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13 March 2009

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  • $10.8m Italy-Canada co-productionof true life death row story

    Italian production company Just Us Production will team with Canada's Caramel Films Production on a $10.8m (Euros 8.5m) English language Italy-Canada co-production. Based on a true-life death penalty story, the film has the working title Just Us Derek Rocco Barnabei. It will shoot in both Tuscany and Canada from July 30. Just Us Derek Rocco Barnabei is based on an original script by Manuela Procaccia with Ago Panini (Waiting For The Sun) att
  • Adam Cohen joins Metan Development Group

    Development and marketing executive Adam Cohen has been hired as production executive of original programming at Metan Development Group, the content producer and distributor launched in February to target the Chinese market.Cohen will seek to strengthen ties with feature and televisionproducers in Hollywood with a view to developing the slate. It isunderstood Metan has signed a number of carriage deals, however thecompany said it was too soon to anno
  • AFI Dallas to open March 26 with Johnson's The Brothers Bloom

    Rian Johnson's The Brothers Bloom will open the AFI Dallas International Film Festival on March 26.The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow and The Brothers Bloom starAdrien Brody will join the previously announced Chinatown screenwriterRobert Towne as recipients of the AFI Dallas Star Award careerrecognition award. Rita Hayworth will receive the award posthumously.The centerpiece screening of The Hurt Lo
  • Alive Mind takes US rights to Walter's Theater Of War

    Richard Lorber's documentary label Alive Mind has acquired the US theatrical, public performance and video rights to John Walter's documentary Theater Of War.Theater Of War stars Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline and is based on TonyKushner's New York Shakespeare Festival production of Bertolt Brecht'sMother Courage And Her Children, inspired by Brecht's testimony beforethe House Un-American Activities Committee.Alive Mind has set
  • Alta Films picks up Moreno's A Good Man

    Spanish outfit Alta Films has picked up theatrical rights for Spain to Juan Martinez Moreno's thriller A Good Man from Latido Films. Moreno 's film has been gaining interest since its screening at Berlin in the EFM where it was sold to KEntertainment for Korea. The film is a dark thriller about two close friends, Vicente (Tristan Ulloa) and Fernando (Emilio Gutierrez Caba) who work together as law professors until one day Vicente sees Fernando murder his
  • Antoniazzi's Small Fish to open Austria's Diagonale

    Marco Antoniazzi's feature debut Small Fish (Kleine Fische) will open this year's Diagonale - Festival of Austrian Cinema (March 17-22) in the Styrian capital of Graz.This will be the first edition of the annual showcase of Austrian cinema under the new artistic director Barbara Pichler after she took over the reins from the previous incumbent Birgit Flos.The South Tyrolean-born Antoniazzi's comedy about two completely different brothers - played b
  • Archibald Enterprise Film picks up The Milk Of Sorrow for Italy

    Independent Italian distributor Archibald Enterprise Film has picked up Claudia Llosa's Berlin Golden Bear winner The Milk Of Sorrow from German sales agent The Match Factory. In a separate deal, Milan-based Officine Ubu has taken distribution rights to Michael Winterbottom's drama Genova from HanWay. Genova stars Colin Firth as an Englishman who m
  • Arts Alliance Media push digital rollout in Spain

    Arts Alliance Media (AAM) has signed a deal with Yelmo Cines, one of Spain's leading exhibitors to extend their digitalofferingsadding a further 18 digital screens across Spain with 3D and satellite capabilities. Yelmo Cines already has five digital screens at its Isla Azol multiplex in Madrid thanks to an agreement signed last summer with AAM and equipment installer Suministros Kelonik. One impetus for the expansion is the expected roster of 3D films in 2009.
  • Award winning Burma VJ picked up by Oscilloscope and Dogwoof

    Zurich-based sales agent First Hand Films has concluded deals for the UK and US for Anders Ostergaard's award-winning festival favourite Burma VJ - Reporting From A Closed Country with Dogwoof for the UK and Oscilloscope Laboratories for the US.The US deal was negotiated by Josh Braun of Submarine and Esther van Messel of First Hand Films on behalf of the filmmakers and David Fenkel of Oscillscope Laboratories.
  • Back to the mainland: China opens up to co-productions

    Shooting permits are being issued again in China after a difficult 2008. Between October 2008 and January 2009, the Film Bureau approved 17 projects to shoot in China. Only eight received permits between June and September last year.Among the Asian projects are Cinema Popular's Dark October, which will start shooting in March, Sophie's Revenge, co-produced by Korea's CJ Entertainment and Beijing-based Perfect World Culture, now in post-production, and
  • Berlinale announces dates for 60th anniversary edition

    The Berlin film festival has announced that its 60th anniversary edition will run from February 11 to 21, 2010, thus avoiding a potential overlap with the Rotterdam film festival. The Berlinale's choice of dates was restricted following Sundance's announcement of January 21-31 for its 2010 dates. That move prompted Rotterdam to shift its dates to January 27 - February 7 to avoid a complete overlap with the Stateside event. However, there is still the potential f
  • Berlinale film The Secret Of Kells wins at Cartoon Movie Tributes

    Brendan And The Secret Of Kells was the big winner at this year's Cartoon Movie in Lyon, winning best European director and best producer. More than six hundred participants voted for the Cartoon Movie Tributes which recognise companies or personalities exercising a positive and dynamic influence on the European animation feature film industry. Irish animator Tomm Moore was named best European director of
  • Black Dynamite sells to Pretty Pictures and Svensk

    Pretty Pictures has acquired French rights from T&C International to Scott Sanders' Sundance hit blaxploitation homage Black Dynamite starring Michael Jai White.Pretty Pictures president James Velaise negotiated the deal with LosAngeles-based T&C International chief David Jourdan following meetingsat the EFM last month.Jourdan also reported he had closed a deal with Svensk Film forScandinavian rights. He did not screen the picture in B
  • Carolyn Harris, Beatrice Springborn join Basner's FilmNation

    Glen Basner's international sales and production company FilmNation Entertainment has hired two executives to head the production arm overseen by Aaron Ryder.Effective immediately Carolyn Harris will join the company asvice-president of production and Beatrice Springborn will serve asproduction executive. Ryder and his team are based in Los Angeleswhile Basner heads operations in New York.Both Harris and Springborn arrive from Raygun Production
  • Cast lined up for African American version of Death At A Funeral

    Screen Gems, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Chris Rock have rounded out the cast on their American remake of the 2007 UK film Death At A Funeral.Joining Rock, who is starring, producing and co-writing the screenplay, are Loretta Devine, Ron Glass, Danny Glover, Regina Hall, Martin Lawrence, James Marsden, Tracy Morgan, Zoe Saldana and Columbus Shor
  • CBS Films takes feature rights to The Christmas Cookie Club

    CBS Films and its corporate sibling under the CBS Corporation banner Simon & Schuster have acquired feature rights to the publisher's upcoming release The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman.Said to be in the vein of The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants andSteel Magnolias, The Christmas Cookie Club centres on an annualholiday celebration in which 12 friends trade home-made cookies andshare personal highs and lows
  • China At A Glance

    CHINA AT A GLANCETotal box office 2008: $616.3m (RMB4.215bn)Total box office for Chinese films 2008: $374.8m (RMB2.563bn)Total box office for international films 2008: $241.6m (RMB1.652bn)Import quotas: 20 Hollywood blockbusters per year, plus 20-25 further films. All films must be released by one of China's two state-backed distributors on either a revenue-sharing (usually Hollywood films) or a flat-fee basis.
  • China's Top 10 International Films 2008

    CHINA TOP 10 INTERNATIONAL FILMS 2008Title (origin) distributorsgross1.Kung Fu Panda (US) China Film Group (CFG)/Huaxia/DreamWorks$26.4m (RMB180.5m)2.Quantum Of Solace (US-UK) CFG/Huaxia/DreamWorks$22.3m (RMB152m)3.Iron Man (US) CFG/Paramount$15.5m (RMB105.9m)4.Hancock (US) CFG/Huaxia/Sony$14.8m (RMB101m)5.The Chronicles Of Narnia: PrinceCaspian (US) CFG/Huaxia/WDSMPI$12.6m (RMB86m)
  • Chinese film boom - market manipulation or audience shift'

    In Olympic year in 2008, the Chinese government placed subtle restrictions on the number and nature of foreign films that could be released in the territory. This year, the 60th anniversary of the creation of the People's Republic of China, a similar mood of patriotic fervour is gripping the authorities. 'We haven't seen any sign of a loosening up in the censorship process,' says a Chinese representative of a US studio.Despite this, the Chinese box office is booming. Total revenues gre
  • Colson's Cloud Nine Films signs five-year deal with Pathe UK

    Christian Colson, has formed his own company, Cloud Nine Films and struck a five-year development, production, sales and distribution deal with Pathe UK. Colson, who left Celador Films on March 1 2009, remains a shareholder in Celador, while Celador chairman Paul Smith was made a director of Cloud Nine Films. Colson said 'I owe Paul an enormous debt of gratitude for giving me the opportunity to become a producer back in 2002, and for his unstinting support ever since. We are clo
  • Constantin posts profit as parent company plans delisting

    German producer-distributor Constantin Film posted positive turnover and operating results for 2008 as its parent company Highlight announced plans to delist Constantin and merge with it as Constantin Medien. While Constantin Film's operating result rose 21.6% year-on-year to $18.9m (Euros 15.1m), the group turnover climbed by 10.4% to $311.6m (Euros 248.5m), exceeding targets. Turnover generated by the theatrical distribution of Constantin's in-house production
  • Costa-Gavras to receive film-maker focus at COLCOA in April

    Costa-Gavras will be the subject of this year's 'Focus On A Film-maker' at the 13th annual City Of Lights, City Of Angels (COLCOA), the annual showcase of new French cinema in Los Angeles which this year takes place April 20-26.The director's latest film Eden Is West, which closed Berlin this year, will have its west coast premiere at COLCOA on April 23; the event is part of th
  • Danielle Panabaker, Joe Anderson join Overture's The Crazies

    Danielle Panabaker, star of the recent North American box office hit Friday The 13th, and emerging UK talent Joe Anderson have joined Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell in Overture Films' The Crazies.Filming on the reinvention based loosely on George A Romero's 1973thriller is set to begin on March 5 in Georgia, with additionalshooting scheduled in Iowa. Overture Films is financing the pictureand will distribute dom
  • Danielle Panabaker, Joe Anderson join Overture's The Crazies

    Danielle Panabaker, star of the recent North American box office hit Friday The 13th, and emerging UK talent Joe Anderson have joined Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell in Overture Films' The Crazies.Filming on the reinvention based loosely on George A Romero's 1973thriller is set to begin on March 5 in Georgia, with additionalshooting scheduled in Iowa. Overture Films is financing the picture, with Participant Media, and
  • Deepa Mehta's Heaven On Earth to open Tongues on Fire Film Festival

    The eleventh edition of the Tongues On Fire Film Festival opens with Deepa Mehta's Heaven On Earth starring Preity Zinta at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) on March 6 2009. Heaven On Earth deals with the issues of immigration, isolation and domestic violation. The screening is followed by a Q&A session with Mehta. The festival celebrates South Asian film and places particular emphasis on the contribution of women film makers. The event will
  • Dubai International Film Festival announces 2009 dates

    The Dubai film festival has announced that the 6th edition will take place from December 9-16.
  • Durand takes new VP marketing role at Warner Bros France

    Emmanuel Durand has been hired as vice president marketing, Warner Bros France and will join the company in May. He will report to Iris Knobloch, president/director general of Warner Bros France. Durand will be responsible for marketing across theatrical, video, digital and games. Warner Bros France said that with this appointment, its senior management team is now in place.Under the new structure, Olivier Snanoudj, deputy MD for theatrica
  • Extra Virgin: getting creative in Thailand

    In a year of economic crisis, not to mention political upheaval at home, Thailand's Extra Virgin is a rare independent company that is expanding its business.Mai Meksawan and Pimpaka Towira founded Bangkok-based Extra Virgin in 2007 with a slate of projects; they have since released Thai films theatrically (Pimpaka's own documentary The Truth Be Told: The Cases Against Supinya Klangnarong and Aditya Assarat's drama Wonderful Town) and are now expanding to release other in
  • Fellini screenwriter Tullio Pinelli dies aged 100

    Screenwriter Tullio Pinelli who co-wrote a string of FedericoFellini's greatest works including Oscar awarded films The Road (La Strada), Nights of Cabiria and 8 ½ has died in Rome at the age of 100.Pinelli would have turned 101-years-old in June and was the lastsurvivor of the group of four writers composed of Ennio Flaiano,Brunello Rondi and Fellini himself that often worked together andcreated some of
  • Feng to direct disaster movie about Tangshan earthquake

    Beijing-based Huayi Brothers Pictures is teaming up with state-owned China Film Group and Tangshan City Government to co-produce disaster drama Tangshan Dadizheng, about the Tangshan Earthquake in 1976. Feng Xiaogang will direct the $25m drama, which will tell the story of the devastating earthquake that took the lives of over 240,000 people. The story will focus on a young woman's traumatic memory of surviving the earthquake, and her mental struggle throughout ma
  • Film Sales Company takes on two SXSW titles

    Andrew Herwitz's New York-based Film Sales Company has picked up domestic sales rights aheadto two films - The Overbrook Brothers and Wake Up - set to world premiere at the 2009 SXSW Film Festival.John Bryant's dramatic competition entry The Overbrook Brothers is acomedy about two brothers in their 30s who learn they are adopted andset out to find their biological parents.Wake Up is a documentary film about Jonas Elrod, an ordinary
  • First Run takes US rights to documentary Four Seasons Lodge

    First Run Features has acquired US rights to New York Times journalist Andrew Jacobs' documentary Four Seasons Lodge and will announce the theatrical release date shortly.Jacobs' picture recounts the final season for a group of Holocaust survivors that gather each year in a mountain idyll located in New York's Catskills. Albert Maysles led the team of cinematographers that shot the film.'As the world continues to grapple with war and
  • Germany's MDM fund awards $4.6m in first funding round of 2009

    Films from Israel's Eran Riklis and Hungary's Kornel Mundruczo are among the projects sharing more than $4.6m (Euros 3.7m) from Germany's Leipzig-based regional film fund Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM). In its first funding session of 2009 MDM gave production support to Riklis' tragicomedy The Mission Of The Human Resource Manager, to be produced by Halle-based Pallas Film, and Mundruczo's The Frankenstein Project, which will reunite him again
  • Going behind the scenes of Perrier's Bounty

    Irish director Ian Fitzgibbon is stamping his feet. He’s not having a tantrum, he’s trying to keep warm. Cillian Murphy, however, is having a hissy fit. Having run to his car in a bid to make a quick getaway, he discovers the clampers have gotten there first. As the cameras roll, he gives the front wheel a good kick.It is a cold December morning on the set of Perrier’s Bounty, a comedy thriller about three fugitives on the run from gangster Perrier (Brendan Gleeson) who is hell-
  • Guy Maddin to shoot short for NFB's 70th anniversary

    The National Film Board of Canada has commissioned idiosyncratic auteur Guy Maddin to create a short film to commemorate the NFB's 70th anniversary.The project, Night Mayor, goes before camera on March 9 on location in the filmmaker's hometown of Winnipeg, the city memorialized in Maddin's critical hit My Winnipeg. Maddin has apparently passed the last few months immersed in the NFB's vast archives -- since the NFB's founding in 193
  • Helen Loveridge returns with sales company Meridiana

    The Meridiana is the hotel in Venice in which sales agent Helen Loveridge stayed when she was working on Hou Hsiao-hsien’s 1989 Golden Lion winner, City Of Sadness. In recognition of that triumph, it is the name she has given to her new, London-based sales outfit Meridiana Films, which aims to handle between six and eight films a year.Having worked for Jane Balfour Films, Orfeo Films International and spent9 years at Fortissimo Film Sales, which she co-founded, Loveridge is vast
  • Helen Mirren and Dominic Cooper on stage to screen live in cinemas

    A new initiative between City Screen and the UK's National Theatre will see plays broadcast live via satellite from the National Theatre stage to local Picturehouse Cinemas in the UK and to cinemas internationally. The first play to be featured will be the National Theatre's new production Phèdre by Jean Racine in a version by Ted Hughes starring Helen Mirren, and Dominic Cooper. The performance will be filmed in high definition and broadcast via sat
  • Indian multiplexes lower ticket prices to counter downturn

    Indian multiplex operators are slashing ticket prices in an attempt to keep admissions steady during these delicate economic times. Several leading chains are reducing prices from 20%-50% with a variety of reduced rates based on location, day of the week and the timing of shows. Most of the reductions are for weekdays with cinemas retaining their weekend pricing in most cases. PVR Cinemas is now charging between $1.40 and $4.90 (Rs70-250) per ticket, which is a re
  • International - Tattoo drums up business

    Sweden-Denmark co-production The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (aka Men Who Hate Women) debuted as the highest new entry in Screen's international chart for the post-Oscar box-office weekend.The film reached number 13 after it opened through Nordisk in its home territories on a combined 266 screens, taking $1.8m in Sweden and $2.2m in Denmark, where it averaged a hefty $21,500 per screen.The film, based on the international bestseller by Stieg Larsson and the
  • Japan - Oscar winner hits home

    In the first weekend since its Oscar win for best foreign-language film, Departures rose to number one at the Japanese box office, after re-entering the top 10 during the previous week in eighth place.Distributor Shochiku expanded the film's extended run from 95 screens to a large-scale 189-screen re-release following the Oscar ceremony, and Departures grossed $3.3m (Yen320.5m) from 299,495 admissions on 189 screens in its 25th week of release. The film's total earnings h
  • Japan's Top 10 International Films 2008

    JAPAN TOP 10 INTERNATIONAL FILMS, 2008 Title (origin) Distributor Gross 1 Indiana Jones And The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull (US) PPI $59.1m (Yen5.7bn) 2 Red Cliff Part 1 (Ch) Toho-Towa/Avex $52.3m (Yen5.1bn) 3 I Am Legend (US) Warner Bros $44.6m (Yen4.3bn) 4 The Golden Compass (US) Shochuku/Gaga $38.8m (Yen3.8bn) 5 Hancock (US) SPE $32.1m (Yen3.1bn) 6 The Chronicles Of Narnia: Pr
  • Last Ride

    Dir: Glendyn Ivin. Aust. 2009. 96 mins
  • Lionsgate furthers Tyler Perry relationship by acquiring next two films

    Lionsgate has wasted little time extending its lucrative relationship with Tyler Perry, whose number one US release Madea Goes To Jail scored a record launch recently for both studio and film-maker and stands at $65.5m after less than two weeks.The company has acquired rights to the prolific film-maker's next twoprojects has set a March 16 start-date for the first project to go, Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself.Ta
  • Medusa comes on board as Cinecitta looks to digital future

    Cinecitta Studios has merged three existing post structures under the umbrella name Cinecitta Digital Factory and distributor Medusa has taken a minority share in the project. The post facilities being merged and rebranded are Cinecitta Digital, Cinecitta development lab and Cinecitta's sound unit. Giuseppe Basso, Managing Director of Cinecitta Digital Factory said the merging of the post units is to 'focus on post-production and open the way for a digital sol
  • Menon, Keenan launch India-US consultancy Nuclear Mango

    Hot on the heels of the Academy Awards and commercial success of Slumdog Millionaire, Bollywood producer Govind Menon and US independent executive William Keenan have launched the Indian-US production consultancy Nuclear Mango.Based in Los Angeles, New York and Mumbai, Nuclear Mango's core business will be the strategic packaging of creative, tec
  • Michael Caine to get Lifetime Achievement Award at ShoWest

    Michael Caine will receive the ShoWest 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award at the final night banquet and awards ceremony on April 2.Caine will next be seen in Big Beach, Heyday Films, and BBC Films'drama Is Anybody There' that will open in Los Angeles and New York onApril 17.The Veteran English actor has won best supporting actor Oscars forHannah And Her Sisters in 1987 and The Cider House Rules in 2000.His long c
  • Minority report: training in the UK

    Minority training in the UKThe three 'b's in B3 Media stand for 'beats, bytes and the big screen'. The London-based organisation works to bring together multicultural film-makers and the mainstream UK film industry. B3's FeatureLab is one of a handful of UK initiatives to target film-makers from black and ethnic minority backgrounds. Now in its second year, the programme, funded by training organisation Skillset and Film4, is running throughout 2009. It consists of wor
  • Mitchell Micich, Amy Dotson promoted at IFP in New York

    Mitchell Micich has been promoted to deputy director, finance & operations at New York's independent film non-profit organization IFP and Amy Dotson has been promoted to deputy director.Both report directly to IFP executive director Michelle Byrd. Meanwhile Jennifer Smith is named producer of the Gotham Independent Film Awards.Micich is a nine-year veteran of IFP and previously served as senior director of finance & operations. He h
  • Nigel Wooll to produce The Brigadier with UK's Turn of the Century

    Nigel Wooll, executive producer on Miss Potter and co-producer on GI Jane, is to produce The Brigadier alongside Turn of the Century Productions.The UK production company optioned the international thriller The Brigadier by Josh Rosenberg. Keith Sweitzer brought the script to Turn of the Century and will produce for the company alongside Nigel Wooll.The story follows two brothers who are separated at a young age in the C
  • Opinion: Eastern promisesin the long term

    At the recent FICCI Frames conference in Mumbai, Anand Mahindra, a leading industrialist and recent entrant to the film business, said he was convinced India's economy would recover more quickly than other major economies for two reasons.First, he believes India has a great strength in its agricultural sector, which is insulated from global meltdown and employs around 60% of the population. This was good news for the Bollywood titans in the room - as India's rural audience is the bedro
  • Palm Springs ShortFest moves from August to June

    The 15th Palm Springs International ShortFest, Short Film Festival & Film Market has moved forward its dates from August and will run this summer from June 23-29.'We've been considering a date change for some time, and ultimatelydecided that the June dates would provide better placement on theannual festival calendar and more marketing opportunities for ourparticipating film-makers at ShortFest - not to mention moreseasonable weather for all inv
  • PPIto unleashWatchmen asyear's first major launch

    The first major day-and-date global launch of the year takes place this weekend when Zack Snyder's ambitious Watchmen adaptation touches down in more than 45 territories.Paramount Pictures International (PPI) president Andrew Cripps canlook forward to a dominant opening weekend in most markets when PPIunleashes the postmodern superhero saga simultaneously with WarnerBros' North American launch.In fact any doubts stemming from the mixed
  • Revolver picks up rights to Star Wreck

    Revolver Entertainment has picked up Star Wreck: In The Pirkinning from Finnish producer Blind Spot Films for distribution in the UK and US.Star Wreck: In The Pirkinning, originally produced by a group of Tampere-based filmmakers as a micro-budget sci-fi comedy for the internet community, has become the most-watched Finnish film ever with more than 8 million viewers worldwide. The launch is planned to take place simultaneously with the new Star Trek
  • Romanian CNC awards $4.4m in funding

    The Romanian National Film Centre (CNC) has announced approximately $4.4m in funding for film projects and productions, including $3.3m for feature film production.The single largest grant was $405,000 for Tuesday After Christmas by Radu Muntean (Boogie, The Paper Will Be Blue). Producer Multimedia Est presented the project at Rotterdam's CineMart earlier this year.Castel Film received $384,000 in production funds for Chir
  • Russian International Film Market gets underway in Moscow

    The 77th edition of the Russian International film market (the IRFM) has opened with the world premiere of Sergei Solovyev's rock-music drama 2-ASSA-2, a sequel to his cult 1987 film ASSA. In addition the festival has confirmed that, in response to industry feedback, it will now take place three times a year. The IRFM, which is Russia's biggest film market, attracts more than 1000 film industry professionals from Russia, CIS and the Baltics to
  • Sally Hawkins opens UK's Birds Eye View Film Festival

    The fifth Birds Eye View Film Festival(BEV) kicked off in London last night with Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins on hand to open proceedings at the British Film Institute. The opening night showcased a selection of UK & international shorts, including Sam Taylor-Wood 's BAFTA nominated Love You More and Sundance winner August 15th by Jiang Xuan. Gurinder Chadha, Stephen Woolley and Hayley Atwell were among those atte
  • Sam Raimi to debut work-in-progress Drag Me To Hell at SXSW

    Director Sam Raimi will debut a work-in-progress version of Universal Pictures' Drag Me to Hell, his long awaited return to the horror genre, at the South By Southwest Festival (SXSW). The film, which stars Alison Lohman and Justin Long, is a tale of a young woman's quest to break an evil curse. Raimi will introduce the screening at midnight, Sunday, March 15, at the Paramount Theatre. In addition, Jonathan Demme will premiere his new Neil Young performan
  • San Francisco to offer $100,000 in prizes at 52nd festival

    Prize money at the 52nd San Francisco International Film Festival will amount to more than $100,000 this year,organisers said as they announced the documentary and new directors competition entries for the April 23-May 7 event.Winning documentaries will be eligible for $60,000 in awards, with$25,000 going to best investigative feature, $20,000 to bestdocumentary and $15,000 to best Bay Area entry. The winner of the NewDirectors Prize will receive $15,
  • Screen International announces new editor

    Conor Dignam is to be the new editor of Screen International and Formerly the editor and publishing director of Broadcast, Dignam has been most recently working at Screen's parent company Emap as director of digital content. There, he has overhauled the company's 10 biggest publishing websites.He has been writing about media for more than 15 years and has edited publications in London, New York and Hong Kong including Bro
  • Sofia to open with world premiere of The Goat

    The Sofia International Film Festival opens March 5 with the world premier of The Goat, a dark comedy from Bulgarian director Georgi Djulgerov and close March 15 with Wim Wenders presenting his film The Palermo Shooting. The festival's international competition of first and second films includes Bulgaria's Oscar submission, Zift, as well as Ozcan Alper's Autumn and Gerald McMorrow's Franklyn. Hungarian director Janos Szasz will
  • Sonnenfeld to direct remake of Korean hit Scandal Makers

    Korean sales agent M-Line Distribution has announced that Barry Sonnenfeld (Men In Black) is attached to direct and executive produce the US remake of Korean sleeper hit Scandal Makers. Kang Hyung-chul's Scandal Makers portrays the comedy and drama that ensues when a radio DJ in his mid-thirties suddenly discovers he has not only a full-grown daughter but also a kindergarten-age grandson when they both come to live with him. 'The William Morri
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment said to be cutting 300 jobs

    Sony Pictures Entertainment is believed to be cutting in the region of 300 jobs in the latest move by a US major to trim costs as the world heads further into recession.Sources at the studio would neither confirm nor deny reportscirculating within Hollywood that the cuts were being implemented.It is understood the loss to the workforce comprises redundancies andunfilled vacancies. The company's international divisions are believedto be affected
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment said to be cutting 300 jobs

    Sony Pictures Entertainment is believed to be cutting in the region of 300 jobs in the latest move by a US major to trim costs as the world heads further into recession.Sources at the studio would neither confirm nor deny reportscirculating within Hollywood that the cuts were being implemented.It is understood the loss to the workforce comprises redundancies andunfilled vacancies. The company's international divisions are believedto be affected
  • Stillking and Pioneer launch joint venture in Budapest

    Stillking Films and Pioneer Pictures have announced the launch of a new joint venture, P.S. Films, to co-produce and service feature films in Budapest. The move indicates renewed confidence in Hungary as a location for runaway production after inward feature film production services spend dropped nearly three-quarters in 2008. Stillking and Pioneer describe P.S. Films as the natural evolution of a longstanding relation between them and say the company has been s
  • Technology's transformation of the film business

    A dance floor in Indonesia is not the most likely place for a US seller and a German buyer to negotiate an acquisition deal. Yet with the transformation of the film business due to cellphones, PDAs (personal digital assistant) and other mobile devices, anywhere is valid as a place to do business. 'I did a $1.5m deal on a movie with a German buyer when I was in a nightclub in Bali at 2am,' recalls Nicolas Chartier, president of Los Angeles-based sales company Voltage Pictures. 'I took the call
  • The Combination

    Dir: David Field. Aust. 2008. 96 mins. A high-energy, low-budget, independently-financed tale of gangs, guns and racial hatred in the hot, flat western suburbs of Sydney, The Combination has hit the headlines at home after violent outbursts at some of its screenings. But the film, which went out on February 26 on a small 33-screen release through Australian Film Syndicate, has also attracted some very good notices and word of mouth. As yet, it does not have an internatio
  • The Combination returns to screens after violent incidents

    One of Australia's three biggest exhibitors, Greater Union Cinemas, last night reversed an earlier decision to withdraw Australian film The Combination from four of its Sydney screens after blaming the film for inciting violence. The Combination is the self-financed debut film of veteran actor David Field and is imbued with racial tension and vi
  • The Rest Is Silence dominates Romanian academy awards

    The Rest Is Silence has picked up the lion’s share of trophies, including best feature, at the 2009 Gopos,Romania’s national film awards.
  • The secrets to Japanese box-office success

    Japanese cinema-goers paying $18 for a ticket tend to make conservative choices when they reach the front of the queue. This goes some way to explain the 59.5% market share garnered by local films at last year's box office. Audiences know what they will get from the new animation from Hayao Miyazaki (Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea), the latest theatrical reworking of a TV police series (Partners: The Movie) and a feature adaptation of a popular manga TV series (Boys Over Flowe
  • Thierry Potok steps down from Germany's VIP fund

    Thierry Potok, the head of private German media fund VIP Medienfonds, is returning to producing after almost a year in the role.
  • Tribeca lineup has world premieres from Polish Brothers, Kirby Dick

    Citing a ‘panorama’ of generational US independent film-makers and a strong international contingent in the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival’s world narrative and documentarycompetition strands, director of programming David Kwok struck a defiant note in the face of budget cuts inflicted by the recession.
  • Turner, Warner Bros team for English-language channel for India

    Turner and Warner Bros Entertainment have partnered to launch WB, a new 24-hour English-language Warner-branded channel aimed at the Indian market carrying features and television series.Available in Indian homes from March 15, WB will showcase programming licensed from Warner Bros International Television Distribution. The channel will be distributed by Zee-Turner and will be available on both DTH and C&S platforms. The initiative follows the recent launch of Turner's
  • UK theatre producers team with China's Dadi Media on musical

    London-based Broadway producer Toby Simkin and Hampshire-based Captive Theater and Music are teaming up with China's Dadi Media and ESA Cultural Investment to co-produce musical feature The Sacrifice Of Yang Guifei. The film will be shot in mainland China with English as its primary language. It will be written and composed by Captive Theater and Music authors Kenneth Clarke, Richard Daniels and Mark Troop. It's understood that it will be budgeted at around $14m.
  • UK's Potboiler Productions and Slate Films join forces

    Simon Channing Williams and Gail Egan of Potboiler Productions are teaming up with Andrea Calderwood of Slate Films.They will work together across a range of upcoming projects including John Le Carre’s The Mission Song, adapted by Neal Purvis and Rob Wade; classic Victorian drama Effie; Jeremy Brock’s Slave, to be directed by Gabriel Range; Biyi Bandele’s adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-seller Half Of A Yellow Sun and Dan Mazer’s comedy Stif
  • Ursula Meier's Home is big winner at Swiss Film Prizes

    Ursula Meier's Home was the big winner at this year's ceremony for the Swiss Film Prizes which were presented for the first time in a gala event in Lucerne on Saturday evening (March 7).Meier's film, which had its world premiere at last year's Cannes Film Festival and is represented internationally by Memento Films International, picked up the QUARTZ trophies in its three nominated categories: for Best Film, Best Screenplay (to Meier and co-screenwriter Antoin
  • Watchmen leads international pack with $27.5m in 45 territories

    The superhero saga Watchmen ruled the overseas box office as Paramount Pictures International reported an estimated $27.5m day-and-date launch in 5,097 sites in 45 territories.The number one international debut complemented the $55.7m North American launch through Warner Bros and meant Zack Snyder's adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' grap
  • Watchmen performs well, but not as well as 300, in domestic opening

    As expected Watchmen dominated the North American charts at the weekend with an estimated $55.7m launch through Warner Bros that fell short of expectations but nonetheless secured with ease the biggest weekend debut of the year-to-date.The haul for the R-rated movie included a $5.5m tally from 124 IMAX theatres that served a reminder if any were
  • Watchmen's Snyder to get ShoWest Director of Year Award

    Watchmen director Zack Snyder will receive the ShoWest 2009 Director Of The Year Award in Las Vegas on April 2.Snyder shot to fame with the 2004 release of his of zombie remake Dawn Of The Dead and followed that up with the global juggernaut 300.Now all eyes will be on Watchmen, Snyder's adaptation of the acclaimed graphic novel from the 1980s that many said could not be filmed.Warner Bros launches the picture in North
  • Wolfe Releasing takes US rights to Pedro Zamora biopic Pedro

    Wolfe Releasing has acquired domestic rights to the feature Pedro, based on a screenplay by Milk Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black about the life of the Real World star and AIDS activist
  • Zack Snyder: filming the unfilmable of Watchmen

    The January courtroom battle between Warner Bros, which was the lead studio backing the new movie Watchmen, and Twentieth Century Fox, the studio which claimed it still had distribution rights to the property under a 1994 turnaround agreement with producer Larry Gordon, threatened to derail what promises to be one of the year's biggest openings this weekend.The $130m movie, based on the beloved comic-book series, is also the latest directing effort from Zack Snyder, the man behi
  • Zelenka's The Karamazovs named Best Film at Czech Lions

    Petr Zelenkawas the big winner at this year's Czech academy awards, taking home three Lions for his film The Karamazovs at the March 7 ceremony. In addition to winning Best Film and Best Director, the adaptation of Dostoevsky's play was also named Best Feature by Czech film critics.The Karamazovs was the Czech Republic's submission for Best Foreign-Language Film in this year's Oscar race. The film saw its world premier at Karlovy Vary, where it
  • Zhang to make film celebrating communist China's birthday

    Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou is joining the trend to make a tribute film celebrating the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China (PRC). During his attendanceat the annual National People's Congress, Zhang told China's CCTV that he is working on several scripts and hopes to start shooting this year. He also confirmed that he will direct the National Day Fireworks Gala on Oct 1, the day of the 60th anniversary. Last year, Zhang served as the chief direct