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Radmila Djurica

Radmila Djurica is your guide to the festival scenes: Sarajevo, Cannes and many more

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A Power and the Glory of Cinema City

Another big name of Cinema City Novi Sad, Serbia is no doubt Nick Powell. A man on Virgin label and a big boss of nowadays biggest Film and Television School in UK. I promised that I will write another article about a Nik Powell’s visit to Novi Sad, Cinema City because as I said in previous articles I’ve had a little problem with a voice recorder who failed to record interviews with Powell. In the 60s and 70s Richard Branson and his partner Nik Powell loved music and saw an opportunity to make money with buying cheap records and selling them by mail order. That worked so well that they opened a record shop in London. After that they have continued to build their empire and a big dream involving a great money. Today everybody knows about Virgin Records. That was the places to stock a wide range of music, mostly on the progressive and alternative or maybe the only place that might stock a disc you were seeking in the UK.

But in 1982 Powell went into partnership with Stephen Woolley, and they together established Palace Video, followed by Palace Pictures, and then Palace Productions, within the film distribution and production industry. Powell has acted as Executive Producer on all of Palace’s productions including Neil Jordan’s COMPANY OF WOLVES, OSCAR nominated MONA LISA, Michael Caton-Jones’ SCANDAL, and Neil Jordan’s multi Oscar nominated THE CRYING GAME.

Au yes I won’t forget one of my favorites Golden Globe nominated LITTLE VOICE, Fred Schepisis’ LAST ORDERS with Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, and Ray Winstone. Then one of the recents Charles Dance’s LADIES IN LAVENDER, with Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Miriam Margolis and Daniel Bruer. In interview among the rest we talked about the British film industry depicting an older generation. Nick wanted to make films for his mother and her friends as well. So he produced fantastic films like Charles Dance’s LADIES IN LAVENDER and the one I really like calling CALENDAR GIRLS by Nigel Cole with Helen Mirren as Chris and Julie Waters both hilarious and inspiring. The theme of film is powerful. Can older women still be attractive if put in domestic environment making jam or doing a house work? Indeed a powerful film about how common things can be sexy and sexuality issue and how it works in certain age and different environments as well: a subject certainly worth exploring. We also talked about British TV serials and films in export and how effective and popular they are because they are depicting ordinary people no matter of age or look and how ordinary people can be attractive if they are put in extraordinary situations and how well that can be popularized.

Nik Powell’s National Television and Film School is a place for the top film and television people, a film directors like Stephen Frears (The Queen) as a professor or Brian Tufano (Trainspotting), David G. Croft (Shooting Stars, Baddiel's Syndrome), Lynda Myles (The Commitments) and himself Nik Powell (Ladies in Lavender, The Crying Game, Little Voice). This prestigious school offers programs that includes a number of development deals with broadcasters and independent production companies. The school arranges screenings for the UK Industry and distribute many of their students’ films to festivals and major competitions all over the world. It is the only UK film and television school based in its own studios where students make real films and television programs in the industry. And is the school with the most BAFTA nominated and awarded students in the UK.

For those who do not know. Nik Powell is also: Vice Chairman of the board of the European Film Academy, Vice Chairman of the Bafta Film committee, Vice Chairman of the GEECT Board, Member of the US academy: AMPAS, Director of the board of the Northern Ireland Film and TV Commission, Member of the council of PACT, Member of British Screen Advisory Council, Member of European Producers Club, Member of the Academy of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Vice President of the National Society for Epilepsy and Chevalier dans l'ordre des arts et des lettres – Awarded by the French Government.

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