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19 May 2005

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  • 2929 International sales on the Fast Track

    ShebnemAskin's 2929 International sales division has closed its first deals at Canneson new titles Black Christmas, Prey and Fast Track.Horror remake BlackChristmas has gone to TF1, inFrance, Pathe in the UK, MediaFilm in Italy, Paradiso in Benelux, MGN inEastern Europe, and Avsar in Turkey. Prey has been snapped up by TF1 in France,Eagle in Italy, Paradiso in Benelux, MGN in Eastern Europe, ECS for the MiddleEast, and Avsar in Turkey.Fast Track, the
  • A History Of Violence

    Dir: David Cronenberg.US. 2005. 96minsTwo American genres - thefilm noir and the Western - are gene-spliced into vigorous new shape in whatlooks, at first sight, like David Cronenberg's most mainstream project inyears. Yet A History Of Violence, a deviously-plotted tale of danger andthe darkness beneath innocent surfaces, soon reveals characteristic themes thatafford Cronenberg fans plenty of rich gristle to chew over.But it should also m
  • Alzheimer Case wins China entry deal

    The Alzheimer Case is China-bound. Erik Van Looy'spsychological thriller has been chosen as one of the quota of 20 westernfeatures that the Chinese Government has passed for release this year. The dealwas negotiated with Hong Kong distributor Domo Media and China Film by UK-basedsales agent, The Works. The Chinese Censorship Boardhas already approved the film. This is the first Belgian film to be sold toChina.Sony Pictures Classics willbe releas
  • Amelio's Star shines as Italian, Singapore co-production

    Gianni Amelio's new film LaStella Che Non C'e' (The Missing Star)has been set up as a Singapore/Italian co-production, with Sergio Castellito inthe lead role of an Italian worker trying to prevent an industrial disaster ina Chinese steel mill.Shooting will start nextmonth in Shanghai on the film, which is to be co-produced by Singapore's Oak3Films and Italy's Cattleya, Rai Cinema and Achab Film.France's Babe Films,Switzerland's Carac Film, Council of Europe's Eurimages fu
  • America Theatrical gets Childstar

    Fledgling theatrical salesventure America Theatrical is busily assembling its initial slate and haspicked up international rights to Don McKellar's Childstar.Launching here under theaegis of Argentina-based America Video Films, the company is targeting 12commercial titles for sale each year.Childstar earned Jennifer Jason Leigh a best supportingactress Genie in March for her role as the mother of a burnt-out 12-year-oldwho runs away from the set
  • Arclight launches North American distribution arm

    Arclight Filmshas launched Arclight Releasing, a full-service North American distributioncompany that will be managed by former Artisan and Lions Gate acquisitionsexecutive Paul Gardner.The company willchiefly acquire programming for the sell-through market, however it will alsohandle limited theatrical releases and service the pay/cable broadcast,video-on-demand and pay-per-view markets.Initial plans are for theunit to release between eight and 12 titles in its first year, risi
  • Arclight strikes raft of sales on Dragon Squad

    Arclight Filmshas struck a raft of territory deals on the action thriller Dragon Squad, with key sales going to Momentum in theUK, Aurum in Spain, and Nordisk in Scandinavia.Daniel Lee'sthriller, starring Sammo Hung, Simon Yam, Shawn Yue and Michael Biehn, centreson a team of Interpol agents who travel to Hong Kong to testify at the trial ofa crime lord.Susanna Tsang, Li Kuo-hsinare producing and Steven Seagal and James Moy serve as executive producers.Arclight's s
  • Arclight strikes US deal for Story, gets All Together

    ArclightFilms has sold US rights for Benny Chan's action drama New Police Story to a combination ofMiramax, The Weinstein Company and Lions Gate for an undisclosed sum.JackieChan (no relation) stars as a Hong Kong police inspector who breaks down when histeam is wiped out by a vicious gang and eventually plots revenge with the helpof a rookie partner.NicholasTse also stars in the 2004 Hong Kong-China co-production, which openedthroughout most of Asia last year.It's
  • Arclight, Cineclick team for Uekrongtham's Coffin

    Arclight Films is teaming up with Korea's Cineclick Asia to co-produceEkachai Uekrongtham's upcoming supernatural thriller The Coffin.Based onUekrongtham's personal experiences in Thailand, the story centres on a youngman who faces a series of terrifying incidents after lying in a coffin for onenight, an old Thai custom that is meant to rid someone of bad luck.Films andCineclick will serve as co-producers, with Cineclick handling sales for Asiaand Arcl
  • Artist Film morphs into Style Jam

    Naoki Kai, president of Japan's Artist Film, isheading a management buyout of the company, creating a new outfit called Style Jam focussing on producing films aimed at the international market. The new company, which launches on J
  • Ashley Walters to star in Fiesta's Life 'N' Lyrics

    UK rap star Ashley Walters(So Solid Crew's Asher D) has signed to play the lead in Life 'N' Lyrics, the first feature from new British production outfitFiesta Productions, headed by producers Esther Douglas and Fiona Neilson. This will be Walters' secondmajor role following from Bullet Boy,which is on sales outfit Portman's Cannes slate.)Lexi Alexander (Holligans) is in advanced negotiations to direct the £2.7mproject, supported by the UK Film Council and th
  • Auster rounds out cast for Inner Life

    Sopranos star Michael Imperioli and French actress IreneJacob have signed up to star in Paul Auster's upcoming The Inner Life OfMartin Frost. Manchurian Candidate star Liev Schreiber is tipped to join them.The Euros 3.5m film willstart shooting in September and is produced by Gemini's Paolo Branco, Austerand Peter Newman who also produced Auster's previous films.Gemini is also selling thefilm which Branco says has drummed up immense interest. He expec
  • Australian film industry wins extra government funding

    The Australian Government hasdelivered on an election promise to boost its backing for the local filmindustry.
  • Barenholtz, Mitra tout three new features

    Real estate developers andentrepreneurs Joseph Scarpinito and Shiraz Sanjana arrive in Cannes with threeprojects on the books for Mitra Films, the new production company they launchedrecently with longtime producer-distributor Ben Barenholtz.Brooklyn-based Mitra is seeking co-production partners and plans toproduced three titles a year.Featuring on the initial slate are the 1950s comedy Trencherman (formerly known as OutOf The Mouths Of Babes),
  • Bashing

    Dir/scr: MasahiroKobayashi. Jap. 2005. 82mins.A mystifying experience for any but a Japanese audience, Bashing,Masahiro Kobayashi's fictional rendering of a real-life event, would haveplayed more comfortably on less demanding grounds than its Cannes competitionberth.The story of a Japanesehumanitarian worker kidnapped in Iraq who then returned home to widespreadspite, Bashing is expressed in such melodramatic terms that adocumentary would
  • Basic Instinct 2 star revs up Merseyside movie shoots

    In a bid tokickstart movie production in the Merseyside region of England, BasicInstinct II starDavid Morrissey's Tubedale Films is to partner with England's North WestVision. North West will invest £145,000 over the next year on a slatepartnership with Tubedale.The deal,it is claimed, is the first of its kind from a UK Screen Agency and will seeTubedale setting up several new projects in the Merseyside region.Tubedale is run by David Morrissey, his br
  • Battle In Heaven (Batalla En El Cielo)

    Dir:Carlos Reygadas. Mex. 2005. 98mins.Followingon the heels of his demanding but brilliant first feature, Japon,Mexican director Carlos Reygadas now bulls his way into the Cannes competitionline-up to give us another exceptionally ambitious aesthetic effort. While itdoesn't always work - and critical opinion is sure to be violently split - it'simmensely striking and quite powerful overall.Somedistributors (and audiences) will be attracte
  • Bavaria scores sales on Fatih Akin's Crossing The Bridge

    Fatih Akin'smusic documentary Crossing The Bridge has beensold to A-Film in Benelux, Golem's Spain,Discovery Film in the former Yugoslavia and Israel's Orlando with "stronginterest" coming from Italy and the USA, according to Bavaria FilmInternational.DirectorsFortnight opener Be With Me, directed by Eric Khoo, has been sold to Civite Films (Spain) andNew World Pictures(Thailand). Other Bavariansales concluded at the market in Cannes so far include New WorldPicture
  • Ben Ammar moves into Besson's Cinema City

    Producer-businessman Tarak Ben Ammar hasannounced plans to move most of his post-production facilities into Frenchfilmmaker Luc Besson's Cinema City complex just outside Paris.In the past few years, Ben Ammar has beenon a buying spree of most of the post-production and sound facilities in Franceincluding LTC, Ex-Machina, Les Audis de Joinville an
  • Beta Cinema goes into battle with Genghis Khan

    Germany's Beta Cinema hasunveiled details of $10m biopic, Mongol - The Early Years Of Genghis Khan, which starts shooting in July with Japanese starAsano Tadanobu playing the Mongol warrior. Directed by Russia's SergeiBodrov with Hong Kong-based Philip Lee (Hero) and Sergey Selyanov (Brother) producing, the film brings together talent andfinancing from Russia, Germany, China and Kazakhstan. Russia's CTB Film Companyand Andreevskiy Flag Fil
  • Blue Star launches Tracker, My Favourite Game

    London-basedBlue Star Movies is handling international sales on two new projects.Tracker is a $20mdrama-thriller set in New Zealand. It will be co-produced with the UK's EdenFilms. David Burns (Eden Films) and Pete Maggi (Blue Star Movies) will produce,while Nicolas van Pallandt, who also wrote the script, is set to direct.Set in NewZealand's South Island in the early 1900's, Tracker is the story of two men pitted againsteach other as 'hunter' a
  • Bond plots shooting defection from UK to Prague

    Having boosted the Britishproduction sector for decades, James Bond is in advanced negotiations to headto Eastern Europe for his next outing, Casino Royale.A spokesperson for Prague'sBarrandov Studios confirmed that the studio is well along in talks with EonProductions, the production outfit behind the James Bond franchise, to come to the Czech Republic. 007 has traditionally stayedin the UK wherever possible, even at the sake of incurring extra costs - aprospect w
  • Bowie to executive produce 30 Century Man doc

    David Bowie isexecutive producing a new music documentary about American rock muse ScottWalker called 30 Century Man. The projectheads up the debut slate of UK production outfit Missing In Action Films, runby former marketing and distribution executive Mia Bays.Bays is inCannes with a 10-minute promo of 30 Century Man: The Music Of Scott Walker, featuring interviews with Radiohead,Johnny Marr and Goldfrapp.The documentaryis apparently the
  • Bristol Media handles Greek drama

    MatthewModine, Richard Griffiths and Greek billionaire-turned-actor Alki David are toheadline new UK-Greek co-production OPA! Directed by Udayan Prasad (My SonThe Fanatic.)Sales for OPA!, which recently started shooting in Patmos,are being handled by Tony Manne's Bristol Media International.Modine plays anarchaeologist who comes to Greece and falls under the spell of a beautifulwidow in this Cinema Seven Productions-NIK-S Movies co-production. G
  • Broken Flowers

    Dir/scr: Jim Jarmusch.US. 2005. 106minsAfter diversions into genre-subversion like mysticalwestern Dead Man and modern day samurai saga Ghost Dog, Jim Jarmusch makes afull scale return to the kind of lugubrious, meticulously observed comedy thatfirst made his reputation in the 1980s.Commercial prospects arevery robust for Broken Flowers, a film that fans will take to theirhearts like a long lost friend. Another cherishable study in poker-facedme
  • Brussels sprouts new tax financiers

    Belgian tax financiers havehit Cannes with a vengeance this year, announcing plans to launch new filmfunds while looking for new international projects to invest in.New Brussels based outfitMoviestream has already invested Euros 1.5m in a slate of four projects and isnow planning to raise Euros 15m over three years from investors.Another company, MotionInvestment Group - which raised over Euros 1m at the end of 2004 - has alsolaunched its second tax shelter fund in Cannes, sayin
  • CAA advances on Asia with Loehr hire, WEB alliance

    Hollywood talent powerhouse CAA has confirmed itsaggressive moves into Asia,bringing China's Hengdian Group to the Croisette to meetwestern players, unveiling an alliance with start-up Korean entertainmentcompany WEB, and advising both Taiwan's private equity fund Double Edge andJapanese giant Kadokawa.The agency's
  • Cannes briefs: latest deals, announcements

    Katapult scores with ZidaneKatapult Film Sales hasscored a Japanese deal with Cine Qua Non for football documentary Zidane: A21st Century Portraitabout Real Madrid superstar Zinedine Zidane. UIP pre-bought the rights forFrance. Japan's Presidio has bought Klimt, starring John Malkovich,from Independent Film Sales. The UK sales outfit has also sold the biopic ofthe painter to Sponge for South Korea, Turkey's Barbar, Israel's Noah andProoptiki for Greece, Bulgaria, Romania
  • Cannes briefs: latest deals, announcements

    Cineclick racks up Bow dealsKorean sales agent CineclickAsia has concluded a raft of sales on Kim Ki-duk's The Bow, screening here in Un Certain Regard. Thecross-generational love story has gone to France's TF1, the UK's Tartan Films,Spain's Golem, Greece's Audiovisual, Mexico's Filmhouse, Singapore's CathayKeris and Bright Angel in Benelux. The Bow has also been sold to Italy(Mikado), Russia (Intercinema) and Israel (United King). Japan's HappinetPict
  • Cannes briefs: latest deals, announcements

    Swintongets on This TownBritshactress Tilda Swinton has joined the cast of No One Gets Off In This Town, the latest film from RichardKwietniowski (Love And Death In Long Island). Produced by Jason Newmark,scripted by Colin Bytheway, the project is on Beyond's Cannes slate. It's ablack comedy exposing the seamy side of life in a seaside town. Pre-sales havebeen secured with Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and the former Yugoslavia.Shooting is due to begin th
  • Cannes briefs: latest deals, announcements

    Shoreline Green with Coupland screenplayMorris Ruskin's ShorelineEntertainment has picked up worldwide rights excluding Canada to the DouglasCoupland original screenplay Everything's Gone Green. The deal was concluded with Radke Films and TrueWest Films. The upcoming project centres on a good-natured slacker whofalls into a money-laundering scheme and ends up having a crisis of confidence.THINKFilm holds Canadian rights to the project, which stars P
  • Cannes briefs: latest deals, announcements

    Content spooks AliensContent is to handle the UKand US releases of Jake West's Evil Aliens. The £1 million slapstick British horror film will bereleased theatrically in the UK through Content's distribution arm. It will goout in the US as part of Content's deal with Martin W. Greenwald's ImageEntertainment.Pangs go UniversalUniversal Pictures Japan hasacquired all rights for Japan and Korea to the Pang Brothers' $5m horror movie Re-cycle. Hong Kong's Univers
  • Cannes hit by ghosts of rock stars

    Two very different directors- Gus Van Sant and Stephen Woolley - hit Cannes today with films inspired bythe deaths of rock stars.Van Sant's Last Days was originally meant to be a full blown biography ofNirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, the director explained at a press conference forthe competition film. "But I saw it might be awrong turn for me, so I ended up paring it down to the last couple of days."The resulting film, he said, is inspired by Cobain. His last three
  • Caplan goes on spending spree for UK Film Council

    Weeks after she was appointed as the head of the UK Film Council'sPremiere Fund, Sally Caplan has already made a handful of sizable investments. The Fund, itemerged in Cannes, is backing Severance, the latest horror picture from Chris Smith (Creep), backed by Qwerty Films and sold byHanway.Caplan is alsoinvesting in Driving Lesson, writer Jeremy Brock's directorial debut. A semi-autobiographicalstory based on Brock's experiences as a teenager working as a ca
  • Carlyle, Firth to learn Meat Trade with The Works

    Robert Carlyle and ColinFirth are to star in Meat Trade, a darkly comic, bodysnatching horror writtenby Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh.
  • Cash versus culture clash for European film finance

    Tension between cultural andeconomic aims have become a serious complicating factor in film financepolicies in Europe, according to the European Audiovisual Observatory.At a conference oninternational partnerships at Cannes on Sunday, experts said transnationalco-production was a clearly growing trend. Accordingto its 2005 Focus report, US-launched films benefiting from European funding -like the Harry Potter films - accounted for 11.7% of admissions i
  • Celestial's Love travels to Korea, Japan

    Celestial Pictures hasscored a pair of major pre-sales on Peter Chan's musical Perhaps Love to Korea's Show East and Nippon Herald for Japan.The Hong Kong-based companyco-financed and is handling worldwide sales on the $10m film which is currentlyshooting in Shanghai. Produced by Chan's ApplausePictures and Los Angeles-based Ruddy Morgan Organisation, Perhaps Love is a romantic drama wrapped inside a musical danceextravaganza. It features a hot pan-Asian cast inclu
  • Chan film to focus on landmines in Cambodia

    Jackie Chan plans to head toCambodia next year to direct and star in a film that will draw attention to theproblem of landmines in the former war-torn country."It's about a serious subject so it can't be a comedybut it won't be too heavy or violent," said the star who is in town to promotehis upcoming action adventure The Myth in which he stars withBollywood actress Mallika Sherawat (pictured above). "I want to spell out themessage but don't want to scare people away from Cambod
  • Checkmate for Northam, Flanagan in St Petersburg

    Fionnula Flanagan and JeremyNortham will star in the psychological thriller Checkmate, which is set tobegin production in St Petersburg on May 31.The Thelma Productionproject marks the first collaboration between international production companyBig Star Entertainment and UK-based financiers Future Films.Voltage Pictures is handlinginternational sales on the story of the enigmatic Lazarov family, whosecollective dark secrets culminate in a deadly finale.First-timer Olivier
  • Comstock shells out coin for Wild Bunch's Coin

    Along with sales to The Weinstein Company on Nomad and Outlander,French sales and finance house Wild Bunch has secured a financial co-producerfor Michael Civetta's Coin Locker Babies in Japan'sComstock.Comstock has come on board the surreal coming-of-agetale which stars Liv Tyler and wa
  • Constantin on the Edge with Applebaum

    Germany's Constantin Filmwill finance and co-produce commercials director Chris Applebaum's featuredebut Water's Edge with SidGanis' Out Of The Blue Entertainment. Set for a September star inArizona's Lake Powell and Los Angeles, the horror-thriller stars JordanaBrewster and follows a group of holidaymakers whose lake trip turns sour when abrutal serial killer strikes.Barry Bernardi, Sid Ganisand Alex Siskin will serve as producers, with Constantin's Robert Kulzerhandling
  • Cuaron, Del Toro enter Pan's Labyrinth

    Mexican filmmakers Guillermodel Toro and Alfonso Cuaron will produce the Spanish-language Pan'sLabyrinth, to be directed by delToro. The two have set up a production shingle, OMM Films, with FridaTorresblanco to co-produce the film alongside Spain's Telecinco.Shooting will begin in Julyon the Euros 11.5m film which stars Sergi Lopez, Maribel Verdu, Doug Jones,Alex Angulo, Ariadna Gil and Ivana Baquero. A Spring 2006 delivery date isplanned.Wild Bunch has come on boardto h
  • Darin flies in for Fairy role with Tornasol

    Hot Argentinean actor RicardoDarin is to star in Spanish director Jose Luis Cuerda's The Education Of AFairy for producer Tornasol Films.Darin, who has achievedinternational recognition in films such as Nine Queens, Son Of The
  • DeAPlaneta signs on for Summit duo

    Spanish-Italian media groupDeAPlaneta is flexing its buying muscle with new acquisitions for Spainincluding Summit Entertainment's Michael Clayton and Harsh Times.Michael Clayton, which marks Tony Gilroy's directorial debut, willstar George Clooney as a fixer in a law company. Harsh Times stars Christian Bale and Eva Longoria in a SouthCentral Los Angeles-set story of a group of friends.The films typify the kindof high-profile commercial product DeAPl
  • Eastern promise for Egyptian Top Gun

    Independent producer YoussefEl-Deeb is on a mission to break Egyptian cinema out internationally.El-Deeb's Takhayalproduction company is here with an as-yet unnamed film based around Egypt's1967 disastrous war with Israel, a project he says will have "Top Gun" elements and is intended to appeal to the youngermarket.Anotheris a biopic of the last king of Egypt, called Farouk The First'And Last, which he ho
  • Eccleston heads to Hungary with Cougar Films' Double Life

    Christopher Eccleston hassigned to star in Double Life for Sophie Balhechet and Lynda La Plante's CougarFilms. UK TV director Joe Ahearnewill make his feature debut on the film which is set and will be shot inHungary. Ahearne has previously worked with Eccleston on the TV series DrWho. Double Life is a story of love and obsession about a man who believes he has met - and fallen in love- with a pair oftwins, only to discover it is the same woman. Ahear
  • Echo Bridge dead keen on Mortuary

    Echo Bridge Entertainment has completed a string of deals on TobeHooper's horror title Mortuary.Rights sold toAnchor Bay for the UK, Bronson Entertainment for Germany, Eagle Entertainmentfor Italy, and Swen Entertainment for Brazil. France and Japan are expected toclose imminently.BridgeEntertainment bought for Benelux, HollywoodEntertainment for Greece and PT Parkit for Indonesia."The response to this film has been great." Echo Bridge head ofin
  • Edinburgh festival plans gathering of European distributors

    Distributors from across Europe are to meet at August's EdinburghInternational Film Festival in an event held by the Scottish festival anddistributors federation FIAD. The gathering is billed as an opportunity to network in a less pressuredenvironment, rather than a formal conference. "We hope many distributorswill seize this opportunity to come and take part in a fascinating festival,"said Antoine Virenque of FIAD. The main session will be held on Monday August 22, altho
  • Election (Hak Seh Wui)

    Director Johnnie To Hong Kong. 2005. 100 mins.Election sets out to do for the Hong Kong Triads what TheGodfather did for the New York Italian mafia: enter into the mindset of aclose-knit criminal and social brotherhood, and set its members' respect for ritualand tradition against the bloody brutality of their methods. But in trying tocombine the star-driven HK action genre with a more reflective exposition ofTriad power-mongering, To overreaches himself. One of the weaker
  • Element strikes Five Finger deals

    Element Films International,the brand new sales outfit run by John Fremes has hit the ground running,scoring deals here on its thriller Five Fingers with DNC in Italy, Gussi Films in Mexico, CaliforniaFilms in Brazil, Lusomundo in Portugal and Hollywood Entertainment in Greece.The film, which has itsworld premiere today, stars Laurence Fishburne and Ryan Phillippe in aMorocco-set story about a terrorist mastermind (Fishburne) who abducts anidealistic Dutchman (Phillippe) with a
  • Ellis to oversee Film London fund

    FilmLondon, the regional film agency for London, has beefed up its productionfunding activities by appointing Maggie Ellis as its first head of production.Ellis,previously Film London's production executive, will run the body's micro-budgetdigital feature fund. She will also oversee the agency's digital shorts schemeand work with film funds run by local London boroughs.Ellis, who will startfielding applications for the digital fund in September, has worked wi
  • Endeavour tries China with Shanghai Media Group

    Hollywood talent agencyEndeavor has entered into a strategic partnership with China's second-largestmedia giant, the Shanghai Media Group (SMG), and its subsidiary, ShanghaiInteractive Television (SiTV).The agreement sees Endeavorassisting SMG in acquiring programming for its rapidly expanding TV content andmanagement business. SMG recently launched anational distribution platform for 14 digital pay-TV channels, with supportfrom the Chinese government, which is now being tested
  • EU ministers call for action on legal download of films

    Europeanministers this week called for more collaboration between the film business andinternet service providers to combat piracy and exploit the online market forcinema.Meetingat the Cannes Film Festival, the ministers from most of the EU member statesissued a statement saying that there is "an urgent need for a meaningfuldialogue" to ensure that online distribution takes place legally. Audiovisualministers, invited to the festival by the European Commission's Viviane Redingand Canne
  • European Film Promotion elects new board

    The members of European FilmPromotion (EFP) have elected a new Board of Directors at its general assemblymeeting during Cannes.The Board is composed of sixmembers and the term of office lasts for two years. Claudia Landsberger has beenre-elected as President and Christian Dorsch has been re-elected asVice-President, both for a fifth consecutive termThe other members of the EFPboard are: Stine Oppegaard (Norwegian Film Institute, Head of Internationa
  • Ferretti named as Venice festival jury president

    Legendary production designer Dante Ferretti, who has worked on filmsfrom Fellini's Satyricon to Scorsese's The Aviator, has been namedpresident of the international jury at this year's 62nd annualedition of the Venice Film Festival (Aug 31-Sept 10).Venice Biennale president Davide Croff and Mostra director Marco Muellermade the announcement at the Cannes Film Festival, where they also revealedthat plans to hold a three-day MIFED on the Lido will not go through this year.
  • Fiennes uncovers Mata Hari

    Martha Fiennes (whose newfilm Chromophobia closes theCannes Festival later in the week) is plotting a new film about MargarethaZella, also known as Mata Hari - the notorious exotic dancer who was shot bythe French in 1917 for allegedly spying for the Germans during the Second WorldWar.Fiennes is setting up theproject with Belgian producer Tarsi Vanhuysse. The screenplay is completed andthe British writer-director is currently considering casting options.
  • Filmauro shoots wide with US-set Morte

    Aurelio De Laurentiis's Romeand LA-based production and distribution company Filmauro is lining up a slateof international and Italian titles, including films by hot Italian directorsDavide Ferrario and Carlo Verdone.
  • Filmexport touched by the hand of Maradona

    RobertoDi Girolamo's Filmexport has taken worldwide rights to Marco Risi's upcoming$18m biopic, Maradona, which starts shooting next month.Thelong-gestating picture traces the life of the 44-year-old football icon, wholed Argentina's win in the 1986 World Cup but almost died of cocaine overdosesin 2000 and 2004. Rights to the script, including funds paid to Diego ArmandoMaradona himself, cost $5m.Italiandirector Marco Risi, whose credits include acclaimed social dramas Mary Fore
  • FilmFour fast-tracks Glazer's Under The Skin

    In Cannes with three filmsin official selection, the UK's FilmFour has confirmed it is fast-tracking UnderThe Skin, the new project fromwriter Milo Addica (The King) anddirector Jonathan Glazer. Addica is UK-bound followingCannes to further develop the screenplay with Glazer. A visual effects team isalready at work on designs for the film, a bizarre yarn about extra-terrestrials who pick up hitchhikers in the Highlandsof Scotland and process them as gourmet food back on t
  • FilmMates role for ex-Miramax man

    Former Miramax Internationalpresident Ian Jessel has joined the board of directors on Alan Goda's ambitiousLos Angeles-based finance, production and distribution company FilmMates Entertainment.Jessel will serve as advisor and help structure domesticand international strategic alliances as FilmMates ramps up activities, and isbusily setting up meetings with potential filmmaking partners.
  • Filmwerks for Chris Davis International

    Chris Davis International is representing a raft of titles at Cannes forLos Angeles-based production company Filmwerks, which has accelerated itsproduction schedule following a development funding deal with Robert LadesichFilms.Available projects includeAlbert Pyun's true-life horror tale Infection, which is scheduled for delivery in July and starsScott Paulin, Virginia Dare, and Norbert and Morgan Weisser; and H PLovecraft's Cool Air
  • Finns fly to China for kung fu co-production Jade Warrior

    Beijing-based MingProductions has boarded AJ Annila's Jade Warrior, billed as Finland's "first ever martial arts movie",which is set to shoot in China, Finland and Estonia starting in August. Also the first-everChinese-Scandinavian co-production, the $3m film was previously set to shootonly in Finland with an all-Finnish cast. It will now shoot for four weeksoutside Hengdian World Studios, with Chinese actors joining Finland's TommiEronen and Markku Peltola in the cast. P
  • Focus strikes deals on Jarmusch's Broken Flowers

    Focus Features has closed major territory sales on Jim Jarmusch's BrokenFlowers ahead of the comedy's competition screening on Tuesday Rights have been sold to Roadshow in Australia, Momentum Pictures in theUK, Tobis in Germany, Bac Films in France, Mikado in Italy, Vertigo in Spain,Europe Films in Brazil, and Nordisk Film in Scandinavia.Ster-Kinekor acquired rights in South Africa, Central Partnership inCIS, Shani Film in Israel, Italia Film in the Middle East, Nontanund
  • Foreign films return to Thailand in post-tsunami recovery

    Foreign shoots are startingto return to Thailand after a slight downturn due to the tsunami according toTourism Authority of Thailand governor Juthamas Siriwan.
  • Fortissimo ices Snow Cake, Shanghai sales

    Fortissimo Films has closeda string of sales on Competition title Shanghai Dreams and drama Snow Cake, starring Sigourney Weaver, and racked up furtherdeals on The Night Listener and U-CarmeneKhayelitsha.Shanghai Dreams, directed by China's Wang Xiaoshuai, has gone toItaly's Teodora, Brazil's Imagem, A Films for Benelux and Roadshow for Greece.A drama set against China's opening and reform in the 1980s, the film screensin Competition on Tuesday.
  • Fortissimo, Notro in TV deal

    FortissimoFilms' recently-established TV sales division has closed its first majormulti-rights deal by selling a package of nearly 50 film titles to Spain'sNotro Films.Included inthe package is the Jim Jarmusch library of films, including Down By Law, the Killer Films Collection,including Todd Haynes' Poison, and Gregg Araki's most recent film Mysterious Skin. Thenegotiations, which commenced at the recent MIP-TV market, were finalised herein Cannes by Forti
  • Four Horsemen ride with lads mag icon Ellison

    British lads' mags iconJennifer Ellison is to star in The Cottage, one of four new horror films being launched in Cannes by Four HorsemenFilms (the genre horror label of UK production company Random Harvest.)Ellison, aged 21, leaped tofame aged 14 when she joined the long-running UK soap opera Brookside. Ellison will be joined in TheCottage by Dexter Fletcher and NickFrost. Writer-director is Paul Andrew Williams. The project was develope
  • Fox takes chance on Brazilian love story

    Fox Latin America has boughtpan-regional rights to Philippe Barcinski's Not By Chance, a love story co-produced by Donald K Ranvaud'sBuena Onda and Fernando Mereilles' 02 Filmes.A love story between anobsessive compulsive and a control freak, Chance will shoot from October inBrazil and participated in the Sundance Screenwriters' Lab last January.Theproject is part of Buena Onda's ongoing relationship with director-producerFernando Meirelles; Ranvaud co-produced City Of
  • France's Pretty Pictures embarks on doc buying spree

    Frenchdistributor Pretty Pictures is on a documentary buying spree with threebrand-new pick ups.Marc Levin's Protocols OfZion will have a big autumn releasesaid Pretty Pictures' James Velaise, who bought the film from THINKFilm. Zion is a look at anti-semitism which uses 9/11 as adeparture point and traces the roots of the prejudice. THINKFilm is releasingin the US.Also from THINKFilm, PrettyPictures has acquired The Last Mogul: Life And Times Of L
  • French culture minister addresses Engagement controversy

    France's culture ministerRenaud Donnedieu de Vabres doesn't want his country "to cut itself off" byrefusing certain countries access to subsidies.He has recently commissionedIsabelle Lemesle, via CNC president Catherine Colonna, to come up with a plan foropening France's subsidy system to non-European companies.The issue arose following acourt decision that Jean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement didnot qualify for subsidies as it was produced by a company cons
  • French pair launch Borsalino with focus on Asian film

    Wild Bunch salesexecutive Gael Nouaille and Laurent Baudens, formerly of Gemini Films, are inCannes christening a new company which will specialise in the distribution ofvideo and TV rights for Asian films. Callingthemselves Borsalino, the two will focus on getting Asian catalogue films toaudiences in Latin American which Nouaille and Baudens believe has beenunderserved as a market for such works.The pair plan towork with 1 to 2 films a month while looking for 15-20 acquisitions
  • German producers welcome launch of Euros 90m fund

    German film producers havewelcomed the Gerhard Schroeder administration's financing of a Euros 90mventure capital fund as a useful bargaining chip for negotiations oninternational co-production projects at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
  • Germans build transatlantic link

    Seeking to consolidate ties with Hollywood, Germany's VIP Media Grouphas set up VIP Media USA and installed former Ascendant Pictures chief PhilipElway as president.TheBeverly Hills hub will serve as a conduit between the US production anddistribution community and European filmmakers and develop co-productionopportunities.VIPMedia USA will also provide creative and financial analysis on behalf o
  • Gibraltar takes on sales for Magnoli's horror Scream

    Shooting on Albert Magnoli's horror-thriller PrimalScream is scheduled to begin in New Brunswick, Canada, onJun 13.Gibraltar International is handling allrights on the Gravity Pictures production about five youngsters who areterrorised by a mallet-wielding killer during a 15-hour weekend rampage.Victor Webster, Stark Sands, Charity Shea and TrentFord star and Gravity's Philip Barone and Lawrence Garcia will produce, withcompany founder Steven Gagnon se
  • Gilliam bids to revive Quixote with Thomas

    Terry Gilliam is making abid to revive The Man Who Killed Don Quixote with his Tideland producer Jeremy Thomas and the Recorded PictureCompany.The former Python iscurrently back in the saddle with two films - The Brothers Grimm and Tideland - after seven years away. Gilliam made it clear thathe is now seriously engaged in trying to revive The Man Who Killed DonQuixote.The disastrous first attemptto shoot the project was documented in the
  • Gilliam makes Grimm return to the big screen

    TerryGilliam hasn't released a film for seven years but he's fielding two in 2005 - Tidelandand The Brothers Grimm, set for a splashy bow today whenMiramax unspools 20 minutes of footage in Cannes with Gilliam, star MonicaBellucci and producer Chuck Roven in attendance.
  • Global Cinemas takes world rights to Mortal Kombat: Krusades

    Peter Elson'sGlobal Cinema Group has picked up worldwide rights to the upcoming $35m actiontitle Mortal Kombat: Krusades and is pre-selling the project here. LarryKasanoff's Threshold Entertainment holds the rights to the video game franchiseand the producer expects to start production later this year.Paul W SAnderson directed the franchise curtain-raiser Mortal Kombat in 1995. This was followed up two yearslater with John R Leonetti's Mortal
  • Gold Circle snaps up remake rights to Soundless

    Gold Circle Films hasacquired remake rights to Mennan Yapo's Soundless which screened in the German Cinema section of theBerlin Film Festival in 2004.The film is a thriller/lovestory about a pensive hired gun trying to get out of the business. Soundless also won the Jury Prize at the recent CognacThriller Festival and the Platinum Award in the Suspense/Thriller section ofthe WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival.The film was produced by TomTykwer's X-Filme
  • Greeks set sail with financing deals

    The sword and sandal epic isset to get its biggest gift since the wooden horse. Greece is launching a filmfinancing incentive worth up to 30% of a budget to boost its local industry andattract overseas productions.Speaking in Cannes, deputyminister of culture Petros Tatoulis said the financial incentive, part of thecountry's new cinema policy, could be worth up to 30% of a budget for workcarried out in Greece. The measure will shortly be up for discussion in theGree
  • Haneke's Hidden leads the race for Palme d'Or

    Nobody has stumbled across a Brown Bunny. Nobody has discovered amasterpiece. That seemed to sum up the feeling about this year's competitionfilms as Cannes heads towards its last days. A sluggish edition thus far hasn't stirred the passions of some yearsand the decision to support veteran filmmakers has brought mixed results.Close to the top of his form, Michael Haneke has delivered thecompetition's most admired film with Hidden, a typically unsettlingrumination o
  • Hanway takes on sales for Forman's Goya biopic

    London's Hanway Films hasboarded Milos Forman's Goya biopic Goya's Ghosts as international sales agent. The film marks areunion between Zaentz and Forman who previously teamed on AcademyAward-festooned One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus.The film is scheduled tostart in Spain in September. Cannes Jury member Javier Bardem and NathaliePortman are attached to star.Written byJean-Claude Carriere, who was Oscar nominated for The Unbearable LightnessOf
  • Hayden strikes back with first-look Bauer Martinez deal

    Philippe Martinez' BauerMartinez Studios has struck a first-look deal with Hayden Christensen's ForestPark Films.Hayden, in Cannes for StarWars, runs the production outfitwith his brother Tove.The 18-month deal will cover projects in the $10m-$40m range and bothparties are currently discussing which titles to take into development.All productions in the partnership will be distributed domestically inthe US and sold internationally by Bauer Martinez.The Chris
  • Haynes' Dylan biopic lands at Celluloid Dreams

    The international financingfor Todd Haynes' $25m star-studded biopic of Bob Dylan has started to fall intoplace now that Celluloid Dreams has been engaged as the film's internationalsales agent.With the Paris-based outfiton board, the necessary pre-sales can now be secured to allow Haynes to closecasting for I'm Not There, inwhich the iconic singer-songwriter will be portrayed by seven different actors.Currently lined up tocapture his various personas over the course of h
  • Hidden (Cache)

    Dir/Scr Michael Haneke. France/Austria. 2005. 117 mins
  • High Point scores Vinci sales to Japan, US

    UK outfit High Point Filmshas announced sales on Juliusz Machulski's Vinci, which screened at Cannes earlier in the week. The comedy crime caper hasbeen picked up by New Select Co in Japan, Bonton Film for the Czech Republicand Slovakia and Pegaz Art Production for North America.Vinci officially opens its festival run in June at theMoscow International Film Festival and in official selection at the KarlovyVary Film Festival in July. It follows the exploits of Tsuma
  • High-tech revolution cuts production costs

    Digital technology is in theprocess of revolutionising the economics of film-making, according to ahigh-powered panel of experts at an HP-sponsored event on Saturday.At the heart of the changeis a clear trend: wide and easy access to higher computing capabilities atlower costs.Huge changes are alreadyunderway, panellists said. "Technology that was once confined to specialists is now inthe hands of the creatives," said Bryan Lamkin, senior vice presiden
  • Hopscotch jumps on Scott's Dancer

    Australiandistributor Hopscotch has invested development money into the screen adaptationof author Li Cunxin's autobiographical book Mao's Last Dancer, and will be taking its first everexecutive producer credit on the film.Cunxin wasplucked from a peasant childhood for training at Madam Mao's Beijing DanceAcademy. He made a dramatic defection to the US, assisted by the family ofcurrent US president George Bush, after taking part in an exchange program toHoust
  • Huayi Brothers takes Battle to Cannes

    China's leading privateproduction company Huayi Brothers has unveiled a high-profile slate ofproductions headed by $20m period epic Battle Of Wisdom. Hong Kong star Andy Lau isheading the cast of the film which is scheduled to start shooting this Octoberwith Hong Kong's Jacob Cheung directing. According to Huayi president JamesWang, Battle has already beenpre-sold to unnamed Japanese and Korean companies. Based on a popular Japanesemanga, Battle Of Wisdom is
  • Hurley rounds out New Line's Cleaner cast

    Elizabeth Hurley has roundedout a dynamic cast on New Line's upcoming action comedy The Cleaner, joining Lucy Liu and American comedian Cedric TheEntertainer on the project, which is set to go into production this summer witha North American release set for 2006.Les Mayfield has been linedup to direct the $27m story of an amnesiac janitor who is fooled into believinghe's an undercover agent on the trail of an international arms ring involvingthe CIA and FBI.Liu will play
  • Hustle and Flow to open CineVegas fest

    Craig Brewer's hip-hop drama Hustle & Flow will open the 2005CineVegas Film Festival, which runs from Jun 10-18.MichaelWinterbottom's 9 Songs,Rob Zombie's House Of 1,000 Corpses follow-up The Devil's Rejects, and Gus Van Sant's Cannes competitionentry Last Days arealso among the line-up.ChristopherWalken will receive the Marquee Award following on-stage interview, while otherhonours go to Ann-Margret, Nicolas Cage, Samantha
  • Icon Falls for Gere, Neeson action film

    Icon EntertainmentInternational has taken on worldwide rights to Seraphim Falls, a psychological action film set during CivilWar-era America starring Richard Gere and Liam Neeson.First-time director DavidVon Ancken, whose TV credits include The Shield and CSI NY, is in pre-production, with David Flynn and Bruce Davey producing.Icon's distribution offshoot Icon Film Distribution will release the film inthe UK and Australia.Neeson plays Colonel Carver,whose fi
  • IFM World Releasing strikes Rapid Fear deals

    Tony Ginnane's IFM WorldReleasing has struck a number of sales at the market, headed up by anall-rights deal on Geoff Cox's Australian action adventure Rapid Fear to RRS in Germany.RRS has sub-licensed videorights to Columbia TriStar Home Video and retains pay and free televisionrights.Meanwhilethe Los Angeles-based sales company has sold a DVD package to Medallion inJapan for six titles including Tony Mark's US horror title The Mailman, and Lor
  • Indian billionaire Spices up Kapur's Buddha epic

    Indian billionaire Dr Bhupendra Kumar Modi has set up an internationalfilm production outfit in Los Angeles called Spice through which he willproduce his epic feature film Buddha to be directed by ShekarKapur.He has hired Patrick De Bokay as the film's executive producer andPascal Borno as its international sales agent.The film, which Modi claims will cost $120m, is being written byBuddhist scholar Deepak Chopra, will shoot later this year and is being plannedfor delivery
  • Indican takes US for Wedding comedy

    US distributor IndicanPictures has picked up rights to Laurent Firode's comedy My First Wedding, which stars Rachel Leigh Cook. The deal was negotiated byDavid Gordian of Paragraph Pictures and Shaun Hill of Indican Pictures. ChrisDavis International handling foreign sales.Cook plays blushingbride-to-be Vanessa who enlists the help of her local Priest to keep herunbridled fantasies in check in the run up to the Big Day. However, the hunky priest
  • Indie Circle snaps up Iron Island

    Pan-Europeandistribution collective Indie Circle has snapped up multi-territory rights toMohammed Rasoulof's Iron Island, this year's closing film in the Quinzaine. Theacquisition was concluded with Teheran-based Sheherazad Media Internationalfollowing this month's Paris screenings of Quinzaine films.The Indie Circle deal guarantees the film a release inItaly via Lucky Red, Haut Et Court in France, Cineart in Belgium, A-Film in TheNetherlands and Frenetic Film in Switzerl
  • Inspired Movies hits Cannes with Conquistador

    Anglo-Indian productionoutfit Inspired Movies has arrived in Cannes with a slate of three new picturesto sell. The independent movieproduction house launched its UK operation in 2004 and has already producedthree full-length English language features - Red Mercury, Exitz and Take 3 Girls - featuringthe likes of Malcolm McDowell, Stockard Channing, Juliet Stevenson and PetePostlethwaite.The company says operates ona principal of 'rapid creativit
  • International directors plan Mozart film festival

    An international array ofacclaimed directors including Bahman Ghobadi, Tsai Ming Liang and ApichatpongWeerasethakul will make films for an innovative festival celebrating Mozart's250th anniversary.Unveiling plans for thefilms in Cannes yesterday, festival organisers said they will be inspired bythemes from the composer's later works, including The Magic Flute and theRequiem. Named after Mozart's Masonic lodge, the New Crowned Hope Festival ispart of next year's Vien
  • Italy's DNC snaps up Un Certain Regard title The King

    Italy's DNC Entertainment haspicked up Italian distribution rights to three titles, including Un CertainRegard title The King.
  • Japan Wise to Argento's Hitchcock homage

    Rai Trade has sold cult horrormeister Dario Argento's thriller, DoYou Like Hitchcock' to Japan's Wise Policy. Deals on the hot English-language picture have also been struck with USdistributor Marvista, Russia's Alpha Motion Company, Denmark's DR TV, Sweden'sSverige Television Sdt, Hungary's PCN Budapest, the Czech Republic's Euro Kimand ex-Yugoslavia's Centra Belgrado.The film has also sold to Beta Film (Germany and Austria), France andSwitzerland (Studio Canal Plus), Ho
  • Japan, France strike joint production, distribution agreement

    Representativesfrom UniJapan, the Japanese film industry's export body, and the FrenchNational Film Centre (CNC) signed a protocol for mutual cooperation in filmproduction and distribution at the Cannes Film Festival on May 14. CNC DirectorGeneral Catherine Colonna and UniJapan chairman Kaoru Yosano and TokyoInternational Film Festival chairman Tsuguhiko Kadokawa participated in thesigning of the protocol, which is a first step toward a Japan-Franceco-production tre
  • Japanese embark on Korean buying spree

    In a repeat of Berlin'sEuropean Film Market, Japanese buyers are devouring Korean product in pre-salesworth millions of dollars.Korea's Showbox has pre-soldaction title Running Wild toJapan's Amuse Soft Entertainment for an undisclosed seven figure sum. Shootingnow, it stars hot young Korean actor Kwon Sang-woo.It's the first of two bigJapanese pre-buys of the market: Japan's Happinet Pictures has also acquiredMirovision horror title A.P.T.for another multi-million
  • Julian Richards gets Prolific with new slate

    Prolific Britishdirector/producer Julian Richards (The Last Horror Movie) has announced a slate of new projects through hisdevelopment and production outfit, Prolific Films.Krizia is a supernaturalhorror film scripted by Andrew Miller (Cube, Nothing) about a schizophrenic girl with telekinetic powers.Long Dark Hours, backed by the Arts Council of Wales, is billed as apsycho-thriller about a victim's revenge on a group of school bullies.
  • Karmitz heads to China, son takes the reigns at MK2

    Veteran jack of all filmtrades Marin Karmitz is turning over the bulk of his business to son Nathaniel.Karmitz told Screen it was"change, but with continuity".Nathaniel Karmitz has beenat MK2 for ten years and was notably responsible for making the DVD label ahit. He has just been promoted to deputy managing director and will overseeproduction, distribution, DVD and music publishing and international sales.Marin, meanwhile, said hewould focus his interests more on develop
  • Kaurismaki embarks on Nightwatchman shoot

    Shooting has begun inFinland on Nightwatchman, thethird part of Aki Kaurismaki's Finland trilogy. Having dealt withunemployment in Drifting Cloudsand homelessness in Man Without A Past, the Finnish auteur is now taking as his subject "loneliness in suburbanHelsinki." The film is being made through Kaurismaki's production companySputnik.Among the starsis Paju, the puppy of the mongrel who appeared in Man Without A Past. (Paju, a Sputnik spokesperson co
  • Kilometre Zero

    Dir/scr: Hiner Saleem. Fr-Kurd. 2005. 96minsOne person's illegal war is another's act of sweetliberation in Kilometre Zero. Inspired by the toppling of SaddamHussein, Iraqi Kurdistan director Hiner Saleem has made a film that vividlyilluminates the brutal realities of life under the tyrant's rule. Pettydictators lurk at every checkpoint, people are casually executed at the side ofthe road and hatred flourishes in the bitter divide between Arab and Kurd.Despite Sale
  • Kingdom holds on at international box office

    Kingdom of Heaven, last week's big day-and-dateopener and international box office leader, held on to its position thisweekend with moderate drop-offs in many territories and a solid opening inJapan. The results owed something, however, to the scarcity of competition inthe last weekend before Star Wars: Episode III invades the globalmarketplace. According to distributor Fox International, Kingdomgrossed an estimated $27.5m from around 6,700 screens in 98 territorie
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

    Dir Shane Black, US. 2005. 103 mins.A hugely entertaining mix of film noir, comic buddy movie andmetacinematic romp, Kiss KissBang Bang marks the directing debut of one-time wunderkind scripter Shane Black (LethalWeapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight), who has been off the radar for the best partof a decade. From the most stylish opening credits since Catch Me If You Can, through to theclosing voice-over comment "We hope you stay for the credi
  • Kline, Hanks line up for the Great Buck

    Kevin Kline is in finaltalks to star with Colin Hanks in The Great Buck Howard, which is being produced by Playtone partners TomHanks and Gary Goetzman and Sidney Kimmel through his Sidney KimmelEntertainment (SKE).Kimmel International's newpresident Mark Lindsay will handle sales on the project, which is set to gointo pre-production in June and begin principal photography in September.Sean McGinly will directfrom his own screenplay about a down-on-his-luck magician who t
  • Kuhn to chair Independent Cinema Office

    Qwerty Filmsboss Michael Kuhn has become Chair of the Board of Trustees of the IndependentCinema Office (ICO), it was announced in Cannes yesterday. The ICO's othertrustees are Julia Short, M-D of Verve Pictures, and Ben Cook, Director of Lux.Set up in July2003, the ICO is funded by the UK Film Council, the British Film Institute andthe Arts Council England. Earlier this year, the ICO was awarded £53,080 fromSkillset towards providing film training for the independe
  • Last Days

    Dir/scr/ed: Gus Van Sant. US. 2005. 96minsWe sort of suspected that Gus Van Sant would not pull offanother Elephant: he's one of those directors that needs a littlebreathing space between masterpieces. But Last Days, Van Sant's newfilm, which is inspired (in the words of the final disclaimer) "in part... bythe last days of Kurt Cobain", builds slowly to a sort of rough heroism - forthose viewers that have the patience to stick with it.Usingmany of his famili
  • Le Temps Qui Reste

    Dir. Francois Ozon. Fr.2005. 79mins.Faithful to his reputation of changing genres with everynew film, Francois Ozon reveals yet another facet of his talents with LeTemps Qui Reste, treading on a familiar path which he tries to decorate inhis own personal style.The concept - a personfacing imminent death and having to make the best of the time he has - has beenoften used in the past, most recently and successfully by the likes of MyLife Without Me
  • Lemming

    Dir: Dominik Moll. Fr. 2005.129minsFive years ago, Cannes helped to put Dominik Moll on theinternational map with the rapturous response for Harry, Un Ami Qui VousVeut Du Bien. The response to his eagerly awaited follow up is likely to bemore equivocal. A psychological thriller with a peppering of Bunuellian blackcomedy, Lemming contains similar ingredients to Harry but in theservice of a very different recipe.Enigmatic and deliberatelypa
  • Lexi Alexander signs to direct Life 'N' Lyrics

    German filmmakerLexi Alexander, whose award-winning drama Hooligans is being pursued by a number of Hollywoodstudios, has been confirmed to direct Life 'N' Lyrics. As reportedearlier this week, the project will star UK rapper Ashley Walters in the storyof rival DJ crews from North and South London. The project isthe first to go out under Esther Douglas and Fion
  • Lightning strikes for Israeli drama

    Los Angeles-based Lightning Entertainment has picked up international rights to Giddi Dar's award-winning Israeli feature Ushpizin.Set in the cloistered worldof ultra-Orthodox Jews, Ushpizin is about a married couple in financial direstraits whose prayers for salvation are answered by the arrival of twomysterious strangers.Shuli Rand, Michal Bat-ShevaRand, Shaul Mizrahi, and Ilan Ganani star in the picture, which screened atTribeca last month. It was the biggest Israeli r
  • Lions Gate Films picks up US rights to Skinwalkers

    Lions Gate Films has pickedup US rights to Jim Isaac's werewolf project Skinwalkers, while Lions Gate International has acquired allinternational rights except Germany and will commence sales at Cannes thisweek.The film is set to go intoproduction in early autumn for a wide North American release in 2006, and marksthe company's first collaboration with Germany's Constantin Film.Skinwalkers centres on a 12-year-old boy who finds himself at thecentre of a battle betw
  • LITE launches Latin American film fund

    A newBrazil-based finance and development company has launched a $1m fund to supportLatin American projects with international potential.Life In TheTropics Entertainment (LITE) says the money will nurse 10 scripts and ideasthrough early stages of development.Fundfounders Roberto d'Avila and Richard Palmgren say film-makers from across theregion will benefit not just from the finance but from the expertise of anexperienced panel of experts.D'Avilasaid the fund would help b
  • Lola closes pre-sales on saintly Paz Vega biopic

    Spain'sLolafilms has closed three key pre-sales and is fielding broad interest on itsperiod biopic Teresa,starring Viggo Mortensen and Paz Vega.The film has pre-sold toMexico's Gussi, Brazil's Conquest Filmes and Venezuela's Blancica. Offers arealso on the table from Argentina, according to Lola's head of internationalsales, Eva Sklar.Pre-sales areunusual for any Spanish film outside giants such as Pedro Almodovar, and Teresa has been written by his Life Flesh
  • Lou Ye wraps Summer Palace

    Productionwrapped last week (May 13) on Chinese director Lou Ye's Summer Palace, following a three-month shoot inChina and two weeks in Berlin.Co-producedby China's Laurel Films and France's Rosem Films, the $3m drama follows thelives and love affairs of four ordinary people from 1988, when China had juststarted to open up, to the present day. Lou'scredits include Rotterdam winner Suzhou River and Purple Butterfly, which screened in compe
  • Louis Malle collection sells for Pyramide

    Pyramide International'scollection of newly-remastered Louis Malle films has sold strongly at Cannes.The UK's Optimum, Italy'sMikado, Lumiere in Benelux and Avalon Productions in Spain are among thebuyers.This follows on fromprevious sales to US distributor Criterion and Arte for France in dealsbrokered by Malle's son Manuel via his company NEF.Pyramide's Malle collectionis comprised of 11 feature films, including Les Amants and Au Revoir Les Enfants, and si
  • Lucky Red embarks on Cannes buying spree

    Upscale Italian arthousedistributor Lucky Red has been on a buying spree in Cannes, snapping up rightsto three new titles. It has picked up Korean gangster drama A BittersweetLife from CJ Entertainment, Thaihorror hit Shutter from GMM ThaiHub and Carlos Reygadas' competition entry, Battle In Heaven from The Co-Production Office.Just prior to the market,Lucky Red acquired Cannes opening film, Lemming.Meanwhile, Lucky Red bossAndrea Occhipinti has confi
  • Mackenzie recruits Jamie Bell for Foe

    Director David Mackenzie's next film will be Hallam Foe, a £4madaptation of the Peter Jinks novel, to star Jamie Bell. Mackenzie's breakthrough film Young Adam screened in Un CertainRegard two years ago and he was back in Cannes this week seeking finance for HallamFoe,which is scheduled to shoot in Scotland this summer.Bell will playthe title character, a voyeuristic teenager who becomes convinced that hisstepmother is responsible for his mother's suicide.
  • Major coo for British bird Valiant

    A plucky Britishwartime carrier pigeon hopes to ruffle feathers in America.Disney isputting its full marketing might behind UK animated feature, Valiant, scheduling a 1,500-2,000-print releasethrough Buena Vista on August 19.The key datemeans the CGI film should reach the key Labor Day weekend crowds. No otherfamily-oriented films are being released in the US at the time.In the run-up toCannes, Medusa took rights for Italy (one of the few major territories leftunso
  • Mandate moves Slither, Whisper sales

    Joe Drake's Mandate Pictureshas struck a raft of major territory sales on Gold Circle Films' horror titles Slither and Whisper.Whisper has been sold toConcorde Films for Germany, Metropolitan Films for France, Vertigo Films forSpain, Pyramid for CIS and Paradiso for Benelux. UniversalPictures will release in the US and Gold Circle previously closed deals withEntertainment for the UK and TVA for Canada.Slitherhas soldto Unive
  • Manderlay

    Dir/scr: Lars Von Trier. Den-Swe-Fr-UK-Ger-Neth.2005. 139mins.The road to hell is pavedwith the noblest of intentions in Manderlay, the stunning second film inLars Von Trier's American trilogy. A philosophical debate on slavery, equality,oppression, free will and racism, it will inevitably be read as anti-Americanin general and a specific response to the recent war in Iraq.
  • Match Point

    Dir/scr: Woody Allen. US.2005. 124mins.Match Point would seem to prove the theory that youcan't teach new tricks to old dogs. Quintessential New York filmmaker WoodyAllen may have relocated to London but his eternal preoccupations with love,death, broken hearts and guilty minds remain central to the story. However, MatchPoint does show signs of revived energy in Allen's flagging inspiration.Reworking elements from CrimesAnd Misdemeanou
  • Max Films plots English-language Seducing Dr Lewis

    Montreal-based Max Films issetting up an English-language remake of its 2003 Quinzaine hit Seducing Dr.Lewis, with director Jean-FrancoisPouliot and screenwriter Ken Scott onboard to reprise their roles. The new version is one offour-pictures being prepared by producers Roger Frappier and Luc Vandal toshoot over the next 18 months. Pouliot and Scott are also locked for the thirdpicture on the slate, Le GuideDe La Petite Vengeance (Revenge: A Users' Guide)
  • Menzel ready to Serve The King

    Oscar-winningCzech director Jiri Menzel is edging ever closer to a starting date for hislong-gestating I Served The King Of England. The Euros 3m project, puttogether by producers AQS and Bioscop as a Czech/Hungarian/German/Slovakianco-production, is close to being fully financed. The first part of the 61-dayshoot is slated to take place in the autumn. Shooting will then resume in theSpring of 2006.The film is anadaptation of the book by Bohumil Hrabal. Menzel was close f
  • Merry Christmas to Sony Pictures Classics

    Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) won a bidding war to takemulti-territory rights for Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas) yesterday,the first US deal for a film in official selection to be announced here inCannes,SPC took rights in the US, UK, Italy and Latin Americafrom Films Distribution in a multi-million dollar deal, beating out some stiffcompetition for the World War I heartwarmer from director Christian Carionwhich played out of competition.The fact that the firstmajor US deal
  • Metacinema takes Italian rights to Gallenberger's Time

    Metacinema has acquiredItalian distribution rights to Florian Gallenberger's Shadows of Time.
  • Millenium strikes three picture deal with Eclectic

    Avi Lerner's Millennium Pictures has signed a three-picture deal withHeidi Jo Markel's fledgling development and production outfit EclecticPictures.The exclusive arrangement provides Los Angeles-based Eclectic with fundsto attach talent and make films with foreign distribution being servicedthrough Millennium's Nu Image.Markel, whose producing credits include the Val Kilmer thriller BlindHorizon and Snoop Dogg mystery The Tenants, founded the co
  • Miller, Rodriguez set for second dose of Sin

    FrankMiller has already begun scripting Sin City 2, which he will co-direct withRobert Rodriguez. The project will be jointly owned by Disney and The WeinsteinCompany.Speaking at the annual distributors lunch hosted by theWeinsteins, Miller said it was too early to announce casting.However he did confirm the project will be shot entirelyon green screen.Miller waspart of a large Sin City contingent that flew into town ahead of today's competition screening.St
  • MK Pictures sells Last Bang to France

    Korea's MK Pictures has soldIm Sang-soo's Directors' Fortnight title The President's Last Bang to France's CIPA and also revealed details of thedirector's next project. CIPA is planning an Octoberrelease for The President's Last Bang, a creative retelling of the assassination of president Park Chung-heein 1979. The company handled Im's previous film, A Good Lawyer's Wife, which screened in competition at Venice in 2003. Itreleased the film in March on 20 prints.
  • Momentum signs up for football comedy The Other Half

    Momentum Pictures has pickedup all UK rights to football romantic comedy The Other Half from UK-based seller AV Pictures.The film, which stars DannyDyer and footballer-turned-actor Vinnie Jones, is Momentum's second deal withAV this market after the UK distributor picked up horror thriller Wilderness.The Other Half joins WW2-set drama The Aryan Couple, directed by veteran producer John Daly, on AV'sexpanding line-up of non-genre films. However, the company i
  • Monster-in-Law beats Kicking to top US box office

    New Line Cinema's Monster-in-Law made a strong debutin North America this weekend, grossing an estimated $24m and beatingUniversal's rival family comedy Kicking & Screaming, which took asolid $20.9m, to the top chart spot. Action thriller Unleashed, from Focus Features' Roguelabel, opened well with an estimated $10.6m and took third place.The three new releases were not strong enough, however, todrag the US market out of its doldrums: overall box office for
  • Monster-in-Law beats Kicking to top US box office

    New Line Cinema's Monster-in-Law made a strong debutin North America this weekend, grossing an estimated $24m and beatingUniversal's rival family comedy Kicking & Screaming, which took asolid $20.9m, to the top chart spot. Action thriller Unleashed, from Focus Features' Roguelabel, opened well with an estimated $10.6m and took third place.The three new releases were not strong enough, however, todrag the US market out of its doldrums: overall box office for
  • Morena makes waves in Mexico

    Spain'sMorena Films is continuing its policy of shooting outside Spain with two newfilms set in Mexico and ArgentinaTheEuros 2.5m Mexican co-production La Zona, set in a wealthy Mexico Cityenclave surrounded by slums, is being directed by Rodrigo Pla. The La ZonaFilms co-production will be sold by Wild Bunch.Andshooting next fall in Argentina with a local co-producer is the Euros 3m Nocturna. Writer-director PacoCabezas' effects-laden horror tal
  • Moviehouse to sell Fiennes starring tale of sexual obsession

    Moviehouse Entertainment has been appointed to handle overseas sales on WhoKilled Norma Barnes', a contemporary tale of sexual obsession starringRalph Fiennes, Emily Mortimer, Emily Blunt and Ciaran Hinds.Director Malcolm McKay, best known for big-budget BBC dramas such as Gormenghast, is to startshooting the $6m production in the autumn. An adaptation of Dostoevsky's The Idiot, it is being produced byEliza Mellor for Company Pictures, the UK production comp
  • Myriad packs trunk with Elephant Tales pre-sales

    Kirk D'Amico's Myriad Pictures has notched up pre-sales on MarioAndreacchio's live-action family adventure Elephant Tales, which is set togo into production in South Africa on Jun 13.The French/Australian co-production has sold to LNK for Portugal, Prooptikifor Greece, Myndform for Iceland, Box Office for Thailand and Wild World forthe Philippines.As previously announced, UIP France and Canal Plus hold French rights tothe story of two elephant brothers
  • Myriad tunes up Copying Beethoven deals

    Kirk D'Amico's MyriadPictures has concluded sales on Copying Beethoven to Japan's Tohokushinsha, Brazil's VideofilmCorporation, Portugal's LNK Home Entertainment, Greece's PCV, Eastern Europe'sParadise/MGN, Iceland's Myndform and Singapore's Shaw Renters. Ed Harris and Diane Krugerstar in the Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Film & Entertainment VIPMedienfonds co-production, which is produced by Kimmel, Michael Taylor andco-writers Christopher Rivele and Chris
  • New Films takes the world for Prodigy, Last Run

    Nesim Hason's LosAngeles-based production and distribution company New Films International haspicked up worldwide rights to William Kaufman's assassination thriller TheProdigy and Jonathan Segal's comedy-drama The Last Run.Both pictures have been soldas part of a package deal to Brazil's Conquest Films.The Last Run, starring The Wonder Years' Fred Savage as a young sex addict, is also going aspart of a package sold to Italy's One Movie.
  • New Line, HBO open Picturehouse for business

    New Line Cinema and HBOFilms have officially launched their new US specialised distribution jointventure, announcing the name of the company - Picturehouse - and unveiling thefirst nine picture-slate.Diane Arbus biopic Fur starring Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr anddirected by Steven Shainberg was named as the first film to be financed by theventure, with New Line International handling international sales.Jointly owned by theTimeWarner sister companies, Picturehouse
  • New York Doll ready to rock festivals

    Gary Rubin's First LookIndependent is planning a high-profile festival berth for Greg Whiteley'sdocumentary New York Doll aheadits October US release.Rubin has been fieldingstrong interest from festival organisers on the picture, which charts the upliftingstory of former New York Dolls bass player Arthur 'Killer' Kane, a reformedalcoholic and Mormon church librarian who stages an emotional reunion with hisold bandmembers.Rubin is drawing up athree-pron
  • Nexo swoops for three new films

    Italy's Nexo has acquired three new films here - Steven Shainberg'sDiane Arbus biopic Fur from New Line International, Emanuel Carrere'swell-liked drama La Moustache from Pathe International and Jaume Balaguero'sthriller Fragile from Filmax. The pick-ups continue relationships between Ernesto Di Sarro's companyand the three sellers. Nexo at its inception handled a slate of films from New Line including AboutSchmidt and I Am Sam, distributed
  • Noe to set English-language debut in Japan

    Pathe will produce the nextfilm from controversial French director Gaspar Noe. Enter The Void is an English-language Euros 10m film which isgearing up to shoot late this year.Noe, a notoriouslymeticulous filmmaker, is preparing to shoot in Japan and France. The two leadroles will be filled by unknowns and a large part of the cast will be Japanese.The story follows two youngWesterners who travel to Tokyo. With effects tipped to take some time, the filmshould be ready for C
  • Oliver Stone drops out of Night Watchman

    Uncertainty surrounded thefuture of James Ellroy adaptation The Night Watchman last night after it emerged that Oliver Stone hasdropped out of the Keanu Reeves-starrer due to problems with the screenplay.Stone came on board todirect the story of a disgraced policeman who launches a crusade againstcorrupt officers after Spike Lee dropped out to direct Inside Man for Universal.However now Stone's out aswell. In a statement he said: "Contrary to recent reports in the
  • Pact, British Directors, Ille de France plan conference

    In conjunction with UKproducers' agency Pact and the Directors' Guild of Great Britain, the Ile deFrance Film Commission has announced a conference series to be held on June 15in London.The Ile de France commission was created in 2004 toattract producers to the region in and around Paris as well as aiding in theputting together of co-productions.In June, two rou
  • Palace leaps for Lemming

    Palace Films has alreadysnapped up Australian rights for three Competition titles including the openingnight film Lemming.
  • Participant gobbles up Fast Food Nation

    eBay mogul Jeff Skoll'sParticipant Productions has munched up North American rights as well a healthymouthful of equity in Fast Food Nation, it was announced in Cannes yesterday by Participant ProductionsPresident Ricky Strauss. The deal was done with London-based Hanway Films.Fast Food Nation is a Recorded Picture Company production. It isbeing produced by Jeremy Thomas and Malcolm McLaren. The director is RichardLinklater, who has co-scripted with Eric Schlosser, author
  • Paz Vega sets Seville date with Maestranza

    MaestranzaFilms, producer of Un Certain Regard closing film Habana Blues, is preparingwhat will be its biggest film to date: 17th century biopic La Roldana with star Paz Vega.Vega (Spanglish) will playthe title character, a talented, ahead-of-her-time sculptress in theartistically vibrant
  • Pele plots film expose of South American football

    Football legend Pele isplanning what he says will be a sporting equivalent to Fernando Meirelles' Cityof God. Pele says he has beenworking on a script which will expose the seedy underbelly of South Americanfootball, where the flip side of the beautiful game is endemic corruption inthe boardroom."Flamengo is the best-supported football club in the worldbut it is bankrupt. You have to ask why," he said."When I was Minister of Sport in Brazil, I tried to bring ina la
  • Petit embarks on Unrequited Love shoot

    Shooting hasbegun on Unrequited Love, the latest feature from cult British filmmaker Chris Petit (LondonOrbital, Asylum). Adapted from abook by Greg Dart, the film is an essay-drama exploring the links betweenunrequited love and stalking.The film is aco-production set up by Illuminations with Mediopolis in Berlin, LondonFilm,.MDM, ZDF/ARTE, YLE and the Documentary Channel in Canada.Illuminations ishandling sales. Unrequited Love is
  • Plague for Van Der Beek

    James Van Der Beek will starin the upcoming thriller Plaguefor Clive Barker's Midnight Picture Show banner, which is being jointlyfinanced by Wall Street-based film equity fund D H Blair Film Capital Fund andArmada Pictures International.Beverly Hills-based ArmadaPictures International is handling worldwide sales on the project, which is setto go before the cameras in July.
  • Pressman ponders ContentFilm exit

    Whither Ed Pressman' Itseems that the veteran producer of such classics as Badlands and Wall Street is stepping down from his role as joint-chief executive of ContentFilm,the company he founded with John Schmidt in 2001.A spokesperson for Pressman did not deny the rumoursand it is understood that he will continue to be involved with ContentFilm asdirector and shareholder. "Ed Pressman has made over 70 movies and will continueto make many more,"
  • Pressman to exit from ContentFilm

    Ed Pressman, the veteran producer of such classics as Badlands and WallStreet, is stepping down from his role as joint chiefexecutive of ContentFilm, the company he founded with John Schmidt in 2001.A spokesperson for Pressman did not denythe rumours and it is understood that he will continue to be involved withContentFilm as director and shareholder.
  • Quando Sei Nato Non Puoi Piu Nasconderti (Once You're Born You Can No Longer Hide)

    Dir Marco Tullio Giordana.Italy/UK/Fr. 2005. 118 mins The latest film by The Best of Youth director Marco Tullio Giordana is, like Gianni Amelio's Lamerica, a portrait of an Italy that is trying to get to grips with its newstatus as a multicultural society, whose immigrant population has increasedthirty-fold since 1970. It's about the small hypocrisies and larger cultureclashes that lie behind a nation's firmly-held conviction that it is notracist.
  • Rainmaker unveils fresh slate following Bomb success

    With its debut film Diameter Of TheBomb picked up by THINKFilm for North America andRedbus for the UK, fledgling UK financing and production outfit Rainmaker Filmshas unveiled a fresh slate of projects.The London-based company, which funds development and,increasingly, production, is backing Chinese Wall, asuspense thriller by US writer Mark Wheaton about conflicts in a New York lawfirm. Rainmaker has also acquired rights to Polish writer Marek Hlasko'
  • Reding hosts Euro culture ministers for Cannes summit

    EuropeanUnion media commissioner Viviane Reding has said she wants European film-makersto be able to use technology to boost the circulation of their films within theEU.Reding, who oversees theEuros 513m Media Programme, was speaking to Screen ahead of a Europe Dayconference she is hosting here on May 17.18 of the 25 cultureministers from the EU member states will attend as well as senior figures fromthe world of media and technology, including Time Warner's Jeff Bewkes, BBCdire
  • Shanghai Dreams

    Dir. Wang Xiaoshuai,China, 2005. 120mins.Once a rebel now workingin the mainstream, Wang Xiaoshuai draws on his own reminiscences as anadolescent for Cannes competition entry Shanghai Dreams.Wang's family was relocatedfrom Shanghai to the poor, mountainous province of Guiyang, all part of theChinese authorities' decision to install fortified industrial cities near theborder with the Soviet Union, just in case the differences of opinion mi
  • Slimline Rotterdam festival to roll back the years

    The Rotterdam Festival(IFFR) is to downsize, festival director Sandra den Hamer has confirmed inCannes. Aiming torecapture some of the intimacy which characterised the festival's early yearsunder founder Hubert Bals, Den Hamer says she is planning to cut the programmeby around 20%."One of the biggest challenges for me isto make it a little smaller so we can give the films we select the attentionthey deserve."One of the biggest publicfilm festivals in the world, Rotterdam
  • Slow Burn sells to North America, UK

    GreeneStreetFilms and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment have sold North American and UK rights onWayne Beach's upcoming thriller Slow Burn to DEJ Productions.GreeneStreetInternational has sold Slow Burn, which stars Ray Liotta as a district attorneywho confronts a gang leader, to Eagle in Italy and is expecting to close Francetoday [18]. Deals for Spain and Germany were close to being finalised at timeof writing.GreeneStreetco-founder Fisher Stevens, Sidney Kimmel, Bonnie Timme
  • South Africa, UK start co-production treaty talks

    SouthAfrica is in talks about a co-production treaty with the UK, according to theorganisation spearheading the development of South Africanfilm.NationalFilm and Video Foundation (NFVF) chief executive Eddie Mbalo told a Cannespress conference that the UK would be added to similar agreements already beensigned with Italy, Germany and Canada."People have long been calling for a UKtreaty and today was can confidently say that the process is underway," hesaid.The NFVFbelieve
  • Spain's Zebra readies Cervantes, Shakespeare comedy

    Spain'sZebra Producciones andMiguel&William Producciones are developing a Euros 8m period comedy thatasks the question what if Cervantes and Shakespeare had met'Titled Miguel &William, the feature will pull close to 10% of its budget from the public agencyDon Quijote
  • Spice Factory plans US invasion

    In what could become an international rush ofcompanies to exploit new US tax incentives and the cheap dollar, theever-opportunistic UK-based financing outfit Spice Factory has teamed up withLA-based Cameo FJ Entertainment to create the American Independent Film Fund(AIFF).The partners aim to exploit recent
  • St Petersburg to launch new international film festival

    Former Kinotavr festival director MarkRudinstein is planning to launch a new international film festival in St.Petersburg, Russia, to be held in July 18 - 31, 2006.Rudinsteinhas tapped internationally known Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky to be thefestival president, a role that would have
  • Star Wars: Episode III already breaking records

    Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith wasalready starting to break records as its massive international release began onWednesday and continued into the weekend.According to distributor Fox International, the launch ofthe film with more than 9,000 prints in 113 markets in 104 countries outsideNorth America is the widest international day-and-date release of all time.The film opens in many markets on Thursday May 19, the sameday as in the US and Canada (where the re
  • Starfield's Rabbit sex comedy arouses interest

    UK-basedStarfield Productions has been enjoying some enjoyable tremors with its raucousnew sex comedy about a vibrator, Rabbit Fever, directed by Ian Denya. An all-starcast has been assembled for the project, about the best-selling vibrator in theworld, known as The Rabbit. Sienna Guilroy, Tom Conti, Stephanie Powers, Tara Summers,Flora Montgomery, Sam Bloom (Orlando Bloom's sister) and Lisa B play fictionalroles while Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson a
  • Stars gear up for Driving Lessons

    Oscar nominees Julie Waltersand Laura Linney are to star alongside Harry Potter's Rupert Grint in Driving Lessons, writer Jeremy Brock's directorial debut.The story is about a shyvicar's son (Grint) with an overprotective mother whose world changes when hemeets a retired actress. Brock loosely based the comedy-drama on his own life.The film is produced byJulia Chasman and is the first title from her new production outfitRubberTreePlant.Driving Lessons
  • Stars warm up Frost production

    Sopranos star Michael Imperioli and Frenchactress Irene Jacob have signed up to star in Paul Auster's upcoming TheInner Life Of Martin Frost. Manchurian Candidatestar Liev Schreiber is tipped to join them.The Euros3.5m film will start shooting in September and is produced by Gemini's PaoloBranco, Auster and Peter Newman who also produced Auster's previous films.Gemini isalso selling the film which Branco say
  • Storitel funding rouses horror Arising

    Manchester-based producerPaul Sherwood's Storitel Films is to fully finance Arising, a new Britishhorror film marking the directorial debut of veteran TV director Bob Baldwin. Scripted by Dan Spencer,Nick Ryan and Mark Barron, the film moves into production next month. Also new on Storitel's slateis (Seymour's Adventures in) Bookworld, billed as a surreal, Monty Python-style adventure for kids and adults.Scripted by David Isaac, the film will mark the
  • Summer Of Love to open Sydney festival

    PawelPawlikowski's My Summer Of Love will kick off the 52nd Sydney Film Festival on June10. TheBAFTA-winning film is the first of more than 170 films from around 40 countrieslined up by festival director Lynden Barber. The Sydney festwraps on June 25.
  • Summit climbs the heights with Cannes slate

    Summit Entertainment has reported brisk business on its Cannes slate,virtually selling out on Atom Egoyan's competition entry Where The TruthLies,Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's ensemble piece Babel, Tony Gilroy's dramaticthriller Michael Clayton, Nick Goossen's comedy Nana's Boy, and David Ayer's SouthCentral set drama Harsh Times.Where TheTruth Lies has sold toMomentum in the UK, Concorde in Germany, Movie-Eye in Japan, Fandango in Italy,and Media So
  • Svankmayer project headlines Barrandov Studios slate

    Theproduction arm of Barrandov Studios has announced further details of itscurrent slate.It is shortly to appoint asales agent for Lunacy, the newproject from cult Czech animator Jan Svankmayer. A co-production withAthanor, Czech TV and C-GA Film, Lunacy is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and the Marquis De Sade. Combining liveaction with animation, it's being billed as a "philosophical horror" movie. Lunacy is in post-production with
  • Swipe swoops for Paper Clips international rights

    Frank Mannion's Swipe Filmshas picked up international sales on Paper Clips, the acclaimedfeature documentary that passed the $1m mark at the US box office last weekend.Thefilm, directed by Elliot Berlin and Joe Fab follows the story of students in arural Tennessee sch
  • Taiwan launches first Asian tax finance incentives

    Taiwan has become the firstdestination in Asia for producers looking for tax-based financing. LA and Taipei-based fund,Double Edge Entertainment, is working with the Taiwanese government to provideprivate equity and tax credits that can cover up to 50% of mid-budgetproductions that partially shoot in Taiwan. Following a change inTaiwanese law, the government is offering tax breaks of up to 20% of the totalbudget of qualifying films. The only requirements are that one third of sc
  • Tartan sails off with French hit 36 Quai

    The UK'sTartan Films has acquired Gaumont's French hit 36 Quai Des Orfevres, starring Daniel Auteuil and GerardDepardieu.The deal was brokered byJane Giles of Tartan Films and Philippe de Chaisemartin of Gaumont. The policethriller, which amassed more than 2.1 million admissions in France, has sold toan array of markets, including Japan (Asmik), Germany (Tobis) and Spain(Columbia)."36 Quai Des Orfevres marks the fantastic return of the policier,
  • Tartan wins US Battle for Reygadas' Heaven

    Tartan USA has acquired USrights to Mexican director Carlos Reygadas' competition title Battle InHeaven (Batalla En El Cielo).Philippe Bober, the film'smajority producer and sales agent through his The Coproduction Office, has alsosold the film to France's Bac Films, Mexico's Gussi, Film Museum for theNetherlands and Belgium's Lumiere.Tartan Films previouslypre-bought the picture for the UK.
  • TFI takes world rights to Ong-Bak follow-up

    French sales house TF1International has taken world rights to Tom-Yum-Goong starring Ong-BakphenomenonTony Jaa and directed by Ong-Bak's Prachya Pinkaew.
  • The Bow (Hwal)

    Dir/scr/ed:Kim Ki-duk. S Kor-Jap. 2005. 90mins.South Korean festival favourite Kim Ki-duk has two modes:the island film (The Isle; Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter' And Spring),and the urban film (Bad Guy; Samaria; 3-Iron). It lookedfor a while as if his city tales were a progression from the fishhooks andBuddhist isolation of his earlier island stories, as both Samaria and 3-Ironpremiered at European film fests
  • The Child (L'Enfant)

    Dir/scr: Jean-Pierre andLuc Dardenne. Bel-Fr. 2005. 95mins A few square miles of unprepossessing urban landscapecontinue to yield a rich fictional universe in the Dardenne brothers' latestchronicle of life among modern European have-nots.Filmed as usual in theBelgian industrial town of Seraing, The Child continues the run ofsteely, confident realist dramas that began in 1996 with The Promise(the brothers' third feature) and that won them a Palme d'Or with 19
  • The Power Of Nightmares

    Dir Adam Curtis, UK, 2005, 157 mins.Unlike most political documentaries made in the US, this highlyentertaining and informative BBC production refreshingly offers itself as astraightforward, almost academic essay, with thesis statement, development and demonstration,and concluding restatement of thesis. Its basic argument is that theAmerican neo-conservative political movement (exemplified by the likes of PaulWolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, and Richard Perle) is not all that differe
  • The Works signs up Italian pair

    UK-based sales company The Works hasboarded two films world premiering at Cannes: Critics' Week entry TheHorizon Of Events (L'Orizzonte Degli Eventi) and Come Into The Light (Alla Luce DelSole).
  • THINKFilm Int'l hands out Cronenberg's Painkillers

    THINKFilmInternational, the sales arm headed up by Mark Horowitz that launched this weekin Cannes, has picked up worldwide rights on David Cronenberg's $35m upcomingthriller Painkillers.Thenew division will commence pre-sales this week on the project, which is beingproduced by Cronenberg'
  • To Paint Or Make Love (Peindre Ou Faire L'amour)

    Dir/scr: Arnaud andJean-Marie Larrieu. Fr. 2005. 98mins.The second film byFrance's talented, and as yet little-known, team the Larrieu brothers promisedto be a wild card in the Cannes competition. Given their inventive, hugelyoddball debut feature A Real Man (2003), their follow-up could well haveturned out as much a mood-lightening charmer as Agnes Jaoui's Comme UneImage was in last year's festival.Unfortunately, the Larrieus'undo
  • Toho pre-sells Shining Boy And Little Randy

    Confirming the currentappetite for films about animals in Asia, Japan's Toho International haspre-sold Shining Boy And Little Randy, based on the true story of Japan's first elephant trainer, to severalAsian territories. The film has gone to GoldenScene for Hong Kong, Major Cinepictures for Thailand and Long Shong for Taiwan.In addition, Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures, which is stepping up itspan-Asian acquisitions, has acquired all rights to the film for
  • UGC International embraces Family Hero

    French sales outfit UGCInternational is to handle Family Hero, the new film from Une Vie A T'Attendre director Thierry Kilfa starring Catherine Deneuve,Gerard Lanvin, Miou-Miou, Geraldine Pailhas and Michael Cohen.At Euros 12m Hero is written by Klifa and Christopher Thompson andwill be produced by UGC International president Said Ben Said's in-house SBSFilms. Also on UGC's slate areAndre Techine's next project, The Witnesses and A Secret
  • UK Film Focus shapes up for London Screenings status

    Neil Jordan's BreakfastOn Pluto, which is tipped forcompetition slots in Venice and Toronto, headlines a slate of over two dozenBritish films, many of them world premieres, at next month's second London UKFilm Focus (LUFF), running June 27-30. More than 140 internationalbuyers have been invited to the publicly-funded event and most of the UK'sleading sales agents will be represented.Other titles receivingmarket premieres include Silence Becomes You (IAC), starring
  • UK sales outfit keeps an eye on Latin America

    London sales outfit One EyedFilms, a Brazilian film specialist, has broadened its scope to include filmsfrom across Latin America and makes its Cannes debut with three multipleaward-winning titles on its slate.
  • Univeral beefs up Rogue Pictures

    UniversalPictures is beefing up its genre division Rogue Pictures with plans to release10 pictures a year and expand the banner's production infrastructure.Universal's boutique label Focus Features' marketingand distribution teams will also expand to handle
  • Universal beefs up Rogue Pictures

    Universal Pictures is beefing up its genre division Rogue Pictures withplans to release 10 pictures a year and expand the banner's productioninfrastructure.Focus Features' marketing and distribution teams willexpand to handle the increased workload and Rogue will also begin to
  • Universal plucks North American rights for Black Dahlia

    Universal Pictures has paidan estimated $10m for North American rights to Brian DePalma's film of JamesElroy's The Black Dahlia starringJosh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank fromSignature Pictures.The studio plans a 2006 releasefor the 1940s-set thriller about the two cops investigating the brutal murderof Elizabeth Short. The film was produced by ArtLinson, Moshe Diamant and Rudy Cohen of Signature Pictures and Avi Lerner ofMillenium Films. Ge
  • Venice shapes up as star magnet

    With journalists dailybemoaning the dearth of major American stars in Cannes, The Venice FilmFestival is once again shaping up as a showcase of star-studded prospects fromthe US and Europe. John Madden's Proof, Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm, James Ivory's The White Countess and Fernando Mereilles' The Constant Gardener are just a few of the titles already looking likelyto play on the Lido, offering up talent possibilities from Matt Damon toGwyneth Paltr
  • Verhoeven's Black Book closes financing

    VIP Mediafondshas boarded Black Book,Paul Verhoeven's long-gestating $20m wartime thriller, as majority financier,finally giving a start-date to the project in August on location in TheNetherlands and at Studio Babelsberg.The cast is ledby Dutch star Carice van Houten, Halina Reijn and Dutch actor Thom Hoffman. Thelead German parts are played by Sebastian Koch, Christian Berkel and WaldemarKobus. The English actors will be cast in the next couple of weeks.London-basedCont
  • Von Trier's Manderlay stirs up Cannes controversy

    If Lars Von Trier's Manderlay doesn't elicit claims of anti-Americanism, hiscomments at today's Cannes press conference for the film certainly will."Let's get this businessabout me being anti-American out of the way," said the director beforelaunching into a blistering attack on the President of the United States."Mr. Bush is an asshole,"said the director. "That's not even an insult. America is shitting on theworld." The second film of theDanish auteur's USA trilog
  • Wales opens up£7m film and TV fund

    Wales hascalled for applications for its £7m intellectual property fund.The fund, overseen by theWelsh Assembly, will act as a gap financier for film and TV production, plusnew media and music projects. Open to international projects, the initiative aimsto attract production to Wales.Producer Linda James hasbeen appointed to the board and is acting as investment consultant.
  • Warner Bros takes multi-territory rights to del Toro's Labyrinth

    Warner Bros Pictures International has picked upSpanish and Latin American rights to director Guillermo del Toro's upcomingFranco era horror title Pan's Labyrinth.
  • Weinstein Company boards Bodrov's Nomad

    The WeinsteinCompany has acquired a second film from French sales and finance outfit WildBunch this week. Bob and HarveyWeinstein have taken North American, UK, Australian/New Zealand and SouthAfrican rights to Nomad, starring Jason Scott Lee, Kuno Becker and Jay Hernandez. Directedby Sergei Bodrov and Talgat Temenov, it was written by Oscar-winner RustamIbragimbekov.Nomad is a sweeping epic set in 18thcentury Kazakhstan.The move followsthe Weinsteins
  • Weinsteins on a Promise with Chen

    Harvey and Bob Weinstein areback in business with Chen Kaige, the Chinese director whose Farewell MyConcubine shared the Palme d'Or in1993 and gave Miramax one of its breakthrough Chinese hits.The brothers'new operation The Weinstein Company has teamed up with IDG New Media Fund toacquire rights in North America, the UK, Australia and South Africa to Chen'shighly-anticipated fantasy epic The Promise. Produced by China's Beijing21st Century Shengkai and Etchie Stroh
  • What The Bleep sells like Lightning

    Los Angeles-based LightningEntertainment has continued a raft of major sales on the spiritual docu-dramaand North American box office hit What The Bleep Do We Know!' Rights to Will Arntz, BetsyChasse and Mark Vicente's picture went to Hopscotch & Polyphony forAustralia and New Zealand, Revolver Entertainment for the UK, Filmhouse forMexico, and Playarte for Brazil.In other sales, Cinemienbought rights for the Netherlands, ABC Distribution for Belgium, Major CinePictures f
  • Where The Truth Lies

    Dir:Atom Egoyan. Canada. 2005. 107mins.Fans of Canadian auteurAtom Egoyan, hoping for a comeback from the multiple missteps of his last film,Ararat, which played at Cannes in 2002, are bound to be disappointed bythe director's latest offering, Where The Truth Lies. Based on RupertHolmes' novel of the same title, the film, which follows the showbiz careers ofa comedy duo that will recall Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis for most olderviewers, is to
  • World's Fastest Indian heads East

    TheWorld's Fastest Indian, starring Anthony Hopkins, has sold to Alexander van Duelman's EEAP forEastern Europe, including Russia, and German-speaking markets.The distributor picked upthe film, directed by Roger Donaldson, from Tanlay AG and NZ Film. "I was impressed with Anthony Hopkins' performance," said vanDuelman. "However, seeing the 16 minutes of cut scenes and the montage shown atBerlin in February really made the decision easy."