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20 August 2001

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  • 121% rise in 2nd quarter revenues for First Look

    First Look Media has announced a rise of 121% in its second quarter 2001 revenues to $9.8m from $4.4m in the second quarter 2000. Operating results for the three-month period ended June 30 showed an operating loss down to $0.5m from $0.8m in the same quarter last year.The revenue rise was primarily attributable to higher film revenues from foreign territories and an increase in the sale of US TV rights, as well as strong performances from video releases and a rise in airline and other
  • Ad slump hits Germany's Das Werk

    Leading German postproduction group Das Werk has been hit by the economic slowdown in the advertising industry, according to its results for the first half of 2001.While the group posted a 57% increase in revenues from Euro 32.9m in the first half of 2000 to Euro 51.5m this year, it reported a net loss of Euro -2.5m compared to Euro 1.9m for 2000.In a press statement, Das Werk noted that, due to the economic recession in the advertising industry, Das Werk's postproduction operat
  • Alta and Lumen co-produce Novo comedy

    Spain's Alta Produccion and France's Lumen Films are co-producing French-language romantic comedy Novo with stars Eduardo Noriega (Open Your Eyes) and Anna Mouglalis (Merci Pour Le Chocolat). France's Celluloid Dreams is handling international sales.Paz Vega (Sex And Lucia), Nathalie Richard (Modern Comforts) and Eric Caravaca (La Chambre Des Officiers) co-star in the $3.2m comedy about a man whose memory problems make him lucky in love.
  • Apes swing into UK box office record books

    With an opening salvo of $7.87m in the UK over the weekend, 20th Century Fox's release of Tim Burton's Planet Of The Apes became its third biggest UK opening of all time behind 1999's The Phantom Menace ($13.8m) and 1996's Independence Day ($10.1m), and edged out Batman & Robin to take 10th position in the top 10 UK openings of all time.Demonstrating yet again this summer that the critics can't dent the blockbuster phenomenon, the re-imagining of Pierre Boul
  • Apes, AI grosses stack up in weekend int'l release

    20th Century Fox's Planet Of The Apes continued to open around the world over the weekend, bringing its total gross to $47.17m after three weeks of release, while Warner Bros bowed AI Artificial Intelligence in Korea and Mexico, bringing its overseas total to $68.1m from just three territories.Planet Of The Apes took $2.13m on 346 screens in Australia, making it the second biggest August opening of all-time after Fox's Independence Day and the seventh bigge
  • Australia wins big at Palm Springs Short Film Fest

    The seventh annual Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films closed on Sunday night having screened 284 films from around the world. And in the closing night award ceremony, winners of the 21 festival prizes, which shared a total of $43,000 in prize money, came from across the globe. Australian film-makers in particular were showered with awards - winning the best of festival award, best live action (over 15 mins), best student live action (under 15 mins) and a runner-up prize in bes
  • Bill Block resigns from Artisan Entertainment

    Artisan Entertainment president Bill Block is resigning from the company to seek "other investment and restructuring opportunities". Block, who will remain a shareholder in the company, says he plans to consult with other companies on their merger and financing strategies.Block's departure leaves Artisan CEO Amir Malin in sole charge of the company which has a library of over 6,700 titles and remains one of the only independents left in the business. Block, Malin and Mark Curcio forme
  • Bosnian Cinema Co-Production Project launched

    Bosnian regional and federal authorities have signalled they are to make concerted efforts to provide financial support for the development of the film industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina following the successful launch of the New Bosnian Cinema Co-Production Project (NBCCP) at this years Sarajevo Film Festival. Speaking at the presentation of four new Bosnian feature projects seeking co-production partners, Gradimir Gojer, Minister of Culture and Sports for the Canton of Sarajevo, decl
  • Brazilian cinema admissions leap 23%

    Brazilian cinema admissions during the first half of 2001 have surged by 23%, compared to the same period last year, according to local marketing research company Filme B. While Brazilian cinemas saw 6.9 million admissions between January and July 2000, a massive 8.5 million visits were recorded during the same period this year.With local ticket prices increasing over the period, gross earnings were up from $14m (Real 34m) in 2000 to $19m (Real 46m) this year. While there was only one
  • Brazilian soccer star signs for Shooting Star

    Soccer superstar Ronaldo has signed up to be the star subject in feature-length football documentary Shooting Star.Along with being the main interviewee, the Brazilian striker will represent the fatherhood section as the film explores the seven stages of life - including birth, boyhood, adolescence, manhood, mid-life crisis and old age - through soccer.Director Elizabeth McIntyre is shooting the film in Brazil, UK and France until the end of next month. Producer Adrian Mi
  • Canada's Equinox reveals $59.1m slate

    Montreal-based Equinox Entertainment's new production and development slate will have a total budget of $59.1m (C$80m), including approximately $23.3m (C$36m) for a series of Italian/Canadian 'movies of the week' and feature film co-productions.Equinox, the filmed entertainment division of La Compagnie France Film Inc., which previously focused on distribution, will team with Rome-based production company Pan3.1 srl, for Home Sweet Home, a modern version of The Odyssey. T
  • Capitol heads for Hollywood Hong Kong

    UK sales house Capitol Films has boarded Hong Kong art-house star Fruit Chan's forthcoming Hollywood Hong Kong, picking up rights outside Asia. Within Asia the film continues to be sold by Carrie Wong's Golden Network.Set to premiere in the main competition section in Venice next month, the film is the second in Chan's trilogy featuring Chinese prostitutes after Durian Durian. It seeks to explain how mainland China is now influencing everyday life in Hong Kong and tells t
  • Carlstrom strikes first look deal with SF

    Nordic major Svensk Filmindustri (SF) has signed a first -look deal with Swedish producer Bjorn Carlstrom, who previously spent 10 years working for competitor Sonet Film."We have been in talks for some time," SF head of production, Kerstin Bonnier, told Screendaily, "because we believe Bjorn Carlstrom will compliment our other producers and projects perfectly. He will set up office with us and work exclusively with us, so his projects will be a co-production between his Bjorn Carlstro
  • Cinemark: revenues up, losses down

    Cinemark USA has reported that for the six month period ended June 30, 2001, revenues increased 9.8% to $398.4m compared to $362.8m for the same period last year.EBITDA for the first six months of 2001 increased 23.8% to $71.9m from $58.1m in 2000. The company's net loss for the six month period in 2001 was $5.0m as compared to a net loss of $9.4m for the same period last year.Lee Roy Mitchell, Cinemark's Chief Executive Officer, said, "' we have been able to increase the rate o
  • Danish comedy laughing all the way to the bank

    Danish producer Regner Grasten has proved once again, with the release of Anja & Viktor through BVI, that he runs the most successful Danish production company when it comes to local box office performance. Graesten's Regner Graesten Filmproduction (RGF), established in 1984, produced the musical romantic comedy, a sequel to 1999 box office hit Love At First Hiccough (total gross $2.98m), which seems likely to beat both its predecessor as well as all other comers,
  • Daredevil relocates in fear of Canadian strike

    20th Century Fox has pulled Daredevil, a multi-million dollar feature produced by Bernie Williams (The Score) and directed by Mark Steven Johnson (Simon Birch), out of Montreal for fear of a strike by 18,000 Canadian actors union (ACTRA) members.At the same time, other Hollywood studios have sounded the alarm for U.S. productions shooting in Canada for fear of a strike arising when the major collective agreement for Canadian actors expires in January.
  • Del Toro adds spine to The Devil's Backbone

    Riding high on Locarno hit The Devil's Backbone, which is currently closing a deal for the last major territory, North America, with Sony Pictures Classics, Mexican horror maestro Guillermo del Toro hit the Edinburgh International Film Festival this week to discuss a genre most executives dismiss as "a secondary form of art". Speaking at a festival master class, del Toro aims to disprove that assumption with Devil's Backbone, a low-cost Spanish-language film made after hi
  • Dot-bombs be damned: entertainment biz is surging

    The message from media merchant bank and industry forecaster Veronis Suhler is that things will soon get better in the US communications sector. The upbeat message comes despite the bursting of the internet bubble and pressure on consumer and institutional spending. Those sectors such as network television and newspapers, which are currently suffering, are forecast to pick up again in 2002, which in turn will have a positive impact in international markets, where the entertainment sector so o
  • Douglas Lee replaces veteran HG Lee at UIP Korea

    UIP Korea has named Douglas Lee to serve as its new general manager, following the retirement of HG Lee (Lee Hong-Geun), manager of the Korean branch since 1991. Lee, a Korean who has lived most of his life overseas, worked previously in Singapore as the marketing director for UIP's Asian operations. Former general manager HG Lee originally expressed his desire to retire in February, but was persuaded to see through the Korean release of blockbusters The Mummy Returns and Jur
  • Edinburgh: one surprise down, but more to come'

    Mick Jagger may be wavering, but Tim Roth paid an unexpected visit to the Edinburgh International Film Festival last night (August 15) to introduce the event's surprise film - Planet Of The Apes.The festival is now hoping that Jagger, who was to have been the star guest this weekend, changes his mind after publicists said that he is unlikely to attend. The Rolling Stones front-man was to hit the Scottish capital for the international premiere of Enigma, the first film fro
  • Farrell to return to Ireland for Intermission

    Having exploded onto the Hollywood scene with upcoming US titles such as Steven Spielberg's Minority Report and Bruce Willis WW2 drama Hart's War, red-hot Irish actor Colin Farrell is likely to return to home-grown features on Dublin-set ensemble piece Intermission.The 25 year-old actor, who this week purportedly landed $5m to star opposite Al Pacino in Spyglass' The Farm, is in talks to board Intermission after hitting it off with its writer, the acc
  • Filmstar recruits Lantern Lane to sell two

    LA-based production company Filmstar Productions has enlisted Lantern Lane Entertainment to handle sales on its latest two films, The Courier, which is in post-production, and Third Eagle, which is in pre-production.David L Garber, the president and CEO of Lantern Lane, will negotiate all domestic and international distribution deals for the film. Garber previously represented Filmstar on Poor White Trash starring Sean Young, William Devane and Jason London.
  • Filthy Earth

    Dir: Andrew Kotting. UK. 2001. 111minsAndrew Kotting's follow up to his quirky, much admired road movie documentary Gallivant offers an extreme vision of rural hardship. Inspired by Emile Zola's La Terre (Earth), it saturates the screen with mud and muck, blood and viscera to create an unrelenting portrait of squalor, misery and deprivation. Told with an admirable lack of compromise, it also appears to have been created without any concept of attracting an audie
  • Flanders TV signs for Warner Bros. output

    Flanders' largest commercial TV company Vlaamse Media Maatschappij has signed a four-year output deal with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution. Its two TV stations VTM and Kanaal 2 will have the right to broadcast new features (1999-2002) - such as Eyes Wide Shut, The Perfect Storm and Harry Potter And Philosopher's Stone. Kanaal 2 will continue to offer its target audience (20-30 year-olds) hit series such as West Wing, the Sopranos and ER. V
  • French pay-TV operator AB de-listed from NYSE

    French pay-tv operator AB Groupe is to be de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange. The company, which operates 18 cable and satellite channels in France, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland, is to put at end to its ADR (American Depository Receipts - US-traded shares of foreign companies) programme as of September 13, due to a sharp decrease in their number since the group was quoted on the French "Second Marche" (the French equivalent to the Nasdaq) in July 2000.AB Groupe, whic
  • German audiences increase as cinemas decline

    While German cinema admissions have climbed 8% to 80.3 million and box office takings increased 9.6% to $406.8m for the first half of 2001, there are deeply unsettling developments elsewhere in the market, according to the German Federal Film Board (FFA).Germany's bullish exhibition sector, once a model of robust optimism, has finally but the brakes on its expansionist trend. For the first time since 1995, the total number of screens in the country has fallen. Not only did fewer
  • German audiences warm to crowd-pleasers

    Despite having a key role in international film funding, Germany has long struggled to gain recognition for its locally produced films. Its film-makers were accused of "lacking an unmistakable style" by the Cannes artistic director this year when, for the eighth consecutive year, no German film was chosen for the competition. To add to the problems, German local market share was only 12.5% last year. This year, however, things look very different. Constantin Films' Der Schuh
  • German talent lines up for $99 films

    German actor Peter Lohmeyer (Playing Swede) is to make his directorial debut with one of the 12 shorts for the "99Euro Film" initiative which was launched by this year's Oldenburg Film Festival (September 5-9) along the lines of the Slamdance Film festival's $99 programme.Other participants who have agreed to the initiative's parameters of having no more than Euros 99 to make a five-minute film on mini DV include Matthias Glasner known for his Sexy Sadie, Esther Gronenbor
  • Goldbacher develops Utopia and Faith

    Sandra Goldbacher, the UK writer-director who impressed buyers at Cannes with her second feature Me Without You, has started work on two contemporary scripts, Faith and Utopia.Faith is a London-set story about magic and witchcraft, while Utopia is set in a commune in an arctic-like region. Goldbacher, who debuted with The Governess, is writing Faith herself and working on Utopia with Wonderland writer Laurence Coriat, with
  • Happy Now

    Dir: Philippa Collie Cousins. Wales. 98mins. 2001The guilty legacy of past indiscretions provides the backdrop to Happy Now, an atmospheric tale of smalltown secrets and deceptive appearances where the eccentricity is self-conscious and the elaborate mechanics of the plot fail to convince. Polished and well performed, it will make superior television fare for a dark winter's night but doesn't possess the necessary qualities to attract or justify theatrical interest.
  • Hollywood logs on with on-line studio coalition

    In an unusual show of cooperation, five Hollywood studios - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, ParamountPictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Studios and Warner Bros - are banding together to create an on-demand movie service that will offer theatrical films via digital delivery for broadband Internet users in the US. The service will primarily be an open-access IP (Internet Protocol)-based system, although other means of delivery will be explored after the launch of the service. Noticeably absent from
  • IMAX posts 37% half-year losses

    Despite efforts to cut costs and streamline its business, embattled large format operator IMAX Corp has posted a 37% drop in revenues this half-year compared to the same period in 2000.In the company's half-year results, revenues over the first six months are $73.7m compared with $117.6m over the same period in 2000. Job cuts and consolidation of manufacturing facilities accounted for a restructuring charge of $1.2m this year. The company also recorded a $2.2m bad debt expense.H
  • Jacqui Feeney promoted to CEO of World Movies

    Jacqui Feeney has been promoted to chief executive officer of Australian pay-TV channel World Movies and Irene Anast has left her role of research and planning manager at pay TV platform Austar to take Feeney's old position of channel manager. Feeney replaces Hugh Watt, who retired from the business some time ago.World Movies claims to be the only existing pay television channel dedicated to showcasing the best movies from around the world, irrespective of their original language. It s
  • Leading German broadcaster issues profit warning

    Germany's broadcast leader, ProSiebenSat1 has become the latest casualty of the advertising slowdown that has spread from the US to Europe. Today it warned that profits in the current year may not beat the record set in 2000 and unveiled a 20% drop in pre-tax profits for the first half of 2001, down to Euros89m. Turnover was down 3% at Euros1.03bn.The group, which was formed from the merger of the Kirch units, Pro7 and Sat 1 and which also includes Kabel 1, revealed that the Sat
  • Lot 47 hires distribution veteran Thompson

    Distribution veteran Bill Thompson has joined New York-based distributor Lot 47 Films in the newly created position of vice president, general sales manager.Thompson began his career as a salesman in 20th Century Fox's Washington DC branch. Hemoved to New York in 1978 to become director of sales for Cinema 5 Films, movedinto exhibition as a film buyer with RKO Theatres in 1981, with Walter ReadeTheatres in 1985 and with Cineplex Odeon Theatres in 1987. In 1988,Thompson was named
  • Lucky Break

    Dir: Peter Cattaneo. UK. 2001. 108minsThe Full Monty has been an impossible act to follow. Producer Umberto Pasolini's whimsical follow up Closer To You and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy's depressing The Darkest Light were minor footnotes to the ongoing global phenomenon of the steelworker strippers. Director Peter Cattaneo has waited longer and chosen more wisely, and his jocular, good-natured prison comedy Lucky Break has the easy charm and warm hea
  • Mostly Martha

    Dir: Sandra Nettelbeck. Germany. 2001. 107 mins.German 'food' melodrama Mostly Martha may be utterly predictable but it was one of the few world premieres at the Locarno Film Festival which showed strong potential to break out of the festival circuit and European arthouse markets. Set mainly in the kitchen of a chic restaurant, Sandra Nettelbeck's impressively-directed feature concerns the initial animosity/rivalry and then love between a severe, humourless female chef
  • NATPE reveals ambitious plans for 2002

    The National Association of Television Programming Executives (NATPE) has announced the most comprehensive outreach to the global advertising community in the Association's history, in conjunction with the NATPE 2002 Conference to be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center January 21 - 24, 2002, it was jointly announced by Jon Mandel, co-managing director/chief negotiating officer MediaCom and NATPE chairman, and Bruce Johansen, NATPE's president and CEO. Mandel stated, "The initiativ
  • New German distributor teams with UIP

    Christoph Ott's new German theatrical distribution company OTTFilm has signed a deal with UIP Germany for the joint distribution of new local and international titles, including Woody Allen's The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion and Robert Altman's Gosforth Park. As part of the agreement UIP will handle physical distribution of the films which OTTFilm acquires for the German market place, the first being this year's HypoVereinsbank Award-winner No Regrets (Nichts Bereuen
  • Osmosis Jones

    Dirs: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly; anim dirs: Piet Kroon, Tom Sito. US. 2001. 98 mins.The Farrelly brothers and Bill Murray are the names that jump out of the credits, that promising-sounding combination plays a relatively minor role in Osmosis Jones, an animated/live action comedy that represents Warner's latest attempt to challenge the animation dominance of Disney - and Now - DreamWorks. In a crowded summer marketplace, it doesn't look likely that this s
  • Oz exhibs and distribs improve communications

    Australia's major distributors have been warned that there is no justification for charging first week terms to regional cinemas that do not get films until several weeks after their national release, just because it is new to that district. The deadline for submissions into the current cinema industry code of conduct has only just passed, but it is already evident that this remains a significant problem."I have yet to be convinced there is justification for this practice," the
  • Parole Officer checks in at the UK box office

    UK TV comedian Steve Coogan launched himself on the big-screen at the weekend with The Parole Officer. Pulling in a strong $1.3m (£902,028) from 288 sites, the comedy saw a site average of $4,468 - better than either Jurassic Park III or Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.Arriving at number five in the UK chart the healthy figures came despite mixed reviews for the film. The film also stars Lena Headey, previously seen in Gossip with X-Men's James Mars
  • Pearl Harbor and Shrek hit $400m worldwide

    Buena Vista International (BVI) had major cause to celebrate this week as its World War II epic Pearl Harbor crossed $200m in international box office gross, taking it to over $400m worldwide. Harbor, which was BVI's big hope in the summer blockbuster season, became the second film, which debuted in 2001, to pass the massive $400m mark worldwide, after The Mummy Returns which has grossed $415m to date. However hot on Harbor's heels computer-animated hit Shrek
  • Pie 2 stays on top; Rat Race opens with $11.8m

    Universal's American Pie 2 became the first film since June to stay at number one at the North American box office for a second weekend, taking an estimated $21.4m over the three day Friday to Sunday period for a ten-day total of $87.6m.The R-rated teen sequel, however, fell 53% from its opening and looks only moderately successful compared to New Line's Rush Hour 2 which took an estimated $19.2m in its third weekend to bring its 17-day total to $164.8m. Rush Hour 2
  • Portugese producer Branco courts controversy

    Paolo Branco, the prolific Paris-based Portuguese producer, is attracting attention for all the wrong reasons these days. This week it emerged that he is being sued by AGRIF, a citizens' group in favour of French identity and Christian values. Branco goes to the high court on Tuesday (August 21) to answer charges that the title of his film This Is My Body (Ceci Est Mon Corps) is offensive to Catholics. Earlier this month the Rome-based producer-director Jon Jost took him
  • Sackman & Co form Lions Gate Redux with ThinkFilm

    Jeff Sackman, former president of Lions Gate Films, is returning to the North American distribution market with a new outfit accompanied by some familiar names, including former Lions Gate Releasing co-president Mark Urman and Andy Myers, a veteran of Canada's distribution scene.The new company, ThinkFilm, will be headed by Sackman as president and CEO with Urman leadingthe US theatrical releasing arm from New York and Myers, formerly of now-defunct Blackwatch Entertainment, heading Ca
  • Samaha takes advantage of Oz investor frustration

    Elie Samaha's Franchise Pictures has secured a new source of film financing through the German Commerzbank-backed Academy Film Fund (AFF), which has tapped Australian entertainment financiers frustrated by the tax changes in their own market. The AFF aims to raise up to Euros 200m ($176m) from private German individuals by the end of October 2001, to fully finance the production of three to four Franchise features.According to AFF's prospectus, Commerzbank has promised a placeme
  • San Sebastian unveils 14 'Pearls' for sidebar

    Spain's San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept 20-29) unveiled the fourteen titles which will comprise the "Pearls from Other Festivals" section of its Open Zone (Zabaltegi) line-up.Following last year's model, "Pearls" shows a heavy emphasis on films which screened at Cannes. There are also several titles from Berlin and at least two which will show in Venice. Numbers tilt this year in favor of French productions.The films competing for the section's Euros30m Public Pr
  • Schneider quits UPC as results disappoint again

    Mark Schneider is to stand down as chairman and chief executive of UPC, the troubled company that is Europe's largest cable network operator. His move follows the announcement of second quarter results that sent the shares on another slide. The company reported an improvement in its operational result, but the overall figures were hit by a one off loss of Euros300m charge relating to its Priority telecoms division. That pushed the group's net after tax loss to Euros863m. The com
  • Screen Comment:

    To hear it now from Francis Ford Coppola, the same Hollywood studio system that released his magnificent acid trip of a movie, Apocalypse Now, would never today dare indulge such an extravagantly ambitious and vainglorious undertaking by a director. Even by one who had previously made a truck-load of money with the Godfather films. Vietnam by way of Joseph Conrad and TS Eliot hardly screams merchandising tie-ins or smacks of franchise spin-offs."I basically put up the ran
  • September International makes first Chinese sale

    September International, the sales and distribution arm of September Films, has made its first sale in China. The agreement consists of four programmes: Secret History of Hacking, Playboy Prince, Tammy Wynette an American Tragedy and Dressing for the Oscars. The programmes will be broadcast throughout China to over 100 city cable TV stations, including Beijing TV and Guangzhou TV.Sally Miles, MD of September International commented, " The importance of building relations
  • South African film industry gets house in order

    More than seventy key representatives of the South African film industry met last week in Johannesburg to address out the persistent problems plaguing them - and for once in an industry beloved of seminars and conferences the meeting seemed to yield some positive results. The event involved four panels who in the past month had produced discussion documents on the subjects of: Production and Co-Production; Finance, Funding and Taxation; Training and Development; and Marketing and Dist
  • Spirited Away on target for Japanese record

    After only 25 days on release, the Hayao Miyazaki smash Spirited Away has already passed the Y10 billion ($82m) mark -- the fastest to do so of any Japanese film in history.By August 13, the blockbuster animation about a young girl's search for her parents in a strange world of gods and goblins had grossed Y10,154,271,880 from 7,991,229 admissions, passing the existing number-two domestic film at the Japanese box office, 1983's Antarctica. Spirited Away's 25
  • StudioCanal secures control of TV producer Expand

    Vivendi Universal's European film and television arm StudioCanal now owns a controlling 52.1% stake in French television production powerhouse Expand, after the first round of a take-over bid which closed last week.The bid for a 20% stake in Expand is to be re-opened at the beginning of November following the ruling of a French court concerning suits filed by some of Expand's minority shareholders which contend that the price offered is too low. The take-over is part of a series
  • Studios warm to Mexican flavour

    The statistics speak for themselves. Mexico boasts the biggest number of screens in Latin America; with close to 3,000, nearly double that of Brazil, a country twice its size. Mexico is a growing market too: theatrical revenues rose by 20.2% in 2000, and now 20th Century Fox ranks Mexico as its fourth largest theatrical market in the world while Buena Vista International (BVI) ranks it fifth.Against this encouraging backdrop, studios have thrown more money into pushing their features
  • Sweden backs Gothenburg's CineBosnia fund

    Short film production in Bosnia-Herzegovina has been given a welcome boost by the decision of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) on the eve of this years Sarajevo Film Festival (August 17-25) to guarantee $28,995 (SEK 300,000) backing for the Goteborg Film Festival's CineBosnia fund.Launched in 2000, the CineBosnia fund hands out $9,665 (SEK 100,000) each year to one single short film project which is selected by a jury of representatives from the Goteborg
  • The Emperor's New Clothes

    Dir: Alan Taylor. UK. 2001. 105 mins. Alan Taylor's 'what if' reverie on the last days of Napoleon, The Emperor's New Clothes had its world premiere in the best possible circumstances for such a middlebrow entertainment: under the stars in Locarno's Piazza Grande. Originally titled My Napoleon, the film turns the folly of transparency, which informed the classic children's fairytale from which the new title is borrowed, on its head as Napoleon tries to re
  • The Lawless Heart

    Dirs: Neil Hunter and Tom Hunslinger. UK. 2001. 99 min.A middlebrow sensibility informs The Lawless Heart, a soft, mildly enjoyable melodrama about a web of tangled, constantly shifting relationships among the residents of a small, provincial English town. NeilHunter and Tom Hunslinger, who earlier made the 1995 gay film, Boyfriends, acquit themselves more honourably as writersthan directors of a serio-comedy whose chief novelty is its narrative structure. Indee
  • UK's Peakviewing to build SA animation studio

    The UK's Peakviewing Transatlantic has announced plans to open an animation studio in South Africa.The Johannesburg facility will produce both 3D graphic animation and claymation features, in a move intended to bolster Peakviewing's programming capabilities.Current production schedules aim at producing one claymation and two animated films per year, and the company is currently assembling talent and co-production partners for the division via a trade visit to Canada.Laura
  • US box office bonanza: new rules, new targets

    Total box office receipts in North America for the year 2001 passed $5bn this week - setting a record pace not only for the summer season - which closes in a fortnight on Labor Day weekend - but for the year. This time last year, box office was at $4.71bn and had peaked by the year-end at $7.7bn. With great expectations for holiday titles Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone (Nov 16), The Fellowship Of The Ring (Dec 19) and Monsters Inc (Nov 2), 2001 should sail p
  • US plexes adopt technology for blind, deaf patrons

    A second multiplex theatre in California has installed Motion Picture Access - a new technology which enables blind, visually impaired, deaf and hard of hearing patrons to further enjoy the film. The technology - comprised of the DVS Theatrical and Rear Window Captioning systems - was developed by Boston-based Media Access Group at WGBH, a division of public broadcaster WGBH.Loews Cineplex Entertainment has installed the technology in its Universal City Cinemas; previously General Cin
  • USA Films names Glenn Williamson production head

    As expected, Glenn Williamson - a former senior production executive at DreamWorks SKG - has joined USA Films as president of production, succeeding Donna Gigliotti who is leaving after two years to return to producing.Gigliotti will continue to work with USA through the release of the last two productions she oversaw for the company - Robert Altman's Gosford Park which is scheduled to open on Dec 21, and Neil LaBute's Possession starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhar
  • Warner Spain executive Ed Weinberg dies at 53

    Veteran distribution executive Ed Weinberg died last week in Spain after suffering a brain stroke. The respected Weinberg who was deputy general manager of Warner Bros' joint venture with Sogefilms in Spain was 53 years old.He died on Aug 4 and is survived by his wife Dianna and sons Scott and Danny.The Paris-born Weinberg had worked for Warner Bros. in a number of capacities for nearly 28 years. He joined the company in 1974 as a trainee and rose through the executive ranks t