Darren Dale Makes History as Chair of Sydney Film Festival




Producer and screenwriter, Darren Dale has been named as the new board chair of the Sydney Film Festival, following the retirement of Dianne Weir. He is a leading advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content and has been director of Blackfella Films since 2000. He has been involved with films including “The Dark Emu Story,” “Mabo” and TV’s “Redfern Now.” He is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and has held board roles at ACMI, Sydney Film Festival, Screen NSW and the Australian Film Television and Radio School.

“As the first Indigenous and industry practitioner to chair the Sydney Film Festival, Darren Dale’s appointment marks a significant and positive shift for the festival. With an impressive track record in storytelling spanning two decades, he brings valuable experience to lead this cultural organization,” said federal Minister for Arts John Graham.


U.K.-based indie distributor Woodcut International has struck sales deals on several of its titles.
Thailand’s TrueVisions snapped up season one of 6 x 1 hour factual series “A Royal Guide To…” for its channel True Explore Life. Produced by Woodcut Media, the series looks at the numerous and somewhat little-known protocols, etiquette and customs adhered to by the British Royal family. Hong Kong’s PCCW Media licensed award-winning documentary “(K)nox: The Rob Knox Story” for its VOD service NOW TV. The documentary explores how 18-year-old actor Rob Knox was stabbed to death just days after filming his breakthrough role as Marcus Belby in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

China’s Beijing ATW Culture picked up the filmed theatrical performance of “Wuthering Heights” (1 x 155’) for theatrical release and non-theatrical platforms. The production sees the return of Emma Rice’s sensational adaptation for the National Theatre, Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic and York Theatre Royal.

The deals were brokered by Woodcut International’s appointed sales agent for Asia, Pooja Nirmal Kant who will be attending the Asia TV Forum in Singapore next month.


Eight films have been nominated for the 2024 Australian Academy for Cinema and Television Arts annual awards. They are: “Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story,” “Harley & Katya,” “John Farnham: Finding The Voice,” “The Dark Emu Story,” “The Giants,” “The Last Daughter,” “This Is Going To Be Big” and “To Never Forget.” 

The 2024 AACTA Industry Awards will be held on Feb.8 and the 2024 AACTA Awards on Feb. 10. Both ceremonies will be presented by Foxtel Group and will take place at the Home of the Arts (HOTA) on the Gold Coast, Queensland.


Federal funding organization, Screen Australia has announced 18 feature films, 10 television dramas, two online projects and one virtual reality (VR) project that will share in over A$900,000 ($600,000) of story development funding. Among the funded projects are children’s animation series “Wishes,” following five-year-old girl Lucy and her young guardian-creature Kino; feature film “Dust” from the playwright of the critically acclaimed “Prima Facie,” Suzie Miller; the latest comedy/drama series from Celeste Barber, “Codependent”; and the second iteration of acclaimed virtual reality series, “Lustration 2.0.”


“One Piece,” the Japanese cartoon series that recently enjoyed a live action adaptation on Netflix, is to return to U.S. shores in a unique collaboration with the L.A. Rams American Football team. On Dec. 3, in a game against Cleveland, at the SoFi Stadium, popular “One Piece” characters will appear one after another on LED ribbons within the stadium and on TV monitors and digital signage. On the iconic 360° double-sided Infinity Screen installed in the center of the stadium, an original and special video showcasing the world of “One Piece” will play during the game. This will be the first time that Japanese IP characters will appear at a Rams game and be one of the largest collaboration events in the history of “One Piece.”

Authored by Oda Eiichiro, “One Piece” began serialization in “Weekly Shonen Jump,” published by Shueisha, on July 22, 1997. The cumulative worldwide print circulation of the manga exceeded 510 million copies as of August of 2022. The series is distributed in more than 60 countries and regions worldwide. The TV anime produced by Toei Animation began airing in 1999.


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