After opening its Shanghai Disney Resort earlier this year, the Walt Disney Company is giving some extra love to Hong Kong Disneyland. In cooperation with the Hong Kong government, Disney is embarking on a multi-year $1.4B expansion of the resort. New attractions and experiences planned include a Frozen-themed land with characters and stories from the 2014 blockbuster; a dedicated Marvel-themed area; a Moana’s Village Festival in Adventureland with stage show based on the upcoming animated pic; and a transformed Castle and Hub area to showcase daytime and nighttime programs. The proposed investment comes as Hong Kong Disneyland has recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. In addition, Iron Man Experience, Disney Parks’ first Marvel-themed ride, is set to open on January 11, 2017 and the resort’s third hotel, Disney Explorers Lodge, will open with 750 rooms later in the first half of the year. Funding will come from Disneyland’s shareholders – subsidiaries of The Walt Disney Company and the Hong Kong Government – based on current ownership stakes, which are 47% and 53%, respectively. The two have agreed on the development plans, subject to funding approval by the Disney board and the Legislative Council of Hong Kong.
Sundance Film Festival: London is returning to the UK capital next year and is set to take place for the second year running at Picturehouse Central in 2017. Fest, which will run from June 1, 2017 – June 4, 2017, will feature the international and UK premieres of films from next year’s edition of the Sundance Film Festival, which takes place in Park City, Utah, from January 19-29. Fans can register for festival passes on the Picturehouse website while individual tickets for the event will go on sale to public next Spring following the full London announcement. Last year, the event took place in Picturehouse Central for the first time and hosted the UK and international premieres of 11 features, including Wiener-Dog and The Greasy Strangler.
Content Media has appointed Tom Bairstow to its sales team as Vice President Sales and Distribution. The company has also made promotions following the recent unification of its film, television and digital distribution, sales and servicing operations. Based in London, Bairstow will manage film and television sales across all platforms to French-speaking Europe and Africa, Japan, Asia, Israel and Middle East. The exec joins from Sony Pictures Television where he worked as Executive Director, Distribution Nordics & Benelux since 2014. In addition, Vicky Ryan has been promoted to EVP, Commercial Affairs, and Jennifer Brinkworth to EVP Marketing and Communications. Both roles will now encompass film, television and digital sales.
High Octane Pictures has sold North American rights on sci-fi feature The Veil to Vertical Entertainment, which is planning a theatrical release in Q2 next year. Starring William Levy (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter), the cast also includes William Moseley (The Chronicles Of Narnia), Serinda Swan (Graceland), Nick Tarabay (Spartacus), Adam Gregory (90210), and newcomer Christopher Levy. The Brent Ryan Green-helmed pic is set in a war-town land where tribal factions live in a perpetual state of fear. The story follows a warrior who is spearheading a destructive war campaign. When he is betrayed by his own and left for dead, a mysterious princess of an unknown tribe finds and heals him, and sets out to persuade him to wage one final battle.