Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”), the Goteborg Film Festival and the Sten Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture have teamed on a new, three-year film training program aimed at increasing diversity in film and inspiring promising young talent. Aimed at high-school-aged students, the program will be made available to educational institutions in and around Goteborg starting in Jan., 2022.
Established in her name as the Alicia Vikander Film Lab, the actress will make a private donation to help establish the venture. Additionally, Vikander has committed a SEK 300,000 ($32,860) scholarship grant she received last week from the Sten A Olsson Foundation last week to the lab. Investing more than just capital, Vikander will also participate in selected workshops with the young students.
Each year three or four new schools will be welcomed into the program, with principal execution of the educational activities handled by festival film teachers who will help the students to create their own short films. Those films will then be presented together at a gala event during the festival, which runs Jan. 28 to Feb. 6 this year.
Free digital streaming platform Filmzie has landed in the U.S. on the Roku platform, with its full film and TV catalog now available to Roku users in the country. The timing of Filmzie’s arrival is close to perfect, as the service boasts a glut of family Christmas content. Users can search for any Filmzie title within the existing Roku framework without making any changes to their current service or downloading any new apps.
To better facilitate increasing demand for London-based audiovisual production, RD Studios, a new, 45,000 sq. ft. film studio is being built in Park Royal and will open in April of 2022. With a £20 million ($26.45 million) price tag, the new studio is part of founder Ryan Dean’s larger plan to create 250,000 sq. ft. of independent studio space in the next five years. Inside, the studios will include five sound stages, hair/makeup/wardrobe facilities, catering, green rooms and lighting and camera hire. Importantly, the studios will be the result of a net zero-carbon refurbishment of a repurposed warehouse to create the most sustainable film production facilities possible from their very foundation. The location will utilize solar panels to generate energy and harvest rainwater for reuse, and the parking lot will have charging points for EVs.
HBO Max has appointed Arjun Nohwar as country general manager for India. Nohwar was previously with Uber as director and regional general manager Asia Pacific. The executive has had stints at India’s Tata conglomerate and as a consultant to the Indian government. HBO Max has yet to reveal a launch date and pricing plans for India.
Discovery Plus is bringing the hit global format “Say Yes to the Dress” to India with a new domestic version of the format and has launched a trailer ahead of the show’s Dec. 8 premiere. The eight-part Indian update will be hosted by long-time fashion industry vet Divyak D’souza. Participating designers include Abhinav Mishra, Sandeep Kosla, Abu Jani, Neeta Lulla, Varun Bahl, Rahul Mishra, Anju Modi, Seema Gujral, Zara Umrigar and many more.