Rom-Com Zombies Lurching Into Bollywood Films
Indian filmmakers are dipping their creative toes into the zombie water, but with a light-hearted touch. Shaadi of the Dead (Wedding of the Dead) is about a zombie invasion at a Punjabi marriage ceremony. It’s set for release next year. Also in the works is Go Goa Gone, starring Saif Ali Khan, about a group of youngsters who fight the undead in the resort state of Goa. Shaadi of the Dead director Navdeep Singh is banking on the novelty value of the genre to attract younger Indian film audiences. “We feel this idea of a zombie film is very fresh,” he told AFP. “It is something that has never been tried in the Hindi film industry and so we feel it will work.”
Al-Jazeera Head Steps Down After WikiLeaks Link To U.S.
Qatar’s government has replaced Wadah Khanfar, the director-general of the Al-Jazeera satellite TV network, with a member of its own royal family. Khanfar’s resignation comes after eight years of revolutionizing the Middle East’s media landscape, but in the wake of a WikiLeaks controversy. A U.S. government cable uncovered last month suggests Khanfar agreed to “tone down” objectionable content and promised to “remove it over the subsequent two or three days.” Al-Jazeera has played a key role in the protest movements sweeping the Middle East, airing round-the-clock coverage of uprisings that brought down rulers in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya this year. The new chief is Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, an executive at Qatargas.
Wild Bunch Takes Majority Stake in Spain’s Vertigo
French distributor-producer Wild Bunch has acquired a majority stake in Spanish distributor Vertigo. The deal is the latest move in Wild Bunch’s bid to build a European distribution network. In addition to its own units in Germany and France, it has a similar partnership with BIM in Italy. Vertigo will still purchase films and sell to distribs in Spain.
‘Moneyball’ Is Opener, ‘Dolphin Tale’ Closer At Mumbai Fest
Director Bennett Miller’s baseball film, starring Brad Pitt, will open the 13th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival, which has amped up the foreign star wattage this year. Other films receiving Indian debuts at the fest are Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, Wim Wenders’ Pina, George Clooney-starrer The Ides of March and the fest closer, Dolphin Tale. A lifetime achievement award will go to lyricist Sampooran Singh Kalra, aka Gulzar, who won a music Oscar with A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire. The fest runs from Oct. 13-20. Reliance Entertainment is a primary sponsor.