IMAX Gets Bigger In China; Halle Berry Goes To Japan: Global Showbiz Briefs

Beijing Bona International Cineplex Investment and Management Co, a subsidiary of China’s Bona Film Group, has pacted for three more IMAX cinemas to bring its total to four. In 2012, Bona opened its first IMAX theater in Tianjin, China. The new agreement will bring new installations to Wuhan, Beijing and Taiyuan. Bona and IMAX have history dating back to 2011’s Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate, which is the second-highest-grossing IMAX Chinese-language title to date. This year’s The White Haired Witch Of Lunar Kingdom was the second hook-up between Bona and IMAX. The Canadian company has been expanding its China footprint during the past few years as the market booms. Its next big release in the Middle Kingdom is Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar this week.

extant 2Japanese premium pay-TV provider Wowow will begin airing Halle Berry series Extant and Showtime’s Penny Dreadful in 2015 under a new deal with CBS Studios International. The pact includes the broadcast and catch-up rights for Extant and the broadcast and SVOD rights for Penny Dreadful. Wowow’s Prime channel already airs CBS’ CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Elementary, as well as Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. Wowow is the premiere home for Hollywood content in Japan, and Extant will get an extra boost as it features homegrown star Hiroyuki Sanada. The pay group said it plans to conduct “an expansive media campaign by leveraging his popularity in Japan and by enlisting his presence to create a huge buzz.”

Lone ScherfiglBAFTA has named the first female to deliver the David Lean Lecture, giving the honor to Danish helmer Lone Scherfig. The lecture, which was given by Paul Greengrass last year, aims to provide insight into the experiences and outstanding creative achievements of some of the world’s most compelling filmmakers. Scherfig, one of the original members of the Dogme 95 movement along with Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, has film credits that include Italian For Beginners, Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself, An Education, One Day and The Riot Club. She is currently directing Astronaut Wives Club, the 10-episode drama series for ABC Studios. Scherfig follows previous David Lean Lecture speakers including Robert Altman, John Boorman, Oliver Stone, David Lynch and Pedro Almodóvar.

The Berlin International Film Festival is still a few months away, but details are beginning to emerge about the event. Last week, Darren Aronofsky was named jury president, and this week berlinalewe’re told the Retrospective of the 65th running of the fest will be a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Color by Technicolor. “Glorious Technicolor: From George Eastman House and Beyond” will present about 30 films dating to the early years of the process including The Three Musketeers, Gone With The Wind and Singin’ In The Rain. Under a cooperation agreement with the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, the festival will present prints from one of the world’s largest and best preserved collections of Technicolor films, ranging from original prints to modern color film prints. Supported by other film archives and studios, there also will be a large number of restored versions, said Rainer Rother, Retrospective head and Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kinemathek.

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