A sad day for British film - the New Producers Alliance, lynchpin of the UK independent film world over the past two decades, and long term friend and supporter of Netribution, has closed its doors. They ceased trading a week ago, blaming the recession and increased competition for training. Indeed it was the NPA's producer training that was responsible for me incorporating not only Netribution Ltd, but Spirit Level Cinema Ltd.
To get a grasp of why there were important, click to read Tom Fogg's interview with former NPA CEO David Castro (now at Screen South), Kevin Dolan (now at Film London) and Rachel Caplan (now running the San Francisco Green Film Fest) from 2000. Below is the full announcement from them:
"It is with great regret that the Executive Committee and Trustees announce that the New Producers Alliance ceased trading on the 8th March 2010. The recession and increased competition for training have contributed to a loss of membership income which, having taken professional advice, has left the directors of the two companies with no option but to close.
"The NPA has been a valued and respected resource for independent filmmakers since its inception in November 1992 and has provided help, advice and assistance to over 10,000 producers, directors and writers over the years. The NPA has attracted a membership of many energetic people, passionate about their projects, embodying the independent spirit. Some of these were members on their way to achieving great things. But there have been countless other great moments, such as learning a trick or two at a training event, meeting a new collaborator at NPA networking event or button-holing someone you admire at one of our panels or a business breakfast.
Wanton Muse Phillipa Goslet (right), formerly profiled on Netribution, finally has her Dali film, Little Ashes, Greenlit and into production, with an autumn shoot. The film, backed by APT Films, Aria FIlms, Met Film and Factotem is helmed by Oscar-nominated Paul Morrison and focuses on the the relationship between Dali, Lorca and Bunuel. The news comes as a second Dali project, staring Al Pacino, gets under way.
BBC Films head David Thomson is leaving to set up his own production outfit after 32 years at the Beeb.
The Beirut International Film Festival, is canceling this year's edition in the face of 'political instability' after running last years event against all odds.
Ricky Gervais is apparently working on a feature film which he will co-write and direct, about a man living in an honest world who tells the first lie.
Potter has overtaken Bond and Star Wars to become the biggest movie franchise in the world (in box office terms).
Ang Lee's Lust, Caution (left) has won at Venice, two years after picking up an award for then Oscar fave Brokeback Mountain. Also two years since he last hosted the Oscars, the Daily Show's Jon Stewart is set to compere the 2008 event .
Potter's producer David Hayman, meanwhile, is planning a big screen outing for Padington Bear, scripted by Hamish McColl (Mr Bean's Holiday) with Warner Bros funding the tale of a Peruvian asylum seeking teddy bear.
The number of Britons working in the American film industry has surged by 20% in the past five years. More than 30,000 actors, directors, writers and moneymen are living in Los Angeles alone, according to their unions. Flooded by applications, the LA office of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts has all but closed its doors to new members.
This just in from David at the NPA - funding for NPA membership OR training. If it wasn't for attending their famed producer training I wouldn't have incorporated Netribution. If only I'd stayed to the end of the course, I might have not actually focussed on making features! Well recommended:
The Women in Digital Entertainment (WiDE) project and the Business and
Digital Media Training Initiative (BDMTI) are joint funded by the
European Social Fund and the University College for the Creative Arts
and are designed to support people in the digital media industry and
those wishing to enter the industry.
Beneficiaries of the projects are able to access up to £150 from an
external training fund which could cover the cost of NPA membership or
an NPA training course. For further information please look at the
websites www.wide.ucreative.ac.uk or www.bdmti.ucreative.ac.uk or email
The film critics over at The Daily Telegraph have gotten together and selected who they feel are the 21 best British directors of all-time. How they settled on the 21 is a big mystery, although they say "whittling the list down to just 21 was as enjoyable as it was difficult. We have included only those who were raised chiefly in Britain and who focused above all on making feature films."
The first actor to play James Bond on screen, Barry Nelson, has died aged 89.
The BBC reports Nelson played the famous British spy in a one-hour TV adaptation of Casino Royale in 1954.
He signed to movie giants MGM in the 1940s and went on to appear in several of the studio's films, including Shadow of the Thin Man and A Yank on the Burma Road.
His wife Nansi said Nelson died on 7 April while travelling in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She said the cause of death was not yet known.
The Czech film industry, having emerged from 2006 with record audience share figures only to find it still faces perilous obstacles.
Following a dismal 2005, when the number of cinema admissions for new Czech productions sank to 2.4 million from 2004's 2.9 million, last year saw a high of 3.2 million admissions, the highest since 1993's 4.3 million. The success evidenced by the figures-released by the Czech Film Center, a film promotion agency backed by the professional film industry organization Audiovisual Producers' Association (APA) and the statement that, of all European Union citizens, the Czechs were second only to the French in terms of attending cinema showings stemming from their local film industry. It also led to Czech film production coffers gaining a record Kč 300.3 million (€ 10.7 million), with the previous highest being 2004's Kč 259.6 million.
They are usually found in a galaxy far, far away - or at the very least in a film studio, but an exhibition to mark 30th anniversary of the Star Wars films will bring movie memorabilia worth "well over £1 million" to Britain.
One hundred crates of props, space ships and costumes, along with 17 tons of tempered-glass display cases, will roll into London on 10 lorries bound for County Hall, near Westminster, for Star Wars: The Exhibition.
The event, which will cover 30,000 sq ft, is due to open on May 5. Among the objects on display, organisers hope to "land" a 27ft two-ton X-Wing jet fighter at the foot of the London Eye using cranes. Luke Skywalker piloted an X-wing when he destroyed the Death Star in Star Wars Episode IV. Although details have yet to be confirmed, the Naboo N-1 Starfighter, with its 22-foot wingspan, is expected to be nearby.