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1 July 2008

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  • A Film With Me In It

    Dir. Ian FitzGibbon. Ire. 2008. 88 mins
  • Academy settles trademark lawsuit against Italy's RAI

    The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has resolved a trademark lawsuit against Italian television broadcaster RAI and said the settlement was amicable.The Academy's lawyers filed a suit in the United States District Court in Los Angeles in 2005 after the broadcaster aired Italian-language 'Oscar' award shows covering wine, fashion, TV and theatre.The terms of the settlement were not publicly disclosed, however Academy attorney David Quinto confirmed that the Aca
  • Balibo to start shooting in Australia on Monday

    Political thriller Balibo will start principal photography in Darwin, Australia and East Timor on June 30 (Monday).The cast features Anthony LaPaglia and Oscar Isaac.Robert Connolly directs from a script co-written with David Williamson. The story is based on true events during the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975.LaPaglia plays Australian journalist Roger East and Isaac plays young revolutionary Jose Ramos-Horta. East attempts to find five missing journ
  • Ballast wins Grand Prix at first Novi Sad festival

    Lance Hammer's Ballast won the Grand Prix of the first International Festival of Film and New Media- Cinema City in Novi Sad, Serbia (Jun 14-21), worth $15,000. In the competition for the Grand Prix were all feature films of the festival, including the Serbian competition, where the best film award worth $8,000 went to Stefan Arsenijevic's Berlin entry and best director winner at Cottbus, Sofia and Wiesbaden Love And Other Crimes.Dejan Zecevic won best director for The
  • Battle stations

    There were odd scenes outside many arthouse cinemas in Japan in early May - protestors gathered, yelling into megaphones, urging people not to see a film, while cinema owners requested police protection for their audience.The cause of the controversy was Yasukuni a documentary by Tokyo-based Chinese film-maker Li Ying, about the contentious Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, where the spirits of 2.5 million of Japan's war dead are "enshrined".The shrine is seen by some Japanese, i
  • Beijing New Film Association expands into production

    Beijing-based cinema management company, New Film Association, is stepping into film production and investment via a new outfit Shengshi Huarui Film Investment and Management Ltd. The company's first project is a $500,000 (RMB3m) satirical comedy The Debt Of 105,000 by first-time feature filmmaker Ji Yu, about a farmer coming to the city to collect debt for his injured brother. Liu Hua (Crazy Stone) and Li Naiwen (Assembly) will lead the cast. Shooting will start in J
  • Ben Ammar withdraws from French post-production deal - report

    Tarak Ben Ammar has withdrawn his efforts to acquire France's Éclair laboratories, according to reports.Reasons given for the move were deteriorated economic conditions and certain delays imposed by the competition authorities.Ben Ammar, who already holds 43% of the post-production facility, said in December that he would purchase the remaining 57% for $20m (Euros 13m) from investment fund ETMF2.The acquisition would have given him control of all of France's film lab
  • BIFAs to move to Old Billingsgate Market for Nov 30 awards

    The British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) have set their next awards for Nov 30, 2008.James Nesbitt will again host the awards, to be held at Old Billingsgate Market in London in its 11th year, moving from last year's venue of The Roundhouse.BIFA directors Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson said: 'Old Billingsgate is an exciting new space for us in another part of London and lends itself perfectly to the vibrant yet intimate party atmosphere that BIFA has always been know
  • launches Bindies online film festival

    South Asian cinema online platform,, is launching an internet film festival for independent filmmakers, dubbed the Bollywood Indies (The Bindies). The online fest welcomes independent films in any Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Sri Lankan language, theme or flavour.The content will be uploaded, and made available for sales agents and distributors to stream or download, at no cost to the filmmaker. The site will also host a
  • Buyers chasing Tartan Film' back catalogue

    Buyers are clamouring to acquire the back catalogue of Tartan Films, theindependent UK distributor that went into administration last week.David Oprey, a partner in Chantrey Vellacott DFK (which is handling theadministration) confirmed to ScreenDaily, that a number of firm bidshave already been received for the entire catalogue and a deal may befinalised within the next few days.'As administrators, we are looking to find buyers for the catalogue
  • Cannes hits taketop honours at Munich

    Laurent Cantet'sThe Class, Matteo Garrone's Gomorrah and Valeria Gaia Germanica's Everybody Dies But Me were among the prizewinners at this year's Munich Filmfest which closed with the world premiere of Thomas Schamoni's documentary Botero.Cantet's Palme d'Or winner - the Filmfest's opening film on June 20 - received the One Future Award.Garrone's Cannes Jury prizewinning drama, set in the world of organised crime in Naples, took home the Arri
  • Chaser sprints off with top awards at Korea's Grand Bells

    Na Hong-jin's The Chaser scooped up six prizes at Korea's 45th Grand Bell Awards on Friday night (June 27), including three major awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor for Kim Yoon-suk's performance In accepting the latter, Kim said to his younger co-star and rival in the category, Ha Jung-woo: 'Thanks for making me shine this time - next time I'll be there to make you shine!'With 11 nominations - the most ever for a single film - The Chaser (which recent
  • Cinefan film festival to open with Johnnie To's Sparrow

    Johnnie To's Berlin competition title Sparrow will be the opening film of the 10th Osian's-Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema (July 10-20) in New Delhi. The film, which stars Simon Yam, Kelly Lin and Ka Tung Lam, will screen on the second day of the festival on July 11. To's Breaking News screened at the 2005 edition of Cinefan.On July 19, Indian production Mumbai Cutting A City Unfolds will close the festival. Previously the closing film of the Indian F
  • Davaa's new documentary project begins shooting in Mongolia

    Principal photography on the Oscar-nominated filmmaker Byambasuren Davaa's new feature documentary project Two Horses Of Genghis KhanstartedMonday(June 23) in the Mongolian city of Ulaanbaatar.Shooting on the musical and mystical journey by the internationally renowned singer Urna will continue in Khentii Aimag, the birthplace of Genghis Khan, on the holy mountain of Burchan Chaldun, and in Karakorum, the former capital of the Mongolian Empire, until August.The film wil
  • Delanic takes UK rights to Spread starring Ashton Kutcher

    UK distributor Delanic Films continues to build its release slate by adding Spread starring Ashton Kutcher.David McKenzie's erotic comedy has been acquired for the UK and Ireland from Voltage Pictures. The story is about a womanising conman in LA who meets a female hustler.Spread is still in post and is earmarked for a spring 2009 release.Nicolas Chartier, president of Voltage Pictures said: 'We are extremely happy to be in business with Delanic Films. T
  • DGA, Film Foundation set up Zinnemann Fund for artists' rights

    The Directors Guild Of America (DGA) and The Film Foundation have set up The Zinnemann Fund to protect and promote artists' rights.DGA member Tim Zinnemann, son of the late director and DGA lifetime achievement award winner Fred Zinnemann, developed the idea with money from a court settlement in his favour after Italian broadcaster TV Internazionale aired an unauthorised colorised version of his father's 1944 wartime drama The Seventh Cross.
  • Disney focuses on brand values

    If the key to navigating a volatile and uncertain market is concentration on core strengths, then Disney has got it right.And the rock on which the future will be built is the Disney brand itself, according to Mark Zoradi, president of Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group.Over the last couple of years, the studio has focused on a consistent message that is understood worldwide.The bottom line, says Zoradi, is that parents understand they can trust Disney not to stray beyond
  • Festival review: Shanghai International Film Festival

    It was always going to be a difficult year for the Shanghai International Film Festival (Siff). The festival is striving to re-invent itself but China has recently suffered a series of calamities, both man-made and natural, that inevitably cast a shadow over this year's event.Chief among these was the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan province, which claimed the lives of 70,000 people, making any kind of glamour or celebration during Siff seem inappropriate. Both the opening and closing cer
  • Fox pulls in the stars to promote films at Cinema Expo

    Twentieth Century Fox drafted in major stars to support the reel presentations for exhibitors at this year's Cinema Expo in Amsterdam.Hugh Jackman, Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson and Rainn Wilson all made personal appearances to promote their upcoming filmsDavid Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) introduced his new film Marley & Me (released in the US on Christmas Day 2008) starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson.The family comedy, which Fran
  • France - In a class of his own

    When Laurent Cantet heard his name called during the awards ceremony at last month's Cannes film festival, he was not entirely surprised. The Class (Entre Les Murs), Cantet's Palme d'Or winning film, had been tipped to take a prize when the busload of schoolchildren who appear in the film was called back to Cannes just one hour after it had left town on Sunday morning. Still, Cantet was not expecting to walk away with the first French Palme d'Or since Maurice Pialat's 198
  • Francis Ford Coppola finishes 63-day shoot of Tetro

    Francis Ford Coppola has wrapped on his latest feature Tetro after 63 days of principal photography in Buenos Aires and Patagonia. A spring 2009 release is anticipated.Additional shooting of a ballet by Ana Maria Stekelman will still take place in Madrid but the main leg of the shoot is complete. 'I am pleased to report that we wrapped exactly on time, shooting every day we were scheduled and finishing on budget,' he said.Post-produ
  • Gabizon leaves Telepool after 17 years

    Marc Gabizon is to leave Telepool and its subsidiary Europool after 17 years of working for the Munich-based licensing group.Gabizon had been with Europool since 1991 and was appointed the managing director there in 2004. In addition, he had been an executive director and head of the film division at Telepool since 1999.Telepool is currently in negotiations to find a successor for Gabizon.
  • Galway celebrates 20th anniversary with O'Toole, Lange, and Pullman

    The 20th Galway Film Fleadh (July 8-13) will open with a screening of Fugitive Pieces, Jeremy Podeswa's drama set in Nazi-occupied Poland and adapted from the novel by Canadian poet Anne Michaels. The closing film is the unreleased Bonneville (2006), in which three women played by Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen take a road trip from Idaho to Santa Barbara.The festival will feature a special tribute to locally-born veteran star Peter O'Toole, including a pub
  • Ghent festival to honour Minghella and Yared

    The life and works of the late director Anthony Minghella will be honoured by his long time friend and collaborator Gabriel Yared at the 35th edition of the Ghent International Film Festival (Oct 7-18)World renowned composer Yared will pay tribute to Minghella with a film music concert showcasing the soundtracks to some of the director's most famous works.Yared collaborated closely with Minghella over many years, scoring films such as The English Patient, Cold Mountain,
  • Greek box-office admissions down 1m in pivotal winter season

    As the European football championships are drawing to a close and the Olympic Games (August 8-24) are around the corner, Greek distributors and exhibitors fear that sporting events could further dampen this year's box office performance. So far this year, Makis Diamantopoulos, generalmanager of the Odeon Cineplex exhibition chain describes demand as 'stable at low levels'.For the winter season - early September 2007 to late May 2008 - when most films launch in the country's 270 theater
  • Green energy

    As Terminator, Aliens and Armageddon showed, Gale Anne Hurd knows a thing or two about taking risks that pay off. She has enjoyed enough success to endure as one of Hollywood's few powerhouse female producers and has inevitably seen the odd gamble turn sour, too, which is what made The Incredible Hulk such an interesting proposition.By now everybody knows Louis Leterrier's latest take on the Marvel comic book favourite is on its way to becoming a hit followi
  • Hakim to head jury of Cinefan's Asian-Arab competition

    The Osian's-Cinefan Film Festival has announced the juries for this year's tenth anniversary edition (July 10-20), which will feature four competition sections: Asian & Arab, Indian, First Features and In-tolerance. Leading Indonesian actress Christime Hakim will be president of the Asian & Arab competition jury. She has previously served on the Cannes jury in 2002, which was headed by David Lynch.In full, the jury members include:Asian & Arab Competition -
  • Hancock

    Dir: Peter Berg. US. 2008. 92 mins.A fun, fairly crisp opening hour gives way to a muddled, entirely unsatisfying ending in the action-comedy Hancock, which finds Will Smith starring as a sullen superhero trying to win over the population of Los Angeles via a very public makeover. Smith's first summer blockbuster in four years should own the box office for a week, but face stiff sci-fi action competition when Hellboy II opens hot on its heels. And there's a
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army

    Dir: Guillermo Del Toro. US. 2008. 115 mins. Trust Guillermo Del Toro to deliver a summer action adventure which is gleefully unpretentious in its desire to entertain while filled with some of the season's most inventive visual effects and creature designs. This bigger-and-better sequel should be a solid hit for Universal and easily outperform the $59.6m domestic and $39.7m international tallies achieved by the 2004 original.The first Hellboy was f
  • High Point flies with Larkin's Satellites & Meteorites

    London-based High Point Films has picked up worldwide sales rights to Rick Larkin's debut feature Satellites & Meteorites.Larkin's company i-Wire Films executive produced the project and it was produced by Eimear O'Kane for Emu Productions and Dave Leahy for Warrior Films.The romantic fantasy is a love story between two people involved in an accident who find each other in a parallel universe. The film stars Adam Furgus and Amy Huberman alongside Geoff Minogue and Dominiq
  • International - TV remake proves smart move for warner bros

    Four new entries broke into the international chart this week with titles from the US, the UK and South Korea opening in the top 20, while Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, Sex And The City, Kung Fu Panda and The Incredible Hulk jostled for the top spot.Spielberg's Indiana Jones reclaimed the number one and looks set to cross the $400m mark internationally during the next week. In its second week of release, M. Night Shyamalan's T
  • International writers and directors seek new deal

    Nothing demonstrates the difference between Hollywood and the international independent sector more than a strike.Earlier this year, Hollywood writers were able to bring prime-time TV shows off the air and halt major film shoots. Now contract negotiations with actors and directors are underway, conducted in a manner that would be recognisable to any industry in the world.Elsewhere similar issues exist for the same crafts - a drop in television fees, concern over shares of new me
  • Ireland showing mixed box office fortunes

    Traditionally one of the strongest performing territories in Europe, Ireland is experiencing a marginal decline in year-on-year box office returns, according to new figures from Carlton Screen.The Republic of Ireland box office has dropped 1.2% to date on last year, however this masks a year-on-year rise of 24.5% in March. The March spike - the only month showing growth on last year - marks the phenomenal success in Ireland of Universal's In Bruges, bolstered by their Step
  • Italian industry bodies threaten festival boycott over film taxes

    Leading film industrybodies in Italyare threatening to pull Italian entries to the Venice, Rome and Turin film festivals if the country's new right-wing government abolishes tax credits promised in the 2008 national budget.The threat was including in a joint statement from motion picture organisation Anica, independent producers group Api and exhibitor's body Agis.Anica represents about 90% of Italy's producers and distributors andis presided over by Paolo Ferrari who also
  • Japan's Boys Over Flowers knocks Indy from top spot

    Tokyo Broadcast System's Boys Over Flowers earned a huge $9.55m (Y1bn) on 805,000 admissions over the weekend, knocking Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull out of the top spot after only one week. Released on 400 screens by distributor Toho, per screen averages topped $23,880, the highest figure for any release (local or import) since Evangelion 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone's $28,810 ($31,743 at current rates) in September 2007.With Y1bn considered th
  • Journey To The Centre of the Earth 3-D (2008)

    Dir. Eric Brevig, 2008, US, 92 minutesEffects whiz Eric Brevig (Total Recall, Pearl Harbour) makes his feature debut with this 3-D take on Jules Verne's classic 1864 novel; the result targets children (particularly boys) and their parents. In fact, the 3-D novelty could prove to be more of a draw than the cast, where Brendan Fraser is the only marquee name and there are just three main characters fielding minimal dialogue.Journey t
  • Kino replaces THINKFilm as US distributor on Mamma's Man

    Kino International has acquired US rights to Azazel Jacobs' Momma's Man, which was one of the highlights of Sundance earlier in the year when it received its world premiere.The film was formerly acquired by THINKFilm but was resold in light of the company's current financial difficulties.The picture will open in August 22 in New York's Angelika Film Center and other local theatres and will roll out nationwide in autumn.
  • Koelmel unveils expanded production slate for renamed company

    Following StudioCanal's takeover of Germany's Kinowelt Group earlier this year, Rainer Koelmel has now renamed his Munich-based production company Kinowelt Filmproduktion as Starhaus Filmproduktion as part of an expanded production slate.Kinowelt Filmproduktion had not been part of the StudioCanal deal and remains in the hands of Koelmel who will have a 'first look' arrangement with Kinowelt in Leipzig.Starhaus has a number of projects in development as co-productions, including
  • Kolirin, Bernasconi, Toth line up for Locarno short jury

    Filmmakers Fulvio Bernasconi (Fuori Dalle Corde) and Eran Kolirin (The Band's Visit) are among the five jury members for Locarno International Film Festival's Leopards of Tomorrow competitions for Swiss and international short films.The other members are the Hungarian actress Orsi Toth, who played the female lead in Kornel Mundruczo's Cannes competition film Delta, Dutch producer-director-DoP Dick Rijneke, and Angele Paulino, who is respo
  • Korea's Chungeorahm announces Chinese sequel to The Host

    Korea's Chungeorahm Film, producer of Bong Joon-ho's The Host, has announced it will be co-producing a China-based sequel to the mutanthit with Chinese director Ning Hao's newly-established Stoneman Films. Choi Yong-bae, CEO of Chungeorahm, and Daniel Yu, producer of Ning's sleeper hit Crazy Stone, will take producer credits on the film.'Ning Hao has agreed to direct, and we are talking with his representation at CAA to iron out the contract,' said Choi in an intervie
  • Krabbe and Hershey to star in Albert Schweitzer biopic

    Jeroen Krabbe and Barbara Hershey are headlining the cast of UK director Gavin Millar's biopic Schweitzer (working title) on the life of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Albert Schweitzer.Set in 1949 in the early years of the Cold War, the film follows Schweitzer (played by Krabbe) as he arrives in the USA with his wife Helene (Hershey) to raise funds for his hospital in Lambarene, West Africa, and is caught between the battle lines of world politics.The co-production betwe
  • Mamma Mia! The Movie

    Dir: Phyllida Llloyd. US/UK. 2008. 120 mins.
  • Man On Wire

    Dir.James Marsh. UK/US. 2008. 99 mins
  • Matthew Rhys takes a trip with Marc Evans' Patagonia

    Matthew Rhys, currently starring with Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller in The Edge Of Love, has come on board to star in Patagonia with Nia Roberts.Marc Evans (Snow Cake) will direct and Rebekah Gilbertson (The Edge Of Love) will produce with Argentina's Oscar Kramer.Laurence Coriat (Wonderland, A Mighty Heart) wrote the script, a road movie about a thirty-something Welsh couple travelling through Welsh settlements of Patagonia, and
  • Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburghands out$8.7m

    Feature films by veteran US actor Dennis Hopper, German comedy star Mario Barth and the Cannes/Sochi prize-winning production house Rohfilm are among 26 German and international projects awarded over $8.7m (Euros 5.6m) by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB) in its latest funding session.Hopper received backing for the project River Movie about a former GI who sets off in a boat from Heidelberg to a veterans' gathering in Poland, to be produced by Berlin-based Polarlicht Filmp
  • Merged Copenhagen festival to launch in April 2009

    CPH:PIX, the new festival combining the NatFilm Festival and the Copenhagen International Film Festival, will run for the first time in Copenhagen from April 16-26, 2009.The new festival will also have a competition.Screen International veteran Jacob Neiiendam, who had been head of programming at the Copenhagen International Film Festival since 2005, will serve as the merged event's Festival Director.Niels Lind Larsen who had been NatFilm's Head of Programming si
  • NAFFgenre projects marketannounces full line-up andagenda

    The 12th Puchon International Film Festival (PiFan)'s newNetwork of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF) has announced its full line-up and agenda,to run July 19-23, concurrent to the festival. NAFF will be spearheaded by the It Project market, which organizers boastis'the first project market dedicated to genre cinema,' with the Fantastic Film School 2008: Asian Action Film training program and talent lab, NAFF roundtable forums, and industry screenings.It Project will offer 16 genre proj
  • National Board Of Review awards $75,000 in student grants

    The National Board Of Review Of Motion Pictures (NBR) will award $75,000 in student grants in 2008 with this year's allocation including ten schools near or around the tri-state New York area.Each participating school will receive between $3,000 and $11,500 to be distributed to its top film-makers based on their submitted short films. Both undergraduate and graduate students were eligible to submit their work for grant consideration.The schools include Brooklyn College, C
  • New law firm Aslan Charles Kousetta launches in London

    A new specialised media law firm, Aslan Charles Kousetta, has launched in London.The firm's founders are Susan Aslan, Sue Charles and Hakan Kousetta.The boutique firm, which will handle contentious and non-contentious matters for clients,will work across film, TV, advertising, publishing and new media. They will also advise on other areas including intellectual property, defamation, reputation management, privacy and confidence.Aslan and Charles ha
  • Newcastle's Tyneside reopens after digital revamp

    The new-look Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle has reopened to the public following a $14m (£7m) refurbishment to bring the venue into the digital age, whilst restoring all its original art-house glory.The cinema now boasts a modern extension with two new digital screens, to meet the demands of growing audiences in the area. The main building has also been restored to reveal many of its original art-deco features.With extra work spaces and a new digital production lab inspired by fil
  • Nigel Planer joins International Screenwriters Festival line-up

    Next week'sInternational Screenwriters' Festival has added actor, novelist and playwright Nigel Planer to its line-up.Planer remains best-known for his iconic comedy roles in the 1980s in The Comic Strip and The Young Ones but hasalso been a successfulplaywright and writer with two novels to his name.Among recent work, he has been the voice of the Discworld audiobook adaptation of the work of Terry Pratchett, who also appears at the festival.Two
  • Overture signs first-look deal with Philip Seymour Hoffman's company

    Overture Films has signed a two-year first look deal with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Emily Ziff's Cooper's Town Productions.The first collaboration will be the film of Brett C Leonard's play Unconditional, which explores gender and racial issues within New York City and is being adapted for the screen by Leonard.Hoffman intends to act as producer on most Cooper's Town projects, although he famously starred in and won the best lead
  • PiFan to open with Waltz With Bashir

    The 12th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) has announced its line-up and projects market agenda, with the festival to open with animated Cannes competition title Waltz With Bashir making its Asian premiere on July 18. PiFan will screen 205 films from 39 countries, including 125 features and 80 shorts.The fest will close July 25 with the world premiere of 'the international version' of Kwak Jae-yong's Cyborg She. Currently in its fourth week in Japan's b
  • Prince Of Broadway, Loot take top prizes at LA Film Festival

    The winners of the Los Angeles Film festival's Target Filmmaker Awards and two unrestricted cash prizes of $50,000 were announced at closing night on June 28.Closing night film Hellboy II's director Guillermo del Toro presented the Target Filmmaker Award for best narrative feature to Sean Baker for Prince Of Broadway and the best documentary feature prize to Darius Marder for
  • Production - Bulgaria - Footloose and fancy free

    "There are more than a dozen films a year done here," says Les Weldon, a US producer who has shot 15 films over more than 10 years in Bulgaria, most of them with Nu Image-owned Nu Boyana Film Studios in Sofia. "We've had Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas, John Cusack, Ben Kingsley, and a host of other world-class actors shooting in Bulgaria. We've also had our share of big-name directors, like Brian De Palma (The Black Dahlia) and Bruce Beresford (The Contract)."Production
  • Production - Romania - From the mountain to the black sea

    Romania is a territory on the rise. Adding to the buzz arising from local productions at Cannes in recent years, the territory is one of the new Eastern European sweet spots for international footloose productions.The problem is, demand is now outpacing supply. Earlier this year, French producer-writer-director Alexandre Aja planned to shoot his horror film Mirrors at MediaPro Studios outside Bucharest, where he had shot EuropaCorp/Lionsgate Films' High Tension in 2003. I
  • Profile: International Screenwriters' Festival

    Launched three years ago, the International Screenwriters' Festival (July 1-3) has established itself as a key event on the festival calendar.Taking place in Cheltenham, south-west England, the event attracts a wide range of industry delegates. 'It's about 50% writers and 50% everybody else: producers, directors, agents, script editors, financiers, and so on,' says festival director David Pearson.This year's speakers are set to include Mike Leigh, Christopher Hampton, Ronald Har
  • Relativity to finance, produce War Of Gods directed by Tarsem

    Relativity Media has acquired rights to finance, develop and produce the mythological Greek tale War Of Gods, which is already in pre-production and expected to begin filming before the end of the year.Tarsem will direct from a screenplay by Vlas Parlapanides and Charley Parlapanides and the project reunites Hollywood Gang Production's Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton, who worked together on 300 and will
  • Reliance Big Entertainment signs five-picture deal with Puja

    In yet another announcement of an affiliation, Reliance Big Entertainment's (RBE) Big Pictures has joined hands with Indian producer Vashu Bhagnani's Puja Films for a five-picture slate to be completed over the next two years. Shooting has already begun on the first two projects. David Dhawan is directing Do Knot Disturb while Vivek Sharma is shooting Kal Kissney Dekha. Both projects are scheduled for an early 2009 release.RBE will finance these films and retain world
  • Reliance forms joint venture with the Bachchan family

    Just one week after news broke that Anil Ambani's Reliance Big Entertainment (RBE) is in talks to invest in DreamWorks, the Indian company has announced a joint venture with India's first family of Hindi cinema, the Bachchans. The tie-up covers the production of films, TV series, reality shows, internet and mobile content, as well as live shows.Under the terms of the joint venture, the Bachchans will provide creative input and take a share of the profits, while RBE will oversee man
  • Rennen Schorr to head new $2m Jerusalem Film Fund

    The State Treasury and the Jerusalem Foundation are backing a $2m fund to promote film-making in Jerusalem, as part of the general effort the refresh the image of Israel's capital city.Rennen Schorr, the head of the Sam Spiegel School for Cinema and Television in Jerusalem, one of the more active personalities in Israeli film, has put the new fund together, with the distinct purpose of attracting more filmmakers to Jerusalem, one of the fund's conditions being that at least half of eac
  • Robert Carlyle comes on board as Edinburgh Festival Patron

    The Edinburgh International Film Festival has signed up Scottish-born actor Robert Carlyle as the festival's latest patron.He joins Tilda Swinton and Sean Connery, the festival's other patrons.Carlyle had a particularly good run in Edinburgh this year, appearing in The Stone Of Destiny and also taking the best actor prize for his role in Summer. He previously came to Edinburgh with a range of his films including The Full Monty and Priest. He s
  • Roberto Olla named executive secretary at Eurimages

    Roberto Olla has been promoted, as of today, to the post of executive secretary of Eurimages, the Council of Europe's film co-production, exhibition and distribution fund.An Italian national, Roberto Olla has a law degree in public law and a PhD in Community law (thesis in European audiovisual and media law). He has been a researcher in media law at the European University Institute of Florence, has worked for the MEDIA Programme of the European Union and has been legal adviser in the
  • Rose McGowan to play Red Sonja for Nu Image/Millenium Films

    Rose McGowan will star as Red Sonja in Nu Image/Millennium Films' bid to revive the character last seen on the big screen in the 1985 action picture that starred Brigitte Nielsen.Robert Rodriguez will present the picture and is producing with Avi Lerner, Boaz Davidson, Joe Gatta and George Furla.Douglas Aarniokoski is directing and Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short, Luke Lieberman and Nick Barrucci serve as executive producers.David White's screenplay sees Red Sonja
  • San Sebastian announces first Official Selection films

    This year's San Sebastian International film festival (Sept18-27) will see its official selection include new films from acclaimed directors Daniel Burman, Christophe Honore, Kim Ki-Duk, Kristian Levring and local favourite Jaime Rosales.Multi-award winning Argentinean director Daniel Burman will present his sixth feature, Empty Nest (El Nino Vacio), which has already had success at the box office in the director's home country and been picked up by Bavaria Film International
  • Sci-fi Kenny Begins among 8 features backed in Sweden

    Kenny Starfighter - the hero of a 1997 sci-fi television series in Sweden - will return in a $5.4m (Euros 3.4m) feature, Kenny Begins, produced by Swedish production house, S/S Fladen (which is controlled by Scandinavian major, Nordisk Film), in collaboration with Nordisk and Swedish public broadcaster, SVT, and supported by Swedish regional film centre, Film i Skåne, and the Swedish Film Institute.Originally targeted at children audiences, Kenny Starfighter
  • Scoggins promoted in digital asset management at Universal

    Stan Scoggins has been promoted to senior vice president of worldwide digital asset management at Universal, continuing a run that has seen him oversee the group since 1998.During his tenure Scoggins developed and implemented a comprehensive online repository of all Universal publicity and advertising materials. He continues to report to executive vice president of worldwide creative operations Dan Wolfe.Wolfe oversees the work of Universal's Worldwide Creative Operations
  • Screen opinion: Nurturing arthouse audiences

    Film-makers across the world are incredibly generous with their time and expertise in supporting the next generation of talent. But is enough attention given by film policy-makers to nurturing the next generation of cinema-goers, or at least those whose tastes extend beyond the studio hits'The Film Department chief executive and former Miramax president Mark Gill gave the question some impetus this week with a provocative speech suggesting the 'sky really is falling' on arthouse film i
  • Screenwriters still undervalued, says Oscar winner Ronald Harwood

    The film industry's undervaluing ofthe work of screenwriters - and the need for writers to be more assertive and proactive in response- were the recurring themes on the first day of this year's International Screenwriters Festival.During an entertaining interviewat the Cheltenham event about the psychology of screenwriters The Pianist and The Diving Bell And The Butterfly writer Ronald Harwood drew the strongest positive reaction of the day from confe
  • Screenwriting: How to teach a word's worth

    Training provision for screenwriters has been undergoing a sea change in the UK in recent years, with providers aiming to connect training with the industry and help create writers who can function both creatively and commercially.The UK film business has not always taken the most positive view of screenwriter training. A 2007 report for the UK Film Council (Ukfc) and UK training body Skillset finding that 'of the minority of production companies who expressed views, most felt that tra
  • Sheffield Doc/Fest unveils early selections for Nov line-up

    Sheffield Doc/Fest, now planning its 15th edition, has announced several early selections for its 100+ film programme running Nov 5-9.Sheffield will unveil a new strand of docs about a specific cultural issue, this yer's being Regime Change (tied to the US election). Films set for this initiative are: Mohamed Al-Daradji's War Love God Madness, about the making of an Iraqi film; Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein's Bulletproof Salesman, about a German salesman in Iraq;
  • Somers Town takes Powell prize as Edinburgh closes first June festival

    As The Edinburgh International Film Festival comes to a close in its first June edition today, Shane Meadows' Berlin and Tribeca favourite Somers Town won the Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature continuing a banner year for Meadows after his BAFTA Korda award for This Is England.Marianna Palka won the Skillset New Directors Award for her Sundance discovery Go
  • Sony unveils first footage of new Bond film

    Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) showed 10 minutes of exclusive footage of Quantum Of Solace to delegates at this year's Cinema Expo.The sneak peak was prefaced by a brief introduction from Michael G Wilson, co-producer of the James Bond franchise along with Barbara Broccoli, who claimed that the 22nd installment of Bond was 'faster, more intense and filled with more fight scenes'.New leading Bond lady, Olga Kurylenko, presented the footage to the crowd sayi
  • Sony unveils first footage of new Bond film

    Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) showed 10 minutes of exclusive footage of Quantum Of Solace to delegates at this year's Cinema Expo.The sneak peak was prefaced by a brief introduction from Michael G Wilson, co-producer of the James Bond franchise along with Barbara Broccoli, who claimed that the 22nd installment of Bond was 'faster, more intense and filled with more fight scenes'.New leading Bond lady, Olga Kurylenko, presented the footage to the crowd sayi
  • Sundance Institute selects five for Creative Producing Initiative

    The Sundance Institute has selected the five Fellows for its inaugural Creative Producing Initiative, a year-long Fellowship programme for emerging producers.The initiative includes attendance at the Creative Producing Lab, the Independent Producers Conference and the Sundance Film Festival, as well as year-round mentorship, a living stipend and pre-production grant, and ongoing support from Institute staff.The five-day Creative Producing Lab takes place at the Sundance R
  • Swipe Filmstakes UK and Ireland rights to Bigga Than Ben

    Swipe Films has picked up UK and Ireland rights to Suzie Halewood's Bigga Than Ben, which stars Prince Caspian lead Ben Barnes.The film, which premieres in Edinburgh on Friday, is based on the bestselling diaries of two Russian immigrants in London.Swipe is looking for a release in September for the movie, which co-stars hot Russian talentAndrei Chadov.The film was independently financed and shot on over 106 locations across London.
  • Tartan Films' Biggest Grossing Films

    Tartan's best performing films 1990-2008 Click to see trailers Click film title to see Screen International review (where available)1 Super Size Me (Morgan Spurlock, 2004)UK Box Office revenue: $1.6m (83 screens)
  • Tartan Films goes into administration

    UK distributor Tartan Films has gone into administration, ending months of speculation.The business, founded in 1982 by Hamish McAlpine, is believed to have made more than 20 staff redundant.The news has come as no surprise after months of discussion about the company's finance.Last year, the business restructured with veteran managing director Laura De Casto leaving the business. Head of acquisitions Jane Giles also left the business to become head of content at the Brit
  • The Critical View - Finishing touch

    I've been thinking about Che. Not the man, nor exactly Steven Soderbergh's film of the man's life, but the experience of watching a film that may or not be the finished product.All that was known about the status of Soderbergh's long-awaited film on the eve of its Cannes debut was that it would be divided into two sections (originally to be called The Argentine and Guerrilla, later simply Part One and Part Two); that they would be screened continuously, with a comb
  • The Croatian National Festival announces competition

    The Croatian National Festival in Pula, Istria, will take place from July 19-26. This will be the 55th edition of the event that used to be the national festival of former Yugoslavia.In addition to the famous and always well-attended open-air venues Arena and Kastel, the former theatre Zagreb has been renovated and renamed to 'Cinema Valli', honouring the legendary actress Aida Valli who had been born in Pula.The festival will feature national and international competition, and
  • Toho-Towa extends Universal contract, unveils line-up

    Japanese distributor Toho-Towa has announced the extension of its exclusive contract with Universal Pictures, as well as its line-up, until 2010. Toho-Towa's slate of 18 films consists predominantly of Universal titles. Upcoming 2008 releases include The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor (August 16) and Wanted (September).Announced for 2009 are Edward Zwick's Defiance , Benicio Del Toro starrer The Wolf Man, Nicholas Cage action film Knowing and J
  • Toronto books best of Cannes in first programme announcement

    The Toronto International Film Festival announced its first tranche of titles, including Cannes competitors such as Atom Egoyan's Adoration, Arnaud Desplechin's A Christmas Tale, Matteo Garrone's Gomorrah and Laurent Cantet's Palme d'Or winner The Class. All four will be North American premieres screening as Special Presentati
  • Training - Debate - Talking writing

    DEBRA HAYWARD - WORKING TITLE FILMSWhat is the level of creativity in the UK'People are really ambitious: the levels are high. But you can never have enough great ideas, great writers and great material.Are individual voices shining through'I think they are. And there's a great tradition of individual voices in this country. What we need is more opportunities for them to make their way onto the screen.Can you discern any genre trends from the material you're
  • Trina Wyatt joins Intrepid Pictures as COO and CFO

    Trina Wyatt has joined Trevor Macy and Marc D Evans' production and finance outfit Intrepid Pictures as COO/CFO and Anil Kurian has been promoted to vice president of development, effective immediately.Wyatt will run day-to-day operations and financial activities of the company as well as strategic planning, business development, production finance, and management of the company's senior credit facility with JPMorgan Chase.Kurian will play an instrumental role in driving
  • Unifrance in controversy over active producing difficulties

    Trouble is brewing once again at Unifrance. Following a report last March that said that the organisation needed to improve its strategy and governance, the export body is now faced with a mutiny of sorts coming from its internal commissions.The brouhaha follows a general assembly meeting where the results of a vote did not go down well.In March, Unifrance president Margaret Menegoz - who is due to leave the organization in the Autumn - told that because
  • United Kingdom - if it ain't broke..

    Nothing." That's what Film London's head of international Helena MacKenzie says has changed in plans for this year's London UK Film Focus (Luff). The sales event runs June 30-July 3.Some might see the decision to keep the event in the same form as last year as a sign of complacency. For British sales agents, though, Luff (now in its fifth year) seems to work in its current guise - and so, they reason, why change it' By the organisers' own calculations, more than $3m worth of deals were
  • UPI's Wanted roars into in 22 territories including Russia

    Indiana Jones will have a battle on his hands to hold on to pole position this weekend as Russian director Timur Bekmambetov's first English-language picture Wanted goes out in 22 territories through Universal/UPI.The graphic novel adaptation opens day-and-date with North America in Russia on 850 prints on June 26 and is expected to score a big hit in Bekmambetov's home country. Wanted is also scheduled t
  • Van Galder, Weinstock named marketing co-chiefs at SPE

    Valerie Van Galder and Marc Weinstock have been promoted to co-presidents of worldwide theatrical marketing at Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE).Van Galder and Weinstock will jointly develop and oversee campaigns for all films released by Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Animation and will report to chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution Jeff Blake.The pair have worked together for more than a decade and first joined forces at Fox Searchlight. Va
  • Wall-E

    Dir: Andrew Stanton. US. 2008. 100 mins.
  • Wall-E, Wanted deliver gigantic numbers at domestic box office

    Disney/Pixar's latest slice of magic coupled with Angelina Jolie in glorious kick-ass action mode created the figurative perfect storm as the top 12 pictures combined for $179m to beat the same weekend last year by 22%.In the fifth consecutive year-on-year climb, Wall-E led the way with an excellent $62.5m estimated three-day launch as audiences of all ages flocked to Andrew Stanton's animated tale of a lonely droid who helps repopulate a desol
  • Wanted shoots to top of international box office with $33m gross

    Angelina Jolie, a bulked up James McAvoy and one of the world's most dynamic action directors stole the show at the weekend as Universal/UPI's Wanted took charge of the international marketplace with a $33m estimated launch.The graphic novel adaptation about an unassuming office worker who learns he descends from a long line of extraordinary assassins opened number one in most of its 22 territories and played in 1,922 venues.Russian
  • Warp X to kick off shoot for fifth film, Bunny And The Bull

    Paul King from British TV's The Mighty Boosh will start shooting his feature film debut Bunny And The Bull on June 30 (Monday). Edward Hogg, Simon Farnaby and Veronic Echegui will star. And the Boosh's Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding and Richard Ayoade will appear.The Warp X production will be produced by Mary Burke with Mark Herbert and Robin Gutch. It is the fifth production to shoot for Warp X, which is backed by Film4, the UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund, EM Media, Screen
  • Williams named co-president, Hogan named COO at GreeneStreet

    Longtime GreeneStreet Films (GSF) head of production Tim Williams has been promoted to co-president while Michael Hogan has been named COO.Williams will share the president title with founding partner John Penotti. GSF co-founder Fisher Stevens will no longer have an active day-to-day role in the company but will continue to produce selected projects.GSF established a West Coast office in 2006 and put Williams in charge and more recently hired Amy Beecroft as head of Gree
  • Wim Wenders to lead Venice jury

    Director Wim Wenderswill lead the jury of the 65th Venice Film Festival, the biennale's board of directors has announced.Venice's artistic director Marco Mueller selected Wenders as the president of the jury in what will be a pivotal fifth year as Venice's artistic director and the beginning of his renewed four-year mandate.Last year Mueller had formed an all-director jury led by Chinese director Zhang Yimou.In a statement, the Biennale called Wenders 'one of the greatest
  • Winding Refn starts Scottish shoot for Valhalla Rising

    Nicolas Winding Refn has started the Scotland-based shoot for his next film, Valhalla Rising.Alongside Mads Mikkelsen, the film will star Jamie Sives and Gary Lewis from Billy Elliot fame. The budget is about $7m.The famed Danish director is taking with him the organic working method from his Pusher films shooting the movie in continuity.The film has been in development for years but picked up pace when Nimbus Film entered the arena helping Winding
  • Works closes more Somers Town, Man On Wire sales post-Cannes

    As its filmsswept the prizes at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, London-based sales company The Works International has announced a number of new deals closed since Cannes.Shane Meadows' Somers Town sold to Taiwan (Filmware International).James Marsh's documentary Man On Wire sold to Taiwan (Filmware International), Japan (Shin Nippon), and Hungary (Budapest).And Jackie Oudney's French Film sold to Australia and New Zealand (Madman).
  • World premiere of Frost/Nixon to open London Film Festival

    The world premiere of Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon is to open The Times BFI London Film Festival.The Universal Pictures film - adapted by Peter Morgan from his hit stage play - will screen on October 15.The story of a legendary 1977 US television interview between UK television presenter David Frost and disgraced US president Richard Nixon, two years after he stepped down following Watergate, is one of the most anticipated films of the year.It is produced by Brian Gr
  • Zaillian, Mandate buy debut screenplay from Jens Assur

    Steve Zaillian and Mandate Pictures have acquired the debut feature screenplay from photojournalist and acclaimed short film-maker Jens Assur.The script, entitled Close Far Away, was purchased through Zaillian and Mandate's newly formed co-venture Film Rites, which has a joint first-look deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment.Assur is attached to direct, while Zaillian is producing and Mandate president Nathan Kahane will serve as e