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1 July 2004

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  • 16 year-old arrested camcording Spider-man 2

    A 16 year-old boy wasarrested in the early hours of yesterday morning at a theatre in Chatsworth,California, for attempting to camcord the first public showing of Spider-Man2. The Motion Picture Association OfAmerica (MPAA) proudly announced the arrest yesterday, even naming theprojectionist (Scott Bergin) who spotted the teen pirate.Bergin was scanning theaudience with night vision goggles soon after the film began when he spottedthe boy and his camcorder. He notified the theat
  • 9/11 beats White Chicks to the top of US box office

    Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 followed up its Palme d'Or triumph andcritical adulation with a stunning US box office victory at the weekend as itopened top on an estimated $21.8m.
  • Allen cast grows as UK production activity swells

    Brian Cox, Matthew Goode and James Nesbitt have joined the cast of Woody Allen's upcoming UK film.The trio will appear alongside Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers when principal photography starts July 12th on location in and around London.Financial partners in the film include BBC Films, Magic Hour Media, Thema Production and Invicta Capital, with the Bank of Ireland as principal bank. The financing was structured by Wiley and Darwin, with Kami Naghdi
  • Allied Irish Banks hires Duffield in film finance move

    Allied Irish Banks (AIB), the Republic of Ireland's largest bank, is entering film finance under former Dexia-BIL media head Gillian Duffield.Duffield is taking up thepost as head of media finance, based in London. She will focus on developing a new film financingdivision for the bank.Her appointment comes asrival Bank of Ireland is also flexing its film financing muscles and isco-financing Woody Allen's upcoming UK production starring Kate Winslet. AIBand Bank of Ireland no dou
  • Amenabar's Sea tipped for Venice slot

    Out to Sea (Mar Adentro), Alejandro Amenabar's eagerly-anticipated follow-up to TheOthers looks set for a Venice festival slot with the news that it will openin Spain on September 3.Producer Sogecine has confirmedthat it will go to an un-named "early fall festival". The Venice InternationalFilm Festival runs from September 1-11.Out to Sea stars Javier Bardem in a screenplay written by Amenabar andMateo Gil. In a complete shift from The Others and earl
  • Ansorge joins Anglo-Indian outfit Inspired Movies

    Peter Ansorge, former head of dramaat UK broadcaster Channel Four, has joined Inspired Movies as commissioning editor/executiveproducer in charge of new film projects.Inspired Movies, an Anglo-Indian companybased in the U.K., is currently in production with Take 3 Girls, itsfirst English language film, starring Charlie Brooks (in her first role sinceleaving soap opera EastEnders), Caroline Chikezie (Footballer's Wives)and Karen David (Batman
  • Asian CGI producer unveils US production deals

    GDC Entertainment, the content development arm of Hong Kongand Singapore-based GDC Holdings, announced three collaborative ventures atFilMart on Friday.The company, which produces CGI content at its studio inShenzhen, China, has signed an agreement with LA-based producer, EnteraktionStudios, to co-produce three original CGI features with a combined budget ofUS$60m.The three features have been created and developed byEnteraktion and will be co-directed by Phil Roman, the founder
  • Azkaban scores third biggest industry opening in Japan

    Fuelled by a massive Japan bow at the weekend, Harry Potter AndThe Prisoner Of Azkabanadded an estimated $40.9m from more than 9,200 screens in 50 countries to raiseits international running total to $321.7m.
  • Babelsberg Film looks to board Macdonald's Last King

    Germany's BabelsbergFilm is in negotiations to become a co-producer on Oscar-winning documentaryfilmmaker Kevin Macdonald's fiction feature film debut The Last King has learnt exclusively that the Studio BabelsbergMotion Pictures' production unit - whose previous credits included serving asco-producer on Roman Polanski's Oscar-winning The Pianist, City Of God director Fernando Meireilles' The ConstantGardener and Alien Vs. Preda
  • Banderas to direct Los Ingleses in Spain

    Antonio Banderas has confirmed that he will direct his nextfilm in 2006 - in his native Spain.The actor told a Madrid press conference that he had boughtthe rights to Antonio Soler's novel El Camino De Los Ingleses and he would go behind the lens to shoot it at homein Spain."Antonio Soler, from whom I have officially bought therights, will write the screenplay," said Banderas. "I want it to bea Spanish production, or even better, an Andalucian one."Banderas was bor
  • Beautiful Boxer falls to here!

    here! Films has acquiredNorth American distribution rights to Thai drama Beautiful Boxer from Arclight Films. The company plans to releasethe film theatrically in the US and Canada in the third quarter 2004.Based on the true story offamed Thai transgender kickboxer Parinya Charoenphol aka Nong Toom, the filmfollows the story of a boy who believes he is a girl trapped in a boy's bodywho sets out to become a master at Thai boxing in order to afford his ultimategoal of becoming a w
  • Being Julia to open 29th Toronto International Film Festival

    Istvan Szabo's period comedy Being Julia, starring Annette Bening andJeremy Irons, will open the 29th Toronto International Film Festivalon Sept. 9.The selection was widely anticipated givenproducer Robert Lantos' long-time association with Toronto; this will be theninth Lantos-produced picture to open the event. Based on the novel Theatre by W. Somerset Maugham, thescreenplay was written by Ronald Harwoo
  • Bonham Carter, Taylor, Fox and Lee join Charlie cast

    Helena Bonham Carter, Noah Taylor, James Fox, Missi Pyle andChristopher Lee have joined the cast of Tim Burton's Charlie And TheChocolate Factory whichhas started shooting in London for Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Pictures.
  • Brother To Brother, Drag Kings get audience vote at Frameline

    Frameline28, the 28th SanFrancisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, closed on Jun 27 witha gala screening of Angela Robinson's D.E.B.S. and a raft of awards.The audience award for bestfeature went to Rodney Evans' Harlem Renaissance drama Brother To Brother, while audience award for top documentary was awardedto Sonia Slutsky for her burlesque extravaganza Drag Kings On Tour.Mary Guzman's Mind If ICall You Sir' won the audience awardfor best
  • Buena Vista embarks on Japanese animation

    Fuji TV has announced the production of a major animatedfeature based on Brave Story, afantasy novel by Miyuki Miyabe that has sold 420,000 copies since publicationin March of 2003.The production company will be Gonzo Digimation, ananimation house responsible for several hit TV series, including Hellsing and Gantz, as well as best-selling straight-to-video animations and therecent theatrical feature Spirit.The directo
  • Cambridge unveils wide-ranging festival line-up

    The Cambridge Film Festival has unveiled a wide-rangingline-up of films to play at this year's event, which runs from July 8-18.The festival says it has secured 40 UK premieres, includingPeter Greenaway's Antwerp: The Tulse Luper Suitcases Part 3, Japanese megahit Bayside Shakedown! and its sequel Bayside Shakedown! II, Richard Eyre's Stage Beauty, Olivier Assayas' Clean and Richard Linklater's BeforeSunset.Other titles include Woody All
  • Castle Hill takes Kiss to North America from The Works

    UK-based sales agency The Works has sold all North American rights to Ken Loach's Ae Fond Kiss to US indie Castle Hill Productions.Castle Hill, which most recently handled What Alice Found, Pipe Dream and The Next Big Thing, plans a November release in two or three cinemas in New York, to be followed by openings in Los Angeles, Chicago and Florida. The deal was brokered by The Works' head of sales Joy Wong and Mel Maron, Castle Hill's president of marketing and dis
  • Cinema Expo underlines importance of European market

    Cinema Expo ended on a high note last night (June 24)with a gala dinner hosted by Walden Media, and organisers claiming successdespite a slight drop in numbers.The annualexhibition conference in Amsterdam saw 1,011 registrations, down about 80 fromlast year. Booths on the trade show floor were down about four or five, butorganisers see it as a blip.
  • Copenhagen festival names Szabo as jury chief

    Acclaimed Hungarian director Istvan Szabo will be presidingover the competition jury at the second Copenhagen International Film Festival,which unfolds in the Danish capital between Aug 19-29.The 66-year old filmmaker (Being Julia) is joined by Scottish director David Mackenzie (YoungAdam), US-Israeli director Eytan Fox (WalkOn Water) and Romanian actress MaiaMorgenstern (The Passion Of The Christ) as well as the popular local actress turned filmmaker Paprik
  • Criminal

    Dir: Gregory Jacobs. US.2004. 87mins.Steven Soderbergh'slong-time first assistant director Gregory Jacobs gets a shot at being the topdog courtesy of Soderbergh's financing clout at Warner Bros with Criminal,a remake of 2000 Argentinian hit Nine Queens (Nuevas Reinas).Unfortunately, somewhere in the transfer of the sting caper from Buenos Airesto Los Angeles, the zest of the original was misplaced, resulting in a lifelessfilm which, while technically acco
  • Critics' Week names new artistic director

    The Critics' Week sidebar has announced the appointment of a new artistic director.Jean-Christophe Berion will replace outgoing chief Claire Clouzot following his election by the French Cinema Critics' Union this week.Clouzot, a film director with two credits under her belt, held the post of artistic director for the past three years.Berion is currently editor in chief of the weekly Les Fiches Du Cinema and has formerly worked as a television and radio presenter. He has a
  • Databases merge: Hollywood Media Corp buys Studio Systems

    Entertainment news outlet Hollywood Media Corp has agreed to buyLos Angeles-based database and information services Studio Systems.
  • Dawn nears $20m in Universal/UIP territories

    Strike Entertainment/Universal'sDawn Of The Dead remake isapproaching $20m at the international box office after adding $388,000 from 293screens in 11 territories through UIP at the weekend.The $19.5m internationalrunning total rises to $36m for all distributors. Dawn Of The Dead has seven more UIP markets to open, starting withBelgium on Jun 30.UIP opened Je-gyu Kang's TheBrotherhood (Taegukgi) in Japan, the only market where it has rights tothe acti
  • Day After Tomorrow flies past $300m for Fox

    The Day After Tomorrow has reached $302.7m at the international box officeafter adding $13.7m from 6,447 screens in 56 territories through FoxInternational at the weekend.Roland Emmerich'seco-disaster picture added $2.7m in its fourth weekend in Japan for a $34.6mcumulative score and second place behind the record opening of Harry PotterAnd The Prisoner Of Azkaban.It added $1.6m in its fifthweekend in the UK for third place and a mighty $41.1m r
  • Fahrenheit 9/11 makes box office history

    Fahrenheit 9/11 opened top on $21.8m at the weekend according to studioestimates, a stupendous result for the Palme d'Or winner as it became the firstdocumentary ever to debut at number one.
  • Film director Lee replaced as Korean culture minister

    Film director Lee Chang-dong (Oasis), who has served as South Korea's Minister ofCulture and Tourism since February 2003, was replaced on Wednesday in a cabinetreshuffle.The move, which was widely expected, sees Chung Dong-chaetake over leadership of the Ministry.The 50-year old Chung worked as a journalist for many years beforeserving as President Roh Moo-myun's chief of staff prior to his election.Lee, who was Korea's first film director ever to hold acabinet position,
  • FilMart News: Deals and speeches lift FilMart's final June edition

    Hong Kong's Filmart (June 23-25) closedon a rousing note on Friday with rallying cries from industry leaders andfurther details of next year's mega-event, Entertainment Expo Hong Kong 2005.Sellers agreed that they had seen fewer visitors from the US and Europe, possibly an effect of timing thatreflected the proximit
  • FRANCE 28 June

    The boywizard continues his reign at the top of the French box office taking nearly anadditional 1 million admissions in its third week.WarnerBros. French comedy Double Zero tookin a healthy 657,945 in its first outing. The 007 spoof had a strong per screenaverage at $7,465 per screen. Karin Viard and Agnes Jaoui vehicle Le Role De Sa Vie opened in fourthposition for a respectable $1.5m on 258 screens. Jessica Alba fil
  • France's TPS pre-buys Esposito's Beaute

    In keeping with its aggressive push towards pre-buys,satellite platform - and Canal Plus rival - TPS has pre-bought first windowrights to the next film from Le Coeur Des Hommes director Marc Esposito.Toute La Beaute Du Mondewill be in theatres in September 2004 and is produced by Pierre Javaux who wasalso behind Hommes, a big hit atthe 2003 box office. Actor Marc Lavoine again teams with the director and willbe joined by actress Zoe Felix.TPS' newly installe
  • GERMANY 29 June

    The highest new entry this week - and the film with thehighest screen average ($4,263) - was Tobis Film's release of Mindhunters which grossed over $660,000in its first four days, but the German box office is still dominated by the toptwo films - Harry Potter 3 and The Day After Tomorrow - which betweenthem are occupying over 2,000 screens and are the only releases with admissionsexcee
  • Germany sees box office revival

    Germany's box office has made a welcome recovery since Mayafter a year-on-year decline in admissions and revenues for the first quarterof 2004, according to EDI Nielsen.In April, EDI reported that admissions were down 6.4% fromlast year's 37.58m to 35.18m in the first three months, while revenues slipped8.6% from Euros 225.68m to Euros 206.27m.However, in the period between January 1 and June 20, EDIreported box office takings of Euros 396.4m, compared to Euros 393.5m for thesam
  • Gold Circle parts company with ICE

    Gold Circle, the US indie behind smash hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding, has parted ways with its UK production partner ICE Productions.Gold Circle said it is restructuring as Ice'sErica Motley, Irene Ilias and Claire Bennett have decided to return toindependent production as several long-gestating projects are nearingproduction.
  • Greenpoint Media steps in to finance African American family saga Cherrys

    Greenpoint Media is to produceand finance the family drama Cherrys,which is being directed by Harry Knapp and will star Eartha Kitt, LynnWhitfield and Jurnee Smollett.
  • Home entertainment to drive growth of film industry

    The global film business,driven by an expanding home entertainment sector, is set for annual growth of7.5% over the next five years. By 2008 it will be worth $108bn, compared with$75bn last year, according to consultancy and research firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers(PWC) in its annual Global Entertainment & Media Outlook (2004-2008).The growth that PWC is forecasting makes film one of thefastest moving sectors, outstripping the wider entertainment and mediabusiness, which it pegs at 6.3% an
  • HONG KONG 28 June

    Warner Bros' sword-and-sandals epic Troy beat local comedy SuperModel to the top of the Hong Kong box office chart grossing US$1.15m from45 screens.Super Model,directed by Vincent Kok, took second place with a respectable US$858,586 from42 screens. Produced by Abba Movies and Gold Label Entertainment, the film isthe first to star Ronald Cheng since he appeared in sleeper hit Dragon Loaded last summer. In
  • Hopscotch takes Oz rights to 2046

    Distributor Hopscotch has taken all Australian rights toWong Kar Wai's 2046 fromFortissimo Film Sales.Hopscotch managing director Troy Lum plans to release whathe calls the "scifiesque film" later this year or early next. Lumreleased Wong's previous film In The Mood For Love while he was still working at Dendy."It did reasonably well and grossed about A$600,000. Wehave a bigger audience base to draw from this time around. I also think that 2046 is also a pas
  • Hotel

    Dir/scr: Jessica Hausner.Austria. 2004. 82minsHotel is the kind of shaggy dog story that might have madean effective short but feels too insubstantial and enigmatic to measure up as afull-length film. The second feature from LovelyRita writer-director Jessica Hausner is only a partially successful attemptto inject some fresh ideas into the kind of suspenseful situation that mightonce have inspired a Hitchcock or a Polanski.Hotel
  • IFP/New York moves Gotham Awards to Dec

    IFP/New York has moved tobolster the awards season credibility of its annual Gotham Awards by switchingthe gala date from September to December and introducing two new awards.The 14th Annual GothamAwards will take place on Dec 1, when for the first time awards will bepresented for best feature and best documentary.In a further development,these and certain other awards will break with Gotham Awards tradition and beavailable to film-makers from outside New York City.Rigoro
  • Impressive turnout for France's Fete du Cinema

    France's Fete du Cinema tallied an impressive 4.3million admissions during its three day run which ended on Tuesday (June 29).The score is on a level with the previous record reached in 1999.The admissions suprassed last year's event by 43%.The 5,300 cinemas across France participated in the cut-rateticket scheme which allowed audiences to see films for Euros 1.50 following thepurchase of one full price entry.
  • ITALY 29 June

    A massive nine new films were released in Italy at theweekend, but none of them left a mark on the box office as Italians largelycontinued their tradition of steering clear of cinemas when temperatures soar.While Harry Potter 3 dropped a further 61% at the weekend,the highest new entry (and one of three new horror releases) at number six, wasEagle Pictures's House of 1000 Corpses- although it grossed only $189,977 from 110 screens.The weekend's biggest
  • Japan's Short Shorts festival gets Academy accreditation

    The Short Shorts FilmFestival, Japan's largest short film showcase, has received accreditation fromthe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.Beginning with this year'sShort Shorts Award winner Redd Barna by Norwegian film-maker Terje Rangnes, the film that receives thefestival's top prize will be eligible for Oscar nomination."This is a great honour forShort Shorts," Short Shorts co-founder Douglas Williams said in a statement."And a great opportunity for the film-m
  • Kearey gets key marketing post at United Artists

    Rebecca Kearey has been hired as vice president of marketing forUnited Artists, and moved from London to take up her Los Angeles-based postearlier this month.
  • LA-based Blacklight Films launches stock footage library

    Industry veteran LouisSchwartzberg, whose directorial debut America's Heart And Soul is due to go on limited release through Buena Vistaon Jul 2, has launched a stock footage library within his production companyBlackLight Films.The new resource includesmore than 4,500 scenes of natural beauty and indigenous peoples from around theworld, including 350 hours of footage from the shoot of America's Heart AndSoul, a documentary about the livesand thoughts
  • Lions Gate reports $94.2m loss

    Lions Gate Entertainment recorded a $94.2m net loss for the fiscalyear ended March 31 2004 compared to $1.1m net income a year before, due inlarge part to the costly acquisition of Artisan and marketing expenses on aslew of fourth quarter releases.
  • Locarno to explore film and journalism

    The Locarno festival (4-14 Aug) will feature a sidebar onthe ever-changing relations between journalism and film, it was announcedyesterday.Speaking in London at a reception the festival'sartistic director Irene Bignardi said that the topical section will span thelength of film history and include a rare piece of 1899 Georges Melies dramaabout the furore stirred up by the "Dreyfus Affair".The presentation at the Swiss Embassy also included ascreening of Henry Lehrman's 1914 shor
  • Mighty weekend for Shrek 2

    Shrek 2 saw anothermighty weekend for UIP as it rolled out in five new territories claiming numberone positions and records as it went.The animated sequel added $31.5m this weekend from holdoversand the new territories: France, Belgium, Switzerland, Indonesia and the UnitedArab Emirates, and has already earned $68m for UIP - which handles thefilm internationally except in Hong Kong and South Korea.Belgium saw the film record the biggest animated opening ofall time. Shr
  • Moscow awards Us raft of prizes

    If any more proofwas needed of the healthy state of Russian film, last night's awards ceremonyat the 26th Moscow International Film Festival should convince anysceptics.Dmitry Meskhiyevswept the festival's top prizes winning the Golden St George for best film aswell as best director for his WWII war drama Us (Svoi) which alsogarnered the best acting prize for its lead Bogdan Stupka.It was the firstwin for a Russian film in the Moscow competition since 1991, the last festi
  • New blow for Hamburg film fund

    FilmFoerderung Hamburg (FFHH) has suffered another blow withthe news that public broadcaster ZDF will terminate its cooperation agreementand annual contribution of Euro 1m at the end of this year.The development is a direct result of Culture Senator Karinvon Welck's proposal to cut the city's contribution to FFHH by 50% to Euro 3.5mfrom 2005. (, June 17)"This step could no longer be without any consequences," ZDF said.Similarly, the future of the Euro 1m fr
  • New Line teams with Samsung for two-year promotional alliance

    New Line Cinema has signed atwo-year non-exclusive promotional alliance with Samsung Electronics, whichkicked off earlier this month with an integrated online campaign for the studio'snew romance The Notebook.The comprehensive agreementencompasses product placement and theatrical and home entertainment promotionsthat will see the studio incorporate Samsung products into its pictures, andoffer exclusive content for promotional use across Samsung's media outlets.The partner
  • NEW ZEALAND 28 June

    UIP's Mean Girlsclaimed third place in the chart this week with a gross of NZ$207,859 from 44screens for its opening weekend. But neither it nor second placed Harry Potter, came close to the mostpopular film of the four days, UIP's Shrek2, which was also a very long way ahead in terms of screen average.The green monster has been found in cinemas for the last twoweekends and this time around it sold NZ$1,604,325
  • Niehuus named executive director at German funding body

    Berlin-Brandenburg production community has welcomed thenaming of Kirsten Niehuus as the executive director with responsibility forfilm funding at Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (the public fund which supportedKevin Spacey's Beyond The Sea andHans Weingartner's The Edukators.last year) from November 1, 2004.A qualified lawyer, Niehuus previously served as legalcounsel at Senator Film and the German Federal Film Board (FFA) and became thedeputy to the FFA's chief executive
  • Nordic Film & TV Fund secures backing till 2009

    Thefuture of the 14 year-old Nordic Film & TV Fund has been secured by a newagreement between the Nordic ministers of culture. The deal, which was signedin Reykjavik last week, runs until the end of 2009.The foundation of the Fund was shaken earlier this year whenthe four private Nordic TV-stations (Sweden's TV4, TV2 Norway, TV2 Denmark andthe Icelandic Broadcasting Corporation), as i

    There must have been much pulling of hair and gnashing ofteeth at the neophyte right-wing outfit Move America Forward this weekfollowing the stunning number one opening of Fahrenheit 9/11. The conservative activists' were left with egg ontheir faces after a spectacularly ill-judged strategy unwittingly helpedMichael Moore and the "coalition of the willing" that released the picture inthe US.By calling for a boycott and urging exhibitors to drop
  • PGA Awards to take place on Jan 22, 2005

    Next year's Producers Guildof America (PGA) awards will take place in Los Angeles on Jan 22, 2005.Nominations will beannounced on Jan 5 and both the nominations and awards ceremonies will takeplace at the Century plaza Hotel.For the first time next year'sevent will include the Producer of the Year in Variety Television honour.Producer of the Year inReality/Informational/Game series has been re-named to Producer of the Year inNon-Fiction Television.
  • Potter, Shrek 2 continue international reign

    Family titles Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban and Shrek 2 continued to reign internationally this week.Shrek 2 may haveexpanded its run into France and a handful of territories but HarryPotter's Japanese launch easily kept PrisonerOf Azkaban at the top of the internationalchart.Both Potter and 20thCentury Fox's The Day After Tomorrowpassed the $300m mark internationally over the weekend joining Troy, the only title to hav
  • Restored classic, period piece are toast of Sydney

    The 85-year-old Australian silent film The SentimentalBloke, directed by prolific pioneer filmmaker Raymond Longford, anddirector Ondrej Trojan's Czech Republic/Austria/Slovakia period film Zelarywere the audience favourites at the Sydney Film Festival's two key venues.The festival wrapped on Saturday June 26 and organisers saythat the 132,500 admissions represented a 9% increase on last year.The grand State Theatre in the heart of the city is thetraditional home o
  • Roaring start for France's Fete du Cinema

    France's 20thannual Fete du Cinema promotion got off to a roaring start on Sunday with arecord score of 1.5 million admissions - up 60% over last year's first daytake.In Paris, 315,000 tickets were soldrepresenting the best opening day in the past decade. Despite beautiful weatheracross the entire country, moviegoers came out in force.A rich selection of films ison offer includ
  • ROMANIA 1 July

    Four new releaseshit the Romanian cinemas last week but none could outdo the continuedperformance of the third Harry Potterepisode or Troy which is nearing the200,000 admission mark, something rarely seen in the Romanian market.One of last week'smajor flops belonged to vampire flick, Underworldwhich only managed just over 2,000 admissions on two prints, a somewhatsurprising result considering VanHelsing's success - which is already over 6
  • Schalah Mitchell joins Denmead Marketing as account manager

    Schalah Mitchell has joined Denmead Marketing's Los Angelesoffices as an account manager handling international theatrical publicitycampaigns.
  • Schizo (Shiza)

    Dir: Guka OmarovaRuss-Kazahkstan-Fr-Ger. 2004. 90mins.Don't be fooled by themisleading English title, already used by at least two slasher pics. Kazhakfeature Schizo is a terse but gripping, elegantly crafted slice ofrealist drama, with an edge of low-life thriller. Evoking the desperate mood ofsubsistence-level life in the newly-independent Kazhakstan of the early 1990s,the film marks an confident feature debut for Guka Omarova, who co-scriptedwith established Russian
  • Shrek 2 set for massive French weekend

    Two wide releases have ashot at passing $300m this weekend as Warner Bros' Harry Potter And ThePrisoner Of Azkaban and FoxInternational's The Day After Tomorrow both approach the milestone.Studio executives will behoping that Prisoner Of Azkabancan boost its $282.2m international running total with a strong Japanese bow onSaturday (26).The signs are certainlypromising: Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets opened top there in November 2002 on $16.7m
  • Six composers named for Sundance Lab in July

    The Sundance Instituteyesterday (29) named the six participants in its 7th Annual Sundance InstituteComposers Lab, which is due to run from Jul 20-Aug 4.This year's Composers LabFellows are Peter Fitzpatrick, Aiko Fukushima, Joseph Julian Gonzalez, GaryLouris, Raz Mesinai and Michael Torke.The two-week lab falls underthe aegis of the Institute's Film Music Programme and offers a series ofworkshops and creative exercises under the tutelage of a group of establ
  • Six Quebec films get Telefilm Canada backing

    Telefilm Canada hasannounced it will be backing six Quebec-based feature projects in the comingyear under the Canada Feature Film Fund. The projects, four French-language,one in English and one in Mandarin, include two international coproductions andan adaptation of an acclaimed novel by Quebecois journalist and author Gil Courtemanche.Un Dimanche A Kigali (A Sunday At The Pool In Kigali), to be directed by Robert Favreau, who collaboratedwith Courtemanche on the script, tells t
  • Sony, IMAX to remaster Spider-Man 2 for large screen format

    IMAX Corp and Sony are in talks to digitally remaster and convert Spider-Man2 for the big screenformat, with a release scheduled for mid-July.
  • Spider-man 2 leaps into 28 territories this weekend

    Columbia TriStar puts out the year's most hotlyanticipated film Spider-man 2 in 28territories this weekend day-and-date with the North American opening thisweek, but the studio is waiting until next weekend and the weekend after torelease the blockbuster sequel in Europe to avoid any interference from theEuropean football championships.Major territories which will be spun into a box officefrenzy by the superhero epic this weekend are Austral
  • Summit, Endgame kick off The Alibi with stellar cast

    Summit Entertainment's The Alibi which the international production,sales and financing outfit is co-financing with Jim Stern's Endgame startedprincipal photography yesterday in Los Angeles with a stellar cast in place.
  • Sword In The Moon

    Dir. Kim Eui-Suk. Korea.2003. 100mins.Dark, bloody and brutal, Kim Eui-Suk's martial artsextravaganza, released in Korea last July to lukewarm response, played in UnCertain Regard at Cannes in the hope of catching second wind with a differenttype of audience. But its grim, humourless disposition is unlikely to gain itmany new friends.The action, which takesplace somewhere in the middle of the 18th-century at the end of theChosun dynasty, is typica
  • Telespan 2000 readies Other Side Of The Bed sequel

    Independent production company Telespan 2000, headed byTomas Cimadevilla, has confirmed it is to go ahead with the sequel to TheOther Side of The Bed (El Otro Lado de La Cama).The original film was the highest-grossing Spanish film of2002, netting $15.1m at the box office and headlining Paz Vega amidst anensemble cast of players. Now The Other Side of the Bed 2 is set tostart shooting in "October-November," said Cimadevilla, "with largely the sameartistic team. We're talk
  • The Clearing

    Dir: Pieter Jan Brugge.2004. US. 91mins.Robert Redford returns to the big screenseveral months after his brutal vilification in the pages of Peter Biskind's Down And Dirty Pictures as an enemy ofindependent film - with, of all things, a small, independent-style film forthinking adults, albeit one financed and distributed by the independent arm ofstudio behemoth 20th Century Fox. Pres
  • The Door In The Floor

    Dir: Tod Williams. US.2004. 111mins.In his first film sincehis promising 1998 debut The Adventures Of Sebastian Cole, Tod Williamsdelivers a solid and compelling adaptation of the first third of John Irving'snovel A Widow For One Year. Blending Irving's tendency to absurdism witha painful evocation of suppressed grief, The Door In The Floor willalternately entertain, move and alienate specialized audiences in its domesticsummer run through Focus Features.
  • The Notebook

    Dir: Nick Cassavetes. US.2004. 124mins.The positioning ofwomen's tearjerker The Notebook by New Line Cinema in the heart of summer blockbuster season may be oneof the more inspired distribution decisions this year. As gentle, lush andsappy as a thousand TV movies but distinguished by sumptuous production valuesand a great
  • Thirty buyers lined up to attend Munich Previews

    FineLine, Miramax, France's MK2, Sweden's Nonstop Entertainment, Hungary's BudapestFilm and Australia's SBS are among over 30 international film distributors andTV film buyers attending the Export-Union of German Cinema's Munich Previews,which are being held for the first time during the Munich Film Festival fromJune 27-30.Othercompanies confirmed as coming to Munich are the UK's City Screen, Finland'sYLE, Russia's Carmen Film and the Czech Republic's Artcam.Aspart of a new coll
  • Time Warner readies $4.8bn MGM bid

    Time Warner is putting together a nearly $5bn cash and stockoffer to acquire Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from under the eyes of frontrunner SonyCorp., according to wire and newspaper reports today.Reuters says that under the deal being considered, TimeWarner would offer MGM's 74% shareholder Kirk Kerkorian about $11.50 a share inTime Warner stock and other MGM shareholders about $13 a share in cash. MGMshares stood at $12.10 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.Such an offer woul
  • Toho-Towa appoints US buying agent

    Leading Japanese independent distributor Toho-Towa hascontracted with Los-Angeles- based Action 5 to be its sole US representative.The company will buy films for Toho-Towa to distribute in Japan, as well asproviding marketing support.Action 5 is a new agency headed by Yoko Asakura, the formerCEO for Gaga America. While at Gaga, Asakura acquired the Japan rights to Fahrenheit911, 21 Grams, Kill Bill Vols. 1and 2, Hannibal and Van Helsing, among others.Affilia
  • Tokyo film fest announces major new prize

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  • UK censor appoints successor to Duval

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  • UK Production Listings - June 29

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  • UK/IRELAND 30 June

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  • UK's Channel 4 names new chief executive

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  • Unknown Soldier, Tarnation win top prizes at LAFF

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  • Venice to world premiere Oliveira's Imperio

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  • Wax fire destroys Oz soundstage

    A so-called controlled fire sequence on the set of HouseOf Wax went badly wrong on Saturday evening (June 27), sparking a blazethat destroyed one of the eight soundstages at Queensland's Warner RoadshowStudios.Aspokesperson for the film's publicist, Denis Davidson Associates, said thatthree sets and all the camera and sound equipment were destroyed but luckilyno-one was hurt th
  • Winslet drops out of Woody Allen project

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