Pinewood Group Strikes Deal With Prime Video to take UK Production Facilities at Shepperton Studios
In a further commitment to the UK production industry, Prime Video today announced a landmark multimillion-pound long-term contract with Shepperton Studios for exclusive use of new production facilities at the Surrey studios for future original TV series and movie productions. The new facilities will comprise 9 sound stages, workshops and office accommodation, totalling approximately 450,000 square feet, and forming part of the wider redevelopment and expansion of Shepperton Studios, which will deliver approximately 1.2 million square feet of new studio space.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Pinewood Group as we continue to support, develop and invest in the world-leading UK creative industries,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “Shepperton has long been synonymous with top-tier television and movies and we’re proud that it will be home to many Prime Video original productions in the years to come.”
“As we continue to grow the number of original series we’re making in the UK, it is critical that these productions support and develop a diverse pipeline of talent,” added Dan Grabiner, head of UK Originals, Amazon Studios. “We’re excited to be collaborating with Pinewood Group and our production partners to create new opportunities for UK creatives.”
“We’re delighted to be welcoming Prime Video to our expanded Shepperton Studios,” said Paul Golding, chairman, Pinewood Group. “This landmark long-term commitment to Shepperton supports our considerable investment in this fantastic studio. Once construction is completed in 2023, Shepperton Studios will comprise 31 purpose-built stages, making it the second-biggest studio in the world.”
“We’ve supported our world-leading cultural and creative sector throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so as it bounces back,” said Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. “It’s fantastic to see Prime Video expanding its UK presence and giving yet another boost to our rebounding economy. The investment will drive growth and create jobs with thousands of opportunities for the producers, actors and directors of tomorrow.”
“The UK”s film and production industry is rightly recognised as among the best in the world,” said Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries. “This multimillion-pound investment by Prime Video is a huge vote of confidence in the strength of our infrastructure and workforce and I hope encourages other firms to follow. I look forward to seeing all the fantastic film and TV created in this state-of-the-art facility in the years to come.”
The long-term commitment to studio space at Shepperton Studios aligns with Amazon Studios’ strategy of expanding its production footprint in the UK. The first UK-produced series, The Grand Tour, was launched on Prime Video in 2016; it was followed by All or Nothing sports documentaries featuring Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. Subsequent unscripted series launched regularly, like Clarkson’s Farm in the summer of 2021. Good Omens, the first UK-produced scripted original series, debuted on Prime Video in 2019; as a result of increased production, 2022 and 2023 will see the largest number of UK original series launching to date. These include The Devil’s Hour, a six-part thriller series produced by Hartswood Films starring Jessica Raine and Peter Capaldi; Jungle, a grime and drill music drama series from first-time TV producers Nothing Lost; The Rig, Wild Mercury’s six-part epic thriller series starring Martin Compston and Emily Hampshire; and Mammals, a six-part comedy-drama series written by Jez Butterworth and starring James Corden and Sally Hawkins.
Many of Amazon Studios’ major global series already call the UK home such as Citadel and The Power – with filming currently underway in Scotland on Anansi Boys and Good Omens Season Two. And in 2021, Amazon Studios announced its forthcoming Lord of the Rings series, The Rings of Power, will film Season Two in the UK. Amazon Studios has also signed overall deals with British creators including Neil Gaiman, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Sir Steve McQueen.
Elaheh Nobakht, President of the Jury of the 6th Beirut Women Film Festival
Mansour Jahani – The Iranian movie producer, Elaheh Nobakht, has been elected as the jury president of the competition category “Documentary and Animated Shorts” at the 6th round of Beirut International Women Film Festival, heralding “Women for Leadership” as the focal topic of the event held in Lebanon.
With her third attendance at the Berlin International Film Festival in the preceding month as producer of the documentary feature film “Dreams’ Gate” in the competition category “Generations”, Nobakht had also formerly contributed as a juror to international festivals such as Switzerland’s FIFOG, Italy’s Religion Today Film Festival, as well as MENA International Film Festival held in the Netherlands.
The feature-length documentary film “Dreams’ Gate” directed by Negin Ahmadi and produced by Elaheh Nobakht, will have its second international screening in the competition category of “Feature-Length Documentaries” at the 6th round of Beirut International Women Film Festival.
Following its trend of global screenings, “Dreams’ Gate” is slated to have the third international run at the 19th edition of Kosmorama International Film Festival that is held in Trondheim, Norway.
The 6th edition of Beirut International Women Film Festival is presided over by Sam Lahoud, Beirut Film Society president, and will feature works of filmmakers coming from various countries under several categories, namely “Feature-Length Fiction Films”, “Feature-Length Documentaries”, “Documentary and Animated Shorts”, “Short Dance Films”, as well as specialized summits held from 5-11 March, 2023, in Beirut, Lebanon.
Photo: Mansour Jahani
For more details: https://beirutwomenfilmfestival.com/
French Film Festival UK
The 30th anniversary edition of the pioneering festival launches next week from 2 November to 15 December across the UK and at home in partnership with Curzon
Special guests include Charlotte Gainsbourg and Blandine Lenoir, in a festival focused on female talent, as well as veteran director Patrice Leconte
Screening across the nations, the event is the only francophone film festival in the UK and showcases a glittering, stimulating, and at times challenging array of films in cinemas and online via Curzon’s streaming platform, Curzon at Home.
Beginning in 1992 in Glasgow and Edinburgh, the Festival has grown exponentially in scope and stature, retaining its passion for exciting new cinematic voices.
This year’s Opening Gala is director Eric Gravel’s propulsive new drama Full Time(À Plein Temps) starring actor Laure Calamy (Call My Agent) who plays young mother Julie, battling a national transit strike to get to a potentially life-changing job interview. Eric Gravel will introduce the film in London ahead of its wider release through Parkland in February 2023.
Also attending the Festival is Charlotte Gainsbourg who will introduce, and take part in a Q&A at the screening of Mikhaël Hers’s stunning drama The Passengers of the Night (Les Passagers de la nuit). Charlotte’s documentary Jane by Charlotte, an intimate portrait of her mother Jane Birkin, will also be shown as part of the Festival.
In honour of acting royalty Jean Louis Trintignant, who passed away in June, there will be a Tribute screening of Claude Lelouche’s The Best Years of a Life(Les Plus Belles Années d’une Vie).
There will be special screenings of Final Cut (Coupez), which opened the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. Filmmaker Patrice Leconte will present the UK premiere of Maigret starring Gérard Depardieu as novelist George Simenon’s iconic detective in Edinburgh and London. Filmmaker Blandine Lenoir will also present her feminist drama Angry Annie.
Belgian directors Yves Hint and Jean Libon’s will introduce their whodunit mockumentary A Fistful of Fries (Poulet Frites).
The burgeoning Festival’s Schools and Learning programmes which attracted a total of 75 schools and reached over 5000 students in 2021, is set to break records this year. The programme involves screenings in cinemas and free shows in the classroom.
The Femmes First strand shines a spotlight on a century of French and francophone women filmmakers, and films focused around contemporary women’s issues.. The strand includes short films by pioneer Alice Guy-Blaché, widely considered the first narrative filmmaker back in the 1890s. Charlotte Gainsbourgturns the camera on her mother Jane Birkin in Jane by Charlotte – an intimate portrait. Also featured two winners from the Cannes 2022: Rodeo by Lola Quivoron and Moroccan director Maryam Touzani’s The Blue Caftan.
Panorama features new and recent works by acclaimed filmmakers,including François Ozon, Arnaud Desplechin, Fred Cavayé, Quentin Dupieux andJean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne.
Among the Classics titles is Children of Paradise acclaimed “the greatest French film of all time”. Harking back to the Festival’s origins, Isabelle Huppert stars as Madame Bovary shown at the first Festival in 1992.
Extras showcases recent films audiences may have missed. Discovery celebrates first and second-time directors. More new talents feature in the Shorts programme.
The following new and recent titles will also be available to stream via Curzon at Home:
Paris 13th District (Dir. Jacques Audiard)
Casablanca Beats (Dir. Nabil Ayouch)
Between Two Worlds (Dir. Emmanuel Carrère)
Everything Went Fine (Dir. François Ozon)
Both Sides of the Blade (Dir. Éric Gautier)
Richard Mowe, co-founder and director: “For three decades the French Film Festival UK has been on a journey to explore the richness and diversity of Francophone cinema and to expand cultural horizons. Post-Brexit the event’s sense of purpose in bringing together our French-speaking neighbours from Europe and beyond has become even more acute and essential. The organisers pay tribute to our audiences, sponsors and funders as well as passionate and committed individuals, who every year ensure the festival comes to vibrant life, not only in November and December but also influencing film events throughout the year. Vive le cinéma!”
Allan Hunter, a former co-founder of the French Film Festival UK has said:
“The first French Film Festival UK was held in 1992 in Glasgow and Edinburgh as a Festival without barriers showcasing commercial success and arthouse promise, big titles and fresh discoveries. Focusing on short films and education work a younger generation was encouraged to broaden their horizons and try something different. The core values of the Festival remain the same now – a grand and glorious celebration of French and francophone cinema in all its rich variety and guises. Here’s to the next 30 years.”
39th Oscar-Qualified Tehran International Short Film Festival to be Held in Iran
The 39th edition of Tehran International Short Film Festival will be held as a preliminary event for the Academy Awards, as well as an Oscar-qualified festival, screening 60 short films by filmmakers from 35 countries all around the world, and the film receiving the Grand Prix in the international category will be eligible for Oscar consideration.
The 39th edition of Tehran International Short Film Festival, presided over by Mehdi Azarpendar, is held by the Iranian Youth Cinema Society, heralding the motto of “Variety in Genre” and will focus on the subject of genre, to be held in two categories of national and international competition. With in-person attendance, the festival is set to screen more than 60 short films in categories of fiction, documentary, animation, and experimental, in several competition sections; domestic and international, with filmmakers from 35 countries such as the US, France, Chile, Argentina, Japan, Germany, Austria, China, England, Italy, Poland, Lebanon, Canada, Kyrgyzstan, India, Spain, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, Australia, Thailand, Croatia, Hungary, the Philippines, Lithuania, Romania, Pakistan, Indonesia, Morocco, Armenia, Luxemburg, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. The jury members come from the following countries: Portugal, Turkey, Lithuania, Romania, and Iran. The international cinema instructors’ summit is held from October 19-24, 2022, in Mellat cinematic complex of Tehran.
Tehran International Film Festival is one of the most significant and prestigious short film festivals in the world, and it is an Oscar-qualified event, with good standing among global short filmmakers. This year, 5042 films from 131 countries have been submitted to this festival.
This cinematic event is among the 63 Oscar-qualified events in the world, one of the 9 international festivals in Asia, and one of the two Oscar-qualified events in the Middle East.
In the press conference held on Sunday 16 October 2022, in Bagh-e Ziba, Mehdi Azarpendar, the president of the 39th round of Tehran International Short Film Festival, stated, “Today’s festival is the most international cinematic event in Iran, and requires lots of prior planning. Last year, it was held from October 19-24, and since it was included in the Oscar-qualified festivals’ calendar, we felt that this international event should have a fixed date.”
He also added, “The total number of submitted films in the international category of the 39th Tehran Film Festival is 5042 films, 2925 of which belong to the genre of fiction, 689 animations, 804 documentaries, and 594 experimental films from 131 countries attending the international section of the 39th edition. In addition, France with 572 films, Spain with 401, India with 231, and the US with 221 works are the countries with the highest submitted works to this event. The next on the list is Brazil with 213 films, Germany with 191, Italy with 188, Russia with 162, Turkey with 149, Canada with 101, and Mexico with 86 films submitted.”
The festival president continued his remarks on the competition section of “National Competitions”, saying, “This section of the festival comprises 99 films including 47 fictions, 14 documentaries, 13 experimental movies, and 25 animations by Iranian filmmakers all across the country.”
Aiming for human and communal values, the category of “International Competitions” in this festival includes films in different sections of fiction, documentary, animation, and experimentals made outside Iran. The works submitted to this category must have been produced before 2021, with no prior screenings in other festivals of Iran.
The objectives of this festival comprise the following: identifying and introducing new talents in cinema, enhancing the position of short films as an independent and intellectual movement in Iranian cinema, updating the cinematic knowledge of filmmakers regarding the field of short films, strengthening the cycle of short film distribution via the provision of domestic and global marketing prerequisites, and the expansion and attraction of short film audiences.
The “20-39” specialized summits are attended by notable international and domestic instructors and students and enthusiasts of the craft, focusing on issues like creativity in work, lighting and cinematography, empiricism in work, interviewing the acting coach, screenplay, genre in short films, genre, form, style, similarities and differences, preparation and production, evaluation of short film genre samples, sound, visual effects, and production design.
Holding the “Literature and Cinema” fair is another agenda of this cinematic event, consisting of specialized cinematic books and the latest releases from the Iranian Youth Cinema Society. These publications include translations and compilations in fields as varied as production management in cinema, recommended stories for short film adaptation, debut filmmakers’ documentation, realism in fiction, genre-related articles, photography, music, experimental cinema, etc.
Unveiling the Cinema Graduates Center of the Iranian Youth Cinema Society and holding the first summit for them are other programs of the 39th round.
Tehran International Film Festival is held annually by the Iranian Youth Cinema Society which is the biggest filmmaking society in Iran, having 58 educational and filmmaking offices all across the country, besides being one of the largest filmmaking schools in the world when it comes to the number of works produced. Holding seven-month filmmaking courses, single-subject short-term courses, and Tehran International Short Film Festival as the most important short film event in the Middle East are among the activities of this society.
Great Iranian filmmakers have been introduced to the world via Tehran International Short Film Festival, including figures such as Asghar Farhadi, Bahman Ghobadi, Mehrdad Oskouei, Shahram Mokri, Reza Mirkarimi, Majid Barzegar, Saeed Roustayi, Mohsen Amiryoussefi, Ida Panahandeh, Arsalan Amiri, Arian Vazirdaftari, as well as other well-known Iranian filmmakers.
For more information: www.tisff.ir/en/