As part of its outreach in the region, BAFTA has set a series of masterclasses in China and Hong Kong with award-winning casting director, Nina Gold. A veteran of such films as Topsy Turvy, The King’s Speech, The Theory Of Everything and The Martian, her recent credits include Star Wars: The Force Awakens and HBO’s Game Of Thrones. To encourage cross-cultural learning and creative collaboration between the UK and China, Gold will share her insights of casting films and TV shows, including with an audience of acting students, alumni and invited guests. She will also conduct auditions, live and taped, with selected students from leading arts institutions the Beijing Film Academy and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. The first event takes place during the China Britain Film Festival on December 14; the Hong Kong masterclass will be held on December 15.
Screenwriter Matthew Kirton was named winner of the inaugural Write To Green Light competition, launched by Lionsgate UK CEO Zygi Kamasa and Idris Elba through his Green Door Pictures banner. The competition, designed to find new voices in the TV writing space, showcased three finalists’ outstanding scripts on Wednesday evening at The Savoy in London: Lauren Sequeira’s Cleo; Ryan Brown’s We Are Your Children; and Kirton’s Sin Of God. An extract of each work was performed in front of an audience with professional actors and directed by Shameless’ Jim O’Hanion. But Kirton’s project, about an undeserving man who comes back from the dead, took the crown and will receive a paid development option with both Lionsgate and Green Door. Elba said, “The caliber of talent on this show this evening has been outstanding and we are grateful that so many key decision makers and influential members of the television industry came and offered their support.”
The movie unit of China’s Tencent Holdings is planning to invest at least 2B yuan ($294M) in Hollywood and Chinese films through 2017. Bloomberg reports that Tencent Pictures will have invested 1B yuan in 2016 and has designs on increasing that next year. Its 2016 investments have included Legendary’s Warcraft — which was a big hit in China — as well as the upcoming Kong: Skull Island. Tencent is also involved in Hollywood through its slate deal with STX Entertainment and has a TV joint venture with IM Global. The company, whose parent owns social media platform WeChat, was founded last year and said in September that it will fund 21 projects based on in-house content including the Tibet Code, a fantasy series involving a hunt for ancient treasure.