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19 November 2004

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  • 01 Distribution roars for Benigni's Tiger

    RaiCinema label 01 Distribution has taken Italian distribution rights to Tuscancomic Roberto Benigni's upcoming film, The Tiger And The Snow. As aresult it can be expected to see asignificant jump in its 2005revenues.Theannouncement yesterday by Benigni's production outfit Melampo Cin
  • Absolute Tangerine to start shooting at end of Nov

    Principalphotography is set to begin in New York on Nov 29 on Tomax Aponte's psychologicalthriller Absolute Tangerine.
  • Academy names 12 documentaries on Oscar shortlist

    The Academy of MotionPicture Arts and Sciences has formally unveiled its 12-strong documentary shortlist for next year's Oscars.The titles are: Born IntoBrothels, Home Of The Brave, Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral On A MovingTrain, In The Realms Of The Unreal, Riding Giants, The Ritchie Boys, The StoryOf The Weeping Camel, Super Size Me, Tell Them Who You Are, Touching The Void,Tupac: Resurrection and Twist OfFaith.Details on eight of these documentaries were mad
  • Alien Vs Predator fights past $60m for Fox

    FoxInternational's action sequel Alien Vs Predator grossed an estimated $4.9m on 2,136screens in 27 markets at the weekend to raise its international running totalto $60m.Elsewhere, Foxcomedies Dodgeballand Garfield areapproaching the end of their runs and have amassed $51m and $119m respectively.The sci-fithriller I, Robot currentlystands on $198.6m and Fox International executives expect it to pass $200m whenit opens in China on
  • AUSTRALIA 16 November

    UIP opened BridgetJones on 370 screens on Thursday and soaked up A$5,588,507 of the cinemaspend of Australians over that and the next three days. The screen average wasa highly impressive A$15,104. Cinemagoers spent more to see the film then theydid to see the other 19 in the chart combined.Another opener, Taxi,was the second most popular film of the weekend grossing A$1,015,347 from 163screens for 20th Century Fox. Rounding out the top five was BVI's
  • Balaban, Mitchell to host Gotham Awards in NYC

    Film and stageveteran Bob Balaban was announced yesterday as host for the 14th Annual GothamAwards on Dec 1 in New York City.Balaban'snumerous feature credits include Gosford Park, Best In Show, A Mighty Wind,Midnight Cowboy, Close Encounters and the upcoming Marie And Bruce."We are thrilledto have Bob Balaban hosting the awards this year," IFP/ New York executivedirector Michelle Byrd said in a statement. "His body of work as both an actorand a
  • Bergman's Saraband to get theatrical premiere in France

    France's Rezo Films will be the first distributor to give IngmarBergman's Saraband a theatrical outing when it releases the film nextmonth (Dec 15). The release is hedged with conditions and marks the end of adance of seduction for the film which was once tipped to appear in Cannes orVenice 2003.In order to get the film, Rezo committed to releasing the film only intheatres equipped with top-end digital projection equipment ("Digital HD").Given the modest number of suitably equip
  • Berlinale Talent Campus receives 2,500 applications

    The third edition of the Berlinale's Talent Campus hasreceived 2,500 applications for the 500 places available at the event (Feb12-17) during next year's film festival.While the number of countries sending entries increased from101 to 104, the total number of entries was more than 25% less than last year's3,500. (The first year had seen 2,000 budding filmmakers applying from 70countries).Speaking to, Talent Campus project manager Christine Dorn, however, p
  • Blow for Berlinale as title sponsor pulls out

    The Berlin-based station has been a main sponsor for the last seven years and shared the official partner status in 2004 with L’Oreal and Volkswagen, who have retained their deals.According to German press reports, SAT.1indicated that the decision to step down as a sponsor was prompted by a desire to concentrate its resources instead in new production activities. Negotiationshave reportedly begun with public broadcaster ZDF to step into the breach left by SAT.1.Around two-thirds
  • Box office success helps Constantin raises targets

    German producer-distributorConstantin Film has raised its sales forecast and EBIT target for a second timethis year after the strong performance of Michael "Bully" Herbig's DreamshipSurprise - Period 1 and OliverHirschbiegel's Downfall in thecinemas in the third quarter of 2004.At the end of June, Constantin had raised its salesforecast for 2004 to Euros 200m and the EBIT target to Euros 8m.But an adhoc communique released on the
  • Bridget is big fat hit in first six territories

    Universal and Working Title scored their biggest opening weekendof all time in the UK as Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason opened top through UIP on an estimated$19.1m (£10.3m) on 496 screens including previews of $5.9m (£3.3m).
  • Bridget Jones catapults to top of international box office

    Havingalready enjoyed a week on the chart through previews alone Bridget Jonessequel The Edge Of Reason topped the international chart in its officialopening week with ease.Arecord opening for the UK's Working Title in its home territory ($13.2m excludingpreviews) was complimented by number one launches in all of the romanticcomedy'
  • Bridget, Bad Santa, Polar kick off Christmas season

    UIP executivesare enjoying a purple patch at the international box office and will look toUniversal's Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason to continue its dominance when it opensin Spain and Sweden on Nov 19.A strongperformance is on the cards given that Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason was the number one international titlelast weekend and as of Nov 14 had grossed $26.6m.And Spanishaudiences clearly have a taste for the hapless Bridget, given that BridgetJones's
  • Brothels, 9/11 share top honours at IDA Awards

    Zana Briski andRoss Kauffman's Born Into Brothels and Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 shared top honours in the IDA'sDistinguished Documentary Achievement Awards.Born IntoBrothels, which wasnamed on the 12-strong Academy Awards documentary shortlist this week, followsthe plight of children from Calcutta's red light district as they try to escapea doomed future.Fahrenheit9/11 is the biggestgrossing documentary of all time and focuses on America's respo
  • Buyers court Warner Bros' Spanish Queens

    Spanish film Queens(Reinas), Warner Bros' Pictures first 100% Spanish production, has sold toa raft of European territories while the film is still in post-production.International sales handler Fortissimo Films has closeddeals to France (ARP), Portugal (Lusomundo), Greece (Prooptiki), Israel(Orlando Films) and Hungary (Mas Kepp Foundation).An offer is on the table for Scandinavia, while Warner Brosretained rights in Spain and Lucky Red will distribute in Italy.The
  • Buyers snap up Element X's Moguls

    UK sales companyElement X has unveiled a string of sales concluded at this month's AFM.Michael Traeger'sThe Moguls sold to Universal for the UK and Australia, Nordisk forScandinavia, Lumiere/EBA Films for Brazil, New Films for Eastern Europe andCathay for Singapore.The film starsJeff Bridges and is about the citizens of a small town who, under the influenceof a man in the midst of a mid-life crisis, come together to make an adultfilm.Kevin Spacey's BobbyDarin
  • BVITV strikes Russian pay-TV package deal

    Buena Vista International Television (BVITV) has struck itsfirst pay TV agreement in Russia, with the DTH broadcaster NTV Plus for thelicensing of first-run, re-run, and library features.First-run features will include Pirates Of The Caribbean:The Curse Of The Black Pearl, Freaky Friday, The Village, Calendar Girls, SweetHome Alabama and The Ladykillers.Re-run features include Good Morning Vietnam, MaryPoppins and Cabaret.The deal was announced
  • Cellular opens in seven European markets for NLI

    New Line International's Cellular raised its international running totalto $5.3m after launching in seven European markets at the weekend.
  • Cineart takes Belgian rights to Jarmusch project

    Belgian distributor Cineart picked up all Benelux rights forthe untitled Jim Jarmusch project that stars Bill Murray, Naomi Watts andSharon Stone.The deal was struck between Cineart's Stephan DePotter and Bac Films International's Silviere Moreau, who was handlinglimited territorial rights. In the rest of the world the film is sold by FocusFeatures.Cineart/Cinelibre regularly partners with A-Film fordistribution in The Netherlands.Cinema Service sold i
  • Cold Light dominates Icelandic Oscars

    Iceland's official Oscar candidate, Hilmar Oddsson's ColdLight, swept the country's film awards, the EDDA, on Sunday night inReykjavik.The psychological drama took both acting prizes, best actor (Ingvar Sigurdsson) and best supporting actor/actress (KristbjorgKjeld), and best cinematography(Sigurdur Sverrir Palsson) as well as best director and film.The Icelandic Academy of Film and Television host the annualevent, which is broadcast live by national broadcaster RUV. The
  • Consortium develops tool to predict financing models

    Some of the millions of dollars spent developing films thatnever go into production could be saved if a group of researchers succeed indesigning a tool that can reliably assess the value of what have previouslybeen regarded as intangible assets.The Securities Industry Research Centre Asia-Pacific, theUniversity of New South Wales and the California Institute of Technology arenow planning the three-year research project.The aimed-for outcome is a tool that will accurately predict
  • Darwin's Nightmare, Melancholia win at CPH:DOX

    The second edition of Copenhagen's international documentaryfilm festival CPH:DOX wrapped on Saturday night when it split its Euro 5,000main prize between Hubert Sauper's Austrian Darwin's Nightmare and PirjoHonkasalo's Finnish Three Rooms of Melancholia.Darwin's Nightmare show how Russian pilots fly armsto Africa and return to Europe with expensive fish, which could have fed thestarving population there."I have found problems a thousand times worse than I h
  • Day And Night disqualified from Swedish awards

    Danish writer-director Simon Staho's Swedish-languagearthouse hit Day And Night has hit a serious snag on its way to Sweden'snational film awards.Lauded by Swedish critics and starring a number of thecountry's biggest stars including Mikael Persbrandt, Pernilla August, MichaelNyqvist, Lena Endre and Fares Fares, the film has nevertheless beendisqualified from competing for a Swedish Film Award - the Guldbagga - ongrounds that it is not a Swedish film.Like the filmmaker th
  • DEJ, First Look combine US sales, marketing efforts

    Independentdistributor DEJ Productions has signed a deal with First Look Media whereby thecompanies will combine their sales teams for home entertainment releases."We're extremelyexcited about the opportunity to work more closely with First Look Media," DEJpresident Andrew Reimer said in a statement."Our combinedsales and marketing effort will shepherd a terrific line-up of films to themarketplace and benefit our customers, filmmakers and, most importantly, theconsumer.""
  • DENMARK 16 November

    Pixar's incredibly successful The Incredibles easily took over the box-office crown this weekendwith a stellar DKK5m gross from its high 109 prints. Though Hella Joof's gospelcomedy drama Oh Happy Day dropped tosecond after just one week, it only fell back 7%, and thus wasn't hit as hardas other local films, Kings' Game andSharks, which dropped 20.8% and 36.5%respectively to third and fourth.It was much harder for other new releases like
  • DENMARK 16 November

    Pixar's incredibly successful The Incredibles easily took over the box-office crown this weekendwith a stellar DKK5m gross from its high 109 prints. Though Hella Joof's gospelcomedy drama Oh Happy Day dropped tosecond after just one week, it only fell back 7%, and thus wasn't hit as hardas other local films, Kings' Game andSharks, which dropped 20.8% and 36.5%respectively to third and fourth.It was much harder for other new releases like
  • DV8 gets ten-picture slate backing

    Ster Kinekor, the SouthAfrican distribution and exhibition conglomerate, is to expand its commitmentto the DV8 digital film-making combine headed by Jeremy Nathan and Joel Phirie.Ster-Kinekor, which hadpreviously made distribution commitments to DV8 on a picture-by-picture basis,has now committed to bankroll the operation's next ten features and to bebecome an equity investor in the titles.DV8's other partners, theNational Film and Video Federation (NFVF) and broadcaster SABC2,
  • EASTERN EUROPE Prod lists - November 16

    EAST EUROPEAN LISTINGS -November 16RUSSIAPRE-PRODUCTIONBLIND-MAN'S-BUFF(ZMURKI)(STV Film Company). Dist: NasheKino. Comedy. Prod: Sergei Selyanov.Dir: Alexei Balabanov. Scr: Stas Mohnachev, Alexei Balabanov. Cost des: TatyanaPatrahaltseva. Main cast: Nikita Mikhalkov, Alexei Panin, Dmitry Duzev, SergeiMakovetskiy, Victor Suhorukov.Contact: Mikhail Maltsev, STV Film Company, (
  • Eastern European film industry enjoying bumper year

    With a production boom in progress in Russia, commitmentsfor increased government funding in Poland and a major new player in theBaltics entering the field the film industry in the east is seeing its bestyear in a decade.While Latvia produces only one or two feature films a yearproducer Andrejs Ekis who heads Riga based Platforma Films, is investing $3m ina new post WWI feature directed by Aigars Graupa, titled Defenders Of Riga, that he believes will make the country a Meccafor
  • Echelon closes AFM deals on Mantis, Fish

    Los Angeles-basedproduction, distribution and sales house Echelon Entertainment has sold rightsto certain territories on Marc Levie's Belgian thriller Praying Mantis and Brian Austin Green's US romantic comedy FishWithout A Bicycle.BRAVO/Canada bought non-exclusiveCanadian television rights for one year to Praying Mantis, which tells of a woman who develops the instinctsof a killer insect. Lou Broclain, Yann Chely and Sacha Kollich star.A
  • Eight documentaries so far make Oscar shortlist

    At least eight film-makers were notified yesterday that theirdocumentary features had been shortlisted for the 2004 Best Documentary FeatureOscar. Although there is no fixed number of films which make the semi-finalshortlist, last year's tally of 12 is thought to be established the identity of eight films which have been voted into the next round but, since the Academy does notpublish the list, no final number has yet been determined.The films are
  • Emperor signs output deal with News Corp's Star

    Hong Kong production andsales outfit Emperor Motion Pictures(EMP) has signed a three-year multi-territory output deal with News Corp's StarChinese Movies channel covering Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, the Philippines andSingapore.Under the terms of the deal,Star will have exclusive Mandarin and Cantonese pay-TV rights to all upcomingfilms produced by EMP and JCE Movies - a joint venture between Jackie Chan's JCGroup and Emperor chairman Albert Yeung.Titles included in the dealinclud
  • Festival invitations to determine German film funding

    The participation ofGerman films at 17 international festivals from Annecy to Zlin will now berecognised as an additional criterion for accessing "reference"production funding from the German Federal Film Board (FFA).When the new German Film Law (FFG) came intoeffect at the beginning of this year, producers were informed that aninvitation to screen in the official competitions in Berlin, C
  • FINLAND 18 November

    Like thepopular preview screenings of TheIncredibles indicated on the chart last week, the Finns were ready towelcome the superfamily to the top of the box-office, where it grossed a strongEuro 216,922 over the weekend.It had aEuro 3,740 screen average from its 58 prints, and did not leave much room forthe week's other
  • FRANCE 16 November

    Jean-Pierre Jeunet's AVery Long Engagement remained in the top spot this week with a still strongper screen average of $9,088, however the film did drop off by 45%.Shark Tale alsoheld its position at number 2 with a steep drop of 75% which was likely down tothe fact that kids returned to school last week after vacations.The StudioCanal produced L'Equipierdebuted in third place with 215,977 admissions while the remake of
  • France's Laroque has US ambitions with three English-language titles

    French actress Michele Laroque's production company OrianeProductions has optioned two books to be adapted as English-language featuresstarring Laroque - Don't You Want Me by India Knight and Caroline Bongrand's French bestseller Pitch.
  • Fremaux names new Cannes scout for Germany

    Munich-based film journalist and author Thilo Wydra has beenappointed by Cannes' artistic director Thierry Fremaux as successor toChristiane Peitz as the festival's correspondent for Germany.Wydra, who works as a freelance journalist for suchpublications as Film-echo/Filmwoche, Der Tagesspiegel and Hamburger Abendblatt, has also published several books on German andFrench cinema, including monographs on the filmmakers Margarethe von Trotta andVolker Schloendorff.He
  • GERMANY 16 November

    Germany is still in 7Dwarves fever as the comedy held onto the top spot for a third week runningdespite a 33% week-on-week drop in takings. The film has now sold over 4.6mtickets and grossed over $34.2m.Buena Vista's Shall WeDance', meanwhile, swapped places with Fox's Alien vs. Predator whose takings dropped 58% in the second week,while two new entries - The Forgottenand The Manchurian Candidate - openedwith strong screen averages
  • Germany breaks Euros 1bn home entertainment barrier

    Thanks tothe continuing DVD boom, turnover in Germany's home entertainment market hasbroken the Euro 1bn barrier after just nine months for the first time.Accordingto the GfK market research institute, the sector posted a total turnover ofEuros 1.079bn on the sale and rental of DVDs and videos in the first ninemonths of 2004, up 10% on 2003's Eur
  • Global Peace Film Festival kicks off on Friday in Orlando

    Nobel PeacePrize Laureate Betty Williams will take part in a panel discussion about peacewhen the second annual Global Peace Film Festival runs in Orlando, Florida,from Nov 19-24.Paneldiscussions are one of the highlights of the festival, which includes 18 features,documentaries and shorts.Titles includeMarkus Imhoof's 1981 Swiss drama The Boat Is Full, which explores Switzerland's neutralityduring the second world war, Tareque Masud's The Clay Bird about Banglades
  • Grant boosts Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Festival

    The Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival has undergonea raft of changes for its upcoming edition (Nov 25 ˆ Dec 5) including newdirectors, increased sponsorship and an expanded line-up of gay andlesbian-themed films.Launched in 1989, the annual event is the biggest andlongest-running gay and lesbian film festival in Asia but has typicallystruggled for funding, relying on sponsorship and private donation rather thangovernment funds. However this year, the festiv
  • Hong Kong group to invest in Chinese production company

    Hong Kong's TomGroup is in talks to acquire a 20% stake in Beijing-based production companyHuayi Brothers - currently the largest private film producer in mainland China- according to local press reports.The move followsthe introduction of new regulations, issued by China's State Administration ofRadio, Film and Television (SARFT), which allow foreign companies to invest inmainland film production companies for the first time. Warner Bros has alreadytaken advantage of the new rules by
  • Hotel Rwanda books second major audience prize at AFI FEST

    Having already scored the prestigious audience award at theToronto International Film Festival this year, Terry George's Hotel Rwanda won the same prize at AFI FEST, the LosAngeles International Film Festival, which wrapped up this weekend.
  • IMAX opens Mexico City screen with Polar Express in 3D

    Mexico City'snew Cinepolis Perisur IMAX theatre opened yesterday (16) and will screen ThePolar Express in 3D onNov 19, the first time a Hollywood title formatted for IMAX will screen beforethe picture's conventional 35mm release."Through partnerships with leading exhibitors likeCinepolis, we are bringing IMAX theatres to moviegoers around the world - andthey are lining up to take part in this powerful cinematic experience," RichardL Gelfond,
  • Imax strikes deal for new Russian cinema in the city of Perm

    Imax Corp. hassigned an agreement to install one of its giant-screen cinemas in the Russiancity of Perm. The cinema will be part of a new multiplex.under construction forlocal exhibitor Panorama Cinemas in the one million-person city located some 1,300kilometres east of Moscow.In a statement,Imax co-chairmen and co-CEOs Richard Gelfond and Brad Wechsler credited thedeal to the popularity of a new Imax cinema in Moscow operated by BFC Cinemas.The Panoramafacility will be part of
  • INTERNATIONAL 17 November

    Having already enjoyed a week on the chart through previewsalone Bridget Jones sequel The Edge OfReason topped the international chart in its official opening week withease. A record opening for the UK's Working Title in its home territory ($13.2mexcluding previews) was complimented by number one launches in all of theromantic comedies other five territories: Australia ($4.3m), Croatia ($81,000),Hungary ($0.4m), The Netherlands ($1.13m) and Poland ($1.15m).Th
  • Italian prosecutor calls for Berlusconi jail sentence

    Drawing an end to a four-year corruption trial, an Italianprosecutor has asked a court to sentence Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi toeight years in jail for bribing judges.Ilda Boccassini said that Berlusconi had made regularpayments to judges in Rome to help his holding company Fininvest in a corporatetakeover battle of the state-owned food conglomerate SME in the mid-1980s.Berlusconi's sprawling business empire controls, amongothers, Italy's leading film production and distri
  • ITALY 18 November

    Eagle Pictures' Exorcist:The Beginning opened at the top of the Italian box office lastweekend, grossing $3,632,361. Thehorror flick, which was entirely filmed at Rome's Cinecitta Studios, wasreleased on 402 screens and registered a massive $9,035 per screen.01 Distribution's ShallWe Dance' slipped into second place, although the Jennifer Lopez picturehas already grossed $10,528,113 from 325 screens three weeks into its release.UIP's Manchuri
  • Italy's Sky Cine Classics acquires Granada package

    Granada International hassold a package of classic movies to newly launched Italian channel Sky CineClassics.Thirty films from GranadaInternational's British movie portfolio will be airing shortly on the newchannel, which is part of the Sky Italia platform. Classic movies, from the Korda, Rank and ITC film collections arepart of the deal including, Fanny by Gaslight, To Paris with Love, 49th Parallel, The Four Feathers,The Scarlet Pimpernel and An Ideal Husband.Lui
  • ITV links with Video Island for online DVD service

    ITV, the UK's largest commercial broadcaster, haslinked up with online DVD rental service Video Island to launch ITV MovieClub.The move sees ITV launch its own online rental service whichwill be powered by Video Island and integrated directly onto service will be launched later this year and will offerviewers across the UK the choice of over 20,000 DVD titles to rent. VideoIsland already provides a similar service to brands such as Tesco, MSN
  • Johnnie To cranks up Election drama

    Hong Kong director Johnnie To has started shooting triaddrama Election - the first project inwhich his production company Milkyway Image has made an investment - andannounced that the $6.4m (HK$50m) production will be made as two films.To expects the contemporary drama, which traces a democraticelection within a triad society, to have a total running time of around fourhours. The first film will follow a large group of characters while the secondwill hone in on just a few.
  • Katzenberg to receive PGA's Milestone Award

    DreamWorksprincipal and Shrek 2executive producer Jeffrey Katzenberg will receive the Producers Guild ofAmerica's (PGA) most prestigious honorary award, the Milestone Award, at the16th annual PGA Awards in Los Angeles on Jan 22 2005.Other honorary awardrecipients include Spider-Man 2 producer Laura Ziskin for the David O Selznick Achievement Awardand the Vanguard Award for Terry Semel.The PGA's otherhonorary awards, The Visionary Award and The S
  • Kinky Boot Factory kicks off in Northampton

    Harbour Pictures/BVIproduction The Kinky Boot Factory is to start shooting at the end ofNovember with Joel Edgerton and Chiwetel Ejiofor to star as the two male leads,Charlie Price and Lola.Julian Jarrold (Cracker;Crime & Punishment; White Teeth) is directing, with producers NickBarton and Suzanne Mackie working again with the production arm at BVI UK,following their successful collaboration on Calendar Girls. They arejoined by Peter Ettedgui, who co-produces.
  • Marrakech festival unveils 14 title competition line-up

    The 4th MarrakechInternational Film Festival (Dec 6-12)has selected 14 films to play in its maincompetition.The films range from highprofile US fare such as Alexander Payne's Sideways to Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia's PerfectCrime and Sengalese director OusmaneSembène's Moolaade.A high proportion of thecompetition films are also by first time directors, including Debra Granik's DownTo The Bone (US), Pablo Jose Meza's BuenosAires 100km
  • McGuckian lines up eclectic cast for Rag Tale

    Five weeks of principal photography begins today (Nov 16) inLuxembourg and London on writer/director Mary McGuckian's (The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Best) contemporary urban satire Rag Tale.Set in the ruthless world of British tabloid newspapers,McGuckian will produce and direct from her own original story.Heading the international cast are Simon Callow, Lucy Davis (The Office), Kerry Fox, Rup
  • Mercier leaves Indie Circle for new role at Warner Bros

    Christophe Mercier has been appointed to the newly createdposition of vice president of speciality films at Warner Bros PicturesInternational.Based in London,Mercier will report to the respective heads of European marketing anddistribution based in London and to the head of the overall division inBurbank, California.Mercier'sprimary function will be to identify and evaluate opportunities for specialityreleases from Warner Independent Pictures, local productions
  • More foreign productions choosing to shoot in India

    Hollywood-based production company 8X Entertainment has begun shooting historical epic One NightWith The King, in the Indian city of Jodhpur.The cast includes Peter O'Toole (the Prophet Samuel), OmarSharif (Prince Memucan), John Rhys-Davies as Mordecai and John Noble as PrinceAdmanthaOne Night With TheKing is a multi-million dollar epic which chronicles the life of the youngJewish girl, Hadassah, played by Hollywood newcomer, Tiffany Dupont.Dupont portrays t
  • MPAA launches first lawsuits against individual online pirates

    The MPAAannounced yesterday (16) that the first wave of lawsuits targeting individualonline traders of illegally copied films have been filed in US courts.The civil suitsagainst individual offenders cover copyright violations on major P2P networksand the MPAA is seeking damages and injunctive relief.MPAA presidentand chief executive officer Dan Glickman announced the policy of targetingindividual online pirates last week. Under the Copyright Act, an individua
  • Murder casts cloud over Shouf Shouf sequel

    Dutch producer/director Albert terHeerdt says he is 'seriously considering' postponing making the sequel to hishit multicultural comedy Shouf ShoufHabibi! following the murder of director Theo van Gogh earlier this month.Shouf Shouf, about a Moroccan family who struggle to settle in theconcrete sprawl of urban Holland, wasselected for the Panorama section of this year's Berlin festival, attractedover 320,000 admissions in the Netherlands and was sold to over 40 territorie
  • National Treasure

    Dir: Jon Turteltaub. US.2004. 131minsWalt Disney Picturesexperiments with a PG-13-rated adventure movie for all the family in NationalTreasure delivered by the studio's in-house stalwarts producer JerryBruckheimer and director Jon Turteltaub. The result is an efficientlycrowd-pleasing, wholesome popcorn picture short on violence and long onmystery, although it is also short on the personality and humour which made theIndiana Jones series such a pere
  • NEW ZEALAND 16 November

    Hero knockedBVI/Miramax stablemate Shall We Dance'off the top of the chart with an opening gross for the four-day weekend ofNZ$203,246 from 23 screens. The result gave the Zhang Yimou action pic a screenaverage more than three times that of any other film in the top 20.Shall We Dance'had been leader of the pack for two weeks and only dropped 8.2% in ticket salescompared to the previous weekend. Nevertheless it nearly lost the second spotto anoth
  • Newmarket, The Works take Tristram Shandy rights

    London based sales outfit The Works has taken internationalrights to Michael Winterbottom's Tristram Shandy, while Newmarket Films has picked up distributionrights for North America.Based loosely around Laurence Sterne's Englishliterature masterpiece, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, the project is a comic, post modern take onthe construction of a film.Shandy, played by Steve Coogan, guides viewers through theepic tale of his life and opinions,
  • Nordic Council to award annual film prize

    Two years afterawarding a film prize for the first time at its 50th anniversary gala, theNordic Council has decided to make the Nordic Film Prize an annual event.The $61,000(DKK350,000) prize will be awarded to a film which is 'embedded in Nordic culture,and stands out artistically as a single rounded work', and the cash award is tobe shared by the film's director, scriptwriter and producer. Finnish filmmakingveteran Aki Kaurismäki won the prize in 2002 for The Man Without A Pa
  • Norwegian Milk wins Kinderfilmfest nod

    Torun Lian's Norwegian family film The Colour OfMilk, which was named best Nordicchildren's film at last week's Nordic Film Days Festival in Lubeck,is the first film to be selected for the Berlin Film Festival'sKinderfilmfest in 2005.It is the writer-director's second film and her secondin competition at the festival, following her multiple-award winning OnlyClouds Move The Stars from 1998.The Colour Of Milk isa romantic comedy about 12 year-old Selma's firs
  • Palm Pictures gets Clean for North America

    Palm Pictureshas acquired US and Caribbean rights to Olivier Assayas' drug addiction drama Cleanstarring Maggie Cheung.Palm, whichdistributed Assayas' Demonlover last year, plans an autumn 2005 US release with DVD to follow in2006.TVA Films holds Canadian rights and released the picture in Quebec in October, with select cities in English-speaking Canada to follow in early 2005.Set in Canada, Paris andLondon, the story centres on a woman's fight to overcome d
  • Participant to produce global Sesame Street doc

    Former eBay president JeffSkoll's Participant Productions is producing documentary The World AccordingTo Sesame Street in association withInternational Street Productions.The picture will chart thehistory of the children's programme and explore its cultural, political andsocial impact around the globe, and will be directed and produced by LindaGoldstein Knowlton and Linda Hawkins.In particular the filmmakerswill focus on four of Sesame Workshop's 20 in
  • Polanski praises Prague as Oliver Twist wraps

    Roman Polanski concluded filming Oliver Twist in the CzechRepublic yesterday (Nov 15).Principle photography began at Prague's Barrandov Studio in July2004. The director was enthusiastic about shooting in Barrandov's stagesand on the nearby back lot, where Czech crews built the London and villagesets."I have worked in practically all the studios of the world, atleast visited many of them, and I think this is the finest," he said."Nowhere else we could have made the film in
  • Polar Express opening is less than Incredibles

    Pixar's The Incredibles, distributed in the US through Buena Vista, beat off thechallenge of Warner Bros' The Polar Express to stay top with an estimated $51msecond weekend haul that raised its running total to $144.1m.
  • Real-life stories all the rage in Spain

    While Hollywood has foundinspiration in recent years culling its own archives for remake possibilities,Spanish cinema has been doing another kind of navel-gazing: bringing real-lifestories to the silver screen. There are currently a slew of reality-based filmsin the works in Spain and all the major production houses have at least onesuch project in some stage of production.One motivating factorinspiring future productions may be Alejandro Amenabar's success with
  • Record-breaking Incredibles conquers Taiwan, Sweden

    TheIncredibles began itsinternational roll-out through Buena Vista International (BVI) with a $5.8mweekend haul that featured number one debuts in all its markets and a raft ofrecords to boot.The latest Pixar title, which is already within spittingdistance of $150m in the US after its second weekend, scored the biggest everopening for an animated title in Taiwan with $1.3m on 21 screens.It opened on thesame amount in Sweden on 173 screens for the second
  • Rialto takes Australasian rights to foursome

    Rialto Entertainment has acquired Australian and NewZealand rights to The Machinist, Mean Creek, The Queen Of Sheba's Pearlsand Last Days.Chief executive Kelly Rogers describes Gus Van Sant's LastDays as a visual requiem, not just to Kurt Cobain but to an entiregeneration of rock 'n' roll, and says its acquisition continues a relationshipforged with HBO through such films as American Splendor, Real Women HaveCurves, Elephant
  • Rolling Family (Familia Rodante)

    Dir/scr: Pablo Trapero.Arg-Braz-Fr-Ger-Sp. 2004. 103mins.Put Robert Altman's TheWedding on wheels, give it an Argentine passport and send it rolling1,000km out of Buenos Aires - and it would look pretty much like PabloTrapero's latest feature Rolling Family.While it may be less flashyand more populist than Altman's work, it still has a large cast of characters -here a family of 13 - inter-relating during an arduous car journey. Alo
  • Seed Of Chucky

    Dir:Don Mancini. US. 2004. 87mins.Poor old Jennifer Tilly. She was turned into a doll in Bride Of Chucky,the 1998 revival of the Child's Play horror franchise, and now shesuffers even worse indignities in the follow-up. It wouldn't be so bad - forTilly or the audience - if Seed of Chucky, from Focus Features'relaunched genre label Rogue Pictures, was as effectively tongue-in-cheek asits predecessor. But while it's certainly knowing and k
  • Sitges unveils festival line-up

    Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow, ThePhantom Of The Opera, Christopher Smith's Creep and JohnnieDepp-starrer Finding Neverland will comprise the gala screenings of theupcoming International Film Festival of Catalunya (Dec 2-11), better known asSitges.Located just outside Barcelona, Sitges plans to tie in itsclosing weekend events with the December 11 celebration of the European FilmAwards in Barcelona. The festival is also hosting an industry sales offi
  • SPAIN Production Listings - November 18

    SPANISHLISTINGSPREPRODUCTIONAlatriste(Telecinco,Origen) The tales of a 17th century adventurer and his sidekick. Budget: $22m.Dir/scr: Agustin Diaz Yanes, based on the novel by Arturo Perez Reverte.Shooting from March. Spanish.Contact: Telecinco (34) 91 396 6902Algo Habran Hecho(Ibarretxe & Co, Dale Candela [Arg], OM Films [Fr]) Based on the true storyof a nun who was kidnapped and wen
  • Sundance/NHK name 12 finalists for 2005 awards

    The SundanceInstitute and Japan Broadcasting Corporation NHK have announced the 12finalists for the 2005 Sundance/NHK International Film-makers Awards, createdin 1996 to support emerging directors develop their screenplays.One winner fromeach of four global regions - Europe, Latin America, USA and Japan - will be selectedby an international jury and announced before the festival in Jan. The winningdirector from each region will receive $10,000 and a guarantee that N
  • The Hidden Blade

    Dir/Scr Yoji Yamada.Jap. 2004. 131 mins. Best known in Japan for his 48 Tora-san films about a wandering peddler who is forever falling inlove, Yamada has scripted or directed several other successful series for theShochiku studio -- and single-handedly saved it from the financial brink. Two years ago Yamada released his first samurai drama -- The Twilight Samurai. Based on threenovellas by Shuhei
  • The Incredibles maintains super-hero pace

    Pixar's The Incredibles, distributed in the US through Buena Vista, beat off thechallenge of Warner Bros' The Polar Express to stay top with an estimated $51msecond weekend haul that raised its running total to $144.1m.
  • The Works unveils Proposition, Tara Road deals

    UK based sales oufit TheWorks has unveiled a string of deals completed at this month's AFM.- John Hillcoat's TheProposition, which is currently shooting in Australia, closed a pre-sale at the AFM with Triangelfilm forScandinavia. The film has also beensold to Columbia TriStar for Australia and New Zealand, A Film for Benelux andTartan Film Distribution for the UK. Written by cult musician and novelist NickCave, the film stars Guy Pearce, Danny Huston, Ray Winstone, Emily Watson
  • TLA Releasing acquires NonStop's UNO

    Nordic sales outfit NonStop Sales has sold two of itstitles, UNO and Slim Susie, to the US. Both deals were concludedat this month's AFM.Norwegianactor Aksel Hennie's directing debut UNO secured a US distribution dealwith Philadelphia-based TLA Releasing.
  • Wellspring takes world on Yu's Oscar-shortlisted doc

    Wellspring hasacquired worldwide rights to Jessica Yu's Oscar shortlisted documentary InThe Realms Of The Unreal: The Mystery Of Henry Darger.The picture, which premiered at Sundance earlier thisyear, will open at New York City's Film Forum and San Francisco's CastroTheatre on Dec 22. It centres on the renowned artist who is widely regarded asthe greatest self-taught artist of the 20th century and spent his adult lifeworking as a janitor.Susan Westandpro
  • Williams named DeMille winner at next year's Globes

    Robin Williams will receivedthe Hollywood Foreign Press Association's 2005 Cecil B DeMille Award for his"outstanding contribution to the entertainment field" at the 62nd GoldenGlobes in Los Angeles on Jan 16.Williams has won five GoldenGlobes - including three as best actor for Good Will Hunting, The FisherKing and Mrs Doubtfire - as well as a further six nominations. He also wonthe best supporting actor Oscar for Good Will Hunting in 1998.Among the performe
  • Working Title buys Alex Garland script Time Keepers

    Working Title Films hasacquired a spec script by Alex Garland (pictured) called Time Keepers. The script is an original story about two youngboys who discover that magic is not a myth but a reality and that they have astrange position within a secret and alternative history of the world.Described as a scarier, morecomplex Goonies for the nextgeneration, Time Keepers will beproduced by Working Title in association with Barry Mendel Productions.Barry Mendel (
  • Yates in talks to direct fifth Harry Potter

    Harry Potter could be in fora surprise. David Yates, an acclaimed UK TV director but largely unproven infeatures, is in talks to direct the franchise's fifth instalment, HarryPotter And The Order Of The Phoenix.Yates' TV creditsinclude political conspiracy thriller State Of Play, which won a Directors Guild of Great Britain prize,and Anthony Trollope adaptation The Way We Live Now, which won a Bafta.Most recently, SexTraffic, his tale of East European
  • Young Adam dominates Scottish BAFTAs

    Young Adam dominatedthe Scottish BAFTA Awards held on Sunday, winning a clean sweep of the majorprizes.DavidMackenzie's adaptation of the Alexander Trocchi novel set in 1950s Scotland wasawarded Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress for Tilda Swinton and Best Actorfor Ewan McGregor.