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2 October 2000

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  • AFMA elects new board members for 2001

    The 2001 board of directors for the American Film Marketing Association (AFMA) was elected yesterday at the organisation's annual membership meeting. 'The new board continues the tradition of a strong, diverse and experienced group of industry executives, one that reflects the breadth of the independent industry that we represent,' said chairman Kathy Morgan in a statement.Elected to the executive committee for a two-year term are: Lewis Horwitz (vice chairman), Lloyd Kaufman (
  • Altavista boards Saura's Bunuel fantasy

    Growing Mexican production outfit Altavista Films is one of three international partners to board veteran director Carlos Saura's forthcoming feature Bunuel And King Solomon's Table (Bunuel Y La Mesa Del Rey Salomon).France's Les Films Sans Frontieres and Portugal's Hora Magica have also joined Spanish producers Rioja Films and CPI to back the much anticipated film from one of Europe's premiere directors.Saura and producers Jose Antonio Romero of Rioja Films and Ferran Ll
  • Altavista builds slate of exportable Mexican films

    Altavista Films - the two year-old production arm of Mexican entertainment giant Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento (CIE) - has lined up a production slate headed by Tear This Heart Out aka Arrancame La Vida, a $4.2m period epic to which Salma Hayek is attached to star.Roberto Sneider, who was once attached to direct Hayek's long-cherished Frida Kahlo biopic, will direct the film, a period piece about the wife of an influential general who has an affair with a
  • AtomFilms links with Jonze, DiCaprio

    Director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich) has joined the advisory board of on-line distributor AtomFilms and will create three original shorts for exclusive distribution by the company. AtomFilms is also teaming up with Leonardo DiCaprio's Birken Interactive Studio to launch a short film festival. The two-year deal with Jonze includes distribution of the director's past short films, including Amarillo By Morning and How They Get There. In his advisory role
  • Best In Show

    Dir: Christopher Guest. US. 2000. 90 mins.Prod co: Castle Rock Entertainment. Worldwide dist: Warner Bros. Exec prod: Gordon Mark. Prod: Karen Murphy. Scr: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy. DoP: Roberto Schaeffer. Prod des: Joseph T Garrity. Ed: Robert Leighton. Main cast: Jennifer Coolidge, Christopher Guest, John Michael Higgins, Michael Hitchcock, Eugene Levy, Jane Lynch, Michael McKean, Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey.Christopher Guest's wonderful new 'mockumentary' will
  • Bialek, Jonas form US-German 310 Entertainment

    Sales and marketing veteran Chris Bialek has teamed up with Stefan Jonas, co-founder of Germany's post-production facility Das Werk, to form 310 Entertainment, a new independent production and financing outfit with bases in Los Angeles and Munich and plans to make both live action and animated films and TV series.The company claims to have a production fund of $200m for its debut slate and says that due to its international composition, it is well-positioned to set up co-productions wi
  • Bootmen

    Dir: Dein Perry. Australia. 2000. 96 mins.Prod co: Bootmen Productions. Worldwide dist: 20th Century Fox. Exec producer: Dein Perry. Producer: Hilary Linstead. Co-producer: Antonia Barnard. Scr: Steve Worland . DoP: Steve Mason. Prod des: Murray Picknett. Ed: Jane Moran. Composer: Cezary Skubiszewski. Main cast: Adam Garcia, Sam Worthington, Sophie Lee.Australian choreographer Dein Perry's high-energy stage shows, "Tap Dogs" and "Steel City", have been touring the world f
  • Caine, Keaton sink into Quicksand for Visionview

    John Mackenzie is to direct Michael Caine and Michael Keaton in contemporary action thriller Quicksand for UK production outfit Geoff Reeve Films and producer-financier Visionview.Caine plays a down-on-his-luck film star embroiled in the criminal world on the Cote d'Azur, where he meets Keaton, a banker investigating shady offshore deposits.Production is scheduled to start early December in New York and the south of France. UK-based Visionview recently secured investment
  • Canal Plus moves into profit after assets sale

    Canal Plus has reported first-half net profit of Euros104m - compared to a Euros36m loss during the same period last year - mostly due to a Euros205m one-time gain from the sale of its 24.9% stake in German channel Vox and a 4% stake in CanalSatellite.But consolidated profit before exceptional items and goodwill amounted to a Euros90m loss, up from a Euros17m loss in the same period last year.The company's bottom line continues to be dragged down by its foreign pay-TV activities
  • Canal Plus Spain picks winners for script fund

    Spanish pay-TV outlet Canal Plus has unveiled the six winners of its newly relaunched script development fund, known as Canal Plus Guiones.Canal Plus chose six treatments from 372 applications in which it will invest between $2,857 (PTS500,000) and $14,286 (PTS2,500,000) each to develop over the next year.The channel is also committed to helping writers find a producer for completed scripts. Sister film production outfit Sogecine gets a first look at all scripts developed by the
  • Carol Rossi joins Julie Savay-Ross at Miracle

    Carol M Rossi has joined LA-based production/sales outfit Miracle Entertainment as vice president, marketing. She will be responsible for implementing marketing strategies for Miracle's production slate as well as the company's international distribution operations run by president of international distribution Julie Savay-Ross. She will report to Savay-Ross.Rossi's appointment follows earlier appointments in the last few weeks of Gregg Hoffman as co-president of Miracle Pictures, Nei
  • Constantin strikes output deal with USA Films

    Bernd Eichinger's Constantin Film has signed an output deal with USA Films giving it German-speaking theatrical, free TV and video rights to the company's product until 2003.Titles covered by the deal include One Night At McCool's, directed by Norway's Harald Zwart and starring Michael Douglas and Matt Dillon, and the Coen Brothers' latest opus, The Barber Movie, starring Frances McDormand and Billy Bob Thornton, which wrapped earlier this month.USA has in the past
  • Craven moves to Alibi from United Artists

    UK-based media concern Alibi Communications has appointed David Craven as head of post-production and technical delivery.Craven previously worked in the London office of United Artists Films, which parent US studio MGM recently announced its was shutting down. The appointment is effective immediately.Alibi includes TV and feature production interests as well as sales arm Alibi International. The company is currently involved in such feature titles as One Of The Hollywood Ten
  • Dark Days

    Dir: Marc Singer. US. 2000. 84 mins.Prod Co: Picture Farm Productions. Int'l Sales: Picture Farm Productions (I) 212-343-2314. Prod/DoP: Marc Singer. Co-Prod: Ben Freedman. Ed: Melissa Neidich. Mus: DJ Shadow.A remarkable documentary, Dark Days captures the life and soul of a subterranean shanty town that existed for years in the subway tunnels beneath the streets of New York. A haunting account of outcasts forging their own definition of home on the very margins
  • Disease picks up top prize at Gdynia

    The grand prize at the Gdynia Festival of Polish Features Films went to Krzysztof Zanussi for Life As A Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease. The film - which took the main award at this year's Moscow film festival - also won the best male actor award for its star Zbigniew Zapasiewicz.The prize for best director went to Andrzej Czarnecki for The Entity, while best female actress went to Maja Ostaszewska for her work in Looking At You Mary and Three Years Of
  • Dutch government extends tax incentive scheme

    The Dutch government has extended tax measures, introduced in 1997 to encourage private investment in local film production, for another 12 months. The move is an interim measure until the government develops a new support system in which "film entrepreneurs instead of investors" will be the first in line to reap the benefits. The government considers the current system, through which investors can set off their entire investment plus another 25% of their taxable income, too exp
  • Faithless falters against other local product

    While Scandinavian film-makers Lars von Trier and Liv Ullmann received plenty of positive international attention at this year's Cannes Film Festival, both directors have been hit hard by the local, and often much younger, competition at the box office in their respective home territories. The Swedish production Faithless from Norwegian Liv Ullmann, opened simultaneously in Sweden and Norway on Sept 14 but did not make it into the top five in either country. In Norway, Faithl
  • Film Roman's Jon Vein named COO at AMG and APG

    Jon Vein, former chief operating officer at Film Roman, has joined Michael Ovitz's Artists Management Group (AMG) and Artists Production Group (APG) as chief operating officer.Vein has been at Film Roman as COO since 1995 where he was responsible for overseeing all business activities of the company as well as the feature film department alongside CEO John Hyde. Prior to joining Film Roman, he was the co-founder of Dern & Vein, an entertainment law firm in Los Angeles.AMG was
  • First Look acquires US rights to Chopper

    Beyond Films has confirmed that US rights to writer-director Andrew Dominik's Chopper have been sold to First Look Pictures, which plans to stage a theatrical release in March 2001.Chopper screened at the Edinburgh, Toronto and Telluride Film Festivals and has now been in the Australian top 20 list for eight weeks. As of September 27 it had grossed $3m (A$5.5m) despite an 'R' rating which restricts it to people 18 years and over.Eric Bana has been much lauded for h
  • Germany's IN-motion buys J&M Entertainment

    IN-motion, the listed German media company that has a majority stake in Kirk D’Amico’s Myriad Pictures, has bought UK sales operation J&M Entertainment for approximately $20m.IN-motion, which floated on Frankfurt’s Neuer Markt in June, will merge J&M with US-based Myriad to form a new, yet-to-be-named production and sales entity headed by D’Amico. Julia Palau, who co-founded J&M with Mike Ryan, steps down as chairman. She will set up her own production company with an exclu
  • Harrison's Flowers

    Dir: Elie Chouraqui. 2000. France. 126 mins.Prod cos: 7 Films Cinema, Le Studio Canal Plus, France 2 Cinema. Int'l Sales: StudioCanal (33) 1 44 43 98 00. Prod: Chouraqui. Scr: Chouraqui, Didier Le Pecheur, Isabel Ellsen, Michael Katims. DoP: Nicola Pecorini. Prod des: Giantito Burchiellaro. Ed: Jacques Wita, Ailo Auguste, Stephane Freess. Main cast: Andie MacDowell, David Strathairn, Elias Koteas, Adrian Brody, Brendan Gleeson.The outstanding achievement of Harrison's
  • Hewison to head Melbourne Film Festival

    The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has appointed James Hewison as executive director. He was formerly marketing manager (Victoria) for public broadcaster the ABC. Since 1993, when he returned from living in Paris for five years, Hewison has worked for Palace Cinemas, played a key role in re-establishing the French Film Festival and twice been a judge at the St Kilda Film Festival for short films.MIFF chair Andrew Myer, a film producer himself, said Hewison will bri
  • Hollow Man beats Billy Elliot to number one spot

    Highly-anticipated British title Billy Elliot has failed in its bid to take the number one spot at the UK box office over the weekend. The release of Columbia Pictures' Hollow Man crept into the top of the chart by a slim margin of $138,000 (£93,277).However the widely-feted Billy Elliot opened with a healthy three-day gross of $2.2m (£1.5m) from 335 sites giving it a robust site average of $6,805 (£4,600) - an impressive opening for the low-budget BBC/Working Titl
  • Holy Tongue (La Lingua Del Santo)

    Dir: Carlo Mazzacurati. Italy. 2000. 110 mins.Prod co: Rodeo Drive. Co-prod: Medusa Film. Int'l sales: Adriana Chiesa (+39 06 807 0400). Prods: Marco Poccioni, Marco Valzania. Scr: Franco Bernini, Umberto Contarello, Carlo Mazzacurati, Marco Pettenello. DoP: Alessandro Pesci. Prod des: Leonardo Scarpa. Editor: Paolo Cottignola. Main cast: Antonio Albanese, Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Toni Bertorelli, Ivano Marescotti, Isabella Ferrari, Marco Paolini.Talented but inconsistent It
  • IEG's credit line with Chase raised to $135m

    Chase Manhattan Bank has increased its revolving credit line to Graham King's LA-based independent Initial Entertainment Group to $135m according to a statement released yesterday by John Miller, managing director of Chase Manhattan, and Colin Cotter, IEG's COO.The relationship between the bank and IEG began in 1997 when the two year-old IEG secured a credit line of $21m.The credit line increase comes in the same month that IEG's biggest project to date - Martin Scorsese's
  • Imax pacts with E-Citi to build theatres in India

    Imax Corporation has signed an agreement with India's E-Citi Entertainment, a subsidiary of the ESSEL Group of Industries, to open a minimum of six IMAX theatres in India over the next four years. The deal includes an option to build up to 20 theatres in family entertainment centres which E-Citi is in the process of setting up in 23 cities across the sub-continent.ESSEL Group's interests include Zee Telefilms, the largest satellite TV broadcaster in India, cable network Siti Cable and
  • InternetStudios ups McKean; completes merger, the LA-based web-site for licensing film and TV distribution rights and tracking entertainment industry data, has promoted Alex McKean to the position of vice president of finance. He was formerly director of finance for the company.A former corporate accounting manager at PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, McKean will be responsible for the daily financial activities of InternetStudios and its various subsidiaries including all government SEC reporting. Meanwhi
  • Irene opens well but doesn't live up to Mary

    The Farrelly brothers latest comedy Me Myself And Irene opened in the UK over the weekend with $1.9m (£1.3m) from 357 screens, including previews of $126,743 (£86,946). Distributed by 20th Century Fox, the comedy starring Jim Carrey and real-life wife Renee Zellweger, won the number one spot and a screen average of $5,278 (£3,620). However this is considerably lower than the opening of There's Something About Mary two years ago of $3m (£2.1m) from 315 screens, including previews
  • ITV acquires Walt Disney's 1999 slate

    UK commercial broadcasting network ITV has secured Walt Disney Co's 1999 theatrical slate.The network has partnered with BVI-TV, the international distribution division of Walt Disney Television International, to secure the US studio's line-up. Titles under the deal include Sixth Sense, starring Bruce Willis; Runaway Bride, with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts; and Inspector Gadget, with Matthew Broderick.The announcement was made by Doug Miller, vice-preside
  • Jon Voight to play Jolie's dad in Tomb Raider

    Jon Voight has joined the cast of Paramount Pictures' action adventure Tomb Raider currently shooting in the UK and will play Lord Croft, father to Lara Croft played by his real-life daughter Angelina Jolie. It is the first time that Voight and Jolie have appeared together on screen.The casting was announced by director Simon West and producers Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin and Colin Wilson. Voight joined the cast on Monday this week and will shoot for one week finishing tomorro
  • Kinowelt seeks to buy Village's German cinemas

    Kinowelt, Germany's fast-moving licensing and distribution conglomerate, is poised to become one of the country's leading exhibitors.It is involved in exclusive talks with Village Roadshow to buy a majority stake in the eight German multiplexes owned by the Australian group. Kinowelt was unable to confirm details about the size or value of its interest in the multiplexes, but a company spokesman confirmed to Screen International that talks are ongoing. The group, w
  • Lisa Mundt joins int'l operations at Warner Bros

    Lisa Mundt has been named vice president, international operations, at Warner Bros Pictures, a newly created position in which she will have full operational responsibility for a number of territories as well as supervising Warner Bros Pictures' international non-theatrical business.She will take an active role in systems development related to Warner's international theatrical reporting systems, and directly assist Angelina Speare, senior vice president, international operations & fi
  • MIPCOM: SBS signs output deal with Buena Vista

    The Dutch arm of broadcasting giant SBS has signed a multi-year output deal with Buena Vista International Television (BVI-TV) for terrestrial rights to all movies from Walt Disney Pictures.The deal, which replaces an earlier pact due to expire next year, also covers titles from Walt Disney Co subsidiaries Hollywood Pictures, ABC and Touchstone. It also gives SBS access to animation series and other television product from the Disney library. Titles covered by the deal include
  • MIPCOM: TVB to launch in the Netherlands

    TVB Europe, owned by Hong Kong-based broadcaster TVB, is entering the Dutch market where it will be carried by cable operators Mediakabel and UPC.The channel, which will reach 500,000 households in the Netherlands, is aimed at expat Chinese. Programming includes news from Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China along with TVB's dramas, music and educational programming and cartoons. TVB was launched in Europe in 1997 as a direct-to-home satellite channel and broadcasts for 17 hours
  • Mojto, Kogel appointed KirchMedia deputy chairmen

    Jan Mojto, who heads Kirch's Programme Division, and former SAT1 managing director Fred Kogel, have been appointed joint deputy chairmen of KirchMedia's management board.They replace Dieter Hahn who has been appointed deputy chairman of the board of KirchHolding with responsibility within the group for communications, sports, multimedia and pay-TV.Mojto will continue to oversee programming for the group and Kogel will be responsible for licence management, strategic development
  • Murphy, Bauer to head Euro production for RTL

    RTL Group has appointed Mike Murphy and Wolf Bauer as joint chiefs of its continental European production activities. Murphy is currently CEO, European drama and CEO Asia for Pearson Television and Bauer is chairman of Ufa Film & TV Production.The two execs will oversee production companies belonging to the group in German-speaking territories, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Benelux along with drama programming in Eastern Europe. RTL Group was formed by the merger of the
  • My Generation

    Dir: Barbara Kopple. US. 2000. 113 mins.Prod co: Cabin Creek Films. Prod: Barbara Kopple. DoP: Tom Hurwitz. Co-director/editor: Tom Haneke.Barbara Kopple has built a successful career around cinematic-release documentaries - most recently her warts-and-all portrait of Woody Allen's jazz band, Wild Man Blues. My Generation is the culmination of a six-year project centring on the three Woodstock rock festivals of 1969, 1994 and 1999. Freshly-shot material from
  • News Corp unveils Liberty Media tie-up

    Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has confirmed that it plans to strengthen ties with John Malone's Liberty Media by acquiring its 21% stake in Gemstar-TV Guide. Liberty Media is transferring its Gemstar stake to News Corp in return for 121.5 million News Corp American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), making it the company's top non-voting shareholder, after Murdoch and his family, with an 18% stake.The deal also makes News Corp, which already owns a 21% stake in Gemstar-TV Guide, the lead
  • Pandora takes world on Liddy's Country

    Hard on the heels of re-aligning to become the specialist arm of Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment Company, France's Pandora Films has picked up Irish family drama Country, written and directed by Kevin Liddy.The Paris-based operation will handle worldwide sales on the picture, which is set in rural Ireland in the early 70s. The film follows a young boy coping with life after the mysterious death of his mother.The picture, produced by Jack Armstrong, won the audience
  • Pathe takes on Automatic's Season

    UK National Lottery studio franchise Pathe Pictures has acquired the comedy pitch The Season from Automatic Pictures, the LA-based production outfit run by There's Something About Mary producer Frank Beddor. An original idea by London-based commercial and video director Aasaf Ainapore, The Season is currently being scripted by agent-turned-writer Sam North and will be directed by Ainapore.Set in the 1920s, The Season is the story of an American report
  • Prinze Jr to star in Miramax martial arts movie

    Freddie Prinze Jr will star in an untitled martial arts movie to be produced by Miramax Films which acquired the untitled pitch from Robert Mark Kamen, writer of the Karate Kid series and A Walk In The Clouds.The project tells the story of an American boy raised by Chinese monks after his parents are murdered in the Golden Triangle who travels to New York City to seek out his only living relative and avenge his parents' death.Kamen personally pitched the project
  • RAI to seek international partners

    Italian state broadcaster RAI continues to deny rumours that its television channels are about to be privatised, but according to board member Stefano Balassone, will seek global partners as soon as it gains autonomy from the Italian government.The Italian parliament has recently stepped up efforts to push through statutory reforms that will lead to the broadcaster's political and economic independence, but RAI denies reports that two of its three television channels will be privatised
  • Ripstein wins San Sebastian's Golden Shell

    Arturo Ripstein's The Ruination Of Men (La Perdicion De Los Hombres) walked away with the Golden Shell award for best film at the 48th San Sebastian International film festival (September 21-30).Shot in black and white, the black comedy about two women who fight over the body of a dead lover also won the jury prize for best script and the Fipresci international film critics award. A Mexican-Spanish production, The Ruination Of Men was co-produced by Mexico's Gardenia Prod
  • San Sebastian heats up but field remains open

    No clear favorite had yet emerged in the official competition at the halfway mark of the 48th edition of the San Sebastian International Film Festival, running from September 21-30.Local buzz favoured Basque Country native Alex de la Iglesia's opening night film Common Wealth (La Comunidad), which scored a home-run among Spanish critics, but the film failed to wow international festival attendees.Swedish title Before The Storm (Fore Stormen), Elie Chouraqui's Ha
  • SBS plans digital expansion in Eastern Europe

    Mediatrade president Maurizio Costanzo has been appointed head of Veleno (Venom), the new company recently launched as Cross Media Factory by Italian media giant Fininvest, with the aim of seeking synergies between its publishing, internet, film and television arms.Veleno aims to be a 'factory of ideas,' that will draw on the four companies owned by Silvio Berlusconi's media empire: film company Medusa, TV group Mediaset, publisher Mondadori and internet portal Jumpy. 'We intend to hav
  • cancels $50m float, which offers movies for download over high-speed internet connections, has reportedly cancelled its planned $50m initial public offering due to unfavourable market conditions.The US-based company originally filed with the SEC to float on the Nasdaq in April. But in a filing yesterday it said it 'does not believe that the public markets would favourably respond to an initial public offering of the company's securities at the current time.'SightSound, which claims
  • Sogepaq nabs Quixote, inks pact with El Deseo

    Spanish rights and distribution house Sogepaq has picked up theatrical, pay-TV and video rights in Spain on Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which began shooting Tuesday in Spain. Public broadcaster Television Espanola has free TV rights.Pathe International is handling international sales on the film which is backed by Pathe Pictures in the UK, Pathe France, StudioCanal and Germany's KC Medien. Pathe will distribute Quixote in the UK and France. Soge
  • Star, PacNet in talks for Indian internet venture

    Star TV and Asian internet service provider (ISP) Pacific Internet (PacNet) are in talks about forming a joint venture to launch internet services in India according to local press reports.According to Indian daily The Economic Times, Star and PacNet - a US-listed company which is 42% owned by Singapore's SembCorp Industries - would each take stakes of about 37% in the three-way joint venture with Singapore's Thakral Brothers holding the remaining 26%. Initially the company woul
  • Storaro to get ASC Lifetime Achievement Award

    Vittorio Storaro, the multi-award winning cinematographer, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) at the 15th annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards dinner on Feb 18, 2001.Italian Storaro is one of the most famous cinematographers in the world with Oscars to his name for Apocalypse Now (1979), Reds (1981) and The Last Emperor (1987) and relationships with their directors Francis Ford Coppola (One From
  • Sue Blackmore leaves Trimark for Myriad

    Sue Blackmore, formerly executive director of marketing and publicity for Trimark Pictures, has joined Myriad Pictures as vice president, marketing and publicity. She will be responsible for conceiving and implementing marketing and publicity campaigns for Myriad's slate including Chen Kaige's Killing Me Softly which stars Heather Graham and Joseph Fiennes which Myriad is selling internationally on behalf of producers Montecito Production Co.Blackmore began her career at 20th C
  • Tax inspectors swoop on Indian film stars

    The Indian Directorate of Investigation, Income Tax, raided the houses and offices of several leading Hindi film personalities yesterday (September 27). A team of 150 officers fanned out to raid more than 30 premises belonging to film stars, directors and one distributor. Among those targeted were actresses Aishwarya Rai, Urmila Matondkar and Rani Mukherjee, actors Salman Khan and Amrish Puri and film-makers Yash Johar, Karan Johar and Yash Chopra. A large amount of cash was rep
  • Teeth (Denti)

    Dir: Gabriele Salvatores. Italy. 2000. 95 mins.Prod co: Cecchi Gori Group Fin.Ma.Vi. Co-prod: Colorado Film. Int'l sales: Cecchi Gori (39) 06 324721. Prod: Vittorio Cecchi Gori, Maurizio Totti. Scr: Salavatores, based on novel by Domenico Starnone. DoP: Italo Petricione. Prod des: Rita Rabassini. Editor: Massimo Fiocchi. Music: Federico De Robertis, Teho Teardo, Eraldo Bernocchi. Main cast: Sergio Rubini (Antonio), Anouk Grinberg (mother), Tom Novembre (Micco), Anita Caprioli (Mara)
  • Telstra set to revise Pacific Century deal

    Australian telecommunications giant Telstra is set to consider a second revision of its $2.7bn (A$5bn) alliance with Richard Li's Hong Kong-based Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW) this week. Since being announced in April, the deal - which would create one of the largest internet, data and business services groups in the pan-Asian region - has become increasingly unpopular with investors, analysts and the Australian government due to the slump in PCCW's share price. And like man
  • Titus to open Flanders festival

    Julie Taymor's Titus will open the Flanders International Film Festival in Ghent (October 11-22) where it is screening out of competition. Terence Davies' The House Of Mirth, starring Gillian Anderson, will open the competitive section. Morgan Freeman will be guest of honour at the festival, which is dedicated to exploring the impact of music on film. The US star will be the subject of a homage featuring such films as Seven and his current title, Under Suspicion
  • Under The Sand (Sous Le Sable)

    Dir: Francois Ozon. France. 2000. 90 mins.Prod co: Fidelite Productions. Int'l Sales: Celluloid Dreams (33) 1 4970 0370. Prods: Olivier Delbosc, Marc Missionier. Scr: Ozon. DoP: Jeanne Lapoirie, Antoine Heberle. Prod des: Sandrine Canaux. Ed: Laurence Bawedin. Mus: Phillipe Rombi. Main cast: Charlotte Rampling, Alexandra Stewart, Bruno Cremer, Jacques Nolot.The unbearable emptiness that follows the loss of a loved one is sensitively conveyed in Sous Le Sable, a moo
  • US-Mexico committee pushes for tax incentives

    Representatives of the US and Mexican film industries agreed to push for tax incentives to spur investment in local production at a meeting in Mexico City last week (September 20).The third annual meeting of the US-Mexico Bilateral Film Industry Committee aimed to press the importance of reactivating the local film industry and foreign production in Mexico to president-elect Vicente Fox's new government.The committee drafted a proposal which would "seek the reduction of obstacle
  • Wild Bunch picks up El Otro Barrio

    StudioCanal's classics division Wild Bunch has picked up worldwide rights excluding Spain to Salvador Garcia Ruiz's San Sebastian competition title El Otro Barrio.The film, which is Garcia Ruiz's second after Mensaka, stars Jorge Alcazar and Alex Casanovas and is produced by Tornasol Films. Spanish rights are held by Alta Films.The pick-up adds a further Hispanic touch to Wild Bunch's sales slate, which already includes Guillermo del Toro's The Devil's Backbone
  • Without A Trace

    Dir: Maria Novaro. 2000. Mexico-Spain. 125 mins.Prod cos: Tabasco, Altavista, Tornasol. Domestic dist: Altafilms. Int'l sales: Altavista (52) 5 55 20 45 04. Exec prods: Tita Lombardo, Mariela Besuievsky. Prod: Dulce Kuri. Co-prods: Francisco Gonzalez Compean, Gerardo Herrero. Scr: Novaro. DoP: Serguei Saldivar Tanaka. Prod des: Patrick Pasquier. Ed: Angel Hernandez Zoido. Main cast: Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Tiare Scanda, Jesus Ochoa, Martin Altomaro.There's a lot to like abo
  • Yeldham to head FilmFour's US office

    The UK's FilmFour has appointed Rebecca Yeldham - previously senior film programmer at the Sundance Film Festival - to head its start-up production office in Los Angeles. Yeldham will liaise with US companies including Warner Bros, which struck a co-production pact with the UK company earlier this year (ScreenDaily, May 9). She will also work in the independent sector, developing relations with emerging talent. The office opens in November.Yeldham also worked as creative
  • Zee Telefilms to offload stake in cable network

    Indian cable and satellite broadcaster Zee Telefilms plans to sell up to 20% of its fully-owned cable network, Siticable. According to chairman Subhash Chandra, the company has appointed investment bank AIA Capital to oversee the sale.The move will help finance Zee's ambitious expansion plans which include investing $1bn in building a hybrid fibre optic-coaxial cable network across India. The company also plans to build production studios and a string of multiplexes through sister comp
  • Zeffirelli, Paskaljevic head Cattleya slate

    Having set new box office records even before its official UK and US releases, its no surprise that Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone is making news in every territory as soon as it is released.In Germany, Potter has broken Men In Black's four year record of 1.95m admissions for an opening weekend by registering 2.5m tickets sold for the four days from November 22-25 and an average of over 2,000 admissions per print. Thanks to Potter, the weeke