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PROJECT FUNDING

The Asian Cinema Fund, a bursary scheme for film and documentary projects operated alongside the Busan International Film Festival, has announced six Korean recipients and seven hailing from elsewhere in Asia. The fund was put on hiatus during the two years of COVID, which also reduced the festival in size and turned the Asian Contents & Film Market into a virtual event. Three winners – “In the Land of Brothers,” by Raha Amirfazali, “Life I Stole,” by Putri Purnama Sugua and “Smart City,” by Rohin Raveendran – each receive KRW10 million ($7,50) for script development and are invited to participate in the ACFM’s Asian Project Market. Three films currently in post-production — “Birth,” by Yoo Jiyoung, “Juhee from 5 to 7,” by Jang Kunjae and “Mariam,” by Arvind Pratap — will receive in-kind support for digital intermediates, DCP production, sound mixing and sub-titling, and are expected to premiere as finished works at the Busan festival. Seven documentaries also receive KRW10 million of production support. The Busan festival runs Oct. 5-14, 2022. The ACFM runs Oct. 8- 11, 2022.

TAIPEI PRIZES

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Softie Avenue B Productions

The Taipei Film Festival awarded its Grand Prize with a cash award of NTD 600,000 ($20,000) to “Softie,” a French film directed by Samuel Theis. The festival’s Special Jury Prize went to “Beautiful Beings,” directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson. “The Quiet Girl,” directed by Ireland’s Colm Bairéad won the Audience Choice Award. “Softie” also won the Taiwan Film Critics Society Award, judged by three members of the society. They praised the film for exploring a child’s sexual desire that crosses the boundaries of gender and class, and doing so from a tender and fearless point of view.

FESTIVALS

The 28th Sarajevo Film Festival (Aug. 12-19) will host a retrospective of films by Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the art of film. Features “My Joy,” “In the Fog” and “Donbass,” documentaries “Maidan” and “Babi Yar. Context” and shorts “Portrait,” “Reflections. Director’s Cut” and “A Night at the Opera” will screen. Loznitsa will also be presented with the Heart of Sarajevo Award at the festival opening ceremony.

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The Edinburgh TV Festival (Aug. 24-26) has unveiled further sessions including The Worldview Address, where David Nevins, chairman and CEO of Paramount Premium Group and COO Paramount+ scripted series, discusses with former Sky Studios boss Jane Millichip the current landscape of scripted content, his experiences in maximizing creative ingenuity, talent relationships and IP, and whether the industry can sustain the influx of streamers both from a PSB and talent drain perspective. In the festival’s opening debate, The Future of PSBs, hosted by Mobeen Azhar, a panel of British content production heavyweights including Patrick Holland, Jane Turton, Fatima Salaria, Jon Thoday, David Abraham and Pat Younge discuss what broadcasters can do to make themselves more relevant.

In How to Avoid a World Without Indies, Gold Wala’s Faraz Osman hosts a panel including Pact’s John McVay, Channel 4’s Rebecca Thorpe, production manager Kathryn Jein, and Chalkboard’s Mike Benson to dicuss providing real financial support to the British independent sector. And, in a collaboration with the Edinburgh International Film Festival, His Dark Materials — Pushing Boundaries in New Worlds, Dafne Keen and Amir Wilson are joined by Bad Wolf CEO Jane Tranter, screenwriter Jack Thorne and director Amit Gupta to discuss how they rose to the challenge of creating Philip Pullman’s many worlds for TV audiences.

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Meanwhile, actor, screenwriter, director, producer and jazz vocalist Robert Davi will aim to settle the global debate as to whether “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie, with a song. Davi will perform at the screening of “Die Hard” at the London Action Film Festival on July 28 and He will join director John McTiernan, who will take part in the screening Q & A and explore why the movie is widely considered as one of the greatest action movies of all time. Davi is known for his portrayal of the opera singing baddie in “The Goonies” and as James Bond villain Franz Sanchez in “Licence to Kill”. His role as FBI special agent Big Johnson in “Die Hard” remains a fan favorite.

McTiernan will be honored at the festival with the Moving Target award for his outstanding contribution to action cinema. Also receiving an award is British stuntman, stunt co-ordinator and action director, Vic Armstrong. In addition to the previously announced events, the festival will also feature a 25th Anniversary Q&A screening of “Con Air” with director Simon West.

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UnionDocs has revealed Artistic Differences, part of its Break Out event series, co-curated with Cíntia Gil and in partnership with several international film festivals and venues including Dokufest, Open City Documentary Festival, FICValdivia, RIDM and Taiwan International Documentary Festival TIDF. Each month there will be a three-part series at a new location that will include a film program, an online study group, and a physical screening and dialogue between filmmakers and invited authors, co-hosted by Christopher Allen and Gil. First up is Under a Roof (July 28-Aug.9) at Dokufest, Kosovo, which will host a pairing of films by Besim Sahatçiu (“117,” Yugoslavia, 1976 ) and Manuela Serra (“The Movement of Things,” Portugal, 1985). The study group will include the ideas and reflections of writer Boris Buden, and the final dialogue will take place at Dokufest between Buden and Manuela Serra.