Tunisian Murder Mystery ‘Ashkal’ Triumphs At FESPACO
Tunisian director Youssef Chebbi’s investigative thriller Ashkal has won the top prize at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO). The festival, which ran from February 25 to March 4, unfolds every two years in Burkina Faso’s capital of Ouagadougou and is regarded as Africa’s equivalent of Cannes. Chebbi’s murder mystery revolves around a series of killings at a construction site on the outskirts of the Tunisian capital of Tunis. The film world premiered at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and then played a raft of other festivals including Toronto and London. The FESPACO jury head, producer Dora Bouchoucha, praised the film’s pairing of a strong aesthetic with a politically tuned-in storyline. Burkinabe filmmaker Apolline Traore won the Silver Stallion for Sira, about a woman kidnapped by Jihadists, and Kenyan director Angela Wamai took home the Bronze Stallion for Shimoni, about a schoolteacher rebuilding his life in his remote village after a harsh stint in jail.
‘Il Boemo’ Sweeps Czech Lion Awards
Petr Václav’s period biopic Il Boemo has swept the boards at the 30th annual Czech Film and Television Academy (ČFTA) Czech Lion Awards, winning best film, director, sound, make-up, hairstyling, costume design and set design. Based on the life of 18th Century composer Josef Myslivecek, the biopic world premiered in Competition in San Sebastian. Other top winners included Vojtěch Mašek’s mystery drama Arved which won best screenplay, actor (Michal Kern) and music. Klára Melíšková won best actress for her performance in the mini-series Suspicion.
Berlinale Forum Appoints New Head
Writer and curator Barbara Wurm has been announced as the new head of the Berlinale’s Forum section, exploring cinema and its intersection with visual arts, theatre, performance, music and the media. Anna Hoffmann stays in place as section and programme manager. Uli Ziemons and Ala Younis will continue to be responsible for Forum Expanded. Wurm, who is an expert on Eastern European cinema, takes up the post on August 1. She was previously a member of the Berlinale selection committee and has also worked with goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film and DOK Leipzig. Forum has been part of the Berlinale since 1971 and is independently curated and run by Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art. The institution said of Wurm’s appointment: “Her previous focus on Eastern Europe has sharpened her view of cinema as a transnational cultural and political practice that reaches far beyond national borders.”
BBC Lands 40 RTS Programme Award Noms
The BBC has landed 40 nominations for the upcoming Royal Television Society Programme Awards. Channel 4 is next with 20, ITV has 11 and Sky gets 9. BBC comedy Am I Being Unreasonable? received for nods, with Lenny Rush nominated for both the Breakthrough and Comedy Performance Male awards, and Daisy May Cooper for Comedy Performance Female. The Traitors is nominated in the Entertainment category, with presenter Claudia Winkleman up for the Entertainment Performance gong. Two new categories Supporting Actor Male and Supporting Actor Female will feature the likes of Ambika Mod (This Is Going to Hurt), Saffron Hocking (Top Boy), Adelayo Adedayo(The Responder) and Adeel Akhtar (Sherwood). The event will be held on March 28 at London’s JW Marriott Grosvenor House.
‘My House’: Nick Norman-Butler’s Drama Film Launches
EXCLUSIVE: Finite Films & TV has launched its latest film, My House, today on Apple TV, iTunes and Amazon Prime sell-through stores in the U.S. The film, from Nick Norman-Butler, follows 17-year-old Carla who lives in hiding with her tyrannical father after the death of her mother. A visiting stranger inspires her to investigate the details of her life and she realizes the biggest danger might be at home. UK-based Finite is behind films such as Everything I Ever Wanted To Tell My Daughter About Men, Good Grief and The Trouble With Jessica.
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