Fayssal Bazzi - News Poster

News

Umbrella Entertainment spruiks ‘Relic, ‘ ‘2067’ and ‘The Furnace’

‘Relic’

While some distributors are cutting back, Umbrella Entertainment plans to release approximately 18 titles in cinemas this year, up from 14 in 2019.

The distributor has high hopes for its Australian acquisitions which run the gamut of genres from drama, horror and Western to sci-fi.

“We’re passionate about overcoming the cultural cringe that Australian audiences still have a tendency to display and are dedicated to fostering new Australian talent,” Umbrella head of acquisitions Ari Harrison tells If.

“As a small, close-knit team, we aim to concentrate our efforts on films that we love and can support from the ground up. We want to work hand-in-hand with the filmmakers with the goal of getting their film ‘out there’ so that it finds its audience.

“Essentially we aim to ensure that the films we acquire have the capacity for national theatrical success in Australia and New Zealand, with potential for continued growth via their ancillary platforms.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Berlin premieres for ‘Stateless’ and ‘Mystery Road 2’

Cate Blanchett in ‘Stateless.’ (Photo: Ben King).

The first two episodes of Matchbox Pictures’ Stateless and the second series of Bunya Productions’ Mystery Road will have their world premieres at the sixth edition of the Berlin International Film Festival’s Berlinale Series.

In addition, Goalpost’s Dark Victory from writer-director Matthew Saville is among eight titles selected for the Co-Pro Series 2020, which seeks to link projects with international partners.

Adapted from the book by David Marr and Marian Wilkinson, Dark Victory is the story of the Howard government’s refusal to allow Norwegian frieghter Tampa, with hundreds of mainly Afghan refugees on board, to enter Christmas Island.

The Berlinale Series line-up consists of eight series from around the world including Damien Chazelle’s Paris-set musical-drama The Eddy for Netflix, Jason Segel’s AMC series Dispatches from Elswehere and the BBC-HBO Max’s Trigonometry.

“An abundance of topics and
See full article at IF.com.au »

Berlin To Bow Damien Chazelle’s Netflix Series ‘The Eddy’, AMC’s ‘Dispatches From Elsewhere’, Cate Blanchett’s ‘Stateless’ & BBC-HBO Max Drama ‘Trigonometry’

  • Deadline
Berlin To Bow Damien Chazelle’s Netflix Series ‘The Eddy’, AMC’s ‘Dispatches From Elsewhere’, Cate Blanchett’s ‘Stateless’ & BBC-HBO Max Drama ‘Trigonometry’
The Berlin Film Festival’s sixth Berlinale Series lineup will include Damien Chazelle’s anticipated Paris-set musical-drama The Eddy for Netflix, Jason Segel’s starry AMC series Dispatches From Elswehere, buzzy Cate Blanchett project Stateless and BBC-HBO Max show Trigonometry.

Moonlight star André Holland leads cast in The Eddy, about a French club owner dealing with the everyday chaos of running a live music venue in the heart of Paris. The festival will show the world premiere of the show’s first two episodes.

The compact, high-quality lineup also includes German-language drama Freud. Scroll down for the lineup in full and details about each show.

This is the first program for new Berlinale Series head Julia Fidel who previously worked on the festival’s Panorama and Generation strands. The dramas will screen at the Zoo Palast cinema, which will also host the Berlinale Series Market, formerly known as Drama Series Days.
See full article at Deadline »

Cate Blanchett Says Drama Needs to Be ‘Challenging and Impolite and Provocative’

  • Variety
Cate Blanchett Says Drama Needs to Be ‘Challenging and Impolite and Provocative’
In London on Wednesday to talk about her upcoming scripted series, “Stateless,” Cate Blanchett implored drama producers to be impolite, provocative and to make shows that start meaningful conversations.

“I love zombies, I love vampires,” the two-time Oscar-winner said. “But we’re living in a time when the political system, which is meant to deal with facts – and our job [in film and TV] is dealing with fiction – has become a burlesque. It’s cosmically bewildering.”

Blanchett said that the world “has a problem with nuance,” but it is those gray areas where good drama exists. She added that “drama should be challenging and impolite and provocative” that and producers “have to find the right way to do that.”

The Australian actor was speaking at Content London’s Drama Summit. She said Australian drama “Stateless” was a passion project that has been six years in the making, with several U.S. backers shying away from its challenging subject matter.
See full article at Variety »

Rupert Penry-Jones, Ryan Corr and David Lyons join ‘The Commons’

Rupert Penry-Jones in ‘The Commons’. (Photo: John Platt)

British actor Rupert Penry-Jones, Ryan Corr (Bloom) and David Lyons have joined the cast of Stan/Playmaker Media’s The Commons.

They join the previously announced headliners Brit Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey) and Damon Herriman, most recently seen on film in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and on Foxtel’s Mr Inbetween.

Additionally, the cast will be bolstered by television stalwart John Waters, Fayssal Bazzi (Stateless), Simone McAullay, Andrea Demetriades, Felix Williamson, Inez CurroĢ (Picnic at Hanging Rock), Dominic Ona-Ariki and Zara Michales (Diary of an Uber Driver).

The eight-part high end drama production was created by Aacta Award-winning showrunner Shelley Birse (The Code), who wrote the series with a team including Matt Ford, Michael Miller and Matt Cameron.

Currently being shot across Sydney, the thriller is directed by Jeffrey Walker alongside Rowan Woods and Jennifer Leacey. Described
See full article at IF.com.au »

‘Peter Rabbit 2’ Hops Closer To Easter 2020

  • Deadline
Updated, 10:33 Am: Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2 is jumping away from its Feb. 7 release date to April 3, which is nine days before Easter. MGM’s 007 film No Time to Die will own the Easter frame. On the upside, with spring breaks the advance runway before Bond is an advantage for Peter Rabbit 2, as it plays to a younger crowd. However, per Comscore, the April 3-5 period is crowded with Warner Bros. claiming an untitled release during that time, Paramount’s Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani movie The Lovebirds, and finally Fox/Marvel’s much delayed The New Mutants. Sony has the Kevin Hart drama Fatherhood on April 3.

Previously, May 4, 2018: Peter Rabbit scored plenty of lettuce for Sony Pictures this year, and now the studio wants more. Sony said late this afternoon that it has greenlighted Peter Rabbit 2, which will be hopping in on February 7, 2020, nearly two years to
See full article at Deadline »

Andrea Denholm joins Tony Ayres Productions

Tony Ayres and Andrea Denholm.

Friends for years, Tony Ayres and Andrea Denholm had long wanted to work together but did not have the opportunity – until now.

Denholm is joining Tony Ayres Productions (Tap) next week as head of development after finishing up tomorrow as a producer/partner at Princess Pictures.

Ayres tells If: “I was looking for a head of development and asked Andrea for her advice. Her advice was ‘hire me,’ which was music to my ears. She is great with talent and is one of the most impressive creative producers in the country. We have similar views on the shows we want to make.”

After a happy 10 years at Princess Pictures with the company’s founder Laura Waters, Denholm was up for a new challenge. “Tony is a superstar and a beautiful human being,” she says.

“The content he creates and champions reflects his brilliant imagination, curiosity,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Rose Riley sets her sights on Hollywood

Rose Riley (L) and Emma Harvie in ‘Diary of an Uber Driver.’

Rose Riley is getting ready to have her first crack at Hollywood amid the most successful year of her career since graduating from Waapa in 2013.

This week the actor is heading to the Us for the first time for meetings with producers, casting directors and other players set up by her Us agent, Authentic Talent & Literary Management’s Jessica Morgulis.

Rose met Morgulis when the agent visited Sydney, arranged by her Oz rep United Management, before she started work in Stateless, the six-part ABC drama about four strangers in an immigration detention centre in the Australian desert, co-created by Cate Blanchett, Tony Ayres and Elise McCredie.

“I will always be very passionate about Australian stories and Australian cinema, TV and theatre but working overseas would be a total dream; ideally I will find a balance,” she tells If.
See full article at IF.com.au »

CinefestOZ names five finalists for $100,000 prize

Owen Trevor’s Go!, John Sheedy’s H is for Happiness, Ben Lawrence’s Hearts and Bones, Mirrah Foulkes’ Judy & Punch and Paul Ireland’s Measure for Measure will compete for Australia’s biggest film prize.

Those are the finalists for the $100,000 prize at CinefestOZ, which will run from August 28 to September 1 in Bunbury, Busselton, Margaret River and surrounds.

CinefestOZ festival chair Helen Shervington said it had been another stellar year for the film prize entries and this year’s finalists are the cream of the crop.

The prize was established in 2014 to recognise excellence in Australian filmmaking and is awarded on the gala night by a five-member industry jury, this year chaired by director/writer Rachel Ward.

Scripted by Paper Planes‘ Steve Worland and produced by See PicturesJamie Hilton and Sonia Borella, Go! stars William Lodder, Anastasia Bampos, Darius Amarfio-Jefferson, Dan Wyllie, Cooper Van Grootel, Damian De Montemas,
See full article at IF.com.au »

‘The Merger’ was a game changer for Fayssal Bazzi

Fayssal Bazzi. (Photo: Amelia J Dowd)

Actor Fayssal Bazzi’s father is Lebanese and his mother is Syrian, so for much of his career he was determined to avoid being typecast as Arabic characters, particularly criminals and terrorists.

After scoring the lead role in Mark Grentell’s comedy-drama The Merger, he has enjoyed a higher profile and portrayed a diverse range of characters.

“I just want to play characters whose ethnicity is incidental and I’ve been lucky to be able to do that in the past few years,” he tells If.

Earlier this year he played the son-in-law of Damon Herriman’s seedy night club owner in the second season of FX/Foxtel’s Mr Inbetween, created by and starring Scott Ryan and directed by Nash Edgerton. That was his second collaboration with Herriman following Abe Forsythe’s 2015 Cronulla race riot drama Down Under.

Currently he is in Adelaide shooting Stateless,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Seven Miff Premiere Fund films set for the festival

‘H is for Happiness’.

Seven films supported by the Melbourne International Film Festival (Miff) Premiere Fund will make their premiere at this year’s iteration, including Maziar Lahooti’s Below and Paul Ireland’s Measure for Measure.

The Premiere Fund provides minority co-financing to new Australian quality theatrical (narrative and documentary) feature films that then premiere at Miff, and over its history, has invested in more than 70 projects.

The seven films include:

Director John Sheedy’s H is for Happiness, which as previously announced, will form the festival’s Family Gala. The film tells the story of a relentlessly optimistic and hilariously forthright girl who hatches a variety of outlandish schemes to make her fractured family happy again. This charming adaptation of award-winning novel My Life as an Alphabet stars Miriam Margolyes (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries), Emma Booth (Hounds of Love), Richard Roxburgh (Rake), Deborah Mailman (The Sapphires) and
See full article at IF.com.au »

Damon Herriman aims to take a break from villainy

Damon Herriman in ‘Perpetual Grace, Ltd.’

After portraying a succession of killers, psychotics and all-round bad dudes for the best part of 10 years, Damon Herriman is striving to play more upstanding characters.

With mixed success, it must be said. The actor cheerfully acknowledges his career has been in a purple patch for the last few years but says: “I have been in this business long enough to know it may not last. I had a 10-year run playing bad guys so now I am trying to steer clear of playing psychopaths and violent pigs.”

Not that he would turn down a juicy role as a villain.

Recently he wrapped shooting the second season of FX/Foxtel’s Mr Inbetween, which stars the creator Scott Ryan as professional hitman Ray Shoesmith. Nash Edgerton continues as the director of the comedy/action drama produced by Michele Bennett for Jungle Entertainment and Blue-Tongue Films.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Doors keep opening for ‘Five Bedrooms’ star Doris Younane

Doris Younane in ‘Five Bedrooms

After years of fighting against being typecast as Lebanese or other Middle Eastern characters, actor Doris Younane is in a very happy place in her career.

She’s played a variety of characters, most of no specific ethnicity, in the past five years with recurring roles in Five Bedrooms, The Wrong Girl and Party Tricks plus guest appearances in Secret City, Harrow and Janet King.

“I just want to be seen as an actor in Australia,” she tells If. “I no longer want to be a pin-up for multiculturalism; I have passed that baton on to others. I’ve been really lucky. I think I am a good, solid actor and that’s what has got me through.”

Currently Younane is winning plaudits for her performance as the firebrand Heather in Five Bedrooms, Hoodlum Entertainment’s eight-part comedy-drama for Network 10 created by Christine Bartlett and Michael Lucas.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Cate Blanchett to star in Stateless, a new TV series about immigration detention in Australia

Jai Courtney, Asher Keddie, Fayssal Bazzi and Yvonne Strahovski sign on to appear in ABC six-part drama series

Cate Blanchett has co-created and will star in a new television drama about Australia’s onshore immigration detention regime.

Stateless, a six-part drama series for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, will focus on four characters whose paths cross when they are caught up in Australia’s immigration system and held in one of Australia’s desert-based detention centres. The characters include a flight attendant fleeing a cult, an Afghan refugee, a down-and-out Australian father and a bureaucrat entangled in a scandal.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Cate Blanchett co-creates and stars in detention centre drama ‘Stateless’

Yvonne Strahovski, Cate Blanchett and Jai Courtney.

Cate Blanchett co-created, co-produces and will play a key supporting role in Stateless, a six-part drama about four strangers in an immigration detention centre in the Australian desert commissioned by the ABC.

Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney, Fayssal Bazzi and Asher Keddie will play the leads in the series scripted by showrunner Elise McCredie and Belinda Chayko, to be directed by Emma Freeman and Jocelyn Moorhouse.

Strahovski is cast as an airline hostess who is escaping a cult-like self-improvement group, with Bazzi as an Afghan refugee fleeing persecution. Courtney is a young Australian father escaping a dead-end job and Keddie is a bureaucrat who is caught up in a national scandal.

When their lives intersect they are pushed to the brink of sanity, yet unlikely and profound emotional connections are made within the group.

In her first Australian TV role since Rake in 2014, Cate
See full article at IF.com.au »

Cate Blanchett to Co-Create, Star in Australian TV Series ‘Stateless’

  • The Wrap
Cate Blanchett to Co-Create, Star in Australian TV Series ‘Stateless’
Cate Blanchett is set to star in Australian television series “Stateless,” which she co-created, alongside Tony Ayres and Elise McCredie. The six-part drama series follows a group of people stuck in an immigration detention center.

Yvonne Strahovski and Dominic West also star. Blanchett and her husband, Andrew Upton, will produce via their Dirty Films banner, along with the Australian Broadcasting Corp., Screen Australia and Matchbox Pictures. NBCUniversal will distribute worldwide. Production will begin in June at South Australia’s Adelaide Studios.

“Whilst this story centers on Australia, the dilemmas that it explores through four absorbing characters will resonate globally: the desire for personal freedom, the need for social stability, an escalating lack of faith in the political process and the deeply unsettling impact this has on individual lives,” Blanchett said in a statement.

Also Read: Sarah Paulson, John Slattery Among 11 Cast in Cate Blanchett's FX Limited Series 'Mrs America'

Per the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
See full article at The Wrap »

Cate Blanchett Will Star in and Co-Create Immigration-Themed TV Series ‘Stateless’

Cate Blanchett Will Star in and Co-Create Immigration-Themed TV Series ‘Stateless’
To the list of notable TV creators, add Cate Blanchett. The acclaimed, award-winning address is set to star in “Stateless,” a six-episode drama she is co-creating for the Australian network ABC.

The ensemble drama, which draws details from real-life cases, will follow four different individuals being detained at an Australian immigration center. The show’s announced cast also includes Yvonne Strahovski, Dominic West, Jai Courtney, Fayssal Bazzi, and Asher Keddie.

Elise McCredie, who co-created “Stateless” along with Blanchett and Tony Ayres, will serve as showrunner and writer on the series. Emma Freeman and Jocelyn Moorhouse are set to direct episodes on the show.

Tuesday also brought new details on Blanchett’s other upcoming TV effort, the Phyllis Schlafly biography series “Mrs. America.” Set to premiere on FX, the limited series will profile Schlafly, a conservative figure who came to national prominence opposing the Equal Rights Amendment. Nearly a dozen other
See full article at Indiewire »

Cate Blanchett, Yvonne Strahovski, Dominic West to Star in TV Series ‘Stateless’

  • Variety
Cate Blanchett, Yvonne Strahovski, Dominic West to Star in TV Series ‘Stateless’
Cate Blanchett, Yvonne Strahovski and Dominic West are set to star in “Stateless,” a six-part TV series about people stuck in an immigration detention center. NBCUniversal will handle worldwide distribution on the drama, which is being produced by Blanchett and her husband, Andrew Upton, through their Dirty Films banner, alongside the Australian Broadcasting Corp., Screen Australia and Matchbox Pictures.

Production begins next month at Adelaide Studios in South Australia. Major production funding comes from Screen Australia and the ABC, with additional financial support from the South Australian Film Corp.

Co-created by Blanchett, Tony Ayres and Elise McCredie, the series centers on four strangers — a flight attendant escaping a suburban cult, an Afghan refugee fleeing persecution, a young Australian father escaping a dead-end job and a bureaucrat caught up in a national scandal — who are stuck in an immigration detention center in the Australian desert. Each character deals with the contradictions
See full article at Variety »

Cate Blanchett Co-Creates & Stars In Australian Immigration TV Drama ‘Stateless’ Featuring Dominic West & Yvonne Strahovski

Cate Blanchett Co-Creates & Stars In Australian Immigration TV Drama ‘Stateless’ Featuring Dominic West & Yvonne Strahovski
Cate Blanchett is to star in and has co-created Australian drama Stateless. She will appear in the six-part limited immigration drama alongside Dominic West. It was commissioned by Australian broadcaster ABC.

The series, which also stars Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney, Asher Keddie and Fayssal Bazzi, follows four people caught up in an immigration system that profoundly affects their lives. Each character deals with the contradictions of protection and border control from a unique perspective, offering relevant and timely insight into issues that countries are grappling with around the world.

Co-created by Cate Blanchett, Tony Ayres and Elise McCredie, the series centres on four strangers in an immigration detention centre in the Australian desert. They are an airline hostess escaping a suburban cult, an Afghan refugee fleeing persecution, a young Australian father escaping a dead-end job and a bureaucrat caught-up in a national scandal. When their lives intersect they are pushed to the brink of sanity,
See full article at Deadline »

It’s goodbye to Megan Smart and hello Megan Hajjar

Megan Hajjar in ‘M4M’

Since graduating from Waapa in 2016 Megan Hajjar has built an impressive resume with roles in Breath, Love Child, The Secret Daughter, Harrow and the upcoming movies M4M and The Naked Wanderer.

You may not recognise the name because, until recently, she was known as Megan Smart. The actor has decided to use Hajjar, her mother’s maiden name, to more closely identify with her Lebanese heritage.

“I wasn’t being considered for some Middle Eastern roles because the producers did not recognise my heritage,” she tells If.

While she does play a Lebanese woman in Paul Ireland’s M4M, she mostly portrays characters whose nationality is incidental. For example, she had fun playing a serial killer named Charlotte in the ABC/Hoodlum Entertainment’s Harrow and troublemaker Anna Hennessy in Screentime/Seven’s The Secret Daughter.

In Alan Lindsay’s romantic comedy The Naked Wanderer
See full article at IF.com.au »
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Credited With |  External Sites


Recently Viewed