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11 July 2003

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  • ...while CTFDI takes $8m in other territories, $21.2m with Angels

    Charlie'sAngels: Full Throttleand T3: Rise Of The Machines gave Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI)much to cheer about this weekend, blazing a mighty trail across a number ofterritories.Charlie'sAngels: Full Throttle wasthe number one international film, grossing $21.2m from a massive 6,068 screensto raise its cumulative total to $79.8m.It opened numberone in Germany ($3.2m), Spain ($2.1m), Brazil ($1.1m, 64% bigger than theoriginal's op
  • Angels take UK lead thanks to previews

    Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle narrowly claimed the lead in the UK and Ireland over its opening weekend but only thanks to the inclusive preview figures from Thursday.Columbia TriStar's action sequel saw a good opening of $5.5m (£3.3m) from 473 sites - including $623,538 (£374,123) of previews taken from 428 locations on Thursday. The result was slightly higher than the $5.3m (£3.2m) taken by its predecessor when it was released on Nov 24 2000. However, the site average could n
  • Antwone, Our America win Humanitas awards

    Antwone Fisher won a $25,000cash prize yesterday for his feature screenplay Antwone Fisher at the Humanitas Prize awards luncheon in LosAngeles. The prizes are awarded to film and TV writers whose work'entertains and enriches the viewing public' and $105,000 isbestowed by the Humanitas organization.Antwone Fisher won for 'the honesty it takes to face pasthurts and move forward.'Other winners included a$25,000 prize for documentary Our America by Gordon Rayfi
  • Argentina's Sun secures slate of hot titles

    Buenos Aires-based Sun Distribution Group has acquired all Latin American rights to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's (Amores Perros) first English-language film, 21 Grams, starring Sean Penn, Benicio del Toro and Naomi Watts. The 18 month old distribution company has also snagged Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, with Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. Both films fall under a sub distribution deal Sun has entered with UIP. Sun Distribution has jointly acquired
  • Arndt to produce Roehler's Agnes

    X-Filme creative pool's Stefan Arndt, named European Producer of the Year at last month's Cinema Expo in Amsterdam, wasn't planning to produce any features this year after the demanding production history of Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye, Lenin!But Arndt was tempted back into the producer's chair by Oskar Roehler's next feature Agnes Und Seine Brueder which will go into production in Cologne in mid-August.Arndt had already been working with Roehler for the last two ye
  • Bad Boys 2

    Dir: Michael Bay. US. 2003. 147 mins. Finally reuniting stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence with director Michael Bay and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the big budget sequel to unassuming 1995 action comedy Bad Boys is the kind of juggernaut we've come to expect from Bruckheimer and Bay since they first collaborated on the original film: it's overlong, overwritten and, especially where effects-enhanced action is concerned, gleefully over the top whenever it gets the cha
  • Berlin signs up with European Film Festival network

    The Berlin International Film Festival has become the first A-list festival to sign up as a member of the European Coordination of Film Festivals (ECFF), a network of over 200 festivals across Europe dedicated to the promotion and circulation of European cinema.ECFF President Thom Palmen told Screen Daily said that the Berlinale joining the organization "is a win-win situation for both sides. We have already discussed practical forms of cooperation and I am very excited to see what wil
  • Bollywood reaches Ireland

    Shooting has started in county Wicklow on Ayodhiya, Ireland's first Bollywood co-production. Having shot for five weeks in the southern province of Tamil Nadu in India, a 36 person cast and crew have travelled to Ireland for the final two weeks of principal photography.The story is a 'love divided' tale of a Hindu man and his Muslim lover. He exiles himself to Ireland and she follows him in a desperate attempt to woo him home. The film deals with sectarian tensions
  • Buddy

    Dir. Morten Tyldum. Norway. 2003. 104minsA feel-good, eminently likeable romp about three young Norwegians in their early 20s struggling through the rites of passage from adolescence to maturity, this feature debut by a director with a solid reputation in commercials should be a welcome addition to the youth-oriented film repertoire the world over. Its only drawbacks, if they can be regarded as such, are a dose of warmth and innocence and a basic decency of behaviour that
  • Capitol Films' Five Children And It starts shooting

    Filming has started on John Stephenson's Five Children And It, which will shoot for ten weeks on the Isle of Man and at Shepperton Studios.Five Children And It is a Capitol Films project in association with Endgame Entertainment (US), the Isle of Man Film Commission and the UK Film Council's Premiere Fund. It is produced by Nick Hirschkorn and Lisa Henson.Adapted from the children's classic by E Nesbit, Five Children And It tells the story of a group of chil
  • Chadha's Bride And Prejudice begins Ealing shoot

    Filming begins today (July 14) on Bride And Prejudice - The Bollywood Musical, the Bollywood style re-telling of the Jane Austen classic by the team behind Bend It Like Beckham - director/producer Gurinder Chadha and producer Deepak Nayar.The film stays faithful to Jane Austen's central story of a mother and father with their unmarried daughters and no dowry to help entice rich, well-bred husbands. The Bennets become the Bakshis, who live in small town India and Darcy is
  • Chilean hotshot aims for international exposure

    Chile's hottest film-maker, Jorge Olguin, has signed with Los Angeles-based D-No Entertainment and Genesis Literary Agency for worldwide management and representation respectively.The move comes after Ogluin's second feature, horror film Sangre Eterna, opened in Chile to critical acclaim last October and went on to become the become the biggest box office hit in the history of Chilean cinema.Several US studios are understood to have been looking at the film, with an eye t
  • CineMedia shares soar as Tele Muenchen ups stake

    CineMedia Film's shares soared by over 29% on Tuesday from 93 cents to Euros 1.20 on the news that the Tele Muenchen Group (TMG) has reached agreement with Amsterdam-based German Equity Partners BV (GEP) to acquire all of its 905,000 shares.This transaction, which is expected to be completed in the course of this week, will see TMG consequently increasing its stake in CineMedia Film from the present 8.8% to 29.8%. In a statement, CineMedia said that this intensification of TMG's
  • Cohen, Hernandez promoted in delivery dept at IS

    Danielle Cohen has beenpromoted to senior vice president of delivery and George Hernandez to directorof delivery at IS Film Distribution, the sales and distribution joint venturebetween Summit Entertainment and Intermedia Films.Cohen has worked with Summitsince 1988 and is now heading up the delivery department; she was previously atLIVE Entertainment as director of distribution services.Hernandez joined Summit in1999 and now takes on additional responsibilities including servin
  • Cottbus focuses on new Russian cinema

    New Russian cinema will be in the spotlight at this year's Filmfest Cottbus (November 4-8) and the Connecting Cottbus market forum (November 4-5).The festival focus will feature programmes of contemporary young Russian cinema and leading productions of the past decade. There will also be showcases of video art and co-productions made with Russia, and a spotlight on New Petersburg Cinema.Meanwhile, the new MEDIA member states - Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slova
  • Czech distribs pounce on Karlovy Vary titles

    The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival came to a close over the weekend with several deals in place or close to completion for Czech distribution of foreign titles. Czech art house ArtCam is in negotiations for local distribution of three films, according to ArtCam's Eliska Fuchsova. The films are Buddy, the Norwegian entry to the festival's main competition this year and an audience favorite, directed by Morten Tyldum and represented by NonStop Sales; another Norwegian fi
  • Debut Irish features impress at Galway

    The fifteenth Galway Film Fleadh (July 8-13) closed on a high over the weekend, with the universally shared view that it had been one of the best years for new Irish cinema at the event. Significantly, most of the new Irish feature films were made by debuting directors each of whom had made a virtue of local authenticity.The audience award for Best First Feature went to Intermission, directed by John Crowley and produced by Stephen Woolley, Neil Jordan and Alan Moloney fo
  • Dendy adds two titles to Australian release slate

    Dendy Films has acquired Australian and New Zealand rights to writer/director Tod Williams' Door In The Floor and to Capturing The Friedmans, the Grand Jury Prize winner in documentary at this year's Sundance Film Festival.Door In The Floor is an adaptation of John Irving's novel A Widow For One Year and stars Jeff Bridges as a famous children's book author and Kim Basinger as is his wife. It is set during one pivotal summer in the privileged beach community
  • Diller, Redstone weigh up joint bid for Vivendi

    Barry Diller has been talking to Viacom chief Sumner Redstone about a possible joint bid for Vivendi Universal's U.S. show business empire, Reuters reported on Tuesday quoting 'sources close to the auction.'Diller, a former Vivendi executive who owns a stake in company's entertainment assets, is eyeing the multi-billion-dollar auction of the film, television and theme park business.However, Diller is not formally allowed to bid in the auction - according to an agreement struck w
  • Dutch films secure Toronto, San Sebastian berths

    Grimm, the new movie by Dutch director Alex van Warmerdam (The Northerners), has been selected for the Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 4-13). The film will be shown in the Contemporary World Cinema section. Grimm is produced by Graniet Film and sales are handled by Fortissimo Film Sales.Another Dutch movie, the low budget-production Interview by director Theo van Gogh, has also been accepted for Toronto. It selected one of his previous films,Terug
  • Euro film to benefit from EIB bank deal

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided Euros40bn of credits to Natexis Coficine and Cofiloisirs, two French banks specialising in film lending.The two Euros20bn loans are continuations of previous loans arranged in November 2001. They are expected to have the twin effects of boosting Coficine and Cofiloisirs' lending capacities while also allowing the banks to share risk with the EIB.The EIB said that the two previous loans had been virtually used up by co-financing of
  • France wins 'cultural exception' fight in EU charter

    France won a last-ditch battle this week to maintain its right of veto in a future European Union constitution to protect its film and television industry in international trade negotiations. The committee drafting the EU's first constitution agreed to add a clause sought by Paris on the so-called "cultural exception" in the document to be completed on Thursday. According to Reuters, a sentence to be added to the draft charter would say that EU decisions on international trade n
  • German box office, admissions fall sharply

    German cinema admissions and box office revenues fell by 10.9% and 12.2% respectively in the first six months of 2003 compared to the same period last year, according to statistics compiled by Nielsen EDI.Around 67.46m cinemagoers were registered until June 29 - compared to 75.2m in 2002 - while box office takings slipped from Euros430m to Euros398.98m. Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye, Lenin! was the top ranking film between January and June with Euros35.46m in box office taki
  • German exhibitor files for bankruptcy

    North Rhine-Westphalian exhibitor Gerd Politt has become the latest prominent figure in the German media scene to file for insolvency proceedings. The insolvency affects his screens in Soest and Recklinghausen and the five-screen Cineworld complex in Luenen, which only opened its doors in 2001 and has served since then as the venue for the annual Kinofest Luenen in November.According to German press reports, the complex's landlord Harpen AG, the Luenen town council and Filmsti
  • German tax incentives could double local production spend

    The introduction of tax incentives similar to the UK's sale and leaseback model or the Canadian tax credits system could result in a doubling of production expenditure in Germany over the next five to seven years, according to the producer pressure group film20.In a study commissioned from the economist and management consultant Dr. Michael Paul, it was suggested that adoption of either of these two incentives could make Germany internationally competitive again by offering "the last 1
  • Germany benefits as kids stay in the picture

    Although the German box office is significantly down for the first six months of this year, there is one bright spot: German market share has climbed up to 14.3% from an overall 11.9% for 2002 (Screen Daily, July 11).Part of this upswing is being driven by an unlikely source: German children's films.In fact, despite some of the toughest regulations in the world governing child actors, the German children's film sector is thriving. A string of German produced children's films hav
  • Gong Li named Tokyo jury head

    Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, the new director-general of the Tokyo International Film Festival, has named Chinese actress Gong Li (Breaking The Silence, The Emperor and The Asassin, Temptress Moon) as the jury chairman for the festival's 16th edition. The other jury members have yet to be announced. Kadokawa has also unveiled Yoshimitsu Morita's new drama Asura No Gotoku (Like Asura) as the festival's opening film. The closing film will be Pixar's Finding Nemo
  • Hard Word director commits to Quiet Man

    Writer/director Scott Roberts has joined the team behind The Quiet Man, a vehicle for Australian comedian Alexander Gutman, better known under his stage name Austen Tayshus. Roberts' debut film The Hard Word, starring Guy Pearce and Rachel Griffiths, has just opened in several key US cities. Robert Lewis Galinsky describes the original script, which he wrote with Gutman, as "a dangerously twisted love story in which the protagonist challenges our ethical, religious
  • Hong Kong/China trade agreement heralds production boom

    The Hong Kong film industry is looking forward to a surge in production activity following the signing of a trade agreement that exempts Hong Kong movies from the mainland's import quota of 20 foreign films a year (Screen Daily, June 26). The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), signed by the Hong Kong and Chinese governments on June 29, also lifts some of the restrictions on co-productions between China and Hong Kong. The proportion of Hong Kong cast and crew
  • IDA selects 11 features for InFACT Documentary Showcase

    The InternationalDocumentary Association (IDA) has selected 19 documentaries for the seventhannual InFACT Theatrical Documentary Showcase, formerly known as DOCtober. Theeight short films and 11 features will screen from Aug 22 to 28, a window whichenables the film to qualify for Academy Award consideration.The Showcase wasmoved to August this year due to a change in entry dates for Oscarconsideration. Films from the showcase such as The Last Days and The
  • Intertainment results hit by Franchise dispute

    German licence trader and producer Intertainment has blamed its failure to return to profit in the 2002 financial year on the "ongoing negative effects" of its dispute with US producer Franchise Pictures.Intertainment's spat with Franchise has been dragging on since 2000, when the company alleged that Franchise and its principals had submitted fraudulently inflated budgets to Intertainment on films including 3,000 Miles To Graceland, The Whole Nine Yards, The Pledge, Get Carter
  • Ireland backs upcoming production outfits

    The production outfit behind Spin The Bottle - the highly anticipated closing film of this months's Galway Film Fleadh (July 8-13) - has been named as one of four companies to receive backing from the Irish Film Board.Grand Pictures is one of the participant companies in the Film Board's second Company Development Scheme (CDI). The other companies are: Subotica Entertainment, whose acclaimed Song For A Raggy Boy had its world Premiere at Sundance this year; Distinguished
  • Italian exhibitors seek to limit multiplex growth

    Following a three-day meeting Rome, Italian exhibitors, led by trade association ANEC president Walter Vacchino, have begun lobbying the government to prevent the construction of new multiplexes in and around metropolitan areas. The rise of multiplexes has helped fuel an increase in admissions in Italy. 200 new multiplex screens were built in the territory during 2002 and admissions went up from approximately 84 million to over 89 million. However, according to ANEC, these figur
  • JAPAN Production Listings - July 11 2003

    Copyright: Screen InternationalJapan - July 11PRE-PRODUCTIONCASSHERN(Casshern Production Committee) Backers: Casshern Production Committee. Int'l sales/dist (Jap): Shochiku. Sci-fi action feature. Based on the hit 1970s animated series, a super-hero robot fights against evil androids. Prods: Hideshi Miyajima, Toshiharu Ozawa, Toshiaki Wakabayashi. Dir/DoP: Kazuaki Kiriya. Scr: Kiriya, Shotaro Suga, Dai Sato. Shooting from July in Japan.Contact: Shoch
  • Karlovy Vary chief calls for urgent multiplex upgrade

    As this year's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival approaches its final weekend, organisers say the otherwise healthy annual event is on dangerous ground when it comes to the small city's capacity of high-quality screening halls.The festival is pressing local and national government for a $3.7m upgrade of the city's Kino Cas into a mini-multiplex with three halls seating a total of 600. The festival, which has hosted Gus Van Sant and Morgan Freeman and other celebrity guest
  • Koch Lorber to launch new US DVD label for Bollywood films

    New US DVD distributor KochLorber Films has signed an exclusive deal with CineCorp and Street AlienPictures to launch a new DVD line of Bollywood films released theatricallythrough their Rajastan Films. Rajastan was created byGautam Shah of CineCorp, one of the leading distributors and exhibitors ofIndian films in the US, and Street Alien, a new production and distributionoutfit headed by Juan Carlos Zapata and Wayne Mogel.The first group of Rajastanfilms to
  • La Meglio Gioventu

    Dir: Marco Tullio Giordana. Italy. 2003. 366mins.Marco Tullio Giordana's new film, which follows two Italian brothers between 1966 and 2002, is remarkable for three reasons. Firstly, it is just over six hours long. Secondly, it does not drag and is a compelling weave of micro and macro history. And thirdly, despite the inherent difficulties of distributing a six-hour epic, La Meglio Gioventu has posted good results at the sluggish Italian summer box office, where both
  • Limited releases keep their cool as temperature soars

    Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and Bruce Almighty may have held fast in the top two UK/Ireland chart positions but as temperatures soared across the country so did two limited releases.Launched in the Republic of Ireland Buena Vista International's (BVI) Veronica Guerin triumphed with a $443,713 (£271,996) weekend - including $57,532 (£35,267) - from 53 sites. Topping the table in Ireland, the film took a stunning fourth place in the UK/Ireland chart and boasted a
  • Local titles to compete for Norway's Amanda awards

    When the Norwegian film and TV awards, the Amandas, are handed out for the 19th time on August 22, festival titles like Jens Lien's black comedy Jonny Vang and Bent Hamer's crowd-pleaser Kitchen Stories will face off against Paal Oie's low-budget thriller Dark Woods in the best film category. Produced by Dag Alveberg's Maipo Film & TV Produksjon, Bent Hamer's own BulBul Film and Jan Aksel Angetvedt's Spleis AS, the three films have been chosen among the 14 new Nor
  • Luther gets US outing through RS Entertainment

    Randy Slaughter's newUS distribution outfit RS Entertainment has acquired US rights to Luther, Eric Till's biopic of Martin Luther starringJoseph Fiennes and Peter Ustinov. The film will open on Sept 26 in 45 marketsaccording to Slaughter.Luther was shot in Germany, Italy and the Czech Republiclast year and is produced by Brigitte Rochow, Christian Stehr and AlexanderThies. Executive producers are Dennis Clauss, Kurt Rittig, Gabriela Pfandnerand J Dani
  • Lyons replaces Williamson as production chief at Focus

    Following the announcementon Friday that Glenn Williamson is leaving his post as president of production,producer John Lyons is joining Focus Features as its next president ofproduction.Lyons will report directlyto co-presidents David Linde and James Schamus and, unlike Williamson, will bebased in New York City at Focus headquarters where he will work alongsideexecutive vice president of production Joe Picharillo, executive vicepresident, acquisitions and co-productions Amy Kaufman and
  • Michel Gomez named director of French body, ARP

    Following a meeting of the board, Michel Gomez has been named as director of France's authors-directors and producers association ARP. Gomez will succeed outgoing director Pascal Rogard who is heading off to run the writers' syndicate SACD. Gomez, who moves up from his post as ARP's deputy director, was formerly director of the SRF, the outfit which oversees Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival.Director Pierre Jolivet has been named president of the organisati
  • Mirovision picks up Klockworx' Battlefield Baseball

    In a rare deal signed at Korea's Puchon International Film Festival (PiFan) Japanese sales and production house Klockworx marked its first licence agreement for Battlefield Baseball. The film was sold to Korean indie distributor Mirovision.Battlefield Baseball, which features in PiFan's World fantastic Cinema and Industry Screenings sections, is a live action adaptation of a well known 'Manga' comic book. It was directed by first-time director Yudai Yamaguchi, a protegee
  • New German production outfit targets Czech talent

    Pandora Filmproduktion's Karl Baumgartner has launched a new production outpost, Pallas Film, in the east German town of Halle to focus on projects with filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe.One of Pallas Film's first projects will be a feature film entitled Happiness by Czech director Bohdan Slama whose quirky Wild Bees was entered by the Czech Republic for the Foreign Language Oscar. "Some of the most interesting filmmakers around at the moment are coming fr
  • New Zealand hosts Boogeyman shoot for Raimi, Tapert

    Boogeyman, thefirst picture to be backed by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and SenatorInternational's genre label Ghost House Pictures, has begun filming inAuckland, New Zealand.Barry Watson (SororityBoys, 7th Heaven) has been cast in the lead role of a manwho returns to his childhood home to confront a terrifying power.Marcy Morris and Jeff Bernstein at Armstrong Hirschnegotiated on behalf of Watson, who is represented by ICM and
  • Northfork

    Dir: Michael Polish. USA. 2003. 103mins.Despite its all-star cast, Northfork, actor-writer-director Michael Polish's dreamlike fable about the flooding of a small community will be a hard sell for Paramount Classics when it opens in the US on July 11. Nevertheless, it should prove a welcome guest at festivals looking for a highly alternative and idiosyncratic guest in their schedules (it premiered at Sundance earlier this year and has also played Seattle). Like Pol
  • Norwegian Film Fund greenlights seven new features

    Seven new local features have been greenlit with backing from the Norwegian Film Fund (NFF). The films come from all over the country and a number of them are feature debuts - aswith Tore Rygh's romantic musical melodrama Alt For Egil (Everything For Egil), which is set in and around Stavanger and will be produced by veteran Sigve Endresen's Motlys. NFF covers $958,000 (NKR7m) of the $1.6m (NKR12m) budget and distributor Sandrew Metronome has taken domestic rights. Direct
  • Obituary: Alexander Walker

    Alexander Walker, one of the UK's best-known, longest-lasting and most highly-paid and influential film critics, died suddenly yesterday at the London Clinic. He was 73 and had been undergoing tests for cancer.Walker, born in Portadown, Northern Ireland and educated at Queens University, Belfast, was critic of the London Evening Standard for some 43 years. He moved to the Standard from the Birmingham Post in 1960 after a personal letter of recommendation to the editor from Kenneth More
  • One week wonders spoil US summer box office

    Ang Lee sat in Universal Studios before the release of his $150m comic book opus The Hulk and declared that it wasn't the first weekend of the film's release which really mattered. "I hope it hits every mark of a summer blockbuster," he said. "I hope as much as the studio does that it has playability. They will sell the hell out of it in its first weekend but after that it remains to be tested." Sure enough, Lee's worst fears were fulfilled. His challenging take on a traditional
  • Ozpetek's Facing Windows scoops top Karlovy Vary prizes

    Ferzan Ozpetek's Facing Windows won the top prize, the Grand Prix Crystal Globe, at the 38th annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Saturday night (July 12).The Turkish-Italian director, who was carried to the stage by muscular dancers to pick up his award at the closing ceremony, also took the prize for Best Director while leading actress Giovanna Mezzogiorno shared an award for Best Actress. The Karlovy Vary screening marked the first time the film - a box office
  • Paris court rules against Messier severance

    A ruling Wednesday by the president of the Paris High Court has blocked Vivendi Universal from making any payments to former chairman Jean Marie Messier. On June 27 Messier was awarded upwards of 20 million euros by an arbitration court in New York, permitting him to recoup a hefty severance following his ouster last summer.Vivendi Universal has publicly stated that it would fight tooth and nail against paying anything out to Messier. The conglomerate's stance was strengthened b
  • Paul Oneile joins Australia's Film Finance Corporation

    Paul Oneile, former chair and chief executive of UIP, has been appointed to the board of Australia's principal feature film investment company, the Film Finance Corporation (FFC), and Geoff Levy been re-appointed chair for a further six months.Oneile has held senior executive roles or has served on the boards of all of Australia's big three exhibitors. The government hopes his experience in exhibition and distribution will assist the commercial assessment of film projects that come to
  • Pere replaces Da Silva as Director's Fortnight chief

    Francois Da Silva has been replaced as artistic director of Directors' Fortnight by Parisian cinema-programmer Olivier Pere. Da Silva, the Marseille-based cinema operator quit as artistic director of the Directors' Fortnight (Quinzaine Des Realisateurs), on Thursday (July 10) after a single festival.According to Agence France Presse, 32-year old Olivier Pere will step in to run the Cannes sidebar. While programming a cinema in Paris under the direction of the Cinematheque, the 3
  • Phileine Says Sorry to open Netherlands film fest

    Phileine Says Sorry (Phileine Zegt Sorry), anticipated as one of the highlights of a big year for Dutch films, has been set as the opening picture for this year's Netherlands Film Festival (24 Sept-3 Oct) in Utrecht.The film is a romantic comedy, adapted and directed by Robert Jan Westdijk from a Ronald Giphart novel. The story sees a young woman travel to New York to watch her boyfriend in Romeo And Juliette. There, in a fit of jealousy, she disrupts the performance and
  • Pirates conquer the box office

    Buena Vista plundered thebox office and scored one of the few well-reviewed movies of the summer with PiratesOf The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl which took $46.4m over the weekend and $70.4m intotal since its Wednesday opening.The expensive pirateadventure "inspired by" the theme park ride at Disneyland is the latest JerryBruckheimer production to hit for the studio. Directed by Gore Verbinski (TheRing, The Mexican), it stars JohnnyDepp as a pirate chasing afte
  • Playing 'In The Company Of Men' (En Jouant 'Dans La Compagnie Des Hommes')

    Dir: Arnaud Desplechin. France. 2003. 118minsOne of France's more cerebral directors, Arnaud Desplechin has a reputation for risk-taking, as shown by his period drama Esther Kahn, which faced a prickly critical reception at Cannes in 2000. With his latest film, which played in Un Certain Regard, he has hardly gone out of his way to seduce his way back into public favour. Playing 'In The Company Of Men' is a daring but ultimately frustrating interface between fil
  • Puchon kicks off with Wonderful Days

    South Korea's Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) kicked off on July 10 amid strong press coverage and increasing interest from local fans. A showy opening ceremony presided over by festival director Kim Hong-joon was followed by the world premiere of the highly anticipated local animated film Wonderful Days. Looking considerably more expensive than its $10m budget, the film drew praise from festival guests for its unique visuals, but was felt to be hampered b
  • Qwerty takes on Kinsey, Searchlight, Myriad to distribute

    Michael Kuhn’s Qwerty Films has boarded Bill Condon’s Kinsey which is set to start shooting on July 28. Qwerty will produce and finance the film which stars Liam Neeson and Laura Linney, with Fox Searchlight Pictures taking rights in North America, UK, Italy and Latin America.Kuhn closed a ten-picture distribution deal with 20th Century Fox in June 2001 which has already seen partnerships on The Order starring Heath Ledger and (with Searchlight) on David O Russell’s star-studded I Love
  • Rising ticket prices to drive European box office

    Pan-European cinema admissions will reach 1 billion in 2005, rising from 910 million in 2002 - 20% over the three year period - according to a new report by research house, Screen Digest. Box office revenues will rise at an even faster rate over the same period - by 33% - due to a steep rise in forecasted ticket prices.Growth in average cinema ticket prices over the past decade has far outstripped the growth seen in cinema admissions. This increase in prices has been most extrem
  • Schumacher's Veronica Guerin takes pole position

    Joel Schumacher's Veronica Guerin began its worldwide roll out in Ireland over the weekend - and opened to exceptionally strong business.After a world premiere in Dublin on Tuesday night and a special preview screening at the Galway Film Fleadh, the story of the Irish investigative journalist took the number one spot with Euros342,074 from its opening weekend and an additional Euros51,321 from previews.Its strong debut surpassed the previous weekend's number one opening t
  • Singapore government backs Raintree's international slate

    As part of an attempt to drive growth in the Singaporean film industry, the country's Media Development Authority (MDA) is planning to invest an estimated US$5.7m (S$10m) in a slate of 10 international features from local production house Raintree Pictures.The government agency plans to co-invest in the slate with Raintree and other international partners over the next five years. The move is expected to create jobs as well as raise the profile of Singaporean film. "Through such
  • Six-hour epic emerges as surprise Italian hit

    A six-hour long epic about the lives of two brothers between 1966 and 2002 has become a surprise sleeper hit in Italy.Marco Tullio Giordano's La Meglio Gioventu - which won the Altadis award in this year's Un Certain Regard section at Cannes - has posted good results at Italy's slow summer box office. La Meglio Gioventu has been divided into two different parts for theatrical distribution. The first section, Part 1, has spent four weeks in the Italian top 10 and ha
  • Slovak epic production halted by cash shortfall

    The Euros 5.5m Slovak epic Juraj Janosik - A True Story has been halted mid-way through production while producer Rudolf Biermann waits for his US backer to hand over Euros 3m of overdue cash.The film, directed by mother-daughter team Agnieszka Holland and Kasia Adamik, has been hyped as the Polish-Slovak version of the Robin Hood epic and a needed shot in the arm to Slovak production. The shoot's failure would have a serious effect on the nascent Slovak production sector
  • Sony launches local production initiative in Mexico

    Spurred by theglobal success of Oscar nominated El Crimen Del Padre Amaro, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE)has launched a production office in Mexico City and has appointed GabrielRipstein, formerly of Mexican production company Altavista Films and itsdistribution company NuVision, as director of creative affairs. Dubbed ColumbiaPictures Producciones Mexico, the new local language production office will bedefining its slate in the next few months. One of its possible upcomingpr
  • Specialist distributor launches in Ireland

    Tribal Films, a new US-Irish specialist distributor of art house and indie titles was launched by former Shooting Gallery exec Will Silke at the Galway Film Fleadh last week. Its first acquisition for the territory, the dialogue free Hungarian film Hukkle, was shown at the festival on Thursday. Hukkle is due to be distributed from January 2004, and the company aims to have a further ten titles by the end of the year.The company aims to acquire all rights and distri
  • Spurgeon named finance director at UK's South West Studios

    Former FilmFour finance director Chris Spurgeon has taken up the post of finance director at start-up UK film and TV studio South West Film Studios.Joining Spurgeon at the $9.4m (£5.76m) Cornwall facility is Kate Hughes, former head of corporate marketing & publicity for FilmFour. Hughes becomes marketing director at the studio, which is being set up by producer Alex Swan and is scheduled to open its doors this summer.
  • Terminator 3 takes Japanese box office by storm for Toho-Towa...

    Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines grossed $12.5m (Y1.458bn) and recorded 1,015,589 admissions on 550 screens on its opening weekend in Japan - the sixth largest such release ever in the country.Excluding preview screenings, its total of $9.5m for the weekend of July 12 and 13 broke the all-time record for the Toho chain set in 2001 by Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away - the film that later set the all-time Japanese box office record.The percentage of dubbed prints is
  • The Hulk crosses $50m for Universal, 16 markets still to open

    Universal's TheHulk added $7.5m from2,958 sites in 26 territories over the weekend to raise its internationalrunning total to $53.1m.Number oneopening highlights include $296,000 from 69 theatres in Denmark for Universal's12th biggest opening of all time there, and a strong $292,000 from 50 inIndonesia.Portugal grossed$314,000 from 67 for the distributor's sixth biggest bow and Sweden yielded$505,000 from 82 for the 11th best opening ever.The Netherlands grosseda d
  • The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen

    Dir: Stephen Norrington. US. 2003. 110minsThis extraordinary misfire from Blade director Stephen Norrington is like Coca-Cola without the fizz. All the elements are in place but nothing - not the cast, the production design, the effects, the one-liners, the fight scenes, the camp - can bring it to life and one very costly film (reportedly at least $80m) sits there on the screen, stagnant like stale Coke, a moribund mess drowned in its own visual ambitions. Fox, which w
  • The Silence Of The Forest (Le Silence De La Foret)

    Didier Ouenangare and Bassek Ba Kobhio's slight tale has been billed as the first ever Central African film, says Lee MarshallDirs: Didier Ouenangare, Bassek Ba Kobhio. Central African Republic-Cameroon-Gabon. 2003. 91minsMore a consciousness-raising gesture than a piece of cinema, pure and simple, The Silence Of The Forest is a slight, innocent tale of a French-educated African intellectual's misguided attempt to combat his country's black-on-black racism and h
  • Tiresia

    Dir: Bertrand Bonello. France-Canada. 2003. 118minsAfter his initial outing in Critics' Week, where he was much applauded two years ago for his debut, Le Pornographe, Bertrand Bonello might have done better with his second picture had it not been kicked upstairs from its original Un Certain Regard position to a far more demanding slot in Competition. This attempt to update the myth of Tiresia, the most famous soothsayer in Ancient Greece, into a contemporary background
  • Tokyo names Gong Li as head of jury

    Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, the new director-general of the Tokyo International Film Festival (Nov 1-9), has named Chinese actress Gong Li (Breaking The Silence, The Emperor And The Assassin, Temptress Moon) as the jury chairman for the festival's 16th edition. Kadokawa has also unveiled Yoshimitsu Morita's new drama Asura No Gotoku (Like Asura) as the festival's opening film. The closing film will be Pixar's Finding Nemo. Based on a popular NHK series, As
  • UK cinema admissions on track to be biggest in Europe

    Cinema admissions in the UK this year could outstrip all other European countries for the first time, according to industry estimates.According to the latest research in France, local box-office continued its decline in June with a staggering 21% drop-off from 2002's June figures. June saw 11.3 million tickets sold - bringing 2003's first six months' total to 87.8 million tickets sold, down 9.3% from the same period last year.France's National Cinema Center (CNC) now es
  • UK to have strong presence at CARTOON Forum

    Animation shorts from the UK and France have been nominated to the final five for this year's Cartoon D'Or prize which will be presented at the CARTOON Forum in Varese, Italy (September 17-20).The five nominees are: Dog by Suzie Templeton (UK)Ligne De Vie by Serge Auedikian (France)NSPCC: Cartoon by Russell Brooke (UK)Sans Queue Ni Tete by Sandra Desmazieres (France)The Dog Who Was A Cat Inside by Siri Melchior (UK).83 br
  • Veronica Guerin

    Dir: Joel Schumacher. US. 2003. 98 minsSeemingly content to seesaw between vapid commercial fare and grittier personal projects, director Joel Schumacher follows the spy game misfire Bad Company with a heartfelt salute to a true-life heroine. The story of a fearless Irish journalist's crusade against the evils of the drug trade, Veronica Guerin covers very similar territory to John Mackenzie's fictionalised, little seen When The Sky Falls (2000) starri
  • Warner Bros' long China march pays off with Shanghai gala

    Warner Bros. marked its latest push into the fast growing Chinese film market at the weekend with a gala opening of its newly approved joint venture multiplex in Shanghai. The company also expressed confidence that regulatory reform in the industry was on track. Millard Ochs, President of Warner Bros. International Theatres told local government and industry heads, celebrities and reporters that despite reports to the contrary, he expected the present 49% foreign ownership cap on cinem
  • Warner gets China greenlight for multiplex opening in Shanghai

    The Chinese government hasgranted final approval to Warner Bros International Cinemas for its newmultiplex theatre in Shanghai. Called Paraside WarnerCinema City, the complexis a joint venture with Shanghai Paradise Co Ltd and Broadband Investment Ltd ofHong Kong.The 1,490-seat, nine-screentheatre is scheduled to open on July 12 with the Chinese opening of TheMatrix Reloaded and will feature theWB logo as a prominent part of the design as well as the Looney Tunes animatedcharact
  • Wellspring buy worldwide rights to Revolution #9

    US distributor Wellspringhas acquired worldwide rights except North American theatrical and TV to TimMcCann's psychological thriller Revolution #9 and has set a video/DVD release date in the US forOct 7.The film, which played atlast year's Toronto and Telluride film festivals and won the top juryprizes at the Nantucket and Mar Del Plata festivals, stars Michael Risley as aschizophrenic who has a mental breakdown in New York City and blames thecorporate media
  • Wenders wrests back control of back catalogue

    Wim Wenders is understood to have successfully taken back control of the copyright to his own back catalogue of some 20 films, such as The American Friend and Paris, Texas.Earlier this year, it looked as if Wenders may lose the copyrights to the films, after Das Werk - parent company of his old production outfit Road Movies - went bankrupt. (Screen Daily, March 3)Das Werk's invsolvency administrator Holger Lessing auctioned off the films to raise money for the comp
  • Williamson steps down as Focus production chief

    Focus Features president ofproduction Glenn Williamson is stepping down to become a producer with a dealat Focus. He will make the transition over the next few months after completionon Focus' end of year releases is secured.Williamson, who will remainbased at Focus' west coast offices, will also work as producer on severalupcoming Focus films including Truth, Justice & The American Way and The Ice Harvest.Williamson became presidentof production at USA Films in Au
  • Wolfe goes theatrical with Poco Piu Di Un Anno Fa

    Wolfe Video, the US videodistributor specializing in gay and lesbian product, is to enter the theatricalmarket in early 2004 with Italian drama A Little More Than A Year Ago (Poco Piu Di Un Anno Fa) directed by Marco Filiberti. Film consultant OrlyRavid will head up Wolfe's initial theatrical distribution efforts.The company has alsoacquired all US rights to Brad Fraser's Leaving Metropolis, a comedy about an artist who hunts for his muse bymasquerading as a waiter
  • Young Adam to open Edinburgh film festival

    David Mackenzie's critically-acclaimed Scottish drama Young Adam will open next month's Edinburgh International Film Festival. A dark, disturbing adaptation of the Alexander Trocchi novel starring Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton, the production is part of a strong line-up of premieres that underline the event's importance as a showcase for British cinema. Other highlights include May Miles Thomas's second feature Solid Air, Alison Peebles' Afterlife with Kev