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18 December 2009

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  • 2009 Digest: Screen rounds up the year's key stories

    Who were the winners and losers of 2009? Louise Tutt brings together the biggest stories of the year.
  • A Locker full of gold

    Despite the difficulties in producing and distributing The Hurt Locker, the heart-pounding Iraq drama is a perfect example of how an independent production can reap the greatest rewards.
  • A Serious Man

    Directors Joel Coen, Ethan CoenProducers Joel Coen, Ethan CoenProduction company Working Title FilmsUS distribution Focus FeaturesInternational sales Focus Features InternationalUS release date October 2Worldwide gross $15m to December 13Best picture chancesA Serious Man has its detractors but its supporters are passionate,
  • A Single Man

    Director Tom FordProducers Tom Ford, Chris Weitz, Andrew Miano, Robert SalernoProduction companies Fade To Black Productions, Depth Of Field ProductionsUS distribution The Weinstein CompanyInternational sales IM GlobalUS release date December 11Worldwide gross $217,000 to December 13Best picture chancesThe journey of fashion icon Tom Ford and his debut film
  • An Education

    Director Lone ScherfigProducers Finola Dwyer, Amanda PoseyProduction companies Wildgaze Films, Finola Dwyer Productions, BBC Films, Endgame EntertainmentUS distribution Sony Pictures ClassicsInternational distribution Odyssey EntertainmentUS release date October 16Worldwide gross $11.7m to December 13Best picture chancesIf the focus at this stage is on the performances of Carey Mull
  • Avatar

    Director James CameronProducers James Cameron, Jon LandauProduction company Lightstorm EntertainmentUS distribution 20th Century FoxInternational distribution Fox InternationalUS release date December 18Worldwide gross to date n/aBest picture chancesStar Wars picked up a best-picture nomination. So did each of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. If they can do it, there
  • Awards Countdown: Adapted Screenplay

    Screen brings you a selection of this year’s potential adapted screenplay awards contenders.
  • Awards Countdown: Best Picture

    ScreenDaily rounds up the candidates for best picture.
  • Awards Countdown: Original Screenplay

    Screen brings you a selection of this year’s potential screenplay awards contenders.
  • Based on a wealth of life experience

    Nancy Meyers, It’s Complicated.
  • Beatriz Setuain, Head of Sales, Imagina, Spain

    Favourite film I really enjoyed Javier Ruiz Caldera’s comedy Spanish Movie (main picture). It was a guilty pleasure. Plus we have been involved in so many of the films that they parody in this movie so it was quite a personal, but hysterical, experience for me. It was about time that they made such a movie here in Spain.Biggest news storyThree Spanish movies (
  • Benjamin Herrmann, Producer/Distributor,  Majestic Film, Germany

    Favourite filmThe Hangover (main picture). For me it was the perfect comedy. Biggest news storyThis was John Rabe [co-produced by Herrmann] (pictured, right) winning the German Film Award. The fan
  • Best Picture: The gold standards

    This year has been an unusually rich season for prestige awards contenders, kicking off as early as the Sundance Film Festival in January when Lee Daniels’ Precious (then called Push) was first seen as well as Lone Scherfig’s An Education, Cary Fukunaga’s
  • Bjorn Hoenvoll, Distributor, Nordisk Filmdistribusjon, Norway

    Favourite filmThe Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (main picture). It may be unfair to choose one of our own releases, but still – Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy was a best-seller, expectations for the film were high, and it delivered in full. Noomi Rapace in the lead was exactly as I had imagined [the character of Lizbeth Salander].Biggest news storyThe celluloid print has existed for more than 100 years, but in Norway i
  • Bright Star

    Director Jane CampionProducers Jan Chapman, Caroline HewittProduction company Jan Chapman ProductionsUS distribution ApparitionInternational sales Pathé InternationalUS release date September 18Worldwide gross $6.3m to December 13Best picture chancesAlthough Bright Star did not perform at the box office with
  • Brittany Murphy dies aged 32

    8 Mile and Sin City star Brittany Murphy has died aged 32 years old after suffering a heart attack. She was discovered by her mother after collapsing in the shower yesterday morning (Decem
  • Brothers

    Director Jim SheridanProducers Ryan Kavanaugh, Sigurjon Sighvatsson, Michael De LucaProduction company Relativity MediaUS distribution LionsgateInternational sales Relativity Media/Mandate InternationalUS release date December 4Worldwide gross $17.7m to December 13Best picture chancesSheridan has a knack of making intense character dramas that catch fire with Academy voters. My
  • Cameron Bailey, Co-Director, Toronto International Film Festival

    Favourite filmNobody who sees several hundred films a year could give you just one. Right now I’m rooting for both Up In The Air (main picture) and Precious (pictured, right) in the year-end awards. American movies aren’t a
  • Clare Stewart, Director, Sydney Film Festival, Australia

    Favourite filmIf I was being sportingly patriotic I would claim Samson & Delilah (pictured, right) or Bright Star (pictured, right), but my 2009 honours must go to
  • Colin MacCabe calls for BFI to handle industry statistics

    Outspoken British academic and film producer Colin MacCabe has called for the British Film Institute (BFI) to take over the research and statistics work currently carried out by the UK Film Council.
  • Crazy Heart

    Director Scott CooperProducers Scott Cooper, Robert Duvall, Rob Carliner, Judy Cairo, T-Bone BurnettProduction companies Informant Media, Butcher’s Run FilmsUS distribution Fox Searchlight PicturesInternational distribution Fox InternationalUS release date December 16Worldwide gross to date n/aBest picture chancesCraz
  • Denis Pedregosa, head of productions, Kanzaman Films, Spain

    Favourite filmClint Eastwood’s Gran Torino was brilliant. Clint’s character reminded me of Dirty Harry, but now with self control. I actually didn’t know what the film was about at first, I assumed it was something to do with the Gran Torino car, but then when I watched it I was hugely impressed by the story of him paying back his debt and the culture clash with his neighbours. The films I really enjoy are the o
  • Elizabeth Karlsen, Producer, Number 9 Films, UK

    Favourite filmMy favourite was A Prophet (main picture). [Jaques Audiard] is a brilliant film-maker, who manages to combine raw violence with poetry and emotion.Biggest news storyThe end of Miramax, on both a personal and professional level. When I started out in New York Miramax was the place I turned, and I worked with them on The Crying Game
  • Faruk Alatan, head of acquisitions, Medusa Films, Italy

    Favourite filmIt was definitely My Bloody Valentine 3D (main picture), it was the opening of the 3D season [here] and we released it on 125 3D cinemas and made more than $8.6m (€ 6m). It was a surprise nobody expected. Everyone said, “don’t buy 3D films” but that film has helped the growth of 3D screens in Italy.  One small picture started it all.As far as international, it’s the beginning of the era of 3Ds –
  • Film-maker profiles

    ScreenDaily speaks to ten directors whose films are expected to perform strongly this awards season.
  • Harry Potter weaves magic on 2009 box office

    Warner Brother’s Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Price has topped the worldwide box office so far this year, taking $929.4m.
  • Hussain Amarshi, Distributor, Mengrel Media, Canada

    Favourite film:  The White Ribbon (main picture) by Michael Haneke is my absolute favourite film of the year.  The scope of the film, the incredible tension that Haneke creates and the absolutely beautiful black and white images make this one the most compelling and important film of this year.  It is also a film that people will be seeing 50 years from now. It is simply a maste
  • Inglourious Basterds

    Director Quentin TarantinoProducer Lawrence BenderProduction companies A Band Apart, Zehnte Babelsberg FilmUSdistribution The Weinstein CompanyInternational distribution Universal Pictures InternationalUS release date August 21Worldwide gross $311.8mBest picture chancesThe biggest hit of Tarantino’s career to date, Inglourious Basterds
  • Invictus

    Director Clint EastwoodProducers Clint Eastwood, Lori McCreary, Robert Lorenz, Mace NeufeldProduction companies Malpaso Productions, Revelations Entertainment, Mace Neufeld Productions, Spyglass EntertainmentUSdistribution Warner BrosInternational distribution Warner Bros Pictures InternationalUS release date December 11Worldwide gross $8.6m to December 13Best picture chancesEastwoo
  • It’s Complicated

    Director Nancy MeyersProducers Nancy Meyers, Scott RudinProduction companies Waverly Films, Scott Rudin ProductionsUS distribution Universal PicturesInternational distribution Universal Pictures InternationalUS release date December 25Worldwide gross to date n/aBest picture chancesMeyers has so far failed to snag Oscar nominations for herself or her films as a director (What Wom
  • James Cameron

  • Jane Campion

    Jane Campion fell in love with Andrew Motion’s biography of John Keats, and knew that to do justice to a cinematic rendering of the ailing Romantic poet’s chaste love affair with the headstrong, rebellious Fanny Brawne she would have to study hard. “I fell to my knees having read Motion’s biography,” Campion explains. “I was in awe of this story and the courage of these young people to go through what they do to face a certain end.”Campion read and re-read Keats’ letters before embarki
  • Jane Scott (pictured), Producer, Mao's Last Dancer, Australia

    Favourite filmInglourious Basterds (pictured right). It’s classic Tarantino: challenging us with originality, violence, a compelling story of revenge and not a dull moment. He adds a confronting, curiously-spelt title. Loved it. We’re a bloodthirsty lot.Biggest news story An inglourious basterd of another kind: Bernie Madoff. When Madoff went to tr
  • Jason Reitman

    Jason Reitman came across Walter Kirn’s novel Up In The Air at the famous Sunset Boulevard shop Book Soup. He had written his first screenplayThank You For Smoking, based on the novel by Christopher Buckley, but could not get it financed and was looking for new material. “I stumbled across Up In The Air and I literally judged the book by its cover, which I know you’re no
  • Jen Meurer, producer, Egoli Tossell Film, Germany

    Favourite film Inglourious Basterds (main picture). A German masterpiece, beautifully and wisely made by an American director with outstanding acting, especially by Christoph Waltz (pictured), but also many others (August Diehl, Eli Roth, Til Schweiger). Nicely inspired by a true story.Biggest news story   Good news came with new possibilities such
  • Jim Sheridan

    Jim Sheridan has coaxed some of the best performances from some of the finest actors in the business, so it is no surprise that he elicits career-best work from Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal in his US remake of Susanne Bier’s Brothers.“I think one of the reasons I work well with actors is that I have been doing this since I was 17,” he muses. “My little brother died when I was 17. He
  • Julie & Julia

    Director Nora EphronProducers Amy Robinson, Laurence Mark, Nora Ephron, Eric SteelProduction companies Easy There Tiger Productions, Scott Rudin ProductionsUS distribution Sony PicturesInternational distribution Sony Pictures Releasing InternationalUS release date August 7Worldwide gross $128.1m to December 13Best picture chancesA feelgood film for the adult crowd,
  • Jyoti Deshpande (pictured), Coo & Commercial Director, Eros International

    Favourite filmLove Aaj Kal (pictured, right), a fabulous love story told by Imtiaz Ali in his inimitable style. This is film is special as I feel no one could have told the story better than Imtiaz. And no one could have played the parts better than Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and Giselli Monteiro. This was our first film with Illuminati Films Love Aaj Kal was a huge box office success in India and internationally.Biggest news story
  • Kathryn Bigelow

    For many, Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker is one of the most tense cinematic experiences of the year, but Bigelow insists she is merely reflecting the real lives of the US bomb-disposal units in Baghdad.“A day in the life of a bomb ‘tech’ in Baghdad, where bombs are at the epicentre of the conflict, is so inherently dramatic that I didn’t need to give it many cinematic flourishes. It doesn’t need it. Mark [Boa
  • Kevin Chang, Producer and Asia Pacific Producers Network (APPN) Secretary General

    Favourite filmI liked Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (main picture) and District 9 (pictured, right) which Peter Jackson produced. There are certain kinds of films that the Korean industry has yet to make into our own
  • Kim Dong-Ho, Festival Co-Director, Pusan International Film Festival, South Korea

    Favourite filmI liked Bong Joon-ho’s Mother (main picture) best. It has an extraordinary innate artistic value and Kim Hye-ja’s acting was excellent, too. Of course, across the years I had seen her mostly in TV dramas and in Kim Soo-yong’s film Late Fall [which was released in 1982], but again she gave a superior performance in Mother.Biggest news story  
  • Learning to walk through walls

    Peter Straughan, The Men Who Stare At Goats
  • Lee Daniels

    “When I read the book [published in 1996], I thought it was just for me,” says Lee Daniels of the novel Push by Sapphire, on which his award-winning film Precious is based.
  • Leonard Glowinski, Head of French and European Co-Productions, Studiocanal, France

    Favourite filmUp (main picture) for its script and 3D in a tie with The Hangover( pictured, right) – it’s rare to find a typical US comedy without big stars that travels so well!Biggest news story
  • Nine

    Director Rob MarshallProducers Marc Platt, John DeLuca, Harvey WeinsteinProduction companies The Weinstein Company, Relativity MediaUS distribution The Weinstein CompanyInternational sales The Weinstein Company InternationalUS release date December 18Worldwide gross to date n/aBest picture chancesRob Marshall’s second big-screen musical after 2002 best picture Oscar winner Chicago,
  • Nine dances into UK, The Last Flight descends on France

    ScreenDaily’s weekly round up of the local and independent releases in key markets this week.
  • Olga Sinelshchikova (pictured), Vice President, International, Russian World Studios

    Favourite filmAmong Russian releases, my favourite is Hipsters (pictured, right) by Valeriy Todorovsky, the most colourful, vivid and energetic production of the year. Among international releases,
  • Olivier Aknin, Financier, Backup Films, France

    Favourite film Slumdog Millionaire (pictured) is the epitome par excellence of a concept film and its public and critical success shows that we can bring everyone together around a strong story that has a good marketing position despite the language the film is in. When has there been the French equivalent? Nothing as big since Amelie which had the same qualities…Biggest news sto
  • Patrice Theroux, Distributor, E1 Filmed Entertainment, Canada

    Favourite filmObviously The Twilight Saga: New Moon (main picture), which E1 distributed in both the UK and Canada. We also handled the merchandising for the film in the UK and released the score through our E1 Music label. Definitely my favourite film of the year!!! But from a pure movie experience point of view: Inglour
  • Paul Wiegard, Distributor, Madman Entertainment, Austfralia

    Favourite film  Sin Nombre(main picture) was a harrowing immigration tale that’s also sensitive and feels deeply authentic. Also,  is a probing psychological study of a rootless young man. Both took me on a journey and were fresh filmmaking. Both are brilliantly directed gangster films.Biggest news story  On August 22 The Weekend Australia, a natio
  • Peter Jackson

    It was always going to be a risk for Peter Jackson to make a film of a novel as beloved as Alice Sebold’s 2003 classic The Lovely Bones.“There is no such thing as a perfect movie. There is no perfect screenplay and there is certainly no perfect adaptation,” says Jackson, who co-wrote the screenplay for the film with his regular collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. “If you are adapting a novel, the book is the masterwor
  • Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire

    Director Lee DanielsProducers Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness, Gary MagnessProduction companies Lee Daniels Entertainment, Smokewood Entertainment GroupUSdistribution LionsgateInternational sales Elephant Eye FilmsUS release date November 6Worldwide gross $38.6m to December 13Best picture chancesIt’s almost a done deal that Daniels’ electrifying film will reach the final 10 best-p
  • Quentin Tarantino

    When he started writing Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino wanted to come up with a “bunch-of-guys-on-a-mission movie”. “It was a sub-genre of Second World War movies,” he says, “like The Guns Of Navarone. They hadn’t been made in a long time and I thought that would be a cool genre for me. Then when I started writing it, it became something else. The idea just came to me of a bunch of Jewish-American soldiers beh
  • Quiz Answers

    How well did you do?
  • Ring out the old, ring in the new - Screen's review of 2009

    Leading lights from the international film industry give their views of 2009 and their hopes for 2010.
  • Rob Marshall

    “When you’re working on a film musical, you really have to make it work as a film,” says Rob Marshall, the Oscar-nominated director of Chicago, whose latest movie, Nine, is based on the 1982 Broadway musical hit. “Bob Fosse threw away two of the main characters in his film of Cabaret. Fortunately Maury Yeston gave me carte blanche on Nine. That’s not easy to do when you’ve created something that works
  • Roberto Proia, Head of Theatrical Distribution and Marketing, Moviemax, Italy

    Favourite filmOf the Italian films, I loved Ex by Fausto Brizzi. It was funny, it was tender, it shows that when you have a great cast, a great idea and direction and production values are up that Italians can compete with the films by Working Title (I am thinking of titles like Love, Actually). As far as international releases Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs (pictured) was my favourite
  • Screen Virtual Film Market - kingkennedy

  • Screen Virtual Film Market - Landing page for Casablanca Productions Ltd

  • Screen's 2009 Quiz of the Year

    Have you been paying attention? Test your knowledge with ScreenDaily’s Quiz Of The Year.
  • Siddharth Roy Kapur (pictured), CEO, UTV Motion Pictures, India

    Favourite filmDev.D (pictured, right). I loved the way a story known to every member of the cinema-going audience in India, and one which has been told so many times in the past, was contemporized to make it relevant and acceptable to an entire new generation.And this was done without taking anything away from the basic ethos and sentiment in the story. The writing and direction was exceptional, the acting top-notch, the production design was able to tr
  • Søren Stærmose, producer, Yellow Bird, Sweden

    Favourite film of the year:I am both a movie and TV producer so this year it is not a film, but a TV series – HBO’s In Treatment, starring Gabriel Byrne as psychotherapist, Dr. Paul Weston (pictured). It has outstanding scriptwriters and acting.Biggest news storyThe adaptation of Stieg Larssons books is about the absurd abuse of women on three levels - in the family (book one), economically (book two) and politically/structurally
  • Star Trek

    Director JJ AbramsProducers JJ Abrams, Damon LindelofProduction companies Bad Robot, Mavrocine, Spyglass EntertainmentUS distribution Paramount PicturesInternational distribution Paramount Pictures InternationalUS release date May 8Worldwide gross $385.6mBest picture chances
  • Steve Hoban Producer, Copperheart Entertainment, Canada

    Favourite film:Taken, not for creative reasons, but because it showed that a mid-budget, foreign-made English-language movie without, what the studios would consider, a bankable star could become a significant US box office success.Unlike the lightening strike of a Paranormal Activity (main picture), a film like T
  • Ten billion and a happy Hangover

    The North American box office is on track for a record-breaking year. Jeremy Kay charts the highs and the lows.
  • The Hurt Locker

    Director Kathryn BigelowProducers Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, Greg ShapiroProduction company Voltage Pictures, First Light, Kingsgate FilmsUSdistribution Summit EntertainmentInternational sales Voltage PicturesUS release date June 26Worldwide gross $17.8m to December 13Best picture chancesOf all the films to date involving the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts,
  • The Last Station

    Director Michael HoffmanProducers Chris Curling, Jens Meurer, Bonnie ArnoldProduction companies Egoli Tossell Film, Zephyr Films, Andrei Konchalovsky Production CenterUS distribution Sony Pictures ClassicsInternational sales The Little Film CompanyUS release date December 4Worldwide gross to date n/aBest picture chancesA sprightly period piece that is both amusing and tragic will al
  • The Lovely Bones

    Director Peter JacksonProducers Carolynne Cunningham, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson, Aimée PeyronnetProduction companies Wingnut Films, DreamWorks Pictures, Film4US distribution Paramount PicturesInternational distribution Paramount Pictures InternationalUS release date December 11Worldwide gross to date n/aBest picture chancesJackson leaves the fantasy milieu for which he won his Oscar
  • The Road

    Director John HillcoatProducers Nick Wechsler, Paula Mae Schwartz, Steve SchwartzProduction companies 2929 ProductionsUS distribution Dimension PicturesInternational sales Magnolia Pictures/2929 InternationalUS release date November 25Worldwide gross $6m to December 13Best picture chancesIt may be too bleak for some but
  • Tim Bevan (pictured), Producer, Working Title Films and Chairman, UK Film Council

    Favourite filmDistrict 9 (pictured, right). In a thin year both commercially and artistically District 9 shines for its originality, innovation and the fact that is was done on a budget.Biggest news story The collapse of the DVD market, meaning that studios have to work harder t
  • Tom Ford

    Tom Ford decided in summer 2008 that if he could not get the external financing locked in for his debut feature film A Single Man, he would step in and bankroll it himself. “We had narrowed it down to sufficiently few financiers that I was prepared for it and I was already paying for pre-production. Then the Lehman Brothers collapse happened and two partners fell out, and so I paid for it all myself. All my agents told
  • UK welcomes Nowhere Boy, [Rec] 2 scares up France

    ScreenDaily’s weekly round up of the local and independent releases in key markets this week.
  • Up

    Director Pete Docter, Bob Peterson (co-director)Producer Jonas RiveraProduction company Pixar Animation StudiosUS distribution Walt Disney Studios Motion PicturesInternational distribution Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures InternationalUS release date May 29Worldwide gross $683m to December 13Best picture chancesIf any animated film has a shot of securing a best picture Oscar nomi
  • Up In The Air

    Director Jason ReitmanProducers Ivan Reitman, Jason Reitman, Daniel Dubiecki, Jeffrey CliffordProduction companies Montecito Picture Company, Rickshaw Productions, Right Of Way Films, Cold Spring Pictures, DW StudiosUS distribution Paramount PicturesInternational distribution Paramount Pictures InternationalUS release date December 4Worldwide gross $4m to December 13Best picture chances
  • Vincent Maraval, producer, sales agent, distributor, Wild Bunch, France

    Favourite filmAntichrist (main picture) because it dares to play with modern aesthetics by revisiting a genre and binding it to its roots by disrupting the comfort of the audience in order to make them investigate and discover their intimate fears. Antichrist, after years of the devaluation of genre films, enables us to once again find the spirit of the first films of Cronenberg, Crave
  • Weekly international box office – December 18

    Screen brings you the weekly international box-office news.
  • Wise words

    From Up to Inglourious Basterds,
  • Worlds apart but moving closer

    While a gulf still exists between India’s overtly commercial and star-driven film industry and its European counterpart, there are signs that producers from both regions are looking for ways to secure crossover success.
  • Yolanda del Val, Head of Acquisitions, Deaplaneta, Spain

    Favourite film It would have to be Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire (main picture) for being surprisingly different. We, the buyers, are tired of reading and watching the same kinds of movies with different actors. I actually fell in love with the script for Slumdog before watching it and knew it was going to be something special, although I didn’t expect it to make quite as much money as it d
  • Yoshi Yatabe, Programming Director, Tokyo International Film Festival, Japan

    Favourite film:Gran Torino (main picture). I was knocked out by its simplicity and profoundness.Biggest news story:The bankruptcies of medium-size Japanese distribution companies. It’s caused considerable damage for the distribution of ‘arthouse’ films in Japan.Changes in