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2 October 2007

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  • Abu Dhabi unveils competition line-up

    The inaugural Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) has unveiled the full line-up for its Competition programme. The festival takes place in Abu Dhabi
  • AFM to feature 106 industry world premieres

    Organisers at the upcoming 28th AFM in Santa Monica have announcedthat 522 features will screen at the event, among them 106 industryworld premieres and 364 market premieres.Industry world premieres include: Mad Money starring Katie Holmes,Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah, which Nu Image is selling; SmartPeople with Thomas Hayden Church, Sarah Jessica Parker and DennisQuaid, which is being handled by QED International; All God's Childre
  • Antalya Golden Orange film festival unveils line-up

    Turkey's 44th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival (October 19-28) has unveiled a strong 12-film competition line-up for national feature films. Four of these will be world premieres, including Handan Ipekci's Hidden Faces, Dersu Yavuz Altun's Murky Waters, Refugee by Reis Celik and Zeynep's Eight Days by Cemal San. Rounding out the competition are Adam And The Devil by Baris Pirhasan, Bliss by Abdullah Oguz, Semih Kaplanoglu's Egg,

    THAILANDThailand's Mono Film (which sold the remake rights for romantic drama Me ... Myself to Korea's K&Entertainment earlier this year) is showing the latest footage of Fighting Beat (Pahuyut) - a martial-arts drama set on Phi Phi Island and directed by Piti Jaturaphat - and Theeratorn Siriphunvaraporn's romantic comedy Gig Number 2.Silvia Wong
  • Athens gives Golden Athena for best film to Puenzo's XXY

    The Argentinian production XXY directed by Lucia Puenzo was named best film of the international competition at the 13th Athens International Film Festival (Opening Nights Conn-X) receiving the Golden Athena and a prize of $14,170(Euros 10,000) in cash handed out by the European Youth Jury formed by 11 young European cinephiles aged between 18-25. The jury also awarded best director to the Israeli director Eran Kolirin for The Band's Visit and best screenplay to the Mexican
  • Bac founder Labadie plans to legally contest ousting from company

    Bac Films has announced the departure of its founder and managing director, Jean Labadie. The board of holding company Bac Majestic, of which Bac Films is a 100% subsidiary, revoked Labadie's mandate on September 12 and also put an end to his employee contract as of September 24. Labadie, who founded Bac 21 years ago, told that he learned of the board's decision via BlackBerry whilst attending the Toronto Film Festival. Roch Lener, CEO of animation studio Millimage

    At 18-years-old, Baek Sung-hyun may be young, but he is committed. His performance as the neglected younger brother of an autistic runner in the 2005 hit Marathon had an authenticity that stood out. Baek is also experienced. 'When I was little, I lived next door to Lee Yi-jung [a TV actress and singer]. Her mother saw me singing and dancing as a kid and told my mother I had that certain something. 'So I got my first film role
  • Baker and Brolin sign up for Last Chance Harvey

    Kathy Baker and James Brolin have joined Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson on the cast of Overture Films' romance Last Chance Harvey, which is set to begin filming in and around London this week [Oct 1]. Eileen Atkins, Richard Schiff and newcomer Liane Balaban have also boarded the project about a struggling New York jingle writer and a lonely British bureaucrat whose paths cross in London. Overture is financing and will distribut
  • Bangkok World Film Festival to open with Blue Wolf

    The 5th World Film Festival of Bangkok (October 25 - November 4) will open with Japanese director Shinichiro Sawai's The Blue Wolf: To The Ends Of The Earth And Sea about legendary Mongolian warrior Genghis Khan. Shinji Aoyama's Sad Vacation, Semih Kaplanoglu's Egg, Royston Tan's 881, Nina Menkes' Phantom Love, Jiska Rickels' 4 Elements and Jellyfish by Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret are among 10 films in competition. The rest of the titles
  • Battle for Haditha

    Dir. Nick Broomfield . United Kingdom, 2007. 94 minsBattle for Haditha dramatises one of the most notorious atrocities of the Iraq War, the alleged massacre of 24 Iraqis by American marines in the city of Haditha on November 19, 2005 , for which five marines stand trial at Camp Pe
  • BBC Films restructures with new board working under Jane Tranter

    In London this morning, Jane Tranter, Controller BBC Fiction, spelled out her vision for a newly revamped BBC Films. 'The BBC's commitment to BBC Films is as absolute as it ever has been,' Tranter said.The major change is now that BBC Films will be managed by a new four-member BBC Films Board rather than by a single Head Of Films. [The previous head, David Thompson, previously announced his plans to depart.] The aim, Tranter said, was 'to avoid the domination of taste that can come from
  • BBC Films restructuring creates board including Langan and Wright

    As expected, the BBC has announced a restructuring of BBC Films. Jane Tranter, Controller BBC Fiction, has said that the film arm's day-to-day management and decision-making will be the responsibility of a new board, comprised of Christine Langan (comissioning editor, BBC Films), Jamie Laurenson (executive producer, BBC Films), Joe Oppenheimer (executive producer, BBC Films) and Jane Wright (commercial affairs and general manager, BBC Films). All four will executive produce feature films
  • Ben Ammar preparing bid for Italian distributor

    French-Tunisian financier Tarak Ben Ammar is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire a majority stake in Italian independent distributor Eagle Pictures.The Milan and Rome based company - operated by Ciro and Steffano Dammicco - is one of Italy's top five independent distributors and was responsible for the massive 2004 rollout of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, for which Italy as one of the top grossing territories.Currentl
  • Berlin Senate agrees to $85m of state guarantees to 2013

    With Berlin currently experiencing a boom in national and international production thanks to such films as the Speed Racer, Der Baader Meinhof Komplex, Valkyrie and The International shooting in town, the Berlin Senate has announced plans to make $85m (Euros 60m) available until 2013 for state-backed guarantees to boost region's attractiveness for film productions.Production companies including single-purpose companies with headquarters or operations in Berlin wo
  • Blanchett to receive top honour at Santa Barbara

    Cate Blanchett, expected to be a leading Oscar contender this seasonfor key roles in two upcoming prestige releases, will receive the 2008Santa Barbara International Film Festival's (SBIFF) highest honour,the Modern Master Award, on Jan 26 2008.Blanchett won the Coppa Volpi at Venice last month for her performanceas Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' ensemble biopic I'm Not There, and hasdrawn favourable reviews for her reprised role as the 16th cent
  • Blanchett to receive top honour at Santa Barbara

    Cate Blanchett, expected to be a leading Oscar contender this seasonfor key roles in two upcoming prestige releases, will receive the 2008Santa Barbara International Film Festival's (SBIFF) highest honour,the Modern Master Award, on Jan 26 2008.Blanchett won the Coppa Volpi at Venice last month for her performanceas Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' ensemble biopic I'm Not There, and hasdrawn favourable reviews for her reprised role as the 16th cent
  • Boorsma brothers' Milo wins Kodak NPP Development Prize in Utrecht

    The Kodak NPP Development Prize of 5,000 euros was presented on Saturday night to the project Milo written and to be directed by Berend and Roel Boorsma and produced by San Fu Maltha of Fu Works. The award was announced at a dinner to conclude the Netherlands Production Platform (NPP) which presented 22 projects in development, both Dutch scripts to the international film industry and viable non-Dutch projects to Dutch producers.Th
  • Box office: data - Shining example

    One of the world's largest-scale experiments has suggested strong audience demand for digitally restored archive material.The UK Summer of British Film season, organised by the UK Film Council and the BBC, showed classic films at 136 theatres signed up to the National Digital Cinema network. Audiences across the country were given the chance to see seven films released through Park Circus or Optimum Releasing: The Dam Busters, Goldfinger, Brief Encounter, Withna
  • Brazil names Hamburger's Year its Oscar submission

    Cao Hamburger's The Year My Parents Went on Vacation (O Ano Em Que Meus Pais Sairam De Ferias) is Brazil's entry for the foreign language film Oscar. The decision, announced today in Rio de Janeiro, came as a surprise since the controversial Elite Squad was considered the favorite for its dark portrait of Brazilian police force.But the panel of six filmm
  • Buddha, Jellyfish among competition titles at Tokyo Filmex

    Tokyo Filmex announced the full line-up for its 8th edition (November 17-25) at a press conference held today at Tokyo 's National Film Center. The opening film will be Cannes-produced short film omnibus To Each His Own Cinema. As previously announced, Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine will be the closing film. Lee will also serve as the head of the competition jury. Festival director Kanako Hayashi and programme director Shozo Ichiyama announced details of this year'
  • Cannes winner Jeon to star in low-budget Muttjin Haru

    Amid a flurry of offers after her Cannes Best Actress Award win for her performance in Secret Sunshine, top Korean actress Jeon Do-yeon has opted to star in Lee Yoon-ki's upcoming low-budget drama Muttjin Haru (which roughly translates to A Fine Day.) Lee has previously drawn attention at fests like Pusan, Berlin and Sundance for films like This Charming Girl and Ad Lib Night which focus on their female protagonists. Currently in pre-producti
  • Carice van Houten joins Body of Lies and Repossession Mambo

    Black Book star Carice van Houten has signed up for two new projects: Ridley Scott's Body of Lies and Repossession Mambo.In the Ridley Scott directed Body of Lies, the Dutch actress co-stars next to Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. Her production days are scheduled this week in Morocco. Right after finishin
  • Catherine Linstrum plans IVF script Perish

    Catherine Linstrum, who co-wrote Cristian Nemescu's Un Certain Regard winner California Dreamin', is now working on a new script entitled Perish with her artist husband David-John Newman. Linstrum, based in South Wales, has financial backing from the Film Agency For Wales. Perish is about a young couple who lose their four-year-old son and then find out their fertility clinic has cleared the conception of his unborn twin sister.Linstrum previous
  • Chasin' Jason

    ANALYSIS: INTERNATIONAL BOX-OFFICE WEEKEND SEPTEMBER 21-23(Last3-dayweek)Film (origin)gross $ScrsCume $Terr1(1)The Bourne Ultimatum (US)$14,159,7173,902$145,587,801492(New)Res
  • China - A new dawn

    The Sun Also Rises, the third film by Chinese maverick director Jiang Wen, adopts an entirely different narrative and visual style to his previous films, the semi-autobiographical In The Heat Of The Sun and satirical drama Devils On The Doorstep.Gone is the stark realism of those films, replaced by a dreamy, impressionistic style. "As I grow older and my understanding of film changes, the style naturally changes. No film-maker wants to repeat himself," says Jiang,
  • Chuck And Larry make it to top of international box office

    Universal/UPI's comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry ruled the roost overseas at the weekend courtesy of an estimated $9.3m haul from 2,512 venues in 38 territories. The comedy climbed to $38m following a weekend session that was punctuated by seven number one debuts in Germany, Mexico, Austria, Sweden, Estonia, Panama and Malaysia. The film launched in Germany on $3.1m from 490 sites, and took $1.2m from 300 in Mexico, as
  • Cinemavault picks up Blue Blood for AFM

    Los Angeles-based Cinemavault Releasing International has picked up three films in the run-up to AFM including the noir thriller Blue Blood (formerly If I Didn't Care). Benjamin Cummings and Orson Cummings wrote the screenplay to the film, which premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival and is currently on release in the US through Artistic License Films.
  • Cinetic strikes Canadian distribution pact with Maximum Films

    Robert Lantos' fledgling Toronto-based sales and distribution company Maximum Films has struck a three-year deal with New York's Cinetic Media to release Cinetic films in CanadaThe agreement further boosts the prestige factor associated with Maximum's pipeline following recent deals with Fortissimo Films, Magnolia Pictures, and IFC.It also realises Cinetic's stated aim of strengthening the position of its film-makers by monetising Canadian distribution rights, which ar
  • CJ, China Film to co-produce Cheung's Tangka

    Leading Korean investor/distributor CJ Entertainment has announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China 's largest film company, China Film Group, to co-produce Tibet-set drama Tangka. The film will be directed by Jacob Cheung who most recently directed pan-Asian co-production A Battle Of Wits , starring Andy Lau. The script is being written by Liu Hong, who wrote Assembly, the opening film at this year's Pusan International Film
  • Conch Awards honour best in UK sound

    The UK Screen Association'sConch Awardsannounced its winners at The Mayfair Hotel in London. SelectedConch 2007 winners:Best Music Production - sponsored by Ascent MediaCasino Royale - Air StudiosUnsung Hero Award - sponsored by MedialeaseGerry Teague - previously Chief Engineer at De Lane Le
  • ContentFilm does a run with skiing documentary Steep

    ContentFilm International has taken on international rights (excluding North America) for Steep. Mark Obenhaus directed the documentary about big mountain skiing, and it was filmed in locations including Alaska, Wyoming, Canada, France and Iceland.The featured skiiers include Ingrid Backstrom, Chris Davenport, Doug Coombs, Shane McConkey, Andrew McLean, Seth Morrison, Eric Pehota, Glen Plake, Anselme Baud and Stefano deBenedetti. Sony Pictures Classics has North
  • ContentFilm takes on thriller Balibo with LaPaglia

    ContentFilm International has taken on world rights (outside Australia and New Zealand) to Robert Connolly's thriller Balibo starring Anthony LaPaglia. The film is based on the true events of the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975. LaPaglia plays Australian TV journalist Roger East, who runs a local news agency but tries to find five missing Australian journalists. Connolly co-wrote the script with David Williamson. The project is set to shoot in early 200
  • Control and Band's Visit among EFA discovery nominees

    Four films have been nominated for the European Discovery award at the forthcoming European Film Awards. They are: Eran Kolirin's The Band's Visit from Israel, Anton Corbijn's Control from the UK, Jan Bonny's Counterparts (Gegenuber) from Germany and Ozer Kiziltan's Takva (A Man's Fear Of God) from Turkey/Germany. A total of 63 first feature films were submitted and the nominating committee was comprised of FIPRESCI members Jacob Neiiendam, Ma
  • Co-production PRO & Star Summit Asia

    The Asian Film Market is striving to be a full-service market and already encompasses the contents market, projects market PPP and locations and production services convention Bifcom.Last year, the market also launched talent showcase Star Summit Asia, which aims to stimulate co-productions by showcasing Asian talent, and this year is launching a second projects and financing market, Co-production PRO.An extension of the Producers' Workshop held last year, the initiative aims to
  • Cotillard to receive Palm Springs breakthrough award

    Marion Cotillard will receive the 19th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival's (PSIFF) Breakthrough Performance Award for her performance in La Vie En Rose. Cotillard, the first honoree to be unveiled for the 2008 festival, will be invited to collect her trophy at the Awards Gala on Jan 5 2008 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Festival chairman Earl Greenburg said Cotillard's performance as Edith Piaf was 'sure to
  • Czechs crown Menzel's King Of England for Oscar

    The Czech Film and Television Academy has selected Jiri Menzel's I Served The King Of England as the Czech submission for the foreign-language film category at the Academy Awards. The Czech academy also considered Jan Sverak's Empties and Alice Nellis' Little Girl Blue. Since its premiere, I Served The King Of England has seen more than 800,000 admissions at home. In the first half of 2007, the film earned roughly $4m at local box offices, just short of
  • Danish smash Olsen Gang to get CGI treatment in new feature

    Denmark's Olsen Gang (Olsenbanden) - the most successful franchise in the country's film history - will be resuscitated in a new CGI feature. Danish major Nordisk Film, which produced the 14 original Olsen Gang films between 1968-1981 and in 1998, has received development support from the Danish Film Institute for a new feature to roll with Danish animation studio, A Film. 'There is still a lot of interest in the Olsen Gang,' explained CEO Jan Lehmann of Nordisk Film Dist
  • Editorial - The shock of the new

    It's tempting to see digital cinema as a manana technology - perpetually on the horizon but never getting any nearer. The effect is magnified if you count out your life in d-cinema conferences, which have often made a virtue of heated arguments about bafflingly esoteric points. As Arts Alliance Media CEO Howard Kiedaisch puts it: 'If you go to more than two digital cinema conferences a year, you need to get a hobby.'Nonetheless Screen International's annual conference on the sub
  • Encarnacion

    Dir: Anahi Berneri. Argentina 2007. 96 mins.A subtle character study of a once-famous TV actress who is past her sell-by date, Encarnacion confirms Anahi Berneri as one of the most promising of Argentina 's new wave of directors, after her well-received AIDS-themed debut A Year Without Love (2005). Though the film struggles to fill out its feature-length running time (it would have been perfect at around 70 minutes), Enca
  • Eros signs Kajol, Devgan for 3D animated feature

    Eros International has signed up leading Indian actress Kajol and her husband Ajay Devgan for a 3D animated feature, Toonpur Ka Super Hero. To be directed by commercials filmmaker Kireet Khurana, the film will combine live-action and 3D animation in a story about a hero who accidentally lands in a world of cartoons and is transformed into a real-life hero. The film is Eros' second production with the husband-and-wife team after You, Me And Hum, which was directed by
  • Eros signs up Kajol and Devgan for 3-D animation

    Eros International, India's leading media and entertainment company, has signed up leading Indian actress Kajol and her husband Ajay Devgan for a 3-D animation film. The project, Toonpur Ka Super Hero, will be Eros' second production with the husband-wife team after You, Me and Hum (directed by Devgan). Devgan's business manager turned producer, Kumar Mangat's Big Screen Entertainment, credited with Omkara and the forthcoming No Smoking, co-produ
  • Fat Boy outruns new releases to lead fourth week at UK box office

    British comedy Run, Fat Boy, Run dominated the UK box office for the fourth weekend in a row, keeping a firm hold of the number one slot with a $2.01m (£988,788) take from 398 sites.The film, released by Entertainment Film Distributors, is one of four films that refused to budge from the top slots this weekend. The Simon Pegg and Thandie Newton starrer fell by just 18% over the three-day period and has amassed $15.9m to date.Universal Pictures International's (UPI) Aton
  • FFC greenlights four including Mao's Last Dancer

    Australia 's Film Finance Corporation (FFC) has given the greenlight to four high-profile feature films, including Mao's Last Dancer to be directed by Bruce Beresford, and granted provisional approval to four more. In a move that sees Australian filmmakers looking beyond their shores for stories, four of the films are set at least in part in China, East Timor, Mexico City and the US. Producer Jane Scott and Oscar-nominated writer Jan Sardi - the team behind Shine - w
  • Films from 19 countries nominated for Asia Pacific awards

    Lebanon's Caramel , South Korea's Secret Sunshine, Turkey's Takva: A Man's Fear Of God and Iran's Night Bus are the most nominated films competing for the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Each of the four films have been nominated three times, including for the best feature category, it was announced in Singapore tonight. The only other film that has a chance of winning the biggest prize of the November 13 presentation, to be held on Australia's Gold Coas
  • Flash Point (Aka City With No Mercy)

    Dir. Wilson Yip. Hong Kong/China. 2007. 87 mins.Wilson Yip's new martial arts extravaganza is action-packed and honed along well-tested genre formulas, with an adrenalin-pumping soundtrack and a story that moves ahead with the speed and ruthlessness of a runaway train. It will leave its audience breathless after seeing so much punishment absorbed with such unflinching stoicism by people who evidently deserve the treatment they get, even if they are heroes.
  • Flawless

    Dir: Michael Radford. UK/Luxembourg 2007. 105 mins.A diamond heist thriller set in pre-swinging London circa 1960, Flawless is polished but hollow. It's not just the setting that is retro: the story itself feels a little old-fashioned, like The Day they Robbed the Bank of England or Rififi with fewer accomplices and a large dose of political correctness in the denouement. For a heist movie, Flawless takes itsel
  • Forbidden Kingdom moves to South Korea for effects work

    Relativity Media's kung-fu action adventure The Forbidden Kingdom, starring Jet Li and Jackie Chan, has wrapped in China and will now move to South Korea for visual effects work. A consortium of three South Korean effects houses - Macrograph Inc, Digital Tetra Inc (DTI) and Footage - has been assembled specifically to work on the big-budget action epic. It marks the first time that a non-Korean film of this scale, with complex special effects requirements, will undergo post-produc
  • Fox Latin America takes on Gabriel Garcia Marquez adaptation

    Fox Latin America has acquired all Latin American rights to Stone Village Pictures' Gabriel Garcia Marquez adaptation Love In The Time Of Cholera, which will receive its world premiere at the closing night of the Rio Film Festival on Oct 4. Fox plans a December holiday release in Central and South American territories following the Nov 16 US release through New Line.Twentieth Century Fox director of acquisitions Ray Strache brought
  • Fry, Brand, Fisher and Lily Allen to star in Austen spoof

    UK-based Sprout Productions is in pre-production on period comedy Jane Austen Handheld with director Tristram Shapeero, who makes his feature film debut after working on TV's Green Wing, Peep Show and Brass Eye. Carrie Fisher, Stephen Fry, Russell Brand and Lily Allen will star in the comedy spoof of Pride & Prejudice. Ceci Dempsey's Scarlet Pictures is also producing and HanWay Films is on board for international sales. The $5m (£2.5m) project w
  • Fujimura's Filosophia forms partnership with Petzel's Fierce

    Christopher Petzel's Fierce Entertainment, which represents international distributors and financiers in Los Angeles among other things, has signed a new partnership with Japan's Filosophia Entertainment Alliance whereby Fierce will represent Filosophia in tracking Japanese rights of projects around the world and Filosophia will represent Fierce in Japan.Fierce also represents VCL Film + Medien in Germany, Indies Entertainment in Benelux, Front Row and KNCC in the Middle East and Ria
  • Future shorts launches television service.

    Short film label Future Shorts is to launch a television service through online platform Joost.The service starts this week showing shorts and music videos as well as interviews and coverage of films events.Future Shorts was founded in 2003 and offers a platform for film-makers in 25 countries.
  • Future Shorts relaunches UK festival in London tonight

    After a summer break, the Future Shorts festival is relaunching tonight.The London festival kicks off tonight at the Greenwich Picturehouse, before screeing at other London locations through Oct 30. Regional screenings will be held in Glasgow, Bristol, Cardiff, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Bournemouth, Manchester, Norwich and Exeter. The festival's selections include Nash Edgerton's Spider, Dougal Wilson's video for Jarvis Cocker's Don't Let Him W
  • Game Plan beats The Kingdom to take US domestic crown

    Disney's family sports comedy The Game Plan beat out Universal's new terrorism drama The Kingdom to open at the top of the charts on an estimated $22.7m at the weekend. The Game Plan stars The Rock as a quarterback who discovers he has a seven-year-old daughter. Kyra Sedgwick and Morris Chesnut also star and Adam Fickman directed. The Kingdom had to
  • Glory To The Filmmaker (Kantoku Banzai)

    Dir. Takeshi Kitano. Japan. 2007.Takeshi Kitano's last couple of films confirm that Japan 's maverick filmmaker is having a hard time deciding which way to go next and feels the urgent need to share it with his audience. After the jaundiced look at the film industry in general, and his own past record in particular, in his previous effort, Takeshis, he returns here to gaze with equal mistrust at the future.
  • Grumbar promoted to distribution president at Icon

    Hugo Grumbar has been promoted to president of distribution for Icon Film Distribution. He had been head of group marketing. In the new position, he will oversee all marketing, publicity and distribution operations; he reports to chief executive Martin Bigham. Also at Icon, Mark Fisher has been named Group Financial Manager, handling Icon Film Distribution, Icon Entertainment International and Icon Home Entertainment. Phil Rymer has been promoted to director of legal & business
  • HarperCollins strikes alliance with New York producer Sharp

    HarperCollins Publishers has truck a strategic alliance with New York-based producers Sharp Independent to collaborate on the adaptation of HarperCollins titles.The alliance is another example of film companies allying themselves with publishing houses to access and exploit material. In 2005, Focus Features partnered up with Random House to create Random House Films, whose inaugural film, Terry George's Reservation Road, premiered r
  • HBO expands international sales team and promotes Bowen

    HBO has expanded its international sales team, appointing four new vice presidents of international distribution. They are Carol Eymery, Roes Marie Vega, Roberta Ibb-Hartog and Dan Selig. Also, Jennifer Bowen has been promoted to senior vice president of international distribution. She has been with HBO since 1995. Eymery, Vega, Ibba-Hartog and Selig will report to Bowen. Eymery comes from Fremantlemedia, Vega from Alliance Atlanti
  • Heavy Metal in Baghdad

    Dir. Eddy Moretti, Suroosh Alvi. Canada/US. 2007. 84 min.Its title promises little but this big-hearted documentary delivers much. Beginning as a misguided if not utterly foolhardy travelogue - risking one's life in the world's most dangerous city to track down an amateur music group - it segues into a potent exploration of the meaning and fragility of intellectual freedom and the value of music as a safety valve for youthful rebellion. The anti-fan of metal music
  • Ian Foster takes MD job for Universal UK home entertainment

    Ian Foster has been named managing director, Universal Pictures UK, a division of home entertainment company Universal Pictures International Entertainment. Foster had been commercial director at Entertainment UK Ltd and previously served as managing director of Demon Music Group. He is based in London and reports to UPIE president Eddie Cunningham. Foster takes the post as Johnny Fewings, who had been interim UK managing director for the past nine months, is appointed to
  • Iceland adds Jar City to foreign-language Oscar race

    Baltasar Kormakur's Jar City will represent Iceland in the race for the foreign-language Oscar.The thriller won the Crystal Globe in Karlovy Vary and it is a nominee for the Nordic Film Prize. Jar City was well received in Telluride and Toronto; IFC Films has nabbed North American rights from Trust Film Sales.Jar City has been a local box-office hit a
  • In focus - The call of the wild

    When French sales, distribution and finance outfit Wild Bunch signed a deal with US investment group Continental Entertainment Capital (CEC) in early September, it marked yet another step in the company's bid to bolster a planned European distribution network.The deal is a rarity. With all the international banking and US private equity money pouring into Hollywood in the past year, little of it has found its way to Europe. Some say that is because the European cinematic landscape is h
  • International - The Russians are coming

    Russian films made their mark this weekend as three titles from the territory collectively accounted for 4.7% of the international revenue from the top 40 films over the three-day period. Two new entries - Mongol and 12 - both made the top 30 this weekend while Day Watch, the follow-up to 2004's international vampire hit Night Watch, jumped back into the chart after 90 weeks on release.Beta Cinema's Mongol, about Genghis Khan's early life, was the highest ne
  • Intimate Enemies (L'ennemi intime)

    Dir: Florent Siri. France . 2007. 108 min.A gritty and realistic depiction of a French platoon during the final stages of Algeria 's war of independence, Intimate Enemies is an assured and well-crafted drama that is sure to cause a stir in its native France . Featuring strong lead performances from the handsome Benoit Magimel and the rugged Albert Dupontel, it pulls no punches in its
  • Irish Arts Minister boosts production fund by $2.8m

    In his first major announcement since he took on responsibility for film in June, Irish Minister for Arts, Sport & Tourism, Seamus Brennan, has confirmed additional funding of $2.8m(Euros 2m) for the Irish Film Board (IFB), to encourage international film and television projects to shoot in Ireland. The extra money is for the IFB International Production Fund which has been responsible for attracting more than $85m (Euros 60m) worth of incoming production to Ireland over the past two y
  • Italy backs Tornatore's Unknownin tough Oscar competition

    Oscar winning director Giuseppe Tornatore's The Unknown (La Sconosciuta) will be the Italian candidate to the Oscars, in a reportedly tight race which gave eight votes to Tornatore's Northern Italian set noir, and seven to Daniele Luchetti's Certain Regard entry My Brother Isan Only Child (Mio fratello e' figlio unico).The votes were cast seven times by 15 members of a selection committee from ANICA, Italy's motion pictures organisation in collaboration with API, the
  • Jim Orr promoted at MGM domestic theatrical distribution

    Jim Orr has been promoted to executive vice president, general sales manager, domestic theatrical distribution, at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM).Orr joined MGM in Feb 2006 as senior vice president, head of domestic theatrical distribution operations.In his new position, Orr takes on responsibility for supervising distribution of all MGM's theatrical films in North America, including the studio's domestic sales planning and execution. He continues to be based at the st
  • Joy Division to open Sheffield Doc/Fest

    The 2007 Sheffield Doc/Fest (Nov 7 - 11) is to open with the European premiere of Grant Gee's Joy Division, a documentary about the legendary British post-punk group. The film made its world premiere at Toronto earler this month. Other titles at the event include A Very British Gangster, To The Limit and the international premiere of Porn Star!.For the first time the festival has introduced themed film strands for the five days, with documenta
  • Jun returns to Korean film with Chung's Superman

    Pan-Asian Korean star Gianna Jun (My Sassy Girl), formerly known as Jun Ji-hyun, is making her local comeback in the upcoming film from Chung Yoon-chul, director of the hit Marathon. The actress/model just finished shooting Edko Films/Pathe France's Blood: The Last Vampire with director Chris Nahon this August. Her last two films - Windstruck (2004), from My Sassy Girl director Kwak Jae-yong, and Daisy (2006) directed by Hong Kong's Andrew
  • Kevin Sullivan moves to First Look in marketing post

    Former Blockbuster Online director of product Kevin Sullivan has been appointed First Look Studios' vice president of home entertainment marketing. Sullivan will report directly to First Look's executive vice president worldwide marketing Brooke Ford and is expected to start work on the first quarter 2008 releases of King Of California starring Michael Douglas and The Amateurs with Jeff Bridges and Tim Blake Nelson. The appointee is currently based in Dallas an
  • La Maison

    Dir: Manuel Poirier. France 2007. 96 mins.French director Manuel Poirier delivers his most convincing feature since the bittersweet 1997 road-movie Western with La Maison, an emotionally delicate romantic comedy that once again features Poirier regular Sergi Lopez in the lead role. A rural house that's up for sale becomes a go-between in a romantic tryst, but also turns into a metaphor for the way the past can act as a ball and chain. It's not a particularly
  • Latin American experts discuss piracy troubles in Rio

    Piracy is of the major concerns being discussed during RioMarket (Sept 21-Oct 3), the largest gathering of the audiovisual industry in Latin America.'The industry lost an estimated $6.1bn last year, with Latin America representing 16,7% of that,'' said Steve Solot, senior vice president for Latin America operations of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), which represents major Hollywood studios. Mexico has the highest piracy rate,at $483m, followed by Brazil, with a loss o
  • LFF plans industry talks including one-day digital seminar

    The London Film Festival is planning several special industry seminars for this year's festival. The Ateliers du Cinema Europeen (ACE) and the French Institute, with support from Skillset, the UK Film Council and the MEDIA Plus Programme will work with the LFF to host the seminar Creative Producer - A Contradiction In Terms' on Oct 24. Moonstone Labs' Jean-Luc Ormieres will moderate the panel. The one-day seminar Power To The Pixel, about how the digital revolution can change fi
  • Lust, Caution has strong opening in HK, Taiwan

    Ang Lee's Lust, Caution had a record-breaking opening in Hong Kong and Taiwan on September 25, which was also the date of this year's mid-autumn festival public holiday. In Taiwan, the Venice Golden Lion winner grossed $1.07m (NT35m) in two days. It claimed the biggest mid-autumn holiday single day record, and also the biggest September Tuesday record. Buena Vista International handled the Taiwan release. In Hong Kong, where Edko Films handled distribution, the film has gro
  • Mainland China still undecided on Oscar entry

    Two days before the entry deadline, China's Film Bureau, under the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), says it still hasn't decided on which film it will submit to the best foreign-language film category of the Academy Awards. However, it looks likely that The Knot, a love story with propaganda elements produced by state-owned China Film Group Corporation, is likely to represent the country. Traditionally the Film Bureau sets up a selection committee
  • Mataharis

    Dir: Icair Bollain. Spain 2007. 94 mins.A bittersweet tale of frustrated lives and loves centring on three female private investigators, Mataharis is a decently plotted but decidedly tame follow-up to Icair Bollain's previous film, the convincing 2003 wife-abuse drama Take My Eyes. A leading Spanish actress, Bollain was inspired to step behind the camera after being directed by Ken Loach in Land and Freedom; but while Mataharis shows once again
  • MD departs troubled German media fund

    Beleaguered German private media fund VIP Medienfonds has been dealt another blow with the sudden departure of managing director Dirk Specht from the company. Specht had been brought to VIP in March 2006 to take over responsibility for the finances and controlling of the VIP funds and he was the sole manager of VIP's operations from June last year after Andreas Grosch was forced to step down. Specht's contract with VIP was terminated on Tuesday 'with immediate effect' and
  • Mexico submits Reygadas' Silent Light as Oscar entry

    The Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences has selected Carlos Reygadas' Silent Light (Stellet Licht) as the Mexican entry for foreign-language Oscar consideration. The film, which Reygadas also wrote and produced, is a Mennonite love story with dialogue in an unusual old German dialect. Johan, a married man, transgresses the teachings of his religion by falling in love with another woman. The film won the jury prize of the Cannes Film Festival this yea
  • Mongol and 12 drive Russian boom at international box office

    Russian films made their mark this weekend as three films from the territory collectively accounted for 4.7% of the international revenue from the top 40 films over the three-day period. (See Screen International's full International Box-Office Chart, compiled by Len Klady, here.)Two new entries - Mongol and 12 - both made the top 30 this weekend while Day Wat
  • Morelia Film Festival to open with The Orphanage

    The 5th edition of the Morelia Film Festival opens onOctober 5 with The Orphanage (El Orfanato), directed by Spanish Juan Antonio Bayona and produced by Guillermo del Toro. The festivalthis year includesa new competition for first or second-time Mexican film-makers.The selection is: La Zona, by Rodrigo Pla, which won the Fipresci critics' prize in Toronto Cochochi, by Israel Cardenas and Laura Amelia Guzman, who also won the Discovery
  • Mullaly, Griesbach promoted in publicity at SPHE

    Claire Mullaly has been promoted to executive director, worldwide publicity, for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE), and Staci Griesbach has been promoted to director, worldwide publicity. Both are based in Sony's Culver City headquarters and will report to Fritz Friedman, senior vice president of worldwide publicity.Mullaly will manage strategic public relations activities for SPHE DVD releases worldwide, with a focus on SPHE's Blu-ray Disc initiatives and corporate communicati
  • NonStop acquires It's A Free World and La Zona

    Stockholm-based distributor NonStop Entertainment has acquired Scandinavia and Iceland rights for Ken Loach's It's A Free World and Scandinavia and Baltics rights for Rodrigo Pla's La Zona. Loach's It's A Free World, about a British woman who tries to make money from illegal immigrants working in the UK, won the script prize in Venice for Paul Laverty.La Zona is about three poor guys who try to break into a wealthy gated community in Mexico Ci
  • Nordic films triumph at Copenhagen

    More than half of the 11 features in competition at this years Copenhagen International Film Festival went home with an award. The main winners were Nordic films. Ake Sandgrens To Love Someone was the only film to win two awards taking home the script prize to Kim Fupz Aakesson and the Best Actress award for Sofia Ledarp. Danish scriptwriter Fupz Aakesson was given the Honorary Award of the festival due to his many scripts for directors a s diverse as Susanne Bier (The
  • Norwegian Film Institute appoints new head

    Managing director Nina Refseth of Norwegian publishing house Stiftinga Det Norske Samlaget was today appointed head of the new Norwegian Film Institute, so far named the 'new enterprise.'Refseth, who according to the institute's interim board has a substantial management experience from Norwegian culture life, most recently with three years in her current high-profile job, will start on Jan 1. She will be introduced to current employees on Oct 9.Fully-established as of Ap
  • Orange to sponsor BAFTAs for two more years in 2008-2009

    The British Academy of Film and Television Arts says that phone company Orange has extended its sponsorship of the film awards for two more years in 2008 and 2009. Orange has already sponsored the BAFTAs for 10 years. Hattie Magee, head of partnerships for Orange UK, said: 'We are delighted to have extended our sponsorship with BAFTA. We are now more involved with the Film Awards than ever with initiatives such as the Orange Rising Star Award and the 60 Seconds of Fame short fil
  • Overture takes on Springer and Monroe

    Rob Springer has joined Overture Films as senior vice president of sales operations and Kevin Monroe has come aboard as vice president of business and legal affairs. Springer assumes responsibility for the operational aspect of the studio's distribution unit, which includes box office research, reporting and analysis, as well as control over the implementation and operations of the Theatrical Distribution System. He will report to Overture's executive vice president of d
  • Park Entertainment takes on sales for Cheung's Bodyguard

    Park Entertainment is handling world sales for Bodyguard - A New Beginning. UK-based director Chee Keung Cheung has finished principal photography on the action movie, which shot in Hong Kong and northwest England. The cast features Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa, Richard Ng, Vincent Sze, Mark Strange and Nathan Lewis. Park Entertainment also handles sells for Cheung's first feature Underground, which has sold to North America (City Lights), Japan (New Select), Benelux (FEG)
  • Poland chooses Andrzej Wajda's Katyn as Oscar contender

    A Culture Ministry selection committee featuring Polish filmmakers Janusz Majewski, Jan Kaczmarek and Slavomir Fabicki made a unanimous decision in selecting Andrzej Wajda's film Katyn from among 16 contenders for consideration for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Katyn explores the events leading up to the Katyn massacre of Polish POWs during World War II and its aftermath. Polish Film Institue director Agnieszka Odorowicz said the film 'tells us not
  • Prolific NYC-based Plum sets up fourth picture this year

    New York-based Plum Pictures has lined up its fourth production this year, the comedy Bart Got A Room with William H Macy and Cheryl Hines.Alia Shawkat and Steven Kaplan also star in the coming-of-age story about a nerdy high school student who tries to find a prom date while his parents' marriage falls apart.Production is set to begin in Florida in October. Plum is producing with Hart-Lunsford Pictures, Shrink Media, Basra Enterta
  • Promising D-cinema still short of European breakthrough

    Despite growing evidence that digital cinema can offer greater choice that the public wants, rollout in Europe in particular remains mired in an impasse over payment and business models.That was the message of this year's Screen International annual digital cinema conference in London.In his keynote speech, Bud Mayo, CEO of d-cinema pioneer Access IT, spelled out what he believes is the irrefutable argument for new technology - that it will boost off-peak admissi
  • Purefoy to star in Solomon Kane

    James Purefoy has been cast in the lead on Samuel Hadida's upcoming comic book adaptation Solomon Kane. Following what the producers called 'an exhaustive search', they have finally found the man to play the eponymous 16th century soldier and Puritan.Kane is a damned soul following a life of cruelty and brutality, and must redeem himself by battling the forces of darkness.Paris-based Davis Films is planning three episod

    CONTENTS - click to see moreIntroduction to PIFFIntroduction to Asian Film MarketStar Summit AsiaAFM market buzzPusan programmers pick out favourites

    The Pusan International Film Festival (Piff), Asia's most dynamic cinema showcase, is growing up fast. Celebrating its 12th edition this year, it is expanding broadly with new events and initiatives, while also increasing the premieres in its main sections. A record 92 films (out of 275 films from 64 countries) in this year's line-up are world or international premieres.'A hundred and ninety three films in our selection are world, international or Asian premieres,' says festival head K

    LEE SANG-YONG, KOREAN CINEMA PROGRAMMERWho's That Knocking At My Door' Dir: Yang Hea-hoonFeature debut from the director of Cannes shorts competitor My Dear Rosetta, this film is 'a gem' that deals with violence and growing pains.Hello, Stranger (world premiere) Dir: Kim Dong-hyunA glimpse behind the veil of South Korean society, seen through the stories of escapees from North Korea.Writ

    Now in its second year as a fully fledged market, Pusan's Asian Film Market (October 8-11) is still relatively small and takes place at one of the busiest times of the year - but is already considered a key event by many international buyers and sellers.In its first edition last year, the market drew 3,500 participants and proved itself useful as the first opportunity for the pan-Asian film industry to meet and do business since Cannes. Like Hong Kong's Filmart, which takes place at th

    JEAN NOH, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL: You are one of PIFF's founding members. How did it all start'It all started in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when I was a professor at Kyung-sung University in Busan. I used to get together on the beaches of Gwang-an-li after classes with a group that included Jay Jeon, Kim Ji-seok, Lee Choong-Jik (who was later chairman of the Korean Film Council and is a film professor a
  • Raeburn ready to shoot adaptation of Afrikaans bestseller

    Michael Raeburn is to direct an adaptation of Marlene van Niekerk's Afrikaans tragicomic novel Triomf.Raeburn and Malcolm Kohl have collaborated on the screenplay set during the 1994 first post-apartheid general election in South Africa and focusing on a family from the white underclass.The film stars Lionel Newton, Obed Baloyi, Vanessa Cooke, Eduan van Jarsveld, Paul Luckoff and Pam Andrews.
  • Reykjavik opens with world premiere of Sigur Ros - Heima

    The fourth Reykjavik International Film Festival will open tonight with the world premiere of Denni Karlsson's Sigur Ros - Heima, a film about the internationally successful Icelandic music group Sigur Ros. Guests of the festival will include Peter Greenaway, who will receive the festival's honorary award for film directing; Finnish legend Aki Kaurismaki, who gets the Creative Excellency Award and will have an audience discussion Fourteen Icelandic films will premiere in Re
  • Rome Film Fest unveils full line-up include Ruiz world premiere

    The second Rome Film Fest, which runs Oct 18-27, has announced its full programme.World premieres in the Cinema 2007 programme include:La Recta Provincia (Raul Ruiz)Youth Without Youth (Francis Ford Coppola) August Rush (Kirsten Sheridan)Hafez (Abolfazl Jalili)L'Abbuffata (Mimmo Calopresti)And The Spring Comes (Chang Wei Gu)The Three Robbers (Hayo Freitag)
  • Rome's second run offers 19 world premieres and star power

    Rome Film Fest (Oct 18-27) has announced the line up for its second edition (full list here), reinforcing its mission to be a people's 'festa' (the Italian word for party) while showing increased capability to attract top talent in a line up that focuses on European premieres as it capitalises on current hot topics from politics to globalisation to environmental issues. The term 'Festa' underlines Rome's five artistic direc
  • Salmenpera honoured at Finnish director of year

    Finland 's Love & Anarchy (the Helsinki International Film Festival) will host the annual awards from the local directors and producers associations.Aleksi Salmenpera, director of Finnish Oscar entry A Man's Job, will be honoured as director of the year. Producer of the year will be shared by Petri Jokiranta and Tero Kaukomaa, producers of both A Man's Job and Jade Warrior. The festival's Finnish Film Gala will be Black Ice by Petri Kot
  • San Sebastian sales heat up as FiGa takes US rights to Eyes

    Los Angeles-based distributor FiGa Films has bought US and Canadian rights to the Argentinian prison drama Through Her Own Eyes (Por Sus Propios Ojos), a world premiere in the Horizontes Latinos section of the San Sebastian film festival, according to the film's producer Paula Grandio. Produced by Mandragora Producciones, director Liliana Paolinelli's drama tells the story of a film student writing a thesis on prisoners' wives whose world collides with one inmate.Bavari
  • San Sebastian's Films In Progress champions Gasolina

    In San Sebastian 's Films In Progress section, Guatemalan youth drama Gasolina by Julio Hernandez Cordon has won three of the five awards, including the top industry prize. Films in Progress provides completion funding for projects from rising Latin American talents hoping to make a name for themselves on the international circuit. A Melindrosa Films and Buena Onda Films production, Gasolina tells the story of three young guys who travel on a journey without cour
  • Scorsese signs on for George Harrison documentary

    Martin Scorsese is set to direct a documentary feature film about the life and work of late musician George Harrison. Scorsese will also produce through Sikelia Productions with Olivia Harrison through Grove Street Productions and Nigel Sinclair through Spitfire Pictures. Olivia Harrison, the widow of the ex-Beatle, said that work had already begun on the project. The family will make its extensive archive available to Scorsese. Interviews and early production of the film
  • Screenwriters selected for second French Autumn Stories season

    The second edition of Autumn Stories is set to kick off October 1 at the Abbaye de Royaumont, north of Paris. The scheme, created by the Franco-American Cultural Funds and the Ile de France Film Commission, invites four American screenwriters to finalise their feature projects over a six-week period. From October 1 to November 12, the four WGA members meet with industry professionals and visit local sites which may be directly related to the scripts they are developing (the Louvr
  • Screwvala re-elected as Producers' Guild president

    UTV Motion Pictures CEO Ronnie Screwvala has been re-elected as president of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India. Screwvala, founder CEO of the UTV Group, has led the company to become a global integrated media company. The other office bearers to be re-elected are Adlabs' Manmohan Shetty and filmmaker Ravi Chopra as vice presidents and Manish Goswami and Sushilkumar Agrawal as honorary treasurers. Producers Bobby Bedi and Raj Tilak were elected as vice preside
  • Seachd producer withdraws from BAFTA over Oscar snub

    Award-winning Scottish producer Chris Young has resigned from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in protest at the academy's refusal to submit any British film in the foreign language category. Young's Gaelic-language feature Seachd-The Inaccessible Pinnacle was thought to be a front runner for the British submission. BAFTA confirmed to Screen last week that it would not be submitting any film for foreign-language Oscar consideration. 'I just find
  • Shadows in the Palace (Goong Nyeo)

    Dir: Kim Mi-jung. South Korea 2007. 111 mins.To get a handle on Kim Mi-jung's impressive debut, imagine The Name of the Rose set it in a Korean royal court of the Joseon dynasty. The big difference, apart from the cultural transposition, is that this historical murder mystery takes place in a closed, secretive, hierachical society of women, rather than men: fitting for one of the first Korean films to boast a female director, producer, and executive producer. There
  • Showbox, CM Entertainment team for Blueberry Nights

    Major Korean distributor Showbox Mediaplex has acquired Wong Kar-wai's My Blueberry Nights for South Korea, in tandem with CM Entertainment, formerly known as Inmoa Entertainment. Saya Huddlestone, international sales director at StudioCanal, struck the deal with Chris H. Lee, vice president of acquisitions at Showbox, and Thomas Kim, president of CM Entertainment. The Norah Jones and Jude Law starrer, which opened Cannes earlier this year, will hit theatres in Korea this w

    CURTAIN CALLStar Summit Asia's Curtain Call showcases talent established in the region.John Cho (US)Ananda Everingham (Thailand)Tatsuya Fujiwara (Japan)
  • Studios clear decks ready for autumn schedule

    The weekend looks to be a slow one as the distributors churn through the remnants of summer and prepare their autumn line-ups. Universal/UPI's The Bourne Ultimatum has led the way for the last few weekends and may stay top in the absence of any obvious strong challenge. The biggest threat - on paper at least - may come from stablemate I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry, which has already
  • Summer wraps UK shoot for The Works, Vertigo

    Kenny Glenaan has wrapped principal photography on Summer for The Works International and Vertigo Films. Summer shot for five weeks in and around Bolsover, Derbyshire. Post-production will start in Glasgow next week. Robert Carlyle, Steve Evets and Rachael Blake star with newcomers Sean Kelly, Matthew Workman, Jo Doherty, Christopher Russell, Jo Tulej and Bethan Davies. The supporting cast includes Kate Dickie, Michael Socha, George Costigan, Julia Ford, Clare Kerrigan an
  • Switzerland chooses Late Bloomers as Oscar contender

    Swiss Films has entered Bettina Oberli's comedy Late Bloomers (Die Herbstzeitlosen) for Switzerland to the Academy Award race for a nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category. To date, Late Bloomers is the most successful film in Switzerland since 1978 with just over 600,000 admissions. The film has also scored a notable success in the German cinemas with more than 220,000 admissions for distributor X-Verleih. In Austria, more than 30,000 cinema-goers ha

    One of the most beloved and colourful figures in the South Korean industry, Kim Dong-ho can take some of the credit for putting Korean cinema on the international map. As founding director of the Pusan International Film Festival in 1996, now Asia's biggest industry event, it is Kim who shored up the state financing for the festival and managed to secure vital private sponsorship.It is also Kim who has put a face to the festival, charming the heads of Cannes, Venice and Berlin t
  • The Last Station gets $1.9m boost from DFFF

    Michael Hoffman's Tolstoy drama The Last Station, starring Anthony Hopkins, Meryl Streep and Laura Linney, has received the fourth largest amount awarded by the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) to an international production this year. The allocation of $1.9m (Euros 1.34m) was only surpassed by Speed Racer (Euros 9m), The International (Euros 5.8m), and Valkyrie (Euros 4.8m) - and by two German productions, Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (Euros 2.7m) and
  • The Reader denied permission to film atconcentration camp

    Stephen Daldry's The Reader has been denied permission to shoot a scene with lead actor David Kross at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp on the outskirts of Berlin.According to the Berliner Zeitung, Horst Seferens, the spokesperson for the memorial's foundation, explained that the museum has 'a fundamental approach: feature films should not be made in memorials' and noted that The Weinstein Company and Daldry had shown understanding for the decision. 'It is

    Among the many young actors in China, Tong Dawei has one of the largest fan-bases, popular with teenagers and housewives alike for his boy-next-door image. Describing himself as quiet and easygoing, Tong comes from an industrial town in north-east China. Originally a business student, he was later accepted into the Shanghai Drama Academy, the second most famous drama school in China.He started out in television in 1998, but it was the 2002 TV drama
  • UK boasts record summer at cinemas

    Summer admissions in the UK reached a record 50.8 million, according to the Film Distributor Association (FDA).From June to August, cinema-going reached levels not seen in the territory for 40 years. Year-on-year admissions for the period jumped 27% and wereup a massive 44% on the same three months in 2000.Weatherconditions, including flooding and temperature drops contributed to theincrease in cinema attendance. - July was the wettest summer in the UKon recor
  • UKFC Development Fund restructures single-project funding

    The UK Film Council's Development Fund, which will hand out an average of $8m (£4m) per year through 2011, has announced a number of changes to the way it funds single projects. Tanya Seghatchian, the Harry Potter and My Summer Of Love producer who took over as head of the fund in May, has devised a new way of working that takes effect today. 'I wanted to figure out how I could unearth and encourage and label first-timers being realistic about the expectations for
  • United Kingdom - Small wonder

    UK independent publisher Quercus may be small, but it should not escape the notice of any film producers hungry for literary material. Just two years since being launched by publishing industry veteran Anthony Cheetham (who founded Century and Orion) and his business partner Mark Smith, Quercus has picked up a Fast Growth business award and been named small publisher of the year at the British Book Awards. As the Financial Times put it: "In its short life, Quercus has become a poster c
  • United Kingdom - The ringleaders

    Through his work in the Scottish exhibition sector, Nick Varley knew that putting classic films on screen had a number of obstacles. "If you want to do a good retrospective, you have to find a print that's worth screening. Programming was being compromised because of the state of prints and their availability."In 2003, he teamed with John Letham to launch Glasgow-based distributor Park Circus to specialise in back-catalogue and repertory runs. Letham had also worked in exhibition and h
  • United states - Exhibition space

    Arthur Cohen and Richard Witkowski did not waste any time when they came up with the idea of founding Iklipz in early 2006. Ninety days after their original conversation, the site was up and running, allowing film-makers to upload their own works free of charge and participate in an online film community through a member profile ("We had the idea for a MySpace for independent film-makers and we had to get up and be relevant - and fast - or else someone else would pre-em
  • United States - The English track

    Louis Belanger is sitting in a tent deep in the Quebec wilderness, 700km north-east of Montreal. The location is doubling for Canada's Northwest Territory, 2,000km to the northwest. "This is the closest we could get to the real thing while making the logistics possible," he says. Twenty-one days into principal photography, the writer-director of The Timekeeper is looking as tired and gaunt as the railway chain-gang he is filming.Based on the true-story novel by Trevor Ferguson,
  • Universal Japan strikes DVD distribution deal with Geneon

    Universal Pictures Japan and Geneon Entertainment have created a home entertainment distribution partnership. Geneon will distribute Universal's new release titles on DVD, with the first release being The Bourne Ultimatum in March 2008.However, Universal Pictures Japan, led by MD Ghen Akiyama, will continue to distribute all Universal catalogue and television products on DVD, including Heroes, along with the manufacturing and marketing of all new release and catalo
  • Walden and Kerner team up for basketball feature

    Walden Media and Jordan Kerner's Kerner Entertainment Company are teaming up on the feature adaptation of sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski's 2005 book The Miracle Of St Anthony. The book explores a year of the life of Bob Hurley Sr, one of America's most successful and prolific high-school basketball coaches who led a team from a depressed New Jersey neighbourhood to a series of state and national titles.
  • Wang takes Golden Shell at San Sebastian

    Wayne Wang's A Thousand Years of GoodPrayers picked up best film Golden Shell at SanSebastian. Click here to see review.The film - adapted from a short story by Chinese writer Yiyun Li - also earned the best actor prize for Henry O.Nick Broomfield was named best director for his Iraq war film
  • Warner Bros forms large-scale alliance in Abu Dhabi

    Warner Bros Entertainment has formed a long-term strategic alliance with two companies in Abu Dhabi - real estate developer ALDAR and the newly established Abu Dhabi Media Company. The arrangement calls for the creation of a theme park and hotel, jointly owned multiplex cinemas, a co-finance agreement covering feature film production and the development and publication of video games and the build-out of the infrastructure of Abu Dhabi's digital transformation.The deal wa
  • Warner Bros, TWC sign up for two Imagi features

    Hong Kong and Los Angeles-based Imagi Animation Studios has signed a deal with Warner Bros Pictures and The Weinstein Company for worldwide distribution of its upcoming 3D animated features Gatchaman and Astroboy. The three companies previously partnered on Imagi's first theatrical production, TMNT, which opened in March 2007 at the top of the US box office. Details of the new deal are still being finalised. On TMNT, Warner Bros handled the North Americ
  • Williams promoted to chief technology officer at MPAA

    Jim C Williams has been appointed senior vice president and chief technology officer for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Williams has served as a senior technology executive at the MPAA since he joined in 2002 as vice president of television and video systems standards. In his new role he will work closely with the MPAA's studio members on such matters as content recognition and watermarking technologies, standard-setting initiatives and cross-industry outreach
  • XXY is Argentinian foreign-language Oscar nomination

    Lucia Puenzo'sfirst feature XXYhas been selected as the Argentinian submission for the foreign-language film category at next year's Academy Awards. The $1.2m Arge

    Winning much praise at Berlin this year for her performance in Wang Quanan's Tuya's Marriage - which picked up the Golden Bear - Yu Nan has been drawing comparisons with Gong Li, another major Chinese export. Her career certainly has its parallels with Gong's: both won recognition by portraying a woman in a rural village and both mostly worked with one director before going international - Yu with Wang and Gong with Zhang Yimou.

    When Yu Ha's sharp and poignant gangster film A Dirty Carnival was released, cinema-goers did a double-take when they saw the lead actor: previously, most people associated Zo In-sung's tall good looks with the image of a fresh college student or rich playboy. But in A Dirty Carnival, he played an ambitious lowlife thug, struggling to make good.'A Dirt