K5 In The Ring With ‘Cutie And The Boxer’
K5 International has boarded director Zachary Heinzerling’s Cutie And The Boxer which is screening this week in Tribeca. Heinzerling won the U.S. Documentary directing prize in Sundance for the film which is his feature debut. The movie is a New York love story about life and art that explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of renowned boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife and artist Noriko. It will be released Stateside by Radius-TWC in August. King Records will distribute in Japan with Parco and Madman in Australia.

Steve Buscemi, Anika Noni Rose Join ‘Khumba’
South Africa’s Triggerfish Animation Studios has added the voice talent of Steve Buscemi and The Good Wife’s Anika Noni Rose to its 3D animated feature, Khumba. They join Liam Neeson, Laurence Fishburne, AnnaSophia Robb, Jake T. Austin, Loretta Devine and Richard E. Grant. Khumba tells the story of a half-striped Zebra who is blamed for a severe drought by his herd. He teams up with a sassy wildebeest and a self-obsessed ostrich to go in search of the magic waterhole where legend has it the first zebras got their stripes and meets an array of wacky characters on the adventure. Edward Noeltner’s Cinema Management Group has international sales. Millennium Entertainment will release in the U.S. later this year. Buscemi and Rose’s deals were brokered by WME and Ned Lott on behalf of Triggerfish Animation. Buscemi is also repped by The Gotham Group.

Monte Carlo Television Festival Nominees Announced
The 53rd edition of the Festival de Television de Monte-Carlo has revealed the nominees for the Golden Nymph Award. Noms in the Television Films category include Le Métis de Dieu and its leading man Laurent Lucas for his role as Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger. Lambert Wilson is also nominated for his performance in Manipulations. Productions from Canada, Japan, Germany and other European countries are all in contention in this category. TV series nominees include Breaking Bad, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Bomb Girls, Capadocia and Homeland as well as 30 Rock, Modern Family, and Fais Pas Ci Fais Pas Ça, which won at Monte-Carlo in 2009. You can read the complete list here.

RealD Hangs Rio Shingle
RealD has opened its first office in Latin America. The Rio de Janeiro bureau will focus on the company’s cinema business and handle sales, customer service and operations for Latin America, including Central America and South America. Latin America is a growth market with box office up approximately 100% over the last five years. Sean Spencer has been named director of cinema for Latin America. He was previously VP for Latin American Operations with the Motion Picture Association.

Celluloid Dreams Boards Miike’s Cannes Title ‘Shield Of Straw’
Paris-based sales outfit Celluloid Dreams will handle Japanese master Takashi Miike’s Shield Of Straw for international. The film is running in Competition at Cannes next month. It starts off with a 1B yen bounty placed on the head of the suspected killer of the granddaughter of a very wealthy man. The bounty is set via an ad in all the main newspapers of Japan which makes the suspect a target for millions of people. He turns himself in to the police and four offices are dispatched to return him to Tokyo. The journey back, along 1,200 kilometers, is lined with potential assassins at every turn.

NBCU International TV Hires David Mortimer
David Mortimer has been appointed to the newly created role of SVP factual and entertainment at NBCUniversal International Television Distribution. The Emmy and BAFTA winning producer will be based in London and start his new job on May 13. He will be charged with doubling NBCUniversal’s unscripted business over the next five years. Most recently, he was managing director of independent production company Fever Media and earlier spent 15 years at the BBC in senior commissioning and productions roles.

IFC Invests In Pinewood Indomina Studios
Global development group IFC will invest $20M in Pinewood Indomina Studios, the Dominican Republic’s first full-service film and television studio facility. The studios will offer integrated production and post-production services for regional and international projects. The facility will be located outside Santo Domingo and is expected to be inaugurated in June. The studios will include three state-of-the-art soundproof sound stages, a 60,000 sq ft ocean-front water filming facility and a range of supporting facilities, including offices and workshops. The Dominican Republic recently introduced film incentives to attract offshore productions.

Steve November Confirmed As ITV Drama Head
The UK’s leading commercial broadcaster, ITV, has confirmed Steve November as director of drama, The Guardian reports. He replaces Laura Mackie who is leaving the company with Sally Haynes to form her own production company. November had already been acting director of drama since January. Since 2008, he has overseen such shows as Law & Order UK, DCI Banks, Whitechapel, Foyle’s War and Life Of Crime.

Shine Sells Local ‘Best Bakery’ Versions
Shine has made its first international format deals on Best Bakery, the series that conducts a national search for the tops in bakeries and bakers. France’s M6 and Finland’s Nelonen Media have both commissioned local versions. The M6 series will be produced by Shine France and the Finnish version will come from Shine-owned Metronome. The original format just received a second series order from the UK’s ITV.

Israel Looking To Boost Tourism Through Film Biz
Israel is reaching out to the film industry as a marketing tool for the country’s tourist business. A Chinese production company is shooting parts of Old Cinderella, starring Zhang Jingchu (Rush Hour 3) and directed by Lu Chuan, in Israel after receiving a 300,000 shekel ($83,000) from the government, Bloomberg reports. The Tourism Ministry hopes the exposure will result in increased tourist traffic to the region. A Tourism Competitive Intelligence survey last year found about 40 million international tourists chose their destination mostly because they saw a film shot in the country. About 8 million Chinese selected their destination according to what they saw in the movies, according to the Israeli ministry.

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