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

15 October 2004

View all stories from this issue.

  • A Good Woman

    Dir: Mike Barker. UK-It.2004. 93minsA light souffle of a film, AGood Woman takes a decent stab at transferring Oscar Wilde's enduring play LadyWindermere's Fan from Victorian England to 1930s Italy. The crisp wit andsly social satire are a little lost in translation and the stellar cast are notalways at
  • AFM reports record numbers of films, exhibitors

    A record 435films including a record 278 market premieres are confirmed for the 25th AFMwhich takes place Nov 3 to 10 in Santa Monica, said organizing body IndependentFilm & Television Alliance (IFTA) yesterday.The line-upincludes 38 titles in official selection at the AFI FEST, the annual event withwhich AFM teams up for the first time and which runs in Los Angeles from Nov4-14.IFTA executivevice president and AFM managing director Jonathan Wolf said the upcoming marketwould ho
  • Aranda gathers high profile cast for White Knight

    Spanish director Vicente Aranda has united a high-profilecast for his new Euros 13.6m English-language medieval romantic adventure TheWhite Knight, headlining veteran Victoria Abril with rising stars Paz Vegaand Pilar Lopez de Ayala.Argentina's Leonardo Sbaraglia and Briton Caspar Zafer roundout the cast, expected to be finalized with a couple of high-profile UKadditions.The Spanish-UK co-production between Carolina Films, DeAPlaneta and Future Films will be handled inter
  • Arsene Lupin

    Dir. Jean-PaulSalome. Fr-UK-Spain-It. 2004. 132mins.At Euros 23m, ArseneLupin is one of the most expensive French films of the year, with sumptuoussets, lavish costumes, picturesque locations and spectacular camerapyrotechnics. But there is little else to recommend it: certainly not thescreenplay, which never quiet makes up its mind what it wants to be.Despite
  • AUSTRALIA 12 October

    In its third weekend on release Shark Tale was top ofthe pops at the box office with a gross of A$1,707,044 from 289 screens forUIP. Despite having spent only 18 days in cinemas, its total gross of nearlyA$12m is second only to that of TheBourne Supremacy's A$15m, which has taken seven weeks. No other film hasbeen in the chart as long as this and over the four days it took A$311,609,enabling it to claim the tenth spot.Yet another UIP film, Wimbledon
  • Australian 24-hour film-making festival launches first event in the US

    The creators of Australian 24-hour filmmaking festival The ShootOut are launching their first American version in Colorado on Oct 22.
  • Bac launches foreign sales arm

    Frenchdistributor Bac Films has officially launched a new sales outfit to be calledBac Films International, the company announced Monday.Thedepartment will be run by Silvere Moreau, who will work to sell theatrical, TVand video rights to foreign distributors. Bac said the objective would be tohandle international sales on six films per year.Thefirst film handled by Bac Films International is San Sebastian festival winner TurtlesCan Fly from director BahmanGhobadi. The fil
  • Brides (Nyfes)

    Dir:Pantelis Voulgaris. Gr. 2004. 128minsGreekveteran Pantelis Voulgaris takes audiences on a long, slow voyage in Brideswhich, while mostly shot in English, is unlikely to travel far from its homeport for overseas markets.WithBarbara De Fina and Martin Scorsese as producer and executive producerrespectively, the film might attract international attention, but distributorswill have a hard time selling this old-fashioned emigrant tale to a
  • Butterfly (Hu Die)

    Dir: Yan Yan Mak, HongKong. 2004. 124minsA well-crafted butpainfully earnest lesbian coming-of-age drama, Hu Die attempts inunconvincing fashion to combine the personal and the political. Using flashbackand newsreel footage, it makes constant reference to the protests leading up tothe massacre in Tiananmen Square in 1989, when students stood up against themight of the Chinese army. These events have a huge influence on life of theteenage heroine Fla
  • Buyers clamour for Verhoeven's Blackbook

    Paul Verhoeven'sfirst Dutch film for 21 years, Zwartboek(Blackbook), has been sold to five territories, with four more pending, inadvance of its late October start of shoot.Katapult Fim Sales has sold the WWII thriller to the United Kingdom (Metro Tartan), Italy(Lucky Red) and Belgium, France and Switzerland (all Pathe Distribution).Producer San Fa Maltha (Fu Works) is expecting to finalisefurther deals in Greece, Portugal, Israel and Turkey.Verhoeven starts shooti
  • BVI takes another $4.5m from The Village including $1m in Greece

    Buena Vista International's mystery The Village raised its international running totalby an estimated $4.5m to $121.5m at the weekend, powered by a record debut fordirector M Night Shyamalan in Greece.
  • Cassandra joins burgeoning FAME slate

    Saul Metzstein (Late Night Shopping) is to direct Cassandra At The Wedding for Film andMusic Entertainment (FAME), the prolific UK-based production outfit run by SamTaylor and Mike Downey. Written by Peter MIlligan, Cassandra is a comedy about two identical female twins whosepersonalities are very different.This will be Metzstein'ssecond film with FAME following M*A*S*H-styleblack comedy,
  • CTFDI passes $1bn total gross for third consecutive year

    Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI), theinternational distribution arm of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), passed$1bn in ticket sales on Saturday (9) for the third consecutive year and the fifth in total.
  • Damon exits Media 8, sets up new production outfit

    Industry veteran Mark Damonhas officially left Media 8 Entertainment as chairman and chief executiveofficer and is assembling a Los Angeles-based production company to focus onindependent projects.Damon, whose production anddistribution outfit MDP joined Canada-based Behavior Communications in 1998 toform MDP Worldwide and changed its name this year to Media 8, parts on amicableterms.Working with international partners, Damon's as-yet-unnamed venture is putting together a slate
  • Darclight plans slate of Australian genre movies

    Darclight, the specialist division of increasinglysuccessful sales and financing outfit Arclight, has committed to produce atleast two genre films per year in its native Australia.The commitment came hard on the heels of the sale byArclight of Wolf Creek, a horrorthriller that is currently in production, to Optimum Releasing of the UK.Written and directed by Greg McLean, the film is the storyof three backpackers who accept help from a seemingly helpful local when theybeco
  • Dead Man's Shoes wins top Dinard prize

    Dead Man's Shoes won the top prize in a unanimous jury decision atthe 15th Dinard Festival of British Film (Oct 7-10). As directorShane Meadows was awarded the Hitchcock d'Or he claimed he had "made the filmout of pure instinct rather than technical ability".The prize includes an awardof Euros 3,000 to contribute towards distribution costs plus Euros 1,600 toassist the director with forthcoming projects. Further support is offered inthe form of additional film printing and subti
  • DENMARK 12 October

    Although last week's local chart topper Kings' Game retaineda better box-office screen average (DK34,005), My Sister's Kids In Egypt took the lead with its massive 90 printrelease - and a DKK31,566 average. The family-children's film, which was pannedby the critics, is the third in the successful series, and like the previousinstalments it was released at the beginning of the week-long fall holiday.However, The BourneSupremacy topped both with DKK41,81
  • DTS opens Hong Kong office under Kin Chan

    California-based technologycompany Digital Theatre Systems (DTS) has opened its newest global office inHong Kong to coordinate company activities in the Asia-Pacific region.The company has hired KinChan as director of business development for Greater China to overseeoperations from Hong Kong and focus on business development in the GreaterChina area, including China, Taiwan and Australia.Headquartered in AgouraHills in California, DTS also maintains offices in Guangzhou, China,
  • Ealing moves closer to buying Bulgarian studio

    Britain's Ealing Studios hastaken a step towards buying leading Bulgarian film studio Boyana Film.The home of the EalingComedies has become the first candidate to be approved by the country'sprivatization agency to enter the preliminary round of bidding. Up for grabs isa 95 per cent stake in the state-owned company.Crucially, the bid also has the support ofBoyana's management including chairman of the board and executive directorEvgeny Michailov.Sean Hinton, managingdirec
  • Eldridge named as UK's First Light chief executive

    Pip Eldridge has beenappointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of First Light, the UK's youngfilmmaking programme.Using £1 million a year ofthe UK Film Council's share of National Lottery proceeds, First Light enablesyoung people between the ages of 5 to 18 to make short films under the guidanceof professional filmmakers, helping youngsters to learn filmmaking skillsincluding scriptwriting, producing, editing, acting, sound, lighting anddirecting, and improving t
  • Eternal Sunshine opens strongly in France with $0.88m for UIP

    Focus Features' romance Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind became writer Charlie Kaufman's biggestinternational hit at the weekend as it opened in France through UIP on a strong$880,000.
  • Focus strikes first-look deal with UK's Priority Pictures

    Focus Features has struck atwo-year first-look deal with Marion Pilowsky and Colin Leventhal's UKproduction company Priority Pictures.The deal also calls forLeventhal, who continues to act as a consultant for tax financier GrosvenorPark, and Trea Hoving, the former Miramax buyer who is now a Priorityconsultant, to act as advisors on acquisitions of European films. Focus willhave worldwide rights, including international sales, to films made under thedeal."We've known and respect
  • FRANCE 11 October

    MichaelMann's Collateral opened in firstposition with a strong per screen average of $8,203 for a total take of$4,093,181 over its first seven days.Comme Une Image, Agnes Jaoui's Cannes winner for bestscreenplay, dropped to second place with a drop of 36% for a cumulative take of$6.7m over two weeks.Other newfilms in the top twenty include French film LeCoup De La Girafe at number 5 with just over 100,000 admissions,
  • GERMANY 12 October

    Takings may have slipped week-on-week by 20%, but OliverHirschbiegel's The Downfall stillreigns supreme at the German box office for the fourth week in a row - just.The World War II drama received serious competition from Steven Spielberg's The Terminal which grossed $3.3m from502 screens and had the weekend's best screen average ($6,577). The Downfall, which is about to becomethe seco
  • HUNGARY 14 October

    With the Septemberrush over, a very modest weekend at the Hungarian box office was dominated by The Village which held onto its leadposition in the third week of its release with just over 12,000 admissions.None of last week'snew releases could outdo this performance, both UIP-Duna Film's The Stepford Wives and InterCom's Man On Fire failed to e
  • I, Robot still top in Japan as Fox International passes $1bn

    Fox International executivessaid yesterday (11) the distributor passed $1bn in ticket sales this year,adding that further details would be released later this week.
  • IDA names nominees in 20th annual documentary achievement awards

    Joe Sinofsky and JoeBerlinger's Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 and Jehane Nujaim's Control Room are among nominees for the International DocumentaryAssociation's 20th Annual IDA Distinguished Documentary Achievement Awards.Other contenders in thefeature category include Aileen: Life And Death Of A Serial Killer, BeingDorothy, Born Into Brothels, The Corporation, Hiding And Seeking, Home Of TheBrave, Juvies, La Vie Comme Elle (As
  • Indian government sacks film censor

    The head of India's FilmCertification board Anupam Kher has been sacked by the government and replacedby actress Sharmila Tagore.Appointed for a three-year tenure,Kher has been chief censor for just one year and had recently cleared twocontroversial films, a documentary on the Gujarat riots, Final Solutionsby Rakesh Sharma, and Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.K
  • IRELAND Production Listings - October 15

    IRELAND October 13PRE-PRODUCTIONDEAD LONG ENOUGH(Grand Pictures) Budget: £1m.Backers: Irish Film Board, NIFTC, Arts Council of Wales,
  • Irish production sector gears up for revival

    It certainly felt like the slowest year on record. Only oneor two films went into production in Ireland between January and the last daysof August.Everyone seems to have a different explanation - thefaltering dollar; a hiatus brought about by last year's uncertainty about thefuture of the Section 481 tax break or, conversely, the fact that therejuvenated tax break will offer producers a better deal on big projects fromJanuary of next year. Or it was competition from lower-cost producti
  • Jaoui's Image to open Vienna festival

    Agnes Jaoui's Comme Une Image will open this year'sVienna International Film Festival (Oct 15-27) which has programmed 298 filmsfrom 44 countries.The Viennale's extensive programme includes Olivier Assayas'Clean, Jonathan Demme's The Manchurian Candidate, Cedric Kahn's FeuxRouges and Mark Mildgard's debut Dandelion.There is also a tribute to Amos Vogel, the founder of thelegendary New York film club Cinema 16, as well as special programmes dedi
  • Jeunet, Rappeneau, Besson among French directors on US university tour

    Olivier Assayas, Luc Besson,Claire Denis, Benoit Jacquot, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Jean-Paul Rappeneau willtake part in the second edition of On Set With French Cinema, organised byleading universities in association with Unifrance and the French Ministry ofForeign Affairs.From Oct 18-Nov 22 thefilmmakers will present and discuss their features with fine art students atthe American Film Institute, the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television,and the School of Cinema-Television at USC,
  • 'Judgement of Solomon' settles 9 Songs dispute

    The three month-long disputeover UK distribution of Michael Winterbottom's sexually explicitrelationship drama 9 Songs hasbeen settled with what aggrieved distributor Tartan Films described as "ajudgement of Solomon".9 Songs, which had its market debut in Cannes and screenedin the Venice festival, will now be handled in the UK by Tartan's rivalOptimum Releasing. Tartan's recently launched US division, however, haspicked up North American rights.The dispute arose in
  • Kinsella named Moonstone managing director

    Writers and directorstraining body Moonstone International has appointed Fiona Kinsella as managingdirector.Kinsella, who replaces TaraHalloran, was most recently a project advisor at the Irish national filmtraining body FAS Screen Training Ireland and has 10 years experience in thefilm sector. She takes up the position at Moonstone this month.Jonathan Olsberg,Moonstone's chairman, said that a key part of Kinsella's remitwould be to expand the body's activity
  • Korea's film investors assess future options

    South Korea's film financing sector faces grave challenges,yet paradoxically may rank as the world's most vibrant, according to opinionsexpressed at a panel discussion at the Pusan International Film Festival.Titled "A Study on Korean Film Financing", the seminarcanvassed the opinions of local industry representatives including KimJangwook, Executive VP of Show East (OldBoy); Choi Jae-won, CEO of investment company iPictures (Memories Of Murd
  • Lack of leading lady puts Eucalyptus, Crowe on hold

    The producers behind Jocelyn Moorhouse's Eucalyptus, which was to have gone into production this year,are gearing down because they have not been able to find an Australian leadinglady to star alongside Russell Crowe and Geoffrey Rush.They say Crowe and Fox Searchlight, which is fully financingthe film, remain very supportive of the project and they are confident ofresuming early next year.Moorhouse, who wrote the script with Michelle Joyner, isdirecting the adaptation of
  • L'Esquive takes top Haifa prize

    L'Esquive,Abdelatif Kechichi's coming-of-age romp about immigrant kids in a Parisslum, walked away with the Golden Anchor, Haifa's supreme award for its20th International Film Festival, in a competition entirely dedicated toMediterranean production.The jury, presided by Turkish actor Tuncel Curtiz, added twospecial mentions, one to Goran Paskaljevic's Midwinter Night'sDream, and to Jean-Luc Godard's NotreMusique, elected earlier this monthFIPRESCI's film of the yea
  • Low Life

    Dir: Im Kwon-Taek.South Korea. 2004. 99 mins.Veteran South Korean filmmaker Im Kwon-Taek spotlights aturbulent period in the history of his country in this fast-paced saga, whichscreened in competition at Venice. But all that history is the film's mainproblem: international audiences, few of whom have a firm grasp of thepolitical landscape of post-war Korea, risk losing their way among the datesand regime-changes.The saving grace is the fact that
  • Lucky Red makes first animation foray

    Markingits first foray in animation production, Italian arthouse distributor Lucky Redhas boarded Azur Et Asmard, the next feature from Kirikou And TheSorceress director Michel Ocelot.Azur EtAsmard explores the theme of tolerance as seen through the eyes ofa Western boy who travels to the Middle East to find his old nanny. Th
  • Machuca wins audience award, Seven Times Lucky jury prize at Vancouver

    Andres Wood's Chilean drama Machuca has won the AGF People's Choice Awardfor Most Popular International Film at the Vancouver International FilmFestival.
  • MIFED briefs: deals from the Milan market

    *East European distributor SPI Entertainment recentlyadded to its slate with the acquisition of Matthew McConnaughy and PenelopeCruz-starring action adventure Sahara. It bought the big-budget actionadventure for Hungary only from Summit Entertainment sister company IS FilmDistribution.The film, now in post-production, is produced by CrusaderEntertainment and Paramount Pictures with finance from the UK and Germany. Itis already set to handle another des
  • MIFED winds down midway through market

    MIFED wound down to a virtual halt by midday on Thursday(Oct 15), one and a half days before its official end, leaving those remainingto reminisce about the market's good old days, and many more utterly confusedabout what will happen next year.Several sellersreported that sales have been good. Rai Trade sales chief Sesto Cifola saidthat although there were obviously fewer buyers around, "the quali
  • Mrs Henderson Presents begins London shoot

    Christopher Guest has joinedJudi Dench, Bob Hoskins and Pop Idol winner Will Young in the cast of StephenFrears' Mrs Henderson Presents.The Heyman-Hoskinsproduction has just started shooting in London for Pathe Pictures and BBCFilms. Set in pre-World War II London, the true-life story tells how Soho'sWindmill Theatre takes advantage of a legal loophole which permitted it to shownude models on stage - provided they didn't move a muscle.Guest is the LordChamberlain, Lord Cr
  • Multicultural Import-Export takes off in Norway

    More than a year after receiving $1m (NOK7.3m) in productionsupport from the Norwegian Film Fund, Pakistani-Norwegian filmmaker KhalidHussain has finally got his new film Import-Export off the ground with $330,000 from Eurimages.It is the first film to be set in the Pakistani community inOslo, and shoots from Oct 11 with newcomers Iram Haq and Bjoernar Liseth Teigenin the leads.The romantic comedy sees a Norwegian falling in love with aPakistani girl who has already been
  • New Line, Internationalmedia to tap new German equity

    New productions by New Line and Internationalmedia are setto benefit from financing provided by two German private media funds.Having previously worked with Paramount Pictures on Mission: Impossible 2, Shaft and Rules Of Engagement, German fund specialist Alcas has launched theMACRON Filmproduktion GmbH & Co. Projekt 1 KG fund to raise at least Euros50m to back films distributed by New Line.
  • NEW ZEALAND 12 October

    The homegrown In MyFather's Den can hold its head high as a result of its first weekend incinemas, which comes after considerable festival exposure this year bothlocally and abroad. It grossed NZ$184,793 from 20 screens for Hoyts to claimthird place.It was one of two openers in the top three but Alien vs Predator held its grip on thetop spot.The battle of the monsters took NZ$302,454 from 50 screensfor 20th Cent
  • NORWAY 13 October

    Still on top after four weeks not least because of itsmassive 105 prints, Shrek 2 kept infront of The Bourne Supremacy onsecond while the two local releases, UNOand Hawaii, Oslo changed places, whenthe latter served up this week's best screen average (NOK31,841) and fell just13% compared to UNO's 30%.However, that didn't leave much room for this week's newreleases, of which Wimbledon on fifthdid considerably better than PopularM
  • Oscar winning short film director to shoot Ambulance

    Oscarwinning short film director Laurits Munch-Petersen is ready to shoot hisfeature debut, Ambulance, after winning $900,000 (DKK5.5m)backing from the Danish Film Institute.Thethriller shoots from late October based on a script by the Danish writer-directorand Lars Andreas Petersen. It stars Thomas Bo Larsen (Festen), PawHenriksen (Brothers) and Helle Fagralid (Kings' Game).Itsees two brothers rob
  • Oscar-hopeful Burman prepares Family Rights comedy

    Daniel Burman, whose film El Abrazo Partido (The Lost Embrace) is currently Argentina'scandidate for the foreign languageOscar, is now preparing a comedy entitled FamilyRights.Set in the world of lawyers, the Euros 3m comedy will focuson the relationship between a father and son. The film will once again teamtogether El Abrazo Partido'sprotagonist Daniel Hendler, who won the Best Actor prize in Berlin, and AdrianaAizemberg.Family Rights,which is due t
  • Pan-Asian network to promote location shooting

    The Asian Film Commissions Network (AFCNet), a linking oforganisations in Asia that provide shooting support services, received itsofficial launch on Sunday at the Pusan International Film Festival.The network's major goals are to encourage information sharingamong members, to collaborate in marketing the Asian region as an attractiveshooting location, and to encourage the professional development of its membersthrough educational activities.Apart from assisting film crews with
  • Phillippe linked to Korea-set thriller Expats

    American actor Ryan Phillippe (Cruel Intentions) is in active discussions to take the lead role in the first ever NorthAmerican production to shoot entirely in Korea.Unveiled on Saturday at the Pusan International FilmFestival, Expats tells the story of ayoung American who comes to Korea on an English teaching contract, looking tostart his life over again.Settling into the expat community in Busan (Pusan's new officialspelling), he gets mixed up with the local underworld
  • PPP shares top prizes between Butter and Help

    Projects byKorean-American director Grace Lee and Taiwanese actor/director Lee Kang-shengwill share the top award bestowed by the 7th Pusan Promotion Plan(PPP).Held inconcert with the Pusan International Film Festival, Asia's biggestproject market showcased 23 films this year from directors throughoutAsia.Other filmsto receive awards include Korean film Thou Shall Cut Off A Grapevine,Chinese-Korean co-production Grain In Ear, as well asthe big-budget Thai and Korea
  • PriceWaterhouse highlights UK intellectual property concerns

    UK media companies have made little progress inthe last five years in their exploitation of intellectual property (IP) rights.Most problems identified by accountancy andconsulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) five years ago remain concernstoday and, with the exception of piracy, are
  • Rai Trade racks up sales on Argento's Hitchcock

    Rai Trade has made a raft of sales at MIFED on cult directorDario Argento's upcoming film, Do You Like Hitchcock'.Argento's thriller, which is currently in post-production,has been made specifically for the TV, DVD and video markets. Under a projectmasterminded by Argento himself, Do You Like Hitchcock will be part of aseries of seven detective stories that are to be made by various Italian andinternational filmmakers.Rai Trade has sold the first film, which will b
  • Raintree rolls with Maid horror

    Singapore's MediaCorpRaintree Pictures has started the camera rolling for The Maid, a horror flick co-produced by Hong Kong's Dream MovieEntertainment and MovPix International of the Philippines.The $830,000 (S$1.4m) filmis horror story viewed through the eyes of a Filipino domestic maid employed bya family in Singapore. Up-and-coming Filipino actress Alessandra de Rossi (Small Voices) plays the title role ofthe maid.The Maid
  • Rotterdam revamps festival programme sections

    The International Film Festival Rotterdam is to introducethree new programme sections to replace the Main Programme Features and HubertBals Fund Harvest sections during its upcoming 34th edition (Jan 26 - Feb 6,2005).'Cinema of the Future: Sturm und Drang' groups films bypromising talents and offers an overview of recent developments withinindependent film-making.'Cinema of the World: Time & Tide' brings together filmsthat reflect the festival's social and political awareness or
  • Saint Ralph

    Dir/scr:Michael McGowan. Canada. 2004. 98minsThebroad strokes of Saint Ralph (the last production from AllianceAtlantis' production arm) suggest an absurdist comedy. The title character, agangly 14-year-old attending a Catholic school, decides to run and win theBoston Marathon and in so doing create the sort of miracle that will bring hismother - hospitalised with cancer - out of a coma.Infact, the picture deftly provides its outrageous e
  • Sellers gear up for smaller scale MIFED

    A significantly smaller scale MIFED kicks off on Tuesday(Oct 12), but sellers who are in Milan say they are determined to conduct goodbusiness at the Fiera.On Monday, a day before the market started, MIFED'sreduced size was plain for all to see. With the number of exhibitors down fromlast year's 223 to this year's 142, the Fiera has reduced themarket's space by around a third. 80 US and British AFMA members haveboycotted this year's market to support the new autumn AFM.Sellers p

    After giving a141% boost to the overall market last weekend,Life Is A Miracle sold another24,876 admissions this weekend and will pass the Serbian-Montenegrinblockbuster benchmark of 100,000 spectators by the end of the week.Kusturica'slatest offering now stands at total gross of $257,223.The only openerof the weekend, Tuck's Dodgeballlanded in third position, behind the same company's Anacondas 2: Hunt For The Blood Orchid. The former so
  • Shall We Dance

    Dir: Peter Chelsom. US.2004. 106mins.Plenty gets lost intranslation in Miramax Films' well-appointed US remake of Masayuki Suo'sbeloved 1996 Japanese comedy Shall We Dance' but director Peter Chelsomand his megawatt star cast generate sufficient charm to win hearts anew andscore a mid-sized end-of-year hit around the world.The glitzy teaming of post-Chicago Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez andSusan Sar
  • Shark Tale adds $31.7m at North American box office

    DreamWorks' Shark Tale raised its total to an estimated $87.7m at Columbus Day Weekendas it beat off Imagine/Universal's American football drama Friday NightLights to stay top inits second weekend.
  • Shark Tale continues to thrash the competition

    DreamWorks' Shark Tale raised its total to an estimated $87.7m at Columbus Day Weekendas it beat off Imagine/Universal's American football drama Friday NightLights to stay top inits second weekend.
  • Shark Tale makes a splash at int'l box office

    Collateral's reignat the top of the international chart may have been short-lived but neither UIPnor DreamWorks will be too concerned as it was succeeded this week byDreamWork's latest animated hit SharkTale.The film opened across Central and South America led byMexico's $2.4m weekend - as well as several Asian and European territoriesheaded by Spain's $2.5m. This week sees the European roll-out step-up a levelwith France and Belgium (Oct 13), Germany and the Czech Republ
  • Shark Tale set for big openings in UK, Germany, France

    DreamWorks'Shark Tale is set to make a big splash this weekend with a trio of major European launches that should boost the picture's $20.9m international running total (Oct 11).Shark Tale opened in France on Oct 13 and Germany a day later, with the UK set for Oct 15. The picture should do strong business based on the global appetite for the studio's CG animation, as evidenced by the storming run of its Shrek 2.That picture opened top in all three markets, g
  • Shochiku launches fund for ninja action feature

    Shochiku, one of Japan's leading film producers anddistributors, is to launch a film fund to underwrite the production of Shinobi,a ninja action film starring Joe Odagiri (Bright Future) and YukieNakama (Game, Trick).The film, which is directed by Ten Shimoyama (Muscle Heat),will begin principal photography on October 18, with release in the Shochikuchain set for September of next year.Although Shochiku plans to source most of the film's $13.8mbudget
  • Soda Pictures buys UK for Head-On, Brothers

    Soda Pictures has acquired the UK/Eire distribution rightsto Fatih Akin's Berlin winner Head-On and Susanne Bier's San Sebastianprize winner Brothers. Both films will premiere in the UK at the LondonFilm Festival later this month.Soda Pictures plans to release Head-On in the UK on 18 February 2005 andBrothers in early spring.Soda Pictures managing director Edward Fletcher, said: "I'm thrilled thatSoda Pictures has the opportunity to release these two
  • Sorin takes to El Camino as Bombon follow-up

    Spain's Wanda Vision is set to co-produce Argentine directorCarlos Sorin's El Camino De San Diego, his follow-up to San Sebastianhit Bombon - The Dog.The Spanish-language film, which Sorin will co-producethrough his own Guacamole Films, is a road movie about a diehard fan of soccerlegend Diego Maradona who travels thousands of miles to meet his idol. Wandawill also distribute in Spain.Camino is set in the north of Argentina on a highwaythat runs from
  • Spike Lee seeks Italian backing for WWII project

    Spike Lee could soon join Abel Ferrara and John Boorman in a growing list of American and British directors who are currently turning to Italy to finance a film.Lee, who is in Italy to promote She Hate Me ahead of its October 22 release, says he plans to make a film that will be set in Italy during World War II and will focus on "the 92nd division of the American army, which was largely made up of African-American soldiers and liberated a number of Italian cities.""It's o
  • Stray Dogs (Sag-Haye Velgard)

    Dir. MarziyehMeshkini. Iran. 2004. 93mins.Put this one downalongside Bunuel's Los Olvidados, de Sica's Sciuscia or Babencos'Pixote as yet another devastating portrait of human folly and what itdoes to its most defenceless victims, its children.Shot on theoutskirts of Kabul, in Afghanistan, by Marziyeh Meshkini, whose 2000 Venicedebut, The Day I Became a Woman, was ap
  • SWEDEN 13 October

    While As In Heavenremained untouchable at the top of the Swedish chart, the new release of localfamily film Max & Josef - DoubleTrouble (Hakan Brakan & Josef) moved into the second place.However, it was primarily due to its high 105 prints, as its$2,648 screen average was disappointing.As In Heaven againheld the highest screen average ($5,834), but the new release of The Terminal and Resident Ev
  • Team America: World Police

    Dir: Trey Parker. US.2004. 98mins.Gung-ho Americans,turbaned terrorists and Hollywood peaceniks - they're all fair comedic game forTrey Parker and Matt Stone's Team America: World Police, a raunchyaction movie satire with the weird distinction of being performed by a cast oftraditional Thunderbirds-style puppets. Parker and Stone - best known,of course, as the creators of animated TV show South Park - don't,however, try to make big pol
  • The World (Shijie)

    Dir. Jia Zhang-Ke.China-Japan. 2004. 140mins.China's censorship boardhad previously banned the work of film-maker Jia Zhang-Ke - that is until hislatest film, The World, which is as subversive and critical as any ofhis earlier features.While some board members mayhave chosen to regard it as a travelogue selling the charms of Beijing'sgigantic World Park, with all its 106 replicas of global monuments, they couldnot have missed its essentia
  • TLA picks up two Danish films on day one at MIFED

    TLA Releasing has hit theground running at MIFED, picking up US home entertainment and television rightsto the Danish action comedies In China They Eat Dogs and Old Men In New Cars.Both stories follow theblood-soaked trail of a hapless, slightly psychopathic criminal. In ChinaThey Eat Dogs (1999) centres on abotched bank robbery, while the 2002 prequel Old Men In New Cars concerns a prison break.Kim Bodnia stars in bothpictures, which were written by
  • Trust takes on Hawaii, Olso sales

    Denmark's Trust Film Sales has picked up internationaldistribution rights to Norway's foreign-language Oscar hopeful, Hawaii,Oslo.The magical-realist drama about a handful of people who cross each other'spath on the hottest day of the year is the second film in a planned trilogy bydirector Erik Poppe and screenwriter Harald Rosenloew Eeg. On its localNorwegian release Hawaii Oslo grossed $180,000 (NOK1.2m) and was warmlyreceived by the critics.Trust was appointed i
  • UK/IRELAND 12 October

    British director Gurinder Chadha scored another hit at theUK box office this week as her take on Jane Austen, Bride And Prejudice, opened top of the chart.The romantic comedy's excellent $3m (£1.7m) launch may notquite have matched the debut of Bend It LikeBeckham, the director's 2002 smash which launched the careers of ER's Parminder Nagra and Hollywoodit-girl Keira Knightley, but with an $8,000 site average it
  • Vanity Fair to open India film festival

    The 35th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) (Nov29-Dec 9) will open with Vanity Fair, directed by Indian born film-makerMira Nair. The government backed film festival is being held in Goa for thefirst time.Neelam Kapur, director of the film festival told,"IFFI will reflect India's identity in the world of cinema and promote ourentertainment sector which is really the next sunrise industry after the ITboom in India'.The festival jury consist
  • Verhoeven, Tanovic win Eurimages funding

    New feature projects by Danis Tanovic, Paul Verhoeven andPierre Paul Renders are among 13 European co-productions backed with over Euros4.4m by the Strasbourg-based co-production fund Eurimages in its latest roundof funding.The largest amounts went to Tanovic's Hell (Euros 600,000),which was written by Krzysztof Piesiewicz for the late Krzysztof Kieslowski aspart of his Heaven-Hell-Purgatory trilogy, the animation film Jungo GoesBananas (Euros 550,000),
  • Warner Bros faces French uncertainty

    2003 Productions - headed upby Warner Bros. France president Francis Boespflug - could again be faced withpossible refusal of its status as a French company.The move comes as the companyprepares to release its first major film - Jean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very LongEngagement - and following a battle for eligibility for state benefits lastyear,When 2003 Productionsannounced its creation, a complaint was filed in a French administrative courtby the Independent Producers' Associ
  • Warner Bros makes history with first ever foreign production co in China

    Warner Bros Pictures hasannounced the first ever Sino-foreign joint venture film company Warner ChinaFilm HG Corporation in partnership with China Film Group and Hengdian Group.The company will produce Chinese-language films, TV films and animated product.The announcement was madetoday (Wednesday) in Beijing by Yang Buting, chairman of China Film Group, XuYongan, chairman of Hengdian Group, and Barry Meyer, chairman and chiefexecutive officer of Warner Bros.Warner China Film is
  • Warner strikes new deal for seven-screen Beijing multiplex

    Warner Bros International Cinemas (WBIC) continued to increase itsstake in the Chinese exhibition sector with the announcement yesterday (Oct 12)that it and Guangzhou Jin Yi Film and Television Investment Co have agreed toform a joint venture company to build a multiplex theatre in Beijing with WBICservi
  • Wellspring to handle Palindromes in North America

    Wellspring has acquired allNorth American rights to Todd Solondz's latest film Palindromes and plans a theatrical release in April 2005.Ellen Barkin, Stephen AdlyGuirgis, Richard Masur and Debra Monk star in the tale of a 12-year-old girlwho runs away when her parents thwart her plans to become pregnant.The picture was produced byDerrick Tseng and Mike S Ryan and screened recently at Telluride, Venice andToronto, with a screening scheduled at the New York Film Festival th