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Screen
20 July 2001

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  • 3i buys into Civilian Content

    3i, the British venture capitalist group which recently helped underwrite the merger of Pinewood and Shepperton Studios, has taken a 4.45% stake in Civilian Content, parent of National Lottery franchise the Film Consortium.The company bought 1.8 million shares from a private shareholder, meaning financial institutions hold more than 30% of Civilian. Gartmoor, M&G, Jupiter and LMS have holdings in the AIM-listed company, which has a market capitalisation of $22.8m (£16m)."It is a
  • A Place On Earth

    Dir: Artur Aristakisjan. 2001. Russia 126minsPart documentary, part feature film, compelling and deeply disturbing, Artur Aristakisjan's A Place On Earth, is a portrait of a Moscow commune in which squatters, beggars, cripples and the insane become actors in a metaphysical examination of the human need for love and spiritual healing. Six years in the making, the film features only one actor (Khaev) among the cast of Moscow homeless echoing Aristakisjan's 1994 document
  • AFC increases producers' development fund

    The Australian Film Commission (AFC) has put aside $596,000 (A$1.16m) in public money for this financial year for producers -- and writer/directors in exceptional circumstances - to develop a slate of projects. This is nearly double last year's allocation although the cap on individual awards remains $35,975 (A$70,000). The extra money has come from the returns from projects made under the now defunct Commercial Television Production Fund and, in line with this, television projects can
  • AMC bids high for General Cinemas

    US theatre circuit AMC has raised the stakes in the consolidation of North American exhibition, offering $62.5m for bankruptcy-bound rival General Cinemas. The offer surpasses by $20m the cash portion of the latest offer submitted by Onex Corp. and Oaktree Capital Management, the investment firms behind the $247m buyout offer for Loews Cineplex. Oaktree is partnered with billionaire Philip Anschutz in a bid for Edwards Theaters. Anschutz brought United Artists Theatres out of bankruptc
  • Angel Exit

    Dir: Vladimir Michalek. Czech Republic. 2000. 100mins.A drug induced fantasy that mixes horror and comedy without being either, Vladimir Michalek's Angel Exit is a film that makes its impact with a mosaic of images, sights and sounds that appeal to all five senses. Based on the popular novel of the same name by Jachym Topol this is love story about two drug-addicted youths who escape the decaying, post-industrial back streets of Prague to a world that is as much hallu
  • Antonia Bird swoops on Run adaptation

    Antonia Bird is to direct an adaptation of crime novel Run for recently-formed UK production outfit Hanthum Films and the director's own company, 4Way Pictures.Written by Douglas E Winter, the book revolves around the character of Burdon Lane, a gunrunner-businessman on a so-called milk run which goes wrong. Winter is adapting the book himself."Run combines action and drama with knowledgeable insight into the political underbelly of America's gun culture," s
  • Argentina lacks support for local films

    Argentine newspaper La Nacion has highlighted the relative dearth of admissions for local films despite the increasing number of releases, international festival awards and a general upsurge in film production. According to the paper's analysis of the last six months, while there were 10 more releases in the first half of this year - a total of 27, they attracted little more than half the number of admissions: 1,253,500 compared with 2000's 1,893,600. And one film on current release, E
  • Arista adds script workshop to Oscar Moore Prize

    Arista, the training initiative of the EU's Media II programme has joined forces with The Oscar Moore Foundation, the charity launched and run by Screen International in memory of its former editor-in-chief, to add an exclusive seven-day story editor workshop to the annual scriptwriting prize of £10,000.The annual Oscar Moore Screenwriting Prize was launched in 1997 to nurture new European talent. Every year the short-listed English-language scripts are judged by the UK's most successf
  • BAFTA LA will honour HBO Original Programming

    BAFTA-LA, the British Academy Of Film And Television Arts' Los Angeles branch, has elected to honour HBO Original Programming with the Britannia Award for excellence in television at the 11th annual Britannia Awards on Nov 10.Chris Albrecht, president of HBO Original Programming, will accept the award at the ceremony which will be held in Los Angeles. Among HBO projects involving UK talent are miniseries Band Of Brothers which was shot in the UK, The Last Of The Blonde Bombs
  • Brisbane fest launches feature competition

    The Brisbane International Film Festival's tenth anniversay edition is mounting a retrospective on the work of Roman Polanski and a spotlight on the new UK directors such as Jonathan Glazer. Australian film La Spagnola, starring Spanish actor Lola Marceli, opens the event, which runs July 26-August 4. Glazer's Sexy Beast closes proceedings. A panel of judges will convene this year for the first time to decide on the best Asian film, a move in line with Brisbane's l
  • Cabin Fever

    Dir: Mona J Hoel. Norwegian. 2001. 95mins.A family whose skeletons come out of the closet when they get together for the holidays is not exactly a new idea, but Mona J Hoel's Cabin Fever explores this well-worn theme within the framework of the Dogma manifesto to create a Chekhovian drama that is both fresh in its approach and distinctive in its visual style. The film's best asset is its ensemble cast of accomplished Norwegian and Polish theatrical actors who put on a
  • Chile warms to film censorship reversal

    The Chilean government has voted almost unanimously to scrap film censorship in the country, with 125 votes in favour and eight abstentions. However, the senate has asked to delay the vote's implementation until the approval of a bill presented by the newly appointed members of the ratings/censorship board, the Consejo de Calificacion Cinematografica (CCC). Film and TV censorship has been solidly entrenched in Chile since 1973 when the military overthrew Salvador Allende's socialist go
  • Controversial rape drama wins at Zanzibar

    Bawandar (Sandstorm), an Indian film depicting the true story of Bhanwari Devi, a low-caste woman gang-raped for criticising child marriages, has won the award for best feature film at the Zanzibar Festival of Dhow Countries, held in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.The controversial film, directed by Jag Mohan, follows the rural activist's fight for justice against the upper caste men who raped her, confronting sexism and political greed in the Indian judiciary.The festival ran f
  • De Laurentiis hopes Scott will direct Alexander

    Contrary to earlier reports, producer Dino De Laurentiis has yet to secure the services of director Ridley Scott for the film he is lining up about Alexander The Great. De Laurentiis said that he hoped the film would be directed by Gladiator's Scott, but as yet no deal has been signed. The future project is still expected to feature UK actor Anthony Hopkins in a key role. De Laurentiis, Scott and Hopkins all worked together on blockbuster hit thriller Hannibal whic
  • De Laurentiis says Scott to direct Alexander epic

    Confirming Italy's current enthusiasm for multi-million dollar sword-and-sandal epics, legendary producer Dino De Laurentiis has announced that he is lining up a picture about Alexander The Great that will be directed by Gladiator director Ridley Scott and is expected to feature UK actor Anthony Hopkins in a key role. De Laurentiis, Scott and Hopkins all worked together on blockbuster hit thriller Hannibal which was released earlier this year. And, during this year's Academy Awa
  • Firefly Dreams

    Dir. John Williams, Japan 2001, 104 min.Although this fully Japanese-financed production looks and feels thoroughly authentic in every respect, it is written, directed and edited by a Cambridge-educated Englishman, John Williams, who has been living in Japan since 1988. For his debut feature Williams adopts the slow, deliberate pace and the subdued, under-dramatised approach typical of his adoptive country's great classics to explore the generation gap separating one of tod
  • German comedy smashes local box office record

    Just as Jurassic Park III was creating a stir with its opening day ticket sales in the US, a local German film has smashed box office records with its first day's admissions.Der Schuh Des Manitu, a western parody by alternative German comedian Michael "Bully" Herbig. attracted 203,000 admissions on Thursday July 19 making it the most successful Thursday opening ever for a German film, beating the previous record-holder Werner - Das Muss Kesseln!!! (198,000).
  • global box

    Research conducted by the Informa Media Group reveals that global box office revenues are expected to climb by 36% - or $6bn - between 2001 and 2010 to $24bn. Over the same period, the global screen count is predicted to remain virtually static - at 149,000, as several territories shed traditional theatres.The global average ticket price is only $1.90, though, according to the report, this figure reflects the low charges in most parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Ticket prices
  • Global box office to grow 36% over next decade

    Research conducted by the Informa Media Group reveals that global box office revenues are expected to climb by 36% - or $6bn - between 2001 and 2010 to $24bn. Over the same period, the global screen count is predicted to remain virtually static - at 149,000, as several territories shed traditional theatres.The global average ticket price is only $1.90, though, according to the report, this figure reflects the low charges in most parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Ticket prices
  • Global box office to grow 36% over next decade

    Research conducted by the Informa Media Group reveals that global box office revenues are expected to climb by 36% - or $6bn - between 2001 and 2010 to $24bn. Over the same period, the global screen count is predicted to remain virtually static - at 149,000, as several territories shed traditional theatres.The global average ticket price is only $1.90, though, according to the report, this figure reflects the low charges in most parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Ticket prices
  • Global Motion Pictures Fund launched

    Frankfurt-based IN-motion Group has launched a new private media fund to follow the five World Media Funds it has already initiated since 1998, and which have raised a total to date of $128.8m (Euro 148m) for film and television financing.The latest fund - The First Global Motion Pictures Fonds (GMP) - is inviting private individuals to put up a minimum each of $21,700 (Euro 25,000) by the end of August towards a total volume of $13m (Euro 15m) for investment in internationally marketa
  • Godard's Eloge De L'Amour to screen at LFF

    Jean-Luc Godard's Eloge De L'Amour will screen as the French Gala film at November's London Film Festival.The Cannes competition title, being released in the UK by Will Clarke's Optimum Releasing, is billed as a study of memory and history told through the four stages of love - meeting, physical passion, separation and making up.The film will headline a selection of 20 French features at the festival's 45th edition, which runs November 7 to 22. Optimum, which re-released
  • HFPA donates $484,000 to film groups and charities

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) presented $485,000 in donations to various US charities and institutions at its annual installation luncheon yesterday, bringing the total amount of donations granted by the HFPA in the last seven years to $2.485m.The HFPA, the group of foreign journalists which presents the Golden Globe Awards each year, gave $200,000 to film restoration organisation The Film Foundation, a gift which was accepted by Clint Eastwood on its behalf.O
  • Hi Teresa

    Dir: Robert Glinski Poland 2001. 86mins.After making an impressive acting debut as a young criminal in the leading role of Robert Glinski's Hi, Teresa, 15-year- old Aleksandra Gieter had to return to the reform school that she had been plucked from to play the part. Ironically she escaped a few weeks later, and by the time the film premiered as a competition entry in Karlovy Vary - where her performance made her a strong contender for the best actress award - she was on t
  • Hi Tereska

    Dir: Robert Glinski Poland 2001. 86mins.After making an impressive acting debut as a young criminal in the leading role of Robert Glinski's Hi, Teresa, 15-year- old Aleksandra Gieter had to return to the reform school that she had been plucked from to play the part. Ironically she escaped a few weeks later, and by the time the film premiered as a competition entry in Karlovy Vary - where her performance made her a strong contender for the best actress award - she was
  • InFilm in trio of development deals

    InFilm Productions, the UK outfit which most recently co-produced Rose Troche's The Safety Of Objects, has struck development deals for three of its gestating projects.Artists Independent Network, Luc Roeg and Charles Finch's London-based production and management company, has boarded The Duchess Of Malfi to develop and co-produce. Billed as a "dark, energetic adaptation" of John Webster's classic, the film is being scripted by Paul Hoffman, whose credits include The W
  • Jolie raids France and Germany with Original Sin

    Just as her starring turn in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider sees Angelina Jolie swinging to the top of most international territories, another film featuring the Oscar winning actress starts its roll-out in Germany and France. Original Sin, co-starring Antonio Banderas, took sixth position in Germany, with a three-day take $315,821 (DM 725,126) from 204 screens, and seventh in France, showing seven-day admissions of 103,524 (equivalent to $621,144) from 219 screens.The film is
  • Jurassic III takes giant $19m on US opening day

    Universal's sequel Jurassic Park III opened with a roar on Wednesday, grossing a phenomenal $19m in its first day - and indicating that the dinosaur thrill-ride could have the biggest opening of the year and one of the biggest of all time. To indicate its total domination of the market, MGM's Legally Blonde came in at number two for the day with $2.77m.In comparison, Fox's Independence Day opened on a Tuesday evening and grossed $11.1m that night, followed by $17.
  • Jurassic Park III

    Dir: Joe Johnston. US.2001. 90 min.Continuing to expand theboundaries of tech- nology, rather than exciting entertainment, Jurassic ParkIII, the franchise's thirdinstallment, builds on Spielberg's dual hits, Jurassic Park (1993) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), which jointly have grossed over $1.5billion worldwide. Much darker than the previous films, Jurassic Park III feels more like a horror movie set in anamu
  • Karlovy Vary fest fetes Amelie

    Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amelie grabbed the $20,000 grand prize at the 36th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, which closed on Saturday 14 July. Jeunet's comedy about the adventures of a Parisian girl stood out from a slate of films dominated by darker themes this year, including drug addiction and Alzheimer's.Special jury prize went to Hi, Tereska, by Robert Glinski of Poland, while Ibolya Fekete took the Best Director award for his film, Chico, a joint
  • Karlovy Vary Reviews

    ANGEL EXITDir: Vladimir Michalek. Czech Republic. 2000. 100mins.Reviewed by Anna FranklinA drug induced fantasy that mixes horror and comedy without being either, Vladimir Michalek's Angel Exit is a film that makes its impact with a mosaic of images, sights and sounds that appeal to all five senses. Based on the popular novel of the same name by Jachym Topol this is love story about two drug-addicted youths who escape the decaying, post-industrial ba
  • Kei Kumai to direct Kurosawa script

    A film based on one of the last scripts to have been written by Akira Kurosawa, Umi Wa Miteita (I Saw The Sea), is to be made by Kei Kumai and premiered at the 2002 Venice Film Festival on the anniversary of Kurosawa's death: September 6, 1998.The script is based on two short stories by Shugoro Yamamoto, a Kurosawa favorite whose work inspired a number of his films, including Sanjuro, Red Beard and Dodeskaden, among others. Set in the Edo period (1600-1868),
  • Kinowelt Int'l chief quits as redundancies loom

    Alexander van Duelmen, managing director of Kinowelt International, a subsidiary of beleaguered German media concern, Kinowelt Medien, has quit his post suddenly, "by mutual agreement and with immediate effect". Further staff reorganisation is expected to follow shortly.Van Duelmen had been responsible for masterminding Kinowelt's overseas growth through international partnerships with local outfits. Among these were Kinowelt Hungary, a joint film distribution, home entertainment and T
  • Korea seeks to thwart Hollywood invasion

    "Hollywood domination is dangerous for world cinema" declared leading Korean actor, Moon Seong-keun today as he led a call for the establishment of a new international organisation to protect cultural diversity and promote film from outside the Hollywood system. "We have yet to determine which is the best means to combat it effectively" added Moon, a veteran who has long been the figurehead of Korea's Coalition for Cultural Diversity in Moving Images (CDMI). Moon set out plans for an o
  • Last Wedding to open Toronto festival

    Canadian filmmaker Bruce Sweeney's Last Wedding will open the 26th Toronto International Film Festival, making its world premiere on September 6. Described as a "human drama", it features Benjamin Ratner, Frida Betrani, Tom Scholte, Nancy Sivak, Vincent Gale and Molly Parker. Sweeney, whose feature Live Bait was voted best Canadian film the 1995 festival, wrote the screenplay. Stephen Hegyes produced. According to a release, the film follows Noah (Ratner), a waterproofing
  • Locarno reveals competition line-up

    While Final Fantasy - The Spirit Within and Moulin Rouge will open and close the Piazza Grande programme respectively, this year's official competition of 19 films from 13 different countries includes ten first features and 15 world premieres.Debut projects include Meng Ong's Miss Wonton (US), Riccardo Signorell's Sheherazade (Switzerland) and Amalia Escriva's Avec Tout Mon Amour (France). The 54th edition of the festival also boasts a strong represen
  • Luna's Game

    Dir. Monica Laguna. Spain 2001. 102 mins. A disappointing attempt to deal with two different types of addiction, Monica Laguna's second feature takes far too many short cuts and avoids too many pertinent questions to deal with the many tasks it sets for itself. Ana Torrent, in the lead role of Luna lacks either the passion or the conviction necessary, while the rest of the uni-dimensional parts do not require too much effort from the cast. The small screen seems to be looming just a
  • Made

    Dir: Jon Favreau. US.2001. 93 min.The same offbeatsensibility that informed Swingers, Miramax's 1996 hit, is also in evidence in Made, the new crime comedy directed, written, andstarring Jon Favreau - except that, unlike the former picture, which dealt withreal issues, the new one is a basically plotless, character-driven film.Reuniting for the first time since Swingers, Favreau and Vince Vaughn play two haplessfriends, reluctantly an
  • Marc Butan joins Lions Gate as production evp

    Lions Gate Productions, a division of Lions Gate Entertainment, has hired Marc Butan, the former president of Ignite Entertainment, as executive vice president of production. Reporting to Michael Paseornek, president of production at Lions Gate, Butan will oversee production of the company's film projects and run its development activities.Butan will help Lions Gate step up its own development activities; it says that it plans to aggressively pursue scripts, pitches and other source m
  • Media Salles reveals new executive committee

    Media Salles, an initiative within the EU media programme to foster theatrical distribution of European audiovisual products, has announced its new executive committee line-up. More of a reshuffle, with no change of personnel, the presidency has gone to Jens Rykaer, previous treasurer of the association and director of the European Film College, based in Denmark. J. Wolf and Walter Vacchino will share the vice presidency, with Wolff responsible for contacts with the European Commision'
  • Montreal fest to fete Jackie Chan

    Martial arts star Jackie Chan will be presented with a Special Grand Prix of the Americas at the 25th Montreal World Film Festival, Aug. 23 to Sept. 3. The festival is presenting similar tributes to Sophia Loren and producer Dino De Laurentiis. Chan will be present September 1 for a screening of one of his films.In a statement, Montreal festival president Serge Losique likened the action hero to Charlie Chaplin: "Jackie Chan is not only one of the greatest artists of Asian and World ci
  • Moviesystem gets Pathe, Besson library for VoD

    Moviesystem, a new company which spans conventional video distribution and video-on-demand (VoD), has picked up VoD rights to Pathe and the Luc Besson-headed Europa Corp. The five year deals give Moviesystem worldwide rights to the 600-title back catalogue and the current output of Europa. A wholesaler which has developed a film rights management system based on Microsoft software, Moviesystem will re-sell the rights to retail VoD operators."Our objective is to build up as much
  • Myriad buys 20% of LA broadcast, services facility

    Myriad Pictures has purchased a 20% stake in Broadcast Standard Inc (BSI), the LA-based broadcast and video servicing, standards conversion and digital editing facility.BSI was founded in 1987 and acquired late last year with funds from Independent International Television, an LA-based TV distribution company controlled by Argentina's Ledafilms, Ledafilms' main investor Pedro Felix Leda and Rene Leda, who was subsequently appointed president and CEOUnder the deal, Myriad - own
  • New Anica president appointed

    Gianni Massaro, the Italian entertainment lawyer who heads the European production fund Eurimages, has been appointed president of Anica, Italy's national film body, replacing film producer Fulvio Lucisano."My top priority will be to bring into Anica the other associations of the audiovisual sector, who, while they operate within a friendly climate, are still outside Anica," said Massaro, referring to Italy's independent film producers association, API, and television producers associa
  • New Line launch Rush Hour 2 Hong Kong promotion

    New Line Cinema has struck a promotional deal with United Airlines and the Hong Kong Tourism Board for its August 3 release Rush Hour 2.During July and August, travellers on domestic United Airlines flights will see an in-flight film focused on travel to Hong Kong, where much of Rush Hour 2 starring Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker and Zhang Ziyi is set. A United 747 is featured in the film.As part of the promotion, United will screen the world premiere of Rush Hour
  • Pleskow sells Pleswin stake to partner de Winter

    Veteran producer Eric Pleskow has announced that he has sold his interest in Pleswin Entertainment Group BV to its other principal shareholder Leon de Winter.The company was launched in August 1999 by the former United Artists boss and Orion Pictures founder with Dutch novelist and screenwriter de Winter to create a new European production force producing English language films for the international market.In autumn 1999, Pleswin joined forces with Germany's Senator Film to crea
  • PrimaCom signs ppv deal with Universal

    Private German cable network PrimaCom and Universal Studios International have signed a non-exclusive pay-per-view (ppv) output deal for a wide range of current and library titles from Universal, including Oscar-winner Gladiator and The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas. Commenting on the agreement, Hans Wolfert, chief corporate development officer at PrimaCom declared that it was "another step in PrimaCom's strategy to increase the wide range of digital video services. We a
  • Q&A with Columbia Pictures' Barbara Robinson

    Barbara Robinson, managing director of Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia says that a studio can act like a local player.How does Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia (CPFPA) operate'Our mandate is to acquire, develop and produce local-language films primarily for the Asian market but hopefully with potential to move beyond Asia and perform well in western markets.We receive submissions of material in all the usual variety of forms: concept pitch, synopsis, trea
  • Quebec grants $9.1m to Lions Gate partner

    CineGroupe, the animation partner of Lions Gate Entertainment, is set to receive a cash injection of $9.1m from Societe generale de financement du Quebec, the state investment agency of the Canadian province. Lions Gate spokesman Gordon Keep told Screendaily the investment will allow CineGroupe to grow its future business and expand its collaboration with other Lions Gate subsidiaries. "There might be a joint venture on some live action/animation projects or Lions Gate might handle int
  • Sagittarius

    Dir: Vicente Molina Foix. Spain. 1hr 52mins.Character-driven and dialogue-heavy, Sagittarius (Sagitario) is not a film for all audiences. Its greatest appeal will likely lie with urban arthouse audiences interested in adult-oriented European fare. In Spain, where distributor Lauren Films put this assumption to test, average per-copy ticket sales have been high. Name recognition of Vicente Molina Foix - a novelist, playwright and poet making his cinematic debut as both
  • Scotia injunction request against Miramax rejected

    A California State Court has rejected a request by German independent distributor Scotia Film for an injunction to stop the AFMA arbitration proceedings Miramax Films filed against Scotia in April. The ruling was made last Thursday.Scotia, run by Sam Waynberg, sued Miramax in June claiming that it breached its license agreement by overpricing films and failing to deliver promised titles such as Shakespeare In Love (Universal had all international territories on that film).
  • Shaun Redick leaves WMA to join Kamins at ICM

    Shaun Redick, formerly director of the independent film division at The William Morris Agency (WMA), aka WMA Independent, has joined LA talent agency International Creative Management (ICM) as an agent in its international division.Redick has been at WMA Independent for four years working with Cassian Elwes and Rena Ronson; among the projects he will bring with him to ICM is American Crime to be directed by Dan Mintz (Cookers). During the Cannes Film Festival this year,
  • Shooting Gallery heads for bankruptcy

    New York-based production and distribution house The Shooting Gallery will likely file for bankruptcy relief, according to a brief statement from its owner, Canadian internet incubator itemus inc. Toronto-based itemus announced that efforts to raise extra capital have been unsuccessful to date and that unless it can sell of some of its own assets and operating divisions, it too will be unable to meet its financial obligations. The company is liable for up to $10m of Shooting Gallery de
  • SHREK retakes top spot at UK box office

    Despite five openers making an entry in the UK top 15 chart at the weekend the battle for the top position was between two holdovers. Last week's leader Lara Croft: Tomb Raider dropped off 41% from its opening weekend to take $3.2m (£2.3m) from 446 sites in its second. This resulted in the UIP release relinquishing the number one spot to its stable-mate Shrek, which held the position prior to Tomb Raider's release. The computer-animated film dropped off just 14% from last
  • Ster Century re-finances and avoids sale

    Having failed to find a buyer since it was put up for sale last year, pan-European exhibition circuit Ster Century Europe has secured an $80m re-financing package and has now been taken off the market.Corporate restructuring will see Ster Century housed within a new consolidated film entity being proposed by joint-owner Primedia, which itself is carving its business into two parts.Ster Century's complicated refinancing package sees Primedia - joint majority shareholder in the ci
  • The Fast Runner

    Dir: Zacharias Kunuk. Canada. 2000. 167 mins. Of all the esoterica on show in Cannes this year, The Fast Runner, a nearly three-hour epic in Inuit (it claims to be the first feature ever written in this language) based on a 1000 year old Eskimo legend, must take pride of place at the top of the list. Evidently a labour of love for all concerned, this absorbing, visually breathtaking piece takes a while to gather momentum. But it gradually achieves a magical grandeur
  • The Iron Ladies

    Dir: Yongyooth Thongkonthun. Thailand. 2000Cool Runnings meets The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert in this raucous, cheer-the-underdog charmer inspired by true events at the 1996 Thailand national volleyball championships. A shameless crowd-pleaser, played for broad comic effect, it embraces every cliche of the sporting no-hopers genre but still wears down any cynical resistance by the time of the big, all or nothing finale. A cheering presence on t
  • The Mummy Returns crosses $200m internationally

    A day before its domestic gross passed $200m, Universal Pictures' The Mummy Returns sailed past $200m at the international box office bringing its worldwide total to a spectacular $400m.The film topped the $200m international mark on Friday, becoming the first of the year to do so. It has been on release for ten weeks around the world and opened at number one in every country. It was the top opening of all time in Korea, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Russia, Taiwan and Venezuela, an
  • The Price Of Milk scoops top Fantastic award

    Prizes were widely spread on the closing night of the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan). The big winner on the night was Harry Sinclair's New Zealand film The Price Of Milk which scooped the Best of Puchon award.The international jury gave a special prize to Wisit Sasanitieng's Thai film The Tears Of The Black Tiger (Fah Talai Jone) while the Citizens' Choice audience award went to Germany's Three Chinamen With A Double Bass (Drei Chinesen Mit
  • Tycoon heads $790m Malaysian studio revamp

    A reclusive tycoon with a penchant for Bollywood extravaganzas is to head the $790m development of Malaysia's new Hollywood-style film studios, according to Reuters.Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary, already in Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's good books for winning away Danish shipping giant Maersk Sealand from neighbour and rival Singapore, is to helm the Entertainment Village project, which was launched last September.Despite the hype - Asian movie stars such as Jackie Chan and Miche
  • UK Film Council reveals first single-project slate

    Erick Zonca, the French writer-director of The Dreamlife Of Angels, is to make his English-language debut with National Lottery backing from UK film support body the Film Council's first round of single-project development funding.Zonca secured $106,244 (£75,000), the largest single award the council has made from its development fund, for Julia. The council's investment in the thriller is the most high-profile sign to date of its pledge to invest in European films.
  • UK's lukewarm development culture heats up

    Last week, the UK Film Council announced its first round of long-term slate funding deals with six production outfits. The $7m (£5m) annual development fund is designed to give promising companies long-term support in beefing up their development capabilities, both in terms of property acquisition and personnel. Fragile Films, Archer Street Tiger Lily, Kuhn & Co, Autonomous, Dragon Pictures and The Jim Henson Company, as well as The National Film and Television School were all recipien
  • Universal Pictures picks up Women

    Universal Pictures has picked up all UK rights to Women Talking Dirty, the first picture from Elton John and David Furnish's Rocket Pictures.The co-production with Jean Doumanian Productions is expected to get a platform release though UIP, Universal's international theatrical distribution outlet. Helena Bonham Carter and Gina McKee star in the story of a female friendship."I'm absolutely thrilled that Universal are releasing the film," said John. "They have done a fantas
  • Warner grabs French comedy from Gaumont

    Warner Bros' French division is to produce Ma Femme S'appelle Maurice, the next film by French comedy specialist Jean-Marie Poire (The Visitors). The $13m (Ffr100m) title, which is also to be backed by Germany's Babelsberg Studios, Canal Plus and French public broadcaster France Television, starts shooting on July 23 in ParisGaumont, which has made most of Poire's films since the late seventies, will not be involved. Their latest effort, Just Visiting, the mega-budget Eng
  • White Noise takes top Babelsberg prize

    Max Ophuels Prize winner Hans Weingartner and Oscar nominee Marc-Andreas Bochert were among the recipients of the 2001 Babelsberg Media Awards presented last weekend. Weingartner, received the $15,303 (DM35,000) Best Graduation Feature Film Award for his das weisse rauschen (The White Noise), while Bochert was presented with the $21,861 (DM50,000) Erich Kaestner Television Award for the Best German Language Children's and Young People's Programme for Die Spezialistenshow

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