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Screen
12 August 2003

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  • 16 Years Of Alcohol

    Dir. Richard Jobson. UK. 2003. 102mins.Richard Jobson's first feature is an intensely felt, but often disjointed, tale of a man's desperate attempt to free himself not only from alcoholic addiction, but also to overcome his violent nature, basic mistrust in human nature and ferociously anti-social conduct. Growing up with a father (who is himself an excessive drinker, womaniser and brute who both fascinated and repelled his son), he turns into a vicious gang leader, who beats
  • Another Oz studio planned

    A major new studio facility is set to be built in Australia - the fourth in the country. Paul Hathaway, a business consultant and engineer, and his property developer brother Michael Hathway, are confident they will have all the necessary final approvals by the end of this year to construct Saltwater Studios. It is billed as Australia's biggest studio complex. Saltwater Studios is to be built on 150 acres on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane, at a cost of about US$5
  • Argentinian films hunt for funding at Locarno

    The Locarno International Film festival (August 6-16), which kicked off last night, is to hold a co-production workshop focusing entirely on projects from Argentina.New projects by Diego Lerman, director of the Silver Leopard-winning Tan De Repente in Locarno last year, Pablo Trapero (El Bonaerense), Santiago Loza (Extrano) and Juan Manuel Villegas (Sabado) are among eleven projects which will be presented to potential production partners and sales agents in
  • Asian film market planned for Bangkok festival

    The newly appointed US programmers responsible for stagingnext year's Bangkok International Film Festival are to introduce aninternational film market to run alongside the Thai festival.Former Palm Springs International Film Festival executives CraigPrater and Jennifer Stark have been named executive director and director ofprogramming, respectively, for the event which runs from Jan 22-Feb 2.Around 150 festival films are expected to screen in Bangkok - upfrom
  • BAFTA/LA puts kettle on for Emmy nominees

    The British Academy of Film and Television Arts/Los Angeles(BAFTA/LA) is teaming up with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences toco-host an inaugural annual tea party honouring the British 2003 Emmy nominees.The event will take place one week prior to the awards onSept 20 at
  • Bier's Brothers to follow in Open Hearts vein

    Danish writer-director Susanne Bier is gearing up to shoot her new film, Brothers (working title), based on a script co-written with the prolific Anders Thomas Jensen. Set to shoot in the autumn, the contemporary drama centres on two brothers and follows in the vein of last year's collaboration with Jensen, the international hit Open Hearts. "There were things we started in Open Hearts, but didn't quite finish," Bier told ScreenDaily.com. "So you coul
  • BVIP falls for F&ME's Loving Glances

    UK-based independent production house Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) has struck a deal with Bjorg Veland's BVIP to represent its UK/Serbia and Montenegro co-production Loving Glances (Sjaj U Ocima) for international sales.The move comes ahead of the film's competition screening at the Venice International Film Festival and its presentation in the Toronto International Film Festival.A co-production between F&ME and Belgrade based YODI Movie Craftsmen, the film
  • BVIP seduced by F&ME's Loving Glances

    UK-based independent production house Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) has struck a deal with Bjorg Veland's BVIP to represent its UK/Serbia and Montenegro co-production Loving Glances (Sjaj U Ocima) for international sales.The move comes ahead of the film's competition screening at the Venice International Film Festival and its presentation in the Toronto International Film Festival.A co-production between F&ME and Belgrade based YODI Movie Craftsmen, the film
  • BVI's Pirates strikes gold in the UK

    Buena Vista International enjoyed its second highest opening of the year, after Bruce Almighty, in the UK and Ireland this weekend as Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl sailed into the lead position.The Jerry Bruckheimer production defied sweltering weather (see separate ScreenDaily.com story) to take a bounty of $6.1m (£3.8m) from 452 sites - including $891,053 (£553,344) from 379 venues on Thursday (Aug 7).In Ireland Pirates Of The Caribbea
  • Calendar Girls

    Dir: Nigel Cole. UK. 2003. 108minsThe timing could not be more auspicious for Calendar Girls. A summer of under-performing one hit wonders suggests an audience that is weary of empty spectacle and hungry for old-fashioned entertainment. Calendar Girls isn't cutting edge. It can't boast state-of-the-art effects. It hasn't been inspired by a comic book or culled from a theme park attraction. It merely offers the increasingly rare pleasure of a human interest heart
  • Calendar Girls packs in Locarno crowd

    Boosted by its prime Saturday evening night slot, the world premiere of Nigel Cole's Calendar Girls has proven to be the biggest draw so far at the Locarno International Film Festival. A staggering 9,500 festival-goers packed into Locarno's Piazza Grande town square to watch the film, where seating is officially only available for 7,500.Director Nigel Cole was on hand with actor/co-screenwriter Tim Firth and the "real" Calendar girls Angela Baker, Tricia Stewart and Chris
  • Calendar Girls packs in Locarno crowd

    Boosted by its prime Saturday evening night slot, the world premiere of Nigel Cole's Calendar Girls has proven to be the biggest draw so far at the Locarno International Film Festival. A staggering 9,500 festival-goers packed into Locarno's Piazza Grande town square to watch the film, where seating is officially only available for 7,500.Director Nigel Cole was on hand with actor/co-screenwriter Tim Firth and the "real" Calendar girls Angela Baker, Tricia Stewart and Chris
  • Constantin figures show sales plunge

    Germany's Constantin Film has cut its sales forecast for 2003, blaming factors such as the hot summer weather and the 'shakeout of the German media market' for the revision.Releasing its half-yearly and second quarter figures today (Aug 13), the Munich-based producer-distributor announced sales of Euros 36m, compared to Euros 63.4m for the first six months of 2002. Overall sales for 2003 are now expected to be over Euros 100m, but with a negative EBIT of between Euros 8m and Eur
  • Copenhagen festival gets off to turbulent start

    The first Copenhagen International Film Festival (Aug 13-20) has had a turbulent few weeks in the lead up to its launch on Wednesday night. Festival programmer Michael Soeby has resigned and will not be returning next year, despite lining up a decent first programme with a strong focus on European film.On Monday, the festival announced that Norwegian actress-turned filmmaker Liv Ullmann would receive a lifetime achievement award. But at the same time Danish filmmaker Bille
  • Cuban film-makers pitch projects to Euro financiers

    Cuban film-makers pitched a string of projects to potential European co-production partners and buyers at the Locarno International Film Festival over the weekend.Daniel Diaz Torres, Humberto Solas and Humberto Padron were among ten Cuban filmmakers invited to launch the three-year project "Open Doors - World Producers Meet The World Cinema" which is to be devoted to promoting film industries which are going through a period of crisis. "The project is called Open Doors because w
  • DreamWorks' new indie label goes fishing with anime

    Hot on the heels of the launch of Warner Independent Pictures,DreamWorks SKG has launched specialty distribution arm Go Fish and will openfor business with the release of Japanese anime hits Millennium Actress in September and Ghost In The ShellII in 2004.The unit will be run by Joan Filippini, the current headof non-theatrical sales, and overseen by Jim Tharp, DreamWorks' president ofdistribution. Marketing executive Michael Vollman will head up publici
  • Federbush, Bing join Warner Independent

    Inthe first wave of recruits to join the newly established Warner IndependentPictures, Paul Federbush and Tracey Bing have been named senior vice presidentof production and acquisitions and vice president of production andacquisitions respectively at Hollywood's newest specialty division.Federbushmost recently served as vice president of acquisitions and co-production atGaylord Films/Pandora, while Bing arrives from Paramount Classics, where shewas director of acquisitions and co-produ
  • Festival considers collaboration with Mifed, Cinecitta

    Cinecitta holding president Pupi Avati has approached the Venice Film Festival and Mifed with plans to establish a new film market on the Lido to run alongside the festival.The collaboration between the three organisations is believed to involve several initiatives, although the market element is likely to create the most buzz - particularly with Mifed facing direct rivalry from the American Film Market which will move to compete with its autumn slot in 2004. "The idea is to cre
  • Film-makers line up Indian Pakistani co-production

    London based film producer Sevy Ali and well known Indian film maker Mahesh Bhatt are working together on an Indian Pakistani co-production. The yet to be titled film is a love story set against the backdrop of violence and turmoil that occurred during "partition" - the separation of Pakistan and India in 1947. Mahesh Bhatt told Screen Daily: "We hope this will be the beginning of an ongoing relationship between the two countries, to break down barriers and draw the India
  • Flach Pyramide takes on Bosnian Fuse sales

    Bosnian director Pjer Zalica's feature debut Fuse (Gori Vatra) which had its world premiere in the Official Competition at the Locarno International Film Festival on August 11, has been picked up for international distribution by Flach Pyramide International.The tragicomedy about a small-town in Bosnia embarking on a race against the clock to hide its darker side before the visit of US President Bill Clinton, was co-produced by Sarajevo-based Refresh Production with Austr
  • Fox enjoys South African honeymoon with Just Married

    Fox International opened the comedy Just Married in South Africa at the weekend on anexcellent $134,000 from 60 screens, raising the film's international runningtotal to $44.3m.The film grossed around $152,000 in total and has threemarkets to go, including Japan.Els
  • Gaga blames losses on bad timing

    Japanese distributor Gaga Communications has blamed its release strategy for Hollywood films as one of the reasons for cutting its earnings forecast earlier this month. At the beginning of August, Gaga said it would post a consolidated net loss of $12.3m (Y1.47b) for the financial year ending September 31. The company has seen disappointing box office results for Hollywood titles such as John Q and The Core, which were released up against Harry Potter And The Ch
  • Geraghty leaves Screen Producers Ireland

    Tracy Geraghty has stepped down as director of Irish producers' association Screen Producers Ireland (SPI) as of August 1 after seven months in the job. According to sources it was a decision arrived at "mutually" with the board of SPI. The SPI board will consider the development along with other business at its scheduled meeting next week and will not be issuing a statement on the matter.Geraghty was appointed director of SPI, previously called Film Makers Ireland, at the end o
  • Germany secures future of film funds

    Germany's Federal Finance Ministry has amended the way German media funds operate, bringing both an end to months of uncertainty about their future and giving investors more control over films in their portfolio.Last year, the future of German funds came under threat after the Finance Ministry proposed tighter regulations governing them (Screen Daily, July 9, 2002).A key fear was that the Finance Ministry would consider investors in film funds merely as acquirers of film
  • Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 returns to profit

    Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 Group has posted strong financial results, just days before U.S. investor Haim Saban is likely to sign off on his deal to buy the broadcaster. The ProSiebenSat.1 Group reported a sharp earnings increase in the second quarter of 2003 and posted group pre-tax income for the first six months of Euros 2.5m, well above the first quarter loss of Euros -30.8m.Board chairman Urs Rohner said: "Our business development proceeded more positively than expected betwe
  • Globo empire founder Marinho, dies aged 98

    Roberto Marinho, once dubbed the Citizen Kane of Brazil for building one of Latin America's largest news and entertainment empires, died on Wednesday aged 98.Marinho turned his father's small newspaper into a media empire, becoming one of Brazil's richest men. He founded Organizacoes Globo, which encompasses television, cable, pay television, and print media. Among his holdings were Brazil's third-largest newspaper, O Globo, a network of radio stations, the Editora Globo pub
  • Heatwave melts UK box office takings

    The UK box office was hit over the weekend by a heatwave which saw the country record its hottest ever temperature on Sunday. Many films saw their earnings drop substantially week-on-week, including last week's leader Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines, which fell 55%.Total box office was notably 13% down week-on-week and 7% down against the same weekend last year.The leader at this weekend's box office, BVI's Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pea
  • Hulk bulks up in India

    Universal enjoyed several excellent openings at the weekendincluding number one bows for The Hulk in India and American Pie: The Wedding in Australia.
  • Human Stain producer Steindorff wins backing

    ProducerScott Steindorff, whose credits include the upcoming Miramax drama The HumanStain, has teamed up with Las Vegas business-people Andrew Molasky and Danny andRobin Greenspun to form Stone Village Entertainment.Thedeal transforms Steindorff's existing Stone Village Productions into a broaderentertainment company that will handle film production through Stone VillagePictures and television through Stone Village Television.Underthe terms Molasky and the Greenspuns will
  • India's most expensive film to be a trilogy

    The $20m three-part epic The Rising, directed by Ketan Mehta is set to be the most expensive film ever to be produced in India.The India/UK production, set in the backdrop to the 1857 mutiny and the first War of Indian Independence, will be divided in to three episodes of 100 minutes each. The first episode will portray the life of freedom fighter Mangal Pandey and his British commander William Gordon. The second will focus on the last Moghul Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. T
  • Italy's Bim swoops on four festival titles

    Bim, one of the most muscular buyers in the Italian market, has acquired local rights to four films in the Venice International Festival, including the hotly anticipated 21 Grams.21 Grams, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's second feature after international hit Amores Perros, centres on the lives of three people fatefully brought together by love and obsession.Sold by Focus Features and written by Amores Perros's Guillermo Arriaga, the film stars Sean Pe
  • Italy's Bim swoops on four Venice titles

    Bim, one of the most muscular buyers in the Italian market, has acquired local rights to four films in the Venice International Festival, including the hotly anticipated 21 Grams.21 Grams, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's second feature after international hit Amores Perros, centres on the lives of three people fatefully brought together by love and obsession.Sold by Focus Features and written by Amores Perros's Guillermo Arriaga, the film stars Sean Pe
  • Japanese horror takes Asian box office by storm

    Japanese hit horror The Grudge (Ju-on) is repeating its box office success across Asia. In Hong Kong, the horror has grossed $750,000 since its release on May 29 on 17 screens, while in Singapore it has taken $650,000 from 23 screens since June 12. The Grudge (pictured), has achieved over 1 million admissions in South Korea since its release on June 27 on 75 screens and the film seems set to become the most successful Japanese film ever released
  • Lerner named vp, Lewis, Winters hired at Bumble Ward & Assocs

    Veteran entertainmentpublicist BeBe Lerner has been promoted to vice president at BeverlyHills-based PR company Bumble Ward & Associates (BWA).Ward, the company presidentwho founded BWA in 1994, has also brought in James Lewis as a publicist andpublic relations and marketing executive Rochelle Winters to spearhead thecompany's corporate division.'It is not anexaggeration to say that few publicists match BeBe's knowledge of theentertainment industry and the press that covers it a
  • Locarno Band Wagon starts to roll

    The Locarno International Film Festival's 56th edition kicked off last night, on a scorching, hot and humid summer night, with a brand new print of Vincente Minelli's evergreen musical The Band Wagon. The opening, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the film made by a director born 100 years ago, faithfully augured the spirit of the entire festival for this year. It's spirit that saw no stars on stage for the first gala, or for that matter in any of the juries, and sees t
  • Love Actually gets world premiere at Toronto

    The worldpremiere of Richard Curtis' romantic comedy Love Actually and North American premieres ofAlejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's 21 Grams, Jim Jarmusch's Coffee AndCigarettes and PhilipSaville's The Gospel Of John will screen as special presentations at the Toronto FilmFestival.Also included isLost In Translation,Sofia Coppola's follow-up to the acclaimed The Virgin Suicides. The festival runs from Sept 4-13.Curtis' roma
  • Love Song set for UK 'e' premiere

    UK thriller This Is Not A Love Song is to receive what is being billed as the first-ever 'e' premiere in the world.Written by The Full Monty's Simon Beaufoy, the cat and mouse thriller set on desolate moors is being made available for streaming and downloading on the web and simultaneously streamed and digitally projected in cinemas.The move was announced by the UK Film Council, the public support body which recently launched a £14m scheme to fund digitial cinema s
  • Media Luna picks up Locarno competitor Maria

    Media Luna Entertainment has picked up world sales rights for Romanian first time director Calin Netzer's Maria which will receive its world premiere in Locarno Film Festival's Official Competition next Wednesday (August 13).Maria is a co-production by Artis Film Romania with France's Cine-Manufacture and Germany's Pandora Filmproduktion, which will be screening in the Regional Programme of the Sarajevo Film Festival a week after Locarno. It centres on Maria and Ione, tw
  • Mexican film-makers face fund drought

    The two film funds of Mexican film institute Imcine - Foprocine and Fidecine - are drying up. The Foprocine fund of $13.5m (135m pesos) has been virtually used up since it was created in 1999 by former President Ernesto Zedillo. "There is little chance it will be replenished as it was formed by a presidential decree and not by a film law," said Imcine director Alfredo Joskowicz. "This means the current government is not legally bound to pour federal funds into it," he exp
  • Monicelli tipped to head Venice jury

    Veteran Italian director Mario Monicelli is tipped to head the jury of the Venice International Film Festival, according to reports in Milan newspaper Il Corriere della Sera.Born in 1915, Monicelli was one of the founders of the post-war Commedia all'Italiana genre, and is still active as a filmmaker today. Persons Unknown (I Soliti Ignoti) with Vittorio Gassmann and The Great War (La Grande Guerra) are among his best-known works.The Corriere also reported that t
  • Montreal unveils full competition line-up

    New films from African filmmaker Idrissa Ouedraogo and Japan's Yoshimitsu Morita (Copycat Killer) are among 15 titles unveiled by the 27th Montreal World Film Festival (Aug. 27-Sept. 7), which has announced the balance of its Official Competition line-up. But the announcement also reveals anticipated conflicts with rival Venice festival (Aug. 27-Sept. 6).One of the films listed in the MWFF's Official Competition, Indian director Goutam Ghose's In The Forest...Again (Ab
  • Moodysson cranks up Swedish family focused film

    Acclaimed Swedish director Lukas Moodysson is to start shooting his new as yet untitled film later this month at the Trollhattan studio, where he shot his previous hits Fucking Amal, Together and Lilja 4-ever.The Swedish-language contemporary drama will again focus on a family, but as usual the writer-director is being tight lipped about the actual story. In a statement Moodysson reveals that it is 'a film about a father and a son and a girl and a friend'. He also
  • Neeson re-surfaces at Columbia TriStar Int'l

    Weeks after leaving his post as president of theatrical at FoxInternational, Scott Neeson has joined Columbia TriStar Film DistributorsInternational (CTFDI) as senior executive vice president of marketing.Neeson will start work on Sept 8, when he will set aboutdevising overseas marketing strategies on upcoming Columbia Pictures andRevolution Studios' films including Spider-Man 2, Hellboy, PeterPan, Bad Boys 2, S.W.A.T., Once Upon
  • Newell to direct next Harry Potter instalment

    British director Mike Newell has signed to direct HarryPotter And The Goblet Of Fire, the fourth instalment in Warner Bros' hitseries that is due to begin filming in England next April.Newell, who recently completed the drama Mona Lisa Smilewith Julia Roberts, becomes the first British director and the third directoroverall to lend his vision to J K Rowling's phenomenally successful children'sbooks.Christopher Columbus directed Harry Potter And TheSorcerer's Sto
  • Newmark/Echelon snaps up Chinese duo for US

    Worldwidedistribution, marketing and sales company Newmark/Echelon Entertainment Group has acquired North American rightsto the award-winning Chinese films For The Children and 25 Kids And One Dad.YangYazhou's drama For The Children follows an inspiring teacher's impact on thelives of her students and colleagues in a small rural school.Itwon multiple awards at the 2002 Golden Rooster Awards, China's highest filmhonours, including best film, best director, be
  • Notting Hill director to mentor for Directing Change

    Notting Hill director Roger Michell is to mentor newcomer Shreepali Patel on the first production to go though training scheme Directing Change.Patel, a Cardiff based director-producer with credits on documentaries such as Falkland Stories and Heavenly Bodies, will work alongside Michell on Pathe UK's upcoming production, Enduring Love.The scheme, set up by UIP and industry body Women in Film and Television in May, gives women directors the opportunity to wo
  • Oz marches to Wedding tune

    The third instalment in Universal's American Pie franchise had a stellar international launch in Australia through UIP this weekend.American Pie: The Wedding, as it has been rebranded for international markets, claimed $2.8m (A$4.29m) from 310 screens in Australia over the four-day weekend (Aug 7-10). This gave the film an impressive screen average of $9,040.The launch saw the comedy, which was directed by Jesse Dylan, surpass the debuts of the previous two franchi
  • Palm jams with Tom Dowd music documentary

    Chris Blackwell's Palm Pictures has acquired North American andCaribbean rights to Mark Moormann's award-winning documentary Tom Dowd &The Language Of Music.The film will receive its world premiere on the US-basedSundance Channel on Oct 3, followed by a limited theatrical release late thisyear and DVD roll-out in early 2004.Tom Dowd & The Language Of Music profiles Dowd's life and work as one ofthe most celebrated producers and recording engineers
  • Perfect Strangers (NZ, 2003)

    Dir: Gaylene Preston. New Zealand. 2003. 96mins.After its sold-out premiere at the Melbourne Film Festival, Gaylene Preston's "chilling romance" has, unsurprisingly, been invited to Montreal in September, a timely reminder that New Zealand cinema has more to offer than Lord Of The Rings blockbuster fantasy. Perfect Strangers is an adult, finely acted feature that cleverly subverts audience expectations as the intriguing narrative unwinds. Just when we think we k
  • Political docs take centre stage at Toronto

    Themes of politics and international affairs dominate the line-up of documentaries playing at the Toronto International Film Festival this year.Special Presentations includes Errol Morris' The Fog Of War - a profile of Robert S. McNamara - which receives its North American premiere, while Ron Mann's Go Further - which follows actor and activist Woody Harrelson on a 'Simple Organic Living' tour of the US - receives its Canadian premiere.In total, 27 documentary feat
  • Premiere boss ups stake in German pay-TV platform

    Georg Kofler, managing director of German pay-TV platform Premiere has more than doubled his shareholding in the subscription service.Kofler's stake has risen from 10.19% to 20.46%, meaning he is now the second largest shareholder after the investment group Permira which will now hold a 54.76% interest.The interests of the other shareholders remain as before, with Bayerische Landesbank and HypoVereinsbank each holding 10% and the Austrian Bank fuer Arbeit und Wirtschaft (BAWAG)
  • Premiere posts healthier than expected figures

    Thanks to substantial growth in revenues and further cost-cutting measures, German pay-TV platform Premiere has revised its predicted operating loss downwards a second time - to less than Euros 40m for 2003.In February, the Premiere had originally forecast a loss of Euros 80m. This was then revised downwards to a maximum of loss of Euros 60m in April in the light of Premiere's ongoing recovery.Premiere has seen its revenues climb to Euros 471m in the first half of 2003, up 26%
  • Reno, Clavier reteam for Corse comic adaptation

    Once again, France is turning to comic books for inspiration.Alain Berberian is to direct Enquete Corse, about a hapless detective in Corsica, based on the comics by Rene Petillon. Enquete Corse will also reunite the stars of the Les Visiteurs films - Christian Clavier and Jean Reno - who will both take lead roles in the film.Reno and Clavier will be backed up by a cast of Corsicans and an as yet unnamed Italian actress according to French weekly trad
  • Ryan takes over as chairman of AFMA

    Veteran British filmexecutive Michael Ryan has been named the next chairman of AFMA, becoming thefirst person from outside the US to be appointed to the post.Ryan, who is currentlydirector at IAC Films & Television in London where he is executive producingthe dramas Elizabeth Rex and Escape, was a founding member of the trade association 23years ago and will take office on Sept 23."I am delighted thatMichael Ryan will serve as AFMA's next chairman," outgoingchairma
  • S.W.A.T.

    Dir. Clark Johnson. US. 2003. 116minsBacked by another stand-out performance by Colin Farrell and the best tag line of the season - 'Even cops dial 911' - this superior piece of formula film-making should blow the doors off the box office when it opens in the US this weekend (Aug 8). Strong word-of-mouth will lead to greater things before the summer is out while a sharp soundtrack should push the right cross-promotional buttons. While paying tongue-in-cheek homage to the 1970
  • S.W.A.T. storms to number one in US after robust $37m opening

    Columbia's policeaction-thriller S.W.A.T. stormed to the top of the charts on anestimated $37m at the weekend, a fairly lacklustre session that saw overall boxoffice sink to its lowest mark since late June.Clark Johnson directed the1970s television series adaptation, which stars Colin Farrell, Samuel L Jacksonand Michelle Rodriguez and averaged $11,555 from 3,202 sites.Jacksonplays a S.W.A.T. commander whose elite police unit is called in to capture adrug lord on the run
  • Spacey biopic finds new backing singer after MDP exit

    Mark Damon's MDP Worldwide has pulled out of Kevin Spacey's BeyondThe Sea, the Bobby Darinbiopic it was co-producing with Spacey's Trigger Street productions. In a statement released yesterday, Damon, the company's chairmanand chief executive officer, said the withdrawal was entirely amicable and dueto scheduling conflicts.It is understood Spacey, who will direct and star in the filmabout the legendary crooner, needed to complete the production with availablecast and crew
  • Swiss producers set for government funding boost

    Swiss Federal President and Minister of Culture Pascal Couchepin has proposed that the national cinema funding budget should be increased by up to 15%. At the same time, however, he called on Swiss producers to be more commercially minded in the future.Speaking during the weekend at the Locarno International Film Festival, Couchepin called for overall cinema funding budget to rise "10%, perhaps even 15%" from the current annual sum of Euros 27m.Couchepin commented: "the b
  • T3 closing in on $200m international box office

    Terminator 3: Rise Of TheMachines kept up its record ofopening number one in every international market at the weekend, the highlightof which was a mighty $8m bow in France.The sci-fi-action sequelgrossed an estimated $25.6m from 6,489 prints in its fourth weekend on release,raising the running total to $183m for all Columbia TriStar Film DistributorsInternational (CTFDI) markets and a handful of others in Japan and Korea.In France, where CTFDIreleased it on 852 screens,
  • Terminator 3 looks for French connection

    With a subdued slate of major international releases this upcoming weekend, all eyes will be on whether Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines can maintain its perfect record of opening number one in every market.The sci-fi sequel was the runaway number one performer last weekend and has amassed $153m to date and $96.2m in markets handled by Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI).Edging in on $100m, CTFDI was hoping to continue its table-topping run on Augus
  • Tomb Raider sequel sparkles on Euro debut

    Paramount's action sequel Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life received its European debut this weekend, launching in pole position in The Netherlands.Following success in five Asian countries in the past two week's the launch marks another good sign for the film, which is released in most international territories by UIP. It grossed $465,033 (Euros 410,624) from 104 sites, including previews of $51,659 (Euros 45,615).Cradle Of Life scored a total of $2.6m ov
  • UK Film Council backs Dog Soldiers follow up

    Neil Marshall, director of UK werewolf hit Dog Soldiers, is returning to the horror genre with Outpost, one of a fresh slate of projects to receive development funding from public funding body the UK Film Council this week.In a premise similar to Marshall's hit debut, which follows a squad of soldiers on a training mission getting picked off by a family of werewolves, Outpost is set on a derelict oil rig where a secret genetic experiment goes awry. A special milita
  • UK Film Council plans nationwide film school network

    The UK Film Council is understood to be planning a nationwide network of state-of-the-art film schools.The ambitious initiative is expected to be proposed next month when the Council, the UK's leading source of National Lottery cash, unveils the results of a high-powered training working group it launched in February with training body Skillset. Charged with the brief of preparing a comprehensive training strategy, the group of industry figures includes Paramount Pictures' Michael O'Su
  • UK launch for black film-makers sales outfit

    Former High Point senior sales executive Sarah Chammartin has launched a new sales company which will specialise in handling films by black film-makers.Based in the UK and called Carre Noir Film, Chammartin says the aim is provide films by black film-makers to black communities around the world. Chammartin is currently handling Urban Entertainment's Sistas 'N The City, an animated parody series of Sex And The City which aired on the UK's Channel 4.Chammartin
  • UK Production Listings - August 8 2003

    Copyright: Screen InternationalUK - August 8Pre-ProductionALEXANDER(Intermedia) Co-prod: Pathe (Fr). Int'l sales: Summit Entertainment (US). US dist: Warner Bros. Prod: Iain Smith. Main cast: Colin Farrell, Anthony Hopkins. Shooting from Sept. Contact: Pinewood Studios, (44) 1753 651 700BRONTE (Random Harvest Pictures) Budget: $12m. Period drama. The moors above Yorkshire are harsh and life is severe for the Bronte family. Follows t
  • Universal looks to tap new German fund

    Universal Studios is set to benefit from a private media fund being prepared by Munich-based Hannover Leasing with a fund volume of up to Euros 250m.If all goes according to schedule, the fund will be brought onto the market at the end of August, inviting private individuals to invest a minimum of Euros 25,000 to finance the production and marketing of two-to-four films which will be globally distributed by Universal Studios. The investors will pay in 50% of the deposit with the remai
  • Universal, Arenas terminate partnership

    Universal Pictures and advertising, PR and talent management firm The Arenas Group are dissolving their partnership in Arenas Entertainment, the US Latino-targeted film label launched in November 2001. "We are shifting to a non exclusive arrangement with Arenas," said Marc Shmuger, vice chairman of Universal Pictures. Rather than using one supplier (Arenas), Universal is moving to a multi-supplier arrangement "in recognition of the diversity, complexity and breadth of the opportunities
  • Venice considers collaboration with Mifed

    Cinecitta holding president Pupi Avati has approached the Venice Film Festival and Mifed with plans to establish a new film market on the Lido to run alongside the festival.The collaboration between the three organisations is believed to involve several initiatives, although the market element is likely to create the most buzz - particularly with Mifed facing direct rivalry from the American Film Market which will move to compete with its autumn slot in 2004. "The idea is to cre
  • Venice jury members set

    The Venice Film Festival has unveiled the jury members for both its competitions, confirming that veteran Italian filmmaker Mario Monicelli will head the jury of the traditional Venice 60 competition (ScreenDaily.com Aug 12)Joining Monicelli, who received Venice's Golden Lion award in 1959 for his classic film The Great War, will be Italian actor Stefano Accorsi (Radiofreccia, Ignorant Fairies), German director of photography Michael Ballhaus (Goodfellas, Gangs
  • Venice names jury members

    The Venice Film Festival has unveiled the jury members for both its competitions, confirming that veteran Italian filmmaker Mario Monicelli will head the jury of the traditional Venice 60 competition (ScreenDaily.com Aug 12)Joining Monicelli, who received Venice's Golden Lion award in 1959 for his classic film The Great War, will be Italian actor Stefano Accorsi (Radiofreccia, Ignorant Fairies), German director of photography Michael Ballhaus (Goodfellas, Gangs
  • VIP Group fund backs first German film

    Munich-based media fund VIP Group boarded its first local German-language project, co-producing the latest feature film with German comic Otto Waalkes, Sieben Zwerge - Maenner Allein Im Wald (Seven Dwarves - Men Along In The Forest), directed by Sven Unterwaldt.The comedy, which is currently being shot in the Cologne MMC Studios, is being produced with Waalkes' own production outfit Zipfelmuetzenfilm, Universal Pictuers Germany, MMC Independent and Rialto Film with backing from
  • Warner Bros boards two new Italian projects

    Warner Bros PicturesInternational is to collaborate on the production and release of twoItalian-language films in Italy, working with BiancaFilm on L'AmoreRitorna (Love Returns) and with Cattleya on Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo (Three Steps Over Heaven).Sergio Rubini will direct L'AmoreRitorna, a comedy-drama about acelebrated actor who reconsiders life after illness forces him to quit.Rubini will also star in thefilm alongside Fabrizio Bentivoglio
  • Warner Independent Pictures is opened for business

    Warner Bros PicturesInternational is to collaborate on the production and release of twoItalian-language films in Italy, working with BiancaFilm on L'AmoreRitorna (Love Returns) and with Cattleya on Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo (Three Steps Over Heaven).Sergio Rubini will direct L'AmoreRitorna, a comedy-drama about acelebrated actor who reconsiders life after illness forces him to quit.Rubini will also star in thefilm alongside
  • Warner Independent Pictures opens for business

    After months of speculationWarner Bros officially unveiled Warner Independent Pictures yesterday, its newspecialty division that will be headed up by former Miramax LA and Stratus Film Co president Mark Gill.As president of the new division Gill willoversee all aspects of business including development, production, acquisition,marketing and distribution, reporting directly to Warner Bros Picturespresident of production Jeff Robinov.The move ends thestudio's status as the only US
  • Wondrous Oblivion

    Dir: Paul Morrison. UK. 2003. 106minsA poignant, warm-spirited coming-of-age drama, Wondrous Oblivion represents a significant advance in the career of writer-director Paul Morrison. Oscar-nominated for his melodramatic Welsh language feature debut Solomon And Gaenor (1998), Morrison now reveals a much more assured touch in balancing personal dilemmas with wider social issues and history lessons. His story of a cricket mad youngster growing up in the narrow-mind
  • Work Hard, Play Hard (Violence Des Echanges En Milieu Tempere)

    Dir. Jean-Marc Moutout. France/Belgium. 99 min.Another addition to the rapidly growing number of French films dealing with economic globalisation and its various ways of affecting human condition, Jean-Marc Moutout's feature debut may not reach the high standards established by outstanding films like Human Resources or L'Emploi Du Temps. But by using a specific example, the takeover of one industrial complex by another and the inevitable upheaval and redundancie
  • Wrubel spearheads film-buying for Global Film Initiative

    Former Madstone Films and New Yorker Films executive Susan Wrubelhas joined US charitable foundation The Global Film Initiative as head ofacquisitions and programmes.In the newly created role Wrubel will be responsible foracquisitions, contract negotiations, grants, international marketrepresentation, distribution strategy, marketing and publicity.
  • Zombie debut earns Melbourne festival praise

    A self-financed debut film about zombies has been awarded the 2003 FIPRESCI Award for Emerging Filmmakers at the Melbourne International Film Festival. Undead, directed by Queensland brothers Michael and Peter Spierig, was earlier this year picked up for distribution in the US by Lions Gate. It set to be released in Australia by Imagine Entertainment, and has sold to a further 21 countries.The Melbourne jury said the film won "for daring to be everything that Australian f
  • Zsigmond to lead masterclass in Budapest

    Vilmos Zsigmond, the acclaimed cinematographer who won an Oscarfor Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, will lead a workshop for young film-makers in Budapestfrom Aug 24-Sept 7.More than 27 aspiring cinematographers, directors andscreenwriters will convene for the 2003 Masterclass conducted by the Academy ofDrama and Film and the Hungarian Society of Cinematographers.Sixteen students were chosen in collaboration with theCentre Internatio

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