Friday, December 8

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LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Entertainment, sports and brand licensing firms WildBrain CPLG and WildBrain Ltd. have brokered location-based entertainment (LBE) deals on behalf of Peanuts Worldwide for “Peanuts,” “Teletubbies” and “In the Night Garden” with China’s Max-Matching Entertainments. These are expected to lead to the opening of family entertainment centers and IP-themed hotel rooms for each brand in Beijing, in Zhongshan City, Guangdong and a third city yet to be announced. These will roll out over the next five years.

The moves come at a time when WildBrain CPLG is expanding its Asia-focused teams. These include the Los Angeles-based veteran licensing executive, Kevin Suh who is former president of themed entertainment & consumer products at Paramount Pictures. Suh was also a senior executive at the Motion Picture Association of America and a lawyer in California. Shanghai-based Evi Sari joins as VP of LBE in APAC and the GCC. She was previously VP of LBE at Paramount (ViacomCBS), responsible for building partnerships for Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV and CBS in Asia. She reports to WildBrain CPLG’s EVP & MD, Maarten Weck.

FESTIVAL

International South Asian Film Festival (Sept. 28 – Oct. 1), which takes place in Surrey, British Columbia (Canada), is returning with a new identity. Festival highlights include a 10th anniversary screening of Ritesh Batra‘s acclaimed “The Lunchbox” with the filmmaker in attendance; Zarrar Kahn‘s Canadian-Pakistani supernatural thriller, “In Flames,” which premiered at Cannes and will play at Toronto; and “COMPLEXion”, a documentary about the stigmas and taboos surrounding skin color, featuring former Miss America, Nina Davuluri. This screening is followed by a discussion on beauty standards in the South Asian community.

Artistic director Pulkit Datta said: “We’re incredibly excited to present ‘Pathbreakers’ as our festival theme this year. Our aim is to provide a platform for the voices and stories of South Asia and its diaspora to be enjoyed by the BC audience and beyond. Each film in our lineup offers a unique perspective from the massively diverse and complex South Asian communities, addressing contemporary issues, challenging the status quo, and flexing the artistic prowess of South Asian filmmakers.”

SHINE A LIGHT

Shine Global, the nonprofit media company dedicated to producing and supporting impactful documentaries about children’s issues, has announced the nominees for its Children’s Resilience in Film Awards. The awards, now in their second year, honor exceptional films that center around the resilience of children in the face of adversity. They aim to shed light on stories of courage, strength and determination that children demonstrate in challenging circumstances. The films not only inspire audiences but also help create awareness and promote positive change in society.

The nominees are: “Aurora’s Sunrise,” directed by Inna Sahakyan (2022, Armenia, Germany, Lithuania); “Bigman,” directed by Camiel Schouwenaar (2022, The Netherlands, Germany); “Children of Las Brisas,”directed by Marianela Maldonado (2022, Venezuela); “Name Me Lawand,” directed by Edward Lovelace (2022, U.K.); and “The Ordinaries,” directed by Sophie Linnenbaum (2022, Germany).

The winner will be named and awarded $15,000 at a ceremony on Oct. 3 at Paramount Pictures.

RETURNING TO THE SCENE

Netflix has given a subdued launch to “6ixtynin9 The Series,” a six-episode crime series that is an expansion of 1999 hit Thai film “6ixtynin9.” Both the film and the remake are directed by Pen-ek Ratanaruang. The setup involves a desperate young woman to whom a huge bundle of cash is accidentally delivered – her apartment number lost one of its fixing screws and rotated half a turn from six to nine – and who kills the crooks who try to retrieve the money. The production, by Five Star Production, has an all-new cast headed by regional star Devika Hoorne (“Heart Attack” / “Freelance” and “Pee Mak”).

OSCAR COMMITTEE

The Pakistani Academy Selection Committee, which chooses the country’s candidate in the Academy Awards’ international feature category, is chaired this year by filmmaker Mohammed Ali Naqvi (“Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror”). Committee members include filmmakers Saim Sadiq (Oscar-shortlisted “Joyland”); Bilal Lashari (“The Legend of Maula Jatt”); Haya Fatima Iqbal (“A Girl In The River”); Madeeha Syed (“The Accused: Damned or Devoted?”); Mehreen Jabbar (“Jurm”); actors Fawad Khan (“The Legend of Maula Jatt”) and Ahmed Ali Akbar (“Parizaad”); actor and filmmaker Nadia Afgan (“Circus of Life”); and author Fatima Bhutto (“The Shadow of the Crescent Moon”).

FAILED BREXIT

The ongoing failure of the U.K.’s departure from the European Union, known as Brexit, is starkly underlined in a new survey of music creators by representative body U.K. Music. The survey received 1,461 responses from musicians, vocalists, composers, songwriters, lyricists, producers and DJs. Some 30% of respondents said their earnings had been affected since the U.K.’s official exit from the EU on Jan. 31, 2020. Of those whose income had been impacted by Brexit, 82% said their earnings had decreased. Musicians, DJs and vocalists were among the worst hit. Only 18% of music creators said their incomes had improved post-Brexit. And, 43% of those hit by Brexit said it was no longer viable for them to tour EU nations.

MARKET

Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival (Oct. 13-20) has unveiled a new initiative as part of its CineGouna Platform – the CineGouna Market. The market will serve as a workspace for practitioners in the Arab film industry, including producers, distributors, sales agents, and VOD platforms. Booths within the market will serve as a platform for showcasing the lineups, projects, infrastructure, services, new technologies and initiatives of these organizations and institutions. It will also feature a short film lounge.

APPOINTMENT

Polly Cochrane, former EVP and country manager at WarnerMedia U.K. and Ireland, has joined the U.K.’s National Film and Television School governing board. Cochrane, who spent 13 years at WarnerMedia and is currently a partner at executive coaching company The Alexander Partnership, will lend her marketing and communications experience to the board, which includes BBC CCO Charlotte Moore and Amazon Studios EDI head Miranda Wayland, among others.

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