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17 June 2007

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  • 10 films selected for IFP Narrative Rough Cut Lab

    IFP has selected the 10 films for its third annual Narrative Rough Cut Lab, a national programme connecting mentors and projects by first-time feature film-makers before they are submitted to festivals.This year's slightly longer lab has moved up the calendar by three months and takes place in New York City from Jun 12-15.2007 Lab Fellows will benefit from a new advisory board, the launch of invitational showcase screenings at the IFP Market in September of two to three-m
  • Abaunza, Schwarz join Participant in social action campaign department

    Bonnie Abaunza and Liana Schwarz have joined Participant Productions as vice presidents of social action campaign development and operations.Abaunza and Schwarz will be responsible for the conception, development and execution of individual social action campaigns for each Participant film.They will source non-governmental organisations and non-profit partners for specific campaigns, and work closely with Participant's marketing and digital divisions.They will
  • Academy changes rules to allow for more than three producers

    The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has adjusted the rules for the best picture Oscar in advance of next year's 80th annual ceremony. Following the controversy of Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa being removed from the nomination list of last year's Little Miss Sunshine, the Academy has now ruled that, while 'three or fewer producers who have performed the major portion of the producing functions' are eligible in the category, there could be exceptio
  • Adam Keen heads up worldwide publicity for Overture Films

    Adam Keen has left I/D PR to head Overture Films' worldwide publicity department where he will oversee theatrical publicity and corporate communications.Based in Overture's Beverly Hills headquarters as senior vice president of worldwide publicity, Keen reports to the company's president of worldwide marketing, distribution and new media Peter Adee.Keen most recently served as vice president at I/D Public Relations where he launched and supervised the company's entertainm
  • Adam Rifkin's Look takes grand jury prize at CineVegas

    Adam Rifkin's drama Look, which was shot on hundreds of surveillance cameras, won the Grand Jury Prize as the 9th Annual CineVegas Film Festival came to a close at the weekend [June 16].A Special Jury Award for best directing was presented to Joy Dietrich for her drama Tie A Yellow Ribbon about a Korean adoptee who comes to terms with her damaged past.Robert Logevall's Haruki Murakami short
  • Antonia gets US deal with Anywhere Road, Red Envelope

    Anywhere Road and Red Envelope Entertainment have acquired Tata Amaral's Brazilian musical drama Antonia for North America.The partners plan a US theatrical release on Aug 17 for the story of four gifted friends from violent and poor backgrounds to release their dreams of becoming a hip hop band. The film first screened at the Toronto International Film Festival last September.Amaral co-wrote the film with Roberto Moreira, and prod
  • Arts Alliance hires Gwendal Auffret to run new Paris office

    Digital film services company Arts Alliance Media has expanded by opening a new office in Paris, which will be the headquarters of the company's digital cinema operations in Southern Europe.The new office will cover France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.Gwendal Auffret will head the new office. He had been CEO of Eclair Digital Cinema. He will manage the digital cinema installation and operations team based in Paris, as well as negotiating with Southern Europe's distributors and exh
  • Atonement to open Venice Film Festival

    UK director Joe Wright's adaptation of Ian McEwan's award-winning novel Atonement will open the Venice Film Festival's 64th edition.As Wright's second directorial effort (after Pride & Prejudice) the selection underscores Venice Film Festival director Marco Mueller's focus on risk and innovation for the 64th edition of the Venice Film Festival.The event will be the last of his four-year mandate, which he has repeatedly promised to be an edition that reveals 'th
  • Attendance up 38% at second Film Screenings Of Madrid

    The second edition of the Spanish Film Screenings of Madrid (June 10-12) closed on Tuesday night with a turnout that was 38 percent larger than last year.More than 138 buyers from 33 countries travelled to Madrid, where 56 recent Spanish features were screened and more than 100 tiles were available on video.The films that drew the largest audiences at the festival, according to organizers, were: XXY, the story of a hermaphrodite in Buenos Aires starring Ricardo Darin;
  • Babelgum signs up 25 new content partners

    Internet TV network Babelgum has announced new deals with 25 content owners and distributors, both newcomers and established. The content partners include the Rushes Soho Shorts Festival, Minstry of Sound TV, Shine, IMG, 3DD, Off The Fence, Journeyman Films, Entertainment Rights, Film Chest and Breakthrough Films. The content includes exclusive coverage of the Rushes Soho Shorts Film Festival, including the finalist shorts in each of the festival's six categories, which will compr
  • Bangkok fest unveils ASEAN competition line-up

    The Bangkok International Film Festival (July 19-29) has unveiled the line-up for its ASEAN competition which includes the world premiere of Thai director Santi Taepanich's feature debut Bangkok Time. The picture, starring Thai hot actor Ananda Everingham, will play alongside fellow Thai filmmakers Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom's Alone and Wisit Sasanatieng's The Unseeable. The ASEAN competition section consists of 10 films from five South-East A
  • Beijing Time Antaeus unveils debut three-picture slate

    Chinese cinema operator Time Antaeus Group, which is entering film production, unveiled its production arm, Beijing Time Entertainment International, and its debut three-picture slate at the on-going Shanghai International Film Festival. Action comedy Playboy Cops, which was previously announced at Cannes as a co-production with Hong Kong BIG Media Group, will start shooting next week. The $2.2m film will be directed by Jingle Ma with the two rich cops to be played by Chinese acto
  • BFI says funding issues will cause job losses but no catastrophe

    Amanda Nevill, director of the British Film Institute (BFI), has responded to recent speculation in UK newspapers that the BFI is on the verge of a major withdrawal of the services and resources it offers to the research and teaching community. Nevill's remarks come in the wake of the BFI's announcement late last month that it has 'entered into discussions with a number of external partners to take over' its book publishing arm. The BFI director was also keen to address concerns raised b
  • Bill Murray joins the cast of City Of Ember

    Bill Murray has joined the cast of Walden Media and Playtone Productions' City Of Ember and will play the larger-than-life Mayor of Ember in the adaptation of Jeanne Duprau's children's fantasy novel.Toby Jones, who appeared in Walden's first quarter release Amazing Grace, has been cast as the Mayor's right-hand man, while newcomer Saoirse Ronan will play one of the teenagers, Lina Mayfleet.
  • Billy The Kid

    Dir. Jennifer Venditti. US. 2007. 85mins.Billy The Kid ventures into a small, contained community to focus on a single life and thereby turns the camera on the world. The Grand Prize winner at SXSW in Austin, where it premiered in March, and an audience favourite at Hot Docs in Toronto, the film is gaining traction for its insight into a little understood disability known as Asperger's Syndrome, part of the autism spectrum. Still, this is no 'fre
  • Bodrov's follow-up to Mongol won't be ready until 2010

    Ahead of the opening of Sergei Bodrov's historical epic Mongol in Russian cinemas on Sept 21, producer Sergei Selyanov of STV has indicated that the director's second outing into the life of Genghis Khan will be ready in around three years time ('not any earlier') and stressed that both films will stand on their own independently. In an interview with the film market daily newspaper action!, he explained that 'Mongol is not called Mongol Part 1, it is s
  • Busan Film Commission expands support programme

    The Busan Film Commission (BFC) has announced changes in its Busan film development support fund programme. The organisation will award a total of $32,300 to two films in development to shoot in Busan, without any conditions attached. The BFC has been awarding the support fund since 2001 but from this year will no longer require ownership of rights on the scripts, or a return of the funds, or the condition that the film shoots more than 50% in Busan. Anyone in Korea or abroad can
  • Caleb Weinstein joins New Line from MTV Networks

    Former MTV Networks executive Caleb Weinstein has joined New Line as senior vice president of business development and digital strategy.Weinstein will be responsible for new business opportunities, film performance analysis, and the ongoing development of New Line's digital strategy. He is based in New Line's New York offices and reports to chief financial officer Stephen Abramson.Weinstein joined MTV Networks in 1999 and most recently served as senior vice president of s
  • Carbone, Gulko, Thorpe promoted at Focus Features

    Focus Features has promoted three longtime members of the publicity team to executive positions. East Coast-based VJ Carbone, who most recently served as director of national publicity, West Coast-based Harlan Gulko, most recently director of national publicity, and Kyle Thorpe, most recently director of field publicity, have all been promoted to vice president of publicity.All three will report directly to Focus president of worldwide publicity and executive vice president of market
  • Cast lines up for Cattaneo's Rocker at Fox Atomic

    Christina Applegate has joined Rainn Wilson and Josh Gad on the cast of Peter Cattaneo's comedy The Rocker for Fox Atomic.Jeff Garlin, Emma Stone, musician and actor Teddy Geiger, Jane Lynch and Demetri Martin have also boarded the project, which is set to begin principal photography on Jun 18 in Toronto.Wilson, who shot to fame in the US version of The Office, will star as an ageing drummer
  • China's summer blackout begins following Pirates release

    China's 'national film protection month' or so-called summer blackout on foreign films will take place from June 13 to July 13, local cinema owners confirmed this week. Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End , which opens in China on June 13, will be the last foreign film opening this month. The next blockbuster foreign film, Transformers, will be released a month later on July 14. Beijing-based cinema circuit New Film Association and Dalian-based Wanda Cinema conf
  • Cinefile takes UK rights to True North and Change Of Address

    Scottish-based distributor Cinefile has acquired the UK theatrical rights to Emmanuel Mouret's Change Of Address (Changement D'Adresse) and Steve Hudson's drama True North. As a specialist in French-language titles, Cinefile is best known for the UK release of Cedric Klapisch's L'Auberge Espagnole (also known as The Spanish Apartment or Pot Luck). Mouret's romantic comedy was a critical hit at Cannes 2006. Mouret stars alongside Frederique Bel, D
  • Connelly, Bettany reunite on screen for horror film Born

    Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany will star in the psychological horror film Born, their first on-screen coupling since 2001's A Beautiful Mind.Guillermo del Toro will produce the ClearVision Media Production Group (CMPG) and Chiodo Brothers Productions project, which is set to begin shooting in mid-August in the UK.Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Steve Lanning and Cliff Lanning are also prod
  • Daryn Okada elected to second term as ASC president

    Daryn Okada has been elected to serve a second one-year term as president of the American Society Of Cinematographers (ASC).The other new officers are vice presidents Michael Goi, Richard Crudo, and Owen Roizman, Treasurer Victor J Kemper, Secretary Michael Negrin, and Sergeant At Arms John Hora.The new board of governors includes Caleb Deschanel, George Spiro Dibie, Richard Edlund, William A Fraker, Francis Kenny, Laszlo Kovacs, Isidore Mankofsky, Robert Primes, Dante Sp
  • Dutch actress Carice Van Houten to co-star in Valkyrie

    Black Book star Carice Van Houten has been cast in Bryan Singer's wartime thriller Valkyrie. The Dutch actress co-stars as the wife of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, played by Tom Cruise. The cast reportedly also includes Kenneth Branagh, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Daniel Bruehl. Based on actual events, Valkyrie tells about a 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler that is unfurled during the height of World War II. Bryan Singer is helming the second l
  • Eastern European Acquisition Pool signs deals with Barefoot, Boje Buck

    Berlin-based Eastern European Acquisition Pool (EEAP) has acquired rights to new productions by Germany's Boje Buck Produktion and Barefoot Films for Central and Eastern Europe as well as for the CIS territories.All rights were secured for these territories to Detlev Buck's first children's film Hands Off Mississippi after EEAP had already handled Buck's previous film Tough Enough, which was released th
  • Entertainment One to acquire UK's Contender in $97m deal

    US and Canadian home entertainment company Entertainment One, parent company of Koch Entertainment, has struck a deal to acquire UK-based Contender Limited and its Contender Entertainment Group in a cash and stock deal worth about $97m (£49.4m). Contender's management team led by Richard Bridgwood will remain in place. Contender has a strong DVD business, focusing mostly on acquiring rights and selling DVDs from third-party producers. It also has a growing theatrical film distribu
  • European film business training: Ateliers Du Cinema Europeen (ACE), France

    Europe is getting serious about film business training. Richard Brass speaks to graduates from some of the key courses.Well established in the industry and
  • European film business training: Film Business Academy, UK

    Europe is getting serious about film business training. Richard Brass speaks to graduates from some of the key courses.Nina Roman is one of the students in the inaugural year of the Film Business Academy's MSc in management (film business stream), which ends in July. The experience of being one of the pioneers has allowed her to play a part in shaping the UK-based course. 'As this is the first year they're doing it, we all went in knowing there
  • European film business training: Media Business School, Spain

    Europe is getting serious about film business training. Richard Brass speaks to graduates from some of the key courses.A solid business training should be
  • European film business training: Screen Academy Wales, UK

    Europe is getting serious about film business training. Richard Brass speaks to graduates from some of the key courses.When he started an MA in film producing and business management at Screen Academy Wales in September 2005, Ed Casey was sceptical about how beneficial the business-focused parts of the course would be to his development as a film producer.
  • Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer

    Dir: Tim Story. US. 2007. 92mins.The sequel to unexpected summer 2005 smash Fantastic Four adds a major new Marvel character to the action and aims for a broader audience with a slightly younger skew than the first film. In essence, though, Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer is the same kind of lightweight but well executed comic book-based romp as its predecessor, suggesting a global box office take at least as big as the original's $330m and another
  • Film business training: adifferent class

    Europe is getting serious about film business training. Richard Brass looks at the upturn in formalised training across the continent, and speaks to graduates from some of the key courses. In most companies, the thought of letting anyone without training loose on the financial, accounting, marketing, legal and sales operations would send a shudder through the boardroom.Mavericks still pop up now and then, but the majority of business professionals spend time in
  • Film music agency Gorfaine/Schwartz, IMG Artists team up

    Film and television music agency The Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency andperforming arts management and booking company IMG Artists are teamingup to create a broader platform for their artists.The partners will explore multimedia live events and collaborationsbetween clients culled from a combined roster that includes JohnWilliams, The Bolshoi Ballet, Hans Zimmer, James Galway, Dave Stewart,and Itzhak Perlman.Already on the books is Dave Stewart's international Songbook tourthat
  • Finishing The Game to open 30th New York Asian American festival

    Justin Lin's Bruce Lee mockumentary Finishing The Game and Gina Kim's drama Never Forever bookend the 30th New York Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF), which runs from Jul 19-28.Chen Shi-Zheng's drama Dark Matter starring Meryl Streep, Aidan Quinn, and Liu Ye is the centerpiece presentation. Twenty-five features will play in total.Othe
  • First Run acquires North American rights to For The Bible Tells Me So

    First Run Features has acquired North American rights to Daniel Karslake's documentary For The Bible Tells Me So, which received its world premiere at Sundance.First Run Features plans an October theatrical release on the film, which reconciles homosexuality with the traditional reading of scripture through the personal stories of the South African cleric Desmond Tutu and others.Karslake produced and Michael Huffington, Bruce Basti
  • Forbidden Kingdom set for release during Beijing Olympics

    Jackie Chan and Jet Li's first on-screen collaboration, Forbidden Kingdom, is scheduled to wrap at the end of August and is aiming for a summer 2008 release, according to the film's producer Casey Silver. As the date coincides with the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Silver says he hopes the film will reinforce next summer's celebrations of Chinese culture. The fantasy action film has been shooting since May in China 's north-west Gansu province and Mount Wuyi in south-east Fuj

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  • Gen Art Chicago Film Festival launches with Broken

    The inaugural Gen Art Chicago Film Festival will take place from Jun 26-30 and will open with Alan White's psychodrama Broken starring Heather Graham, Jeremy Sisto and Linda Hamilton, and close with the drama Numb starring Matthew Perry and Lynn Collins.Screenings include the Sundance hit Joshua starring Sam Rockwell, Vera Farmiga and Jacob Kogan, as well as Alan
  • German regional fund MFG makes pacts with France, Spain

    Baden-Wurttemberg's regional film fund MFG has signed an agreement with the Catalan Institute of Cultural Industries (ICIC) and Rhone-Alpes Cinema to improve cross-border cooperation for film production with the French and Catalan regions. The accord also intends to support the promotion and distribution of audiovisual productions, provide logistical support for film shoots and optimise the exchange of know-how and practical experiences through co-production gatherings and other joint ev
  • GFI gives completion funding grants to six projects

    The Global Film Initiative (GFI) has awarded completion funding grants to six film-makers to help with post-production and editing costs.The six projects were selected from 34 applications from 21 countries. Since its inception in 2002, GFI has awarded more than 50 grants to emerging and established film-makers from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.The Spring 2007 grant recipients are:Bul Deconne!, Massae
  • Granada signs VOD deal with Orange for France

    Granada International has struck a non-exclusive three-year deal with Orange for VOD and SVOD platforms in France. The SVOD will launch a new drama service this month after initially concentrating on music and young people's programmes. The deal includes Granada TV titles including Brideshead Revisited as well as feature films including The Last Seduction, To Die For, The African Queen and a number of Hitchcock works. Granada International is a unit of ITV Worldw
  • HandMade books $50m in Cannes, led by Good Friday and Planet One

    HandMade Films, the sales arm of the revived HandMade plc, has reported $50m-plus sales at the Cannes Market, the best in the company's history. Sales were led by HandMade's $50m remake of The Long Good Friday and its $54m CGI animated feature Planet One. Paul WS Anderson's contemporary US version of The Long Good Friday sold, as previously reported, to Sony Pictures Entertainment for North America and several other territories. Deals for Pl
  • Inside (A l'Interieur)

    Dirs: Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo. Fr. 2007. 80mins.Imagine a graphic, feature-length riff on that line in Macbeth about Macduff being 'from his mother's womb untimely ripped' and you have the kernel of Inside, a vicious gore-fest, which seems designed to prove that Europeans too can up the horror stakes too in the vein of Saw or Hostel. As a pure genre exercise, Inside, directed by first-timers Julien Maury and Alexandre B
  • International Screenwriters Festival launches programme

    The second International Screenwriters Festival officially launched its 2007 programme at a reception in its host town of Cheltenham.The new additions include:Michael Goldenberg (Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix),Abi Morgan and Sarah Gavron and director Brick Lane with Katherine Butler Film4 Sarah Smith - Head Of Feature Development Aardman AnimationsDav
  • Japan's new CoFesta announces autumn plans

    Details of this year's newly-established Japan International Contents Festival were announced at a press conference at Tokyo's National Art Centre in downtown Tokyo yesterday. The festival, nicknamed CoFesta, is the result of several years' planning to consolidate contents events surrounding the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) and TIFFCOM Market. CoFesta aims to strengthen export of Japanese contents including movies, animation, music and games, as well as attract foreign
  • Joost adds short film channel Movieola to line-up

    Internet television service Joost has added Canadian short film channel Movieola to its content mix. A unit of Toronto-based Channel Zero, a specialty digital broadcaster, Movieola currently has over 1m subscribers in Canada. The Joost platform uses secure P2P streaming technology to deliver more than 150 channels via broadband. Joost has content deals with companies including Aardman Animation, MTV, National Geographic, ShortsTV and Warner Bros Television. Canadian video clip service
  • Justine Gibbs dies in Los Angeles after long battle with cancer

    Justine Gibbs, who worked in the entertainment industry for nearly 50 years, died at her Los Angeles home on Jun 6 following a lengthy battle against breast cancer.Gibbs was known for her wit and generosity, traits that burned bright throughout a career that began at Rank Leisure Organisation in 1958.She moved to Los Angeles in 1982 to join Dennis Davidson Associates and rose to the position of executive assistant to chairman Dennis Davidson. Most recently she served as e
  • Kamen signs to write screenplay for Imagi's CG-animated Gatchaman

    Longtime Luc Besson collaborator Robert Mark Kamen will write the screenplay for Hong Kong-based Imagi Studios' upcoming CG-animated film Gatchaman.Kamen, whose credits include Leon, The Fifth Element, The Karate Kid, and the upcoming Taken starring Liam Neeson, will work closely with producer Lynne Southerland and director Kevin Munroe.
  • Kean Bycel named Village Roadshow publicity and promotions vp

    Megan Kean Bycel has been named vice president of promotions and publicity for Village Roadshow Pictures Entertainment.Bycel will work closely with Warner Brothers to maximise worldwide theatrical and video promotions and publicity opportunities for Village Roadshow's films, and will work on theatrical and video releases in Village Roadshow Pictures international territories including Australia, New Zealand, Greece and Singapore.Additionally Bycel will work closely with W
  • Korea's SK Telecom to enter film investment, distribution

    SK Telecom (SKT), one of Korea's leading telcos, has announced that it plans to enter film investment and distribution next year at the earliest. The company has already invested in production/talent management company iHQ and The Host producer Chungeorahm, which recently announced that it is restarting distribution. This development has Korean filmmakers looking at the possibility of a new investor/distributor with deep pockets that could contend with the 'big three' - CJ
  • Korea's SM Entertainment launches production outfit

    Seoul-based SM Entertainment, talent management agency for pan-Asian pop stars such as BoA, TVXQ, and Kangta, has set up its own production unit SM Pictures. The company will shoot a comic mystery starring the four members of the pop group Super Junior as its first production. The film Ggotminam Yonsweh Teruhsagun (roughly translated as The Case Of The Beautiful Boys Serial Murders) is budgeted at $970,000. The high-school pretty boys, in their student government and
  • La sagrada familia takes top honors in Transilvania

    Chilean director Sebastian Campos' comedy La sagrada familia collected the Transilvania Trophy and $13,344 (Euros 10,000) for Best Picture at the closing ceremony of the sixth Transilvania International Film Festival in Cluj on Sunday. In an act of good sportsmanship, Cristian Mungiu pulled his Palme d'Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days out of the main competition. The film nonetheless won a special festival award and the Romanian Days award for feature film. Anamaria M
  • Langella, Gould to start shooting On The Hook next week

    Principal photography will begin next week in New York on the noir thriller On The Hook starring Frank Langella, Elliott Gould and Laura Harring.Richard Ledes is directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with Alan Didier-Weill, with Belladonna Productions' Linda Moran and Rene Bastian serving as producers.Langella, hot off a Tony best actor win at the weekend for his portrayal of Richard Nixon in Fro
  • London Film School to celebrate 50th anniversary in LA

    The London Film School (LFS) is celebrating 50th anniversary with a screening and reception at Cine Gear Expo in Los Angeles on Jun 22.The London Film School is calling on all US-based alumni to attend and is asking former graduates who have not received an invitation to email their contact details to London Film School began life as The London School of Film Technique situated in upstairs rooms in Electric Avenue, Brixton, and has grown into a multinati
  • Major studio complex planned for Poland

    The Polish Film Institute hasannounced plans to build a modern, 10-stage studio complex by 2009. Film City, as the project is being called, will be built on a 476-hectare military airbase in Nowe Miasto nad Pilicou, about 80 kilometers south of Warsaw. Hangars will be converted into 10 stages, the largest of which will be 7,000 square meters, bigger than the largest stages at Barrandov in Prague or Korda in Budapest. Plans call for an extensive backlot, a water tank, and
  • Makhmalbaf to head Pusan's Asian Film Academy

    The Asian Film Academy (AFA) has named Mohsen Makhmalbaf as its dean for the year. Run jointly by the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) and Dongseo University, the intensive Talent Campus-style workshop is in its third year. Iranian veteran director Makhmalbaf (Kandahar, Sex And Philosophy), who also runs his own film school, is the head the Makhmalbaf family of filmmakers and a regular at PIFF where he won the Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award in 2003. He is
  • Momentum takes UK rights to Labaki's Cannes hit Caramel

    Momentum Pictures has taken UK rights to Nadine Labaki's Caramel. The film was one of the hits of Cannes ' Directors Fortnight. Labaki's debut feature is about five different Lebanese women who come together in a Beirut beauty salon. Louis Tisne, Momentum's acquisitions manager, negotiated the deal with Roissy Film's Chairman and CEO Raphael Berdugo. Anne Dominique Toussaint produced Caramel.Richard Napper, Momentum Pictures Managing Director Euro
  • Mumbai's Yashraj pacts with Walt Disney Animation

    Leading Mumbai-based movie studio, Yashraj Films, has announced a 50-50 alliance with Walt Disney Animation.
  • Munich honours Kline and Friedkin

    US actor Kevin Kline and veteran Hollywood film-maker William Friedkin are to receive the Munich Film Festival's CineMerit Award for services to cinema this year. Previous recipients of the CineMerit Award included such leading international film industry figures as Barry Levinson, Sir Alan Parker, Milos Forman, and Susan Sarandon. Together with director Marco Kreuzpaitner, Kline will also be presented with the sixth Bernhard Wicki Film Prize - The Bridge which builds bri
  • Northwest Vision + Media settles on new name

    The combined agencies North West Vision and Media Training North West have announced the new name for their merged company: Northwest Vision + Media. The Manchester-based company as formed on May 1 after the regional screen agency and the media skills and training organistion joined forces. 'We deliberated for a long time over the new company name, and consulted widely with our staff, our funders and everyone who currently uses our services,' says Northwest Vision + Media chief
  • Norwegian Film Fund backs Gaarder project starring Askel Hennie

    After his feature directorial debut Uno in 2004, Norwegian actor Aksel Hennie will return to acting as Gabriel, the angel, in the lead role of Danish director Jesper W Nielsen's Through a Glass, Darkly, which Norwegian production outfit 4 ½ Productions will produce with Denmark's Zentropa. The Norwegian Film Fund, which today (Monday) allocated $5.1 million (Euros 3.8m) for four new features, reserved $1.8m (Eu1.4m) for the adaptation of Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder's
  • Norwegian government shakes up film policy

    Norway 's state film bodies will see radical change in 2008 after a government decision today. 'We have clearly defined and ambitious goals for our film policy,' said Norwegian culture minister Trond Giske, as the Norwegian Parliament - Stortinget - passed his Pathfinder of the Norwegian Film Offensive, a ministry paper that will decide the upcoming film legislation. As a result, the Norwegian Film Institute, the Norwegian Film Fund and the Norwegian Film Development will n
  • Ocean's Thirteen takes lead at North American box office

    Ocean's Thirteen knocked Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End off the number one perch as it opened on an estimated $37.1m.The ongoing capers of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon et al trailed behind the $39.1m franchise record launch of Ocean's Twelve in 2004, but this was a respectable opening nonetheless.Overall box office trailed the previ
  • Ocean's, Shrek sequels raise stakes at international box office

    Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End remained the undisputed box office champion for the third consecutive weekend as an estimated $51.3m raised the tally to $493.5m.The high seas adventure is now Buena Vista International's third biggest release behind Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Finding Nemo, and ranks as the 15th biggest international re
  • Paramount Australia picks up its first local project, The Final Winter

    Paramount Pictures Australia has acquired Australian rights to the low-budget drama The Final Winter, its first local pick-up since UIP split into Paramount and Universal at the beginning of the year. The film is directed by Jane Forrest and Brian Andrews and written by Matt Nable, who also plays the lead role of Grub Henderson, a man coming to the end of his rugby career. The cast also includes John Jarratt, who played the killer at the heart of Wolf Creek , Nathani
  • Pinewood warns of flat film revenues from delayed shoots

    UK studio Pinewood Shepperton has issued a warning to investors that its full-year revenues will only show a small increase and film-related revenues will be flat. Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive of the Pinewood Studios Group, said: 'The timing of film production is always a major variable for our film services business and our current outlook for the second half reflects this.' The studio said it will host a 'number of significant' film shoots to start later in 2007 and continue i
  • Roadside Attractions buys worldwide rights to Starting Out

    Roadside Attractions has acquired worldwide rights to Starting Out In The Evening starring Frank Langella, Lauren Ambrose, Lili Taylor and Adrian Lester.Andrew Wagner directed from a screenplay he adapted with Fred Parness from Brian Morton's novel about a former literary giant whose life of solitude is shaken up by a graduate student with a self-serving agenda.Roadside Attractions plans an autumn release to qualify for awards seas
  • Russian action star Nevsky launches LA production outfit

    Russian action star and producer Alexander Nevsky is opening his own production outfit Hollywood Storm in Los Angeles. The move is directly inspired by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's efforts to boost film production in the state.Nevsky's previous films Moscow Heat and Treasure Raiders were both produced entirely in Russia in the English language. The former was a sizable hit in Russia and the
  • Shanghai fest announces projects for China Film Pitch

    The organisers of the inaugural China Film Pitch & Catch (CFPC) have unveiled the 30 projects that will be seeking finance during the two-day event, which is being held as part of this year's Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF). Jointly hosted by the SIFF organising committee and China Film Co-production Corp (CFCC), the event is designed to match Chinese filmmakers with international film producers, financiers and distributors. Eight 'recommended projects' from Chinese fi
  • Shanghai International Film Festival opens with Eye In The Sky

    International stars including Sharon Stone, Michelle Rodriguez and Maggie Cheung graced the red carpet at the opening of the 10th Shanghai International Film Festival on Saturday night (June 16), which kicked off with a screening of Hong Kong action thriller Eye In The Sky. The director and star of the opening film - Yau Nai Hoi and Simon Yam respectively - were also on hand for the opening celebrations. Other stars to make an appearance included Korea 's Lee Jun-gi (King And T
  • Shrek leads monster weekend at international box office

    Shrek the Third won the four-way battle for overseas supremacy at the weekend as Paramount/PPI's animated feature grossed an estimated $46m from 3,693 screens in 36 territories.The film crossed $100m and currently stands at $107m thanks to 13 launches led by a series of record-breaking results.Shrek The Third registered a mighty $12m number one launch on 724 screens in France that was 21% bigg
  • Silver Surfer coasts into 32 territories for Fox

    Things get interesting overseas this weekend as three films will attempt to overthrow Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End.Buena Vista International's (BVI) adventure has ruled the waves for the past three weekends and has the wind in its sails after crossing $500m in a record 20 days.BVI will look to the Jun 13 launch in China - the last US film to open there before the annual summer blackout of Hollywood release - and solid ho
  • Silver Surfer conquers domestic box office wth $57.4m weekend

    Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer opened top as expected on an estimated $57.4m that marginally beat its predecessor's $56.1m debut two years ago.Weekend box office dropped against the same period last year for the third consecutive weekend as the top 12 films combined for $138.8m, down 4% from 2006.Warner Bros' Ocean's Thirteen fell to second place on $19.1m for $69.8m after two weekends, while Warner Bros' family film
  • Simple Things takes award as Kinotavr ramps up business

    Alexei Popogrebsky's second feature film Simple Things was the big winner at this year's Kinotavr Open Russian Film Festival in Sochi, picking up the Grand Prix for Best Film as well as prizes for Best Direction and Best Actor. Popogrebsky, who came to international prominence and critical acclaim in 2003 with his feature debut Roads To Koktebel co-directed with Boris Khlebnikov, also shared the Film Critics Guild's special prize with Alexei Balabanov's controversial drama
  • Singapore, Malaysia join forces for Neo's Ah Long Ltd

    Singapore 's MediaCorp Raintree Pictures and Scorpio East Pictures are collaborating with Malaysia 's Double Vision in Ah Long Ltd, the first co-production between the neighbouring countries in recent years. Jack Neo is directing the $779,000 (S$1.2m) production which is currently being filmed around the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. The dark comedy features top Singapore actress Fann Wong in a challenging role of a 'big sister' with martial arts skills who revolutionises the
  • Slingshot takes on UK distribution for Cannes debut Water Lilies

    New UK digital studio Slingshot has picked up all UK rights to Celine Sciamma's debut feature Water Lilies (Naissance des Pieuvres). The film premeried in Cannes Un Certain Regard. Water Lilies follows three 15-year-old French girls who are discovering first love. Slingshot had recently announced that it would branch out into distribution. The company acquired Water Liles from Films Distribution. The Les Productions Balthazar production is also ba
  • Sonnenfeld to produce Starz/Vanguard animated Space Chimps

    Barry Sonnenfeld has come aboard as producer on Starz Media and Vanguard Animation Films' animated comedy Space Chimps.Sonnenfeld, whose directorial credits include the Men In Back films and Get Shorty, has been a creative consultant on the project since it began production last autumn.Vanguard's chief executive officer John Williams also announced th
  • Sony begins production on second local production in Mexico

    Sony's local language production venture, Columbia Pictures Producciones Mexico, is commencing production on its second feature, the comedy Casi Divas (Road To Fame).Issa Lopez who previously directed Efectos Secundarios and wrote the screenplay for the company's first production Ninas Mal (
  • Sundance Institute names four projects for Documentary Lab

    Women in the Nepalese army, the enduring torment caused by Hurricane Katrina, the role of music in Tibetan heritage, and the relationship between moderate Islam and jihad are under the spotlight in the four projects chosen for the Sundance Institute's fourth annual Documentary Editing and Story Laboratory.The annual editing and story lab, whch runs this year form Jun 22-29, supports film-makers from around the world who are committed to telling untold stories about pressing contempor
  • Tarantino wraps scenes in Miike's Sukiyaki Western

    Quentin Tarantino has completed his scenes in Takashi Miike's Sukiyaki Western: Django. The rest of the film had already been completed, with scenes between Tarantino and actress Kaori Momoi remaining to be shot until 7am yesterday (June 11). At a press conference attended by 600 members of the media yesterday evening, seven minutes of footage from the film was shown with the entire cast on hand to answer questions and speak about the difficulties of shooting the entire fil
  • Tested titles among the contenders at Karlovy Vary

    The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival has announced its complete competition lineup for its 42nd edition, which runs June 29-July 7. As suits the main festival in Central Europe, the selections are strong on titles from former socialist bloc countries. Few competition features come from outside Europe. Main competition titles have not screened in competition outside their home countries, but several that have already caught the attention of buyers. Nordisk launched Bard Bre
  • Tornatore's Unknown is best film at Italy's Donatello awards

    Giuseppe Tornatore's noir film The Unknown picked up five top prizes at 51st edition of the David of Donatello awards, Italy's top film honors.The Unknown received awards in five principal categories including best film, best director, best cinematography, as well as best music for Ennio Morricone's score as well as best actress kudos for newcomer Ksenia Rappoport who learned Italian for the role.
  • Tribeca prize winner We Are Together partners with ONE Campaign

    Documentary We Are Together (Thina Simunye), which won prizes at IDFA and Tribeca, is working with the ONE Campaign to promote the film in the US. The film is already partnered with Alicia Keys' charity Keep A Child Alive and now is also working with Bono's ONE organisation, which fights AIDS and extreme poverty. The film, directed by Paul Taylor and produced by Teddy Leifer for the UK 's Rise Films, tells the story of a choir formed by children in South Africa 's Agape O
  • Vaughn & Thykier's Marv strikes three-year deal with Sony

    Sony Pictures has entered into a three-year first-look deal with Matthew Vaughn and Kris Thykier's UK-based Marv Films as part of the studio's International Motion Picture Production initiative.Vaughn launched Marv Films in 2003 as the follow-up to Ska Films, the collaboration with Guy Ritchie that spawned Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and Mean Machine
  • Vuletic to open Sarajevo Film Festival

    Bosnian director Srdjan Vuletic's It's Hard To Be Nice will open the 13th Sarajevo Film Festival (August 17-25).It is his second feature, after the Rotterdam, Brussels and Sofia prize-winner Summer In The Golden Valley in 2004. Screenings of Sam Garbarski's Irina Palm and Fatih Akin's The Edge Of Heaven have been confirmed, as well as Akin's presence