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Screen
10 September 2004

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  • ...as Japanese enfant terrible aims to rival Potter

    Japan's Kadokawa Pictures is to remake the 1968 YoshiyukiKuroda hit The Big Spook War (Yokai Daisenso) with director TakashiMiike at the helm.Announcing the film at the Kadokawa Daei Studio, Kadokawapresident Tsuguhiko Kadokawa said it was the first instalment in a series thatwill "rival Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings in itsworldwide appeal."In the original film a European vampire possesses the spiritof a Japanese Lord, inspiring local ghosts and goblins
  • 01 Distribution in Flux with acquisitions trio

    Exactly three years after it launched its 01 Distributionlabel at the Venice Film Festival, Rai Cinema is lining-up what it describes asits hottest slate to date.New acquisitions include Lakeshore's Sci-Fi movie AeonFlux, which Charlize Theron was shooting inGermany until she suffered a neck injury a few days ago, forcing the productionto a temporarily halt while she recovers.01 has also acquired Italian distribution to New Regencytitle Mr and Mrs Smith with Brad P
  • 01 Distribution in Flux with new acquisitions

    Exactly three years after it launched its 01 Distributionlabel at the Venice Film Festival, Rai Cinema is lining-up what it describes asits hottest slate to date.New acquisitions include Lakeshore's Sci-Fi movie AeonFlux, which Charlize Theron was shooting inGermany until she suffered a neck injury a few days ago, forcing the productionto a temporarily halt while she recovers.01 has also acquired Italian distribution to New Regencytitle Mr and Mrs Smith with Brad P
  • 3-Iron

    Dir/scr/prod/ed: KimKi-duk. S Kor. 2004. 89mins.An arthouse favourite,now firmly established after last year's Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter' AndSpring, Kim Ki-duk's reputation will be enhanced by his latest work, whichis less extreme but no less intriguing.Coming only seven monthsafter Kim won Best Director at Berlin for Samaritan Girl, this sleek,elegant, stylised feature shows how the maverick director has had his ruffledfeathe
  • A Hole In My Heart (Ett Hal I Mitt Hjarta)

    Dir: LukasMoodysson. 2004. Sweden/Norway. 98mins.Sweden's LukasMoodysson takes an astonishing journey to the dark heart of humanity in hisfourth feature A Hole In My Heart. Audaciously expressionistic andcinematically experimental, it will be one of Toronto's talking points andprompted plenty of walkouts at th
  • A Love Song For Bobby Long

    Dir:Shainee Gabel. USA. 2004. 119mins.Oldtrooper Travolta meets rising star Johansson in A Love Song For Bobby Long,a fragile but charming slice of New Orleans bohemiana. It was a nice idea togive the on-screen stand-off between their two characters (he a washed-up,alcoholic former university professor; she a stroppy school dropout with anabsent mother complex) a grounding in a master-and-apprentice duel ofthespians. A shame then that the energy bui
  • Alzheimer named as Belgian Oscar contender

    Flemish-languagethriller The Alzheimer Case (De Zaak Alzheimer) has been selected to represent Belgium in the foreign-languageOscar category.Directed by Erikvan Looy, the film follows an aging contract killer who turns on his politicalmasters when he discovers that he is being manipulated. Alzheimer was a huge local hit in its nativeBelgium, selling over 750,000 tickets, and achieved a rare distinction a filmfor a Flemish picture by getting a wide release in France
  • AusFILM recruits Fox Studio Australia chief

    Fox Studios Australia chief executive Michael Harvey hasbeen named deputy chair of AusFILM, the organisation responsible for attractinginternational production to Australia.Ian Robertson, of Sydney law firm Holding Redlich, remainschair.Two new board members have also been appointed: Helene Nicolfrom Melbourne-based television commercials production house Great SouthernFilms, and Greg Smith, director of communications and public affairs at visualeffects house Animal Logic, based
  • AUSTRALIA 6 September

    Two of the three most popular films in cinemas on theweekend are openers. They are BVI's TheVillage, which grossed A$3,117,621 from 290 screens, and Columbia TriStar's13 Going On 30, which grossedA$1,783,128 from 221 screens. Separating them was UIP's The Bourne Supremacy, which sold A$2,585,052 work of tickets to 311screens on its second weekend.20th Century Fox chose not to officially open Dodgeball in
  • Big Bear Lake to open with Finding Home

    The Big Bear Lake InternationalFilm Festival will open on Sept 17 with Lawrence David Foldes'Maine-set redemption drama Finding Home,which won a trio of awards including best director at the Monaco InternationalFilm Festival.Festival organiserswill also present Laszlo Kovacs with the Lifetime Achievement Award inCinematography award at the festival gala on the same day.Kovacs' credits include Easy Rider, Shampoo, Mask
  • Bim boards Bellucci vehicle Combien

    Italy's Bim, which has three titles playing in competitionat the Venice Film Festival, will co-produce Bertrand Blier's next film, CombienTu Gagnes', with Italian diva Monica Bellucci.Bim president Valerio De Paolis has boarded the Euros 12mproject alongside France's Fidelite, which is Francois Ozon's long-termproduction partner. Bim also owns Italian distribution rights.The film, which will start shooting next February in Paris,is about a solitary 50 year-old man who, ev
  • Birth

    Dir: Jonathan Glazer.UK-US. 2004. 100mins.Jonathan Glazer'slong-awaited follow-up to Sexy Beast shows the commercials and musicvideo director in austere, minimalist mode. A snail-paced but neverthelesscompelling yarn about a ten-year-old boy who claims to be the reincarnation ofa woman's dead husband, Birth is half psychological thriller and halfexistential love story. By turns brilliant and frustrating, this is a film ofreal authority, in which Gla
  • Colonna named as new CNC chief

    Catherine Colonna will be confirmed as the new director ofthe French film council (CNC) on Wednesday according to sources close to thesituation. Colonna will take up her functions as of the 22nd of September whencurrent chief David Kessler will step down.As previously reported by Screendaily.com, Kessler will headto France Televisions to work closely alongside president and former CNCdirector Marc Tessier. Colonna, 48, hails from Tours and is the first womanever named to the post.
  • Danish broadcaster TV3 backs first ever feature

    MTG owned Nordic broadcaster TV3 has backed its first everfeature film, the romantic comedy Nynne, which starts shooting inCopenhagen from Oct 18.The $2.4m (DKK14,5m)project, which is based on the local bestseller Nynne's Diary,has had a number of different producers, writers and directors attached overthe year, but now heads for the screen with Jonas Elmer at the helm based on ascript by Mette Heeno (Terkel In Trouble) and produced by Christian E.Christiansen for
  • De Laurentiis acquires Naples football club

    Italian producer Aurelio De Laurentiis has taken overNaples' new football club, which will start life in Serie C, the country'sthird division.Twice Italian champions Napoli were recently declaredbankrupt but the franchise for the city was taken up by a new club formed by DeLaurentiis.Althoughformally the club has a new name they are expected to be known as Napoli andplay in the
  • DENMARK 7 September

    Though it actually improved on its performance from lastweek, Susanne Bier's Brothers was nomatch for Shrek 2, which on a massive119 prints swept the top of the Danish chart with 105,273 admissions (DKK6,4m).Despite winning both best script and film awards at theCopenhagen International Film Festival only a week ago, Lidija Bobrova'sRussian feature debut The Grannyfailed to attract much attention since its release last Monday. It topped 807admis
  • Eisner to retire from Disney in 2006

    Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Michael Eisner will retire inSeptember 2006, when his contract expires, the company said on Friday."Until then I shall continue to exert every effort tohelp the company achieve our goals, to assist the Board in selecting the newChief Executive Officer, and to make the transition expeditious, efficient, andsmooth and easy," Eisner said in a letter to the Disney board.The decision signals the end of the 62-year-old Eisner'stwo-decade reign at the hel
  • Enduring Love

    Dir: Roger Michell. 2004. UK. 100 mins. After spinningan intense yarn with Hanif Kureishi in TheMother, UK film-maker Roger Michell turns to the ultimate British master ofthe dark side Ian McEwan for his latest film Enduring Love. The result is the most effective film adaptation ofMcEwan to date. Faithful to thespirit if not the letter of the riveting 1996 novel, Enduring Love has more marketing hooks than The Mother - it's a thriller of
  • Filmax takes on international Hypnos sales

    Filmax International has picked up worldwide distributionrights to Spanish thriller Hypnos (Hipnos)from DeAPlaneta PC, and will present it to buyers in Toronto.The deal teams two of Spain's film behemoths and couldmark the start of a prolific relationship. It also marks only the second timeFilmax has picked up a third-party film for international sales, a strategy thecompany says it will continue. The first was Daniel Monzon's TheWarrior's Heart (El Corazon Del Guerrero)
  • Finding Neverland

    Dir: Marc Forster. US.2004. 101mins.It may have been given atitle more redolent of a cheesy TV movie, but anchored by another knockoutperformance by Johnny Depp, Finding Neverland is destined to get plentyof big screen attention later this year.Miramax Films can count onrunaway word-of-mouth and big-time returns both on awards podiums and at thebox office for Marc Forster's finely-crafted period tearjerker which will havewomen especially
  • First Look asks When Will I Be Loved

    USsales and production outfit First Look Media has picked up international rightsto James Toback's When Will I Be Loved, which plays at the festivaltoday (Sept 9) and tomorrow. Sister-company First Look International will beginsales in Toronto this week.Thefilm stars Neve Cambell as a woman who sets out to explore the outer edges ofher sexuality and gets involved in a devious plot hatched by her hustlerboyfriend. It co-stars Fred Weller and Dominic Chianese. It reaches US theatr
  • First Look takes near worldwide rights to Freeze Frame

    Los Angeles-based distributionand sales house First Look Media has picked up worldwide rights excluding the UK and Irelandto John Simpson's futuristic thriller Freeze-Frameand will begin sales in Torontothrough First Look International.Freeze-Frame premiered atthe Tribeca Film festival earl
  • First Look takes sales rights to Freeze Frame

    Los Angeles-based distributionand sales house, First Look Media has picked up worldwide rights excluding the UK and Irelandto John Simpson's futuristic thriller Freeze-Frame.It will begin sales in Torontothrough First Look International.Freeze-Frame premiered atthe Tribeca Film festival earlier this year and s
  • First Look to sell Toronto's When Will I Be Loved

    USsales and production outfit First Look Media has picked up international rightsto James Toback's When Will I Be Loved, which plays at the festivaltoday (Sept 9) and tomorrow. Sister-company First Look International will beginsales in Toronto this week.Thefilm stars Neve Cambell as a woman who sets out to explore the outer edges ofher sexuality and gets involved in a devious plot hatched by her hustlerboyfriend. It co-stars Fred Weller and Dominic Chianese. It reaches US theatr
  • Fortissimo closes Mysterious Skin, PS sales

    FortissimoFilm Sales has closed a raft of sales on its Venice and Toronto titles, MysteriousSkin and P.S. ILove You.Gaga has taken Japanese rights to Dylan Kidd's P.S.I Love You, whichopened Critics Week.Fortissimo has also sold the romantic comedy, which starsGabriel Byrne, Laura Linney, and Marcia Gay Harden, to Benelux (A Films),Greece (Prooptiki), Portugal (Lusomondo), Ru
  • Fortissimo closes Mysterious, Love sales

    FortissimoFilm Sales has closed a raft of sales on its Venice and Toronto titles, MysteriousSkin and P.S. ILove You.Gaga has taken Japanese rights to Dylan Kidd's P.S.I Love You, whichopened Critics Week.Fortissimo has also sold the romantic comedy, which starsGabriel Byrne, Laura Linney, and Marcia Gay Harden, to Benelux (A Films),Greece (Prooptiki), Portugal (Lusomondo), Ru
  • FRANCE 10 September

    Francois Ozon's latest work, 5x2, debuted in second position with a strong per screen average of$5,962 on 221 copies. Indeed French films performed well with Yvan Attal's Ils Se Marierent Et Eurent BeaucoupD'Enfants still near the top of the list in third position - though itdropped off by more than 50% on last week - and Olivier Assayas' Cannescompetition film Clean taking thefourth spot and 118,975 admissions. In gen
  • French cinema admissions leap 22% during 2004

    France's film council (CNC) has revealed very healthybox-office figures for the first eight months of the year. In total, 133.57 millioncinema tickets have been sold since the beginning of the year.This represents a 22% increase over the same period in 2003.Overall, the projection is for a 15% increase over last year by the end of2004.August saw a 12% rise compared with the same month in2003. The continued drawing power of Shrek2 and Spider Man 2 helped propelthe m
  • Garfield is top cat in Spain with $4m launch

    Fox International's Garfieldenjoyed a superb $4m number one launch including previews on 349 screens inSpain at the weekend, the highlight of an $8.4m weekend haul from 3,406 screensin 41 markets that raised the comedy's international running total to $77.7m.Dodgeball grossed $2.6m on 564 screens for $10.6m. It added$2.1m on 314 in its second weekend in the UK, dropping 37% for a $9.2m runningtotal there.Alien Vs Predator grossed $2.1m on
  • Glut of premieres in Noah's Ark

    If themeasure of a film festival is the company it keeps, the number of returningfilmmakers presenting world premieres marks this Toronto International FilmFestival as one of the strongest in its 29 years. From veterans like BilleAugust, Taylor Hackford and Istvan Szabo, who opens the festival with Being Julia, to new works fromnow-established filmmakers who made their first splash at the festival, likeDavid O Russell, who wowed Tor
  • Hero remains top over dismal holiday weekend

    Miramax's epic Heroremained the number one picture over Labor Day Weekend, beating off thenon-existent challenge of a quartet of wide releases in one of the most anaemicend-of-summer holiday weekends in recent history.Hero added an estimated $11.5m in its second weekend toraise its running total to $35.2m, while Paramount's comedy Without A Paddleranked second on $9.4m in its third weekend and Sony's Anacondasfinished third on $8m.Twentieth Century Fo
  • Hero remains top over dismal holiday weekend

    Miramax's epic Heroremained the number one picture over Labor Day Weekend, beating off thenon-existent challenge of a quartet of wide releases in one of the most anaemicend-of-summer holiday weekends in recent history.Hero added an estimated $11.5m in its second weekend toraise its running total to $35.2m, while Paramount's comedy Without A Paddleranked second on $9.4m in its third weekend and Sony's Anacondasfinished third on $8m.Twentieth Century Fo
  • Hero stays top over feeble Labor Day Weekend

    Miramax's epic Heroremained the number one picture over Labor Day Weekend, beating off thenon-existent challenge of a quartet of wide releases in one of the most anaemicend-of-summer holiday weekends in recent history.Hero added an estimated $11.5m in its second weekend toraise its running total to $35.2m, while Paramount's comedy Without A Paddleranked second on $9.4m in its third weekend and Sony's Anacondasfinished third on $8m.
  • Hero stays top over feeble Labor Day Weekend

    Miramax's epic Heroremained the number one picture over Labor Day Weekend, beating off thenon-existent challenge of a quartet of wide releases in one of the most anaemicend-of-summer holiday weekends in recent history.Hero added an estimated $11.5m in its second weekend toraise its running total to $35.2m, while Paramount's comedy Without A Paddleranked second on $9.4m in its third weekend and Sony's Anacondasfinished third on $8m.
  • HONG KONG 6 September

    Columbia TriStar's Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchidtopped the box office in a lacklustre week with US$444,729 from 22 screens.Nick Cassavetes' The Notebook, distributed in Hong Kongby Intercontinental Film Distributors, took US$100,949 from five screens whichgave it the second highest screen average of the week. The other new openers -Korean horror Face and Fox's
  • Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum to be revived

    The organisers ofthe Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) have called for submissions fornext year's edition which marks the long-awaited return of the Hong Kong-basedprojects market following a four-year hiatus.Around 20 projectswill be presented to potential investors, distributors and sales agents duringthe three-day event (March 22-24, 2005). Projects of all genres and at anystage of production will be considered, provided they're from Asia or have anAsian stakeholder attached
  • HUNGARY 8 September

    King Arthur openedstrongly at the Hungarian box office but meant no real competition for Garfield which managed nearly 40,000admissions in the second week of its release and is fast approaching the200,000 admissions mark.While Budapest Film's Szezon(Season) opened strongly on eleven prints, French production Fureur flopped painfully for distributorBest Hollywood and faile
  • I Heart Huckabees

    Dir: David O. Russell.US. 2004. 106minsFive years after ThreeKings, writer-director David O Russell returns with an absurdistexistential comedy that is more idiosyncratic and daring than anything he hasmade before. I Heart Huckabees combines the lickety split verbalgymnastics of a Preston Sturges with the philosophical musings of a StephenHawking and then adds a side order of Three Stooges-style anarchy just to makethings more interesting.
  • IFTA takes space at Le Merigot for first Nov AFM

    The American Film Market(AFM) has expanded its exhibitor space to include offices in the Le MerigotHotel adjacent to the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel for its first Nov eventwhich runs Nov 3 to 10.The move, say marketorganizers the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), is inresponse to demand by potential exhibitors and marks only the second time inthe 15 years of the market at the Loews that IFTA (formerly AFMA) has takenadditional space.The Le Merigot will housethree
  • Japan readies World War II dramas

    Japanese studios are readying a spate of action filmscentred on World War II.Back in the mid-1990s Japanese studios also released anumber of films commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.Many were produced or directed by members of the war generation and looked backon the fallen much as a speaker at a memorial service might, simultaneouslyrevelling in their heroism and regretting their loss.However, the new round of war films have bigger budgets,more firepo
  • Kim Ki-duk's 3 Iron added to main Venice competition

    Onlyhours before its official screening on Monday evening, Venice artistic directorMarco Mueller unveiled Kim Ki-duk's 3 Iron (Binjip) as thefestival's "surprise" 22nd competition entry.Thefilm, which tells the story of a homeless man who rescues a wealthy woman whois beaten by her husband, has only just been completed and will have its worldpremiere in Venice before heading to Toronto.Meanwhile,the Venice Mezzanotte sidebar will screen Donnie Darko - TheDirector's Cut
  • Ledger, Collette starring pics win Oz funding

    The Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) has cleared theway for cameras to roll on two new films, investing in Candy starringHeath Ledger and Like Minds starring Toni Collette.Ledger and rising star from Abbie Cornish (Somersault)play lovers full of lust and self-destructive tendencies in thelong-gestating drama Candy, which also features Geoffrey Rush.The film is adapted from the book by Luke Davies, who wrote theCandy script with d
  • Lido laggards plunge Venice into chaos

    There could hardly be a more telling sign of the glamour overload on the Lido this year than watching Johnny Depp work the crowds in front of the red carpet at the bleary eyed time of 2.15 am just before the screening of Miramax's Finding Neverland, which started around two and a half hours late.Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein was in playful mood at the gala screening, having previously discussed with artistic director Marco Mueller the lengthy delays which have marred the first
  • Lido laggards plunge Venice into further chaos

    There could hardly be a more telling sign of the glamour overload on the Lido this year than watching Johnny Depp work the crowds in front of the red carpet at the bleary eyed time of 2.15 am just before the screening of Miramax's Finding Neverland, which started around two and a half hours late.Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein was in playful mood at the gala screening, having previously discussed with artistic director Marco Mueller the lengthy delays which have marred the first
  • Love's Business completes casting

    Human Traffic's Danny Dyer is to star in Nick Love's Costa del Crimestory The Business, which Content International will present at the AFM.Dyer will appear with TamerHassan (Batman Begins), Roland Manookian (The Football Factory)and Georgina Chapman (Shanghai Knights) in the film, which startsprincipal photography Sept 20 in Malaga, Spain. The picture marks Love and production company Vertigo's follow-upto football hooligan film The Football Facto
  • Media Programme sets out Euros 1bn strategy

    With its proposed budget of over Euros 1bn, the new Media Programme (MEDIA 2007), which will run from 2007 to 2013, aims to double the number of European films that are currently distributed outside their own country of origin.During a meeting in Venice, European Union Commissioner Viviane Reding said that only 10% of European movies currently find distribution outside their own territory's borders."We know that films sell well in their national market. But that's where it stops
  • Medusa unveils 'selective' slate

    Italy's leading producer and distributor, Medusa, islining up a selective slate of new productions and acquisitions, which includeDanny Boyle's Toronto-headed title, Millions, and Robert Altman's Paint.Medusa vice-president Giampaolo Letta said the Fininvest-ownedcompany recently picked up local rights to Millions, which is sold by Pathe International.The Rome-based outfit has also bought Italian distributionrights to Bruce Willis's $55m vehicle Hostage
  • MIFED's loss could become others' gain

    While the Venice Film Festival has always been known for itsrelaxed atmosphere and casual meetings, the absence of many American andEnglish companies from next month's MIFED has inadvertently lead to increasedbusiness activity on the Lido, some industry figures say.On Tuesday, MIFED issued a statement revealing that at least25 American and UK companies which "had confirmed their attendance during theCannes Film Festival" had pulled out during the last month.MIF
  • MIFED's loss could become Venice's gain

    While the Venice Film Festival has always been known for itsrelaxed atmosphere and casual meetings, the absence of many American andEnglish companies from next month's MIFED has inadvertently lead to increasedbusiness activity on the Lido, some industry figures say.On Tuesday, MIFED issued a statement revealing that at least25 American and UK companies which "had confirmed their attendance during theCannes Film Festival" had pulled out during the last month.MIF
  • Moodysson's Heart beats up Swedish critics

    Swedishdirector Lukas Moodysson says that everyone should see his latest film AHole In The Heart - despite it containing explicit sex scenes, physical andpsychological violence.Moodysson was speaking after the first press screening ofthe film in Stockholm this week. The film world premieres in Toronto tomorrow(Sept 10).
  • Moodysson's Hole In The Heart beats up Swedish critics

    Swedishdirector Lukas Moodysson says that everyone should see his latest film AHole In The Heart - despite it containing explicit sex scenes, physical andpsychological violence.Moodysson was speaking after the first press screening ofthe film in Stockholm this week. The film world premieres in Toronto tomorrow(Sept 10).
  • Mysterious Skin

    Dir:Gregg Araki USA. 2004. 99mins.GreggAraki is a film buff's director, one of those independent US mavericks, likeHarmony Korine, whose regular feature outings are staples of the internationalfestival circuit (it plays Toronto after its Orizzonti premiere at Venice) andultra-arthouse theatres, but register only the faintest bleeps on the radar ofthe cinemagoing masses. His biggest-budget film to date, the paedophilia-themedMysterious Skin is being
  • Nair develops Namesake project

    In Venice for the festival screening of Vanity Fair, Mira Nair has revealed details of her next project, an adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri's 2001 Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Namesake.The novel tells the story of a Calcutta family who leave India to come to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the US in the 1960s. There, they face a tough battle to assimilate.Headlining a cast which will include both Indian and US actors, is Bollywood star Rani Mukherjee (pictured), "Ind
  • NORWAY 9 September

    BuenaVista saw its animated Home On The Rangedebut as number one in the Norwegian charts. This week's biggest disappointmentwas, however, the new release of newcomer Annette Sjursen's drama comedy My Jealous Barber, which took justNOK10,032 from its 31 prints. It is produced by Kaare Storemyr and Dag Alveberg(Elling) and star Gard Eidsvold, Bjoern Sundquis
  • Palindromes

    Dir/scr: Todd Solondz.US. 2004. 99mins.Sundance darling ToddSolondz' latest warped take on the American dream is an uneven film, half bigemotional roller coaster, half whimsical fable, that inhabits the Midwesternsuburban wastelands somewhere between the David Lynch Motel and the HarmonyKorine Five-and-Dime. The story of a 12-year-old Kansas girl who is determinedto have a baby, Palindromes is a step up from the gratuitous misanthropyof Storytell
  • Palm Springs ShortFest announces winners

    The 2004 PalmSprings International Festival of Short Films & Short Film Market, thelargest short film festival and market in North America, ended on Monday,September 6, 2004. More than 2,600 industry representatives, filmmakers andmedia from around the world participated in this year's Festival, including arecord-setting 2,000 film submissions and attendance by those in the businessof buying and selling short films and scouting for new filmmaking talent. Theseven-day event
  • Pechels de Saint Sardos joins Classic Media

    Industry veteranSandrine Pechels de Saint Sardos has joined New York-based production anddistribution outfit Classic Media as sales executive.Pechels de Saint Sardos will report to Classic Media's head ofworldwide distribution Doug Schwalbe and will handle international sales,distribution and marketing of productions including the upcoming family title PeterCottontail: The Movie.Pechels de Saint Sardos most recently served as an inter
  • POLAND 8 September

    Pedro Almodovar took on Hollywood blockbusters and triumphedthis weekend in Poland.The Spanish director's latest film, Bad Education (La Mala Educacion), released through Gutek Film inthe territory against UIP's The BourneSupremacy and Warner Bros' Catwoman.Bad Education finished in top position with over 37,000 admissions and a$3,900 screen average taken from its 42 screens.Supremacy also didsolid business in second place on the s
  • Rank puts Deluxe up for sale

    The UK's Rank Grouphas put its Deluxe Film and Deluxe Media division on the block after profitsfell by nearly a third at the division.Chief executive Mike Smithsaid the board in principle believed it would be an opportune time to divestthe Deluxe units. Profit at the division, which replicates and distributesfilms, fell 31% to £19.2m in the six months to June 30.The slump at Deluxe wasechoed throughout the leisure group, where overall net profits fell 20% to£63.9m. The company r
  • Record summer for German box office

    Germany has witnessed a box office boom over the summermonths, with new figures showing admissions and takings to be at an all timehigh for the key May-August period.Box office takings of Euros 302.7m and admissions of 51.8mare more than 30% higher compared to the same period last year (Euros 216.6mand 38.2m), according to initial figures collated by EDI Nielsen.This year has also surpassed the previous record summer of2001, which posted Euros 273.5m turnover at the box-office.
  • Riddick raises int'l total to $44m

    The Chronicles Of Riddick added $6m through all distributors at the weekend on2,100 screens in 22 territories for a $44m international cumulative total. TheUIP-only total comes to $30.5m and there are six territories still to open.The chief highlight was a$2.4m first place launch in Germany on 396 screens. In a pair of second weekendresults, the picture added $850,000 on 224 in Spain for $3.4m, while the UK yielded$865,000 on 372 for $4.3m.Powered by a
  • Robbins speaks out against Bush at the Biennale

    In Venice for the festival screening of Embedded Live (the film version of his play about the US march to war in Iraq), Oscar-winning actor-director Tim Robbins has again launched a ferocious attack on the Bush administration. Speaking yesterday to the international press, Robbins expressed his fears that George W. Bush may "steal another election" and warned that another Bush term would be disastrous for US democracy."People (in the US) are fed up. They know that they are being
  • ROMANIA 9 September

    I, Robot proved to be a real catch with Romanian audiences when it debuted at thetop of the box office admissions list with a screen average of nearly twothousand admissions after being released on seven prints by distributorInterComFilm. Pieces Of April fromNew Films couldn't quite match the splendid performance of the Will Smith titleand is likely to disappear from the chart shortly after its release.
  • SERBIA/MONTENEGRO 8 September

    Openingthis weekend with only 1,400 admissions and total gross of $6,307, Hellboy managed to enter in third placeat the Serbian-Montenegrin chart for Tuck, leaving last weekend's favourites I, Robot and Jersey Girl at the top. Tuck's Will Smith vehicle declined 41%compared to the previous weekend, but still held pole position with 2,474tickets and a weekend gross of $8,144. Pro Vision'
  • Spacey outfit wins Orientrose backing

    UK company Orientrose is totake a 13% stake in Trigger Street Independent, the newly-formed low-budgetoffshoot of Kevin Spacey and DanaBrunetti's Trigger Street production company.Orientrose also has anoption for a further 32% of the company for a payment of $500,000. The othershareholders include a trust of which Spacey is a beneficiary, along with NewYork-based actor-producers Mark and Adam Kassen.Orientrose first teamed withSpacey on Beyond The Sea, theactor's bio-pic
  • Spacey's TriggerStreet launches digital offshoot

    Kevin Spacey, who will be inToronto this weekend for the premiere of his Bobby Darin biopic Beyond The Sea,is adding to his producer credentials.Spacey and Dana Brunetti'sTriggerStreet Productions has hatched a new digital production label TriggerStreet Independent (TSI) in association with film-making brothers Adam and MarkKassen.The new company expects toproduce three or more features a year on budgets under $1m, using digitaltechnology provided by TSI's other partners.
  • Spain laps up Amenabar's Sea

    Alejandro Amenabar'sacclaimed The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro) got off to a superb internationalstart in the director's home-territory, Spain, at the weekend.The drama, which played incompetition at the Venice Film Festival last week, sold nearly 450,000 ticketsin Spain at the weekend for a $2.8m (Euro 2.3m) gross that saw it claim 12thposition on the international table - the highest placed non-US title. WarnerSogefilms distributes in Spain with Sogepaq handling international sales
  • Stone's Alexander to open Stockholm

    OliverStone will be this year's guest of honour at the Stockholm International FilmFestival (Nov 18-28). He will visit Stockholm to accept the Stockholm LifetimeAchievement Award in a prize ceremony on Nov 18, while his latest film, Alexander,will open the festival.The Stockholm festival said: "With a fearless explorationof individual lives affected by modern day America, maverick and rebel
  • Strings

    Dir:Anders Ronnow Klarlund. Den-Swe-UK-Nor. 2004. 92mins.Say "puppet movie" and most people think of the Muppetsor, at a push, Pinocchio - who has most famously come to life on screen in cartoon and live action form.Traditional marionettes have always messed with the suspension of disbeliefthat appears to be necessary in the cinematic medium: all those strings remindus constantly that these are not funny little people but, er, puppets.Danish dire
  • SWEDEN 7 September

    The Village's timeat the top of the Swedish chart was brief as two new releases pushed it down tothird in its second week. Local writer-director Kay Pollak's return tofilmmaking after 18 years, Saa Som IHimmelen, (As In Heaven) impressively managed to go head to head with Shrek 2 with almost matching screenaverages ($4,052 and $4,071) on their 80 and 149 prints respectively.The drama follows an internationally a
  • Syrian Bride wins top honours at Montreal Film Festival

    Eran Riklis' The SyrianBride (Hacala Hasurit) took top honours as the 28th MontrealWorld Film Festival wrapped up on September 6. As well as the Grand Prix of theAmericas, the Israel-France-Germany coproduction won the Audience Award, theFIPRESCI prize and the Ecumenical Prize.The film tells the story ofa young Druze woman whose impending marriage to a Syrian man is tearing herfamily apart. The runner-up Jury Award was shared by Chinese filmmaker AnZhanjun's The Parkin
  • The Merchant Of Venice

    Dir. MichaelRadford. UK-It. 2004. 125mins.Despite beingone of Shakespeare's best known plays, The Merchant Of Venice has seenlittle in the way of film adaptation during the past 50 years or so. While TVhas given us plenty of Shylocks to feast our eyes upon, cinema has offered nocompetition, in part due to the work's blunt anti-semitic toneDespite a visualintroduction to better motivate Shylock's later conduct and some manipulationand abbr
  • The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro)

    Dir: Alejandro Amenabar.Spain. 2004. 127mins.Though Alejandro Amenabar's new film screened only athird of the way into the Venice festival, the gut feeling after the earlypress screening on the Lido was that we had just been watching the Leone D'Oro.Still only 32, Amenabar proves with this moving study of a quadraplegic man whois determined to put an end to his life that he has the emotional and moralrange, if not the visual flamboyance, of Pedro Almodovar.
  • The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro) review

    Dir: Alejandro Amenabar.Spain. 2004. 127mins.Though Alejandro Amenabar's new film screened only athird of the way into the Venice festival, the gut feeling after the earlypress screening on the Lido was that we had just been watching the Leone D'Oro.Still only 32, Amenabar proves with this moving study of a quadraplegic man whois determined to put an end to his life that he has the emotional and moralrange, if not the visual flamboyance, of Pedro Almodovar.
  • THINKFilm acquires acclaimed Brothels doc

    Adding to its list of recentpick-ups, Toronto-based THINKFilm has acquired all North American rights to BornInto Brothels directed by RossKauffman and Zana Briski.The film, which premiered atSundance 2004 and won the documentary audience award, documents the lives ofchildren born into the squalor of Calcutta's red-light district. Briski, aphotographer, gave each of the young subjects a camera and showed them how touse it; the resulting photographs became part of the film. The fi
  • Toronto-bound 3 Iron added to Venice competition

    Onlyhours before its official screening on Monday evening, Venice artistic directorMarco Mueller unveiled Kim Ki-duk's 3 Iron (Binjip) as thefestival's "surprise" 22nd competition entry.Thefilm, which tells the story of a homeless man who rescues a wealthy woman whois beaten by her husband, has only just been completed and will have its worldpremiere in Venice before heading to Toronto.Meanwhile,the Venice Mezzanotte sidebar will screen Donnie Darko - TheDirector's Cut
  • Turkey, UAE 'fastest growing' Middle East markets

    Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are the fastest growingcinema markets in the Middle East region, according to a new report by DodonaResearch.Expansion in screen numbers in Turkey (by 179% to 945) andthe UAE (almost fourfold to 142) over the 1995 to 2003 period was the catalystfor rapid growth in admissions and box office. Both countries saw cinemaadmissions rise more than 160%.Dodona argues that recent consolidation in the UAE marketwill aid further growth.
  • Twenty one features selected for Netherlands Production Platform

    Twenty one local and foreign feature-projects have beenselected for this year's Netherlands Production Platform, which will take placeduring the Dutch Film Festival in Utrecht between Sept 24-26.The selected titles will be presented to Dutch and foreignproducers and financial backers. The Dutch entries are also aiming for TheKodak Development Prize, worth 5,000 Euro.Netherlands' EntriesLenja's Wens, produced by the Kasander FilmCompany, to be directed by Ben So
  • Two new Greek films get US distribution

    Two Greek films have found distribution in the US, in whatthe state-backed Greek Film Centre describes as a promising sign for a newgeneration of Greek filmmakers.Picture This has acquired US distribution rights to Oxygen, a drama written and directed by ThanassisPapathanasiou and Mihalis Reppas.Produced by Elena Hadzialexandrou, and sold by the GreekFilm Centre, the film tells the tragic story of a beautiful young boy who firesup passion in both men and women in his home
  • UIP scoops up remaining Fahrenheit territories

    Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 is set for a furthertheatrical lease of life as United International Pictures (UIP) has acquiredall remaining territories to the film, including six in Asia.Territories covered by the deal, signed last week, includeMalaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, India and SouthAfrica.UIP is aiming to give the documentary a theatrical releasein all seven territories by mid-October. "We're delighted to be handling thisfilm and hope t
  • US star directors lead Deauville invasion

    The 30th anniversary edition of theDeauville Festival of American Film has seen a troupe of Hollywood luminariespass through town over the past week - with the promise of more to come.While the festival is sometimesconsidered a poor cousin to the simultaneous Venice and Toronto film
  • Vanity Fair

    Dir: Mira Nair US/UK2004 140 minsAdapting classic Nineteenth Century novels for the screenis invariably a thankless task. If filmmakers are too brutal paring down bookswhich run to hundreds of pages, they risk straining out the wealth of detailand description which makes the originals memorable in the first place. Ifthey're not brutal enough, they end up with baggy, unfocused affairs likely totax the most indulgent audiences' patience. Mira Nair's stab at Va
  • Vargas Llosa named as San Sebastian jury chief

    Writer Mario Vargas Llosa has been named as the jurypresident at this year's San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept17-25), which has closed its official line-up with the announcement of specialscreenings, awards and juries.The rest of the official selection jury comprises YaminaBenguigui, Tom DiCillo, Marta Esteban, Laura Morante, Eduardo Serra and DitoTsintsadze, winner of last year's Golden Shell for Gun-Shy.Meanwhile, Woody Allen, Annette Bening and Jeff Bridges will
  • Venice engulfed by protesters and ticketing chaos

    The screams of the crowds and paparazzi who met AlPacino's arrival at the Venice Film Festival at the weekend almost paledin comparison to the chaos and ruckus caused by Italian anti-globalisationactivists, temporary workers in the French entertainment industry, and theBiennale's ticketing system that went completely haywire causingdouble-booking and massive delays to many events.On Saturday, French temporary entertainment industry workersbriefly disrupted a press conference held for G
  • Venice filmmakers vent their political anguish

    Wim Wenders became the latest director to join a chorus ofvoices at the Venice Film Festival condemning the Bush administration, during aweek which has twice seen the Biennale officially react to events developing onthe world stage."As a Christian, I am deeply troubled by the acts of theBush administration," said Wenders, whose latest film, Land of Plenty,is screening in competition in Venice. "The US's official reaction to September11 made things worse. It created more terroris
  • Vera Drake

    Dir/scr: Mike Leigh.2004. UK/France. 125mins.Mike Leigh's latest tourde force takes the subject of illegal abortion in 1950 London and uses it toair issues of moral integrity, goodness and justice never more relevant than intoday's self-serving social and political climate.In Vera Drake, Leighachieves a level of engagement and intensity of which few other film-makers arecapable and many will find it overwhelming, especially since the humo
  • Wild Bunch acquires distributor Pan Europeene

    French sales company Wild Bunch and French distributorPan-Europeenne Films are joining forces to create a new theatrical distributionoutfit to be known as Pan-Europeenne Edition.The new company, will be majority owned by Wild Bunch and run byPan-Europeenne chief Philippe Godeau along with former StudioCanal executiveJean-Philippe Tirel, who recently joined Wild Bunch. Tirel's title will bedeputy managing director. The rest of the Pan-Europeenne team will remain inplace with some new hi
  • Wild Bunch takes stake in French distributor Pan Europeene

    French sales company Wild Bunch and French groupPan-Europeenne Films are joining forces through theatrical distributionoutfit Pan-Europeenne Edition.Pan-Europeenne Edition will be majority owned by Wild Bunch and run byPan-Europeenne chief Philippe Godeau along with former StudioCanal executiveJean-Philippe Tirel, who recently joined Wild Bunch. Tirel's title will bedeputy managing director. The rest of the Pan-Europeenne team will remain inplace with some new hires likely in the comin

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