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Screen
12 May 2006

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  • Act, Knatchbull acquire UK distributor Artificial Eye

    In a further shake-up to the UK distribution market,Artificial Eye Film Company, for 30 years the UK's leading distributor of arthouse and foreign language films, has been acquired byAct Entertainment Group, owner of Curzon Cinemas, andKnatchbull Communications Group.
  • Anche Libero Va Bene

    Dir: Kim Rossi Stuart. It. 2006.104mins.Though it breaks no new ground, Anche Libero VaBene, Italian actor Kim Rossi Stuart'sdirectorial debut, restates the child's eye-view of family strife with suchemotional truth that it feels fresh.The film spends little timetrying to look pretty, and its kitchen-sink aesthetics, together with its deliberately untouristy viewof suburban Rome, will confine it to the arthouse.But
  • Australian government to review film funding

    The Australian governmenthas announced, at the same time as handing down the annual budget, that it willreview the effectiveness of the various ways in which it supports films in Australia.The review will encompass,among other things, the investment vehicle Film Finance Corporation Australia(FFC), development agency the Australian Film Commission (AFC), tax incentivesfor private investors, and the tax rebates used to attra
  • Bafta sets 2007 awards for February 11

    The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta)has announced that 2007 Orange British Academy Film Awards will take place onSunday, February 11. The awards are sponsored for the tenth year in a row by mobile phonecompany Orange. B
  • Becker picks up world rights to Workman's Bronte

    Becker International haspicked up worldwide rights to Angela Workman's Bronte, which is set to star Oscar-nominated actress MichelleWilliams (Brokeback Mountain).Williams will play the titlecharacter of Charlotte Bronte, who defied class and gender to write suchclassic novels as Jane Eyre. The castalso includes Jonathan Rhys Meyers,
  • Bleiberg goes on Rampage with pre-Cannes acquisition

    Los Angeles-based production and internationalsales company Bleiberg Entertainment has addedthe horror thriller Rampage: The Hillside Strangler Murders to its Cannes slate.The picture stars CliftonCollins Jr, who garnered rave reviews for his portrayal of Perry Smith in Capote, andwill be distributed in North America through Sony. Bleiberg holds all internation
  • Blessed By Fire, War Tapes triumph at Tribeca

    Tristan Bauer's Argentina-Spain co-production, the wartime drama BlessedBy Fire won the bestnarrative feature at the fifth annual Tribeca Film Festival, which endedyesterday, while Deborah Scranton's War Tapes won the documentary award.
  • Boy Culture

    Dir: Q Allan Brocka. US. 2006. 88mins.A slick slice of gay American life which begins incynical posturing and ends in sweet romance, Boy Culture is already one of the gay festival season's talkingpoints. Filled with the hot guys and wise-ass dialogue that are customary intoday's knowing same-sex celluloid, it has a ready-made commercial life in thelively US gay theatrical, DVD and TV arenas, as well as internation
  • Caan heads up Maverick Global's debut Cannes slate

    Maverick Global, thefledgling international arm of Miami-based domestic home entertainmentdistributor Maverick Entertainment Group (MEG), arrives in Cannes with aseven-strong slate headed up by the gangster drama This Thing Of Ours.The picture stars James Caan as a mob family godfather and centres on anaudacious heist. Frank Vincent and Vincent Pastore also star.Maverick Global will also be offering buyers the horror picture Mr Hell starring T
  • Caan heads up Maverick Global's debut Cannes slate

    Maverick Global, thefledgling international arm of Miami-based domestic home entertainmentdistributor Maverick Entertainment Group (MEG), arrives in Cannes with aseven-strong slate headed up by the gangster drama This Thing Of Ours.The picture stars James Caan as a mob family godfather and centres on anaudacious heist. Frank Vincent and Vincent Pastore also star.Maverick Global will also be offering buyers the horror picture Mr Hell starring Tracy Scoggins, Pavan
  • Cannes 2006 line-up

    CANNES 2006In CompetitionFlandres (Bruno Dumont)Selon Charlie (Nicole Garcia) Quand J'etais Chaunteur (When I was a Singer) (Xavier Giannoli)Volver (Pedro Almodovar)Red Road (Andrea Arnold)La Raison Du Plus Faible (The Right Of The Weakest) (Lucas Belvaux)Indigenes (Days Of Glory) (Rachid Bouchareb)Iklimer (Climates) (Nuri Bilge Ceylan) Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola)Juvent
  • Cannes announces final film schedule

    The Cannes Film Festival has announced the final screening schedule for its 2006 edition. The schedule for all sections of the festival is now available as a .pdf file here.Cannes Market screenings, with schedules being updated, are available at the Marche du Film website.
  • Cannes announces final juries for Un Certain Regard and Camera d'Or

    Cannes festivalorganizers have announced the final compositions of the juries for the UnCertain Regard and Camera d'Or juries.As previously announced US director and producer Monte Hellman will preside over the Un Certain Regard jury joinedby Iranian author Marjane Satrapi,American journalist Laura Winters, Italian journalist Maurizio Cabon, French journalist Jean-Pierre Lavoignatand German journalist and screenwriter Lars-Olav Beier.T
  • Cinema Expo to honour Narnia and Shrek director

    Cinema Expo International will honour directorAndrew Adamson with the convention's 2006 International Filmmaker of the Yearaward. Adamson directed The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, which has grossed more than$735m worldwide. He previously directed Shrek and Shrek 2.
  • Collette, Castle-Hughes to star in Esther Blueburger

    Oscar-nominatedAustralian-born actresses, Toni Collette and Keisha Castle-Hughes, have agreedto board teen coming-of-age drama Hey,Hey It's Esther Blueburger.The film starts shooting in Adelaide in October and is being introduced to theinternational marketplace at Cannes by sales agent Lightning Entertainment. BVI hasAustralian rights.The two seasoned actors wereof course chosen for th
  • Czech study calls for 12.5% tax rebate on film productions

    A 2005 study released May 9 by the Czech Ministry of Culture calls forthe creation of a 12.5% tax rebate for productions filmed in the Czech Republic and the creationof a national body to oversee a comprehensive strategy to promote domesticfilms abroad and boost the country as a destination for foreign productions.As envisioned in the study, the rebate would apply to Czech andinternational productions,
  • Darclight's Stanley's Girlfriend to play in Cannes shorts programme

    Stanley's Girlfriend, a segment from Darclight Films' Trapped Ashes horror anthology, has been selected to play in official selection at Cannes in the short film programe.Directed by Monte Hellman, Stanley's Girlfriend is one of five stories in Trapped Ashes alongside offerings from Joe Dante,
  • Darclight's Stanley's Girlfriend to play in Cannes shorts programme

    Stanley's Girlfriend, a segment from DarclightFilms' Trapped Ashes horror anthology, has been selected to play inofficial selection at Cannes in the short film programe.Directed by Monte Hellman, Stanley's Girlfriend isone of five stories in Trapped Ashes alongside offerings fr
  • Darclight's Stanley's Girlfriend to play in Cannes shorts programme

    Stanley's Girlfriend, a segment from DarclightFilms' Trapped Ashes horror anthology, has been selected to play inofficial selection at Cannes in the short film programe.Directed by Monte Hellman, Stanley's Girlfriend isone of five stories in Trapped Ashes alongside offerings fr
  • EU film production rose while admissions plummeted in 2005

    Europeancinema produced record numbers of films last year even as admissions nosedived.Theannual Europ
  • Eurimages backs nine new European co-productions

    Eurimages, the Council of Europe's film fund, has announced aslate of nine films to receive its latest round of support. Eurimageswill back the European co-productions with a total investment of $3.6m (Euros2.8m). The films are:Noemie Lvovsky's L'ami de Fred Astaire (France-Switzerland) Eric Rohmer's Les amours d'Astree et de Celadon(France-Spain-Italy)Sinisa Dragin's Daca Bobul Nu Moare: AkoZrno Ne Umre(If the Seed doesn't die
  • FACB founder Rob Fisher dies in Sydney

    Today was a black day forthe Australian film industry with the death last night of Rob Fisher, thefounding chief executive of one of only two long-standing completion bondcompanies in the country.Fisher was known as astraight shooter and was very popular. He was a watchdog at the financial endof what is a very risky enterprise - and he could be very tough - but this wasno impediment to him forming many very warm friendships right across theindustry.The First AustralianCompletion
  • Fifty Pills

    Dir: Theo Avgerinos. US, 2006.90mins.Fifty Pills is a low-budgetindependent cousin of broad college comedies from the studio world like Road Trip or Van Wilder. Instead of a lush California campus, the indie version has grimy street-bound New York. Instead ofcheating in exams or losing one's virginity, the challenge is to sell 50ecstasy pills in a day. Instea
  • Filmax adds flamenco biopic to Cannes slate

    Spanish mini-studio Filmax has picked up international rights to local flamencobiopic Camaronto add to its Cannes slate.Camaron: When Flamenco Became Legend, from veteran director Jaime Chavarri,earned lead actor Oscar Jaenada rave reviews and a bestnew actor Goya for his performance as the troubled flamenco innovator Jose Monge Cruz, known as Camaron dela Isla.Thetitle joins thecompany's full slate, headlined by t
  • FilmFour gets on board for first Screenwriters Festival

    The firstInternational Screenwriters' Festival, to be held in the UK from June 27-30, has added FilmFour as one of its sponsors. Supportersof the inaugural event, to be held at Cheltenham Film Studios in the Cotswolds,include Gosford
  • Filming begins in Scotland on horror-thriller Senseless

    ShorelineEntertainment and Matador Pictures have started principal photography inGlasgow on Senseless staringJason Behr.Matador's Nigel Thomas and Micky MacPherson of Plum Films are producing andShoreline's Morris Ruskin serves as executive producer along with Matador'sLauri Apelian and Circle Of Confusion's Lawrence Mattis, David Alpert and DavidEngel.Simon H
  • Focus acquires Kimmel biopic for US release

    Focus Features has picked up domestic rights to Sidney KimmelEntertainment (SKE) and Mark Gordon Company's biopic Talk To Me, starring Don Cheadle and ChiwetelEjiofor.
  • Fortissimo acquires Apichatpong's Syndromes

    Fortissimo Films hasacquired worldwide rights to acclaimed Thai director ApichatpongWeerasethakul's Syndromes And A Century.The film, which is one of thesix New Crowned Hope (NCH) projects, focuses on the memories of two doctors,one male and one female, and is inspired by the filmmaker's parents before theywere lovers. Apichatpong also producedthrough Kick the Machine Films along with Pantham Thongsang for Thailand
  • Fresh Air (Friss Levego)

    Dir: Agnes Kocsis. Hung. 2006. 109mins.Critics and arthouseaudiences should welcome Fresh Air, adeliberately slow and sombre study from first-time Hungarian director Agnes Kocsis. It will strike many as more than a littlereminiscent of Keren Yedaya'sOr, which won the Camera d'Or at Cannes in 2004 when it played in Un Certain Regard- the same section Fresh Air has beenselected for later this month.Kocsis' dram
  • German director Uwe Boll plans to take Boll AG public

    Onthe eve of this year's Cannes Film Market, German film director/media fundmanager Uwe Boll has unveiled plans for his group ofcompanies under the mantle of Boll AG to be listed in the Frankfurt StockExchange's Entry Standard before the summer.Accordingto a company announcement, the injection of fresh cash through a stock marketflotation - the financial newspaper Boersen Zeitung had speculated about an amount near $10.2m (Euros8m) - would be used for "the improvement of
  • Germany's Beta and Telepool add to Cannes lineups

    Germansales companies are busy adding new titles to their sales lineupsa week before the beginning of this year's Cannes Market.Inaddition to the previously announced HeartOf Fire, Beta Cinema has taken on another sevennew titles for its Cannes slate.Thislineup is headed by the international market premieres of FlorianHenckel von Donnersmarck'sthriller The Lives Of Others, a localbox-office hit which has been nominated fo
  • Gurassa named chairman of LoveFilm

    Charles Gurassahas been named non-executive chairman of LoveFilmInternational. Gurassa is the non-executive chairmanof Virgin Mobile and also chairman of car hire business Worldwide Excellerated Leasing. In addition, he is non-executivedirector of Whitbread PLC and non-executive chairman of human resourcesconsultancy 7Days. He is a Trustee of the National Trust and Chairman ofNational Trust Enterprises.Formerly, he was chiefexecuti
  • Hopkins and Dunoyer launch Griot with Chevalier and Minion

    Thomas Hopkins andproducing partner Tony Dunoyer haveformed New York and LosAngeles-based production anddevelopment company GriotPictures Entertainment (GPE) andhave announced their first two projects.
  • Hopkins and Dunoyer launch Griot with Chevalier and Minion

    Thomas Hopkins and producingpartner Tony Dunoyer have formed New York and Los Angeles-based production and developmentcompany Griot Pictures Entertainment (GPE) and haveannounced their first two projects.Period drama Chevalier takes place inpre-Revolutionary France and charts the real-life exploits of fencing and musical maestroChevalier de Saint George, who became a her
  • Hopkins and Dunoyer launch Griot with Chevalier and Minion

    Thomas Hopkins andproducing partner Tony Dunoyer haveformed New York and LosAngeles-based production anddevelopment company GriotPictures Entertainment (GPE) andhave announced their first two projects.
  • Hopkins' Dead Sheep wins international prize at Hot Docs

    The awards for the 2006 Hot Docs Canadian InternationalDocumentary Festival were handed out in Toronto on May 5, with best Canadian documentarygoing to Shelley Saywell's Martyr Street.
  • InFrame adds four to slate ahead of Cannes

    UK-based sales agent InFrame has added four films to its slate ahead of Cannes: Oliver Rihs's Black Sheep, ValeskaGrisebach's Sehnsucht (Longing),Sean Hogan's Lie Still, and Oscar L Costo's Shanghai Red.InFrame will be doing a work-in-progress screening of Black Sheep, a comedy of five interwovenstories about misfi
  • Initialize launches new UK scheme for female producers

    InitializeFilms, in association with BBC Film Network, ShortsInternational and members' club The Hospital, has a new UK industry trainingprogramme for women who want to produce short films. Theprogramme, Athena, is atwo-month course that will train and coach 10 women to produce a short film.The first edition will be comprised of 10 two-hour workshops in June and July20
  • Just My Luck

    Dir: Donald Petrie. US.2006. 103mins.Apparently designed to help teen queen Lindsay Lohan, Just My Luck ends up feeling like a teenromantic comedy not very convincingly dressed in adult clothes. Lohan's existing fan-base may still respond to the mix oflifestyle aspiration and fairy-tale romance, and the appearance of real-lifepop-rock group McFly will broaden the appeal alittle. But worldwide distributor Fox will be very lucky to get
  • Lightning Entertainment gobbles up rights to Grimm Love

    Santa Monica-based international sales anddistribution house Lightning Entertainment hasacquired international rights to Atlantic Streamline's controversial German/US thriller Grimm Love.Lightning partner RichardGuardian will begin sales at Cannes on thestory inspired by the true-life cannibal case that rocked Germany and caused a worldwide mediasensation.Germ
  • Line-up revealed for Human Rights Watch Fest

    Michael Caton-Jones' Rwandan genocide drama Shooting Dogs and Michael Winterbottom's The RoadTo Guantanamo willscreen at the upcoming 17th Human Rights Watch International FilmFestival in New York.
  • Lithuanian Film Studios moves into financing

    Lithuanian Film Studios has announced a long-termcommitment to co-finance select projects that are produced at its studio. To launch the new strategy, the studio has partneredwith Los Angeles-based Little Film Company to finance, produce and distribute theaction thriller War of the Dead. Finnish director Marko Makilaaksowill start shooting the film in No
  • Lumina's Panic Attack label to represent thriller Reverb

    London-based sales company Lumina Films will be handlingthe worldwide rights (including UK) for supernatural thriller Reverb.The film is being handled by Lumina's thriller label PanicAttack.Reverb stars rising UK
  • M:I:3 set to fly past $100m as Da Vinci Code looms

    Mission: Impossible 3 will soar past $100m this weekend as it consolidatesits grip on the international marketplace.The action picture stood at more than $83.1m as of May 11 and Paramount and UIPexecutives know this is a key time for consolidation.Next weekend sees the global launch of The Da Vinci Code through Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI)and it's hard to se
  • M:I:3 set to fly past $100m as Da Vinci Code looms

    Mission: Impossible 3 will soar past $100m this weekend as it consolidatesits grip on the international marketplace.The action picture stood at more than $83.1m as of May 11 and Paramount and UIPexecutives know this is a key time for consolidation.Next weekend sees the global launch of The Da Vinci Code through Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI
  • Malaysian government bans The Last Communist

    Malaysia's Ministry of Home Affairs has banned the release ofAmir Muhammad's The Last Communist,about former Communist leader Chin Peng, over-ruling an earlier decision of theFilm Censorship Board which passed the film uncut last month. According to a spokespersonof Red Films, the co-producer and distributor of the film, the ministry issuedthe company a letter last Friday to ban the film "in the interest of thepubli
  • Marozas named senior VP at Warner Bros

    Andrea Marozashas been named senior vice president of theatrical corporate communication atWarner Bros.Marozas will be responsible for providing communicationssupport on a worldwide basis to the studio's theatrical activities, and willliaise with trade, consumer and business press.She will report to executivevice president of corporate communications Sue Fleishman, but will work on aday-to-day basis with the presidents of Warner Bros Pictures and their teams.
  • Marozas named svp theatrical corp comms at Warner Bros

    Andrea Marozas hasbeen named senior vice president of theatrical corporate communications atWarner Bros.Marozas will provide communications support on a worldwide basis to thestudio's global theatrical operations and liaise with the trade, consumer andbusiness press.She reports to executive vice president of corporate communications SueFleishman but will work on a da
  • Miami International Film Festival sets 2007 dates

    The24th annual Miami International FilmFestival (MIFF) will take place from Mar 2-11 2007.More than 67,000 people attended this year's eventand organisers said the 2007 edition will include the usual heady brew of gala premieres, world and Ibero-American dramatic and documentary films, shorts, Miami Encuentros, and the REEL Education Seminar Series, among others.For more details visit the official website at www.miamifilmfestival.com.
  • Mission accomplished as Paramount, UIP gross $70.3m

    Paramount's Mission: Impossible III swept across the international landscapeover the weekend as it grossed an estimated $70.3m from 7,390 sites in 57territories.
  • Mission sequel underperforms domestically with $48m

    Paramount's Mission: Impossible III was the runaway winner over the weekendas expected but the estimated $48m three-day total fell far below expectations.
  • Motocross legend David Bailey to get big screen treatment

    Rodney Wilson's Todd Gilmer Productions has secured the liferights to Motocross and Supercross legend David Bailey.
  • Movie Eye's Longest Night shooting in Shanghai

    Japan's Movie Eye Entertainment has teamed up with Beijing-based MegadiaEntertainment to co-produce a $5m romantic drama with the working title The Longest Night In Shanghai.Directed by Zhang Yibai, whofirst came to attention with acclaimed drama Spring Subway, the film stars leading Chinese actress Vicki Zhaoand Japanese star Masahiro Motoki. Currently shooting in Shanghai
  • MPA's Jimmy Katz dies in Brussels

    Jimmy Katz, VP of Europe, Middle East and Africa for the Motion Picture Association, died in a Brussels hospital on May 8.Katz had worked with the MPAin Brussels since July 1999. He was previously anexecutive at Columbia Tri-Star and from 1995-1999 he worked in Los Angeles
  • New Films doses up on Caffeine for Cannes

    Beverly Hills-based NewFilms International (NFI) has picked up international rights to John Cosgrove'sensemble comedy Caffeine and will commence sales at Cannes next week.Mena Suvari, Marsha Thomason, Katherine Heigl, Mike Vogel and Breckin Meyerstar in the story of sex, fidelity and forgiveness.John Cosgrove's feature directorial debut is based on a screenplay by DeanCraig. Cosgr
  • New Films Int'l taps Kessler as business affairs chief

    Craig A Kessler has joined Beverly Hills-based New FilmsInternational as vice president of business and legal affairs.Reporting to New Films executive vice president Ron Gell, Kesslerwill be responsible for negotiating production and co-productions for NFI'sexpanding slate.
  • New Writers' Circle recruits UK writers including Toby Young

    UK organisations The Script Factory and Skillset have announced the firstnine members of their new Writers' Circle initiative. The scheme aims to helpparticipants segue from another writing arena to become screenwriters. More than 500 peopleapplied, and the nine selected are: playwright/journalist Toby Young, authorMeg Rossof, playwright Moira Buffini, TV writer Rob Gittens,journalist/novelist An
  • Newmarket takes Sundance winner God Grew Tired Of Us

    Newmarket Films haspicked up North American rights to Christopher Quinn's Sundance DocumentaryGrand Jury Prize and Audience Award winner God Grew Tired Of Us.The distributor plans an autumn release on the picture, which profiles theodyssey of three refugees from Sudan's civil war as they try to establish a newlife in the US.Tommy Walker co-directed the documen
  • Over The Hedge

    Dirs: Tim Johnson, KareyKirkpatrick. US. 2006. 87mins.Cute animals and energetic slapstick make up for anoverly generic storyline in Over The Hedge, DreamWorks Animation's entry in this year'scrowded field of computer-animated family movies. Younger kids should certainlyrespond to the impressively realised creatures and the rambunctious physicalcomedy, but teens and parents (even those familiar with the long-running USnewspape
  • Paula Wagner to head Venice's Lion of the Future jury

    TheVenice Film Festival has announced that Paula Wagner will this year head theLion of the Future jury which awards a prize to the best first film. Germandirector Philip Groening will preside over the Orizzonticompetition.The Lionof the Future jury will award $127,565 (Euros 100,000) to the best firstfeature in any section of the festival. The pr
  • Peace Arch funnels genre titles through Genius Products

    Toronto-based Peace Arch Entertainment Group has signed anexclusive deal with ambitious Genius Products for Genius to distribute fivehorror and thriller titles from Peace Arch's genre label Archetype Films.
  • Perlman, Rea, Furmann join cast of Mutant Chronicles

    Ron Perlman, Stephen Rea and Benno Furmann have joined JohnMalkovich and Thomas Jane in Ed Pressman's upcoming sci-fi project TheMutant Chronicles.Pressman Film Corp, Grosvenor Park and Isle Of Man Filmfinanced the project and Voltage Pictures is handling international sal
  • Polly Cohen installed as new Warner Independent chief

    Warner Bros executive vice president of production Polly Cohen (pictured) hasbeen named as the new president of Warner Independent Pictures (WiP) followingMark Gill's abrupt departure last week.The widely expected move puts in place a key lieutenant of WarnerBros production chief Jeff Robinov, to
  • Prime becomes Ireland's first digital film release

    Ireland's Digital Cinema Limited(DCL) is working with distributor Momentum Pictures to handle Ireland's first digital film release.Momentum'sPrime will open today on the first
  • Producer Christine Langan to join BBC Films

    UK producer Christine Langan will join BBC Films as a producer/executive producer at the beginning of September.Langan recently produced Pierrepoint and Stephen Frears' forthcoming feature The Queen. She produced ColdFeet for Granada, The Deal forChannel 4 and Dirty Filthy Love forITV. In her new positio
  • Ptak leaves CAA, sets up Arsenal with VIP's Elway

    John Ptak is leaving CAA after 15 years and teaming up with film industry executive Philip Elway to form the strategic consultancyArsenal.Arsenal will adviseproducers, equity funds and distributors on business growth and financing and distribution arrangements onprojects.The initial client rosterincludes Exception-Wild Bunch, Endgame E
  • Ptak leaves CAA, sets up Arsenal with VIP's Elway

    John Ptak is leaving CAA after 15 years and teaming up with film industry executive Philip Elway to form the strategic consultancyArsenal.Arsenal will adviseproducers, equity funds and distributors on business growth and financing and distribution arrangements onprojects.The initial client rosterincludes Exception-W
  • Ptak leaves CAA, sets up Arsenal with VIP's Elway

    John Ptak is leaving CAA after 15 years and teaming up with film industry executive Philip Elway to form the strategic consultancyArsenal.Arsenal will adviseproducers, equity funds and distributors on business growth and financing and distribution arrangements onprojects.The initial client rosterincludes Exception-W
  • Ptak leaves CAA, sets up Arsenal with VIP's Elway

    John Ptak is leaving CAA after 15 years and teaming up with film industry executive Philip Elway to form the strategic consultancyArsenal.Arsenal will advise producers, equity funds and distributors on business growth and financing and distribution arrangements onprojects.The initial client roster includes Exception-Wild Bunch,
  • Relativity Media fires up Gun Hill Road package

    Relativity Media has established Gun Hill Road II, an independent co-financingpackage that provides discrete funds for both Sony Pictures Entertainment and Universal Pictures.Thearrangement will provide production funds for 19 features, 11 from Sony andnine from Universal, one of which is a co-prod
  • Relativity sets up Gun Hill Road II co-financing with Sony, Universal

    Relativity Media hasestablished Gun Hill Road II, an independent co-financing package that providesdiscrete and separate funds for both Sony Pictures Entertainment and UniversalPictures.
  • Relativity sets up Gun Hill Road II co-financing with Sony, Universal

    Relativity Media has establishedGun Hill Road II, an independent co-financing package that provides discreteand separate funds for both Sony Pictures Entertainment and Universal Pictures.The arrangement
  • Reverse Shot picks up Sundance doc Lion In The House

    Online film journal Reverse Shothas announced its first foray into theatrical distribution withthe acquisition of Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert's documentary A LionIn The House.Reverse Shothas scheduled engagements in 10 markets including New York, Boston,
  • Scalpel takes on sales for Loktev's Day Night Day Night

    Pierre Menahem'sParis-based Scalpel Films has picked up worldwide rights to a second Cannes title - the anticipated suicide bomber drama Day Night Day Night by Julia Loktev, which is screening as part of Directors Fortnight.ID Distribution has already signedon for France for this film about a 19-year-old girl preparing tobe a suicide bomber in New Yor
  • SCB pacts with Kong for Golden Flower financing

    Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) has signed an agreement with award-winning local producer Bill Kong toprovide financing for the production of Zhang Yimou's Curse Of The Golden Flower. Currently shooting at China's Hengdian World Studios, the $45m film is producedby Kong and Beijing New Picture Film Co with Focus Features handling salesoutside Asia, English-speaking t
  • Screen Yorkshire gets record $18.7m in funding

    Screen Yorkshire, one of the UK's regional screen agencies, announced that it hasreceived a record $18.7m (£10m) in funding over the next four years fromregional development agency Yorkshire Forward. That compares to the $8.4m (£4.5m)over three years that Yorkshire Forward awarded the film agency in 2003. Screen Yorkshire said the funding would go towards a new programme
  • Shaun Woodward named new film minister in UK

    The UK has a new film minister as Shaun Woodward has beennamed the new Creative Industries and Tourism Minister, replacing James Purnell. After his Labour partydidn't fare well in last week's local elections, Prime Minister Tony Blair madesignificant shifts among government leaders. As part of the changes, Purnell was moved from his post at the Department ofCulture Media and Sport (DCMS) to become Minister of State for Pen
  • Short film script prize to launch in Cannes

    SeveralEuropean screenwriting magazines are working together to launch an award forthe best short film screenplay as part of Critics Week at Cannes 2006.The GrandCru Award of $2550 (Euros 2,000) will be presented to the writer of the bestscreenplay among the short films selected for Critics Week.
  • Sokurov to receive Locarno's Leopard of Honour

    Locarno Film Festival's Leopard of Honour will be awarded inthe first edition under the new artistic director Frederic Maireto the Russian master Alexander Sokurov.Sokurov has a special fondness for the Swiss festival sincehis first film The Lonely Human Voice wasawarded the Bronze Leopard there in 1987 and, ten years later, he received thefirst Video Prize for his documentary SpiritualVoices.He was also a member of the official International CompetitionJury in 1990.
  • Spain's Latido takes on sales for Nobody's Perfect

    Salesconsortium Latido has picked up international rightsto Joaquin Oristrell's new comedy Nobody's Perfect, the follow-up to his2005 Unconscious, which screened atSundance and sold to 25 countries.Also thisweek Latido closed a deal to K-Films Amerique for French-speaking Canada on Tristan Bauer's Falklands Wardrama Blessed By Fire (IluminadosPor El Fuego) on theheels of its top prize win at the
  • Spanish court slaps $15m in fines on major distributors

    A Spanish court has handeddown fines of $3.2m (Euros 2.4m) each on five multinational distributorsaccused of price fixing and otheranti-competitive practices in Spain.The decision, affectingDisney/Buena Vista, Sony Pictures, Hispano Fox, UIP and the now defunct jointventure Warner Sogefilms, puts an end to a caseinitiated more than three years ago by the local exhibitors' federation FECE.In its decision,
  • Star backs high-def trio from Hong Kong's Yee

    Star Chinese Movies isinvesting in three high-definition films to be executive produced byaward-winning Hong Kong filmmaker Derek Yee.The first of the threefilms, love story Pandora's Booth,started filming last week in Hong Kong. Starring Hong Kong popidols Fiona Sit and Kenny Kwan, the film is directed by Mak Kai-kwong whostarted his film career in 1989 and previously directed comedy Dummy Mommy, Without A Baby. The th
  • States and Stories take top prizes at Korea's Jeonju festival

    Canadian director DenisCote's Drifting States and Stories From The North, from Thaidirector Uruphong Raksasad, picked up the top prizes at South Korea's Jeonju InternationalFilm Festival (April 27 - May 5).Drifting States was awarded the Indie Vision Woosuk Award for films by first andsecond-time directors while documentary StoriesFrom The North took the Digital Spectrum JJ-Star Award for digital films.Both awards include a $10,000 prize
  • StudioCanal slate includes two from Wong Kar-wai

    StudioCanal is heading to the CannesMarket with a line up that includes two films from Cannes jury president WongKar-wai along with the latest from Mathieu Kassovitz, Emir Kusturica andDavid Lynch and a sentimental documentary about a year in the lives of newbornbabies.Along with the previously announced Lady From Shanghai, which isset to start production in late 2006-early 2007 based on star NicoleKidman's availability, StudioCanal is
  • Tartan gets UK rights to Re-Cycle and Look Both Ways

    TartanFilms has taken all UK and Ireland rights totwo selections at Cannes 2006, the Pang Brothers' Re-Cycle from Thailand andSarah Watt's Look Both Ways from Australia
  • The Little Film Company adds eclectic trio to Cannes slate

    Robbie and EllenLittle's Los Angeles-based worldwide sales and marketing house The Little FilmCompany has bulked up its Cannes slate with worldwide rights to three projectsin pre-production.Sean Mathias' multi-layered political drama The Colossus based on Ann Harries' novel Manly Pursuits is being produced by Lisa Katselas.Thriller Ghost Maker is
  • Thema plans Rachmaninoff feature Lilacs

    ThemaProduction, which backed Match Pointand the forthcoming In Transit, hasannounced plans for a new dramatic feature based on the life ofRussian-American composer and pianist SergeiRachmaninoff. The project,entitled Lilacs, is in pre-productionwith plans to shoot starting in August in Spain and at Thema'snew studio in St. Petersburg.
  • TWC and IFC to co-distribute Wordplay in North America

    The Weinstein Company(TWC) and IFC Films will co-distribute Patrick Creadon's crossword documentary Wordplay in North America.Christine O'Malley produced the picture, which was an instant hit when itpremiered at Sundance and profiles New York Times crossword editor Will Shortzand the national tournament he founded.IFC Films acquired North American rights in January and TWC recentl
  • UK DVD piracy efforts go to the dogs

    The UK-based Federation Against Copyright Theft(FACT), FedEx and the UK's customsdepartment are working together to fight DVD piracy. As part of a project promoted by the Motion Picture Association ofAmerica (MPAA), FACT has trained twoblack
  • Ulrich Thomsen hooked on Szasz's Opium

    Ulrich Thomsen, who hasstarred in Festen,Kingdom Of Heaven, and The World Is Not Enough, has signed on to star in Hungarian director Janos Szasz's Opium. Szasz, who previously directed Woyzeck and The Witman Boys, is currently filming onlocation in Komarom, northern Hungary, at the Monostorifortress, which once served as a detention camp for Jews during World War II.The stor
  • Umizaru sequel floods Japanese box office

    Japanese action title Umizaru 2: Test Of Trust, about a teamof coast guard divers, has scored the biggest opening of the year for adomestic film with a gross of $8.64m (Y964m) over the two-day weekend (May6-7).Produced by Fuji TV anddistributed by Toho, the film opened on 315 screens for an impressive screenaverage of $27,400 (Y3m).The film is the second hitof the year for Fuji TV and Toho following Koki Mitani's Suite Dreams, which has grossed more than $50m to be
  • Universal buys spec heist script with 50 Cent attached as star

    Universal Pictures has acquired the rights to Charley and VlasParlapanides' speculative heist script Live Bet and has attached Curtis '50 Cent'Jackson to star.Mary Parent and Scott Stuber will produce, under their exclusive termdeal with the studio, along with Chris Lighty and 50 Cent throu
  • Universal offers download-to-own films in Scandinavia

    Buildingon a similar deal in the UK, Universal Pictures Nordicis working with film2home to offer a download-to-own service in Scandinavia. The service will offer athree-copy model, to be launched starting in Sweden from May 22. Other Nordicterritories will follow. Aswith the UK
  • Verhoeven on board for adaptation of Kneeling on a flowerbed of violets

    Paul Verhoevenhas taken on a new directing job in the Netherlands. Joining forces with the Dutch production company NLFilm & TV, Verhoeven will adapt the awarded Dutchnovel Kneeling on a flowerbed of violets (Knielenop een bed violen) forthe big screen.The project reunites Verhoeven and long-term collaborating writer Gerard Soeteman, who worked on Turkish Delightand Soldier of Orange. The
  • Weinstein Co brings Knight Rider to big screen

    The Weinstein Company (TWC) is bringing the 1980s hit television seriesKnight Rider to thebig screen after acquiring rights from show creator Glen A Larson.
  • Weinsteins take all rights to CG-animated Igor

    TheWeinstein Company (TWC) has picked up all international rights to Exodus FilmGroup's CG-animatedcomedy Igor.TWC will release in North America and TWCInternational president Glen Basner will commence sales at Cannes next week.Chris McKenna wrote thescreenplay about a mad scientist's hunchbacked lab assistant who dreams ofbecoming a scientist in his own right and winning the coveted Evil ScienceFair.Exodus president John D Eraklisis producing along with Max How
  • Weitz returns to directing chair on New Line's Compass

    Anand Tucker has exited the job of directing New Line's children'sfantasy epic The Golden Compass, and he has been replaced by the project's original directorChris Weitz.
  • Whole New Thing tops at Commonwealth

    The fifthCommonwealth Film Festival in Manchester presented Whole New Thing with its top honours forthe audience award for best feature. Directed by AmnonBuchbinder, this film is a coming of age story aboutan exceptional teenage boy from Nova Scotia. Buchbinder andlead actor Aaron Webber were present at the ceremony to collect the award.The special BritishFederation of F
  • Wild Bunch takes on sales for The First Cry

    Following the global success of March Of ThePenguins, French sales house Wild Bunch is re-teaming with France's Disney Naturefor The First Cry, a documentary from director Gilles De Maistre.The First Cry focuses on 12 women in different countries all overthe world who are about to give birth. De Maistre andhis crews will trace the last 24 hours leading up to the moment each of thechildren takes their f
  • Word of Mouth picks up The Gigolos and KZ

    NewLondon-based distributor Word of Mouth Films has signed two new films, The Gigolos and KZ, for UK distribution.RichardBracewell's TheGigolos is a buddy film set against the male escort world in upper-class London. Anna Massey, Sian Phillips and Susannah York star. RexBloomstein's KZis a documentary set in the former SS Concentration Camp of M

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