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Oscars: Chile Selects ‘Blanquita’ For International Best Film Category

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EXCLUSIVE: Chile has submitted Fernando Guzzoni’s Blanquita, exploring a real-life child prostitution scandal that rocked the country in the early 2000s, as its official entry to the best international film category of the Oscars.

The film was chosen as Chile’s official entry by members of the Chilean Film Academy, in its third selection since its creation in 2018.

“Once again we are witnessing both the quality and diversity of our cinema, as well as the criteria and commitment of our partners: 70% of them voted in this process, the most participatory since we as an Academy have been in charge of choosing the film that represents Chile at the Oscars”, said the body’s executive director Josefina Undurraga.

Blanquita world premiered in the Horizons section of the Venice Film Festival this year, winning the best screenplay prize for Guzzoni.  

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Big screen debutant Laura López stars as an 18-year-old resident of a foster home, who is a key witness in a trial against powerful politicians and businessmen implicated in a child sex scandal. As questions are asked, her role in the scandal becomes unclear.

Award-winning veteran actor Alejandro Goic co-stars as a priest who runs the home where the young woman lives. Further cast members include Amparo Noguera, Marcelo Alonso and Daniela Ramirez.

The feature is inspired by the real-life early 2000s Spiniak Case involving a paedophilia ring run by an entrepreneur and sports club owner, which provided services to a number of high-placed politicians and businessmen.

The case divided Chile as it went through the courts, with doubts being cast on the testimony of key witness who was caught up in the ring as a minor and accused two senators of abusing her.

Guzzoni spent a year investigating the case in-depth before writing his screenplay.

“I am very honored that Blanquita is Chile’s representative at the Oscars and grateful for the support of all my colleagues at the Film Academy,” said Guzzoni.

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“The film puts forward in a thriller key an urgent issue about impunity and structural injustice in our country, therefore, it combines audience vocation and a story with high social sensitivity,” he continued.

“We believe that the film being awarded in Venice, the great reception from critics and the support of our international partners and distributors will allow us to carry out a campaign that seeks to make Blanquita’s message visible and position the film in the best possible way.”

Blanquita is Guzzoni’s fourth feature after La Colorina, Carne de Perro (Dog Flesh) and Jesús, about a troubled, teenager who turns to violence in search of thrills.

Giancarlo Nasi at Santiago-based Quijote Films is the lead producer in co-production with Pablo Zimbrón at Varios Lobos (Mexico), Donato Rotunno at Tarantula (Belgium), Pascal Guerrin, Yves Darondeau and Emmanuel Priou at Bonne Pioche Cinema (France), and Beata Rzeźniczek at Madants (Poland).

New Europe Film Sales handles international sales.

Blanquita is a powerful and current movie, which should make an impression on the Academy members. I can’t wait for them to see it,” said New Europe CEO Naszewski.

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Chile won the Oscar for best international film in 2018 with Sebastían Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman, while Pablo Larrain’s No was nominated for the 2012-13 race and Maite Alberdi’s The Mole Agent was nominated in the Best Documentary category last year.

The deadline for the Best International Film category closed on October 3, with around 85 titles being publicly declared so far. Last year, there were submissions from 93 countries.



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Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs

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Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’

Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.

Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’

EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.

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London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul

To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide 



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‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards

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Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.

Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.

The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)

Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.

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 In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.

Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.

Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.

Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.

The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.

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Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark

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EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.

Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.

Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:

While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.

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Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide.  As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.

On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”

Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.



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