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12 October 2006

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  • Abraham and Dornford-May pact for South African stories

    Producer EricAbraham and director Mark Dornford-May have announced a new collaboration toproduce theatre and film projects based on South African talent for aninternational audience. South Africantheatre veteran Mannie Mannim will serve as a consultant. The projects currentlybeing developed include theatre co-productions with London's Young Vic Theatre,stage and film versions of Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela's book AHuman Being Died That Night and film and theatre adaptations o
  • Academy unveils shortlist for documentary shorts

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has named theeight pictures on the shortlist for the documentary short category.
  • All About Lola (Lo Que Se De Lola)

    Dir: Juan Rebollo. Sp-Fr. 2006. 112mins.After a long and successful career in short films,Juan Rebollo's much awaited feature debut All About Lola turnsout to be the kind of film one would rather talk about than watch.Intentionally hermetic, enormously self-indulgent and ignoring reality any timethat the real world disturbs its metaphor, it will test the endurance of eventhe most patient audiences.Rebol
  • AMPAS grants branch status to make-up artist and hairstylist members

    Make-up artists and hairstylists who are members of the Academy ofMotion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) have been granted branch status by theAcademy's Board of Governors.
  • Asian Film Market - a Screen guide

    Next week sees the birth ofthe newest addition to the international film market calendar - the four-dayAsian Film Market (Oct 15-18) - which takes place in the bustling containerport and tourism centre of Busan in South Korea. As part of the vibrant Pusan International Film Festival (Busanis the new name for the city although the festival has kept the old spelling),the upstart market already has a lot going for it. PIFF's strong Asian programming has long att
  • Australia's Horniak wins HATCHfest for student short Love Proof

    The third annual HATCHfestAudiovisual Arts Festival closed in Bozeman, Montana, with the presentation ofthe Moonlight Basin Outstanding Filmmaker Award to Australia's Maia Horniak forher short film Loveproof.Thefilm festival, which brings in student film-makers from around the world with aview to offering mentorship, education and inspiration, gave Horniak a cashprize of $10,000 as well as a Panavision camera package, post-production workat
  • Benton and Jeffrey to head new Ingenious Securities

    Media infestment group Ingenious has appointed Robert Bentonand Richard Jeffrey as chief executive and head of securities, respectively, ofIngenious Securities. Both had worked at Bridgewell Securities.The new business will launch in 2007 to provide research onthe media sector. The pair have worked closely withIngenious during recent fundraising and the initial public offering ofIngenious Media Active Capital.Patrick McKenna, chairmanof Ing
  • Bon Cop passes Porky's as biggest ever Canadian hit

    Hit comedy Bon Cop BadCop has become the highest-grossingCanadian film of all time, toppling the 1982 release Porky's from the top spot. Directed by Erik Canuel,produced by Kevin Tierney of Montreal's Park Ex Pictures and released acrossCanada by Alliance Atlantis' Motion Picture Distribution, the film notched acumulative gross of $10m (C$11,355,487 to be precise) this past weekendsurpassing Porky's $9.88m. It hasbeen on-screen in Quebec - where it has grossed more
  • Brooks starts Definitely, Maybe for Working Title

    Working Title Films and Universal Pictures will start principalphotography this week in New York City forromantic comedy Definitely, Maybe. Thefilm stars Ryan Reynolds, Rachel Weisz, Derek Luke, Isla Fisher, ElizabethBanks and Abigail Breslin.Adam Brooks, who previously wrote Wimbledon and co-wrote Bridget Jones: The Edge OfReason, wrote and wi
  • Buena Vista strikes Spanish VOD deal

    Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) has announced several newdeals as the Mipcom TV market continues.The company is teaming with Spain's Telefonica in aVOD deal which will include films from Walt DisneyPictures, Touchstone and Miramax. Titles available will include recent hit PiratesOf The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest as well asupc
  • BVI and Sony announce deals at MIPCOM

    In deals announced at MIPCOM, Buena VistaInternational Television has signed a VOD deal with France's TFI Vision and Sony Pictures Television has signed a multi-yearcontent deal with UK network Five and its new digital channels Five Life and Five US.The BVI deal with the VOD
  • Cinema's economic model is dead, says Digimart keynote

    The film industry has a great future as long as it realisesthe existing economic order is dead.That was the warning of John Perry Barlow in his keynoteaddress to this year's Digimart conference in Montreal.The co-founderof the Electronic Frontier Foundation and former lyricist of the GratefulDead said the debate about the future ofcinema in the Western world was based on an untenable set of assumptions.Chief among those is that intellectual property representeda business
  • Cronenberg dominates Directors Guild Of Canada awards

    David Cronenberg's AHistory Of Violence was the bigwinner at the 2006 Directors Guild of Canada Awards, winning the prize for allbut one of the feature film categories for which it was eligible, includingOutstanding Achievement in Direction, Team Achievement, Sound Editing andPicture Editing. Phillip Barker won the prizefor Oustanding Achievement in Production Design for his work on Atom Egoyan's WhereThe Truth Lies. The awards, encompassingfeature film and televis
  • Daniel Thomas and Sue Milford join new Film Agency For Wales

    The new Film Agency for Wales has tapped Daniel Thomas and Sue Milford for itsmanagement team.Working with previouslyannounced chief executive Pauline Burt, Thomas will serve as audiencedevelopment manager. He previously worked with UGC and Southwest Scotland on behalf of Scottish Screen.Milford has been named finance manager. She
  • Dasepo's Naughty Girls (Dasepo Sonyo)

    Dir. Lee Jyong. S Kor 2006. 103mins.Going to see Lee Jyong's latestventure on the strength of his previous work Untold Scandal, a highly stylised periodrelocation of Dangerous Liaisons, is a serious mistake. Dasepo's Naughty Girls, a high-school romp, is a world away from thebeautifully-shot historical pageant which toured the world and broke box-officerecords at home.Wild, lusty, anarchic and colourfu
  • Daviau to get lifetime achievement award from ASC

    AllenDaviau will receive the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) LifetimeAchievement Award at the 21st Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards in LosAngeles on Feb 18 2007.
  • David Tennant and Emily Blunt pair for UK's Wedding

    UK actors David Tennant and EmilyBlunt have signed on for the lead roles in CheerfulWeather For The Wedding, a project from London-basedClockwork Pictures. The shoot is planned for May 2007.Clockworkproducer Teun Hilte, who was one of the producers of Paul Verhoeven'saward-winning Black Book, is devlopingthe script with Donald Rice and Mary Henely-Magill. The film is based on the1932 novella Cheerful Weath
  • Debney, Shakur to be honoured at the first Turks & Caicos film festival

    Composer John Debney and the late actor and rapper Tupac Shakurwill be honoured at the inaugural music-themed Turks & Caicos InternationalFilm Festival, which runs in the Caribbean from Oct 17-21.
  • Dendy has Consideration for Aus/NZ

    Dendy Films has securedAustralian and New Zealand rights to the comedy For Your Consideration from sales agent Fortissimo Films. Dendy joint general managersRichard Payten and Andrew Mackie, who describe themselves as longtime fans ofdirector Christopher Guest and his regular ensemble of collaborators, plan torelease the film early next year.Guest again teamed withEugene Levy to write the script, as he did fo
  • Denver Film Festival to host Canadian focus, King tribute

    Canadian documentarian Allan King will receive a three-picturetribute at the 29th Starz Denver Film Festival, which runs from Nov 9-19.
  • Diane Keaton to get gala tribute from Film Society Of Lincoln Center in 2007

    Diane Keaton will be the subject of the Film Society Of LincolnCenter's 34th annual gala tribute on the closing night on Apr 9,2007.
  • Diane Lane takes the lead in Lakeshore's Untraceable

    Lakeshore Entertainment hascast Diane Lane in the lead in its thriller Untraceable and will introduce the project to buyers at AFM nextmonth.Gregory Hoblit is attachedto direct the story of an FBI cybercop played by Lane who tracks down aruthless online predator. Allison Burnett wrote the final script from anoriginal screenplay by Robert Fyvolent and Mark R Brinker.Production is set to beginin February. Lakeshore chairman and chief executive officer Tom Rosenberg andpresi
  • EFA announces nominees for European Discovery award

    TheEuropean Film Academy has announced the fourfilms nominated in its European Discovery category, recognising a director'sfirst full-length feature film. The nominees are Gela Babluani's 13 Tzameti from France/Georgia; Slawomir Fabicki's Retrieval (ZOdzysku) from Poland; Mat
  • EFP backs 11 films to be sold in Pusan

    EuropeanFilm Promotion's Film Sales Support is backing European sales agents andproducers for the third year at the Pusan International Film Festival (Oct12-20). The 11films being supported and the affiliated companies are Florian Henckel vonDonnersmarck's The Lives Of Others (BetaCinema); Uli Gaulke's Comrades In Dreams(Flying Moon); Matthias Luthardt's Pingpong(Media Luna); Laila Pakalnina's TheHostage (Hargla); David Gleeson's TheFr
  • EFP presents four new films at New York Industry Screenings

    EuropeanFilm Promotion is launching its third edition of industry screenings in New York this year. Four newEuropean films will be presented at the Tribeca Screening Room on Oct 23 and 24to US distributors and buyers, festival scouts and cinema programmers.
  • Eternal Summer (Sheng Hsia Guang Nian)

    Dir: Leste Chen. Taiwan. 2006. 95mins.A far cry from his horror film debut Heirloom, which broke box-office recordsin Taiwanlast year, Leste Chen's new film Eternal Summer is an intimate coming-of-age love triangle,whose
  • Eurimages backs 14 co-productions with $5.5m

    The Council Of Europe's film fund, Eurimages, has announced its supportof 14 new European co-productions for a total of $5.5m (Euros 4.4m). The films are:L'aube du monde by Abbas Fahdel (France/Germany) Back To Africa by Othmar Schmiderer (Austria/Germany)Ein Fall fur Freunde... wie alles begann byTony Loeser and Jesper Moller (Germany/France/Italy) Jemin - Ili Tesko Je Biti Fin bySrdjan Vuletic (Bos
  • FACT, FDA offer tools to fight UK film piracy

    The UK's Federation AgainstCopyright Theft (FACT) and Film Distributors Association (FDA) havelaunched a new initiative against film theft. The new "toolkit" is toassist exhibitors and distributors to protect film prints and prevent camcorderrecording of films. FACT noted that more than 90% of pirate DVDs anddownloads originate from c
  • Flags Of Our Fathers

    Dir: Clint Eastwood. US.2006. 131mins.Rarely do words as stark as "heroism" get parsed infilm-making - but that's just what Clint Eastwood's World War II feature Flags Of OurFathers does. A diffuse and demanding picture that, as with most Eastwoodfilms, takes a while to find its stride, it should nevertheless see good upscalemarket business, as well as make a deep critical footprint that will ensureawards consideration.But
  • Flushed Away

    Dirs: David Bowers, Sam Fell. US. 2006. 86mins.It may lack the handmade charm anddeeply English quirkiness of Oscar winner Wallace& Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, but Flushed Away, AardmanFeatures' first computer animated film and its third project with DreamWorksAnimation, is still lively enough to stand out from this year's crowd ofanimated offerings.Combining Aardman's visual and
  • Forever

    Dir: Heddy Honigmann. Neth. 2006. 95mins.An intellectual mood piece about life and art,observed through the perspective of death, Heddy Honigmann's documentary about renowned Parisian cemetery Pere Lachaise is surprisinglyaffecting and perceptive, despite its conventional structure.Taking a camera through oneof the most celebrated resting places in the world, and pointing it at thegraves of such names as Chopin, Proust, Modiglian
  • Forever

    Dir: Heddy Honigmann. Neth. 2006. 95mins.An intellectual mood piece about life and art,observed through the perspective of death, Heddy Honigmann's documentary about renowned Parisian cemetery Pere Lachaise is surprisinglyaffecting and perceptive, despite its conventional structure.Taking a camera through oneof the most celebrated resting places in the world, and pointing it at thegraves of such names as Chopi
  • Fox's Devil steps out in Germany, Italy, Taiwan

    Fox International's comedy The Devil Wears Prada took the overseas arena by storm lastweekend and executives will be looking for more of the same this time around.
  • German films claim top prizes at Sitges

    Two German films, Hans-Christian Schmid's Requiem and Martin Weisz's Butterfly-AGrimm Love Story (Rohtenburg), split most of the top prizes at the 39th edition of thegenre International Film Festival of Catalunya (Oct 6-15), better known as Sitges.Requiem, th
  • Gillo Pontecorvo dies in Rome

    As the inaugural Rome FilmFest is set to get underway tonight, Italy is mourning one of its cinema greats. GilloPontecorvo, most famous for directing TheBattle Of Algiers, died yesterday in Rome at the age of 86.Pontecorvo's other filmsinclude Kapo, Ogro and Burn (Qeimada)starring Marlon Brando. He worked injournalism and was a resistance
  • Global Film Initiative names titles in fourth annual US touring series

    The Global Film Initiative (GFI) has unveiled its fourthannual Global Lens touring film series featuring nine features and seven shortsfrom developing countries.The series will screen in cities across the US beginning inJanuary through partnerships with major
  • Google buys video sharing website YouTube for $1.7bn

    Google has bought the video sharing website YouTube in a dealbelieved to be worth $1.7bn in stock.
  • Grierson nominees include Unknown White Male

    The 2006 GriersonAwards, The British Documentary Awards, have announced this year's nominees.Most of thenominees are for TV documentaries but the UK Film Council sponsors a cinemadocumentary category. The four nominees in that category are Alex Gibney's Enron: The Smartest GuysIn The Room, Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross' The Road To Guantanamo, Hubert Sauper's Darwin's Nightmare and Rupert Murray's Unknown White Male. This
  • Grudge 2 tops strong weekend at North America box office

    Sony registered its 12th number one release of the year as horrorsequel The Grudge 2 launchedon an estimated $22m.The supernatural tale of a rage-inducing curse stars AmberTamblyn and features a cameo by the original's leading lady Sarah MichelleGellar.
  • Hair joins Disney as chief technology officer and senior vp

    Arthur Hair has been named chief technology officer and seniorvice president at The Walt Disney Studios.
  • Haneke's Funny Games remake starts shooting

    Production has got underway on Funny Games, Michael Haneke's first English-languagepicture and a remake of his 1997 Austrian thriller of the same name.
  • High Point picks up Dutch horror Slaughter Night

    UK-based sales company HighPoint Films has nabbed worldwide rights to Dutch horror film Slaughter Night. Directorial duo Edwin Visserand Frank van Geloven created the film about young friends who encounter anevil spirit in a disused mine. Amsterdam-based Martin Lagestee of Lagestee Filmproduced. High Point is sellingthe film in Pusan, followed by the Toronto AfterD
  • Hoax

    Dir: Lasse Hallstrom. US. 2006. 115mins.As struttingly confident asits main character, true-life literary fraudster Clifford Irving, The Hoax is far and away Lasse Hallstrom's best Americanfilm yet. Featuring a Richard Gere who has finallycast off his mid-term career doldrums to reveal himself as an actor ofMachiavellian charisma and authority, it initially plays as a picaresque Catch Me If You Can-style biopic of ahandsome US
  • Hollywood Film Festival unveils lineup for Oct 18 to 23 event

    The Hollywood Film Festival has unveiled this year's line-up ofmore than 80 pictures, as well as the Movie of the Year nominees for the publicMovie Of The Year award to be presented on Hollywood Awards night on Oct 23.
  • I Am The Other Woman (Ich Bin Die Andere)

    Dir: Margarethe Von Trotta. Ger. 2006. 104mins.A faint scent of nostalgia for the past rules over Margarethe Von Trotta's handsomeproduction I Am TheOther Woman, which looks like a psycho-romantic melodrama from the 1950s. Justimagine Three Faces OfEve meets Belle De Jour on theRhine valley, with all the modern paraphernalia that decorates it having noimport whatsoever on the plot itself.A
  • I Am The Other Woman (Ich Bin Die Andere)

    Dir: Margarethe Von Trotta. Ger. 2006. 104mins.A faint scent of nostalgia for the past rules over Margarethe Von Trotta's handsomeproduction I Am TheOther Woman, which looks like a psycho-romantic melodrama from the 1950s. Justimagine Three Faces OfEve meets Belle De Jour on theRhine valley, with all the modern paraphernalia that decorates it having noimport whatsoever on the plot itself.A
  • IDA names six student documentaries nominated for Wolper Award

    The International Documentary Association (IDA) has announced sixnominees for the David L Wolper Student Documentary Achievement Award.
  • IFC, TWC jointly acquire North American rights to Penelope

    IFC Films and The WeinsteinCompany (TWC) have jointly acquired North American rights to Mark Palansky'sfantasy drama Penelope, which receivedits world premiere at Toronto last month.IFC Films will take the leadon the US theatrical distribution and TWC will handle home video andtelevision. Hyde Park is handling international sales.Leslie Caveny wrote thescreenplay about a young girl's journey of self-discovery. Christina Ricci,James McAvoy, Catherine O'Hara, and Peter Dink
  • Iglesias wins composer and soundtrack of the year at World Soundtrack Awards

    Alberto Iglesias won Soundtrack Composer of the Year and BestOriginal Soundtrack of the year awards for The Constant Gardener at the World Soundtrack Awards in Ghent,Europe.
  • Investors plan new $4.4m studio in Bulgaria

    A consortium of privateinvestors will break ground in January on a new production facility in Sofia for low-cost Hollywood film and television productions.Financed through privateequity and bank capital, the Bulgarian Film and Television Center will offer four sound stages totalling 5,000 square meters, developerand
  • Jacques Toubon confirmed as Eurimages chair

    The Council of Europe'sproduction fund Eurimages has re-elected Jacques Toubon for a third term aschairman. Toubon called upon membersof the management board of Eurimage "to act in their countries to preservecultural diversity and ensure that the rights of directors and actors be fullyrecognised."
  • Jeremy Thomas to receive Screen International prize at European Film Awards

    Famed UK producer Jeremy Thomas has been selected to receive Screen International's Achievement In World Cinema Prize at the European Film Awards. At the European Film Awardsceremony on Dec 2 in Warsaw, ScreenInternational, the European Film Academy and EFA Productions will recognise Thomas as aEuropean professional who has made an outstanding contribution to the wo
  • Korea's Screen Quota alliance to stage Pusan protest

    Korea's Screen Quota Action Alliance has announced it will hold a silentprotest in the hour before the opening ceremony of the Pusan International FilmFestival (PIFF) tomorrow (Oct12). The protest - to have the146-day local film screening quota reinstated - will be headed by King And The Clown star Lee Joon-ki andveteran actor Park Joong-hoon (Nowhere ToHide).An international conferenceentitled UNESCO
  • Letters From Iwo Jima set for Tokyo world premiere

    Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima will receive itsworld premiere at Tokyo's Budokan arena on November 15. The multiple AcademyAward-winning director is confirmed to attend the red carpet event at the famedvenue, as well as a press conference with the film's Japanese cast scheduledfor the following day. Lettersfollows Flags Of Our Fathers as thesecond of two films that depict events surrounding the battle for t
  • London Children's Festival to open with Azur And Asmar

    The London Children's FilmFestival will run its second event Nov 18-26 presented by the Barbican and theIndependent Cinema Office in partnership with Film London. The festival willscreen 39 features and 30 shorts from 19 countries.The festival's opening filmis Michel Ocelot's Azur And Asmar and the closing film will be a restoredpresentation of The Wizard Of Oz.The festival has added twoindustry events this year:a discussion of film culturefor children in the
  • London Film Fest announces venues for 50-screen event

    The Times BFI London FilmFestival (Oct 18-Nov 2) has announced more details of its special 50-screensurprise film event in honour of the festival's 50th anniversary. On Oct 29, 50 venues across London's various boroughs will host a surprise film event.Up to 10 surprise films will be shown at unusual locations including HeathrowTerminal 4, Holloway Prison, St Ethelburga's Church,
  • London Film Festival ramps up industry plans

    TheTimes BFI London Film Festival, celebrating its 50th event, has launchedseveral new industry initiatives. Whilethe festival is primarily consumer-focused, several UK deals were struck last yearfor films including Man Push Cart, QuoVadis Baby' and Heading South.Thefestival will host a Meet The Buyer session on Oct 24.Industryscreenings, backed by Film London, will run at th
  • Look Both Ways actor to direct Ten Empty

    It has been on the verge ofgoing ahead several times but now cameras are definitely going to roll on Ten Empty, the feature film directorialdebut of actor Anthony Hayes, who played the estranged father of two childrenin Look Both Ways. The film got the go-aheadfrom the Australian Film Commission's IndiVision scheme, which is specificallyfor the production of low-budget features. The New South Wales Film andTelevision Office and the South Australian Film Corporation are al
  • Loughran to head new US Irish Film office

    Following the announcementof its intention to open its first overseas office in Los Angeles (made earlier this year at Cannes) the Irish Film Board has confirmed the appointmentof Jonathan Loughran as VP Irish Film Commission, effective mid-November.The new office will becalled the Irish Film Commission US and will focus on the promotion of Ireland
  • Lucy Thomas takes promotions job at Paramount

    ParamountPictures International has appointed Lucy Thomas as vice president, promotions,effective Nov 1.Most recently,she had been director, International Universal Studio Partnerships for theVolkswagen/Universal Partnership, and she also served as head of internationalpromotions for home entertainment for Universal Pictures International, workingin 14 territories.She has worked onpromotional campaigns for titles includingLove Actually, Die Another Day
  • Lumina takes on worldwide rights to Espectro

    London-based Lumina Filmshas picked up worldwide rights to Colombian horror movie Espectro (pictured) and will screen the film for buyers atAFM.The film all takes placeinside an apartment inhabited by an agoraphobic woman called Vega (played byNoelle Shonwald). Sensing she is not alone, she sets up cameras to film herselfsleeping and discovers an unwelcome guest.Espectro marks thedirectorial debut of Juan Felipe Orozco, who also wrote the screenplay withCarlos Esteban Oro
  • Man Of The Year

    Dir/scr: Barry Levinson. US. 2006. 114minsWith Man Of The Year, Barry Levinson returns to the Americanpolitical scene that he satirised so ably in Wag The Dog, this time forgoing unregenerate cynicism for satireslathered between layers of disarming sweetness and optimism.But despite boasting RobinWilliam's most restrained and winning performance for some time, this story ofa TV entertainer who un
  • Margaret von Schiller departs Berlinale Panorama

    TheBerlinale's Panorama section has announced personnel changes as part of the restructuringof the past few months that has seen the Panorama Short Film programme mergedwith that of the Official Competition.In apersonal communique, Panorama's director Wieland Speck revealed that Margaretvon Schiller, who had become his success
  • Massis prepares Jabor's Copacabana as UK/Brazil co-production

    Alex Massis' Florida-based Film Source is preparing the $5m drama Copacabana,Of Love And Shadows.Filming is set to start in Rio De Janeiro in early 2007 onthe English-language story of an English artist and Brazilian street childwhose relationship is be
  • Media 8 takes international rights to Air Guitar Nation

    Los Angeles-based Media 8 Entertainment has acquired allinternational rights to Alexandra Lipsitz' documentary Air Guitar Nation. Media 8 will introduce the project tobuyers at next month's AFM.Docurama Films will release it domestically in spring 2007in association with S
  • My Friend And His Wife (Naeui Chingu, Geueui Anae)

    Dir/scr: Shin Dong-il. S Korea. 2006. 116mins.After the hospitable reception for Host And Guest, his two-hander debut, lastyear, writer-director Shin Dong-il extends hishorizons to a full trio of characters with MyFriend And His Wife, an often fascinating if ultimately overlongexploration of an unusual relationship between two men and a woman.The picture could be read asan allegory o
  • Napoleon And Me (Io E Napoleone)

    Dir: Paolo Virzi. It-Fr-Sp. 2006. 110mins.The latest Eurozone attemptto find a new angle on the Napoleon story finally, Napoleon And Me allows Daniel Auteuil to pitch into a role which seems to have been cutout for an actor of his professional and physical stature. But this - and onesteamy love scene featuring Monica Bellucci - ispretty much the only spark of interest that most international audiences willget out of Paolo Virzi's dis
  • New Line's Shaye gets honour from US literary group

    New Line co-chairman and co-chief executive officer Bob Shaye willreceive the Award of Honor at PEN USA's 2006 Literary Awards on Dec 12 in LosAngeles.
  • New Rome Fest opens with Kidman's star power

    The first edition of theRome Film Fest kicked off today with Steven Shainberg's Fur: An Imaginary Portrait Of Diane Arbus,starring Nicole Kidman.Kidman's presence on openingday amplified the glamour quotient of the inaugural festival, plugged from itsinception as a people's "festa" or party.Director Shainberg andKidman filed into the Santa Cecilia concert hall inside the Renzo Piano-designedauditorium for the first informal "press meeting," which took placein the same loc
  • New Wales film agency taps staffers

    The newly created FilmAgency for Wales has announced its initial staffing.Pauline Burt will head theagency as chief executive, as previously reported, and she will be joined byBritt Harrison as head of talent and Anneli Jones as talent developmentexecutive. Burt previously worked at London's Mansfield Associates, the Royal Bank of
  • Nightmare Detective (Akumu Tantei)

    Dir/scr: Shinya Tsukamoto. Jap. 2006. 107mins.By now a brand name whose body of work has its ownband of dedicated and faithful followers, Shinya Tsukamoto sticks to form with Nightmare Detective, a brutal, violent,and nerve-racking slasher feature that blurs allborders between fantasy and reality. Assailing the audience from the start withblazes of booming sound and racing off into the dark recesses of the humanmind, its bleakness is
  • Nikkatsu rolls out library through VoD service

    Nikkatsu, one of Japan's oldest film studios, has announced that it willoffer films from its vast library as video-on-demand content through parent companyIndex Corp's "Miranca" VoD and IPTV service.The first 23 titles goonline today (Oct 16) and include classic films starring some of Japan's mostenduring cinema icons, including the late Yujiro Ishihara (brother of TokyoGovernor Shintaro Ishihara) and Sayuri Yoshinaga. Mor
  • Nordic Film Council Prize goes to Fares' Zozo

    Swedish director JosefFares' Zozo will receive this year'sNordic Council Film Prize - roughly $59,000, the largest in Scandinavia - it was announced during this morning's pressconference at the Swedish Film Institute in Stockholm.Ten Nordic features werenominated, but the jury chairwoman, Norwegian film journalist Anne Hoff, calledZozo 'a moving and relevant filmabout a child's strategi
  • Northern Lights summit to host Refn talk and pitching session

    The Northern Lights FilmFestival's 2006 industry summit will run Nov 17-18 in Newcastle Upon Tyne's Tyneside Cinema.Highlights of the industryprogramme will include a talk about the ups and downs of the business fromdirector Nicolas Winding Refn, who will also screen his film The Gambler. Other panels will offerpitching advice, explore opportunites with new low-budget funding schemes, presenta case study of award-winning UK thril
  • Nu Image to start Cusack's $10m parody thriller

    Nu Image Bulgaria will begin filming Oct 22 on Brandhauser, an international intrigue parody starring John Cusack,Joan Cusack, Hilary Duff and Marisa Tomei. Josh Seftel, one of the directorsbehind TV series Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, will direct the $10m project, alsoknown as War Inc. The film will shoot for nineweeks at Nu Image's Boyana studios in
  • Polish Insitute backs new films from Loach and Zelenka

    Newfeature projects by Ken Loach, Petr Zelenka and Oliver Parker are among sixinternational co-productions supported with a total of $4.1m (Zlotys 12.8m) bythe Polish Film Institute in its latest round of funding. Loach's These Times, which hasproducer-distributor SPIInternational as its Polish co-produce
  • Polybona boards Bigfoot's Chinese-language Huilu

    China's Beijing Polybona has come on board as co-producer on Huilu, the Chinese-language version ofHong Kong-based Bigfoot Entertainment's psychological thriller Irreversi.The move qualifies the filmas a Hong Kong-China co-production, thus making it eligible for release inmainland China. Huilu wasshot in Hong Kong
  • Prada continues to lead international pack with $22.7m

    Once again Fox International's The Devil Wears Prada dominated the overseas arena as thecomedy grossed an estimated $22.7m from 4,250 screens to raise its tally to$75.5m.Four muscular launches drove the result, led by a $3.7mnumber one Italian haul on 437 screens, and $4.4
  • Pusan 2006 - a Screen guide

    Asia's highest-profile film event, the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) is launching intoits second decade with characteristic energy. Its 11th edition is showcasing nofewer than 245 films from 63 countries - a record 64 of which are worldpremieres."In the past 10years, PIFF has grown to become the most important Asian film festival and oneof the most dynamic in the world,' says festival director Kim Dong-ho.The festival opensth
  • Pusan Links

    Key Links:PIFF Official Site click hereOffers the full programme and list of events in Korean and EnglishFestival Programme click hereScreenings click hereAsian Film Market click hereScreenings, listings and data from the AFM.
  • Pusan Promotion Plan

    Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP)has announced 36 projects for its ninth edition, to be held Oct 15-18 duringthe Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF). Originally a co-productionmarket for Asian projects, the PPP is renewing itself under the inaugural umbrellaof the Asian Film Market with more commercially-oriented fare than in previousyears, along with the PPP's first non-Asian projects. These include a project setagainst the Vietnam War from Hollywood direct
  • PUSAN: Avex boards Apple, Chen Kaige project

    Following its investment in Beijing-basedChengtian Entertainment, Japan's Avex is making a push into Chinese production by co-financingtwo of the company's upcoming productions - Li Yu's Apple and a biopic to be directed by Chen Kaige.Chen, who most recentlydirected big-budget fantasy epic ThePromise, is developing a film based on the life of legendary Chinese operasinger Mei Lanfang who provided inspiration
  • PUSAN: Cha joins cast of Studio 2.0's Highway Star

    Korea's Studio 2.0 has announced that Cha Tae-hyun (My Sassy Girl) will head the cast of comedy drama Highway Star. Co-directed by Kim Sang-Chanand Kim Tae-Hyun, the film is a remake of Japanese film Sharan-Q No Enka No Hanamichi, directed by Yojiro Takita, about anaspiring rock singer who signs the wrong contract and becomes an Enka (Koreancountry music) singer by mistake. T
  • PUSAN: CJ CGV to open Shanghai multiplex this week

    Leading Korean exhibitor CJCGV has announced that its first mainland China multiplex will open in Shanghai on Oct 22.With over 1,000 seats, themultiplex will comprise six screens, including one VIP screen with only 38seats and premium class service that includes food and beverages. CJ CGV saysthe theatre has been certified as a five-star cinema, according to Chineserating practic
  • PUSAN: CJ Entertainment joins Focus: First Cuts

    Korea's CJ Entertainment has boarded the Focus: First Cuts series of films,launched by Hong Kong star Andy Lau's Focus Films, as a project partnerand will distribute all six films in Korea from early 2007. Focus and CJ are also intalks about the next instalment of the project, Focus: First Cuts Volume 2,which is targeted to launch in the
  • PUSAN: EuropaCorp picks up French rights to Unseeable

    Luc Besson's EuropaCorp hasacquired French rights to Thai director Wisit Sasanatieng's new horror The Unseeable, which is scheduled toopen in Thailand on November 2, followed by a market debut at AFM.The $2m picture, funded bylocal producer Five Star, has also been sold to Grand Brilliance for Malaysia and Brunei
  • PUSAN: FDL participants pitch new projects at Pusan

    Participants in the KoreanFilm Council (KOFIC)'s inaugural Filmmakers' Development Lab (FDL) are on handin Pusan to pitch the scripts developed at the week-longworkshop.FDL selected five emergingKorean and Korean-American writer-directors and paired each one withestablished film professional mentors from the US and Korea
  • PUSAN: GTH scores string of sales on Alone

    Thailand's GMM Tai Hub (GTH) has scored further deals on Alone, the long-awaited follow-up toThai writer-directors Parkpoom Wongpoom and Banjong Pisanthanakun's horror hit Shutter. The $2.5m project, firstunveiled at last year's Pusan,has been sold to Lark Films for Hong Kong, GoldenScreen Cinemas for Malaysia
  • PUSAN: Keyeast strikes investment deal with CJ

    Korean media contents firmKeyeast has announced a production investment deal with major distributor CJEntertainment for three films, including Park Chan-wook's I'm A Cyborg, But It's OK.According to the deal, Keyeastis to invest a total of $530,000 in three films in which CJ Entertainment isthe main financier. Profits including those from theatrical, video, albumrights and overseas sales are to be split after the films' respective releases.Keyeast stated: "In future,we pl
  • PUSAN: Korean sellers out in force at first Asian Film Market

    As the inaugural Asian FilmMarket (Oct 15-18) gets underway on Sunday, sales companies from the hostterritory will be laying out strong slates reflecting the current state of the boomingSouth Korean production industry. Box office records for localfilms are constantly being toppled and in September local product had an 83%share. And although some of the hottest new Korean films have already premieredat autumn festivals, there are several highly-anticipated local titles amongthe 64 worl
  • PUSAN: Lim's Untold Beauty takes a walk on Wild Side

    France's Wild Side Films has taken on the French rights to Singapore new writer-director Roy Lim's Untold Beauty, the debut project of two start-up production housesfrom Singapore, Rebel Productions and Shooting Gallery MotionPictures. The acquisition marks thefirst pre-sale ever of an inde
  • PUSAN: Pan-asian star power lights up Pusan opening

    The 11th Pusan InternationalFilm Festival (PIFF) opened last night with a star-studded turnout and the worldpremiere of Kim Dai-seung's Traces OfLove. The opening ceremony waspresided over by veteran Korean actor Ahn Sung-ki (Silmido) and "national little sister" Moon Geun-young (My Little Bride) who remarked upon thefestival's record 64 world premieres and joked about the record age differencebetween emcees this year - 44 and 19.Asian stars were out inforce
  • PUSAN: Taewon unveils Resurrection at Asian Film Market

    Korea's Taewon Entertainment took advantage of the firstday of the Asian Film Market to promote its upcoming project Three Kingdoms - Resurrection Of The Dragon.MaggieQ has joined Andy Lau in the cast of the epic actioner, which Taewon isco-producing with Hong Kong's Visualizer Film Production.Recently featu
  • PUSAN: Taiwan's Serenity signs up for Pain

    Serenity EntertainmentInternational has acquired Taiwanese rights to Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's Confession Of Pain from Hong Kong's Media Asia. The company, which has beenramping up Chinese-language acquisitions since its launch in mid-2005, willrelease the film as part of a pan-Asian roll-out in mid-December. Since the beginning of 2006,Serenity has released a wide range of Chinese-language titles in Taiwan
  • PUSAN: Tilly joins glittering Asian cast in Silver Valley

    US actress Jennifer Tilly has joined Chinese actress Hao Lei (Summer Palace) and Hong Kong star Aaron Kwok in the cast of period drama Silver Valley, which is currently shooting in China
  • PUSAN: Tong to direct horror comedy for Singapore's Innoform

    Singapore writer-director Kelvin Tong, whose Love Story is playing here at Pusan, will next shoot MenIn White, a horror comedy co-financed by Singapore video distributor InnoForm Media and Tong'sproduction company Boku Films.The $500,000 picture, which willbe shot on HD, follows a group of four men who
  • Red Road makes clean sweep of Scottish Baftas

    Andrea Arnold's Red Road has added Best Film at the Lloyds TSB BAFTA Scotland awards to its previous honours, including the Cannes Jury Prize and five BIFA nominations.The win was universally predicted, as was the film's easy dominance of theevening's other film prizes - Best Actress for Kate Dickie, BestActor for Tony Curran, and both Best Screenplay and Best Director for AndreaArnold. This meant a clean sweep of the major prizes for a film that hadfaced little significant competi
  • Rising Star to open two more KinoStar multiplexes in Nov 2007

    Russian exhibitor Rising Star Media, a joint venture betweenNational Amusements and Paul B Heth's Moscow-based Soquel Ventures, hasfinalised leases with leading Russian shopping centre operator Ikea Mega toopen KinoStar multiplexes at Mega Belaya Dacha in Moscow and Mega Dybenko in StPetersburg.
  • Robbie Williams hosts short-film competition

    Singer Robbie Williams is workingwith film-makers community Shooting People to encourage emerging film-makers tomake short films to complement his new album Rudebox. Responding to a wide brief,film-makers submitted a variety of treatments using as much or as little fromthe album tracks as they wanted. Williams himself selected and green-lit theseven projects including Ken Wardrop's Venom,Jim Field Smith and George Kay's Idiotlampand Joel Wilson and Jamie Campbell's
  • Rotterdam's Bals Fund starts digital production grant

    The International FilmFestival Rotterdam (Jan 24-Feb 4, 2007) will introduce a new digital productiongrant to the Hubert Bals Fund.The 36th Rotterdam festival has announced a new $24,980 (Euros 20,000)grant for low-budget digital video productions from developing countries. Thegrants can be used to fund total production costs. During the Fund's autumn 2006 selection round, four projectshave been supported within the ne
  • Running With Scissors

    Dir: Ryan Murphy. US.2006. 122 mins.Ryan Murphy, the Hollywood wunderkind whose Nip/Tuck is one of the most cutting edge series on US TV atthe moment, turns his caustic sensibilities to Running With Scissors, the film version of Augusten Burroughs' popularmemoirs. As one might expect from the creator of Nip/Tuck, Murphy opts for a bleak tone in the story of ayoung boy's nightmare childhood, replacing the cheerful black comedy ofBurroughs
  • Scorsese talks budgets and restorations in Rome

    As his latest film The Departed screened at the inaugural Rome FilmFest, Martin Scorsese denied talk that the film would be his last big-budgetproject.
  • Screenwriting software outfit Final Draft acquires Forum Publishing

    Final Draft Inc has acquired the assets of Forum Publishing, whichincludes Script magazine, the Scriptwriters Showcase, Take A Meeting andScriptXpert, as well as all related web sites and domains.
  • Sellers predict Rome can help wrap-up autumn deals

    As sales companies and buyers go terrace hopping in Rome thequestion on everyone's mind is will Rome's inaugural Business Street (Oct14-16) catch on'
  • Small screen trends go even smaller at 2006 Mipcom

    The buzzwords at this year's Mipcom television market (Oct8-12 in Cannes) were clearly heard in every conference, at every cocktail andaround every corner in the Palais: multi-platform, content and digital.
  • Speedman joins Tyler in Rogue's thriller Strangers

    Scott Speedman has signed to play the make lead opposite Liv Tylerin Rogue Pictures' thriller Strangers.
  • Studios face more anti-competition allegations in Spain

    The Spanish Exhibitors'Federation said it is gathering evidence for a new formal complaint to Spain's Competition Defense Service against the Hollywood majors.The Federation, known asFECE, won a case against five multinationals in a landmark ruling by Spain's Competition Defense Court
  • Susie Q, Mill Ridge team to option Wilson's novel Hiding Room

    Susie Q Productions and Mill Ridge Films have optioned JonathanWilson's novel The Hiding Room, which chronicles a European Jew's escape from the Nazis duringthe Second World War.
  • Taiwan gears up for five-pronged Film & TV Expo

    The second TaiwanInternational Film & Television Expo was officially unveiled at a pressconference in Taipei today.To be held November 8-26, itencompasses five major events: 28th Golden Horse Film Festival, 43rd GoldenHorse Film Awards, 51st Asia Pacific Film Festival, 40th Golden Bell TelevisionAwards and 4th Taipei International TV, Film and Digital Contents Exhibition.To boost the public profileof the project, this year's edition bo
  • The Grudge 2

    Dir: Takashi Shimizu. 2006. 102mins.The hairy ghost andher bug-eyed little boy work overtime in TheGrudge 2, Japanese director Takashi Shimizu's busy but less effectivesequel to his hit American remake of his franchise-starting J-horror chiller Ju-On.Thoughoriginal star Sarah Michelle Gellar makes only a brief appearance this timeout, the sequel has already made a decent sta
  • The Grudge 2

    Dir: Takashi Shimizu. 2006. 102mins.The hairy ghost andher bug-eyed little boy work overtime in TheGrudge 2, Japanese director Takashi Shimizu's busy but less effectivesequel to his hit American remake of his franchise-starting J-horror chiller Ju-On.Thoughoriginal star Sarah Michelle Gellar makes only a brief appearance this timeout, the sequel has alrea
  • The History Boys

    Dir: Nicholas Hytner. UK.2006. 112mins.It is hard to begrudge a film as wellwritten and acted as The History Boys.Nicholas Hytner's screen adaptation of Alan Bennett'sacclaimed play is buoyed by some tremendous performances, one or two of whichlook very likely to be nominated for major awards. The writing is superb. Nonetheless,in cinematic terms, this is not an es
  • The Post Modern Life Of My Aunt (Yi Ma De Hou Xian Dai Sheng Huo)

    Dir: Ann Hui. Chi. 2006. 113mins.A slapstick comedy opening leads to a melancholy and melodramaticending in Ann Hui's The Post Modern Life Of My Aunt, which is tailoredto please home audiences and Chinese communities abroad but will hold limitedinterest beyond that. Conceived as an episode piece that shifts from a lightmood to a crepuscular one, Hui's picture pays as muchattention to the new face of the Shanghai as it does its heroin
  • The Prestige

    Dir: Christopher Nolan. US. 2006. 128mins.Sometime superheroes Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale play obsessively feudingVictorian magicians in The Prestige,a classy thriller, with a Gothic sci-fi twist, from writer-director ChristopherNolan. Coming off last year's comic book blockbuster Batman Begins, Nolan this time turns intricate literary materialinto an atmospheric and intriguing - if not entirely succes
  • The Prestige

    Dir: Christopher Nolan. US. 2006. 128mins.Sometime superheroes Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale play obsessively feudingVictorian magicians in The Prestige,a classy thriller, with a Gothic sci-fi twist, from writer-director ChristopherNolan. Coming off last year's comic book blockbuster Batman Begins, Nolan this time turns intricate literary materialinto an atmospheric and intriguing - if not entirely succes
  • The Sugar Curtain (El Telon De Azucar)

    Dir/scr: Camila Guzman Urzua. Fr-Sp. 2006. 80mins.A classic portrait of a dream gone wrong, Camila Guzman Urzua's personaland intimate Cuba documentary The SugarCurtain is as fierce an indictment of the Castro regime as any academicanalysis of it.The daughter of expatriateChilean film-maker Patricio Guzman, whosedocumentaries on Pinochet's military coup are textbookmaterial for polit
  • The Sugar Curtain (El Telon De Azucar)

    Dir/scr: Camila Guzman Urzua. Fr-Sp. 2006. 80mins.A classic portrait of a dream gone wrong, Camila Guzman Urzua's personaland intimate Cuba documentary The SugarCurtain is as fierce an indictment of the Castro regime as any academicanalysis of it.The daughter of expatriateChilean film-maker Patricio Guzman, whosedocumentaries on Pinochet's military coup are textbookmaterial for political studies, Guzman
  • The White Planet (La Planete Blanche)

    Dir: Thierry Piantanida,Thierry Ragobert, Jean Lemire.Can-Fr. 2006. 86mins.The White Planet triesits best to repeat the magic of March Of The Penguins, which became a surprise worldwide hitdespite being a documentary about penguins. Unfortunately, it doesn't quitemake the grade. Though a handful of powerful images rise up occasionally toreclaim the audience's wander
  • Traces Of Love (Gaeulro)

    Dir. Kim Dai-seung. S Kor. 2006. 112mins.A perfect choice to promote South Korea's natural beauty, Pusan's official opener is an easily watchablebut unabashed sentimental melodrama, swimming in a sea of decorous tears andclassical music warhorses. Traces Of Love revolves around a real-life 1995 disaster in
  • UK piracy operation leads to 10 arrests

    Following an undercoveroperation of house raids in North Wales, Cheshire, and Wirral early Oct 15,ten people were arrested for piracy-related crimes in the UK.This operation, codenamed"Buzzard," was a mission to expose merchants who claim benefits while makingmoney selling pirate DVDs to shoppers at Greenfield Market in Flintshire. Themulti-agency task forc
  • UK shoot starts next week for Grant's Coffee Sex You

    Marcel Grant’s Coffee Sex You will shoot in London from Oct 16-31 before moving to shoot in Italy Nov 1-7.The feature is about a27-year-old investment banker who questions her suicide plans when she meets afledgling film producer. Rosie Fellner and Caspar Zafer will star.The financing is beingraised independently.Grant, who previouisly madefilms including What’s Your Name 41’, alsois one of the co-founders of production company Pago
  • Valdez joins Esparza as co-chairman of new US Latin outfit Maya Entertainment

    Jeff Valdez has been named co-chairman at Moctesuma Esparza'sUS-based production, distribution and exhibition company Maya Entertainment.
  • Voltage takes on Brandes' horror picture Penny Dreadful

    Voltage Pictures has picked up international rights from BrandesFilms International to the completed horror-thriller Penny Dreadful.
  • Vue's Tim Richards gets entrepreneur award

    Vue Entertainment chief executiveTim Richards has been named Ernst & Young's UK Entrepreneur Of The Year. Richards left the US exhibition business to found Vue in 1998. The companynow runs 53 cinemas across the UK. "Tim left a successfulcareer to take on the industry giants. He has turned his industry's commercialmodel on its head an
  • Wajda starts shoot for Katyn massacre film

    Veteran Polish director Andrzej Wajda has begunshooting of his long-cherished project PostMortem about the Katyn massacre of 1940 at locations near Krakow.The $5.2m (Zloty 16m) Polish-French co-production byAkson Studio with Margaret Menegoz's Les Films du Losange as minority partnerhas received $1.9m (Zloty 6m) back
  • Warner signs multi-year free-TV deal in Ukraine

    Warner Bros International Television Distribution (WBITD) hassigned a multi-year free television volume deal with Inter TV, ICTV and New Channelin the Ukraine.
  • Warsaw jury goes euphoric for Vyrypaev's debut

    Russian dramatist Ivan Vyrypaev's feature film debut Euphoria was the winner of the Grand Prix inthe New Films, New Directors competition at this year's Warsaw InternationalFilmFest. Announcing the winner at the awards ceremony on Saturdayevening, jury president Petr Zelen
  • Weisz to star in Johnson's Brothers Bloom for Endgame

    Rachel Weisz will star in the con artist adventure story The BrothersBloom, Rian Johnson'sfollow-up to his high school noir Brick.
  • Woolcock directs modern Exodus story

    Director Penny Woolcock isfollowing up her new feature MischiefNight with an unusual film project based on the Biblical Book of Exodus.The Margate Exodus is comissioned and produced by arts group Artangel in association withCreative Partnerships Kent, Arts Council England and Channel 4.The story of Exodus isupdated to 20 years in the future, set at Margate's Dreamland
  • Wortmann's football doc sets new record in Germany

    SoenkeWortmann's "fly on the wall" football documentary Deutschland. Ein Sommermaerchen hasbroken Germany's record for the most successful documentary release, which hadbeen held previously by another Kinowelt title, The March Of The Penguins, which hadposted 1.45m admissions. Accordingto Kino
  • Zhang's Curse world premiere to close AFI FEST

    The world premiere of Zhang Yimou's Curse Of The Golden Flower starring Chow Yun Fat, Gong Li and JayChou will close AFI Fest 2006 on Nov 12.