By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

15 July 2008

View all stories from this issue.


    Aaron Johnson had an early taste of Hollywood, featuring as the younger version of Edward Norton's character in The Illusionist in 2006 and as a sidekick to Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson in 2003's Shanghai Knights. This year he graduates to leading man status with two very different films. The first is Gurinder Chadha's Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging in which he plays the school heart-throb alongside fellow Star of Tomorrow Georgia Groome (see opposite). The second is
  • After The Waterfall

    A forest ranger is haunted by the disappearance of his four-year- old daughter, and the subsequent breakup of his marriage. He discovers his ex-wife Ana is pregnant to the policeman in charge of his missing daughter’s case.

    Writer-directorAndrew Haigh cut his teeth in the editing suite, on such mainstream hits as Gladiator and Notting Hill, but his own shorts display a much more indie sensibility. His debut, Oil, employs fast cutting and voiceover to create a poetic and poignant portrait of a man reminiscing over his departed lover. Cahuenga Blvd and Markings, both shot in California during a year Haigh studied at a Los Angeles film school, are atmospher
  • Arts Alliance joins anti-copyright theft group Industry Trust

    Digital film services company Arts Alliance Media has become a member of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness.The industry group battles copyright theft.AAM joins the Trust as it starts on the second phase of a new communications campaign, launched in July 2007. Its 2008 anti-copyright theft message will move from physical copies to illegal downloading, which kicked-off with a new television advert aired starting July 7.Liz Bales, Director-General of the Indust
  • BAFTA to host four-day Arab cinema event

    BAFTA is holding a four day event this weekend at its Piccadilly headquarters in recognition of Arab cinema's contribution to the film industry.Bafta Goes to the Arab World (July 11-14) combines screenings, talks and networking events, which aim to highlight emerging talent from the region and foster links between the Arab film world and the UK.This is the third Arab Film Weekend to be held in London, but with BAFTA at the helm for the first time, it is set to be the most

    He has not yet graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) but Ben Aldridge has already caught the eye of UK casting directors. Earlier this year he was cast opposite Parminder Nagra and Ray Winstone in the ITV drama Compulsion and from there he went straight to Channel 4/HBO's prestige autumn series The Devil's Whore, set during the English Civil War. Directed by Marc Munden, the series also stars Andrea Riseborough, Dominic West, Michael Fassbend
  • Cantet's The Class to open New York Film Festival

    Laurent Cantet's Palme d'Or The Class (Entre Les Murs) will open the New York Film Festival, set to run from September 26-October 12.Two showcases at the Film Society's Walter Reade Theater will round out the festival's main line-up with historical and alternative perspectives.The first, In The Realm Of Oshima, runs throughout the festival to celebrate the work and influence of Japanese film-maker Nagisa Oshima. The annual Views Fro

    Having graced several high-quality television productions such as Bleak House and My Boy Jack, Carey Mulligan is about to hit the big time with the lead in Lone Scherfig's An Education. Set in the 1960s, the film is a coming-of-age drama in which she plays a 17-year-old who abandons her suburban life for the heady whirl of London's artistic set. Her co-stars include Rosamund Pike, Peter Sarsgaard and Emma Thompson. She has also completed supporting roles in Michael Mann's

    Charles Mnene is no stranger to controversy. His first screen experience was in Thomas Clay's uncompromisingly bleak The Great Ecstasy Of Robert Carmichael which caused a stir at Cannes in 2005, and he has since appeared in a number of tough films that tackle big issues. The most recent is Fallout, alongside another Star of Tomorrow, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (see right), in which he plays a gang member who murders one of his classmates. 'Like the best actors, he's got a very vivid sense
  • Charlotte Clark joins UK digital marketing agency Jam

    London-based dgital agency Jam has hired Charlotte Clark as its new head of PR.Clark had been at Way To Blue where Warner Music International was her main client.Jam has worked on digital marketing for projects including Juno, Step Up 2 The Streets, Adulthood, Mamma Mia! and Guy Ritchie's forthcoming Rocknrolla.Daniel Robey, founder of Jam, said: 'This is an exciting time at Jam and we are delighted to have Charlotte onboard. This is an instrumental appo
  • Charlotte Rampling to star in Majewski's The Hill And The Cross

    Polish director Lech Majewski (Glass Lips, Wojaczek) is in pre-production on The Hill And The Cross, an English-language drama to feature Charlotte Rampling.Majewski is himself producing the film, along with Swedish producer Freddy Olsson of Bokomotiv Filmproduktion. Principal photography will take place in southern Poland this autumn. The film would be finished in time for next summer's festivals.The Hill And The Cross is inspired by Pieter Breughel'

    One year after graduating from LAMDA and the buzz around Charlotte Riley is growing. She has just finished Stephan Elliott's adaptation of Noel Coward's Easy Virtue in which she plays the main character's down-to-earth childhood sweetheart. Riley may have felt intimidated before starting the job - hardly surprising given a cast including Ben Barnes, Jessica Biel, Kristin Scott Thomas and Colin Firth - but her fears were unfounded. 'We were told by our teachers at drama school never to
  • Chin Hanjoins cast ofEmmerich's 2012

    Singapore-born actor Chin Han, who starred in 3 Needles and plays one of the main villains in The Dark Knight, has landed a role in Roland Emmerich's 2012. He has joined the ensemble cast to play Lin Pang, a character who becomes indispensable in the fight to save a group of citizens from various natural disasters.The film, which is co-written and to be directed and produced by Emmerich for Centropolis Entertainment and Columbia Studios, will begin shooting in

    DirectorHaving cut her teeth directing video games and commercials, China Moo-Young is now ready to graduate to feature films. Her debut short, Liar, was a tightly constructed exercise on deception starring Glenn Doherty. Her follow-up Juvenile, made for the UKFC and shown this year at Sundance and Berlin, is an affectionate portrait of a hopeless single father (Doherty again, who wrote the screenplay) and his teenage daughter. Her most ambitious film so

    Richard Linklater spent the best part of a decade looking for an actor to play the eponymous actor and director in Me And Orson Welles. When he saw Christian McKay in his one-man show Rosebud: The Lives Of Orson Welles last year, his search was over. Starring opposite Zac Efron and Claire Danes in the film about the stage production that made Welles a star, this RADA-trained actor is being tipped as a future award-winner. 'This is not just an impersonation of Welles,' says Marc

    Claire Foy has had a busy 12 months since graduating from drama school. Following small roles on television, she joined the ensemble cast in the acclaimed National Theatre triptych DNA/The Miracle/Baby Girl, playing a teenage bully. Her big break will be the BBC's Andrew Davies-penned Dickens adaptation Little Dorrit, due to screen later this year, in which she plays the lead. 'It's a massive learning curve,' Foy says of the production, which features a huge cast of A-list UK ta

    Hailed as the most exciting drama-school graduate since Ben Whishaw, Colin Morgan dazzled the critics with his electrifying stage debut in last year's Vernon God Little at the Young Vic. He followed it with All About My Mother at the Old Vic and A Prayer For My Daughter at the Young Vic. Morgan is now taking the lead in the BBC's high-profile series Merlin, to air later this year. Not afraid of waiting until the right film project comes his way, he says he wanted a
  • Czechs producers place hopes in German production-rebate model

    With runaway productions finding better conditions further east, Czech producers are switching their hopes from tax rebates to German-style production rebates. Representatives of the Czech Audiovisual Producers Association (APA) revealed 2007 numbers to reporters at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Foreign producers spent $142.4m (CZK 2.1bn) in the Czech Republic in 2007, an increase of 56% over 2006. But local producers say the numbers hide a decay

    WriterAfter a decade in television in which she proved herself to be one of the UK's brightest comedians - her witty interviews with well-known public figures have become TV classics, while her investigations into US subculture showed her playful, self-deprecating sense of humour - Daisy Donovan is now embarking on a career in screenwriting. The move happened by accident rather than design, after Working Title approached her last year to work on the script of Nick Moore's

    'I wanted to be an actor but I never thought I'd be given the opportunity,' says Dev Patel. The producers of Channel 4's cult teen drama Skins took the chance on the then 16-year-old and cast him as the goofy Muslim boy who does not think much beyond girls, sex, music and drugs. Patel has not looked back. He came straight off the second series and took the lead role in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire which, he says, will show what he is capable of as an actor. 'My character wa
  • DeVito to direct Charlotte Doyle for HandMade, Plaza Productions

    Danny DeVito will direct The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle from his own screenplay for HandMade Films and El-Ad US Holding's Plaza Productions International.The family action adventure will star Morgan Freeman, Pierce Brosnan and Saoirse Ronan, who earned an Oscar nomination this year for her role in Atonement.DeVito, who will not appear in the film, is preparing to commence principal ph
  • Dylan Doggoes to Hollywood

    'I can read the Bible, Homer or Dylan Dog for days on end without ever feeling bored.' So says iconic writer and philosopher Umberto Eco, a self-confessed fan of the comic-strip character created by Tiziano Sclavi in 1986.Since then Dylan Dog has become a popular phenomenon, and not just in its native Italy. It is the number-one horror comic in the world, with 56 million copies sold in 17 countries, translated into as many languages. It has also made inroads in the US, wh

    Edward Hogg has been steadily building a name as someone to watch. His lead role in Woyzeck on stage at London's Gate Theatre won him an Ian Charleson Award nomination in 2006 but two films due for release next year are likely to propel him into the limelight. First off is White Lightnin' from director Dominic Murphy. Starring alongside Carrie Fisher, Hogg takes on the role of Appalachian dancer and entertainer Jesco White, whose life story includes stays in a mental institution

    Writer-directorIt is no wonder Esther May Campbell's compelling visual style has caught the eye of UK film executives. Her short films - Delilah, Poppy and most recently September, about a man's infatuation with a circus performer - make the most of their modest budgets and have a mesmerising sense of mood and place. But it is not just about the look. As Rebecca Mark-Lawson, managing executive of Lifesize Pictures which runs the UK Film Council's (
  • Film Center Serbia shares $2.7m between nine projects

    The Film Center Serbia, whose board is now headed by Emir Kusturica, has chosen nine projects to co-finance. Seven projects selected for financing of production are feature films and one feature documentary, while one is a feature in post-production.FEATURE FILMSWhite, White World (Beli, Beli Svet), written by Milena Markovic and Oleg Novkovic, to be directed by Novkovic, produced by West End Production - $500,000 (RSD25m)Wait For Me, I'm Defini
  • Film Department, Downtown Music Publishing form TFD Music

    The Film Department (TFD) and music publisher Downtown Music Publishing have formed the film music company and partnership TFD Music.Through the partnership, Downtown Publishing will serve as the exclusive worldwide administrator for TFD Music copyrights and master recordings and offer music supervision and soundtrack consulting services on features.The first TFD pictures covered under the deal are The Rebound starring Catherine Ze
  • Film London board adds Aston, Comer, and Fletcher

    UK screen agency Film London has appointed three new board members.They are: Emily Aston, a lecturer at London Metropolitan University and a longtime producer; Stuart Comer, curator of film at Tate Modern; and Edward Fletcher, co-founder and managing director of independent distributor Soda Pictures.Sandy Lieberson, Chair of Film London said: 'I am delighted to welcome Emily, Stuart and Edward to the board and I am certain that their collective wealth of talent, expertise and ex
  • Film Movement acquires US rights to Lanner's Eldorado

    Film Movement has acquired US rights to Bouli Lanners' bittersweet Belgian-French road movie Eldorado.The story centers on a vintage car dealer who befriends a potential burglar and takes him on a trip to visit his parents. Eldorado won the FIPRESCI Quinzaine award at Cannes this year.Film Movement president Adley Gartenstein and vice president of acquisitions and distribution Rebeca Conget brokered the deal with Francois Yon of Fi
  • Films from McGowan and Skogland lead Canadian charge at TIFF

    Michael McGowan's One Week starring Joshua Jackson, Liane Balaban and Campbell Scott and Kari Skogland's Fifty Dead Men Walking with Jim Sturgess, Ben Kingsley, Rose McGowan and Kevin Zegers have joined the 33rd Toronto International Film Festival's line-up of Canadian gala presentations.Special Presentations include Deepa Mehta's Heaven On Earth, Fernando Meirel
  • Focus: Countdown To Toronto

    Last week Cameron Bailey was in London. This week he is in Paris. Or maybe it is Brussels. Two months out from his September debut, the new co-director of the Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff) is in screening mode.'It's slightly more impossible than I expected,' he writes from wherever he is (after a mutually abandoned game of phone tag).A long-time programmer with Tiff, Bailey has also enjoyed a long career as a film journalist, broadcaster and screenwriter.He w
  • Future Cinema plans Eraserhead/Guillemots event

    Future Cinema Live will return to the UK's Latitude Festival by presenting a special event for Guillemots playing an improvised set to David Lynch's Eraserhead.In addition to the band's new live 'score' for the cult classic, there will be a performance by dancers the Chamelion Collective.Psychedelic rock band Invasion will also be working with Future Shorts at the festival, re-scoring short films. There will also be a special programme of shorts including Oscar winner

    Georgia Groome made her big-screen debut aged 14 in Paul Andrew Williams' festival hit London To Brighton, in which she played a young homeless girl. She is about to prove her versatility as an actor in Gurinder Chadha's comedy Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging which opens at the end of the month in the UK and which also stars Aaron Johnson. 'I wanted to try something different,' says Groome, who plays a typical teenager grappling with typical teenage issues. 'That's what Paul
  • Germany's SquareOne picks up Descent 2, Tell-Tale

    Munich-based German distributor SquareOne Entertainment has announced new additions to its 2008 and 2009 release slate.SquareOne President Al Munteanu revealed that the company's latest acquisitions include Jeffrey Nachmanoff's action thriller Traitor starring Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce and Jeff Daniels, set for a fourth-quarter 2008 release.For 2009 releases, SquareOne has added Jieho Lee's The Air I Breathe; Michael Cuesta's sci-fi thriller Tell-Tale; M

    Having turned heads with arresting performances in two critically lauded stage productions, Romeo And Juliet at Manchester's Royal Exchange and Big White Fog at London's Almeida, Gugu Mbatha-Raw is now showing what she can do on the screen. In Ian Rickson's recently screened Fallout, adapted for Channel 4 from the play by Roy Williams about the aftermath of a young boy's murder on an inner-city estate, she stars alongside Lennie James and fellow Star of Tomorrow Charles M
  • Halcyon takes on UK for Critics Week title Moscow, Belgium

    As it ramps up its UK distribution activities, Chris Coen's Halcyon Pictures has added another title to its fast growing release slate. The new acquisition is Christophe Van Rompaey's Moscow, Belgium (sold by Bavaria Film International).The film premiered in the Critics' Week in Cannes.'I loved it. I thought it was funny, the acting was incredible and the dialogue was so smart,' Coen commented of the acquisition, which follows on from such other Halcyon pick-ups as Tom
  • Hancock rules international, but Mamma has sensational launch

    Sony's Hancock continued to rule the roost despite another excellent weekend for Paramount's Kung Fu Panda that pushed it well over $200m and a sensational launch for Universal Mamma Mia!Sony Pictures Releasing International's (SPRI) superhero saga Hancock starring Will Smith stayed on song following last weekend's July The Fo
  • Hancock set for second weekend at the top in international

    Hancock should cross $100m overseas by Friday and Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) top brass expect the picture to begin the serious business of consolidating its early gains this weekend.The superhero saga starring Will Smith stood at $98.7m on Thursday and launches in more than a dozen key markets including France, Russia, Mexico, Switzerland and India.Strong holds in previously opened territories like the UK, Germany,
  • Hastings, Lemos named VPs at British ratings board

    After an open competition, Alison Hastings and Gerard Lemos have been appointed as vice presidents of the British Board of Film Classfication (BBFC), which rates UK film and video releases.They will take their posts in November when Janet Lewis-Jones and John Taylor step down after ten years in the same posts.Alison Hastings is a media consultant and a member of the BBC Trust and Chair of the Audience Council England and a veteran of the Press Complaints Commission.
  • Hindi films have tough half year at domestic box office

    Hindi films have seen an unarguably poor run at the Indian box office in the first half of 2008, according to local analysts. Although there are no official half-yearly figures for combined box office receipts, most of the big-budget, big-hype films, whether from small or large production houses, have failed to make an impression on audiences and therefore collections.According to Komal Nahata, editor of local trade magazine Film Information, the first half of 2007 was consi
  • IMAX pacts with Australia's Hoyts for four new digital systems

    IMAX Corporation has secured a deal to install four IMAX theatres in theatres in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney operated by Australian exhibitor Hoyts Cinemas.The agreement marks IMAX Corporation's first international joint venture featuring the new IMAX Digital Theatre System and will double IMAX's footprint in Australia.The partners will share in the cost and profitability of the new theatres. The first three will be installed at the Entertainment Quarter 12 in Sydney, the
  • IMAX prepares for its biggest ever launch of The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight will open in 94 North American and 15 international IMAX theatres on July 18, day-and-date with Warner Bros' conventional launch.A further 23 international IMAX sites will accommodate the release in the weeks following the worldwide premiere, which is set to take place on July 14 at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 in New York with IMAX, the first time an IMAX cinema has hosted the worl
  • In focus - Audience Award

    James Marsh's Man On Wire, a thrilling documentary about Philippe Petit's daring 1974 walk on a tightrope between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, beat off strong competition from Pixar's Wall-E to win Eiff's Standard Life Audience Award. Icon's August release of the film in the UK will be backed by more than $200,000 from the UK Film Council's Prints & Advertising Fund. The Works International handles sales, with Magnolia on board for the US and recently closed sales
  • In focus - No middle ground for UK indies'

    When Tartan Films Distribution went into administration in late June, the rest of the UK independent distribution sector shuddered. International sales agents also winced, especially those handling Asian fare.Tartan's ground-breaking Asia Extreme label brought Japanese, South Korean and Hong Kong movies by directors such as Takashi Miike, Hideo Nakata and Kim Ki-duk to UK audiences.'Other European distributors looked to what they bought because they were an established and respe
  • In Focus: Postcard from Edinburgh

    The Edinburgh International Film Festival (Eiff) closed its successful first June edition on June 29, completing the initial stage in its self-proclaimed mission to realise the event as the world's 'premiere festival of discovery'.A traditional fixture in August, the film festival shifted dates to avoid the city's overcrowded festival season and to develop its own distinct space and audience. Significant financial backing from the UK Film Council and Scottish Screen appears to have pai
  • International - Drunk on success

    Six new entries broke into the international box-office chart this week, with Sony Pictures' Hancock storming to the top of the table.Non-US new entries failed to break into the top 10, with India's Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na reaching number 12. Written and directed by Abbas Tyrewala and distributed by UTV Communications, the musical romantic comedy opened in 14 territories taking $3.5m across 423 screens.A second new offering from India entered the chart this week at number 18. Flyin
  • Interview: Sam Taylor-Wood

    UK artist Sam Taylor-Wood has had her share of art-world accolades but was humbled by the chance to screen her first short film in Competition at Cannes.'It's beyond exciting, it's such an honour and a privilege,' she says. The Film4-backed short Love You More also happened to be the only UK film in Competition this year.The project started when someone she had met through friends, the late Oscar-winner Anthony Minghella, called her to say he had read a book that remind

    Jack O'Connell has done well considering he fell into acting just to impress a girl. After a two-year stint with the Carlton TV workshop (he got in, the girl did not), he had his first break with his performance as an adolescent rapist on the ITV soap The Bill when he was just 15. That caught the eye of Shane Meadows who created a small part for him in This Is England. Since then, O'Connell has been edging his way into the spotlight. He won plaudits for his compelling stage perf
  • signs deal with Paramount Digital Entertainment

    Online film destination has signed a distribution deal with Paramount Digital Entertainment to rent or sell titles online.The move marks the latest gambit in's expansion plans as founder and CEO Gaurav Dhillon seeks to expand the library and turn the company into the biggest online destination for film in the world.Titles covered in the deal include Beowulf, Cloverfield, There Will Be Blood, Mean Girls, Into The Wild,

    Writer-directorA background working in production has served Jane Linfoot well. Not only because it has given her an address book full of contacts to call on when making her selffinanced shorts, but because it has taught her the importance of the relationship between directors and actors. Two shorts so far - Creep, about a little boy with a secret, and the triptych Youth, about young people, which screened at Edinburgh last year - show a keen sense of observa

    Writer-directorJanis Pugh has been making no-budget shorts, inspired by the stories of her home town of Flint in north Wales, for almost a decade. Her break came in 2005 with documentary short House about elderly women playing bingo and reminiscing about their lives. It won her a scholarship to the London Film School. Pugh graduated last year with Blue Collars And Buttercups which screened at the Locarno, Lodz and Brest film festivals. Part-autobiographical,
  • Japan's Movie-Eye Entertainment ramps up US releases

    Japanese producer-distributor Movie-Eye Entertainment has unveiled its 2008-2009 line-up, which has a strong emphasis on foreign acquisitions. A total of 30 films were announced, comprising 24 foreign titles and six domestic releases.The eight titles slated for the remainder of 2008 include Tarsem-directed fantasy The Fall (Sept), Hilary Swank starrer P.S. I Love You (Oct 18, with Toho-Towa), Jason Statham crime caper The Bank Job (autumn), horror remake The
  • Jason Constantine promoted to acquisitions chief at Lionsgate

    Jason Constantine has been promoted to president of acquisitions and co-productions at Lionsgate, filling the void left by former incumbent Peter Block.Constantin is an eight-year veteran of the company and will report to Lionsgate co-COO and motion picture group president Joe Drake.He will continue to oversee the tracking and acquisition of all theatrical films, play an instrumental role in the creative oversight of pre-buy projects in development, production and post
  • Jean Charles de Menezes drama gearing up for August shoot

    Jean Charles, the drama about Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian electrician killed by British police three years ago, will be filmed in London and Paulinia, a city of Sao Paulo State.With Stephen Frears as executive producer, the co-production between Luke Schiller's UK-based Mango Films and Brazil's TV Zero is expected to start principal photography in London in the middle of August - moving to Paulinia four weeks later.Despite not being the hometown of de Menezes,

    Writer-directorHaving built a solid reputation in television on acclaimed series such as Spooks, Jeremy Lovering confirmed his cinematic ambitions with Miss Austen Regrets, which screened on the BBC in April. A poignant drama about the Regency author, it had a broad filmic sweep and gave a contemporary twist to a period piece, with characters that felt modern and an emotional engagement that was very real. No wonder he caught the eye of development execut
  • Jerry Cotton, Flucht Aus Tibet gets top funding from FFF Bayern

    New feature films by Joseph Vilsmaier, Margarethe von Trotta, Rainer Matsutani and Maria Blumencon are among the projects awarded a total $10m (Euros 6.26m) by the Bavarian regional fund FFF Bayern at its latest sitting.The largest amount - $ 1.1m (Eu 700,000) - went to Phillip Stennert and Cyrill Boss’ action comedy Jerry Cotton by Rat Pack Filmproduktion and to Maria Blumencron’s Flucht Aus Tibet, st

    Writer-director-animatorJust graduated from the National Film and Television School (NFTS), Joseph Pierce's imaginative animated shorts have made a splash on the festival circuit. Big On Love, about a sweet encounter between a man and a woman, shows how expressive graphic animation can be. His graduation film, Stand Up, about a comedian whose routine falls apart, develops the rotoscoped technique he used on Big On Love. It is a tribute to his sense of

    Writer-directorAfter four years as one of the development team at Working Title, Justin Trefgarne took the bold step of going freelance in 2006. And it was a gamble that has paid off so far. He has made two shorts - the smart, ambitious self-funded science-fiction thriller Life XP and the unnerving horror Unborn, backed by the UKFC and produced by Trinamite Productions, which has just premiered at Edinburgh - and written the original screenplay Night S
  • Kaos starts feature screenwriting competition

    Kaos Films, founders of the British Short Screenplay Competition, is now launching a Feature Screenplay Competition.The competition will be open to international screenwriters working in any genre of film that can be produced for $2m or less.The winning screenplay will be announced at the 2009 Screenwriters Festival in Cheltenham.Kaos will work with Ghost Films to fund the winner's production, with assistance from Kodak and Technicolor.'This is not a development sc
  • Kate Hudson joins all-star ensemble of musical Nine

    Kate Hudson has joined Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman, Marianne Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench and Sophia Loren on the cast of The Weinstein Company's Broadway musical adaptation Nine.Rob Marshall is directing the story, loosely based on Federico Fellini's 1963 classic 8 1/2, as a harried film director who balances the numerous women in his life. Filming is scheduled to start in the UK on October 1

    It is a sign of her blossoming talent that Kaya Scodelario has graduated from minor character in the first two series of Channel 4's teen series Skins to a lead. But if she is fazed by the transition, this 16- year-old does not show it. 'It's very exciting and a big responsibility, but I like pushing myself,' says the actor, who is shooting the series until November. That confidence got her noticed during her first audition two years ago. 'She had a striking, photogenic look and a bubb
  • Kevin Macdonald, Stephen Frears to host classes in UK Schools Week

    The UK is planning its 13th National Film Schools Week, which will host about 2,000 free film screenings with up to 320,000 children set to attend.The event is planned for Oct 20-24 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Nov 3-7 in Scotland.Events will be held in more than 500 locations after a launch in London on Oct 17.Films screening include Juno, Kung Fu Panda, The Kite Runner, Arctic Tale, Persepolis, Happy-Go-Lucky and The Spiderwick Chronicles
  • Knightsbridge Media wraps Hindi remake of Winding Refn's Pusher

    UK production company Knightsbridge Media has finished its independent film Pusher, which it expects to launch in 40 UK cinemas later in 2008.Pusher is a UK-made, Hindi-language remake of Nicolas Winding Refn's Danish hit of the same name, now about an Asian drug dealer whose world collapses around him during one eventful week.The film was shot on location in Leicester and London with work at Pinewood Studios.Actor Assad Raja makes his directorial debut with the film.
  • Lara Thompson leaves Sony for top acquisitions job at E1

    Lara Thompson has left her role as senior vice president of worldwide acquisitions at Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) to join Canadian film and TV company Entertainment One (E1) in the same capacity.Thompson started work on July 14 and will assess and acquire properties in all the company's territories including the UK, Canada, Holland, Belgium and the US home entertainment market.She will remain in Los Angeles and report to E1 president Patrice Theroux

    ProducerWith a background at Intermedia Film & Video in Nottingham, where she produced short documentaries for Carlton TV as well as shorts for the UKFC's digital strand, Laura Rees has just graduated from the NFTS' producing course. She is now developing a slate of features which reflect her wide-ranging taste and eye for emerging talent. They include Jane Rogoyska's dark drama Ward Six for Parallax East, which has Timothy Spall and Phil Davis attached; an adaptati
  • Laurence Dawkin-Jones named UK MD for Global Networks

    Laurence Dawkin-Jones has been appointed UK managing director of Global Networks, an international division of NBC Universal.He will report to Roma Khanna, president, Global Networks & Digital Initiatives, to whom he will report.Dawkin-Jones will take up the London-based post this autumn. He had been executive director (commercial) for UKTV since 2005.The newly created role is one of four regional MDs reporting to Khanna. The others are EMEA (Francois Roux), Asia Pacific
  • Little Robbers start shooting in Riga with Karl Markovics

    Principal photography has begun in Riga on family adventure Little Robbers, featuring The Counterfeiters star Karl Markovics. Robis (5) and his sister Louisa (7) hatch a plan to rob the bank that has evicted their family after their father loses his job. Acme will release the Latvian-language version of the film in the Baltics, starting with an Easter 2009 release in Latvia. Film Laden will di
  • Local writers take prizes at Cheltenham's recent Screenwriters Fest

    The third Screenwriters' Festival (July 1-3) announced awards for its workshop schemes for local writers Script_1 and Future Street, with competitions sponsored by LSC, South West Screen and Gloucestershire County Council.The Script_1 winners were: Marc Griffiths for The Storm Watch, Carol Sheppard for Grey and Steve Edwards for Shopping Addict. The F
  • Locarno Swiss Cinema Day to include Luftbusiness

    Three new Swiss films will have their world premieres during the Swiss Cinema Day at this year's Locarno Film Festival, while Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov's Yuri's Day (Yuriev Den) will screen in the International Competitiion.The Swiss Cinema Day, which will be held by the festival in cooperation with the Federal Office of Culture (BAK) and Swiss Films for the third time on August 12, will feature the world premieres of Dominique de Rivaz's Luftbusiness - wi
  • Match Factory to sell Somali supermodel film Desert Flower

    The Match Factory will be handling international sales on Sherry Hormann's adaptation of Waris Dirie's bestselling autobiography Desert Flower.The film is currently shooting in Berlin before being due to wrap in New York next week.Structured as a $17.4m (Euros 11m) European co-production by the 'single purpose' company Desert Flower Filmproductions with Austria's DOR Film and France's Bac Films onboard together with several regional and national public funders, broadcas

    Writer-director-animatorMatthew Walker's smart little animations have won him an army of fans at festivals. John And Karen, a sweet film about a penguin and a polar bear making up over tea and biscuits, premiered at Edinburgh last year and has been around the world winning awards including best short at Italy's Cartoons on the Bay and at the Aspen Filmfest. His most recent film, Operator, about a man's conversation with God, which he made in a month, won the
  • McCaul named as Irish general manager for Paramount

    Paramount Pictures International (Ireland) has announced the appointment of Niamh McCaul as general manager.Since 2002, McCaulhas been managingdirector ofEclipse Pictures, Ireland's largest independent film distribution company.He wasinstrumental in the successful Irish releases of The Magdalene Sisters, The Passion of The Christ, La Vie En Rose, and Irish titles such as Pavee Lackeen.
  • Meet Dave

    Dir. Brian Robbins. US. 2008. 90 minsThe puzzler that is Eddie Murphy's career continues apace with this low-fi kiddy-oriented affair featuring the comedian as both a human-shaped spaceship called Dave Ming-chang and the commander of said vessel.With Dreamgirls well-established as a flash-in-the-quality-pan, and the stunning comedic turns of the 80s seemingly well in the past, Murphy seems content these days to dole out pieces like this, Norbit

    WriterJust 23, Michael Lesslie has notched up a formidable array of credits since he started writing at 16. Flipping between stage and screen, he wrote the 2006 BAFTAnominated short Heavy Metal Drummer, adapted Swimming With Sharks for the London stage last year, and has written another short, Airlock Or How To Say Goodbye In Space, which premiered at the Edinburgh film festival last year. For Blueprint Pictures, Film4 and the UKFC, he is adapting

    'I can't wait to cast her in a film,' says one UK casting director; another bemoans the fact Michelle Dockery is never available because she is always on stage. She has been propelled into the limelight this year thanks to her captivating performance in Peter Hall's production of Pygmalion, which had critics hailing her as a theatrical revelation. Dockery graduated from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2004, taking a smattering of roles on UK television while building her theat
  • MovieMobz pioneers 'cinema on demand'

    Brazilian digitalservice MovieMobz launched this week in Sao Paulo with what it says is the first step towards 'cinema on demand.'Customers will be able to select films from a list of 200 titles currently availablefor screening in participating theatres -although this will expand as the operation takes off.Social networking and viral marketing will allow those wishing to see a film to find other people with the same taste. The theatres wil
  • Netherlands festival to open with Westdijk's In Real Life

    Robert Jan Westdijk's In Real Life, a story of a film within a film, will open the 28th Netherlands Film Festival (Sept 24-Oct 3).Westdijk's Little Sister won the festival's best feature prize and City of Utrecht Prize in 1995. Also, his 2003 Phileine Says Sorry also opened the festival and won four Golden Calves.In Real
  • New talent - One to One - John Maybury and China Moo-Young

    China Moo-Young: What's the difference between working with Hollywood and British producers'John Maybury: To be honest, none. Now in this country, as soon as you're above $2m (£1m) you're answering to some sort of American requirement. I was working with Capitol Films (on The Edge Of Love) and I was surprised I was suddenly dealing with what I'd consider the language of a Hollywood studio. It came to me as a Keira Knightley project but I offered the Caitlin Thomas role to Lindsay Lohan
  • New talent - The Actors part 1

    BEN ALDRIDGEHe has not yet graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (Lamda) but Ben Aldridge has already caught the eye of UK casting directors. Earlier this year he was cast opposite Parminder Nagra and Ray Winstone in the ITV drama Compulsion and from there he went straight to Channel 4/HBO's prestige autumn series The Devil's Whore, set during the English Civil War. Directed by Marc Munden, the series also stars Andrea Riseborough, Dominic West, Michael Fassbender
  • New talent - The Actors part 2

    GEORGIA GROOMEGeorgia Groome made her big-screen debut aged 14 in Paul Andrew Williams' festival hit London To Brighton, in which she played a young homeless girl. She is about to prove her versatility as an actor in Gurinder Chadha's comedy Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging which opens at the end of the month in the UK and which also stars Aaron Johnson. "I wanted to try something different," says Groome, who plays a typical teenager grappling with typical teenage issues. "That's wha
  • New talent - The Film-makers part 1

    ANDREW HAIGH - WRITER-DIRECTORAndrew Haigh cut his teeth in the editing suite, on such mainstream hits as Gladiator and Notting Hill, but his own shorts display a much more indie sensibility. His debut, Oil, employs fast cutting and voiceover to create a poetic and poignant portrait of a man reminiscing over his departed lover. Cahuenga Blvd and Markings, both shot in California during a year Haigh studied at a Los Angeles film school, are atmospheric portraits of misfits and loners.
  • New talent - The Film-makers part 2

    VIRGINIA GILBERT - WRITER-DIRECTORA coolly directed short about a morally compromised man whose holiday is ruined by an unruly boy, Hesitation marks Virginia Gilbert's first foray into directing. That it was nominated for a Bafta this year (as well as winning awards at Galway and Chicago film festivals last year) shows what a confident piece of film-making it is.Gilbert, who got her taste for film as a teenage runner on her father Brian Gilbert's productions, has seen her career
  • New talent - UK Stars of Tomorrow 2008

    "The US has money but a shortage of stories. And in the UK, there is material and talent without financing. It's a marriage made in heaven." So said Mark Gill of The Film Department at the end of last year. Financial incentives and exchange rates will wax and wane but the UK is indisputably one of the world's richest and most dynamic talent hubs.The ability to identify the people with whom the international industry will want to work is vital. Screen International's annual UK St
  • New talent - Where are they now' - The Class of 2007

    THE ACTORSArsher Ali spent most of the year at the Royal Shakespeare Company in The Merchant Of Venice, The Taming Of The Shrew and The Tragedy Of Thomas Hobbs.Following his starring role in The Kite Runner, Khalid Abdalla has just completed Paul Greengrass' Green Zone.Gemma Arterton won acclaim for her film debut St Trinian's and has since snagged a major role in Sony/Eon's next Bond film, Quantum Of Solace. She has also filmed ITV's Lost In Austen and Guy Ritchie's Rock

    She made a splash as the tortured adolescent grappling with her emerging sexuality in the Emmywinning Channel 4 TV series Sugar Rush in 2006, but Olivia Hallinan has really shown her range in the BBC's Lark Rise To Candleford based on Flora Thompson's 19th-century autobiography. She dons bonnet and corsets to take the lead as the strongwilled post-office apprentice opposite UK television stalwarts including Julia Sawalha, Dawn French and Liz Smith. Now in its second series, L

    Olly Alexander has had a baptism of fire in his first year as an actor. After playing a bright, artistic schoolboy in BBC children's series Summerhill, this 17-year-old segued into one of the lead roles in French maverick Gaspar Noe's Enter The Void. Shot over two months in Tokyo and now in post-production, the film takes on an array of controversial issues as it follows two young men whose lives are ripped apart by drugs. Playing the volatile, confused, drug addicted co-lead ga
  • One-To-One withSimon Beaufoy

    One-To-One: UK Star Of Tomorrow writer Virginia Gilbert talks to writer Simon Beaufoy, whose work includes The Full Monty, The Darkest Light and Yasmin.Virginia Gilbert: How did you get into the business'Simon Beaufoy: I went to Bournemouth College of Art and Design and trained as a documentary director. I was trying to make a film about the Glencoe mountain rescue team and we ended up spending quite a lot of the B
  • Participant hires Title, Penner to write eco-horror The Colony

    Participant Media has hired Stacy Title and Jonathan Penner to write eco-horror tale The Colony.Steven Schneider of ROOM 101 and Vertigo Entertainment's Doug Davison and Roy Lee are producing and Gabriel Mason will serve as executive producer.Participant's executive vice president of production Jonathan King brought in the project and will oversee for Participant, which picked up the property based on Title and Penner's pitch.

    WriterPolly Stenham has already caused quite a stir in the London theatre world. Her debut, That Face, which has just finished a second run in the West End, was hailed as the most exciting in years. A searing portrait of a middle-class family in crisis, its energy, humour and raw emotion had critics comparing her to Edward Albee and Tennessee Williams. And this for a writer who is just 21. The film world is now knocking at her door. Under the mentorship of Pawel
  • PPC set to release Ramchand Pakistani in India

    Indian distributor Percept Picture Company (PPC), which made history earlier this year by acquiring Indian rights to Pakistani film In The Name Of God (Khuda Kay Liye), is set to also release US-Pakistani co-production Ramchand Pakistani in India. After successful screenings at the Tribeca and Seattle film festivals, director Mehreen Jabbar's poignant drama played at the on-going Osian's-Cinefan film festival in Delhi over the weekend.PPC was hoping to release
  • Pretty Pictures buys French rights to Clubbed from AV

    Pretty Pictures has acquired all French-speaking rights to Neil Thompson's Clubbed from AV Pictures.AV has also sold the film for include Australasia (21st Century Pictures), Benelux (European Film Partners), Middle East (Falcon Films), Poland (Vision) and Turkey (Horizon International).The story, set in 1980s clubland, stars Colin Salmon, Mel Raido an Shaun Parkes.The UK release is planned for January 2009, with sportwear company Lonsdale promoting th
  • Profile: ambitious Eon look beyond Bond

    British screenwriters need to become more ambitious. That is the message behind the Eon Screenwriters' Workshop (ESW), an initiative set up last year by the James Bond franchise's famed production company Eon Productions.'As a (film-making) culture in the UK, we are predominantly low-budget and we are very heavily television focused,' suggests Alby James, head of development at ESW. 'If there are screenwriting courses, from the National Film and Television School onwards, they don't fo
  • Red Cliff grosses $26m in opening weekend

    John Woo's war epic Red Cliff swept across five Asian territories in its opening weekend and set new box office records in China and Korea.The two-hour film was released on Thursday (July 10)in mainland China, Korea, Taiwan andHong Kong, and on Friday in Singapore, andhas grosseda total of around $26.04m in the first weekend.In most Asian territories, Red Cliff is being releasedas two films. The first film opened last week (except for Japan and Malaysia); the secon
  • Red Cliff has record-breaking opening in mainland China

    The first part of John Woo's war epic Red Cliff had a strong opening in major Asian territories on Thursday (July 10), grossing around $4.7m in total from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea.In mainland China, the film grossed more than $2.92m (RMB20m) on its opening day, according to cinema owners in Beijing and Shanghai, while the film's mainland distributor, China Film Group, reported takings of more than $3.64m (RMB25m).Either way, the film has broken the opening
  • Richard Becker leaps back into Australian distribution

    After selling off his family name last year, Richard Becker has re-emerged as an Australian distributor using the same name and with Female Agents as his first film.The new Becker Film Group acquired Jean-Paul Salome's drama -- about a five-woman commando unit that parachutes into occupied France in 1944 -- from TF1 International and will release it on 14 screens from August 7.Becker has leapt back into the Australian marketplace a year after selling his significant share
  • Rome changes include new name: International Film Festival of Rome

    The Rome Film Fest's recently appointed president Gian Luigi Rondi has announcedsome significant changes to the event as it heads into its third year.The changes include sweeping away elements that differentiated the young city-oriented 'festa' from the Venice Film Festival and other major international film festivals. For example, Rome's populist moniker of Festa will be replaced with the name Il Festival International del Film di Roma, or, The International Film Festival of Rome.
  • Rosenberg hired to adapt BBC series Second Sight for Universal

    Universal Pictures has hired Craig Rosenberg to adapt the BBC series Second Sight as a thriller for producers Don Murphy and Susan Montford.The project is based on the UK crime drama that gave Clive Owen his breakout role as a hard-living homicide detective suffering from a rare degenerative eye condition that caused hallucinations and increasing blindness.Universal's executive vice president of production Peter Cramer and creative
  • Rothwell, Hill, Walker among pitchers for BritDoc

    The BritDoc festival, which is gearing up for its third edition July 23-25, has selected the 12 projects to pitch live for funders at the Big Pitch session.The 12 projects are:Donor 150, dir. Jerry Rothwell About one sperm donor's many children.Breaking China, dir. Sarah McCarthy About Universal's creation of a new Mandarin-speaking girl band.Dancing With The Devil In The Ciy Of God, dir. Jon Blair A drug-lord turned eva
  • Sasha Buehler moves from SquareOne to Constantin

    Film and TV veteran Sasha Buehler is to join Constantin Film's acquisitions and licensing team from Oct 1 after spending the past three years as head of acquisitions for Munich's SquareOne Entertainment.American-born Buehler started her career in the industry in 1990 with news production at broadcaster ProSieben, later working for production houses Zolcer TV and HaffaDiebold Film + Fernseh Produktion before becoming an independent producer of animation, live-action and documentaries in

    Making the leap from TV soap star to film actor is fraught with complication, with many finding it difficult to shake off their TV persona. Scarlett Johnson is about to prove it can be done. Known for her role as Vicki Fowler in the BBC's EastEnders, Johnson has been lying low since leaving the show in 2004, honing her talent on stage. Now she has begun to focus on the big screen. In Noel Clarke's Adulthood, released in the UK last month, she gives a scene-stealing performance a
  • Sci-fi actioner Road To Hell starts shooting in LA

    Santa Monica-based Filmwerks has begun principal photography in Los Angeles on the action sci-fi Road To Hell starring Michael Pare, Clare Kramer, and Courtney Peldon. Albert Pyun (Left For Dead, Invasion) is the director.Cynthia Curnan wrote the screenplay about a soldier whose attempt to return to a normal life after military service turns sour when he encounters two beautiful spree killers in the des
  • Screen International Stars Of Tomorrow 2008: The Actors 2

    THE ACTORS 2Click on name for full profileBen AldridgeOlly AlexanderClaire FoyGeorgia GroomeTom HiddlestonAaron JohnsonS
  • Screen International UK Stars Of Tomorrow

    Screen International's annual look at the hottest talent in the territory has become among the most prestigious accolades for up-and-coming stars in front of and behind the camera.Now in its fifth edition, the series boasts spectacular successes among its previous participants including James McAvoy, Noel Clarke, Emily Blunt, Michelle Ryan, Jaime Winstone, Rupert Friend, Andrea Arnold and Mia Bays.The candidates were chosen by Patricia Dobson after extensive discussions
  • Screen International UK Stars Of Tomorrow 2008: The Film-makers 1

    THE FILM-MAKERS 1Click on a name to see profileDaisy DonovanAndrew HaighMichael LesslieTom MarshallChina Moo-YoungJoseph Pierce
  • Screen International UK Stars Of Tomorrow 2008: The Film-makers 2

    THE FILM-MAKERS 2Click on a name to see profileEsther May CampbellVirginia GilbertHugo Godwin & Sebastian GodwinJane LinfootJeremy LoveringLaura Rees
  • Screen International UK Stars Of Tomorrow: Actors 1

    THE ACTORS 1Click namefor fullprofileMichelle DockeryOlivia HallinanEdward HoggCharles MneneColin MorganCarey MulliganJa
  • Screen opinion: A lengthening list of demands

    Cinema on demand is one of those long-touted ideas that's become a cliche before the fact.The idea of customers taking control of the programme in their local theatres is among the most compelling dreams of digital cinema (though evidently not quite compelling enough to break through the impasse in adoption in much of the world). Still, we're about to see a bona fide example of a trend that I guess will be trying its best to avoid the acronym, COD.Brazil's pioneering Rain Networ
  • Screenrights urges rights holders to claim Oz royalties

    More than $1m has been earned in retransmission royalties from movies shown by Australian broadcasters up to the end of last month, but not all of the money has been paid to rights holders because they have not registered their titles. Simon Lake, chief executive of copyright collection society Screenrights, is urging worldwide rights holders who have had material shown on free-to-air television in Australia since 2001 to contact Screenrights so they can tap into this revenue stream. Pay-
  • Sean Gascoine leaves Coulson for United Agents

    London-based United Agents has announced two newcomers to the agency: agent Sean Gascoine and his associate agent Hania Elkington.Gascoine is a 15-year veteran of Lou Coulson Associates.His clients are writers, actors and directors. He brings to United clients including: Hallam Foe director David Mackenzie,writer/actor Sanjeev Bhaskar, playwright Kwame Kwei Armah, Dummy director Matthew Thompson and writer Michael Mueller, London To Brighton writer/dir

    Writer-Director and ProducerPerhaps it is not surprising brothers Sebastian (standing left) and Hugo Godwin are interested in cinema that explores the theme of the family - but their reference point is more Michael Haneke than Steven Spielberg. The Girls shows how a game between two young sisters and their father takes a sudden nasty turn, while also subtly commenting on the nature of this seemingly nice middle-class family. Smartly directed (Sebastian graduated
  • Shaye, Lynne form Unique with three-year Warner Bros deal

    Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne haven't completely left the Warner Bros fold. Months after New Line Cinema was absorbed into the parent company, the entrepreneurs have resurfaced with Unique Features and have secured a three-year first-look deal at the studio.The Los Angeles and New York-based company aims to produce two to three pictures a year across a range of genres and budget. Warner Bros will handle domestic and international marketing and distribution for all the titles that fall
  • Skillset minority fellowships select 10 new participants

    The Skillset Graduate Fellowship Programme 2008 has selected this year's participants.The initiative, backed by Skillset and the UK Film Council, gives paid placements at leading film companies for graduates from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.The scheme pays a training allowance up to about $34,000 (£17,000) per year. Fellows also attend masterclasses and workshops.Alison Owen of Ruby Films says: 'We offered a Development Assistant Fellowship last year and
  • SPWAG lands domestic rights to animated Planet 51

    Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) has acquired all US rights to the $60m CGI animated family picture Planet 51.Sony Pictures Releasing will give the picture a wide North American release under the TriStar Pictures label on November 20 2009.Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Seann William Scott, Gary Oldman and John Cleese will voice the key characters in the story of a space mission that has to elude an ant
  • Sundance Documentary Program announces 16 grant recipients

    The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program has announced the 16 film projects that will receive a total of $512,500 in grants as well as creative support from the Sundance Documentary Fund.Grants are announced twice a year and submissions are judged on their approach to storytelling, artistic treatment and innovation, subject relevance and potential for social engagement. Staff received 325 applications for this cycle from more than 52 countries.Films funded in this
  • Sundance names six musicians selected for Composers Lab

    The Sundance Institute has unveiled the six musicians selected for its Composers Lab that runs from July 22-August 7 in Sundance, Utah.This year's Composers Lab Fellows are Matt Cartsonis, T Griffin, iZLER, JJ Lee, Vivek Maddala and Nicholas Pavkovic.During the two-week Lab, Fellows take part in workshops and creative exercises under the guidance of advisors. This year's creative advisors include film composers Tyler Bates, Carter Burwell. George S Clinton, Miriam Cutler,
  • Switzerland's Ascot Elite picks up 8 titles including Milk and Red Cliff

    Leading Swiss independent distributor Ascot Elite Entertainment has announced eight new acquisitions for its release lineup. As part of a strategy to consolidate its market position, theZurich-based company has secured all rights for Focus Features' HarveyMilk biopic Milk, directed by Gus van Sant and starring Sean Penn andJosh Brolin, the Sam Mendes Untitled Project, and
  • Terribly Happy wins Karlovy Vary Crystal Globe

    This year'sKarlovy Vary Crystal Globe has been won by Danish film Terribly Happy (Frygtelig Lykkelig).Henrik Ruben Genz's adaptation of an Erling Jepsen novel took the $30,000 top prize at the Czech spa town's Thermal Hotel grand hall.The $20,000 Special Jury Prize was awarded to Indonesian director Nan T. Achnas' The Photograph.Kazakhstan directorSergey Dvortsevoy's Tulpan took best film honours in the EastOf The West section.The grand j
  • The critical view: On the money

    Critics rarely give much thought to the money side of the film industry. In fact, if I miss a film's national press preview or international festival debut, my desire to see it later, alongside a paying public, is generally in inverse proportion to its box-office success.This isn't just critical petulance and snobbery; it's also the fact that, with the film already out and likely to run for weeks, there's no longer any sense of urgency. I'll get to it eventually, either some rainy Mond
  • The Dark Knight

    Dir: Christopher Nolan. US. 2008. 152 mins.
  • The Duchess, Secret Life Of Bees get TIFF gala screenings

    Programmers at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) have added two gala presentations and seven special presentations to the line-up, as well as 13 additions to the Masters and Contemporary World Cinema strands.The gala screenings are the world premiere of Gina Prince-Bythewood's Southern States family drama Secret Life Of Bees starring Dakota Fanning, Paul Bettany and Queen Latifah and the international premiere of Saul Dibb's UK his
  • The Mummy 3 not yet approved for Chinese release

    It seems that havingChinese elements in a filmdoes not necessarily result inan easy green light from the Chinese censors. Universal Pictures' summer blockbuster The Mummy: The Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor may be yet another film to face censor troubles in China.The film was originally slated to be released in China on July 29 as a day-and-date release with the US. But this may not happen now as the film has not passed the censorship, local cinemas confirmed.The film has a
  • The Vintners Luck

    A peasant wine maker in 19th Century France and an angel grapple with the sensual, the sacred and the profane in their search for the perfect vintage.
  • The Volcano

    Summer, girls, beer, drugs, gangs … It’s not easy being eleven. Boy and his brother Rocky try to find their potential in the shadow of their larger-than-life father Alamein
  • Toei, TV Asahi set to co-produce Partners spin-off

    Japanese studio Toei and regular television partner TV Asahi are planning to co-produce a spin-off to local hit Partners: The Movie. Entitled Partners: Investigator Mamoru Yonezawa's Case File (Aibo Series: Kanshiki Yonezawa Mamoru No Jikenbo), the story will focus on the character of the image and fingerprint expert who played a supporting role in the original movie and TV series.Seiji Rokkaku will reprise the role, in his first leading appearance. Rokkaku wil

    After winning two nominations in the best newcomer category at the UK theatre industry's Laurence Olivier Awards this year (he won for his performance in Cymbeline at the Barbican), Tom Hiddleston is now proving his credentials on the screen. This RADA-trained actor's first major television role was in Richard Loncraine's Winston Churchill drama The Gathering Storm in 2002, and he was recently seen in the BBC's Miss Austen Regrets, directed by fellow Star of Tomorrow Jere

    Writer-directorTom Marshall has not let money - or lack of it - get in the way of making films. Twenty one years old and just out of Teesside University, he has been making films since he was 17. Two, shot for less than $1,000 (£500), have got him noticed. Daddy's Girl (2006), co-directed by Matt Rozdoba-Hallows, is a partly improvised story about a man's spiral into despair. And bigboy_74 is a funny tale of a suicidal man who, on a desolate hillside, has an
  • Tommy Gargotta takes top creative advertising job at SPE

    Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has promoted Tommy Gargotta to president of worldwide creative advertising.Gargotta will report to the studios' co-presidents of worldwide theatrical marketing Valerie Van Galder and Marc Weinstock and will guide the creative marketing team in the creation of posters, commercials, trailers and in-theatre materials.He joined Columbia in March 2001 as senior vice president of creative advertising and most recently served as senior executive
  • Tracy Falco joins Universal as evp of production

    Producer Tracy Falco has been named executive vice president of production at Universal Pictures.For the past year Falco has had a first-look deal at United Artists, where she produced Robert Redford's Lions For Lambs. She will report to Universal's president of production Donna Langley.In her new position, Falco will support Langley in overseeing the day-to-day development and production of Universal's slate. Her responsibilities i
  • UK genre download site to launch in November with $6m backing

    A new genre-specific online film site, The Film Lounge (, is set for a November launch in the UK, backed by about $6m (£3m) from private investors.Founder Terry Stone said the site would launch with about 60 independent titles, most of which would be exclusive to Film Lounge.The unique position of the site will be offer 18-rated films from genres such as horror, true crime, gangster, martial arts, Westerns and action adventure films.'We'll offer standar
  • Universal's Hellboy II soars above Hancock at domestic box office

    Universal's gamble to acquire the Hellboy franchise after Revolution Studios released the 2004 original got off to a good start as Hellboy II: The Golden Army launched at number one on an estimated $35.9m.Sony's Hancock slipped to second place while New Line's classic adventure tale Journey To The Centre Of The Earth opene

    Writer-directorA coolly directed short about a morally compromised man whose holiday is ruined by an unruly boy, Hesitation marks Virginia Gilbert's first foray into directing. That it was nominated for a BAFTA this year (as well as winning awards at Galway and Chicago film festivals last year) shows what a confident piece of film-making it is. Gilbert, who got her taste for film as a teenage runner on her father Brian Gilbert's productions, has seen her career take
  • Weinsteins get their own pay-TV deal, finally, with Showtime

    The Weinstein Company (TWC) has signed a seven-year pay-TV deal with Showtime Networks in a key move for both companies.Select TWC titles had been going to Showtime through its distribution relationship with MGM, but once it became clear that MGM was reconfiguring its modus operandi and said it would partner with Lionsgate and Paramount Vantage on a pay-TV and VOD platform, TWC started to search out a pay-TV deal of its own.TWC was initially unable to secure its own pay-T
  • Wild Bunchto handle sales and French distribution on Chanel film

    Wild Bunch will handle international sales and French distribution on Chanel And Stravinsky. The film is to be directed by Jan Kounen and produced by Claudie Ossard and Chris Bolzli of Eurowide Film Production.Anna Mouglalis starring as the legendary designer.While other Chanel films are currently in the works, Wild Bunch says that this will be first out of the gate and also boasts the support of the house of Cha
  • Yerevan plans second Regional Co-Production Forum

    Eight features and four documentary projects from Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine are being pitched to potential co-producers and financiers at the Directors Across Borders' (DAB) second Regional Co-Production Forum (July 15-17) during this week's Golden Apricot International Film Festival in Yerevan.The low-budget projects include the family drama Before And After by Moldovan director Violeta Gorgos, which was previously pitc
  • Yoko Higuchi-Zitzmann to leave Constantin for Telepool

    Yoko Higuchi-Zitzmann will join Munich-based Telepool as head of acquisitions and sales for German-speaking territories. She takes the post as of January 2009, and will resign as head of licensing of Constantin Film, where she had been since 2005. She is also a veteran of Prokino Filmverleih.Higuchi-Zitzmann will report directly to Telepool CEO Thomas Weymar.'We are very pleased that with Yoko Higuchi-Zitzmann we have been able towin one of the most dist