Categoria: Asia

Australia’s ‘Kid Snow, ‘Petrol’ And ‘Memoirs Of A Snail’ To Shoot After Receiving Funding

Federal funding body Screen Australia confirmed its backing for a trio of Australian film projects that will now move forward into production. Director Robert Connolly (“The Dry”) is behind two of them as producer.

The funding decisions ensure that a steady stream of local films move into production, alongside the large volume of international films and TV series that are currently in Australia, taking advantage of generous incentives and good coronavirus control conditions.

Set in 1970’s Western Australia, “Kid Snow” is a drama about a washed-up Irish boxer who is offered a rematch against a man he fought 10 years ago, on a night that changed his life forever. He is faced with a chance to redeem himself when he meets a single mother and is forced to contemplate a future beyond boxing.

The film is directed by Paul Goldman (“Suburban Mayhem”) and written by John Brumpton (“Life”), Phillip Gwynne (“Australian Rules”), Shane Danielsen (“The Guests”) and Stephen Cleary (script editor on “Sweet Country”). The producers are Lizzette Atkins (“Looking For Grace”), Megan Wynn (“The Childhood of A Leader”) and Bruno Charlesworth (“Ladies In Black”).

With state funding confirmed by Screenwest, Lotterywest and the Western Australian Screen Fund through the State Government of Western Australia’s Royalties for Regions, production will start later this year in historic mining town Kalgoorlie. “Kid Snow” will be distributed by Madman and France-based sales agent Elle Driver.

Connolly’s Arenamedia is producing “Petrol” mystery drama, a second feature by Alena Lodkina about an idealistic student who befriends a performance artist. As the two women move in together and their lives become more entwined, they set off on a surreal journey of awakening, haunted by dreams, fantasies and ghosts Distribution in Australia is by Cinemaplus and public broadcaster SBS. International rights are represented by Maze Film Sales.

Arenamedia is also behind stop-motion animated feature film “Memoir of a Snail.” It is directed by “Mary and “Max” creator Adam Elliot, whose previous “Harvie Krumpet” won an Oscar for best animated short in 2003. This film tells the bittersweet story of a woman who is a lonely hoarder of ornamental snails. Her life is plagued with misfortune and loss until she befriends an elderly eccentric woman who teaches her many life lessons and gives her the courage to let go of the things that clutter her home and her mind.

“Snail” is produced by Liz Kearney (Connolly’s “Paper Planes”) and Elliot, and executive produced by Connolly. Local distribution is by Madman and France’s Charades is managing international sales.

Screen Australia also confirmed funding for two TV projects going into their second seasons. They are “Bump,” an original drama about teen pregnancy for Stan, produced by and starring Claudia Karvan; and kidnap drama “The Secrets She Keeps,” for Network 10, BBC1 and Sundance Now, set two years after the first season.

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‘Spiral’ Tops Korean Box Office On Thinly-Sliced Weekend

“Spiral: From The Book of Saw” carved out the top spot at the South Korean box office over the weekend. But it was a thin slice of a painfully quiet weekend.

Korea’s aggregate nationwide box office was just $2.60 million, almost unchanged from last week and within a whisker of being the smallest weekend total in three months. While international titles are now returning to the releasing calendar, audiences continue to stay away in what used to be the world’s fourth largest theatrical market.

“Spiral,” a newly-released horror franchise sequel earned $551,000 for a 21% share of the market, ahead of “The Courier” in second place and last week’s winner “The Croods: A New Age” in third. The Courier” dropped only 19% in its third weekend, scoring $316,000 for a cumulative of $2.31 since its debut in April 28, according to data from the Korean Film Council’s Kobis tracking service. “The Croods” dropped 30% from its first weekend to a second weekend score of $264,000. Its cumulative is $1.62 million.

“Spiral” earned its top spot having played on 688 screens, giving a per screen average of just $800 over the three days of the weekend. Its five-day cumulative is $780,000.

Japanese animation film “Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train” held on in fourth place with a $254,000 weekend haul that advanced its cumulative to $17.7 million. The film, released on Jan. 27, now has the distinction of being only the second title this year to sell more than two million tickets in Korea.

Minor places went to new release Korean films “My Lovely Angel” which earned $141,000 in five days for ninth position over the weekend, and “In The Name of The Son,” which earned $117,000 in five days and arrived in tenth spot.

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Cinemas In Taipei Ordered To Close For First Time Due To Virus Surge

Cinemas in Taipei and surrounding areas have been ordered to close for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

Taiwan authorities issued an order on Saturday morning putting the capital city on a level three alert.

This requires the shutdown of cinemas, sports venues, libraries and other entertainment spots. Family get-togethers will be limited to five people indoors and ten outdoors. Masks must also be worn outdoors. Clubs, saunas, karaoke venues and internet cafes had been ordered closed from Friday.

“Only by doing this can infections be dealt with and controlled,” said health minister Chen Shih-chung. The measure is expected to remain in place until May 28, 2021.

Cinema chains posted notices on their websites and on social media announcing the immediate closure of venues in the capital city and surrounding areas. “The above-mentioned VieShow theaters, such as Xinyi, Songren MUVIE, Beijing Station, Banqiao, Linkou Mitsui, and Hualien, will be fully closed from 05/15 to 05/28 in order to comply with administrative measures,” said the largest chain VieShow Cinemas. The company website removed all screening details in Taipei, but posted screening information for its cinemas in other cities.

Local media reports that the Taiwan premiere of “F9,” directed by Taiwan-born Justin Lin, has been postponed from its scheduled May 19 slot.

The island has registered a significant surge of local infections in the past days, blemishing a hitherto exceptional virus control record. There were 29 new cases on Friday, and 180 new, local infections on Saturday.

Including the new cases there have been approximately 1,500 confirmed infections, mostly imported, in a population of 24 million. This was achieved by an early response to the outbreak that included tight border controls and a proactive testing regime.

Virus control had meant that Taiwan had avoided the kind of lockdowns that were seen in many other parts of the world. Cinemas were not ordered to close on health grounds, though many shut their doors temporarily due to lower audience numbers and a diminished supply of new film titles.

The Taipei Film Festival, held from late June last year, was one of the first film festivals in the world to operate as an in-person event after the virus outbreak. Those cinemas that remained open have been treated to a roster of releases that was distinctly more Asian than in normal years, when Hollywood titles typically dominate.

The rate of vaccination, however, has been low. This may reflect an apathy born of the government’s virus-control success, or as some have suggested because vaccine imports have been blocked by China. Taiwan’s political status is disputed and it has not been allowed to join the World Health Organization.

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