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Take Down announced as part of EIFF official selection

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Edinburgh International Film Festival have today announced their full programme for the 70th Edition of the festival, with Take Down included in the official selection.

Taking place on 15th – 26th June 2016, the programme showcases the most exciting, original and challenging new films and the most promising new talent.

 Take Down, a Pinewood Pictures’ financed and distributed film, is directed by Jim Gillespie (I Know What You Did Last Summer) and was the first film to receive funding from the £30m Wales Media Investment Budget.

Starring Jeremy Sumpter (Peter Pan, Friday Night Lights), Phoebe Tonkin (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals), Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl, J. Edgar), Sebastian Koch (Bridge of Spies, Danish Girl), Dominic Sherwood (Shadowhunters, Not Fade Away), Max Deacon (Into The Storm), Ashley Walters (Top Boy, Demons Never Die), Julia Ragnarsson (The Bridge) and Elliot Knight (Once Upon A Time, How To Get Away With Murder).

 Take Down will be screening at the festival on Monday 20th June and Tuesday 21st June. Tickets will become available on 27th May, and can be purchased here.

To see the full EIFF Programme, click here.

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Princes William and Harry Visit Pinewood Studios

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As the President of BAFTA, the Duke of Cambridge was invited to Pinewood Studios as part of an initiative to acknowledge and celebrate the wealth of British talent involved in the production of the Star Wars films. His brother Harry happily tagged along.

The self-confessed Star Wars fans didn’t miss their chance to visit the set, play with the props, and, most importantly, meet the cast. Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the new instalments of the beloved series, acted as their tour guide.

For more information and pictures of the royal visit, check out the Telegraph.


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Yu-Fai Suen joins Pinewood Pictures as Managing Director

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Pinewood Studios Group is pleased to announce that Yu-Fai Suen will be joining the Company on the 7 March 2016 as Managing Director of Pinewood Pictures administering Pinewood’s own investments and those on behalf of its client funds.

Prior to joining Pinewood, Yu-Fai was Chief Operating Officer at Rocket Pictures. Before that Yu-Fai held senior roles at Aramid Capital Partners and Momentum Pictures and was involved in the film financing of District 9, Blue Valentine and Bronson amongst others, as well as arranging a number of Studio slate deals and corporate media transactions.

As part of Pinewood Pictures’ commitment to broaden its content offering, Robert Norris will take up a new position as Senior Vice President.

Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive, Pinewood Group plc said “The Pinewood Group has been iconic in the creative industries for over 80 years. Pinewood Pictures has benefitted in the last year from growing interest in our offer to independent film and television producers and our ability to introduce funding from our relationship with the Welsh Government and Isle of Man Government. Yu-Fai will be working with the existing Pinewood Pictures team successfully driven by Robert Norris to extend our offer to the wider production community and to further raise the funds accessible by Pinewood Pictures to grow its media investment portfolio.”

Yu-Fai Suen added: “It is a privilege to join a company like Pinewood, home to some of the most iconic films in cinema history and I look forward to the opportunity to grow the Pinewood Pictures brand and its offering and to help increase shareholder value to Pinewood and its financing partners.”

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Pressure’s Joe Cole longlisted as Promising Newcomer by BIFA

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At December’s BIFA Awards, Colin Farrell presented the award for Most Promising Newcomer. The winner was chosen from a longlist of 17 newcomers.

The longlisted performers are the British Actors that have been pegged as the ones to watch out for this year by BIFA. Among these performers is Pressure’s Joe Cole.

Starring as Jones in Pinewood Pictures’ Pressure, Joe performed the majority of his own stunts in the film, which partially shot in Pinewood’s Underwater Stage. Following TV appearances in Holby City, Skins and The Thick of It from, Joe’s film career kicked off with a number of short film and feature roles. He was cast in Carol Morley’s The Falling in 2014 and, since playing the part of Jones in Pressure, has completed filming on the acclaimed Green Room and Secret In Their Eyes.

To see the full longlist of newcomers, visit the BIFA website.


Pinewood Group and StoryFirst to launch Pinewood Television

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Pinewood Group has announced a joint venture with StoryFirst PST Limited, part of the family investment office of Peter Gerwe and partners. The new company is named Pinewood Television Limited and its principal business is to create, develop and finance high quality drama series for television for the international market. Helen Gregory, formally of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Sky, has been appointed Creative Director to lead the company.

Pinewood Television is expected to be both an originating producer and a co-producing partner for major drama projects. It aims to become a mainstream originator and financier, building a library of TV content, with the ability to facilitate the development, greenlighting, production, marketing and distribution of high end TV drama.

For more information, head to Variety.

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Wales Identified as World Class Filming Location

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With its incredible natural beauty, huge variety of locations, and a swiftly growing crew and talent base, Wales is truly on its way to becoming a firm favourite with film and television productions from around the world.

The Welsh Media Investment Budget, as advised by Pinewood Pictures, is designed to help facilitate growth in the Welsh industry by attracting high-quality, world-class projects to the country.

For more information, check out Screen.

(Picture: the Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons. Photograph by Caine-Douglas)

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Genius to World Premiere at Berlin 2016

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Michael Grandage’s Genius, starring Jude Law, Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, and Guy Pearce, has been selected among the first nine films to play at next year’s prestigious Berlin Film Festival.

The stirring drama, based on the real-life complex friendship between renowned book editor Maxwell Perkins (Colin Firth) and literary giant Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law), will have its world premiere at the festival and joins the likes of the Coen brother’s Hail Caesar and Jeff Nicholl’s Midnight Special.

Genius was backed by funding from Pinewood Pictures and will release in cinemas next year.

For more information head to Screen Daily.


Amazon Orders First UK Drama Original, With Backing From Pinewood Pictures

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We are very excited to announce that Amazon has ordered its first UK drama – a period fashion drama from War and Peace co-producer Lookout Point – with investment backing from Pinewood Pictures and the Welsh Media Investment Budget.

The Collection, from Pretty Little Liars and Ugly Betty exec producer Oliver Goldstick, tells the story of an extravagant Paris fashion house post World War II and follows the lives of two brothers.

It marks the company’s latest step into original programming following its big-budget buy-out of Jeremy Clarkson’s new upcoming motor show and its commitment to continue the ex-BBC drama Ripper Street after it was axed by the broadcaster.

“We’re delighted to be bringing such a smart, sophisticated period piece to Amazon Prime members in the UK,” said Chris Bird, film and TV strategy director, Amazon Video UK. “We aim to bring our customers the best international TV has to offer, and we’re sure our members will enjoy this window into the seemingly glamourous world of Parisian haute couture, perhaps hiding a more sinister undercurrent.”

The programme will be produced in Wales and France starting next January and will air later on in the year.

For more information, check out Deadline.

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Nadya Jary joins Pinewood Studios Group as Group Brand Director

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Pinewood Studios Group is pleased to announce that Nadya Jary will be joining the Company on the 1 December 2015 as Group Brand Director.

Nadya is currently the Head of Integrated Brand Partnerships EMEA at The Walt Disney Company.

Prior to joining Disney in 2011 Nadya held senior roles in marketing and partnership development at 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures International and MGM.

Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive, Pinewood Group plc said “The Pinewood brand has been iconic in the creative industries for over 80 years. As the brand continues to grow internationally new commercial opportunities present themselves and I am pleased that Nadya is joining us to explore those possibilities as well as strengthening the Pinewood reputation.”

Nadya Jary said “Pinewood is truly one of the great brands with a rich heritage and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to further develop its brand strategy.  I am looking forward to exploring new commercial opportunities that will ensure that the brand continues to go from strength to strength. 

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Gamesco aims to be a new kind of PC and console games publisher

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  • Gamesco founded by industry veteran Rob Ollett, previously of Jagex and Bigpoint, with big plans to make multiplayer and connected titles for PC and console
  • Gamesco bringing a ‘networked’ approach to publishing by outsourcing development to established studios, reducing the cost of infrastructure and staffing overheads that affects many game companies
  • Gamesco is the first videogames publisher to be founded and based on the Isle of Man

Officially emerging today after a year of planning and hard work, PC and console games publisher Gamesco ( joins the UK’s burgeoning games industry as its latest member. Gamesco aims to bring a new approach to the business of publishing games. Backed by significant initial investment, Gamesco’s focus is on creating big, brilliant and engaging online and massively multiplayer games based around iconic brands and original IP. With several as-yet unannounced games already in development, Gamesco plans to announce its first titles before the end of 2015.

Founded and led by Rob Ollett, veteran of hugely successful game companies including Jagex and Bigpoint, Gamesco plans to evolve the traditionally top-heavy approach that has become typical of most publishers. Instead, Ollett sees Gamesco as a ‘networked’ publisher, using a partnership-led approach to match each IP with the best developer for that particular game from a network of independent studios around the world, taking advantage of the world-class technical infrastructure offered by the Isle of Man. This means that Gamesco can work on creating and launching multiple titles at once, and allows for a much more decentralized, flexible and nimble approach – where the developers are left to do what they do best. As CEO, Ollett is supported by an experienced and talented senior team drawn from the videogames, TV and visual effects industries.

“The idea behind Gamesco is to make brilliant, connected games that deliver immersive online experiences – whether that’s our own original IP or a really interesting brand, “ said Ollett. “I believe the future of games is in creating these story-driven, communal experiences, with games becoming bigger, deeper and turning into fan-driven communities in their own right. By setting ourselves up as a networked publisher we are nimble and efficient enough to find the best developers around the world to bring these worlds to life, keeping overheads low and putting the maximum focus on creating a great product.”

Gamesco has worked closely with a range of Isle of Man investors, the Isle of Man Government and also with Pinewood Pictures, part of Pinewood Group plc. Equity raised from the various investors to develop and publish the first four games titles amounts to over $5m. Development of a videogames industry in the Isle of Man is seen as a logical step, with the Government’s Minister for Economic Development Laurence Skelly MHK saying:

“For Gamesco to be the first videogames company here is really exciting. The Island is an ideal operational base, given its status as an international hub for e-gaming. I welcome Rob Ollett and his team who join a growing number of high quality providers within our wider e-Business sector that have been attracted to the world class business environment and benefits that the Isle of Man offers.”

“It’s fantastic that Pinewood has been able to work with the team at Gamesco and the government of the Isle of Man to support the growth of the games and entertainment industry on the island,” said Robert Norris, Commercial Director of Pinewood Pictures. “With several exciting online games in the works – including some with strong brand partnerships – Gamesco is a great addition to the other companies based on the island.”