Angry Berlusconi says “There Will Be Consequences”
A day after receiving a jail sentence for tax fraud, Italian media mogul and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says he feels “obliged” to stay in politics to “reform the justice system so that what happened to me doesn’t happen to other citizens”. He’s expected to appeal his conviction and four-year prison sentence for inflating the price of distribution rights bought by his Mediaset group to avoid paying taxes. He’s also barred from holding office for five years. He says his court ordeal was “intolerable judicial harassment” by left-leaning judges in Milan. “There will be consequences,” he said in an interview today on TG5, one of the TV channels owned by his conglomerate Mediaset.
Doha Tribeca Fest Slots World Cinema, Special Screenings
The 4th edition of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival has chosen Peter Ramsay’s animated Rise Of The Guardians 3D as its closing night film. Unveiling the Contemporary World Cinema and Special Screenings sections today, the festival (November 17-24) said 30 countries would be represented with 29 feature premieres for the region. Special screenings will include David O. Russell’s The Silver Linings Playbook, Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths and the last film from recently deceased India director Yash Chopra, Till I Breathe This Life. Also receiving special screenings are classics Cinema Paradiso by Guiseppe Tornatore, Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Majid Majidi’s Children Of Heaven. Among the World Cinema selections are several pics that debuted in Cannes like Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt, Ken Loach’s The Angels’ Share and Matteo Garrone’s Reality. There are also a handful of films that are the official foreign language Oscar entries for their respective countries including Bosnia/Herzegovina’s Children Of Sarajevo, Norway’s Kon-Tiki and Russia’s White Tiger.
Iranian Filmmaker Awarded Sakharov Prize
Filmmaker Jafar Panahi was one of two Iranians who have been awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for their courage in defending basic freedoms. Panahi, 52, was sentenced to a 20-year filmmaking ban and has been under house arrest for making anti-government propaganda. In 2011 he made This Is Not A Film about a day in his life under house arrest which was smuggled out of Iran on a USB stick inside a cake. It screened at Cannes that year and earlier this year was released theatrically in the U.S. The other honoree was human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, 49. She is now serving a six-year jail sentence in solitary confinement for spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security.
‘Better Man’ Chronicles Execution of Drug Trafficker
David Wenham, Bryan Brown and Claudia Karvan star in Better Man, a TV miniseries based on the true story of a 25-year-old Vietnamese Australian man who was convicted of drug trafficking in Singapore and executed in 2005. Shooting starts next Monday in Melbourne and in Vietnam in December, with Khoa Do as writer-director, produced by FremantleMedia Australia in association with Bravado Productions. In his first role since graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Art last year, Remy Hii plays Van Nguyen, who was the first Australian to be executed in Singapore since 1993. The case stirred a debate over the death penalty in Australia and the government was criticised for not doing enough to help Nguyen, despite official pleas to the Singaporean government for clemency. Wenham and Brown will play Australian lawyers who represented Nguyen, and Karvan is the wife of Wenham’s character. It’s the first Australian drama commissioned by multicultural broadcaster SBS in three years thanks to a boost in government funding. SBS International is handling foreign sales. – Don Groves
Revolver Names Nick Taussig Managing Director
Nick Taussig has been promoted to managing director of UK distributor Revolver Entertainment. He had been head of production at Revolver subsidiary Gunslinger Films and was also deputy managing director of Revolver UK. The change of position comes as Gunslinger looks to increase its co-production output in 2013. Gunslinger’s previous credits include cult hits Shank and Anuvahood and the directing debut of rapper Plan B, Ill Mannors. Recent Revolver releases include Bart Layton’s documentary The Imposter, thriller Offender and Josh Radnor’s Sundance pic Liberal Arts. On its upcoming slate are the Stone Roses-inspired Spike Island, Chinese 3D actioner Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate and sci-fier UFO with Jean-Claude Van Damme.