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18 February 2006

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  • A Prairie Home Companion

    Dir: RobertAltman. US. 2006. 103 mins.
  • A Soap (En Soap)

    Dir: Pernille Fischer Christensen. Denmark. 2006. 104mins.A woman's picture by definition, ASoap, Pernille Fischer Christensen's auspiciousdebut, should play well with female audiences who will appreciate its intimatesensitivities.
  • Aardman animations morph into mobile phones

    One of the first characters created byanimation studio Aardman co-founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton is to reappear on mobile phones.Morph, a plasticine model created for UK television 30 years ago, will be revived for a new generation through licensing deals with Orange,Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2 andinternational operators. All deals
  • Ambitious Rome festival to launch co-production event

    Theinaugural Rome Film Festival (Oct 13-21) is looking to set up aco-production event along the lines of Rotterdam's CineMart which will includea cash prize for the best project presented."TheCineMart structure is so far the best one," explained Rome's internationalprogramme manager Teresa Cavina on
  • Auret and Thoke launch Roughdiamond

    Former Sithengi Film & TVMarket CEO Michael Auret and German producer Christoph Thoke have launched Roughdiamond films as a South African-based internationalfinancing and production outfit.With headquarters in Cape Town,Roughdiamond will be financing and line producingEnglish-language films in the range of $5m-$30m.While all the South African financing and production will becoordinated by Auret, Roughdiamond'sinternational marketing an
  • Australian producers conference to include major awards

    The biggest annual gathering of producers, the SPAA (ScreenProducers Association of Australia) conference, will this year move back to itstraditional November time slot but stay on the Queensland Gold Coast for thenext three years.Queensland Premier Paul Beattie also announced that the 8thLexus Inside Film Awards will be staged on Friday November 17, the final day ofthe conference. It will be the first time they have been held outside Sydneya
  • Auteurs are New Crowned Hope for Vienna

    Furtherdetails are emerging of the six new features being prepared as part of Vienna'sNew Crowned Hope Festival (November 14-December 13) to celebrate the 250thanniversary of Mozart's birth.Titlesare Bahman Ghobadi's The Last Symphony Of The Kurds, Garin Nugroho's RequiemFrom Java,Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Intimacy, Paz Encina's Hamaca Paraguaya, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun'sDarattand Tsai Ming-Liang's Dark Circle.Simon Fieldand Keith Griffit
  • Bangkok International Film Festival honours Fortissimo Films

    The Bangkok International Film Festival is to award Wouter Barendrecht and Michael J.Werner, co-chairmen of Fortissimo Films, with a Golden Kinnareefor their contribution to Asian Cinema at the black tie Awards Gala to be held onFebruary 24th .Wouter Barendrechtfounded Fortissimo Film Sales in 1991 with the specific aim of developing,selling and marketing quality art-house films. Michael J. Werner, co-chairman andco-owner has been involved with the company for more than a decade.
  • Berlinale 2006 prize-winners

    BERLINALE2006 PRIZE-WINNERSGoldenBear for Best Film Grbavica(Jasmila Zbanic) SilverBear Jury Grand Prix En Soap(Pernille Fischer Christensen) and Offside (JafarPanahi)SilverBear Best DirectorMichaelWinterbottom and Mat Whitecross (The Road to Guantanamo)SilverBear Best ActressSandraHueller (Requiem)SilverBear Best ActorMoritzBleibtreu (The Elementary Particles)Sil
  • Big-name directors line up for Cinema 16 short films

    DVD label Cinema16 has recruited A-list directorsincluding George Lucas, Tim Burton, Alexander Payne, Todd Solondz,Gus van Sant and DA Pennebakerfor its first US edition. The American short filmcollection follows the earlier European and British DVDs, which included shortsfrom directors including Lars von Trier, Jean-Luc Godard, Mike Leigh, Ridley Scott and Jan Svankmajer. Cinema16 will r
  • Bosnian war drama takes Golden Bear at Berlin

    Sarajevofilmmaker Jasmila Zbanic's won year's Golden Bear for her moving feature debut Grbavicaabout the traumas of war as a mother and daughter try to come to terms with thelegacy of the Bosnian conflict.
  • Bosnian war drama takes Golden Bear at Berlin

    Sarajevofilmmaker Jasmila Zbanic's won year's Golden Bear for her moving feature debut Grbavicaabout the traumas of war as a mother and daughter try to come to terms with thelegacy of the Bosnian conflict.
  • Brock Norman Brock joins Vertigo Films

    Brock Norman Brock has joinedVertigo Films to help produce and develop the UKproduction and distribution company's new slate. Brock was formerly acting head ofthe Premiere Fund at the UK Film Council, where he worked on films including Gosford
  • Candy

    Dir: Neil Armfield. Australia.2006. 108minsAlternately dazzling andflashy, affecting and mannered, this impressive debut from feted Australiantheatre director Neil Armfield is lifted to the verge of excellence byoutstanding performances from Heath Ledger and Abbi
  • Cannes contenders queue up for the Croisette

    With the dust settling onthe Berlin line-up, all eyes are already on Cannes and films vying forselection there: Croisetteregulars such as David Lynch (InlandEmpire), Aki Karismauki (Lights In The Dusk), Ken Loach (TheWind That Shakes The Barley), Mohsen Makhmalbaf (Scream ofthe Ants) and Kim Ki-duk (Time) seem ripe to be joined by Francis Ford Coppola, going back toFrance and his indie days with Youth Without Youth.The US and Franceinextricably
  • Capitol unleashes Pawlikowski's Beasts

    Rhys Ifans, Eddie Marsan, and Ben Whishaw, who is setvault to fame in the lead role of Tom Tykwer's Perfume later this year, will star in Pawel Pawlikowski's next film The Restraint Of Beasts. Capitol Films has boarded as worldwide sales agent.Pawlikowskiand his My Summer of Love
  • Capote starts international run after Berlin premiere

    Fresh from its European premiere at the Berlin FilmFestival, major Oscar contender Capote gets its first internationalopenings this weekend, a weekend that will otherwise see a few Hollywoodofferings starting their international runs and a few more continuing their roll-outs. Biographical drama Capote, with Philip SeymourHoffman starring as author Truman Capote, opens on Feb 18 in Italy (on 70screens), Switzerland, Poland and New Zealand. Distributor Sony PicturesReleasin
  • Carlos Saura's Iberia will open Guadalajara Film Festival

    The 21st annual Guadalajara International Film Festival in Mexicowill open on March 24 with a screening of Carlos Saura's Iberiaand close on March 31 with Edward James Olmos'English-language picture Walkoutfeaturing Spy Kids star Alexa Vega.This year marks the inaugural event run by director-gener
  • Cast confirmed for Pinball Films' Kaz

    Nora Von Waldstattenand Gary Lewis are set to star in Pinball Films' Kaz, directed by Ashley Horner.The English-languageproject, budgeted at less than $1.2m (1m Euros), will be shot in HD. Theproject is backed by Northern Film and Media (which also put up developmentfunding), digital facility VMI, and private equity. No sales agent is yetattached. Von Waldstatten,who previously appeared in Cannes 2005 title Falscher Bekenner (Low Profile), plays a fei
  • 'Chico time' for the big screen

    Chico Slimani, one of the contestant's on UK television's talentcompetition The X Factor, is set toappear in a feature film based on his real adventures of his former career as amale stripper. Slimani will co-produce and hasco-written the script with director Helen Grace and his brother, actor JC Mac.
  • CJ CGV to build multiplexes with Shanghai Film Group

    Major Korean exhibitor CJCGV is forming a joint venture company with Chinese state-owned studio ShanghaiFilm Group (SFG) to build multiplexes in China. CJ CGV announced the dealwas signed by its chief executive Park Dong-ho and SFG president Ren Zhonglun yesterday(Feb 14) in Shanghai. The joint venture will be called Shangying CGV.The first multiplex underthe partnership, the Shanghai CGV, will open this September i
  • Container

    Dir: Lukas Moodysson. Sweden. 2006. 74mins. Wilfully obscure and defiantly strange, Lukas Moodysson'sblack-and-white film is as much visual art as cinema. Moodysson would havelittle patience with such
  • David Puttnam to receive Academy Fellowship at BAFTA

    On Sunday 19 February 2006, Lord Puttnamwill receive the Academy Fellowship at BAFTA's annualawards ceremony. The Award presented by Lord Attenborough, President of theAcademy, will be for outstanding contribution to world cinema. Luminaries toreceive the Fellowship Award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, SeanConnery and Stanley Kubrick.
  • DOCker five pool EFM resources

    Five of thebest-known sales outfits in the documentary arena are pooling resources in theEuropean Film Market in Berlin. SND Films,Doc & Co, Films Transit, Deckert Distribution and First Hand Films are thepartners involved in the venture, dubbed Meet The DOCkers! The fivecompanies, normally business rivals, are sharing space at Martin-Gropius-Bauand picking up costs together."It'spurely for practical purposes," Film Transit's Jan Rofekamp commented. "We allhave the sam
  • Dream Entertainment picks up rights on Kedzierzawska's I Am

    Dream Entertainment has picked up worldwide rights on Dorota Kedzierzawska'sPolish drama I Am, which screens inthe Kinderfest section at the Berlinfilm festival. Agnieszka Nagorzyckaand Janusz Chabior star inthe story of a boy who escapes from an orphanage andreturns to his hometown.Plans are currently underway for the picture's NorthAmerican release. Dream's slate includes the girl basketballdocumentary Heart of The
  • Eastern European buyers pick up rights to Toei's Yamato

    TheEuropean Film Market (EFM) sales of Toei's domestic blockbuster Yamato (Otokotachi no Yamato) are progressing smoothly, with twelve countries lockedin so far. Eastern European deals were among the first closed, including Poland's Vision Films, and Slovenia's Fiviapicking up rights for Eastern Europe. Benelux
  • El Custodio

    Dir:Rodrigo Moreno. Arg/Ger/Fr. 100 mins.
  • Elementary Particles heads NonStop Entertainment's Berlin acquisitions

    Swedish distributor, NonStop Entertainmentbought a slate of films from the Berlin Film Festival. Leading the line-up is Oskar Roehler's, The Elementary Particles, the tale oftwo half-brothers struggling against sexual frustration and self-destruction. Particles, was sold to 23 countriesstraight after its Berlinale premiere and is one ofthe favourites to win a Golden Bear."After a successful 2005 and a splendid opening in2006, our new acquisitions will further strengthen t
  • Emperor Motion Pictures closes sales on The Myth

    Hong Kong's Emperor Motion Pictures (EMP) has closed three major European territories on Jackie Chan actionadventure The Myth at the European FilmMarket. France's Metropolitan has acquired the $20m picture, produced by Chan's JCEMovies, along with Germany's Splendid and
  • Eva Green is cast as Bond girl Vesper Lynd

    One day on from theannouncement that Mads Mikkelsenhad been cast as the next James Bond villain two more high profile additionshave been made, including the elusive information of who would play Bond girlVesper Lynd opposite new James Bond, Daniel Craig. French actress Eva Green hasbeen cast as Casino Royale'sleading love interest. The announcement came from producers Michael G Wilsonand Barbara Broccoli, MGM and Sony Pictures Entertainment out
  • Family Law (Derecho De Familia)

    Dir: Daniel Burman. Arg-It-Fr-Sp.2005. 100mins.Cinema would be a less interesting place if directorsdidn't mine their obsessions, but this is the third time in six years thatDaniel Burman has cast Daniel Hendlerin a comedy-drama about a young Argentinian Jewishman called Ariel who is oppressed by the suspicion that he is not quite the sonhis family wanted.Burman's follow-up to the Silver-Bear-winning Lost E
  • Festival verdict: The best is yet to come'

    With four Berlinalecompetition films yet to screen, the critical consensus so far is that this hasnot been a vintage year for quality. It's not just that there has been nosingle standout title so far it's also the lack of pleasant off-the-radarsurprises, like last year's Golden Bear winner U-Carmen eKhayelitsha.But as Nick James, editor of
  • First Look International closes pre-sales on Araki film

    First Look International has closed a raft of pre-sales onGregg Araki's upcoming comedy Smiley Facestarring Anna Faris. Rights have gone to Momentum in the UK,Quality in Latin America, Nordiskin Scandinavia, LNK in Portugal,Hollywood in
  • Fortissimo picks up world sales on Waiter

    Fortissimohas picked up world sales on Waiter,the Dutch-HK-based sales company's fourth venture with director Alex van Warmerdam.Producedby Marc van Warmerdam, the film has recently wrappedand is in post-production.
  • Fortissimo picks up worldwide rights to Taxidermia

    Fortissimo Films has picked up worldwide rights to Gyorgy Palfi's Taxidermia, which won the main prize at HungarianFilm Week last week. Palfi's second feature after thecritically acclaimed Hukklein 2002, it was met with wide critical praise in Budapestwhere it shared the foreign critics prize and won a further three awards.Spanning three generations in one family in Hungary
  • Freedomland

    Dir: Joe Roth. US. 2006.113mins.
  • Frigo assumes management reins at BVI Europe

    Daniel Frigo hasbeen promoted to senior vice president and general manager of Europe, MiddleEast and Africa for Buena Vista International (BVI).
  • Gaga reveals ambitious domestic and international plans

    Japan's new-look Gaga plans to produce up to 10Japanese films a year, in addition to international co-productions, as part ofa drive to expand its production activities.Since launching production banner Gaga Films lastyear, the company has already shot two Japanese features - Ryo Nishimura's Waters,which opens in Japan next month, and Hatsu-koi (First Love)which is still in post-production.Headed by Ringu producer Shinya Kawai, Gaga Films is alsoscheduled to start
  • Gaga sells Waters to Intercontinental Group

    Japan'sGaga has sold Waters, the first filmfrom its Gaga Films production banner, to Hong Kong'sIntercontinental Group.Directed by Ryo Nishimura, the film is about seven young menwho try to make a living by setting up their own "host club" in a desolateseaside bar. The ensemble cast includes Oguri Shun,Matsuo Toshinobu, Suga Takamasa and Harada Yoshio.Executive-produced by Kawai Shinya,
  • Garai is Ozon's English Angel

    Casting has been locked in on Francois Ozon'sEnglish-language debut Angel, with Romola Garai to star alongside BerlinaleJury president and Ozon regular Charlotte Rampling. Celluloid Dreams is handling the film in Berlin.Principal photography has started up around Londonand Bristol on the $17.8m (Euros15m) story, set in 1910, about a woman who clim
  • Grbavica

    Dir: Jasmila Zbanic. Aus-Ger-Bosna-Herz-Cro. 2006. 90mins.The recent past looms dark and fearsome over Jasmila Zbanic’s debut feature Grbavica, set in a suburb which witnessed some of the worst massacres of the 1990s Balkan war.Whatever its weaknesses, this coming-of-age story about a teenager and her relationship with her single mother succeeds in revealing the wounds barely healed by several years of relative peace.Mirjana Karanovic, behind some of the
  • GreeneStreet sells rights on Black's comedy

    GreeneStreet Films International(GSFI) has sold a raft of rights on Michael Ian Black's comedy The Pleasure OfYour Company headed up by Pathe in the UK.GSFI has been entertaining buyers with a promo of theproject, which is in post-production and stars Jason Biggs and Isla Fisher, who won plaudits for her star turn in lastyear's Wedding Crashers.Rights have also gone to West in
  • Hong Kong conglomerate New World steps into China

    Hong Kong conglomerate New WorldGroup, which is owned by Media 8 Entertainment investor Henry Cheng, is to stepinto film production in Chinawith to be directed byBeijing-based filmmaker Xiao Jiang (Electric Shadows). Hong Kongidol Jaycee Chan, son of action star Jackie Chan, and Taiwanese heartthrob ChenBo-lin will head the cast ofthe film.Budgeted at $3m,
  • Hungary's Eurofilm lines up English-language films

    Fresh from its success with Hungarian Film Week winner Taxidermia, Eurofilm Studio, the Hungarian production outfit run byPeter Miskolczi and Gabor Varadi, has attached Oscar nominee Paul Giamattiand Clemence Poesy to head the cast of Ildiko Enyedi's next film Tender Interface.The English language sci-fi film, scheduled toshoot in the first half of the year, is about a younggirl playing video games who gets dragged back in time to 1939 New York City
  • Hyde Park gets sales rights to Chaos and America

    Hyde Park International has boarded Roland Emmerich's human trafficking project Welcome To America and the comedy Chaos Theory starring Ryan Reynolds,Stuart Townsend and Emily Mortimer.Welcome To America is one of the first productions to emergefrom Reelmachine, which Emmerichformed in late 2004 with VIP Medienfonds' Andreas Schmid andis partly backed by the Bavarian Film & Television Fund. Kevin Kline starsopposite Alicja Bachled
  • Invisible Waves roll from Berlin to Bangkok festival opening

    Pen-ek Ratanaruang's highly-anticipated noir thriller Invisible Waves kicks off the 4thBangkok International Film Festival today. The Thai director, along with actor AsanoTadanobu, cinematographer Christopher Doyle and co-producer MingmongkolSonakul,are expected to reach the Thai capital in time for the red-carpet opening nightafter premiering the film in Berlin three days ago. The festival is now underway with thesupport of local Th
  • Iran exporters blossom at the European Film Market

    New Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may haveunsettled western governments with his fervid anti-western rhetoric but thathasn't affected the continuing international push of Iranian cinema. There were six Iraniantitles in official selection in Berlin this year, and for the very first time,the Government has paid for private Iranian sales outfits to attend the EFM,among them Katayoon Shahabi'sSheherazad Media International and Mohammad Atebbai's Iranian Independents.'Fortuna
  • Jansen's Recipe wins Talent Highlight Pitch Award

    The Netherlands'Rinkel Film & TV will be joining forces withHamburg-based Neue Impulsto produce writer-director Melinda Jansen's ARecipe For Hendrik Hadders, which won the Talent Highlight Pitch Award2006 at Berlinale's Talent Project Market.Jansen's script for the "coming of middle-agedrama" was developed at the Binger Film Lab in Amsterdamand had received the KODAK Devel
  • John Kochman to head Unifrance in USA

    French film export body Unifrancehas named John Kochman as Director of Unifrance USAin New York. Kochmanwill be joined by a new deputy director, Aurelie Godet.Former Unifrance USAdirector Catherine Verret-Vimont recently steppeddown opening up a key job in the organization's structure.Kochman is a 15 year in
  • Judelewicz preps My Life As A Dog sequel

    Pascal Judelewicz'sParis-based Les Films De Cinema, the production outfit behind Panorama entry BirdsOf Heaven, has announced a slate ofprojects all to shoot this year.The films are Hair Of TheDog, the sequel to My Life As ADog, starring Stellan Skarsgaard andto be directed by Ludi Boeken (Deadlines); Catherine Cabrol's House 5 starring Beatrice Dalle as a French photographer in Tibet; May Day, a thriller starring Monica Cruz and to be directed
  • Kenneth Maidment memorial today

    Kenneth L. Maidment, a former VPof Columbia Pictures and the former president of the British Film ProducersAssociation (the predecessor to Pact), passed away on February 1 at Frimley Park Hospital in the UK.The memorial service will be held at St. Mary's in Weybridgetoday (February 17) at
  • Korean filmmakers and farmers stage protest against screen quota

    Korean filmmakers havejoined with rice farmers to protest the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA)in a mass rally entitled Candlelight Culture-fest "Rice and Cinema" to Maintainthe Screen Quota and Block the FTA. - US trade pressure for FTA negotiationsdemanding the halving of the screen quota and the opening of the rice market.
  • Latido wraps up sales on its Berlin slate

    As the European Film Market(EFM) enters its final furlong, Massimo Saidel'sMadrid-based Latido has been wrapping up sales on anumber of titles on its Berlin slate. Goya winner The Method has gone to France (CTV), and Chile (Bazooka) with Mikado poised to take Italian rights.De Profundis, Latido's big-budget adultanimated f
  • Lee and Shin to oversee Korea's Prime Entertainment

    Lee Seung-jae, CEO of Korean production company LJFilm, has confirmed that he will oversee film production at rising Koreanstudio Prime Entertainment, formerly known as Innotz.Lee brings with him CJ Entertainment's former head offilm business Shin Sang-han who will head up distribution and exhibition.Pr
  • Lenny Kravitz gets Iced for Daniels

    LennyKravitz will make his feature film acting debut as a musician who falls intothe abyss of crack addiction in Iced, thesecond film to be directed by Lee Daniels and available at Berlin from his LeeDaniels Entertainment.
  • Les Bronzes 3 stays in front of international pack

    French smash Les Bronzes 3: Amis Pour La Viewas once again the biggest money-maker in the international marketplace thisweekend, grossing more in its home territory than Hollywood movies including Munich,Chicken Little and Walk The Line could manage from multiplemarkets.In its second weekend in France, the Gallic hit,distrib
  • Lightning strikes on Heaven And Hell

    Los Angeles-based Lightning Entertainment has pickedup worldwide'sales, excluding India, to Rahul Dholakia's controversialdrama'Parzania: Heaven & Hell On Earth, andJonathan Stack and Jeff'Swimmer's documentary Secrets Of The Code.''Parzania is based on real events surroundinganti-Muslim violence in India that'eventually led to the overthrow of theruling party. The picture was initially banned in'India buthas now been cleared for release, although as yet no Indian'
  • Lionsgate and Lakeshore Crank it up

    Lionsgate International andLakeshore International have finalised a slew of major sales on the JasonStatham revenge saga Crank, currentlyin post-production in Los Angeles.Lakeshore completed sales to Universal in the UK,Aurum in Spain,TF1 in France
  • Lionsgate doc First Descent sweeps up deals

    Lionsgate Films International hasclosed multi-territory sales here on MD Films' snowboarding documentary First Descent.Rights have gone to Tiberius in Germany,Tohokushinsha in Japan,Metropolitan in France,Rialto in A
  • Longing (Senhsucht)

    Dir:Valeska Grisebach. Germany.2006. 88 mins
  • M.Night Shyamalan named ShoWest Director of the Year

    M. Night Shyamalan has beenmade ShoWest Director of the Year it was announced byMitch Neuhauser, co-managing director of the eventthat will be held in Las Vegas, March13-16. Shyamalanwill be presented with the award on the closing night ceremony at Bally's andParis Las Vegas.Shyamalan's next feature is
  • Mads Mikkelsen cast as villain in Casino Royale

    MartinCampbell told reporters on the set of CasinoRoyale February 15 that Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen would play the villain Le Chiffre. Campbelldescribed Mikkelsen as a 'terrific actor'. The director was less forthcoming as to who would play Bondlove interest Vesper Lynd. "We have two or threeactresses in mind," Campbellsaid. "You'll have to wait and see."A leading figure in Danish ci
  • Mandate Pictures secures major sales for Mr Magorium

    Mandate Pictures hasfinalised major territory sales on fantasy drama Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium starringDustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman.Deals have closed with Iconin the UK, Kadokawa in Japan and Hong Kong, Village Roadshow in Australia, DeAPlaneta in
  • Marilyn Manson film impresses buyers

    Lured by the presence in Berlin of Goth rocker MarilynManson, buyers have been buzzing round Manson's Phantasmagoria The Visions Of Lewis Carroll.Wild Bunch subsidiary Pan-Europeene will handle the French release of the film, Lucky Red has taken Italy,Triangel for Scandinavia, SPIfor Eastern Europe with Tarantula poised to board asSwiss co-pro
  • Michael London launches Groundswell Productions

    Producer MichaelLondon has teamed up with two new equity-based film funds, Lexington FilmFunding and Crescendo Independent Film Fund to establish GroundswellProductions, an independent financing and production company that aims to makefive films a year under the $20 million range. The new entity has access to $55million and aims over the next six months to raise additonal funds of $100 million."The su
  • Momentum Pictures picks up seven titles at Berlin

    UKdistributor Momentum Pictures has picked up seven titles during a busy Berlin.The acquisitions include Andrew Lau's forthcoming thriller The Flock from Bauer-Martinez; comedy Bandidas starring Selma Hayek andPenelope Cruz from Europacorp; Gregg Araki's Smiley Face starring Anna Faris from First Look; and the new Mike Leigh project thatwill start shooting in 2007
  • Morena greenlights Latin American productions

    Spain's Morena Films is preparing a new slate offilms, with the $3.6m (Euros 3m) Andalusian road movie Blinkerscurrently at the Berlin Co-Production market and three more set to shoot shortly.With Morena currently in post on Mexican veteranArturo Ripstein's El Carnaval De Sodoma, its forthcomingproductions tap into Latin American talent.
  • New Pink Panther purrs at US box office

    MGM/Columbia's The Pink Panther won a tightrace at the North American box office this weekend, as four new wide releasesfound their respective audiences and took the top four spots on the box officechart.
  • New Pink Panther purrs at US box office

    MGM/Columbia's The Pink Panther won a tightrace at the North American box office this weekend, as four new wide releasesfound their respective audiences and took the top four spots on the box officechart.
  • New Pink Panther purrs at US box office

    MGM/Columbia's The Pink Panther won a tightrace at the North American box office this weekend, as four new wide releasesfound their respective audiences and took the top four spots on the box officechart.
  • New Pink Panther purrs at US box office

    MGM/Columbia's The Pink Panther won a tightrace at the North American box office this weekend, as four new wide releasesfound their respective audiences and took the top four spots on the box officechart.
  • Nexo eats Fortissimo's Candy

    Fortissimo Films sold hot Competitiontitle Candy to Italy's Nexo just prior to its official screening in Berlin.The film directed by Neil Armfield and starring Heath Ledger, was also sold to Germany's Concorde on the eve of the market while Turkey's ANS bought itat the European Film Market.Fortissimo also solddo
  • Nimbus slate to include two Kragh-Jacobsen features

    Prolific Danish production house Nimbus Film is pushingahead with a slate of new projects including two features from Kragh-Jacobsen (Mifune) which may shoot back to back.First up should be romantic comedy The Sandwich Thief, dueto shoot in September. Once that is wrapped, Kragh-Jacobsenwill move straight ahead with political thriller, Another Time.Meanwhile, Kragh-Jacobsen's Dogme colleague Thomas Vinterberg,who co-founded Nimbus in 1993, is preparing to sh
  • Nordisk racks up sales for action-adventure feature

    Danish based sales outfit Nordisk has been racking up sales at Berlin's European Film Market. As the market in the Martin Gropius-Bau closes its doors, the company has confirmeddeals on action-adventure The LostTreasure of the Knights Templar to Medallion Media for Japan,A-Film for the Benelux,Ukrainian DVD Company for CIS, D-production for
  • Offside (Sweden, 2006)

    Dir: Jafar Pahani. Iran. 2006. 88mins.Destined to be referred to as a Farsi Bend It Like Beckham, Jafar Panahi's football story Offside is his most approachable filmsince The White Balloon, which puthim on the map in 1995.Essentially a realistcomedy, this digital ensemble piece is also bitterly outspoken about thetreatment of woman in Iranian society, but handles the theme in a much lightervein than Panahi di
  • Once In A Lifetime

    Dirs: PaulCrowder, John Dower. US. 2006. 98 mins. Aiming for the h
  • Opal Dream

    Dir: Peter Cattaneo. Aus-UK. 2005. 88mins.A sentimental fable about imagination and wonder, Opal Dream should strike a nerve withkids who understand its fragile emotional terrain and how they can create a fantasyworld to improve on their everyday existence.Following the misfire thatwas Lucky Break, Peter Cattaneo's new feature marks something of a comeback as The Full Monty director again has scopeto demonstr
  • Pakistani censors clear three Indian films for release

    The Central Film Censor Board of Pakistan has cleared threeHindi filmsto bereleased for the first time in forty years. Indian Cinema was banned in Pakistan following the Indo Pak War in 1965and under its rules motion pictures linked to either an "Indianartiste" or "Indian director" are strictly prohibited in thecountry.
  • Paramount's specialty arm takes domestic on Truth

    Paramount Pictures' new specialty division has acquired worldwide rightsto Participant Productions' documentary An Inconvenient Truth which had itsworld premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this year.Davis Guggenheim's film features former US vice president Al Gore in astudy of global warming. The
  • Polaris Production & Finance to produce two Delpy films

    Julie Delpy's production companyStar 69 has joined forces with the new Paris-based outfit Polaris Production& Finance to produce two feature projects this year.French writer-director Philippe Rouquier'sfeature debut The Last Mile (workingtitle) is described as a US-set noir drama taking place at the end of the1980s/beginning of 1990s and will shoot at locations in Canada this autumn.The Euros 6m English language picture is set to have Delpy as lead actress and 'advanced d
  • Producer Alan Greenspan forms alliance with SHIP

    In an attempt to kick-start its English-language ambitions,Studio Hamburg International Production (SHIP) has entered an alliance withLA-based producer Alan Greenspan.The deal, which was brokered by CAA,will provide SHIP with increased access to English projects and talent, whilegiving Greenspan access to international finance for projects in the $10m-$30mrange.'If you have access to good material, financing throughStudio Hamburg, and access to
  • Pusan fest cements plans for AFM

    The Pusan International FilmFestival (PIFF) has unveiled details of the full-scale film market it plans tolaunch this year - the Asian Film Market (AFM) - which takes place during the11th edition of the festival from Oct 15-18.The four-day market has anew venue at the Grand Hotel in the Haeundae beach area of the city of Busan (the new name for Pusan). When first announced, the market was to be held
  • QED joins Intermedia for four film deal

    BillBlock's newly formed QED International (Screendaily, Feb 10) has formed anagreement with Intermedia to co-finance and co-produce four Intermedia-developed films.
  • Rapid sales for Roehler's The Elementary Particles

    Celluloid Dreams has announced 15 territory sales on Oskar Roehler's Competition titleThe Elementary Particles, tocompanies including France'sTFM, Momentum in the UK,Canada's Sevilleand Lucky Red in Italy
  • Revolution plans multi-platform release for Guantanamo

    Revolution Films is planning a simultaneous UK theatrical, DVD, andInternet release for Michael Winterbottom's The Road To Guantanamo, which will haveits world premiere Tuesday in Berlin's competition.The move goes one stepfurther than 2929 Entertainment's US release of Steven Soderbergh's Bubble on Jan 27, which didn't include a simultaneousInternet offering.Guantanamo was commissioned by UK broadcaster Channel 4, whichwill air it on March 9. The followingd
  • Revolution signs first-look TV deal with Channel 4

    Revolution Films, the UK production company founded by producer Andrew Eaton and directorMichael Winterbottom, has set up a new televisiondivision and signed an exclusive first-look deal with Channel 4. Kate Ogborn, an independent producer at TheBureau and the former executive producer at regional screen agency EM Mediawill head the TV arm. Ogborn recently executiveproduced Brot
  • Roginas to head St Petersburg Film Festival

    Ex-Eurimages executive secretary RenateRoginas has been named Artistic Director for the first St. Petersburg InternationalFilm Festival in July.Roginas, who has been appointed toa five-year contract, wants to see the festival become 'a bridge from Russiato Europe and also to the rest of the world. I think itwill be important to
  • Screen International boosts FilMart relationship

    Screen Internationalannounced that it will introduce daily publications at Hong Kong's FilMart in March. Supported by trade development council, the TDC, the dailies will bepublished throughout the March 20-23 event and will be similar in concept tothe leading dailies published in Berlin and Cannes.Screen's Publishing Director Tim McLoughlinsaid: 'The Asian region has never beenmore buoyant or exciting
  • Shochiku closes multiple deals on Fox

    Continuing the Fox feverthat has swept through the EFM, Japan's Shochiku has sealed several deals on itslive-action Helen The Baby Foxincluding a sale to France's Metropolitan.Directed by Keita Kouno andstarring Takao Osawa and Yasuko Matsuyuki alongside the eponymous fox, the filmhas also been sold to Korea
  • Slumming

    Dir: Michael Glawogger. Aust, 2006. 96mins.Michael Glawogger's Slumminghas something of The Edukators about it, and something ofMike Leigh's Naked: it's about blind existentialrage, arrogant male ennui and what happens when schoolboy pranks turn nasty.
  • Spain's Telespan in five-picture pact with BVI

    Spanish producer Telespan 2000isnearing a five-picture distribution agreement with Buena VistaInternational in Spain.The deal encompasses local theatrical distribution andpossibly video on five new titles, including Berlin Panorama Documentary title The Railroad All-Stars (EstrellasDe La Linea) by ChemaRodriguez.Other titles include: David Serrano's Dias De Cine (Cinema Days), a co-production with Estu
  • The Comedy Of Power (L'Ivresse Du Pouvoir)

    Dir: Claude Chabrol. Fr. 2006. 110mins.A sleek, hand-tooled, extremely sophisticatedpackage, A Comedy OfPower is a very grown-up entertainment that artfully walks a line betweenmoral comedy and political thriller. A deluxe cast of French actors, headed byIsabelle Huppert in winningly brittle form, bring distinction to a complexdrama about corruption and intrigue.It should do well internationally, althou
  • The Elementary Particles

    Dir: Oskar Roehler.Germany. 2006. 105mins.Oskar Roehler's The Elementary Particles proves again thefolly of trying to adapt the blatantly unadaptable.Based on French writer Michel Houellebecq's brilliantdisturbing novel about two half-brothers who find love, only for it to besnatched from them, it will disappoint the author's many fans. Houellebecq's novel is, of course, thoroughly depressing, but has a kindof gorgeous intellectual passion for all that. The film ad
  • The European Film Market rebooks 100% for 2007

    With foot traffic yesterday noticeably down on previous days,the European Film Market is winding down after five days of business whichproved more productive for international buyers than the UScontingent.But despite the traditional grumbles, festival chief Dieter Kosslick said that rebooking of the market has been nearly100% for next year's Berlin.'We're not losing people,' he
  • The Great Match (La Gran Final)

    Dir: Gerardo Olivares. Sp-Ger.2006. 88mins.A surprisingly enjoyable ethno-romp, The Great Match is both a celebration ofthe global reach of football mania and a sly send-up of worthy anthropologicalepics like Himalaya. The threeinterleaved stories - about tribal soccer fans in remote parts of the globe whoare desperate to see the 2002 World Cup final - will remind some of Khyentse Norbu's The Cup, bu
  • The Road To Guantanamo

    Dirs: Michael Winterbottom, Mat Whitecross. UK. 2006.95mins Michael
  • TLA Releasing buys rights to El Calentito

    TLA Releasingacquired Alberto Rodriguez's Seville-set teen drama, 7 Virgins from Sogepaq at the Berlin Film Festival for itsBritish label and has further added to its Spanish slate by buying Chus Gutierrez' comedy ElCalentito for its American DVD label. The film set inFebruary 1981, at a time of political and social upheaval that led to a failedmilitary coup that ultimately secured Spanish democracy, provides the backdropfor the s
  • Trust sells Guerrilla Girl to Colombia

    Copenhagen-based sales agent Trust has closed a deal withColombian distributor Cineplex for Frank Piasecki Poulsen's feature documentaryGuerrilla Girl.When premiered at the IDFA Festival in Amsterdamlate last year, the film caused a huge controversy back in Colombia.To make the film, Poulsen had entered Colombia
  • Universal Pictures signs production agreement with Aronofsky and Watson

    UniversalPictures has entered into a first look production arrangement withdirector/writer Darren Aronofsky and his producer Eric Watson and theircompany Protozoa Pictures. The duo will also develop and produce feature filmsfor Universal's sister companies Focus Features and Rogue Pictures. Aronofsky credits include PI and Requiem For A Dream. He is currently in post production on The Fountain, which he wrote anddirec
  • V For Vendetta

    Dir:James McTeigue UK-Ger. 133mins.Thelatest Alan Moore graphic novel adaptation, after F
  • VCL and 3Rosen on a Promise with Warner Bros

    ChenKaige's The Promise, which screened at the Berlinale last week, will be one of the firsttitles to be released theatrically in Germany as part of a new venture betweenDatty Ruth's VCL Film + Medien and the 3Rosen Filmverleih.WarnerBros Germanywill handle billing and booking on Kaige's fantasy epic, while 3Rosen will beresponsible for press and marketing, said 3Rosen's co-managing directorCornelia Weiss.Before ThePromise goes out,the first film to be relea
  • Venice Film Festival bounces back with new sponsorship

    Withthe buzz surrounding this year's Rome Film Festival, industry watchers have beenincreasingly scrutinising the Venice Film Festival. Causingparticular concern is the Lido's apparent difficulty in lifting itself out of bothadministrative and financial doldrums.Now,Venice is hitting back: Venice Biennale president Davide Croff has announced thatdespite a $3m (Euros 2.5m) cut to public funding announced last December, Venicewill have the same $12m (Euros 10m) budget as 2005 than
  • Wajda to tackle feature on wartime massacre of Poles

    Revered 79-year-old Polish auteur AndrzejWajda, in Berlin to receive an honorary Golden Bear,has revealed details of what promises to be one of the most ambitious andcontentious films he has ever made.The new feature will deal with the KatynForest massacre, in which an estimated20,000 Poles were killed by the Soviet Union during the Second World War. Wajda'sfather, Jakub Wajda, acaptain in the 72nd Infantry Regiment, was among those murdered.More than 60 years on, the precise
  • Weinsteins board CG-animated Escape From Planet Earth

    The Weinstein Company has picked up rights to the CG-animated pitch EscapeFrom Planet Earth from Hoodwinked creators by Tony Leech and CoryEdwards.Leech will direct and Preston Stutzman of Blue Yonder Films will produce alongwith Jonathan Shestack, Brian Inerfeld and Gregory R Little of animation studioMainframe Entertainment.Escape From Planet Earth ce
  • Wild Bunch picks up French rights to James Gray feature

    In a sevenfigure deal, Wild Bunch distribution arm Pan Europeennehas acquired all French rights to James Gray's upcoming We Own The Night.JoaquinPhoenix stars as a nightclub manager in 1980s Queens who falls foul of his policeofficer brother played by Mark Wahlberg just as theRussian mafia are taking control of the club scene, sparking a war inside the New York police department. Both actorsappeared in Gray'
  • Wong Kar-wai prepares Nights with Norah Jones

    Wong Kar-wai is gearing upto work this year with multi-platinum singer Norah Jones who will make heracting debut in his first English-language film which has the working title My Blueberry Nights.Based on a short film thatWong shot in Hong Kong several years ago, the film will be co-produced byStudioCanal and Wong's Jet Tone Productions. Production is expected to startsoon in New York.Meanwhile, Wong'shi
  • Woody flirts with France

    IsWoody Allen going Gallic' In the Martin-Gropius-Bau, there have been strongrumours that the much-travelled US filmmaker is looking to shoot a new featurein France as early as this spring.