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11 February 2006

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  • Alpha Dog

    Dir/scr: Nick Cassavetes. US. 2006. 122min.Alpha Dog aims to be a nihilistic exploration of a true story about alow-level LA drug dealer whose career was ended by a more-than-usuallysenseless murder. But director-screenwriter Nick Cassavetes spends too many ofhis 122 minutes amidst LA's over-privileged and over-stimulated teenagewasteland and too little providing insight into what makes his centralcharacter tick. A documentary motif the camera sometimes ta
  • AMC Entertainment to sell Iberian multiplex network

    AMC Entertainment is in final negotiations to sell off its multiplexes in Spain and Portugal to UK private equity firm Terra FirmaCapital Partners.AMC and Cinesa (the Spanish brand of TerraFirma-owned UCI
  • Anders Thomas Jensen wins Robert award for Best Film

    The Danish Film Academy handed out its annualRobert awards in Copenhagen last night. Anders Thomas Jensen's Adam's Apples scored four awards withPer Fly's Manslaughter taking homethree. The winning films were also two of the big commercial successes at theDanish box office in 2005 with 355.689 and 393.239 ticke
  • Arclight puts spotlight on Asia

    Arclight Films has launched Easternlight, a sales, marketingand distribution division dedicated to Asian cinema.The division will encompass all genres, with Arclight managing director Gary Hamilton serving asmanaging director and chairman.Easternlight will commence salesat Berlin on its first two titlesfrom China:cinematographer Hou Yong's cross-generational familysaga
  • AV Pictures to handle sales for thriller Played

    AV Pictures has taken on sales for featurefilm Played and will be showing apromo reel of the project at Berlin's European Film Market. Sean Stanekdirects and co-wrote with Mick Rossi. Producers are Stanek,Rossi, John Daly, Nick Simunek, and Casper von Winterfeldt. The crime thriller stars Val Kilmer, GabrielByrne, Anthony LaPaglia, VinnieJones, Patrick Bergin, Patsy Kensit and Joanne Whalley. Playedfollows a man who com
  • Awards Countdown

    The Awards Countdown features below offer a form guide to the major honours. We also look at who has won what at other major awards.
  • Ball named chairman of Ingenious Media Active Capital

    TonyBall, the former CEO of British Sky Broadcasting, has been named the chairmanof Ingenious Media Active Capital (IMAC). IMAC namedNeil Blackley as its non-executive director. He was formerly the head of UK and European Media Research at Merrill Lynch. IMAC isthe media investment company
  • BD Fox & Friends signs picture deal with Noble House

    Hollywood-based marketing firm B D Fox & Friends'freshly minted sales divisionhas signed a three-picture deal with producer Mark Roemmich's Noble House EntertainmentPictures.In addition to Roemmich'spreviously announced dark romance Taylor, B D Fox & Friends will handlethe $65m Snow Princessand the $54m The Lost Gold Of Khan.Snow Princess isset to go into productio
  • Bill Block to launch sales, financing and production company

    Producer and former Artisanpresident, Bill Block has teamed up with threeentertainment industry veterans to launch the Beverly Hills-based international sales, financing and production house QED International.Block is joined in the newenterprise by senior vice president Kimberly Fox, the former head of international sales at Kathy Morgan International; chief operating officer Paul Hanson, the former chief financial officer of management and production companyKey Creatives; and Ket Crea
  • Block launches sales and financing outfit QED

    Producer andformer Artisan president Bill Block has teamed up with three entertainmentindustry veterans to launch the Beverly Hills-based international sales,financing and production house QED International.
  • Bomb threat interrupts 37th Hungarian Film Week

    A bomb threat interrupted Monday evening's programme at the 37th HungarianFilm Week in Budapest. Officials atthe Mammut Shopping and Entertainment Centre near Moscow Square [Moskva ter] in Budapestasked festival attendees and all others in the two buildings of the103,000-square-metre facility to evacuate the premises shortly after
  • Boreman named head of film buying for Vue in UK

    UKexhibition company Vue Entertainment has named Stuart Boreman as its newdirector of film buying. He takes the post immediately.Boremanpreviously worked at UCI for 17 years, most recently for director of filmbuying across Northern Europe and previously as film booking manager. Hewill report directly to Vue's COO Steve Knibbs. "This is akey appointment for Vue that completes a powerful executive team. Stuart has awealth of experience and is a highly respected professional
  • Brisseau explores his own story in Exterminating Angels

    Controversial Frenchfilmmaker Jean-Claude Brisseau is at work on what promises to be his mostcontentious feature yet. Late last year, Brisseau wasfound guilty of sexually harassing two young actresses auditioning for roles inhis feature, Choses Secretes(2002). Now, in The Exterminating Angels, being sold by Rezo, he deals indramatised form with events close to those that landed him in court.The film, shot before thecourt case, is about an ageing filmmaker preparing
  • Brokeback rides away with London Critics prizes

    Continuing its awards season kudos, Brokeback Mountain received the top honours at the London Critics' Circle Awards. Ang Lee won for best director and the film won the group'sbest film award. The other prizes were less predictable: Bruno Ganz won best actor for Downfall(which also won
  • Bronzes takes gold at French box-office

    France has seen its all-time openingadmissions record fall to comedy Les Bronzes 3: AmisPour La Vie. The filmbecame the first title ever to take more than 3 million admissions in its firstweekend. The record was secured with 3,234,559 million tickets sold in itsfirst five days after releasing last Wednesday (February 1). Itsbox office gross stands at approximately $24.2m (Euro 20.06m) from 950 printsaccording to dis
  • Capitol takes on sales for Paddy Breathnach's Shrooms

    London-basedCapitol Films is handling worldwide sales for Paddy Breathnach'sShrooms, set to start shooting this spring.MichaelDouglas's son Cameron stars alongside Lindsey Haunand Jack Huston, nephew of Anjelica and grandson ofJohn.Thehorror film is about five American college students camping in Ireland. Alone in the woods,they partake of magic mushrooms and see ghostly visions that may or may not ber
  • Casting complete for Douglas Buck's remake of Sisters

    French star AnnaMouglalis, Chloe Sevigny and Stephen Rea will head the cast of Sisters, Douglas Buck's remake of BrianDe Palma's cult 1973 thriller which Voltage Picture is selling here.Production is scheduledto begin on March 13 in Vancouver on the first title from Ed Pressman's Pressman &Company and Image Entertainment's genre label No Remorse. Pressman was theoriginal producer of Sisters whichessentially launched De Palma's c
  • Celluloid Dreams secures rights to Sundance smash

    Celluloid Dreams has picked up worldwide rights to Sundancesmash Quinceanera.The film, about two Latino teenagers in Los Angeles, won both the Grand Jury Prize and theAudience Award at Sundance.Celluloid Dreams has picked up worldwide rights to Sundancesmash Quinceanera.The film, about two Latino teenagers in Los Angeles, won both the Grand Jury Prize and
  • Celluloid Dreams strikes a deal with Hammer And Tongs

    French sales house Celluloid Dreams is to part-finance and sell the nextproject from UK film outfit Hammer And Tongs - also known as GarthJennings and Nick Goldsmith.Jennings and Goldsmith, who last directed and produced The Hitchhikers Guide ToThe Galaxy, will move forward immediately with Son of Rambow (working title), to befilmed in the
  • Chic and Why Not team for Audiard's crime saga

    Marco Cherqui's Paris-basedproduction house Chic Films is teaming up with Why Not Productions on the nextproject from director Jacques Audiard, whose The Beat That MyHeart Skipped was the hit of Berlinlast year.The film is called TheProphet. Currently putting the final touches on the script, based on anoriginal idea from writers Abdel RaoufDafri and Nicolas Teurfaillit,Audiard will start shooting in
  • Constantin announces five pick-ups on eve of Berlin

    Mel Gibson's new historical epic Apocalypto and the thirdpart in the Asterix franchise, Asterix At The Olympic Games, are among fivepotential blockbusters acquired by German distributor Constantin Film on theeve of this year's Berlinale.Constantin, which previously handled Gibson's The Pass
  • Crime Novel (Romanzo Criminale)

    Dir: Michele Placido.It-UK-Fr. 2005. 146mins.The middle floor betweenItaly's auteur attic and its commercial bargain basement is curiously empty.Screenwriting duo Stefano Rulli and Sandro Petraglia are among the few to havemade their home here, scripting films like The Best Of Youth, which for all its symphonic, multi-linearstructure and often prickly political themes, contrived to hook a wideraudience with the double bait of strong characters and canny TV drama
  • Dagur Kári wins the Nordic Prize at Gothenburg Film Festival

    Icelandic director Dagur Kári (Noi the Albino) won the Nordic Prize atthe Gothenburg Film Festival for his new film Dark Horse, a black and white slacker comedy shot in Denmark whichKári describes as a 1960s pastiche. The cast features a number of new Danishfaces such as Jakob Cedergren and Tilly Scott Pedersen. Dagur Kári is aprevious winner of the Nordic Prize for his directorial debut, Noi the Albino in 2003. Eight filmsparticipated in
  • Darclight gets on board horror Dark Ride

    Arclight Films has bulked up itsgenre division Darclight Films in preparation for Berlin'sEFM and boarded the serial killer thriller DarkRide.Directed by Craig Singer from a screenplay he co-wrote withRobert Dean Klein, Dark Ride is aboutan escaped serial killer who returns to the theme park ride where he slaughteredtwo girls 10 years previously.Lionsgate holds US rights to thepicture, which was produced by Chris M Will
  • Dark Lot Entertainment starts work on new horror feature

    Stephen Susco, who adapted the English languagescreenplay of J-horror hit The Grudge,is getting into business with Odd Lot Entertainment's fledgling genre bannerDark Lot Entertainment.Odd Lot is producing Zero Dark Thirty, Susco's tale of a returning war veteran whosetranquil hometown is transformed by a series of bizarre events.Media 8 will commence sales at Berlin this week onthe project, which will be produced by Odd Lot principals Gigi Pritzker andDeborah Del P
  • Director Gabriele Muccino sets up production company

    Last Kiss director Gabriele Muccino has set up his own production company, which willfocus on adverts and feature films and will have offices in Milan, Rome and LosAngeles'IndianaProduction will group together both young and established writers and directorsand will also operate as a talent agency,' Muccinosaid. Indiana will also have a "Young Target"division that will focus on developing creativity and emerging talents.
  • Duvall, Spacek, Freeman to star in drama Get Low

    Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, andMorgan Freeman are attached to star in Depression-era drama Get Low, directed by Aaron Schneider,who won an Oscar in 2004 for his short TwoSoldiers. The story is set in 1930s Tennessee,when a man with a shady past (Duvall) tries to find redemption throughwitnessing his own funeral as part of a funeral home's promotional stunt.Freeman plays a priest and Spacek plays a woman fromhis past. T
  • Ecosse teams with Walden, Beacon and Revolution for feature

    UK-based Ecosse Films is teaming with US heavyweights Walden Media,Beacon Pictures, and Revolution Studios for the fantasy film The Water Horse. Ecosse's Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae will produce with Barrie Osborne (The Lord of the Rings) andCharlie Lyons. Alex Schwartz, Jackie Levine and David Kaufmann areoverseeing The Water Horse forWalden, with Lyons and Zanne Devine for Beacon and Derek Dauchy for Revolution. Jay
  • EU-funded film workshops to go on summer road show

    An Italian developmentcompany is to start holding a series of EU-funded workshops and seminars acrossEurope this year as part of adevelopment training programme aimed at European producers.The first of the week-longresidential MAIA workshops, which are funded by the Media Programme, will kickoff in
  • Famke Janssen to star in Juraj Jakubisko's Bathory

    Famke Janssen is toplay the notorious Countess Bathory in Juraj Jakubisko's $12.6 million epic, Bathory.The 17thCentury Hungarian countess was nicknamed "the blood countess" for her penchantfor bathing in virgins' blood. TheCzech/Slovak/Hungarian/UK co-production has already started second-unitphotography, with principal photography set to begin next month.Bathory is one offive new projects with combined budgets of $30 million backed UK-basedproduction outfi
  • Films Distribution heads to Berlin with strong sales slate

    French sales house Films Distribution will debut promo reelsof some of its latest projects at the upcoming EFM in Berlin.On the slate is Rachid Bouchareb's Days Of Glory.Set during World War II, the film is the story of four Muslim soldiers enlistedin the French army to fight against the Nazis. In a rare dramatic turn,comedian Jamel Debbouzestars alongside Roschdy Zem,Sami Naceri and Sami Bouajila. Budgeted at $17.2m(Euros 14.4m) the
  • Focus takes international on $45m Zhang epic

    Focus Features has boardedthe Untitled Zhang Yimou Epic, the Chinese master's$45m upcoming period romance starring Gong Li and Chow Yun-fat.President of internationalsales and distribution Alison Thompson will commence sales in Berlin this weekon the project, which is set to begin shooting in China at the end of the monthin time for January 2007
  • Fortissimo sells Cut Sleeve Boys to here! Films

    US independent here! Films hasacquired North American rights to UKcomedy Cut Sleeve Boys fromFortissimo Films.Written and directed by Ray Yeung,the film is set in London'sunderground drag club scene and focuses on the British Chinese gay experienceincluding an all-male production of the MissPacific Rim Beauty Pageant.Outside of gay and lesbian film festivals,
  • Franka Potente to star in Arclight Film's Romulus, My Father

    Franka Potente,who is showcasing her directorial debut DiggingFor Belladonna in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino programme, has joined the cast of Arclight Film's Australia-set drama Romulus, My Father.The German star will appear opposite Eric Bana in the adaptation of philosopher RaimondGaita's award-winning memoir about the strong bondwith his Yugoslavian emigre father at a time ofintense hardship in 1950s rural Victoria.
  • Gael Garcia Bernal to star in Hector Babenco film

    Gael GarciaBernal will star in the new Hector Babenco film, The Past (O Pasado),confirmed Oscar Kramer of Argentina's ShokFilms to Screen. Based on a novel by theArgentine wr
  • Germany's ProSieben signs US cable carrying deal with Comcast

    The international German-language pay channel ProSiebenSat.1 Welt hassigned a deal with the Comcast Corporation's International Networks to bedistributed to subscribers via cable and DSL in the US.The channel, whose schedules include the programming highlights from thenetworks of the Pro
  • Gilliam goes west with McMurtry's Billy The Kid

    Terry Gilliam is to team up with Brokeback Mountain co-screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winner Larry McMurtry on AnythingFor Billy, a new feature inspired by wild west anti-hero, Billy The Kid. Gilliam is attached to direct the new project, which isadapted from McMurtry's best-selling novel. Anything For Billyis about Ben Sippy, an unhappily married dimenovelist from Philadelphia whoheads out west in search of adven
  • Glastonbury

    Dir. Julien Temple. UK. 2005. 135 min.A tribute to the legendary UK pop musicfestival, Glastonbury achieves a state ofgrace rare in performance documentaries; you begin to feel you're in attendanceat this three-day marathon of music, mood-altering substances and mayhem. At135 minutes, it's a concert film that will test the endurance of anyone notfully committed to the concept of watching music history unfold in real-time.Glastonbury's lesser profile in North Ame
  • Grupo Pi sells US rights to The Uninvited Guest

    Spanish sales consortium Grupo Pi has closed aUS theatricalsale on thriller The Uninvited Guest to D Street Media Group.The film, which will premiere next month at the Philadelphia FilmFestival p
  • Hugh Grant to receive honorary Cesar on Feb 25

    British actor Hugh Grant is set to receive an honorary Cesar from theAcademie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema. The Cesars, France's equivalent tothe Oscar, will be handed out at the upcoming ceremony on February 25.French actress Carole Bouquet, who will preside over the ceremony, willpresent Grant with th
  • Human Rights Watch Festival to open with Land of the Blind

    The Human Rights WatchInternational Film Festival will host its 10th annual London event this year from March 15-24 at six venues. This year's programmeincludes 22 features, starting with opening night film Land of the Blind, a political satire starring Ralph Fiennes andDonald Sutherland and directed by Robert Edwards. The festival will alsoinclude a Centre Piece screening of Hany Abu-Assad's Paradise Now.In additi
  • Hungary's Mafilm Studios seeking private investors

    The MotionPicture Public Foundation of Hungary (MMK) is preparing to invite investors toenter into a partnership to renovate and develop the MafilmStudios in Budapest, MMK general secretary Erzsebet Toth told"Overthe past few years, every studio has come to Budapest looking for stages. They've lovedthe crews and the city," Toth said. "Thefilm law has boosted every sector of the industry. We have the film law, butwe're
  • Intandem Films comes to Berlin with a slate of eight

    London-based financing, sales, and distribution company Intandem Films comes to Berlinwith a slate of eight new pictures.Heading the slate is Zoo,the first project from its horror and thriller label FearFactory,the Enterprise Investment Scheme set up with producers Spice Factory, Colin Pons, and Mark Thomas. Zoois a dark comedy/horror film directed by Caradog Jamesand produced by Dan Films, Julie Baines and Barry Hanson, who p
  • International weekend preview

    The major European territoriessee audiences spoilt for choice this week with a variety of new openers,although last week's international chart leader, French smash Les Bronzes 3:Amis Pour La Vie, may prove hard to shiftfrom the throne.In the UK the weekend heralds the arrival of schoolhal
  • Italian film body Filmitalia loses chief executive

    AdrianaChiesa has stepped down from her position as CEO of Italian promotional body,Aip-Filmitalia.Chiesa'sresignation comes just ahead of the Academy Awards next month, which seesItaly's candidate Don't Tell shortlisted in the best foreign film category. Itis the first time an Italian film has made it to the last five since Life IsBeautiful won the Oscar in 1999.Nevertheless,Chiesa's move comes on the heels of mounting resentment from the Italianindustry over stat
  • Kinowelt resurrects Arthaus theatrical distribution label

    Germany's KinoweltFilmverleih has resurrected its Arthaus label for the theatrical release of arthousetitles.The first film to bereleased under the Arthaus label will be Marc Forster's Stay starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts onFebruary 23. The film, which wasreleased by 20th Century Fox in the US last year, is also screeningin Panorama here at Berlin.Stay will be followed in the coming months by theBerlinale opening film Snow Cake,George Clooney's Goo
  • Korean filmmakers stage screen quota protest

    SouthKorean filmmakers across the nation put a stop to production for the day, andstaged a large-scale protest rally against the government's recent announcement- bending to US tradepressure - that it would half the 146-day screen quota. A turn-out of approximately 3,000protestors including filmmakers, actors, students, and citizens' group members,rallied this afternoon (Feb 8) in Seoul, despite the -9 degree Celsius weather.
  • Korea's iHQ to branch into English-language filmmaking

    Korea's iHQ is set to branch into English-languagefilmmaking with documentary-style comedy horror American Zombie to be directed by Korean-American filmmaker GraceLee.iHQ willco-produce with LA-based LeeLee Films, headed byIn-Ah Lee, whose credits include Wim Wenders' Don't ComeKnocking and Land Of Plenty.The film will be iH
  • Kosslick predicts big business at new-look EFM

    The European Film Marketopens today in its new centre at the Martin Gropius Bau (MGB) with Berlinale directorDieter Kosslick estimating a 100 percent increase infilm executives attending Berlin over 2005, both inside theofficial venues and out.'I'm completely confidentthat it will work and people will
  • Lexington launches fund to develop UK projects

    Lexington Film Management, a newcompany set up by the founders of London-based production company Golconda Films, is launching a UK film fund,The Lexington Film Fund LLP, to invest in development of British qualifyingfeature films. The fund seeks to raise $1.75m-$ 5.24m (£1m-£3m).Organizers said the fund will"target latter stage developme
  • Linda Abrams promoted at Warner Bros Domestic Cable Distribution

    Linda Abrams has been promoted to senior vicepresident of Marketing and Maury Leitner to vicepresident of marketing at Warner Bros Domestic Cable Distribution (WBDCD).Abrams will continue to report directly to divisionpresident Eric Frankel and work closely with War
  • Listener secures sales and slot in Berlin's special section

    Fortissimo Films has secured a raft ofpost-Sundance sales on The NightListener, starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette, including Telepool in Germany andIcon in the UK.Th
  • London and Shanghai form film partnership

    London and Shanghai have announced a new city-to-city partnership to support film culture,education, and industry. London iscurrently hosting a number of Shanghai film industry players during theShanghai On Screen film festival, part of
  • London's Chocolate Chilli Films takes on The Angel of Mons

    London-based production company Chocolate Chilli Films hasoptioned the script The Angel of Mons as the second feature on its slate. The project is a supernatural historical drama about a youngwoman serving as an ambulance driver during WWI who is trying to find out ifthe Angel of Monsreally exists. Alice D Cooper wrote the script, which won the Write Timeaward from Women in Film & Television. The production company says it aimsto make films "about women, for women.
  • Magnolia Pictures acquires rights to The Pusher Trilogy

    Magnolia Pictures has acquired North Americanrights to Nicolas Winding Refn's Danish underworld The Pusher Trilogy.The trio comprises Pusher, With Blood On My Hands, and The Angel Of Death. The first filmwrapped in 1999 and the trilogy first pla
  • Media 8's Lovewrecked swims into Weinstein Co fold

    The Weinstein Company hasacquired North American rights to Media 8's romantic comedy Lovewrecked starring Amanda Bynes and Chris Carmack.Randal Kleiser directed thestory of a teenager who finds herself stranded on a desert island with a rockstar and in order to win his heart neglects to tell him that she works at atropical resort around the beach.Jamie-Lynn Sigler andJonathan Bennett also star. Stephen Langford wrote the screenplay.Joe Anderson, WendyThorlakson and
  • Media Asia Distribution pre-sells Johnnie To's Exiled

    Hong Kong's Media Asia Distributionhas pre-sold Johnnie To'supcoming thriller Exiled to a raft ofterritories including Sharada for Italyand Cineart for Benelux.The $5m film, which started shooting last November in Macau,has also gone to Videosonic for Greece and Cyprus,Taiwan's Long Shong, WPM Films in Thailand and Galaxy Studio in Vietnam.Produced by Media
  • Memento Films announces sales on Tavernier's Aurore

    Parisian production, sales and distribution house MementoFilms has announced sales of Nils Tavernier's Aurore to Japan's Gaga and Agora in Switzerland.The film is a fairy tale, complete with a kingdom and alovelorn princess, based in the world of dance. Tavernier's previous effort was2000's Tous Pres Des Etoiles,about dancers at the Paris operahouse. Auror
  • Michael Caine and Demi Moore to reteam for Flawless

    Michael Caine and Demi Moore are set to star in the London-set 1960s diamondheist thriller Flawless for SantaMonica-based Pierce/Williams Entertainment and London'sFuture Films.Il Postinodirector Michael Radford is ready to begin shooting on March 27 in London andLuxembourg froma screenplay by first-timer Edward Anderson l
  • Michele Placido's Crime Novel wins five Nastri d'Argento awards

    MichelePlacido's CrimeNovel (Romanzo Criminale)has walked away with five Nastri d'Argento, Italy's nationalcriticsprizes, from the 60th awards ceremony in Vatican City.Thefilm won awards for best director, best actor (jointly won by Kim Rossi Stuart,Pierfrancesco Favino andClaudio Santamaria), editor, and sound. A bestproduction award went to the picture's producers, Cat
  • Mike Leigh's next film lands at Summit for worldwide sales

    Summit Entertainment has taken on worldwide sales excluding the UK to Mike Leigh's upcoming untitled film. The project will be financed by Ingenious, FilmFour, the UK Film Council's Premiere Fund, and Summit.The follow-up to the multiple award-winning Vera Drake will be produced by Leigh's long time producer, Simon Channing Williams, who said that the budget would be about $10m. Gail Egan will serve as executive producer.Summitis a
  • Minghella, Craig to judge UK's youth shorts

    The UK Film Council has recruited some high profile judges for its FirstLight Film Awards: actors Daniel Craig, Martin Freeman and Martin Clunes,director Anthony Minghella, TV presenter David Attenborough, comedienne Jenny Eclair.The awards ceremony willbe held on February 28 at London's Odeon West End. Prizes will be given in10 categories. The awards honour young UK filmm
  • Miramax, ESPN team for domestic rights to Lifetime

    Miramax Films and ESPN havejointly acquired North American rights to GreeneStreet Films, Passion Picturesand Cactus Three's football documentary Once In A Lifetime, which will receive its world premiere in theBerlinale Special programme.Paul Crowder and JohnDower's film chronicles the heady rise and fall of the New York Cosmos, ascratch team that became a sporting motif for the city in the decadent 1970s andfeatured such all-time greats as Pele and Franz Beckenbauer. Matt Dillon
  • Muerer, Grosch to keynote European Film Finance Summit

    Jens Meurer, partner in Germany's Egoli Tossell Film, and Andy Grosch, CEO ofFilm &Entertainment VIP Medienfonds Geschaftsfuhrun willkeynote Screen International's annual European Film Finance Summit, to be heldWednesday (February 8) at the Ritz Carlton in Berlin.
  • Munich leads international box office field

    Major Oscar nominees dominated the international box officethis weekend, with Munich holding on at the head of the pack, Memoirsof a Geisha expanding well and Walk the Line making a good start.Over the second weekend of its international rollout,Universal's Munich - which got five Academy Award nominations last week,including a surprise inclusion in the Best Picture category - grossed, throughUIP, an estimated $13.3m from 3,400 locations in 40 markets. The t
  • National Geographic and Paramount Classics pick up sales to The White Planet

    In what could be the nexttrue indicator in confirming Bac FilmsInternational's The White Planet (La Planete Blanche) as this year's documentary to watchthe French company has announced its North American sale to National Geographicand Paramount Classics. The film, a $12m (Euros 10m)documentary about life in the North Pole, was culled from over three years offootage shot in the Arctic. Ranging from darkest winter to summer sun, "asplendid opera of wildlife
  • Nicole Kidman to narrate Simon Wiesenthal doc

    Nicole Kidman will narrate a documentary about SimonWiesenthal that is scheduled to open this autumn to mark the first anniversaryof the Nazi hunter's death.Funded by a grant from the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Centreboard members Roland and Dawn Arnall, directorRichard Trank and his crew will trawl the globe for interviewswith long time Wiesenthal associates and former government leaders.Simon Wiesenthal Centre dean and founder Rabbi Marvin Hier and Trank are producing andthe ce
  • Nielsen NRG and Arts Alliance form research alliance

    NielsenNRG and Arts Alliance Media have formed a strategic alliance to offer newresearch services to film distributors.
  • NZ distributor Arkles steps up Australian presence

    NewZealand distributor Arkles Entertainment is increasing its activity in theAustralian market where it is planning sizeable releases for both Junebug and Danish film Brothers in the next few months.
  • Odeon to open Braehead cinema in March

    Cinema chain Odeon is planning to open anew 12-screen, $8.7m (£5m) cinema in Braehead, near Glasgow.The facility will open March 27 with 2406seats, all in stadium-style theatres. The cinema will be part of the Xscape leisure and sports complex near Braeheadshopping center.Odeon Braeheadwill employ up to 80 staffers. Manager Paul Hills said, "We think the cinemawill attract a great mix of Scottish film fans, as well as shoppers and snowboardersand we're looking forward to
  • Palfi's Taxidermia wins best film at Hungarian Film Week

    Four years after Gyorgy Palfi burst onto the international scene withhis debut feature, Hukkle, the director's follow-up effort, Taxidermia, has won a slewof awards at the 37th Hungarian Film Week. Other big winners at the awards ceremony February 7 in Budapest wereSzabolcs Hajdu's White Palms, Kornel Mundruczo's Johanna, and KrizstineGoda's Just Sex and Nothing Else. With the top prize, the Hungarian Motion Picture Public Foundation, theMinist
  • Palfi's Taxidermia wins best film at the Hungarian Film Week

    The mainprize at the 37th Hungarian Film Week for Best Feature Film went to Taxidermia fromdirector Gyorgy Palfi. Szabolcs Hajdu won Best Directorwith his film White Palms. Sandor Csanyi won Best Actor forhis performance in Krisztina Goda'sJust Sex and Nothing Else. Taxidermia and White Palms shared the Gene Moskowitz Prize, awarded by foreign critics.It was aneventful week in Budapest: Veteran director Istv
  • Paul Smith gets top international theatrical job at Sony Pictures

    Paul Smith has been namedpresident of worldwide theatrical operations for the Columbia Tristar MotionPicture Group.Effective immediately,Smith (pictured) will oversee Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) andwill continue overseeing worldwide administrative operations for the studio'smarketing and di
  • Production started on Kamala Films' debut feature Anamorph

    Production has begun on new York-based KamalaFilms' debut feature and psychological thriller Anamorph, starring Willem Dafoe and Scott Speedman and directed byH S Miller.Anamorph,which takes its name from a Renaissance painting trick involving perspective,centres on a damaged detective who inv
  • Relatives (Rokonok)

    Dir: Istvan Szabo. Hungary. 2006. 110minsAfter 12 years making films with stronginternational flavour, Istvan Szabo is back home for an adaptation of acritically-acclaimed novel by Zsigmund Moricz about an ambitious but naiveidealist who is sucked in by corruption. A Hungarian picture made for Hungarianaudiences, this darkly ironic cautionary tale resonates with contemporaryrelevance. Although its heavy reliance on dialogue may hinder internationalsales, Szabo'
  • Rogers & Cowan launches London film office

    Entertainment PR and marketing companyRogers & Cowan has opened a UK filmdivision in London. The office will concentrate on UK filmrelease campaigns, European film festivals, and international publicitycampaigns. Janine Azern will lead the new office as VPof film, reporting to LA-based executive vice presidents Nikki
  • Rolf de Heer set to shoot his next project, Dr Plonk

    Prolific film-makerRolf de Heer (BadBoy Bubby, Dance Me To My Song) today got a green light from Film FinanceCorporation Australia (FFC) to shoot his next project Dr Plonk. Characteristic of his wildly diverseoeuvre, the new film is a black and white silent comedy set in 1907 about ascientist inventor who calculates that the world will end in 101 y
  • Sam Riley cast as lead singer in Anton Corbijn's Control

    Sam Riley has been cast as leadsinger Ian Curtis and Alexandra Maria Lara as his lover Annikon music video director Anton Corbijn's Control, his fact-based debut feature onUK post-punk band Joy Division.It is a first big role for newco
  • Samuel L Jackson to star in Myriad's The Shadow Chaser

    Samuel L Jackson has signed on to play the lead in The Shadow Chaser, a $30m actionthriller that is being put together by LA-based Myriad Pictures.Myriad is producing the project with Michael Mailer andcompany president and chief executive officer Kirk D'Amico and his sales teamwill commence worldwide sales at Berlin.Filming on the Italy-set project is scheduled to begin thissummer with Jackson
  • Seven Swords, Perhaps Love lead race for Hong Kong Film Awards

    Tsui Hark's martial arts film Seven Swords and Peter Chan's musical Perhaps Love lead the race for the 25thHong Kong Film Awards with 11 nods each, closely followed by Johnnie To's triad drama Electionand Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's car racing drama Initial D with 10 nods each. All fourfilms are nominated for best film and best director. Seven Swords is pitting against Perhaps Love in six categories,including cinematography, film editing, art dir
  • Shooting yet to start on Luhrmann's Australian epic

    Actor Russell Crowe is talking about it on red carpets, manyare hoping that principal photography will start in July or August, but thereis still no green light from 20th Century Fox for a fourth feature by Baz Luhrmann.Crowe and Nicole Kidman are billed as the leads and insiderssay that Catherine Knapman, who was co-producer on Luhrmann's MoulinRouge, is on board as one of the producers. Luhrmannis working with Master AndCommander scriptwriter John Collee.The desc
  • Snow Cake

    Dir: Marc Evans. UK-Can. 2006. 112minsWith itstale of two misfits who improbably bond in a snowboun
  • SPRI sets Capote international release schedule

    Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) has finalised key releasedates for Capote, which earned five Oscar nominations last week andgets its international premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on Feb 17.The picture will open in Italy, Switzerland, Poland and New Zealand onFeb 18, followed by Aust
  • Steel City

    Dir/scr. Brian Jun. US 2006. 95 min.An overlooked gem in Sundance's USdramatic competition, Steel City is awell-written and solidly-performed exploration of working-class male angst seenthrough the eyes of two very different sons as they struggle with the legacy oftheir dead-beat father.The achievement is all the more impressivegiven that debut filmmaker Brian Jun carried such a heavy load in the creditroll: screenwriter, director, producer and editor
  • Stranger top at North American box office

    Screen Gems' horror-thriller When a StrangerCalls was the box office champion in North America over the traditionallyslow Super Bowl weekend, opening with an estimated gross of $22m.
  • Stranger top at North American box office

    Screen Gems' horror-thriller When a StrangerCalls was the box office champion in North America over the traditionallyslow Super Bowl weekend, opening with an estimated gross of $22m.
  • Stranger tops US box office

    Screen Gems' horror-thriller When a StrangerCalls was the box office champion in North America over the traditionallyslow Super Bowl weekend, opening with an estimated gross of $22m.
  • Tarr to resume work on The Man From London

    Hungarian director Bela Tarr spoke to journalists at the 37th Hungarian Film Weekin Budapest about the revival ofhis project, The Man FromLondon, which was stalled last winter after the death of French producer Humbert Balsan. The film, which is to begin shooting in March, is now aFrench-German-Hungarian co-production featuring an international cast. Tilda Swinton will star oppositeCzech actor Miroslav Krobot.The cast also features Bri
  • Taxidermy (Taxidermia)

    Dir: Gyorgy Palfi.Hungary/Austria/France. 2005. 90 mins.Gyorgy Palfi's second feature, whichcollected a slew of awards including best film at the recent Hungarian FilmWeek, is likely to be as much of a talking point as his first film Hukkle,albeit for very different reasons. Spanning three generations of one family,this horror film will put off many art-house cinemagoers with itsuncompromising take on sexuality, gluttony and immolation to name just three oft
  • TF1 International heads for EFM at Berlin

    TF1International is heading into the Berlin market with a slate of new films thatincludes the latest from Ma Vie En Rose director Alain Berliner, GoneFor A Dance and Philippe Calderon's wildlifeaction work The Besieged Fortress.In Dance,Vincent Elbaz stars as a family man who, unbeknownstto him, follows in his father and grandfather's tap dancing footsteps afterseeing Singing In The Rain for the first time
  • Thai production companies leave FNFAT to support Bangkok Film Festival

    Threeleading Thai production companies, GMM Tai Hub, Five Star and RS Film, lastFriday quit the Federation of the National Film Association of Thailand (FNFAT)in support of the upcoming Bangkok International Film Festival (BKKIFF) whichstarts on 17 February.RightBeyond has also submitted its resignation on Monday while CM Film is understoodto be the next member company to do so. FNFAT,which consists of over 900 members of 11 categories from production anddistribution to exhibiti
  • The Darwin Awards

    Dir/scr. Finn Taylor. US. 2006. 93 min.The Darwin Awards is a hit-and-miss comedy with far too few hits and way too manymisses. Indeed, the title is perilously close to reflexive, given the likelyfate of this misbegotten hybrid. A Premiere presentation at the Sundance FilmFestival, it will initially rely on the morbid curiosity of film-goers familiarwith the titular awards. A documentary filmmaking conceit an unfortunatepredilection among Sundance features
  • The Pink Panther

    Dir: Shawn Levy. US. 2006. 95 minutes.Hollywood studio projection and analysisdepartments have rather crassly if understandably deemed remakes and franchisesthe surest thing going, even if one of the results is that there's often nocorrelative sense of joyful anticipation attached to these moviegoingexperiences. Owing to this and more, there's no particular reason the newiteration of The Pink Panther, starringSteve Martin, need necessarily put forth undue effort
  • THINKFilm steps in for worldwide rights to Candy

    THINKFilm has moved in forall worldwide rights to Paul Dinello's Strangers With Candy and plans a limited summer release for the filmwhich is based on a cult TV series from US cable channel Comedy Central.Warner Independent Pictureshad originally acquired domestic rights to the film at Sundance 2005, butreturned it to producers after issues over music clearance rights.The story centres on a46-year-old former junkie (Amy Sedaris) who returns to school and discovers thestud
  • Time is right for European studio, says Wild Bunch CEO

    The dream of aEuropean major to match the Hollywood studios should now be back on the agenda,according to Wild Bunch CEO Vincent Grimond.
  • Trier hits 50 and decides to 'narrow down'

    Lars Von Trier is to downsize. Themercurial Dane yesterday issued another of his 'statements.' The subject thistime was his own 'Revitality.' 'In my fiftieth year Ifeel I have earned the privilege of narrowing down,' he declared.'In conjunction with the departure of VibekeWindelov, who has been my producer for ten years, andthe arrival of Meta Louise Foldager in her place, Iintend to reschedule my professional activities in order to rediscover myoriginal enthusiasm for film,' the direc
  • Troubled German media fund will fight on, says CEO

    Andy GroschCEO of beleaguered German media fund VIP, made a defiant defence ofhis company at the Screen International Europe Film Finance Summit, shruggingoff a new lawsuit being prepared against the company as pure nonsense. Eventhough his business partner Andreas Schmid has beenin custody on charges of tax evasion since Sept 29,and the Bremen
  • Trueba's Bienvenido A Casa to open Malaga Film Festival

    David Trueba's romanticdrama Bienvenido A Casa will have its world premiere asthe inaugural film atthe upcoming 9th annual Spanish Film Festival ofMalaga (March 17-25).A co-production of Fernando Trueba and Antena 3 Television's Ensueno Films stars up-and-coming actors Pilar Lopez de Ayala and Alejo Sauras as a young couple undergoing a difficult period intheir relationship. Much of the supporting cast, led by Ariadna Gil, Juan Echanove andJorge Sanz, play journali
  • Upstart Montreal Festival collapses after just one year

    The Festival International de Film de Montreal (FIFM) hasthrown in the towel. Ending months of speculation, the FIFM's administration, Regroupement pour un festival decinema a Montreal, issued a press release at 5pm Montreal time on FridayFebruary 10 confirming that it will not present a second edition. Soon after, FIFM programming director Moritz de Hadeln issued his own pressrelease announcing that his association with the FIFM was finished. For the better part of three
  • Vision In Production to make Princess Diana death thriller

    UK production company Visionin Production (VIP) has acquired the rights to Jon King and John Beveridge's PrincessDiana: The Hidden Evidence and plansto shoot a thriller based on the book. The film Hidden Truth, about journalist King's investigation into PrincessDiana's death and his questioning if there was a cover-up, is currently inpre-production at Pinewood Studios.Simon Fellows who will direct and the producer will be William PCartlidge, who previously worked on Ed
  • Wanda Vision prepares new slate of films

    Spain'sWanda Vision, co-producer of Panorama opening title Family Law, is preparing a new slate of films including twofeatures set in Africa.Documentarian-turned-fiction-filmmakerGerardo Olivares is preparing his follow-up to BerlinaleSpecial screener The Great Match (El Gran Final) for Wanda. The road
  • Wanda Visions prepares new slate of films

    Spain's Wanda Vision, co-producer of Panorama opening title Family Law, is preparing a new slate offilms including two features set in Africa.Documentarian-turned-fiction-filmmaker GerardoOlivares is preparing his follow-up to BerlinaleSpecial screener The Great Match (El Gran Final) for Wanda. The road movie about Africanemigrants to Europe is called Tenere after the Saharan desertlocation also seen in Great Match.Agusti Vill
  • White Palms (Feher Tenyer)

    Dir: Szabolcs Hajdu. Hungary. 2006. 100mins.Szabolcs Hajdu's film casts a jaundicedeye over the world of sports prodigies. A grim and disenchanted portrait of howone young gymnast is almost ruined by a gruelling training programme and theinsatiable expectations of his parents, the film almost runs out of steam inthe second half, saved only by a feel-good ending that is sure to win overaudiences.Winner of the best director prize at therecent Hungar
  • Wild Bunch back Marc Caro's new sci-fi action film

    Marc Caro, the French film-makerwho collaborated with Jean-Pierre Jeunet on Delicatessen and The City Of Lost Children, is preparing anextravagant new sci-fi action movie called DanteXXI that is being represented for worldwide sales by Wild Bunch.Billed by the seller as Cubemeets Gattaca,it's a tale about a convict in space. Tormented by inner demons, he battles tounravel the tangled web of his memory.The $9.5m film (8 million Euros), Caro'sfir
  • WiP picks up North American rights to Chen Kaige's The Promise

    Warner Independent Pictures (WiP)has picked up North American rights to Chen Kaige's The Promise ahead of its Europeanpremiere at Berlin.WiP plans a May release on theepic fantasy, which last December became the third biggest grossing releaseever in mainland China behind Titanicand Hero.The picture had originally been acquired for North America by The Weinstein Co (TWC) at Canneslast year, bu
  • Young Hannibal wraps Czech shoot

    Director PeterWebber has wrapped principal photography on YoungHannibal: Behind the Mask, after a 14-week shootin the Czech Republic. The Dino De Laurentiis production is made with partners Quinta Communications and Ingenious Film Partners. The UK'
  • Zorich, Paolillo join Kimmel International

    Former Miramax andPicturehouse executive Stefan Zorich has joined Kimmel International as vicepresident of marketing and servicing and Italian market specialist MarcelloPaolillo has come aboard as director of acquisitions and distribution.Both will report to KimmelInternational chief Mark Lindsay. Zorich arrives from Picturehouse andpreviously served as manager of domestic marketing and post-production atNewmarket Films, where his credits included Monster, The Passion Of TheChrist