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20 January 2002

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  • 101 Reykjavik director heads to Flach Pyramide

    French foreign sales house Flach Pyramide International has acquired The Sea, by 101 Reykjavik director Baltasar Kormakur.The $2.4m comedic family drama tells the story of the owner of an Icelandic fishery who decides to step down. Produced by Jean-Francois Fonlupt's Emotion Pictures and co-produced by Kormakur's own Blue Eye Production, The Sea is in post-production and is expected to be ready for Cannes.Also hot on Flach Pyramide's slate is Se Souvenir
  • 24 German films at 25th Goteborg festival

    The 25th Goteborg Film Festival (25.1. - 4.2.2002) is continuing its tradition of a large German presence and will be presenting a selection of 24 new German films which for the most part were already successful at other international festivals.In the main programme the festival-goers will be shown 14 German feature films under the banner of "German Stories", including two winners of the 25th Montreal World Film Festival (23.8.-3.9.2001): The Experiment (Das Experiment) b
  • Aardman to make 12 one minute films for the net

    Acclaimed UK animation studio Aardman has gone into production with 12 new one-minute Wallace And Gromit films, which are to be released later this year on the internet.Meanwhile, the company has announced that its anticipated DreamWorks SKG-backed Wallace And Gromit feature, the script for which Nick Park has been writing for the last year, will be titled The Great Vegetable Plot.Aardman's new Wallace And Gromit web shorts feature the hapless Wallace
  • Artisan buys John Herzfeld script Jealousy

    Artisan Pictures, which is ramping up production under new CEO Bob Cooper, has acquired Jealousy, a comedy script by John Herzfeld as a project for him to direct. Herzfeld's last film was 15 Minutes for New Line Cinema starring Robert De Niro and Ed Burns and he made a splashy debut in 1996 with Two Days In The Valley.Herzfeld will produced alongside his partner Eric Handler under their New Redemption banner and Industry Entertainment's Keith Addis and Nick Wechsler. J
  • Bavarian Film Awards honour Berlin competitor

    With less than three weeks to go to the Berlin International Film Festival, Official Competition entry A Map Of The Heart (Der Felsen) was amongst the main winners at this year's Bavarian Film Awards.Directed by Dominik Graf, the melodrama won the producer prize for MTM Medien & Television Muenchen, which was also lauded for its production of Caroline Link's Nirgendwo In Afrika. A Map Of The Heart's Caroline Eichhorn won best leading actress for her performa
  • Berlinale Panorama: two thirds confirmed

    New films by Lynne Stopkewitch, Mika Kaurismaki, Monica Treut, Ventura Pons and Marius Holst are among the films which have been confirmed so far as two-thirds of the line-up for the Berlinale's Panorama section.26 nations will be participating with films in the Panorama's main programme and the Panorama Dokumente and Panorama Special sidebars, and a particular focus this year will be placed on productions from France, Japan, Germany and the USA, while Eastern Europe, South America and
  • Berlinale Panorama: two thirds confirmed

    New films by Lynne Stopkewitch, Mika Kaurismaki, Monica Treut, Ventura Pons and Marius Holst are among the films which have been confirmed so far as two-thirds of the line-up for the Berlinale's Panorama section.26 nations will be participating with films in the Panorama's main programme and the Panorama Dokumente and Panorama Special sidebars, and a particular focus this year will be placed on productions from France, Japan, Germany and the USA, while Eastern Europe, South America and
  • Boeing Digital Cinema retains CAA

    The Boeing Company has retained Hollywood talent and literary agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for consulting services for the launch of Boeing Digital Cinema, its ambitious network which will be used to transmit first-run movies and alternative programming via satellite and fiber-optic network. CAA will counsel Boeing on the business strategy and marketing of the network, while Boeing will look to CAA for guidance on content programming, price structuring and alliance building.
  • Broadcast Critics shower kudos on A Beautiful Mind

    A Beautiful Mind dominated the Broadcast Film Critics Association awards over the weekend, taking the awards for best film of the year as well as director for Ron Howard, actor for Russell Crowe and supporting actress Jennifer Connelly.Howard tied with Baz Luhrmann for the director prize for Moulin Rouge. Other winners were Sissy Spacek best actress for In The Bedroom and Ben Kingsley best supporting actor for Sexy Beast.The Lord Of The Rings: The
  • Bruce Berman to stay at Village Roadshow till 2007

    Bruce Berman, the chairman and CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures (VRP), has extended his deal for another four years keeping him in his current position till 2007. The deal was agreed to with 18 months still remaining on his current pact by Berman and Graham Burke, managing director of Village Roadshow Ltd who oversees VRP with Berman.VRP has had a stunning run of success in its partnership with Warner Bros over the last three years, co-financing films such as The Matrix, Ocean's Ele
  • California proposes production tax incentives

    An apparently escalating decline in local production has prompted the state of California to propose a tax incentive to encourage film and TV producers to shoot in the state. California governor Gray Davis has announced that, if instituted, the labour-based tax credit would return $230m to the production community over three years. Although by no means the first such tax credit - more than 30 states offer incentives - it is the most generous. However, the scheme is unlikely to a
  • Chinese audiences flock to Big Shot's Funeral

    Big Shot's Funeral, Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia's production of Feng Xiaogang's comedy starring Donald Sutherland, has earned $4.3m in less than four weeks on release across China, becoming the highest-grossing domestically-produced title in the country's history. Developed and produced as part of the studio's commitment to local language productions in China, Big Shot's Funeral was released by local distributor Huayi Brothers on Dec 21, immediately becoming a
  • CJ Ent wins Korea's film industry flotation race

    South Korean major CJ Entertainment will become the territory's first film company to go public with an initial public offering on Korea's KOSDAQ exchange on February 5. The company plans to float 30% of its stock, hoping to raise a minimum of $31m.A founding shareholder of DreamWorks SKG and one of Korea's top two distributors, CJ Entertainment first applied to the KOSDAQ exchange for a review in early September and received approval on November 28. It will float 3.71m of its
  • Danes grab limelight at Berlin's Kinderfilmfest

    Denmark has a strong presence at next month's 25th anniversary edition of Kinderfilmfest at the Berlin International Film Festival.The children's film festival will showcase Danish fare such as Catch That Girl (Klatretosen), the debut of Hans Fabian Wullenweber in which a thirteen-year-old girl robs a bank to save her father's life. Other Danish titles include Tomas Villum Jensen's My Sister's Kids (Min Sosters Born), a remake of the 60s' film, and Caecilia
  • Dentsu, Tohokushinsha acquire Disney package

    Dentsu and Tohokushinsha are to jointly acquire exclusive Japanese broadcasting rights to 150 Disney movies and TV series. The deal, set to be finalised soon according to Dentsu officials, covers titles from 1999 to 2001, including The Sixth Sense, Pearl Harbor and 102 Dalmatians, as well as older films such The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and Peter Pan. The value of the deal was not revealed, however. Tohokushinsha is Japan's largest distributor of foreign film
  • Erlina Suharjono promoted at Warner Bros Asia

    Erlina Suharjono has been promoted to the position of vice president, Asia, at Warner Bros Pictures.In her new post, Suharjono will be responsible for supervising distribution and marketing activities in Asia through Warner Bros.' network of affiliate offices and licensees in the region, specifically, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and ThailandFor the last 14 months, Suharjono has been Warner Bros Pictures Regional marketing d
  • Fantasporto festival unveils genre selection

    Jack the Ripper story From Hell, Angel de la Cruz's Spanish 3D computer animation El Bosque Animado and German hit Das Experiment are amongst the films in the official section at leading European fantasy and genre festival, Fantasporto.The Portuguese event, more formerly known as the Oporto International Film Festival, will showcase two offerings from Brian Yuzna's Spanish genre outfit Fantasy Film Factory. Arachnid is directed by Jack Sholder, while Dago
  • Fintage House announces management buyout

    Financial services and royalties collection outfit Fintage House has completed a management buyout as well as appointing entertainment lawyer Maarten P Melchior to head the company's film and television collection account management division.Fintage's management is buying the company, which has offices spanning Europe, Australia, Japan and the US, from the Netherlands' MeesPierson Bank. The buyout is financed by Fortis Bank and equity investors.Melchior previously worked with Fi
  • Gala takes UK rights to African L'Afrance

    UK indie distributor Gala has acquired UK rights to Sundance title L'Afrance, an African film which will next be seen in Rotterdam and is handled worldwide by Mercure Distribution's Jacques Le Glou.L'Afrance, directed by Alain Gomis and previously selected for Locarno, is the coming-of-age tale of a young Senegalese student in Paris who is forced to question his own identity when a problem arises with his immigration papers.Other hot titles on Mercure's 2002 slate
  • German crits awards snub triple nominees

    Christian Petzold's The State I Am In and Achim von Borries' England! picked up two awards each in this year's round of honours by the German film critics association Verband Der Deutschen Filmkritik. Andreas Dresen's The Policewoman (Die Polizistin) and Ben Verbong's family film The Slurb (Das Sams) both came away empty-handed, despite receiving three nominations each (Screendaily Jan 14)While Petzold's film was named "Best Feature Film" and i
  • Gerry

    Dir: Gus Van Sant. US-UK. 2001. 103mins.After reaching the nadir of his career with the pointless remake of Psycho, followed by mainstream Hollywood fare Finding Forrester, an old-fashioned star vehicle for Sean Connery, Gus Van Sant goes back to his independent roots with Gerry, a visually compelling road movie that recalls his most distinctive work, My Own Private Idaho. In its rigorously austere artistry, Gerry is a minimalist fil
  • Gothenburg secures premieres, Berlin previews

    A host of international premieres, along with at least two titles destined to go on to Berlin, will get an airing this month at Scandinavia's largest film event, the Gothenburg International Film Festival.Titles in the Nordic competition section include Muraren, a portrait of Swedish actor Thommy Berggren by veteran director Stefan Jarl. Also from Sweden are two first films: Joel Bergvall's drama The Invisible and Lenka Hellstedt's love story Me And Morrisson.
  • Hamburg's public film fund under threat

    The German city of Hamburg's status as a film and TV production location is under serious threat following plans by the new Senate to slash almost $915,000 (DM 2m) from the 2002 budget for the city's public FilmFoerderung film fund.Until now, the city's cultural and economic senates had each contributed around $3.4m (DM 7.5m) annually to finance the fund's activities, but the city's arts committee has submitted a draft budget which would see only $6.3m (DM 13.7m) forthcoming from the p
  • Helkon severs ties with Buena Vista International

    German media concern Helkon Media has severed its last link with the local outpost of Buena Vista International (BVI) by ending its booking and billing arrangement for the German theatrical release of its films after ending its TV output agreement with BVI at the end of last year.In future, Helkon will handle theatrical releases directly or with other distribution partners, while its sales team will co-ordinate the marketing of pay and free TV licenses.The TV deal with BVI had b
  • Hysterical Blindness

    Dir: Mira Nair. US. 2002. 98mins Despite securing the prized "centrepiece" premiere slot at this year's Sundance, Mira Nair's immediate follow-up to her Venice-winning Monsoon Wedding succumbs to some of the perils involved in adapting stage plays to the big screen - should this made-for-cable film, about the struggles of three working-class women to find love and emotional stability, even see much of a theatrical life beyond its natural home on the small screen. In th
  • IM profit warning clouds Spyglass deal

    Neuer Markt-listed Internationalmedia's (IM) announcement that it will miss its 2001 targets has clouded analyst enthusiasm about the Spyglass takeover deal and sent shares falling by over 20% to Euros 18 by mid-afternoon Monday (Jan 14).In an ad.hoc announcement for the Spyglass transaction, IM also declared that "according to first un-audited estimates", its operating result for 2001 would surpass the previous year's, "but require correction of the company's forecast. As a result of
  • Intact (Intacto)

    Dir: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. Spain. 108mins.Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo has crafted an accomplished feature debut with Intact (Intacto), a thriller characterised by slick visuals and an imaginative storyline. The film has done well, although not spectacularly, in its home market, earning $1.17m (pts218.6m) in its first five weeks. International prospects, which should be strong, may be boosted in some territories by the presence of Max Von Sydow. Like Alejandro A
  • Internet film piracy set to increase rapidly

    The volume of film-related internet piracy is higher than previously thought, and could rise further with the anticipated growth in take-up of broadband internet connections.According to Bruce Ward, technical director of Net PD, a London-based company which provides internet protection services for copyright holders, current estimates that there are over 160,000 illegal downloads of The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring per month are "low"."It's a large
  • Kirch close to finalising 25% Telecino sale

    German giant Kirch may close a sale on its 25% stake in Spanish broadcaster Telecinco in a matter of days, according to local Spanish news sources.The stake could be split among current Telecinco shareholders: Italy's Mediaset and Spain's Grupo Correo as well as any of three Spanish investors approached individually. Mediaset currently owns 40% of Telecinco, and Grupo Correo 20%.In December Kirch sold its 1.28% stake in Mediaset for Euros 120m. Both moves form part of an ongoing
  • Korea celebrates unprecedented domestic successes

    With all of the five highest grossing films of the year being local productions and the top title, Friend (pictured), taking the all-time box office crown, Korean cinema achieved an unprecedented 46.1% market share for Seoul last year, and an estimated 49.1% for the country as a whole.According to year-end figures published by the Korean Film Commission (KOFIC), this amounts to a stunning 14.1 percentage points higher than the 32% market share recorded for the year 2000.T
  • Large format Beauty & The Beast's $8m fortnight

    Disney's North American large-screen format release of Beauty And The Beast is performing at near-record box office levels across the giant screen US network. Playing on 67 screens in the U.S. and Canada, the film has grossed $8m since its Jan 1 launch including approximately $2.1 million over last weekend.In the UK, the Buena Vista large screen release has grossed a total of $130,650 from just three sites over two weeks.Beauty And The Beast is the first of four f
  • Last Orders opens with limited taster

    Pathe's Rat Race was the winner amongst this week's melee of new releases in the UK but was still unable to topple The Lord Of The Rings or Harry Potter from their one-two chart positions. The best average recorded by an opener this week was for Metrodome's limited release of Last Orders. Going out on just 25 sites the UK title, which features Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins, recorded $145,739 (£100,560) for an average of $5,830 and taking position 13 in the cha
  • MGM plays down rumours of $7bn sale

    MGM has distanced itself from rumours that it is up for sale following a report yesterday (Jan 15) in the Los Angeles Times saying the company had hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to solicit bids that are due this week. In a statement, MGM said, "As we have stated numerous times over the past two years, we have been regularly evaluating business combination opportunities. No agreements regarding a transaction have been reached and there can be no assurance that the company will dec
  • Miramax goes Tadpole fishing at Sundance

    The Sundance Film Festival has once again witness an aggressive bidding war as Miramax Films outgunned Fox Searchlight Pictures to grab worldwide rights to Gary Winick's shoestring-budgetTadpole for around $6m. At the same timeas many as five leading distributors continue in hot pursuit of Miguel Arteta's The Good Girl.But bragging rights for thefirst actual signed deal belongs to Karen Moncrieff's Blue Car, her heartbreaking debut about a teenage girl whocompetes
  • Miramax unveils Neverland, The Forger

    Miramax Films has announced two new pictures - it has signed Marc Forster (Monster's Ball) to direct Neverland, the film of Allan Knee's play The Man Who Was Peter Pan and it has acquired the rights to Paul Watkins' novel The Forger and hired Proof playwright David Auburn to adapt it for the screen. Neverland was adapted from the play by David Magee and will be produced by Richard Gladstein through his company FilmColony. Gary Binkow wil
  • Ocean's Eleven moves on international market

    Steven Soderbergh's ensemble heist caper Ocean's Eleven has started its international roll-out to strong receptions. His follow up to Traffic, which earned Soderbergh an Academy Award for direction last year, Ocean's Eleven ousted The Lord Of The Rings from top spots in Australia and Switzerland.Taking the lead down under the film managed $2.8m (A$5.4m) from 286 screens in four-days compared to Rings' - in its fourth week - $1.8m from 406. Eleven
  • Paris screenings confirm upbeat French industry

    The selection of new titles on view at Unifrance's fourth Paris screenings, held January 11-15, reflected the upbeat mood currently being enjoyed by the French film industry, not just at home, but increasingly abroad.Internationally, French films' attendance jumped 122% last year, to some 30 million admissions, according to Unifrance's latest report. According to Unifrance's president Daniel Toscan Du Plantier, this is the result of a number of associated phenomena. "The world i
  • Perrier teams with Palm for film-maker contest

    Bottled water group Perrier is teaming up with Chris Blackwell's Palm Pictures and RES to launch "Perrier Across America", a new initiative for 2002 which will select five film-makers from thousands of submissions and then supply them with vehicles, digital cameras, professional producers and other resources to drive across the country and shoot a short film.Although Palm and Perrier will produce five films, online audiences will choose one finalist to feature his or her short in the n
  • Personal Velocity speeds to victory at Sundance

    Low-budget digital video films came out the big winners at this year's Sundance Film Festival with Rebecca Miller's female-slanted triptych Personal Velocity winning the Grand Jury Prize and Gary Winick's first love comedy Tadpole starring Sigourney Weaver cited for best direction in the dramatic competition. Both films were made under Winick's NewYork-based InDigEnt banner that was inspired by Denmark's Dogme 95manifesto and the spirit of John Cassavetes. This collective
  • Policewoman, Slurb rule German Critics nominations

    Andreas Dresen's The Policewoman (Die Polizistin) and Ben Verbong's family film The Slurb (Das Sams) have each bagged three nominations from the German critics association (Verband der Deutschen Filmkritik) for this year's German Film Critics Prize Both films are nominated in the Best Film category along with Oliver Hirschbiegel's The Experiment (Das Experiment), Christian Petzold's The State I Am In (Die Innere Sicherheit) and Caroline Link's Nirg
  • Premiere World adds Kofler, loses Liberty

    German entrepreneur Dr. Georg Kofler (pictured) has been enticed back into the Kirch empire to head up the debt-ridden digital pay TV platform Premiere World. At the same time, US cable operator Liberty Media has surprisingly withdrawn an application submitted to the German cartel office for clearance to take a stake in Premiere World. Announcing Kofler's appointment Dr. Peter Mihatsch, chairman of the supervisory board, declared that "with Georg Kofler, we have been able to get one of
  • Redford launches all-documentary US channel

    Sensing a new-found hunger fortruth in light of everything that has happened in the world since September11th, Robert Redford is stepping up his involvement in the non-fiction sphereby launching both a new US documentary network and also assuming control of afund that has until now seeded as many 50 international documentary features ayear."There's goingto be a search for a kind of truth that doesn't currently exist and thatis different to what is coming out of the propaganda machines
  • Regent launches gay division HERE

    Regent Entertainment is to launch a gay label called HERE Films which will provide gay films with domestic theatrical distribution capabilities (HERE Releasing) as well as international sales (HERE International) and a pay-per-view and video-on-demand service (HERE Network).The label was announced by Regent partners Paul Colichman and Stephen P Jarchow who have already backed a host of gay-themed pictures including Gods And Monsters, Twilight Of The Golds and A Woman'a
  • Rotterdam, Berlin launch production partnership

    The Rotterdam and Berlin festivals are to share projects from Rotterdam's Cinemart co-production market as the first step in a new round of co-operation. The initiative, labelled the Rotterdam-Berlinale Express, will see six of the 43 part-funded Cinemart features transferring to Berlin, which opens on February 6 only days after the Dutch event wraps. The six will receive a formal presentation to financiers, sellers and distributors during Berlin's European Film Market on Monday Februa
  • Samuel Goldwyn Films gets US on Das Experiment

    Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired US rights to Oliver Hirschbiegel's Das Experiment, the German box office hit which is also the Germany entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. The deal was struck by Joe Drake, president of Senator International which represents the film, with Samuel Goldwyn Films' president Meyer Gottlieb, and director of acquisitions Tom Quinn. The film will be released domestically through IDP, the theatrical distribution joint venture between
  • Scherfig commits to English-language Suicide

    Lone Scherfig, director of Denmark's foreign-language Oscar hopeful Italian For Beginners, is to make her first English-language film.Vilbur Wants To Commit Suicide will be produced by newcomer Sisse Graum Olsen, who recently made her debut with Niels Arden Oplev's black comedy Chop Chop (Fukssvansen) for Zentropa. The film will shoot in Scotland from March 6 for two weeks before returning to Copenhagen for the remaining shoot. Zentropa is currently negotiat
  • Shooting Stars assemble for Berlin festival

    Germany's Antonio Wannek, the UK's Lucy Russell and France's Rachida Brakni are among the up-and-coming actors and actresses being feted at the Berlin International Film Festival by the Shooting Stars initiative for promoting European talent.Oscar-winning director Istvan Szabo will introduce the 17 young actors and actresses to the press and public during their stay in Berlin. The showcase, run by pan-European promotional organisation European Film Promotion, includes Jeremie Renier fr
  • Slamdance TV to debut on Canada's Movieola

    Canadian short film TV channel Movieola has entered into a production agreement with Slamdance Entertainment to form Slamdance TV, a 26-part series giving an inside look at independent film-making. Slamdance Entertainment is a joint venture between Marco Weber's Atlantic Streamline and the Slamdance Film Festival.The series will start playing on the Toronto-based Short Film Channel in April and feature selections and entries from the Slamdance Film Festival as well as interviews
  • Sony to unveil Mr Deeds at ShoWest in March

    Sony Pictures is to participate in this year's ShoWest exhibitors convention in Las Vegas with a premiere screening of its romantic comedy Mr Deeds and the final day luncheon. The events will take place on March 7.This year is a particularly high-powered one for Sony Pictures with a lineup including Spiderman, Men In Black 2 and Stuart Little 2.Mr Deeds, a remake of Mr Deeds Goes To Town, stars Adam Sandler and Winona Ryder and was directed by
  • Spain's Auna posts encouraging 2001 results

    Spanish telecoms group Auna posted better-than-expected year-end financial results for 2001 amid continued uncertainty about the future of its stake in struggling DTT platform Quiero TV and its various cable interests.Auna reported before tax earnings (EBITDA) of Euros 93m, a 35% improvement on anticipated figures and well above year 2000 losses of Euros 679m. In a statement Auna president Luis Alberto Salazar-Simpson said the company's goal was to reach an EBITDA of Euros 600m in 2002
  • Spanish films' home market share up by 90%

    Spanish films came close to doubling their local market share last year, with a record three films breaking through the watershed Euros 6m (pts1bn) mark, while national cinema admissions set a new global (post-war) record of 13 years' consecutive growth.The annual industry report released by the Spanish Cinema Academy also revealed that box office receipts were up, to Euros 577m.Whereas in 2000 no single film broke the local Euros 6m milestone, in 2001 Alejandro Amenabar's Th
  • Spielberg gets ShoWest Lifetime Achievement nod

    Steven Spielberg will be awarded with a Lifetime Achievement Award at exhibition convention ShoWest this March. He will receive his award at the annual Gala Awards Banquet which will be held on March 7.Spielberg's sci-fi actioner Minority Report opens this summer for 20th Century Fox (DreamWorks is handling international rights) while he next goes into production on Catch Me If You Can starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.ShoWest estimates that films produced o
  • Spyglass, Intermedia merge into indie giant

    As anticipated, independent powerhouse Intermedia has signed an agreement to merge with Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum's Spyglass Entertainment. This creates an entity with an annual output of major movies as big as any studio and bringing The Walt Disney Studios (TWDS) into the company as a shareholder and potential distribution partner.Spyglass will operate autonomously alongside Intermedia, Graham King's Initial Entertainment Group (IEG) and the smaller production outfit Pacifica un
  • Sundance: Fox woos Girl, Dancer; SPC loves Liza

    In the second largest dealstruck so far at Sundance, Fox Searchlight Pictures has paid $4m fordistribution rights in North America, Latin America, Australasia, the UK andSouth Africa to Miguel Arteta's The Good Girl, which is being handled by Myriad Pictures and WMA Independent. At the same time, SonyPictures Classics is believed to have paid around $2.5m for rights in the sameEnglish-speaking and Latin American territories to Todd Louiso's LoveLiza in a deal struck with
  • Sundance: Lions Gate buys worldwide rights to May

    The third deal of the Sundance Film Festival was closed yesterday as Lions Gate Films acquired worldwide rights to horror picture May written and directed by Lucky McKee. A loose retelling of Roman Polanski's Repulsion, May stars Angela Bettis as a girl who wants to make friends but lacks the confidence to do so because of a perceived imperfection that has kept her in a shell since childhood. But when she learns to hide her physical flaw, her attempts to connect with other peopl
  • Sundance: Love to THINKFilm, Sex to Palm

    Two more acquisitions were closed in Park City yesterday in arguably the busiest Sundance on record for deals. New distributor THINKFilm, which yesterday completed its acquisition of Gus Van Sant's Gerry, has now taken North American rights on out-of-competition selection Love In The Time Of Money, while Chris Blackwell's Palm Pictures picked up North American rights to Julio Medem's hit Spanish film Sex And Lucia (Sex Y Lucia) which is in the world cinema section.
  • Tadpole

    Dir: Gary Winick. US. 2002. 78minsA comic delight that features one of the painfully funniest restaurant scenes in recent memory, Gary Winick's Tadpole became an audience favourite the moment it screened in Sundance this year and an immediate target for studio distributors who saw the potential for a theatrical breakout among sophisticated audiences the world over. The story of a teenage boy's romantic obsession with a much older woman (Sigourney Weaver), who just happ
  • Tel Aviv film festival postponed for a year

    The ambitious Tel Aviv Film Festival has been postponed for a year.The city's government decided to push back the festival from March until late next year to coincide with the opening of a new Cinema Centre annexed to the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. The city has secured sponsorship worth $3m from a US foundation for the restructured event.Festival organisers will instead mount a scaled back version of the event, condensed into a round-the-clock weekend at the Cinematheque. The event
  • Thailand slashes tax as production incentive

    The Thai government has announced a series of measures, including substantial tax cuts, to entice foreign films to use Thailand as a production location.With Thailand pulling in an impressive $29m (baht1.27bn) in tax revenues from foreign film productions last year, more than double 2000's $12.6m (baht553 m), the measures are designed to further boost such income towards an expected $45m in 2002.The first of these measures to be endorsed is a substantial income tax break for fo
  • The Good Girl

    Dir: Miguel Arteta. US 2001. 93mins.The Good Girl, Miguel Arteta's third feature, represents a step in the right direction for him as a filmmaker, as well as for his star, Jennifer Aniston, best known so far for her part in the TV series Friends. Centring on a thirtysomething woman who is professionally frustrated as a supermarket employee and emotionally suffocated as a wife, this serio comedy explores the inner feelings of a woman who embarks on a journey of self-re
  • The rise and fall of Italian cinema admissions

    Annual box office revenues for Italy's new generation of multiplex cinemas appear to be growing at roughly the same rate as the decline in the profitability of the country's traditional theatres, according to latest industry estimates.Italian box office revenues rose by 4.89% to $384.6m in 2001 compared to $366.6m in 2000, with admissions climbing 3.67% to 77.2 million against 2000's 74.5 million, according to local trade body Cinetel which monitors around 70% of the country's screens.
  • Tragic death of indie film-maker Ted Demme

    Ted Demme, the film director who most recently made Blow starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, died tragically of a heart attack yesterday aged 37.Demme, the nephew of Oscar-winning film-maker Jonathan Demme, had forged a reputation as a film-loving commentator on the Independent Film Channel (IFC) as well as director of such films as Imagine Entertainment's Life starring Eddie Murphy, Monument Avenue with Denis Leary and Billy Crudup, Beautiful Girls with
  • Utopia Blues triumphs at Swiss Film Awards

    Utopia Blues was the big winner at this year's Swiss Film Awards.Directed by Stefan Haupt, the film took home the honours in the best feature and best actor categories at an awards ceremony held at this week's Solothurn Film Days. The film's star, Michael Finger, has also been selected as Switzerland's representative at the Shooting Star showcase of new Euro talent at the forthcoming Berlin International Film Festival.In the best documentary category, Vadim Jendreyko won
  • Venture capitalist funds EM.TV share acquisition

    Dutch venture capital company Constant Ventures is to finance EM.TV board chairman Werner Klatten's acquisition of shares in the company.In an agreement signed on Jan 14 with Klatten's company: WKB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Constant Ventures will secure finance for WKB to acquire 36.16m EM.TV shares. On the basis of the current 145.85m shares in the company, this corresponds to 24.8%. The shares will all come from the holding of the former EM.TV board chairman Thomas Haffa.Klat
  • Weisbein to head StudioCanal international sales

    StudioCanal, the film and television arm of Vivendi Universal, is believed to be close to announcing the appointment of Pierre Weisbein as head of the outfit's international sales - a position which has been vacant since Daniel Marquet left to oversee the expansion of the studio structure across EuropeIn his new capacity, Weisbein would report to Michel Schmidt, executive vice president of StudioCanal, who oversees the outfit's international film and television marketing and distributi