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11 September 2007

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  • 12 (Razgnevannyh Muzhchin)

    Dir: Nikita Mikhalkov Russia 2007. 158 mins.Russian maestro Nikita Mikhalkov proves that Sidney Lumet's classic jury drama 12 Angry Men can work in another time and another place in this tasty adaptation, which is tough and passionate enough to survive the occasional lapse into Slavic sentimentality. It's hard to believe that this assured work was shot as a way of keeping cast and crew busy during a long unscheduled break in the production of Burnt by the Sun 2
  • 3:10 To Yuma shoots to top in strong domestic weekend

    James Mangold's Western remake 3:10 To Yuma opened top through Lionsgate at the weekend on an estimated $14.1m. The film stars Russell Crowe, Christian Bale and Ben Foster and centres on a rancher who has to escort an outlaw on to a prison train despite being pursued by the man's murderous gang. Relativity Media's Ryan Kavanaugh served as executive producer. The first weekend of the post-summer season fare
  • A Jihad For Love

    Dir: Parvez Sharma USA/UK/France/Germany/Australia. 2007. 81minsFilmed over six years in twelve countries, A Jihad For Love compiles personal stories that illuminate the bitter struggles of lesbians
  • Across The Universe

    Dir: Julie Taymor USA 2007. 129mins.The post-Chicago boom in screen musicals takes a novel twist with Across The Universe, a concept album-style love story set against the social upheavals of the 1960s and largely told through the songs of The Beatles. This ambitious Julie Taymor project veers between the soaring, goosebump romanticism of Moulin Rouge and the more awkward passages of John Turturro's little seen Romance And Cigarettes.
  • AFI FEST line-up include world premiere of Public Enemy doc

    AFI FEST 2007 has unveiled 15 official selections for November including the world premieres of documentaries Public Enemy: Welcome To The Terrodome and 1,000 Journals. Robert Patton-Spruill's Public Enemy: Welcome To The Terrodome charts the 20-year history of the hip hop legends, while Andrea Kreuzhage's 1,000 Journals
  • After whirlwind Toronto, Nair heads to Mumbai for Shantaram

    New York-based director Mira Nair left Toronto Saturday night after a short 24-hour visit to the festival - she's now in Mumbai preparing for her largest film yet, Shantaram.The $100m project, for Warner Bros with Graham King's GK Films producing and Plan B on board, starts shooting Jan 19 for what she estimates will be at least 75-80 days.The book is set in Australia, India and Afghanistan, and Nair says that India is the only con
  • Anagram heats up global warming project The Thaw

    Vancouver-based Anagram Pictures, production company behind zombie comedy Fido, is setting up global warming horror picture The Thaw for production in spring 2008.Mark Lewis (Ill Fated) is attached to direct the screenplay he cowrote with Michael Lewis. Anagram's Mary Anne Waterhouse and Trent Carlson will produce with Rob Neilson. Maple Pictures is on board for
  • Analysis: International box-office - Weekend August 31-September 2 - Shrek The First

    Shrek The Third knocked Jason Bourne out of the top spot this weekend, taking $17.8m over the three-day period after expanding in Italy and Scandinavia. The green ogre shot up a whopping 2,086% after generating $8m in its opening weekend in Italy, the best opening for an animated film ever in the territory. But The Bourne Ultimatum is still going strong: it fell by a mere 3%, taking $14.6m in its fourth weekend after expanding in six additional territories. Rom-com No Reservatio
  • Andi Isaacs takes production job at Summit Entertainment

    Andi Isaacs has joined Summit Entertainment as senior vice president of physical production and will oversee all aspects of in-house productions for the fledgling studio. She reports to chief operating officer Bob Hayward. Isaacs recently served as a production executive for Walt Disney Pictures from 2004-06 and before that she was a freelance and worked on There's Something About Mary, National Treasure,and
  • Argentina - Chasing foreign interest

    Directors Lucrecia Martel, Pablo Trapero and Daniel Burman were all key figures in the emergence of Argentinian cinema on the international scene a decade ago. All three are now in production on new projects, with an array of foreign partners."We have solid contacts with established companies in Europe," says rising producer Veronica Cura, who is producing Martel's The Headless Woman. "We have gained prestige and recognition in foreign festivals and markets."It is the int
  • Arthouse, Red Envelope take Wagstaff and Mapplethorpe doc

    Arthouse Films and Red Envelope Entertainment will jointly release the documentary Black White + Gray: A Portrait Of Sam Wagstaff And RobertMapplethorpe.James Crump's film premiered at Tribeca and will open theatrically in Los Angeles and New York at the end of the year followed by DVD release in 2008 on the Arthouse Films label and via Netflix.
  • Arts Alliance takes North America for Never Forever

    Arts Alliance America, formerly Hart Sharp Video, has picked up North American rights to the Vera Farmiga drama Never Forever and will co-distribute with South Korea's Prime Entertainment.The company plans a theatrical release in the first quarter of 2008 followed by DVD rollout.Never Forever premiered at Sundance and stars Farmiga as a married women who embarks on an affair with a Korean im
  • Asian Film Market launches mainstream financing event

    The Asian Film Market has announced participants and events for its upcoming sophomore edition - including the launch of Co-production PRO, a new international financing event. So far 76 sales companies have signed up for booths, with buyers and sellers including Celluloid Dreams, The Weinstein Company, CJ Entertainment, Showbox, Lotte, Gaga Communications, Huayi Brothers, Edko Films, the British Film Institute, Arri, Film New Zealand, NHK, Gaumont and MK2. Under the umbrella of t
  • Atopia snaps up Quebec features

    Montreal-based Atopia Distribution has picked up four new Quebec-based titles, including Marc-Andre Forcier's Nemesis, Denis Cote's Elle Veut Le Chaos and Who Is K.K. Downey', the debut feature of actor Darren Curtis. Nemesis, Forcier's 12th feature, will feature Remy Girard, Roy Dupuis and Celine Bonnier in a family drama
  • Australia, Singapore sign co-production treaty

    A new film and TV co-production pact has been inked between the governments of Australia and Singapore, with promises of greater creative exchange and incentives to producers. Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs, George Yeo, and Australia's Minister for the Arts and Sport, Senator George Brandis, signedthe agreement last Friday in Sydney during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. The treaty, which also covers new media projects, will allow co-productions be
  • Bannenberg steps up acquisitions role for Lumiere

    Jan Declercq and Alexander Vandeputte of distributor Lumiere are strengthening ties with Esther Bannenberg, and the three will jointly handle Benelux acquisitions for Lumiere.Bannenberg will continue to do outside work with festivals, markets and training bodies through TOTO, but will now have more focus on being an acquisitions executive at Lumiere.Bannenberg was previously senior VP of Fortissimo Films Sales for 10 years.Lumiere's recent acquisitions include
  • Bart Walker joins Cinetic Media as partner

    Bart Walker has joined Cinetic Media as a partner as the company announced it was expanding to allow film-makers and financiers to 'take greater control' of the film-making process.Walker joins Cinetic founder John Sloss and Robert Nathan on the partnership, at the same time as the company announced it has launched talent management division Cinetic Management.The former ICM agent spent the last three years at CAA's New York office and specialised in representing film wri
  • Bartkowiak signs to direct Hyde Park's Street Fighter

    Andrzej Bartkowiak has signed to direct the live action feature film of video game Street Fighter for Ashok Amritraj's Hyde Park Entertainment and games publisher Capcom Co Ltd. The film based on Capcom's Street Fighter game property will begin production pre-strike in early 2008 in Asia and North America, and 20th Century Fox is handling domestic distribution.Bartkowiak, also a celebrated c
  • Battle in Seattle

    Director/Scr: Stuart Townsend. US, Canada. 2007. 100minsA labour of love for actor turned director Stuart Townsend, Battle In Seattle is an uneven but ultimately impassioned recreation of the riots at the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle . Documentary footage and fictional drama scenes make for initially uneasy bedfellows but this is a film that seems to grow in stature as it unfolds and matures. The e
  • Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

    Dir: Sidney Lumet, 2007 , US , 123mins.Sidney Lumet is back on familiar territory with this caper gone awry. This time it's a plot by two desperate adult brothers, Andy and Hank (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke), to rob their parents' suburban jewellery store, which ends up killing their mother (Rosemary Harris). As the truth emerges in overlapping flashbacks, we get a portrait of two failed sons, mired in debt, drugs and a
  • Before The Rains

    Dir: Santosh Sivan US/India. 2007. 98minsA bittersweet journey from blinkered loyalty to rueful independence, Before The Rains captures the crumbling of British rule in 1930s India through a doomed love affair and its tragic consequences. In its more obvious moments it strays perilously close to the conventions of romantic fiction and feels as if it might be more suited to the small screen. Overly familiar material is handled with
  • Bernal to star in Moodysson's English-language debut Mammoth

    Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal is to star in Lukas Moodysson's Mammoth, the controversial Swedish writer/director's first English language feature.Mammoth is a drama centering on the domestic dynamics of a couple, their child and Filipino nanny. It is in final casting and pre-production.Moodysson, whose previous work includes Fucking Amal (Show Me Love), Together, Lilya 4-ever, is to shoot the film in New York, Thailand, The Philippines and Sweden.
  • Beta Cinema reps Stoehr's Berlin Calling

    Germany's Hannes Stoehr's third feature Berlin Calling which shoots in Berlin this week, is to be sold internationally by Beta Cinema. Stoehr's third feature pivots on DJ Ickarus, aka Martin Karow who tours clubs around the globe with his manager and girlfriend. On the eve of their largest album release, Ickarus is admitted to a psychiatric clinic after overdosing at a gig. DJ Ickarus is played by real-life techno DJ Paul Kalkbrenn
  • BIFAs set 10th anniversary awards for Nov 28

    The 10th annual British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) have set a date for Nov 28. Nominees will be announced Oct 23.James Nesbitt will again host this year's awards, which move to the Roundhouse in London.BIFA directors Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson said: 'In our 10th anniversary year we are planning to celebrate the very best in British filmmaking with a party to end all parties at the Roundhouse. We look forward to raising the profile of British
  • Blood Brothers (Tian Tang Kou)

    Dir: Alexi Tan, Taiwan/China/Hong Kong, 2007. 95minsThe closing film at the Venice film festival, Blood Brothers is a dark gangster fable set in 1930s Shanghai - and a stylish but hollow debut for John Woo protege Alexi Tan. For all the film's lush cinematography, spot-on period detail and all-star Asian cast, there's a feeling of deja vu about this story of three young provincial lads - two of them brothers, the third a close friend - whose all-for-one relationship i
  • Bourne back on top in international markets

    Another solid weekend haul for Universal's The Bourne Ultimatum sawthe spy thriller close in on $100m as it reclaimed the weekend crownfrom Shrek The Third.The spy thriller grossed an estimated $16.5m through UPI from 3,660venues in 37 territories to elevate the running total to $98.8m. It isexpected to cross $100m on Monday.Weekend business was buoyed by five number
  • Brick Lane

    Dir: Sarah Gavron UK. 2007. 101 minsMonica Ali's 2003 novel Brick Lane was feted for its ability to blend the personal and the political as it recounted the experiences of a young Bangladeshi woman's journey of self-discovery. It was ill
  • Britfilms showcases UK cinema for German schools

    Film Education UK has joined forces with Germany's educational body Vision Kino and the arthouse cinemas' association AG Kino-Gilde to launch Britfilms, a touring showcase of British cinema aimed at German schoolchildren, with accompanying teacher study guides and teaching materials.The Britfilms tour begins October 18 in Essen's Lichtburg cinema with Damien O'Donnell's East Is East. October 24 sees screenings of Gurinder Chadha's Bride And Prejudice, Ken Loach's
  • Broomfield delivers controversial Iraq project Battle For Haditha

    Nick Broomfield adds his voice to the wave of films on modern warfare and terrorism with Battle For Haditha, which gets its much anticipated world premiere here on Sept 11.The British film-maker employed his trademark unflinching storytelling style in the re-enactment of an alleged retaliatory massacre of 24 Iraqi innocents by US Marines after their comrade was killed by a roadside bomb in November 2005.The $2m Lafayette Film, HanW
  • Canada's Triptych readies High Life with Garry Yates

    Toronto-based Triptych Media, co-producers of TIFF Closing Night title Emotional Arithmetic, is readying its next feature, High Life, with director Garry Yates (Seven Times Lucky).Triptych's Robin Cass is setting the project up as an Ontario-Manitoba coproduction with plans to begin principal photography later this autumn. Based on the darkly comic pl
  • Canadian doc makers nervous as Burns exits Documentary Channel

    Canada's documentary filmmaking community is up in arms as one of the nation's top commissioning editors, The Documentary Channel's programming director Michael Burns, has been let go.Driving the controversy is the role of national broadcaster CBC in the firing. The CBC purchased majority control of The Documentary Channel having given assurances that the status quo would hold at the specialty broadcaster.The National Film Board of Canada and the Documentary Association o
  • Captain Mike Across America

    Dir: Michael Moore. US. 97 mins.Move over, Meatloaf. Michael Moore is a rock star, or at least he was for a short season, in an autumn 2004 US tour to exhort non-voting young Americans to register and cast ballots for the Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Captain Mike Across America chronicles that tour. More Moore will be welcomed by the f
  • Carney and Element team for Zonad

    Zonad , the new feature from director John Carney, begins principal photography hot on the heels of Carney's Sundance award-winning Once's critical and commercial success in the US. Carney is also signed to direct Town House for Fox in LA and New England in the Spring.Written by John Carney and his brother Kieran, the comedy centres on a convict who hides out in a village in rural Ireland and fools locals by pretending to be from outer space. Starring Simo
  • Chan makes English-language debut with Don't Look Up

    Distant Horizon has announced that award-winning Hong Kong director Fruit Chan will direct the English-language remake of Japanese filmmaker Hideo Nakata's Don't Look Up. The company's president Anant Singh also announced that the film will be produced in association with Japan 's Action 5. One of Nakata's early films before the world-famous Ring series, Don't Look Up tells the story of a director and his crew who are driven mad when the spirit of a murdered a
  • Chaos (Heya fawda)

    Dir: Youssef Chahine France/Egypt 2007. 122 minsVeteran Egyptian director Youssef Chahine serves up a stir
  • Chaotic Ana

    Dir: Julio Medem. Spain, 2007, 120 minutes. Many viewers felt that director Medem's The Lovers of the Arctic Circle was one of the best films of the 1990s. Its mixture of poetic visual and verbal imagery, coupled with a strong dose of mysticism and steamy insights into love and sex, seemed to be something utterly novel, heralding a major new cinematic talent. Unfortunately, things have gone down hill from there, beginning with the sexually-obsessed Sex and Lucia
  • Charlotte Gainsbourg recovering from brain hemorrhage

    Actress Charlotte Gainsbourg underwent surgery overnightWednesday following a brain hemorrhage. News reports said the actress was 'doingvery well' on Thursday.
  • Charlotte Van Weede joins HanWay sales team

    HanWay Films has announced several new appointments to its sales team.Charlotte van Weede (formerly Arnold) has joined as a joint Director of Sales with Thorsten Schumacher, a four-year HanWay veteran who has been promoted. They will share worldwide sales responsibilities and both report to HanWay CEO Tim Haslam.Van Weede had been VP of international sales at Summit Entertainment and director of sales at Intermedia. She had recently been consulting for the Nelson Mandela
  • China Clipper to fly with China's Hengdian, Canada's Long Tale

    Vancouver-based Long Tale Entertainment has signed with Chinese production colossus Hengdian Studios for the $30m Canada-China co-production China Clipper.Long Tale's Harry Sutherland put the package together with US MoviePlus, the LA-arm of worldwide film finance entity set up by Stuart Little producer Steve Waterman and Chris Brough, founder of Vancouver's Mainframe Entertainment.Sutherland
  • Cinemaginaire launches Meunier's Le Grand Depart

    Montreal-based Cinemaginaire is set to begin production on Claude Meunier's directorial debut Le Grand Depart.Meunier, one of Quebec's most revered comic talents and the writer behind the province's most successful television series La Petite Vie, also wrote the screenplay for the romantic comedy.Cinemaginaire's Denise Robert and Daniel Louis are producing. Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm will distribute in Canada.Budgeted a
  • Cirrus dives into Surfing In Newfoundland

    Fresh from its latest Quebec smash Nitro, Montreal-based Cirrus Communications is setting up its next film, Surfing In Newfoundland.Quebecois filmmaker Eric Tessier (Sur Le Seuil) will make his English-language debut, directing the screenplay by Newfoundland writer Andrew Youngblood based on his own experiences surfing the frigid north Atlantic waters.
  • Clapp takes chief executive post for UK exhibitors group

    Phil Clapp has been named as the new chief executive of the UK's Cinema Exhibitors Association. He takes the post as of Oct 15.Chairman Barry Jenkins announced the new appointment. Clapp comes from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, where he had been deputy director for the creative industries.Clapp said: 'Cinema has a unique place in the culture of the nation. However, many overlook the economic contribution the sector makes, both nationally and at
  • Clement Virgo plans The Collectors with Conquering Lion

    Poor Boy's Game director Clement Virgo is setting up his next project, the $9m thriller The Collectors, as a Canada-UK co-production.The screenplay is written by Annmarie Morais, who wrote the Paramount Vantage pickup How She Move. Virgo and producing partner Damon d'Oliveira of Toronto-based Conquering Lion Pictures will be taking the project to New
  • Content on board for Liebesman's Manbreak starring Sevigny

    ContentFilm International has taken on foreign sales for suspense thriller Manbreak, directed by Jonathan Liebesman. CAA has domestic sales rights.Liebesman previously directed 2006 hit The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.Chloe Sevigny is attached to star and further casting will be announced soon.Manbreak is about four people who s
  • ContentFilm takes foreign sales for Coogan's Hamlet 2

    ContentFilm International has come on board for foreign sales for comedy Hamlet 2, starring Steve Coogan and Catherine Keener. Coogan stars as a high school teacher who tries to save the school's drama department by writing his own sequel to Hamlet.Andrew Fleming (Nancy Drew, The Craft) will direct from a script he wrote with South Park veteran Pam Brady.Shooting starts September 17 in New Mexico.Eric Eisner is producing
  • Critical Mass - the sci fi and Westerns debate

    Sci-fi films are as 'dead as Westerns', according to Ridley Scott. He recently informed us of the future genre's demise while in Venice to present the 'definitive' director's cut of Blade Runner, which he began working on in 2000. One senses a certain desire for closure.Of course, Sir Ridley's obituary ('There's nothing original ... we've seen it all before') for a genre that goes all the way back to Georges Melies' 1902 Le Voyage Dans La Lune didn't go uncontested.
  • Darfur Now

    Dir: Theodore (Ted) Braun. US, 2007, 99 minutes Some may find this documentary on the tragedy currently unfolding in the Darfur region of Sudan a bit too slickly produced for its own good, but all in all, it's a solid, exciting, informative, and occasionally moving portrait of that troubled, desperate area and its mightily abused inhabitants. Warner Independent Pictures is releasing the film theatrically in the US, and it remains to be seen whether paying audiences wil
  • De Bruyn's broody Nadine fronts Mannheim-Heidelberg

    The international premiere of Erik de Bruyn's Nadine opens this year's competition at the 56th International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg. It is one of 17 features from up and coming directorsfrom17 Bruyn's drama stars Halina Reijn as a single fortysomething career woman whose reproductive urges are ignited by an encounter with an ex-boyfriend.Reijn, who recently appeared in Tamar van den Dop's
  • Deauville applauds Affleck's Gone Baby Gone

    Based on the novel by Mystic River author Dennis Lehane, Gone Baby Gone tells of two private detectives' attempt to find a young girl abducted in a rough part of Boston.Pre-screening, Casey Affleck joked that brother Ben was 'a pain in the ass' as a director while the director himself chose Deauville as a premiere point because the festival 'seems to really care about movies.' Ben Affleck thanked the festival and the public, saying audience re
  • DeMille, Saltman and Beck join Image Entertainment

    California-based Image Entertainment has hired three new industry executives: Steven DeMille, Steve Saltman and J. Beck.DeMille will serve as senior VP, marketing. He comes from First Look Home Entertainment.Saltman has been named senior VP, domestic TV sales and he most recently worked at DEJ Productions.Finally, Beck has been hired by Image as VP of acquisitions. Beck had been VP of acquisitions for First Look Pictures.'We're really excited to ha
  • Denmark's Niels Aden Oplev completes Two Worlds

    Danish director Niels Arden Oplev, whose We Shall Overcome (Drømmen) ended No 5 on the local charts from 406,000 admissions in 2006, has completed principal photography for his new feature, Two Worlds (To verdener), from an original screenplay co-written by Steen Bille.The Danish Film Institute has chipped in $1.2 million (Euro 0.9 million) production suppert for the depiction of Sara, who lives her family in a lille religious community. She is orthodox, but she is also 17 year old,
  • DHX corrals Chris Noonan's Zebras

    Chris Noonan, director of Miss Potter and Babe, is preparing to shoot his next film, the $16m (A$20m) Australia-South Africa co-production Zebras.The original screenplay by David Williamson (The Year Of Living Dangerously, Phar Lap) is based on an Apartheid-era true story of Paul Krieje, an Afrikaaner who coached a Soweto football team composed of both black and white players. Developed by J
  • Dinard to open British film festival with It's A Free World

    Ken Loach's It's A Free World, which world premiered in Venice and will also screen here in Toronto, has been selected as the opening-night film at the Festival of British Film in Dinard. The closing-night film is L'Heure Zero by Pascal Thomas.The festival, Oct 4-7 in the seaside town in Brittany, will host a tribute to Shane Meadows and his producer Mark Herbert.Films in competition will include David Mackenzie's
  • Disengagement

    Dir. Amos Gitai. France / Israel / Germany / Italy , 2007. 115 mins.Amos Gitai's systematic chronicle of modern Israeli history reaches one of its more sensitive and inevitable points in this dramatised version of the recent crisis generated by the unilateral decision, taken by the Sharon government, to dismantle the entire Jewish settlement in the Gaza
  • Dublin Fest names O'Hagan as new CEO

    The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival has announced the appointment of Joanne O'Hagan as CEO, replacing Rory Concannon who left the festival earlier in the year to pursue his business interests. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin in Drama and French, O'Hagan began her career with independent Irish TV production companies Graph Films and Midas Productions. She also worked as a freelance TV production manager and producer with projectsincluding the 2007 Irish Film and Televisi
  • Durs A Cuire heads Montreal's Festival du Nouveau Cinema

    Montreal's Festival du Nouveau Cinema will open with the world premiere of Guillaume Sylvestre's debut documentary feature Durs A Cuire. Described as a unique, uncompromising and intimate, the film travels behind the scenes at two of Canada's top restaurants to engage with the chefs who made them, Normand Laprise of Toque! and Martin Picard's Au Pied de Cochon. The film travels from Hong Kong through Spain, France and Portugal and throughout Q
  • Eastern Promises

    Dir: David Cronenberg US/UK/ Canada , 2007. 96minsA brutal, yet surprisingly tender thriller about Russian gangsters in London, Eastern Promises sees David Cronenberg once again displaying the sign of a true auteur - someone who can take seemingly uncharacteristic material and make it entirely his own. Written by Steve Knight, Eastern Promises comes across as very much a companion piece to Cronenberg's last film A History of Violence, no
  • Egypt starts record-breaking feature The Baby Doll Night

    Egyptian company The Good News Group goes into production on The Baby Doll Night, a shoot set to trump their previous hit The Yacoubian Building in scale and budget. The $5m production is the most expensive Egyptian film to date. Shooting begins in Cairo on September 22, followed by a 12-15 day stint in New York, Washington and various locations in Canada from October 10. The huge cast and international crew then move on to Turkey and back to Egypt; post-production
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age

    Dir: Shekhar Kapur UK, 2007. 114 minsIt seemed an impossible hope that The Golden Age could match the achievements of its illustrious predecessor. Elizabeth (1998) was a huge international success that earned 7 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and confirmed the radiant star-quality of Cate Blanchett. That's a tough act to follow. Against the odds, The Golden Age is a sequel and an equal that delivers another stirring historical
  • Equinoxe joins Future Films and Arcadia on Purple America

    Jorge Torregrossa's Purple America is now going ahead with a Canadian co-producer, Equinoxe Productions. The $6.3m (Euros 4.5m) production was developed by Spain's Arcadia Films with the help of El Deseo and London-based Future Films. Future's Stephen Margolis has led the financial arrangements. The project is set to go ahead with Josh Lucas and Charlotte Rampling in the leads. Future Films' Kwesi Dickson and Arcadia's Ibon Cormenzana are prod
  • Eros secures $100m credit facility from Citigroup

    Indian producer and distributor Eros International has secured a $100m five-year credit facility from Citigroup Global Markets, to support the company's strategy of ramping up acquisitions. Eros International chairman and CEO, Kishore Lulla, said: 'This facility will increase Eros' firepower to create significant value for our shareholders and partners through the acquisition and production of Indian entertainment content.' Eros recently announced a series of major content acquisi
  • Fact merges with fiction at UK festival

    Three-day festival Crossing The Line examines the development and history of projects which tread the fine line between truth and fiction. Presented by DocHouse and the BBC, the festival is opened by UK director Ken Loach with a keynote speech about the popular crossover form of TV and film that is 'based on reality'. `Other features include masterclasses, debates and luminaries such as Antonia Bird, Nick Broomfield, Andy Harries and Stephen Frears. Pawel Pawlikowski, Penny Woolcock
  • Far North

    Dir: Asif Kapadia France/UK. 89 mins.With this dark tale of a supernaturally-tinged love triangle dark set in the frozen wastes of the Arctic Circle, Asif Kapadia returns to the myth-rooted dreamscape of his 2001 debut, The Warrior, after an uninspiring studio hiatus (Rogue/Focus Features' horror-flop The Return). But as a story, it's far less potent. Kapadia and co-scriptwriter Tim Miller spend too much time giving the plot a timeless, folk-tale resonance,
  • Fiennes and Pearce join cast of Iraq drama The Hurt Locker

    Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, Jeremy Renner and David Morse have boarded Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker, which is currently filming in Jordan.Brian Geraghty and Anthony Mackie also star in the ensemble drama, Bigelow's first feature since 2002's Russian submarine thriller K-19: The Widowmaker.The Hurt Locker
  • Film Financing Circle announcedfor Abu Dhabi Festival

    Organisers of Abu Dhabi 's inaugural Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) have announced details of the accompanying Film Financing Circle (FFC), which takes place at the Emirates Palace hotel, the festival centre, October 15-17. 'Since the conception of the festival, I have wanted to offer an arena where global financiers, executives and film-makers could meet and collaborate on film funds and co-productions,' said film festival executive director Nashwa Al-Ruwaini, who descr
  • Film Fund fires up German industry

    In the battle to lure high-budget footloose productions to international production hubs, two of the most prized of this year's scalps have gone to Germany. Both Bryan Singer's Valkyrie for United Artists and the Wachowski brothers' Speed Racer for Warner Bros have shot in the territory, seduced in no small part by the fiscal attractions of the new German Federal Film Fund (Dfff). Both were reportedly heading to Prague in the Czech Republic until Germany unveiled its new fund.
  • Films Distribution finds home for Ben X

    French sales outfit Films Distribution has acquired the debut feature from Nic Balthazar, Ben X. The film is the story of a 17-year-old autistic boy who finds solace in online gaming while in real life being violently harassed by two school bullies. His revenge against the kids ultimately takes an unexpected turn. Ben X was recently in competition at the Montreal World Film Festival where it took the Grand Prize of the Americas, the Audience Award and the Ecumenica
  • Finnish production grinding to halt

    Finnish producers' decision to stop new feature production until culture minister Stefan Wallin has increased production subsidy by $1.7m (Eu1.2m) has had immediate effect. The Finnish Film Foundation has not received a single new Finnish project applying for production support. 'Sometimes there are up to 10 applications for Finnish features at these meetings, sometimes only three, but rarely none,' explained the foundation's press and publicity manager Satu Elo. Thirty F
  • Fortissimo strikes multi-picture library deal with

    Online film community has signed a multi-picture deal with Fortissimo Films, marking the latter's first internet VOD deal in North America.Under the agreement, Jaman will make available library titles such as Clara Law's Autumn Moon, Sergei Bodrov's Bear Kiss, Alex Van Warmerdam's The Dress, the Pang brothers' Bangkok D
  • Four Minutes and The Edge of Heaven among Germany's Oscar offers

    This year's Golden Lola winner Four Minutes by Chris Kraus and Fatih Akin's Cannes competition title The Edge Of Heaven are among seven films submitted for consideration as Germany's entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at next year's Academy Awards.Other films nominated include Robert Thalheim's And Along Come Tourists, Vadim Glowna's
  • Fourth Jones titled The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

    The fourth instalment of Indiana Joneshas been officiallytitled Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. The film is currently still in production and is directed by original director Steven Spielberg. It stars Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, and Transformers star Shia LaBeouf. Karen Allen returns as Marion Ravenwood from Raiders Of The Lost Arc and Ray Winstone and John Hurt are also cast. Philip Kaufman and David Koepp write the new instalm
  • Fridriksson and Kormakur set up new production company

    Icelandic director-producers Fridrik Thor Fridriksson and Baltasar Kormakur, who has Jar City in Toronto, have joined forces to set up a new production shingle, Thordarhofdi Film Productions, currently readying two features for its first slate.'Thordarhofdi means 'the mountain between us' - we both have farms in northern Iceland,' explained Fridriksson, who dismantled his production house, the Icelandic Film Corporation, two years ago.
  • Fugitive Pieces

    Dir: Jeremy Podeswa. Canada. 108 minsSomewhere in the midst of Fugitive Pieces, a story informed by memories of the Holocaust, a character explains that the amazing aspect of wood is not that it burns, but that it floats. The life lesson is that in all things there is a positive and negative component. And the same can be said of this adaptation of the novel by Anne Michaels. At times it is disjointed and dramatically muted and then will suddenl
  • Gavin Hood eyes December shoot for Wolverine

    Gavin Hood, in town to attend last night's world premiere of Rendition, has lined up a December start in Australia and New Zealand for the X-Men spin-off Wolverine.Hood said he planned to make a profound origins story that would bear the hallmarks of Greek tragedy.'We all mutate after trauma, in a way, so I wanted to explore how his mutation is the re
  • Gdynia announces 21 competition titles

    A bumper crop of 21 titles will compete for the grand prize at the 32nd Polish Film Festival in the seaside town of Gdynia. Palm D'Or laureate Andrzej Wajda's highly anticipated new film Katyn will screen at the opening ceremony Sep 18. Katyn examines the Katyn massacre of 1940, where Soviet troops killed thousands of Polish POWs along blame fell to Germany. Wajda's film tells the story of the massacre and subsequent cover-up through the perspective of four families. The film is not in compet
  • Goldwyn acquires Lelouch's thriller Roman De Gare

    Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired US rights for Claude Lelouch's new thriller Roman De Gare, which premiered in Cannes and opened in August in France.Dominique Pinon and Fanny Ardant star in the story of a popular novelist who does unusual research to find new characters. Lelouch wrote, directed and produced. Jean Paul de Vidas executive produced.Vice president of acquisitions Peter Goldwyn and manager of acquisitions S
  • Gone Baby Gone

    Dir: Ben Affleck. US. 2007. 114mins.In Gone Baby Gone, an earnest but inexperienced young man plunges headfirst into deep waters, only to discover how much he still has to learn. That description could apply to the film's main character, a headstrong private detective hunting for a missing child, but it perhaps better describes the film's director, Ben Affleck. In this his, feature debut, he displays sensitivity to his story's thematic undercurrents - but hasn't yet d
  • Graham King takes on pitch from Brave One writer Mort

    Graham King's GK Films has acquired a murder mystery pitch from Cynthia Mort, one of the screenwriters on the Jodie Foster crime drama The Brave One that gets its world premiere today.King will produce the project, which is styled as a fast paced morality tale 'in keeping with what was best about the sexy thriller genre of the 1980s.''Cynthia brought us the most dynamic and provocative pitch I have heard in a long time,' King said.
  • Greenaway eyes film on 17th century artist Goltzius

    Peter Greenaway, whose Rembrandt van Rijn-inspired film Nightwatching un-spooled in competition at Venice and will screen in Toronto, is working on two new projects.Kees Kasander, Greenaway's long time producer, revealed that Greenaway's next film will also be based on an artist's life, although this one lesser known.The film will be based loosely on Hendrick Goltzius, a 17th century pornographic etchings artist whose work was, in
  • Gurinder Chadha ready to start Snogging

    Production will begin on Sept 17 on Gurinder Chadha's latest feature, Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, based on UK author Louise Rennison's best-selling Confessions Of Georgia Nicolson series. Georgia Groome (star of London To Brighton) is to play the lead. Also appearing are Eleanor Tomlinson and Aaron Johnson (who both featured in The Illusionist). The trio were chosen after an exhaustive casting proc
  • Harry Potter now biggest franchise ever

    The combined worldwide box office of the five Harry Potter films to date currently exceeds $4.47bn, overtaking box office totals of all 22 James Bond films and the six Star Wars films. Each of the first five Harry Potter films is among the top 20 worldwide releases in history. 'It would be an understatement to say we are proud of the success of the Harry Potter films,' Warner Bros president and chief operating officer Alan Horn said. 'We also want to congratulate all of the extr
  • Harry Potter turns into world's biggest franchise

    Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix has propelled the Warner Bros franchise past the James Bond series and into the record books. The combined worldwide box office of the five Harry Potter films to date currently exceeds $4.47bn, overtaking the box office totals of all 22 James Bond films and the six Star Wars films. Each of the first five Harry Potter films is among the top 20
  • Help Me Eros (2007)

    Dir. Lee Kang Sheng. Taiwan , 2007. 103minsBest known as Tsai Ming Liang's regular lead actor, Lee Kang Sheng's second feature film will cater mainly for the regular followers of Tsai's special brand of cinema - slow, minimalist, obsessive and heavily reliant on such compulsive fixations as sex and food, unflinchingly explored to their more scabrous outer limits. Having refrained from playing in his earlier film, The Missing, Lee
  • Hero tops Japanese box office

    Fuji TV's Hero, starring Takuya Kimura,took the number one spot at the weekend's box office in Japan (Sep 8-9), becoming an instant hit with earnings of $9.54m (Y1.08bn). Distributor Toho opened Fuji TV's Hero on 475 screens, the widest ever release for a domestic film, topping Fuji/Toho's own Monkey Magic which opened on 461 screens on July 14. Following Toho's figures, the weekend total gave Hero the second highest per screen average of the year w
  • Hollywood Film Festival to honour Affleck and Hampton

    Casey Affleck will receive the Hollywood Breakthrough Actor of the Year Award, and Christopher Hampton the Hollywood Screenwriter Of The Year Award at the upcoming Hollywood Film Festival's Hollywood Awards in Los Angeles on Oct 22. Brad Bird's Ratatouille will receive the Hollywood Animation Of The Year Award and Transformers and effects supervisor Scott Farrar will collect the Hollywood Visual Effects Of The Year Award. Affleck
  • Hungary nominates Palfi's Taxidermia for Oscar race

    Gyorgy Palfi's Taxidermia has been chosen for consideration for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar by Hungary's selection committee for the Academy Awards. Palfi's film won out over other recent high-profile Hungarian films, including Janos Szasz's Opium and Krisztina Goda's Children Of Glory. Bela Tarr's Cannes competition title
  • IFC takes North America for Kormakur's Jar City

    IFC Entertainment has acquired North American rights to Baltasar Kormakur's crime thriller Jar City, which started screening here on Thursday. Vice president of acquisitions and production Arianna Bocco and director of acquisitions and production Lizzie Nastro did the deal with ICM and Trust Films' sales executive Natja Noviani Rosner at Telluride in Colorado last weekend.'[Jar City is] one of the most
  • IM Global takes world rights to 44 Inch Chest with Winstone

    Los Angeles-based IM Global has acquired worldwide rights to Anonymous Content's $8m ensemble UK kidnap drama 44 Inch Chest.IM Global managing director Stuart Ford will commence pre-sales here on the project, which reunites Ray Winstone with his Sexy Beast co-star Ian McShane and also stars John Hurt.Steve Golin is producing the film, which is set to begin shooting in December and explores t
  • I'm Not There

    Dir: Todd Haynes USA 2007. 135 mins.
  • In Focus - German production - Keen on the kino

    Finding crew members has not been an easy task this summer with local production booming throughout Germany. In an echo of the motto 'diversity is our strength' from the halcyon days of New German Cinema in the 1970s, German film-makers are trying their hands at a smorgasbord of genres.Following the success of Downfall and Sophie Scholl - The Final Days, this chapter of German history is being revisited in films such as Max Faerberboeck's Anonyma - A Woman In Berlin
  • Industry moves

    HIGGINSON ON THE RISE AT FOX INTERNATIONALPaul Higginson has been promoted to senior vice-president of Europe Theatrical at Fox International, filling the post that will be left by the Universal-bound Christian Grass. Todd Huntley has been promoted to vice-president of Europe Theatrical. Both promotions take effect immediately. Higginson will remain in London at Fox's European regional office, overseeing the theatrical distribution, sales and marketing operations for all films in Europ
  • InFrame strikes groundbreaking newspaper deal for The Riddle

    Brendan Foley's UK thriller The Riddle, starring Vinnie Jones, Derek Jacobi, Vanessa Redgrave and Julie Cox, will become the first feature film to receive its premiere via a national newspaper release. The Mail on Sunday purchased the rights to the film and is giving away up to 2.5m DVDs with the newspaper on Sept 16.The film follows a journalist to wants to solve modern murders that involve
  • International - A bigger picture

    As far as the film industry is concerned, it's a long hot summer. It defies seasonal or calendar considerations, running 18 weeks from early May through to the first weekend in September.At the conclusion of summer 2007, about $4.2bn was spent in North American multiplexes and an additional $6.3bn worth of tickets were sold in the rest of the world. No one is going to say that $10.5bn isn't a lot of money. Whether it is enough is another matter.Benjamin Disraeli is credited as s
  • Jane Austen Book Club

    Dir. Robin Swicord, US, 105 minutes, colour, 35 mm. In The Jane Austen Book Club, five women and one man lead lives that seem torn from the pages of Jane Austen's novels as they discuss those writings in a book club in a California suburb. 'What would Jane do' becomes a rule for behavior in this comedy adapted from the bestselling 2004 novel by Karen Joy Fowler.The Jane Austen Book Club should rally the author's fans to yet another Austen-themed movie
  • Jeff Daniels turns Traitor in Toronto

    Overture Films' spy thriller Traitor, which begins filming in Toronto with writer/director Jeffrey Nachmanoff gets added boost from Jeff Daniels who joins Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce in the cast.Neal McDonough, Archie Panjabi, Alyy Kahn and Said Taghmaoui also star in the tale of a rogue operative who helps terrorists, although his motives are unclear.Overture Films finances and keeps domestic rights. Paramount Vantage International
  • Jia Zhangke plans factory worker film before 2008

    Golden Lion winning director Jia Zhangke, whose new documentary Useless about the fashion industry screened in Venice's Horizons last week and in Toronto this week, has revealed further details of his next dramatic feature, which he is planning to have ready in time for the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.The project, tenatively titled 24 Cities, follows four women who lose their jobs in a state-run ae
  • Jim Harvey takes Media 8 VP post after leaving Element

    Jim Harvey has joined Los Angeles-based production, financing and sales company Media 8 as vice president of worldwide distribution after exiting the now defunct Element Films International (EFI).Harvey will be in Toronto to oversee all sales, licensing and distribution on a slate that includes the historical drama Eichmann starring Thomas Kretschmann, and The Ramen Girl with Brittany Murphy.
  • Johnnie To set to produce Ghost trilogy for Meridian

    Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To will produce a trilogy based on the popular Chinese online novel series Gui Chui Deng, about grave-robbing, treasure-hunting and ghosts, for Shanghai-based Meridian Pictures. 'We have bought the rights of the four books and plan to make three films,' Meridian 's director of int'l distribution and co-production, Bill Hwang, told Screendaily. He added that Johnnie To will also direct one of the movies. Gui Chui Deng (which literall
  • Joshua Jackson to star in McGowan's One Week

    Principal photography beings Monday on Michael McGowan's One Week starring Joshua Jackson and Liane Balaban.The film is produced by Nicholas de Pencier, Jane Tattersall and Michael McGowan under the Mulmur Feed Company banner with Richard Hanet and Jackson serving as executive producers.Mongrel Media will distribute in Canada.The story follows the motorcycle odyssey of a young man on an idiosyncratic quest for the meaning of life.Backers include Te
  • Joy Division director Grant Gee plans next film

    As buyers continue to negotiate for hot documentary Joy Division, which had its world premiere here, the creators of the film are already eyeing their next projects.Director Grant Gee, who previously made 1998 Radiohead documentary Meeting People Is Easy, says he isn't ruling out future music related ideas, and would love to make a film with Neil Young. Next up, however, is Gee's
  • Kings is Irish entry to Academy Awards

    IFTA, The Irish Film and Television Academy has today formally announced that Tom Collins's Kings has been officially selected by an independent IFTA jury as Ireland's submission to the 80th Academy Awards, in the Best Foreign Language Film category.Kings, which is predominantly in the Irish language, stars Colm Meaney, Donal O'Kelly and Brendan Conroy in the story of a group of emigrant Irishmen in London, drawn back together for the funeral of one of their comp
  • Korea selectsSecret Sunshine as foreign-language Oscar entry

    The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has chosen Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine as South Korea 's submission to the Academy Awards' best foreign-language film category. The film was previously in competition at this year's Cannes festival, where it garnered the best actress award for Jeon Do-yeon. KOFIC announced that a jury of six film industry professionals, headed by cinematographer Kim Hyung-gu (The Host), decided upon the film from amongst Kim Ki-duk's Breathe
  • Lars And The Real Girl

    Dir: Craig Gillespie USA 2007. 106 mins.Ryan Gosling, one of the finest actors currently working in American independent cinema, is once again o
  • Lebanon - Going for a song

    Hany Tamba's 2005 short After Shave (Beyrouth Apres-Rasage) marked the Lebanese director out as a major talent. Stunningly shot, witty and poignant, it won the French Cesar for best short film in 2006. Tamba is now editing his first feature, a comedy about a one-hit-wonder French singer (played by Patrick Chesnais), now a hotel receptionist, who is invited by a wealthy businessman to perform at his wife's birthday in Lebanon.Produced by Emmanuel Agneray and Jerome Bleitrach's Pa
  • Little Film Company takes international rights to The Secrets

    The Little Film Company has picked up international rights to Avi Nesher's drama The Secrets, which makes its international premiere in Toronto in the Contemporary World Cinema section on Sept 8.Robbie Little negotiated the deal with Ronna Wallace, who is retaining domestic rights.David Silber produced the story of two Jewish actresses who form an intense bond while studying at a repressive seminary in the Israeli town of Safed, Israel, the birthplace of Kabala.
  • Lives Of Others producer finds funds and sales agent for comedy

    Munich-based Telepool has boarded U-900, the third feature film by The Lives Of Others producer Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion, as a sales agent and co-financier. The comedy about a submarine on the run in 1944 Germany is directed by Sven Unterwaldt (7 Zwerge)starring German sitcom star Atze Schroeder, Oliver K. Wnuk (Manitou's Shoe), Yvonne Catterfeld (Lilly The Witch), Goetz Otto (Tomorrow Never Dies) and Maxim Mehmet (The Re
  • Loach's Free World lands more buyers in Venice

    In advance of its Toronto screening, Ken Loach's It's A Free World has closed several more deals for Pathe Pictures International in Venice.The immigration-themed film has gone to Japan (Cinequanon), Portugal (Lusomundo), and Greece (Audiovisuel).Pathe's Mike Runagall is also reporting strong US interest in the film. 'Venice was very positive for us. It was a great launch for the film and now we can go on and do some good business on Toronto on the back of it,' he said.
  • Louisiana ex-film comissioner faces bribery charges

    Louisiana's former film commissioner Mark Smith faces up to 15 years in prison and a $350,000 fine for taking bribes to entice film production into the state.Smith pleaded guilty on Friday to accepting approximately $60,000 in bribes while he led the state's film development efforts, a role he carried out from 2002-2006.According to papers filed with the court, the former attorney approved inflated production budgets that resulted in the state issuing inflated tax credits
  • Lumina takes international rights to Heavy Metal In Baghdad

    London-based Lumina picked up international sales rights yesterday in Toronto to Eddy Moretti and Suroosh Alvi's documentary Heavy Metal In Baghdad, screening in Reel To Reel here. The film, which has had a strong response from audiences and buyers, is the story of two journalists attempting to track down the one and only heavy metal band in Iraq called Acrassicauda.Lumina's Samantha Horley negotiated the deal for the film with pro
  • Lust, Caution is surprise winner of Venice's Golden Lion

    Ang Lee won the Golden Lion - again - at the 64th Venice International Film Festival yesterday for Lust, Caution, a surprise win for the Taiwanese auteur over the critical favourite Le Graine Et Le Mulet directed by Abdellatif Kechiche from France.Lee won his first Golden Lion two years ago for Brokeback Mountain but this year the prize was perhaps more meaningful given that it came from a jury of film-makers headed by his old friend Zhang Yimou. His cinemat
  • Mad Detective screens as surprise entry to Venice competion

    The Venice Film festival unveiled Mad Detective, co-directed by Hong Kong action film specialist Johnnie To and producer/director Wai Ka Fai, as a surprise competition entry. Mad Detective, produced by To's production company Milkyway Image, is the story of a rookie cop who teams up with an unvonventional criminal profiler to catch a serial killer.It's the latest in a number of collaboratio
  • Mad Detective screens as Venice's surprise competition entry

    The Venice Film festival unveiled Hong Kong crime film Mad Detective as this year's competition surprise film entry on Wednesday night.Co-directed by Hong Kong action film specialist Johnnie To and producer/director Wai Ka Fai, the film was presented Wednesday night at a press screening with no official pre-announcement but widespread speculation.The only clue came in the form of a worn out paperback with the title
  • Margot At The Wedding

    Director/Scr: Noah Baumbach US . 2007. 91minsBaumbach's ambitious follow-up to the much admired The Squid And The Whale (2005) has echoes of Rohmer and vintage Woody Allen in its depiction of the affairs of the heart but lacks the laser-like precision, economy and easy approachability of his earlier hit. A mild disappointment in the wake of the near perfect Squid And The Whale, Margot At The Wedding still has enough sour humour and sharp
  • Marketing - Bollywood spreads the net

    Bollywood's global reach has expanded rapidly in recent years with the development of solid theatrical markets across disparate territories. This expansion, combined with a range of demographics that now includes non-Indian audiences, means that international Bollywood and Indian film marketers need to be on the cutting edge.'The trend is now global rights. Film-makers are not interested in dealing with a different company in India, the UK, the US and so on. They want a one-stop shop t
  • Marketing - Brand marketing - learning the hard sell

    In India, the sight of Bollywood stars on posters or television promoting the biggest brands is an everyday occurrence. But despite their popularity now across the globe, it seems their brand appeal has yet to take off."We have a lot of brands tying up with the films and actors in India, but that is not so much the case in the UK where the brand market is still very undeveloped when it comes to Bollywood," says Studio 18's Tanuj Garg. "The reason for that is there is not sufficient und
  • Maximum and Fortissimo strike Canadian-Asian partnership

    Robert Lantos' new Toronto-based distribution and sales company Maximum Films has created an unusual partnership with Hong Kong-based Fortissimo Films whereby Maximum will distribute Fortissimo's films in Canada and Fortissimo will represent the sale of Maximum's projects in Asia. The deal, for an initial term of two years, was unveiled yesterday by Maximum chairman Lantos and Fortissimo co-chairman Michael J Werner.Maximum will acquire Canadian distribution rights to For
  • Maximum, Seville strike co-distribution deal with Magnolia and HDNet

    Canadian distribution startup Maximum Films and Entertainment One'srecently acquired Seville Entertainment have signed a multi-pictureco-distribution deal with Magnolia Pictures and HDNet films. The slate pick-up, which covers all of Canada in all media, includes Michael Radford's period heist picture Flawless, starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore; Brian De Palma's Iraq war drama Redacted, which screen
  • McGuckian starts shoot for A.R.T In Las Vegas

    Mary McGuckian has started a five-week shoot this week in London for A.R.T. In Las Vegas, a drama set in the world of fertility treatment. The shoot will move to Las Vegas for two weeks in mid September. The fly-on-the-wall fertility clinic story is the final film in McGuckian's amorality trilogy after Rag Tale and Intervention.The ensembl
  • MegaStar Media opens more Vietnam multiplexes

    MegaStar Media, the joint venture between Ted Shugrue's Envoy Media Partners and Vietnamese publisher Phuong Nam Corporation, has opened its third and fourth multiplexes in Vietnam. The MegaStar Cineplex Hung Voung Plaza 8 and MegaStar Cineplex Saigon Co-op Plaza 6 are situated in Ho Chi Minh City and raise the partnership's screen count in the country to 30. The other two theatres are located in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. All the buildings offer elevated seating, recl
  • Memento strikes Venice deals for Under The Bombs

    Since receiving an emotional standing ovation in Venice, Philippe Aractingi's Under The Bombs has sealed two distribution deals just as Toronto gets underway.Memento Films, which is handling world rights to the film, has sold it to the UK's Channel 4 and Italy's Fandango. Memento's Tanja Meissner says she is also in negotiations on several other territories.Bombs is Aractingi's second film a
  • Mexico - Duo draw on local inspiration

    Young film-making duo Israel Cardenas and Laura Guzman are typical of a new generation of Latin American film-makers in their desire to portray the continent without resorting to stereotypes. Their debut feature, Cochochi, explores the life and culture of an indigenous Mexican tribe, the Tarahumaras, through two young brothers' search for a missing horse. It screened in Venice this week as part of the Orrizonti section and is playing in Toronto's Discovery sidebar.The film was i
  • Midler, Bergen and Fisher join The Women for Inferno

    Bette Midler, Candice Bergan and Carrie Fisher have joined the case of Inferno Distribution's comedy The Women, which is currently shooting in New York and Boston.Annette Bening, Eva Mendes and Jada Pinkett Smith also star in the story of a wealthy New Yorker who leaves her cheating husband and bonds with other society women. Inferno has sold Italian rights to Bim.Inferno chiefs Bill Johnson and Jim Seibel also said they have hired
  • Miramax takes on US rights to Meirelles' Blindness

    Miramax announced last night that it had picked up US rights to Fernando Meirelles' thriller Blindness in a deal believed to be in the $4m-5m range.Meirelles is currently shooting his adaptation of Jose Saramago's novel, about a doctor's wife who becomes the only person in a town who can see after a mysterious case of mass blindness.Julianne Moore stars alongside Mark Ruffalo, Gael Garcia Bernal, Danny Glover and Sandra Oh. Don McK
  • Moncrieff's TheDead Girl takes Deauville Grand Prize

    Karen Moncrieff's The Dead Girl has taken the grand prize at The Deauville Festival of American Film.The jury prize at theNormandy eventwent to Gina Kim's Never Forever. Both directors delivered emotional acceptance speeches with Kim noting that she had suffered a period of self doubt following Never Forever 's unveiling in Sundance earlier this year. The film had immediately been picked up for French distribution, she explained, had failed immediatel
  • Montreal's Park Ex readies Jacob Tierney's The Trotsky

    Montreal-based Park Ex Entertainment, producer of Canadian smash Bon Cop, Bad Cop, is readying Jacob Tierney's follow-up to Twist.Written and to be directed by Tierney, The Trotsky dives into the mind of a 17-year-old high schooler who believes himself to be the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky. Twist producer Victoria Hirst
  • Mueller and Croff sign off with strong final Venice

    The 64th edition of the Venice Film Festival marks the end of Marco Mueller and Davide Croff's four-yearterms as artistic director and president of the Biennale.Both mandates expire at the end of the year and their renewal will be under discussion in the coming months. Their four-year tenures have reinfoced the Lido event as one of thekey dates in theindustry calendar.They can also claimmuch of the credit for the fact thatthe festival will finally see a new Palazzo del Ci
  • Myriad takes on rights to Farlinger's All Hat

    Los Angeles-based financing, production and sales company Myriad Pictures has picked up international rights on Leonard Farlinger's Toronto entry All Hat.Based on the book by Brad Smith, the comedy Western centres on the exploits of an ex-con who struggles to stay on the straight and narrow after he returns to his rural hometown.Luke Kirby, Keith Carradine, Lisa Ray and Rachael Leigh Cook star and New Real Films' Jennifer Jonas ser
  • New distributor KinoSmith pumps up with Bodybuilder

    Canada's distribution business has grown by one, as Toronto-based marketing and distribution veteran Robin Smith launches his KinoSmith Independent Films.Freshly greenlit through Telefilm Canada's low-budget independent distribution program, KinoSmith will release Brian Friedman's Hot Docs audience prize winner The Bodybuilder And I. Produced by January Films and the National Film Board, the film goes on release November 2 in Toronto, Montreal
  • NFDC launches co-production market at Goa fest

    India's National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) is launching a co-production market for Indian projects to take place during the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa from November 24-26. The three-day event will be held at Goa's Marriott Resort as part of IFFI's Film Bazaar, which was launched last year. With an objective to promote the 'Cinemas Of India', the co-production market will offer selected directors and producers the opportunity to present their featu
  • Norway submits Gone With The Woman for Oscar race

    Norwegian director Petter Naess' Gone with the Woman (Tatt av kvinnen), which will have its international premiere here in Toronto, will represent Norway in the race for the foreign-language Oscar.Starring Trond Fausa Aurvag and Marian Saastad Ottesen, the film is adapted from Erlend Loe's 1993 novel. Naess was also up for Oscar consideration in 2002 with Elling. The story follows a young man'
  • Odd Lot's Suburban Girl moves in with Image Entertainment

    Image Entertainment has taken US theatrical, home video and non-broadcast digital rights to Suburban Girl and Undead or Alive.Both films were sold by Odd Lot Entertainment.Suburban Girl is a romantic comedy starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alec Baldwin. Marc Klein wrote and directed the project based on two short stories
  • Once's John Carney teams with Element for Zonad

    Principal photography begins today on Zonad, the new feature from director John Carney whose Sundance award winning Once is currently enjoying critical and commercial success in the US.Carney has also signed to direct Town House for Fox in Los Angeles and New England in the spring.Written by John Carney and his brother Kieran, Zonad is a comedy about
  • Opinion - The might of rights

    A spoof radio news item from the surreal satirists at The Onion joked that a film studio had bought the movie rights to Allan Sherman's classic comic song Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh. That might have been funny once but the world of rights has already gone way past parody. In today's business, the piece wasn't a joke but a spot of consultancy.For the US studios, the search for content from any source that may have resonance in international markets has become a new form of alchem
  • Paramount Vantage starts buyer talks for Traitor and Harvey

    Paramount Vantage co-president Nick Meyer has commenced talks here with international buyers on Overture Films' terrorism thriller Traitor and romance Last Chance Harvey.Meyer and Overture chiefs Chris McGurk and Danny Rosett are testing the waters after announcing their partnership in Cannes, under which Overture has access to Vantage's international sales division and the Paramount Pictures Internationa
  • Paul Morrison kicks off shoot for UK-Spain project Little Ashes

    Factotum Barcelona, Aria Films, APT Films & Met Film started principal photography in Barcelona on Sunday for UK-Spain co-production Little Ashes.Paul Morrison directs the story of the lives and loves of Federico Garcia Lorca and Salvador Dali.Javier Beltran, Robert Pattinson and Matthew McNulty star.Morrison previously directed Solomon & Gaenor and
  • Picturehouse promotes Crain to VP of acquisitions

    Lindsay Crain has been promoted to vice president of acquisitions at Picturehouse.Crain will continue to report to senior vice president of acquisitions Sara Rose and will work closely with her and president Bob Berney on all acquisitions and developments.'Lindsay has been an instrumental part of our team for close to two years now,' Berney said. 'We are really pleased that we are able to recognise all her hard work and give her this opportunity to really shine and
  • Podell promoted in acquisitions for Weinstein Company

    Michal Podell has been promoted to senior vice president of acquisitions and business and legal affairs at The Weinstein Company.Podell, who formerly served as vice president of international business and legal affairs, is based in New York and will report to acquisitions heads Michelle Krumm and Maeva Gatineau and executive vice president of business and legal affairs Eric Roth.Podell will work with the acquisition team to acquire English-language and foreign films from
  • Polanksi drops out of Summit's Pompeii due to schedule conflict

    Roman Polanski has left the forthcoming production of the epic drama Pompeii due to scheduling conflicts.The director pulled out after Summit International indicated it may have to postpone principal photography in Europe next summer due to concerns over a possible industry strike.Summit International is selling worldwide rights and is searching for a replacement director with producers Robert Benmussa and Alain Sarde. The film is n
  • Preity Zinta to star in Deepa Mehta's Heaven On Earth

    Bollywood starlet Preity Zinta is set to star in Deepa Mehta's new film Heaven On Earth.Written and to be directed by Mehta and produced by long-time producing partner David Hamilton, the $3m feature goes to camera on November 5 in Toronto followed by filming in India. Mongrel Media will be releasing the film in Canada. Zinta, whose Bollywood credits include Jaan-E-Mann and
  • Price starts Abraham's Point with Mackenzie Crook

    Writer/director Wyndham Price has started principal photography for Abraham's Point. The project is shooting for five weeks on location in Cardiff and the Pembrokeshire coast.Mackenzie Crook leads the cast and other actors include Joseph Millson, Mariah Gale and Harriet Walter.The film is about a antiques restorer who has strange hallucinations urging him to steal a grandfather clock.Tony Purves produces for Film Partne
  • Principal photography starts on Abraham's Point

    Mackenzie Crook makes his debut as a leading man in writer/director Wyndham Price's dramatic comedy which features Joseph Millson (Casino Royale), newcomer Mariah Gale and Harriet Walter (Atonement, Babel, Sense and Sensibility). A tale of redemption, the feature marks the leading debut of Crook, well know for roles in TV's 'The Office' and Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise and the feature debut for award-winning short film director/playwright Wyndham.
  • Production - How sequel rights work

    Sequel and other derivative rights to a film - such as prequel, remake and TV or stage-adaptation rights - generally belong to the studio or production company that makes the film for the entire term of the copyright. Exceptions might occur when a script is written on spec or when the author of an underlying work, such as a novel, grants the production company the right to make just one film.Derivative rights can become available for acquisition by outside producers when the original p
  • Production - Upcoming sequels: old franchises with new homes

    HalloweenReleased on August 31 in North America, the new Halloween is the ninth film in the series overall and the fourth since the franchise was acquired by the Weinstein Company's Dimension Films. Writer-director Rob Zombie (The Devil's Rejects) has described the film as part prequel to and part remake of the original Halloween, John Carpenter's landmark 1978 slasher picture. Wrestler-turned-actor Tyler Mane plays killer Michael Myers, with Scout Taylor-Compton (Char
  • Pyramide takes on salse for Zanasi's Don't Think About It

    Pyramide International has acquired world rights, excluding Italy, for Venice Days title Don't Think About It (Non pensarci) - a generational comedy by Italian directorGianni Zanasi.Pyramide confirmed that sales have been completed in Venice with Hopscotch for Australia, Audiovisual for Greece, and Xenix for Switzerland. A Benelux deal has also been done, and Italian distribution is being discussed now. The film is billed as
  • Ralph Fiennes and Hayley Atwell join Duchess' court

    Ralph Fiennes, Hayley Atwell and Dominic Cooper have all joined Keira Knightley in the cast of The Duchess, which starts shooting in London on Sept 23. Gabrielle Tana for Magnolia Mae and Michael Kuhn for Qwerty Films are producing with backing from Pathe Productions and BBC Films. Bullet Boy's Saul Dibb is directing from a script by Jeffery Hatcher based on Amanda Foreman's biography
  • Redacted goes worldwide with HDNet

    HDNet Films sealed most territorial deals on Brian De Palma's Iraq war drama Redacted ahead of its Venice world premiere.The film, which screens here on Monday and goes on to play the New York Film Festival, sold to TFM in France, New Select in Japan, AE/Eagle Pictures in Italy, On Pictures in Spain, and Sponge Entertainment in Korea.All deals were negotiated by HDNet's Laird Adamson. EEAP bought the film for eastern Europe, Focus Filmes for Brazil, Paradiso for Benelux,
  • Regent hires Proud Mary Entertainment's Aloe for acquisitions

    Proud Mary Entertainment president Mary Aloe has been hired by Regent Releasing to source acquisitions for its existing $50m P&A fund. The fund was established through Merrill Lynch to provide strategic print and advertising support for Regent's slate. Aloe is in Toronto to help find the initial slate. 'We are pleased to have one of the brightest independent producers to assist us on this fund,' chairman Stephen P Jarchow said. 'The mission of the fund is to broaden and diversify Regen
  • Rendition

    Dir:Gavin Hood. US. 2007. 120mins Religious extremism is the evil of our time; creating those willing to die for a cause and those prepared to sacrifice their core values to prevent them. The murky complexities of the war on terror provide a compelling backdrop to Rendition, a smart, provocative political thrill
  • Revolver strikes DVD deal with Image for new US operation

    UK distributor Revolver Entertainment has opened a US home-video division, based in Los Angeles, and has signed an exclusive distribution deal with Image Entertainment.Image will have exclusive home video and digital distribution rights to Revolver's North American releases, and expects to distribute about 12-15 titles during the deal's first year.The first release under the deal, slated for November, is 3000 Miles: Gumball 3000 st
  • Revolver takes UK rights to Big River Man, Savage Grace

    UK distributor Revolver Entertainment has added four new projects to its release slate.They are John Maringouin's documentary Big River Man, about an eccentric Slovenian man who tries to swim the world's longest rivers. Maria Florio, Molly Hassell and Molly Lynch produced for Self Pictures/Earthworks, and Mickey Cottrell executive produced. 'Martin Strel's story just hit us square in the face when we saw someearly footage,' Revolve
  • Run, Fat Boy, Run races to top of UK box office

    Simon Pegg ran up another big hit in the UK at the weekend as Entertainment's Run, Fat Boy, Run took the number one slot in its first weekend and generated $4.1m (£2.01m) from 413 sites (including $330,204 of one-day previews).The comedy, which is David Schwimmer's directorial debut, had a site average of $9,857 (£4,867) and beat out romantic drama Atonement to the top position this weekend. Universal Pictures International's (UPI) Atonement, starring Keira
  • Ryan Phillippe and Abbie Cornish join the fight for Viking epic

    Ryan Phillippe, Abbie Cornish and Sean Bean have come on board Menno Meyjes' next film Last Battle Dreamer.The $20m Viking epic adventure will shoot starting Nov 19 for eight weeks in the UK and Germany, backed by Future Films with Handmade Films International handling international sales.Phillippe stars as Thorfinn, a 7th-century Viking warrior, who invades Britain with his brother (Bean), where they encounter a mysterious widow (Cornish), who Thorfinn falls in love with
  • Sagansky named co-chairman of Peace Arch

    Jeffrey Sagansky has been elected co-chairman of Peace Arch Entertainment Group, effective Sept 1, 2007.Sagansky will serve alongside Peace Arch's former chairman Drew Craig, currently co-chairman, in executing the company's business model.He previously served as chief executive officer of CBS Entertainment, co-president of Sony Pictures Entertainment, president of TriStar Pictures, and senior vice president of programming at NBC.'Peace Arch represents one of
  • San Sebastian adds four new titles to line-up

    San Sebastian has added two new Spanish titles, Angel Amigo's anti-facist documentary El Ano De Todos Los Demonios and Antonio Mercero's moving film Y Tu Quien Eres about alzheimers victims to the Zabaltegi Specials and Horizontes Latinos sections, respectively. Lasse Hallstrom's The Hoax, starring Richard Gere, and Han Jae-rim's Korean comedy The Show Must Go On have also been added to the line-up in the Zabaltegi Pearls sect
  • Sanchez promoted at NBC Universal Television Distribution

    Maria Sanchez has been promoted to senior vice president liaison, Latin America, Spain and Portugal at NBC Universal International Television Distribution (NBC UITD).Sanchez most recently served as vice president liaison, Spain and Portugal, and will continue to be based in NBC Universal's Madrid office, reporting to NBC UITD president Belinda Menendez.Since joining NBC Universal in 2004, Sanchez has overseen the company's programming on free, pay and basic cable televisi
  • Santoro may climb Old Mountain for Buena Onda Americas

    Latin American specialists Buena Onda Americas, in Toronto as a partner with Canana on Cochochi, is in pre-production on The Old Mountain, a $2.7m Brazilian story to shoot in 2008.Producers are talking to actor Rodrigo Santoro about coming on board and Fernando Meirelles may executive produce; Ondamax will handle sales.The film follows two childhood friends of different races and classes who
  • Sayles' Honeydripper to open IFP week in New York

    John Sayles' Honeydripper, which gets it world premiere here today, will open the IFP's 2007 Independent Film Week on Sept 17.Highlights of the week-long event include the Filmmaker Conference and the 29th Annual IFP Market, which since its inception has spawned more than 7,000 projects including Maria Full Of Grace, Half Nelson, and Mad Hot Ballroom.
  • Seema Biswas set for Deepa Mehta's Stella

    Bandit Queen star Seema Biswas has signed for a lead role in Deepa Mehta's Stella, a $4m comedy set to shoot in New Delhi immediately following production of the recently announced Heaven On Earth.In a departure from form, Mehta will co-direct with her brother Dilip Mehta, production on many of her films. The story follows the
  • Senator Entertainment gets $28m loan

    Senator Entertainment's reinvigorated return to the German production and distribution scene has been given an additional boost after the group secured a $28m (Euros 20m) loan agreement with the Berlin branch of the Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank to finance future acquisitions of film rights and film production.Senator announced the deal in its report for the first six months of 2007, which showed the producer-distributor going back into the black just over a year after the end of th
  • Sequel opportunities - reviving franchises

    With three sequels grossing more than $300m apiece at the North American box office and another half dozen passing $100m, summer 2007 proved the point yet again: sequels can be very big and very reliable business. No wonder the sequel rights market appears to be growing.By acquiring sequel rights to dormant or interrupted franchises, independent producers have found they can get into a game usually dominated by the Hollywood studios - whose financial muscle allows them to corral most o
  • Sigrid Ann Davison dies at 49 after long illness

    International sales executive Sigrid Ann Davison died on Aug 26 at her home in Los Angeles after a long illness. She was 49.Davison started her career at Universal Pictures International Sales before moving on to Skouras Pictures, where she served as senior vice president of international and oversaw sales, distribution, acquisition and marketing operations.She raised financing for film projects through pre-sales for such companies as Odyssey Entertainment, Lightmotive, 2
  • Slingshot strikes 12-film development deal with BBC Films

    The UK's new low-budget digital studio Slingshot Studios is workingwith BBC Films to co-develop and co-finance four projects in 2007 and afurther eight projects in 2008.The projects will be shot using Slingshot's micro-budget model, with UK theatrical release through Slingshot and a TV platform on the BBC.BBC Films and Slingshot will have teams working in tandem on development and production. If projects are greenlight by the pair, they will go into production in 12 month
  • Soderbergh plans Girlfriend Experience with HDNet

    Steven Soderbergh, who directed Bubble for HDNet, has committed to making another digital film for the company. He will start shooting The Girlfriend Experience, set in the world of high-class escorts, in February 2008.Details remain skimpy on the new project. Soderbergh is currently in Latin-America filming his two Che Guevara films. 'The film will be filmed much in the way
  • Sony acquires US ancillary rights to D-War

    Shim Hyung-rae, director and producer of Korean fantasy actioner D-War, has announced a deal with Sony Pictures for US video, DVD and TV rights to the film. The film has grossed over $51.5m since opening on Aug 1 in South Korea. A former slapstick comedian, now head of his own production company Young-gu Art, Shim made the CGI-laden film mainly in English with American actors. The story is based on Korean folklore about snakes in search of a magic marble that can tra
  • Spengler to kick off Humanoides slate with Luchadores 5

    Superman producer Pierre Spengler has announced plans for his next comic book adaptation, Luchadores 5. The film is the first in Spengler's previously announced 12-film slate with the European comic book/graphic novel publisher Les Humanoides Associes.Former Humanoids chief executive and Spengler's producing partner in Clubdeal, F Alexander Giger, will also serve as producer on Luchadores 5.
  • Stockholm Festival reveals early details of 170-film programme

    The 18th Stockholm International Film Festival has revealed the first details of what will beits 170-film line-up.Jarret Schaefer's Chapter 27, centring on John Lennon's murderer Mark David Chapman, Driving with my Wife's Lover, the feature debut from Korean director Tai-sik Kim and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, the award-winner from director Julian Schnabel, are among the selections. Manufacturing Dissent by Canadian filmmakers Debbie Meln
  • Strand takes on Jacques Nolot's Before I Forget

    Strand Releasing has picked up all North American rights from Colifilms Diffusion to Jacques Nolot's Before I Forget (Avant Qur J'Oublie), which gets it world premiere here on Thursday.This is Strand's second acquisition of a Nolot film after Le Chat A Deux Tetes, which was released in the US as Porn Theater in 2003.Nolot plays an ageing writer who battles demons and writer's block while sea
  • Summit takes North American rights to Penelope

    Summit Entertainment has taken North American rights to Mark Palansky's fantasy drama Penelope starring Christina Ricci, James McAvoy and Reese Witherspoon.The film slots into Summit's nascent domestic distribution pipeline and looks likely to be a 2008 release. The first film to go is expected to be the thriller P2 in November.Penelope was one of the
  • Sweden's TV4 fills gap for Arn: The Knight Templar

    Swedish commercial broadcaster TV4 replaces Swedish pubcaster SVT as co-producer of Svensk Filmindustri's Arn: The Knight Templar.The $30.3m (Euro 22.8m) adaptation of Jan Guillou's bestselling trilogy of Arn Magnusson lost support from pubcaster SVT because 'the material we have seen does not live up to the quality we expected.'Stepping into the gap left by SVT, TV4's CEO Jan Scherman says, 'Arn is
  • Swedish tribute plans to screen Bergman rarities

    Within a month of the director's death, a Bergman tribute plans to gather many of the auteur's key collaborators and screen rare and unseen Bergman works.The one-off Bergman tribute was announced this week in Venice by Jannike Ahlund, the organizer of the annual Bergman Week on Bergman's home island, Faro.Long Live Bergman!, as the event is called, will be staged at the Swedish Film Institute in Stockholm on Oct 6-7. Supporters include Svensk, the Ministry of
  • Sydney film fest launches international competition

    In June 2008, the Sydney Film Festival will become the first in Australia to have an official FIAPF-approved competition, organisers announced today. The New South Wales state government has committed nearly $1.8m (A$2m) additional funding over the next four years. Twelve features will be in competition, judged by a jury of five, including two Australians. The competition will feature red-carpet screenings and the prize will be awarded to the best director or producer at a black-tie gala
  • Telepool works on new comedy from Lives Of Others producer

    Munich-based Telepool has boarded U-900, the third feature by The Lives Of Others producer Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion, as a sales agent and co-financier.The comedy about a submarine on the run in 1944 Germany is being directed by Sven Unterwaldt (7 Zwerge) and features Atze Schroeder, Oliver K. Wnuk, Yvonne Catterfeld, Goetz Otto and Maxim Mehmet.
  • TF1 takes on Suso's Tower and Mutum

    France's TF1 International has acquired Suso's Tower heading into festival season. The film is in selection at San Sebastian and is directed by Tom Fernandez with Javier Camara, Gonzalo De Castro, Cesar Vea and Jose Luis Alcobendas making up the cast. Produced by Mediapro, the film tells the story of Cundo who returns home following ten years' absence upon the death of his best friend. TF1 International is handling worldwide rights except Spai
  • The Brave One

    Dir: Neil Jordan. US. 2007. 122 mins.Jodie Foster delivers a performance far superior to her material in Neil Jordan's self-consciously provocative and largely absurd vigilante drama - which has its world premiere as a Special Presentation in Toronto. Attempting to hit the same hot buttons as other audacious studio movies like Falling Down or Foster's 20 year-old The Accused, it starts well but falls down fast as its plot becomes far-fetched and then spirals
  • The Brothers Solomon

    Dir: Bob Odenkirk. US. 2007. 94mins.Coming only three months after another mainstream R-rated comedy revolving around an impending birth, The Brothers Solomon will likely enjoy neither the critical accolades nor the bountiful box-office that greeted the arrival of this summer's Knocked Up. Though not without its screwball charm and occasionally funny moment, this saga of two socially maladjusted brothers trying to find a woman willing to be the mother of the
  • The Hunting Party

    Dir: Richard Shepard USA 2007. 100mins A textbook study in the dangers of trying to have one's cake and eat it, The Hunting Party mixes earnest sentimentality and black comedy in an unlikely yarn about the search for a Bosnian Serb war criminal by a maverick TV news crew. On one level, the film clearly wants to be a committed drama based on the well-documented mix of inertia and behind-the-scenes political manoeuvring that has allowed major war criminals targeted b
  • The International breaks DFFF $5m cap

    Tom Tykwer's action thriller The International, which begins principal photography in Germany from September 15, has become the third project to be awarded more than the $5m (Euros 4m) 'cap' from the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF).Originally, the German-UK co-production between Siebente Babelsberg Film and Columbia Pictures' Rose Line Productions had received $5m (Euros 4m) production support at the beginning of August. A sittin
  • The Romance of Astrea and Celadon (Les Amours D'Astree et de Celadon)

    Dir: Eric Rohmer France /Spain/Italy 2007. 109minsThere are two Eric Rohmers. The more popular is the detached comic observer of modern emotional dilemmas, the maker of the Moral Comedies and Four Seasons series. The other is a sometimes forbidding experimental contriver of historical and literary dramas, such as Perceval le Gallois, La Marquise d'O and The Lady and the Duke. Rohmer's new feature belongs in the latter camp and sho
  • The Secret Of The Grain (La Graine Et Le Mulet)

    Dir/Scr: Abdellatif Kechiche , France , 2007, 153mins.A cine-verite tour-de-force, Abdellatif Kechiche's follow-up to the award- winning L'Esquive loads an apparently slight story set against the background of France 's first-and-second generation Maghrebi immigrant communities with surprising dramatic weight. There's even less story and even more of the director's trademark keep-the-cameras-rolling improv technique
  • The Sun Also Rises (Taiyang zhaochang shengqi)

    Dir. Jiang Wen. China , 2007. 116 min . Five years in preparation and three years in the making, Jiang Wen's explosively energetic third feature film is a feast for the eyes and a delight for the ears. But at the same time this may prove a perplexing, often infuriating experience for Western audiences, faced with a rambling narrative and a dreamlike logic clear only to the director himself. Taking place in three different locations and o
  • Then She Found Me

    Dir: Helen Hunt US. 2007. 100mins
  • THINKFilm strikes $3m deal for Hunt's Then She Found Me

    In the first major deal to be struck at the festival, THINKFilm isbelieved to have paid just under $3m for US rights to Helen Hunt'sdirectorial debut Then She Found Me.The distributor was among a pack of buyers chasing rights after theKiller Films production's world premiere on Friday, finally closingthe deal at around 4am on Saturday morning following a protracted roundof talks.THINKFilm's head of theatrical Mark Urman and senior
  • THINKFilm takes North America for My Brother Is An Only Child

    THINKFilm has acquired North American rights to Daniele Luchetti's Italian-French hit My Brother Is An Only Child (Mio Fratello E Figlio Unico).The comedy caper is playing in the festival here after screening in Cannes last May and will open in North America in March 2008.THINKFilm International's head of sales Eve Schoukroun, theatrical division chief Mark Urman, senior vice president of acquisitions and business affairs Randy Man
  • THINKFilm takes on US rights to Hunt's Then She Found Me

    In the first major deal to be struck at the festival, THINKFilm has paid just under $3m for US rights to Helen Hunt's directorial debut Then She Found Me. The distributor was among a pack of buyers chasing rights after the Killer Films production's world premiere on Friday, finally closing the deal at around 4am on Saturday morning following a protracted bout of talks.THINKFilm's head of theatrical Mark Urman and senior vice presid
  • Tom Green, Crispin Glover chill out with comedy Freezer Burn

    Tom Green and Crispin Glover have joined Film Bridge International and Panacea Entertainment's action comedy Freezer Burn.Principal photography is set to begin in October in Alberta, Canada, with Grant Harvey directing and Film Bridge's Ellen Wander producing alongside Panacea president and executive producer Josh Miller.Santa Monica-based Film Bridge is overseeing the financing and will handle worldwide distribution on the project
  • Toronto reviews

    Toronto Reviews Before the Devil Knows You're DeadThe Brave OneBrick LaneCaptain Mike Across AmericaEastern PromisesElizabeth: The Golden Age
  • Toronto's financing forum recruits 36 international producers

    36 Canadian and international producers have been lined up to take part in the second annual International Financing Forum (IFF) organised by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) in partnership with TIFF.The selected producers will have one-one-one brokered meetings and round tables with producers, executives and financiers during the event on Monday. The day begins with a venture capital panel featuring Mark Gill of The Film Department (US), Peter Sussman of
  • Travolta to receive Santa Barbara's Douglas award

    John Travolta will receive the Kirk Douglas Award For Excellence In Film at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) on Nov 15. Douglas himself with present the honour to Travolta, whose film roles include this summer's North American hit Hairspray, Pulp Fiction, Urban Cowboy, Grease, and Saturday Night Fever. 'We are delighted to have this event as
  • Tsi resigns as director of Hong Kong film festival

    Peter Tsi has resigned as executive director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF), citing personal reasons. The festival, whichtakes placeat the same time as Hong Kong Filmart in March/April, has been forced to change direction over the past few years due to a sharp decrease in government funding. Previously a government-funded event, HKIFF was taken over by a private non-profit organisation, the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, after the 2004 edition
  • UK and US films open world and international premieres in Oldenburg

    UK director Julian Richards' coming of age drama Summer Scars and Stephan Geene's Berlin-set drama After Effect are among the world premieres at this year's Oldenburg International Film Festival which will open with Maggie Peren's comedy Stellungswechsel about a male escort agency on September 12.The festival, which has built up an international reputation as a h
  • UK and US films open world and international premieres in Oldenburg

    The festival, which has built up an international reputation as a home from home for independent cinema, will be presenting the international premieres of such films as Frank A. Cappello's He Was A Quiet Man, with Christian Slater and William H. Macy, actress Mary Stuart Masterson's directorial debut The Cake Eaters, Mickey Blaine's thriller Commit and two new UK productions
  • UK government backs fight against piracy

    Margaret Hodge, Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism, met with senior figures from all sectors of the film industry in London yesterday to discuss how to tackle the growing problem of piracy. Speaking at the event, held at BAFTA and titled Stop Film And Video Theft, Hodge said: 'Last year alone, thieves cost the UK film and TV industry almost $1bn (£459m) - that's more than five times the cost of the last Harry Potter film or more than
  • UK producer Sutherland works with Lenz on The Little Prisoner

    UK producer Mairi Sutherland, long-time collaborator with Robbie Moffat, is working with lauded Canadian film composer and music supervisor Jack Lenz, veteran of The Passion Of The Christ.Lenz who has written a script, The Little Prisoner, about the killing of Mona Mahmudnizhad and 9 other Baha'i women in 1980s Iran.Sutherland, via her Palm Tree Entertainment, is setting the project up as a
  • United Kingdom - Heart of darkness

    Neil Marshall indulges his influences in Doomsday, the $30m follow-up to his acclaimed 2005 low-budget horror hit The Descent. "Raiders Of The Lost Ark was the film that made me want to make movies," Marshall says during a recent promotional trip to Comic-Con in San Diego.From the sound of it, there is enough adventure and spectacle in the upcoming Doomsday (from Rogue Pictures and Crystal Sky) to make Steven Spielberg tip his hat in admiration. But as fans
  • United Kingdom - Laying down the law

    Had David Alexander lasted more than a day studying to be a lawyer, he might not have been responsible for the award-winning short, Growing, or be on his way to the Talent Lab at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he is one of the first three international participants in the scheme (helped there by Skillset)."I went through the motions of doing other things because becoming a film-maker seemed such an 'out there' ambition," says Alexander. "First I had to overcome t
  • United States - The Film's The Thing

    I was at pains to try and make this not feel like a playwright's movie," says David Auburn, the award-winning playwright of Proof, whose directorial film debut The Girl In The Park has its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this week. "I wrote it for the screen. I wanted to explore the aftermath of a tragedy, but not the immediate aftermath. I wanted to jump 16 years ahead. That struck me as something cinematic to start with."The tragedy in question
  • United States - Writing Partners

    The 3:10 To Yuma writers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas say their working relationship is "like a marriage", but that doesn't mean they share an antique writers' desk a la George Clooney and Grant Heslov on Good Night, And Good Luck."We work separately," Brandt says. "One of us writes a section and we e-mail each other back and forth. It's something we've developed over time. If one of us is going to make a major change we call the other one and check it's OK. By the time
  • Universal and Paramount partner up in Russia

    Universal Pictures International Entertainment (UPIE) and Paramount Home Entertainment International (PHEI) announced a union for Russian distribution. Eddie Cunningham, President, UPIE and Dennis Maguire, President, PHEI say that from 2 October 2007, Universal Pictures Russia will handle Paramount's DVD for marketing and distribution throughout the country.Product includes titles from MTV Films, Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, Paramount Vantage and Nickelodeon Movies.
  • Useless (Wu Yong)

    Dir. Jia Zhang-Ke. China , 2007. 84mins.Perennial Venice favourite Jia Zhang-Ke is back with a documentary whose title could invite all manner of cheap shots. But it also happens to be the name of a new, and highly successful, Chinese fashion brand. The second part in a trilogy dedicated to artists, launched last year in Venice with Dong (painter Li Xiaodong features), the main inspir
  • Veneziano to leave GreeneStreet to head new partner Icon

    Ariel Veneziano is leaving GreeneStreet Films International (GSFI) to head Icon Entertainment International (IEI) as part of a strategic alliance between IEI and GreeneStreet Films (GSF).Effective Sept 17, the Los Angeles-based Veneziano will acquire rights to select GSF films and library titles as IEI bulks up sales on third party projects.He remains in Los Angeles and will work closely with acquisitions and development president Mark Gooder to source new projects for Ic
  • Venice awards - the reaction

    'You would think the second Lion would be easier and quite emotional to receive but it is the opposite,' Ang Lee said after becoming the surprise recipient of this year's Golden Lion, two years after his win for Brokeback Mountain. 'This one is a wild one and I almost want to say it frightens me almost like the film I made.' His erotically-charged espionage thriller Lust, Caution (Se, Jie), like Brokeback, was based on a short story that
  • Venice winner opens Warsaw International Film Festival

    Andrzej Jakimowski's Venice Days title Tricks, which received the Europa Cinemas label and Laterna Magica Award in Venice last weekend, will open this year's Warsaw International Film Festival on October 12. The 'touching and intimate look at everyday working class life in the Polish countryside' will be released theatrically in Poland by Kino Swiat on October 26.
  • Voltage electrifies buyers with Diary Of The Dead

    Zombie film George A Romero's Diary Of The Dead has already proved a major draw to international buyers ahead of its world premiere in Midnight Madness tonight.Voltage Pictures has sold rights to the UK (Optimum), Japan (Presidio), Germany (Legend), France (Bac), Twister (Russia), Italy (Sharada), Brazil (Imagem), and Argentina (Pachamama).Further deals closed in Scandinavia (Nordisk), pan-Asia (Star TV), Greece (Hollywood Entertai
  • Voltage plans six creature features with Insight

    Los Angeles based financing and sales company Voltage Pictures has announced another six creature feature films to be produced with Vancouver's Insight Films Studios.The first, Odysseus And The Isle Of Mists, is in post-production and will be directed by Terry Ingram and star Arnold Vosloo from The Mummy franchise.Riddles Of The Sphinx, Sherlock Holmes And T
  • Weinsteins strike US deal for El Rey De La Montana

    The Weinstein Company has picked up US and Latin American rights to El Rey De La Montana, a world premiere in Toronto's Discovery section.The film, sold by Paris-based sales house Coach14, also sold to Seville Pictures for Canada after having concluded deals with the UK's Optimum, Madman for Australia and New Zealand, Korea's Eureka Pictures and France's WildSide during Cannes.Produced by Telecinco Cinema, Juanma Arance, Juan Pita,
  • Weinsteins take world rights to John Crowley's Boy A

    The Weinstein Company (TWC) made the first big play of the festival as it announced on Friday it had swooped on worldwide rights excluding UK TV for Boy A. John Crowley's UK drama centres a young ex-con after he is released from prison for committing a