London’s ‘X Factor’ Musical Finds Its Simon Cowell
Nigel Harman, the former Eastenders star who has a role in Season 4 of Downton Abbey, has been tapped to play a character based on Simon Cowell in I Can’t Sing! The X Factor Musical. The show will be directed by Olivier Award-winner and Tony Award-nominee, Sean Foley. It’s set to premiere at the London Palladium on March 26, 2014. Cowell and Sony Music’s joint venture Syco Entertainment is partnering with Stage Entertainment UK to launch the show that’s written by British comedian Harry Hill.

Hugh Jackman Honored At Zurich Film Festival
Hugh Jackman will receive the Golden Icon Award at the Zurich Film Festival which runs September 26 – October 6. The fest’s most prestigious symbol of recognition is awarded “in appreciation of the lifetime achievements of an actor or actress.” Jackman’s latest film, Prisoners, will be screened at the fest. “Hugh Jackman is in a class by himself as a multi-talented entertainer with a global following,” said fest co-director Karl Spoerri. “There is nothing he can’t do and he proves this time and time again with every project he’s involved in. We’re honored to recognize his brilliant career at the Zurich Film Festival.”

Beijing Festival Comes To Venice
The Beijing International Film Festival and its partner ECI are splashing out at Venice on Saturday evening with a 200-invitee event that will include director and Venice jury member Jiang Wen. Zhao Zhiyong, executive deputy secretary general of the Beijing organizing committee, confirmed today that the 4th Beijing Fest will run in 2014. It will focus on the concept of “Share the Screen, Shape the Future.” The 3rd Beijing Fest ran in April this year; dates for the 4th have not yet been released. In 2013, more than 800 Chinese and foreign film institutions took part. BJIFF partner ECI, which has bases in Beijing, LA and Paris, reps financial institutions, private investors, directors, producers, actors and screenwriters. Its clients include The Artist producer La Petite Reine, Studio Orange, Fidélité, LGM and Canada’s Caramel and Equinoxe. It has also sealed a long-term partnership with producer Tim He (Ip Man 2) and his production outfit, Hoper Media.

Stealth Media Hires New President Of Worldwide Sales
Just ahead of Toronto, Glenn Kendrick Ackermann has joined Stealth Media Group as president of worldwide sales. The former Atlas International and Capitol Films exec will also sit on UK-based Stealth’s board. Stealth is working on a number of new projects, but is perhaps best known for handling world sales on 2012 Berlin Film Festival hit Iron Sky.

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