‘MOTORWAY’ DIRECTOR IN THE DRIVING SEAT
Cheang Pou Soi (better known as Soi Cheang) whose latest film “Mad Fate” will premiere this month at the Berlin Film Festival, will be further honored next month when the Hong Kong International Film Festival makes him its Filmmaker in Focus.
He was born in Macau, but gained his footing in the much larger Hong Kong film industry, under the tutelage of Ringo Lam, Andrew Lau, Joe Ma, Wilson Yip and Johnnie To. He achieved a breakthrough with 1999 digital video “Our Last Day.”
“Cheang is a key figure among Hong Kong’s post-1997 generation of filmmakers and notable for his sombre but unmistakably personal visual style,” HKIFF Society director Albert Lee said in a statement. “He seldom deviates from mainstream storytelling conventions, but innovatively explores new boundaries of filmmaking across different genres, from horror and thriller to action films. In the stark dystopia he creates, where one confronts moral bleakness and human perseverance, [he] never fails to detect a ray of hope.”
The event will screen ten of his films, publish a commemorative book and hold a seminar session with the director. The line-up includes (in release order): “Our Last Day,” “Diamond Hill,” “Horror Hotline… Big Head Monster,” “New Blood,” “Love Battlefield,” “Home Sweet Home,” “Dog Bite Dog,” “Shamo,” “Accident,” “Motorway,” “SPL 2: A Time for Consequences,” and 2021’s “Limbo.”
The hybrid HKIFF47 will feature screenings and audience-engagement events, both theatrically in-person and online. It will run March 30 – April 10, 2022.
BUSAN’S LEE HEADS TO VESOUL
Lee Yong-kwan, co-founder and current president of the Busan International Film Festival, has been named as head of the jury at the Vesoul International Festival of Asian Cinema. The festival will operate Feb. 28 – Mar. 7, 2023. He is joined on the main competition by Emily J. Hoe, director of the Singapore IFF, Kazakh film director Yerlan Nurmukhambetov (“The Horse Thieves”); and prolific Filipino director Mikhail Red. Separately, Variety correspondent Naman Ramachandran is set as head of the critics’ jury, alongside Denitza Bantcheva from Positif and Sophie Guo from Radio France International. The NETPAC jury is headed by India’s Bina Paul and also includes Diana Ashimova and Andreas Ungerboeck.
Rewind Networks is to launch its HITS NOW channel on IndiHome, Telkom Indonesia’s nationwide fixed broadband service. The channel will debut from Feb. 6, 2023, and kick off in the morning with live coverage of the annual Grammy Awards. Following that, the channel will serve up a menu of current and top-rated shows that are airing in the U.S. today. These range from reality and talent shows, dramas, comedies, to game shows and entertainment news. The channel will be available for the viewers on IndiHome TV and IndiHome TV OTT. Rewind claims viewership for its HITS and HITS Movies in more than 24 million households from 14 countries. “We are certain that HITS NOW will soon become the premier destination for family entertainment in Indonesia and will keep them engaged and entertained,” said Avi Himatsinghani, CEO of Rewind Networks.
“My Policeman” producer Independent Entertainment is financing the development of “This Modern Love,” a romantic comedy based on the play “Leave to Remain,” by “The Split” writer Matt Jones and Bloc Party‘s Kele Okereke, which was originally staged at the Lyric Theatre in London.
Set between London and Provincetown, U.S., the film is a culture clash comedy about two gay men about to get married, who suddenly have to navigate their families’ interference during a well-meaning trip ahead of their wedding.
The project was acquired for Independent by sales and acquisitions manager, Jordan Allwood. Ryan Bennett from PaperEpic will produce alongside Independent’s Luc Roeg and Cora Palfrey. Mike Newell, director of “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” serves as executive producer, with Jones adapting for the screen and Christopher Haydon (“Martha”) will direct.
The adaptation will feature original music from Okereke, but unlike the stage production it will not be a musical.
Mukul Deora‘s Lava Media, one of the producers on Oscar and BAFTA nominated Netflix film “The White Tiger,” has acquired the rights to bestselling children’s book franchise Gajapati Kulapati and is building an immersive world of animation, toys, games and apps based on the central elephant character.
Lava is developing the series with writer Sam Barlow, known for his work on iconic children’s properties “Bob the Builder,” “Thomas & Friends” and “Lily’s Driftwood Bay.”