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17 June 2003

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  • AFM on collision course with MIFED in 2004

    The American Film Market (AFM) is officially moving to November in an effort to force a two-market calendar and knock out MIFED from the annual market timetable.Yesterday AFMA, the trade organisation which runs the AFM, issued a statement announcing its intentions to hold two AFMs in 2004, one in Feb and one in Nov. As of 2005, there will be no more Feb AFM. The dates for the first Nov AFM have been set as Nov 3 to 10, 2004.At the same time, AFMA has sealed a strategic relations
  • Avignon festival hands out prizes at 20th anniversary event

    Prizes at the 20th Avignon Film Festival were handed out Friday with the Best French Film going to Comme Si De Rien N'Etait by Pierre Olivier, who also took home a screenwriting award. Top honours for a European film went to Le Ventre De Juliette by Martin Provost and best US film went to Interview With The Assassin by Neil Burger. The awards, called 'Tournages,' come with the perks of an ad campaign on French cable bouquet Cine Cinemas, Kodak film, Final Dr
  • Bachmann moves back to Europe to head CTDFI Germany

    Martin Bachmann has been named managing director of the German office of Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI). Former German chief Juergen Schau will continue in his role as managing director of Global Entertainment Productions GmbH & Co, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Releasing, which is responsible for production activities in Germany.Bachmann has been with CTFDI since 1989 when he was a management trainee at Columbia TriStar GmbH in Germany. By 1993, he was
  • Bachmann replaces Schau at Columbia TriStar Germany

    Martin Bachmann, senior vice president international marketing at the headquarters of Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI), is to succeed Juergen Schau as Managing Director, Germany.Bachmann has been at CTFDI since 1989 where he began as a management trainee at the German office in Munich before being promoted to the post of marketing director in 1993 and then moving to Culver City in 2000."Having worked closely with Martin during the past three years, I am c
  • Back to the top for Pixar megahit Nemo

    Buena Vista/Pixar's underwater adventure Finding Nemo resurfaced at the top of the chart over the weekend, grossing an estimated $29.2m going into its third week on release.The animated yarn has amassed $192.3m and is expected to finish in the $275m-$300m range, which would surpass the Pixar record set in 2001 when Monsters, Inc grossed $255.9m.Down one place to second was Universal's street racing sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious, which added $19.1m for $84m in its
  • Banff winner tipped for US theatrical run

    A feature-length version of documentary Chavez - Inside the Coup, the critically acclaimed winner of the top award at this week's Banff television festival, is under negotiation for a US theatrical release says its producer, David Power of Ireland's Power Pictures. Speaking to Screen Daily, David Power said that theatrical interest in the US was already strong prior to the Banff Grand Prize win following highly successful screenings at the South by Southwest Festival and
  • Belgrade launches short film fund

    The Belgrade City government has formed a Commission for awarding funds for documentary and short films, presided over by the renowned Serbian director Goran Markovic. Directors of documentary, short, animated and experimental films should apply by July 31 and the Commission will announce the its awards by October 1. The overall budget is $71,430 (Dinars 4m) which will be shared equally between winners. "This is an opportunity to help the young authors to express themselves and
  • Besson brings short film to the masses

    Having jump started the careers of several of France's most important young filmmakers , Luc Besson is at it again. Via his mini-studio Europa Corp., Besson has packaged 10 short films together into one feature length movie which will open in France on June 18. Called Zero Un, it includes short films from international directors and was overseen at Europa by Julien Hossein and Katia Sourzac who screened 600 entries from around the world. With Besson stepping in for a final co
  • Buffalo Soldiers finally gets UK release

    Pathe Distribution has scheduled a UK release date of July 18 for Buffalo Soldiers, the long-delayed GIs and drugs feature which Miramax Films held back in North America after September 11.The UK distributor said it is going out on a hefty 250 prints on the film, which it acquired when it took over the bulk of FilmFour's slate. In the US, Miramax will release the film on July 25 in New York and Los Angeles, expanding on August 8.Buffalo Soldiers, which stars Joaquin Phoenix, Ann
  • Cage gets lifetime award at Chicago Film Festival

    Nicolas Cage is to receive the Career Achievement Award at the 39th Chicago International Film Festival's Summer Gala on Jul 19.Cage won the best actor Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas in 1996 for which he also won the Golden Globe, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle and the Chicago Film Critics.More recently he received several nominations for his dual role as Charlie and Donald Kaufman in the 2002 comedy-drama Adaptation.
  • Chalte Chalte makes impression at UK's Bollywood box office

    Bollywood distributor Eros International enjoyed a substantial hit in the UK this weekend with Chalte Chalte.The film had the third best Bollywood opening of all time in the territory and Eros' second best opening result ever. Taking $483,138 (£289,883) from 37 sites - a location average of $13,058 - Chalte Chalte took sixth position in the weekend UK/Ireland chart.The result puts the film behind only Sometimes Happiness Sometimes Sorrow (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gha
  • China prepares to break film distribution monopoly

    Chinese film officials have unveiled details of the territory's long-awaited second distributor, Huaxia Film Distribution Company, which is designed to break China Film Group Corp's monopoly on the distribution of imported films. The new company will be launched next week and start distributing movies next month, according to the China Daily newspaper. As expected, China Film Group and China Media Group - the umbrella company for all of China's state-owned media entities - both
  • Cult French comedy heads for big screen

    Camera Cafe, a comedy program that airs before the nightly news on French channel M6 will make a leap to the big screen in 2004. Created by and starring Bruno Solo and Yvan Bolloc'h, the show - which has been sold widely around the world - is a comedic look at office life and centres around the coffee machine which also acts as the sole camera providing a bird's eye view into the workaday lives of the principal characters and guests who frequent the set.Currently readying
  • Danes launch FilmFyn regional fund

    New Danish regional fund FilmFyn launches this week with a budget of US$2.7m (DKR17m), which will be divided among three to four feature films annually at least until 2006. The first regional fund of its kind in Denmark, FilmFyn is modelled on the hugely successful Swedish regional fund, Film I Vast, which has transformed the production environment in Sweden, attracting a number of the highest profile pan-Nordic productions in recent years including Lars von Trier's Dancer In The Da
  • Dogville feels the Danish heat

    The Danish release of local director Lars Von Trier's Dogville hit tough competition from unusually good weather and a keenly anticipated soccer-match between Denmark and Norway this weekend.With temperatures hitting 27 degrees across the country, and two bank holidays either side of the weekend (Thursday and Monday), Dogville opened on 29 prints on Wednesday June 4 against US titles National Security and Cradle 2 The Grave. By the end of Sunday it ha
  • Drifters

    Dir. Wang Xiaoshuai. Hong Kong. 2003. 120minsWang Xiaoshuai's follow-up to his Berlin winner Beijing Bicycle goes back to the more hermetic, introverted style that established his reputation with arthouse patrons in his earlier films. Drifters, which premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes, is a Hong Kong production shot in mainland China with a mostly Taiwanese crew and deals with, among other things, the illegal immigration of its youth to the US. A demanding
  • Dumb And Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd

    Dir: Troy Miller. US. 2003. 82mins.A dead-on impression of Jim Carrey in one of his most popular early performances may not be a bad asset for a belated follow-up to a gross-out comedy classic. But without the real Carrey - or original writer-directors the Farrelly brothers - in attendance, New Line's prequel to 1994 smash Dumb And Dumber is bereft of the kind of cheesy charm and romantic poignancy that turned the original into a $250m worldwide success. Opening wi
  • EasyCinema runs into UK exhibition difficulties

    easyCinema, the UK no-frills exhibitor which sells tickets for as low as £0.20, has secured a range of previously-released titles from Warner Bros, including the first two installments of the Harry Potter franchise. But none of the titles are first-run, and all are available on DVD and video in the UK. Several weeks after opening its first cinema in Milton Keynes, easyCinema has been unable to secure any first run titles with several distributors reluctant to supply easyCinema w
  • Edinburgh unveils first festival titles

    British premieres of Cannes competition entry Swimming Pool, Jim Sheridan drama In America and Lucas Belvaux's La Trilogie are among the first titles confirmed for the 57th Edinburgh International Film Festival which runs August 13-24. Adding to its previously announced retrospective devoted to French master of suspense Henri-Georges Clouzot, the Festival has confirmed a number of titles including cult drug-fuelled wild ride Spun, Arabic melodrama The Boo
  • Fantastic line-up for Korea's Puchon festival

    The Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) has unveiled an expanded lineup for its 7th edition, which will be held from July 10-19 in the Korean city of Bucheon, near Seoul. With three more screening venues added and a total of 190 films, the festival now claims to be the largest fantastic film festival in Asia.Opening the event will be the world premiere of Kim Moon-saeng's highly anticipated sci-fi animated film Wonderful Days, which at $10m ranks as one
  • Filmko up and running with Star Runner

    Hong Kong's Filmko Entertainment is starting production next Monday (June 16) on $3m action romance Star Runner, a co-production with Hong Kong-based Sil-Metropole Organisation and South Korea's Polestar.Directed by Daniel Lee (A Fighter's Blues), the film will star Vanness Wu, from Taiwanese boy band F4, and popular Korean actress Kim Hyun Ju. The story revolves around a man trying to win a free-fighting championship.Filmko, which is involved in production, intern
  • Finland's Lumifilm takes Pelicanman to the big screen

    Finnish production outfit Lumifilm, best known for its animated TV productions including the long running Urpo & Turpo series, this week starts shooting its first live-action feature film, Pelicanman, in Helsinki. The children's adventure film tells of a pelican, who becomes so fascinated by humans that he tries to be like them. He gets a job at the Opera, befriends two children and falls in love with a lovely ballerina, before he is unmasked. The film will use a
  • France maps the future of its exhibition sector

    The cultural affairs commission of France's senate, responsible for studying the evolution of the exhibition sector, has outlined its priorities for the coming year.Senator Marcel Vidal announced the committee's intentions for exhibition on Wednesday, which will be studied by the culture ministry. The vision includes modernising the exhibition system throughout France, a selective aide to those wishing to build cinemas in areas with less than 15,000 inhabitants and a fund that would gu
  • France mulls sale and leaseback funding scheme

    A new soft money scheme is being examined by French authorities, which could give local and foreign productions access to funding via a sale and leaseback system.Similar to schemes already established in the UK, Germany and more recently Belgium, the 'credit-bail' could give producers a 20% rebate on the cost of their films. Within the scheme - originally proposed by Jean-Pierre Leclerc in a report to France's CNC last February - a structure would be set up as a leasehold repres
  • Hollywood Homicide

    Dir: Ron Shelton. US. 2003. 115minsYou can't hit a home run every time you come up to bat, but director Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, Tin Cup, White Men Can't Jump) strikes out completely with his latest film, a buddy-buddy action comedy set not in the world of sports but against the backdrop of the Los Angeles Police Department. It's the writer/director's second cop film in a row, following the violent drama Dark Blue, released earlier this yea
  • Hopkins misses Maui festival tribute

    A last minute family emergency forced Sir Anthony Hopkins to cancel his trip to the fourth Maui Film Festival this weekend, where he was due to collect the Silversword Award Tribute. "We wish Sir Anthony well and would love to present the award to him next year," Barry Rivers, executive festival director, informed the audience at the Grand Wailea Resort and Spa Hotel in Hawaii on Friday (Jun 13). The Oscar winning actor was due to receive the award in recognition of his contribu
  • Hou Hsiao Hsien to direct Ozu homage

    To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Japan's Yasujiro Ozu, Taiwanese auteur Hou Hsiao Hsien (City Of Sadness, The Flowers Of Shanghai, Millennium Mambo) will direct a feature-length Ozu homage. Shochiku, the studio where Ozu spent his entire career, will head the film's production consortium. During a recent trip to Tokyo Hou announced that he intends to complete a script by the end of June, assemble an all-Japanese cast by the end of July and shoot on loc
  • House Of Fools to open Munich film festival

    Andrei Konchalovsky's House Of Fools (Dom Durakov), winner of the Jury Grand Prix at 2002's Venice Film Festival, will open this year's Munich Film Festival on June 28.The eight-day festival, which is the last under the management of founder Eberhard Hauff, will also include Oliver Stone's controversial documentary Comandante, Roberto Faenza's The Soul Keeper, Mrnal Sen's This My Land, Alejandro Agresti's Valentin, Benjamin Quabeck's Verschwende De
  • Idle, Assayas are cool for Katz's Prospero outfit

    Soft-money specialist Martin Katz is leaving Grosvenor Parkto found a new Toronto-based production entity, Prospero Pictures. The fledgling operation will act as Canadian co-producer onEric Idle's upcoming The Remains Of The Piano, a spoof of Merchant Ivory costume dramas that is being made byLA-based Stratus Film Co, theindependent production outfit of Mark Gordon, Mark Gill and financier Bob Yari.Grosvenor Park Productions is the UK co-producer
  • Idle, Assayas are cool for Katz's Prospero outfit

    Soft-money specialist Martin Katz is leaving Grosvenor Parkto found a new Toronto-based production entity, Prospero Pictures. The fledgling operation will act as Canadian co-producer onEric Idle's upcoming The Remains Of The Piano, a spoof of Merchant Ivory costume dramas that is being made byLA-based Stratus Film Co, theindependent production outfit of Mark Gordon, Mark Gill and financier Bob Yari.Grosvenor Park Productions is the UK co-producer on The Remains
  • Italian Job original rides shotgun with remake on DVD

    Paramount Home Entertainment (PHE)will release the DVD version of the original 1969 production of The ItalianJob simultaneously with the October releaseof its hit Hollywood remake in the format. The DVD of the original wasreleased through Paramount Home Entertainment International for Region 2 (theUK and Europe) in August 2002. Paramount Home Entertainmentspokesman Martin Blythe told Screen Dailyit made sense to delay the release of the original to coincide with th
  • It's official: AFM to clash with MIFED in 2004

    The American Film Market (AFM) is officially moving to November in an effort to force a two-market calendar and knock out MIFED from the annual market timetable.Yesterday AFMA, the trade organisation which runs the AFM, issued a statement announcing its intentions to hold two AFMs in 2004, one in Feb and one in Nov. As of 2005, there will be no more Feb AFM. The dates for the first Nov AFM have been set as Nov 3 to 10, 2004.At the same time, AFMA has sealed a strategic relations
  • Japan acts to protect copyright of Golden Age directors

    Japan has passed a revised Copyright Law extending copyright protection for movies and animated films from the current fifty years to seventy following the date of release. The new law goes into effect in January.The Japanese film industry has campaigned long and hard for this revision. The copyrights on films from the 1950s have begun to expire, opening the way for cheap video and DVD knock-offs of masterpieces by Ozu, Mizoguchi and other Golden Age directors.The new law, which
  • Karlovy Vary unveils Int'l film festival jury

    The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival has announced the line-up of its grand jury, with Canadian producer Rock Demers chairing a seven-member panel for the Czech event. Demers (pictured) leads a multinational team of seven judges including Indian director Buddhadeb Dasgupta (The Wrestlers); Czech actress Ana Geislerova (Return Of The Idiot); Icelandic actor and director Baltasar Kormakur (101 Reykjavik); Italian producer, festival director and screenwriter F
  • Korean film-makers rage against quota threat

    The South Korean film community has reacted strongly to statements from Korea's Ministry of Finance & Economy calling for the reduction or abolition of the nation's Screen Quota system. In a hastily-arranged press conference on June 12, a coalition of directors, actors, and producers issued a sharp rebuttal to increasing calls from government officials and business groups to scrap the system."Any change in the mandatory number of screening days for local films [a maximum 146 da
  • Korean horror breaks local opening record

    Local horror film A Tale Of Two Sisters has become the biggest Korean opener in history, recording 774,500 viewers ($4m) from 158 prints over the weekend.The three-day take for distributor Big Blue Film narrowly tops a record for local pictures set earlier this year by comedy My Tutor Friend, which went on to gross in excess of $25m. Despite the sensational opening, however, it failed to match the unprecedented 1.21m viewers recorded on May 24-25 by The Matrix
  • Magdalene Sisters wins top jury prize in Newport

    Peter Mullan's TheMagdalene Sisters, which walked awaywith the Golden Lion at last year's Venice Film Festival, continued its winningways on the international festival circuit by being named best feature film bythe jury of the Newport International Film Festival.The MagdaleneSisters, which will bereleased in the US on August 1st through Miramax Films, is Mullan's second directorial turn after Orphans. It follows the true story of a group offour young women who were
  • Martin Sorrell's WPP invests in Spain's MediaPro

    Multinational communications giant WPP has taken a 30% stake in growing Spanish media firm MediaPro. The remaining 70% of the company remains in equal parts with MediaPro's three founding partners: Jaume Roures, Gerard Romy and Jose Maria Benet. The value of the WPP sale was not revealed. MediaPro president Roures says the deal will support the company's expansion plans on national and international levels. In Spain, MediaPro recently negotiated a majority stake in Antoni
  • Mikkelsen, Skarsgaard do battle in Disney's King Arthur

    Denmark's most popular star Mads Mikkelsen and Swedish veteran Stellan Skarsgaard have joined the cast of Antoine Fuqua's upcoming epic King Arthur which is being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer for Disney.Mikkelsen has already gone off to bootcamp in Ireland to prepare for his role as one of the knights of the round table - his biggest international role to date. Skarsgaard is donning the armour of the film's chief villain Cedric.Clive Owen is playing Arthur, Stephen Dilla
  • Niki&Flo

    Dir: Lucian Pintilie. France-Romania. 2003. 98minsVeteran Romanian director Lucian Pintilie has crafted a fitfully amusing, occasionally absorbing fable of slow disintegration around a fragile story of a father who feels increasingly lonely and alienated as his children leave home, one for the afterlife and the other for the US. Mixing tragedy and farce, Pintilie takes an enjoyably casual and digressive route in his depiction of Niki, a retired army colonel unhinged by the en
  • Nowhere In Africa producers team for Sergeant Pepper

    MTM Medien & Television Muenchen and Constantin Film, who were co-producers on Caroline Link's Oscar-winning Nowhere In Africa, are teaming up for Sandra Nettelbeck's second German-language feature Sergeant Pepper after her international hit Mostly Martha.The comedy about an unusual friendship between a six-year-old boy and a talking dog called Sergeant Pepper will shoot in Hamburg during September and October with backing from the regional public fund FilmFoerderu
  • Pablo Escobar story attracts tax finance

    Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar is to be the subject of a new UK-Spanish-German co-production titled Public Enemy.The project, to be directed by Polly Steele, marks the second title, unveiled in as many weeks, being funded by UK tax financier UKFS, which is the main UK backer on London-set comedy drama Cabbages & Queens.Margit Bimler of Germany's Marloo Media is producing with UKI Films, the London production outfit Steele launched in 2001 with property player U
  • Producer tells Toronto 'to get a lid' on SARS

    Toronto's production industry is reaching a crisis point as the beleaguered city contemplates an ongoing battle against SARS. Producer Don Carmody, who is scheduled to begin production of Resident Evil: Apocalypse on Aug. 11, told Screen International that if the city can't "get a lid on" its SARS situation, "they can kiss production goodbye, including my own." Resident Evil: Apocalypse, a $45m Canada-UK coproduction backed by Constantin Film and Screen Gems and st
  • Quaresma (Careme)

    Dir: Jose Alvaro Morais. Portugal. 2003. 95minsExclusively for followers of Portuguese cinema and dealing with national traumas that do not always translate into dramatic narrative sense, Jose Alvaro Morais' latest effort, Quaresma, while visually impressive, remains pretty much a puzzle for those who will wish to take the plot at face value. Shot in the north of Portugal and on location in Denmark, it attempts to deal with the contemporary crisis of a country on the b
  • Reiner sets out for space on self-discovery mission

    Veteran director Rob Reiner, whose romantic comedy Alex & Emma kicked off the fourth Maui Film Festival this week, has hinted that his next film may be a parable of self-discovery set in space.The embryonic project, which is tentatively titled Imagine, would centre on an astronaut who undergoes a life-changing experience while working on a space station. As a result he is forced to re-evaluate his relationship with his son.The film-maker was speaking during an on-s
  • Reloaded grabs another $22m for $347m total

    Warner Bros International's The Matrix Reloaded grossed an estimated $22m over the weekend, raising its projected cumulative score to $347m.In its second weekend in Japan the sci-fi sequel took around $9m (Yen 1bn), representing a 20% drop-off from the record opening weekend.It was the third or fourth biggest second weekend ever in the territory; the official ranking will be confirmed when actual figures are released this week.The Matrix Reloaded grossed 70%
  • Robinson's Crusoe

    Dir: Lin Cheng-sheng. Taiwan. 2003. 90minsFor this contemplative, static portrait of a successful Taipei real estate dealer, unhappy with his life and his career but unable to make a decisive move elsewhere, director Lin Cheng-sheng - never one to rush proceedings - seems to have slowed to a crawl. The crisp, crystal-clear images, judicious selection of sets and locations and sympathetic cast, headed by one of Taiwan's most popular male stars, Leon Dai, may paint an accurate
  • Russian films maintain high presence at Moscow festival

    The 25th Moscow International Film Festival (June 20-29) has announced its competition line-up with Russian films again making their strongest presence in recent years.Three Russian films, The Stroll directed by Alexei Uchitel, Koktbel directed by Alexey Popogrebsky and Boris Khlebnikov and Petersburg directed by Irina Yevteeva feature in the competition line-up. This is the same number as in last year's festival, however, in 2001 there were no local films competi
  • S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine

    Dir: Rithy Panh. France. 2003. 101minsA sincere and honourable attempt to fathom the depths of human evil, documentary S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine offers eyewitness testimony to the painstaking system of torture and repression that existed in Cambodia during the 1970s. The film returns victims of the regime and their former torturers to a notorious detention centre, and director Rithy Panh uses their painful memories and broken lives to build a detailed pictur
  • Salvatores wins Italy's Nastro D'Argento for best director

    Gabriele Salvatores scooped Italy's prestigious Nastro D'Argento (Silver Ribbon) prize as best director for I'm Not Scared, during a ceremony held on Saturday night in Taormina's ancient Greek amphitheatre.Adapted from author Niccolo' Ammaniti's hit novel, I'm Not Scared tells the story of a young boy in a desolate Southern Italian village who inadvertently discovers that his father and the other villagers have kidnapped a small boy. The film stars Salvatores regular Dieg
  • Scott takes Tristan And Isolde to Prague in August

    Ridley Scott's Tristan And Isolde is set to go into production in the Czech Republic at the end of August.The film is a co-production between Quality International and ApolloMedia/ApolloProMedia, UK-based MFF and Filmgroup 111 Prague. Moshe Diamant is set to produce and Ridley Scott oversee as Executive Producer. Kolin Luxembourg will be the service producer while Prague-based Stillking will handle the local production for the project in the Czech Republic.James Franco (
  • Seattle audiences give Whale Rider its top awards

    The 25-day Seattle International Film Festival ended its run yesterday with audience awards - aka the Golden Space Needle awards - going to Niki Caro's Whale Rider as best film and Caro as best director. Whale Rider, which is now on release in the US through Newmarket Films, was also the audience prize winner at Toronto last year and Sundance in January.Seattle, which is in its 29th year this year, is the longest film festival in North America and screened over 220 featur
  • Senator Entertainment reports Euros 178.2m net loss

    German distributor-producer Senator Entertainment posted a net loss of Euros 178.2m for the 2002 financial year (2001's loss was: Euros 4.2m) but expects its extensive restructuring will start showing results by the 2004 financial year.In a statement issued on Friday after trading had closed, Senator reported that group sales fell from 2001's Euros 140.1m to Euros 63.6m last year, with 37.7% of this being generated by TV license trading. It forecast that sales for the current financial
  • Serbian debut wins Karlovy Vary selection

    The debut feature film by the young Serbian director Milos Petricic Almost Totally Ordinary Story has been selected for 'East of the West' section of the 38th International Film Festival Karlovy Vary. The urban romantic comedy, written by Dusan Ristic and produced by Premax Group, features a young cast of first-timers. The film'srelease in Serbia and Montenegro is scheduled for October 29.
  • Spain's Ele Juarez launches Intuition Media consultancy

    Veteran Spanish film and TV executive Ele Juarez has launched new Madrid- and Miami-based consulting firm Intuition Media.The consultancy will offer a range of services to Spanish and international media firms looking to capitalise on growing strategic opportunities both locally and overseas.Among those services are analysis and advising on corporate operations such as mergers and acquisitions, and on a spectrum of entertainment and media matters including film, television, musi
  • Spanish Cinema Academy re-elects Paredes president

    The Spanish Cinema Academy has unanimously re-elected actress Marisa Paredes as its president for three more years.Paredes, whose credits include All About My Mother and Life Is Beautiful, replaced actress Aitana Sanchez-Gijon in the top Academy spot in December 2000.Scriptwriter-director Joaquin Oristrell and director-producer Antonio Chavarrias were also re-elected as vice presidents. One of the priorities of their new mandate, they say, is a greater incorporatio
  • Stefan Arndt to receive producer award at Cinema Expo

    Stefan Arndt, producer of German hit Good Bye, Lenin! will be named European producer of the year at the 2003 Cinema Expo European exhibition conference, held June 23-26 at Amsterdam's RAI convention centre.A critical hit at this year's Berlinale, Good Bye, Lenin! has taken more than Euros 34.8m at the German box office and this month won a record-breaking nine Lolas at the German Film Awards. Producer Arndt is co-founder and co-owner of Germany's X-Filme Creative
  • The Hulk

    Dir: Ang Lee. US. 2003. 137 mins.Ever since he signed on to direct a film of Marvel Comics' The Hulk, it was a puzzle for many to imagine how a film-maker as artistically autonomous as Ang Lee could possibly enhance the rigid formula of summer comic-book blockbuster. But enhance it he has. Indeed, employing all the creative fury he and his writing/producing partner James Schamus could muster, Ang has reinvented it.The extraordinarily intense, emotionally drainin
  • The Tenth Muse to get world premiere at first Copenhagen fest

    Writer-director Torben Skjoedt Jensen's The Tenth Muse about one of the world's greatest silent film stars, Denmark's Asta Nielsen (pictured), will have its world premiere at the first Copenhagen International Film Festival. Asta Nielsen (1883-1972) was already one of the highest-paid and most popular stage actresses of her time, when she made her screen debut in Afgrunden (The Abyss) in 1910. The film's director Urban Gad became the first of her f
  • Topeka tops Huesca's short film competition

    Spain's 31st annual Huesca Film Festival closed Saturday night with three-minute dialogue-free Topeka taking the top prize and the various short film competition juries coinciding on many of the other main awards.Basque native Asier Altuna won the international jury's top prize, worth Euros 6,000, for his three-minute dialogue-free Topeka. France's Philippe Orreindy won the special international jury prize and a special mention from the critic's jury for his bitter
  • Transylvania fest debates Romanian funding

    While the shoot of Anthony Minghella's Cold Mountain shows that Romania is becoming an increasingly favoured location for Western crews, local productions are still struggling to raise money to get off the groundState financing is almost the sole form of production money available to producers, a subject which proved the main theme of the seminars organised as side-events at the annual Transylvania International Film Festival in Cluj-Napoca.However, Romanian film-makers a
  • UK box office 50% down despite 5 new films

    Despite dropping off over 50% each and facing competition from five new chart entries, UK top 15 leaders The Matrix Reloaded and Anger Management easily retained their one-two positions.Over another hot weekend audiences abandoned the cinema with the holdovers amongst the top 15 dropping an average of 62% from the previous week. Box office for the top 15 was down 30% from the previous weekend and 50% from the same weekend last year, when Columbia TriStar launched Spide
  • UK Film Council launches British film distribution fund

    The UK Film Council has called for applications for its UK Film Distribution Programme, a $1.7m (£1m) fund for supporting British films at UK cinemas.Films selected trigger the award by grossing at least $1.25m (£750,000) at the box-office. The maximum award will be $500,000 (£300,000), although the sum paid out will reduce the better a film performs. This first call for applications is for films to be released between August 1 and November 30 this year.The aim to is to
  • UK productions win main prizes at Emden

    Features by Lone Scherfig and Gillies MacKinnon were among four UK productions which were awarded prizes at this year's Emden - Aurich - Norderney International Film Festival which focuses on new British cinema.The Euros 10,000 Bernhard Wicki audience prize went to MacKinnon's Pure, while the 2nd Prize was taken by Scherfig's Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself and 3rd Prize by Donald Coutts' American Cousins. Kim Longinotto's portrait of female circumcision: Th
  • UK tax funds bankroll Bauer Martinez slate

    UK tax financier Tower Film Productions has partnered with fellow funding operation UKFS to bankroll a slate of films involving Dennis Hopper, Andy Garcia, Ringo Lam, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Gina Gershon and Dominique Swain.Most of the titles are being produced through Philippe Martinez's US-based Bauer Martinez. Tower chief executive Stephen Marsden said that he has 30% of a slate worth £130m - or £39m. Working exclusively with UKFS, Tower arranges 25% of the budgets through UK
  • United scores Haugesund opening

    First-time director Magnus Martens has had his romantic football comedy United chosen as the opening film for the 31st edition of the Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund. The film will kick off the event on Aug 17, three days before its domestic release through Columbia Tristar. Even if it has become tradition for a Norwegian film to open the festival, it is the first time a film made in Western part of the country has been selected. 'Western Norway has bec
  • Warsaw salutes Latino cinema

    Juan Jose Campanella's Oscar nominated Son Of The Bride from Argentina will open Warsaw 's 4th Latin American Film Festival, the largest showcase of Latino cinema in Eastern Europe. Brazilian hit City Of God by Fernando Meirelles, is set to close the event which runs from June 18 to 29. Both films are among the 16 titles in the official competition that also includes Red Bear (Argentina), animated film Mercano The Martian (Argentina), The Trespasser
  • Winchester to acquire Cobalt Pictures

    The UK's Winchester Entertainment has agreed in principle to acquire Cobalt Pictures from owners and founders John Muse and Alton Irby, Winchester announced to the stock exchange on Tuesday.Winchester and Cobalt have agreed non-binding heads of terms and the transaction is subject to due diligence and an acquisition agreement. The deal sees Winchester issue Cobalt, the parent company of Cobalt Pictures owned by Muse and Irby, 10% of its enlarged share capital. Cobalt will also b

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