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Filmone Gets Exclusive Distribution Deal
Leading Nigerian film distribution company, Filmone, has signed a distribution deal with Walt Disney Company Africa. Chief Operating Officer of Filmone, Moses Babtope, who broke the news, described the deal as a major milestone and a massive career highlight for the team at Filmone that has worked behind the scene to make the deal happen. “We are grateful to Disney for the opportunity, as we can’t wait to entertain our audience with the strong film line up,” Babatope said, adding that cinema remains the best venue to experience premium-filmed entertainment.

Venice International Film Festival Ends On High Note
LAST Saturday, curtain drew on what was clearly a slimmed-down 2020 edition of Venice International Film Festival, with filmmakers, critics and enthusiast from around the world applauding the organisers for holding the festival against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic. Described by some commentators as ‘Venice of the Covid-era’, the 10 days cinema showcase closed with Nomadland, the drama by Chloe Zhao’s winning the festival top award — the Golden Lion for best film. Like many Hollywood filmmakers and actors, Director of the winning movie, Zhao, couldn’t make it to Italy for his award as a result of the global travel restriction, but he appeared via video from the United States to thank the jury and the organisers for the recognition.

Also, Britain’s Vanessa Kirby won best actress award for Pieces of a Woman, while Italy’s Pierfrancesco Fabino won best lead actor for Padrenostro. The other winners include, Japanese director, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who won the Silver Lion, for best director for Wife of a Spy, and Mexico’s Michel Franco, who won the Silver Lion grand jury prize for Nuevo Orden. The Russian film, Dear Comrades, about a 1960s era massacre in the former Soviet Union was awarded a special jury prize while Chaitanya Tamhane won best screenplay for The Disciple, about an Indian man’s pursuit to be a classical vocalist. A total of 18 films vied for the top awards in the main competition of the festival that was held under safety protocols including mandatory wearing of masks and allocation of socially distanced positions.

All Roads To Hybrid MIPCOM 2020
IT is a hybrid model — in-person and online market — for MIPCOM 2020, which is expected to take place in three stages and also roll out in three stages over six weeks from October 5 to November 17 with each stage offering original programming, business networking and replay opportunities. Organisers say the combination of MIPCOM Rendezvous Cannes and MIPCOM online will enable MIPCOM’s international community to connect and share the experience in Cannes or anywhere worldwide. Already, more than 600 buyers have confirmed their participation in the first three weeks of August including more than 100 buyers for MIPCOM Rendezvous in Cannes from October 12 to 14 and events organisers Reed MIDEM say they are still inviting and curating top buyers to ensure a robust sales and acquisitions market both in Cannes and through online participation.

Organisers also announced an early staging of the digital version, called MIPCOM ONLINE+, following reservations expressed by a number of exhibitors that they would not be attending a physical event. It will now launch as from October 5 and run through to mid-November. Also, organisers have assured that physical distancing will be in place as part of comprehensive health and safety measures. MIPCOM is a global market for entertainment content across all platforms. It offers opportunity for networking with the people who are engaged in entertainment and technological sectors.

Cairo Film Connection Unveils Projects
FIFTEEN film projects — feature narrative films and documentaries — in development and in post-production from across 12 Arab countries have been selected by the Cairo Film Connection (CFC) for showcase at the 42nd edition of Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) in November. The film projects, according to a statement by the CFC, were selected from a list of 105 project submissions. Seven feature narratives in development have been selected, including four projects from Egypt The Legend of Zainab and Noah by director Yousry Nasrallah, I Can Hear Your Voice… Still by director Sameh Alaa, Breakfast Lunch and Dinner by Mohamed Samir, Snow White by Taghrid Abuelhassan, in addition to Passage (Syria) by Amr Ali, Fog (Iraq/ Lebanon) by Ruba Atiyeh and Scheherazade Goes Silent (Palestine / Jordan) by Amira Diab.

The post-production section includes one feature narrative project The Alleys by Bassel Ghandour (Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia). On the other hand, the selected documentary films include four in-development projects; Olfa’s Daughters (Tunisia – France), Flying Like a Bird (Morocco – France), Tell Them About Us (Jordan-Germany) and Caesar (Jordan-USA). This section also includes three documentaries in post-production, Before the Final Picture (Egypt), The Last Projectionist (Palestine – Germany) and Iraq Invisible Beauty (Iraq-Belgium-France). Manager of the Cairo Film Connect Meriame Deghedi said the CFC feels a huge sense of responsibility to implement CFC’s edition this year and to offer full support to Arab filmmakers and talents who have been affected by this year’s global crisis.

“The resilience of Arab filmmakers was evident and was reflected in the number of submissions we received and we are proud that this year we have selected stories by directors with different backgrounds and cultures from across the Arab world, which has been one of our goals since the birth of Cairo Film Connection,” Deghedi said. Also President of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), Mohamed Hefzy said the festival was pleased with the selection of the film projects. He expressed the determination of CIFF to continue to support Arab Cinema by shedding light on the young Arab filmmaking talent and their distinct projects. Hefzy assured that the organisers would strictly follow the WHO-approved precautions taken by the Egyptian government to ensure safety for the festival guests and audiences.

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