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‘The Substance’ Among Cannes Titles Set for New Zealand Film Festival

CANNES DO SPIRIT

Coralie Fargeat’s Demi Moore-starring feminist body horror film “The Substance” has been set as the closing night title for the New Zealand International Film Festival. The picture is one of 16 which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last month selected for the NZIFF which is now under the artistic leadership of Paolo Bertolin.

The NZIFF’s Fresh” strand features: “Good One,” by India Donaldson (daughter of New Zealand cinema legend Roger Donaldson); “To A Land Unknown,” by Mahdi Fleifel; Truong Minh Quý’s “Viet and Nam” a journey of young miners in Vietnam; Mo Harawe’s “The Village Next to Paradise”; and Agathe Riedinger’s “Wild Diamond.”

The “Widescreen” strand showcases films including: Chinese director Guan Hu’s Un Certain Regard-winning “Black Dog”; Mohammad Rasoulof’s “The Seed of the Sacred Fig,” which took home Cannes’ Special Jury Prize; Boris Lojkine’s “The Story of Souleymane”; and Rúnar Rúnarsson’s “When the Light Breaks.”
 
All We Imagine As Light,” by Payal Kapadia, the first Indian film in 30 years to compete at Cannes and the winner of the Grand Prix, will feature in the Visions strand, along with Gints Zilbalodis’ “Flow” and Miguel Gomes’ “Grand Tour,” which earned the best director award and depicts a civil servant’s journey across Asia in 1917 while fleeing his wedding. 

The festival’s Journeys strand highlights “Armand” by Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel, which won the Caméra d’Or for best first feature.

In the Treasures section, the NZIFF presents two classics that featured at Cannes: Chantal Akerman’s restored film “American Stories: Food, Family and Philosophy,” and the 4K restored version of Wim Wenders’ “Paris, Texas.” 

NZIFF 2024 will play at multiple locations from July 31 – Sept 4. They include Wellington, Auckland, Dunedi, Nelson, Christchurch, Tauranga Moana, Napier, Hamilton, New Plymouth and Masterton.

GOLD STRUCK

The Venice International Film Festival has set a world premiere of the 4K restored version of “The Gold of Naples” (aka “L’oro di Napoli”) by Vittorio De Sica as its pre-opening film.

The 1954 film, with its six separate stories of the denizens of Naples, was presented in competition in Cannes in 1995 and earned multiple prizes, including the best actress award for Silvana Mangano.

The restoration was conducted by Filmauro and Cinecitta using the 35mm camera negative and the 35mm mono soundtrack negative, under the artistic supervision of Andrea De Sica.

The festival will run Aug. 28 – Sept. 7 and also include “The Gold of Naples” in its classics section. This year marks the 50th anniversary of De Sica’s death and the 70th anniversary of the film.

SONY INDIA

Sony Pictures Entertainment has appointed Nachiket Pantvaidya as GM of Sony Pictures International Productions (SPIP), India. Pantvaidya will manage local productions and work alongside Shony Panjikaran, GM and head of Sony Pictures Releasing International, India.

Pantvaidya’s career includes roles as group CEO of Balaji Telefilms, business head of Sony Entertainment Television, business head of Star Plus and MD of Fox Television Studios. He has also worked with BBC and Disney. Alongside his new role, Pantvaidya will continue as CEO of Sony Entertainment Talent Ventures.

Shebnem Askin, executive VP, creative production and head of SPIP, said: “These are exciting times as we take a step to make and release our biggest local slate for the Indian market in the next two years. Nachiket brings along not only rich industry experience but also new energy and dynamic execution skills to lead SPIP to a prime position.” 

Pantvaidya added: “We are aiming to scale our output to not only match audience expectations, but also to ensure that the right cohorts get to see the movie of their choice on the distribution medium of their choice. I hope to partner fruitfully with the players in the market and with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) and optimize SPIP’s strength going ahead.”

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