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11 September 2000

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  • ABC appoints Virgo as drama chief

    Italy has chosen Marco Tullio Giordana's The Hundred Steps (I Cento Passi) as its official entry for the foreign-language Oscar, over both Silvio Soldini's Bread And Tulips and Giuseppe Tornatore's Malena, which had both been widely tipped.The Hundred Steps is based on the true story of Peppino Impastato, a student during the left-wing political terrorism of the 1970s who defied his family's ties with the Sicilian Mafia. The critically-acclaimed film premier
  • Altman lines up UK-set manor house drama

    In Venice to promote his latest feature, Dr T And The Women, director Robert Altman has revealed details of his next project, Gosford Park, which he plans to shoot in the UK from next March.Written by Julian Fellows, the film is set in 1933 - the year Hitler rose to power - in a manor house populated by eight members of the ruling class and 40 servants. One of the characters will be singer Ivor Novello whose music will be featured prominently on the soundtrack. The cast w
  • Before Night Falls

    Dir: Julian Schnabel. US. 2000. 131 mins.Prod co: Grandview Pictures. Int'l sales: Overseas FilmGroup (+1 310 855 1199). Prod: Jon Kilik. Scr: Cunningham O'Keefe, Lazaro Gomez-Carriles, Julian Schnabel. DoPs: Xavier Perez-Grobet, Guillermo Rosas. Editor: Michael Berenbaum. Music: Carter Burwell, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson. Main cast: Javier Bardem, Olivier Martinez, Andrea di Stefano, Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Michael Wincott, Hector Babenco.One of the films that generated t
  • Berezovsky offers to hand back ORT stake

    In a move that Moscow media watchers are calling a publicity ploy, Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky has threatened to hand back to the government his stake in Russia's largest broadcaster ORT. In a letter to Russian president Vladimir Putin that was provided to the press, Berezovsky claimed that he has been put under pressure by the Kremlin for the channel's critical coverage of the Kursk submarine tragedy. He threatened to hand over his alleged 49% stake in the channel to a "committee
  • Better Than Sex

    Dir: Jonathan Teplitzky. Australia. 2000. 85 mins.Prod cos: Better Than Pty Ltd. Int'l sales: President Films (+33 1 4562 8222). Dist (Australia): Newvision Films Distributors. Producers: Bruna Papandrea, Frank Cox. Scr: Jonathan Teplitzky. DoP: Garry Phillips. Prod des: Tara Kamath. Ed: Shawn Seet. Music: David Hirschfelder. Main cast: David Wenham, Susie Porter.This Australian comedy of modern one-night-stand manners racked up strong international sales following two Ca
  • Bring It On

    Dir: Peyton Reed. US. 2000. 98 mins.Prod co: Beacon Pictures. US dist: Universal Pictures. Int'l sales: Buena Vista Film Sales, tel: (1) 818238 1081. Exec prods: Armyan Bernstein, Max Wong, Caitlin Scanlon, Paddy Cullen. Prods: Marc Abraham, Thomas A Bliss, John Ketcham. Scr: Jessica Bendinger. DoP: Shawn Maurer. Prod des: Sharon Lamofsky. Ed: Larry Bock. Mus: Christophe Beck. Main cast: Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford, Gabriellle Union, Clare Kramer.Teen movi
  • Brother

    Dir: Takeshi Kitano. Japan-UK-US. 2000. 108 mins.Prod cos: Office Kitano, Recorded Picture Company. US dist: Sony Picture Classics. Int'l sales: HanWay Films Ltd, tel: (44) 20 7290 0750. Prod: Masayuki Mori, Jeremy Thomas. Scr: Takeshi Kitano. DoP: Katsumi Yanagijima. Ed: Yoshinori Ota, Takeshi Kitano. Music: Joe Hisaishi. Main cast: Takeshi 'Beat' Kitano (Yamamoto), Omar Epps (Denny), Claude Maki (Ken), Masaya Kato (Shirase), Ren Ohsugi (Harada), Susumu Terajima (Kato).L
  • Brotherhood's local debut pushed back to next year

    The French release of StudioCanal's eagerly-awaited The Brotherhood Of Wolves (Le Pacte Des Loups) has been postponed from an autumn 2000 slot to the end of January 2001 due to an extended post-production period.The $25m fantasy period piece involves a high degree of special effects. Shot in Super 35mm and to be projected in Scope, the film has been entirely transferred to digital. Metropolitan Filmexport (MF) is handling distribution of the film - Christophe Gans' second
  • BSkyB, NTL sign programming agreement

    UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB has signed a five-year programming supply deal with cable operator NTL which irons out several sticking points between the two companies. Under the deal - which is subject to the approval of telecom watchdog OFTEL - BSkyB will be paid according to NTL's growth projections, rather than by the number of customers that sign up for BSkyB services.The move will result in significant cost savings for NTL, as well as guaranteed revenue streams to BSkyB. T
  • Chinese Coffee

    Dir: Al Pacino. US. 2000. 97 mins.Prod cos: CHAL Productions in association with Shooting Gallery. Exec prod: Anne D'Amato. Prods: Michael Hadge, Larry Meistrich, Robert Salerno. Scr: Ira Lewis adapted from his own play. DoP: Frank Prinzi. Prod des: Wing Lee. Ed: Michael Berenbaum. Mus: Elmer Bernstein. Main cast: Al Pacino, Jerry Orbach, Susan Floyd, Ellen McElduff.Pacino took three years to make his follow-up to Looking For Richard, filming in between high profil
  • Cisneros launches pan-Latin American channel

    Venezuelan media giant Grupo Cisneros has launched a pan-Latin American entertainment and news channel - Venevision Continental - which will also be available to viewers in Spain and Portugal.According to Venevision Continental president Carlos Bardasano, the Spanish-language network currently reaches eight million viewers in Latin America. Its launch in Spain and Portugal will follow in a few weeks. Programming includes soap operas (telenovelas), magazine shows, comedy, news and gener
  • Deluxe to open Italian facility

    Laboratories group Deluxe is to open a new processing facility in Rome, which will be only its second site in Europe.Deluxe Italia is expected to serve distribution clients across the European region. "This is about more than the Italian market. From Rome we will be serving our clients' European needs. These needs are growing as print runs become larger," said Deluxe Italia spokeswoman Rosemary Desiat. Distributors already committed to using prints from the new plant include 20t
  • Elisabeth Murdoch joins UK publisher Future

    Elisabeth Murdoch has joined the board of UK magazine publisher Future Network.Murdoch takes up the position of non-executive director, her first post since quitting her father's satellite TV company BSkyB three months ago. The former managing director of Sky Networks joins with immediate effect.Future Network announced the appointment as it unveiled first half results showing a pre-tax loss of $19.2m. The publisher said magazine and Internet launches had impacted on profits.
  • Fabrica Cinema launches television arm

    Benetton-funded production company Fabrica Cinema plans to launch a television production arm to be headed by director Marco Bellocchio and Fabrica director and former Locarno festival chief Marco Mueller."Fabrica Television is borne out of the necessity to double our efforts to create visibility for films otherwise regarded as marginal," said Mueller. "We can't just produce films without forgetting about distribution and sales, and television covers both of those areas." Muelle
  • Festivals feel impact of global releasing

    Global releasing is only now being adopted by Hollywood studios, but it is already having an impact on the timing and programming of festivals. Felice Laudadio this week announced that he will move next year's Taormina festival by a couple of weeks - from mid July to the last week of June - in order to better fit in with the summer releasing schedule of blockbuster movies. Taormina's new dates are set as June 29-July 7, 2001. "The move is essential to us if we are going to be able to h
  • FFA supports Princess, Dancer's German release

    Tom Tykwer's The Princess And The Warrior and Lars von Trier's Dancer In The Dark are among eight titles to receive distribution funding from the German Federal Film Board (FFA). Dancer is being distributed by Constantin while Tykwer's film will be released by X Verleih.The other titles to receive support are: Rainer Kaufmann's Kalt Ist Der Abendhauch (Senator Film), Farhad Yawari's Dolphins, Xavier Koller's Gripsholm (Kinowelt), Vanessa Jopp's
  • FFC boards Aboriginal drama Beneath Clouds

    The Australian Film Finance Corporation (FFC) and local broadcaster SBS are backing the first feature from Aboriginal film-maker Ivan Sen, Beneath Clouds, with commitments from UK sales agent Axiom Films and Australian distributor Dendy Films.The film, scheduled to start shooting January 15, is about two teenagers - one the daughter of an Aboriginal mother and Irish father and the other a boy doing time in a minimum security prison - who are thrown together on a journey without
  • Film Consortium confirmed as partner on 51st State

    Canada's Alliance Atlantis and the UK's Momentum Pictures have confirmed that UK studio franchise The Film Consortium has boarded their $28m action comedy 51st State (ScreenDaily, August 17). Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Carlyle will star in the film which follows an American chemist planning a once-in-a-lifetime drug deal in Liverpool. Ronny Yu is to direct from a script by British first-timer Stel Pavlou, Simon Davis Barry and David Leland. Emily Mortimer, Rhys Ifans, R
  • Fine Line reorganises publicity, appoints Hovee

    Fine Line Features has promoted Nina Baron to vice president, East Coast publicity and promotions, and Jennifer Stott to vice president, publicity and promotions, while Melinda Hovee has joined the company as executive director, west coast publicity and promotions. Both Baron and Stott will remain based in New York and will report directly to Marian Koltai-Levine, Fine Line's executive vice president of marketing. Hovee will be based in Los Angeles and will report to Baron and Stott.B
  • Firstmovies launches with on-line marketing tool

    A new UK film industry marketing company launches this week, aiming to provide distributors with market research about their films via the internet. Called, the service has been set up by Chris Ward, managing director of youth marketing agency Beatwax Communications. Film Council deputy chairman Stewart Till has been appointed chairman of the company. The service operates by offering exclusive previews to movie fans, who then contribute their reviews to the First
  • Fortissimo sells Venice titles to Canada, Brazil

    Fortissimo Film Sales has sold Venice titles The Goddess Of 1967, which is screening in competition, and Thomas Est Amoureux, screening in the Present Cinema section, to Canada's Seville Films, Brazil's Imovision and Greece's Prooptiki.In addition, Australian title Goddess, directed by Clara Law, has been sold to Gemini in Mexico, Ocean in France, Cinemien in Benelux, Cinecompany in Spain, Atalanta in Portugal, Trigon in Switzerland, Fandango in Italy and Golden Sc
  • Granada acquires 45% stake in Ireland's TV3

    UK broadcaster Granada Media has launched its drive to expand overseas, acquiring 45% of Irish commercial operator TV3 from Canada's CanWest Global Communications for $28m in cash.Granada has also agreed to sell its major programme brands to TV3, with the broadcaster's flagship soap Coronation Street moving from Irish state broadcaster RTE to TV3 next year. The stake will be held in a new joint venture with TV3's founders and CanWest's remaining 45%.The overseas expan
  • Hispanic TV hots up as Mexico's Azteca enters US

    Mexican broadcasting giant TV Azteca has realized its long-standing ambition to enter the US by creating Azteca America, a third Hispanic network that is armed with investment commitments worth nearly $500m.Azteca, Mexico's second largest broadcaster, has joined forces with private station owner Pappas Telecasting to bankroll the venture, which is slated to launch full operations in the second quarter of 2001.The network goes up against leading network Univision, which is 20% ow
  • Hollow Man fills Spanish box office

    Columbia TriStar had a successful weekend in Spain with the release of Paul Verhoeven's Hollow Man where it won the number one slot with a three-day gross of $2.3m (PTS434m). This is the territory's third strongest opening so far this year. Comparatively, Fox's Titan AE on 226 screens (versus Hollow Man's 260), opened at fourth place with $544,280 (PTS101m). Aurum's release of Frequency, starring Dennis Quaid, came in a surprise third with $641,298 (PTS119m) on 200
  • Indian film star kidnap talks break down

    Negotiations to secure the release of Indian film star Rajkumar, kidnapped by bandit king Veerappan, broke down this week after the Indian Supreme Court refused to release 127 of the outlaw's accomplicesVeerappan said he would not free his hostages until the aides and Tamil Nadu Liberation Army activists had been released from jails in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Rajkumar and three other hostages were abducted from Gajanur on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border on July 30. Rajkumar ha
  • Innocence, Le Gout share top gong at Montreal

    French director Agnes Jaoui's The Taste Of Other (Le Gout Des Autres) and Australian Paul Cox's Innocence shared the top prize at the 24th Montreal World Film Festival which wrapped on Monday. The Grand Prix of the Americas is the second major prize for the Cox title after Taormina. Iranian auteur Bahman Farmanara was awarded a special Grand Prix by the jury for Smell Of Camphor, Fragrance Of Jasmine. The FIPRESCI prize went to Raoul Ruiz's Chile-Portugal-France co
  • Iran's The Circle wins the Golden Lion at Venice

    Iranian film, The Circle (Dayereh) grabbed the top honours at the 57th Venice film festival.After the disappointments that had marked the competition section until the first weekend, it became clear that Jafar Panahi's episodic tale recounting the ongoing humiliations of women in modern Iranian society, had every chance of taking home a prize. Its final haul included the Golden Lion and the FIPRESCI jury prize.The jury, headed by Milos Forman, awarded its second pr
  • Italy's Scimeca lines up Spanish period drama

    Sicilian director Pasquale Scimeca, whose Placido Rizzotto premiered this week in the Venice film festival's Filmmakers of Today sidebar, has finished writing his next project which will be set in 15th Century Spain.The film will recount the period when a royal edict forced thousands of persecuted Jews to leave Spain. "It is one of the roots of modern day evils, in a way the birth of racism," said Scimeca, a former history and literature professor.The film will be produce
  • Kevin Williams takes three from Tornasol

    Spanish sales outfit Kevin Williams Associates (KWA) has picked up world rights on three titles from Madrid-based producer Tornasol Films.Two of the films are screening in the Toronto Film Festival's Contemporary World Cinema sidebar: Nuts For Love (Nueces Para El Amor), an Argentinean co-production from director Alberto Lecchi starring Ariadna Gil and Gaston Pauls; and Friends Have Reasons (Las Razones De Mis Amigos), from director-producer Gerardo Herrero. The two films
  • Kitano sets up rival Tokyo festival

    Office Kitano, the production, distribution and promotion team built around offbeat Japanese actor-director (Beat) Takeshi Kitano, has launched a new festival of Asian and independent film.The establishment of the festival is seen as something of a backlash against the growing commercialism of the long-established Tokyo International Film Festival, which this year opens with The Sixth Day and closes with Charlie's Angels. Filmex 2000 will be held in Tokyo December
  • Lauren re-enters production with Roman comedy

    Spanish distributor-exhibitor Lauren Films is preparing a Roman-era Monty Python-esque comedy, Lisistrata, which will mark its return to production after a decade-long hiatus.The film is scheduled to shoot in early 2001 under director Francesc Bellmunt (Thanks For The Tip). Lauren chief Antonio Llorens said he hopes to tap co-producers and acting talent from France, Italy and/or Germany for the $2.2m Spanish-language film inspired by comedian Ralf Koenig. Lauren's new pro
  • Lucky Red gets No News From God

    Italian distribution and production outfit Lucky Red is co-producing Spanish film No News From God, starring Victoria Abril and Penelope Cruz.Augustin Diaz Yanez is directing the $5.5m story of a good and a bad angel sent to earth to battle for the soul of an ageing boxer. Spain's Torna Sol Film, Cartel, and Flamenco Film and France's DMVB Films are co-producing, with production scheduled for October. Italian producer Amadeo Pagani will also co-produce. Lucky Red's Andrea
  • Memento

    Dir: Christopher Nolan. US. 2000. 113 mins.Prod co: Team Todd. Exec prod co: Newmarket. Backers: Summit Entertainment. Int'l sales: Summit Entertainment, tel: (1) 310 309 840001. Prods: Suzanne Todd, Jennifer Todd. Exec prods: Aaron Ryder, Will Tyrer, Chris Ball. Scr: Christopher Nolan, based on short story by Jonathan Nolan. DoP: Wally Pfister. Editor: Dody Dorn. Main cast: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Ann Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Jorja Fox, Stephen Tobolowsky, Harriet Sansom Harris.
  • MIFED expands with related events

    Mifed is to defend its claim to be the autumn's leading film sales market by improving its technical facilities and creating a network of linked events."The need for human contact will mean that there is always a need for film markets. But at a time when deals are increasingly done all year round, we need to broaden and expand our operations," said Mifed boss Elena Lloyd.Faced with the ever-present threat from the cool-but-chaotic pre-Mifed screenings in London, Mifed is maintai
  • New Zealand exhibitors scrap merger proposal

    New Zealand's biggest exhibitors - Village Force Cinemas and Hoyts Cinemas - have admitted publicly that they have abandoned plans to merge because of the New Zealand Commerce Commission's continued opposition to the deal.The two players would have jointly owned about one third and jointly controlled about three quarters of the country's screens.Village Force Cinemas CEO Joe Moodabe said the management time and cost involved in a protracted legal battle would negate any benefits
  • Norway's KF mulls options after Buena Vista exit

    Norwegian distributor Kommunenes Filmsentral (KF) is considering various survival strategies following the decision by one of its major product sources, Buena Vista, to establish its own office in the country. KF also recently lost 20th Century Fox's titles after the international distributor decided to open a Norwegian outpost, headed by former KF managing director Bjorn Jacobsen (ScreenDaily, August 4). KF is owned by 42 Norwegian municipalities, with the cities of Oslo
  • Our Lady Of The Assassins

    Dir: Barbet Schroeder. France-Colombia. 2000. 96 mins.Prod cos: Les Films du Losange, Le Studio Canal Plus, Vertigo Films, Tucan Producciones Cinematograficas, with the participation of Canal Plus. Int'l sales: StudioCanal, tel: (33) 1 44 43 98 00. Prods: Margaret Menegoz, Barbet Schroeder. Scr: Fernando Vallejo from his novel La Virgen De Los Sicarios. DoP: Rodrigo Lalinde. Prod des: Monica Marulanda. Ed: Elsa Vasquez. Mus: Jorge Arriagada. Main cast: German Jaramillo, Anderson Bal
  • Oz in over development drive, warns AFC

    Australia is developing too many feature projects according to Australian Film Commission (AFC) chief executive Kim Dalton.Presenting preliminary results of new AFC research to the National Screenwriters Conference, Dalton said that projects spend longer in development in Australia but the time and resources directly committed to the task is usually less. The AFC estimates that 1,200-1,400 features were in development in the three years to mid-1999, including new first drafts by
  • closes shop after merger talks fail

    Entertainment web-site - fronted by Imagine Entertainment and DreamWorks - is shutting down following the collapse last week of merger discussions with LA-based film portal (Screendaily, September 4).The site, backed by $50m from Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures, never went live despite being scheduled for a spring 2000 launch. The site's 70 plus employees will be laid off by the end of the week."Although the internet continues to represent an exciting, crea
  • Reiko Bradley returns to MDP as sales chief

    Reiko Bradley has left her post as head of Filmtown International Sales and returned to work for old boss Mark Damon as executive vice president of distribution at Damon's MDP Worldwide. She previously worked for him at Vision International and later at MDP Worldwide before leaving to head up the LA operations of Japanese media giant JVC where she was vice president of acquistions.At MDP, she will be responsible for licensing new and library MDP titles including the upcoming D'Arta
  • Reynolds to head Screen Tasmania board

    Launceston-based Margaret Reynolds, currently president of the United Nations Association of Australia and a former Federal Minister, is to head up the new board of Screen Tasmania. The other board members include producer Rosemary Blight, author and director Richard Flanagan, lawyer and executive producer Bryce Menzies, writer-director Roger Scholes, ABC TV Hobart executive producer Varcha Sidwell and film-maker and multi-media creator Steve Thomas. The consultant to the board is Chri
  • Sade

    Dir: Benoit Jacquot. France. 2000. 100 mins.Prod co: Aliceleo. French dist: Ocean Films. Int'l sales: TF1 International (33) 1 4141 1504). Prod: Patrick Godeau. Scr: Jacques Fieschi. DoP: Benoit Delhomme. Prod des: Sylvain Chauvelot. Editor: Luc Barnier. Main cast: Daniel Auteuil, Marianne Denicourt, Jeanne Balibar, Gregoire Colin, Isild Le Besco, Jean-Pierre Cassel.This pungently-funded French biopic makes a decent job of setting the record straight on the legendary repr
  • San Sebastian unveils Spanish, Music sidebars

    The San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept 21-30) has announced the titles to be included in its Made In Spanish section, a popular sidebar dedicated to presenting the year's best Spanish and Latin American features and short films.Among the 37 feature films included are:Miguel Albaladejo's Verbal Attack (Ataque Verbal)I Will Survive (Sobrevivire), from Alfonso Albacete and David MenkesJaume Balaguero's The Nameless (Los Sin Nombre)
  • Skouras, Blackwatch buy the world on Tully

    Skouras Films and Blackwatch Releasing have jointly acquired worldwide rights to Hilary Birmingam's directorial debut The Truth About Tully, the major prize winner at this year's Los Angeles Independent Film Festival (LAIFF) when it was known as Whatever Happened To Tully.Skouras plans to release the film in the US in February 2001; Blackwatch will release it in Canada and sell it internationally.The Truth About Tully tells the story of a legacy of love between a f
  • Snatch steals record-breaking UK opening

    The latest UK gangster movie Snatch has stormed into the UK chart at number one with an impressive three-day gross of $3.85m (£2.6m). Adding in paid previews of $800,000, the film's official opening gross reaches an impressive $4.6m - a new record for an 18-certificate film released in the UK.Playing at 389 cinemas, Guy Ritchie's follow-up to Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, earned a site average of $11,934 and overshadowed X-Men's performance at number
  • Splendid expands library with Polyband buy

    Cologne-based rights trader Splendid Medien has acquired a 100% share of Bavarian record company and video label Polyband in order to further build up its library of video and DVD rights.The company, which distributes videos and DVDs in Germany and German-speaking countries, owns a 300-title library including 150 predominantly German and American features, 80 children's and animated movies and 70 special interest titles. Among features included in the deal are John Huston's Prizzi's
  • TEAM to file counter suit against Germany's FFP

    Los Angeles-based TEAM Communications Group is to file a counter suit today against German media company FFP Entertainment and its largest shareholders Datty Ruth and Michael Smeaton, alleging amongst other things breach of contract and fraud.The suit comes after FFP filed suit this month alleging that TEAM had failed to honour a contract concerning the two companies' joint venture, TEAM/FFP Entertainment. According to FFP chairman Michael Smeaton, TEAM was obliged to transfer 800,000
  • The Circle (Dayereh)

    Dir: Jafar Panahi. Iran-Italy. 2000. 91 mins.Prod co: Jafar Panahi Film Productions. Co-prod: Mikado Film, Lumiere & Co (It). Int'l sales: Celluloid Dreams (33) 1 4970 0370. Prod: Jafar Panahi. Ass. prod: Mohammed Attebai. Scr: Kambozia Partovi. DoP: Bahram Badakhshani. Prod des: Iraj Raminfar. Ed: Jafar Panahi. Main cast: Fereshteh Sadr Orafai, Fatemeh Naghavi, Nargess Mamizadeh, Maryam Parvin Almani.Once again, an Iranian director has scooped a major festival prize with a pass
  • The Man Who Cried

    Dir: Sally Potter. UK-Fr. 2000. 98 mins.Prod co: Working Title, Adventure Pictures. Backers: Universal Pictures, StudioCanal. Int'l sales: StudioCanal, tel: (33) 1 4443 9800. Prod: Christopher Sheppard. Exec prods: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner. Co-prod: Simona Benzakein. Scr: Sally Potter. DoP: Sacha Vierny. Prod des: Carlos Conti. Editor: Herve Schneid. Music: Osvaldo Golijov. Main cast: Christina Ricci (Suzie), Cate Blanchett (Lola), John Turturro (Dante), Johnny Depp (Cesar), Harry De
  • The Princess And The Warrior

    Dir: Tom Tykwer. Germany. 2000. 129mins.Prod co: X Filme Creative Pool. Int'l sales: Canal Plus, tel: (33) 1 4610 1212. Prods: Stefan Arndt, Maria Koepf. Scr: Tykwer. DoP: Frank Griebe. Ed: Mathilde Bonnefoy. Main cast: Franka Potente, Benno Fuermann, Joachim Krul, Juergen Tarrach, Natja Brunckhorst, Lars Rudolph, Melchior Beslon, Ludger Pistor.Gifted German director Tom Tykwer's latest effort is highly anticipated as it is his first since Run Lola Run, which estab
  • The Wrestlers (Uttara)

    Dir: Buddhadeb Dasgupta. India. 2000. 102 mins.Prod co: Buddhadeb Dasgupta Productions. Int'l sales: Buddhadeb Dasgupta Productions, tel: (91) 33 4735545. Prod: Buddhadeb Dasgupta. Scr: Buddhadeb Dasgupta. DoP: Asim Bose. Prod des: Ashok Bose. Editor: Raviranjan Maitra. Music: Biswadeb Dasgupta. Main cast: Jaya Seal, Tapas Pal, Shankar Chakraborty, R.I.Asad, Tapas Adhikari, Saurav Das.India has a low profile at the big festivals these days, but every now and again something co
  • UA Theatres files for bankruptcy protection

    United Artists Theatres Company has become the latest US exhibitor to run into financial trouble, filing for protection from creditors under US bankruptcy law while it reorganises to reduce debt and expenses. In its filing, the company said it intends to reduce debt of about $720m to about $260m. The reorganisation plan calls for handing over majority control of United Artists to its biggest bondholder and creditor, Denver-based Anschutz Corp. United Artists CEO Kurt Hall blamed
  • Urbania

    Dir: Jon Shear. US. 2000. 104 mins.Prod cos: Day-Harris Productions, Commotion Pictures. US dist: Lions Gate Films. Prods: Jon Shear, Stephanie Golden, J Todd Harris. Scr: Shear, Daniel Reitz, from the play Urban Folk Tales by Reitz. DoP: Shane Kelly. Prod des: Karyl Newman. Eds: Randolph K Bricker, Ed Marx. Mus: Marc Anthony Thompson. Main cast: Dan Futterman, Matt Keeslar, Samuel Ball, Alan Cumming, Josh Hamilton, Lothaire Bluteau, Bill Sage, Barbara Sukowa.Jon Shear's
  • Vivendi Universal fends off critics in Deauville

    Canal Plus top brass used the occasion of an informal press lunch with their Universal counterparts in Deauville on Thursday to shrug off Credit Lyonnais' recent downgrading of Vivendi and Canal Plus stock."Credit Lyonnais should keep in mind its past Hollywood ventures," quipped Canal Plus chairman Pierre Lescure.In an investor report entitled "Vivendi Goes to Hollywood: Mission Impossible 3'", Credit Lyonnais Securities raised questions over the viability of the Vivendi-Seagra
  • Warner wins rights to Brazil's Xuxa sequel

    Warner Bros has beaten off competition from Columbia TriStar, 20th Century Fox and Lumiere Brasil to acquire Brazilian rights to local children's feature Xuxa Pop Star, the third film in domestic TV star Xuxa's franchise.The last Xuxa film - Xuxa Wiggles (Xuxa Requebra) - distributed by 20th Century Fox through its joint venture with Warner, racked up more than two million admissions when it was released during the Brazilian summer, beating other children's films r
  • Williams steps down as PACT chief executive

    Shaun Williams, the chief executive of UK producer's alliance PACT, is to stand down from the post in January.A successor has yet to be appointed. PACT said it would shortly set up an appointments committee to seek a successor to take over in the New Year.Williams commented: "After three years to the day at the helm, and six years in total at PACT, I feel it will be the right time for me, and PACT, to hand over the baton and seek new challenges. By announcing my departure in thi
  • Young French stay away from cinemas

    Fewer young people are going to the movies in France, according to a CNC report assessing the cinema-going habits of 6-24 year olds, the "golden age group". But fortunately those who do go, go more often than before, mostly due to the multiplex boom. It is finally dawning on the French film industry watchdog that an effort should be made to produce films that would attract the young. The percentage of under-24 moviegoers, although still the core movie audience (one spectator out