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Status Quo set to rock Berlin market

EXCLUSIVE: Status Quo are set to rock next February’s Berlinale as they join the army of sellers at the festival’s parallel European Film Market (EFM).

Veteran rockers Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi are accredited at the EFM along with the band’s manager Simon Porter and Stuart St. Paul, head of production at their newly founded Status Quo Films, to present the band’s first ever feature film Bula Quo! (“It started with guitars…and ended with guns!“).

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St. Paul, who first met the band when they made an appearance on the long-running British soap Coronation Street, directed the action film with comic elements, starring the band themselves as well as comedian Jon Lovitz and Eastenders’ Craig Fairbrass at locations on Fiji last April.

The Fiji Audio Visual Commission (FAVC) granted a 47% film tax rebate to the film whose title refers to the Fijian islanders’ traditional  greeting and to the band’s top-selling album Hello!

“The one thing Quo fans know is to expect the unexpected. Of course, Rick and I have already acted in Coronation Street, one of the biggest TV shows on the planet, so this should be no trouble at all! According to management…,” Francis Rossi had said ahead of the filming, with Rick Parfitt adding: “Once I found out that we weren’t going to be shooting anywhere cold, I was all for it.“

The Quo duo’s stay in the German capital may see Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick having his Fender Stratocaster at hand for an impromptu jamming session. After all, in 2008, he seized the opportunity to play Time Is On My Side with the Rolling Stones’ Ron Wood when the band graced the festival with their presence for Martin Scorsese’s Shine A Light as the Berlinale’s opening film that year.

Meanwhile, another two innovations are planned for the Berlinale’s 2013 edition in addition to the previously announced focus on indigenous cinema.

The Berlin-based DEFA Foundation will be launching the new Heiner Carow Prize in memory of the German director whose films include The Legend of Paul and Paula and Coming Out. The award – with a purse of € 5,000 – will go to a German fictional, documentary or essay film screening in the Panorama section.

“With the Heiner Carow Prize, the DEFA Foundation is fulfilling its mission to promote new German cinema and support young directors,“ commented Ralf Schenk, who was appointed chairman of the DEFA Foundation earlier this year and is also a member of advisory selection board for the Berlinale’s main Competition section.

In addition,the Samsung Electronics Company has become a new partner for the Berlinale and will launch the Samsung Smartfilm Award, which will see budding filmmakers uploading their short films onto the internet. (ends)

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