Alibaba Pictures Group, the film division of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has agreed a deal with film studio Huayi Bros, which includes a loan of $103M (RMB700M). Alibaba said the agreement was part of a plan to be more closely involved in major movies released during China’s four key holidays: Chinese New Year (around January-February), the summer, National Day celebrations in October, and the end of the year. The new deal runs for five years and includes a commitment from Huayi to deliver ten films in which Asian Union, a subsidiary of Alibaba, can be a co-investor and co-distributor. The two companies also agreed to work together on talent development, marketing and merchandising through Alibaba’s Tao Piaopiao and Beacon labels.
The mother of murdered UK toddler James Bulger has said she is “disgusted” the short film about the boys who killed her son in 1993 has been Oscar-nominated. Detainment, which received a nomination this week in the best live action short category, recreates police interviews with the two young killers using the original transcripts. In a message on Twitter, Diane Fergus said, “I cannot express how disgusted and upset I am that this so-called film has been made and now nominated for an Oscar.” More than 90,000 people signed a petition calling for the Academy to disqualify the film.
The film was made by Irish director Vincent Lambe, who has previously apologized for not making Fergus and her family aware of it soon enough and “for any upset the film may have caused”. Speaking to the BBC, Lambe explained, “The reason the film was made was to try and offer more of an understanding as to how these two ten-year-old boys could have committed such a horrific crime because I think if we don’t understand the cause of it, it’s likely that something similar will happen again in the future.”
Toddler Bulger was abducted, tortured and killed by two boys in 1993. The incident became one of the most notorious murder cases in the UK that decade.