Tuesday , August 21 2018

Oliver Stone to head powerful jury at Busan fest – Boyega hints at possible Cameos by Princes William, Harry in ‘Jedi’

LOS ANGELES, Aug 21, (RTRS): Oliver Stone, the ever controversial American-French director, has been named as president of the competition jury for the upcoming Busan International Film Festival. The Busan festival is no stranger to controversy.

Stone heads an impressive panel including Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi (“A Time for Drunken Horses”), French cinematographer Agnes Godard (“The Dreamlife of Angels”), Philippines director Lav Diaz (“From What is Before”, “The Woman Who Left”), and Korean director Jang Sun-woo (“Lies”). They will judge a selection of Asian films in the New Currents section that represents the festival’s cornerstone.

Stone, who has credits including “Wall Street”, “JFK” and “Snowden”, has often criticized governments, greed, collusion and corruption. That matches the Busan festival’s stance.


The Busan festival is still in turmoil nearly three years after it stood up to political interference from city authorities, acting as proxies for a nationalist and now disgraced right-wing government. The aftermath of the festival’s decision to screen a controversial documentary in its 2014 edition has caused two of its chiefs to be prosecuted and damaged the reputations of prominent figures who have tried to straighten out matters.

Last year a partial boycott of the festival by some members of the Korean industry, left the 2016 program in tatters and caused audience numbers to drop. It is unclear whether the ill-feeling from inside Korea will again hit the 2017 edition.

The festival is this year scheduled to be held Oct 12-21. The accompanying Asian Film Market runs Oct 14-17.

John Boyega has hinted again that heirs to the British throne Prince William and Prince Harry and actor Tom Hardy have cameos in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program last Friday to promote Kathryn Bigelow’s “Detroit”, Boyega was asked about the rumors he fueled when last on the show — that the two royals had secret cameos in “The Last Jedi” as stormtroopers — and whether the princes had lines.

“I think they took that scene out”, Boyega said jokingly, then added: “I’ve had enough with those Prince William secrets, man. They came on set; they were there, man. Tom Hardy was there, too — I said it. I’m sick of hiding this”.

The actor, who plays former stormtrooper Finn in the sequel trilogy, said questions had dogged him ever since the rumors first began circulating in April 2016, when William and Harry visited the “Jedi” set. “Every time I get asked I don’t know how to dodge it”, Boyega said. “Yeah, they were on set”.

British tabloid The Daily Mail originally reported the rumors after the princes were photographed on the “Jedi” set at Pinewood interacting with the cast and crew and enjoying a mock light-saber battle together. The newspaper quoted a source claiming the princes would appear in non-speaking roles in a scene with Finn, Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Benicio Del Toro’s new character, DJ.

In May of last year, the website Making Star Wars reported that Hardy would also appear as a stormtrooper in the film and that his role would be a speaking part. It said Hardy would appear alongside Boyega, playing a stormtrooper who had trained with Finn years before.

On the radio program Friday, Boyega stopped short of stating that the two princes and Hardy were definitely in the movie, or had even filmed cameos, saying only that they had all been “on set”. But his comments have been construed by some as confirmation. Merely confirming the princes’ presence on set would not have been a big “secret” Boyega felt he had to “dodge” given that official images of the set visit were released at the time.

It would not be the first time that a famous face hid itself behind a mask in a secret cameo in the franchise, with Daniel Craig delivering a brief line as a stormtrooper in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

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