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FESTIVAL

Cary Joji Fukunaga’s long awaited Bond flick “No Time to Die,” the final instalment featuring long-time lead Daniel Craig, will close this year’s EnergaCamerimage International Film Festival, presented by Joji Fukunaga (“Beasts of No Nation”) himself and the film’s Oscar-winning cinematographer Lunus Sandgren (“La La Land”).

“This is the first time Cary Joji Fukunaga and Linus Sandgren collaborated on a film project, yet the result is just the kind of visual spectacle we hoped for given their artistic portfolios,” said the festival in a release accompanying the announcement.

This will be Joji Fukunaga’s first time attending EnergaCamerimage in person, although his film “Jane Eyre” and the “True Detective” pilot episode he directed both screened at the fest. Sandgren is becoming something of an EnergaCamerimage regular, having presented in person two films on which he worked, Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” and “First Man.”

“No Time to Die” will screen as part of the closing ceremonies on Nov. 20 in the CKK Jordanki in Toruń. The event is invite only, although free seats, should there be any, will be opened to festival badge holders.

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Raindance, the U.K.’s largest independent film festival, has unveiled its longlist for the 2021 the Raindance Discovery Award at the annual BIFAs (British Independent Film Awards), spotlighting “innovation, uniqueness of vision, maverick filmmaking and risk-taking,” according to the festival. To qualify, each film must not exceed a budget of £500,000 ($689,000) and have had no, or very limited, theatrical distribution deals currently in place. The final list of five nominees will be announced on Wednesday Nov. 3, with the eventual winner to be revealed during the BIFA awards ceremony on Dec. 5.

Raindance 2021 BIFA Discovery Award Longlist

“All My Friends Hate Me” (Andrew Gaynord, Tom Palmer, Tom Stourton)

“Bank Job” (Daniel Edelstyn, Hilary Powell, Christopher Hird)

“Boarders” (Annika Ranin, Sean Fee, Jasmin Morrison)

“Hostile” (Sonita Gale)

“I Am Belmaya” (Sue Carpenter, Christopher Hird)

“Poly Styrene; I Am a Cliché” (Paul Sng, Celeste Bell, Zoë Howe, Rebecca Mark-Lawson, Matthew Silverman, Daria Nitsche)

“Rebel Dykes” (Harri Shanahan, Siân A. Williams, Siobhan Fahey)

“The Bike Thief” (Matt Chambers, PK Fellowes, Sophie Gibber, Lene Bausager)

“The Kindred” (Jamie Patterson, Christian J. Hearn, Tracy Jarvis, Steve Jarvis)

“The Toll” (Ryan Andrew Hooper, Matt Redd, Mark Hopkins)

HIRING

Suma Content, the recently launched independent production label of Spanish multi-hyphenates Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo, known colloquially as Los Javis (“Veneno,” “Paquita Salas”), has made its first major hire in appointing Beltrán Gortázar as the company’s first CEO and managing director. Gortázar’s impressive, multi-disciplinary resumé includes stints at Coca-Cola, Google and YouTube, leading the premium content unit for the latter.

“I am delighted to join Suma Content, especially at a time when storytelling has become one more way to break down barriers, innovate and give voice to new creators through high-quality productions,” said Gortázar. “I am honored to contribute my experience to the growth of what is now one of the key producers in the audiovisual ecosystem, home to authentic, inspiring and universal stories, developed with an innate global reach.”

DEPARTURE

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has revealed that its long-time industry manager Marit van den Elshout will step down from her position following the upcoming 2022 edition of the festival. Van den Elshout has been with IFFR since 2000 and led IFFR Pro since 2006, including its co-production market CineMart and the Hubert Bals Fund. She was also an integral advisor and liaison in the development of Durban FilmMart, launched in 2010, and was a founding partner of Creative Producer Indaba.

“IFFR has been far more than a job to me for the past twenty years. Saying goodbye will not be easy, but I believe now is the right time, during this pandemic recovery, for the festival to evolve and to advance the work that I am so proud to have been a part of over all these years,” said Van den Elshout.

UNSCRIPTED

China’s Got Talent” will return for a new season with new broadcast partners Tik Tok China and JiangsuTV, as announced by producers Fremantle, Syco Entertainment and Star Canxing in China. Known locally as “Dian Zan Da Ren Xiu,” the new season will premiere on Oct. 31, airing on Sunday evenings during primetime over the following 11 weeks on both Tik Tok China and JiangsuTV simultaneously. “China’s Got Talent” stands as Tik Tok China’s first ever adaptation of an international format, and indicates a possible new direction for the video app.

IMPARTIALITY

The BBC has published a 10-point plan which outlines major institutional changes as a means of raising standards across its entire organization and to challenge claims of bias. The list focuses on “impartiality, editorial standards and whistleblowing designed to help develop and safeguard staff and improve output across all BBC services,” the broadcaster summarized in a release. According to the company, it’s the single largest and most significant push the company has ever made to ensure that its programs and content are fair, accurate and unbiased. Among the points are steps including regular reviews of BBC content, increased training, greater external oversight on standards, increased transparency and an entirely new editorial whistleblowing policy. The full plan is available on the BBC’s website: https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-59088800

CASTING

Clare Anyiam-Osigwe’s upcoming romantic comedy “Finding Forever” has cast Arnold Oceng (“The Good Lie”), Vanessa Donovan (“The Truth”) Tim Reid (“Swagger”) Brandi Harvey and Femi Oyeniran (“The Intent 2: The Come Up”) in several key roles. Set in a gospel church in London, the story turns on three friends experiencing different phases of relationships, from a serial dater to a newlywed to a newly engaged bachelor. Shooting is set for spring 2022, and the casting announcements come just as London’s 101 Films International prepares to share the film’s script and key assets at the upcoming American Film Market. “Finding Forever” is produced by Finding Forever, BUFF Originals, Ajaib Singh Kalsi and Jesse Quinones at Woolfcub Productions.

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Arnold Oceng, Vanessa Donovan, Tim Reid, Brandi Harvey, Femi Oyeniran Credit: BUFF Originals