Nicole Blossoms with Bovell, NBCU Matchbox and Amazon Studios
- Amazon Studios announced this week that it’s picked up the new drama series adaptation of Andrew Bovell’s award-winning play, Things I Know To Be True. Starring and executive produced by Nicole Kidman, the story is ‘about the resilience of an enduring marriage and the evolving nature of a family’s love, as Bob and Fran Price (Kidman) watch their adult children make unexpected decisions which change the course of their lives.’
- Things I Know to be True is from Amazon Studios, NBCUniversal International Studios’ Matchbox Pictures and Blossom Films, in association with Jan Chapman Films and will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories at a date TBC. Also to be confirmed is the location of the shoot.
- The drama is written by Bovell, who will also serve as executive producer. Kidman will also serve as executive producer for Blossom Films, along with her Blossom co-founder, Per Saari. Amanda Higgs and Alastair McKinnon are executive producers for Matchbox Pictures. Jan Chapman is executive producer for Jan Chapman Films.
- Blossom Films, together with Made Up Stories, is currently working on Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers, based on the Liane Moriarty novel, shot in Byron Bay.
- Blossom Films has a first look deal with Amazon, for whom it is also developing the TV adaptations of Janelle Brown’s Pretty Things and Janice Lee’s The Expatriates, with Lulu Wang to direct.
Aurora Films and Australian authors
- Aurora Films’ Ákos Armont and Antony Waddington are working on adapting Helen Garner’s novel The Spare Room, into a feature film. Eamon Flack, the Helpmann award-winning artistic director of Sydney’s Belvoir theatre company, will make his screen directing debut on the project, a story about a woman caring for her terminally ill (and seriously in-denial) friend. The producers are reported to be in discussions with writers and key cast and exploring UK co-production opportunities.
- Aurora Films is also developing an adaptation of Behrouz Boochani’s No Friend But The Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison, a memoir of life in detention in Australia’s offshore processing system. The film is co-produced with Hoodlum Entertainment and Sweetshop & Green, and will be directed by Buoyancy’s Rodd Rathjen.
Sophie Hyde to work in the UK again
Sophie Hyde (52 Tuesdays, Animals) is set to direct British star Emma Thompson in a new comedy, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande about a 55-year-old widow who hires a young sex worker for a night of bliss. The project is produced by Genesius Pictures and marks the first joint project between Cornerstone Films and Genesius co-founder Debbie Gray who are partners in the Australian production and distribution company The Reset Collective, which launched in May.
Cinemas under strain
- Victorian cinemas ‘lined up with brothels and nightclubs’. The cinema sector is pressuring the Victorian Government to let them open up, since they are at the very end of the recovery list.
- Box Office Report: NZ comedy Baby Done arrives in hope. Everything’s playing in a minor key. In Australian films, Dirt Music has taken $528k in three weeks, Slim and I crept up by $11k to clear $400k, Combat Wombat has done $26k in two weeks off 42 screens, and Babyteeth hit $306k.
Funding & development
- Screen Australia reveals a passion for the supernatural in latest development funding. Twenty-two projects, a million dollars and a surge of ghost stories will keep the development wheels churning to build the national slate for 2021 and beyond.
- Screeenwest and Screen Australia have greenlit new Aunty Donna comedy web series Hug the Sun.
- Hard data in the toughest market shows the value of diversity. Statistics bear out the value of sentiment as the emotive power of diversity for the sector turns out to match the preferences of audiences.
- Australian news outlets fail migrant communities. Here’s what needs to happen. The pandemic experience shows we can’t afford to ignore this problem any longer, argues multimedia producer Mary Tran. She offers ideas for change, in this piece supported by Diversity in Australian Media.
- Sit Down, Shut Up and Watch! opens up remarkable points of view. Some of the best film projects around the world led by people with learning disability ran at the online and real SDSW Film Festival, curated from South Australia.
Awards and wins
- Adelaide Film Festival winners: ‘art can become a weapon’. A lively group of jurors reached into the heart of Australian creativity and out to an arthouse stunner from Georgia to find their winners for 2020.
- Australian Directors’ Guild Awards 2020: More than half the winners are women. Announced in a virtual ceremony, the awards celebrated achievements of diverse newcomers and established talent in a year of much change.
- 2020 AACTA Awards. The Industry Awards (previously known as the Industry Luncheon) will be broadcast for the first time via AACTA ScreenFest website and Foxtel Arts at 6.30pm on Friday 27 November. The 2020 AACTA Awards Ceremony will proceed across two sittings on Monday 30 November at the Star Sydney, and will be broadcast on Channel 7 on Wednesday 2 December.
- From Twitch streamer to studio lead, Loriipops is changing games culture. Lorien Gugich will bring six years of partnered Twitch streaming, experience in production and community management, and a passion for inclusivity to the studio she’s founding.
- Is violence against virtual animals an ethical issue? Players can kill, hunt or hurt animals in popular games ranging from Animal Crossing to Grand Theft Auto. The rise of this (increasingly realistic) trend in games, along with people’s tendency to go along with it, raises important questions.
- Videogames that will make you see death differently this Halloween. The interactive medium can engage players in profound questions about grief, mortality, and what it means to move on.
People we talked to and their points of view
- Glendyn Ivin’s Hotel Quarantine: a strange sense of freedom. We asked the prolific Australian director and photographer about his two weeks alone in a room with a camera, his presence on Instagram and the upcoming feature film Penguin Bloom.
- Sonia Bible and The Witch of Kings Cross. With her occult paintings and kinky sex life, artist Rosaleen Norton caused scandal in 1950s Sydney. We talk to the director of a new fully independent documentary celebrating her life.
- Jennifer Collins: ringside in the arena of ABC change. Beneath a decorously savage surface, the ABC has relentlessly turned vague cliches into solid restructures. What does this look like to a patient veteran?
Reviews and recommendations
- What We’re Watching: Halloween Edition. From classic horror to familiar dystopias, these are the films and shows that are scaring the Screenhub & Arts Hub office this Halloween.
- Film Review: Rams rides home on the sheep’s back. An excellent cast and surprising scripting make Jeremy Sims’ remake of the Icelandic comedy a rare pleasure in Australian cinema, says Anthony Morris.
- Film Review: Brazen Hussies celebrates the living history of Australian feminism. Writer-director Catherine Dwyer brings to life the rambunctious, contested history of Australian second-wave feminism, says Mel Campbell.
- Film Review: When Pomegranates Howl. Inspired by real stories, and shot on the streets of Kabul, Granaz Moussavi’s quiet, anti-war film left its Adelaide Film Festival audience speechless, writes Travis Akbar.
- Film Review: Baby Done is delightful and real. Packed with New Zealand comedic talent, this character-driven story about impending parenthood is genuinely funny, writes Mel Campbell.
- Film Review: 2067 – Same old Anthropocene? Seth Larney’s time travel drama was the opening night film at Adelaide Film Festival. Critic Adrian Martin ponders its place within the genre and its attempts to have it both ways regarding the human perspective.
- Film Review: Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra is vivid and important. Created to mark 30 years of the acclaimed Indigenous dance company, Wayne Blair and Nel Minchin’s documentary also serves as a moving tribute to the Page brothers, writes film critic Sarah Ward.
- Film Review: Combat Wombat is fresh, fun and inspiring. Brisbane-based animation company Like a Photon delivers another crowd-pleaser, with Deborah Mailman’s lead voice a real highlight, says Diversity in Australian Media reviewer Naavikaran.
Dates for your calendar
- The 2nd Asia Pacific Screen Forum will take place at HOTA (Home of the Arts, Gold Coast) and online 20 – 26 November, culminating in the APSA Awards on 26 November.
- 35TH Screen Forever: 16 – 18 February 2021. Venue: The Star Gold Coast & Online.
- The Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) 2021: a fully online event from 28 February – 3 March 2021. The theme this year is ‘Moment of Truth’ and first guests have been announced.