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20 August 2006

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  • 2:37

    Dir/scr: Murali K Thalluri. Aust. 2006.94minsAn impressive debut feature from a 20-year-old withno previous film training nor experience, 2:37proves is a gripping teen suicide drama that forces audiences to confront thechallenges of growing up in wrenching style.Aside from showcasing the compellingdirection of director Murali K Thalluri,it also demonstrates the tenacity ofthe young Indian-Austral
  • AFI Awards to announce annual winners on Dec 10

    The seventh annual AFI Awards will be announced on Dec 10 andhanded out at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Jan 12, 2007.
  • Ahmad's Gubra gets best film honours in Malaysia

    Gubra,the follow-up to writer/director Yasmin Ahmad'sinter-racial love drama Sepet,walked away with best film, best original screenplay and best actress for Sharifah Amani at the 19thMalaysian Film Festival ceremony Sunday night. It is the second time in a row that an Ahmad filmreceived the top honours after Sepet swept six awards last year.Sepet wenton to pick up the best Asian film award at the last Tokyo International FilmFestival.
  • Australia debates merits of digital cinema

    Australian exhibitors weretold today that if they want to stay in business they have ten years to find away to make the transition to digital. "I do not know exactly howlong you can keep running 35mm prints of major movies but suggest that within10, 12 or 15 years they will not be available," John Fithian,president of the National Association of Cinema Owners, told delegates at theAustralian International Movie Convention. But he also said that issuessurrounding tes
  • Australians on board for mockumentaries

    Australia is not known forfeature-length mockumentaries but Palace has justsigned on for Razzle Dazzle - A Journey Into Dance, while Madman next week releases Kenny, which is getting rave reviewsfrom some critics for its humour and loveable nature.Both productions are shot in fly-on-the-wall style. Razzle Dazzle is set in the catty world of dance eisteddfods (orcompetitive festivals), where parents liv
  • Bet Collector gets year's first A rating in Philippines

    Filipino directorJeffrey Jeturian's The Bet Collector (Kubrador), which isset for a North American premiere in Toronto, has become the first film to begiven an A rating this year by the Philippines' Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB).According to the CEB,the low-budget digital film that revolves around the daily life of an aging betcollector was "beautifully and skillfully direct
  • Billi Productions plans to expand CGI short into feature

    BilliProductions and Glasgow Animation are seeking to turn their animated short filmSir Billi into a full-lengthfeature.
  • Bobby to get Hollywood Film Award for ensemble

    The10th Annual Hollywood Film Awards will honour the ensemble cast from Bobby, Emilio Estevez's upcoming account of events surrounding theassassination of Bobby Kennedy.
  • Brokeback, Kong among World Soundtrack Award nominees

    The World Soundtrack Academy has named its nominees for thethree key categories in the annual World Soundtrack Awards, an initiative ofthe Flanders International Film Festival - Ghent, which will this year bepresented in Ghent on Oct 14.The Academy, which was founded in 2001 and now includes 250composers, presents awards in three categories - soundtrack composer ofthe year, best original soundtrack of the year (orchestral) and best originalsong written directly for a film. At a later d
  • Cinemavault hires Rondina, MacPhee on sales team

    Cinemavault Releasing International has bulked up its sales team,naming Ruby Rondina festivals and publicity manager and Alisha MacPhee marketsmanager.
  • CJ moves into English fare with Kang's West 32nd

    Koreanstudio CJ Entertainment is set to shoot its first English-language feature, West 32nd. MichaelKang, who previously directed Sundance selection The Motel, will direct from a script he co-wrote with Edmund Lee. TeddyZee (Hitch, Saving Face) will produce. JohnCho, who has appeared in American Pie and Harold &Kumar Go To White Castle, will star with GracePark, newcomer Jane Kim and Korean actors
  • Craig joins Kidman in New Line's Golden Compass

    Daniel Craig is the latest big name to join the cast of TheGolden Compass, NewLine's first installment in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials children's fantasy trilogy.Craig, who will star as James Bond in the upcoming CasinoRoyale, will play Lord Asriel, a
  • Dead In Three Days (In Drei Tagen Bist Du Tot)

    Dir: Andreas Prochaska.Austria. 2006. 97mins.Teen audiences and midnight crowds looking for ahealthy dose of blood and guts will welcome DeadIn Three Days, Andreas Prochaska'sby-the-book slasher, which successfully follows therules and conventions of the genre.Set in smalltownrural Austria, it features the same group of friends, incompetent cops, redherrings and cocktail of gore and guilt found in similar fare worldwide, i
  • Deckert gets Swiss documentary Zeit Des Abschieds

    Deckert Distribution has picked up world rights for Mehdi Sahebi's documentary Zeit Des Abschieds, which had its world premiere in Locarno's Critics Week sidebar last week and won the SRG SSR idee suisse Prize. The film, which charts the last months in the life of AIDS victim dying of cancer in a hospice, is the first in-house project by Swiss distributor Cineworx's production arm Cineworx Filmproduktion and will be released theatrically in Switzerland by Cineworx. Meanw
  • Demented (Le Dernier Des Fous)

    Dir: Laurent Achard. Fr. 2006. 96mins.A stark corrective to the tradition of lyrical Frenchfilms about the tender joys of growing up in the country, Laurent Achard's Dementedis a Gothic but soberly-executed melodrama about childhood as hell. Based on anovel by Canadian writer Timothy Findley, Achard'sfilm gives us a child's-eye view of an adult world that seems irreparablydamaged, while maintaining a controlled stylistic distance tha
  • Diaz, Cinema Libre complete sexually explicit Now And Later

    Cinema Libre Studio has completed production on the HDfictional feature Now & Later in LosAngeles. The company best known for its documentary output fully financed thefilm which marks the US debut of Philippe Diaz (The Empire In Africa) who founded Cinema Libre.The film explores the subject matter of America's awkwardrelationship with real sex on film and stars Keller Wortham and Shari Solanisas a bailjumper and an illegal Latina respectively in Los Angeles who begin asho
  • Edinburgh festival opens with news of boost in funding

    The60th Edinburgh International Film got underway on Monday evening with the worldpremiere of The Flying Scotsman andthe news that the event has received substantial extra funding.TheScottish Executive announced that it has allocated an additional $283,462 (£150,000)to the festival that will be dispersed through Scottish Screen. This in turnmeans an extra $94,492 (£50,000) each from the UK Film Council and the City Of Edinburgh Council
  • Edinburgh starts new Diamond Awards

    TheEdinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), which opens tonight with theworld premiere of Douglas Mackinnon's The Flying Scotsman, is introducing a newset of awards at its 60th anniversary event. The new Diamond Awardswill "acknowledge excellence in cinema in celebration with the spirit of EIFF."
  • Eighteen compete for San Sebastian new director prizes

    Eighteen films will compete in the New Directors'competition at this year's Donostia-San SebastianInternational Film Festival (September 21-30). The films come largely from Europe,although Asia, Latin America andthe United Statesare represented as well. First and second-time feature directors competing in the festival's official selection are also elig
  • Ganis re-elected to second term as president of the Academy

    Sid Ganis has been re-elected for a second term as president ofthe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) following a meeting ofthe board of governors.
  • Grey Rembert leaves DreamWorks for Initial

    Former DreamWorks production executive Grey Rembert has joinedInitial Entertainment Group as vice president of development.
  • Hollywoodland

    Dir: Allen Coulter. US.2006. 126mins.A noir thriller set in 1950s Los Angeles which blendsfact, fiction and speculation, Hollywoodland is so rich in detail, character and atmospherethat it's easy to forgive its narrative failings. This well-crafted, well-castfilm which marks the feature debut of TV veteran Allen Coulter, should stir upplenty of media attention and generate some respectable specialised grosses forFocus domestically an
  • Hounded (Verfolgt)

    Dir: Angelina Maccarone.Ger. 2006. 83mins.The fascination of German cinema with encountersbetween middle-aged adults and teens, aired twice this year at Cannes (see Summer Of 04 and pingpong) takes a new and unexpectedturn in Angelina Maccarone's new feature Hounded.Here the focus is not on innocentgames of sex initiation but the sado-masochisticaffair between a fiftyish social worker (Mar
  • Hungary's Istvan Szabo to head Pusan jury

    Hungariandirector Istvan Szabo willhead the jury at the Pusan International FilmFestival in Korea.Otherjurors will be Hong Kong producerDaniel Yu, Korean actress Moon So-Ry, French directorBruno Dumont and Iranian director Abolfazl Jalili.
  • Japan plans early expansion for Sokurov's The Sun

    The Sun, director Alexander Sokurov's drama aboutEmperor Hirohito after Japan's WWII defeat, hasexpanded its cinema count earlier and in greater numbers than originallyanticipated. The film,released by small distributor Slow Learner, opened Aug 5 on one screen each inTokyo and Nagoya. The opening weekend in Tokyo broke the predominantly B-movietheatre's record with a gross of $33,700 (Y3.9m), with many people buyingstanding-room-only tickets.While theo
  • John Stanley leaves Fox for Warner UK

    John Stanley is leaving hispost at Twentieth Century Fox UK to become managing director of Warner HomeVideo UK. He replaces Neil McEwan,who departed Warner Bros. a few weeks ago. Since 1999, Stanley had been MD ofTwentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment in the UK.Joshua Berger, executive VPand MD of Warner Bros UK
  • Knud Rasmussen to open Atlantic Film Festival in Canada

    The Journals Of KnudRasmussen, Zacharia Kunuk andNorman Cohn's follow up to Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, will open the 26th Atlantic FilmFestival in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Canada-Denmarkcoproduction -- like Atanarjuat shotprimarily in the langage of arctic aboriginal Inuit people -- is the openingnight film at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7. Atanarjuatwas the closing night film at AFF in2001. The 2006 AFF runs from September 14 to
  • Loach's Wind blows to IFC in North America

    IFC Entertainment has picked up domestic rights to Ken Loach'sPalme D'Or winner The Wind That Shakes The Barley ahead of its North American premiere atToronto next month.
  • London shoot to start for horror film Credo

    Alto Films starts principal photography next week on itsfirst feature, Credo.Th
  • London To Brighton

    Dir/scr: Paul AndrewWilliams. UK. 2006. 86mins.The gritty traditions of British social realist dramaare deftly combined with the dark violence of a gangland thriller in London To Brighton,an accomplished first feature from writer/director Paul Andrew Williams.Distinguished by its sharpcompositions, heartfelt performances and unexpected tenderness, it unfolds as acompelling tale in which the influence of Ken Loach is marble
  • Martial arts feature Underground starts UK shoot

    Park Entertainmentand Intense Productions have started principal photography on announce thatprincipal photography on Underground.The action featureis set in the UK suburbs, where anunderground tournament pits a dozen fighters against each other. The cast i
  • Medavoy, Roth on the honours roll for Hollywood Film Awards

    Mike Medavoy will receivethe Hollywood Film Festival's Hollywood Producer of the Year Award and EricRoth will collect corresponding screenwriting honours at the Hollywood AwardsGala on Oct 23.Medavoy is celebrated for abody of work that includes the upcoming All The King's Men, Miss Potter and Zodiac, as well as Basic and The6th Day.Roth wrote the screenplayfor upcoming releases The Good Shepherd and Lucky You, and hi
  • MPD battle heats up, as statement slams Theroux, Laberge

    The two senior executives who left Canadian distributioncompany Motion Picture Distribution (MPD) in July were "terminated for cause",according to a company release issued today. In the statement, MPD said it had "determined" after "athorough investigation" that Patrice Theroux, former president and CEO, andPaul Laberge, former executive vice president, corporate development andgeneral counsel of MPD, "had not been directing theirfull time and energy to running the business and had bee
  • National Geographic lines up third annual film festival in LA and Washington DC

    Minority filmmakers fromVietnam and gay and lesbian communities in Israel and Palestine will be amongthe line-up at National Geographic's third annual All Roads Film Festival. The event, which runs at theEgyptian Theatre in Los Angeles from Sept 28-Oct 1 and at the NationalGeographic Society in Washington DC from Oct 5-8, will also include programmingstrands on women filmmakers and animation, as well as art, photography andmusic.Receiving its world premiereat All Roads is Sandi
  • New York Film Festival boasts Coppola, Lynch, Field

    New work from SofiaCoppola, David Lynch and Todd Fields are among 28 additions to the line-up inthe 44th New York Film Festival next month.Coppola's Marie Antoinettestarring Kirsten Dunst will screen, as will Lynch's hi-def mystery TheInland Empire starring Laura Dern,Bong Joon-ho's South Korean horror phenomenon The Host, and Field's romantic comedy Little Children s
  • New York Film Festival lineup boasts Lynch, Field, Coppola

    New work from Sofia Coppola, David Lynch and Todd Field are amongthe final line-up of the 44th New York Film Festival (NYFF) announcedyesterday.
  • Noyce, Macdonald titles get world premieres at TIFF

    Philip Noyce's US-SouthAfrica co-production Catch A Fireand Kevin Macdonald's Uganda-set The Last King Of Scotland are among six world premieres the TorontoInternational Film Festival has added to its line-up as it announced moreselections from the cinema of Africa and the African diaspora. Noyce's political thrilleris based on the real-life story of Patrick Chamusso, a rebel fighter during theapartheid regime, and stars Derek Luke and Tim Robbins.Macdonald's film,
  • Ousted MPD execs fight back through lawyer's statement

    Ousted MPD executives Patrice Theroux and Paul Labergelashed back at their former employer, responding through their lawyer to anannouncement earlier today from MPD that the duo were "terminated with cause". Toronto law firm Lenczner Slaight said their clients "werewrongfully dismissed" by MPD and did not breach their fiduciary or contractualduties."I look forward to obtaining for my clients theircontractual severance and other entitlements in court," Alan Lenczner ofLenczner Sl
  • Palace strikes deal for Intercom's Hungarian multiplexes

    Palace Cinemas Central Europe has announced the acquisition of nine Hollywood Multiplex sites from AndyVajna's production, distribution and exhibitioncompany InterCom.Palace Cinemas would notdisclose the value of the asset-purchase arrangement.Of the nine sites, five arein the capital of Budapest and one is to open in November. The asset purchase agreementadds 56 screens to Palace Cinem
  • Peace Arch close to $20m credit facility with JPMorgan

    Toronto-based film andtelevision production and distribution company Peace Arch Entertainment Groupis finalising a four-year $20m senior secured revolving credit facility withJPMorgan.The funds will be used byPeace Arch to finance its recently announced acquisition of the film librariesof Castle Hill Productions and Dream, as well as other company operations.Closing of the creditfacility is subject to satisfaction of the usual due diligence anddocumentation c
  • Perhaps Love wins big at Golden Bauhinia Awards

    Peter Chan's musical Perhaps Love dominated the 11th Hong Kong GoldenBauhinia Awards (GBA) last night, winning six awards including best director,best actress for Zhou Xun, best cinematography, bestart direction, best film music and best film song. Thebest film award went to Johnnie To's gangster thriller Election which also bagged best actorfor Simon Yam and tied with Crazy 'N theCity for best screenplay.Car racing drama InitialD
  • Pirates continues to roll with record Spanish opening

    Buena Vista International(BVI)'s Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest remained the top international picture for the sixthconsecutive weekend after posting a record breaking Spanish debut.The adventure romp grossedan estimated $44m from all its territories to raise the cumulative total to$463m. The result was powered by an industry high Spanish launch on $11.5m from980 screens that claimed 75% market share.Combined with the $392domestic tally Pirates reached$
  • Pirates set to sail past $500m at international box office

    Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest will cross $500m this weekend as itattempts to rule the international waves for the seventh consecutive weekend.
  • Pirates week seven: BVI blockbuster takes $25.5m

    In its seventh consecutiveweekend on release, Buena Vista International (BVI)'s Pirates Of TheCaribbean: Dead Man's Chest led theinternational box office with a $25.5m take from 51 territories on 6,222screens.The blockbuster has nowtaken $522.7m, the 12th biggest gross in history. Globally the filmhas reached $923.8m, marking it out as Disney's biggest ever release, havingnow overtaken Finding Nemo whichfinished its run at $866.9m. In worldwide figure terms, Pirates 2
  • Potter holds off Pirates to win Australian award

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has been presented with the Gold Award for the biggest revenue earner of the last 12 months at the Australian International Movie Convention. But if it had been a week or two later it would have been usurped by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Potter made $27.4m (A$35.7m) for Roadshow - Pirates, as of August 16 was up to $26.8m (A$34.95m) for BVI.BVI was also the distributor with the most films grossing in excess
  • Pusan to give filmmaker of the year prize to Andy Lau

    The Pusan International FilmFestival has announced that Andy Lau will receive this year's Asian Filmmakerof the Year award. The festival said it applauded "Lau's dedication ofsearching for Asian filmmaking talents and promoting Asian cinema as a producerand actor'During the past two decades, Lau has proven himself as one of thecelebrities committed to promote As
  • Really Terrible Orchestra takes EIFF short doc prize

    TheEdinburgh International Film Festival has given its short Scottish documentaryaward to Edward Brooke-Hitching for The Really Terrible Orchestra.
  • Ricky Bobby still reigns at North American box office

    Sony's Tallladega Nights:The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby stayed inpole position in its second weekend at the North American box office ahead ofBuena Vista's dance drama Step Up andParamount's 9/11 drama World Trade Center.Talladega Nights will cross $100m later this week after adding anestimated $23m for $91.2m.Step Up, which stars Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, openedsuperbly well in second place despite lacklustre reviews and took $21.1m. Itwas pr
  • Roger Michell opts out of next Bond film

    Britishdirector Roger Michell has confirmed that he will notbe directing the next Bond movie, the 22nd in the 007 franchise."I'vedecided not to do it," Michell told "I was very tempted. Ispent a long time working on it but I wasn't tempted enough to actually jumpin. At the last minute, I looked over the
  • Routh, Stallone, Strathairn in fillms at Palm Springs Short Films Festival

    Brandon Routh, David Strathairn and Timothy Hutton feature in someof the films at the upcoming Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films& Short Film Market.
  • Saints kicks off IFP's Independent Film Week in Sept

    The 28th Annual IFP Market and 1st Annual Filmmaker Conferencewill be among highlights of IFP's annual Independent Film Week in September.
  • Sarajevo unveils documentary competition and Panorama

    The12th Sarajevo Film Festival (Aug 18-26) has announced further details of thisyear's programme. Inaddition to the feature competition announced earlier this month, Sarajevo has announced the 19films in its documentary competition, including six from Bosnia and Herzegovina (see below). The documentary programme will offer a Heartof Sarajevo best documentary award for the first t
  • Screen West Midlands starts talent awards

    Screen West Midlands is launching new awards to recognise and promote theregional screen media industry.The media talent awards willbe offered in three categories: new filmmaker, excellence in development andoutstanding achievement. "Screen WM is proud to haveworked with the industry for the last five years and recognise the importanceof celebrating the West Midlands superior wealth ofscreen media talent," said Ro
  • Sheffield Documentary Festival plans new pitching programme

    The Sheffield International Documentary Festival has created a newpitching programme, The MeetMarket,to be launched at this year's festival (Oct 30-Nov 5).The Documentary Filmmakers Group is presenting and coordinating the new programme. Selected documentary ideas will be presented inone-minute pitch trailers made available online to buyers before the festival.They will select which film-makers they will meet during the event. "We already have very good established pitching comp
  • Snakes falls short of hype with $15.25m domestic opening

    Despite the hype, New Line's Snakes On A Plane had a disappointing opening weekend inNorth America, taking $13.85m on 3,555 screens in three days and $15.25mincluding 10pm shows on Thursday night.
  • Snakes On A Plane

    Dir: David R. Ellis. US.2006. 106mins.After all its pre-release hype, Snakes On A Plane is as wondrously sillyand ruthlessly unrelenting as one could hope. Though by no means a stellarpiece of cinema, this late-summer thriller is an entertaining B-movie gleefullystuffed with bad tough-guy dialogue, obvious stock characters, cheaptitillation and lots and lots of snake attacks.An internetsensation that, e
  • Sony challenges BVI's Pirates record in Spain

    Sony Pictures Releasing International (SRI) has challenged BuenaVista International's claim that Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest set a new industry opening record inSpain last weekend.
  • Spanish films get pole positions at New York Film Festival

    GuillermoDel Toro's gothic fairy tale Pan's Labyrinth will close the 44th New York Film Festival, while PedroAlmodovar's drama Volver has been namedthe centerpiece presentation.
  • Steven Leighton moves to Fox Home Entertainment UK

    Steven Leightonhas been named UK managing director for Twentieth CenturyFox Home Entertainment. He replaces John Stanley, who as ScreenDaily.comreported yesterday, is leaving Fox to join Warner Bros UK.He has been withFox Home Entertainment since 2004 as managing director of Au
  • The Flying Scotsman

    Dir: Douglas Mackinnon. UK. 2006. 105minsThe triumph of the sporting underdog may be a triedand tested narrative convention but TheFlying Scotsman lends an extra human dimension to the formula; championcyclist Graeme Obree wasn't just chasing records hewas also fighting personal demons. Belying its fractured production history,Douglas Mackinnon's feature emerges as a solidly crafted, carefully balancedbiographical heartwarmer that ha
  • The Killing Of John Lennon

    Dir/scr: Andrew Piddington. UK. 2006. 112mins.The very thought of a film about Mark David Chapmanis enough to provoke a knee-jerk reaction of resistance: do we really needanother portrait of a killer' The striking independent feature The Killing Of JohnLennon silences any reservations. Beautifully crafted, it studiously avoidssliding into the sensationalist mire of exploitation fare like Dahmer (2002).Inste
  • TIFF introduces $10,000 cash prize for Canadian producers

    Theupcoming 31st Toronto International Film Festival has inaugurated a producers'award supporting the Canadian industry in partnership with Canadian Film andTelevision Production Association (CFTPA) and the finalists of Telefilm CanadaPITCH THIS!
  • TLA takes multiple territory rights on Boy Culture

    TLA Releasing has acquiredall North American, UK, Australian and New Zealand theatrical and homeentertainment rights to Q AllanBrocka's gay drama Boy Culture.The picture received its USpremiere at Tribeca and tells of a male escort who must learn to open up to hisfeelings before he can have sex with an elderly client.Derek Magyar, JonathonTrent, and Patrick Bauchau star in the picture, which will open in theatres inMarch 2007.TLA partner and director ofacquisitions
  • UK producers to pitch at first Nordic Co-Production Forum

    Ten UK production companies will pitch new feature film projects to potential co-producers in Scandinavia at the first Nordic Co-Production Forum, which takes place on Monday, 21 August-Tuesday, 22 August during the Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund.Organised with UK-German content financing consultancy peacefulfish and Film London, the Forum concludes the 12th edition of New Nordic Films, the market for new Nordic cinema, which runs between Aug 18-21 with a record num
  • Valderama, Universal to make Partybuddys movie

    Wilmer Valderrama will produce and possibly star in Universal Pictures'story about Partybuddys founders James King and Jason Roefaro.
  • Werber's Earthmen Friends to open Montreal

    BernardWerber's Our Earthmen Friends will openthe 30th Montreal World Film Festival on Aug 24.
  • White Planet, Ghobadi Mozart film added to TIFF world premiere roster

    Arctic documentary TheWhite Planet and films commissioned for the 250thanniversary of the birth of Mozart have been added to the line-up of the 31stToronto International Film Festival. The festival is also addingchild-themed programming under its Sprockets brand, including the NorthAmerican premiere of Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker, directed by Geoffrey Sax and featuring Ewan McGregor, Bill Nighy, AliciaSilverstone and Mickey Rourke.Directed by Thierry