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10 June 2008

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  • Adulthood

    Dir/scr Noel Clarke.UK. 2008. 103 mins
  • Agreement signed to support German and Irish collaboration

    North Rhine-Westphalia's regional film fund Filmstiftung NRW and the Irish Film Board have signed a cooperation agreement to support producers working together on feature films and documentaries.An agreement based on reciprocity was signed in Cologne on Monday afternoon during this year's Medienforum NRW conference by the Irish Film Board's CEO Simon Perry and his opposite number at Filmstiftung NRW Michael Schmid-Ospach.The goal is to 'intensify the cultural and economic collab
  • Asia Culture Technology Investment launches $15m content fund

    Korean venture capital firm Asia Culture Technology Investment (ACTI) has completed a $15m fund for films, TV drama series, performing arts, animation, and games. In what is being called a first for a city council investing such a significant sum in a fund, Busan Metropolitan City is participating with $2m, while Busan Bank is putting in $1m.Busan City Council stated they expect the fund to help Busan reach its goal of becoming the media hub of Asia, bringing in location shoots and
  • Briana Evigan signs to star in Sobini's thriller Burning Bright

    Step Up 2: The Streets lead Briana Evigan has signed to star in the thriller Burning Bright from Mark Amin's Sobini Films, which has a first-look deal with Lionsgate.Carlos Brooks, whose drama Quid Pro Quo starring Nick Stahl and Vera Farmiga opens this week through Magnolia Pictures, will direct and principal photography is set to begin on July 14 in Florida.
  • Bruno wins HBO Documentary/Film Independent fellowship

    Bruce Dern is among the Fellows and their projects selected by Film Independent for its 6th annual Fast Track film financing initiative.Fast Track connects participants with financiers, production companies and industry professionals during the Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF), which takes place from June 19 - 29.Film Independent also announced that the inaugural HBO Documentary Film/Film Independent Fellowship and a $10,000 production grant will go to Christian Bruno, wh
  • Carrie Bradshaw kicks Indiana Jones off international perch

    Sex continued to sell overseas as New Line's hit adaptation Sex And The City booted PPI's Indiana Jones and Kung Fu Panda into second and third place, respectively.The comedy saga about four Manhattan women added an estimated $38.1m fro
  • Cecchi Gori arrested in Rome in ongoing legal battles

    Oscar-winning film producer Vittorio Cecchi Gori whose credits include Life is Beautiful and Cinema Paradiso is behind bars in at Rome's Regina Coeli prison after he was arrested late in the afternoon Tuesday as he returned to his Palazzo Borghese residence in the center of Rome.A spokesperson for Cecchi Gori told they were totally 'stunned' by the unexpected arrest but said he could not elaborate on the motive, except to say the producer was
  • China's Chengtian buys controlling stake in Golden Harvest

    Mainland China's Chengtian Entertainment Group has picked up a 55.9% majority stake in Hong Kong's Golden Harvest Group.Beijing-based Chengtian previously secured its place as the largest single shareholder in the Hong Kong entertainment group last November. The latest series of deals took Chengtian's 19.7% stake in Golden Harvest to 55.9%.Chengtian is one of the fastest growing entertainment conglomerates in China. Founded in 2004 by telecom entrepreneur Wu Kebo, it is currentl
  • Classic animationGhost In The Shell gets digital overhaul,re-release

    Following a complete digital overhaul, Japanese director Mamoru Oshii's influential 1995 animation classic Ghost In The Shell is set for local re-release on July 12, Production I.G announced today. Although story elements remain unchanged, the new version takes advantage of recent technologies to incorporate 3D CG, add new digital effects and create more detailed backgrounds throughout the film.The soundtrack has also been redesigned in Dolby 6.1, with regular Oshii collabor
  • Constantin dances with Step Up 3-D; Ascot takes Revolver

    Constantin Film has secured the German-speaking rights toStep Up 3-D from Summit Entertainment after successfully releasing StepUp (over 620,000 admissions in Germany) and Step Up 2 The Streets (over900,000).The dance sequel is again being produced by Summit with TouchstonePictures, anf Offspring Entertainment and will be directed by
  • Czech government rejects tax incentive for filmmakers

    The Czech government has rejected a proposal to create a tax rebate for filmmaking, saying such an incentive would create special, beneficial tax conditions to a single industry.The proposal would have offered a 20% tax rebate on producers' Czech spend and would have allowed the government to specify what costs would be covered.Ludmila Claussova, director of the Czech Film Commission, was disappointed by the news, pointing out that the Czech Republic was at a disadvantage to oth
  • Danny Huston to lead Edinburgh's Michael Powell jury

    The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), which kicks off its edition in June on the 18th, has announced the jury for the Michael Powell Award for best British film and the PPG Award for best performance in a British feature film.Actor Danny Huston will head the jury (he also stars in festival selection The Kreutzer Sonata). Other jury members will be producer Sigurjon Sighvatsson (Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait), author Scarlett Thomas (The End Of Mr Y
  • Diving Bell writer Harwood joins Screenwriters Festival

    The Screenwriters' Festival (July 1-3) continues to add high-profile speakes to its line-up. New to the programme is novelist/playwright/screenwriter Ronald Harwood, who will interviewed onstage by psychiatrist Raj Persaud. Harwood has worked on screenplays for Roman Polanski's The Pianist and Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell And The Butterfly.This presentation, sponsored by the UK Film Council, will touch on topics such as how a writer can break down internal walls
  • Don Cheadle to receive LAFF's Spirit Of Independence Award

    Don Cheadle will receive the Los Angeles Film Festival's (LAFF) Spirit Of Independence Award for his 'outstanding work and contributions to the film industry' at the awards ceremony on June 29.The inaugural Spirit Of Independence Award went to George Clooney in 2005 and only Charlize Theron and Clint Eastwood have received the honour since then.Cheadle earned an Oscar nomination for Hotel Rwanda and has starred in
  • Ealing's Cannes deals include Dorian Gray to Alliance Films

    Ealing Studios International has reported a number of deals closed during Cannes Market.Oliver Parker's Dorian Gray, which was announced during Cannes, has been sold to Alliance Films for Canada, the UK, Spain, Italy and Scandinavia (releases will be handled by respective subsidiaries Alliance, Momentum and Aurum and partners Eagle and Scanbox).Also, the project sold to Germany (Concorde), Australia and New Zealand (Village Roadshow), Greece (Odeon), and Poland (Best).
  • Edinburgh increases industry offerings

    The Edinburgh International Film Festival is ramping up its industry events this year, with a record number planned June 20-27. The festival runs June 18-29.The industry initiatives are helped by the festival's new three-year, $4m backing from the UK Film Council.Panels will discuss how to survive as an independent producer, the producer/writer relatoinship (with Jeremy Brock and Duncan Kenworthy), how to make the most of a film festival, digital rights, piracy, VOD, micro-budge
  • EEAP acquires Saw 5, new Schweiger comedy

    Berlin-based EEAP has secured Eastern European rights to Saw 5, the latest edition of the horror franchise, the Hilary Swank-starrer Betty Ann Waters, and Mike Judge's comedy Extract starring Jason Bateman.This is in addition to previously announced deals in Cannes for Last Chance Harvey, Traitor, and Love N'Dancing, among others.Meanwhile, EEAP continues its close and successful collaboration with Til Schweiger and Tom Zickler's prod
  • EON Screenwriters Workshop signs up four new films

    The EON Screenwriters' Workshop (ESW), the initiative set up last year by James Bond production company EON Productions, has announced details of four new projects with new feature film writers.Christopher Hill's teen comedy Rules of the Game is about three teenage videogame designers who get the chance to go to America to preview their new game which they think will make their fortunes. Once in America, they are robbed of their design and thei
  • European Commission consults on global entertainment industry plans

    The European Commission is to hold a public hearing to explore ideas for a global programme to promote the European audiovisual industry.The programme would involve cooperation, for mutual benefit, with so called 'third countries' outside of the EU and represent a firm commitment in European audiovisual policy to engaging with global partners. The working title for this possible new programme is MEDIA MUNDUS.The hearing will provide a platform for debate and input on the potenti
  • European Commission studies VoD changes for 2009

    The European Commission is considering the methods it will use to monitor Video on Demand (VoD) content when the new Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) is introduced in 2009.Specifically, it is looking at ways to monitor how European content is promoted by VoD services.Possible criteria could include:financial contributions to the production and rights acquisition of European works the actual number of European programmes viewed on VoD services
  • Focus: Europe's drive for digital change

    'Digital convergence is coming of age.'That's the view of EU Commissioner for the Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding (pictured below), who claims 'it is now possible to distribute online content on a mass market scale'.And in a great many areas of new media development, it is fair to say that the digital age has already arrived.Historically, the film industry has been driven in part by technological change, evolving to embrace challenges and opportunities in eq
  • German distributors announce Cannes sales

    German distributors Kool Filmdistribution, Arsenal Filmverleih and Piffl Medien have unveiled a number of deals concluded during at the Cannes Film Festival.Freiburg-based Kool Filmdistribution acquired German rights to Belgian actor-director Bouli Lanners' tragicomic roadmovie Eldorado, which screened in the Directors' Fortnight and won the Europa Cinemas label for Best European Film.In addition, another film starring Bouli Lanners, Gustave Kervern and Benoit Delepine'
  • Greetings From The Shore wins Staten Island Film Festival

    Greg Chwerchak's opening night drama Greetings From The Shore won best feature at Staten Island's SINY Film Festival and star Kim Shaw was named best actress as the event came to a close at the weekend.Anthony Tarsitano was named best director for Calling It Quits and star Dennis Boutsakaris took home best actor honours.Best comedic feature went to Michael Guerra's
  • here! Films acquires domestic rights to Cthulhu, Antarctica

    here! Films has acquired North American rights to the occult thriller Cthulhu and worldwide rights to gay-themed Israeli romantic comedy Antarctica. Sister company Regent Releasing will release both titles in the US later this year.Cthulhu is adapted from HP Lovecraft's novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth and re-imagines the
  • Icon takes UK rights forKen Loach's Looking For Eric

    Icon Film Distribution has acquired UK theatrical and home entertainment rights to Ken Loach's new feature, Looking For Eric, shooting now on location in Manchester.Wild Bunch is selling the film, which came about through a series of conversations between Loach, writer Paul Laverty, footballer Eric Cantona and producer Rebecca O'Brien. The project is 'inspired by the foot-balling genius of Eric Cantona and his very special relationship with all who love football.'The st
  • IFP selects 11 narrative projects for Filmmaker Lab

    IFP has selected the 11 narrative feature projects for the Independent Filmmaker Lab support programme set to run from June 10-13.Narrative Lab participants will also be eligible for the Independent Filmmaker Finishing Grant, a new $50,000 annual award courtesy of an anonymous donation.The juried award will be presented at the Independent Filmmaker Awards ceremony during IFP's Independent Film Week in September, when excerpts from each of the Lab projects will screen.
  • Irish Film Festival launched in Los Angeles this October

    The inaugural Los Angeles Irish Film Festival will run from October 2-5 at the Clarity Theatre in Beverly Hills.Festival directors Lisa McLaughlin-Strassman and Niall McKay aim to develop the profile of Irish cinema and to this end will programme features, documentaries and shorts and stage on-stage interviews.The event is sponsored in part by the Irish Dairy Board, Culture Ireland, the Irish Film Institute and Bushmills. The closing night celebration and screening will t
  • Italian comedy master Dino Risi dies at age 91

    Film director Dino Risi, one of the fathers of the 'commedia all'italiana' (Italian comedy) genre that flourished in post-war Italy has died in Rome at the age of 91 after a long period of ill health.Risi's more than fifty films endeared him to Italians and foreign audiences for his talent at showcasing the transition from the post war era into the prosperous economic boom of the 1960s with an ironic tinge typified in many pictures such as his 1956 film
  • iTunes opens 700-film UK film download store

    Confirming a move oft speculated in recent months, Apple has now launched its iTunes Movie Store in the UK.The UK store launches with about 700 feature films for rental or purchase. Content partners include 20th Century Fox, Disney, MGM, Sony Paramount, Warner Bros, and Lionsgate UK. Universal is not offering films through the site.Like the US store, there are different price structures for new releases and library titles, and different costs for rentals and purchases. Ne
  • Joe Pavlo joins post house Men From Mars

    Joe Pavlo has joined post-production company Men From Mars as senior VFX supervisor/head of 2D.He won an Emmy for BBC/HBO's Rome and has also worked on features including Batman Begins and The Da Vinci Code.In addition to on-set and in-house vfx supervision, Pavlo will spearhead the expansion of Men From Mars' 2D pipeline in both London and India.Also, Simon Carr has come on board as senior VFX supervisor. He recently worked on The Mutant Ch
  • Jorge Camara re-elected as president of HFPA

    Jorge Camara will serve his sixth term as president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) after he was re-elected to the post on Wednesday night [June 5].
  • Kaczorowksi joins Grosvenor Park as partner, Alper as principal and COO

    Los Angeles, London and Toronto-based film financing company Grosvenor Park has named Joseph C Kaczorowski partner and David Alper principal and COO.Kaczorowski most recently served as president of House Of Blues Entertainment, while Alper most recently managed Relativity Media's single-picture equity financing and production business.Backed by a New York-based alternative asset management firm, Grosvenor Park has funded more than 40 single-picture deals valued at approxi
  • Kenworthy andMackintosh to produce remake ofMy Fair Lady

    Four Weddings And A Funeral producer Duncan Kenworthy andtheatre impresarioCameron Mackintosh are to produce a new Columbia Pictures version of the classic musical My Fair Lady.CBS Films, which owns the rights to the musical,will help develop the film which Sony will distribute. Keira Knightley is rumoured to be in talks to star as Eliza Doolittle with shooting taking place at locations across London.The new version of Lerner and Loewe's musical will use songs
  • KOFICDevelopment Lab announces mentors and fellows

    The Korean Film Council (KOFIC)'s Filmmakers' Development Lab (FDL) has confirmed its mentors, including Warner Brothers executive Lauren Craniotes, and five fellows who will be developing their English-language projects for presentation at the IFP's Independent Film Week in New York and the Asian Film Market in Pusan. Craniotes helped develop projects such as The Departed and In The Valley Of Elah. She will be joined by other mentors including Jooick Lee, Korean producer of
  • Korea, China, Japan producers call for integrated Asian market

    Held by Joongang Culture Media and Yonsei University's business school, the inaugural Asian Film Producer Forum took place yesterday (June 5) with leading producers Iseki Satoru (Assassin, The Battle Of Wits), Yu Dong, head of China's most prolific independent player Polybona Films, Peter Chan (The Warlords), Tcha Seung-jae, co-CEO of Sidus FNH, and Lee Jooick (The Battle Of Wits).Professor Kim Hye-joon of Dongkuk University, formerly secretary gener
  • Mandate backs feature of hit online short Jay And Seth...

    Mandate Pictures has green-lit a feature based on the action comedy short Jay And Seth Vs The Apocalypse from co-writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.Mandate is in talks with directors and has earmarked a 2009 production start on the adaptation of the short, which starred Rogen and Jay Baruchel as hapless young men who attempt to prevent the end of the world. The short has been a hit with the online community and received wide exposure on YouT
  • Mark Waters to receive AFI's Franklin J Schaffner Alumni Medal

    Mean Girls and The Spiderwick Chronicles director Mark Waters will receive the American Film Institute's (AFI) 2008 Franklin J Schaffner Alumni Medal in honour of his 'extraordinary creative talents' on June 12.Waters was a member of the AFI Conservatory's directing class of 1992 and graduated alongside Darren Aronofsky, Doug Ellin and Todd Field.He made his feature debut with
  • Michele Garra promoted to svp of Asia Pacific at SPHE

    Michele Garra has been promoted to the newly created position of senior vice president of Asia Pacific for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE).Sony's former managing director of Australia and New Zealand will move from Sydney to the studio's Los Angeles headquarters in Culver City.Reporting to executive vice president of international Matt Brown, Garra will oversee all business functions in the key and expanding markets of Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India and Kore
  • Moszkowicz elected to head European Producers Club

    The European Producers Club has elected Martin Moszkowicz, from Constantin Film in Germany as its new president. Jean Cazès, who previously served as president, h as been elected vice-president.This move marks the first time since the EPC's founding in 1993 that the group has a non-French president. The group said: 'We are delighted with this new direction. With a German president and board members from eight different European countries, the EPC is proud to announce an executive
  • NBC Universal sells German free channel Das Vierte

    NBC Universal Global Networks has stuck an agreement to sell its free-to-air German channel Das Vierte to Mini Movie International Channel. NBC Universal said the sale of Das Vierte is part of its strategic plan to focus on the expansion of its pay-TV channels internationally. Das Vierte, which airs US films and TV series across Germany Austria and Switzerland, was launched in September 2005 as a general entertainment service reaching around 90% of households in Germany a
  • New Bondarchuk, Bychkova films to be presented at Sochi market

    New films by such directors as Fedor Bondarchuk and Oksana Bychkova will rub shoulders with presentations of upcoming releases by Russian distributors and the US majors at this year's Russian International Cinema Market which is being held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi from June 5-10 to coincide with the Open Russian Film Festival 'Kinotavr'.There will be an evening open-air screening of Bondarchuk's adaptation of the Strugatsky Brothers' sci-fi novel Inhabited Island, whic
  • New copyright agreement provides greater online access to film

    A new EU-wide copyright agreement has been signed to increase the number of films made available to the public online by cultural institutions.The films targeted are so-called 'orphan works,' where the true rights holders of films, music or books, are impossible to identify or locate. The problem means that rights cannot be cleared in the normal way and the works usually end up being made redundant due to the legal uncertainty.Until now, the problem has also meant that or
  • Norwegian Film Institute distributes latest funding of $11.8m

    Norwegian director Marius Holst received the largest cheque, as the Norwegian Film Institute allocated $11.8m (Euros 7.5m) production support for a package of new Norwegian features, and set seven films rolling with costs totalling $54.1m (Euros 34.1m).Holst, whose last film wasaward winner Mirush, got $2.9m (Euros 1.8m) for Bastøy, based on a real event in 1915 when a riot among the inmates of a boys' detention centre is crushed by Norwegian authorities.P
  • Panda-monium at North American box office for DreamWorks

    Kung Fu Panda ate up the competition as it shot to the top and left no doubt about what was the biggest comedy in North America over the weekend.The DreamWorks Animation hit grossed an estimated $60m through Paramount, approximately 50% more than Sony's Adam Sandler comedy You Don't Mess With The Zohan, which launched
  • Paulo Coelho recruits MySpace users for feature compilation

    Author Paulo Coelho is working with MySpace on the creation of his first feature film, The Experimental Witch.The project is inspired by Coelho's most recent book The Witch Of Portobello, and will use the concept of 'mash up' videos. MySpace users will submit original videos and music and then Coelho will select up to 15 videos and 16 songs to be used in the final film.Each of the short films will be based on one of the book's narratives and 15 main characters.
  • PPI's Panda kicks out in nine markets, Sex expands global seduction

    Paramount Pictures International is in the enviable position of having two bona fide blockbusters in play as it prepares to launch a third this weekend.As Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull nears $300m and Iron Man consolidates its new status as an inductee of the $200m club, PPI unleashes Kung Fu Panda
  • Rome Cinema Foundation's Bettini steps down

    Rome's Cinema Foundation president Goffredo Bettini has resigned from his role presiding over the Rome Film Fest, which will be ushering in its third edition Oct 21-31.In a wave of shake-ups that are effecting the culture sector here after Silvio Berlusconi's right wing government took over from Romani Prodi's left wing government in April - Bettini's exit is seen as a compromise to placate Gianni Alemanno - the new right wing Mayor of Rome who attacked the fest while on the campaign t
  • Russian thriller Magic Man to shoot entirely in US

    Billy Zane and Russian action star Alexander Nevsky will star in the US-Russian co-production thriller Magic Man that will shoot entirely in the US.Stuart Cooper will begin directing this month in Los Angeles on the story of a famous magician who might also be moonlighting as a serial killer. George Saunders and Brent Huff wrote the screenplay.Richard Tyson, Estelle Raskin, Jed Allan and Andrew Divoff also star. Nevsky and Gregory
  • Sans Arme to open Festival du Film de Tremblant in Canada

    French filmmaker Jean-Paul Rouve's Sans Arme, Ni Haine, Ni Violence will make its North American premiere in competition at the third Festival du Film de Tremblant. The film, in which Rouve portrays the mastermind of France's most sensational bank robbery, opened in France in April through Warner Bros. Rouve present the film at the festival, which is held in the Quebec ski resort of Mont Tremblant north of Montreal.The other seven
  • Second Cinema Verite to focus on intercultural understanding

    The second Cinema Verite, the international rendezvous for socially conscious cinema, will take place this year in Geneva on Oct 9-10 and then in Paris on Oct 11-12. This year's theme is 'Intercultural Understanding And Dialogue Between Peoples' to coincide with and celebrate the first anniversary of the UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.Cinema Verite, founded by Paris-based documentary film-maker Joel Soler, held its first rendezvous in Monaco and Paris last October
  • Shakespeare And Victor Hugo takes prize at Transilvania

    The Intimacies Of Shakespeare And Victor Hugo, a feature-length documentary from Mexican director Yulene Hugo, took the top prize at the seventh Transilvania International Film Festival.Director Yulena Olaizola received the festival grand prize, and Euros 10,000, from Catherine Deneuve. Deneuve was likewise honored with a lifetime achievement award, which she received from Maia Morgenstern.Best Director went to Omar Shargawi for Go In Peace Jamil. Mart Taniel recei
  • Shanghai announces line-up, Wong Kar-wai to head jury

    The 11th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) has announced its line-up, with Wong Kar-wai as president of its main competition jury. The fest will take place June 14 - 22.Sixteen films compete for the festival's main Jin Jue Award, which is heavy on European entries. Local films are represented by Hasichaolu's Urtin Duu and Gao Qunshu's Old Fish (a.k.a. Nick Of Time) young directors whose careers have been nurtured by the festival.Shanghai-born d
  • Skillset starts new trainee plan for Fund-paying productions

    UK training body Skillset has launched a new Film Trainee Scheme.The initiative was announced at a Skillset Connects networking lunch in London.The scheme will let newcomers work on productions shooting in the UK. Trainee positions will be heavily subsidised by Skillset, to help productions get suitable, diverse trainees and to give trainees experience on set.The trainees will only be available to productions paying into the Skills Investment Fund - currently voluntary co
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment buys Dutch games company

    Sony Pictures Entertainment has closed its acquisition of Dutch entertainment company 2waytraffic.The company works on games, variety and reality shows.'The acquisition of 2waytraffic is part of our strategy to expand global production and distribution of light entertainment content,' said Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of SPE. 'This opens the door to new content for us, and brings to our business a solid distribution infrastructure, strengthening our position for an efficient
  • Splendid's Cannes buys include Swing Vote, Unshakable

    German distributorSplendid Film has acquired German-language rights for a raft of US features currently in postproduction or production.The Cologne-based company's spending spree at the market in Cannes saw Splendid picking up, among others:Joshua Michael Stern's family comedy Swing Vote, starring Kevin Costner, Dennis Hopper and Kelsey Grammer Romantic comedy I Hate Valentine's Day with Nia Vardalos and John Corbett, the leads from My Big Fat
  • Sulwades into big-budget tsunamiproject Haeundae

    Top Korean actor Sul Kyoung-gu (Silmido) is set to star in the big-budget tsunami film Haeundae, directed by Yun Je-kyun (Miracle On 1st Street, My Boss, My Hero). Backed by CJ Entertainment, the film's budget is reported at $9.8m (KW10bn) and set for test shooting in August.US-based Polygon Entertainment, led by computer graphics supervisor Hans Uhlig (The Day After Tomorrow) is co-producing the film while handling CGI.The disaster film wi
  • Talking Wolf starts shoot for Serbia's first zombie film

    The new Serbian independent production company Talking Wolf Productions (TWP), which focuses on action and horror genre films, is planning its first feature, Zone Of The Dead.The project, which is co-produced with Pink Film International Studios (the first private large-scale studio in Serbia), Viktorija Film, Italy's Trees Pictures and Spain's ABS Production, started principal photography on May 16.The film is directed by Milan Todorovic and co-written by Vukota Brajovic
  • Taormina lauds Turkish cinema, ramps up industry plans

    Turkish cinema and an industry initiative that aims at uniting international buyers and distributors with the Sicilian Film Commission are all on the agenda of the 54th Taormina Film Festival, under the artistic direction of Deborah Young for the second year.Additionally, Young's line up reflects the 'Mediterranean and beyond' format that she launched last year.This year's edition will open with a newly restored version of Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (ahead of it
  • Ten Empty

    Dir: Anthony Hayes. Aust. 2007. 95 minsThis is the first feature from Aussie production company Roguestar and the company's principals Anthony Hayes and Brendan Cowell are to the fore here - Hayes directing with Cowell taking a small but showy acting credit and both writing. This family reunion saga struggles with issues of credibility and sometimes its dark humour tips dangerously towards melodrama, but overall, Ten Empty is well mounted and energetically acted.
  • The Caregiver, Il Divo among international box-office hits

    Filipino film The Caregiver proved a sensational local hit this weekend with a whopping $20,616 screen average in its first weekend, the highest by a long run over the three-day period. The top 40 international films generated $181.9m across 42,426 screens for the period of May 30-June 1. For the full international chart, compiled by Len Klady, click here.The Caregiver,
  • The Film Source picks up horror movie Deadwood Park

    Alex Massis' Florida-based sales and marketing company The Film Source has acquired international rights to Eric Stanze's horror title Deadwood Park.William Clifton stars as a young man who returns to his home town in the hope of solving a decades-old mystery surrounding the killing of 26 children, one of whom was his twin brother. Lindsay Luscri also stars.Stanze served as executive producer with Scott D Muck and Jason Christ for
  • The Magic Hour puts a spell on Japanese box office

    Koki Mitani's gangster comedy The Magic Hour ruled the Japanese box office this weekend, knocking off The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian after its two weeks in the number one spot. Opening on a wide 379 screens, The Magic Hour amassed $4.81m (Y506m) on 370,000 admissions, for a strong per screen average of $12,684.The film stars Koichi Sato (Sukiyaki Western: Django), Satoshi Tsumabuki (Dororo), Eri Fukatsu, Haruka Ayase and Toshiyuki Nishid
  • Tom Stewart plans to leave Metrodome for High Fliers

    Tom Stewart will depart his post as general manager, home entertainment, at UK distributor Metrodome as of July 25 to become head of acquisitions for High Fliers. Stewart has been at Metrodome for five years, heading the home entertainment department for the past two and a half years. He had worked on such successful titles as Flight 93, Saints & Soldiers, and Days Of Glory.Stewart said: 'It
  • Tribeca launches Reframe as system to find rare film and video

    Tribeca Film Institute has launched the digitised one-stop shop Reframe to help the film community market and locate classic and rare film and video.Reframe converts all content to high quality digital files, returns a digital copy to the rights holder for free and allows them to make their content available to others in a non-exclusive arrangement.Service administrators then make these works available for sale to the public, based on retail prices set by the rights holde
  • TVE now on board for Almodovar's Broken Embraces

    Spanish public broadcaster TVE has joined forces with El Deseo on Pedro Almodovar's new film Broken Embraces (Los Abrazos Rotos), which starts shooting this week in Lanzarote.TVE previously worked with Almodovar on his films Bad Education and Oscar winning Volver. The broadcaster also worked with El Deseo on Lucrecia Martel's Cannes competition title The Headless Woman.Broken Embraces is a 1990s-set drama, starring Penelope Cruz and B
  • UK line producers, production managers plan US visit

    The UK Film Council, in an effort to stimulate inward investment production in the UK, is taking eight UK line producers and unit production managers to Los Angeles next week to meet with US studios and independent productoin companies.British Film Commissioner Colin Brown is leading the trip, also organised with the Production Guild of Great Britain.The line producers and production managers going to LA are: Jo Burn (Hellboy II, The Hours); Mark Cooper (The Other B
  • UK prepares for French invasion

    This summer is gearing up to take on a decidedly French feel in the UK.Unifrance, France's film export body, reports that at least 10 French films will have their British debut in the coming weeks supported by a strong presence of French talent.On June 13, Priceless , starring Audrey Tautou and directed by Pierre Salvadori, will be released by Icon followed one week later by Elle S'Appelle Sandrine , the feature directorial debut of Sandrine Bonnaire, which ICA wil
  • UKFC gives $400,000+ to Pathe's release of Adulthood

    The UK Film Council's Prints & Advertising Fund has supported its latest round of film releases. The funds are awarded to UK distributors working on films that might otherwise have a limited distribution, to increase viewing choices for audiences.The latest distributors and films supported are:$413,680 (£210,000) to Pathe for Adulthood$393,980 (£200,000) to Lionsgate UK for
  • XYZ Films closes deals with MPI, Cinemavault on The Last Lovecraft

    MPI Media Group has acquired all North American rights to and Cinemavault has boarded international sales on The Last Lovecraft: Relic Of Cthulhu.
  • Yacovlef, Melocchi attach Leder, Fall to music-themed projects

    Beverly Hills-based Little Studio Films partners Alexandra Yacovlef and Alexia Melocchi are fast-tracking the music-themed dramas Woody, Cisco And Me and Stalking Simon Le Bon.Mimi Leder will direct Woody, Cisco And Me from the novel of the same name by Jim Longhi is set during the second world war and tells of a youngster in the Merchant Marines who befriends folk legends Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston en route to the beaches of Normandy.
  • You Don't Mess With The Zohan

    Dir: Dennis Dugan. US. 2008. 113 mins.A comedy built around the belief that people speaking in foreign accents is endlessly funny, You Don't Mess With The Zohan is - how you say' - not good. Aiming for an irreverent politically-incorrect tone with its story of an Israeli commando who leaves Middle Eastern tensions behind for a life as an American hairdresser, the latest Adam Sandler summer offering is too scattershot in its humour to work either as edgy satire or