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11 September 2001

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  • Abel Ferrara's R-X'mas to open Turin

    Abel Ferrara's R-X'mas has been set as the opening night film of the next edition of the Turin festival (Nov 15-23). The festival boasts a competition section with a $18,395 (Lira40m) first prize for best feature, a short film competition, an Italian feature competition and the DOC Competition, worth $13,800 (Lira30m) to the best documentary.The festival will also dedicate a sidebar to US horror-meister George Romero and screen a new copy of his classic Night Of The Li
  • Berlin Film Festival selects Screen International

    Screen International is proud to announce that it has been selected to publish the exclusive festival dailies at the forthcoming Berlin film festival (Berlinale) in February 2002. Festival director Dieter Kosslick said: "For me it is the first time that I am organising the Berlinale and it is the first time that Screen International is publishing a daily at the festival. I am convinced that we will both use this opportunity to highlight the wealth of international film talent at Berlin
  • Bollywood hopeful to get unprecedented release

    India may have delivered yet another in a growing trend of critical and commercial hits with Asoka, the latest Bollywood film to break onto the festival circuit. Even before the Santosh Sivan-directed epic had its world premiere in Venice, it was gaining commercial momentum in one of its key markets. In the UK - which enjoys a large concentration of the Indian diaspora, as well as an increasing volume of successful Bollywood product - local distributor Enzo Pictures and Martin M
  • Buffalo Soldiers

    Dir: Gregor Jordan. UK/USA. 2001. 94mins"When there is peace, the warlike man attacks himself." The Friedrich Nietzsche quote provides the philosophy behind a biting black comedy exploring the military state of mind when the awful pressures of waging war are replaced by the dangerous tedium of keeping peace. The second feature from Australian director Gregor Jordan after the award-winning Two Hands, Buffalo Soldiers is an engaging and faithful adaptation of the Robert
  • Chartier, Shapiro form sales & financing co

    International sales executives Nicolas Chartier and Dean Shapiro have teamed up to found Vortex Pictures, a new financing and foreign sales outfit based in Santa Monica which already has three films on its books from Los Angeles production outfit Gold Circle Films.Chartier, who was formerly vice president of sales and acquisitions at Myriad Pictures, and Shapiro, formerly a senior vice president of international sales at Motion Picture Corp Of America who also had a stint at beleagure
  • Chicago has cream of world cinema at Oct fest

    The Chicago International Film Festival has unveiled 18 films which will screen in its next event (Oct 4-18) including some of the most acclaimed international titles from this year's festival circuit.Already lined up for Chicago are Nanni Moretti's Cannes Palme d'Or winner The Son's Room, Danis Tanovic's award-winning Bosnian drama No Man's Land, Lone Sherfig's Danish Dogme comedy Italian For Beginners and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's smash French hit Amelie.
  • Denmark's Trust Film Sales gets Manic

    American newcomer Jordan Melamed's Manic has been picked up by Denmark's Trust Film Sales, which is now presenting the film at Toronto. The tough drama starring Don Cheadle (Swordfish) and Joseph Gordon-Lewitt, deals with a young man trying to cope in a juvenile mental institution, where he encounters a group of adolescents struggling with a variety of illnesses. Cheadle plays a reformed drug addict turned psychiatrist. Melamed, who graduated from AFI, shot the film on DV
  • Dutch Film By The Sea announces line-up

    The Dutch film season kicks off next week (10-16 October) with the third edition of the Film By The Sea international film festival in Flushing, Holland. Announcing the literary-themed line-up which opens with Captain Correlli's Mandolin, festival director Leo Hannewijk, said "Adapting novels for the big screen is extremely tough, yet we are seeing more and more films based on literature," President of the jury is veteran director Fons Rademakers, who won an Academy Award
  • Eastern Europe embraces multiplex trend

    With multi-screen cinema infrastructures already established in some Central and Eastern European territories such as Poland and the Czech Republic, the region's more underdeveloped territories are now seeing the initial signs of multiplex growth.Of the 12 multiplexes opened last year in the region, three were in the embryonic cinema markets of Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, and were the first such multiplexes in those territories according to the Cinemagoing Central & Eastern Europe
  • Erik Lomis named president of MGM Distribution Co

    Erik Lomis has been named president of MGM Distribution Co, the distribution arm of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Studios. He will report to Bob Levin, president of worldwide theatrical marketing and distribution.Lomis, who was previously executive vice president, will continue to be responsible for the sales and distribution of the company's theatrical releases. He joined MGM in 1993 from United Artists Theatre Corporation where he spent five years in key positions culminating as senior
  • European Commission reveals film reform strategy

    The European Commission today kicked off a year of negotiations between film-makers and law-makers when Viviane Reding unveiled a three point plan for reform. Her main objectives are the rationalisation of national film support systems, new protection for film heritage and a reworking of tax systems. Reding, commissioner for culture and education, said that improvements to the distribution of European film represent the third step in her programme to help the film industry. It is to co
  • Fox, Disney team for rival internet movie service

    Just two weeks after five major Hollywood studios announced a joint venture on-demand movie service for internet users, the remaining two - Walt Disney Studios and 20th Century Fox have launched their own service. Entitled, it will provide movies and other entertainment content on demand to consumers in the US starting in early 2002. Content will come not only from Disney and Fox but also from Disney-owned Miramax Films and others.The service will be available to consumers
  • French films dominate early awards at Venice fest

    While the results of the main Venezia 58 and Cinema Del Presente sections were awaited with a sense of bewilderment by some critics, the Venice festival began to unlock some of its secrets. Those secrets had a very French flavour. For films in the main Venezia 58 section, the FIPRESCI jury gave its prize to Wild Innocence (Sauvage Innocence) by veteran French director Philippe Garrel. The film about an obsessive film-maker whose lovers are brought down by drugs is sold by Wild B
  • French revolution at international box office

    Regular scrutinisers of the box office charts will discover that the majority of this week's international territories contain a common feature: French productions. While it is common to see the same US titles grace the charts of every territory, it is less usual to see the films of other countries experiencing such global appeal.Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amelie leads the trend having built up an international gross of over $50m. The majority of this take is of course accounte
  • French revolution at International box office

    Regular scrutinisers of the box office charts will discover that the majority of this week's international territories contain a common feature: French productions. While it is common to see the same US titles grace the charts of every territory, it is less usual to see the films of other countries experiencing such global appeal.Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amelie leads the trend having built up an international gross of over $50m. The majority of this take is of course accounte
  • French TPS and CanalSatellite merger mooted

    Following the resignation of TF1's chairman Patrick Le Lay from his position as chairman of French digital satellite service TPS, a potential merger or at least an alliance between TPS and Canal Plus-rival service CanalSatellite no longer seems so far-fetched.Most observers see Le Lay's departure from TPS - where he is replaced by top TF1 executive Emmanuel Florent, - as a way to ease tensions between TF1 (a 25% shareholder of TPS) and the pay-TV's two other main shareholders Suez Lyon
  • Germany's ProSiebenSat1 and Kirch Media to merge

    The executive board of German TV broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 has agreed in principle with Kirch Media to merge the two companies by the end of June 2002. The new entity will be listed on the exchange as Kirch Media, ProSiebenSat.1 according to a statement. Kirch Media is the TV rights trading division of privately -owned German media giant Kirch Group. ProSiebenSat.1 is listed on the German mid-cap MDAX exchange
  • Gitai's Kedma may receive first Israeli funding

    Israeli film-maker Amos Gitai is turning to French and Italian finance once again for his next film, Kedma. But he also hopes that the new picture will become the first of his oeuvre to gain official funding from his native Israel.After TF1 and Les Films Balenciaga produced his Venice competition picture Eden, MK2 will bankroll Kedma, which is planned to shoot in December this year. Co-financiers are set to include Arte, Canal Plus and Italian pay-TV group TelePiu.
  • Hedwig takes top honours at Deauville

    Hedwig And The Angry Inch has won the international critics' prize at the Deauville Festival of American cinema. Hedwig beat 10 other films to the prize, which is open only to independent films. The festival's jury prize went to Terry Zwigoff's Ghost World which stars Steve Buscemi and Thora Birch. Jean-Jacques Annaud, the acclaimed French director (Enemy at the Gates and Seven Years in Tibet), presided over the awards ceremony, which also saw prizes
  • Huppert to head Schroeter's next project

    Isabelle Huppert, the acclaimed French actress who won the acting Palme at Cannes earlier this year for Austrian film The Piano Teacher, is to head the cast in iconic German director Werner Schroeter's next project. Schroeter's untitled project is the life story, from infancy to 45 years of age, of two twins who were separated at birth, but whose lives remain intertwined. Bulle Ogier, recently seen in Venus Beauty (Institute), will co-star.Principal photography is
  • International titles stoke hot box office weekend

    The weekend saw a host of titles, and especially local films, performing exceptionally well at the international box office. The Others in Spain, Musa: The Warrior in South Korea, Der Schuh Des Manitu in Germany as well as Moulin Rouge in the UK, all point to a healthy year for ticket sales that will be remembered chiefly for domestic product.Spanish co-production The Others opened strong in Spain over the weekend with an estimated $3.27m (pts6
  • Italy's Saint-Vincent Prize adds TV drama

    Italy's Saint-Vincent Prize, a leading festival designed to promote Italian cinema abroad, has announced that for the first time this year it will dedicate a section to the fast-growing field of Italian TV drama.The new TV competition, sponsored by Italy's weekly TV Sorrizi & Canzoni magazine, will be judged both by readers and by a separate jury of TV critics. The readers' jury will award prizes for best actor and best actress of a TV drama and a soap. Critics will award prizes for be
  • Iwerks Entertainment to merge with SimEx

    Large format theatre provider Iwerks Entertainment is to merge with simulation technology company SimEx in a strategic move which will consolidate interests in an increasingly difficult marketplace.Subject to shareholder approval, the agreement will see Toronto-based SimEx acquiring Iwerks in exchange for around $0.63 per share of Iwerks common stock. Shares in California-based Iwerks, which has nearly 200 installations in 38 countries, were today trading at $0.56.The merger, wh
  • Jeremy Thomas and Grosvenor Park go to court

    A battle between veteran UK producer Jeremy Thomas and Grosvenor Park, one of the leading corporate players in the upstart UK tax-financing sector, is set to spill over into court.The dispute between Thomas and the UK tax-financing operation headed by Don Starr is to go to court in December, marking the culmination of a two-year dispute. Lawyers for Starr's Grosvenor Park Media last month agreed to be bound by any findings in the trial, effectively speeding up proceedings. Thoma
  • Karlin & Green buy, remold Bjorck consultancy

    International sales veterans Penny Karlin and Kelly Green have acquired Bjorck Film Corporation, the distribution consultancy founded by Lennart Bjorck in 1977 and renamed it Karlin-Green Media. Bjorck will remain with the company as a consultant.Karlin, who joined Bjorck in 1996 as president, and Green, who has been with the company since 1989, will be equal partners in the new company and share co-president titles. They will continue to be based in Los Angeles.Karlin-Green w
  • L.I.E.

    Dir Michael Cuesta. US2001. 97minutes One of the most powerful films to hit movie screens this year, L.I.E. (short for Long Island Expressway) is sure to generate controversy and spark heated debate wherever it plays. Slapped with an NC-17 rating, it is a coming-of-age drama about a troubled 15-year old boy who, let down or abandoned by everybody in his life, is befriended by a paedophile. Brian Cox walks a razor's edge in his portrayal of the paedophile, a man torn be
  • LA Film Fest moves to June, goes international

    Independent Feature Project (IFP)/West is moving the Los Angeles Film Festival away from its April timeslot to June and has earmarked June 21-29 for next year's event. In addition, Rachel Rosen, most recently associate director of the San Francisco International Film Festival, has been named director of programming for the festival as well as the organisation's year-round screening programme.IFP/West last year took over the running of the festival - previously the Los Angeles Independe
  • Last Wedding

    Dir: Bruce Sweeney. Canada. 2001. 100minsWriter-director Bruce Sweeney covers well-trodden territory in Last Wedding, a sour reflection on modern love that gathers attitude and edge as it gradually darkens from light comedy to bitter farce. Focusing on three Vancouver couples, it observes the decline and fall of their relationships with a mixture of dry humour and wry insight that should strike a chord of recognition with most adult viewers. The sheer familiarity of th
  • Liberty Media buys European cable crown

    Deutsche Telekom AG has signed a contract to sell its six remaining regional cable TV companies to U.S.-based cable group Liberty Media for Euros 5.5bn according to Reuters. The sale forms part of Deutsche Telekom's efforts to reduce its debt mountain of Euros 65.5bn and will make Liberty Europe's largest cable company with 20 million customers.The German telecoms giant, Europe's number two telecom operator by market value after Vodafone, is aiming to reduce its debt to about Eu
  • Local films outclass US fare in Scandinavia

    Local Scandinavian films are giving the US majors' summer releases a hard run for their money at the box office across a number of Nordic territories. Last week end, America's Sweethearts not only saw itself losing out to Norwegian opener The Greatest Thing, but also had to accept second place in Sweden, where action feature Executive Protection (Livvakterna) remains at the top of the box office for the third week running. Executive Protection has now
  • Lot 47 acquires US rights to Inuit film Atanarjuat

    Lot 47 Films has acquired US rights to the highly acclaimed Inuit film Atanarjuat - The Fast Runner directed by Zacharias Kunuk. The first film ever written in the Inuit language, Atanarjuat won the Camera d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, and has played in the Edinburgh, Telluride and this week's Toronto film festivals.The deal was negotiated by Lot 47 president Jeff Lipsky and vice president of acquisitions Danae M Kokenos with the film's co-producer Norman Cohn.
  • Majidi's Baran takes Montreal Grand Prix

    Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi's Baran shared the top prize at the 2001 Montreal World Film Festival, his third Grand Prix of the Americas in as many appearances in competition at Montreal. Majidi previously won in 1999 for The Colour Of Paradise and in 1997 for The Children Of Heaven. The prize was shared with Hungarian Arpad Sopsits' Abandoned (Torzok). The 2001 Jury, headed by French actress Emmanuelle Beart, awarded a Special Grand Prix to Argenti
  • MDP reports 45% increase in net income

    LA independent sales and financing outfit MDP Worldwide Entertainment has reported its financial results for the third quarter ended June 30, 2001, and the first three quarters of the fiscal year. The company trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Those results show a 45% increase in net income of C$837,000 ($553,000) for the third quarter, compared to C$575,000 ($380,000) for the same period in the previous year. For the nine month period ended June 30, 2001, MDP announced a net income
  • Mifed to have US and Asian flavour

    Italy's autumn film market, Mifed (Oct 28-Nov 1) is set to be a heavily US and Asian dominated affair, according to the latest registrations. The market's organisers also hit back at suggestions that it is an expensive market to attend. Rassegne, the semi-private company that replaced the Fiera Milano as the event's operator, said that 218 companies have already signed up as exhibitors. Of these 97 are from the US. Some 26 Asian companies have signed up, as have 26 Italians, 22 from th
  • Miramax grabs Warrior, Paramount loves Triumph

    Attesting to the slow pace of deal-making at the festival, Miramax made the highest profile acquisition during Venice, with a film that is not even screening at the event. And Paramount Classics grabbed competition film The Triumph Of Love.Miramax nabbed large chunks of international rights to Himalayan adventure picture, The Warrior, acquiring all rights in North and South America, Italy, Australia and China. Sold by FilmFour International, The Warrior was
  • Monsoon, Time Out head surprising Venice winners

    Puzzling critics who had expected something more meaty to win, Mira Nair's lighthearted and thoroughly entertaining Monsoon Wedding took the top prize, the Golden Lion, in Venice's traditionally auteur dominated competition section. Meanwhile Laurent Cantet's Time Out (L'Emploi Du Temps), the story of a man who invents a fictional life for himself after losing his job, took the Golden Lion in the newly elevated Cinema Of The Present Section. Austrian drama Hundstage
  • Monte Carlo launches comedy film festival

    Undaunted by the closure of its TV market, Monte Carlo is to launch its first ever film festival. The first edition, dedicated entirely to comedies, will run from November 19-24, 2001.The festival is the brainchild of Ezio Greggio, impressario and head of event organiser WTT Company. While it has yet to announce an opening night film or unveil details of the line-up, the festival says that it will span a wide range of comedies: Sentimental, social, satire, political and light thrillers
  • New Brazilian film body to implement tax policies

    A new Brazilian film industry body, the Agencia Nacional de Cinema (ANCINE) was established by president Fernando Henrique Cardoso on Friday September 9, to oversee the implementation of his new film policies for the Brazilian audiovisual industry, many of which impose additional costs on foreign imports.An official ceremony is scheduled in the capital Brasilia on Tuesday, September 11 to celebrate the launch of the new agency and the long-gestating policies based on proposals from the
  • New Oz tax rebates and local funding announced

    The Australian government has revealed a new refundable tax incentive that gives certainty and flexibility to those wanting to shoot sizeable features, mini-series and tele-movies in the territory. It has also increased local funding to the tune of $48m for the next four years.For international productions, the government has announced that, on completion, producers will be able to get back 12.5% of what they spend in Australia, providing it is $7.8m (A$15m) or more, although what type
  • One Night The Moon tops Oz AWGIES

    One Night The Moon, a 55-minute musical that has been picked up by Dendy Films for a local theatrical release on November 8, won the major gold award of the night at the annual Australian Writers Guild Awards (AWGIES) on Saturday September 8. Writers John Romeril and Rachel Perkins also took home the prize for best television original for the same production.Another soon-to-be-released film, Lantana, earned Andrew Bovell the award for best adapted screenplay. The original
  • Oz AFI awards return to commercial TV

    The Seven Network will both produce and broadcast live the Emirates Australian Film & Television Awards at a date yet to be set but timed to take place alongside the annual conference of the Screen Producers Association of Australia, being held in Melbourne from November 14 to 17. It is the first time since 1985 that a commercial broadcaster will broadcast what are generally known as the AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards. Last year public broadcaster SBS came to the end of its thr
  • Palm picks up worldwide rights to Sweetie Pie

    Chris Blackwell's Palm Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to Sweetie Pie, a digital feature film which marks the directorial debut of Asher Levin and Cisco Adler who have dubbed themselves The Lost Angels. Levin and Adler also wrote the film, and Adler produced it. Set against the backdrop of Southern California wealth, Sweetie Pie is a morality tale of kids who have too much too soon. Levin and Adler (son of music producer Lou Adler) also star in the film alongside J
  • Pearl Harbor takes international box office crown

    Critically mauled World War II epic Pearl Harbor, the latest from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, had the last laugh when it crossed $430m in worldwide box office gross to win the summer blockbuster war and claim the title of most successful film worldwide for 2001 so far.As US Labor Day weekend, the official end of the summer season, was reached, Harbor's total's tallied $196.7m domestically and just over $234m internationally. The film is now the Walt Disney Motion Pictures
  • Podeswa to direct Fugitive for Lantos

    Canadian producers are back in the saddle, putting forward a raft of new projects as the chill placed on feature production by the threat of a SAG strike passes. The possibility of a strike by US actors boosted production in Canada in the first half of the year but dampened production beyond the July 1 strike deadline and through the summer. Jeremy Podeswa is set to direct an adaptation of Canadian novelist Anne Michaels'Fugitive Pieces for Robert Lantos' Serendipity Point Films
  • Poland anticipates record year at the box office

    The Polish cinema industry is staging a vigorous come-back after disastrous results in 2000, that saw admissions and box office plummet by 29.8%. Three Polish films have already topped the national box office chart this year, and three forthcoming local titles are expected to boost the territory's box office to record levels.While some of last year's decline can be put down to the extraordinary performance of just one film the previous year - the domestic epic With Fire And Sword
  • Political advocate to head Oz producers' body

    Joanne Yates' appointment as executive director of the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) suggests that the organisation wants to increase its political influence in Canberra, where many regulatory and funding decisions are made.For the past five years Yates has been an advisor to the Democrats, a political party which paints itself as crucial in keeping the two major political forces honest. While working in Senator Vicki Bourne's office she advised on digital broadcasti
  • Pressman & Schmidt team to form ContentFilm

    Veteran producer Edward R Pressman and John Schmidt, a former partner in October Films, have teamed up to form a new company called ContentFilm which plans to finance, produce and arrange distribution on an initial slate of 12 to 15 features to be shot mainly on digital video with budgets of $2m and under.Pressman will be chairman and CEO of the company and Schmidt will serve as president and COO. The company will be based in New York, with plans for offices in London and Los Angeles.
  • Private investors acquire Winstar TV & Video

    A group of private investors has acquired Winstar TV & Video it was announced by president, Al Cattabiani. The company was previously owned by Winstar New Media, a division of Winstar Communications, a publicly traded broadband services company."We're delighted to have closed the sale," Cattabiani said. "As an independent company we'll be able to spike the momentum we've built up over the past few years. The new company will actually look very familiar to our employees, customers, pro
  • Quitting

    Directed by Zhang Yang. China. 2001. 118min.Having one major national hit, Spicy Love Soup (1997), behind him and an international fest favourite, Shower (1999), confirming his talent, Zhang Yang is considered one of the most promising talents to come out of China in recent years. Quitting, a powerful docu-drama tracing the fall from grace of a Chinese movie star who succumbed to drugs as he was reaching the pinnacle of his career, confirms the director's
  • Rock Star

    Dir Stephen Herek. US 2001. 107 minutes Fortunately for Mark Wahlberg, Rock Star is being released close enough to the ill-fated Planet Of The Apes to erase the memory of that disastrous film from viewers' minds. Shedding his bulky astronaut suit for form-fitting leather pants, he plays a wannabe rock star who gets a shot at the big time, only to learn first hand the wisdom of that old adage, "be careful what you wish for" While the demands on the actor aren't u
  • RTL TV signs up with Constantin for distribution

    Germany's RTL Television, has signed a theatrical distribution deal with Constantin Film for Germany and Austria. The deal, which comes into force from the beginning of next year, will cover up to 10 titles annually, with RTL covering p&a costs and Constantin handling physical distribution.RTL Group has long been keen to re-engage with the U.S. features market and the present deal allows RTL back into the co-production and acquisition arena formerly filled by its CLT-UFA Interna
  • San Sebastian reveals new titles and full jury

    Mike Figgis' Hotel and Garry Marshall's Julie Andrews-starrer The Princess Diaries have been added as "special sessions" to the official section of the San Sebastian International Film Festival. The announcement, along with three additional films in other sections and the unveiling of the juries, was made in a presentation on September 7 in the Spanish coastal town which hosts the festival from September 20 to 29. Other new additions include Giuseppe Bertolucci'
  • Scorsese to present Sokurov's Waterloo

    Martin Scorsese is to lend his name to the hugely ambitious new production by Russian auteur Aleksandr Sokurov.Scorsese will "present" Sokurov's Waterloo, a film which will concentrate on Napoleon. The picture is set to be Sokurov's third film in his tetralogy about men in power, after Taurus (which focused on Lenin) and Moloch (Adolf Hitler).Principal photography will take place on a single day - Sunday Dec 17 - in and around Moscow's sprawling Hermitage mu
  • Screen International: Tuesday September 11

    Screen International extends its sincerest sympathies to all its friends and colleagues in the United States following today's tragic events.
  • Sony Classics takes North America on Secret Ballot

    Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) has bought North American rights to Secret Ballot (Raye Makhfi), the Iranian film written and directed by Babak Payami which won the Best Director award at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday. SPC acquired the title from Celluloid Dreams, the prolific French sales company which has also closed deals on the film with Istituto Luce in Italy, Artificial Eye in the UK, Alta Films in Spain, Imovision in Brasil and Filmcooperative in Switzerland.
  • South Korean distributor sparks censorship change

    A court case brought by South Korean distributor Indiestory against the national Media Ratings Board, has resulted in a groundbreaking decision that is likely to curtail the board's power to censor films. The ruling, by the country's highest legal authority, the Constitutional Court, renders as unconstitutional the practice of denying ratings to controversial releases, such as Indiestory's Yellow Flower, Lee Ji-sang's 16mm "meditation on sex", for which the board refused to allo
  • Spain to see Sexy Beast - at last

    UK-Spanish co-production Sexy Beast has finally secured distribution in Spain with Hispano Foxfilm in a deal negotiated through Fox in the US.Jonathan Glazer's gangster film starring Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley did good business for Fox Searchlight in the US this summer, earning $5.97m in nine weeks on less than 200 copies.Despite that success and screenings in Sundance and Toronto, co-producers Film Four, Recorded Picture Co and KanZaman had trouble pinning down a dist
  • Strand buys two for US - Hush! & Lan Yu

    Marcus Hu and Jon Gerrans' Strand Releasing has acquired US rights to two Asian films - Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan's latest picture Lan Yu and Japanese director Hashiguchi Ryosuke's romantic comedy Hush!Lan Yu is set in Beijing just before the Tiananmen Square revolt and tells the story of the a communist businessman and his developing love affair with a young male student. It stars Jun Hu and Ye Liu and screened in this week's Toronto International Film Festi
  • The Musketeer

    Dir: Peter Hyams. US. 2001. 104mins. Though it boasts a potentially interesting international cast and a couple of acrobatic action scenes, The Musketeer is for the most part a muddled and forgettable new version of the classic Alexandre Dumas tale (more usually presented, of course, as The Three Musketeers) that has acted as regular movie fodder for the past 80 years. Neither sexy enough for teens nor strong enough in the action or drama departments for adults,
  • The Musketeer leaps to top of US Box Office

    The Musketeer, an athletic new version of Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers, led the pack at the North American box office over the weekend as the fall season kicked in. Independently financed by producers Moshe Diamant and Rudy Cohen and Mark Damon's MDP Worldwide, the film grossed an estimated $10.7m at the box office for Universal Pictures for which it was an independent pick-up.Peter Hyams directed the cast which includes Justin Chambers as D'Artagnan, Catherine Deneuve,
  • Thirty film censors gather in Dublin

    The Conference of European Classifiers takes place in Dublin 6-8 September after an opening reception hosted by Minister for Justice John O'Donoghue, under whose Government Department film censorship is dealt with in Ireland. Thirty film classifiers - generally known as film censors - are expected to attend from as far afield as Latvia, Switzerland and most of the member States of the European Union. They will view the controversial American film 15 Minutes starring Rober
  • Time Out (L'Emploi Du Temps)

    Dir: Laurent Cantet. France. 2001. 133 mins. Laurent Cantet delivers brilliantly on the promise of his outstanding 1999 feature debut Human Resources with another compelling look at an individual caught up in trouble at the workplace. L'Emploi Du Temps is based on the true case of a middle manager who for months concealed from his family the fact that he had lost his job. The real-life man eventually exploded into violence, but the film avoids the melodramatic p
  • Toronto deals: Miramax close to Sun, Soldiers

    Before coming to an abrupt halt, buying was hotting up at the Toronto International Film Festival with Miramax Films close to buying worldwide rights on Walter Salles' Behind The Sun and closing in domestic rights to Gregor Jordan's Buffalo Soldiers. Meanwhile Sony Pictures Classics is circling Jill Sprecher's ensemble piece 13 Conversations About One Thing.Miramax was in final negotiations to acquire worldwide rights excluding France, Switzerland and Brasil to
  • Toronto delivers best of the fests

    Last year's 25th anniversary smash was such a success, it is hard to imagine how Toronto would keep up the intensity for so under-whelming a figure as 26. And yet far from an anti-climax, Toronto 2001 already has a buzz about it; albeit not one that will necessarily excite the acquisitions executives. This year's line-up feels like a return to roots for festival director Piers Handling, a renowned cineaste; 2001 sees the launch of a new programme, Wavelengths, devoted to avant-gard
  • Toronto Festival halted by terror attacks in US

    The Toronto International Film Festival was today (Tuesday Sept 11) abandoned following the terrorist attacks in the neighbouring US.The cancellation may be both a practical measure and a mark of respect for the dead and injured. The US has closed its borders to Canada and Mexico restricting the movement of festival delegates and film prints. Air transport in and out of Canada has been made harder by trans-Atlantic air traffic chaos and congestion at Canadian airports created by the gr
  • Toronto festival to carry on

    Contrary to previous reports, the Toronto International Film Festival will stay the course, proceeding with the films, press conferences and Rogers Industry Centre events as scheduled for Wednesday 12 Sept. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the US on Tuesday morning, the Festival cancelled screenings and events scheduled for the balance of the day.TIFF Press Office Director Gabrielle Free told Screendaily, "Every effort is being made to reschedule the 28 public and 13 press
  • Training Day

    Dir: Antoine Fuqua. US. 2001. 123min. The essential narrative of Training Day, Antoine Fuqua's gritty, highly-intense crime policier, is quite familiar from other genre films, but there's no doubt that it's his most satisfying and technically accomplished picture to date. Cast as a corrupt cop for the first time in his career, a superlative Denzel Washington, in the most radical departure from his otherwise heroically noble screen image, is teamed with a rookie, pl
  • UK cinema admissions rise 2.5% in 2nd quarter

    Second quarter UK cinema admissions have risen by 2.5% over the same period in 2000, according to according to data from government agency National Statistics.Admissions hit 32.2m over the second quarter, which was significantly bolstered by the success of the early-summer season release of Bridget Jones's Diary, which has earned $59.6m to date in the UK market.Second quarter admissions were also up on first quarter 2001 figures by 16.4%, with seasonally-adjusted admissio
  • UK Film Council members re-appointed

    Tim Bevan, James Lee, Sarah Radclyffe, Iain Smith and John Hill have been re-appointed to the board of UK support body the Film Council, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell announced on Tuesday September 4.The directors of the Board were appointed in September 1999, drawing lots to decide the length of their term so that they would overlap. The four who re-upped this week were initially appointed for two years, while the rest of the board was appointed for either one or three years.T
  • UK's DNA appoints Warlow

    UK National Lottery franchise DNA Films has confirmed the appointment of Richard Warlow as head of development.Warlow joins from fellow lottery franchise Pathe Pictures, where he held the post of development executive, working on The Hole and the forthcoming releases Thunderpants and The Abduction Club. He previously worked at the UK's Renaissance Films.DNA, which has around $43.3m (£30m) in national Lottery cash over six years, is run by co-chairmen Duncan
  • Venice plays host to the critics

    After the recent public dissent by members of the jury at Locarno, first time director Irene Bignardi must have been feeling a little let down. But the feeling is well known even for more experienced selectors, such as Venice's Alberto Barbera.Even before the festival opened, Venice had got a mauling from the local politicos. Once it got going the quality of the films and - equally inevitably - a lack of stars fuelled further criticisms. Two days before the festival started, a s
  • Venice to launch new TV festival in 2002

    Venice, famous for its film festival is now set to become one of the highlights of the television calendar.Kicking off next March (March 21-26, 2002) Venice will be host to a new festival organised by the Associazone Prodottore Televisisi (Italy's association of independent television producers) and Venezia Fiere. The debut event will be made up of three strands: a multi-genre European competition, project market: the Venice Pitchings and a convention.Festival organiser Marlene
  • Willi Geike gets expanded role at Warner Germany

    Willi Geike, the well-respected head of Warner Bros' theatrical operations in Germany has been promoted and will now also oversee the home video unit for Germany and Austria. His newly created position is vice president & managing director, Warner Bros Pictures Germany and Warner Home Video, Germany & Austria.His expanded responsibilities include German distribution and marketing for Warner's feature and home video businesses in Germany and Austria and German language co-productions an