Saudi Film Festival; London Studios; BIFA – Deadline

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All afternoon, it’s almost Christmas but we are not slowing down. Here’s Max Goldbart with your weekly fix of international news and analysis from the International Insider. To get this delivered to your inbox every Friday, sign up here.

Roving reporter of the Red Sea

Ongoing Saudi Film Festival: Diana Lodderhose, of Deadline, was our traveling reporter at the inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF) this week in the port city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Few events have sparked as much discussion in the industry as this one, which marks the country’s first-ever film festival. Saudi Arabia is widely regarded as one of the most conservative and politically repressive countries in the world, and only lifted its 35-year-old religious ban on cinema only in 2018, the same year it finally allowed women. to drive. Check out Diana’s travels from London to Jeddah here.

What happened ? : The festival kicked off with the Middle East premiere of Joe Wright’s musical romance Cyrano at the specially built Red Sea Gala Theater in the city’s UNESCO-listed Old Town (Al Balad). Glitter was out, with stars like Catherine Deneuve, Saudi Haifaa Al-Mansour, Anthony Mackie, Clive Owen, Hilary Swank, Vincent Cassel and Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Frémaux, while Wyclef Jean gave a surprise concert. After initial start-up issues, the city’s old town started to come alive as locals and delegates eagerly awaited to watch the premieres and the Red Souk, the industrial component of the festival, was bustling with life. AGC Studios’ Stuart Ford has discussed his upcoming $ 140 million role with Anthony Mackie, which the company is producing with JB Pictures and MBC Studios. “There is a level of investment both financial and in terms of resources that is in some ways unprecedented anywhere else internationally,” he said. Meanwhile, Vox Cinemas has pledged to produce 25 Arab films over the next five years.

Getting into the groove: While the first days of the festival were chaotic, festival-goers quickly found the rhythm. Diana met with locals and noted a vast juxtaposition between the Saudi people and their conservative government. There were a lot of women working at the festival and, at the premiere of To become, a compilation of five short films made by Saudi women, you can really appreciate how far the country has come in a short time. Our traveling reporter may have had a few nonsense along the way, but the ambition and goodwill of the international community became more and more evident as the week went on.

Read more: Back in the UK, Tom spoke to Lee Nelson, producer of horror film Jeremy Irons / Tobin Bell Cello, on set in the region, the Saudi General Entertainment Authority and the building of an international team. Check it out here. Deadline has you covered in everything RSIFF-related and coverage will continue into next week.

The studios arrive in the capital

RD Studios external rendering

London buses: They say you wait forever and then two come at the same time. With less than 48 hours apart, big plans for separate studios in the capital have been unveiled as the UK industry ramps up capacity to meet the seemingly endless demand for TV and film production. Led by RD Content founder Ryan Dean, the £ 20million ($ 26.5million) project RD Studios development is under construction in West London, around 10 miles from Soho, while the second Troubadour Theaters site in the capital – Troubadour Brent Cross Studios – will open on a 150,000 square foot site early next year.

Respond to the request: Troubadour was unveiled as reporters took part in a BFI press briefing on the success of the UK premium TV and film industry (more to come next week) and it’s clear this new capability will be welcome, although it goes against the grain of the push for more production outside of London. Troubadour opened a separate studio of a similar size in North London earlier this year, and then there are other large venues in development such as Netflix’s Shepperton Studios, Elstree Sky Studios and Berkshire’s Bray Studios, with the latter soon hosting the Amazon’s second big budget. the Lord of the Rings season. The industry now faces its other key battle, attracting and promoting enough talent to fill that space and ensure the shows are produced. This will undoubtedly be one of the main talking points in 2022.

A little love BIFA

After Love

Aleem Khan’s photo returns: Aleem Khan After Love won six awards at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA), including the main prize. The BBC film in Dover, which follows a widow who discovers a secret about her husband who takes her on a trip through the English Channel, also won the award for best director for Khan and both best actress (Joanna Scanlon – photo) and Best Supporting Actor Gongs (Talid Ariss). The evening showcased the best of British talent and was moderated by Asim Chaudhry, with The sound of metal Star Riz Ahmed won the Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Cinema. The BIFAs are often considered a benchmark for the BAFTA Film Awards, with personalities like Rocks, his house and Holy maud good results in both last year.

The ambitions of ITV studios

Island of love

Five-year plan: ITV Studios planted a flag this week, attempting to permanently turn its back on the pandemic-era revenue disruption by setting an ambitious five-year master plan to increase revenue by 5% per year, double its scripted hours and increase its proportion of streamer income to 25%. During a two-hour investor conference that admittedly felt like it was never going to end, executives discussed talent deals on mergers and acquisitions, SVoD flexibility, and listed a litany of shows that are expected to cause a stir over the coming year. The master plan is ambitious and investors will be watching closely to see if it is implemented.

Tribute to Lina Wertmüller

Lina Wertmüller

History maker: Tributes poured in yesterday for Italian director Lina Wertmüller, the first woman nominated for the Oscar for best director, who died at the age of 93. It got the historical name for the years 1975 Seven beauties, a dramatic comedy about an ordinary Italian man who deserted the army during World War II. Wertmüller was a trailblazer and it took another 45 years for Kathryn Bigelow to be crowned the first woman to win the coveted award in a field heavily dominated by men. His other successes included Mimi’s seduction and Swept. Read Tom’s obituary here.

The BAME game

Lenny henri

What’s in an acronym?: Interesting because UK broadcasters delivered a rare joint press release in which they pledged to stop using the acronym BAME “where possible”. The acronym, which stands for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, has been considered very controversial for some time because it lacks specificity and can group a wide range of different minority groups into four letters. Networks will instead use more specific terms or release the acronym in its entirety, with detailed research by Center for Media Diversity Lenny Henry (pictured) concluding that the term has encountered “rejection” and “ambivalence.”

Essential

Liam neeson

🌶️ Hot one of the week: Liam Neeson will tell big budget doc Ireland following the travels of the writer Manchán Magan.

🌶️ Another: Benicio Del Toro is team up with Exile Content for a list of Latinx projects.

🌶️ Another: Succession director Andrij Parekh embarked LGBTQ + comedy-drama Red rainbow.

🌶️ Yet another: Big Brother is of return to South Africa‘s Mzansi Magic 20 years after its first broadcast in the country.

?? Moving: See-Saw Films made up for it Kelly gang producer Liz Watts in the head cinema and television in Oz.

?? Moving: BBC Studios appointed former CEO of WarnerMedia Cecilia Persson to lead its new children’s division and promoted Martyn Freeman to COO.

?? Latest rewards: that of Justin Kurzel Nitrame dominated the AACTA event in Australia Wednesday.

?? Following Rewards: Do not miss Stéphanie Bunbury’s opinion Austrian entry to the Oscars Great freedom and from Canada Drunk birds.

?? Trailer: Netflix’s WWII Epic Munich: the edge of War, with George MacKay, was teased two days ago.

?? Launch next week: Simon Cowell’s mega ITV format Walk the line. Executive Lee McNicholas tells me that several territories are interested.

Diana Lodderhose contributed to this week’s International Insider.

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