Georgian Film ‘Blackbird’ Set to Fly at Osaka Asian Festival – Global Bulletin


The Osaka Asian Film Festival (March 1-10, 2024) has added eight more titles to its line-up, including the award-winning Georgian drama “Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry,” which will play in competition.
Elene Naveriani’s “Blackbird,” about a middle-aged woman’s relationship decision, has had wide festival play in Europe (Gijon, Cottbus, Sarajevo, New Horizons) and earned multiple prizes for lead actor Eka Chavleishvili.

Other additions are Cambodian directing duo Inrasothythep Neth and Sokyou Chea’s “Tenement”; the world premiere of Hong Kong director Ricky Ko’s “Out of the Shadow”; “Supposed,” by Thanakorn Pongsuwan and “Death Whisperer,” by Taweewat Wantha, which expand the festival’s selection of Thai films to eight; and “The Winter of 1905,” a 1981 film by Hong Kong director Yu Wei-Cheng, which joins the Taiwan: Movies on the Move 2024 special section.

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Other revival inclusions are: the 4K restored director’s cut of Patrick Tam’s 1982 Hong Kong movie “Nomad” and “240 Hours in One Day,” a 30-minute piece by Teshigahara Hiroshi from 1970.

The festival expects to complete its lineup with announcements of the opening and closing films on Feb. 2.


Mohsen Makhmalbaf, the feted Iranian director, has been set as the president of the jury at the upcoming edition of the Vesoul International Festival of Asian Cinema (Feb. 6-13, 2024) in France. Fellow jurors include Taiwanese director Zero Chou, Iranian actor Fatemed Motamed-Arya and Japanese star Shogen.

In the narrative feature section, the competition titles include “All Ears,” by China’s Liu Jiayin; “The Snow Leopard, by the late Pema Tseden; “Work to Do,” by Korea’s Park Hong-jun; “The Spark,” by Rajesh S. Jala from India; “Maria,” by Iran’s Mahdi Asghari Azghadi; “Scream,” by Kazakhstan’s Kenzhebek Shaikakov; “Sunday,” by Shokir Kholikov from Uzbekistan; “Paradise,” from Sri Lanka, directed by Prasanna Vithanage; and “Solids by the Seashore,” by Thailand’s Patiparn Boontarig.


British screen industry organization the Film and TV Charity has released the results of its new “Money Matters” survey, which shows that 45% of respondents are finding it difficult to manage financially. Those with disabilities, long-term health conditions and caring responsibilities for adult dependents are finding things particularly difficult.

“The Money Matters report is a sobering read and it’s critical that the survey results it highlights form the basis for urgent discussion about the welfare of the film and TV workforce, retention of talent, and the future health of the industry as a whole,” said CEO Marcus Ryder.

Those working in behind the scenes in film, TV, and cinema may be eligible for financial support from the Film and TV Charity. Go to to find out more.


Cookbook Media has been appointed as North American content distributor for the kids’ series “Hey Fuzzy Yellow,” by Toon2Tango, a kids and family entertainment venture headed by television and movie industry experts Ulli Stoef and Jo Daris. Claudia Scott-Hansen, Cookbook Media’s co-founder, will spearhead efforts to build broadcast partnerships in North America for the new show, which is a co-production by Toon2Tango, Curiosity Ink Media, Treehouse Republic and Hotel Hungaria Animation. It is currently in production, with the first 24 episodes set for 2024 and full series delivery in March 2025.


The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) has Phil Hardman, senior VP and GM of BBC Studios Asia, as its new chair following the resignation of Warner Bros. Discovery’s Clément Schwebig, who is relocating to Europe. Also joining the AVIA board are Emily Yri, VP of international marketing at PubMatic, and Shonali Bedi, head of strategy, partnerships & insights, APAC, Warner Bros. Discovery.
Louis Boswell, CEO of AVIA, said, “Schwebig took over in the middle of a pandemic and helped steer the association to safety through those difficult times.  He was a strong and vocal advocate for the industry. The board and I are now looking forward to working with Hardman to help guide AVIA through what are clearly challenging times.”

Hardman said, “AVIA stands at the intersection of the diverse challenges and opportunities in the media industry across Asia bringing much needed insight, thought leadership and regulatory & anti-piracy initiatives that benefit its members.

The organization noted that women now account for four of its 12 board members.


Bollywood studio Yash Raj Films is prepping a young love story to be directed by Mohit Suri (“Aashiqui 2,” “Ek Villain Returns”). This is the first film being produced by the company’s CEO Akshaye Widhani. The as-yet-untitled film will go into production later this year, with a fresh cast due to be announced imminently.


“Swatantrya Veer Savarkar,” the directorial debut of Indian actor Randeep Hooda (“Extraction,” “Monsoon Wedding”), has set a release date. The film is a biopic of Hindu nationalist ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883-1966).

The film is produced by Zee Studios, Anand Pandit, Hooda, Sandeep Singh and Yogesh Rahar and co- produced by Roopa Pandit, Sam Khan, Anwar Ali and Panchali Chakraborty. It stars Hooda, Ankita Lokhande and Amit Sial.

The film is due to release on March 22 in the Hindi and Marathi languages.

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