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14 April 2006

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  • Arclight, Roadshow board Gray debut

    International sales agentArclight Films and Australian distributor Roadshow have signed on to When She Gets There, the debut featurefrom writer-director Richard Gray.Cassandra McGrath, whosecredits include Wolf Creek, has been lined up to star in the $2.93m (A$4m) film,which is scheduled to start shooti
  • Assyriska wins top prize at Beverly Hills Film Festival

    NuriKino and Erik Sandberg's human rights documentary Assyriska: A National TeamWithout A Nation won the 6th AnnualBeverly Hills International Film Festival's (BHFF) Golden Palm Award.
  • Becker appoints Keen as CEO; Bradley to relocate to LA

    Tim Keen has beenappointed as the new CEO of Becker Group Limited, the film exhibition,distribution, production and sales company. In an unrelated move, thehead of sales company Becker Films International, Reiko Bradley, will soonrelocate from Sydney to Los Angeles
  • Board shifts at Germany's Senator Entertainment

    SenatorEntertainment's executive board has been restructured following the end of theinsolvency proceedings against the Berlin-based distributor-producer. Theconcern's two major shareholders Cologne media lawyer HelgeSasse and US-based German producer Marco Weber of HSWGmbH, which holds a 36.32% stake in Senator Entertainment, have now beenappointed to the executive board. Sasse is serving asCEO and Weber as the board member with responsibility for production anddis
  • Bosnia plans more support for regional films

    Bosnia and Herzegovina'snational Fund for Cinematography has reserved $242,250 (Euros 200,000) of its $908,437(Euros 750,000) annual budget to support regional co-productions.Speaking to at this week's goEastFestival, Sarajevo Film Festival director Mirsad Purivatra described thisdeci
  • Buenos Aires festival kicks off with Rosell's Sofabed

    The eighth Buenos AiresInternational Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI) will kick off tonightwith plans to show 342 features and 145 shorts from 49 countries.The city-financed BAFICI is Argentina's biggest film event in terms of numbers of
  • BVI takes out The Wild, Scary Movie 4 day-and-date

    Ice Age: The Meltdown will soar past $200m in its third weekend as it opens in sevensmaller markets including Hong Kong on Apr 13.
  • Byrne and O'Reilly join Irish Film Board

    Byrne and O'Reilly joinIrish Film BoardThe Irish Film Board hasappointed Mark Byrne as its business & legal executive. Byrne has worked as anentertainment lawyer for the past three years and also acted on co-producer forfeature film
  • Casino Royale to wrap in Czech Republic in late May

    Director Martin Campbell is scheduled toconclude principal photography on Casino Royalein the Czech Republic at the end of May. The final shots will take place in Czech spa town Karlovy Vary, which will double as Montenegro. Bond franchise holders EON Pr
  • Cast finalised for Spyglass/Rogue comedy Balls Of Fury

    George Lopez and Maggie Qhave joined Dan Fogler and Christopher Walken in Spyglass Entertainment'scomedy Balls Of Fury.Production is scheduled tobegin next month on the story of an underground table tennis player recruitedby the FBI for a secret mission.Ben Garant is directing froma screenplay he co-wrote with Thomas Lennon. Rogue Pictures will release inNorth America and Focus Features holds international rights.Lennon is producing themovie with Spyglass' Roger Bi
  • Craig joins Momentum as VP of business affairs

    Momentum Pictures has appointedKathryn Craig as its new VP of business affairs for Europe. Craig, who joins the companythis month, will be responsible for all business affairs for Momentum in the UK and for Aurum in Spain.She previously worked atPolyGram, Pathe, and had been hea
  • David Dobkin to direct RIPD for Universal

    DavidDobkin will direct Universal's long-in-the-works comic book adaptation RIPD based on the Dark Horse comic book Rest In Peace Department.
  • Demme's Neil Young film takes prize at Denmark's NATfilm

    Denmark's NATfilmfestival wrapped Sunday with its audience award going to Jonathan Demme's concert film NeilYoung: Heart of Gold. The film gets a prize of about $20,560 (17,000 Euro)for Danish theatrical distribution support. The award also includes a TV deal withlocal public broadcaster DR. TV5MONDE-Critics' award, which carries a prize of $4,232 (3,500 Euros), went toAustrali
  • Devlin's Electric signs distribution alliance with MGM

    MGM will handle the domestic release of Electric Entertainment'sfirst world war adventure Flyboys, kicking off a non-exclusive distribution alliance unveiled bythe parties today [Tuesday].
  • Election takes top prizes at Hong Kong Film Awards

    Johnnie To's Election was awarded best film and bestdirector at this year's Hong Kong Film Awards on Saturday night (April 8).The gritty triad thriller,produced by Milkyway Image and One Hundred Years of Film Co, picked up fourawards in all, including best screenplay, which was co-written by Yau Nai Hoiand Yip Tin Shing, and best actor for Tony Leung Ka-fai's performance. The sequel to the film, Election 2, received its world premiereat the opening of the Hong Kong
  • Focus takes on worldwide rights to Iraq documentary

    FocusFeatures has acquired worldwide rights to Patricia Foulkrod's documentary TheGround Truth: After The Killing Ends,which premiered at Sundance. The company plans to release it later this year.
  • Focus, Korea's LJ team to develop Julia Mullock story

    FocusFeatures has teamed up with Korea's LJ Film to develop the epic drama The JuliaProject (working title), about an Americanwoman who became the wife of the last crown prince of Korea.
  • Fox launches theatrical and DVD business in Russia

    TwentiethCentury Fox International is establishing a theatrical and home entertainmentventure in Russia.Michael Schlicht, founder of leading Russiandistributor Gemini Film, will serve as managing director of Fox's new Russianbusiness.GeminiFilm's Russian office, which had been Fox's partner in Russia
  • Fox teams with Denmark's Nordisk for digital exhibition

    Ice Age 2: The Meltdown has become 20th Century Fox International'sfirst digital release in JPEG2000 on the Nordisk Film circuit in Denmark.
  • Frazier takes over from Richardson at MPAA

    Greg Frazier has been appointed senior vice president for internationaltrade policy at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
  • Fugard leaves Pathe to join Paramount specialty arm

    Berenice Fugard has joined Paramount's specialty division as vicepresident of acquisitions and co-productions. She comes to the studio afterseven years as head of acquisitions at Pathe Distribution in the UK. Prior tothat, she was acquisitions executive from 1997 to 1999.
  • Germany gets first download-to-own service

    Warner Bros Entertainment and arvatomobile have joined forces to launch in2movies, the first German-languagedownload-to-own platform, for TV series and feature films, simultaneously withtheir release on DVD.The user canchoose from such blockbusters as Harry Potter And The Go
  • Goldcrest pitches in finishing funds to Freeman's Tribeca drama

    GoldcrestFilms International has provided finishing funds for the road trip drama JustLike The Son from director Morgan JFreeman.
  • Goldcrest takes on Elvis And Anabelle

    Production began this week in Austin, Texas, on UK-based GoldcrestFilms International and Austin-based Orange Productions' dark romantic comedy ElvisAnd Anabelle.
  • Iacono crosses from Sony TV to local language movies

    Seekingto bolster its local language activities, particularly in growth areas likeRussia and India, Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group (CTMPG) has named PeterIacono senior executive vice president of local language productions.
  • Ice Age sets industry and animated records around the world

    Fox International's IceAge 2: The Meltdown generated one ofthe biggest international weekends of all time with an astonishing estimated$93m haul on 8,216 screens that raised the international running total to$156m.The animated romp scored anumber of new industry and distributor records as it sailed to the top in allits territories, led by a staggering $16.9m UK debut including previews on 502screens that posted the second biggest animated opening ever behind Shrek 2.
  • Independent CG-animated Chimps starts for Vanguard, IDT

    Vanguard Animation and IDT Entertainment have started productionon their CG-animated feature Space Chimps.
  • Joffe leaves Media 8 for vp job at QED International

    BeverlyHills-based international sales, financing and production company QEDInternational has appointed Tatyana Joffe as vice president of internationaldistribution.
  • Karlovy Vary creates CenEast Film Event

    The latest films fromCentral and Eastern Europe are set to have a new promotional platform at thisyear's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (June 30 - July 8) with thecreation of the CenEast Film Event.
  • Khrzhanovsky's 4 takes top prize at Budapest's Titanic festival

    Russian director Ilya Khrzhanovsky received theBreaking Waves Award, the grand prize at the 13th Titanic BudapestInternational Film Festival, for his film 4.Khrzhanovsky received the award from AndrasBozoki, Hungarian minister for culture, at a gala ceremonyApril 8 that concluded with a screening of French director Jacques Audiard's The Beat That My HeartSkipped.Competition was tight amongthe nine contenders for the top award and $9,694 (Euros 8,000).
  • Kinepolis posts first quarter success

    European exhibition major Kinepolis Group reports admissionsof 6.1 million across its 20 sites in five European territories.The company has seen a 3.2% overall admissions improvementin the first quarter of 2006 over that of 2005 when 5.9 million tickets weresold.Following territory trends Kinepolis sites in France(+13.3%) and Poland (+19.7%) provided the admissions hikes that counterbalanceddrops in those of Belgium (-3%), Spain (-5.5%) and Switzerland (-21.5%).Despite th
  • Kirk's Middletown is late entry to Tribeca

    Brian Kirk's Middletown has been added to the Discovery Section of theupcoming Tribeca Film Festival.The UK/Ireland co-productionproduced by Michael Casey (Freeze Frame) is set in Ireland's Bible belt and tells the story of two brothers,one wracked by the love of his family, the other by the love of his god.Andrew Herwitz's The FilmSales Company is handling sales of the film which was written by DaraghCarville and stars Matthew Mcfadyen (Pride And Prejudice)
  • Korean director Shin Sang-ok dies aged 80

    Master Korean cineaste ShinSang-ok passed away at the age of 80 late last night (April 11) in Seoul. With a career that spans the modern history of Korea, his life has often been compared to a film scriptitself.Born in Cheong-jin (now in North Korea) in 1925 during the Japanese occupation, Shinstu
  • Lucas named guest director at Los Angeles Film Festival

    George Lucas has been named guest director at the 2006 Los AngelesFilm Festival, which runs in from Jun 22 to Jul 2.
  • Madsen, Hannah start production on Arcview's Vice

    Production began this week in Vancouver on psychological thriller Vicefrom Nevadan productionand financing company Arcview Entertainment.
  • MDM backs projects from Kirghizia and Georgia

    Newfeature films from Georgia and Kirghizia are among 16 projectsbacked with a total of more than $3.15m (Euros 2.6m) by the Leipzig-basedregional film fund MDM in its latest round offunding.Productionsupport of $242,410 (Euros 200,000) was awarded to Kirghiz-born director Marat Saralu's fourth feature Songs From TheSouthern Seas, which will be produced by
  • Meltdown drops 50% in US but still holds top position

    Ice Age: The Meltdown held on to top spot and became the first release of2006 to cross $100m after an estimated $34.5m haul raised the domestic tally to$116.4m after ten days.The animated family sequelremained the dominant picture across the globe following a staggering $93mperformance in the international marketplace that raised the global runningtotal to more than $270m.Revolution Studios' comedy TheBenchwarmers opened well in secondplace through Sony on $20.5m,
  • MI:III will have US premiere at Tribeca

    Mission: Impossible III will receive its US premiere on May 3 at the 2006 TribecaFilm Festival, following the world premiere in Rome on Apr 24.
  • Monaco's Film and Literature Forum honours OSS 117

    The fifth International Film and Literature Forum wrapped in Monaco on Sunday withMichel Hazanavicius' OSS 117 taking the topprize for best cinematic adaptation.The retro-styled film, which also had its premiere during the event,stars Jean Dujardin in the role of a special agentwho takes himself a bit too seriously. The film is based on the books by JeanBruce and wa
  • New UK Film Council measures embraced by producers

    British producershave given an enthusiastic response to two new measures that the UK FilmCouncil (UKFC) is putting into place with effect from April 15.
  • Old Joy, Clear Cut get top honours at Sarasota festival

    KellyReichardt's Old Joy and PeterRichardson's Clear Cut: The Story Of Philomath, Or, were the big winners at the 2006 Sarasota Film Festivalas they were named the best narrative and documentary features in competition
  • O'Shea hired to run Odd Lot's new international sales arm

    LosAngeles-based production and finance outfit Odd Lot Entertainment is launchinga foreign sales division and has appointed former Media 8 senior vice presidentof worldwide distribution Brian O'Shea (pictured) to oversee it.
  • Pflug, Zukerman team up for Principal

    Corporate communications executives Paul Pflug and MelissaZukerman are teaming up to launch the Principal Communications Group (PCG).
  • Rogue boards Hot Fuzz as domestic distributor

    Rogue Pictures will handle the domestic release on Working Title'saction comedy Hot Fuzz,which began production in the UK last month and comes from the creative teambehind Shaun Of The Dead.
  • Sardinia sets up film fund and first regional tax law

    TheItalian island of Sardinia is to establish aregional film fund, along the lines of existing regional funds in Germany and Belgium.TheSardinian Film Fund will have an annual budget of $2.4m-$3.6m (Euros 2-3m) tobe invested in development, production and promotion.Elig
  • Stephen Fry teams with Dev Benegal for Ramanujan

    British actor, filmmakerand novelist Stephen Fry is to join forces with leading Indian auteur Dev Benegal in making Ramanujan, a biopic about the "genius" Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. The film isgearing up just as the UK-India co-production treaty is on the verge of beingsigned.The idea is that Fry willdirect the Indian parts
  • Sundance Institute names three fellowship recipients for producing, screenwriting.

    The Sundance Institute has announced recipients of three keyawards supporting filmmakers and their passion projects.
  • Tbilisi-Tbilisi takes top prize at GoEast Festival

    Georgian filmmaker Levan Zakareishvili's Tbilisi-Tbilisi, a portrait of harsheveryday life in his nation's capital, was the surprise winner of the GoldenLily award for best film at this year's goEastFestival of Central and East European Cinema, which came to a close on Tuesdayevening in Wiesbaden.
  • The Wild

    Dir: Steve "Spaz" Williams.US. 2006. 84mins.The wilderness may be unmanageable and out ofcontrol, but Disney's The Wild is very much a beast offamiliarity, albeit a somewhat colorful one. Disney's rift with animationpartner Pixar now healed, it will be June release Cars that gets the bigger promotionalpush and is most likely to reap the subsequent financial windfall; while this in-housecomputer-anima
  • Those Happy Days has world premiere, then wins audience prize at LA French Film Festival

    ThoseHappy Days (Ces Jours Heureux), the second feature film from Eric Toledano and OlivierNakeche, won the audience choice award at the tenth annual City Of Lights, CityOf Angels (COLCOA) French Film Festival in Los Angeles which closed on Sunday.
  • UK distributor sets eyes on Lights In The Dusk

    In the run-up to Cannes, UK distributorArtificial Eye has taken UK rights to Aki Kaurismaki's Lights In The Dusk (Laitakaupungin Valot).The film,strongly tipped for a Cannes competition berth, is the third part ofKaurismaki's trilogy that started with Drifting
  • UK Film Council's P&A Fund supports 19 films

    The UK Film Council hasannounced the latest round of awards from its Prints and Advertising Fund. The biggest awards in therecent round of funding were $304,442(£174,196) to Tartan Films for TheProposition, $262,154 (£150,000) to Momentum for Tsotsi, $174,749 (£100,000) to Pathe for Transamerica, and $174,749 (£100,000) to Maiden Voyage Pictures forRollin' With The Nines. Other awards were $133,159 (£76,200)to Revolver Enter
  • UK 's Digital Screen Network heads into phase two

    The UK FilmCouncil-backed Digital Screen Network is cleared to go into phase two of itsinstallations. During phaseone, the Film Council's partner Arts Alliance Media set up the first 50 systemsstarting in autumn 2005. The 50th screen was installed on February 24, ahead ofschedule. After a formalreview of that process, the Film Council board has approved plans to proceedwith phase two, which will continue with 190 additional screens being installedfrom May 2006 through spring 200
  • Universal signs multi-year distribution deal with Mattel

    Universal Studios and Mattel have signed a multi-picture,multi-year feature-length DVD worldwide marketing and distribution deal.
  • Usen Corp buys stake in CJ Media Japan

    Japan's Usen Corp, parent of Gaga Communications, has acquired an 8.57% stakein CJ Media Japan, a foreign affiliate of Korea's CJ Media, for a reported $2.53m (Y300m).Usen stated that itsinvestment in CJ Media Japan, which was established last August, was to furtherdevelop the sharing and distribution of contents produced by both countries andto solidify the p
  • Vanessa Redgrave to head Sarajevo's new documentary jury

    Veteran British actressVanessa Redgrave will be the jury president of thenew Regional Documentary Competition at this year's Sarajevo Film Festival(SFF) (August 18-26).The 'Heart ofSarajevo' award for best documentary - with a prize of $3633 (Euros 3,000)- will be awarded to the best film in the festival's Regional DocumentaryProgramme selection and is open to films from nine countries: Albania, Bosniaand Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania,
  • Venice and Udine festivals form new alliance

    The Venice Film Festival andEurope's biggest Asian film festival, UdineFar East Film, are to collaborate. The deal signed between thetwo festivals will further help Venice director Marco Mueller keep a close eye on alldevelopments in Asian cinema by tapping in to Udine's network of contacts and Asian film consultants.The Udine
  • Weinstein Company picks up Dragon Tiger Gate

    TheWeinstein Company (TWC) has picked up all English-speaking territories toWilson Yip's martial arts action thriller Dragon Tiger Gate.
  • Working Title, Tiger Aspect plan May 15 start for Bean II

    Working Title Films, in association with Tiger Aspect, will startprincipal photography for Bean II onMay 15.Rowan Atkinson will star in the sequel, which is directed by Steve Bendelack from a screenplay by Robin Driscoll and Hamish McColl based on a story by Simon McBurney.TV veteran Bendelack made his feature film debutdirecting The League of Gentlemen'sApocalypse. Tiger Aspect's Peter Bennett-Jones and Working Title's Tim Bevan and Eric Fellne