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Eric Roberts Joins ‘Lolita’; New MD For Banijay Benelux’s NL Film; Jordanian Film Commissioner Feted & CineMart Prizes – Global Briefs

Eric Roberts Joins ‘Lolita’

EXCLUSIVE: Oscar nominee Eric Roberts (Runaway Train) has joined Johnny Ortiz (Peppermint) and Alexis Vazquez in feature drama Lolita from director Jorge Xolalpa. Filming is currently underway on the Mighty Aphrodite Pictures movie. The plot centers on Jesus (Vazquez), a man who after being released from jail tries to get custody of his daughter. Roberts will portray jaded police officer Jones who grows to care for Jesus’ wellbeing. Pic is being produced by Xolalpa at Mighty Aphrodite Pictures and Alfredo Widman. Roberts, whose recent credits include Damien Chazelle’s Babylon for Paramount Pictures, is repped by Sovereign Talent Group and Scott Carlson Entertainment.

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Banijay Benelux Bolsters NL Film Management Team

Banijay Benelux has promoted Dennis Cornelisse to the role of Managing Director and appointed Wynand Chocolaad as Head of Productions at NL Film with immediate effect. Cornelisse, who previously served as producer at NL Film, is replacing Alex Doff, COO at Banijay Benelux. The group said Cornelisse had been a driving force behind NL Film productions such as The Golden Hour, Anoniem, Rundfunk, Neem me mee, Costa!! and De Regels van Floor.  “Dennis’ deep knowledge of the world of films and drama series combined with his experience, proven track record, and leadership, make him the perfect candidate to take on NL Film. I look forward to seeing the next phase of growth and creative ambition he will bring to the label,” said Banijay Benelux CEO Peter Lubbers.

Jordanian Film Commissioner To Be Feted During Berlin

Mohannad Al-Bakri, the Managing Director of the Jordanian Royal Film Commission (RFC), has been announced as the Arab Cinema Center’s 5th Arab Cinema Personality of the Year. The Cairo-based promotional body, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, will present the award to Al-Bakri during the Berlin Film Festival. The prize was created to honor prominent industry figures whose work has helped elevate the Arab film industry in the eyes of the international filmmaking community. “Since assuming his position, he has made enormous and noteworthy efforts to advance the Jordanian film industry,” said ACC cofounding heads Alaa Karkouti and Maher Diab. Previous recipients of the award have included Chiraz Latiri, former general director of Tunisia’s Centre National du Cinema et de l’Image, and Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy.

Rotterdam’s CineMart 2024 Awards

Chinese filmmaker Shengze Zhu’s upcoming drama A Distant House Smokes on the Horizon was among the projects picking up prizes at the International Film Festival Rotterdam’s CineMart this year. The drama about three teenagers who embark on a daring scheme to break free from the small town, was feted with the €6,000 ArteKino International Award. In other prizes, German director Lilian Hess’s Duchampiana won the €20,000 Eurimage Innovation Award, while the institution’s €30,000 Outreach award for a work in progress went to Polish director Barbara Rupik’s Cherub. The latter project also snapped up the €5,000 Wouter Barendrecht prize.  Swiss director Andreas Fontana’s Les Diplomates won the Filmmore Post-production Award. The 4DR Studios Award for immersive projects went to The World Came Flooding In by Australian directorial duo Isobel Knowles and Van Sowerwine. Spanish director Alejandro Telémaco Tarraf won the VIPO Award – sponsored by Japan’s Visual Industry Promotion Organization – for Alumbre.

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