Graham Burke hails court action against piracy sites

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Day and Date Down Under

Graham Burke, the co-chief executive of Village Roadshow, has been a strong anti-piracy advocate for many years. He is very pleased that, following a court action by Village Roadshow backed by Warner Bros., Universal, Disney, Paramount and 20th Century Fox, plus an extra action by pay-TV provider Foxtel, a federal court has ordered that Australian Internet service providers block access to 59 piracy sites. Burke said it was a "great day for Australia," adding that piracy sites “employ nobody and create nothing.” The action is expected to cover more than 150 domain names, as some piracy Internet companies have multiple names.

The Brisbane International Film Festival in Queensland ended in 2013, but is now being resurrected. Screen Queensland in conjunction with Palace Cinemas will present the new festival. This is the first time in Australia that a cinema chain has been the co-presenter of a major city film festival. Palace Cinemas, however, has had great success in presenting niche film festivals. They organize 12 festivals a year in their cinemas including the French, Italian, British, Spanish and “Young At Heart” (for seniors) Film Festivals, all of which they tour to capital cities around Australia.

One of New Zealand's most infamous murders is that of the Bain family killings in 1994. Two adults and three of their four children were murdered in their Dunedin home. The fourth child, David Bain, was tried and convicted of murder but acquitted 12 years later in a retrial. Australian Paul Dobson has been scouting locations in New Zealand for a feature film on the murders and the events that followed, and is planning for a release in 2018.

South Australian independent cinema operator Wallis Cinemas has taken over Mildura's Deakin Cinema. This is the first cinema in the neighboring state of Victoria for the South Australian group, which operates five other screens and one drive-in. The Deakin Cinema started as a single screen before being twinned and then transformed to its current four-plex configuration.

It is very rare in the present day that a new single-screen cinema is built, but that is happening at Papamoa near Tauranga in New Zealand. The second stage of the Excelsa Shopping Centre includes a 135-seat single-screen cinema. It is due to open in mid 2018.

Expatriate British writer and comedian Ben Elton has written and directed his first Australian feature film, Three Summers. The romantic comedy follows attendees at a summer folk festival over three years as relationships change, and the same people reunite at the festival each year. The film opens nationally in November after a premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

Finally, the last surviving Australian outlet of the U.S. Blockbuster Video chain has just closed down.

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