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11 September 2005

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  • 01 Distribution acquires Fine Art Of Love

    01 Distribution has acquired Italian distribution rights toJohn Irvin's Venice out-of-competition title The Fine Art of Love.Sold by Rome's AdrianaChiesa Enterprises (ACE), Irvin's period drama revolves around six girls agedsixteen who have been living in a luxurious orphanage-cum-finishing school froma very young age.The film, which stars Jacqueline Bisset, is anItalian-Czech-UK co-production between Creative Partners International Limited,Balzer International Films and
  • Alliance Atlantis renews Focus output deal until 2008

    Canada'sAlliance Atlantis' Motion Picture Distribution and Focus Features have extendedtheir output agreement to December 31, 2008. Under the termsof the agreement, MPD will continue to distribute all Focus Features films aswell as those of Focus' genre label Rogue Pictures in all media in Canada.One of thosepictures, Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, is beingpresented at the Toronto International Film Festival through MPD.In
  • BAFTA to host debate on portrayal of older women on screen

    Women in Film and Television (WFTV), Equity and the BritishAcademy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) are holding a joint event, entitledMirror Mirror - From Snow White to Wicked Queen, to discuss theportrayal of older women on screen.The event kicks off with the UK's first public screening ofRosanna Arquette's feature length documentary Searching for Debra Wingerand is followed by a panel discussion which will also be open to the audience. Sen
  • Beauvois' Lieutenant wins Europa Cinemas Label prize

    Cult Frenchdirector Xavier Beauvois has won the 'Europa Cinemas Label' for hiscop thriller, Le Petit Lieutenant which screened in the Venice Festival's 'Venice Days'sidebar last week.The award willgive Le Petit Lieutenant a healthy fillip as it hits the internationaldistribution trail. The film is now eligible for extended theatrical exposureand additional promotion from the Europa Cinemas network - 1420 screens in 600 cinemas in 322 cities across 51countries.'I am
  • Bim kneels to Frears' Queen

    In one of asmattering of deals signed at the Venice Film Festival, veteran arthousedistributor Bim has acquired Italian rights to Stephen Frears' next film, TheQueen, about thedeath of Princess Diana. StarringHelen Mirren as the Queen, the picture delves into the relationship betweenTony Blair and the British Royal Family from the time they learned about thedeath of Diana until her funeral. Michael Sheen will play the role of TonyBlair. The picture, which has a budget of
  • Blair heralds signing of India/UK co-production treaty

    UK prime minister TonyBlair, currently on a three day tour to India, announced in New Delhi today(Thursday) that the UK and India would be "signing an agreement on filmproduction" during his visit.The agreement, trailed inMarch2005 by British culture secretary Tessa Jowell and Indian ministerfor Information and Broadcasting Jaipal Reddy, will formally launch aco-production treaty making it easier for the UK film industry to shareexpertise with the world's largest film production countr
  • Boe's Allegro sells fast for Celluloid Dreams

    Celluloid Dreams has lockedmultiple sales on Christopher Boe's Venice Directors Fortnight screener Allegro.Celluloid managing directorCharlotte Mickie confirmed the following sales: Ladyfilm for Italy, AudioVisual for Greece, Bir Film for Turkey, Budapest for Hungary, Tantra forPoland, Maywin for Russia and the Baltic states, and Alfa for Argentina andChile.The second feature from theacclaimed Danish writer-director is a romantic drama with a sci-fi twist. Thestory, co-wr
  • Booking surge for Berlinale's European Film Market

    Berlin's European Film Market (EFM) is boasting a 30%year-on-year increase in bookings for 2006 with nearly 200 companies signed up forthe upgraded Martin-Gropius-Bau facilities.They will have a choice of more than 600 screening slots innew or improved facilities. The surge in bookings follows AFM's move toNovember, leaving the February market slot free for the Berlinale.High-p
  • Brokeback Mountain

    Dir:Ang Lee. US. 2005. 133mins.Nonewly-arrived Martian would ever guess that the same person had directed Sense& Sensibility, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Hulk.The most impressive thing about Ang Lee's creative take on the multiplepersonality syndrome is the way that each successive experiment feels like thework of a pro that has been mining that genre for years.TakeBrokeback Mountain: the director's most complete and accomplis
  • Bubble

    Dir: Steven Soderbergh.US. 2005. 73mins.Soderbergh goes back tobasics. Not in the tricksy, star-stuffed mode of Full Frontal or Schizopolis:in Bubble the basics are the ones that really matter. A strong storylineand good dramatic structure give this quirky tragic love triangle a grip on theaudience; and a certain edgy eccentricity in both the DV camerawork and theperformances by the cast of non-professional actors make it stick in the
  • BVI hopes for Cinderella story in six key territories

    The international crown is up for grabs this weekend as CinderellaMan launches in itsfirst international territories as strong holdover business is expected from Madagscar,The Island and CharlieAnd The Chocolate Factory.
  • Casanova

    Dir: Lasse Hallstrom. US.2005. 112mins.There's somethingold-fashioned about Lasse Hallstrom's take on the 18-century Venetian rake andwomaniser Giacomo Casanova; but also something disarmingly likeable.It's as if the spirit of Richard Lester, circa The Three Musketeers, had takenpossession of the Swedish director.Hallstrom is helped by ascript fizzing with brio and by the persuasive comic performance of HeathLedger, who offers us Casanova
  • Charlie tops international box office with $11.3m

    Charlie And The Chocolate Factory returned to the top of the internationalbox office over the weekend as the Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI)release added an estimated $11.3m on approximately 4,100 prints in 49 countriesfor a $155.7m running total.
  • Chicken Tikka Masala finds US home at TLA

    TLA Releasing has picked up North American home entertainment andbroadcast rights to Harmage Singh Kalirai's British comedy Chicken TikkaMasala, and plans a DVDrelease in early 2006.The story centres on a UK-based Indian medical studentwhose parents begin to arrange his marriage to the daug
  • Churchill gets inaugural cinematography prize at IDA Awards

    Joan Churchill will receive the International DocumentaryAssociation’s (IDA) award for outstanding documentary cinematography atthe 21st IDA Distinguished Documentary Achievement Awards in Los Angeles on Dec9.
  • Civilian Content rebrands as The Works

    Publiclylisted UK entertainment outfit Civilian Content has changed its name to TheWorks Media Group, in an effort to reflect the integrated nature of thefinance, production, distribution and sales house.Production andfinance company The Film Consortium has been renamed The Works Production. Thecompany's credits include Pawel Pawlikowski's Toronto 2004 drama My SummerOf Love, and JohnBoorman's In My Country.Sales arm The Works International (formerly just TheWorks)
  • CMG seals deals for Reeker with Bac, Pathe

    Los Angeles-based sales company Cinema Management Group (CMG) hassecured a trio of major deals on Dave Payne's horror picture Reeker.
  • Corpse Bride

    Dirs:Mike Johnson, Tim Burton. UK. 2005. 75mins.Thefirst stop-motion feature directed (in part) by Tim Burton - he produced andwrote The Nightmare Before Christmas - Corpse Bride brings theHollywood fantasist's dark and fertile imagination to bear on a hugelyentertaining macabre love story.Likethe two Shrek movies, the film has a fairytale backbone - in this case,a Russian folk tale about a hapless bridegroom's unwitting betrothal to a bridefro
  • Cougar, BBC snap up rights to La Plante's Widows

    UK production company CougarFilms and BBC Films have struck a deal to acquire the film rights to Lynda LaPlante's TV series Widows from Walt Disney Studios. Cougar will work with BBCFilms to develop and produce the feature film, which will also be titled Widows.The film will be intended for theatrical release. ITV aired the six-part TVseries in the UK during 1983 and an American remake aired on ABC in 2000. Thestory follows four women, grieving the deaths of their
  • Crash lands the top prize at Deauville

    Paul Haggis took home thegrand prize Sunday night at the 31st Deauville Festival of American Film forhis directing debut, Crash.The ensemble look at racerelations in Los Angeles, is the first time behind the camera for the MillionDollar Baby screenwriter and will bereleased in France this week by Metropolitan.The jury prize was splitbetween Lori Silverbush and Michael Skolnik's On The Outs and Lodge Kerrigan's Keane. The latter, a difficult look at lo
  • Deauville sees thaw in Franco-US film relations

    Franco-US political relations may be strained, but one wouldbe hard-pressed to notice at this year's Deauville Festival of American Film (Sept2-11), held in the Normandy region of France.Director Ron Howard had a warm welcome here and was thesubject of a tribute on Tuesday night. He recently wrapped the French leg ofproduction on his upcoming $100m The DaVinci Code.The film was given privileged access to the Louvre Museum, afeat rarely a
  • Dinard unveils festival of British film line-up

    The 16th DinardFestival of British Film, the France-based film festival for British featuresto be held October 6-9, has selected the six titles for this year'scompetition. They are: Brian Cook's ColourMe Kubrick, starring John Malkovichas a man impersonating the great director; Jan Dunn's Dogme-style drama Gypo; Opal Dreams from The Full Montydirector Peter Cattaneo; Stephen Woolley's Stoned about late Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones,Annie Griffi
  • Egoyan's Truth loses MPAA appeal against NC-17 rating

    Atom Egoyan's Where TheTruth Lies has lost its appeal tothe Motion Picture Association of America to overturn its restrictive NC-17rating. The decision, handed downyesterday in Los Angeles, means the film will be restricted in the US topersons 18 years and over. More important, the decision could be detrimental interms of marketing and box office: some US newspaper chains refuse to carryadvertisements for NC-17 films and some US exhibitors will refuse to screensuch films for fea
  • Elizabethtown

    Dir/scr:Cameron Crowe. US. 2005. 138mins.Aromantic comedy for the MTV generation with some of that old Kentucky magicthrown in for the oldies, Elizabethtown illustrates the dangers of goingstraight for the feelgood jugular. Feelgood has to be earned. So do the last 48minutes of a 138-minute film. And the overlong Elizabethtown has a basicscript problem that a writer-director as experienced as Cameron Crowe shouldhave ironed out: although ther
  • Elizabethtown

    Dir/scr:Cameron Crowe. US. 2005. 138mins.Aromantic comedy for the MTV generation with some of that old Kentucky magicthrown in for the oldies, Elizabethtown illustrates the dangers of goingstraight for the feelgood jugular. Feelgood has to be earned. So do the last 48minutes of a 138-minute film. And the overlong Elizabethtown has a basicscript problem that a writer-director as experienced as Cameron Crowe shouldhave ironed out: although there is plenty of human
  • European Film Academy honours legend Connery

    The European FilmAcademy announced that it will present its 2005 lifetime achievement award toSir Sean Connery. The academy citedthe acting legend's "impressive dedication to the world of film,"appearing in more than 70 films in his lengthy career. Last year's recipientwas Spanish director Carlos Saura.This year'sEuropean Film Awards will be held on December 3 in Berlin. Sir Sean and LadyConnery are expected to attend the ceremony, where 18 other awards will begiven. As announced rec
  • Everything Is Illuminated

    Dir: Liev Schreiber. US.2005. 102mins.The fine US actor LievSchreiber makes his directorial debut on his own ambitious adaptation of whatis perhaps an unfilmable book - Jonathan Safran Foer's brilliant first novel EverythingIs Illuminated. It's a brave attempt, but only partially successful, andcritics will compare it unfavourably with the very recent (2001) andwidely-admired source material.The film is a curio - a USproduction which is largely in the Russia
  • Exorcism a demonic success for Screen Gems with $30.5m weekend

    Screen Gems/Lakeshore Entertainment's The Exorcism OfEmily Rose frightenedthe life out of the competition over the weekend as it opened top on anestimated $30.2m.Scott Derrickson directedthe $20m project about the trial of a priest accused of negligent homicideduring the exorcism of a colle
  • Films Distribution strikes C.R.A.Z.Y deals

    Frenchsales outfit Films Distribution has made a host of sales on its Venice title C.R.A.Z.Y.The Canadian picture by Jean-Marc Vallee is a family sagaset in Quebec between the 1960s to the present day, which focuses on a father'slove for his five sons, and one son's love for his father. The film isscreening in Venice's Directors Fortnight section, Venice Days.
  • Focus reshuffles international sales division

    Focus Features hasrestructured its international division following the appointment of AlisonThompson as president.In the move announced toScreen by co-presidents David Linde and James Schamus, Heta Paarte becomessenior vice president of international marketing and publicity and Tim Spenceris named senior vice president of international sales.Both executives formerlyheld the roles of vice president in their respective fields and have been atFocus since its inception in spring 20
  • Fox Int'l restructures Scandinavian operations

    Fox International is restructuring Scandinavian operationsand has announced two key appointments, naming Hansi Mandoki managing directorof Twentieth Century Fox Theatrical Sweden, and Peter Paumgardhen managingdirector of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment Scandinavia.Mandoki will manage all
  • Fox, Europa Corp drive US box office with Transporter 2

    The action sequel The Transporter 2 roared to the top of the charts overthe Labor Day holiday weekend on an estimated $20.3m over four days.
  • Gabrielle

    Dir: PatriceChereau. Fr-It. 2005.90mins.An analytical butstrangely alienated portrait of a 10 year-old marriage gone sour, PatriceChereau's latest feature is impressive on many counts but falls short ofdelivering the emotional wallop it seems to hanker for.Expanding on JosephConrad's novella The Return to show both viewpoints in a marital crisis,Chereau delive
  • Gabrielle

    Dir: PatriceChereau. Fr-It. 2005.90mins.An analytical butstrangely alienated portrait of a 10 year-old marriage gone sour, PatriceChereau's latest feature is impressive on many counts but falls short ofdelivering the emotional wallop it seems to hanker for.Expanding on JosephConrad's novella The Return to show both viewpoints in a marital crisis,Chereau delive
  • Goal!

    Dir: Danny Cannon. UK.2005 110minsGoal! is the first episode in a planned football trilogyabout a 19-year-old Latino Santiago plucked from LA to play in the EnglishPremiership. The second film - to be shot by House Of Wax director JaumeCollet Serra from next month - will see him play on a European stage in theChampions' League. The third feature will be filmed during the World Cup inGermany next year.On one level, this is asmuch a market
  • Gone With The Wind named as top grossing film of all time

    Gone With The Wind is the top grossing film of all time based oninflation-adjusted figures, according to new research by Screen Digest and datafrom Box Office Ginca. The 1939 Civil War dramaracks up an adjusted U.S. gross of $1.26bn, beating out Star Wars at$1.11bn. The figures were based on original U.S. grosses, not the number ofcinema admissions or worldwide box-office receipts. The top 10 list continues,in order, with: The Sound of Music, E.T., The Ten Comma
  • Hollywood festival lauds Red Wagon duo

    The Hollywood Film Festival's Board of Advisors has unveiledits latest line-up of honourees for the upcoming Hollywood Film Awards inOctober in Los Angeles.Red Wagon Entertainment producers Douglas Wick and LucyFisher will receive the Hollywood Producers of the Year Award, screenwriterAkiva Goldsman will collect the Hollywood Screenwriter of the Year Award, andLions Gate Films Releasing president Tom Ortenberg will receive the HollywoodLeadership Award.
  • Hollywood studios explore new age of secure digital distribution

    The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has signed on tothe cutting-edge US networking consortium internet2 as it explores futuremodels for the online delivery of Hollywood content.
  • Hong Kong's Focus takes on hit Indonesian feature

    Hong Kong-based Focus Films is to handle international saleson its first ever Indonesian feature.Janji Joni, which willreceive international market screening at AFM, is also the only Asian titlethat Focus Film (not to be confused with US outfit Focus Features) has pickedup this year. Earlier at Cannes, it acquired Hong Kong distribution rights toRichard Linklater's Fast Food Nation.
  • IDP Distribution bolsters ranks with new appointments

    IDP Distribution has hired Kristi Avram as vice president ofpublicity and promoted Shani Ankori to vice president of marketing andpromotions, and hired Daniel Feiner as director of finance and administration.Avram will create and oversee all publicity campaigns forIDP, the join
  • IFP launches indie screening week in NYC

    IFP is launching the New York-based Independent Film Weekfrom Sept 19-23, a promotional event designed to boost film-going at first-runindependent theatres by offering free concessions and access to filmmakers andtalent.The event kicks off with the New York premiere of Rodrigo
  • InDigEnt starts 16th film with Maggenti, Mol

    Independent DigitalEntertainment, aka InDigEnt, the New York-based digital production collectivehas begun shooting its 16th feature in New York City this week.The as-yetuntitled film was written and is being directed by Maria Maggenti, who hasn'tmade a film since 1995's The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls In Love.The romanticcomedy stars Gretchen Mol, who is the star of Toronto festival world premiere TheNotorious Bettie Paige,Justin Kirk (Angels in Ameri
  • Industry weighs up impact of UIP overhaul

    Universal Pictures andParamount Pictures' announcement on Tuesday night that they are restructuringtheir joint international distribution venture, United International Pictures(UIP), comes as little surprise given the growing importance of the internationalmarket.The deal sees UIP continuingto work on international releases for Paramount and Universal until the end of2006, at which point UIP will be scaled back to handle 20 territories (downfrom the current 35). Universal and Paramount
  • Japan's Index Corp acquires Nikkatsu

    Japan's Index Corp, a company offering mobile phone and internet content services,has announced its acquisition of film producer and distributor Nikkatsu fromits current corporate owner, Namco. The deal, which is expectedto be finalised by mid-September, will result in Index buying a more than 50%stake for $36m-$45.5m (Y4bn-Y5bn). Namco, which currently holds 74% of Nikkatsustock, will retain its remaining shares.Of
  • Kujipers' Off Screen takes top jury prize at Montreal

    Montreal filmmaker ClaudeGagnon did not win the top prize but his film Kamataki walkedaway with five major awards as the Montreal World Film Festival wrapped up its29th edition on Monday. Kamataki, a Canada-Japan coproduction, won the AudiencePrize, the FIPRESCI Prize, the Ecumenical Prize and the Prize for The MostPopular Canadian Film while the World Competition jury presented Gagnon withthe prize for Best Direction. Gagnon won the top prize, the Grand Prix of theAmeric
  • La Fenice set for Istituto Luce slate

    Italian distributor Istituto Luce has unveiled a newco-production slate that includes both films by hot local directors andambitious international projects.Luce is currently lining up a Euros 20m noir-thrillerentitled La Fenice. The film, which will be entirely set in Venice, isexpected to star Colin Firth and Peter O'Toole, and will start shooting inJanuary 2006. It is being planned as a UK-Italian-French co-production.Luce is a co-producer on Little Red Flowers b
  • Lelouch heads up jury of New Montreal FilmFest

    French auteurClaude Lelouch will head the international jury of inaugural Golden Iriscompetition at the Festival International de Film de Montreal. Lelouch's newdramatic comedy Le Courage D'Aimer will make its international premiere at the event, which launchesits first edition from September 18 to 25.Lelouch will bejoined on the jury by Italian actress Anna Galiena, Mexican filmmaker FelipeCazals, Chinese film star Chang Chen of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame, Quebe
  • Lions Gate, Lakeshore team up for Statham-starrer Crank

    Lions Gate Films and LakeshoreEntertainment have begun pre-production on the thriller Crank starring Jason Statham, currently riding high as thestar of the number one North American picture The Transporter 2.Lakeshore is producing theproject, which is set to begin principal photography in Los Angeles in lateOctober. Lions Gate will release in the US and shares international rights withLakeshore.Statham plays an assassinwho goes on a day-long rampage after he discov
  • Lucky Red launches genre label through Key Films

    Italian indie distributor Lucky Red has acquired the nameand catalogue of Key Films and is launching a new genre label.Lucky Red's Andrea Occhipinti said the first film that hewill distribute under the new label will be Venice title Initial D byAndrew Lau and Alan Mak. The film is being sold by Media Asia Group.His Key Films slate will also include Korean film ABittersweet Life and Thai horror flick Shutters. It will alsorelease Infernal Affairs II and II
  • Madagascar retakes international lead with $12.5m weekend

    A sensational launch in Italypowered DreamWorks International's Madagascar towards $300m over the weekend as the picture added an estimated$12.5m from 47 territories through UIP for $291.5m.
  • McLean, Weinsteins reteam for crocodile horror

    The creative team behind red hot Australian horror movie Wolf Creek, including writer/director Greg McLean, is preparing to shoot Rogue, a film about a giant crocodile stalking tourists in the Australian outback that will be majority financed by The Weinstein Co.A large staff is known to be well into pre-production in an office in Port Melbourne on the top secret project.Screen International first reported on Rogue in 2000, when it attracted enough presales
  • Mikado snaps up Venice competition pair

    Rome outfitMikado Film has acquired Italian distribution rights to two films that areplaying in competition at the Venice Film Festival, bringing its total tally tofour.The veteranarthouse distributor has picked up Manoel de Oliveira's Magic Mirror, and Abel Ferrara's controversialdrama Mary.Sold byFirst Hand Films, Magic Mirror is adapted from Agustina Bessa-Luis's A Alma dos Ricos(The Soul of the Rich), and is about a troubled, wealthy woman who is
  • Movie Network, Tropfest launch Oz low-budget film push

    The push to turn Australia'sfilm industry into a low-budget Mecca continues with the news that the giantoutdoor short film competition Tropfest and pay TV channel the Movie Networkwill fund a $770,000 (A$1m) feature for each of the next three years.Tropfest attracts up to 700short film entries each year and several of its first prize-winners havesubsequently graduated to features including Gregor Jordan (BuffaloSoldiers, Ned Kelly) and Paul Fenech (Fat Pizza).
  • Mueller reiterates resignation threat despite Venice success

    Asthe Venice Film Festival draws to an end, artistic director Marco Mueller canbreathe a sigh of relief: he has managed to largely satisfy the critics withhis selection, while also ironing out the organisational problems that marredlast year's event. However,Mueller's eye is also firmly placed on the festival's appeal as a business-place- and he has warned again that next year will definitely be his last in Venice- unless the Biennale finally agrees to establish a proper market.
  • Oscar nominated director cranks up Eagle vs Shark

    Eaglevs Sharkfrom Academy Award nominated writer/director Taika Waititi is to be the firstfeature for Whenua Films, set up in 2004 by producer Ainsley Gardiner and CliffCurtis, one of New Zealand's best-known actors.Thefilm has been fully financed by the New Zealand Film Commission. The fundingoutfit's sales division is handling international sales. Waititi'sshort Two Cars, One Night was nominated for an Oscar in the live action short film category this year andhis
  • Otani's Nana dominates Japanese entertainment charts

    Kentaro Otani's Nana,a female buddy movie based on a best-selling comic and featuring a theme songby the film's co-star Miki Nakajima, has achieved a rare entertainment worldtriple whammy: the film, comic and song are all number one in their respective charts.Produced by Japanesebroadcaster TBS and released on 296 screens on September 3, film is number oneat the Japanese box office after four days on release, with a gross of $6.4m(Y700m) on 530,000 admissions. This is close to t
  • Park swaps Vengeance for Cyborg sci-fi

    Cult Korean auteur ParkChan-wook is set to take the sci-fi route. The director (whoseSympathy For Lady Vengeance screened in Venice last week) is to make I Am A Cyborg for CJEntertainment. Casting details are yet tobe confirmed on the story of a young woman in a mental asylum who beli
  • Persona Non Grata

    Dir/scr:Krzysztof Zanussi. Pol-Russ-It. 2005. 117mins.Krzysztof Zanussimakes films for mature specialised audiences, interested in human nature andethical standards rather than in plots, heroes and villains. If this dooms himto a small, appreciative cinema-going crowd and to selective festivals (likehis competition slot in Venice), then so be it. He has never appeared to bebothered by the fact before,
  • Producer Burton joins Swank and Lowe as partner in accomplice

    Producer Mark Burton(pictured), whose credits include Santosh Sivan's The Terrorist, Finn Taylor's Cherish, Richard Jobson's 16 Years Of Alcohol and Deepa Mehta's Water, is joining Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe as a partnerin their production company accomplice films.The company, which plans tomake film and TV programming, recently struck a first-look deal with WarnerBros. All three partners will develop and produce accomplice projects, Burtonbased in LA, Swank
  • Proof

    Dir:John Madden. US-UK. 2005. 100mins.Anefficient drama, rather than a memorable one, John Madden's Proofbenefits, for once, from its theatrical origins. Madden directed GwynethPaltrow in the main role of David Auburn's stage play at the Donmar Warehousein London, and the familiarity of both director and actress with the materialcomes through in the confident style.Itis also apparent in Paltrow's credible, nuanced performance as a smart y
  • Pusan unveils tenth anniversary festival line-up

    The Pusan International Film Festivalwill present a record 307 films to celebrate its tenth edition, which runs fromOctober 6-14 in South Korea.Notable world premieres include Loft byJapanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Love Talk by Korea's Lee Yoon-ki (whowon PIFF's top award last year with This Charming Girl), Iraniandirector Abolfazl Jalili's Full Or Empty, and comedy Hold Up Downby Japanese director Sabu.Opening the event will be the 135 min
  • Rai Cinema to remake Euros 20m Iron Crown

    Rai Cinemais lining up a big-budget English-language remake of classic Italian 1941picture, The Iron Crown.Theoriginal film, directed by Alessandro Blasetti, focuses on a crown, supposedly made from a nail out of the Cross ofChrist and the metal of Roman swords, which becomes a legend and a symbol ofjustice. The newfantasy-gothic picture, set during the Roman Empire, is co-produced by TildeCorsi's Rome-based R&C Produzioni. Corsi's business partner, Gianni Romoli,is writi
  • Raindance to open with Devil documentary

    Jeff Feuerzeig's documentaryThe Devil and Daniel Johnston, about the cult musician and songwriter,will kick off the 13th Raindance Film Festival in London on September 28. Thefilm previously won the best director prize at Sundance. Raindance will close onOctober 9 with the European premiere of Jonathan Jakubowicz's SecuestroExpress, a Caracas, Venezuela-set crime thriller shot on digital videousing mostly non-professional actors. During the 12-day festival,Raindanc
  • Romance & Cigarettes

    Dir/scr:John Turturro. US. 2005. 106mins.After the first song-and-dance number of John Turturro'sstar-peppered blue collar musical, the Venice press corps broke into loud,spontaneous applause. When the second ended, there was a more subdued ripple.By the time the third came along, the excitement had died down, and thegood-natured, foot-tapping, flawed nature of the whole exercise was becomingapparent.Thereis a lot to like about Romance & Cigarettes
  • Romance & Cigarettes

    Dir/scr:John Turturro. US. 2005. 106mins.After the first song-and-dance number of John Turturro'sstar-peppered blue collar musical, the Venice press corps broke into loud,spontaneous applause. When the second ended, there was a more subdued ripple.By the time the third came along, the excitement had died down, and thegood-natured, foot-tapping, flawed nature of the whole exercise was becomingapparent.Thereis a lot to like about Romance & Cigarettes
  • Romance & Cigarettes

    Dir/scr:John Turturro. US. 2005. 106mins.After the first song-and-dance number of John Turturro'sstar-peppered blue collar musical, the Venice press corps broke into loud,spontaneous applause. When the second ended, there was a more subdued ripple.By the time the third came along, the excitement had died down, and thegood-natured, foot-tapping, flawed nature of the whole exercise was becomingapparent.Thereis a lot to like about Romance & Cigarettes - notably
  • Rona to spearhead production at ramped up Rogue

    Rogue Pictures has hired former Dimension Filmsco-president Andrew Rona (pictured) as president of production as part of an aggressivebid to increase the filmmaking slate at Universal's genre offshoot.Rona will report directly to Rogue Pictures president David Lindeand will oversee production, acq
  • Rosem secures international deals for Chinese pair

    Frenchproduction house Rosem Films has secured international distribution for two ofits upcoming features from Chinese auteurs Lou Ye and Wang Chao. Wild Bunch has picked up worldwide rights outside China andFrance to Lou's Summer Palace, currently in post-production, while OceanFilms has acquired French rights to the film.Co-produced by Rosem and Chinese production hous
  • Rosenblum named president of all Warner Bros TV operations

    Bruce Rosenblum has been named president of the newly formedWarner Bros Television Group (WBTV) and will oversee the studio's entireworldwide television operation including US TV network The WB Network.
  • Saudi officials break up huge piracy operation

    Saudi Arabianofficials have seized over 2.2m pirate DVDs, VCDs, DVD-Rs and VHS cassettes ina raid on a major pirate distribution centre in Dammam, in the Eastern Provinceof Saudi Arabia.It isone of the biggest ever seizures of pirate product in the entire EMEA (Europe,the Middle East and Africa) region.Three Indian nationals were arrestedas part of the operation, which took place on August 29 and was conducted byArabi
  • Scott's Domino will close Montreal's new film festival

    The world premiere of TonyScott's Domino starring KeiraKnightley will close the inaugural Festival International de Film de Montrealon September 25. The new festival added afurther 13 titles to its line-up, including an addition to Iris Awardscompetition, UK-Canada coproduction Guy X, from Scots director Saul Metzstein starring Jason Biggs and JeremyNortham, which makes its North American premiere. Two world premieres wereadded to the Planet Earth sidebar, Y
  • Sheffield sharpens its act with extended programme

    The 12th Sheffield International Documentary Festival,running October 10-16, will kick off a new strand of industry events with thisyear's festival. The new "Sharp End" programmes for industry professionals andfilmmakers will feature "meet the commissioners" briefings, interviews with BBCdirector general Mark Thompson and film-maker Peter Kosminsky, and discussionsabout alternative distribution and high definition technology. Sheffield will also host a newcomers day for budding
  • StudioCanal names new president, unveils acquisitions

    StudioCanal has announcedthe appointment of a new president, Olivier Courson. Courson, who is alsosecretary general of the Canal Plus Group, takes over from Bertrand Meheut whoremains as Canal Plus CEO.StudioCanal managingdirector Frederic Sichler is unaffected by the change in management and willcontinue in his role as head of operations.Meanwhile, in a series ofdistribution deals, StudioCanal has recently taken French rights to Robert DeNiro's second directorial effort
  • Takeshis'

    Dir/scr: Takeshi Kitano.Jap. 2005. 108mins.By the morning of thepress screening, pretty much everyone on the Lido knew that the “surprise” filmon the Venice competition roster was the new project by Japanese auteur and TVcelebrity Takeshi Kitano. The real surprise, however, came at the end: thebriefest ripple of applause, punctuated by a few boos, from the normally loyalVenice press corps.Zatoichi, Kitano’s cool, parodic m
  • Thailand selects Tin Mine as Oscar entry

    Jira Maligool's The Tin Mine(Mahalai Meung Rae) has been selected as Thailand's official entry for the best foreign-language filmcategory of the 2006 Academy Awards. The film was chosen by aseven-member selection committee headed by Somsak Techaratanaprasert of Thailand's Federation of National Film Association. Produced by GMM Tai Hub, th
  • The Exorcism Of Emily Rose

    Dir: Scott Derrickson.US. 2005. 118minsAn interesting but unresolved hybrid of metaphysical horror film andcourtroom drama, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose takes the true story of agirl who died in Germany following an apparent case of demonic possession, andtransplants it to small-town America.Billed as the firstauthentic film treatment of demonic possession, Emily Rose is in one way apost-Passion horror movie, grounded in the Catholic Church's recent attempts tore
  • The Maid screams up Singapore record

    Fortissimo pick-up The Maid hasbecome the top-grossing horror title in its native Singapore, passing $1.1m (Sing $2m)at the weekend.Directed by Kelvin Tong, the $900,000The Maid, which is screening privately at Toronto, is about a Filipina domestichelper who unknowingly sets free Chinese ghosts. Produced by MediaCorp Raintree Pictures, it has already outgrossed TheEye 2 in Singapore and set records for the opening of a Singaporean film inMalaysia. It will open in H
  • The Sun rises in Japan for The Works

    On the eve of thisyear's Toronto Festival, UK sales agent The Works has closed a deal with Japanfor Alexander Sokurov's The Sun, his film about Emperor Hirohito's last days of power beforeJapan's surrender to the US in 1945. Kabocha hastaken Japanese rights to The Sun and will be giving it a theatrical release either later this yearor early in 2006. Following thefilm's premiere in Berlin in February, some had suggested that The Sun would prove too sensitive
  • Toronto festival juggernaut starts to roll

    The Toronto InternationalFilm Festival kicks off today and - once again - is offering an abundance, somewould say over-abundance, of world premieres. Buyers, media and publicalike have been poring over the packed schedules since they were announced, decidingwhat to target and what they will inevitably have to miss. It's rich pickingsfor buyers from around the world and domestic distribution teams in particularwill be out in full force, with new players such as The Weinstein Co,Pictureh
  • UIP partnership dissolves in key territories

    Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures are to set up their owndirect distribution operations in 15 key territories beginning in January 2007,the studios announced jointly on Tuesday.
  • UK animated shorts make Cartoon d'Or final

    TwoUK animated shorts - Marc Craste's Jo Jo In The Stars and Daniel Greaves' LittleThings- are among the five finalists nominated for this year's Cartoon d'Or to beawarded at the Cartoon Forum co-production market (Sept 21-25) in Denmark'sKolding.The other nominated films are: Gaelle Denis' CityParadise (France), Peter Kaboth's Falling (Germany) and Jonas Geirnaert's Flatlife (Belgium). The winner will be decided by a jurycomposed
  • Universal takes world rights on HBO's Outkast musical

    Universal Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to HBO Films'untitled original musical starring Outkast's Andre Benjamin and Antwan Patton,as well as Terrence Howard, Ving Rhames, Cicely Tyson and Macy Gray, among others.
  • Venice Festival goes for Brokeback

    AngLee's Brokeback Mountain has won the Golden Lion at the 62nd Venice Film Festival.The Grand Jury prize went to Abel Ferrara for Mary, while George Clooney'sheavily-tipped Good Night. And Good Luck won two consolation prizes - Best Actorfor David Strathairn's portrayal of journalist Edward R Murrow, and a Lion forClooney's own screenplay written with producer Grant Heslov.BrokebackMountain'stop prize, which was handed out to Ang Lee by Japanese animation m
  • Venice films make waves over busy festival weekend

    Four days in and bothbuyers and critics appear satisfied with the quality of films on offer acrossthe Venice Film Festival's different sections. But while industry memberscontinue to enjoy the festival's traditionally relaxed atmosphere, some arefinding the lack of a market and expensive prices an increasing hindrance.After the mixed reception for Tsui Hark'sopening night out-of-competition film Seven Swords, the best-receivedfilms in competition include George Clooney's elegant
  • Venice goes for Brokeback

    Ang Lee's BrokebackMountain won the Golden Lion at the62nd Venice Film Festival yesterday. The Grand Jury prize went to Abel Ferrerafor Mary, while George Clooney'sheavily-tipped Good Night. And, Good Luck won two consolation prizes - Best Actor for David Strathairn'sportrayal of journalist Edward R Murrow, and a Lion for Clooney's ownscreenplay written with producer Grant Heslov.Brokeback Mountain's top prize marks the second time in a row that afilm believ
  • Viva Zapatero earns Venice buzz

    One of thefilms that has earned the biggest round of applause on the Lido is Italiandocumentary Viva Zapatero! which focuses onthe thorny subject of censorship in Italy.Thefilm is directed by comedian Sabina Guzzanti, whose satirical program RAIOT wasremoved from the airwaves after only one episode in November 2003. VivaZapatero,which screened at the end of the Venice Film Festival as a "surprise" event,contains interviews with renowned Italian journalists Enzo Bia
  • Wallace And Gromit enjoy upbeat Oz world premiere

    Aardman/DreamWorks animation WallaceAnd Gromit: TheCurse Of The Were-Rabbit world premiered in Sydney on Sunday (Sep 4) - three weeks before the US and four weeks ahead of theUK. The film goes wide in Australia on Sep 15.The positive reaction of the severalhundred strong audience - the majority of them young kids - at the premieresuggests that the film will perform stron
  • Warner Bros Japan swoops on Seven Swords

    In a coup for sales agentFortissimo Films, Warner Bros Pictures Japan has boarded Tsui Hark'sVenice-opener Seven Swords, which screens in Toronto on Sunday.The deal, which wasconcluded in Venice, is the largest-ever for Fortissimo in Japan, where the $18m Seven Swords will now open onOctober 1 on 200 screens.Warner
  • Wellspring grabs Manson murders musical comedy

    New York-based Wellspringhas picked up all North American rights to Live Freaky! Die Freaky!, astop-motion animation musical-comedy retelling of the Manson family murders.The action takes place inthe year 3069 when a man discovers a copy of Helter Skelter, VincentBugliosi and Curt Gentry's true crime classic detailing the Charles Manson cultand the murders he inspired his acolytes to commit.Interpreting the book assomething akin to a biblical to
  • Wolf joins Peace Arch as sales chief

    Former HBO Films Londonmanaging director Penny Wolf has joined Toronto-based production anddistribution outfit Peace Arch Entertainment Group as executive vice presidentof international sales and marketing.Based in London, Wolf will oversee all feature acquisitions andinternational sales and marketing on the company's film and television slate."We're looking to acquireand produce theatrical projects which the company hasn't done before