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14 November 2005

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  • 46th Thessaloniki festival breaks all-time records

    The ThessalonikiInternational Film Festival has unveiled today its full line-up for this year'sevent (Nov 18-27).The festival celebratesits 46th anniversary with an all-time record number of 255 filmsrepresenting 42 nations.The event, the firstunder the new team of pres
  • AFM hails all-time record attendance numbers

    Overall attendance at theAFM reached an all-time high of 8,014, market organisers said this week. Attendance is up 13% againstlast year's comparable figure of 7,064. The final tally of buyers is 1,583 from62 countries, with France, Brazil, Italy, South Korea and Hong Kong reportingsignificant rises in the number of buyers from their territories. A record 419 companies areexhibiting at the market, up from 33 countries last year. Industry attendeestotaled 1,526, a 34% increase ove
  • Animation master Otomo begins work on live-action sci-fi

    Animationauteur Katsuhiro Otomo, whose films, including Akira and Steamboy, have been widelyscreened internationally, has started production of a live-action feature.
  • Arclight's Ohio logs key territory sales

    Arclight Films has closed araft of deals at AFM on Ambush Entertainment's comedy The Oh In Ohio, which stars Parker Posey, Paul Rudd, Danny DeVito,and Liza Minelli.Rights have gone to Telepoolin Germany, Nordisk in Scandinavia, Dutch Film Works in Benelux, Castello Lopezin Portugal, Gulf Films in Middle East, and SPI in Eastern Europe."There has been a tremendousresponse to the film from the international community," Arclight managingdirector Gary Hamilton said. "In addit
  • Audiard beats rivals to Golden Giraldillo at Seville

    JacquesAudiard's The Beat That My HeartSkipped (De battre mon coeur s'est arrete) took theGolden Giraldillo at Spain's European Film Festival ofSeville.The award comes with a $70,000 (Euros 60,000) prize awarded - like all those handed out - to the film's Spanish distributor.Austri
  • B Pix sells El Cortez to France, Germany

    Santa Monica-based B Pix hascompleted two key sales at AFM on the noir thriller El Cortez starring Lou Diamond Phillips. Rights have gone to JanRoeloffs and Jupiter Communications in France and Koch Media in Germany. Bruce Weitz, Glenn Plummer,Tracy Middendorf, James McDaniel, and Peter Onorati star in the film. Prior to the market, B Pixsold North American rights for Fugitive Hunter to Lightning Entertainment, which is releasing thefilm through Lions Gate F
  • Bac is back with hugely improved results

    Revitalised French distributor Bac Films has reported third-quarterrevenues of $4.6m (Euros 3.9m), up sharply from $1.2m (Euros 1m) for the sameperiod last year.Overall, the company has seen revenue rise to $17m (Euros 14.5m) since thestart of the year, spurred in theatres by the release of Jim Jarmusch's Cannes favourite Broken Flowerswhich brought in roughly one million admissions.
  • BAFTA/LA hands out Britannia awards

    The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)'s LA branch gave out its highesthonours at the 2005 Britannia Awards last night. As previously announced, TomCruise received the Stanley Kubrick award forexcellence in film and Elizabeth Taylor picked up the award for artisticexcellence in international entertainment.Mike Newell, director of thelatest H
  • Be With Me

    Dir: Eric Khoo. Sing. 2005.90mins.Since it opened Directors Fortnight at Cannes, Be With Me, Eric Khoo'sthird feature has galloped from one event to another (most recently Chicago andTokyo), a festival warhorse that has gathered several favourable reviews aswell as becoming Singapore's submission for best foreign language Oscar.But whi
  • BFI crosses more bridges with Akin music doc

    Afterconcluding an all-rights US deal with Strand Releasing for FatihAkin's music documentary Crossing The Bridge - The Sound Of Istanbul at the recent AFMmarket, Bavaria Film International (BFI) has now also sold the film to Brazil'sImovision, Bulgaria's Art Fest Ltd, and Japan's Alcine Terran.Inaddition, a deal has been signed with Colombia's CineColombiafor Germany's Oscar candidate SophieScholl -The Fin
  • BoyTown, December Boys crank up in Australia

    Cameras started rolling onMonday on two high-profile Australian productions - BoyTown, the Molloy Boy Productions follow-up to Crackerjack, and December Boys, starring Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame.Mick Molloy co-wrote,co-produces and is one of the stars of BoyTown,just as
  • Braddel promoted to senior vp distribution at SPRI

    Mark Braddel has beenpromoted to senior vice president of distribution in Eastern Europe, the MiddleEast and Africa at Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI).Braddel will continue toreport to SPRI senior executive vice president Mark Zucker and assumesresponsibility for all theatrical distribution operations in his assignedterritories.'It's a true pleasureto recognise Mark's role in SPRI's success with this well-deservedpromotion,' Zucker said. "He is a
  • BVI lands Flightplan in major territories

    Buena Vista International's (BVI) thriller Flightplan sets course for what could well becomeits biggest weekend to date with major launches scheduled in Australia, France,Spain, South Korea and Russia.
  • Cape Town festival to crown glorious year for South Africa

    A breakthrough year ofextraordinary achievement for South African cinema will culminate in the CapeTown World Film Festival starting tomorrow, and next week's Sithengi film market .This year, South Africapicked up its first Golden Bear with u-Carmen eKhayelitsha and its first Academy Award nomination for Yesterday.The fourth Cape Town festival, will reflect this flowering on the world stage, opening with the local premiere of another multiple global prizewinner, Ga
  • Carnahan Starts Shooting Smokin' Aces

    Director Joe Carnahan has started principal photography on dark action comedy Smokin' Aces, a Universal Pictures and Working Title Films production. The feature is shooting on location in Lake Tahoe and Los Angeles. Working Title's Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing with Robert Graf and Liza Chasin serving as executive producers.The film stars Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds, Ray Liotta, Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Peter Berg, Martin Henderson, Taraji Henson, and - in their film deb
  • Chan wins best actor at Golden Roosters

    Hong Kong star Jackie Chan was awarded best actor for his rolein Benny Chan's New Police Story atthis year's edition of mainland China's Golden Rooster Awards.This year marks the firsttime that the awards have been open to talent from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau
  • Charity tie-in boosts UK In Her Shoes launch

    The UK launch of Curtis Hanson's In Her Shoes this weekend will be boosted by a tie-in with a majorcharity.The film's 253-siteopening has been accompanied by a celebrity shoe auction in aid of BreastCancer Care.Distributor 20th CenturyFox came up with the online sale for which celebrities have donated footwear. Many items are signed and have a story to go with them (Diaz's w
  • Chicken Little continues to tower over US box office

    Family titles dominated the top 10 as Buena Vista's CG picture ChickenLittle stayed top forthe second weekend in a row ahead of Sony's new release Zathura.
  • Clooney to recieve Modern Master award at Santa Barbara

    George Clooney will receive the 2006 Santa Barbara InternationalFilm Festival's Modern Master Award.The ac
  • DDA to stage 35th anniversary event in London on Dec 6

    PR and marketing consultancyDennis Davidson Associates is celebrating its 35th anniversary byholding a champagne reception, dinner and concert in London on Dec 6 in aid ofthe Small Faces' All Children's Charity and the Cinema & TelevisionBenevolent Fund.To highlight DDA's earlyrelationships across film and music including some of its earlier work with TheWho on Tommy, The Kids AreAlright and Quadrophenia, Kenney Jones, drummer with The Who and Small Faces,will perf
  • Edinburgh artistic director steps down after five years

    The EdinburghInternational Film Festival has confirmed that Shane Danielsenwill step down as artistic director after the 60th festival in August 2006.The move isanticipated as Danielsen has said since hisappointment in 2001 that he planned to say for five festivals.The
  • EFM announces record sign-up levels

    Asthe AFM draws to a close, Berlin's European Film Market (EFM) has announced arecord 240 companies signed up to take part in the event (Feb 9-19).Coincidingwith the 56th Berlin International Film Festival, the EFM hasalready attracted delegates from 45 countries in the year it moves to its newlocation in the Martin-Gropius-Bau.USheavyweights Focus Features, Lakeshore Entertainment and The Weinstein Companywill take a stand at the EFM for the first time, alongside EFM debutantes
  • Entertainment lawyer Jesuele joins Hogan & Hartson in LA

    Internationalentertainment lawyer Robert R Jesuele has joined law firm Hogan & Hartson'sLos Angles office as partner.Jesuele bringsto the firm nearly 20 years of experience handling cross-border transactions onbehalf of clients in media and other industries.He representsmajor US, European and Asian media, as well as entertainment, consumerproducts, manufacturing and automotive companies in a variety of corporate,commercial, and intellectual property matters.
  • European quartet head for New York Industry Screenings

    A re-edited version of Florian Hoffmeister's Silver Leopard winner Three Degrees Colder is one of four European films being presented at European Film Promotion's (EFP) first New York Industry Screenings programme at the Tribeca Cinemas from November 14 - 15.The other films selected for the private, invitation-only screenings are: Eleven Men Out, directed by Robert Douglas (Iceland, UK, Finland); The Iceberg, directed by Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy (Belgiu
  • Five Golden Horses for Kung Fu Hustle

    Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle was the clear winnerat Taiwan's 42nd Golden Horse Award in Keelung, picking up fiveprizes, including Best Feature Film and Best Director. Benny Chan's Divergence was another to enjoymultiple successes with three key awards for acting, photography an
  • Flemish fund terminates managing director's contract

    The Board of Governors of the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF) has terminated the contract of its managing director Luckas vander Taelen. Financial director Hans Everaert and Pierre Drouot (producer of Toto The Hero) will take over the running of the Fund until a new MD is appointed. The reasons for the ousting of Vander Taelen remain unclear, but it is understood that his outspoken opposition to Government plans for restructuring public media funding played a part in his sudden depar
  • Flightplan lands at number one in 15 territories

    Fired up by a string of number one launches in major territories,Buena Vista International's (BVI) Flightplan ruled the roost at the weekend with anestimated $15.2m haul.
  • Foreign Language Film Oscar

    This year's contenders for the non-English language film
  • Fox's Bubble ready to burst onto world stage

    Director Eytan Fox and writer-producer Gal Uchovsky havecompleted their follow-up to Israel's biggestever international hit Walk On Water ($2.7m in US, $7m worldwide).The Bubble returns to the theme of the individual's right to live a life of their own choosing and the Middle East conflict, which determines fates regardless of personal choice.The film tells the story of three happy-go-lucky younghipsters whose lives are radically changed when one of them falls in l
  • Frappier's Max sells Saint-Martyr to four

    Roger Frappier's Max Filmshas completed sales on four territories at the AFM for Robin Aubert's featuredebut St. Martyrs Of The Damned (Saint-Martyr-Des-Damnes). Produced by Frappier and LucVandal, the psychological thriller has sold to Japan through AK Company,Germany through Media Corp. One, Benelux through Film Freak Distributie andBrazil through California Films. The film world premiered atthis year's Toronto International Film Festival, where most of those dea
  • French step up anti-piracy measures

    The French government has announced a new campaign meant toboost awareness of the "misdeeds of counterfeiting and digital piracy."It forms part of a stronger line on copyright theft whichwill culminate in legal changes to protect film later this year.
  • French step up anti-piracy measures

    The French government has announced a new campaign meant toboost awareness of the "misdeeds of counterfeiting and digital piracy."It forms part of a stronger line on copyright theft whichwill culminate in legal changes to protect film later this year.
  • French step up anti-piracy measures

    The French government has announced a new campaign meant toboost awareness of the "misdeeds of counterfeiting and digital piracy."It forms part of a stronger line on copyright theft whichwill culminate in legal changes to protect film later this year.
  • French step up anti-piracy measures

    The French government has announced a new campaign meant toboost awareness of the "misdeeds of counterfeiting and digital piracy."It forms part of a stronger line on copyright theft whichwill culminate in legal changes to protect film later this year.
  • Gaumont donates box-office takings to riot victims

    French studio Gaumont is todonate two days' of box-office takings from new release Il Etait Une FoisDans L'Oued to victims of the riots that have broken out across France inrecent weeks.Directed by Homeboys On TheBeach's Djamel Bensalah, the comedy has attracted nearly 700,000admissions since its release in late October. "At the initiative of DjamelBen
  • German Media Funds under imminent threat, say reports

    German Federal Finance Minister Hans Eichel is reported to be submitting a motion forcabinet approval which would spell the end of the media funds by the end ofthis week.Accordingto German press reports, the Federal Cabinet will be asked to vote on changesto the Income Tax Code by Thursday (Nov 10)
  • German-Polish alliance creates pioneering film fund

    Thenewly-created Polish Film Institute and the two German regional funds haveestablished a Polish-German Co-Development Fund.
  • Glawogger and Herzog share Copenhagen garlands

    The top prize at this year's third Copenhagen Dox film festival was shared between Michael Glawogger'sWorkingman's Death and WernerHerzog's The White Diamond.The former deals with the consequences of globalisation while the latter tells the story of a British engineer with dreams of flying over the rainforest in a hot-air balloon.
  • Gothams award Ballroom, Jarmusch and five unreleased films

    Mad Hot Ballroom filmmakers Marilyn Agrelo and Amy Sewell will receive theCelebrate New York Award at the 15th Annual Gotham Awards in New York on Nov30.
  • Gravehopping on top at record-breaking Cottbus

    JanCvitkovic's Gravehopping was named best film at this year's Cottbus Festival of East European Cinema.TheSlovenian-Croatian co-production, which was also awarded the New DirectorsAward at this year's San Sebastian Film Festival and opened the LjubljanaInternational Film Festival last week, also received the Prize of theEcumenical Jury.Thisyear's International Jury Special Prize went to Romania's RuxandraZenide for her debut Ryna, while the Special Prize for an Ou
  • Halloween producer killed in Jordanian bombings

    The producer of the Halloweenfilms, Syrian-born Moustapha Akkad,was confirmed today as one of the victims of the hotel bombings in Jordan.Los Angeles-resident Akkad, who also directed the epic Anthony Quinn-starrers Lion Of The Desert and TheMessa
  • Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

    Dir: Mike Newell. US-UK. 2005. 150mins.A solid but mostly uninspired melding of theadventure and fright that have been the benchmarks of the franchise, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire isneither as singular a film as director Alfonso Cuaron's third instalment nor askid-pleasing as Chris Columbus's first two entries.As Potter's life at Hogwartshas grown
  • Howard, Olin, Robards join cast of thriller Awake

    Terrence Howard, Lena Olinand Sam Robards have joined the cast on GreeneStreet Films, The WeinsteinCompany and Deutsch/Open City's psychological thriller Awake. Filming in New Yorkcommenced last week in the tale of a man undergoing surgery who learns of acriminal plot. Hayden Christenson and Jessica Alba play the lead roles.Joby Harold makes hisdirectorial debut based on his own screenplay and The Weinstein Company willhandle worldwide distribution. Joana Vicente a
  • Huston joins Brosnan, Neeson in Seraphim Falls

    Anjelica Hustonhas joined the cast of Icon Productions' American Civil War revenge saga SeraphimFalls.As previouslyannounced Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson will star in the story of an armycolonel at the end of the conflict who resolves to settle a grudge with a manat whatever cost.David Von Ancken is directing based on a screenplay heco-wrote with Abbey Everett Jaques, and David Flynn and Icon partner BruceDavey are serving as producers.Huston
  • IDT's animated Yankee Irving sells well at AFM

    IDT Entertainment Sales hasclosed multiple territory deals at AFM on the CG-animated family title YankeeIrving.Rights have gone to LNK inPortugal, Luxor Group in CIS, Baltic States and Bulgaria, Tuck International inthe former Yugoslavia, J-Bics in Thailand, and Sam Film in Iceland, amongothers."We weren't planning onselling Yankee Irving until earlynext year," IDT Entertainment Sales executive vice-president Andy Berman."We brought a tra
  • IFC Films acquires domestic rights to Duane

    IFC Films hasacquired North American rights to Matt Mulhern's drama Duane Hopwood starring David Schwimmer and JaneaneGarofalo.Mulhern directed from his own screenplay about a casinoworker who embarks upon an emotional personal journey after an arrest for drunkdriving jeopardises his visitation rights with his two daughters.Lemore Syvan of Elevation Filmworks produced with MarcTurtletaub of Big Beach.Big Beachfinanced the picture, and also collaborated with Syvan o
  • International Screenwriters Festival makes debut in 2006

    The world's first major festival exclusively devotedto the art, craft and business of international scriptwriting is to be inaugurated next Summer.The Screenwriters Festival(June 27-30), backed by Screen International, will be based in the UK town ofCheltenham, which is already home to a leading literary festival.Major names from around theworld have been invited with sections devoted to writing for a global market.
  • Italian exhibitors lift boycott after phone film rethink

    Italian exhibitors today withdrewa boycott of The Interpreter, imposedin protest at plans to stream the film on mobile phones just a week after itslocal theatrical release.The 3 Italia mobile network had planned to offer customers the full-lengthfeature film on Monday for just $10.50 (nine euro) with unli
  • ITVS to support international documentary film-makers

    US publictelevision provider The Independent Television Service (ITVS) has launched ascheme that for the first time supports non-US documentary filmmakers whosework will be broadcast on US television.TheInternational Media Development Fund will offer production financing, as wellas distribution, promotion and educational outreach support.The aim is tosupport a dialogue between the US and other nations through compellingdocumentaries that eschew stereotypes an
  • Julio Medem to shoot new film next year

    Spanish auteur Julio Medem is preparing to shoot his next film, Caotica Ana, in 2006 with backing from local powerhouse Sogecine.The film turns on a young woman fleeing her own fate after a hypnosis session allows her to glimpse parallel experiences she believes are past lives.Caotica Ana (literally, Chaotic Ana) is a co-production with Medem's own Alicia Produce and is expected to shoot between Madrid, Ibiza, New York and the Canary Islands.Tenerife-based Volcano Internat
  • Lions Gate scores big Catacombs deals

    Lions GateInternational has closed a slew of sales at AFM on the horror project Catacombs.Rights were sold to Redbus for the UK, Universum forGermany, Metropolitan for France, Eagle for Italy, Paradiso for Dutch andFrench Benelux, CMC for Taiwan, and LNK for Portugal. As previously announced,the picture has sold to Digital Site for Japan.Sales alsoclosed with PRA/Fida for Turkey, Shaw Renters for Singapore, PT Amero Mitra forIndonesia, West for CIS, Hollywood Classic for
  • Look Both Ways scores with Australian critics

    Look Both Ways won the behind-the-camera trifecta of best film, best director and bestoriginal script at the Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA) awards at theweekend.The drama was written anddirected by Sarah Watt and produced by Bridget Ikin immediately prior to herbecoming one of the two evaluation managers at Film Finance Corporation Australia.FCCA members also votedD
  • Lucky thirteen pitch to producers at Cottbus

    Thirteenprojects will be pitched to potential production partners during this year'stwo-day Connecting Cottbus co-development forum between November 10-11.Theyinclude new films from:Bulgaria's Art Fest, co-producer of the omnibus film Lost And Found; Germany's Noirfilm, producer of Didi Danquart's
  • Madman grabs Three Burials for Oz/NZ

    Madman Cinema has acquiredall Australian and New Zealand rights to TheThree Burials Of Melquiades Estrada from French sales agent EuropaCorp.The film is the directorialdebut of Tommy Lee Jones, whose performance in the drama earned him the bestactor award at Cannes this year. Writer Guillermo Arriaga (
  • Major honours shared at Bafta Scotland awards

    Honours were equally shared between On A Clear Day and Festival at the annual BAFTA Scotland Awards announced in Glasgow.StarringPeter Mullan, On A Clear Day tells of an unemployedman's determination to regain his self esteem by swimming the English Channeland wonboth Best Film
  • Manslaughter gathers more garlands

    Per Fly's Manslaughter has picked up the top prize at the Nordische Filmtagein Lubeck.The$15,000 NDR Film Prize is awarded for a "feature film of special artisticquality." The third film in Fly's class trilogy also won the Nordic Council Film Prize 2005 last month.Trust Film Sales has struck a number of international deals on the film.ForScreen's review
  • Media fund reprieve is just stay of execution

    German media funds in their current form have little chance of survival, despite a change of government and yet another late reprieve.The funds have been a popular way of raising capital for film, allowing investors to offset losses against personal income tax.But it was clear that they were a lucrative tax loophole. And analysis from fund specialist Stefan Loipfinger's Fondstelegramm fuelled criticism that the media funds were invested almost exclusively in US projects. It was a looph
  • MGM commits to Blu-Ray high-definition DVD format

    MGM has joinedthe Blu-ray Disc camp and plans to begin releasing film and television titlesfrom its library on the new high definition DVD format.Yesterday'sannouncement hardly came as a surprise given that Sony led the consortium thatacquired MGM and is one of Blu-ray's chief backers.Blu-ray iscurrently locked in an emerging technology war with Toshiba's HD DVD formatthat has sparked frantic jockeying for position among the US majors.Both formats ares
  • Mike Leigh honoured with BFI Fellowship

    Mike Leigh has been awarded the British Film Institute (BFI)'s 57th Fellowship in London. Leigh wasgiven the honour by BFI chairman Anthony Minghella atthe National Film Theatre (NFT), where the Bafta-winning director was taking part in an interview abouthis career, following a screening of his 1983 film Meantime."I don't thinkI've ever been in a meeting as short as when Mike Leigh was suggested
  • MonteCristo seals pre-sales on Apartment 1303

    Michael Taverna'sMonteCristo Entertainment has completed a raft of pre-sales on horror title Apartment1303, which centres on theterrifying circumstances surrounding a rental apartment. Rights have gone to UniKoreain South Korea, DNC Entertainment in Italy, Flins y Pinniculas in Spain, NewWorld in Thailand, Ram Indo in Singapore/Malaysia, and Noble Entertainment inScandinavia. Amuse Aica is serving asproducer and production is scheduled to kick off in Tokyo in March 2006.
  • MPAA jubilant at Grokster closure

    Peer-to-peerwebsite Grokster, long a thorn in the side of Hollywood's anti-piracy chiefs,has announced it is closing down.The move followsJune's Supreme Court ruling that individuals or companies that activelyencourage copyright infringement by users of their service can be heldresponsible for their users' conduct.Grokster hasagreed that the court enter a judgment for $50m and said it will relaunch as alegitimate business."The SupremeCourt in its ruling sent a strong and
  • Nanny McPhee sweeps to top of UK charts

    NannyMcPhee has worked her magic on the UK box office, takingstop spot in its third weekend. Th
  • New incentives reconnect French production

    Film shoots in Paris recovered strongly in 2004 with promise of further success this year, according to the Ile de France FilmCommission.Last year, productions shot for 611weeks in the capital and its environs. That figure represents a 25%jump over the previous year.Shooting had fallen intodecline between 2001 and 2003 but new incentives like the tax-credit scheme anda special Ile de France fund have prompted a recovery. Foreign productions are alsoup with 29 weeks shot i
  • New Serko deals for Diot's Onoma

    Pascale Diot's Paris-basedOnoma has closed new deals on Serko,the 19th Century-set Russian adventure on which it is co-producer aswell as sales agent. Italy's Lucky Red and Switzerland's Monopole Pathe have joined distributors announced at AFM such as Seville Pictures for Canada and Cineartfor Benelux. Directed by JoelFarges, the film follows a young Russian cavalryman and his horse Serko on anepic, 9000 km journey toward Siberia. Shooting recently finished in Siberia. Onoma sho
  • Norway's Vinterkyss wins top jury prize at AFI FEST

    Sara Johnsen's Kissed By Winter (Vinterkyss), the Norwegian entry for the foreignlanguage Oscar this year, was awarded the International Feature Competition'sGrand Jury Prize at last night's AFI FEST 2005 awards ceremony.
  • Pathe, Medusa among big-ticket Breed buyers

    First Look Internationaldivision has closed major territory sales on horror picture The Breed, which is directed by Wes Craven'sprotege Nick Mastandrea.Rights have gone to Pathe in the UK, Medusa in Italy,Europa Films in Brazil, Nordisk in Scandinavia, Lizard Cinema Trade in CIS,Falcon Films in the Middle East, and Hollywood Entertainment in Greece.The Breed stars Michelle Rodriguez, Taryn Manningand Oliver Hudson and centres on a group of college students who fly
  • Pedro Maso earns Spain's highest film award

    Veteran director Pedro Maso will receive the Goya of Honour at the 20thanniversary edition of Spain'sOscar-equivalent national awards ceremony next January 29.The Academy said the career of Maso, 60, "has followed the social,moral and political evolution of Spanish society, so that his broad workconstitutes an important sociological testimony to the last half century of ourcountry's
  • Phone film first dropped after exhibitor backlash

    Italian exhibitors have stopped plans to release a full-length feature film on mobile phone just a week after its theatrical debut in the territory.The 3 Italia mobile network was this week due to offer Sidney Pollack's The Interpreter to customers for around $10.50 (nine euros) for unlimited viewings. The proposal led to protests from Italy's exhibitors with threats to withdraw 200 prints of the film distributed locally by Eagle Pictures.According to figures released by Cinetel,
  • Revolver picks up Herzog and Huda for 2006

    UK distributor Revolver Entertainmenthas acquired two films for release in early 2006: Werner Herzog's documentary Grizzly Man and MenhajHuda's adolescent story Kidulthood.Grizzly Man, set for a February 4 releas
  • Russian indie reveals ambitious plans after takeover

    Russia's biggestindependent film company Central Partnership is promising an ambitious production programme and new studio facilities after itstakeover by Prof-Media, a subsidiary of industrial giant Interros."Most of the newfunds secured from the undisclosed deal will be invested in film production and newprojects," Central Partnership's generaldirector Ruben Dishdishian told Screen, He said 30 featurefilms and 15 TV series are planned for the 2005-2006 season, with approximate
  • Screen heroines focus for Berlinale anniversary

    The30th anniversary edition of the Berlinale Retrospective next February will bededicated to the screen heroines of the 1950s.
  • Shani buys film package for Israel from Herwitz

    Andrew Herwitz'sThe Film Sales Company has completed a package deal at AFM with Israel's ShaniFilms.Titles includeAlan Hruska's romantic comedy Nola starring Emily Rossum, and the drama Loggerheads starring Kip Pardue and Bonnie Hunt.Other titlesinclude Joseph Pierson's 2002 police drama Evenhand, and Elliot Greenebaum's comedy AssistedLiving, which won the2003 Sundance Grand Jury Prize.Herwitz negotiated the dealwith Guy Sh
  • Sheffield documentary festival heads to Chile

    The UK's Sheffield InternationalDocumentary Festival has announced that it will hold a three-day seminar inSantiago de Chile during the Festival Internacional de Documentales de Santiago(FIDOCS).The Catholic University of Chile andthe British Council are organising the seminar, to be held November 30 toDecember 2.
  • Shooting begins on The Front Line

    Principal photography has startedin Dublin on The Front Line. Directed and written byDavid Gleeson (Cowboys and Angels)and produced by Nathalie Lichtenthaeler, The Front Line has
  • Shoreline acquires rights to Sudden Storm

    Shoreline Entertainment hasacquired worldwide rights to Sudden Storm Productions' erotic thriller BarstoolWords. Jeff Glickman's directorialdebut centres on two high school friends who become ensnared in a web ofintrigue when they encounter a femme fatale from their past. Vincent Kartheiser, SarahCarter, Geoffrey Arend, Colm Feore and newcomer Krystin Pellerin star in theproject, which is currently filming in Toronto. "I've been tracking thisproject for a while, an
  • Sitney named director of programming at Silverdocs

    Sky Sitney has been nameddirector of programming at the fourth Silverdocs: AFI/Discovery ChannelDocumentary Festival, which is set to run from Jun 13-18 2006 in SilverSprings, Maryland.The third annual SilverdocsInternational Documentary Conference is scheduled to run concurrently from Jun15-17.Sitney formerly served asprogramming director at The Newport International Film Festival. Before thatshe was film programmer at the New York Underground Film Festival
  • Six films shortlisted for the Prix Louis-Delluc

    France's Ile de France FilmCommission has announced a strong increase in local production for 2004, with2005 promising further success.In total, films shot for 611weeks in Paris and its environs, the regionoverseen by the Ile de France Commission, in 2004.
  • Six films shortlisted for the Prix Louis-Delluc

    Six films have been shortlisted for the Prix Louis-Delluc,one of France's top cinematic awards.The contenders are: Philippe Collin's crime drama Aux Abois Philippe Garel's Venice entry
  • Six films shortlisted for the Prix Louis-Delluc

    France's Ile de France FilmCommission has announced a strong increase in local production for 2004, with2005 promising further success.In total, films shot for 611weeks in Paris and its environs, the regionoverseen by the Ile de France Commission, in 2004.
  • Sky Fighters (Les Chevaliers Du Ciel)

    Dir: Gerard Pires. Fr. 2005. 102mins.In Sky Fighters,two gung-ho French airforce pilots battle withterrorists out to commandeer a Mirage 2000 jet for a post-9/11 apocalypse overParis. But as with too many aviation pictures, Gerard Pires'$22m feature soars when it is airborne but is hobbled on the ground by stockmelodramatics and two-dimensional characters.
  • Sony Classics picks up EV Confidential

    Sony Pictures Classics (SPC)has picked-up North American and English speaking rights to ElectricEntertainment and Plinyminor's politically charged documentary, EVConfidential. SPC plans a 2006 release onthe picture, which explores the development and demise of the electric car andpresents the story in the style of a murder-mystery. Dean Devlin's ElectricEntertainment financed the project, and co-produced with Plinyminor, theproduction company headed up by Richard D Titus
  • Sorry, Haters

    Dir/scr: Jeff Stanzler. US. 2005. 84mins.Jeff Stanzler's ambitious,unsettling second feature, Sorry, Hatersdeals in some disturbing imagery and visceral contemporary relevance,attempting to say something provocative about US culture and its frayed socialfabric in the wake of September 11.Unfortunately, its Hitchcockian treatment of si
  • Strand picks up US rights to Akin's Bridge

    Strand Releasinghas picked up all US rights from Bavaria Film International to Fatih Akin's CrossingThe Bridge.The picture,which premiered in official selection at Cannes this year, portrays the musicscene in Istanbul, which Akin has long regarded as his second home.CorazonInternational, the production company founded by Akin, Andreas Thiel and KlausMaeck, produced with Intervista Digital Media.The deal wasnegotiated on the eve of AFM between Strand Releasing co-pr
  • The Headsman

    Dir: Simon Aeby. Aust-Swit-Ger-Lux-Hung-U.K. 2005. 108mins.While its production values are magnificent, The Headsman is an uneven period drama,too concerned with trying to convince the audience that history is repeatingitself and investing little enough effort into its mysteriously lifelessstoryline.As such it is ofprimary interest to history buffs, altho
  • The Libertine

    Dir. Laurence Dunmore. UK. 2005. 114mins.Resurfacing 14 months after its Toronto premiere as awork in progress, The Libertine hasnot improved with time, even after an extra year in the editing suite.Despite a sharp bounce fromJohnny Depp's deliciously suggestive performance as the titular Earl ofRochester, Laurence Dunmore's debut feature feels lacklustr
  • THINKFilm, Starz begin production on slasher doc

    THINKFilm and StarzEntertainment Group (SEG) have begun principal photography on Jeff McQueen'sdocumentary Going To Pieces: The Rise And Fall Of The Slasher Film.Based on Adam Rockoff's bookof the same name, the picture will explore the roots and cultural associationsof the horror genre, with particular reference to slasher films.THINKFilm holds worldwidetheatrical rights and SEG retains exclusive US first-run television rights.Candy Heart Produ
  • Tornasol to understudy De la Iglesia's Oxford thriller

    Spain'sTornasol Films is backing the second English-language foray of Spanish cultdirector Alex de la Iglesia, the UK-set Oxford Murders.A serial killer thriller set against the esoteric world of mathematics at Oxford University,Murders will shoot with an international cast there next year.AUK co-producer is in talks for the Euros 6m project, based on an award-winningnovel by Argentinean writer Guillermo Martinez, himself a former mathematicsstudent at Oxford.
  • Trapero's Family scores US berth with Palm

    Palm Pictures has acquiredNorth American and Caribbean rights to Pablo Trapero's road movie RollingFamily. The New York-baseddistributor plans an early 2006 release on the picture, which centres on an Argentinean matriarch who takes her family on a tripto a wedding. The picture won bestdirector and best actress honours for Gracina Chironi at the Gijon FilmFestival 2004. Palm's head of acquisitionsand production David Koh negotiated the deal with Samantha Horley of
  • Universal buys Blink for Gaghan, DiCaprio

    Universal has won out a keenly fought bidding war and acquiredfeature rights to Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller Blink: The Power OfThinking Without Thinking.The studio paid $1m forthe rights and has paid a further $2m for Stephen Gaghan to write and directthe adaptation that has Leonardo DiCa
  • Viva Zapatero!

    Dir/scr: Sabina Guzzanti. It. 2005. 80mins.Sabina Guzzanti'santi-censorship documentary Viva Zapatero! does for Italianprime minister Silvio Berlusconi what Fahrenheit 9/11 did for George Bush: itexposes the ugly subtext that, in the film-maker's view, lies behind theairbrushed public image.Like Michael Moore, Sab
  • Warner sends digital Corpse Bride to Japan

    Warner Bros TechnicalOperations subsidiaries Motion Picture Imaging (MPI) and Global Digital MediaXchange (GDMX) have created the first ever 4K digital cinema package of apicture for commercial exhibition.The version of TimBurton's Corpse Bride, created incompliance with the recently announced Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI)specifications, was sent from California to Japan by secure fibre network viaNippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT), and is currently playing in threeToho
  • What the Snow Brings (Yuki Ni Negau Koto)

    Dir: Kichitaro Negishi. Jap. 2005. 112mins.What The Snow Brings pulled offa Superfecta at the Tokyo International Film Festival,winning the top prize - the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix - on top of the best directorprize for Kichitaro Negishi,the best actor prize for star Koichi Sato and the audience award.As its haul
  • Wild Side takes two from Thailand's GMM Tai Hub

    Thai production house GMMTai Hub (GTH), which attended AFM for the first time this year, has pre-sold Alone and Dorm to France's Wild Side Films during the market. Alone,unveiled at Pusan last month, is a $2.5m follow-up by directorsParkpoom Wongpoom and Ba
  • Wilde, Lewis, Carradine join cast of Bobby Z

    Olivia Wilde, Jason Lewis,Keith Carradine, M C Gainey and Margo Martindale have joined the cast ofthriller The Death And Life Of Bobby Z from Paul Walker's Blue Collar Films and Heidi Jo Markel's EclecticPictures. Production is currentlyunderway in Mexico on a small-time loser who gets a shot at redemption when heis offered to assist the FBI in a hostage swap. Walker and LaurenceFishburne star and John Herzfeld is directing. Keith Samples, Peter Schlessel,Matt Luber, Mark
  • Wolper acquires rights to story of Palestinian would-be suicide bomber

    Wolper Organization hasacquired feature rights to Love And Terror, based on David France's true story about a teenage Palestinian girl'sarrest and conviction for conspiring to carry out a suicide bombing. Wolper is ramping up forproduction in association with Pterodactyl Productions and Plain Brown WrapperProductions. Mark Wolper and KevinNicklaus are producing with Ivan Cohen, William Haworth, Aaron D Peters, andFrance, whose article about the young girl originally appea
  • Zathura

    Dir: Jon Favreau. US. 2005. 100mins.Family features can often fall foul to several traps.One is that they end up as showcases for bedazzling special effects thatdominate the storytelling; another is that they rely on rote bodily function humour that may be funny to a six-year-old but is indicativeof lazy and uninspired writing. Either way they're divorced from the wide-eyedfeelings of adolescence that make