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Screen
13 August 2002

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  • $46m triumph for Revolution's XXX

    Revolution Studios' Vin Diesel action vehicle XXX blew away the competition over the weekend, opening top of the charts with an estimated $46m haul. Directed by Rob Cohen, who worked with Diesel on the 2001 hit The Fast And The Furious, XXX's gung-ho tale of an extreme sports junkie hired by the US government to break up a terrorist cell pulled in a predominantly young crowd, with 60% aged under 25. With an average of $13,633 from 3,374 theatres and star and director alre
  • AIME TON PERE

    Gerard Depardieu re-teams with son Guillaume for a powerhouse two-hander that will appeal to upscale arthouse audiences, writes Sheila JohnstonAIME TON PEREReviewed by Sheila Johnston in LocarnoScreened in CompetitionDir: Jacob Berger. Fr/Switz/Canada/UK. 2002. 100 mins. Two powerhouse performances drive Aime Ton Pere (provisionally entitled A Loving Father in the UK), an intelligent psychological road movie about the tortured relationship be
  • Bavaria takes world sales on Fuehrer Ex

    Bavaria Film International (BFI) has taken over world sales for Winfried Bonengel's Fuehrer Ex which will have its world premiere in competition at the 59th Venice Film Festival.According to BFI's head of sales Thorsten Schaumann, the story of Fuehrer Ex is likely to polarise audiences on its screening in Venice. 'The invitation to take part in the competition is a clear sign that German directors are considered to be capable of dealing with difficult topics. And the stor
  • British Indie film awards secures new sponsor

    The British Independent Film Awards has secured a new headline sponsor, the independent financial services group Park Caledonia. A new venue has also been found for the fifth annual award ceremony, which will be held at Pacha London on 30th October The full list of BIFA nominations will be announced on September 16th.
  • Cinecitta launches Masterclass, USC summer workshop

    Famed Romestudio facility Cinecitta Studios has launched two new educational initiatives- a lecture series featuring more than 20 film-makers and technicians whohave worked at the studio and a six-week summer workshop at the studio forstudents at the University Of Southern California (USC) School OfCinema-Television.In addition,Cinecitta has hired executive producer and film financing advisor PeterWetherell and marketing and publicity firm Jane Ayer Public Relations (JAPR),both in Los
  • Cinemania

    Dirs: Angela Christlieb, Stephen Kijak. Germany. 2002. 80mins. Cinema is "better than sex - better than love," enthuses Bill at the beginning of Cinemania, a funny and affectionate chronicle of five film-crazy New Yorkers and the astonishing lengths to which they will go to feed their obsession. A perfect crowd-pleaser for festivals - where audiences should experience an eerie frisson of recognition - this documentary could also thrive in urban niche locations and is ideal fo
  • Deauville announces line-up

    The Deauville Festival of American Film (Aug 30-Sept 8) unveiled a strong competition section of US independents and a starry line-up for its (French) premieres section.The indies section contains the stars of this year's Sundance such as The Good Girl and Secretary, one of the discoveries of Cannes Peter Sollet's Long Way Home and the acclaimed L.I.E., from Sundance 2001. Nicolas Cage's directorial debut Sonny will also get its world premiere in comp
  • Distinguished Features to shoot Dead Bodies, premiere Puckoon

    Dead Bodies, the debut feature from young Irish company Distinguished Features and director Robert Quinn, will start principal photography in and around Dublin on September 1.The film will be the first project to avail of the Irish Film Board's Low Budget Feature Initiative, announced at the Galway Film Fleadh in July. The initiative allows for funding of up to 60% from the Board to projects with a maximum budget of Euros 1m. According to Distinguished Features producer D
  • Donostia-San Sebastian announces line-up for Zabaltegi sidebar

    The Donostia-San Sebastian Film festival (19-28 Sept) has announced the line-up for this year's Festival's Top strand, part of its Zabaltegi sidebar.According to San Sebastian organisers, the Festivals' Top section has been chosen to feature the most interesting films previously shown at festivals such as Cannes, Berlin and Sundance. Festivals' Top Line up8 Femmes Dir: François Ozon (France).
  • Eight Legged Freaks

    Warner Bros scored a surprise hit in the UK this week as its tongue-in-cheek mutant-spider romp Eight Legged Freaks grossed a mighty $1.6m (£1.03m).Released at 400 sites over the three-day weekend the film, which stars David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra and Scarlett Johansson, scored a good average of $3,931 and landed third position in the chart - the highest new entry this week - behind Men In Black II ($4.7m at 512 sites) and Austin Powers In Goldm
  • Emerging actresses are the talk of Locarno

    Young women searching for their place in life is a major theme of a number of films in the second Locarno competition under the direction of Irene Bignardi - from Michael Hofmann's Sophiiie and Andrea Dusl's Blue Moon to Rebecca Miller's Personal Velocity and Dorothee Van Den Berghe's Meisje (Girl).Even before the first weekend was over, critics were touting the lead actresses of Sophiiie, Blue Moon and Girl - Katharina Schuett
  • Fainaru, Lizzani, Delpy to rule on Critics Week Winners

    Screen International's correspondent and film reviewer, Dan Fainaru will be one of three jurors at the Critics' Week sidebar of the forthcoming Venice Film Festival.Fainaru, who is FIPRESCI luminary, will join veteran Italian writer-director Carlo Lizzani, whose directing credits include The Last Days Of Mussolini (1974) and actress and director Julie Delpy. Her credits include Three Colours Red and LA Without A Map.The jury will decide among the sev
  • Flach Pyramide picks up Suddenly

    Flach Pyramide International (FPI) has picked up international distribution rights on Argentinian director Diego Lerman's feature debut Suddenly (Tan De Repente) which had its world premiere in competition in LocarnoShot in black-and-white, Suddenly follows a solitary and straight-laced young shop girl travelling to the countryside to Buenos Aires where she is aggressively wooed by two lesbian punkettes. An outing to the sea becomes a voyage of initiation and self-
  • George Lucas joins board of governors of BAFTA/LA

    George Lucas, who received the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film from the British Academy Of Film And Television Arts/Los Angeles (BAFTA/LA) in April, has joined the board of governers of the organization. He joins a board which includes fellow US film-makers Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese."I have spent a tremendous amount of my time working with the British film industry," said Lucas in a statement. "I feel that the talent in the U.K. is among the top in th
  • George Lucas joins board of governors of BAFTA/LA

  • German regional film office fights for survival

    Some 200 members of a German regional film office have protested to the local government at plans to close down its operations after 22 years of activity.Filmmakers Christoph Schlingensief, Ulla Wagner, Adolf Winkelmann and producers Gerhard Schmidt (Gemini Film). Frank Huebner (ApolloMedia), Joachim Ortmanns (Lichtblick) are among 200 members of the North Rhine-Westphalia Film Office (Filmbuero NW) who have protested to the regional government at its plans to cut the Office's budget o
  • Haynes' Heaven replaces Daldry's Hours; three more titles added

    Miramax has withdrawn Stephen Daldry's period drama, The Hours, from the Venice film festival, explaining that the film is unfortunately "not yet ready." Venice artistic director Moritz De Hadeln said its place in the Venice 59 competition, where it was due to have its world premiere, will now be filled by Todd Haynes' 1950s-set movie Far From Heaven, which had originally been given an out-of-competition slot. De Hadeln also announced three new additions to the fes
  • Hong Kong's Panorama steps up theatrical activity

    Flush with cash from a flotation on the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM), Hong Kong distributor Panorama Entertainment is hoping to increase its share of the local theatrical market by doubling its slate to around 16 pictures a year.The newly-listed company has recently embarked on a spending spree, snapping up all rights to several medium-to-large budget titles including Intermedia' s Basic, by John McTiernan starring John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson, and Lakeshore Internationa
  • Kinowelt decision set for today

    The future of the beleaguered Kinowelt group will be decided once and for all at a meeting in Munich today. The creditor committee of the ABN Amro Bank, BHF Bank and HypoVereinsbank will hear presentations from two groups bidding to take over the running of Kinowelt's core operations of theatrical distribution, home entertainment, and TV licensing.While the management buyout bid from Kinowelt managers Marcus Schoefer and Jerry Payne still stands, a rival bid has been put togethe
  • KirchMedia to merge sports and film rights

    KirchMedia's managing director sports rights, Dr Alexander Liegl has quit the insolvent German media group ahead of plans to merge its film and sports rights businesses under the management of one director.Kirch said Liegl will leave the company "with immediate effect," adding that his departure was "at his own request and by way of amicable agreement."The company said that Liegl, who took over the management of the group's sports rights business in January last year, was leavin
  • Koelmel brothers back in control at Kinowelt with E32m bid

    Brothers Michael and Rainer Koelmel are back in the driving seat at Kinowelt after their bid to take over the running of the group's core interests was accepted by a committee of creditor banks. At a meeting in Munich on Friday (August 9) insolvency administrator Dr Wolfgang Ott, acting for the creditor committee of ABN Amro Bank, BHF Bank and HypoVereinsbank, chose the Koelmels' bid over a rival management buyout (MBO) offer submitted by Kinowelt Medien executives Marcus Schoefer and
  • Large format operator IMAX continues international expansion, posts upbeat results

    Maintaining its recent expansion into international markets, Toronto-based large format operator IMAX Corp is to open Russia's first 3-D IMAX theatre this autumn.The IMAX theatre is to be housed in Moscow's new Ramstore hypermarket, with site owner Ramenka saying that it is currently holding a tender for an operator. According to local press reports, frontrunners are thought to include BFC Cinema, a partner of Russian distributor Cascade, and Cinema Park, founded by Nikita Mikhalkov's
  • Locarno competition hopeful nominated for First Steps award

    Locarno competition entry The Longing (Das Verlangen) (pictured) by Iain Dilthey, which has its international premiere in the official competition here on Thursday 8th August, is among five feature-length films by German film school graduates nominated for this year's FIRST STEPS Awards which will be announced in Berlin on August 26.The other graduation features competing for the Euros 25,000 award are Anne Wild's My First Miracle (Mein Erstes Wunder), which will premiere
  • Lord Of The Rings breaks UK video & DVD sales record

    The UK video and DVD release of The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring has outsold previous record-holder Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone by 20,000 copies on its first day - despite going on sale on a Tuesday as opposed to Potter's Saturday release.UK distributor Entertainment in Video reported that LOTR sold 1.27 million units on August 7, compared to Potter's 1.25 million sold within 24 hours on May 11.Potter went on to
  • Los Angeles organisation to promote Hungarian films

    A new Los Angeles-based non-profit organisation is aiming to promote Hungarian films in the international market, starting with securing a Golden Globe nomination for Robert Koltai's Mayday Mayhem (pictured).Friends of Hungarian Cinema was founded by seven founders, including film distribution expert Bela Bunyik. One of the main ambitions of the foundation is to enter each year a Hungarian film for the prestigious Golden Globe Award. In October, the foundation will organ
  • Macleod to head Media Business School marketing course

    Charlotte Macleod, founder of UK script development body The Script Factory, is to head the marketing and distribution course at the EU-backed Media Business School.Macleod, who will oversee the course part time, replaces Jill Tandy of Michael Kuhn's London-based Kuhn & Co. The high-powered course has included speakers such as Working Title Films co-chief Tim Bevan and Paul Oneile, head of sponsors UIP."There isn't much training like this aimed at a high level," Macleod said. "P
  • MIIB posts second biggest opening ever in France

    Men In Black II (MIIB) recorded the second highest opening of all time in France over the weekend, taking a superb $10m from 916 screens for Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI), according to estimates released today. The sci-fi sequel trails only Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone in the French opening rankings.In its second weekend on release in the UK, MIIB held well with a $5m take from 889 screens that represented a 35% drop. Overall the
  • MIIB storms French box office

    Columbia TriStar saw a massive first day opening in France for its latest summer blockbuster Men In Black II on Wednesday Aug 7.Recording a phenomenal 580,978 admissions (equivalent to $3m) in one day from 795 screens, the sequel to 1997's hit was leagues ahead of Columbia's earlier summer release Spider-Man which sold 480,288 ($2.5m) on its first day from a much wider release on 901 screens.In the following eight weeks Spider-Man has gone on to sell over 5.
  • Mockridge moves to Stream as Murdoch closes on Telepiu

    Rurpert Murdoch has appointed News Corp. veteran Tom Mockridge as CEO of Stream, Italy's struggling pay-TV outfit. He replaces Marty Pompadur and joins Enrico Bondi, Telecom Italia's CEO, the two being recently appointed respectively interim CEO and president of Stream. They replaced Lucia Morselli and Renato Cassaro.The moves come as Rupert Murdoch continues his quest to become Italy's sole pay-TV operator, which would also represent News Corp's first major foothold in continental Eur
  • Montreal world film festival reveals full competition line-up

    With a total of five films, France is especially well represented in the official competition of the 26th Montreal World Film Festival, which runs from Aug 22 to Sept 2. Competing against the five French films - four of which are international co-productions - are four films from Spain and three films from both Italy and Germany. In all, 26 films will compete at the festival, the only FIAPF-recognised A Category competitive festival in North America, with the event showcasing a
  • Motown, Migration among Toronto's 32 documentary features

    A special presentation of Paul Justman's passionate account Standing In The Shadows Of Motown (pictured) and the highly cinematic Winged Migration (Le Peuple Migrateur) from Jacques Perrin are among the 32 documentary feature films announced for the Toronto International Film Festival, which runs September 5-14.The international premiere of the musical Standing In The Shadows Of Motown reunites the Funk Brothers, the session band responsible for the music a
  • My Little Eye

    Dir: Marc Evans. UK-US-Fr. 2002. 95mins.Ratings-hungry reality television meets The Blair Witch Project in My Little Eye, an effective, low-budget chiller that leaves its distinctive imprint on the scary movie tradition. Manoeuvring skilfully within genre requirements, director Marc Evans achieves an impressive balance between atmospheric, slow-burning suspense and the kind of bloodbath finale that addicts expect. Aggressive marketing should pay dividends, espe
  • Peppermint sold to management

    Peppermint, the TV licence trading arm of the beleaguered Helkon group, has been sold to its management.The deal, sees the 51.1% interest held by wholly owned subsidiary Helkon International Production, sold to Peppermint's management for an undisclosed sum. The company is now 100% owned by its management.The disposal was approved by Helkon's court appointed insolvency administrator Axel Bierbach, who judged that the company is not critical to the ongoing business of Helkon. In
  • ProSiebenSat.1 profits dive by 69%as bids for parent KirchMedia whittled down to two

    Germany's largest free-to-air television broadcaster and the former jewel in KirchMedia's now tarnished crown, ProSiebenSat.1 today reported a 69% drop in first-half net profits blaming a weak advertising market for the results.Announcing the results Pro-SiebenSat.1 chief executive Urs Rohner said a 'cheerless 2002 advertising year' - which included an under-performing World Cup - helped drag down net profits to Euros16m from Euros52m in the same period last year. Revenues fell 4% to E
  • San Sebastian announces line-up for Zabaltegi sidebar

    San Sebastian announces line-up for Zabaltegi sidebarCannes' Palme D'Or winner The Pianist and Berlin's Golden Bear success Bloody Sunday among 16 featured films for Festivals Top strandThe Donostia-San Sebastian Film festival has announced the line-up for this year's Festival's Top strand, part of its Zabaltegi sidebar.According to San Sebastian organisers, the Festivals' Top section h
  • Screen International re-teams with Toronto festival daily

    Although it is not a competitive event like Berlin or Venice, the Toronto festival has arguably become the festival that has the most industry clout after Cannes. For the second year, Toronto has asked Screen International to contribute to its official daily newspaper. Every day the daily will carry on the front page in a central and prominent position a column written by one of Screen's six-strong team of journalists at the festival. In line with the int
  • Screen's Fainaru joins Venice Critics jury

    Screen International's correspondent and film reviewer, Dan Fainaru will be one of three jurors at the Critics' Week sidebar of the forthcoming Venice Film Festival.Fainaru, who is FIPRESCI luminary, will join veteran Italian writer-director Carlo Lizzani, whose directing credits include The Last Days Of Mussolini (1974) and actress and director Julie Delpy. Her credits include Three Colours Red and LA Without A Map.The jury will decide among the sev
  • Sithengi film festival first targets world cinema

    Sithengi, Southern Africa's Film and TV Market, is to hold a legitimate film festival for the first time in its seven-year history in an attempt to establish a greater role for world cinema.Sithengi, which will be held in Cape Town 9-16 November, said it expected to announce the appointment of a festival director and co-ordinator early next week. Although entry is open to all, Sithengi's publicity co-ordinator Laun Bowman said emphasis would be placed on applications from develo
  • Swiss film industry gets $33.3m production support

    The Swiss film industry will receive $33.3m (CHF 50.4m) production support over the next three years with the signing of a third expanded Audiovisual Pact between public broadcaster SRG SSR idee suisse and the Swiss film industry in Locarno this week.The new pact will see SRG SSR providing a total of Swiss Francs (CHF) 50.4m between 2003 and 2005, with $4m (CHF 6m) being made available annually for national feature productions, $4.9m (CHF 7.4m) for TV productions, $2m (CHF 3.1m) as pr
  • The Deserted Valley takes Melbourne first

    Vietnamese director Pham Nhue Giang's The Deserted Valley (Thung Lung Hoang Vang) from Vietnam has won the 51st Melbourne International Film Festival's first FIPRESCI (Federation Internationale de la Presse Cinematographique) and FCCA (Film Critics Circle of Australia) Prize. The film was included in the International Forum of this year's Berlin Film Festival. "This film was selected for its compassionate, poetic, evocative portrayal of an isolated community coming to ter
  • The Longing

    THE LONGING (DAS VERLANGEN)Reviewed by Sheila Johnston in LocarnoScreened in competitionDir: Iain Dilthey. Germany. 2002. 90mins.The winner of this year's Golden Leopard in Locarno, The Longing (Das Verlangen), a low-budget film school graduate work by the Scottish-born, German-bred director Iain Dilthey, presents a redoubtable marketing challenge. With its sombre subject and heavy debt to traditional European art cinema, in particular Fassbinder, Bergman and Dreye
  • The Longing

  • The Longing tops Locarno winners

    Scots-born, German director Iain Dilthey's austere The Longing (Das Verlangen) was the surprise winner of this year's International Competition in Locarno. Dilthey's graduation film from the Baden-Wuerttemberg Film Academy won the top award of the Golden Leopard/Grand Prize of the City and Region of Locarno, with a purse worth CHF 90,000 (Euros 62,000) to be shared equally between director and producer. The CHF 30,000 (Euros20,000) Silver Leopard for second best film went to the
  • Third consortium joins KirchMedia race

    A group that includes existing minority shareholders has become the third party to enter the bidding for the core assets of insolvent German media outfit KirchMedia.The group, which is understood to have submitted a bid of around Euros2.5bn ($2.44bn) includes Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal's Kingdom Holdings, investment bank Lehman Brothers and German retail group Rewe. The consortium joins two others on a short listed of potential buyers currently under examination by KirchMe
  • Tomorrow La Scala withdrawn from Edinburgh

    Francesa Joseph's debut feature Tomorrow, La Scala! has been withdrawn from its UK premiere slot at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival (Aug 14-25).Well received at Cannes, the film centres on small operetta company's staging of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in a maximum-security prison. It is understood an unresolved copyright issue over the theatrical rights to the Sondheim material is behind the cancellation.Meanwhile the festival has adde
  • Transmission Films launches first phase in online distribution system

    New York-basedTransmission Films has launched a high-speed download system on its online filmdistribution site today (Aug 12), marking the first phase in thecompany's launch strategy. Transmission offers an online forum forindependent and foreign feature films for access by the online film-viewingcommunity while planning to create a revenue stream for film-makers who licensetheir features to the company.The downloadsystem, which provides an alternative to streaming technology, was deve
  • TV-Loonland to acquire majority stake in Metrodome

    European media group TV-Loonland (TVL) is to acquire a majority stake in UK DVD and video distributor in a bid to boost the fortunes of its nascent home entertainment business.In a complex deal Metrodome will acquire TVL subsidiary rights-holding company Loonland Home Entertainment Ventures Ltd for£1.25m which will be paid with 7.36 million Metrodome shares. At the same time TV-Loonland will increase its holding in Metrodome from the 29.95% it acquired last year, to a controlling 54.1%
  • Venice announces short film competition

    The Venice festival has unveiled a selection of nine short films to appear in its main Venezia 59 section. The mainly European and English-language titles will compete for a Silver Lion for the best short, the Premio UIP Venezia award for the best European short, and a Special Mention. The prizes will be decided by the main jury, presided over by Gong Li. They were selected by the festival's artistic director Moritz de Hadeln and and the selection team comprising Tilde Corsi, Silvio Da
  • Venice announces short film competition

    The Venice festival has unveiled a selection of nine short films to appear in its main Venezia 59 section. The mainly European and English-language titles will compete for a Silver Lion for the best short, the Premio UIP Venezia award for the best European short, and a Special Mention. The prizes will be decided by the main jury, presided over by Gong Li. They were selected by the festival's artistic director Moritz de Hadeln and and the selection team comprising Tilde Corsi, Silvio Da
  • Venice loses The Hours, adds three more titles

    Miramax has withdrawn Stephen Daldry's period drama, The Hours, from the Venice film festival, explaining that the film is unfortunately "not yet ready." Venice artistic director Moritz De Hadeln said its place in the Venice 59 competition, where it was due to have its world premiere, will now be filled by Todd Haynes' 1950s-set movie Far From Heaven, which had originally been given an out-of-competition slot. De Hadeln also announced three new additions to the fes
  • Venice to host amfAR AIDS benefit

    The Venice festival (Aug 29 - Sept 8) will once again be home to an amfAR spectacular raising money for AIDS research. Stars expected to attend include Shirley Bassey, Milla Jovovich and the evening's host Lauren Bacall. It will be co-chaired by Paolo Bulgari, Lady Helen Taylor, Venice festival director Moritz de Hadeln, Francesca Bortolotto Possati, Suzanne S Syz, La Contessa Arrivabene Velenti Gonzaga, and Mathilde Krim, amfAR's co-founder and chairman.The Bulgari-sponsored ba
  • Venice to host amfAR AIDS benefit

    The Venice festival (Aug 29 - Sept 8) will once again be home to an amfAR spectacular raising money for AIDS research. Stars expected to attend include Shirley Bassey, Milla Jovovich and the evening's host Lauren Bacall. It will be co-chaired by Paolo Bulgari, Lady Helen Taylor, Venice festival director Moritz de Hadeln, Francesca Bortolotto Possati, Suzanne S Syz, La Contessa Arrivabene Velenti Gonzaga, and Mathilde Krim, amfAR's co-founder and chairman.The Bulgari-sponsored ba
  • Vivendi shares slide on asset valuation doubts

    Shares in Vivendi Universal slipped nearly 5% today (Aug 12) as fresh doubt emerged about its asset valuations.The shares fell to Euros16.19 after a report in financial daily La Tribune quoted an unnamed stock market analyst who said that Vivendi could devalue its internet assets by around Euros 400-500m and its holding in US cable division USA Networks by Euros1.5bn. Another analyst said it could devalue USA Networks by as much as Euros3bn, taking the total write-down to betwee
  • XXX

    Dir: Rob Cohen. US. 2002. 124mins.While the film-making on show here is about as sophisticated as an episode of Baywatch, XXX possesses a powerful quality which has been lacking from most studio-level action adventures in some time: an attitude. A perfect vehicle for its viciously charismatic star Vin Diesel, XXX is a post-modern action movie in which you know the hero is going to win every fight: the fun is in finding out how arrogantly he can do it. Re

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