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14 November 2007

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  • 12 films make the cut for animated feature Oscar

    Twelve features have been submitted for consideration in the animated feature film category for the 80th Academy Awards.The 12 submitted features are: Alvin And The Chipmunks, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters, Bee Movie, Beowulf, Meet The Robinsons, Persepolis, Ratatouille, Shrek The Third, The Simpsons Movie, Surf's Up, Tekkonkinkreet, and TMNT.Alvin And The Chipmunks, Beowulf and Persepolis have not yet had their required Los Angeles qualifying run.
  • Access rolls with boxing biopic Phantom Punch

    Production has begun on actor-director Robert Townsend's Phantom Punch, a biopic of controversial US boxer Sonny Liston, a one-time heavy-weight champion whose fame is based more on whom he lost to than his winning bouts. In 1965, Liston was knocked down by Cassius Clay, the future Muhammed Ali, by the infamous 'phantom punch'. Townsend's other feature credits include The Five Heartbeats (1991) and
  • Alexis Dos Santos starts UK shoot for Unmade Beds

    Alexis Dos Santos has started principal photography in the UKthis week for his second film, Unmade Beds. The project, which will shoot for five weeks in London and Nottingham, stars Deborah Francois, Fernando Tielve, Michiel Huisman, Iddo Goldberg and Richard Lintern. The story follows a man who arrives in London from Spain on a quest to find his biological father. He meets a Belgian girl having romantic ups and downs. Soledad Gatti-Pascual of The Bureau will pro
  • Analysis - Shaping the future

    Who controls the future of creative content is the big question posed at the 2008 Media Summit in London.The high-level conference, organised by Screen International, Broadcast and Q magazine, brings some of the biggest thinkers in the film, television and new media businesses to talk about the changing entertainment language.They will look at the impact of new forms of production and distribution on the existing industries and at the potential for new busin
  • Arts Alliance Media's Vizumi adds Metrodome content

    UK distributor Metrodome has become the latest content partner for Arts Alliance Media's Vizumi Network. AAM will offer Metrodome titles for download to own for $20 (£9.99) and download to rent for $6 (£2.99) at Vizumi's own site and partner sites Tiscali, LoveFilm, and Empire magazine. Films available at the launch include Days Of Glory, Away From Her, Water and Sherrybaby. Mark Livingstone, President of AAM, commented 'Metrodome has a great collection
  • Australia - ASIA pacific awards - Pacific celebration

    Held on the sandy shores of the Queensland Gold Coast in Australia, the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards (Apsas) aims to celebrate and promote some of the region's leading films and film-makers to the international industry.'There is a marketing push behind all of this,' says Apsa chairman Des Power. 'I am not suggesting the awards will bring about radical change, but I hope that every time we give an award, it will grow the audience and the appreciation of films from this part of
  • Australia - Bringing it all back home

    When production on Warner Bros' superhero project Justice League Of America (working title) wraps shooting next year, director George Miller hopes that, for once, the project's many Australian crew members will not have to move abroad to continue working. That is also the reasoning behind Australia's revamped tax incentive for film producers which aims to attract major international projects while also boosting local production.'What the government is trying to do is build a who
  • Aviva My Love wins audience choice award at NY Israel Film Festival

    Shemi Zarhin's Aviva My Love won the 22nd Israel Film Festival in New York's (IFF) Panavision Audience Choice Award for best film on November 8.The film-makers receive one month's use of the $60,000 35mm Panavision camera package to use on their next film within two years.Aviva My Love won six Israeli Academy Awards including best film, best director and writer for Zarhin, and best actress f
  • Awards countdown people

    TAMARA JENKINS - The SavagesThe Savages balances comedy and tragedy. Film-maker Tamara Jenkins speaks to Patrick Z McGavin about the challengeIn The Savages, the story of a brother and sister coping with their dementia-scarred father, writer-director Tamara Jenkins deftly handles both comedy and tragedy.'It's braided together,' Jenkins says of the film's tone. 'The only way it can work (dramatically) is if the humour is organ
  • AWP closes deals on The Poet starring Hannah, Scheider

    Los Angeles-based American World Pictures (AWP) has closed key territories at AFM on Damian Lee's The Poet starring Darryl Hannah, Roy Scheider, Kim Coates and Colm Feore.Rights have gone to the UK (High Flyers Films), Germany (More Films), Russia (Vox), France (Emylia), Spain (Tot Media), Brazil (Ocean Pictures), Scandinavia (CCV), Benelux (BBI), South Africa (Ster Kinekor), Portugal (Lusomundo), Poland (Vision Film), the Middle East (Eagle F
  • Battle In Seattle to open fourth Bahamas Film Festival

    Stuart Townsend's WTO riots film Battle In Seattle will open the 4th Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF), which is set to run from December 6-13.Jason Reitman's Juno will close the event, which overall will showcase 83 films from 26 countries and feature the four competition categories of Spirit Of Freedom: Dramatic, Spirit Of Freedom: Documentary, New Vision, and Short Film.Screening
  • Bavaria to handle omnibus projectMoving The Arts

    Bavaria Film International is to handle international sales for the omnibus film project Moving The Arts which will bring together shorts from Atom Egoyan, Hal Hartley, Christian Petzold, Julio Medem, Laetitia Masson, and Jia Zhang-ke. Each will make a short film inspired by a work of post-modern art exhibited in the Dusseldorf museum K 21. The $4.1m (Euros 2.8m) production by the Cologne branch of cine plus and cine plus Media Service will begin shooting at locations in D
  • Bee Movie takes over top spot at US from American Gangster

    DreamWorks-Paramount's Bee Movie climbed to the top of the North American charts at the weekend as it traded places with Universal's crime saga American Gangster.Bee Movie added an estimated $26m through Paramount for $72.2m after two weekends, while Gangster raised its total after the same amount of time by $24.3m to $80.7m.Warner Bros' comedy
  • Beowulf

    Dir: Robert Zemeckis. US. 2007. 114mins. Beowulf may be the oldest surviving poem in what was to become the English language but the heroic epic about a courageous Viking who slays a monster and then battles the monster's mother is now best-known as the adventure story that no one can seem to make into a respectable movie. The new 3-D animated Beowulf by Robert Zemeckis reaffirms that persistent stigma. Audiences who already
  • Complex teams with Dubai-based Big Deal Pictures for Blackline films

    Christian Johnston's Complex Films has teamed up with LA and Dubai-based Big Deal Pictures to create action franchise The Blackline International Trilogy.The films are based on actual events involving private military corporations and will kick off with Blackline: The Beirut Contract, in which a private operatives are sent to rescue a hostage in Lebanon.Johnston wrote the screenplay and begi
  • Complex teams with Dubai-based Big Deal Pictures for Blackline films

    Christian Johnston's Complex Films has teamed up with LA and Dubai-based Big Deal Pictures to create action franchise The Blackline International Trilogy.The films are based on actual events involving private military corporations and will kick off with Blackline: The Beirut Contract, in which a private operatives are sent to rescue a hostage in Lebanon.Johnston wrote the screenplay and begi
  • Dent and McQueen join new team at Curzon Artificial Eye

    London-based exhibitor-distributor Curzon Artificial Eye has appointedLouisa Dent as its new Managing Director. Dent, the former MD of UGCFilms UK, will take up her position full-time from January 2008.Curzon Artificial Eye has also confirmed that Alan McQueen (who formerly ran UK independent distributor Downtown Pictures) has beenrecruited to help increase the number of DVD titles the companyacquires.The new appointments come at a time of aggressive expansion o
  • Dodona sees 50% digital conversion by 2013, pushed by 3D

    Half of the world's cinema screens could be digital by 2013, according to predictions from Dodona Research. A total of 4,627 screens have been converted as of September 2007, representing about 5% of the global total. Dodona analysts estimate that the potential market for digital cinema equipment could be $8bn.Report author Karsten-Peter Grummitt noted: 'The next step in the market's evolution is probably going to need a fall in the price of equipment, or higher virtual print fe
  • Dokument buys domestic rights to Bornhak's 8 Miles High

    New US independent Dokument Films has acquired all North American rights to Achim Bornhak's biopic 8 Miles High (Das Wilde Leben). Dokument is a subsidiary of Illinois-based MPI Media Group.MPI's vice president of acquisitions and development Greg Newman negotiated the deal with Andreas Rothbauer of Beta Cinema and the company plans a 2008 release.8 Miles Hi
  • Dubai to start new Gulf Film Festival in April

    The Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority, organisers of the Dubai International Film Festival, have announced plans to launch a Gulf cinema event. The competitive Gulf Film Festival, in assocation with Dubai Studio City (also a partner in DIFF), will be devoted to films from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Iraq and Yemen. The first festival will run April 9-15, 2008. The move comes as DIFF plans its fourth edition Dec 9-16 and Abu
  • Dulluc prize shortlists films by Rohmer, Chabrol, and Honore

    Eight films have been short-listed for France's prestigious Louis Delluc prize. Half of the nominees hail from confirmed masters and half from younger talent. The films are: Eric Rohmer's The Romance Of Astrea And Celadon , Belle Toujours from Manoel de Oliveira, A Girl Cut In Two by Claude Chabrol, Andre Techine's The Witnesses, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi's Actresses, Before I Forget from Jacques Nolot, Christophe Honore's Love Songs and Abde
  • Eric Robinson promoted to svp of production, development at TWC

    Eric Robinson has been promoted to senior vice president of production and development at The Weinstein Company, (TWC).Robinson previously served as vice president of production and will continue to report to be based in New York and report to co-president of production Michael Cole.'Eric is an invaluable asset with his strong relationships, keen creative instincts, and amazing ability to find great material,' Cole said.Robinson currently oversees the developm
  • Eros' Om Shanti Om tops Ratatouille in international chart

    Indian films came up blazing in this weekend's international top 40 with two films - Om Shanti Om and Saawariya - collectively taking $31.5m and accounting for more than 20% of the chart's total revenue. For the full international chart, compiled by Len Klady, click here.Eros International's Om Shant
  • Final approval set for Brazil-Germany co-production agreement

    After more than two years of legislative limbo, the new Brazil-Germany Co-Production Agreement has finally been approved by both houses in Brazil's National Congress and has now come into force. The new accord had been signed by Brazil's Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil and Germany's then State Minister of Culture Christina Weiss during the Berlinale in 2005. Films co-produced by German and Brazilian companies under the auspices of the treaty would qualify as 'national films' and co
  • Finnish producers call off strike with hopes for subsidy boost

    Although Finnish culture minister Stefan Wallin has not met their demand to increase subsidy for local cinema by at least $1.8m (Euros 1.2m), 30 Finnish feature film producers representing the entire industry have called off the strike they imposed on Sept 3.'We have not been given direct promises, but we believe the Parliament will make the right decision, when negotiating the state budget next month (December),' they said in a statement.The producers reacted as the anno
  • First Prix Image at EFAs to go to Menegoz and Heiduschka

    This year's European Film Awards will include the new Prix Eurimages, to recognise European co-production. The first award will go to two producers who have worked on many co-productions: Margaret Menegoz and Veit Heiduschka.Menegoz is Unifrance president and managing director of Les Films Du Losange and she has produced films by Michael Haneke, Volker Schlondorff, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Wim Wenders.Heiduschka has worked at various production companies a

    FULL LIST OF THE OSCAR SUBMISSIONS 2007Argentina - XXY, Lucia PuenzoAustralia - The Home Song Stories, Tony AyresAustria - The Counterfeiters, Stefan Ruzowitzky

    FULL LIST OF THE OSCAR SUBMISSIONS 2007Argentina - XXY, Lucia PuenzoAustralia - The Home Song Stories, Tony AyresAustria - The Counterfeiters, Stefan Ruzowitzky
  • Fox greenlights Dragonball movie for Aug 08 release date

    Twentieth Century Fox has greenlit an adaptation of Akira Toriyama's revered manga comic book franchise Dragonball and set a worldwide release date of August 15, 2008.Production will begin later this year on the sci-fi adventure which Kung Fu Hustle's Stephen Chow will produce and James Wong will direct from his own screenplay.Justin Chatwin - who played Tom Cruise's son in
  • Fox takes out MGM/UA's Lions For Lambs in 46 territories

    Ratatouille's five-week reign would appear to be at an end as the film begins to wind down and Fox International launches the anti-war film Lions For Lambs in approximately 46 territories.Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International's Ratatouille has amassed $377.5m and executives will expect solid holdover business to propel the film past $385m.
  • Frankel fills top communications role at The Weinstein Company

    Former Rainbow Media communications chief Matthew Frankel has joined The Weinstein Company (TWC) in the newly created role of chief communications officer and senior vice president of corporate affairs.Frankel will start in TWC's New York offices on Nov 26 and initially work alongside Sarah Rothman, the Weinsteins' head of corporate communications who has decided to step down after a seven-year association with the brothers.Rothman most recently served as vice president o
  • Frears comes on as patron for Met Film School

    Stephen Frears has come on board as the first patron of the Met Film School, based at Ealing Studios in London. Frears will serve as an ambassador for the school as well as participating in debates, conversations and advice sessions with school directors about the school's future. Frears said: 'Alexander Mackendrick said: film writing and directing cannot be taught, only learned. At the Met Film School, you'll spend most of your time making films with the support of professional
  • Fries Film Group acquires worldwide on Surviving Evil

    Fries Film Group has acquired worldwide rights to Terence Daw's upcoming horror film Surviving Evil.The UK/South African co-production is set to begin shooting in February 2008 and centres on a group of documentary film-makers marooned on a deserted island in the Philippines where they encounter a fearsome creature.Daw wrote the screenplay and David Pupkewitz and Malcolm Kohl of Focus Films are producing. Natalie Mendoza of
  • Frontrow's AFM pickups include The Babysitters and Eddie The Eagle

    Middle Eastern distributor Frontrow Entertainment picked up eight films at the recent AFM. Theprojects includeThe Babysitters and Goal 3, both from Peace Arch. From HanWay Films, Frontrow acquired David Cronenberg's The Talking Cure, Eddie The Eagle to star Steve Coogan, Wim Wenders' The Palermo Shooting, Gorillaz documentary Bananaz and horror film Black Death starring Sean Bean. Finally, from Strategic Film Partners the company took Mid
  • Gerson, Plouffe promoted in Focus Features production department

    David Gerson has been promoted to Focus Features' vice president of production and development and Matthew Plouffe has been named creative executive.Gerson reports to Focus president of production John Lyons and Plouffe reports to Gerson. Both are based in New York and previously worked as assistants to Lyons after joining the company in 2004.The duo has worked together on several films, including the titles under Focus' deal with the publisher Random House. Gerson served
  • Golden Horse Awards announces new nominations

    The Golden Horse Organising Committee has announced additional nominations for the Golden Horse Film Awards to be held on Dec 8 in Taipei. The unusual reconvening of the jury on Sunday night fills gaps created by the withdrawal of Wang Quanan's Tuya's Marriage and Li Yang's Blind Mountain under pressure from China's State Administration of Radio, Film and TV (SARFT). Hong Kong cinema benefits the most from the new rounds of voting. The addition of Yau Nai-hoi's Ey
  • Good Luck Chuck leads UK box office for Lionsgate UK

    Lionsgate's Good Luck Chuck stole the top slot in the UK box office chart this weekend with a $2.7m ($1.3m) take from 379 sites.For the full UK chart click here.The romantic comedy enjoyed a $7,225 (£3,473) site average in its opening weekend in the territory and stars popular US comedian Dane Cook and Jessica Alba. It is the directorial feature debut
  • Gosling, Waits on board for Dagur Kari's The Good Heart

    Icelandic director Dagur Kari, who previously made festival this Noi Albinoi and Dark Horse, is gearing up for a December start of shoot for his next project The Good Heart.The film, which shoots in San Francisco and Iceland, stars Ryan Gosling and Tom Waits. Kagur wrote the story, about a homeless boy living by the railroads in San Francisco who is 'adopted' by
  • Goteborg Fund selects six projects from developing countries

    The Goteborg International Film Festival Fund has named the latest projects it is backing, with cooperation from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SIDA. The fund, set up in 1998, supports film-makers working in countries in transition. The following six projects were selected from around 100 applications to receive development funding: The Great Kilapy by Zeze Gamboa (Angola), about the dark past of Angola. $15,892 (SEK 100,000).
  • Grant and Meaden's Shipwreck starts post on Just Ines

    UK-based Shipwreck Film, which has just finished its debut feature Coffee Sex You, is now in post on its next project, Just Ines. Writer/director Marcel Grant's Just Ines stars Daniel Weyman and Caroline Ducey and was shot in the South of France in the UK during four weeks. Post will be done in London or Paris. Meanwhile, Shipwreck is hosting an industry screening of Coffee Sex You at the National Film Theatre on Monday at 3 pm. The film is about a 27-year old
  • IDA to honour When The Levees Broke, Sputnik Media

    The International Documentary Association (IDA) has announced two of the winning theatrical documentaries to be honoured at the 2007 IDA Distinguished Documentary Achievement Award Gala Benefit in Los Angeles on Dec 7.Spike Lee's Hurricane Katrina film When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts will receive the Pare Lorentz Award, and David Hoffman's Sputnik Mania will receive the IDA/ABC News VideoS
  • Image extends North American DVD deal with Criterion to 2013

    Image Entertainment has extended its exclusive North American video distribution deal with Criterion and will continue to release the Criterion Collection until July 31, 2013.The agreement replaces the one dated August 1, 2005, and grants Image exclusive distribution rights over all video formats, including kiosk-based DVD-burning initiatives.Criterion retains broadcast and digital rights, although the parties have agreed to cooperate on sales initiatives in those formats
  • IMAX signs four-picture deal with DreamWorks Animation

    IMAX Corporation will release DreamWorks Animation's first three 3D films around the world in IMAX 3D in the company's first multiple film deal with a Hollywood studio.Monsters Vs Aliens will open in March 2009, How To Train Your Dragon in November 2009 and Shrek Goes Fourth in May 2010. A fourth DreamWorks Animation title, Kung
  • In focus - American film market - Mixed fortunes at 'subdued' AFM

    The first big play in Hollywood's slide towards an all-out strike in 2008 inevitably cast a pall over the American Film Market (AFM). As the world's buyers and sellers descended on Santa Monica last week, the big question was whether the disgruntled writers would go on strike for the first time in 19 years. They did, on November 5, and talk of further action from the actors and directors guilds next summer only served to heighten concern over the solidity of start dates and talent attachments
  • India's Yash Raj ventures into full movie downloads

    Leading Bollywood studio Yash Raj Films has signed licensing deals with two VoD-enabled web-sites - and - which will offer digital downloads of its back catalogue and more recent films. Viewers outside of India will be able to download the movies and watch them once for a nominal fee. There are also plans to make the films available on a download-to-own basis.
  • International - The rising of Japan

    A slew of Japanese films made a powerful dent in the international top 40 this weekend, collectively taking more than $13m and accounting for 8.9% of the chart's total revenue.Ensemble drama Always - Sunset On Third Street 2 was the highest new entry over the weekend, taking $4.7m from 330 screens in Japan. The sequel, directed by original director Takashi Yamazaki and based on a comic by Ryohei Saigan, boasted the highest screen average at the weekend at $14,450 per screen. It
  • Irish Film Board greenlights three films for Catalyst scheme

    The Irish Film Board has announced the three Catalyst feature film projects to receive the green light. Three feature film projects have been green-lit for the low budget scheme Catalystproject. The successful projects, Redux, One Hundred Mornings, and Eamon, were selected from more than 45 submissions, and each film will receive a funding award of $365,000 (Euros 250,000). 'The aim of Catalyst is to take risks in order to find and liberate really fresh talent. The jury hav
  • Israel - Rude awakenings

    Actor-turned-director Tzahi Grad is a household name in Israel as a star of local film and television. With a reputation as a serious and self-assured actor, he decided to move behind the camera in 2001 to make his debut feature, Giraffes, in order to "control the language of cinema" as he puts it.An unusual human drama, Giraffes was a big success at home, receiving 11 nominations at the Israeli equivalent of the Oscars, but Foul Gesture looks set to catapult Grad
  • Jan Dunn and Pauline McLynn team for comedy drama script

    Actress Pauline McLynn is starting work on her first screenplay, with her recent collaborator Jan Dunn. Dunn, who directed McLynn in Gypo and in the recent shoot for The Calling, is working with McLynn on the untitled comedy drama. McLynn, best known for her TV role on Father Ted, is also a novelist. The new film will be part of Dunn and producer Elaine Wickham's three-picture deal with Target Entertainment. Now in post, The Calling, abou
  • Kate Bush writes end title song to The Golden Compass

    Kate Bush will contribute the original song Lyra to the end title credits of New Line's upcoming fantasy adventure The Golden Compass.The song is named after Lyra Belacqua, the lead character in the adaptation of Philip Pullman's trilogy about a girl who leads an expedition to rescue some kidnapped children.Bush's songs have previously featured in Castaway and
  • Kolerova joins Sony International as Russian sales director

    Katerina Kolerova has joined Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) as sales director for Russia and the CIS.Kolerova is based in Moscow, and previously worked at VID Entertainment Group. Sony had served the territory out of its London office but said it was responding to the burgeoning Russian content market with many new players.'The appointment of Katerina to our dedicated sales office for Russia enables us to exploit more opportunities for our business in this excitin
  • Korea's CJ CGV, Lotte join forces for d-cinema

    Leading Korean exhibitors CJ CGV and Lotte Cinema are setting up a 50:50 joint venture called D-cinema Korea to increase the use of digital projection in theatres. Although digital cinema has been available in Korean theatres since 2005, only 107 (or about 5%) of the 1,980 screens in South Korea are digital. CJ CGV and Lotte Cinema own 430 and 290 screens respectively. The two rival chains hold almost 40% of the nation's screens, making it easier for them to negotiate with local a
  • Kuroki heads cast of pan-Asian production Subaru

    Japanese actress Meisa Kuroki (Crows: Episode 0) is headlining the cast of pan-Asian production Subaru, it was announced at a weekend press conference in Shanghai. Bill Kong (Lust, Caution) is producing the project for Japan 's Avex Group Holdings and its affiliate, Seoul-based SM Entertainment, with Lee Chi-ngai (Magic Kitchen) writing and directing. SM Entertainment and Avex are also jointly handling the film's soundtrack. SM Entertainment talent Ara
  • Lightning has strong AFM with Dafoe-starrer Anamorph

    Santa Monica-based Lightning Entertainment has closed key territories on its slate at AFM, led by the serial killer thriller Anamorph starring Willem Dafoe, Scott Speedman and Clea DuVall.Deals closed in the UK (Contender), Germany and Switzerland (Koch Media), France (Swift), Mexico (Quality), South Korea and Thailand (Noori), Russia (Soyuz), Italy (Multivision), and Brazil (Playarte).Rights also went to Scandinavia (Noble), Benel
  • Love In The Time Of Cholera

    Dir: Mike Newell. US/Colombia. 2007. 138minsMike Newell delivers a respectable movie adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's beloved 1985 novel, which because of its structural and temporal challenges h
  • Melbourne Premiere Fund awards docs, Bran Nue Dae

    The big-screen adaptation of successful musical Bran Nue Dae and four feature-length documentaries have received the first $324,800 (A$350,000) from the Melbourne International Film Festival's $1.3m (A$1.4m) Premiere Fund. One of the documentaries is about US celebrity commentator Dominic Dunne and will include footage of him covering music producer Phil Spector's murder trial. Sue Maslin (Japanese Story) is one of the executive producers. Bran Nue Dae is to b
  • Milky Way Liberation Front

    Dir. Yoon Seongho. South Korea. 2007. 100min.
  • Momentum strikes UK deal for Nic Balthazar's Ben X

    Momentum Pictures has taken UK rights to Nic Balthazar's directorial debut Ben X, sold by Films Distribution. Films Distribution executive director of worldwide sales Didar Domehri and Momentum's acquisitions manager Louis Tisne negotiated the deal. Balthazar's directorial debut is based on the book When Nothing Was All He Said and the book Nothing. The story follows an awkward teenage boy who escapes his bullies by developing an online alter ego.
  • Monte Cristo closes pre-sales on Japanese horror End Call

    Monte Cristo Entertainment has closed pre-sales on its Japanese horror title End Call, which is scheduled for a February 2008 shoot in Tokyo.Rights went to South Korea (KoreaScreen), and the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia (Parkit Films & Television).Chilean martial arts film Kiltro starring Marko Zaror has sold to the UK (Revolver), Spain (Notro), Germany (MIG), Greece (VideoRama), Thai
  • Moser named vice president for new Participant TV division

    Participant Productions has launched a television division and hired John Moser to serve as vice president.Moser will oversee the conception, development and production of original programming that will follow the company's goal of creating commercial and socially relevant entertainment.He will report to Participant president Ricky Strauss. He most recently served as vice president of original programming at Showtime Networks.Prior to that he worked at Chantic

    THE LAST 30 YEARS: TOP NOMINATED COUNTRIESWinners in bold1: France (18 nominations, 3 wins)2005
  • Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium

    Dir: Zach Helm. US. 2007. 94mins.Shunning the wised-up attitude and frenetic humour of so many other kids movies,
  • Mueller tipped to stay at Venice Film Festival for another four years

    Marco Mueller will remain at the helm of the Venice Film Festival for a second four-year mandate, Italy's culture minister Francesco Rutelli said Friday as he hailed Mueller's work as 'excellent.' Rutelli has also indicated that Paolo Baratta, a former banker, government minister and previous Biennale president will return to the job as president of the Italian arts organization. Baratta held the role in 1998-2002. While Mueller has to be re-appointed by the new Biennal
  • Munyurangabo wins international competition at AFI FEST

    Lee Isaac Chung's Munyurangabo was named AFI FEST 2007's winner of the grand jury prize for international feature competition.Andreas Mol Dalsgaard's Afghan Muscles and Nina Davenport's Operation Filmmaker shared the International documentary grand jury prize.The shorts jury prize went to Nash Edgerton's Spider, wh
  • National treasures - spotlight on foreign-language Oscars

    Nationality and language are such blurred elements in international film-making today that the Academy's foreign-language film category is always likely to attract controversy. For this year's foreign language submissions - click hereThe most nominated
  • Norway's Kill Buljo sells to 26 territories for Imagination Worldwide

    Norwegian directors Tommy Wirkola and Stig Frode Henriksen's $163,700 (Eu112,600) project Kill Buljo-The Movie has sold to 26 territories following the AFM, including the US, the UK, Australia (The Weinstein Company). The US-based sales agent Imagination Worldwide has also licensed the film to Brazil (Europa Filmes), Japan (New Select), Germany Splendid Film), France (Seven Sept), Spain (TOT Media and Russia (West Company), and several deals are pending, according to distribut
  • Norway's Tinius Nagell-Erichsen dies aged 73

    Tinius Nagell-Erichsen - the largest shareholder of Norwegian media concern, Schibsted ASA, and itsChairmanfor 10 years - did last night (Nov 11). He was 73.A descendant of Christian Michael Schibsted - the founder of the Schibsted media group - Nagell-Erichsen graduated from the London School of Economics, and spent his entire career working for the group and its newspapers.As the largest single share-holder, with a 26.1% stake, Nagell-Erichsen took ne
  • Opinion: The writing's on the wall

    Given the hype about the battle for the digital future, it's apt that the current Hollywood writers' strike appears to hinge on the old chestnut of DVD payments.No-one should be too surprised. The argument about DVD, and indeed television rights is simply for a fair share of existing revenue. In fact, it's pretty much the same argument as when the previous contract was signed.The broader debate about digital transformation, though, is there in the background. The reason the DVD
  • P2

    Dir: Franck Khalfoun. US. 2007. 98mins.
  • Palm Springs to honour Jerry Weintraub, Juno at awards gala

    The 19th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will honour Jerry Weintraub with the Patron Of The Arts Award presented by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation.Weintraub will receive the award at the festival's awards gala on January 5, 2008. The festival will also honour Juno with the Chairman's Vanguard Award, and will present the honour to director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody.Weintraub produced the 2
  • Paramount, DreamWorks pact for Chinese DVD distribution

    Warner Home Video has inked an agreement with Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation to distribute their upcoming DVDs in mainland China. DreamWorks and Paramount's Transformers and DreamWorks Animation's Shrek The Third will be the first two titles distributed under the new partnerships. Transformers hit the shelves on November 1 while Shrek The Third is set for a November 28 release. The Mandarin-dubbed DVDs will be distributed by CAV Warn
  • Park Kwang-su to step down as head of Asian Film Market

    Asian Film Market head Park Kwang-su is to step down from his position before the next edition. Press officer Janice Chung confirmed, 'Mr. Park has always said he would only stay a couple years to start the market up. We haven't fixed an exit date yet. He still has to get back from his trip to Rome ' - where his latest film, made after a long hiatus, Meet Mr. Daddy won the Young Audience award. Park was also working on the film in tandem to preparing the Asian Film Market
  • Pathe closes string of AFM deals for Salles' Linha De Passe

    Pathe International has announced a slew of sales for Walter Salles' Linha De Passe following its first footage screening at the AFM.Deals have been done for France (Diaphana), Italy (RAI), Benelux (Cineart), Greece (Spentzos), Portugal (CLMC), and Israel (Shani). Pathe Distribution will handle the UK release.Daniela Thomas co-directed the film, which is co-financed by Media Rights Capital and Pathe Pictures. Salles, Braulio Mantovani and Daniela Thomas wrote the origin
  • Paula Jalfon moves from Ingenious to BBC Films

    Paula Jalfon has joined BBC Films as commercial manager. She is the former head of production at Ingenious. Jalfon will be responsible for managing third-party financing for BBC Films, seeking new local and international sources of funding, and overseeing sales, marketing and distribution for the BBC Films' slate. Jalfon will report to Jane Wright, who oversees all commercial affairs at BBC Films. She replaces Alexei Boltho, who has left BBC Films to join Paramount Pictures Inte
  • Roman Polanski's story to get big screen treatment

    Amadeus Pictures has lined up Polanski, an unauthorised story about the life of Roman Polanski that is set to begin filming in Belgium, Poland and the US in January 2008.Amadeus CEO Damian Chapa will direct from his own screenplay, and will also produce and play Polanski's Polish producer friend Eugene Gutowski.'We're excited to bring to movie audiences around the world the fascinating story surrounding the life of one of the most
  • Ron Henderson to step down as head of Denver Film Festival

    Ron Henderson, one of the founders and the artistic director of the Denver Film Society (DFS) and the Starz Denver Film Festival, is to step down as artistic director and will relinquish his day-to-day leadership responsibilities at the end of the year.After 30 years of service, Henderson will maintain ties with DFS as a senior programme consultant.Director of media and industry relations Britta Erickson has been appointed director of festivals by executive director Scott
  • Russian cinema triumphs at Cottbus Festival

    Russian cinema was the big winner at this year's FilmFestival Cottbus - Festival of East European Cinema (Nov 6-11) with Vera Storosheva's Travelling With Pets taking home five of the total 13 prizes. The Grand Prix winner at this year's Moscow Film Festival was awarded the Special Prize for Best Director, the FIPRESCI Prize, the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the Don Quixote Prize of the FICC Jury.Moreover, the film's lead actress Ksenija Kutepova was presented with
  • Russian cinema triumphs at Cottbus Festival

    Russian cinema was the big winner at this year's FilmFestival Cottbus - Festival of East European Cinema (Nov 6-11) with Vera Storosheva's Travelling With Pets taking home five of the total 13 prizes. The Grand Prix winner at this year's Moscow Film Festival was awarded the Special Prize for Best Director, the FIPRESCI Prize, the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the Don Quixote Prize of the FICC Jury.Moreover, the film's lead actress Ksenija Kutepova was presented with
  • Sandrew Metronome gets out of Swedish production

    The Swedish branch of pan-Scandinavian distributor Sandrew Metronome will dismantle its local production department, ending more than 80 years of Swedish film history.Ironically the decision coincides with the Swedish premiere of the company's latest - and last - feature, Leif Lindblom's Sun Storm (Solstorm), which went straight to number two at the box office. 'The board does not find it sufficiently profitable to make films,' said head of production Lena Rehnberg to the
  • Screen WM sets up new $8m film production fund

    Screen WM, the UK's regional screen agency for the West Midlands, has gotten increased an $8m (£4m) for production funding of film and digital media over the next four years. The new Media Produciton Fund is open to film and digital projects from across the UK, and an emphasis will be given to projects shooting, doing post-production or employing creative talent in the West Midlands.The slate includes Vito Rocco's Faintheart (now s
  • Secret Sunshine wins best film at Asia Pacific Screen Awards

    Korean director Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine (Miryang) tonight won the award for best feature at the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards, and also best actress for Jeon Do-Yeon, but otherwise the awards were evenly spread. If any country shone through it was Iran: the international jury lead by Indian actor and humanitarian Shabana Azmi gave its grand prize to Night Bus (Autobus-E Shab), for example. Films from Indonesia, Japan, Lebanon, India, Turkey and
  • Sheffield awards include Talk To Me, We Are Together

    The Sheffield Doc/Fest (Nov 7-11) handed out its first Grierson: Sheffield Awards as the UK festival closed this weekend. The Green Award went to Davis Guggenheim's An Inconvenient Truth about the global climate crisis, the Innovation Award went to Mark Craig's Talk To Me about voicemail messages, and the Youth Jury Award went to Paul Taylor's We Are Together, about orphans in South Africa. The youth jury also gave a mention to Baghdad High. Hea
  • Singapore-based Anytime undergoes major restructuring

    A major corporate restructuring is underway for Singapore-based VOD content provider Anytime in an effort to find new investors as the company is beset by funding issues and lower than anticipated sales. The exercise, which entails financial and operational changes, is being implemented by an interim management, headed by company founder Andrew Yap. It is expected to be completed before Christmas. 'We have moved office when we couldn't reach an agreement with the landlord, but our
  • Sony finalises multi-territory deal on sci-fi thriller District 9

    Sony Pictures Entertainment has finalised its deal for the Peter Jackson-produced sci-fi District 9, taking North American rights and 'a significant number of foreign territories, including all English speaking territories'.Sony began negotiations with the film's financier and worldwide sales agent QED International during the recent AFM in Santa Monica.Jackson will produce through his WingNut Films, while Neill Blomkamp, his colla
  • Sony signs digital download deal with Videoland and Movie MAX

    Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) has signed an electronic sell-through deal with two DVD rental companies in Benelux: Videoland and Movie MAX. The deal covers new and library titles from Sony Pictures available for digital download from the companies' online sites in Belgium, Luxemburg and The Netherlands. The service went live today and includes films such as Spider-Man 3, Ghost Rider, Sense and Sensibility and Sleepless in Seattle. Co Mast
  • Sony's first Indian production Saawariya is a smash

    Sony Pictures' first Indian production Saawariya delivered a mighty debut in India through Sony Pictures Releasing International, where it took an estimated $14.4m from 754 screens.But that was not enough for it to beat Indian number one - Om Shanti Om - which took in about $17m in IndiaOverall Saawariya grossed $15.4m from 900 in 13 markets at the weeke
  • South Africa - Durban legend

    A nant Singh is a busy man. In the US, he has just wrapped production on AmericanEast, his 62nd film and director Hesham Issawi's first, described as "Do the Right Thing for the American Muslim community".In South Africa, Singh is in post-production with the docu-drama More Than Just A Game, starring Presley Chweneyagae - who played the lead in the Academy Award-winning Tsotsi (2005) - and is getting ready to build his own film studios.His company Dis
  • South Africa - Film hub - A nation ready for its close-up

    Unlike the national rugby squad, which mowed down competitors with cohesive confidence at the recent World Cup, South Africa's film industry is a mixed bag: on the one hand, it is an increasingly sought-after destination for international productions ranging from the minute to the mammoth; on the other, the local industry could be accused of failing to capitalise on the global interest that followed the 2005 foreign-language Oscar triumph for Gavin Hood's Tsotsi.There is a sense
  • South Africa - On location - Double appeal, half the cost

    Filming in South Africa was buoyant before the Department Trade and Industry's rebate scheme - a 15% tax rebate that kicks in above $3.5m of South African spend - was launched in 2004. But in terms of creating jobs and local revenue streams through international co-productions, the rebate is viewed as the single biggest factor in the native industry's success. In recent years, Robert Towne's Ask The Dust, Working Title's Catch A Fire and The Interpreter have all taken advantage
  • South Africa - Production - Support for rising talent

    South Africa's indigenous films often do well at the box office; the biggest star Leon Schuster's broad slapstick comedies, for example, regularly trounce Hollywood competition. Yet local production virtually ground to a halt last year when the National Film & Video Foundation's (Nfvf) $5.6m (r37m) budget was slashed by a third despite the success of Tsotsi and U-Carmen E-Khayelitsha. It was a huge blow, but this year the funding was reinstated. "We're back where we were," says
  • Spielberg named recipient of Cecil B DeMille Award at Golden Globes

    Steven Spielberg is to receive the Cecil B DeMille Award at the 65th Annual Golden Globes on January 13, 2008.
  • Starting Out In The Evening

    Dir: Andrew Wagner. US, 2007. 105minsA superb performance by Frank Langella anchors the exceedingly literate, engrossing Starting Out In The Evening, a richly drawn and for the most part artfully understated portrait of an aged novelist struggling with the flickering flame of creativity's muse. Mainstream breakout potential is highly unlikely given the film's serene rhythms and preference for debate over action, but distributor Roadside Attractions should reap solid
  • Study suggests studios took a $1.9bn hit on blockbusters in 2006

    Last year's Hollywood blockbusters made a $1.9bn loss, claims a report from new analyst Global Media Intelligence (GMI).The study - Do Movies Make Money' - suggests that payments for star talent shot up to unrealistic levels despite a recovery at the box office.This year, a 12.5% decline in DVD sales compared to 2006 are likely to accelerate the losses.The figures cover the 132 medium-to-big budget films released in 2006 - down from a profit of $2.2bn for the blo
  • Summit buys remake rights to Korean thriller Seven Days

    Summit Entertainment has picked up remake rights from Prime Entertainment to the South Korean thriller Seven Days directed by Won Shin-Yeon.Summit is believed to have paid a low six-figure sum at AFM for the story of a defence lawyer who is blackmailed into representing a rape suspect after her daughter is kidnapped.Wild Bunch has acquired worldwide rights excluding North America and Asia to the original film, which will launch in
  • Taipei Film & TV Project Promotion unveils line-up

    The Golden Horse Organising Committee has announced the 17 feature films and television series selected for the third edition of the Taipei Film & TV Project Promotion (TFTPP). The event takes place December 4-6 as part of the 5th Taiwan International Film & TV Expo (TIFTE). Modeled on other project markets in the region, TFTPP's lineup includes Pang Ho-cheung's Kenya-set drama One Day Of Ibrahim, winner of the top prize at last year's Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP), and Ying L
  • Tanovic, Lichtenberg among mentors for Goa script workshop

    Danis Tanovic, Bernd Lichtenberg and Olivia Hetreed are among the high-profile writers who will mentor eight students at a script development workshop, Screenwriters Bloc, to be held next week in Goa, India (Nov 18-23). Organised by India's National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), and held in the run-up to the International Film Festival of India (Nov 23-Dec 3), the workshop pairs six mentors with the writers of eight pre-selected screenplays. Tanovic wrote as well as directe
  • The Mist

    Dir: Frank Darabont. US. 2007. 127mins. Frank Darabont and Dimension Films go back to the Stephen King well for The Mist, an enjoyably old school horror outing - with sci-fi undertones and som
  • The Photograph

    Dir: Nan Triveni Achnas. Indonesia/France. 2007. 98min.S
  • UK co-productions fall from 42 to nine after tax changes

    As expected, changes in UK tax breaks have caused a sharp fall in UK co-productions. Changes in tax breaks caused UK co-productions to fall from 42 to nine in the first half of 2007 but a further 20 co-productions have been made in the third quarter, according to new statistics from the UK Film Council.The UKFC reported that the amount of money spent on making films in the UK in the first six months of 2007 was at $868.9m (£420m). This is largely due to productions such as How To Lo
  • United states - Dance partners

    With its uplifting story and cinematic style, War/Dance has won a shelf-ful of festival honours, including the Sundance documentary directing award, and looks likely to be in the running for this year's documentary feature Oscar.Directors Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine say the most important beneficiaries will be the children of war-ravaged northern Uganda who are the focus of the emotionally charged documentary.But it is clear that the buzz around the project, which distr
  • United states - Fairy-tale project

    It has been more than a decade since Barry Josephson first brought Enchanted, Walt Disney Pictures' big release for the forthcoming US Thanksgiving holiday weekend, to the studio.At the time, Josephson was starting out as a producer after his stint as Columbia Pictures' president of worldwide production. So he understood what the spec script by Blast From the Past writer Bill Kelly about a fairy-tale princess banished to modern day New York was about to go through: moving
  • Verhoeven signs to direct The Thomas Crown Affair 2

    Paul Verhoeven has signed on to direct The Thomas Crown Affair 2 for MGM.The development broke when the film-maker mentioned the project on the Dutch radio show Met Het Oog Op Morgen.Also known as The Topkapi Affair, the story is based on Eric Ambler's novel The Light Of Day about a billionaire art thief who attemp
  • Verhoeven to receive award at 12th Capri film festival

    Paul Verhoeven will receive the Capri Cult Award at the 12 Capri, Hollywood International Film Festival (Dec 27-Jan 2).Verhoeven will also talk about his forthcoming film Azazel, starring Milla Jovovich and Dan Stevens, adapted from the novel by Boris Akunin, set in 19th century Russia. Marc Canton serves as festival chairman and honorary chair is Lina Wertmuller, who will present Verhoeven's award.Other guests at the Capri-Hollywood festival will include Joel
  • VIP fund's former CEO sentenced to six years in prison

    Andreas Schmid, the former CEO of the German private media fund VIP Medienfonds, was sentenced to six years imprisonment for tax evasion by a Munich court on Tuesday morning (Nov 13). VIP's managing director Andreas Grosch, who had suddenly exited his post from the beleaguered fund in June 2006, was given a two-year suspended sentence. Pronouncing the judgement, the judge Huberta Knöringer declared that 'both of the accused knew that the statements in the tax retu