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16 March 2005

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  • Accused (Anklaget)

    Dir. Jacob Theusen. Den.2005. 105mins.Jacob Theusen's debutfeature Accused, which competed in Berlin, initially looks like awell-intentioned TV drama on the topical subject of child molestation. Butwhile in its early stages it tries to depart from the genre's usual formula,this event-driven drama ultimately deviates from its course after the first andsecond acts. By the end audiences are left wondering whether they have beenwatching a psychological
  • Adam and Paul

    Dir:Lenny Abrahamson. Ire. 2005. 86mins.Imaginea full-length Laurel and Hardy film set in Dublin's junkie netherworld andscripted by the bastard son of Samuel Beckett. If you like the sound of that,then you'll love Adam and Paul, Irish commercials director LennyAbrahamson's first feature.Abrahamsondoes a grand job, but it's scriptwriter and co-star Mark O'Halloran - Ireland'sShooting Star candidate at this year's Berlinale - who emerges f
  • Alliance Atlantis MPD unveils 2004 revenue hike

    Alliance Atlantis' incometrust Motion Picture Distribution has recorded a 27% increase in its revenuefor 2004. The rise, from $340m(C$410.5m) in 2003 to $433m (C$522.5m) in 2004, came from strong results acrossthe breadth of the company's holdings in Canada, the UK and Spain. Canadian operations recordedtheir fourth consecutive year as the number one distributor, with an impressive 18%of national ticket sales. The company, which has key Canadian sub-distributionpacts with Mirama
  • Angels leads Danish box office charge

    Danish films have made a major impression at thelocal box office in the first two months of 2005.Local filmssold over a million tickets in January and February - a figure normally reachedin May.A string of local hits have contributed to the upswing. OleChristian Madsen's Angels In Fast Motion (Nordkraft) - adapted from alocal bestselling novel and billed as a local Trainspotting - sold animpressive 57,000 tickets when it launched last week.Other successes ha
  • Arclight takes on Dragon Squad rights

    Arclight Films has picked up international rights excludingAsia to Dragon Squad, a US$4.5m martial arts action film which marks thefirst time that Steven Seagal has produced an Asian picture.The film, produced by Hong Kong's Visualizer FilmProductions, starts shooting March 23 with Daniel Lee directing and ChinKar-lok as action director. Seagal is co-producing through Bangkok-based WorldMedia, in which he is partnered with US-born producer Jimmy Moy. Visualizer'sCatherine Hun an
  • AUSTRALIA 16 March

    The nearly A$7.5 million taken at the Australian box office for thefour-day weekend to 16 March was the smallest of the year, despite Victorianshaving a holiday weekend. Contributing factors would have been Australia's glorious autumn weatherand the start of the National Rugby League season.
  • Baby rides Million Dollar Oscar wave

    Just as a bestpicture Oscar win can mean so much at the domestic box office, so it serves toboost a picture's international prospects. Million DollarBaby's night of triumphon Feb 27 has already had significant ramifications for its international roll-outthrough Lakeshore Entertainment and there are no signs of letting up. Since Oscar nightthe picture has grossed approximately $10m in its active markets to raise theinternational cumulative total to $35.5m. Several m
  • Boudu bounds up international chart

    Notcontent with starring in international hit The Chorus (Les Choristes) -which opened in the UK this week through Pathe with a $255,566 (£132,636) startat 64 locations - Gerard Jugnot's latest directorial effort, Boudu, wasthe highest new entry on the international chart.Based on a French stage play by Rene Fauchois that wasadapted for film by Jean Renoir in 1932 and inspired Paul Mazursky's 1986 UScomedy Down And Out In Beverly Hills, Boudu sold 420,000 ti
  • Campbell joins cast of Partition

    NeveCampbell is in final negotiations to star opposite Jimi Mistry and KristinKreuk in the India-set epic romance Partition, which is being co-produced byLos-Angeles based Myriad Pictures and Canada's Sepia Films.Campbell, whose credits include the Scream franchise, Wild Things and BlindHorizon, will play the passionate but lonely Margaret Stilwell, who helps aBritish Army soldier and the 17-year-old love of his life during the reign ofthe Brit
  • Cannes to showcase Mexican cinema

    Cannes is to throw a spotlight on the Mexican film industryat this year's film festival (May 11-22).The Cannes Classics section will be dedicated to Mexicothis year, showcasing a number of classic Mexican pictures whose restorationhas been funded by Fundacion Televisa, the cultural arm of Latin American mediagiant Televisa Group.Backed the Mexican Mexican Film Institute (Imcine), theCannes spotlight will kick off on May 14 with the presentation of Luis Bunuelmasterpiece Los O
  • Caplan named as UK Film Council's Premiere Fund chief

    The UK Film Council hasappointed Sally Caplan to replace Robert Jones as chief of its high-profileNational Lottery fund for commercial films, the Premiere Fund.Caplan, currently presidentof Icon Film Distribution in the UK, told staff on Friday that she was takingthe position, which puts the well-liked executive in charge of the Council'sbiggest production fund, worth around £8m a year.Caplan, whose background isprimarily in acquisitions along with business affairs, previously w
  • Chartier sets up new sales company with Devlin

    International sales veteran Nicolas Chartier has teamed up with Dean Devlin'sproduction house Electric Entertainment to form the international sales company VoltagePictures.Voltage will pick up films for international sales as well as handling Electric's film and television slate, including TheTriangle, which is setto premiere in the US on the Sci-Fi Channel, and The Librarian 2 starring Noah Wyle, which beginsshooting this summer.The Librarian wasthe highe
  • Chinese box office surges 50% in 2004

    China's box office increased by 50% to $180m in 2004,according to figures from the country's State Administration of Radio, Film andTelevision (SARFT). The figure far surpasses industry estimates of 30% growth.Although US imports had a good year, local productions werethe clear winners, accounting for 55% of total box office compared with about50% the previous year. The three biggest films were all classified as localproductions (technically all three were Hong Kong-China co-pro
  • Clooney rounds out Good Night cast

    RobertDowney Jr, Ray Wise, Frank Langella, Jeff Daniels and Tate Donovan have joinedDavid Strathairn, Patricia Clarkson and George Clooney in Good Night. AndGood Luck, which Clooney is directing for Section Eight, 2929 Entertainmentand Participant Productions.Thepicture, which has commenced principal photography, tells
  • Coppola embarks on Marie-Antoinette shoot

    Sofia Coppola's Marie-Antoinette has officiallybegun shooting at the Palace of Versailles just outside Paris. The new film from the director of Lost In Translationwill shoot entirely in France for 11 weeks before heading to the USfor post-production.Kirsten Dunst stars as Marie-Antoinette, the Austrian whobecame Queen of France and was beheaded in 1793during the French Revolution.Jason Schwartzman co-stars as Louis XVI, Rip Torn asLouis XV and Judy Davis as
  • Deauville Asian festival enjoys Holiday Dreaming

    Fu ChanHsu's Holiday Dreaming took the main prize at the 7th annual DeauvilleFestival of Asian Film which wrapped on Sunday. The Taiwanese film is a first effort from Fu-Chun Su andis a nostalgic look at youth. The film was also the recipient of the critics'prize.The jury prize went to This Charming Girl fromSouth Korea's Lee Yoon-ki. Best screenplay went to The World
  • Dedicated Scandinavian film channel set for launch

    A team of Scandinavian producers headed by NielsAalbaek Jensen is planning to launch a pay-TV film channel dedicated toScandinavian film.The channel will play no US films or commercials -just Scandinavian features, documentaries and short films. The new channel, which will be co-owned by theproducers and Aalbaek Jensen, is close to a signing a carriage deal with one ofScandinavia's largest cable TV companies.The producers are planning to spend Euros 3m to getthe channel o
  • Echo Bridge picks up US rights to Bailey's Billion$

    Los Angeles-baseddistributor Echo Bridge has bought all US rights from Devine Entertainment toDavid Devine's family comedy Bailey's Billion$ starring Tim Curry, Jennifer Tilly, Dean Cain andLaurie Holden.The picture centres on a talking dog voiced by Jon Lovitz that inherits abillion dollar fortune and sparks extreme envy among his late owner'srelatives.Echo Bridge will release the picture this year in association with AllianceAtlantis division Odeon Films.
  • Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room

    Dir: AlexGibney. US. 2005. 110mins.The Enronscandal may have happened mostly behind closed doors - but that doesn't stopdocumentary film-maker Alex Gibney from finding the visual drama to tell asthrilling a tale of corporate malfeasance as any Hollywood blockbuster with Enron:The Smartest Guys In The Room. Here he creates a sense of urgency, whenmany audiences already know the outcome and have heard the details hashed andre-hashed in news reports an
  • EU waves through ContentGuard acquisition

    The European Union (EU) today agreed to the takeoverof anti-piracy software firm ContentGuard by Microsoft, Time Warner andFrance's Thomson.The company, currently owned by Rank Xerox, producesdigital rights management (DRM) technology. That enables media companies tocontrol and monitor use of digital content in order to collect due royalties. The EU launched a year-long investigation into thetakeover, first proposed last April, involving only Microsoft and Ti
  • Euro, South African producers fan Smoke biopic

    Dutchproducer Riba Film, Germany's Pandora Film and South Africa's Do Productionshave partnered to finance the Euros 4.6m Smokeand Ochre, an English language biopic about the South African poet IngridJonker. Thefilm was presented at this year's project market Cinemart in Rotterdam. It willbe the first English language feature of successful Dutch director Willem vande Sande Bakhuyzen whose credits include Fa
  • Fabrication buys worldwide rights to Conversations

    Los Angeles-based sales company Fabrication Films haspicked up worldwide rights to Hans Canosa's drama Conversations With OtherWomen, which was shotentirely in split-screen and stars Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart.
  • Films In Progress announces 2005 line-up

    FilmsIn Progress, the joint completion financing initiative of the San SebastianInternational Film Festival and the Latin American Film Festival of Toulouse,has unveiled the seven titles screening in the seventh edition March 17-18 inToulouse.The titles were selected from among 47 entries from acrossLatin America. They will screen for producers, distributors, labs,broadcasters, festiv
  • Fourtou to step down from Vivendi Universal

    Vivendi Universal chairmanJean-Rene Fourtou will leave his post this spring he affirmed Thursday during apress conference to report the company's 2004 results.Fourtou took over the reinsof Vivendi Universal from controversial former chairman Jean-Marie Messier whowas forced out in mid-2002. Under Fourtou's stewardship, the company has soldoff many of its assets, notably Vivendi Universal Entertainment which includesUniversal Studios and whose sale to General Electric was finalized last
  • Fox takes the top spot at US box office with Robots

    Twentieth Century Fox'sanimated family romp Robots opened topover the weekend on an estimated $36.5m, while the much delayed Hostage finally opened in fourth place through Miramax on$9.8m.
  • Fox's Robots tops US box office with $36.5m weekend

    Twentieth Century Fox'sanimated family romp Robots opened topover the weekend on an estimated $36.5m, while the much delayed Hostage finally opened in fourth place through Miramax on$9.8m.
  • FRANCE 11 March

    In itssecond week, the star studded Meet The Fockers knocked local comedy Iznogoudfrom its top perch. The filmsold an additional 425,793 tickets to bring it to a cumulative score of$8,647,434. JamieFoxx's Oscar earning turn in Ray
  • FRANCE 16 March

    Ray jumped into the top spot this week followingits number two debut last week. The film has so far taken $5,332,029. It wasfollowed by Costa-Gavras' The Ax which opened in 2nd place for 260,436admissions on 245 screens. Meet The Fockers dropped down to number threewith a cumulative $10,563,702 over three weeks.
  • France gears up for Printemps cinema promotion

    France's annual springpromotional effort, the 'Printemps Du Cinema" is expected to beat lastyear's record attendance figures.Thethree day event, running from Sunday 20 to Tuesday 22 March, sees the country'sentire 5,300 cinemas slash their prices to a flat-rate Euros3.50 per ticket.Last year it lifted spectator numbers to 2.5 mill
  • France's CNC paints mixed picture of film investment

    France's CNCreleased its 2004 survey of the local sector production on Wednesday, withheadline figures showing that the number of films produced in 2004 droppedslightly to 203 from 212 the previous year. Overall, totalproduction spend was Euros 1.049bn, down from Euros 1.153bn in 2003. The mainreason for the fall is a decline in foreign investment, down from Euros 364m toEuros 229m. France has suffered as other European territories offer morecompetitive incentives and tax regime
  • GERMANY 16 March

    Sony Pictures' release of the Will Smith comedy Hitch held on topole position for its second week with a total gross of $ 17.5m and admissionsnow topping the 2 million mark.Further down the chart, there was considerable movement with no lessthan six new entries to the Top 15 last
  • Glickman to kick off movie convention Showest

    When the annual ShoWest convention opens in Las Vegas today [March14], the vast floors and ballrooms of the Paris and Bally's hotels will bebuzzing with talk of the standard issues that have beset the industry in recentyears - piracy and digital cinema roll-out.
  • Hit Danish director readies supernatural Island

    Nikolaj Arcel, the Danish director of local smash King'sGame, is to shoot action adventure The Island Of Lost Souls thisJune. Produced through Zentropa and Nimbus Film, Island Of LostSouls is a supernatural family film in the vein of Steven Spielberg'searlier work. Unusually for a Danish film, nearly 20% of its budget will bespent on computer generated special effects. In an interview with ScreenDaily. com, Arcel said thefilm was about a 13 year old g
  • Hitch has new dates, Robots hits Mexico

    Hitch will be the one to beat in theinternational marketplace this weekend as Sony Pictures Releasing International(SPRI) executives line up two more major market openings with the firmintention of keeping it in pole position.Last weekend'smuscular $21m haul saw the romantic comedy storm to number one overall anddominate a raft of markets, including a superb $9m debut in Germany thatclaimed 45% market share.This weekend Hitch opened in South Korea yesterday on 175s
  • Hitch romances $30.1m out of 42 markets for Sony

    Hitchremained the top international picture over the weekend as the romantic comedyadded an estimated $30.1m on 4,640 screens in 42 markets for a $65.5minternational running total.
  • Iger appointed Eisner's successor at Disney

    Disney president Robert Iger has been chosen to succeed MichaelEisner as chief executive of the media conglomerate, according to an announcementby the company yesterday [13].
  • International markets reach $14.9bn high in 2004

    The combined box officegrosses from all pictures released in international markets in 2004 faroutstripped the domestic revenue from MPAA-affiliated releases according tofigures released at ShoWest earlier today [15], as the global box office passed$25bn for the first time.MPAA president Dan Glickman, who has been addressing delegates in Las Vegasthis week in his inaugural year as the organisation's president, said the totalgross from all pictures released internationally through all s
  • Int'l grosses overtook US in 2004, says Glickman

    MPAA president Dan Glickmansounded a determined note in his first address to ShoWest internationaldelegates yesterday [March 14] as he exhorted them to join a global partnershipin the war on piracy, while acknowledging their superior contribution to Hollywood's bottom line.Glickman, a formeragriculture secretary who served under former President Bill Clinton andsucceeded legendary MPAA chief Jack Valenti last year, made it clear thatglobal copyright abuse remains the MPAA's highest pri
  • ITALY 10 March

    None of the six films which were released in Italylast weekend managed to dethrone the top three films at the local box office.UIP's animation feature Shark Tale held firmlyon to the top spot for the second week running, grossing $7,939,095 from 422screens for a strong average of $7,204.However,the weekend's swee
  • Jackson says Hobbit on hold for three years

    Lord Of TheRings director PeterJackson has said he will not start shooting an adaptation of J.R.RTolkein's The Hobbit for several years.Asked how longit would take to begin shooting the prequel to the Rings trilogy, Jackson said:"Three or four years would be accurate." Jackson was inSydney to talk to fans about his films and, according to wire reports, he saidthat the film's production date was uncertain because of Hollywood studio MGM'ssale to Sony Corporation.
  • Japanese, Korean film giants unveil partnership

    Japan's Kadokawa Holdings, the core company of theKadokawa media group, has announced a wide-ranging tie-up with leading Koreanfilm outfit CJ Entertainment.Kadokawa officials told reporters in Tokyo that the twocompanies will jointly produce films using Kadokawa comics, novels and othercontents as source material. In addition to film investment, they will partnereach other in international film sales, as well publishing and otherfilm-related businesses. The first fruit of this u
  • Junebug

    Dir: Phil Morrison. 2005.US. 102mins.Actress Amy Adams pullsoff a small miracle in Junebug, an ensemble comedy-drama about whathappens when a golden boy-turned-prodigal son brings his cosmopolitan bridehome to meet his working class North Carolina family.Adams (The Wedding Date)takes centre stage as Ashley, a sweet, naive Deep South chatterbox whoinstantly idolises her new sister-in-law. It's a role that easily could haveslipped in
  • Kiarostami set to shoot next film in Italy this summer

    Abbas Kiarostami has announced that he plans to shoot afilm in Italy this summer.'Iwill shoot one film in Iran and I will make one in Italy this summer,' theIranian director said at a conference in Rome, where he is promoting Tickets,the picture he co-directed with Ermanno Olmi and Ken Loach.Kiarostamisuggested t
  • Kisk launches P&A fund for limited releases titles in US

    New York-based entertainmentbusiness company Kisk Media Group International, which has satellite offices inthe UK and New Zealand, has launched the Kisk Media Group Prints &Advertising Fund I.The Fund is open toqualified independent producers with completed films budgeted at up to $8m thathave a distribution contract in place or one pending. If selected, the Fundwill provide the P&A portion of the releasing costs needed for a film tohave a limited release in five to 20 North American t
  • Landmark-Sony Electronics deal ushers in digital age

    Landmark Theatres has signeda deal with Sony Electronics whereby every theatre in the chain will be equipped withSony's new digital SXRD projectors, the first commercially available 4Kprojectors on the market.The arthouse chain will begin its digital cinema roll-out this summer with sixSXRD projectors, and plans to fully enable all its 59 theatres in 22 marketsfor digital projection.The new Sony projectors can display images at more than four times theresolution of current hig
  • Las Palmas festival hands top prize to Chinese World

    Veteran Chinese director Jia Zhangke won the Golden LadyHarimaguada prize for The World, which also won best cinematography, atlast week's Las Palmas International Film Festival of Spain (March 3-12).The Silver prize went to Lebanese-French-Belgian co-productionIn The Battlefields (Maarek Hob), which screened in Cannes Directors'Fortnight last year. The film's director Danielle Arbid also picked up the JoseRivero prize for best new director.Orga
  • Mann cinemas sets out 3D digital plans with Real D

    Southern California UStheatre chain Mann Theatres will today announce today [March 14] that it haschosen Los Angeles-based Real D as its exclusive delivery system for digital 3Dentertainment throughout the theatre chain.Mann Theatres' Grauman'sChinese Complex, locaed in Hollywood, will host the Real D flagship theatre andwill open to the public in May, marking the first time the 78-year-old theatrecomplex has been equipped to show 3D movies."Real D's solution isvisually stunning
  • Mar del Plata kicks off in face of economic troubles

    Argentina's Mar del Plata International Film Festival kicksoff its 20th anniversary edition today (March 10-20) with a line-up boastingmore than 300 titles.Thisyear the sole FIAPF-accredited A-grade festival in Latin America will also hostthe first annual Mercosur Film Market (March 14-19), sponsored by Al-Invest,Europe's MEDIA Programme and the local Exportar Foundation."The g
  • McInnis steps down from Slamdance Film Festival

    Kathleen McInnis is steppingdown from her role as Slamdance Film Festival director, following theevent's most successful incarnations back in January."We wish the best forKathleen," festival co-founder and president Peter Baxter said in astatement. "We have been fortunate to enjoy a great working relationshipwith her, and we were happy for the direction she took the festival in this,our "transitional, year."McInnis, who joined thefestival after a long stint at the Seattle Intern
  • Media Asia unveils 2005 production slate

    Hong Kong's Media Asia Films has unveiled its productionslate for the coming year which kicks off with US$3.8m (HK$30m) fantasy Wait'Til You're Older starring Andy Lau, Felix Wong and Karen Mok. Thefilm, which commenced principal photography yesterday, tells the story of ayoung boy who ages ten years a day over the course of a week.
  • Megastar announces first Vietnamese multiplexes

    Megastar Complex, the joint venture between EnvoyMedia Partners and Vietnam's Phuong Nam Corporation, has announced plans on thefirst two multiplexes in Vietnam, a bustling South-East Asian country whose populationof 82million is served by only 100 screens.Envoy Media Partners is the joint venture between industry veteran J EdwardShugrue, Mekong Leisure and Asian Capital Partners. Phuong Nam is a leadingVietnam
  • NEW ZEALAND 16 March

    UIP's Meet The Fockers remains on top of the NewZealand box office in its third week. The in-law comedy grossed NZ$345,778 from55 screens. Roadshow's Constantine and Sony's Closer,both in their second weekend in cinemas, and Roadshow's The Aviator, in itsfifth week, again ran second, third and fourth.
  • Nolte, Mechlowicz head Peaceful Warrior cast

    NickNolte has been cast in the key role of Socrates in Peaceful Warrior, a movie based on Dan Millman's bestsellingself-help novel Way Of The Peaceful Warrior which went into production this week.
  • Nordisk Film chief quits for top broadcasting job

    Nordisk Film chief Kenneth D. Plummer has been named as the newhead of Danish national broadcaster Denmark Radio (DR).Plummer, 44, will take overin his new role on October 1, leaving Nordisk Film parent company EgmontEntertainment plenty of time to find a successor.One of the oldest filmcompanies in
  • Noyce, Slovo team for Working Title's Hot Stuff

    Nearly 20 yearsafter A World Apart, the acclaimed film about her relationship with hermother - a leading anti-apartheid campaigner who was killed by a parcel bomb -writer Shawn Slovo is revisiting South Africa's last two turbulent decades.Slovo, the daughterof Ruth First and leading ANC figure Joe Slovo, has teamed with the UK'sWorking Title Films, which produced A World Apart, for Hot Stuff,a politically-charged dramatic thriller. Australiandirector Phillip
  • Pathe's Chorus tunes into changing UK market

    When Pathelaunches The Chorus (Les Choristes) into the UK on Friday, itwill do so in a way unthinkable for a foreign language film just a few yearsago.For a start, thefilm is launching at approximately 65 locations, a scale of release that wouldhave seen as wildly over-optimistic back in the 1990s.
  • Robots scores strong opening in Mexico

    Fox International releasedthe animated picture Robots inMexico over the weekend, day-and-date with the number one North Americanrelease.The picture opened top on anestimated $2.4m on 753 screens, a strong result that accounted for the bulk of Robots' $3m weekend business in its first internationalouting. It also opened number one in Malaysia on $153,685 on 33.The thriller Hide AndSeek grossed $5.3m on 2,209international screens for a $43.4m running total in
  • Roby wins Claude-Jutra Award for White Skin

    Quebecois filmmaker DanielRoby has been awarded the Claude-Jutra Award for the direction of his firstfeature film, La peau blanche (White Skin). The prize, sponsored by the National Film Board of Canada, will be presented at the 25thGenie Awards Gala to be held on March 21 in Toronto.Based on the novel by Joel Champetier, theromantic thriller is also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, on which thedirector and the novelist collaborated. The story follows two lov
  • RTL to bankroll Dutch film-makers

    Dutch broadcaster RTL Entertainment isexpanding its activities into film production. Senior head of programme acquisitionsDirk de Lille said he had reserved "a couple of million" Euros toco-produce around five film projects a year.They will primarily be Dutch filmprojects, but de Lille has not ruled out linking up with foreign partners toco-produce features.De Lille said he was working on'several quite interesting projects'. One of them is biography ofDutch singer Herman
  • ShoWest awards watch: Rachel McAdams

    Rachel McAdams has been named ShoWest 2005 supporting actress of the year and will collect her award at the closing night ceremony in Las Vegas on Mar 17. McAdams will next be seen opposite Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in the New Line comedy The Wedding Crashers and Wes Cravens' thriller Red-Eye for DreamWorks. She recently began production on Fox 2000's drama The Family Stone with Diane Keaton and Claire Danes and previous credits include The Not
  • SHOWEST SEMINAR: rising admissions in int'l markets

    Titled "Strategies onIncreasing Admissions in Today's Marketplace," the kickoff seminar at theShoWest exhibition convention provided plenty of data to chew on but a paucityof answers to fears that the current international audience might decline as otherforms of entertainment assert themselves in the developing digital universe.Presenters included Nick King, president Neilsen Entertainment International;Tomas Jegeus, exec vp marketing, Twentieth Century Fox Intl and SuwatThongrompo, president
  • Singapore moves ahead on digital delivery plans

    Delegates from theSingaporean government's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) are negotiatingwith Hollywood studios for the first cross-continent digital transmission (CCTx)of a full-length feature.IDA officers and a host of partners including projection pioneer Christie,Dell, Texas Instruments, University of Southern California's EntertainmentTechnology Centre, Thomson Technicolor, and 1-Net recently transmitted digitaltrailers for Elektra, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie an
  • Sony Pictures Classics swallows Jordan's Breakfast

    Sony Pictures Classics has taken North American, LatinAmerican, German and South African rights to Neil Jordan's latest film, BreakfastOn Pluto.Breakfast On Pluto is Jordan's second adaptation ofa novel by Patrick McCabe following on from his award-winning 1997 effort, ButcherBoy. Starring Irish trio Cillian Murphy, Stephen Rea and BrendanGleeson as well as rock star Bryan Ferry, it is a ribald tale of a youngtransvestite prostitute from rural Ireland on the
  • Stelios' easyCinema unveils DVD rental service

    Stelios Haji-Ioannu'seasyCinema has launched what it claims is the UK's cheapest postal DVD rentalservice.The service, operated oneasyCinema's behalf by Video Island, will charge a DVD rental rate of £1.99 perfilm and allow customers to keep the film for up to three weeks. The pricecompares favourably with
  • Tarr's Man From London shuts down

    The ManFrom London has been shut down in Corsica following three weeks ofshooting. A French-German-British-Hungarian co-production, theEuros 5m film was adapted from a Georges Simenon novel. It had already fallenten days behind schedule when the plug was pulled, according to Agence FrancePresse.Directedby Bela Tarr, the film was to
  • Tax hope for UK Budget

    TheUK film industry is hoping the government will make an announcement today onthe future of tax incentives for productions.Chancellorof the Exchequer Gordon Brown has been pushed hard to address the future of theSection 48 concessions in this afternoon's Budget.Butindustry sources suggest that the most likely outcome is a short-term fix with thelong-term future remaining unresolved until after a general election, expectedin May.Thatmay mean an extension to the July deadl
  • Thai production powerhouse unveils 2005 slate

    Following a successful firstyear of operation, Thai production powerhouse GMM Tai Hub has unveiled aline-up of 10 genre-driven films directed by young talent for 2005. Headed by CEO VisutePoolvoralaks, Thailand's best-known producer, GMM Tai Hub was created last Junewhen GMM Pictures, Tai Entertainment and Hub Ho Hin merged. It produced anddistributed eight films within seven months that earned $7.9m at the local boxoffice - 38% of the total earnings for Thai films.Poolvoralaks
  • The Hero (O Heroi)

    Dir: Zeze Gamboa.Ang-Port-Fr. 2004. 97mins.African cinema should geta healthy shot of international exposure and a boost of self-confidence fromZeze Gamboa's self-assured directorial debut The Hero. Directed by theAngolan Gamboa, produced by a Portuguese producer, Vendrell, who is dedicatedto producing films from Portugese-speaking African countries and written byPortugese writer Baptista, it features the kind of rich storytelling andcharacterisatio
  • Tribeca unveils narrative and documentary strands

    Tribeca Film festivalorganisers have unveiled the NY, NY Narrative Competition and NY, NYDocumentary competition strands as well as the Narrative Feature FilmCompetition and Documentary Feature Film Competition programmes.Boasting 24 world premieres,the two NY, NY strands entries cover a range of subjects from post 9/11 griefto slapstick comedy to tales of urban gentrification and portraits of New Yorkicons.NY, NY narratives entriesinclude Jeff Winner's Sa
  • UK Budget: film-makers win Section 48 extension

    Chancellor Gordon Brown said today that he would provide new tax creditsfor film-makers to replace the existing Section 48 and Section 42 tax reliefs.Brownunveiled the plans as he announced his Budget for 2005 in the House Of Commons.The UK Treasury later confirmed that the Government would review the Section 42relief u
  • UK Chancellor pledges new tax reliefs for film-makers

    Chancellor GordonBrown has said he will provide new tax relief for film-makers.Delivering his budget today, Brown said that he wouldreplace existing reliefs with new tax reliefs for low and high budget films. Further details will follow on assoon as they are unveiled by the UK Treasury.Brown had been pushed lobbied hard to address the future ofthe Secti
  • Universal promotes Cole to senior vp, media

    Suzanne Cole has beenpromoted to senior vice president of media at Universal Pictures, and willserve as chief strategist for media planning for film marketing campaigns andfor Universal Studios Home Entertainment releases.Cole, who willreport directly to Universal Pictures Marketing president Adam Fogelson, joinedUniversal as vice president of media in 1999.Since then shehas devised media plans for more than 100 theatrical and home entertainmenttitles including The Mummy
  • Unleashed (Danny The Dog)

    Dir: Louis LeterrierFr-UK. 2005. 103mins.The latest action vehicleto roar off the assembly line at Luc Besson's EuropaCorp, Unleashed -known in France as Danny The Dog - is a wonky mixture of bone-crunchingviolence and mawkish sentiment. It casts martial arts star Jet Li as asub-human fighting machine who finds that music hath charms to soothe hissavage breast.Once again producing andwriting, but leaving the chore of directing to f
  • Von Trier turns his hand to sitcom writing

    Palme D'Or winning directorLars von Trier is taking a short break from film production to write for aDanish TV sitcom.The Danish director hasagreed to pen an episode of Clown, a critically acclaimed sitcom fromtwo of Denmark's top stand-up comedians Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam.The first
  • Wade joins Palmer to form Runaway film division

    Producer Todd Wade has teamedup with Linda Palmer to form a feature film division at Palmer's LosAngeles-based commercials outfit Runaway Productions.
  • Wanda takes on sales for Rotterdam winner Sky Turns

    Spain's Wanda Vision will handle international sales onMercedes Alvarez's award-winning documentary The Sky Turns (El Cielo Gira).Thefilm, which has already sold to France's ARTE, was a surprise Tiger Awardwinner in Rotterdam and took home the top prize last weekend at Paris's Cinemadu Reel festival.Wanda plans to release the title in Spanish theatres onApril 29 after it
  • Wedding flies off with Polish Eagles

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