February 24, 2024

SPA SELECTIONS

“Carmen,” “Foe,” “Limbo,” Australia’s Oscar contender “Shayda,” “Streets of Colour” and “The Royal Hotel” have received the six nominations for best feature film at this year’s Screen Producers Australia Awards. The SPA Awards will be held on Thursday, March 21, 2024, the final evening of the Screen Forever conference.

In the documentary feature section, the nominations are “Flyaways,” “Harley & Katya,” “Living With Devils,” “ONEFOUR: Against All Odds,” “The Cape,” “The Giants,” “The Jewish Nazi?” and “The Platypus Garden.” Nominations for best telemovie or miniseries production are “While the Men Are Away,” “The Claremont Murders,” “Wellmania,” “The Messenger,” “Bad Behaviour” and “The Clearing.”

“2023 was a year filled with a number of challenges for our industry, but the Australian screen sector continued to delight audiences globally with stories that share our unique culture and creativity,” said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner

NOT BUYING THAT

Korean mystery-thriller film “Don’t Buy the Seller” is set for a rare theatrical release in cinemas in India. Renamed “Target,” the film will be released through Star Entertainment in November. Directed by Park Hee-kon, the story starts with a woman who complains about a defective second-hand washing machine that she has bought online. But that simple action exposes her to a scammer who may also be a serial killer who sets online traps for his victims. Starring Shin Hye-sun (“Collectors,” “Innocence”), Kim Sung-kyun (“Sinkhole,” “Golden Slumber”) and Kang Tae-oh (“Extraordinary Attorney Woo”) the film released in Korea at the end of August and earned a modest $3.1 million.

STORM BREWING

Hong Kong-made crime action film “The White Storm 3: Heaven or Hell” is set for a rare release in cinemas in South Korea. The third title in a franchise directed by Herman Yau, the plot involves an undercover cop who infiltrates a drug cartel headed by a notorious Thai gangster. It has a stellar cast headed by Aaron Kwok, Louis Koo and Sean Lau Ching-wan. The release, handled by NK Contents, is set for Dec. 7. It previously released in July in China where it earned over $40 million and also played at the New York Asian Film Festival.

ADELAIDE AGAIN

The Adelaide Film Festival, which wrapped its 2023 edition just weeks ago, has set its dates for next year as Oct. 23-Nov. 3, 2024. The 2023 festival posted an audience record, some 15 higher than in 2022 and up 81% from the last pre-pandemic edition in 2018. The festival presented 141 films from 42 countries across 198 sessions and five Adelaide cinemas. Additionally, it included a youth program, a spotlight on Indonesian films and the innovative EXPAND Lab, an initiative focused on the development of large-scale projection, immersive or gallery-specific works by more than 30 artists.

DOCS DOSH

Screen Australia has announced three documentaries funded through its Commissioned Program and four projects through its Producer Program that will share in over A$1.7 million ($1.13 million) of production funding.

Among the projects are “Deeper” that follows Thai cave rescue divers Richard Harris and Craig Challen on their exploration of the deepest freshwater cave in the world; NITV feature “Skin in the Game,” which dives into the highly-contested world of rugby league and women’s sport in Australia — hosted by proud women’s rugby league royalty, Marlee Silva; “Floodland,” which documents Australia’s most flood-prone postcode of Lismore and the aftermath of the 2022 floods; and SBS documentary “Osher Günsberg: My Journey Beyond Pain,” the follow-up to “Osher Günsberg: A Matter of Life and Death.”

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