Taxpayer-Funded Screen Australia Backs Anti-Murdoch Project
Rupert Murdoch seems unlikely to be bothered that unabashed left-wing writer Bob Ellis is co-writing a movie about the publisher entitled The News of the World. Murdoch might, however, ask why Australian taxpayers’ money is being spent to develop the project. Funding agency Screen Australia is giving money to Ellis and his co-writer Stephen Ramsey to support development. No Australian distributor is involved yet. Ellis told Mumbrella the biopic will trace Murdoch’s career from his purchase of the Sydney Daily Telegraph in the 1960s to his buying the now-defunct The News of the World and becoming a U.S. citizen so News Corp could own U.S. TV stations. Ellis’ blog regularly accuses Murdoch of using his media outlets to champion his causes. After penning the screenplay of Newsfront in 1978, Ellis had a burgeoning career in the 1980s with films such as Fatty Finn, Cactus, Man of Flowers and Goodbye Paradise. But his last produced feature screenplay was Ebbtide in 1994, according to IMDb.com. Deadline previously reported that David Williamson is writing a stage play based on Murdoch entitled Rupert for the Melbourne Theater Co. which is due to open next August. – Don Groves
Cambodia Submits First Oscar Entry In 18 Years
The country’s Oscar selection committee voted unanimously to submit Chhay Bora’s historic drama Lost Loves. The movie chronicles the experiences of a middle-class woman during Pol Pot’s brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Bora and his wife Kauv Sotheary, both university professors, used 15 years of personal savings to finance the film, according to Screen Daily. Bora directed and produced while his wife plays the leading role. Rithy Panh’s 1994 The Rice People was the only other Cambodian film submitted for Oscar consideration.
Oz Online Streaming/DVD Service Quickflix Seeks New Partners
Australia’s Quickflix revealed it’s looking for local or foreign investors or possible merger partners before reporting an operating loss before finance costs and tax of $A13.37 million ($13.8 million) for the year to June 30. The company said strategic partnerships, alliances or mergers would enable it to boost subscribers through increased marketing, access to content and additional working capital. During the year Quickflix raised $10 million by issuing preferred shares to HBO, which took a 15.7% stake, and a further $7.2 million in private placements. Quickflix has SVOD content deals with Sony, Warner Bros, NBCUniversal, MGM, HBO, BBC and ITV. Annual revenue grew by 56% to $16.9 million and subscriber numbers jumped 56% to 118,000. – Don Groves