Filmmaker Wong Kar-wai has been set as the recipient of this year’s Prix Lumière. A tribute to the director will be held at the Lumière Festival in Lyon on October 20. This is the fest that’s organized by Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux and filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier and which each year welcomes big-name talent for a week of retrospectives and restorations, as well as the making of a short film in honor of the Lumière brothers. Conferred by the Institut Lumière, the Lumière Award this year goes to Wong “for his unclassifiable films, each with countless flares of beauty; for the trace he is leaving upon cinema history; for all that is glorious and lingering in his work; for the neon lights of Hong Kong and the snows of Manchuria; and because, after all, dark glasses are undeniably classy.” The Chungking Express, In The Mood For Love and Grandmaster helmer follows in the footsteps of such recipients as Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodovar and Catherine Deneuve.
Writer, producer and poet Henry Normal is to be honored with a BAFTA Special Award at a private event on June 28 in London. Normal is well-known for his collaborations with Steve Coogan. The pair founded Baby Cow Productions in 1999 which went on to make such series and features as Alan Partridge; Gavin & Stacey; The Sketch Show; BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated Philomena; and BAFTA-nominated comedy series Nighty Night, Marion And Geoff, The Mighty Boosh, Moone Boy and Camping. Normal stepped down from his post in April last year and has since written and performed two BBC Radio 4 shows, A Normal Family and A Normal Life, combining comedy, poetry and stories about bringing up his autistic son. Of the Special BAFTA, he said, “I’ve spent my days having a laugh with some of the country’s funniest people for over 20 years and have managed to get paid for it. I don’t think I’ll believe it fully until I’m displaying it matter-of-factly on the dinner table for my in-laws every time they visit.”
Gold Rush and Race For The White House producer Raw has appointed Louise Norman as its Head of US Documentaries and SVP Special Projects. Norman was executive producer of CNN’s Race For The White House and originally joined Raw in 2010. Her new remit comes as part of a bigger push by Raw into high-end documentary projects, including the Mark Lewis exec produced David Koresh And The Siege Of Waco (w/t) for A&E. The company was acquired by All3Media in May. Norman’s upcoming projects include CNN series Kennedys: An American Dynasty (w/t) which she is exec producing with Eamon Hardy. Her previous credits include Liquid Bomb Plot and Inside The Hunt For The Boston Bombers for NatGeo and Channel 4; Miracle Landing On The Hudson (NatGeo); and OJ: Caught On Camera (Discovery/C4).
China’s entertainment industry will be worth 1 trillion yuan ($145B) by 2020, almost triple last year, industry officials have told attendees of the Shanghai TV Festival. Shanghai Daily reports that execs from iQiyi, Tencent and others said revenue from online drama is expected to surpass television for the first time next year. IQiyi, which has a licensing deal with Netflix to introduce its dramas into China, recently paid a record 420M yuan ($62M) for the rights to turn Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid — the highest-grossing film of all time in China — into a TV series. It’s similarly adapting Chow’s Journey To The West: The Demons Strike Back into a series. China Daily cites a JPMorgan Chase report that SVOD subscribers in China will hit 144M this year, repping 26.9% of all digital video viewers.
HBO Asia has appointed Jessica Kam as SVP for Original Productions. The exec will be responsible for the production of all HBO Asia Originals, an area the company has been increasingly focused on. To date, eight Asian Originals have been made, with more slated to premiere later this year. The Teenage Psychic, the network’s most recent series was also its first in Mandarin. Kam is a former feature film producer and has worked at such firms as Celestial Pictures, MTV Asia, MGM Gold, Dow Jones Newswires and Disney.
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