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Screen
11 May 2001

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  • Advanced adopts cautious approach to rights buying

    In recognition of the difficult climate of the German television market, troubled German rights trader Advanced Medien will in future only acquire film licenses so long as a broadcaster is already lined up to buy them.This new acquisition strategy was outlined by Advanced's newly bullish CFO Otto Dauer at the presentation of its 2000 financial figures. 'The goal is to preserve Advanced as a stock exchange listed company', Dauer declared, while admitting that the company's situat
  • Amelie dropped for surprise Cannes film

    A surprise film is to replace the outdoor screening on Sunday (May 13) of local hit Amelie From Montmartre, which has been cancelled.Amelie was shoehorned into the festival after pressure from its producer and other Cannes leading lights, who upbraided the selectors for its non-inclusion. Cannes' artistic director Thierry Fremaux then chose to programme the film in an outdoor screening as a gesture to the general public who otherwise have little access to festival films.
  • American Rhapsody to open 6th Nantucket Film Fest

    American Rhapsody, produced and sold internationally by Fireworks Pictures and to be distributed domestically by Paramount Classics, will have its world premiere as the opening night film of the sixth annual Nantucket Film Festival on June 20.20 films will be presented at the festival which runs from June 20 to 24 on Nantucket Island in New England. Eva Gardos wrote and directed American Rhapsody, a drama starring Nastassja Kinski as a woman forced to flee Hungary
  • Artificial Eye takes UK for The Piano Teacher

    UK specialist distributor Artificial Eye Film Distribution has picked up Austrian auteur Michael Haneke's Cannes Official Competition entry The Piano Teacher.The Austrian-French title, which is represented on the Croisette by international sales outfit MK2, stars Isabelle Huppert, Annie Girardot and Benoit Magimel.Artificial Eye this year teamed with Metro Tartan Films, another leading UK foreign-language distributor, to set up a jointly owned video sales company under Mi
  • Barrandov dispels early sale rumours

    Rumours have flown in recent days concerning an imminent purchase of Czech film studio Barrandov, but the company says that a quick deal is unlikely.The weekly Prague Business Journal last week reported that an unnamed "small group of Los Angeles film makers" were making a bid for Barrandov and could clinch the deal "within the next few days."But the company says a sale is on the immediate horizon. "I don't think there should be a decision taken in the next couple of day
  • BBC, Cobalt confirm financing pact

    BBC Films, BBC Worldwide and Cobalt Media Group, the new name for MM Media Capital Partners, have finalised their co-financing partnership for large-scale, international pictures. The partnership will give the UK broadcaster's film arm, BBC Films, access to at least $150m over three years. The BBC will have a 50% net position in all films. Cobalt is expected to handle international sales through its fledgling licensing operation under Peter Rogers, while BBC Films is likely to retain c
  • Ben Ammar to bankroll Samaha's Dante outfit

    The irrepressible Elie Samaha has formed a new financing, production and distribution venture Dante Entertainment with Paris-based Tarak Ben Ammar and his Quinta Communications. The deal will see Quinta bankrolling Dante - which plans to produce four films a year - to the tune of between $200m and $300m.Although separate from Samaha's existing moniker Franchise Pictures, Dante films will be sold internationally by Franchise distribution president Lisa Wilson. The first film to go under
  • Bronson launches marketing and distrib consultancy

    Nadia Bronson, the international marketing veteran who exited Universal Pictures after 24 years earlier this year, has formed Nadia Bronson Associates (NBA), her own international marketing and distribution consultancy. She has also entered into an affiliation with PR firm Dennis Davidson Associates (DDA) to work jointly on a number of films each year.NBA has already signed up to work on two films with Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock's Montecito Picture Company - Evolution which wi
  • CANNES DAY ONE ROUND UP

    IEG CONFIRMS ALI DEAL WITH COLUMBIAInitial Entertainment Group (IEG) has confirmed that the deal between Columbia Pictures and IEG for Michael Mann's big budget boxing biopic Ali has been finalised, with IEG providing funds to finance the film against worldwide distribution excluding the US and Canada. IEG has been involved in the picture - now shooting - since last October, but CEO Graham King has only just concluded his deal on the film.NEWMARKET TO RELEASE DONNIE DARKO IN
  • Celluloid adds Quinzaine title Lan Yu to slate

    Celluloid Dreams has picked up sales right on Directors' Fortnight title Lan Yu, by Hong Kong film-maker Stanley Kwan (The Island Tales). The pick-up takes Celluloid's haul of Cannes festival this year to an astonishing eleven.Lan Yu is a gay-themed melodrama based on the anonymous Internet novel Beijing Story. Set in Beijing at the time of the Tianamen Square, the novel was the first open exploration of gay loves and lives in mainland China and was hugely p
  • Charlotte screenwriter joins English Civil War

    Jeremy Brock, who adapted FilmFour and Ecosse Films' World War 2 romantic adventure Charlotte Gray, is to turn his hand to the English Civil War.The as-yet-untitled project is an epic love story which will re-unite with Brock and Ecosse. Along with the $25m Charlotte Gray, which was adapted from the novel by Sebastian Faulks, Brock and the UK production outfit collaborated on the Oscar-nominated Mrs Brown. London-based Ecosse has also appointed Ginnie Atkin
  • Cine Expo honours Cripps, Working Title duo

    Working Title Films co-chiefs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are to be honoured as producers of the year at Cinema Expo International 2001, while UIP president and chief operating officer Andrew Cripps is distributor of the year.The awards will be dished out at the final night gala bash at the Amsterdam convention, which this year celebrates its tenth anniversary. The event, which expects to attract 2,000 industry members, runs from June 25 to June 28.Commenting on Bevan and Fellner
  • Cobalt storms Boorman's Castle

    Cobalt Media Group has boarded John Boorman's next film Knight's Castle, based on the novel by Edward Eager. The aggressive financing and sales outfit, which confirmed its co-financing deal with BBC Films and BBC Worldwide on a slate of films today, is also backing new films from David Cronenberg and STOMP creators Luke Creswell and Steve McNicholas. Castle, produced and directed by Boorman, will start shooting in August for ten weeks on location in Ireland and at
  • Cobalt storms Boorman's Castle

    Cobalt Media Group has boarded John Boorman's next film Knight's Castle, based on the novel by Edward Eager. The aggressive financing and sales outfit, which confirmed its co-financing deal with BBC Films and BBC Worldwide on a slate of films today, is also backing new films from David Cronenberg and STOMP creators Luke Creswell and Steve McNicholas. Castle, produced and directed by Boorman, will start shooting in August for ten weeks on location in Ireland and at
  • Crystal Sky unleashes Voight films with Apollo

    Steven Paul's Crystal Sky Worldwide Sales has teamed with German film fund Apollo Media on two new films: kung fu fighting talking dog saga Unleashed co-starring Jon Voight, Simon Rex and Jaime Pressly and Façade, a $25m heist thriller which teams Voight with Julia Ormond under director Danny Cannon.These two join the previously announced Ghost Rider, a $75m movie of the Marvel comic book character which is a co-production with Dimension Films and to be direct
  • Dogtown skates into arms of Sony Pictures Classics

    Sony Pictures Classics has picked up North American and English speaking territory rights to Dogtown And Z-Boys, winner of the audience award for best documentary at this year's Sundance Film Festival.Written and directed by Stacey Peralta the $600,000 skateboarding documentary was fully funded by Vans, the athletic shoe-maker most identified with the sport when the craze took off. Dogtown And Z-Boys chronicles the impact of the Californian Zephyr Team (Z-Boys) on
  • Egoyan's tough-sell Ararat finds French home

    While a film within a film set against the 1915 Turkish massacre of Armenians might seem like a hard sell, Atom Egoyan's Ararat has already been picked up for France by ARP. Meanwhile, TMN has taken Canadian pay TV rights.Not that commercial considerations are upper most on the filmmakers' minds. As producer Robert Lantos puts it: "Some movies are made with marketing in mind and some are made because they must be, because a great story needs to be told." "I've been tryin
  • Exotic locales abound in ambitious BBC film slate

    BBC Films is developing a slew of large-scale international projects for its debut feature slate under director general Greg Dyke's new drama-entertainment structure. The UK public broadcaster's film arm wants to use the projects and an equally ambitious financing pact for bigger titles with Cobalt Media Group (formerly MM Media Capital Partners) to stop a talent drain to Hollywood. While the first BBC-Cobalt titles are still to be firmed up -- the deal is expected to be finalis
  • Filmbox raises cash for French video expansion

    French video group Filmbox has raised $1.05m (Euros1.2m) from a group of private investors to expand the services offered by its network of automated video dispensers.The company, which was formed in January last year by Stephane Chiche, currently operates some 3,000 dispensers located in supermarkets and other retail outlets across France. It wants to add new functions such as theability to reserve by internet cassettes in individual dispensersAfter the latest cash raisi
  • FilmExport seduces partners for Valentino film

    Rome-based sales outfit FilmExport is in the final stages of talks with US and European co-production partners to board a $30m film about legendary gigolo Rudolf Valentino. The English-language film, entitled Baciami Rudy (Kiss Me Rudy) will chronicle Valentino's life from the age of 18 until he becomes a star in the US. Norman Jewison (Moonstruck) is in talks to direct the film, which is planned as an Italian, Spanish, German, French, US and Canadian co-productio
  • Fortissimo clinches string of pre-Cannes deals

    Hong Kong-Dutch sales powerhouse Fortissimo has clinched a string of pre-market sales on its roster of festival films. The deals come as Fortissimo has just secured a major coup in selling last year's Cannes competition film Devils On The Doorstep to Japan's Gaga Films. The film from mainland Chinese director Jiang Wen had attracted considerable critical acclaim in Japan, but was always going to be a tough commercial prospect in the territory since it demonised the Japanese army
  • Fox digs into Germany in search of funding

    20th Century Fox is planning to tap into the German private equity market to raise funds for feature projects.Munich-based Fox Deutsche Filmproduktion Beteiligung has been founded to attract private investors' money for four projects: John Pasquin's Joe Somebody starring Tim Allen, James Belushi and Julie Bowen; Bobby and Peter Farrelly comedy Shallow Hal, with Jason Alexander, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black; the Adrian Lyne drama Unfaithful, with Richard Gere, Dia
  • Fragile Films, Herman graduate with New Cardiff

    Mark Herman, the UK director of Purely Belter, Little Voice and Brassed Off, has been signed by Fragile Films for its upcoming film New Cardiff, an adaptation of The Graduate author Charles Webb's novel.The book follows an Englishman who goes to America after his girlfriend jilts him by sending him an invite to her wedding. He strikes up a relationship with another woman only for his original girlfriend to show up saying it was only a joke.Fragile, th
  • Full rundown of Writers Guild contract agreement

    The first potentially catastrophic labour strike which has hung over the Hollywood film industry for over a year now has been averted. In a press conference called for Friday afternoon, the Writers Guild Of America (WGA) said that it had reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance Of Motion Picture And Television Producers (AMPTP) and the three TV networks for a new three-year contract covering 11,000 theatrical and TV writers.The negotiations, which had broken off earlier in the y
  • Good Machine closes string of deals on They

    Good Machine International is close to completing its international sales patchwork on suspenser They, which is the first film from its exclusive foreign sales arrangement with Ted Field's Radar Pictures. Bac Films has taken France, Entertainment the UK, Concorde Germany, Nu Vision Mexico and Sandrew Metronome Scandinavia. Starring Laura Regan, Marc Blucas, Ethan Embry and Dagmara Dominiczyk, the film is directed by Robert Harmon and is currently in production in Vancouver. Rega
  • Granat, Anschutz become classroom mates

    Former Dimension Films president Cary Granat has teamed up with billionaire (and now exhibition mogul) Philip Anschutz to create a new production outfit Walden Media with plans to make films, TV programming, new media and publishing initiatives "that educate, foster curiosity and an ongoing interest in learning."Walden Media's key executive team includes educational innovator Micheal Flaherty (co-founder and president), Digital Planet co-founder Joshua Greer (chief convergence officer)
  • Grosvenor Park launches German fund

    Canadian-UK financier Grosvenor Park, which has specialised in funding films through the UK's sale and leaseback system, is now planning to have a piece of the action in Germany's $2.3bn (DM5bn) private media fund sector. It has set up Munich-based Grosvenor Park Media GmbH to offer private German investors the opportunity to put up at least $22,500 (Euro 25,000) each into its Grosvenor Park Film Productions Nr. 1 fund. This aims to raise $13.0m (Euro14.4m) financi
  • Harte Jungs duo bank on new success with Pornorama

    Constantin Film's Bernd Eichinger and director Marc Rothemund are developing a new project entitled Pornorama after the box-office success of their teen comedy Ants In The Pants (Harte Jungs) which registered over 1.7m admissions and was the second most successful German film last year after Stefan Ruzowitzky's Anatomie.According to Eichinger, Pornorama will be 'a comedy about a group of people in the early 1970s who try to make a sex film for financial reas
  • Hurt joins Deneuve on trip to Marshall's Heaven

    William Hurt is to co-star with Catherine Deneuve in Au Plus Pres du Paradis (Nearest To Heaven), the next film by award-winning French director Tonie Marshall.French sales outfit Flach Pyramide International is launching pre-sales in Cannes on the $7m title - which will be shot in both French and English - about a French female novelist who falls in love with a US photographer during a trip to New York.Marshall won six Cesar awards in 1999 for Venus Beaute Institu
  • Kids of Kids prepare for Marathon

    French TV production and distribution house Marathon International is producing its second feature film, Ken Park, the directorial debut of Ed Lachman, the cinematographer on Erin Brokovich. Lachman will co-direct with Kids director Larry Clark. Marathon produced, financed and is now selling Amos Kolleck's Directors' Fortnight title Queenie In Love, a $3.2m production which is distributed in France by Pyramide.Ken Park, which Clark describes as
  • KWA chews on Beach Dogs for worldwide sales

    Spanish sales outfit Kevin Williams Associates (KWA) has picked up worldwide rights on Beach Of Dogs (La Playa De Los Galgos), a new forthcoming feature film from director Mario Camus.The $4m mystery stars Laura Morante (The Son's Room), Carmelo Gomez (Between Your Legs), Ingrid Rubio and Miguel Angel Sola. It is the story of a man who becomes entangled with a mysterious woman while searching for his brother, who is a terrorist. Beach will shoot betwe
  • Luhrmann's Sensory Overload

    Dir: Baz Luhrmann. Australia/US. 2001. 124 minAussie wonder boy Baz Luhrmann continues to break rules and to shock in his new tragi-comic musical, Moulin Rouge his most audaciously innovative feature to date. Like his stylized dance melodrama Strictly Ballroom and his postmodern Shakespearean adaptation, Romeo + Juliet, the new musical, which is set at the turn of the century Paris and stars Nicole Kidman, creates a heightened creative world that aggressively defie
  • Messiah aims for Mirror Man smash

    Ex-Monty Python member Terry Jones is to write and direct romantic comedy Mirror Man for Messiah Pictures, the UK production company he founded last year.Jones is to shoot the story of a man whose mirror image comes to life and misbehaves early next year, according to Messiah executive producer Alan Broach. The comedian, whose solo directing credits include 1996 adaptation The Wind In The Willows, 1989's Erik The Viking and Monty Python's 1979 classic, Life Of B
  • Miramax may remake Besson-produced Weekend Break

    Having bought just about everything this year, Miramax Films is now out to remake just about everything. The Weinstein powerhouse is negotiating remake rights for 15 Aout (Weekend Break), a three men and some children tale reminiscent of one of the most succesful re-makes ever - Trois Homme Et Un Couffin (otherwise known as Three Men And A Baby).Miramax has also reportedly bought remake rights to two of its recent acquisitions Mercure Distribution - Everybody Fa
  • Miramax promotes Gatineau to VP acquisitions

    Maeva Gatineau has been promoted to vice president of acquisitions at Miramax Films.Gatineau, who has been working in Miramax's UK office for four years, will continue to oversee European acquisitions alongside Elizabeth Dreyer, vice president of acquisitions. They will both report to Agnes Mentre, executive vice president of acquisitions and co-productions, and Andrew Herwitz, senior vice president of acquisitions.Gatineau was instrumental in the recent acquisitions of Every
  • Miramax promotes Gatineau to VP acquisitions

    Maeva Gatineau has been promoted to vice president of acquisitions at Miramax Films. Gatineau, who has been working in Miramax's UK office for four years, will continue to oversee European acquisitions alongside Elizabeth Dreyer, vice president of acquisitions. They will both report to Agnes Mentre, executive vice president of acquisitions and co-productions, and Andrew Herwitz, senior vice preisident of acquisitions.Gatineau was instrumental in the recent acquisitions of Everybody
  • Miramax seals five picture pact with Japan's Gaga

    Miramax International has sealed a five-picture output deal with Gaga Communications in Japan for a reported $15m, marking the biggest deal the company has ever scored in the territory and signalling a new aggression among Japanese buyers.The films are James Mangold's Kate & Leopold starring Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman, Texas Rangers, Halloween: Homecoming, Mimic 2 and Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back. Gaga, which has an upcoming IPO planned, should be keenly ag
  • Miramax takes Germany's Scotia to arbitration

    One of Germany's oldest distribution companies is in hot water as it came to light this week that Miramax International has taken Scotia Film to an arbitration board for non-payment. Scotia, which has enjoyed the fruits of Miramax's output in the past including Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, Life Is Beautiful and From Dusk Till Dawn, has failed to pay the US giant for a slate of pictures including Holy Smoke, Rounders, My Life So Far and the two video sequels to
  • Moulin Rouge

    Dir: Baz Luhrmann. Australia/US. 2001. 124 minAussie wonder boy Baz Luhrmann continues to break rules and to shock in his new tragi-comic musical, Moulin Rouge his most audaciously innovative feature to date. Like his stylized dance melodrama Strictly Ballroom and his postmodern Shakespearean adaptation, Romeo + Juliet, the new musical, which is set at the turn of the century Paris and stars Nicole Kidman, creates a heightened creative world that aggressively defie
  • MTV, Paramount start dancing to Britney's tune

    MTV Films has boarded the Britney Spears movie What Are Friends For as co-producer, while MTV sister company Paramount Pictures is in advanced negotiations to take domestic distribution rights on the film which is being sold by Summit Entertainment.MTV and Paramount have a history of youth-oriented hits which include Save The Last Dance, Beavis & Butt-head Do America, Varsity Blues and Election.Meanwhile Summit is understood to be
  • Mueller creates new film production company

    Marco Mueller, head of the Benetton-owned production company Fabrica Cinema, is planning to create a new, autonomous production company at the end of this year. Mueller said he will maintain his role at Fabrica, which will continue to build on its reputation of fostering new talents from around the world. But he also emphasized the need to establish a separate film production outfit which will be able to approach potential financial partners free from any ties to the multi-million doll
  • New Line's German rights fall back in the Ring

    New Line Cinema, whose massive media event for The Lord Of The Rings kicks off today, is looking for a new partner in Germany. When the three year output deal it struck with Kinowelt Medien in Oct 1998 comes to an end in December, New Line's worldwide marketing and distribution chief Rolf Mittweg is not looking to renew it, according to sources. He will now negotiate with another German buyer kicking off with next year's slate and including the second and third films in The Lord of
  • Nu Vision, Paradiso leap at Pandora films

    Pandora has concluded some major deals on the first four films in its new incarnation as the LA-based specialised production and sales arm of Gaylord Films.Nu Vision has taken all Latin American rights on A Walk To Remember, the love story adapted from the Nicholas Sparks novel starring Mandy Moore and Shane West, as well as Peter Kosminksy's White Oleander to star Michelle Pfeiffer and Renee Zellwegger. Paradiso has also bought all Benelux and Media Film has bought all I
  • Pons dishes up cast for Food Of Love

    UK actors Paul Rhys, Allan Corduner and Lindsay Duncan have joined the cast of Spanish director Ventura Pons' English-language debut, Food Of Love.Shooting in August, Love will be the third film from new Barcelona-based production and sales outfit 42nd Street Productions, backed by German facilities giant Das Werk. The first two titles, thriller Fausto 5.0 and comedy Dirty Harry Vivancos (Vivancos El Sucio), are slated for a fall release.42nd S
  • Rea seduced by Spanish Aphrodite

    Stephen Rea has joined the cast of Spanish-based international co-production Aphrodite (Afrodita), writer-director Fernando Solanas' adaptation of popular Isabel Allende novel Aphrodite: Stories, Recipes And Other Aphrodisiacs.Rea will star alongside Cecilia Roth and Marisa Paredes, reunited after Oscar-winner All About My Mother (Todo Sobre Mi Madre), and Italy's Giovanna Mezzogiorno, in the story of a woman who copes with her daughter's tragic death
  • Redbus renames as Helkon SK, acquires films

    Newly-christened Helkon SK - better known as UK distributor Redbus Film Distribution - has made a trio of acquisitions including Ed Burns' gangster thriller Ash Wednesday and Capitol Films' American Zoetrope production Jeepers Creepers.The company founded by Simon Franks and Zygi Kamasa - now majority owned by Germany's Helkon - has also picked up the Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney-produced Welcome to Collinwood. Closer to home, the acquisitive Franks and Kam
  • Sales Co looks to convert Bend It Like Beckham

    The UK's The Sales Co has added What's Cookin' and Bhaji On The Beach director Gurinder Chadha's Bend It Like Beckham to its sales line-up.The inter-racial football comedy stars The Hole's Keira Khightley and Parminder Nagra of popular UK TV series Holby City and Casualty as two girls who dream of playing professional soccer. Redbus has UK rights.Deepak Nayar, who has credits including The Million Dollar Hotel, Buena Vista Social Club
  • San Sebastian unveils three retrospectives

    Making his first announcement about content, MikelOlaciregui, the new director of the San SebastianInternational Film Festival, unveiled a 2001 programmecontaining three retrospective sections.The festival, now in its 49th edition (Sept 20-29),will feature a "classic" retrospective dedicated to USdirector Frank Borzage, a "contemporary" retrospectiveof the works of director Otar Iosseliani and a"thematic" sidebar called "It happened yest
  • Searchlight's Lisa Fragner joins Rudolph & Beer

    New York entertainment law firm Rudolph & Beer (R&B) has formed a new division R&B FM (Film & Music) to be headed by Lisa Fragner, formerly head of east coast production and development for Fox Searchlight Pictures. Fragner has been at Searchlight for four years in production and development, having started as an assistant to the company's former president Lindsay Law.R&B was founded by Steven Beer and Larry Rudolph as an entertainment boutique specialising in music, film, licensing,
  • Sogepaq adds Medem's latest to Cannes slate

    Spanish rights house Sogepaq has added two films to its Cannes sales slate: Julio Medem's Lucia And Sex (Lucia Y El Sexo) and Antonio Hernandez's In The City Without Limits (En La Ciudad Sin Limites).Lucia is the much-anticipated new film from cult director Medem (The Lovers Of The Arctic Circle). The film, which stars up-and-coming Spanish actress Paz Vega (Nobody Knows Anybody), is a production of Sogepaq sister company Sogecine.
  • Spain's Boca launches international sales division

    Spanish production house Grupo Boca has launched a new worldwide sales and production division, signalling plans to significantly grow its international presence.Former Boca TV acquisitions and distribution head Mercedes Borruel has been appointed director of the new department. She will handle international sales on all feature film product out of Boca, previously commissioned to third-party agents, and will seek foreign co-production opportunities for the company, particularly within
  • Spanish Dogme producers prepare new projects

    Pilar Suero and Juan Pinzas, the producer-director team behind Spain's first official Dogme film, Once Upon Another Time (Erase Otra Vez), are preparing two new Dogme feature films.First up is Although The Bride Wears Silk (Aunque La Novia Se Vista De Seda), planned for a September shoot. Described as an 'acid social drama,' the film is likely to star at least part of the young, mostly unknown Spanish cast from last year's Another Time. The next project, The End
  • Storm, ChickFlicks team for Coyote horror movie

    H Michael Heuser's Storm Entertainment has teamed with Sara Risher's LA-based ChickFlicks to finance and co-produce Coyote - a comic special effects-driven horror movie about a pack of coyotes taking revenge against some schlocky Hollywood film-makers in Los Angeles.Heuser will produce alongside Risher, Steven Wolfe and Leslie Tobin Bacon; Dorothy Lyman will make her directorial debut on the film. ChickFlicks and Storm are teamed with Tobin Bacon's UK-based Bacon & Eggs and Wolf
  • Summit wakes up to new Alcon picture trio

    Summit Entertainment has struck a three-picture deal with Alcon Entertainment, producers of Christopher Nolan's Insomnia which is on Summit's Cannes sales slate. None of the three pictures has yet been specified but a deal has been struck for Summit to raise additional equity from a few select key territory sales. Alcon's studio partner Warner Bros will handle distribution in North America and the balance of the rest of the world.Warner has domestic rights to Insomnia whi
  • Thai cinema kickboxes Cannes as Miramax buys Tiger

    In the first pre-emptive purchase of this year's Cannes, Miramax Films has bought North American, Latin American, Scandinavian and South African rights to super-hot Un Certain Regard film Tears Of The Black Tiger (Fata Lai Jone). The swoop comes amid surging international buying interest in Thai cinema here at the market.Tears, by first time director Wisit Sasanatieng is a melodramatic Thai Western involving heavy use of digital recolouring and emblematic Thai western music. Mir
  • The Mummy Returns is a monster; opens on $70.1m

    Universal Pictures celebrated the second biggest opening in cinema history at the North American box office this weekend, as its adventure sequel The Mummy Returns grossed a spectacular estimated $70.1m. Only one film - Universal's own The Lost World: Jurassic Park - had a bigger three-day take of $72m in 1997; Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace took $64.8m in 1999 for third place.Playing in 3,401 theatres, The Mummy Returns had a site average of $20,
  • The Mummy Returns is a monster; opens on $70.1m

    Universal Pictures celebrated the second biggest opening in cinema history at the North American box office this weekend, as its adventure sequel The Mummy Returns grossed a spectacular estimated $70.1m. Only one film - Universal's own The Lost World: Jurassic Park - had a bigger three-day take of $72m in 1997; Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace took $64.8m in 1999 for third place.Playing in 3,401 theatres, The Mummy Returns had a site average of $20,
  • The Piano Teacher goes to Artificial Eye for UK

    UK specialist distributor Artificial Eye Film Distribution has picked up Austrian auteur Michael Haneke's Cannes Official Competition entry The Piano Teacher.The Austrian-French title, which is represented on the Croisette by international sales outfit MK2, stars Isabelle Huppert, Annie Girardot and Benoit Magimel.Artificial Eye this year teamed with Metro Tartan Films, another leading UK foreign-language distributor, to set up a jointly owned video sales company under Mi
  • Venice chief downplays festival rivalry

    Venice festival chief Alberto Barbera yesterday moved to play down suggestions of difficult relations between the three major festivals Cannes, Berlin and Venice.'I have great respect and excellent relations with [Cannes president] Gilles Jacob based on mutual respect,' said Barbera. 'I don't think that the natural competition between festivals should become warfare.'Barbera said that he has written to the Cannes supremo to dissociate himself from suggestions of clashes between
  • Warner boards most expensive French film of 2001

    Hoping to emulate this year's blockbuster success of La Verite 2, Warner Bros has boarded another potential French hit, Le Boulet (Dead Weight) .The $21.4m (Ffr158m) action comedy, directed by Alain Berberian (Paparazzi, La Cite de la Peur) from a script by Matt Alexander, is expected to be the highest budgeted French film of 2001. The film is produced by La Petite Reine, the production company of Claude Berri's son Thomas Langmann, as a 50/50 partnership with Warn
  • Wild Bunch takes worldwide rights to Madhouse

    StudioCanal specialist division Wild Bunch will handle worldwide rights on French-Spanish co-production Madhouse (Una Casa De Locos) from director Cedric Klapisch.Madhouse stars a pan-European cast of up-and-comers led by Romain Duris, Judith Godreche, Cristina Brondo and Paulina Galvez in a comedy about a group of international students sharing an apartment in Barcelona.A co-production between Ce Qui Me Meut (France), Castelao (Spain) and Mate Production (Spain),
  • Zefirrelli lines up next project with Italy's RAI

    As part of its drive into high profile film production, Rai Cinema is set to produce the next project by Franco Zeffirelli after the Italian director completes his widely anticipated upcoming film, Callas Forever, for rival mini-major Medusa Film. Although it is not yet clear what the next Zeffirelli project will be, the director has been preparing historical epic The Florentines - The Medici for some time. Zeffirelli starts shooting his film about the opera diva o

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