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10 June 2002

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  • Allen to receive Spain's Prince of Asturias Award

    Woody Allen is set to receive Spain's prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts at the hand of the country's Prince Felipe next October, an honour which could lift the director's spirit this week as he defends his highly publicised lawsuit against producer Jean Doumanian.A sparse turnout in the Manhattan courtroom for Allen's high-profile case - which alleges that Doumanian and her Sweetland Films partner Jaqui Safra owe him some $12m on profits off eight films they made togeth
  • Australia's film industry to overhaul trailer policy

    The Australian film industry is to get together to try and overhaul the rules that govern the screening of trailers in the territory. The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) gets more complaints about trailers than about any other subject, while the industry wants to be able to show trailers for more yet-to-be classified films than is currently allowed. While it is illegal to advertise the theatrical screening of an unclassified film in Australia the major distributors
  • Australia's Palace furnishes itself with Raitrade slate

    Australia's Palace Pictures has picked up a package of ten Italian films from Italian sales house Raitrade.The deal sees Palace grab Cannes competition film The Religion Hour (aka My Mother's Smile) by Marco Bellocchio, Gabriele Salvatores' Amnesia, Alessandro Alatri's Casomai and Andrea and Antoni Frazzi's Almost America. The deal is an extension of a similar ten picture deal signed at Cannes last year and will give Palace the option to pick u
  • Bad Company

    Dir: Joel Schumacher. US. 2002. 111 mins. Given producer Jerry Bruckheimer's track record with odd-couple action movies (Beverly Hills Cop, Bad Boys, Enemy Of The State), and the promising pairing of Anthony Hopkins with Chris Rock, action comedy Bad Company could hardly be a better proposition or a bigger disappointment. Initial box office prospects look reasonably good: Buena Vista opens the film this week in the US against little immediate competition and in
  • Barbara Hannegan tops restructured publicity team at Universal International

    Barbara Hannegan has been promoted to vice president, international publicity, at Universal Pictures, completing a restructure of the studio's international publicity team which sees the arrival of three new staff publicists - Larry Angrisani, Mark Markline and Elena O'Gorman.Hannegan will report to Randy Greenberg who is senior vice president of international marketing and distribution.Hannegan was named executive director of international publicity in 1999 after three years as
  • Beyond International adds second London executive

    Sydney-based Beyond International has named Liliana Lombardero as general manager of television arm Beyond Distribution. With the news leaking out at Cannes that Hilary Davis from Alibi Films International was replacing Gary Hamilton as head of sales at Beyond Films, this is the second London-based divisional head to be appointed by Beyond in the past three weeks. Lombardero has spent 16 years in television sales, international co-productions and distribution worldwide, most recently a
  • Borgia project starts search for new finance

    UK producer Stephen Woolley has been forced to refinance Neil Jordan's Renaissance epic Borgia after failing to agree a budget figure with US-based sales agent Myriad Pictures.Woolley said he was still confident that shooting will go ahead later this year despite the rupture with Myriad on the eve of the planned shoot at Babelsberg Studios in Germany and Italy. "We could not agree a financing figure so we agreed to go our separate ways," said Woolley. "We are now in the p
  • Brazil changes Spider-Man rating in response to public outcry

    Sony Pictures' money-spinning Spider-Man is gathering an extra bit of mileage in Brazil thanks to a change in the film's classification during its first week on release in the South American nation. The film, which was released May 17 through Columbia-TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI) on an unprecedented 507 prints, earned a record-breaking US$3.1m (Reals 7.9m) in its opening weekend.On May 24, Brazil Ministry of Justice, which is in charge of film rating, adjusted
  • Buena Vista Spain adds two more co-production projects

    Buena Vista International Spain (BVIS), which last autumn announced its full-fledged entry into local feature film co-production, has added two more titles to its slate: Cat Kisses (Besos De Gato) and Hold-Up At 3... Thirty (Atraco A Las 3... Y Media). Rafael Alcazar directs the Euros 2m Kisses, a co-production with Blue Legend set to begin shooting June 24. Up-and-coming TV actress Leticia Dolera stars across Juanjo Puigcorbe (Amnesia) in the story of a fat
  • Columbia said to be heading for Kirch bid

    A consortium of Germany's Commerzbank, the Rhineland-based WAZ publishing group and US major Columbia TriStar could be setting its sights on the assets of debt-ridden KirchMedia.According to news magazine Der Spiegel representatives of the three companies attended a presentation of a preliminary evaluation of KirchMedia by the Roland Berger management consultancy. While KirchMedia managing director Hans-Joachim Ziems would not be drawn on the composition of the consortium, he co
  • Couture fashions seamless Canal Plus revolution

    Xavier Couture, who was plucked in dramatic circumstances in April from TF1 to head Canal Plus, has unveiled a management team that boasts only modest changes, but shorter lines of communication.Despite Couture's TF1 background, there are no appointments from other broadcasters and most new faces come from within the Vivendi Universal group. On Canal Plus' internal TV network he is reported to have said: "I do not want to overturn the organisation of the group."But he outlined a
  • Cowboy picks up North American rights to Sinclair's Toy Love

    New York-based Cowboy Pictures has acquired North American rights to Toy Love, the comedy from hot New Zealand director Harry Sinclair, which had its market premiere at Cannes. John Vanco of Cowboy negotiated the deal with Kathleen Drumm of the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) at Cannes and plans to open it domestically in spring 2003.The film stars newcomer Dean O'Gorman and Kate Elliott in a screwball comedy about young attractive people looking for love and passion."
  • Danish Film Institute backs foreign-language co-productions

    Two new foreign-language projects have tapped the Danish Film Institute's under-exploited funds. The two, both co-produced with Zentropa, are eligible for DFI support with a local minority co-production partner on board.Holland's Els Vandevorst will produce Sea Of Silence for her Isabella Films to be directed by the Oscar-nominated Belgian Stijn Coninx (Daëns), based on a script by Jacqueline Epskamp. Zentropa's Lene Boerglum and Kaare Schmidt act as co-producers, ju
  • De Niro quip gives birth to Siberian film festival

    While most people would consider a resort like Cannes or Venice as the ideal location for a major festival, the organisers of a new film festival - to be held mid-winter in Siberia - are hoping to turn that concept on its head.The new Spirit Of Fire competitive film festival will take place 26 January to 2 February 2003, in the heart of Siberia and its organisers have promised to keep guests warm with traditional Siberian hospitality - and plenty of Russian vodka.Organised by t
  • Distant Horizon takes world rights to Promised Land

    Anant Singh's Distant Horizon has picked up world rights to Promised Land, the directorial debut of Jason Xenopolous.The South African film is a drama about one man's journey to find truth and a nation's struggle to hide it. It stars Nick Boraine, Yvonne van den Bergh, Daniel Browde and Ian Roberts. It was produced by Film Afrika's David Wicht and Khulisa Productions' Moyneen Lee.'The film represents a new breed of talent that is emerging in South Africa and we are commit
  • Divine Secrets comes second to Sum Of All Fears

    The Sum of All Fears held on to top spot over the weekend with an estimated $18.7m gross that sees the Paramount thriller sitting pretty on a ten-day total of $61.8m. The new Warner Brothers comedy-drama Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood took second place on $16.4m, while those noble warriors Star Wars and Spider-Man started to show their age as they fell to third and fifth places respectively. The only other top ten opener, the buddy thriller Bad Company
  • DTS renews credit line from Comerica

    Comerica Entertainment Group, the entertainment lending subsidiary of Comerica Bank-California, has struck a new two year revolving line of credit facility with digital audio technology outfit DTS (Digital Theater Systems Inc), a client since 1997. Comerica has also increased the company's borrowing power from $7.5m to $10m.A pioneer in multi-channel audio, DTS is featured on more than 20,000 cinema screens worldwide; in home theater, car audio, PC and game console products, as well as
  • E Pictures adds Euro-Asian thriller One For The King

    E Pictures, the Korean sales house that was set up a year ago, is launching a new big-budget picture from Zenith Entertainment, the production outfit behind last year's $25m blockbuster My Boss, My Hero. The picture Four For The King: Code Paris is an Asian action suspense thriller with European elements. A team of professional thieves have targeted France's National Library and decide to go ahead with a daring burglary despite knowledge that the police are tracking their
  • Filmalbatros spreads its wings

    Filmalbatros, the outfit set up for Italian director Marco Bellocchio's competition film The Hour Of Religion (L'Ora Di Religione), is branching out for a wider production slate.The company was established a year ago as a joint venture between Bellocchio and Sergio Pelone's company Bottom Line and is now extending into third party production. The company has optioned a Nikolas Mutschlechnev and Marie Giaramidaro script adapted from the opera The Translator (Il Tradutto
  • Fortissimo strikes slew of sales on Cannes market slate

    Fortissimo Film sales has completed a clutch of sales on its Cannes market slate. Thai director Danny Pang's The Eye was sold to Europa Corp for France, Deaplaneta for Spain, Fu Works for Benelux and AudioVisual for Greece.Peter Pau's The Touch, starring and produced by Cannes jury member Michelle Yeoh was sold to Italia Film for the Middle East and Central Partnership for Russia. Deepa Metha's Bollywood Hollywood went to Gil for Israel, AudioVisual for Gre
  • Fund veteran Marco Mehlitz named COO at Cinerenta

    Marco Mehlitz, the former head of production at VIF International Films, has been named chief operating officer of German production fund Cinerenta. He will be responsible for sourcing projects to be produced by Cinerenta and overseeing the projects alongside Michael Ohoven, CEO of LA-based Infinity International Entertainment, the US consultant for Cinerenta.Mehlitz will also use Infinity, which is owned and run by Michael Ohoven, to identify US-based film properties and continue prod
  • German media funds defend accusation of US bias

    The newly created interest group for Germany's media funds, Verband Deutscher Medienfonds (VDM) has responded to criticism from Culture Minister Julian Nida-Ruemelin and film industry figures that monies raised by the funds flow wholesale into US major studio productions.High-profile US productions that have tapped German equity funds include: The Fast And The Furious, Shallow Hal and the forthcoming The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen.However, citing the example
  • Germany's DVD sell-through market leaps 79%

    Germany's DVD sell-through market has leaped 79% in the first quarter, over 2001, helping to boost overall turnover in the national video industry by 25.5% to $332.2m in the first three months of 2002.Statistics compiled by GfK for the trade association Bundesverband Video (BVV) show that the video/DVD sell-through sector saw growth of 35.9% from last year's $171.9m to $223.5m, while DVD alone posted a 78.9% increase year-on-year from $78.7m to $141m. Sales of VHS cassettes, meanwhile
  • Gilles Jacob joins Canal Plus Group board

    Cannes festival chief Gilles Jacob has joined the supervisory board of Canal Plus Group in a management reshuffle that reflects the agreed sale of Italian pay-TV operator Telepiu to News Corp. Eric Licoys, Vivendi Universal number two, takes over the presidency of the supervisory board - on which Vivendi chief executive Jean-Marie Messier continues to sit - and Jean-Francois Dubos, Vivendi's general secretary. In a statement Canal Plus' parent Vivendi Universal said that the app
  • Good Spanish opening doesn't mean Snipes' drama will be undisputed hit

    Wesley Snipes latest film Undisputed received its debut this week in Spain, four months prior to its US launch. However, just how the film will perform internationally is hard to gauge as despite achieving a second-placed chart position in Spain, behind Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones, the figures do not necessarily paint as positive a picture.With a weekend gross of $365,253 (Euros 390,821) from 207 screens, the Filmax-distributed title managed only a
  • Graham Bradstreet's Montage merges with Viastar

    In a deal concluded at Cannes last month, Graham Bradstreet's Montage Media & Capital has merged with publicly traded Viastar Holdings VISH and Bradstreet has been appointed chairman of the new group.Viastar, which is run by CEO George Malasek, is an outfit dedicated to developing portfolio companies in the media and entertainment fields and plans to create operating companies in areas such as film finance, production and communication and marketing.Montage is a media financing
  • Highlight takes German-speaking rights for Tadpole

    Highlight Communications, the Swiss-based distributor and licensor, has picked up German-speaking rights to Tadpole, a low-budget coming of age drama directed by Gary Winick.The sale was the only one to Germany that Miramax agreed during Cannes. "We have seen everyone, but the offers are just too low," said Miramax International chief Rick Sands during the festival. "They stepped up to the plate and the deal was done right at the end of the market," a Miramax spokesperson since
  • Holmes, Euston Films partner for The Farmer Wants A Wife

    Shooting Fish and Waking Ned producer Richard Holmes has partnered with Euston Films, the reincarnation of UK broadcaster Thames Television's film division, to co-produce $10m romantic comedy The Farmer Wants A Wife. The true story of a campaign to find wives for lonely farmers marks Euston's first step in a drive to remake successful Thames TV properties into films. The project started life as a hit documentary series about County Living Magazine's annual lonely h
  • IN-motion hangs on to Neuer Markt listing

    International media company IN-motion will remain listed on Frankfurt's Neuer Markt exchange after an arbitration panel ruled against the Deutsche Boerse's plans to delist itThis development comes less than a week after IN-motion announced sales of Euros 46.91m and a consolidated net loss of Euros 7.71m for the first six months of its 2001/2002 financial year to March 31. In a statement, the Frankfurt-based group said, 'as expected', it would 'show a negative result in the curre
  • Intertainer launches European broadband VOD co

    Jonathan Taplin's US broadband video-on-demand (VOD) venture Intertainer has teamed up with Italian new media giant Freedomland to launch an Internet Protocol (IP) VOD service for broadband customers throughout Europe. As part of the deal, Freedomland has made an equity investment of E10 million in Intertainer in return for a minority stake in the company.The joint venture, to be named Intertainer Europe, will be modeled on Intertainer's existing US broadband VOD service, and will feat
  • Ireland's Film Fleadh shows international flair

    Ireland's 14th Galway Film Fleadh from July 9 to 14 will host an actors' masterclass and public interview with Irish American actor Aidan Quinn. Quinn, who is in Ireland for two films - TV project Dark Eagle (previously titled Benedict Arnold), and Song For A Raggy Boy, scheduled for a July 1st start - will be joined in Galway by his noted cinematographer brother Declan.Declan Quinn will give a cinematography masterclass at the Fleadh, while he is rumoured to be r
  • Italy's Adriana Chiesa seals Cannes deals

    Italian seller Adriana Chiesa Enterprises (ACE) had a busy Cannes.On its Directors' Fortnight film Angela it sold a package of Japanese and European rights to France's MK2. The film is the story of a Mafiosa woman who is emotionally torn between her husband and a man she takes to be a cop. She is buffeted and torn in a world where the rules are all made by men. Angela was produced by Rita Rusic Company and Movieweb and is released in Italy through Lucky Red. The f
  • Karanovic shoots Loving Glances at F.A.M.E.

    Belgrade-based director Srdjan Karanovic's new picture Loving Glances, which gets underway next month, is the latest addition to the burgeoning slate of Film & Media Entertainment (F&ME).The romantic comedy, set among the former Yugoslavia's displaced communities, is Karanovic's first since Virdjina - A Kind Of Woman ten years ago. 'After a whole and very necessary series of very worthy and occasionally po-faced international co-productions from the region we want
  • Karlovy Vary names first festival jury members

    The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival has announced the names of six members of the grand jury for the main competition, including Pulitzer-Prize-winning American film critic Roger Ebert.The festival, which takes place in the Czech spa town of Karlovy Vary on July 4-13, announced that Czech director of photography Jan Malir (Divided We Fall, Cosy Dens, Big Beat, The Jester And The Queen) will also serve on the jury, as will German actress Bibiana Beglau (Birthday, Lege
  • Kino takes North American rights to restored Metropolis

    New York-based arthouse distributor Kino International has licensed North American distribution rights to the digitally restored 35mm presentation of Fritz Lang's 1927 silent masterpiece Metropolis from Munich-based Transit Films. The film will premiere in New York on July 12, followed by a national expansion.Not to be confused with the 1984 restoration with a new score by Giorgio Moroder, this new version of Metropolis includes additionally intertitles, recovered shots a
  • Korea's Beautiful Mari wins Annecy animation festival

    South Korean feature My Beautiful Girl, Mari (pictured) was awarded the Grand Prix for best animated feature at the 26th Annecy International Animated Film Festival, which drew to a close on June 8. The prize for best animated short film was awarded to Barcode, directed by Adriaan Lokman of the Netherlands.A total of 500 films from 33 countries were presented, with a further 950 companies from 55 countries attending the market, which runs parallel to the festival. With mo
  • Langhelle reveives Norway's prestigious Aamot Award

    The coveted Aamot Award, given by Norway's film distribution professionals and theatre managers, has been bestowed on local actor Joergen Langhelle for his contribution to Norwegian film. The prize has existed since 1959 and is considered to be the finest, as it for some 30 years was the only major cinema award in Norway. Langhelle has in recent years been active on both stage and screen, following his breakthrough in Liv Ullmann's historic drama Kristin Lavransdatter in 1995. F
  • Lew Wasserman 1913-2002

    Hollywood was paying tribute yesterday to the last great movie mogul Lew Wasserman, who died at the age of 89 on Sunday in Los Angeles. The patriarch of Universal Studios - or MCA/Universal as it was in his day - who ate lunch at his usual table on the lot years after he had quit the day-to-day running of the studio, Wasserman was a beloved figure in the entertainment community whose long reign saw the embrace of television, the emergence of the blockbuster and the arrival of foreign conglome
  • Locarno announces two new prizes for expanded festival

    Sydney Pollack will be awarded a Leopard Of Honour at this year's expanded Locarno festival, while Portuguese-French-based producer Paulo Branco will be given the inaugural Raimondo Rezzonico prize for best independent producer.The new awards were announced by festival director Irene Bignardi, who detailed the practical impact of Locarno's changed status within FIAPF. The festival (Aug 1-11) has given up its new talent discovery role in favour of a more generalist mandate. Its main pri
  • Mama, Look! gets attention at Mediawave festival

    British director Grant Thobur's production Mama, Look! was awarded the Grand Prize at this year's Mediawave International Festival of Visual Arts in Gyor, Hungary. Dutch films were also very successful at Mediawave 2002 receiving the awards for Best Dance Film and Best Experimental Film. In the documentary category, Russian films proved to be the most popular with the jury, taking the Special Documentary Award as well as the prize for the Best Documentary. The fest
  • Man Without A Past sells internationally for Bavaria

    In what was described as a "substantial deal" on the eve of its main competition screening Aki Kaurismaki's The Man Without A Past was sold to BIM Distribuzione for Italy. The film is now handled by Bavaria Film International, having previously been sold by Orfeo/Christa Saredi.Previous sales include Filmcoopi for Switzerland, Shapira Films for Israel and Prooptiki for Greece. Bavaria reports strong interest and firm offers from Spain, the UK and Japan.Bavaria, which has
  • MEDIA programme aids 29 festivals

    Film festivals held in Giffoni, Oberhausen, Bergamo, La Rochelle, Dresden, Tampere and Pesaro are among 29 events throughout Europe which have been supported with a total of Euro623,000 by the European Union's MEDIA Plus Programme in its latest round of funding for festivals.Separately, in response to its call for proposals for festival groupings, MEDIA Plus has awarded a total of Euros470,000 to the European Co-ordination of Film Festivals and to the European Fantasy Film Federation.
  • Medusa busy as Italian distributors unveil autumn slates

    Medusa, Silvio Berlusconi's Rome distribution powerhouse, has unveiled a bumper slate of new releases including James Foley's crime drama Confidence and Lars Von Trier's widely anticipated Dogville.Medusa is also set to release several of the year's most eagerly awaited pictures, ranging from Roberto Benigni's Pinocchio, to comic blockbuster trio Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo's upcoming Christmas movie as well as the next Lord Of The Rings instalment and Gabrie
  • New Spanish distributor Indisa braves choppy market

    Former Filmax executive Alberto del Val is braving the difficult conditions facing the Spanish distribution sector and has launched a new releasing outfit, Indisa. The new company aims to handle up to ten local, European and international pictures a year.Spain's distributors have been hit by cutbacks by free and pay-TV broadcasters and even the most established outfits have been forced into retreat. Del Val is keeping fairly quiet about Indisa's backers, which he says include "a
  • New Zealand film awards cancelled due to lack of films

    While New Zealand's filmmaking profile is at an all-time high because of the worldwide success of The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring, The New Zealand Herald reports that the local film awards will not be going ahead this year because of a shortage of films. Three films slated to be included ground to a halt when Kahukura Productions went into liquidation last week, but in such a small filmmaking community, this is not the first year that the awards have been postponed
  • News Corp to be Italy's pay-TV king following Vivendi deal

    News Corp is set to become the sole pay-TV operator in Italy following an agreement to buy Telepiu from Vivendi Universal's Canal Plus division for up to Euros1.5bn.The deal, agreed in London this weekend, is expected to mean Telepiu will be merged with Stream, the smaller pay-operator that News Corp previously bought. That would eliminate costly battles for subscribers and reduce pressure to bid up sports and film rights.Like previous attempts to bring the two platforms togethe
  • News Corp's Fortune Star unveils first projects

    Fortune Star, the new production company housed at News Corp's Star TV group, has unveiled its first projects made for the ancillary markets."I don't expect to unveil our theatrical slate until much nearer Mifed," said Fortune Star general manager Peter Poon. "We refuse to produce the kind of low budget pictures made on a marketing whim that are out of date by the films are released. Rather, we want to make the kind of quality films that necessitate a longer development phase and are w
  • Nicole Guillemet gets top job at Miami Film Festival

    Nicole Guillemet, the former co-director of the Sundance Film Festival who left Sundance early this year, has landed in Florida as the new director of the Miami Film Festival.Scheduled to start her new job on July 15, Guillemet is charged with revitalizing an event which last year suffered a drop in ticket sales and public criticism as a result of 'organizational difficulties.' A new initiative to turn around the fortunes of the festival was launched by the MFF parent group Florida Int
  • Pathe, FilmFour in holy alliance for Bulletproof Monk

    In a high profile move that underlines the growing co-operation between the two companies, Pathe Distribution and FilmFour have picked up UK rights to Bulletproof Monk. In another deal begun at Cannes, Filmax confirmed that it is to handle Spanish rights to the picture. The $55m action-adventure is the first to emerge from Signpost Films, the new production and distribution stable headed by Stewart Till. It is directed by commercials and video-clip director Paul Hunter and stars
  • Piano Teacher is cleared for release in Singapore

    The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste), which scooped a trio of prizes at last year's Cannes festival, has finally been cleared for release in censorious Singapore.The film, produced and sold internationally by France's MK2, is a study of sexual desperation and involves scenes of frenzied grappling and female self-mutilation. But the scene that most irked the Singaporean censors, was one where the heroine visits a peep show. After some nine months of negotiation, the Board of Film Cens
  • Polley, Rea, Perabo join cast of The I Inside

    Stephen Rea, Sarah Polley, Stephen Lang and Piper Perabo have joined Ryan Phillippe in the cast of Roland Suso Richter's UK-set thriller The I Inside which is being financed by Los Angeles-based sales and financing company MDP Worldwide. The film started shooting on Friday in the UK.Based on Michael Cooney's mystery play Point Of Death, The I Inside is the story of a man who wakes up in hospital with amnesia after a near-death experience, then discovers that he has
  • Portman, Hoffman, Ribisi, Gleeson to climb Cold Mountain

    The glittering cast of Anthony Minghella's upcoming epic Cold Mountain is taking shape, with the addition of Natalie Portman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Giovanni Ribisi and Brendan Gleeson this week. Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger play the three lead roles in the film, which is a co-production between Miramax Films and MGM Pictures. Shooting is scheduled to begin this summer.Based on the bestselling Civil War novel by Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain tells the sto
  • RTL Belgium signs BVI output deal

    RTL-TVI, the Belgian free-TV broadcaster controlled by RTL, has struck a multi-year supply deal with Buena Vista International Television (BVI-TV).The deal covers recent and current feature films such as Pearl Harbor and 102 Dalmatians as well as live action series including Alias. RTL will also create a two-hour slot branded Disney ClubThe deal was announced by BVI-TV's senior vice president Doug Miller and RTL-TVI's Jean-Paul Delcomminette and negotiated by BVI-TV's Florent Ga
  • RTL closes in on Warner Bros German package

    The KirchGroup's arch rival RTL Television is in talks with Warner Bros to sign a $200m film package spanning such titles as The Matrix, The Lord Of The Rings, Ocean's Eleven and Harry Potter.According to the daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the deal will allow RTL seven screenings of each film and allow them also to be carried on sister channel Vox.The destination of the Warner package had been unclear following the decision last November by Warner Bro
  • Ruiz, Clark to get first Backup assistance

    A project by Raoul Ruiz and another executive produced by Larry Clark are the first pictures to be assisted by one of Europe's newest producer's representatives Backup Films.The company, founded earlier this year, sees itself as a financial specialist that can put together packages of funding solutions on behalf of creative producers. Producer's reps are relatively scarce in Europe compared with the US where they are a common feature of the film-making landscape."So many countri
  • Sam Neill's next role is acting as investor

    Actor Sam Neill will be putting more effort than usual into his next film role - as well as starring in Gaylene Preston's romantic thriller Perfect Strangers, Neill is also an investor through his Huntaway Productions Neill's partners in Huntaway - the New Zealand production company that he set up in 2000 - are Australian-based comedian John Clarke and New Zealand-based lawyer Jay Cassells, who gets an associate producer credit on the film alongside producers Preston and Robin
  • Searching For Debra Winger (Hladanie)

    Dir: Rosanna Arquette. US. 2001. 97mins. Special ScreeningBilled as a "Rosanna Arquette Experience", this documentary portrait of the pressures faced by actresses in the film business is modestly described by its first-time director as "like a home movie. Very simple'. She's right: with its from-the-hip camerawork, some shot by Arquette herself with a home camcorder, rough-and-ready technical quality and some undisciplined editing, the result is as rambling, indulgent and, on
  • South Africa's Mbalo happy with NFVF progress

    'Big strides have been made over the three years of the NFVF's existence,' said an upbeat Eddie Mbalo, chief executive of South Africa's National Film & Video Foundation for the last year.'We were originally conceived as a funding body, but now see ourselves in a much wider role, responsible for helping the local industry and for attracting incoming international films.' The NFVF has seen its budget for the current year boosted by 50% to $1.8m (R18m) from $1.2m and has begun gr
  • Spain's Alquimia pacts with France's Fidelite for co-productions

    Spain's Alquimia Cinema and France's Fidelite Productions have signed a two-picture co-production deal likely to be expanded to include two further forthcoming titles. Included in the deal are Alquimia's Euros 6m Utopia, a thriller from director Maria Ripoll (Tortilla Soup), and Fidelite's $6m Cronique Des Anees De Baist, a chronicle of the end of France's 1970's porn industry from director Francois Cognard. The other two films still in talks are Alquimia's
  • Svensk Filmindustri boards Bergman's Saraband

    Svensk Filmindustri (SF) has boarded legendary Swedish director Ingmar Bergman's new picture Saraband. The film, previously titled Anna, is a long-delayed sequel to Bergman's classic 1973 drama Scenes From A Marriage. Marainne decides to contact her ex-husband Johan after many years of estrangement, they rekindle an autumnal romance, but both are haunted by the lost presence of Anna, a young woman no love can bring back.Bergman has reunited Liv Ullman, Erlan
  • Tavernier's latest finds safe passage in US with Empire

    Empire Pictures, the NewYork-based art-house distributor that released Patrice Chereau'sBerlinale Golden Bear-winner Intimacy unrated in the US last year, has acquired American rights to anotherBerlin Film Festival award-winning French title, Bertrand Tavernier's Laissez-Passer.The deal was confirmedlast week by Empire Pictures president Edmondo Schwartz and John Kochman,director of international sales at StudioCanal, which is handlin
  • Telecinco quits Spain's Pay-TV platforms

    Spanish free-to-air broadcaster Telecinco is to remove its signal from both of Spain's digital satellite TV platforms, Via Digital and Canal Satelite Digital (CSD).Telecinco said the move was motivated by non-inclusion of its screenings from the digital platforms in audience ratings data compiled by Sofres. This "impedes the channel from adding the ratings to its registers from analogue broadcasts, despite the fact that Telecinco is one of the most watched channels on both Via Digital
  • Ten Minutes Older - The Trumpet

    Dirs: Werner Herzog, Jim Jarmusch, Chen Kaige, Aki Kaurismaki, Spike Lee, Victor Erice, Wim Wenders. 2002. 92 mins. There are enormous advantages to the short-film format. It allows directors a creative freedom rarely enjoyed these days by even the most bankable names. For the audience, it offers a chance to see top directors flexing their muscles in a genre that's normally a training ground for inexperienced talent, even though its technical challenges are actually just as g
  • The Sum Of All Fears

    Dir: Phil Alden Robinson. US. 2002. 124 mins. It's not the efficiently staged action that stands out in the fourth movie adapted from Tom Clancy's series of best-selling Jack Ryan political thriller novels. Nor even the debut of Ben Affleck as a younger, sexier incarnation of CIA stalwart Ryan. Rather, it's the now doubly chilling moment in the film - shot months before the events of September 11 - when a nuclear bomb planted by foreign terrorists goes off at the Super Bowl,
  • The UK's PIRS to become Producers Rights Agency

    The UK's Producers Industrial Relations Services (PIRS) is changing its name to Producers Rights Agency (PRA) with effect from June 10.The PRA is jointly owned by PACT and ITV and represents UK Television and Film producers in dealings with rights owners, performers and creators organisations, and government.Chief executive, Andrew Chowns said: "In essence we help producers maximise the value of their rights. The new name is a more accurate reflection of the scope of work of th
  • Toronto appoints new programmers, promotes Free

    The Toronto International Film Festival has appointed two new programmers for its 27th outing and promoted press office veteran Gabrielle Free to replace outgoing director of media and public relations Nuria Bronfman.Joining the programming team are Diana Sanchez, who will select Spanish-language and Latin American films, and Jane Schoettle, who will include international programming along with her duties as director of TIFF's children's film festival Sprockets.Barcelona-based S
  • UK openers affect but can't dethrone Episode II

    Two major openers made a huge dent in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones' UK box office this weekend but failed to dethrone the blockbuster.UIP's Josh Hartnett vehicle, 40 Days And 40 Nights, scored best of this week's openers with $1.5m (£1.03m) from 324 sites. With a strong average of $4,644 per sight the comedy, which also features Shannyn Sossamon and Griffin Dunne, landed second position in the chart.Just behind 40 Days in third was Warner Bros'
  • UK's Channel 4 mulls FilmFour options

    UK broadcaster Channel 4 is in talks to bring in a partner for its loss-making film arm FilmFour, chief executive Mark Thompson said on Wednesday.The statement came after reports in the local press said the broadcaster had already decided to make significant cuts at the film operation, which has suffered high-profile disappointments such as Charlotte Gray and Lucky Break. Thompson aims to find a partner instead of cuts, but is impatient to close a deal after some six mont
  • US runaway productions in decline

    The number of so-called runaway productions from the US to Canada is decreasing, according to a report by the Center for Entertainment Industry Data and Research (CEIDR). The 2001 Production Report, which focuses on "theatrical-length motion pictures released in US theatres", indicates that of 158 films in its 2001 study, 39 films or 25% were shot in Canada in comparison with the 37 of 145 films, or 26%, shot in 2000. The report suggests this dip is not a trend but an aberration
  • Worldwide film spending predicted to jump by $20bn by 2006

    Global spending on filmedentertainment will expand at a promising 5.7 percent compound annual growthrate over the next five years, increasing from $59bn in 2001 to $79bn in 2006,predicts PricewaterhouseCoopers as part of its latest five-year outlook reporton the worldwide media and entertainment sector.Fueling that growth willbe strong box office receipts, the expansion of local productions and thecontinued boost that DVDs will offer the home video