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Screen
19 May 2002

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  • 20th Century Fox taps new Euros 246m German production fund

    20th Century Fox is tapping a new Euros 246m German production fund for three of its projects; The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Down With Love and Just Married.Mediastream III, set up by financial services company Ideenkapital and regional savings banks in Cologne and Duesseldorf, will invite private German individuals to invest a minimum Euros 20,000 in the financing of Steven Norrington's action-adventure The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, starring Sean Conne
  • Advanced Medien agrees settlement with Wolfgang Petersen

    German rights trader Advanced Medien and film director Wolfgang Petersen have reached a settlement in the lawsuit regarding mutual contract fulfilment, which had been dragging on since August 2001. As part of the settlement both parties agreed to abandon the suits they had filed before a US civil court and mutually waive their contractual claims.In spring 2000 Advanced and Petersen's own production company Red Cliff Productions LLC had concluded a multi-year agreement to co-oper
  • African Media Entertainment sells Moonlighting film subsidiary

    South African media company African Media Entertainment (AME), has sold its film entertainment subsidiary Moonlighting Filmmakers, in an effort to reduce its heavy debt burden. Moonlighting Filmmakers, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AME Commercial Filmmakers, was sold to Philip John Key, the subsidiary's original owner and CEO, for $1m (R10.2m) in cash, to be paid in stages.. AME was one of the only SA media companies to directly invest in feature films, putting up the finance for
  • Alibi's Davis lined up for Beyond sales job

    Australia's Beyond Films is expected to appoint Hilary Davis of UK based Alibi Films International to oversee international sales.Davis will replace former Beyond sales chief Gary Hamilton who left the company earlier this year to launch his own business, Arclight Films.Davis's departure means that both co-founders have now left Alibi's sales operation after Gareth Jones split from the company last July.Roger Holmes, chief executive of the sales agent's parent group Alibi
  • Alibi's Davis lined up for Beyond sales job

    Australia's Beyond Films is expected to appoint Hilary Davis of UK based Alibi Films International to oversee international sales.Davis will replace former Beyond sales chief Gary Hamilton who left the company earlier this year to launch his own business, Arclight Films.Davis's departure means that both co-founders have now left Alibi's sales operation after Gareth Jones split from the company last July.Roger Holmes, chief executive of the sales agent's parent group Alibi
  • Alliance Atlantis makes pre-Cannes sale to Diaphana of Columbine

    Diaphana Distribution has made a pre-Cannes acquisition for France of Michael Moore's documentary Bowling For Columbine which plays in competition on Friday. Alliance Atlantis Entertainment Group is handling worldwide sales on the film under managing director, international motion picture sales, Charlotte Mickie."Diaphana is uniquely positioned and qualified to launch this movie in France where the buzz, frankly, is already extraordinary," said Mickie in a statement. "The politi
  • Alliance Atlantis makes pre-Cannes sale to Diaphana of Columbine

    Diaphana Distribution has made a pre-Cannes acquisition for France of Michael Moore's documentary Bowling For Columbine which plays in competition on Friday. Alliance Atlantis Entertainment Group is handling worldwide sales on the film under managing director, international motion picture sales, Charlotte Mickie."Diaphana is uniquely positioned and qualified to launch this movie in France where the buzz, frankly, is already extraordinary," said Mickie in a statement. "The politi
  • Askin promoted to VP, worldwide sales at Pandora

    Shebnem Askin has been promoted to executive vice-president, worldwide sales, at Pandora; she was previously senior vice president at the company. Askin joined Pandora three years ago in Paris, working with Ernst Goldschmidt, before relocating to Los Angeles when Pandora was taken over by Gaylord Entertainment. Since then, she has handled all international sales on Pandora's current slate including Welcome To Collinwood, White Oleander, A Walk To Remember, Company Man and Th
  • Attack Of The Clones enjoys $116.3m US four-day opening

    Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones unleashed The Force over the weekend, zapping the competition and storming to the top of the charts with an estimated four-day gross of $116.3m. George Lucas's fifth Star Wars instalment becomes the second fastest picture to pass $100m behind Columbia's Spider-Man and also bagged the highest weekday release of all time with Thursday's $30.1m. Its subsequent Friday-to-Sunday tally of $86.2m makes Clones the
  • Australia's Rialto acquires Mystic Masseur

    Rialto Entertainment has acquired rights for Australia and New Zealand to director Ishmail Merchant's The Mystic Masseur.The Auckland-based distributor plans to release the film over the Christmas holidays. The film has had high-profile openings in London and New York, including a launch by Bill Clinton at New York's Paris Theatre in a gala benefit for the America India Foundation in late April. Rialto's first Australian release No Mans Land, has grossed A$350,000
  • Avrio handles Rave MacBeth sales for North America

    Canadian entertainment outfit Avrio Filmworks has closed a deal to become the exclusive North American sales agent for Rave MacBeth, a modernisation of Shakespeare's Macbeth set entirely at a race and starring Michael Rosenbaum, star of TV's Smallville. The film was previously represented by the now defunct 310 Entertainment.
  • BBC's Plath project brought into Focus

    In its first US acquisition since forming last month, Focus has boarded BBC Films' Sylvia Plath story starring Gwyneth Paltrow. UK-based international sales outfit Capitol Films has also partnered on the project, which focuses on the story of the relationship between the tragic poet who committed suicide aged 31 and British poet Ted Hughes. Paul Paulikowski, who made his mark with the BBC's acclaimed $500,000 feature Last Resort, is to direct from a script by John Brownlo
  • Berlinale names Eastern European delegate

    The Berlin International Film Festival has named Nikolaj Nikitin, editor-in-chief and publisher of the film magazine Schnitt as its new foreign delegate for Eastern Europe, covering: Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. Nikitin will advise the Film Festival in the selection of films and provide support in film-cultural and economic relations with the respective countries. Nikitin works in various capacities
  • Buyers plunge into Cameron's Abyss

    Summit Entertainment has concluded a wave of sales on Walden Media's Ghosts Of The Abyss, James Cameron's ground-breaking 3-D large screen documentary exploring the wreckage of the Titanic. Telepool took the film for Germany, Buena Vista International (BVI) for the UK, UGC for France and Belga Films for Benelux. Gaga Communications had previously bought the film for Japan.The movie, footage of which Walden, Cameron and Summit showed at AFM, saw Cameron take a perso
  • Canadian ban upheld on foreign satellite signal reception

    A group of Canadian satellite TV dealers has failed in its bid to delay enforcement of a ban on the unlicensed reception of foreign satellite signals. The group, which operates in the so-called grey market, whereby Canadian consumers maintain a US mailing address and receive US signals , was responding to an April 26 Supreme Court ruling prohibiting the such reception of direct-to-home satellite signals from any the two licensed Canadian satellite service providers, Bell Expressvu, whi
  • Capitol handles Cannes sales for Festival In Cannes

    The UK's Capitol Films is handling international sales on Festival In Cannes, Henry Jaglom's comedy about a group of filmmakers and stars wading through the chaos of the 2000 edition of the festival. The film, which screens in the market, stars Anouk Aimee, Greta Scacchi and Ron Silver.
  • Cash crisis threatens Australian Film Awards

    The future of the high-profile Australian Film Institute Awards has come under serious threat as cuts in funding continue to undermine confidence.Two years of uncertainty have weighed heavily on the Australian Film Institute (AFI). The organisation has already halved its staff, closed its library and will have finished returning all the features, shorts and documentaries that it once distributed to their respective producers by June 30.Funding was withdrawn from the AFI's distri
  • Christopher Lee rides with The Last Unicorn

    Continent Film's Michael Pakleppa is assembling a starry cast for The Last Unicorn, a fantasy film billing itself as Europe's answer to The Lord Of The Rings.Christopher Lee, Angela Lansbury and Rene Auberjonois have already committed to the picture. Producer and co-director Pakleppa is in advanced talks with Mia Farrow, Jonathan Rhys Myers and Heath Ledger.Pakleppa and co-director Julian Doyle is assembling a $45m budget ahead of a two year production and p
  • Christopher Lee rides with The Last Unicorn

    Continent Film's Michael Pakleppa is assembling a starry cast for The Last Unicorn, a fantasy film billing itself as Europe's answer to The Lord Of The Rings.Christopher Lee, Angela Lansbury and Rene Auberjonois have already committed to the picture. Producer and co-director Pakleppa is in advanced talks with Mia Farrow, Jonathan Rhys Myers and Heath Ledger.Pakleppa and co-director Julian Doyle is assembling a $45m budget ahead of a two year production and p
  • Cineclick strikes Asian sales deals

    Korean seller Cineclick Asia has secured two large package deals in the first few days of the Cannes market.Two of Cineclick's newest slate additions comedies Iron Palm and Oh! LaLa Sisters were scooped up for Hong Kong by Mipic, a distributor which previously enjoyed success with Cineclick's Friend. Mipic is understood to have paid in the region of $200,000 for the pair.For mainland China it sold a five picture package to Hong Kong-based Chinastar En
  • Cobalt clocks into $100m Timeline

    Cobalt Media Group is in advanced talks to take over selected international rights on Paramount Pictures and Mutual Film Co's $100m-plus Timeline, one of the biggest-budget productions being circulated at Cannes.The deal is thought to include some of the territories where Mutual usually puts its films through its consortium of international distribution partners such as Telemunchen in Germany and Toho-Towa in Japan. Mutual is bringing Cobalt into the film as a means of sharing t
  • Counter programming exploits blockbuster fatigue

    As the international box office anticipates the swollen revenues delivered by Spider-Man, Attack Of The Clones and the rest of the summer blockbusters, local and foreign titles are taking advantage of the counter programming and kick-back business during this heavy cinema-going period.This week a host of titles are doing just that. In South Korea, where Spider-Man is monopolising the chart in its second week, four local titles have grabbed the other four spaces in the top
  • Danish Oscar-winning short earns US remake

    Danish newcomer Martin Strange's film Feeling Desire (Naar Lysterne Taendes), has won the Oscar for best foreign student film, which will be awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture and Arts and Sciences on June 9. Already, New York-based Kinetic Arts has been in contact with the filmmakers about remaking the short as an English language feature film. "Kinetic's Chris Spanos and Alex Twersky had seen the film in the competition in Clermont Ferrand, and contacted us right away,"
  • E Pictures launches Zenith's action thriller

    E Pictures, the Korean sales house that was set up a year ago, is launching a new big-budget picture from Zenith Entertainment, the production outfit behind last year's $25m blockbuster My Boss, My Hero.The picture Four For The King: Code Paris is an Asian action suspense thriller with European elements. A team of professional thieves have targeted France's National Library and decide to go ahead with a daring burglary despite knowledge that the police are tracking their
  • Ealing Studios teams with Odyssey for $40m animation

    The UK's Ealing Studios has teamed with Ralph Kamp's newly-launched sales outfit Odyssey Entertainment to produce $40m CG animation film Valiant.John Williams, the US producer of Shrek and Jackie Chan film The Tuxedo, is producing with Barnaby Thompson, co-head of Fragile Films, one of the owners of Ealing.The film, which will involve building an animation facility at Ealing, tells the story of a lowly wood pigeon who aspires to the prestigious position of a
  • Ealing Studios teams with Odyssey for $40m animation

    The UK's Ealing Studios has teamed with Ralph Kamp's newly-launched sales outfit Odyssey Entertainment to produce $40m CG animation film Valiant.John Williams, the US producer of Shrek and Jackie Chan film The Tuxedo, is producing with Barnaby Thompson, co-head of Fragile Films, one of the owners of Ealing.The film, which will involve building an animation facility at Ealing, tells the story of a lowly wood pigeon who aspires to the prestigious position of a
  • Europa Cinemas increases network to 896 screens

    The MEDIA Programme's exhibition initiative Europa Cinemas has added 171 screens in 28 European cities to its network, bringing the total number of screens getting support from MEDIA Plus for programming European films, to 896 in 356 cinemas located in 201 cities in 17 countries.Combined with other similar cultural supporting bodies - such as the Euromed Audiovisual programme, Eurimages, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the CNC - Europa Cinemas now extends to 1,109 screens in
  • F&ME readies Yugoslav romantic comedy

    Veteran Yugoslav director Srdjan Karanovic is to shoot romantic comedy Loving Glances (Sjaj U Ocima) for F&ME, the UK arm of Germany's FAME AG. Set amongst refugees in Belgrade, the production is to start shooting in June as a co-production with Belgrade's Yodi Movie Craftsmen and Paris-based Raphael Films.
  • FilmFour boards Fry's Bright Young Things

    FilmFour has partnered with UK production outfit Revolution Films on UK actor Stephen Fry's Bright Young Things, a self-penned adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's 1930s satire Vile Bodies. Fry confirmed Judi Dench and Peter O'Toole are attached to star as part of a Gosford Park-style ensemble of UK and US actors. Shooting is scheduled for September"Its essentially a story about night clubbing, drugs and drink and therefore has nothing in connection whatsoever to th
  • First Floor Feature merger leads to starry slate

    First Floor Features, the Dutch production house responsible for 1998 Oscar-winner Character, has put together a star packed production slate following its merger with Guy Walks Into A Bar. Its partner is a Los Angeles-based production and management group headed by Todd Komarnicki. The merger is intended to allow the combination of US facilities and talent with a Dutch film library, production skills and access to tax-based finance. "The alliance has an eye on eventually
  • First Look takes Luther International

    First Look Media has acquired international rights excluding Germany to Luther, a biopic of Martin Luther currently shooting in central Germany, Bavaria, Italy and the Czech Republic with Joseph Fiennes playing the title character.Alfred Molina, Peter Ustinov and Bruno Ganz co-star in the film which is directed by Eric Till and produced by Alexander Thies, Brigitte Rochow and Christian Stehr. Luther follows the man's life from the God-fearing man who becomes a monk who grows to
  • Focus picks up Devdas sales duties

    Devdas, the first Bollywood picture to screen in Cannes' Official Selection, has been picked up by Focus International (formerly Good Machine International) for world sales.Focus has the film in all territories outside the US and India. Eros International, which produced the film, will jointly sell the film in the UK and France and will itself handle the US."Bollywoood has come of age and we are thrilled to be partnering with Focus International to bring this wonderful fi
  • Foreign language films triumph at UK box office

    Two new releases grabbed all the attention at the UK box office this week despite opening outside the top 10 and featuring no Hollywood stars. Spanish-language title Sex And Lucia (Lucia Y El Sexo) opened in 13th place for distributor Metro Tartan taking an impressive three-day gross of $89,629 (£61,396) from a very limited release. Showing at just 13 sites the erotic drama scored a massive site average of $6,895 - the highest of any film on release this week and almost exa
  • Fortissimo and Kuzui team up for Bohemian Films

    Fortissimo and Kuzui Enterprises have joined forces to launch Bohemian Films, a fusion of Asian talent and European style financing and co-productions.Launching with a slate of six features boasting budgets in the $5m-$20m range, the new company has been formed by Fortissimo principals, Wouter Barendrecht and Michael Werner, and Kuzui Enterprises heads Kaz Kuzui and Fran Rubel Kuzui.Bohemian is owned and structured as an entity controlled by the four principals and run separatel
  • Four Horsemen rides with Overseas Filmgroup

    Overseas Filmgroup has struck a multi-picture deal to handle sales on films from Four Horsemen Films, the UK genre label which recently struck a deal for European distribution with Buena Vista.The first titles in the deal include Octane, starring Madeleine Stowe, Norman Reedus, Bijou Philips, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Mischa Barton. Directed by Long Time Dead's Marcus Adams, the teen thriller starts shooting next month in Luxembourg. Overseas, the international distributio
  • Four Horsemen rides with Overseas Filmgroup

    Overseas Filmgroup has struck a multi-picture deal to handle sales on films from Four Horsemen Films, the UK genre label which recently struck a deal for European distribution with Buena Vista.The first titles in the deal include Octane, starring Madeleine Stowe, Norman Reedus, Bijou Philips, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Mischa Barton. Directed by Long Time Dead's Marcus Adams, the teen thriller starts shooting next month in Luxembourg. Overseas, the international distributio
  • Fox looks to steal Jordan's Good Thief

    Fox Searchlight Pictures is in final negotiations to acquire US rights to The Good Thief, Neil Jordan's completed contemporary remake of Jean-Pierre Mellville's Bob Le Flambeur which stars Nick Nolte, Tcheky Karyo, Emir Kusturica and Ralph Fiennes. The deal marks the end of a long quest for the film's financier Alliance Atlantis which footed the reported $30m bill for the entire project but struggled to close a domestic deal. Ironically, in a separate deal, 20th Ce
  • Fox looks to steal Jordan's Good Thief

    Fox Searchlight Pictures is in final negotiations to acquire US rights to The Good Thief, Neil Jordan's completed contemporary remake of Jean-Pierre Mellville's Bob Le Flambeur which stars Nick Nolte, Tcheky Karyo, Emir Kusturica and Ralph Fiennes. The deal marks the end of a long quest for the film's financier Alliance Atlantis which footed the reported $30m bill for the entire project but struggled to close a domestic deal. Ironically, in a separate deal, 20th Ce
  • France braces for TFI, Miramax partnership

    The French film sector is waiting with baited breath for details of a dramatic new production and distribution alliance between French television powerhouse TF1 and Miramax Films that will be unveiled at a heavyweight press conference this afternoon featuring their respective chiefs, Patrick Le Lay and Harvey Weinstein.The venture, which looks set to start as early as this August, will see TF1 - operator of the leading free television network in France as well as controller of the fast
  • France braces for TFI, Miramax partnership

    The French film sector is waiting with baited breath for details of a dramatic new production and distribution alliance between French television powerhouse TF1 and Miramax Films that will be unveiled at a heavyweight press conference this afternoon featuring their respective chiefs, Patrick Le Lay and Harvey Weinstein.The venture, which looks set to start as early as this August, will see TF1 - operator of the leading free television network in France as well as controller of the fast
  • France's Haut et Court readies Hitchcockian Bambi tale

    French production company Haut et Court is readying Fuis Bambi Fuis, a first directing effort by Gilles Marchand, the co-scriptwriter for both Laurent Cantet's Human Resources and Dominik Moll's With A Friend Like Harry.The film, an Hitchcockian tale of a young nurse fascinated by a doctor who proves much more dangerous than he seems to be, is to start shooting in June. Cellulolid Dreams' Hengameh Panahi, who sold Human Resources, also produced by Haut & Co
  • France's Haut et Court readies Hitchcockian Bambi tale

    French production company Haut et Court is readying Fuis Bambi Fuis, a first directing effort by Gilles Marchand, the co-scriptwriter for both Laurent Cantet's Human Resources and Dominik Moll's With A Friend Like Harry.The film, an Hitchcockian tale of a young nurse fascinated by a doctor who proves much more dangerous than he seems to be, is to start shooting in June. Cellulolid Dreams' Hengameh Panahi, who sold Human Resources, also produced by Haut & Co
  • France's Talentis moves into features

    Short film agency Talantis is branching out into feature films. The company has picked up all French rights on Winnego, a first film by US film-maker Nick James which is to star Salma Hayek and Mickey Rourke. The $3.9m title is currently in development. Talantis are handling foreign sales on James' short film An Eye For Talent, featuring Mexican-born actor Danny Trejo. Created in January 1998 by Sylvain Chivot and Serge Sabahi, Paris-based Talantis sells rights to
  • Harry Potter video release becomes fastest-selling title in the UK

    Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone has become the UK's fastest-selling release on video and DVD, with 1.25 million copies being snapped up within 24 hours of going on release on May 11.The previous record was held by Titanic, with first-day sales of 1.1 million. Warner Bros home video has shipped some 5 million copies of the title to 700 UK outlets, in anticipation of massive demand. Titanic sold 4.1 million video copies within a month of release
  • Hartnett moves into L'Appartement remake

    Josh Hartnett will star in and Paul McGuigan will direct Lakeshore Entertainment's Wicker Park, the remake of Gilles Mimouni's French drama L'Appartement which starred Vincent Cassel, Monica Bellucci and Romane Bohringer. Brandon Boyce has written the screenplay to the film. The long-gestating film is now scheduled to start production in October. Lakeshore chairman Tom Rosenberg and president Gary Lucchesi will produce the film. MGM will release the film domestical
  • Hartnett signs onto FilmEngine pair

    Superstar-in-waiting Josh Hartnett has signed to two new films from FilmEngine, the production and finance outfit set up by AJ Dix, Anthony Rhulen and Bill Shively, which made previous Hartnett-starrer O. He will star and co-produce action/adventure Wish You Were Here and has joined Johnny Depp, Nick Nolte and Benicio Del Toro in the cast of The Rum Diary adapted from the novel by Hunter S Thompson. Kathy Morgan International (KMI) is handling international
  • Heinzemann braves German market to launch new distributor

    Peter Heinzemann, former managing director of Kinowelt Filmverleih, could be one of the most popular men on the Croisette. He has set up a new German distributor, Solo Film Verleih as a joint venture with Helkon Media partners Martin Heldmann and Christian Halsey Solomon.Solo will operate as a distributor with fully functioning marketing, promotion and distribution departments. It will handle pictures ranging from A-level studio fare through to German language indie fare.The ini
  • Highlight to buy 23% of Constantin from Kirch

    Swiss rights trader Highlight Communications has revealed that it is close to finalising a deal to buy 23% of German distributor-producer Constantin Film from KirchGroup's KirchBeteiligung unit.In a statement, Highlight said that the cash and shares deal, which was worth some $30m, would be completed in the next few days. Constantin and its major shareholders, Bernd Eichinger and EM.TV welcomed the move, asserting that its film rights deals with the Kirch Group would remain unaf
  • Holland's Orange Worldwide Film Sales to launch at Cannes

    New Dutch sales outfit, Orange Worldwide Film Sales is to get its international launch this week at Cannes. Headed by Michael Berkel and Peter van Vogelpoel, Orange arrives on the Croisette with four films on its slate.The slate is headed by Britney Baby One More Time, a Ludi Boeken-directed comedy about a struggling film-maker's surprise encounter with a male transvestite. Pleasant Days, a Kornel Mundruczo-directed portrait of troubled Hungarian youngsters, Ilya Chaiken'
  • Hollywood majors wade into indie buying territory

    The Hollywood majors are wading into the marketplace to pick up the slack left by the TV crisis in Europe, with a slew of deals closed in recent days that leaves sales companies sighing with relief but independents out in the cold.Paramount Pictures alone has just acquired rights in Italy and Japan to The Good Girl from Myriad Pictures, is in talks to buy the UK rights to The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion from Capitol Films and has just swept up a slew of rights inclu
  • Hollywood majors wade into indie buying territory

    The Hollywood majors are wading into the marketplace to pick up the slack left by the TV crisis in Europe, with a slew of deals closed in recent days that leaves sales companies sighing with relief but independents out in the cold.Paramount Pictures alone has just acquired rights in Italy and Japan to The Good Girl from Myriad Pictures, is in talks to buy the UK rights to The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion from Capitol Films and has just swept up a slew of rights inclu
  • Hollywood studios clamour for TF1's He Loves Me remake

    France's TF1 International is in advanced negotiations with Hollywood studios over English language remake rights to the Audrey Tautou-starrer He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (A La Folie, Pas Du Tout). Several US production outfits are lining up to buy, including frontrunner 20th Century Fox.He Loves Me is produced by Charles Gassot's Telema, which recently sold remake rights to Etienne Chatilliez comedy Tanguy to Miramax. He Loves Me is a romance/suspense film
  • Hollywood studios clamour for TF1's He Loves Me remake

    France's TF1 International is in advanced negotiations with Hollywood studios over English language remake rights to the Audrey Tautou-starrer He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (A La Folie, Pas Du Tout). Several US production outfits are lining up to buy, including frontrunner 20th Century Fox.He Loves Me is produced by Charles Gassot's Telema, which recently sold remake rights to Etienne Chatilliez comedy Tanguy to Miramax. He Loves Me is a romance/suspense film
  • Hollywood studios clamour for TF1's He Loves Me remake

    France's TF1 International is in advanced negotiations with Hollywood studios over English language remake rights to the Audrey Tautou-starrer He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (A La Folie, Pas Du Tout). Several US production outfits are lining up to buy, including frontrunner 20th Century Fox.He Loves Me is produced by Charles Gassot's Telema, which recently sold remake rights to Etienne Chatilliez comedy Tanguy to Miramax. He Loves Me is a romance/suspense film
  • Hong Kong's Celestial lines up starry debut

    Start-up Hong Kong studio Celestial Pictures has lined up some of the territory's hottest talent for its debut production slate including local box office sensations Andy Lau and Sammi Cheng and acclaimed director Stanley Kwan.The company has signed a co-production deal with Lau's Teamwork Motion Pictures, to kick off with $5m romantic adventure Killing Me With Love. The film will star Lau as a cop who becomes involved with the widow of a murder victim. Production is scheduled t
  • Insomnia

    Dir: Christopher Nolan. US. 2002. 117 mins.Christopher Nolan, the promising writer-director behind Following and Memento, makes an elegant and assured transfer to big-budget, star-driven film-making with Insomnia, one of the rare Hollywood remakes of a European film which is as good as the original. Expertly crafted and eminently intelligent, Insomnia will be a sizeable hit with adult audiences seeking out a smart thriller which is intriguing, thought-pro
  • Intermedia, Metropolitan team on Tristan & Iseult

    Intermedia is teaming up with Samuel and Victor Hadida of French independent Metropolitan Filmexport to finance and sell their new production Tristan & Iseult, a retelling of the classic story to which Rupert Wainwright (Stigmata) is attached to direct. The film is being produced by Samuel Hadida through his production vehicle which also produced Davis Film's hit gothic thriller The Brotherhood Of The Wolf (Le Pacte Des Loups) which grossed over $10m in the US thro
  • Intermedia, Metropolitan team on Tristan & Iseult

    Intermedia is teaming up with Samuel and Victor Hadida of French independent Metropolitan Filmexport to finance and sell their new production Tristan & Iseult, a retelling of the classic story to which Rupert Wainwright (Stigmata) is attached to direct. The film is being produced by Samuel Hadida through his production vehicle which also produced Davis Film's hit gothic thriller The Brotherhood Of The Wolf (Le Pacte Des Loups) which grossed over $10m in the US thro
  • Italy prepares for flood of summer movies

    The Italian film industry is bracing itself for a breakthrough summer at cinemas nationwide, after local distributors officially agreed to reverse the pattern of previous years and release 60 films on 1,500 screens between May 15 and July 31.Among the summer releases to hit cinemas - one third of which will be multiplexes - are the big-hitters Star Wars: Episode 2 and Spider Man, Richard Linklater's Waking Life, John Woo's Windtalkers and Walter Salles's
  • Italy's Buskin launches production unit with four arthouse films

    Fledlging Italian sales outfit Buskin Film is set to boost its international presence by launching a feature film production unit, with four major arthouse projects scheduled to shoot within the next year.First up is L'eau Le Feu, a feature by veteran auteur Luciano Emmer, who is widely associated with post-war Italian cinema. The film, which starts shooting next month, will revolve around popular Roman actress Sabrina Ferilli, who plays the part of three women who all suffer fr
  • John Sayles aims high and low for next films

    John Sayles has announced a full cast for his half-Spanish language Casa De Los Babys, which starts shooting this August at a knock-down budget of $1m - while aiming high for his next production, between $24 and $32m for the Robert Carlyle-starrer Jamie MacGillivray.The IFC-backed Casa De Los Babys, set in an un-named South American country where six American women are waiting to pick up their adoptive babies, is to star Marcia Gay Harden, Daryl Hannah, Lili Taylor
  • Kidman's Pleasure project tops MDP/Neverland deal

    Mark Damon's MDP Worldwide and its investor/partner Neverland Pictures have entered into a first look production deal with hot LA management and production outift Handprint Entertainment which numbers Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez among its clients.The first film under the arrangement is The Sixteen Pleasures which will star Kidman as an American woman who is entrusted with a lost volume of erotic sonnets and whose life becomes increasingly wrapped up with the book. Based on
  • Kidman's Pleasure project tops MDP/Neverland deal

    Mark Damon's MDP Worldwide and its investor/partner Neverland Pictures have entered into a first look production deal with hot LA management and production outift Handprint Entertainment which numbers Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez among its clients.The first film under the arrangement is The Sixteen Pleasures which will star Kidman as an American woman who is entrusted with a lost volume of erotic sonnets and whose life becomes increasingly wrapped up with the book. Based on
  • Killer Queen, Impotent Man join Peppermint's Cannes slate

    German sales outfit Peppermint has added Killer Queen, a psychological thriller about a man involved in a game of human chess, to its Cannes slate. The film, which starts shooting in summer, is a first feature to be directed by Christian Alvart. The cast is headed by Norman Reedus, Kim Bodnia and Delphine Chuillot. It is produced by Susanne Kusche, Wolfram Tichy and Screenart Filmproduktion and VIF international Films. Meanwhile, Regina Ziegler' s In Search Of An Impotent Man
  • Kilmer horror helps scare up Helkon slate

    Helkon Media's sales, production and distribution arm Helkon International Pictures (HIP) has revealed the first fruits of its new LA operation under former Warner Bros executive Clifford Werber. The company has boarded Anthony Waller's long-gestating $22m horror movie Nine Miles Down with Val Kilmer now attached to star and has picked up new pictures from producer Mitchell Robbins, Oscar-winning screenwriter Mark Andrus and comic satire Chump Change which Miramax Films h
  • Korea's KM Culture launches first Cannes slate

    Korean investment group KM Culture has launched a new sales operation, boasting a slate of big budget pictures. The new sales outfit is headed by Judy Ahn, former sales executive at Tube Entertainment, the investment and distribution combine that late last year was absorbed by the powerhouse CJ Entertainment. With interests spanning music and talent management, KM has been an active film investor, backing the productions of Korean titles The Foul King and Hi Dharma! It ha
  • Korea's KM Culture launches first Cannes slate

    Korean investment group KM Culture has launched a new sales operation, boasting a slate of big budget pictures. The new sales outfit is headed by Judy Ahn, former sales executive at Tube Entertainment, the investment and distribution combine that late last year was absorbed by the powerhouse CJ Entertainment. With interests spanning music and talent management, KM has been an active film investor, backing the productions of Korean titles The Foul King and Hi Dharma! It ha
  • Korenberg quits Fox to set up Traction Media

    Rosanne Korenberg, the well-known acquisitions executive from 20th Century Fox, has left the studio to form repping, production and consulting company Traction Media with LA-based entertainment boutique law firm Stone, Meyer & Genow.The venture will represent finished films seeking North American distribution as well as packaging and producing projects. "We're in a unique position to respond to the needs of independent filmmakers, most obviously the need for money, autonomy and distrib
  • KWA strikes Lucky deals

    Sales agent Kevin Williams Associates (KWA) has announced the first sales on Argentine title A Lucky Day (Un Dia De Suerte) to Spain (Nirvana), Orler (Arg) and free TV in the UK (BBC), Holland (VPRO) and Finland (YLE). Director Sandra Gugliotta's prize-winning Day tells the story of a young Argentine woman who emigrates to Italy.
  • Larry Clark's Ken Park goes Fortissimo

    Ken Park, the new drama co-directed by controversial US film-maker Larry Clark and cinematographer Edward Lachman, has been picked up by Fortissimo Film Sales.The film, which recently completed principal photography, is a disquieting look at a group of in-line skaters in San Joaquin, California. Written by professional rebel and regular Clark collaborator Harmony Korine, Ken Park stars newcomer Adam Chubuck, Amanda Plummer, Bill Fagerbakke, Eddie Daniels and Harrison Youn
  • Larry Clark's Ken Park goes Fortissimo

    Ken Park, the new drama co-directed by controversial US film-maker Larry Clark and cinematographer Edward Lachman, has been picked up by Fortissimo Film Sales.The film, which recently completed principal photography, is a disquieting look at a group of in-line skaters in San Joaquin, California. Written by professional rebel and regular Clark collaborator Harmony Korine, Ken Park stars newcomer Adam Chubuck, Amanda Plummer, Bill Fagerbakke, Eddie Daniels and Harrison Youn
  • Lightning brings two new titles to market

    Lightning Entertainment, the new LA-based sales outfit run by Richard Guardian and Mainline Releasing partners Rich Goldberg and Marc Greenberg, has acquired two new pictures for Cannes - taking worldwide rights to medieval thriller Anazapta with Lena Headey, Jason Flemyng and David La Haye and international rights to On_Line, an ensemble love story set in New York's cyber sex industry. Both films are screening in the market.Anazapta, the second feature from Albert
  • Loews Cineplex considers public offering

    Revived North American cinema circuit Loews Cineplex is considering an initial public offering, according to the CEO of the company that engineered the refinancing of the insolvent exhibitor. Speaking at his company's annual general meeting on May 9, Onex Corp. CEO Gerald Schwartz said that exhibition was enjoying a return to favour amongst investors.The comment followed the successful IPO of rival Regal Entertainment, the largest exhibitor in North America. Regal shares gained
  • Media Asia bolsters library, expands slate

    Regional powerhouse Media Asia (MA) is moving to corner the market in Hong Kong catalogue films and has expanded its slate of current pictures.A long-term deal sees the company handle international rights to the 150-title Golden Princess library of martial arts films and dramas, including pictures by John Woo and Tsui Hark. Within Asia the catalogue is represented by Fortune Star."This is one of the few contemporary Hong Kong libraries that is guaranteed to have a strong appeal
  • Media Asia bolsters library, expands slate

    Regional powerhouse Media Asia (MA) is moving to corner the market in Hong Kong catalogue films and has expanded its slate of current pictures.A long-term deal sees the company handle international rights to the 150-title Golden Princess library of martial arts films and dramas, including pictures by John Woo and Tsui Hark. Within Asia the catalogue is represented by Fortune Star."This is one of the few contemporary Hong Kong libraries that is guaranteed to have a strong appeal
  • Menemsha takes on controversial Turkish film Hejar

    LA-based Menemsha Entertainment has acquired worldwide rights excluding Turkey to the controversial Turkish film Hejar directed by Handan Ipekci. The film, which was the Turkish submission for last year's Academy Awards, was a breakthrough hit and scored 100,000 admissions before being banned for its "chauvinistic portrayal of the Turkish-Kurdish relationship."The film is the story of a Kurdish girl who has lost her family in the operations mounted on her village in the south-ea
  • Mercure takes worldwide rights to Dix Sept Fois Cecille Cassard

    Mercure's Jacques Le Glou has picked up worldwide rights to the Beatrice Dalle-starrer Dix Sept Fois Cecile Cassard which is screening in Un Certain Regard.Dix Sept Fois Cecile Cassard, which portrays a woman through 17 moments of her life, is a first film by Christophe Honore. The title, produced by Sepia Productions, will also be competing for the Camera d'Or award.Le Glou, who handles sales duties on competition title Robert Guedigian's Marie Jo Et Ses
  • Mexico's Titan to co-produce Chilango Blues with Argos

    Mexican powerhouse Titan Producciones is developing a new co-production with Argos Comunicacion, its partner on hit Sex, Shame And Tears, called Chilango Blues (El Malboro Y El Cucu), set to shoot in Mexico City next year. Billed as a thriller, producer Javier Patron's debut feature tells the tale of two brothers' rocky reunion after one leaves prison. The script, written by Vicente Lenero, is based on a story by Guillermo Rios. Founded by Matthias Ehrenberg, Titan
  • Michael Jackson to produce and star in werewolf movie

    In the first movie being made under his Neverland Pictures banner, Michael Jackson will play a werewolf in a project he will also produce called Wolfed. Rick Baker, Oscar-winning makeup expert who created the werewolf effects for An American Werewolf In London and Thriller, is already on boardNeverland's financing and sales partner Mark Damon and his MDP Worldwide is introducing the $30m project to buyers in Cannes. The film will be a Gothic thriller
  • Michael Jackson to produce and star in werewolf movie

    In the first movie being made under his Neverland Pictures banner, Michael Jackson will play a werewolf in a project he will also produce called Wolfed. Rick Baker, Oscar-winning makeup expert who created the werewolf effects for An American Werewolf In London and Thriller, is already on boardNeverland's financing and sales partner Mark Damon and his MDP Worldwide is introducing the $30m project to buyers in Cannes. The film will be a Gothic thriller
  • Miramax, TF1 play up European film push

    "We're not coming here to make Spider-Man," said an ebullient Harvey Weinstein, as he unveiled a ground breaking alliance with France's TF1. "This is about fostering European film and European talent."Patrick Le Lay, TF1 chairman and chief executive, presented the partnership as a two step-deal involving the creation of a joint venture French theatrical distribution company, and second the co-production of a slate of European films by TF1 International and Miramax International.
  • Miramax, TF1 play up European film push

    "We're not coming here to make Spider-Man," said an ebullient Harvey Weinstein, as he unveiled a ground breaking alliance with France's TF1. "This is about fostering European film and European talent."Patrick Le Lay, TF1 chairman and chief executive, presented the partnership as a two step-deal involving the creation of a joint venture French theatrical distribution company, and second the co-production of a slate of European films by TF1 International and Miramax International.
  • Mixed reactions greet Weinstein, Le Lay announcement

    While rivals saluted TF1 yesterday for its grand ambitions with Miramax welcoming a new competitor on the local theatrical distribution scene, there was also unease at the prospect of ever more films cluttering up French cinemas because of television's encroaching influence over cinema. Some even suggested that French regulators should have their own say.In a pattern that has been repeated worldwide, a major television player has worked its way up the film distribution foodchain and pu
  • Moviehouse wraps Fear X, add two more

    Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn has wrapped Fear X, his John Turturro-starring psychological thriller after a shoot that took him to Winnipeg and Copenhagen.The film has its market debut at Cannes, where it is represented by new UK sales outfit Moviehouse Entertainment.Fear X, about a man prompted by dark dreams to probe his wife's death, is produced by Henrik Danstrup. It stars Deborah Unger and James Remar and was written by Winding Refn and Hubert Selby Jr
  • New Line rings up fresh quartet of hot titles

    New Line Cinema is introducing four new pictures to buyers at Cannes: Secondhand Lions; the long-awaited Dumb And Dumber prequel; action thriller Highwaymen; and clash of the horror titans movie Freddy Vs Jason to be directed by Ronny Yu.New Line, which has its first ever film in competition with Alexander Payne's About Schmidt, will be at the market in force under worldwide distribution and marketing chief Rolf Mittweg and New Line International (NLI
  • New Line rings up fresh quartet of hot titles

    New Line Cinema is introducing four new pictures to buyers at Cannes: Secondhand Lions; the long-awaited Dumb And Dumber prequel; action thriller Highwaymen; and clash of the horror titans movie Freddy Vs Jason to be directed by Ronny Yu.New Line, which has its first ever film in competition with Alexander Payne's About Schmidt, will be at the market in force under worldwide distribution and marketing chief Rolf Mittweg and New Line International (NLI
  • News Corp clashes with Vivendi over Italian pay-TV deal

    Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has reacted angrily to moves by rival Jean-Marie Messier of Vivendi to pull out of the planned Italian pay-TV merger of Vivendi's Telepi's with News Corp's Stream.Vivendi said on Wednesday it would seek to pull out of the merger, in light of conditions imposed by the Italian antitrust authority. The merger would have increased cash consumption at Canal Plus, its loss-making pay-TV unit.News Corp responded by saying it had notified Vivendi and Telepiu t
  • Nieto moves to Picking Pack

    Juan Jose Nieto, the former top executive of Telefonica media division Admira and broadcaster Antena 3, has been hired as president of digital reprographics and data management company Picking Pack. Nieto was replaced by Luis Abril at Admira last January as part of a management overhaul.
  • NonStop Sales takes on new Grede film

    NonStop Sales has acquired international rights to Sweden's Kjell Grede's as yet untitled new comedy based on Torgny Lindgren's book Till Sanningens Lov. It stars young talents Shanti Roney (Together) and Tuva Novotny, as well as Örjan Ramberg, Simon Norrthon and Ing-Mari Carlsson. The film tells the story of two youngsters who grow up together, but end up living totally different lives.
  • Omar Sharif to star in Dupeyron's Momo

    Omar Sharif will star in Momo, the next film by Francois Dupeyron, the director of 2001 Cannes title La Chambre Des Officiers (Officer's Ward).Produced by Michele Halbersdat and Laurent Petin's Arp Selection which also produced La Chambre, the film, set in Paris in the sixties, is adapted from a novel by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Monsieur Ibrahim Et Les Fleurs Du Coran, about a boy (Momo) who learns about life and love with the help of an old North African man,
  • Paramount Pictures takes Korean Way Home

    Paramount Pictures has picked up Korean drama The Way Home (Jibeuro) from CJ Entertainment.The studio has grabbed rights for all English-language territories and will release the film through UIP in the UK, Australia and South Africa.The film, the story of a boy sent to live with his deaf grandmother in the countryside, was made on a $2m budget by director Lee Jung-hyang and was released in Korea at the beginning of April. After five weeks in the number one and two slots
  • Paramount Pictures takes Korean Way Home

    Paramount Pictures has picked up Korean drama The Way Home (Jibeuro) from CJ Entertainment.The studio has grabbed rights for all English-language territories and will release the film through UIP in the UK, Australia and South Africa.The film, the story of a boy sent to live with his deaf grandmother in the countryside, was made on a $2m budget by director Lee Jung-hyang and was released in Korea at the beginning of April. After five weeks in the number one and two slots
  • Paul Cox unveils The Human Touch

    Cannes favourite Paul Cox, who challenged stereotypes with his story of an elderly couple's passionate affair in Innocence, has unveiled his next production, The Human Touch.The picture, scheduled to shoot in Australia and France in October, sees the Australian director exploring themes of sexual inhibition on a larger scale than Innocence. The film revolves around the relationship between a young woman and a seductive older man from Europe. Cinemavault Releasing, which s
  • Payne moves Sideways

    Alexander Payne's next project will see the acclaimed director move from Nebraska, where his first three films were set, to California. Payne is adapting an as-yet unpublished novel called Sideways by Rex Pickett and will direct the ensuing film which as yet is not set up at any company. A comedy about two San Diego men who go on a wine tasting vacation, Payne describes it as "a jolly look at pathetic people." The film-maker is in Cannes this week to promote his latest fi
  • Poire's Visual Factory readies $23m sci-fi comedy

    Jean-Marie Poire, creator and director of hit French franchise The Visitors, has started pre-production on his next opus, the $23m sci-fi comedy Damian And The Invaders (Damien Et Les Envahisseurs) through his own outfit, London-based sales and post-production company Visual Factory.Poire is in Cannes to promote his latest film, My Wife Maurice, which he also produced and directed and which is sold here by Visual Factory. My Wife Maurice marks
  • Raimi teams with Senator for low-budget genre label

    Sam Raimi, whose Spider-Man is set to become one of the biggest grossing films in history, has teamed with Joe Drake's Senator International to launch a genre label producing "intelligently budgeted" horror, sci-fi and fantasy movies - returning Raimi to his low-budget horror roots of The Evil Dead.Senator will fully finance and handle worldwide distribution rights on the titles which will be produced by Raimi and his longterm producing partner Rob Tapert. Raimi an
  • Raimi teams with Senator for low-budget genre label

    Sam Raimi, whose Spider-Man is set to become one of the biggest grossing films in history, has teamed with Joe Drake's Senator International to launch a genre label producing "intelligently budgeted" horror, sci-fi and fantasy movies - returning Raimi to his low-budget horror roots of The Evil Dead.Senator will fully finance and handle worldwide distribution rights on the titles which will be produced by Raimi and his longterm producing partner Rob Tapert. Raimi an
  • Rasa pitches indie Indian films

    Ashvin Kummar and Suran Goonatilake, founders of Rasa Pictures, are in Cannes drumming up interest in a slate of cross-over independent films with their roots in the Indian diaspora.Deepa Metha is to executive produce their first film, Samir The Terrorist a UK-set drama about a man wrongly suspected of terrorism and who is forced to take desperate measures to escape conviction. Goonatilake pitches the project, which will shoot in winter 2002, as Midnight Express meets
  • REVIEW: Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress

    Dir: Dai Sijie. France. 2002. 116 mins.Un Certain Regard (Opening Film)The French connection makes Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress, a gentle, partly autobiographical coming-of-age tale from the Paris-based Chinese director Dai Sijie, a natural choice to open Un Certain Regard although, in the event, it emerges as on the skimpy side to be the flagship film of a major festival section. Still, the exotic setting, appealing characters, poignant humour and s
  • REVIEW: Bowling For Columbine

    Dir: Michael Moore. US. 2002. 120 minsThose convinced that America is the home of the crazed and the land of the trigger happy will find ample support for their views in Bowling For Columbine. Michael Moore's emotive exploration of the constitutional right to bear arms is a wide-ranging, often shockingly funny documentary that balances a wicked wit with serious insight. Guaranteed to attract extensive media attention and substantial controversy, it has the potential to
  • REVIEW: Kedma

    Dir: Amos Gitai. Israel/France/Italy 2002. 100 mins.Following films such as Kadosh and his last Cannes entry Kippur, Kedma is the latest of Amos Gitai's provocative inquiries into Israeli history and identity. Set in 1948, seven days before the creation of the state of Israel, Kedma proposes a return to historical first principles in examining the issues behind the Middle East's current crisis. As such, it would seem a dead cert for the most controversial
  • REVIEW: Marie-Jo And Her Two Lovers

    Dir: Robert Guediguian. France. 2001. 124 mins.In CompetitionRobert Guediguian's recent work has fallen into two distinct categories: his tough social stories set in Marseilles (A La Place Du Coeur; La Ville Est Tranquille) and the lighter "contes", or fantasies (Marius Et Jeanette; A L'Attaque!) set in L'Estaque, the working-class port just west of the city where he was born and grew up. The new film, his first to compete in Cannes is neither: a sombre,
  • REVIEW: Sex Is Comedy

    Dir: Catherine Breillat. France. 2002. 92 mins.Director's FortnightA welcome reprieve from the joyless intensity of such recent succes de scandale as Romance and A Ma Soeur, Sex Is Comedy allows Catherine Breillat to reveal the kind of light touch and easy humour that some critics may have thought was beyond her. Films about the making of films can sometimes seem like the last refuge of a bankrupt talent, but Breillat finds fresh inspiration in attempting
  • Rosem boards Day & Night

    Rosem Films has boarded Day & Night (Ri-Ri Ye-Ye), the second film by Chinese film-maker Wang Chao, whose first title, The Orphans Of Anyang, made a splash last year in Directors' Fortnight. Day & Night - a 'rags to riches' tale set in a Chinese mining town, is produced by China's Li-Fang and will start shooting in November this year. Day & Night is not Rosem's Sylvain Burnsztejn first foray into Asian cinema - his company was also involved in Fruit Chan's V
  • Ryan Phillipe signs up for The I Inside

    Ryan Phillippe has signed to star in MDP Worldwide's thriller The I Inside to be directed by Germany's Roland Suso Richter (The Tunnel) and set to start shooting in the UK on June 10. The film marks a return to the UK for Phillippe who appeared in Robert Altman's Gosford Park. The film, written by Michael Cooney, is based on the life of a man with amnesia who discovers that he has the power to travel back in time. The film is produced by MDP's Mark Damon and Rudy C
  • Sales vet Davis goes it alone for Lipsticking It, Sea Devils

    Sales and marketing veteran Chris Davis has struck out on his own to represent two new projects - adventure comedy Lipsticking It and WWII thriller Sea Devils. In the former, two unrelated women who have been duped by their lovers hook up to take their revenge, while the latter, written by William H McRaven, is an action epic about the Italian Naval Commando attack in Alexandria, Egypt, in the last war.
  • Samuelson Productions to bring Stormbreaker to Isle of Man

    Marc and Peter Samuelson's Samuelson Productions has optioned the bestselling series of Stormbreaker childrens' books as the first projects in a groundbreaking development deal with the Isle of Man's newly-launched£125 million film scheme. The six-title series about a 14 year-old orphan trained as an MI6 secret agent is written and to be adapted by Anthony Horowitz, author of Samuelson's Cannes market title The Gathering. The Samuelson's three year deal with the Is
  • Samuelson Productions to bring Stormbreaker to Isle of Man

    Marc and Peter Samuelson's Samuelson Productions has optioned the bestselling series of Stormbreaker childrens' books as the first projects in a groundbreaking development deal with the Isle of Man's newly-launched£125 million film scheme. The six-title series about a 14 year-old orphan trained as an MI6 secret agent is written and to be adapted by Anthony Horowitz, author of Samuelson's Cannes market title The Gathering. The Samuelson's three year deal with the Is
  • San Sebastian to honour Schlondorff, Powell for 50th edition

    The San Sebastian International Film Festival will honour multifaceted filmmakers Volker Schlondorff and Michael Powell with retrospectives at this year's 50th anniversary edition, to be held September 19-28 in the northern Spanish coastal town.The festival, Spain's premiere competitive event, has also organised a thematic sidebar in honour of its anniversary, dubbed "50 From The 50s," where it will screen 50 classic films from the 1950's which have some connection to San Sebastian.
  • Scorsese gangs up again with IEG, Di Caprio

    Graham King's Initial Entertainment Group (IEG) is backing the next film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio - whatever it turns out to be. Martin Scorsese told Screen International this week that his next film will definitely be either Alexander, his Alexander The Great movie, which IEG bought for him and DiCaprio or The Aviator, the long-awaited Howard Hughes biopic in which he will direct DiCaprio - and which IEG has also boarded.The Av
  • Scorsese gangs up again with IEG, Di Caprio

    Graham King's Initial Entertainment Group (IEG) is backing the next film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio - whatever it turns out to be. Martin Scorsese told Screen International this week that his next film will definitely be either Alexander, his Alexander The Great movie, which IEG bought for him and DiCaprio or The Aviator, the long-awaited Howard Hughes biopic in which he will direct DiCaprio - and which IEG has also boarded.The Av
  • Screen International launches on-line database

    Screen International launched ScreenIntelligence.com on May 15, the first day of the Cannes film festival. Developed in response to demand from the users of Screen International's daily news service screendaily.com, this online database of European films includes up-to-date details of almost 2,000 titles from 27 countries at every stage of production, from development to completion. Publisher Anne-Marie Flynn said "Screen Intelligence will be an invaluabl
  • Sean Connery closes his LA-based Fountainbridge Films

    Sean Connery has shut down his Los Angeles-based production company Fountainbridge Films, throwing into doubt plans for a Scottish studio facility as well as threatening the future of period epic Mary, Queen Of Scots.Established in 1992, the company had produced such films as Just Cause and Entrapment with Catherine Zeta Jones and was one of the partners on the forthcoming $20m production on the early life of Mary, Queen Of Scots written by Jimmy McGovern and origi
  • Signpost points to Germany for next Int'l distribution move

    Stewart Till's ambitious Signpost Films aims to launch distribution operations in 80% of the international sector in the next three to five years, with Germany shaping up as one of the next markets.The would-be studio is holding talks with German distributor Concorde about a partnership, one of several options on the cards for the territory. Signpost aims to set up local distribution and production operations along the lines of the so-called opcos at PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, wher
  • Signpost points to Germany for next Int'l distribution move

    Stewart Till's ambitious Signpost Films aims to launch distribution operations in 80% of the international sector in the next three to five years, with Germany shaping up as one of the next markets.The would-be studio is holding talks with German distributor Concorde about a partnership, one of several options on the cards for the territory. Signpost aims to set up local distribution and production operations along the lines of the so-called opcos at PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, wher
  • Signpost points to Germany for next Int'l distribution move

    Stewart Till's ambitious Signpost Films aims to launch distribution operations in 80% of the international sector in the next three to five years, with Germany shaping up as one of the next markets.The would-be studio is holding talks with German distributor Concorde about a partnership, one of several options on the cards for the territory. Signpost aims to set up local distribution and production operations along the lines of the so-called opcos at PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, wher
  • Sony Pictures Classics takes US on Owning Mahowny

    Sony Pictures Classics has acquired US rights to Owning Mahowny, the new film from Richard Kwietniowski from Alliance Atlantis Entertainment Group. The film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Minnie Driver and John Hurt. The film is inspired by the true story of a junior level bank executive with a secret addiction to gambling who invents ingenious schemes to steal and lose millions of the bank's money. Alliance Atlantis produced the film with Andras Hamori and Natural Nylon
  • Spain's 42nd Street takes English-language route

    Spanish production outfit 42nd Street Productions is beefing up its international presence with two new English-language co-productions.Set to star Anjelica Huston, Rosanna Arquette , Gary Oldman and Sergi Lopez for director Carolina Ducrocq, The Lunatic Fringe is based on the autobiographical novel by US writer Chester Himes. The $7m co-production with New Wings Media will shoot in Spain this autumn.Director Hugh Farley's $5m She Died On Canvas, a co-production wi
  • Spain's 42nd Street takes English-language route

    Spanish production outfit 42nd Street Productions is beefing up its international presence with two new English-language co-productions.Set to star Anjelica Huston, Rosanna Arquette , Gary Oldman and Sergi Lopez for director Carolina Ducrocq, The Lunatic Fringe is based on the autobiographical novel by US writer Chester Himes. The $7m co-production with New Wings Media will shoot in Spain this autumn.Director Hugh Farley's $5m She Died On Canvas, a co-production wi
  • Spain's Mate Productions unveils new sales division

    Spanish production outfit Mate Productions has launched an international sales division which will make its market debut at Cannes.Sales will be co-ordinated under executive Pablo Davila, formerly with Lolafilms. The first title on the company's sales slate is Argentine co-production Private Lives (Vidas Privadas) starring Cecilia Roth (All About My Mother) and Gael Garcia Bernal (Y Tu Mama Tambien) for director Fito Paez. The film premiered last September a
  • Spanish, Italian publishing giants unveil production and distribution push

    Spanish publishing giant Grupo Planeta and Italian partner De Agostini have finally unveiled full details of their joint multi-media venture, DeA Planeta, including the creation of a new production division to be headed by former Esicma chief Pau Calpe.Calpe will oversee the as yet unnamed production division, which plans to co-produce miniseries and an annual 4-5 feature films, beginning with Esicma co-production Voices In The Night (Las Voces En La Noche) from Mensaka directo
  • Spanish-French PHF Films' partners prepare separate slates

    Partners in Spanish-French production venture PHF Films, co-producers of Directors' Fortnight title Nada +, are dismantling their joint banner but will continue to co-produce projects together.Antonio Perez of Maestranza Films and Sarah Halioua of MDA Films, who formed PHF at Cannes in 1999 with Thierry Forte of France's DMVB, call the decision an "operative" one intended to simplify logistics on future co-productions."We will continue collaborating together," said Haliou
  • Spider-Man takes Japanese box office opening record

    In what is regarded as its most important international territory, Spider-Man smashed yet another opening record at the weekend when it was released in Japan on Saturday (May 11).With a massive estimated weekend gross of $9.6m (¥1.23bn) and 820,000 admissions from 412 screens, the blockbuster recorded the best figures ever for a non-holiday release in Japan. With a screen average of over $23,000 the film benefited from a saturation ad campaign that boosted recognitio
  • Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones

    Dir: George Lucas. US. 2002. 143mins.It must be thankless being George Lucas. He may be wading in money, but critics and fans have treated his new Star Wars prequels with such intense scrutiny and disappointment that he has to realise his reputation as a legendary film-maker of 1970s classics American Graffiti and Star Wars is in jeopardy of being tainted. Episode II is an improvement on 1999's Episode I, but it emphasises further how misjud
  • Star Wars: Episode II gets off to a flying start

    The opening day (May 16) of George Lucas's Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones has achieved predictably strong results in several major territories for 20th Century Fox.Unconfirmed figures from the US estimate the second instalment of the Star Wars saga taking well in excess of $25m from 3,161 sites (approximately 6,000 screens) on Thursday. Last year's opening day for Harry Potter - which was a Friday, saw $31.6m.Last year's late-May four-da
  • Studio Canal unveils Italian film production unit

    StudioCanal, the production and distribution subsidiary of Canal Plus and Vivendi Universal, has set up StudioCanal Urania, a new Rome based company that will produce up to three Italian films per year.The move comes despite rumours of Studiocanal shrinking its foreign operations. "This reflects the group's commitment to strengthening its presence in film production in Europe and include film distribution through 01-Distribution [a RAI-Studiocanal joint venture]," the company said in
  • Taewon six-picture deal kicks off busy market for Miramax

    Miramax International closed a six-picture deal with Taewon Entertainment in Korea at the end of last week, kicking off a Cannes market which worldwide distribution chairman Rick Sands is anticipating as a busy one.Sands's sales drive is focused around a new package of pictures including Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things, Sundance favourite Tadpole and Ben Stiller/Drew Barrymore comedy The Duplex and, separate from that, territory-by-territory sales of Quentin Ta
  • Taewon six-picture deal kicks off busy market for Miramax

    Miramax International closed a six-picture deal with Taewon Entertainment in Korea at the end of last week, kicking off a Cannes market which worldwide distribution chairman Rick Sands is anticipating as a busy one.Sands's sales drive is focused around a new package of pictures including Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things, Sundance favourite Tadpole and Ben Stiller/Drew Barrymore comedy The Duplex and, separate from that, territory-by-territory sales of Quentin Ta
  • Tartan Films, F&ME team on James Elroy project

    Hamish McAlpine's expanding production outfit Tartan Films has teamed with Mike Downey and Sam Taylor's F&ME to board Killer On The Road.The project is an adaptation of legendary crime novelist James Elroy's classic serial killer novel about "sexecutioner" Martin Plunkett and a policeman who himself has a murderous past.The team have yet to appoint a director and cast but are aiming to see the film in production by next Spring with a budget under $10m."Working with
  • Tartan, Fortissimo go for Sixteen Years Of Alcohol

    The UK's Metro Tartan and international sales outfit Fortissimo Film Sales have partnered on Sixteen Years Of Alcohol, the directing debut of UK TV presenter turned producer Richard Jobson. The autobiographical story, based on Jobson's own book, is to shoot in Scotland next month with a cast including Kevin McKidd, Ewen Bremner, Laura Fraser and Susan Lynch. The production is through Tartan Works, Metro Tartan's low budget arm. Jobson recently produced Damien O'Donnell's
  • Taurus expected to be sucked into Kirch bankruptcy vortex

    Taurus, the parent company that spans Kirch Media, KirchPayTV and KirchBeteiligung, is expected to be the latest element of the beleaguered Kirch empire to be sucked into bankruptcy. According to sources close to Kirch, a filing with the courts is "expected soon". Further confirmation came earlier this week when BSkyB said it expects to exercise an option that would force Taurus to buy back BSkyB's shares in KirchPayTV. It had been thought that the option could not be used until Octobe
  • Tequila Gang takes Lost In La Mancha to Cannes

    The Tequila Gang, the London/Mexico City-based production and distribution entity founded by founded by Mexico's Guillermo del Toro, Bertha Navarro, Laura Esquivel, Alejandra Moreno Toscano and London-based Rosa Bosch will be presenting Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe's documentary Lost In La Mancha to buyers at the Cannes film market. IFC Films, the theatrical distribution arm of the Independent Film Channel, has picked up all North and Latin American rights while Optimum has acqu
  • Tequila Gang takes Lost In La Mancha to Cannes

    The Tequila Gang, the London/Mexico City-based production and distribution entity founded by founded by Mexico's Guillermo del Toro, Bertha Navarro, Laura Esquivel, Alejandra Moreno Toscano and London-based Rosa Bosch will be presenting Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe's documentary Lost In La Mancha to buyers at the Cannes film market. IFC Films, the theatrical distribution arm of the Independent Film Channel, has picked up all North and Latin American rights while Optimum has acqu
  • Tesela heads new slate with Manas project

    Firming up its reputation as a wellspring for new talent in Spain, start-up Tesela Producciones is prepping four new films for its second-year slate headlined by writer-director Achero Manas' follow-up to his multiple award-winning debut feature Pellet (El Bola).Manas, who won four of Spain's top Goya awards and the EFA's Fassbinder Award for Pellet (2000), will shoot the Euros 3m drama November (Noviembre) in August. Casting is underway for dozens of young actors
  • The City Of No Limits (En La Ciudad Sin Limites)

    Dir: Antonio Hernandez. Sp-Arg. 2001. 118minsAntonio Hernandez's ensemble feature is a dramatic gem, a beautifully scripted and acted film with a glossy look and universal tale that has the capacity to move audiences anywhere. It represents a marketing challenge to distributors due to its complex storyline and straddling of genres, but it is still worth buyers at the Cannes market having a look at this Spanish-Argentine co-production, which is being sold by Sogepaq. Certainly
  • The Importance Of Being Earnest

    Dir: Oliver Parker. UK/US. 2002. 97 mins. Three years ago, writer-director Oliver Parker and the UK's Fragile Films re-invented Oscar Wilde's relatively obscure An Ideal Husband for the big screen, opening out the play to delightful effect and earning critical plaudits as well as some impressive box office grosses ($18.5m in the US alone). Parker and co's similar approach to Wilde's most celebrated stage work produces a very different effect: usually presented as a fro
  • The Works climbs aboard Ward's River Queen

    UK-based sales outfit The Works has stepped up its international production activities by boarding New Zealand director Vincent Ward's River Queen, a large-scale historical piece about the Maori's war against the British in the 19th century.Confirmed cast for the production include Sam Neill and Cliff Curtis. Don Reynolds is producing from script by Toa Fraser. The production is expected to shoot in New Zealand, testifying to the county's growing attraction as a location, partly
  • Tiger tamer role Tailor-Made for Kate Winslet

    With a debut slate headed by a $36m production in which Kate Winslet plays a tiger tamer, newly-launched Tailor-Made Films has emerged as a UK production outfit to watch.Founded by former freelance TV producer Miriam Segal with backing worth£1.3 million from a group of private investors, the company has been quietly developing an ambitious slate for the last 22 months, culminating in its official launch at Cannes this week. .Winslet is to star in The Final Confession Of Mabel
  • Tiger tamer role Tailor-Made for Kate Winslet

    With a debut slate headed by a $36m production in which Kate Winslet plays a tiger tamer, newly-launched Tailor-Made Films has emerged as a UK production outfit to watch.Founded by former freelance TV producer Miriam Segal with backing worth£1.3 million from a group of private investors, the company has been quietly developing an ambitious slate for the last 22 months, culminating in its official launch at Cannes this week. .Winslet is to star in The Final Confession Of Mabel
  • UA bowled over by Bowling For Columbine

    United Artists (UA) has acquired US rights to Michael Moore's gun control documentary Bowling For Columbine, marking the first domestic deal of this year's festival. The studio division of MGM beat out a clutch of distributors bidding for the film including Miramax and Fine Line, paying a reported $1.5m.The deal was closed between Bingham Ray, president of UA, and Charlotte Mickie, managing director, international motion picture sales, Alliance Atlantis Entertainment Group which
  • UGC lures French talent for big budget slate

    UGC International has lured some of France's top film-making talent away from rival production houses in lining up a slate of big budget projects for Cannes - led by Ruby Et Quentin, a $25m action comedy starring Gerard Depardieu and Jean Reno, and directed by Francis Veber.The high profile slate is representative of a new strategy at UGC International, according to CEO Patrick Binet: "This is in sync with (parent company ) UGC Images' will to be involved in French films which h
  • UGC lures French talent for big budget slate

    UGC International has lured some of France's top film-making talent away from rival production houses in lining up a slate of big budget projects for Cannes - led by Ruby Et Quentin, a $25m action comedy starring Gerard Depardieu and Jean Reno, and directed by Francis Veber.The high profile slate is representative of a new strategy at UGC International, according to CEO Patrick Binet: 'This is in sync with (parent company ) UGC Images' will to be involved in French films which h
  • UK cinemas kick off World Cup screenings

    The UK's UCI cinemas will be screening all England and Ireland football matches along with the final in 20 of its 39 cinemas throughout the UK during this year's World Cup. And following a deal with Hutchinson 3G, Odeon Cinemas will be digitally broadcasting England's qualifying matches in five major cities around the country. The sites installed with new digital equipment include the Odeons Leicester Square, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle.Similarly, a Warner Vi
  • Van Sant takes Last Days with MDP

    Gus Van Sant is following up his experimental film Gerry with another low budget picture, Last Days, to be financed by Mark Damon's revitalised MDP Worldwide. The film follows the last day in the life of a rock star and will feature Michael Pitt, the hot young actor who had a small role in Van Sant's Finding Forrester. Pitt is appearing in Cannes out-of-competition selection Murder By Numbers directed by Barbet Schroeder and he has starred in cult US indepen
  • Vivendi Universal hits out at bankruptcy claim

    Vivendi Universal lashed out yesterday at press reports that suggested the media conglomerate was technically bankrupt.Le Monde, France's newspaper of record, reported that during December last year the group's liabilities came breathtakingly close to exceeding its assets. Le Monde said its Euros 2bn of reserves were all but absorbed by finance costs, tax and a commitment to paying out Euros 1bn of dividends. That left the company some Euros 200,000 away from insolvency, bringing it to
  • Vivendi, News Corp Italian pay-TV row intensifies

    A row between two of the world's biggest media players has intensified this week, with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp saying it will hold Jean-Marie Messier's Vivendi Universal to an agreement to merge their Italian pay-TV businesses.According to UK paper The Financial Times, News Corp is expected to go to court to force the completion of the deal to merge Vivendi's Telepiu and Stream, a 50-50 joint venture between News Corp and Telecom Italia.News Corp has told Vivendi that pulling
  • Vortex takes international rights to Scala's Leopold

    Vortex Pictures, the international sales and finance outfit, set up by Nicolas Chartier and Dean Shapiro, has acquired international rights to Leopold, the latest picture from Nik Powell's Scala Productions directed by Mehdi Norowzian and starring Joseph Fiennes, Elisabeth Shue, Sam Shepard, Dennis Hopper, Deborah Kara Unger, Mary Stuart Masterson and Justin Chambers.Set in South Carolina, the film is in post-production and follows a man as he changes lives on his journey toward
  • Warner Bros wakes up to Insomnia in France and Spain

    Warner Bros has picked up rights in France and Spain to Insomnia, the critically acclaimed thriller directed by Christopher Nolan and sold internationally by Summit Entertainment. The film, starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank, world premiered at last week's Tribeca Film Festival and opens through Warner in North America on May 24.Produced by Alcon Entertainment, Witt/Thomas and Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney's Section Eight, Insomnia was sold by Summ
  • Wild Bunch picks up Stone's Looking For Fidel

    France's Wild Bunch has picked up international rights on Oliver Stone documentary Looking For Fidel. The 100% Spanish production, which is likely to make its debut at the San Sebastian International Film Festival in September, is billed as an intimate portrait of Fidel Castro and today's Cuba. Co-producers include Media Pro, Pentagrama Films and Morena Films.
  • Winchester racks up Scorched sales

    Winchester has sold Alicia Silverstone comedy Scorched to Spain's Vertigo, Benelux's RCV and Scandinavia's Egmont. As reported on Screendaily in March, German private broadcaster RTL Television has bought the picture under its strategy of acquiring all rights will release the film in the UK through its own distribution arm, Winchester Film Distribution.
  • Winning combination guarantees hot international summer

    The continued jaw-dropping success of Spider-Man, combined with widespread and eager anticipation for Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones, has made irrelevant any speculations about whether Summer 2002's international box office will beat that of 2001.But even before the big hitters came into the equation, early indications were that it was going to be a hot summer at the box office.The (slightly pre-summer) release of UIP's Mummy franchise s
  • Zentropa launches Industrial revolution

    First there was Dogme. Now Danish maverick outfit Zentropa has a launched a new label - this time with even more confining rules. Industrial Films DK will champion ultra-low budget films from new directing talent. In a bid to keep cost right down, one of the requirements of the new label is that film-makers shoot within a 500x500m geographical frame. The label idea came from Zentropa head honcho Peter Aalbaek Jensen, who says he is fed up of seeing promising new filmmakers spend
  • Zentropa launches Industrial revolution

    First there was Dogme. Now Danish maverick outfit Zentropa has a launched a new label - this time with even more confining rules. Industrial Films DK will champion ultra-low budget films from new directing talent. In a bid to keep cost right down, one of the requirements of the new label is that film-makers shoot within a 500x500m geographical frame. The label idea came from Zentropa head honcho Peter Aalbaek Jensen, who says he is fed up of seeing promising new filmmakers spend

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