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Cannes News Bytes 2012 -
Tobrouk (The Oath of Tobruk) Film Can Represent A Passing Of
The Torch Between People Inspired By A Shared Love Of Freedom

Protesters Chant Anti-Government Slogans In Tobruk City Courtesy
The Cannes Film Festival on Friday May 25th will present a special showing of Bernard-Henri Levy's Le Serment de Tobrouk (The Oath of Tobruk), an Official Selection of the festival.

Serment de Tobrouk (The Oath of Tobruk) was made during the eight-month conflict that put an end to the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. The film traces the unfolding of that unusual war, a spontaneous popular revolt that became a revolution through the determination of a collection of men and women in Libya, Paris, London, New York, and elsewhere.

Le Serment de Tobrouk (The Oath of Tobruk) illustrates how ideas and convictions can alter the course of history in the form of a political and humanitarian intervention that had heretofore seemed unthinkable. That demonstration makes all the more disturbing the spectacle of daily killing that began around the same time in Bashir El Assad's Syria and that continues to this day.

At the invitation of Bernard-Henry Levy, and welcomed by the Cannes Festival, four key figures of the Libyan revolution will attend the screening to dedicate their achievement in Libya to their Syrian friends.

By selecting the just-finished Le Serment de Tobrouk (The Oath of Tobruk) for the Festival, Gilles Jacob and Thierry Fremaux intend to reinforce that a film can represent a passing of the torch between people inspired by a shared love of freedom.

Thorsten Ritter
Thorsten Ritter Attends Cannes In
His New Position With Beta Cinema
Thorsten Ritter, formerly head of Bavaria Film International, has joined the Beta team and will strengthen Beta Cinema in worldwide acquisitions, sales and marketing as Executive Vice President (EVP). Cannes is his first market with the Beta team.

Ritter held a number of positions at Bavaria Film International since 1999. He is credited with being instrumental in the success of Nowhere In Africa, Good Bye, Lenin! and Let The Right One In among others. Most recently his focus has been on English-language cinema with films such as this year's Berlinale Special entitled I, Anna featuring Charlotte Rampling and Gabriel Byrne, and Sandra Nettelbeck's latest production Mr. Morgan's Last Love starring Michael Caine. This will continue to be his main area of activity at Beta Cinema.

Beta Cinema Managing Director Dirk Schurhoff adds: "We couldn't have had better luck. Thorsten Ritter brings 13 years of experience from all domains of world sales and has an excellent reputation in the industry. He was thus the perfect candidate for us in our plan to continue expanding the further internationalization of our portfolio, especially in the acquisition of English-language films."

Thorsten Ritter said: "I am looking forward to this fantastic opportunity. Beta Cinema is a very highly respected world sales organization, nationally and internationally, and I am delighted to be joining such a successful team."

Emily Watson & Sandra Oh
The Road For Level K
Is 33 Liberty Lane
Level K has joined with producers Su Armstrong (Good Will Hunting) and Brian Rosen (Ferngully) of TREE (Australia) for the production of the romantic comedy 33 Liberty Lane. Emily Watson, Sandra Oh, Melora Hardin and Nia Vardalos make up the dynamic ensemble that sees them as a group of women down on their luck, who band together to create a company that would make a quick buck and ease their woes. In a naive process of osmosis their "dream" is realized in Love Shack, a phone-sex company. Diving in head first, they seemed to have forgotten one key ingredient - sexual prowess. For a group that contains a suburban mom and a 40 year-old virgin, this does not come naturally and the educational services of Brijeet, a local hooker, are enlisted, bringing some unforeseen side effects.

Peter Hewittset is to direct and shooting is scheduled to begin in Summer 2012 with 33 Liberty Lane of TREE (Australia) producing a script that was developed through the Screen NSW Aurora scriptwriting program in Australia.

33 Liberty Lane is a TREE (Australia) production to be shot in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with the support of Manitoba Film & Music, and the Production Company, Buffalo Gal Pictures.

Carole Siller
Black Hangar Studios
Launches In The UK
Black Hangar Studios located just outside of London was launched just prior to Cannes and Business Consultant and Film Producer, Carole Siller, was named CEO.

The 32,000 sq. ft. filmmaking facility, designed by award-winning filmmakers, offers a unique and wide array of services. With the distinction of being one of only two studios in the UK to house water filming facilities, it boasts a 5,000 sq. ft. Water Tank.

Announcing the launch of the facility, CEO, Carole Siller said: "With Black Hangar Studios, we are proud to be part of a long tradition of studio filmmaking in the UK and we believe that we have a strong offering to rival even more established studios. We have incorporated our expertise from years of working on blockbuster films to create a facility we feel has everything a filmmaker could need under one roof, and we are keen to tailor our services for each client so that they receive the exact experience they require."

Located just 40 minutes outside of central London, in Basingstoke, Black Hangar Studios' facilities house a range of departments that design, plan and construct sets for use at the facility, as well as on location. The 5,000 sq. ft. Water Tank features above and below level shooting platforms, with a shooting platform to provide a natural sky and horizon line, while the studio space is large enough to house the multiple sets for an entire TV and film production.

Art Directors Guild Award-winner Simon Lamont and Award nominee Digby Milner were also named as Head of Art & Production Services and Head of Special FX, respectively. Together they used their combined 30-year experience from working on blockbusters, including franchises such as Harry Potter, Batman, James Bond and Star Wars, in the design of the studio to ensure the facility could be 'tailored' for different projects and filmmakers whether the project they are shooting is for TV, commercial purposes, music promotion, or theatrical release.

Among the those advising the Studios' clients is Edwin Philpott, a former Creative Director and Board member of Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising London, where he was responsible for implementing a holistic strategy, broadening the client offering from pure advertising to a multi platform and wholly integrated creative product. His ideology is generally accepted today as the industry standard, and Edwin is available to provide his expertise for Black Hangar Studios clients.

Aimed to appeal to a wide range of filmmakers including those in the advertising, film, music and TV space, it offers a range of services including casting, animation, equipment, hair & make-up, art department & props, visual FX and legal. The design accommodates for each bespoke client, offering flexibility to use these services, or supply their own through preferred partners. Situated at Lasham Airfield, clients available with permission also have the option of aircraft or helicopter landing facilities.

Neve Campbell
Neve Campbell
Shines For Spotlight
Spotlight Pictures' Cannes slate headlines the Neve Campbell thriller, The Glass Man, which revolves around a man whose seemingly normal life slowly descends into madness.

President of International, Scott Bedno said, "We are very proud to introduce The Glass Man to our buyers in Cannes. In fact, I feel our slate of six new titles has something for everyone, and I'm looking forward to being very busy at the market."

Rounding out the slate is the Christopher Lambert action film Blood Shot about a vampire turned CIA assassin; Detention of the Dead, a zombie comedy described as The Breakfast Club meets Shaun of the Dead; the creature features Millennium Bug and Return of the Killer Shrews; and the futuristic action film Wasteland. "When you add in our recent films such as the Mischa Barton comedy, Beauty and the Least, and our family/dog 3D movie, Heart Shakey 3D, 2012 will prove to be our best year ever. Let's just hope the Mayans were wrong!" adds Mr. Bedno.

Hirokazu Kore-Eda's I Wish Opened In The US

I wish
Magnolia Pictures opened I Wish, the latest film from Japanese master filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, on May 11 in the US at the Landmark Regent Theatre in Westwood and the Laemmle Playhouse in Pasadena.

I Wish premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and was recently featured as part of the Lincoln Center's Film Comment Selects series. A delightful tale of childhood desires and imaginative adventures, twelve-year-old Koichi (Koki Maeda) lives with his mother and retired grandparents in Kagoshima, in the southern region of Kyushu, Japan. His younger brother Ryunosuke (Koki's real-life brother Ohshiro Maeda) lives with their father in Hakata, northern Kyushu. The brothers have been separated by their parents' divorce and Koichi's only wish is for his family to be reunited. When he learns that a new bullet train line will soon open, linking the two towns, he starts to believe that a miracle will take place the moment these new trains first pass each other at top speed. With help from the adults around him, Koichi sets out on a journey with a group of friends, each hoping to witness a miracle that will improve their difficult lives.
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