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19 December 2005

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  • 12 finalists announced for Sundance/NHK Film-makers Awards

    The SundanceInstitute and Japanese broadcaster NHK have announced 12 finalists for the 2006Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards.The annualaward, now in its 10th year, honours emerging directors from four globalregions. One winner each from Europe, Latin America, the US and Japan will bechosen by an international jury and presented with their awards during the 2006festival.Each winner willreceive $10,000 and a guarantee from NHK to purchase the Japanese televisionbroadcas
  • 3 Degrees Colder producer launches distribution arm

    blue eyes Fiction, the producer of FlorianHoffmeister's 3Degrees Colder (3 Grad Kaelter), has launched anin-house theatrical arm blue eyes Pictures to release the Silver Leopard-winnerin German cinemas on March 16.Accordingto the Munich-based production company, blue eyes Pictures will not berestricted to handling its own arthouse productions,but will also operate as a distribution platform for arthousefilms from other production houses.
  • Academy rejects Dutch Oscar entry

    Dutch Oscar candidate, Bluebirdhas been rejected for this season's Academy Awards. The film was first made fortelevision and therefore does not qualify. Bluebirddid get its theatrical release, but only after its premiere on television. Producer Egmond Film tried topersuade the Academy to accept Bluebirdbut to no avail. The Netherla
  • AOL chief Miller to receive PGA award for Live 8 broadcasts

    America Online chairman andchief executive officer Jon Miller will receive the Producers Guild of America's(PGA) 2006 Vanguard Award.The honour follows AOL'swebcast of this summer's Live 8 concert events and recognises outstandingachievement in new media and technology.Miller will collect theaward at the 2006 PGA Awards on Jan 22 in Los Angeles."The rapid pace oftechnological change affects every aspect of producing, not only in terms ofthe content we're able to create, b
  • Atmo and Zentropa to partner on animation film

    Swedishproduction outfit Atmo and Lars Von Trier's Zentropa are partneringon an unusual new cartoon venture - an adult-themed, English-language animatedsatire which promises to lay bare the political tensions at the heart of modernEurope.Metro, asthe animated feature
  • Barrandov Studios to expand in 2006

    Barrandov Studios has announcedthat its owners have approved plans to build new stages to handle increasingdemand at the Prague studios. Work is expected to begin in the spring and willcost roughly $4.2m (3.5m Euros). The new complex will include severalsoundproof studios, one of which will be completed in 2006. Other technicalparameters and the final number of stages will be determined at a meeting of Barrandov's board in January 2006.
  • Becker Films sells Control to four territories

    Becker Films International(BFI) has signed off on four deals for Control,the upcoming biopic about Joy Division front man Ian Curtis. Paradiso has thefilm in Benelux, La Fabrique de Film in France, Momentum Pictures in the UK and sister companyDendy in Australia and New Zealand."It seems to have
  • Bergman promoted to president of Walt Disney Studios

    Alan Bergman has been promoted to president of The Walt DisneyStudios.Bergman will continue to report to s
  • Box office takings remain buoyant in Russia

    The last week in Novemberended the fiscal year in the Russian and the Central Independent States (CIS)market, which experienced exponential growth in recent years and seems to bestabilising as key cities become saturated. According to data providedby key trade publication Russian FilmBusiness Today, total box office was $340m ($311m without Ukraine), up from$269m last year (Ukraine included) - a year-on-year increase of more than 25%.There were
  • Breaking news: Golden Globe nominations

    Best Motion Picture - Drama Nominees: Brokeback Mountain (2005) The Constant Gardener(2005) Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)
  • Brokeback leads US Broadcast Critics nominations list

    BrokebackMountain leads theBroadcast Critics Association nominees roster with eight mentions includingbest film, director for Ang Lee, actor for Heath Ledger and supporting actorfor Jake Gyllenhaal.Ang Lee'sacclaimed Western will face stiff competition from Crash, which earned six nominations includingfilm, director for Paul Haggis, supporting actor for Matt Dillon and TerrenceHoward, and best ensemble acting.Capote, The Constant Gardener, King Kon
  • C.R.A.Z.Y., Cronenberg among Canada's Top Ten

    Jean-Marc Vallee's C.R.A.Z.Y.and David Cronenberg's A HistoryOf Violence were among the titleslisted in the Toronto International Film Festival Group (TIFFG)'s annualCanada's Top Ten.The yearly roll-call,published in alphabetical order as opposed to merit, honours achievement inCanadian film. Other titles include Deepa Mehta's Water, which has earned more than C$1m at the national boxoffice, and Canada's other Cannes 2005 competitor, Atom Egoyan's Where TheTruth
  • Celluloid Dreams picks up Royston Tan's 4:30

    French sales outfit CelluloidDreams has acquired worldwide rights excluding Japan and Singapore to 4:30, the latest film from young Singapore writer/director Royston Tan whose credits include
  • Changing of the guard at Lars von Trier

    Meta Louise Foldager hasbeen named as Lars von Trier's new producer after Vibeke Windeløv departed after adecade to pursue other projects. The 31year-old produced King's Gamedirected by Nikolaj Arceland Angels in Fast Motion directed byOle Christian Madsen. "In thecontext of Vib
  • Changing of the Lars von Trier guard

    Meta Louise Foldager hasbeen named as Lars von Trier's new producer after Vibeke Windeløv departed after adecade to pursue other projects. The 31year-old produced King's Gamedirected by Nikolaj Arceland Angels in Fast Motion directed byOle Christian Madsen. "In thecontext of Vibeke choosing something else thanproducing my films I would li
  • Chen's Promise has record-breaking China opening

    Chen Kaige's fantasy epic The Promise (aka Master Of The Crimson Armor) scored a record-breaking opening of $9m (RMB74m) in its first four days of release in China (Dec 15-18), according to revised estimates. This makes the film thebiggest opener ever in China breaking the previous record set by Kung-fu H
  • Chicken Little to get the 3-D treatment Down Under

    Kodak Digital Cinema and3-D specialist Real D have formed a strategic alliance to install digital 3-Dcinema systems in Australia.Kodak will provide thesystems, which are driven by its unique software and will be equipped with RealD's stereoscopic technologies used to enable 3-D viewing.
  • Damon teams with Ramco, Mosfilm for War And Peace miniseries

    Mark Damon'sForesight Unlimited has teamed up with Russia's Ramco Films and Mosfilm Studioson War And Peace, aneight-hour mini-series budgeted in the $60m-$70m range. Ron Hutchinsonwill write the epic and discussions are underway with directors. Damon, SergeKonov, Leonid Minkovski and Alexander Shishkin will produce and Foresight willhandle worldwide sales. Production isset to begin in early 2006 in Russia on the fully funded adaptation ofTolstoy's epic tale of a 19th cen
  • Disney unveils first China co-production

    Disneyhas unveiled its first Chinese co-production - family-themed feature The Secret Of The Magic Gourd - which iscurrently shooting in Hangzhouin southern China. The film, which wasannounced at the CineAsia conference today in Beijing, is a co-production
  • Dubai festival ends with buzz about international shoots

    Thesecond Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) wrapped on an optimistic notein the Gulf state on Saturday, with a palpable buzz surrounding the DubaiStudio City project and several high-profile expressions of interest in filmingthere following on from Warner Bros' recent shoot for Syriana.
  • Egypt's bid to try and entice foreign production

    In a bid to compete with Moroccofor foreign productions coming to North Africa and the Middle East, Egyptian filmindustry officials are expected to recommend a single government entity to handlelocation shoot permissions, replacing the Byzantine system of multipleauthorities that exists now. Film industry veterans led by producer Khaled Alkhamissi are drafting aletter to the Eg
  • Emerging to re-release 1972 Oscar winner in US

    Emerging Pictures will re-release 1972's Oscar-winning documentaryMarjoe on Jan 13 2006at New York's IFC Center theatre, followed by a wider roll-out.
  • Exhibitors call for clarification on Chinese cinema ownership

    Exhibitors speaking at aCineAsia panel on Wednesday said they're urgently seeking clarification on China's regulations concerning foreign investment in thecinema industry. In a session entitled "ChinaExhibition: Applying the Global Experience to the China Market", Warner BrosInternational Cinemas (WBIC) and South Korea's CJ CGV spoke of the challengesthey face in the China market, including limited film supply and restrict
  • Fitchett appointed to leading Australian film role

    The AustralianFilm Commission (AFC) has appointed Chris Fitchett as director of filmdevelopment.Fitche
  • Fox Searchlight takes US rights to Fast Food

    Fox Searchlight has picked up North American rights to RichardLinklater's Fast Food Nation, which recently completed principal photography in Mexico, Texasand Colorado.Based on Eric Schlosser's food industry expose of the same name, FastFood Nation is acharacter study of the lives behin
  • French pay-TV operators agree merger plans

    France's biggest pay-TV operations, Canal Plus Group and TPS have announced merger plans. The deal will create a new group, in which Canal owner Vivendi Universal will take an 85% share. TPS owners TF1 and M6 will take 9.9% and 5.1% respectively.
  • Garrel's Amants charm Prix Louis Delluc jury

    The Prix Louis Delluc for 2005 has been awarded to Philippe Garrel's Les Amants Reguliers. The three-hour black-and-white drama set against the May 1968 uprisings in France was also a competitor in Venice where it took the best director award.Meanwhile, Anthony Cordier's Douches Froides was handed the trophy for best first feature. That film, about a trio of teenagers facing the critical issues of being 17 - or as the tag line reads, "a dramatic comedy about happiness" - h
  • Gerardmer elects Hideo Nakata as President

    TheGerardmer Fantastic Film Festival (January 25-29 2006) has named director Hideo Nakata as president of the main jury for its13th edition. TheJapanese thrill master has previously been to Gerardmerwith Ring in 2000 and Dark Water in 2003 which took both thecritics and grand prizes that year.
  • Gie scoops best picture at Indonesia's top film honours

    Riri Riza's Gie was named best picture at this year'sIndonesian Film Festival (FFI) awards ceremony which was held on Dec 15.The political drama, Indonesia's entry for the best foreign-language film Oscar,also walked away with the best actor award for Nicolas Saputra and bestcinematography for Yudi Datau.Romantic comedy Brownies also r
  • Girl power boosts Japanese comic-book shoots

    It often seems as though everyproducer of commercial films in Japan is playing follow the leader, chasing afterhot novels, comic-books and TV shows - while seldom developing originalmaterial themselves.It's all for one reason. Mostof these films are financed and produced by media consortiums - and it's easierand usually more profitable to build such a consortium around a proven media propertyowned by one of the members.Girls' comics (or shojo manga), a once derided genre,are now
  • Good Night is top choice for National Board Of Review

    The National Board of Reviewhas voted Good Night, And Good Luckthe best film of 2005, while Philip Seymour Hoffman and Felicity Huffman earnedrespective acting honours for Capote and Transamerica.Ang Lee won best directorfor Brokeback Mountain, whilesupporting actor honours went to Jake Gyllenhaal for Brokeback Mountain and Gong Li for Memoirs Of A Geisha.Noah Baumbach won bestoriginal screenplay for The Squid And The Whale and St
  • Hella Joof to direct a slew of films

    Popular Danishdirector Hella Joof hassigned to direct two Nordic features in 2006. First up is the Swedish drama Lina's Diary, (Under Ombygning) its preliminaryinternational title with a budget of $1.2-$2.1m (1-1.8m Euros). SF will beproducing.
  • Hoodwinked

    Dir: Cory Edwards. US.2005. 81mins.Written and directed by a trio of virtually unknownfilm-makers, computer animated family comedy Hoodwinked feels like a cheap and cheerful cross between Shrek and Looney Tunes. The cheapn
  • Huffman gets breakthrough performance award at Palm Springs

    Golden Globe nominee Felicity Huffman will receive theBreakthrough Performance Award at the 17th Annual Palm Springs InternationalFilm Festival (PSIFF).
  • IMAX to install three systems in Latin America

    IMAX Corp and Rio de Janiero-based gaming consortium RACIMECInternational Group have signed an agreement to install three IMAX cinemasystems in Latin America.Two systems will be installed in Santiago, Chile, and one will go in Caracas,Venezuela.The giant-screen pioneer is now scheduled to open 26 new cinemas in LatinAmerican territories by 2008, including Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuadorand Guatemala.In a statement, IMAX co-chief executive off
  • International outpaces unspectacular domestic opening for Kong

    King Kongclambered to the top of the Empire State Building despite persistent gunfire ina much-anticipated domestic launch that provided few fireworks but promisedplenty to come.
  • Ireland nets Dragnet and Becoming Jane

    Feature films due to go intoproduction in early 2006 include Dragnet,written and directed by Steve Hudson, and BecomingJane directed by Julian Jarrold (Kinky Boots). Dragnet is set t
  • Israel, New Zealand projects make the cut for Sundance Screenwriters Lab

    The Sundance Institute has selected 12 projects for the annualScreenwriters Lab taking place from Jan 13-18 at the Sundance Resort in Utah.
  • Klaus Haro's film, Mother of Mine, wins Golden Pyramid

    Mother of Minewas awarded last weekend both at the 29th Cairo International FilmFestival and at the Tallinn Black Nights Festival (PÖFF). In Cairo the film won: bestdirection (Klaus Härö), best lead actress (Maria Lundqvist) and the Golden Pyramid, the main prize for bestfilm.In Tallinnat the 9th Black Night's Festival
  • Kong is king of international box office with $80.1m

    King Kongdestroyed the competition over the weekend as Universal's biggest ever day-and-datelaunch through UIP generated an estimated $80.1m from 8,123 sites over fivedays in 55 territories.
  • Kong kicks off global reign today in over 10,000 theatres

    Universal's much-anticipated King Kong opens in North America today [Wednesday]on more than 7,500 screens in 3,568 theatres.
  • Kong opening day strong, but not record-breaking

    King Kong fell short of delivering the gargantuandomestic opening day results Universal executives had been hoping for onWednesday as the picture generated approximately $9.8m from 3,568 theatres.Studiospokespeople quickly shifted their focus to the weekend, predicting mightygrosses on the back of strong word-of-mouth."We knew weweren't launching a sequel and it's at a busy time during the holiday season,so I was thrilled to see the numbers were close to $10m," Universal'
  • Kong takes on Potter, Narnia as holidays kick in

    It's all about the 80,000-lbgorilla this weekend as Universal embarks upon its biggest ever globalday-and-date release through UIP.King Kong goes out in more than 6,500 locations in 55territories this weekend, and already grossed an estimated $8m on its openingday [Wednesday] in 4,695 theatres in 36 territories.The dynamic start scorednumber one openings everywhere and broke various records along the way inMalaysia, the UAE, New Zealand and Singapore.In a raft of s
  • Korean film industry launches labour union

    The South Korean filmindustry's first official labour union has been launched in Seoul in response to unstable working conditions. At launch, the Federation ofKorean Movie Workers' Union has around 400 members with the primary aim of improvingwork conditions through collective negotiation.Despite the phenomenalgrowth of the Korean industry since the late nineties, labour practices haveseen little change. Unstable
  • Lassie

    Dir/scr: Charles Sturridge. UK-Ire-Fr-US 2005.Hansomely crafted, full of lively performancesfrom both animals and humans, and with far more satirical bite than might havebeen expected, Charles Sturridge's Lassie is a richlysatisfying affair.In drawing his inspirationdirectly from Eric Knight's 1938 story, Sturridge hastaken the famou
  • Lee signs on to direct The Better Man for Universal

    Malcolm D Lee will write anddirect comedy The Better Man forUniversal Pictures and studio-based producers Scott Stuber and Mary Parent.Charles Castaldi will alsoproduce the project, Lee's third collaboration with Universal Picturesfollowing The Best Man and UndercoverBrother.The Better Man follows the story of a successful Los Angeles comicwho attends a tempestuous family reunion in the South."Malcolm is an extremelygifted director who has a ra
  • Like father like son, new director for Toho

    Toho has announced that GoroMiyazaki, the 38-year-old son of anime auteur HayaoMiyazaki, will direct a new feature based on the third and fourth novels in Ursula K. Le Guin'sEarthsea saga. He will work with the animators of Studio Ghibli,his father's creative home since 1985. Toho will release the film in July of2006. The junior Miyazaki was the head of the Ghibli
  • Lions Gate rebrands as Lionsgate

    Lions Gate haschanged its name to Lionsgate and unveiled a new corporate logo yesterday[Thursday].Company chiefexecutive officer Jon Feltheimer told a Santa Monica press conference that thelogo, which depicts revolving camera gears and heavenly doors opening to revealthe company name, would be modified for each division.Feltheimer toldattendees the company will release its first feature targeted at the Latinocommunity next year, La Mujer De Mi Hermano, which will open in
  • Long promoted to Deputy Manager BVI Ireland

    Trish Long, Director of Marketing and Publicity at BVI Ireland for the lastfour years, has been appointed Deputy Manager BVI Ireland while retaining herexisting role and responsibility for the BVI Ireland campaigns for releasesfrom the Walt Disney Studios and international and Irish acquisitions. In commenting on her new position, Long stated, 'I am looking forward to thenew challenges that lie ahead and am truly delighted to be working with thewonderful Irish team on our new and upcom
  • Lovefilm to offer 500 titles in new VoD service

    Lovefilm, the online DVDrental company, has launched the first UK mass-market film download service. Lovefilm expects to offerabout 500 titles by early 2006, and downloads will be priced from £2.99.The VoD servicehas signed content deals with Warner Bros. including titles such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,A
  • LSL Productions embarks on Harry Nilsson doc

    Los Angeles-based LSL Productions has commenced production on thedocumentary Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him') about the late singer-songwriter.
  • Memoirs star signs on for Penal Colony Of Love

    Koji Yakusho, lately seen inMemoirs Of A Geisha, is set to starin an adaptation of hit serial novel AiNo Ryukeichi (Penal Colony Of Love)for Japanese major Toho. The novel - which is writtenby Junichi Watanabe and is currently running in Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei
  • MK Pictures set to enter China partnership

    Korea's MK Pictures has signed a memorandum of understanding with China's Eastern Dragon and Beijing Polybona Film Publishingto enter into a partnership encompassing several areas of the film business.The MOU, signed on Dec 14, coverscollaboration in the construction and management of multiplexes, filmproduction and distribution, talent management and advertis
  • Momentum picks up UK, Spanish rights to Miss Potter

    MomentumPictures has acquired UK and Spanish rights to Beatrix Potter biopic Miss Potter. Thefilm is set to start Renee Zellweger as thechildren's book author and Ewan McGregor as herpublisher and love interest. ChrisNoonan (Babe) is directing the film,which will shoot in the
  • Morden Kichaven promoted to Hollywood executive director at SAG

    Ilyanne Morden Kichaven has been promoted to Hollywood executivedirector at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).
  • Mountain towers over Golden Globe nominations

    Brokeback Mountain led the field at the 63rd Golden Globenominations ceremony with seven mentions including best picture (drama), bestdirector for Ang Lee, best actor (drama) for Heath Ledger, and best screenplayby Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana.It was the first year inGlobes history that all five pictures nominated for best drama wereindependently financed affairs all budgeted under $30m. Big-budget movies like Munichand King Kong failed to make the final five ev
  • Mullis, Oz producers win licence to launch FLIC

    An eclectic team of peopledriven by executive producer Barrie M. Osborne (The Lord Of The Rings), producer Richard Keddie and Bangkok-basedfinancier Robert Mullis have won a licence to raise money in Australia for film production. Others named as part of theMullis Capital Film Licensed Investment Company (FLIC) are actors Hugo Weavingand Noni Hazelhurst, director Fred Schepisi, Mel
  • National Lampoon teams with Half-Shell to develop film properties

    National Lampoon is teamingup with fledgling Santa Monica entertainment company Half Shell EntertainmentFilms (HSE) to develop features based on material from National Lampoonmagazine and'Partnering with HSEFilms makes perfect sense," National Lampoon's executive vice president BarryLayne said. "They are young, aggressive and have the sensibility that both goeswith our history and is in common with today's young adult audience.''We're proud to be theguys tha
  • New head of European MEDIA Programme appointed

    Aviva Silver was today appointed as the successor to Domenico Raneri as the head of the European Commission's MEDIA Programme. The University of London law graduate has worked for the Commission since 1993, initially in the Internal Market Directorate General where she dealt with media issues. From 1997-2002, she worked at the Education & Culture Directorate General where she was involved with the formulation of European policy and the application of Community law in the media sector.Mo
  • New Spanish studio secures its first international production

    Additional reporting by Nancy Tartaglione-VialatteThe third installment in France'shugely popular Asterix series will shoot at Spain'snew City of Light studio complexnext year, marking the studio's first major international production.
  • Obaba and Princesas dominate the Goyas

    Montxo Armendariz's Obaba andFernando Leon's Princesses are thefrontrunners in the nominations for the 20th anniversary edition of Spain's Oscar-equivalent Goya Awards, which willtake place January 29.Obaba, aBasque Country-set adaptation of an award-winning novel, earned 10 nominationsincluding in
  • Obaba and Princesas dominate the 20th Goya Awards

    Montxo Armendariz's Obaba and Fernando Leon's Princesses are the frontrunners in the nominations for the 20th anniversary edition of Spain's Oscar-equivalent Goya Awards, which will take place January 29.Obaba, a Basque Country-set adaptation of an award-winning novel, earned 10 nominations including in the best film and director categories. The movie is Spain's nomination to the foreign-language Oscar and inaugurated the Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival in September. Leon's Su
  • Peter La Terriere to produce Quiver

    Ex-Trainspotting hardman and former Bond villain RobertCarlyle is to star as Cupid in a new romantic comedy, Quiver, being set up by London-based First Foot Films. Frenchactress Virginie Ledoyen (The Beach) will play the woman whobreaks his heart. Also in the
  • Piracy high on the agenda at Beijing CineAsia

    China'srampant piracy was a recurrent theme during the first day of the CineAsia trade show and conference which is being held forthe first time in Beijing(Dec 13-15).Duringhis keynote speech at the opening night ceremony, Motion Picture As
  • Pollack to receive ASC Board Of Governors Award

    Sydney Pollack will receive the 2006 American Society ofCinematographers' (ASC) Board of Governors Award, presented annually to anindividual who has made significant and enduring contributions to advancing theart of filmmaking.
  • Preserving Australia's film heritage

    Fifty classicAustralian films made from 1955 through to 1992 have benefited from a preservationproject begun five years ago. Theproject combines the expertise and resources of film stock supplier Kodak (Australasia), laboratory AtlabAustralia and the National Film and Sound Archive(NFSA). The films selected included: Jedda, Brea
  • Rangel joins Warner Bros as Latin American anti-piracy executive

    Lucia Rangel has joined Warner Bros as vice president ofanti-piracy operations for Latin America.The Brazi
  • Rumour Has It...

    Dir: Rob Reiner.US. 138mins.Invoking the spirit of a classic featurecan be a precarious business for a new movie, inviting inevitable comparisons.It's something that Rumour Has It' -whose plotline was inspired by The Graduate, Mike Nichols' far more spirited, witty anddaring film - does at its peril, falling flat not only when stood next to the1960s Oscar winner b
  • Shanghai Dreams triumphs in Tallinn

    Wang Xiaoshuai's Shanghai Dreams won the best film prize at this year's Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.Best director was Hou Hsiao-Hsien for Three Times
  • Six directors are selected for the Cannes Film Festival bi-annual Residence program

    The Cannes Film Festival has announced thelatest group to make up its bi-annual Residence program. Director Bruno Dumontwas charged with heading up the jury to select the six directors who will takepart in the 12th Residence session beginning February 28, 2006.Over four months, filmmakers working on theirfirst or second feature will spend time in
  • Sogepaq sells Goya-nominated Virgins to US

    Spain's Sogepaq has sold allrights for the US to Picture This! Entertainment on Alberto Rodriguez's coming-of-age drama 7Virgins (7 Virgenes).The announcement comes onthe same day the film turned heads with six nominations for the Spanish FilmAcademy's Goya Awards including in the best film, director and original scriptcategories.7 Virgins, a Tesela production, premiered at the TorontoInternational Film Festival then went on to compete at the Donostia-SanSebastian
  • Solothurn Film Days to show Maximilian Schell retrospective

    Stina Werenfels' feature debut Nachbeben willopen the Solothurn Film Days (January 16-22, 2006), the Swiss film community's annualget-together to showcase production by its filmmakers working at home andabroad.Thefestival's Swiss Forum will also present Swiss premieres of Thomas Imbach's adaptation of the Georg Buechner play Lenz,Alain Gsponer's family
  • The Alchemist set for 2006 shoot

    The $100 million adaptation ofPaolo Coehlo's TheAlchemist is set for a 2006 shoot across the Middle East -possibly in a mooted new Dubai studio - according to producer Barrie Osborne.A long-cherished project forLaurence Fishburne, who will adapt, direct and starin The Alchemist, Osborne is lookingto finalise financial commitments by the
  • The New World

    Dir/scr: Terrence Malick. US. 2005. 150mins.A sweeping historical narrative and exquisitely renderedlove story, Terrence Malick's The New World is a majestic, electrifying feature experience that forsome will rank as the most artistically accomplished US studio release this year.Demanding and complex, it possessesextraordinary beauty and comes close to s
  • The New World to open Palm Springs on Jan 5

    The 17th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will openon Jan 5 with a screening of Terrence Malick's The New World. The closing night gala will beannounced shortly.
  • TPS and Canal Plus back at the negotiating table

    FollowingSunday's announcement of merger negotiations between rival satellite platformsTPS and Canal Plus, France's writers, directors, producersassociation (ARP) has called for careful reflection by the government beforeallowing such a marriage.In a pressrelease, ARP stressed the importance of meeting with government officials inorder to "reinforce the conditions of maintenance and development ofindependent film productio
  • Tribeca teams up with Australia's Tropfest

    Tribeca Film Festival founders Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal andCraig Hatkoff have teamed up with Tropfest founder John Polson on the newTribeca programme, Tropfest@Tribeca.
  • Two films of comic book Witchblade to shoot in China

    Platinum Studios, Relativity Media, IDG Films and Arclight Filmshave jointly arranged financing on back-to-back stories adapted from Top CowProductions' comic book Witchblade.
  • UIP breaks $2bn international box office mark in 2005

    United InternationalPictures (UIP) has proven that international audiences are there to be found in2005 having broken through the $2bn international box office mark last weekend.With the mega-studio'spotentially biggest film of the year, KingKong, still to come UIP is already (as of December 11) tracking 4% ahead ofits 2004 numbers - which were a record $2.08bn at the close of the year. UIP is the firstinternational distributor ever to c
  • Universal, Rogue tie up Intrepid for partnership

    Universal Pictures and Rogue Pictures have signed a multi-yearproduction and co-financing deal with new production and financing companyIntrepid Pictures.
  • Van Galder named domestic marketing chief at Sony

    Former TriStarPictures president Valerie Van Galder has been named president of domesticmarketing for the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group following the departureof worldwide marketing chief Geoff Ammer.Van Galdercommences work immediately on a high-powered slate from the combined pipelineof Columbia, Revolution, TriStar and Sony Pictures Animation that includes TheDaVinci Code, Casino Royale, Spider-Man 3, comedies RV and Click,and thriller Freedomland
  • Vitale sets new roots as president of First Look

    Former ParamountClassics co-head Ruth Vitale has joined First Look Studios as president.Reporting tostudio chief executive officer Henry Winterstern, Vitale will oversee thetheatrical division, working closely with First Look International and FirstLook Home Entertainment.Vitale's arrivalcomes during a period of ramping-up for the company, which recently brought inKen DuBow as executive vice president of worldwide sales and Andy Gruenberg asexecutive vice president of theatrical
  • Waddington to direct $40m Cortes epic Conquistador

    Gianni Nunnari's LosAngeles-based Hollywood Gang Productions is ramping up on the 16th centurySpanish-language epic Conquistador,set to begin shooting in Brazil and other parts of South America in September2006.Brazil's Andrucha Waddington(Me You Them, House Of Sand) willdirect the project from a screenplay by Nicholas Kazan translated by historianand writer Carlos Bardem.Relativity Media's RyanKavanaugh and Lynwood Spinks financed the project, which is believed to
  • Washington Square to represent domestic sales on three Sundance titles

    WashingtonSquare Films (WSF) will be acting as North American sales agent on the Sundancetitles Flannel Pajamas, Old Joy and Salvage.In Joshua andJeffrey Crook's thriller Salvage, a college student played by newcomer Lauren Currie Lewis relivesthe day of her grisly death over and over again. Seventh Level produced inassociation with The Crook Brothers Productions.Directed byformer distribution executive Jeff Lipsky, Flannel Pajamas follows the relatio
  • Wellspring picks up US rights to Chereau's Gabrielle

    Wellspring, which wasrecently acquired by entertainment company Genius Products, has picked up allUS rights from StudioCanal to Patrice Chereau's Gabrielle.The company bought the filmat The New York Film Festival earlier this year and plans a spring 2006.Based on Joseph Conrad'sshort story The Return, theturn-of-the-century story takes place in France and tracks the maritalbreakdown of a middle-aged bourgeois couple. Isabelle Huppert and PascalGreggory star.
  • Willis to star in intense drama for Ziskin, Relativity

    Bruce Willis will star inthe drama Morgan's Summitfor Laura Ziskin Productions and Relativity Media.Relativity also arrangedfinancing and partners Ryan Kavanaugh and Lynwood Spinks will serve asexecutive producers alongside producer Ziskin.Arclight Films is handlinginternational sales on the project, which is set to begin filming in LosAngeles next year.Dead Poets Society screenwriter Tom Schulman is directing the story ofan optimistic late-nig
  • World premiere for Albert Brooks at the Dubai Film Festival

    AlbertBrooks became the first US film-maker to world premiere his film at the DubaiInternational Film Festival yesterday - with the potentially controversialtitle Looking For Comedy In The MuslimWorld, a sub-$25m cross-cultural comedy bankrolled by Steve Bing's Shangri-La Entertainment.Brooks, whotravelled to the Gulf state with Bing to show his film to a public audience of450, unexpectedly sat through the entire screening with Dubai's Minister