Pinewood Shepperton Inks Deal For New Studio In Wales
In a move that will bring much-needed new stages to the UK, has entered an agreement with the Welsh government for a new studio near Cardiff Bay. Under the deal, the Welsh government will acquire and fit out the former Energy Centre in Wentloog with the facility to be renamed Pinewood Studio Wales. Four stages will be built, which Pinewood will lease for a minimum of five years; it also will contribute £800,000 over the period to pay for equipment. This is good news for Britain, which has suffered from a capacity crunch as more and more Hollywood movies and TV shows come to shoot in the territory, accessing lucrative tax breaks. Pinewood has submitted proposals to expand its flagship studio outside London but has been thwarted by local government in the past two years. An appeal is pending. Also under the agreement, Pinewood Shepperton will advise on, promote and market Wales’ new £30M TV and film investment fund. Pinewood Shepperton CEO Ivan Dunleavy said the deal is “another step forward for creating a sustainable UK film and television production center.” Further, the fund arrangement “builds on our success with Pinewood Pictures and managing the Isle of Man Treasury Film and Television Fund. Our combined advisory investment funds now total £55 million making them one of the largest investment portals for new British television and film content.”
Matthias Schoenaerts, Stef Aerts Set For Felix van Groeningen’s ‘Belgica’
Writer-director Felix van Groeningen, whose most recent film The Broken Circle Breakdown is nominated for the Best Foreign Language Feature Oscar, has set his next project. Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone) and Stef Aerts (Oxygen) are attached to star in Belgica, which follows two brothers who open a successful bar in Belgium and quickly get swept up in the whirlwind of its success. Van Groeningen, who wrote the script with his With Friends Like These co-writer Arne Sierens, will reteam with a number of his collaborators from Broken Circle Breakdown, including producer Dirk Impens, DP Ruben Impens and editor Nico Leunen. Menuet Producties and Topkapi Films, the companies behind Broken Circle, are producing the new film with Pyramide Productions.