UK banner Curzon, which operates arthouse cinemas across the country and distributes indie titles through its Curzon Artificial Eye, will be the recipient of this year’s BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema. The award, which is presented annually in honor of Michael Balcon, the Brit film producer known for his work with Ealing Studios, will be presented to Curzon at the British Academy Film Awards on February 12 at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Previous recipients include Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Ridley and Tony Scott and Working Title Films. Curzon opened its first cinema in London in 1934. It now operates 15 national cinemas and Artificial Eye has released pics such as Amour, Still Alice and The Great Beauty. “I’m delighted that Curzon’s contribution to films has been recognized by BAFTA,” said Curzon CEO Philip Knatchbull. “Curzon has a long and proud history in the British film industry and many talented and passionate people have contributed to its success over the years.”
Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams has been added to the cast of Aardman’s upcoming prehistoric comedy adventure Early Man, directed by Nick Park. She’ll join Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston and will voice the character Goona, the gallant and indomitable rebel who befriends the film’s hero Dug (Redmayne) and helps steer him through the clash of the Stone Age and Bronze Age civilizations. Studiocanal is co-financing Early Man and distributing in all of its territories – UK, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand — and is handling worldwide sales. The British Film Institute is supporting development and production of the title. Studiocanal and Aardman last paired together on Brit hit Shaun the Sheep. Williams is repped by WME in the U.S. and Louise Johnston in the UK.
Austin Shaw, formerly with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Company, film production and rights company Fred Films and film and TV financier Hindsight Media Services have teamed up to launch a new film rights management business called Legacy Rights. The company, which sees Hindsight commercial manager James Scott appointed to the same role at Legacy, is expected to launch later this month. The company will represent around an initial 50 projects, including St. Trinian’s, The Veteran, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and Spice World, and will provide four key services focused on creating income for indie features that have moved beyond their first cycle with traditional sales agents and have seen significant diminished revenue. The company says it expects to grow its catalogue to around 200 projects during 2017 and will also acquire selective film rights in the future. “There is a clear gap in the independent market for creating new revenue sources and ensuring income from existing deals is maximised,” said Hindsight CEO Tim Smith.