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19 May 2006

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  • Alonso and Musaluppi recruited for Locarno juries

    Leadingfigures from the New Argentine Cinema have been invited to serve on new jurieswhich are being established at this year's LocarnoFilm Festival under the new artistic director Frederic Maire.FilmmakerLisandro Alonso, whosedirecting credits include La Libertad, Los Muertos and the as-yet-unreleased Fantasmas, will be a jury memberof the new Leopard for best first film competition recognising a work in theInternational Competition or in the Filmmakers of the Pre
  • Alpine launches domestic distribution arm with Snipes-starrer

    Alpine Picturesis launching a theatrical distribution arm and will kick off this autumn withthe release of teen thriller Love Is The Drug written by CapeFear screenwriter Wesley Strick.
  • An Inconvenient Truth

    Dir: Davis Guggenheim. US. 2006.98mins"I'm Al Gore. I used to be the next president of theUnited States... I don't find that particularly funny," former vice-presidentAl Gore declares early on in Davis Guggenheim's fascinating documentary,bounding on stage before one of his multi-media lectures about global warming.Gore is a contradictoryfigure, aloof and folksy, reserved and passionate, sanctimonious and self-mocking.Quoting Mar
  • Anne-Marie Duff signs on for Bed Blockers

    Anne-Marie Duffwill star in Alan Entwistle's UK black comedy/satire Bed Blockers. Duff previously starred in TheMagdalene Sisters andTV's Shameless and TheVirgin Queen.Entwistle willstart shooting in 2007. The film is about two Northern English mothers who takeon the system when the government threatens to withdraw health treatment forpremature babies. The film is based on true events. Entwistle, whopreviously directed the short Eyes Wide Open,
  • Beyond takes on sales for Broomfield's Ghosts

    Beyond Films is to handleworld sales on Ghosts, the newfeature written and directed by renowned British documentary maker NickBroomfield.Ghosts, Broomfield's first dramatic feature since DiamondSkulls, is based on the true storyof the Chinese illegal immigrants who were drowned while picking cockles in aBritish seaside town. The main characters are played by Chinese former illegalimmigrants.Ghosts is the first film to go through th
  • Bondarchuk Jr to complete his father's And Quiet Flows The Don

    Like father, like son. Fyodor Bondarchuk announced yesterday that he iscompleting his late dad's Sergei Bondarchuk's unfinished epic film And QuietFlows The Don.''Actor-director Sergei Bondarchuk, one of the legendary figures inpost-war Soviet cinema, originally shot And Quiet Flows The Don in 1992, twoyears before his death. An English-language adaptation of Mikhail Sholokov's classic novel, itboasted an international cast including Rupert Eeverett and Ben Gazarra
  • Brazil and Australia deals struck for 3 Needles: The Director's Cut

    Canada's Emotion Pictureshas sold Bigfoot Entertainment's award-winning drama 3 Needles: TheDirector's Cut to ForceEntertainment for Australia and New Zealand and California Filmes for Brazil.US rights were recently sold to Wolfe Releasing in partnership with CovingtonUSA.Written and directed by ThomFitzgerald the film tells three separate stories that illustrate how HIVtransmission is heightened by ignorance. The cast includes Lucy Liu, Sandra Oh,Shawn Ashmo
  • Brazilian cinema launches new promotional arm in Cannes

    Brazilian cinemawill have a stronger presence this year at Cannes film market. Besides GrupoNovo de Cinema e TV, the production, distribution and sales company thattraditionally represents the country at Marche du Film, the largest worldwidemeeting-place for film business was chosen for the first promotional action of ProgramaCinema do Brasil.This program is acooperation agreement signed recently by the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency(Apex) and the local film indu
  • Bug

    Dir: William Friedkin. US. 2006. 102mins.An old dogtries to show off some new tricks in Bug,as veteran director William Friedkin (The Exorcist) attempts the trickytransfer of a bizarre theatrical hybrid to the cinema screen. The back-to-basicsapproach pays dividends in terms of the intensity of the performances and thesustained sense of menace. The challenge of the exercise appears to havereached the parts of Friedkin that big
  • Cannes to go ahead with Summer Palace premiere

    One day before Lou Ye's SummerPalace screens in competition atCannes, the controversial film has yet to receive a greenlight from China'scensors, but according to the festival the competition screening will go ahead.The film was made in Chinathrough official channels, but according to Chinese regulations, the censorshipcommittee of the Film Bureau must approve the completed film before it screensin overseas festivals.It is expected to run intoproblems
  • Capitol takes on sales for Beresford's Mansions

    Capitol Films has taken oninternational sales for Bruce Beresford's A Dream Of Red Mansions, currently in pre-production. Kate Hudson and KenWatanabe are set to star in this epic love story set during the ChineseCultural Revolution. Capitol has already closed adeal on A Dream Of Red Mansionspre-Cannes with Toshiba Entertainment for Japan. Driving Miss Daisy director Beresford will start shooting the new filmin October in Taiwan and the UK
  • Celluloid Dreams on the Ball

    Celluloid Dreams will handle internationalsales on an upcoming project from Alan Ball the company announced Thursday.Ball is best known as thescreenwriter of American Beauty for which he won an Oscar in 2000 and as the creator of TV series Six Feet Under
  • Chiesa picks up rights to Fortnight's Libero Va Bene

    Adriana Chiesa Enterprises(ACE) has picked up world-wide rights to Kim Rossi Stuart's DirectorsFortnight film Anche Libero Va Bene.The drama marks CrimeNovel actor Rossi Stuart'sdirectorial debut, and is about family strife seen through the eyes ofan 11-year-old boy. The picture is produced by Palomar and Rai Cinemaand stars Rossi Stuart and Barbora Bobulova.ACE has also just taken onworld rights to Roberto Ando's new drama, Il Viaggio Segret
  • CMG gets Tribeca favourite The Treatment for Cannes

    Edward Noeltner'sCinema Management Group (CMG) has acquired all international rights to OrenRudavsky's romantic comedy The Treatment starring ChrisEigeman, Ian Holm and Famke Janssen.
  • ContentFilm gets Tribeca title I'm Reed Fish

    UK-basedContentFilm has taken on international rights for I'm Reed Fish, which premiered at the Tribeca FilmFestival. Zackary Adler'sdirectorial debut stars Jay Baruchel and Alexis Bledel in a coming-of-age storyin a small town. The ensemble cast also includes Schuyler Fisk, DJ Qualls,Victor Rasuk and Katey Sagal.I'm Reed Fish isa production of Los Angeles-based Squared Foot Productions. The deal wasnegotiated by CAA's Roeg Sutherland and Brian Kavanaugh Jones, as
  • Czech president rejects boost to state film fund

    Czech President Vaclav Klaushas vetoed an amendment that would have tripled the size of his country's statefilm fund. The bill now returns to the lower house, which is likely to overridethe president's veto with a simple majority later this month. Klaus returned the amendmentto the lower house of parliament May 12, saying that it amounted to unfairsupport for a commercial enterprise and gave preferential support for onebranch of the arts. A vocal skeptic of the European Union, Klaus al
  • Da Vinci goes global with international launch

    The Da Vinci Code floodsthe international marketplace this weekend, opening day-and-date (orthereabouts) with its US launch on nearly 12,000 screens spread across almostevery territory. The international opening is thewidest ever for distributor Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) and itgives the film an even broader global launch than the summer's first Hollywoodblockbuster, Paramount/U
  • Danish director Simon Staho readies third feature

    For his third feature Simon Staho is rounding up an impressive cast of Danish film andtheatre actors. The shoot of DaisyDiamond is scheduled to begin on May 22.The romantic drama stars Sofie Grabol (Accused), Trine Dyrholm(A Soap), Sonja Richter (Open Hearts) and Jens Albinus among others. Albinus willalso star in Lars von Triers' forthco
  • David and Kastner launch UK-based sales company 111 with Opa!

    Alki David and ElliottKastner have launched 111 pictures, a new sales company kicking off in Cannes.The company's first title isUdayan Prasad's Opa!, a romanticcomedy about an American archaeologist (Matthew Modine) who falls in love witha local woman (Agni Scott) when he takes a research trip to a Greek island. TheUS-UK co-production also stars Richard Griffiths and Alki David. Opa! premiered at the Toronto International FilmFestival. Heading s
  • David Ellis to direct Asylum for Hyde Park

    Los Angeles-based Hyde ParkEntertainment has signed David Ellis to direct the dark thriller Asylum, which becomes the latest project to join Hyde ParkInternational's Cannes slate.
  • DeLoach takes top role at Fox Searchlight

    SheilaDeLoach has been promoted to senior vice president and general sales manager atFox Searchlight, where she has been vice president of distribution for the pastnine years
  • Devlin to make directorial debut on Ghosting

    IndependenceDay producer Dean Devlin will make his feature directorial debut on theparanormal thriller Ghosting.
  • Dubai sets third festival dates for December 10-17

    The DubaiInternational Film Festival has announced the dates for its third edition,which will be held December 10-17, 2006. The festival will inaugurate theSheikh Zayed Lifetime Achievement Award to honor a film industry personalitywho has built "cultural bridges on the world stage." Three otherlifetime achievement awards will be presented to artists from Asia, Hollywoodand the Arab world. Organisers saidthey wanted to extend the festival's global reach and also its impact in otherpart
  • Dutch Filmworks strikes deal for King's Black Sheep

    Dutch Filmworks has acquiredBenelux rights to Jonathan King's comedy horror Black Sheep from NZ Film.The film, which recentlycompleted its shoot in New Zealand, was previously sold to Icon for the UK,Australia and New Zealand. Jiants has rights for Thailand, Singapore andMalaysia.Produced by PhilippaCampbell, Black Sheep is set on avast sheep farm where a reckless genetic engineering experiment has gonehorribly wrong turning sheep into blood-thi
  • EastWest on board for Yarik sales

    Austrian/UK sales companyEastWest Filmdistribution has acquired international sales rights to Russian dramaYarik. First-time feature directorsKlaus Hundsbichler and Cecile Henry direct the story about a Russian child whois abducted and sold on the black market. MBI, Fischer Film and OrkenFilm are the co-producers.EastWest will be invitebuyers to screen the project as a work-in-progress during the Cannes market. 'We are incrediblyexcited a
  • EC approves new Irish and Polish film schemes

    The European Commission hasapproved new and amended national aid schemes that support film-making inIreland and Poland under EC Treaty state aid regulations.The Irish Section 481 schemeto support film production, which amends the existing scheme previouslyapproved by the Commission, allows film production companies to obtain 80% taxrelief on investments of up to $44.8m (Euros 35 million) or 80% of the productionbudget of a single film.The Commission concludedthat Ireland's recen
  • Element closes slew of deals for Mr Brooks

    Element Films International(EFI) has closed a raft of deals on thepsychological thriller MrBrooks starring Kevin Costner in theunlikely role of a compulsive killer. The co-production of LosAngeles-based Element Films, Costner's TIGProductions and ThomasAugsberger's Eden Rock Media is currentlyshooting in the US.Bruce A Evans directs thestory of a jaded killer pursued by thepolice who is urged to continue bya dark alter ego while beingblackmailed by an
  • Element Films locks 13 deals on The Last Time

    John Fremes' Element FilmsInternational (EFI) has closed key deals in Cannes on drama The Last Time starring Michael Keaton, Brendan Fraser andAmber Valletta.Fremes is showing footage tobuyers on Michael Caleo's tale of a top salesman who falls for his protege'sgirlfriend. The project is in post-production.Adam Rosenfelt, president ofUS-based production company Element Films, produced with Malcolm Petaland Peter Samuelson. Element owner Sam Nazarian served as executive pr
  • Endgame completes new funding round

    Jim Stern's EndgameEntertainment has completed another round of financing, bringing the company'sequity to more than $100m in operating capital.The new financing will allowEndgame greater flexibility to make bigger- budget features and financethird-party projects.The private equity fundlaunched in March 2003 and has converted to a fully operational production andfinancing entity.Its co-financing credits sofar include Hotel Rwanda, Lord Of War, Proof, White Noise, a
  • Film Connection gets Brazil rights to The Gigolos from Punk Cinema

    Film Connection has taken Brazilian rights to TheGigolos, the debut feature from new UK company Punk Cinema.Film Connection plans to release theatrically inBrazil in September 2006.New UK distributor Word of Mouth struck a pre-Cannesdeal for all UK rights and also plans a September release. "Our experience suggests that The Gigolostravels extremely well, and' audiences from LA to Berlin to Rio deJaneiro not only get the humour but also 'love the glimpses of
  • FilmFour backs Ken Loach's These Times

    FilmFour willwork with Ken Loach on his next feature, with a working title of These Times.Loach, whose TheWind That Shakes The Barleyis in Cannes competition, will direct the new film from a screenplay by PaulLaverty.FilmFour is thefirst company on board as co-financiers for the project, which will be producedby Loach's long-time producer Rebecca O'Brien at their Sixteen Films. These Times will shoot this autumn on location inLondon and in Scotland. N
  • FilmFour backs Winterbottom's Italy-set Genova

    FilmFour hasannounced plans to continue its relationship with Michael Winterbottom andAndrew Eaton's Revolution Films by financing Winterbottom's next feature Genova. Eaton said theproject's budget would be around $3.9m (£3m) and shooting is likely to start inthe autumn. Laurence Coriat,who also collaborated with Winterbottom on 1999's Wonderland, wrote the screenplay. The story followsa US-UK family who moves to Genova after the mother's untimely death. Thefilm-ma
  • First Look in ring with Clark's fightclub pic

    Henry Winterstern's ambitious US production, distribution and salescompany First Look Studios is developing a project about the teenfightclub scene with Larry Clark.Clark will direct the story based on a concept he devised withWinterstern. Clark and Evan Weiner are co-writing the screenplay.The First Look Studios production will be produced by Winterstern andKevin Turen. The company plans to release Clark's Wassup Rockers in the US on Jun 23.First Look Studios is also developing
  • Fortissimo closes raft of sales on Frank Gehry

    Fortissimo Films has closedseveral sales on Sydney Pollack's documentary Sketches Of Frank Gehry on the eve on Cannes.The film, which is screeningin official selection out-of-competition at Cannes, has gone to Germany's Kinowelt, Israel's United
  • Fortissimo picks up global on desert pic

    Fortissimo Films has picked up world rights toSounds Of Sand directed by award-winning Belgiandirector Marion Hansel.Set against the backdrop of the Africandesert, the film features actors from Burkino Faso, Djibouti and Belgium in thestory of a group of Afri
  • French sales house looks for rich seam from the Pit

    RisingFrench sales house Funny Balloons has acquired worldwide rights to Juan CarlosRulfo's award-winning In The Pit.
  • Garcia, Cassel to star in Annaud's His Majesty Minor

    Veteran directorJean-Jacques Annaud has announced plans for his next film, HisMajesty Minor, to begin shooting inSeptember.Starring Jose Garcia andVincent Cassel, the film will shoot in French on a $38m (Euros 30m)budget. Annaud spoke to members of the press on Thursday morning and explainedhis decision to return to the French language as "a furiousdesire" to get back to his roots. "I've had an idyllic relationshipwith the American studios, but this subject is very singular" sai
  • Gatti-Pascual to work with Film London's Microwave scheme

    Producer Sol Gatti-Pascual hasjoined Film London's micro-budget feature film fund Microwave as a freelancecreative executive. Gatti-Pascual previouslyworked on films including Glue, L'Annulaire,Joyeux Noel and Noi Albinoi. She will support FilmLondon's head of production Maggie Ellis is overseeing the new scheme, whichwas announced in February.The BBC-backed Microwaveprogramme will work with film-makers shooting features of budgets up to $189,000 (£10
  • Germany's Beta Cinema takes on Salvador

    Germany's Beta Cinema willhandle international sales on Un Certain Regard entry Salvador, produced by Spain's MediaPro.The film stars Goodbye,Lenin! actor Daniel Bruhl asSalvador Puig Antich, a young Catalan anarchist who was put to death at thetail end of the Franco era after years spent on the lam.Meanwhile, MediaPro chiefJaume Roures says the company is also preparing a follow-up film that willreunite the talents behind Salvador,including director Manuel
  • Germany's FFA awards $4m to new projects

    Sequels of this year's local box-office hits Wild Soccer Bunch 3 and WildChicks are among eight projects backed with more than $3.97m (Euros 3.1m)production funding by the German Federal Film Board (FFA) at its latestsitting.The largest amount - $768,569 (Euros 600,000) - went to SamFilm's fourthinstalment in The Wild Soccer Bunch franchise, which will bedirected again by Joachim Masannek. The third film based on Masannek's bookseries has taken more than $12
  • Goldwyn strikes US deal for Conversations With God

    Samuel Goldwyn Films hasacquired US theatrical rights from Lightning Entertainment to the spiritual filmConversations With God.Fox Home Entertainment hastaken North American video rights to theadaptation of Neale DonaldWalsch's bestselling series of books about his transformation fromhomeless person to spiritual guru.Henry Czerny stars as Walschalongside Ingrid Boulting.Goldwyn plans an autumnrelease.Stephen Simon produced anddirected and
  • Grodnik signs five-year domestic distribution agreement with Genius/TWC

    Genius Productshas signed an exclusive five-year distribution agreement with Dan Grodnik'sGrodfilm Corporation giving Genius first right of refusal on all futureproductions.
  • Hamaca Paraguaya

    Dir/scr: Paz Encina. Fr-Arg-Hol-Par-Sp. 2006. 78mins.With a Cannesappearance (in Un Certain Regard) that makes it the first Paraguayan film to screenin the official selection of a major festival - and the only Paraguayan featureshot on 35mm in the last 30 years - HamacaParaguaya will delight those self-flagellatingcineastes who believe, like the albino monk in The Da Vinci Code, that "pain is good".Actually,some of
  • Haneke plans English remake of Funny Games

    Revered Austrian auteurMichael Haneke is to take his English-language bow, it was announced in Cannesyesterday. He is remaking his 1997 film Funny Games, but the setting will now be the Hamptons. NaomiWatts is to star.The film is about amiddle-class family on holiday who are terrorised by two young men.Chris Coen of HalcyonPictures, Hamish McAlpine of Tartan Films and Hengameh Panahi of CelluloidDreams Productions are jointly producing the remake. Johanna Ray is the casti
  • Happinet takes Japanese rights to Tornatore's latest

    Happinet Pictureshas acquired all Japanese rights to Giuseppe Tornatore's highly-anticipatedfilm, La Sconosciuta.
  • Hassid heads foreign film buying for Canal Plus

    The CanalPlus Group has appointed Laurent Hassid to the post ofdirector of foreign film acquisitions.H
  • Hassid named director of foreign film acquisitions for Canal Plus

    The Canal Plus Group announced Friday the appointment of Laurent Hassidto the post of director of foreign film acquisitions.Hassid will report to head of film Evi Fullenbach. His responsibilitieswill include overseeing acquisitions of foreign films, excluding films from theUS majors, and pre-buys on French films shot in foreign languages for CanalPlus, Canal Plus Cinema and the group's thematic channels.Hassid formerly worked at Andersen Consulting and joined StudioCanal in1993
  • Head Gear, Spice Factory start completion fund

    UK producers and financiers MichaelCowan of Spice Factory and Phil Hunt of Head Gear Films have launched a new fund for features needed completion financing.
  • here! picks up comic strip adaptation Ethan Green

    here! Films has picked up worldwide rights to George Bamber's romanticcomedy The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life Of Ethan Green.Based on Eric Orner's cult comic strip, the project stars Daniel Letterle as asocially inept 'professional assistant' who spins a web of lies in order tohold on to the new man in his's sister company Regent Releasing plans a l
  • High Point adds Bride Flight and Dennis P to Cannes slate

    London-based sales andproduction company High Point Films has taken world rights (excluding Benelux)for Bride Flight and Dennis P.The company is also now handling sales for Frank Van Mechelen's Belgium drama Tangier,about two Belgian bus drivers that are arrested in Morocco for trafficking drugs.Pre-production has just startedon Bride Flight, which is directed by Twin Sisters director Ben Sombogaart. The shoot is likely tostart in July with delivery i
  • High-flying Snakes director claims Asylum

    LosAngeles-based Hyde Park Entertainment has signed David Ellis to direct the darkthriller Asylum, which becomes the latestproject to join Hyde Park International's (HPI) dynamic Cannes slate.
  • Hong Kong's Emperor, Sundream set to steal together

    Hong Kong's Emperor Motion Pictures (EMP) has added severalnew titles to its slate in the run-up to Cannes, including action adventure Let's Steal Together, set to star pop duo Twins.A co-production with Hong Kong's Sundream Motion Pictures, the film revolves around several gangs ofthieves chasing a religious relic. It will be the directorial debut of renownedaction director Kong Tao-hoi wh
  • Hooper named national publicity chief at Fox Searchlight

    Michelle Hooper has joined Fox Searchlight as senior vice president ofnational publicity.The former vice president of entertainment publicity at Fox Broadcastingbegins her new post on May 31 and will report to Searchlight chief operatingofficer Nancy Utley.At Fox Broadcasting Hooper oversaw national publicity campaigns for suchpowerhouse shows as American Idol, Prison Break, 24 and House.Prior to that she served as director of entertainme
  • Horizon strikes genre deal with Media Blasters

    Vancouver-based sales agentHorizon Entertainment has signed a deal to handle four titles on MediaBlasters' genre slate.The package includes twoEnglish-language titles: the serial killer horror film Shadow: DeadRiot starring Tony Todd of Candyman; and the occult horror tale Flesh For TheBeast.Rounding out the slate areJapanese pictures The Neighbour No. 13, based on a Manga story about a man's revenge on an oldclassmate, and the mar
  • IDT ramps up production on Mean Margaret

    Ambitious IDT Entertainmentis ramping up production at its Los Angeles headquarters on its fourthCG-animated feature, Mean Margaret.The story centres on afriendship that develops between a missing young girl and a groundhogcalled Fred.Joe Piscatella and CraigWilliams adapted the screenplay from Tor Seidler's award-winning book.Jane Startz and Cheryl Aboodare serving as producers. IDT's Morris Berger, Stephen R Brown, JanetHealy and Jerry Davis a
  • Intandem on board for sales of new Carry On film

    Bawdy British comedyfranchise Carry On is beingrevived. Here in Cannes, London-based Intandem Films is introducing buyers to CarryOn London, the 32nd and latestinstalment in the long-running series that began way back in 1958 with CarryOn Sergeant.The film, now inpre-production, is being produced by Chris Chrisafis and directed by PeterRichardson. Shane Richie, Vinnie Jones and Victoria Silvstedt are attached tostar in the project, which is bein
  • Iran's Farabi tries to foster international co-productions

    Iranian film organizationFarabi is championing international co-productions between Iran, Iraqand Afghanistan in order to promote filmmaking in the region.Currently in post is TurtlesCan Fly director Bahman Ghobadi'snew film, Half Moon (Niwe Mung), which has been set up as Iran-Iraq-Austria co-production.The picture is about afamous 80-year-old Kurd musician, who has a wife, a daughter and 14sons. One day he is invited to write a Kurdish symphony and travelsacross
  • Kasander options Chinese novel K The Art of Love

    Prolific Rotterdam-basedproducer Kees Kasander has revealed details of his latest projects. Kasandermay be China-bound after optioning K The Art Of Love, the erotic 1930s-set novel by Hong Ying. He islooking for a Chinese director to helm the project.In Cannes this week, it wasannounced that Kasander will co-produce Kill Kill Faster Faster, the latest feature from Carlo Dusi's UK-basedproducing and financing outfit Aria Films. The noir-ish thriller is
  • Katapult takes on sales for Puccini For Beginners

    Thomas Mai's Katapult FilmSales begins international sales in Cannes on Maria Maggenti's comedy PucciniFor Beginners, which premiered at Sundance.The film receives itsinternational market debut screening and charts the exploits of a commitment-phobicNew York lesbian.Elizabeth Reaser, JustinKirk and Gretchen Mol star.Maggenti wrote thescreenplay, and Eden Wurmfeld produced with InDigEnt's Gary Winick andJake Abraham.Los Angeles-based Katap
  • Kaufman to direct space shuttle drama for Media 8

    Philip Kaufman will directMedia 8's space shuttle disaster drama Challenger with Oscar-nominated David Strathairn set to playthe lead.US-based Media 8 is sellingworldwide rights in Cannes on the project, which Media 8 will co-producein association with Code Entertainment and Carol Baum ProductionsStrathairn will play the scientistand Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman, who investigates the causes of the 1986shuttle crash.Baum, Rick Berg and PeterKau
  • Kim Ki-Duk's Time to open Karlovy Vary

    Kim Ki-Duk's new film Time will open the Karlovy Vary International FilmFestival. TheKorean director is scheduled to attend the world premiere of the film June 30 at the Czech festival. The film will see its marketpremiere in Cannes on May 20 and has reportedly already been sold in 15territories. Time focuses on ayoung couple who undergo plastic surgery to reinvigorate their relationship.Karlovy Vary has screened allof Ki-Duk's films, beginning with a retrospective
  • Kino picks up North American rights to Old Joy

    Boutique US distributor Kino International has pickedup North American rights to Kelly Reichardt's critically acclaimed Old Joy whichwas a hit at this year's Sundance, Rotterdam and New Directors/New Filmsfestivals.The film stars Will Oldham and Daniel London as twoold friends in their mid-30s whose long relationship has reached a crossroadsdue to their divergent paths in life.Michael Thornton's Forward Entertainment is handlinginternational sales in Cannes.Kino's
  • Kinowelt finds buyer interest for The Unknown Soldier

    Buyers are circling KinoweltInternational's documentary, The Unknown Soldier.Head of World sales SteliosZiannis is in talks with distributors in 'the US, the UK, France, Italyand Benelux on the film, which focuses 'on the crimes of the Germany armyduring World War II.On the eve of Cannes, theLeipzig-based international distributor added Katharina Otto-Bernstein'sdocumentary Absolute Wilson, toits 'sales slate.The documentary, about theTexan-born theatre visi
  • Klockworx snaps up Japanese rights to Ong Bak 2

    Thailand's SahamongkolfilmInternational has sold hotly anticipated Tony Jaa vehicle Ong Bak 2 to Japan's Klockworx.Jaa will star in and serveas action choreographer on the $12-$15m film and is also considering whether todirect. Prachya Pinkaew, director ofthe original Ong Bak and TomYum Goong, will produce. Jaa'smentor and action choreographer Panna Rittikrai will also be involved.Klockworxpreviously worked with distributor Gaga on the Japanese release of th
  • Korea's Core Studio takes on Lee Myung-se horror project

    Korea's Core Studio isfinancing and handling international sales on the first horror film from hotKorean director Lee Myung-se.Entitled M, the $5m film is a supernatural love story between a30-something writer and a mysterious young girl. It's currently being scriptedand production is expected to start in September or October. Core Studio ispoised to sign a major Korean star to the project.Lee first came tointernational attention with visually ground-b
  • Korea's Mirovision gets Hong Sang-soo's next film

    Korea's Mirovision has inkeda deal with local production house bom Film Productions for both domestic andinternational distribution of Hong Sang-soo's next film, Woman On The Beach, which is currently in production.The project marks the firsttime Hong has worked with Bom, one of Korea's leading production houses withcredits including You're My Sunshine and Untold Scandal.It also marks the featuredebut of Korean diva and television star Ko Hyun-joung. The cas
  • Korea's YedangOnline acquires ShowEast

    KOSDAQ-listed games companyYedangOnline Corp has acquired a 54.6% share in Korean production anddistribution house ShowEast. YedangOnline has bought120,000 of ShowEast shares for a total of $9.5m. It stated the move was made as"the first step towards creating an entertainment portal business comprisinggames, music, films and TV dramas" in collaboration with its affiliate YedangEntertainment, which specialises in music.Headed by CEO Kim Dong-joo,ShowEast established itself as a p
  • Liberty Media moves in on IDT Corporation

    US entrepreneur John Malone's Liberty Media isplanning to buy IDT Corporation for $186m in cash and the assumption ofundisclosed existing debt.The strategic move marks an ideal marriage between carrier and content.Under a five-year output deal Liberty-owned cable operator Starz EntertainmentGroup will carry select IDT Entertainment CG animated releases and live actionprogram
  • Lightning Entertainment takes global rights to football drama

    SantaMonica sales and distribution company Lightning Entertainment has takenworldwide rights territories excluding Brazil and Germany to Brazilian footballcrime drama Showdebola.
  • Lionsgate bites into Daybreakers

    Lionsgate isteaming up with US-based Furst Films and New Zealand effects house WetaWorkshop on the vampire horror feature Daybreakers.
  • Lionsgate partners with Lakeshore for Midnight Train

    Lionsgate and LakeshoreEntertainment are partnering up on the horror thriller Midnight Train based on a short story by Clive Barker.Patrick Tatopoulos willdirect the tale of a New York photographer who tracks down a serial killer andunearths a devastating secret. Jeff Buhler adapted the screenplay.Lakeshore is producing theproject, its second collaboration with Lionsgate after the upcoming actionthriller Crank starring Jason Statham.Lionsgate will release
  • Magna Pacific snaps up Prairie Home Companion

    Magna Pacific has acquiredAustralian and New Zealand rights to Oscar-winning director Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion from CapitolFilms.The company plans to releasethe film in September 2007, joining a theatrical line-up that includes Perfect Creature, August Rush, Lonely Hearts,Penelope, Renaissance, The AstronautFarmer and Because I Said So."Prair
  • Maria Koepf to leave X-Filme to set up own company

    Maria Koepf, co-managingdirector of X-Filme creative poolsince 2000, is leaving the Berlinproduction house to set up shop with herownoutfit MagnetFilmproduktion.Koepf started at X-Filme asa line producer in 1995, working with Tom Tykwer as line producer on Wintersleepers, as executive producer onRunLolaRun, and producer on The PrincessAnd The Warrior, Heaven and the shortfilm True.Her other producer creditsincludes Hendrik H
  • Massis picks up worldwide rights to Upstaged

    Alex Massis' FilmSource Company has picked up worldwide rights to Andrew Walkington's US teencomedy Upstaged.
  • Masterson to make feature directorial debut on Cake Eaters

    Mary StuartMasterson will make her feature directorial debut on drama The Cake Eaters starringKristen Stewart and Aaron Stanford.
  • Media Luna sells Ganz picture to China

    Cologne-based Media Luna has sold Bruno Ganz picture Vitus to Chinese' distributor Hansion Media.''The film, directed by Fredi Murer, is about a boygenius whose parents' would like him to become a pianist, until the boyeventually takes 'control of his own life.''Vitus hasalso been sold Mexico's Quality Films, Brazil's Ciruito' Cinearte,France's Ocean, Japan's Tokyo Theatres, Israel's Nachshon' Films andGermany's Schwarz Weiss Film.''In Cannes, Media Luna has
  • Memento adds two Cannes titles to slate

    French sales company MementoFilms International has picked up competition title Juventude EmMarcha as well as Un Certain Regardfilm El Violin.The first film aPortugese/French/Swiss co-production directed by Pedro Costa and will be released in Portgualby Costa Do Castelo, in France by Equation and in Switzerland byFrenetic.El Violin, from Mexico's Francisco Vargas, is also eligiblefor the Camera d'Or. Produced by Camara Carnal Films it wi
  • Mike Leigh picked for Heart of Sarajevo award

    Mike Leigh will receive this year's honourary Heart of Sarajevo awardat the Sarajevo Film Festival. Leigh has previously visited the festival to show Topsy-Turvy in 2000, to receive a tribute in 2002, andto serve on the competition jury in 2004. 'His presence and support has done a great deal in increasing thevisibility of Ce
  • Mission stays strong in international marketplace

    Paramount's Mission: Impossible III stayed strongover its second weekend in the international marketplace with an estimatedgross of $40.5m, representing a relatively modest 42% drop from last weekend'simpressive $70.3m opening.The weekend take - from the same 7,390 sites in 57territories at which the Tom Cruise sequel opened - brought M:I:III'srunning international total to $129.2m. Distributor UIP attributed the hold to good word of mouthand more favourable cinema
  • Momentum gets UK and Spanish rights to Cholera

    Momentum has acquired the UKand Spanish rights to Cannes market title Love In The Time Of Cholera. Mike Newell, who previouslydirected Four Weddings and a Funeral and Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire, will direct the $40m project. Javier Bardem, GiovannaMezzogiorno and Benjamin Bratt will star. The Pianist screenwriter Ron Harwood has adapted Gabriel GarciaMarquez's classic novel. The project will start shooting in Colombia onSeptember 1. Sc
  • MPA appoints Halli Kristinsson to Brussels-based post

    The Motion PictureAssociation (MPA) has appointed Halli Kristinsson to the position of VP andregional director, anti-piracy, for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.As regional director, hewill work with the MPA's regional partners from the MPA regional headquartersin Brussels. Kristinsson reports to ChrisMarcich, senior VP in Brussels and John Malcolm, the MPAA's executive VP anddirector of worldwide anti-piracy in the US.Kristinsson previously ranSMAIS, Iceland's
  • MPA appoints Thomas Dillon to anti-piracy post

    The Motion PictureAssociation (MPA) has promoted Thomas Dillon to vice president, deputy generalcounsel and regional legal director anti-piracy in the MPA's Europe, MiddleEast and Africa office in Brussels.Dillon had been advising theMPA on legal issues arising from copyright and anti-piracy matters sinceJanuary 2001.Dillon will handle publicpolicy and litigation issues relating to the region's anti-piracy programme,while adding responsibility for industry ta
  • Optimum starts music, audio books division

    UK distributor Optimum Releasing, which was recentlyacquired by France's StudioCanal, has launched a new division devoted tocompilation albums, audiobooks and soundtracks.Optimum Sounds will issue its first release, tripleCD Extended Seventies - The Dawning of the the 12" Era, in May. Feel The Spirit - Other Worldly FolkSongs & Psychedelics will follow in July.The
  • Paramount appoints key execs in new international unit

    ParamountPictures International has announced a number of key appointments for its newLondon-based international distribution arm, which will become operational inJanuary 2007. All will reportdirectly to Andrew Cripps, who as previously announced will serve as presidentof Paramount's new international operations. Of the four newdepartment heads announced, one is already at Paramount and three come fromUIP, which is Paramount and Universal's joint venture internationaldistributio
  • Paramount brands specialised label as Paramount Vantage

    Paramount unveiled its new division Paramount Vantage at a high-profile reception heretonight.Vantage
  • Paris, Je T'Aime

    Dirs: see credits below. Fr-Liech-Switz. 2006. 120mins.That largelyunloved genre, the portmanteau film, no doubt works best in specialised slots -such as that of the opener in the Un Certain Regardsection at Cannes. Fitting the bill as a light, generally celebratory sectioncurtain-raiser, Paris JeT'Aime is a postcard-like, sometimes genuinelycharming, whistle-stop city tour, undertaken by 18 international directors ordirecting
  • Peace Arch takes on Roberts' In Tranzit

    Peace Arch Films has boardedthe post-war drama In Tranzit,starring John Malkovich, and the drama How To Change In Nine Weeks.In Tranzit is currently in post-production and centres on agroup of German soldiers accidentally sent to a female-run prisoner of war campin Leningrad after the second world war.Thomas Kretschmann andDaniel Bruhl also star. Tom Roberts directed and Michael Dounaev, Jimmy DeBrabant and Kami Naghdi served as producers.How to Ch
  • Poseidon can't sink Mission in US

    Poseidon failed to knock Mission:Impossible III off the top of the North American box office chart thisweekend, as Paramount's Tom Cruise sequel grossed an estimated $24.5m and theWarner disaster movie managed a mediocre $20.3m.
  • Quaid to star in Eclectic's Mexico period epic El Hubris

    Dennis Quaid isset to star in Eclectic Pictures' $8.5m historical epic El Hubris,about the Pacho Villa-led Mexican invasion of the US in 1916.
  • Rai Cinema boards Salvatores's Naima

    Rai Cinema has boardedOscar-winning director Gabriele Salvatores's next film, a $25.5m (Euros20m) English-language drama about a ship's last voyage.The film, with a workingtitle is Naima, is written byUmberto Contarello and Salvatores, who won a best foreign language Oscar for Mediterraneo.Naima is a romantic adventure drama about an Irish shipcaptain and his assistant, who sail back from India to Ireland. It is inspiredby the true story
  • Rezo signs up for Sokurov's Alexandra

    France's Rezo Films hassigned with legendary Russian director Aleksandr Sukourov for his upcoming Alexandra.The film, about agrandmother who goes in search of her grandson fighting in Chechnya will shootin the Caucasus in July and August.Alexandra is in keeping with Sokourov's previous films about familyties Father And Son and MotherAnd Son. However, the director's intentionwas to provide a sole actress with an intensely creative r
  • Roeg's IFS adds London To Brighton to Cannes slate

    Luc Roeg's Independent FilmSales (IFS) announced in Cannes that it will handle sales on London To Brighton,a British thriller about a runaway girl caught up in an undergroundprostitution ring. Vertigo will be releasing the film (currently in post-production)in the UK following its debut at an autumn festival later in the year.Written and directed by PaulAndrew Williams, London To Brightonstars Lorraine Stanley, Sam Spruell, Johnny Harris and Georgia Groome. W
  • Sarah Alexander joins Stardust cast

    Actress Sarah Alexander has joined the cast of Matthew Vaughn's fantasyepic Stardust. She will play Empusa, a 400-year-old witch.The film also stars Robert de Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes andnewcomer Charlie Cox.Filming starts in June. Alexander has appeared on UK TV shows including Coupling and Green Wing and she alsorecently filmed Amy Heckerling's I Could Never Be Your Woman.
  • Schamus and Karpen promoted in Focus reshuffle

    James Schamus has been promoted to Focus Featureschief executive officer in the wake of David Linde's appointment twomonths ago as Universal Pictures co-chairman.Schamus, who shared the role of Focus co-presidentsince he founded the company with Linde in 2002, assumes oversight ofFocus, Rogue Pictures and Focus Features International (FFI).Meanwhile Andrew Karpen has been promoted toFocus president and Rogue co-president, and Andrew Rona is named Rogueco-president.Karpen
  • Schroeder prepares Inju for SBS

    Director Barbet Schroeder is set tostart work on Inju in September forFrench producers SBS Films and La Fabrique de Films.SBS is run by Said Ben Said of UGCInternational which will start sales on the project at Cannes this year.
  • Screen Media buys domestic rights to Disaster!

    Screen Media Films has acquired North American theatrical and video distributionrights to the claymation adventure spoof Disaster!Los Angeles-based Dream Entertainment and Bleiberg Entertainment sold therights to the story of a crack team assembled to thwart an earth-boundplanetoid.
  • Seven Arts to start sales for Henry Bean's Noise

    Los Angeles-based Seven ArtsInternational will commence sales here on 'a slate of new work fromdirector Henry Bean, John Malkovich and Burt Reynolds.Seven Arts is in productionin New York on Bean's black comedy Noise about a frustrated New Yorker who declares war on the city's noise. WilliamHurt, Tim Robbins and Bridget Moynahan star.Seven Arts recently wrappedthe gambling drama Deal starringReynolds and Shannon Elizabeth, and is in pre-production on Anthony Waller
  • Shochiku does Kafka in animation debut

    Japan's Shochiku is launching two animatedfilms from high-profile directors at Cannes, marking the first time it hasproducedtheatrical animations in-house.The first film, The Country Doctor,is based on Franz Kafka's short prose of the same name and is being d
  • Sola/Atrix pick up international rights to Friel-starrer Bathory

    German sales company SolaMedia/Atrix Films has picked up international rights to Juraj Jakabisko's Bathory, which stars Anna Friel as the murderous Countess ofTransylvania alongside Hans Matheson, Karel Roden and Vincent Regan. Friel takes over from FamkeJanssen who was previously attached to the role co-produced by Jakubisko FilmSlovakia, Film & Music Entertainment (UK), Lunar Films, Eurofilm Studio(Hungary) and Jakubisko Film (Czech Republic). The film is currently shooting.
  • Spanish exhibitors' federation responds to ruling

    The Spanish exhibitors'federation has called for the creation of a commission to ensure that thelandmark ruling handed down last week against five multinational distributors accusedof anti-competitive practices gets carried out.In last week's decision bySpain's Anti-Trust Court, Disney/Buena Vista, Sony Pictures, Hispano Fox, UIPand Warner Sogefilms were fined $3m (Euros 2.4m) each for price fixing andother anti-competitive practices in Spain.Now the exhibito
  • Starz signs multi-year sponsorship deal with Hollywood Film Festival

    Premium US cable movie service Starz EntertainmentGroup (SEG) has signed a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Carlos deAbreu's Hollywood Film Festival (HFF) kicking off with this year's event Oct 17to 23.SEG will also host the closing night party of thefestival after the Hollywood Awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel inBeverly Hills on Oct 23.SEG has presented two of its own productions at HFF inthe last two years - Bullets Over Hollywood in2004 and The Cutti
  • Stasi thriller takes seven Lolas at German Film Awards

    FlorianHenckel von Donnersmarck's The Lives Of Others (Das Leben Der Anderen)was the big winner at this year's German Film Awards in Berlin.
  • Summer Palace

    Dir: Lou Ye. Chi-Fr. 2006.140mins.Social upheaval and sexual liberation make for areasonably potent cocktail in SummerPalace, an ambitious attempt to convey the sweep of recent world historythrough the life and loves of a young Chinese woman. The fourth feature from Suzhou River director Lou Ye is easily hismost accessible, although not necessarily his most accomplished as a sprawlingnarrative threatens to evade his con
  • Summit embarks on pan-Latin distribution

    Summit Entertainment has set up its own Latin Americandistribution operation in alliance with LA-based Pedro Rodriguez who formerlyran the Latin distribution consortium Nu Vision Network.The outfit, International Distribution Company (IDC), hasset up a fixed structure of distribution partners in each Latin territory whichwill handle 5 or 6 Summit titles a year.IDCV has also established anacquisitions fund financed by a New York hedge fund that
  • Summit sets up Latin American distribution operation

    Leading LA production,financing and sales house Summit Entertainment has set up its own LatinAmerican distribution operation in alliance with LA-based Pedro Rodriguez whoformerly ran the Latin distribution consortium Nu Vision Network.The outfit, calledInternational Distribution Company (IDC), has set up a fixed structure ofdistribution partners in each Latin territory which will handle five or six Summit-ownedtitles a year.It has also established anacquisitions fund financed by
  • Sundance premieres bookend Seattle festival

    Twohigh-profile Sundance premieres bookend the 32nd Annual SeattleInternationalFilm Festival (SIFF), w
  • Swank takes lead in Alcon production

    Double Oscar winner Hilary Swank has signed to star inPS, I Love You, the forthcoming film ofCecelia Ahern's bestseller which is being produced by Alcon Entertainment,released domestically by Warner Bros and sold here by SummitEntertainment.Another Oscar winner Richard LaGravanese, who isdirector of one of the segments in Un Certain Regard opener Paris Je T'aime, has written the adaptation and will direct the film. He worked with Swank on his recently completed
  • Swank to star in PS, I Love You

    Double Oscar winner Hilary Swank has signed to star inPS, I Love You, the forthcoming film ofCecelia Ahern's bestseller which is being produced by Alcon Entertainment,released domestically by Warner Bros and sold here by SummitEntertainment.Another Oscar winner Richard LaGravanese, who isdirector of one of the segments in Un Certain Regard opener Paris Je T'aime, has written the adaptation and will direct the film. He worked with Swank on his re
  • Swank to star in PS, I Love You

    Double Oscar winner Hilary Swank has signed to star inPS, I Love You, the forthcoming film ofCecelia Ahern's bestseller which is being produced by Alcon Entertainment,released domestically by Warner Bros and sold here by SummitEntertainment.Another Oscar winner Richard LaGravanese, who isdirector of one of the segments in Un Certain Regard opener Paris Je T'aime, has written the adaptation and will direct the film. He worked with Swank on his re
  • Swipe Films starts UK/Ireland student screenwriting competition

    London-based filmproduction, sales and distribution company Swipe Films has launched a newscreenwriting competition for UK and Irish students. Undergraduate andpostgraduate Students will submit an original screenplay of 80-120 pages fromany genre. The top winner will option and develop the winning script. Swipesaid that the prize will include a "five figure" cash award as well.The committee judging theaward will include Swipe's head of development Francesca Harris, Swipe managin
  • Tartan takes UK, Ireland rights to Mr Lonely

    Tartan Films has taken onall UK and Ireland rights to Harmony Korine's Mr Lonely, which is currently shooting on location in Panama,Scotland and Paris. Diego Luna stars as aMichael Jackson look-a-like and the cast also features Samantha Morton, AnitaPallenberg and Denis Lavant. Harmony Korine co-wrote with Avi Korine. MarcelZyskind served as cinematographer. Tartan managing directorLaura DeCasto struck the deal with Peter Watson, CEO of Recorded PictureCompany (RPC), sist
  • Tartan takes UK, US rights to Ghost of Mae Nak

    Tartan Films has acquiredall rights in North America and the UK to De Warrenne Pictures' supernaturalthriller Ghost of Mae Nak. British writer/director MarkDuffield makes his feature debut with the Thai-language project. The film wasalready a success at the box office in Thailand and Malaysia. The deal was struck byproducer Tom Waller en route to Cannes. Tartan plans a DVD release through itsAsia Extreme label in the UK this autumn, and Tartan USA will
  • TFI takes on family film Duke & Claire

    TFI International has pickedup live-action family film Duke & Claire from Endgame Entertainment, producers of HotelRwanda and Lord Of War.The story is about a pair ofmismatched dogs shepherding a group of ducklings through the American west on ajourney where they must battle rattlesnakes, wolves and other wilds along theway.The project will be directedby Milo & Otis screenwriterMark Saltzman. A budget hasn't been announced for the
  • The Da Vinci Code

    Dir: Ron Howard. US.2006. 152 mins.If Dan Brown's soaraway bestseller The Da Vinci Code wasclumsily written but a page-turning guilty pleasure, Ron Howard's film versionis well-made but chronically devoid of the guilty pleasures it needs to make itsucceed as first-rate popcorn entertainment. Howard and screenwriter AkivaGoldsman have remained rigidly faithful to the chronology and events of thebook, but make ponderous work of the delicious conspiracy theorie
  • The Day On Fire adds heat to Bleiberg's Cannes slate

    LosAngeles-based sales house Bleiberg Entertainment will begin worldwide sales atCannes on thriller The Day On Firestarring Olympia Dukakis.
  • The Wind That Shakes The Barley

    Dir: Ken Loach. Ire-UK-Ger-It-Sp. 2006.124mins.Given the turbulent events that it portrays, The Wind That Shakes TheBarley is a curiously detached affair. For all the intelligence and craftsmanshipthe director brings to his material, the film conspicuously fails to tug at theemotions in the way that might have been expected. Ken Loach is certainly successfulin illuminating an episode in Irish history which remains relatively little d
  • ThinkFilm gets US rights to Keeping Mum

    ThinkFilm has picked up USrights to the ensemble comedy Keeping Mum, starring Rowan Atkinson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith and PatrickSwayze.The company plans aSeptember release on the film, which stars Atkinson as an absent-mindedvicar whose family troubles appear to be solved by the arrival of amysterious housekeeper.Keeping Mum was directed by Niall Johnson, who co-wrote thescreenplay with Richard Russo based on a story by Russo. Julia
  • THINKfilm takes Off The Black on the Croisette

    THINKFilmhas picked up all worldwide rights to James Ponsoldt'scoming-of-agedrama Off The Black
  • Thomas Vinterberg plans Danish comedy

    After twointernational projects -- It's All About Love and Dear Wendy -- Thomas Vinterberg will return to Denmark to shoothis next feature, a comedy entitled A Man Comes Home."I'm making a Danishmovie with all my friends and it's gonna be a rather silly film about sex, loveand foolishness in general," the director says. "I'm getting a lot ofinspiration from my childhood in a hippie commune. I was surrounded by a lot ofhappy people and lets face it, genitals and pri
  • Tillinger named production president at Scorsese's Sikelia

    Emma Tillinger has been named president of production for MartinScorsese's New York-based Sikelia Productions.Tillinger will oversee all aspects of Scorsese's production operation and workwith him on the development of projects.Scorsese is currently in post-production on The Departed starring LeonardoDiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg, whic
  • Toronto Film Festival creates new pass structure for delegates

    The Toronto International Film Festival has instituteda new pass structure for its 2006 event for industry delegates offering moreoptions to choose a pass to meet their specific professional needs.Features of the new passes include access to publicscreenings, access to special sales premiere screenings, upgrades to includeindustry initatives programming and optional inclusion of sales and industrypublications.The basic package is an ID pass for C$150 allowing access
  • TWC seals multi-year deal with Roadshow

    Roadshow Filmshas become the exclusive distributor of The Weinstein Company's (TWC) upcomingfeatures in Australia and New Zealand under a multi-year deal announced todayon the eve of Cannes.
  • UK distributor Revolver plans Kidulthood TV show

    Film distributor Revolver Entertainment has announced plans to turn itscontroversial UK feature Kidulthood into a TV serial drama. The film's screenwriter Noel Clarke will work closely with the teambeing recruited to develop the TV project. "Kidulthood is a film that defines a generation," said Revolverproduct director Natascia Phillips. "It is the first film of its kind to beaccepted by British teenagers as an accurate representation of what life isreally like gro
  • UK distributor Soda Pictures adds two to team

    UK distributor Soda Picturesis growing with the addition of two new staffers. Kevin Owen has joined as theatricalsales manager. In June, Martin Gough will come on board as marketing manager. Owen worked as a film bookerat Artificial Eye and Tartan Films. Gough has a background in distribution andmedia planning and buying.Soda said the growth wouldhelp them acquire bigger films for wider release and explore new VOD anddownload-to-own deals. Soda'
  • UK Film Council awards $1.2m from Development Fund

    The UK Film Council hasannounced funding for nine new film projects through its Development Fund.The total investment in thenine films is $1.2m (£628,339). The projects funded are:Mrs Ratcliffe'sRevolution written by PeterStraughan and Bridget O'Connor, to be directed by Bille Eltringham;Ghetta Life, written by Christopher Browne;West Is West from writer Ayub Khan Din and producer Leslee Udwin;Bomber from writer Stuart Beat
  • UK financiers gear up to cash flow new tax credit

    Nobody yet knows how the UKfilm tax credits (introduced last month) will work in practice, but there isalready evidence of a mini-stampede among British film financiers to cash flowthe new credit. This promises to be a highly lucrative, if short-term,business.One new company, IvanMcTaggart's Meteor Films, is being set up specifically to cash flow thecredits. Meteor already has investors in place.Established players such asIngenious and Future Films, among oth
  • UK's One Eyed Films launches production arm

    London-based One Eyed Films,a sales boutique specializing in Latin American cinema, is launching aproduction arm at Cannes.The first film on the slateis a $1.2m Buenos Aires- and Rio-set sexual coming-of-age drama called FromThe Beginning To The End. Brazilianwriter-director Aluizio Abranches (The Three Marias) is behind the project.One Eyed Films managingdirector Betina Goldman and new production head Rosie Bilton are also seekingpost-production finance on The
  • van der Werff promoted to executive vp at SPRI

    Longtime Sony Picturespublicity strategist Susan van der Werff has been promoted to executive vicepresident of international publicity for Sony Pictures Releasing International.The promotion, announced byPaul Smith, president of worldwide theatrical operations for the studio, comeson the eve of SPRI's launch of The Da Vinci Code as the opening night of the Cannes Film Festival.Van der Werff has been the architect of the Da Vinci campaign, organizing acollaboration with Eu
  • Verdone signs on for Manual of Love sequel

    Popular Italian comedianCarlo Verdone has signed on to star in the sequel to the Manual ofLove, the hit Aurelio DeLaurentiis-produced titled that earned almost $17m (Euros 15m) at thelocal box officelast year and sold to 15 countries worldwide.Entitled Manual of Love:The Stories, the film will bedirected by Giovanni Veronesi and released by Filmauro in Italy nextJanuary.Filmauro is also lining up anew comedy entitled Christmas in Rio, the
  • Vision Music takes world rights to Punk's Not Dead

    Vision Music has picked upworldwide rights excluding Japan (King Records) and Scandinavia (FutureFilm) to Susan Dynner's documentary Punk's Not Dead.The film explores theorigins of punk and features interviews and footage of such luminariesof the genre as The Ramones, Black Flag, and current super group GreenDay.Punk's Not Dead is set to receive its world premiere in June at theSilverDocsfestival.Dynner, a longtime punkacolyte, is handlin
  • Warner Italy starts shooting Lucchetti's political comedy

    Shooting has just started onWarner Bros Italy's $7.7m (Euros 6m) political comedy, Mio Fratello e'Figlio Unico.Directed by DanieleLucchetti, the film is about a young seminarian who becomes a fascistand then a left-wing activist. It is inspired by Antonio Pennacchi'snovel Il fasciocomunista.The film is produced byCattleya, and written by Stefano Rulli and Sandro Petraglia. It stars RiccardoScamarcio, Elio Germano, Angela Finocchiaro and Luca Zin
  • Weinstein Co takes US rights to Seven Swords

    The Weinstein Company has acquiredUS theatrical and video rights to Tsui Hark's martial arts epic Seven Swords from Fortissimo Films. The deal follows a recentsale to Montreal-based distributor Seville Pictures which acquired Canadianrights. Fortissimo has also sold the film widely in Europe. Produced by Tsui's FilmWorkshop with Chinese and Korean partners, SevenSwords was rolled out across Asia last summer andbecame a
  • Weinsteins ring in Bell love story

    The Weinstein Co will produce produce $20m love story,Alec & May - the US-set story ofthe Scottish inventor of the telephone Alexander Graham Bell.The project, developed by the UK's Headline Pictures,follows the romance between Bell, then a 28-year-old teacher and a 16-year-olddeaf girl."The telephone was the direct consequence of theirrelationship," says screenwriter Kevin Hood. The project has already been partially backed by BBCFilms and Scottish Screen.
  • Weisbein's Green Room sells Damned for Fried, Keston

    Pierre Weisbein'sGreen Room Pictures has struck a deal with producers Rob Fried and Dan Kestonof Fried Films/The Pantry to handle international sales on Damned.The film is ahorror title written by Jim Agnew and Sean Keller, who sold the spec script toFried Films/The Pantry. The story revolves around an all-American family thatsurvives a plane crash only to descend into a backwoods nightmare ofdemon-fearing religious fanatics.Production isset to start production in June an
  • Woody Allen signs McGregor and Farrell for UK film

    French sales, distribution and financehouse Wild Bunch has confirmed casting on Woody Allen's upcoming Summer 2006 Project. Colin Farrell and EwanMcGregor will co-star alongside Tom Wilkinson and an as-yet unannounced female.The film, budgeted at $20.7m (Euro
  • Young Films stars Gaelic-language Seachd

    The first contemporaryGaelic-language feature, Seachd -- The Inaccessible Pinnacle, starts shooting on the Isle of Skye next week andcontinues through July.Scottish producer ChrisYoung, who previously worked on Festival, will produce for Young Films. The film is about a youngboy whose goes to live with his storytelling grandfather after the tragic deathof his parents. The grandfather'sstories cast a spell on the boy and transport him into a mag
  • Younggu Art hires Hollywood crew to finish D-War

    Korean production houseYounggu Art has hired a top-flight Hollywood crew to finish post-production onits multi-million dollar sci-fi epic D-War, which was recently picked up for international sales by Korea'sShowbox.Directed by Shim Hyung-raeand starring Jason Behr and Amanda Brooks, the English-language film, about agiant serpent on the rampage in Los Angeles, is being edited by Steve Mirkovichwhose credits include Con Air andThe Passion Of The Chr