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20 February 2009

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  • A dog's path to glory: The ups and downs of financing and producing Slumdog Millionaire

    The UK's Film4 rarely buys a book without a production company involved, but chief Tessa Ross did just that when she first read Q&A by Vikas Swarup, the source novel for Slumdog Millionaire. 'It had a fantastic landscape, a clever plot and a way of telling the story of a boy's life in the present that I liked,' she recalls.Ross pitched the book to screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, who agreed that the book would make a good film and signed on to write it. Beaufoy went on two res
  • Alta Films picks up Spanish rights to Stephen Frears' Cheri

    Spanish distribution outfit Alta Films has picked up theatrical rights for Spain to Stephen Frears' Berlin competition title Cheri, starring Michelle Pfeiffer. The deal was done at Berlin between Alta and Pathe International who hold sales rights to the film. A release date is yet to be confirmed. Frears' drama Cheri is based on the novel by Colette and adapted for the screen by scriptwriter Christopher Ham
  • Arthouse takes on Shulman doc Visual Acoustics

    Arthouse Films has acquired North American and worldwide rights to feature documentary Visual Acoustics: The Modernism Of Julius Shulman.Eric Bricker directed the film, which explores the career of 98-year-old architectural photographer Julius Shulman, who works with human models and striking landscapes to explore how nature mixes with urban design. Dustin Hoffman narrates the film, which also features interviews with Frank Gehry, Tom Ford, Ed Ruscha, Kelly Lynch, Dante Spinot
  • Awards Countdown - BAFTAs - BAFTA 'slums' it

    It was a Sally Field experience for Slumdog Millionaire at this year's Bafta film awards (February 8) as Danny Boyle and his team discovered the British Academy really, really liked their film. Seven awards from 11 nominations, including best film, made it the top dog of the evening and it would be an extremely rash individual who would bet against its fairy-tale journey ending in triumph at the Oscars later this month.The awards offered little in the way of surprises or shocks,
  • Benjamin Button scores another stunning weekend for WBPI

    If there were any doubts that The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button lacked the momentum to replicate its impressive North American success overseas those were dispelled at the weekend as David Fincher's Oscar-nominated drama stayed ahead of the Hollywood pack and soared past $100m with another dominant display.An estimated $31m weekend hoisted the
  • Berlin Bear winners sell well for Match Factory, Bavaria

    Sales have been strong for Berlin Bear winners handled by German-based sales agents The Match Factory and Bavaria Film International.
  • Berlin critics jury grid: Milk Of Sorrow tops in lacklustre year

    The 59th Berlinale’s competition line-up was undistinguished; as can quickly be seen from Screen International critics’ jury (click here to see full grid), no single film won over the crowd and there were very few ‘excellent’ marks awarded.
  • Berlin's EFM a 'mixed bag', according to market director Beki Probst

    'It has been a mixed bag this year' was market director Beki Probst's verdict on the 2009 edition of the European Film Market (EFM) which finally closed its doors on February 13.'Some people would say it was good, some better than what they expected and some that it was not good,' observed Probst in an exclusive interview with Screen Daily. 'In a way, I think we have had that kind of reaction in other years. Only, this year you have the cloud of
  • Brazil - Odd couple on top

    After six weeks on release, Fox International's If I Were You 2 (Se Eu Fosse Voce 2) has out-performed the highest grossing film of 2008, Warner Bros' The Dark Knight, to become one of the most successful local films of all time in Brazil. With revenues of $17m (r$39.1m) to date - The Dark Knight grossed $14.2m (r$32.7m) - the romantic comedy has overtaken the 2005 hit Two Sons Of Francisco which garnered $16m (r$36.7m) in 2005. However, in terms of admissio
  • British Film Institute and Anthony Minghella's family plan tribute

    The British Film Institute and Anthony Minghella's family will celebrate his life and work and mark the first anniversary of his death with a movie marathon to be held on his birthplace, the Isle of Wight. The charity tribute will take place over the weekend of March 13 -15 and will screen seven of his films. Alan Rickman will be among those who worked with Minghella to give talks at certain screenings. Gioia Minghella, Anthony's sister, said: 'Anthony was proud
  • BritWeek to kick off on April 21 with a gala dinner for Blair

    BritWeek 2009 will kick off on April 21 with a gala dinner honouring former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair in support of the charity Malaria No More.The programme for the third annual networking and fundraising event includes a film-makers forum for Los Angeles and London-based creatives.'We Brits love Los Angeles and we believe in it,' BritWeek co-founder Nigel Lythgoe said. 'Times are tough but we are here to stay and in a big way.
  • Chan, Polybona establish production company Cinema Popular

    Beijing-based Polybona Film Distribution, Hong Kong film-maker Peter Ho-Sun Chan and Chinese producer/director Huang Jianxin have jointly established Beijing-based film production company Cinema Popular, as part of Beijing-based Bona International Film Group.The company has set up a film fund of $73.1m (RMB500m) and plans to produce 15 films in the next three years. According to Chan, the 15 films will belarger-budget films(over RMB100m or $14.62m) as w
  • Confessions Of A Shopaholic

    Dir: PJ Hogan. US. 2009. 104mins.Fashion magnate Coco Chanel once declared that luxury is the opposite of vulgarity but in the current economic climate such conspicuous consumption can seem somewhat tacky, or even a sign of mental psychosis, especially when a character opines, 'No man will ever treat you as well as a store.' Confessions Of A Shopaholic, a bright, shiny bauble that serves as Isla Fisher's debut as a leading lady, attempts to mitigate that conflict
  • Content Republic teams up with Telepool on digital releases

    Content Republic has entered a partnership with Telepool GmbH, the German film and television distribution outfit which will see Content Republic handle the digital release of some of Telepool's best selling titles. The digital distribution outfit will release Germany's box office hit comedies 7 Dwarves and 7 Dwarves: The Wood Is Not Enough. Other Telepool titles include Peter Brosens award winning drama Khadak and Robert Gl
  • Crossing Over

    Dir/scr: Wayne Kramer. US. 2008. 113mins.Trying to put a human face on the plight of undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles, Crossing Over is an unsteady balancing act of bleeding-heart melodrama, crime thriller, and multi-thread ensemble piece in the vein of Crash or Babel. Writer-director Wayne Kramer's ambitious third feature has experienced a bumpy journey to the screen, due to supposed post-production disagreements and the removal of Sean Penn's
  • DeaPlaneta sells key Spanish titles at Berlin

    Spanish sales outfit DeaPlaneta sold several of their leading titles at the Berlin film festival, including Irene Cardona's Spanish-Moroccan romantic comedy Un Novio Para Yasmina and Gracia Querejeta's award winning Seven Billiards Tables. Cardona's comedy about marriages of convenience was sold to Daxar Multimedia for theatrical release in the Middle East and Horizon Films International for Turkey. Seven Billiards Tables , Querejeta's movin
  • Deutschland 09

    Dir: various (see below). Germany. 2009. 154mins.
  • Dieter Kosslick extends Berlinale contract till 2013

    Dieter Kosslick is staying put at the Berlinale - the festival director confirmed to Screen that his contract as festival director has been extended by another two years until April 30, 2013, four weeks before his 65th birthday. It was originally scheduled to expire in 2011. He also expressed optimism yesterday about the European Film Market (EFM) and defended the standard of films in this year's competition. 'I have spoken with all of the i
  • Dimension networks with Sara Rue, Robert Green

    Dimension Films is developing an untitled thriller based on anoriginal idea about a social networking website from actress Sara Rueand producing partner Robert Green.Rue and Green will produce and T S Faull will write the script, whichis being kept under wraps and centres on high school students and issaid to be in the vein of Ten Little Indians.'Online social networking is a widespread phenomenon that interests megreatly,' The Weinstein Co
  • Dod Mantle takes ASC feature film prize for Slumdog Millionaire

    Anthony Dod Mantle won top feature film honours for his work on Slumdog Millionaire at the 23rd Annual American Society Of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement Awards on Sunday [February 15].Mantle's victory served as the latest reminder - not that any were needed - that the Mumbai-set rags-to-riches tale approaches Oscar weekend as a heavywe
  • Eden is West

    Dir: Costa-Gavras. France/Italy/Greece. 2009. 111 mins.
  • Editorial - Making connections

    Those uninitiated in the idiosyncrasies of the film business would have come away from Berlin with their heads spinning.The market itself, of course, was confusing enough without a really clean-cut theme. In good times, one can wheel out cliches about booms and ringing tills but in the downturn, it's tougher. Conversations about the state of the business are skewed by the quite understandable desire not to talk down the market, but the Martin Gropius-Bau was far from a mausoleum. Tradi
  • Empire Of Silver (Baiyin Diguo)

    Dir: Christina Yao. China-Taiwan-Hong Kong. 2009. 115mins.Savings and loans crises meld with an unrequited love story in Taiwanese stage director Christina Yao’s first feature. Set in mainland China around 1899, this odd epic has a polished and well-crafted look - it’s clear that reams of research has gone into getting the costumes and sets of this Europeanised stage in China’s history just right. But while the film may get a boost from the timeliness of the story, which
  • Era New Horizons to offer cash prizes

    Polish film festival Era New Horizons 2009 is to introduce financial rewards for its winners with four of the five competitive sections of the ENH 2009 to offer $90,300 (Eu70,000) in cash prizes and distribution guarantees. New Horizons International Competition, the competitive section of the festival screening 14 features that haven't yet been seen in Poland will offer $25,800 (Euros 20,000) to the Grand Prix winner. The winners of Grand Prix, Audience Award and Film C
  • Eurimages plans contribution systemrestructure

    A clearer picture is beginning to appear of how Eurimages (the Council of Europe fund for the co-production, distribution and exhibition of European cinematographic works) might change its contribution system. Last month, it emerged that Holland and Italy were considering withdrawal from Eurimages on the grounds that they put more into the Fund than they get. However, over the weekend in Berlin, at what sources have called a 'constructive' and useful meeting, idea
  • Fabian's Skin takes audience, jury prizes at Pan African Festival in LA

    Sean Baker's drama Prince Of Broadway won the 17th Annual Pan African Film And Arts Festival's narrative feature competition but the audience award went to Anthony Fabian's drama Skin starring Sophie Okonedo and Skin was also named Jury Favourite.J
  • Fidalgo takes Norwegian rights to two Berlin competitors

    Norwegian distributor Fidalgo has acquired two films which had their world premieres in this year's Competition at the Berlinale.Deals were concluded by Fidalgo with The Match Factory for Uruguayan filmmaker Adrian Biniez's feature debut Gigante and with TrustNordisk for Annette K. Olesen's Little Soldier. In addition, Berlin-based distributor Neue Visionen secured German theatrical, DVD and TV rights to 8th Wonderland by the French directorial duo Nic
  • Film Critics honour The Black Balloon as best Australian film

    The Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA) tonight in Sydney presented its annual best Australian film award to The Black Balloon and voted the film's director, Elissa Down, the best in her category.Slumdog Millionaire topped the category for English-language foreign films and The Diving Bell And The Butterfly for foreign language films.This is the last significant set of local awards for the 2008 batch of Australian films but unlike previous pre
  • Film producers to access Saxony-Anhalt $64m loan programme

    Film producers will have access to a $64m (Euros 50m) loan programme in Germany's Saxony-Anhalt which has been launched to support the media industry in the state. The 'Sachsen -Anhalt IMPULS Medien' programme offers locally based production companies loans of up to $3.8m (Euros 3m) per project. The loans are set at an annual rate of interest of 9.45% over a maximum of 15 years and can be combined with other sources of finance, including international. Th
  • Finnish Film Foundation helps fund Harlin's homecoming, Mannerheim

    The Finnish Film Foundation (FFF) has awarded $567,000 (Eu450,000) of funding to Finnish director Renny Harlin's come-back to local filmmaking, the $12.6m (Eu10m) Mannerheim, which will be the largest feature film project ever staged in Finland. The bio-pic stars Finnish actor Mikko Nousiainen as Finland's Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim. Scripted by Heikki Vihinen and Marko Leino, Mannerheim depicts the life of the Sw
  • Friday The 13th

    Dir Marcus Nispel. US. 2009. 97mins. Hollywood's latest 're-imagining' of a video era horror classic is a muscular but pretty unimaginative take on the films that turned hockey-masked, machete-wielding anti-hero Jason Voorhees into a slasher icon. Director Marcus Nispel and producer Michael Bay, who successfully updated The Texas Chainsaw Massacre five years ago, could well have another mid-level hit on their hands this time out. It remains to be seen, though, whe
  • Friday The 13th remake sets horror opening record with $42.2m

    Horror has a new champion as remake specialist Marcus Nispel's Friday The 13th (2009) scored the biggest launch weekend in the history of the genre thanks to an estimated $42.2m three-day haul, breezing past the previous mark set by The Grudge on $39.1m in October 2004.
  • Garapa

    Dir: Jose Padilha. Brazil. 2009. 110mins.
  • Geoff Gilmore to be chief creative officer at Tribeca

    Tribeca Enterprises has announced that Geoff Gilmore will take up the role of chief creative officer, Gilmore will leave his current role as director of the Sundance Film Festivalafter a career spanning 19 years in total at Sundance.
  • Germany's TMG picks up new films by Redford, Gilliam, Carpenter

    Herbert Kloiber’s Tele München Group (TMG) acquired the German rights to new films by Robert Redford, Terry Gilliam and John Carpenter at this year’s European Film Marketduring the Berlinale.
  • Hunger dominates Irish Film & Television Awards

    Steve McQueen's Hunger collected six of the major film awards at last night's Irish Film & Television Awards ceremony in Dublin. Hunger was named best film, and also collected IFTAs for actor in a lead role, film for Michael Fassbender, actor in a supporting role, film for Liam Cunningham, original score David Holmes, production design Tom McCullag
  • Hyde Park, Activers to co-produce Korean Mata Hari story

    Korea's Activers Entertainment has announced a deal with Ashok Amritraj's Hyde Park Entertainment and investment banking firm Film Financial Services (FFS) to co-produce Against Conspiracy (working title), a $20m film based on 'the Korean Mata Hari story' of Kim Soo-im, a woman accused of and executed for being a North Korean spy in 1950. Against Conspiracy will be an English-language film shot 70% in Korea and 30% in the US. The story of Kim Soo-im
  • IFC Films takes US rights to Canadian zombie movie Pontypool

    IFC Films has acquired US rights to Bruce McDonald's Canadian zombie horror Pontypool starring Stephen McHattie.Meanwhile the picture's international sales agents Forward Motion Entertainment have sold rights to the UK (Kaleidoscope), South Korea (Mirovision), the Middle East (Eagle/Phonenicia Pictures), Hungary (Cinetel) and Malaysia (VSG).
  • Indian film industry revenues to remain flat in 2009

    Following years of rapid growth, the combined revenues of the Indian film industry, including box office and ancillary revenues, are expected to remain flatin 2009at around $2.2bn (Rs109.2bn), according to a joint FICCI-KPMG report. Long-term prospects remain strong - the report also stated that the industry would grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.1% to reach $3.4bn (Rs168.6bn) by 2013 - due to factors such as the expansion of multiplex screens, enhanced penetra
  • India's FICCI Frames conference opens in reflective mood

    The tenth FICCI Frames entertainment convention got underway in Mumbai today (Feb 17) with industry leaders chewing over the impact that the global financial crisis is having on the local film and television industries. Although domestic box office picked up in the fourth quarter of 2008, India's film industry is facing a liquidity crunch that is making it difficult to raise fresh capital. According to a KPMG report, film industry revenues are expected to remain flat at
  • International - Button's up to top

    Warner Bros' The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button climbed to the top of Screen's international chart over the February 6-8 weekend. It was up 171% on the weekend before to $32.6m, with over 4 million admissions in 42 markets. Debuts in key territories helped boost revenue, with France, Spain, the UK and Japan bringing in $5.5m, $5m, $3.3m and $3.4m respectively.Benjamin Button opened at number one in Spain, where it took double the revenue of its nearest contender (
  • International premiere of Ong Bak 2 toopen midnight strand at SXSW

    The International premiere of Tony Jaa's martial arts action romp Ong Bak 2 will kick off the South By Southwest festival's inaugural midnight section next month, SXSW Presents Fantastic Fest At Midnight.The line-up of six pictures includes the world premieres of Pierre Laffargue's blaxploitation homage Black
  • Jaman partners with Cinetic to expand catalogue

    Jaman, the company behind the eponymous UK and US website featuring independent and world cinema, has increased its collection of titles to 7000 following a deal with Cinetic Rights Management. Cinetic, which maximises revenue opportunities for filmmakers, has licensed a collection which includes the documentary We Are Wizards - a profile of the underground Harry Potter community - and Paul Todisco's One Day Like Rain. The website's current titles,
  • Joseph Phillips takes lead in UK family feature Halo Boy

    Director Stephen Cookson is currently shooting family feature Halo Boy in London for CKM Entertainments.Joseph Phillips, a 16-year-old actor who played Michael in London's stage version of Billy Eliot, has taken the lead role in Halo Boy.Cookson says of his star: ''I was looking for not only someone who is very natural in front of the camera, but has the maturity to work through our intensive shooting schedule'.The cast also features Timothy Spa
  • Kampe and Tron's Visit Films closes key territories on EFM titles

    Ryan Kampe and Sylvain Tron's New York-based sales company Visit Films has closed key territories on its EFM slate, led by the noir mystery The Missing Person starring Michael Shannon and David Russo's comedy The Immaculate Conception Of Little Dizzle.Rights to
  • Kelly Reilly, Julian Rhind-Tutt are Meant To Be for Corsan

    Belgian production, finance and international sales company Corsanannounced that production began this week in Puerto Rico on theromantic comedy Meant To Be.Kelly Reilly, Julian Rhindt-Tutt, Mia Maestro, Santiago Cabrera andKris Marshall star in the tale of a guardian angel who risks becominga fallen angel when he comes to earth in an effort to win the heart ofthe woman of his dreams.Paul Breuls will direct and produce following his debut f
  • Keri Russell joins Fraser, Ford in CBS Films' first feature

    Keri Russell has signed to star opposite Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford in The Untitled Crowley Project, CBS Films' first feature that is set to go before the cameras on April 6.In the drama Russell and Fraser will play parents of children with a rare genetic disorder who hook up with an unconventional scientist played by Ford in a race to find a cure.Tom Vaughan is directing and Ford serve
  • Kim Ki-duk Film sues Korea's Studio 2.0

    Korean director Kim Ki-duk's production company, Kim Ki-duk Film, has filed suit against distributor Studio 2.0 for suspicion of profits embezzlement from the box office success Rough Cut, directed by Kim Ki-duk protege Jang Hun. Rough Cut was made for less than $1.5m with co-producer Sponge Entertainment and leading men Kang Ji-hwan and So Ji-sub investing. It became a critically-acclaimed, unexpected box office success when it clocked up 1.3 mi
  • Kloiber's TMG extends US deal with Augsberger for three years

    Herbert Kloiber's Tele Muenchen Group (TMG) has extended its exclusive US representation deal with Thomas Augsberger's LA-based Eden Rock Media for the next three years.The extension follows a busy Berlin for TMG during which Augsberger acquired German rights to Robert Redford's The Company You Keep and Terry Gilliam's Zero Theorem from Voltage Pictures and John C
  • Lance Weiler's multi-screen ambitions

    Many independent film-makers try to self-distribute their films or use new platforms; Lance Weiler has actually succeeded in grossing $5m from the self-distribution and digital dissemination of his past work.The Pennsylvania-based writer-director pioneered digital distribution with 1998's The Last Broadcast and 2006's Head Trauma and is now planning his most ambitious work to date - cross-media horror project HIM.As a feature film, HIM will be based o
  • Latido closes number of deals on Sex, Party & Lies

    Madrid-based sales outfit Latido has closed several sales on Sex, Party & Lies by Albacete and Menkes. The film, to be released by Sony Spain on 250 prints in late March, has gone to Korea (Planis Entertainment), Greece (Art Free) and the US (Multivision). France, Italy and Russia are in negotiation and Latido is fielding offers from Japan. New on Latido's slate is A Good Man by Juan Martinez Moreno, billed as 'a serious moral thriller in the sty
  • Marcos De Oliveira named head of MPAA's Brazil operations

    Marcos De Oliveira has been named managing director of the Motion Picture Association's Brazil operations, a role that will place him front and centre of the body's government relations and anti-piracy initiatives in the territory.De Oliviera will assume his new position on February 16 and will report to Motion Picture Association president and COO Bob Pisano.He most recently worked as managing director for Twentieth Century Fox Aus
  • Match Factory floats with Vinterberg's Submarino

    The Match Factory has taken on sales for Thomas Vinterberg's low budget feature Submarino which is based on the novel of the same name by Jonas T Bengston. The deal continues Match's collaboration with Danish production house Nimbus Film after handling international sales on their previous productions of Ole Christian Madsen's Flame & Citron and Soren Kragh-Jacobsen's What No One Knows. Starring Jacob Cedergren and Peter Plaugborg, the f
  • Media Asia closes slew of saleson The Sniper

    Media Asia has closed deals on Dante Lam's The Sniper for territories including Germany, France, the UK and Turkey. The film, about a police sniper who vows to take revenge after he is unjustly imprisoned, has gone to KSM in Germany, Wild Side in France, Showbox in the UK, Horizon in Turkey, Blitz in the former Yugoslavia and IntermedyaforHungary, Romania, Slovak Republic and Czech Republic. Richie Jen, Edison Chen and Huang Xiaoming head the cast of th
  • Mexico and Canada are film piracy hotspots, says IIPA

    The copyright industries that make up the International Intellectual Property Alliance have recommended that Mexico and Canada be among a list of 13 countries that be placed on a priority watch list.In a submission to the Office of the US Trade Representative filed today [February 17] in the annual Special 301 review of intellectual property protection and market access issues in foreign countries, the organisation called for China and Russia -
  • Miami Film Festival to open with Valentino: The Last Emperor

    Matt Tyrnauer's documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor and Daniel Burman's comedy Empty Nest (El Nido Vacio) bookend the 26th Annual Miami International Film Festival, set to run from March 6-15.All in all the 137 selections represent more than 40 countries offering four world premieres, 22 North American premieres and 18 US premieres. The roster includes Sebastian
  • Motion Picture Association opens Mumbai office

    The Motion Picture Association (MPA) has opened an office in Mumbai to represent the US film, video and TV industries at a time when the US studios are stepping up their investment in Indian film and TV. The newly-established Motion Picture Distribution Association (India) Pvt Ltd will work with local Indian film industries and the Indian government to reduce market access restrictions and high taxation; promote the establishment of intellectual property courts in India;
  • My One And Only

    Dir: Richard Loncraine. US. 2009. 108mins.
  • Necessities Of Life leads Genie Awards nominations

    Benoit Pilon's The Necessities Of Life received eight nominations and Yves-Christian Fornier's Everything Is Fine received seven as the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television announced the contenders for the 29th-annual Genie Awards. Necessities Of Life was Canada's submission for the foreign-language Oscar. The two Quebecois titles were followed closely by other multiple nominees including Paul Gross's WWI epic Passchendaele
  • NeoClassics' new wave of world cinema

    Though he did an early stint in Hollywood as a senior attorney at Warner Bros and a business affairs executive at ICM, Irwin Olian has spent most of his working life as an entrepreneur in the financial, medical and mining industries.But even while he was busy in other fields, he says, 'I kept feeling there was a tremendous opportunity in the independent film arena for a quality niche distributor that would focus on bringing world cinema to the screens of North America.'The resul
  • New Directors/New Films to open with Amreeka, close with Push

    Cherien Dabis' Amreeka will open the New Directors/New Films 2009 programme presented by New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Amreeka is about a single mother and her teenage son who move from Ramallah to middle America.The series will have its first ever closing night film, Lee Daniels' Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Push: Based On A Novel By Sapphire, about a lonely, pregnantteenage girlin Harlem.The 39th ND/NF - which aim
  • Paramount extends deal with Montecito, Cold Spring to 2012

    Paramount Pictures has extended its agreement with The Montecito Picture Company and Cold Spring Pictures to run through February 2012.The arrangement gives the studio an exclusive first look at Montecito's diverse productions, as well as the non-exclusive opportunity to co-finance films through Montecito's financing facility, Cold Spring Pictures.The Montecito Picture Company was set up in 1998 by Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock. The p
  • Paramount scares up 30+ territory opening for Friday The 13th

    Paramount and New Line's horror remake Friday The 13th will be the oneto beat when it opens day-and-date with North America in more than 30territories through PPI this weekend.Highlights are expected to come from France on February 11, Germanyand Russia on February 12 and the UK, Japan, Mexico, Italy, Spain,Brazil and Austria on February 13.Meanwhile the Ricky Gervais comedy Ghost Town arrives in Australia onFebruary 12 and the tee
  • Peru's The Milk Of Sorrow wins Golden Bear at Berlinale

    For the second year running, the Berlinale's Golden Bear has gone to Latin America with the International Jury led by Tilda Swinton selecting Peruvian filmmaker Claudia Llosa's second feature The Milk Of Sorrow for the top honours this year.Sold internationally by The Match Factory and supported by the Berlinale's World Cinema Fund among others, Llo
  • Promotional Feature - Irish Cream

    Now in its sixth year, the annual Irish Film & Television Awards (Iftas) focuses on Irish talent working at home and around the world. Irish Film & Television Academy CEO Aine Moriarty says the awards recognise the working lives of Irish people in front of and behind the camera. 'Ireland has a fantastic resource of creative talent and 2008 was another strong year across a very interesting mix of genres and styles. The 960-member Academy is proud to give due recognition and reward to home-grow
  • Pyramide goes strong on Corsini's Leaving

    Pyramide International has announced strong pre-sales on Catherine Corsini's Leaving at the European Film Market in Berlin. Metrodome acquired the film for the UK with Lumiere taking it in Benelux, Gussi in Mexico and Alfa in Argentina. A deal for Australia and New Zealand is imminent, according to the French sales house while buyers in the US, Germany, Italy and Spain are circling. Starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Sergi Lopez and Yvan Attal, Corsini's work
  • Rai sells Fausto Brizzi's Ex to Notro for Spain

    Rai Trade has seen a flurry of interest in Ex, the new romantic comedy directed by Fausto Brizzi. The film is currently at the top of the domestic box office, grossing $6.1m (Euros 4.76m) off its first seven days in Italian cinemas.During Berlin's EFM, Rai Trade sold Ex to Notro for Spain. Rai Trade CEO Carlo Nardello said: 'Notro is planning a release of 100 copies next summer, a sign that the Italian comedy is once again gaining appreciation beyond our
  • Rapid Eye picks up Phantom'sLove Exposure

    Rapid Eye has acquired all German-speaking rights to Forum title Love Exposure from Japan's Phantom Film. Directed by Sono Sion, the four-hour drama follows a young boy who falls in love with a girl who later becomes his step sister. He is then forced to rescue her, along with her mother and his own father, from a religious cult. The cast is headed by Nishijima Takahiro, Mitsushima Hikari and Ando Sakura. The film opened on one screen at the Eurosp
  • Red Cliff leads the charge for Hong Kong Film Awards

    John Woo's war epic Red Cliff is the front-runner for this year's Hong Kong Film Awards, with 14 nominations, followed by biopic Ip Man and fantasy epic Painted Skin with 12 nods each. Red Cliff was nominated for best film, best director, best actor for Tony Leung Chiu-wai's performance, and best supporting actor and actress for Zhang Fengyi and Vicky Zhao Wei respectively. Gordan Chan's Painted Skin also picked up a best film no
  • Robert Towne to receive AFI Dallas Star Award at late March festival

    Robert Towne will receive the AFI Dallas Star Award in recognition of his career as a film-maker and screenwriter on the 35th anniversary of Chinatown.The festival also announced ten new additions to the line-up, among them Scott Hamilton's documentary Oscar nominee The Garden, Kazuya Tsurumaki's Japanese anime adaptation Evangeli
  • Shoreline cleans up with The Maid deals at EFM

    Shoreline has closed several key territories at EFM on SebastianSilva's Chilean drama The Maid (La Nana) on the back of its grand jury prize win in Sundance's world cinema dramatic section.Rights have gone to Golem Distribucion in Spain, Bolero Films inItaly, Ost For Paradis for Denmark, Action Film for Norway, and GatenoFilms for Peru, Ecuador and Central America.The Los Angeles-based production and sales company's Berlin slate alsoincluded Nahi
  • Short sighted: Screen profiles the Oscar-nominated shorts

    BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECTTHE CONSCIENCE OF NHEM ENNominated three times before and an Oscar winner in 1990 for his documentary short Days Of Waiting, Steven Okazaki went to Cambodia to research and shoot The Conscience Of Nhem En. The film explores issues of conscience and complicity in the story of a 16-year-old soldier who, during the late-1970s rule of the Khmer Rouge, was given the job of photographing 6,000 men, women and children before
  • ShoWest to honour Sienna Miller as supporting actress of year

    Sienna Miller will be anointed as ShoWest 2009's supporting actress ofthe year when the annual convention runs from March 30-April 2 in LasVegas.Miller, who will star this summer in Paramount/Spyglass' spy actionpicture G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra, will accept the accolade at thefinal night banquet and awards ceremony on April 2.Stephen Sommers directed the picture and the North American releasehas been set for August 7.Her previous
  • Simon Ellis talks Dogging...and romance

    Simon Ellis became one of the hottest rising talents of the UK film scene with his lauded short film, Soft, about a father and son coming to terms with bullying. That Bafta-nominated film won 35 festival prizes including best international short at Sundance 2008.For his first feature he isn't playing it safe by any means. He has made a film with a darkly comic, different sensibility from Soft and the title - Dogging: A Love Story - signals that it is an unusual pro
  • Six sentenced in illegal Internet broadcast of Les Bronzes 3

    A Paris court has sentencedsix people, includingthree employees of TF1, to a one month suspended jail sentence for their involvement in illegally broadcasting Patrice Leconte's 2006 hit Les Bronzes 3 Amis Pour La Vie on the Internet. Agence France Presse reports that two of those sentenced are employees of TF1's technical service who admitted having copied the film from a version that was intended to be used for promotional purposes. Les Bronzes 3, 2006's highe
  • Sweden - The big time

    Has the Swedish wunderkind rediscovered his box-office lustre' In advance of its gala screening in competition at the Berlinale, Lukas Moodysson's Mammoth, his first English-language film, was already on top of the Swedish box-office charts. The film was outperforming The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. This was the first time Moodysson had been number one in Sweden for almost a decade. (His last big local hit was back in 2000 with his comedy-drama Together.)Now,
  • Sweet Rush (Tatarak)

    Dir/scr: Andrzej Wajda. Poland. 2009. 85mins.
  • The Milk Of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada)

    Dir: Claudia Llosa. Spain-Peru. 2009. 95mins.
  • TIFFG names Karen Black director, Canadian initiatives

    The Toronto International Film Festival Group has named Karen Black as director, Canadian initiatives, for the organisation. Black has served as acting director for the past year, following Cam Haynes' departure in 2008.Her remit includes TIFFG's Film Circuit, Canada's Top Ten and the Student Film Showcase. She will also be responsible for industry programming during the September festival, including the Talent Lab, the Telefilm Canada Pitch This! sessions, and Match Cl
  • UK Film Council takes delegation to FICCI Frames in Mumbai

    On the back of the success of Slumdog Millionaire and with the UK India co-production treaty in place, UK film companies will travel to Mumbai to meet their Indian counterparts and to attend the 10th edition of India's FICCI Frames Entertainment Conference. UK film sales, production, facilities and service companies will make up the export delegation and will look to capitalise on projects that require Indian creative and business input. The companies tra
  • Universum Film developing Tractors bestseller with UK's Trijbits

    German distributor Universum Film has joined forces with UK-based producer Paul Trijbits of Ruby Films for the development of an adaptation of Marina Lewycka's A Short History Of Tractors In Ukrainian. The culture clash comedy about a dysfunctional Ukranian family living in Peterborough in the 1990s was a bestseller in the UK and Germany. Universum Film's managing director Tania Reichert-Facilides told ScreenDaily that the company is also involved i
  • Waisbren: Don't hesitate - consolidate!

    In times of trouble, the big beasts always herd together. 'Consolidate or die' has been the frequent mantra when the independent film business is under threat. It was very much the message given by Ben Waisbren, president and chief executive of Continental Entertainment Capital, during his keynote speech at the Screen International European Film Summit in Berlin last week. 'Don't hesitate - consolidate!' he told the audience of financiers and producers assembled at the Embassy
  • Warner Bros steps in for domestic on Edge Of Darkness

    Warner Bros has taken North American rights to GK Films' upcoming Mel Gibson thriller Edge Of Darkness, which is currently in post-production.GK had financed the film without a US distributor attached.Martin Campbell directed the story based on the BBC mini-series of the same name. Gibson plays a Boston homicide detective who uncovers a world of corporate cover-ups and government collusion when
  • Wild Bunch swims in Oceans of Berlin deals

    Wild Bunch was striking an upbeat note as the company announced its EFMdeals yesterday. Despite the credit crunch, it emerged that the French powerhouses has closed multiple territories on its packed Berlin slate. 'I think the worst is still to come. We were all afraid that Berlin would be a very bad market because of the credit crunch but I didn't find that at all,' Wild Bunch's Vincent Maraval commented of the impact of the economic downturn.
  • WKW's Jet Tone recruits Chengto directProtein Girl

    Wong Kar-wai's production outfit Jet Tone Films hasbrought on boardTaiwanese director Cheng Hsiao-tse to write and direct urban comedy drama Protein Girl. Scheduled to start shooting this summer, the film follows three characters - a thirty-something woman, a boy who is growing up to become a young Casanova and another young boy who has no luck with the ladies whatsover. The project is one of a series of films from up-and-coming Asian directors, starting
  • Working Title closes its Australian doors - again

    Working Title will be closing the doors of its Australian office as of today, sources have confirmed. Deborah Balderstone has been the head of the Sydney office since relocating from the UK in late 2004. It is understood that things between her and head honchos Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan are entirely amicable but she would not comment on the change and they were not returning calls.It is the second time this decade that the London-based production company has ope