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Screen
12 April 2001

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  • Alatan leaves Cecchi Gori for Medusa

    Italy's leading distributor, Medusa, has dealt another serious blow to struggling competitor and former number one Cecchi Gori.The Cecchi Gori Group's veteran acquisitions executive Faruk Alatan has ended his 16-year relationship with the group to join Medusa and its sister company, rights trading arm Mediatrade, as international film acquisitions consultant. He will report to Mediatrade chief Roberto Pace and Medusa head Carlo Bernasconi. Medusa's head buyer, Clare McArdle will contin
  • Alliance Atlantis signs Bedford Falls Co

    Canada's Alliance Atlantis has made what is arguably its first foray into the heart of Hollywood, signing an exclusive four year development deal with Bedford Falls Co, the LA-based production company run by Ed Zwick and Marhsall Herskovitz. Under the arrangement, which kicked off on April 1, Alliance Atlantis will furnish Bedford Falls with a development fund - "in the mid-seven figures" according to Alliance Atlantis - allowing the two companies to co-produce films.The deal do
  • Alta Vista joins No News From God

    Growing Mexican heavyweight Alta Vista Films has boarded No News From God (Sin Noticias De Dios), a Spanish-language comedy starring Penelope Cruz and Victoria Abril. The film is handled internationally by TF1 International.Through distribution partner Nu Vision, Alta Vista may take rights to all Latin America, following the model of last year's runaway box office hit and Oscar-nominated Amores Perros (Love's A Bitch). Nu Vision recently unveiled plans to double its relea
  • Berlusconi expected to sell Mediaset shares

    With Italy's national elections looming on May 13, fresh rumours are circulating that opposition candidate Silvio Berlusconi could be about to sell his shares in private broadcaster Mediaset to Australian mogul Rupert Murdoch. Such a move would serve to quell the increasingly vociferous complaints which Berlusconi has been facing from political opponents regarding a potential conflict of interests over his stake in leading broadcaster Mediaset and its three stations, Canale 5, Rete 4 a
  • Canada's Corus eyes EM.TV's Henson

    Toronto-based Corus Entertainment has expressed an interest in buying the Jim Henson Co. from German owner EM.TV. The television and radio broadcaster, which made international headlines last year when it paid $300m for Canadian animation studio Nelvana Ltd., says it is pursuing several acquisitions in order to boost its presence in production and distribution in family and children's entertainment. Corus' assets include Canadian children's programming mainstays such as YTV, Teletoon a
  • Carson promoted at Warner Bros. Pictures

    Nancy Carson has been promoted to senior vice president, international distribution, at Warner Bros Pictures, reporting to Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, president of international distribution. In her new position as Kwan-Rubinek's second in command, she will assume an expanded responsibility for all matters pertaining to international rights, release dates and theatrical distribution issues for all films released internationally by Warner Bros Pictures. She was most recently vice pres
  • Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles

    Dir: Simon Wincer. Aus/US. 2001. 95mins.The reappearance of Paul Hogan's hugely popular creation Crocodile Dundee will solve the Easter holidays movie problem for many Australian families. Unashamedly soft-centred and sweet-natured, Hogan/Dundee has aimed to include "the kiddies and the grannies" in his audiences, so Good triumphs over Evil, the jokes about Los Angeles street life stay wholesome and this time there is a toothy blond nine-year-old son to share the cross-cultural cute
  • EU awards $2.3m to Swedish regional funds

    The EU funds aimed at supporting social and economic projects joining different regions of Europe has awarded $2.3m (SKK23m) to the regional film funds in Northern Sweden, Norrbotten and Vasterbotten. Filmpool Nord has recieved $1.4m (SKK 14.6m) to the development of Norrbotten as a centre for film production in the northern Europe. The project was initiated in June2000 and should be operational in May2002. Film i Vasterbotten has recieved $833,000 (SKK 8.5m) for their project Vaxthusf
  • Imax goes down the tube

    Imax Corp, the giant screen and entertainment technology company. has struck a $15m deal that will see its digital projection technology used in advertising billboards within the UK's London Underground railway network. The joint venture with Swedish outdoor media company DHJ Media is good news for the large-screen format purveyor which has revenues hit by the downturn in North American exhibition. The deal will see the two companies develop and install digital network systems designed
  • India Lotus to shoot Taj Mahal for Imax

    India Lotus Inc. a film production company owned by Indian filmmaker Bharat Bala has announced plans to produce an IMAX film on the Taj Mahal. The film will star popular Indian actress and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai who will play the queen Mumtaz Mahal who inspired the marble monument. The large-screen movie to be shown in special theaters will involve a budget of up to $10 million. The film will be shot in English and released worldwide. India Lotus Inc. is backed by Non r
  • Italian pay-TV merger expected next week

    After months of on-off talks, negotiations concerning a merger of Itlay's two pay-TV operators appear now to be in the home straight. Such a merger would be expected to have a deflationary effect on the cost of film rights in the Italian television market.French sources close to Vivendi Universal, which controls Telepiu, said that Vivendi and News Corp, controller of rival Stream, expect to sign a letter of intent before a Vivendi board meeting next week (Apr 24).Telecom Italia
  • Italy's Davids celebrate local success

    Gabriele Muccino's local hit The Last Kiss (L'Ultimo Bacio) picked up five awards at the David di Donatello awards, Italy's equivalent to the Oscars, including the prestigious Best Director prize. The film, with local box office receipts in excess of $8.5m, is one of a handful of Italian pictures credited with boosting the domestic market over the last months.In the spirit of this year's Academy Awards, other major prizes were evenly split between the two other main conte
  • Kinowelt demonstrates faith in cinema market

    German mini-major Kinowelt has exercised an option to acquire the remaining 49.9% shares in the Theile Hoyts Kinopolis group, comprising ten multiplex cinemas. "The positive development in the first months of the current year in the exhibition market confirms our decision to become more involved in the running of cinemas", CEO Michael Koelmel declared. The option, which had been granted to Kinowelt when it took a majority 50.1% stake in Kinopolis in May 2000, has not involved any furth
  • Lord Of The Rings site registers 350m hits

    New Line Cinema's award-winning website for The Lord Of The Rings has generated more than 350 million hits worldwide since re-launching on January 12, 2001. Data tabulated by ABC Interactive confirmed that more than 275,463,832 hits were registered on the site in January and February of this year. Since the auditing process takes several weeks to complete, the studio has not requested an audit of site traffic for March, although internal estimates add another 82 million hits to
  • Mexico updates 1992 film law

    Long pending guidelines to Mexico's 1992 Film Law have been published, including new regulations that call for a 10% screen quota for national films and the setting up of a trust fund, Fidecine, of $10m (100 million pesos) per annum, using taxpayers' contributions. While local production has tripled over recent years, it is still uncertain whether there will be enough films to fulfill that quota on a regular and sustained basis. 'Ideally, we should earn our market share by the competit
  • Ott exits Senator Entertainment

    Christoph Ott, Senator Entertainment's board member responsible for marketing and sales, is to leave the company "at his own request and by mutual agreement to prepare the founding of his own company". His responsibilities will now be assumed by Senator CEO Hanno Huth, while the area of world sales has already been taken over by Joe Drake as president of the recently established Senator International, Inc. in Los Angeles. Ott's exit comes after the departure in recent months of Borris
  • Pflug promoted at Artisan Entertainment

    Paul Pflug has been promoted to executive vice president, national publicity and corporate communications, for Artisan Entertainment. He will continue to oversee the national publicity campaigns for Artisan's theatrical releases as well as the company's external and internal corporate communications activities. He will also take on an expanded role in Artisan Home Entertainment by overseeing publicity initiatives for key properties in the company's 6,700-title library. Fo
  • Spanish producers create Grupo PI

    Spain's small handful of sales outfits will soon face a new competitor on the international scene: Grupo PI, a powerful new rights broker and channel packager being launched by four of Spain's top producers.Combining film and television content, Grupo PI launches with one of the world's biggest catalogues of Spanish-language product, spanning almost 5,000 feature films and 4,000 broadcast hours of television product. Partners include TV and film production houses Grupo Arbol, BocaBoca,
  • TV-Loonland expands into Russia

    German animation specialist TV-Loonland has entered into an extensive partnership with Moscow-based Nox Music, one of Russia's fastest growing music and record labels, with a seven-year license deal for 963 half-hour episodes from TV-Loonland's catalogue, including Pettson and Findus, Cramp Twins, Letters From Felix and Little Ghosts.The agreement covers CIS/Russia, the Ukraine and the Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) for several productions from TV-Loonl

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