Stage Fifty‘s Wycombe Film Studios, a new eight-stage 295,000 sq ft boutique studio, will kick off with a major Hollywood feature film that will start shooting in 2022. Temporary planning applications have been submitted to Buckinghamshire Council to support the as-yet-unnamed feature film, and approval to build one stage and workshops has been granted. An application for a permanent studio will follow later this year, transforming a 26-acre site located just off the highway to the southwest of High Wycombe, 34 miles from London, into a sustainable film studio.
Stage Fifty, which also operates studios in Farnborough and Winnersh, estimates that the Wycombe studio will generate create around 750 full-time direct jobs and support 450 indirect jobs in the supply chain, once fully operational. And Wycombe Film Studios will offer 25 apprenticeships annually through Stage Fifty’s Academy of Creative and Technical Arts.
Meanwhile, M2 MediaPost Inc. and Pillango Productions have launched Pecs City Studios, a new state of the art post production facility in Hungary. The 1600 sq.ft. facility will service sound and picture for television, streaming, feature film and commercials. It promises to be one of the best equipped post houses in Hungary, and bookings are already being taken. It will have a full industry standard S4 AVID suite using Pro-Tools software for full audio design, mixing, re-recording and editing.
Two fiction film projects and three documentary projects are to share $175,000 of grant funding from Bangkok-based Purin Pictures in the non-profit organization’s annual Spring financing round. A $15,000 production grant was awarded to “Magnetic Letters,” a documentary by Demie Dangla and Pabelle Film Production about decades-old audio letters between migrant workers and their families back home; a $30,000 grant to horror-fantasy animation “The Missing,” about a man without a mouth confronting his past, that is directed by Carl Joseph Papa and produced by Project 8 Projects; a post-production grant of $50,000 to Sorayos Prapapan’s “Arnold is a Model Student,” a drama about a scheme to cheat the entrance exams to a military college; a $30,000 post-production grant for Tanakhir Films’ Indonesian documentary “One Big Sumba Family,” directed by Tonny Trimarsanto, about a man with 12 wives, 52 children and 220 grandchildren; and a post-prod grant for “Small Hours of the Night,” a drama by Daniel Hui and 13 Little Pictures, in which a woman is interrogated by a man over one long night, revealing the story of a bizarre tombstone trial in 1980s Singapore. – Patrick Frater
The Berlin Film Festival features as part of “Berlin, nos années 20” (May 11-July 3) at Paris’ Centre Pompidou, which will include film screenings, stage performances, concerts, exhibitions and panel discussions inviting visitors to explore what makes Berlin tick in the new 20s. The event offers a cross-section of this year’s festival line-up and includes 25 films from the sections Competition, Berlinale Special, Encounters, Berlinale Shorts, Panorama, Forum and Generation. Carlo Chatrian, the artistic director of the Berlinale, will be presenting some of the films in Paris. Screenings include Carla Simón‘s Golden Bear winner “Alcarràs” and “Both Sides of the Blade,” for which Claire Denis won the Silver Bear for best director.
Mike Downey, the London/Dublin-based film producer who is the current chair of the board of the European Film Academy and was recently honored in the Queen’s Birthday Honors list, received his award from Prince Charles at Windsor Castle on Tuesday. Downey, who has been a member of EFA since 2000 and a member of the board for nearly two decades has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in recognition of his services to world cinema.
The Realness Institute, in partnership with Netflix, has revealed the twelve participants selected for the 2022 Episodic Lab and Development Executive Traineeship. They include Hussein Kurji with “Bushcamp” (Kenya), Khanyo Mjamba with “Byline” (South Africa), Mlilo Mpondo with “Bayeti-Visitors” (South Africa), Neo Sibiya with “Ukushona Kwelanga” (“The Setting of The Sun”) (South Africa), Sandra Madu with “From Lagos with Love” (Nigeria) and Voline Ogutu with “Dilemma” (Kenya). Each participant will receive a monthly stipend of $2,000 during the incubation period to cover living expenses. The programs commenced on May 1 and run until July 31.
Realness Institute is a non-profit organization which aims to empower Africans to tell their stories from an unapologetically African point of view.