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Screen
21 April 2004

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  • $6.7m comes in through the Window for CTFDI

    The thriller SecretWindow grossed $6.7m on1,589 screens at the weekend from its first foray in the major internationalmarkets, elevating its early international running total to $9.5m.Released through Columbia TriStar Film DistributorsInternational (CTFDI) the picture opened second in Italy on $1.6m on 252screens, fourth in France on $1.6m on 399 and second in Spain on $1.6m on 252.50 FirstDates took $5.5m on1,391 screens, where the highlight was
  • 13 Going On 30

    Dir: Gary Winick. US 2004. 97minsA female take on the 1988 hit Big, 13 Going On 30 concerns an insecure 13-year old girl who longs to be a grown up, convinced that adulthood confers automatic popularity, success and happiness. With the help of a little magic dust, she gets her wish.While it is sure to click with its target audience of pre-teen girls, as well as many of their mothers, it won't be the box office juggernaut that the Tom Hanks film was (t
  • 500,000 admissions for Italian film without a distributor

    An Italian film without theatrical distribution entitled Il Natale Rubato (The Stolen Christmas) has become a sensation, after it emerged that the self-financed picture has already racked up a massive 500,000 admissions in Italy on an "underground" exhibition circuit.While a recent report revealed that 30 Italian films are currently in limbo, either searching for a distributor or waiting to be released, Pino Tordiglione, a 46-year-old first time director, has been screeni
  • Alta strikes Bad Education truce with Warners

    One of Spain's leading independent exhibitor-distributors,Alta Films, has agreed to put Pedro Almodovar's Bad Education back up on eight screens nationwide after pullingthe film from 13 earlier this month over a programming dispute with itsdistributor Warner Bros.Alta announced on April 1 it would pull all Warner filmsfrom its screens in response to the distributor's surprise programming ofBad Education at a newly-opened cineplexacross a Madrid street from one of Alta's t
  • Anschutz reorganises film companies under Weil, Granat

    Philip Anschutz hasreorganised his film interests with the creation of Anschutz Film Group (AFG),a Los Angeles-based holding company that will serve as parent to subsidiariesWalden Media and Bristol Bay Productions, formerly known as CrusaderEntertainment.Attorney David Weil, who forthe past year has served as Anschutz's chief advisor on film investments, joinsfrom O'Melveny & Myers as AFG's chief executive officer, while Walden chiefexecutive officer Cary Granat retains his existing p
  • Arthouse titles win UK distribution backing

    Oscar winner Capturing The Friedmans, Michael Winterbottom's Code 46 and Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi are amongst the films receiving National Lottery cash to boost their UK releases.The films are amongst the latest batch of titles to secure p&a investment from support body the UK Film Council, which aims for the lottery money to bring films to a wider audience by expanding advertising campaigns and increase the number of prints.Capturing the Friedmans,
  • Artistic director explains his selection

    Interview with Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux - abstracted from today's Cannes festival press statement.In 2004, the Cannes Festival Official Selection is composed of feature films presented in three categories: Competition, Out of Competition, Un Certain Regard. The Official Selection also includes the short film competition and film school competition (Cinefondation). A new section, Cannes Classics, groups together an ensemble of films constituting our cinema herita
  • Asian jewels to shine at Udine

    Udine's festival of Far Eastern Film (23-30 April) looks set to present many of the most commercially successful films of the year from Asia.Bookended by Feng Xiao Gang's Cell Phone and Kang Je Gytu's Tae Guk Gi the main programme is a line-up of 41 films from China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, The Philippines and Thailand.This year's special festival features by Udine's Centro Espressioni Cinematografiche are a tribute to Japanese cult-director Ichikawa Jun, and a fa
  • BELGIUM 21 April

    Warner Bros' Taking Lives swiped the lead spot from The Passion Of The Christ just one week after Mel Gibson's international hit launched. The psychological thriller, which sees Angelina Jolie as an FBI agent called in to aid Montreal police track down a serial killer, claimed pole position opening on 43 screens.David Koepp's thriller Secret Window, based on a Stephen King story, landed fourth from an inferior screen count (30). However the film, which stars Johnny
  • Berlinale winners embark on host of projects

    Director Fatih Akin and actor Birol Uenel have had a busy March. After winning the Golden Bear at this year's Berlinale for Head-On (Gegen Die Wand) the film's opening dates and the respective promotional tours in Germany and Turkey were brought forward to mid-March. But both of them have still found time for making films.Akin is one of 25 European film directors, including Austria's Barbara Albert, Hungary's Bela Tarr and Sweden's Jan Troell, who have been commissioned by the F
  • Best Of Youth dominates David Di Donatellos

    Marco Tullio Giordana'ssix-hour epic The Best of Youthwon the lion's share of David di Donatello awards, Italy's most prestigiousfilm accolade, during a ceremony whose live broadcast on Rai-uno wasdramatically cut short by reports that one of four Italians currently heldhostage in Iraq has been killed.Giordana's drama, whichchronicles the lives of two Italian brothers from the 1960s to the present day,beat out competition from Marco Bellocchio's Buongiorno Notte, Sergio C
  • Bill kills competition at the box office

    Vengeance was the ticket atthe weekend as Miramax's Kill Bill Vol 2 opened on a company record estimated at $25.6m while Lions Gate'sMarvel Comics adaptation The Punisher came in second on $14m.The concluding part ofQuentin Tarantino's revenge saga opened to superb reviews and averaged $8,604from 2,971 theatres.Uma Thurman continues whereshe left off as the betrayed assassin hell-bent on killing her formercolleagues and the picture also stars David Carradine, Daryl
  • Bond producer to chair UK young filmmaker initiative

    BarbaraBroccoli, producer of the James Bond films, has been appointed chair of First Light, the UK FilmCouncil's filmmaking initiative for young people.Broccoli, of EON Productions, produced the Bond hits GoldenEye,Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day with Michael G. Wilson. They are currentlyworking on the 21st film in the franchise.First Light is funded with National Lottery money from theUK Film
  • BVI's Brother Bear stays top in Germany for fifth week

    Buena Vista's animated hit BrotherBear grossed $3m through Buena VistaInternational (BVI) at the weekend, raising its international running total toa superb $156.7m.
  • Cannes artistic director explains his selection

    Interview with Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux - abstracted from today's Cannes festival press statement.In 2004, the Cannes Festival Official Selection is composed of feature films presented in three categories: Competition, Out of Competition, Un Certain Regard. The Official Selection also includes the short film competition and film school competition (Cinefondation). A new section, Cannes Classics, groups together an ensemble of films constituting our cinema herita
  • Cannes Competition and Un Certain Regard line-up

    MAIN COMPETITIONOpening film (Out Of Competition): Bad Education Pedro Almodovar (Spain)Closing film (Out of Competition): De-Lovely Irwin Winkler (USA)In CompetitionShrek 2 - Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, Conrad Vernon (USA)The Ladykillers - Joel and Ethan Coen (USA)Woman Is The Future Of Man - Hong Sang-soo (South Korea)The Life and Death of Peter Sellers - Stephen Hopkins (UK)
  • Cannes faces up to showbiz strike threat

    France's striking showbiz workers have threatened to disrupt next month's Cannes Film Festival to draw attention to their cause.A group representing the workers, the 'intermittants du spectacle', released a statement on Thursday saying they intended to create an occupation committee for the Cannes Film Festival. They are protesting against government reforms put in place in January which increased the number of necessary work hours in order to access benefits.The statement said
  • Cannes unveils competition line-up

    Below is a list of 18 films selected for competition for the 57th Cannes Film Festival.More details to follow shortly.Shrek 2 - Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, Conrad Vernon (USA)The Ladykillers - Joel et Ethan Coen (USA)Woman Is The Future Of Man (Yoja-nun Namja-ui Miraeda) - Hong Sang-soo (South Korea)The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers - Stephen Hopkins (UK)Nobody Knows - Kore-Eda Hirokazu (Japan)La Vie Est Un Mi
  • CanWest extinguishes Fireworks

    Nearly a year after the departure offounder and CEO Jay Firestone, Fireworks Entertainment is to be shuttered byparent company CanWest Global Communications.Winnipeg-based CanWest announced on Fridaythat the stricken company would cease both television production andacquisition activities and that discussions were underway with "a numberof parties" toward disposing of the catalogue. CanWest said it would takea C$200m write-down in its second quarter 2004 financials.Firestone fou
  • Cinema Jove to screen early works of Roman Polanski.

    Spain's 19th annual Cinema Jove International Film Festival (June 19-26) will dedicate a retrospective to the early works of Roman Polanski.The youth-oriented festival, which last year hosted a cycle on the Young Coppola, will screen feature and short films Polanski shot before he turned 35.New French Filmmakers will be featured in the fest's open-air screenings, while young Spanish actor Jordi Vilches (Two Tough Guys) will receive the Future of Film prize.The Vale
  • Connie And Carla

    Dir: Michael Lembeck. US. 2004. 98minsWith My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Nia Vardalos, both as scriptwriter and star, demonstrated that she knew exactly how to turn run-of-the-mill TV fodder into theatrical box-office gold. Her second outing in the genre, the funny and often touching Connie And Carla, preserves and perfects the 'follow your dream' formula, this time transposed to the eternally fertile territory of the drag queen.There's nothing too deep h
  • Dawn takes $2m over the weekend in Universal territories

    Universal's horror remake Dawn Of The Dead grossed an estimated $2m through UIP atthe weekend, where the highlight was second place in Germany behind BrotherBear on $1.1m from 347screens.
  • DENMARK 20 April

    The new release of stuntman-turned-filmmaker Lasse Spang Olsen's action comedy The Good Cop fared better with audiences than critics, but with an admission screen average of 476 on its high 60 prints, it was unable to topple Nordisk Film's hit animated film Terkel In Trouble from the top spot.Olsen's previous two films in the genre, In China They Eat Dogs (1999) and Old Men In New Cars (2002), were scripted by the prolific Anders Thomas Jensen and performed
  • Desi Del Valle leaves Frameline Distribution

    FramelineDistribution director Desi del Valle has announced she is leaving the SanFrancisco-based non-profit distributor of gay and lesbian cinema to pursue otherinterests including her acting career.Del Valle joinedFrameline, which also presents the San Francisco International Lesbian &Gay Film Festival, in 1992 as a distribution assistant, taking overdistribution two years later.Maura King, whohas been del Valle's distribution associate for two years, will
  • Digital cinema poised for screen boost

    The digital cinema market could be worth more than $100 million a year to projector manufacturers by 2005 according to a new report, Digital Cinema Factbook from industry analysts Dodona Research.By 2008, the number of digital cinema screens is forecast to rise to more than 5,000 worldwide in response to the emergence of industry standards and innovations in business processes.With just 194 high-end DLP Cinema screens installed in 25 countries by the end of March 2004, th
  • Donnie Darko gets director's cut world premiere at Seattle fest

    Newmarket Films willpremiere the director's cut of Richard Kelly's surreal love story and cult hit DonnieDarko at the upcoming Seattle FilmFestival on May 29.The acclaimed picture starsJake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone and Drew Barrymore and was originally released in2001, gaining popularity through video and cable platforms and eventuallybecoming a midnight special staple at nationwide theatres.The director's cut features20 minutes of unseen footage, new visual effects and ne
  • Euro buyers swoop for Japanese samurai action feature

    European buyers have snapped up Japanese samurai action feature Azumi.Buyers include CTV in France, Optimum Releasing in the UK, Manga Films in Spain, Lusomundo in Portugal, A Films in Benelux, Laser Paradise in Germany and Smile/Noble Entertainment in Scandinavia. The film has also been popular among Asian buyers and has sold to Intercontinental in HK and Mongkol Cinema in Thailand.Azumi is is the story of female warrior Azumi who fights with a Shogun for the righ
  • Festival faces up to showbiz strike threat

    France's striking showbiz workers have threatened to disrupt next month's Cannes Film Festival to draw attention to their cause.A group representing the workers, the 'intermittants du spectacle', released a statement on Thursday saying they intended to create an occupation committee for the Cannes Film Festival. They are protesting against government reforms put in place in January which increased the number of necessary work hours in order to access benefits.The statement said
  • Fragile's Click taps into German funding

    UK-Germanco-production Click,set to star Rhys Ifans, Bill Nighy, Thandie Newton, Dominic West and JuliaStiles, is one of four international co-productions to share Euros 3m fundingfrom Dusseldorf-based Filmstiftung NRW.The romantic comedy about a bride falling in love withanother woman is the directorial debut of Ol Parker and is a co-production withthe UK's Fragile Films and the Cologne office of X-Filme creative pool.It was awarded Euros 500,000 in backing. X
  • French admissions rise on back of local hits

    Admissions at French cinemas rose slightly in the first quarter of 2004, according to new figures from France's national cinema federation (FNCF).The FNCF said admissions increased 2.3% to 48.2m compared to the same period last year.It noted that March's three-day Springtime of Film scheme was one of the reasons behind the jump - the reduced ticket price programme is set up by the FNCF and saw 2.5 million people line up at cinemas across the country.The rise, however, is
  • GERMANY 20 April

    While BVI's Brother Bear held on to the top spot for the fifth week in a row based on admissions, it was a different matter as far as box-office takings were concerned. The animation feature was pushed down to second position by the new entry of UIP's The Dawn Of The Dead which posted over $1m from 347 screens in its first four days of release.Meanwhile, the first release by 3L Filmverleih of the Charlize Theron vehicle Monster scored the weekend's highest screen a
  • Goddess Of Mercy

    Dir: Ann Hui. China. 2004. 109mins.A word of warning for viewers of a nervous disposition: there is precious little mercy in this lifetime for anyone, especially the men, connected with the heroine An Xin. But Goddess Of Mercy is not a man-hating diatribe. Experienced director Ann Hui delivers an understated treatise about fate and retribution focused on a woman who could have done better for herself, but has to live with the consequences of some unfortunate choices.
  • Head-On favourite for German Film Awards

    Fatih Akin's Golden Bear-winner Head-On is the favourite for this year's German Film Awards after it received four nominations in the categories for best film, direction, actor and leading actress.Three nominations each also went to Sönke Wortmann's The Miracle Of Bern, Leander Haussmann's Berlin Blues and Christian Petzold's Wolfsburg.The fact that the nomination jury did not let itself be blinded by established names or box office success - for
  • Hungary presents benefits of new film law to LA studios, producers

    The extent to which US and international producers can benefitfrom Hungary's new film laws was outlined at a special presentation hosted bythe Hungarian Consul General in Los Angeles late last week.
  • India-Pakistan co-productions becoming a reality

    The Indian and Pakistani film industries having begun working together, in a move that echoes the growing political dialogue between rival countries.Pakistan-based film and TV star Rashid Khawaja and Punjabi film producer Iqbal Dhillon have announced a co-production, Village Girl (Pind Dee Kuri), between the two countries. The film is to star actors from both countries.Indian film director Shashi Ranjan has signed popular Pakistani actor Moamar Rana for his debut f
  • Intertainment shares surge following lawsuit settlement

    Shares in beleaguered German media concern Intertainment soared by up to 14% yesterday (April 19) after it reached a settlement with Franchise Pictures' former president and COO Andrew Stevens on the eve of its lawsuit against Franchise and other parties.A statement issued by Intertainment indicated that the settlement had included a payment by Stevens and that he would now no longer be a defendant.In first reactions to this eleventh hour settlement between Stevens and Intertain
  • ITALY 20 April

    The Passion Of The Christ has grossed a massive $18,859,373 at the Italian box office, less than two weeks after its Easter release. Distributed by Eagle Pictures on 538 screens, Mel Gibson's picture shed 42% of its earnings on its second weekend, but still registered the weekend's highest per screen average, $7,409, and grossed a further $3,986,282, keeping it firmly at the top of the box office.Meanwhile, Johnny Depp vehicle Secret Window opened strongly at number two,
  • Japanese studio draws up mass market animation plans

    Spurred onby the success of rival Studio Ghibli's Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, Japan's Toei Animation hasbegun to shift its emphasis away from kid-targeted TV fare to produce moreanimation features aimed at a wide audience.Japan'soldest animation production and distribution house has produced two animatedfilms for a wide release on over 250 screens, two animated films for smallerrelease on around 50 screens nationwide and two live-action features based onTV animat
  • Julie Delpy to bring Sunset to Transylvania

    Actress Julie Delpy has confirmed her participation in this year's Transylvania International Film Festival in the Romanian town Cluj between May 28 and June 6.Delpy is currently developing a film about the blood-drinking countess Elisabeth Bathory, a serial killer whose pet hobby was bathing in the blood of virgins. It is being developed by Muse Projects and will shoot in Romania.At the festival, she will introduce Richard Linklater's Berlinale competition entry Before Sunse
  • Korea launches real time box office tracking service

    South Korea is to launch a new web-based box office tracking system, similar to recently developed industry tools: Nielsen EDI's FLASH and Rentrack's Box Office Essentials data collecting services.The system, due to be launched in May, is being orchestrated by the newly-renamed Korean Film Council (KOFIC), which took over the long-delayed computerised system - which calculates box-office information in real time at a central server - from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2002.
  • L'Apres-midi opening for Cannes Critics' Week

    L'Apres-midi de Monsieur Andesmas is set to open the 43rd annual Critic's Weeksidebar at the Cannes Film Festival on May 13.The first feature from director Michelle Porte is adaptedfrom a text by legendary French author Marguerite Duras. Porte was a longtimecollaborator of the writer prior to Duras' death in 1996.Set in the south of France, the film stars Michel Bouquetand Miou-Miou as a man and woman whose chance meeting sees them attempt tobreak the barriers of solitude
  • L'Apres-Midi opening for Critics' Week

    L'Apres-midi de Monsieur Andesmas is set to open the 43rd annual Critic's Weeksidebar at the Cannes Film Festival on May 13.The first feature from director Michelle Porte is adaptedfrom a text by legendary French author Marguerite Duras. Porte was a longtimecollaborator of the writer prior to Duras' death in 1996.Set in the south of France, the film stars Michel Bouquetand Miou-Miou as a man and woman whose chance meeting sees them attempt tobreak the barriers of solitude
  • Loggia, Harmon, Feore join cast of The Deal

    Robert Loggia, Angie Harmon, Colm Feore and John Heardhave joined the cast of Front Street Films, Milestone Entertainment and MyriadPictures' Wall Street thriller The Deal,which has started shooting in Vancouver.Christian Slater and Selma Blair star in a story of covertgovernment business, illegal oil trading, blackmail and the Russian mafia.Harvey Kahn (Water'sEdge) is directing basedon a screenplay by Ruth E
  • Malkovich thumbs a ride with Hitchhiker's Guide

    John Malkovich has reportedly joined the cast of TheHitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, theSpyglass/Disney version of Douglas Adams's cult sci-fi novel.Malkovich will play a cult leader, created for the film bythe late Adams, according to a report on the BBC.The $50-$60m film alsostars Hip-hop star and actor Mos Def, ZooeyDeschanel and The Office starMartin FreemanIt is being directed by GarthJennings - one half of music video team Hammer & Tongs along with pr
  • Massis picks up Spook for The Film Source

    Alex Massis' NewYork-based marketing and licensing company The Film Source has picked up rightsfor worldwide representation in all media to Barry Levy's supernatural thiller Spook.Based on the memoirs of an unidentified former CIAoperative, the film follows a Vietnam veteran's bid to expose Canada's covertrole in the South-East Asian war.Levy, who starsin the picture alongside Rachel Cronin from hit TV series Ed, also served as
  • Metallica doc scoops top Danish festival prize

    Copenhagen's NatFilm Festival wrapped in the Danish capital over the weekend, and awarded its audience prize to Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster.Tomas Alfredsson's Swedish drama Four Shades Of Brown was singled out by the critics jury.The NatFilm Festival remains the biggest film event in Denmark though admissions dropped slightly from last year to some 35,000, not least because the closure of the Gloria cinema in Copenhagen allowe
  • Millennium extends deal with Emmett/Furla for ten new films

    Avi Lerner's MillenniumFilms has extended its non-exclusive international distribution deal to handlea further ten pictures for Emmett/Furla Films.The partners' most recentundertaking is David Burke's $25m journalism thriller Edison starring Justin Timberlake, Morgan Freeman, KevinSpacey and L L Cool J that began shooting in Vancouver last month.Emmett/Furla is in postproduction with Millennium on two features: Control, starring Ray Liotta, Willem Dafoe and Michell
  • Miramax's Starsky & Hutch takes $7m through BVI

    Miramax's Starsky & Hutch grossed an estimated $7m through Buena Vista International(BVI) at the weekend to raise its international running total to $42m.
  • MK2 snares rights to restore, release Keaton collection

    Sherlock Jr,The Navigator and GoWest are among a rosterof Buster Keaton pictures to be restored for digital theatrical releasefollowing an agreement between The Douris Corporation and MK2.Under the terms of the deal Douris, whose 700+ Rohauerlibrary includes rights to the silent star's films, has agreed that Paris-basedMK2, the worldwide distributor of Charlie Chaplin titles, will digitallyrestore Douris' entire Keaton library and orc
  • Momentum celebrates as Translation crosses£10m mark in UK

    Independent UK distributor Momentum Pictures had cause to celebrate this weekend as its long-running hit Lost In Translation became the company's first sterling eight figure earner.After 15 weeks on release in the territory Sofia Coppola's Oscar winning film, which also picked up three BAFTA awards including best actor and best actress for Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, crossed the £10m mark.With a total gross standing at $18.04m (£10.007m) the UK take represents a m
  • Munich festival to honour Kaurismaki brothers

    Filmmaker brothers Aki and Mika Kaurismäki are to be the subjects of this year's Retrospective at the Munich Film Festival (June 26 - July 3).Both directors are expected to accompany the retrospective in person.This year's festival, which is the first under the new management of director Andreas Stroehl, will see a number of structural innovations to bring the event onto a par with other international festivals. These include the establishment of a press and guest centre at
  • New Line takes Vera Drake off the table

    New Line Cinema has acquired North American rights to MikeLeigh's latest film Vera Drake for apurported price tag of well over $2m. The deal was personally initiated by NewLine co-chairman and co-CEO Michael Lynne himself with the Leigh camp.It is not yet clear whether the film will be released byNew Line or its specialised division Fine Line which has notacquired a film since Cherish atSundance 2002. Fine Line had previously handled Le
  • New script partnership results in Project Tiptree

    European development and training outfit The Script Factory has joined forces with new production company Mute Marmalade to establish Project Tiptree - a search for new screenwriting talent.Screenplay submissions are invited within specific genres on a quarterly basis, with selected scripts offered development with The Script Factory and an option with Mute Marmalade.The selection is formal - writers will be working under option to Mute Marmalade with a development plan. Once th
  • NEW Slimline Cannes hides its surprises in the detail

    Cannes' competition holds few surprises in that the line-up has been widely predicted. But it contains a number of innovations and presents a genuinely diverse panoply of film-making around the world.In the spirit of small is beautiful, the number of films in main competition has been cut from 23 last year to just 18 this time. And the number of local French-language pictures has been cut from the usual four to three this time. But the programme is boosted by an expanded out-of-competi
  • NEW ZEALAND 19 April

    After Columbia TriStar warmed up audiences on previews starting a week ago, 50 First Dates confidently claimed the top spot in the box office charts with a gross of NZ$505,506 from 56 screens. It also had the highest screen average of the weekend at NZ$9,027.It replaced UIP's Along Came Polly, which dropped to fourth position behind Roadshow's Scooby-Doo 2 - Monsters Unleashed, which was also in second place last weekend, and UIP's The Cat In The Hat which c
  • North by Northwest script scheme unveils international line-up

    In its eighth year of business, the international scriptdevelopment programme, North by Northwest, has announced it most extensiveline-up yet.Participants come from all over Europe from the UK,Scandinavia and Germany to Spain and France for their three training courses,Classics, Kids Stories and Seven Samurai.Thanks to strong word-of-mouth from the more than 200writers and script editors who have participated in the past, the number ofapplicants has reached its highest ever.
  • Oz film set for radical funding overhaul

    In an attempt to drag Australian films out of the doldrums, Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) has unveiled a plan to radically overhaul its funding procedures.The proposals would give the government-owned financier much more control over which films get funding.Under the existing model other industry players make the decisions and the FFC is the last in with its investment. In other words, advances and guarantees from sales agents and local distributors, and at least 40%
  • River King feels heat as UK gets tough on co-productions

    Myriad Pictures' The River King has been thrown into uncertainty mid-shoot after the UK government challenged its application for British status.Set up as a UK-Canadian co-production, the supernatural murder mystery needs to qualify as British in order to access tax relief under Section 48. Movision, the tax-based fund co-financing the film, is to provide at least 25% of the budget through its Section 48 production equity scheme, which is in addition to a sale and leaseback deal
  • Rotterdam, IDFA expansion plans quashed by Dutch review

    There were mixed fortunes for the Dutch film industry yesterday as the Government's advisory council, the "Raad voor Cultur", announced its spending recommendations for 2005 to 2008.Events such as The Rotterdam Film Festival, the Dutch Film Festival and IDFA received a qualified thumbs up, but while their funding will remain stable, their plans for expansion have received a lukewarm response.At a time of Government cut-backs, the Raad is clearly striving to safeguard the current
  • Scooby has $11.2m weekend, holds at top in UK for third weekend

    Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed lapped up an estimated $11.2m at theweekend, raising its international running total to $65m.
  • Secret Window looks to prise open Euro markets

    The thriller Secret Window goes on its first international rampage this weekend with openings inFrance on 400 (Apr 14) and Spain, Italy and Brazil two days later on 254, 250and 61 prints respectively.Executives at Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International(CTFDI) will be hoping for some strong bows to propel the picture into its boxoffice trajectory and should be encouraged by star Johnny Depp's wideappeal.When Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The BlackPear
  • Slimline Cannes hides its surprises in the detail

    Cannes' competition holds few surprises in that the line-up has been widely predicted. But it contains a number of innovations and presents a genuinely diverse panoply of film-making around the world.In the spirit of small is beautiful, the number of films in main competition has been cut from 23 last year to just 18 this time. And the number of local French-language pictures has been cut from the usual four to three this time. But the programme is boosted by an expanded out-of-competi
  • Spain's Filmanova seeks new co-production opportunities

    Spanish producer Filmanova is beefing up its production activities thanks to the creation of private investment fund Filmanova Invest.The company currently has more than half a dozen films in various stages of development and production, many with European and Latin American partners, and is actively seeking new projects for 2005.Backed by the Galicia-based Filmanova, two local banks and a group of non-film related private investors, Filmanova Invest was launched last December w
  • Spain's Lumina sells Hero to UK's Parasol Peccadillo

    Spanish sales outfit Lumina Films has sold all UK rights on1970s-set coming-of-age tale You're My Heroto Parasol Peccadillo Releasing (PPR).The sale adds to a growing list for the title, including toQuality Films in Mexico, Cinplex in Colombia, Weisner Distribution in PuertoRico, Gateno in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, pay TV to LAPTV in LatinAmerica and Univision Free in the US.PPR plans to release Hero (Eres Mi Heroe) in June off the back of the
  • Spanish box office sensation cranks up Amazing World

    Spain's box office Midas, Santiago Segura, is co-producing andstarring in new comedy The Amazing World Of Borjamari Y Pocholo.A kind of Spanish Dumb And Dumber, the action turns on twothirty-something brothers who still believe they are living their heyday ofcool despite that period having come - and definitively gone - inthe 1980s.Segura is best known as the mastermind behind runaway local hits Torrente:The Dumb Arm Of The Law (Euros 10.9m at the Spanish bo
  • Sunshine gets first foreign bows in Australia, Taiwan

    Focus Features' EternalSunshine Of The Spotless Mind kickedoff its international run in Australia at the weekend with a record bow for aCharlie Kaufman picture that produced $416,000 from 60 screens and eighthplace.The romance claimed thebiggest per-screen average of the top 10 on $6,937. Released through VillageRoadshow, it grossed $518,600 overall in the territory including previews.Eternal Sunshine opened third in Taiwan through Pandasia behind Hellboy an
  • SWEDEN 20 April

    After three weeks at the top of the Swedish box-office chart even Mel Gibson's Passion had to give in to the unholy teaming of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson and their revival of 70s cool in Starsky & Hutch as it sped into pole position with a strong $5,253 screen average on its 50 prints.Secret Window was far from as alluring opening third with just $2,229 on its 42 prints. Not much else changed at the chart, which saw 21 Grams still putting up a solid perform
  • Thai boxing drama takes French box office by storm

    Luc Besson's Europa Corp scored a notable box office coup this week when its Thai action film Ong Bak opened in the fifth spot in the French charts.The foreign language feature sold 440,495 tickets on just 281 screens for a powerful $10,000 screen average.In terms of new releases it was second behind Jean-Jacques Annaud's Two Brothers which topped over 1 million tickets, but which debuted on 739 screens - nearly three times more screens than Ong Bak.
  • The Punisher

    Dir: Jonathan Hensleigh. US. 2004. 124mins.Hard on the heels of the first movie about Dark Horse Comics' Hellboy comes a new film of Marvel Comics' The Punisher, a startlingly brutal actioner in which the comic book anti-hero is almost as sadistic as the inhuman killers he seeks to punish.Slickly produced, and well-crafted by screenwriter Jonathan Hensleigh (Jumanji, Armageddon) making his directorial debut, the movie is the perfect pict
  • Turn Left, Turn Right (Xiang Zuo Zou, Ziang You Zou)

    Dirs. Johnnie To, Wai Ka-Fai. Hong Kong, 2003. 102mins.Softer compared to some of Johnnie To's recent fare like PTU, the latest offering by the prolific Hong Kong director is firmly planted with one foot in the West and the other in the East. Warner Bros Pictures first Chinese-language film Turn Left, Turn Right carries echoes of Hollywood features of the 1930s but set against a combination of Taipei exteriors and Hong Kong interiors.Some audiences ma
  • Two Brothers (Deux Freres)

    Dir: Jean-Jacques Annaud. Fr-UK 2004. 109minsAlong with Roman Polanski and Luc Besson, Jean-Jacques Annaud is one of the few France-based directors who can shoot an international production in English that will be screened worldwide.Sixteen years ago his film The Bear, about the life and adventures of its titular hero in the Caucasian mountains, proved a family hit in France, where it was seen by more than nine million people. It also registered strong box office e
  • Two Brothers earns box office stripes

    While The Passion Of The Christ continued to lead the international box office over the Easter weekend (and crossed the $150m mark), it was Pathe's Two Brothers that really impressed.The French film was released in just three territories (France, Belgium and French-speaking Switzerland) but stormed the chart with a $8.2m gross that saw it land third place in the international chart.Jean-Jacques Arnaud's film about two tiger cubs separated at birth and put into capt
  • UK Film Council to study impact of film on economy

    The UK Film Council is backing a six month study to probethe contribution and trickle down effect of the UK screen industries -including film, television, games and commercials - to the economy.The study will look to uncover the size, scale and impact ofthe UK screen industries on each nation and region of the UK. It will look atissues such as the economic benefits brought to different parts of the countryby multi-million pound film shoots such as Thunderbirds, Bond and the H
  • UK Production Listings - April 20 2004

    UK PRODUCTION LISTINGS APRIL 2004PRE-PRODUCTIONTHE AMERICAN(CTB Film Company, Tartan Films) Prods: Sergey Selyanov, Hamish McAlpine. Dir: Alexei Balabanov. Cast: Michael Biehn. Shooting in New York and Siberia.Contact Camilla Summers/David Freed, Tartan Films, (44) 207 494 1400BITTEN(Tartan Films) Dir: Meloni PooleContact Camilla Summers, Tartan Films, (44) 207 494 1400CARRY ON LONDON(Black Eagle Productions) Prod: Ge
  • UK production sector weathers the storm

    Government crackdowns on UK tax relief earlier this year may have cast uncertainty over the production sector - and led to the high-profile collapse of productions such as John Madden's Tulip Fever - but the UK is as busy as it was at this time during its record year last year.A total of 15 UK qualifying films are in production, including two Warner Bros heavyweights in Batman Begins and Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, which is based at Leavesden. This time la
  • UK/IRELAND 21 April

    New releases had little impact on the UK/Ireland chart this week as the top three remained unchanged from last week.Scooby-Doo 2 held up well as school holidays came to a close slipping just 13% week-on-week.Columbia's 50 First Dates also held up seeing a small 14% against its opening weekend (excluding previews).Shaun Of The Dead dropped slightly more, 29% against opening weekend (excluding previews), still a small slip that will cause little concern
  • Venice reverts to single Golden Lion competition

    Venice is reverting back to its single Golden Lioncompetition, cutting back by half the number of films that have screened on theLido in the past three years, newly appointed festival chief Marco Muellerannounced on Thursday.Mueller said the newly streamlined festival will enableindustry professionals and critics to fully focus their attention on the 50feature films that will have their world or international premieres in Venice,as well as 10 features shot on digital video. In addition
  • Warner Bros Japan receives distributor award

    Warner Bros Japan is to receive the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award for best foreign film distributor of the year for its box office achievements in 2003.William Ireton, managing director for Warner Bros Japan, will accept the award at a ceremony today (Apr 16) at the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry.The award follows top distributor honours from Japan's Motion Picture Exhibitors Association for an exceptional year in which The Matrix Reloaded and T
  • Warner Bros Japan wins distribution prize

    Warner Bros Japan is to receive the Minister of Economy,Trade and Industry Award for best foreign film distributor of the year for itsbox office achievements in 2003.William Ireton, managing director for Warner Bros Japan,will accept the award at a ceremony on Apr 16 at the Tokyo Chamber of Commerceand Industry.The award follows top distributor honours from Japan'sMotion Picture Exhibitors Association for an exceptional year in which TheMatrix Reloaded
  • WBITD renews multi-year deal with Nine Network

    Australia's NineNetwork has renewed its multi-year free television output deal with Warner BrosInternational Television Distribution (WBITD).The dealcontinues a long-standing programming distribution relationship and involvesfree television rights to the studio's current and upcoming television series,features, animation and library titles."Our programmes, such as Friends, ER, Without A Trace and Two And A Half Men, have performed very well on the
  • Weinstein to be awarded honorary CBE by Queen

    Harvey Weinstein has been awarded an honorary CBE for outstanding contribution to the British film industry.The award is conferred by the Queen to those who have made an important contribution to British interests. Miramax Films, the company Weinstein founded with his brother Bob, said it has invested more than £600 million in films made with British production entities.'My life and my career have been greatly influenced and enriched by great British filmmakers and authors and s
  • Whore goes to US through Screen Media

    Screen Media Films haspicked up North American rights from Dolores Pictures to Maria Lidon's Whore, starring Daryl Hannah, Denise Richards and Joaquimde Almeida.Whore will get its USpremiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in May, where it plays in thefeature competition. The company is planning a theatrical release for Septemberand video and DVD will follow through its label deal with Universal StudiosHome Video.Based on Isabel Pisano'sSpanis
  • Wild Bunch takes over Bac video outfit

    French sales house Exception Wild Bunch is set to take overWild Side Video and Wild Side Films from embattled distributor Bac Majestic.Bac is ceding its ownership of the two labels following itstakeover by French animation and documentary house Millimages.Wild Side Video distributes films from Bac, Wild Bunch andWild Side Films, as well as its own acquisitions such as Cedric Khan's FeuxRouges.Wild Side Films specialises in older films to be re-releasedlike Orson We
  • Woody Allen's Anything Else finally finds UK home

    Woody Allen's Anything Else has at last found a home with a UK theatrical distributor, it was announced yesterday.The comedy is to be released on 40 prints in late July by Optimum Releasing, who acquired the film from Capitol Films in a joint acquisition deal with MGM Home Entertainment. Anything Else, which stars Jason Biggs and Christina Ricci, received its world premiere at last year's Venice Festival.In recent years, British distributors seem to have fallen
  • Yet another film distributor launches in the Netherlands

    "Born out of necessity" is how producer Els Vandevorst describes the expansion of her production company Isabella Films into theatrical distribution.Dutch feature Het Zuiden (South) is the second film Isabella has released theatrically this year following Thomas Vinterberg's It's All About Love. Vandevorst served as one of the producers on both titles."We had a different distribution deal for both films," explains Vandevorst. "However RCV pulled out of It's All
  • Zhu's Clouds scoops Hong Kong festival prizes

    Chinese director Zhu Wen's South Of The Clouds scooped two prizes at the awards gala of the Hong Kong International Film Festival (April 6-21) on Thursday night - the Golden Firebird Award and the award of the FIPRESCI jury.The film, about a retired factory worker who takes off for one last adventure, recently won the NETPAC prize at the Berlin International Film Festival.Launched last year, the "Firebird Awards for Young Cinema" recognises international directors' first

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