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FESTIVAL

BFI London Film Festival (LFF) will host the European premiere of Joel Coen’sThe Tragedy of Macbeth” for its closing ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 17 at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. Coen is scheduled to attend. The festival will also host simultaneous preview screenings of the film at LFF partner venues across the U.K. Previously, the festival has announced that its opening night film will be Jeymes Samuel’sThe Harder They Fall,” with Jane Campion’sThe Power of the Dog” to screen at its American Express Headline Gala. The 65th BFI LFF will run Oct. 6 to Oct. 17.

“The Tragedy of Macbeth” features an all-star cast including Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Brendan Gleeson, Harry Melling and Ralph Ineson. It was written and directed by Coen and produced by Coen, McDormand and Robert Graf.

“Shakespeare belongs to the world but comes from Britain.  Having borrowed your cultural patrimony, and having had the great good luck to work with a few of your most brilliant actors, I’m honored to bring this movie to the London Film Festival for its European premiere,” said Coen in a press release.

TRAINING

Channel 5 in the U.K. is investing an annual seven-figure sum towards dedicated training to boost industry learning and development. Interested production companies can apply to the fund to finance training for their employees and freelancers which work on Channel 5 programming. Individual companies can choose the course topics and training providers they would like to use and must justify their choices during the application process. Annual totals per company are capped at £15k ($20,500).

Channel 5 has also announced that it will participate in ScreenSkills’ Unscripted TV Skills Fund, meaning that .25% of the company’s budget for factual and entertainment programming will be dedicated to training. Channel 5 will also be requiring cast and crew on all its productions to complete ScreenSkills’ anti-bullying and harassment training before production will be allowed to start.

CONFERENCE

Screen Forever, the annual conference of the Australian film industry, has been postponed from November 2021 to March 2022. Organizers, Screen Producers Australia (SPA), the Queensland Government, and Screen Queensland, hope that by delaying some four months, the conference can be held in person (March 28-30,2022) in Gold Coast. The 2020 edition was held in Feb 2021 as a virtual event. The related SPA Connect market will be expanded, with an international focused marketplace taking place digitally on March 31 – April 1, 2022. “As travel to international markets continues to be restricted, we anticipate that screen practitioners from around the country will jump at the chance to come together in person at The Star next March,” said Screen Queensland CEO, Kylie Munnich. – Patrick Frater

PROMOTION

Fremantle International has promoted Amac Us to senior VP of distribution and sales in the Middle East, Africa and Southeastern Europe. With the company since 2015, Us works out of Fremantle’s Dubai offices and will see his responsibilities expanded to both scripted and non-scripted format sales in Turkey. Recent deals handled by Us include the acquisition of a local Turkish adaptation of gameshow “Supermarket Sweep,” produced by Global Produksiyon for Star TV.

STUDY

The Career Routes and Barriers for Disabled People in the UK TV Industry report, released by the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity (LHC) at Birmingham City University, has revealed that more than 80% of disabled people working in the U.K. screen industries believe that their disability has adversely affected their careers, with 77% saying that career options are limited by their disabilities. According to the research, the most regular barriers facing disabled professionals are colleagues’ attitudes towards their disabled coworkers and a lack of understanding from employers about their legal obligations. Recommendations in the report include the creation of a system to aid in implementing adjustments for disabled people when needed and up-to-date training for all those in management positions. The study also suggests that disable people be given access to mentors, including other disabled people who have established themselves in the industry, along with widening current recruitment practices.

ANIMATION

VFX and animation studio DNEG has announced plans to grow its Canadian operations and talent base with the foundation of a new studio in the greater Toronto area. The company will start its Toronto offices with a staff of 200, including many newly created tech positions. New employees with start out in a remote working capacity, with hires coming in the fields of visual effects, feature animation and technology. DNEG is also planning to expand its current Vancouver and Montreal offices, while adding a news studio for its feature animation division in Vancouver. The company will create up to 300 new roles at those offices, specifically in feature animation, to support its upcoming slate of animation projects.