IMAX has inked a deal with VOX Cinemas, the Middle Easts largest exhibitor, for a minimum of four new theatres in Saudi Arabia. Four theatres will be added to new multiplexes in Riyadh. The first IMAX theatre has opened at VOX Cinemas Riyadh Park Mall venue. VOX Cinemas was awarded its licence to operate cinemas in the Kingdom and plans to invest SAR2B (US$533.3M) to open 600 screens in Saudi Arabia over the next five years. Todays agreement brings the IMAX contracted network in Saudi Arabia to at least five, with two currently open.
Kelly Macdonalds Puzzle, which is directed by Big Beach principal Marc Turtletaub and was picked up earlier this year by Sony Pictures, will open the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The drama will be joined at the Scottish festival, which runs June 20 through July 1, by Anna And The Apocalypse, Jack Lowden-fronted thriller Calibre (which has been picked up by Netflix), pop-art drama Make Me Up, Paul Raschid-directed and Shauna Macdonald-fronted horror White Chamber, James Cosmos crime drama Papillon and Anthony Byrnes Natalie Dormer and Emily Ratajkowski starrer In Darkness. High-profile documentaries playing at the festival include Kevin Macdonalds Whitney, Almost Fashionable: A Film About Travis, directed by the bands frontman Fran Healy, Kenny Glenaans Dirt Road To Lafayette and Becoming Animal. Mark Cousins will introduce two of his films, The Eyes of Orson Welles and Storm In My Heart.
Northern Europe powerhouse Nordisk Film is looking to ramp its production efforts has signed a five-picture deal with Swedish production company BRF (B-Reel Films), the company behind film and TV including Mikael Marcimains Gentlemen and Pernilla Augusts A Serious Game. This follows a three-year output deal with Swedish directors Helena Bergström and Colin Nutley. Nordisk Film Distribution has recently picked up books for development including Lena Anderssons Wilful Disregard, Fredrik Backmans My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You Shes Sorry and Emmy Abrahamsons How to Fall In Love With A Man Who Lives In A Bush.
Kino Lorber has picked up all North American rights to SXSW doc Gospel Of Eureka by directors Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher. Film is set for release in spring 2019. Narrated by trans-genre artist Justin Vivian Bond, the film follows the spirited residents in the Southern Bible Belt town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas and the simmering tension between drag queen performers and LGBTQ residents and the towns conservative Christians. Deal was negotiated by Kino Lorber Sr. Vice President Wendy Lidell and Jason Ishikawa of Cinetic Media.
Peaky Blinders and Yardie investor Screen Yorkshire has hired former Creative England executive Caroline Cooper Charles as Strategic Development Executive. Reporting to Screen Yorkshires Chief Executive, Sally Joynson, Cooper Charles work will have a dual focus. The first will be the development and delivery of Screen Yorkshires new Film Office, which will launch later this year. Cooper Charles will also explore additional strategic opportunities for Screen Yorkshire. Charles was most recently Head of Film at Creative England. Screen Yorkshires investments include Yardie, Ghost Stories, Testament of Youth, 71, Peaky Blinders and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.
UK film producer Robbie Leacock has joined LA/Shanghai-based film and commercial production company Assembly Line Entertainment as head of its newly formed UK division. Leacock previously worked at Potboiler Productions (The Constant Gardener) and was assistant producer on Stanley Tuccis Final Portrait. Last year in South Africa he was an as associate producer on Gideon Raffs 2018 thriller The Red Sea Diving Resort. Leacocks first project for Assembly Line Entertainment is to produce the feature Fairfax, a comedy about three struggling young actresses in Hollywood, from his own script. Hes also producing Thai-set indie rom-com Where Are They Now? Chris Blim (Mondo Hollywoodland) also joins Assembly Line as a creative executive.