All posts by William Tobias

The 2022 Las Vegas International Horror Film Festival Now open for Submissions

The Las Vegas International Horror Film Festival has announced that the 2022 edition of the prestigious annual awards event will take place on October 23rd and 24th, 2022 in the Entertainment Capital of the world

A film festival that’s all about terrifying its audience

The film festival reputed for showcasing and awarding the best horror films from all over the globe will be awarding eligible films in eleven different categories. All filmmakers looking to showcase their features or shorts to the world are invited to submit their work starting on May 31s, 2021..

LVIHFF which was founded by Christopher Levy, Chief Executive Officer of Falcon Film Exports, has become a platform where independent horror filmmakers can drive awareness to their movies alongside films from top-rated horror filmmakers and directors.

The After party is sure to be a scream. Asides from winning an award, the festival also offers independent filmmakers a chance to network with celebrity judges, film distributors, sales agents, representatives from major film studios all expected to be in attendance.

The fest event will award films based on the following categories:

Best Feature
Best Short
Best Director
Best Actress
Best Actor
Best Visual Effects
Best Special Effects
Best Make Up artist
Best Editing
Best Musical Score
Best Screenplay

For more information on how to submit your film  FilmFreeway

Amazon Purchases the Iconic Film Studio MGM for $8.45 Billion

Amazon announces the purchase of the studio Behind the James Bond Franchise, MGM for $8.45 Billion

Amazon and MGM earlier today announced that an agreement, that will see Amazon acquire the studio and rights to all its works, has been reached between the two companies.

Founded in 1924, MGM has gone from being just a movie-making studio to a giant entertainment company with a rich catalog of films under its name. Alongside the announcement of the merger, the two companies added that all the movies and TV shows owned by MGM would be even more easily accessible now that the two companies are together.

While we cannot say which company is benefitting more from the merger, there is one thing we do know for sure,  Amazon Prime Video subscriptions are about to be worth every single dollar subscribers pay for it. What with the addition of over 4,000 movies and 17,000 TV shows owned by MGM, it is a good time to be a Prime Video subscriber! Furthermore, Amazon Studios would be looking to revive popular old franchises from the studio such as the incredible 007 series among other classic titles.

Speaking while announcing the deal officially to the public, Senior VP of Amazon Studios and Prime Video, Mike Hopkins, said that “The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of (intellectual property) in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team. It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.” During the announcement, Hopkins also briefly mentioned that MGM studios have over 800 global employees, all of whom will be joining the studio to Amazon.

This is not the first time Amazon would be pulling off incredibly expensive acquisitions but the $8.45 Billion deal sure puts it second on the list of Amazon’s expensive company acquisitions.

Although there is no confirmed date on when the merger deal would be approved by a regulatory body governing the whole industry, Variety quoted insiders believe the deal should be done by the end of the year (2021). One of the interesting terms and conditions of the deal is that Amazon will take responsibility for MGM’s debt while the studio will be working as a branch under the Amazon Brand.

In a statement released by MGM’s executive chairman, Kevin Ulrich, he expressed his happiness about the deal saying “I am very proud that MGM’s Lion, which has long evoked the Golden Age of Hollywood, will continue its storied history, and the idea born from the creation of United Artists lives on in a way the founders originally intended, driven by the talent and their vision. The opportunity to align MGM’s storied history with Amazon is an inspiring combination.”

While it is yet to be seen as to whether the next title in the Bond franchise would debut on the Amazon Prime streaming service, there is no denying that the merger can open a whole world of possibilities not only for both companies but also for fans of the various classics mentioned by Hopkins during the deal announcement. Some of the popular titles include Creed; Rocky;  Tomb Raider;  Robocop; Raging Bull; Poltergeist; The James Bond series; The Pink Panther;  Moonstruck;  Fargo (TV Show);  Vikings (TV Show);  The Handmaid’s Tale (TV Show); among others, all of which have generated not just huge revenue for the MGM studio and other marketing companies that own rights to them but also amassed jaw-dropping audience all over the world.

Considering Amazon studio has recently adopted an aggressive commercial fare type of production, it would be really interesting to see how MGM and Amazon handle how to run the new “film division”.

Sam Raimi’s EVIL DEAD Serie coming to HBO Max

Forty years after the first movie was produced, Sam Raimi and his ‘Evil Dead’ film series are coming to HBO Max

Evil Dead Rise, a new installment and sequel to ‘Evil Dead’ – a supernatural horror trilogy created and produced by Sam Raimi is already in the works and set to debut on HBO Max!

Forty years ago, Sam Raimi introduced the world to his horror franchise world and while the other titles in the franchise have gotten theatrical releases, ‘Evil Dead Rise’ would be launching on HBO Max, a streaming platform. This, of course, is only available for the U.S. Other countries such as France, U.K. would be getting a theatrical release a few days after the streaming platform debut.

While Raimi directed and produced the original film in the franchise, “The Evil Dead(1981)” as well as the two sequels, “Evil Dead II” and “Army of Darkness” released in 1987 and 1993 respectively, he won’t be directing this new installment. However, he would be acting as an executive producer alongside Bruce Campbell, one of the franchise’s old protagonists. Another veteran of the franchise who would be contributing to the production of the new installment is Robert Tapert and it is yet to see whether or not he would feature on-screen in the movie.

This is not the first time a Studio or Streaming platform has tried to revive and reboot the franchise. A soft reboot was directed by Fede Alvarez for Sony in 2013 but it didn’t quite hit the ground running in terms of ratings and revenue generated.

Raimi’s new installment for HBO max would pick up exactly where the original trilogy left off in 1993 by moving the horror from the woods into the heart of the city. The plot of this installment would see two estranged sisters thrust into a primal survival battle due to the sudden rise of nightmarish flesh possessing demons who just won’t die.

Speaking about the new installment he is working on for HBO max, Raimi said in his statement that he was thrilled the ‘Evil Dead’ series was finally back to where it belongs saying “The company’s history as pioneers of horror speaks for itself. I’m equally excited to be working with Lee Cronin, whose gifts as a storyteller make him the ideal filmmaker to continue the enduring legacy of the franchise.”

While there might be new protagonists in this installment, one thing is certain, they would both have to step up to the task because “Evil Dead” does not have a history of being less dramatic when it comes to staging terrifying situations.

Production for “Evil Dead Rise” begins June 2021 and a release date for the movie is still unclear at the time of this writing.

“Evil Dead” is not the only horror hits that have been produced by New Line Cinema. The studio has also produced hit titles like “It and It: Chapter Two”, “The Conjuring” series, among other titles.

Speaking about the studio’s preparation to create a new installment to the original “Evil Dead” trilogy, New Line Cinema’s president and Chief Creative officer said while the studio has had a history of producing influential and successful horror films, he is very excited to see Sam Raimi, Rob and Bruce Campbell all coming back to work on a new installment to the franchise; stating that there is no better producer that can understand what “Evil Dead” means.

More news will be updated about the movie’s release date as more information is churned out.

 

Palm Spring Cancels Its International Film Festival Slated for 2021, Film Awards Gala Date Remains Unchanged 

The organizers of the Palm Springs International Film Festival have confirmed earlier this week that the 32nd annual film festival of the organization which was scheduled to commence February 25, 2021, would no longer hold. This decision was made following the organizer’s lingering concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and whether or not it was worth the risk. The organizers did confirm that its annual film awards gala date would still hold. 

The decision was first reported by KESQ after a letter was forwarded to the festival’s board members. The letter which reads “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of our lives in profound ways but we have not stopped believing that cinema has the power to change our hearts and minds. We stand by that truth and commit to continue our efforts in bringing film to our community.” was signed by the Festival’s board of directors. 

This new change is the second time this year the organizers have decided to push back the 32nd edition of their annual event due to health and safety concerns of their guests and staff.  

Other Palm Spring events scheduled for 2021 remains unchanged with the Palm Springs ShortFest still scheduled to hold from June 22-28, 2021. 

Although the film festival would not hold, the organizers confirmed in the letter that the awards ceremony will take place. While details on the Award gala are still not fixed, the gala is confirmed to hold at the Palm Springs Convention center. Also, as of the time of this writing, no honorees for the award have been announced. 

The cancellation of the 2021 Palm Springs Film Festival is the latest change to the annual awards season schedule forced by the coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 Oscars award ceremony was also recently shifted to April 25, 2021.

Film Production Recovery in North America after COVID 19 

Everything is slowly getting back to normal with new precautions, guidelines and rules. Filming industry is making its come back with re-opening of cinemas and new productions. 

Producing a film in North America is also one of those little slower sectors. There are no proper federal COVID guidelines, states, countries and local municipalities are setting their own set of rules and regulations for the restraining of a pandemic. The Film commission reports that everyone is ready to go to work, but there are lots of things required for this restart like coronavirus testing capacity, insurance, and health and safety guidelines.

States are providing relief to the production industry. 

Georgia: 

Many people are doing well in handling this situation, and recently Tyler Perry mega-multihyphenate in Georgia has completed filming his BET series’ “Sistas” and now working on another production “the Oval”. The remarkable thing  is that not a single case was recorded in this procedure. 

Perry talked about measure and safety guidelines he followed while shooting his productions. He said that he made sure everyone  (cast and crew) wear their mask when they are not shooting as masks have been scientifically proved to be stopping the spread. Perry said that he made sure everyone followed the security measures as he did not want any of them to be quarantined for 3 to 12 days due to a virus. 

Georgia is getting up to 30% tax relief for film, television, music videos, commercials, interactive games and animation. The Entertainment Industry Investment Act provides a 20% tax credit for $500,000 or more spent on production and post-production in Georgia, either in a single production or on multiple projects. The state also grants an additional 10% tax credit if the finished project includes a promotional logo provided by the state. 

Web: georgia.org/industries/film-entertainment 

New York 

New York is ready  to start their production work but with lots of precautions and care. Everything is moving carefully and next month is looking more promising and productive. There is no doubt that production is going very slow, but developments can be seen  at Steiner Studios which is working with a 500,000 sq –ft facility in  Sunset Park 

New York boosts 30% tax credit on both eligible costs and post-production expenses, but are not eligible for the “film production tax credit program.” 

Web: esd.ny.gov 

California: 

California is also back in the production business. The city has announced in August that many of its latest projects are going to be started. These big productions include Netflix’s big-budget “Gray Man” starring Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling. TV series are also ready to take their flight with shooting around southern California. SWAT recently shot at some location in Santa Clarita with strict safety protocols. 

California’s $1.55 billion Film & Television Tax Credit Program 3.0 runs for five years, with a sunset date of June 30, 2025, and each fiscal year, from July 1 to June 30, the $330 million funding is categorized in TV projects, relocating TV, indie features and non-indie features. 

Web: film.ca.gov 

Louisiana: 

Louisiana was hit hard by COVID.  The state has given approving nods to the  production industry following safety guidelines,

Production is getting up to 40% tax credit on total qualified expenditures that include resident and non-resident labor. 

Web: louisianaentertainment.gov 

Canada 

Canada is ready to host, albeit shootings with travel restrictions and have set detailed safety protocols for each province.
Entry to the country is allowed but only after 14-day self-quarantine before they can start working on set. The Canada Film or Video Production Tax Credit  known as CPTC is providing 100% refundable tax credit to eligible productions. The relief is available at a rate of 25% of qualified labor expenditure.
 

Web: canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/funding/cavco-tax-credits/film-video-production-services 

Ontario: ontariocreates.ca/tax-incentives/ofttc 

British Columbia: gov.bc.ca/gov 

 

American Film Market Cancelled but Offering Free Credentials to Buyers for Virtual Market


The American Film Market has announced that all approved buyers will receive complimentary credentials for its Virtual 2020 edition on November 9-13. 

 The IFTA announced last month that it would not keep the physical sales market. Following in the footsteps of the virtual market in June. It also moved the market a week back to avoid a conflict with Election Day 

Buyers’ credentials will provide access to the AFM online platform, which includes exhibitions in the on-demand theater, all exhibit pages, my AFM profile, and connection platform, and a five-day live session. 
 

“AFM 2020 Online is an exciting opportunity for us to fully embrace buyers from all over the world, especially those who cannot travel to Santa Monica.” Michael Ryan, IFTA Chairperson, and partner at GFM Films said. He said that the need for these five days dedicated to the rapid transformation of the industry and the reunification of those free from challenges and running a business is even greater. On behalf of the IFTA Board of Directors, we look forward to welcoming every buyer online to AFM in November. 
 

AFM is one of the key selling markets for the independent film industry, with the Berlin Film Festival in February, the Cannes Film Festival in May, and the European Film Market with Toronto Intel Film Festival in September. The cover was moved to Cannes Virtual Festival due to a virus epidemic and the upcoming TIFF has been rapidly reduced in size and scope. 

 

Avatar 2 delayed indefinitely due to COVID-19


Avatar 2 delayed indefinitely due to COVID-19
The Avatar sequels have been delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, James Cameron confirmed Thursday
James Cameron’s long-delayed sequels to Avatar” will now premiere every other December starting in 2022 as follows: “Avatar 2” (Dec. 16, 2022), “Avatar 3” (Dec. 20, 2024), “Avatar 4” (Dec. 18, 2026) and “Avatar 5” (Dec. 22, 2028). The second “Avatar” installment, which was originally aiming to open in 2014, will debut 13 years after the first film.
Disney announced that they are also pulling other highly anticipated films, which include Mulan and The French Dispatch. No release date has been reported.

Amma Asante to Start Principal Photography on ‘Billion Dollar Spy’ in 12 Months 

American filmmaker Amma Asante has revealed that she plans to start principal photography in 12 months on the long-awaited project “The Billion Dollar Spy”. Production is currently halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Adapted from David E. Hoffman’s best-selling book of the same name, Benjamin August (“Remember”), the production of Walden Media and Wade Road Pictures will tell the true story of one of the most influential people in the Pentagon’s last years. He had become a valuable spy cold War. Akiva Goldsman is ready to go. 

“You know that the aesthetic that I wanted was to cover the snow and cover as much real snow as possible and that would limit the time of year,” Asante said. “I think that will happen in the next 12 months.” 

Asante was talking to Scottish radio DJ and TV presenter Edith Bowman, who discussed her award-winning career as part of the Virtual BAFTA Master class, which included the London Film Festival and San Francisco. Sebastian includes two BAFTA as well as Gong. 

Asante’s film credits include “A Way of Life,” “Belle,” “The United Kingdom” and “Wherever hands touch“. Television credits include episodes of “A handmade tale” and “Mrs. America.” 

A way of life 

Asante spoke openly about the obstacles facing the industry, despite winning the Carl Foreman Award in 2005 for highly specialized newcomers to BAFTAs for their first feature “A Way of Life”. “I want to say that when I won my BAFTA, I talked about 10 years before making another film, and there are directors who are not black and there are not women who are the same. BAFTA won – for a debut, producer, or writer – and when I started making another film, I made more films than I did. 

“You get into a situation where the industry says, ‘We need experienced people.’ Well, of course, people will be more experienced if they have more opportunities, and you have fewer opportunities. “So we’re in the Catch 22 situation in the industry setup. It’s designed to limit the many of us who look like us while gaining experience like me while giving those who are more diligent, clean, More than us, but those who manage to make the most award-winning films and work with big actors and big names only because they have been able to present their art. “ 

“We have to be tough and keep changing, and I have a way of doing that, although it frustrates me. Is it that for every film I’m in control of, I make sure I have less There is at least one emerging film. Women filmmakers are casting me over this film, “said Asante.” In my last film, as most people know, I had four films.
 

Jason Momoa in Talks to Voice ‘Frosty the Snowman’ in Warner Bros. Movie 

Aquaman” himself, Jason Momoa, is in talks to play Frosty the Snowman in a movie to be made for Warner BrosMomoa will also perform with Geoff Johns, and Stampede’s Greg Silverman and June Berg. David Berenbaum, who collaborated with Berg on “Elf”, is ready to script the film. “We know Jason is a real man, full of love, compassion, and a deep connection to Ohana; he’s the living spirit of Xmas and Frosty,” Silverman said. 

Momoa’s “Aquaman was a huge hit for Warner Bros, grossing $ 1.14 billion at the worldwide box office. The studio is preparing a sequel. Berg, executive producer of “Aquaman“, said: “We all won from ‘Aquaman‘ as far as his marine success as a land of ice and fire, this time it was just right to feel Jason in the snow. “Berg, who was an executive producer at Aquaman. “ 

The character comes from the famous Christmas song written by Walter Rollins and Steve Nelson, and was first recorded by Gene Autry and the Cass County Boys in 1950 after the success of Atri’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Momoa will be seen as Duncan Idaho in the next Warner Bruce sci-fi saga “Dune“. The news about the Frosty project was first announced through the deadline

FilmLA is getting 14 film permits in one day

FilmLA reports that about 14 film permit applications have been submitted since the resumption of remote operations on June 15. It reported on Wednesday that the largest television project to apply for a location shoot was Freeform’s “Love in time of corona”. The filmLA said that three soap operas have resumed filming on the sound stages in Los Angeles: “Bold and the Beautiful,” “The Young and the Restless” and “General Hospital.” FilmLA does not coordinate permits for the productions on certified sound stages. 

Epidemics halted film and television production in March. Unions and studios have been working in recent weeks to hammer out specific protocols to protect the health of those in the seats. The agency also said on Wednesday that it was interested in getting hundreds of moviegoers back to work. To date, 13 of the 16 city and county jurisdictions served by FilmLA have reopened to filming, as has one of the six school districts served by FilmLA. Representatives from FilmLA described the return of filming as “cautious and gradual”, with upcoming applications consisting of 56% small steel photo shoots and commercials. The next largest group of applicants comes from television, the way forward with the shooting of reality. 

“Since its reopening, we’ve seen growing interest from filmgoers and the community in how filming can resume safely and responsibly,” said Paul Audley, president of FilmLA. “New health orders for permit seekers – mandates issued by the County Public Health Department under the guidance of industry advisers – need to be seriously considered. This will make it much easier for us to re-film the local population.