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Screen
14 November 2003

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  • ...as Irish Film Board gets 9% budget increase for 2004

    John O'Donoghue, Irish minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, announced a 9% increase in funding for the Irish Film Board in 2004 at a briefing yesterday (Nov 13). The increase will bring the Film Board's budget up to Euros 11.845m for next year, of which Euros 10m is for capital investment in production, development and training. This is a 10% increase in funding for capital purposes. The remaining Euros 1.845m is to cover administration costs and includes a Euros 50,000 provision to c
  • 20 films look to break out of The Asylum

    LA-based independent home video production and distribution outfit The Asylum has secured private funding to produce 20 films over the next 18 months, with the first title set to begin principal photography in January 2004 for a summer US release.The line-up will comprise mostly horror, sci-fi and thriller titles budgeted up to $2.5m for US and worldwide distribution, supplementing the company's acquisitions.Pre-production titles include the true-crime title McVeigh, abou
  • 20 films look to break out of The Asylum

    LA-based independent home video production and distribution outfit The Asylum has secured private funding to produce 20 films over the next 18 months, with the first title set to begin principal photography in January 2004 for a summer US release.The line-up will comprise mostly horror, sci-fi and thriller titles budgeted up to $2.5m for US and worldwide distribution, supplementing the company's acquisitions.Pre-production titles include the true-crime title McVeigh, abou
  • 44th Thessaloniki festival announces line-up

    The Thessaloniki International Film Festival has unveiled today the full line-up of its 44th edition.The Festival kicks off November 21, with Takeshi Kitano's Venice winner Zatoichi and closes with Jim Sheridan's In America on Saturday November 29. Vincent Gallo's controversial Brown Bunny is, in its new 90 min version, among the eagerly expected premieres of the 14-strong international competition titles - reserved to first and second films.Othe
  • 68 projects chosen for Mannheim co-production meetings

    New features by Ineke Smits (The Aviatrix Of Kazbek), Nicholas Kendall (The Singing House), Gyorgy Palfi (Taxidermia), Pablo Trapero (Rolling Family), Damjan Kozole (The Dark Side Of Earth) and Joan Chen (The Concubine) are among 68 projects from 27 countries being pitched at the 7th edition of the Mannheim Co-Production Meetings during the forthcoming Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival (November 20-29).The Meetings are structured
  • 75% more entries for 2nd Berlinale Talent Campus

    The Berlinale Talent Campus has received 75% more applications for next year's event with 3,500 entries coming from 101 countries, compared to 2,000 from 70 countries for the first edition last February.Talent Campus project manager Christine Dorn told ScreenDaily.com that applications had come from countries like Mali, Azerbaijan, Syria, Senegal and Afghanistan which have hardly any film industry to speak, if at all. "It is thanks to our network, the German Foreign Office, the
  • ACE deals Card Player to Japan, UK

    Japan's Gaga Communications and the UK's Arrow Film Distributors have both acquired local distribution rights to The Card Player, the new film from cult Italian suspense master Dario Argento.Sold by Adriana Chiesa Enterprises (ACE), The Card Player is about an unstoppable serial killer who kidnaps young women, holds them hostage until their death, and posts gruesome tapes of their murders on the Internet.Adriana Chiesa has already closed a raft of territories on th
  • Animated Odyssey begins Happily

    Shrek producer John Williams and sales company Odyssey Entertainment have teamed on Happily N'Ever After, their second animation production following $40m hot seller Valiant.Odyssey has also boarded Renaissance, a sci-fi animation thriller being associate produced by Jake Eberts and involving such talent as dance outfit Daft Punk which Disney will distribute in the US and Canada.Happily N'Ever After is a comedy twist on popular fairy tales feat
  • Anonymous Content boosts management team

    LA-based multimedia development, production and talent management outfit Anonymous Content has expanded its management division with the appointment of Shawn Hopkins, Brian Medavoy and Lainie Stolhanske.Hopkins arrives from LA-based production and management company Catch 23 and previously served two years with Rick and Julie Yorn and Artist Management Group, having started her career at ICM.Her clients include writer-directors Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down), Scott Kosar (
  • Arclight chief relocates to London

    Australia's top sales agent Gary Hamilton is to leave Sydney and relocate to London where he will set up a UK arm of his successful sales and production outfit Arclight Films. Hamilton said that he will be installed in London before Christmas this year.Arclight will retain its Sydney office for marketing, delivery, legal, post-production and development functions, but Hamilton's departure represents a blow to the Australian industry where Hamilton has been a fixture for the last 12 yea
  • Arclight chief relocates to London

    Australia's top sales agent Gary Hamilton is to leave Sydney and relocate to London where he will set up a UK arm of his successful sales and production outfit Arclight Films. Hamilton said that he will be installed in London before Christmas this year.Arclight will retain its Sydney office for marketing, delivery, legal, post-production and development functions, but Hamilton's departure represents a blow to the Australian industry where Hamilton has been a fixture for the last 12 yea
  • Arclight chief relocates to London

    Australia's top sales agent Gary Hamilton is to leave Sydney and relocate to London where he will set up a UK arm of his successful sales and production outfit Arclight Films. Hamilton said that he will be installed in London before Christmas this year.Arclight will retain its Sydney office for marketing, delivery, legal, post-production and development functions, but Hamilton's departure represents a blow to the Australian industry where Hamilton has been a fixture for the last 12 yea
  • Arclight chief relocates to London

    Australia's top sales agent Gary Hamilton is to leave Sydney and relocate to London where he will set up a UK arm of his successful sales and production outfit Arclight Films. Hamilton said that he will be installed in London before Christmas this year.Arclight will retain its Sydney office for marketing, delivery, legal, post-production and development functions, but Hamilton's departure represents a blow to the Australian industry where Hamilton has been a fixture for the last 12 yea
  • Arclight clinches sales on The Merchant Of Venice

    Arclight Films has completed a string of deals on Michael Radford's The Merchant Of Venice, starring Al Pacino.MGM has taken the film for the UK, Art Port for Japan, Manga for Spain, Paradise for Russia and New Films for Eastern Europe and Latin America.The $30m film of Shakespeare's play will begin production in Luxembourg on November 23. It was originally scheduled to start shooting in September this year.Al Pacino plays Shylock, while Jeremy Irons has replaced I
  • Arclight clinches sales on The Merchant Of Venice

    Arclight Films has completed a string of deals on Michael Radford's The Merchant Of Venice, starring Al Pacino.MGM has taken the film for the UK, Art Port for Japan, Manga for Spain, Paradise for Russia and New Films for Eastern Europe and Latin America.The $30m film of Shakespeare's play will begin production in Luxembourg on November 23. It was originally scheduled to start shooting in September this year.Al Pacino plays Shylock, while Jeremy Irons has replaced I
  • ARGENTINA

    Warner Bros' The Matrix: Revolutions topped Argentina's box office ratings as it has in many parts of the world. Alexander Sokurov's The Russian Ark opened strongly enough to come in at second place, followed by hit Korean title The Way Home which climbed from seventh to third spot. Distributor Eurocine has increased its print count from nine to 13. Freddy Vs Jason and The Italian Job continue to perform strongly on their fifth week.Upcoming titles in
  • AUSTRALIA

    The Matrix Revolutions did an extraordinary A$8,011,504 in its first four-day weekend from a whopping 454 screens, giving it an enviable A$17,646 screen average. That meant Roadshow must have swept away with at least two-thirds of Australia's total gross, taking into account its other films on release. Intolerable Cruelty, in second position and in its third week, attracted one person to every nine watching The Matrix Revolutions - and that was nearly double the result fo
  • Banned Palestinian film cleared by Israeli Supreme Court

    Overturning a previous decision of the Israeli Censorship Board, the country's The Supreme Court of Justice has lifted the ban on Mukhammad Bakkri's controversial documentary Jenin Jenin. Bakkri's report on the Israeli military incursion into the Jenin refugee camp and its tragic outcome put the entire blame on the Israeli side, using a number of interviews that suggested a massacre had taken place at the time, an accusation that has been recognised in the meantime to be untrue
  • Becker blooms with Marigold, Osama

    Newly formed Becker Films International has picked up sales duties on Osama, the award-winning Afghan film, and has unveiled hot Bollywood fusion film Marigold.The Sydney-based company, operated by former MDP sales executive Reiko Bradley, was formed earlier this autumn as a joint venture between Bradley and Richard Becker's Australian distributor and producer Becker Films. It aims to finance and sell a range of Australian and international films.Bradley already re
  • Becker blooms with Marigold, Osama

    Newly formed Becker Films International has picked up sales duties on Osama, the award-winning Afghan film, and has unveiled hot Bollywood fusion film Marigold.The Sydney-based company, operated by former MDP sales executive Reiko Bradley, was formed earlier this autumn as a joint venture between Bradley and Richard Becker's Australian distributor and producer Becker Films. It aims to finance and sell a range of Australian and international films.Bradley already re
  • Camel trots into France with ARP

    ARP has bought French rights to The Story Of The Weeping Camel, one of the surprise hits of the Toronto Film Festival and the official Mongolian entry for this year's best foreign language film Academy Award. Sold to the French independent by Menemsha Entertainment, which has worldwide sales rights, the film is a docu-drama directed by Luigi Falorni & Byambasuren Davaa as their graduation film from the Munich Film School.Set in the remotest parts of the Gobi desert, it te
  • Camel trots into France with ARP

    ARP has bought French rights to The Story Of The Weeping Camel, one of the surprise hits of the Toronto Film Festival and the official Mongolian entry for this year's best foreign language film Academy Award. Sold to the French independent by Menemsha Entertainment, which has worldwide sales rights, the film is a docu-drama directed by Luigi Falorni & Byambasuren Davaa as their graduation film from the Munich Film School.Set in the remotest parts of the Gobi desert, it te
  • Camel trots into France with ARP

    ARP has bought French rights to The Story Of The Weeping Camel, one of the surprise hits of the Toronto Film Festival and the official Mongolian entry for this year's best foreign language film Academy Award. Sold to the French independent by Menemsha Entertainment, which has worldwide sales rights, the film is a docu-drama directed by Luigi Falorni & Byambasuren Davaa as their graduation film from the Munich Film School.Set in the remotest parts of the Gobi desert, it te
  • Caterina In The City (Caterina Va In Citta)

    Dir: Paolo Virzi. Italy. 2003. 106mins.This contemporary commedia all'italiana squeezes some enjoyable mileage out of the old "hick in the big city" trope, in its tale of a 13-year-old girl who moves to Rome from the provinces, and is immediately caught up in the factional politics of her new high school class. But the country-city divide is just one strand of a dense and ambitious script, which juggles six major and more than a dozen minor characters with some skill.
  • Cattleya charges ahead with Winspeare drama

    Italian director Edoardo Winspeare, whose last film The Miracle screened in competition at the Venice Film Festival, is now preparing to direct a WW2 picture about an Italian Lawrence of Arabia.Winspeare is currently writing the film, which will focus on the life of Amedeo Guillet, an Italian cavalry officer who went to Africa during WW2, became a leader of the indigenous people and was awarded a special military honour by the British.The as yet-untitled picture will shoo
  • Cecchi Gori lines up Andreotti biopic

    Troubled Italian movie mogul Vittorio Cecchi Gori has announced that he will produce a picture about another notorious Italian personality, seven-time prime minister Giulio Andreotti.Directed by Pasquale Squitieri, the picture will be entitled The Trial Of The Century (Il Processo Del Secolo) and will focus on 84-year-old Andreotti's infamous decade-long trial for Mafia connections.Cecchi Gori made the announcement just as Andreotti was acquitted this week of ordering the
  • Cineclick's Old Boy conjures up Euro deals

    Old Boy, a thriller about a man who is challenged to find out why he was kidnapped, is drawing market and remake heat for Cineclick Asia.The film, which is one of the hottest titles at Mifed, has already closed a number of deals. France's Wild Side bought the Park Chan-Wook directed picture in a deal with horror film A Tale Of Two Sisters, while Benelux buyer Bright Angel took Old Boy and Oasis. But Cineclick chief Suh Young-Joo expects much more. Roy
  • Constantin to launch home entertainment label

    As part of a closer working collaboration with Highlight Communications, Constantin Film is to launch its own home entertainment label "Constantin Film" from January 1, 2004, taking over responsibility for Highlight's activities in rights acquisition and theatrical distribution in the future.While the agreement for the new video label will see Highlight handling the marketing and distribution of Constantin's video/DVD releases, Constantin will be responsible for acquiring rights for vi
  • Costner, Minghella, Zanuck to be honoured at Palm Springs

    Kevin Costner, Anthony Minghella and producer Richard D Zanuck are among honourees at the upcoming 15th Palm Springs International Film Festival's gala awards on Jan 11 2004.Costner, currently riding high following critical and commercial success in the US for his latest Western, Open Range, will receive the Career Achievement in the Art of Cinema. Previous winners include Nicolas Cage, Susan Sarandon, Jimmy Stewart and Frank Sinatra.He won the Best Director Oscar for
  • De Palma signs on for Signature's Dahlia

    Brian De Palma has signed on to direct The Black Dahlia, the film of the James Ellroy classic noir novel which is being sold here by new sales company Signature Pictures International. Josh Hartnett is in negotiations to star in the film which is being produced by Art Linson, who produced DePalma's The Untouchables, and Rudy Cohen, with Signature chief Moshe Diamant executive producing.Signature, which is showing footage in Mifed of Imaginary Heroes starring
  • De Palma signs on for Signature's Dahlia

    Brian De Palma has signed on to direct The Black Dahlia, the film of the James Ellroy classic noir novel which is being sold here by new sales company Signature Pictures International. Josh Hartnett is in negotiations to star in the film which is being produced by Art Linson, who produced DePalma's The Untouchables, and Rudy Cohen, with Signature chief Moshe Diamant executive producing.Signature, which is showing footage in Mifed of Imaginary Heroes starring
  • DENMARK

    While Matrix Revolutions took the box-office crown with a solid if not amazing 775 admissions screen average on its 79 prints, the film that was most influenced by it was Kill Bill, which dropped from number one to six, down some 60%. Last week's new local release from newcomer Oliver Ussing, Rule Nr.1, managed to hang on at number three due to its 52 prints, while the steady Intolerable Cruelty moved up to second. The two new releases defying The
  • Diot's Onoma unveils debut slate

    Onoma International, the new sales company launched in September by Pascal Diot, former head of Pathe International (France), has unveiled a four film slate headed by new Chinese picture Day And Night (Riri Yeye).Day And Night is directed by Wang Chao, who attracted strong critical acclaim for his first film The Orphan Of Anyang. The picture, which recently completed principal photography, is the Mongolian-set story of a man torn between loyalty for his own people
  • Dream racks up Monster deals

    LA-based production and international sales outfit Dream Entertainment has completed a raft of sales on Michael Davis' horror film Monster Man, which completed production last month.Gaga has picked up rights for Japan, Magna Pacific for Australia, Kinowelt for Germany, Gussi for Mexico, Scanbox for Scandinavia and Village Roadshow for Greece.In other territories, Les Films de L'Elysee has acquired rights for Benelux, Warner Newmetro for South Africa, Mediacorp for Singapo
  • Dutch producer under financial investigation

    The future of First Floor Features, the Dutch company owned by producer Laurens Geels, who made the Oscar-winning Character, appears to be in the balance. First Floor's backers this week launched an investigation into the financial position of the company and as a result the release of three films, Views And Sounds, Scent Of Books and De Infiltrant (The Intruder), is under threat.The titles were financed by a tax incentive, the so-called cv-ruling, th
  • ET creator dials up Dark animation

    Legendary ET creator Carlo Rambaldi is lining up an animation feature about a human being who ends up on another planet.The picture, entitled Jo Dark, will be directed by Rambaldi's son, Victor, whose credits as director include 1995's Decoy and 1988 movie Primal Rage.Jo Dark, which is planned as an Italian-UK-German project is due to go into production this year. World-wide distribution rights are handled by Roberto Di Girolamo's Rome-based sales com
  • Euro producers club to hold co-production forum

    The European Film Awards weekend will kick off this year with the European Producers Club's (EPC) Berlin Co-Production Forum on December 5 (Friday) which will open with a panel discussion open to the public, focusing on producing in or with Germany and the future Film Funding Law (FFG).Those wanting to take part in the one-to-one meetings of the Forum must have already produced or been involved in two feature projects and have a project suitable for co-production or be interested in bo
  • Europe opens up to Tube

    Tube Entertainment's big underground action picture Tube has scored additional sales in Europe selling to AV Film for Italy and Pathe for France. Spain's Manga Entertainment bought both Tube and Jan Sun Woo's sci-fi fantasy Resurrection Of The Little Match Girl. Tube has also struck a deal with John Sloss' Cinetic Media to represent both sales and remake rights on its big-budget android fantasy Natural City in North America and other English-speaking territo
  • Europe opens up to Tube

    Tube Entertainment's big underground action picture Tube has scored additional sales in Europe selling to AV Film for Italy and Pathe for France. Spain's Manga Entertainment bought both Tube and Jan Sun Woo's sci-fi fantasy Resurrection Of The Little Match Girl. Tube has also struck a deal with John Sloss' Cinetic Media to represent both sales and remake rights on its big-budget android fantasy Natural City in North America and other English-speaking territo
  • Film Library undergoes Cultural Revolution

    China's Cultural Revolution is the theme of three new films on the slate of Film Library, the Hong Kong and Los Angeles sales outfit.The company has expanded its Mifed sales slate thanks to a diversification into production.Jiang Jie, a stylish look at the turmoils of the 'Cultural Revolution' via the Peking Opera, which was positioned as a role model for many in China. The film is directed by Zhang Yuan, whose repertoire includes Green Tea (also being handled by F
  • First Look takes Perfect Strangers to US

    New Zealand's box office sensation Perfect Strangers has been picked up by First Look Pictures for North America. The chilling romance, which was directed by Gaylene Preston and stars Sam Neill and Rachael Blake, will be released early in 2004. Sales were handled by the New Zealand Film Commission's Kathleen Drumm and negotiated with Peter Lawson of the recently restructured First Look. It is the story of a woman who finds herself the object of a man's obsession on an iso
  • First Look takes Stateside worldwide

    First Look Media has acquired worldwide rights to Reverge Anselmo's $16m romance Stateside, which features a star-studded cast including Rachel Leigh-Cook, Jonathan Tucker and Val Kilmer.Meanwhile, First Look Media's worldwide licensing division, Overseas Filmgroup, has named industry veteran Amy Beecroft as its director of international distribution. She will handle international sales starting in MIFED.First Look Media's domestic distribution arm First Look Pictures pla
  • Fortissimo improves English-language grasp

    Fortissimo Film Sales has picked up world rights to More Than Scarlet, an Australian drama from the stable of Jan Chapman, producer of Lantana and The Piano. The company is also poised to pick up two other Aussie pictures in moves that underline its growing influence in the English-language sector. The Hong Kong and Netherlands-based company has long been considered as specialised in discovering and representing Asian films and festival-quality directorial t
  • Fortissimo learns to speak more English

    Fortissimo Film Sales haspicked up world rights to More Than Scarlet, an Australian drama from the stable of Jan Chapman,producer of Lantana and ThePiano. The company is also poised topick up two other Aussie pictures in moves that underline its growing influencein the English-languagesector. The Hong Kong andNetherlands-based company has long been considered as specialised indiscovering and representing Asian films and festival-quality directorialtalent. It sees i
  • Fortissimo picks up Girl

    Fortissimo Film Sales unveiled the pick-up of yet another title and the conclusion of a raft of sales on its diverse and expanding slate.Company co-chief Wouther Barendrecht said that Fortissimo will be handling Fanchin (pictured) (literally "My Girl"), a feel-good film that has become one of the biggest grossing Thai films of recent years. The film is a nostalgic story about a young man who returns from Bangkok to his rural home and falls in love with the
  • Fortissimo to sell Love worldwide

    Fortissimo Film Sales has picked up world rights outside North America to PS I Love You, the second film by Dylan Kidd, director of the award winning Roger Dodger.The film is a romantic comedy with an all-star cast headed by Laura Linney, Marcia Gay Harden, Gabriel Byrne, Topher Grace, Paul Rudd and Lois Smith. Based on a novel by Helen Schulman, it features Linney as a divorced woman who meets a younger man with an uncanny resemblance to her first boyfriend. She has to d
  • Fortissimo to sell Love worldwide

    Fortissimo Film Sales has picked up world rights outside North America to PS I Love You, the second film by Dylan Kidd, director of the award winning Roger Dodger.The film is a romantic comedy with an all-star cast headed by Laura Linney, Marcia Gay Harden, Gabriel Byrne, Topher Grace, Paul Rudd and Lois Smith. Based on a novel by Helen Schulman, it features Linney as a divorced woman who meets a younger man with an uncanny resemblance to her first boyfriend. She has to d
  • FRANCE

    Continuing on its impressive opening, Francis Veber's buddy comedy Rudy & Quentin remains at number one with a mere 18% drop off from last week. The film passed the one million admissions mark in less than two weeks which will likely land it among France's highest grossers this year. With little competition the rest of the line up remains much the same, but with Tonie Marshall's newest film France Boutique starring Karin Viard and Francois Cluzet opening at number 5 with
  • FRANCE

    The Matrix stormed into cinemas this week easily doubling the coveted one million admissions mark. Although the critics have not been kind to the film, queues have been round the block since last Wednesday when the movie opened and it has already entered the top fifteen films of 2003. Faced with this stiff competition box office leader Rudy & Quentin drops to the number 2 spot with a 33% dip in sales its third week out. Good news for French film, however, is the ar
  • Gaga picks up Spanish Whore

    Gaga Communications has just snapped up all Japanese distribution rights to hot Spanish picture The Whore (Yo Puta).The Euros 5m English-language picture is the second film to be directed by Luna, and stars Darryl Hannah and Denise Richards as two working prostitutes.The movie is based on a best-selling book by Isabel Pisano, and has already been sold to Spain (Buena Vista), Germany (Tiberius), France (97 Distribution), Italy (DNC), Hong Kong (Intercontinental), Scandinav
  • German blockbuster opens London festival of German cinema

    Germany's current blockbuster The Miracle Of Bern, which has grossed over $ 14.5m in its first four weeks of release in German cinemas, will open this year's Festival of German Cinema in London on November 27 with director Soenke Wortmann and lead actors Peter Lohmeyer and Louis Klamroth (who are also father and son in real life) in attendance.This sixth edition of the showcase of new German productions, which is organised by the Export-Union of German Cinema with the Goethe Ins
  • German fund commits to two new projects

    The production fund Studio Hamburg WorldWide Pictures (WWP) has boarded another two projects - the family film Chestnut: Hero Of Central Park and the fantasy adventure Dungeons & Dragons: The Sequel - as part of a slate of up to seven English language features with budgets between $5m-$20m.Chestnut, which is being produced by family entertainment specialist Keystone Entertainment for WWP through the production service company Nut Productions, has been directed by R
  • GERMANY

    As to be expected, the final part of the Matrix trilogy, The Matrix Revolutions (Warner) wrestled the top spot away from Soenke Wortmann's The Miracle Of Bern which had reigned on high for the last three weeks. The latest Matrix instalment's 1.1m admissions (including 230,000 from the additional Wednesday screenings) were impressive but disappointing when compared to the 1.8m posted by The Matrix Reloaded in May. The film was showing on a staggering 1
  • Giffoni, AFMA Foundation give birth to Teen LA

    One of Europe's leading youth-oriented events, Italy's Giffoni Film Festival, has sealed a landmark deal with the AFMA Foundation to establish a twin event in Los Angeles next summer, to be called Teen LA.'Giffoni isn't just a festival. It is a year-round operation dedicated to promoting cinema for young people. Besides the festival, our activities include distribution and we will soon also become active in the production of animation features,' Giffoni Film Festival founder and artis
  • Global Revolutions: $204.1m in first five days

    In a ringing endorsement ofits global day-and-date release strategy, Warner Bros and VillageRoadshow's The Matrix Revolutions has set a new record for a worldwide five-day opening weekend with amassive $204.1m, according to studio estimates.The spectacular global weekend beats the previous best of approximately $188m set by NewLine's The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers in 2002.The final instalment in the Wachowski Brothers' sci-fi trilogy went onunprecedented day
  • Good Woman starts shooting

    Mike Barker's A Good Woman, billed as a scandalous but comic tale set in New York and Italy's Amalfi Coast during the 1930s, has begun principal photography on location in Sorrento.Helen Hunt, Scarlett Johansson and Tom Wilkinson star in the film, which is based on Oscar Wilde's classic play Lady Windermere's Fan. Howard Himelstein wrote the script. International sales are being handled through Beyond Films.The film is a co-production between the UK's Meltem
  • Government 'death sentence' for Mexican cinema

    Mexico's film industry is in an uproar over the federal government's plans to sell or shut down the country's key film institutions. The surprise proposal comes as part of a $150bn austerity package that includes getting rid of state-owned production house Imcine, the decades-old Churubusco Azteca film studio and national film school, Centro de Capacitacion Cinematografica (CCC). Among the first to react was the Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences which accused Preside
  • Guevara doc bolsters Adriana Chiesa slate

    Rome-based sales agentAdriana Chiesa Enterprises (ACE) has bolstered its MIFED slate by picking upinternational distribution rights to two new films, including a documentaryabout the last few hours in the life of Che Guevara.Directed by Italy'sRomano Scavolini, the 60mn documentary is entitled Che: The Last Hours -The Truth about His Assassination and is produced by Francesco Pape.ACE has also just picked upinternational distribution rights to Nel Mio Amore (
  • Hating Alison Ashley rises again

    Scriptwriter Christine Madafferi's adaptation of Robin Klein's coming-of-age book Hating Alison Ashley is back on track, albeit with a new director, following yesterday's decision by Film Finance Corporation Australia to again back the project. Hating Alison Ashley was approved in May with LA-based expatriate Rod Hardy in the director's chair but contractual difficulties and creative differences meant if fell over soon after. Andrew Prose, who has directed such television
  • Helen Loveridge named executive director at Seattle Film Festival

    Fortissimo Filmsco-founder Helen Loveridge has been named executive director at the SeattleInternational Film Festival (SIFF) and will begin her tenure at theevent's 30th anniversary, which runs from May 20-Jun 13 2004. The position wasleft open when the festival's founding director Darryl Macdonald moved toPalm Springs Film Festival to become executive director. 'I'mlooking forward to making our 30th anniversary a remarkable celebration of allthat SIFF is an
  • HONG KONG

    Matrix Revolutions didn't beat the opening week figures of Matrix Reloaded in Hong Kong, but still topped the box office with a solid $1.32m from 67 screens during its first eight days (Nov 5-12). In comparison, Matrix Reloaded grossed $1.92m from 62 screens during its first seven days in May. Local horror flick The Death Curse opened strongly despite the hoopla surrounding Matrix Revolutions. The combined star power of Hong Kong pop duo Twins and the
  • HONG KONG

    Two Category III films (for persons aged 18 or above only) top the Hong Kong box office this week. Chan Hing-kai and Dante Lam's comedy Naked Ambition took the top slot with $553,710 from 29 screens. Produced by Panorama Entertainment and China Star, the film is about two university graduates who become porn publishers. Freddy Vs Jason, also rated Category III, has an extra marketing hook in Hong Kong as the director, Ronny Yu, hails from the territory. The Edko Films rel
  • Hong Kong production cycles getting longer

    Production cycles are starting to get longer in Hong Kong which was once renowned for its "one-month" movies. As a result, three films scheduled for release during Chinese New Year next January are already in the can and undergoing an unusually lengthy post-production process.Media Asia's Magic Kitchen and Mandarin Films' In-Laws, Outlaws both wrapped last month while Mythical Films' Silver Hawk has been in post since the beginning of September. Magic Kitchen
  • HONG KONG Production Listings - Nov 11

    HONG KONG November 10PRE-PRODUCTIONCOMA(Filmko Pictures) Budget: US$1.4m. Int'l sales: Filmko Films Distribution. Thriller. Dir: Lo Chi-leung. Scr: Susan Lam. Prod des: Man Lim Chung. Cast: Karena Lam, Angelica Lee Sin-Je. Shooting in Hong Kong from November 2003 until the end of January 2004.Contact: Katherine Lee, Filmko Films Distribution, (852) 2379 9999ONE NIGHT IN MONGKOK (working title)(Pinnacle Pictures) Budget: US$2.5m. Backers: U
  • House Of Sand And Fog

    Dir: Vadim Perelman. US. 2003. 126minsHouse Of Sand And Fog is a film that takes itself very seriously, and it should. Adapted from the novel by Andre Dubus III, which was featured on Oprah Winfrey's Book Club, it's drenched in poetic atmospherics that many will find haunting and others pretentious. It's difficult to know exactly what DreamWorks were thinking when they decided to release this movie, so thoroughly death-centred as it turns out to be, at Christmas (t
  • House Of Sand And Fog

    Dir: Vadim Perelman. US. 2003. 126minsHouse Of Sand And Fog is a film that takes itself very seriously, and it should. Adapted from the novel by Andre Dubus III, which was featured on Oprah Winfrey's Book Club, it's drenched in poetic atmospherics that many will find haunting and others pretentious. It's difficult to know exactly what DreamWorks were thinking when they decided to release this movie, so thoroughly death-centred as it turns out to be, at Christmas (t
  • House Of Sand And Fog

    Dir: Vadim Perelman. US. 2003. 126minsHouse Of Sand And Fog is a film that takes itself very seriously, and it should. Adapted from the novel by Andre Dubus III, which was featured on Oprah Winfrey's Book Club, it's drenched in poetic atmospherics that many will find haunting and others pretentious. It's difficult to know exactly what DreamWorks were thinking when they decided to release this movie, so thoroughly death-centred as it turns out to be, at Christmas (t
  • HUNGARY

    Although taking over the top spot at the Hungarian box office without a doubt, the third Matrix episode didn't quite match the success of Matrix: Reloaded. Its gross of HUF 132 million in its opening weekend, gives Matrix: Revolutions the fourth best opening ever in Hungary and the third best this year (Reloaded and the second LOTR episode were the only ones to fare better) but it's important to notice that in the case of Revolutions this is a five-day weekend result as it was released on Wed
  • International Box Office Preview

    Warner Bros' The Matrix Revolutions is expected to continue its international rampage this weekend following a record five-day global opening in 107 territories and subsequent $138.6m international gross in its first week ($138m excluding IMAX theatres).The final episode in the Wachowski Brothers' sci-fi trilogy scored a combined $232.2m global box office in its first seven days and studio executives will be looking to pass $200m in international ticket sales this weekend.
  • Intolerable Cruelty boosts its int'l running total

    Universal's black comedy Intolerable Cruelty grossed $6.4m from 2,382 sites in 24 countries through UIP at the weekend to raise its international running total to $46.4m.The film finished its third week at number one in Italy, where it dropped 18% and has grossed $8m to date, and added $1.2m in its third week in the UK, dropping 31% for $8.1m.In its third week in Germany it took $1.1m and ranked fourth as it dropped 41% for $6.2m, while in Australia it finished second in
  • Ireland's Section 481 film tax-relief still in question

    Ireland's joint parliamentary committee on finance has issued a report strongly in favour of the continuation of government support for the film industry. "The Joint Committee believes that for strong economic and cultural reasons the government should continue to promote and foster film as a high value, high knowledge, highly skilled industry." The Committee added that the government should retain a tightened Section 481 - or introduce a new measure of similar benefit to film p
  • Israeli Film Authority announces 2003's fund allocations

    The Israeli Film Authority, which allocates state funds for the cinema industry, has finally announced its long-awaited allocations for 2003. As expected, 85% of the $13.5m (NIS 61m) distributed by the government will go to production (two thirds of it for features, the rest divided between documentaries, shorts and experimental films) the remaining 15% to be shared by the many and various film-related institutions in the country (cinematheques, film festivals, film schools, etc.)
  • Italian government speaks up for MIFED

    Italian cultural minister Giuliano Urbani has said that Italy is prepared to take action at government level to support Mifed against the onslaught of AFM."AFM has made an unfair attack on MIFED by blatantly moving its dates into MIFED's slot next year," Urbani said at a press conference at the Fiera on Monday. "We will support MIFED in every way, although MIFED does not need the support of the government on a financial level," Urbani said, without offering any further details.
  • ITALY

    Italian film Prima Dammi Un Bacio (literally, First Give Me A Kiss) became the top-grossing local film of the weekend, after it earned Euros 221,083 for UIP from 93 screens.Produced by Rome's Sunflower Productions with backing from the Italian government's Fondo di Garanzia, Prima Dammi Un Bacio tells the story of a man and a woman who were born at the exact same time in 1927 within just a few feet of each other. Throughout their lives they share the same emotions
  • Italy sees October cinema visits plummet

    Cinema admissions in Italy dropped a huge 22% compared to the same month in 2002, according to the latest figures from Cinetel, which surveys around 75% of screens in Italy.The admissions set-back follows a 4.4% rise in cinema-going in the first quarter of 2003 compared to 2002. It also comes despite a 9.58% increase in the number of screens in the country.According to Walter Vacchino, head of Italy's national exhibitors association ANEC, the fall-off in admissions is due to the
  • Italy's Bim bites at arthouse trio

    Already proving to be one of the most active buyers at MIFED, Italian arthouse distributor Bim has snapped up Italian distribution rights to three new pictures: Michael Moore's widely anticipated Fahrenheit 9:11, Jonathan Demme's The Agronomist and John Curran's We Don't Live Here Anymore.Sold by Wild Bunch, Fahrenheit 9:11 is currently in production and explores the links between US president George Bush and the family of Osama Bin Laden. Bim has als
  • Italy's Bim bites at arthouse trio

    Already proving to be one of the most active buyers at MIFED, Italian arthouse distributor Bim has snapped up Italian distribution rights to three new pictures: Michael Moore's widely anticipated Fahrenheit 9:11, Jonathan Demme's The Agronomist and John Curran's We Don't Live Here Anymore.Sold by Wild Bunch, Fahrenheit 9:11 is currently in production and explores the links between US president George Bush and the family of Osama Bin Laden. Bim has als
  • Japanese Story sweeps Australia's IF Awards

    Australia's key IF Awards announced last night (November 12) were like a re-run of the Film Critics Circle Awards of two weeks earlier with Gettin' Square earning David Wenham best actor and Japanese Story winning best film for Sue Maslin, best director for Sue Brooks, best actress for Toni Collette and best cinematography for Ian Baker. The IF Awards are associated with Inside Film magazine and are nicknamed the people's choice awards because they are voted for by the fi
  • Japan's Movie-Eye kicks off with Arclight's Crash

    Movie-Eye Entertainment, the new Japanese production, distribution and management company, has acquired its first international film here, Crash starring Heath Ledger and Brendan Fraser, from Arclight Films.The company, run by former Gaga Communications executives Kaz Tadashiki and Taku Ushiyama, was formed this summer with shareholders including the two principals and Imagica, Amusement Media Academy and Kyowa Corrugated Cardboard.Movie-Eye compared the Crash scri
  • Jobson's Purifiers heads to Park

    Park Entertainment has taken on The Purifiers, a martial arts genre flick that is the second film by hot director Richard Jobson.The Scottish critic-turned-novelist and, most recently, film-maker Richard Jobson was the toast of London on Tuesday night (Nov 4) when his debut feature 16 Years Of Alcohol was feted as the UK's best first film at the British Independent Film Awards. Like Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, Jobson's The Purifiers tips its hat to
  • Just Betzer dies, aged 59

    Just Betzer, the celebrated Danish producer of Oscar-winner Babette's Feast (Babettes Gaestebud), died suddenly last week. Having not produced a film since 1992, Betzer had been planning a comeback and was scheduled to arrive in Mifed on Sunday 9 November. Aged only 59, Betzer started as a camera and production assistant and as a producer went on to make some 40 pictures including Nobody's Perfect and the Goldcabbage Family franchise.
  • KMI sells Instant Karma

    Kathy Morgan International (KMI) is handling international sales on the $70m live-action-CGI black comedy Instant Karma, which stars Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Pierce Brosnan.New Line is in talks to take domestic rights on the film by first-time writer-director Paul Hernandez , which is due to go into production in April 2004 in New Orleans. Instant Karma stars The Rock as a safecracker who is reincarnated as a flea following a near-death experience and tries to
  • KMI sells Instant Karma

    Kathy Morgan International (KMI) is handling international sales on the $70m live-action-CGI black comedy Instant Karma, which stars Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Pierce Brosnan.New Line is in talks to take domestic rights on the film by first-time writer-director Paul Hernandez , which is due to go into production in April 2004 in New Orleans. Instant Karma stars The Rock as a safecracker who is reincarnated as a flea following a near-death experience and tries to
  • Kundalini, Entera make Candy together

    LA-based production outfit Kudalini Pictures has teamed with pan-European film financing, production and distribution outfit Entera Entertainment to produce Caribbean Candy directed by Fina Torres (Woman On Top, Oriana). Kundalini is an LA company headed by Dileep Singh Rathore which previously produced Indian festival hit Maya directed by Digvijay Singh in 2001. Rathore and Emmanuel Pappas will produce the film for Kundalini in 2004, with Entera taking righ
  • KWA takes off with Astronautas, Bolchevique

    Madrid-based sales agent Kevin Williams Associates (KWA) has just picked up world-wide distribution rights to two new Spanish pictures: Astronautas and La Flaqueza Del Bolchevique.Santi Amodeo's Astronautas is a bittersweet comedy about an alcoholic artist who gets back onto the straight and narrow with the help of a young girl. The film, which stars Nancho Novo and Teresa Hurtado, won a Special Mention at the Valladolid Film Festival last week. Astronaut
  • Lau, Wong quartet to rise at Fortune Star

    Hong Kong-based Fortune Star Entertainment makes its Mifed debut this year with a slate headed by two new pictures by Infernal Affairs co-director Andrew Lau.The micro-studio, which is attached to News Corp's Star TV division, has also sealed a two-picture production and sales deal with US-based director Kirk Wong and will be handling its first third-party pickup at the market.California Monks is set as Lau's next picture after Infernal Affairs III, the fina
  • Lau, Wong quartet to rise at Fortune Star

    Hong Kong-based Fortune Star Entertainment makes its Mifed debut this year with a slate headed by two new pictures by Infernal Affairs co-director Andrew Lau.The micro-studio, which is attached to News Corp's Star TV division, has also sealed a two-picture production and sales deal with US-based director Kirk Wong and will be handling its first third-party pickup at the market.California Monks is set as Lau's next picture after Infernal Affairs III, the fina
  • Lions Gate takes over world for New France

    Lions Gate International has acquired worldwide rights excluding France and Canada to Jean Beaudin's epic historical romance New France, starring Gerard Depardieu, Tim Roth and Colm Meaney.The in-production Canadian-French-UK joint venture is being shot in English and French-language versions on locations in Canada, France and the UK.The company's co-presidents Nick Meyer and Sergei Yershov announced the deal at MIFED yesterday.New France is a co-production
  • Lions Gate takes over world for New France

    Lions Gate International has acquired worldwide rights excluding France and Canada to Jean Beaudin's epic historical romance New France, starring Gerard Depardieu, Tim Roth and Colm Meaney.The in-production Canadian-French-UK joint venture is being shot in English and French-language versions on locations in Canada, France and the UK.The company's co-presidents Nick Meyer and Sergei Yershov announced the deal at MIFED yesterday.New France is a co-production
  • Local films buck Germany's downward admissions trend

    Cinema admissions and box office takings continued their downward trend into the third quarter of 2003, according to figures published by the German Federal Film Board (FFA). While the second quarter had seen a 11.7% drop in admissions over the same period in 2002, this grew to 12.1% in the third quarter. Box office revenues fared no better: the second quarter had seen a year-on-year reduction of 13% and this increased slightly to 13.3% between July and September. The FFA report
  • Looney Tunes: Back In Action

    Dir: Joe Dante. US. 2003. 90mins.The edgy humour of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck et al takes a back seat to frantic and not terribly funny action-comedy in this Warner family offering (set for a Nov 14 US release) that puts the studio's Looney Tunes animated stars together with live-action characters and settings. Five years ago Warner scored a hit (with $90m from the US and $159m from international) when it teamed its cartoon icons with basketball superstar Michael Jordan i
  • Lux sales outfit launches with Mother Teresa

    Italian production outfit Lux Vide, which is now part-owned by international producer and financier Tarak Ben Ammar, has established a new international sales label to handle world-wide distribution on its first major feature film, Mother Teresa.The $11m English-language film, which is due to be released theatrically next spring, is directed by Fabrizio Costa and was shot on location in Sri Lanka, India and Italy. Starring Olivia Hussey in the title role, Mother Teresa
  • Major boost for NZ film industry

    An additional $6.2m (NZ$10m) is going to the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) for 2004, all government agencies are to be reviewed, and NZ$900,000 over two years has been provided for the establishment of an independent Screen Council and NZ$960,000 over two years for marketing body Film NZ.The additional NZ$10m will almost double the NZFC's baseline funding in 2004. Prime Minister Helen Clark said it will further support local film-makers to produce more films of the status and qual
  • Martian flies out of Office

    France's Co-Production Office may have only picked up the film in the hours before Mifed, but it is selling strongly on adult animation film Mercano The Martian from Argentina.The irreverent youth-oriented picture by Juan Antin denounces globalisation with a mixture of irony and black humour. It won the jury prize at last year's prestigious Annecy animation festival and scoped the audience award at the Sitges fantasy festival. Having already been released in Argentina by
  • Martian flies out of Office

    France's Co-Production Office may have only picked up the film in the hours before Mifed, but it is selling strongly on adult animation film Mercano The Martian from Argentina.The irreverent youth-oriented picture by Juan Antin denounces globalisation with a mixture of irony and black humour. It won the jury prize at last year's prestigious Annecy animation festival and scoped the audience award at the Sitges fantasy festival. Having already been released in Argentina by
  • Marvel Enterprises opens London office

    Comic book giant Marvel Enterprises has launched a London-based international division.The office is headed by Bruno Maglione, who has been named president of Marvel International. He reports to Allen Lipson, Marvel's chief executive for all activities other than consumer products, where he reports to Tim Rothwell, president of worldwide consumer products.Maglione was previously managing director and senior vice president of Universal Studios Consumer Products Europe & MEA, whic
  • Matrix Revolutions opens top for Warner Bros on $50.2m

    As expected, The MatrixRevolutions opened number one at theweekend on $50.2m, a three-day estimated gross that was certainly nothing to besniffed at but one that still trailed its May predecessor by some 45%.Since opening on Wednesday to fairly dire reviews, the final episode in theWachowski Brothers' sci-fi trilogy has amassed $85.5m domestically, according to WarnerBros. The weekend average was $14,321 from 3,502 sites.The three-day total represented just over half th
  • MDC sells Spare Parts

    Berlin-based film and TV seller MDC International made a quick start to its Mifed campaign selling Slovenian picture Spare Parts, directed by Damjan Kozole, to Cinemart for the Czech Republic, Future Film for Scandinavia, Lumiere for Belgium and Neue Visionen for Germany. MDC sold Polish TV rights on Latvian director Vasis Basla's Christmas Huddle to Puls TV. And Some Secrets, directed by Alice Nellis of the Czech Republic, were sold to Dream Entertainment for Israel.MDC is als
  • Media Luna strikes Tender deals

    Ida Martins' Cologne-based world sales group Media Luna has signed a string of deals on its new Spanish picture Kill Me Tender. Directed by Ramon De Espana the darkly comedic tale of a widowed baker and an unscrupulous younger woman, was sold to Constellation Pictures for Mexico, Overseas Movie for Singapore and Suraya for Malaysia.I-Movie group bought Taiwan and Hong Kong rights to both Kill Me Tender and Cowboys And Angels, the English-language comedy abou
  • Medusa adopts Polanski's Oliver

    Italy's Medusa is the first major territorial buyer to parent Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist from Summit Entertainment. The distributor is in final negotiations to take Italian rights to the $60m film which is being produced by Polanski, Alain Sarde and Robert Benmussa.Polanski is currently scouting locations in eastern Europe for the film which will recreate London in the early 19th century for the Oscar winner's faithful adaptation of Charles Dickens' literary classic. R
  • Medusa adopts Polanski's Oliver

    Italy's Medusa is the first major territorial buyer to parent Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist from Summit Entertainment. The distributor is in final negotiations to take Italian rights to the $60m film which is being produced by Polanski, Alain Sarde and Robert Benmussa.Polanski is currently scouting locations in eastern Europe for the film which will recreate London in the early 19th century for the Oscar winner's faithful adaptation of Charles Dickens' literary classic. R
  • Memories sparks sales for CJ

    CJ Entertainment, the powerful conglomerate which bestrides the domestic Korean scene, has struck a series of key deals with its true-life murder mystery Memories Of Murder. The film, which broke box office records and won major prizes at the San Sebastian film festival, has been sold to Cinequanon for Japan, Optimum for the UK, Nobel & Partners for Scandinavia, A-Film for the Benelux region and Alta Films for Spain. "These are ground breaking deals for us," said Edison J
  • Menemsha's Moon set for Israel release

    Menemsha Entertainment has closed a pre-sale of Juan Jose Campanella's Avellanada's Moon to Israel's United King just days before completion of principal photography. United King, has previously bought two other Argentinian films - Campanella's Son Of The Bride and Marcelo Pineyro's Kamchatka - from Menemsha. Beatrix Wesle of Menemsha closed the deal with Ilanit Edery of United King.Meanwhile Menemsha has closed two French deals at the market. Son
  • MIFED dangles inducements for 2004

    Fiera Milano International (FMI) general division director Carlo Bassi is expected to introduce major incentives to lure buyers and exhibitors to MIFED next year. The incentives could include subsidising flights and hotel accommodation in Milan, and are being offered at a time when opinion is divided among buyers and sellers about whether they will attend MIFED or AFM next year.MIFED has just secured a budget increase thanks to the newly-created company that FMI is forming with
  • MIFED dangles inducements for 2004

    Fiera Milano International (FMI) general division director Carlo Bassi is expected to introduce major incentives to lure buyers and exhibitors to MIFED next year. The incentives could include subsidising flights and hotel accommodation in Milan, and are being offered at a time when opinion is divided among buyers and sellers about whether they will attend MIFED or AFM next year.MIFED has just secured a budget increase thanks to the newly-created company that FMI is forming with
  • Mifed unveils subsidy package

    Mifed organisers confirmed yesterday (ed Wed 12) that they will offer a package of subsidies and incentives to buyers and sellers in an effort to retain business (see ScreenDaily.com, Nov 12)."We will be providing some Euros 5m in the form of incentives to market participants next year," said Carlo Bassi, president of Fiera Milano International (FMI). It is understood that these could involve underwriting the cost of flights and hotels for both buyers and sellers who remain loyal to th
  • Mikado swoops on high-profile pair

    Italian arthouse distributor-producer Mikado has acquired local distribution rights to two critically acclaimed films: Kim Ki-duk's Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter'And Spring and Peter Webber's acclaimed Girl With A Pearl Earring.Spring, Summer was sold by Cineclick Asia and Bavaria Films, while Girl was sold by Pathe International UK.Meanwhile, Mikado is currently also involved in the production of acclaimed theatre director Mario Martone's new picture
  • Miracle heralds Bavaria sales deals

    Germany's Bavaria Film International has struck a six picture deal with Israel's Orlando Film and has concluded further sales on its Berlin 2003 slate.Orlando bought rights to Soenke Wortmann's hit drama The Miracle Of Bern (Das Wunder Von Bern), Santiago Loza's Extrano, Martin Rejtman's The Magic Gloves (Los Guantes Magicos), Cesc Gay's In The City (En La Cuidad), Jaime Rosales The Hours Of The Day (Las Horas Del Dia) and Berlin competition title
  • Moviehouse gets to Work on beefed up slate

    London-based sales outfit Moviehouse Entertainment has picked up Adam Goldberg's debut feature I Love Your Work which was one of the last films to be backed by Fireworks Pictures.Moviehouse, which was founded two years ago by Mark Vennis and Gary Phillips, will now also handle 13 titles from the back catalogue of Fireworks, which quit the film business earlier this year.I Love Your Work, which premiered in Toronto's Discovery section, is a drama examining the ups a
  • Movieweb casts Shadow with English-lang slate

    Movieweb's Massimo Pacilio has teamed up with the UK's Studio Eight and Canada's GFT Entertainment to produce a line-up of big-budget English language pictures.Among the first projects to be made through the new partnership is Shadow Dancer, a $10m movie starring Harvey Keitel, Giancarlo Giannini and Gerard Depardieu. Produced by Pacilio, Gary Howsam and Jamie Brown, the film will be directed by Brad Milman and is due to start shooting in February for six weeks in Tuscany
  • Movieweb casts Shadow with English-lang slate

    Movieweb's Massimo Pacilio has teamed up with the UK's Studio Eight and Canada's GFT Entertainment to produce a line-up of big-budget English language pictures.Among the first projects to be made through the new partnership is Shadow Dancer, a $10m movie starring Harvey Keitel, Giancarlo Giannini and Gerard Depardieu. Produced by Pacilio, Gary Howsam and Jamie Brown, the film will be directed by Brad Milman and is due to start shooting in February for six weeks in Tuscany
  • NETHERLANDS

    With the onslaught of Warner Bros The Matrix Revolutions helping Dutch box office to a 52% rise week-on-week it was local drama Cloaca that held up best.Dropping just 7% in its third week and boasting the second highest screen average of the week, after Revolutions, with $4,175 Cloaca gained one position rising to sixth place.Directed by Willem van de Sande Bakhuyzen, the film tells the story of four middle-aged old collage friends who reunite in a ti
  • NEW ZEALAND

    The Matrix Revolutions blitzed the opposition in New Zealand as it did around the world, grossing a highly impressive NZ$1,266,716 from 77 screens for a screen average of NZ$16,451. Such was its power that it also pulled The Matrix Reloaded back into the chart in thirteenth spot, despite being on release for 19 weeks.Apart from the Hoyts/Icon release Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself, which appears in the nineteenth spot, all distributors held their fire on new films. T
  • NonStop takes on trio of titles

    Sweden's NonStop Sales has added a trio of high profile local titles to its Mifed slate.From leading producer Sonet Film it has added Miffo, a romantic comedy about a priest who should not be feeling the way he does, directed by Daniel Lind Lagerlof. The film makes its market premiere at Mifed, despite having been released in Sweden to great success (just under 500,000 admissions) in April and having travelled to the Hollywood and Montreal festivals. NonStop has also boar
  • Nordisk Film goes to Hollywood

    Nordic major Nordisk Film is to open a US office in Los Angeles on January 1, where international head of acquisitions Kim Beich will handle the company's many US relationships. "It is a part of the strategy we have been following for some years now," Nordisk Film MD, Kenneth D Plummer told ScreenDaily.com. "Our focus has been on local Nordic product and American independent titles and today we are the biggest distributor of both in our region." Nordisk Film is a part of
  • Nordisk strikes multiple deals on Reconstruction

    Nordisk Film International struck a bundle of deals on its Cannes Camera d'Or winning picture Reconstruction. The Christoffer Boe-directed romantic thriller was licensed to Korean Arts Centre for Korea, A-Film for Benelux. Two companies split Spanish-speaking Latin American rights on the title. Cineplex took Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Central America. Alfa Film took Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Chile.Mikael Hafstrom's Evil was licensed to Cineple
  • NORWAY

    With its 97 prints it was inevitable that Matrix Revolutions would push local charmer Mother's Elling from the top of the Norwegian chart. While all films dropped compared to last week's figures, a couple of films did manage to climb up the chart. Calender Girls moved to up to fifth and Per Fly's Danish drama to ninth from 15th. Two other new releases failed to make it even into the top 20, as Song For A Raggy Boy opened 23rd and Diego Lerman's Argentinian
  • Nuan scoops Tokyo Grand Prix

    Huo Jianqui's romantic drama Nuan was awarded the Grand Prix at the 16th edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival. Jury President Gong Li announced the winner, follow-up to Huo's acclaimed Postmen In The Mountains, at the closing ceremony in Tokyo on November 9, together with fellow jurors Irwin Kershner, Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Takashige Ichise and Vincent Lecoeur. The award came with a cash prize of $80,000. The Special Jury Prize, worth $20,000, went to Bakh
  • Old Boy

    Dir: Park Chan-Wook. Korea. 2003. 135 mins (approx)Director Park Chan-Wook helped Korean cinema break into a front of mind position with international distributors with his first film Joint Security Area, a tense stand-off on the North-South Korean border. He showed a darker, edgier side with Sympathy For Mr Vengeance, a biting revenge drama where at least two characters were candidates for the title role.By turns narratively creative, visually invent
  • Optimum stocks up with market titles

    Independent UK distributor Optimum Releasing has acquired UK rights to anticipated documentaries from Michael Moore and Jonathan Demme, as well as Bob Smeaton's Festival Express and French horror Switchblade Romance. The company has also picked up UK rights to CJ Entertainment's detective thriller Memories Of Murder Currently in production, Fahrenheit 911 sees Michael Moore examining the US as a target for terrorism, and allegations of a relationship between
  • Osborne prepares Magic Fingers in NZ

    Producer Barrie M Osborne, who relocated from the US to New Zealand to work with director Peter Jackson on The Lord Of The Rings, is set to continue his relationship with the country - and to keep putting myth and fantasy up on the big screen. He is now in the process of financing The Magnificent Magic Fingers, to be directed by New Zealander Robert Sarkies from a script by he and his brother Duncan."It is Dickens meets Dahl in a magical fairytale adventure about a
  • O'Shea moves to Media 8 as sales chief

    BrianO'Shea has joined Media 8 Entertainment, formerly MDP Worldwide, assenior vice president of worldwide distribution. In his new postO'Shea will be responsible for all licensing and sales activities for thecompany, which is in the process of expanding its production and financingoperations. He previouslyserved as senior vice president of worldwide sales at Overseas Filmgroup andbefore that was vice president of international sales at Concorde-New Horizons.
  • Outlook rosy with $350m investment equity fund

    Outlook Films, the newindependent LA film outfit formed earlier this year by CAA agent Adam Krentzmanand Francois Lesterlin, has closed financing deals worth $350m with equityinvestors Pacificap Entertainment and Renaissance Millenium Pictures.Outlook, which plans tofinance and produce up to six films a year, has closed a deal valued at $150mwith Pacificap and $200m with Renaissance Millenium to provide a revolving poolof investment equity for Outlook projects over the next three years
  • Pescarolo lines up $18m She shoot

    Shooting is due to start in May in Shanghai on Leo Pescarolo's $18m international movie, She (aka Draconis).She is produced by Rome-based Pescarolo's Imago Film with Massimo Pacilio for Movieweb, together with Fred Wang from Hong Kong's Salon Media Films, France's Mandarin Films, Germany's CMW Film Company and Australia's Darnley House Productions. The English-language fantasy tale, which is loosely based on H.Rider Haggard's adventure about an immortal woma
  • Recorded to Franchise: Hands off Scheherezade

    London's Recorded Picture Co (RPC) and its sales arm Hanway Films have become engaged in a bizarre tussle with LA-based Franchise Pictures over hot MIFED title Scheherezade directed by Michael Apted - which both companies appear to be selling.But according to Jeremy Thomas, the film's producer, and head of Recorded/Hanway, Franchise has never had any rights to the film. "I am amused that Franchise could spin more elaborate yarns than Scheherezade herself," he told Screen yesterd
  • Recorded to Franchise: Hands off Scheherezade

    London's Recorded Picture Co (RPC) and its sales arm Hanway Films have become engaged in a bizarre tussle with LA-based Franchise Pictures over hot MIFED title Scheherezade directed by Michael Apted - which both companies appear to be selling.But according to Jeremy Thomas, the film's producer, and head of Recorded/Hanway, Franchise has never had any rights to the film. "I am amused that Franchise could spin more elaborate yarns than Scheherezade herself," he told Screen yesterd
  • Renaissance has Big Plans

    The UK's Renaissance Films has added its first ever foreign-language picture to its slate and from this week is pitching an Australian romantic drama starring Heath Ledger and Geoffrey Rush.The company's first non-English picture is Big Plans, a Danish comedy by Jesper Nielsen, director of hit Okay. It is the story of a small-time crook who has failed at almost everything in life and falls in love a prostitute. Starring Thomas Bo Larsen and Lena Marie, it goes into produc
  • Renaissance has Big Plans

    The UK's Renaissance Films has added its first ever foreign-language picture to its slate and from this week is pitching an Australian romantic drama starring Heath Ledger and Geoffrey Rush.The company's first non-English picture is Big Plans, a Danish comedy by Jesper Nielsen, director of hit Okay. It is the story of a small-time crook who has failed at almost everything in life and falls in love a prostitute. Starring Thomas Bo Larsen and Lena Marie, it goes into produc
  • Revolutions opens top for Warner Bros on $50.2m

    As expected The MatrixRevolutions opened number one at theweekend on a $50.2m three-day estimated gross that was certainly nothing to besniffed at but trailed its May predecessor by some 45%.Since opening on Wednesday to fairly dire reviews, the final episode in theWachowski Brothers' sci-fi trilogy has amassed $85.5m according to WarnerBros. The weekend average was $14,321 from 3,502 sites.The three-day total represented just over half the weekend debut of TheMatrix Reloade
  • Revolutions smashes world record with $204.1m five-day global bow

    In a ringing endorsement of its global day-and-date releasestrategy, Warner Bros and Village Roadshow's The Matrix Revolutions has set a new record for a worldwide five-day openingweekend with a massive $204.1m, according to studio estimates.The spectacular bow beats the previous best of approximately $188m set by NewLine's The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers in 2002.The final instalment in the Wachowski Brothers' sci-fi trilogy went onunprecedented day-and dat
  • Revolutions trails predecessor in domestic opening

    As expected, The Matrix Revolutions opened number one at the weekend on a $50.2m three-day estimated gross that was certainly nothing to be sniffed at but trailed its May predecessor by some 45%.Since opening on Wednesday to fairly dire reviews, the final episode in the Wachowski Brothers' sci-fi trilogy has amassed $85.5m according to Warner Bros. The weekend average was $14,321 from 3,502 sites.The three-day total represented just over half the weekend debut of The
  • Russian films clean up at Cottbus festival

    Russian cinema is well and truly back on the international scene after becoming the big winner at this year's Festival of East European Cinema in Cottbus (November 4-8) by picking up nine of the festival's 12 awards presented at a gala ceremony on Saturday evening (Nov 8).Lidija Bobrowa's Granny (Babusja) received the International Jury's Euros 12,000 Main Prize for Best Feature Film as well as the Euros 2,000 Audience Award, while this year's Golden Lion Winner The Return
  • Sellers sells for HBO

    HBO Films London has sold all rights in four territories to its drama The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers.Toshiba has picked it up for Japan, LNK for Portugal, Spentzos for Greece and Noah for Israel.The company has also reported strong interest from French, Italian and Spanish buyers at Mifed this week. The $26m production is expected to be ready in February 2004.Geoffrey Rush, Charlize Theron and Emily Watson star in the film, which is directed by Stephen Hopkins
  • Sellers sells for HBO

    HBO Films London has sold all rights in four territories to its drama The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers.Toshiba has picked it up for Japan, LNK for Portugal, Spentzos for Greece and Noah for Israel.The company has also reported strong interest from French, Italian and Spanish buyers at Mifed this week. The $26m production is expected to be ready in February 2004.Geoffrey Rush, Charlize Theron and Emily Watson star in the film, which is directed by Stephen Hopkins
  • Something stirs sales for Senator

    LA-based Senator International has struck a raft of sales on Clare Kilner's romantic comedy Something Borrowed, the first title in its multi-picture co-financing deal with Gold Circle Films.Medusa has picked up all rights for Italy, Village Roadshow for Australia and New Zealand and TMC for Turkey, joining a list of territories that committed to buying the film at Cannes.Principal photography is now complete on Something Borrowed, which stars Debra Messing and Derm
  • SPAIN

    Despite its massive local release on 417 prints and a simultaneous worldwide marketing campaign, Warner Brothers' Matrix Revolutions wasn't among the top five biggest openers ever in Spanish history. With Euros 4.2m on the weekend (and a cumulative gross through Sunday of Euros 5.5m), the film also trailed its predecessor Matrix Reloaded's first-weekend gross of Euros 5.61m in Spain, as it did in the US.Two Spanish films continued to hold steady in the charts: BVI's Pl
  • Sundance/NHK Int'l Film-makers Awards unveil finalists

    The Sundance Institute and Japan Broadcasting Corporation NHK have announced the 12 finalists for the 2004 Sundance/NHK International Film-makers Awards, created in 1996 to support emerging directors as they develop their next screenplays.One winner from each of four global regions - Europe, Latin America, USA and Japan - will be selected by an international jury and announced before the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. The winning director from each region will receive $10,000 at the fest
  • SWEDEN

    After seven weeks at the top of the chart even Mikael Haafstroem's Evil had to step down to the Matrix Revolutions' massive 134 prints and impressive $8,441 screen average. However, since both Evil and the action-thriller The Third Wave are still out in 91 and 96 prints respectively, they are far from beaten and could return to the top again. In the meantime this week's most impressive performer was Clint Eastwood's Mystic River, which moved from eigh
  • Tartan Films signs five picture deal

    Tartan Films,which is carving out a new theatrical market for Asian films in the UK, has bought a five picture package from Korea's CineclickAsia. Managing director, Laura De Casto yesterday committed to a deal headed by Park Chan-Wook's Mifed favourite Old Boy. It also included H, A
  • Toho-Towa, Strike get Dawn together

    Marc Abraham and Tom Bliss' new production outfit Strike Entertainment has struck a multi-year distribution deal with Toho-Towa in Japan kicking off with Strike's first production Dawn Of The Dead. Strike sealed a four-year, first-look deal with Universal Pictures in May 2002 for distribution in the US and numerous other territories.Abraham and Bliss, who were previously teamed with Armyan Bernstein in Beacon Communications, have sold key territories on their pictures suc
  • Toho-Towa, Strike get Dawn together

    Marc Abraham and Tom Bliss' new production outfit Strike Entertainment has struck a multi-year distribution deal with Toho-Towa in Japan kicking off with Strike's first production Dawn Of The Dead. Strike sealed a four-year, first-look deal with Universal Pictures in May 2002 for distribution in the US and numerous other territories.Abraham and Bliss, who were previously teamed with Armyan Bernstein in Beacon Communications, have sold key territories on their pictures suc
  • Trademark trio gets into Syndicate

    Andrew Stevens' Trademark Entertainment has struck up a representation relationship with David Glasser and Lisa Wilson's new sales outfit Syndicate Films kicking off with three titles at MIFED - horror picture Samantha's Child starring Heather Graham, serial killer chiller Method starring Elizabeth Hurley and thriller Pursued with Christian Slater and Estella Warren.'It's a great way for me to be at the market but obviates me being an autonomous entity,' said Steve
  • Trust to sell Mother's Elling

    Trust Film Sales will handle world sales on Mother's Elling, the follow up to 2001's international box-office hit Elling, which has already been seen by more than 300,000 Norwegians and grossed some $2.5m in four weeks. UIP, which distributes the film in Scandinavia, had first look, but Trust Film Sales also handled the first film, which was sold across the world and received a Oscar-nomination as best foreign language film. Ascot Elite and Arsenal have already tak
  • Tulchin runs with Haunted Hills sales

    Tulchin Entertainment has completed a raft of licensing deals for the comedy-horror Elvira's Haunted Hills starring Elvira and Richard O'Brien, who starred in The Rocky Horror Show.Classic 99 Pty has picked up television and video rights for Australia and New Zealand, Videosonic has acquired television and video rights for Greece, Elysee has picked up television and video rights for Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxemburg and France and Lizard Company has acquired the same ri
  • Turin's new chiefs first festival line-up

    The Turin Film Festival (Nov 13-21), Italy's second most prominent film event, has unveiled its 21st line-up, which includes Italian-French actress Valeria Bruni Tedeschi's debut feature, It's Easier For A Camel and David Gordon Green's All The Real Girls.Dedicated to emerging and cutting-edge international filmmakers, it will be the first festival to be directed by Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan and Roberto Turigliatto, who replace Stefano della Casa.The festival will ope
  • UGC steers Camel, Return to UK

    UGC Films UK has picked up UK rights to two recent festival hits and foreign Oscar submissions - surprise Toronto hit The Story Of The Weeping Camel from Menemsha Films.and Venice Golden Lion-winner The Return from Intercinema Art Agency.Andrei Zvygatinsev's The Return is the story of two teenagers on a sinister fishing trip with their estranged father to a remote island wilderness, while The Story Of The Weeping Camel, directed by Luigi Falorni and Byambasu
  • UK/IRELAND

    Jim Sheridan's In America held up well against the onslaught of Warner Bros' The Matrix Revolutions thanks to an increased presence in the UK and sustained strength in the Republic of Ireland.Adding two extra screens in Ireland the autobiographical drama, written by Sheridan and his daughters Naomi and Kirsten, slipped a mere 6% from its opening weekend and has already taken over $1m in Ireland alone.The UK roll-out continued with an extra 23 sites receiving the fi
  • US distributor First Run launches political website

    First RunFeatures, the US independent distributor of political titles such as The WarAt Home and S21: TheKhmer Rouge Death Machine,is launching a discussion website about the politics of war and America'sinvolvement in the fight against terrorism. A new section onthe company's website www.firstrunfeatures.com entitled FRF Community features directorinterviews, chatrooms, forums, links to political sites and searchablecatalogues. 'The ideais to promote the new site
  • Warner Bros confirms Revolutions record

    Warner Bros confirmed yesterday (Nov 12) that The Matrix Revolutions had indeed scored the biggest five-day worldwide opening of all time with a final estimate of $202.8m.The estimated international running total for the same period - spanning the global day-and-date release on Nov 5 through to Nov 9 - was $119m from more than 10,000 prints in 107 markets.That total includes $464,611 from IMAX theatres in nine countries. The domestic score for the first five days is $83.8
  • Warner marches abroad with Alexander

    Warner Bros Pictures has acquired the key English-language territories of UK, Australia and New Zealand to Oliver Stone's untitled Alexander The Great project from Intermedia and Summit Entertainment. Warner already has rights in North America and plans to release it on Nov 5, 2004."Warner Bros. continues to be a great partner for Intermedia, first on the North American release of Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines and now on The Untitled Alexander The Great projec
  • Warner marches abroad with Alexander

    Warner Bros Pictures has acquired the key English-language territories of UK, Australia and New Zealand to Oliver Stone's untitled Alexander The Great project from Intermedia and Summit Entertainment. Warner already has rights in North America and plans to release it on Nov 5, 2004."Warner Bros. continues to be a great partner for Intermedia, first on the North American release of Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines and now on The Untitled Alexander The Great projec
  • Weitz brothers comedy comes into Focus

    Focus Features has picked up international rights to the new, as yet untitled, comedy from Chris and Paul Weitz, the film-making duo behind About A Boy and American Pie. Focus picked up the rights from parent company Universal Pictures which is distributing in North America.Dennis Quaid stars in the film as a senior advertising executive who is forced in a corporate reshuffle to work for an inexperienced twenty-something, played by Topher Grace (Traffic, TV'
  • Weitz brothers comedy comes into Focus

    Focus Features has picked up international rights to the new, as yet untitled, comedy from Chris and Paul Weitz, the film-making duo behind About A Boy and American Pie. Focus picked up the rights from parent company Universal Pictures which is distributing in North America.Dennis Quaid stars in the film as a senior advertising executive who is forced in a corporate reshuffle to work for an inexperienced twenty-something, played by Topher Grace (Traffic, TV'
  • Whale Rider dominates NZ nominations

    There are no prizes for guessing which film has dominated the nominations in this year's New Zealand Film Awards. Whale Rider, which has grossed NZ$6.4m in New Zealand and NZ$60m around the world, is a finalist in 14 of the 15 categories. But the same two films sit alongside Whale Rider in the three key categories of best film, best director and best screenplay. They are the low-budget Kombi Nation, which is currently having a modest release locally, and the NZ/UK/
  • Whore does good business

    Spain's Dolores Pictures is fast ramping up sales on its hot Daryl Hannah-starring picture, Whore (Yo Puta).Directed by Luna (sic) and produced by Dolores Pictures's Jose' Magan, the Euros 5m English-language picture has been sold to Germany (Tiberius), France (97 Distribution), Italy (DNC), Hong Kong (Intercontinental), Scandinavia, Central and Latin America, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines, among others.Buena Vista holds theatrical distribution rights
  • Winterbottom, Chereau, Kaurismaki to speak at EFA conference

    Directors Michael Winterbottom, Patrice Chereau and Mika Kaurismaki and Isabelle Coixet as well as producer Nik Powell - in his new incarnation as the UK's National Film & Television School chief - are among the speakers recruited by the European Film Academy (EFA) for its conference "Let's Talk About Content!" to be held on the morning of December 6 before the European Film Awards in Berlin. Bringing established filmmakers together with film school professors and students "to discuss
  • Zatoichi to open Rotterdam

    Cult Japanese film-maker Takeshi Kitano will make his third trip to Europe in four months when he returns to Rotterdam with his swordplay action vehicle Zatoichi, which has won major prizes ever since it premiered in competition at Venice. The film has now been set as the opening film at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) (Jan 21 - Feb 1, 2004).The festival also announced its third sidebar, "Once We Were Birds: Romani Cinema", a thematic section of features, docume

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