In today’s Global Bulletin, Ang Lee will be honored with this year’s BAFTA Fellowship; Locarno Pro opens the call for its Alliance 4 Development project platform; and Dandelooo’s “The Upside Down River” gets a PR boost as its creator wins the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has selected two-time Oscar winner and multiple BAFTA-winning director Ang Lee with the Fellowship at this year’s 74th EE British Academy Film Awards, which take place April 11.
Each year the BAFTA Fellowship is awarded as the Academy’s highest accolade that an individual can receive in recognition of an outstanding career in film, games or television. Lee joins a prestigious list of previous Fellowship honorees including the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Mel Brooks and Ridley Scott.
Lee broke onto the international scene in the 1990s with his Taiwanese “Father Knows Best” comedy trilogy, including the Berlin Golden Bear winner “The Wedding Banquet,” which also received an Oscar nod, and “Eat Drink Man Woman,” a BAFTA nominee in 1995.
His mainstream profile received a big boost in 2001 when “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” took the world’s breath away, earning a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars and winning Best Film Not in the English Language at the BAFTAs. Lee has since won two Oscars for Best Achievement in Directing for his work on “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi.”
“England has been particularly good to me in my career, especially with ‘Sense and Sensibility,’ which was like a second film school for me,” said Lee in a statement announcing his Fellowship. “It’s a tremendous honor to receive the Bafta Academy Fellowship and be counted among such brilliant filmmakers.”
Studiocanal has acquired global sales and distribution rights to Romulus Film’s library which includes John Huston’s “African Queen,” “Moulin Rouge” and “Beat The Devil,” and Laurence Olivier’s BAFTA winning “Richard III,” Philip Leacock’s “Appointment in London” and Jack Clayton’s Oscar- and BAFTA-winning “Room At The Top.”
The company was created in 1948 by John and James Woolf, the sons of C. M. Woolf who produced early films with Alfred Hitchcock and was a major player in distribution and production in the burgeoning British film industry of the 1920’s and 30’s. The company is still owned by the Woolf family, whose involvement in British cinema spans a full century.
Studiocanal’s slate of library releases planned for 2021 includes the 4K restoration of Ousmane Sembène’s trailblazing Senegalese classic “Mandabi” (“The Money Order”) in theaters and Blu-ray, DVD, Digital in June.
Locarno Pro’s Alliance 4 Development, a Locarno Festival initiative for film projects in development from Switzerland, France, Germany and Italy, has opened the call to interested participants and will accept application through May 7.
Through the program, two films from each country plus a third from Switzerland will be selected to attend Locarno Pro Days, which will run Aug. 6-8. The nine participating teams will be spotlighted in a series of pitching sessions, one-on-one meetings, workshops and panel discussions covering several key themes important to independent filmmakers.
French animation studio Dandelooo’s “The Upside Down River,” a nine-part series adaptation of Jean-Claude Mourlevat’s novel “La rivière à l’envers” commissioned by Canal Plus, got a major PR boost as the author became the latest recipient of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the prestigious Swiss prize for children’s literature.
Dandelooo’s Valence-based studio Ooolala will produce the 2D series with Canal Plus Family. Paul Leluc (“The Wolf”) is directing with a screenplay adapted by “Ernest & Celestine” scribe Jean Regnaud and Marie de Banville (“Tobie Lolness”). Dandelooo will handle international distribution, and plans to release the film in early 2022.