EXCLUSIVE: British-born Eurasian actor Mayling Ng (Wonder Woman) has joined the cast of UK-set boxing drama The Journeyman and will star opposite retired UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping. Dax Phelan is directing the pic, which follows Kenny “The Beast” Breen (Bisping), an alcoholic, drug-abusing, past-his-prime journeyman boxer who, after being diagnosed with neurological damage, continues his career on the small-hall circuit at grave risk to himself and lands a fight with his former rival who’s gone on to become a star in the division. Ng will play Alina, a woman struggling to start her life over after escaping an abusive relationship, who becomes romantically involved with the boxer. Phelan and British author Mark Turley co-wrote the screenplay based on the latter’s book. The film is planning to shoot in Manchester and the team are now seeking a UK-based producing partner. Ng is repped by Eric Kind at Brave Artists Management.
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EXCLUSIVE: New York-based distributor Dekanalog has added Taiwaenese festival hit Detention to its 2021 slate. The film will get a release in theaters and ‘virtual cinemas’ on October 8. Directed by John Hsu, the pic is set in 1962 Taiwan during a period of martial law. It tells the story of a female student who falls in love with her teacher while attending counselling. One day he disappears without explanation, and only her and a fellow student remember he existed. Pic screened at various festivals and won five prizes at the Golden Horse Awards. It will mark Dekanalog’s second genre release, with Tunisian horror Dachra coming July 8.
Leading European production and distribution outfit Beta Film is expanding its business in Turkey and has appointed former BluTV executive Sarp Kalfaoğlu as the company’s representative in Istanbul. Kalfaoğlu will support the company’s activities in South-East Europe, with Turkey experiencing its own production boom at present. Beta recently made the Turkish series Persona, with Haluk Bilginer, which has been sold to numerous territories, including Germany’s Telekom Magenta TV, where it became the first Turkish series in Germany. “We have been following the Turkish market for quite some time and are impressed by its vividness and creativity,” said Beta Film’s Veronika Kovacova, VP International Sales & Acquisitions. “Hiring Sarp Kalfaoğlu, an expert of the Turkish industry, reflects our commitment to plow even more into the market in South-East Europe, its premium productions and developments.”
Lionsgate’s streaming platform Starz has launched its direct to consumer OTT app, Lionsgate Play, in Indonesia. The move follows the launch of Lionsgate Play in India and will bring a library of Hollywood blockbusters, film franchises and first-to-Indonesia original series and boxsets to the local audience. The company has forged partnerships with local telecoms companies Telkomsel and Telkom for the launch, and the service will be offered at IDR 35.000 per month and IDR 179.000 for a year. Jeffrey A. Hirsch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Starz, said, “Indonesia is an exciting market for us. The large and diverse population, increased data usage in urban and rural markets, and adoption of OTT across all demographics created an exciting opportunity for us to launch Lionsgate Play. We’re confident that our unique, exclusive and exceptionally curated content will generate a great response from Indonesian audiences.”
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