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17 April 2009

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  • 14th Annual Gen Art Film Festival honours My Suicide and Adelaide

    David Miller's My Suicide won the 14th Annual Gen Art Film Festival's $10,000 Acura Grand Jury Award for Best Feature and Liliana Greenfield-Sanders' Adelaide took the $5,000 Grand Jury Award for Best Short.Both films won the corresponding audience awards and received their honours following the closing night screening of Julie Davis'
  • 17 Again

    Dir. Burr Steers. US. 2009. 102 mins
  • 9th Annual Int'l Beverly Hills Film Festival unveils winners

    Andrea Pellizzer's Italian comedy Tre Lire, Primo Giorno and Michael Feifer's serial killer horror story Drifter: Henry Lee Lucas dominated the awards ceremony as the 9th Annual International Beverly Hills Film Festival came to a close over the weekend.Tre Lire, Primo Giorno won the best in show Golden Palm Award and best foreign film, while
  • Austrian Film Institute backs new projects by Seidl, Svoboda, Roehler

    New films by Antonin Svoboda, Ulrich Seidl, Harald Sicheritz and Peter Patzak are among the projects supported by $8.9m (Euros 6.7m) of funding from the Austrian FilmInstitute (ÖFI).
  • Bayona, Fresnadillo named as godfathers to Cannes Critics Week

    Directors Juan Antonio Bayona and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo will act as Godfathers to Cannes Critics’ Week for the 2009 edition.
  • Belgrade documentary fest kicks off with private funding

    The new Beldocs, the Belgrade International Feature Documentary Festival, opened on April 7 with the world premiere of Goodbye, How Are You’, the new film by Serbian film-maker Boris Mitic, best known for his 2003 festival hit Pretty Dyana. James Marsh’s Oscar winner Man on Wire followed. The festival wraps on April 13 with awards in the regional and international competitions. Organised by independent production and distribution company A
  • Bruce Robinson is 'comeback kid' with Rum Diary

    Bruce Robinson jokes that on the set of The Rum Diary starring Johnny Depp, he is the ‘comeback kid’ - directing his first film since 1992’s Jennifer 8. ‘Now I’m working with the world’s most famous movie star all of a sudden,’ Robinson says. ‘It’s kind of a shock to the central nervous system.’
  • Canadian locations fight stronger competition

    The world may be in an economic crisis but you would not know it looking at the latest statistics coming from the Vancouver film and television industry. Hollywood’s northernmost suburb recently posted some jaw-dropping production statistics.
  • Cannes' Gilles Jacob pays tribute to Wouter Barendrecht

    Cannes Film Festival president Gilles Jacob has paid a moving tribute to Wouter Barendrecht, the co-founder of Fortissimo Films, who died on Sunday (April 5).
  • City of Toronto takes stake in Pinewood's studio deal

    The City of Toronto has taken a 20% stake in the Pinewood consortium’s takeover of the city’s FilmPort megastudio.
  • CMG adds civil rights drama American Violet to Cannes slate

    Ed Noeltner’s Cinema Management Group has acquired international rights to Tim Disney’s civil rights drama American Violetand will commence sales in Cannes next month.
  • Dennis Lim joins New York Film Festival selection committee

    Dennis Lim, editor of the Museum Of The Moving Image’s online publication Moving Image Source, has joined the New York Film Festival’s selection committee.
  • Distribution - Market Report - France

    French and US films have long vied for dominance at the French box office. In 2008, there were 52 US films or co-productions in the top 100. France produced 43 films in the top 100 for the year, only two of which were co-productions: Babylon A.D. (with the US) and Survivre Avec Les Loups (with Belgium and Germany).The UK is a distant third in terms of releases figuring in the top 100. There were two in the top 100 in 2008: The Bank Job and Ken Loach’s It’
  • Distribution - Market Report - France - Marketing 'ad spend is constantly going up'

    How is theatrical film marketing changing’Henri Ernst (TFM): Competition is fierce with so many films, and costs have gone up in general. The choice of a release date is now crucial. It always was, but with so many films it’s even more important now.Jean-Philippe Tirel (Wild Bunch Distribution): Ad spend is constantly going up, especially in terms of in-theatre promotion.What have been the most successful marketing innovations’Sebastien Cariel (SND): Video on the i
  • Distribution - Market Report - Italy

    French films took a 3.6% slice of the total Italian market in 2008, behind films from US and Italy which together accounted for 90.7% of the 2008 box office revenue. UK films took a 2.6% market share.Last year, only six non-US, non-Italian films made it into Italy’s top 100. They included Woody Allen’s Cassandra’s Dream ($5.9m (EUR4.4m)), which was released by Filmauro. Allen’s Spanish-US co-production Vicky Cristina Barcelona grossed $7.9m (EUR5.9m) for Medusa.Fra
  • Distribution - Market Report - Italy - Marketing 'You have to do more to get noticed'

    What are the major innovations in theatrical marketing in Italy’Stefano Massenzi, Lucky Red: There has been more attention to in-theatre promotion. Advertising has become extremely expensive and you try to go for your audience first and then if you have more money you build out. The internet has become very important especially for younger audiences. From Facebook to viral marketing to everything that is available.Antonio Medici, BIM Distribuzione: The arrival of the new web tec
  • E1 re-releasing Necessities Of Life in Canada following Genie wins

    E1 Entertainment will re-release Benoit Pilon’sThe Necessities Of Lifein the wake of the film’s success at last weekend’s Genie Awards. The film goes back into cinemas inToronto and Vancouver on April 10.
  • Editorial - Beyond cinemas

    Selling non-English-language films into overseas markets is never easy these days, especially now that DVD is on the wane. But a Screen-sponsored panel at Filmart in Hong Kong last month offered a more optimistic look at new business models for world cinema that are emerging in some territories and platforms.Ostensibly addressing the sales of Asian cinema into the US and international markets, but effectively encompassing all indigenous product, the panel showed that the appetit
  • Elephant Eye takes North American rights to Sundance winner La Nana

    Elephant Eye Films has made its first narrative acquisition, swooping on North American rights to Sebastian Silva’s Chilean filmLa Nana(The Maid) following its award winningpremiere at Sundance.
  • Eurocinema VOD service to carry Image content

    VOD channel Eurocinema has signed a deal to carry content from Image Entertainment, the North American distributor with a library of roughly 3,500 exclusive DVD titles.
  • Fast & Furious leaves the competition in the dust and closes in on $100m overseas

    Universal/UPI’sFast & Furiousmaintained its devastating early pace as the action sequel delivered an estimated $46.5m weekend haul from 5,118 venues in 50 territories to race to an early $91m international running total.In North America the film tore past $115m in its second weekend and remained the top selling release worldwide with more than $200m at the global box office.Fast & Furious
  • Female Agents infiltrate Spain, UK says Let The Right One In

    ScreenDailypreviewslocal and independent releases in key markets: comedy Al Final Del Camino off to strong start in Spain, Wild Bunch releases French comedy Bank Error on 398 prints; John Rabe has disappointing start in Germany; and Momentum launches Swedish vampire hit Let The Right One In on 70 prints in UK.Germany- Munich-based 24 Bilder is releasing Ole Bornedal’s Ju
  • French Parliament rejects bill to unplug Internet pirates

    After a heated battle, a bill that would have unplugged French Internet pirates was rejected by the country’s Parliament on Thursday.
  • Girl power drives Hannah Montana The Movie to North American glory

    Tween idol Miley Cyrus is turning into one of the most bankable female stars in recent years as Buena Vista’sHannah Montana The Moviesoared to the top of the charts with an estimated $34mopening weekend.
  • Global gains at the box office

    It is more than official. At ShoWest - the North American cinema convention which has traditionally sidetracked international concerns to a pre-show ‘International Day’ - Motion Picture Association Of America (Mpaa) president Dan Glickman declared international box office revenues now accounted for 65% of the studios’ theatrical pie.Given that international’s share of global box office was 64% in the preceding two years and has remained in the 60% range for the last five years, the lat
  • Guardans appointed as director of Spain's ICAA

    Following last week’s appointment of Angeles Gonzalez Sinde as Spain’s culture minister, Ignasi Guardans will become the new director of the ICAA (Institute ofCinematography and Audiovisual Arts), the country’s film and TV body.
  • Hannah Montana: The Movie

    Dir: Peter Chelsom. US. 2009. 102 mins.
  • Hollywood's foreign policy: producers looking increasingly to international locations

    On the eve of the annual Locations Trade Show in Los Angeles (April 16-18), Screen reports on why US producers are looking beyond their borders to international locationsmore than ever before.
  • Il Divo leads nominations for Italy's Donatello awards

    Paolo Sorrentino’s Il Divo has scooped 16 nominations for Italy’s top film honours, the David of Donatello Awards. The film beat Matteo Garrone’s Gomorrah, which picked up 11nominations.
  • Indian cinemas go dark as producer stand-off continues

    Programming has virtually dried up at Indian multiplexes due to the on-going stand-off between exhibitors and the United Producers Forum which started on April 4. With producers holding back fresh releases, and pulling previously released films from circulation, only two stuck-in-the-can B-grade Hindi films opened last weekend, along with Italian film Out Of Bounds, distributed by NDTV Lumiere, and Thai action title Ong Bak 2, distributed by Star E
  • Indian Film Festival Of Los Angeles announces seminar line-up

    Producing Indian content for the Indian and international market and film financing options will be on the agenda at the 7th Annual Indian Film Festival Of Los Angeles’seminar series In Prime Time: Hollywood’s Spotlight On India on April 24.
  • International - Pulling a fast one

    The weird and the wonderful were up against the fast and the furious in the week’s international box-office chart as PPI’s Monsters Vs Aliens was pitted against UPI’s Fast & Furious, both vying for the number one slot.Despite grossing $30.3m, Fast & Furious was unable to claim pole position, as Monsters Vs Aliens roared its way to $33.5m in its second weekend from 7,707 screens, bringing its early total to date to $46.9m. The DreamWorks anima
  • Irish Film Board appears safe from government budget cuts

    The Irish film industry is understood to have escaped savage cuts to its Government funding after this week’s emergency budget.
  • Italian actor/director Toni Servillo to be honoured at Locarno

    Italian actor/director Toni Servillo will receive an Excellence Award at the 62nd Locarno International Film Festival (August 5-15).
  • Italian film industry tomake donation toearthquake victims

    Italian exhibitors Anec and Anem and Anica, the country’s film industry body, will donate the national gross box office ticket sales from April 23 to people affected by theearthquake that hit the country earlier this week.
  • John Woo's Red Cliff II storms Japanese box office

    John Woo’s Red Cliff II scaled to the top of the Japanese box office this past weekend, with earnings of $8.66m (Y869m) over the three-day period (April 10-12). The sequel to the 2008 hit saw 681,000 admissions from 729 screens, the widest ever for a non-Japanese Asian film.The Friday opening and screen count is on par with major Hollywood releases and represents a large increase from part one’s 550 screens. Red Cliff II earned $6.69m (Y672m
  • Ken Brecher resigns as Sundance Institute executive director

    Ken Brecher will step down as executive director of the Sundance Institute after nearly 14 years in the job, effective April 30.
  • KOFIC selects 29 screens for Artplus Cinema programme

    The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has announced that it is providing $795,000 (KW1.08bn) towards the 29 screens that it has selected for its Artplus Cinema Network funding scheme for this year. The sum will be split according to how many seats each screen has and whether or not they are housed in multiplexes.The 29 screens are spread across 27 theatres nationwide, ranging from independent arthouse theatres such as Spongehouse, Cinecube and SangSang Madang t
  • Longtime publicist Emma Griffiths launches Emma Griffiths PR

    Former 42West and Falco Ink publicist Emma Griffiths has launched the full-service PR agency Emma Griffiths PR.
  • Marketing executive Andrew McGraime promoted at Magnolia

    Andrew McGraime has been promoted to vice-president of interactive marketing at Magnolia Pictures.
  • McGowan's One Week passes C$1m mark in Canada

    Michael McGowan's One Week has passed C$1.1m ($880,000) at the Canadian box office, the second English-language Canadian film to reach the threshold in the last six months after Passchendaele. Featuring Joshua Jackson as a man facing terminal illne
  • Media 8 heads to Cannes Marche flush with Cash

    Media 8 Entertainment has taken on worldwide rightsahead of Cannes next monthto Immortal Thoughts Productions’ psychological thrillerCashstarring Sean Bean.
  • Muezzin world premiere to open Crossing Europe Film Festival

    The 6th Crossing Europe Film Festival, held in Linz on April 20-26, will open with the world premiere of Sebastian Brameshuber’s documentary, Muezzin.The documentary focuses on several young muezzins, the people chosen by a mosque to lead the call to prayer, as they prepare for the preliminary rounds of a national Turkish muezzin competition.The opening night will also include Austrian premieres of Ursula Meier’s Home and Maren Ade’s Everyo
  • MVA, Dragonball Evolution and Fast & Furious race toward holiday showdown

    DreamWorks Animation/PPI’sMonsters Vs Alienswill look to hold on to pole position this holiday weekend in the face of renewed onslaughts from Universal/UPI’sFast & Furiousand FoxInternational’s fantasy adventure Dragonball Evolution.
  • My Life In Ruins to close Tribeca Film Festival on May 2

    Playtone and 26 Films' $20m comedy My Life In Ruins starring My Big Fat Greek Wedding's Nia Vardalos will get a special presentation screening as the closing night film at Tribeca.Several cast members are expected to attend the May 2 event ahead of the comedy's nationwide North American release through Fox Searchlight on June 5. Its world premiere was held in Athens
  • Other Angle picks up rights for Bus Palladium and Les Beaux Gosses

    Other Angle Pictures, the new Paris-based sales company, has picked up the international rights to Bus Palladium and Les Beaux Gosses.
  • Pan-Asian auteurs line up for Chengdu omnibus

    Beijing-based Zonbo Media is preparing a three-part film set in the earthquake-stricken city of Chengdu in Western China, to be directed by Korea’s Hur Jin-ho, Hong Kong’sFruit Chan and Chinese rock singer and filmmaker Cui Jian.
  • Polytechnique

    Dir. Denis Villeneuve. Canada. 2009. 76 min.
  • Pony Canyon sells Amalfi, Nodame Cantabile to Asia

    Japanese international sales outfit Pony Canyon has closed pre-sales with two Asian buyers for Fuji TV titles Nodame Cantabile The Movie and Amalfi.
  • San Francisco Bay Area projects vie for SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grant

    The San Francisco Film Society and The Kenneth Rainin Foundation have announced the 12 finalists and four honorable mentions for the initial $35,000 SFFS/KRF FilmmakingGrant.
  • Screen Australia to back war movie Beneath Hill 60

    Screen Australia today announced it would back $5.7m (A$8m) war movie Beneath Hill 60, the only feature to secure the federal government agency’s backing this month.
  • Screen's tribute to Wouter Barendrecht: International film loses a unique talent

    Screen International’s US editor Mike Goodridge pays tribute to the unique talent of Wouter Barendrecht.The death of Wouter Barendrecht has dealt the film business a severe blow. The co-chairman of Fortissimo Films was that rare, perhaps unique, individual who combined a zealous passion for cinema with a head for business. Put another way, he built a business by finding and promoting the work of outstanding film-makers.It might sound like a commonplace achievement, cert
  • Shifty

    Dir. Eran Creevy. UK. 2008. 90 mins.
  • Sony takes international media rights to Class 5 Films' Obama doc

    Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group has swooped on all international media rights (excluding UK TV) and North American home entertainment rights to the previously untitled documentary By The People: The Election Of Barack Obama.
  • Spain sees first prosecution in piracy case

    Spain has finally taken a strong stand against piracy with the administrator of a P2P file sharing site being sentenced to six months in jail and fined $6,500 (Euros 4,900) in a court case in Logrono, Spain.
  • State Of Play

    Dir: Kevin Macdonald. US/UK. 2009. 118mins.
  • Swedish films take 40% market share in first quarter

    Swedish cinema got off to 'an incredibly strong' start in 2009, according to the Swedish Film Institute's head of statistics Thomas Bryntesson. The preliminary figures for the first quarter of the year estimate a local market share of 40% with total ticket sales exceeding 4.6m, up 17% on 2008. Bryntesson added that The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (also known as Men Who Hate Women/Män Som Hatar Kvinnor) has been key to the success of
  • Telefilm appoints de la Varende as business development chief

    Telefilm Canada has announced the return of Sheila de la Varende to its ranks. The culture industry veteran will act as the agency’s director of national and internationalbusiness development, effective 20 April.
  • The Asian Equation - studios turn to Asian audiences, not crossover hits

    Nearly all the major US studios and many of the larger indies are now involved in local-language production in Asia. Their varying goals, strategies and levels of success were discussed by a panel of senior executives at the recent Filmart convention in Hong Kong.
  • The Necessities Of Life takes world feature prize at Sonoma

    Benoit Pilon's Canadian drama and closing night film The Necessities Of Life won the 12th Annual Sonoma International Film Festival best world feature prize at the weekend.Karen Kingsbury's Like Dandelion Dust won best narrative feature and Andy Abrahams Wilson's Under Our Skin took corresponding documentary honours.Ethan Peck was named best actor for
  • The Works International to handle sales of La Prima Linea

    The Works International has picked up the world sales rights to Italian thriller La Prima Linea (The Front Line). It has acquired the film in conjunction with sales agency QuickfireFilms.
  • Tokyu to screen Transformers in Imax digital format

    Japanese exhibitor Tokyu Recreation will release Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen in the Imax digital formatin June, marking the first time the format has been used in Japan. Three sites in Tokyu's 109 Cinemas chain will screen the film in Imax digitalfrom June 20- which also marks the film's earliest opening worldwide. Following Transformers, Tokyu plans to re-release Dark Knight, which employed the oversized format for certain scenes, as well as
  • Usen's GyaO, Yahoo! Japan merge online distribution portals

    Yahoo! Japan and Usen-owned online contents portal GyaO have announced a merger of their movie and video broadband internet content portals. Yahoo! Japan has acquired a 51% controlling share of wholly-owned Usen subsidiary GyaO. Yahoo purchased 4,998 shares at a cost of $5.32m (Y529,778,009). The shares will be transferred on April 30. The partnership will see the merging of Yahoo's own Yahoo Doga contents streaming portal and GyaO into one service. Both services
  • Wolverine producer applies for Screen Australia funding

    As the X-Men Origins: Wolverine publicity machine kicked into gear today, one ofthe producers on the film, Seed Productions, confirmed that it has applied for taxpayer fundingthrough Screen Australia.
  • Worldwide - Ponyo in international waters

    Having grossed more than $164m locally for distributor Toho last year, animation legend Hayao Miyazaki’s latest children’s animation Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea started a major international run in France on April 8 after dipping its toes in the water with a successful smaller Italian run.Although sharing elements with Hans Christian Anderson’s fable The Little Mermaid, which influenced Miyazaki as a child, Ponyo is set in modern-day Japan and tells the sto