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Screen
19 May 2004

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  • 2046 too late for the press

    The officialCannes press screening for Wong Kar-wai's competition entry 2046tomorrow morning at 8.30 am has been cancelled, Palais officials have confirmed.While WongKar-wai has always had a close-to-the-wire relationship with Cannes deadlines,"only a miracle will save the 8.30am screening now," said a source close to theproduction yesterday. The problem has arisen over the final reel, which was notprinted in time to get to Paris for subtitling.It's not as ifthe director
  • 9 Songs

    Dir: MichaelWinterbottom. UK. 2004. 65minsAlthough scarcely inmid-career, Michael Winterbottom has attempted almost every available filmgenre in which to test his considerable talents. 9 Songs, filmeddigitally, like his 2003 Berlin Golden Bear winner In This World, is hisbest shot at a film about sex.You could almost call it aporn movie - and some assuredly will - but despite sequences which includecunnilingus, fellatio and ejaculation, this paean to
  • Actor Tony Randall dies aged 84

    Tony Randall, the Emmyaward winning comedian and star of stage, cinema and television who won acclaimfor roles in Pillow Talk and No Down Payment, has died aged 84.Randall, who will perhapsbe best remembered for such television hits as One Man's Family, MrPeepers and The Tony Randall Show, passed away in his sleep at NYU MedicalCentre due to complications from a prolonged illness.He was born
  • AFM increases stakes in autumn market battle

    The fight to be thepredominant autumn market stepped up a gear with the AFM's announcement that ithas over 200 companies committed to exhibit at the Loews in Santa Monica thisautumn (Nov 3-10)."We've had a tremendousresponse from AFM exhibitors. Our new alliance with AFI Fest will make theupcoming AFM bigger and better than ever," said Jonathan Wolf, executive vicepresident of AFMA and managing director of AFM.Earlier this year the AFMconfirmed that it is to unite with the AFI f
  • Aligator measures up with Salazar's Centimetres

    New Spanish productioncompany Aligator is prepping its first feature film: Ramon Salazar's follow-upto 2001 Berlin screener Stones, the provocatively titled 20Centimetres.Former Alquimia Cinema headof international relations Iker Monfort launched Aligator earlier this yearwith the goal of making and co-producing two to three films per year.Salazar's 20 Centimetres(20 Centimetros) is a Euros 3.5m musical comedy about a transvestite with as
  • Aligator measures up with Salazar's Centimetres

    New Spanish productioncompany Aligator is prepping its first feature film: Ramon Salazar's follow-upto 2001 Berlin screener Stones, the provocatively titled 20Centimetres.Former Alquimia Cinema headof international relations Iker Monfort launched Aligator earlier this yearwith the goal of making and co-producing two to three films per year.Salazar's 20 Centimetres(20 Centimetros) is a Euros 3.5m musical comedy about a transvestite with as
  • Almodovar toys with trio

    Spain's El Deseo is preppinga new English-language drama from director Isabel Coixet for an autumn shootprior to cranking up Pedro Almodovar's as-yet undecided next film in 2005.Almodovar, whose latestfeature, Bad Education (Mala Educacion) inaugurates Cannes, has threescripts in development, according to producer Agustin Almodovar. The directoraverages one film every two years.The new projects include thelong-gestating noir thriller Tarantula and two female-center
  • Assassination Of Nixon proves popular

    Senator International hascompleted key territory sales on Niels Mueller's The Assassination OfRichard Nixon which stars Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Don Cheadle andscreens in Un Certain Regard on May 17.UGC has taken the film forFrance, Lucky Red for Italy and Wise Policy for Japan, while Senator hasextended its sales agency role to handle the US sale in addition tointernational rights.Other buyers includeAudiovisual in Greece, Gulf in the Middle East, L
  • Assayas producer drums up starry slate

    Producer Edouard Weil isbusy preparing new projects following his latest collaboration with OlivierAssayas on Cannes competition film Clean.Xavier Giannoli's lovetriangle drama La Belle Image stars hot French up and comer LudivineSagnier, Nicolas Duvauchelle and Bruno Todeschini and is set to start shootingon June 7 in Paris and Brussels. The French-Belgian co-production is beingco-produced through Rectangle Films, a partnership between Weil, Jean Coulonand Giannoli. Weil
  • Assayas producer drums up starry slate

    Producer Edouard Weil isbusy preparing new projects following his latest collaboration with OlivierAssayas on Cannes competition film Clean.Xavier Giannoli's lovetriangle drama La Belle Image stars hot French up and comer LudivineSagnier, Nicolas Duvauchelle and Bruno Todeschini and is set to start shootingon June 7 in Paris and Brussels. The French-Belgian co-production is beingco-produced through Rectangle Films, a partnership between Weil, Jean Coulonand Giannoli. Weil
  • Bad Santa

    Dir: Terry Zwigoff. US.2003. 91mins.With little advancepublicity, Bad Santa breezed intoNorth American theatres last Christmas like a breath of fresh air. Into a genreof films - the Christmas movie - traditionally dominated by sweetness andschmaltz (see The Santa Clause, Elf et al), Terry Zwigoff'sR-rated comedy injected a dose of profanity and irreverence which thrilledadult audiences to the tune of $60m in ticket sales.Programmed as anout-of-
  • Baeres 'had to destroy' Intertainment

    The wild ride ofIntertainment Licensing CEO Rudiger "Barry" Baeres took a solemn turn onTuesday as Baeres described the collapse of his company to a jury in a SantaAna, California federal courtroom.Testifying inIntertainment's $100m film-budget fraud lawsuit against Franchise Pictures andits CEO, Elie Samaha, Baeres recounted how he became a pariah on the NeuerMarkt and in the European investment community after he filed suit in Decemberof 2000.After Intertainment'srelationship
  • BBC, Content fast forward indie film-making scheme

    Scottish Screen,BBC Scotland, BBC Films and ContentFilm have launched a low budget film schemeunder the banner Fast Forward Features that aims to bring US indie-stylefilmmaking to the UK.The initiativeaims to fully fund three low budget features from emerging talent costing up to£1.2 million per film. ContentFilm will handle international sales and UKdistribution.David Thompson,head of BBC Films, said: "We want to try and find ways of making filmsprimarily with new directors in
  • BBC's Tweenies head for the big screen

    Arclight hasstarted selling international rights to the feature film version of hit BBCchildren's television show, Tweenies.The $15m familycomedy starts shooting in the UK this September for release summer 2005. It is being co-produced by Tell Tale Films,Spice Factory and UK tax fund Movision, which will also co-finance.The film has beenwritten by Tweenies co-creators Will Brenton and Iain Lauchlan and isbeing directed by Brenton.The TV show hasgenerated sal
  • Beart joins Film Distribution slate

    French sales house FilmsDistribution has announced four pick-ups coming into Cannes' market including anew feature from Train Of Life director Radu Mihaileanu and twoEmmanuelle Beart-starring films.Live And Become is the long-awaited follow up to Milhaileanu'slauded Train Of Life. Films Distribution's Francois Yon told Screen thatthe company has taken world rights outside France where Les Films de Losangewill distribute. The film is a Euros 6m production currently
  • Beart joins Film Distribution slate

    French sales house FilmsDistribution has announced four pick-ups coming into Cannes' market including anew feature from Train Of Life director Radu Mihaileanu and twoEmmanuelle Beart-starring films.Live And Become is the long-awaited follow up to Milhaileanu'slauded Train Of Life. Films Distribution's Francois Yon told Screen thatthe company has taken world rights outside France where Les Films de Losangewill distribute. The film is a Euros 6m p
  • Becker boards Islamic omnibus

    LeBrocquy FraserProductions, whose first feature credit was Osama, has signed on BeckerFilms International to help finance and later sell Five Worlds - anomnibus of 20-minute films from different Islamic countries by fivehighly-regarded local directors.Each of the five films is avery personal story but also demonstrates the effects of recent political andeconomic upheaval.One of LeBrocquy Fraser's three partners, Singapore-based Australian-bornprod
  • Billie Piper falls into Spirit Trap horror

    British popsinger-turned-actress Billie Piper is to star in Spirit Trap, a horrorfilm set to start shooting this month for the UK's Archangel Filmworks andSpice Factory.Directed by DavidSmith from a script by himself and Phil O'Shea, the film is set in an Englishtownhouse where an evil legacy haunts a group of students.Shooting isscheduled for the UK and Romania, with Luke Mably, Sam Troughton and Russiansinger Alsou also starring. Susie Brooks-Smith o
  • Blood on the Croisette

    French television station France 3 said yesterday it wouldfile a complaint against the police for alledgedly injuring a cameramanfollowing a demonstration of disgruntled show business workers onSaturday. Meanwhile, several unionsrepresenting hotel workers have called a general strike in all of Cannes tobegin on Monday morning at 7am. For the past four days, workers at the Carltonhotel have been striking against unsatisfactory working conditions.Although Saturday's march was sanctioned
  • Boorman heads Rai Cinemas' English-language drive

    Italy's Rai Cinema is liningup a John Boorman Roman epic as part of move to bankroll a slate of Englishlanguage features, and is also backing new Italian projects from Cannesveterans Marco Bellocchio and Pupi Avati.John Boorman is in talks todirect an adaptation of Marguerite Yourcenar's historical novel, Memoirs OfHadrian, a fictional autobiography of the Roman emperor, written as aseries of letters to his nephew, Marcus Aurelius.Italy's Rai Cinema isproducing the film w
  • Brando returns - as himself

    Shooting is due to startthis summer in LA for the 5.5m Brando And Brando, producer Norma Heyman(Dangerous Liaisons) ofHeyman-Hoskins Productions confirmedyesterday.The movie, to be directed byTunisia's Ridha Behi from his own script, is about a young boy who comes to theUS in search of the American dream - Brando. "It's one of the best scripts Ihave ever read in my life," said Heyman. "It made me weep."Behi's (Secret Obsessions, Les Anges) first English-lang
  • British talent headlines Moviehouse slate

    UK-based sales company Moviehouse Entertainment has struck a three-film partnership with Subotica Entertainment, the Irish producer of Sundance success Song For ARaggy Boy.
  • Bruce-Smith re-joins FilmFour

    FilmFour hasappointed Sue Bruce-Smith, former head of sales at the operation's previousincarnation under Paul Webster, as head of commercial development.Bruce-Smith stepsdown from her current post, head of production at production company LittleBird, in mid-July, though she continues as a non-executive director and retainsher minority share in the company. At FilmFour, she will oversee commercialinterests and develop the operation's business under Tessa Ross, head o
  • Calvaire producer lines up Coffin Island adaptation

    Michael Gentile, producer ofCritics' Week title Calvaire, hasannounced new projects from his companyThe Film. In Cannes, Gentile signed a deal for the rights to Maurice Leblanc's book L'Ile Aux 30 Cerceuils, or Coffin Island. The film based on thebook will be made for about Euros 8m-10m according to Gentile who calls it anadventure movie in the spirit of Conan Doyle or The Count Of Mon
  • Canadian film and video industry hits record

    Canada's film and video industry saw a record-high $2.36bn(C$3.3bn) in revenues domestically and internationally in 2002-2003, up 8% fromthe year previous.According to numbers released by Statistics Canada, distributorssold a record $1.14bn (C$1.6bn) in DVD and video cassettes while the nation'scinema circuits saw a near 15% rise in revenues, reaching $331.2m (C$462.6m).While film nationalists can trumpet a 50% increase in market sharefor Canadian films at the box office, pragma
  • Cannes market bustles with attendees

    The Cannes Market, which opened its doors yesterday (Wed12 May), looks set to be busier than ever. According to its preliminary figuresregistered attendee numbers are up 11% at 7,225 from 63 countries.Films screening increased this year from 1,214 to 1,340including 55 trailers.According to the market's analysis of the films on offersome 40% are in the English-language, 18% in French with Japanese, German,Spanish and Japanese at some 5% each.
  • Cannes market bustles with attendees

    The Cannes Market, which opened its doors yesterday (Wed12 May), looks set to be busier than ever. According to its preliminary figuresregistered attendee numbers are up 11% at 7,225 from 63 countries.Films screening increased this year from 1,214 to 1,340including 55 trailers.According to the market's analysis of the films on offersome 40% are in the English-language, 18% in French with Japanese, German,Spanish and Japanese at some 5% each.
  • Cannes set for Surreal premiere

    Having operated in abelow-the-radar fashion until now, new French distributor Surreal Films isusing Cannes as its public premiere.Headed by Dario Bergesio andPaul Blain, Surreal has already bought two films. First was the distinctly odd ReturnOf The Cagliostro, by Italian experimentalists Daniele Cipri and FrancoMaresco, which was snapped up from Cinico Cinema after Venice and Mifed.More recent was theacquisition Owning Mahowny, an English-langu
  • Cannes set for Surreal premiere

    Having operated in abelow-the-radar fashion until now, new French distributor Surreal Films isusing Cannes as its public premiere.Headed by Dario Bergesio andPaul Blain, Surreal has already bought two films. First was the distinctly odd ReturnOf The Cagliostro, by Italian experimentalists Daniele Cipri and FrancoMaresco, which was snapped up from Cinico Cinema after Venice and Mifed.More recent was theacquisition Owning Mahowny, an English-langu
  • Carlsen ready to Jump again

    Danishfilmmaking veteran Henning Carlsen gets back behind the camera on May 28 whenhe starts shooting his new film Spinget(literally: The Jump), his first film since 1998.The77 year-old writer-director's film follows an average 42 year old married manwho gets the rug pulled under him when he is told that he suffers from a deadlydisease - and reminds him of his childhood when his neighbour's daughterconvinced him to jump from a balcony with just a parasol as a parachute.Th
  • Carlyle plies trade in Bird's Meat

    Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, UK actor Robert Carlyle anddirector Antonia Bird have teamed on a black comedy horror film titled The Meat Trade.A modernre-working of the story of Edinburgh body snatchers Burke and Hare, theproduction is being readied for a spring 2005 shoot through 4Way Pictures, theBritish company the trio founded with Mark Cousins, who will produce.Set in Edinburgh,Welsh's home town and th
  • Carlyle, Anderson come of age with The Mighty Celt

    Robert Carlyle and GillianAnderson are being lined up to star in The Mighty Celt, a coming of age talebased at Robert Walpole and Paddy Breathnach's Irish company TreasureEntertainment.BBC Films and the NorthernIreland Film & Television Commission are to bankroll the production, whichis set to shoot in Northern Ireland this month. The picture, which also has UKNational Lottery cash, would mark Anderson's return to UK filmmaking after shewon acclaim in Terence Davies' House Of
  • Carlyle, Anderson come of age with The Mighty Celt

    Robert Carlyle and GillianAnderson are being lined up to star in The Mighty Celt, a coming of age talebased at Robert Walpole and Paddy Breathnach's Irish company TreasureEntertainment.BBC Films, The Irish Film Board and the NorthernIreland Film & Television Commission are to bankroll the production, whichis set to shoot in Northern Ireland this month. The picture, which also has UKNational Lottery cash, would mark Anderson's return to UK filmmaking after shewon acclaim in Teren
  • Chilean director shoots in Palestine for Vision

    French-based sales companyVision International has picked up rights to Chilean picture Ultima Luna,currently in final edit. Ultima Luna was directed by Miguel Littin,Salvador Allende's former Minister of Culture.Uniquely, for a Chilean,Spanish and Mexican co-production, Ultima Luna was 100% shot inPalestine and is an entirely Arabic-languageproduction. It centres around the wave of Palestinian immigrants toSouth America during the First World Wa
  • Classic rolls with Cottontail

    New York-based Classic Media has started production on 3-Danimated film Peter Cottontail: The Movie, inspired by the TV special HereComes Peter Cottontail and ready for delivery by spring 2005.Toy Story producer Ralph Guggenheim is producing the film alongsideEvan Baily, Classic Media's head of production, and Sandra Walters, a partnerin Australia's Kapow Pictures. Mark Gravas, creator and supervising director ofNickelodeon's TV series Yakkity Yak, is
  • Classic rolls with Cottontail

    New York-based Classic Media has started production on 3-Danimated film Peter Cottontail: The Movie, inspired by the TV special HereComes Peter Cottontail and ready for delivery by spring 2005.Toy Story producer Ralph Guggenheim is producing the film alongsideEvan Baily, Classic Media's head of production, and Sandra Walters, a partnerin Australia's Kapow Pictures. Mark Gravas, creator and supervising director ofNickelodeon's TV series Yakkity Yak, is
  • Content Burns with Butler

    Making its firstcommitment to a British film since Ed Pressman and John Schmidt's Contentfilmtook over the UK's Winchester Entertainment, sales arm Content Internationalhas boarded Burns, with Gerard Butlerstarring hot off Joel Schumacher's PhantomOf The Opera.Brian Cox, JohnHannah, David O'Hara and James Cosmo are also starring in the story of 18thcentury Scottish literary hero Robert Burns, which tells how Burns' endlesscarousing and womanizing shocks the polite Edinbur
  • D.E.B.S., The Notebook bookend 6th CineVegas Film Festival

    ScreenGems' comedy D.E.B.S. about an all-girl crime-fighting unit willopen the 6th annual CineVegas Film Festival, which runs in Las Vegasfrom Jun 11-19 and closes with New Line's epic romance The Notebook.JackpotPremieres for titles without a US distributor include world premieres of ChrisFisher's Hollywood Hills thriller Hillside Strangler, MitchellAltieri's dark coming-of-age comedy Lurking In Suburbia, Kim Dempster'srelationship drama
  • Dear Wendy goes to Japan

    After a two day bidding war,Thomas Vinterberg's Dear Wendy hasbeen sold to Wise Policy of Japan by Denmark's Trust Film SalesWritten by Lars VonTrier, it is a contemporaryEnglish-language film set in the US about a group of young pacifists who becomeobsessed with guns. It is currently in post-production.
  • DENMARK 18 May

    Nothing changed at the top of the Danish box-office chartthis week as none of the new releases had a chance of challenging the rule ofStephen Sommers' all-star monster get-together Van Helsing - despite the fact that it dropped 54% and had aadmission screen average as low as 236.But neither House OfSand And Fog's three prints or OpenRange's one amounted to much more than that leaving them to open on 20thand 24th respectively. Troy will be
  • Dreamworks realising Shrek 3 & 4

    DreamWorks FeatureAnimation, which has arrived in Cannes with a 300 strong entourage fortonight's competition screening of Shrek2, has begun production on Shrek 3- and is already working on Shrek 4.Studio partner JeffreyKatzenberg told Screen that Shrek 3 is scheduled for release in 2006, withShrek 4 to be decided."There are actually fourchapters to our Shrek story, soassuming number two is successful, we can continue on to do all four," he said."Befo
  • Dubai plans festival splash with royal backing

    Middle Eastern micro-state Dubai is planning a major splashin the film world with the launch of the Dubai International Film Festival inDecember (Dec 6-11).Highly developed and politically liberal, Dubai ispositioning the festival as a cultural bridge between the Middle East and theoutside world. It comes complete with the blessing of the royal family. SheikMohammed Bin Rashid Al Makhtoum is festival patron and Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed AlMakhtoum its chairman.Th
  • Echo Bridge digs in with Mortuary

    Ambitious new independent Echo Bridge Entertainment has acquiredworldwide rights to Tobe Hooper's upcoming horror picture Mortuary whichit says is its first theatrical acquisition.Production on the film is scheduled to begin in July, with awinter 2005 release planned. It marks the latest horror flick from Hooper whosecredits include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, TV miniseries Salem'sLot, Poltergeist, Fun House, Invaders From Mars, Life Force and
  • Echo Bridge digs in with Mortuary

    Ambitious new independent Echo Bridge Entertainment has acquiredworldwide rights to Tobe Hooper's upcoming horror picture Mortuary whichit says is its first theatrical acquisition.Production on the film is scheduled to begin in July, with awinter 2005 release planned. It marks the latest horror flick from Hooper whosecredits include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, TV miniseries Salem'sLot, Poltergeist, Fun House, Invaders From Mars, Life Force and
  • Echo Bridge digs in with Mortuary

    Ambitious new independent Echo Bridge Entertainment has acquiredworldwide rights to Tobe Hooper's upcoming horror picture Mortuary whichit says is its first theatrical acquisition.Production on the film is scheduled to begin in July, with awinter 2005 release planned. It marks the latest horror flick from Hooper whosecredits include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, TV miniseries Salem'sLot, Poltergeist, Fun House, Invaders From Mars, Life Force and
  • Enjoy Cinemas dives into diva material

    EnjoyCinema, the UK distribution outfit set up by former HanWay executive SimonGosling earlier this year, has caught the diva bug.Enjoyhas taken UK rights to Callas Forever, Franco Zeffirelli's biopic ofopera star Maria Callas, starring Fanny Ardant and Jeremy Irons, from Capitol.In collaboration with EMI who've licensed all of Maria Callas's music, Enjoywill be staging an outdoor screening of the film later in the summer with livemusical accompaniment later in the summer prior
  • Enjoy Cinemas dives into diva material

    EnjoyCinema, the UK distribution outfit set up by former HanWay executive SimonGosling earlier this year, has caught the diva bug.Enjoyhas taken UK rights to Callas Forever, Franco Zeffirelli's biopic ofopera star Maria Callas, starring Fanny Ardant and Jeremy Irons, from Capitol.In collaboration with EMI who've licensed all of Maria Callas's music, Enjoywill be staging an outdoor screening of the film later in the summer with livemusical accompaniment later in the summer prior
  • Entertainment falls for Alibi as UK buyers pounce

    EntertainmentFilm Distributors has boarded Summit Entertainment's The Alibi as the UKshows strong signs of buying across all budget ranges.Entertainment hastaken the UK on the contemporary thriller, which stars Steve Coogan and RebeccaRomijn-Stamos. Having previously bought Summit's Around The World In EightyDays, also starring Coogan, the Greens' powerhouse will be now be drivingthe British TV comedian's bid to become a film star in his home market.
  • Euro tax financiers spread their wings

    Led by UK players, Europe’s tax fund managers are diversifying their operations into new territories and new spheres of activity.Future Film, which has risen over £1bn of tax-backed film finance, yesterday announced that it is launching a fully-fledged German tax fund. The move follows the UK government’s February 10 clampdown on equity funds and the impending demise of the Section 48 tax scheme.For a similar reason, Anglo-Canadian player Grosvenor Park yesterday announced that
  • Europe given warning on internet piracy

    Internet piracy was firmly identified as the bogeymanthreatening the future of the creative process and the livelihood of the filmindustry, at a high-powered conference organised by the Cannes film festival onTuesday.Numerous speakers railed against the growing electronictrade that bypasses traditional distributors and funds organised crime."The expansion of broadband is synonymous with the growth ofillegal downloading," said Cannes president Gilles Jacob. "Let's not be naï
  • Europe given warning on internet piracy

    Internet piracy was firmly identified as the bogeymanthreatening the future of the creative process and the livelihood of the filmindustry, at a high-powered conference organised by the Cannes film festival onTuesday.Numerous speakers railed against the growing electronictrade that bypasses traditional distributors and funds organised crime."The expansion of broadband is synonymous with the growth ofillegal downloading," said Cannes president Gilles Jacob. "L
  • Fahrenheit 911

    Dir/scr: Michael Moore.US. 2004. 112minsA generation ago, thedogged, unwavering efforts of investigative journalists Bob Woodward and CarlBernstein helped to dislodge a president from power. Times change but couldhistory repeat itself with Fahrenheit 911' Probably not, but MichaelMoore's blistering documentary offers such a comprehensive assault on thefailings, lies and deceptions of the Bush administration that it may well playa part in the 2004 Pr
  • Fahrenheit to rise in July

    Michael Moore made his firstpublic appearance in Cannes yesterday, revealing that he and Miramax Filmsbosses Harvey and Bob Weinstein are negotiating with third-party distributorsto have Fahrenheit 9/11 in US theatres by July."Our plan was to release thefilm on July 4 weekend," he said, "and in the discussions we are having withthose who are out to release it, the plan is that it must be released in July."Earlier Moore had addressedthe demonstration by striking show busin
  • Fangoria spills into US distribution with Last Horror

    Fangoria, thecult US horror magazine, is branching out into theatrical distribution. It isto handle the US release of Julian Richards' The Last Horror Movie. Thefilm will be rolled out in the States next month.Tartan ishandling the film in the UK, where it will be put out on approximately 40prints in late June. The film, handled by Gavin Films, has also now been soldto Scandinavia (Nordisk), Germany (VCL), Mexico and Central America (Cine Ty YVideo)Mea
  • Film-makers vie to remake Japanese Love

    Japanese romantic drama CryingOut Love -- The Centre Of The World has scored a monster opening for localmajor Toho, while also drawing remake interest from neighbouring South Korea.Crying Out Love earned $5.3m (Y600m) on 283 screens on its openingweekend, appealing particularly to the under-30 female audience. It is based ona 2001 novel by Kyoichi Katayama, which last week passed 2.51m copies sold tobecome the best-selling Japanese novel ever.The film version is di
  • FINLAND 18 May

    As expected the all-star monster get-together Van Helsingcouldn't hold the fort against Wolfgang Petersen's boys in skirts Troyepic, which had a massive 62 prints and a solid Euros 4,255 screen average.However, the most impressive screen average was The GirlWith The Pearl Earring's Euros 8,857 on just one print, which moved it intoseventh spot after two weeks on release.After just one week in the top 10, Hollywood's version of aDanish royal roma
  • Finland's MRP joins Russian Legion

    Finland's MRP Matila RöhrProductions has joined Russia's PK Slovo production outfit to back FyodorBondarchuk's $3.3m The Ninth Legion, which shoots in Tadzikistan,Ukraina and Moscow from June to September.Fyodor Bondarchuk, who isthe son of the legendary director Sergei Bondarchuk (War And Peace),previously acted and co-produced Moving (2003) among other films, buthas also worked as a director in TV and commercials.The Ninth Legio
  • Fireside looks to sparkle on Cannes debut

    Fireside Entertainment, anew Dallas-based film financing and production outfit, is in Cannes for thefirst time with two new projects - Connected and A Knight's Fall- in addition to its completed thriller A Killer Within which is beingsold by Showcase Entertainment.Run by three partners -director Brad Keller, screenwriter Chris Peirson and production head MichelleHarvey- Fireside is attempting to create a viable, longterm production outfitbased i
  • First Look rides with Minotaur

    US-based First Look Mediahas acquired international rights to Jonathan English's UK, German, French andItalian horror co-production Minotaur, which is set to begin productionat Babelsberg Studios in Berlin in August with Luke Mably, Tony Todd and StevenBerkoff attached to star.Sales arm First LookInternational will begin pre-sales at Cannes and Lions Gate will handledomestic release on the picture, which is being produced by Melterni Films'English and Kim Barnes.Based on
  • First Look selling Kevin

    US-based First Look Mediawill finance and serve as executive producer on Toni Kotite˙s dark comedy KevinApproaches, which stars Guy Pearce, Laura Linney and Robert Carlyle.The company's sales armFirst Look International will begin pre-sales at Cannes while First Look andICM International˙s Shaun Redick will handle domestic rights.Kevin Approaches stars Pearce in the title role of a voyeuristic NewYork art scene arriviste whose sophisti
  • First Look stirs with Martini's Lymelife

    US-based First Look Mediahas acquired worldwide rights excluding North America to Derick and StevenMartini's drama Lymelife, which starsAlec Baldwin, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Timothy Hutton.The Martini brothersdeveloped the script through the Sundance Institute˙s film-maker andscreenwriter labs and make their directorial debut on the project, which is dueto begin principal photography on May 28.First Look president BillLischak and Dana Lambert neg
  • Focus boards Onimusha

    Samuel Hadida's Davis Filmshas enlisted Focus Features to handle sales outside of France and Japan to Onimusha, the ambitious live actionmovie of Capcom's best-selling video game. Hadida will produce the film basedon the game created by Keiji Inafune.Davis sister companyMetropolitan Filmexport will handle distribution in France, while GagaCommunications, which is co-financing the film, will handle distribution inJapan.The Oscar-winning ef
  • Focus Features enjoys sales bonanza

    Focus Features has completed over 200 territorial deals at Canneson its current slate of pictures led by Directors Fortnight title Mean Creek as well as The Constant Gardener, Brokeback Mountain,Prime, Assault On Precinct 13 and TheIce Harvest.On Jacob Aaron Estes'' acclaimed teen odyssey Mean Creek, Focus has clinched deals with Metropolitan in France,Tobis in Germany, CDI in Italy and Scan
  • Focus takes int'l on Cronicas

    Focus Features has picked upinternational rights to Cronicas, theserial killer drama starring John Leguizamo and Leonor Watling screening in UnCertain Regard tomorrow. John Sloss's Cinetic Media is handling North Americansales.Shot in Ecuador by directorSebastian Cordero, Cronicas was produced by Producciones Anhelo's AlfonsoCuaron and Jorge Vergara. Focus also handled sales on previous Anhelo title Y Tu Mama Tambien,
  • Foley has Pacino for 88 Minutes

    Avi Lerner's Millenium Filmsand Randall Emmett and George Furla's Emmett/Furla Films have unveiled theirlatest picture 88 Minutes, a contemporary thriller to be directed byJames Foley with his Glengarry Glen Ross star Al Pacino attached tostar.Scripted by Gary ScottThompson (The Fast And The Furious), the film is budgeted at under $30mand is scheduled to shoot in Sept in Vancouver.Pacino will play a collegeprofessor who moonlights as a fo
  • Fortissimo's new Taiwan Formula

    Fortissimo Films has picked up world sales rights toTaiwanese hit Formula 17The gay comedy-drama about a man who moves to Taipei insearch of his first love was a rare hit in Taiwan for a local film. It notchedNT6m, ranking it in the top five Taiwanese films since 1998.The feature debut of DJ Chen, it was produced by MichelleYeh and Alieen Li of Three Dots Entertainment. It screens in the market todayfor the first time."Formu
  • FRANCE 14 May

    Van Helsingscared up nearly 1 million admissions its first week in release with arespectable $6,902 per screen average. Les Choristes remains in thesecond spot after 8 weeks with last week's number one Mariages! down tothird position.There wasvery little movement at the box office but the films that dropped off did soprecipitously. Other new films were Close Your Eyes starring GoranVisnjic which sold 63,259 tickets on 110 screens and Mambo It
  • Gayet named as Jobson's Woman

    Rising Frenchactress Julie Gayet is to star in British director Richard Jobson'ssupernatural love story Woman In Winter.UK seller ParkEntertainment, which is handling Jobson's ThePurifiers and its follow-up The OnlyOnes, has acquired international rights. Shot digitally, the film beginsproduction in Edinburgh in November with the support of Adobe.The story,written by Jobson, is about around a maverick physicist who falls in love witha mysterious French photo
  • German cinema admissions plunge

    2.4m fewer tickets were soldat German cinemas in the first three months of 2004 compared to the previousyear, according to statistics collated by the German Federal Film Board (FFA).The Berlin-based institutionreported that box-office takings fell year-on-year by 9% to Euros 213.1m andadmissions by 6.2% to 37m, the lowest tally since the first quarter of 1999.In the five Eastern Laender,the contraction in box office revenues and admissions was even more pronounced,with exhibitor
  • Godard provokes at Cannes

    In Cannes yesterday, Jean-Luc Godard (unveiling hisnew film Notre Musique out ofcompetition) was in typically provocative and gnomic form. Asked to comment onMichael Moore's work, he compared it unfavourably to the "great movies" 25 years ago of Frederick Wiseman. "Ofcourse he (Moore) says he is attacking Bush but my feeling is that he helpsBush in a way," Godard told Screen.Godard also questioned whether the various filmsscreening at the festival attacking globalisation and war
  • Golden Harvest takes Grudge to Taiwan

    Taiwan is now on the acquisitions radar for Hong Kong majorGolden Harvest.It has picked up Taiwanese rights to The Grudge, the English-language remake of Japanese chiller Ju-On being sold by SenatorInternational.Golden Harvest has previously licensed rights to the picturefor Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. The move may pre-empt expansion of itsexhibition network through the long-expected acquisition of Warner
  • Hart Sharp gets Super Size

    Hart Sharp Video hasacquired domestic home video rights to hit documentary Super Size Me from Roadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn Films.The film, in which film-maker Morgan Spurlock puts himself on a strict diet ofMcDonald's food for 30 days, will be released in the autumn on DVD and VHS.The deal was closed betweenMeyer Gottlieb of Goldwyn, Howard Cohen of Roadside and Joe Amodei of HartSharp Video.The film joins other HartSharp video releases such
  • Harvey Weinstein to publish memoirs

    Miramax co-chairman HarveyWeinstein has closed a deal with HarperCollins Publishers for North Americanand UK publication rights to his memoirs. And Weinstein plans to donate allprofits from the book to three charities: The Robin Hood Foundation, Paul Newman'sThe Hole In The Wall Gang Camp and amfAR.The memoir will trace thelives of the Weinstein brothers from their lower middle-class roots in Queens,New York, through the founding of Miramax named after their parents Miriam andMax and w
  • Homeboy Hennie heads for Haugesund opening

    Uno, the feature directing debut fromNorway's most prolific young actor Aksel Hennie, has been selected as theopening film for the upcoming Norwegian International Film Festival inHaugesund.Hennie, who has starred in a number of recent filmsincluding Jonny Vang and Buddy, also wrote the script and starsin Uno, which is described as a tough drama about taking responsibilityfor your own life.The film follows the 25 year-old David (He
  • Hong Kong tycoon acquire a 17% stake in movie powerhouse Golden Harvest

    Hong Kong property andtelecoms tycoon Li Ka Shing looks set to acquire a 17% stake in moviepowerhouse Golden Harvest Entertainment from Taiwan's computer giant Acer,which was brought in as a shareholder in 2000.The transaction between Liand Acer is understood to be a done deal. An official announcement - nowpending approval from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on which Golden Harvest islisted - is expected to be made soon.It is widely rumoured thatseveral media
  • Hopkins runs with World's Fastest Indian

    LA producers Freddy Braidyand Francesco Juilland have teamed up to form Cameo FJ Entertainment and thecompany's first film, The World's FastestIndian, which has Anthony Hopkins attached to star, Roger Donaldsonattached to direct and is being sold here by Elie Samaha's Mobius.Warner Bros will handledomestic distribution on the film through Samaha's distribution deal with thestudio for films over $20m. Braidy is Samaha's nephew and previously worked indevelopment at Samaha's Franc
  • Horizon takes Eternal rights

    HorizonEntertainment has acquired international rights to the thriller Eternalwhich will be released theatrically in Canada by TVA. Written and directed byWilhelm Libenberg and Federico Sanchez, the film was shot in Venice andMontreal and stars Conrad Pla and Caroline Neron in the story of a detectivetracking a female killer who has a connection to a legendary 16th century massmurderer.Horizon president RobStraight acquired the rights to the film from Montreal-based WildkoastPro
  • HUNGARY 13 May

    Hugh Jackman's Monster flickwas unrivalled last weekend at the Hungarian box office after being released ona strong thirty-three prints by distributor UIP-Duna Film although not quitematching the results of the director's previous works, The Mummy and TheMummy Returns. The film managed over 45,000 admissions which,along with thepre-screening results means the film is nearing the cumulative admissions markof 60,000.While last week's otherreleases were n
  • Hurt to shoot Dogs for Renaissance, BBC

    MichaelCaton-Jones is to direct John Hurt in ShootingDogs for BBC Films and sales company Renaissance Films.Hurt plays apriest who forges a friendship with Joe, a young teacher, against the backdropof the Rwandan genocide. The film explores the dilemma of peacekeepers caughtup in a dangerous world, where they feel powerless to act effectively.The filmre-unites Hurt, who was born in Africa, and Caton-Jones after theircollaborations on Scandal and
  • IDT signs deal to acquire Manga Entertainment

    US-basedanimation and live-action producer-distributor IDT Entertainment has signed anagreement to acquire Manga Entertainment, the largest distributor of animeoutside Japan.The move effectively makes IDT one of the largest animedistributors in operation and strengthens the hand of its DVD and videodistribution subsidiary Anchor Bay Entertainment at a time when the worldwideanime market is reportedly worth $2bn a year.
  • Initiative awards six completion grants

    US-basedcharitable foundation Global Film Initiative has awarded six $10,000 completiongrants to film-makers from the developing world to be used with finishingproduction and post-production costs.The titles are: Manuel Niero Zas' story of a young man building ahouse in The Dog Pound (Uruguay), Albertina Carri's tale of anincestuous affair between siblings in Gemini (Argentina), Diao Yinan'sstory of a prison executioner who unknowingl
  • ITALY 17 May

    Eagle Pictures' South Korean horror flick, Phone, opened at number two in Italy,grossing $662,918 on what proved to be a rather lukewarm weekend at the localbox office.Ahn Byung-ki's Phone,which focuses on a twenty-year-old woman who is terrified by the incessantringing of her cell phone in a deserted metro station, opened on 235 screens,registering an unspectacular screen average of $2,821.Meanwhile, all the fi
  • JAPAN 13 May

    Only one percent of all Japanese may be Christians, but MelGibson's The Passion Of The Christ has made many converts, if the film'sfirst week box office total is any indication. Opening on fivenine-major-cities screens, the film earned $457,987 for a screen average of$91,579 -- topping the number one The Haunted Mansion.Distributor Nippon Herald's Web site proclaims it as thefilm that 'beat Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King and StarWars:
  • Korea pledges $33m for digital cinema push

    South Korea's government is gettingbehind the push towards digital cinema, pledging $33.2m to speed up the filmindustry's transition to digital.In a report published this week titled 'Plans and Visions for theCulture Industry,' the Ministry of Culture and Tourism earmarked the fundsfor 2005-2007 to stimulate research, support the installation of digitalprojectors, and convert films held in the Korean Film Archive to digitalformat.The Ministr
  • Korean distributor unveils debut production slate

    South Korean distributor Chungeorahm Film makes its first trip toCannes this year with a wide slate of upcoming titles from its newly-launchedproduction and investment arm. These include a new film by Old Boy and Chihwaseonstar Choi Min-shik and a big-budget disaster movie by Bong Joon-ho, director ofthe award-winning Memories Of Murder.Unlike most Korean production houses, Chungeorahm is also keen to workwith international sales companies from
  • Korean distributor unveils debut production slate

    South Korean distributor Chungeorahm Film makes its first trip toCannes this year with a wide slate of upcoming titles from its newly-launchedproduction and investment arm. These include a new film by Old Boy and Chihwaseonstar Choi Min-shik and a big-budget disaster movie by Bong Joon-ho, director ofthe award-winning Memories Of Murder.Unlike most Korean production houses, Chungeorahm is also keen to workwith international sales companies from other countries. "Ou
  • Kormakur embarks on A Little Trip To Heaven

    Forest Whitakerand Norway's Maria Bonnevie are heading the cast of Baltasar Kormakur's hotEnglish-language debut A Little Trip ToHeaven, which has become the biggest Icelandic film ever with its $8.5mbudget.New sales outfitKatapult Film Sales has already pre-sold the project to A-Film (Benelux) andArtfree (Greece), and LA-based Icelandic producer Joni Sighvatsson is innegotiation with distributors from the Nordic region as well as the Nordic Film& TV Fund.TheIcelandic-UK-
  • Lakeshore, Screen Gems dig into Romanian Cave

    Romania again confirmed its attraction for footlooseinternational productions, with the start this week of principal photography onCave, the supernatural underground thriller from Lakeshore Entertainmentand Screen Gems.Cave, reportedly budgeted at some $20m, is the featuredebut of acclaimed commercials director Bruce Hunt, who was also second unitdirector on The Matrix.The action follows a group of adventurers - includi
  • Last minute addition to Cannes competition

    An eleventh-hour addition tothe Cannes competition line-up was announced Wednesday, just hours before thecurtain was set to go up on the opening ceremony.Jonathan Nossiter's Mondovinowill be screened in competition on Friday May 14, festival artistic directorThierry Fremaux announced Wednesday morning. The film is an investigativedocumentary about winemaking that spans three continents.Fremaux told Screen, "We hadthe film screening out of competition a
  • Last minute addition to Cannes competition

    An eleventh-hour addition tothe Cannes competition line-up was announced Wednesday, just hours before thecurtain was set to go up on the opening ceremony.Jonathan Nossiter's Mondovinowill be screened in competition on Friday May 14, festival artistic directorThierry Fremaux announced Wednesday morning. The film is an investigativedocumentary about winemaking that spans three continents.Fremaux told Screen, "We hadthe film screening out of competition and just felt that it
  • Laurel, Rosem, Onoma team for Chinese slate

    Beijing-based productionoutfit Laurel Films, French producer Rosem and French sales house OnomaInternational have struck a three-way agreement to produce and sell a slate ofChinese pictures.The trio worked together on Day And Night (Ri-Ri Ye-Ye) a rags toriches tales set in a mining town byChinese auteur Wang Chao. The film was shot in Mongolia late last year and wasproduced by Laurel's Fang Li and Rosem's Sylvain Bursztejn, and featured on thed
  • Lee outlines Media 8 ambitions

    Hong Kong-based entrepreneurSammy Lee has ambitious plans for his movie company Media 8 Entertainment whichgoes far beyond just financing films like Running Scared, Santa Slays, TheUpside Of Anger and the company's biggest production investment to date -the $50m Man About Town which has Ben Affleck attached to star."I want to expand it tobecome more of a broad media company and we are starting with movieproduction," Lee said in Cannes this week.
  • Liam Neeson mulls Breakfast

    Neil Jordan hasapproached Liam Neeson to join the cast of his upcoming black comedy BreakfastOn Pluto.Neeson would playthe father of the main character, a boy who flees Ireland to end up as atransvestite prostitute in London, who will be played by rising Irish starCillian Murphy.Jordan, whostarts shooting for Pathe Pictures in September, directed Neeson in 1996's MichaelCollins. Neeson is currently shooting Batman Begins with Murphy."I'm talking tohim
  • Life Is A Miracle (Zivot Je Cudo)

    Dir:Emir Kusturica. Fr-Serb-Mont. 2004. 154minsExperiencingan Emir Kusturica film is like being stone cold sober in a room of drunken,overwrought revellers. Life Is A Miracle is no exception. A boisterousbear hug of a film, it explores the bitter ironies of the Bosnian-Serbianconflict with an irrepressible appetite for the joys and sorrows of humanexistence.Freewheelingfarce gives way to tender tragedy as the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup
  • Lions Gate finds Garcia's Lost City

    Lions Gate FilmsInternational has confirmed that it will handle international sales on AndyGarcia's directorial debut The Lost City, a dramatic Cuban love storywhich is set to begin shooting in June in the Dominican Republic, Miami and NewYork.Garcia will play the leadrole with a large ensemble cast including Dustin Hoffman, Benjamin Bratt, TomasMilian and Ines Sastre.Set in Havana during thefall of the Batista regime and the start of the Castro revolution, the filmfollow
  • Lions Gate sews up Saw deals

    Lions Gate FilmsInternational has closed key territory deals on its horror thriller Sawstarring Cary Elwes, Danny Glover and Monica Potter. Metropolitan has taken thefilm for France, Kinowelt for Germany, Dea Planeta for Spain, Eagle Picturesfor Italy, Asmik Ace for Japan, Mirovision for Korea, Gussi for Latin Americaand Scanbox for Scandinavia.Company co-presidents NickMeyer and Sergei Yershov also announced sales to Eagle Films in the MiddleEast, Delon for
  • Lions Gate wraps up Japanese horror package

    Lions Gate Films has boughtworldwide distribution rights to the six-film horror package of films byproducer Taka Ichise dubbed J-Horror Theater.The franchise of films is bysix Japanese horror masters - Takashi Shimizu who made The Grudge, Hideo Nakata (TheRing, Dark Water), Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure,Pulse) and screenwriter Hiroshi Takahashi who wrote the Ring trilogy making his directorialdebut, in addition
  • Little steps into Attenborough's Ring

    Veteran sales agent RobbieLittle has stepped in as executive producer on Closing The Ring, RichardAttenborough's epic love story.Little is expected to tie upselected pre-sales at Cannes on the project, which now has an unconfirmed castincluding Dennis Hopper, Pete Postlethwaite, Mena Suvari, Shirley MacLaine andColin Hanks.Shooting is scheduled forthis summer with financing coming from the UK Film Council's Premiere Fund, theNorthern Ireland Film & Tel
  • Locarno to focus on Mekong Delta

    Film-makers from the Mekong Delta region will be at thecentre of this year's Locarno festival (4-14 Aug). The festival's Open Doorssection will host a delegation of directors from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia whowill present a selection of their previous films and attempt to match theircurrent projects with financiers and distributors from Europe."This is a tremendously exciting but little-known region,"said Locarno chief selector Irene Bignardi.
  • Lolafilms readies English pair

    Spanish producer Lolafilmsis storming ahead with two Euros 10m English-language productions - includingvenerable helmer Carlos Saura's new film.Saura, whose current releaseThe 7th Day is being sold at Cannes by Lolafilms, will shoot LorenzoDa Ponte (working title) in Venice and Vienna. The story of Mozart'slibrettist, who was also something of an adventurer, the film is aco-production with Austria's Satel, and is set to start shooting in January,according the Lolafilms ch
  • Lolafilms tunes up for Isi/Disi sequels

    As Spanish producerLolafilms gets ready for Spain's widest-ever release with 400 prints ofSantiago Segura starrer Isi/Disi, chief Andres Vicente Gomez revealedthat the movie is to become a franchise, with Seguro signed on for two moreinstalments.Isi/Disi 2 will start shooting in January 2005 for a Christmas2005 domestic release. Seguro is widely considered to have the Midas touch atthe Spanish box office after his blockbusters Torrente 2 and
  • Lorber buys classic titles for UK, US labels

    New UK home entertainment distributor inD has struckexclusive output deals with Hungarofilms and Hollywood Classics.Titles covered by the deal include Istvan Szabo's Oscarwinner Mephisto, Cannes Jury prize-winner Colonel Redl, and Hanussen,the third element in the trilogy.From Hollywood Classics, inD acquired Federico Fellini's Casanova,a pair of Elia Kazan titles A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, and Panic InThe Streets and
  • Lord Of War cast rounds out

    Ethan Hawke, BridgetMoynahan, Jared Leto, Jeffrey Wright and Donald Sutherland have joined NicolasCage in the cast of Lord Of War, Andrew Niccol's action-adventure whichis being produced by EMC, Ascendant Pictures, VIP3 Medienfonds, Saturn Filmsand IMG, with financing being provided by the producers and Rand Merchant Bankin South Africa through IMG.Arclight Films is sellingthe film which is set to start production on May 12 in New York, Romania andSouth Afric
  • Lord Of War comes together with Cage, Hawke, Leto

    Ethan Hawke, BridgetMoynahan, Jared Leto, Jeffrey Wright and Donald Sutherland have joined NicolasCage in the cast of Lord Of War,Andrew Niccol's action-adventure which is being produced by EMC, AscendantPictures, VIP3 Medienfonds, Saturn Films and IMG, with financing being providedby the producers and Rand Merchant Bank in South Africa through IMG.Arclight Films is sellingthe film which is set to start production on May 12 in New York, Romania andSouth Africa, and is budgeted a
  • Lord Of War comes together with Cage, Hawke, Leto

    Ethan Hawke, BridgetMoynahan, Jared Leto, Jeffrey Wright and Donald Sutherland have joined NicolasCage in the cast of Lord Of War,Andrew Niccol's action-adventure which is being produced by EMC, AscendantPictures, VIP3 Medienfonds, Saturn Films and IMG, with financing being providedby the producers and Rand Merchant Bank in South Africa through IMG.Arclight Films is sellingthe film which is set to start production on May 12 in New York, Romania andSouth Africa, and is budgeted a
  • Luna zeros in on $18m Moscow

    Spain's Luna is to up theante by directing Moscow Zero, a $18mproduction and a significant increase on the budgets for her previous films, Stranded and Whore.The film is to be made undera new label, Valentia Pictures, designed for higher-budget movies, said Whoreand Moscow Zero producer Jose Magan who previously operated under the labelDolores Pictures. Currently in final negotiations with several well knownacto
  • Lusomundo swallows up Filmax slate

    Filmax International hassold all rights in Portugal to their entire library of titles at Cannes toLusomundo Audiovisuals, plus newupcoming films Fragile, Captain Trueno,The Machinist (with Christian Baleand Jennifer Jason Leigh) and the three in-production animation titles Donkey-Xote,Pinnochio 3000 and Nocturna.The deal involves a morethan a hundred titles and includes current releases such as Romasanta
  • Media 8 bankrolls Binder's Town

    Media 8 Entertainment is to fully finance Man AboutTown, the next picture from its Upside Of Anger director MikeBinder, which will star Ben Affleck as a Hollywood talent agent,Binder is the actor and director behind TV series Mind Of TheMarried Man, cult film Sex Monster and Anger which stars JoanAllen and Kevin Costner and to which New Line has acquired domestic rights.Man About Town, which he also wrote, isthe story o
  • Media 8 bankrolls Binder's Town

    Media 8 Entertainment is to fully finance Man AboutTown, the next picture from its Upside Of Anger director MikeBinder, which will star Ben Affleck as a Hollywood talent agent,Binder is the actor and director behind TV series Mind Of TheMarried Man, cult film Sex Monster and Anger which stars JoanAllen and Kevin Costner and to which New Line has acquired domestic rights.Man About Town, which he also wrote, isthe story o
  • Media Asia dials up Feng's Phone, Thieves

    Premier Hong Kong studio Media Asia has picked upinternational sales rights to Cell Phone, the most recent film by one ofChina's most accomplished directors' Feng Xiaogang. The smash hit complementsthe group's burgeoning star-driven production slate which is unveiled atCannes.Cell Phone, a light-hearted drama about thea TV chat show host (Cannes acting prize-winner Ge You) whose complicated lovelife is both enabled and undone by his mobile phone, was t
  • Media Asia revs up Initial D with Infernal Affairs talent

    Hong Kong productionpowerhouse Media Asia has confirmed the directors and cast for its big-budgetcar racing drama, Initial D, which reunites key talent from its hugelysuccessful Infernal Affairs trilogy.As expected, InfernalAffairs directing duo Andrew Lau and Alan Mak will direct the US$8m comicbook adaptation, which is scheduled to start shooting in Japan at the end ofthe month.Taiwanese pop star Jay Chouis heading the cast along with Infernal Affairs
  • Merchant Ivory goes Latino

    Merchant Ivory Productions(MIP) has acquired rights to Peter Cameron's novel City Of Your Final Destination and it will be James Ivory's nextfilm as a director after The WhiteCountess which is shooting later this year. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala iscurrently writing the screenplay.Talking to Screen in Cannesyesterday, MIP's Ismail Merchant said that the film will be the company's firstto shoot in Latin America and is scheduled to go before cameras in Oct 2005.Merchant and
  • Millennium Kidnapped with Go Fish

    Avi Lerner and DannyDimbort's Millenium Films has boarded Arie Posin's directorial debut Kidnappedand is handling international sales on the film which will be distributeddomestically by DreamWorks specialty division Go Fish Pictures throughNewmarket Films.Ralph Fiennes, Rita Wilson,Carrie-Ann Moss, Jamie Bell, Glenn Close, Allison Janney and Camilla Belle starin the film which is being financed by El Camino Pictures, the joint venturebetween Bob Yari and Wil
  • Miramax makes Grimm German deal

    Miramax International has made its first German sale in two years,clinching a deal on Terry Gilliam's TheBrothers Grimm with Concorde Film.The company is selling all territories on the film,budgeted in the $80m region, including those territories in which ittraditionally handles its own pictures such as Germany, UK, France, Spain,Australia and Italy.Miramax stopped selling to its German buyers like Highlight,Concorde and Constantin in
  • Monster sales for Film Transit's Metallica

    Films Transit is reporting strong buyer interest in documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, inspite of the fact that world DVD rights to the feature have already been soldto Paramount Home Entertainment.Since its premiere at Berlin, theatrical rights for the film have beensold to the UK (Tartan), Australia (Dendy), Canada (Capri), Poland (Gutek), theCzech Republic (Cinemarx), Finland (NRP), Sweden (Folkets Bio), and Swit
  • Moore pressure on White House

    The White Houseput pressure on Mel Gibson's Icon not to back Farenheit 911, Michael Moore claimed yesterday.Moore, whosedocumentary premieres in Cannes, revealed that his agent received a call fromIcon boss Bruce Davey last year saying "I'm in a big jam here, you've got tohelp me. I know we have a signed deal. I know the money is already flowing intothe film but Mel (Gibson) got a call from someone connected to the White Housesaying 'don't expect any more invitations from the Wh
  • Morena launches Trauma, sets Saura

    Spain's Morena Films isgearing up for an ambitious year with the launch of new genre label Trauma anda musical feature in development with veteran director Carlos Saura.The projects represent thetwo divergent lines of production at Morena: commercially-oriented,locally-targeted genre concepts developed in-house; and high-profileinternational fare such as Oliver Stone documentary Looking For Fidel orEuros 9.8m Peter Mullan-starrer Cargo."This is
  • Morgan Creek tackles Tenth Victim

    Morgan Creek has bought filmrights to The Tenth Victim, the long-gestating remake of Elio Petri'scult 60s futuristic thriller, and will fully finance the film with JohnMcTiernan attached to direct. Universal Pictures is handling domesticdistribution with Morgan Creek International handling sales in internationalterritories in Cannes.McTiernan, whose creditsinclude Die Hard, Predator, The Hunt For Red October, Die Hard: With AVengeance and The Thomas Crown Affair, i
  • Movision, Invicta team for all-star Pushers

    Joan Allen, Claire Danes,Kathy Bates, Brenda Blethyn and Maggie Smith will head the cast of JimmySmallhorne's second feature film Pushers Needed which is being financedby Movision, Invicta and The Irish Film Board. Arclight Films is handling saleshere.The film, which is describedin the vein of The Full Monty and Calendar Girls, tells the storyof a group of harried, working-class housewives who win a trip to Lourdes andembark on an adventure that
  • NBC Universal merger is complete

    NBC completed its acquisition of Vivendi Universal's entertainment assets earlier today (12) in NewYork as the companies merged to create NBC Universal, the latest mediaconglomerate with expected 2005 revenues of $15bn.The new companyhas a mind-boggling range of cross-promotional opportunities with assetsincluding Universal Pictures, NBC Network, seven cable channels including USAand Bravo, 29 television stations and interests in five theme parks.General Electricvice chairman Bo
  • Neil Jordan prepares Breakfast for Pathe

    Neil Jordan willshoot Breakfast On Pluto for Pathe Pictures, the UK company announcedWednesday.The adaptation ofPatrick McCabe's novel will star Cillian Murphy, the rising Irish star of BatmanBegins and Cold Mountain. Shooting is set for September, with Pathehandling UK distribution and international sales.The 1970s-setblack comedy follows a boy who flees Ireland to end up as a transvestiteprostitute in London. Stephen Woolley, Alan Molon
  • New Line signs pact with UK publisher Chicken House

    New Line Cinema has struck a first-look deal with ChickenHouse, the English children's book company whose publisher was creditedwith the discovery of Harry Potterauthor J K Rowling.The publishing deal creates a new channel of story ideasfor the studio and will allow Chicken House to co-produce and develop its ownwriters' ideas for the screen.StephenMoore of The Kohner Agency negotiated the deal for Chicken House with NewLine's Eric El
  • NEW ZEALAND 17 May

    As is happening around the world, Roadshow's Troy had no trouble claiming the crownof top film at the box office on the weekend. It grossed NZ$987,503 from 73screens, pushing UIP's Van Helsingdown to second place with a gross of NZ$358,049 from 66 screens, a fall ofabout 45%. Troy's screen average ofNZ$13,527 was well over half of each of the other films in the chart.Third and fourth in the chart are the comedie
  • Nexo takes on The Woodsman for Italy

    Nexo has taken Italian rights to The Woodsman, Nicole Kassell's directorial debut which is inDirectors Fortnight, from Lee Daniels Entertainment.The acquisition comes hard on the heels of Nexo's successwith Monster which has grossed over$2m after three weeks on release in Italy. Like Monster, The Woodsmanwill be distributed domestically in the last week of Dec by Newmarket Films.Founded by Ernest
  • NORTH AMERICA 19 May

    Like the Trojan Horse that plays a pivotal, albeit utterlywooden, role in Warner Bros' Troy,everybody thought they knew what they were getting as the picture's releasedate approached. And sure enough Wolfgang Petersen's abridged adaptation ofHomer's Iliad generated plenty of publicity and opened number one. The onlypart that didn't go to plan was the $46.9m weekend gross and the studio chiefswere disappointed. They bounced back a day later, trumpeting the inevitable
  • Optimum takes Tube's Aachi for UK

    Optimum Releasing has picked up UK rights for Aachi & Ssipak, a BeavisAnd Butthead-style Korean animated feature about a futuristic world poweredby human feces. Represented by TubeEntertainment, the film has also been pre-sold to AB Films for Italy andProopitiki for Greece, and negotiations are underway with two major USstudios.In addition, Tube has sold MTV the rightsto produce a 16-part TV series based on the film, and several European telecomscompanie
  • Osher named COO at Columbia Pictures

    Industry veteran Bob Osher has been named chief operatingofficer of the Columbia Pictures Motion Picture Group and began working at thestudio's Culver City-based lot yesterday (17).Osher's dutiesincludeoverseeing business affairs and physical production for the studioand he will report to Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Amy Pascal, workingalongside co-presidents of production Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, who willcontinue to supervise Columbia's feature film sla
  • Paltrow, Ruby strike joint venture

    Gwyneth Paltrowand leading British production outfit Ruby Films have formed a joint company todevelop projects for Paltrow to star in and produce.First up islikely to be Diamonds, the true ragsto riches story of a female London jewelry thief who masqueraded as a varietyof wealthy women to rob shops by swallowing choice items. Sexy Beast's Louis Mellis and David Scinto are writing the script,while Ruby and Paltrow will co-produce, with Paltrow starring.Alison Owen,
  • Paris boosts film funding

    France's Ile de Franceregion - the area that incorporates Paris and its environs - has announced itwill increase its available film funding by Euros 2m to Euros 12m next yearwith a view to bumping the total up to Euros 15M over the course of the next fewyears.The existing Euros 10m fundwas established in 2001 to aid filmmakers (and in some cases televisionproductions) who shoot or post their projects in the area as a means to fightrunaway production. Since the fund wasestablished, 52 f
  • Prolific slate for post-Troy Kruger

    Fresh fromplaying Helen of Troy, the face that launched 1000 ships, in WolfgangPetersen's $200 million epic, Troy, German-born actress Diane Kruger isto appear alongside Ed Harris in Agnieszka Holland's low-budget, US independentfilm, Copying Beethoven. "I think this year I'm going to try to dosmaller films and more character work," Kruger told Screen.In Cannes today ,Kruger will be taking part in a press conference to promote Christian Carrion'smulti-lingual First World
  • Pyramide stacks up with Warner Bros' Femme

    Fabienne Vonnier's Pyramidehas added two new co-productions to its roster, as well as taking oninternational sales to Josiane Balasko's L'ExFemme De Ma Vie - the latest film from Warner Bros' French productiondivision.Pyramide sales divisionFlach Pyramide is also selling the two new co-productions - An Italian Romance from CarloMazzacurati, Habana Blues by BenitoZambrano.The Italian film bringstogether wh
  • Reding spells out Media Programme future

    "Filmeducation and training are to be put at the heart of the next version of theEuropean Union's Media Programme," said EU culture and education commissionerViviane Reding yesterday."Wewill not harmonise training. We will maintain national specificity. But we willput all the training programmes together in a new network with a new name:Young Film-Makers Take-Off Initiative." The name is a reference to Take Off an early film by Milos Forman,the
  • Roeg, Beresford front Beyond slate

    Beyond Films hasunveiled a new slate including a Nicolas Roeg erotic thriller with DonaldSutherland Robert Carlyle, a Bruce Beresford title with Colin Firth and twopictures with Ripley's Game star Dougray Scott.Sutherland, whostarred in Roeg's classic psychological thriller Don't Look Now, willplay an author trapped in a web of lies when he re-teams with the director on MasterOf Lies. The sexually-charged film also stars Shirley Henderson.
  • Roeg, Beresford front Beyond slate

    Beyond Films hasunveiled a new slate including a Nicolas Roeg erotic thriller with DonaldSutherland Robert Carlyle, a Bruce Beresford title with Colin Firth and twopictures with Ripley's Game star Dougray Scott.Sutherland, whostarred in Roeg's classic psychological thriller Don't Look Now, willplay an author trapped in a web of lies when he re-teams with the director on MasterOf Lies. The sexually-charged film also stars Shirley Henderson.
  • Roeg, Beresford front Beyond slate

    Beyond Films hasunveiled a new slate including a Nicolas Roeg erotic thriller with DonaldSutherland Robert Carlyle, a Bruce Beresford title with Colin Firth and twopictures with Ripley's Game star Dougray Scott.Sutherland, whostarred in Roeg's classic psychological thriller Don't Look Now, willplay an author trapped in a web of lies when he re-teams with the director on MasterOf Lies. The sexually-charged film also stars Shirley Henderson.Principalphotograph
  • Rousselet announces slate

    Philippe Rousselet hasannounced a slate of new projects from Paris-based Films de la Suane andUS-based EMC.EMC, a partnership betweenRousselet and Andrew Niccol, is producing LordOf War and preparing Manhattan Bravea $25 million coming of age story for 2005. Heath Ledger is in talks to star.Niccol will direct.Also being developed is $50million film based on the true story of Michael Pardue, wrongly convicted ofmurder in Alabama but serving a lif
  • Saddle Club set for big screen

    Australia's CrawfordProductions and Canada's Protocol Entertainment are preparing to shoot afeature that is based on the hit TV series TheSaddle Club, which is currently screening on Discovery Kids in the US and,when last screened in Sydney, attracted an astounding 95% of all five to12-year-olds at its peak.Matt Carroll, who was behindsuch iconic Australian films as SundayToo Far Away and Breaker Morant,is producing and the writer is US-born Queensland-based Shirle
  • Salles to tackle football-themed film

    Walter Salles,whose Motorcycle Diaries screens incompetition in Cannes today, is to make a low budget football-themed film forDonald K. Ranvaud's new production and sales collective, Buena Onda.Salles willco-direct with Daniela Thomas with whom he made Foreign Land. The film, set in Sao Paolo, will tell of four youngbrothers from an impoverished background who try to break the social apartheidin Brazil. One of the boys tries to make it out of the ghetto as a professionals
  • Salvatores' Love set as English-language debut

    Gabriele Salvatores, theOscar-winning Italian director of Mediterraneo and I'm Not Scared,will make his English-language feature debut The Rules Of Love in Canadaas an Italy/Canada co-production with Toronto-based Capri Films and Rome-basedColorado Film Production.Inspired by the novel TheLoves Of Judith by Meir Shalev, The Rules Of Love was scripted byLaura Philips; it is the story of three men and their love for a woman namedJudith. For ten years, e
  • Senator sells Long Weekend

    Senator International hasclosed multiple deals on Gold Circle Films' comedy The Long Weekendstarring Chris Klein and Brendan Fehr. Universal Pictures, which has a domesticdistribution deal with Gold Circle, took the film for Germany, Aurum for Spain,Pasatiempo for Latin America, Cathay for Singapore, CP International for CISand the Baltics, DFW for Benelux, Eureka for Thailand, Gulf for Mexico, Lemofor Israel, Nordisk for Scandinavia, Nu Metro for South Africa, Revo
  • Seville, Capri team for Canadian releases

    Two Canadian distributors -the newly formed Capri Films Releasing and Seville Pictures - have announced atwo-year distribution deal for theatrical releases serving French and EnglishCanada.Under the terms of the deal,Capri will service all Seville releases in English Canada, with Sevillereleasing all Capri films in Quebec.Discussions between Capri'sTony Cianciotta and Seville's David Reckziegel began at AFM when producerGabriella Martinelli and Cianciotta unv
  • Shikiya named svp marketing and distribution at MGM

    Steven T Shikiya has beennamed senior vice president of marketing and distribution at MGM, assuming alarge portion of the former duties of Danny Rosett, who was recently named UApresident.Shikiya will oversee allfinance, planning and operational support for the domestic theatrical marketingand distribution groups for MGM Studios and UA, reporting to chief financialofficer Dan Taylor, distribution president Erik Lomis and marketing presidentPeter Adee.He has b
  • Shochiku engineers Casshern sales

    Japanese major Shochiku is reporting strong sales interest in sci-fititle Casshern, about a futuristicworld where biologically-engineered humans attempt to take over the earth.Contracts have already been signed with unnamed distributors for the UKand Portugal, and head of international business Masaki Koga says he is innegotiations for almost all major territories.The debut film of music video director Kazuaki Kiriya, Cass
  • Shrek 2

    Dirs: Andrew Adamson,Kelly Asbury, Conrad Vernon. US. 2004. 93mins
  • Shrek producer turns to Europe to bankroll Vanguard slate

    Vanguard Films,the production company headed by Shrek 2and Shrek producer John Williams andNeil Braun, is exploring European investment sources to bankroll an initialslate of five animation films.The long-termfinancing pact is aimed at building on the company's foray into the independentsector with Valiant, Happily N'Ever Afterand Space Chimps.Braun told ScreenInternational that he is pursuing talks with several potential partners
  • Shrek producer turns to Europe to bankroll Vanguard slate

    Vanguard Films,the production company headed by Shrek 2 and Shrek producer John Williams and Neil Braun, is exploringEuropean investment sources to bankroll an initial slate of five animationfilms.The long-termfinancing pact is aimed at building on the company's foray into theindependent sector with Valiant, Happily N'Ever After and Space Chimps.Braun told ScreenInternational that he is pursuing talks with several potential partners but twooptions are
  • Silfen earns svp business and legal stripes at Miramax Intl

    JillSilfen has been promoted to senior vice president of business and legal affairsat Miramax International, where she will continue to negotiate andimplement international theatrical, homevideo and television licence agreementsSilfenhas worked at the company for two years and joined as vice president ofinternational business and legal affairs.Priorto Miramax she practised law for 10 years at several Californian firms handlingmostly intellectual property and
  • South Africa's Videovision stocks up

    South Africa's Videovision has picked up a swathe of filmsappearing in Cannes this week.From Wild Bunch it has grabbed Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 and Asia Argento's The Heart Is deceitful Above All Things.It also bought a five picture package of forthcomingtitles from Summit Entertainment: Stripes,Sahara, Phantom Of The Opera and RacingResident E
  • Spain's Arcadia turns to English language

    New Barcelona-basedproduction outfit Arcadia Pictures, in the market with the recently-completedEuros 3 million The Birthday, hasannounced two new English-language pictures to shoot in 2005 and 2006.Following the business modelperfected by Dolores Pictures, producers of Luna's Stranded and Whore!,Arcadia plans to finance the two new projects through pre-sales atinternational markets. The Birthday,a tribute to John Hughes movies set in Baltimore but shot on a
  • SPC flies with Zhang's Daggers

    Sony Pictures Classics hasacquired North American rights to Zhang Yimou's House Of Flying Daggers which is screening in Cannes on Wednesdayout of competition.The epic action romancestars Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Andy Lau and is produced by Bill Kong,whose Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragonwas also an SPC release, and Zhang Yeiping.House isthe sixth Yimou film to be released by SPC in North America after Happy Times
  • Spice Factory taps into South Africa

    Jason Piette andMichael Cowan's Spice Factory has joined forces with South Africa's Film Afrikato co-produce films with South Africa, which is seen in the UK as a burgeoningco-production partner.The deal comes asthe UK and South Africa are expected to forge an official co-production treaty.Spice Factory, a highly active co-producer and co-founder of UK tax fundMovision, said that the joint venture will be able to develop projects withover 50% of its funds in place via UK and South Afri
  • Stantic sets Lerman's Meanwhile

    Argentine producer LitaStantic, backer of Lucrecia Martel's Cannes competition title The Holy Girl (La Nina Santa), ispreparing the next film from up-and-coming director Diego Lerman.Provisionally titled Mientras Tanto (Meanwhile), the filmwill follow the overlapping stories of a cluster of characters populating lowermiddle-class Buenos Aires. Two young women provide the link between t
  • Sundance to introduce World Cinema Competition

    Sundance Film Festival organisers are raising the profile ofinternational films with the introduction in 2005 of the World CinemaCompetition, which will present two awards alongside the Independent FeatureFilm Competition for US independents.Jury prizes will be awarded to the best of 16 entries in theWorld Cinema Dramatic Competition and the best of 12 titles in the World CinemaDocumentary Competition.The 2005 Sundance Film Festival is scheduled to run in ParkCity, Utah, from Ja
  • Sundance to introduce world cinema competition sections

    Sundance FilmFestival organisers are raising the profile of international films with theintroduction in 2005 of the World Cinema Competition, which will present twoawards alongside the Independent Feature Film Competition for US independents.Jury prizes willbe awarded to the best of 16 entries in the World Cinema Dramatic Competitionand the best of 12 titles in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.The 2005Sundance Film Festival is scheduled to run in Park City, Utah, from Ja
  • Super sales for Fortissimo

    Fortissimo Film Sales is on course for its best ever market."If we close everything that we expect by the end of the month we will exceedlast year's annual turnover," said company co-chief Michael J Werner.Its controversial documentary Super Size Me is close to selling out. Completed deals on thepicture are headed by Tube Entertainment for Korea.Peter Greenaway's TheTulse Luper Suitcases trilogy was sold to Andre Lazare's Take Off forFrance. The new distributor pla
  • Tarantino to screen 'Japanese edit' of Kill Bill

    Jury chairman and formerPalme D'Or winner Quentin Tarantino confirmed yesterday that Cannes would hosta special screening of Kill Bill in its entirety. Kill Bill Vols 1and 2 in a so-called Japanese edit (complete with intermission) will screen onthe final night of the festival, shortly after his jury has come to its finalconclusion.At the jury pressconference, Tarantino was as entertaining as any of his films, with anelaborate recreation of how he caus
  • Tarnation creates Cannes buzz

    JonathanCaouette's Tarnation, which isscreening in Directors' Fortnight, has emerged as one of the buzz titles ofthis year's festival. The film, handled by Wellspring Media, has been licensedby Optimum for the UK and Dendy for Australia.Tarnation, exec-produced by Gus VanSant and John Cameron Mitchell, received rave reviews in Sundance earlier thisyear, and was made on Apple's I-Movie programme for a total budget of $218.32.Wellspring will be giving the film a platform re
  • Tartan launches with Hell into US

    The UK's Tartan Films is tomake its debut as a US distributor with Catherine Breillat's Anatomy Of Hell,which it will release on August 27.The UK distributor andproducer announced plans to launch into US distribution earlier this year.Other titles set so far for a US release include Ji-Woon Kim's Tale Of TwoSisters in September, Park Chan-Wook'sSympathy For Mr Vengeance in October and Old Boy nextMarch respectively. Tartan is also planning to release Michael
  • Tartan launches with Hell into US

    The UK's Tartan Films is tomake its debut as a US distributor with Catherine Breillat's Anatomy Of Hell,which it will release on August 27.The UK distributor andproducer announced plans to launch into US distribution earlier this year.Other titles set so far for a US release include Ji-Woon Kim's Tale Of TwoSisters in September, Park Chan-Wook'sSympathy For Mr Vengeance in October and Old Boy nextMarch respectively. Tartan is also planning to release Michael
  • Tartan names Schreiber as US video president

    Tartan USA has named AndrewSchreiber president of Tartan Video USA, a division of the new US distributorset up by Hamish McAlpine of Tartan Films in the UK.Schreiber joins Tartan afterten years at Playboy Video where he was vice president, international sales,and a stint running his own consultancy Forward Marketing.The home entertainmentdivision is set to launch in autumn 2004.Tartan has already acquiredten films for its US operation including OldBoy which is in c
  • Telepool snaps up Weeping Camel follow-up

    Germany's Telepool has picked up international sales on The Mongolian Dog, the follow up film tobreak-out hit documentary The WeepingCamel. The film shoots from next month, but has already been pre-sold toFrance's ARP Selection and to Ascot Elite for Switzerland.The picture by Mongolian director Byambasuren Davaa, heads aTelepool sales slate boosted by five new acquisitions.The film examines the archaic relationsh
  • The Assassination Of Richard Nixon

    Dir:Niels Mueller. US. 2004. 103minsLastyear at Cannes, Mystic River marked out Sean Penn as an early best actorOscar contender. This year, The Assassination Of Richard Nixon doesexactly the same. Currently in the prime of his career, Penn adds to his recentrun of outstanding work with a performance that captures every fibre andheartbeat of a man in the depths of despair at the life that fate has handedhim.Criticalsupport for Penn'
  • The Consequences Of Love (Las Consecuencias Del Amor)

    Dir/scr:Paolo Sorrentino, Italy. 2004. 100minsAn ice-coolexistential drama neatly poised on the borderline of thriller territory, PaoloSorrentino's elegant second feature marks the Neapolitan writer-director assomeone who knows just how to impose an individual stamp on idiosyncraticmaterial. A hyper-stylised, often slyly witty portrait of a loner in crisis,the film possibly gestures in the direction of more philosophical substancethan it may prove to contain
  • The Edukators

    Dir:Hans Weingartner. Ger-Aust. 2004. 126minsThefirst German film to screen in competition in Cannes in a decade, HansWeingartner's second feature The Edukators is a fresh and likable taleof youthful idealism. Boosted by a standout performance by Daniel Bruehl (oneof Europe's fastest-rising stars), vigorously shot in a hand-held style - whichmight best be described as Dogme-lite and deftly combining different genreelements, a mild political polemic
  • The Football Factory

    Dir: Nick Love. UK 2004. 90minsNick Love's low-budget, digitally shotadaptation of John King's novel is an energetic and creditable addition to whatseems to what seems to be blossoming into a mini-genre in its own right - thefootball hooligan film. Other forthcoming additions to the genre include TheYank, with
  • THINKFilm buys N American rights to Nimrod Antal's Kontroll

    THINKFilm has bought NorthAmerican rights to Kontroll, NimrodAntal's Hungarian hit which screened this week in Un Certain Regard. Antal is aUS-born director but the film is set in the world of the Budapest undergroundrail system where a hooded killer is on the loose. It stars Sandor Csanyi andZoltan Mucsi.The deal was closed by JeffSackman, president and CEO of THINKFilm, and Mark Urman, head of US theatrical,wth Andrew Herwitz of The Film Sales Co.
  • Thomas team take off with IRA samurai story

    Asamurai-inspired story about an unemployed IRA hitman is set to be the nextproduction from May Miles Thomas and Owen Thomas, the director-producer teambehind market title Solid Air and theacclaimed One Life Stand.The digitalfilmmaking couple are putting the finishing touches to a script titled Tokushika, a Takeshi Kitano or JimJarmusch-inspired tale about a coolly calculating young IRA hitman who findshimself out of work. Owen Tho
  • Thunderbirds

    Dir. Jonathan Frakes. US. 2004. 90 min.Thunderbirds, the 1960s UK television series starring action-hero marionettes and model rockets, has been given the big-screen, live-action tween treatment, and the result is a bouncing colourful kid-friendly romp. That it is entirely unrecognisable from the series is beside the point. It's a triumph of brand-building that should establish a franchise: if not on the scale of Harry Potter, a tidy money-spinner.A $100m do
  • Tokyo festival to launch market

    The Tokyo International FilmFestival has announced the launch of an ambitious two-tiered marketaimed at becoming a meeting place for the Asian contents industry.The Japan Contents Fair(JCF) will be held from October 22-24, and will focus on film, animation, TV,video games, music, and DVD, including eventstargeted at ordinary consumers.The Tokyo International Film& Contents Market (TIFCOM), held from October 25-27 in Roppongi Hills, willprovide industry professionals with an even
  • Tremain tunes up Music & Silence with Lupovitz

    US independent producer DanLupovitz has acquired film rights to Rose Tremain's award-winning novel Music & Silence which Tremainherself has adapted into a screenplay.Tremain describes the novel,which is set in the royal court in 17th century Denmark, as being "about loveand betrayal, greed and poverty and the terrifying consequence of lies anddeceptions."She and Lupovitz havepreviously teamed up on a screenplay of Trem
  • Trio team for new Belgrade film studio

    UK-basedtax financier Grosvenor Park, Serbian media group Pink International andWashington-based government lobbyist OCo International have partnered toco-produce a slate of horror films and build a new $20m film studio inBelgrade.Theinitial five low-budget productions will be set up as internationalco-productions accessing Serbian tax credits that the partners expect to beintroduced this summer. They will be produced through Midnight MayhemProductions under US-based producers Craig Ba
  • Troy lays siege to global box office

    Troy dominated the box office in its internationalopening weekend, opening top in all its 47 markets according to Warner BrosPictures International on an estimated $54.8m.Highlights were record bowsin Germany and France including the all-time biggest three-day openingexcluding previews in Greece. Combined with the picture's $45.6m number one USbow Troy grossed $101.4m worldwide.Wolfgang Petersen's all-starproduction grossed $8.1m from 1,158 screens in Germany for t
  • Troy opens top on lacklustre $45.6m

    Troy opened top at the weekend on an estimated $45.6m, aslightly disappointing bow that owed much to the $200m production's lengthyrunning time, R rating and mixed reviews.Warner Bros distribution chiefs are confident the picture'squality will allow it to gather momentum over time but the word of mouth willneed to kick in quickly with Shrek 2 set to open on Wednesday and TheDay After Tomorrow waiting in the wings.In its second weekend Universal'
  • Troy opens top on lacklustre $45.6m

    Troy opened top at the weekend on an estimated $45.6m, aslightly disappointing bow that owed much to the $200m production's lengthyrunning time, R rating and mixed reviews.Warner Bros distribution chiefs are confident the picture'squality will allow it to gather momentum over time but the word of mouth willneed to kick in quickly with Shrek 2 set to open on Wednesday and TheDay After Tomorrow waiting in the wings.In its second weekend Universal's Van Hels
  • Troy prepares to lay siege to global box office

    Troy is the odds-on favourite to lay siege tothe global box office this weekend as the Warner Bros epic opens in 47countries on an undisclosed number of screens.Wolfgang Petersen's picture is the second near day-and-daterelease of the international summer season following the impressive $50m-plusbow ofUniversal's Van Helsing through UIP last weekend.Troy opened in France yesterday (12) and rollsout in Australia, Germany, Argentina and Switzerland today - as
  • UGC takes Bielinsky's Aura to UK

    El Aura,the upcoming project reuniting NineQueens (Nueve Reinas) director Fabian Bielinsky with star Ricardo Darin,has been bought by UGC for the UK.The picture is scheduled tostart shooting in the third week of October for a May 2005 release.The deal is estimatedbetween $200,000 and $300,000. Pablo Bossi, president of Argentina's PatagonikFilm Group, made the deal with UGC-UK and is in Cannes for the first time toconclude other pending deals an
  • UIP boards Attenborough's Ring

    UIP has boardedRichard Attenborough's $20m Anglo-Canadian epic, Closing The Ring, it was confirmedat the launch of the new Northern Ireland Production Fund. The film isto shoot in the early autumn in Northern Ireland and Canada. It is receiving£500,000 from the new fund.The project,originally supported by Grosvernor Park, was one of the many projects left inlimbo by the Inland Revenue's shock closure of tax-based production funds onFebruary 10th this year. It
  • UK Film Council eyes up Loach

    Is the UK Film Council rediscovering the auteur bug'Earlier this week, the UK public funding body announced itwould be pumping $483,000 into The PianoTuner Of Earthquakes, the new feature from animators The Quay Brothers.Now, sources at Cannes suggest that the UK Film Council is "desperate" tosupport British director Ken Loach and is looking to board his new portmanteauproject, Tickets, which Loach isco-directing with Emanno Olmi and Abbas Kiarostami, shooting later this
  • UK Film Council spells out slate rules

    Aiming to keep asmany doors as possible open to producers while channeling funding through aselect few companies, the UK Film Council has stipulated that 30% of investmentunder its new super slate deals must go to third parties.Successful bidsfor the development and overhead deals will oversee up to £1.5m in NationalLottery cash over three years, which they are required to match. Guidelinespublished yesterday envisage winners forging umbrella arrangements with thirdparty producers both
  • UK mines South African gold

    Highlightingrising interest in South Africa as a financing and production partner, miningtycoon Mzi Khumalo has taken a minority stake in busy British-Irish productioncompany Little Bird as part of a move into film.Under the deal,Khumalo's Metallon Corp is making what Little Bird co-chief Jonathan Cavendishcalled "a sizeable equity investment" in the company, which has produced fivefilms in the last 12 months including Trauma and Churchill, The HollywoodYears.Along withproviding
  • UK/IRELAND 18 May

    UIP's Van Helsingheld on to the top spot in the UK and Ireland over the weekend, in the absenceof any tough competition.The film grossed a further £2.4m between Friday and Sundaygiving it a cumulative gross of £9.6m so far.However, Troy's £89,286 from its single screenplatform in London's West End, indicates that the ranking is certain to changeby next week when the historical drama starring Brad Pitt, Orlando B
  • Van Helsing bearing down on $100m international

    Official figures released yesterday (17) confirm Universal's VanHelsing grossed $24.5m on 5,121 screens in 41 territories in its secondweekend for a $95m industry running total.The picture added $23m from 4,876 screens in 38 UIP territoriesfor an $88.9m UIP total, while Russia, the Philippines and Iceland amassed$1.5m from 245 through third party distributors.Van Helsing trailed new release Troy inalmost every market but remained top in i
  • Van Helsing closes in on $100m at international box office

    Universal's Van Helsing trailed Troyat the international box office in its second weekend as it added an estimated$24.5m from 5,200 screens in 41 territories to raise its internationalcumulative total to $95m.Excluding $1.5m from 300 screens in Russia, the Philippines and Iceland, thepicture grossed $23m in 38 UIP markets for a $90m UIP total.Van Helsing ranked second behind Troy in everymarket where both pictures were active. It stayed to
  • Van Helsing closes in on $100m at international box office

    Universal's Van Helsing trailedTroy at the international box office in its second weekend as it addedan estimated $24.5m from 5,200 screens in 41 territories to raise its internationalcumulative total to $95m.Excluding $1.5m from 300screens in Russia, the Philippines and Iceland, the picture grossed $23m in 38UIP markets for a $90m UIP total.Van Helsing ranked second behind Troy in every marketwhere both pictures were active. It st
  • Venice to close with bang

    New Venice heads Marco Mueller (artistic director) andDavide Croff (Biennale president) said that this year's Venice festival willclose with a bang. The closing ceremony will take place on the main Veniceisland at the newly restored la Fenice opera house. This will have the doubleadvantage of a spectacular close to the event and allowing the screens on theLido to be kept occupied with festival films until the last minute.Mueller confirmed that the festival will have
  • Weinsteins in talks with Disney to buy Fahrenheit 911

    In a dramaticand not entirely unforeseen twist to the Fahrenheit 911 debacle, Miramax Films' Bob and HarveyWeinstein were last night holding talks with the Walt Disney Company topersonally buy Michael Moore's terrorism documentary.Spokespeople forboth Disney and its subsidiary Miramax confirmed the parties were innegotiations but stressed the deal was incomplete.Controversyerupted last week after it emerged that Disney had blocked Miramax fromreleasing the picture, which
  • Weinsteins in talks with Disney to buy Fahrenheit 911

    In a dramaticand not entirely unforeseen twist to the Fahrenheit 911 debacle, Miramax Films' Bob and HarveyWeinstein were last night holding talks with the Walt Disney Company topersonally buy Michael Moore's terrorism documentary.Spokespeople forboth Disney and its subsidiary Miramax confirmed the parties were innegotiations but stressed the deal was incomplete.Controversyerupted last week after it emerged that Disney had blocked Miramax fromreleasing the picture, which
  • Wild Bunch gets cash injection

    French sales and productionoutfit Exception Wild Bunch has received a cash infusion from NY based DaedalusMedia Partners, with further capital being injected by Paris-based IrisCapital.Wild Bunch is now understoodto have $40m in funds. The funds will be used "to acquire, co-finance anddistribute high-quality theatrical motion pictures in the internationalmarketplace and to build Exception Wild Bunch's distribution operations inEurope," the companies said in a press release.Throu
  • Wild Bunch goes to Hell and beyond

    France's Wild Bunch hasadded a crop of high-profile pictures to its slate including a $35m warriorepic from famed Czech director Ivan Passer, and Danis Tanovic's Hell,the second part of a trilogy originally written for late-director KrzysztofKieslowski.Other additions include thefirst English-language film from cult French director Leos Carax and a stylishpenguin documentary co-produced with Buena Vista France.First up is Nomad,produced by Milos Forman and Ram Berg
  • Wild Bunch goes to Hell and beyond

    France's Wild Bunch hasadded a crop of high-profile pictures to its slate including a $35m warriorepic from famed Czech director Ivan Passer, and Danis Tanovic's Hell,the second part of a trilogy originally written for late-director KrzysztofKieslowski.Other additions include thefirst English-language film from cult French director Leos Carax and a stylishpenguin documentary co-produced with Buena Vista France.First up is Nomad,produced by Milos

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