FESTIVAL FOR ALL
The third edition of Fragments Festival (Sept. 28-Oct. 1) – set up as a platform for underrepresented filmmakers and as a showcase of films featuring unique individuals and minority groups – returns to London’s Genesis cinema and will open with Ken Loach‘s “The Old Oak.” The film centers on struggling pub The Old Oak, where tensions mount following the sudden arrival of Syrian refugees who have been housed in the area. The festival closes with Anna Hints‘ “Smoke Sauna Sisterhood,” the Estonian entry for the 2024 Oscars that documents a space where women can share their innermost secrets and intimate experiences.
This year’s festival comprises eight features, 26 shorts and 11 events highlighting stories by and of women, non-binary people and other members of the LGBTQIA+ community, disabled people, working class individuals, and Black, Asian and Arab communities.
Genesis owner Tyrone Walker-Hebborn said: “With the world increasingly opening up to diversity, it’s more important than ever to expose people to as many perspectives as possible, and I believe film is still one of the best ways to do this.”
Film ticketing agency Maoyan reports that China’s summer box office season (which it defines as June 1 to August 31, 2023) saw total box office reach RMB 20.6 billion ($2.84 billion), marking a 16% increase compared to pre-pandemic 2019. The total number of cinema admissions reached 504 million, marking new records for the highest box office, admissions, and screenings in the history of the Chinese summer box office.
With gross revenues of RMB3.53 billion ($487 million), “No More Bets” edged out “Lost in the Stars” as the season winner, but four Chinese – the others were “Creation of the Gods I: Kingdom of Storms” and “Never Say Never” – enjoyed revenues over RMB 2 billion ($275 million), compared with just one in 2019.
India’s largest multiplex chain PVR Inox scored its highest-ever monthly admissions and box office month of all time in August. The month witnessed 19 million admissions and $64 million in box office driven by Rajinikanth‘s “Jailer,” Sunny Deol‘s “Gadar 2,” “Oppenheimer,” “Rocky aur Rani ki Prem Kahani,” “Dream Girl 2” and “OMG2.” The chain also broke its own single day admissions and box office record twice in three days. Aug. 13 saw 1.28 million admissions and $4.77 million box office. On Aug. 15, a holiday for Independence Day, there were 1.3 million admissions and $5 million box office.
PVR Inox operates 1708 screens across 361 properties in 115 cities in India and Sri Lanka.
Pluto TV, the free streaming television service, and TP Vision, the company responsible for the design, production, marketing and sales of Philips branded TVs, have set a partnership to launch Pluto TV’s Free ad-supported streaming TV service (FAST) on the Philips Smart TV platform across Europe and Latin America. The deal spans more than 25 territories across Europe and Latin America, including the U.K., Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Warner Bros. Discovery and Unifi have expanded their business partnership in Malaysia with the launch of four HBO channels and the upcoming launch of HBO Go streaming service. HBO, HBO Family, HBO Hits and Cinemax will launch on Unifi TV. With HGTV and Cartoon Network also added on Unifi TV in August, WBD now offers nine of its channels on the platform. WBD’s Asian regional streaming service, HBO Go will be available from October.
Hong Kong Disneyland was operated under limited conditions on Friday but will be completely closed on Saturday due to high winds. The path of Super Typhoon Saola will pass very close to the city on the night of Friday to Saturday. Forecasters says that the storm’s eye wall could come within 40km (25 miles) of the city. Its approach has already closed schools and the stock market and caused flights to be canceled from Friday afternoon.