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12 May 2007

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  • 28 Weeks Later

    Dir: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. UK-US-Sp. 2007. 100mins. 28 Weeks Later is superior genre fare, directed and performed with such gusto that you scarcely notice its creaks. Atmospheric and creepy production design, excellent use of London locations and a succession of bloodcurdling chase sequences keep the tempo high, even as the improbabilities and contrivances mount. The film-makers sometimes seem uncertain as to whether they are making
  • 2929 takes on international sales to Gracie

    2929 International will commence sales in Cannes on Davis Guggenheim's true-life drama Gracie based on a tragedy that struck the family of actress Elisabeth Shue.Set in 1978, Gracie tells the story of a 16-year-old girl who won the right to play competitive football on her high school boy's team after a family tragedy changed her life. Shue stars with Carly Schroeder, Dermot Mulroney, and Andrew Shue.
  • A worldwide web

    Spider-Man 3 broke records this weekend, taking a staggering $176.8m over the three-day period for a total $230.8m in its first six days. Sony's blockbuster played on 16,711 screens across 75 territories and was the highest debut ever in Japan, Italy, Mexico, South Korea, China and Brazil. It grossed $26.5m in Japan, $23.5m in the UK and $18.3m in South Korea. Biker comedy Wild Hogs was down 38% this weekend, taking $4.6m from 33 territories in its ninth week, and Mr Bean's Holiday also fell
  • American World signs international rights to Codeblack slate

    Mark Lester's Los Angles-based American World Pictures (AWP) has struck a deal to sell foreign rights to African-American-owned studio Codeblack Entertainment's slate at Cannes.The eight-strong Codeblack roster includes The Hit starring Blair Underwood and James Russo, I Tried starring Bone Thugs and Harmony, Flip The Script starring Robin Givens, and
  • Amritraj, Hyde Park set Asian ambitions

    Ashok Amritraj's Hyde Park Entertainment has created an Asian division Hyde Park Asia with ambitions to produce both international and local films in the region while securing local backing from various institutions and investors.Amritraj says he already has an office opened in India and is planning to open one shortly in Singapore. He also has plans to produce both international and local films in India, the first Hollywood title being The Other End
  • Arts Alliance enters US market with acquisition of Hart Sharp

    London-based Arts Alliance Media has expanded into the US with the acquisition of New York-based Hart Sharp Video. Hart Sharp develops, acquires, markets and distributes films for home video, DVD and digital platforms. Past releases include Super Size Me! The deal, announced by AAM CEO Howard Kiedaisch and Hart Sharp president Joe Amodei, creates a new company named Arts Alliance America. Amodei will be president of AAA, based in New York, reporting to London-based Kiedai
  • Australian government radically overhauls film sector

    The Australian government has announced the most fundamental structural and financing shake-up of Australian film for nearly 20 years. As expected, and as proposed by the industry itself, a tax rebate is to be introduced for producers from July 1 this year. It will allow filmmakers to claim back 40% of what they spend in Australia to make a film, and 20% in the case of documentary and television. Investors will no longer be able to use Division 10BA of the tax act to get deduction
  • Bavaria Film International picks up Certain Regard title from Uruguay

    Bavaria Film International has picked up the international rights for the tragicomedy The Pope's Toilet (El Bano Del Papa) which will be screening in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at Cannes. The co-production between Uruguay's Laroux Cine, France's Chaya Films and Brazil's o2 Filmes is the directorial debut of Oscar-nominated cinematographer Cesar Charlone (City Of God) co-directed with veteran writer-director Enrique Fernandez. It was the first film to be awa
  • Bleiberg to handle sales on He Was A Quiet Man

    Bleiberg Entertainment has bulked up its Cannes slate with international rights to Frank A Cappello's drama He Was A Quiet Man starring Christian Slater and Elisha Cuthbert.The film, which premiered at the 2007 South By Southwest Film Festival, follows a downbeat office worker whose potentially homicidal trajectory is radically shifted when he saves a co-worker and becomes an unwilling hero.William H Macy rounds out the key cast. C
  • Canadian legal expert disputes Warner piracy claims

    A Canadian legal expert disputes recent claims by Warner Bros. that singles out Canada as the primary source of camcorder piracy. On Monday in Los Angeles, the studio issued a press release alleging that 70 per cent of its films distributed in Canada had been pirated through in-cinema camcording. Referring to a 'growing tide of pirated feature film releases' coming from Canada, Warner said it was suspending promotional screenings in the nation in response to 'a lack of le
  • Capitol strikes UK , Australian deal with Lionsgate for The Edge Of Love

    Lionsgate has taken UK and Australian rights to John Maybury's The Edge Of Love, previously known as The Best Time Of Our Lives. Capitol Films is handling sales on the project, which is starting principal photography this week. The film is shooting in Wales before moving to London and Pinewood Studios. Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy and Matthew Rhys star in the story of poet Dylan Thomas and his complicated relationships with two women he loved.
  • Cashing in on the great Indian boom

    How Kishore Lulla, Eros' CEO, sees,India's future growth. With 3.1 billion tickets being served by a mere 13,000 screens, accelerated growth in multiplex cinemas and rising ticket prices, the $2bn Indian film industry will become a $10bn industry within the next five years.Although growing at 18% compound annual growth rate, the Indian film industry remains hugely fragmented all across the value chain and is poised for consolidation. The next decade will see an
  • Cattaneo to direct first US film, The Rocker

    Oscar-nominated Full Monty director Peter Cattaneo is to direct his first US film, The Rocker. Rainn Wilson, who starred in the US version of television hit The Office, is in negotiations to play the lead role as an over-the-hill drummer who gets a second chance at fame with a new band, 20 years after he was booted out of his now uber-famous former band.
  • Charlie Bartlett

    Dir: Jon Poll. US. 2007. 97mins.Jon Poll, an established editor with credits including the Austin Powers and Meet The Parents films, makes a commendable directorial debut with Charlie Bartlett, a high-school comedy which sits in the same class of wry, deadpan movies as Rushmore, Election and Saved!. Sunnier and more cheerful than all three of those titles, it could also appeal to a younger audience and has a shot at developing a cult follow
  • China's May holiday box office increases by 50%

    Box office receipts during China 's May 'Golden Week' holiday period increased by 50%, mostly due to the date-and-date release of Spider-Man 3, according to local distributors and cinema owners. During the May 1-7 holiday period, when the whole of China gets time off from school or work, box office reached $11.7m (RMB90m), compared to $5.85m (RMB45m) during the same period in 2006. Among the 11 films released during the holiday, Spider-Man 3 accounted for more than 8
  • Constantin signs first-look deal with Little Shark

    Germany's leading producer-distributor Constantin Film, who took six Lolas home last weekend for Tom Tykwer's Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer, has concluded a three-year first-look deal with the Cologne-based production outfit of Sonke Wortmann and Tom Spiess. The aim of the collaboration is the development, production and exploitation of co-productions between Constantin and Little Shark whose production credits have to date
  • ContentFilm takes on sales for Toby Wilkins' horror-thriller Splinter

    ContentFilm International has taken on international rights to Splinter, which it will launch in Cannes. Toby Wilkins will make his feature debut with the horror-thriller screenplay written by Ian Shorr and Kai Barry. Ted Kroeber and Kai Barry will produce the project, which will shoot this summer. Casting will be announced soon. The story follows two couples who try to escape a virus-like monster that inhabits its victims bodies. Wilkins was selected by Sam R
  • CORRECTION: Alma selling Honore's The Love Songs

    Christophe Honore's Cannes 2007 competition film, The Love Songs (Les Chansons d'Amour), is being sold internationally by Alma Films, not Gemini. The contact was incorrectly reported in our April 27, 2007 weekly edition.The number for Alma Films is +33 (6) 72 97 31 90.
  • CORRECTION: Nanking to get fulll theatrical release

    A profile of Bill Guttentag which ran in Screen International on April 20 and on Screendaily on April 24 incorrectly stated that Guttentag's Nanking would receive a short theatrical release in North America through THINKFilm.In fact, the film will have a full domestic release in December.
  • Cotter's Continental signs option to board non-Warner Initial films

    Continental Pictures, Colin Cotter's recently announced financing and sales company, has signed a deal with Initial Entertainment Group, in which Cotter is still a partner, whereby Continental will have the option to board Initial projects not taken up by Warner Bros under its first-look studio deal.Continental is Cotter's new initiative which plans to acquire 10 to 12 films in its first year. Cotter is in talks to secure the first titles, which will be a combination of Initial and n
  • Danielak's Arsenal loads up with Rifkin-Eberts titles

    Yarek Danielak's Los Angeles-based distributor Arsenal Pictures has struck a deal to handle four features from Bruce Willis' regular producer Arnold Rifkin and Lord Of War executive producer Christopher Eberts.The deal with Rifkin-Eberts and A-Mark Entertainment kicks off with the recently wrapped horror title Timber Falls and Night Train, which Danielak will begin selling in Cannes.
  • Day Zero

    Dir: Bryan Gunnar Cole. US. 2007. 90mins.In Day Zero, three young men confront something that men in the United States have not had to face in more than 30 years, a military draft. Bryan Gunnar Cole's examination of their relationship in the face of what could be death on a Middle Eastern battlefield, a work of fiction, is a rare, albeit oblique, look at how the Iraq War affects the home front. So far, Day Zero is one of the first narrative films of
  • Domestic opening record established by Spider-man 3

    The spandex one-piece and wise-cracking come-backs weren't the only familiar things about Spider-Man 3, as Sony's favourite super-hero swung back into action with a sensational estimated $148m three-day domestic opening that returned the franchise to its record-breaking ways established by the first episode in 2002.Spider-Man 3 spun a staggering $375m six-day global result from 107 countries that incorp
  • Dori Begley joins Tom Quinn on Magnolia's acquisitions team

    Dori Begley has joined Magnolia Pictures' New York office in the newly created role of director of acquisitions and will report to head of acquisitions Tom Quinn.Begley recently served as associate programmer at the Tribeca Film Festival. Prior to that she worked from 1998-2006 in various capacities at Sony Pictures Entertainment, including manager of acquisitions of Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) from 2000-2006.During her tenure at SPC she worked on such titles as
  • Dubinet leaves Myriad and heads to Revelations

    Revelations Entertainment partners Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary have hired former Myriad Pictures distribution chief Ann Dubinet to head their new financing arm Global Revelations.The new venture will nurture a 'talent inspired' consortium of equity and hedge fund personnel ranging from studios and financiers to international players in Europe, Asia and Latin America.Dubinet will leverage her knowledge of the international co-production and banking arena as Revelation
  • Ealing partners with Lionhead for Julian Fellowes' From Time To Time

    Ealing Studios has partnered with Lionhead productions for Julian Fellowes feature as a director, From Time To Time. Ealing's new sales arm, Ealing Studios International, will also take worldwide rights. The deal was negotiated between James Spring of Ealing Studios and Paul Kingsley of Lionhead Productions. The film will star Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Timothy Spall and Anne Reid. The screenplay, also written by Fellowes, is based Lucy M Boston's The Children Of Gree
  • Editorial opinion: festivals' right to choose

    The one that got away is a favourite subject at every film festival. Selectors put their necks on the line at each event, picking their favourites for competition and it's only human to reward their efforts with invective about the ones they missed.One of the joys of the season for Screen is to take calls about those spurned by festivals. There's normally a theory about the reason for being overlooked: personal animosity, prejudice, narrow nationalism. And when a reject goes on
  • Eros' homecoming

    The Bollywood giant is positioning itself at the centre of the growing Indian industry. Liza Foreman reports. In its 30-year history, Bollywood heavyweight Eros International has come a long way as a distributor of Bollywood fare to India's growing number of expats, and is now set to return to its roots where it is muscling in on the country's economic and cinematic boom.Eros is a vertically integrated company, spanning production and distribution via cinema, ho
  • European film production up 5.8% in 2006 to 862 features

    European film production was up 5.8% in 2006, according to new research from The European Audiovisual Observatory. The body estimated that around 862 feature films were produced in 25 member states of the European Union, up by 47 from 2005. Germany was the main gainer - it recorded its highest production level on record and released 174 new features in 2006. This was up 19.1% from 2005. National fiction - films where the majority share of funding comes from one country - and docum
  • European films grew EU market share by 27.6% in 2006

    Market share for European films in the European Union was up to 27.6% in 2006 compared to 24.9% in 2005, according to the European Audiovisual Observatory. Analysis based on the results of films released in the 25 countries of the EU found that the increase was largely led by French and German productions. French domestic films accounted for 11.1% of the 926m admissions in the EU in 2006. Strong performances from French comedies helped boost the market share of French productions
  • Fandango, RAI start shoot for Calm Chaos starring Nanni Moretti

    Principal shooting of Calm Chaos (Caos Calmo) has begun in Rome this week. Produced by Fandango and RAI Cinema the picture is directed by Antonello Grimaldi and stars Nanni Moretti who also adapted the screenplay from the award-winning book by Sandro Veronesi. Calm Chaos marks a rare turn for Moretti who typically directs the films he stars in. It is also his first film foray after he and long-time producing partner Angelo Barbagallo separated amicably this year. (The latte
  • Festival fallout

    The buzz about the films turned down by festivals is becoming as loud as the buzz about the films which are accepted. Ahead of Cannes, the biggest festival of them all, Patrick Z McGavin looks at why rejections are the talk of the town.At the 2004 Venice film festival, director Mike Leigh's sombre period drama Vera Drake achieved a triumphant dual honour with the best actress award for Imelda Staunton and the Golden Lion for best film. In his acceptance re
  • Film4 signs on as headline sponsor for UK's FrightFest

    Film4 has signed on to become the headline sponsor of the UK's FrightFest for two years. The horror and fantasy film festival runs for five days at London's Odeon West End, from Aug 23-28. During its eighth year, the festival will present more than 30 films. The deal includes a proposed late-night FrightFest season on the Film4 channel as well as trailers on Channel 4's channels and online competitions. 'Film4 is pleased to be associated with this country's most well loved
  • Films from Reygadas and Aguilera top Bac's Cannes slate

    Continuing its move into international sales, Bac Films is coming to Cannes this year with Silent Light in competition, La Influencia in the Fortnight and a stream of new offerings. The sales arm of Bac Films will be selling Carlos Reygadas' Silent Light; a love story set in Mexico. Reygadas' Battle In Heaven was a big market and festival title in 2005. La Influencia is a drama from Pedro Aguilera about a depressed mother who learns i
  • Fortissimo takes on Mexican Critics Week selection Bad Habits

    Fortissimo Films has taken worldwide rights outside the Americas to Bad Habits (Malos Habitos), screening as part of Cannes Critics' Week. Simon Bross' feature won best film in the Mexican section at the 22nd Guadalajara International Film Festival. The story follows a family with diverse eating disorders. Ximena Ayala, Elena de Haro, Elisa Vicedo and Marco Antonio Trevino star. Fortissimo's Nicole Mackey negotiated the deal with and Garcia Bross y Asociados' produce
  • Francois Velle to direct The Narrows for Serenade

    Serenade Films has signed Francois Velle to direct the drama The Narrows, which is set to begin filming in New York later this month.The Narrows stars Kevin Zegers as a 22-year-old Brooklyn man that dreams of escaping his family's criminal roots and becoming a photographer.Vincent D'Onofrio, Sophia Bush, Eddie Cahill and Monica Keena also star. Tatiana Blackington adapted the screenplay based on Tim McGloughlin's book
  • Geike promoted to president for Warner Bros Germany & Austria

    Willi Geike has been promoted to president and managing director of Warner Bros Entertainment Germany and Austria.In his expanded role the 24-year company veteran will assume general oversight of all the studio's businesses in the two German-speaking territories.The remit covers theatrical and home video production, marketing and distribution, television distribution, consumer products, and online and emerging distribution technologies, with in-country divisional manageme
  • Government greenlights new Palazzo del Cinema for Venice

    Venice will finally get a new Palazzo del Cinema. The project - a long standing and contentious issue - finally got the rubber stamp today when Italy's culture minister Francesco Rutelli signed an agreement with Venice's Mayor Massimo Cacciari and the President of the Veneto Region Giancarlo Galan ratifying the project. Costs are estimated to exceed $95m (Euros 70m). The protocol signed today includes the building of a new Palazzo del Cinema, a convention centre as well as other i
  • GSFI gets Expired for worldwide sales

    GreeneStreet Films International (GSFI) will arrive in Cannes buoyed by the acquisition of worldwide rights to Cecilia Miniucchi's Critics Week romantic comedy Expired.Sales chief Ariel Veneziano will introduce to the project to buyers at the market next week. Expired stars Samantha Morton and Jason Patric as diametrically opposed characters who work as traffic wardens and fall in love. Teri Garr and Il
  • H20 Motion Pictures to make film on Politkovskaya

    Andras Hamori and Mark Horowitz's recently launched H20 Motion Pictures has acquired the rights to three books by Anna Politkovskaya, the Russian journalist who was shot to death in a suspected contract killing in Moscow in Oct 2006.H20 will develop a film about the woman, who was a bold and steadfast critic of Vladimir Putin's presidency. Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB officer who died of poisoning four weeks after Politkovskaya, accused Putin of personally ordering her assass
  • Hammer Film relaunched with European investors including Cyrte

    A consortium of European investors, led by Netherlands-based Cyrte Investments, has acquired the UK's Hammer Film Producttions including its 295-title library. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although the new Hammer will have shareholders equity and facilities of about $50m. Simon Oakes and Marc Schipper, formerly of Liberty Global's Chellomedia, will head the new management team. Spitfire Pictures founders Guy East and Nigel Sinclair will join the company's board as non-
  • High Point Films takes on Greg Hall's The Plague

    London-based sales company High Point Film has added Greg Hall's The Plague to its slate ahead of Cannes. High Point has picked up world rights outside the UK, where distributor Wysiwyg Films has already released the project theatrically. Mike Leigh called the film 'a remarkable breath of fresh air.' It is a low-budget feature about four friends in multi-ethnic London. 'It is exactly this sort of edgy, independent, innovative fare so many of our buyers are crying out
  • Hong Kong's first IMAX cinema to open with Panda Adventure

    Hong Kong 's first IMAX cinema, the seven-screen UA MegaBox, is set to open in June withthe screening of large-format title China: The Panda Adventure. The 50-minute film is being screened to tie in with the 10-year anniversary of Hong Kong 's reunification with China and the arrival of pandas Le Le and Ying Ying in Hong Kong. Operated by Lark Group which has eight cinemas with 36 screens in Hong Kong under the UA Cinemas brand, the UA MegaBox houses a large-format IMAX scr
  • Hong Kong's Johnnie To splits from Milkyway Image

    Leading Hong Kong director Johnnie To is parting ways from Milkyway Image, the production outfit he founded with fellow filmmaker Dennis Law, which is listed on Hong Kong's Growth Enterprise Market (GEM). To is paying $3.3m (HK$26m) to acquire two Milkyway Image subsidiaries - Milkyway Image Hong Kong and Luminous Star - and will exit the company with his own production staff and projects. The listed entity will change its name to Brilliant Arts Multimedia Holdings and continue pr
  • Horizon swims with shark documentary hit

    Vancouver-based sales agency Horizon Motion Pictures has picked up international rights to Rob Stewart's animal conservation documentary Sharkwater and will commence sales in Cannes.The film is on course to cross C$1m in Canada after launching there recently, and follows Stewart as he highlights the threats faced by sharks from poachers and explores wider conservation issues.Stewart shot Sharkwater
  • Horton and Ashton join UK's Men-from-Mars

    Visual effects company Men-from-Mars has expanded its team by hiring Tom horton in a senior producing role in the management team. Horton had been managing director and head of VFX at several post companies in London, Singapore and Australia. Also, senior VFX line producer Paul Bearch has been promoted to head of production. Also, Men-from-Mars has recruited former Technicolor head colour timer Phil Ashton for its growing Digial Intermedia department. The Ealing-based compa
  • How to make a spider fly

    The webslinger's runaway international success represents a first and a last for the movie business, says Leonard Klady. The $380m plus box office that Spider-Man 3 generated in its worldwide launch is both a theatrical anomaly and a harbinger of the future. The luck aspect of this record-breaking performance is probably easier to grasp than how it will influence strategies for future releases of highly anticipated movies.Somewhere in the dark recesses of
  • Icon takes on international sales for The Stanford Prison Experiment

    Icon Entertainment International has acquired the international sales rights to The Stanford Prison Experiment, which Maverick Films/Infinity Features will start shooting in October 2007. The feature is based on the true story of Philip Zimbardo's groundbreaking 1971 study of human psychology at Stanford University, during which 18 young men assumed the roles of prisoners and prison staff with disturbing results. The cast lined up includes Kieran Culkin, Paul Dano, Jesse
  • Impressive international line-up for writers' festival

    Some of the biggest names in screenwriting will be attending the second International Screenwriters Festival in the UK town of Cheltenham.Among this year's star speakers are Diana Osana (Brokeback Mountain), Michael Goldenberg (Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix), Anthony Horowitz (Stormbreaker), Shawn Slovo and Robyn Slovo (
  • India on parade

    The Indian film industry is rapidly expanding its worldwide reach. On the eve of Cannes, Liz Shackleton looks at how the territory's leading producers and distributors are making their films more attractive to an international audience. The Indian film industry's gradual emergence as a force at an international level has been well documented over the past few years. So-called 'crossover' films, most recently Mira Nair's The Namesake and Deepa Mehta's Water
  • India: beyond the blockbuster

    Indian distributors are discovering the attractions of independent foreign films. Udita Jhunjhunwala reports. Although non-Indian films only had a 4% share of India's $1.5bn box office in 2006, most of which was taken up by US studio releases, there are signs the multiplex boom is opening up the market for independent foreign films.At this year's Cannes, a host of dynamic Indian distributors will be shopping for non-Hollywood product. Ideally, they aim to acquir
  • India: who's who at the market

    Liz Shackleton profiles some of the leading Indian film companies and what they are selling at Cannes. UTV MOTION PICTURESInitially a broadcaster, UTV has evolved into an integrated studio that also encompasses film and TV production and distribution, post-production, animation, new media and games. The company is co-producing with US studios Fox and Sony, has a strategic tie-up with Disney and plans to transfer all its worldwid
  • India's Seven ramps up with Moser Baer backing

    Mumbai-based producer Seven Entertainment is making its Cannes debut with an expanded line-up of independent pictures, just a few months after securing backing from optical disc manufacturer Moser Baer. The company is currently ramping up production after sealing a $10m deal with the industrial giant in February to produce 12 films over two years. It also has a $15m deal to produce 12 pictures for Indian music giant T-Series. Heading Seven's slate are a biopic of Rajiv Gandhi, to
  • Industry moves

    Lakeshore adds DeckterJonathan Deckter, former Arclight Films president of international sales and Morgan Creek International vice-president, has been appointed senior vice-president of international sales at Lakeshore Entertainment. He will work alongside Elisabeth Costa de Beauregard Rose, who is promoted to the same position. Meanwhile Rob Burke is promoted to executive vice president of worldwide marketing and Virginia Longmuir moves up to executive vice president o
  • InnoForm snaps up Singapore rights to Chinese trio

    Further positioning itself as a major buyer, InnoForm Media has acquired Singapore rights to three major Chinese titles - Peter Ho-sun Chan's The Warlords from ARM Distribution, Benny Chan's Invisible Target from Universe Films Distribution and John Woo-produced Blood Brothers from CMC Entertainment. InnoForm aims to join the day-and-date pan-Asian theatrical release for the three films with Invisible Target scheduled for this July, Blood Brothers for A
  • Intandem takes on sales to Julie Delpy's thriller The Countess

    London-based Intandem Films has taken worldwide sales rights to Julie Delpy's Gothic thriller The Countess. The film is inspired by the life of the 17th-century Hungarian countess Elizabeth Bathory, whose reckless pursuit of eternal beauty transformed her into a murderous heretic. Delpy, Oscar-nominated for her screenplay for Before Sunset, not only writes and directs but will also star as Bathory. Radha Mitchell, Ethan Hawke, Daniel Bruhl and Vincent Gallo will also appear
  • International delegates at Tribeca see room for growth

    Proximity to Cannes is still an issue, say international attendees, but those who attended found it a useful pre-Cannes meeting point and appreciated the 75 world premieres in the programme. Wendy Mitchell reports...The Tribeca Film Festival has clearly stated that one of its aims is to increase the presence of the international film industry.So did this year's event, which ended Sunday, meet that goal' It depends on who you ask. Tribeca organisers said there we
  • Intrepid buys rights to graphic novel The Expendable One

    Los Angeles-based production and financing company Intrepid Pictures has acquired Jason M Burns' graphic novel The Expendable One and has hired Shane Kuhn and Brendan Cowles to co-write the screenplay.The Expendable One is an action-comedy about an ordinary man who realises after accidentally drinking his friend's scientific experiment that his body has developed phenomenal healing powers.He
  • Kitaro sets opening week box office record for Shochiku

    Live-action creature feature Kitaro has become producer-distributor Shochiku's highest-grossing first week release ever. Released on April 28 on 339 screens, Kitaro earned $8.5m (Y1.02bn), achieving the standard Y1bn mark of a box office hit faster than any previous release in the studio's history. Kitaro opened in the number two position, earning slightly less than the latest installment in the Detective Conan animated franchise in its second week of r
  • Korea to host Cinema Digital Seoul film festival in July

    A new film festival was unveiled in Seoul today - the Cinema Digital Seoul 2007 Film Festival (CinDi 2007) - which has secured sponsorship from the CJ Culture Foundation and Korean Culture & Arts Foundation. Korean Academy of Film Arts director and a digital filmmaker, Park Ki-Yong, jointly heads CinDi with film critic and former Jeonju film festival programmer Chung Sung-ill. The co-directors stated that CinDi has an emphasis on discovering new Asian directors working in the digi
  • Lightning picks up Bonneville starring Lange, Bates, Allen

    Los Angeles-based Lightning Entertainment has added Christopher Rowley's female road movie Bonneville starring Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen to its Cannes slate.The film premiered at Toronto last year and follows the exploits of a disillusioned woman who enlists two friends and embarks upon a trip across the Great American West. Tom Skerritt also stars.Daniel Davis wrote the screenplay and Robert May and John Kilker pro
  • Little, Lightning team up to sell Fan-Demanium

    Los Angeles-based sales and distribution companies Lightning Entertainment and The Little Film Company have jointly acquired international sales rights to football documentary Fan-Demanium.The parties will commence sales at Cannes next week on the project, which shot during the 2006 World Cup in Germany and follows 10 fans from around the globe as they make the pilgrimage to the tournament.Highlights include the Australian photogra
  • Lovesickness (Maldeamores)

    Dir: Carlitos Ruiz Ruiz. Puerto Rico. 2007. 90mins.A bright new talent emerges from Puerto Rico in writer/director Carlitos Ruiz Ruiz, whose debut feature Maldeamores (aka Lovesickness) is a warm-hearted and witty tryptych of stories about the dysfunctions and masochism of love. The film had a strong reception at its Tribeca Film Festival world premiere last week and it should play myriad festivals before its run is over, winning over audiences wherever it scre
  • Magnolia picks up US rights to Ira And Abbey

    Magnolia Pictures has acquired US rights to Ira & Abby and will slot the romantic comedy into the 2007 release slate along with Sundance pick-ups The Signal and Crazy Love.Ira & Abby charts the tumultuous relationship between two people whose hasty marriage descends into a cycle of affairs, therapy and other domestic crise
  • Mandarin finds Tsui Hark's Missing on Cannes slate

    Hong Kong 's Mandarin Films Distribution has added the latest picture from Tsui Hark, romantic thriller Missing, to its Cannes slate. The film features a hot cast of young Asian actors including Lee Sin-je, Isabella Leong, Chang Chen and rising Chinese star Guo Xiao Dong. Produced, directed and written by Tsui, it marks the first underwater shoot for the director who will film at the ancient undersea ruins off Yonaguni Island at the westernmost tip of Japan. It also marks t
  • Mandate to sell Ghost House/Vertigo horror Incident

    Mandate Pictures will commence sales in Cannes on the Ghost House Pictures and Vertigo Entertainment horror tale Incident At Sans Asylum.Daniel Calparsoro is directing from a screenplay by S Craig Zahler about volunteer cooks at an insane asylum who get trapped inside the building with the cream of the criminally insane after a major thunderstorm.Vertigo's Roy Lee and Doug Davison will produce alongside Drew Crevello. Ghost House p
  • Memento to handle sales on Assayas' competitor Boarding Gate

    France 's Memento Films has acquired Olivier Assayas' Cannes competition entry Boarding Gate starring Asia Argento and Michael Madsen. The company will handle international sales on the thriller which is being released in France by ARP Selection on Aug 22. Memento is also handling world sales on Jia Zhang Ke's Still Life, which will screen in the market. The Chinese film stars Han Sanming and Zhao Tao in a story about lost love. Set for delivery this summer is
  • Mexico's The Violin continues awards roll at San Francisco

    Francisco Vargas Quemada's The Violin won the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival's SKYY Prize at the closing night awards ceremony on May 10.The FIPRESCI Prize went to Jeanne Waltz's Parting Shot/Pas Douce, while the Chris Holter Humour in Film Award was presented to Pavel Giroud for The Silly Age.In the Golden Gate Awards, Shahar Cohen an
  • Moviehouse takes on sales for Harman's feature debut Credo

    UK-based sales company Moviehouse Entertainment has come on board for sales of Credo, the first feature from Alto Films (produced in association with Axis Films). Director Toni Harman makes her feature debut with the psycholoigcal horror film about five students squatting in an abandoned London building who find out they are not alone. Alex Wakeford wrote the script. The project stars MyAnna Buring, Clayton Watson and Boyzone singer Stephen Gately in his film debut. Colin
  • MPAA cracks down on smoking in films

    The Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) ratings board is getting tough on smoking in film.Until now the ratings board has regarded sex, violence, adult language and illegal smoking among teens as the elements most likely to incur its wrath.However, an edict delivered today stressed than all depiction of smoking that glamourises the act, or films that contain pervasive smoking outside 'an historic or other mitigating context', may warrant a harsher certification
  • My Father, My Lord (Hofshat Kaits)

    Dir. David Volach. Is. 2006. 72mins. Even the top drama award at Tribeca can't make My Father, My Lord, David Volach's debut feature, into a crowd pleaser - but then again, it was never meant to. An intimate chamber piece, requiring its audience to interpret the apparently banal images into the intense drama that they refuse to initially reveal, this is the kind of picture that could easily go unnoticed. The New York jury's decision will at least draw
  • New York's LaSalleHolland restructures as Sweet 180

    New York-based management and production company LaSalleHolland has been restructured and renamed as Sweet 180. Company president Lillian LaSalle said: 'I restructured the company to accommodate a smaller but more prestigious client list. I'm excited about our new partnerships within the industry and I feel the new name reflects the direction of the company.' The company, which LaSalle founded with producer Gill Holland, had worked on films including Sweet Land and
  • NonStop picks up Irish titles Ghostwood and Speed Dating

    Stockholm-based international sales agent, NonStop Films, is increasingly focusing on English-language product, and has picked up two Irish features to top its slate for the upcoming Cannes Market, including Justin O'Brien's Ghostwood and Tony Herbert's Speed Dating. 'We may be a Scandinavian company, but we are supplying a market which has a strong preference for English-language films. So in addition to our Nordic line-up, we will handle international productions which ma
  • Northern stars

    The first feature from a Newcastle-based film-maker draws inspiration from his time in UK indie bands. Wendy Mitchell reports.About a year ago UK film-maker Ashley Horner was facing a tough time in preparation for his first feature, The Other Possibility. 'Trying to prep the week's shoot in Berlin during the (football) World Cup was fairly tough - with no money, temperatures of 35 degrees (95 degrees Fahrenheit) and just a borrowed bicycle to get me around town,
  • Norway's Paradox establishes closer ties with distributor Scanbox

    Norway 's leading production house, Oslo-based Paradox Film, has tied up closely with Scanbox Entertainment, after the pan-Scandinavian distributor has purchased a stake in parent company Paradox Holding. The deal will extend the working relationship between Paradox and Scanbox, which have been associated since 2002, both in domestic distribution and in the release of Paradox product in the Nordic countries. Scanbox has launched such films as Erik Poppe's Hawaii . Oslo
  • NY-based Visit establishes boutique sales arm

    Visit Films, the New York-based production company run by former Focus Features International distribution executive Ryan Kampe and commercials producer and creative executive Sylvain Tron, has launched the boutique sales agency Visit Sales.The company will specialise in finding foreign distribution channels for independent American projects and the partners will attend Cannes to establish ties with distributors.Visit Sales will launch its inaugural roster at the AFM in N
  • Ocean's Thirteen to open ninth annual CineVegas

    The ninth annual CineVegas Film Festival that runs in Las Vegas from Jun 6-16 will open with Ocean's Thirteen following the film's out of competition screening in Cannes.Ocean's Thirteen producer Jerry Weintraub will be presented with the Vanguard Producer Award during the opening night festivities at the Palms Casino, the proceeds of which will go to support Darfur relief efforts.'CineVegas
  • Optimum strikes UK deals for Incendiary and Rise Of The Footsoldier

    Ahead of Cannes, UK distributor Optimum has picked up two new films: they are Sharon Maguire's Incendiary and Julian Gilbey's Rise Of The Footsoldier. Optimum acquired Incendiary, a Film4-backed project, from producer Archer Street Films (Capitol is handling sales in Cannes). The project stars Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor and Matthew Macfadyen in the story of a woman whose life is turn apart after a suicide bombing at a football stadium. The film is still s
  • Palm takes US rights to Pineyro's Method from Latido

    Palm Pictures has taken US rights from Latido Films to Marcelo Pineyro's Argentinian-Spanish psychological thriller The Method (El Metodo).Palm plans a summer theatrical release followed by DVD roll-out for the story of a company that employs a brutal interview process to whittle down a pool of job applicants. Mateo Gil adapted the screenplay from Jordi Galceran's stage play.'Marcelo Pineyro
  • Pellington to direct Henry Poole Is Here for Lakeshore

    Los Angeles-based Lakeshore Entertainment is teaming up for the fourth time with director Mark Pellington on the drama Henry Poole Is Here starring Luke Wilson.Joint senior vice presidents of international sales Jonathan Deckter and Elisabeth Costa De Beauregard will begin sales in Cannes next week on the story of a terminally ill man whose plan to live out his remaining weeks in suburban solitude is disrupted by well-meaning neighbours.
  • Pilger's Bush-probing documentary rides with Coach 14

    Nascent sales outfit Coach 14 has taken on international sales on a new hot button documentary from John Pilger entitled The War On Democracy. The film,which is sure to spark controversy, examines the 'brutal reality of theBush notion of 'spreading democracy'' and the idea that the USpresident is actually conducting a war on democracy.An exclusive on the road interview with Hugo Chavez and anexclusive chat with Duane Clarridge, who
  • Rise: Blood Hunter

    Dir: Sebastian Gutierrez. US. 2007. 94mins.A genre thriller without much of a bite, Rise: Blood Hunter is nevertheless a well-mounted affair with a sense of humour and a solid starring turn by Lucy Liu as a woman who finds herself among the living dead. Premiered at Tribeca recently and opening domestically on June 1, the film should be a modest theatrical performer based on its vampire-movie genre and cool cast, but its biggest audience will be in a
  • Roadside deal with Goldwyn/IDP comes to an end

    Samuel Goldwyn Films announced yesterday that its three-year deal to provide marketing and distribution servicing to Roadside Attractions through its theatrical releasing arm IDP Distribution has come to an end.IDP Distribution and its staff will continue to distribute Goldwyn's theatrical film releases in the United States.Roadside Attraction co-president Howard Cohen said that it was formulating a new marketing and distribution strategy that would be announced shortly,
  • Robert Forster joins the cast of Fried's Fire Bay

    Robert Forster has joined Kuno Becker on the cast of Randall Fried's Bay Of Pigs drama Fire Bay, which is set to begin shooting on Jul 16 in Mexico.Fried's Los Angeles-based DragonFire Films will produce with Structured Capital Group Inc from New York City. Hector Lopez and Tony Mark are producing and Rowland Perkins, Basem Zakariya and Daniel Chai serve as executive producers.Forster will play US General Dawkins, supreme military
  • Rome to premiere Coppola's Youth Without Youth

    Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth has been confirmed for a world premiere at the secondRome Film Festival, which runs Oct 18-27. 'It is both an honor and a great pleasure to debut Youth Without Youth at the Rome Film Festival. I have worked in Italy extensively, both in Sicily and in Rome, at Cinecitta,' said Coppola. 'This film represents a new period in my career, where I intend to make only personal films. I look forward to showing it at this new festival in
  • Sales - Once more unto the Beach

    FRANCEFrench sales companies are offering some big names at Cannes this year.Rezo Films will be on hand with official selection title Ulzhan from director Volker Schlondorff, making his return 28 years after winning the Palme d'Or with The Tin Drum, and returning master Alexander Sokurov's Competition title Alexandra. It will also be selling Lola Doillon's Just About Love' (Et Toi, T'Es Sur Quoi') in Un Certain Regard, from the producers behind Auberge Espagnole and Russian Doll
  • Screen Gems picks up spoof script Armageddagain

    Screen Gems has picked up Robert Moniot's upcoming comedy spoof Armageddagain: The Day Before Tomorrow.Production is scheduled to begin in August and Screen Gems will release in 2008. Screen Gems' Michael Helfand negotiated the deal with Moniot's agents at ICM.Noah Emmerich makes his major producing debut through Sandbox Entertainment, alongside Moniot and his Big Picture Entertainment and Phil Goldfine of Hollywood Media Bridge.
  • Screen Media Ventures to sell three at AFM

    New York-based distributor Screen Media will introduce three new theatrical projects to buyers in Cannes through its new sales arm Screen Media Ventures.Walker Payne is a small-town drama about a man forced to make heart-breaking choices to save his two daughters and stars Judd Payne, Jason Patric and Sam Shepard.Matt Williams directed from his own screenplay and David Garber of Lantern Lane Entertainment is representing US rights.
  • Seeing the light

    The UK film finance sector gets a hopeful boost from a new $80m investment fund with producers David Parfitt and Christopher Figg on board. Geoffrey Macnab reports. The UK film finance sector has not been in the strongest health lately.With the closure of the Gaap schemes, the end of Section 48 tax relief, the abolition of sideways loss relief and the prolonged bedding down of the new tax credits, producers have had plenty of worries. This explains the hopes rid
  • Sheffield Doc/Fest and Unexpected Media start documentary lab

    The Sheffield Doc/Fest and Unexpected Media, with support from the BBC, London Development Agency and Screen Yorkshire, are starting a new initiative to support new documentary projects. The Crossover UK programme, a five-day residential lab will work with documentary makers, new media producers and video games developers form Yorkshire and London to brainstorm cross-platform documentary ideas. Experienced film-makers will collaborate with the emerging talents to talk about innova
  • Shrek The Third

    Dir: Chris Miller. US. 2007. 92mins. The 'greatest fairy tale never told' (as the original tag line put it) is missing a bit of its magic in this, the DreamWorks Animation CG fable about the big green ogre and his oddly familiar friends. With a new director and writers but not much in the way of new characters, Shrek The Third puts the emphasis more on family themes and less on the sort of witty comedy that gave the first two films their enjoyable edge.
  • Singapore's Lighthouse enters sales with Solos

    Following its withdrawal from last month's Singapore International Film Festival after being censored for its gay theme and explicit sex, Singapore drama Solos will make its market debut in Cannes through Lighthouse Pictures. As part of its aim to venture into international sales, the Singapore independent distributor will handle the picture's worldwide sales excluding Singapore. 'We provide the missing link. While local producers may have the money to make films, as we can
  • Smart joins Malloy in swing dance romance Love N Dancing

    Amy Smart will join Tom Malloy and a cast of swing dancing champions in Trick Candle Productions and Dolger Films' West Coast swing dance romance Love N' Dancing.Robert Iscove will direct from a screenplay by Malloy about a bored English teacher and her swing dancing instructor who fall in love and try to win the world title while holding on to each other's hearts.Production is set to begin on Jul 16 in Albuquerque, New Mexico and
  • Son Of Rambow to open Seattle Film Festival

    The 33rd Annual Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) will kick off with Garth Jennings' coming-of-age drama Son Of Rambow and close with the North American premiere of Laurent Tirard's period comedy Moliere.All in all 405 features will screen during the May 24-Jun 17 festival. Events include the new Planet Cinema sidebar dedicated to films about the natural world, a German spotlight, the Face the
  • Sony Acquisitions Group signs pact with Inferno

    Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) has signed a multi-year, co-financing and domestic distribution deal for all-media rights to films produced by Inferno Distribution.The non-exclusive agreement is structured as a first-look deal that effectively turns Inferno into a producer on certain projects for the studio with the ability to sell foreign rights on those projects buoyed by the cachet of having a major domestic partner.In return Sony receives product fl
  • Spider-Man 3 actual weekend gross higher than estimates

    Spider-Man 3 actually grossed more than initial weekend estimates suggested, taking $382m worldwide and $231m internationally in its first six days, and $151m in its first three days in North America.The action epic screened in 4,252 domestic theatres for a $35,540 per-theatre average, and played in 8,900 overseas venues.It opened number one in all its 107 countries, setting all-time opening records in 29 including the US, South Kor
  • Spider-Man shatters records with $375m global opening

    Spider-man 3 ignited the global summer blockbuster season with the most auspicious of starts, triggering a gargantuan $375m worldwide gross from 107 countries and a $227m international tally on 16,700 screens in the first six days.The results far exceed the boldest predictions of analysts and pave the way for the most intensive and - in the eyes of many - highest grossing season in history. Heading into the week and with the prospect of a secon
  • Sponge cleans up

    One of Korea's leading independent distributors tells Jean Noh how he is transforming the local market and why he considers himself a partner, not simply a buyer. A familiar figure on the international festival and market circuit with his horn-rimmed glasses, shaggy looks and easy-going, earnest attitude, David Cho is a prolific buyer of international arthouse titles for Korea. Through his distribution company Sponge, Cho has been garnering attention for successfully m
  • Sundance Channel takes Film Movement's Man

    North American distributor Film Movement has licensed Jose Henrique Fonseca's Brazilian crime caper Man Of The Year (O Homem Do Ano) to the Sundance Channel.Man Of The Year tells the story of an ordinary person who is propelled into destiny after the seemingly innocuous act of dying his hair blond.Murilo Benicio stars in the film, which will be broadc
  • Talk To Me to open Los Angeles Film Festival

    Talk To Me, Kasi Lemmons' biopic of radio DJ Ralph Waldo Greene, and Danny Boyle's Sunshine bookend the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival, which will screen more than 230 features, shorts and music videos between Jun 21 and Jul 1.The eight narrative competition entries will vie for a $50,000 unrestricted grant and include the world premieres of Jess Manafort's suburban comedy
  • Tarantino on board for Venice's Spaghetti Westerns retrospective

    The Venice Film Festival will feature a retrospective of Spaghetti Westerns as part of the Secret History of Italian Cinema 4 sidebar, the biennale said Friday. The sidebar - in it's forth edition has spawned parallel initiatives like the Secret History of Asian Cinema (2005) and Secret History of Russian Cinema (2006). The event's godfather will be US director Quentin Tarantino who returns after his 'Italian Kings of the Bs' retrospective dedicated to Italian genre films was a po
  • The Air I Breathe

    Dir: Jieho Lee. US. 2007. 97mins.In his debut feature, The Air I Breathe, Jieho Lee turns a Chinese proverb into a story that explores the interlocking fates of four characters, all of whom all are trapped in the grip, literally, of a violent gangster boss called Fingers. The gangster drama with spiritual aspirations, shot in Mexico City, has a cast (Forest Whitaker, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Andy Garcia, Kevin Bacon, Brendan Fraser) that ought to pull in a wide aud
  • The Grand

    Dir: Zak Penn. US. 2006. 95minsIf you hesitated to believe that gambling casinos were a magnet for misfits, The Grand, an improvised ensemble comedy set at a high-stakes poker tournament in Las Vegas, will confirm that impression. Zak Penn's new film is a high-stakes vaudeville Love Boat with more stars than a Global Warming benefit.The improvised movie, a new generation's twist on the Christopher Guest approach, seems targeted to reach a number of
  • The Lives Of Others star Gedeck to play Clara Schumann

    Martina Gedeck, the female lead in the Oscar-winning German film The Lives Of Others, has been cast as the pianist and composer Clara Schumann in Helma Sanders-Brahms long-gestating biopic Clara which will commence principal photography in Hungary at the end of May. The $6.4m (Euros 4.7m) German-French-Hungarian co-production by Integral Film/Helma Sanders-Brahms Filmproduktion with MACT Productions and Objektivfilmstudio will focus on the love triangle between Clara, her h
  • The Matrimony (Xin Zhong You Gui)

    Dir: Teng Huatao. Chi. 2007. 90mins.Produced by the brothers Wang - China's answer to the Weinsteins - and released in Mainland China on Valentine's Day, The Matrimony was just pipped to the post by Li Shaohong's The Door (which hit cinemas on 18 January) for the title of 'China's first commercial horror movie'. But The Matrimony is the first of the two to be seen in the West - it played at the Udine Far East Fest in Italy before travelling to Tribeca -
  • The new US independent model

    New York-based IFC Entertainment is in the second year of its day-and-date programme whereby 24 films a year hit theatres and VoD in 40 million homes on the same day. On the eve of Cannes, Mike Goodridge spoke to president Jonathan Sehring about the future of independent distribution. When the dust settles on this year's Cannes, what's the betting one of the most prolific buyers of festival films will be New York-based distributor IFC Films' From last year's line-up, a
  • The Unknown leads Italy's Donatello award nominations

    Giuseppe Tornatore's noir The Unknown (La Sconosciuta) leads the nominees for Italy's top film honors, the David of Donatello awards which are in their 51st edition this year. The film scored 12 nods. Emanuele Crialese's immigration-themed film The Golden Door (Nuovomondo) (recently presented at the Tribeca Film Festival by Martin Scorsese) and Daniele Luchetti's Cannes Certain Regard contender My Brother is an Only Child trailed just behind with 11 nomination
  • The Violin strikes chord with San Francisco jury

    Francisco Vargas Quemada's The Violin won the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival's SKYY Prize at the closing night awards ceremony on May 10.The FIPRESCI Prize went to Jeanne Waltz' Parting Shot/Pas Douce, while the Chris Holter Humour in Film Award was presented to Pavel Giroud for The Silly Age.In the Golden Gate Awards, Shahar Cohen and
  • The Works to handle international sales for Bahrani's Chop Shop

    The Works International has taken on several new films ahead of Cannes. They include Directors Fortnight title Chop Shop, from Man Push Cart director Ramin Bahrani. The story follows a young immigrant boy who works in a New York junkyard. Lisa Muskat produced with Marc Turtletaub and Jeb Brody of Big Beach. Cinetic is handling North American sales on Chop Shop. The Works is also handling sales for Oliver Hodge's Garbage Warrior, about the
  • The Workshop

    Dir: Jamie Morgan. UK. 2007. 93mins.One of the most talked about films at the recent Tribeca Film Festival, UK documentary The Workshop from first-time film-maker Jamie Morgan is a personal hand-held record of a ten-day workshop Morgan took with 'guru' Paul Lowe in northern California. While hardly the most technically sophisticated film - it was all shot on Morgan's handheld DV camera - it is nonetheless an extraordinarily frank and thought-provokin
  • Three German films in running for Student Foreign Academy Award

    Five finalists selected from a record 49 entries representing 33 countries will vie for the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 2007 Honorary Foreign Film Award in the 34th Annual Student Academy Awards.The winning film-maker will be brought to Los Angeles in June to participate in a week of industry-related activities and social events, culminating in the awards ceremony on Jun 9 in Beverly Hills.The finalists are (in alphabetical order):
  • Til Schweiger takes the lead in Boll's latest Far Cry

    Til Schweiger has been cast in the lead of Uwe Boll's latest video game adaptation Far Cry.Filming on the $25m Boll and Brightlight Pictures co-production is scheduled to begin on Jun 13 in Vancouver. Boll, Brightlight's Shawn Williamson and Dan Clarke are producing.Schweiger will play Jack Carver, a former Special Forces operative who travels to a mysterious island to rescue a journalist from a sinister scientist.'I'm
  • Toronto to open with premiere of Podeswa's Fugitive Pieces

    The 32nd Toronto International Film Festival will open Sept 6 with the world premiere gala presentation of Jeremy Podeswa's Fugitive Pieces, organisers have announced. Stephen Dillane stars as a man who was orphaned in the Second World War and saved by a Greek archaelogist. Years later, he discovers true love and must free himself from his past. The cast also includes Rade Sherbedgia, Rosamund Pike, Ayelet Zurer, Robbie Kay, Ed Stoppard, Rachelle Lefevre, and Nina Dobrev. T
  • Turin to feature retrospectives of Wenders and Cassavetes

    Turin Film Festival director Nanni Moretti has announced two retrospectives and two new sections. In his first edition as artistic director of the 25-year-old festival, Moretti has selected John Cassavetes, as well as to German director and President of the European Film Academy, Wim Wenders as subjects of two retrospectives. 'The Turin Film Festival proposes the complete works of (these)fundamental auteur in the panorama of independent cinema,' the festival announced in
  • UKFC allocates $11m to new funds including film festival support

    The UK Film Council has allocated $11m (£5.5m) from its reserves and recoupments to go towards new funding policies through March 2010. The plans, published today in the Film in the Digital Age document, allocate the $11m of new funding to four new funds: UK Film Festivals Fund - $3m (£1.5m) per year - to create a thriving film festival scene in the UK giving the public better access to the rich world of
  • Venice to celebrate 75th with tribute to Kluge

    The Venice Film Festival will celebrate its Jubilee in 2007 - 75 years since it's founding - on August 6, 1932 on the Lido of Venice.As the world's oldest film festival, Venice will mark the jubilee with an event dedicated to Alexander Kluge, the German director (also 75 years old), who was born the same year as the festival's inception.Kluge has been awarded two Golden Lions and a Silver Lion and a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement in 1982, Venice's 50th anniversary.
  • Walter Salles to serve as patron for Cannes Europe Day

    Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles will act as patron for the 2007 edition of Europe Day at this year's Cannes Film Festival.This year marks the fifth year that European Union culture and audio visual ministers will convene in Cannes to discuss issues currently facing the industry. The ministers will meet this year with film professionals and talent to talk about new distribution methods and their impact on the process and economics of filmmaking.Ministers who have confirmed thei
  • Warner Bros ceases all preview screenings in Canada

    Warner Bros Canada fired a broadside at Canadian lawmakers yesterday when it announced it was immediately ceasing all preview screenings in the territory as a result of what it regarded as inadequate anti-piracy policy.Citing ongoing state and federal efforts to curb piracy in the US, Warner Bros' anti-piracy chief Darcy Antonellis said Canada had not enacted a federal law that outlawed camcording or empowered theatre staff to confiscate equipment used in illicit recordings.
  • Warner Bros signs Hong Kong VoD deal with Video Online

    Start-up video-on-demand operator VideoOnline Communications has signed a multi-year VoD and subscription VoD agreement with Warner Bros International Television Distribution (WBITD) for Hong Kong rights to all current feature-length films in addition to hundreds of library titles. The agreement allows VideoOnline to offer legal downloads of Warner Bros content through its 08Media portal which launched on March 29 in Hong Kong. The service will initially offer more than 100 films
  • Warner Japan wins government import award for fourth time

    Warner Entertainment Japan has received the 2007 Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award for best importer-distributor of the year for the fourth time.The award was handed out at a ceremony on Apr 18 at the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce. Warner Japan president and representative director William Ireton accepted the award on behalf of the company from Vice Minister Kozo Yamamoto.'We are tremendously honoured to be recognised with this award and to continue to develop dis
  • Watching The Detectives

    Dir: Paul Soter. US. 2007. 91mins. Watching The Detectives, Paul Soter's feature debut, is intended to be a cinephile's movie, a geek cinephile's movie, where the hapless proprietor of video store and slacker haven is seduced by a femme fatale who walks in off the street. The tale than unfolds from there is every film nerd's unfulfilled dream.The comedy can play on the wish-fulfillment of its natural self-absorbed video-addict audience, which has ple
  • WBITD signs Hong Kong VOD deal with ViDeOnline

    Warner Bros International Television Distribution has signed a multi-year video-on-demand and subscription video-on-demand deal with ViDeOnline Communications for the Hong Kong rights to current features and library titles.The agreement will initially cover more than 100 Warner Bros titles that ViDeOnline will offer for download through its recently launched 08Media portal.Films include Superman Returns, Happy Feet, V For Vendetta, Batman
  • We Are Together (Thina Simunye)

    Dir. Paul Taylor. UK. 2006. 86minsThe young singers in We Are Together (Thina Simunye) are some of the estimated 1.2m orphans in South Africa today, most of whom lost their parents to AIDS-related illnesses. The motivational documentary by Paul Taylor observed them singing and struggling over three years.
  • We Are Together wins Tribeca Audience Award

    Paul Taylor's South African orphans documentary We Are Together (Thina Simunye) has won the 6th annual Tribeca Film Festival's Cadillac Award.The audience award was announced before the closing night premiere of HBO's documentary The Gates.Taylor, who produced with Teddy Liefer, earns a $25,000 cash prize for his account of the children of the South Africa Agape Orphanage, many of whom have seen their families devastated by AIDS, a
  • West 32nd

    Dir: Michael Kang. US. 2007. 83mins. Michael Kang's second feature West 32nd is an ambitious thriller set in the Korean underworld of Manhattan. While rich in atmosphere and a set-up which promises to peel the layers off a sinister world of crime, it ultimately promises more intrigue and complexity than it delivers. The film is too short at 83 minutes to build a mythical portrait of an organized crime syndicate the way that Johnnie To did recently in his
  • Where God Left His Shoes

    Dir: Salvatore Stabile. US. 2007. 99mins.There's no question that Where God Left His Shoes contains its fair share of cliches; it also skirts dangerously close to sentimentality. But writer/producer/director Salvatore Stabile, who made his debut feature Gravesend when he was just 19, keeps his second film on track and ultimately delivers a work which is authentically heartwarming - an achievement which cannot be under-rated in a culture today which is drenched in chea
  • Whose data is it anyway'

    Despite Italy's 2007 box-office boom, the territory's national statistics institute identifies a decline in cinema-going. Sheri Jennings reports. In 2007, Italian exhibitors have many reasons to be proud. First-quarter box-office returns are explosive: Italy is up 24% compared with 2006, and 40% of that figure is credited to national product.So when Italy's national statistics institute (Istat) released a report at the end of April that concludes box office is i
  • WHV signs five-year extension on Zaentz distribution deal

    Warner Home Video (WHV) has signed a five-year extension to its global distribution deal with producer Saul Zaentz.WHV will continue to distribute Zaentz' films, which include the HD DVD and Blue-Ray releases of Oscar winners One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus in February 2008.'Warner respects the passion I hold for my films and I am very comfortable with our relationship,' Zaentz s
  • Wild Bunch's new titles include $47m Mr. Nobody with Sarah Polley

    With six films spread throughout the official selection, Critics Week and Un Certain Regard, Wild Bunch is also presenting a packed line-up at the Cannes Market. In selection are Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days in the main competition, Abel Ferrara's out-of-competition Go Go Tales, Juan Antonio Bayona's Guillermo del Toro-produced The Orphanage in Critics Week and Dreams Of The Night Before from Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Calle Santa Fe by C
  • Wind Dancer names first two thrillers from development fund

    US-based Wind Dancer Films has announced the first two thrillers from its recently established development fund.Crescendo is based on a story by Wind Dancer's Matt Williams and will be written by Andrew Klavan and centres on a traumatised concert violinist plagued by visions of her late father.House Of War is a political thriller that is being written by Alex Paraskevas and follows a burnt-o
  • You Kill Me

    Dir: John Dahl. US. 2007. 90mins. A return to form of sorts for John Dahl after his epic World War Two flop The Great Raid, You Kill Me is a short, sharp, mordant little mob comedy about a Buffalo hitman on hiaitus from killing in San Francisco and trying to overcome a drinking problem. Boasting quirky performances by Ben Kingsley and Tea Leoni, it has a shot at making a minor impression in specialised markets, thanks to Kingsley's name, Dahl's
  • You Kill Me to close CineVegas

    John Dahl's You Kill Me Starring Ben Kingsley and Tea Leoni will close the ninth annual CineVegas Film Festival, which runs at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas from June 6-16.As previously announced, Ocean's Thirteen will open the event, which includes the new Mexican sidebar La Proxima Ola.'Opening with such a classically 'Vegas' film as Ocean's Thirteen