Entertainment marketing firm Propaganda GEM is continuing its global expansion with the opening of a Bangkok office. This brings to 16 the number of offshore outposts for the company that specializes in product placement and brand integration. The company also has hubs in Geneva, LA, Moscow, London, Sao Paolo, Beijing and Tokyo. With the rise of Asian box office, it’s been doing increasing business there. Recently, it was active on Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation for BMW cars and bikes, and with Mini cars for Sony’s Pixels. In addition, Propaganda worked with Red Bull China and yogurt giant Mengniu on Pixels‘ promotions and coordinated with China’s TCL on M:I5. Both of those films release locally in early September. Founding partner Ruben Igielko-Herrlich says, “Southeast Asia is becoming increasingly important in entertainment growth, so establishing a presence in one of the region’s most vibrant cities was a natural next step for our agency.” Veteran marketing execs Robinson De Gandt and Todd Leong are running the Bangkok office.
Julie Andrews is returning to My Fair Lady – as director. The British icon will helm a 60th anniversary production of the musical at the Sydney Opera House next year. Andrews first played the lead role of Eliza Doolittle on Broadway in 1956. The BBC reports that she will head to Australia to cast the production in November. Tony-winning choreographer Christopher Gattelli (The King And I) also is aboard. John Frost is producer. The Andrews-directed musical will premiere in August 2016.
February’s surprise Lunar New Year box office breakout is getting a threequel in China. From Vegas To Macau III will reteam Chow Yun-fat, Nick Cheung and Carina Lau after From Vegas To Macau II grossed about $157M earlier this year. Andy Lau, who had a cameo in the previous film, also is joining the case, FilmBizAsia reports. The franchise is produced by Lau and directed by Wong Jing; the latest entry begins shooting this month. Chow again plays a former gambling master-turned-security expert. Per FBA, he’ll be on the run from an arms dealer in Part III.
Romania has selected Radu Jude’s Aferim! as its submission for the Foreign Language Film Oscar. The National Film Center voted it in this week. The period black-and-white drama debuted in Berlin, where it shared the Best Director Silver Bear Award. Romania has a checkered past with the Academy: The roundly lauded 4 Months, 3 Weeks, And 2 Days by Cristian Mungiu was criminally left out of the running in 2008, but his Beyond The Hills made the shortlist in 2012. There has never been a nomination given to a Romanian film. Jude was assistant director on Cristi Puiu’s 2005 Cannes Un Certain Regard winner The Death Of Mr Lazarescu, which was put forth by Romania but did not advance. Our sister publication Variety reported that Big World just took U.S. rights on Aferim! It is currently the biggest grosser of 2015 among local films with more than 72K tickets sold.