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Screen
12 November 2004

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  • +Entertainment's Tunnel sold to Tartan, Artport

    Pejman Partiyeli's BeverlyHills-based international sales house +Entertainment has closed multipleterritory deals at AFM on horror title Death Tunnel and its companion documentary Spooked, which are attracting strong interest for domesticrights.The two-tile package sold toArtport in Japan, Tartan for the UK, Imagine Entertainment for Australia, TotMedia for Spain, and Movie Bank for the Netherlands.Death Tunnel centres on five girls who take up a dare to spe
  • 2% increase in buyers at AFM from Feb event, says IFTA

    The number of buyers attending the 25th AFM climbed 2% against theprevious market in February, AFM organising body the Independent Film &Television Alliance (IFTA) reported.
  • A Way Of Life

    Dir: AmmaAsante. UK. 2004. 91mins.A bruisingdrama in social realist mode, writer-director Amma Asante's A Way Of Lifetackles racism and anti-Muslim prejudice in a deprived town in South Wales.Asante's protagonists are disaffected teenagers, badly educated, strugglingwith poverty and unemployment, who blame a Turkish neighbour for theirpredicament.The film beginsin brutal fashion, with a man being beaten up on the streets. The backdrop isgrim in the extreme,
  • After The Sunset

    Dir: Brett Ratner. 2004.US. 93mins.Brett Ratner's capercomedy After The Sunset is a plodding, lifeless affair set on a Bahamasresort island that aspires to the level of To Catch A Thief but barelymusters the cultivated glitz of star Pierce Brosnan's Thomas Crown Affairremake.Instead it serves up anexotic Caribbean locale and two handsome stars trapped in a methodical jewelheist script that lacks the necessary wit, charm and
  • Amazon.com launches shorts series with Scott brothers' RSA

    Amazon.com has partneredwith Ridley and Tony Scott's RSA USA production company and creativeagency Fallon Worldwide to launch the short film series Amazon Theatre.Starting today (9) andcontinuing each Tuesday for the next four weeks, Amazon will release a newtitle exclusively to Amazon.com customers, viewable either on the gateway pageor as a download.The series opens with Portrait starring Minnie Driver and directed by Jordan Scott.On Nov 16 Amazon will release Tony Scot
  • An Italian Romance (L'Amore Ritrovato)

    Dir. Carlo Mazzacurati.It-Fr. 2004. 108mins.Two of Italy's hottestyoung stars combine with one of the country's most talented directors for AnItalian Romance (L'Amore Ritrovato), a disappointing melodrama whosefuture depends exclusively on their names; without them, it could not hope foranything better than a straight-to video release.As it is, the glamour ofStefano Accorsi and Maya Sansa, playing respectively a married bank clerk
  • AUSTRALIA 9 November

    Australia's tastefor Asian action films has matured to such a point that Zhang Yimou's Hero had no trouble at all topping thebox office chart on its opening weekend. It grossed A$2,258,748 from 165screens for BVI, giving it a screen average of A$13,689, which was far ahead ofanything else in the chart.The Forgotten came in second, despite Columbia TriStarsecuring 35 more screens for its launch into cinemas. The Juliann
  • AVP takes another $8.7m for Fox International

    Fuelled by a respectabledebut in Germany and several smaller markets, Fox International's Alien VsPredator added $8.7m on 2,249 screensat the weekend to pass $50m at the international box office.The action horror opened on$3.1m on 561 in Germany, while Austria yielded $447,000 on 65 and Belgiumproduced $582,000 on 50.All three results rankedsecond and include paid previews. Alien Vs Predator has amassed $52.2m to date.The comedy Dodgeb
  • Berlinale World Cinema Fund jury named

    French independent distributor Isabelle Dubar of IDDistribution and Zimbabwe-born festival programme consultant and curator KeithM. Shiri will sit on the four-member international jury which will choose theprojects to be supported by the World Cinema Fund (WCF).The other jury members are the Berlinale's festival directorDieter Kosslick, who set up the Fund along with Germany's Federal CulturalFoundation, and Alexander Horwath, director of the Austrian Film Museum.According to so
  • Biennale chief tells Mueller to respect festival rules

    The storms and high water that have flooded Venice's St.Marks square this week appear to also be sweeping across to the Lido.In aninterview with Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera, Biennale presidentDavide Croff responded to Marco Mueller's recent complaints about theBiennale's organisation by declaring that although he 'very happy'with the artistic director, Mueller must learn to respect
  • Biondo joins Infinity in business and legal affairs

    John Biondo hasjoined the Los Angeles-based production and financing company Infinity Media asvice president of business and legal affairs.Biondo will beresponsible for structuring and negotiating production and distribution dealswith domestic and international parties for all Infinity productions.His other dutiesinclude negotiating contracts with talent and other general corporate and legalmatters. Biondo will be based at the corporate headquarters in Los An
  • Bridget, Incredibles begin international rollout

    Universal'sromantic comedy sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason goes out in its first major marketsthrough UIP this weekend, beginning with Australia on Nov 11 on 300 prints andthe UK a day later on 750.Strong resultsare on the cards given the performance of the 2001 original. Bridget Jones'sDiary opened top inAustralia in the last weekend of July 2001 and grossed $3.9m on 323 screens inits first seven days, and opened top in the UK over Apr 13-15 2001 on $8.2m in417
  • Bunch goes Wild at AFM

    Wild Bunch rounded off theautumn AFM with a sales spree for its new American titles and for RegisWargnier's Cannes-tipped Man To Man.On Outlander, its$40m monster film from Ascendant Pictures, it sold Korean rights to J-Net, EastEurope to Monolith and Russian rights to Central Partnership. It had multipleoffers at or above asking price from the UK, Spain, Germany, Scandinavia andLatin America.On Wargnier's Africanromance starring Joseph Fiennes and Kristin Scott-Th
  • BVI's King Arthur crosses $150m international mark

    King Arthur became the seventh Jerry Bruckheimerpicture released by the Walt Disney Company to pass $200m at the worldwide boxoffice at the weekend.The epic actionadventure added $795,000 through Buena Vista International (BVI) for a $149.7minternational running total, and has grossed $51.9m in domestic ticket sales.Miramax'sromantic comedy remake Shall We Dance added $7.4m through BVI for a $12.5m cumulative total.The p
  • Canadian service companies lock C$ at 78 US cents

    Spurred by the rising valueof the Canadian dollar against the US dollar, two major Canadian productionservices companies are offering US producers pricing in US dollars locked atthe rate of 78 US cents.Toronto Film Studios (TFS),Canada's largest production facility, announced the fixed exchange plan wouldtake immediate effect for rentals of its soundstages, production offices andother film-making facilities. William F. White International, the largestproduction equipment and services c
  • Clark gets promoted to senior vp in Universal production dept

    Universal Pictures has promoted Dylan Clark to senior vicepresident of production and development at Universal Pictures.
  • CTFDI's Resident Evil sequel shines in Spain, Italy openings

    Horror sequel Resident Evil: Apocalypse opened top in Spain at the weekend,grossing $2.5m on 349 screens through Columbia TriStar Film DistributorsInternational (CTFDI).
  • Douglas, Lewis win honor for supporting Blacklist victim

    Kirk Douglas and producer Edward Lewis received the Freedom ofExpression Medal last night (8) for their support of blacklisted writer DaltonTrumbo during McCarthy-era America in the 1950s.
  • Eagle takes Italian rights to The Saint

    EaglePictures has picked up Italian distribution rights to The Saint, a Euros10m English-language picture starring Bad Boys II's Jordi Molla.The historic action movie, which is written and directedby Italy's Antonello Bellucco, tells the story of Saint Antonio of Padua, apriest who was born in Lisbon and died in 1231 at the age of 36.
  • Engagement continues to engage in France in second weekend

    Jean-Pierre Jeunet's wartime romance A Very Long Engagement continued a strong run in France throughWarner Bros, registering 730,000 admissions nationwide from 707 prints.
  • European Film Academy unveils 2004 nominations

    Spanish films Bad Education and The Sea Inside and Germany's Head-On lead the pack in the nominations for this year's European Film Awards.The three films have been nominated alongside Lukas Moodysson's A Hole In My Heart, Christophe Barratier's The Chorus (Les Choristes) and Mike Leigh's Vera Drake for the best European film prize.Head-On, The Sea Inside and Bad Education also picked up nods in the best director and best s
  • French producers hit by Warner funding wrangle

    In the ongoing battle between the local film industry and 2003Productions, some producers and France's film board, the CNC, are starting tofeel the pinch.On Friday, the Administrative Court of Paris announced it would cancelthe approval of eligibility for state funds given by the CNC to producers ofJosiane Balasko's latest film, L'Ex Femme De Ma Vie. L'Ex Femme De Ma Vie is associate producedby 2003 Productions.2003 Productions was founded by Warner Bros. France ch
  • French protest at 9 Songs 'pornographic' rating

    Michael Winterbottom'scontroversial 9 Songs has been given an 18 rating from France'sclassification board, essentially qualifying it as pornographic.Two filmindustry representative groups, the writers', directors', producers'association (ARP) and the Societe des Realisateurs de Films (SRF), which headsup Directors' Fortnight at Cannes, have both protested the decision.In
  • GERMANY 9 November

    UIP's release of 7 Dwarves attracted another 1.2m cinemagoers in its second weekendto bring the admissions tally up to 3.5m so far and a box office gross of$26m-plus.The comedy, which is already now moresuccessful than Otto's previous film outings - Otto - Der Katastrofenfilm and Otto- Der Liebesfilm -, ag
  • Glickman sounds the piracy alarm in his first public address

    Dan Glickman, the new chief of the Motion Picture Association ofAmerica (MPAA), warned yesterday (8) that the US film industry faced calamityunless the studios tackled online piracy immediately.
  • Gomez buys back Lolafilms from Telefonica

    Andres Vicente Gomez has bought out100% of production-distribution house Lolafilms, the company he founded in1981.Gomez, who has owned 30% ofthe company since a 2002 restructuring and is its CEO, bought out telecomsconglom Telefonica's 70% stake in a transaction undertaken last July butpreviously unreported.Reporting its third quarterresults Thursday, Telefonica underscored its
  • HONG KONG 12 November

    Oxide Pang'spsychological thriller Ab-normal Beautyopened at number one in another slow week at the Hong Kong box office, grossingUS$388,649 from 37 screens.Produced byUniverse Entertainment and Magic Head Film Production, the film tells the storyof a young photographer who becomes obsessed with taking pictures at the momentof death. It marks the first film role for pop singers Rosanne Wong and RaceWong, collectively known as 2R.Openers alsoincluded Sa
  • HONG KONG 8 November

    Two local productions - Wilson Yip's kung-fu romance The White Dragon and Yonfan's eroticdrama Colour Blossoms - topped theHong Kong box office in a relatively quiet week.The White Dragon,produced by China Star and Joe Ma's Singing Horse Productions, came in firstwith US$494,598 from 35 screens. Cecilia Cheung stars as a student singer whoselife is turned upside down when she inherits the powers of a legendary f
  • HUNGARY 10 November

    With yet anotherseven new releases hitting the cinemas last week in Hungary, a decentperformance is becoming more and more of a challenge for any production.While the newlyreleased thriller Forgotten was ableto grab the box office second spot with nearly 20,000 admissions on twentyprints and comedy Dodgeball alsoperformed decently with over 12,000 admissions on nineteen prints, all furthernew releases sunk without much impact.The Manchurian C
  • IDA to honour Obomsawin

    Alanis Obomsawin willreceive the International Documentary Association (IDA) Pioneer Award in honourof her "unique and important contributions to advancing the art of non-fictionfilmmaking".Obomsawin has written,produced, directed and composed music for more than 20 documentarieschronicling the native people of Canada including Incident At Restigouche,about a raid by the Quebec police on the Micmac reservation, suicide story CryFrom The Diary Of A Metis Child, and Kane
  • IFC takes US rights to Turtles Can Fly

    IFC Films has acquired USrights in all media to Bahman Ghobadi's award-winning Iranian best foreignlanguage Oscar entry Turtles Can Fly.Set in Ghobadi's nativeKurdistan on the eve of the American invasion of Iraq, Turtles Can Fly follows the fortunes of a 13-year-old satellite dishinstaller who falls for an orphan girl.The picture, which won theGolden Shell at San Sebastian and the Silver Bear at Chicago, stars thenon-actor children Soran Ebrahim, Avaz Latif and Hi
  • Illusive Tracks takes double top at Nordic Film Days

    The Swedish film IllusiveTracks (Skenbart) by Peter Dalle proved a big hit with both the jury andaudience at this year's Nordic Film Days in Luebeck.The jury gave the Euros 12,500 NDR Promotion Prize toDalle's "frivolous black comedy" for an "excellent screenplay[which] forms the basis for an exceptionally good cast and outstandingdirecting", while the festival audience selected the film as the bestfeature from the festival's main programme for the Luebecker Nachrichten'sAudienc
  • Incredible opening of $70.7m for Disney and Pixar

    The Pixar hit factory maintained its solid gold reputation at theweekend as The Incredibles opened top on an estimated $70.7m through Buena Vista.
  • Irish producers lobby for budget backing

    Screen Producers Ireland (SPI) has called on theGovernment to institute changes to benefit the industry in the forthcomingbudget for 2005.Increased funding for the Irish Film Board, removal ofthe cap on investment in feature film through Section 481, continuousexamination of the film investment tax incentive schemes offered in othercountries, the setting up of a fund to support Irish language producers andextra funding to Irish language broadcaster
  • Jiminy Glick In Lalawood

    Dir. Vadim Jean. Canada-US. 2004. 90 mins.To the immense credit of star and creator MartinShort, Jiminy Glick In Lalawood almostworks. To the discredit of Short the writer, the film falls short of thecomedian's vision because of a script that is unwilling to push the boundariesthe character does. Like most outgrowths of small screen concepts the result isa TV special
  • Keane

    Dir/scr: LodgeKerrigan. US. 2004. 90mins.After a hiatusof six years following his not very well-received second film Claire Dolan,American independent director Lodge Kerrigan is back with Keane, an intense tale of obsession that recalls the triumph of hisdebut film, Clean, Shaven (1993).Like that earlierfilm, Keane focuses relentlessly andclaustrophobically on a single man who seems to be at the mercy of a powe
  • Kings And Queen (Rois Et Reine)

    Dir. Arnaud Desplechin.France, 2004. 150mins.Arnaud Desplechin'sstatus as a hero of the French intelligentsia, whose charms remain largelyunfathomable to the rest of the world, continues with Kings And Queen,which is as delightful and infuriating as his previous work.For two-and-a-half hours hespins two parallel tales that eventually converge to become one. Along the wayhe offers readymade aphorisms for later quotation, as well as reflect
  • Kosslick 'confident' Berlinale will meet sellers demands

    The Berlinale is"absolutely confident" that it will be able to cater for theincreased demand from sales companies at the European Film Market (EFM) nextFebruary in its "transition year" before moving into its new venue atthe Martin Gropius Building from 2006.Speaking exclusively to ScreenDaily.com, festival director Dieter Kosslick said that"if the demand is going to be as people were saying at the AFM this week,we will be able to meet that. We can make archite
  • La Confiance Regne

    Dir: Etienne Chatiliez.Fr. 2004. 98mins.Perhaps because his featurecomedies are few and far between, French film-maker Etienne Chatiliez has notreally developed anything resembling a coherent film style.Sadly it shows with LaConfiance Regne, a weak, one-joke comedy farce about a pair of larcenoushouse servants on the make in provincial northern France.The disappointment is allthe greater because Chatiliez, a wunderkind at directing slick, wittycommerc
  • Lakeshore racks up House Keys sales

    LakeshoreInternational has racked up sales on Gianni Amelio's The House Keys (LeChiavi di Casa), Italy's foreign language Oscar, and says it has now closeddeals in 31 territories, including the UK.ArtificialEye has picked up the film for the UK, and the drama has also been sold toSpain, Portugal, Denmark, Greece, Russia, Bulgaria, Croatia,
  • Leigh to get lifetime achievement award at Gothams

    IFP/New York hasannounced nominees for its inaugural best feature and best documentarycategories at The Gotham Awards and named Mike Leigh this year's recipient ofthe Filmmaker Award for Lifetime Achievement.Officials added that DanTalbot will receive the Industry Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition ofhis work at New Yorker Films in introducing classic foreign language picturesand American independents to the US marketplace.The best featurenominees are Richard Linklater's
  • Local films fuel German box office boom

    Over 115m admissions have been registered atGermany's cinemas in the first nine months of 2004, up 12.7m on 2003's 102.5mfor the same period, according to figures collated by the German Federal FilmBoard (FFA).The FFA noted thatadmissions increased year-on-year by almost 89% in July, 21% in August and 12%in September.Thanks to the popularity of such local summerreleases as Dreams
  • Longtime Fox international executive Mars dies at 77

    Harold Mars, theformer vice president of 20th Century Fox International, died of complicationsfrom pneumonia on Nov 1. He was 77.Born inBrooklyn, Mars started out in the film business with MGM International in 1946and moved to Fox in 1964, where he became the first director of operations forLatin America.He relocated toLos Angeles with his family after Fox moved offices in 1972 and six years laterbecame a company vice president, dealing with territories aroun
  • Magimel tipped to star as career criminal Mesrine

    Hot French star BenoitMagimel (The Piano Teacher) has beentipped to star as Jacques Mesrine in Barbet Schroeder's upcoming two-partadaptation of books written by the career criminal.The first instalment of thefilm, The Death Instinct, is based onMesrine's autobiography L'Instinct DeMort, written during one of the prison terms of France's Public EnemyNumber One.The second part, fittinglytitled The Public Enemy, is based on
  • Magnolia takes US rights to Somersault

    Magnolia Pictures has secured North American rights towriter/director Cate Shortland's Somersault, which late last week broke all records with its clean sweep of theAFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards in Melbourne.Sydney-based producer Anthony Anderson, principal of RedCarpet Productions, said he was very pleased it has gone to the New York-baseddistributor, which also handled Capturing The Friedmans and Control Room.The terms of sale were negotiated at t
  • Media Luna picks up The Great Water

    Ivo Trajkov's labour camp drama The GreatWater, Macedonia's entry for the Foreign Language Film Academy Award, isone of five new titles Cologne-based Media Luna Entertainment has added to thesales line-up.Described as "a powerful and emotionallymoving epic saga of friendship and betrayal between two boys", Trajkov'sfilm will have its world premiere at the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles onFriday evening (Nov 12).In addition, Media Luna has picked up JoramLuersen's In
  • Metrodome acquires UK rights to pair of films

    UK distributor Metrodome has acquired UK rights to TheAssassination of Richard Nixon and Private for its 2005 slate.The Assassination of Richard Nixon played in UnCertain Regard at Cannes this year. It was directed by Niels Mueller andwritten by Mueller together with Kevin Kennedy, and stars Sean Penn, NaomiWatts and Don Cheadle. Metrodome are looking to release the film in March/early April 2005.Also
  • Miramax to remake Korean Doll Master

    Fast-moving Korean salesCineclick Asia has struck a remake deal with Miramax on The Doll Master, a Korean horror flick which the Dimension genresubsidiary hopes to develop into a franchise.The deal sees Miramaxacquire English-language remake rights as well as North American distributionrights on Jeong Yong-ki's original chiller about a man who uses wooden voodoodolls to get revenge after being falsely accused of murder."Miramax came on very strongand h
  • Mouawad's Tideline to open Mannheim festival

    Canadian filmmaker Wajdi Mouawad's feature debut Tideline(Littoral) will open this year's Mannheim-Heidelberg International FilmFestival on November 19.Mouawad's political parable about war, exile andintegration will be competing with another 21 films in the InternationalCompetition which includes Sarajevo Film Festival winner Mila From Marsby Bulgaria's Zornitsa Sophia, Crossing Europe's winner How I Killed A Saintby Macedonia
  • New York Critics sets announcement date for Dec 13

    The New York Film CriticsCircle will announce its 70th annual awards winners at New York's Muse Hotel onDec 13.Results will be postedonline immediately. On Jan 9 2005 the group will host its awards dinner at theRoosevelt Hotel in Manhattan."2004 has been a solid ifnot spectacular year,' newly elected vice chair and Us Weekly criticThelma Adams said in a statement."While it doesn't look tohave the hair-pulling excitement of the Yankees vs Red Sox face-o
  • NEW ZEALAND 9 November

    Taxi tried veryhard to accelerate past last weekend's box office topper Shall We Dance' but just missed out.Shall We Dance'took NZ$158,393 from 58 screens for BVI in its second weekend on releasecompared to Taxi's NZ$157,427 on 23less screens for 20th Century Fox. Taxi's screen average was the highest in the chart at NZ$4,498.Third, Columbia TriStar's The Forgotten starring Julianne Moore, grossed 57.7% less than itdi
  • Palm acquires domestic rights to graffitti drama

    ChrisBlackwell's Palm Pictures has acquired North American and Caribbean rights toAdam Bhala Lough's feature debut Bomb The System.Palm plans aspring 2005 release for the picture, which chronicles the lives of a group ofgraffiti artists who wage graffiti war on New York after the police beat up oneof their gang.Mark Webber,Jaclyn DeSantis, Gano Grills and real-life graffiti stars Lee Quinones and BonzMalone star.David Koh, head
  • Pixar hit factory delivers biggest opening ever in The Incredibles

    The Pixar hit factory maintained its solid gold reputation at theweekend as The Incredibles opened top on an estimated $70.7m through Buena Vista.
  • Powerhouse weekend for UIP at UK, Germany box office

    US horror hit The Grudge opened top in the UK on $4.1m (£2.2m) including previews of$736,000 (£396,000) at the weekend, according to estimates released bydistributor UIP.
  • Project Greenlight comes to Australia

    The Movie Network pay TV channel yesterday launched anAustralian version of Project Greenlight, which will result in a 12-partdocumentary series chronicling the making of a A$1m (US$762,000) feature by afirst-time filmmaker.The movie channel's production partner for both theseries and the feature is Screentime, one of Australia's most successfultelevision production companies.Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and American Pie
  • Return To Sender

    Dir: Bille August.Den-UK. 2004. 103minsLike some fine wines,director Bille August doesn't seem totravel well. A universally admired European master for Cannes Palme D'Orwinners Pelle The Conqueror and Best Intentions, he has beenrather less admired for such ropey English-language international ventures as TheHouse Of The Spirits and Smilla's Sense Of Snow.Set in the American dustbowl, Return To Sender is a low-
  • River Queen's DoP takes over directing duties

    River Queen directorof photography Alun Bollinger has stepped up to replace director Vincent Wardon the UK/New Zealand co-production, which is on track to complete principalphotography in late November.Bollinger has had a chequered history with River Queen himself, relinquishing his role to John Cavillbecause of a back injury before Samantha Morton's illness temporarilyshut down the production in early August. His credits as a cinematographerinclude Peter Jackson's films
  • Salvatores begins shoot on psychological film noir

    Oscar winnerGabriele Salvatores (Mediterraneo)has started shooting his latest film, a psychological film noir entitled Quo Vadis, Baby'Produced byMaurizio Totti's Colorado Film, the Euros 3m picture is adapted from theeponymous novel by Grazia Verasani. Its title is inspired by Marlon Brando'sfamous line in Last Tango In Paris.Quo Vadis, which Salvatores is shooting in Rome and Bologna in High Definition,stars Andrea
  • Saw producers Twisted sign up with Lions Gate

    Twisted Pictures is movingfast in the wake of its horror hit Saw and has signed a nine-picture distribution deal with Lions Gate Filmsfor its upcoming slate of horror and thriller titles.Twisted executives arelooking for writers and directors with existing scripts and will considerworking with outside producers willing to work within the existing budgetparameters, which the companies did not disclose.Saw cost roughly $1.5m to produce and has grossed morethan $36.2m
  • Schumacher, Prieto to be honoured at Bangkok fest

    Joel Schumacherwill receive the Golden Kinnaree Award for Career Achievement and Alexander cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto willcollect theCinematographer's Crystal Lens Award at the BangkokInternational Film Festival's (BIFF) awards gala ceremony on Jan 21, 2005.Festival-goerswill get a chance to see the regional premiere on Jan 20 of Schumacher's latestpicture, Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom Of The Opera, as part of a series of tributescreening
  • Sci-fi spoof set for blast off in Turkey

    One million tickets have been sold in advancefor the first ever Turkish sci-fi comedy G.O.R.A. which is released byWarner Bros. in 460 cinemas - almost half of the available screens - throughoutTurkey on November 12 (Friday).Speaking to ScreenDaily.com, BirolAkbaba, head of international sales for the film's production company BesiktasKultur Merkezi (BKM), said that there were 'very big expectations afterthree years of waiting for this film'. BKM was p
  • Sci-fi spoof set for Turkey blast off

    One million tickets have been sold in advancefor the first ever Turkish sci-fi comedy G.O.R.A. which is released byWarner Bros. in 460 cinemas - almost half of the available screens - throughoutTurkey on November 12 (Friday).Speaking to ScreenDaily.com, BirolAkbaba, head of international sales for the film's production company BesiktasKultur Merkezi (BKM), said that there were "very big expectations afterthree years of waiting for this film". BKM was previously behind pas
  • SERBIA/MONTENEGRO 10 November

    After last week'sCinemania which offered previews of titles to be released in November andDecember, Serbian-Montenegrin audiences demonstrated once again their taste forboth local product and Hollywood fare.With two moreprints in its fourth weekend, the local Oscar submission Goose Feather remained on top position, selling 10,405 admissionsfor the weekend to cross the local blockbuster benchmark of 100,000 and nowboasts a total of $318,621 for First Productio
  • Shrek 2 DVD and video sales gross $185m since Friday

    DreamWorks Animation reported yesterday (8) that domestic homevideo sales of Shrek 2grossed approximately $185m from 12.1m sales on DVD and VHS.
  • Somersault continues winning streak

    Cate Shortland's Somersaulthas continued its winning streak, picking up the Australian film of theyear at the IF Awards on Wednesday (Nov 10) and the Film Critics Circle ofAustralia Awards on Sunday (Nov 7).It also won best directionfor Shortland, best actress for Abbie Cornish, and best cinematography for BobHumphreys at both ceremonies.Unlike at the AFI(Australian Film Institute) Awards late last month, where Somersault wonevery category, other films were honoure
  • Sony, Disney link to launch VOD film service in UK

    The European Commission hasofficially given its approval for the creation of MovieCo, a joint venture toprovide a Video On Demand (VOD) film service in the UK.MovieCo is an initiative of Sony Pictures TelevisionInternational, Walt Disney Television International and pay-TV specialist OnDemand Group.The service will follow a staggered phased roll-out regionby region across the ntl digital TV cable platform starting in the firstquarter of 2005 with future plans t
  • Spacey, Neeson, Jackson, Linney among Palm Springs honourees

    Kevin Spacey, Samuel LJackson, Liam Neeson and Laura Linney will each be honoured at the upcoming16th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) awards gala on Jan8 2005.Spacey, who directed andstars in the Bobby Darin biopic Beyond The Sea, will collect the Sonny Bono Visionary Award forActing, Directing and Producing, while Jackson, who voices one of the leadcharacters in Pixar's The Incredibles, will collect the Career Achievement Award
  • Surviving Christmas

    Dir: Mike Mitchell. US2004. 92minsAnybody hoping that thecomedy Surviving Christmas might resuscitate Ben Affleck's falteringcareer will be sorely disappointed. The very fact that DreamWorks did notrelease Mike Mitchell's feature in the heart of the season suggests they werehoping for some early holiday good cheer from audiences to buoy its chances.Sadly they have beendisappointed. To date the film has only taken just under $10m from 2,75
  • SWEDEN 9 November

    Though AVPcouldn't shake As In Heaven from thetop of the Swedish chart, it did get a better screen average ($5,160) from its65 prints and grossed a solid $372,436.Collateralcontinued to do well on third, while PopularMusic dropped to sixth having grossed $2.4m and last week's new localrelease Fourteen Sucks (Fjorton Suger)to seventh taking in a total $400,028.None of this week's other new releases, The Manchurian Candidat
  • Swiss producers welcome new Film Foundation

    Swissproducers have received a welcome boost with the creation of a Film Foundationin Zurich which aims to have an annual funding budget of at least $7.4m(CHF8.8m).The launchmakes the Foundation one of the leading Swiss film funding institutions afterthe Federal Office for Culture and broadcaster SRG SSR idee suisse.The city of Zurich'
  • Teague's Last Drop wraps in Romania

    Principal photography is now complete in Romania on ColinTeague's The Last Drop, a heistmovie set against the backdropof World War II, starring Billy Zane, Michael Madsen, Karel Roden and footballstar David Ginola in his first feature film role.The film is the story of British military operationduring World War II to snatch a horde of Dutch gold and art treasures fromunder the noses of the Nazis.
  • Thessaloniki unveils festival line-up

    TheThessaloniki International Film Festival has unveiled its full line-up for thisyear's event (Nov 19-28).The Festival celebrates its 45th anniversary with a 180 plusstrong programme representing 40 nations and kicks off with a double billopening.French star Isabelle Huppert, will present the worldpremiere of her latest film Les Soeurs Fachees directed by Alexandra Leclere and will receive a special GoldenAlexander for her acting career.The openi
  • TLA buys US DVD and video rights to Maura-starrer La Promesa

    TLA Releasing has acquired US DVD/VHS rights at AFM to HectorCarre's psychological thriller La Promesa.
  • Trade groups act to boost Mexican industry

    Moving to galvanise whatdelegates described as a desperate Mexican film industry yesterday (9), leadingfilmmakers and trade groups from the US and Mexico signed the Declaration ofSanta Monica.The declaration was issuedat the 10th meeting of the US-Mexico Bilateral Film Industry Committee andresolved to pull the Mexican industry out of crisis by encouraging public andprivate support, lobbying lawmakers in both countries to create productionincentives and undertaking joint anti-piracy ef
  • Travolta to be 20th honouree at MOMI

    John Travolta will be the 20th honoree to receive theMuseum of the Moving Image salute in New York City on Dec 5."John's stardomis based not only upon his enormous talent, but an irresistible combination ofunpretentious appeal, innate skill, intensity, humor and grace," museumdirector Rochelle Slovin said in a statement.The museum willpresent a showreel and tribute to Travolta, who next appears in the familydrama A Love Song For Bobby Lon
  • Turin unveils competition line-up

    David Gordon Green's Undertowis among the films that will compete at the upcoming Turin Film Festival (Nov12-20), Italy's leading festival for emerging and cutting-edge talent.The festival will kick off with John Sayle's Silver City and will close with theinternational premiere of Hong Kong director Benny Chan's New Police Story.The Asian-heavy competition line-up includes The Beautiful W
  • UIP on top as Shark Tale, 7 Dwarfs lead pack

    Itproved another great weekend for UIP at the international box office as thecompany's animated hit, Shark Tale, held the top spot narrowly ahead ofGerman comedy smash 7 Dwarfs, a UIP pick-up.Thedistributor also claimed the highest new entry for the week from a filmtechnically yet to open anywhere in the world. Bridget Jones: The Edge OfReason played two full days of previews in the UK taking $4.7m, enough toplace it eighth on
  • UK/IRELAND 9 November

    Few other distributors stood a chance as UIP laid siege tothe UK box office last weekend. The chart shows that the distributor shot newtitle The Grudge into the top spot,dethroning stablemate Shark Taleafter three weeks. However, the UK is the only territory where UIP holdstheatrical rights.The Grudge claimed$4.2m (£2.3m) off 362 sites, including Hallowe'en previews of $732,506(£396,315). The horror title decimated the market - with the previous
  • When Will I Be Loved'

    Dir/scr: James Toback. US. 2004. 81mins.A risky title is likely to provoke a cynical responsein When Will I Be Loved', as American auteur James Toback offers anexasperating fusion of sex, lies and self-indulgence. Thriller elements in theplot might suggest that Toback is working in a more commercial vein but thefilm-noir style machinations are just a foundation for a

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