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18 February 2005

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  • A Killing In The Woods wins Oscar Moore prize

    This year's Annual OscarMoore Screenwriting Prize of £10,000 has been won by Marcus Shepherd for histaut, largely three-character thriller A Killing In The Woods. The story concerns 10-yearold Chris, who is staying with his Aunt, Uncle and cousin Becky, at theirholiday home in the woods. All seems well until Chris witnesses his unclemurder his wife, having discovered she is having an affair. Bob does not knowhe has witnessed - and filmed - the killing. What follows is a battle o
  • All eyes on the Berlinale prizes

    Asthe festival awaited news from the jury, the front-runners for prizes wereemerging from a competition that most critics agreed was stimulating, butuneven. Among the favourites were TheBeat That My Heart Skipped, Jacques Audiard's stylish homage to JamesToback's 1970s classic Fingers, which was tipped to net a best actorprize for Romain Duris - though he will be given a close run by a more seasonedFrench actor, Michel Bouquet, who does not so much play as be
  • Arclight picks up powerhouse comedy pair

    Arclight Films has picked up international sales rights totwo new films: $15m contemporary comedy thriller Three Bad Men and US comedy Nothing But The Truth.Three Bad Men is oneof the first films to emerge from Priority Pictures, the new company headed byColin Leventhal and Marion Pilowsky. It is produced by Priority and AnthonyMinghella and Sydney Pollack's Mirage Enterprises with Canada'sRemstar as co-producer. Directedby Paul Weiland, whose previous credi
  • Arclight takes on rights to Spacey's First Time

    Arclight has picked upinternational rights to dark comedy Mini's First Time, which is producedby Ed Bass' Bold Films and Berlin festival entrant Kevin Spacey's TriggerStreet.The picture, now in postproduction, stars Nikki Reed as a 17-year-old who likes to experiment. Thingsturn sour, when, trying her hand as a call-girl, she discovers her first clientis her step-father, played by Alec Baldwin. Against the odds the two of themteam up against her mother (Carrie Ann Moss) and deci
  • Asylum

    Dir:David Mackenzie. UK-Ire. 2005. 93mins.A dark, assured period piece about passion and madness, and the way societyrestrains them, Asylum is a much slicker product than Scottish directorDavid Mackenzie's previous outing, Young Adam.It has not had an easygestation: US distributor Paramount has been involved since Patrick McGrath'snovel was published in 1997; Jonathan Demme was originally attached to direct,a
  • AUSTRALIA 15 February

    Two US films new to cinemaslead the box office on the weekend and both would have got a boost because oftheir links to Australia. The Aviator, starring the homegrown Cate Blanchett, tookA$1,830,974 from 248 screens for Roadshow, and Hide And Seek, directedby the homegrown John Polson, took A$1,652,264 from 205 screens for 20thCentury Fox. The latter had the highest screen average on the chart at A$8,060.Million Dollar Baby from Roadshow w
  • Barquet joins Universal as svp production finance

    Veteran finance executive Arturo Barquethas joined Universal Pictures as senior vice president of production finance.Barquet will oversee projects through pre-production, production andpost-production and coordinate all financing vehicles for specified projects onUniversal's theatrical slate and all theatrical stage productions.Reporting to Universal chief financial officer Patti Hutton, Barquet will alsobe responsible for all financing on the studio's deve
  • Bavaria Film closes deals on Sophie Scholl

    Bavaria Film International(BFI) has closed the first deals for Marc Rothemund's Sophie Scholl - TheFinal Days. The gripping drama on thelast six days of resistance figure Sophie Scholl has been sold to Japan(Kinetique), Spain (Lola Films), Scandinavia (Future Films), Mexico (QualityFilms), Portugal (Ecofilmes), former Yugoslavia (Discovery) and Peru (GatenoFilms).The UK, France and Italy areexpected to be closed before the end of market, while a number
  • Berlin abuzz with Harvey and Bob talk

    With Harvey and Bob Weinstein just weeks away fromfinalising their exit deal from The Walt Disney Co, the rumour mill in Berlinis running on overdrive about their future - and their international plans areat the heart of the speculation.If the brothers' plans to create a new home forWeinstein-friendly film-makers like Quentin Tarantino, Michael Moore, AnthonyMinghella, Kevin Smith and Robert Rodriguez are realised, buyers will beslavering for the product.But it has emerged that
  • Berlin Today is Alright

    Alright Love, by Finnish writer-director Samuli Valkama and creative producerRoman Sorger from Austria, has won this year's Berlin Today Award. Thedigital short, which was shot in Berlin last autumn with Valerie Lasserre andTim Sander playing a young couple who meet by chance in the U-Bahn, won outover Bucuresti - Berlin and If I Were A Fish. Thethree-person jury of producer Roshanak Behesht Nedjad and filmmakers HannesStoehr (One Day In Europe) and A
  • Berlinale unveils European Film Market plans for 2006

    Next year's European Film Market will comfortablyaccommodate as many as 300 film companies as it decamps to its spacious newhome at the historic Martin-Grobius-Bau, a ten-minute walk away from thefestival's Palast nexus.Atpresent, 170 sales outfits and umbrella organisations are housed in crampedquarters at the Debis building, with another fifty or so companies doingbusiness from nearby hotels such as the Hyatt.Now fully restored to its late 19th CenturyRenaissance glory, the Ma
  • Berry, Forster back together for Nefertiti

    Three years ago, actressHalle Berry and director Marc Forster were both in Berlin to promote Monster'sBall. Since then, she has won an Oscar and become one of Hollywood'sbiggest stars and he directed the seven-times Oscar nominated FindingNeverland. Now the two are planning tore-team on the story of Egyptian queen Nefertiti, the wife of the great PharaohAkhenaten who achieved status similar to that of her husband. Berry, who is executiveproducer of current HBO Film
  • Beyond boosts Berlin slate

    Beyond Films has added twoUK films to its slate at Berlin. Richard Kwietniowsky is to direct black comedyNo One Gets Off In This Town, which is expected to star Brenda Blethyn,Jane Horrocks, John Hurt Amira Casar and Rupert Evans. "We are pre-selling thefilm as part of the financing," said Beyond, senior sales and acquisitionsexecutive Stephen Kelliher But the company did not reveal plot or budgetdetails. The film will be produced by Creep producer Jason Newm
  • British feature wins at Miami

    The Miami International FilmFestival ended yesterday with Amma Assante's British feature A Way Of Lifewinning the grand jury prize and the FIPRESCI prize for best dramatic featurein world cinema competition.In the documentary featurecategory, the grand jury prize went to Scott Dalton and Margarita Martinez's LaSierra from Colombia which shows a Medellin barrio on the front lines ofColombia's ongoing civil war.In the Ibero-American cinemadramatic
  • Bruehl set to become Spanish political martyr

    Good Bye, Lenin! star Daniel Bruehl has signed onto take the lead in new Spanish feature Salvador from Barcelona-basedMEDIApro.Theaction film turns on the last two years in the life of 1970's Catalan politicalmartyr Salvador Puig Antich, who was imprisoned at the tail end of the Francoera. MEDIApro chief Jaume Roures and head of international JavierMendez met in Berlin with poten
  • Celluloid Dreams grabs Grace and Good rights

    French sales house Celluloid Dreams has expanded itsEnglish-language slate with a pair of powerful acquisitions. It has grabbed international rights on Savage Grace, one of the hottest US indie projects of the moment,and Good, a feature adaptation ofC P Taylor's acclaimed play about an otherwise moral professor whoformulates Hitler's Final Solution. Good will shoot on location in Berlin this summer.Savage Grace is thefirst film made by Tom Kalin since
  • Celluloid skips ahead with Beat sales

    Celluloid Dreams has closedmost major territories on Jacques Audiard's Berlinale competition entry TheBeat That My Heart Skipped (De Battre Mon Coeur S'Est Arrive) before itsworld premiere screening in Berlin.The film, which will bereleased by UGC in France on March 23, has gone to Happinet in Japan,Artificial Eye in the UK, Vertigo in Spain, Bim in Italy, Cineart in Benelux,Alameda Filmhouse in Mexico, Non-Stop in Scandinavia, Maywin in Russia and TangMedia in China.Othe
  • Cineclick unveils details of Kim Ki-duk's Bow

    Cineclick Asia has unveiled details of the new picture fromKim Ki-duk, the Korean maestro (ThreeIron) who last year won best director prizes at both Berlin and Venice.Kim has previously announcedseveral projects, including one to be co-produced in Europe, but The Bow, a challenging drama about thegrowing love affair between a teenage girl and a 60-year-old man, has racedahead and is a
  • Classic film out-takes lost in studio clear-out

    Though a restored version ofMichael Cimino's epic Heaven's Gate has been screening in Berlin thisweek, it is now looks as if its out-takes will never be found - thanks to aclear-out at UA which saw discarded footage from this, and several other filmclassics, destroyed.It isn't just Heaven'sGate - out-takes from seminal works such as Raging Bull, the Last Waltz,The Alamo, Yentl, Woody Allen classics, the Pink Panther films andmany, many others were binned in
  • Collins' Dead Long Enough embarks on Irish shoot

    The secondlocally developed feature to commence production in Ireland in 2005, DeadLong Enough, starts principal photography today in County Donegal. StarringMartin Sheen, Angeline Ball, Jason Hughes and Douglas Henshaw, the film is aromantic comedy in which two Welsh brothers return to Ireland to relive amemorable summ
  • Constantine converts Asian cinema-goers

    A weekahead of its domestic launch, Keanu Reeves title Constantine opened invarious Asian territories including Hong Kong and South Korea for the Lunar NewYear holiday. The highest new entry on the international chart, theaction fantasy film, based on the comic-book Hellblazer, claimed fourthplace and $6.7m over the weekend for Warner Bros. Openingearly for the Asian holiday Constantine has a total gross of $11.8m. TheEuropean launch begins this weekend led
  • Delbonnel takes top cinematography prize

    Bruno Delbonnelwon top honours for his work in A Very Long Engagement in the 19thAnnual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding AchievementAwards in Los Angeles yesterday (13).It was the first ASC award for Delbonnel, who was nominated for Jean-PierreJeunet's Amelie in 2002.Delbonnel beat off stiff competition from Dion Beebe and Paul Cameron forCollateral, Caleb Deschanel for The Passion Of The Christ, PawelEdelman for Ray and
  • Diver surfaces as WBITD UK marketing director

    Becky Diver has been appointed director of UK Marketingat Warner Bros. International Television Distribution (WBITD).Based in London, Diver will develop and implement WBITD's UK and Irelandmarketing strategies, working with executives in other divisions to maximisepublicity and marketing activities for all the company's television properties.She will report to WBITD vice president of European marketing Chandra Years,and group marketing director of Warner Bros Entertainment UK
  • Dumplings

    Dir: Fruit Chan. HK.2005. 91mins.Described by the directoras a "post-feminist horror film", Dumplings is the full-length versionof a 30-minute short presented in Venice last year as part of Three Extremes,an omnibus film which also showcased twisted tales by Asian directors TakeshiMiike and Park Chan-Wook.Dumplings was easily the best thing about Three Extremes;so it comes as some relief to discover that the full-leng
  • Emperor names Tse as international sales chief

    Hong Kong production and distribution outfit Emperor MotionPictures (EMP) has appointed Ricky Tse to oversee its international salesactivities in the role of distribution general manager.Tse, who was formerly assistant general manager at MediaAsia Distribution, will take on responsibility for EMP's new distribution teamreporting directly to the company's chief executive Albert Lee. EMP, which previously worked with Arclight Films on selecttitles, made its debut as a fully-fledge
  • Errol Morris to be feted at 2005 Hot Docs

    Acclaimed US documentary filmmakerErrol Morris will be the guest of honour at the 2005 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Along with a retrospective of his work, the director of such films as Gates Of Heaven, The Thin Blue Line and the AcademyAward-winning Fog Of War will be presented with the event's annual Outstanding Achievement Award and participatein an on-stage interview.In a statement the retrospective's curator Marc Glassman said Morris
  • Errol Morris to be feted at 2005 Hot Docs

    Acclaimed US documentary filmmakerErrol Morris will be the guest of honour at the 2005 Hot Docs CanadianInternational Documentary Festival. Along with a retrospective of his work, thedirector of such films as Gates Of Heaven,The Thin Blue Line and the AcademyAward-winning Fog Of War will bepresented with the event's annual Outstanding Achievement Award and participa
  • Euro films struggle to attract non-local audiences

    Some of Europe's leadinggatekeepers to the $257m-plus (Euros 200m) of public money being handed outannually across the continent to support film production are now wonderingwhether too many European films are being made. Is all this state-supported aidis being spread too thinly'Some 750 theatrical featureswere produced in Europe in 2003. While they enjoyed a healthy 21% share oftheir local box office, those same mostly foreign-language films have a toughtime attracting audiences outsid
  • European cinema admissions rocket in 2004

    Cinema admissions for theenlarged European Union of 25 member states rocketed to record levels in 2004,topping the 1bn mark for the first time ever, according to provisional figurescompiled by the Strasbourg-based European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO).Initial estimates havelogged a year-on-year-increase of 5.87 percent, led by a stunning 11.6 percentadmissions hike in France.Speaking at the 2ndEncounter of European Film Commissions on the eve of this year's
  • European Shooting Stars hit Berlin

    "Listen to directors anddon't dream of being a star'do your job, be yourself, and it will work out inthe end." That was Man To Man directorRegis Wargnier's advice to the 21 fresh-faced actors and actresses from aroundEurope chosen for the 8th Shooting Stars initiative last week.Around 40 European castingagents are in town this weekend to cast a quizzical eye over the thesps. And in a bid to lend greater coherence tothe event, European Film Promotion (E
  • Exorcist exhumed: Schrader's prequel gets world premiere

    Provingthat in this era of DVDs, re-issues and special festival screenings, no footageis ever safely in the grave, Paul Schrader will bring his version of TheExorcist: The Beginning to the Brussels International Festival of FantasticFilm on March 18 in a precursor to what looks like a limited theatricalrollout.Thiswill be a world premiere for the $35m film, which was binned by producer MorganCreek almost two years ago after it was deemed not scary enough.Schraderwas repla
  • Family a fresh embrace for Burman, Hendler

    Argentineandirector Daniel Burman, winner of Berlin's Silver Bear Award last year for LostEmbrace (El Abrazo Partido), started pre-production this week on his newBuenos Aires-set comedy Family Law (Derecho De Familia) which reunitesthe director with his Embrace cast.DanielHendler, who won best actor at Berlin last year for his role in Embrace,will star in Family Law as a lawyer who goes through an identity crisisfollowing the death of his father, also
  • Fateless (Sorstalansag)

    Dir. Lajos Koltai.Hung-Ger-UK. 2005. 136mins.Initially offered a lessprestigious slot at Berlin, the producers of Fateless have been provedjustified in holding out for the competition slot which it was awarded hoursbefore the festival began.Oscar-nominatedcinematographer Lajos Koltai's (Malena, Being Julia) grim andsober debut initially seems like any other neatly calibrated, if hardlyexceptional Holocaust drama - until it g
  • Fateless attracts the crowds at Hungarian Film Week

    The 36th edition of the Hungarian Film Week (February 2-8)saw a major admissions increase this year according to the organisers.Admissions were nearly forty-eight thousand, a five thousandincrease on last year.Renowned cinematographer Lajos Koltai's directorial debut,Berlinale contender Fateless was theFilm Week's most popular title with over 3,000 admissions, while anotherBerlinale participant
  • Films Distribution scores sales on Berlin's Panorama opener

    France's Films Distributionhas scored a slew of sales on Panorama Special opening film Live And Become(Vas, Vis Et Deviens)The film directed by RaduMihaileanu, the France-based Romanian who previously made Train De Vie,has been licensed to Golem Distribucion for Spain, Cinestar for Austria,Seville Pictures for Canada and Hopscotch for Australia. In Italy, where it wasco-produced by Cattleya, it will be released by local major Medusa.The 1984-set
  • Football fever spreads across int'l film industry

    Withthe "Kaiser" Franz Beckenbauer in town yesterday and the World Cup tobe held in Germany next year, football fever is breaking out in the filmindustry. From Europe to South America, new football-themed films are beingplanned.InBrazil, Walter Salles (in Germany this week for the Berlinale Talent Campus) isbusy polishing the script for Linha Do Pase, his drama about four youngbrothers from an impoverished background who try to break the social apartheidin Brazil through profess
  • Fortissimo dances off with Mad Hot Ballroom rights

    Fortissimo Film Sales has picked up international rights toSlamdance hit film Mad Hot Ballroom. Therights were sold by Paramount Classics, which acquired the film outsideAustralia and New Zealand jointly with Nickelodeon last month.Directed by Marilyn Agrelo and written by Amy Sewell, thedocumentary tracks a group of 11-year old New York public schoolchildren whotrain for a citywide ballroom dancing competition. Sewell and Agrelo produced. Slamdance organisers said the fi
  • Fortissimo dines out on Nina's Heavenly Delights

    Fortissimo Film Sales hasadded an extra course to its Berlin spread by picking up Nina's HeavenlyDelights, a family-foodie comedy scripted by Dear Frankie writerAndrea Gibb.The film, set in Glasgow, isdirected by Pratibha Parmar, an award-winning British documentary directormaking her feature debut. Rising star Shelly Cohn (Possession)plays a young Indo-Scottish woman who returns home after her father dies andtakes over the family restaurant. Fortissimo is p
  • Fox sinks its teeth into Night Watch vampire franchise

    20th Century Fox has unveiled its plans to build a global blockbusterfranchise out of Timur Bekmambetov's Night Watch (Nochnoj dozor), theRussian-language smash hit vampire thriller, playing at the Berlinale tomorrownight as a special screening.Last summer the studio bought worldwide rights (excluding Russia and theBaltic States) to the movie, which took over $16m at the local box office tobecome the highest grossing in Russian history. It also wound up as thecountry's submissio
  • FRANCE 14 February

    French comedy EspaceDetente took in a whopping 701,031 admissions in its first week. The filmis adapted from a 15-minute TV series called Camera Cafe whose formathas been sold the world over. The film pushed The Aviator down to thesecond spot in its second week for a cumulative total of $7,463,417 thus far.Warner Bros. France's L'Ex Femme De Ma Vie took third place in its debutweek with 371,284 tickets sold. EuropaCorp.'s Jet Li, Morgan Freeman
  • FRANCE 17 February

    An overwhelmingly strongopening for comedy Iznogoud from TFM distribution with nearly 1.117million tickets sold in its first week out. The film stars local comicMichael Youn who had a big hit last year with Les 11 Commandements andstruck at the right time just as kids are off on school break. The film alsostars Jacques Villeret, the beloved comedic actor who passed away suddenly lastmonth. Bumped down to second placeis Espace Detente whic
  • France's foreign press sings Chorus's praises

    Christophe Barratier's The Chorushas been voted Best Picture by France's foreign press. Organisers of theLumiere awards, the local equivalent to the Golden Globes, announced today.Jean-Pierre Jeunet took thedirecting prize for his epic A Very Long Engagement. Continuing their reign as awardsroyalty this year, Emmanuelle Devos and Mathieu Almaric won the top actingawards for Arnaud Desplechin's Kings And Queen.Lola Naymark, Marilou Berry andDamien Joui
  • Funds dry up at Euro Media Programme

    The Media Programme'sdistribution support system appears to be in a state of disarray. Speaking inBerlin on Sunday, Raymond A. J. Goverde confirmed that the budget for 2004 ranout in mid-November and that no distributors have received the money they werepromised since then.Goverde (Head of MonitoringTeam at Media) said that the cause for the shortfall is the increased number ofdistributors from new EU member countries applying for support. "We didn't knowhow popular
  • Gavin Films strikes US deal for Mothers And Daughters

    Bill Gavin's Gavin Films hassold North American rights to Mothers And Daughters to SalonEntertainment.The US distributor isplanning a theatrical release for the low-budget British comedy, written,directed and produced by actors Hannah Davis and David Conolly exploring thetangled love lives and family relationships of middle class Londoners."Salon is making a verysignificant financial commitment to its acquisition and theatrical release.This sale really
  • German hit Napola scores US sale

    Doug Witkins' Picture This!Entertainment has acquired North American rights to Dennis Gansel's German hit Napolafrom Bavaria Film International. The film, which has so far grossed $2.2m onthree weeks of release in Germany through Constantin Film, is being scheduledfor an autumn 2005 theatrical release in the US.Based on a screenplay byGansel and Maggie Peren, Napola is the story of the friendship betweentwo young men caught in the barbaric mechanisms o
  • Germany moves forward with sale and leaseback plans

    Germany's adoption of a UK-style sale and leaseback (S&L) fundingmodel has come one big step closer after a meeting between German filmproducers and Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder yesterday morning. According to one of the producers attending, a working group will becreated to draft a concept for a sale and leaseback structure by April 2005. This could come into the statute books before the Bundestag's summerrecess.
  • Germany's Priamos kicks off with Zanzibar project

    WithBerlin awash with projects involving football, the island of Zanzibar hasjoined the team: Berlin-based production company Priamos Film is to launch withThe Dream Of Zanzibar set on the African island.Budgetedat $1.1m, the Dream Of Zanzibar will mark both the directing debut ofAlisan Saltik and the first project from Stephan Ottenbruch's Priamos.Amix of underdog tale with romantic comedy, it follows a young man as he wooshis Indian childhood sweetheart while try
  • Gold Circle looks to draw Garcia to Smoke

    Gold Circle Films is infinal negotiations to hire Spanish first-time director Victor Garcia to directthe horror suspense feature Smoke.The film is based on a specscript by Ronnie Christensen and is being produced by The Grudgeproducers Roy Lee & Doug Davidson of Vertigo Entertainment and Lauren Lloydat Bedlam Media.The SleepingWith The Enemy-style plot revolves around a young woman on the run from anabus
  • Hamori pours H2O on Cronenberg's Pain

    AndrasHamori, the international producer here with the epic Hungarian picture Fatelessin competition, has reactivated his H20 Motion Pictures production outfit andset four pictures to shoot in the next two years including two with his oldAlliance Atlantis partner Robert Lantos. Hamori'sH20 has boarded two pictures which are in development with Lantos and hisSerendipity Point Films - David Cronenberg's next picture Painkillersand Jeremy Podeswa's Fugitive Pieces.
  • Hayat

    Dir:Gholamreza Ramezani. Iran. 2004. 78mins.Want to make a heartwarming Iranian kids' movie' Take an endearing kid froma poor background, give her a goal, and then provide an obstacle. It worked forThe White Balloon (goal: buy goldfish; obstacle: money goes down thedrain, literally), and it works for Hayat, which opened the Kinderfestat Berlin and held most of its young audience rapt for 78 minutes, despite thelack of Potteresque special eff
  • Hayat

    Dir:Gholamreza Ramezani. Iran. 2004. 78mins.Want to make a heartwarming Iranian kids' movie' Take an endearing kid froma poor background, give her a goal, and then provide an obstacle. It worked forThe White Balloon (goal: buy goldfish; obstacle: money goes down thedrain, literally), and it works for Hayat, which opened the Kinderfestat Berlin and held most of its young audience rapt for 78 minutes, despite thelack of Potteresque special eff
  • Hitch hikes up US box office

    Sony's romantic comedy Hitchopened on an estimated $45.3m at the weekend in what was the biggest everlaunch for a romantic comedy.Will Smith stars as a date doctor who claims he can find anybody's perfectmatch within three days. Eva Mendes and Kevin James also star in Andy Tennant'spicture, which drew strong reviews and averaged an excellent $12,671 on 3,575screens.The previous opening record for a romantic comedy was $39.9m set by 50 FirstDates - another Sony re
  • Hitch opens top in US on $45.3m

    Sony's romantic comedy Hitchopened on an estimated $45.3m at the weekend in what was the biggest everlaunch for a romantic comedy.Will Smith stars as a date doctor who claims he can find anybody's perfectmatch within three days. Eva Mendes and Kevin James also star in Andy Tennant'spicture, which drew strong reviews and averaged an excellent $12,671 on 3,575screens.The previous opening record for a romantic comedy was $39.9m set by 50 FirstDates - another Sony re
  • HONG KONG 14 February

    The Incredibles has beaten both of this year's Chinese New Yearproductions to the top of the Hong Kong box office, grossing US$1.56m from 57screens in its opening week. The film's opening tallytook in the first day of the Chinese New Year holiday period - Wednesday Feb 9- but as the following two days were also public holidays, the Pixar animationshould score a bumper haul in its second week.China Star's holidayoffering Himalaya Singh, which sta
  • Hong Kong film industry calls for greater anti-piracy measures

    Hong Kong's nine major filmcompanies and representatives from five trade organisations gathered yesterday(Feb 17) to present their official response to the government's current reviewof the territory's copyright laws.The Hong Kong governmentissued a consultation paper last December that proposes changes to theCopyright Ordinance but doesn't directly mention the growing threat of onlinepiracy. The joint industry group isalso concerned that other issues such as rental rights are n
  • How

    How do I sign up'Please fill in the attachedformand return to Jane Chapman FIFE 2005 NCH, the children's charity 85 Highbury Park London N5 1UD Tel: 020 7288 7837Fax: 020 7226 INDUSTRY FOOTBALL EVENT 2004FULHAM FOOT
  • How Do I Sign Up'

    How do I sign up'Please fill in the attachedform and return to Jane Chapman FIFE 2005 NCH, the children's charity 85 Highbury Park London N5 1UD Tel: 020 7288 7837Fax: 020 7226 an application form, click HERE
  • How do I sign up'

    How do I sign up'Please fill in the attachedform and return to Jane Chapman FIFE 2005 NCH, the children's charity
  • Icing sealed on Cake Weaver, Rickman set to roll

    Ayear after Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver committed to the project, SnowCake has finally come together.UKproducers Andrew Eaton and Gina Carter have set up the drama as a UK-Canadianco-production with Niv Fichman, producer of The Red Violin. FortissimoFilm Sales is selling worldwide rights,while a deal is being finalised with support body the UK Film Council'sPremiere Fund. Director Marc Evans is now in Canada preparing to start shootingnext month.First-
  • Icon takes Perfect Creature for the UK

    Icon Entertainment haspicked up UK rights to Perfect Creature, the New Zealand-UK producedvampire thriller. Starring Dougray Scott, Saffron Burrows, Stuart Wilson andScott Wills it explores a retro-futuristic world where vampires and humansco-exist. The Icon deal was signed byArclight Films, which handles international sales jointly with New ZealandFilm. "We get the impression that buyers see this as a film in the vein of WolfCreek. We are seeing huge
  • Idiot Love (Amor Idiota)

    Dir: Ventura Pons.Sp-And. 2005. 95mins.Catalan director Ventura Pons is something of a Berlin fixture: IdiotLove sets a festival record by being the sixth consecutive feature by thedirector to premiere here. It's an original love story, self-deprecatinglyironic but also fizzing with eroticism.If Italian director NanniMoretti ever decided to take on the subject of sexual obsession, the resultmight be something like this. The film's best feature is the odd co
  • IFP/New York names five docs to win development funding

    IFP/New York, the membership and advocacy organization for independentfilm-makers, has announced the names of the five films which will be share$50,000 in the latest round of development funding through the AnthonyRadziwill Documentary Fund.The grants are open to US-based producers and directors and were createdto provide "seed funding" to new documentary projects at the earlieststages of development.The five, selected from 390 proposals, are: How Sweet The Sound - TheBlind B
  • Innocent Voices inspires buyers in Berlin

    Lions Gate FilmsInternational has completed a raft of sales on Luis Mandoki's Salvadoran civilwar drama Innocent Voices, which received its European premiere in Berlin last weekend asthe opening night film of the Kinderfilmfest.The picture sold to Metropolitan in France, Solo Film in Germany, Content Filmin the UK, New Select in Japan, Nordisk in Scandinavia, Village Roadshow inGreece, LNK in Portugal, and Montage in Korea.It also went to CMC in Taiwan, Lucky Gems in Ho
  • Instant replay for German version of Finnish football film

    In an unusual move,Hamburg's Wueste Filmproduktion will remake the Finnish football comedy FCVenus before the movie is even in theatres at home.Finnish production companyTalent House will start shooting the Joona Tena-directed Venus at theend of May, while the German remake, to be directed by Ute Wieland, will beginfilming at the end of summer.Columbia TriStar NordiskFilm Distributors Oy is set for a Finland opening of the Finnish version inearl
  • Intl box office preview: Constantine launches in Europe

    Constantine should give DreamWorks International's MeetThe Fockers a run forits money as the dominant international title this weekend when it opens widein a trio of major European markets.The supernatural thriller and comic book adaptation was due to open day-and-date with the US throughWarner Bros Pictures International in France on Feb 16, followed by Germany onFeb 17 and Spain today (18).Strong debuts seem assured given the star power of Keanu Reeves and a st
  • I-On buys German home ent rights to Murder-Set-Pieces

    MSP Productions has soldGerman home entertainment rights for the horror title Murder-Set-Pieces to I-On New Media.Nick Palumbo's picture premiered last December at the Sitges International FilmFestival in Barcelona and played in limited release in Los Angeles and NewYork.Murder-Set-Pieces follows theexploits of a homicidal fashion photographer and stars Sven Garrett, Tony Todd,Gunnar Hansen, Ed Neal and Cerina Vincent.I-On New Media president Michael Krae
  • Israel lends helping hand to Palestinian bomber drama

    Just daysafter the Middle Eastern summit in Egypt, Israel has offered a cinematic olivebranch to a Palestinian filmmaker.Paradise Now, a drama about the last 24 hours of twoPalestinian suicide bombers that was made by a Palestinian-born director on theWest Bank will receive distribution sup
  • ITALY 16 February

    UIP comedy Meet TheFockers stormed into the number one slot at the Italian box office with anastounding $5,724,641. While other releases, new and old, paled in comparison,the Dustin Hoffman-Robert De Niro sequel earned a massive average of $11,518from 497 screens.Meanwhile, Johnny Deppvehicle Finding Neverland dropped into second place with a running totalof $4,380,427 for BVI, while The Aviator slumped to number four and shed60% of its earnings
  • Karlovy Vary lines up Peckinpah, Maddin and Kawamoto tributes

    The Karlovy VaryInternational Film Festival (July 1-9) has lined up tributes to Sam Peckinpah,Guy Maddin and Japanese animation director Kihachiro Kawamoto for its 2005edition.Kawamoto will celebrate his80th birthday at Karlovy Vary, the first international festival topresent a retrospective of his work. He is currently shooting a new feature, ShishaNo Sho, which the festival hopes toscreen.The festival programme willinclude five films by Peckinpah as
  • Kimmel, VIP team for Holland's Beethoven pic

    Sidney Kimmel Entertainment,the prolific new LA-based production and financing outfit backed byphilanthropist and business titan Kimmel, has teamed up with VIP Medienfonds toproduce Copying Beethoven, to be directed by Agnieszka Holland and starEd Harris and Diane Kruger.Myriad Pictures is handlingworldwide sales on the film in Berlin and deals have already been sealed inJapan to Tohokushinsha Film Co, Brazil to Videofilm Corporation, Portugal toLNK Home Entertainment, Greece to
  • Kino picks up Happily Ever After, Or for US

    Kino International has pickedup US rights to Yvan Attal's Happily Ever After and Keren Yedaya's Or.The romantic comedy Happily Ever After (Ils Se Marierent Et Eurent Beaucoup D'Enfants) stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Emmanuelle Seigner andAttal and centres on the sexual p
  • Kino snaps up Happily for US

    US independent distributorKino International has picked up US rights to two 2004 pictures - Yvan Attal's HappilyEver After (Ils Se Marierent Et Eurent Beaucoup D'Enfants) andFrench/Israeli co-production Or directed by Keren Yedaya.The romantic comedy HappilyEver After (Ils Se Marierent Et Eurent Beaucoup D'Enfants) stars CharlotteGainsbourg, Emmanuelle Seigner, Alain Chabat and Attal, and centres on thesexual politics that engulf two Parisian couples and a single m
  • Kinowelt acquires Warner titles from Epsilon

    German distributor Kinowelthas taken rights to a package of films headed by Warner Bros titles MillionDollar Baby and Mr & Mrs Smith. Clint Eastwood'sOscar-nominated Million Dollar Baby has been widely advertised as beinghandled by Warner's German branch with a release date of March 3. Kinowelt'sBertil Le Claire said the company would be keeping the same release slot."There was a misunderstanding which meant that Warner's contract had not beensi
  • Kirschenbaum earns vp production stripes at Universal

    JeffKirschenbaum has been appointed vice president of production at UniversalPictures, where he has played a key role in such hits as The BourneSupremacy and In GoodCompany.Kirschenbaumwill expand the number of films under his watch and is currently shepherdingthe upcoming video game adaptation Doom, which is scheduled to open in August and stars DwayneJohnson (aka The Rock).Other projectsin the works include Spy Hunter, another video game adaptation
  • Korean dramas fetch record prices with Japanese buyers

    Japanese buyers at EFM are breaking records for the size of the dealsbeing made on Korean films.In an inter-Asian buying spree, Comstock paid $4m for Korea Pictures'period action drama The Duellist, pre-sold on the strength of a clipreel. Due to finish production in April, the Lee Myung-se-directed tale of afemale detective, played by Ha Ji Won, will not be delivered until earlyautumn.But that paycheque looked meagre when compared to market rumourssurrounding Show East's
  • La Fabrique takes French rights to Slamdance hit On The Outs

    La Fabrique De Films, the French distributor run by Verane Frediani, hasacquired French rights to US Forum entry On The Outs, directed by LoriSilverbush and Michael Skolnik. Andrew Herwitz's The Film Sales Company, whichis representing the film, closed the deal.The film, which follows the story of three US inner city teenage girlsas they try to grow up in what seem like impossible circumstances, recently wonthe top audience and jury prizes at the Slamdance Fi
  • Lions Gate Int'l takes selected rights on Isolation

    Lions Gate FilmsInternational has picked up worldwide rights excluding the UK, France and NorthAmerica to UK-Irish horror movie Isolation which is being directed byfirst-timer Billy O'Brien. Produced by The Bureau inassociation with Blue Orange Films and Element Films, Isolation stars JohnLynch, Ruth Negga and Sean Harris in the story of five people caught up in aterrifying experiment one bleak winter on an isolated farm in rural Ireland.The film follo
  • Lions Gate picks up international rights to Isolation

    Lions Gate Films International has picked up worldwide rights excludingthe UK, France and North America to UK-Irish horror movie Isolation which is beingdirected by first-timer Billy O'Brien. Produced by The Bureau in association with Blue Orange Films and ElementFilms, Isolation stars John Lynch, Ruth Negga and Sean Harris in thestory of five people caught up in a terrifying experiment one bleak winter onan isolated farm in rural Ireland.The film follows a cattle
  • Locarno to honour Jeremy Thomas

    Britishproducer Jeremy Thomas will be presented with the Raimondo Rezzonico Prize forindependent producers at this year's Locarno International Film Festival (August 3-13).Commentingon the selection of the producer of such films as The Last Emperor, The Hitand The Sheltering Sky, Locarno's festival director Irene Bignardi said:"Jeremy is one of those producers who is also involved in bigger projectsbut always manages to keep his independence and identity as a producer."
  • Major upheaval ahead for UK cinema advertising sector

    A dramatic shift of power inthe UK cinema advertising market is on the horizon.UK cinema chain UGC's screenadvertising contract, currently held by Pearl and Dean, is to pass to CarltonScreen Advertising (CSA) in early 2006, according to a spokesperson at CSA. Themove follows the acquisition of UGC by Cineworld, which also controls theCine-UK chain.CSA currently providesscreen advertising for both the Odeon and UCI chains, as well as Cine-UK, andthe addition of UGC to its portfol
  • Malta unveils new financial incentives to woo film-makers

    The Maltese filmindustry suffered a body blow last year when, three months into pre-production,Steven Spielberg decided to postpone his highly contentious new film about theaftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics and concentrate on The War Of TheWorlds instead.Nonetheless,Malta (where films from Troy to Gladiator have shot in recentyears) is regrouping: representatives of Malta's Film Commission will be inBerlin this week to announce a raft of new
  • Massway leads the way for Chinese sales companies

    In a move bound to boost the profile of Chinese filmabroad, independent companies from mainland China are now being allowed totravel abroad to represent films at international markets. Beijing-based Massway, one of the new wave ofprivately-financed sales agents, is at this year's European Film Market inBerlin for the very first time, representing two theatrical titles, LiuBingjian's Panorama entry Plastic Flowers and Fang Gangliang's TheStory Of Xiaoyan, as well as severa
  • Meet The Fockers soars past $100m for UIP

    DreamWorks International'sMeet The Fockers grossed an estimated $20.8m on 3,166 screens in 39territories through UIP at the weekend as it became UIP's first 2005 release topass $100m.The comedy sequel currently stands at $111.5m following 10 fresh openings, thebiggest of which was a strong number one launch in Italy that produced $5.9mand approximately 46% market share for UIP's biggest ever debut in theterritory alongside Jurassic Park.Fockers opened top
  • Meirelles to produce Brazilian football documentary

    City Of God director Fernando Meirelles is producinga feature length documentary called Ginga, about the relationshipbetween Brazilians and football.The documentaryis being made through his company O2 Filmes as a co-production with Nike andWieden Kennedy Entertainment.Meirellles hassecured three directors to co-write and shoot the documentary: Marcelo Machado,Hank Levine and Tocha Alves are aiming to define 'Ginga' through the personalstories of several Brazilians
  • Menzel serves up King Of England

    Oscar-winning Czech directorJiri Menzel is finally set to direct his long-gestating adaptation of IServed The King Of England, one of the greatest novels by Czech writerBohumil Hrabal. The new project is beingpresented to potential production partners at the EFM by Czech sales anddistribution outfit AQS in advance of its official announcement in Prague laterthis month. Menzel's 1966 adaptation ofHrabal's Closely Watched Trains won an Academy Award and is seen as on
  • Midsummer Dream unveils key voice cast

    Stars including Rhys Ifans,Toby Stephens, Brian Blessed and Fiona Shaw have joined the key voice cast forthe international release of Dygra Films' Midsummer Dream, which is soldat Berlin by Lumina Films.Midsummer Dream is aSpanish-made CGI-animation very loosely based on Shakespeare's classic play,being directed by Angel de La Cruz and Manolo Gomez for Dygra Films, the teamresponsible for The Living Forest (El Bosque Animado), the first fulllength CGI feature to be produc
  • Mirovision sends My Boyfriend to Nippon

    Koreanmini-conglomerate Mirovision has tied up a clutch of high profile sales on itsSundance/EFM slate and extended its relationship with controversial directorPark Chul-soo.My Boyfriend Type B, a romantic comedy about the Asianphenomenon of dating according to blood groups - B-type men have a reputationas being selfish and arrogant - was sold to Nippon Herald for Japan. Nipponis becoming an increasingly active buyer of Korean titles and Mirovision chiefJason Chae describ
  • Missing Tati title makes world bow

    Exactly 47 years after itwas made, the English-language version of Jacques Tati's 1958 film, MonOncle, is receiving its world premiere in the Berlinale's retrospectivetoday.This is not a dubbed versionof the French original, but a film that was shot separately in English, withthe same actors. It contains sequences which are not in the French versionwhich audiences have been watching for the last half-century.The English language versionwas never released commercially. It
  • Momentum makes Friends with Inferno

    Momentum Pictures has acquired UK and Spanish rights to JustFriends from up-and-coming LA-based salesand financing outfit Inferno Distribution. The two-territory deal was negotiated and closed in Berlinby Inferno partners Jim Seibel and Bill Johnson with Momentum's head ofacquisitions Lara Thompson.New Line Cinema has acquired US rights to the romanticcomedy which is currently in production. Directed by Roger Kumble (CruelIntentions), it stars Ryan Reynolds as aguy
  • MonteCristo scares up a horror slate

    IS Media, the company behinddefunct online entertainment operation InternetStudios, has launched aninternational sales and distribution outfit called MonteCristo Entertainmentunder sales and acquisitions executive Michael Taverna.MonteCristo has acquiredinternational rights to a slate of independent films including comedy YardSale starring Andrea Robinson and David Lipper and thriller Milagros DeRio which will be directed by Carlos Avila.Other t
  • Moviehouse picks up international rights to Shut Up

    Moviehouse Entertainment,one of the UK's leading cross-over art-house sellers, has picked up rights toShut Up & Shoot Me (Sklapni A zastre l Me), an over-the-top comedyfrom Czech commercials director Steen Agro.Currently inpost-production, the film features a man who works six jobs, so his ungratefulfiancee can buy high-end designer shoes and clothes. However, when she iskilled in a freak accident during their honeymoon, he decides that life is notworth livin
  • Myriad joins Partition

    LA-based Myriad Pictures hasstruck a co-production deal with Canada's Sepia Films for the epic India-setromance Partition. Jim Mistry and Kristin Kreuk will star in the film. Partitionis being executive produced by imX Communications, which previously worked withMyriad on The River King.Myriad is handling allinternational sales on the film excluding Canada, where it goes to SevillePictures Canada.Set during the final days ofthe British Em
  • New Line ready to go Running Scared

    New Line Cinema has paid high seven figures for North Americanrights to Running Scared, Wayne Kramer's follow-up to The Coolerthat stars Paul Walker as a low-level mobster who must find a gun used in acontract killing.Chazz Palminteri, Vera Farmiga, Alex Neuberger and Cameron Bright also star inthe picture, a co-production between Media 8 and VIP Medienfonds.ICM's new international team of Hal Sadoff and Shaun Redick packaged the deal,and alongside Media 8 negoti
  • New Line, CJ pact for Shadowless Sword

    Korea'sCJ Entertainment and New Line Cinema have struck a pioneering co-productiondeal for The Shadowless Sword. The period action film is written anddirected by Kim Jung-joon and is billed as a sequel to breakout internationalhit Bichunmoo. The$6.5m Troy-like film, set in 800AD, began 15 weeks of production inChina on Wednesday (16 Feb) and is scheduled to be completed in early autumn.Arahan-star Yun So-yi stars as a princess warrior who searches for a mate tohelp
  • New Spanish distributor Notro launches sales arm

    NewSpanish distributor Notro Films is launching an international sales armstarting with three films from local producer Filmanova, including Berlincompetition title One Day In Europe.The films, which Notro will distribute in Spain, alsoinclude Jorge Gaggero's Sundance screener Live-In Maid (Beba Y Dora) andJuan Taratuto's comedy It 's Not You, It's Me (No Sos Vos Soy Yo), bothArgentinean co-prod
  • NonStop takes on sales for Rancid, Monster Thursday

    Scandinavian-basedsales agent NonStop Sales has picked up international sales to Sonet Film'sEnglish- language thriller Rancid and Norwegian Sundance competitor MonsterThursday.Starring Matthew Settle and Faye Masterson andco-starring Pernilla August, Rancid takes place during one hectic nightin New York. The film is written and directed by Los Angeles-based Swede JackErsgard
  • One Day In Europe

    Dir/scr: Hannes Stohr.Ger-Sp. 2005. 101mins.The idea, at least, is promising: four mini-stories set in four Europeancities, all playing out against the background of a major internationalfootball match. But in the end there's something frustratingly inconclusiveabout One Day In Europe, Hannes Stohr's follow-up to Berlin Is InGermany, which won the Panorama audience award at the 2001 Berlinale.Though there are flashes ofhumour, and the writer-director
  • Onoma racks up ChokDee sales

    Onoma International has scored a raft of sales on its Thai-boxing drama ChokDeeby French director Xavier Durringer. The film, which stars martial arts star Dida, Bernard Giraudeau andrising Thai-French model Vanessa Vanida Faivre, was sold to Victory forBelgium, Svensk Filmindustri for Scandinavia, Front Row for the Middle East,Amero Mitra for Indonesia, Sahamongkol for Thailand, Best Hollywood forHungary, California Filmes for Brazil, Cine Y Video for Mexico and LNK forPortugal
  • Palm acquires US rights to City Of Men

    US distributor Palm Picturesyesterday acquired North American distribution rights to City Of Men, the TV series that picks up from FernandoMeirelles' Oscar-nominated smash film City Of God. International rights are being handled by theUK's Lumina Films.
  • Paradise Now

    Dir. HanyAbu-Assad. Pal-Neth-Ger-Fr. 2005. 90mins.Putting a humanface on suicide bombers without lionising them is a tough assignment, and HanyAbu-Assad almost pulls it off with his feature Paradise Now, despite theminefield of unresolved issues he has to negotiate.His story about twoPalestinian childhood friends who pledge their lives to the cause, and whatha
  • Park's Lady sells to Japan and US

    Korean giant CJ Entertainment closed two major deals on SympathyFor Lady Vengeance, the third and finalpart of Old Boy director ParkChan-wook's revenge trilogy.The film was bought fora multi-million dollar sum byToshiba Entertainment for Japan and by Tartan Films for North America.The $6m film is five weeks into its 12 week shoot and willbe completed in late summer. "We are thrilled to have close two major deals on thefirst full day of the Berlin market," sa
  • Pollack wraps Sketches Of Frank Gehry documentary

    Sydney Pollack has completedshooting on his first documentary Sketches Of Frank Gehry, about thefamed architect whose creations include the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LosAngeles and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Cinetic Media is handling sales ofthe film in Berlin.Pollack, a close friend ofGehry's for more than 25 years, spent four years making the picture and shot onlocation in Europe and the US.Dennis Hopper, JulianSchnabel, architect Philip John
  • Potter's Yes a 'Ja' for Germany

    GreeneStreet Films International has closed a deal with distributor Alamode forGerman rights to Sally Potter's Yes, which screened in Panorama duringthe Berlinale. GreeneStreet's Cedric Jeanson has closed a host of deals on the film on the back ofthe Berlin screenings including with Lumiere in Brazil and Roadshow in Greece,following earlier deals with Gaga in Japan, RCV in Benelux and Svensk inScandinavia. A UK deal is in the process of being negotiated before the end ofBerlin.
  • Prospects looking up for Downfall

    UK bookmakers may beoffering odds of 12-1 on Germanforeign-language Oscar contender: Downfall (Der Untergang), but the film, about the final days ofHitler's regime is already a winner at the international box office.Successful runs in a handfulof European territories have seen the two and a half hour drama pass the $50mmark in international takings with most world territories (including NorthAmerica) yet to release the film. Unsurprisingly, this successhas been led by Con
  • Rabbit On the Moon (Conejo En La Luna)

    Dir/scr: JorgeRamirez-Suarez. Mex-UK. 2005. 114mins.A tightly-paced politicalthriller, Rabbit On The Moon opened to peppy reviews and buoyant boxoffice takings on its home release in Mexico last October. A rare Mexico-UKco-production, it proves to be a hardworking film with some rough edges but asurefire genre instinct. Its overseas prospects will not be harmed by its dualMexico-UK setting and dialogue in both Spanish and English - although theMexic
  • Red feeling Lucky on Plateaux

    Italiandistributor Lucky Red has pre-bought multi-territory rights to A Thousand Plateaux (Chungae Eui Gowon),the Mongolian-set epic to be directed by controversial Korean director JangSun-woo. Thefilm is sold internationally by independent Korean sales house, Cineclick Asiaand was presented last month at Rotterdam's CineMart project market. There ithad $1m of finance in place from Japanese financier and producer Happinet. Thelatest deals mean that some 75% of the $2.5m budget i
  • Reelmachine sets slate with Emmerich

    Germany'spowerful VIP media fund and Berlin Jury president Roland Emmerich have set thefirst four films to go in to production from their newly-formed Reelmachineoutfit.Emmerichwill direct the first: a UK-based film with an all-British cast called SoulOf The Age. Scripted by John Orloff and exploring the origins ofShakespeare's plays, it is set to roll this autumn.VIPlast year raised over $430m for film investment from private German investors,forming Reelmachine to produ
  • Rezo Int'l takes rights to Rohmer, Karel titles

    Newly launched French saleshouse Rezo International has picked up international rights to new pictures byFrench veteran Eric Rohmer and The World According To Bush directorWilliam Karel.Rohmer aims to shoot TheRomance Of Astrea And Celadon at the end of 2005 and complete it in timefor Venice 2006. The film is adapted from a baroque period novel by Honored'Urfe and tells the tale of young love and jealousy between a highly idealisedcouple of shepherds.
  • Robin Williams cast as lead in The Night Listener

    Robin Williams has signed onto play the lead in The Night Listener, Hart Sharp Entertainment's adaptation of Armistead Maupin'sbestselling drama.Toni Collette is in talks to join the cast on the story of a radio show hostwho strikes up a telephone friendship with a mysterious boy and in the processloses a grip on his life.Sandra Oh, Rory Culkin, and Joe Morton are also indiscussions to star in the project, which is due to begin filming inmid-march in and around New York
  • Rois Et Reine named French film of the year

    The French critics union hasnamed Arnaud Desplechin's Rois Et Reine best French film of the year. The film, which starsEmmanuelle Devos, Mathieu Almaric and Catherine Deneuve, recently took the PrixLouis Delluc and is up for seven Cesar awards including best picture, director,actor and actress.Best foreign film went toSofia Coppola's Lost In Translation. Eleonore Faucher's roundly laudedCritics' Week winner A Common Thread was awarded the prize for bestfirst
  • Roundabout wins UK animation chart battle

    The UK saw two animations - Pathe's The MagicRoundabout and UIP's TheSpongeBob SquarePants Movie - go headto head over the crucial first half-term weekend.On the official UK chart, The Magic Roundabout was the winner with the film coming in third overall with $2.9m (£1.57m) from425 sites. However, this figure includes preview figures from the previousweekend, as is standard practice in the territory, of $1.03m (£550,394).Over the actual first three-day weeke
  • Savage sales for Celluloid

    CelluloidDreams has closed some key pre-sales on Tom Kalin's Savage Grace inBerlin, having flown the Swoon director in from New York for meetingswith buyers to share his vision of the film.Vertigopre-bought rights in Spain, BIM in Italy and Scanbox in Scandinavia;negotiations are underway between Celluloid and buyers in Greece, Japan,France, Germany, Switzerland and BeneluxTobe produced by Kalin's Swoon producer Christine Vachon and her KillerFilms, Savag
  • Scherfig lines up Good shoot in Berlin

    Good, a feature adaptation of C P Taylor's acclaimedplay about an otherwise moral professor who formulates Hitler's FinalSolution, is to shoot on location in Berlin this summer.Danish director LoneScherfig, a regular at the Berlin International Film Festival, will shoot the film in Potsdam, central Berlin andthe city's Olympic stadium, built for the Nazi Olympics in 1936. Frenchsales house Celluloid Dreams this week boarded theEnglish-language film, which is a co-production betw

    After Serbianpolice arrested some 100 dealers with pirated DiVX's and DVD's of We Are NotAngels 2 last week, the reason for the 39% fall-off of greatest local box-office champ of all times became obvious. Nevertheless, theblockbuster continues to break records, and after this weekend's 53,890admissions (total of 440,856) it has awhopping cume of $1,334,809. Unbeatableperformance of the local hit prompted distributors to revise their releaseschedules an
  • Shochiku strikes multiple Hidden Blade deals

    Japanese giant Shochiku,which is celebrating its 110th anniversary, has struck deals onTuesday's competition film The Hidden Blade (Kakushi Ken Oni No Tsume) for the US, Germany, France and Australia. The period martial artsdrama, directed by the Oscar-nominated Yoji Yamada (Twilight Samurai), was soldto Tartan Films for the US, EMS for Germany, CTV International for France,Aztec InternationalEntertainment forAustralia and New Zealand, Discovery Film & Video Distri
  • Short Bear drinks up Milk

    Britishshort Milk, directed by Peter Mackie Burns, has taken the Golden Bearfor Best Competition Short Film at the Berlinale.America'sThe Intervention, by Jay Duplass, and German director IzabelaPlucinska's Jam Session tied for the short Silver Bear. Don QuixoteIn Jerusalem (Israel) by Dani Rosenberg received a Special Mention. PrixUIP for Best European Film (short) in Competition or Panorama was awarded tothe Panorama entry Hoi Maya by Swiss d
  • Sogepaq strikes US deal on de la Iglesia's Crime

    Spanishsales company Sogepaq has closed North American rights on Alex de la Iglesia'sblack comedy Ferpect Crime (Crimen Ferpecto) to US independentdistributor Vitagraph, which will partner with exhibition chain LandmarkTheatre Corp for the film's release.Theunusual partnership promises cult director de la Iglesia (Perdita Durango,Day Of
  • Sony Pictures Classics takes 2046 for US

    Fortissimo Films has finalised the global distribution patchwork on WongKar-wai's epic romance 2046 by closing a US sale on the film to SonyPictures Classics (SPC).The movie, which was screened in its first incarnation in competition atCannes last year, had been extensively pre-sold by the Hong Kong andAmsterdam-based Fortissimo to companies such as Ocean in France, Prokino inGermany, Tartan in the UK and A-Film in Benelux; after Cannes, an Asian dealwas clos
  • Sophie Scholl ' The Final Days

    Dir. Marc Rothemund. Ger.2005. 120mins.Previously the basis for two previous German features, thestory of wartime freedom fighter Sophie Scholl again reaches the screen - thistime in competition at Berlin - with the added draw of new and as yet unpublishedevidence which purports to throw additional light on her case.Scholl, played here by JuliaJentsch (The Edukators), which was also in competition last year), wasone of the leaders of the White Rose student u
  • SPC adds Potter, Zhang to bulging slate

    Sony Pictures Classics has added three new internationaltitles to its 2005 US slate, picking up domestic rights to Erik VanLooy's Belgian smash The Alzheimer Case, Sally Potter's UK drama Yes and Zhang Yimou's next picture Riding Alone ForThousands Of Miles from China.SPC, run by Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, has just comeoff a busy Sundance where it bought domestic rights to Phil Morrison's Junebug and a slew of international rights alongside a USdeal for
  • SPC, Renaissance swoop for Junebug rights

    Sony Pictures Classics has acquired domestic rights andRenaissance Films has acquired international rights to Junebug, Phil Morrison's comedic drama set in the deep southof the US which played in dramatic competition at Sundance this year.The film created buzz at the festival for its performance bynewcomer Amy Adams playing a childlike pregnant woman awestruck by the visit ofher new sister-in-law to her North Carolina town. Embeth Davidtz plays the sister-in-law, a cosmop
  • Spurlock readies school version of Super Size Me

    A re-edited version ofMorgan Spurlock's hit Oscar nominated documentary Super Size Me specially tailored for schools will be released onFeb 28, one day after the Academy Awards.Hart Sharp Video and Comchoice Corp developed the new disc set with Spurlock,who outlined the plan in an interview with Screen International earlier thisyear (SI Oscars supplement, Jan 32005).The Super Size Me Educationally Enhanced PG edition cuts out adult language and scenes from
  • Stolhanske joins Management 360

    Lainie Stolhanske has joinedLos Angeles-based management company Management 360, bringing with her a clientlist that includes Orlando Jones and Justin Chatwin, who stars opposite TomCruise in the upcoming release War Of The Worlds."Lainie has built an impressive group of clients in a very
  • Studio Ghibli to part company from parent company

    Studio Ghibli, the animation house that produced HayaoMiyazaki's biggest hits, including Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Howl'sMoving Castle, will separate from its long-time parent company, TokumaShoten Publishing, according to a report in the Nihon Keizai Shimbunnewspaper. Ghibli has already established a Studio Ghibli Co., Ltd.By the end of the current financial year, in March, Tokuma will transfer from$143m (Y15bn) to $190m in business rights to Ghibli, in
  • StudioCanal snaps up gangster tale Bittersweet Life

    StudioCanal has snapped upKorean major CJ Entertainment's A Bittersweet Life, a gangster dramafrom the director Kim Jee-woon (A Tale Of Two Sisters, The Foul King). StudioCanal has guaranteed aminimum commitment on the scale of the French theatrical release and agreed tobe the agent to present the film for selection at Cannes this year. CJ Entertainment is alsoexpecting to sign a slew of major territories this week on the title, whichfeatures a
  • Sturridge set to shoot Lassie in Ireland

    Charles Sturridge's adaptation of the 1938 children'sclassic Lassie Come Home is to startshooting in Ireland from April with additional filming taking place on the Isleof Man.Sturridge will direct for his own company, Firstsight Films,the US rightsholder Classic Media, and Ireland's Element Films. The Isle of ManFilm Commission is also backing the film. Ireland's arts minister, John O'Donoghue, welcomed theannouncement in New York saying, "I am delighted that Classic Medi
  • Sutherland promoted to executive vice president at MGM

    Ian Sutherland has beenpromoted to executive vice president, international theatrical distribution andmarketing, at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) just months before the studio is set tomerge into Sony Pictures Entertainment.The announcement was madeyesterday by MGM Home Entertainment president David Bishop. Sutherland joinedMGM in 2000 as senior vice president, international marketing and distribution,overseeing the theatrical distribution and marketing of MGM/UA films inconjunction with 2
  • Svensk to back Danish directing collective

    Swedish giant SvenskFilmindustri (SF) is to power up its production ambitions in neighbouringDenmark by backing "a Danish version of United Artists".The new company, Tju-BangFilm, is a collective of directors and creatives which includes Jacob Thuesen,director of Berlin competition film TheAccused (Angeklaget). SF will own80 percent of the company, with the remaining shares held by t
  • Taiwan Springs for Brothels

    SpringInternational in Taiwan and Barbarian Turk in Turkey are the latest companiesto buy Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski's award-winning Born Into Brothels,which has an Oscar nomination this year for best documentary feature.AndrewHerwitz of The Film Sales Company, which is selling the film here, is reportingintense buyer interest in the documentary which explores how Briski transformedthe lives of the children of prostitutes in Calcutta's Red Light district.THINKFilmhas d
  • Tartan snags The Devil documentary

    Active market buyer Tartan Films has picked up UK rights to TheDevil And Daniel Johnston, the documentaryabout a cult musician which won Jeff Feuerzeig the directing prize at Sundancelast month. The film is being sold by Jeremy Barber of talent agency UTA,who negotiated with Tartan's Jane Giles. A US deal is expected to closein the next days."This is an extraordinary film about a trulyextraordinary character," said Tartan principal Hamish MacAlpine. Tartanalso grab
  • TFI adds Clark, Captain Alatriste to slate

    TF1 International has added the biggest-ever Spanish filmand the new title by controversial director Larry Clark to its European FilmMarket slate. Swashbuckling 17th century adventure CaptainAlatriste has an all star cast headed byLord of The Rings star Viggo Mortensen alongside Eduardo Noriega, JavierCamara, Elena Anaya and Enrico Lo Verso. The $28m picture is a co-production betweenTelecinco/Estudios Picasso and Origen PC and will shoot from March in Seville,Cadiz and M
  • The Beat That My Heart Skipped (De Battre Mon Coeur S'Est Arrete)

    Dir:Jacques Audiard. Fr. 2005. 107mins.
  • The freeze is on at Cannes

    Abreeze of good news from the Croisette should warm Berlinale hearts: Cannes'four-star hoteliers have come together to freeze hotel rates this year to 2004levels. Billed as a defence against the fluctuating dollar - atyesterday's exchange rates anyway - the declaration effectively means that people staying at theCarlton, the Majestic, the Martinez, the Noga Hilton, the Gray d'Albion, theGrand Hotel, the Croisette Beach, the Eden, the Cristal, the SofitelMediterrannee and the Novotel Mo
  • The Last Mitterand (Le Promeneur Du Champ De Mars)

    Dir. RobertGuediguian. Fr. 2005. 116mins.A finely etched portrait of Francois Mitterand,one of Europe's last political giants, Robert Guediguian's new film finds theProvencal director in top form, dealing with the kind of material he favours:politics and its application in individual terms.Proceeding at aleisurely pace and advancing with great care, The Last Mitterand
  • The Sun (Solntse)

    Dir. Alexander Sokurov.Russ-It-Fr-UK. 110mins.After Hitler and Lenin,it is now the turn of Japan's Emperor Hirohito to be the centrepiece ofAlexander Sokurov's third chapter in his projected tetralogy on politicalleaders of the 20th century.Far more relaxed, positiveand even cheerful - if such a term can be applied to a Sokurov work - thancompanion pieces Moloch or Taurus, The Sun displays realaffection for its subject and s
  • Tickets

    Dirs:Ermanno Olmi, Abbas Kiarostami, Ken Loach. It-UK. 2005. 118mins.Three famous directors joining forces to direct one film is not new, but Ticketsdiffers from other recent "celebrity trio" showcases (Eros, ThreeExtremes) in that its film-makers share the same setting, some of the samecharacters and the same screenplay (or, in the case of Loach, his regularscreenwriter Paul Laverty).Butthe unity is only skin deep: it's quite clear that this
  • Tickets

    Dirs:Ermanno Olmi, Abbas Kiarostami, Ken Loach. It-UK. 2005. 118mins.Three famous directors joining forces to direct one film is not new, but Ticketsdiffers from other recent "celebrity trio" showcases (Eros, ThreeExtremes) in that its film-makers share the same setting, some of the samecharacters and the same screenplay (or, in the case of Loach, his regularscreenwriter Paul Laverty).Butthe unity is only skin deep: it's qu
  • TLA picks up Bardem's Swindled

    Spanishsales consortium Latido has sold US rights to Miguel Bardem's Swindled(Incautos) to TLA Releasing.StarringVictoria Abril, the classy con-artist tale was one of five pictures Latidopicked up in December from Spanish production company Alquimia Cinema. Itco-stars Argentinean veteran Federico Luppi and Spaniard Ernesto Alterio.Latidogeneral manager Massimo Saidel highlighted the film's "high productionvalues, cast, commercial potential and fun" as drawing buyer intere
  • Trust clinches int'l on Vinterberg's Wendy

    ThomasVinterberg's controversial drama, Dear Wendy has been hitting the targetat the European Film Market. Followingpacked screenings in Berlin earlier this week, the film, scripted by Lars VonTrier, has been sold to Germany (Legend), the UK (Metrodome) Canada (TVA)films, Argentina (Distribution Company) and Peru (Gateno Films) Peru.USbuyers are also circling Dear Wendy which is on Trust's EFM slate. Thefilm, which premiered in Sundance last month, is likely to prove cont
  • Turtles to fly at Mar Del Plata

    Bahman Ghobadi's TurtlesCan Fly has been set as the opening film at the massively expanded Mar DelPlata festival (10-20 March). The festival has risen from160 films last year to 320 to celebrate its 20th edition. In addition to themain competition there are 14 sections and five tributes dedicated toArgentina's cinematic greats, as well asthe new Mercosur film market - being held for the first time."We need this to be thefestival that delivers Latin American films to the o
  • UK Directors Guild picks Mendes for lifetime award

    SamMendes will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the upcoming secondannual Directors Guild Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement inLondon.The event is scheduled to take place on Mar 20. Michael Winterbottom and PeterJackson were big winners last year for In
  • Universal acquires Magic Kingdom For Sale series

    Universal Pictures haspicked up rights to Terry Brooks' book series Magic Kingdom For Sale which The Mummy creator Stephen Sommers willdirect.Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel will adapt the story, the first in a series ofsix books about an attorney widower who buys a magical kingdom and must save itfrom an evil demon. The sixth book is due to be
  • US pack circles Dog Day doc

    Based On A True Story, Walter Stokman's documentary about thereal events and characters behind Sidney Lumet's classic film, Dog DayAfternoon, is being circled by a small pack of US buyers currently inBerlin. Amsterdam-basedsales agent SND Films is weighing up offers from, among others, theatricaldistributors here!, Cinema Guild and Avatarand TV outlets Discovery and The Sundance Channel,.Meanwhile,it has now been confirmed that the film will receive its US premiere
  • Vera Drake, Aviator share top Bafta honours

    The Aviator and Vera Drake shared the major honours at Saturday night's Baftas.Martin Scorsese's epicwon best picture but it was local hero Mike Leigh who finally took home hisfirst-ever directing BAFTA. Imelda Staunton, bestactress for her starring role in Vera Drake, received the biggest applause of the night, whileCate Blanchett was named best-supporting actress for her performance asKatherine Hepburn in The Aviator. Leigh and Staunton weret
  • Wild Bunch goes crazy in Berlin

    WildBunch has hosted the hot stand at this year's EFM market, with the Frenchseller signing over 50 deal memos at Berlin so far. Despitewell-publicised problems on Go Go Tales, Abel Ferrara has not scared offbuyers for his upcoming all-star Mary. Starring Juliette Binoche, ForestWhitaker, Heather Graham, and Mathew Modine, Mary has been pre-sold toProoptiki for Greece, Umut Sanat for Turkey, and Wild Bunch's sister companyPan-Europeene for France. StuartGord
  • Williams to star in inner city drama Brother

    Vanessa Williams has signed to play the lead in Liberty Artistsand My Brother Productions' inner city drama Brother.Williams will play a dying mother of two young boys who tries to put herchildren up for adoption. The experience forms an intense sibling bond as thebrothers grow into adults.Fredro Starr and newcomer Nashawn Kearse also star, along with Rodney Henry,Donovan Jennings and Christopher Scott.Filming is set to begin in New York this month with Anthony
  • Williams-Jones stepping down as Miramax Intl chief

    Michael Williams-Jones will step down from his role as president ofMiramax International on Mar 1 after less than a year in the role.His departure comes as the rumour mill about the future of Miramax hits overdrive. Company co-chiefs Harvey and Bob Weinstein are expected to wrap their lengthy contract talks with Disney in the near future.Miramax sources said Williams-Jones would be replaced in the interim by thedivision's executive vice president Jere Hausfater.Williams-
  • Wolf Creek

    Dir: GregMclean. Australia. 2005. 98mins.Worldpremiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month but picked up byDimension/Miramax late last year, Wolf Creek is an extremelywell-crafted horror movie supposedly based on "real events". Although those"real events" are largely fabricated, the film has a ring of truth toit which renders it genuinely disturbing. Teenagers around the world will beterrified by the goings on in this independent Australian production. Forgetthe
  • X-Filme, Promedia toon up with Robbers

    Berlin-based X-Filmecreative pool and private media fund manager Promedia have launched a newanimation company, Animation-X, with a full-length traditional animation calledThe Three Robbers (Die Drei Rauber), to go into production in July ofthis year.Animation-X plans to makebetween two and three projects a year, both traditional and CG animation.Animation-X has brought inexperienced independent producer Stephan Schesch (Werner 2, The CantervilleGhost) to oversee t