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Conecta Fiction: ‘Ex Reo,’ ‘Canfranc Station,’ ‘Parallel’ Make Sgae Showcase Cut

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Madrid — “Ex Reo,” “Canfranc Station: Forward Escape” and “Parallel” feature among six TV fiction series developed at Spain’s General Society of Spanish Authors’ Foundation that will be pitched at June’s Conecta Fiction, a new international co-production and networking TV event targeting drama from Latin America and Spain.

Conecta Fiction runs June 20-23, the Sgae pitching sessions take place on June 21.

Playing off the huge interest in upscale fiction among key established and new players in the region, the event looks set to attract a near who’s who of major fiction series producers and broadcasters from Spain and Latin America, judged from an initial list of near 120 company attendees confirmed by the organization.

Optioned by Jose Manuel Lorenzo’s Madrid-based Dlo, part of France’s Banijay Group from 2013, and written by María Minguez, “Ex-Reo” weighs in as a slice of teasing Valencian Noir. The eight-part, two-season murder-thriller kicks in as Hugo, »


- John Hopewell and Emiliano De Pablos

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Jeune femme’ (Montparnasse Bienvenüe)

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In the final shot of “Jeune femme,” a brittle yet unbreakable young lady named Julia stares directly into the camera, peering out through two differently colored eyes, one brilliant green, the other hazel. You don’t come across such an intense gaze every day, and the same could be said of Julia’s spirit. She’s one in a million, as far as movies are concerned: a wild, well-rounded young female character forced from the passive comforts of a 10-year relationship and now fighting to reinvent herself on the streets of Paris.

Made in France with a modest budget but considerable insight, Cannes Camera d’Or winner “Jeune femme” was directed by La Fémis graduate Léonor Serraille — while pregnant, no less! — and features young women in nearly every creative role, from camera to composer, sound to set design. The presence of strong, capable women across all departments is every bit »


- Peter Debruge

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Festival Divisions Visible at Funeral of Busan Programmer Kim Ji-seok

4 hours ago

Some 400 leading figures from the Asian cinema business attended a memorial service on Monday for Busan festival programmer and co-founder Kim Ji-seok. But the large attendance did little to mask the ongoing divisions in the Korean industry.

Kim died nearly two weeks ago in Cannes. His body was cremated in France and his remains returned to Korea ahead of a three-day funeral that started on Saturday. It concluded in a service held at the spectacular, downtown, Busan Cinema Center.

Festival chairman and co-founder, Kim Dong-ho led the proceedings. Ousted former festival director, Lee Yong-kwan, former Busan Film Commission head Oh Seok-geun, and Kim’s son were chief mourners.

Lee refused handshakes with Busan city mayor Seo Byung-soo, who precipitated the festival’s three-year crisis by censoring its program, and with Kim Dong-ho, who returned to the festival as a steadying hand after the crisis erupted. Lee also ducked »


- Sonia Kil

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Fox Joins Tencent in Chinese Web Movie Production Slate

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Youth Tencent, part of China’s giant Tencent games and social media group, has amassed an impressive group of producers and investors for the first edition of its online movie production initiative.

Twentieth Century Fox offshoot, Fox International Productions along with Sina Entertainment and iQIYI are among the partners on the 10-film Flying Wings (aka Bi Yi) slate. Other partner companies include Xinpianchang which is facilitating production; Bole Pictures and Good Fellow Pictures, providing marketing and promotion support.

Properties are drawn from anime titles on Tencent’s Comic and Animation platform and are made on relatively low budgets by film makers with an average age of 30. Chinese director Zhao Tianyu, Japanese producer Takashige Ichise, and director Yao Tingting serve as executive producers.

With titles including “Twin Detectives,” “The Innocent City,” “Soul Hunter,” “The Maid Killer,” “Not Married,” “Horror of Flowers,” “Lost In Apocalypse,” “Soul Contract,” “Private Hero,” and “The Mystical Treasure, »


- Patrick Frater

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Fortunata’

10 hours ago

In a year when no Italian directors were lucky enough to land in the Cannes competition, the country is done no favors by Sergio Castellitto’s presence in Un Certain Regard. From “You Can’t Save Yourself Alone” to “Don’t Move,” the director’s work never strays from the kind of middlebrow aesthetic convinced of its own depth — only there’s no depth there. And though his collaborations with novelist wife Margaret Mazzantini are seen as prestige productions at home and tend to get big rollouts, their pat psychologizing results in unsatisfactory characters who careen down paths designed with elaborate, artificial, and deeply uninteresting detours. Even given limited expectations, it’s safe to say “Fortunata” has Mazzantini’s sloppiest script so far, about a hairdresser determined to open a beauty parlor but waylaid by an ill-advised (and truly ridiculous) hook-up with her kid’s shrink.

Winner of the Un Certain Regard acting prize, »


- Jay Weissberg

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