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Screen
1 September 2004

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  • 5 x 2

    Dir. Francois Ozon.France 2004. 90mins.A kind of Scenes FromA Marriage told in reverse, Francois Ozon's latest feature is a pleasant,watchable but rather unexceptional melodrama that catches wedlock gone stale atfive emblematic moments, starting with the divorce and ending with the firstencounter.Given Ozon's smoothprofessional touch and a presentable performance from lead ValeriaBruni-Tedeschi, 5 x 2's initial release (it opened i
  • 5 x 2 review

    Dir. Francois Ozon.France 2004. 90mins.A kind of Scenes FromA Marriage told in reverse, Francois Ozon's latest feature is a pleasant,watchable but rather unexceptional melodrama that catches wedlock gone stale atfive emblematic moments, starting with the divorce and ending with the firstencounter.Given Ozon's smoothprofessional touch and a presentable performance from lead ValeriaBruni-Tedeschi, 5 x 2's initial release (it opened in France on Sept 1)m
  • Alexandria' New York

    Dir: Youssef Chahine.Fr-Egypt. 2004. 128minsDuring the past few years, veteran Egyptian directorYoussef Chahine has courted controversy with his comments relating to the 9/11terrorist attacks on America.On-screen, Egypt,his contribution to the 11'09''01 - September 11 project portrayed anArab
  • Anacondas grips India with mighty $1m launch for CTFDI

    Sony's action sequel Anacondas scored a huge resultin India at the weekend as Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International(CTFDI) released it day-and-date with the US in several markets.Anacondas opened number one in thesub-continent on an estimated $1m on 275 prints to record the fifth biggestdebut by a Hollywood release in the territory.The 1997 launch of Anaconda went out on 50 prints andthat picture remains the ninth biggest Holly
  • Austria, Germany, Switzerland - 1 Sept 2004

    AUSTRIA September 1PRE-PRODUCTIONKELLER(Novotny& Novotny Filmproduktion) Backer: Filmfonds Wien. Coming of age drama.Prod: Franz Novotny. Dir/scr: Eva Urtaler.Contact Novotny & Novotny Filmproduktion, (43) 1 478 71 70KOTSCH(LotusFilm) Backers: Filmfonds Wien, OFI. Comedy about four slackers in Styria. Prod:Erich Lackner. Dir: Helmut Koepping. Contact: Erich Lackner, Lotus
  • Bacon's Loverboy drops out of Deauville competition

    The Deauville Festival ofAmerican Film, which kicks off on Friday, has substituted one of itscompetition films.Rather than screening KevinBacon's directorial debut Loverboy, Omar Naim debut feature The FinalCut, will be shown instead.Reasons for the last minutechange were not given. The Final Cut stars Robin Williams, JamesCaviezel and Mira Sorvino. Bacon himself will still be represented in thecompetition with his starring turn in The Woodsman.
  • Balaguero cranks up Flockhart thriller for Filmax

    Spain's Filmax begins shooting today (Monday) on itslatest English-language outing, Jaume Balaguero's Fragile starring Calista Flockhart and rising Spanishactress Elena Anaya.The thriller, Balaguero's follow-up to 2002's Darkness and co-scripted with Jordi Galceran, will shoot fornine weeks between Barcelona and England's Isle of Wight. The budget wasnot disclosed. Filmax's Julio Fernandez co-produces with JustFilms' Joan Ginard.Flockhart stars as a nurse fighting
  • Broderick launches website of political cinema

    Peter Broderick,the head of Paradigm Consulting and former president of Next Wave Films, haslaunched the political cinema resource website Films To See Before You Vote.The siteprovides information on current and previous documentary and narrative releasesand advice on arranging screening parties."It's impossibleto claim any longer that politics is box office poison or to still believe thatfilms never change anyone's vote," Broderick said in a statement.
  • BVI passes $1bn gross mark for tenth consecutive year

    Fuelled by suchhits as Finding Nemoand Brother Bear,Buena Vista International (BVI) has passed $1bn in international tickets salesin record time this year, becoming the first distributor to achieve the feat in10 consecutive years.BVI passed the milestone on Aug 22, continuing a streakthat started in 1995,since which time it has amassed $12.1bn in ticket salesand released 36 $100m-plus titles.This year'sresult was powered by four $100m-plus release
  • Cannes' Jacob awarded top Italian honour

    The Italian government has awarded Cannes Film Festivalpresident Gilles Jacob one of the country's highest honours, to thank himfor "everything that he has done over the years" for Italy andItalian cinema.Jacob received the prestigious Gran Ufficiale dellaRepubblica Italiana award on the Lido, during a solemn ceremony which wasattended by Biennale president Davide Croff and artistic director MarcoMueller.Also on hand were Italian Culture minister Giuliano Urbani,Public Works min
  • Cannes premiere Cronicas seals US deal with Palm

    Palm Pictureshas picked up North American and Caribbean rights to Sebastian Cordero's Spanish-languagecrime thriller Cronicas,which is set to receive its North American premiere at Toronto after a worldpremiere in Un Certain Regard at Cannes.Palm plans a second quarter 2005 release followed by DVDroll-out later in the year.Cronicas centres on a sensationalist Miamireporter who travels to Ecuador to cover the story of a serial killer and endsup eng
  • Celluloid Dreams goes on The Take

    Paris-based Celluloid Dreamshas picked up international sales rights on the feature documentary The Take, written and narrated by Canadian journalist NaomiKlein, author of the best-selling corporate critique "No Logo", and directed bypartner Avi Lewis.The film, which screens inVenice's new Digital Section and premiered at Toronto's Hot Docs DocumentaryFilm Festival in April, examines the extreme economic crisis that rockedArgentina in 2001, the role of global politics in the cri
  • Celluloid Dreams on The Take at Toronto

    Paris-based Celluloid Dreamshas picked up international sales rights on the feature documentary The Take, written and narrated by Canadian journalist NaomiKlein, author of the best-selling corporate critique "No Logo", and directed bypartner Avi Lewis.The film, which screens inVenice's new Digital Section and premiered at Toronto's Hot Docs DocumentaryFilm Festival in April, examines the extreme economic crisis that rockedArgentina in 2001, the role of global politics in the cri
  • Creep, Dead Birds lead Midnight line-up

    The worldpremiere of Christopher Smith's UK-German subway thriller Creep is one of the highlights of 10 titlesset to screen in the 17th Midnight Madness programme at the TorontoInternational Film Festival.Franka Potentestars as a drowsy commuter who takes the last train of the night into aterrifying maze of catacombs where she discovers she is not alone.Other worldpremieres include the American Civil War-set horror tale Dead Birds, Alex Turner's US debut aboutdeser
  • Creep, Dead Birds lead Toronto Midnight lineup

    The worldpremiere of Christopher Smith's UK-German subway thriller Creep is one of the highlights of 10 titlesset to screen in the 17th Midnight Madness programme at the TorontoInternational Film Festival.Franka Potentestars as a drowsy commuter who takes the last train of the night into aterrifying maze of catacombs where she discovers she is not alone.Other worldpremieres include the American Civil War-set horror tale Dead Birds, Alex Turner's US debut aboutdeser
  • Cruise stirs up French industry with finance minister talks

    Tom Cruise was the talk of Paris on Monday. Not just becausehe was in town for the gala premiere of Michael Mann's Collateral, butbecause of a meeting he took earlier in the day.To the slight bemusement of many in the industry, Cruisedrew up on a riverboat and spent an hour meeting the French minister offinances, Nicolas Sarkozy. What made it odder still was that the meeting washeld at the request of Cruise himself.What did the two men talk about' While there are no known
  • DENMARK 1 September

    Thoughlocal critics were praising Brothers,the new film from the multiple-award winning filmmaker Susanne Bier, as herbest so far, audiences seemed to have been slightly distracted by thisweekend's many other offerings. It did oust I,Robot from the top spot with its solid if unimpressive DKK23,223 from 60prints, but Fahrenheit 9/11 on fifthalmost matched it with DKK22,877 in its fou
  • Denmark selects Obstructions as Oscar choice

    Lars von Trier and Joergen Leth's provocative andplayful experimental documentary The Five Obstructions has been selected as Denmark's official Oscarcandidate for best foreign language film category.The film had its world premiere in Venice last year and hassince won acclaim across the world, screening in Toronto, Amsterdam andSundance among others. Two weeks ago it received the Grand Prix at DanishOdense International Film Festival for shorts- and documentaries.The film
  • Evergreen gets AMC digital roll-out

    Under what the parties involved describe as a "unique partnership",independent US feature Evergreen will be digitally distributed to 115AMC theatres in 27 major US markets.The family drama, written and directed by newcomer Enid Zentelis,will premiere on Sept 10, being presented digitally using AMC's proprietaryDigital Theatre Distribution System (DTDS).The system eliminates the need for the production and distributionof 35mm film prints, the cost of wh
  • Festival programmer gets death threat for Casuistry doc

    A programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival was therecipient of a death threat on Tuesday. The anonymous caller was protesting thefestival's inclusion of a feature documentary, Casuistry:The Art Of KillingA Cat, a film aboutthree Toronto visual art students who in 2001 killed a cat as
  • FINLAND 1 September

    VeikkoAaltonen's first fiction film since 1999's KissMe In The Rain, Trench Road (Juoksuhaudantie), opened in fourth with asolid Euros 3,955 screen average on its 35 prints. The film is based on anaward-winning book by local author Kari Hotakainen, and follows an obsessedman, who goes to extremes in order to get his family back and to fulfill hisdream of having his own house. Though the new relea
  • Foxx, Knightley, Shrek 2 join Hollywood Film Awards lineup

    Jamie Foxx willreceive the Hollywood Breakthrough Male Performer Award and Keira Knightley theHollywood Breakthrough Female Performer Award at the 2004 Hollywood FilmAwards.DreamWorks'animated hit Shrek 2will be honoured with the Hollywood Animation Award at the awards gala on Oct18.Foxx currentlystars opposite Tom Cruise in the DreamWorks thriller Collateral and is already generating buzz for hislead role in the Ray Charles biopic Ray, w
  • FRANCE 2 September

    The Village heldits ground to remain in first place this week and added an additional 592,805admissions. Yvan Attal's Ils Se Marierent Et Eurent Beaucoup d'Enfants openedin second place with 415,961 admissions. The film, which stars Attal and hiswife Charlotte Gainsbourg, had the strongest per screen average of the weekwith $7,517 per.The rest of the list looks very similar to last week withonly the formerly 2nd place TheChronicles Of Riddick slipping
  • Garfield is top cat for Fox Int'l, raises total to $65m

    Fox International's Garfield was the number one international picture at theweekend, clawing in $9.7m on 3,360 screens to elevate its running total to$65m.Highlights were $932,000 on184 screens in Russia for an unconfirmed ranking, an excellent $418,000 on 63in Norway for an unconfirmed ranking, and a number one $440,000 debut inHungary on 29 screens.Strong holdovers also playeda part as the comedy added $1.7m on 619 in its second weekend in Germany for a$5.3m running tot
  • GERMANY 31 August

    This year's top film so far - German blockbuster (T)Raumschiff Surprise - Periode 1 - mayhave clocked up over 1,000 more admissions than King Arthur but had to contend with second place based onbox-office takings. Six weeks into release for Constantin Film, the film parodyis still showing on 937 screens and has taken over $57m.There was some shuffling around in the top 10 with thearrival of three strong new entries: Wa
  • Gilliam completes key Tideland casting

    Terry Gilliam has cast nineyear-old Jodelle Ferland as the star in his upcoming Tideland, alongside a cast that includes US actress JenniferTilly and Janet McTeer and Brendan Fletcher.Ferland is already somethingof veteran, having racked up a string of TV credits including KingdomHospital, Carrie and Wolf Lake since she started acting aged four. TheCanadian-born youngster will play Jeliza Rose, an abandoned girl who escapesfrom the harsh reality of her childhood in
  • Godard goes to US with Wellspring

    Wellspring haspicked up all US rights to Jean-Luc Godard's Notre Musique (Our Music) and plans to release the picture on Dec22 in New York followed by a nationwide roll-out.TheToronto-bound title premiered at Cannes earlier this year and is styled as ano-holds barred meditation on 20th century Europe, war, Middle Eastern turmoil,cinema and Godard himself.The pictureblends news footage and fiction, arranging them in the three "kingdoms" ofHell, Purgatory and Paradis
  • Hall named programming head at Sarasota Film Fest

    Tom Hall has been nameddirector of programming for the 7th Annual Sarasota Film Festival (SFF), whichruns from Jan 28-Feb 6 2005.Hall, who remains programmedirector at the Nantucket Film Festival held annually in June, will travel toToronto to scout for material for the SFF."We were determined to bringin a new programmer who would bring a fresh perspective, work enthusiasticallywith our staff, and help Sarasota garner even more consistently high-qualityfilms
  • Heavenly results from Passion US DVD release

    The US DVD/VHSrelease of The Passion Of The Christ on Aug 31 already appears to be mirroring the picture'sremarkable theatrical release earlier this year, selling more than 2.4m unitsby lunchtime.According todistributor Fox Home Entertainment the release has bucked the trend oftraditional retail patterns, with most consumers buying an average of 1.8copies.Mel Gibson's Aramaic and Latin-language epic was producedby Gibson and Bruce Davey's Icon Production
  • Hero dominates lacklustre weekend at US box office

    After a considerable delay, Miramax released Zhang Yimou'smartial arts epic Hero in the US and it was easily the highlight of asluggish weekend, opening top and setting a record for an Asian picture on anestimated $17.8m.The picture, which stars Jet Li as a nameless fighter inthird century China, earned great reviews and averaged $8,764 on 2,031 screens.Sony's action sequel Anacondas: The Hunt For The BloodOrchid opened in second place on $13.2m, and stars Johnny M
  • Hero scores record debut for Asian picture in Hollywood

    After a considerable delay, Miramax released Zhang Yimou'smartial arts epic Hero in the US and it was easily the highlight of asluggish weekend, opening top and setting a record for an Asian picture on anestimated $17.8m.The picture, which stars Jet Li as a nameless fighter inthird century China, earned great reviews and averaged $8,764 on 2,031 screens.Sony's action sequel Anacondas: The Hunt For The BloodOrchid opened in second place on $13.2m, and stars Johnny M
  • HONG KONG 30 August

    Mei AhEntertainment's Hidden Heroes toppedthe Hong Kong box office in a competitive week in which five new films werereleased.The Joe Ma comedygrossed US$664,868 from 36 screens narrowly beating Fox's Garfield The Movie to the top spot. The film stars Ronald Cheng asa policeman who becomes entangled with a robot from the future played byCharlene Choi.Fruit Chan's Dumplings opened in third position withUS$
  • Hong Kong-Chinese JV to build post-production facility

    Hong Kong'sMandarin Entertainment is setting up a joint venture with China's HengdianGroup to build a film processing and post-production facility at Hengdian FilmCity in Zhejiang province near Shanghai.The US$14.5m(RMB120m) facility will provide a full range of post-production servicesincluding film processing and duplication, editing, sound mixing, subtitlingand special effects. Spread over 100 acres, the development will also houserestaurants, shops, offices and serviced apartments
  • House Of The Flying Daggers scores mighty Japanese debut

    Warner Entertainment Japanopened Zhang Yimou's epic Lovers (aka House Of The Flying Daggers) in top spot in Japan at the weekend on an excellent estimated $3.6m on 361screens.Elsewhere Catwoman grossed an estimated $2.3m on 1,986 screens in 21 territories through Warner Bros Int'l at the weekend, raising its international running total to $19.3m including Village Roadshow territories.The highlight was a third place Italian opening for the a
  • HUNGARY 31 August

    Hungarian audiences were ready for new releases last weekendwhen four of the week's five new titles made it into the top ten.Following strong previews, Garfield came out on top with over 60,000 admissions taking itstotal over the 100,000 mark.Halle Berry's Catwomanshowed no strength in the duel of the cats and failed to make 7,000 admissionson a strong 25 prints.Mean Girls provedsomewhat of a hit with nearly 7,500 admissions while
  • Indie icon Smith readies The Passion Of The Clerks

    Ten years after he burst onto the US indie scene with Clerks,filmmaker Kevin Smith has decided to make a sequel to the now almost legendaryno-budget comedy. Smith will direct The Passion Of The Clerks from hisown screenplay, with principal photography set to begin next January andMiramax set to distribute.Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson, stars of the original film,will reprise their roles in a story that catches up with the employees of theQuik Stop convenience store 1
  • INTERNATIONAL 2 September

    Over a weekend when only one film, The Village, could manage to gross over $10m at the internationalbox office, it was still a landmark period for Buena Vista International.In the week when itwas announced that BVI had achieved $1bn in international ticket sales for the10th year in a row, it also saw KingArthur cross the $100m mark, while TheVillage enjoyed number one launches in multiple European territoriesincluding The Netherlands, Belgium, S
  • Ireland's cinema admissions hit all-time high

    The largest player in the Irish cinema advertising market,Carlton Screen Advertising, has reported an all-time high of 1.9m admissions inthe Republic of Ireland for the month of July. This compares with 1.6madmissions for the same month last year, a rise of 18%.Shrek 2 and Spiderman 2, aided by some bad weatherlater in the month, are credited with having had the drawing power to pushIrish admissions within striking distance of the 2 milli
  • Italian sleeper hit After Midnight wins US sale

    As dealson the Lido get underway, Italian sales house Adriana Chiesa Enterprises (ACE)has sold Davide Ferrario's sleeper hit, After Midnight, to USdistributor Avatar Films.Writtenand directed by local indie stalwart Ferrario, After Midnight tells the storyof a night watchman who guards Turin's National Cinema Museum.Actor-of-the-mom
  • Jayanti to direct Ellroy's Killer On The Road

    Award-winning filmmaker Vikram Jayanti (Deep Blue, WhenWe Were Kings) is to direct a movie version of one of James Ellroy's mostgruesome novels, the gay serial killer/buddy novel, Killer On The Road.The film, scripted by former critic Chris Peachment, is dueto shoot next spring. It is being co-produced by Tartan Films and F&ME. Thefilm will be cast by Joanna Ray, best known for her work with David Lynch andPaul Verhoeven.Jayanti has also previously shot a documenta
  • Kessler quits as president of France's CNC

    David Kessler, president ofthe French film support body, the CNC, will leave his current post for FranceTelevisions within the next few weeks, it was announced today (Sept 1).As previously reported (ScreenDaily.com,July 27), Kessler is tipped to be replaced by Catherine Colonna who is thespokesperson for the Elysee Palace - France's equivalent to the White House.An appoi
  • King Kong goes before the cameras

    Director Peter Jackson and actors Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody,and Jack Black faced the media yesterday at Jackson's Wellington studio complexto mark the beginning of principal photography on King Kong.Camerasofficially roll on Monday on the remake of the 1933 classic, which is beingfinanced by Universal Pictures and will be released on December 14 2005.While the details of
  • Local features generate buzz as Haugesund wraps

    The Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund endedits 32nd edition with two awards nights in a row on. On Thursday(August 26) it held the festival prizes, and on Friday (August 27) night dishedout the Norwegian film and TV awards, the Amandas.At the festival's closing ceremony, Erik Poppe's new localdrama Hawaii, Oslo, received both thecritics' and ecumenical prize - prompting the filmmaker to sing achildren's song with his six year-old daughter from the stage. The fil
  • Love rules in Edinburgh

    Pawel Pawlikowski's My Summer Of Love was named as the winner of the Michael Powell Awardfor Best British Film on the closing day (August 29) of this year'sEdinburgh International Film Festival.His intense evocation of the fleeting relationship between twolonely teenage girls saw off competition from the likes of Ae Fond Kiss,Yasmin and Stage Beauty to secure an award that he previously won in 2000for The Last Resort.Damien O'Donnell's Inside I'm D
  • McInnis named festival director at Slamdance

    Kathleen McInnishas been named as the new festival director at Slamdance and will also overseeand initiate new year-round programmes.The appointmentends a four-month global trawl by the festival's co-founders."Kathleen'sreputation in general and her filmmaking experience specifically makes her anatural choice for Slamdance," Peter Baxter, president and one of the fouroriginal co-founders of the festival, said in a statement."Her years ofshepherding filmmakers through thei
  • MGM hits back at imminent takeover talk

    MGM hit backover press reports concerning a possible take-over deal yesterday (sept 1),issuing a statement saying it was continuing to consider strategicalternatives.The statement,which also dismissed as inaccurate speculation that the studio was worth $5bn,follows a Reuters report last week that implied an announcement was about tobreak after employees were temporarily blocked from trading stock.The studio'sfuture has been the subject of continued speculation in recent years. W
  • Mila From Mars delights Sarajevo

    Bulgarian first-time filmmaker Sophia Zornitsa's Mila From Mars (Mila Ot Mars) was thesurprise winner of the Euros 25,000 Best Film Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival's Regional Competition, beating offopposition from the festival audience favourites of Albanian Gjergi Xhuvani's Dear Enemy (I Dashur Armik) and CroatianArsen Anton Ostojic's A Wonderful NightIn Split (Ta Divna Splitska Noc).The Inte
  • New Yorker takes My Eyes for US

    Spanish sales house Sogepaq has closed a deal with NewYorker Films for US distribution of award-winning local drama Take My Eyes.New Yorker is expected to premiere the film in 2005. The USwas the last of the major territories to sell excluding Germany, which Sogepaqsays it is near to closing.Take My Eyes (Te Doy Mis Ojos) is a heart-wrenching tale of a young woman's struggle to breakthe bonds with her abusive husband and forge a life and identity of her own.
  • NEW ZEALAND 31 August

    While UIP's The BourneSupremacy, in its first weekend in the charts, took about 10 times morerevenue than second placed Fahrenheit9/11, the documentary did climb two places despite being in its fifth weekon release.The Bourne Supremacygrossed NZ$618,691 from 54 screens, registering a screen average of NZ$11,457,while Fahrenheit took NZ$68,712 from19 screens for Hopscotch.Four films were within NZ$10,000 of Fahrenheit, howeve
  • Newmarket takes domestic rights to three from Trust

    Newmarket Filmshas acquired North American rights to a trio of Scandinavian pictures fromTrust Film Sales - Old, New, Borrowed And Blue, In Your Hands, and Daybreak.Natasha Arthy'sDanish bittersweet romantic comedy Old, New, Borrowed And Blue won the 2003 Grand Jury Award in the AFIFEST's International Feature Competition; it stars Sidse Babett Knudsen, BjornKjellman, and Soeren Byder.Annette KOlesen's Danish relationship drama In Your Hands we
  • Newmarket takes North American rights to three from Trust

    Newmarket Filmshas acquired North American rights to a trio of Scandinavian pictures fromTrust Film Sales - Old, New, Borrowed And Blue, In Your Hands, and Daybreak.Natasha Arthy'sDanish bittersweet romantic comedy Old, New, Borrowed And Blue won the 2003 Grand Jury Award in the AFIFEST's International Feature Competition; it stars Sidse Babett Knudsen, BjornKjellman, and Soeren Byder.Annette KOlesen's Danish relationship drama In Your Hands we
  • NORWAY 1 September

    Therelease of three big American films was more than the Norwegian musical This Is The Song You Need (Alt For Egil)could withstand, dropping 44% to fourth behind The Village, Garfield and Fahrenheit9/11.The newlocal release of Torun Lian's The Color OfMilk, based on
  • NORWAY 2 September

    Therelease of three big American films was more than the Norwegian musical This Is The Song You Need (Alt For Egil)could withstand, dropping 44% to fourth behind The Village, Garfield and Fahrenheit9/11.The newlocal release of Torun Lian's The Color OfMilk, based on
  • Passion DVD breaks records on first day of US release

    The DVD and VHSversions of The Passion Of The Christ sold 4.1million units on first day of release (Aug 31) inthe US, setting a string of records for Fox Home Entertainment.The distributorclaimed first-day sales have made Passion the number one selling independent release of all time, thenumber one selling drama, the number one selling R-rated and non-Englishlanguage release of all time.Early researchreveals consumers have bought an average of 1.8 copies each.
  • Pusan project market shortlists 23 Asian features

    New projects byThai director Nonzee Nimibutr (Jan Dara), Taiwanese actor-turned-director Lee Kang-Sheng (TheMissing) and Korean BongJoon-ho (Memories Of Murder) are among the 23 Asian features that will compete for financing atthe 2004 Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP).Asia's biggestproject market has cast its net particularly wide in its latest edition,encompassing projects from 15 countries including Sri Lanka, the Philippines,Kazakhstan and Malaysia. Aparticularly high
  • Revamp for Export-Union of German Cinema

    The international representation of German filmsreceived a boost this week with the Export-Union of German Cinema opening itsdoors to six new shareholders in a revamped agency called German Films Service+ Marketing.The existing shareholders of the Association ofGerman Feature Film Producers, the Association of New German Feature FilmProducers, the Association of German Film Exporters and the German Federal FilmBoard (FFA) will now be joined by the German Short Film Association ag Kurzf
  • ROMANIA 30 August

    Shrek 2. managedto succeed in what many films failed in previously, namely to lure Romanianaudiences back into the cinemas. The film which was released on seven prints bydistributor RO-Image 2000 opened with over 11,000 admissions, a rarely seenstrong performance at the Romanian cinemas. It is also likely to hold onto thetop spot when challenged by The StepfordWives and Crime Spree nextweekend.
  • Russian fighter jet company backs $10m action film.

    Russianmilitary aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi is backing a new $10m Russian actionmovie Mirror Wars starring MalcolmMcDowell and other Hollywood actors.Mirror Wars producer Oleg Kapanets declined to put afigure on Sukhoi's financial involvement, however, the company's investment issaid to be "substantial." TheEnglish-language film is produced by the LA and Moscow based Kremlin Films,headed by Kapanets.A $10 mbudget is high by Russian cinema standards, but Sukhoi hop
  • Russian Granny wins top Copenhagen prize

    Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami and Hungarian newcomerNimrod Antal might have taken most of the applause at the closing ceremony forthe second Copenhagen International Film Festival, but it was LidijaBobrova's Russian feature debut The Granny which scooped most of the awards.The film took the Golden Swan for best film, best screenplayand the Grand Jury Special Prize to the film's central actors, NinaChoubina and Anna Ovsiannikova.However, since no one from The Granny
  • San Sebastian names Floor as closing film

    Tod Williams' The Door In The Floor has been selected as the closing film for theupcoming San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept 17-25).Jeff Bridges and Tod Williams are expected to be on-hand forthe festival's closing gala. The film co-stars Kim Basinger, Jon Fosterand Mimi Rogers in the tragic tale of a marriage which disintegrates followingthe accidental death of the couple's two teenage sons.The film, based on the first part of the John Irving novel AWidow
  • SERBIA/MONTENEGRO 2 September

    Two newcomersentered the Serbian-Montenegrin market this weekend, pushing down Garfield and Shrek 2. I, Robot openedwith 4,135 tickets and $20,118, including previews for Tuck, while Pro Vision'sJersey Girl took second place with2,046 admissions and total gross of $6,830.Tuck's Garfield did sell more tickets (2,098)than Girl, but due to a significantlylower
  • Simon to represent Netherlands at Academy Awards

    Simon, the newfeature by director Eddy Terstall, has been selected as the Dutch entry for theOscars next year in the best foreign film category. The production will alsoopen the 24th Dutch Filmfestival on September 22.The film is produced by Imko Nieuwenhuijs for productionhouse Spaghetti Film. The screenplay is written by Terstall, who previouslymade De Boekverfilming and Hufters And Hofdames. Like his otherfilms the story is set
  • Sleeper hit After Midnight secures US sale

    As dealson the Lido get underway, Italian sales house Adriana Chiesa Enterprises (ACE)has sold Davide Ferrario's sleeper hit, After Midnight, to USdistributor Avatar Films.Writtenand directed by local indie stalwart Ferrario, After Midnight tells the storyof a night watchman who guards Turin's National Cinema Museum.Actor-of-the-mom
  • Spain, Morocco strike film accord

    The governments of Spain and Morocco have signed a culturalcollaboration agreement covering sectors of the arts including cinema.The accord spans 2005-2006. Specifically for the cinemasector, the accord talks of furthering the diffusion of films from each countryand promoting professional meetings to discuss potential co-productionmechanisms.The agreement was signed in Rabat on Monday by new SpanishCulture Minister Carmen Calvo and her Moroccon counterpart, M
  • Spider-Man 2 makes history in Indonesia

    ColumbiaTriStar's Spider-Man 2 has become the first film in Indonesia's history tocross the Rp21bn ($2.3m) mark, beating theprevious record of Rp20,982,496,000 set by 20thFox's Titanic in 1998.Thesequel clung onto the top spot for three consecutive weeks after it opened onJune 30 on 42 prints.Brett Hogg, Buena Vista Columbia TriStar general manager for bothSingapore and Indonesia, attributed the remarkable success of
  • Spooked scores NZ distribution

    Arkles Entertainment has acquired New Zealand distributionrights for director Geoff Murphy's local conspiracy thriller Spooked.Cliff Curtis (Whale Rider) plays the lead role of ajournalist who becomes obsessive about investigating a mysterious fatal carcrash on the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The starting point for Murphy's scriptwas the true events depicted in Ian Wishart's book The Paradise Conspiracy.The film suggests that 'Big Brother' in the 21st century is veryd
  • Starsky & Hutch scores strong Italian debut

    Miramax's Starsky & Hutch launched in its final international market of Italyat the weekend, opening top on an impressive $2.3m including previews through BuenaVista International (BVI).Miramax International executives originally had exhibitorsupport to release the police caper in June, but decided against such a movewhile the Euro 2004 football championships were in progress.Owen Wilson, who plays Hutch opposite Ben S
  • Swiss films target international audiences

    At the beginning of thisyear, Andrea Willson, the head of former Deutsche Columbia PicturesFilmproduktion, was recruited by the Swiss rights trader/distributor FalcomMedia Group to manage the company's expansion into German language production.The plan was for Willson toconcentrate on the development and production of feature films for the Germanspeaking area and to support Falcom's increased acquisition of German films fortheatrical distribution.To date, Falcom has become aco-p
  • Tartan adds five films to release slate

    Prolific UK distributorTartan Films has picked up a string of films in advance of the early autumnfestival season.Titles Claire Denis's newfilm The Intruder (due to screen in Venice); Three...Extremes,the portmanteau horror picture featuring segments by Miike Takashi, Fruit Chanand Park Chan-Wook; horror pictureThe Eye 2 - the sequel/prequel to thePang brothers' hit, The Eye; and The Machinist and Mean Creekin a deal with Paramount.Meanw
  • Terra Firma acquires 35% of UK cinema market

    The UK cinema sector witnessed its biggest shake-up for over a decade on Friday when private equity firm Terra Firma acquired both the Odeon and UCI circuits in one fell swoop.The resulting estate, valued at approximately £580m and which is estimated to represent 35% of the UK's box office revenues, will almost certainly fall foul of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC) regulations concerning market share. Previous MMC reports on the exhibition sector set the limit of control o
  • The Village opens its doors in Australia, Brazil

    Buena VistaInternational's (BVI) The Village has been quietly gathering momentum in recent weeks and shouldboost its $30.8m running total with launches this weekend in Australia on Sept2 and Brazil on Sept 3.Strong debutsare expected bearing in mind that M Night Shyamalan's previous mystery Signs opened top in both markets, grossing$2.7m in its first weekend in Australia in August 2002 and $1.8m in its firstweek in Brazil the following month.The animatedfeature
  • They Came Back (Les Revenants)

    Dir: Robin Campillo.France 2004. 105 mins.A thinking man's "horror"film, Les Revenants is an intriguing if dramatically muted Gallic"zombie" movie, in which terror, gore and SFX are replaced by an existentialconsideration of a "what if'" situation: what if the dead rose from theirgraves to cohabit - at first peacefully - with the living' Editor andfirst-time writer-director Robin Campillo tries to answer the question with areticently thoughtful dram
  • ThinkFilm takes Nixon for North America

    Torontoand New York-based THINKFilm has acquired North American rights to NielsMueller's debut The Assassination Of Richard Nixon and will release thepicture in New York and Los Angeles on Dec 29.TheCannes competitor will screen as a special presentation at the upcoming TorontoInternational Film Festival, and is based on real events surrounding a 1974assassination plot against the US President.SeanPenn stars as a broken man who comes to see the disgraced leader as theembo
  • ThinkFilm, New Line Home Entertainment sign US video deal

    Independent distributor ThinkFilm has signed a US videodistribution deal with New Line Home Entertainment.Among the first titles to be released on DVD and VHS under the newpartnership will be Stephen Fry's British period drama Bright Young Thingsand Bayambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni's German-Mongolian documentary TheStory Of The Weeping Camel.Though the deal will not necessarily cover all ThinkFilm titles,Randy Manis, the company's senior vice president of acqui
  • Throw Down

    Dir:Johnnie To. Hong Kong. 2004. 94mins.After25 years as a director of solid Hong Kong crime and action features, Johnnie Tois finally beginning to be taken seriously on the international festivalcircuit. PTU, the story of a city cop's search for his missing gun, waswell received in 2003, and Breaking News was a hot out-of-competitiontitle in Cannes earlier this year. Now Throw Down plays out ofcompetition at Venice.Andyet,
  • Toronto programmer gets death threat for Casuistry doc

    A programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival was therecipient of a death threat on Tuesday. The anonymous caller was protesting thefestival's inclusion of a feature documentary, Casuistry:The Art Of KillingA Cat, a film aboutthree Toronto visual art students who in 2001 killed a cat as
  • Universal's Bourne is supreme in Australia with $3.4m debut

    Universal's spy sequel The Bourne Supremacy scoredthe studio's biggest international debut of the year at the weekend as itopened top in Australia on an estimated $3.4m on 231 screens.The mighty launch through UIP took 52% market share and wasUniversal's sixth biggest ever opening in the territory, grossing 117% more inUS$ than The Bourne Identity in 2002.Overall the picture added $7.7m on 1,100 screens in 12territories to raise its international running total to $
  • Venice kicks off with star-studded opening night

    The 61st Venice Film Festival kicked off on Wednesday night with ablack tie opening ceremony attended by a host of stars, followed by theout-of-competition screening of Steven Spielberg's The Terminal.
  • Village cheer for Buena Vista

    Over a weekend whenonly one film, The Village, couldmanage to gross over $10m at the international box office, it was still alandmark period for Buena Vista International.BVI achieved $1bnin international ticket sales for the 10th year in a row. It also saw King Arthur cross the $100m mark, while The Village enjoyed number one launchesin multiple European territories including The Netherlands, Belg

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