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11 February 2004

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  • 25 directors sign for Euro vision project

    25 European film directors - from Germany's Fatih Akin through to Portugal's Teresa Villaverde and Latvia's Laila Pakalnina to Sweden's Jan Troell and Hungary's Bela Tarr - are to each contribute five-minute shorts giving their personal visions of Europe.The European Visions project was conceived by ZDF's Meinholf Zurhorst and is being supervised by Denmark's Zentropa Entertainment.The directors will have an April 1 deadline for delivering their films. 'It will be a close race
  • ACI sells Locarno prize-winner Maria and actioner Der Clown at AFM

    Independent producer and distributor ACI has announced two titles itwill be selling at AFM, the action adventure Der Clown and the Romania-set drama Maria.
  • African cinema gets Dogme injection

    The low-budget adrenaline injection which awoke the Danish film industry in the mid 90s is set to be applied to the African film industry.That, at least, is the hope of Zentropa staffers Pia Severin and Pia Nielsen as well as filmmaker Vibeke Muasya (Birds Of Passage), who have thrown themselves into the development of an East African Film Institute with Kenyans: actor Sidede Onyulo (Nowhere In Africa) and director Judy Kibinge (Dangerous Affairs) among others.
  • Arte France Cinema creates subsid to raise film funds

    The film arm of Franco-German channel Arte, Arte France Cinema, has created its own subsidiary Arte/Cofinova - designed to increase Arte's ability to fund film production.Arte/Cofinova will take its capital in part from Sofica Cofinova and from Arte France Cinema. (A Sofica is a fund which allows tax breaks for its investors.)Cofinova has extended a Euros 400,000 line of credit which will allow for "investments of Euros 100,000 to 200,000 spread out over three to four films," sa
  • BAFTA/LA founding member Males dies suddenly in LA

    William J Males, a director and founding member ofBAFTA/LA, has died aged 46.Males startedwork in the entertainment industry as a studio make-up artist and moved intoindependent production on such pictures as Family Reunion and Aftershock.While at Universal Pictures he worked in marketing,audience research and new media and played an integral part in organising thefirst live webcast of BAFTA/LA's 9th Britannia Awards in 1999.
  • Barbershop 2 takes plenty off the top for MGM with $25.1m bow

    MGM's comedy sequel Barbershop2: Back In Business opened number one at the weekend on an estimated $25m, shunting Buena Vista's true-life sports drama Miracleinto the silver medal position on $19.4m.The only other top 10 openerwas Fox's family adventure Catch That Kid, which bowed in sixth place on$6m as box office for the top 12 pictures fell 9% against the same period lastweek on $92.8m.Barbershop 2: Back InBusiness averaged $9,258 from 2,711sites a
  • Before Sunset

    Dir: Richard Linklater. USA. 2004. 82 mins.The sequel to Richard Linklater's brief encounter movie Before Sunrise is utterly charming, and has a light but not superficial touch that is all too rare in contemporary boy-meets-girl flicks. Virtually plotless, it is (like many of Linklater's films) a wordy trip which takes place in an even briefer timespan than the first (that was twelve hours in Vienna, this is around four in Paris). And with so little going on, it is a f
  • Berlin rekindles the spirit of Che Guevara

    Last month, Che Guevara's old Cuban friend and travelling companion Alberto Granado was denied entry to the US for the Sundance World Premiere of Motorcycle Diaries, Walter Salles' film based on his 1952 journey round South America on the back of a Norton 500 with Guevara.Thankfully, the 81-year-old did make it to Berlin for Friday's Panorama premiere of Travelling With Che Guevara, Gianni Mini's documentary about the famous journey."I'm very glad that this movie h
  • Berlinale adds political spice to glitz cocktail

    Glamour is set to walk hand in hand with politics along the red carpet at this year's Berlinale.First, there's the opening Cold Mountain bonanza tonight (Feb 5) fronted by Anthony Minghella, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Brendan Gleeson - although Nicole Kidman will be a no-show and Jude Law and Renee Zellweger were still unconfirmed at press time.The stars will continue to roll in thereafter: Charlize Theron for Monster, Cate Blanchett for The Missing, Robin
  • Berlinale co-production market opens for business

    The first edition of the Berlinale Co-Production Market opened for business with around 200 participants at the Talent Campus venue of the House of World Cultures.32 projects, including new features by Daniel Burman, Alexander Sokurov, Robert Glinski, Susanne Bier, Goran Paskaljevic and Pang Ho Cheung, were selected from 230 entries to be pitched in individual meetings to potential co-production partners.In addition, the Market is collaborating with the Rotterdam International F
  • Besson's EuropaCorp raises Euros 25m

    EuropaCorp, the French studio created three years ago by Luc Besson and Pierre-Ange LePogam, raised Euros 25m on the Paris stock market, through the issue of a convertible corporate bond on Friday.The cash raised will be used to finance the development of the company and its slate of productions. EuropaCorp stressed that the proceeds of the cash raising exercise will not be used for the construction of its Cite De Cinema studios complex outside Paris at Seine Saint Denis. That "will h
  • Big Fish opens top in Australia on $1.3m for CTFDI

    A table-topping $1.3m bow inAustralia on 227 screens including previews was the key driver in Big Fish's$2.7m weekend haul as the drama raised its international cumulative total to$7.3m.In the UK in its second wideweekend the picture added $1.6m from 361, slipping 35% for a $6m running total.It placed third behind openings of Something's Gotta Give and SchoolOf Rock.Mona Lisa Smile added $5m from 2,075 screens to raise itinternatio
  • British tax authority slams shut equity loophole

    Operations ofthe UK tax finance industry today (Jan 10) suffered a major blow when theInland Revenue (the UK's tax authority) closed down the burgeoning equityfunds sub-sector.Some 17production partnerships managed by financiers such as Grosvenor Park andIngenious' Inside Track that use "Generally Agreed AccountingPrincipals" are understood to have been affected.The Revenueclosed a loophole in legislation that permitted trading losses incurred withinpartnerships to attract tax l
  • Brother Bear has strong Swedish bow for BVI

    Brother Bear opened top in Sweden for Buena Vista International at theweekend, grossing $978,000 from 129 screens to record the biggest winter bowever for an animated title, exceeding the opening gross of Monsters, Inc by 12%.

    Little seen thriller No Good Deed (aka The House On Turk Street) has found a surprise audience in Bulgaria.The film, which despite being completed in 2002 by legendary director Bob Rafelson and featuring Samuel L Jackson and Milla Jovovich, has been released in only a handful of territories. It launched into fourth place in the Eastern European country with the highest screen average of the week ($3,601).Over 2,000 Bulgarians went to see the film last weekend which
  • CANADA Production Listings - February 9 2004

    CANADA February 9 2004PRE-PRODUCTIONSOLO(Amy Dearborn Has A Ghost Inc) Budget: $2.2m. Backers: Telefilm Canada. Thriller. The parents of a kidnapped girl turn to her imaginary playmate, who is in fact a ghost, for help in locating their daughter. Prod: Rosanne Milliken. Dir: Josef Rusnak. Scr: Carl Binder. Main cast: Jon Voight, Cary Elwes, Saffron Burroughs. Shooting in Vancouver in February for four weeks.Contact: (1) 604 639 1802IN PRODU
  • Canadian film industry needs a shot in the arm

    For Canadian production listings click HEREThe early part of the year is typically the slowest period in the Canadian film industry. Of course "the Canadian film industry" is a vague term at the best of times. These days a cynical observer might ask, "What industry'" In December, Alliance Atlantis completed the final phase of its gradual "production reduction" strategy, halving the number of employees in
  • Cheaper previews well in UK, Jury opens third in Spain for Fox

    Fox International's comedy Cheaper By The Dozen grossed $2.1m at the weekend, including$1.3m in previews from 329 UK screens, raising its international running totalto $15.8m.
  • Cinema Guild gets Inheritance for the US

    Per Fly's The Inheritance, which won six Danish Film Academy's Robert awards last week, has been picked up for US release by The Cinema Guild's Philip Hobel and Ryan Krivoshey.The film was the most popular local release last year in Denmark and was in the main competition in San Sebastian, where it won the Jury Prize for best script.Fly's feature debut The Bench won five major prizes at the Robert Awards three years ago.The Inheritance is Fly's first
  • Cinema Vikings search for soft money booty

    Moderating last week's panel on location hot zones at Screen International's European Film Summit in Berlin, Jonathan Olsberg had an apt analogy for the industry's worldwide pillaging and plundering in search of soft money booty. "We're the Vikings of modern cinema."Oldsberg, whose management consultancy helps structure international co-productions to take advantage of tax and other incentives, put that knowledge into practice as a producer on John Duigan's Head In The Clouds, a
  • Content fields Beautiful offers

    Following the Berlinale competition screening of Hans Petter Molland's Beautiful Country earlier in the week, Content International's Jamie Carmichael has received firm offers from the three major territories left unsold, Japan, Germany and Italy, and is expected to close deals in the next imminently.'It's a wonderfully intelligent and moving film with a strong contemporary undercurrent,' Carmichael commented of the film, which is about a young Vietnamese man who embarks on a bi
  • Country Of My Skull

    Dir. John Boorman. UK-Ireland-South Africa. 2003While there is no reason to doubt the profound sincerity and laudable intentions behind this adaptation of Antjie Krog's book, John Boorman's portrait of South Africa grappling with its own terrible past during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) - whose purpose was to clear the air by exposing all the crimes of the Apartheid regime - never goes beyond the politically correct but cinematically uninspired. Country Of
  • Daybreak (Om Jag Vander Mig Om)

    Dir. Bjorn Runge. Sweden, 2004. 108 mins.Already the recipient of four Swedish Oscars and a hit in its home territory, Bjoern Runge's fourth feature turns out to be yet another one of the recently fashionable multi-episode panoramic spreads that portray contemporary family life in various states of distress. Three separate, unrelated stories, each one rooted in a different social background, focus on one night in the life of several people, all at a crucial point in their liv

    Disney's animated Brother Bear managed to charm its way into the top spot in front of Tom Cruise's The Last Samurai, with a slightly higher admissions screen average but a lower box-office average of DKR42,722 compared to Samurai's DKR57,693.Though only dropping just 15%, Annette K. Olesen's Berlin competition entry In Your Hands was pushed down to fourth after three weeks. However, with admissions passing 60,000, it has already performed better than Nordisk Film h
  • Deveau named MK2 acquisition chief

    French mini-conglomerate MK2 comes to Berlin having recently appointed Jean-Francois Deveau as its new head of acquisitions.The move signals MK2's ambition to expand its theatrical releasing operations, which have taken a back-seat in the last couple of years as the group developed its exhibition portfolio and branched into DVDs.Deveau, who will work alongside distribution chief Marc-Antoine Pineau, is an MK2 veteran having worked on the exhibition and booking side until 15 year
  • Digital chips away at festival screenings

    Having already opened horizons for film-makers, digital technology's potential to transform film choices is now beginning to make itself felt at festivals and among theatrical exhibition circuits.The Berlin festival has equipped ten of its cinemas with digital projectors and is showing 47 films from the Panorama, Forum and Perspektive Deutsches Kino strands in digital format. They include Robert Lepage's Far Side Of The Moon, Romauld Karmakar's Land Of Annihilation and Ja
  • DVD piracy on the rise in Asia-Pacific, MPAA report warns

    The Motion PictureAssociation of America (MPAA) said it organised and conducted anti-piracyoperations in the Asia-Pacific region last year that resulted in nearly 13,000raids by law enforcement agencies, as well as the seizure of nearly 45millionpirated optical discs, a new record.Videotape seizures in 2003dropped 55% compared to 2002, while seizures of recordable DVDs shot up 3,265%,demonstrating an emphatic technology shift by pirates towards the DVD and DVD-Rplatforms.Seizure
  • EFA opens doors to Israeli, Palestinian film-makers

    The European Film Academy (EFA) has invited Israeli and Palestinian film-makers to submit their films for the European Film Awards.The invitation is part of moves by EFA to open up to Mediterranean countries "which have natural and historic cinema relations with Europe," said EFA chairman Humbert Balsan.Israeli director Amos Gitai said: "In our region of continuous tragic conflict, every gesture of creating a stage of co-operation and dialogue will serve as a model." Palestinian
  • Equinoxe launches production venture

    Billy Bob Thornton is in talks to star in Three Bad Men, an $11m Canada-UK co-production backed by Myriad Pictures, Anthony Minghella's and Sydney Pollock's Mirage Enterprises, David Barron and Paul Weiland's UK production outfit Contagious Films and newly-launched Canadian venture Equinoxe Productions.Weiland is set to direct the Peter Straughan-scripted dark comedy about three hit men trying to break free from their past. Filming is slated for Montreal this summer.The project,
  • European Film Market buyers afraid of the dark

    Talk to buyers at this year's market and you'll find that they like the films on offer - but find it difficult to rave about their commercial prospects.In fact, scarcely any film from either the Berlin festival or the European Film Market has been able to unite buyers in a truly positive fashion."Hardly a single film on Screen International's critics poll has received four stars. It is really unusual that nobody has found anything they really, really like," said Willmar Anderson
  • European Film Market faces growing pains

    This year's Berlinale European Film Market (EFM), which opens today, is going to be bigger than ever before - but its chief is playing down its growth prospects once the American Film Market loses its February slot from 2005."We don't know what is coming. We cannot just assume that the market will expand next year. It is a question of 'if' rather than 'when'," said EFM head Beki Probst yesterday. "But we have to be ready for such growth."It is widely expected within the industry
  • Europe's indies cash in on DVD gold rush

    DVDs are more than just a welcome new revenue stream for Europe's distributors and producers - they are rapidly becoming their primary source of income.San Fu Maltha, whose A-Film ranks as the third largest distributor in the Netherlands on the back of such films as Lord Of The Rings trilogy, reckons that those five-inch discs account for two thirds of his entire turnover."See what has become of us," joked Maltha referring to both him and Kinowelt's Rainer Koelmelt, one o
  • Fandango increases its international activities

    Dynamic Italian producer Domenico Procacci, whose Fandango outfit produced Critics Week closing film B&B and The Cormoran, is continuing to ramp up his international production and distribution labels.Procacci has boarded upcoming Australian picture Missing Tom, through the Australian company he runs with directors Rolf de Heer and Richard Lowenstein.At the same time, Procacci has also picked up all Italian distribution rights to Life Is A Miracle (ak
  • FIAPF set to rewrite festival rule-book

    International film producers body FIAPF is set to revamp its film festival regulations and accreditation system following a meeting in Berlin with the directors of the world's leading international film festivals yesterday.At a meeting hosted by Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick, FIAPF's president, producer Andres Vicente Gomez, outlined FIAPF's plan to launch of a broad-based consultation over the next three months, involving both the festivals and FIAPF members, to review every elem
  • Film councils tell EC to leave subsidy rules alone

    Europe's national film funding agencies - including the UK Film Council, France's CNC and Spain's ICAA - have told the European Commission to keep its hands off local funding regulations.The national film agencies of the 15 European Union (EU) member states this week issued a joint statement attacking new Commission proposals.The Commission has issued a discussion paper proposing changes to the guidelines under which countries can assist the film industry.The biggest sing
  • Film Italia launches with Mifed price cut promise

    Georgio Gosetti will today in Berlin (Monday) present Film Italia the new national promotional body that replaces Italia Cinema, and unveil the first concrete elements of Mifed's response to the challenge of an autumn AFM."In the past we have had too many announcements about Mifed which have not been followed through, and too much politics. We will be opening ourselves to a vigorous process of question and answers," said Gosetti, managing director of newly created Audivisual Industry P
  • Filmax creates second Spanish base

    Spanish mini-studio Filmax is expanding its Barcelona-based activities with plans for a new, integrated hub in the northwest Galicia region.The company has appointed former TV producer Xose Manuel Barreira new general manager to oversee activities in the region, where Filmax Animation and part-owned animation factory Bren Entertainment are currently headquartered."Galicia is our second production centre," says Filmax CEO and Galicia native Julio Fernandez. "With this new window

    Scary Movie 3 literally terrified the Finnish box-office this weekend as it moved from seventh to first spot besting The Last Samurai and The Return Of The King with its strong 498 admissions screen average.The previews of Disney's Brother Bear easily put it into fifth from just 17 prints, while the order of most other films remained unchanged.Local films Addiction and Land Of Love dropped to fourth and eight respectively. The weekend wa
  • First Love (Primo Amore)

    Dir: Matteo Garrone. Italy. 2004. 98mins.The only Italian film in competition at Berlin, Matteo Garrone's First Love takes an unflinching look at the subject of anorexia. It is as painful an experience for the audience as it appears to be for the protagonist: by the end, we feel that we too have lost 20kg. But although the cinematic authority which Garrone grew into with his previous film, the 2002 Cannes Quinzaine contender The Taxidermist (L'Imbalsamatore
  • First Run acquires US video/DVD rights to yoga guru doc

    First Run Pictures has acquired domestic home video and DVD rightsto Ashtanga, NY,Caroline Laskow and Mary Wigmore's documentary about the Indian yoga guru Sri KPattabhi Jois. A release is planned in the autumn.
  • Firstsight Films and Classic Media team up on Lassie

    Charles Sturridge, theBATFA-award winning director of Shackleton and Longitude, haswritten and is set to direct a live-action version of Lassie with his Firstsight Films and New York-based ClassicMedia set to produce.Firstsight's SelwynRoberts, who shared BAFTA honours with Sturridge, and Francesca Barra willserve as producers while Classic Media's chairman and chief executiveofficer Eric Ellenbogen and head of international Doug Schwalbe will serve asexecutive pro
  • Fox's Grass moves up to executive vice president

    Christian Grass (pictured) has beenpromoted to Fox International's executive vice president of Europe, Middle Eastand Africa, effective immediately.Grass will continue tooversee the theatrical distribution, sales and marketing operations for all FoxFilmed Entertainment pictures in Europe as well as European co-productions andacquisitions as part of the distributor's ongoing strategy to partner up onlocal language films around the world."Christian has demonstratedtime and again h

    Local boy makes good! Alain Chabat's unpronounceable caveman comedy RRRrrrr!!! opens in first position beating Disney's heavily hyped Brother Bear with nearly 1 million admissions in its first week.Directed by Chabat who also helmed 2002 hit Asterix And Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, the film is loaded with local comedians and even Gerard Depardieu.The consonant laden title was hotly anticipated especially given that the ad campaign had already begun in late 200
  • France gets first production Observatory

    France's culture minister Jean-Jacaques Aillagon officially opened the first Observatory for Cinematic Production in the French capital on Tuesday.The newly created think tank, described as a 'place of regular debates on the economy of the production of films in France,' was one of the initiatives put forth by Aillagon last April in order to aid film production. The group, made up of local film producers' unions, television networks, representatives from the distribution, export and vi
  • France reverses Ken Park rating

    This week, France's state council reversed the rating originally given to Larry Clark's controversial Ken Park released in theatres last October. While the film was initially stamped with a 'no children under 16 rating' the board said the cut off age should be upped to 18.The council has partially cancelled the film's exhibition visa although it did not place Ken Park on a list of pornographic or violence inciting films as had been requested by Promouvoir, a special inter
  • Francesca Neri to produce erotic adaptation

    Italian actress Francesca Neri has announced that she will soon produce her first film, an adaptation of Italy's literary sensation of 2003: an erotic diary written by a 17-year-old Sicilian schoolgirl.The diary, entitled Cento Colpi Di Spazzola Prima Di Andare A Dormire (literally, one hundred brushes before bed time) was written by a student known only as Melissa P. and delves into her multiple erotic encounters and fantasies.The book has sold over 500,000 copies in Italy sinc
  • Frigo earns svp sales/marketing stripes at BVI - Europe

    Daniel Frigo has been promoted from vice president ofBuena Vista International, Europe to senior vice president of sales/marketingand deputy general manager for Buena Vista International, Europe.He will report to Stuart Salter, executive vicepresident and general manager of Buena Vista International, Europe, and willtake on a more c
  • Fuji TV to shoot submarine thriller

    The Fuji TV network, the makers of last year's number one hit Bayside Shakedown 2, have announced the production of a submarine thriller set in the closing days of World War II.Titled Lorelei, the film will star Koji Yakusho (Eureka, Warm Water Under A Red Bridge) and 16-year-old newcomer Yu Kashi, who shot to fame last year in the hit TV series Waterboys. The director is Shinji Higuchi, an effects specialist responsible for three Gamera instalments a
  • Funny Balloons takes Belgian comedy

    Newly created Paris-based sales agent Funny Balloons has acquired Aaltra from directors Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern. The Belgian road comedy, which was also written by the director/stars was a contender for a Tiger Award at the recent Rotterdam Festival.Peter Danner, a former sales director at 20th Century Fox in London, and Pape Boye who has worked in sales and acquisitions at StudioCanal and TVOR started Funny Balloons with the ambition to acquire "films with strong id
  • German media fund strikes radical US deal

    Producers Eberhard Junkersdorf and Dietmar Guntsche's private German media fund Neue Bioskop Germany (NBG) has teamed up with US producer said that the co-operation with production and commercials outfit, a producer of Oscar nominated documentary The Fog Of War, would "immediately give us a partner at our side who has access to an international network as well as having developed outstanding English language projects.""Our interes
  • Germany's 'ambivalent' cinema year

    "An ambivalent cinema year" was how Rolf Baehr, the outgoing board member of the German Federal Film Board (FFA), described 2003 on presenting Germany's official annual box office figures yesterday.While the box-office success of such local films as Good Bye, Lenin!, The Miracle Of Bern and Luther saw German films' market share climb from 2002's 11.9% to 17.5% with 25.3m tickets sold, overall box office figures were not so encouraging.Total admissions fell by 9.1%
  • Germany's Movienet buys James Joyce adaptation

    Germany's Movienet has acquired all German speaking rights for James Joyce adaptation Bloom, starring Stephen Rea and directed by Sean Walsh.'I was very successful with Siddhartha and The Dead and want to continue with high-class literary films in my programme,' commented Movienet's Lothar Seelandt who negotiated the deal with Matt McCombs of the Paragon Film Group.
  • Giles checks into Tartan as buying chief

    Tartan Films, the UK indie that recently changed its name from Metro Tartan, has appointed Jane Giles as its new head of acquisitions.Giles, who held a similar post at the Institute of Contemporary Arts' ICA Projects, joined Tartan at the beginning of the year and has already travelled to the Rotterdam festival on its behalf and will attend Berlin and the AFM."We are delighted that someone of Jane's calibre is joining us. Her experience will be invaluable," said Laura De Casto,
  • Golden Network sells Takien, unveils martial arts pic

    Hong Kong's Golden Network has had a busy time fielding sales started at the recent Bangkok Film Market, launching new Thai martial arts pictures and presenting a new Chinese project in Berlin's Co-Production market.New Select has bought Japanese rights to Takien, a supernatural rural tale directed by Chalerm Wongpin, which it showed in Bangkok. The film was also sold as a package with new action title Maha-Ut and 2002 action flick Goodman Town, to Germany's EMS.
  • Greenaway goes to battle in search of human soul

    Speaking in Berlin following the screening of Tulse Luper's Suitcases, Part II, maverick British director Peter Greenaway revealed details of his next major project - a Russian language epic set in the aftermath of the 30 Years War.Augsbergenfeld, as the project is called, is a historical, baroque film about an anatomist "looking for the human soul'he's optimistic enough to think he can find it, maybe as part of the brain or the cortex or the heart." At the time the film
  • Grudge remake sold to 27 territories

    The Grudge, Ghost House Pictures' English-language remake of the Japanese hit horror Ju-On, has been sold to 27 territories including North America (Columbia Pictures), Czech/Slovakia (AQS), Greece (Audiovisual), Russia (Central Partner), Germany (Constantin), Benelux (Dutch Dreamwork), Scandinavia (Egmont), Portugal (LNK), France (Metropolitain), Spain (Planeta), Iceland (Sam Film), Poland (Vision), Bulgaria/Romania/Ex-Yugoslavia (Prooptiki), U.K. (Universal), Turkey (Medyavizi
  • Guadalajara selects Dreamers as opener

    In keeping with the Italian theme of this year's edition, the 19th Guadalajara Mexican and Iberoamerican Showcase has unveiled plans to open the festival with Bernardo Bertolucci's erotic thriller, The Dreamers.The event, which runs from March 19 - 25, has selected Italy as its guest of honour this year. A sidebar on Italian cinema will feature classic and recent films from the country ranging from Federico Fellini's Amarcord (1973) to Pupi Avati's Il Cuore Altrove
  • Hickel joins Valhalla as president of production

    Bryan Hickel has been namedpresident of production at Gale Anne Hurd's Valhalla Motion Pictures, effectiveimmediately.Hickel will overseeacquisitions and development of all company projects including Valhalla'scurrent project, MarvelComic's The Punisher,set to be released in the US through Lions Gate on April 16 and internationallyby Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International.He will work on alltheatrical projects and report directly to Ga
  • Hinsou named supporting actor of the year at Showest

    Djimon Hounsou, who is nominated for a best supporting actorAcademy Award for his role in In America, has been named ShoWest 2004 Supporting Actor of the Year.

    As the peak Chinese New Year holiday period continues in Hong Kong, Media Asia's Magic Kitchen and China Star's Fantasia switched places at the top of the chart but continue to dominate the box office leaving most other holiday releases in the dust.Magic Kitchen, starring box office queen Sammi Cheng as an unlucky-in-love chef, has a cumulative gross of US$2.58m. But Fantasia - a star-packed comedy that pays tribute to local movie stars of the 1970s - is the
  • Hot docs swell Wild Bunch slate

    French sales house Wild Bunch has added another controversy-stirring documentary to the huge line-up it will present at the Berlinale and the AFM later this month. It has also added two films that look made for high profile slots at Cannes.It has picked up world sales rights to The Yes Men, a picture about a group of anti-corporate activists who impersonate representatives of the World Trade Organisation, which plays in Berlin's Panorama section.Wild Bunch's other hot doc
  • In Your Hands (Forbrydelser)

    Dir Annette K. Olesen. Denmark. 2003. 100 mins.Annette K. Olesen's In Your Hands is the latest Danish film to receive an official Dogme95 certificate, and is the easily the most muscular, in dramatic terms, since the first, Thomas Vinterberg's revelatory family tragedy Festen. In the same big moral vein as 21 Grams or All About My Mother, In Your Hands deals with issues like faith and trust and accountability, and the relevance of the Christian ide
  • Intimate Strangers (Confidences Trop Intimes)

    Dir. Patrice Leconte. France, 2003. 104 mins.This brilliantly written, superbly acted, witty two-hander, directed with clockwork precision, finds director Patrice Leconte in top form, doing what he does best - engineering encounters between two opposite characters and watching them squirm. A sentimental thriller, to use his own definition, providing a heady mixture of sexual innuendo and sharp psychological observations that never take themselves too seriously, Leconte's late
  • Ireland bucks downward Euro admissions trend

    Irish box office revenues continued to climb - up 4% to Euros 97.5m in 2003, while admissions bucked the downward European trend and rose by 1% to 17.4 million, according to year-end analysis of cinema-going in the Republic of Ireland from Carlton Screen Advertising.The population of the Republic of Ireland stands at 3.9m and records about 4.5 visits per person per annum. By contrast Northern Ireland with a population of 1.7 million records 3.2 visits per person per year. Northern Irel

    Le Barzellette, the latest Italian comedy to be produced by the all-powerful Aurelio De Laurentiis, opened at number one at the box office, becoming the first picture in three weeks to knock : The Return Of The King off the top spot.Directed by Carlo Vanzina, Le Barzellette, a collection of Italian comic sketches, grossed a superb $3,259,522 from a wide release on 401 screens, registering a massive screen average of $7,853 for distributor Filmauro.The weeken
  • Jackson wins DGA award for Return Of The King

    Peter Jackson won top honours at the 56th Annual DGA Awards in Los Angeles at the weekend for The Lord Of TheRings: The Return Of The King.The honour is widelyregarded as a strong barometer of Academy Award success in the best directorcategory, for which Jackson is nominated. Forty-nine of the past 55 Directors Guild of America winnershave gone on to claim the Oscar.Jackson, who won the bestdirector Golden Globe two weeks ago, beat the challenge of Sofia Coppola (LostIn Translat
  • Japanese fall for My Girl

    Thai drama My Girl (Fan Chan), which screens in both Berlinale's Forum and the EFM, was scooped up by Japanese buyers Cinema Parisien and Artist Film.'We are thrilled to have sold it to these distributors which are also releasing Party Monster and have recognised the film's cross-over potential between youth and adult audiences,' said Wouter Barendrecht, co-chief of Fortissimo Film Sales, which also licensed it to A-Film for the Benelux region, Golden Village for Singapor
  • King: $943m with Japan still to open

    New Line International's The Lord Of The Rings: The Return OfThe King has become thethird biggest grossing film of all time with a worldwide running total of$942.7m.
  • Kinowelt sales slate swelled by Playa, Verhoeven doc

    Kinowelt International has picked up Felix Moeller's documentary The Verhoevens and Peter Lichtefeld's new feature Playa Del Futuro for international distribution.Stelios Ziannis, head of international sales at Kinowelt International, plans to begin presales on Lichtefeld's film which was shooting in Cologne before Christmas and will be moving production to Andalucia next week.Produced by Berlin-based Bosko Biati Film with Kinowelt Filmproduktion, the Euros 2.6m la
  • Koch Lorber picks up rights to The Five Obstructions

    KochLorber Films has acquired theatrical and DVD rights to Lars von Trier andJorgen Leth's acclaimed 2003 documentary The Five Obstructions.Thefilm is the result of a challenge by Von Trier to Leth in which the latter hadto remake his 1967 short The Perfect Human in five different ways, eachtime within the boundaries of certain parameters imposed by Von Trier.Itis due to go on limited US release beginning with a premiere at New York's FilmForum on May 26. Th
  • Korean war epic is multiple record-breaker

    Kang Je-gyu's Korean War epic Taegukgi is enjoying a record-breaking opening in its native country, becoming South Korea's first film ever to reach 2 million admissions ($11.3m) in five days.Released by distributor Showbox on February 5 on a record 443 prints, the film has already broken the territory's records for opening day (324,000 admissions) and weekend (1.78 million) performances. The film expanded to 453 screens on Monday and looks likely to face little competition in t
  • Kroopf confirms Intermedia move

    Scott Kroopf hasbeen confirmed as president of the motion picture group for Intermedia and willreport to the company's chairman and chief executive officer Moritz Borman.Kroopf willoversee all Intermedia's film production, development and acquisitionactivities and will work with Borman, vice-chairman and head of motion pictureoperations Jon Gumpert and chief operating officer Bahman Naraghi on strategicplanning and creative direction.On a day-to-daybasis he will work closely wit
  • Latido beats Spanish drum

    New Spanish-language sales consortium Latido has closed a string of sales on Manuel Gutierrez Aragon's Berlin competition entry Your Next Life prior to the film's premiere today (Monday) - and the company's official launch at the post-premiere party.Your Next Life (La Vida Que Te Espera) has sold to Canada's Seville Pictures, Austria's Poly Film (theatrical only), Israel's Shani Distribution, Benelux's Cinemien, Mt. Blanc Distribution for Switzerland and Lichtenstein, and
  • Love Actually scores $1.7m Japan bow for Universal

    Universal's romantic comedy LoveActually opened on $1.7m from 210 prints through UIP in Japan at theweekend as the picture added $2.5m from 800 sites in 14 markets for a $156minternational running total.Including non-UIP markets ithas grossed $165m and there are still seven to go, including Taiwan on Feb 14.Along Came Polly added $705,000 from 195 sites in its third week inAustralia, slipping 35% and finishing in second place for a $5m cumulativescore. It was also
  • Machinist director moves to bossa nova

    Director Brad Anderson, whose The Machinist screens in Berlin's Panorama section, is prepping two new and very different feature film projects.The first is a musical set in early 1960's Brazil. The story follows an American woman who travels to Rio de Janeiro and discovers bossa nova music. Anderson is writing the script with his Next Stop Wonderland co-writer Lyn Vaus and Boston-based producer Robbins Entertainment. Financing is not yet in place."This is an attemp
  • MEDIA Programme chief moves on

    Jacques Delmoly, who has headed the European Union's MEDIA Programme unit since 1995, is to leave his post at the end of March.He will take up a new role as the head of the European Commission's LINGUA project which promotes foreign language learning via the Internet.Delmoly's exit from the MEDIA unit comes in the wake of the European Commission's administrative reforms which require senior officials in financially sensitive positions to move around within the Commission to anot
  • MEDIA SALLES launches DigiTraining course

    The MEDIA Programme exhibition initiative MEDIA SALLES has announced the launch of a brand new training course 'DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies For European Cinemas to held at the headquarters of the Belgian video screening company BARCO in Kuurne from March 31 to April 4.Topics to be dealt with include an overview of digital screening technology, a debate on the main business models as well as problems linked to piracy and security measures.
  • Meistrich's Film Movement moves into Canada

    Larry Meistrich's first-runDVD distribution outfit Film Movement is expanding into the Canadian market,offering its monthly subscription-based service to film buffs north of theborder. Launched in May 2002 by the former Shooting Gallery executive, the NewYork-based company has created a niche for art house and specialty titles thatmight otherwise be passed over by distributors, acquiring rights to films andsending its members an exclusive DVD title each month - a disk they get tokeep.M
  • Mountain buffeted by cold US wind

    Speaking yesterday at Screen International's Modernising European Cinema Summit in Berlin, Anthony Minghella expressed his dismay at the continuing criticism he faces in the US for shooting Berlinale opening film Cold Mountain in Romania.Even though his decision to film the Civil War drama in Europe rather than North Carolina saved an estimated $30m, Minghella believes that the Hollywood studios are "starting to feel less generous" toward productions which are perceived to be t
  • New tax scheme for 'Bollywood UK'

    UK Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt is backing a scheme to raise £34m to set up a production base for Indian films made in Europe, specifically in the Leicester area of England.The plan is to offer wealthy British individuals the chance to invest in a portfolio of Indian films produced in Leicester for the local market and beyond, while receiving generous tax breaks.Under this scheme investors qualify for immediate tax relief at their rate of tax - 40% for higher rat

    The Lord Of The Rings - The Return Of The King, The Last Samurai and Cold Mountain were the first, second and third most popular films at the box office, just as they were last weekend, although takings for each of them dropped by between NZ$60,000 and NZ$90,000.Snapping at their heels in its opening weekend from fourth position, with a NZ$140,835 gross from 38 screens for Roadshow, was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.Something's Gotta Give was fifth and

    The latest Norwegian addition to the originally Danish Olsen Gang movies, The Young Olsen Gang Rocks It, easily muscled The Last Samurai from the top spot with a strong 990 screen average on its high 61 prints.The film follows last year's most successful local release in Nordisk Film's hit franchise. Along with the Tom Cruise vehicle, Petter Naess' youth film Just Bea and The Return Of The King all dropped some 30% on that account, while the new release of
  • Official Mickey Mouse portrait artist John Hench is dead

    JohnHench, the longtime Disney artist and official portrait artist of Mickey Mouse,died of heart failure earlier today (5) at Providence Saint Joseph MedicalCentre in Burbank following a brief illness. He was 95.Henchwas born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Jun 28 1908 and grew up in southernCalifornia. After attending the California School of Fine Arts in San Franciscoand the Chouinard Institute in Los Angeles
  • One Perfect Day

    Dir: Paul Currie. Australia. 2003. 105minsTelling their tale of a young 'genius' who rejects composing at London's fusty old Royal Academy of Music in favour of spinning the decks at Melbourne clubs and Outback raves, it was essential that the makers of One Perfect Day got the soundtrack right. This they certainly did: the screen pulsates to a throbbing beat, the tracks are by established international talent (much of it original and including the likes of Fat Boy Slim
  • OZ producers' conference moves date, location

    The Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) plans to stage its annual conference three months earlier than usual and relocate it to Queensland's Surfers Paradise, so that it overlaps with the Australian International Movie Convention."This decision can only grow Australia's film business because of the opportunities that will come from connecting more closely with exhibitors and distributors," said SPAA executive director Geoff Brown. "It will be of particular benefit to the s
  • Paramount Classics enters Mean Creek

    Paramount Classics has acquired North American, UK and Australianrights to Jacob Estes' directorial debut Mean Creek, which premiered in American Spectrum atthe Sundance Film Festival last month to strong reviews.
  • Paramount Classics gets Intimate

    Paramount Classics is in final negotiations to pick up rights in North America and select other territories on Patrice Leconte's latest drama Intimate Strangers (Confidences Trop Intimes) which screened in competition in Berlin.The deal which should close this weekend marks the third Leconte movie for Paramount Classics which has scored notable foreign language hits with The Girl On The Bridge in 1999 and Man On A Train last year. The film is handled by StudioCanal
  • Political turmoil returns to Italy

    Italy is once again in the throes of the political turmoil which has gripped its film and TV institutions for decades.Two events this week have yet again shone the spotlight on Italian prime minister and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi.Firstly, the Italian parliament has surprisingly failed to pass his government's controversial Gasparri media law, which has now been frozen until a special parliamentary commission re-examines it. And secondly, a new wave of controversy involving B
  • Red Lights (Feux Rouges)

    Dir: Cedric Kahn. France. 2003. 106 mins.Imagine a bleak and edgy feature-length episode of Mr Bean co-directed by Robert Bresson and Vincent Gallo. Then imagine that it's actually rather good. Dark and unconventional, this road thriller by Roberto Succo director Cedric Kahn gets under the skin in ways that it's not easy to rationalise, and which have little to do with textbook Hollywood script structure. The film demands commitment from its audience, especially
  • Rezo says Yes to Men

    French seller Wild Bunch claimed one of the first deals of the EFM with the sale on Friday afternoon of recently picked-up documentary The Yes Men to Rezo Films for France.The film by Chris Smith, Dan Oldman and Sarah Price was quickly snapped up by Rezo buyer Laurent Danielou. Yes Men, about a group of corporate pranksters, premiered at Sundance and got its first screening in Berlin's Panorama section on Sunday.
  • Roadside and Goldwyn pick up US rights to Super Size Me

    Roadside Attractions anddistribution partner Samuel Goldwyn Films have picked up US theatrical andvideo rights to Morgan Spurlock's hot Sundanceaward-winner Super Size Me.Spurlock won the BestDirector award in the festival's documentary section last month andearned wide popularity for the film, which charts his efforts to eat onlyMcDonalds food over the course of one artery-blocking month.Due out in spring, SuperSize Me marks the first release fromRoadside Attracti
  • Romania unveils film commission

    One of the hottest destinations on the "soft money-low cost location" scene, Romania is to get its own form of film commission.The new body, Romanian Film Promotion, is a private sector initiative spearheaded by Tudor Giurgiu, an independent producer and chief selector of the Transylvania Film Festival."Ultimately, we want Romania to become more than a service industry for foreign films. But we also need to help those films that do come here and to facilitate the kind of co-prod
  • Saw

    Dir: James Wan. US. 2004. 100mins.Saw is a sub-Se7en B-movie serial killer chiller with more high concepts stuffed into its 100 minutes than it can handle. Riddled with plot holes and with a final twist which aficionados of the genre will spot a mile off, it nevertheless possesses a hankering to scare with style reminiscent of recent Asian horror like The Eye, The Grudge or The Ring. Lions Gate Films which bought worldwide rights just prior to the
  • Schwartzman gets top honours from ASC for Seabiscuit

    Seabiscuitcinematographer John Schwartzman won top honours at the 18th Annual AmericanSociety of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards gala on Sunday(Feb 8).
  • Sex drama entices Winterbottom

    With $30,000 in development money from United Artists, last year's Golden Bear winner Michael Winterbottom has started shooting what promises to be his most contentious project yet - a fully sexually explicit relationship drama.He is yet to decide whether the film will ever be released or indeed even completed. "We're messing around on DV. Maybe at some point, we'll either make it into a film or release it as a DVD or just keep it for our archives," Winterbottom said in Rotterdam last
  • SHIP shapes up with detective trilogy

    Studio Hamburg International Production (SHIP), the English-language division of Studio Hamburg Produktion (SHP), has unveiled a slate of five feature projects for production in 2004/2005.The first project scheduled for production at the end of this year is the children's adventure film The Mystery Of Skeleton Island, which will be the first in a trilogy of features based on the The Three Investigators series of books by Robert Arthur.The script, based on the adven
  • Shooting Stars hit Berlin

    Yesterday (Sunday) in Berlin, young thesps from all over Europe were paraded at a series of events in Berlin as part of the 7th 'Shooting Star' showcase.They had 'speed breakfasts' with casting directors, met the press at a special lunch in the Hotel Esplanade and rubbed shoulders with directors, producers (and a small army of sponsors) at a swanky gala dinner in the Hotel Adlon.The event, co-ordinated by European Film Promotions, is fast becoming a permanent fixture at the Berl
  • Sisters sales boost Highpoint's Dutch ties

    London-based outfit High Point Films, in Berlin for the first time, has concluded another sale on its Oscar-nominated Dutch title, Twin Sisters. The film (which is being released in the US by Miramax) has now gone to Sweden (Atlantic Film) following earlier deals with Germany (Kinowelt) and Japan. The major territories still available are France, Spain and the UK.Meanwhile, High Point is continuing to strengthen its ties with the Dutch industry. The 14-year-old UK company which
  • Skull in 'brutal' financing struggle

    Producer Robert Chartoff emerged more battered and bruised from Berlin competition film The Country Of My Skull than he did from his breakout boxing picture Rocky.At a seminar organised by the European Co-production Market yesterday, he described the financing of John Boorman's Skull as "absolutely brutal," and said that the film was rejected by every studio. It was then offered to every natural financier, before being cobbled together as a Euros15m UK-Ireland co-p
  • Solo takes Your Next Life

    German distributor Solo-Film has picked up veteran Spanish director Manuel Gutierrez Aragon's latest feature Your Next Life which will have its world premiere in the Berlinale's Official Competition on Feb 9.Meanwhile, Senator Film Verleih has been named as the distributor for Carsten Fiebeler's East-West comedy Kleinruppin Forever. Handled internationally by BetaCinema, the film will have its world premiere and first market screening at the European Film Market on Feb 8.
  • South Africa launches anti-piracy campaign

    South Africa's major entertainment company, Johnnic communications unveiled a multi-million rand public education campaign to combat piracy over the festive season which is beginning to see results.In this past week alone a consignment of over 13,300 pirated DVDS was intercepted at customs at Johannesburg International Airport. Advertisements in the campaign show ordinary South Africans buying DVDs from roadside sellers, listening to music downloaded off the Internet and playing pirate
  • South Africa set for Dreamworld studio

    Anant Singh's Dreamworld Film City has confirmed plans to build a film production complex in Cape Town, having finally received development permission from the state and city authorities.In September Singh's consortium had appeared to have won the bidding process - it was named as the "preferred finalist" - but obtaining the relevant planning permission has taken longer than expected.Construction is now scheduled to begin in January next year and the first tenants arrive in earl
  • Strand falls for Thai ladies

    New York-based specialist releasing operation Strand releasing has picked up North American rights on Thai comedy Iron Ladies II.The gender-bending sequel directed by Yongyouth Thongkunthun was a huge box office hit in its native Thailand, where it grossed Baht 100m, and has been a top seller for sales agent, Fortissimo Film Sales.The deal was negotiated by Jon Gerrans for Strand and Michael J Werner for Fortissimo.Strand principal, Marcos Hu said 'Having worked to
  • Sundance Institute mourns the death of Lynn Auerbach

    The Sundance Institute ismourning the death of Lynn Auerbach, the well-liked associate director of itsfeature film programme, who died suddenly at the end of January. The Institute hasissued the following statement."It is with deep sadnessthat we at Sundance grieve the loss of our colleague Lynn Auerbach. Overfifteen years, Lynn was Associate Director of the Sundance Institute's FeatureFilm Programme."She was intimately involvedin all aspects of the program from identifying and

    BVI's Brother Bear beat the thrills of the prolific Kjell Sundvall's latest action film The Threat, partly because of its massive 149 prints, although its screen average was only slightly better than last week's new local release The Ketchup Effect (Hip Hip Hora!), the feature debut from newcomer Terese Fabik.However, this week's best performer on just 11 prints was Sandrew Metronome's Lost In Translation, which managed an impressive $10,701. The limited rel
  • The Last Samurai set to cross $250m for Warner Bros

    The Last Samurai is poised to pass $250m at the international boxoffice this upcoming weekend when Warner Bros Pictures International unleashesit in Russia.The epic adventure goes outon 170 screens and has amassed $249.2m from all its markets to date.The romantic comedy Something'sGotta Give begins its European release following an out of competition slotat Berlin and has openings in France (340 screens), Italy (220) and the UK(approximately 270 sites). It has gros
  • The Last Samurai smashes through $250m barrier

    The Last Samurai smashedthrough $250m at the weekend as it added an estimated $17.5m from all itsmarkets for a $272.1m international running total.Distributed through WarnerBros Pictures Int'l, the drama grossed $11.2m in Europe and $2.5m in Japan, whereits total is now a staggering $105m.This latest updated gross means The Last Samurai has become the biggest R-rated picture in Japan on Yen 11.5bn, surpassing The Matrix Reloaded, another Warner Bros picture,
  • The Tulse Luper Suitcases Part II: Vaux To The Sea

    Dir: Peter Greenaway Neth-Sp-Lux-Hung-It-Ger-Russ. 2004. 120mins.Part two of the movie arm of Peter Greenaway's gloriously megalomaniac multimedia project The Tulse Luper Suitcases is, if anything, even more ravishingly weird and hermetic than Part I: The Moab Story, which screened at Cannes last year (the second part enjoyed at special screening at Berlin). For the uninitiated, The Tulse Luper Suitcases is a 360-degree multimedia project based on 92 suit
  • Theron leads Outfest Screen Idol Award nominees

    Charlize Theron is among nominees announced by Outfest forits fourth annual Screen Idol Awards to be voted on by the public.The awards recognise the leading gay, lesbian, bisexual andtransgendered performances by a lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor andsupporting actress in a feature film or television.Theron's performance in Monster earns her a bestactress nomination, and other nominees include Gina Gershon in Prey For RockAnd Roll, Set
  • Tonic buys short story collection by Wagner for possible horror franchise

    Producer Lauren Moews' Tonic Films has acquired Death Angel'sShadow, a collection ofthree short stories by fantasy author Karl Edward Wagner featuring the cultanti-hero character of Kane.
  • Transit runs away with doc sales

    End Of The Century: The Story Of The Ramones, the Berlin Panorama music documentary, has been bought for theatrical release by King Records of Japan and the UK's Tartan Films.Handled by documentary specialist Films Transit, the film had previously been pre-sold to US distributor magnolia.Film's Transit's Sundance award-winning documentary about global commerce The Corporation has been sold to Fandango for theatrical release in Italy.The film, by Mark Achbar and Jen
  • UK Film Council tickled by Spanish comedy

    The UK Film Council is to make its first ever investment in a Spanish language film as part of a bid to extend ties with mainland European partners.Spanish comedy Only Human will receive £298,723 in UK lottery investment.The Meet The Family-style comedy to be directed by Teresa De Pelegri and Dominic Harari, is being produced by Gerardo Herrero and Mariela Besuievsky of Tornasol and by Patrick Cassaveti and Adrian Sturges of Greenpoint Films.The film stars N
  • UK Film Showcase unveiled

    Further details have emerged of The UK Film Showcase, the new screenings initiative for British films being launched in London this summer.London mayor Ken Livingstone is investing roughly £50,000 into the event, due to be held in late June at the three-screen National Film Theatre in London. The Showcase is being organised by Film Export UK, UK Film Council and Film London.Among the blue chip titles likely to be on offer to buyers are Roger Michell's Enduing Love, Danny
  • UK, Canada companies team to make animated feature of Monster Club

    Montreal-based production and distribution house H2VEntertainment's Manga Latina Productions, along with UK-based UKFS as afinancing co-producer, have teamed up with the UK's Treehouse Productions toturn AP Comics' first full-colour comic book Monster Club into an animated feature film.

    While only placing 17th in the UK/Ireland chart Gus Van Sant's 2003 Cannes Palme D'Or winner Elephant drew a heavyweight screen average during its strong bow in the territory last weekend.Playing at just 17 locations the documentary-styled drama, which tells a Columbinesque story of two disenchanted high school boys who carry out a massacre in their school, scored the best average ($8,738) of any film on release.Meanwhile Columbia TriStar's first wide release weekend for
  • UK's Soda scores with German Miracle

    Effervescent new UK outfit Soda Pictures, set up in 2002 by Eve Gabereau and Edward Fletcher, confirmed yesterday that it has taken UK rights to The Miracle Of Berne from Bavaria Film.Soda plans to release the football-themed drama, set at the time of West Germany's 1954 World Cup win, in the summer on 8-10 prints to coincide with the Euro 2004 soccer tournament in Portugal.Meanwhile, Soda has announced it will be staging a London retrospective of the works of Canadian di
  • Walden Media fast-tracks three children's projects

    Fast-tracking threechildren's projects, Walden Media has acquired rights to KatherinePaterson's Newbery Award-winning novel Bridge To Terabithia and Australian author Wendy Orr's award-winnerNim's Island and has signedAntz writer Todd Alcott to adaptLois Lowry's Newbery Award-winner The Giver.The company has partneredwith Jeff Bridges and his AsIs Productions and RCN Entertainment (RCNE) toproduce.'These three projectsare consistent with the overall W
  • Walk On Water

    Dir. Eytan Fox. Israel 2004. 93 mins.Back in the opening slot of the Berlin Panorama for a repeat performance after last year's Yossi And Jagger, Israeli director Eytan Fox is no longer content with modest, intimate challenges. His new effort is part spy thriller, part psychological drama, and covers much ground, shot as it is on location in three different countries in three different languages and dealing with heavyweight issues like the link between the Holocaust an
  • Werner joins Wellspring as head of theatrical distribution

    Ryan Werner is leaving Palm Pictures to join Wellspring as head oftheatrical distribution.Werner will be responsible for all aspects of distribution, marketing andpublicity for Wellspring's theatrical releases and will report to companypresident Al Cattabiani.He will work closely with Wellspring's head of acquisitions Marie ThereseGuirgis."He can bring us to the next level theatrically and deal with a rapidlychang
  • Wild scores Bunch of sales

    French seller Wild Bunch's increasingly multinational line-up has scored a number of sales to distributors around the world.Year-old Italian distributor and marketing combine Metacinema bought Finnish comedy Young Gods.Brazilian distributor S2A bought Pierre Salvadori comedy Apres Vous, documentary The Yes Men and Pascal Plisson's African adventure Masai. Apres Vous was also bought by Colombia's Centauro.Israel's Shani Films bought forthcoming Jean-Lu
  • Wondrous director readies Dali, Lorca project

    Director Paul Morrison, whose film Wondrous Oblivion opened the Berlinale Kinderfest, is set to direct Little Ashes, a drama based on the relationship between Spanish artists Federico Garcia Lorca and Salvador Dali in 1920's Madrid.The screenplay is by Philippa Goslett, and was developed by Moira Campbell through UK production company Wanton Muse. Wondrous Oblivion producer Jonny Persey has also joined the team, with Carlo Dusi executive producing and Sharon Howar
  • Zentropa and Sigma to throw Advance Party

    Denmark's Zentropa and Scotland's Sigma Films have formed an alliance to back three low-budget English-language films which will shoot in Scotland later this year.Under the Advance Party banner, the three digital £1m films will be directed by Scottish feature debutants Andrea Arnold and Morag McKinnon as well as Denmark's Mikkel Noergaard.The move follows the relationship struck up between Zentropa and Sigma Films on Lone Scherfig's Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself which shot
  • Zeta-Jones joins cast of Soderbergh's Ocean's Twelve

    Catherine Zeta-Jones has joined the all-star cast of Ocean'sTwelve, StevenSoderbergh's follow-up to his hit crime caper Ocean's Eleven that begins shooting in April for WarnerBros and Village Roadshow Pictures.