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19 August 2003

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  • 20th Century Fox Brazil to appeal against import tax ruling

    20th Century Fox Brazil has lost its bid to block a local tax levied on imports of all film product and on profits from foreign film distribution. Introduced alongside the launch of national film entity Ancine, tax revenues are intended to support local film production and distribution, a scheme modelled after one managed by the CNC in Paris. "The taxation rates are either 3% or 11%, depending on the situation," said Ancine spokesman Antonio Augusto.Fox Brazil has filed an appea
  • 30,000 pirate DVDs and VCDs seized by MPAA in Malaysia

    More than 30,000 pirate copies of DVDs and VCDs as well asmanufacturing and computer equipment have been seized in raids on an onlinemail-order syndicate in Malaysia.
  • American Pie: The Wedding takes large slice of UK box office

    The UK and Ireland embraced UIP's American Pie: The Wedding this weekend as the comedy marched up the aisle into pole position.The third instalment in the popular series claimed $6.6m (£4.2m) from 326 sites including $1.3m (£802,322) of previews in the territory. It dethroned last week's leader Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl and saw a mighty three-day average of $16,387.The launch was not enough to beat 2001's slice however. American Pie
  • Andreen, Kim swell Warner Independent senior ranks

    Warner Independent Pictureshas named Michael Andreen as executive vice president of production andpublicity veteran Laura Kim as executive vice president of marketing andpublicity.Andreen's appointment iseffective immediately. He most recently served as senior vice president ofproduction at 20th Century Fox and returns to Warner Bros Pictures, where hepreviously served as vice president of production from 1995 to 1999.He will report directly toWarner Independent president Mark G
  • Bayside shakes up Japanese box office

    Bayside Shakedown 2 , the follow-up to the 1998 hit thriller, passed the Y10bn ($84m) mark at the box office on its 29th day of release - making it the third fastest film to reach this milestone in the Japanese market, after Spirited Away and Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone. Released on July 19 on 400 screens, Bayside Shakedown 2 set an all-time opening record for a Japanese film, with a three-day gross of Y1.840 billion ($15.5million) on 1,260,934
  • Bignardi counters 'lack of glamour' criticism

    "We are not here for promoting films, but to make a festival", festival director Irene Bignardi declared in response to BVI Switzerland Roger Crotti's criticisms early this week of the Piazza Grande open-air programme and of the absence of glamour at the festival.In an exclusive interview with, Bignardi observed that Crotti "himself, while complaining about the absence of stars from the festival, in the end did not succeed to bring to Locarno the stars of his film, Hele
  • Bond writers pen thriller for Raggy Boy team

    The team behind Song For A Raggy Boy - director Aisling Walsh and Danish producer Michael Lunderskov - are linking up again on thriller Return To Sender, which is penned by the two James Bond/Johnny English-writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. The cast has yet to be set, but director Walsh has expressed her desire to get Danish expatriate Connie Nielsen for the female lead. The US set thriller follows a defence lawyer on a losing streak who looses one too ma
  • Bruno promoted to vice president at CTFDI

    Steve Bruno hasbeen promoted to vice president of distribution at Columbia TriStar Film DistributorsInternational (CTFDI).'Steve hasspent his entire career at Sony, and he is a valued member of our internationalteam,' CTFDI's senior executive vice president of distribution MarkZucker said in a statement.'He isrespected by his co-workers and industry peers and we are thrilled to recognisehis contributions to the company with this well deserved promotion.'
  • Comcast, Universal discuss new US cable channels

    Hours after pulling out of the bidding for Vivendi Universal'sentertainment assets yesterday (14), cable giant Comcast said it was exploringthe launch of new cable channels and services with the French conglomerate.
  • Currency crunch hits Internationalmedia

    Internationalmedia(IM) - parent company of Intermedia - has blamed currency imbalances between the Euro and the Dollar for a 5.7% year on year revenue fall in the first half of 2003.IM's CEO Moritz Borman said that "had the Euro and the Dollar maintained their comparative values from a year ago, IM's 2nd quarter revenues would have shown a year to year improvement of nearly Euros 15m." Instead revenues fell back to Euros 88.9mThe "vast majority" of the revenues for January-June
  • Deauville unveils American film line-up

    The Deauville Festival of American Film (Sept 5-14) has announced its line up and jury for this year's event.The Deauville line-up comprises: Greg Marcks' 11:14; Sundance hit American Splendor from Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini; Robert Duvall's latest directing effort Assassination Tango; Wayne Kramer's The Cooler; Dot The I by Matthew Parkhill; Allan Mindel's Milwaukee Minnesota; Northfolk from Michael Polish; Thirteen
  • Digital Film Lab completes Underworld process

    Copenhagen- and London-based Digital Film Lab has taken it first full Hollywood movie - Sony Pictures and Lakeshore Entertainment's Underworld - through its Digital Intermediate process."We have been very quiet about this, but we are happy to announce that we have completed the film, and that Sony subsequently has boosted its expectations for it," Kris Kolodziejski, CEO of Digital Film Lab, told The Digital Intermediate process sees film shot in th
  • Disney dissolves Indian joint venture

    The Walt Disney Company and Modi Enterprises Ltd have dissolved their joint venture company, Walt Disney India Pvt Ltd. Disney is now seeking the Indian government's permission to set up a wholly owned subsidiary for the launch of the Disney Channel in India. The move comes after the expiry of the 10-year licence agreement between Disney and Modi.Under the joint venture agreement, signed in 1993, Modi had the rights to market Disney TV programming in India. Disney
  • Distant Horizon takes world rights to 'junkmation' feature

    Anant Singh, CEO of Distant Horizon, has announced the acquisition of worldwide rights to Africa's first full-length animation feature, The Legend Of The Sky Kingdom, and that the film will open the African Horizons section of the Montreal Film Festival where it will have its world premiere. The film, produced by Zimbabwe-based Philip and Jacqui Cunningham, is directed by Roger Hawkins. The characters and sets featured in the film have been made exclusively from junk, giving bir
  • Distant Lights to open Warsaw fest

    The 19th Warsaw International Film Festival (Oct 2-13) will feature 15 films in its competition programme, a Ventura Pons retrospective and a selection of the newest Polish films as part of the Warsaw Screenings section.The festival, the country's sole FIAPF-accredited feature film event, will open with Hans-Christian Schmid's Berlinale FIPRESCI-award winner Distant Lights (Lichter) which features not only a Polish story line but also Polish actors. Jan Jakub Kolski's Pornogr
  • Eagle is top in Italy with New Line's Final Destination 2

    New Line'shorror-thriller Final Destination 2 opened number one in Italy through Eagle Pictures at the weekend,grossing $524,377 from 248 screens.The sequelscored a per-screen average of $2,114 and now has an international runningtotal of $39.4m, compared to the original's $59.2m.When Final Destination opened in Italy in Aug 2000 it took$526,231 from 162 screens and went on to take $3.2m in a six-week run.Elsewhere, F
  • Eastwood's Mystic River pulls out of Edinburgh

    The critically acclaimed Clint Eastwood thriller Mystic River has been pulled from the Edinburgh International Film Festival (Aug 13-24) programme. One of the Festival's star attractions, the film was set for two sell-out screenings next week but has been withdrawn by distributor Warner Brothers who have claimed 'unforeseen scheduling conflicts' as the reason. Screened to glowing reviews at Cannes in May, Eastwood's adaptation of the Denis Lehane bestseller deals with the
  • Euro directors lined-up for EFP Toronto panel

    European Film Promotion is to present a European directors panel at the Toronto International Film Festival this year.Titled 'Cinema in the 'new' Europe: Does European filmmaking have a renewed creative edge and sense of purpose'', panellists include France's Solveig Anspach, Spain's Cesc Gay, Austria's Ruth Mader, and the UK's Peter Webber.The panel will be moderated by Simon Field, co-director of the Rotterdam International Film Festival and takes place on Sept 8.
  • Euro directors lined-up for Toronto EFP event

    European Film Promotion is to present a European directors panel at the Toronto International Film Festival this year.Titled 'Cinema in the 'new' Europe: Does European filmmaking have a renewed creative edge and sense of purpose'', panellists include France's Solveig Anspach, Spain's Cesc Gay, Austria's Ruth Mader, and the UK's Peter Webber.The panel will be moderated by Simon Field, co-director of the Rotterdam International Film Festival and takes place on Sept 8.
  • Euro video market booms to Euros11.2bn value

    The European video market grew last year by 27% to a retail value of Euros11.2bn according to trade body, the International Video Federation (IVF).The figures are a significant increase on the IVF's preliminary estimate of 15% expansion. The new figures also show an acceleration when compared with 2001, which registered a growth rate of 20%. "Feature film remains the largest segment of the market, on VHS and more so on DVD," said Charlotte Lund Thomsen, IVF director general. " B
  • Freddy Vs Jason

    Dir: Ronny Yu. US. 2003. 97mins. Hoping to squeeze fresh revenue out of a pair of ageing horror franchises, New Line pits two of the genre's most recognizable icons - Nightmare On Elm Street's Freddy Krueger and Friday The 13th's Jason - against one another in Freddy Vs Jason, a firmly tongue-in-cheek slashfest that produces a few chuckles but not many chills. The novelty of the title match-up should result in a better box office showing than either of th
  • Freddy Vs Jason is the top match at US box office

    New Line's Freddy Vs Jasonscored a dazzling surprise opening of $36.4m at the weekend, scaring off lastweek's champion S.W.A.T. intosecond place with its $18.6m.Kevin Costner's western, OpenRange, opened third on a respectable$14.1m for Buena Vista, while MGM's chick flick Uptown Girls debuted on a feisty $11.2m in fifth place.Warner Bros' skateboardingadventure Grind flopped afterabysmal reviews, opening in 12th place on a sub-Gigli $2.6m.
  • German cinema admissions plummet

    Admissions and box-office takings in German cinemas fell year-on-year by 11.3% and 12.5% respectively in the first half of 2003, according to the latest figures from the country's Federal Film Board (FFA).However, German films recorded their highest market share -16.1% - for six years thanks to the huge success of Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye, Lenin!The Berlin-based FFA blamed the 'extraordinary state of the weather', 'weaker films', the economic situation and digital pira
  • Golden Horse organisers target Hong Kong

    Organisers of Taiwan's Golden Horse awards are in Hong Kong to promote the 40th anniversary of the event amid criticisms that too many prizes have been given to Hong Kong-produced films.Last year for example, Hong Kong movies scooped the top prizes for best director (Hollywood Hong Kong), best actor (Three-Going Home), best supporting actor (Princess D), and best supporting actress (July Rhapsody). George Chang, chairman of the event's executive commi
  • Gori Vatra (Fuse)

    Dir. Pjer Zalica. Bosnia-Herzegovina/Austria/Turkey/France, 2003. 105 min.Competing in Locarno and the opening attraction at this year's Sarajevo Film Festival, Pjer Zalica's debut feature displays all the boisterous energy verging on the vulgar, the black sense of humour but also the tragic pathos which have become the trademarks of the better products coming from that part of the world. Zalica, who has behind him a decade of grim documentaries on Balkan wars and their outco
  • Hammer partners on horror with Paradise

    British horror company Hammer Films is to develop a slate of low-budget horror movies with Australian production outfit, Pictures in Paradise.The partners aim to deliver a slate of up to six horror films over five years. The films will be targeted at young cinemagoers and designed to have strong potential in other media, especially DVD."We are taking Hammer's heritage and reinventing the label as a new gothic brand," Paradise chief Chris Brown told "I've
  • Hungary picks Forest for Oscar consideration

    Benedek Fliegauf's Forest has been selected as the official Hungarian entry for the 76th Annual Academy Awards in the best foreign language film category. The five-member jury of the Hungarian Selection Committee for Academy Awards Entry decided on Fliegauf's multi-award winner for "finely balancing stylisation and realism. The film uncompromisingly and with great originality ventures into the secrets of time and the moments within its flow."Fliegauf's feature dire
  • Jarre gets honorary award at Flanders soundtrack awards

    Oscar-winning composerMaurice Jarre is to receive an honorary award at the Flanders InternationalFilm Festival-Ghent's 3rd Annual World Soundtrack Awards ceremony.Jarre, who won three AcademyAwards for Lawrence Of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and A Passage To India, will collect the Joseph Plateau Award inrecognition of his distinctive achievements in film.The ceremony is scheduled totake place in Ghent, Belgium, on Oct 12, when organisers will also h
  • Kiev Festival to host Berlin-style talent campus

    The 33rd edition of the Kiev (Kyiv) International Film Festival Molodist (Oct 25-Nov 2), will host its first Talent Campus, in association with, and modelled on the Berlinale Talent Campus.Following the success of the Berlinale Talent Campus which was launched in February 2003, the Kiev Festival developed its own talent campus to "bring young filmmakers to a better understanding of the global process of film production."According to the festival, the main goal of the Talent Camp
  • Kim's Spring, Summer gathers Locarno heat

    Prolific Korean film-maker Kim Ki-duk's Locarno competition film Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring has been picked up by Israel's United King Films. "Strong interest" has also been reported from Brazil by sales agent Bavaria Film International after Wednesday's press show and ahead of today's public world premiere screening.The tale about a Buddhist monk having to deal with a passionate young pupil was enthusiastically released by attending critics who broke out i
  • Kinowelt and Ottfilm mull collaboration plans

    A closer working collaboration between German distributors Kinowelt and Ottfilm looks to be on the cards.The two are planning to jointly release Lone Scherfig's Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself on September 18, with Filmwelt acting as an agency to handle the film's physical distribution. Kinowelt's Georg Miros told that the cooperation between Kinowelt and Ottfilm was restricted to the release of Wilbur at the moment, but confirmed that "a furthe
  • Kitano joins Mikado's bumper Venice slate

    Italian arthouse distributor Mikado has acquired local distribution rights to Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi, bringing to four the total number of competition films at the upcoming Venice International Film Festival (Aug 27- Sep 6) which the outfit will release in Italy.Kitano directs and stars in Zatoichi, playing the title role of a blind masseur and master swordsman. The film is sold by Paris-based Celluloid Dreams.Kitano's new film is in the Venice 60 competition li
  • Locarno Piazza programme comes in for criticism

    Locarno's Piazza Grande open-air programme has come under harsh criticism from Roger Crotti, general manager and vice president of Buena Vista International (Switzerland) - whose world premiere screening of Nigel Cole's Calendar Girls was seen by an audience of 9,500 on Saturday (Aug 9).In an interview with the Swiss daily newspaper Basler Zeitung, Crotti said: "The Piazza is not the competition. The Piazza is for the masses. One needs a good mixture there of sophisticated, but
  • Locarno winning producers unveil Unlimited slate

    Unlimited, the pan-European producers network behind Pakistani director Sabiha Sumar's Locarno winning film Silent Waters, has unveiled a new slate The slate includes new projects by Mikhail Kobakhidze (Georgia), Didi Danquart (Germany), Haile Gerima (Ethiopia), and Shaji N. Karun (India)."Silent Waters is a kind of pilot project for Unlimited and real proof of the success of this approach", Unlimited's founder Philippe Avril told Screen Daily. "The idea for Unlimi
  • LXG has powerful opening for Fox in South Korea

    FoxInternational's The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LXG) cut a swathe through Asia at theweekend with a several number one bows, the highlight of which was an excellent$2.6m in South Korea.The Korean takeon 140 screens was Fox's fourth biggest bow ever in the territory andcontributed to the bulk of the film's $3.7m weekend haul. Still in theearly stages of its international roll-out, LXG has grossed $3.8m.In ThePhilippines it took $
  • Maddin' s Dracula earns him DGC nomination

    Canadian director Guy Maddin has been nominated for an award from the Directors Guild of Canada for his critically acclaimed Dracula: Pages From A Virgin's Diary.Maddin received a nomination in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Direction - Television Movie/Mini-Series. The second annual DGC Awards, which will be held on October 4 in Toronto, honour the accomplishments in film and television by members of the Directors Guild of Canada. The final nominees were selected by
  • Magnusson takes over as head of production at Nordisk

    Rumle Hammerich, head of production at the Copenhagen-based Nordisk Film Production, has been replaced by Kim Magnusson (pictured), general manager of Nordisk Film's film and TV drama operations.Hammerich previously developed highly successful TV-series like Taxa and Unit One as well as the upcoming Defense (Forsvar), and he will continue to do so as creative manager at Nordisk Film Production. Hammerich will also develop his own projects as director includi
  • Metrodome takes UK rights to Valentin

    UK distributor Metrodome has acquired all UK rights to Argentinian director Alejandro Agresti's comedy, Valentin.The deal was negotiated with Kathy Morgan International acting for First Floor Features. Metrodome has scheduled the film, which was picked up by Miramax Films, for a February release. Newcomer Rodrigo Noya stars as the titular hero, a ten year old boy living with his grandmother in 1969 Argentina who sets about realising his dreams of becoming an astronaut.
  • Moreau presides over Flanders jury

    Jeanne Moreau, the iconic star of more than 100 films includingFrancois Truffaut's Jules Et Jim, has been confirmed as president of the jury of the 30th FlandersInternational Film Festival.Moreau joins the directors Ahmed Imamovic and Gaston Kabore andcomposers Daan Stuyven and Stephen Warbeck on the jury panel for the event,which runs in Ghent, Belgium, from Oct 7-18.More than 100 international films are expected to screen,including a host of European and Benelux premier
  • New Nordic films to unspool at Haugesund

    The 31st Norwegian International Film Festival (Aug 17-21) in the small western town of Haugesund is set to benefit from one of the country's most interesting filmmakers being lured to Hollywood. Erik Skjoldbjaerg (Insomnia) is bringing the two US stars - Christina Ricci and Jason Biggs - from his latest film Prozac Nation with him to the film's Norwegian premiere at the festival. Haugesund is packed with some 100 features already set for a theatrical release in No
  • NORDIC Production Listings - August 15 2003

    Copyright: Screen InternationalNORDIC TERRITORIES - August 15DENMARKPRE-PRODUCTIONBIG PLANS(Angel Productions) Budget: dkr13.2m. Backer: Danish Film Institute, TV2/Denmark, TV2/Norway, RUV. Dist: Angel Distribution (Den). Comedy. A paroled crook decides to reform his old gang to prove to his eight-year-old son that he is not a failure. Exec prods: Poul Erik Lindeborg, Mogens Glad. Prod: Helle Loevgreen. Dir: Jesper W Nielsen. Scr: Kim Fupz Aakeson
  • Odense Occupied by Pederson's Palestinian tale

    Joergen Flindt Pedersen's controversial documentary The Occupied (De Besatte) won the Grand Prix at the 18th edition of the Danish short and documentary film festival in Odense over the weekend.The film follows five Palestinians for one year and at the same time describes how the Palestinians lost their country in 1948. The film has met with much criticism for its one-sided focus on the Palestinians, but it was this factor which was among the jury's reasons for awarding it the G
  • Open Range

    Dir: Kevin Costner. US. 2003. 138mins.Kevin Costner returns to his directorial roots in this old-fashioned Western, opting for a conventional formality and epic aesthetic over freshness or innovation. More Shane than The Searchers, the film breaks no new ground in terms of story, character or execution. But its unabashedly straight-forward take on the old West, with its classical embrace of both the pedestrian and the mythic, offers a comforting familiarity that
  • Out Of Time to world premiere at Toronto

    Director Carl Franklin's Out Of Time will have its world premiere as a Gala Presentation at the 28th Toronto International Film Festival. Starring two-time Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington, the film also stars Eva Mendes, Sanaa Lathan, and Dean Cain in a story of one man's race against time to solve two murders before he himself falls under suspicion. Directed by Carl Franklin (High Crimes, Devil In A Blue Dress), Out Of Time is written by Dave Collard
  • Oz exhibitors rally round Gibson's Passion

    Australian exhibitors appear to be rallying behind Mel Gibson's controversial film The Passion.The film, about the last hours of Jesus, has been attacked in the US by some religious organisations. Four minutes footage from The Passion screened at the Australian International Movie Convention this week; the full length film is set to be released in the US next year.The chief executive of Australia's fourth biggest cinema circuit labelled the footage from The Pass
  • Pirates seize audiences across the world

    Pirates Of The Caribbean ran riot at the weekend, plundering $24.1m in internationalbox office treasure including four European number one openings.The film grossed $5.5m on646 screens in France and scored a superb $4.3m on 343 in Spain for Buena VistaInternational's biggest ever opening there.The distributor said the Spanishbow was also the industry's fifth biggest all-time opening in theterritory.In Belgium Pirates grossed $1.1m on 80 screens for BVI's big
  • Placid Lake makes ripples in Oz

    Tony McNamara's The Rage In Placid Lake is gathering critical plaudits in Australia.The Australian film was the most popular feature at the recently wrapped 52nd Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) and its script has just won both the adapted feature film category and the top prize at the Australian Writers Guild awards.Distributor Palace has an August 28 release planned for the film, which writer/director Tony McNamara adapted from his own play The Café
  • ProSiebenSat.1 strikes Paramount output deal

    Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 Group has concluded an exclusive output deal with Paramount Pictures for the free TV rights to the US major's films from 2002-2005.The package includes such feature films as Mission: Impossible 3, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, Star Trek - Nemesis, The Core, and Changing Lanes as well as series including In-Laws, Navy NCIS and Jake 2.0.Commenting on this latest agreement with a Hollywood studio, ProSiebenSat.1 board chairman
  • Publicity veteran Teri Kane joins Rogers & Cowan in New York

    Teri Kane has joined Rogers& Cowan as executive vice president of the US entertainment publicrelations and marketing agency's film & digital entertainment group.Based in New York, Kane willbe responsible for the development and implementation of creative mediastrategies for the agency's domestic motion picture business. She takesover from Jeanne Berney who recently left Rogers & Cowan.Reporting to Tom Tardio, thecompany's chief executive officer, Kane will al
  • Russia's Return racks up pre-festival sales

    Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev's debut feature The Return has struck two international sales in advance of its competition screening in this year's Venice International Film Festival. All rights for the film have already been sold to distributor Lucky Red for Italy and to Frenetic for Switzerland. Moscow based international sales agents Intercinema Arts Agency is also weighing up two different offers for the film from Holland."We have never seen this kind of interest
  • Russia's Return racks up pre-Venice sales

    Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev's debut feature The Return has struck two international sales in advance of its competition screening in this year's Venice International Film Festival. All rights for the film have already been sold to distributor Lucky Red for Italy and to Frenetic for Switzerland. Moscow based international sales agents Intercinema Arts Agency is also weighing up two different offers for the film from Holland."We have never seen this kind of interest
  • San Sebastian cherrypicks festival favourites

    Making the most of its slot near the tail end of the annual festival calendar, the San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept 18-27) has cherry-picked another top-notch selection of films from other A-list events for its Festivals' Top sidebar showcase, part of the Zabaltegi section.The current ten titles - plus several more expected to be added to the list - will compete for a Euros 30,000 TCM-Pearl of the Audience Award for the Spanish distributor.From Venice, which close
  • Sea Of Silence, Dutch Light to open Benelux Screenings

    World premieres of Stijn Coninx's Sea Of Silence and Pieter-Rim and Maarten de Kroon's documentary Dutch Light will open the newly established Benelux Screenings of the Holland Film Meeting at the Netherlands Film Festival on September 26.The Dutch-Belgian-German-Danish co-production Sea Of Silence was pitched at the Netherlands Production Platform of the Holland Film Meeting in 2000. Warner Bros. will release the film in Dutch cinemas from October 30.Dut
  • Silent Waters (Khamosh Pani)

    Dir. Sabiha Sumar. Pakistan, France, Germany, 2003. 99 min.As courageously outspoken as her frontal criticism of Islamic fundamentalism is, Sabiha Sumar's Locarno winner qualifies more as a political pamphlet than a film drama. A Pakistani-born, American-educated documentarist who has explored in the past the growth of Islam in her homeland, paying particular attention to the condition of women there, she has managed to mobilise for her first fiction film no less than fifteen
  • Silent Waters makes a splash at Locarno

    For a second year running, the winner of Locarno's Golden Leopard took everyone by surprise: Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar's Silent Waters (Khamosh Pani) came away with the top honour after festival-goers had been putting their money on Korea's Kim Ki-Duk going for gold with his latest film Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring.In addition to being awarded the Golden Leopard Silent Waters also received the Leopard for Best Actress - which female lead Kirron
  • Spinotti gets Palm Springs retrospective in Nov

    Dante Spinotti,the veteran cinematographer who earned two Oscar nominations for The Insider and LA Confidential, is to be the subject of a retrospectivein Palms Springs, California, from Nov 1-2.The two-daystand-alone event features screenings, on-stage discussions, a masterclass bySpinotti and a keynote speech by the acclaimed cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs.The Art OfCinematography: A Retrospective Of The Work Of Dante Spinotti is beingorganised
  • Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter' And Spring (Bom, Teoreum, Gaeul, Gyeowool, Geurigo, Bom)

    Dir: Kim Ki-duk. South Korea-Germnay. 2003. 102mins.Superior to any of his previous works, this contemplative, lavishly photographed picture made by the prolific Kim Ki-Duk, has been shot in a spectacular location, is calm, leisurely and philosophical and a cinema event in its own right. In sharp contrast to Kim's boldly violent, angry and often disturbing earlier films, Spring, Summer' takes place in a quiet, peaceful valley, surrounded by majestic mountains co
  • Strangler wraps for Tartan, New Horizon

    The Hillside Strangler, the horror-thriller collaboration between HamishMcAlpine's UK-based Tartan Film and actor Alexa Jago and property tycoonJohn Stienfield's Los Angeles-based New Horizon Pictures, is due to wrap in LosAngeles on Aug 17.C Thomas Howell (TheHitcher, Gods & Generals) andNicholas Turturro (NYPD Blue)star in the true-life story of Kenneth Bianchi and his cousin Angelo Buono, whowere accused of kidnapping and killing women in the 1970s.Jago a
  • Stroke Of Genius tees up in Scotland

    Scottish-based production company McDongall films is to co-ordinate the Scottish element of the $15m US indie biopic Bobby Jones - Stroke Of Genius, which starts shooting in St Andrews on August 24. Directed by Rowdy Herrington, the LLC, Dean River Productions film stars Jim Caviezel as the legendary American golfer who retired from competition in his twenties after winning the game's fabled Grand Slam. Considered the Tiger Woods of his generation, Jones later built the A
  • Swiss producers set for broadcaster boost

    Swiss public broadcaster SRG SSR plans to inject an additional US$11m (CHF15m) into the local film industry between 2004-2007.SRG SSR director-general Armin Walpen revealed at the Locarno Film Festival this week that the TV station proposes to provide an additional US$2.7m per year on top of the current annual budget of US$12.2m for the so-called Pacte de l'audiovisuel, the agreement in place between SRG SSR and the local film industry.The Pacte regulates funding for the product
  • T3 rises up to $200m international take

    With no major openings this weekend, Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines will again be the one to watch as it prepares to pass $200m in international ticket sales.The sci-fi sequel has been the dominant performer since its campaign began on Jul 2 and has an international running total of $194m from all Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI) territories and a handful of others in Japan and Korea.Following last weekend's superb $8m opening in France T3
  • T3 vaults past $200m, CTFDI cracks $150m

    With no majoropenings at the weekend, Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines added $16.1m from approximately 6,400screens in 50 territories to raise its international running total (alldistributors) to $219.2m.In territories handled by Columbia TriStar FilmDistributors International (CTFDI) the sci-fi sequel has grossed $150.3m todate. The film will open in China on Aug 28 and Italy on Sept 19.Elsewhere Charlie'sAngels: Full Throttleadded $2.2m from 1
  • Taiwan's Golden Horse rides out funding storm

    Despite a funding controversy, this year's Taiwan's Golden Horse Film Festival and awards ceremony have received the green light to go ahead, according to George Chang, chairman of the event's executive committee.A question mark hung over the future of the Golden Horse earlier this year following the cancellation of Taiwan's Government Information Office (GIO) funding. The decision was brought about by a group of legislators who were reportedly upset over the fact that political leader
  • Tomb Raider 2 opens top in Germany for Concorde

    Paramount's Lara CroftTomb Raider: The Cradle Of Lifecontinued to show good legs on its international roll-out this weekend,launching in nine territories, including a number one bow in Germany throughConcorde.Germany and Switzerland,where the film is handled by Ascot Elite, provided the Jan de Bont film itsfirst non-UIP international launches, taking pole position in both. Concorde took $2.2m (Euro1.96m) in Germany from 735 screens, while Elite claimed
  • Tsui Hark readies Chinese pair

    Film Workshop's Tsui Hark is lining up two US$3.9m (HK$ 30m) Chinese-language dramas to be directed by Tsui himself later this year and early next year.The first is titled Initial D, adapted from a hit Japanese comic book of the same name, which tells the story of a delivery boy with a prowess for street racing. Tsui is working on the script with Cheung Chi Sing (Fighter's Blues)Location scouting is underway, but Tsui says that the film will probably be set in Chin
  • UK Film Council unveils anti-piracy task force

    Nigel Green, joint head of leading British distributor Entertainment Film Distributors, is chairing a new task force to tackle piracy in the UK.The action group includes representatives of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, US studios, actors' union Equity and all sections of the UK industry. The initiative was unveiled this week by support body the UK Film Council, where Green is a board member."More than 50,000 people work in the UK's film and video sector and piracy
  • UK strong, Brown Bunny redux at TIFF

    The Toronto InternationalFilm Festival has unveiled its complete line-up, which includes a raft of worldpremieres from film-makers as diverse as Richard Linklater, Jacques Rivette andMike Hodges in addition to those already announced from Robert Altman, JaneCampion and Carl Franklin.And North American audiencesare in for their first viewing of Vincent Gallo's notorious Cannescompetitor The Brown Bunny in are-edited version which is receiving its "world premiere."Titles ma
  • UK strong, Brown Bunny Redux at Toronto

    The Toronto InternationalFilm Festival has unveiled its complete line-up, which includes a raft of worldpremieres from film-makers as diverse as Richard Linklater, Jacques Rivette andMike Hodges in addition to those already announced from Robert Altman, JaneCampion and Carl Franklin.And North American audiencesare in for their first viewing of Vincent Gallo's notorious Cannescompetitor The Brown Bunny in are-edited version which is receiving its "world premiere."Titles ma

    A return of the high summer temperatures affected a lot of films in the UK this weekend, but Columbia TriStar's Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines rode the heatwave with a massive $9.8m (£6.1m) gross from 478 sites playing 762 prints.The launch figures included Thursday previews of $1.7m (£1.05m) from 417 sites. Discounting the previews Terminator 3 was the fourth biggest three-day opening weekend of the year behind The Matrix Reloaded, X2: X-Men United and (narrow
  • Universal declares record summer with $667.8m to date

    With three summer box office weekends still to come, UniversalPictures announced yesterday it had passed its all-time season record with$667.8m in domestic ticket sales.
  • Universal's Wedding tops UK chart, stays top in Australia

    Universal'sAmerican Pie: The Wedding enjoyed a strong number one UK opening through UIP at theweekend, grossing $6.9m from 432 theatres including paid previews.The comedysequel scored the eighth best opening for a Universal film in the UK, accordingto the distributor, taking double the opening gross of American Pie ($3.3m in 1999) but 13% behind AmericanPie 2 ($7.9m in 2001).In Australia thefilm remained number one in its second week, add
  • Vivendi muddles its way past auction deadline

    The sale of Vivendi Universal Entertainment, the company which ownsUniversal Studios, has become so confusing that the world's major businesspapers cannot agree who is left in the auction - even after this week's finaldeadline. The New York Times reportstwo companies still standing, TheFinancial Times says three on one page, four in its influential Lex column. And VUE's corporateparent, Paris-based Vivendi Uni
  • Warner posts number two in Japan with $5.3m for Hero

    ZhangYimou's action film Hero scored an excellent Japanese bow through Warner EntertainmentJapan at the weekend, grossing an estimated $5.3m from 360 screens.The epic drew433,786 admissions and ranked second behind holdover local title, BaysideShakedown 2.According to thedistributor Hero'sopening was 158.6% better than Die Another Day and 289.4% better than The Sum Of AllFears.Starring Jet Li,Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung
  • Wind blows to UK and Switzerland

    Tom Barman's Any Way The Wind Blows, which had its international premiere in Locarno's competition, has been picked up by Axiom Films for the UK and Agora Films for Switzerland. The film, which will be screening at the forthcoming Montreal World Film Festival, will be released in the Netherlands by Bright Angel.Meanwhile, another Locarno competition film Austrian film-maker Barbara Albert's second feature Free Radicals (Boese Zellen) has been picked up by Ventura