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20 March 2009

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  • 33 Scenes From Life named Best Film at 11th Polish Film Awards

    Malgorzata Szumowska's drama 33 Scenes From Life was named best film at the 11th Polish Film Awards in Warsaw and Jerzy Skolimowksi received the Eagle for best director for his work on Four Nights With Anna. In addition to best film, 33 Scenes From Life received the Audience Award as well as best score and best editing. The film saw its world premiere at Locarno, where it won the Special Jury Prize. The Polish-German co-production
  • Anil Kapoor to receive tribute at Indian Film Festival Of Los Angeles

    The 7th Annual Indian Film Festival Of Los Angeles will pay tribute to Bollywood star Anil Kapoor, now famous in the west for his role in Slumdog Millionaire. The festival will close with Megan Doneman's documentary Yes Madam, Sir.The festival will be held from April 21-26 at The ArcLigh
  • Balsmeyer's Lightbulb switches on 33rd Cleveland Film Festival this week

    Jeff Balsmeyer's Lightbulb, the rags-to-riches story of two brothers who come up with a revolutionary gizmo, will open the 33rd annual Cleveland International Film Festival on March 19th.The film, which stars Dallas Roberts, Jeremy Renner and Ayelet Zurer (soon to be seen in Angels And Demons), is based on
  • BD Fox Independent launches self-distribution service

    Industry marketing executive Brian Fox' BD Fox Independent has launched a self-distribution division to provide a one-stop shop for film-makers.The company most recently handled distribution, marketing and publicity responsibilities on the theatrical release of Hope And Redemption: The Lena Baker Story, which opened last weekend in Atlanta and grossed $18,850 from one theatre.BD Fox Independe
  • Bratt's homegrown La Mission to open San Franciso Film Festival

    Peter Bratt's redemptive drama La Mission will open the 52nd San Francisco International Film Festival, which runs from April 23-May 7.Bratt's brother Benjamin Bratt stars in the tale of an ex-con whose powerful bond with his son and his peaceful way of life are threatened by a sudden revelation. Erika Alexander and Jeremy Ray Valdez also star.
  • Breathless wins big at Deauville Asian festival

    South Korea's Breathless was the big winner at the 11th Deauville Festival of Asian Film which wrapped on Sunday evening. Yang Ik-June's film, a feature directorial debut in which he also stars, is a brutal look into domestic violence in South Korea. The film also took the International Critics Prize.In a tie, the Jury Prize was shared between All Around Us by Japan's Ryosuke Hashiguchi and The Shaft from China's Chi Zhang. The former is a lo
  • Cannes Atelier selects 15 projects including Lerman's Moral Sciences

    The Cannes Film Festival has announced the lineup of participants for the fifth edition of the Atelier de la Cinefondation program.The scheme was begun in 2005 and is a means to help directors with the financing and completion of their projects.The roster of 15 filmmakers will attend the Cannes Film Festival in May in order to meet with film industry professionals in the course of daily meetings.This year’s crop includes both up and coming and established
  • Cast assembles for UA's The Cabin In The Woods

    Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz and Jesse Williams will join previously announced Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford in UA's horror project The Cabin In The Woods.Drew Goddard is directing from a screenplay by Goddard and Joss Whedon, who is also producing. Details of the plot remain under wraps.Production is underway and the film is scheduled to
  • Cattleya's Tozzi re-named head of Anica's producers section

    Ricardo Tozzi has been unanimously re-named head of the producers section within Anica, the organization representing Italy's cinema and audiovisual industry. This will be the third time that the prominent Italian film producer has held the role. Accepting the post Tozzi urged the Italian industry to work together in confronting issues that arise from the up-coming difficult period. 'I believe the most important work awaiting us will be uniting the sector
  • Chow Yun-fat to star in Dadi Century's Confucius biopic

    Beijing-based Dadi Century Film has confirmed that Chow Yun-fat will star in its upcoming biopic Confucius, in which he will portray the great Chinese philosopher and sage. Chen Daoming (Hero) will portray Lao Zi, another Chinese philosopher and the founder of Taoism, who gave Confucius advice on history and the arts. Zhou Xun (Painted Skin) is reported by China media to be the leading woman in the film, playing Nan Zi, the wife of Duke Ling o
  • Critical Condition: How media downsizing impacts indie film

    Mark Lipsky knows first hand how important critics can be for an independent film's success. Lipsky, now head of Gigantic Digital, was working for New Yorker Films in 1981 when Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert championed a little film called My Dinner With Andre on their syndicated TV show. When the show aired, the film had been slated to close its short run within three days; but because of the rave review, it went on to play an amazing year-long run at New York's Lincoln Plaza.
  • Critical Condition: United Kingdom

    The UK market has long been blessed with a vibrant newspaper scene, a cacophony of voices that ranges from upmarket broadsheets such as left-leaning The Guardian and conservative The Daily Telegraph to a raucous tabloid press. Even with all the doom-and-gloom prognosticating about its slow, inevitable decline, the UK newspaper scene is still a relatively robust one.But the economic crunch is inflicting a heavy toll, with significant belt-tightening and redundancies across
  • Dennis Quaid named Male Star Of The Year at ShoWest

    Dennis Quaid will receive the ShoWest 2009 Male Star Of The Year Award at a ceremony in Las Vegas on April 2.This summer Quaid is part of the voice cast for Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions' 3D release Battle For Terra and stars in Paramount's tentpole action release G.I. Joe: Rise Of The Cobra.His credits include Va
  • Duplicity

    Reviewed by Mike Goodridge Dir: Tony Gilroy. US. 2009. 122 mins. A high-tech romantic thriller set in the little-seen world of corporate espionage, Tony Gilroy's second feature is sophisticated adult entertainment which puts the lazy Ocean's films to shame with its clever writing, lively direction and visual panache. An old-fashioned caper with a refreshingly keen desire to entertain, Duplicity should be a healthy spring hit for Universal and confirm
  • E1 Entertainment promote Knowing with Sci Fi UK sponsorship

    E1 Entertainment will use niche marketing to promote its latest acquisition Knowing by providing the Sci Fi channel with a five figure sponsorship payment to run film ads during Sci Fi prime time slots. Directed by Alex Proyas (I, Robot), Knowing, although an action-thriller, should attract Sci Fi viewers, because of its apocalypse-genre angle. Brokered by Sky Media, the sponsorship will run up to Mar
  • For My Father takes Grand Prix in Sofia

    The 13th Sofia International Film Festival concluded March 14 with the Grand Prix in the international competition going to For My Father, directed by Dror Zahavi. An Israeli-German co-production, For My Father portrays an accidental meeting of three people in Tel Aviv. The international jury, led by Hungarian director Janos Szasz, called the film 'brave' and praised it for 'dealing with impossible love with humor and humanism.'Ozca
  • Fox leads international weekend with Marley, Dragonball

    Fox International's comedy Marley & Me produced the biggest result of any Hollywood release overseas over a subdued weekend as an estimated $13.9m haul from 2,708 screens in 34 territories raised the running total to $51m.Driving this were nine new launches led by a superb $6.5m number one start in the UK from 467 screens and a strong $1.7m debut from 517 in Russia that ranked first or second. Final resu
  • Fox opens Dragonball Evolution across Asia before North America

    Fox International launches Dragonball Evolution in nine territories in Asia this weekend ahead of the April 8 North American opening. The film, directed by James Wong and produced by Stephen Chow, features Justin Chatwin, Emmy Rossum and Chow Yun-Fat and is based on the classic manga series.Its openings include South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapor
  • Girl With Dragon Tattoo reaches 1.26m admissions in Scandinavia

    Danish director Niels Arden Oplev's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (aka Men Who Hate Women/Män som hatar kvinnor) is set to become the largest Scandinavian film success ever.After its third weekendof release,had reached 1.26 million admissions in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. In Norway it opened only last Friday (March 13) selling 94,154 tickets over the weekend - this year's best result.The first feature from Swedish author Stieg Larsson's Millennium
  • Hawaii Film Partners set to start shooting romantic adventure

    Hawaii Film Partners will begin principal photography on March 16 in Hawaii on the romantic adventure You May Not Kiss The Bride.Set in Chicago and Tahiti, the picture stars Dave Annable, Mena Suvari, Katharine McPhee, Vinnie Jones, Tia Carrere and Ken Davitian.Annable plays a Chicago pet photographer who accidentally maims the cat of a Croatian mobster's wife and is forced t
  • Hong Kong's Celestial strikes Canadian licensing deal

    Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures has signed a licensing deal with Canada's Rogers Cable Communications under which select titles from its Shaw Brothers library will be available on Rogers' On Demand digital cable platform. Initially, over 20 titles of different genres - kung-fu, thriller, action and musical - will be offered to Rogers' customers in Ontario. The line-up includes classics such as The Kingdom And The Beauty, The 14 Amazons, The Duel a
  • How Senator builtThe Reader into a German hit

    It might have a UK director and US producers, but The Reader has been largely perceived as a local film by Germany's cinema-goers, thanks to the source material of Bernhard Schlink's best-selling 1995 novel. It also has a large number of German actors in the cast and the film was shot mainly in Germany.Boosted by Kate Winslet's Oscar triumph, The Reader went straight in at number one on its first weekend of release, selling 360,830 tickets for a gross of $3.4m from a mid-
  • I Love You, Man

    Dir John Hamburg. US. 2009. 104 mins
  • Iain Smith resigns from Scottish Screen-Creative Scotland board

    Leading British producer Iain Smith (Wanted, Children Of Men) has announced his resignation from the joint transitional board of Scottish Screen and Creative Scotland.Smith has explained that his resignation was prompted by a sense of frustration at the on-going process of merging Scottish Screen and the Scottish Arts Council into a new government body with a remit that covers all the arts in Scotland.The establishment of the new body,entitled Creative Scotland, has bee
  • International - Watchmen wages war

    Paramount Pictures International's Watchmen dominated the global box office over the March 6-8 weekend, taking $55.2m from 3,611 screens domestically and $26.6m from 5,149 screens internationally after opening day-and-date in 45 territories.Zack Snyder's comic-book adaptation opened top in several key territories including the UK, which led the pack with an opening of $4.5m from 419 screens, after a strong marketing campaign in the territory. The top spot was also taken in Russi
  • Jean-Marc Vallee rocks with The Young Victoria

    In the second half of 2007 French-Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallee was allocated 51 days to shoot The Young Victoria. The penultimate day of shooting was set to coincide with England’s match against South Africa in the rugby union world cup final. The mainly British film crew wanted to wrap early and watch the game. ‘I told Rupert (Friend) and Emily (Blunt), ‘We should do everything we planned to do tomorrow today. We’ll work a bit harder to make it happen,” Vallee recalls.Sho
  • Jeff Framer takes over from David Borshell at Image Entertainment

    Jeff M Framer has been named president of home entertainment licensee, producer and distributor Image Entertainment following the departure of David Borshell after nearly 25 years at the company.Framer has been with Image Entertainment since 1990 and has served as the company's CFO for the past 15 years. He assumes his new role immediately and will continue as CFO until a replacement is appointed.Executive officer Bill Bromiley will
  • Jennifer Baichwal's Act Of God to open Hot Docs

    Jennifer Baichwal's Act Of God will have its world premiere as the opening night film of Hot Docs Toronto Documentary Film Festival. Baichwal's previous film, Manufactured Landscapes (2006), won the Best Canadian Feature prize at the Toronto International Film Festiv
  • Joe Wright to direct Indian Summer for Working Title and Universal

    Joe Wright will direct Indian Summer for Working Title and Universal with the screenplay being adapted by William Nicholson from the book of the same name by Alex von Tunzelmann. Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Hilary Bevan Jones are producing the film.Itmarks Joe Wright's fourth collaboration with Working Title and the first film in a two picture deal with the company. Indian Summer will shoot on location in India early 2010. It chronicles the last days of Brit
  • John Cooper steps up as director of Sundance Film Festival

    John Cooper has been named director of the Sundance Film Festival in a widely expected move that takes immediate effect in the wake of Geoff Gilmore's departure.The popular and highly respected Cooper joined Sundance Institute in 1989 and will serve as the festival's artistic director leading programming and strategic growth and will oversee such activities as content production, online initiatives and key national and international partnerships
  • John Rabe leads German Film Awards with seven nominations

    John Rabe is the clear favourite for this year's German Film Awards after picking up seven nominations including best film, and best director for Florian Gallenberger. The film also picked up nominations for best lead actor for Ulrich Tukur, best supporting actor Steve Buscemi and best cinematography for Juergen Juerges. In addition to John Rabe, best film nominations were bestowed on Uli Edel's The Baader Meinhof Complex, O
  • Juan Antonio Bayona said to be in talks for Summit's Eclipse

    Summit Entertainment is believed to be on the cusp of signing the upcoming Spanish film-maker Juan Antonio Bayona to direct Eclipse, the third instalment in its Twilight franchise that will open on June 30, 2010.Bayona directed the Spanish-language Gothic tale The Orphanage, whichgrossed more than $78m worldwide after premiering at Cannes in 2007.The young Spaniard has been mentored during his early career byGuillermo del Toro and i
  • Jude, Komanderev win best pitch prizes at Sofia Meetings

    At the Sofia International Film Festival's sixth Sofia Meetings, atotal of 22 projects werepresented in the Second Films Pitching lineup, the Plus Minus One selection of debut and third features, and the new Sofia Cinelinks Sarajevo programme.At the end of the two days of pitches and one-to-one meetings with potential co-producers, funders and sales agents, the Sofia Meetings participants voted for the best pitches in the first two programmes. Romania's Ada Solo
  • KOFIC cuts funding, overhauls investment strategy

    The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has slashed its overall programme budget by 25% from last year's $42.48m (KW65.8bn) to $32.73m for 2009. However, it has also overhauled its investment strategy in an attempt to counter falling profits and investment in the Korean film industry and piracy in ancillary markets. The organisation will now focus on stabilising investment, developing distribution structures, helping Korean films expand their global reach and filmmaking p
  • KOFIC hands out p&a funding to three companies

    The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has announced that it will award p&a funds to LA-based Eleven Arts, Belgium's Cineart and Taiwan's Infinity International in its first p&a funding round of 2009. Eleven Arts will receive $10,211 (KW15m) to support the US theatrical release of Noh Young-seok's low-budget road movie Daytime Drinking. Cineart will receive $13,625 to release Na Hong-jin's serial killer hit The Chaser, while Infinity gets $27,231 towards the relea
  • Lesbian Vampire Killers

    Dir. Phil Claydon. UK. 2009. 84 mins. British cinema is littered with the broken dreams of popular television comedians who failed to make the transition to the big screen. BAFTA-winning Gavin & Stacey duo James Corden and Matthew Horne are the latest ones to accept the challenge but their horror spoof Lesbian Vampire Killers is more Sex Lives Of The Potato Men than Shaun Of The Dead. An uninspired concoction of overly familiar ingredients, th
  • Lesbian Vampire Killers

    Dir. Phil Claydon. UK. 2009. 84 mins. British cinema is littered with the broken dreams of popular television comedians who failed to make the transition to the big screen. BAFTA-winning Gavin & Stacey duo James Corden and Matthew Horne are the latest ones to accept the challenge but their horror spoof Lesbian Vampire Killers is more Sex Lives Of The Potato Men than Shaun Of The Dead. An uninspired concoction of overly familiar ingredients, th
  • Lesbian Vampire Killers sells to France, Scandinavia, Benelux, Brazil

    London-based sales company AV Pictures has sold Phil Claydon's Lesbian Vampire Killers to a number of new territories. Deals have been signed with La Fabrique de Films for France, Sandrew Metronome for Scandinavia, European Film Partners for Benelux and Imagem Films for Brazil. The comedy horror has already been sold to other territories
  • Lorber HT Digital picks up Intangible Asset, Nollywood Bablyon

    Lorber HT Digital has acquired all North American rights to Emma Franz's documentary Intangible Asset #82 and US theatrical rights and public performance rights to Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal's documentary Nollywood Babylon.
  • Marvel, Sony set Spider-man 4 opening for May 2011

    Spider-Man will return to action when Sony Pictures releases the fourth instalment in Marvel Studios' global franchise on May 6 2011.Announcing a revised set of release dates, Marvel Studios revealed that a character-based picture from its stable will launch in theatres each year from 2010-12.Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel said the strategy 'maxim
  • Mason appointed chief executive of NZ Film Commission

    Former PolyGram, Universal Pictures and Channel 4 executive Graeme Mason has been appointed chief executive of the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), replacing Ruth Harley who moved to head new Australian super agency Screen Australia last year. The appointment was announced early this morning (March 11)by NZFC chair David Cullwick. Australian-born Mason will move from London, where he currently heads Scarlet Pictures, to be in the new job by early April.One of
  • Max Manus main winner at Norwegian film awards

    Norwegian directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Søndberg's Max Manus, cashed in on five out of its nine nominations for the Kanon Awards the Norwegian film industry's annual prizes. The World War II epic's wins included best producer, won by John M Jacobsen, Sveinung Golimo; Thomas Nordseth-Tiller's win for best script; and best actress for Agnes Kittelsen. Meanwhile Stian Kristiansen's feature debut, The Man Who Loved Yngve (Mannen Som
  • Mobile sector, Asia, Middle East trumpeted as new finance sources

    With the hedge funds gone and banks fleeing the scene like rats from a sinking ship, the next wave of capital for a largely cash-strapped film industry will come from the mobile telephony sector, according to a leading Hollywood executive.'A lot of it will be tied to technology and the next source will be mobile - it's just a question of when,' The Film Department CEO Mark Gill told attendees at the Film Finance Forum in Century City hosted by W
  • Mungiu's Tales From The Golden Ageto open Transilvania

    The eighth edition of the Transilvania International Film Festival will open May 29 with the local premiere of Tales From The Golden Age, an omnibus film written and produced by Cristian Mungiu. Wild Bunch is handling international sales on the film, which is tipped for Cannes, where Mungiu won the Palme d’Or just two years ago for 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.Tales From The Golden Age is a collection of short films based on urban legends from
  • New US distributor Trela Media makes debut acquisition

    Fledgling New York distributor Trela Media has made its first acquisition, taking North American rights from Filmlike Films to Paul H-O and Tom Donahue's documentary Guest Of Cindy Sherman.Trela Media president Christopher Trela, a former media consultant and producer who co-founded the production label Pioneer Pictures, said the company planned
  • Opinion: taking superheroes seriously

    The global opening of Watchmen last weekend - $55.7m in North America through Warner Bros and $27.5m in 45 territories through PPI - was strong, but considered by many commentators to be disappointing.This, after all, was the most-hyped superhero movie since Iron Man and The Dark Knight last summer and it was expected to open with at least as much as director Zack Snyder's last graphic novel adaptation, 300, which took $70.9m in its first do
  • Papandrea leaves Groundswell to set up Make Movies

    Bruna Papandrea has left her job as president of Michael London's Groundswell Productions and branched out to launch her own outfit Make Movies.Papandrea opens the company's Beverly Hills office this week with several properties ready to go out to actors and directors. The emphasis will be on 'smart movies with broad commercial appeal' with particular focus on romantic comedies and thrillers. She also plans to launch Make TV and will announce h
  • Pathe UK strikes distribution, co-production alliance with Warner

    In a deal it describes as a move to find a workable business modelfor the digital era, Pathe UK is scaling down its theatrical operation and teaming with Warner Bros Entertainment UK to distribute Pathe productions in the UK and Ireland. Pathe will continue to devise the marketing campaigns for its titles.20th Century Fox will continue to handle Pathe films in the home entertainment market.
  • Peter Rice leaves Searchlight to head Fox Broadcasting

    News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch has instigated a huge shake-up at the Los Angeles-based Fox businesses in the wake of COO Peter Chernin's departure.Effective immediately, the Los Angeles-based creative production divisions will be combined under a single unit reporting to Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman, while Fox Searchlight chief Peter Rice leaves the division to become Fox Broadcasting chai
  • Pusan appoints new executives and programmers

    The 14th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) has appointed new executives to the Asian FilmMarket and programmers for the World Cinema and Asian Cinema sections.
  • Race To Witch Mountain

    Dir: Andy Fickman. US. 2009. 98 mins.
  • RealFlow's special effects boom

    Ignacio Vargas and Victor Gonzalez have every right to boast of their achievement in helping to transform the special-effects industry. Their fluid technology, which simulates and manipulates real movements in 3D using particle-based techniques, has been used in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Poseidon, National Treasure and most recently The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, which picked up the special-effects Oscar last month.Ho
  • Rebecca Yeldham named director of Los Angeles Film Festival

    Rebecca Yeldham has been unveiled as the new director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, Film Independent announced today [March 12].Yeldham acknowledged 'trying times' in the festival sector and said she looked forward to bringing her global perspective to bear on a festival that was 'uniquely positioned' to embrace the city's sprawling demographic diversity.Yeldham, an experienced producer, acquisitions executive and festival progra
  • Redford to receive honour from San Francisco Film Festival

    The San Francisco Film Society will honour Sundance founder Robert Redford with the Peter J Owens Award at the 52nd San Francisco International Film Festival on April 30.The Owens Award, named after the longtime arts patron, philanthropist and Film Society board member, honours an actor whose work exemplifies 'brilliance, independence and integrity.'Recipients of the Founder's Directing Award and the Kanbar Award for excellence in s
  • Relativity Media expands Rogue brand into lifestyle company

    Following the solid opening weekend for Rogue Pictures' horror remake The Last House On The Left, the company's new owner Relativity Media has announced that Rogue will be expanded into a lifestyle company.Relativity chief Ryan Kavanaugh said today [March 16] that Rogue will encompass a clothing line and social networking ventures alongside featu
  • Renny Harlin's Finnish biopic Mannerheim delayed due to financing

    Finnish Hollywood director Renny Harlin's comeback to local filmmaking, the $12.6m (Euros 10m) Mannerheim, which was scheduled to have its world première in Helsinki on Jan 15 next year, has been delayed and is now expected to open during the autumn 2010.The biopic of Finnish historical legend Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim was due to start shooting March 9 in Finland, Lithuania, Poland and Russia, but Solar Films producers Markus Selin and Juk
  • Reviews - Berlinale Special - Empire of Silver (Baiyin Diguo)

    The banks were no better in 1899 China...Chi-Tai-HK. 2009. 115mins. Director Christina Yao Production companies Serenity Entertainment International, Crystal Clear Pictures, Polybona Films International sales HanWay Films (44) 20 7290 0750 Producers Chiao Hsiung-ping, Christina Yao Screenplay Christina Yao, Cheng Yi Cinematography Anthony Pun Yiu-ming Main cast Aaron Kwok, Zhang Tielin, Hao Lei, Jennifer Tilly, Cheng Ding-zhi, Cheng LeiSet in mainland China around 1899, stage di
  • Reviews - Happy Tears

    Parker Posey squares up to reality.US. 2009. 96mins. Director/screenplay Mitchell Lichtenstein Production companies Pierpoline Films International sales Cinetic (1) 212 2047979 Producers Mitchell Lichtenstein, Joyce Pierpoline Cinematography Jamie Anderson Main cast Demi Moore, Parker Posey, Rip Torn, Ellen Barkin, Christian Camargo, Billy Magnussen.Teeth director Mitchell Lichtenstein tackles some conventional subject material in an unconventional way in Happy Tears
  • Reviews - It Might Get Loud

    They've got axes to grind.US. 2009. 97mins. Director Davis Guggenheim Production company Thomas Tull Productions International sales The Little Film Company (1) 818 762 6999 Producers Thomas Tull, Lesley Chilcott, Davis Guggenheim, Peter Afterman Cinematography Erich Roland, Guillermo Navarro Editor Greg FintonWhen you get down to it, the electric guitar is basically a plank of wood, some strings and a chunk of circuitry. It's the person wielding it who makes the noise: that's t
  • Reviews - Last Ride

    Father and son take a road trip, with menace looming large.Australia. 2009. 96mins. Director Glendyn Ivin Production companies Talk Films, Screen Australia, Film Victoria, South Australian Film Corporation, Adelaide Film Festival Distributors Madman (Aus), ContentFilm International +44 20 7851 6500 Producers Nicholas Cole, Antonia Barnard Screenplay Mac Gudgeon, from the novel The Last Ride by Denise Young Cinematography Greig Fraser Main cast Hugo Weaving, Tom Russell, Anita He
  • Reviews - Race to Witch Mountain

    'Reimagining' of Disney's classic 1975 action favourite.US. 2009. 98mins. Director Andy Fickman Production companies Gunn Films, Walt Disney Pictures International distribution Walt Disney Studios Producer Andrew Gunn Screenplay Matt Lopez and Mark Bomback, from the book by Alexander Key Cinematography Greg Gardiner Main cast Dwayne Johnson, AnnaSophia Robb, Alexander Ludwig, Carla Gugino, Ciaran Hinds, Tom Everett ScottRace To Witch Mountain is a so-so kids movie which s
  • Reviews - The Combination

    Sizzling summer strife Down Under.Australia. 2008. 96mins. Director David Field Production company See Thru Films Distribution Australian Film Syndicate (Aus) Producer John Perrie Screenplay George Basha Cinematography Toby Oliver Main cast George Basha, Clare Bowen, Firass Dirani, Doris Younane, Ali Haidar, Michael Denkha, Tony Ryan.A high-energy, low-budget, independently financed tale of gangs, guns and racial hatred in the hot, flat suburbs of Sydney, The Combination
  • Rhys Ifans becomesMr Nicefordirector Bernard Rose

    Howard Marks is counterculture Britain's answer to a Renaissance man: an Oxford-educated drug smuggler and libertarian with a strong rebellious streak. His autobiography, Mr Nice, chronicling his journey from a small village in Wales to Oxford University and his subsequent emergence as, in the words of one UK newspaper, 'the most sophisticated drugs baron of all time', is now, after several false starts, being made into a film.'It's the personality of Howard, the humour that's i
  • RiP! gets multi-platform distribution deal with B-Side, Disinformation

    Rights holders to EyeSteelFilm and the National Film Board Of Canada's RiP! A Remix Manifesto have signed a multi-platform distribution deal ahead of the picture's US premiere on March 15 at the South By SouthWest Film Festival.B-Side Entertainment will handle the US theatrical release while Disinformation will release on DVD. The picture will be st
  • Roissy sells four more territories for Cesar winner Seraphine

    Roissy Films has concluded further sales on Cesar winner Seraphine. The film by Martin Provost has sold to Alcine Terran in Japanas well as Atalanta Filmes in Portugal, Gutek in Poland and With Cinema in South Korea.Roissy Films' Yohann Comte tells that a number of other territories are currently under negotiation. Music Box has US rights to the film about the gifted self-taught painter.Last month Seraphine won s
  • Sarasota to open with Oren Moverman's The Messenger

    The 11th-annual Regal Entertainment Group Sarasota Film Festival will kick off in the Florida city on March 27 with a screening of Oren Moverman's The Messenger. The military-themed drama, which won the Berlinale's Silver Bear for Screenwriting, stars Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton and Jena Malone. Foster, Harrelson and Moverman are expected to attend opening night, which will honour the themes of the film by welcoming local members of the armed forces.
  • Sass, Peterson hired in key postions at Werc Werk Works

    Elizabeth Redleaf and Christine Kunewa Walker's production and finance company Werc Werk Works has appointed Geoff Sass chief marketing officer and Andrew Peterson (pictured) vice president of production.Sass will oversee strategic development of the Werc Werk Works brand as well as all marketing and advertising on all company projects, which include Life During Wartime, Todd Solondz's follow-up to
  • Senator picks up North America on Shana Feste's The Greatest

    Senator Distribution has picked up North American rights from Endeavor and CAA to Shana Feste's feature directorial debut The Greatest starring breakout British actress Carey Mulligan.The picture premiered at Sundance and stars Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon as parents whose grief over the accidental death of their son is made easier to bear b
  • Shetty, Yip join Marvel's new international advisory board

    Marvel Entertainment has formed an international advisory board as it seeks to export the brand to key foreign markets in the wake of the global success of films like Iron Man.James F Halpin, a Marvel director since March 1995, will chair the board, while Marvel's president of worldwide consumer products Simon Philips will serve as the primary company liaison.The initial ad
  • Shochiku unveils new studio facilities in Kyoto

    Japanese major Shochiku has officially opened its upgraded and expanded Shochiku Kyoto Studios, which the company describes as a 'one stop total film management package'. In addition to improvements made to the original six studios and outside set, first opened in 1946, two new high-ceiling 500 square-metre (5,381 square-foot) studio spaces have been constructed. Housed in the newly opened main building, Shochiku Kyoto Studios' post-production facilities were esta
  • Snow and Age Of Stupid win at UK's Birds Eye View Film Festival

    As the Birds Eye View Film Festival drew to a close on March 13, Aida Begic's Snow was awarded the festival's Best Feature prize. It tells the story of a Bosnian village populated only by the mothers, daughters, wives and sisters of their murdered Muslim men.Jurors for the Best Feature prize section included Stephen Woolley, Larushka Ivan Zadeh, Pippa Cross and Catherine Johnson. The festival honours UK and international women f
  • Sony Classics takes on US rights to Warner's Coco Before Chanel

    Sony Pictures Classics has acquired US rights to Anne Fontaine's biopic Coco Before Chanel starring Audrey Tautou.Warner Bros, whose Warner Bros France division produced the picture with Haut Et Court, Cine@, Warner Bros France and Films Distribution, will release in France on April 22 and retains rights for Latin America, Spain, Germany, Italy, Jap
  • Sony Pictures Releasing Italia signs deal with indie Mediafilm

    Sony Pictures Releasing Italia has signed a deal to add 13 titles acquired by independent company Mediafilm to its own line in 2009, with additional titles expected in 2010-2011. The first Mediafilm title to come under the agreement is the mystery-thriller Franklyn starring Eva Green and Ryan Phillippe. Franklyn is now set for aApril 17release via Sony as a result of the agreement. The agreement supports the trend for a more consistent spread of re
  • South Korea's new sexual revolution

    When Sponge Entertainment CEO David Cho picked up John Cameron Mitchell's sexually explicit US indie Shortbus for South Korea back in 2006, he knew he was in for a fight. Now, after more than two years battling the Korea Media Ratings Board (KMRB), Sponge finally opened the film commercially on March 12.'Hedwig And The Angry Inch was such a great buzz film, we naturally took an interest in Mitchell's next one,' Cho explains. Hedwig had totted up 15
  • Spanish outfit Avalon Distribution picks up In The Loop for Spain

    Spanish indie production and distribution outfit Avalon has picked up rights for Spain to Armando Iannucci's political comedy In The Loop from Protagonist Pictures. Based on the popular British TV comedy series The Thick Of It, Iannucci's In The Loop charts the progress of a fictional Secretary of State for International Development and his staff as they deal with the prospect of war in the Middle East. 'We were drawn to the film because the
  • Sprockets to host North American premiere of Letter For The King

    Two Dutch child-oriented features will make their North American premiere at the upcoming Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children. The festival unveiled its line-up of 29 features and 41 short films in an announcement today.Most prominent is Dutch filmmaker Pieter Verhoeff's period adventure Letter For The King, reportedly the most-expensive Dutch production, which saw 300,000 admissio
  • Steve Rash to direct lacrosse comedy Crooked Arrows

    Steve Rash has signed on to direct Crooked Arrows, an underdog lacrosse sports comedy set on an upstate New York reservation.The story centres on a 30-year-old of mixed lineage who must postpone his casino-building dreams to coach the inept local Native American high school lacrosse squad against the prep school league in which he used to star.Virginia native Todd Baird wrote the screenplay a
  • Steven Spielberg claims BAFTA for video game

    Steven Spielberg has claimed his third BAFTA, but on this occasion it was for his debut as a gamescreator with video game Boom Blox.
  • Sutherland, Hurt, Stone to attend 33rd HKIFF

    The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) has announced that Kiefer Sutherland, William Hurt and Oliver Stone will be attending the33rd edition of the festival which kicks off later this month (March 22-April 13). Sutherland and DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg will be on hand to present Monsters Vs. Aliens which receives its Asian premiere at the festival. Hurt and Academy Award-winning producer Arthur Cohn will present Udayan Prasad's
  • Suzanne Noble joins Optimum as head of publicity

    Suzanne Noble has joined UK distributor Optimum Releasing as head of publicity. Most recently she worked on a freelance basis for Momentum Pictures and was involved with their The Young Victoria campaign. Prior to that she spent two years as VP, international publicity at The Weinstein Company, where she developed, implemented and managed PR campaigns for theatrical releases with the company.She was also director of publicity at
  • SXSW's Janet Pierson talks about being part of 'a film's life'

    Janet Pierson did not set out to become the head of a film festival, but aged 51 she finds herself with the unexpected task of running the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference & Festival.'It was a great surprise,' Pierson says of the chance to lead the Austin, Texas-based festival (which runs March 13-21). 'I didn't go looking for it, it came to me. But it's the perfect culmination of what I've done in the past.'Pierson was an assistant director at New York
  • Ted Hatfield to receive career achievement award at ShoWest

    Regal Entertainment Group director of film marketing Ted Hatfield will receive the Marvin Levy Career Achievement in Film Marketing Award at ShoWest 2009.Hatfield will collect the honour on April 1 in Las Vegas. He joined Regal Entertainment in 1997 after serving seven years as vice-president of exhibitor relations at Sony Pictures Releasing. Prior to Sony he served in the same role as MGM during a 23-year association with that studio.
  • The Answer Man to open Sonoma International Film Festival

    John Hindman's romantic comedy The Answer Man (formerly Arlen Faber) starring Jeff Daniels and Benoit Pilon's Canadian drama The Necessities Of Life bookend the 12th a
  • The Last House On The Left

    Dir: Dennis Iliadis. US. 2009. 110 mins. A commercially-streamlined remake of Wes Craven's nasty, low-budget 1972 horror, The Last House on the Left can't decide whether it wants to play it straight and grim, or dash headlong into over-the-top cathartic vigilantism. While director Dennis Iliadis has no trouble capturing depravity, as the film wears on the script lets him down. The bad characters all seem sketched by type, and the film ends up being caught between
  • Tony Gilroy on Duplicity's important complications

    Tony Gilroy has been working in Hollywood since 1986 when he sold his first script as a vehicle for Chuck Norris. Although that film was never made, he fast became one of the biggest names in screenwriting, clocking up credits such as Dolores Claiborne, Armageddon and the three Bourne movies.He directed his first film, Michael Clayton, in 2007 and scored Oscar nominations for script and direction, but even then he was nervous that another wr
  • Tribeca adds world premieres by Steven Soderbergh, Cheryl Hines

    The Tribeca Film Festival has unveiled the remainder of its 2009 programme with the out-of-competition selections for its Encounters, Spotlight, Showcase, Restored/Rediscovered and Midnight sections.In Encounters, 10 of the 11 narratives and documentaries are world premieres. Those include Cheryl Hines' directorial debut Serious Moonlight written by the late Adrienne Shelly and starring Timothy Hutton, Meg Ryan and Kristen Bell; Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman'
  • Unmistaken Child, Paranoids get domestic pickups from Oscilloscope

    New York’s Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired North American rights from Fortissimo Films to Nati Baratz’s documentary Unmistaken Child and from Visit Films to Gabriel Medina’s Argentinean debut featureThe Paranoids (Los Paranoicos).Unmistaken Child
  • Wanda Films pick up Francois Ozon's Ricky for Spain

    Leading Spanish distributor Wanda Films has picked up theatrical rights for Spain to Francois Ozon's comedy drama Ricky from Le Pacte, following its competition screening at Berlin. 'We believe the film has genuine commercial appeal,' Miguel Morales, head of acquisitions at Wanda Films, told ScreenDaily. Based on a short story by British writer Rose Tremain,
  • Weinsteins take US, Latin America, Germany on Nowhere Boy

    The Weinstein Company has acquired all US, Latin American and German rights from HanWay Films to Sam Taylor-Wood's John Lennon coming-of-age picture Nowhere Boy, which began filming on March 8 in Liverpool and at Ealing Studios.This is the first acquisition since the arrival of former Lionsgate executive Tom Ortenberg as head of theatrical films.
  • Witch Mountain scales domestic box office for Disney with $25m

    Disney's decision to plunder the live-action back catalogue and revisit its Witch Mountain franchise from the 1970s exceeded expectations with an estimated $25m launch that still wasn't enough to prevent the first year-on-year drop in six weeks as box office slid 16% against the same weekend in 2008.Dwayne Johnson (formerly The Rock), AnnaSophia