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Sophia Zachariou to Depart Australia’s Bunya Entertainment – Global Bulletin

BYE-BYE BUNYA

Australian TV producer Bunya Entertainment says that Sophia Zachariou will step down as co-managing director, after a five-year stint. Bunya Entertainment is one part the Bunya Group of companies and was established by Zachariou, David Jowsey and Greer Simpkin in 2019. 
 
Zachariou is currently in post-production on “The Office” (Amazon) and “Ladies in Black” (ABC) and will deliver these series before she departs the company. Other productions from Bunya Entertainment include the six x half-hour sketch comedy series “The Moth Effect” (Amazon) and the comedy series “Nice Shorts.”

In 2020 Zachariou also created the Bunya Talent Indigenous Hub, in partnership with Netflix and Screen Australia, which funded and developed 10 First Nations writers and directors to further develop their TV projects. The Hub was later extended to include a partnership with SAFC, Screen NT and Screen NSW.
 
Jowsey and Simpkin will continue as co-MDs of Bunya Entertainment. The separate Bunya Group entities, Bunya Productions (“Mystery Road,” “Sweet Country,” “Limbo”) and the distribution company Dark Matter, will remain under their stewardship.

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“We have loved [Zachariou’s] vibrant contribution over the past five years. She leaves the company in great shape, with a strong production and development slate.  We wish Sophia every success with her future endeavors,” said Jowsey and Simpkin.

LOVING LIMBO

“Limbo” was the big winner on Monday at the Film Critics Circle of Australia, which handed out its annual FCCA Awards for Australian Films of 2023 at a ceremony in Sydney. “Limbo” claimed six out of nine total awards, including best film and best director for Ivan Sen. Simon Baker won the best actor prize for his role in the film. Best supporting actor and best supporting actress were awarded to Rob Collins and Natasha Wanganeen, respectively, for their performances in “Limbo.” 

Zar Amir Ebrahimi won the best actress prize for “Shayda,” with the film also winning best screenplay for Noora Niasari.  Rachel Ward took home best documentary feature for “Rachel’s Farm,” which she directed and starred in.

HIGHER ORBIT

Chinese director Lu Chuan (“Kekexili: Mountain Patrol,” “City of Life and Death,” “Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe”) has joined the Stars Collective mentor committee, part of the Stars Collective film funding operation in Hollywood that is operated by China’s Starlight Media.

The Stars-Hana Investment fund is partnering with “leading game companies including Tencent and Tencent-owned DreamSky Technology, as well as HYJZ, Forevernine, and other globally renowned gaming companies with hundreds of millions of users,” to concurrently develop a series of video games.

It reports that, as producer, it is developing adaptations of upcoming films and IP that include: “Every House is Haunted” from Sam Raimi and Roy Lee; “The Burden” from James Wan and Sam Raimi; “Hunting Season” from James Wan and Don Murphy; James Wan’s “The Call of Cthulhu,” “Mass Extinction” and “GMO”; “The Goxfather” with Jon Chu; and “Memory Lost in Space,” based on the bestsellers by Tong Hua.

Stars Collective holds a 25-year exclusive picture-related merchandising license in the Greater China region for the upcoming “The Garfield Movie” encompassing all categories, except theme park and stage rights.

ENTERTAINING TOKYO

Mitsubishi Estate and Tokyo Broadcasting System have broken ground on an entertainment industry hub in central Tokyo that will span 205,800 m2 (2.2 million square feet) including office, theatre, retail and hotel space, property publication Mingtiandi reports.” We aim to become a base that delivers the best content to the world, including establishing facilities where entertainment-related companies, startup companies, and creators can gather,” the companies said in a statement. The partners are reported to be committing JPY 200 billion ($1.34 billion) to the project.

“Located in a traditional entertainment area, Akasaka Entertainment City also includes an 18-storey, 38,150 m2 block which will include 12 floors of hotel space and six levels for theatres. The developers plan to incorporate a 4,900 m2 plaza connected directly to Akasaka station on Tokyo Metro’s Chiyoda Line,” Mingtiandi said.

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