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14 April 2004

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  • 50 First Dates enjoys strong weekend in 12 markets for CTFDI

    Columbia's romantic comedy 50 First Dates grossed an estimated $6.3m from 1,261screens in 12 markets through Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International(CTFDI) at the weekend, raising its international running total to $16.1m.
  • AusFILM's Pratt to step down as LA-based film commissioner

    AusFILM's LA-based film commissioner David Pratt is to leave his job after six years in the post.AusFILM is responsible for marketing Australia as a location for film and television production."David has been a wonderful asset," said Sydney-based chief executive Trisha Rothkrans. "We are very grateful to him for the outstanding contribution he has made raising the profile of Australia as a production destination."Pratt decided to leave the organisation several years ago b
  • Austin joins THINKFilm in senior Canadian distribution role

    Andrew Austin isto join ThinkFilm as senior vice president of Canadian distribution whileTamara Shannon has been promoted to vice president theatrical distribution.Austin hasworked in the Canadian film industry for almost 20 years, most recently servingas senior vice president and general manager at Seville Pictures.Prior to Sevillehe served as executive director at Remstar, overseeing all day-to-day EnglishCanadian distribution operations, and has also serve

    Starsky & Hutch grossed A$4,350,736 for BVI from 288 screens, which was more than double the result of any other film in Australia during the extra long Easter holiday weekend - the figure is for five days instead of the usual four and includes two public holidays. The film's A$15,106 screen average, which was also a chart topper, indicates it will keep performing strongly for many weeks to come.In no other week this year has there been so many opening films in the top 20 chart.
  • Bad Education (La Mala Educacion)

    Dir/scr: Pedro Almodovar. Spain. 2004. 104 minsPedro Almodovar's status as Europe's most distinctive and bankable auteur is effortlessly maintained with Bad Education, a rich fusion of film noir and melodrama spun with all the intricacy of a spider's web. Autobiographical memories and Almodovar's trademark preoccupations with death and desire are imbued with the sensibility of an encyclopaedic film buff.The focus on intimate personal issues, reflections on r
  • Cinemark sets two new multiplexes in Brazil

    CinemarkInternational, one of the leading exhibitors in Latin America that celebratesits 20th anniversary this year, is to open two new theatres in Brazil in May.The MuellerShopping theatre will be located inside an existing five-storey shopping centrein the heart of Curitiba and features an eight-screen multiplex comprising morethan 2,200 seats in a 40,904 sq ft complex. This will be Cinemark's secondtheatre in the southern city.The newfive-screen Center Nor
  • City Screen looks to expand UK arthouse circuit

    Arts Alliance Media (AAM), the venture capital firm which owns a majority stake in City Screen, is looking to expand the art house cinema chain yet further.The company has already earmarked another unnamed London cinema outside the West End to add to the City Screen circuit, which currently stands at 18 sites. It is also looking at new venues in the Midlands and the North-East.City Screen is the largest UK exhibitor specialising in independent film. The intention now is for all
  • CJ plays it both ways in South Korea

    South Korea's distribution sector looks set for a major realignment, with CJ Entertainment announcing plans to invest in both halves of soon-to-be-split rival Plenus Entertainment.CJ's initial focus will be on the internet/game business, part of its efforts to expand into a "total entertainment company" encompassing film, exhibition, cable TV, and games.This weekend it announced the purchase of a 18.8% controlling stake in Plenus, which is a major player in the lucrative online
  • Echelon puts back Wake US release to May

    EchelonEntertainment has put back the release of Henry LeRoy Finch's drama anddirectorial debut Wakeand will now open it in LA and New York on May 28.The picture, which centres on four brothers who convenefor a night of revelry only to discover they are attending a wake, wasoriginally scheduled to open in late April. Martin Landau, Gale Harold andBlake Gibbons star.Wake was shotentirely on location in and around Bath in the North
  • Eight projects vie for co-production market

    Projects by eight South-East European filmmakers are in the running to be pitched at the second CineLink co-production market to be held during the Sarajevo Film Festival in August in collaboration with Rotterdam's CineMart.The projects selected by the CineLink regional jury are:Albanian Tales - dir: Saimir Bajo (Albania)Gravity - dir: Blaz Kutin (Slovenia)Gucha - dir: Dusan Milic (Serbia and Montenegro)If The Seed Doesn't Die - dir: Sinis
  • Focus trumpet Sunshine as Kaufman's biggest hit

    EternalSunshine Of The Spotless Mind raised its domestic box office tally by $2.4m to $25.9m at theweekend to become the biggest grossing film written by Charlie Kaufman.In 24 days FocusFeatures' acclaimed quirky romance has overtaken Being John Malkovich, which was released by USA Films in 1999and grossed $22.9m over five months, and Columbia Pictures' Adaptation, which grossed $22.3m over four months.Kaufman's other filmsinclude Conf
  • Fortissimo earns Forgiveness

    Hong Kong and TheNetherlands-based Fortissimo Film Sales has picked up international rights to Forgiveness,a timely South African drama from the DV8 stable.With a cast headed by TheMummy star Arnold Vosloo, the story is that of an anti-hero. A former Apartheidpoliceman is psychologically tormented by the atrocities he committed in hispast. His journey into the small town of Paternoster is the catalyst for acathartic re-birth for the family of one of his victims and trigge
  • Fox takes $9.2m from glorious Passion weekend

    The Passionof The Christ added$9.2m from 2,208 screens in Fox International markets at the weekend to raiseits international running total in Fox territories to $59.1m.The picturefinished number one in almost every market handled by the distributor excludingTaiwan, Singapore and Uruguay.In Brazil itclimbed 17% and grossed $2m from 511 screens in its fourth weekend for $10.8mto become Fox's second biggest release of all time behind Titanic.K

    For the third week in a row French heartstring tugger Les Choristes, to be released in the US by Miramax, is at the top spot with a total gross of just over $15m.Mel Gibson's hotly debated The Passion Of The Christ took the number two position with a strong 613,700 tickets sold and grew stronger as the week went on.Agents Secrets, from triple whammy of director Frederic Schoendoerffer and married stars Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel opened in third place
  • German box office down in first quarter 2004

    Germany's box office saw a fall in admissions and revenuesfor the first quarter of 2004, according to figures collated by EDI Nielsen.Admissions weredown 6.4% from last year's 37.58m to 35.18m in the first three months, whilerevenues slipped 8.6% from Euro 225.68m to Euro 206.27m.Apart from the final part ofthe Lord Of The Rings trilogy, TheReturn Of The King, which opened onDecember 17 last year and was seen by over 3.9m cinema-goers in 2004, onl
  • GERMANY, AUSTRIA, SWITZ Prod Lists - April 14 2004

    AUSTRIAIN PRE-PRODUCTIONCACHE(Wega Film) Backers: Filmfonds Wien. Thriller. Prod: Veit Heiduschka. Dir/scr: Michael Haneke. Cast: Juliette Binoche.Contact: Wega Film, (43) 1 982 57 42CRASH TEST DUMMIES(Amour Fou Filmproduktion) Co-prod: Catpics Co-productions (Switz). Backers: OFI, ORF, Filmfonds Wien. A Romanian couple are stranded in Vienna without any money, drift apart and have both changed when they are finally reunited. Prods: Gabrie
  • Germany's Senator files for insolvency

    Beleaguered German producer-distributor Senator Entertainment filed for insolvency today (April 8) after failing to agree a rescue plan with its creditor banks and potential investors.The Berlin-based company said the filing affected parent company Senator Entertainment AG as well as the subsidiaries Senator Film Produktion GmbH, Senator Film Verleih GmbH and Central Filmvertriebs GmbH, but does not include the Los Angeles-based international sales arm Senator International.Sena
  • Godard's latest gets official screening at Cannes

    Master French auteurJean-Luc Godard's latest film Notre Musique will be screened in the official selection but outof competition at Cannes Film Festival, according to organisers, who also enigmatically promised a surprise for Godard on the night of the film's screening.The film is split into threeparts: Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. Hell isshot out of both historical and chronological order with no dialogue and onlymusic to accompany it. Purgatorytakes
  • Godard's latest gets official screening out of competition

    Master French auteurJean-Luc Godard's latest film Notre Musique will be screened in the official selection but outof competition at Cannes Film Festival, according to organisers, who also enigmatically promised a surprise for Godard on the night of the film's screening.The film is split into threeparts: Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. Hell isshot out of both historical and chronological order with no dialogue and onlymusic to accompany it. Purgatorytakes
  • Grosvenor Park's Taylor to spearhead TriMedia feature push

    DanielTaylor, managing director of UK tax financier Grosvenor Park, is joiningTriMedia Entertainment, the entertainment company of 90s rap mogul ChrisSchwartz, to spearhead a push into producing youth-oriented, music-drivenfeatures with European music stars.Taylortakes up the post of president at TriMedia in addition to his Grosvenor Parkduties. The two companies are hatching a joint venture under which GrosvenorPark will provide TriMedia, which Schwartz formed in 2002 after walking aw
  • Home On The Range

    Dirs: Will Finn, John Sanford. US. 2003. 75mins.The comedy is fun and the music has its moments, but by Disney standards Home On The Range is a lightweight animated offering, with little of the emotional pull exerted by the studio's best work. Kids should be able to pass a contented hour-and-a-quarter with the story's Old West setting and family of farmyard animals, and parents will enjoy the nicely contrasted cast of star voiceover talent. But reaching far enough beyo
  • Horizon acquires Proteus for Cannes launch

    Vancouver-based productionand international sales company Horizon Entertainment has picked upinternational rights to John Greyson and Jack Lewis' 18th century, interracialgay, love story Proteus.The South African-Canadianco-production will receive its first market screening at Cannes and will screenas part of a South African retrospective at the festival to mark the 10thanniversary of the end of Apartheid.Ronna Wallace of EastgatePictures negotiated on behalf of the produ
  • Horizon acquires Proteus to launch at Cannes

    Vancouver-based productionand international sales company Horizon Entertainment has picked upinternational rights to John Greyson and Jack Lewis' 18th century interracialgay love story Proteus.The South African-Canadianco-production will receive its first market screening at Cannes and will screenas part of a South African retrospective at the festival to mark the 10thanniversary of the end of Apartheid.Ronna Wallace of EastgatePictures negotiated on behalf of the produce
  • India braces for The Passion on May 15

    Deepak Nayar'sKintop Pictures has scheduled the Indian release of Mel Gibson's The PassionOf The Christ for May 15and has already begun a publicity blitz over the Easter weekend with brochuresdistributed in churches across the sub-continent and special screenings heldfor church groups."We will release50 prints of The Passion Of The Christ in its English language sub-titled version and the film maybe sub-titled in Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam later," explained SuriGopalan, v
  • Intertainment/Franchise trial is set to begin on April 20

    After more than three years of delays, the claim for damages bythe German media company Intertainment against Franchise Pictures is set to goto trial on April 20 in Los Angeles.
  • Israeli box office hit goes to Wellspring in North America

    US distributor Wellspring hasacquired all North American rights to Savi Gabizon's Israeli box office hit Nina'sTragedies.Wellspring plans an early2005 US release for the picture, which won 11 Israeli Academy Awards andrecounts a turbulent year in the life of a Tel Aviv family through the eyes ofa sensitive teenage boy.Marie Therese Guirgis,Wellspring's head of acquisitions, and Rob Williams, Wellspring's manager ofacquisitions, negotiated the deal with
  • Italian cinema hit by distribution bottleneck

    New research shows that 30 completed Italian films are currently in limbo, still searching for a distributor or simply waiting to be released.Among the Italian market's self-described "frozen" films are Egidio Eronico's Rua Alguem, which stars Charlton Heston and F. Murray Abraham, and Fiorella Infascelli's Il Vestito da Sposa with Best of Youth actress Maya Sansa, which screened at the Locarno Film Festival last year.The figures, which today were downwardly

    The only new opener for the week of April 3~9, In The Cut debuted at number five on the nine-major-cities chart, with a $27,938 screen average. This is not a strong performance given Meg Ryan's star power and the hoopla in the Japanese media over her nude scenes in the film, but not unexpected at a slack time of year, just before the flood of major openings for the Golden Week holidays starting at the end of the month.Meanwhile, the top four films -- The Return Of The King, Q
  • Japan's production sector resorts to violence

    Best known in the West for the films he has directed, including the 1997 Cannes Palme d'Or winner Hana-Bi and the 2003 box office smash Zatoichi, multi-talented Takeshi Kitano has had a longer career as an actor, going back to his breakout role as a brutal prison camp guard in Nagisa Oshima's 1983 Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence.In Japan, he has been generating media buzz for his latest part, as a Korean immigrant in pre-war Japan in Yoichi Sai's new drama Chi To H
  • Kinowelt's Koelmel faces possible jail term

    Kinowelt's Michael Koelmel will appear before Munich's District Court from today (Wednesday) to answer claims of embezzlement, delaying the filing of insolvency and bankruptcy.According to German press reports, the indictment against the media manager runs to 343 pages and the trial documents already fill some 100 files. The trial is set to run at least until the end of July.Koelmel is accused by the public prosecutor of causing around Euros22.8m in damages through actions inclu
  • Malaysia cracks down on film piracy

    Malaysia scored a major crackdown on piracy on 1 April when $1.3m worth of illegal DVDs and VCDs and replicating equipment were seized from a single syndicate. Some of the discs were for distribution to India.The seizure is the biggest this year: together with 18 CD burners, more than 800,000 copies of pirated VCDs and DVDs, which were largely Bollywood and Tamil titles with a few English and Malay ones, were confiscated at the raided premises.Abdul Rosik Yakub, director of Inte
  • Memories sweeps prizes at Cognac thriller fest

    The 22nd annualCognac thriller festival wrapped up on Sunday night with Bong Joon-Ho's MemoriesOf Murder the hands down winner. TheKorean film took the grand prize, the special police prize conferred byprofessional law enforcement agents the Premiere magazine prize and theMediatheques prize.Memories is a poignant look at a special police forcetracking a serial killer in the Gyunggi province. Other winners includedBelgian thriller The Alzheimer Case (
  • Mira Nair serves as guest director for LAFF

    Film-maker Mira Nair is toserve as guest director for the 2004 Los Angeles Film Festival. In this role,she will host a two-day film-maker retreat, programme a sidebar of films thathave inspired her work and attend opening night festivities.The tenth annual Los AngelesFilm Festival runs from June 17 to June 26. IFP/Los Angeles took over thefestival in 2001 and expanded it to include international films and specialevents and screenings throughout LA. Richard Raddon is festival director,R
  • Miramax score best ever openings in Spain, Australia

    Miramax's Scary Movie 3 opened top in Spain through Buena VistaInternational (BVI) at the weekend on a superb $3.8m for the fifth biggest BVIlive-action bow ever and the best opening for a Miramax title.Overall the sequel grossed$5.3m at the weekend to raise the international running total from BVI marketsto $70.4m.Starsky & Hutch raised its total by $5.3m to $30.5m, powered by a$2.6m number one bow in Australia on 244 screens for Miramax's best
  • Muccino's Remember Me finally gets US distribution

    Howard Cohen andEric d'Arbeloff's US independent distributor Roadside Attractions has picked upNorth American distribution rights to Gabriele Muccino's family drama RememberMe, My Love (RicordatiDi Me) from The Works.Roadside plans a summerrelease for the picture, which played at the Toronto Film Festival last yearand Sundance in January. It was nominated for 10 David Di Donatello Awards andhas grossed more than $12m at the Italian box office.The deal wasnegotiated

    Along Came Polly's NZ$300,945 gross for UIP from 40 screens was enough to knock Scooby-Doo 2 - Monsters Unleashed down into second position at the New Zealand box office over the Easter weekend. In dollar terms there wasn't much between the two films, but Scooby-Doo 2, which is in its second week on release, is on 31 more screens.Three new titles completed the top five holiday weekend hits. Columbia TriStar took the third and fourth line honours with 50 First Da
  • NonStop takes Buena Vista sequel for Scandinavia, Baltics

    Stockholm based distributor NonStop Entertainment has acquired Scandinavian and Baltic rights to Musica Cubana - The Sons Of Havana, the follow up to Buena Vista Social Club.Sold by Victory Media Group, the deal was struck at MIP-TV. Produced by Wim Wenders, Musica Cubana follows a group of Cuban musicians recording a number of Cuban classics and improvising new songs in their own innovative style.NonStop Entertainment is distributing the film in Sweden, No

    Even though a slew of new films were released a week ago, Mel Gibson's Passion easily stayed on top of the Norwegian box-office chart in its third week.Meanwhile Erich Hortnagl's local psychological thriller A Cry In The Woods (Den Som Frykter Ulven), based on a best-selling Karin Fossum novel, on second, failed to improve its screen average having increased its number of prints by three. It has attracted 33,493 admissions so far.As expected over the prolonged East
  • Passion poised for more gold over Easter weekend

    Easter weekend sees somewide studio offerings hit the markets, while other pictures already in themarket, most notably The Passion Of The Christ will be looking for holiday audiences to bump theirgrosses.Most notably, The Passion opens in Italy on Friday through Eagle Pictureswhich has spent Euros 2.5m to launch the film. Other European territories likeSpain (Aurum) and France (Quinta) should also capitalize on the Easter holidaysto keep the movie atop their box office ch
  • Passion takes Easter box office crown

    Newmarket Films' The Passion Of The Christ performed as expected over Easterweekend, resurrecting its box office supremacy as it climbed four places toease past $350m on an estimated $17.1m.Mel Gibson's celebratedaccount of the final hours of Christ's life now stands on $3
  • Period epic Kisna wraps Himalayan shoot

    Hindi film producer-director Subhash Ghai has completed a forty-day shoot of his period epic Kisna in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas.The US$5m Kisna is the most expensive film made by Ghai's Mukta Arts. The company's credits include Taal, which was the first Indian film to feature in both the UK and US top ten box office charts.The UK-Indian love story is set in the 1940s and stars Vivek Oberoi (Kisna), and Isha Sharvani and Antonia Bernath.
  • Restored Wang movie to kick off VC Film Festival in LA

    A newly restored print ofWayne Wang's 1982 crime drama Chan Is Missing will kick off the 20th anniversary edition of theVisual Communications (VC) Film Festival 2004, which runs in Los Angeles fromApr 29-May 6.The annual showcase of Asianand Asian-American films will screen more than 100 features and shorts,including the US premiere of Nia Di Nata's hit Indonesian comedy-drama Arisan! and LA premieres of Takeshi Kitano's closing nightsamurai epic Za
  • Return Of The King is top in Japan for ninth straight weekend

    New Line International's The Lord of The Rings: TheReturn of The King continued to rule themall in Japan for the ninth consecutive weekend, adding $1.6m from 589 screensto raise its total there to a superb $86.2m.The trilogyfinale is active in 48 markets on 1,874 screens but figures were hard to comeby given that Easter holidays extended through to Monday in many places.Nonetheless thedistributor reported a $1.9m weekend gross with updated results expect
  • Scooby Doo 2 is top of the heap in UK, Mexico

    Powered bystrong holds in parts of Europe and Latin America, Scooby-Doo 2: MonstersUnleashed grossed anestimated $15m at the weekend to raise its international running total to$44.2m.The familysequel, which is distributed through Warner Bros Pictures International, stayedtop in its second weekends in the UK and Mexico on $4.2m for $16.5m and $1.2mfor $5.6m respectively.In the UK, thesecond weekend hold at the top beat off highly touted newcomers Shaun Of TheDead fr
  • Senator in 'takeover talks' with mystery investor

    Troubled German producer-distributor Senator Entertainment is reportedly "negotiating with a strategic investor" to invest in the company.Berlin daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reported on Wednesday that Senator's executive board was "conducting takeover talks with a limited partnership active in the film fund business."It also quoted Bolko Hoffmann, CEO of Effectenspiegel which recently increased its stake in Senator to 10%, as saying that "the investor is very solvent
  • Shaun is a smash for Universal with $3m opening in UK

    Universal's horror spoof Shaun Of The Dead opened second in the UK through UIP atthe weekend on an estimated $3m from 358 screens.
  • Skillset, UK Film Council unveil $90m training strategy

    Training agency Skillset and support body the UK Film Council have announced further details of their new £50m UK film skills strategy, which aims to revolutionise training and skills in the UK industry.A key component of the five-year strategy - called A Bigger Future - is a network of Screen Academies, which will see their first intake of students in September 2005. A grant application process for the academies, which will offer film training at both further and higher education leve
  • Slamdance turns to US distribution, talent managing

    The founder ofthe Slamdance Film Festival Peter Baxter has teamed up with film and TVproducer and manager Robert Schwartz and Cleveland-based businessman GeorgeKetvertis to launch Slamdance Media Group, a new US distribution and talentmanagement outfit based in Los Angeles.The company hasalready closed a home entertainment output deal with Ventura Entertainment, adivision of Ventura Distribution, to sell product under a new branded Slamdancelabel.Meanwhile the
  • Stage Beauty gets closing night slot at Tribeca

    The worldpremiere of Richard Eyre's period drama Stage Beauty starring Billy Crudup, Claire Danes andRupert Everett will close the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on May 8. It isproduced by Tribeca Film Festival founders Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthalthrough their Tribeca Productions.Stage Beauty is set in 1660s London as King CharlesII decrees that men can no longer portray women on stage, immediately alteringthe fortunes of the celebrated actor Ned Kynaston and his
  • Swedes back English language features

    The Swedish Film Institute (SFI) has greenlit six new Swedish feature films and given financial support to Lars von Trier's Manderlay.Colin Nutley's English-language drama The Queen of Sheba's Pearls won most backing. $1.04m (SEK 8m) has been allocated to the film, which is being produced by Maritha Norstedt of Sweetwater Filmrights AB.After a number of highly successful films about Sweden, the Stockholm-based director will focus on his native country England. The
  • Sydney to get two more sound stages by July

    Two additional sound stages, each with a floor area of 1,000 square metres, are to be open for business in Sydney by July."We have been a little behind schedule due to building delays but as promised we will have fully sound proofed stages available for hire," said Serenity Cove Studios chief executive Kingston Anderson. The new production facility is under construction in the southern Sydney suburb of Kurnell.The former manager of the production liaison unit at the New South Wa
  • The Alamo

    Dir: John Lee Hancock. US. 2003. 136mins.Reconceived and re-budgeted after the departure of original director Ron Howard and then rescheduled by Disney from its planned release date last Christmas, The Alamo finally arrives on screen with a lot of baggage. But it's not the baggage that weighs down this latest movie depiction of the fateful mid-nineteenth century battle at a besieged fort in Texas. Rather, it's the film's unsuccessful attempt to mix political complexity
  • The Eye 2

    Dirs: Danny and Oxide Pang. Hong Kong. 2004. 94minsDespite some truly edge-of-the-seat moments, The Eye 2, the Pang brothers' follow-up to one of Hong Kong's most successful recent horror exports, only partially lives up to its predecessor's promise.Sporting new characters and a different cast, it shares the first film's theme of a young woman cursed with the ability to see ghosts. Technical credits, as always with Pang brothers' films, are slick, especially
  • The Truth About Love located in Bristol

    Romantic comedy The Truth About Love, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Dougray Scott and Jimi Mistry, begins filming in the UK this month.Directed by John Hay (There's Only One Jimmy Grimble) and produced by Tracey Adam at Lex Filmed Entertainment, The Truth About Love is billed as a film in which not everyone or everything is as it first appears.UK distribution will be handled by Redbus Film Distribution with foreign sales being handled by Lakeshore Entertain
  • The Whole Ten Yards

    Dir: Howard Deutch. US. 2004. 99mins.When Bruce Willis makes his entrance in headscarf, frilly apron and bunny slippers you can somehow tell that The Whole Ten Yards is going to be a less black and much broader comedy than its fairly amusing predecessor, The Whole Nine Yards. The sequel doesn't get much more sophisticated as it goes on and the returning stars - besides Willis, Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Kevin Pollak and Natasha Henstridge are all back from the
  • Theron, Ricci among Outfest gay and lesbian Screen Idols 2003

    Monster and Angels In America dominated LA Outfest's fourth annual Screen Idolawards in honour of the best four performances in a gay, lesbian, bisexual ortransgendered role in a feature film or movie for television.Charlize Theron won the leadactress award for her Oscar winning performance as the serial killer AileenWuornos in Monster, while Kirktook lead actor honours for his role in HBO's AIDS-era TV movie Angels InAmerica.Chris
  • TV4 signs long-term deal with MGM for Nordic market

    MGM Networks has signed adeal to provide an MGM-branded film block every Monday night on the new NordicTV4 Film Channel, as well as a long-term supply of pictures that will airacross the channel.The TV4 Film Channel isscheduled to debut this month and will be available to cable, satellite and DTTsubscribers throughout Sweden.The channel and the MGMBlock will feature titles in their original language with Swedish subtitling.Following the channel's launch, the
  • UK Film Council unveils Development Fund recipients

    UK Film Council's Development Fund has unveiled details of its third year of slate funding to a selection of film companies.Recipients include: Fragile Films (£200,000), Ruby Films (£255,000), Tall Stories (£100,000), NFTS (£12,000), Riverchild Films (£65,000), October Films (£90,000), Gruber Films (£100,000) and Recorded Picture Company (£100,000).Little Bird has been given its second year's funding of £250,000 and Samuelson Productions has received £50,000 of development fundi
  • Universal Pictures Int'l appoints director of acquisitions

    Universal Pictures International today announced the appointment of Ben Roberts to the position of director of acquisitions. Based in London, the newly-created appointment is effective April 2004.Ben Roberts' responsibilities as director of acquisitions will centre around the development of UPI's strategy of all-rights acquisitions for Universal's key operating company territories. Working closely with Universal's territory management and LA Acquisitions teams, he will implement a gl
  • Walking Tall

    Dir: Kevin Bray. 2004. US. 86mins.Former wrestler turned action hero The Rock stars in this updated and reconstituted revenge saga based on the true story of Sheriff Buford Pusser, whose vigilante exploits in a small Tennessee town set the stage for the 1970's trilogy of 'hickspolitation' films on which this slipshod studio remake is based. Core fans of The Rock flocked to US cinemas on opening weekend for a serviceable haul of $15.6m, though steady business might prove unlik
  • Wellspring boards Cannes-bound Tarnation

    US independent distributor Wellspring has come on board JonathanCaouette's acclaimed docudrama Tarnation as co-producer and worldwide distributor.
  • Wellspring boards Quinzaine-bound Tarnation

    US independent distributor Wellspring has come on board JonathanCaouette's acclaimed docudrama Tarnation as co-producer and worldwide distributor.
  • Wild Bunch picks up Mar del Plata winner

    French sales house Wild Bunch has picked up international sales duties on Buena Vida Delivery, the Argentinian dark comedy which won last month's Mar Del Plata festival and the Toulouse festival of Latin American films."We don't often board such obviously cinephile pictures, but we feel strongly that this film will have a strong festival career and audience reactions have been excellent," said Gael Nouaille, world sales executive with Latin American responsibilities at Wild Bunc