Screen Australia adds another round to Short Film Completion Fund

Screen Australia has added another funding round for its Short Film Completion Fund.

Film-makers can apply for up to $40,000 in post-production costs in order to complete their short film.

The additional round may cheer the film-making community following December’s news that the national screen agency’s feature fund had dried up for the financial year. Read more »

Screentime acquires biography of Gina Rinehart

Adele Ferguson’s Gina Rinehart acquired by Screentime

Screentime has acquired the rights to the unauthorised biography of the richest woman in the world.

The Banijay-owned company picked up the rights of the story of Gina Rinehart from biographer and Fairfax journalist Adele Ferguson.

Planned as a six hour mini-series, the production will be written by Michael Lucas, writer of Offspring and Not Suitable For Children. Read more »

Lawrence Johnston’s film Night gets US theatrical release five years on

An Australian feature documentary has found a US theatrical release five years after being released in Australian cinemas.

Lawrence Johnston’s Night will be distributed through Moustrap Films as part of the distributor’s Film Festival Flix campaign. Read more »

Julius Avery’s Son of a Gun starring Ewan McGregor to shoot in late February

Julius Avery’s Son of a Gun begins shooting late February

Principal photography will begin late February on Australian film-maker Julius Avery’s debut feature film Son of a Gun, starring Ewan McGregor.

The shoot will take place in Perth, Kalgoorlie and Melbourne.

Joining McGregor is Australian actor Brenton Thwaites, who recently finished production on Disney’s Maleficent alongside Angelina Jolie. Thwaites will play the protege to McGregor’s master criminal. Read more »

David Michod begins shooting The Rover and announces support cast

David Michod begins shooting The Rover

Actors Anthony Hayes, Gillian Jones, Susan Prior and David Field have joined the cast in director David Michod’s follow up to his 2010 film Animal Kingdom.

The Rover has now begun production in the SA desert for a seven week shoot. Read more »

Post-production house boss: We’re going to stop chasing advertising work at any cost

zareh nalbandian

Nalbandian: Industry is destroying itself

One of Australia’s  best known post-production companies is to change its strategy for the “over serviced” advertising sector.

Zareh Nalbandian, CEO of Animal Logic, which last year acquired the assets of fellow independent post house Fuel, told Mumbrella that Fuel was re-examining its commercial strategy and would be less likely to chase low margin advertising work.

Nalbandian told Mumbrella: “I do feel like the advertising post production business is over-serviced and competitive to the point of destroying itself. It’s the nature of the business worldwide but particularly in Australia. It’s become par for the course but it’s not the way to retain talent.” Read more »

Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook and Flight can’t beat Django Unchained at box office

The three Oscar-hope movies which opened at the Australian box office over the weekend, were unable to knock Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained from the number one spot.

David O Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, Robert Zemeckis’ Flight and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty entered the Australian box office charts in positions two, three and four respectively.  Read more »

Tropfest secures SBS as broadcasting partner

Tropfest has secured a broadcasting partner for the live event on Sunday 17 February.

The news follows the closure of naming rights sponsor Movie Extra which also was broadcasting partner.

Movie Extra was owned by Movie Network Channels, which folded in the wake of Foxtel buying the network’s competitor Showtime.

SBS will broadcast the live event and finalist films as well as the red carpet arrivals.

Michael Laverty, managing director of Tropfest told Mumbrella: Read more »

MKR does it again for Seven with 1.67m

Seven’s My Kitchen Rules continued to dominate OzTam TV ratings last night with 1.665m capital viewers tuning in, hundreds of thousands ahead of competitors.

Read more »

The Sapphires proves to be a gem at Australian film awards

Vietnam war period movie The Sapphires dominated the AACTA’s last night, winning best film, best director (Wayne Blair), best actress (Deborah Mailman), best actor (Chris O’Dowd) and best supporting actress (Jessica Mauboy).

The film about an aboriginal troupe of entertainers who performed for American – and not Australian – soldiers swept the awards, and also won the best screenplay (Keith Thompson and Tony Briggs).

Read more »

PJ Hogan’s Mental gets US theatrical release

PJ Hogan’s Mental has been picked up for distribution in the US.

The film will get a theatrical and Video-On-Demand release, with a date set for 29 March.

Dada Films has acquired the film that sees Hogan re-unite with Australian actress Toni Collette. Read more »

Wolf Creek 2 begins shooting after financial delays

The sequel to Australia’s highest grossing R-rated film ever has started production in South Australia after long delays.

Wolf Creek 2 has begun principal photography, again helmed by writer-director-producer Greg Mclean.

It will be a welcome relief to Mclean after the film struggled to get off the ground due to financing issues. In 2011 private investor Geoffrey Edelsten agreed to $5m investment but was later accused of failing to honour his commitment. Read more »

PR’s Roxy Jacenko joins Celebrity Apprentice cast

Roxy Jacenko joins Celebrity Apprentice

Publicity company owner Roxy Jacenko will join Nine’s cast of celebrity apprentice for 2013.

The Sweaty Betty PR boss joins swimming veteran Dawn Fraser, rock ‘n roll veteran Brian Mannix, AFL veteran Dermott Brereton and boxing veteran Jeff Fenech.

Also in the cast is TV presenter/singer Rob Mills, The Voice’s Prinnie Stevens, swimmer Stephanie Rice, 2UE’s Peter Berner, Peter Everett, Layla Subritzky, Kym Johnson and Prue MacSween. Read more »

My Kitchen Rules puts heat on MasterChef, Rafters returns with 1.4m

My Kitchen Rules: more than 1.6m viewers

Seven’s My Kitchen Rules dominated ratings last night and lifted its audience by 300,000 capital city viewers above its opening night last week, trouncing rival cooking show MasterChef: The Professionals on Ten.

The Seven show was the top rating program of the night with 1.67m capital city viewers according to preliminary OzTam figures, while the return of Packed To The Rafter’s scored 1.416m eyes for Seven despite negative publicity that major cast changes would impact its storylines.

The latest data showed MKR had 2.480 viewers when regional markets were included.

Read more »

Django Unchained in strong box office debut

Django Unchained take $3.8m

Quentin Tarantino’s much anticipated western Django Unchained topped the Australian box office over the weekend.

The Sony Pictures-distributed film took $3.8m across 330 screens for a $11,523 screen average, according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia.

When including preview screenings the film’s local total box office stands at $5.394m. Read more »

My Kitchen Rules debuts with 1.4m viewers – beats MasterChef by half a million

The first head-to-head battle between Seven’s My Kitchen Rules and Ten’s Masterchef: The Professionals saw a convincing win for MKR last night.

The debut episode of MKR won its time slot and was third overall for the night across the five city metro markets, according to preliminary ratings from OzTAM.

The show ran from 7.30-9pm and averaged 1.384m viewers. Read more »

SPAA appoints Matthew Hancock and Rachelle Gibson

The Screen Producers Association of Australia has appointed two new positions within the guild’s leadership team, Matthew Hancock and Rachelle Gibson.

Both will report directly to executive director Matthew Deaner, formerly manager of strategy and research at Screen Australia. Read more »

Aussie-French cougar romance Two Mothers gets US distribution

An Australian-French co-production has been picked up for distribution in the US market.

Cougar drama Two Mothers, set in Australia and starring Naomi Watts and Robin Wright, has been acquired by Exclusive Releasing following its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

The new distribution arm of Exclusive Media has picked up the rights to the US to distribute as a simultaneous release across both theatres and video on demand.

The film is directed by Anne Fontaine, written by Academy Award winner Christopher Hampton based on a Doris Lessing short story. Read more »

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