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16 March 2008

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  • 10,000 BC has epic $25.3m opening in 20 territories

    Warner Bros Pictures International's (WBPI) prehistoric epic 10,000 BC turned up trumps at the weekend and led the overseas charts thanks to a $25.3m estimated launch from 3,600 prints that delivered 19 number one debuts in 20 territories.Combined with the film's $35.7m domestic opening the worldwide tally already stands at $61m.Key results came from Spain on $4.5m from 472 prints, Mexico on $3.8m from 500 prints, Germany on $2.6m f
  • 10,000 BC rules on at international box office

    Powerful debuts in the UK, Korea and Russia kept Warner's 10,000 BC on top in the international marketplace this weekend as the prehistoric adventure grossed an estimated $38m from 6,900 prints and topped box office charts in 30 markets. Fox's computer animated Horton Hears A Who!, meanwhile, began its international rollout with an estimated $14.2m from 4,885 screens in 29 markets, reflecting relative
  • 21

    Dir: Robert Luketic. US. 2008. 122 mins.21 is a highly-fictionalised super-slick movie version of the non-fiction bestseller Bringing Down The House by Ben Mezrich which has just the right doses of MTV flash, pretty young stars and beat-the-system wish fulfillment to make it work at the box office as a healthy spring hit for Sony.The film's true-story origins and engaging premise of uncool college nerds living large in the world's most bling
  • Antique and Go Go 70's added to Fine Cut Filmart slate

    Recently-launched Korean sales agent Fine Cut has announced two additions to its slate from United Pictures - Antique, directed by Min Kyu-dong (All For Love), and Go Go 70's, directed by Choi Ho (Bloody Tie) and starring Cho Seung-woo.United Pictures is a new joint production and financing outfit set up by Lee Tae-hun (Sympathy For Lady Vengeance), Shim Bokyeong (JSA) and Eugene Lee (Voice Of A Murderer).The three a
  • Bac takes on sales, French rights to Pablo - The Little Red Fox

    Bac Films is set to handle international sales and French theatrical distribution for the animation feature Pablo - The Little Red Fox based on the popular TV series of the same name. Pitching the $ 11.9m (Euros 7.8m) project in development at last week's Cartoon Movie co-production forum, Toons 'n' Tales Filmproduktion's Sunita Struck added that the collaboration with France's Millimages planned to use the same co-production structure as for
  • Barbarian Princess starts UK, Hawaii shoot

    UK-based Matador Pictures and Hawaii-based Island Film Group have started production today on Barbarian Princess, which director Marc Forby is shooting in Honolulu and in Norfolk, UK.As previously reporter, Q'orianka Kilcher, Barry Pepper, Will Patton and Shaun Evans star.The film becomes the first feature to shoot inside Honolulu's Iolani Palace.The story is based on the true story of an Hawaiian heir to the throne who has to adapt to life in Victorian En
  • BFI to unveil two new Mediatheques in the UK

    Celebrating the one-year anniversary of its London launch at the new BFI Southbank, the British Film Institute has revealed that it plans to open two new UK mediatheques by December 2008.The first will be at QUAD, Derby's new $20m (£10m) centre for art and film, and the second in Cambridge at the redeveloped Library Central. Each will offer public access to a large selection of National Archive footage.Amanda Nevill, director of the BFI, said: 'When we opened the first Mediatheq
  • Bob Osher named president of digital production at SPE

    Bob Osher has been named president of the digital production division at Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), taking over from Yair Landau who announced this week that he would be leaving the studio to pursue a new games and animation venture. Osher has been with SPE since 2004 as chief operating officer of Columbia Pictures Motion Picture Group, overseeing operations, business affairs and production related film financing. In his new job he will continue to have oversight of these are
  • Box office: Data - The critical view - Bad moon rising

    At this year's Berlinale, I found myself pitching an idea for a script I'll probably never write to an old friend who is now a leading British producer. I felt a bit guilty: this was supposed to be his one non-working lunch of the festival, and there was me turning all Brutus on him. But he had the grace to sound interested as I enthused about the main character, a beautiful, smart, cynical, high-born woman who mistreats her daughter and steals her best friend's husband."Okay," said my
  • Caramel to kick off Istanbul's 200-film programme

    The 27th International Istanbul Film Festival (April 5-20) will open with Nadine Labaki's Cannes hit Caramel. The festival, sponsored by AKBANK, has programmed 200 films in 20 sections, playing at six venues.Twelve international films are competing for the Golden Tulip: Ben X, Darling, The Wave, Be Kind Rewind, Egg, My Marlon And Brando, Jar City, Hope, Gone With The Woman, XXY, Honeydripper, and Erik Nietzsche The Early Years.The Golden Tulip jury
  • Celestial launches first Blu-ray title

    Celestial Pictures is to release its first Blu-ray title with 1984 classic Behind The Yellow Line from the Shaw Brothers film library, starring the late Hong Kong superstar Leslie Cheung.'We are planning to release more Shaw Brothers classics in in Blu-ray format to deliver the most advanced viewing experience to consumers as demand for high-definition content rises.'We are also looking to expand our home entertainment product lines to our existing distribution channels
  • China focus for Locations World

    Shooting in China will be the central focus of the second Locations World trade show, which is running alongside this year's Filmart.A record 13 mainland Chinese production services providers are taking part for the first time, including Hengdian Chinese Film Industrial Park, China Film Group Digital Film Production Base, Shanghai Film Park and Wuxi Movie & TV Production Base of CCTV.Various regional tourism boards from Anhui, Guangzhou and Zhuhai, which double as location servi
  • Chinese government unveils details of censorship criteria

    In an unusual gesture, China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) announced a list of film censorship criteria re-addressing its ban on pornography and violence in movies.The announcement came around the same timethat an official rejected the possibility of a film ratings system, as well as an alleged ban on actress Tang Wei.A notice was posted on the SARFT website during the on-going National People's Congress and Political Consultative Conference, the a
  • Dark Horse signs three-year deal with Universal Pictures

    Dark Horse Entertainment has signed a three-year production and distribution deal with Universal Pictures that, for the first time, establishes a studio base for all Dark Horse creative properties going forward. Dark Horse, which is the entertainment arm of Dark Horse Comics, has been working with Universal on Hellboy II: The Golden Army directed by Guillermo Del Toro which is based on Mike Mignola's Dark Horse character. It is a Universal summ
  • Diminished Capacity to open Gen Art Film Festival in NYC

    The 13th annual Gen Art Film Festival will open on April 2 in New York City with Terry Kinney's Diminished Capacity starring Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda and Virginia Madsen. The comedy had its world premiere at Sundance in January.The festival - which has a programme of seven features and seven shorts - traditionally introduces emerging North American film-makers. Prizes are given to best feature and short worth $10,000 and $5,000 respectivel
  • Distant Horizon unveils cast of Chan's Don't Look Up

    Hong Kong filmmaker Fruit Chan's remake of Hideo Nakata's Don't Look Up will start shooting in Los Angeles on April 14, with a cast including Henry Thomas, Kevin Corrigan, Lothaire Bluteau, Carmen Chaplin and Reshad Strik. Distant Horizon is producing in association with Japan's Action 5 and Hakuhodo. Hong Kong DoP Poon Hang Sang will shoot the film with special effects overseen by Leonard MacDonald and the Creature Effects team whose credits include 300 and I Am Legend
  • Don't Look Down (No Mires Para Abajo)

    Dir: Eliseo Subiela. Argentina, 2008. 85 mins.Once the darling of art cinema circles and festival programmers, veteran Argentine filmmaker Eliseo Subiela (Last Images Of The Shipwreck, The Dark Side of the Heart) could be looking at a comeback with this erotic romp, which doesn't take itself as seriously as some of his previous work. Basically an extended sex manual, Don't Look Down spends almost one third of its running time with one couple
  • Doomsday

    Dir: Neil Marshall. US. 2008. 109 minsWritten and directed by Neil Marshall, Doomsday is reformulated post-apocalyptic genre pap, plain and simple. It's also devoid of narrative ambition, atrociously staged, full of baffling incongruities, and not much fun to boot.Obviously pitched at fans of the popular Resident Evil series and 28 Days/Weeks Later films, the UK-set film - which opened yesterday in the US without screening for critics
  • Duncan Jones wraps shoot on Moon starring Sam Rockwell

    Sci-fi feature Moon has just wrapped principal photography at the UK's Shepperton Studios.The film, which marks the feature directorial debut of Duncan Jones (formerly known as Zowie Bowie), stars Sam Rockwell. Moon is being made through London-based production outfit Liberty Films. The producers are Stuart Fenegan, Nicky Moss and Trudie Styler, whoseXingu Films is co-producing. Li
  • Editorial - Don't rely on the numbers

    One of the 60th anniversaries that will go largely unnoticed this year is New Zealand economist Bill Phillips' invention of an economic calculating device called Moniac.The Moniac is an ingenious proto-computer that promised to predict scientifically a nation's economic fortunes. It opened and closed valves that released water into tubes, demonstrating the consequences of a downturn in consumer spending, for example, or a rise in interest rates. It's the big and bold work of a bonafide
  • Empress finds champion in Golden Network

    Hong Kong-based Golden Network Asia has picked up worldwide rights outside Asia to martial arts epic An Empress And The Warriors from United Filmmakers Organization.Hong Kong's Mei Ah Entertainment is handling Asian sales on the film, directed by action choreographer Tony Ching Siu-tung and starring Donnie Yen, Kelly Chen and Leon Lai.Beijing-based Polybona released Empress on March 7 in China, grossing $2.8m (RMB20m) in its first weeked. Golden Harvest will re
  • Enlight Pictures unveilsslate of co-productions, imports

    Beijing-based Enlight Pictures, the film sector of Enlight Media Group, has unveiled a slate of four films that it will invest in and distribute in 2008. The company also announced that it plans to expand its business to international co-productions, acquisitions and project development, in addition to its current film distribution business.The four pictures include: Johnnie To's romantic drama Linger, which has already been released; Tsui Hark's Missing, which it is
  • Eros strikes DVD deal with Wal-Mart for Canada stores

    Indian film powerhouse Eros International and retail giant Wal-Mart have announced a collaboration to sell Bollywood content through the latter's distribution network in Canada.Eros DVDs will be available in 27 Wal-Mart stores in Canada and the distribution deal will subsequently be extended to the entire Canadian Wal-Mart network.One of the leading players in the Indian media and entertainment sector, Eros will gradually make a large number of titles from its catalogue of over
  • Fenady named president, physical production, at Universal Pictures

    Andrew Fenady has been named president, physical production, at Universal Pictures replacing longtime head of physical production James Brubaker who chose not to renew his contract and will move into a senior advisory role with the company.Fenady will report to Jimmy Horowitz, co-president of production and executive vice president for Universal Pictures. He will oversee all aspects of physical production including formulation of production plans, budgeting, scheduling, hiring crews
  • Film Movement buys Silvio Soldinis Days And Clouds

    North American distributor Film Movement has acquired domestic rights to Silvio Soldini's Italian drama Days And Clouds (Giorni E Nuvole).The story charts a couple's near breakdown as they try to provide for their daughter. Following a job loss the couple split up and suddenly realize that what matters most is love and family stability.Film Movement plans a nationwide theatrical release in early June. Days And Clouds played in official selection in Toronto, Rome and Londo
  • Film Source picks up Stuart Urban's doc Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead

    Alex Massis' Florida-based The Film Source Company has picked up worldwide rights in all media to Stuart Urban's documentary Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead.Urban's film is a personal journey to solve the mystery surrounding his late father, Garri Urban, a survivor of the Holocaust and the Gulag who may have been a spy.The film won the 2008 Audience Award at the Punto De Vista Documentary Festival and the 2007 Lancia Award from Italy's Bi
  • Film4 budget holds steady as Channel 4 unveils future vision

    Channel 4's film production arm Film4 was held up as a central part of the company's public service contribution during the broadcaster's 'Next On 4' future vision presentation earlier today.In London, Channel 4 chairman Luke Johnson, chief executive Andy Duncan and director of TV/content Kevin Lygo unveiled strategic plans for the company's future. Of course, most of the news concerned television programming, but there was continued commitment expressed for Film4.The channel's
  • Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck gets Sarasota honour

    The 2008 Sarasota Film Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary year by kicking off with opening-night film The Deal directed by Steven Schachter and starring William H Macy.The festival will give its Breakthrough Award to The Lives Of Others director Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck. Producer Paula Wagner will present the award.The Centerpiece Film will be Blind Date starring Stanley Tucci and the closing film will be Battle In Seat
  • Fortissimo takes on Jordan's Sundance hit Captain Abu Raed

    Fortissimo Films has taken worldwide rights (outside the Middle East and North America) on Amin Matalqa's Captain Abu Raed.The film won the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance and Best Actor for Nadim Sawalha at Dubai.Captain Abu Raed marks the first feature from Jordan to be exported internationally.Fortissimo will give the film its market premiere at Hong Kong Filmart, followed by a screening in the Cannes Market.The deal was negotiated betw
  • French blockbuster Land Of Shtis to open COLCOA on April 14

    The 12th annual City Of Lights, City Of Angels (COLCOA) French film showcase in Los Angeles will kick off on April 14 with the North American premiere of Dany Boun's comedy Welcome To The Land Of Shtis which is breaking box office records in France at present.Two films will close the event on April 20 - the world premiere of Christian Faure's Behind The Walls starring Catherine Jacob and Carole Bouquet
  • French production- Cinema Sans Frontieres

    France produces 200-plus films a year, more than any other country in Europe. Its output has long been dominated by light-hearted fare, targeted at the local market.However, with the local box office falling in 2007 and exports booming, this is gradually changing as a new breed of French film-makers and writers emerge, determined to revitalise the industry by making personal films about their own immigrant experience in France.Abdellatif Kechiche's The Secret Of The Grain
  • Frozen, Tingya win top honours at Mumbai fest

    Frozen, directed by Shivaji Chandrabhushan, was awarded with the special prize of the jury at this year's MAMI International Film Festival in Mumbai, which closed March 13 with a screening of Naomi Kawase's The Mourning Forest. Meanwhile Marathi-language Tingya was awarded best Indian film by both the five-member international jury and the three-member FIPRESCI jury.Actress Swati Sen received a special mention for her role in the film Antardwandwa and Da
  • Gareton promoted to evp of international at WBDD

    Marc Gareton has been promoted to executive vice president of international, at Warner Bros Digital Distribution (WBDD).Gareton will continue to oversee the studio's digital strategy, partnerships in digital services and emerging business activities outside the US. He reports to WBDD president Thomas Gewecke.Prior to the promotion Gareton served as senior vice president of international and before that he was senior vice president of business decision support for Warner H
  • Gaviria's Latinos takes RTVE award at Guadalajara meetings

    At the fourth Iberoamerican Co-production Meetings at the Guadalajara International Film Festival, Colombian project Latinos, to be directed by Victor Gaviria and produced by El Baile Films, was awarded with the main prize. The award's sponsor, Spanish public TV station RTVE, will determine the amount of the prize, ranging from $200,286-$333,842 (Euros 150,000-250,000) after seeing the finished film. RTVE will hold the TV and DVD rights in Spain for the film.Experienced dire
  • Grande, Grosso makes highest non-US entry in international chart

    French comedy Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis enjoyed its second weekend at number one in Screen's International Box Office chart, taking an impressive $29.8m from three territories while keeping new entry 10,000 B.C. at bay. The top 40 international films generated $181.2m from 44,130 screens for the period of March 7-9.For the full chart, compiled by Len Klady, click here.
  • Guard posts pre-sales to UK and Thailand

    South Korea's Showbox Mediaplex has pre-sold mystery thriller The Guard Post to the UK's Showbox and J-Bics for Thailand.The film tells the story of an officer sent to solve the mystery of a massacre at a guard post overlooking the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.Directed by Gong Soo-chang, whose previous films include horror films R-Point and Coma, the film is currently in post-production, with a scheduled release in April.Chun
  • Han Yan film first on Fantasy slate

    Beijing-based Fantasy Pictures Entertainment has moved into production business with a mission to develop young generation film-makers.The first film in their 2008 slate is romantic drama Qiyue And Ansheng, directed by upcoming Han Yan.The project is now approved by the Film Bureau and it plans to start shooting before summer.Established in 2005, Fantasy Pictures Entertainment is formed by graduates of Beijing Film Academy and it previously invested in films such
  • HK five sign up for Enlight action

    Beijing-based Enlight Pictures is working with five Hong Kong film-makers on a series of action genre films developed by the company's in-house development department.The plans include Chen Zhen from Gordon Chan (Painted Skin). Donnie Yen will play folk hero Chen Zhen, the character portrayed in Bruce Lee's Fist Of Fury and other Hong Kong films.Other projects incude:Kirk Wong's Five Venoms, a co-production with Celestial Pictures.
  • Hollywood Film Festival launches trailer awards for film previews

    Carlos de Abreu's Hollywood Film Festival is launching the Hollywood Trailer Festival and Hollywood Trailer Awards to honour feature film previews. The awards and festival will recognize film previews in 12 categories - action, animation, comedy, documentary, drama, horror, independent, romance, thriller, most original, blockbuster and trailer of the decade.A panel of Hollywood judges will select the nominees and winners. Entries are accepted on a monthly basis and the fi
  • Horak named president of Warner Home Video North America

    Mark Horak has been promoted to president of Warner Home Video North America from his previous role as executive vice president and general manager of worldwide operations and new packaged media at Warner Home Video.Horak will continue to oversee the worldwide global sales process and category management and now takes charge of the division's North American and Mexican operations. He continues to report to Warner Home Video (WHE) president Ron Sanders.During his career at
  • Horton Hears A Who!

    Dirs. Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino. US. 2008. 88minsBefore he ever heard a Who, Dr Seuss's idiosyncratic elephant Horton hatched an egg. While pundits have been predicting that this all-animated Blue Sky Studios adaptation would be it, they're wrong.Everyone loves the Dr Seuss books, but they've been a creativedisasters cinematically - although How TheGrinchStole Christmas's $345m tally is a disaster many could live with. By
  • Horton Hears A Who! opens loud and clear in US

    Dr Seuss' Horton Hears A Who! made a big noise at the North American box office this weekend, opening with a chart-topping estimated three-day gross of $45.1m. The computer animated comedy from 20th Century Fox and its Blue Sky Studios almost matched the debut of the companies' first hit Ice Age, which opened on the same pre-Easter weekend in 2002.Among other new releases, Summit Entertainment's
  • Hyyti to leave Finland's FS Film Oy; Toiviainen promoted to MD

    Lasse Hyyti is leaving his post as managing director of Finnish distributor FS Film Oy.The company's current VP of marketing and head of theatrical distribution, Antti Toiviainen, will be promoted to Managing Director as of April 16.Hyyti, who has been with FS Film for eight years, will pursue a career outside the film industry when he departs April 15. He will continue as a board member and external consulatant to the company.Timo Räisänen will
  • IFC takes worldwide rights to Nights And Weekends

    IFC Entertainment has acquired worldwide rights to Joe Swanberg and Greta Gerwig's SXSW entry Nights And Weekends.The follow-up to IFC's 2007 release Hannah Takes The Stairs received its world premiere at the Austin, Texas, festival on Mar 9.Nights And Weekends follows a remote couple as their disparate lives in New York and Chicago takes its toll. Sw
  • In focus - Financing - Filming in hard times

    The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer's annual budget has been watched with trepidation by the film industry in recent years. The biggest change was the dramatic overhaul of the tax system that ended the sale-and-leaseback era.But in hindsight Gordon Brown, now the prime minister, made perhaps the most significant gesture of permanent change in last year's Budget. In it, he closed a tax loophole that had allowed the offsetting by investment partnerships of expected losses on film investme
  • India's Century buys UK effects house Men From Mars

    India-based Century Communications has acquired UK-based visual effects house Men From Mars.Century is the independently owned media company that is the parent of Indian effects company Pixion.Simon Frame and Phil Attfield founded Men From Mars in 2000 after leaving Men In White Coats. The company has since worked on films including St Trinians, Elizabeth, Run, Fat Boy, Run and the forthcoming Mutant Chronicles.Century Communications has acquired Frame a
  • International - A French Collection

    French comedy Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis enjoyed its second weekend at number one, taking an impressive $29.8m from three territories while keeping new entry 10,000 BC at bay.Ch'tis fell a mere 8% over the three-day period and played on 905 screens for a whopping $32,916 screen average, the highest of the weekend. The film, released through Pathe, was at number one in France, Belgium and Switzerland and has taken a mammoth $75.4m after just two weekends on release.The Dany
  • Italy loses 254 cinemas since 2003 as multiplexes grow

    The Italian exhibitor association Anec has said that 254 cinemas have closed in Italy since 2003, shutting down 306 screens.The Northern Lombard region sustained the most losses at 58 screens. Emiglia-Romagna and Tuscany followed.Traditional downtown cinemas in Florence, Milan, Rome, Naples and Bologna sustained the most closures, but Anec says that many multi-screen (five screens or more in one location) and multiplexes (eight screens or more) were affected as well.In th
  • Joel Kennedy joins Revolver as senior acquisitions manager

    Joel Kennedy has joined UK distributor Revolver Entertainment as senior acquisitions manager.Separately, the company announced that it has acquired Sundance hit The Wackness starring Ben Kingsley, and buzz French title Female Agents starring Sophie Marceau. The Wackness is sold by Celluloid Dreams and Female Agents by TF1 International.Kennedy will acquire content across theatrical, DVD, and VOD for Revolver in the UK and also for its new US l
  • Kari's The Good Heart beats with Paul Dano, Brian Cox

    Icelandic director Dagur Kari is gearing up for a late April start of shoot for his next film The Good Heart, which has been pushed back slightly after a planned December 2007 start. The film will shoot for 10 weeks.Paul Dano and Brian Cox are now cast in the leads, replacing the previously reported Ryan Gosling and Tom Waits.Wild Bunch is still handling sales on the project, which is budgeted at about $4m.Kagur wrote the story, about a homeless man who is 'adopt
  • Khoo, Tan and Tong top Raintree slate

    Celebrating its 10th anniversary as Singapore 's leading producer, MediaCorp Raintree Pictures has unveiled a slate of five projects, including three by the most prominent local film-makers and two co-productions with Hong Kong 's Salon Films.Eric Khoo will direct Chinese Rose - a biopic of 'Queen of Striptease' Rose Chan, which takes a look at the seedy 1950s underbelly of Singapore through the eyes of a journalist.Khoo's company Zhao Wei Films is co-producing with pro
  • Kimberly Peirce on Stop Loss

    Kimberly Peirce was in New York on the day of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks and recalls vividly her emotional devastation at the sight of the towers' collapse.In the tense aftermath, she began reflecting on how her life and the lives of those around her had fundamentally changed.Her grandfather fought in the Second World War and her brother enlisted in the military following 9/11. 'I immediately knew I wanted to make a movie about the soldiers - who they were, why the
  • Len Wiseman reunites with Lakeshore, Sony on Shell Game

    Len Wiseman is reuniting with Lakeshore and Sony on his follow-up to the Underworld franchise with the sci-fi action thriller Shell Game.Wiseman is also producing the story of a detective faced with a devastating moral dilemma while investigating the black market trade in immortality. Wiseman and Chris Morgan wrote the screenplay from an original draft by Justin Bondi and Andrew Ludington.So
  • Lotte's Show goes on to Germany

    South Korea's Lotte Entertainment has sold gangster drama The Show Must Go On to Splendid Film for Germany.Han Jae-rim's gritty film stars Song Kang-ho (The Host) as a middle-aged gangster struggling with work and family'Splendid and Lotte have done business together before and they had ex press ed interest in the film a while back. We've been negotiating and the deal was closed before Filmart,' says Lotte head of international Justin Choi.The company previously
  • Malaysia's Flower In The Pocketwins Fribourg Grand Prix

    Malaysian director Liew Seng Tat's feature debut Flower In The Pocket was awarded the Grand Prix - the Regard d'Or - at this year's Fribourg International Film Festival (FIFF), the first edition under the new artistic director Eduoard Waintrop.The story about two small boys growing up without their mother and neglected by their father had screened in the Berlinale's Kplus competition last month and Seng Tat was praised by the FIFF's International Jury for managing 'to take a t
  • Mapp's Direction

    Christopher Mapp, managing director of Australia's Omnilab Group, has much resting on The Bank Job, which opened in the UK on February 28 and in the US on March 7. The film is the biggest and most international of several projects the ambitious company has helped finance in the past year.The commercial nature of The Bank Job (Jason Statham stars in the old-style British crime comedy), the involvement of director Roger Donaldson and Lionsgate's distribution expertise in the U
  • Mary Parent hired as chair of MGM worldwide motion picture group

    Mary Parent, the former vice chairman of worldwide production at Universal Pictures, has joined MGM as chairperson, worldwide motion picture group. She will be responsible for oversight of worldwide theatrical production, distribution, marketing and business affairs for the company.She reports directly to Harry E Sloan, chairman and CEO of MGM and to the studio's board of directors.The appointment signals MGM's ambitions to rebuild itself as a fully operational production
  • Mendoza picks up pre-sales on Service

    Ignatius Films Canada has picked up a string of pre-sales for Brillante 'Dante' Mendoza 's latest film Service, including France and French-speaking territories (Swift Distribution), UK and Ireland (Peccadillo Pictures), and Taiwan (Joint Entertainment).Shot in cinema verite style, the film about male prostitution has been selected for HAF this year.The cast includes Gina Pareno, Coco Martin and Kristofer King. Mendoza's Slingshot, which has also ben sold to Fr
  • Metrodome strikes UK deal for Fear(s) Of The Dark

    Metrodome Distribution has acquired all UK rights to French animated feature Fear(s) Of The Dark from Celluloid Dreams.Pierre Menahem of Celluloid Dreams negotiated with Metrodome CEO Peter Urie, general manager-home entertainment Tom Stewart and acquisitions & business affairs manager Kate Edwards.Metrodome plans an autumn 2008 release.Sara Frain, Metrodome general manager-theatrical, said: 'We are delighted to be bringing this incredibly exciting and unique fil
  • MK2 blasts off with nWave's 3D Fly Me To The Moon

    Ben Stassen of nWave Pictures has sold another major territory on animated feature Fly Me To The Moon, which made history in Berlin last month as the first 3D film to screen as part of the European Film Market.The latest deal Stassen has concluded on the film post-Berlin is with MK2 for France. MK2 is planning 'a big launch' for the 3D movie but is yet to confirm details of when the film will be released in France or on how many prints.Meanwhile, a handful of leading in
  • MPAA's Glickman, NATO's Fithian sound the drum for theatrical film

    If every silver lining has its cloud, neither Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Chairman Dan Glickman nor National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) President John Fithian felt compelled to mention current or future impediments to the health of film exhibition in their annual addresses at the ShoWest exhibition convention.Last week the MPAA released box office figures for 2007 that reflected box office but not admission gains and Glickman choose to emphasize the posi
  • Mungiu's 4 Months dominates Romanian Gopo Awards

    4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days picked up nine of the 17 awards handed out at the second annual Gopo Awards in Bucharest March 3. The Palm d'Or-winning abortion drama was named Best Film and earned Best Director for Cristian Mungiu, Best Actress for Anamaria Marinca, Best Supporting Actress for Laura Vasiliu, Best Supporting Actor for Vlad Ivanov, and Best Cinematography for Oleg Mutu. The film also won awards for its sound and scenography and was given the Public
  • Never Back Down

    Dir: Jeff Wadlow. US. 2008. 113 mins.Fight Club meets The Karate Kid in Never Back Down, a generic, violent underdog story that pays a lot of lip service to non-violence when its characters aren't busy kicking and punching the tar out of each other. Though the film tries to capitalise on the growing popularity of mixed martial arts, the storytelling carts out several old-fashioned cliches about proving yourself and winning the love o
  • New markets, 3-D, local films to spur growth, say international distribs

    Senior executives of the six American majors' international divisions provided a surprisingly candid and freewheeling discussion in the rather amorphously titled panel 'The Industry Speaks Out' as part of opening day activities at the ShoWest exhibition convention.'We have to stop dividing the world in two,' said Paramount Pictures International President Andrew Cripps. 'You don't have the same homogeneity internationally that you do in domestic. The sensitivities and logistics requi
  • New production venture sets up in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Anapa

    Russian holding company AFK Sistema and Russian World Studios (RWS) have announced a joint venture for film production with facilities in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Anapa.'The establishment of two RWS film studios in St. Petersburg and Anapa and the growth of the Moscow film studio will enlarge the release of products for traditional and developing digital and mobile platforms and broaden services to other producer companies,' RWS general director Andrei Smirnov told news agency Interf
  • Nick Broomfield: Battle Scars

    Nick Broomfield adds his voice to the wave of films on modern warfare and terrorism with Battle For Haditha. It is a stirring piece of cinema verite that premiered in Toronto last autumn and will air on March 17 as part of Channel 4's Iraq season in the UK, and sees its UK DVD launch that day via Contender.The UK film-maker employed a typically unflinching storytelling style to re-enact an alleged retaliatory massacre of 24 Iraqi innocents by US Marines in November 2005, after t
  • Oldboy star Yoo says Hello to rom-com

    Oldboy villain Yoo Ji-tae is to star in M&FC's tentatively titled Hello, Schoolgirl, a romantic comedy based on a hugely popular South Korean manga by Kang Full.The film, which starts shooting on Wednesday, is directed byRyu Jang-ha - whose previous film When Spring Comes starred another Oldboy star Choi Min-shik.Boyun Choi, head of international business at M&FC said, 'The film is a witty romantic comedy in the style of a Working Title film.
  • Os Desafinados (Slightly Out Of Tune)

    Dir: Walter Lima Jr. Brazil, 2008. 138 mins.A tribute to the golden age of bossa nova, Os Desafinados tells the story of four young musicians from Rio trying to make it big in New York in the sixties, just as Joao Gilberto and Tom Jobim were influencing popular music there (with the smash hit Desafinado, amongst others). Walter Lima weaves the band's fictional story into some of the events of the period and adds a love triangle to co
  • Peace Arch acquires worldwide rights to A Lobster Tale

    Toronto-based Peace Arch Entertainment has acquired worldwide distribution rights to family film A Lobster Tale starring Colm Meaney as a struggling lobster fisherman in Maine whose life is turned upside down when he discovers a strange moss with magical healing powers.Peace Arch Home Entertainment will release the film on DVD in North America in the summer and is launching international marketing and sales at MIP-TV in April.Adam
  • Picturehouse readies Liverpool's first digital 3D cinema at FACT

    Liverpool, England gets its first digital 3D cinema at Picturehouse at FACT.Picturehouse Cinemas is making the Liverpool location its first in a planned rollout of digital 3D cinemas. The 2K digital cinema projector will be using Real-D technology. 'REAL-D 3D goes leaps and bounds beyond the early 3D technology,' said Marc John, head of digital development at Picturehouse Cinemas.The first planned 3D offerings at Picturehouse at FACT will be
  • Prague to host Paramount's $170m GI Joe

    Barrandov Studios has signed a contract to host Paramount's $170m GI Joe.The $170m action film would be one of the most expensive ever in the Czech studio's history, between the estimated $150m Casino Royale and the $180m Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And the Wardrobe.Set construction for for the film is underway and director Stephen Sommers is scheduled to begin filming in Prague in May. The film will be released in August 2009.Barrandov
  • Production - Iceland - White hot

    Iceland punches above its weight in the film world, considering the number of film-makers and film-goers per capita in this small, isolated nation. The country's reputation is on the up thanks to increasingly high-profile work from the likes of Baltasar Kormakur, whose acclaimed thriller Jar City was launched in the US by IFC on February 29, and Ragnar Bragason, whose companion films Parents and Children have taken awards including Copenhagen's Golden Swan. Rising talent
  • Production - On location - Scene stealer

    Iceland boasts some of the most striking landscapes on earth, is equidistant from the US East Coast and continental Europe and offers extreme daylight in summer and extreme darkness in winter. Locations range from Reykjavik's trendy bars to active volcanoes, geothermal hot springs and Europe's largest glacier.More than 30 international co-productions have shot in the region over the years, including Die Another Day and Batman Begins. Yet even with the 14% tax break, the country'
  • Production - The film-makers - Youth movement

    NABIL AYOUCHAyouch first came to attention in 2000 with his second feature, Ali Zaoua, Prince Of The Streets, a drama about children in Casablanca which won international prizes from St Louis to Stockholm. The latest title from the film-maker, whose mother is French-Jewish and father is Moroccan-Muslim, is Whatever Lola Wants. It takes place in New York and Egypt and will be released by Pathe in France in April. Ayouch says that growing up outside Paris has been "a great
  • Progress takes on sales for German kids film Morphus

    Progress Film-Verleih will handle world sales on Karola Hattop's new children's film Morphus which is shooting in Berlin until Easter after completing location work near Berchtesgaden and Wernigerode.The story of a young boy's adventure to recover the last composition by Ludwig van Beethoven, which was stolen from him by two wily gangsters after they discover its magical soporific effect, will be released theatrically in Germany by Central Film at the end of this year.T
  • Ramy Choi's Fame to develop new Taiwanese talent

    Former Fortissimo Films executive Ramy Choi has launched a production and talent management outfit, Fame Universal Entertainment, which aims to develop up-and-coming talent with a focus on Taiwan.The company is representing several award-winning Taiwanese films as international sales agent - including Singing Chen's Berlin Forum entry God Man Dog, Doze Niu's What On Earth Have I Done Wrong'!, Pan Zhi-yuan's The Touch Of Fate and Lin Chih Ju's The Wall.
  • Richie Mehta's Amal to open Indian Film Festival Of Los Angeles

    Richie Mehta's Amal will be the opening night gala on April 22 at the sixth annual Indian Film Festival Of Los Angeles (IFFLA), while the world premiere of Mumbai Cutting A City Unfolds will close the festival on April 27.The festival, which takes place at the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood, will also honour Madhuri Dixit with a tribute and screenings of her films The De
  • Rodrigo Pla's Desert Inside wins six major prizes at Guadalajara

    Mexican Film Desierto Adentro (Desert Inside) by Uruguayan director Rodrigo Plá was the most acclaimed film at the 23rd Guadalajara International Film Festival winning the Mexican feature award and five others for best actor, actress, script, cinematography, the audience Award and the Youth Jury Mescal Prize.The festival closed on Friday (March 14) with the
  • Rome Film Fest backs film education programme for schools

    The Rome Film Fest is backing a new initiative to promote cinema to kids in Rome's public schools by bringing films, actors, directors and film critics to the classroom.To kick off the initiative, entitled Waiting for the festa,actor Sergio Castellito, who portrays King Miraz in Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, will screen 20 minutes of the film to classrooms in March courtesy of Warner Bros. in advance of its August release. He will also talk about his acting experiences
  • Rupert Evans joins cast of Amenabar's Agora

    Hot English actor Rupert Evans has joined Rachel Weisz and Homayoun Ershadi in the cast of Alejandro Amenabar's English-language project Agora which goes into production this month in Malta.The film, being produced by Maxmedia, is the story of the efforts by a small group to free the slaves in Egypt. Evans will play a young philosophy student who goes on to become an influential Christian bishop.Evans, currently playing the kind of
  • Samuel Goldwyn Films brings Paris to the US

    Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired US rights to Cedric Klapisch's latest ensemble Paris from StudioCanal.The film, which had its US premiere at Rendezvous With French Cinema in New York recently, features a group of intertwined stories set of course in Paris. The star-studded cast included Juliette Binoche, Klapisch's regular collaborator Romain Duris, Fabrice Luchini, Albert Dupontel, Francois Cluzet and Karin Viard.Bruno Levy prod
  • Seville and Maximum to join forces in Canada

    Montreal-based Seville Pictures and Toronto-based Maximum Films Distribution are launching a joint venture to distribute their films theatrically in Canada. The move comes seven months after the launch of both the new-look Seville, acquired by fast-rising multinational entertainment company Entertainment One (E1) in August, and Maximum, launched the same month by Canadian producer Robert Lantos' Serendipity Point Films. The joint venture will be managed by Seville co-president David
  • Shanghai Film Group launches $140m IPO

    Shanghai Film Group is planning to go public with an IPO.Company president Ren Zhonglun has not revealed the timetable but Shanghai Film Group is expected to become the second state-owned film company to be listed.China Film Group Corporation has already announced its plans.SFG expects to raise no less than $140m (RMB1 bn) in the IPO plan. According to Ren, this includes the group's cinema distribution and sales businesses.SFG is the owner of Shanghai film studio,
  • Sheffield's Sensoria music/film festival adds industry day

    Sensoria, the UK's new music and film festival to be held in Sheffield, has announced that A Life In the Death Of Joe Meek will be its opening night film, with an introduction by musician Richard Hawley.Other films in the programme are The Old Weird America: Harry Smith's Anthology Of Folk Music and Derailroaded: Inside the Mind Of Wild Man Larry Fisher.
  • Spanish producers and distributors forming coalition to tackle piracy

    Leading Spanish producer associations FAPAE and Egeda are forming a coalition with the local anti-piracy organisation, FAP (supported bythe Motion Picture Association), the Federation of Spanish distributors (Fedecine), the music producers association Promusicae and representatives from the publishing sector to help build relations with internet service providers and clamp down on copyright infringement online. The organisations have already been working together on an informal basis, and
  • Spike Seldin joins LA-based Wind Dancer as svp

    Spike Seldin has joined LA-based production outfit Wind Dancer Films as senior vice president, joining company principal Matt Williams and president Dete Meserve in building the slate following an influx of funding for development and production through private equity.'We look forward to tapping Spike's great eye for material in our expansion of the development and production of feature projects,' said Williams in a statement.'With our financing in place to make two to th
  • Stop-Loss

    Dir: Kimberly Peirce. US. 2008. 113 mins.Nine years after Boys Don't Cry, Kimberly Peirce finally returns with a second film, but Stop-Loss, a portrait of American men returning from Iraq and the stop-loss policy that keeps sending them back there, is as earnest and heavy-handed as her first film was sensitive and poetic. Instead of focusing tightly on the stop-loss question, Peirce, who co-wrote the screenplay with Mark Richard, can't resis
  • Sundance winner Durakovo opens Nyon's doc festival Visions du Reel

    Nino Kirtadze's Durakovo: Village Of Fools, winner of the World Cinema Directing Award: Documentary at this year's Sundance Film Festival, will open the Nyon International Documentary Film Festival 'Visions du Reel' held from April 17-23.An international jury of US producer Claire Aguilar, Swiss cinematographer Severine Barde, Tunisian filmmaker Nourid Bouzid and Russian director Victor Kossakovsky will deliberate on the prize-winners from an International Competition lineup w
  • Sundream signs output deal with The Weinstein Company

    Hong Kong's Sundream Motion Pictures has sealed an output deal and a two-picture co-production pact with The Weinstein Company (TWC), and is also lining up a slate of new productions. Under the output deal, Sundream will handle theatrical and video distribution of all TWC titles deemed suitable for the Hong Kong market, while some of the titles will also screen on pay-TV platform Cable TV. Sundream is the film arm of Hong Kong pay-TV operator i-CABLE Communications which operates Cable TV
  • Sydney fest appoints Cameron; Liebmann joins Hoyts

    Two significant but unrelated film appointments were announced in Sydney today: Fiona Cameron is the new general manager of the Sydney Film Festival and Matthew Liebmann is leaving SKYCITY Cinemas in New Zealand to be the commercial and new business director at Hoyts. Liebmann has also worked with SKYCITY co-owner Village Roadshow for six years and as director of the entertainment and media practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was founding author and editor of a report that the ac
  • Syndromes to be released with blacked-out scenes

    Acclaimed Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul has finally accepted the local censors' verdict of removing 'objectionable' scenes from his Syndromes And A Century after a second appeal was rejected. But he has replaced the censored scenes with silent scratched black film which amount to about 15 minutes with the longest such scene running for seven minutes.The first censorship committee demanded for four scenes to be cut and two more were added after the second appeal.
  • Terminator finds Korean future with Mars

    South Korea's Mars Entertainment has made a number of acquisitions including a deal for The Halcyon Company's Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins. Christian Bale will star in the fourth in the Terminator series to be directed by McG for a 2009 release. Warner Brothers hold US rights while Sony recently picked up most international rights.'We're thinking of a wide release, on par with the size of Transformers,' said Michael Kim, CEO of Mars. CJ Ente
  • The big kick-off

    With a tale that echoes their documentary In The Hands Of The Gods, the four young Brits who make up film-making collective Fulwell 73 set out to achieve their dream - and ended up busking their way to success on little more than a wing and a prayer.Brothers Gabe and Benjamin Turner, their cousin Leo Pearlman and close friend Ben Winston, set up Fulwell 73 four years ago to move into feature film-making.In the beginning, they focused their efforts on television, producing Th
  • THE BUSINESS: Hong Kong Filmart round-up

    Screen's team at Filmart look at some of the key deals concluded at this year's Filmart in Hong Kong.Click on headline to see storyUniverse ki
  • The Cottage (2007)

    Dir: Paul Andrew Williams. UK . 2008. 92 mins.London To Brighton (2006) was one of the most admired British debut features in recent years, with writer/director Paul Andrew Williams being widely hailed as the next great hope of British filmmaking. How fortunate that The Cottage wasn't his first feature. A blithely chaotic retro horror comedy, The Cottage struggles to find a consistent tone or strike a balance
  • The Deal to open Sarasota Film Festival on April 4

    The Sarasota Film Festival, which runs April 4-13, will open with Steven Schachter's comedy The Deal starring William H Macy and Meg Ryan and close with Stuart Townsend's Battle In Seattle set as the closing night film. Stanley Tucci's Blind Date has been named as the centerpiece film.The Lives Of Others director Florian H
  • The Light to launch digital cinemas in Romania

    UK-based exhibitor The Light has announced it will open its first two digital cinemas, in Romania, this autumn.Both eight-screen cinemas -- one at Liberty Center in Bucharest and the other at the Tiago Mall in Oradea -- are scheduled to open on Nov 1. The cinemas will offer up to 1,500 seats each and will have 3-D capability.According to the European Audiovisual Observatory and the National Cinema Centre of Romania, admissions in Romania have been declining in recent years -- fr
  • The Oxford Murders

    Dir. Alex de la Iglesia, Spain/UK/France, 2008, 110 mins.Serving up archaic symbols, sinister cloaked figures, philosophical asides and murder most foul, Alex de la Iglesia's The Oxford Murders promises a heady blend of maths and murder. But despite able direction, an intense, unsettling score and some competent acting, this screen adaptation of the best-selling novel by Argentinian mathematician and writer Guillermo Martinez adds up to less than the sum of its pa
  • THINKFilm, Liftime, Red Envelope all team on Phoebe in US

    In an innovative three-way play, THINKFilm, Lifetime Networks and Netflix's Red Envelope Entertainment have jointly acquired North American rights to Daniel Barnz's Phoebe In Wonderland.THINKFilm will release the drama in exclusive engagements this autumn, while Lifetime takes exclusive television rights and Red Envelope holds non-exclusive DVD and streaming rights.All three companies will pool their resources to brand and market t
  • Tribeca 2008 announces Discovery, Midnight lineups

    The Tribeca Film Festival has announced the films in its Discovery and Midnight sections for this year's festival which runs April 23 to May 3 in Manhattan.Discovery features 30 films with 18 world premiers and 11 North American premieres from up-and-coming narrative and documentary directors, while the Midnight section features five world premieres.Among the higher profile titles in Discovery are Tennessee directed by Aaron Woodle
  • Tribeca 2008 unveils narrative & documentary competition lineups

    The 2008 Tribeca Film Festival's world narrative and documentary competition entries and the Encounters line-up have been annoaunced ahead of next month's event, set to run from Apr 23-May 4.Twelve narrative features and 12 documentaries from 18 countries will compete for combined unrestricted cash prizes amounting to $100,000, including prizes totalling $50,000 from American Express for the best new narrative and documentary film-makers.Among the narrative competition en
  • Tricks, Santiago among winners at Miami Film Festival

    The 25th annual Miami International Film Festival closed on Saturday night (March 8) with the presentation of $77,500 in grand jury prizes to five films.The prizegiving, held at the Gusman Center For The Performing Arts, saw the Knight Grand Jury Prize in World Cinema Competition go to Andrzej Jakimowksi's Tricks from Poland about a fatherless boy who tries to tempt fate. Special mentions were made to both
  • UK Chancellor closes $2bntax loophole used by film investors

    UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling's 2008 Budget report has closed a tax loophole which some experts believe might have generated between $1.6bn (£800m) and $2bn (£1bn) for film.Click here for analysis ofUK film finance after tax changesA year ago, the government used the budget to clamp down on so-called sideways loss relief - by which invest
  • UK Culture Minister defends Creative Industries strategy

    Criticism that there are no funds to support the UK government's recently released strategy for the creative industries has been shrugged off by the UK's new Minister for Culture, Creative industries and Tourism, Margaret Hodge.In an interview with film producer David Puttnam that was made public, Hodge was asked whether the government was trying to do it 'on the cheap', with Puttnam noting that industrycommentators had said they 'couldn't see where the money was coming from'.The m
  • UK Finance: Life After Loopholes

    The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer's annual budget has been watched with trepidation by the film industry in recent years. The biggest change was the dramatic overhaul of the tax system that ended the sale-and-leaseback era in 2006.But in hindsight Gordon Brown, now the prime minister, made perhaps the most significant gesture of permanent change in the 2007 Budget. In it, he closed a tax loophole that had allowed the offsetting by investment partnerships of expected losses on film inv
  • UK financiers don't see disaster with closed tax loophole

    UK film financiers have been striking a philosophical note about yesterday's Budget 2008 government announcement that 'sole traders' who spend fewer than 10 hours a week on film-related activities will no longer be able to offset predicted losses on film investment.Previous UKGovernment clampdowns, whether last year's sudden closure of so-called GAAP-funding schemes or the Inland Revenue's notorious 'Black Tuesday' decision to shut down down production funds in February 2004, blindside
  • UKFC, NESTA launch $1m scheme to update film's business models

    The UK Film Council is working with the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts (NESTA) to start a new $1m (£500,000) initiative to help British independent film companies take better advantage of new technologies.NESTA and the UKFC are now scouting for film companies who want to learn more about online sales, distribution and marketing for the new Digital Innovation in Film project. Up to 10 companies from across the UK will be selected over the next few months to take p
  • United Kingdom - Political Animal

    Cinema is about telling human stories and the politics need to be in the back." Those words may come as a surprise from Salford-born director Pete Travis, whose last two feature films are powerful political dramas.In 2004, his debut feature, Omagh, followed a family in the aftermath of the 1998 Real IRA bombing in Northern Ireland. The film received high critical acclaim and scooped a Bafta TV award for best drama (it was not released theatrically in the UK) and won best screenplay
  • United States - Under The Starz Sign

    Fate brought US producer Scott Einbinder and German producer and investment banker Ingo Vollkammer together, but everything since then has followed a clear design.The founders of Los Angeles-based Leomax Entertainment and its genre label Indigomotion, both of which are backed through Zurich-based parent company Leomax AG, met through mutual acquaintance Philip Fier, the former CFO of Fox International who is now the third partner at Leomax and its CFO."When I came to the US about five
  • UPI to open The Mummy 3 in China and Asia a week before domestic

    Universal Pictures International (UPI) will release summer tentpole The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor in China and Asia in late July one week before North America on Aug 1.UPI chief David Kosse, who travelled to the US this week to give the keynote address at ShoWest, said the move was inspired by the film's Asian flavour and was designed to gain a foothold in Asian markets before the Beijing Olympic Games kick off on Aug 8. In addition, of
  • UPI's Kosse calls for new ways of doing business

    Despite ongoing concerns over piracy, the slow rate of digital conversion overseas compared to North America and incremental short term costs accruing from that process, international distributors were in bullish mood about the market on the opening day of ShoWest.In his keynote address UPI president David Kosse reminded delegates that 2007 was Universal's first billion dollar year since 2003 and said that the decision by Universal and Paramount to go their separate ways following
  • Upside Down signs $11m deal with Hanwen

    Singapore's Upside Down Entertainment (UDE) has sealed an $11m co-financing and co-production deal with China's Hanwen Animation Co (HAC), it was announced here today.The slate includes 3D animated feature Last Days and live-action TV series Colourful Fish. Both are English-language projects aimed at international markets.Most of the production will take place at HAC's Suzhou studios. HAC - a fast-growing independent animation company headed by CEO Dawll Du - expects to open its
  • US independents march on Asia

    US interest in Asia's film and entertainment industries is hotting up with Lionsgate becoming the latest mini-major, following The Weinstein Company and Hyde Park Entertainment, to make a major investment in the region. Lionsgate is understood to be one of the main investors in a Hong Kong-based operation being set up by former Celestial Pictures chief William Pfeiffer. The new outfit will produce Asian film and TV content for global distribution, in addition to launching TV channels.
  • Vancouver shoot for Parnassus resumes with Depp, Farrell, Law

    Producers have announced that filming has begun again on Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which had been on hold after actor Heath Ledger's death on January 22.The $30m modern-day fantasy had finished the first third of the film's shoot in the UK and was gearing up for a 40-day shoot in Vancouver at the time of Ledger's death. The adventure features Christopher Plummer as the titular traveling magician who owes the devil his teenage daughter in exchange for
  • Vancouver's Anagram scores output deal with Maple Pictures

    Vancouver-based production house Anagram Pictures and Toronto-based distributor Maple Pictures have established a multi-year, multi-picture output deal as part of Telefilm Canada's Slate Development Pilot Programme. The first two pictures in the slate are ecological thriller The Thaw and sci-fi thriller Falling Awake. Anagram made a critical if not a commercial splash with the zombie spoof
  • Warner scores number one US opening for 10,000 BC with $35.7m

    10,000 BC clubbed the competition as it soared to the top of the North American charts on a $35.7m estimated launch through Warner Bros.Roland Emmerich's prehistoric saga didn't fare as well as his previous releases The Day After Tomorrow and Independence Day, although those titles launched during the summer.Opening in second was the comedy
  • Wellness, They Killed Sister Dororthy win SXSW top prizes

    Jake Mahaffy's Wellness won the narrative feature and Daniel Junge's They Killed Sister Dorothy took the documentary grand jury prizes at the 2008 SXSW festival.Andrew T Betzer's Small Apartment and David Garrett's Walord shared the Reel Shorts jury award.Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski's