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18 January 2005

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  • 28 projects set for Hong Kong financing market

    The organisers ofHong Kong's first ever Entertainment Expo (March 22 - April 6) have unveiledthe 28 projects that will participate in the Hong Kong-Asia Film FinancingForum (HAF), one of eight events to take place during the 16-day film andentertainment mega event.Among thefilmmakers that will be presenting projects at the three-day financing market(March 22-24) are high-profile directors such as Hong Kong's Ann Hui, China'sJiang Wen and Thailand's Pen-ek Ratanaruang. South Kore
  • Abbey Road film festival set for March

    Abbey Road Studios, theLondon recording studios immortalised by The Beatles' Abbey Road album,has launched the Abbey Road Film Festival.The event will run from Mar19 to Apr 3 at the studio, showcasing films scored at Abbey Road such as RaidersOf The Lost Ark, The Last Emperor and Gangs Of New York. "We have an awful lot ofpeople that come on a pilgrimage to see Abbey Road and have their picture takenon the zebra crossing and write
  • Adelaide festival sets Watt's Ways as opener

    The Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) is to open with the worldpremiere of new Australian film Look Both Ways by director Sarah Watt.Festival director Katrina Sedgwick had previously scheduledthe film for the middle Saturday night of the two-week event starting onFebruary 18. But after seeing a final cut of the film, she changed her mind."It was the difference between the fine cut and thefinal cut," she said. "It was a moving and beautiful film but oncethe animation and music
  • Africa, sexuality to be dominant themes during Berlinale 2005.

    Bill Condon's Kinsey was selected as the closing film for the 55th Berlinale - to screen on Saturday February 19 after the awards ceremony . The biopic of the sexologist Alfred Kinsey, starring Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and Peter Sarsgaard, will be released by 20th Century Fox in Germany on March 3. Speaking at the weekend to the AP news agency, festival director Dieter Kosslick said that the themes of Africa and sexuality would be key issues during this year's programme,
  • Alla Luce Del Sole

    Dir/scr: Roberto Faenza.It. 2005. 92mins.A brave voice speaks outagainst the Mafia; the voice gets silenced, but its message remains. AllaLuce Del Sole is not the first committed Italian biopic to fit this pitchline, and is unlikely to be the last.The most obvious differencebetween Roberto Faenza's new film and other examples of the genre like ICento Passi (2000) or Giovanni Falcone (1993) is that in this casethe victim was
  • Assault On Precinct 13

    Dir: Jean-FrancoisRichet. US. 2005. 109mins.One of the first filmsproduced under Focus Features' genre division Rogue Pictures, Assault OnPrecinct 13 is an efficient action feature which might not break any newground in the genre, but will keep a male action-loving audience happy.Theatrical results will be good, if not spectacular; audiences will feel moresatisfied watching the film on TV or DVD.Loosely based on JohnCarpenter's famous 1976 no-budget thriller
  • AUSTRALIA 17 January

    Elektra secured third place for the four-day weekend toJanuary 16 after 20th Century Fox premiered it on 226 screens around thecountry. The A$1,711,680 gross gave it a screen average of A$7,574, second onlyto UIP's Meet The Fockers, which has lead the chart for four consecutiveweekends. Third on the measure ofscreen average was The Motorcycle Diaries, which is only on 27 screens. TheFockers' running mate, BVI's The Incredibles, was
  • Aviator takes off in BAFTA nominations

    The Aviator has emerged as the front-runnerin the nominations for the forthcoming Orange British Academy Film Awards.The Martin Scorsese directed film, which won the best dramaprize at last night's Golden Globes, received 14 BAFTA nominations, ahead of FindingNeverland and Vera Drake which both received 11 nominations each.Foreign language films also performed strongly: House ofFlying Daggers received nine while The Motorcycle D
  • Bailey named international programmer at TIFF

    The Toronto InternationalFilm Festival (TIFF) has appointed Cameron Bailey as one of its internationalprogrammers. He returns to the festival after an absence of eight years.A programmer, film criticand screenwriter, Bailey will focus on films from Africa and South Asia andfilmmakers from the US and Europe. Bailey has a had a long association withTIFF dating back to 1990 when he programmed Canadian films. In 1995, he foundedTIFF's Planet Africa strand and programmed until 1997. "Camero
  • Berlinale Co-Production Market shortlists 30 projects

    New feature films by David Mackenzie and SergeiBodrov are among 30 projects chosen from 230 entries to be presented at theBerlinale's second Co-Production Market over two days from February 13-14.The line-up of 30 official projects includesthree from this year's edition of Rotterdam's CineMart under the banner of the'Rotterdam-Berlinale Express' initiative - Guillaume Malandrin's Hand Of TheHeadless Man, Rana'an Alexandrowicz's The Miracle of Montlhery, andDavid Mackenzie
  • Berlinale unveils full competition programme

    The Berlinale (Feb 10-20) has unveiled its completecompetition programme with 21 films set to compete for the festival's Goldenand Silver Bears. Five more films will play out of competition.Africa emerges as a key theme of the selection with RaoulPeck's Sometimes In April and Terry George's Hotel Rwanda bothaddressing the genocidal civil war that erupted in Rwanda ten years ago. Otherfilms tackling African issues include Regis Wargnier's opening film Man ToMan and
  • Bocco gets new independent role at Gersh

    US talent agencyGersh Agency has hired former Miramax Films senior vice president ofacquisitions Arianna Bocco (pictured) to head up its new Independent Feature Packagingdivision.Based in NewYork, the division will seek to assemble financing for independent features andsell them in the global marketplace, while broadening Gersh's existing rosterof directing and producing talent with the representation of internationalfilmmakers."We havesteadily gained a presence in the independe
  • Buerling gets senior job at LA's Filmmates Co

    Veteran producerJeanette Buerling has been appointed executive vice-president of production anddistribution at Los Angeles-based Filmmates Corporation.Buerling hasworked with Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros, Germany's Leo Kirch Network DSFand the Bertelsman Group, among others.Prior to herappointment with Filmmates she served as executive director of HollywoodInternational Finance, a film investment fund that acquired, financed andproduced 38 pictures with
  • Cecchi Gori wins Euros 160m lawsuit against Merrill Lynch

    One-time Italian movie mogul Vittorio Cecchi Gori has won a legal battle against Merrill Lynch, which now must return Euros 160m it had seized from the producer's coffers to cover alleged debts.Merrill Lynch had seized the money from Cecchi Gori's holding company, Fin.Ma.Vi, to pay back creditors, in a case that dates back to the flamboyant producer's ownership of Italian broadcaster Telemontecarlo (TMC), which was later acquired by Telecom Italia.At the time of his ownership, C
  • Changing Times (Les Temps Qui Changent)

    Dir: Andre Techine. Fr.2004. 98mins.The title of Andre Techine's new film has an ironicmeaning its makers certainly never intended: times indeed have changed when theFrench star system, as epitomised by the screen reunion of two of France'sbiggest motion picture icons - Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu - havelittle impact on the film's box-office performance at home. Even more ironic:the film has not performed as well as perhaps hoped despite garnering itsdirector and s
  • Coach Carter benches Meet The Fockers in US

    Paramount's true-lifebasketball drama Coach Carter knocked off Meet The Fockers toopen top over the three-day portion of Martin Luther King Day weekend on anestimated $23.6m.While Fockers slippedto second place for the first time in its record-breaking four-week run, WarnerBros' family comedy Racing Stripes opened in third place on $14m, andTwentieth Century Fox's Daredevil spin-off Elektra disappointedin fifth place on $12.5m.Universal'
  • Coach Carter too strong for Meet The Fockers

    Paramount's true-lifebasketball drama Coach Carter knocked off Meet The Fockers toopen top over the three-day portion of Martin Luther King Day weekend on anestimated $23.6m.While Fockers slippedto second place for the first time in its record-breaking four-week run, WarnerBros' family comedy Racing Stripes opened in third place on $14m, andTwentieth Century Fox's Daredevil spin-off Elektra disappointedin fifth place on $12.5m.Universal'
  • Crying all the way to the bank

    The Japanese appetite forweepies - originating in the early days of Kabuki theatre - remainsundiminished, and local producers are counting on this cinematic staple to paydividends in 2005.What producers have beendiscovering, with the runaway success last year of Isao Yukisaka's romanticdrama Crying Out Love In The Centre Of The World - nearly $86m in Japanalone - as well as the Korean TV drama sensation Winter Sonata, is thatthis traditional audience preference has not ch
  • Danish Film Academy fetes King's Game

    The following honours were presented at the Danish Film Academy awards ceremony on Sunday 16 January 2005:Best Danish Feature Film King's Game, producer Meta Louise Foldager for Nimbus Film. Directed by Nicolai Arcel.Best Children and Family Film Terkel In Trouble, produced by Thomas Heinesen and Trine Heidegaard for Nordisk Film. Directed by Stefan Fjeldmark, Thorbjrn Christoffersen and Kresten Vestbjerg AndersenBest Director Nicolai Arcel (King's Game)
  • De Laurentiis, Cinecitta acquire Moroccan studio

    Legendary Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis and Rome's CinecittaStudios are teaming up as joint owners of a sprawling new studio facility inOuarzazate, in southern Morocco.Standing over 371 acres of land, the studio will be one of theworld's largest, with two shooting stages of 19,380 square feet each. The DinoDe Laurentiis-Cinecitta studio, which has been under construction for the lastyear, will be ready in the next few months.The Ouarzazate area has already hosted a wealth
  • Diagonale names Dummies as festival opener

    Joerg Kalt's Crash TestDummies will be the opening film at the first Diagonale - Festival ofAustrian Cinema (March 14-20) under new director Birgit Flos.Kalt's second feature, whichinterweaves the story of a Romanian couple who have come to Vienna to collect astolen car with a second story centring on a store detective and his partner,was produced by Vienna-based Amour Fou Filmproduktion. It will have its worldpremiere at the International Forum of Young Cinema in Berlin next mo
  • Downfall dominates Bavarian Film Awards

    Oliver Hirschbiegel's Hitlerdrama Downfall was the big winner at the weekend's Bavarian Film Awardstaking home prizes in three categories.Constantin Film's BerndEichinger received the Euros 200,000 Producers Award, while Best Actor honourswent to Bruno Ganz for his performance as Adolf Hitler in his last days in thebunker under the centre of Berlin. In addition, Downfall was voted bythe readers of Treffpunkt Kino magazine, listeners to the local radio stationBR3 and the v
  • Drake leads management buyout of Senator International

    Senator International president Joe Drake announced yesterday (Jan13) that the company's senior management has bought out Senator's US operationsfrom parent Senator Entertainment and lender Deutsche Bank and named the newcompany Mandate Pictures.
  • Elektra

    Dir:Rob Bowman. US. 2005. 96mins.Sheappeared - and apparently died - in last year's Ben Affleck vehicle Daredeviland now Marvel Comics character Elektra gets her own movie, withJennifer Garner, from TV's Alias, once again playing the mysteriousaction heroine with the sexy costume and lethal martial arts skills.This comics-to-screen transfer, however, produced forFox by Regency Enterprises, is a curiousl
  • European Film Promotion boosts Sales Support budget

    European Film Promotioninitiative Film Sales Support is entering its second year with increasedfunding and additional festivals.After a successful trialphase in 2004, the MEDIA Plus Programme increased the scheme's budget to Euros400,000 in 2005, giving the initiative extra clout to allow more salesrepresentatives to promote their films outside of Europe. Two North American eventshave been added to FSS, the Toronto International Film Festival (8-17September) and the Sundance Fil
  • False start for otherwise promising Bangkok film market

    The second edition of theBangkok Film Market (BFM) gets underway tomorrow (Tuesday 18) after a falsestart today.Organisers of the olderBangkok International Film Festival had previously advertised the market asrunning from 17-21 Jan, but with only days of advanced notice, pushed back theofficial start of the event by a day. This took the edge off anotherwise very promising event, as manybuyers and sellers had arranged meetings and booked market suites which werenot yet available
  • Fellowes to adapt best-selling novel Snobs

    Oscar-winning British writerJulian Fellowes (Gosford Park) is to adapt his best-selling novel Snobsfor UK television - having been commissioned by the BBC's Gareth Neame.The novel, published lastyear, is a comedy about a middle-class woman on the make, trying to gatecrashinto high society circles. It is likely to be made into a three-part dramaseries. Whether or not Fellowes will direct is yet to be determined.The news of the Snobsfilm comes as Fellowes is e
  • File-sharing debate needs balance, says OECD

    Mathilde Eriksson The promise of file-sharing technology should not be lost inthe raging debate about piracy according to a report from delivered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation andDevelopment(OECD). Instead governments need to considerlegislation that strikes a balance between the protection of suppliers and theability to exploit the technologies, the study su
  • Film-makers and artists group together in Macrocosm production collective

    A consortium of independent filmmakers and creative artists calledMacrocosm will launch at Sundance on Jan 24, with the aim of bringingindependent projects to stage, screen and television.
  • FRANCE 14 January

    Alexander rode to the top of the chart with over half amillion admissions in its debut week. The film pushed Ocean'sTwelve down to number two where it has taken more than $19m. French film LesSoeurs Fachees jumped up to number 3 from the fifth spot last week butstill lost 19% of its take. Le Dernier Trappeur, an adventure documentary, has sold over $10m worthof tickets making it a solid hit for TF1/Miramax joint venture TFM.
  • France faces film release bottleneck

    Between Jan 19 and Feb 2, noless than 48 films will be released in France. Among them: Closer, TheAviator, Vanessa Paradis-vehicle Mon Ange, Buena Vista France's LaMarche De L'Empereur and EuropaCorp.'s Danny The Dog. This glut of films hasrekindled the long-debated issue of how to give films a chance to breathe whenthey are constantly chased off the screen by the next week's crop Olivier Snanoudj of theExhibitors Federation (FNCF) says that the probl
  • France's Rezo launches long-awaited int'l sales arm

    French producer and distributor Rezo Films will bring to fruition a long-gestating plan to expand into international sales at this weekend's Rendez-Vous of French cinema, as well as at next month's Berlin Market.The new Rezo Films International operation will handle eight to ten feature films a year, in an equal mix of French pictures and international third-party pick-ups.Headed by Laurent Danielou, the sales team comprises Cecile Gaget from TF1 International and Jeremie Segay,
  • French journalists crown Rois Et Reine

    France's Etoiles De LaPresse were handed out Monday evening in Paris with Arnaud Desplechin's RoisEt Reine taking prizes in four categories: best film, best director, andthe top acting awards for Emmanuelle Devos and Matheiu Amalric. The film wasalso recently given the Prix Louis Delluc.The Etoiles are voted on byscores of film journalists working in France.Cannes Critics' Week winner ACommon Thread by Eleonore Faucher took the best first film prize while bestscree
  • French production levels dip in 2004

    French filmproduction levels dropped slightly in 2004 according to new figures from localindustry body the CNC.Last year, 203films were produced or co-produced of which 167 were co-productions of Frenchinitiative.This represents a4% drop from 2003 when 212 films were produced or co-produced with 183co-productions instigated by the French.However, 2004 was still the third best year for French production in thepast twenty years. Investment in thefilms climbed to Euros 892m
  • Gerardmer names Levinson president of 12th edition

    The 12th annual FantasticFilm Festival of Gerardmer has named Barry Levinson as its jury president. Thefestival, which brings together a mix of horror and fantasy films, will runfrom January 26 -30 in the French town of Vosges.Other members of the featureand short films juries include director Laurent Bouhnik, writer Eric Lysoe,fashion designer Paco Rabanne and actors Stomy Bugsy, Jonathan Zaccai, StephaneMetzger, Gregoire Colin, Aurore Auteuil, Amira Casar, Marina De Van andAlexandra
  • German film critics applaud Edukators

    Hans Weingartner's Cannes2003 competition entry The Edukators (Die Fetten Jahre Sind Vorbei) isthe big winner at this year's German Film Critics Awards, winning in thecategories of Best Feature Film and Best Actress.The complete line-up ofawards:Best Feature Film - TheEdukators by Hans Weingartner Best Feature Film Debut - Schultze Gets The Blues by Michael SchorrBest Actor - August Diehl (Love In Thoughts)Best Actress - Julia Jentsch (
  • GERMANY 18 January

    Sony Pictures Releasingstarted the year well with Closer knocking Ocean's Twelve off thetop spot after four weeks with a screen average of $ 4,787 from 469 screens togross over $ 2.2m. But the weekend's highestscreen average was scored by the German arm of Turkish distributor MaxximumFilms with its latest release Hababam Sinifi Askerde, a sequel to lastyear's successful Hababam Sinifi Merhaba which itself had been theremake of a comedy cl
  • Hayat, Innocent Voices to launch Berlinale youth sidebars.

    The Iranian film Hayatby Gholamreza Ramezani will open this year's Berlinale Kinderfilmfest onFebruary 11, with the 14plus youth film competition launched a day later by InnocentVoices (Voces Inocentes) by Mexico's Luis Mandoki.Speaking to ScreenDaily.comabout this year's line-ups, section head Thomas Hailer said that during theselection process for this year's 14plus competition "we could see thereare enough strong films aimed at this age group. They are very hard
  • HONG KONG 14 January

    National Treasure dislodged Stephen Chow's mega-hit Kung-fu Hustlefrom the top spot at the Hong Kong box office after a two-week reign.Distributed by Buena Vista's local partner, Intercontinental Film Distributors,the action adventure grossed US$816,527 from 40 screens. In its third week, Kung-fuHustle added US$662,721 from 63 screens bringing its cume to just overUS$7m. The film looks set to overtake Infernal Affairs to become thesecond
  • Hostage

    Dir/scr. ConstantineGiannaris. Gre-Tur. 2004. 102minsThe two Albanians whorecently hijacked a bus in Athens probably did not know that they werere-enacting the screenplay of Constantine Giannaris' Hostage, itselfbased on a similar real-life incident that took place in 1999.As told through the eyes ofan disoriented and angry young Albanian immigrant, this is not quite thethriller its title seems to hint at but more an exploration of the te
  • Hulbert quits as president of Disney TV

    David Hulbert has quit histwin jobs as head of Walt Disney Television International and Buena VistaInternational Television. The sudden move sparks a substantial reorganisationof the division. Hulbert's role will be splitbetween John Hardie, who is promoted toexecutive vice president/managing director, Branded Television, Europe MiddleEast Africa, and Tom Toumazis, promoted to executive vice president/ managingdirector, Buena Vista International Television, EMEA. Hulbert,who ha
  • Hungarian film week to open with Dallas Pashamente

    The 36th edition of theHungarian Film Week will kick off on February 2 with the screening of directorRobert Pejo's Berlinale Forum contender Dallas Pashamente. The Film Week's competitionprogram will feature twenty-one Hungarian productions, ten of which havealready been released theatrically in the country. The remaining eleven will bepremieres. The program includes MartaMeszaros' The Unburied Dead, Attila Arpa's local hit Argo as wellas
  • HUNGARY 18 January

    Despite five new and verydifferent films on offer last weekend for Hungarian cinema-goers, NationalTreasure was able to top the admissions chart for the second week and willeasily reach 100,000 admissions.Jude Law-starrer Alfiefailed to impress local audiences registering a mere 10,000 admissions with ascreen average of less than 1,000 admissions. Both the Resident Evilsequel and French comedy L'Enquete Corse fared better with E
  • Huntsberry temporarily steps into Finkelstein's shoes at Universal

    FrederickHuntsberry has been named interim president and chief operating officer atUniversal Pictures while Rick Finkelstein takes an undetermined leave ofabsence after sustaining injuries in a recent skiing accident.Huntsberry willreport to Universal chairman Stacey Snider and continues to oversee NBCUniversal Television Distribution in his role as executive vice president,reporting jointly to Snider and Jeff Zucker, president of NBC Universal TelevisionGroup.
  • Hustle passes $50m, Closer storms Europe for SPRI

    Sony Pictures ReleasingInternational (SPRI) opened Closer at number one in five out of sevenmarkets at the weekend as the picture's allure proved irresistible in Europe.The torrid drama ranked topin the UK on $3.1m on 276 screens, and the four other number one debutsoccurred in Germany on $2.3m on 474, the German-speaking part of Switzerland on$385,000 on 27, Austria on $268,000 on 44, and Israel on $140,000 on 18.Overall Closergrossed $6.9m on 1,100 screens in eig
  • Incredibles, National Treasure each add $10m for BVI

    The Incredibles and National Treasure each took an estimated$10m for Buena Vista International (BVI) at the weekend, raising theirrespective international running totals to $335.5m and $120m.National Treasure scored a pair of number one debuts in Holland andGreece with respective $1.4m and $655,000 launches.After one month theadventure has amassed $12.6m in the UK, where it has overtaken King Arthur,while Mexico stands on $5.7m aft
  • Independents should make more musicals, urges new coalition

    A new coalition has called upon independent filmmakers to makemore musicals following a decision not to reactivate the Original Musical Oscarcategory at next month's 77th Academy Awards.
  • International box office drives Alexander

    Alexander grossed an estimated $14.5m from approximately 3,600screens in 51 territories through IS Film Distribution and Warner Bros PicturesInternational at the weekend, driving its international cumulative total to$88m.The picture scored a pair ofstrong debuts through Warner International in Italy and Brazil (see separatereport), and opened top in Romania on $74,995 on eight prints and opened secondin Hong Kong on $275,244 on 30.Strong holdovers saw theepic picture hold
  • International campaign pays off for Alexander

    Alexander is on course to take four times its North Americangross from international markets, according to Moritz Borman, head of thefilm's sales and production house Intermedia.Another strong week in Europe led by Italy's opening tally of $3.7m(Euros 2.8m) saw Oliver Stone's epic retain the international box office lead.Adding 16 new territories at the weekend, including Brazil and Hong Kong, thefilm has already taken 72% of its worldwide total gross from internationalterritori
  • Irish Film Board appoints new members

    Ireland's Minister for Arts,Sport and Tourism, John O'Donoghue has announced the appointment of the newmembers of the Irish Film Board, effective January 17, for a four-year term. Joining existing out-goingmembers, director Alan Gilsenan and academic Margaret McCarthy MacIntyre, areJames Morris (Chair), Lesley McKimm, Kevin Moriarty, Tristan Orpen Lynch, andKirsten Sheridan.Morris is a founder of theWindmill Lane post-production and recording facility in Dublin, The Mill inLondo
  • ITALY 18 January

    Warner Bros's Alexanderstormed into to the Italian box office at number one, taking $3,708,917. TheColin Farrell vehicle was released on 446screens and took a strongaverage of $8,316 per screen. Bridget Jones: The EdgeOf Reason continued its strong run,earning a further $4,851,395 on its second weekend, which brings the romanticcomedy's running total to $8,499,449.The weekend's new releasesincluded Eagle Pictures' horror flick Saw,
  • ITV renews NBC Universal film deal

    UK broadcaster ITV and NBC Universal have extended theirexclusive licensing agreement for the terrestrial rights to NBC Universal'sfeature films and television series.ITV will have access to NBC Universal's 2004 - 2006theatrical titles, including product from Working Title Films. The agreement also includes titles from NBC Universal'sfilm and television libraries, as well as upcoming television series beginningwith the 2005 season. Major new titles for ITV include Brid
  • Jackson to direct Lovely Bones

  • JAPAN Production Listings - January 17

    JAPAN - January 17 PRE-PRODUCTION TOUCH (Toho)Dist (Jap): Toho. Based on a hit comic book, a feel-good love story of hi
  • Keith named senior vp at Yari's Bull's Eye

    Yari Film Group'sBull's Eye Entertainment has hired former DreamWorks executive Leah Keith tothe new position of senior vice president of development and production.Keith will focusprimarily on broadening Bull's Eye reach into studio films and will oversee asmall number of independent projects. The company has a first-look deal atParamount.She arrives atBull's Eye after a four-year stint at DreamWorks, where as senior feature filmdevelopment and production ex
  • Korea's Kim Ki-duk shoots The Bow

    South Korean director KimKi-duk has opened shooting on his 12th feature film, a low-budget production tobe titled The Bow.Following a highlysuccessful 2004 in which he won Best Director awards at Berlin and Venice for SamaritanGirl and 3-Iron respectively, Kim began shooting his latest workwith little fanfare on a remote island off the city of Incheon.Budgeted at $950,000, thefilm tells the story of an elderly man who falls in love with a teenage girland pla
  • Kusturica to preside over Cannes jury

    Emir Kusturica will presideover the jury at this year's Cannes Film Festival organizers announcedWednesday.The director, who hails fromSarajevo, is no stranger to the festival. His first trip was in 1985 with WhenFather Was Away On Business which took the Palme d'Or that year. In 1989 he won best directorat the festival with Time Of The Gypsies and in 1995 won the Palme d'Oragain for Underground. His last trip to Cannes was last year with LifeIs A Miracle
  • Ladies In Lavender go Stateside via Roadside

    Roadside Attractions has picked up US rights to Charles Dance'sdirectorial debut Ladies In Lavender, with Sundance Channel Home Entertainment simultaneously acquiringhome video rights.
  • Laemmle and Zeller team up for new 'virtual' US distribution operation

    California arthouse theatrecircuit Laemmle Theatres and marketing expert Steven Zeller of GS EntertainmentMarketing Group have joined forces on Laemmle/Zeller Films, a full-service"virtual" theatrical distributor based in Los Angeles.Without corporate offices,Laemmle/Zeller Films principals Greg Laemmle, who is president of LaemmleTheatres, and Zeller will work out of their respective headquarters, withLaemmle staff booking theatres, shipping prints and materials, settling boxoffice co
  • Lewis named production president at Searchlight

    In the latest senior appointment at Fox Searchlight as the studioprepares for its biggest ever year, company veteran Claudia Lewis has beenappointed president of production.
  • Lila Says (Lila Dit Ca)

    Dir: Ziad Doueiri. Fr.2004. 89mins.Watching Lila Saysis like putting a watercolour painting instead of a photograph on the frontpage of a newspaper. Just conceivably, there are circumstances where, indefiance of expectations, the broad brush-strokes could work instead of thecrisp snapshot. And, directed by a French Muslim Ziad Doueiri as an adaptationof successful novella, the film has an honest pedigree to it.But the reality here isthat,
  • NEW ZEALAND 17 January

    The two openers in the topfive on the weekend were BVI's Finding Neverland, which grossedNZ$200,127 from 34 screens to grab third place and 20th Century Fox release FlightOf The Phoenix, which was snapping at its heels with NZ$190,986 from 40screens. These two films also secured the biggest screen averages in the chart,NZ$5,886 and NZ$4,775 respectively. Third in line on the basisof screen average was UIP's The Spongebob Squarepants Movie withNZ
  • Ocean's Twelve passes $150m for Warner Int'l; Alexander opens top in eight

    Ocean's Twelve raised its international cumulative total to $152.5mfollowing an estimated $9.6m weekend haul through Warner Bros PicturesInternational on 4,600 prints in 55 countries.The caper sequel isscheduled to open in Japan on Jan 22 and in the UK on Feb 4.Alexander grossed $6.4m from 1,358 prints in 12 territories, powered by two mightylaunches in Italy and Brazil.The epic grossed anestimated $3.9m on 490 prints in Italy and took $906,900 on 193 in Bra
  • PGA names eligible producers according to new rules

    The ProducersGuild of America (PGA) Awards organisers have named the producers eligible ineach previously announced category of its 2005 PGA Awards.In the Darryl F Zanuck Producer of the Year Award fortheatrical motion picture, Michael Mann is named for The Aviator, Richard N Gladstein and Nellie Bellflower for FindingNeverland, John Walker for TheIncredibles, Clint Eastwood, Al Ruddy andTom Rosenberg for Million Dollar Baby, and Michael London for Sidewa
  • Random Harvest teams with Hammer, Winston on horror deal

    In a move underliningthe growing market for quality, low-budget horror, British production andfinancing outfit Random Harvest is starting a new Enterprise InvestmentScheme (EIS) Company, Harvest PicturesIII, with Hammer Films and LA-based Stan Winston Productions.Harvest Pictures IIIwill back new horror films from Hammer, Stan Winston and Four Horsemen Films(Random Harvest's genre arm.) Several projects arealready in advanced development, among them The Cottage (Four Hors
  • Recycle marks new direction for Universe, Matching

    The Pang brothers latesthorror film Recycle, now shooting in Thailand, marks the beginning of along-term co-operation between Hong Hong's Universe International Holdings andThailand's Matching Motion Pictures.The $5m picture reunitesDanny and Oxide Pang with Lee Sin-je, star of their international breakout hit TheEye. Lee plays a writer who discovers that events depicted in earlierdrafts of her novel have not been deleted, but remain in a parallel existence.She co-stars w
  • Rosenberg leaves Serendipity Point to produce on her own

    Julia Rosenberg (pictured), head ofproduction and development at Serendipity Point Films, is setting up her ownproduction outfit, January Films. A protege of Serendipitychief Robert Lantos, Rosenberg has amassed a number of co-producer andassociate producer credits on Serendipity projects such as Istvan Szabo'stitles Sunshine and the recent BeingJulia, Atom Egoyan's Ararat and his latest Where The Truth Lies and Norman Jewison's The Statement.R
  • Russian box office surges over 40% in 2004

    The Russian box office grew by 41% to $268m lastyear, while admissions surged to 76.5m according to latest figures.The figures, relating to November 2003-November 2004, were announced by trade magazineKinobusiness. Topping the local box office was Russianproduced sci-fi hit Night Watch which broke all previous Russian boxoffice records with over $16m.Runner up The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King grossed just over $14m.The figures provide solid evid
  • Scalpel sells prize-winning trio to US buyers

    On the eve of Sundance, new Paris sales companyScalpel Films has sold a trio of pictures to the US. Launched in 2004 byformer Celluloid Dreams executive Pierre Menahem, Scalpel had success with Private,the hard-hitting Palestine-set drama by Saverio Costanzo, selling it to AvatarFilms. The film, which premiered in Locarno and screened in Toronto, has nowbeen sold to 22 countries.
  • Sea Inside wins audience award at Palm Springs

    AlejandroAmenabar's true life drama The Sea Inside won the audience award for best narrative feature at the16th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, while Yaron Zilberman'schronicle of the Jewish Sports Club in Watermarks took corresponding documentary honours.Danielle Arbid'scoming-of-age story In the Battlefields won the New Voices/New Visions Award and first-timedirector Jesse Acevedo's drama Everything Blue took the John Schlesinger Award.
  • Seven films shortlisted for makeup Oscar

    The Aviator,De-Lovely, Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, Hellboy, Lemony Snicket'sA Series of Unfortunate Events, The Passion Of The Christ and The Sea Inside are the seven pictures that will beconsidered by the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences for bestachievement in make-up.Ten-minute clips of each contender will be shown to themake-up award nominating committee on Jan 22.Members maynominate up to three pictures, recommend a
  • Snowland world premiere opens Max Ophuels festival

    Hans W. Geissendoerfer's Snowland(Schneeland) receives its world premiere today as the opening film of thisyear's Max Ophuels Prize Film festival in Saarbruecken (January 17-23) ahead ofthe drama's German theatrical release by Kinowelt on January 20 and theinternational premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.The dramatic love story,which stars Maria Schrader (Rosenstrasse), Julia Jentsch (TheEdukators), Thomas Kretschmann (The Pianist) an
  • Sony gets set to Hustle in South Korea

    Sony Pictures Releasing International's (SPRI) comedy action hit KungFu Hustle will pass $50mthis weekend with a much anticipated launch in South Korea.
  • Spanish producers banking on repeat business

    Shooting begins next Mondayon The 2 Sides Of The Bed, the sequel to Spain's 2002 box officegargantuan The Other Side Of The Bed.It is just one of severalsequels in the works in Spain, including the third in Santiago Segura's runawayTorrente series and plans for a follow-up to 2004 hit Isi & Disi.Together with teen-targeted movies, sequels represent one way Spanish producerscan lure audiences away from US blockbusters.With the same backers andmuch of t
  • Stillking awarded Euros 100,000 development grant

    Prague based productionservice company Stillking Films has received a Euros 100,000 Media Plus grant,which it will use to develop five projects over the next three years.The first of these is titledRevolutions Per Minute. Set in the Czech Republic, the film tells thestory of a manufacturer of vinyl LPs, whose business is saved by techno DJs.Screenwriter Phil Traill (Pobby And Dingan) is working on the script. RevolutionsPer Minute will be in Czech and in English.
  • Thai action flick scores trio of sales at Bangkok market

    Thailand's biggest film of the year, Tom Yum Goong,has struck a trio of deals at the Bangkok Film Market (BFM), part of theBangkok International Film Festival (13-23 Jan).The$8m action flick was pre-sold to Korean major Showbox, Hong Kong's Edko and India'sIndo by Hong Kong-based sales agent Golden Network.
  • The Aviator takes off in BAFTA nominations

    The Aviator has emerged as the front-runnerin the nominations for the forthcoming Orange British Academy Film Awards.The Martin Scorsese directed film, which won the best dramaprize at last night's Golden Globes, received 14 BAFTA nominations, ahead of FindingNeverland and Vera Drake which both received 11 nominations each.Foreign language films also performed strongly: House ofFlying Daggers received nine while The Motorcycle Diaries collected
  • The Aviator, Sideways win top film Globes

    The Aviator and Sideways took three and two film awards apiece at tonight's (16) 62nd Golden Globes, earning respective honours for best drama and best musical or comedy.Leonardo DiCaprio and Jamie Foxx cemented their status as Academy Award frontrunners with acting wins for The Aviator in the drama category and Ray in the musical or comedy stakes.Annette Bening maintained her awards season momentum with the best actress in a musical or comedy trophy
  • This Charming Girl (Woman, Jeong-hae)

    Dir: Lee Yoon-ki. 2004. 99minsAny film that deals with subjects such as loneliness, boredom andself-loathing must run the risk of inflicting similar feelings on its audience.This Charming Girl flirts with these dangers as it slowly, slowlyscratches beneath the isolationist facade put up by a largely unremarkableyoung woman. Often minimalist in feel, its attention to detail and attentivecraftsmanship are
  • Tsunami effect spreads across international territories

    SouthernThailand (where popular tourist destinations Phuket, Kao Lak and Phi Phi Islandare located) was hit hard by the Boxing Day tsunami. Whilethe Thai people are generally in mourning, the cinemas are still doing briskbusiness, as reflected by the strong box office of two local titles. Jaew,a new action comedy produced by GMM Tai Hub and directed by YongyoothThongkonthun (Iron Ladies 1 and 2) grossed $1.8m (Baht70m) in thethree weeks since its 23 Dec opening in
  • UK film starts fall 40% in 2004

    James Bond, Jude Law perioddrama Tulip Fever, and a big-screen adaptation of BridesheadRevisited all failed to get off the ground last year as UK productionlevels crashed.As the industry was hit bytougher tax laws and a scaling back at traditional sources of funding such asFilmFour, the number of indigenous UK films that started shooting fell by 40%.Only 27 British films went ahead, compared to 2003's tally of 45, according toScreen International's research.Hit by
  • UK production spend plummets in 2004

    Spending by US productionsshooting in the UK plunged by more than 30% last year, according to annualfigures from support body the UK Film Council.The news follows this week'sfigures from Screen International showing that the number of local filmsshooting also slipped by around 40%. Counting all productions,the Council calculated that spending fell to £800m last year, down from 2003'srecord £1.15bn.The Council stressed that2003 had been a record year and that produc
  • UK study reveals Ethnic filmmakers facing barriers

    Minority ethnic led (MEL) UKindependent production companies face particular barriers to success in thefilm and television sector. This is the finding of new research conducted bythe Institute for Employment Studies (IES) for Pact and the UK Film Council. The study found the mostsignificant barriers for such companies included the initial process ofbreaking into the sector; the commissioning process; and a lack of networks toallow access to key members of the industry, business advice
  • UK/IRELAND 18 January

    It proved a close runchallenge at the top of the UK chart this week as two openers fought for thelead. Sony Pictures Releasing International's Closer just pipped UIP's TeamAmerica: World Police thanks to its Thursday previews.With previews of $239,961 (£128,432)from 242 sites factored in Closer's weekend finished on $2.9m (£1.57m)ahead of Team America's $2.85m (£1.53m).Of course, without thepreviews Closer's three-day weeken
  • UK's b.TWEEN festival unveils cross-platform development lab

    b.TWEEN the internationalFestival of Future Entertainment 2005, which celebrates interactive creativeprojects on TV, mobile, the web, DVD and video games, has announced this year'sconfirmed speakers and festival events.The festival, which runs14-18 February at Doncaster college in the UK, comprises a three-daycross-platform development lab and a two-day conference. The development lab is acompetitive event featuring six UK production companies that will be ta
  • UK's Celador Films commissions stress management comedy

    The UK's Celador Films'Christian Colson and Ivana MacKinnon have commissioned first-timewriter-director Ben Gregor's script, Principles Of Calmness. The deal, brokered byGregor's agent Jago Irwin at PFD, sees Gregor currently workshopping the firstdraft of his script before it goes to second draft and then into production.Principles Of Calmness is a comedy about a stress management seminar thatgoes horribly wrong, Gregor is now testing dialogue with actors includin
  • Vasquez, Tellis join IS in key marketing, distribution posts

    Trish Vasquez (pictured) and DeborahTellis have joined IS Film Distribution as vice president of marketing andpublicity and director of distribution respectively.Based in Santa Monica,Vasquez will assume leadership of the marketing department, managing creative, promotionaland publicity campaigns for all theatrical releases. She will report to IS FilmDistribution president Kaye Cooper-Mead.Tellis will also be based inSanta Monica and reports to senior vice president of distribut
  • Watermarks (Hakoach Liskhot)

    Dir/scr. Yaron Zilberman.Is-Fr-Us. 2004. 80mins.Science graduate YaronZilberman had never worked in film industry until he came across the story ofVienna's Jewish swimming team. The result is Watermarks, a lively andsurprisingly uplifting documentary set on the eve of World War Two.Having already takenaudience awards at festivals in Vienna, Boston and Washington, it enjoys alimited theatrical release in the US through Kino International f