2012 – The year in film

In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we look back at the year in film.

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With George Miller’s Happy Feet Two opening on Boxing Day, Mumbles the penguin and his friends are still doing a roaring trade at the box office throughout January, taking $11.08m in total.

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Hollywood director James Cameron opens an Australian office of his company Cameron Pace Group in mid-January to be run by managing director Andrew Wight, producer of Sanctum. Wight sadly dies in a helicopter crash in early February with ocean cinematographer Mike deGruy.

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The Australian Film Institute launches the new-look Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards with Red Dog winning best film. Justin Kurzel picks up a gong for best direction for Snowtown. Legendary cinematographer Don McAlpine receives the Raymond Longford award for lifetime achievement.

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Director Alex Proyas’s Paradise Lost, due to shoot at Fox Studios, is scrapped due to a budgetary dispute. Proyas is tied to John Polson and Gary Hamilton’s project Sydney Unplugged alongside Kieran Darcy-Smith and David Michod. The project faces legal action from the producer of Paris I Love You, claiming a breach of its intellectual property.

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In late-February graphic novel adaptation I, Frankenstein, directed by Stuart Beattie and starring Aaron Eckhart, begins shooting in Melbourne for Hopscotch Features and Lakeshore Entertainment.

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In South Australia, Adelaide Studios struggles as Wolf Creek Two and sci-fi series Resistance, which were slated to use the facilities, are put on hold.

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In April, organisers of the IF Awards announce the event will no longer run due to a lack of sponsorship.

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The Australian government invests $12.8m to secure the production of the Hugh Jackman-produced film The Wolverine.

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Internet service provider iiNet has a win against 34 companies who argue the ISP isn’t doing enough to stop online piracy.

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In May, Kieran Darcy-Smith’s tense thriller Wish You Were Here takes $279,500 at the box office with a $7,356 screen average as fellow Blue Tongue Films member David Michod signs Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce for new picture The Rover. The project’s international rights are acquired by FilmNation.

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Goalpost Pictures-produced film The Sapphires receives a standing ovation at its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival before securing international distribution through The Weinstein Company. The film opens in August to become the highest grossing local picture of 2012 bringing in more than $14m.

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In June, production begins in Redfern, Sydney, on Around The Block, a feature film written and directed by Sarah Spillane and starring Christina Ricci.

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In August, Deluxe acquires Omnilab brands Iloura, Digital Pictures, Cornerpost, Boffswana and PAX Entertainment.

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Fuel VFX goes into administration but is saved by Animal Logic.

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Matthew Deaner, former manager of strategy and research at Screen Australia, moves to head up the Screen Producers Association of Australia, replacing Geoff Brown.

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Hopscotch Films founder Frank Cox departs the company.

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Wolf Creek Two gets a welcome injection of production funding from Screen Australia.

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Kath & Kimderella opens at Australian cinemas taking a total of $2m at the box office.

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Australian/Singaporean co-production 3D shark film Bait fails to find a local audience. In October it opens in China taking more than $20m.

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In November, Andrew Traucki’s The Jungle begins a crowdfunding campaign.

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Director Matthew Saville begins shooting Felony, a tense police thriller written by Joel Edgerton.

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mumbrella annual 2012

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