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14 April 2000

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  • 28 Days

    Dir: Betty Thomas. US. 2000. 103 mins.Prod cos: Tall Trees, Columbia Pictures. US dist: Sony Pictures. Int'l dist: Col TriStar. Prods: Celia D. Costas, Jenno Topping. Scr: Susannah Grant. DoP: Declan Quinn. Prod des: Marcia Hinds. Ed: Peter Teschner. Music: Richard Gibbs. Main cast: Sandra Bullock, Dominic West, Steve Buscemi, Viggo Mortensen, Dianne Ladd. The threadbare premise of a woman struggling to overcome her alcoholism is spiked with new life thanks to a smartly c
  • Aardman, AtomFilms team for Internet premiere

    UK animation house Aardman Animations is launching its latest creation, Angry Kid, exclusively on the Internet, via online distributor AtomFilms' web-site from early May.The 25 60-second episodes will be available as free Quicktime downloads from Sunday, May 7. Aardman and AtomFilms previously pacted for Web distribution of Aardman's back catalogue and its forthcoming feature slate. Aardman head of film and TV productions Michael Rose described Angry Kid's brattish
  • Allen, DreamWorks seal three-pic deal

    Woody Allen has signed a domestic distribution deal with DreamWorks SKG for his next three untitled comedies. DreamWorks, whose film Antz featured Allen's voice, is already distributing the next Woody Allen picture Small Time Crooks in the US. The agreement comes in the wake of the ending of Allen's association with producer Jean Doumanian and her Sweetland Films which sold off domestic and foreign rights separately to the last seven Allen films. Allen's agents Joh
  • Applause sets Hur's Spring Day as first project

    Applause Pictures, the ambitious start-up pan-Asian production company, has unveiled its first project, One Fine Spring Day, a co-production with Korea's Uno Films and Japan's Omega Projects, to be directed by Christmas In August director Hur Ji-Ho.The drama, which has a budget of under $4m (HK$30m), is tentatively scheduled to start shooting in August. Japanese financier NDF and distributor Pony Canyon are also backing the film.Applause, set up by Hong Kong directors Pet
  • Atherton commercials house gears up UK film arm

    Cylo Film, the UK production arm of newly-revamped New York-based commercials house the Atherton Group, has launched into feature development and production under recently-appointed head of film and TV Hans Baernhoft and managing director Susie Brooks-Smith.Along with a multi-picture deal with Denmark's Zentropa Internationale, Cylo is developing family film Tooth, written and to be directed by Ed Nammour, a commercials director with credits including the recent Ford Millennium
  • Australia's RGM agency forms packaging venture

    Sydney-based talent agency RGM Associates, which boasts clients including Cate Blanchett and Anthony La Paglia, has formed a joint venture that will work with producers to package and raise finance for film and TV projects. Partnering with RGM is Black Rock Entertainment, the new Melbourne-based entity created by former Scanbox Asia Pacific executive Devesh Chetty and Paul Choiselat. Titled RGM Plus, the new operation will be managed by Andrew Naar and Wendy Cohen."The time is righ
  • BAFTA mulls pre-Oscars awards outing

    After one its glitziest film awards in years, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is debating moving the event to a pre-Academy Awards slot to focus worldwide attention on the ceremony as a pointer for the Oscars.Supporters of the move, said to include incoming BAFTA chairman Simon Relph, aim to avoid the post-Oscar hang-over by securing a date in late February. The move would mean BAFTA's film awards would fall only a month before the Academy Awards.While ma
  • Balkan countries team up for promotional network

    Film institutes from 11 Balkan and Southeast European countries are banding together to launch a pan-regional promotional body, dubbed the Network of Southeastern European Cinema Institutions (NSECI).The network was created during a meeting organised by the Greek Film Centre last weekend on the Greek island of Hydra. The meeting aimed to identify problems common to the film industries of all 11 countries and ways of working together to find solutions. NSECI is charged with implementing
  • Birkin to head Un Certain Regard jury

    Paris-based British actress and singer Jane Birkin will chair the jury for the 2000 Cannes Un Certain Regard sidebar. Birkin made her first Cannes appearance 33 years ago for her supporting role in Michelango Antiononi's London-set title Blow-Up. She recently starred in Deborah Warner's The Last September, along with Michael Gambon and Maggie Smith. The Un Certain Regard/Fondation Gan prize - a contribution to the launch campaign of the winning title, worth up to F
  • Bornedal, Holst team up for Dina adaptation

    Danish director Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch) is attached to direct an adaptation of best-selling Norwegian novel Dina's Book for Danish producer Per Holst. The $10m English-language project is set to start production in September.Dina will be Bornedal's first directing project since the 1999 TV movie Deep Water (Dybt Vand). Bornedal achieved international acclaim with Danish thriller Nightatch (Nattevagten) in 1994, a film he also scripted. He went on to direct
  • Brockovich powers Columbia overseas

    Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI) enjoyed a powerful weekend at the international box office, topping charts in nine territories as it unleashed US megahit Erin Brockovich and continued the rollout of family smash Stuart Little.Erin Brockovich, on to which CTFDI parent Sony Pictures Entertainment was invited as a financing and distribution partner by Universal Pictures, grossed $9.16m in its opening weekend in seven territories including $3m
  • BSkyB says Yes with Buena Vista, Warner

    BSkyB could be the next major player to invest in UK video-on-demand (VoD) pioneer Yes Television. According to a report in the Sunday Telegraph the News Corp subsidiary BSkyB is preparing to take a stake in Yes, which is currently in the middle of an £800m flotation on the London Stock Exchange. Neither BSkyB nor Yes Television have confirmed the report - and mention of BSkyB as an investor at the flotation stage is absent from Yes' prospectus. However, that would not stop BSky
  • CanWest dubs new US distribution venture IDP

    Canada's CanWest Entertainment has confirmed a joint venture with Samuel Goldwyn Jr. and Carl Icahn, the billionaire backer of Stratosphere Entertainment, to launch an independent distribution outfit, IDP Distribution, to be based in New York. IDP will acquire North American rights to smaller-budget films in a model similar to Lions Gate Releasing, distributor of controversial titles Dogma and American Psycho. The company already has two pictures on its slate, Spanish dir
  • Carlotti expected to exit Mediaset

    Mediaset CEO Maurizio Carlotti is expected to resign this week ending a power struggle that has shaken up Italy' largest commercial broadcasting group.Carlotti's resignation has not yet been made public, but sources at Silvio Berlusconi's TV outfit say the resignation came at the request of several top executives after a battle between Carlotti and Mediaset advertising president Mario Brugloa ended in Brugloa's resignation.Carlotti was instrumental in creating Mediaset and Kirch
  • Chapman, Lawrence team for FFC-backed thriller

    Leading Australian producer Jan Chapman (Holy Smoke, The Piano) has teamed with award-winning director Ray Lawrence (Bliss) to make Lantana, one of four films which have just received backing from the Australian Film Finance Corporation (FFC). Lantana marks Lawrence's first film for 15 years when he won best director at the Australian Film Institute Awards for his highly acclaimed debut Bliss, which also won best film. Billed as "crossing the g
  • CineMedia shuffles pack for digital future

    German film services group, CineMedia Film is re-shuffling its board of directors in order to best position the company for a high tech future.Co-founder Holger Heims joins the supervisory board taking the place of Markus Hoelzl. Hoelzl in turn moves over to the management board to take over financial responsibility for the company. Christian Sommer, director of Bavaria Film which owns 19% of CineMedia, joins the board of newly hatched technology division Ressort Medientechnologie.
  • Circus

    Dir: Rob Walker. UK. 2000. 96 mins.Prod Co: Film Development Corporation. US dist: Sony Pictures. Int'l dist: Columbia TriStar. Prod: Alan Latham, James Gibb. Scr: David Logan. DoP: Ben Seresin. Prod des: James Merifield. Ed: Oral Norrie Ottley. Mus: Simon Boswell. Main cast: John Hannah, Famke Janssen, Brian Conley, Eddie Izzard, Amanda Donohoe, Fred Ward.A tardy, tortuous British attempt to emulate the Tarantino school of hardboiled pulp fiction, this Circus
  • Cuaron returns to Mexico with Good Machine

    Good Machine International (GMI) has acquired international sales rights outside North America, Spain and Latin America to Alfonso Cuaron's latest film Y Tu Mama Tambien which is currently shooting in Mexico.The film marks Cuaron's return to Spanish-language films in Mexico after two Hollywood films - Great Expectations (1998) for 20th Century Fox and A Little Princess (1995) for Warner Bros.Y Tu Mama Tambien is the first film to be marketed under the
  • Depp, Paradis in talks to star in Quixote

    Johnny Depp is expected to play opposite his real-life partner Vanessa Paradis for the first time in Terry Gilliam's £20m plus The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Screendaily, March 17).Depp, who along with Paradis is in serious talks to board the project according to sources involved with the production, would play Sancho Panza, the servant of Don Quixote, a wandering knight who battles both windmills and reality itself. In a twist on Miguel de Cervantes' 17th Century classi
  • Dern, Koteas, Caan in cast of Artisan's Novocaine

    Laura Dern, Elias Koteas and Scott Caan have joined the cast of Artisan Entertainment's dark comedy Novocaine which began principal photography this week in Chicago.The film, which toplines Steve Martin and Helena Bonham Carter, is written and directed by David Atkins, previously best known as the screenwriter of Emir Kusturica's Arizona Dream.Martin plays an unassuming dentist with a beautiful fiance (Dern) and a wealthy lifestyle. However, everything is turned upside down wi
  • DiCaprio linked to Miramax sci-fi thriller

    Leonardo DiCaprio's unexpected attachment to Dimension Film's Librium has allowed that sci-fi project to proceed with plans to shoot certain scenes this coming Summer in the same Bucharest Parliament building that once housed the reviled Communist tyrant Nicolae Ceausescu.According to a statement released on Monday by the Deputies Chamber board, Roumanian officials said they have reconsidered their earlier denial of a shooting permit and will now permit the cameras into the old
  • DND converts to Instinct; cranks up Voices

    Melbourne-based DND Productions has changed its name to Instinct Entertainment as it gears up to start production on Till Human Voices Wake Us, set to star Helena Bonham Carter and Guy Pearce.Human Voices is the first directorial effort of writer Michael Petroni who won the best new script award for the project from the Writers Guild of America/Scenario Magazine. He has also written Warner Bros' Queen Of The Damned, based on the third book in Anne Rice's Vampire Ch
  • Doroniuk exits post as Lions Gate chief

    Roman Doroniuk has resigned from his post as president and chief operating officer of Lions Gate Entertainment.Doroniuk's departure is the latest to hit Lions Gate following the March 21 appointment of former Sony Pictures chief Jon Feltheimer to the position of vice chairman and CEO.Lions Gate founder Frank Giustra stepped down as CEO to make way for Feltheimer but remains chairman. Doroniuk, who joined Lions Gate in January 1999, was previously CFO of Alliance Communications p
  • Downtown picks up Belgium's Molokai

    UK distributor Downtown Pictures has acquired UK rights to Molokai: The Story Of Father Damien, which screened last week in London at the "United Tastes of Belgium" showcase (March 31-April 5).Downtown is planning an autumn release for the film, about a Belgian priest on the Hawaiian island Molokai, which stars David Wenham, Peter O'Toole, Sam Neil, Derek Jacobi and Kris Kristofferson.UK-based sales agent Vine International Pictures is handling international sales on the
  • Downtown seals DVD output deal with MGM

    Downtown Pictures, the UK distributor of Spike Lee's Summer Of Sam and Bill Condon's Gods And Monsters, has signed an exclusive output deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) for DVD and video sell-through titles in the UK.The deal also requires Downtown to identify and acquire product for MGM in the UK. The first three theatrical pictures to be go through the pact are Gods And Monsters, Final Cut and Orphans.Downtown last year struck a video renta
  • Eagle sets aside $20m for production

    Newly capitalised Italian distributor Eagle Pictures is stepping up international production and has earmarked $20m from a $300m war chest to invest in feature films, television mini-series and documentaries.According to Eagle president Giampaolo Sodano the company is looking to board a greater number of international co-productions and English-language TV movies. The next two features on Eagle's TV production slate are mini-series Almost America, a co-production with Canada's I
  • Eagle swoops on Buena Vista's Sidewalks

    Aggressively acquisitive Italian distributor Eagle Pictures has added four pictures to its line-up, including Buena Vista Film Sales' Sidewalks Of New York, directed by Ed Burns, and is discussing multi-picture deals with US sales companies Alchemy Entertainment and Joe Singer Entertainment.The newly capitalised distributor has also added Tomorrow Film Corp's The Third Wheel, Shoreline Entertainment's Time Killer, and Legend Film's Occam's Razor to its growi
  • Goodbye Casanova opens LA Italian Film Awards Week

    The second annual Los Angeles Italian Film Awards Week will open on April 25 with the world premiere of Mauro Borrelli's Italian/American comedy Goodbye Casanova starring Giancarlo Scandiuzzi, Yasmine Bleeth and Flea, the lead bassist from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.The event which runs April 25-29 is designed to introduce new film and film-makers from Italy to the Hollywood film community and the public, while also celebrating classic Italian cinema.Goodbye Casanova
  • Guild rules against Stewart over Honest credits

    UK writers' body the Writers' Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) has ruled against musician Dave Stewart's production company in a dispute over credits on his directing debut Honest, which stars Nicole and Natalie Appleton and Melanie Blatt from UK pop group All Saints.All three WGGB arbitrators ruled in favour of writer Karen Street, saying that she should receive front-billing credit under the terms of her contract with the films' production company, Honest Productions."The
  • Harvey Entertainment completes acquisition of PM

    The Harvey Entertainment Group has completed its acquisition of George Shamieh's PM Entertainment Group following the securing of a $25m, five year revolving credit facility from Chase Manhattan Bank.$15m of the funds have already been committed, enabling Harvey to complete the acquisition of 100% of the capital stock of PM, which has a library of over 150 films and 74 episodes of TV programming, for $10m. The purchase consisted of $6.5m in cash and $1.45m in Harvey Entertainment comm
  • Hyde Park signs output deals in five territories

    Ashok Amritraj and David Hoberman's Hyde Park Entertainment has concluded a slew of output deals in smaller territories, sealing the patchwork of worldwide deals on its upcoming slate.Warner Nu Metro has signed a two-year, ten-picture deal with the company in South Africa; three-year deals have been closed in Israel with Forum Film, in the Middle East with Almassa Art, in Iceland with Samfilm and in Turkey with Pinema Prods.Each of the deals will kick off with Anti-Trust
  • Kinovision fills out slate with Devil's Beauty

    Kinovision, the start-up production arm of Spanish distributor Araba Films, has added $40m drama The Devil's Beauty to its rapidly expanding English-language production slate.Beauty, based on the novel by French writer Lauren Haloche and adapted by Enrique Urbizu, has been set up as a co-production with France's Orly Films and French producer Michele de Broca. De Broca also co-produced the $15m Cannes tipped The Old Man Who Read Love Stories with Kinovision and Au
  • Kinowelt bags five-year deal with Gale Anne Hurd

    Kinowelt USA, the recently set-up US film production arm of German film giant Kinowelt, has signed its first major producer deal - with Gale Anne Hurd. Kinowelt and Hurd have entered into a multi-year, first-look development, production and distribution arrangement whereby Kinowelt USA will provide Hurd with financing to develop and produce pictures in the $20m-$80m range. Kinowelt will maintain financing and worldwide distribution rights to the films over the next five years, electing with H
  • Macbean to exit Itel for drama school

    Andrew Macbean, CEO of UK-based TV programming distributor Itel, is resigning from the company. It is understood that he plans to go to drama school. His exit appears to have been prompted by the proposed merger between Itel's parent company United News & Media and Carlton Communications, which has its own programming distribution arm Carlton International. However UK TV watchdog, the Independent Television Commission, has ruled the merger will breach current policy and legislation.
  • Michael Stone joins sales team at Regent Int'l

    Michael Stone has joined Regent Entertainment as director of international sales and servicing as part of the expansion of the company's international sales division. Stone was most recently vice president worldwide distribution at Blue Rider Pictures and previously director of international servicing at Lakeshore International and Trans Atlantic Entertainment. He held positions at Turner Entertainment Company and Network Ten, Australia.He will work alongside Meggan Kimberley, the for
  • Microsoft to buy controlling stake in Titus

    Microsoft Corp is buying a 60% stake in Japan's second largest cable operator Titus Communications from US cable company MediaOne Group which is merging with telco AT&T.Microsoft claimed the deal would speed up the roll-out of broadband networks in Japan. Titus already offers cable telephony and high-speed Internet access to a small but growing market. Titus claims nine cable franchises with 1.6 million potential subscribers. The company was among 30 Japanese cablers that recen
  • MIP-TV: Carlton, TeleMuenchen unwrap alliance

    UK-based Carlton International Media and Germany's TeleMuenchen have signed a wide-ranging agreement which covers co-production, licensing, a representation deal for German-speaking territories and an output deal with Carlton's Los Angeles-based offshoot Carlton America.Under the terms of the four-part deal:TeleMuenchen will co-produce a minimum of eight TV movies either with Carlton International in the UK or Carlton America. TeleMuenchen gains access to all TV movies
  • MIP-TV: Channel 4, Company strike first-look deal

    UK TV production outfit Company Television has signed a first-look development and distribution deal with UK-based TV distributor Channel 4 International (C4I).Under the terms of the deal, C4I will handle distribution on selected Company titles and the two companies will jointly develop a raft of projects. The partners are already collaborating on an adaptation of Charles Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby. The 2x120 minute production is scheduled to be broadcast on UK commercial channe
  • MIP-TV: Delon, Belmondo sign up for TF1 drama

    French broadcaster TF1 has unveiled two big-budget television mini-series, to be produced by regular producing partner GMT, which are set to star big-screen talents, Alain Delon and Jean Paul Belmondo.Delon will star as a Marseilles cop in La Trilogie De Marseilles, an adaptation of three best-selling French crime novels, Total Cheops, Solea and Chourmo. The first episode will go before the cameras before the end of the year with feature director Jose Pinheiro directing.B
  • MIP-TV: Hallmark extends output deal with RTL

    US-based TV drama producer Hallmark Entertainment has extended its three-year output deal with Germany's RTL Entertainment for a further three years.Under the initial agreement, RTL held exclusive rights for all German-speaking territories to major dramas produced by Hallmark Entertainment. The German broadcaster also co-produced Hallmark event mini-series such as Merlin, Jason And The Argonauts, Cleopatra and the forth-coming Arabian Nights. Arabi
  • MIP-TV: Hallmark signs output deal with M6

    French broadcaster M6 has signed a two-year output deal with US-based TV drama producer Hallmark Entertainment.The deal gives M6 exclusive free TV rights to Hallmark's television movies and mini-series, starting immediately. M6 will also co-finance a number of mini-series with Hallmark each year for the duration of the deal.This is the fourth deal signed by Hallmark at this year's MIP-TV. The drama specialist, which extended its output agreement with Germany's RTL Television ear
  • MIP-TV: Japan's Tohokushinsha takes ITC classics

    UK-based TV distributor Carlton International Media (CIM) has sealed a $3m licensing deal with Japan's Tohokushinsha Film Corp covering broadcast, video and merchandising rights to a package of films and TV programming from the ITC library.Titles included in the deal range from movie classics such as The Boys From Brazil, The Eagle Has Landed, All Quiet On The Western Front and Raise The Titanic, to cult TV series such as The Prisoner. Tohokushinsha p
  • Mitchell Galin resigns from New Amsterdam Ent.

    Mitchell Galin has resigned from his position as president and member of the board at New Amsterdam Entertainment. Richard P Rubinstein will now assume the position of president alongside his current roles as chairman and CEO.Galin, who has relocated to Nashville to set up his own production company On The Lam Inc, will now work with New Amsterdam on a project by project basis.Michael Messina has concurrently been promoted to director ofdevelopment at New Amsterdam.
  • New Latin aims for crossover hit with Luminarias

    US producer-distributor New Latin Pictures plans to open romantic comedy Luminarias on more than 60 screens in California, in a bid to repeat the success of its first crossover Latino release Nueba Yol.The $1.5m feature, directed by UCLA drama professor Jose Luis Valenzuela, will open May 5 in greater Los Angeles and San Francisco. "We are aiming for the mainstream audience which in our minds is the Latino moviegoer; we hope it crosses over to the indie/arthouse crowd," s
  • Norway postpones funding revamp

    Norway's incoming culture minister, Ellen Horn, has pushed back the restructuring of the government's film financing policy from May to autumn, to take on board recommendations from directors' association, Norwegian Film Directors (NFD).The NFD is calling for higher funding levels for the film sector, but has suggested that not all extra funding needs to come from government coffers. At a press conference in Oslo earlier this week, NFD representative Thomas Robsahm recommended the intr
  • Oz commission attacks broadcasting legislation

    One of the Australian government's advisory bodies, the Productivity Commission, has warned that Australia's digital conversion plan faces "serious risk of failure".The warning is a slap in the face for both the government that formulated the plan and the influential existing free-to-air television networks which it clearly favours. The commission argues that the introduction of digital broadcasting should result in new and better services, but that the current policy framework
  • Pathe steps into Cowboy's Hole

    UK National Lottery studio franchise Pathe Pictures is financing Cowboy Films and Granada Film's The Hole, set to star American Beauty's Thora Birch.Director Nick Hamm (Martha, Meet Daniel, Frank and Laurence) is to start shooting the psychological thriller in the UK in July from a screenplay by Ben Court and Caroline Ip. The adaptation of Guy Burt's novel After The Hole tells the story of a group of public school students who face horrific consequences after they
  • Pearson close to TalkBack acquisition

    Pearson Television, the TV arm of the UK's Pearson Group, is close finalising a $110m (£70m) deal to buy London production company, TalkBack Productions, according to UK newspaper the Financial Times, which is owned by Pearson. Several media companies including Endemol and the UK's Carlton Communications are understood to have courted TalkBack, which has a long-term deal with Buena Vista for comedy feature productions.TalkBack, which was not immediately available for comm
  • Prisa set to float 25% of shares in June

    Spanish media conglomerate Grupo Prisa has revealed that it plans to float between 20-25% of its shares in June. "Prisa will grow stronger, be in better condition to preserve its independence and attract necessary resources to embark on new projects," Prisa president Jesus de Polanco said at a shareholders' meeting on Thursday (April 13).Prisa has recently been ramping up its software activities by absorbing giant publishing house Grupo Santillana and launching a latino record l
  • Rapp's Gout takes top prizes at Cognac crime fest

    Bernard Rapp 's Une Affaire De Gout bagged three awards at the 18th Cognac Festival of Crime Films (April 6-9), including the Cognac 2000 Grand Prize, the Critics' Prize and the Cine Live Prize.The film noir, which stars Bernard Giraudeau, Jean-Pierre Lorit and Florence Thomassin, was the token French film among an almost entirely US selection. It is sold on the international market by France Television Distribution's classics division, Art Box.For the first time this yea
  • Redbus set to float in second quarter

    Fast moving film-to-Internet operation Redbus Film Group has confirmed that it will float on the London Stock Exchange during the second quarter this year in a move that is understood to put a $400m-$500m price-tag on the company.Redbus, which is re-branding itself as filmgroup, has appointed ABN AMRO Rothschild as financial advisor on the float, which is reportedly to take place next month. The company is marketing shares to international and UK institutional investors and to UK retai
  • Romanian studio backs down from DiCaprio boast

    Romania's Castel Film Studios has backed down from claims made earlier this week that Leonardo DiCaprio would be appearing in Librium, the sci-fi thriller that is due to shoot in Bucharest this Summer for Dimension Films.Admitting to the same wishful thinking that makes casting credits so non-contractual at film markets, the red-faced studio explained on Tuesday that the actor had not actually signed for the movie even though his name was used to win Government permission to sho
  • Rosetta director to head short film jury at Cannes

    Belgian director Luc Dardenne, who directed last year's Palme d'Or-winning feature Rosetta, will this year head the Cannes jury for the short film and Cinefoundation sections.Other members of the jury include directors Francesca Comencini, Claire Denis and Abderrahmane Sissako and the actress Mira Sorvino.Dardenne, who shared writing, producing and directing credits on Rosetta with his brother Jean-Pierre, has also written and directed several documentaries includi
  • Rothkrans becomes Australia's offshore ambassador

    Trisha Rothkrans has been appointed chief executive of AusFILM, the national marketing alliance that aims to attract offshore productions to Australia. She replaces Judith Crombie who takes up her new role as head of the South Australian Film Corporation on May 1. Rothkrans was previously the manager of production liaison at the New South Wales Film and Television Office, where Kingston Anderson has replaced her.AusFILM's membership includes Australian service companies such as
  • Rudolph stands down as FilmFour deputy CEO

    Mark Rudolph is stepping down as deputy chief executive officer of the UK's FilmFour, the company confirmed.FilmFour expects to confirm a replacement for Rudolph by Cannes next month. In unrelated moves, Carl Clifton, formerly at Universal Pictures International in London, will replace FilmFour's sales chief Sue Bruce-Smith during Cannes. Bruce-Smith is on maternity leave. Additionally, Janine Gold, formerly of France-based sales outfit Celluloid Dreams, will join FilmFour's sal
  • Rules Of Engagement

    Dir: William Friedkin. US. 2000. 127 mins.Prod cos: Paramount Pictures, Seven Arts Pictures. Dist: Paramount (US, UK). Intl sales: Seven Arts. Prods: Richard D Zanuck, Scott Rudin. Exec prods: Adam Schroeder, James Webb. Co-prod: Arne Schmidt. Scr: Stephen Gaghan. DoPs: Nicola Pecorini, William A Fraker. Prod des: Robert Laing. Ed: Augie Hess. Music: Mark Isham. Main cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L Jackson, Guy Pearce, Bruce Greenwood, Blair Underwood, Philip Baker Hall, Anne Archer
  • Russia's first mall-based mini-plex opens doors

    Moscow-based entertainment company Karo has opened Russia's first shopping centre-based mini-plex. The 700-seat, four-screen cinema opened its doors last week in the Ramstore shopping centre in a Moscow suburb. The site follows a model that has proved successful in Eastern European countries such as Hungary where cinemas are incorporated into shopping centre developments.Karo, which also operates the single screen Pushkin cinema, one of the country's premier venues, aims to open
  • Schnedecker appointed to head up TCM France

    Turner Broadcasting-owned classic movies channel TCM Europe has appointed Eric Schnedecker as director of its French-language service, available in France, French-speaking Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Mauritius.TCM Europe, headquartered in London, currently offers five versions of the channel in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Schnedecker will work from Turner Broadcasting's Paris office reporting to London-based Tina McCann, general manager of TCM Europe. Schnedecke
  • Silver creates low-budget Zinc division

    Joel Silver's production outfit Silver Pictures is launching a new low-budget production division Zinc Pictures which will bow with the $5m thriller Proximity directed by Scott Ziehl, whose critically acclaimed first film Broken Vessels premiered at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival two years ago. The company emerged out of the ashes of Silver's last low-budget company Decade Entertainment, a partnership with Richard Donner, which produced Double Tap (sold
  • Spanish film stays alive with Art Of Dying

    Domestic productions continue to hold their own at the Spanish box office. Last week, two Spanish films opened in the top ten, one of which - Aurum Producciones' teen horror flic The Art Of Dying (El Arte De Morir) - nabbed the number two spot, beaten only by awards-laden American Beauty.The Art Of Dying (pictured) grossed $768,757 (PTS134,532,516) in the week to April 6. By April 10 it had racked up $1.3m (PTS225m) making it the highest grossing Spanish release so
  • Telefonica tight-lipped on Telemundo acquisition

    Telefonica refused to comment today on press reports that the telecommunications giant is negotiating the buy-out of US-based Spanish-language channel Telemundo. The company also declined to comment on its rumoured acquisition of a majority stake in Argentinean cable company Multicanal or the possible sale of its 5% share in the UK's Pearson. The reports were published in various newspapers today in Spain.The rumours reflect the frenzy of expectations set off by Telefonica presi
  • Telstra, Pacific form Internet alliance

    Australian telecommunications giant Telstra has formed a strategic alliance with Hong Kong-based Pacific Century Cyber Works (PCCW), the largest Internet group in Asia outside Japan.The billion dollar deal creates one of the largest Internet, data and business services groups in the pan-Asian region. It covers an Australian-based interactive content service, to be distributed globally, and an agreement for PCCW's Network of the World content to be used in Australia. It is subject to se
  • The Nine Lives Of Tomas Katz

    Dir: Ben Hopkins. UK. 1999. 84mins.Prod co: Strawberry Vale Film &TV. Int'l sales: United Artists Films. Prod: Caroline Hewitt. Scr: Ben Hopkins. DoP: Julian Court. Ed: Alan Levy. Music: Dominik Scherber. Main cast: Thomas Fisher, Janet Henfrey, Ian McNeice, Tim Barlow. Ben Hopkins' The Nine Lives Of Tomas Katz is the conspiracy film to end all conspiracy films. It's the high end of high-concept, a fever dream of urban nightmares, window conspiracies and plotting b
  • TPS film channels outrank CanalSatellite

    Television Par Satellite (TPS) movie channels, Cinestar 1 and Cinestar 2, are outperforming rival CanalSatellite's three CineCinema channels, according to Mediametrie's viewership survey Audicabsat.The TPS channels were France's top-rating film channels with a 5.8% share of the country's 11 million cable and satellite subscribers according to Mediametrie figures for November 27 to December 17. CanalSatellite's channels came second with a 4.4% share.The poll excluded terrestrial
  • UK's Optimum, MGM team for Flawless release

    Optimum Releasing, the indie distributor that flashed its marketing savvy by re-releasing The Third Man opposite Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, has struck a joint partnership with MGM to release Flawless, starring Robert DeNiro and Philip Seymour Hoffman.Optimum and MGM have also partnered for a UK release on Mike Figgis' Miss Julie. Additionally, Optimum is re-releasing Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (A Bout De Souffle) on its 40th anniversary and has
  • UPC joins Disney, Sony in Benelux movie channel

    Netherlands-based cable operator UPC has confirmed that it has boarded a joint venture between Disney and Sony to launch a 24-hour premium movie channel for Belgium and the Netherlands (Screendaily, February 4).Dubbed CineNova, the channel is scheduled to launch May 18 in the Netherlands and in Belgium in September. It will show both new and library titles from Disney and Sony's various production banners and will be distributed over UPC, Mediakabel and Casema cable systems. Films will
  • US micro distribs snare Ratcatcher, Hit & Runway

    In a sign that US micro-distributors are starting to fill the acquisitions void left by the studio specialist divisions as they gravitate to more commercial higher-budgeted fare, two emergent releasing boutiques have separately added two long-overlooked festival favourites to their forthcoming slates.Marking its third acquisition over the past six weeks, Lot 47 Films has picked up all North American rights to Christopher Livingston's odd couple comedy Hit & Runway. At the same t
  • VCL commits titles to Germany's first VoD service

    Munich-based video distributor VCL Film + Medien is backing the launch of Germany's first Video-on-demand (VoD) television service.VCL has licensed 100 titles from its extensive home entertainment catalogue to Marburg-based [netCom], which begins testing of its service later this month and hopes to have a more commercially viable service delivered by cable and broadband networks by the end of the year.VCL said that it believes that the growth of VoD will be dramatic. In five yea
  • Warner, Lagardere pact for TV production push

    Warner Bros International Television (WBIT)has struck a long-term alliance with Europe Audiovisuel, the audiovisual division of defence, communications and media conglomerate Lagardere.The two companies are to co-produce and co-finance English-language TV programmes for the international market, plus French-language TV drama aimed at the local market.WBIT and Europe Audiovisuel will share French rights after the first set of runs on a French broadcaster. They will also share int