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16 October 2007

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  • AAM adds Pathe titles for digital rentals and downloads

    Arts Alliance Media (AAM) has struck a content deal with Pathe, making titles such as Talk To Her, Memento and The Queen available for customers to rent online. The deal also covers future Pathe titles. Pathe content will also be available for download through AAM 's Vizumi platform and its partner sites LoveFilm, AOL UK, and Empire. 'Pathe has a great range of titles, from foreign language classics to arthouse hits, and we're delighted that we can now offer c
  • Academy relaxes documentary rules for 2009 Oscars

    The Academy is changing its qualifying rules governing the submission of feature-length and short documentaries for the 81st Oscars in 2009.The move eliminates the multi-city theatrical rollout requirements and was recommended to the board by the Documentary Branch executive committee chaired by Michael Apted. To qualify for the 81st Awards, documentary features must run for a minimum of seven days in both Los Angeles County and the Borough of Manhattan, and documentary s
  • American World adds three horror films ahead of AFM

    Los Angeles-based distribution and production company American World Pictures (AWP) has boarded the horror titles Crazy Eights, Grizzly Park and Triloquist ahead of the AFM.James K Jones's Crazy Eights stars Traci Lords, Frank Whaley and Gabrielle Anwar and follows a gang of friends who discover a time capsule they buried many year before, along with th
  • Argentina's San Luis festival announces inaugural lineup

    The San Luis International Film Festival has announced the line-up of its first edition (Nov 16-25). The $ 0.7m Argentinian festival will open with veteran Sidney Lumet's new thriller Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and will close with Bille August's Goodbye Bafana, both to be shown out of competition.Among the international guests expected to attend are David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortens
  • Arts Alliance adds download deal for ITV library titles

    Arts Alliance Media has struck a deal with ITV DVD, part of Granada Ventures, to offer downloads-to-own. A range of film from the ITV DVD archive - ranging from Brief Encounter and the Carry On films to The Shawshank Redemption - will be available via AAM's Vizumi download site and its partner sites including LoveFilm, AOL UK and Empire. Prices for downloads to own will start at $6 (£2.99). Steve Gallant, publishing director, ITV DVD, said: 'DTO is an
  • As Band's Visit is axed from Oscar race, Beaufort is putforward

    The Israeli Film Academy is in an uproar over the 2008 Oscars, as the country's expected contender was disqualified and a replacement has now been submitted.Eran Kolirin's The Band's Visit, which has been voted hands down by the Academy as the best Israeli film of the year, has been disqualified for the Best Foreign Film Oscar category.The film was disqualified because more than half its dialogue is not in Hebrew - the dialogue is also in English because the film is the t
  • Astrablu Media buys all assets of Just Betzer's estate

    Astrablu Media has acquired all assets of the estate of Danish producer Just Betzer and his related companies, including a film library encompassing titles such as the 1988 best foreign language Oscar winner Babette's Feast.Prior to his death in November 2003 Betzer, who headed Panorama Films International, was in the final stages of developing a slate of high-profile literary properties with Astrablu.Titles include:
  • Audience wins San Fransisco Documentary Festival top prize

    Michael Jacobs' Audience Of One won about the making of a religious sci-fi epic took home the prize for best documentary feature at the 6th San Francisco Documentary Festival, which wrapped on Oct 11.Ben Wu's Cross Your Eyes, Keep Them Wide, a portrait of artists with developmental disabilities, won the best documentary short award.The festival ran from Sept 28-Oct 10. For further informatio
  • AV Pictures on board for Clubbed starring Colin Salmon

    UK-based sales company AV Pictures has taken on international sales for Neil Thompson's Clubbed. The UK feature is now in post-production with delivery scheduled for December 2007. AV will be showing a promo reel to buyers during the AFM. Colin Salmon stars as a nightclub owner in the 1980s. The cast also features Shaun Parkes and Maxine Peake. The script was written by BAFTA winner Geoff Thompson, inspired by his autobiography Watch My Back. Mart
  • Bals Fund backs new digital films from Wang Bing, Paz Encina

    The Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam has selected four new film projects to receive funding from its digital production category.The four projects will receive grants for low-budget digital productions.They are: Wang Bing's The Journey of Crude Oil (China), about the oil industry in the Gobi desert; Liu Jiayin's OxhideII (China), the sequel to Oxhide which examines the decline of a family business; Paz Encina's A Sigh (Un
  • Belgium - The Ben X factor

    "We're still floating in seventh heaven, on a Montreal cloud," says Belgian director Nic Balthazar following the success of his directorial debut Ben X at the Montreal festival in September.The film is based on When Nothing Was All He Said, a novel Balthazar wrote about a young autistic boy who is bullied to death. The novel spawned a successful play, Nothing. One of Belgium's most celebrated production companies MMG, whose credits include Brussels By Night
  • Big screen version of Land Of The Lost will start in March 2008

    Universal Pictures has set a March 2008 start date on its adaptation of the TV series Land Of The Lost.As previously announced Will Ferrell will star in the family adventure as a disgraced paleontologist stranded in a prehistoric world after embarking on an expedition with his assistant and a guide.Brad Silberling will direct from an adapted screenplay by Chris Henchy and Dennis McNicholas. The original series creators Sid and Marty Krofft are producing with Jimmy Miller.
  • Casting Society Of America announces annual Artios nominees

    The Casting Society of America has announced the annual Artios Awards nominees, set to be handed out in Los Angeles on Nov 5.In the dramatic feature film category Debra Zane and Jay Binder for Dreamgirls will battle it out with Joanna Colbert for Hollywoodland, Amanda Mackey and Cathy Sandrich Gelfond for The Good Shepherd, Marcia S Ross and Robin Cook for
  • China's SARFT, Singapore's MDA sign slate of agreements

    China 's State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) have inked a slate of media-related MOUs to spearhead media co-operation between the two countries. Three government-to-government MOUs were signed last Friday to facilitate co-productions and encourage reciprocal participation in key media events. Singapore 's Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Lee Boon Yang, was the guest-of-honour at
  • Chouga

    Dir. Darezhan Omirbaev. Kazakhstan / France, 2007. 88 Min.Darezhan Omirbayev's minimalist film takes Tolstoy's Anna Karenina from St. Petersburg and Moscow to Almaty and Astana, and from 1877 to 2007. It is an adaptation that will surprise many by the economy of means applied to one of the most effusive and lavish love stories of all time. Paring down the massive original to its bare bones,
  • Christophe Barratier revisits 1930s Paris

    'From the beginning, it was all a question of cost because the film is very, very expensive,' says French director Christophe Barratier of the $38.2m budget for Faubourg 36, the follow-up to his hugely successful 2004 film, The Chorus.'You can't find the Paris of the 1930s in Paris itself anymore. It's completely disappeared,' says producer Nicolas Mauvernay. 'We had to build it from scratch.'The film-makers scouted Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Romania an
  • Critical Mass: What happened to the 90-minute film'

    Whatever happened to the 90-minute film' You only have to look at the top prizes at Venice this year to realise this classic running time is no longer the norm. The Golden Lion went to Ang Lee's Lust, Caution (156 minutes). The Special Jury prize was shared by The Secret Of The Grain (153 minutes) and I'm Not There (135 minutes) - with the latter also earning Cate Blanchett a Coppa Volpi for best actress. Brad Pitt picked up the best actor award for his performance in
  • Denmark's Nordisk buys 50% of Swedish producer S/S Fladen

    Copenhagen-based distributor Nordisk Film has formed a strategic partnership with Swedish production company S/S Fladen, acquiring 50% of the company. The deal is the latest in a string of alliances struck by Nordisk over the last two years after similar cooperations with Tre Vänner, Illusion Film, Hep Film and Bob Film. 'Close relations in the local movie production environment in all the Nordic countries are of great importance to Nordisk Film, and we are very happ
  • Editorial - Screen says Lions or Lambs'

    Hollywood has become just another territory.' United Artists CEO Paula Wagner's bold statement to this year's Mipcom in Cannes needs to be taken with a pinch or two of seasoning.It was, after all, delivered in Europe - and her UA partner Tom Cruise is shooting Valkyrie in Germany. Hollywood talks a lot these days about partnership but in terms of finance, distribution and sheer business muscle, it's not an equal one.The cynic might see Wagner's statement as rather like a
  • Eight films shortlisted for Academy's short documentary Oscar

    Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy, Freeheld, If It Happens, La Corona (The Crown), Ochberg's Orphans, Portraits Of A Lady, Salim Baba, and Sari's Mother have made it on to the Academy's short documentary shortlist.Voters from the Documentary Branch of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences viewed 23 eligible contenders and submitted their ballots to PricewaterhouseCoopers.The line-up will
  • Eight new Polish films to be screened at Warsaw's third CentEast

    Veteran Polish film director Andrzej Wajda's Katyn, actor-director Jerzy Stuhr's Twist Of Fate and Dariusz Jablonski's feature debut Strawberry Wine are among eight new Polish films being shown as part of the Warsaw's International Film Festival's third CentEast Market (Oct 17-21) showcasing the best of Central and Eastern European cinema of the past six months with a special eye to the growing market possibilities in Eastern Europe itself. The other eight titles bei
  • Eros and Darby set upIndia-based effects companyEyeQube

    In yet another strategic expansion, India 's leading integrated media company Eros International is working with international visual effects expert Charles Darby to start a new venture called EyeQube Studios Private Ltd. Eros will make an initial investment of $5m-$7m into EyeQube and each film will bring in its own production budget.Eros holds the majority ownership stake in the new company, and Darby will hold a smaller stake. The aim of the studio is to provide more than a v
  • European Academy to honour Jean-Luc Godard and Michael Ballhaus

    The European Film Academy is to honourJean-Luc Godard and Michael Ballhaus.The awards will be made at the European Film Awards in Berlin on December 1.Godard receives a lifetime achievement award. He hasbeen making films for nearly 50 years, since his 1960 debut, A Bout De Souffle (Breathless).The academy is also honouring his work asinformed observer and critic.Ballhausreceives an award for European achievement in world cinema, the Prix Screen Internation
  • Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone

    Dir. Hideaki Anno, Kazuya Tsurumaki,Masayuki. Japan, 2007. 98 min.Pusan's closing night film is brash, loud, colourful but pretty confusing if you are not acquainted withthe ins and outs of the original 1995 anime TV series. It is already a hit in Japan where millions watched its final television episode. But itshouldfind an early-teens audience anywhere aware of its mythology. For those unfami
  • Exhibitors to debate digital change at Bucharest conference

    More than 400 European exhibitors will debate the future of cinema at the12th annual conference of the Europa Cinemas networkin Bucharest, Romania, on November 15 - 18.The annual event will againturn its main focus on the impact of digital technologies on the theatrical business.There will also be sessions on renewing audiences andcultural diversity. In addition, a dozen European films will be previewed to conference participants. The event at Bucharest's JW Marriott hote
  • Festival - Industry - The call of Rome

    The Rome Film Fest's market event, The Business Street (October 18-21), was one of the inaugural festival's most popular and effective events. This year, it is attracting more than 300 international industry delegates, including Celluloid Dreams, The Match Factory and The Weinstein Company.The event is gathering steam and has been roundly welcomed by the European industry. Loic Magneron of Paris-based Wide Management says: "I have the feeling Rome could be one of the main new markets f
  • Festival - London burning bright

    Celebrating its 50th anniversary last year, The Times BFI London Film Festival (LFF) announced a thorough consultation process on its future. Everything was put under the microscope as the event sought the opinions of audiences, industry and media alike: should the festival dates be moved' Should it become competitive'A year on and there are no major differences in the LFF's structure, date or aims. Calls from senior industry figures - among them UK Film Council chairman Stewart
  • Festival - Production Finance Market - Search for new money

    It is a timely moment for a pilot Production Finance Market (PFM, October 22-23). The event, backed by Film London in association with the London Film Festival, comes when the UK - thanks to the end of the sale-and-leaseback era, the new UK tax credits and the strong pound - is no longer an especially desirable co-production partner. It is now becoming harder than ever for producers to finance mid-level projects."It's a very difficult time in the UK independent production market," says
  • Festival - Second Life

    Launching a major new competitive festival in a crowded calendar was never going to be easy. At times it looked like last year's inaugural Rome Film Fest was going to be as notable for its audacious entry to the festival circuit as it would for its programme. In the end Rome was well received by the industry, and in its second year the event is looking to consolidate its strengths as an audience festival with a strong seam of premieres.This year's programme has 28 world premieres acros
  • Focus bolsters production, Rogue distribution moved to Universal

    Focus Features has bolstered its production department as the company moves toward a bigger slate and eyes greater collaboration with parent company Universal Pictures' overseas production group.Focus Features chief executive officer James Schamus also announced that the distribution and marketing of Rogue Pictures releases will henceforth be handled by Universal.Rogue co-presidents Andrew Karpen and Andrew Rona will continue to run Rogue and coordinate the slate for dome
  • Foreign affairs: Academy leaders on the improved foreign-language rules

    When it comes to its influential foreign-language film category, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (Ampas) was aware of shortcomings in the criteria for submission and selection of nominees. It seemed each year threw up a controversial omission - the fact instant classics such as Three Colours: Red (1994), The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) and Hidden (2005) were ineligible since they fell through national cracks, or the fact that celebrated but challenging submiss
  • Gail Heaney named senior vice president of media at Summit

    Summit Entertainment has hired Gail Heaney as senior vice president of media.Heaney will strategise the media mix in support of Summit releases in all major distribution windows and supervise the studio's media buying agencies to deliver marketing materials to the consumer via print, broadcast, outdoor and online outlets.She will report to Summit's soon to be named president of marketing.Heaney most recently worked for CW Television Network as the vice preside
  • Gone With The Woman will open Hollywood Film Festival

    The US premieres of Petter Naess's Norwegian romantic comedy Gone With The Woman and Uwe Boll's video game adaptation Postal bookend the 11th Annual Hollywood Film Festival, set to take place in Los Angeles from Oct 17-22.Barry Gray's Bloodsucking Cinema, Steven Sawalich's Music Within, James Franco's Good Time Max, Charles Oliver's Take, Stephen Eckelberry's The Mirror, and Amir Mann's The Fifth Patient are the Centrepiece Gala screenings.Nominees for the Screen Internat
  • Grierson: Sheffield Awards reveals shortlisted documentaries

    Sheffield Doc/Fest (Nov 7-11) has announced the nominees for the first Grierson: Sheffield Documentary Awards, which will be presented Nov 10. There are three categories in the awards: an innovation award, a green award for a project about environmental issues and a youth jury award chosen by 16-18 year olds. The Innovation Award shortlist is: Consent by Brian Hill How is Your Fish Today' by Xiaolu Guo Talk to Meby Mark Craig w
  • Harry Potter 5 breaks $100m gross mark in UK

    Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix has crossed $100m in the UK, according to fresh data from Warner Bros Pictures International released on Monday [Oct 15].The film reached the milestone in its 14th weekend on release and has grossed $645.2m internationally.The distributor also released final figures for the last weekend's staggering debut of El Orfanato (The Orphanage) in Spain, whic
  • Honeydripper

    Dir/scr: John Sayles. US. 2007. 123mins. Relaxed, confident and very percussive in texture and mood, John Sayles' musical fable Honeydripper is the director's strongest work since Lone Star (1996). The story of a juke joint pro
  • IDFA to open with wartime project Operation Homecoming

    The 20th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) will open Nov 22 with Richard Robbins' Operation Homecoming: Writing The Wartime Experience. This film is based on letters, poems, essays and diary fragments of American soldiers serving in Iraq (via a National Endowment for the Arts programme), set against universal themes from war literature. Beau Bridges and Robert Duvall narrate alongside soldiers themselves. It will compete in the Joris Ivens competi
  • IFP to present tribute to Mayor Bloomberg at Gotham Awards

    IFP will present a tribute to the New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the 17th Annual Gotham Awards on Nov 27.Bloomberg will be recognised for his leadership in boosting the city's credentials as a film-making hub and for supporting economic, educational, and cultural initiatives throughout the five boroughs including the Made In NY programme.During the Bloomberg administration, IFP launched, in collaboration with the City's Department of Small Business Services, a pilot
  • In Focus - Q&A: Talking shop

    VINCENT MARAVAL, CO-CHIEF, WILD BUNCHWhich co-production markets do you attend'We go to CineMart to find co-producers for our own projects and to co-produce some other projects. We did The Magdalene Sisters, Carnages and some others that way. We use Pusan in the same way. It has the best knowledge of the Asian projects. We also go to L'Atelier in Cannes, which is becoming something important.Which are the best organised'Pusan. It's very convenient. It
  • International - Apocalypse wow

    Russian action film Apocalypse Code was the highest non-domestic entry into the international top 40 this weekend, taking $3.5m from 656 screens in its home territory.The film, directed by Vadim Shmelev (Countdown) and distributed by Caroprokat, made the top 10 and enjoyed a $5,308 screen average after opening in Russia at the weekend. The story follows a secret agent who has been dispatched to defuse four atomic bombs around the world.French films accounted for 4.
  • International comment - Comic potential

    The top-ranked film in France last week was 99 Francs, based on a best-seller about an advertising executive who confronts the insignificance of his life and decides to end it all. Of course, life gets in the way of his conviction or it would be a very short film.While not precisely drama or comedy, this kinetically paced, visually eye-popping odyssey might be likened to Network, a social satire grounded in a heightened reality and dripping with black comic observation. I
  • Into the Arthouse: how artists like Sam Taylor-Wood move into film

    There has always been an overlap between art and film. From surrealists such as Man Ray, Jean Cocteau and Salvador Dali to Cindy Sherman (Office Killer), Matthew Barney (Cremaster) and Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell And The Butterfly), a steady stream of artists have crossed over into film-making.In the late 1990s a generation of young British artists - including Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Sam Taylor-Wood - assumed the status of pop stars under the 'Britart' h
  • Israeli film Foul Gesture claims first international buyers

    Israeli revenge drama Foul Gesturehas soldto Barton Films for Spain, Portugal and AndorraTzahi Grad's$0.5m film proved a huge success at the San Sebastian film festival and has been a hit with critics.'We don't have a sales agent attached to the film yet, but [Bilbao based] Barton films have bought the rights for Spain, Portugal and Andora, where it will be distributed in 3-4 months time,' Grad told ScreenDaily.Foul Gesture is a revenge drama ab
  • John Cale to star in Aguero's Salamandra

    Music legend John Cale is appearing opposite Argentinean actress Dolores Fonzi (El Aura) in Pablo Aguero's feature debut Salamandra which begins principal photography in a remote community in Patagonia from today (Oct 11).The Euros 1m mother-son drama about a six-year old boy taken by his mother on a hitch-hiking trip to Patagonia is being produced by France's JBA Production with Argentina's Rizoma Films and Germany's Rohfilm, with backing from bro
  • Jolie gets outstanding performance award from Santa Barbara

    Angelina Jolie will be honoured at the 23rd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) on Feb 2 2008 with the Outstanding Performance Of The Year Award for her role in A Mighty Heart.Jolie plays Mariane Pearl, the widow of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Michael Winterbottom's film is adapted from Pearl's book of the same name.After breaking out in HBO's 1998 film
  • Kojo's Smith breaks ground with new Sony HD camera on Beautiful

    A group of Australian filmmakers, some of whom were involved on the very successful digital feature Wolf Creek , are making their new project Beautiful as one of the first features to be shot with the new Sony F23 CineAlta HD camera. Dean O'Flaherty is directing and Adelaide-based Kojo Pictures' Kent Smith is producing and shooting the film. The film-makers believe they are the first English-language production made with the new camera, which they bough
  • Ladd to head Tokyo's international competition jury

    The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) has announced the members of its international competition jury. Famed Hollywood executive and producer Alan Ladd Jr. will head the jury. Ladd previously ran 20th Century Fox, during which time Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back were produced. Hits Moonstruck and Thelma & Louise were produced during his tenure as head of MGM/UA. He also won a Best Picture Oscar for producing Braveheart under The Ladd Compa
  • LFF hosts groundbreaking digital distribution event

    The London Film Festival is hosting a groundbreaking forum looking at the digital distributionfor independent film-makers.Power To The Pixel, at the National Film Theatre on Friday October 26, has gathered together some of the leading experts in the field.Speakers include veteran indie producer andpresident of Emerging Pictures,Ira Deutchman; Withoutabox founders David Strausand Joe Neulight; pioneering activist film-maker Robert Greenwald.There will also be case studies
  • Lightning takes on Dafoe-starrer Anamorph for AFM

    Santa Monica-based Lightning Entertainment will begin sales at AFM on its most high-profile narrative title to date, the Seven-like psychological thriller Anamorph starring Willem Dafoe and Scott Speedman.The plot pits a tormented detective against a serial killer and old adversary who constructs crime scenes in a way that recalls earlier cases and forces the investigator to reassess his own history.
  • London Children's Film Festival to open with Bee Movie

    The London Children's Film Festival will run Nov 17-25 at the Barbican and 10 other cinemas, opening with a gala preview screening of Bee Movie.The programme for children, families and schools will close with Cristiano Bortone's Red Like The Sky from Italy. In addition to screenings, the festival also includes workshops, a talk with Peter Lord about Morph!, and a sing-a-long with
  • Lust, Caution's China release delayed for one week

    China Film Group has confirmed that the mainland China release of Ang Lee's Lust, Caution has been postponed once again, this time from October 26 to November 1. The reason for the delay is to avoid competition with foreign blockbusters, according to Beijing-based cinemas. The film was originally scheduled to open in mid-September, but was pushed back so it wouldn't clash with Jiang Wen's The Sun Also Rises, and to give Ang Lee time to deliver a China-friendly edit.
  • Mannheim selects 54 projects including Holland's Christine

    New film projects from Poland's Agnieszka Holland, Belgium's Geoffrey Enthoven, and the UK's Chris Forster are among 54 projects being pitched to potential partners at the Mannheim Meetings which begin on Sunday (Oct 14). Almost half (26) of the projects being pitched in one-to-one meetings are from Western Europe, including Cardiff-based Chris Forster's first solo feature, the $2.8m (Euros 2m) thriller The Mire Archive, which is to be produced by Eclectic Films with Vertigo Films
  • Match Factory seals raft of deals for Wang'sThousand Years

    The Match Factory has sealed a number of deals for Wayne Wang's San Sebastian Golden Shell winner A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and the companion piece The Princess Of Nebraska with rights going to France (Diaphana), Spain (Karma Films), Switzerland (Cineworx), and Argentina (Primer Plano).A Thousand Years Of Good Prayers had been pre-sold ahead of San Sebastian to Pandora Filmverleih for Germany and Austria and to Mikado for Italy. In addition, the
  • Mi Vida Dentro wins top prize at Mexico's Morelia Film Festival

    Lucia Gajá's documentary Mi Vida Dentro (My Life Inside), a tragic story of a Mexican young woman who migrated illegally to USA and was later imprisoned on suspicion of murder, won top prize at the fifth Morelia Film Festival in Mexico.The film shows the legal process, the verdict, the separation from her family, her impotence as an example of what life for Mexican migrants can be like. In the same c
  • Mipcom attendance up 10% as mobile content plays bigger role

    The annual Mipcom TV market drew to an official close Friday following a week that saw big increases in attendance.Numbers for buyers and exhibitors on site were up 10% to 4,237 and 1,801 respectively. The event continues to focus on traditional TV programming but the impact of digital and mobile technologies and platforms - along with the explosion of user-generated content for the Web - continues to grow.For the third year in a row, Mipcom devoted a special sidebar- the Mobile
  • New Zealand's Signature scheme kicks off with Urale's debut

    Sima Urale is set to start production on her debut feature, Apron Strings, this month.Laila Rouass will star alongside Scott Wills, Jennifer Ludlum and Nathan Whittaker.Urale is internationally known for her shorts O'Tamaiti, Still Life, and Coffee & Allah. The latter premiered in Venice earlier this year.Rachel Gardner of Maxim Films is prod
  • Odeon Sky Filmworks strikes UK deal for REC with Filmax

    Odeon Sky Filmworks has taken the UK rights to Filmax's REC. The deal was negotiated during the Toronto International Film Festival between Filmax CEO Carlos Fernandez, managing director Carles Rojano, and head of international Vicente Canales and Tony Miller head of Odeon Sky Filmworks. The Spanish-language supernatural horror film is directed by Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza and produced by Castelao Productions. The story follows a young TV reporter and cameraman who f
  • Oz awards season kicks off with Home Song Stories in the lead

    The Home Song Stories was the stand-out film when the Inside Film Awards announced their nominees yesterday (Oct 10). Only in the editing category did it miss out. Those named in relation to the film include producers Liz Watts and Michael McMahon for best film, director Tony Ayres, actress Joan Chen and schoolboy actor Joel Lok. The film is a very personal one for Ayres: it is based on his relationship with his mother in the years between the family's arrival in Australia from Ch
  • Paramount strikes European d-cinema deal with Arts Alliance Media

    Digital cinema company Arts Alliance Media has signed a non-exclusive long-term deal with Paramount for digital cinema deployment in Europe.Under the pact, Paramount Pictures International has committed to supply its films in digital format to AAM DCI-compliant screens in the UK and Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, the Nordic countries and Benelux.The deal adds to AAM's existing agreements with Twentieth Century Fox and Universal Pictures Internat
  • Patrick Smith Kelly hired to write GK Films' Benighted

    Patrick Smith Kelly has been hired to write the screenplay adaptation of GK Films' adaptation of Kit Whitfield's supernatural novel Benighted.Graham King acquired rights to the book in 2006 and will produce with Andrew Adamson for Warner Bros.Adamson is in talks to direct the story about a minority human population charged with keeping werewolves at bay during the full moon. The book is published as
  • Peur(s) du Noir selected as Rome's surprise film

    The Rome Film Fest has announced the world premiere of Peur(s) du Noir - a collective animation film featuring the work of six top comic book and graphic art talents. The film focuses on childhood nightmares and adult phobias.Celluloid Dreams is handling sales. The six episodes are designed by Strasbourg-born Blutch (Christian Hincker) whose career began in 1998 with a Fluide Glacial publication; Paris-based Lorenzo Mattotti - a prolific comic book artist, painter and illustrato
  • PUSAN: AFCNet to discuss production incentives

    AFCNet, the Asian Film Commissions Network, has announced the launch of the first Asia Pacific Film Industry Policy Forum at its annual General Assembly yesterday. The three-day forum which will be held from October 11-13 during BIFCOM 2008 (in conjunction with Pusan 's Asian Film Market) will provide a much-needed platform for AFCNet members, government policymakers as well as foreign producers who are keen to film in Asia. 'It's the first such forum of its kind for the film indu
  • PUSAN: Asian Film Market better for schmoozing then selling

    As the second Asian Film Market wound down on Thursday (Oct 11), the consensus seemed to be that Pusan is still a key meeting point for the pan-Asian film industry - as it was before the launch of the market - but has some way to go before it becomes a major international platform for buying and selling. According to a final report, the market attracted around 3,600 guests, of which 1,600 were registered participants, which is roughly the same turnout as the inaugural edition. Around 460
  • PUSAN: Cineclick sells package to Middle East

    Seoul-based sales agent Cineclick Asia has announced a flurry of sales to three territories - the Middle East, Japan and Hungary - at the Asian Film Market, headlined by Kim Ki-duk's Breath, which looks set to be the first Korean film theatrically released in the Arab regions. Ghassan Production and Distribution (GPD) took Middle Eastern rights to Kim's recent Cannes competition entry, along with another nine films which sold for TV and DVD/video rights. The package include
  • PUSAN: Germany's Splendid snaps up Japanese duo

    Germany 's Splendid Film is continuing its splurge on Asian titles at Pusan AFM by acquiring two Japanese titles - TBS' Crows: Episode 0 and Toei's X-Cross. The Crows deal was closed today by TBS International Content Business division's Miyuki Takamatsu and Splendid's Marko Moellers. Splendid acquired all German and Benelux rights. Splendid previously acquired TBS hits Sinking Of Japan and Dororo before the films were completed. Directed by cult
  • PUSAN: Hong Kong heats up as shooting destination

    Hong Kong has been picked as the shooting location for a further three international productions, as it is gearing up for the latest film in the Batman franchise, The Dark Knight, early next month. According to the Hong Kong Film Services Office, which is attending Pusan 's BIFCOM locations showcase, Summit Entertainment will film the bulk of Push in the territory. Directed by Lucky Number Slevin's Paul McGuignan, the action thriller stars Chris Evans,
  • PUSAN: Mendoza titles score salesto UK, France

    Foster Child and Slingshot, two films by Filipino director Brillante 'Dante' Mendoza which are currently playing at the Pusan International Film Festival, have been sold to the UK and France respectively. Pecadillo Pictures has taken on the UK rights to Foster Child in a deal concluded by the company's Tom Abell and Kahloon Loke with Philippines-based Ignatius Films Canada. The picture won Cherry Pie Picache the best actress award in Cinefan in Delhi this year
  • PUSAN: New Currents Awards presented to three films

    The Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF)gave awards tothree films in its New Currents section of up-and-coming Asian directors, which is the only competitive section of the festival. The three films, which were awarded with $30,000 each, were Life Track by Guang Hao Jin (China/Korea), Flower In The Pocket by Seng Tat Liew (Malaysia) and Wonderful Town by Aditya Assarat (Thailand). Iranian director Dariush Mehrjui headed the jury, joined by Chinese a
  • PUSAN: Nikkatsu sellsMegane to Korea's Sponge

    Seoul-based distributor Sponge Entertainment has acquired all rights to Japanese studio Nikkatsu's indie hit Megane. The sale was closed during Pusan 's Asian Film Market by Shinako Matsuda of Nikkatsu's film business division and Sponge international business manager Eugene Song. A drama set at a remote island inn, Megane reunites director Naoko Ogigami and key cast, plus new addition Ryo Kase (Letters From Iwo Jima), of Ogigami's previous indie hit Kamome
  • PUSAN: Wang's 11 Flowers wins Pusan Award

    Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai's 11 Flowers was presented with the $20,000 Pusan Award at the closing of the Asian Film Market and Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) on Thursday night. The award, from the Metropolitan City of Busan, is designed to support a talented director and producer. Wang, whose credits include Shanghai Dreams and Beijing Bicycle, is working with Isabelle Glachant on the project. As with Shanghai Dreams, 11 Flowers is based on Wang
  • Rai Cinema, under D'Amico, ramps up co-productions

    Rai Cinema's new chief Caterina D'Amico says the film production arm will place a special emphasis on co-productions and to illustrate the point, Rai Cinema has just signed on as 25% partner of Spike Lee's $45m project Miracle at St. Anna, which begins shooting Monday at Cinecitta studios before moving on to locations in Tuscany. The cast features Laz Alonso, Omar Benson Miller, Christian Berkel, Michael Ealy, Valentina Cervi, Pierfrancesco Favino, Omero Antonutti, Derek Luke, James Gan
  • Randolph Paul joins Halcyon as COO in LA

    Randolph Paul has joined the Halcyon Company as chief operating officer. He will be based in the Los Angeles office and report to Halcyon co-chief executive officers Victor Kubicek and Derek Anderson.Paul is an experienced executive who was present at the inception of Miramax Films in the 1980s before moving on to Sovereign Pictures in the early 1990s, and Cinergi Productions shortly thereafter.He has served as an entertainment attorney and company shareholder of Greenber
  • Ratatouille dominates UK box-office as Resident Evil takes $2m

    Ratatouille dominated the UK chart this weekend with a hefty $9m take (£4.4m) from 503 sites in its opening weekend. Click here to see the chart.The Pixar adventure, released through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International (WDSMPI), boasted an impressive $18,047 (8,863) site average and beat the next highest entrant, Resident Evil: Extinction, by a landslide taking nearly five times mo
  • Ratatouille looks to continue strong run with UK opening

    All eyes will be on the UK this weekend as Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International (WDSMPI) launches its global hit Ratatouille.The release should dominate the charts despite anticipated strong competition from Sony Pictures Releasing International's (SPRI) Resident Evil: Extinction on 320 prints on the same day, Oct 12.Ratatouille has amassed
  • Reygadas' Silent Light takes Golden Hugo at Chicago

    Carlos Reygadas' Silent Light from Mexico has won the 43rd Chicago International Film Festival's most prestigious award, the Gold Hugo.The Silver Hugo special jury prize went to Wang Quanan's Chinese entry Tuya's Marriage, and the Silver Hugo Award for direction was presented to Roy Andersson's Swedish film You, The Living.The Silver Hugo Award for be
  • Rithy Panh's Paper takes documentary prize at EFAs

    The European Film Academy has announced that Rithy Panh's Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers (Le Papier Ne Peut Pas Envelopper La Braise), a French production, is the winner of the 2007 Prix Arte for best documentary. This year's jury for the Prix Arte was comprised of Francine Brucher, David Fisher and Philip Groening. Ten documentaires had been shortlisted. The award will be presented at the 20th European Film Awards in Berlin on Dec 1. The jury said: 'Carefully balanci
  • Ruins allowed in Acropolis as Greece entices foreign shoots

    This weekend saw the first film production in history given a permit to shoot inside the famed Acropolis in Athens. My Life In Ruins, produced by Playtone, stars Nia Vardalos of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame as a guide leading tourists through Greek archeological sites. The team shot in the Acropolis this weekend and will wrap in Athens later this week. The production also shot in Olympia and Delphi. The seven-week shoot started in Spain, with Kanzaman SA serving as Spa
  • Russian hit Apocalypse Code enters international top 10

    Russian action hit Apocalypse Code was the highest non-US entry into the international top 40 this weekend, taking $3.6m from 697 screens. For the full chart, compiled by Len Klady, click here. The film, directed by Vadim Shmelev, just made the top 10 and enjoyed a $5,167 screen average from three territories. It generated $3.5m from Russia alone.The story follows a se
  • Sal Ladestro promoted to executive vice president at SPRI

    Sal Ladestro has been promoted to executive vice president of marketing, acquisitions and local productions at Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI).Ladestro has been working in his new capacity since February and will continue to develop, implement and supervise international marketing campaigns for films from all Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) divisions including Sony Pictures Classics, Screen Gems and TriStar Pictures.The remit encompasses titles delivered by
  • Saville's Noise takes top prize at Australian Directors Guild Awards

    Matt Saville's drama Noise, about a highly unmotivated police officer, and Kriv Stenders' ultra low-budget project Boxing Day, about a man struggling to stay clear of drugs and crime, won the two major feature film prizes at the Australian Directors Guild (ADG) Awards on Saturday in Sydney.Noise won the most prestigious category of the inaugural awards night -- outstanding achievement in direction - but Boxing Day's prize could end up being of much m
  • Schrader to take lifetime achievement award in Stockholm

    The Stockholm International Film Festival will honour director Paul Schrader with this year's lifetime achievement award. The US director and screenwriter will attend the festival to pick up his Bronze Horse in person. The festival will have a special section devoted to Schrader's past work, and will also screen his 2007 drama The Walker starring Lauren Bacall and Woody Harrelson. Other visitors to the festival will include Anton Corbijn, whose debut feature Control
  • Seventh Art takes on Daughters Of Wisdom after IFP

    Seventh Art Releasing has picked up North American rights to Bari Pearlman's documentary Daughters Of Wisdom, which explores life at a Buddhist monastery for nuns in Tibet. The deal was done at the 29th IFP Market's No Borders co-production event in New York, a key gathering of industry personnel where producers can pitch their projects financiers, casting agents and distributors. Danae Elon's documentary The Evil Tongue, about a Jewish reporter who uncovers a
  • Shoreline picks up Franco's Max, Kill Kill Faster Faster for AFM

    Heading into AFM, Shoreline Entertainment has announced its acquisition of worldwide rights to James Franco's drama Good Time Max also starring Franco and the noir thriller Kill Kill Faster Faster.Franco wrote and directed Good Time Max, about two brothers who grow apart when one becomes a surgeon and the other falls into the grip of drugs.Franco star
  • Sicko, Crazy Love among IDA Awards best feature nominees

    Dan Klores' Crazy Love, Richard E Robbins' Operation Homecoming: Writing The Wartime Experience, Michael Moore's Sicko, Alex Gibney's Taxi To The Dark Side, and Mary Olive Smith's A Walk To Beautiful have been nominated in the best feature category of the 2007 International Documentary Associat
  • Singh's The Fall takes best film prize at Sitges

    The Sitges film festival has awarded its Best Film prize to The Fall by Indian-born director Tarsem Singh. This is the story of a stuntman who ends up in hospital, where he recounts a long tale to a young girl. That wasn't the festival's only winner, as Rec won a total of five awards, including best director for Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza and best actress for Manuela Velasco. That film is about a team of firefighters. Sam Rockwell took best actor for Joshua
  • Stephan, Lacy and Ptakowski join The Film Department

    Bernd Stephan has been named chief financial officer, Adene Lacy has been named vice president of finance, and Sara Ptakowski has been named director of human resources/operations at The Film Dept.Stephan arrives from Yari Film Group where he most recently served as senior vice president and controller and worked on releases such as The Illusionist, The Matador, and The Hoax.Lacy will overse
  • Swedish Film Institute gives $2.5m to films including Fares' Leo

    The Swedish Film Institute will provide $2.5m (Euros 1.8m) production support for eight new features, including a film by Josef Fares.Separately, the Finnish Film Foundation will contribute $409,000 (Euros 310,000) to the funding of two movies, both instigated before the Finnish producers' strike effective on Sept 14.Fares, whose Zozo won last year's Nordic Council Film Prize, has also written the script for Leo, and for the first time he will perform in one of his
  • The Board identity: BBC Filmsrestructuring

    The UK film industry rarely welcomes change. So Jane Tranter, controller of BBC Fiction, had a tough job on October 2 as she explained her decision to revamp BBC Films (which Tranter oversees).There will no longer be a single head in charge of the BBC's film arm. Instead, responsibility will be shared between a four-person board comprised of Christine Langan (commissioning editor, BBC Films), Jamie Laurenson (executive producer, BBC Films), Joe Oppenheimer (executive producer, BBC Film
  • The Kite Runner

    Dir: Marc Forster. US. 2007. 122mins.Better at exploring the bonds of family and friendship than at articulating the societal traumas that have haunted Afghanistan over the last three decades, The Kite Runner leaps from the page to the screen full of emotion and sensitive characterization. The source material's inherently melodramatic elements are mostly well-handled by director Marc Forster, but a problematic third act keeps this film from flying as high as it wou
  • The match-makers - new co-production markets

    It is a truth acknowledged universally that an international producer in possession of a good project must be in want of a backer. But as the international market adjusts to a new business reality, producers, particularly those with mid-level budgets, are struggling to find suitors. Not only is Hollywood awash with cash right now, flooding distribution schedules and disrupting the traditional pre-sales pipeline, but the broadcasting industry is undergoing profound change of its
  • The Orphanage takes 70% market share in Spain

    Ratatouille dominated the international market for the second consecutive weekend thanks to an estimated $21.7m weekend haul that raised the tally to $271.5m through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International (WDSMPI).The key driver was the UK, where the film opened at number one on $9.8m. There were strong holds throughout Europe, in particular the German-speaking regions where Ratatouille added
  • The Planet, Normal lead prizewinners at 26th Vancouver festival

    Michael Stenberg, Johan Soderberg and Linus Torell of Sweden won the Kyoto Planet Climate for Change Award for their documentary The Planet as the 26th Annual Vancouver International Film Festival drew to a close.The Citytv Western Canada Feature Film Award went to Carl Bessai of Vancouver for Normal, while Most Promising Director Of A Canadian Short Film was presented to Anna McRoberts for
  • The Works takes UK rights for Closing The Ring from Content

    The Works UK Distribution has acquired UK rights to Richard Attenborough's Closing The Ring.The deal was struck with sales company ContentFilm International, which will announce a US deal for the film soon.The Works plans a UK and Irish theatrical release on Dec 28. The film has its UK premiere on Oct 21 a the London Film Festival after premiering in Toronto. The film is a love story set in the present day and in World
  • Things We Lost In The Fire

    Dir: Susanne Bier. US. 2007. 113mins.Denmark's Susanne Bier makes a smooth transition to English-language film-making with a Seattle-set drama bristling with the intensity for which she has become renowned. Coaxing strong performances from her cast, Bier brings her trademark verite style to bear on the painful story of loss,
  • Tribe (Tribu)

    Dir. Jim Meer Libiran. Philippines, 2007. 95 min.Winner of this year's Cinemalaya top award and bound for a solid festival career around the world, Jim Libiran's vibrant debut goes back to the Manila slums, which have become lately the favourite spot for cinema in the Philippines. Thispowerful but downbeat portrait of a world ruled by the vicious circle of poverty and crime, focuses on its main victims, the young generation, angrily s
  • Tribe (Tribu)

    Dir. Jim Meer Libiran. Philippines, 2007. 95minsWinner of this year's Cinemalaya top award and bound for a solid festival career around the world, Jim Libiran's vibrant debut goes back to the Manila slums, which have become lately the favourite spot for cinema in the Philippines. Thispowerful but downbeat portrait of a world ruled by the vicious circle of poverty and crime, focuses on its main victims, the young generation, angrily self-destructing itself out
  • Tyler Perry's latest beats awards contenders at US box office

    Tyler Perry's relationship drama Why Did I Get Married' had too much firepower for its rivals this weekend as the film opened top on an estimated $21.5m.Perry wrote and directed and stars alongside Janet Jackson, Malik Yoba and Jill Scott in the tale of married friends who get together for a weekend of soul-searching.Michael Clayton, the legal thriller from Warner Bros that stars George Cloone
  • UFO signs exclusive deal with DG2L for 1,500 digital systems

    Indian digital cinema pioneer UFO Moviez has signed an exclusive deal with DG2L Technologies for digital cinema equipment and support. The deal will cover a record 1,500 digital cinema systems to be supplied by DG2L, which is headquartered in New York and has offices in Taiwan, Singapore, Brussels, Mumbai, Pune, Silicon Valley, and Beijing. Sanjay Gaikwad, CEO and executive director of UFO Moviez, said, 'The technology that DG2L Technologies possesses and provides is par excellenc
  • UKFC gives $500,000 P&A support to The Counterfeiters

    The UK Film Council has announced its latest recipients from the Prints & Advertising Fund: They are: $511,400 (£250,296) to Metrodome for The Counterfeiters $408,636 (£200,000) to Momentum for Control $255,700 (£124,937) to Metrodome for The Serpent $65,944 (£32,275) to Park Circus for The Sound of Music $10,216 (£5,000) to Soda Pictures for Someone Else $10,216 (£5,000) to Dogwoof Pictures for Tough Enough
  • Up Hit Creek: Joel Schumacher and Paul Brooks in Romania

    The secret to working in Romania is the smaller the budget, the better luck you're going to have,' suggests US director Joel Schumacher on the set of supernatural thriller Town Creek, which shot just outside Bucharest for 10 weeks this summer.'It's a small movie without major stars. It's gritty,' Schumacher says of the film, which has an estimated budget of $10m-$15m. 'I think we had enough money. I can't say it was luxurious but I think it was an appropriate amount.' Neither Sc
  • US Women In Film name emerging film-maker grantwinners

    The national alliance organisation of US Women In Film (WIF) has announced the winners of the second annual WIF/GM 2007 Acceleration Grant For Emerging Filmmakers.The winners are: Jamie Taucher from Sedona, Arizona; Julia Kots from New York, New York; Connie M Florez from Honolulu, Hawaii; Joyce Lee from San Francisco, California; and Mabel Valdiviezo, who also hails from San Francisco.The grant provides the recipients with a broad-based understanding of the business of f
  • UTV, Palador announce separate world cinema channels

    After severing ties,India's UTV and Palador Pictures haveseparately announced initiatives to promote world cinema. Integrated media company UTV will soon launch a TV channel focusing on international movies from across the globe. Called World Movies, the 24-hour channel will be targeted at Indian viewers agedbetween 18-35 years and will feature contemporary movies thathave beenbox office hits in their home countries. The films will be subtitled in English. Shantonu Aditya,
  • UTV's Spotboy unveils three-picture slate

    After establishing movie production brand Spotboy in May this year, UTV Motion Pictures has unveiled a slate of three Hindi films under the new division, to be directed by Shyam Benegal, Anurag Kashyap and debut director Raj Kumar Gupta. Benegal, whose credits include Nishant which screened in competition at Cannes in 1976, is currently shooting comedy Mahadev (working title) in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad. Mahadev is the story of a typical Indian vi
  • Van Dormeal's Mr Nobody ready to move to Germany

    Jaco van Dormeal's Mr Nobody, which has already shot in Belgium and Canada, will continue its six-month shoot moving later this month to Germany. The English-language project stars Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh Dan Pham, and Rhys Ifans. Van Dormeal also wrote the screenplay, about a man living in 2092 who is the last mortal living on earth and tries to reconcile his past memories. Philippe Godeau is producing for for Somebody Production, with co-pr
  • Walter Lassally to receive ASC International Achievement Award

    Walter Lassally will receive the 2008 American Society Of Cinematographers' (ASC) International Achievement Award at the 22nd Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards in Hollywood on Jan 26.Lassally's career spanned 50 years and highlights include the 1965 Academy Award win for Zorba The Greek, a BAFTA nomination in 1984 for Heat And Dust, and a British Society Of Cinematographers nomination in the sam
  • Warner buys into new franchise School Of Fear

    Warner Bros has made a preemptive buy on Gitty Daneshvari's partial manuscript of a four-book series called School Of Fear.Graham King will produce through his GK Films as the partners aim to establish a children's franchise along the lines of the phenomenally successful Harry Potter series.The story is based on Daneshvari's unpublished book about four youngsters sent to an ex
  • Weinstein keynote gives strong start to Abu Dhabi festival

    Abu Dhabi 's inaugural Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) got off to an extravagant start on Sunday evening with a ceremony that included an Academy Awards-style opening number choreographed by Broadway veteran Otis Sallid. A lavish party at the opulent festival centre, Emirates Palace, followed the screening of opening film Atonement, which met with modest applause from the 1,000-strong, mainly local audience. Glitches with over-ticketing meant that proceedings began
  • Weinstock named president of marketing for Screen Gems

    Marc Weinstock has been named president of marketing for Screen Gems and continues to report to Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group's chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution Jeff Blake.Weinstock joined Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) in 2000 as senior vice president of marketing for TriStar Pictures. He served in a similar capacity at Screen Gems and was promoted to executive vice president of marketing in January 2006, since which time the division has released seven nu
  • Wild Bunch picks up German animation The Three Robbers

    Wild Bunch has picked up international distribution for Hayo Freitag's The Three Robbers (Die Drei Raeuber), the first animation feature by Animation X, the animation arm of the Berlin production house X-Filme creative pool and David Groenewold's Promedium. Based on Tomi Unguerer's 1961 classic about three robbers who walk the roads in the dark of the night, hidden under large black capes and tall black hats, The Three Robbers will be released by X Verleih in German cinemas
  • World Premieres at the LFF

    LIONS FOR LAMBSSection: The Times GalaRobert Redford's new film is a contemporary thriller with a political undertow. The cast includes Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise, all of whom are expected to attend the LFF to support the launch. Twentieth Century Fox releases in the UK on November 9.THE ENGLISH SURGEON (RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH TWO REVOLVERS)Section: New British CinemaGeoffrey Smith's documentary is about a crusading British neurosurgeon who h