A hot tub cinema is coming to Sydney

Day and Date Down Under

One of the major songs in the Broadway and film musical Gypsy is "You Gotta Have a Gimmick,” and cinema entrepreneurs are constantly thinking of new gimmicks to sell tickets. Hot tub cinemas started as an occasional fad in London and now the concept is coming to Sydney. Around 30 hot tubs, seating a number of people each, will be installed on a Sydney rooftop and will be open for four exclusive film showings, in the middle of winter. The venue is being kept secret and the screenings occur in July. Let’s just hope the water does not go cold during the film.

A ram raid followed by a fire has destroyed much of the Mainline Gepps Cross cinema, the only drive-in still operating in the South Australian capital city of Adelaide. The fire caused $400,000 damage, but owner Lorna Wallis says she hopes to have it open again and operating as soon as possible.

Australia and China signed a film co-production treaty around ten years ago, and five co-productions have been made since that deal was struck. But now, following a major conference organized by both countries and held in Beijing, the output looks to increase. Australian and Chinese producers have a slate of 14 pictures with a production cost of around A$400 million. The films are expected to be shot in Australia using Chinese stars and based on Chinese scripts. China will provide most of the funds, but the productions will use a great deal of Australian technical expertise. Just going into production on the Gold Coast is At Last, a comedy involving an art heist and a Chinese couple on holiday in Australia.

While on the subject of Chinese co-productions, Australian writer Carole Wilkinson has written six children's fantasy novels in her Dragonkeeper series. The first of these is to become an animated feature in a Chinese-Spanish co-production.

A number of indie features have started recently in Australia. Filming began May 1 on Luke Sparke's sci-fi film Occupation around the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales. In it, a small town shows the spirit that close-knit communities are famous for, and fights back after a ground invasion. International rights were on offer at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

Screen Australia and the South Australian Film Corporation are supporting In The Blood, a vampire tale that starts pre-production in August. Victoria Cross makes her feature directing debut on the tale of a female vampire who returns home to destroy her last connection to humanity, her son.

Screenwriter Shaun Grant is writing a political thriller, set in America, for the producers of Lion. Screen Australia is backing the development of the film, A Man With No Enemies, about a public-relations officer who joins a major meat-producing company and then discovers the firm has some dark secrets.

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