Keshet Int’l Invades Canada With Mark Rubenstein
Keshet International is moving into Canada via a joint venture with veteran TV executive Mark Rubinstein. Keshet Canada will bring Keshet’s scripted and unscripted formats to the Canadian market and will look to develop, produce and co-produce original content. Rubinstein is a former president and CEO of Insight Sports and COO of Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting. The venture will have the rights to over 50 Keshet International properties, to be produced in the territory under the Keshet Canada banner. Keshet, the company behind Prisoners Of War, the Israeli source of Homeland, has recently set up shop in Australia and the UK.
Bona Film Group Gets $34.2M Credit Line
China’s Bona Film Group, which part-owned by News Corp., has secured a $34.2M revolving credit line with China Minsheng Banking Corp. The facility will be for three years and will be used to help grow exhibition, production and distribution. News Corp. acquired a 19.9% equity stake in the Nasdaq-listed Bona in May 2012, and in October Fox International Productions and Bona entered a multi-picture co-producing pact for Chinese-language films. Bona this year released Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster. Its upcoming titles include rom-com My Lucky Star with Zhang Ziyi and China’s first 3D disaster film, Inferno, produced by Oxide and Danny Pang. The company also plans to double its theater network to 40 owned-and-operated cinemas before 2015.NZ Targets Tourists With ‘Hobbit’ Campaign
The Hobbit is paying off for New Zealand’s tourist trade. Tourism New Zealand chief exec Kevin Bowler recently said that the ongoing “100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand” campaign is showing positive results with holiday arrivals in the country up 10% on last year for the January-April period. “Notably, holiday arrivals from the United States, a key target market for our Middle-earth campaign, are up 23%,” Bowler said. According to survey data, 8.5% of all international visitors said The Hobbit was a factor in bringing them to New Zealand. The first film in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy was released in New Zealand in December as the other two pictures were being worked on locally. The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug opens in December.
ITV’s ‘Mr. Selfridge’ Nears 100 Territories
ITV Studios Global Entertainment’s Mr. Selfridge has now sold in 99 overseas territories. Africa (BBC Entertainment), Italy (NBC Universal Global Networks Italia) and the Netherlands (NPO) are the latest to buy into the Jeremy Piven period drama that’s set in London’s Selfridge’s department store. The second season of Mr. Selfridge is currently in production. Season 1 aired on ITV in the UK and PBS Masterpiece in the U.S. where it averaged 3M viewers per week.
Shanghai Fest Will Welcome Helen Mirren, Taylor Hackford
Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford will trek to China next week for the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival. Shanghai Daily reports the pair will be in town in support of their respective films, Hitchcock and Parker which are both screening at the event. Interest in the fest, which is also open to the public, is high with first-day ticket sales at $645,000, a 20% increase on last year. Per Shanghai Daily, popular movie choices among ticket buyers included a Leslie Cheung retrospective, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and Japanese animated film Wolf Children. The festival runs from June 15-23 and will screen more than 300 foreign and domestic films.
Ischia Fest Says ‘The Best Offer’ Is The Best
Giuseppe Tornatore’s hit Italian romantic comedy The Best Offer will receive the 2013 Movie of the Year award as the Ischia Global Film & Music Festival which kicks off next month. The English-language story an eccentric art auctioneer and his obsession with an heiress/collector stars Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess and Donald Sutherland and has been a big hit for Warner Bros. which co-produced and distributed locally. Italian actress Valeria Golino, whose debut directorial feature, Honey, was in the Cannes Un Certain Regard sidebar, has been named Breakout Director of the Year. Previously announced as 2013 Ischia Legend Award recipients are Nicolas Cage, Arnon Milchan and Samuel L. Jackson. Mark Canton, Marina Cicogna, Rick Nicita, Paula Wagner, Aurelio De Laurentiis, Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo, Luigi Abete, Paul Haggis, Franco Nero, Lina Wertmuller and Enrico Lucherini make up the executive board of Ischia.