Australian International Movie Convention moves to Event Cinemas

Columns
Day and Date Down Under

The annual Australian International Movie Convention will be moving from the Star Casino (formerly Jupiters) across the road to Event Cinemas at Pacific Fair, Broadbeach. It will be held from July 29 to August 2 this year. So if you want to spend some time Down Under, this would be the perfect opportunity. The Star, an eight-minute walk from the cinemas, is still one of the preferred accommodation partners, as is the Sofitel Broadbeach. For details, see www.movieconvention.com.au.

Australia's competition watchdog, the ACCC, has given local independent cinemas the right to bargain collectively with distributors over terms for screening features. Several of the distributors opposed the measure, saying that not all independent cinemas are created equal. ICA (Independent Cinemas Australia) had asked that the agreement be for ten years, but the ACCC limited it to five years. Smaller single-site screens have enthusiastically welcomed the decision.

Queensland has managed to secure the live-action version of Dora the Explorer for local studios after tough negotiations with Paramount and the film's producers. The Queensland government was forced to sweeten the deal with some tax-break concessions after the federal government refused to budge on its standard 16.5% tax break. The film will shoot later this year at Sound Stage 9 at Village Roadshow studios for an August 2019 release. Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes label is producing along with Andrew Form and Brad Fuller, with James Bobin (The Muppets) directing the Nick Stoller script. No casting has been announced as yet.

John Cleese has just arrived in Australia to film The Naked Wanderer at various locations along the coast of Western Australia. The film follows Angus McLaren as a heartbroken young man who walks 400 kilometers up the West Australia coast for charity, although his motives also involve making his ex-girlfriend jealous. Director-producer Alan Lindsay says he is thrilled to be filming in such great locations.

The Icelandic film Rams won the major prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival in 2015. The comedy-drama focuses on two brothers who live together and have raised an ancient breed of prize-winning sheep for 40 years but never speak to each other. They are forced to really team up when an illness affects the stock and authorities come calling. Roadshow is involved in an English-language remake to be directed by Jeremy Sims, with production by Janelle Landers and Aidan O'Brien. No casting or start date has been announced.

Actress Rachel Griffiths had her short films screened at Tropfest, and she is now about to make her feature directing debut withRide Like a Girl. The film is about the first female jockey to win Australia's most prestigious horse race, the Melbourne Cup. Teresa Palmer plays jockey Michelle Payne, with Sam Neill as her father and Jacki Weaver as Payne's manager. Filming has just started for Roadshow.

Send your Australia/New Zealand news to David Pearce at insidemovies@hotmail.com.