AFCI Insights – September 6, 2021

10 months ago
AFCI’s COVID-19 Global Production Alert
The Global Production Alert section on AFCI’s website provides the industry with clear and accurate information about COVID-19-related policies in production locales (cities, states/provinces and countries) worldwide. It also helps film offices prevent the spread of misinformation and confusion.

Please complete (or update) our very brief survey HERE to ensure your film office is included. We will post your information (unedited) on our website. If you don’t have much information to provide at the moment, at least submit links to your relevant government websites (e.g., immigration and health departments) that offer information about key closures and restrictions.
Mongolia to Launch 45 Percent Production Incentive
The Hollywood Reporter
Mongolia has entered the race to attract big-budget global productions. The central Asian nation has unveiled a range of competitive incentives for both domestic and international studios. Mongolia’s new incentives include a 30 percent cash rebate for qualifying film and TV productions that take place in the country; an additional 10 percent cultural rebate for projects that showcase Mongolian culture and heritage; a 5 percent foreign crew and talent incentive; a 30 percent postproduction incentive for approved projects that use a substantial number of personnel during postproduction; and a 20 percent incentive for Mongolian productions or co-productions that promote the country and its culture. Altogether, the incentives can be taken separately or together for a total 45 percent cumulative incentive.
HBO Max to Launch in the Nordics and Spain, Followed by Central, Eastern Europe and Portugal
Warner Media’s streamer HBO Max will launch in the Nordics and Spain this fall, followed by Central and Eastern Europe and Portugal in 2022, it was revealed at a Series Mania Forum keynote conversation delivered by Priya Dogra, president, WarnerMedia Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia (excluding China) and Christina Sulebakk, general manager, HBO Max EMEA. “Europe is a huge priority for us,” said Dogra.
HBO Asia Hires Audrey Wee as Physical Production Lead
WarnerMedia-owned HBO Asia has appointed Netflix production executive Audrey Wee as physical production lead. In the new role, Wee will project-manage entertainment content in South-East Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong to execute the creative vision of HBO Asia Originals. Prior to joining HBO Asia, Wee was manager of production management at Netflix in Singapore, a role she held for three years. The new job marks a return to HBO Asia for Wee, who was director of physical productions at the company from 2017 to 2018. Wee has also been an executive producer at Ark Pictures and a line producer for Very Tay Productions, and has held various roles at Disney, Mediacorp, Viacom, CBS and Discovery Networks.
Netflix India Strikes Partnership with Producer Excel Entertainment
The Hollywood Reporter
Netflix has unveiled a multi-year strategic partnership with the TV banner of Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar’s Indian film and series production company Excel Entertainment. Excel is behind the cult classic “Dil Chahta Hai,” along with “Rock On” and the “Don” franchise. The pact, financial terms of which weren’t disclosed, adds to Netflix’s programming slate in India. “Excel Entertainment will produce a variety of stories under its series banner for Netflix members in over 190 countries,” the companies said.
DNEG Expands North American Footprint with New Studio in Toronto
Visual effects and animation specialist DNEG (Double Negative Visual Effects) is expanding its Canadian footprint with a new facility in the Greater Toronto area, joining the company’s three other North American outposts in Montreal, Vancouver and LA. Until a location is established, the staff of up to 200 people will be working remotely, largely in technology, VFX and animation. Alongside its London headquarters and North American sites, DNEG also has facilities in India, including Mumbai, Chennai and Chandigarh.
China Bans ‘Cissy Idols’ and ‘Effeminate Men’ in Entertainment Industry
The Chinese government’s crackdown on the tech and entertainment sectors has now turned to “sissy idols,” “effeminate men” and all things “overly entertaining.” The measures were sketched out in an eight-point plan by the National Radio and Television Administration. It called for “further regulation of arts and entertainment shows and related personnel.” Announcing the measures, the Communist Party of China’s propaganda department accused some in the entertainment industry of bad influence on the young and of “severely polluting the social atmosphere.”
Fran Drescher Elected President of SAG-AFTRA
Fran Drescher has been elected president of SAG-AFTRA, in a narrow victory for the faction that has led the union for a dozen years. Drescher defeated Matthew Modine, who ran on the rival Membership First slate, by a tally of 52.5% to 47.5%. Drescher will succeed Gabrielle Carteris, who has led the organization since 2016. Best known for her lead role on “The Nanny,” Drescher led the Unite for Strength slate, which has controlled the union since 2009 and is seen as the more moderate of the two factions that dominate the union’s internal politics.
2021 Film Festivals and Markets: Latest Dates, Postponements and Cancellations
To help keep track of the changing schedule, Screen is keeping this page updated with the latest film festival and market dates, postponements and cancellations. Festivals taking place online or as hybrid events due to Covid-19 are noted. If not specified, the festival is currently set as a physical event.

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