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2 March 2005

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  • Arts Alliance to manage UK digital screen network

    Taking a huge step in creating the western world's biggestdigital cinema network, Government-backed support body UK Film Council has selected an offshoot ofventure capitalist Arts Alliance to install a nationwide digital circuit of 250screens.Under the £11.5m contract, Arts Alliance is to spearhead theinstallation, training, servicing and upgrades over an 18-month roll-out periodand for a further four years. Christie Digital Systems and Digital ProjectionInternational will supply 2K DL
  • Atlantic Alliance forced to put Holocaust drama on hold after Rywin imprisonment

    Production on Atlantic Alliance Pictures' Holocaust drama LoveIs A Survivor was put onhold yesterday (28) after producers said there were insufficient funds tocomplete the project.
  • Atlantic Streamline sets start date for horror movie Butterfly

    The psychological horror story Butterfly, A Grimm Love Story starring Keri Russell and ThomasKretschmann is set to begin filming in Germany in March.
  • AUSTRALIA 1 March

    Constantine was the most popular film at the boxoffice for the four-day weekend to Sunday February 27, taking A$2,986,988 from289 screens. This was nearly three times more than the result for TheAviator, which was in second position after leading the chart for the twoprevious weekends. Constantine had easily the biggest screen average atA$10,336, despite being on more screens than any other film in the top 20, andthe runner up was Bride And P
  • Australian newcomer buys Shortbus, Dumplings

    Australiantheatrical newcomer Accent Film Entertainment has acquired both Shortbus,which is still in pre-production, and Dumplings, from Fortissimo FilmSales. "Hedwig And TheAngry Inch was such a wonderful film that we were very keen to jump onboard director John Cameron Mitchell's new film Shortbus aboutrelationships in New York post-9/11," said general manager George Papadopoulos.Shortbus, like Hedwig, is likely to ruffle thefeathers o
  • Avex buys Japan on Screaming Masterpiece from Katapult

    LA-basedKatapult Film Sales closed a major Japanese deal at Berlin recently for itsmusic documentary Screaming Masterpiece with Avex in Japan.Open Sesame helped to brokerthe deal which saw Avex take Ari Alexander Ergis' film about the contemporaryIcelandic music scene. The film, which was c
  • Be Cool

    Dir: F Gary Gray. US.2005. 115 mins.Imperturbablemobster-turned-movie-producer Chili Palmer tries his hand at the music biz in BeCool, the long-awaited sequel to Barry Sonnefeld's deftly funny 1995 ElmoreLeonard adaptation Get Shorty. In musical terms, the sequel doesn'tswing like the original did and neither does it ever quite find a more moderngroove of its own. But it does have a sharp-looking John Travolta returning asthe perpetually cool
  • Copenhagen kids festival gets new director

    Dionysos ReitsKerasiotis is to take over as director of the Copenhagen InternationalChildrens Film Festival, 'Buster', from the sixth edition in September.Kerasiotis will replace outgoing director Ane Skak. After five years,the festival is showing impressive attendance figures. In 2004, 18.000 admissions were sold for a total of139 screenings over just a handful of days, while more than 400 filmprofessionals took part in accompanying seminars. This years festivalruns betw
  • Cursed

    Dir: Wes Craven. US.2005. 95minsThe release date of 2005tells one side - perhaps the official one - to Cursed, the new werewolfpicture from Dimension, the in-house genre arm of Miramax that revitalised themodern horror landscape with the self-aware yet scary Scream picturesfrom what now seems like eons ago. Almost every frame of its being, however,tells the other side of Cursed; of a troubled and shelved production (itshot in 2003) sti
  • Diary Of A Mad Black Woman opens top in US

    Lions Gate Film's comedy-dramaDiary Of A Mad Black Woman ruled the roost at the weekend, opening topon an estimated $22.7m.The picture stars Kimberly Elise as a woman who learns on the eve of her 20thwedding anniversary that her husband wants to marry her best friend. DarrenGrant's picture opened to dire reviews and averaged an excellent $15,306 on1,483 screens.Sony's Hitch fell one place to second in its third weekend on $21m for a$122m running total, while Warn
  • Diary Of A Mad Black Woman opens top in US

    Lions Gate Film's comedy-dramaDiary Of A Mad Black Woman ruled the roost at the weekend, opening topon an estimated $22.7m.The picture stars Kimberly Elise as a woman who learns on the eve of her 20thwedding anniversary that her husband wants to marry her best friend. DarrenGrant's picture opened to dire reviews and averaged an excellent $15,306 on1,483 screens.Sony's Hitch fell one place to second in its third weekend on $21m for a$122m running total, while Warn
  • DTS opens new subsidiary offices in Paris, Rome

    Digital technology company DTS (Digital Theater Systems) hasopened subsidiary offices in Paris and Rome following its recent expansion intoHong Kong and Canada.
  • DVRs were the hottest consumer electronics product in US in 04, says report

    Digital video recorders experienced more national growth than anyother consumer electronics product in the US in 2004, according to new researchby home entertainment and technology tracker Centris.
  • Fockers extends reign and nears $200m

    DreamWorks International's MeetThe Fockers continued to dominate the international box office over theweekend, adding an estimated $20.8m on 4,185 screens in 48 territories throughUIP for a $184.7m international running total.Strong holdovers saw the picturestay top in Germany, France and Austria as it grossed $5m on 629 for $12.2m,$2.8m on 591 for $8.7m, and $1m on 110 for $2.6m respectively.In Spain Meet The Fockersadded $1.5m in its fourth weekend for an unspeci
  • France's 30th Cesar awards provide an evening of surprises

    The 30th anniversary of France's Cesar awards proved to be an evening full of surprises with Abdellatif Kechiche's L'Esquive taking four prizes, including best picture and best director. The awards were an upset for favoured films: The Chorus and A Very Long Engagement which were both up for two Oscars each yesterday. The Chorus, France's highest grossing film of 2004, did take best music and best sound.Engagement, the subject of much controver

    Best Picture MillionDollar Baby (Clint Eastwood, AlbertS Ruddy & Tom Rosenberg, producers)BestDirector Clint Eastwood Million Dollar BabyBest Actor Jamie Foxx RayBest Actress Hilary Swank MillionDollar BabyBest Supporting Actor MorganFreeman Million Dollar BabyBest Supporting Actress CateBlanchett The AviatorBest Original ScreenplayCharlie Kaufman (screenplay), Charlie K
  • Game 6

    Dir. Michael Hoffman. US.2005. 87mins.Despite an engagingperformance by Michael Keaton, this dramatic comedy lacks an emotional heft tomatch its sophisticated premise and milieu. Exploring the existential crisis ofa Broadway playwright and baseball fanatic, Game 6 goes to interestingplaces but never gels as a whole. Screening at Sundance in the Premieressection it will likely find a place on US television, potentially even ESPN'ssports-inspired feat
  • Gaumont profits jump three-fold

    Aftera few lackluster years, fortunes at French major Gaumont are on the rise.Announcing2004 figures on Monday, the company reported revenues of Euros 88.6m ($115m), a26% increase over 2003, and profits of Euros 9.7m up from Euros 2.8m theprevious year.Ina press release, the world's oldest film studio noted that the jump was spurredon by an overall healthy box-office year that resulted in strong revenue growth for its exhibition circuit Europalaces. The group of theatres reporte
  • German media funds still tilt heavily to Hollywood

    German media funds raised Euros 1.5bn from private investorslast year, 15% less than 2003's total of Euros 1.76bn, according to a marketanalysis by fund specialist Stefan Loipfinger's Fondstelegramm.For the first time this year, the analysis showed where theGerman private equity was being invested and fuelled the criticism that themedia funds invest almost exclusively in US projects. Examples of films include: Paul McGuigan's Lucky Number Slevin, Steven Zaillian's AllThe King
  • German public funds back Cinelink co-production market

    German public regional funds Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung(MDM) and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg are to serve as partners at thisyear's CineLink co-production market during the Sarajevo Film Festival (August19-27)."Last year, we had a similar agreement with the Vienna FilmFund and Austrian Film Institute who brought over a dozen producers to meetwith their opposite numbers from South Eastern Europe in Sarajevo,"CineLink project manager Amra Baksic Carno told
  • GERMANY 2 March

    Meet TheFockers onlyfaltered slightly on its second weekend, but was still far ahead of the fieldwith a gross that was more than the next two releases combined - Constantineand The Wild Soccer Bunch 2 . The Ben Stiller-Robert de Niro comedy'stotal gross of $ 12.4m makes the UIP release the most successful film at theGerman box office so far this year. Meanwhile,Marc Rothemund's World War II resistance drama Sophie Scholl - The FinalDays o
  • Howl set to pass Spirited Away at int'l box office

    With a paltry 12% loss week-on-week Japanese animated smash Howl'sMoving Castle passed the $200m mark at the international box office overthe weekend. Over $170m of this has come from Japan with strong support fromSouth Korea and France.After seven weeks in France 1.2 million people have seen thefilm providing an $9m gross. With the rest of Europe, all of South and CentralAmerica and other key Asian territories including Hong Kong to come Howl'shas a good chance of surpas
  • IMAX gets Batman Begins at the same time as 35mm

    IMAX Corporation and WarnerBros have announced that Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins will be simultaneously released to IMAX andconventional 35mm cinemas on June 17, 2005. It will be the eighth Warnerfilm to undergo IMAX's DMR digitalremastering process. Warner will be the exclusive distributor of the film toIMAX cinemas worldwide."Moviegoers love toexperience our event movies in IMAX theatres and filmmakers rave about howtheir work appears on the IMAX canvas," said Dan
  • International network of casting directors launched

    Fifteen feature film casting directors from seven countrieshave founded the International Network of Casting Directors (INCD).The idea for an informal international network was floatedduring a meeting of casting directors during European Film Promotion's ShootingStars event at the Berlinale. Until now, casting directors have only been organised innational associations, but INCD would offer them "the chance to exchangeideas on an international level about their different ways of
  • ITALY 2 March

    UIP's Shark Tale ripped into the box office at numberone in Italy, in one of its last international releases.The animation feature, whose Italian release comes fivemonths after its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, grossed $3,945,692from 401 screens for an excellent screen average of $9,840.Warner Bros's Constantine also performed well,grossing $2,246,586 for an average of $6,934 per screen. Nevertheless, theKeanu Reeves supernatural t
  • Italy's Buskin opens co-production outfit in China

    BuskinFilm, the Rome-based sales outfit, has opened an office in Beijing with the aimof co-producing projects and getting involved in product placement andservicing for international productions shooting in China. Buskinis already co-producing a project for China's CCTV with Beijing Xin Ying ShiCulture. The 20-part drama is the third instalment of a popular mini-seriesabout an Italian mother who moves to Beijing, marries a Chinese man, and bringsover her son from Italy.Thethird
  • It's Sideways all the way at the Independent Spirits

    Sideways stamped its inimitable mark on the 20th IFPIndependent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica on Saturday (26), winning five awardsincluding best feature, best director for Alexander Payne and best male leadfor Paul Giamatti. The$16m Fox Searchlight hit, whose inclusion in the budget-contin
  • Ledoyen, Livingston head up cast of Holly shooting in Cambodia

    Guy Moshe's adventure drama Holly has begun production in Cambodia,starring Virginie Ledoyen, Udo Kier, Ron Livingston, Chris Penn, Thai starKovitt Wattanakul and Vietnamese newcomer Thuy Nguyen.
  • Look Both Ways

    Dir/scr: Sarah Watt.Aust. 2004. 100minsShrewdly commissioned bythe Adelaide Film Festival's own Investment Fund, writer-director Sarah Watt'sthoughtful and sobering debut made a big impression at the 2005 festival'sopening night, as might be expected.But this strong hometownreception should not detract from Look Both Ways many qualities. Whilearthouse prospects at home are excellent for Footprint Films/Dendy's Augustrelease, international
  • Million Dollar night at the Oscars for Eastwood's Baby

    Million Dollar Baby delivered a knockout blow to its chiefcompetitor The Aviator attonight's 77th Annual Academy Award ceremony, winning four Oscarsfor best picture, best director (Clint Eastwood), best actress (Hilary Swank)and best supporting actor (Morgan Freeman).MartinScorsese once again came away empty-handed in the best director category for TheAviator, although the film won fiveOscars including best supporting actress for Cate Blanchett and bestcinematograp
  • New cast join Stranger Than Fiction

    TomHulce, Linda Hunt and Tony Hale have joined the cast of Marc Forster's StrangerThan Fiction, which is set to begin filming in April.
  • New Latina film-maker grant created by Women In Film in LA with GM

    TheLos Angeles branch of Women In Film has teamed up with General MotorsCorporation to launch the Women In Film/General Motors Latina New Filmmakergrant, designed to support upcoming Latina filmmakers by providing them withaccess to key industry personnel and female mentors.
  • Perfume, Klimt awarded German funds

    New features by Tom Tykwer, Raoul Ruiz and Tomy Wigand areamong five projects awarded over Euros 4.6m by Bavaria's Film & TelevisionFund FFF Bayern in its latest round of funding.Tykwer's adaptation of Patrick Sueskind's bestselling novel Perfumefor Constantin Film Produktion received the largest amount - Euros 1.6m - withan additional Euros 1m being pledged by the Bavarian Bank Fund (BBF), whileEuros 1m (plus Euros 200,000 from the BBF) was allocated to Wigand's familyadventure
  • Shochiku named ShoWest Exhibitor of the Year

    Shochiku has been named International Exhibitor of the Yearby ShoWest, the first Japanese distributor and exhibitor to win the award sincethe event launched in 1996. Shochiku president Junichi "Jay" Sakomoto willreceive the award at the ShoWest convention in Las Vegas on March 14. A leading exhibitor in Japan, Shochiku operates more than150 screens, both in multiplexes and single-screen theatres, while havinglong-term working relationships with many independent theatre owners.
  • South Australia offers production incentive

    South Australia is soon to offer producers a new incentiveto shoot in the state - a 10% rebate on the cost of local cast and crew,including post-production personnel.South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) chief executiveHelen Leake told that the initiative is being introducedon a trial basis and is capped at only A$500,000 in total.The small state, which is the home of filmmakers Rolf deHeer and Mario Andreacchio, already has a payroll tax exemption. Lea
  • SPAIN Production Listings - March 2

    PRE PRODUCTION ALATRISTE(Estudios Picasso, Origen PC, Universal Studios) Budget: Euros 20m. Intl sales:TF1 International. The tales of a 17th century adventurer and his sidekick.Dir/scr: Agustin Diaz Yanes, based on the novel by Arturo Perez Reverte. Maincast: Viggo Mortensen, Eduardo Noriega, Javier Camara, Elena Anaya and AriadnaGil Shooting from March 7 in Cadiz, Madrid and S
  • Spanish producers spread their film budget bets

    A contradictory trend is at work in Spain: the country ismaking increasingly more low-budget films, yet production cranks up this monthon two of its costliest features ever, Viggo Mortensen-starrer Alatristeand Vicente Aranda's The White Knight.Average feature film budgets decreased in Spain last yearand almost two-thirds of films were budgeted at less than Euros 2m; more than athird at less than Euros 1m. Spanish producers are also opting for moredocumentaries, which cos
  • UK plans multiple co-production treaties

    The UK is to strike co-production treaties with SouthAfrica, China, India, Jamaica and Morocco, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowellannounced on Monday.The treaties will be developed with each country overthe next 18 months. Jowell recently signed a statement of intent with the SouthAfrican Minister for Arts and Culture, Pallo Jordan.
  • UK/IRELAND 2 March

    There was no hiding from Robert De Niro at the UK box officethis week as 20th Century Fox's horror title Hide And Seek ended MeetThe Fockers' four week reign atop the chart.Hide And Seek saw a strong debut taking $3.1m (£1.6m)from 345 sites for a $8,852 location average. These figures included previewsof $209,726 (£109,500) from 270 sites. De Niro stars with Dakota Fanning, FamkeJanssen and Elisabeth Shue.Despite relinquishing the lead
  • Veer Zara, Hum Tum top India's Oscars

    Shahrukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee bagged the best actor andbest actress award for their role in Swades and Hum Tumrespectively at the 50th Filmfare awards (Indian Oscars) in Mumbai on Saturday.Rani also bagged the best actress in a supporting role for the film VeerZara. Yashraj Film's Veer Zara, was awarded best film whileKunal Kohli took the best director award for Hum Tum. Best Actor -- Shah Rukh Khan for SwadesBest Actress -- Rani