British critic, writer, producer, commissioner and director Catherine Bray and film acquisitions executive and festival program advisor Paul Ridd have launched a weekly podcast dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.” “Not Another F–king Elf” is a character guide podcast that takes an hour-long deep dive into each “The Lord of the Rings” character, with clips from different adaptations of the work from films to audiobooks to radio adaptations. Each episode begins with a recap of the character arc of the chosen subject. The first episode, launching Friday, focuses on Gollum. Future episodes will cover everything from Hobbits to Elves, humans to animals and wizards to Dark Lords. There will be 10 episodes in the first season.
“We are an absolutely unofficial, fan-made, independent, DIY bedroom podcast that is not in any way affiliated with any official source of Tolkien-related ephemera and exists as a work of criticism, analysis and deep fandom,” said Bray and Ridd, who are self-confessed “The Lord of the Rings” nerds.
Michael Winterbottom has co-directed a documentary chronicling the families of Gaza who were impacted by the May 2021 conflict between Israel and Palestine. Set to premiere in London on May 4, “Eleven Days in May” — which is directed by Winterbottom and Mohammed Sawaf — tells the stories of the 60-plus children who were killed in Gaza over the 11 days of conflict. The film is narrated by Kate Winslet with music by Max Richter. All profits from the screening will go towards the Hoping Foundation‘s work for Palestinian refugee children. The film is distributed by Revolution Films. – Manori Ravindran
Check out a trailer for the film below:
Filming has begun in Leeds, U.K., on BBC 5×60’ thriller series “Better” from Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent (“Humans,” “Spooks”), produced by Sister (“Chernobyl”). The series follows Detective Inspector Lou Slack (Leila Farzad – “I Hate Suzie”) who crossed paths when at the lowest ebb of her career with Col McHugh (Andrew Buchan – “Broadchurch”), low-ranking but ambitious newcomer to the Leeds underworld. They struck a bargain that allowed McHugh to become rich and powerful, and Slack to turn around her failing career, but now when Slack’s family is brought to the brink of a tragedy she finds her long-repressed conscience awakening. The cast also includes Samuel Edward-Cook (“Peaky Blinders”), Zak Ford-Williams (“Wolfe”), Ceallach Spellman (“Cold Feet”), Carolin Stoltz (“Liar”), Anton Lesser (“Killing Eve”) and Olivia Nakintu (“Vera”).
“Better” is executive produced by Mona Qureshi and Nawfal Faizullah for the BBC and Jane Featherstone (“This is Going to Hurt”), Chris Fry (“Landscapers”), Lucy Dyke (“The Split”), Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent for Sister in association with Northern Sister. Jonathan Brough (“The End”) serves as lead director. International distribution will be handled by All3Media International.
Meanwhile, filming has begun on ITV true crime drama, “The Hunt For Raoul Moat,” starring Lee Ingleby (“Criminal U.K.) as a senior Northumbria Police Officer leading the race against time to apprehend Moat. Released from Durham prison in July 2010, Moat went on the run after shooting three people in 24 hours. Moat evaded Northumbria Police for over a week, threatening to kill police officers and members of the public. The cast also includes Sonya Cassidy (“The Man Who Fell to Earth”), Vineeta Rishi (“Vera”), Sally Messham (“Artemis Fowl”), Matt Stokoe (“Cursed”) and Josef Davis (“Young Wallander”).
Written by novelist and screenwriter Kevin Sampson (“Anne”), the drama is produced by ITV Studios’ World Productions (“Line of Duty”) in association with MultiStory Media. Commissioned by ITV head of drama, Polly Hill, it is executive produced by World Productions CEO and creative director Simon Heath (“Anne”) and head of drama Jake Lushington (“Vigil”), Sampson and Mike Blair for MultiStory Media. Kim Crowther (“Inside No.9”) is produce the drama, which is directed by Gareth Bryn (“Karen Pirie”).
Hungary’s National Film Institute is hosting the annual congress of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), which runs April 24-29 at Uránia National Film Theater in Budapest. The city, which last hosted the event in 1961, will welcome 240 delegates.
FIAF, which was founded in Paris in 1938, has 170 members from 79 countries. The organization sets out guidelines and recommendations for the preservation, restoration and distribution of films.
Non-feature film collections are a central topic of this year’s congress. These films, which includes newsreels, experimental films, shorts, animated films, ethnographic films, commercials, institutional films and private films, are often hidden away from view in archives. The congress will explore how to make them more accessible to the public and professional users.
A screening program linked to lectures during the event will show, for the first time, “The Workman’s Overall,” digitally restored by NFI’s Film Archive and Filmlabor, which was discovered in Amsterdam’s EYE Filmmuseum in 2017. The 39-minute silent movie dating from 1914 is the only surviving film of Gyula Hegedűs (1870-1931), one of the leading actors of his time. Among the presentations is one by Galina Torma, an expert at the NFI, in which she will detail efforts at identifying, reconstructing, digitizing and publishing 100-year-old Hungarian newsreels.
György Ráduly, director of the NFI’s film archive, said: “The FIAF congress in Budapest is the perfect occasion for us to focus international attention on the Hungarian film heritage and our work carried out to preserve this extraordinary rich heritage.”
“Sustainability has become the burning issue of our day. One of the keys to cultural sustainability is whether we can preserve and pass on our motion picture heritage to future generations,” said Csaba Káel, NFI chairman, and government commissioner for the development of the Hungarian film industry. – Leo Barraclough
Gregory Doran is stepping down as artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He moves up to an artistic director emeritus role till the end of 2023 after 35 years with the company, including the last ten years as artistic director. He will begin rehearsals next week for “Richard III” with Arthur Hughes in the title role and, as artistic director emeritus will lead specific projects and direct a production in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre as part of the celebration of Shakespeare’s First Folio in 2023, his 50th production for the company. The search for the new artistic director will be conducted by the non-executive board.
In his 2018 production of “Troilus and Cressida,” Doran collaborated with virtuoso percussionist Evelyn Glennie. The production boasted the company’s first equally gender-balanced cast in a Shakespeare play on the main stage, and the first disabled actor to play a leading Shakespeare role with deaf actor Charlotte Arrowsmith as Cassandra. He led the company’s digital innovation with a production of “The Tempest” with Simon Russell Beale created with Intel and in association with Imaginarium Studios. In 2016 Doran directed “Shakespeare Live!” broadcast on the BBC and which marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. In June 2012 Doran received the Sam Wanamaker Award from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. He delivered the 2016 Richard Dimbleby Lecture, which was broadcast on March 16, 2016 to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
Indian singer, rapper, producer and entrepreneur Badshah has collaborated with Latinx global star J Balvin, for “Voodoo,” out Friday via Capitol Records. A trilingual anthem in the Hindi, Spanish, and English languages, produced by producer/artist Tainy, who has hits with Bad Bunny, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Anuel, Rosalía and Daddy Yankee, “Voodoo” is a cautionary tale of lust and magic. Badshah is one of India’s most successful musicians, having generated more than 15 billion streams worldwide, performed more than 700 live shows and is one of the few artists to have 18 songs cross over 200 Million views on YouTube.
In 2021, Badshah inked an exclusive agreement with Universal Music Group to be led by Capitol Records.
Watch the video here: