On February 16th, Stephen Fry will mark his ninth turn as emcee for the EE British Academy Film Awards. The UK’s resident renaissance man, Fry has been a popular choice and proved an erudite, witty presence over the years who keeps things moving along apace. Last year’s BAFTA ceremony scored the show’s highest ratings for BBC One since 2004. Fry said of the hosting gig, “Despite the nerves and terror that something might go wrong and that I’ll make a fool of myself, it’s an annual event I really look forward to. I think it’s fundamentally because I love film so much. Film is one of the arts that most spreads the essence of our identity around the world, and our admiration and appreciation of global filmmaking ensures that the EE British Academy Film Awards sit comfortably on the world stage of film awards events honoring the best of the best.” BAFTA nominations will be unveiled on January 8th (the same day that Oscar nominations voting ends) with the ceremony to be held at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
When the British Academy of Film and Television Arts holds its annual film awards next year, things will look slightly different. After 15 years partnered with telecom group Orange, the BAFTAs are now hooking up with mobile …
Actor, comedian, raconteur and all around renaissance man Stephen Fry posted a tweet on his Twitter account earlier today teasing his followers with news that he and his once and future comedy partner Hugh Laurie are …
Jeremy Clarkson Strikes Again, Fry’s A Gentleman
The BBC has put an episode of Stephen Fry’s game show QI on the shelf following remarks made by Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson last week. The episode of the intellectual comedy quiz show, which Clarkson taped this past summer, was due to air tonight in the UK. But appearing on the BBC’s The One Show last week, Clarkson prompted outrage when he commented on the recent public workers strike in Britain, “I would have them taken outside and executed them in front of their families.” Clarkson apologized in due course, but he’s no stranger to this kind of controversy. Earlier this year Top Gear was criticized over comments about Mexicans which were perceived as racist. The Guardian has a compilation of Clarkson’s most famous flubs titled “Jeremy Clarkson: big mouth strikes again.” Meanwhile, I checked Stephen Fry’s Twitter feed to see if he’d made any comment about the network’s decision to shelve the show, but he’s been busy promoting the Sherlock Holmes sequel in which he plays Holmes’ brother Mycroft and which premiered last night in London. He did, however, point to a new poll in which Winston Churchill was voted the greatest British gentleman of the 20th century, followed by filmmaker Richard Attenborough and … Stephen Fry.
New Appointments At Sky, National Geographic
Phil Edgar Jones has been named head of entertainment for Sky. He will have oversight on the bouquet of channels that includes Sky 1, Sky Arts and Sky Living. He will also commission shows for Sky Movies and the recently launched Sky Atlantic which is airing a host of HBO shows. Edgar Jones was previously creative director of independent producer Running Bare and creative director of Remarkable Pictures where he exec produced Big Brother on Channel 4. In related news, Hamish Mykura has been named executive vice president and head of international content for National Geographic Channels International. The former head of documentaries for Channel 4 will also become the London head of global development for National Geographic Channel. Mykura will oversee editorial development and production for the company and will supervise NGCI’s networks NGC, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Adventure.
3D Conversion Of Paramount’s ‘Top Gun’ In The Works
Another blockbuster is getting the 3D conversion treatment, it seems. Top Gun, Tony Scott’s iconic 1986 film starring Tom Cruise, is being re-formatted for a possible 2012 release by Paramount. That was the word from Legend3D CEO Rob Hummel, speaking today at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam, where he presented a 4-minute clip in the new format. “I think Top Gun lends itself to 3D due to the aerial flight,” Hummel said. “You can have fun with 3D by bringing things off the screen if they are not attached to the edge of the screen.” Hummel said that the studio wanted to get Scott’s approval before proceeding, while Paramount said there had been no talk of a release date. If the redo of the blockbuster does materialize, it will be on top of 3D conversions of The Lion King, set for release later this month, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Titanic.
Vicki Jackways To Represent New Zealand In Hollywood
New Zealand is reaching out to Hollywood in a bid to lure more film shoots and facilitate U.S. co-productions. Film New Zealand and Park Road Post Production are teaming on an initiative that will see Park Road’s marketing chief Vicki Jackways working to heighten New Zealand’s Hollywood presence next year when she comes to L.A. in a semi-permanent capacity. New Zealand is on Hollywood’s location map and has an established effects and post-production infrastructure. It famously served as Middle Earth for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. “Thanks to the talents and entrepreneurship of our screen industry across the country, and the backing of successive governments, New Zealand has built a remarkable reputation as a film-making culture. Los Angeles-based representation is an important next step in taking full advantage of this reputation.”
Netflix CEO: Two Years Until We See Profit In Mexico
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings estimated today that it will take two years before his firm sees any returns from Mexico. “We are going to lose money for a while … it will take a lot of subscribers to get to profitability,” he said at a Mexico City news conference to mark the launch, part of a previously announced Latin American expansion. He declined to say how many subscribers it would take to get into the black but expressed confidence that the bandwidth commonly available in Mexico, markedly lower than that common to the U.S., would be viable. Netflix will charge $8 for a monthly subscription in Mexico. Local broadcasters TV Azteca and will make some of their content available through Netflix in Mexico, he said.