Tribeca And Doha Film Fest End Partnership
After four years of collaboration, the Doha Film Institute and Tribeca Enterprises have announced the dissolution of their partnership on the Doha Tribeca Film Festival. Doha Film Institute CEO Abdulaziz Al-Khater says the Qatar-based festival will continue in a “new niche” with future plans to be laid out during Cannes next month. I’m told the separation was amicable after Tribeca helped launch the festival. Last year, DTFF showcased Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist which was made with the backing of the DFI. In Berlin earlier this year, Participant Media partnered with the DFI to form a $100M revolving fund to finance a slate of feature films.
Fraser Robinson Joins ITV Studios Global Entertainment
Former NBC Universal International Channels exec Fraser Robinson has joined ITV Studios Global Entertainment as VP scripted acquisitions & co-productions. He will be charged with growing the drama slate and co-production portfolio of the commercial arm of UK broadcaster ITV. He was previously director of scripted development for NBCU’s international channels group in London with responsibility for developing and managing co-produced content across over 50 platforms worldwide and oversaw series including Haven, Fairly Legal, Rookie Blue and Shattered. Read More »
Angry Berlusconi says “There Will Be Consequences”
A day after receiving a jail sentence for tax fraud, Italian media mogul and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says he feels “obliged” to stay in politics to “reform the justice system so that what happened to me doesn’t happen to other citizens”. He’s expected to appeal his conviction and four-year prison sentence for inflating the price of distribution rights bought by his Mediaset group to avoid paying taxes. He’s also barred from holding office for five years. He says his court ordeal was “intolerable judicial harassment” by left-leaning judges in Milan. “There will be consequences,” he said in an interview today on TG5, one of the TV channels owned by his conglomerate Mediaset.
Read More »
DNI Makes Deena Edwards SVP Global Branded Solutions
Discovery Networks International has named Deena Edwards SVP of global branded solutions. Edwards is an 18-year Discovery veteran who has worked in everything from sales to marketing and education. In 2010, she was promoted to SVP of integrated content for Discovery Channel and Science Channel. Her new role will see her spearhead the construction of global and regional branded entertainment solutions for advertising clients across original productions, digital media and Discovery Enterprises Intl. She’s based at Discovery HQ in Silver Spring, MD. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Doha Tribeca Film Festival and Doha Film Institute executive director Amanda Palmer is setting out on her own to represent and promote Arab talent in front of and behind the camera. The Qatar-based executive has yet to reveal the name of the new agency but tells me she and her Qatari and Dubai partners are self-financing the venture which is expected to be fully operational in November. Palmer launched the first Doha Tribeca film fest in 2009 and took over as director of the DFI in 2010. During her tenure, she’s been involved in packaging myriad projects including Ziad Doueiri’s festival-circuit title The Attack; Salma Hayek and Participant Media’s feature adaptation of Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet; Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist; and Cruel Summer, a 30-minute film installation directed by Kanye West which the rapper unveiled in Cannes this past May and which Palmer exec produced. Building on that experience, Palmer intends to “create a one-stop-shop for U.S. agencies looking to connect with Middle East filmmakers, actors and other relevant talent”. The production outfit will act as a consultant and liaison for producers and studios looking to film in the region. Read More »
James Murdoch’s Role At News Corp, BSkyB Questioned
An influential shareholder group has urged News Corp investors to drop James Murdoch from its board. Murdoch has been eyed as his father Rupert Murdoch’s successor as chairman and CEO. But the group questions whether he is a suitable replacement considering his handling of the News of the World phone hacking scandal. Labour Party activists also have demanded that James Murdoch step down as chairman of BSkyB. The Labour delegates unanimously backed the call for his resignation, a motion from MP Tom Watson. The extra scrutiny and calls for his departure come after a recent report that contradicted his claim that he was unaware of a second reporter involved in the hacks in 2008.
Doha Festival Lines Up Contemporary World Cinema Program
The Doha Tribeca Film Festival has picked Luc Besson’s The Lady as its closing-night film and also unveiled its Contemporary World Cinema program, whose entries compete for audience awards in narrative and documentary categories. Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist will screen in the world cinema program, along with Yasemin Samdereli’s Almanya — Welcome To Germany and Takashi Shimizu’s Tormented. The other narrative films in the program are Michael R. Roskam’s Bullhead, Sebastian Borensztein’s Chinese Take Away, Valerie Donzelli’s Declaration of War, Morten Tyldum’s Headhunters, Daniel Nettheim’s The Hunter, Nadine Labaki’s Where Do We Go Now?, and Paweł Pawlikowski’s The Woman in the Fifth. … Read More »
The Doha Tribeca Film Festival, which runs from October 26-30, has finalized its jury and film slate. Egyptian actress Yosra has been appointed president of the jury, replacing Hany Abu-Assad, who couldn’t break away from his film The Courier, which is shooting in Louisiana. She’s joined by actress/director Salma Hayek Pinault, British actor/director Nick Moran, Indian director Bhavna Talwar and Bosnian scribe/director Danis Tanovic. They’ll choose the winners of the fest’s Arab Film Competition, film and director, each of which carries a $100,000 prize. The fest has added a bunch of pictures that won’t be up for those prizes. They include: the Andrew Lau-directed Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen; the Robert Rodriguez-directed Machete with Danny Trejo; the John Curran-directed Stone with Robert De Niro and Edward Norton; the Vikramaditya Motwane-directed Indian film Udaan; the George Hickenlooper-directed Casino Jack with Kevin Spacey; the Tod Williams-directed Paranormal Activity 2; and Rakht Charitra, an Indian film directed by Ram Gopal Varma.
Rachid Bouchareb’s drama Hors La Loi about the Algerian revolution caused controversy at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, prompting a demonstration and armed police on the streets. Nevertheless, the Gulf state of Qatar’s 2nd Doha Tribeca Film Festival will open with that film and close with The First Grader. (National Geographic picked up the U.S. rights after it won the runner-up audience prize at Toronto.) Here’s the full list of films showing at DTFF from October 26-30 Read More »