Graeme Mason Tapped As Screen Australia CEO
National film body Screen Australia has named Graeme Mason as its new CEO. Mason has over 20 years of international experience in film, television and multimedia. He was formerly the CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission and was selected from a field of over 250 international candidates. He begins his tenure in November as former CEO Ruth Harley’s five-year term comes to an end.
Despicable Me 2 Release Barred By Chinese Government
Universal’s Despicable Me 2 has been denied release in China. The film, which has made $592M, will not be seeing the inside the country’s theaters. However, it’s worth noting that the original Despicable Me was not released in China either. There’s a feeling that China is wary of Hollywood animation taking too big a chunk out of the local box office; in June, DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods was pulled from release two weeks ahead of its scheduled stop date. Universal has also had four other films approved for release in the territory this year. READ MORE »
London Mayor Boris Johnson has pledged to invest £2M ($3M) to broaden the reach of Film London, the body responsible for attracting film and TV shoots to the British capital. The org’s remit will be expanded to bring in £200M in additional expenditure and to create 1,000 industry jobs. With the new 25% tax rebate for high-end drama and animation coming into effect this past Monday, the UK is angling to stem runaway production and encourage foreign shows to shoot in Britain. Sam Mendes’ Showtime series Penny Dreadful will be among the first U.S. TV dramas to benefit. But when the tax credit was recently cleared, it stirred fears that the funds ear-marked for the rebate could be gobbled up by U.S. productions employing British talent on UK shores.
Johnson today stressed the importance of both local and foreign productions. Unveiling the plan at Ealing Studios, home to the Downton Abbey set, Johnson said, “We have an unprecedented opportunity to grow this exciting sector to deliver jobs, produce more world class British drama and, above all, make London the city of choice for TV and animation production… Let’s make sure that all future Downtons are filmed on our turf.” Read More »
Documentary Makers To Pitch BFI For Funding
The BFI Film Fund will dish out funding to documentaries via twice-yearly public pitch sessions, in London and at Sheffield Doc/Fest. Documentarians will pitch ideas to a panel of senior execs “from within the BFI Film Fund and wider documentary funding community”, with selected candidates benefitting from a day of expert-led development to help them focus pitches and strengthen ideas. Documentary filmmaking in Britain is on a high after a string of high-profile successes like Man On Wire and Senna, as well as this year’s Oscar- and BAFTA-winning Brit-produced Searching For Sugarman and the BAFTA-winning The Imposter. “Documentary is the punk of the film industry,” said the BFI’s Lizzie Francke. “We’re absolutely committed to supporting the UK’s visionary documentary filmmakers and we’re pleased to be working with Sheffield Doc/Fest on this new way to deliver support directly to the sector.” – Joe Utichi Read More »