founder of NFDC ScreenWriters’ Lab Marten Rabarts, Claire Dobbin, Bikas Mishra and Ketki Pandit.
Projects that were germinated at the lab and gone on to find global success include “The Lunchbox,” “Titli” and “Bombay Rose.”
BLACK BRITAIN UNSPOKEN
Warner Bros. Discovery Access’ Black Britain Unspoken 2023 will feature shorts “Alterior” by Terrie Aghaizu, “Beats From Heaven” by Eden Igwe and “Food, Music & Vibes” by Monique Needham. The films will be produced with the support of Warner Bros. Discovery U.K. and Ireland and Bounce Cinema, who join the program in 2023 to provide production expertise, and launched on Discovery+ during Black History Month this October.
Launched in 2022, in partnership with industry charity Media Trust, Black Britain Unspoken set out to give access and voice to Black British creatives as the industry continues to address the under-representation of Black talent in the screen industries in the U.K.
Canadian film company Rhythm Boyz, known for blockbuster Punjabi-language hits “Jodi” and “Angrez,” has acquired the overseas distribution rights of “Bhagwan Bharose” for North America, Canada, U.K., Australia and New Zealand and will release the film in these markets on Oct. 13.
Shiladitya Bora’s directorial debut, a coming-of-age tale, is produced by Sri Lankan auteur Prasanna Vithanage along with Platoon One Films, Lighthouse Innoventures and Sri Sathya Sai Arts.
Elsewhere, MTV India and music label and studio T-Series have inked a deal for rap reality television show, MTV Hustle, wherein all original music created from Seasons 1, 2 and 3 will be distributed globally by T-Series.
The BBC has acquired AMC Networks’ hit seven-part series “Interview with the Vampire,” based on Anne Rice’s bestselling novel, for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer. It follows Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson), Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid) and Claudia (Bailey Bass) and their story of love, blood and the perils of immortality, as told to journalist Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian). Chafing at the limitations of life as a Black man in 1900s New Orleans, Louis finds it impossible to resist the rakish Lestat’s offer of the ultimate escape: joining him as his vampire companion. But Louis’ intoxicating new powers come with a violent price, and the introduction of Lestat’s newest fledgling, the child vampire Claudia, soon sets them on a decades-long path of revenge and atonement.
OUT OF TOWN DRUG RUNNING
Filming has commenced in Wales on Buffalo Pictures’ six-part ITV and ITVX drama “Out There,” which revolves around the world of county lines drugs dealers – urban gangs using the British countryside as a field of operations. Written by Ed Whitmore (“Manhunt”) and directed by Marc Evans (“Steeltown Murders”), the series stars Martin Clunes as Nathan Williams, a man who runs a farm which has been in his family for generations, and single parent to teenager Johnny (Louis Ashbourne Serkis), who takes on the gangs that threaten to engulf his son.
“Out There” is produced by Philippa Braithwaite (“Arthur & George”) and Evie Bergson-Korn (“Farewell Doc Martin”), with ITV’s head of drama Polly Hill overseeing production from the channel’s perspective. Whitmore and Evans serve as executive producers. It is being produced in association with Creative Wales. Philippa Langdale directs the final two episodes of the series.
BLACK OPS IN SYDNEY
Charlie Brooker, the creator of mind-bending Netflix anthology series “Black Mirror,” has been revealed as a headline speaker at the inaugural edition of SXSW Sydney. The Oct. 15-22 event is the first time that the futurist festival takes place of Austin, Texas. Much like SXSW Sydney, “Black Mirror” provides commentary on our potential futures and how we can shape them.
Other previously announced speakers include: Chance The Rapper; Coachella festival CEO Paul Tollett; Slack co-founder Cal Henderson; futurist and AI expert Amy Webb; de-extinction entrepreneur Ben Lamm; Motion Picture Association CEO Charles Rivkin; advertising icon David Droga; Google Australia MD Mel Silva; Netflix ANZ director of content Que Minh Luu; broadcaster Osher Günsberg; World surfing champion Layne Beachley; tech entrepreneur Paul Bassat; Reddit CMO Roxy Young; artistic director Wesley Enoch; and Expedia CTO Rathi Murthy.
Disclosure: Variety-owner P-MRC is a significant investor in South by Southwest, the parent company of the annual SXSW festival.
KIM vs KBS
Kim Eui-chul, former president and CEO of South Korean public broadcaster KBS, says he has filed multiple lawsuits against the company following his dismissal on Tuesday.
Kim was fired in a controversial board meeting that split along party political lines. The motion to dismiss him held Kim accountable for the broadcaster’s worsening financial structure and “biased” news coverage. Kim previously caused a major furor in Korean broadcasting circles when he opposed a government move to separate the KRW2,500 ($1.90) monthly fee that KBS charges all Korean households along with their electricity bills. The measure has been in place since 1994. He threatened to resign over the matter, but instead filed a petition against the move with the country’s Constitutional Court.
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