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Pakistan Oscar Contender ‘In Flames’ Wins Mannheim-Heidelberg Prize

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AWARD

Zarrar Kahn‘s “In Flames,” Pakistan‘s submission to the Oscars‘ international feature category, has won the International Newcomer Award for the best film in competition at the 72nd International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg, Germany. The award carries a cash prize of €30,000 ($32,850).

“In Flames,” a Pakistani Canadian horror-drama about a Karachi woman and her mother who are beset by malevolent figures from their past after the family patriarch dies, premiered at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and has had considerable festival play since, including at Toronto, Busan, Sitges, Sao Paulo and Pingyao.

The award’s jury members, Elisa Schlott, Denis Dercourt and Goran Stolevski, stated: “Our award goes to a filmmaker who manages to shift and play with genre while maintaining a connection both to his audience as well as his protagonist throughout the film. The main character is a young woman who is allowed to be both brave and fragile, and she is brought to life through a wonderful debut performance that complements the mise-en-scene.”

The film will be playing in competition at the upcoming Red Sea Film Festival. Distributed by Game Theory Films, who picked up U.S. and Canada rights at AFM, the film due release in April 2024.

DOUYU DECISION MAKERS

DouYu International, the Chinese live-streaming firm whose chairman and CEO Chen Shaojie was recently arrested by police in Chengdu, has formed a new interim management committee. It includes Mr. Su Mingming, a director and chief strategy officer of the company, Mr. Cao Hao, a director and VP of the company, and Ms. Simin Ren, a newly appointed VP.

“The board is confident that the company will continue to maintain its normal operations under the leadership of the interim management committee. The management committee members’ years of experience at the company and in the industry will provide steady leadership while Mr. Chen focuses on his situation,” the company said in a filing.

APPOINTMENTS

BBC News has promoted senior news editor, digital live, Kevin Ponniah, to head of digital news for North America. He will be responsible for all U.S. and Canada digital news reporting across BBC platforms, leading on developing BBC News’ offering on BBC.com and working closely with BBC Studios, the BBC’s commercial arm, on growing audiences, impact and revenue. The role will be based in Washington D.C, working alongside teams in London and around the world.

Pnniah’s elevation follows the appointment of Laura Norkin as executive managing editor, global features, earlier this year. Based in New York, Norkin oversees BBC.com’s multimedia features sections, covering areas including culture, travel, sustainability, business, science and innovation.

TRAILER

Zee Studios has released a trailer for Devashish Makhija‘s “Joram,” starring Manoj Bajpayee, who plays a father who is on the run with his baby girl to escape the ghosts of his past and the forces that want him dead. The Indian survival thriller began its festival journey at Rotterdam earlier this year and has played at the Sydney, Busan, Chicago, Jio MAMI Mumbai film festivals and at Durban, where it won two awards.

The trailer was premiered at the ongoing International Film Festival of India, Goa, where Bajpayee delivered a masterclass. The film is produced by Shariq Patel, Ashima Avasthi Chaudhuri, Anupama Bose and Makhija. The cast also includes Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Smita Tambe and Tannishtha Chatterjee.

“Joram” releases theatrically worldwide on Dec. 8.

Watch the trailer here:

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