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Screen
12 May 2008

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  • 24 frames buys North American rights to Mexico's Partes Usadas

    US-based distributor 24 frames has acquired North American rights to Aaron Fernandez' Mexican crime drama Partes Usadas (Used Parts).The film won the 2007 Mayahuel Award for first time film-makers at Guadalajara last year.Partes Usadas was released in Mexico on April 18 through Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna's Canana Films and charts the consequences of a relationship between a dealer of
  • 3DD to present Cannes market premiere of The Day After Peace

    3DD Entertainment is planning a Cannes launch for The Day After Peace, a feature documentary featuring Jude Law. Jeremy Gilley directs the BBC/Passion Pictures/Peace One Day production.A Cannes market screening, the world premiere, will be at the Olympia Cannes on May 19 at 6 pm and Jude Law is expected to attend.The film tracks film-maker Jeremy Gilley's idea to great a day of peace around the world, getting the involvement of UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and
  • Abel Ferrara finishing juvenile crime project Napoli, Napoli, Napoli

    Rome-based sales company and producer Minerva Pictures Group will be in Cannes with a new project from Abel Ferrara, Napoli, Napoli, Napoli.Currently in post-production, the film - which is destined for a theatrical release - interweaves documentary with narrative footage by combining interviews with three female inmates with scripted scenes that stem from their life experiences.The three stories are in turn scripted by young members of a juvenile anti-crime association
  • Adlabs acquires majority share in Malaysian cinema chain

    Continuing with its global expansion plans, Adlabs Films, part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, is set to acquire a majority and controlling interest in Malaysia's Lotus Five Star Cinemas. As per the agreement, Adlabs will operate the 51 screen cinema chain in Malaysia. The cinemas will be programmed with a mix of mainstream Hollywood, Chinese, Malay and Indian-language (especially Hindi and Tamil) movies.Anil Arjun, senior vice president, Reliance ADAG said: 'This acqu
  • After Becker deal, Icon takes over sales on Hunger

    Icon Entertainment International has taken over worldwide rights to Hunger, the CannesUn Certain Regard opening film.Steve McQueen directed the film about the 1981 IRA hunger strike in the Maze Prison. Michael Fassbender is said to give a star-making performance as Bobby Sands.Icon recently acquired Australian media group Becker Entertainment, including sales arm Becker International. Becker had previously held the rights to Hunger.The film has been co-f
  • After Dark to produce two original horror films, Foresight to sell

    Courtney Solomon's After Dark Films will produce and distribute the horror films Faithless and Perkins' 14, marking the first time After Dark will produce films released as part of its annual 8 Films To Die For horror series.Both films will shoot consecutively in Romania starting in May and Mark Damon's Foresight Unlimited will handle pre-sales in Cannes.Stewart Hopewell will direct
  • Aimee Anderson to join DDA for corporate publicity

    Aimee Anderson will join pr firm DDA as account director, corporate publicity.The hire was announced by DDA Public Relations executive vice president Lawrence Atkinson.Anderson will work with corporate clients including Warner Bros Home Entertainment Group, Entertainment One, Hewlett Packard, Halcyon, Atlas Entertainment, Shangri-La, Ealing Studios and the Dubai International Film Festival, as well as seeking new clients.Anderson joins DDA on May 17 (and at Cannes)
  • Akin's Heaven wins top honours at Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

    Fatih Akin's The Edge Of Heaven won the best juried fiction feature award at the tenth annual Miami & Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festivals over the weekend.Guido Santi and Tina Mascara's Chris & Don: A Love Story about the love affair between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy won the juried documentary prize.Shamjim Sarifis' Indian lesbian drama
  • Almereyda, Knighton win Sloan grants from Sundance Institute

    Michael Almereyda has received the Sundance Institute's 2008 Sundance/Sloan Commissioning Grant for The Stanley Milgram Project and screenwriter Ryan Knighton has been awarded the 2008 Sloan Fellowship for his script Cockeyed.Both the Fellowship and the Grant are part of the Alfred P Sloan Foundation's collaboration with the Institute's Feature Film Programme to support independent screenwriters and dir
  • Anchor Bay brought under the auspices of Overture Films

    Home entertainment company Anchor Bay Entertainment has been brought under the auspices of its Starz stablemate Overture Films.Anchor Bay had been part of Starz Media, the television production, syndication and animation unit that in turn is wholly owned by John Malone's Liberty Media. Anchor Bay president Bill Clark will now report to Overture CEO Chris McGurk.Overture Films, which recently released The Visitor and
  • Andy Weltman takes UK production exec post in LA

    Andy Weltman has been appointed production executive by British Film Commissioner Colin Brown.Weltman will be based in the UK Film Council US office in Los Angeles, and he will be responsible for building relationships with US film-makers hoping to shoot in the UK.Colin Brown said: 'I'm delighted that Andy has joined our team. Together with Claire Chapman our Executive Director in the US, Andy will look at maximising the opportunities for US filmmakers to make their films in the
  • Arclight buys Conquistador, names Borno head of sales and acquisitions

    Arclight Films International has acquired Conquistador Worldwide Media and installed Pascal Borno as its new president of sales and acquisitions.Borno will lead the Arclight sales team in Cannes with a slate that includes the official selection screening Surveillance.'Pascal is a very experienced and innovative executive with a long history in worldwide sales and acquisitions, as well as his involvement in identifying good projects
  • Argentinian film steals top prize at Jeonju

    Matias Pineiro's Argentine film The Stolen Man picked up the $10,000 top Woosuk Award at Korea's 9th Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF).Shot in black and white on HD, the film revolves around 19th century author and Argentinian president Domingo F. Sarmiento's writings on freedom and the right to education.The international competition's $7,000 Daum Jury Special Prize went to Chilean film The Sky, The Earth And The Rain. Directed by J
  • Asia Pacific Screen Awards establishes an academy

    Encouraging dialogue, collaboration and business relationships between filmmakers is the underlying aim of the establishment of The Academy of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSAs). The next step in the development of the awards was announced in Brisbane today by Queensland Premier Anna Bligh.'The APSAs bring the best filmmakers from the region together... (and) it is my hope that co-productions and other initiatives between the 72 countries that form the APSA network will result,
  • Aubry promoted to vp, theatrical marketing, at Regent Releasing

    Jonathon Aubry has been promoted to vice president, theatrical marketing, at Regent Releasing, the US independent distributor which is owned by Paul Colichman and Stephen P Jarchow's Regent Entertainment.Aubry, who was formerly director, marketing and corporate communications, at Regent Entertainment, will report to Mark Reinhart, general manager, west coast operations and executive vice president, distribution and acquisitions, for Regent Releasing.In his new position, A
  • Australia shoot for Myriad horrorproject Drive The Night

    Santa Monica-based Myriad Pictures will produce, finance and handleworldwide sales for the horror film Drive The Night, its latest project under the deal with comic-book publisher Studio 407.Bill Bennett wrote and will direct the tale of a couple that gets loston a haunted road in the Outback. Principal photography is set tobegin in Australia later this summer.Jorge Saralegui, whose credits include Midnight Meat Train and QueenOf The
  • Bangkok film festival pushed backto September

    The organisers of the 6th Bangkok International Film Festival (BKKIFF) have revealed that the event will be rescheduled to September from the previously announced dates in late July. Previous organisers, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will take a backseat this year, and let the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand run the event.The Federation is a private organisation representing various sectors of the Thai film industry. Its president, Jaruek Kanjaruek, w
  • Bavaria picks up international for Daniel Burman's Argentine hit

    Bavaria Film International has taken on international distribution for Argentinean director Daniel Burman's current box-office hit Empty Nest (El Nido Vacio).All About My Mother's Cecilia Roth and Oscar Martinez star as a married couple in their prime suddenly confronted with the 'empty nest syndrome' the moment their youngest child leaves home.'Empty Nest is a very mature, intensely emotional and heartfelt story about any parents or fathers who projec
  • Bavaria takes on sales for Critics Week title Moscow, Belgium

    Bavaria Film International is handling international distribution on Christophe van Rompaey's feature debut Moscow, Belgium (Aanrijding In Moscou) which has been selected for this year's Critics' Week sidebar in Cannes.Produced by A Private View, the Flemish romantic comedy about a woman (played by actress-director Barbara Sarafian) whose life is full of dents and bruises is in the best tradition of British working-class cinema.
  • BBC Films to give UK producers 30% of its actual equity recoupment

    BBC Films announced today that it will create a corridor for UK producers to access 30% of the actual equity recoupment that BBC Films receives on a project.The move comes as part of some key changes to the deal terms offered to UK film producers, and has been warmly welcomed by producers body PACT. The idea is to move the film producer further up the profit chain, therefore hopefully helping producers build more sustainable businesses.The 30% will apply wherever the tax
  • Bouchareb hopes for ‘spirit of mutual respect’ for Hors La Loi Cannes screening

    The Franco-Algerian director breaks his silence over the controversy surronding his Cannes competition title.
  • Bulgarian studio expands facilities

    UFO International Productions has announced the opening of a new stage facility in Sofia, Bulgaria.The Bulgarian Film and Television Centre (BFTC) claims to be the largest studio in the Balkans, with nearly double the stage capacity of any other studio in Bulgaria.Sofia is already home to Nu Boyana Studios. Nu Boyana is currently constructing a 2.5-kilometre New York street set and 10 new sound stages.BFTC includes a back-lot with more 17 acres of standing sets, including
  • Cannes Buzz: Directors' Fortnight

    Each year, when the lights go down after every film at the Noga Hilton (now known as the Palais Stephanie), a history of Directors' Fortnight unfolds before your eyes.An inspirational montage of still photos and brief scenes skim through 40 years of talent discovery and championing of world-class film-makers.Key images from the films of Scorsese and Herzog, Oshima and Angelopoulos, Loach and Haneke, Solondz and Jarmusch are pressed together into a scrapbook of greatness. The mon
  • Cannes Buzz: Hot Picks

    FROM NORTH AMERICAMandate International will begin pre-sales on Drew Barrymore's comedy Whip It! starring Ellen Page as a beauty pageant regular who finds her true calling when she joins a female roller-derby team. The slate also includes the animated tale Alpha And Omega starring Justin Long and Hayden Panettiere as bickering wolves who find their way home after being kidnapped. Lionsgate holds US and UK rights.Summit International arrives with Te
  • Cannes Buzz: Out Of Competition

    OUT OF COMPETITIONIndiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skill (US)Dir: Steven SpielbergThe story: The fourth instalment in the series - which arrives 19 years after the third - is set in 1957 and pits Indy against agents of the Soviet Union.The cast: Harrison Ford, of course, alongside the returning Karen Allen, and newcomers including S
  • Cannes Buzz: The Competition

    CompetitionBlindness (Can-Jap-US)Dir: Fernando MeirellesThe story: Blindness is based on the novel by Nobel prize-winner Jose Saramago in which a cataclysm of unknown origin sweeps through a city, rendering everyone blind. As society disintegrates, a small group struggles to hold on to the bond they have formed.The cast: A powerful ensem
  • Cannes profile: Enter The Protagonist

    There will be many eyes on Protagonist Pictures as the company launches its first sales office at Cannes. Its three backers are well known - Ingenious, Film4 and Vertigo Films - and the industry is curious to see if their joint foray into sales will be a hit.Protagonist CEO Ben Roberts, former VP worldwide acquisitions at Universal Pictures, says the three unlikely backers make good partners. 'These are three increasingly strong UK partners putting films through us,' he says. 'They wor
  • Caruso, Conte plan $60m epic feature on life of William Tell

    Veteran US producers Fred Caruso (Blue Velvet) and D. Constantine Conte (48 Hours) have unveiled plans to produce the $60m medieval epic feature The Adventures Of William Tell, based on the life of the legendary national hero of Switzerland.A single-purpose company Tell Productions Ltd. has acquired the film rights to Friedrich von Schiller's 1805 play Wilhelm Tell from the University of Chicago, and a screenplay is being written by Swiss-born author Cornelius Schregl
  • Chungmuro fest partners with Cannes Directors' Fortnight

    Korea's 2nd Chungmuro International Film Festival In Seoul (CHIFFS) has announced an inaugural competition section angled at 'classics of the future', as well as a special retrospective partnered with Cannes ' Directors Fortnight celebrating 40 years of the sidebar's films. With a five-person jury to include The Deer Hunter director Michael Cimino and The Duelist and M director Lee Myung-Se, the competition will award a total of $40,000 in prize money.CHIFFS is
  • Cinema Libre doc The End Of Poverty' added to Critics Week

    Cinema Libre Studio's documentary The End Of Poverty has been added to the Critics Week line-up in Cannes.Cinema Libre founder Philippe Diaz' film will premiere on May 19 and explores the theory that poverty is a deliberate ploy by wealthy nations to exploit and subjugate the poor. Martin Sheen has come aboard to narrate the project.Diaz shot on HD on location in the UK, Brazil, France, Kenya, Bolivia, Tanzania and Venezuela. Among
  • Clubland producers form Goalpost Pictures Australia

    The Australian producers behind Clubland and the upcoming Elise, starring songstress Natalie Imbruglia, have formed a production company Goalpost Pictures Australia.The outfit has UK sales agency and executive producers Goalpost Film as a minority shareholder.Long-term partners Rosemary Blight, Ben Grant, Kylie du Fresne and Cass O'Connor are the principals in the new Australian company, which has a corresponding shareholding in Tristan Whalley and Nicki Parfitt's
  • David Maisel, Kevin Feige boosted at Marvel Entertainment

    Marvel Entertainment has extended the contract of Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel until 2010 and promoted Kevin Feige to president of the film studio.The move follows the successful global launch last weekend of Iron Man, Marvel Studios' first project as an autonomous financing, development and production entity.Paramount distributed the film for a fee, as it will on a panoply of Marvel features including the
  • Disney to make 3D film revolving around The Jonas Brothers

    Disney has augmented its recently announced 3D line-up with a film about the Jonas Brothers, the Disney Channel boy band and tween idols who are one of the corporation's key revenue drivers.The untitled film is expected out in 2009 and will feature footage from the recording artists' upcoming Burning Up tour as well as behind-the-scenes documentary footage.Bruce Hendricks, who directed Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best Of Both Worlds Conce
  • Donnie Darko sequel S. Darko starts shooting May 18

    UK-based sales company Velvet Octopus will be launching sales in Cannes for S. Darko, billed as the sequel to the 2001 cult hit Donnie Darko. Fox has already taken North American rights.Daviegh Chase reprises her role as Donnie's younger sister. The cast for S. Darko also includes Ed Westwick (Son Of Rambow, Gossip Girl), Briana Evigan (Step Up 2) and Justin Chatwin (Dragon Ball).Ash Shah's Silver Nitrate and Newmarket Capital
  • Dorman, Barclayjoin cast of Caesar's Prime Mover

    Australian writer/director David Caesar (Dirty Deeds) has started production on Prime Mover, starring Michael Dorman and New Zealand's Emily Barclay. Prime mover is a term used in Australia for the huge semi-trailer trucks that thunder along outback roads. The film is billed as a diesel-charged love story about a young man, his woman and one of these trucks.Dorman and Barclay, who play the couple in question, starred opposite each other in Suburban Mayhem, whic
  • Edko to launch Claustrophobia at Cannes

    Hong Kong-based Edko Films will commence international sales at Cannes on Claustrophobia, which is one of the first films to be backed by Irresistible Films, a film fund established by Bill Kong and Japan's Avex Group Holdings. The film is the directorial debut of award-winning screenwriter Ivy Ho (July Rhapsody). Starring Karena Lam and Ekin Cheng, it tells the story of a typical white-collar worker in a small, cramped office in Hong Kong who finds herself being drawn clo
  • Elle Driver adds Anna, Painless, Changing Sides to slate

    Gearing up for its first Cannes, Elle Driver has added a series of new films to its slate. For its debut Cannes outing, the company boasts 4 Nights With Anna; a story of obsessive love from director Jerzy Skolimowski which will open Directors' Fortnight.Meanwhile, currently in pre-production are Juan Carlos Medina's Painless and Pascale Pouzadoux's Changing Sides. The former is a psychological thriller set in Spain starring Tomas Lemarquis. The latter stars Sophie
  • Ellen Page signs on for Jane Eyre with Ruby, BBC

    Ellen Page, hot off her Oscar nomination for Juno, is set to take the title role in a new adaptation of Jane Eyre for BBC Films and Alison Owen's London-based Ruby Films.'She put a whole different complexion on Jane Eyre,' Christine Langan at BBC Films told ScreenDaily.com.The projects are out to directors now and other co-production partners are expected to come on board soon.The 1847 classic by Charlotte Bronte is about an orphan girl who grow
  • Endgame to produce, finance A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

    LA-based Endgame Entertainment is to produce and finance A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, a comedy to star Jason Sudeikis and Will Forte from US TV's Saturday Night Live, and Leslie Bibb.Pete Huyck and Alex Gregory will make their directorial debut on the film which is based on their screenplay.Endgame CEO James D Stern will produce, while company executive Lucas Smith will oversee production whic
  • Enid Blyton's schoolgirl heroines get big-screen treatment with UFA Cinema

    Enid Blyton is set to be given the big-screen treatment by Germany's new player UFA Cinema with a feature film based on the bestselling children's author's St Clare's books from the 1940s. Known in Germany as Hanni & Nanni, Blyton's original stories about the O'Sullivan twin sisters' adventures at their girls boarding school were adapted and updated in the 1960s translations. A series of new adventures were then commissioned by the books'
  • Eurimages backs 10 films with $6m

    At its 110th meeting, May 4-6 in Amsterdam, the Board of Management of the Council of Europe's Eurimages Fund made its latest funding awards.The European co-production support includes 10 feature films for a total of almost $6m (Euros 3.875m)The films are: Besa - Srdjan Karanovic (Serbia, Slovenia, Hungary, France) Bon Appetit - David Pinillos (Spain, Germany, Switzerland) Dau - Ilya Khrzhanovsky (Germany, France, Russia, Sweden)
  • Europa Distribution to host VOD session during San Sebastian workshop

    European distribution alliance to host a two-day session on VOD as part of its three-day workshop
  • European Commission starts consultation on film policy

    The European Commission has launched a public consultation on a possible future global programme for the audiovisual industries, including film.The aim is to develop a new programme, 'MEDIA MUNDIS', that will represent a commitment to effective multilateralism and engage with global partnersThe aim of the consultation is to gather information and opinions from all stakeholders that will shape any future programme.The findings will provide input for an impact assessment pr
  • European Film Export Association lines up 16 arbitrators

    The European Film Export Association (EFEA) has named their arbitrators - 16 in all- whose role will be to assist in resolving problems that crop up between exporters and distributors - the association's president Jacques-Eric Strauss, and vice president Adrianna Chiesa told ScreenDaily.The 16 arbitrators completed a training session in Paris this spring and can help EFEA and non-EFEA exporters in the resolving of disputes.Jacques-Eric Strauss told ScreenDaily: 'The European arb
  • Eva Mendes to play Queen Of The South for Essential

    Jere Hausfater's worldwide sales, development and production company Essential Entertainment will introduce Cannes buyers to the drug drama Queen Of The South starring Eva Mendes, Ben Kingsley and Josh Hartnett.Essential is handling international sales on the film which is based on the novel by Arturo Perez-Reverte and will be directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz (Secuestro Express).The true-lifest
  • Feng Xiaogang puts Nobles project on hold

    Leading Chinese director Feng Xiaogang (Assembly, The Banquet) has put his new project The Nobles on hold to an indefinite date, producer Huayi Brothers Pictures has confirmed. Huayi's spokesperson said the project, which was originally scheduled to start shooting in April and was aiming for a Christmas release, needs more rewriting on its script and more time in development.Earlier in April, when Feng attended the Beijing Student Film Festival, he told local m
  • Filmax International acquires international rights to Invitation Only

    Spanish outfit Filmax International has acquired the international sales rights excluding Asia, Germany and Poland and the distribution rights for Spain for the Asian horror production Invitation Only directed by Kevin Ko.Filmax International will present a promo of the film, which is currently in post production, at Cannes and will premiere in Asia in the late summer of 2008.Invitation Only is Kevin Ko's first film, and is being produced by Three Dots Entertainment, th
  • Films Distribution picks up Salamandra

    Films Distribution has picked up Directors' Fortnight selection Salamandra by director Pablo Aguero heading into the Cannes Film Festival.The company will handle world sales on the feature debut which is also in contention for the Camera d'Or.Films Distribution co-founder Nicolas Brigaud Robert tells ScreenDaily, 'The director and the cinematography are amazing. I'm really surprised no one picked it up until now; we jumped on it. Sometimes things that come out of
  • Filth And Wisdom gets its North American premiere at Provincetown

    The tenth annual Provincetown International Film Festival, which will take place June 18-22, has announced that it will present Gael Garcia Bernal with the Excellence In Acting Award and Jane Lynch with the Faith Hubley Memorial Award.Quentin Tarantino has already been announced as the recipient of the Filmmaker On The Edge Award.Madonna's directorial debut Filth And Wisdom has its North American premiere as the opening night film,
  • Flueger, Perlman, Manning, Pantoliano star in The Job

    Principal photography is set to begin this week in Detroit on the darkly comic thriller The Job starring Patrick Flueger, Ron Perlman, Taryn Manning and Joe Pantoliano.Shem Bitterman will direct from his own screenplay adaptation of his stage play of the same name about a young man who undertakes a task to win the girl of his dreams and swiftly comes to regret it. Bitterman is producing with Goshay.The production is one of the firs
  • Fortissimo takes on Madonna-produced I Am Because We Are

    Fortissimo Films has acquired the documentary I Am Because We Are, which is produced, written and narrated by Madonna.The deal, for all rights outside of North America, was brokered between Fortissimo's Senior Vice President, Sales & Acquisitions Winnie Lau and Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which represents the film.I Am Because We Are is about the children of Malaw
  • Fortissimo to debut Dance Subaru! at Cannes

    Fortissimo Films has boarded pan-Asian co-production Dance Subaru! as sales agent outside of Asia, and will be introducing the film at this year's Cannes film festival.Several Asian powerhouses are joining forces on the film (see related articles below), including Japan's Avex Entertainment, Korea's SM Entertainment, Singapore's MediaCorp Raintree Pictures and Hong Kong uber-producer Bill Kong. Warner Bros Pictures Japan is also co-producing the film.Based on a popular Japan
  • Fred Kogel to step down as Constantin CEO, Burgener will succeed

    Leading German producer-distributor Constantin Film has announced that its current CEO Fred Kogel has extended his contract until the end of the year, but will then be succeeded in this position by the group's present supervisory board chairman Bernhard Burgener.Kogel had replaced Bernd Eichinger as CEO in April 2003 and been additionally responsible for licence trading, TV entertainment production, legal affairs, human resources, corporate communications, investor relations and - sinc
  • Giuseppe Tornatore back to Sicilian roots for Baaria

    Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore and Medusa Film CEOGiampaolo Letta unveiled the first details of Tornatore's $30.7m (Euro 20m) film Baaria that has been tightly under wraps since the project's inceptiona year ago.Producing partners for Baaria are Italy's Medusa Film and Franco-Tunisian entrepreneur Tarak Ben Ammar's French based Quinta Communications and his Tunis-based Empire Film.Quinta will handle world sales of the film at the Cannes market
  • Hamptons Festival screenwriters lab sets participants for 2008 event

    The Hamptons International Film Festival will host its 8th Annual Screenwriters' Lab co-sponsored by the Alfred P Sloan Foundation from May 9 to 11 in East Hampton.Over the course of one weekend emerging screenwriters will benefit from the expert tutelage of mentors who will advise them on how best to revise their scripts in preparation for production.Selected screenwriters will meet one-on-one each day with established screenwriting mentors who will advise them on how to
  • Harrelson, Morton, Malone line up for Moverman's The Messenger

    Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, Jena Malone and Eamonn Walker have now joined Ben Foster in Oren Moverman's The Messenger.The film will start shooting May 20, and marks the directorial debut of I'm Not There and Jesus' Son veteran writer Moverman. Alessandro Cameron wrote the story and co-wrote the screenplay with Moverman.The project is described as a poignant, life-affirming road movie.Mark Gordon and Lawrence Inglee will produce for t
  • Herbig, Wortmann and Davaa receive support from Bavarian fund

    New films by leading German comedian Michael Bully Herbig, Soenke Wortmann, and Oscar-nominated documentary film-maker Byambasuren Davaa (The Story Of The Weeping Camel and The Cave of The Yellow Dog) are among 25 film and TV projects supported with $9.4m (Euros 6.1m) by Bavaria's FFF Bayern regional fund at its latest sitting.The largest amount - $ 2.1m (Euros 1.4m) - went to Herbig's family entertainment film Wickie Und Die Starken Maenner, based on the children's b
  • High Point gears up for The Race with Grand Pictures

    High Point Films has taken on international rights for Irish family feature The Race, currently in pre-production.Andre F Nebe, who directed the award-winning short Tricky Fingers, will direct. Michael Garland and Paul Donovan of Grand Pictures (Nic Roeg's Puffball) will produce with Germany-based Martin Hagemann of Zero Fiction will co-produce.Colm Meaney and Susan Lynch will star in the story of an 11-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a race car d
  • Horizon picks up worldwide sales on Taking The Face

    Vancouver-based Horizon Motion Pictures has added Portuguese bullfighting documentary Taking The Face to its Cannes slate.Horizon will represent worldwide sales excluding Portugal on Juliusz Kossakowski and Matthew Bishop's investigation into Portugal's love-hate relationship with the sport.Shot in HD over the 2007 season, the film includes action footage and interviews with bullfighters, veterinarians, animal rights activists, afic
  • Horn slashes both Picturehouse and Warner Independent

    Picturehouse and Warner Independent Pictures (WIP) will both cease operations, it was announced today by Alan Horn, president & chief operating officer of Warner Bros. Instead of merging the two operations, which came under the same Warner Bros umbrella following New Line Cinema's absorption into the company recently, it has been decided to dispense with a standalone specialised distribution operation altogether.In future, say insiders, a small handful of specialised film
  • Hyde Park, Platinum to co-produce film of Italian comic book Dylan Dog

    Ashok Amritraj's Hyde Park Entertainment Group and LA-based comic book company Platinum Studios have teamed up to co-produce Dead Of Night, a film of best-selling Italian comic book series Dylan Dog.Brandon Routh, who played Superman and Clark Kent in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, will play Dylan, a private investigator drawn into the world of the undead. Kevin M
  • IFC owner Rainbow buys Sundance Channel

    Rainbow Media Holdings, the Cablevision subsidiary which owns The Independent Film Channel (IFC), has reached an agreement to acquire The Sundance Channel for $496m, bringing together the two channels under the same umbrella in a move which could have major implications for film sellers worldwide.Sundance and IFC have long been rivals in the business of specialty film programming and they were traditionally the only consistent TV outlets for independent and foreign films in the US. I
  • In Focus - the Cannes search for a new supply line

    No-one would argue with New Line's worldwide distribution chief Rolf Mittweg when he says the demise of New Line's international sales operation 'leaves a major void in the international marketplace'.Not only was the operation, in the words of Mittweg, the executive who built it up during the late 1980s and 1990s, 'a constant supplier of product, some of it great, some of it not so great', it also meant distributors 'could always count on at least six to eight movies from us a year. We
  • Inferno signs James McTeigue to direct sci-fi thriller Revelation

    Inferno partners Bill Johnson and Jim Seibel have hired James McTeigue to direct the sci-fi thriller Revelation and will commence pre-sales at Cannes.New president of international sales Pamela Pickering will introduce the project to buyers on the Croisette. Pickering's arrival, along with that of head of development and production Tracee Stanley, signals the ongoing expansion at the Los Angeles-based production, financing and worldwide sales
  • Intandem takes on sales for Dan Ireland's Jolene

    London-based Intandem Films has added US drama Jolene to its slate ahead of Cannes.Dan Ireland (The Whole Wide World) directed and international art dealer Riva Yares produced for Arizona-based Next Turn Productions.Dennis Yares wrote the script inspired by EL Doctorow's short story Jolene: A Life, about a young woman who survives abusive foster homes and marries the wrong man but strives during a 10-year-period to find love and independence.Jes
  • International - Iron Man shows its mettle

    While Iron Man kick-started the summer season with a bang after taking nearly $100m across 56 territories in its opening weekend, a slew of Japanese films still accounted for 7.7% of the total revenue of international films.New entrant Partners: The Movie (Aibou) was the highest non-US opener this weekend, coming in at number four with a $5.6m take in its home territory. The film, based on a popular detective television drama, played on just 300 screens for a massi
  • Iron Man continues to rule in international with $32.5m in PPI grosses

    Paramount Pictures International's (PPI) Iron Man went head-to-head with two new potential blockbusters in the overseas arena at the weekend and emerged relatively unscathed as the clear winner despite scorching heat across many parts of Europe.The comic book adaptation added an estimated $32.5m from 5,557 sites in 57 PPI territories, a decent performance that elevated the international cumulative tally to $140m. Combined with non-PPI grosses i
  • Iron Man soars above competition at North American box office

    Iron Man battered the competition for the second consecutive weekend as an estimated $50.5m haul through Paramount Pictures raised the running total to $177.1m.The result consolidated the Marvel Studios adaptation as the season's first bona fide blockbuster and relegated new openers Speed Racer from Warner Bros and What Happens In Vegas from Fox to second and third, respectively.Box office was
  • Irusta takes senior VP role at NBC Universal Global Networks

    Martin Irusta has been appointed senior Vice President, Programming & Acquisitions, Global Networks, an international division of NBC Universal.Irusta will be based in London and takes the post immediately.The newly created role was announced by Roma Khanna, President, Global Networks & Digital Initiatives, to whom he will report. Irusta will work on local pay-TV channels worldwide and oversee the global acquisitions team, working with Mark Lawrence as directo
  • Jim Harvey joins Denton at Bold Films International

    Jim Harvey has joined president of worldwide distribution Stephanie Denton at the fledgling Bold Films International in the role of executive vice president of international sales.The two executives previously worked together at Lakeshore International. Harvey arrives from Media 8 and previously served at Element Films International, where he handled sales on the Kevin Costner drama Mr Brooks, among others. Before Element he served at Myriad P
  • Jinga takes on The Disappeared starring Harry Treadaway

    UK-based sales company Jinga Films has added supernatural horror The Disappeared, directed by Johnny Kervorkian, to its Cannes sales slate.The film is a London-set contemporary ghost story about a man searching for his missing brother.The cast features Harry Treadaway (Brothers Of The Head, Control, City Of Ember), Tom Felton, Greg Wise and Alex Jennings.'The Disappeared strikes a similar note to Sixth Sense and The Others,' said Jinga's Rosana Coutinho.
  • K5 takes on world sales for Yu's Ping Pong Playa

    UK- and Germany-based sales company K5 International has taken on world sales rights to Jessica Yu's Ping Pong Playa.The film premiered at Toronto.Oscar winner Yu wrote and directed the comedy, about an Asian-American suburbanite who unexpectedly has to take over his family's ping-pong dynasty. Jimmy Tsai, Elizabeth Sung and Rodger Fan star.Anne Clements and Joan Huang of Cherry Sky Films produced.Yu told ScreenDaily.com that K5 seemed to be the perfect home
  • Kingsley to receive outstanding achievement award at Seattle

    Ben Kingsley will receive the 34th Seattle International Film Festival's (SIFF) 2008 Golden Space Needle for Outstanding Achievement in Acting.The tribute ceremony on May 25 will include a clip reel an on-stage interview following the North American premiere of Elegy, Isabel Coixet's Philip Roth adaptation that also stars Penelope Cruz.Kingsley will then introduce a screening of Sexy Beast, the 2000 crime drama that earned him a su
  • Kinowelt CEO Bertil le Claire to leave at end of month

    The Kinowelt Group's CEO Bertil le Claire has announced his plans to leave the company at the end of May. His duties will be overseen by Romain Bessi, Directeur General of the group's new owner StudioCanal, until a successor has been appointed.Le Claire joined Kinowelt in 1998 as the managing director for the world sales arm Kinowelt International and then took over the management of the whole group in 2003. Over the past five years, he served as the managi
  • LA property owners now responsible for piracy on their premises

    Hollywood's ongoing war on piracy took another step forward in the wake of a ruling that will hold property owners in Los Angeles liable for the manufacture and sale of counterfeit music and videos on their premises.The Los Angeles County Board Of Supervisors approved the new ordinance on May 5, expanding the legal definition of nuisance properties.'This ordinance is an important milestone in our efforts to curb piracy in Los Angeles,' MPPA chairman Dan Glickman said, add
  • Lightning launches US distribution outfit Lightning Media

    Santa Monica-based international sales agency Lightning Entertainment has launched US distribution company Lightning Media and hired Paul Gardner to head it up.The long-in-the-works move will see the new unit selectively target and acquire rights to commercial titles across multiple platforms in the US, UK, Canada and Australia.Gardner will serve as co-president with Lightning co-president Rich Goldberg. Lightning Entertainment has also signed a deal with Anchor Bay Enter
  • Locarno to honour US indie icon Christine Vachon

    US producer and Killer Films co-founder Christine Vachon (Boys Don't Cry, I'm Not There) will be this year's recipient of Locarno's Raimondo Rezzonico Prize to highlight the work of major independent film producers.Commenting on the decision to select Vachon for this honour at the festival's 61st edition, artistic director Frederic Maire said: 'Locarno is celebrating an exceptional producer, who has made a decisive contribution to independent American cinema over the last 15 y
  • Madagascar sequel set for IMAX release

    DreamWorks Animation SKG will release Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa on IMAX day and date with its worldwide conventional release November 7, 2008. It will be the fifth DreamWorks Animation title to be released in large-format between June 2008, when Kung Fu Panda is released, and May 2010. The film will be released on the new IMAX digital projection systems, which are expected to be rolled out in the summ
  • Marvel suits up for new raft of superhero movies

    Bouyed by the triumphant worldwide release of its self-financed production Iron Man this weekend, Marvel Studios yesterday unveiled its release slate through 2011.A new raft of popular comic book characters - sometimes appearing in unison - will be brought to the big screen by Marvel using the same business template first deployed on Iron Man. In return for bankrolling its own adaptations, Marvel is able
  • Matrix signs with Wong Fu to produce Sleepwalker in China

    Matrix Capital Entertainment has signed a deal with Wong Fu Productions to produce the tentatively titled Sleepwalker in China.Philip Wang, Ted Fu and Wesley Chan will direct the project, the first feature to emerge from the recently launched Matrix.Sleepwalker follows a young man who tapes his sleepwalking and learns his somnambulatory life is more interesting than his real one.'W
  • Maximum takes Quinzaine title Boogie for the world

    Maximum Films International (MFI) has picked up world sales rights on Romanian filmmaker Radu Muntean's Quinzaine selection Boogie. The story of a man vacationing with his wife and child who has a crisis of lost youth when he encounters old friends at the same resort, the film stars Dragos Bucur, star of all of Muntean's films including The Paper Will Be Blue.Making its Cannes debut under sa
  • McElhone, Purefoy take lead roles in Gorris' Heaven & Earth

    Natasha McElhone and James Purefoy have joined Marleen Gorris' $15m period romance Heaven & Earth, which is set to begin shooting in the UK on December 10 before moving to Cape Town in January 2009.Cinema Management Group is handling international pre-sales.McElhone will play Dr James Miranda Barry, Britain's first female doctor who was forced to disguise herself as a man in order to practice medicine. Set in 1825 in the Cape, the
  • Menemsha crosses $1m mark with art doc The Rape Of Europa

    Menemsha Films has passed the $1m gross mark with The Rape Of Europa after a year on release in cities across the country.Based on the book by Lynn H Nicholas and narrated by Joan Allen, the film takes a look at the fanaticism, greed and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. It begins and ends with the story of Gustav Klimt's Gold Portrait which was stolen from Viennese Jews in 1938 and shows how the Nazis stole
  • MMC joins H20 as co-producer of Stephen Frears' feature

    Cologne-based MMC Independent has become a co-producer with Andras Hamori's H20 Motion Pictures on Stephen Frears' latest feature project Cheri which is currently shooting in France and will be moving to Germany at the end of May.A co-production contract will be officially signed by Hamori and Magic Media Company's (MMC) new CEO Ralf Schmitz in the presence of the North Rhine-Westphalian regional government Minister for Federal and European Affairs Andreas Krautscheid at the St
  • Myriad greenlights Aussie horror tale

    Santa Monica-based Myriad Pictures will produce, finance and handle worldwide sales for the horror film Drive The Night, its latest project under its deal with comic book publisher Studio 407.Bill Bennett wrote and will direct the tale of a couple that gets lost on a haunted road in the Outback. Principal photography is set to begin in Australia later this summer.Jorge Saralegui, whose credits include
  • Natalie Portman drops out as Cathy in Wuthering Heights

    Natalie Portman has dropped out of John Maybury's new adaptation of Wuthering Heights.Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae's UK-based Ecosse Films is producing. HanWay Films is handling sales. Bernstein confirmed to ScreenDaily.com on Thursday that Portman had pulled out of the project on Wednesday.The move comes as a surprise as she had been the one to approach the film-makers. A search is now underway for a new Cathy with the project still likely for an autumn UK
  • New York's NewFest bookended by Tru Loved, Were The World Mine

    Stewart Wade's Tru Loved will open the 20th annual New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Film Festival (NewFest) on June 5, and Tom Gustafson's Were The World Mine will close it ten days later on June 15.Tru Loved is the story of a teenage girl raised by lesbian mothers and gay fathers, who starts a gay-straight alliance at her new school. It features a
  • Ninja Assassin gets extra $2.7m from DFFF

    James McTeigue's martial arts action film Ninja Assassin has become the first project this year to be awarded support from the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) over and above the prescribed 'cap' of Euros 4m.An advisory committee, which is convened when applications are made for support over $6.1m (Euros 4m) and up to $15.4m (Euros 10m) incentive, decided on Monday (May 5) to award the Joel Silver production an additional $2.7m (Euros 1.8m) on top of the previously allocated $6
  • Odeon Sky Filmworks takes UK rights to Lynch's Surveillance

    Distributor Odeon Sky Filmworks has acquired the UK rights to thriller Surveillance, which will screen out of competition at Cannes.Arclight Films is selling the title. Head of Odeon Sky Filmworks Tony Miller struck the deal with Arclight's executive vice-president Liz Mackiewicz.Jennifer Lynch writes and directs and her father David Lynch serves as executive producer.The film stars Julia Ormond, Bill Pullman, Pell James, Kent Harpert, Ryan Simpkins, Michael Iron
  • Overture picks up domestic to Constantin/Impact thriller Pandorum

    Overture Films has picked up North American rights to Constantin Film and Impact Pictures' sci-fi thriller Pandorum starring Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster.Constantin is financing the project under its joint venture with subsidiary Impact. Summit Entertainment is handling international sales and will introduce to buyers at Cannes.Filming is set to begin in Berlin in August. Germany's Christian Alvart, who made a splash at Tribeca 2005
  • Palm takes North American rights to Patti Smith: Dream Of Life

    Palm Pictures has acquired North American rights to Steven Sebring's directorial debut Patti Smith: Dream of Life, which premiered at Sundance earlier in the year.Palm and Celluloid Dreams' Pierre Menahem brokered the deal, which encompasses North American theatrical, home video and VOD distribution rights.The company anticipates a late summer 2008 theatrical release followed by DVD roll-out in early 2009 on the profile of the US p
  • Participant names five film-makers to receive short film grants

    Participant Media will award $5,000 grants to five film-makers as part of its involvement with the Pangea Day one-day short film global showcase on May 10.In addition to the Outstanding Filmmakers Awards Programme, Participant is sponsoring the Filmmaker Development Grant Programme in which all 34 film-makers whose films will be broadcast on television and/or posted on the Pangea Day website are eligible to submit a treatment for a feature film or documentary.These filmma
  • Penny Wolf launches new Film Consultancy Partners

    UK-based sales veteran Penny Wolf is launching her new outfit The Film Consultancy Partners at Cannes this week.The London-based company is a boutique film consultancy working in international film distribution, marketing and financing.'I think there are so many sales companies in the UK so I didn't want to be another number out there, there's not enough good product to go around,' Wolf told ScreenDaily.com of the idea behind her new company.Wolf has more than 20
  • Pete Travis starts shoot for Endgame starring William Hurt

    Fresh off Vantage Point for Sony, director Pete Travis has started principal photography on his next feature, another political thriller entitled Endgame. The project is shooting in the UK and South Africa.Penny Wolf is pre-selling the film in Cannes on behalf of Target Entertainment.Endgame's cast features William Hurt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jonny Lee Miller, Mark Strong, Derek Jacobi and Timothy West. Hurt also appeared in Vantage Point.
  • Peter Cattaneo's The Rocker will open tenth annual CineVegas

    The world premiere of Peter Cattaneo's comedy The Rocker starring Rainn Wilson and Christina Applegate will open the 10th annual CineVegas Film Festival and Sean McGinly's The Great Buck Howard with John Malkovich will close the event, set to run in Las Vegas from June 12-21.World premieres in competition include Ben Rodkin's romance Big Heart City; Rachel Samuel
  • Platinum teams with Top Cow, Arclight on feature of Witchblade

    Los Angeles-based Platinum Studios has partnered with Top Cow Productions and film sales company Arclight Films on the adaptation of Top Cow's fantasy thriller comic book franchise Witchblade.The producers expect begin shooting in September in Australia. Plot details are being kept under wraps although what is known that the property centres on a jewel-encrusted gauntlet that grants superpowers to its female bearer.Arclight CEO Gar
  • PorchLight takes on Tribeca audience winner Emmanuel Jai: War Child

    PorchLight Entertainment has taken on international rights to Wilson Coneybeare's children's tale Gooby and Christian Karim Chrobog's recent Tribeca Film Festival audience award winner Emmanuel Jal: War Child.The Los Angeles-based production and distribution company will also arrive on the Croisette with James Moll's documentary Running The Sahara, on which Matt
  • Pre-Cannes, Waltz With Bashir sold to France, UK and Germany

    A week ahead of its world premiere in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival, Ari Folman's Waltz With Bashir has been sold by The Match Factory to France (Le Pacte), the UK (Curzon Artificial Eye) and Germany (Pandora Filmverleih).'We are very excited about the fact that this unique animated documentary has already found strong partners in Europe,' said Michael Weber, The Match Factory's managing director, about the three deals on this co-production between Bridgit Folman Film
  • Premieres from Vito Rocco and John Maybury top Edinburgh line-up

    The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has announced its full line-up, including the world premiere ofVito Rocco's Faintheart at the closing night gala on June 29.The romantic comedy, starring Eddie Marsan and Jessica Hynes, is set in the world of Viking battle re-enactments and follows a man's efforts to win back his wife.The 62nd edition of the EIFF will showcase 142 feature films from 29 countries, including 113 new features, of which 15 are world
  • Profile: IM Global

    Stuart Ford has a specific mandate at Los Angeles-based sales company IM Global. 'The primary goal of the business at the moment is to establish ourselves as one of the top-tier US sales agencies,' he says.'For now we're not focused on producing our own movies or financing movies and we're not affiliated to any domestic distributor. We're trying to be recognised as a go-to safe pair of hands for bigger independent movies.'That's a space that's been occupied by Summit and Mandate
  • Profile: Intandem

    Gary Smith of Intandem Films takes a three-pronged approach to the film business. 'Our take is very simple - you've got to have a relationship with producers for quality, commercial source material, a relationship with a wide range of financiers for our executive production and financing, and good relationships with distributors so that we sell the films. Throughout any film, we're working with all three sources.'The strategy is showing results, as Intandem enters a period of ramped-up
  • Profile: The Film Department

    For a while, people were starting to wonder if Mark Gill and Neil Sacker's finance and production company The Film Department would ever greenlight a film.There was a long gap between the announcement of the company last June and follow-up details about any productions. But as anyone familiar with the Hollywood-based company will tell you, there is a strict emphasis on development, and staff were wading through approximately 8,000 scripts to arrive at the initial slate of 20 projects.
  • Racer, Vegas enter box office fray against Iron Man

    Three tentpole releases will vie for supremacy this weekend as the overseas arena enters the second weekend of the summer blockbuster season with a bang.Iron Man dominated the charts with a near-$200m global launch last weekend and Marvel Studios' comic book adaptation, released through Paramount in North America and PPI in most territories, currently stands at $104.3m.The film earned strong reviews and will continue to make solid g
  • Right Angle Studios launches production arm with Sequence

    Right Angle Studios has launched its production arm Right Angle Pictures, which will focus on socially relevant projects and kicks off with the thriller Sequence.Ron Vignone wrote and will direct and the project is being fast-tracked for production in 2009 and follows a genetic researcher who discovers a giant conspiracy.Right Angle Pictures CEO Jon Fitzgerald also has set up the comedy Criminal Pr
  • San Sebastian to honour Japanese film noir, Monicelli

    Preparations for this year’s San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept 18 - 27) got underway as organisers revealed two retrospectives on the works of Italian maestro Mario Monicelli and a dedication to the Japanese film noir genre.
  • Sanford Panitch to run Fox's new international production arm

    Fox Filmed Entertainment is launching Fox International Productions (FIP) to produce and acquire local language films for key territories.Sanford Panitch, a long-time executive at New Regency and Fox, has been brought in to run the company, which will corral all of Fox's existing and future indigenous productions under one banner.FIP will be staffed in Los Angeles with business affairs, development and production executives and will draw on the expertise of creative indiv
  • Sarandon, Pullman and Lucas round out cast of Mandate's Peacock

    Susan Sarandon, Bill Pullman and Josh Lucas will join Cillian Murphy and Ellen Page in Mandate Pictures' psychological thriller Peacock.Michael Lander will direct from a script he co-wrote with Ryan Roy and Barry Mendel is producing the project, which Mandate International will pre-sell at Cannes.Mandate president Nathan Kahane and senior vice president of production Nicole Brown will serve as executive producers on the story of a
  • Sarin's Shine Of Rainbows rolls with Quinn and Nielsen

    Principal photography has begun on location in Ireland for Vic Sarin's Canada-Ireland coproduction A Shine Of Rainbows, starring Connie Nielsen and Aidan Quinn. Based on the novel by Lillian Beckwith, the magical family drama tells the story of a lonely orphan (newcomer John Bell) whose life is transformed by an enchantress (Nielsen) and her husband (Quinn) on a remote island. The film is produced by Tina Pehme and Kim Roberts of Canada's Sepia Films and James Flynn of Ir
  • Savanna Films to produce documentary Madame Presidents

    Konda Mason and Eva Georgia's US-based Savanna Films, a production company set up to create socially conscious films and television, will produce the documentary Madame President about the world's female heads of state.Los Angeles-base FilmBankers International (FBI) will assist in seeking financing and distribution for the project, which is planned as a theatrical release and television series and scheduled for completion in autumn 2009.
  • Screen Opinion: 1968 and all that..

    If you were putting together a fantasy protest group, you couldn't do much better than Godard, Truffaut, Malle and Polanski as your back four. All were involved in the demonstration that brought Cannes to a halt 40 years ago.The episode has become part of the hugely mythologised moment of French and European history that is evoked by a simple statement of the year, 1968.The soixante-huitards at Cannes were ostensibly inspired by a relatively parochial event - the sacking by De G
  • Senator to finance Gregor Jordan's thriller Unthinkable

    Marco Weber's Senator Entertainment will produce and finance Gregor Jordan's thriller Unthinkable starring Samuel L Jackson.Weber and Caldecot Chubb are producing and principal photography is set to begin on September 2 in Michigan on the story of a secret serviceman and FBI agent who team up to locate three nuclear devices hidden in the US. Mark Lindsay at Kimmel International is handling worldwide rights and will begin pre-sales in Cannes.
  • Seville International takes international rights on Pool's Mommy

    Montreal-based sales outfit Seville International has acquired international rights to Lea Pool's Mommy Is At The Hairdresser's (Maman Est Chez Le Coiffeur). The film, which has garnered strong critical reaction following its May 2 opening in Quebec, stars Laurent Lucas (With A Friend Like Harry), Celine Bonnier (Monica La Mitraille), Gabriel Arcand (
  • Shoreline travels West Of Brooklyn and to Serbian Stars

    Morris Ruskin's Shoreline Entertainment acquired worldwide rights ahead of Cannes to the comedy West Of Brooklyn and action adventure Serbian Scars.West Of Brooklyn is directed by Danny Cistone and stars Ronnie Marmo, Natalia Livingston and Joe Mantegna in the fish-out-of-water story of an Italian American who moves from New York to Hollywood.
  • Simon Rexworthy promoted to acqusitions at Sky Movies

    British Sky Broadcasting has promoted Simon Rexworthy to controller of acquisitions for Sky Movies and Sky Box Office.He takes over for Lisa MacDonald.Rexworthy will now oversee all of Sky's film acquisition and rights negotiations, including overseeing the development of VOD and PPV movie services.He continues as Financial Controller for Movies until a replacement in that post is appointed. Rexworthy has been at Sky since M
  • Simon West to direct Let It Ride for Intandem

    Producer Mace Neufeld and director Simon West will reunite for the new heist thriller Let It Ride. The pair previously worked together on The General's Daughter for Paramount in 1999.The $22m thriller is out to cast now, with a waiver in place for any potential SAG strike.Let It Ride will start shooting in Louisiana this summer.The story is about a beautiful blackmailer and a charming con man who meet over a $5m pot.West more recently dir
  • Sony becomes first major to release DVD titles in Vietnam

    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) has signed a DVD distribution deal for Vietnam with that country's Galaxy Studio.The deal marks the first time a US major will release its titles on DVD in the South-East Asian market and will kick off on May 9 with 15 films including Casino Royale, the Spider-Man franchise and Surf's Up.Future plans call for th
  • Sony lands on Moon for English-speaking markets

    Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) has picked up all English-speaking rights to Liberty Films' sci-fi thriller Moon starring Sam Rockwell.Independent Film Company will handle all other territories on the title, which marks the feature directorial debut of commercials director Duncan Jones of Liberty Films and was shot at the UK's Shepperton Studios.Jones wrote the story and Nathan Parker the script about a moon-base
  • Sony signs three-picture deal with Pritish Nandy

    Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) Films India and Indian company Pritish Nandy Communications (PNC) have entered into a three-film first-look deal. 'All three films will be commercial blockbusters in thetrue Bollywood tradition with songs and dance etc,' PNC creative director told Screendaily.In a separate deal, SPE Films India has picked up the global distribution rights to cricket movie Meerabai Not Out, directed by Chadrakant Kulkarni and starring Mandira Bedi, Anu
  • South Korea - Korea starts to act global

    Even in the absence of a film the size of Oldboy or The Host, Korean sellers are discovering they are hardly back to square one."Korean cinema has established itself enough now that we have regulars who come to the markets with knowledge of Korean films," says Luna Choo, manager of international sales at Showeast."There are well-known directors that can be banked upon, and aside from that, we focus pitches on genre, concept and remake possibilities," says Juyoung P
  • South Korea - Weeping all the way to the bank

    An impressive 411 non-Korean films received certification from South Korea's Media Ratings Board for local release in 2007, compared with only 293 in 2006. But while some might see this as the flood gates opening to imports, local distributors believe it is just a temporary measure to fill space at the cinemas.'It's true that foreign films saw a rally because of the lack of well-made local films last year, but I don't think this phenomenon will last,' says Chris H Lee, head of acquisit
  • Spielberg will shoot long-awaited Abraham Lincoln project after Tintin

    Steven Spielberg's long-gestating project about US president Abraham Lincoln will be the director's next project after the first live-action Tintin film which goes into production this September.Spielbergsays he will begin shooting of the Lincoln biopic at the beginning of 2009 'so that it can also open in the same year as Lincoln's 200th anniversary which comes round then.'Originally, Spielberg had been planning Chicago Seven as his next project about the famous 1960s
  • Terrence Malick's Tree Of Life planted at Summit

    Summit Entertainment has acquired international rights to Terrence Malick's modern-day drama Tree Of Life starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain.River Road is financing Tree Of Life, currently shooting in Texas from Malick's original screenplay. River Road founder Bill Pohlad is producing alongside Malick regularsSarah Green and Grant Hill as well as
  • The critical view - Is niche cinema losing its hold on audiences'

    Every so often we are told that audiences are ripe for a 'return to genre'. This is not just academic; genre-oriented production companies, such as Filmax in Spain, NoShame in Italy or Sahamongkol in Thailand, have money riding on our appetite for contemporary Euro-horror, hard-boiled Milanese crime classics or Muay Thai martial-arts kickfests.But what is genre, and what does it do' Ten film theorists are likely to answer the question in 10 different ways. Some take a genetic view, cla
  • The Film Sales Company takes on Pierce's horror thriller Victim

    Andrew Herwitz' Film Sales Company has boarded several new titles heading in to Cannes including the horror thriller Victim.Michael Pierce's film concerns a shadowy man who is abducted and transformed into something he never believed he could become. Pierce produced through his company Pierce Williams along with Mark Williams.The line-up includes Tom Donahue and Paul Hasegawa-Overacker's documentary
  • The Foot Fist Way

    Dir: Jody Hill. US. 2008. 87 mins.Ascendant US funnyman Danny McBride stars in this comedy about a small-town martial arts instructor - an amiable but meandering tale that wears out both its threadbare premise and welcome long before the end of its running time. The Foot Fist Way (the title is a literal translation of tae kwon do) was shot on a microbudget in three weeks as a self-fi
  • The Spirit takes Dec 25, 2008 slot for Lionsgate

    Lionsgate has moved Frank Miller's The Spirit into a 2008 slot and will release the classic comic strip adaptation on December 25.The film was originally set to open on January 16, 2009 and stars Garbiel Macht as a former police officer who returns as an avenging angel to protect the streets of Central City.Samuel Jackson plays The Spirit's nemesis The Octopus and key cast includes Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson and Paz Vega. The story originated in a comic str
  • Theatre networkclaims 2007 record for non-national European film

    Europa Cinemas' figures reveal that 2007 was a record year for European films screened by its members beyond their national borders.They accounted for 39% of the films shown at the network's cinemas, up 3% on 2006.European film as a whole took 63% of admissions.Florian Henckel Von Donnsersmarck's phenomenal The Lives of Others led the pack, followed by La Vie En Rose and The Queen.Europa Cinemas Label will be awarding for the best European film in the
  • Thierry Potok takes over management of Germany's VIP

    Former Studio Babelsberg boss Thierry Potok has taken over the management of the German private media fund VIP Medienfonds from Peter H. Riedel 'with immediate effect.'Riedel had come to VIP last September as a successor to Dirk Specht, but his contract had from the outset been only temporary in nature and was linked to the attaining of 'certain strategic milestones'.Speaking to ScreenDaily.com, Potok explained that Riedel will continue working on the manag
  • THINKFILM Intl takes on sales for Down And Dirty Pictures, Radford's Mula

    UK-based sales company THINKFilm International, the sister company to Capitol Films, has taken on two new projects for its Cannes sales slate. The company has taken on international rights to Michael Radford's La Mula and Ken Bowser's Down and Dirty Pictures. La Mula stars Spanish rising talents Oscar Jaenada and Maria Valverde. Alejandra Frade of Ghe
  • Toho, Toeiboost Japanese films at international box office

    While Iron Man kick-started the summer season with a tremendous bang after taking nearly $100m across 56 territories in its opening weekend, a slew of Japanese films still managed to account for 7.7% of the total revenue of international films.The top 39 films generated $183.5m from 37,648 screens for the period of May 2-4, with Paramount's Iron Man accounting for 53.7% of the total weekend revenue. For the full international chart compiled by Len Klady, click
  • UK and India agree details of co-production treaty

    The UK and Indian governments have said they have finished the necessary negotiations to enable the long-touted UK-India film co-production agreement to come into force.The treaty will let UK and Indian film-makers co-produce films that will be eligible for national status in both countries.The main aspects of the UK-India co-production treaty were first signed in late 2005. Now, details have been completed by officials and the treaty will comeinto force 'shor
  • Universal movies find TV home in Flemish-speaking Belgium

    NBC Universal International Television Distribution has licensed exclusive free television rights to a number of major movies to Vlaamse Media Maatschappij (VMMa) for Flemish-speaking Belgium.The agreement covers upcoming and current Universal features like Wanted, The Incredible Hulk, The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor, Unite
  • Universal sinks teeth into Medieval vampire story

    Universal Pictures has picked up the speculative script The Knights Templar from Adam Torchia and Justin Stanley.The story takes place during the Middle Ages as the eponymous group of Crusaders and guardians of the Holy Grail comes under attack from a vampire army.The project is currently out to directors. Russia's Timur Bekmambetov, who directed Universal's June 27 release Wanted, will prod
  • US channel Eurocinema to launch film festival in Miami

    Eurocinema, the US VOD and cable film channel dedicated to foreign films, is preparing to launch its first festival to run next year in Miami.The First Annual Eurocinema European Film Festival will play at indoor and outdoor venues throughout the greater Miami area from February 6 to February 15 2009.'Not only will it be home to great award-winning European films making their domestic debuts, but it will also be a fun and exciting atmosphere and a place where people want
  • Venice to honour Italian master Ermanno Olmi

    Venice is to honour one of Italy's most adventurous auteurs with a Golden Lion for his lifetime's work.Olmi has had a long and successful relationship with Venice dating back to the 1950s. Hewon the Golden Lion in 1988 for The Legend Of The Holy Drinker.His best-known film probably remains The Tree Of Wooden Clogs which won the Palme D'Or in 1979.The award will be presented in a ceremony in the Palazzo del Cinema during the festival (August 27-September
  • Visit Films takes international on Quinzaine closer Pleasure

    Ryan Kampe and Sylvain Tron's boutique New York-based sales company Visit Films has acquired international rights to Josh Safdie's Director's Fortnight closing night film The Pleasure Of Being Robbed.The film stars Eleonore Hendricks as a young woman who often brings joy to strangers' lives while robbing them of their possessions.Kampe and Tron brokered the deal with the film-makers and Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment.
  • Wales plans first international film and music fest Soundtrack

    The Film Agency For Wales is planning the country's first international film and music festival to be held in Cardiff in November. The Soundtrack festival will replace the Cardiff Film Festival. Its focus will be on film music, and Danny Boyle will headline the first festival by giving a masterclass. The initial run will be Nov 26-29, 2008, with more than 7,000 people expected to attend. Organisers plan to host Soundtrack each
  • Wanted to open Los Angeles Film Festival, Hellboy II to close it

    A Universal Pictures double bill of Timur Bekmambetov's graphic novel adaptation Wanted starring Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy and Guillermo Del Toro's Hellboy II: The Golden Army bookend the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival, which runs from June 19-29.Sacha Gervasi's Sundance hit Anvil! The Story Of Anvil is the centrepiece screening while the narrative competit
  • Weber reteams with Julia Roberts, Dennis Lee for Birds

    After working together on Fireflies In The Garden, Senator Entertainment's Marco Weber, actress Julia Roberts and writer-director Dennis Lee are set to be reunited for an adaptation of Brad Kessler's novel Birds In Fall.Roberts and her production outfit Red Om Films came with the project to Senator Entertainment Inc., who acquired the film rights to Kessler's book. Roberts and Weber will produce along with their respective heads of production Philip Rose and Vanessa C
  • Wedge invents Hugo Cabret with GK, Nihil, Warner Bros

    Chris Wedge, who previously directed Ice Age, has signed on to direct The Invention Of Hugo Cabret for Graham King's GK Films, Johnny Depp's Infinitum Nihil and Warner Bros.John Logan, who worked with King on The Aviator and also on a forthcoming animated project for Gore Verbinski, will adapt the screenplay from Brian Selznick's bestselling children's novel.The story is set in 1930s Paris, when an orphan boy named Hugo living in a train station who meets an
  • Wild Bunch takes on sales for James Toback's Tyson

    Wild Bunch will handle international sales on James Toback's Tyson. The documentary, which looks at the prize fighter's life in and out of the ring, is running in competition in the Un Certain Regard sidebar.The film begins with Tyson's earliest memories of growing up in Brooklyn and traces his rise to boxing glory, his misadventures with promoter Don King, his tortured marriage to Robin Givens and fortunes won and lost.ICM is handling North American sales; Wild Bunch has
  • Xenon Pictures buys domestic rights to Amexicano

    Xenon Pictures has paid mid-six figures for North American rights to Matthew Bonifacio's Amexicano starring 2008 Grammy nominee Jennifer Pena.Xenon plans a late spring or summer release on the story of an illegal immigrant who bonds with a blue-collar worker from Queens, New York.The drama premiere at Tribeca 2007 and most recently won the grand jury prize (THX Award) for best narrative feature at the 2008 Sonoma Valley Film Festiv
  • Yim joins animation house Imagi in Hong Kong

    Former Media Asia executive Cora Yim has joined Los Angeles and Hong Kong-based animation house Imagi as director of marketing and strategic planning with immediate effect. She was formerly senior manager of acquisitions and marketing at Hong Kong-based Media Asia. In her new role she will report to Imagi co-CEO Douglas Glen and oversee marketing in Asia.Imagi, which has credits including last year's hit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT), is currently working on two

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