‘Muru,’ ‘Fire of Love’ to Open New Zealand International Film Festival

FESTIVALS

The world Premiere of local filmmaker Tearepa Kahi’s action-drama “Muru” will open the Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin chapters of the New Zealand International Film Festival, while American filmmaker Sara Dosa’s Sundance-winning documentary “Fire of Love” will open all the other festival locations, which include Gore, Hamilton, Hawke’s Bay, Masterton, Matakana, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Tauranga and Timaru. Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winning “Triangle of Sadness” will close the festival in all centers.

Other Cannes titles joining the lineup include Charlotte Wells’ “Aftersun,” David Cronenberg’s “Crimes of the Future,” Queer Palm winner “Joyland,” from Saim Sadiq and “Sick of Myself,” by Kristoffer Borgli. Award winners from this year’s Berlin International Film Festival include Golden Bear winner “Alcarràs,” by Carla Simón and Natalia López Gallardo’s Silver Bear jury winning “Robe of Gems.”

Other local films include Fergus Grady and Noel Smyth’s “Gloriavale,” Tom Levesque’s “Shut Eye” and New Zealand-U.S. co-production “Ka Pō,” from Hawaiian director Etienne Aurelius.

The festival, which is reduced in size this year with plans to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels in 2023, will operate across its multiple locations between July 28 and Sept. 4, 2022.

Red Sea International Film Festival

Meanwhile, submissions to the second Red Sea Film Festival in Saudi Arabia (Dec. 1–10) are open until Aug. 14. 2022. Filmmakers from Asia and Africa, including the Arab world, are invited to submit films. The films in competition will vie for the Yusr Awards, chosen by an international jury. The Red Sea Golden Yusr award for best film in competition will be awarded $100,000. Cash prizes will also be awarded to best director ($30,000); the Red Sea Golden Yusr for best short film ($25,000) and the Red Sea Silver Yusr for short film ($15,000) in addition to the Red Sea Silver Yusr jury prize ($20,000). Other prizes will be awarded for screenplay, actor, actress, immersive, cinematic contribution and Red Sea: competition special mention. There will also be cash prizes for the audience award and best Saudi film.

COMMISSIONS

BBC Factual has commissioned “Crazy Rich Agents” (working title), a series for BBC Two and iPlayer, which will show the behind-the-scenes hustle and business acumen it takes to secure the most expensive properties, take them to market and secure sales. With exclusive access to elite real estate company Nest Seekers International, the show follows seven rookie estate agents over the course of the summer as they put everything on the line to sell some of the most impressive and exclusive properties in the U.K. The four-parter is made by Plum Pictures and Diga Studios. It was commissioned by Clare Sillery, head of commissioning, documentaries, history and religion at the BBC and Max Gogarty, commissioning editor. Executive producers for Plum Pictures are Stuart Cabb and Lisa Keane. Executive producers for Diga Studios are Nick Rigg and Tony DiSanto. The series producer is Marie Sylvester and series director is Oli Tridgell.

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“Super Surgeons: A Chance at Life”
Channel 4

Meanwhile, Channel 4 has commissioned Wonderhood Studios to produce three-part series “Super Surgeons: A Chance at Life,” following some of the world’s leading surgical oncologists as they employ ground-breaking technology to try to save or prolong the lives of their patients. The series is being made in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and is produced by the team behind the Grierson-nominated “Baby Surgeons.” The series has access to The Royal Marsden National Health Service Foundation Trust, one of the world’s leading cancer hospitals, and follows the stories of the patients who put their trust – and their lives – in the hands of the surgeons. It is executive produced by James W. Newton and Katharine Patrick, produced and directed by Joy Ash and the series director is Ben Rumney. It was commissioned by Jonah Weston for Channel 4. The series is being distributed internationally by BBC Studios.