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20 January 2007

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  • 64th golden globes

    Best Motion Picture - DramaBabelBobbyThe DepartedLittle ChildrenThe QueenBest Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - DramaPenelope Cruz VolverJudi Dench Notes On A ScandalMaggie Gyllenhaal SherrybabyHelen Mirren The QueenKate Winslet Little ChildrenBest Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - DramaLeonardo DiCaprio Blood DiamondLeonardo DiCaprio
  • A&E Indie Films buys US TV rights to hotly tipped Sundance doc

    A&E IndieFilms announced has made a preemptive acquisition of North American television rights to Amir Bar-Lev's documentary My Kid Could Paint That.The film gets its world premiere at Sundance this weekend and focuses on an internationally renowned four-year-old painter who sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of art before her father was accused of having a hand in the paintings.The deal combines the rights acquisition wit
  • Actors' strike: sign of the times

    When Canada's performers went on strike last week, the issues included the usual grievances of workers versus management: pay, benefits and working conditions. But the sticking point was a multi-billion dollar question that could haunt the global audiovisual industry for years to come: how to share the revenue from the platforms of the future'As the media orgy surrounding Apple's introduction of the iPhone makes clear, it is a future that is rushing towards us. And the stakes are enorm
  • Adelaide festival to open with Rowland's Lucky Miles

    Michael James Rowland's almost completed debut film Lucky Miles is to open the Adelaide Film Festival on Feb 22 while Rolf de Heer's Dr Plonk is to close the event on March 4. Festival director Katrina Sedgwick also announced today that Australia's newest capital city film festival will this year award a FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) prize to a debut or second film. Late last year she revealed that the festival would be the first in Australia to introd
  • An American Crime

    Dir: Tommy O'Haver. US. 2007. 92mins.A horrifiying real-life crime from 1965 Indiana is recreated with almost scientific verisimilitude in Tommy O'Haver's first serious drama, An American Crime. Although often excruciating to watch, it is so well-crafted and well-acted that its portrait of casual savagery in the burbs resonates long after the end credits roll. First Look, which financed the film, has a hard road ahead releasing An American Cri
  • An American Crime

    Dir: Tommy O'Haver. US. 2007. 92mins.A horrifiying real-life crime from 1965 Indiana is recreated with almost scientific verisimilitude in Tommy O'Haver's first serious drama, An American Crime. Although often excruciating to watch, it is so well-crafted and well-acted that its portrait of casual savagery in the burbs resonates long after the end credits roll.First Look, which financed the film, has a hard road ahead releasing An American Crime
  • An enemy at the gates'

    YouTube, friend or foe'" asked The New York Times this week. It is a question the film industry has been asking ever since YouTube and other user-content aggregators started taking off - and with good reason.Firstly, much of the content of this new wave is less user-generated than user-procured - pirated from film or television.Just as importantly, businesses such as YouTube have taken a monstrous chunk out of the online video market and started to attract big money.
  • Analysis: International box-office Weekend January 12-14 - Happyness pursues Museum

    Family extravaganza Night At The Museum continues to be an international crowd pleaser, passing the $150m mark in 39 territories and grossing more than $20m in its fourth weekend to remain rooted to the top spot. Inspirational bio-drama The Pursuit Of Happyness, starring Will Smith, was this weekend's highest new entry at number two, generating $13m after opening at number one in Australia, Italy and the UK. Heavyweight champ Rocky enters the ring again as Rocky Balboa to
  • Anaphylaxis starts shooting at Ealing Studios

    Filmart productions started its six-week shoot for Anaphylaxis! at London's Ealing Studios on Jan 8. The low-budget feature is the first on Filmart's slate. Ayman Farahat is writing, directing and producing. The cast is led by Guy Defferary and Katia Winter. The story follows a pathologist, who is allergic to human touch, who becomes obsessed with a dead poet whose body is tattooed with a manuscript. The film's dialogue comes only from voiceover. Farahat says: 'it is
  • Ascension's Anna & Anna rises in Shanghai

    Principal photography started today in Shanghai on Hong Kong writer-director Aubrey Lam's Anna & Anna, a $2.2m romantic thriller financed by US and Hong Kong-based Ascension Pictures. The cast is toplined by Hong Kong actress Karena Lam who plays two roles in the film: Anna, a career woman who has recently been posted to China, and the wife of Anna's ex-boyfriend. Their lives become tangled up when they decide to switch identities for a week. Other cast members include main
  • Bafta Nominations - By The Numbers - Bafta nominations per film

    The Queen 10Casino Royale ninePan's Labyrinth eightBabel sevenThe Departed sixLittle Miss Sunshine sixUnited 93 sixThe Devil Wears Prada fiveThe Last King Of Scotland fivePirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest fiveChildren Of Men threeMarie Antoinette threeNotes On A Scandal threeDreamgirls twoHappy Feet twoThe Histo
  • Bafta Nominations - Getting Animated

    No awards ceremony stays the same. Categories are added and lost. Forty years ago, Bafta still divided its acting prizes between British and foreign performers. The addition of a best animated feature award this year reflects the sheer bulk and popularity of animated features released in the UK.The nominations - Cars, Flushed Away and Happy Feet - are safe choices, with commercial appeal suggesting Happy Feet could be the front runner. The new category might even make the Academy consi
  • Bafta Nominations - Home is where the heat is

    Oscar-winning Chariots Of Fire screenwriter Colin Welland famously declared: "The British are coming!" At the time, 25 years ago, it sounded more like hollow bravado than an accurate forecast. If the nominations for this year's Orange British Academy Film Awards (Baftas) are any indication, then the cry carries renewed credibility. Bafta voters have backed British talent to an unprecedented degree this year, ignoring heavyweight US contenders such as Bobby, Flags Of Our Fathers
  • Bafta Nominations - Quote unquote

    "I'm so delighted, and very pleased for Richard (Eyre) and Patrick (Marber)."Judi Dench, actress, Notes On A Scandal"Patrick Marber wrote a wonderful screenplay and Judi Dench leads a perfect cast... I hope the Bafta recognition will encourage even more people to see the movie."Richard Eyre, director, Notes On A Scandal"I'm honoured the film has been nominated for so many Baftas, not only for myself and my extraordinary crew, but for the families who
  • Bafta Nominations - The nominations in full

    FilmBabel - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Jon Kilik, Steve GolinThe Departed - Brad Pitt, Brad Grey, Graham KingThe Last King Of Scotland - Andrea Calderwood, Lisa Bryer, Charles SteelLittle Miss Sunshine*The Queen - Tracey Seaward, Christine Langan, Andy HarriesThe Alexander Korda Award for the Outstanding British Film of the YearCasino Royale - Michael G Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Martin Campbell, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Paul Ha
  • Bali bombings project passes Indonesian censorship

    The first Indonesian film to tackle the 2002 Bali bomb blasts, Long Road To Heaven produced by Nia Dinata, has passed local censorship despite its controversial subject matter. Inspired by true events and characters, the picture is a docudrama of the terrorism act and its aftermath. In October 2002, a series of bombs exploded in the resort island of Bali, killing more than 200 people including many foreigners. Bali was struck for the second time almost exactly three years later wh
  • Bangkok film festival reveals new venue and dates

    The organisers of the Bangkok International Film Festival (BKKIFF) have revealed that this year's edition will take place July 19-29 at SF Cinema City's new 15-screen flagship located in the recently renovated Central World entertainment complex. The event had been scheduled to take place Jan 26-Feb 5 but was postponed when the organisers had difficulty securing a venue. Exhibitor SF Cinema City is one of the new partners for the revamped event. With the financial support of Touri
  • Bateman appointed director of Rushes Soho Shorts

    Joe Bateman has joined Rushes Soho Shorts Festival as festival director, effective Feb 19. The event is now in its ninth year. He had recently been working at London members club The Hospital as head of cinema and event programming. He previously was head of special programming and private events at Curzon Cinemas. He has served as a judge and jury member for the Smirnoff Experience Short Film Award, The Rough Cut Short Film Festival, The European Business School Short Film Award, Ta
  • Belgium - Marching to a different beat

    Koen Mortier's directorial debut Ex Drummer has already been dubbed the "Flemish Trainspotting" ahead of its world premiere in Rotterdam's Tiger competition at the end of this month. An adaptation of the novel by Herman Brusselmans, the 'bad boy' of Belgian literature, Ex Drummer is an expletive-laden, low-life yarn about a battle of the bands, full of graphic sex and violence. Headlines should accompany its local release, also in late January.Mortier made Ex Dr
  • Berlin Perspecktive Deutsches Kino to feature 11 titles

    The Berlinale's Perspektive Deutsches Kino sidebar, which showcases young and up-and-coming German film-makers with fresh ideas, approaches and talent, has become the latest section - after the Forum and Generation (Kplus/14plus) - to finalise its programme for the 2007 edition of the festival.Another five films have been selected by programmer Alfred Holighaus to join the six titles which were made known at the end of l
  • Berlinale Forum announces complete programme

    New films by veteran documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, Germany's Maria Speth and Angela Schanelec, Croatia's Ognen Svilicic, and the UK's Kevin Aduaka are among 25 world premieres being shown in the now finalised Berlinale Forum programme.'Alaboratory for the mainstream cinema of the future', the Forum's line-up ranges from Aduaka's directing debut Elvis Pelvis, a painfully-interlocked father-and-son story revolving around the idols Elvis Pre
  • Berlinale unveils more world premieres in Competition section

    Berlinale programmers have now confirmed another eight titles in the official Competition section, including new works by International Jury President Paul Schrader, Clint Eastwood, Gregory Nava and Stefan Ruzowitzky. Schrader's The Walker, which stars Woody Harrelson as an escort to lonely society ladies who is accused of murder, will be screened out of competition. Lauren Bacall, Lily Tomlin, Moritz Bleibtreu and international jury member Willem Dafoe co-star in this US-UK co-pr
  • Berlin's market boasts record number of companies and buyers

    Beki Probst looks set to be able to celebrate her 20th year in the post of market director of the Berlinale's European Film Market (EFM) by breaking last year's records when the festival launched its new market venue in the Martin Gropius Bau (MGB). According to the latest figures obtained exclusively by from market organisers, this year's EFM will have a total of 115 stands (77 in MGB and 38 in the EFM Business Offices) for 260 participating companies from 46 coun
  • Box office 2006 review

  • Bradfield's Tartan Video marketing role

    Tartan Video has appointed Mylene Bradfield as its new head of marketing. Bradfield has served as marketing manager for both Momentum Pictures and Channel 4 DVD. She joined Tartan in June 2006 and worked on the launches of several key box sets.
  • Brazil announces new tax break for local TV, change to screen quotas

    Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has sanctioned a law that creates a new fund for local films and makes adjustments to the country's existing Audiovisual Law.The new law gives TV stations a tax break previously only available to foreign film distributors based in Brazil. The Audiovisual law now incorporates the mechanics of the Rouanet law, which expired at the end of 2006 and had allowed both individuals and corporations to sponsor cultural projects in return for tax breaks
  • Brazil's 2006 box office figures released

    According to figures released by Filme B (a local film company that reviews theatrical market numbers), despitefalling viewing trendsbox office sales were up 3.2%, reaching R$694.9m ($324.6m) as a result of an increase in ticket prices (up 7% from the previous year). Brazil's cinema attendance dropped an estimated 3% in 2006, with 90.2m tickets sold, according to figures released by Filme B (a local film company that reviews theatrical market numbers). Box office sales, however, were up 3.2%, re
  • Canada's Atopia picks up North America on Gutierrez

    Montreal-based distributor Atopia has picked up North American distribution rights for Heidi Specogna's 2006 Sundance world documentary competitor The Short Life of Jose Antonio Gutierrez, the story of the first US soldier killed in the invasion of Iraq. The Germany-Switzerland coproduction follows in the footsteps of one-time Guatemalan street urchin Gutierrez who became a so-called Green Card soldier: an immigrant who enlists in the military
  • Celestial, Jaman sign online deal for Shaw Brothers package

    Hong Kong's Celestial Pictures has reached a long-term deal with Silicon Valley-based Jaman Inc, under which the online movie distributor has acquired internet distribution rights to 50 titles from the Shaw Brothers library for the US and Canada. Key titles to be distributed under the deal include martial arts classics such as Chang Cheh's The Duel and The Legend Of The Fox and Chu Yuan's The Sentimental Swordsman. Jaman, which aims to build an online communit
  • Chicago 10

    Dir: Brett Morgen. US. 2007. 103mins.The opening film at this year's Sundance, Chicago 10 revisits the violently suppressed anti-war demonstrations during the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the prosecution a year later of the colorful leaders who brought irreverent theatricality to political protest. Brett Morgen's documentary about those closely-watched events, now largely forgotten by anyone but historians and the surviving partici
  • China launches fund for small to mid-budget films

    China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) is setting up a fund to support young Chinese directors in the making of small to mid-budget films. During the first year of the fund, 16 filmmakers will each receive $64,300 (RMB500,000) to help finance a low-budget project, in addition to assistance in gaining script approval and distribution of the finished film. The first beneficiaries of the fund include filmmakers such as Jia Zhangke (Still Life) and W
  • China, MPA launch anti-piracy film competition

    The Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the organisers of the 14th Beijing Student Film Festival (BSFF) are sponsoring a China-wide contest to select the best student-made short film on the theme 'Respect Copyrights, Stay Away from Piracy'. The contest will challenge students to take a fresh look at the value of intellectual property to society and to individuals. The students who produce the best one-minute live-action or animation short film will win a trip to Hollywood to visit MPA m
  • Cinemavault gets international rights to Canvas

    Cinemavault Releasing International has acquired international rights to the drama Canvas starring Marcia Gay Harden, Joe Pantoliano, and newcomer Devon Gearhart.The Los Angeles-based company will screen the film for buyers at next month's European Film Market in Berlin.Joseph Greco wrote and directed the story of a family's struggle to cope with schizophrenia, based on his own childhood memories when he watched his mother battling
  • Controversial film Water secures release in India

    Deepa Mehta's controversial and critically acclaimed Water will finally have an Indian release next month. The news was confirmed by Water's Indian distributor Ravi Chopra of BR Films, which made television show Mahabharata and feature films Baghban and Baabul. 'We have started work on the release strategy and should have a plan in place for a February release soon,' he said. Over 100 prints will be released in India's major cities including Delhi, Bomb
  • Co-production markets - 'A good hub where people can meet'

    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Rotterdam's CineMart must be one of the most admired events in the film world.Now in its 24th edition, the co-production market has spawned a host of similar events. These range from the Berlinale Co-Production Market to the Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP), and markets from Manheim to Rome. There is L'Atelier Du Festival in Cannes, and the New York Film Festival has its own co-production market modelled on Rotterdam. This year, London will als
  • Cowan to head Adelaide Film Festival jury

    Adelaide Film Festival director Katrina Sedgwick today named the 12 films in its inaugural competition and announced that Toronto International Film Festival director Noah Cowan is president of the jury. She also revealed that Adelaide filmmaker Rolf de Heer will be presented with the 2007 Don Dunstan Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Australian film industry on the Feb 22 opening night. More than half the films in the running for the inaugural Natuzzi In
  • Denmark box office healthy despite drop in ticket sales for 2006

    Danish market share is down 6% from 2005, with 800,000 less ticket sales for local films in 2006. While a 26% share may seem a disappointing result, it comes after a boom year for Danish admissions in 2005.In 2005, market share reached an all-time high of 32%, with 3.9m tickets sold for local films out of a total 12.2m attendance. This year's figures represent a drop in local movie sales from one in three to one in four ticket sales. However, a 26% market share is equivalent to the avera
  • Departed, Sunshine lead BFCA winners

    The Broadcast Film Critics Association named The Departed best picture of 2006, crowned Martin Scorsese best director, and declared Letters From Iwo Jima the best foreign language film.Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker consolidated their status as Oscar frontrunners with further recognition in the best actor and actress categories for The Queen and
  • Discovery steps In The Shadow Of The Moon

    Discovery Communications and its Discovery Films unit have acquired rights to London-based DOX Production's and Passion Films' In The Shadow Of The Moon, set to get its world premiere here today (Friday).Discovery Films, the theatrical documentary unit of DCI, will take an equity interest in North American theatrical distribution, branding rights and exclusive North American television rights to the title.David Sington's film bring
  • Dreamgirls and Babel top Globes while Mirren and Whitaker lead acting prizes

    Babel and Dreamgirls positioned themselves as Oscar frontrunners aftertaking top honours at the 64th Annual Golden Globes last night.Helen Mirren was crowned best actress in a drama for her portrayal ofthe reigning UK monarch in The Queen, while Forest Whitaker won bestactor for playing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in
  • Driessen and Mackey promoted at Fortissimo

    Sales company Fortissimo Films has announced that Nelleke Driessen has been promoted to managing director of the company, based at its head office in Amsterdam. She had been the co-managing director since 2004 and joined Fortissimo as an executive in 2000. Also, Fortissimo has promoted Nicole Mackey to executive vice president international sales and managing director of Fortissimo UK. She had been senior vice president international sales since joining Fortissimo from Capitol Films in 2
  • Dublin Festival announces first selections for nine-day event

    The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) has made a preliminary announcement about this year's programme, which runs for nine days from February 16. New Irish titles include John Carney's Once, selected for the Sundance Film Festival and starring Glenn Hansard (who previously starred in The Commitments). The film is a contemporary musical set on the streets of Dublin, following a busker and
  • Easternlight picks up worldwide rights to Fatal Contact

    Arclight Films' Asia-focused label Easternlight has picked up worldwide rights to Hong Kong action film Fatal Contact, which stars wushu champion and up-and-coming action star Wu Jing. Wu, who trained at the same Beijing martial arts school as Jet Li, most recently drew notice for his role as a cold-blooded killer in Wilson Yip's SPL, which was also sold internationally by Easternlight. In Fatal Contact, which Easternlight will premiere at Berlin's European Fi
  • Echeverria promoted to evp, Latin America, at Fox

    Eduardo Echeverria has been promoted to executive vice president of Latin America for Fox International.Echeverria will continue to oversee the theatrical distribution, sales and marketing operations for all Fox Filmed Entertainment product in the region. His promotion takes effect immediately.'Having worked closely with Eduardo for the last six years, it is my pleasure to grant this promotion to someone so dedicated and well-deserving,' Fox International co-president Pau
  • Editorial - Screen says - What price talent'

    One does not need a crystal ball to see the current Canadian actors' strike has implications for the whole industry. In fact, a little history may be more instructive than futurology. Since the beginning of cinema, the introduction of innovations has led to conflict - from talkies to multi-year contracts. Underlying many of those disputes has been the demand for a fair share of profits.Over the last 25 years, the struggle has sharpened as 'the talent' demands a share of home entertainm
  • EFP's sales programme backs 11 at Sundance

    European Film Promotion's Film Sales Support programme has backed the promotion of 11 European films at this year's Sundance Film Festival. The 10 European sales agents and production companies are given grants up to $6,470 (Euros 5,000) to promote European films to buyers. After Switzerland recently joined the EFP-backing MEDIA Programme, Film Sales Support has granted sales support to a Swiss film for the first time - Andrea Staka's Fraulein. The FSS supported films at Su
  • Eight major territories, led by Italy, show box-office increases this week

    Eight major territories collectively saw box-office increases compared to the same week last year, due to the success of big-name studio films this week, according to Screen International's own Screen Index. Italy leads the increase - the territory was up 43% after The Pursuit Of Happyness grossed $4.7m in its opening weekend, surpassing the collective total of last year's top three entries Match Point, The 40-Year Old Virgin and The New World. Boxing drama
  • Europa Cinemas to present third award at Berlinale Panorama

    Europa Cinemas will again present its label prize to the best European film in the Panorama section of the Berlinale. This will be the prize's third year in Berlin, in addition to Europa Cinemas awards in Cannes, Venice and Karlovy Vary. This year's jury includes four Europa Cinemas exhibitors. They are Stas Ravter from Slovenia's Kindovar and Slovenian Cinematheque, Georgette Ranucci from Italy's Alcazar cinema, Michal Drobny from the Czech Republic's Continental Film and Christi
  • Ewan McGregor signs on to Jackboots On Whitehall

    London 's Swipe Films has announced that Ewan McGregor will play the lead in their new indie comedy feature.Jackboots On Whitehall is a WWII spoof that tells what could have happened had the Germans won the Battle of Britain but were ultimately defeated by the Scots. 'Ewan will play a heroic farmhand who leads the Scots into battle and victory, winning the heart of Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day and Pride And Prejudice),' said Director Edward McHenry. Al
  • Filmax starts development of Blind Man Of Seville

    Spain's Filmax is developing new feature The Blind Man Of Seville, a crime thriller based on the novel by award-winning UK writer Robert Wilson. A screenplay is currently being written by Will Conroy, co-writer on Brad Anderson's Transsiberian, a $15m train-set mystery now shooting for Filmax. A director will be announced soon. Filmax has already secured backing from Germany's ZDF on the fil
  • French films take $390m at world's box offices in 2006

    French export body Unifrance announced its global figures Friday at the annual Rendez Vous event held in Paris. For 2006, French films sold 55.8 million tickets at the world box-office. Those sales brought in just over $390m (Euros 300m.)The score represents a drop of 23% off of 2005 which saw an exceptional 73.6 million admissions worldwide for a take of $475m (Euros 369m). Still, 2006 ranks as one of the best years in the past decade - only 2002 and 2005 saw
  • French production falls in 2006 after 2005 boom

    France's CNC has released initial production figures for the year 2006. In total, 203 films received the stamp of approval from the CNC - which is equal to 2004, though down from last year's exceptional crop of 240 films. Production investment stood at $1.49bn (Euros 1.15bn) compared to $1.66bn (Euros 1.28bn) in 2005, though up on 20004. 2005 saw an increase in international co-productions with 114 total, or almost one out of every two approved films. In 2006,
  • Frozen City leads Finnish Jussis awards nominations

    Finnish director Aku Louhimies' Frozen City won a top number of eight nominations for the Jussis - Finland's national film awards - as the Filmiaura Association of local film professionals announced its choice of films considered for the prizes, which will be handed out at a gala in Helsinki on Feb 4. Louhimies' feature, which took three prizes in Karlovy Vary and won the Best Director prize at Ghent, was produced by Markus Selin's Solar Films, which has delivered the last
  • Gartenstein named president of US distributor Film Movement

    Adley Gartenstein has been promoted to president at distributor Film Movement and will oversee all day-to-day activities as well as his ongoing duties as head of acquisitions and business affairs.The company has split the roles of president and chief executive officer as it enters its fifth yea and looks to expand its partner theatres by as many as 20 and boost subscriber and staff levels.Stuart Litman, who previously held the role of president, will continue to be respon
  • Gaumont attracts Gaget

    Cecile Gaget has joined Gaumont's international division as executive vice-president, international sales. Gaget was formerly head of international sales at Rezo Films.
  • Germany's K5 Film expands reach with K5 International

    Film sales veteran Bill Stephens has partnered with production company K5 Film to form a new international sales company. K5 International promises four to six features per year with budgets up to $20m. In a joint statement by Stephens and his partners Oliver Simon and Daniel Baur, it was revealed that while films in development would be considered, priority will be given to completed works with commercial sales potential. As head of sales and marketing, Stephens brings over 25 years'
  • Golden Globes - Plenty of winners in awards pack

    The Oscar prospects of Babel and Dreamgirls rose this week after the films took top honours for best drama and best musical or comedy at the 64th annual Golden Globes on Monday evening (January 15).Helen Mirren was crowned best actress in a drama for her portrayal of Elizabeth II in The Queen, while Forest Whitaker won best actor in a drama for his mercurial rendering of the former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King Of Scotland. Babel was named best
  • Greengrass to direct Iraq story Imperial Life for Working Title

    Paul Greengrass has signed on to direct the adaptation of Rajiv Chandrasekaran's Imperial Life In The Emerald City for Working Title and Universal. Lloyd Levin, who also worked with Greengrass and Working Title on United 93, will produce with Working Title's Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. Universal will distribute worldwide. Chandraksearan's bestselling book is about the early days of the Iraq War, based on his experiences as The Washington Post's bureau chief in
  • Hamori, Horowitz launch sales, co-production arm of H20

    H2O Motion Pictures principals Andras Hamori and Mark Horowitz are launching an international sales and co-production arm to handle sales, marketing and financing for eight to 12 English language films a year.Horowitz will oversee marketing and acquisition and the company, which has offices in London, Amsterdam and Los Angeles, will leverage existing relationships with European and North American soft money entities.Former Castle Rock Entertainment and New World Pictures
  • Hong Kong 's Universe lines up Invisible Target at EFM

    Hong Kong 's Universe Films Distribution will be unveiling Benny Chan's latest action title at the upcoming European Film Market (EFM), an $8m cop drama starring Nicholas Tse, Shawn Yue and Jaycee Chan. The film, which has the working title Invisible Target, follows three police officers, driven by different motives, who join forces to defeat the head of a band of thieves called the Ronin Gang. Andy On and Beijing-born wushu champion Wu Jing have also joined the cast. Chan
  • Hwang Jin Yi gains permission to shoot in North Korea

    South Korean production Hwang Jin Yi, based on a North Korean novel dramatising the life of Korea 's most famous courtesan, has been granted permission to shoot in North Korea 's Diamond Mountains for a week starting Jan 28. Directed by Chang Yoon-hyun (Tell Me Something), the film portrays the famous Joseon Dynasty gisaeng (aka geisha from the Japanese) whose poetry endures in Korean literature to this day. Based on a novel of the same title by North Korean writer H
  • IFC First Take picks up North American rights to Drama/Mex

    IFC Entertainment has added another title to the line-up at day-and-date division IFC First Take, acquiring all North American rights to Canana Films' Spanish-language drama Drama/Mex.Drama/Mex premiered in Critic's Week at Cannes 2006 and interweaves the stories of a suicidal old man, a teenage runaway, and a young couple in the grip of a tempestuous love affair.Gerardo Naranjo directed and
  • IndieVest launches production/distribution arm with Burton, Wall

    Wade H Bradley, the CEO and founder of film financing outfit IndieVest, has launched production and distribution house IndieVest Pictures and hired Mark Burton (pictured above) as head of production.Former Rogue Pictures co-founder Matt Wall has been appointed vice president of development and Bradley expects to announce his distribution chief shortly.The first project on the books will be an adaptation of Tanuja Desai Hidier's novel Born
  • Intel, Eros hook up to provide Bollywood on-demand

    Eros International has joined forces with the Intel Corporation to deliver Bollywood movies on-demand, via broadband to PCs connected to televisions. The service will be available to Intel Viiv technology-based PC users, with plans to release a pre-DVD online premiere of I See You, a Bollywood film starring Arjun Rampal, within weeks of it global theatrical release on December 29. Demonstrated at the international Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the service offers h
  • International Film Festival Rotterdam 2007

    36th International Film Festival Rotterdam in numbers(2006 numbers in brackets)367,000 Visitors to the festival (358,000)2,940Festival guests (2,814)1,9
  • Iwo Jima tops Japan 's New Year holiday box office

    Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima was the box office champion during the New Year's holiday period (Dec 23 - Jan 8) in Japan, passing the $30m (Y36.7bn) mark by the middle of last week and holding the top spot for five weeks. The Warner Bros release only lost its pole position last weekend (Jan 13-14) when it was knocked into third place by two openers - local production Penal Colony Of Love, which topped the chart over the weekend, and Sony's Monster House whic
  • John Burgess wins Haydenfilms online shorts awards

    Haydenfilms 2.0 Film Festival culminated in the presentation of a $10,000 prize to John Burgess for The Powderpuff Principle at New York 's Director's Guild Theatre on Jan 11. Writer-director Burgess graduated in 2005 from USC 's School of Cinema-Television then worked in sales and marketing and as a producer before going on to co-found LA-based production company The CinemaFactory. His fourth short, The Powderpuff Principle (2006) stars veteran character actor Clint Howard
  • Kim Ki-duk returns to the Korean fold with Breath release

    Reversing his declaration that he would leave the Korean film world, controversial director Kim Ki-duk has announced a deal with Korean arthouse distributor Sponge to release his 14th film Breath in local cinemas. Sponge formerly released Kim's last film, Time, on eight screens last summer. It took in 30,000 admissions, a fair run for a small-budget arthouse film in Korea. Sponge CEO David Cho said: 'Instead of the usual investment-distribution deal a local film woul
  • Korean exports dip after five years of growth

    After five years of growth, Korean film exports dropped 68% year-on-year in 2006. Exports totaled $24.5m - down from $75.9m the year before, according to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC)'s year-end statistics.For the first time, Korean sales saw a slump in its main Asian markets, where its $17m takings represented a 74.3% drop on 2005.Exports to Japan, Korea's biggest customer, are down by 82.8% to $10.3m - accounting for most of the decrease. The fall in Japan
  • Korea's CJ CGV signs CEO

    Leading Korean exhibitor CJ CGV has appointed Charles Kim as CEO, replacing Park Dong-ho who has been moved up to sister company CJ Foodville, a restaurant chain. Kim was previously COO of CJ Homeshopping.
  • Lives Of Others leads German critics award nominations

    Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's European Film Award-winning The Lives Of Others has picked up nominations in seven of the nine categories for the 2006 German Film Critics' Award. The Stasi thriller, which is Germany's entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at next month's Academy Awards, has been nominated in the following categories: Feature Film, Feature Debut, Actress, Actor, Screenplay, Cinemaography, and Editing. Von Donnersmarck's debut won five Bavarian Film
  • Lives Of Others, Pan's Labyrinth win top prizes at Palm Springs

    Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's German Stasi drama The Lives Of Others won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature, and the blind mountaineering tale Blindsight won the corresponding documentary prize at the 18th Palm Springs International Film Festival, which ended at the weekend.Guillermo del Toro's intricate fantasy drama Pan's Labyrinth won the FIPRE
  • Local market is key toglobal success,Warner Bros' international chief

    Any film aspiring to international successmust first conqueritshome market, says Richard Fox, executive vice president international atWarner Bros.Speaking at the Screen International-backed Media Summit in London, Fox said the studio had come to understand the importance of national markets to any distribution strategy. A 'one-size-fits-all' US production won't cut it with today's demanding customers, he suggested.'People do want to go to the movies but they want to se
  • Local market key toglobal success,says Warner Bros' international chief

    Any film aspiring to international successmust first conqueritshome market, says Richard Fox, executive vice president international atWarner Bros.Speaking at the Screen International-backed Media Summit in London, Fox said the studio had come to understand the importance of national markets to any distribution strategy. A 'one-size-fits-all' US production won't cut it with today's demanding customers, he suggested.'People do want to go to the movies but they want to se
  • Malaysia - Leading the charge

    Malaysia's recent cinematic surge has been partially fronted by two female directors who have plenty to say and are not afraid to say it. With female directing voices thin on the ground, even in much less conservative societies than Muslim-dominated Malaysia, Yasmin Ahmad and Tan Chui Mui are airing their views on controversial issues and are now reaching far beyond their home turf.As a Malaysian Muslim, Ahmad, in particular, has been daring in her dealings with racial and religious is
  • Malaysian box office reaches all-time high in 2006

    Malaysia 's box office continued to grow in 2006 with total takings reaching an all-time high of $75.7m (RM265.2m) from 314 releases, a 9% increase on record takings of $69.6m (RM243.6m) the previous year. Following consistent growth since 2001, the 2006 box office is 131% bigger than six years ago. Prior to 2006, the country scored double-digit box office growth for four consecutive years with an average of 20.75% per annum growth. The joint venture of BVI and CTS released the to
  • Mar Abadin joins new Spanish sales group 6 Sales

    New Spain-based international sales consortium 6 Sales has hired Mar Abadin as its head of sales. Abadin was formerly a sales executive at Filmax, where she worked for six years. She will attend Berlin's European Film Market with 6 Sales managing director Marina Fuentes. 'I've known Mar a long time and have always admired her professional skills and great attitude,' Fuentes said. 'She was the first choice for our team and we are lucky to have her.' 'I'm very happy to be joi
  • Market focus: home entertainment - On-demand services set to soar

    Some 435 million homes will have video on demand (VoD) or Near VoD (NVoD) services by 2011, according to a report from technology analysts Informa. The forecast predicts that VoD and NVoD's reach (to an equivalent of 38% of the world's TV households) will create revenues of $11.4bn.The report argues that NVoD services from cable and satellite companies, which grant consumers the chance to view programme content across staggered screening times, as opposed to the VoD option of buying th
  • Middle East box office reveals multiplex-driven market boom in 2006

    The shopping mall boom in the UAE, Turkey and Egypt is fuelling a surge in admissions in the Middle East, offset by a sharp decline in Lebanon following its war-torn summer. While the Gulf is dominated by predictable Hollywood product, homegrown cinema is on the rise in Turkey and Morocco. Admissions in the UAE rose by almost one million to a total of 6.4 million in 2006, fuelled by the opening of two new multiplexes in Dubai. The UAE's market share in the region is increasing at a rate
  • MK Poly Cinemas to open first multiplex in Zhengzhou

    Korean producer-distributor MK Pictures has announced that the first multiplex to emerge from its joint venture with Beijing-based Poly Group will open in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou on Jan 26. The six-screen multiplex, known as the 'MK Poly Cinema - Zhengzhou ', has already been through a month of test operations starting last December. One of the screens has been set up as a deluxe VIP screen. Last April, MK Pictures partnered with the state-owned Poly Group to establish Beiji
  • Museum opens in eight new territories for Fox

    Fox International's family film and international champion Night At The Museum opens in eight territories this weekend as executives look to boost the $155.4m overseas tally.Rocky Balboa enters the ring in the UK on Jan 19 as well as Holland and Colombia this weekend. The boxing drama has taken $11.1m so far, of which Europe accounts for $8.5m.Latest figures put the fantasy adventure
  • Museum remains top international destination with $19.1m weekend

    Ruling the waves is becoming a habit for Fox International's Night At The Museum, which held firm at the top of the charts as it crossed $150m in its fourth weekend.In fact the overseas arena minted two $150m releases for Fox International as Eragon swept past the milestone and finished third overall this weekend behind Sony's Casino Royale.
  • Myriad veteran Leonard joins Initial

    Former Myriad Pictures marketing and publicity executive Maxine Leonard has joined Initial Entertainment Group as senior vice-president of marketing and publicity. Leonard will oversee Initial's corporate communication strategy and reports directly to company president Graham King.
  • Nair takes the reins of Depp-starrer Shantaram for Initial

    Initial Entertainment Group and Infinitum Nihil have signed Mira Nair to direct the upcoming India-set epic Shantaram.The announcement follows a prolonged period of negotiations to find a suitable film-maker that at one point included Peter Weir before the Australian director left the project.Johnny Depp will star in the adaptation of Gregory David Roberts's stirring saga about a former drug addict who becomes a gun-runner in order
  • Netherlands Production - In search of Dutch masters

    From the outside, it looks as if these are boom times for Dutch production. Paul Verhoeven's Black Book, released in the Netherlands by A-Film in the autumn, is closing in on a million admissions at home and has been sold around the world by London-based sales agent ContentFilm International. Oscar nominee Ben Sombogaart (Twin Sisters) has done brisk business with his family film Crusade: March Through Time, which has posted more than 300,000 admissions in the local marke
  • New LA outfit to produce socally relevant film and TV

    Santa Monica-based The Johnson-Roessler Company will produce and finance its debut feature Harrison For America, a satirical look at political fundraising.The company's David Johnson, Craig Roessler and Jesse Singer are serving as producers. Dennie Gordon (What A Girl Wants) is set to direct and production is scheduled to begin this spring.'Our vision for The Johnson-Roessler Company is to f
  • New Prescience venture aims to raise $10m

    A new UK Enterprise Investment Scheme venture from Prescience Film Finance and tax specialist Chancery aims to raise around $10m (£5m) for UK film and television productions.Prescience Pictures' initial projects include a Bruce Beresford-directed film version of Oscar Wilde's A Woman of No Importance, to star Lindsay Lohan and to be produced by Donald Zuckerman, Howard Himelstein and Sarah Radclyffe.'The timing of this offering is
  • Nordisk establishes own distribution channels post split

    Danish major Nordisk Film announces company structure after 17-year relationship with Columbia Tristar-Sony Pictures Releasing International ends.As of Jan 1, Danish major Nordisk Film established its own outlets to handle productions and acquisitions in Sweden, Norway and Finland. This comes in the wake of its split from Columbia Tristar-Sony Pictures Releasing International, after 17 years of collaboration on theatrical distribution in the Nordic market. At Nordisk's Copenhagen
  • North America - Shining example

    When Danny and Jack Fisher made their first film, 1984 feature documentary The Generation Apart, they thought it would remain a family affair."We made a film and thought we'd show it in our basement to 12 people," says Danny Fisher, CEO of New York-based City Lights. The film, which explores the impact of the Holocaust on the families of survivors, won wide critical acclaim, was broadcast on PBS in the US and aired internationally.The Fisher brothers - a third brother, Joe, also
  • Norwegian Film Fund injects millions into local productions

    Norwegian director Erik Poppe will take a break before concluding his Oslo trilogy - Schpaa; Hawaii , Oslo - to make The Invisible. The film is about 'the big questions', according to film consultant Nikolaj Frobenius from the Norwegian Film Fund, which has supported the $3.3m (Euros 2.6m) Paradox Film production with $1.8m (Euros 1.4 m). Scripted by Harald Rosenløw Eeg ( Hawaii , Oslo ), The Invisible interweaves
  • Odeon plans all-digital trial at two multiplexes

    UK exhibitor Odeon has announced plans to do six-month trials making two of its multiplexes completely digital.UK-based digital film services company Arts Alliance Media has signed a deal to provide services to Odeon Surrey Quays as the multiplex becomes Europe's first to go completely digital with all of its nine screens. Also, Bell Theatre Services will run another nine-screen trial at Odeon Hatfield.AAM will act as integrator, installer and service provider for the tri
  • Optimum among buyers of Zinc's Botched from Darclight

    Darclight Films has closed a raft of sales on the comedy-horror caper Botched from Joel Silver's Zinc Entertainment.Rights have gone to Optimum in the UK, Legend Media in Germany, Dutch Film Works in Benelux, Ukrainian DVD in CIS and Eastern Europe, Imagem in Brazil, PT Amero in Indonesia, and Gulf in the Middle East.Kit Ryan directed the tale about the chaotic convergence of twin serial killers, insane hostages and Russian hardmen
  • Oster takes MPAA communications role

    Seth Oster has been hired as executive vice-president for communications at the Motion Picture Association of America (Mpaa) after working at Entertainment Strategies Group and Screen Actors Guild. Oster will oversee operations in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
  • Pacino to play Salvador Dali for Niccol, Room 9

    Al Pacino will play the legendary surrealist Spanish painter Salvador Dali in Room 9 Entertainment's Dali & I: The Surreal Story.Andrew Niccol will direct following his last outing on 2005's Lord Of War and shooting is set to begin in June.Room 9 partners David O Sacks, Daniel Brunt and Michael R Newman areproducing Dali & I, which will focus on the later stages of the artist's life from the perspective
  • Participant coup as studio veterans sign on

    Participant Productions has signed Buffy Shutt and Kathy Jones as executive vice-presidents, marketing. The new arrivals, whose track records include top marketing positions at four major studios, will strategise and orchestrate marketing on all Participant ventures. They report to company president Ricky Strauss and will be based in Beverly Hills.
  • Pascal to get visionary award at Israel Film Festival

    Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal will receive the 2007 IFF Visionary Award at the 22nd Annual Israel Film Festival opening night gala on Mar 6.'Amy's achievements within the film industry as well as her continued support of Israel, make her an ideal recipient for the Visionary Award,' festival founder and executive director Meir Fenigstein said.'She is a champion within the film community, has been embraced by The Consul General of Israel, Ehud Danoch, and
  • Passion shoots for the stars

    In an otherwise ordinary office in Central London, Passion Pictures has a shelf with quite a collection of awards, including MTV moonmen for Gorillaz videos and an Oscar for 1999 documentary One Day In September. The fact there are no spotlights or fancy display cases for the statuettes reflects the sensibility of the people who run Passion."We only make a noise when we've got something to make a noise about," says head of film and TV John Battsek, who joined Passion in 1997 aft
  • Production IG lines up live-action Ghost In The Shell

    Japanese animation house Production I.G has reached an agreement with local publisher Kodansha to act as an agent in developing a live-action feature film based on popular manga series Ghost In The Shell. Production I.G will represent Kodansha, which owns the rights to the original manga series created by Masamune Shirow, in negotiations with various Hollywood studios. The animation house produced Mamoru Oshii's 1995 anime feature film based on the series, and was also behi
  • Profile: Endeavor's Independent

    The youngest of the big five Hollywood talent agencies, Endeavor is a relative newcomer to the independent finance field. Though agents have, over the last decade, come to play an important role in getting non-studio films packaged, funded and distributed, Endeavor has only been exploring the area for a couple of years.The recent naming of Graham Taylor as head of Endeavor Independent, however, signals that independent film and finance is now a growth area for the 12-year-old agency.
  • Project market - CINEMART 2007 project focus

    One of the surprises about the line-up of projects in the 24th CineMart (January 28-February) is the number of high-profile directors - Stephan Elliott and Kim Ki-duk, for example - scattered among the more traditional CineMart arthouse fare. Therefore budgets overall look higher, capped by Elliott's Black Oasis at $7m (EUR5.5m), although CineMart co-heads Bianca Taal and Marit van den Elshout insist the level will never rise above their $7.8m (EUR6m) cap. With 800-850 industry attendees expe
  • Reeker 2 to kick off sales for CMG at Berlin next month

    Dave Payne is preparing No Man's Land: Reeker 2, the sequel to his 2005 horror film about an unfathomable entity that starts to kill a group of friends in the desert.Ed Noeltner's Los Angeles-based Cinema Management Group (CMG) will commence sales at the European Film Market in Berlin next month. The new story will feature a deadlier killer and a new set of characters, and explores what happens to people when they die.Filming is se
  • Revived Yubari film festival to reopen under new name

    The Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival (YIFFF), which was forced to suspend operations last July due to the bankruptcy of its host town, is set to re-open under a new name and mandate. The temporarily re-named Yubari Ouen Eigasai (translation: Yubari Support Film Festival) will run from Feb 22-25 and feature a selection of 20 films. Launched in 1990, YIFFF had featured a combined programme of entertaining Hollywood films, independent films from Japan and abroad and cutti
  • Rotterdam to host 44 world premieres

    The International Film Festival Rotterdam, which kicks off its 36th year on Jan 24, has announced that this year's programme includes 44 world premieres, 23 international premieres and 30 European premieres. The full programme will be unveiled Jan 18, but world premieres already confirmed include Ragnar Bragason's Children follow-up Parents from Iceland, Nina Davenport's Iraq documentary Operation Filmmaker from the US, and Stephane Gauger's Saigon-set drama The O
  • Schreiber joins Participant overseeing social action and advocacy

    Participant Productions further demonstrated its credentials as one of Hollywood's most overtly political company by hiring event producer John Schreiber in the newly created position of executive vice president of social action and advocacy.Schreiber 's prolific output includes organising White House gala events, Chinese cultural shows in New York and cause-related programmes for the American Museum of Natural History and Partnership For A Drug Free America.He will immed
  • Shanghai International Film Festival to launch film market

    The Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) is launching a film market at this year's edition which is scheduled to run June 16-24. In addition to creating an environment for the buying and selling of film rights, the 'Film Mart' aims to stimulate the development of co-productions between China and other territories. China has recently been growing in popularity as a co-production partner as full co-productions bypass the country's quota system. Last year, SIFF held its first
  • Shooting starts on Rise Of The Footsoldier

    Principal photography began December 10, 2006 on Rise Of The Footsoldier, a British crime epic about East London villain Carleton Leach. Written by Julian and William Gilbey, the film is scheduled for a six-week shoot on location at Three Mills Studios in East London and Essex. Its ensemble cast includes Ricci Harnett (28 Days Later) in his first lead role, with Craig Fairbrass (White Noise 2), Roland Manookian (The Business), Terry Stone (Rollin' with the
  • Slingshot hosts first online test screening for Sugarhouse Lane

    New UK digital production and distribution company Slingshot Studios has hosted the world's first online test screening for its first feature, Sugarhouse Lane . For the screening, Slingshot partnered with LoveFilm, Arts Alliance Media and Nielsen NRG for the project, which screened the film to more than 500 people in early December. Slingshot plans to self distribute Gary Love's urban drama in early 2007. It stars Steven Mack, Ashley Walters and Andy Serkis. The test
  • Smith promoted at Roadside attractions

    Dustin Smith has been promoted to director of acquisitions at Roadside Attractions. Smith was previously involved in the acquisition of The Road To Guantanamo and The Puffy Chair, among other films.
  • Sony staffs up worldwide acquisitions department

    Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) has named Adrian Alperovich (pictured left) senior executive vice president and general manager and hired Lara Thompson (pictured centre) as senior vice president of acquisitions.Alperovich will oversee daily operations of the acquisitions team, which has hitherto operated under the auspices of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE).Alperovich will coordinate acquisitions within Sony Pictures Entertainment and scout for local f
  • Southern Baptist Sissies heads to screen through Funny Boy

    Del Shores' Del Shores Productions has partnered with Funny Boy Films to transform his GLAAD Award-winning stage production of Southern Baptist Sissies to the big screen.Kirkland Tibbels of Funny Boy Films and Del Shores and Jason Dottley of Del Shores Productions will produce the feature. Pre-production is expected to begin in late February and principal photography is scheduled for spring.Shores will direct
  • Spanish 2006 admissions drop 2.2% in 2006 but grosses rise

    Spanish admissions dropped 2.2% last year, while a rise in ticket prices sent grosses up almost the same percentage. Admissions were down to 124m, while ticket sales were up to $839m (Euros 648m), according to figures from Nielsen EDI. 'The reality is that it was a 'good' year for Spain,' says Arturo Guillen of the Madrid office of EDI Nielsen. 'This is a mature market and as long as the box office stays within the Euros 600m range it is good.' But each local
  • Stomp The Yard takes domestic box office crown

    Screen Gems' dance drama Stomp The Yard dance musical did a number on Fox's Night At The Museum as it toppled the former champion with an estimated $22m opening.The film followed in the footsteps of Glory Road and Coach Carter as the latest release with in-built appeal to black audiences to reign supreme over the Martin Lu
  • Sundance Channel gets US TV rights to Sundance doc Flying

    Sundance Channel has licensed exclusive US television rights to Flying: Confessions Of A Free Woman, Jennifer Fox' six-hour exploration of womanhood.The documentary will be presented as a special screening at the Sundance Film Festival, which begins on Jan 18, and Sundance Channel will air it as a six-part series in 2008.Flying: Confessions Of A Free Woman interweaves aspects of Fox's own li
  • Sundance Channel takes Dunn's doc Unforeseen for US TV

    Sundance Channel has licensed exclusive US pay television rights to Laura Dunn's documentary The Unforeseen, one day ahead of its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday.Robert Redford served as executive producer along with Terrence Malick on the film, which offers an in-depth look at the struggle between a Texas real estate developer and a community determined to protect its natural resources.Sundance Channel senio
  • Taichi Fukuda appointed to lead NBC Universal's strategic growth in Japan

    As NBC Universal International's new Managing Director, Japan Representative, Fukuda will be based in Tokyo and work with the heads of various divisions to maximise the company's growth potential. These divisions include home-entertainment arm Universal Pictures Japan, TV and New Media Distribution, Mobile Entertainment and CNBC. Fukuda holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and has held many senior positions relating to strategic planning including executive roles at Dentsu Inc and G
  • Tartan Video's Sam Dunn takes on new role

    Tartan Video label manager Sam Dunn has been promoted to deputy managing director. Dunn has been with the company for six years, for which the company credits him with increasing their profile in the rapidly expanding DVD market, as well as being behind the success of lines such as their successful Asia Extreme range. His new role will see him form relationships with sales companies and industry professionals as well as take part in negotiations alongside Managing Director Alan Pa
  • Telepool boosts sales lineup ahead of Berlinale

    Munich-based world sales company Telepool has added four new titles to its sales catalogue ahead of Berlin's European Film Market (EFM), including Swiss director Mike Eschmann's youth drama Breakout which is being released by Buena Vista International in Switzerland on January 18.The production by Zodiac Pictures' Lukas Hobi and Reto Schaerli features Nils Althaus, who will represent Switzerland at next month's Shooting Stars initiative in Berlin, and Melanie Winiger, who was nomi
  • The Binger Filmlab - 'Youth is our main focus'

    In the heart of Amsterdam, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science-backed Binger Filmlab is doing its part to help 'quality' films along, both from the Netherlands and internationally.The Binger Filmlab, which turned 10 last year, runs two five-month intensive coaching programmes a year, one for 10 directors heading into pre-production and the second for 16 scriptwriters. The programme has four projects in 2007's CineMart.Headed by former CineMart chief Ido Abram, t
  • The Monastery: Mr Vig & The Nun

    Dir Pernille Rose Gronkjaer. Den. 2006. 84mins A slow burning, lovingly crafted documentary with a melancholy undertow, The Monastery benefits from a wonderfully eccentric protagonist. JorgenLauersen Vig is an 82-year-old Dane whose last goal in life is to turnhis castle into a monastery. If Spike Milligan and Andrei Tarkovsky h
  • The Serpent (Le Serpent)

    Dir: Eric Barbier. Fr. 2007. 119minsArriving a few months after Tell No One, Guillaume Canet's hit transposition of a Harlan Coben suspense bestseller, Eric Barbier's The Serpent performs an equally adept geographic make
  • The view from 2007: 2006 box office trends

    The raw figures for the 2006 box office point to a widespread recovery. In the context of the last few years, however, it is perhaps more a case of steady advance than a big leap forward. That in itself may be exactly the kind of stability needed in a period of change. As we argued last year, the downturn of 2005 needed to be judged in the context of more than a decade of growth and an unusually successful 2004, rather than leaping to immediate conclusions from 12 months in iso
  • The Works takes sales and UK rights to The Killing Of John Lennon

    The Works International has taken on international sales rights to Andrew Piddington's The Killing Of John Lennon. Sister company The Works UK Distribution has taken UK rights to the film. Jonas Ball stars as Mark David Chapman, John Lennon's killer. The feature was shot during a three-year period on location in Hawaii, Georgia and New York. Rakha Singh produced the film for UK-based Picture Players. The Killing Of John Lennon premiered at the 2006 Edinburgh Film Fes
  • UK distributor and sales company The Works secures $4m in financing

    The Works Media Group has announced that in late December it successfully closed a share placing through Seymour Pierce Ellis. The share placing, when combined with a loan facility, gives the UK-based company a further $4m in financing. The Works' sales slate include Shane Meadows' This Is England and Sarah Gavron's Brick Lane. The Works UK Distribution's forthcoming releases include The Upside Of Anger, Ten Canoes and The Truth About Love. As announced yester
  • UK production spend up almost 50% for 2006

    Film production spending in the UK rose 48% in 2006 to $1.6bn (£840.1m), according to new figures from the UK Film Council. In 2005, $1.1bn (£568.5) was spent on UK production. That marks the second highest year on record, still far off 2003's $2.1bn (£1.1bn), when productions included Troy, Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason and Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban. Major productions started in 2006 include The Golden Age, Stardust, Fred Claus, Harry Potter And T
  • United Kingdom - A Galaxy far, far away

    It came as quite a surprise in 2003 when Disney put its $50m prized adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy in the hands of Hammer & Tongs, the duo of director Garth Jennings and producer Nick Goldsmith who had made commercials and music promos but no features. The film went on to make more than $100m worldwide at the box office.And now comes another surprise, as Hammer & Tongs follow up that commercial hit with a smaller, more personal story, Son Of Rambow, wh
  • Universal picks up North American rights to Dororo

    Universal Pictures has bought North American rights to TBS' period action-fantasy Dororo which has already sold to 20 countries throughout Asia and Europe. The film is based on a manga created by Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy) in the 1960s, which went on to become a famous animated TV series. The characters also served the basis for a game released for Sony's PS2 console, raising awareness of the franchise well before the feature went into production. Filmed predominantly
  • Universal signs Working Title's Bevan and Fellner for seven more years

    Universal has renewed its ties with Working Title's Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner for another seven years, the studio confirmed. Bevan and Fellner launched the UK powerhouse production company in 1992 and joined forces with Universal starting in 1999. Their current contract had been due to expire at the end of 2007. 'We are extremely pleased to announce this agreement with Working Title, one of our most valued producing partners and a unique voice in filmmaking throughout the world,' said M
  • US producers issue dire warning to Canadian actors' union

    US producers representative, the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producuers (AMPTP), says the Canadian performers strike will wreak havoc on the industry north of the border. In a release issued late Friday, the AMPTP said the situation could 'potentially have a devastating and long term impact on production in all of Canada with the exception of British Columbia.' The AMPTP represents US-based producers and is the industry's official collective bargaining representative.
  • US Unions - United artists'

    US producers face three powerful creative unions - DGA, SAG and WGA - in the coming showdown on digital rights. Writing in the magazine LA Lawyer, entertainment attorney Brooke A Wharton summarised the confrontation: the unions feel digital downloads should be treated under the same residual agreement as pay television. Producers want to use the home-video rate, which is four times less."Unfortunately, there are no appropriate formulas in the respective contracts between SAG, WG
  • Volver, Lives, Labyrinth make Oscar shortlist of nine

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has named the nine films that have made it to the shortlist for the best foreign language Oscar.The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:Days Of Glory Algeria (dir Rachid Bouchareb)Water Canada (dir Deepa Mehta)After The Wedding Denmark (dir, Susanne Bier)
  • WGA unveils nominees for documentary screenplay award

    Deliver Us From Evil (Amy Berg), The Heart Of The Game (Ward Serrill), Once In A Lifetime (Mark Monroe), Who Killed The Electric Car' (Chris Paine), and Why We Fight (Eugene Jarecki) have been nominated for the Writers Guild of America's documentary screenplay award.The inaugural aw
  • World power: the Golden Globes

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) was founded in 1943 under the name The Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association by one William Mooring, a correspondent in Los Angeles for The Daily Mail in the UK.The group gave out awards from that year on, although the Golden Globe itself was inaugurated in 1947. Through the decades, the group of international journalists has developed what can only be described as a legendary status in Hollywood.On the one hand, they are the
  • Worldwide - Fight for share

    There is something innately arcane about market share statistics and yet they are a ferocious obsession for players in the film industry. Pies and graphs breaking down revenues in North America and in key international territories are not uncommon. But judging market share for the entire international market with a true global perspective throws up real difficulties.Market share is rather like bragging rights. One can dine out and generate investment using it as a wedge. It is obviousl
  • Yuya Yagira heads cast of Bandage Club adaptation

    Yuya Yagira, the winner of the best actor award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, has been cast in Toei's film adaptation of best-selling Japanese novel The Bandage Club. The film, which started shooting last week, is directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi, whose credits include Ken Watanabe-starrer Memories Of Tomorrow. Satomi Ishihara, who appeared in H2: Kimi To Itahibi, a TV drama directed by Tsutsumi, has also joined the cast. Japanese novelist Arata Tendo pu