TORONTO – KOREAN FUND ESTABLISHED
The Toronto International Film Festival, CJ Cultural Foundation and the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), have unveiled the CJ & TIFF K-Story Fund. It is an initiative to foster, support and champion Korean Canadian and American filmmakers looking to develop their first or second feature film.
It will have an annual budget of $30,000 for a three-year period and support three creative teams. Applications begin in November, with the recipients set to be announced in 2024. In addition to receiving the development prize, the selected participants will each receive direct one-on-one mentorship on story development with CJ Cultural Foundation.
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TIFF chief programming officer, Anita Lee, called the fund, “a groundbreaking initiative providing support for filmmakers from diasporic communities.”
“It is our hope that this fund helps filmmakers in North America who are of Korean backgrounds, unleash their creative potential,” said Heekyung Jo Min, head of corporate social responsibility at CJ,
“As a government agency, we also see this fund as an initiative to boost creativity in Korean and North American film industries, as well as to lay the groundwork for the prospective filmmakers,” said Park Kiyong, chairman of KOFIC.
Astro Productions, part of Malaysian pay-TV, local news and production giant Astro Malaysia Holdings, is to buy the assets of Basecamp Films, an award-winning visual post-production studio. Basecamp’s staff will be retained and the operation merged into a new unit Astro Sound+Vision, as the new parent expands into post-production.
Euan Smith, Group CEO of Astro said, “Astro Sound+Vision is being set up to offer a full suite of world-class audio and visual post-production services for video content including films; and TV series, shows and commercials.
Astro Sound+Vision services include high-quality cinema-based colour grading, Dolby Vision HDR post-production, full digital lab services and final output in 4K/HDR streaming to digital cinema, as well as audio engineering and recording, sound design, foley and final mix in surround and Dolby Atmos, for domestic and international feature films, broadcast TV productions, games and commercials.
U.K.-based Kaleidoscope Film Distribution has acquired international sales rights, outside Australia and New Zealand, to Australian documentary feature, “Disconnect Me,” about a man who disconnects from his smart phone for 30 days.
As well as examining the impact on the man himself, it also investigates the social impacts of the smartphone and social media on other. The protagonist and independent producer Alex Lykos interviews children, teenagers and adults as well as leading doctors and scholars in psychiatry and social behavior.
The film had its premiere last month at the CinefestOZ festival in Western Australia and was is selected for the NH Doc Film Festival, in Connecticut, U.S. in October. It will also have its Australia and New Zealand releases that month. Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment will release in the UK in coming months.
It was produced by Lykos Entertainment, Production Station and Bright Spark Media.
FREDRIK AF MALMBORG EXITS ECCHO RIGHTS
Fredrik af Malmborg, co-founder of Eccho Rights, the Stockholm-headquartered sales company best known for its vast catalogue of Turkish content, has stepped down from his CEO role.
His exit follows Eccho’s acquisition last year by German investment and co-production outfit Night Train Media headed by Herbert L. Kloiber who will step in as temporary Eccho CEO.
Af Malmborg and business partner Nicola Söderlund, founded Sparks Network in 2004, which became Eccho Rights in 2012. The distributor now represents more than 7,000 hours of international television drama, licensing in excess of 17,000 hours annually from its offices in Stockholm, London, Istanbul and Madrid. Söderlund stepped down last year after the Night Train deal in July 2022.
Night Train in a statement underlined that Eccho Rights will be “doubling down” on Turkish drama with Handan Özkubat continuing to lead as chief of this unit.
ITV Studios has secured an array of pre-sales for Season 2 of the BBC‘s Emmy-winning drama “Vigil,” produced by World Productions (Jed Mercurio’s “Line of Duty” and “Bodyguard”)
NBCUniversal’s Peacock has acquired the show the U.S. and Bell Media and TVA for Canada. In Europe, Arte has acquired broadcasting rights for France and Germany, with Denmark’s DR, Norway’s NRK, Finland’s YLE, Sweden’s SVT and Iceland’s RUV also picking up the show. Across Asia Pacific BBC Studios ANZ has acquired it for Australia, TVNZ for New Zealand and Now TV for Hong Kong.
“Vigil” Season 1 became the U.K.’s most-watched new drama launch since “Bodyguard” in 2018, with over 13 million viewers. The show won an International Emmy for Best International Drama. Season 2 follows investigators Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) and Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie) into the world of drone warfare to solve a mystery surrounding multiple deaths at a Scottish weapons test.
The cast also features Romola Garai, Dougray Scott, Amir El-Masry, David Elliot, Chris Jenks, Tommy Sim’aan, Oscar Salem, Jonathan Ajayi and Hiba Medina.
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