Listen to (and share) episode 16 of Deadline’s audio podcast Global Showbiz Watch, With Nancy Tartaglione. Deadline’s international editor talks from London with host David Bloom about a series of UK-based stories the past several days, including the very big audiences that turned out for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary celebration on the BBC, BBC America and in dozens of other countries; what the BBC has planned at Christmas time for the newest doctor in Doctor Who, and the much-awaited third season of Sherlock; Oscar winner Emma Thompson’s long look back with BAFTA at her career so far, even as her latest film, Saving Mr. Banks, builds its own awards buzz; and Pinewood Shepperton, busy counting its cash after a strong quarter, presses for approval of a major expansion of its London facilities amid a serious studio capacity crunch that’s turning away work in the city.
Emma Thompson Mulls “Hierarchical” Hollywood, Ang Lee’s Brutal/Funny Notes, Oscars & More In BAFTA Career Chat
Following in the recent footsteps of her Saving Mr Banks co-star Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson sat down in London on Sunday afternoon for a trip down memory lane. At a BAFTA Life in Pictures event at the British Academy’s headquarters, Thompson spoke of the important role that comedy played in her early career, and touched on her collaborations with the likes of Merchant Ivory, Richard Curtis and Ang Lee. The Oscar-winning actress and screenwriter also peppered in some stark feelings about Hollywood.
Thompson has steadily worked across borders since the 90s and while she feels there’s no real difference between great actors in the States and Britain – “Dustin Hoffman is as exquisite as Anthony Hopkins” – the star system in Hollywood “is not a good system.” Thompson called it “hierarchical” and said it was “just revolting for people who are actors to become grand and unattractive to watch.” She recalled that while working on Last Chance Harvey, Hoffman had been stuck in traffic one day and, so concerned with being late to set, ran there in his socks once he’d arrived at the location. “Those are the people you want to work with. You find some young actors who really can’t be bothered and you think well, let someone else do it,” she said to the largely British crowd. Thompson noted that “some of the most intelligent people” she knows live in Hollywood, but lamented that the town “always finds a way to make you feel bad.” At parties, there’s “always some bit that’s penned off that you’re not allowed into,” she mused, adding that it’s the “better than/less than judgment you’re making upon yourself and others that Hollywood is particularly good at and that’s the one thing I really hate.”
Global Showbiz Briefs: Biddy Baxter Set For BAFTA Honor; TrustNordisk Sells ‘Ragnarok’ In Multiple Territories; More
Biddy Baxter Set For Honor At British Academy Children’s Awards
BAFTA will present TV producer and writer Biddy Baxter with its Special Award at this year’s British Academy Children’s Awards on November 24. The award recognizes an individual’s outstanding contribution to children’s media and the entertainment industry. David Attenborough will make the presentation to Baxter. She first joined the BBC in 1955 as a radio studio manager, later becoming the producer of Listen With Mother and School Radio’s Junior English programs and then of BBC Television Children’s Programmes. She was editor of kids show Blue Peter from 1962-88, receiving 12 BAFTA nominations and winning two statues during her tenure. In 2003, she founded the John Hosier Music Trust to provide scholarships to enable talented but impoverished music students to undertake postgraduate studies.
TrustNordisk Sells ‘Ragnarok’ To China, India, Other Territories
TrustNordisk has concluded further deals on its Norwegian action-adventure pic Ragnarok. The film previously sold to Magnolia in the U.S. and has added China (Melting Culture Ltd.), Indonesia (Pratama Film), Spain (Artwood), Brazil (Mares Filmes LTDA) and Thailand (IPA) to its list of territories. It premiered at Fantastic Fest in Austin and was released locally on October 4. It is currently the top local film of 2013 at the Norwegian box office. Ragnarok stars Kon-Tiki’s Pål Sverre Hagen as an archeologist obsessed with the Oseberg Viking ship. …
Tom Hanks Retraces A Life In Pictures, Talks Pitfalls Of Comedy & Freedom From Self-Consciousness At BAFTA Event
Tom Hanks was in London on Saturday to spend an evening with BAFTA. The British Academy’s Life In Pictures series is a walk through an actor or director’s career – Hanks’ this evening lasted two hours, which, considering his resumé, wasn’t nearly enough time to touch on every film. Hanks joked throughout the evening that he was getting whiplash from the fast-paced interview that started out with his early work as mostly a comedic actor, through to more serious turns in Punchline, Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, and up to his current films Captain Phillips and Saving Mr Banks.
Hanks is also in London ahead of the world premiere of Saving Mr Banks, in which he plays Walt Disney. The film tells the story of how Disney persuaded Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers to sell rights to her tale of the magical nanny. Portraying the legend came with a particular challenge, Hanks said, due to “the current atmosphere of pressure in films.” Disney, he noted, “died of lung cancer. He smoked three packs of cigarettes a day. So, can we show him smoking? No way in hell.” Hanks said there was an actual “negotiation” about whether or not he could be filmed holding a lit cigarette in a scene. He could not. That film is the closing night gala for the London Film Festival which wraps tomorrow.
Over the course of tonight’s retrospective in front of about 150 BAFTA members, Hanks shared anecdotes from his long career, starting off, improbably, with 1989’s Turner & Hooch. “It has been so long since someone has shown a clip” from the film, he said, “I’m delighted, I learned a lot from that dog.” The dog in the film was male, but Hanks called comedy in general, “such a bitch… It’s sink or swim. It can’t be faked on film. The chops you develop in comedy are chops you will not be slave to, but will serve you.”
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Intouchables’ Helmers Gear Up For ‘Samba’; BAFTA To Host Life In Pictures With Tom Hanks; More
‘Intouchables’ Helmers Set To Begin Production On ‘Samba’
The Intouchables helmers Eric Tolédano and Olivier Nakache will begin shooting their next film, Samba, at the end of October. Omar Sy, Best Actor César winner for Intouchables, stars in the social comedy alongside Charlotte Gainsbourg (Nymphomaniac, Melancholia), Tahar Rahim (The Past, A Prophet) and Izya Higelin. French major Gaumont is co-producing with Intouchables‘ Quad Productions. Gaumont will handle French distribution and sell the film internationally as it did with Tolédano and Nakache’s 2011 mega box office hit. Delivery is expected at the end of 2014.
Listen to (and share) episode 9 of Deadline’s audio podcast Global Showbiz Watch With Nancy Tartaglione. Deadline’s international editor talks with host David Bloom about the ongoing controversy over India’s candidate for the foreign-language Oscar; a capacity crunch at suddenly too-popular London production facilities; BAFTA’s move to recognize online video in its TV awards process; and the outcry over the unexpected demise of a favorite character in Helen Fielding’s next sequel to her Bridget Jones books.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is adding new rules which will for the first time include web-based broadcasters to be eligible for its TV awards, a move that opens the field to the likes of Netflix. Here’s a release on this and other changes to the prizes which will be awarded in April and May of 2014:
London, 1 October 2013: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) today announced that, for the very first time, web-based broadcasters will be eligible to enter the British Academy Television Awards and the British Academy Television Craft Awards.
BAFTA’s Chief Executive, Amanda Berry, said: “We continually strive to ensure our Awards remain relevant to the industry, as well as reflecting the trends among the viewing public. We’re in a golden era for storytelling and programme-making, with top-class shows being broadcast online as well as on digital and terrestrial television; the latest update to our rules ensures we celebrate and reward the very best.”
The new Rule Books for both Awards are now published online, with full details on entry and eligibility, at http://awards.bafta.org/entry.
This important update to eligibility is one of a number of changes made to the Television and Television Craft Awards this year, presented in 2014.
Other changes include the expansion of the previous Comedy category, which becomes Comedy and Comedy Entertainment and encompasses programmes whose comedy is central to the editorial of the programme, including panel-led shows, chat shows where comic content plays a significant part, stand-up comedy shows, and comedy clips shows.
BAFTA-BFI Screenwriters Lecture Series Line-Up: David S. Goyer, Hossein Amini, Susannah Grant, Tony Gilroy, Richard Curtis
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the British Film Institute (BFI) today announced their 4th annual Screenwriters’ Lecture Series from September 23rd through 30th about the scripting experience and the writers who often don’t get the recognition they deserve. This line-up has 17 BAFTA and Oscar nominations between them. Participating at BAFTA’s headquarters at 195 Piccadilly or BFI Southbank will be:
Sept 23: David S. Goyer (Man Of Steel, Batman Trilogy, Da Vinci’s Demons)
Sept 25: Hossein Amini (Drive, Wings Of The Dove, Snow White And The Huntsman)
Sept 28: Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich, Pocahontas, A Gifted Man)
Sept 29: Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, Bourne Trilogy, Armageddon)
Sept 30: Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill, Four Weddings And A Funeral)
This season was programmed by screenwriter and BAFTA member Jeremy Brock (Mrs. Brown, Last King of Scotland, Eagle of the Ninth) who said, “Our series is all about the voices that craft those blank pages into light. We proudly celebrate the ghosts in the machine, invisible in every frame of the finished film: the screenwriters.” Content and format of th lecture series are dictated entirely by the writers.
For further information, go to www.bafta.org and www.bfi.org.uk. Webcasts of all the lectures, including exclusive video content, will be available on BAFTA Guru and the BFI website later in the year.
Los Angeles, August 5, 2013 – The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles® (BAFTA Los Angeles) is pleased to announce it will honor Academy® and BAFTA Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow and Academy® and BAFTA Award-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley at the 2013 BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards presented by BBC AMERICA on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. For the second year in a row, the BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards will be broadcast on BBC AMERICA, airing in primetime November 10, 2013 at 8pm ET as a two-hour special including footage of the Britannia Awards Red Carpet.
Listen to (and share) the second episode of Deadline’s audio podcast Global Showbiz Watch With Nancy Tartaglione. Deadline’s international editor talks with host David Bloom about the lineup for next month’s Venice Film Festival; an expanding best picture slate for the BAFTAs; the Chinese stiff arm to Despicable Me 2; and last thoughts on the media frenzy surrounding the birth of the (eventual) heir to the British throne.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts tweaked its Outstanding British Film category today, adding a sixth nominee which will act as a sort of wildcard entry. All other BAFTA award fields have five nominees each, but BAFTA’s Nik Powell said the addition of a sixth film would “ensure that this important category fully celebrates the outstanding range of British films in our cinemas each year.” Five of the movies will be decided by chapter vote, but the sixth nomination will be decided by a jury of filmmakers. A BAFTA member tells me, “There’s always been a fear that British film and best film will be the same result in a big British year.” Likewise, in a year where the winning film in the main category is British, there are questions if the top pick in the British race doesn’t match. “It sometimes seems like BAFTA’s most schizophrenic category and they’ve been tinkering with it in recent years to get it right.”
Last year, Skyfall won the top British film prize, but was not nominated in the main category. Les Misérables, however, was nominated in both categories. Still, the British film race has in the past recognized movies like This Is England, which would have had a hard time in a wide vote. BAFTA is not expected to reveal which film was the wildcard under the …
BAFTA and industry training group Rocliffe have selected eight TV comedy writers they deem to be the UK’s most promising, and they’re taking them on the road. Three of the scripters will head to the Edinburgh TV Festival in August and the other five will go to the New York TV Festival in October where their works will be performed by professional actors. The BBC will also pay for a full script commission from one of the writers selected for Edinburgh. The initiative hails from the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum, now in its third year of bringing talent to New York. It’s adding Edinburgh for the first time. The writers were chosen from a pool of about 500 candidates by a jury that included Jessica Hynes (Twenty Twelve), Caryn Mandabach (Nurse Jackie), Tom Anderson (Cheers), and reps from the major UK broadcasters. Click over for a round-up of the scripters and their projects:
As previously announced, the BAFTA Film Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday February 16 at London’s Royal Opera House. Word comes today that nominations are to be unveiled on January 8, the same day that Oscar nominations voting ends. That gives BAFTA voters an extra week to complete their ballots as compared to this year when nominations were announced on January 9 and the awards ceremony held on February 10. The January 8 nominations date is also more than a week ahead of the Oscar nominations which next year fall on January 16. To be eligible for the BAFTAs, a film must be released theatrically in the UK between January 1 and December 31, 2013. Films released between January 1 and February 14, 2014 may also qualify by being screened for members no later than December 19, 2013.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is thinning its film award voting ranks so it can bulk them up again with newer, more active members. BAFTA head of membership Jim Bradshaw tells me the impetus for the weeding out process was primarily that the voting membership is capped “and we have a waiting list of people coming into the Academy who we can’t involve and that includes people who have won BAFTAs and are working at a very high level.” There are 6,500 voting members and a further 500 non-voting. A consultation period on voting eligibility began last year and new rules went into effect this week. They stipulate that in order to remain eligible to vote for the BAFTA Film Awards, a member must have worked in the industry in the last five years, or for 20 years or more. The idea is to shed folks who may have left the business after a short period. The term “worked in the industry” is quite broad, encompassing on-screen credit or “evidence of a relevant role” including as a marketer, publicist, specialized journalist, financier, script reader or unproduced screenwriter, among others. People who don’t have the appropriate credits to cast a ballot will be asked to step down from voting, but would still be able to maintain BAFTA membership. Bradshaw says the Academy …
BAFTA is partnering with Burberry on Breakthrough Brits, an initiative to support up-and-comers in the world of film, television and games. The British Academy is inviting submissions for candidates to participate in the program which will provide career guidance and mentoring from industry figures as well as access to financial backers. Up to 20 individuals will be selected. Candidates must be UK nationals at the start of their career as a performer or craft specialist, and each must have at least one credit on a production with a theatrical release, broadcast or publication in the UK between October 2012 and October 2013. BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry calls the program “a fantastic opportunity for newcomers to showcase their work on a public stage, and to make the industry connections that are so important to developing their careers both nationally and internationally.” For more info, go here.
BAFTA handed out its TV prizes tonight in London with Olivia Colman taking two awards, one for supporting actress for BBC miniseries Accused and the other as actress in a comedy program for Olympics sitcom Twenty Twelve, which was also named best sitcom. Colman will soon be seen by U.S. audiences in ITV’s recent hit drama Broadchurch. Ben Whishaw was best actor for Neal Street Productions co-production with NBC Universal and WNET Thirteen/BBC Two, Richard II (Hollow Crown), and top comedy actor was Steve Coogan for Sky Atlantic‘s Welcome To The Places Of My Life. The best drama series was the BBC’s Last Tango In Halifax while HBO‘s Girls was named best international show. Coming into the evening, the BBC and HBO’s Hitchcock film The Girl was among the most nominated programs, but went home empty-handed. Downton Abbey had no nominations. A full list of winners follows:
Global Showbiz Briefs: Jonathan Deckter Tops IM GLobal, Wild Bunch Distribution, ‘Nymphomaniac’ Campaign Heats Up
Jonathan Deckter Named IM GLobal President
IM Global is heading to Cannes with a new president. Company CEO Stuart Ford has promoted Jonathan Deckter, a three-year veteran of the sales, financing and production outfit, just in time for the annual happenings on the Croisette. He was previously head of international sales and distribution. Elsewhere, IM Global also re-upped Bonnie Voland and her B. Voland company to oversee worldwide publicity and marketing and re-signed Tatyana Joffe as EVO International Sales.
Wild Bunch Names New Distribution Chief
France’s Wild Bunch Distribution has named the successor to chief Jean-Philippe Tirel who is stepping down to start his own acquisitions boutique. Former Pathé and Fox Searchlight exec Thierry Lacaze will take over leading the distributor backed up by the company’s existing team including Jérôme Rougier who runs acquisitions. The company has a slate of 22 films this year including official Cannes selection titles The Bastards from Claire Denis, La Vie D’Adèle from Abdellatif Kechiche and James Gray’s The Immigrant as well as Robert Rodriguez’ Machete Kills.
American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said tonight he gets “sick to some degree of the (product) integration because (other) people have a different idea of what integration means. For me, it’s a smooth, organic process, whereas for other people, it’s, ‘Hi! This is a Coca-Cola!’ ” Speaking at a BAFTA-sponsored event at the Digital Hollywood conference, Lythgoe described a continual push and pull between show sponsors and producers that can be quite innovative but requires a lot of careful straddling of lines. “Everyone’s trying to use this as a platform,” he said. “They’re trying to stretch things all the time. I want to move those damned Coke cups. Especially when (rookie Idol judge) Nicki Minaj is sponsored by Pepsi. It gets on your nerves sometimes when it’s too obvious. You don’t want product forced on you. So we just have to be careful.”
Global Showbiz Briefs: BAFTA TV Craft Prizes; BBC Renews ‘The Village’; ‘Oh Boy’ At German Lolas; Al Jazeera
Olympics Score BAFTA TV Craft Awards
The Olympics was a three-time winner in factual categories at Sunday night’s BAFTA TV Craft Awards with the opening ceremony taking honors for multi-camera directing. BBC’s Super Saturday grabbed a prize for sound and Channel 4′s Paralympics earned a nod for digital creativity. Among series winners, Neal Street Productions/BBC One’s Call The Midwife brought Philippa Lowthorpe a directing award and Christine Walmesley-Cotham was honored for make-up & hair. Sheena Napier won for her costume design work the BBC’s Parade’s End and Darryl Hammer won for production design on the BBC/HBO Hitchcock biopic The Girl. Tom Turnbull won in the visual & graphic effects category for ITV’s Julian Fellowes’ penned Titanic. A full list of winners is available here.