‘Air Doll’ U.S. Release; Red Sea Fund First Grants; Hindi “Biscuit King” Series; Tallinn Winners – Global Briefs

Kore-eda’s ‘Air Doll’ Gets First U.S. Release

EXCLUSIVE: New York-based distributor Dekanalog has picked up Japanese pic Air Doll, directed by Palme d’Or winner Hirokazu Kore-eda, and will give the film its first U.S. release. Released in Japan in 2009, the film follows an inflatable sex doll who finds that she has grown consciousness and a heart. Wandering Tokyo, she discovers the innate complexities of being human, including the heartbreak of loneliness. The deal was overseen by sales agent Gabrielle Rozing at Fortissimo Films and George Schmalz of Dekanalog. The picture will be released in U.S. cinemas and on VOD in early 2022.

Red Sea Fund First Projects

Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Fund has selected 97 projects it will back as part of its first funding cycle. The projects hail from Saudi Arabia (26), the Arab region (60) and Africa (11) and range from feature films to shorts, animations and series. There were more than 650 submissions in the first round. Of the 28 Saudi directors attached, 54% are female, the Fund noted. “There is a wealth of undiscovered talent in Saudi Arabia and across the Arab world. As pioneers and believers in the importance of cinema and film in driving inspiration, creativity, and innovation, we are very proud to enable these brilliant artists to showcase their work by investing in their talents and empowering them to realize their dreams through the Red Sea Fund. These exceptional cinematic works will challenge people’s perceptions of traditional cinema and revive the film industry in KSA and the region.” said Edouard Waintrop, Red Sea International Film Festival Artistic Director, and head of the committee for post-production funding.

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Web Series About India’s ‘Biscuit King’ Rajan Pillai

Yoodlee Films, the film production arm of Saregama, is set to produce a Hindi web series inspired by the life of India’s ‘Biscuit King’ Rajan Pillai. Prithviraj Sukumaran will play the lead character and will also direct the currently untitled series. The plan is to shoot in mid-2022.

Tallinn Black Nights Winners

The 25th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival has unveiled its award winners, with Andreas Kleinert’s historical biopic Dear Thomas scooping the Granx Prix. Another German title, Other Cannibals, picked up the Best First Feature prize. Wojciech Smarzowski won Best Director for The Wedding Day and also took Best Screenplay. The Best Actress award went to Russia’s Sofia Krugova for No Looking Back, and Albrecht Schuch received the Best Actor award for Dear Thomas. In the Baltic Competition, Lithuanian movie Runner took the top award.

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