In the latest tie-up between Hollywood and China, Fox International Productions has inked a memoradum of understanding with Huace Media Group to explore co-production opportunities on Chinese-language films. Huace and FIP are working to identify projects, including mining Fox’s catalogue for potential remakes. FIP has already remade both Knight And Day and Bride Wars for the local market. President Tomas Jegeus said the priority is to make Chinese-language films for China, but second to that will be China-U.S. co-productions. Huace’s Aurora Alliance Films recently set Brian De Palma to direct action thriller Lights Out; it also makes the romcom Dating Hunters which Keshet has optioned for the U.S.
The Robert Carlyle-directed The Legend Of Barney Thomson won the Best Film prize at the BAFTA Scotland Awards over the weekend. Its star, Emma Thompson, was named Best Actress while David Elliot was named Best Actor for war drama Kajaki. Also handing out prizes for TV work, Scottish BAFTAs went to Ken Stott as Best Actor for BBC drama The Missing and Sharon Rooney won Best Actress for E4’s My Mad Fat Diary. The Legend Of Barney Thomson is a comedy/crime pic that also features Ray Winstone, Tom Courtenay and Ashley Jensen. It’s Carlyle’s feature directing debut.
Pathé International had a good AFM on Viceroy’s House from Bend It Like Beckham helmer Gurinder Chadha. Currently in post-production and clearly eyeing a Cannes slot with its May completion date, the film is set in 1947 at the home of Lady and Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India under British rule who was charged with handing the country back to its people. Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Michael Gambon, Lily Travers, Simon Callow, Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi and Om Puri star. Pathé will distribute in the UK and France and Reliance Entertainment has India. Sales were completed in Santa Monica with Australia/NZ (Transmission), Germany (Tobis), Greece (Feelgood), Italy (Cinema), Latin America (Gussi), Malaysia (Suraya), Middle East (Gulf), Portugal (Nos), Scandinavia (Nordisk) and Singapore (Shaw). The Pathé, Reliance, BBC Films, and Ingenious film is produced by Deepak Nayar (Bend it like Beckham, The End of Violence, Buena Vista Social Club), Chadha and co-screenwriter Paul Mayeda Berges.
Kenneth Branagh is to be presented with the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film from the London Critics Circle. The honor will be given at the awards ceremony on January 17. Branagh recently directed smash Cinderella for Disney. In anticipation of receiving the critics’ award, Branagh said, “As a young filmmaker, I had the privilege of meeting Dilys Powell. She was passionate, rigorous, humane. Her criticism was illuminating, thoughtful and bracing. This recognition in her name is a great honor to me personally and very meaningful.” Powell was a British author and film critic who pioneered a new style of cinematic journalism.
Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl is set to receive the Humanitarian Award from the Capri, Hollywood International Film Festival, and Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth has been named European Film of the Year. The two honors will be presented on the island of Capri during the fest’s 20th edition from December 26-January 2. A special screening of The Danish Girl will be accompanied by a debate titled “Young People Against Homophobia” at the annual Capri Symposium. The festival will be presided over by Bille August and dedicated to Brigitte Bardot.