Beijing, Oct 18 (AP/UNB) — The director of "Air Strike," featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, says the film's release has been canceled in the wake of her disappearance and conviction on tax evasion charges.
The World War II thriller, also starring Bruce Willis and Adrien Brody, was to have been released Oct. 26.
However, director Xiao Feng posted on his Weibo miniblog Wednesday that it was "time to let go" after eight years of work on the film.
Chinese tax authorities this month ordered Fan and companies she represents to pay taxes and penalties totaling $130 million, ending speculation over the fate of one of the country's highest-profile entertainers three months after she disappeared from public view.
State media said Fan evaded taxes by using two separate contracts for her work on "Air Strike."
Fan has starred in dozens of movies and TV series in China and is best known internationally for her role as Blink in 2014's "X-Men: Days of Future Past," a cameo in the Chinese version of "Iron Man 3," and for star turns on the red carpet at Cannes as recently as May.
Before her disappearance, she had been booked to star with Penelope Cruz in the Hollywood film "355."
Fan posted an apology on her official Weibo account saying that she accepted the tax authorities' decision and would "try my best to overcome all difficulties and raise funds to pay back taxes and fines."
"I am unworthy of the trust of the society and let down the fans who love me," she wrote in her first update of her Weibo.com microblog since June 2.
Fan's disappearance coincided with a crackdown by Chinese authorities on high salaries for actors that can eat up much of the cost of a production. In June, regulators capped star pay at 40 percent of a TV show's entire production budget and 70 percent of the total paid to all the actors in a film.
New York, Oct 17 (AP/UNB) — The midterm elections, #MeToo, and the recent confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court: All were key topics of discussion at an annual gathering for women filmmakers Tuesday in Manhattan.
"Nevertheless, we persisted," intoned Jane Rosenthal, executive chair of Tribeca Enterprises, using the popular feminist slogan over and over as she discussed a year of women's struggles, both inside and outside Hollywood.
The gathering took place almost exactly a year after the #MeToo movement erupted into public consciousness, following stunning allegations of sexual misconduct against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
"Last year when we met we experienced a watershed moment," Rosenthal told attendees at the luncheon for "Through Her Lens: the Tribeca Chanel Women's Filmmaker Program ," which provides mentorship and funding for emerging women filmmakers. "Brave women were coming forward to demand societal change. And the world was listening — or so we thought."
Rosenthal called the recent Kavanaugh hearings "devastating" for women.
"It's hard to fight for equality in the workplace or the arts when we haven't achieved equality in the eyes of the government," she said. "We will, we must persist."
Kavanaugh took his seat on the high court last week after overcoming allegations of sexual misconduct, which he denied, by accuser Christine Blasey Ford.
Rosenthal also referred to efforts to achieve greater representation of women in Hollywood, especially behind the camera, where women still lag far behind men. Only one woman has ever won an Oscar for directing — Kathryn Bigelow, who is serving as a one of the mentors for the Tribeca program.
"We're not waiting for the rest of the world to catch up with us," Rosenthal said. "We're leading."
Actress Katie Holmes spoke of the importance of women mentoring and supporting others, and said she was sensing a shift for the better in Hollywood.
"I've seen a lot of captains of our industry really leading by example and supporting other women and that's what today is all about," she said in an interview. "What we need to do, forever, is continue to support each other, to inspire the new group of filmmakers, and to be protective of each other."
Holmes, now working on her second film as a director — an adaptation of the historical novel "Rare Objects" — said it was important to her to work with fellow women.
"I feel very creative around other women and I feel very understood," she said. She said a 2014 movie she starred in, written and directed by Karen Hopkins, was an especially rewarding experience.
"I loved her vision and I loved the character that she created," Holmes said. "And there was a wonderful energy on set."
Another actress in attendance, Piper Perabo, was wearing a T-shirt saying, "Believe Women." Last month, she was arrested for civil disobedience for protesting at Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing.
Perabo said she was not discouraged by what some have seen as setbacks for the movement, with Kavanaugh's confirmation and also the dropping of a charge against Weinstein in a New York court.
"It's never been easy," she said. "And the fact that even a setback in the Weinstein case makes headlines shows that people are talking about it and it's important to people, and people are going to discuss it and it's news."
"There are going to be steps forward and steps back, but that doesn't mean you give up," she said.
Dhaka, Oct 16 (UNB) - Two Iranian film festivals will be held in Bangladesh in the next month.
Iranian Cultural Centre in Dhaka and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) will jointly organise the film festivals, Sayeed Islam, public relation officer of Iranian Cultural Centre, told UNB.
The first one of the four-day film festival will begin on November 3 at BSA while the second one is scheduled to be held in different cities of the country from November 9.
The inaugural ceremony of the first film show will be held at the National Art Gallery of BSA at 4 pm (Saturday).
He also said that a film is scheduled to be shown in the inaugural day while screening of two other films will be held from 11 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 5 pm every day.
The film screening will continue till November 6, he added.
On the other hand, another five-day Iranian film show is also going to be arranged in 3 different cities of the country from November 9.
The five-day exhibition will also be organized at Shilpakala Academy auditorium of Chittagong, Rajshahi and Khulna cities.
The exhibition will continue till November 13.
No tickets will be required to watch this movie, he added.
Los Angeles, Oct 15 (AP/UNB) — The Neil Armstrong film "First Man" settled for a third-place landing at the North American box office in its opening weekend in theaters. The Ryan Gosling-starrer and a host of newcomers, like the family-friendly "Goosebumps" sequel and the neo-noir mystery "Bad Times at the El Royale," couldn't unseat last week's top two films, "Venom" and "A Star Is Born," which again took first and second place.
As the month of October careens toward a box office record, the crowded marketplace can be a blessing or a curse for some films in their first weekends, although the hope is that they will play for weeks to come.
Such is the idea for Universal Pictures' "First Man," which took flight over the weekend with everything to its advantage — prestige, good reviews (88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), a movie star (Gosling) and an Oscar-winning director (Damien Chazelle).
Studios estimated Sunday that "First Man" earned $16.5 million in ticket sales from 3,640 North American theaters, and $25 million worldwide. That was on par with expectations, but not exactly an eye-popping number for a space epic that cost nearly $60 million to produce.
For Universal Pictures' president of domestic distribution Jim Orr, the box office intake for a film like "First Man," which primarily appeals to older audiences not inclined to rush out to a movie theater on the first weekend, is going to be "a marathon not a sprint."
"What we know is for these types of adult, fall films for discerning audiences, it's not about the opening weekend," Orr said. "We're very comfortable that it's going to have a long life at the domestic box office."
Audiences for the PG-13 rated "First Man" were primarily older (52 percent over 35), male (56 percent) and Caucasian (67 percent) and gave the film a B+ CinemaScore.
"I never expected 'First Man' to have an opening weekend trajectory that was off the charts," said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for box office tracker comScore. "This is a film that has a lot of awards season buzz. It will attract a lot of older viewers and it's going to keep rolling along and getting more and more accolades. 'First Man' will be standing many weeks down the road."
The comic book film "Venom," meanwhile, continues to belie poor reviews in its second weekend in theaters. Sony Pictures estimated the film added $35.7 million in ticket sales, down 56 percent from its first weekend, to repeat at No. 1. The film has earned $142.8 million to date from North American theaters.
On the other end of the critical spectrum, Bradley Cooper's "A Star Is Born" continued to ride a wave of goodwill and awards buzz into its second weekend adding $28 million. With total domestic grosses at $94.2 million, the Warner Bros. pic starring Cooper and Lady Gaga will sail past $100 million in no time.
Fourth place went to "Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween" which took in $16.2 million (down from the first film's $23.6 million launch in 2015) while "Bad Times At The El Royale" debuted in seventh place with only $7.2 million.
The well-reviewed young adult film "The Hate U Give," meanwhile, performed well in its expansion. The drama about a police shooting of a black teenager managed to crack the top 10 playing in only 248 locations, placing ninth with $1.8 million. It expands wide next weekend. And Amazon Studios' Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carell addiction drama "Beautiful Boy" opened on four screens to $221,437.
With so many new films at the multiplex, from big budget blockbusters to awards friendly dramas, audiences are helping propel October to record box office earnings. It also means some movies are getting lost in the shuffle.
"There is a relentless onslaught of hits that keep on coming from every genre," Dergarabedian said. "People are a little overwhelmed right now. There's a bevy of riches at the marketplace and some films are going to struggle on opening weekend."
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "Venom," $35.7 million ($69.7 million international).
2. "A Star Is Born," $28 million ($20.2 million international).
3. "First Man," $16.5 million ($8.6 million international).
4. "Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween," $16.2 million ($3.7 million international).
5. "Smallfoot," $9.3 million ($14.5 million international).
6. "Night School," $8 million ($2.2 million international).
7. "Bad Times at the El Royale," $7.2 million ($4 million international).
8. "The House with a Clock in its Walls," $4 million ($5.6 million international).
9. "The Hate U Give," $1.8 million.
10. "A Simple Favor," $1.4 million ($1.9 million international).
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:
1. "Venom," $69.7 million.
2. "Project Gutenberg," $22.3 million.
3. "A Star Is Born," $20.2 million.
4. "Smallfoot," $14.5 million.
5. "Johnny English Strikes Again," $11.5 million.
6. "First Man," $8.6 million.
7. "Shadow," $8.2 million.
8. "Lost, Found," $8.1 million.
9. "The House with a Clock in its Walls," $5.6 million.
10. "Dark Figure of Crime," $5 million.
Dhaka, Oct 14 (UNB) - The seventh edition of the ‘Ganga-Jamuna Cultural Festival’ will end at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on Monday.
Ganga-Jamuna Sangskritik Utsab Parshad arranged the ‘Ganga-Jamuna Cultural Festival’ in association with Bangladesh Cultural Affairs Ministry, India-Bangladesh Foundation, BSA and Mercantile Bank Limited.
The closing ceremony of the festival will be held at 5.30 pm at the main drama centre auditorium of BSA. Earlier, eminent theatre personalities Mamunur Rashid of Bangladesh and Bivas Chakraborty of India jointly inaugurated the 11-day theatre festival.
The festival witnessed staging of 30 plays – 26 plays from Bangladesh and four from India – at 7pm each day at National Theatre Hall, Experimental Theatre Hall and Studio Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy simultaneously – three plays a day.
Besides, 63 troupes presented the street plays, music performance, recitation and dance performance at the festival on the open stage at the festival venue every day from 4.30pm to 6.30pm.
A total of 2500 artistes took part this year’s festival to perform in different programmes.
Indian dance troupe ‘Dancers’ Guild’ staged dance-drama ‘Tomari Matir Kanya’ based on Rabindranath Tagore’s play on the opening day. It was choreographed by Manjusri Chaki Sircar and directed by Jonaki Sarkar.
Indian and Bangladeshi Committees of Ganga-Jamuna Sangskritik Utsab Parshad have been organising the festival for six years aiming at consolidating the harmony between Bangladesh and India through cultural exchange.