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16 June 2006

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  • AFC low-budget scheme backs four features

    The Australian Film Commission's(AFC) IndiVision initiative, which aims to encourage the production oflow-budget films, is supporting four new features by first-time directors.The eerie supernatural drama Lake Mungo will be shot in an investigative documentary styleby writer-director Joel Anderson and tracks what happens after a teenagerleading a double life drowns.
  • Australia sets box-office record in first five months of 2006

    Australian cinemas have recorded their biggest ever result for the firstfive months of a year, taking $275m (A$373m) in ticket sales through May 31.The result represents $35.8m (A$48.4m) or 15% more than sales during thesame period last year and about $7.7m (A$10.4m) more than in 2004, which gavethe industry its best annual result yet with a gross of $670.9m (A$907.2 m). Already seven films have taken more than $7.4m (A$10m) compared to fourin 2005. Also, 17 of the first 22 week
  • Avida

    Dirs/scr: Benoit Delepine, Gustave Kervern. Fr. 2006. 83mins.Even by thestandards of their eccentric road comedy debut Aaltra, Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern's Avida - described in the press notes as a 'metaphysicalcomedy' - is bizarre indeed. Starting out as a Tati-esquesilent farce crammed with off-the-wall sight gags, this wayward tale turns intosomething altogether more surreal that can only be compared to a pi
  • Back Home (Bled Number One)

    Dir: Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche.Fr-Alg. 2005. 98mins.Algerian-born French director Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche confronts the problems of returnee Maghrebis with BackHome (as it is known in English), his follow-up tominor 2002 festival hit Wesh Wesh. The resultis a strange, loose exercise, part
  • Belgrade plans three regional pitching prizes

    TheBelgrade International Film Festival (also known as FEST) will award threeprizes for the best pitches made at the second "B2B" IndustryMeetings to be held from March 2-4 next year.Speakingto at this week's Kinotavr festival in Sochi, festival and B2Bproducer Miroslav Mogorovicexplained that the prizes of $8834 (Euros 7,000) would each be dedicated toprojects from specific regions.Thus,one award would be given
  • Believe In Me, Thin share top honours at Jackson Hole

    RobertCollector's Believe In Me and LaurenGreenfield's Thin won top narrative anddocumentary honours respectively at the Jackson Hole Film Festival, which ranin Wyoming from Jun 7 to 11.
  • Bradfield joins Tartan Video in new marketing post

    Mylene Bradfield has been named catalogue marketing managerat Tartan Video. Thenewly created post will focus attention on Tartan's catalogue titles. Bradfieldhas served as marketing manager for Momentum Pictures' DVD label and Channel 4 DVD. "Mylene will make a lively addition to the team at a timewhen Tartan Video's popularity is growing in its range of independent and genremarkets,
  • Britdoc plans sessions for science and politics

    Theinaugural Britdoc festival has lined up a series ofnetworking events for documentary film-makers to meet experts outside the filmworld.Thefestival, to be held July 26-28 at Keble College in Oxford, is presented by theChannel 4 British Documentary Film Foundation.Thefestival has organised two "would like to meet" networking sessio
  • Buried Alive commences for Odd Lot in New Mexico

    Odd Lot Entertainment'sgenre label Dark Lot has begun principal photography in Santa Fe, New Mexico,on the horror project Buried Alive starringTerence Jay and newcomer Leah Rachel.Bob Kurtzman is directingthe tale of college friends who awaken an ancient spirit during a sororityinitiation ceremony at an abandoned ranch house.Tobin Bell and SteveSandvoss round out the key cast. T Jay O'Brien and Art Monterastelli co-wrotethe screenplay.Media 8 is
  • Camp Out, Gymnast top honour roll at Newfest

    Larry Grimaldi and Kirk Marcolina's Camp Out has won the 18th Newfest Vanguard Awardcelebrating breakthrough or visionary achievement.
  • Cars roars out of the gates for Disney and Pixar

    Pixar's latest creation Cars destroyed the competition at the weekend as it roared tothe top on an estimated $62.8m through Buena Vista. Box office for the top 12pictures combined for $148.8m, up 8% against the same weekend last year.
  • Catherine Deneuve to head Venice jury

    Frenchactress Catherine Deneuve will head the maincompetition jury at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival (Aug 30-Sep 9).Deneuve first caught the attention of the internationalpublic in Luis Bunuel's Belle De Jour, which premiered in Venice in 1967 and won theGolden Lion. In 1998, Deneuve won Venice's CoppaVolpi best actress prize for her role in NicoleGarcia's
  • Central Europe could see admissions boom by 2010

    Cinema admissionsin central Europe could pass 80 million by 2010, an increaseof 40%, according to a new report from Dodona Research.The Cinemagoing Central Europe report profilesBulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia andSlovenia. Each of those countriessaw a downturn in admissions in 2005, led by Romania's 29% drop, but Dodona research suggest that admissions will bounce back in2006, with results so far look
  • Cucinotta plans Indian-Italian film Bollywood Cop

    Il Postino star Maria Grazia Cucinotta is to co-produceand star in a new Indian-Italian film entitled Bollywood Cop.Writtenand directed by Aditya Bhattacharya (Senso Unico), the $2.5m(Euros 2m) project is an action movie-noir set in Mumbai, about a rogue cop whobecomes obsessed with the actress he is protecting.Rome's IstitutoLuce is backing the film and has Italian distribution ri
  • Eschenasy's role at Focus broadens into strategic planning

    FocusFeatures executive vice president of business affairs Avy Eschenasy has beengiven an expanded role of executive vice president of strategic planning,business affairs and acquisitions.
  • EuropaCorp's Le Pogam adds post at FAEM

    EuropaCorp. principal Pierre-Ange Le Pogam has been named to the post of president of theCommission of Funds in aid of Multimedia Publishing (FAEM). France'sNational Cinema Center (CNC) announced the news Thursday morning in Paris.The FAEM is run in support of the creationof innovative multimedia content in such areas as video-game pre-productio
  • Exterminating Angels (Les Anges Exterminateurs)

    Dir/scr: Jean-Claude Brisseau.Fr. 2006. 100mins.One audience's erotic fantasy is another's cold shower in Exterminating Angels (Les Anges Exterminateurs), the latest overcooked psychodrama fromveteran writer/director Jean-Claude Brisseau. Theconcept of a fifty-somethin
  • Fox International races past $1bn gross in record time

    Comingoff a modest worldwide opening for The Omen, Fox International nevertheless announced today that ithas crossed $1bn in overseas ticket sales in what it believes to be recordtime.
  • Fox's The Omen hit by World Cup, scorching weather

    Fox International's The Omen ruled the weekend but it packed less of a punch thanexpected due to the World Cup and scorching weather in Europe.
  • French & Saunders join Coraline voice cast

    British comedy duo DawnFrench and Jennifer Saunders will join Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher in LaikaEntertainment's stop-motion animated feature Coraline (pictured).Focus Features has worldwiderights to the story of a young girl who enters a parallel universe and fightsto return to reality before she is taken captive by her counterfeit parents.French and Saunders willvoice the roles of Coraline's eccentric neighbours, Miss Forcible and MissSpink.Laika Entertainme
  • French cinema admissions up 22% so far in 2006

    French box office is up 22% for the first five months of 2006 ascompared to 2005. France's National CinemaCenter (CNC) released figures on Mondaywhich put total admissions for January-May 2006 at 91.12m tickets.The month of May alone saw an increase of 34% on the same month lastyear with 18.48m tickets sold. February still reigns as the best month of 2006,however, with
  • Galway recruits Towne, Bates and Roeg

    Writer/directorRobert Towne, actor/director Kathy Bates and directorNicolas Roeg will give this year's writing, actingand directing masterclasses at the 18th Galway Film Fleadh (July 11-16).Townewill give the screenwriting masterclass and present aspecial screening of Chinatown. Kathy Bates will give theactor's masterclass, facilitated by casting directorJohn Hubbard, and
  • Ginsberg promoted to vice president at LA-based Block-Korenbrot PR

    Lee Ginsberg has beenpromoted to vice president of motion picture publicity at Los Angeles-based Block-KorenbrotPublic Relations, effective immediately.Ginsberg, who has served atthe company since September 2003, will continue to report to co-presidents MelodyKorenbrot and Ziggy Kozlowski.In addition Rebecca Fisherand Lisa Danna have joined the company as senior publicists.Fisher previously served asa festival publicist with International House of Publ
  • Glover heads the cast of Virgo's latest Poor Boy's Game

    Clement Virgo has startedprincipal photography in Halifax on his fourth feature, Poor Boy's Game, starring Danny Glover and Rossif Sutherland andfeaturing Flex Alexander and Laura Regan. The film isproduced by Virgo and his long-time producing partner Damon D'Oliveira'sConquering Lion Pictures alongside Chaz Thorne's Standing 8 Productions. Thorneand Virgo share the screenwriting credit.Described by Virgo as amodern-day take on such gritty 1950s standards as On The Wat
  • Grupo GMR to invest $33m in new Spanish cinemas

    Grupo GMR, owner of Spain's Cinebox exhibitionchain, has unveiled plans to construct 14 new complexes in cities across thecountry over the next three years.Under the brand Lux Cinemas, the new theatres will offer screening roomscatering to uses beyond feature films, including business meetings andpresentations, and specialized film and video screenings.The plans,which foresee an investment of mor
  • Guantanamo takes top prize at Newport International Film Festival

    Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross' The Road To Guantanamo won the jury prize for best narrativefeature at the 9th Annual Newport International Film Festival.
  • Guillermo Del Toro to speak at Screenwriters' Festival

    The International Screenwriters' Festival has added Guillermo Del Toro toits speakers slate. The writer-director, whose Pan's Labyrinth just premiered in Cannes, will be at the UK-basedfestival on June 28 to discuss and show his work with film writer Nigel Floyd.The inaugural event runs June 27-30 in Cheltenham in the UK's Cotswoldsregion. Speakers for the festival include Jimmy McGovern, Tony Marchant,William Nicholson, Tony Grisoni, NicholasRoeg, Alan Scott, Paul Weiland,Eliza
  • Haneke withdraws from jury duty in Moscow

    Austrian director Michael Haneke has refused to head the main jury in the MoscowInternational Film Festival (June 23-July 2), the festival's general director Renat Davletyarov announced atthe first festival press conference on Wednesday.Haneke'swithdrawal came despite earlier written confirmation that he would serve as themain jury president and the festival's formation of the jury as per Haneke's recommendations. Haneke saidhis reason for not attending was that he was too busy working
  • Hauer plans directorial debut Changing Fortunes

    Dutch star Rutger Hauer is to make hisdirectorial debut feature with ChangingFortunes, a drama set in occupied Holland during World War II.The $11.3 million projectis being put together as a UK/Dutch/Belgian co-production by Glasgow-based AlbaFilm Productions.Hauer is also in line to play a part in the film, based onthe true story of Walraven (Wally) van Hall, anunassuming banker who created an ingenious funding scheme to support tens
  • Herskovitz voted president of US Producers Guild

    MarshallHerskovitz has been voted in as president of The Producers Guild of America(PGA) and succeeds Kathleen Kennedy following her two-year tenure.
  • Hoffman signs on to star in Capitol's Lumet-directed thriller

    Philip Seymour Hoffman will star in Capitol Films' Before TheDevil Knows You're Dead,which is set to begin shooting in July in New York City.Sidney Lumet is directing the story about two brotherswhose plan to rob their parents' jewellery store leads to a devastating climax
  • Honor De Cavalleria

    Dir/scr: Albert Serra. Sp. 2006. 112mins.Don Quixoteand his faithful servant Sancho Panzaare intriguingly lost in La Mancha in Honor De Cavalleria,Albert Serra's ultra-minimalist take on Cervantes'enduring classic, which allies itself militantly with an older generation of arthouse masters: Bresson, Pasolini, Olmi. Sadisticallyslow, the film demands a patience, which few at its first Director's Fortnight sc
  • Indian Film Awards headed to Yorkshire

    The International IndianFilm Academy (IIFA) Awards has selected Yorkshire to host the 2007 ceremony. The winning bid, beating cities including New York, was madeby Regional Screen Agency, Screen Yorkshire, Regional Development Agency,Yorkshire Forward and Yorkshire Tourist Board. The IIFA Awards will be held over four days, including theceremony, a world premiere film and film festival, a charity fundraiser and
  • InnoForm makes theatrical move with Thai package

    Singapore video distributor InnoForm Media has snapped up allrights to a package of 37 titles from Thailand's Sahamongkolfilm International as part of its pushinto theatrical distribution.The jumbo deal includesalmost all of Sahmongkolfilm's upcoming productions including Tony Jaa-vehicle Ong Bak 2, martial arts film Chocolate, horror thrillers
  • International Indian Film Academy weekend opens in Dubai

    The seventhInternational Indian Film Academy (IIFA) weekend has opened in Dubai. The weekend opensat Dubai's Grand Cineplex with Jagmohan Mundra's Provoked,starring Aishwarya Rai, Naveen Andrews, Miranda Richardson and NanditaDas.On Thursday, organizers will kick off the new IIFA Film Festival with Chandramukhi. Thefestival will also screen 30 other fi
  • Karlovy Vary competition boasts six world premieres

    The KarlovyVary International Film Festival has announced the competition films for its41st edition to be held June 30-July 8.In addition to thepreviously announced Beauty In Troubleby Jan Hrebejk, MouthTo Mouth by Bjorn Runge and Several People, Little Time by Andrzej Baranksi, the competition line-up includes a further dozenfilms screening in either world or international premiere.The competition's worldpremieres are Destiny, Beauty In Trouble, Christma
  • Ken Russell to shoot Moll Flanders in Croatia

    Ken Russell is gearing up toshoot his new adaptation of Moll Flanders.The $10m production willstart shooting in Croatia on August 7. Russell also wrote thescreenplay. Film newcomer LucindaRhodes-Flaherty will play the title role and the cast also includes BarryHumphries and Steven Berkoff. Harry Alan
  • Kimmel International reports 85 sales deals at first Cannes

    Kimmel International topbrass said the company closed more than 85 sales at Cannes on a diverse slatethat included Billy Ray's FBI thriller Breach, Ed Stone's romantic comedy Griffin And Phoenix, and John Poll's coming-of-age tale CharlieBartlett.Deals on Breach closed in Germany (Prosieben), Latin America (TVAzteca), Brazil (Paris Films), Russia (Lizard Cinema Trade), Scandinavia(Sandrew Metronome), Benelux (RCV), Taiwan (Pandasia), Thailand(Sahamongkolfilm
  • Kinotavr honours Serebrennikov's Playing The Victim

    Kirill Serebrennikov's Playing The Victimwon the Grand Prix at this year's Open Russian Film Festival Kinotavr at the Black Sea resort of Sochi.The black comedy about a university graduate who earns money playingcrime victims in the reconstruction of events for police investigations was abig favourite with the festival's foreign guests andshared the Guild of Russian Film Critics' White Elephan
  • Kirsten Dalgaard to leave Camera for Nordisk

    Thismonth, Kirsten Dalgaard will leave her job as head ofCamera Film, Denmark's leading art-housedistributor, to join Nordisk Film.Asof August 1, Dalgaard will begin a new position in the new sales and marketing division of Nordisk, which is expanding its work with independentfilms. "Ilook forward to continue working with art-house movies from a much broader platform,"Dalgaard says. "In my new job I will be working
  • Kristol to head marketing and distribution at SKE

    Former Universal Pictures senior executive Mark Kristol (pictured) has beenappointed to the newly created post of president of marketing and distributionat Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE).
  • Lionsgate picks up CG-animated comedy for North America

    Lionsgate has picked up North American rights to the CG-animated familycomedy Happily N'Ever After.Paul J Bolger directed from a screenplay by RobertMoreland that retells the story of Cinderella and styles her as the leader of aresistance group that takes on a posse of vil
  • Locarno taps jury for Filmmakers of the Present

    LocarnoInternational Film Festival's new artistic director Frederic Maire has announced the names of the five jurors for theFilmmakers of the Present sidebar, which will be competitive for the firsttime.In addition tothe previously announced Argentine producer Hernan Musaluppi (The MagicGloves), the jury will include French-Iranian director RafiPitts, who was in Locarno's Video Competition in 2003with Abel Ferrara: Not Guilty; AmericanTania Blanich, di
  • London film delegates to visit Shanghai

    As part of the new London and Shanghai city-to-city partnership announced in February,members of the UK film industry will visit Shanghai from June 14-20. Shanghaidelegates visited Londonearlier this year. UK Trade and Investment
  • London to host second Short Film Summer School

    London's Curzon Soho is hosting thesecond Short Film Summer School (SFSS) from July 12-15. The SFSS willscreen 66 shorts as well as hosting workshops, panel discussions, networkingevents, demonstrations, and young people's programming. A market will run eachday.Screen International will host a panel about the future ofthe short film and digital distribution. Other programming will address topicsincluding sound, editing, animatio
  • Meurtrieres

    France 2006 97 mins. Director Patrick GrandperretWhile it's an engaging enough diversion, especiallygiven its fetching female leads, Meurtrieres offers little that hasn't already been seen incountless other French films, from at least as far back as Agnes Varda's 1985drama Vagabond. This true-lifetale of two innocent and well
  • Nacho Libre

    Dir: Jared Hess. US. 2006.90mins tbc.Mostly an interminable journey through corny accentsand gross sight gags, Jared Hess' lowbrow Mexican-wrestling comedy Nacho Librecomes alive only when Jack Black frees himself from its puerile screenplay andromps in all his wild-haired, flabby-tummy glory.In such moments,which are too infrequent and mostly come at the end of the slow-moving movie, Blackreminds us of
  • New Madrid Screenings boasts 51 new films

    The first edition of theSpanish Film Screenings of Madrid kick off this weekend with an anticipated 105international buyers flying in to screen a selection of recent Spanish featurefilms.The new three-day event(June 18-20) picks up where the Spanish Film Screenings of Lanzarote,cancelled this year after six editions, left off.Already Madrid anticipates more buyers than Lanzarote,a fact organizers say underscores t
  • Production wraps on Aussie thriller The Tumbler

    Shooting has just wrapped onAustralian thriller The Tumbler whichgives Stacey Testro, executive producer on the Saw horror franchise, her first credit as a producer.Testro and Marc Gracie, whoalso directed the Chris Thompson script, are producing the low-budget pictureunder the Stacey Testro International and Mondayitis banners."It harks back to the US political thrillers of the 1970s," said Gracie.
  • Raintree, Eyeworks to co-produce Tattooist

    Following the signing of theNew Zealand-Singapore co-production treaty in 2004, Singapore's MediaCorp Raintree Pictures is set to co-producethe first NZ-Singapore feature, TheTattooist, with Eyeworks Touchdown.The two companies,represented by MediaCorp Raintree CEO Daniel Yun and Eyeworks Touchdown CEOJulie Christie, are scheduled to sign a letter of intent this Sunday in Auckland,
  • Rampling takes charge of Paris festival

    Actress Charlotte Rampling will take over fromdirector Costa-Gavras as president of the next Paris Cinema festival which runsfrom June 27 - July 11 in the capital city.Inaugurated four years ago, the event issponsored by the city and includes a feature competition, retrospectives,tributes and has added a new short film competition this year. Premieres willinclude Michel Gondr
  • Revitalised PiFan to open with Ghost Theatre

    Resurfacing from last year'scontroversy, Korea's Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) willkick off July 13 with opening film GhostTheatre (working title), a Korean musical directed by Jeon Gye-soo. The closing film is Berlinale-awardedHK-China production Isabella by PangHo-cheung which screens on July 20. The festival will hold itsusual two extra days of encore screenings for local audiences until July 22.Last year saw PiFan plaguedby politic
  • Roadside & Goldwyn buy Boynton Beach Club

    Roadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn Films have jointlyacquired North American rights to Susan Seidelman's romantic comedy BoyntonBeach Club.
  • Sil-Metropole backs Ma Liwen romantic comedy

    Hong Kong-based Sil-MetropoleOrganization has teamed up with Emperor Motion Pictures and Beijing-basedZhenhua Investment Co to co-finance Ma Liwen's Tao Hua Yun (lit trans: TheLuck Of Romance) which started shooting yesterday in Beijing.Vivian Wu (The Last Emperor), Ge You (The Banquet) and Fan Bingbing (Battle Of Wits) star in the $2.5m filmabout a poet romancing five different women. Sil-Metropole is investing three-fifthsof the film's $2.5m budget
  • Spain's new MPC focuses on crossover content

    New company MPC has launchedin Spain with the objective of producing and acquiringcontent for multiple platforms.The name, which stands for"Multi Platform Content," belies the company's starting objectives: to produceand acquire content with crossover potential in cinema, television, internetand mobile phones."We've been talking about'convergence' for ten years but now it's really going to happen," says MPCchief Jua
  • SPI takes Eastern Europe rights to 9 Cannes titles

    Warsaw-based distributor SPI International has announced several acquisitions on the back of Cannes. The company has taken theEastern European rights to the $100m (Euros 80m) Asterix At The Olympic Games (from Pathe), whichwill star Gerard Depardieu, Alain Delon, Jean ClaudeVan Damme, David Beckham, Michael Shumacher,Zinedine Zidane and GiselleBundchen.The distributor
  • SPI takes Eastern Europe rights to 9 Cannes titles

    Warsaw-based distributor SPI International has announced several acquisitions on the back of Cannes. The company has taken theEastern European rights to the $100m (Euros 80m) Asterix At The Olympic Games (from Pathe), whichwill star Gerard Depardieu, Alain Delon, Jean ClaudeVan Damme, David Beckham, Michael Shumacher,Zinedine Zidane and GiselleBundchen.The distributor
  • Strongroom and Air combine post-production business

    The post-productiondivisions at Strongroom and Air have been combined asBreathe Post Production. Breathewill offer a range of HD editing, graphics and finishing facilities for videoand audio post production at both its Hampstead and Shoreditch locations in London.
  • Suburban Mayhem

    Dir: Paul Goldman. Aus. 2006.89mins.A sassy but uneven slice of youth-oriented Australiana, SuburbanMayhem is worth seeing chiefly for its memorable main character, sexy,wilful and amoral suburban vamp Katrina, who is brought to vivid life by Kiwiactress Emma Barclay.But although it is carriedforward by a driving energy as loud as its rock-punk soundtrack, the film, likeKatrina herself, has more attitude than depth. It nev
  • Swipe takes on Earthlings and Real Time

    London-based filmproduction, sales and distribution company SwipeFilms has signed a two-film deal with Shoreline Entertainment, acquiring Earthlings and Real Time.AlexandreO. Philippe's Earthlings is afeature-length documentary about Star Trek fans and the KlingonLanguage Institute.Fabrizio Prada's Real Time (Tiempo real) is aMexican crime thriller shot in one continuous take on a single camera, withoutcuts, winning it a place in the Guinness Book of
  • The Bothersome Man (Den Brysomme Mannen)

    Dir: JensLien. Nor-Ice. 2006. 95mins.A darkly comicNorwegian fable, The Bothersome Manimagines the after-life as a vacuous Scandinavian social democracy: it's theglossy dystopia of The Truman Showtransported to the land of designer sofas, 30-hour weeks and sweet blonde girlscalled Ingeborg. Lien's debut, the similarly quirky Johnny Vang,did only modest box office in its native Norway and next to noth
  • The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift

    Dir: Justin Lin. US. 2006. 104mins.An efficient butpummeling ride, the latest entry in TheFast And TheFurious franchise is an entertaining vehicle that doesn't have quite enoughin the tank in terms of plotting or characters. Nevertheless, it proves a solidshowcase for its up-and-coming director Justin Lin and star Lucas Black.Lessa
  • The Host

    Dir: Bong Joon-ho. Korea. 2006. 119 mins.
  • The Lake House

    Dir: Alejandro Agresti. US.2006. 108mins.Cateringfaithfully to its core audience, The Lake House is a grownup romantic drama withhigh-gloss production values and a reliably tear-jerking storyline. Itssophisticated air and fairy-tale manner will play perfectly with adult womenwho won't quibble about the mediocre performances and glaring logic problems.This remake ofthe 2000 South Korean film Il Mare, opening June 16 in the US before expanding in
  • The Violin

    Mexico. 2006. 98 mins. Director Francisco VargasQuevedoDirector Francisco Vargas Quevedo's film was upgradedfrom last year's Cinefondation at Cannes to a slot in the 2006 Un CertainRegard, but his theme, now fleshed out to full feature length, was kickedupstairs as well.
  • The Works takes UK rights to Shortbus

    TheWorks UK Distribution has licensed John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus from sales companyFortissimo Films.Thefilm, Mitchell's follow-up to Hedwig And The Angry Inch, is an explicit story of relationships in"New York City's polysexualbohemian scene." It played in official selection in Cannes. Thecast includes Sook-Yin Lee, Paul Dawson, Lindsay Beamish, PJ DeBo
  • THINKFilm boards Shortbus for North America

    THINKFilm has acquired allNorth American rights to John Cameron Mitchell's sexual odyssey Shortbus following its out-of-competition screening atCannes, and plans an autumn release.Shortbus, which overcame its sexually explicit nature tobecome one of the most hotly pursued titles at the festival, follows the livesof several characters in New York as they struggle to overcome problems oflove, sex and orgasms.Mitchell, who produced withHoward Gertler and Tim Perell of
  • THINKFilm reports bumper sales on Cannes slate

    THINKFilmInternational has reported brisk business on its Cannes slate, with multipleterritory deals concluded on such titles as The Farce Of The Penguins, Half-Nelson, and OffThe Black.
  • Three arrests made in Wales over film piracy

    South Wales Police have arrestedthree people in raids targeting film piracy. Operation CARDwas carried out by the police working with Trading Standards, the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT),the British Phonographic Institute and European Leisure Software PublishersAssociation. Six addresses in Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfilwere investigated, with one linked addr
  • Tong developing rival Mulan project

    Hong Kong-born director StanleyTong has announced that he plans to start shooting $25m period drama, The Legend Of Mulan, in October withbacking from Beijing-based Starlight Media. The news follows theannouncement that Harvey and Bob Weinstein are in negotiations with Zhang Ziyito star in a Mulan project that is being developed by Shanghai-based MeridianPictures. Both projects have been in development for a few years. Shanghai-based Tong hasco-written his version with Lin
  • Transilvania gives top honours to 12:08 East Of Bucharest

    Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu's film 12:08 East Of Bucharest (A fost sau n-a fost') followedits Cannes wins with the top prizes at the fifth Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF). The feature received $12,612 (Euros 10,000) and the Transilvania Tr
  • Transilvania gives top honours to 12:08 East Of Bucharest

    Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu's film 12:08 East Of Bucharest (A fost sau n-a fost') followedits Cannes wins with the top prizes at the fifth Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF). The feature received $12,612 (Euros 10,000) and the Transilvania Trophy for Best Film, anadditional
  • TWC signs McGuigan to direct Four Knights

    The Weinstein Company (TWC) has confirmed that ithas hired Paul McGuigan to direct Four Knights, a Western-style take on the assassinationof the 12th century Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket.
  • UK police arrest 10 in film piracy raids

    The Metropolitan Police'sFilm Piracy Unit and Territorial Support Group have arrested ten people in andaround Greater London suspected of involvement in a large network dealing infilm piracy. Three have been released on bail.The arrests followed raidsin North Chingford, Harlow and Walthamstow at both residences andbusinesses. Police used information from sources including the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT
  • UK's Contender takes Suburban Mayhem

    UK distributor Contender Entertainment Group has takenall rights to Suburban Mayhem fromsales company Fortissimo Films.Thefilm, in Cannes official selection, is Contender's first non-Asianfilm acquisition and its second deal with Fortissimo following Tsui Hark's Sev
  • Universal's Tokyo Drift speeds into UK, Australia

    Fox International's horror remake The Omen has taken $37m since last week's subduedday-and-date launch and the studio will be hoping for solid holds heading intothe second weekend.
  • Uwe Boll issues boxing challenge to his harshest film critics

    BloodRayne and Alone In The Dark director Uwe Boll is reportedly so incensed bysavage reviews that he has decided to get in the ring. The German filmmaker haschallenged his five harshest critics to a series of boxing matches that he plansto insert into his upcoming video game adaptation Postal. Boll yesterday issued a callfor submissions to find his fiercest detractors, who will be flown on anexpenses-paid trip to the Vancouver set in late September.
  • Washington Square lines up productions including Curtis biopic

    Washington Square Films-based producers Amy Hobby and RussStratton are lining up an eclectic slate of titles headed up by the Ian Curtisbiopic All The Timeand the Hector Lavoe salsa documentary Calle Luna, Calle Sol.
  • Winter Sonata set for big-screen adaptation

    Asia-wide hit TV series Winter Sonata, which is widelyaccredited for fuelling the Korean Wave and launching Bae Yong-joon and ChoiJi-woo to stardom, is to be made into a film.KOSDAQ-listed group PoibosEntertainment has bought the film remake rights to the drama series from KBSMedia. Poibos production subsidiary Culturecap Media, which previously producedMoon Geun-young starrers My Little Brideand Innocent Steps, will produce.Director and casting arestill und