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13 January 2008

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  • Amalric, Kurylenko and Arterton join Craig in Bond 22

    Principal photography has begun at Pinewood Studios in the UK on Eon Productions, Sony Pictures Entertainment and MGM's Bond 22.Marc Forster directs and Daniel Craig reprises his role as 007 in the film following his acclaimed debut in the global smash Casino Royale, which launched in 2006 and is the most successful film in the James Bond franchise. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade and Paul Haggis wrote the sc
  • Arts Alliance America rocks with Heavy Metal In Baghdad

    Arts Alliance America has picked up domestic rights to VBS.TV's documentary Heavy Metal In Baghdad by Eddy Morretti and Suroosh Alvi.The film follows the Iraqi heavy metal band Acrassicauda from the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 to present day and will be released theatrically in spring.Arts Alliance America president Joe Amodei negotiated the deal with Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment on behalf of VBS.TV.Amodei s
  • Atonement is early BAFTA frontrunner ahead of final nominations

    Joe Wright’s Atonement leads the films in contention for the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs). Atonement has 17 recognitions, but it should be noted that includes four nominations within the supporting actress category which will likely cancel each other out before nominations are finalised.
  • Awards Countdown People - Awards People

    JACK FISKThe production designer recreated the harshness of the frontier for There Will Be Blood. Patrick Z McGavin reports.On delivery of Paul Thomas Anderson's script for There Will Be Blood, production designer Jack Fisk also received an accompanying portfolio of around 150 black-and-white period photographs to begin filling out the film's physical detail. Adapted from Upton Sinclair's novel Oil!, the epic story takes place from 1898-1927 and explores the openin
  • Bac's three new projects include Amazonia, The Green Planet

    Bac Films will offer three new projects at the upcoming Unifrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris as well as screening three films. New to Bac's slate is Commis D'Office starry Roschdy Zem and directed by Hannelore Cayre. The film is produced by Dolce Vita Films and follows the 'education' of a young idealistic lawyer.Also on deck is Amazonia, The Green Planet directed by Luc Marescot and produced by Gedeon Programmes. The animal odyssey is a trip through t
  • Bae TV series set for Korean theatrical release

    Korea's most expensive television series, Taewangsashin-gi, aka The Four Guardian Gods Of The King, featuring Korean Wave mega-star Bae Yong-joon, is due to hit local theatres in May. The announcement from producer Kim Jong-hak follows on the heels of the TV drama's theatrical release in Japan on 10 screens nationwide, with a widening release.Kim stated the 24-part series, budgeted at $46m, would be retrenched into three parts with additional 'dynamic editing, sound e
  • BAFTA organisers don't expect WGA strike chaos

    In the wake of Monday’s announced cancellation of the Golden Globes big awards show, industry observers have been asking how other awards events, including the UK’s BAFTAS, will be affected.
  • Bell promoted in visual effects production at Universal

    Jennifer Bell has been promoted to senior vice president of visual effects production at Universal Pictures.Effective immediately, Bell moves up from her previous post as vice president of production technology and will oversee all aspects of visual effects creation and production for the Motion Picture Group. She reports to president of production Donna Langley.Bell joined Universal in 2004 and has worked on Children Of Men, The Fast And
  • Berlin Panorama selects four docs including Heavy Metal In Baghdad

    Documentaries on rock icon Patti Smith, gay Muslims, the South African political satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys and an Iraqi heavy metal band have been selected to screen in the Berlinale's Panorama programme.The four films, which have been previously shown at other festivals, are:Patti Smith: Dream Of Life, by Steven Sebring (US). The celebrity photographer's directorial debut was made over 12 years and is in the documentary competition of next week's Sundance Film Festival.
  • Berlinale adds competitors including Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky

    New films by Mike Leigh, Isabel Coixet and Amos Kollek are among another nine titles confirmed for this year's Berlinale Competition section in addition to the eight previously announced last month.The nine additions are all world premieres except for the international premieres of Kabei and Quiet Chaos:Elegy by Isabel Coixet (US), with Penelope Cruz, Ben Kingsley, Dennis Hopper and based on the novel The Dying Animal by Philip RothH
  • Berlinale Co-production Market selects 35 film projects

    New projects by Agnieszka Holland, Bernard Rose, Deepa Mehta and Eran Riklis are among 35 film projects from 25 countries that have been selected for the fifth edition of the Berlinale's Co-Production Market. The event runs Feb 10-12 at the Berlin House of Representatives, opposite the European Film Market's Martin Gropius Bau venue.More than 378 projects were submitted for consideration - up almost 10% on the 348 entered for last year's edition - for the official selection which i
  • Berlinale expecting record numbers for market

    Less than four weeks before the beginning of this year's Berlinale, the European Film Market (EFM) is is expecting to host more than 400 exhibitors from 50 countries at its market venues in the Martin Gropius Bau and the EFM Exhibitor Offices.To date, 420 exhibitors are registered with the EFM, including 44 new companies with a presence a t the market for the first time. This tally now also includes the 157 distributors, world sales companies and producers who registered via The Marketplace t
  • Berlinale's Forum selects strong Asian titles

    Asian cinema is well represented in the first batch of films confirmed by the Berlinale's International Forum section including titles by Singapore's Tan Pin Pin, Japan's Takahashi Izumi and Korea's Mun Jeong-hyun.In addition, the Forum's programme will present the international premieres of Jalla! Jalla! director Josef Fares' new film Leo and French filmmaker Audrey Estrougo's debut Regarde-moi. Bulgarian director Boris Despodov, who participated in the Berl
  • Canada's Entertainment One to acquire RCV in Benelux

    Toronto-based Entertainment One (E1) has agreed to acquire venerable Netherlands-based distributor RCV Entertainment. Having amassed a library of around 1,900 titles since its foundation in 1979, the Benelux stalwart is the latest target of a fast-paced acquisition spree launched by fledgling E1, which only started trading in March of last year. Lead by E1 CEO Darren Throop and E1 Filmed Entertainment president Patrice Theroux, the company can now rightfully describe itse
  • CEC makes single picture financing deal on Frank Miller's The Spirit

    Finance and investment firm Continental Entertainment Capital (CEC) has announced its single picture financing deal for Frank Miller's The Spirit and has provided partial production and distribution financing for Odd Lot Entertainment together with funds managed by private investment firm Qualia Capital.Odd Lot and Lionsgate will jointly provide production and distribution funding on the comic book adaptation, which will be released by Lionsgate in the US and UK on Jan 16, 2009.
  • Celluloid Dreams takes on Dennis Gansel's Sundance title The Wave

    Celluloid Dreams has announced the acquisition of Dennis Gansel's The Wave. The film is a world dramatic competition entry at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival.Produced by Christian Becker of Rat Pack films and co-produced by Martin Moszkowicz of Constantin Film, The Wave tells the story of a high school teacher, played by Jurgen Vogel, who comes up with an experiment to explain to his students how totalitarian governments work.Within a few days, what began as a har
  • Chaiken and Dungan pact to remake Devil Came On Horseback

    Jen Chaiken and Sebastian Dungan of Los Angeles-based 72 Productions will produce a feature-length version of the Darfur genocide documentary The Devil Came On Horseback.Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg's documentary premiered at Sundance 2007 and is based on the memoir of former US Marine Captain Brian Steidle who secretly photographed the Arab-run government's efforts to eradicate the country's black African citizens.Pulitzer Prize
  • Coach 14 takes on Berlin Panorama title Shiver

    Coach 14 has announced the acquisition of Isidro Ortiz's Shiver. The Spanish horror film is produced by Fausto Producciones, Telecinco Cinema and ApuntoLapospo and stars Junio Valverde, Blanca Suarez.The action is set in a remote mountain village where a lonely teenager becomes a suspect in a series of odd events. The key to proving his innocence lies in disclosing a terrible secret hidden in the woods.Shiver is premiering in the Panorama section in Berlin.
  • Contender takes on UK rights forBattle For Haditha

    Contender Films has acquired UK rights to Nick Broomfield's Iraq drama Battle For Haditha from HanWay Films.The deal comes after another UK distributor, Metrodome, handed back the UK rights to HanWay in late December.The drama is a feature film based on real events that occurred in November 2005 in Haditha, Iraq in a clash between US soldiers and Iraqi civilians. The film stars ex-Marines and was shot on location in Jordan.Contender will release Battle For Ha
  • Deakins, Elswit, Kaminski and McGarvey nominated for ASC award

    Roger Deakins (The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford and No Country For Old Men), Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood), Janusz Kaminski (The Diving Bell And The Butterfly) and Seamus McGarvey (Atonement) have been nominated for the 22nd Annual American Society Of Cinematogra
  • Definitely, Maybe to open Santa Barbara Film Festival

    The world premiere of Adam Brooks' romantic comedy Definitely, Maybe starring Ryan Reynolds and Isla Fisher and the US premiere of Giuseppe Tornatore's The Unknown Woman (La Sconosciuta) bookend the 23rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF).The line-up culls 215 films from 49 countries including 20 world premieres and festival brass also announced th
  • Delphis picks up international on X Filme's Max Minsky And Me

    Montreal-based Delphis Films has picked up international rights to Anna Justice's feature debut Max Minsky And Me, a production of X Films Creative Pool. Delphis plans to screen the film at EFM in Berlin in February. The child-oriented comedy opened in Germany in September 2007 and won the Lion Prize at Amsterdam's Cinekid festival. Berlin-based X Filme produced such international hits as Run Lola Run and Goodbye Lenin.Adapted for
  • Dutch box office stabilizes in 2007 with local market share increasing

    With over 22.1m tickets sold, the Dutch film industry stabilised its number of visitors with a strong 2007. Total gross of all theatres nationwide was $228.5m (Euros 153.8m).That's holding mostly steady from 22.5m tickets and Euros 154.5m in 2006. (It should be noted that 2006 was calculated at 53 release weeks but only 52 weeks were counted in 2007.)Last year's best performing titles were Warner's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Disney's Pirates of t
  • Dutch producers IDTV Film and Motel Films join forces

    Dutch film- and television production companies Motel Films & IDTV Film have joined forces. From January 1st, two parties continued together under the name of IDTV Film.IDTV will also house its drama activities in IDTV Film. Motel Films chairmen Jeroen Beker and Frans van Gestel had concluded that in order to attain the ambitions for the future, it was necessary to expand.IDTV was looking for further artistic continuity for the film company, as well as their drama department. Th
  • Emir Kusturica launches new Kustendorf Film Festival in Serbia

    Emir Kusturica has announced a new international film festival to be held in his villageDrvengrad at the mountain Mokra Gora in the Southwest of Serbia. The first Kustendorf Film Festival will be held Jan 14-21, organised by Kusturica's production company Rasta Film International and under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of Serbia. The competition programme consists of 33 films by students of film schools from the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Poland, Russia, UK, US, Cuba, Spain,
  • Eros-owned Ayngaran to back Robot starring Rajnikanth

    After much speculation on who would star in his next project, sci-fi feature Robot, Indian director Shankar has confirmed that he is reuniting with the Tamil-language film industry's biggest star, Rajnikanth. Rajnikanth starred in Shankar's Sivaji - The Boss which grossed an estimated $38m-$43m last year from domestic and overseas markets. Music composer A R Rahman, who worked with Shankar on Sivaji will also work on his new film.In addition, leading integrated
  • Film4, Ingenious, Vertigo join for new sales company Protagonist

    Confirming rumours that started swirling before the American Film Market, UK companies Film4, Ingenious and Vertigo Films have joined forces to launch a new international film sales company.The outfit, called Protagonist Pictures, is fully capitalised by its three partners (who are financing equally). The intial slate isn't announced yet and will be unveiled at Berlin's European Film Market.Ben Roberts will head Protagonist as CEO after recently leaving his four-year post as VP
  • France - Festival king

    When he took over the organisation of the Marrakech International Film Festival four years ago, Bruno Barde and his 14-person team had just months to prepare.But that did not deter Barde, who was already responsible for programming five other festivals as well as the promotional activities of roughly 30 films per year as managing director of Paris-based Le Public Systeme Cinema, a division of the communications, marketing and event planning group Le Public Systeme.In addition to
  • French director Gilles Behat to shoot $10.4m thriller with Depardieu

    MK2 has announced a $10.4m (Euros 7m) film from director Gilles Behat starring Gerard Depardieu and Olivier Marchal. Diamond 13 will begin shooting in February in Belgium and is expected to be released by MK2 in the autumn of 2008.Also starring Valeria Golino and Aissa Maiga, the thriller is adapted from Hugues Pagan's novel L'Etage Des Morts . The story centres around Mat, a night cop in the criminal division of Paris' police force.His lifelong friend Franck works
  • French films sustain solid overseas admissions

    French films scored a healthy 53.7 million admissionsoutside France for the year 2007 with revenues of $369m, export body Unifrance announced Thursday.But at home, the box office fell with local market share falling 36.5% from 44.6%, though admissions were still above average.Unifrance's provisional figures, while above average for the past decade, are a slight drop on 2006 which saw 55.8 million tickets sold for just over $390m through Unifrance estimates that when all figures
  • Gaumont completes acquisition of animation house

    French major Gaumont has concluded its acquisition of animation house Alphanim.Alphanim was founded by Christian Davin in 1997 and is one of France'sleading animation producers.The company delivered more than 45 hours of programming in 2007 including hits Robotboy, Galactik Football, Toufu Tounu and the feature Franklin & Le Tresor Du Lac which is to be followed up by the feature Secret d'Eleonore. Other film projects are currently in developme
  • Golden Globe Awardsfate to be decided today

    An announcement is expected later today (Monday) in Los Angeles concerning the fate of this year's Golden Globe Awards in the midst of the Hollywood writers' strike. Stay tuned to for breaking news.There is rampant speculation of several outcomes concerning the Globes: that the ceremony could be postponed in the hopes of a quick writers' strike resolution, that the Globes could go on as planned without television or webcasting coverage, or that the Globes will be
  • Golden Globes show cancelled under WGA pressure

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has cancelled its full-length awards banquet and telecast on January 13 because of the writers strike and instead will announce the Golden Globe winners in a simple press conference on the same day.The HFPA will unveil the winners in 25 categories of the 65th Golden Globes during an hour-long press conference at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills that will be broadcast live on Sunday evening on NBC.The group's hand was fo
  • Gothenberg announces 450-film line-up

    This year's Gothenberg International Film Festival (Jan 25-Feb 4) will comprise 450 films from 67 countries, with around 40 seminars, the Nordic Film Market andnumerous concerts.The festival will be bookended by two local films, both about brothers in conflict - Jens Jonsson's The Ping Pong King (Ping-pongkingen), competing in Sundance's World Cinema section, and Miko Lazic's Iscariot (Iskariot), which will both have their world premieres at Sweden's premier fest.
  • HFPA to announce Globe winners in unpicketed news conference

    Following discussions with NBC, Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) president Jorge Camara has announced that the HFPA will assume complete control of its 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards Announcement on Sunday [Jan 13].The announcement is scheduled to take place at 6pm PST in the International Ballroom of The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has confirmed it will not picket the press conference.The decision comes after a
  • High Point to take on sales for Abrahamson's Prosperity project

    Irish director Lenny Abrahamson has followed his Cannes Director's Fortnight hit Garage with Prosperity, a series of four related 'mini features' for Irish TV broadcaster RTE.High Point Media Group has taken on international rights to the project, and plans to launch it at Berlin's European Film Market rather than at a more typical TV market.Abrahamson, who directed feature Adam and Paul before Garage, makes his TV debut with Prosperity. Each
  • Hong Kong box office up 11% due to multiplex expansion

    After years of falling revenues or at best flat growth, Hong Kong was back on its feet in 2007 with total box office revenues at $129.63m (HK$1.01bn), the best in recent years, according to local industry body, the Motion Picture Industry Association (MPIA). It not only represented a big jump of 11.46% from the previous year, but also the first time the box office bounced back to above HK$1bn level since 2001.Of the 182 foreign films released, the two top performers of the year wer
  • Ilan de Vries replaces Van Leer at Jerusalem Cinematheque

    As expected, Ilan de Vries has been officially appointed to follow Lia Van Leer as the new director of the Jerusalem Film Festival, the Jerusalem Cinematheque and the Israeli Film Archive.De Vries, who has been associated in the past with the Jerusalem institution and was viewed for a while as the heir apparent to van Leer, had left the organisation to work in commerical TV, independnet film productions and recently to manage Jerusalem's prestigious guesthouse for artists, Mishkanoth S
  • In focus - Korea on the World Stage

    As much as the Korean film industry is dependent on theatrical profits, for several years it has also anticipated making money back on films from sales abroad - literally sending everything it produces to be sold internationally.But in the first half of 2007, Korean exports fell 57% year on year to $7.5m, according to Kofic. This was due mostly to the cooling of sales to Japan, which accounts for the bulk of exports."(Japanese) films are on the rise, so (Japanese buyers) are inc
  • Indian production Victory drawn into test cricket controversy

    There are conflicting reports on whether Victory, an Indian film shooting all this month in Australia, has been affected by a controversy that has greatly intensified in the last 24 hours around the current test cricket series being played between India and Australia. Producer Vivek Aggarwal said none of the Indian test players had been scheduled to appear in the father-son drama set against the world of international cricket, but several off-the-record sources associated with the
  • International - New Year Blues

    An absence of big-hitting new releases explains the 22.2% week-on-week drop in the international top 40 this weekend, with all four new entrants failing to enter the top 30.In its second week, Russian sequel The Irony Of Fate 2 was the strongest non-US performer. The second instalment of the cult comedy, from Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Day Watch), was up 61% at the weekend after expanding to Lithuania and Latvia, and took $9.2m across 912 screens. It jumped tw
  • International box office drops 22% week on week with few openers

    An absence of heavy-hitting new releases could be attributable to the 22.2% week-on-week drop in the international top 40 this weekend, with the only four new entrants all failing to enter the top 30. The top 40 international films generated $208.8m from 49,452 screens for the period of January 4-6. For the full international chart, compiled by Len Klady, click here.Russian s
  • Italian box office rises 12.28% in 2007

    The Italian industry is jubilant over 2007 box office results, with Italy's exhibitor organisation ANEC calling it 'one of the best in the past 20 years.' The exception is 1998 - when Titanic reigned at the box office and 118m tickets sold. According to estimates, 2007 will see 115m tickets sold.From data provided by Cinetel, the Italian box office compiler, 103.6m tickets were sold in 2007 (Cinetel only covers 90% of the market). From these figures, Cinetel can project 11
  • J.A. Media unveils cast of Tsui Hark romantic comedy

    Mainland Chinese actresses Zhou Xun and Zhang Yuqi and Taiwan's Gui Lunmei will star in Tsui Hark's upcoming romantic comedy She Ain't Mean, which will be the first production this year from Beijing-based J.A. Media. At a press conference held today in Beijing, Tsui said the film will start shooting at the end of January.Set in contemporary Beijing, the $5m comedy will portray a range of modern-day Beijing women.Zhou Xun will play 12 different women in various profess
  • Karlovy Vary to honour Dusan Hanak and Juraj Jakubisko

    The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival has announced that its two Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema in 2008 will go to Dusan Hanak and Juraj Jakubisko.Both of the legends turn 70 in April. Both are natives of Slovakia and well regarded for their decades of work in the Czech film industry.Each will present films - including Hanak's Rose Tinted Dreams (1976) and Pictures Of The Old World (1972) and the premiere of Jakubisko
  • Kings, Garage lead Irish Film & Television Awards Nominees

    Kings and Garage lead the nominees for the fifth-annual Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs), which take place in Dublin on February 17.Kings, an Irish-language feature submitted as Ireland's first Foreign Language Oscar entry, has received 14 nominations while the multi award-winning Garage has 11 nominations. Kings and Garage were indigenously developed by Irish production companies and co-financed by the Irish Film Board.
  • Koch Lorber takes US rights to Scott Hicks' Philip Glass documentary

    Koch Lorber Films has picked up Scott Hicks' documentary Glass: A Portrait Of Philip In Twelve Parts, which follows the legendary composer over the course of one eventful year and premiered in Toronto last year.Koch Lorber holds US theatrical and home video rights and has set the US premiere for April at New York's IFC Center to coincide with the revival of Glass's opera Satyagraha at the Metropolitan O
  • Korean admissions down for first time inadecade

    Leading South Korean exhibitor CJ CGV has announced its year-end statistics for 2007, with nationwide admissions taking a dip for the first time in 11 years. Total admissions numbered 157,525,412, down 5.5% since 2006, but still the second highest on record. Korean films market share fell to 50.8%, down 25.7% from last year according to CGV's tallies. This is the lowest Korean film market share has gone since it was recorded at 48.3% in 2002. Foreign films market share grew 31.4% year-on-
  • LaBeouf, Riley among nominees for BAFTA Orange Rising Star prize

    The BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award has announced this year’s nominees: Shia LaBeouf, Sienna Miller, Ellen Page, Sam Riley and Tang Wei.
  • Laemmle/Zeller carries The First Basket to US audiences

    Los Angeles-based Laemmle/Zeller Films has acquired all North American rights to David Vyorst's documentary The First Basket.The film explores the influence of basketball on modern Jewish History as well as the impact of Jewish sports pioneers on the evolution of the sport.'The First Basket reveals the rich history and amazing contributions of Jewish athletes,' Greg Laemmle and Steven Zeller
  • Legend set to conquer box office with Germany, Italy openings

    Warner Bros Picture International's (WBPI) I Am Legend has ruled the roost for the last few weeks and looks good to maintain its number one berth this weekend.The horror sci-fi has amassed $169.3m and could cross $200m this weekend with strong holds and anticipated launches in Germany on Jan 10 and Italy a day later. WBPI's Beowulf stands at $110m.New Line International's
  • Lionsgate's Marni Wieshofer joins Media Rights Capital

    Marni Wieshofer has joined Media Rights Capital as senior vice president, corporate development and mergers and acquisitions.Since 2002 Wieshofer has served as executive vice president of corporate development at Lionsgate and orchestrated acquisitions and facilitated the integration of Mandate Pictures, Redbus Films Distribution UK, Trimark Pictures and Artisan Entertainment, among others. She served as Lionsgate's chief financial officer from April 1999 to September 2002.
  • Losey wraps shoot for debut thriller The Hide

    Director Marek Losey has wrapped principal photography on his debut feature, thriller The Hide.The Poisson Rouge Pictures and Solution Films thriller shot at Pinewood and on location in the Southeast of England in November and December 2007.The film, written by Tim Whitnall based on his stage play The Sociable Plover, is about two troubled strangers who compete in a deadly game of cat and mouse.Losey, a commercials director, makes his feature debut. Chri
  • Machin replaces Schoukroun as THINKFilm head of international

    Will Machin has been named head of international at THINKFilm International. He had been head of co-productions and sales at London-based Carnaby International and previously worked as co-president of international sales at Lola Films.He joins THINKFilm as of January 14 and will start planning for Berlin immediately. Machin will report to Managing Director Peter Naish and he replaces Eve Schoukroun, who has now left THINKFilm.Carnaby will not be hiring a replacement for Machin,
  • Marketing executive Grace Cianciotta dies in Toronto at 43

    Much-loved film marketing expert Grace Cianciotta died in Toronto at the age of 43 on Jan 7 after a battle with breast cancer.Since last August, Cianciotta had worked in marketing for the new Canadian sales company Maximum Films International and local distributor Maximum Films Distribution.She was well-known for her zest for life and warm sense of humour, and no-one who knew her was not touched by her generous spirit and keen intelligence. She had over 15 ye
  • Max Von Sydow, Rachel Hurd-Wood join Solomon Kane cast

    Max Von Sydow, Pete Postlethwaite, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Alice Krige and Mackenzie Crook have joined the cast of Solomon Kane, which as previously reported will star James Purefoy.Michael J Bassett will direct the Davis Film project from his own script. Samuel Hadida for Davis Films will produce with Paul Berrow's Epic Films co-producing.Los Angeles-based Essential Entertainment is handling international sales.Solomon Kane will start shooting in Prague later
  • McCormick promoted to president of production at Warner Bros

    Kevin McCormick has been promoted to president of production at Warner Bros Pictures and will assume daily oversight of the studio's creative team and film development and production.McCormick will continue to supervise the company's New York and London offices and reports to Warner Bros Pictures Group president Jeff Robinov. Warner Bros' 2008 slate includes Speed Racer, Get Smart, The Dark Knight and Harry Pott
  • Media speculation mounts that Canal Plus will buy Kinowelt

    France's Canal Plus is reportedly closer to sealing a deal to buy German distributor Kinowelt. According to Agence France Presse, a report set to be published in German daily Leipziger Volkszeitung on Thursday claims the long-rumored acquisition is near completion.'There only remain a few points to settle and the deal is done,' a 'well-informed' source told the Leipzig paper. Kinowelt is based in Leipzig. The sale is reportedly worth Euros 70m.Media reports in December po
  • National Lampoon seals multi-territory deal with Front Row

    National Lampoon has slotted the latest piece into its jigsaw of international partnerships following a multi-territory distribution deal with Dubai-based Front Row Film Entertainment.Front Row Film Entertainment will handle Middle Eastern theatrical, home video and broadcast rights to nine National Lampoon features, which include the company's first self-produced titles National Lampoon's BagBoy, National Lampoon's Ratko and
  • One Missed Call

    Dir: Eric Valette. US. 2008. 87mins.Generic and thematically uninspired, One Missed Call, the US remake of Takashi Miike's 2003 J-horror tale, flounders withitsliteral and ill-advised approach to its supernatural material. This Warner Bros. January castoff will lure fright fans uninterested in the season's award contenders and holiday leftovers, but even then the reception might be spotty. Opening this past weekend i
  • Oz box office up 3% for second biggest year on record

    Australians spent $801.7m (A$895m) on going to the movies in 2007, making it the second best year on record in terms of annual gross box office.The Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA) released the figure today and said it represented a 3% rise on the previous year. Only in 2004 did the country's 21 million people reach deeper into their pockets: the gross back then was $812.6m (A$907.2m).Only twice in the last two decades has annual gross box office fall
  • Paramount confirms executive shuffle for Moore, Lesher

    Rob Moore has moved up from Paramount Pictures president of worldwide marketing, distribution and home entertainment to vice chairman as part of the studio's anticipated executive shuffle.Former Paramount Vantage president John Lesher becomes president of president of Paramount Film Group in recognition of his efforts in reinvigorating Vantage witha string of acclaimed titles like An Inconvenient Truth, Babel, There Will Be Blood,
  • Paz Vega steps in to star with Baker in Not Forgotten

    Paz Vega has replaced Jordana Brewster opposite Simon Baker in thesupernatural thriller Not Forgotten to be directed by Dror Soref.Donald Zuckerman and Soref are producing the story steeped in Latinomysticism about a young couple forced to confront their tortured pastsin order to save their missing daughter. Production is set to begin inNew Mexico in late January.Soref co-wrote the screenplay with Tomas Romero. Myriad Pictures chie
  • Penn, Gilroy join favourites in DGA Awards race

    Paul Thomas Anderson, Joel & Ethan Coen, Tony Gilroy, Sean Penn and Julian Schnabel have all been nominated for the Directors Guild of America's (DGA) 2007 Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film award.Anderson has been nominated for There Will Be Blood, the Coens for No Country For Old Men, Gilroy for Michael Clayton, Penn for
  • Peter Morris re-elected as chairman of BAFTA/LA

    BAFTA/LA has re-elected Peter Morris as chairman and announced its board of directors for the new year.
  • Picture This! takes US rights to Voleurs De Chevaux

    Picture This! Entertainment has acquired US rights from Paris-based Rezo to first-time feature director Micha Wald's Voleurs De Chevaux.The company will release the epic adventure this summer under its English title In The Arms Of My Enemy following the US premiere at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.The film centres on two sets of brothers who embark on an adventure following a
  • Picturehouse to split from HBO, align fully with New Line

    Picturehouse will split from parent company HBO and move over to the New Line stable within months, sources close to the move said today [Jan 9].Spokespeople from all three companies declined to comment, however it is understood the move stems from the poor theatrical box office performance of HBO Films funnelled through Picturehouse.Another factor is believed to be the change of corporate culture at HBO following the departure of former chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht. I
  • Pye-Dog set forsimultaneous theatrical, TV release in Singapore

    Singapore telco SingTel and Hong Kong-based Mei Ah Entertainment are planning to give Derek Kwok's directorial debut The Pye-Dog a same-day premiere in cinemas and on television. The film will be telecast on Mei Ah Movies Channel, via SingTel's IPTV platform mio TV, on Jan 10, the day it also hits Singapore cinemas. Mei Ah is distributing the film theatrically itself for the first time in Singapore.Mei Ah is not charging a premium for the film's telecast, which is available
  • Relativity Media forms investment fund subsidiary

    Relativity Media has formed wholly owned subsidiary Relativity Capital to act as a principal investor in its major media transactions.Essentially a fund that is expected to commit more than $1bn in transactions, Relativity Capital's investments will include studio slates, the Relativity Single Picture Business, library acquisitions and other media-related cash flow investments.Elliott Associates, a New York-based hedge fund with $10bn in managed assets that has been one o
  • Roger Beck leaves Technicolor for Ascent Media UK

    Roger Beck has joined Ascent Media Group as the director of film services, a new position based in London.He will manage the film operations at Soho Images and Todd-AO.Beck had been CEO of Technicolor Creative Services and is also a veteran of Deluxe, Thames Television, Granada and Vidfilm Europe.Santa Monica, California-based Ascent Media Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Discovery Holding Company. Ascent has more than 75 international facilities including thos
  • Rotterdam programme boasts 50 feature world premieres

    The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has announced more details of its feature film programme, which will include 50 world premieres, 30 international premieres and 25 European premieres.Further, Rotterdam's Hubert Bals Fund will show 22 new films at the festival (nine are world premieres), all competing for the new Dioraphte Award worth $14,784 (Euros 10,000). The international jury for that prize is comprised of Marianne Bhalotra, Amra Baksic Camo and Malaysian filmmaker
  • Rotterdam to open with Lucia Cedron's debut Lamb Of God

    The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has announced the 15 films competing for the VPRO Tiger Awards at this year's festival (Jan 23-Feb 3).The competition line-up includes eight world premieres; all films are first or second features. Five of the 15 have been backed by Rotterdam 's Hubert Bals Fund.Films selected include Eat For This Is My Body, a Haiti-set film starring Sylvie Testud directed by Michelange Quay; acclaimed Swedish short film-maker Jens Jonss
  • Schreiber to head Power's new home entertainment division

    UK production company Power has launched a new home entertainment division. Andy Schreiber, founder and president of Los Angeles-based Forward Marketing International, will relocate to London to join Power as senior VP, Power Home Entertainment.Schreiber will be launching a Power Home Entertainment label in selected markets and selling to all territories worldwide.Power recently produced disaster feature Flood.Commenting on his appointment, Chris Philip, president of worl
  • Screen Opinion - film industry means business

    You don't need to be Alan Greenspan to detect a change of atmosphere in the new year. There's a relatively widespread feeling that 2008 will be a tougher year than 2007.It's the reason, incidentally, why scrapping major awards ceremonies is an indulgence for the business as a whole, whatever the rights and wrongs of union-producer disputes. Film needs big staged events in the competition for global attention, which is why disrupting the Oscars would be the nuclear scenario in which no-
  • Seven films make shortlist for best make-up Oscar

    Seven films have made the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences' shortlist for the make-up category.The films in alphabetical order are: The Diving Bell And The Butterfly; Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix; La Vie En Rose; Norbit; Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End; Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street; and 300.Members of the Academy's makeup branch will view 10-
  • Shochiku lines up sequel to Gegege No Kitaro

    Japan's Shochiku Studios is producing a sequel to its biggest hit of 2007, action fantasy Gegege No Kitaro. Director Katsuhide Motoki will again direct and singing idol-turned-actor Eiji Wentz will reprise his role as Kitaro, a half-human half-yokai (creatures and supernatural beings).He is joined by returning cast members Rena Tanaka, Yo Oizumi, Kanpei Hazama and Shigeru Muroi. Mao Inoue, the first film's female lead, will not be returning.The sequel will aim to expa
  • Sony signs VOD deal with Belgium's Belgacom

    Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) has signed a video on demand (VOD) agreement with Belgian telecom operator Belgacom.The deal was negotiated by Andreas Brosjo at SPTI and Ingrid De Coninck at Belgacom.Under the deal, SPTI will provide movie content from the Sony Pictures current slate as well as library titles. Films covered initially include Spider-Man 3, Super Bad, Easy Rider and Charlie's Angels.The Belgacom service went
  • South Korea - The profitability factor

    South Korea is no stranger to talk of a crisis in the film industry, even in the midst of years of swollen admissions, record-breaking local hits and rising exports.However, a recent study from the Korean Film Council (Kofic) estimates the average local film in 2007 to have earned back just 39% of its budget. In 2006, the average film earned 77% of its budget.Only 10 Korean films, including the romantic comedy 200 Pounds Beauty and thriller Voice Of A Murderer, pas
  • Sundance - The Shape of Things to Come - US Stars of Tomorrow

    Each year thousands come to the mountain town of Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival. Some are here to see films, some to get rejected from overcrowded parties, and others to score goody bags. Many come to divine the future of independent film from the parade of new talent and films. Perhaps more than other festivals, Sundance prides itself on fresh talent. Of the 121 feature-length films presented this year, 55 come from first-time film-makers.So what is new this year' Dir
  • Suo's I Just Didn't Do It wins top Kinema Junpo honours

    Masayuki Suo's I Just Didn't Do It has been ranked best film of the year and awarded three major prizes by Kinema Junpo, Japan's oldest film magazine. In addition to coming first in Kinema Junpo's annual Top 10, the film won best director and screenplay for Suo and best actor for Ryo Kase (Letters From Iwo Jima).Kinema Junpo acting prizes factor in each performer's other films during the year (Kase also appeared in Megane and Invitation
  • Tarantino, Reitman, Luna lined up for Sundance jury

    Quentin Tarantino, Marcia Gay Harden, Juno director Jason Reitman and Diego Luna are among the jurors selected by the Sundance Institute for this month's festival in Park City.Tarantino, Harden and Luna will sit on the dramatic competition jury alongside film-maker Mary Harron and actress Sandra Oh.Documentary competition jurors are IFP executive director Michelle Byrd, Loki Films co-owner Heidi Ewing and fim-makers Eugene Jarecki,
  • Taubin leaves Warner Bros after almost 20 years at studio

    Dawn Taubin has stepped down as president of domestic marketing at Warner Bros Pictures in the wake of restructuring following the formation of the Warner Bros Pictures Group.'My professional relationship with Dawn has been one of the most satisfying in my 35 years in the entertainment industry, the studio's president and COO Alan Horn said.'She is phenomenally smart, classy, and has always been a consummate professional. I wish her all the best as she continues her caree
  • TF1 debuts two new projects at Rendez-Vous

    TF1 International is debuting two new projects at this week's Unifrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris as well as world premiering two anticipated films. The new projects are School's Out by Frederic Berthe, a teen comedy billed as 'the modern-day La Boum', and Philippe Harel's sequel to 1997 hit Les Randonneurs entitled Les Rondonneurs A Saint-Tropez.The latter reunites the original's cast members including Karin Viard, Geraldine Pailhas
  • The home run

    As communist Vietnam opens up to foreign and diaspora film-makers, the state-driven local film industry is looking to benefit from exposure to foreign film crews and investment. Yet ghosts remain and US directors are often refused entry on arrival. Not so The Rebel director Charlie Nguyen, who grew up in California after his family emigrated from Vietnam following the fall of Saigon in 1975."It was different for us because it's a patriotic, historical subject," explains the dire
  • The international view - The big pictures

    Impressive-looking 2007 box-office revenue figures have already been tarnished by questions about the profitability of the films. But there are other questions that should be concerning the industry.The North American box office generated revenues of $9.7bn in 2007 while the international arena rang in with an estimated $15.2bn to bring the global theatrical gross to just shy of $25bn.The US domestic marketplace saw box office increase by 4.9% from 2006. However, actual ticket s
  • Theatrical admissions down by 5.2% in Brazil in 2007

    Movie attendance fell by an estimated 5.2% at Brazil's theatres in 2007, according to Filme B, a local film company that reviews theatrical market data. Since 2005 there has been a drop in admissions in the country, where 85.5m tickets were sold last year. Box office revenues went down slightly by 1.6%, bringing the total to $390.5m (R$ 684m). The official numbers will be announced next week.There was an increase in tickets price (up 3.9% from the previous year), which co
  • TWC close to sealing interim agreement with WGA

    Harvey Weinstein was expected to announce that The Weinstein Company interim deal with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) last night [Jan 10] that is said to be similar to the agreement the writers have reached with United Artists and David Letterman's production company Worldwide Pants.Weinstein flew into Los Angeles on Wednesday to attend screenings of his best picture Oscar hopeful The Great Debaters and close the agreement.Sourc
  • UK film-makers offer 'pay what you like' film download

    A UK film-making team at Molehill Productionshas made a feature film available as a pay-what-you-likeoffering online, in what they say is a world first.
  • United Artists reaches agreement with striking writers

    Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner's United Artists (UA)has become the first Hollywood Film company to reach a deal with striking screenwriters.The agreement was announced yesterday and welcomed by theWriters Guild of America (WGA), the union at the centre of the dispute.Few details have been revealed buta joint UA-WGA statement said the 'comprehensive agreement addresses the issues important to writers, including new media.'Deals have been signed previously with television comp
  • United Kingdom - English Patience

    'When Paris sneezes, all Europe catches a cold,' Austria's Prince Metternich famously quipped in the wake of the French Revolution. When Hollywood sneezes, the global film industry catches a cold. That, at least, is the suggestion of British film commissioner Colin Brown as he surveys prospects for UK film production in 2008.'The British industry, because it is so allied with the US industry, has caught a cold because of what is going on over there,' Brown says, pointing to troubles in
  • Veteran film and TV sales executive Gene George joins Starz Media

    TV executive Gene George has been named executive vice president of worldwide distributionat Starz Media, effective immediately.George will be based at Starz Media's Burbank headquarters and will report to presidentand COO Kent Rice.In his role George will oversee Starz' sales and distribution activities functions,forge partnerships with domestic and international broadcasters and expand the company'sglobal distribution pipeline.He will work closely with Film Roman and St
  • VTR strikes deal for effects company Clarke Associates

    VTR , the holding company of post-production company Prime Focus UK Group, has acquired the business interests of Clarke Associates London Limited, including the services of creative director Simon Clarke and his team.VTR has also acquired some equipment as part of the deal, including 3D workstations and associated software.Clarke Associates is a broadcast visual effects company that has worked on projects for the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery and Channel 4.VTR will
  • WBPI's Legend survives with $34m take at international box office

    I Am Legend kept on top of the overseas competition as an estimated $34m weekend haul through Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI) from approximately 3,900 prints in 36 territories catapaulted the cumulative total to $170.2m.The weekend was dominated by a mighty $8.5m (A$9.8m) Australian number one launch on 338 prints that took 50% of the top five market share. The sci-fi horror also took off in Greece on a sterling $1.9m (Eu1.3m) from 79
  • WGA announces annual awards nominees

    The embattled Writers Guild Of America has announced its nominations for the 2008 Writers Guild Awards that will take place in Los Angeles and New York on February 9.In the original screenplay category Diablo Cody is named for Juno, as are Tony Gilroy for Michael Clayton, Tamara Jenkins for The Savages, Judd Apatow for Knocked Up
  • Wild Bunch strikes Magic! with four new projects at Rendez-Vous

    Wild Bunch is bringing four new projects to this week's Unifrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris. The sales company will introduce a promo reel of Philippe Muyl's Magic!, a family film about a boy, his single mother and the healing power of the circus. Marie Gillain stars with Louis Dussol, Antoine Dulery and singer Cali. Paramount France is handing French distribution. Filmmaker Antoine de Maximy, known for his TV series I'm Spending The Night At Your Place, takes
  • Yair Landau: Sony's digital driver

    Yair Landau could not have timed the start of his Hollywood career any better. After a brief stint in investment banking, the Stanford MBA arrived at what was then Columbia Pictures Entertainment in 1991, soon after the venerable studio had been acquired by Sony.'I joined as the leading global consumer electronics company was making its foray into entertainment,' Landau says. 'I view the trajectory of my career as building a bridge between a hardware company and an entertainment compan
  • Zeitgeist takes domestic rights to Chris & Don. A Love Story

    Zeitgeist Films has acquired all North American Rights from The Film Sales Company to Chris & Don. A Love Story from first-time directors Guido Santi and Tina Mascara.Produced by Mascara and Santi with Julia Scott and James White, the film charts the 30-year love affair between the iconic literary figure Christopher Isherwood and contemporary painter Don Bachardy. It premiered at the Telluride Film Festival last year and screened at the AFI Fi
  • Zhang Yuan arrested for drug abuse in Beijing

    Mainland Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yuan has been arrested for drug abuse following a police raid on his Beijing home that was broadcast on local television. The Beijing TV report showed police raiding Zhang's apartment where he appeared to be taking drugs with four artist friends. He was later charged for using ketamine and crystal methamphetamine.During the raid, Zhang shouted at the police claiming they had no right to enter his apartment, but became silent when the police found dr