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Screen
1 July 2005

View all stories from this issue.

  • ...and holds strong in international markets

    Batman Begins stayed impressively strong in itssecond weekend on international release, falling off just 36% in its holdoverterritories and performing better than its franchise predecessors in a trio ofnew markets. And Batman wasn't the only US studio releasedelivering healthy numbers: in spite of continuing hot weather in some Europeancountries, Madagascar scored several more good openings and Mr &Mrs Smith also showed decent legs.The second week per
  • Admissions plummet as heatwave plays part in Fete du Cinema

    The 21st edition of France'sFete du Cinema has recorded a 25% drop in attendance from the previous year.The three-day event logged 3.2 million admissions across the country.Although the figure is amean drop from 2004 ' a record year ' it marks a 7% improvement on 2003. Althoughit is possible that weather played a role in the number of admissions ' Francehas been hit by a mini-heat wave.Still, the June 26-28 event,during which movie-goers paying one full price entry of Eu2 can se
  • Alexander Payne called to festival jury service again

    Film-maker Alexander Paynewill preside over the inaugural short film jury at the 11th Sarajevo Film Festivalin August.Payne, fresh from heading upthe Un Certain Regard jury at Cannes in May, had previously been announced asthe subject of a retrospective, including talks and workshops, at the event,which runs from August19-27.Veteran Serbian actor MikiManojlovic, who starred in Emir Kusturica's Palme d'Or winner Underground amongothers, will preside over the main jury.The
  • Almodovar leads Spanish production boom

    Pedro Almodovar cranks up filming July 18 on his new movieVolver, a black comedy starring Penelope Cruz and Carmen Maura, just one of aslew of new projects in the works from Spain's leading international talents.The $11m Volver, has not yet closed adistributor in Spain but has been pre-sold to several territories including toSony Pictures Classics for North America. It will roll for 11 weeks in Madrid andthe director's native Castilla La Mancha.Presenting Volver
  • Asian film commissions move to draw more US shoots

    The Asian Film CommissionsNetwork (AFCNet) is gearing up for a push to draw more Hollywood productions tothe region.The move comes as AFCNet hasadded Singapore and Cambodia to its membership roster, which now boasts 22commissions from across the region.AFCNet, which offers supportfor location shoots, will hold a seminar on attracting US productions at thePusan International Film Festival in October, with the participation of aHollywood-based producer and location manager.
  • Batman beats Bewitched, stays top in US

    Warner Bros' Batman Begins held off Columbia's Bewitchedand two other new competitors over the weekend to retain the top spot on theNorth American box office chart.Overall box office for the weekend, however, was down onthe previous year for the eighteenth consecutive
  • Batman beats Bewitched, stays top in US...

    Warner Bros' Batman Begins held off Columbia's Bewitchedand two other new competitors over the weekend to retain the top spot on theNorth American box office chart.Overall box office for the weekend, however, was down onthe previous year for the eighteenth consecutive
  • Batman beats Bewitched, stays top in US...

    Warner Bros' Batman Begins held off Columbia's Bewitchedand two other new competitors over the weekend to retain the top spot on theNorth American box office chart.Overall box office for the weekend, however, was down on theprevious year for the eighteenth consecutive
  • Batman beats Bewitched, stays top in US...

    Warner Bros' Batman Begins held off Columbia's Bewitchedand two other new competitors over the weekend to retain the top spot on theNorth American box office chart.Overall box office for the weekend, however, was down onthe previous year for the eighteenth consecutive weekend, a new reco
  • Bavaria takes aim with African football doc

    Bavaria Film Internationalhas taken international sales for Africa United, ahead of its worldpremiere in Karlovy Vary's Documentary Competition on July 6.Directed by Olaf Johannessonand shot on location in Iceland, Serbia, Morocco, England and Germany, itfollows a football-crazy coach and his team - immigrants from Morocco, Nigeria,Columbia, Serbia, Kosovo, Gambia and Guinea - as they compete in Iceland'ssemi-professional third division.Produced by Johannesson'sown Poppol
  • Billionaire businessman snaps up India's Adlabs

    Anil Dhirubhai AmbaniEnterprises has bought an $80.2m controlling stake in India's largest filmcompany Adlabs through subsidary company Reliance Capital.The publicly-listed Adlabsis a leading player in film production, post-production, distribution andexhibition with several multiplexes and 52 digital exhibition cinemas. The deal is one of thebiggest in Indian entertainment history.Adlabs also owns productioncompany Entertainment One (India) Ltd, with three films currentl
  • Billionaire businessman snaps up India's Adlabs

    Anil Dhirubhai AmbaniEnterprises has bought an $80.2m controlling stakein India's largest filmcompany Adlabs through subsidary companyReliance Capital.The publicly-listed Adlabsis a leading player in film production,post-production,distribution and exhibition with several multiplexesand 52 digital exhibitioncinemas. The deal is one of thebiggest in Indian entertainment history.Adlabs also owns productioncompany Entertainment One (India) Ltd, wi
  • Canada's cinema admissions drop after ten years on the increase

    Canadian cinema attendancedropped 4.6% in 2003-2004, the first reduction in ten-year upward trend, accordingto an industry survey released by Statistics Canada. More crucially, profits wereoff by 15.8% despite a rise in average admission price, which rose 2.5% toC$7.45. Part of the downturn may be a reflection of the SARS scare in Torontoand Vancouver in the spring of 2003, as well as a reduction in the number ofblock-buster titles in distribution in the period. An increase in theavail
  • Cheung to receive award, restrospective at Asian American film festival

    The 28th annualAsian American International Film Festival will kick off on July 15 in New YorkCity with a screening of Olivier Assayas' Clean starring Maggie Cheung, who will attend thescreening. Cheung is also the recipientof this year's CineVisionary award, honouring her contributions tointernational cinema. A mini-retrospective of her career will include StanleyKwan's Center Stage, Peter Chan'sComrades: Almost A Love Story andJohnnie To's The Heroic Trio.
  • Cine Expo: box-office fears beneath forward-looking agenda

    "This film has huge expectations of turning around the summer boxoffice," Andrew Cripps, UIP president and COO, told guests before a WarOf The Worlds screening at yesterday's opening of Cinema Expo in Amsterdam.While anti-piracy measures are routine at blockbuster previews, the confiscation of every potential recording device before the screening - even mobile phones without a camera function - underlined the feature's importance during soft times at the global box-office.
  • Cine Expo: record releases reel in $100m overseas

    Nielsen EDI has awarded arecord 32 films the International Gold Reel Award for surpassing $100m innon-US box-office revenue during the past year.Making the awards at CineExpo in Amsterdam, Nick King, international president of Nielsen Entertainment,said the numbers reflected the growth of the international market."We are seeing proof thatfilms can have success even if they don't have an impact in the US."Titles as diverse asromantic comedies Bridget Jones: The Edge Of
  • Cine-Expo: Exhibitors waiting for Christmas punch

    Cinema Expo should have been a big celebration, with a recordnumber of films topping $100m in international takings and a packedtrade show promising a host of new technology innovations.But as the Amsterdam event closed there was a distinctly glasshalf-empty atmosphere among many exhibitors that contrasted with the enthusiasmof the studio executives presenting their line-ups.The good news seems to be that the end of the year is almostuniversally accepted as strong. The bi
  • Cine-Expo: Exhibitors waiting for Christmas punch

    Cinema Expo should have been a celebration with recordnumber of international films topping $100m international takings and a packedtrade show promising a host of new technology innovations.But as the Amsterdam event closes today, there was adistinctly glass half-empty atmosphere among many exhibitors that contrastedwith the enthusiasm of the studio executives introducing their products.The good news seems to be that the end of the year is prettyuniversally a
  • Cine-Expo: Herbie revs up Disney's attempts at international record

    Disney-branded films are heading for 18 months ofunprecedented success in the international market, delegates to Cinema Expo inAmsterdam have been told.The company did a record-breaking $1.7bn of business in 2004but Mark Zoradi, president of Buena Vista International is promising biggerthings to come.The key to the predicted run will be this Christmas, when two Disneyfilms - The Chronicles Of Narnia and Chicken Little - hope to capture a bigshare of a holiday marke
  • Cine-Expo: Top industry figures honoured at closing ceremony

    'This is the film that is going to turn around the summer boxoffice,' UIP president and COO Andrew Cripps told guests at a screening of WarOf The Worlds, at this year's Cinema Expo in Amsterdam.As if to underline the importance to exhibitors, the showingwas delayed as delegates were made to hand in every potential recording device- even mobile phones without a camera function.Despite a programme that looks forward to the digital agewith major technical announ
  • Cine-Expo: Top industry figures honoured at closing ceremony

    UIP chairman and chief executiveStewart Till was named distributor of the year as Cinema Expo in Amsterdam drewto a close today.The honour concluded a successfulweek for the company, which earlier picked up a record nine Gold Reel awardsfor films earning more than $100m outside the US. The company topped the $2bninternational box-office mark last year and Till
  • Cine-Expo: Warner Bros pledges to be the 2005 hit factory

    Warner Bros had pledged that its strategy of a tighter slate ofbigger films will deliver exhibitors the box-office success they crave thisyear.Speaking before the first European screening of Tim Burton'sCharlie And The Chocolate Factory at Cinema Expo in Amsterdam yesterday, Warnersenior vice president for European distribution, Monique Esclavissat said thecompany could build on the record $1.3bn its titles took in 2004.So far this year, Batman Begins has already t
  • CMC to adapt 1940s classic Love In A Fallen City

    Taiwan's CMC EntertainmentGroup is to adapt Eileen Chang's classic 1940s novella Love In A Fallen City.The $6m production is set to shoot next July from a script by Ang Lee's CrouchingTiger collaborator, Wang Hui-ling.CMC, currently midwaythrough shooting Su Chao-pin's $4.8m supernatural thriller Silk, hassigned Blue Gate Crossing's Yee Chih-yen to direct the classic tale byfamous Shanghai writer Chang. The story has already been filmed once before, byAnn Hu
  • Corneau set to head up Deauville jury

    French directorAlain Corneau will preside over the jury for the main competition at theDeauville Festival of American Film, running from September 2-11.American writerand director James Toback will be the subject of a special tribute fromDeauville, while a retrospective of boxing films will also be shown. Tying inwith the pugilistic theme, Deauville will host the French premiere of RonHoward's boxing drama Cinderella Man, starring Russell Crowe.Announcing earlydetails of
  • Crossing The Bridge: The Sound Of Istanbul

    Dir/scr: Fatih Akin. Ger.2005. 90mins.Following on the heels ofhis Golden Bear win for Head-On at last year's Berlin Film Festival,Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin shows a different side of his artisticpersonality in Crossing The Bridge: The Sound Of Istanbul, a lovingmusical homage to that glorious city straddling Asia and Europe.Though it feels a bit longat 90 minutes (an endemic problem with the music documentary genre, mores
  • Da Vinci Code kicks off in Paris

    Shooting hasbegun in Paris on Ron Howard'sadaptation of Dan Brown's best-selling novel The DaVinci Code.On Wednesdaynight, a crew worked at the Ritz Hotel on the Place Vendomewhere the lead character played by Tom Hanks is awoken by a phone call from thepolice, kicking off the action.On Thursdaynight, cast and crew were set to move to the Louvrem
  • ddd

    PRE-PRODUCTION Las Vidas De Celia(Oberon Cinematografia, TAU [Mex], Altavista [Mex]) A woman trying to makesense of her life finds her own unsuccessful suicide attempt interweaves withthe investigation of a young girl's murder on the same night. Dir: AntonioChavarrias. Main cast: Najwa Nimri, Luis Tosar, Daniel Gimenez Castro, AlexCasanovas, Aida Folch, Jimena Ayala. Shooting from July. Spanish.Contact: Oberon, (34)
  • Doelger, Scoffield to form new US/UK production company

    LA-based independentproducer Frank Doelger and Tracey Scoffield, who is currently head ofdevelopment at BBC Films, are teaming up to create a new US/UK productionoutfit which will make both theatrical feature films and TV programming.The as-yet-unnamed companyis currently in negotiations with HBO and the BBC for overall deals with thenetworks and their respective film divisions HBO Films and BBC Films.Doelger told Screendailythat the company hopes to start fully functioning in S
  • Dogwoof barks at UK theatrical windows

    Dogwoof Digital, therecently-formed arm of new UK distributor Dogwoof pictures, has announced itwill simultaneously release the low-budget feature EMR in cinemas, overthe internet and on DVD in a first for the UK market.EMR will be released at one theatre each in London,Scotland and northern England on July 12, as well as be available to buy on DVDand download for £2.50 on the same day.This is the first time a UKoutfit has attempted to close the distribution window
  • Dreaming becomes reality for Alexei Uchitel with Moscow victory

    Russian film-maker AlexeiUchitel has taken top honours at the 27th Moscow International Film Festivalwith Cold War era drama Dreaming Of Space.The award on Sunday marksthe second successive year that a homegrown film-maker has won the Golden StGeorge: in 2004 Dmitry Meskhiev's Our Own took best director, film andactor.Set in a 1950s northernRussian port, Dreaming Of Space - the competition's only Russian entry -follows two men trying to escape to the West ag
  • German box office takes another tumble

    The German cinema industry learned that box-office takings forthe second quarter of 2005 were even worse than in the first three months(Screen Daily, April 2005).The news came as this year's Munich Film Festival kicked off with Zola Maseko's Drumat the weekend.Accordingto figures compiled by Nielsen EDI, there was a year-on-year fall of 28% inticket sales between April 4 and June 19 - from 2004's $218.6m (Euros 180.7m) to $156.4m (Euros129.3m). Overall, the year so far has se
  • Greek festival boosted by business among home distributors

    The third RhodesInternational Film Festival has enjoyed a marked increase in activity amonglocal buyers.Stroke, German film-maker Katerina Peters' portrayal of herhusband's battle against disability, became the subject of a bidding warbetween local majors Prooptiki and Playtime. Swiss sales agent Firsthandfilmsis expected to announce a deal later this week.Meanwhile Spentzos Filmstook Greek rights to Czech Dream, directed by Vit Klusak and Filip
  • Griffin Dunne signs on for Auster feature

    Griffin Dunne has joined the cast of Paul Auster's upcoming directorial effort The Inner Life Of Martin Frost while renownedcomposer Philip Glass has also signed on to score.The film, produced by Paolo Branco, Auster and Peter Newman, is being handled by Branco's Gemini Films for international sales. Rounding out the cast on the Euros 3.5m project are Sopranos starMichael Imperioli and French actress Irene Jacob. Frostbegins shooting in October in the
  • Heavenly intervention boosts market share for Spanish film

    New government figures on the performance of Spanish cinema have set tongueswagging thanks to the inclusion of two high-profile minority co-productionsincluding Ridley Scott's Kingdom Of Heaven.Theofficial figures published by the Ministry of Culture's Film Institute ICAAshow Spanish films' market share rose slightly in the first five months of 2005to 14%. Market share in 2004 was 13.4%, down slightly from 15.8% in 2003.Butthe figures got a notable boost from Scott's Kingdom
  • Hong Kong's Pang Brothers begin Ghost House horror pic in Canada

    Kristen Stewart, the teenageactress who played Jodie Foster's daughter in Panic Room, is heading the cast of Ghost House Pictures'upcoming, untitled horror movie directed by Oxide and Danny Pang. The filmstarted shooting this week in Saskatchewan, Canada.Dylan McDermott, PenelopeAnn Miller and John Corbett co-star in the film which is written by MarkWheaton based on a previous script from Stuart Beattie and an original scriptby Todd Farmer.Columbia Pictures hasdomestic ri
  • Industry rejoices at Supreme Court's internet piracy decision

    The US Supreme Court'sunanimous 9-0 decision yesterday to hold file-sharing software accountable forcopyright infringements committed by users of the services was greeted withjubilation by Hollywood yesterday.The case of MGM vs Groksterin which 28 of the world's largest entertainmen companies brought a lawsuitagainst the makers of the Morpheus, Grokster and KaZaA software products wasalways bound to have huge implications for the music and movie businesses. Itbasically asked whether Gr
  • Initial D burns box-office records across Asia

    Media Asia's Initial D zoomed to the top ofthe box office chart in five Asian territories on its opening weekend (June23-26).The $12m car racing drama has also smashed records inall five territories. It scored the biggest opening of all films so far thisyear in Hong Kong, China and Malaysia and the biggest opening of all Chinesefilms in Si
  • Jellysmoke, Grain Of Sand win top prizes at LAFF

    The Los Angeles FilmFestival (LAFF) closed last night with its annual prize-givingceremonywhere Mark Banning's Jellysmokewon the Target Film-maker Award for best narrative feature and Beth Bird's EveryoneTheir Grain Of Sand won thedocumentary prize. Each award carries with itan unrestricted cash prize of $50,000 - one of the largest cash prizes at afilm festival in North America.Meanwhile in the audienceaward categories, Miranda July's Me And You And Everyone We
  • Latin American productions boosted by Berlinale fund

    Planned productions fromLatin America have attracted most support at the latest funding session of theBerlinale's World Cinema Fund (WCF). Five features and one distributioncampaign will share Euros 195,000 ($235,445) from the body's latest round of awards.Fund manager Vincenzo Bugnostressed: 'The majority of the submissions came from Latin America for thefunding session last autumn and it was the same this time as well.'The successful productionapplicants we
  • Lighthouse shines on Zwick, Joffe projects

    New feature projects by MyBig Fat Greek Wedding director Joel Zwick and veteran UK film-maker RolandJoffe are set to be backed by the new Lighthouse Films media fund, which hasbeen launched by the Munich-based Lighthouse Structured Finance GmbH.Three of the projects on theLighthouse slate - Zwick's romantic comedy Red Lips, White Lies, andJoffe's adventure drama Marlowe and thriller Cruel & UnusualPunishment - are to be produced by veteran US producer Mark D
  • McInnis takes film festival specialist role at Loyola Marymount in LA

    Kathleen McInnis, the formerdirector of the Slamdance Film Festival and a veteran of the SeattleInternational Film Festival, has taken up the inaugural role of film festivalspecialist at the Loyola Marymount University School Of Film And Televsion(SFTV) in Los Angeles.The role is part of theSFTV's new office of external affairs which aims to connect the SFTV studentsto the global landscape of the entertainment and new media industries.Peter Heller, a veteranindependent producer
  • Mehta's long-in-the-making Water to open Toronto

    Deepa Mehta's long-sufferingdrama Water has been selected asthe opening night gala at the 30th Toronto International FilmFestival. It was one of eleven world premieres announced at TIFF's openingpress conference Tuesday. Also making their worldpremieres are three Special Presentations: Anand Tucker's Shopgirl, based on the novella by Steven Martin, starringMartin opposite Claire Danes; Jason Reitman's Thank You For Smoking, an expose of Washington DC lobbyists, sta
  • Munich Previews notch sales to Spain, Australia

    The Munich Previews, amarket taster for the Munich Film Festival, have seen some early business, with Beta Cinema, and Kinowelt International allconcluding deals.Spain's Civite has picked upPeter Lichtefeld's Playa Del Futuro, which screened in competition atthe Shanghai International Film Festival this month, from Kinowelt, while BetaCinema confirmed that Sergei Bodrov's Mongol: The Early Years Of GhenghisKhan has now also been sold to Lumiere (Benelux), Hopscotch (Austr
  • National Lampoon family brand begins first film in LA

    National Lampoon Clubhouse,a new family brand created by National Lampoon Inc and Lorenzo Doumani'sMajestic Entertainment, has started production in Los Angeles on its firstproduction National Lampoon Clubhouse's Trick Or Treat.The film is a familyHalloween comedy about a 15 year-old boy spending the fateful night at homebabysitting his younger siblings who discovers his house is haunted.Taylor Dooley, Jake Thomas,Nikki Griffin and Matthew Lawrence star in the film alongs
  • Newell named winner of BAFTA/LA's Schlesinger award

    Mike Newell has been namedthe recipient of this year's John Schlesinger Award for artistic excellence atthe 2005 Britannia Awards ceremony, held by BAFTA/LA in Los Angeles on Nov 10.The award coincides with theworldwide openings of Newell's Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, the fourth instalment in the popular film series.Previous recipients of theaward are the late Schlesinger himself and Jim Sheridan. Newell will share theawards spotlight with Tom Cruise who will rec
  • Northeast (Nordeste)

    Dir/scr: Juan Solanas.Fr-Sp-Bel-Arg. 2005. 104mins.A woman's selfish questto adopt a baby becomes an eye-opening journey into the heart of Argentina in Northeast,a first feature from director Juan Solanas that contrasts the beauty of thecountry with the ugliness of what happens there.The personal story is thekey to a political statement as Solanas reveals the poverty, corruption anddisregard for human life that have come to define the country's
  • Paradiso renews output deal with Wild Bunch

    Netherlands-based distributor Paradiso Filmed Entertainment has announcedthe renewal of its output deal with French sales and finance outfit Wild Bunch.Encompassing the theatrical release in Belgium and the Netherlands of 25titles including George Romero's Land Of The Dead, Thomas Clay's TheGreat Ecstasy Of Robert Carmichael, Guillermo Del Toro's upcoming Pan'sLabyrinth and Nanni Moretti's The Caiman, which Wild Bunch recentlyboarded, the deal is expected to
  • Paris opens $17m fund to documentaries

    The Ile de France Commission,which encompasses Paris and its environs, has made its Euros 14m ($17m) purse available to documentary makers for the first time.The announcement was made at the Sunny Side Of The Doc documentary market in Marseilles on Wednesday.The programme will enabledocumentaries to benefit from aid previously earmarked for feature and TVfiction only.To qualify productions mustcommit to eight-weeks post-production in the region and be at least 60 minutesl
  • Picturehouse boards Genghis Khan epic

    Munich-based sales agent Beta Cinema has announced that Picturehouse - HBO and New Line Cinema's newly-formeddistribution venture - has picked up the North American rights for Sergei Bodrov's forthcomingfeature film Mongol - TheEarly Years Of Genghis Khan. This follows sales to the Benelux, Brazil and Australia & New Zealand.The news was revealed at the Munich Film Festival, where Mongolian-bornfilmmaker Byambasuren Davaa,co-director of last year's hit documentary TheStory Of The
  • Piracy strategy switches direction to win over public

    The fight against film piracy is turning away from"finger-wagging" towards more credible personalised appeals.Disney vice president of anti-piracy Richard Atkinson said achange of approach had proved necessary as the sophistication of the criminals increased and public cynicism grew."The pirates have become extremely efficient in managingtheir own ecosystem," he told Screen International's home entertainment summit."We are having to match them by getting much better,soone
  • Roadside Attractions buys US rights to Sarah Silverman concert film

    US independent distributorRoadside Attractions has acquired US theatrical and TV rights to comic SarahSilverman's feature concert film Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic based on Silverman's politically incorrectoff-Broadway show which takes on topics such as Sept 11, AIDS and theHolocaust.The film, selected recentlyfor this year's US Comedy Arts and SWSW film festivals, comprises herperformance before a live audience interwoven with musical numbers andbackstage intrigue. Bob Odenk
  • Rourke, Nighy, McGregor enlist for Stormbreaker

    An impressive cast isgathering for the $40m-plus teen superspy adventure Stormbreaker, whichbegins shooting in the Isle of Man next week.Alex Pettyfer (pictured), who was TomBrown in UK TV series Tom Brown's Schooldays, will play 14-year-old specialagent Alex Rider. Mickey Rourke will star as Alex's nemesis, megalomaniacbusinessman Darrius Sayle. Bill Nighy is taking on the role as Alex's spymasterat MI6, Mr Blunt, with Sophie Okonedo as his colleague Mrs Jones.Oth
  • Russian Dolls overpower Batman's beginning in France

    Batman Begins may have punched its way to impressive first-weekfigures Europe-wide, but in France it was beaten to the top spot by amulti-lingual sequel about soul-searching twentysomethings.Russian Dolls, Cedric Klapisch's follow-up to L'AubergeEspagnole (also known in other territories as The Spanish Apartment,Europudding and Pot Luck) registered 662,329 admissions duringits first week from 550 screens, an admissions average of 1,204 per scre
  • Saperstein joins Weinsteins to head production for Dimension Films

    Richard Saperstein (pictured),the former president of development and production for Artisan Pictures, hasjoined the Weinstein brothers as executive vice president and head ofproduction for Dimension Films.He also assumes the title ofexecutive vice president of production for The Weinstein Company, and will workclosely with Harvey Weinstein on films being produced by The Weinstein Company,but his chief responsibility will be overseeing all creative aspects ofproduction and development
  • Screen signs up new international editor

    Screen International has appointed one of the mostexperienced and respected film business journalists Fionnuala Halligan asassistant editor (international).Her duties will include overseeing the worldwide network ofcorrespondents working for the magazine, festival dailies and Screendaily.com.Editor Michael Gubbins said he was delighted to be workingwith such an accomplished journalist in the exciting years ahead."Finn is a first-class writer and editor and will add a huge
  • Sith breaks all-time preview record in Japan for Fox

    20thCentury Fox has recorded record-breaking previews of Star Wars: Episode III:Revenge Of The Sith in Japan, wherethe film opens on July 9. The previews grossed $4.59m ('495m), higher than theprevious record held by The Matrix Reloaded at $3.52m ('416m).Episode I's preview grosses reached $2.35m ('285m), while EpisodeII topped that at$3.01m ('360m).Thefilm h
  • Sleeper (Schlafer)

    Dir/scr: BenjaminHeisenberg. Austr-Ger. 2005.100mins.The latest co-productioninvolving dynamic Austrian/German directors' collective Coop99 (Darwin'sNightmare, The Edukators), Sleeper is an austere,thought-provoking post-9/11 drama about a German scientist who allows himselfto be talked into spying on a North African colleague.Perhaps a little too dourand drabbly-shot to reach much of an international audience outside offest
  • Splendid's Klein teams up with Doc Hollywood Studios

    Splendid Film CEO AndreasKlein has teamed up with LA-based production outfit Doc Hollywood Studios toassist in the development and production of two films over the next two years.As part of the arrangement,Klein will advise Doc Hollywood Studios CEO Steven Saxton in the developmentand management of a $50m film finance gap fund currently being structured tofinance a slate of films to be shot in the US with budgets of under $20m totake advantage of recently establishe
  • Statham leads charge in Boll's Dungeon Siege

    Jason Statham, LeeleeSobieski, Ron Pearlman, John Rhys-Davies, Matthew Lillard, Kristanna Loken andBurt Reynolds have all signed on to star in Uwe Boll's latest video gameadaptation Dungeon Siege.The film, which startsshooting next week in Vancouver, Canada, is again produced by Shawn Williamsonof Brightlight Pictures, the Vancouver production outfit which produced Boll'sBloodRayne.Boll is directing andexecutive producing Dungeon Siege,which follows the life of low
  • Sundance Documentary Film Editing and Story Lab underway in Utah

    The Sundance Institute hasnamed the seven fellows and four projects which are participating in its annualDocumentary Film Editing and Story Laboratory which started on June 24 and runsto July 1 at Sundance Village in Utah.Seven fellows (projectdirectors and editors) are working with six creative advisors (four editors andtwo directors) to discuss story and character development in relation to theirevolving rough cuts.Among the creative advisorsthis year are editors Joe Bini (
  • The King

    Dir: James Marsh. US.2005. 105mins.Last year Gael GarciaBernal was the face of Cannes, with his contrasting performances in BadEducation and The Motorcycle Diaries. This year, he extends hisrange even further, smouldering with bad boy sex appeal as a prodigal son in TheKing, an English-language Gothic drama set in the American South.Bernal's presence may be theprincipal selling point of a film that invests a typical bunny bo
  • The President's Last Bang (Geuddae Geu Saramdeul)

    Dir. ImSangsoo. S Kor. 2005. 102mins.The mostambitious feature yet from director Im Sangsoo (A Good Lawyer's Wife),his fictionalised telling of the assassination of South Korean President ParkChung-hee was released only after the late statesman's daughter had documentaryfootage removed on the grounds that the film was not accurate.But then ThePresident's Last Bang does not pretend to be. Instead Im sardonically tellsevents in fast and fur
  • Three Dots makes a Catch with new distribution outfit

    Taiwan's Three DotsEntertainment has joined forces with new production and distribution companySerenity Entertainment International to produce Catch, the latestfeature from Formula 17 director DJ Chen.The $700,000 production,which will begin shooting in Taiwan next month, sees Chen re-team with Formula17 star Tony Yang, who will play a movie extra.Last year Yang won theGolden Horse award for best new performer for his role in the gay comedy.Formula
  • Tom Tykwer leads Eurimages Euros 3.9m grant share out

    New feature films by TomTykwer (Perfume), Roy Andersson (Du Levande) and Alain Berliner (GeneAstaire) are among 12 projects awarded a total of Euros 3.9m by the Councilof Europe's pan-European co-production fund Eurimages.The largest amount - Euros600,000 - went to Tykwer's adaptation of Patrick Sueskind's bestseller Perfume- The Story Of A Murderer which is being co-produced by Germany'sConstantin Film Produktion with Spain's Castelao Productions and France
  • War Of The Worlds

    Dir:Steven Spielberg. US. 2005. 116 mins. It'salmost as if there are two Steven Spielbergs behin
  • War of the Worlds invades international marketplace

    War of the Worlds takes its turn invading the globalmarketplace this weekend, with UIP giving the Steven Spielberg-Tom Cruisesci-fi adventure a 78-territory, 8,200-print international launch. Expectations are high that the Paramount/DreamWorksco-production, which opened in North America on Wednesday (June 29) to get ajump on the July 4 holiday weekend, will give business in markets around theworld a welcome boost. Cruise and Spielberg both have strong international trackr
  • War takes over the world with $34.6m day one gross

    The highly anticipated Warof the Worlds has opened with anestimated first-day worldwide gross $34.606m, comprising $21.256m from 3,908theatres in North America and $13.35m from 46 international territories.Rob Friedman, vice chairmanof domestic distributor Paramount Pictures Motion Pictures Group, said thestudio was 'ecstatic' about the figures for Wednesday screenings ofthe Tom Cruise-Spielberg sci-fi adventure, co-produced by Paramount andDreamWorks on a reported budget of aro
  • Working Title hops on board Australian thriller

    Working Title is to come inon British commercials director Ringan Ledwidge's directorial debut, MiddleOf Nowhere. Co-produced by Sydney-based Deborah Balderstone WBP outfit and London-based Nira Park, it will start shooting in September in Australia.Middle of Nowhere is a psychological thriller about young Britishtravellers who encounter a charismatic American with ulterior motives. It hasbeen scripted by James Watkins (My Little Eye) and Australian playwrightAndre

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