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1 July 2003

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  • Alex & Emma

    Dir: Rob Reiner. US. 2003. 96 mins Rob Reiner, of course, earned his romantic comedy spurs with When Harry Met Sally. And Kate Hudson showed a talent for the genre in last winter's $100m-plus US grosser How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. But neither director nor star manages to spark Alex & Emma, an insipid and woefully flimsy romantic comedy outing that pairs Hudson with Luke Wilson from recent US hit Old School. Aimed at older female audiences ill-ser
  • Alex & Emma

    Dir: Rob Reiner. US. 2003. 96 mins Rob Reiner, of course, earned his romantic comedy spurs with When Harry Met Sally. And Kate Hudson showed a talent for the genre in last winter's $100m-plus US grosser How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. But neither director nor star manages to spark Alex & Emma, an insipid and woefully flimsy romantic comedy outing that pairs Hudson with Luke Wilson from recent US hit Old School. Aimed at older female audiences ill-ser
  • Almighty opening gives Carrey career best UK launch

    Buena Vista International (BVI) celebrated its biggest opening of the year so far with a huge launch weekend for Jim Carrey comedy Bruce Almighty. The film claimed the third highest three-day opening of the year so far, behind Warner Bros' The Matrix Reloaded and 20th Century Fox's X2: X-Men United. The debut gave Carrey a career best three-day opening of $8.3m (£5m) from 446 locations for an almighty $18,611 average per venue. The actor's previous best outing was
  • Angels sequel disappoints, Hulk plummets

    After six weekends of movies opening on grosses of over $50m,Columbia's Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle proved somewhat of a disappointment at this weekend's boxoffice in North America with just $38m in three days. A marketing blitzfeaturing the three lead actresses in the film Cameron Diaz,
  • Belgian success heralds local production boom

    Flemish filmmaker Tom Barman's feature debut Any Way The Wind Blows has become the strongest opener in Belgium in the last year, clocking up around 14,000 admissions on 12 screens for distributor Cineart since its release on June 18.A combination of good reviews, excellent word-of-mouth and the song Summer's Here climbing the charts drew audiences despite the sweltering temperatures.Barman's success comes at a time when Flemish cinema is experiencing a boom in prod
  • Berlin film festival to launch co-production market

    Next year's Berlinale (February 5-15 2004) is to launch a co-production market associated with its second Berlinale Talent Campus.Speaking exclusively to Screendaily, Berlinale chief Dieter Kosslick explained that "we won't attach any conditions to the projects pitched by the young talents whereas certain criteria will have to be fulfilled for larger projects coming from producers outside of the Campus. A bigger production has different requirements to those for someone who is j
  • Calendar Girls set for US Christmas date

    Last month it took the international press at Cannes by storm. This week it was the turn of attendees at Cinema Expo in Amsterdam to fall under the spell of the Calendar Girls.Constant guffaws, frequent applause and stifled bouts of tearful sniffing punctuated the morning screening of the gentle comedy-drama, about a middle-aged group of northern English women who strip for a charity calendar.Introducing the feature, Daniel Battsek, senior vice-president of distribution and mana
  • Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle

    Dir: McG. US. 2003. 111 mins. As its title suggests, the sequel to autumn 2000 hit Charlie's Angels revs up the goofy humour and preposterously gaudy action elements of the first movie - and leaves coherent narrative even further behind in the dust. Youthful moviegoers who helped the original to a $125m domestic gross are likely to turn out in even bigger numbers for the sequel, which opens in the US this weekend. Some calculated cast additions should pull in larger co
  • China to lift quota restrictions for Hong Kong films

    The Hong Kong and Chinese governments are close to signing a trade agreement that could give Hong Kong movies greater access to the mainland market, according to Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee-Hwa in a statement made on Wednesday night. Senior officials from Hong Kong and the mainland are scheduled to sign the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) on June 30 in Hong Kong. According to Tung, the agreement could exempt Hong Kong movies from mainland quota restrictions.
  • Cinema Expo warned: piracy 'ain't getting better'

    Pirated DVD copies of Hulk went on sale in a small Scottish market two weeks ahead of the film's US June 20-22 opening weekend.A copy of Hulk DVD was brandished by Spencer Mott, director of operations for anti-piracy body FACT at a Cinema Expo seminar this week titled Piracy: It Ain't Getting Better.The UK has seen the number of seized pirated DVDs rise from 90,000 in 2001 to 330,000 in 2002, said Mott, with an estimated market value of just under £10m. Assuming a
  • Cologne conference hands out annual awards

    zero film's Martin Hagemann and Thomas Kufus, producers of Max Faerberbock's September and Alexander Sokurov's Father And Son, are the winners of this year's Producers Award at the Cologne Conference.The Casting Award went to casting director Sabine Schroth, whose credits include international productions The Name Of The Rose, Homo Faber and Rosenstrasse as well as TV "events" like Der Grosse Bellheim and the two-parter Im Schatten Der Macht wh
  • Constantin Film rejects Highlight, Eichinger bid

    Highlight Communications and Bernd Eichinger's joint tender offer of Euros4.50 per share for the remaining shares in Constantin Film has been rejected by the German producer-distributor's management board and the majority of its supervisory board as "not appropriate and too low". The joint tender offer by Highlight and Eichinger was submitted to the remaining shareholders at the beginning of June after the conclusion of a so-called pool agreement between the Swiss media concern and the
  • CTFDI takes most international on Artisan/Marvel's The Punisher

    Columbia TriStar FilmDistributors International (CTFDI), which will soon see if its investment inacquiring international rights to blockbuster Terminator 3: Rise Of TheMachines paid off, has invested inanother potential hit acquisition, taking rights in most internationalterritories to Artisan Pictures and Marvel Studios' The Punisher.The film, which was sold toCTFDI by Summit Entertainment, will be released by Artisan in the US. It starsThomas Jane and John Travolta and
  • Danish Cannes hit Reconstruction gets US visa from Palm

    ChrisBlackwell's Palm Pictures has acquired rights in the US and the Caribbeanto Christoffer Boe's Reconstruction, the Danish drama which won both the Camera d'Or andLabel Regards Jeunes at the Cannes Film Festival this year.The deal was concluded between Palm's David Koh (head of acquisitions andproduction) and Ryan Werner (head of theatrical distribution) with Nordisk FilmInternational Sales executive Sanne Arlo.Nordisk has alsoclosed deals on Reconstruction with
  • Distributor resistance could force easyCinema out of business

    UK no-frills exhibitor easyCinema has admitted that it could be forced to close its flagship Milton Keynes cinema and exit the exhibition business if it continues to experience difficulties in securing first run titles.easy - which has no concessions stand or box office and offers tickets online for as low as £0.20 - launched in May, taking over UCI's 10-screen The Point in Milton Keynes. The company proposed offering distributors a flat fee for prints, rather than adopting the industr
  • Finalists selected for Sarajevo's CineLink market

    Vedran Fajkovic's Bosanski Ionac and Namik Kabil's Zadnji Dan are among six projects selected by producers Cedomir Kolar and Behrooz Hashemian and sales agent Philippe Bober to be presented at Sarajevo Film Festival's first CineLink Market from August 20-22.The complete line-up of the six finalists is:Bosanski Ionac - Vedran FajkovicGola Koza - Zlatko TopcicLagano - Nikola MisicRuze Sa Tosku - Branko Duric/Simona Strazisar
  • French broadcaster commits to increased film investment

    Public broadcaster France Televisions has signed an agreement with representatives of the independent film sector guaranteeing increased investment in future production.According to ARP- the association of writers, directors and producers, and BLOC, the Bureau de Liaison des Organisations Cinematographiques, which represents independent distributors, both signed an accord with France Television last week in which the company agreed to increase its investments in film beyond the govern
  • French cinema promotion event attracts decreasing numbers

    France's three-day Fete du Cinema, when ticket prices are reduced by some 60%, saw ticket sales falling to 3 million, down from last year's 3.6 million. With the current downturn in French cinema -going, the results are perhaps less surprising.. Ticket sales for the first six months of 2003 are down 7.4% to 76.4 million compared to the same period last year.. Olivier Snanoudj, deputy director of the FNCF, the body that organises the event told Screen Daily, "It's less tha
  • Galway festival confirms world premiere for Jordan's Intermission

    Intermission, the second title from Neil Jordan and Steve Woolley's Company of Wolves production outfit is to have its world premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh on July 11. It's addition was welcomed by Fleadh programme director Sally Anne O'Reilly, "This is the kind of high octane, edgy drama that gives a vibrancy and vitality to the Fleadh and to the new wave of Irish filmmaking."Intermission is the first feature from established theatre talents, director John Cro
  • German arthouse cinema nominations announced

    The Pianist, Good Bye, Lenin! and Bend It Like Beckham are among the films nominated for the Guild of German Arthouse Cinemas' Film Awards.The five films competing in the German Films category are: Doris Doerrie's Naked, Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye, Lenin!, Thomas Riedelsheimer's documentary Rivers And Tides, Fatih Akin's Solino and Andreas Dresen's Grill Point.The winner of the Foreign Films category will be decided between Fri
  • German exhibitors threaten UIP boycott

    A group of German exhibitors is threatening to boycott UIP's forthcoming releases of The Hulk (3 July ) and Sinbad (24 July) because of the introduction of a new rental system which sees the percentage cut taken by the US major rising to 55% for the release of Van Helsing in May 2004. The exhibitors' body Interessengemeinschaft 47.7 said that cinema-owners had been taken completely by surprise by UIP's new rentals system which would see all types of cinemas - from
  • German fund to invest in Fox marketing campaigns

    German fund initiator Ideenkapital is launching its Mediastream IV fund to raise Euros232m from private individuals for investing in the marketing costs of three releases by 20th Century Fox.The three features are the sci-fi action film I, Robot starring Will Smith, which is scheduled to open in the US on July 11, 2004; Donald Petrie's comedy Welcome To Mooseport, starring Gene Hackman; and writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber's comedy Underdogs with Ben Stiller
  • German producers form Heimatfilm production company

    Stefan Telegty and Helmut Hartl of Munich-based commercials production house Embassy of Dreams have joined forces with Cologne producer Bettina Brokemper to establish the film and TV production outfit Heimatfilm to develop and produce features by new German directors and European co-productions as well as act a service producer in Germany for international companies.Brokemper told Screendaily that two thirds of Heimatfilm belongs to her, with the remaining third held by Telegty
  • Gilliam's Grimm starts 17-week Prague shoot

    Terry Gilliam's $75m Brothers Grimm kicks off its 17-week shoot in Prague today, with Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Lena Heady, Peter Stormare and Jonathan Pryce in the main roles. The shoot will travel around the Czech Republic for the next two weeks, with Czech castle- and cathedral towns including Krivoklat, Kacina, Kutna Hora and Ledec doubling for the 19th-century German countryside.MGM and Miramax, via its Dimension subsidiary, are teaming up on the fantasy production,
  • Global entertainment spend set to recover from 9/11 shock

    Global entertainment spending is set to grow from $1.1 trillion in 2002 to $1.4 trillion in 2007, a compound average growth rate of 4.8% per year. That GDP-busting growth is the forecast of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in the latest edition of its Global Entertainment and Media Outlook. It acknowledges that 2003 will be a slow year, but says that the pace will pick up between 2004-2007. Aside from the blip in late 2001 and throughout 2002 caused by the September 11 outrage, terr
  • Glover to chair International Black Panther festival

    Danny Glover will serve ashonourary chair of the third International Black Panther Film Festival, whichruns in Harlem, New York City, from Jul 31-Aug 4.Screenings at the biannualevent are scheduled to include Raoul Peck's acclaimed Congolese true-lifedrama Lumumba, Cuban directorGloria Rolando's Eyes Of The Rainbow and Robert Mugge's concert film on Gil Scott-Heron, Black Wax.Other films in the line-upare St Clair Bourne's African history
  • Had To Be Made Festival teams with VSDA for independent market

    The VideoSoftware Dealers Of America (VSDA) and the Had To Be Made Film Festival(HTBMFF) have teamed up to launch a new video/DVD mini-market at this year's2003 VSDA Home Entertainment convention in Las Vegas (July 29 to 31)."VSDApartnered with Had To Be Made to bring industry professionals together toconnect and find new ways to promote independent film to the public," saysBo Andersen, president of VSDA, in a statement. "Recognizing the abundanceof high-quality independent films being
  • Hulk moves into 12 new territories, takes $11.3m

    Universal Pictures' TheHulk grossed $11.3m in 14territories in its second weekend on release from 1,652 sites. With 32territories still to open, that makes its ten-day total an impressive $15.7m.It took $4.6m includingpreviews in Mexico, beating Jurassic Park 3 to become Universal's biggest opening in theterritory and beating openings for The Matrix Reloaded, The Two Towers and X2: X-Men United.It opened at the number onespot in Au
  • Icon takes on sales of Artisan/Tribeca's Stage Beauty

    Shooting starts today in London and at Shepperton Studios on Compleat Female Stage Beauty, an adaptation of Jeffrey Hatcher's play directed by Richard Eyre. Icon Entertainment International has come on board the picture to handle international sales; Artisan Entertainment is the domestic distributor.The film is set in the 1660s and tells the story of Edward "Ned" Kynaston who, since women are forbidden to appear on stage, is England's most celebrated leading lady. When Charles I
  • I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

    Dir: Mike Hodges. USA/UK. 2003. 103 mins Midway between a psychological thriller and a tough action movie, with a touch of existential soul-searching but never really making up its mind which way to go, Mike Hodges' new film looks better than it actually is and promises much more than it actually delivers. This is another revenge binge from the author of the almost mythical Get Carter. But if, for a while, it seems ready to explode at any moment, when it finally does, it
  • IMAX screens touted as remedy for over-screening

    Cinema exhibitors with excess capacity following the multiplex building boom of the last decade should consider refitting theatres with IMAX screens, a seminar at Cine Expo in Amsterdam has heard. Two new systems unveiled earlier this year by IMAX Corporation mean it is now feasible for IMAX screens to be "retro-fitted" in existing auditoria via the DMR system, and to play newly IMAX compatible Hollywood event films via the new IMAX MPX. Millard Ochs, President Warner Bros Int'l
  • Japan's Groove files for bankruptcy

    Groove Corporation, co-producer of Shohei Imamura's 1997 Cannes Grand Prize winner The Eel (Unagi), as well as other critically acclaimed indie titles, has filed for bankruptcy protection at Nagoya District Court. Its total debt was reported as $42m (Y5bn). Founded in 1976,. Groove began life as a video sales and rental store management company. Groove has also produced and distributed fifteen films, the most recent being Kiju Yoshida's Women In The Mirror, which screened
  • Karlovy Vary prepares for celebrity guests

    The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, which kicks off its 38th edition this week, will honour Morgan Freeman and British director Stephen Frears, with awards for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema. Festival organisers remain guarded concerning other celebrity guests' attendance, however, mindful of the previous two years' disappointments at last-minute cancellations. The festival had received a commitment from Susan Sarandon to attend, but in an interview on Thur
  • LA's Panettiere, India's Biswas team to co-produce films

    VincentPanettiere's new LA-based production company Thistle Productions is teaming upwith Indian producer Anamika Biswas and her AB Exports to co-produce at leastthree films.The films willbe financed by Biswas through AB Exports and she will serve as executiveproducer on them; Panettiere will act as producer.The titles are: TheAgenda, a thrillerwritten by David Cahill and Nicholas Ellis and to be directed by Mario Di Leowhose previous credits include The Final Alliance
  • Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde

    Dir: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld. US 2003. 94 minutes Legally Blonde proved a surprise hit when it was released during the summer of 2001, grossing over $96m in the US and a solid but not spectacular $45m internationally. While this flag-waving sequel - being released in the US over the July 4 weekend - should quickly break $100m stateside, its prospects overseas are less assured. Witherspoon may have picked up some new fans with last year's popular Sweet Home Alabama
  • Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde

    Dir: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld. US 2003. 94 minutes Legally Blonde proved a surprise hit when it was released during the summer of 2001, grossing over $96m in the US and a solid but not spectacular $45m internationally. While this flag-waving sequel - being released in the US over the July 4 weekend - should quickly break $100m stateside, its prospects overseas are less assured. Witherspoon may have picked up some new fans with last year's popular Sweet Home Alabama
  • Little steps back from First Look, Lischak is new president

    Robbie Little, who foundedOverseas Filmgroup 23 years ago, is stepping back from day-to-day operations ofthe company now known as First Look Media to focus on production through hisown outfit The Little Film Company.Bill Lischak, who has beenat First Look since 1988, first as CFO and later COO as well, has been namedpresident and he will assume all responsibilities for the key operating unitsof the company including home entertainment, international sales, finance andtheatrical distrib
  • Loach's Fond Kiss secures tax funding

    Ken Loach's current production, Ae Fond Kiss, has secured just over 40% of its $5m (£3m)budget through UK tax fund Azure.The funding comes in Azure's traditional form of equity and a traditional sale and leaseback under the UK's Section 48 tax deferral mechanism. The production, the third in Loach's Glasgow trilogy after Sweet Sixteen and My Name Is Joe, started shooting this month.The project is also backed by Icon Film Distribution, which has all UK rights
  • Mark Gill negotiates to leave Stratus for Warner Bros

    Mark Gill, the formerpresident of Miramax LA and currently a partner in Stratus Film Company, is infinal negotiations to leave Stratus and take the helm at Warner Bros'long-in-the-works specialized division. Warner confirmed reports inthe Hollywood trade press yesterday that Gill is in talks for the job, but saidas yet that no final decisions have been reached as to how the division will beconfigured.A spokesman for Stratuspartner and financier Bob Yari gave no comment. Gill and
  • Melbourne film festival flies patriotic colours

    The opening night of the 52nd Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) will feature the work of two hometown talents, Sue Brooks' Cannes competition feature Japanese Story and Adam Elliot's 22-minute claymation Harvie Krumpet.Japanese Story stars Toni Collette, Matthew Dyktynski and Gotaro Tsunashima in the Australian outback and was been picked up during Cannes for the US by Samuel Goldwyn. Harvie Krumpet is narrated by Geoffrey Rush and won a ho
  • Melbourne Film Office appoints Pitcher

    Caroline Pitcher has been appointed general manager of the Melbourne Film Office, a role that gives her responsibility for enticing local and overseas producers to base their productions in the state of Victoria and for keeping them happy while they are there. "She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in international and domestic marketing, strategic management and communications, predominantly in the environment and tourism sectors," said Sandra Sdraulig, chief execut
  • Mellis & Scinto to script Potsdamer Platz for Scott, Searchlight

    Louis Mellis and David Scinto, writers ofSearchlight's Sexy Beast, have been signed to write the screenplay for Tony Scott's planned film version of the novel Potsdamer Platz which is being developed at Fox Searchlight Pictures.The $15m project, based on abook by Buddy Giovinazzo, centres on the intergang turf wars that raged inBerlin in the 1980's when the wall came down. Searchlight executive vicepresident of production Claudia Lewis is overseeing the project for Search
  • Messier awarded Euros 20m in VU severance pay

    Just as Vivendi Universal chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou finds himself sitting pretty atop several substantial offers for the company's entertainment assets, he's also got an old familiar thorn poking him in the side.Former Vivendi chief Jean-Marie Messier has been awarded upwards of Euros 20m in severance pay by a New York arbitration court . The decision by the court was delivered on Friday June 27 while Vivendi released a statement today saying, "After reviewing the tribunal fin
  • MGM sells 20% stake in channels back to Cablevision

    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) isselling its 20% stake in three US cable channels AMC, IFC and WE: Women'sEntertainment back to Cablevision for $500m. Once the deal is done, probably inthe third quarter 2003, the three channels will once again be 100%-owned byCablevision.The deal could haveramifications for both MGM and Cablevision which are separately involved in thebidding for the entertainment assets of Vivendi Universal, MGM on its own andCablevision with Edgar Bronfman Jr.Cablev
  • Moodysson returns to Sweden with Terrorists

    Less than ten months after the Swedish premiere of Lilya 4-ever, Lukas Moodysson returns to local cinemas with another controversial film.His latest project Terrorister - En Film Om Dom Domda (Terrorists - A Film About Those Who Were Sentenced) is a gritty and unflinching documentary about some of the young Swedish activists who were imprisoned following the riots that took place at the EU summit in Goteborg in June 2001. Co-directe
  • Music documentary Amandla! sings to South African audiences

    On a screen for screen, basis music documentary Amandla! A Revolution In Four-Part Harmony, which was released in South Africa on Friday, June 20, outgrossed the Oscar-winning documentary, Bowling For Columbine on its first weekend of release. Amandla! earned $9,583 (R76 168) with eight prints, outgrossing Bowling For Columbine on a per screen average basis. Columbine grossed $13,681 (R108,623) on its opening weekend with 15 prints, a large South African release for a d
  • New deputy MD appointed at Columbia TriStar Germany

    Gerd Bender, sales director for Columbia TriStar Film in Germany since 1990, has been promoted to deputy managing director, by Martin Bachmann, the new managing director of Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International's (CTFDI) German operation. Bender will also continue in his capacity as sales director. "I have known Gerd since he started at Columbia TriStar more than 12 years ago and have come to value his expertise and experience. I am thrilled to have him at my side as I assum
  • New Spanish production company prepares debut film

    Newly formed Spanish production company Bruta Escena has signed on the UK's F&ME and Portugal's FBF Filmes to its first feature film, Joao Costa Menezes' Penta.Each has committed to 10% of the estimated Euros 2.8m budget, according to Bruta Escena founder Rebeka Biguria: FBF as an advance for distribution rights in Portugal; F&ME as a co-producer likely to access sale-and-leaseback funds in the UK.Scheduled for an early 2004 shoot in Spain, Penta takes place over t
  • New York Film Critics move awards to Dec 15

    The New YorkFilm Critics Circle (NYFCC) will announce its awards on Dec 15 at the MuseHotel in New York.The awards willbe given out at the group's annual awards dinner on Jan 4 2004 at Nochein Manhattan.'2003 hasalready proven to be a great year for films of all kinds, and we're onlyat the halfway point,' Andrew Johnston, group chairman and film criticfor Radar magazine, said in a statement.'We'llcertainly have no shortage of deserving films and perfor
  • New Zealand introduces incentive for big budget films

    The New Zealand Government has announced that producers who choose New Zealand as a location for their big budget projects will be handed back 12.5% of their production expenditure. Those spending $30m (NZ$50m) locally will automatically qualify for the grant, but if the local expenditure is $9m-$30m (NZ$15m-NZ$50m) it must represent at least 70% of the total production budget."This grant scheme is an encouragement to attract and maintain the net economic benefits of hosting and
  • Ontario groups show united front to attract Hollywood productions

    A coalition of Ontario-basedfilm and television industry interest groups has formed a united front to lobbythe federal government and market the province as a production destination toHollywood. Amongst the members of theOntario Film and Television Consortium (OFTC) are more than 30 companies,including the leading service producer in the country, Dufferin GateProductions, as well as unions such as IATSE and guilds such as the DirectorsGuild of Canada. Joining the effort is the Ontario
  • Palm Springs moves short film festival to Sept

    The Palm SpringsInternational Festival of Short Films is abandoning its traditional August slotand will run this year from Sept 16-22 in Palm Springs.Explaining thedecision in a statement, festival director Kevin McGuire said: 'We arelooking to offer greater educational opportunities for students and Septemberis a better month for schools to participate in the festival. It is also a morehospitable month for most locals and visitors.'The festival isone of the
  • Pineapple Bun Prince to follow animated McDull

    Bliss Concepts, the Hong Kong animation house behind popular animated feature My Life As McDull, is producing a second film - Pineapple Bun Prince - which it plans to release in Hong Kong this Christmas.The first McDull movie, directed by Toe Yuen and written by Brian Tse, recently scooped the top prize at France's Annecy animation festival and will be released in France next week (July 2) on around 50 screens. It was a surprise hit when it was released in Hong Kon
  • Pippin to get the Miramax musical treatment

    Miramax Films, which earlier this week announced that it hadsecured film rights to one of Bob Fosse's classic stage musicals DamnYankees, has picked uprights to another - Pippin.
  • Reloaded flies close to $400m mark for Warner

    Warner Bros PicturesInternational continued its spectacular run at the box office over the weekendwith The Matrix Reloaded whichtook another $9.94m from 4,980 screens in 60 countries. Its total internationalgross is poised to cross the $400m mark this week and at Sunday stood at$397.2m.The film dropped just 20.6%in Japan in its fourth weekend on release, and was only just beaten by newopener Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle which took Y620m as opposed t
  • Robert Greenblatt named president of entertainment at Showtime

    Veterantelevision executive Robert Greenblatt is joining US cable giant ShowtimeNetworks as president of entertainment.Greenblatt willstart work at his Los Angeles offices on Jul 14 and will oversee creative andprogramming activities on all existing and planned channels.In addition hewill supervise original productions, acquisitions, scheduling and businessaffairs and have direct involvement in all research, promotion and marketingactivities throughout the co
  • Rogard appointed to head French writers' union

    Independant French film veteran Pascal Rogard has been named managing director of France's writers' union, the Societe des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (SACD). Rogard will take up the post on January 1, 2004 after the departure of current chief Olivier Carmet.Rogard is currently head of the union of French film producers and exporters, a position he has held for twenty years. He will leave that title behind as well as that of general manager of the association of writers, direct
  • Sheridan sounds warning to Irish government

    Jim Sheridan today gave the Irish government a bleak warning - retain the Section 481 tax incentive or 80% of Irish film industry activity will disappear and with it 80% of the direct employment it currently provides.He was launching a report commissioned by Screen Producers Ireland (formerly Film Makers Ireland) which cogently makes the case for the enhancement of the incentive in addition to its retention beyond the date announced for its termination, 31 December 2004. Significantly
  • Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas

    Dir: Tim Johnson & Patrick Gilmore. US. 2003. 86 mins. DreamWorks' latest 2-D animated effort is a light-hearted adventure - with no songs - which is a marked improvement on The Road To El Dorado (2000) and the stolid Stallion: Spirit Of The Cimarron last year. But as Disney found out with November flop Treasure Planet, audience appetite for these visually flat, sometimes dramatically inert, animated films is waning while the CGI-created spectaculars like
  • Spanish Mystery tops Moscow film festival

    The 25th Moscow International Film Festival closed on Sunday night with the grand prix going to Spanish director Miguel Hermoza for La Luz Prodigiosa (The End Of A Mystery) a drama set at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Koktebel a Russian road movie about a young boy and his alcoholic father who catch a box car bound for the Crimea won the special jury prize for directors Boris Hlebnikov and Alexei Popogrebsky. Best director went to Korean Jang Jun-Hwan f
  • Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines

    Dir: Jonathan Mostow. US. 2003. 109 mins. He's back alright, but how big an audience will come back to see Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator 12 years after the franchise's previous instalment, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, became a $500m global smash' The good news for distributors Warner and Sony is that, even without the help of franchise co-creator James Cameron, producers Mario Kassar and Andy Vajna have delivered a mega-budget action sci-fi movie whose astute
  • This Girl's Life

    Dir: Ash. US. 2003. 101 mins. A star is born in This Girl's Life, the fourth independent feature from maverick Brit director Ash (Bang, Pups). Her name is Juliette Marquis, a stunningly beautiful newcomer whose magnetism and self-assuredness shine off the screen and indeed outshine the movie itself. Looking like a cross between Angelina Jolie and Linda Evangelista, Marquis is the epitome of a movie goddess exuding as much intelligence as sex appeal. Indeed she p
  • Three films nominated for Berlin Today award

    2002 Student Academy Award winner Grace Lee (Barrier Device) is among four filmmakers - and three films, nominated from over 110 entries from all over the world to have the chance to make a short film about the German capital for the Berlin Today Award.While Korean-American Lee's project will be searching for the ultimate currywurst in Best Of The Wurst, Swiss directorial duo Stephanie Chuat and Veronique Reymond focus on an encounter between a tramp and a tourist guide
  • Winchester Entertainment results 'not pleasing'

    The UK's Winchester Entertainment has posted its preliminary results for the year ended 31 March 2003, with turnover at £5.1m, down from £6.5m in 2002, and a pre-tax loss of £11.2m, up from £8.3m in 2002. This resulted in a loss per share of 40.2p. But the company, listed on the UK's Alternative Investment Market (AIM), drew a line under 2002, insisting the worst was over and that it is in a good position to benefit from any market improvement. 2002 was a tough year for Winchest
  • Yes Nurse, No Nurse is San Fran Lesbian & Gay fest audience favourite

    Pieter Kramer's Dutchmusical Yes Nurse! No Nurse! wasthe clear audience favourite at the 18-day San Francisco International Lesbian& Gay Film Festival which finished on Sunday.It won the audience awardfor best feature at the festival which scored over 82,000 admissions to its 121film screenings. Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer's Brother Outsider:The Life Of Bayard Rustin, the storyof the leader of the gay civil rights movement, won the audience award fo