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Asim Chaudhry

Asim Chaudhry
AP

BIFAs Sets Host

Asim Chaudhry, most known for his role as Chabuddy G in People Just Do Nothing, has been set as host for the 2021 British Independent Film Awards, which will take place on December 5. Back to a physical edition after a one-year virtual hiatus, the ceremony is taking place at London’s Old Billingsgate. Nominations were unveiled last month, with Belfast and Boiling Point leading the way.

BAFTA Rising Star Jury

This year’s BAFTA Rising Star jury will feature Andy Serkis, Sadie Frost and Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery. Overseen by BAFTA Chair Krishnendu Majumdar, the jury also features casting directors Lucy Bevan and Leo Davis, producer Uzma Hasan, and talent agent Ikki El-Amriti. The shortlist will be announced on February 1, when voting opens to the public. Previous winners of the prize include John Boyega and Letitia Wright. The BAFTAs take place on March 13.

Red Sea Festival To Spotlight Female Filmmakers, Actors

The inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival (6-15 December) has said it will spotlight women via tributes, masterclasses and screenings. Among those to be celebrated are the country’s first female Saudi filmmaker, Haifaa Al Mansour, French actress Catherine Deneuve, Egyptian actress Laila Eloui, and Egyptian cinema legend, Yousra. Eloui and Yousra will deliver masterclasses. The festival is due to screen 135 films, 38% of which are directed by women. Wadjda filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour said: “I am incredibly honoured to return home to Saudi Arabia for the first edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival. Those of us who worked tirelessly with dreams of cinema finding a home here know what a truly monumental event this is for the Kingdom, the region and the world. I believe strongly in the power of art to foster positive development and opportunity in our community and hope that this festival serves as a strong foundation for a burgeoning industry that will nurture and amplify our stories and dreams well into the future. When I started making films years ago, the idea of working as a director seemed outlandish. But I knew that the world was curious to hear from us, to hear our side of the story, and that films from our part of the world would strike a chord with audiences around the world.”

NFT Studios Gets Investment

Production company NFT Studios, which looks to fund its films exclusively through non-fungible tokens, has received an investment of $1M from NFT Investments, which is headed up by executive chairman Jonathan Bixby, and NoFatEgo, the Los Angeles-based film production company owned by Niels Juul, who has credits including being an exec producer on Scorsese’s The Irishman and Silence. NFT Studios’ first NFT-funded film will be Juul’s comedy drama A Wing And A Prayer, which is the story of Brian Milton, the first man to fly around the globe in a microlight.

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