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15 July 2005

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  • AFM organisers add a floor of offices at Le Merigot

    Citing an "overwhelming andearly response" to the end-of-year AFM in Santa Monica, market organisers haveadded a full floor of offices at Le Merigot Hotel.The AFM has traditionallyoccupied the lobby level in Le Merigot, which is located next to the LoewsSanta Monica Beach Hotel, however this year will see a 10% increase inexhibition space compared to the previous year.Organisers are adding fivenew HD screening rooms that are being constructed specially for attendees atthe Fairmo
  • Argentinean romantic comedy scores in Spain

    Juan Taratuto's romantic comedy It's NotYou, It's Me is breaking records for an Argentinean film in Spain.The film's Spanish distributor andinternational sales handler, Notro Films, says it is the first Argentinean filmto remain in the top 10 in Spain seven weeks after premiere. After a14-week run in the top 20 in Argentina, the tale (No Sos Vos, Soy Yo) ofa man getting over a failed romance has earned more than Euros 2m so far inSpain. Ticket sales rose by 8% last
  • Arthouse trend boosts declining Dutch box office

    Arthouseand specialist film is proving the bright spot in a declining Dutch market.Second-quarterfigur
  • Artist biopic draws top prizes at Karlovy Vary

    Polishdrama My Nikifor dominated the awardsceremony at the 40th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival last Saturday,winning three Crystal Globes.The film, basedon the life of the naïve painter Epifan Drowniak, better known as NikiforKrynicki, won the Crystal Globe for best feature and $20,000. Director KrzysztofKrauze was named best director. Krystyna Feldman, the 85-year-old actress whoplays the male title role in the film, won
  • Australia's RGM launches $100m Singapore facility

    In a bid to strengthen itspresence in Asia, Australian production and talent management company RGM hasopened a new Singapore office armed with a US$100m media financing facilityopen to international film producers.RGM is looking to backmainly English-language projects with international potential. 'We are on the constantlookout for new materials. Through the Singapore facility, we hope to attractworld-class projects to Singapore and the region,' said co-executive chairmanDevesh
  • Bac Majestic reports OK first six months results

    Bac Majestic has announcedrevenues of Euros 8.9m for the first six months of 2005. Despite a drop inrevenues as compared with the same period in 2004, the figures are in line withthe company's objectives following last year's restructuring.Theatrical distributionaccounted for Euros 2.9m with 6 films released compared to 15 in the same timeframe in 2004. Television distribution amounted to Euros 2.9m with videodistribution responsible for Euros 1.6m. The nascent international salesdivis
  • Cannes festival names Residence directors

    The Cannes Film Festival has announced the names of the sixdirectors who will take part in the next Residence film-making workshop. The 11thsession of the Residence, a four-and-a-half month workshop during whichfilmmakers are given room and board while fine-tuning their first or secondprojects and the chance to meet with industry professionals and otherfilmmakers, will run from October 3 to February 12.
  • Capital, Sundance acquire domestic on Blue

    Capital Entertainment hasacquired North American rights to Ira Sach's Sundance American Dramatic GrandJury Prize winner Forty Shades Of Blue, while the Sundance Channel has taken US pay TV rights.Capital, a fledgling LosAngeles-based distributor, plans a New York release in September and SundanceChannel will broadcast in 2006 following the theatrical and DVD windows.Both deals were negotiatedon behalf of the filmmakers by Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment and RogerE K
  • Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

    Dir: Tim Burton. US.2005. 115mins.Tim Burton brings histraditional baggage to the new film adaptation of Roald Dahl's Charlie AndThe Chocolate Factory, a lavish summer tentpole from Warner Bros whichpurports to stay true to the original novel more than the sunny 1971 musical WillyWonka And The Chocolate Factory. Although that assertion is arguable,what's more important here to the film's commercial potential is the Burtonianschizophrenia of the whole affair. On
  • Charlie looks golden in first three territories

    War Of The Worlds should continue to rule the roost in its thirdweekend, despite limited forays by Fantastic Four and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.Paramount's disaster picturehas grossed more than $214.6m at time of writing and is expected to maintainmomentum with strong holds across the board.Fox International opens FantasticFour in Russia on Jul 14 on 310prints, followed by Spain a day later on 425.The Marvel Comics a
  • Charly (L'Avion)

    Dir: Cedric Kahn. Fr-Ger.2005. 100mins.Making a family film thatappeals to young and more sophisticated audiences is not that easy - but it isa task that film-maker Cedric Kahn mostly succeeds in with Charly.Though no less than fivescreenwriters were involved, Kahn's feature tells the simple and well-wornstory of a young boy who has an ordinary object that becomes magical.Box office should be strongamong French-speaking youth (it o
  • Copenhagen festival launches industry Screenings

    The Copenhagen International Film Festival has launchedindustry screenings for new Danish films for international buyers and festivalprogrammers.The Copenhagen Screenings will be held between August 23-24as a pilot project. Some ten - as yet unnamed - new Danish films,including two documentaries, will screen at the event. Festival programmer Jacob Neiiendam said the films will nothave screened anywhere else prior to the Screenings. The Copenhagen Screenings are bei
  • Defiant London returns to business as usual after attacks

    Last Thursday's terrorist attacks in Londonforced the closure of many cinemas with admissions dropping between 75% and 80%from the previous day. However, general consensus amongst UKdistributors on Monday was that little impact had been made to the capital'sweekend box office as resilient Londoners continued with their normalroutines.Box office for the top 15 titles nationwidewas down 44% week-on-week but this was largely accounted for by the lack of anyblockbuster openings and
  • Documentaries shine at Taipei Film Festival

    The 7th Taipei Film Festivalconcluded today (July 9) with an awards ceremony weighted towards localdocumentary features.
  • Edinburgh celebrates British cinema with major premieres

    British cinema is alive andwell and flourishing in Edinburgh. That's the message from theprogramme of the 59th Edinburgh International Film Festival, launched thismorning.
  • Empress Chung set for historic Korean release

    Empress Chung, an animated feature based on a Korean folk tale, isset to become the first ever film to receive a simultaneous release in Northand South Korea.The $6m North-South Korean co-production will bere-dubbed into Pyongyang dialect by famous local actors and released into sixtheaters in North Korea on August 15.The South Korean release is scheduled for August 12.
  • EuropaCorp's Love embarks on London shoot

    Shooting starts today (July11) on Love And Other Disasters, a EuropaCorp production inco-production with Skyline and in association with Ruby Films for ten weeks onlocation in London. Love And Other Disasters is an original screenplaywritten and being directed by Alek Keshishian (Madonna: Truth or Dare),produced by Alison Owe
  • Fantastic Four looks Marvelous in $56m US debut

    It took a quartet of superheroes to do it, but the US boxoffice losing streak finally ended this weekend as Twentieth Century Fox's FantasticFour powered to the top of the North American chart with a bigger thanexpected estimated gross of $56m.The weekend tally for the Marvel Comics adaptation
  • Fantastic Four looks Marvelous in $56m US debut

    It took a quartet of superheroes to do it, but the US boxoffice losing streak finally ended this weekend as Twentieth Century Fox's FantasticFour powered to the top of the North American chart with a bigger thanexpected estimated gross of $56m.The weekend tally for the Marve
  • Fantastic Four looks Marvelous in $56m US debut

    It took a quartet of superheroes to do it, but the US boxoffice losing streak finally ended this weekend as Twentieth Century Fox's FantasticFour powered to the top of the North American chart with a bigger thanexpected estimated gross of $56m.The weekend tally for the Marve
  • Festival

    Dir/scr: Annie Griffin.UK. 2005 107mins.Festival is a deceptive affair. Early on, as we're introduced to agallery of aspiring comedians and actors, Annie Griffin's debut feature looksset to turn into a grating celebration of the Edinburgh Festival (the largestarts festival in the world) in all its full carnivalesque glory. There issomething exasperating about the performers, all desperate to grab anaudience's attention, all needy and narcissistic.
  • Fox, Sky Italia team up for local film, TV production unit

    TwentiethCentury Fox Italy and Sky Italia have unveiled a joint initiative to invest inItalian film and television productions through local talent, producers,directors and writers.Osvaldo DeSantis, formerly general manager of Sky Italia, will head up the partnership asmanaging director of production and theatrical distribution at TwentiethCentury Fox Italy in Rome.De Santis willremain on the Sky Italia board and reports to Christian Grass, executive vicepresident of Twentieth C
  • French admissions plunge 15% in first half of 2005

    French cinema admissions have dropped by 15% for the firstsix months of 2005 as compared to the same period in 2004.France's National Film Federation (FNCF), whichoversees exhibition, noted that 87,550,000 tickets have been sold since January1. The fall in French admissions echoes similar falls across Europe (see storylink below).While the drop is not negligible, 2004's numbers werebolstered by such first-half hits as Podium and Les Choristes makingthe six month pe
  • Friedman steps down as COO of Paramount

    Rob Friedman is steppingdown as chief operating officer and vice chairman of Paramount Motion Picture Groupto pursue other interests.The senior executive hadbeen planning the move for some time, but was asked several months ago bystudio chairman Brad Grey to stay on to oversee the release campaign for WarOf The Worlds.Friedman, who joined thestudio as vice chairman of the Paramount Motion Picture Group in 1997 and roseto chief operating officer five years later, will stay
  • German opposition boosts hopes of tax breaks for film

    Callsfor new tax incentives to benefit the German film industry received a welcomeboost from the CDU opposition party which is widely predicted to win powerfollowing September's general election.Speakingat the party's film reception ahead of this year's German film Awards, chairwomanAngela Merkel told producers "the German cinema has a firm place in ourpolitical work."Sheadmitted that the issue of private film financing "is a complex matterbecause, on the one hand, it is natural
  • German opposition pledges film support but no hope for Media Funds

    Germany'smedia funds in their present form will no longer be possible after the end of2005, according to election manifesto of the CDU/CSU opposition parties, widelytipped to form the next government.Butmeasures have been promised "to improve the general parameters for theGerman film industry in order to secure its internationalcompetitiveness."Inthe event of CDU/CSU election triumph this September, the manifesto declaredthat a new administration under Angela Merkel would "close
  • Guillermo del Toro enters the Labyrinth

    Mexicandirector Guillermo del Toro started shooting this week in Spain on his latestfeature, the Spanish-language Pan's Labyrinth.
  • Guy X

    Dir: Saul Metzstein.UK-Can-Ice. 2005. 94mins.One would love to like afilm that was one of the few survivors from the British film funding crunch inFebruary 2004. But despite some enjoyable satire along the way, Guy X,the second feature from Scottish director Saul Metzstein, never adds up to thesum of its parts.Set in 1979 on a remote USarmy base in Greenland, the film initially promises a return to the classic USarmy black comedy territory of Catch 22
  • Icon takes UK rights to World's Fastest Indian

    IconFilm Distribution has acquired UK rights on The World's Fastest Indian, starring AnthonyHopkins. Soldby NZ Film, The World's Fastest Indian is written and directed by RogerDonaldson (The Bounty, Thirteen Days, The Recruit). The film, based on a true story, seesHopkins play Burt Munro who set a new speed record on his classic Indianmotorcycle at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. It was produced by Gary Hannam &Roger Donaldson with executive produc
  • Irish producers lobby for RTE backing

    Irishproducer lobby group Screen Producers Ireland (SPI) has called on nationalbroadcaster RTE to invest more in local feature films.It told a parliamentary Committee on Communications todaythat it wants a fair deal with RTÉ on three issues: investment in indigenousfeature film, programme rights ownership; and guaranteed levels of indigenouslyproduced children's and animation programming.
  • Japanese producers look to spark animal magic

    Animal films are big again in Japan, after the thumpingsuccess last year of Yoichi Sai's Quill. Based on a true story, thisheart-warmer about a lovable blind dog and its grumpy middle-aged mastergrossed $20m (Y2.2bn) in Japan and was a hit across Asia. Japan's first cinematic animal wave -- or rather ark --was launched in 1979 by Koreyoshi Kurahara's hit documentary The Glacier Fox.The peak came in 1983 with Kurahara's Antarctica,featuring twodogs left to face an A
  • Japanese Star Wars opening breaks galactic records

    Star WarsEpisode III - Revenge of the Sith has recorded 500,000 admissions for a grossof $6.3m (Y700m) since Saturday'sopening - beating its predecessors in the series.On July 10 and11, the film - making its final debut in a major territory - earned $20m (Y2.22bn) on 1.57 million admissions. Distributor20th Century Fox is now predicting that the film will finish with a $117m (Y13bn) gross on 10 million admissions, again the highest numbers everfor the series. The c
  • Jewish comedy sweeps German Film Awards

    Dani Levy's Jewish comedy Go For Zucker! (Alles AufZucker) was the big winner at this year'sGerman Film Awards in Berlin's Philharmonie, held on Friday night (July 8) infront of 2,200 guests.The filmpicked up six Golden Lolas for Best Film, BestDirection, Best Lead Actor (Henry Huebchen), Best Costume Design (Lucie Bates),Best Score (Niki Reiser), and Best Screenplay (Holger Franke and Dani Levy).This was one more Lola than the tally for last year's topfilm Head-On
  • Kaufman steps down at Focus to become producer

    Focus Featuresexecutive vice president of production Amy Kaufman (pictured) is leaving her role to become an independent producer based at the studio.Effective in September, Kaufman will begin work asproducer or executive producer onseveral titles for Focus and its Rogue Pictures genre label.Kaufman has beenwith Focus since its formation in early 2002. Reporting to president of production John Lyons, herproduction credits include Jean-Francois Richet's Assault On Precinct 13
  • Left wing groups in France slam Cruise, the

    Hemay have proposed to his girlfriend atop the city's most glorious monument andbeen welcomed last year by one of the capital's most influential politicians,but Tom Cruise will not be made an honorary citizen of Paris any time soon.
  • Lions Gate gets with LL Cool J

    Lions Gate Filmshas signed a multi-year, multi- picture development and production deal with LLCool J (aka James Todd Smith).LL Cool J andJason Barrett of Alchemy Entertainment will produce all pictures under theventure, while Lions Gate's president of production Michael Paseornek andsenior vice president of production John Sacchi will oversee for the studio.Lions Gate Filmswill retain all worldwide rights and Nicolas Meyer, president of Lions GateInternational, and Stephanie De
  • Locarno boasts 12 premieres in competition line-up

    LocarnoInternational Film Festival's Irene Bignardiis promising a journey into "uncharted territories"forher final year as artistic director with 12 world premieres in its 15-titlecompetition line-up of films.Whileadmitting that 2005 was "undoubtedly a complex and difficult year forinternational production", Bignardi told that she"very happy that we discovered a number of films which are 'ours' and verymuch in line with Locarno's character: films like the Japanese Nobuh
  • Locarno boasts 12 world premieres in main competition

    Locarno International FilmFestival's Irene Bignardi is promising a journey into "unchartedterritories"for her final year as artistic director with 12 worldpremieres in its 15-title competition line-up of films.While admitting that 2005was "undoubtedly a complex and difficult year for internationalproduction", Bignardi told that she was "veryhappy that we discovered a number of films which are 'ours' and very much inline with Locarno's character: films like the Ja
  • Locarno boasts premieres from 'uncharted territories

    Cineasten der Gegenwart 9m2POUR DEUXby Joseph Cesarini, Jimmy Glasberg (France)
  • London set for 2,000 seat open-air Summer Screen festival

    FilmFour and Somerset House Trust have launched the line-upfor The Summer Screen, the first annual movie season to be held in the open-airsetting of the Courtyard at Somerset House in central London.Up to 2,000 movie-goers a night, London's largest cinemaaudience, will be able to fit into Somerset House's 18th centuryCourtyard.Summer Screen will use a giant screen 14 metres wide andallow food and drinks in the style of an urban picnic. It takes place from Tue
  • Mad Hot Ballroom leaps out of specialist arena

    It wasclear to anyone who saw Marilyn Agrelo's appealing Slamdance documentary MadHot Ballroom earlier this year that the picture was special, and so it'sproved to be with filmgoers over the course of a storming run that promisesplenty more to come.ParamountClassics co-presidents David Dinerstein and Ruth Vitale "fell in love" with thetale of a ballroom dancing competition for children when they saw it inJanuary, according to Dinerstein, and wasted little time in snapping upworl
  • Major named production designer of the year by HFA

    Grant Major will receive theproduction designer of the year award at the Hollywood Film Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills on Oct 24.Major is currently workingon Universal's upcoming release of King Kong, extending his relationship with Peter Jacksonfollowing their collaboration on The Lord Of The Rings.Major won the Oscar in 2004for The Return Of The King andreceives his HFA honour in recognition of his "distinguished body of work".Other credits include Wh
  • Nominations invited for foreign film Oscar

    More than 90 countries have been invited submit contendersfor next year's foreign film Oscar. In the last 50 years, 99countries have submitted films to the foreign language competition.Only one film from each nation is permitted with the winnerannounced at the 2006 Oscars on March 5 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
  • Odd Lot to self-release Green Street Hooligans in US

    Odd Lot Entertainment, theproduction and finance company run by Gigi Pritzker and Deborah Del Prete, hasformed a US distribution company to be called Odd Lot Releasing.The first film to be handledby the division will be Odd Lot's Green Street Hooligans, formerly known as Hooligans, which stars Elijah Wood, Charlie Hunnam and ClaireForlani and is directed by Lexi Alexander.UIP will release the film asGreen Street in the UK on Sept 9on the same day as Odd Lot
  • Ogden's Traveller tale takes Galway honours

    Perry Ogden's Pavee Lackeen took the bestfirst feature award at the 17th Galway Film Fleadh, promising a strong run atinternational festivals, including Toronto, over the coming months. Informed by his work as a stills photographerbased in Ireland for several years, Ogden's film is an intimate andnaturalistic story of the small dramas in the day-to-day lives of a realTraveller family living on the margins of Dublin's increasingly multi-ethnicand affluent society.Other awa
  • Online piracy is rife and hits all films, says study

    Online piracyis more widespread and damaging to a wider range of films than generallybelieved, according to an independent study undertaken by the University ofAachen with the Partners 4 Management consultancy.
  • Online piracy is widespread and threatens all films, says study

    Online piracyis more widespread and damaging to a wider range of films than generallybelieved, according to an independent study undertaken by the University ofAachen with the Partners 4 Management consultancy.
  • Online piracy is widespread and threatens all films, says study

    Online piracyis more widespread and damaging to a wider range of films than generallybelieved, according to an independent study undertaken by the University ofAachen with the Partners 4 Management consultancy.
  • Online piracy is widespread and threatens all films, says study

    Online piracyis more widespread and damaging to a wider range of films than generallybelieved, according to an independent study undertaken by the University ofAachen with the Partners 4 Management consultancy.
  • Outfest, UCLA launch public film archive

    Outfest has teamed up with the UCLA Film and Television Archive tocreate what they claim will be the biggest publicly accessible collection of lesbian, gay and transgenderpictures in the world.The Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation is supported in part byprivate university funds, a
  • Page 3 takes top Indian film award

    Page 3 directed byMadhur Bhandarkar and starring Konkona Sen-Sharma won the best film award atthe annual Government of India's National Film Awards. The film is the story of a young journalist trying to makeher name in Mumbai.Yash Chopra's Veer-Zaarashared the most popular film award with Cheran's Tamil film, Autograph. The awards were announced by the head of the Jury,filmmaker Sudhir Misra in New Delhi.
  • Perfume scents success as shooting begins

    TomTykwer's Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer has begun shooting at theBavaria Film studios near Munich.The$60m co-production between Germany's Constantin Film Produktion, the privatemedia fund VIP Medienfonds 4b, France's Nouvelles Editions de Films and Spain'sCastelao Productions is being produced by Bernd Eichinger.Theproject is backed by the German Federal Film Board (FFA), FilmFernsehFondsBayern, the Bavarian Bank Fund (BBF), Filmstiftung NRW and Eurimages. Pr
  • Photography begins on LGF's Madea's Family Reunion

    Lions Gate Films has announcedthat prin
  • Piccadilly Jim

    Dir. John McKay. UK.2004. 97mins.John McKay's sophomorefeature Piccadilly Jim is one of those all-too common happenings incinema: a film that barely misses the mark when aiming at greatness, therebyinfuriating those who notice its failings and thus bringing the film down tothe level of 'having potential".Adapted by Oscar winnerJulian Fellowes (Gosford Park) from the PG Wodehouse novel, PiccadillyJim is broadly funny in parts
  • Pride, Shoes get gala world premieres at Toronto

    Joe Wright's Pride& Prejudice andCurtis Hanson's comedy-drama In Her Shoes will receive world premieres as gala presentations at theToronto International Film festival (TIFF), while and John Madden'slong-awaited stage adaptation Proof will receive its North American premiere as a gala after aworld premiere in Venice.Pride &Prejudice stars KeiraKnightley as a redoutable free spirit in Jane Austen's tale of the lives andloves of five sisters in Georgian
  • Redbus climb aboard Wicker remake

    Redbus Film Distribution is to co-produce Neil La Bute's remakeof The Wicker Man as part of athree-film deal with Nu-Image.The distributor has acquired UK rights to the film as wellas two other titles, Bruce Beresford's The Contract and Tobe Hooper's Zombies.The Wicker Man, directed by Robin Hardy in 1973,has a big cult following in the UK. The remake will star Nicholas Cage with shooting set tobegin later this month.
  • Redbus to co-produce Wicker Man remake

    The UK's Redbus FilmDistribution is to co-produce the remake of British cult horror title, TheWicker Man starring Nicolas Cage. Redbus has also acquired UKrights to the picture as well as two other Nu-Image financed titles, BruceBeresford's The Contract starring John Cusack and Morgan Freeman andTobe Hooper's horror movie Zombies."We have worked with Nu-Image and Neil La Bute on the developmentof The Wicker Man script for th
  • Rob Moore fills Friedman role at Paramount

    Brad Grey's Paramountrestructure continues apace with news that Revolution Studios partner Rob Moore (pictured) has been named president of worldwide marketing, distribution and operations.He will start work on Aug 1.Moore's arrival in the newlycreated post fills the space that will be left by outgoing chief operatingofficer and vice chairman of Paramount Motion Picture Group Rob Friedman, whosedeparture was announced earlier this week.Moore will report directlyto Paramount chai
  • Seven Cecchi Gori cinemas up for auction

    Seven Cecchi Gori-owned cinemas are to be put up for auctionin October, including the one-time movie mogul's jewel-in-the-crown, theAdriano multiplex in central Rome.Rome's Civil Court has announced a starting price of Euros10.12m for the 10-screen cinema. Other Cecchi Gori cinemas that will be sold atthe October 10 auction include Rome's Atlantic, with a starting price of Euros5.43m, the Ambassade (Euros 1.84m), the Reale (Euros 1.16m), the Royal (Euros1.275m) and two cinemas that are
  • Six directors named for Cannes Residence

    The Cannes FilmFestival has announced the names of the six directors who will take part in thenext Residence. The 11th session of the Residence, a four-and-a-half monthworkshop during which filmmakers are given room and board while fine-tuningtheir first or second projects and the chance to meet with industryprofessionals and other filmmakers, will run from October 3 to February 12.Chosen by a juryoverseen by screenwriter and director Christine Laurent, the directors are: KimHee
  • Slowhand to release Innocent Voices in North America

    BB Entertainment Marketing has picked up all NorthAmerican rights to Luis Mandoki's Innocent Voices from Lawrence BenderProductions and Altavista Films.Marty Zeidman's Slowhand Cinema Releasing will release the El Salvadorian civilwar drama, which recently added the 2005 Seattle International Film Festival'sGolden Space Needle Award to its string of honours.The picture will open in New York, Los Angeles and major markets nationwide onSept 23, 2005.Based on the p
  • Soda takes UK rights to Akin's Bridge

    UK distributor Soda Pictures has acquired Crossing TheBridge; The Sound of Istanbul, the new filmfrom award winning director Fatih Akin. Akin, winner of the Berlin Golden Bear Award and EuropeanFilm of the Year for Head-On, returnswith a musical documentary homage to Istanbul. Literally crossing the bridge from traditional to modernTurkish music, from Eastern to Western influences, the film is a tour ofneo-psychedelic rock to hip hop and the cla
  • Solo Project Greenlight winner rounds out cast

    Veteran Australian actor Colin Friels is to star in Solo,the winner of Australia's Project Greenlight film-making competition.Friels,who has been in about 30 films, is taking the starring role of Barrett, anenforcer who wants to get out of working for a group of Sydney underworldbusinessmen known as The Gentlemen.
  • Sony buys worldwide home entertainment rights to Ringers

    Sony PicturesHome Entertainment (SPHE) has acquired worldwide home entertainment rights fromPlanet BB to Carlene Cordova's documentary Ringers: Lord Of The Fans.The picturepremiered at Slamdance and charts the impact of J R R Tolkien's The Lord OfThe Rings on popularculture, featuring interviews with actors from The Lord Of The Rings films and fans.DominicMonaghan, who plays Merry in Peter Jackson's adaptation, narrates thedocumentary, wh
  • South African 'City Of God' lobbies for Oscar nod

    The race to become the film submitted by South Africa to the2006 Academy Awards kicked off this week with a high profile function for GavinHood's film Tsotsi.The makers of the film lobbied senior government and filmindustry executives at a function at Johannesburg's upmarket Melrose Arch Hotel.Hood's film, which is in official competition atToronto and Edinburgh, is a visceral adaptation and modern-day updating ofplaywright Athol Fugard's one and only novel of the same na
  • SPC picks up UA's Capote, sets Sept 30 US release

    Sony Pictures Classics hasconfirmed that it will assume domestic distribution duties on Capote, one of the remaining films produced by UnitedArtists before its parent company MGM was bought by a consortium led by SonyPictures Entertainment.SPC has set a release datefor the film of Sept 30, which is also the birthday of the film's subjectTruman Capote.The domestic fate of twoother high profile UA productions - John Turturro's musical Romance AndCigarettes and Terry
  • Swimming documentary makes waves at Paris event

    Yaron Zilberman's documentary Watermarks was the publicchoice for the grand prize at the 11th edition of the RencontresInternationales de Cinema in Paris.The film's as yet unnamed distributor will receive $18,000from the Forum des Images which organises the Rencontres within the frameworkof the three-year-old Paris Cinema event. The money is earmarked to help fundthe film's release. Zilberman himself will receive $18,000 while the film willalso benefit from an ad campaign worth
  • The Island

    Dir: Michael Bay. US.2005. 135mins.Human cloning is thesci-fi theme of The Island, yet it is director Michael Bay's trademarkthundering action that leaves the lasting impression from this sleek,big-budget thriller co-produced by Warner Bros and DreamWorks. Thehalf-explored philosophical elements and a gratuitous dose of romance don't addmuch to the movie's overall appeal and the casting of Ewan McGregor andScarlett Johansson as leads seems like a co
  • Tykwer and Chabrol among commission fund winners

    Newfeature films by Tom Tykwer and Claude Chabrol are among five projects backedwith a total of $1.35m (Euros 1.1m) by the German-French Funding Commission.
  • UK Film Council looks at supporting sales companies

    The UK Film Council is to conduct research into ways thatit could provide support for sales companies operating out of the UK.The move follows the closure of four UK based salesoperations in the past three months: Renaissance Films, Element X, Portman andHBO Films.It also comes as senior figures from the UK salesindustry have begun to call for the Council support for the sector.Council spokesman Ian Thomson said: "We are already inthe process of undertaking research looki
  • Unveiled (Fremde Haut)

    Dir: AngelinaMaccarone. Ger-Aust. 2005. 97mins.Using the premiseof a woman passing herself off as a man for political purposes, Unveiledmakes for an earnest and well-meaning, if at times rather humourless and lessthan imaginative, feature from film-maker Angelina Maccarone.Closer in spirit toa didactic lecture rather than a dramatic experience, it follows a gay Iranianwoman seeking refug
  • Video Island drafts in Calver as CEO

    UK based online DVD rentaloutfit Video Island has drafted in Simon Calver as its new CEO replacingcurrent CEO and co-founder, Saul Klein.Calver has worked in seniormanagement positions at digital outfit Riverdeep, Dell, PepsiCola and Unilever.He has been brought intoVideo Island by Klein to help lead the company to further growth this year. Klein will work directlywith Calver and the company board on a transition, and remain with Video Islandin a non-e
  • War of the Worlds still rules international market

    War of the Worlds continued to dominate theinternational marketplace this weekend with an estimated gross of $60.5m. Butthe Tom Cruise-Steven Spielberg blockbuster was knocked out of the top chartspot in a few major markets by new international opener Fantastic Four. The tally for War of the Worlds, distributedinternationally for Paramount by UIP, included contributions from the two majorterritories in which the film did not open last weekend during its $102.5m(fro
  • Wedding Crashers

    Dir: David Dobkin. USA.2005. 119mins.Much is made of the recent ascension of a number of actors- including Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Jack Black and Owen Wilson- who, informally dubbed the "Frat Pack," have paired in various combinations ona number of studio comedy features. With the popularity of teen ensemble picswaning and Jim Carrey remaining devoted to counterbalancing comedic broadsideswith dramatic forays, Hollywood has been in serious need of a bankable
  • Weinsteins appoint Larry Madden CFO

    Boband Harvey Weinstein have named Larry Madden executive vice president and chieffinancial officer of their tentatively titled The Weinstein Company.The 20-year entertainment industry veteran arrives from digital servicescompany Loudeye Corp and starts work in New York today [12], reporting d
  • Weinsteins team with Vertigo on Harry remake

    The Weinstein Company hasteamed up with hot UK production outfit Vertigo Films to shoot Paranoia,an English language remake of French hit thriller Harry, He's Here ToHelp.The film will be directed byJonathan Jakubowicz (Secuestro Express) and will see its settingrelocated to New England in the US. However, the film will shoot in and aroundthe London area this September with the locations doubling up for New England. Casting will be announced inthe nex
  • Woolcock's Mischief Night cranks up in Leeds

    Shooting has begun onlocation in Leeds on Penny Woolcock's Mischief Night.Woolcock (Tina Goes Shopping, The Death ofKlinghoffer, The Principles of Lust)latest film is billed as an exuberant, wild andcontemporary comedy drama about two families (one white, one Asian) who cometogether unexpectedly on a local night of carnival trickery and festivity. The executive producers