Global Showbiz Briefs: Hong Kong, Europe, UK, Australia

Run Run Shaw To Retire – At 104
At 104-years-old, legendary producer and TV mogul Run Run Shaw is to retire as chairman of Hong Kong’s Television Broadcasts Ltd. Shaw is lately known for co-founding TVB which is one of the world’s biggest producers of Chinese-language programming, but he started his career in the film business dating back to 1920s China and has produced hundreds of films. He is also known for having been one of the backers of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. TVB has been something of a proving ground with such talent as Chow Yun-fat and Andy Lau getting a start there. Bloomberg reports that Shaw will step down at the end of the year to be replaced by the quarter-century younger Norman Leung.

EFP Names Shooting Stars
Ten European actors have been selected as Shooting Stars 2012. European Film Promotion will showcase the newcomers at the Berlin Film Festival in February. In all, 23 candidates were nominated by a jury of internationally established film industry pros. Shooting Stars is supported by the EU’s MEDIA Programme and EFP’s member orgs. The chosen group has had breakout perfs in their home territories and are those considered most ripe to make the jump to international work. Previous talent selected as Shooting Stars includes Carey Mulligan and Melanie Laurent. The Shooting Stars 2012 (pictured above) are as follows: Adele Haenel (France), Anna Maria Muhe (Germany), Hilmar Gudjonsson (Iceland), Antonia Campbell-Hughes (Ireland), Isabella Ragonese (Italy), Jakub Gierszał (Poland), Ana Ularu (Romania), Bill Skarsgard (Sweden), Max Hubacher (Switzerland) and Riz Ahmed (UK).

Shine Group To Mentor Young, Diverse Content Creators
Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group has announced the launch of a production company created exclusively for young content makers from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds. The as-yet unnamed venture is a partnership with youth engagement specialists Livity which will develop a self-sustaining outfit with work commissioned for broadcasters, brands, online and mobile platforms. Ben Hall, who was previously managing director of Shine Network, will run the company. A four-stage recruitment process will whittle applicants down to a team of 8 18-24 year-old non-graduates. Those accepted to the program will spend a year training to become a professional production unit with mentoring provided by staff from across Shine Group divisions. After the initial year, trainees will have the opportunity to stay and continue to work on any commissioned projects, apply for roles on productions within Shine Group or leave with industry recognized accreditations. Further details are available at

Sony To Preem ‘The Firm’ Globally In Day-And-Date Event
Sony Pictures Television’s networks are to debut The Firm on SPT’s global network of channels in a two-hour event on Feb 19. The move marks the first time the channels will launch a day-and-date premiere across international regions and will reach 126 million households. The Firm is the series continuation of the 1993 film based on John Grisham’s best seller. Josh Lucas stars as Mitch McDeere alongside Juliette Lewis as his assistant and Molly Parker as his wife. The release is in line with SPT’s strategy to produce more tentpole original series for its global portfolio.

Oz Goes FanDependent
Screen Australia is to invest in alternative distribution outfit FanDependent via its Innovative Distribution program. The company was founded by veteran international sales agent and online media guru Thomas Mai and Josh Pomerantz, chief of post facility Spectrum Films. The duo will partner with 10 filmmaker teams over two years to help producers build buzz and raise financing through crowd funding. Selected teams will receive marketing help and sell and release the pics with the support of FanDependent and the Oz org. Funding for FanDependent will cover 2012 and 2013 at which time Screen Australia expects it to be self-sufficient.

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