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18 September 2007

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  • $3m Young Cleopatra begins Egyptian shoot

    UKfilm, TV and theatre company Stagescreen Productions begins shooting The Young Cleopatra, the first in a series of historical features, in Egypt on November 4. The shoot will take place at the Egyptian Media Production City (EMPC), a partner in the project, and on locations in Alexandria and around the Nile. The $3m film, billed as the story of how ' young Cleopatra, Princess of Egypt, fights for her life, discovers love, and emerges as a goddess', is directed by Richar
  • 2008 Summer Calendar

    May 1 - Iron Man (Paramount Pictures) This Marvel Comics adaptation looks set to kick-start the summer with a bang. Robert Downey Jr stars as Tony Stark, a man who turns into a superhero after a near-death accident in Afghanistan. Gwyneth Paltrow and Terrence Howard also star.May 2 - Made Of Honor (Sony Pictures) Romantic comedy starring Patrick Dempsey (heart-throb on hit US TV series Grey's Anatomy) provides a good counter-programmer to Iron Man. Dempsey plays a serial
  • 2929 Productions take to The Road

    Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban's 2929 Productions is set to shoot The Road at the beginning of 2008 with John Hillcoat (The Proposition) on board to direct. Scriptwriter Joe Penhall (Enduring Love) will adapt Cormac McCarthy's novel about a father who tries to get his son to safety in a post-apocalyptic world. 'It's a beautiful script,' Kent Kubena, head of deve
  • A Gentle Breeze in the Village (Tennen Kokekko)

    Dir. Nobuhiro Yamashita. Japan , 2007. 121 min.Rarely has a title fit so perfectly the picture bearing it. Cute, corny and inoffensive, with just a pinch of salt to suggest the flavour of the old Yamashita, whose reputation lies mostly with tongue-in-cheek deadpan Jarmusch-like satires such as The Ramblers and Linda, Linda, Linda, A Gentle Breeze in the Village is a sunny countryside love story. Taking place in a peaceful little village
  • A match made in Bollywood

    A Chinese-language, partially studio-backed film, Ang Lee's Lust, Caution, may have just walked off with the top prize from Venice, but these days the US studios seem more intent on learning Hindi than Mandarin Chinese.Over the past few months, the studios have announced a string of local-language production deals in India. Last month, Warner Bros Pictures unveiled its first Hindi-language film - action comedy Made In China - which it is producing with India's Orion Pictu
  • A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

    Dir: Wayne Wang. US. 2007. 83mins.After a series of Hollywood assignments, the eclectic and unpredictable Wayne Wang has fashioned an old fashioned classical piece in A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, written by the highly regarded Chinese writer Yiyun Li, who adapted her own short story. The minor key and quietly observational work is not earth-shattering or particularly urgent, though it enables a talented filmmaker to work throu
  • Affleck feature pulled from London Film Festival

    The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival has pulled Ben Affleck's directoral debut Gone Baby Gone from its programme because of fears of similarities to the case of missing girl Madeleine McCann.'The film is about the abduction of a young girl,' said festival artistic director Sandra Hebron. 'Because of the developments in the Madeleine McCann case, I think there is a desire not to cause people any upset. There is just a feeling that this is not the right tim
  • Alan Horn to get Producers Guild Milestone Award in 2008

    Warner Bros president and chief operating officer Alan Horn will receive the Producers Guild Of America's (PGA) 2008 Milestone Award.The PGA will present its most prestigious honour at the 19th Annual PGA Awards in Beverly Hills on Feb 2.PGA Awards chair Mark Gordon said that under Horn's leadership the studio had 'consistently held category-leading positions and produced numerous movies that have been hugely successful at the box office and hailed by critics.'
  • Analysis: International box-office Weekend September 7-9 - Jason Bourne again

    The Bourne Ultimatum crept back up to the top spot this weekend taking $15.8m from 3,341 screens. Universal's action film was up 8% after it expanded in 8 territories, and opened at number one in Germany with a $4.7m take and in Mexico with $1.4m. Ratatouille was at number two, generating $9.1m over the three-day period after a $2.9m opening in Australia. New entry Hero, based on a Japanese TV series, was a hit in its home territory and took $8.9m from 475 screens for an
  • Argentina - Returning to look at the light side

    Anahi Berneri is at the vanguard of a new generation of female directors in Argentina that also includes Lucrecia Martel, Lucia Cedron and Ana Katz. Her debut feature, A Year Without Love (Un Ano Sim Amor) won the Teddy award at the 2005 Berlinale for its depiction of a writer dying of Aids who is searching for a cure, and sold widely around the world. It won plaudits for its sensitive handling of a difficult subject.Her second film, Encarnacion, is screening in th
  • Arthouse signs Canadian distribution deal with Mongrel Media

    Arthouse Films has signed an exclusive output and distribution deal with Mongrel Media in Canada.David Koh and Lilly Bright negotiated the deal for Arthouse Films with Stanley Buchthal of LM Media along with Mongrel Media president Hussain Amarshi.The multi-year deal covers more than 10 titles a year, kicking of with a slate that includes James Crump's Black White + Gray: A Portrait Of Sam Wagstaff And Robert Mapplethorp and Esther
  • Arthouse signs US distribution DVD and digital deal with Arts Alliance

    Arts Alliance America has signed an exclusive output deal to distribute Arthouse Films titles in the US on DVD and via digital distribution.The multi-year deal encompasses more than 15 titles a year, starting off with a slate that includes James Crump's documentary Black White + Gray: A Portrait Of Sam Wagstaff And Robert Mapplethorpe, Rebecca Chaiklin and Michael Skolnik's Lockdown USA, and A Walk Into The Sea: Danny Williams & The Warhol Factory by Esther B RobinsonArth
  • Beirut Film Festival cancelled

    This year's Beirut International Film Festival, due to run Oct 3-10, has been cancelled. 'The presidential elections are coming up and this is the most precarious and unstable time for us,' festival director Colette Naufal told Screendaily. 'The limbo now that means it's very difficult to plan - if the airport closes, we won't be able to bring in the prints. Sadly, the board and I took the decision that it's just too risky this year.' Beirut's main international festival, the BI
  • Ben X selected as Belgian Oscar candidate

    Nic Balthazar's debut feature Ben X has been chosen as this year's Belgian Oscar candidate. The decision was made on Friday and was agreed on unanimously by both Flemish and French-speaking communities. Since its world premiere last month in Montreal, where it won the audience prize and shared the Grand Prix, Ben X has been generating considerable buzz. It has been picked up for
  • Beta Film coproducing and selling animation projects

    Beta Film is serving as a sales agent and co-producer on two animation feature films - Moonbeam Bear and Princess Lillifee - which are currently in production. Based on the books by Rolf Faenger and Ulrike Moeltgen which have been published in nine countries, the 3D animation film Moonbeam Bear is being produced by ndF neue deutsche Filmgesellschaft and Caligari Film in co-production with Beta Film and German theatrical distributor Universum Film, in assocation
  • Bourne remains top in international markets

    Universal's The Bourne Ultimatum remained the number one film in international markets as an estimated $20.8m from 4,333 sites in 46 territories raised theinternational total through UPI to $125m.The spy thriller has now passed the lifetime totals of The Bourne Identity on $92m and The Bourne Supremacy on $112m and still
  • Box office summer '08 - preview

    The books have barely closed on summer 2007 and already next summer's calendar is filling up fast with strong Hollywood product. While this year distributors benefited from a lack of major sporting events, 2008 presents hurdles such as the Summer Olympics, which start in Beijing on August 8, and the European Football Championships which take place in June. Snagging summer dates early is critical.So far, May and early June are the hotspots. Next summer is set to start with P
  • Buddha Collapsed Out Of Shame (Buda As Sharm Foru Rikht)

    Dir: Hana Makhmalbaf. Iran / France , 2007. 81 min. Hana Makhmalbaf is the younger scion of the Makhmalbaf Film House factory. All of eighteen years old and already a veteran with a short film, a documentary and a book of poems to her credit, she handles this first feature with an imperturbable aplomb. With her mother Marziyeh Meshkini on board as the scriptwriter and with all the rest of the family involved in the production, the outcome will
  • Burum to receive ASC Lifetime Achievement Award

    Stephen H Burum will receive the American Society of Cinematographers' (ASC) 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award at the 22nd Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards in Hollywood on Jan 26, 2008.Burum earned an Oscar nomination for Hoffa in 1993 and won the ASC Outstanding Achievement Award for that film. He earned ASC nominations for The Untouchables in 1988 and The War O
  • Canada - Blindness In sight

    Fernando Meirelles sits in an office at a prison in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. "I was so afraid," he says. The director of the critically-beloved City Of God and the widely-respected The Constant Gardener is recalling the nausea of pre-production on his new film Blindness.Meirelles had sought to adapt Jose Saramago's novel when it was first published in the original Portuguese in 1996. "I was a successful commercials director in Sao Paulo but my life was boring. I wa
  • Cargo 200 (Gruz 200)

    Dir: Alexey Balabanov, Russia 2007, 86minsAlexey Balabanov's eleventh feature is one of his bleakest. Set in provincial Russia in 1984 as the USSR enters its death throes, it portrays a society that is sickly, violent and cynical. The title refers to the name given to corpses of Russian soldiers being flown home in regular consignments from the war in Afghanistan. Shot in grey, desaturated colours, the film expertly recreates the Soviet Union of the mid-1980s.R
  • Cayzer appointed as Ausfilm chairman

    Ausfilm, the organisation that markets Australia's filmmaking talent to the world, has appointed a new chairman. Martin Cayzer, managing director of Panavision Australia, will chair Ausfilm for a two-year term. It should be a lively term, as the country is on track for a record level of foreign film and television production this financial year, in part because of new tax rebates. Former chairman Ian Robertson, head of law firm Holding Redlich, steered Ausfilm through an in
  • Cillian Murphy to join Al Pacino in Room 9's Dali & I

    Cillian Murphy will star opposite Al Pacino in Room 9 Entertainment's Dali & I: The Surreal Story, which is set to begin shooting in Spain and New York in early 2008.Andrew Niccol will direct from his rewrite of the speculative script by John Salvati based on Stan Lauryssens' novel Dali And I, about an art dealer who befriends the legendary surrealist painter. Daniel Brunt is overseeing the project for Room 9.Cillian Murphy most recently starred in Sunshine and earlier th
  • Cleaner

    Dir: Renny Harlin US . 2007. 92 minsTen years have passed since the combination of Samuel L Jackson and director Renny Harlin was a guarantee of lively box-office action. Think The Long Kiss Good Night (1996) and Deep Blue Sea (1999). Harlin has steadily surrendered his A-list status and Jackson has shown an unhealthy appetite for
  • Closing The Ring

    Dir. Richard Attenborough. UK-Canada. 2007. 119 min.
  • Company details

  • Continental: A Film Without Guns (Continental: Un Film Sans Fusil)

    Dir: Stephane Lafleur Canada 2007. 103 min.From the bold statement of the title to the closing scene that completes a crooked circle, Stephane LaFleur's feature debut is a mordantly funny tour of human despair. You don't need firearms to kill the human spirit, loneliness and a boring job will do the trick nicely.The film owes much to the dead-pan, dead-end world charted by Aki Kaursimaki: a desolate and featureless suburban existence where dullness di
  • Dainipponjin

    Dir. Hitoshi Matsumoto. Japan, 2007.With similar credentials to those Takeshi Kitano had before he made movies, but determined to take a different approach for his debut, Hitoshi Matsumoto looks set to establish a reputation as a quirky, bizarre type of humourist. His first film should qualify with equal ease for afternoon kiddie shows or midnight movie slots. Posing as a kind of mockumentary on the life of a super-hero, Matsumoto, who wrote, di
  • Daldry and Moodysson among recipients of $6.4m German fund

    New feature films from Stephen Daldry, Lukas Moodysson, Srdjan Koljevic and Wolfgang Murnberger are among the projects receiving backing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB) and Filmstiftung NRW in their latest rounds of production funding totalling $6.4m (Euros 4.6m.)Daldry's adaptation of Bernhard Schlink's dramatic love story The Reader, which begins shooting in Berlinlater this year with a cast headed by Nicole Kidman and young German actor David Kross (Tough Enou
  • Dardenne brothers ready to shoot new feature

    Shooting is to begin on Oct 1 on Le Silence De Lorna, the latest feature from Palme D'Or winners Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.The new film stars Arta Dobroshi as a young woman from Albania who wants to emigrate to France even if that would mean that she has to marry a total stranger to obtain permanent residence.Also appearing are Jeremie Renier and Fabrizio Rongione. It is expected that the film will be ready next spring. It will
  • Death Defying Acts

    Dir: Gillian Armstrong UK/Australia. 2007. 97 mins.The period romance is back in style if the UK success of Atonement is anything to go by, but Death Defying Acts is so corny and old-fashioned that only diehard romantics are likely to consider it magical. The relationship between famed escapologist Harry Houdini and a Scottish con artist should have provided the material for an impossible love story in which mutual attractio
  • Diary Of The Dead

    Dir: George A. Romero. 2007.US. 95 mins
  • Don't Think About It (Non Pensarci)

    Dir: Gianni Zanasi Italy 2007. 108 mins.The real surprise of the 2007 Venice Days sidebar on the Lido , Don't Think About It is that rarest of things: an exportable Italian comedy that features neither Roberto Benigni nor Nanni Moretti. Directed with an admirable lightness of touch by Gianni Zanasi (who was in the main Venice competition in 1999 with the lesser
  • Dr. Plonk

    Dir. Rolf de Heer. Australia 2007. 84 min.Deprived of the frantic mania and destructively anarchic passion that drove the best silent comedies, Rolf de Heer's attempt to revive the genre turns out into another capricious whimsy for a director whose erratic career has never followed a conventional path. Shot on expired black and white stock with a hand-cranked camera, and with inter-titles instead of dialogue, this tentative sci-fi parody imitates classic sil
  • Eagle takes Italian rights to Zanasi's $2.2m Venice Days comedy

    Eagle Pictures has picked up Italian distribution rights to Italian Venice Days title Don't Think About It (Non Pensarci), directed by Gianni Zanasi.The Rome-based distributor picked up rights from France's PyramideInternational, which also made sales at Venice including Hopscotch forAustralia, Audiovisual for Greece, and Xenix for Switzerland. While Eagle has not yet confirmed the exact release date or number of copies, the film will hit Italian theatres in 2
  • Eastern Promises, My Winnipeg win top prizes as TIFF winds down

    Guy Maddin's personal documentary My Winnipeg won the C$30,000 Toronto-City Award for Best Canadian Feature and David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises won the C$15,000 Cadillac People's Choice Award as the 32nd Toronto International Film Festival wrapped on Saturday. Runners up for the audience prize, first and second respectively, were Jason Reitman's Juno and
  • Equinoxe buys Canadian rights to Nic Balthazar's Ben X

    Montreal-based distributor Equinoxe Films has picked up Canadian distribution rights on Nic Balthazar's directorial debut Ben X. The film, which shared the top prize at the Montreal World Film Festival as well as winning the audience and ecumenical prizes, is being sold internationally by French sales outfit Films Distribution.Inspired by real events, the story follows a 17-year-old autistic boy who gets his revenge on the bullies
  • Eros to release Om Shanti Om on 2,000 screens

    Eros International is preparing its widest ever release for Farah Khan's Om Shanti Om, which will open on more than 2,000 screens worldwide on November 9. Produced by Red Chillies Entertainment, the film stars Bollywood's number one star, Shah Rukh Khan. It also marks the debut of model Deepika Padukone. Choreographer Farah Khan made her debut as a director with the highly successful Main Hoon Na, also featuring Shah Rukh Khan. A reincarnation story, Om Sha
  • Exodus

    Dir: Penny Woolcock UK 2007. 110 mins.As much community project as feature film, Exodus transplants the Biblical story of Moses and the children of Israel to the depressed British seaside resort of Margate, in a dystopian future where racist politicians hold sway and asylum seekers are fenced inside a refugee ghetto that was once a funfair. Though there's no denying the sincerity and passion of director Penny Woolcock's call for ethnic and social to
  • Festival - Brazil - Rio turns up the heat

    Brazilian cinema takes centre stage at the Rio International Film Festival this week. Some 37 features and documentaries and 15 short films will screen in the competitive Premiere Brasil section.Committed to providing a world platform for local film-makers, the festival will open with the world premiere of Jose Padilha's highly anticipated Elite Squad (Tropa De Elite). The film tells the true story of two young Rio de Janeiro police officers whose dreams of enforcing law
  • Festival - The Rio market

    The Rio International Film Festival is the largest gathering of the audiovisual industry in Latin America. The RioMarket (September 21 to October 3) will screen more than 600 films and is where international buyers get their first look at recent Brazilian and Latin American film productions."Since 2002, (Brazilian) cinema has increasingly captured the attention of international audiences," says Ellen Pittleman, senior vice-president of international co-production and worldwide acquisit
  • Festival review: Venice

    Critical wrapMarco Mueller may have been pipped to the post by a fictitious candidate, L.K. Ching, in an informal poll of (mostly Italian) festivalgoersorganised outside Venice's Casino to choose the next festival director(it was 603 for Ching, 601 for Muller). But most international festivalhabitues agreed that Mueller had come up with a strong 2007 line-up,despite growing pressure from upst
  • First Look spends $3m on US rights to comedy Bill

    As Toronto headed into the closing weekend, First Look Studios paid just over $3m to US rights for Melisa Wallack and Bernie Goldmann's comedy Bill starring Aaron Eckhart. Maple Films paid mid-six figures for Canadian rights.First Look Holdings co-chairmen Avi Lerner and Henry Winterstern and executive vice president of acquisitions Gary Hirsch negotiated the deal with Endeavor's Graham Taylor and Cinetic's John Sloss. The deal closed in the ea
  • First Look takes US rights to Bill for $3m

    As Toronto wound down over the weekend, First Look Studios paid just over $3m to US rights for Melisa Wallack and Bernie Goldmann's comedy Bill starring Aaron Eckhart. Maple Films paid mid-six figures for Canadian rights. First Look Holdings co-chairmen Avi Lerner and Henry Winterstern and executive vice president of acquisitions Gary Hirsch negotiated the deal with Endeavor's Graham Taylor and Cinetic Management's John Sloss. The deal closed
  • Haitian Film Festival postponed to 2008

    Film Festival Jakmel has postponed its annual event for a year, according to festival founder David Belle. Based in the southern resort town of Jakmel in Haiti, the festival last year injected over $1m in economic activity in the region. However, planning for the fourth iteration was plagued by funding and infrastructure difficulties. The 2006 event had a budget of $400,000. Belle said he hopes to double that sum by seeking donors to underwrite year-round film programming and technic
  • Hamburg's Douglas Sirk Award goes to David Cronenberg

    Canadian director David Cronenberg will receive the Douglas Sirk Award at this year's Filmfest Hamburg, running Sept 27 to Oct 4. Festival opens with best-selling author Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's directorial debut Odette Toulemonde. The award in recognition of Cronenberg's 'outstanding contribution to cinema' will be presented to the director on the evening of September 28 before the German premiere of his latest film Eastern Promises.Previous winners of the Doug
  • Hutton joins Fox as head of UK publicity

    Twentieth Century Fox has appointed Annabel Hutton as its head of UK publicity.Hutton, a former Premier PR executive, will replace Fox publicity head Liz Green. She will be based in London and will report directly to Fox's UK marketing director Elizabeth Kesses.Hutton, who has worked in film since 1994, oversaw a wide variety of campaigns at Premier, most recently working on Fox's Notes On A Scandal and Sunshine.'We are over the moon that Annabel is join
  • In Bloom

    Dir: Vadim Perelman. US. 2007. 90 mins.Four years after his directorial debut The House Of Sand And Fog, Vadim Perelman returns with In Bloom, an adaptation of Laura Kasischke's novel The Life Before Her Eyes which is an even more ambitious challenge than its predecessor. But some books are just too cerebral to transfer to the screen, and, despite Perelman's best efforts, Kasischke's conceit does not make for a coherent film experience.
  • In Focus - India - What the US Studios are producing

    Sony PicturesOne of the first US studios to get involved in Hindi-language production, Sony recently completed Beloved (Saawariya), directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and which it fully financed, and plans to release in November. In 2002, Sony was involved in the global distribution of Lagaan, initially through its Indian channel, Sony Entertainment Television (SET). The studio is also distributing two English-language films, co-produced by Overbrook Entertainment
  • International - A Hero's welcome

    Fuji TV's Hero was the hot international opener this weekend, according to Screen's international chart. Generating $8.9m in its home territory from 475 screens, the Takuya Kimura-starrer catapulted to the number three spot.While Universal Pictures International's (UPI) The Bourne Ultimatum may have crept back up to the number one slot, Hero - an adaptation of the hit Japanese TV series - saw a whopping $18,771 screen average, far surpassing Bourne's
  • International box office - Western Europe - Domestic bliss

    Box office gross in Western Europe is predicted to surge by 17% over the next five years - a rate of around 3% a year - largely due to expanding local film industries and advances in digital cinema, new research predicts.The report from Dodona Research sees box office in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland reaching $6.4bn (EUR4.7bn) by 2011. Greece, the Netherlands and Spain will see the fastest g
  • Irish Broadcasting Commission grants $2.8m to five feature projects

    The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) announces Eu2.05m funding for five features in the fourth round of its Sound & Vision funding scheme. With a total grant fund of Eu8.7m for independent television producers, the fund is financed by a levy on the Irish television license fee and the scheme requires projects have a broadcast commitment from a free-to-air broadcaster in Ireland.The Daisy Chain is written by Lauren McKenzie and directed by Aisling Walsh and
  • Japan selects I Just Didn't Do It as Oscar entry

    Masayuki Suo's I Just Didn't Do It has been selected as Japan 's official entry to the Academy Awards' foreign-language film category, the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan announced Friday. I Just Didn't Do It follows the struggles of a young man, played by Ryo Kase (Letters From Iwo Jima), who professes innocence after he's accused of groping a teenage girl on a train. Koji Yakusho stars as his defense lawyer. The story is based on years of legal system
  • Japanese Hero makes heroic impact on Screen's international chart

    Fuji TV's Hero was the hot international opener this weekend, according to Screen's international chart. Click here for full details.Generating $8.9m in its home territory from 475 screens, the Takuya Kimura-starrer, directed by Masayuki Suzuki catapulted to number three in the weekly chart of top performing films in international markets.While Universal Pictures International's (UPI)
  • Juno

    Dir. Jason Reitman, US, 2007, 96 minutes, colour, 35 mm.
  • Just Like Home (Hjemve)

    Dir Lone Scherfig Denmark . 2007. 97 minsFive years after her admired English-language debut Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself, writer-director Lone Scherfig makes an eagerly awaited return to her native Denmark for Just Like Home, an idiosyncratic ensemble comedy depicting a community in crisis. A slight, slow-burning tale, it lacks the immediate charm and accessibility of her earlier work, notably the award-winnin
  • Keith joins Laika as vp, business operations, and CFO

    Portland-based animation studio Laika has hired former Lucasfilm and Hanna-Barbera executive Alan Keith as vice president of business operations and chief financial officer and promoted Travis Knight to vice president of animation.Keith has more than 20 years of finance experience in the studio and non-Hollywood arenas and will lead the expansion of Laika's business operations as it continues to grow its pipeline of animated features, television commercials, music videos, broadcast g
  • Kerner signs multi-year production deal with Walden Media

    Producer Jordan Kerner has signed a multi-year first look deal with Walden Media, with whom he collaborated on the 2006 family film Charlotte's Web.Kerner, recently appointed dean of the North Carolina School of the Arts' School Of Filmmaking, will divide his time between Los Angeles and Winston-Salem.His credits include Snow Dogs, George Of The Jungle, Inspector Gadget, The Three Musketeers
  • King Apatow

    Producer-writer-director Judd Apatow has created something of a domestic empire, with 2007 hits such as Knocked Up and Superbad showing formidable staying power in a sea of franchise films and remakes. They have so far taken over $240m at the US box office and $277m globally. Knocked Up has taken 20% of its worldwide total internationally ($36.8m) and is yet to open in Italy, Spain, France and Brazil. The UK has already embraced Apatow's knee-slapping humour - Knocked
  • Lewis, Doby-Flewellyn set up Filmbankers International

    Former Union Bank of California entertainment loan executives Harold Lewis and Brenda Doby-Flewellyn have set up the financing, sales and distribution company FilmBankers International.The Beverly Hills-based company is lining up co-financing for the $30m Bob Marley reggae biopic No Woman, No Cry, one of 30 projects the principals say they are involved with in some way.FilmBankers is handling international sales on
  • Maddin's Winnipeg sells to IFC, Soda, Maximum

    Fresh from its victory for Best Canadian Feature at TIFF, Guy Maddin's idiosyncratic documentary My Winnipeg has been sold to IFC Entertainment in US, Soda Pictures in the UK and Maximum Films Distribution in Canada. The deals were announced by My Winnipeg producer (and DoP) Jody Shapiro from the podium at the TIFF awards brunch on Saturday. The Maximum deal was something of a no-brainer giv
  • Magnolia Pictures launches genre label

    Magnolia Pictures has launched the genre label Magnet to release 'thewild, unquantifiable and uncompromised', kicking off with the DVDrelease of Jeremy Saulnier's hipster slasher film Murder Party on Oct16.The label will allow Magnolia to specialise in an area that it haspreviously serviced through releases such as The Host, Severance,Exiled, and Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior.Magnet's slate will be comprised of productions an
  • Magnolia Pictures launches genre label

    Magnolia Pictures has launched the genre label Magnet to release 'thewild, unquantifiable and uncompromised', kicking off with the DVDrelease of Jeremy Saulnier's hipster slasher film Murder Party on Oct16.The label will allow Magnolia to specialise in an area that it haspreviously serviced through releases such as The Host, Severance,Exiled, and Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior.Magnet's slate will be comprised of productions an
  • Magnolia takes US rights to In Bloom from sister company 2929

    2929 Productions has sold Vadim Perelman's drama In Bloom to Magnolia Pictures in the US and TVA Films in Canada.The film got its world premiere at Toronto last Saturday and stars Uma Thurman as a woman haunted by the memory of a high school shooting. Evan Rachel Wood and Eva Amurri also star.Emil Stern adapted the screenplay from Laura Kasischke's novel The Life Before Her Eyes. Cinetic Med
  • Married Life

    Dir: Ira Sachs, US, 2007. 90minsIra Sachs's new film Married Life commences with wonderfully droll cartoon-like credits that simultaneously amuse with their archness and efficiently evoke the 1940s era in which the film is set. Like the film as a whole, however, they promise a great deal that is, alas, never finally delivered.Despite the presence of such acting luminaries as Chris Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, and Patricia Clarkson, as well as genera
  • Meadows and Frazer collaborate again on Somers Town

    Director Shane Meadows and writer Paul Frazer are working together again on Tomboy Films' Somers Town, which began shooting this week. The short film follows the lives of two boys living in the Somers Town area of London. Filming started last week for three weeks on location in the UK capital. Meadows and Frazer previously worked together on Dead Man's Shoes
  • MegaStar Media opens Vietnam's biggest multiplex

    MegaStar Media last night officially opened its first cinema in Ho Chi Minh City, which is also the biggest in Vietnam, as part of its continuous efforts in redefining the country's exhibition landscape. Vietnam's minister of culture, sports and tourism, Hoang Tuan Anh, was among the guests at the gala opening of the MegaStar Cineplex Hung Voung Plaza 8. Also present were MegaStar co-founder Ted Shugrue, Bristol Media's Tony Manne and Warner Bros vice president, Asia, Erlina Suharjono.
  • MGM launches HD TV channel on DIRECTV in US

    MGM, for years a major player in the international television arena, will launch its first wholly owned channel in the US this autumn.MGM HD will run on DIRECT TV and draw on the company's library of more than 4,100 features, among them Hotel Rwanda, Leaving Las Vegas, West Side Story, The Black Stallion, and Robocop.Programming highlights will include new content, sneak previews, and remast
  • Mongol

    Dir: Sergei Bodrov Germany/Russia/Kazakhstan/Mongolia. 2007. 120 mins.
  • Mother of Tears

    Dir/Scr: Dario Argento. Italy. 2007 98mins .The new work of Italian horror specialist Dario Argento, Mother of Tears forms a trilogy of the two macabre, hyper stylized works that made his international reputation: Suspiria (1977) and Inferno (1980). The time away from the material has certainly not dulled the director's senses or brought about any new reflection. As a piece of narrative, however, the movie is virtually i
  • Mr Woodcock

    Dir: Craig Gillespie US . 2007. 89mins.Former pupils of sadistic PE teachers will be a key audience for Mr Woodcock, an intermittently chuckle-worthy comedy with Billy Bob Thornton as the bullying, track-suited title character. Having reportedly sat on the shelf for a year, with some scenes re-shot, it's unlikely that this feature debut by commercials director Craig Gillespie (whose Lars And The Real Girl was at this month's Toronto Festival) will now
  • New York City Serenade

    Dir. Frank Whaley. US 2007. 103 mins.The title of New York City Serenade and an opening aerial skyline shot would lead you to believe that the film is an ode to New York . It's really an ode to friendship with a friend who gets you to the wrong places to drink too much and chase the wrong girls. Frank Whaley's comedy about the perils of perpetual adolescence is inspired by the British comedy Withnail and I
  • Nickerson, Gerber join Summit's new US home entertainment arm

    Steve Nickerson has joined Summit Entertainment as president of its new home entertainment division, while Bobby Gerber has joined as executive vice president and general sales manager.The pair arrive from Warner Home Video and will spearhead the new division with a focus on traditional video distribution and emerging market opportunities. They report to Summit's chief operating officer Bob Hayward.President of domestic television distribution Alex Fragen, who heads Summi
  • Nightwatching

    Dir: Peter Greenaway, Netherlands-Canada-Poland-UK. 140mins.Peter Greenaway takes The Night Watch - arguably Rembrandt's most famous painting, and certainly his most earnestly discussed and interpreted work - as the basis for a rambling, theatrical, frequently didactic study of a turning point in the Dutch painter's life. By turns both murder mystery, biopic and art-historical tract, Nightwatching is the British director's m
  • Nine films nominated for Nordic prize

    Nine films have been nominated for the $65,000 (Eu47,000) Nordic Film Prize - Scandinavia's largest film award - with winners announced at the Nordic Council's session on Oct 31. The prize money is equally shared among a film's director, scriptwriter and producer; last year it went to Swedish director Josef Fares' Zozo (2/3 to Fares as director and scriptwriter, 1/3 to producer Anna Anthony, of Memfis Film). Danish entries includ
  • Norwegian WWII hero Max Manus gets $8.4m treatment in war epic

    Norwegian actor-director Aksel Hennie is to star in Norwegian directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg's Max Manus, a $8.4m (Euros 6.1m) World War II epic produced by John M Jacobsen and Sveinung Golimo for Filmkameratene.After his 2004 directorial debut, Uno, Hennie returned to acting in Danish director Jesper W Nielsen's Through a Glass, Darkly, the screen adaptation of Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder's novel. Max Manus is scripted by Thom
  • Nothing is Private

    Dir: Alan Ball. US. 2007. 124 mins.Perhaps the most polarizing film of the Toronto International Film Festival this week, Nothing Is Private marks the feature directorial debut of American Beauty writer and Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball. As you might expect from Ball's oeuvre to date, it is a provocative piece scratching at the ugliness underneath the placid surface of American suburbia with his customary spiky hum
  • Nova Scotia boosts tax credit for producers

    Tax relief on local labour costs for productions shooting in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia has been increased from 35% to 50%, it was announced at the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax. Nova Scotia premier Rodney MacDonald announced the rise at the opening gala screening of Roger Spottiswoode's Shake Hands With The Devil, produced by Halifax Films. The film, which is about the efforts by Canadian Lt-General Romeo Dallaire's
  • Pan-Europe participants selected for first pitch forum

    Thirteen screenwriters from all over Europe, including the UK, Poland, Hungary, Macedonia and Italy have been selected to present their screenplays to a panel of international producers at the first Central European Pitch Forum to be held during the Pecs International Film Festival on October 3.The Pitch Forum's organisershad 60 applications from 19 countries; the final selection was b
  • Persepolis chosen to represent France in Oscar category

    Cannes Jury Prize winner Persepolis has been selected to represent France in its bid to snag a nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. France's CNC announced the selection of Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's animated work on Monday evening.Each year, the CNC chooses France's Oscar entry by committee. The CNC committee this year included Cannes general manager Thierry Fremaux, Unifrance president Margaret Menegoz and preside
  • Persepolis opens Athens International Film Festival

    The 13th Athens International Film Festival begins tomorrow night (Sept 19) with the gala presentation of Marjane Satrapi's and Vincent Paronnaud's French Oscar entry Persepolis. Todd Haynes' Venice Jury Prize winner I Am Not There, accompanied by its producer Christine Vachon, will be the closing film. The international jury for this year's $14,000 (Euros 10,000)competitionincludes composer Michael Galasso, film critic Stephen Dalton, musician Raine Blaini
  • Poor Boy's Game

    Dir. Clement Virgo. Canada , 2007. 102 Mins.Racial tension in an unusual setting and a quiet, authoritative voice pack a surprising punch in Poor Boy's Game, a new film from Afro-Canadian filmmaker Clement Virgo. Though framed around a grudge match in the boxing ring, the film has a considerably broader scope than the canvas and ropes. The intimate drama turns on an act of violence, its social-political echoes and issues of redemption and forgiveness.
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  • Production - Films and talent - Brazil's balancing act

    Brazil's new generation of directors and producers are faced with a difficult challenge: how to combine arthouse sensibility with a desire for international recognition.Since most Brazilian productions are funded by the territory's tax shelter system - which means they can fully fund their films by offering tax breaks to private investors - producers do not really need to make money in order to start another picture. But the reality of the international marketplace is different and fil
  • Reservation Road

    Dir: Terry George USA. 2007. 102 minsA respectable, well-intentioned exploration of grief, guilt and the instinct for revenge, Reservation Road boasts some fine performances but tries too hard to pass itself off as a weighty, tear-stained Oscar contender. A plot heavily reliant on coincidence may have worked on the page of John Burnham Schwartz's novel but tends to dilute the emotional impact of the piece on screen. Some critical support may help the film's domestic relea
  • Rialto buys Australia and New Zealand on We Are Together

    Rialto Distribution has acquired theatrical and home video rights in Australia and New Zealand to Paul Taylor's documentary We Are Together (Thina Simunye).The film chronicles an uplifting episode in the life of South African children from an orphanage. it is a RISE Films production in association with The Channel 4 British Documentary Film Foundation, HBO Documentary Films, and EMI.Rilato c
  • Ricardo Darin's directorial debut hits big at Argentina's box office

    Ricardo Darin's directorial debut The Signal (La Senal), topped the Argentinian box office over the weekend with 105,000 admissions in its first four days of release on 62 screens. The $2.5m Argentina-Spain co-production accounted for 27.4% of audiences at the weekend and beat openings for Hollywood fare like The Simpsons Movie, Die Hard 4.0 and
  • Rio Festival to host world premiere of Newell's Cholera

    Mike Newell's film of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's classic novel Love In The Time Of Cholera will have its world premiere as the closing night film of the ninth annual Rio International Film Festival on Oct 4.The first major international film in years to shoot in the walled city of Cartagena, Colombia, Love In The Time Of Cholera features a large ensemble cast of Latin, US and European talent including Javier Bardem, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Benjami
  • Rome Film Fest reschedules future to avoid London clash

    In a move welcomed by exhausted sales agents, distributors and journalists, the London and Rome film festival dates are to set apart.This year, the events have an almost identical footprint - with Rome's festival running Oct 18 - 27 Oct and London's festival from Oct 17 - Nov 1.When Rome's dates were announced earlier this year, London's
  • Rubin leaves Universal for evp job at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

    Robert W Rubin has joined Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) as executive vice president.Rubin reports to SPHE president David Bishop and will work on global strategy and business development and spearhead SPHE's faith-based and family entertainment initiatives.Prior to SPHE, Rubin held several senior executive positions at Universal Pictures including stints in the film, home entertainment and consumer products divisions. Most recently he was executive vice presiden
  • Rule Number One starts shooting with change of investors

    Kelvin Tong's horror thriller Rule Number One is set to start principal photography in Hong Kong next Wednesday (September 19), making him the first Singapore director to cross over to mainstream Hong Kong cinema. Two Singaporean production outfits - MediaCorp Raintree Pictures and Scorpio East Pictures - and Hong Kong 's Dream Movie Entertainment have boarded the $2m movie alongside Hong Kong-based Fortune Star Pictures. However, Singapore 's Media Development Authority (M
  • Run, Fat Boy, Run

    Dir: David Schwimmer UK . 2007. 101minsSimon Pegg is fast becoming Britain 's king of comedy. He seems to have found the secret of reaching levels of box-office success denied to fellow British television graduates like Mitchell and Webb (Magicians (2007)) and Ant and Dec (Alien Autopsy (2006)). Run, Fat Boy, Run opened at the top of the UK box-office charts ahead of Atonement. It is an immensely likable, big-hear
  • Russian box office to double in five years - report

    Russian box officewill more than double over the next five years, according to a report from analyst Dodona Research.The study, Cinemagoing Russia, predictsthe 2006gross of US$412mwill top $850m by2011.The driving force will be multiplex building, tied to the boom in retail developments in the country. Shopping mall owners are themselves moving intocinema ownership.Russia 's largest cinema circuit is operated by Karo Film with 124 screens. Hollywood has fo
  • Screen opinion - liberal profits

    Whenever commentators have run out of inspiration during the long march of festival screenings, there's always that lazy column filler about how politics is taking over the cinema. We've heard it about Cannes and Berlin in recent years, based on the success of overtly political polemical documentaries, notably from Michael Moore. And we're hearing it again now. Such polemics have carved out a following but politics is far more powerful in film as allegory - as McCarthy and his anti-Communist
  • Silk

    Dir. Francois Girard. Canada/Italy/Japan 2007. 112 Mins.
  • Spain - Investigating women's lives

    It was a role in Ken Loach's 1995 Spanish Civil War film Land And Freedom that inspired Iciar Bollain to become a director. With a CV of local productions under her belt, Bollain impressed Loach at auditions for the film, so much so that he created a part for her."Ken turned a male role into a female role to have me there," Bollain recalls. "It was amazing. He shoots in a way no one else does. We really felt we were in the war."Bollain followed Loach onto his next project
  • Spyglass takes remake rights to 2004 French hit Narco

    TF1 International has announced the sale of remake rights for Tristan Aurouet and Gilles Lellouche's Narco to Spyglass Entertainment. The film, about a man suffering from narcolepsy who gets to live out his dreams every time he falls asleep, bears the international title, The Secret Adventures of Gustave Klopp and was sold by TF1 to more than 20 territories. Originally produced by Alain Attal, the film starred Guillaume Canet, Benoit Poelvoorde and Zabou Breitman. It was
  • Stuck

    Dir. Stuart Gordon, Canada/US, 2007, 94 mins.Stuck's protagonist is a homeless man who, for most of the film, is pinned on the bonnet of a car with half of his body extending through the smashed windshield into the front seat. The car's young driver tries to hide the evidence of the bloody accident while the victim is still alive and begging for help. Laced with laughs from its improbability, this is a grotesque moral tale. Clever and far more than competent, St
  • Studios should back both high-definition DVDformats, says report

    Hollywood studios who fail to support both of the leading formats for next-generation DVD could be making an expensive mistake, according to a study.Analyst Screen Digest suggests that by 2011 both Blu-Ray and its rival HD DVD will have established a strong foothold in the European and US markets.Blu-Ray may have the lead in units now but it is not substantial enough to kill off its competitor.While hybrid releases have become more common, some studios have supported one
  • Superman producer Pierre Spengler plans Luchadores 5

    Spengler, who produced the live-action Superman films, returns to the comic book genre with Luchadores 5, the first of a 12-picture slate based on titles from graphic novel publisher Les Humanoïdes Associes/Humanoids.Former Humanoids chief executive F. Alexander Ciger, who is also Spengler's producing partner in Clubdeal, will produce.The live-action adaptation of the Luche Libre comic series, a comedy of five Latino wrestlers turned vigilante in East LA,
  • Suzuki to head Paramount's home entertainment arm in Japan

    Former NPD Japan president and representative director Junichiro Suzuki has been named president of Home Entertainment Paramount KK, Japan.Suzuki will be responsible for overseeing sales, marketing and distribution in Japan, and will report directly to Paramount Home Entertainment International president Dennis Maguire.Prior to NPD, Suzuki served as president and representative director of Fedex Kinko's Japan Co.His was also president of Blockbuster Japan Co f
  • The Babysitters

    Dir. David Ross. US. 2007. 90mins.First time director David Ross negotiates a precarious line between exploitation and provocation with The Babysitters, the story of a bright and industrious teenager who fronts a high school escort service for bored suburban men. It inverts the story of Risky Business, moving away from male teenage sexual initiation towards a more elusive and problematic study of the emotional costs of female sexual expression.
  • The Bourne Ultimatum lands in France, South Korea for UPI

    Universal's spy thriller The Bourne Ultimatum is expected to hold on to its overseas crown this weekend as its opens in 10 new territories.The film has taken $104.1m so far and Universal/UPI top brass will look to strong debuts in France on Sept 12 and South Korea on Sept 14, as well as solid holdover business, to sweep the Matt Damon saga past the $125m mark.Comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck And La
  • The Brave One opens number one in the US

    Jodie Foster drew in a largely female crowd as Warner Bros' revenge thriller The Brave One opened top on an estimated $14m.Foster, in her first lead role since Flightplan in 2005, stars as a radio host who turns vigilante after she is nearly beaten to death. Neil Jordan directed and Joel Silver produced.Lionsgate's Western remake 3:10 To Yuma slipped to
  • The Collective buys genre website

    Los Angeles-based The Collective has acquired the genre website with an eye to turning it into an online exhibitor.Deal terms were not disclosed, however it is understood that content will remain under the editorial control of founders Tom Owen and Brad Miska, with The Collective providing infrastructure, strategy and enhanced access to the entertainment industry.The Collective plans to acquire and license digital rights to new and existing horror an
  • The Kingdom

    Dir. Peter Berg. US, 110 mins.The Kingdom , about terror against Americans in Saudi Arabia, will confirm some of the worst American prejudices about the Middle East - that most Arabs there hate the US, and that America could eliminate threats there if bureaucrats got out of the way and if a few good men (and a woman) went in with the gloves off and guns ablaze. You can guess who comes out on top in this action movie.Jamie Foxx and Jen
  • The Last Lear

    Dir. Rituparno Ghosh. India 2007. 130 min.An overly complicated film-within-a-film story, told through multiple narrators, causes confusion in Rituparno Ghosh's The Last Lear. The film was conceived as a vehicle for the greatest living idol of Indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan, in his first full length English-language film. The role of a mercurial stage giant who is brought out of retirement to act for the first time in a film, the part fits Bachchan like a glove, a
  • The Past (O Passado)

    Dir: Hector Babenco Argentina-Brazil 2007. 114 mins.Brazilian director Hector Babenco's latest film is an utterly misbegotten effort, a long way from his earlier successes such as Pixote and Kiss of the Spider Woman, or 2003's Carandiru. Despite the presence of international heart-throb Gael Garcia Bernal, the tortured, sometimes unwittingly laughable story about a professional translator and the three or four women he marries during the course of the film w
  • The Princess of Nebraska

    Dir: Wayne Wang. US. 2007. 77mins.Wayne Wang's The Princess of Nebraska is a stylistically audacious companion piece to the director's A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, adapted from the same collection of short stories by expatriate Chinese writer Yiyun Li. Like Blue in the Face, the improvisational variant of his own Smoke that he developed with writer Paul Auster, the second film is more fluid and nervy and features a dynamite lead performanc
  • The Queen producer in running for top BBC Films job

    UK media reports have tipped Christine Langan, the producer of The Queen, to be the new head of BBC Films, in a newly created position of 'editor'. However, BBC sources refuse to confirm the appointment. 'There will be new positions but I can't confirm what they are,' a BBC spokesperson said of the structural shake-up expected following the departure of the present head of BBC Films, David Thompson, in four weeks' time. The BBC's head of fiction Jane Tranter, who o
  • The Simpsons Moviemakes number one opening in Italy

    The Simpsons Movie was the top film in Italy this weekend, openingwith $8.2m from 616 screens for a whopping $13,380 screen average.Fox International's animated adventure knocked Shrek The Third off the number one spot this weekend after two weeks at the top.Shrek, distributed by Universal Pictures International in Italy, fell by 48%at the weekend, taking $2.2m from 554 screens. It has grossed $24.2m to date in the territory.
  • The Stone Angel

    Dir. Kari Skogland Canada , 2007. 115 minutes.The Stone Angel is a perfectly respectable, solidly-made film which, beyond the expert performance by the always reliable Ellen Burstyn, has unfortunately little to recommend it for consideration for theatrical release beyond its home territory. Adapted by director Skogland from a beloved Canadian novel by Margaret Laurence, the film lacks the punch or originality that might make
  • The summer everyone had a hit

    The 2007 blockbuster season exceeded the projected numbers in emphatic style. Hollywood top brass were celebrating the first $4bn North American summer before the season officially came to a close over the Labor Day weekend (August 31-September 3), and the international profile looks equally bullish. According to informal figures collated by one of the studios, the combined total of films released overseas by the six majors from May 1 to August 27 reached $4.3bn. That is 25
  • The Sweet and the Bitter (Il Dolce e l'Amaro)

    Dir: Andrea Porporati Italy 2007. 99 mins.The Italian Mafia film comes of age with The Sweet and the Bitter, a Sicilian Goodfellas that offers a refreshingly unheroic, sometimes darkly comic take on the grubby reality behind the rituals and myths of Cosa Nostra. Like another recent title, Stefano Incerti's L'Uomo di Vetro, the film explores the Mafia from the inside, through the story of a young and intitally enthusiastic footsoldier of the local boss
  • The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival boosts its industry profile

    At the launch of The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival's full programme, itwas clearthat the festival is looking to a higher industry profile, with the introduction this year of the Production Finance Market (PFM).The event, managed by Angus Finney (formerly joint-managing director ofRenaissance Films), takes place at the Tower Bridge Marriott on Oct 22 - 23. Artistic director Sandra Hebron expressed hope that some projects from the market will eventually screen at th
  • The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival programme announced

    This year's Times BFI 51st London Film Festival's programme boasts seven world premieres among films from 43 countries.The event opens on Oct 17 with the UK premiere of David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises starring Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts, with Wes Anderson's eagerly awaited The Darjeeling Limited closing the festi
  • Theodorakis to receive lifetime achievement honour

    Mikis Theodorakis is to be presented with a lifetime achievement award at the World Soundtrack Awards at this year's Ghent International Film Festival (Oct 9-20).The Greek composer is best known for his iconic music for Michael Cacoyannis' Zorba The Greek. He also wrote the music for three other of the director's films: The Trojan Women, The Day The Fish Came Out and Iphegenia In Aulis.Among his 60 music scores is Sidn
  • ThinkFilm closes deals on Canadian sex comedy

    ThinkFilm International has sealed a slew of deals on Canadian sex comedy YPF (Young People Fucking). They include to the UK (Revolver), France (Euro TV), Spain (AZ Films), Italy (CDI), Russia (Lizard), Korea (Coral Pictures), Benelux (RCV), South Africa (Ster Kinekor), Turkey (Fida), Poland (Poseidon), Greece (Hollywood), Israel (United King), Thailand (J-Bics) and Ex-Yugoslavia (Cinemania). YPF is directed by Martin Gero, whose credits include Stargate: A
  • THINKFilm takes Battle In Seattle as Toronto deals continue

    THINKFilm has bought US rights to Stuart Townsend's directorial debut Battle In Seattle in a deal believed to be just over $2m.Graham Taylor of Endeavor Independent closed the sale with THINKFilm'sacquisitions executives late on Thursday [Sept 13] after sustainedinterest from at least four buyers.The ensemble drama received its world premiere at the weekend andcentres on events surrounding the protests at the 1999 World TradeOrgani
  • Thompson departure leaves questions about future of BBC Films

    After a decade as head of BBC Films, the 'great survivor' David Thompson is to move on. Thompson will be standing down as BBC Films boss in four weeks' time to start up his own independent production company. The move comes following the summer announcement that BBC Films is to leave its standalone West End premises and head back to BBC Television Centre, where it will come under the control of Head of Fiction Jane Tranter (who oversees Drama Commissioning, Comedy Commiss
  • Tokyo Filmex to close with Lee's Secret Sunshine

    Tokyo Filmex has announced that Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine will be the closing film of this year's edition (Nov 17-25). Additionally, Lee will serve as the head of the competition jury. The film won the best actress award at Cannes this year for Jeon Do-yeon's performance. Earlier this week, the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) selected the film as South Korea's official submission to the Academy Awards' best foreign-language film category. Secret Sunshine ma
  • Tokyo Project Gathering unveils 38 projects

    The organisers of the third Tokyo Project Gathering (TPG) have unveiled the 38 projects that will take part in this year's edition (Oct 21-24). The financing and co-production market will take place at Tokyo's Roppongi Hills complex at the same time as the TIFFCOM contents market and the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF). Japan accounts for the largest number of projects - 13 in all - including Ugetu from Shinji Aoyama who recently competed at Venice with Sad Vact
  • Toronto deals close on Visitor, Nothing Is Private, Diary Of The Dead

    Following an anaemic first few days at Toronto the domestic acquisitions scene finally showed signs of life as Overture Films took North American rights to Thomas McCarthy's crowd-pleaser The Visitor, Warner Independent Pictures and Red Envelope jointly took North America and other territories on Alan Ball's Nothing Is Private and The Weinstein Company bought North America and Mexico on George A Romero's Diary Of The Dead.Chris McGurk and Danny Rosett pu
  • Trumbo

    Dir: Peter Askin. US. 2007. 96mins.Peter Askin's endearing and sometimes strangely compromised documentary portrait Trumbo, a meditation on the life and times of the radical American screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, is an alternately rich and often bewildering mixture of theatre, family memoir and hot wired historical document.The film's portrait of an artist who suffered grievous personal, professional and artistic injury during the anti-communist
  • Turkey's Eurasia fest to close with Elizabeth: The Golden Age

    Turkey's 3rd International Eurasia Film Festival, which will be held concurrently with the 44th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival (Oct 19-28), has selected Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth: The Golden Age, starring Cate Blanchett, as the closing film and also unveiled its competition line-up. Ang Lee's Lust, Caution, which won the top Golden Lion award at Venice, will open the festival as previously announced. The international competition has 10 European and Asian films
  • TWC buys North America on Argento's The Mother Of Tears

    The Weinstein Company (TWC) has finally closed a deal with Myriad Pictures for all North American rights excluding US theatrical and Canadian theatrical and television to Dario Argento's horror film The Mother Of Tears.TWC had been circling ever since the film's world premiere at Toronto. Genius Products will distribute the DVD in the US under its exclusive agreement with TWC. Myriad holds US and Canadian theatrical rights and plans to distrib
  • TWC close to buying Gee's documentary Joy Division

    The Weinstein Company (TWC) is believed to have closed a deal late last night [Sept 13] for North American rights to Grant Gee's documentary Joy Division.If the acquisition, said to be in the mid-six figures, is confirmed it ends days of intense interest in the film, which received its world premiere last weekend and recounts the story of the British post-punk band from the late 1970s. Endeavor Independent was handling domestic rights.
  • UK Film Council gives $1m backing to Kidulthood follow-up

    Noel Clarke is to direct his first feature Adulthood, a follow-up to cult UK film Kidulthood which he wrote and starred in.The film received $1m (£520,000) backing from the UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund. Adulthood, written, directed and starring Clarke follows up on the story of the first film and is produced by George Isaac and Damian Jones for Cipher Films. The film is also being backed by Pathe and Independent. Shooting starts at th
  • UK Film Councilgives $1m backing to Kidulthood follow-up

    Noel Clarke, director of cult UK film Kidulthood, is to direct his first feature Adulthood, with $1m (£520,000) backing from the UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund. Adulthood, written, directed and starring Clarke follows up on the first film's story.Adulthood is produced by George Isaac and Damian Jones for Cipher Films. The film is also being backed by Pathe and Independent. Shooting starts at the beginning of October. Among other substantial
  • UK trade minister calls for private investment in film

    UK Trade Minister, Lord Jones of Birmingham is calling on private investors to take a longer term view of film production.Speaking to at the IBC convention in Amsterdam, the minister said: 'I would love to see private investment in film production applied with a longer term perspective. 'In Germany and other EU countries private funders view three years as short term. In the UK that is considered long term'The former leader of UK employer
  • United Kingdom - Shooting from the hip

    Our success is down to the people we have," says Revolver Entertainment's MD and founder Justin Marciano, not in a boastful way but giving credit where credit is due. "We have one of the best unknown teams in the industry."Staying unknown, however, could be a challenge as Revolver celebrates its most successful year to date, led by the $2.3m (£1.2m) success of its UK release of French thriller Tell No One by Guillaume Canet. Revolver is also routinely praised (or envied) among t
  • United states - Mumble-Mania

    Joe Swanberg never wanted to change the world or rewrite the rules of cinema. He simply wanted to make movies, preferably on his own terms with a group of friends and collaborators.A Chicago-based independent film-maker, Swanberg has not only staked out a niche identity that has attracted a modicum of critical notice and professional regard. He has just delivered a decisive one-two punch, having witnessed the New York opening of his third feature, Hannah Takes The Stairs and the
  • VIP strikes co-investment partnership with Brass Hat Films

    German film production fund VIP has struck a strategic co-investment partnership with London-based financier Brass Hat Films whereby Brass Hat will now act as the manager of the fund's investments.VIP has completely restructured following German taxation law changes and the criminal proceedings against Andreas Grosch and Andreas Schmid, the former managers of VIP Medienfonds, which administered the film investments for the fund's subscribers. The fund is now run by Dirk S
  • Visit Films takes international rights to Hannah Takes The Stairs

    New York-based production and sales company Visit Films has acquired international rights to Joe Swanberg's Hannah Takes The Stairs, which will screen at the 2007 London Film Festival. Filmscience's Anish Savjani produced the story of a post-graduate heartbreaker and the various love interests she encounters over the course of a long hot summer. Greta Gerwig, Mark Duplass, Kent Osborne and Andrew Bujalski
  • We Are Together finds a home Down Under

    Rialto Distribution has acquired the theatrical and home video rights for documentary feature, We Are Together (Thina Simunye) for both Australia and New Zealand.The deal was negotiated by Rialto's CEO, Kelly Rogers and by Annie Roney from ro*co films
  • Welsh fund backs Marc Evans documentary

    The $14m ($7m) Wales Creative IP Fund is backing its first documentaries.Among the first recipients is In Prison My Whole Life, directed by Marc Evans (Snowcake) and executive produced by Colin Firth.The film follows an investigation into the trial and conviction of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a member of the Black Panther movement who is now on death row in Pennsylvania, for a crime he says he did not commit.It includes interviews with Mumia, along with Snoop Dog
  • Women In Film, General Motors name winners in Latina contest

    Women In Film and the General Motors Corporation have announced the five winners of the second annual WIF/GM 2007 Opening Doors/Abriendo Puertas: The Acceleration Grant For Emerging Latina Filmmakers.The grant is a project of the WIF/GM Alliance aimed at supporting film-makers from Latina/Hispanic communities and other under-represented groups. The five up-and-coming Latina film-makers will receive a broad-based understanding of the business through a six-day, full-immersion mentorin