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Screen
12 May 2005

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  • ...as Weinsteins ride with Capitol Films' Stormbreaker

    Bob and Harvey Weinstein are back in the spy kids business, with TheWeinstein Company taking North American rights to Stormbreaker, based on Anthony Horowitz's popular novels about reluctant14-year-old superspy Alex Rider.Capitol Films is sellinginternational rights to the $40m film, which has received hefty (£2.3 million)backing from the UK Film Council's Premiere fund under new boss, Sally Caplan.Entertainment Film Distributors has acquired UK rights.
  • Alliance Atlantis CFO steps down

    W. Judson Martin, the long-serving CFO of Alliance AtlantisCommunications, will be leaving the company for health reasons. He has agreed to stay onboard until a successor is in place,an appointment that is expected to take place in September. "Jud is a valued friend as well as a colleague and hewill be missed, but as a friend, I know this is the right move, given hishealth concerns" said AAC chairman and CEO Michael MacMillan.The AAC chief credited Martin for his leading
  • Almost Brothers (Quase Dois Irmaos)

    Dir: Lucia Morat. Braz-Fr-Chile. 2004. 102minsAlmostBrothers, whichfollows two childhood friends as they confront Brazil's social apartheid, maybe flawed but it is consistently compelling. Political activist-turned-directorLucia Morat has been perhaps overly ambitious in the task she sets herself, butwhen the film gels, it is gripping stuff.One of the best films to emerge from Brazil in the pastyear, it has fielded a clutch of festival
  • Almost Brothers (Quase Dois Irmaos)

    Dir: Lucia Morat. Braz-Fr-Chile. 2004. 102minsAlmostBrothers, whichfollows two childhood friends as they confront Brazil's social apartheid, maybe flawed but it is consistently compelling. Political activist-turned-directorLucia Morat has been perhaps overly ambitious in the task she sets herself, butwhen the film gels, it is gripping stuff.One of the best films to emerge from Brazil in the pastyear, it has fielded a clutch of festival awards includin
  • Arab festivals co-ordinate to avoid date clashes

    The second DubaiInternational Film Festival is to be held from December 11-17, 2005. The date of the week-longfestival was decided after a series of discussions with the organizers of theCairo, Marrakech and Damascus film festivals to enhance synergies between majorfestivals from the Arab world. The discussions focused onthe most appropriate dates for four of the Arab world's leading film festivalsto ensure they do not clash.The new dates of these fourArab festivals are a
  • BAFTA sets awards date for 2006

    The British Academy of Filmand Television Arts has announced that next year's film awards will takeplace on Sunday Feb 19. The Aviator and Vera Drake shared the major honours at this year's Baftas. MartinScorsese's epic won best picture but it was British director Mike Leighwho took home his first directing BAFTA. This year's guestsincluded Cate Blanchett, Leonardo DiCaprio, Imelda Staunton, Ziyi Zhang, CliveOwen, Daniel Craig, Charlie Kaufman, Gael Garcia Bernal,
  • Bassi steps down as Mifed, Filmitalia chief

    Carlo Bassi has stepped downas CEO of AIP, the Italian film organisation which oversees promotional bodyFilmitalia as well as the MIFED film market. Industry veteran Adriana Chiesa will take over at Filmitalia. Ernesto Paolillo, an AIP board member will be in charge of"MIFED, due to his long experience in financialinstitutions."Chiesa said: "My appointment as CEO of AIP Filmitalia refers in particular to the company's role of promoting and marketing Italian cinema abroad."
  • Bauer Martinez moves into US distribution

    Philippe Martinez' BauerMartinez Studios has launched a US distribution venture with a high profileslate that boasts the $40m John McTiernan actioner Riders Of The Storm, £30m thriller The Flock from Andy Lau, as well as Bauer Martinez'co-production Modigliani andfirst acquisition The Groomsmenfrom Ed Burn's Black and Tan Productions.Backed by an exclusive $100mfunding deal with UK-based Templar Film Investment Fund for the next threeyears, the Los Angeles-b
  • Bavaria strikes US and UK deals ahead of Cannes

    Munich-based sales agentBavaria Film has concluded a number of US and UK deals ahead of this year'sCannes market.
  • Bim snaps up Cannes competitor for Italy

    BimDistribuzione has acquired Italian distribution rights to Luc and Jean-PierreDardenne's Cannes competition film The Child (L'Enfant)Sold by Celluloid Dreams, The Child tells the story of 20-year-old Bruno and hispartner, 18-year-old Sonia, who are living off social security and thefts, whenSonia gives birth to their first child. The picture, produced by France'sArchipel 35, stars Jeremie Renier (Brotherhood of The Wolf), Olivier Gourmet (The Son) a
  • Britney Spears adds heat to Celsius slate

    A new Britney Spears project,the Janis Joplin biopic starring Pink and a $16m portmanteau picture featuringauteurs old and new headline an impressive debut slate for ThierryWase-Bailey's start-up sales outfit Celsius.
  • Brits on pre-Cannes shopping spree

    UK companies picked up several titles from theCannes official selection before today's festival opening.Tartan signed CarlosReygadas' competition entry Battle In Heaven, Kim Ki-Duk's Un Certain Regard entry, The Bow, and Kim Jee-woon's A Bittersweet Life (screening out of competition.)It also took UK rights (excluding TV) to James Marsh's Un Certain Regard entry, The King.Continuing its long-standingrelationship with Austrian auteur Michael Haneke, Ar
  • Brody, Affleck embark on American Way for Focus

    Production has begun on AllenCoulter's Truth, Justice And The American Way, the real-life Hollywoodmystery starring Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck and Diane Lane.
  • By The Pricking Of My Thumbs (Mon Petit Doigt M'a Dit)

    Dir: Pascal Thomas. Fr.2005. 105mins.A French adaptation ofAgatha Christie's same-named novel, By The Pricking Of My Thumbs findsthe right balance between silly humour and creepy mystery. Directed by PascalThomas (La Dilettante) and starring Andre Dussolier - best known outsideof France as the unseen narrator of Amelie - and Catherine Frot (TheDinner Game), it is a capable, if slight, movie that captures the relaxedChristie atmo
  • Cheung steps up in Celestial hierarchy

    Hong Kong's CelestialPictures has promoted international sales chief Gordon Cheung to the newposition of executive vice president, acquisitions & distribution. In his new role, Cheung willoversee Celestial's new movie productions, content acquisition and thedistribution of new film content. The company, which owns and distributes the760-title Shaw Brothers library, is currently expanding its activities toencompass production finance and acquisition of new productions. 'Gordon wi
  • Chiesa sells Invisible Children to Japan, Germany

    Rome-based sales agentAdriana Chiesa Enterprises (ACE) has sold rights for international project AllThe Invisible Children to Gaga forJapan, Telemunchen (Germany) and PCV (Greece).The seven-director projectfor UNICEF/World Food Programme boasts Jury president Emir Kusturica and memberJohn Woo among its contributors. Spike Lee became the lastdirector to join the project when he shot his 15-minute fictional segmentearlier this month. In addition to Woo, Kusturica and Lee,
  • Clooney thriller joins Summit's Cannes slate

    Michael Clayton, a dramatic thriller set to start shootingearly next year with George Clooney starring, has been added to SummitEntertainment's Cannes pre-sales slate. Tony Gilroy, whose screenwriting credits include The BourneSupremacy and The Bourne Identity, will write the script and make his directingdebut on the film. Clooney's and Steven Soderbergh's Section Eight will producewith Samuels Media, Mirage Enterprises and Castle Rock Entertainment. SamuelsMedia w
  • CME cements grip on E. Europe with TV Nova deal

    Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. (CME) has completedits acquisition of TV Nova, the leading broadcaster in Central and EasternEurope.CME is a major film buyer in the region, acquiring broadcastrights to international films for its stations in Croatia, the Czech Republic,Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.The purchase of Nova, with 10 million viewers in the CzechRepublic alone, increases CME's footprint to approximately 90 millionpeople.CME acquired 85% of the
  • Curse holds key to second Wallace & Gromit film

    Wallace& Gromit could soon be the subject of a second full-length feature filmfrom Nick Park, assuming the first, The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, is a big box office hit forDreamWorks when it is released in North America on Oct 7.Ifgreenlit, the Wallace & Gromit sequel might even be squeezed into production before CroodAwakenings, the newAardman project that was announced in Cannes on Thursday as part of a publicitypush for Were-Rabbit and the upcoming Flus
  • Devlin amps up science fiction epic Isobar

    Independence Day and Godzilla producer DeanDevlin is reviving Isobar, a science-fiction epic which was a flagshipproject for Carolco in the early 1990s.
  • Diagonale directors step down from Austrian festival

    Changes are afootagain at Graz's Diagonale - Festival of Austrian Cinema little more than sixweeks after the successful 2005 edition in March.Due to 'differing opinions with respect tothe running of the Diagonale', Robert Buchschwenter and Georg Tillner arestepping down from the festival management.The third member of the management team - BirgitFlos - will conti
  • Downfall snubbed in German Film Awards

    Oscar-nominated German hit Downfall has been controversiallyomitted from best film shortlist for this year's German Film Awards.The Bernd Eichinger produced box office smash only mustered three actingnominations for this year's awards including best actor for Bruno Ganz as AdolfHitler. Dani Levy's Jewish family comedy Go For Zucker! - An Unorthodox Comedy has emerged as theawards front-runner, with ten nominations followed by Volker Schloendorff'sWorld War II drama Th
  • Dubrovnik Film Festival unveils competition line-up

    The DubrovnikFilm Festival, taking place in Croatia immediately after Cannes, has confirmeddetails of its line-up and many of its guests. The festival (running 25 to 29May) is to open with Charles Dance's Ladies In Lavender and to close with Sahara.Britishactor John Hurt is President of the main festival jury. Other notable guests inattendance include Christopher Walken, Emily Watson, Klaus Maria Brandauer,Peter Medak nd Mace Neufeld, all of whom are s
  • Elton John to exec produce It's A Boy Girl Thing

    SirElton John is to executive produce high school comedy It's A Boy Girl Thing through his company Rocket Pictures, it was announced this week. "Iabsolutely love this project. The script is hysterical - I can't stop laughingwhenever I read it," the British pop star commented.Direct
  • F&ME forges Balkan alliance for The Border Post

    UK-based production companyFilm and Music Entertainment (F&ME) has forged a Balkan alliance for TheBorder Post, the first feature onwhich all the new nation states created by the break-up of the SocialistFederal Republic of Yugoslavia are collaborating as co-production partners. Set in late 80s on theMacedonian/Albanian border and centring around a military commander with a badcase of syphilis, F&ME's partners include include Refresh Production (Bosnia andHerzegovina), Sektor fi
  • Firth, Kingsley enlist in The Last Legion

    Colin Firth andBen Kingsley have been cast in Doug Lefler's upcoming Fall of the Roman Empireadventure and Dino De Laurentiis presentation The Last Legion.Martha De Laurentiis and Raffaella De Laurentiis will produce the project inpartnership with Quinta Communications' Tarak Ben Ammar and Britishco-producers Chris Curling and Phil Robertson of Zephyr Films.Principal photography is set to begin on Aug 8 in Tunisia and Slovakia on theproject, which follows the fortunes o
  • Fortissimo Mob-ilises triad drama

    Fortissimo Films has pickedup international rights (excluding Southeast Asia) to triad thriller MobSister, directed by one of HongKong's hottest new directors, Wong Ching Po. Produced by Hong Kong'sFilmko Entertainment, the film tells the story of an innocent 16-year-old girlwho gets sucked into the world of gang wars and power struggles. Taiwanese newcomer Annie Liuplays the girl alongside award-winning actors Simon Yam, Eric Tsang, AnthonyWong and Li
  • Fortissimo scores pre-Cannes sales on high profile pair

    Fortissimo Films has secureda slew of sales on two titles - The Night Listener starring Robin Williams and Berlin Golden Bear winnerU-Carmen eKhayelitsha - in therun-up to the Cannes market. The Night Listener, the recently-wrapped adaptation of ArmisteadMaupin's bestselling novel, has been sold to Australia and New Zealand (VillageRoadshow), Benelux (A-Film), Portugal (Lusomundo) and Scandinavia (SvenskFilmindustri). The film is produced by Hart Sharp Entertainmen
  • France's Pyramide unveils Cannes slate

    The newly-christened PyramideInternational is heading into Cannes with a strong line up that includesseveral competition titles and will begin pre-sales on new films from directorTony Gatlif, Jean-Pierre Ameris and Julie Lopes-Curval among others.The company has one film in themain competition, Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu's Peindre Ou Faire L'Amourstarring Sabine Azema, Daniel Auteuil, Sergi Lope
  • Frears set for The Queen and Di

    In a move likely to ruffleestablishment feathers in the UK, Stephen Frears is going ahead with TheQueen, his long-gestating featureabout the death of Princess Diana, "the people's princess." Co-financed by Pathe Pictures and Granada Screen, The Queen is scheduled to shoot in September. It is likely toair first on TV in the UK before being released theatrically in the rest of theworld. Pathe International is handling world sales. Scripted by Peter Morgan, The Q
  • Gamblers (Les Mauvais Joueurs)

    Dir. Frederic Balekdjian.Fr. 2005. 85mins.Taking place entirely ina garment district of Paris, Gamblers is a French Mean Streets, amessy, gratifying film about life in an ethnically-mixed neighbourhood and theart of making a living however one can. The first feature by the promisingFrederic Balekdjian, it makes for an assured, exciting drama with an eye forbig themes and small details.It has already had littletrouble finding a smal
  • Gavin appointed chief of Odeon, UCI cinemas

    Rupert Gavin, the formerhead of the BBC's commercial arm BBC Worldwide, has been appointed chiefexecutive of Odeon Cinemas and UCI Cinemas.The appointment is a majorstep in combining the two UK cinema chains after they were taken over byprivate equity firm Terra Firma. Together, the circuits are the largest cinemaoperator in the UK, amounting to 95 Odeon sites and 32 UCI cinemas.Speculation about who willhead up the combined circuit had included the return of former Odeon MD Ric
  • Gemini to sell Auster's Inner Life at Cannes

    Paolo Branco's Gemini Filmswill begin sales on the latest film from author and director Paul Auster, TheInner Life Of Martin Frost, at Cannes next week, the company told ScreenDaily.com.The Euros 3.5m project will beginshooting in mid-September in the US with casting to be confirmed.The Portugese-USco-production is produced by Branco and Auster. Gemini has world r
  • German gov't to launch Euros 90m film fund

    The German government is tocreate a venture capital fund with a total volume of Euros 90m to support theGerman film industry over the next three years.
  • Gladiator producer to remake Korean blockbuster

    The Los Angelesarm of Korean production powerhouse MK Pictures has struck a deal withOscar-winning writer and producer David Franzoni to remake Korean blockbuster JointSecurity Area (JSA). The project isset to mark the directorial debut of Franzoni who wrote and produced RidleyScott's Gladiator andalso wrote King Arthurand Steven Spielberg's Amistad. He's also moving the setting of the film - a murder-mystery set on theborder between North and South Korea -
  • Goda's FilmMates hits Croisette with 10 titles

    Alan Goda's Los Angeles-basedfinance, production and distribution outfit FilmMates Entertainment is hittingthe Croisette for the first time with 10 titles that feature the likes of SusanSarandon, Jeremy Irons, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Shirley MacClaine.
  • Goldwyn, Lecker promoted at Samuel Goldwyn Films

    Peter Goldwyn has been promoted to vice president of acquisitions andTamara Lecker to director of acquisitions and development at Samuel GoldwynFilms.Goldwyn will continue to pursue projects from the company's Los Angeles officeand will work closely with president Meyer Gottlieb in negotiating pre-buys andbringing completed projects to the company.Lecker will continue to operate out of the New York office, working with vicepresident of development Julie Huey and Goldwyn in sec
  • High Point Gay in Amsterdam with Van Gogh

    UK sales agent High Pointhas taken over international sales duties on Tom Six's Gay In Amsterdam, billed as the first ever drama to investigate indepth the thriving gay scene in the Netherlands' most vibrant city. HighPoint has also taken rights to the last two films by controversial filmmakerTheo Van Gogh, murdered by a Muslim extremist in November last year.06/05, Van Gogh's final feature, was shown at the Rotterdam Festival in January. Theoth
  • Hooligans

    Dir. Lexi Alexander.US-UK. 2005. 108mins.An exciting, if superficial, exploration of footballviolence in the UK, this tight little drama is a showcase for an exceptionalpair of young British actors and German-born debut feature director LexiAlexander. Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood, clearly eager to breakout of hobbit mode, acquits himself as the lone American who is accepted into agang of football thugs.Hooligans' distribution prospe
  • Howard to receive Musuem of Moving Image salute

    Ron Howard will be honoured by New York's Museum of the Moving Image atits 21st annual black tie salute on Dec 4, when friends andcolleagues will present highlight footage from the filmmaker's career."Ron Howard has played an essential role in the world of the moving image since he was a child," museum director Rochelle Slovin said. "He has delighted us as an actor, and has awed and enthralled us as a director and producer.The Oscar winning director of A Beautiful Mind fo
  • Hyde Park, Odd Lot team for multi-picture deal

    Hyde Park Entertainment and Odd Lot Entertainment have struck a deal toco-produce and co-finance a raft of features over the next 12 to 18 months,starting with the erotic thriller Trap For Cinderella to be directed byIain Softley. Hyde ParkInternational, the new sales division headed up by Lisa Wilson, will handlesales and distribution on the slate. Hyde Park Entertainment chairman AshokAmritraj will serve as producer on each project along with Odd Lot's foundingpartners Gigi Pr
  • Icon does brisk business with Clear Day

    UK sales outfit Icon International has been doing brisk business on therun up to Cannes with Gaby Dellal's On A Clear Day, securing salesto MK2 (France), Degeto/ARD for free TV in Germany as well as wrapping dealswith Portugal (Lusomundo), Israel (Shapira) and Iceland (Skifan.)On A Clear Day, the opening film at Sundance this year, tells of anunemployed 55-year-old man who tries to redeem his life by attempting theultimate test of endurance; swimming the English Channel.
  • Inarritu's Babel towers into view

    Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu revealed exclusive details of his latestopus Babel in an interview with Screen from the Morocco set this week. Although he says it is more challenging structurally than AmoresPerros, it has similar themes of 'love and how we deal with it as humanbeings, while on a microscopic level looking at the complex relationship offathers and sons." It will be the last in his trilogy of intertwined stories after AmoresPerros and 21 Grams, and
  • International quiet before Star Wars storm

    Major territory releases for US films are few and farbetween this weekend as the marketplace waits for Star Wars: Episode III tomake its global entrance next week.Fox International's Kingdom of Heaven, currently theinternational box office leader after its launch in 99 territories lastweekend, opens in Japan, its only remaining major market (though China is stillto come next month), on May 14. Besides looking for strong holds worldwide from the RidleyScott epic, Fo
  • Japan's Toshiba snaps up Lady Chatterley

    French sales company FilmsDistribution has sold its Lady Chatterley to Japan's Toshiba on day one of the Cannes Market.The Pascal Ferran-directedfilm is an adaptation of DH Lawrence's classic, racy novel. Marina Hands stars in the eponymousrole with Jean-Louis Coulloc'h and Hippolyte Girardot.Films Distribution ishandling a pedigree slate which includes the next film from Etre Et Avoir director Nicolas Philibert, Christian Carion's MerryChri
  • Kicking & Screaming

    Dir:Jesse Dylan. US. 2005. 93mins.WillFerrell's comic talents are used to very variable effect in Kicking &Screaming, a haphazard family comedy that attempts to combine kid-friendlyhumour with something a bit edgier for youngish parents. It's the kind of safefamily film that sometimes finds a surprisingly large audience, and Ferrell'sgrowing star power will certainly boost its appeal. But this particular exampleof the genre seems likely to fare much
  • Kicking & Screaming

    Dir:Jesse Dylan. US. 2005. 93mins.WillFerrell's comic talents are used to very variable effect in Kicking &Screaming, a haphazard family comedy that attempts to combine kid-friendlyhumour with something a bit edgier for youngish parents. It's the kind of safefamily film that sometimes finds a surprisingly large audience, and Ferrell'sgrowing star power will certainly boost its appeal. But this particular exampleof the genre seems likely to fare much
  • Kicking And Screaming

    Dir:Jesse Dylan. US. 2005. 93mins.WillFerrell's comic talents are used to very variable effect in Kicking &Screaming, a haphazard family comedy that attempts to combine kid-friendlyhumour with something a bit edgier for youngish parents. It's the kind of safefamily film that sometimes finds a surprisingly large audience, and Ferrell'sgrowing star power will certainly boost its appeal. But this particular exampleof the genre seems likely to fare much
  • King pledges AFM return for Initial

    Graham King assured buyers this week that his InitialEntertainment Group will have a new slate of films on offer for buyers by AFMin Nov, following the news in April that he has signed a first-look deal withWarner Bros. Speaking from the New York City set of Martin Scorsese's TheDeparted, which heis producing, King said he plans to reinvent the sales agency side of thecompany following the departur
  • Kingdom Of Heaven embarks upon global crusade

    The Kingdom Of Heaven global crusade begins this weekend as FoxInternational rolls out the historical epic on more than 7,000 prints in 97territories.Ridley Scott's picture opens in South Korea on May 4 on 289 prints, followed byGermany, Mexico and Australia on May 5 on 851, 540 and 365 respectively.Kingdom Of Heaven touches down onUK shores on May 6 on 700 prints, while same-day releases in Spain, Brazil andRussia will see the picture open on 435, 395 and 350 re
  • Kingdom of Heaven sweeps international box office

    Sweeping into 97 territories day-and-date with its NorthAmerican launch, Kingdom of Heaven produced an impressive $56m estimated grossthis weekend, putting it firmly at the top of the international chart andslightly exceeding the expectations that distributor Fox International had forthe historical epic with obvious global potential. The big budget Ridley Scott adventure, with Orlando Bloomstarring as a 12th century Crusader, knocked rivals - namely XXX:The Next Level and
  • Kingdom of Heaven sweeps international box office

    Sweeping into 97 territories day-and-date with its North Americanlaunch, <I>Kingdom of Heaven</I> produced an impressive $56mestimated gross this weekend, putting it firmly at the top of the internationalchart and slightly exceeding the expectations that distributor FoxInternational had for the historical epic with obvious global potential.
  • Kingdom of Heaven sweeps international box office

    Sweeping into 97 territories day-and-date with its North American launch, Kingdom of Heaven produced an impressive $56m estimated gross this weekend, putting it firmly at the top of the international chart and slightly exceeding the expectations that distributor Fox International had for the historical epic with obvious global potential. The big budget Ridley Scott adventure, with Orlando Bloom starring as a 12th century Crusader, knocked rivals - namely XXX: The Next Level and
  • Kingdom tops box office in soft US market

    Twentieth Century Fox's Kingdom of Heaven debuted at the topof the North American box office chart this weekend but its $20m estimatedgross fell short of some industry predictions and failed to give the summerseason a hoped for kick start. Warner Bros' House of Wax opened in second spot,but its estimated $12.2m gross was also a bit of a disappointment. With several holdovers falling off heavily, overall top tenbox office for the weekend now considered the start of the sum
  • Kingdom tops box office in soft US market

    Twentieth Century Fox's Kingdom of Heaven debuted at the topof the North American box office chart this weekend but its $20m estimatedgross fell short of some industry predictions and failed to give the summerseason a hoped for kick start. Warner Bros' House of Wax opened in second spot,but its estimated $12.2m gross was also a bit of a disappointment. With several holdovers falling off heavily, overall top tenbox office for the weekend now considered the start of the sum
  • Kuhn calls for reform of UK Film Council

    Michael Kuhn, former head of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, has slammedGovernment-backed support body the UK Film Council as 'helpless' and 'in needof reform'.Giving the inaugural film lecture held by producer's agency Pact, Kuhnlaunched into one of the most stinging attacks on the Film Council since itsinception five years ago. The studio chief turned independent producer said theUK production sector was in a state of 'crisis' despite the Film Council'sNational Lottery investments and
  • Kusturica spells out judging criteria for Cannes festival

    The Cannes competition titles will be judged on purelyaesthetic grounds rather than box-office potential, said jury president EmirKusturica. It's astatement that sets the tone for this year's genre-focussed and auteur-richfestival. Kusturica promised the festival would "hit the heights" by going backto the value judgements that he says have marked out Cannes from its rivals.But herefused to criticise last year's Palme d'Or winner Fahrenheit 9/11 which was seen by some as
  • Last Train delayed after director injured on set

    Filming on the Holocaust drama The Last Train (Der LetzteZug) has been stopped in Prague after onlyone day of shooting following an accident on set involving the director JosephVilsmaier (Comedian Harmonists, Stalingrad).According to press reportsat the weekend, Vilsmaier has had to be hospitalised "for at least aweek" after being injured when a camera crane overturned during atravelling shot on the first day of the 42-day shoot. Featuring Head-On'sSibel Kek
  • Latido bangs Cuba drum

    Sales consortium Latido haspicked up worldwide rights to Viva Cuba the second film from director Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti, whose debutfeature Nada+ premiered in theQuinzaine in 2002.A fable-like story of twochildren who run away from home, Viva Cuba is the first production from Nicolas Duval and Eric Brach's Quad, the new film division of French advertising giantWizz. "This acquisition reflectsour commitment to Latin American c
  • Lemming jump starts Cannes festival

    The 58th CannesFilm Festival gets underway today with the opening ceremony and competitionscreening of Dominik Moll's Lemmingat 19.30.Festival delegates have beenpouring into Cannes over the past two days in preparation forthe start of the festival.According to official Cannes figures, 8281 delegates from 79 countries have registered for the Cannes market, up 10% on last year. In total, 3,507 films will be presented to the 1,384 buyers accredited, of which 1,908 are finis
  • Lindsay to spearhead Kimmel International

    Sidney Kimmel Entertainment(SKE) is launching its international sales house Kimmel International withformer Miramax executive Mark Lindsay (pictured) heading up the division.Lindsay, who most recentlyserved as senior vice president of sales and distribution for Miramax, willhandle sales on all future SKE titles, excluding the company's current slate offour titles.The executive, who will bebased in New York but plans to visit SKE's West Coast offices frequently, isheading to Cann
  • Loggerheads, Summer Storm bookend NewFest 2005

    New York premieres of Tim Kirkman's drama Loggerheads and MarcoKreuzpaintner's Summer Storm bookend the 17th Annual NewFest, thegay, lesbian and transgender event which runs from Jun 2-12.Loggerheads premiered at Sundance earlier this year and stars Kip Pardue, BonnieHunt and Michael Learned in the story of a drifter whose arrival in a coastaltown awakens deep feelings among the townspeople. Strand Releasing is handlingthe US release.Th
  • Lolafilms to sell off sales arm

    Spanish producer-distributorLolafilms is restructuring - the company is to sell off a majority holding inits international sales and distribution arm.
  • Losique ups ante with NFB sponsorship

    The Montreal World Film Festivalhas upped the ante in the local festival wars by adding another noted filmprofessional to its jury and seemingly securing the continued support of the NationalFilm Board of Canada.Cinematographer Jorgen Persson,who has shot films for Ingmar Bergman, Bo Widerberg and Bille August, will join2005 jury president Theo Angelopoulos as well as Chen Kaige and Pavel Lounguine,as announced last week by its wily festival chief Serge Losique.The return sponso
  • Lumina to sell Brazilian Futebol around the world

    The UK's Lumina Films haspicked up worldwide rights on three-part Brazilian documentary Futebol directedby Joao Moreira Salles and ArthurFontes.The series will be presented throughBuena Onda, Lumina's production and acquisition sister label headed by Donald KRanvaud.Joao Moreira Salles, wholaunched Brazilian production company Videofilmes with his bro
  • Mindhunters

    Dir:Renny Harlin. UK-Neth-Fin-US. 2005. 108mins.Finallyemerging in the US theatrical market after a year or more on the shelf, RennyHarlin's Mindhunters is a serial killer thriller offering a few decentthrills, some fairly gruesome chills and more than its fair share of laughablyoverblown moments.Financierand international seller Intermedia has already reaped revenues from openingsin a number of international markets but the mid-level ens
  • Miranda July wins top prize at San Francisco fest

    Ahead of its Critics Week unveiling next week in Cannes, MirandaJuly's quirky relationship drama Me And You And Everyone We Know has won the top narrative feature prizeat the 48th San Francisco International Film Festival, which ended yesterday .A joint production of the UK's Film Four and New York's IFC Films,July's feature-length also played in competition at this year's Sundance FilmFestival, where it was awarded a special jury prize for originality of vision.It will be relea
  • Momentum ventures into Bassett's Wilderness

    UKdistributor Momentum Pictures has acquired gritty British horror Wilderness, managing director Xavier Marchandhas announced.The company picked up all UKand Spanish rights to the film, which is director Michael J Bassett's follow-upto Deathwatch.Lara Thompson, head ofacquisitions at Momentum, and Robert Bernstein, of UK production company EcosseFilms, negotiated the deal. AV Pictures is selling the film at Cannes.Production starts inNorthern Ireland for si
  • Monster-In-Law

    Dir: Robert Luketic. US2005. 95mins.Jennifer Lopez may get top billing, but Jane Fonda is theonly conceivable reason to see Monster-In-Law, a tepid romantic comedyabout a bride-to-be locking horns with her boyfriend's mum.In the US, where the filmsopens on May 13, box-office may be mixed. Thirty years after the US pulled itstroops out of Vietnam, Fonda remains a polarising figure to many Americans -the very same mainstream, middle-class American
  • Moretti rounds out cast for Il Caimano

    SilvioOrlando, Margherita Buy and Jasmine Trinca have joined the cast of NanniMoretti's new film, Il Caimano.It is the first film in five years for Italy's formerenfant terrible, who will start shooting the picture on May 23. The movie is inspired by Italian premier SilvioBerlusconi, and its title, Il Caimano (The Caiman) is allegedly areference to an article in the left-leaning La Repubblica ne
  • New Australian Film Institute chief confirms awards focus

    Thefocus of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) will remain its annual awards,says new general manager Geoffrey Williams, but he envisages taking on more ofan advocacy role for industry in future.The importance of the 48-year-old awards was unassailable,he told ScreenDaily.com, and their integrity had to be protected.Getting the professional members more involved in voting is o
  • New Regency set to Shutter Thai remake deal

    Arnon Milchan's Fox-based NewRegency is expected to secure remake rights in Cannes for Thai blockbuster Shutter.
  • Olmi embarks on One Hundred Nails shoot

    Israeli-bornactor Raz Degan (Alexander) is to head the cast of Ermanno Olmi's new drama, CentoChiodi(literally, One Hundred Nails) which has started shooting in Bologna.The film tells the contemporary story ofa young Bologna university professor who becomes the subject of a toughinvestigation. He decides to leave everything and everyone behind and to moveout from the city to an old farmhouse on the banks of the Po river, where hesoon starts mingling with the locals
  • O'Toole, Morton run with Sturridge's Lassie

    Peter O'Toole and SamanthaMorton have signed up to head the all-star cast for Charles Sturridge's new Lassie movie, due to shoot later this month in Ireland andthe Isle of Man.Also helping revive thelegendary franchise are Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent), John Lynch, Jemma Redgrave, Steve Pembridge andGregor Fisher.Entertainment FilmDistributors will distribute Lassiein the UK (Christmas 2005) and Shochiku have picked up the rights in Japan. Worldw
  • Pent up demand set to drive Cannes market

    Buyers and sellers are looking forward to thisyear's Cannes market with cautious optimism. With LosAngeles' AFM trade fair moving from February to the autumn, the lastsignificant global market was the European Film Market at Berlin. That has lefta long stretch through the spring without an A-list industry gathering, andindependent sellers are looking to Cannes to provide the perfect platform forpent-up demand. "Ithink the potential for the market in Cannes this year is very high
  • Polo, Kilborn, Electra join Nothing But The Truth

    Teri Polo, Craig Kilborn andCarmen Elektra have joined Ryan Pinkston on the cast of New Line's upcomingcomedy Nothing But The Truth,which started production in Winnipeg this week.Atmosphere Entertainment and Relativity Media are teaming up on the story abouta habitual liar who is overrun with problems when his tall stories suddenlybecome true.ChristianCharles is directing the project based on a screenplay by Jeff Gutheim. KateMara, Amanda Walsh, John Carroll Lynch and C
  • Positive response for Korea's Antarctic Journal at Jeonju

    Antarctic Journal, a large-scale Korean mystery thriller set in theAntarctic Circle, provided a high profile close to the sixth JeonjuInternational Film Festival on May 6. The film receives its market premiere viaMirovision in the upcoming Cannes market.Shot in New Zealand, Journal focuses on an expedition to the South Pole thatveers off into the supernatural after the team discovers an 80-year olddiary. Although some faulted thefilm for a lack of focus, the critical resp
  • Queens join Golden parade

    Hong Kong-based sales agent GoldenNetwork Asia has added Thai director Nonzee Nimibutr's big-budget actionadventure The Queens Of Pattani to a busy Cannes slate. Produced by Nimibutr's Cinemasia with backing from Thai studioSahamongkol, the ambitious two-part feature is scheduled to start shooting nextJanuary for delivery by the end of 2006.
  • Queens join Golden parade

    Hong Kong-based sales agent GoldenNetwork Asia has added Thai director Nonzee Nimibutr's big-budget actionadventure The Queens Of Pattani to a busy Cannes slate. Produced by Nimibutr's Cinemasia with backing from Thai studioSahamongkol, the ambitious two-part feature is scheduled to start shooting nextJanuary for delivery by the end of 2006.
  • Real Madrid scores with Sogepaq

    Spain'sSogepaq has picked up worldwide rights including Spain to a surprise new filmabout - and starring - the Real Madrid football club called Real, The Movie.
  • Renaissance Living And Breathing with Huston, Suvari

    The UK's Renaissance Filmshas acquired worldwide rights to Living And Breathing, a black comedy tobe directed by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe (Lost In La Mancha, Brothers OfThe Head). Tom Wilkinson, Anjelica Huston, Mena Suvari and Justin Theroux are setto star.
  • Renaissance takes Macbeth onto world stage

    UK-based sales agencyRenaissance Films has acquired world sales rights to Macbeth, anadaptation of the William Shakespeare play starring Jennifer Connelly as LadyMacbeth and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Macbeth.Director Todd Louiso is tostart shooting late this year. Louiso, who adapted the play with his writingpartner Jacob Koskoff, previously directed Hoffman in Sundance film LoveLiza.'Philip and Jenniferhave a seriousness about what they do: they want to make films
  • Rezo sales arm makes Croisette debut with Countdown

    Rezo Films International, the sales arm of French producer-distributorRezo Films, is hitting its first Cannes market with Russian action title Countdown.Budgeted at $12 million and tipped as an action blockbuster, Countdownisdirected by Evgeny Lavrentiev and has already taken $6 million at the Russianbox office. Starring Alexey Makarov, Louise Lombard and John Amos, Countdown is in Russian andEnglish and follows Major Smolin as he attempts to thwart a terror
  • Roeg's sales arm kicks off with Klimt

    Independent Film Sales, thesales arm of Luc Roeg's UK production operation Artists Independent Films,arrives at its first Cannes with a trio of films including Klimt, a biopic of the artist starring John Malkovich anddirected by Raoul Ruiz.A European co-productioncurrently in post, Klimt marksthe sales division's first third-party film.Also on the Cannes slate is TheHoly Beast, a gothic horror whichErich Breuer will direct from his own screenplay. Malkovich
  • Romero's Dead to world premiere at CineVegas

    George ARomero's Land Of The Deadwill receive its world premiere as the closing night picture at the upcomingCineVegas Film Festival in Las Vegas on Jun 18.Romero will also receive thefestival's 2005 Vanguard Director Award from Atmosphere Entertainment chairmanMark Ca
  • Sales execs board Chartier and Devlin's Voltage Pictures

    Nadine de Barros and EricChristenson have joined Nicolas Chartier and Dean Devlin's fledgling sales andfinancing outfit Voltage Pictures as sales executives.The former Crystal Sky and Tentpole Pictures executives come aboard as Voltageheads into its first Cannes market with a strong slate of titles boasting suchtalent as Julie Delpy, Elisha Cuthbert, and Mena Suvari."I've known Nadine for a few years and I think she's one of the most dynamic,promising, rising stars in the fore
  • Sharon Stone signs for Eslinger's Cannes project

    Sharon Stone has signed on tostar in Ryan Eslinger's When A Man Falls In The Forest, one of 18projects by young filmmakers beingshowcased in the inaugural Cannes sidebar L'Atelier du Festival.
  • Shoreline bulks up Cannes slate with seven new titles

    Morris Ruskin's LosAngeles-based sales company Shoreline Entertainment has bulked up its Cannesslate with seven new titles.
  • Spain's On Pictures stocks up with Alquimia films

    Spanish distributor On Pictureshas acquired rights to four new films from local producer Alquimia Cinema.The deal, which is expected to be expanded onin the next few days, encompasses theatrical and DVD/video rights inSpain. It is the first agreement of its kind for new distributor On,backed by media conglomerate Grupo Zeta, and only its third acquisitionannounced to date.The f
  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith

    Dir/scr: George Lucas.US. 2005. 145mins.Movies don't come muchmore 'event' than the final instalment of Star Wars. But thankfully, StarWars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith has a good deal to offer besidesits cachet as the farewell to a pop culture phenomenon, a phenomenon that began28 years ago and has been garnering fans - and cash - ever since. While it maynot recapture the youthful drive of the original Star Wars trilogy, Reve
  • Storm Entertainment takes world for Foolish Things

    Michael Heuser's StormEntertainment has picked up worldwide sales rights on Julia Taylor-Stanley's TheseFoolish Things starring TerenceStamp, Lauren Bacall, Anjelica Huston and Joss Ackland.Taylor-Stanley's directorialdebut, which will receive its first market screening at Cannes, is a pre-warstory centring on a young actress' efforts to emulate her mother's glitteringstage career.Taylor-Stanley wrote thescreenplay based on Broadway playwright Noel Langley's book There
  • Strand shells out on turtle drama

    NewYork-based Strand Releasing has acquired US rights for Tim Kirkman's Loggerheads from Andrew Herwitz's Film SalesCompany.
  • Street racers on track for Cannes

    Bill Johnson and JimSeibel's Los Angeles-based sales and distribution house Inferno Distributionwill be revving up interest at Cannes on Joey Curtis' street racing drama 4NOZA, which played in official selection at Berlinearlier this year.Inferno has acquired allinternational rights to the picture, which won the best cinematography award atSundance 2003 and is styled as a modern telling of Romeo And Juliet set againstLos Angeles' illegal street racing scene.Also on Infern
  • Tax financier Scope widens Euro goals

    Aggressive new Belgiantax-based financier Scope Invest has boarded a new slate of French-languageBelgian films led by Benoit Mariage's new untitled comedy starring BenoitPoolevoorde, set for an October shoot, and Philppe Le Guay's Du Jours AuLendemain, also featuringPoolevoorde.Meanwhile, Scope is readyto board Jan Verheyen's Gilles, a remake of Dutch family film In Oranje. Scope will also co-financeXavier Giannolli's When I Was A Singer, starri
  • Tequila Gang, Media ready first-time trio

    Mexican production companyTequila Gang has joined with Spain's Media Films, the new production divisionof distributor Manga Films, to co-produce three feature films from first-timewomen directors.First up is CosasInsignificantes (Insignificant Things)by director Andrea Martinez, set to shoot next January in Mexico with probableleads Federico Luppi, Daniel Gimenez Cacho and Dolores Heredia. The remainingtwo films are from Mexico's Valentina Leduc and Argentina
  • The Baxter

    Dir. Michael Showalter.US. 2005. 91mins.The debut feature fromMichael Showalter, The Baxter harbours noble ambitions - but therein liemost of its problems, with what appears to be an attempt at mixing classicHollywood screwball comedy with elements of Billy Wilder's The Apartment(Jack Lemmon's character was named CC Baxter).In the US, distributor IFCFilms would do well not to hold its breath for a breakout late-summer hit,while rec
  • The Great New Wonderful

    Dir. Danny Leiner. US. 2005.89minsThe Great New Wonderful is thetitle but "new" is the only adjective of the three that describes this filmfrom the director of Dude, Where's My Carand Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle.A story that aims to encapsulate the ennui of post-9/11
  • The Longest Penalty In The World (El Penalti Mas Largo Del Mundo)

    Dir. Roberto Santiago.Sp. 2005. 101mins.A very local comedy withstrong remake potential, The Longest Penalty In The World has provedthis year's Spanish box office hit to date taking more than $6.5m.Although perhaps tooanchored in Madrid to travel past Spanish-language territories, that'sconversely Penalty's greatest strength - this could be remade more thanonce and score every time.Starring the wildly-popularTejero, Penal
  • The Longest Penalty In The World (El Penalti Mas Largo Del Mundo)

    Dir:Jesse Dylan. US. 2005. 93mins.WillFerrell's comic talents are used to very variable effect in Kicking &Screaming, a haphazard family comedy that attempts to combine kid-friendlyhumour with something a bit edgier for youngish parents. It's the kind of safefamily film that sometimes finds a surprisingly large audience, and Ferrell'sgrowing star power will certainly boost its appeal. But this particular exampleof the genre seems likely to fare much
  • Three Dollars

    Dir: Robert Connolly.Aus. 2005. 119mins.Based on an award-winning 1998 Australian novel, ThreeDollars is about a good, honest man utterly unable to compromise hisintegrity. David Wenham is sensitively intelligent in a role that requires himto bravely suffer a variety of modern economic tortures, from sacking andbetrayal to bankruptcy and destitution.Made with care and finesseby established director/producer partnership Robert Connolly and John M
  • Toronto's January Films signs Dragojevic to direct After

    Start-up Toronto production company January Films has signedSerbian director Srdjan Dragojevic (Pretty Village, Pretty Flame) to direct After, a post- World War II dark comedy abouta trio of concentration camp survivors suddenly set loose in war-ravaged Germany.
  • Transylvania Festival to open with Oldboy

    The fourthedition of the Transylvania International Film Festival will kick off on May 27in Cluj, Romania with the gala screening of Korean title Oldboy.The festival willclose on June 5 with Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar's AcademyAward winner The Sea Inside. TheRomanian-born, German actress Alexandra Maria Lara, the British producer KeithGriffiths, Belgrade Film Festival artistic director Miroljub Vuckovic and theHungarian director Andras
  • UGC confirms closure of UK distribution arm

    Following the sell-off of its UK exhibition circuit in Dec 2004, Frenchmajor UGC has confirmed that it is closing its UK distribution outfit UGC FilmsUK. UGC chief executive Alain Sussfeld has confirmed that plans are underwayto "progressively stop" the company's operations.The three-and-a-half-year-old company run by Louisa Dent and Emma Daviehad worked closely with UGC Cinemas to increase arthouse audiences in UKmultiplexes and had a run of successful titles including Good
  • UPI appoints Deeks as international marketing SVP

    Universal PicturesInternational (UPI) has appointed Sara Deeks as Senior Vice President,International Marketing and Darren Linton as Vice President, InternationalMarketing, effective 16 May 2005. Deeks joins UPI fromBarclays Bank where she was most recently Brand Strategy Director with theresponsibility for devising and implementing the global brand strategy for thecompany. Prior to Barclays, Deeksworked in marketing at Cable & Wireless, Telewest and British Telecom
  • Valley to hit LA heights

    The North American premiere of David Jacobson's Un Certain Regard entry DownIn The Valley will open the 2005 Los Angeles Film Festival, which runs from Jun16-26.George Clooney will receive the inaugural Spirit of Independence Awardon June 25 and will take part in an on-stage interview with critic andcommentator Elvis Mitchell following footage of his career highlights.Festival organisers have also announced that the Target DocumentaryAward prize money
  • Verhoeven readies Winter Queen

    Paul Verhoeven is preparing a$35m adaptation of The Winter Queen, based on Boris Akunin'sfin-de-siecle Russian mystery about a global conspiracy headed up by a pair offemme fatales.
  • Von Trier sets aside USA trilogy to renew his Dogme vows

    Cannes favourite Lars VonTrier, in competition with the second part of his USA trilogy Manderlay, will shoot aDogme film in February next year before making part three, Wasington, which has nowbeen postponed until 2007.
  • Walden lights up with The Dark Is Rising

    For years Susan Cooper'sfantasy series The Dark Is Rising Sequencehas held young readers in its thrall, and now the property is bound for the bigfollowing an announcement by Walden Media that it has bought the rights.Marc Platt, whose credits include Legally Blonde and the Broadway musical Wicked, will produce the series, beginning with The DarkIs Rising, with executive vicepresident of production Alex Schwartz and director of development Evan Turner overse
  • Warner Bros boards Ant and Dec's Alien

    Warner Bros is to handleinternational distribution on Alien Autopsy, the new feature showcasingthe acting talents of diminutive British TV presenters Ant and Dec.
  • Warner Bros deepens its Italian connection

    Marking the studio's first collaboration with one ofItaly's top producers, Warner Bros Pictures Italy has teamed up with MaurizioTotti's 20-year-old Colorado Film on a local language black comedy that startsshooting in Milan next week.The Bodyguard's Cure (La Cura Del Gorilla) stars Italian comedian Claudio Bisio and Stefania Rocca in astory about a bodyguard with a chequeredhistory who ends up leading the key characters through a chaotic inquest.Adapted by Sandron
  • Warner Bros snaps up Habana Blues for Latin America

    Warner Bros has taken rightsin Latin America to Un Certain Regard closing film Habana Blues.The
  • Warner Bros to take North America on August Rush

    Warner Bros is set to take NorthAmerican distribution rights on August Rush and come on board as a producingpartner.
  • Weinsteins descend on Cannes with Brothers

    Harvey and Bob Weinsteinarrive in Cannes with typical razzmatazz this week, juggling pictures from theexisting Miramax slate as well as a raft of titles under the tentatively titledThe Weinstein Company.On May 13 Harvey will host a star-studded cocktail reception at theOlympia featuring 20 minut
  • Wild Bunch unveils wide ranging Cannes slate

    Frenchsales and finance outfit Wild Bunch is heading into Cannes with a dynamic slatethat includes everything from big-budget sci-fi to art-househeartstring-tuggers.The company is handling world rights on the $45m Outlanderproduced by LA-based Ascendant Pictures, the company behind Andrew Niccol's LordOf War. Directed by Howard McCain, the film boasts production designcr
  • Woo and Wong boost StudioCanal slate

    Adding to their big-ticket Wong Kar-wai film A Lady From Shanghai, StudioCanal hascome to Cannes boasting a new collaboration with John Woo and a line-up thatincludes films from RichardGrandpierre and directors Diane Kurys and Xavier Beauvois The studio is also promising a surprise visitfrom Sydney Pollack.Woo, who is also on the Cannes jury, will oversee the remake of threefilms from the StudioCanal library under the Thriller Collection label. StudioCanal will not be sel
  • Woody's next match will be on screen with Scarlett

    WoodyAllen revealed that he will star alongside Scarlett Johansson in his next film,which is set to shoot in London this summer."It so happens that in thisnext film there is a very good part for me to play and I'm going to play it,"said the veteran director. He described it as a 'comic film.'Allen was speaking yesterdayat a press conference for his out of competition feature Match Point, which he wrote and directed but did not appear in.Reactionto Match Point
  • X goes for Zucker punch

    X World Sales has landeddistribution deals for North America and Central and Eastern Europe for DaniLevy's Go For Zucker! - An Unorthodox Comedy (Alles Auf Zucker!) which received 10German Film Award nominations this week.
  • Zeitgeist takes US rights to Ballets Russes

    New York-based ZeitgeistFilms has picked up all US rights from Geller/Goldfine Productions to DanielGeller and Dayna Goldfine's dance documentary Ballets Russes, which premiered in Sundance.Los Angeles-based sales anddistribution house Lightning Entertainment has acquired international rights onthe picture, announcing key sales to Xanadeux in Japan and Hopscotch Films inAustralia and New Zealand.Zeitgeist plans an October2005 release for Ballets Russes,which combin

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