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21 January 2002

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  • A-Line launches South Korean distribution network

    A major new player has arrived in the South Korean film industry in the form of a new investment/production/distribution network named A-Line, to be run collectively by KTB Entertainment, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, Kang JeGyu Films and the recently-established EGG Films. More a broad partnership than a distinct corporate entity, the network has already secured distribution rights to 20 upcoming films.Unveiled at a special ceremony on Jan 22, A-Line has declared itself ope
  • Altman snubbed by DGA; Nolan gets surprise nod

    Just two days after theGolden Globe for best director of the year went to Robert Altman for GosfordPark, the Directors Guild Of America(DGA) has thrown the running open again by omitting Altman from its shortlistof five nominees.The nominees are Ron Howardfor A Beautiful Mind, PeterJackson for The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, Baz Luhrmann for Moulin Rouge, Christopher Nolan for Memento and Ridley Scott for Blac
  • Amelie becomes North America's favourite

    Amelie has become the highest grossing French-language film ever released in North America, having grossed $20,891,879 by Jan 21, breaking the previous record - held by La Cage Aux Folles since 1979 - of $20,424,259.Last week, Amelie also crossed the $100m mark in worldwide box office receipts.The film, which has been selected to represent France for best foreign film at the upcoming Academy Awards, has featured in a number of recent award categories includi
  • Argentina's film industry faces financial meltdown

    Abstracted from Screen InternationalThe Argentinian financial crisis has begun to take a severe toll on the local film industry. The release of blockbusters like The Lord Of The Rings has been delayed and the burgeoning local production sector is threatened with financial meltdown. Riots, five presidents in two weeks and a devalued currency have wrought chaos and uncertainty in what was once the most developed country in South America.The financial cr
  • Arthouse cinema 'virtual circuit' mooted for UK

    UK support body the Film Council is proposing to unite the county's art-house cinemas in a so-called virtual circuit, as well as underwrite distributors' p&a costs, under proposals worth $24.3m (£17m) in support for the specialist sector.The council, which is now consulting the film sector before launching its initiatives in April, is proposing a $1.4m (£1m) fund to support p&a costs and $21.4m (£15m) for specialist exhibition. A further $1.4m (£1m) is targeted at c
  • Australians rule Golden Globes

    Australia came up trumps at the 59th GoldenGlobes on Sunday night. Baz Lurhmann was one of five antipodeans to win awardsfor work in motion pictures and television. Lurhmann's Moulin Rouge wonBest Picture - Musical or Comedy, while Nicole Kidman won Actress - Musical or Comedyfor the same film. Russell Crowe (born in New Zealand but considered anhonourary Australian) won Actor - Drama for A Beautiful Mind,
  • Berlin's Forum Of New Cinema unveiled

    Films from Argentina, Tunisia, Morocco, Eastern Europe, Vietnam and Korea have been selected for this year's International Forum of New Cinema at the Berlinale, which will be the first edition under the direction of Christoph Terhechte as successor to Ulrich Gregor. As in previous years, "the emphasis is firmly on socially-aware, subjectively-oriented and aesthetically unconventional works", according to a statement, adding that there would be many new faces this year - more than a thi
  • Berlin's official competition line-up announced

    German cinema features prominently in the official competition section of next month's Berlinale, the first under new director Dieter Kosslick's leadership.Echoing the wide range of films now coming out of Germany, four of the main competition titles are German:Tom Tykwer's opening film Heaven, starring Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi; digitally shot films Grill Point (Halbe Treppe) by Andreas Dresen and A Map Of The Heart by Dominik Graf; and Baader
  • Black Hawk Down seizes weekend with $29m gross

    Columbia Pictures and Joe Roth's Revolution Studios celebrated a huge triumph at the box office over the weekend as their expensive and epic actioner Black Hawk Down went wide onto over 3,000 screens and grossed a massive estimated $29m for the three days preceding Martin Luther King Jr holiday Monday.The two-and-a-half hour movie relentlessly recreated real-life events from 1993 when 123 US troops entered Mogadishu in Somalia but became trapped in the hostile city when one of
  • Bloody Sunday

    Dir: Paul Greengrass. 2002. UK/Ireland. 107 mins The end of this month marks the precise thirtieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the name given to that sickening, catalytic chapter in Anglo-Irish history in which 14 unarmed civilians were slaughtered by trigger-happy British paratroopers who had been ostensibly brought in to control a peace march through the city of Derry, Northern Ireland. Adopting an unwavering pseudo-documentary style that vividly re-enacts the mayhem of t
  • Bruce Willis boards Intermedia, Hartswood, BBC pic

    In an unlikely pairing of resources, independent giant Intermedia and Bruce Willis and Arnold Rifkin’s Cheyenne Enterprises are teaming up with Beryl Vertue’s UK company Hartswood Films and BBC Films to produce a US-set thriller Me Againwhich will star Willis and is set to go into production this year.To be produced by Rifkin and Vertue, the film is written by Stephen Moffat, Vertue’s son-in-law, and tells the story about a man who cannot recall his own identity but who t
  • Buena Vista Int'l TV, TF1 sign multi-year deal

    Buena Vista International Television (BVI-TV), has concluded a multi-year agreement with French broadcaster TF1. The wide-ranging agreement includes rights to first-run feature films, the latest live action series, TV movies and mini-series. The agreement will also include a TV special about the opening of the new theme park at Disneyland Resort Paris - Walt Disney Studios. The programme will feature highlights of the opening ceremony of the new theme park. "We have had a close
  • Chinese govt to relax film production rules

    The Chinese government is set to further relax its control over the country's film industry by allowing private companies to produce independently for the first time.Traditionally only the state-run studios have been entitled to produce films in China, although some independent filmmakers have managed to slip through the net. However, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has announced that from February 1, private entities will be able to apply for a movie pro
  • Cinepool picks up films for Berlin market

    Austrian filmmakers Sabine Hiebler and Gerhard Ertl's drama Nogo and Oliver Dommenget's children's film Help I'm A Boy! will be given their market premieres by Munich-based world sales outfit Cinepool at the forthcoming European Film Market in Berlin.Produced by Dor Film, Nogo stars hot young German acting talent such as Meret Becker, Jurgen Vogel and Jasmin Tabatabait in a drama focusing on three couples who share an overriding obsession for a petrol station at t
  • Disney to open Treasure day-date in 35mm, Imax

    Walt Disney Pictures will release its 2002 animation Treasure Planet simultaneously in 35mm venues and in Imax and other large-format cinemas, the first time a studio feature has been specifically formatted for the giant screen to receive a day-and-date release. Based on Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island", the digitally-produced space adventure opens in North America on Nov. 27.Chuck Viane, President of Distribution for Buena Vista Pictures told Screendaily that t
  • Disney, Telefonica team for pan-Latin prod co

    Disney's Buena VistaInternational (BVI) and Spain's leading production and distributioncompany Admira (formerly Telefonica Media) today announced that they arepartnering in Miravista, a Latin American pan-regional film production company.The move extends apartnership in Argentina where Buena Vista and Admira hold 30% each in leadingproduction house Patagonik Film Group, with Argentinean media giant GrupoClarin and founder/president Pablo Bossi as partners.
  • Foreign production spend in UK down 57%

    Inward investment from overseas productions shooting in the UK collapsed last year by 57%, according to figures released by the British Film Commission.The commission, responsible for attracting US productions to the UK, said that inward investment plummeted from£539.44m ($771.6m) in 2000 to£230.46m ($329.6m) in 2001."The key factor for this downturn in investment was the threat of the possible lengthy strike action by the Screen Actors Guild in the US earlier in the year," the
  • Fortissimo acquires world rights to KT

    Dutch-Hong Kong sales outfit, Fortissimo Film Sales, has picked up world rights to Japanese-Korean co-production KT, which is set to screen in competition at the forthcoming Berlin Film Festival.Directed by Japan's Junji Sakamoto, the film is a thriller about the kidnapping of South Korea's current president Kim Dae Jung. It is co-produced by Korea's Digital Site Korea and three Japanese partners - producer-distributor Cinequanon, satellite channel Eisei Gekijo and broadcaster M
  • Fourth German film selected for Berlin competition

    German cinema is really being put in the spotlight at the upcoming Berlinale (February 6-17) with the news that a fourth local film - Andreas Dresen's Halbe Treppe - has been selected to screen in the festival's Official Competition section.This latest addition joins Tom Tykwer's Heaven, which will open the festival on February 6, Dominik Graf's A Map Of The Heart (Der Felsen), and a special "out of competition" screening of Wim Wenders' rockumentary Viel Passie
  • Fresh talent on show at Rotterdam film festival

    Abstracted from Screen InternationalThe International Film Festival Rotterdam in the Netherlands is unashamedly obscure and cutting edge. Uncovering and supporting new talent is the sole raison d'etre for the event, which opened on Jan 23.The main competition - where the competitors are dubbed "tiger films", the sidebars, the prizes and the projects market are all about discoveries. Uncovering and supporting new talent is the sole raison d'etre for the Film Festiva
  • HBO set for April launch in Bulgaria

    Cable broadcaster HBO has announced an April launch for its Bulgarian service, with subtitled American films running alongside European productions, events and concerts 24 hours a day on weekdays and 18 hours on weekends. Bulgarian cable companies Msat, Eurocom Cable, Eurocom Plovdiv, Skat and Telecable are lined up to host the channel, according to the company's subsidiary for Central and Eastern Europe, HBO Central Europe. In a press release, HBO Central Europe CEO Phil Roter
  • Japan's Go is the pick of Palm Springs

    Among the 45 of the 51 Oscar submissions which screened at the 13th Palm Springs International Film Festival which wrapped Sunday (Jan 25), Japan's Isao Yukisada's coming-of-age drama Go was the pick of the FIPRESCI jury, which this year consisted of film critics from Yugoslavia, Germany, Denmark, Australia and the US. Other titles on the jury's shortlist included Marisa Sistach's Mexican Violet Perfume (Perfume De Violetas), Michael Haneke's Austrian The Piano
  • Japan's Toho reports record box office results

    Toho, Japan's leading distributor, has reported $415m (Y54.8 billion) in total box office for 2001 - a 25% gain over the previous year and a company record. Toho had originally projected a $227m (Y30 billion) take for the year The biggest earner was Spirited Away, the Hayao Miyazaki animation that recorded 20,920,000 admissions and grossed $215m (Y28.36 billion) from its July 20 opening to the end of December. The film, which broke Titanic's all-time box office record for
  • Julian Levin moves to digital cinema at Fox

    Julian Levin, executive vicepresident of sales and distribution for 20th Century FoxInternational, has switched jobs at the studio and been named executive vicepresident, digital exhibition and special projects, a title he will assume onFeb 4.Levin will now reportjointly to Scott Neeson, president of international theatrical, and BruceSnyder, president of domestic distribution. He will develop corporatestrategies for digital exhibition and analyse key initiatives in
  • Kinowelt sells media[netCom] stake

    As part of its ongoing consolidation and focusing on so-called core business, the beleaguered Kinowelt Medien Group has offloaded its 7.7% stake in the Marburg-based media[netCom] AG by selling 622,222 shares at the current market price to three financial investors who had hitherto not held any shares in the video-on-demand operator. Commenting on the transaction, media[netCom] declared that it was "very positive" about the outcome since Kinowelt's participation would no longer be a b
  • Mex 10% tax on satellite & cable TV proposed

    Foreign pay-TV programmers may have won a temporary victory over the implementation of harsh taxes in Brazil, but in Mexico the battle is just heating up. The bone of contention is a Congressional move to impose a new 10% tax on satellite and cable TV services in the country. Last week, affiliates for Sky Latin America, DirecTV, local cable company MVS Multivision, the National Chamber for the Cable Television Industry and the Chamber of the Radio and Television Industry announced thei
  • Mexican film picks up Trosmo's Aurora

    Alfonso Cuaron's Y Tu Mama Tambien from Mexico picked up top honours, the Aurora award, at this year's Tromso International Film Festival (January 15 - 20).The winner of the prize is guaranteed theatrical release in Norway. The Euros 9500 award, founded by the Norwegian Film Institute, goes to the Norwegian distributor who picks up the film. The jury's second prize, which covers Euros 3100 of the local theatrical distribution costs, went to Wang Chao's film The Orphan
  • Mike Leigh Untitled gets title: All Or Nothing

    Mike Leigh's latestfilm has been titled All Or Nothing.The story of a London couple - he a taxi driver, she a supermarketcheckout girl - whose life is thrown into turmoil when an unexpectedtragedy occurs, the film features Leigh regulars including Timothy Spall(Secrets And Lies, Topsy-Turvy, Life Is Sweet), Lesley Manville (Grown-Ups,High Hopes Topsy-Turvy), MarionBailey (Meantime), Ruth Sheen (HighHopes) and Sam Kelly (Topsy-Turvy), alon
  • Mike Ovitz signs Mark Canton to run APG

    Artists Production Group(APG), the production arm of Mike Ovitz's Artists Management Group (AMG),has found an unlikely new partner, chairman and CEO in the person of MarkCanton, the producer and former studio head of both Warner Bros and SonyPictures.Canton will oversee the 50APG projects currently in various stages of development and manage APG'sjoint venture with StudioCanal. He will serve on the management committee ofthe APG/StudioCanal joint venture and will be on the board of APG
  • MTV, Nelvana to co-produce two TV series

    Viacom's MTV Networks and Toronto-based Nelvana Ltd. have signed an agreement to co-produce two new television series targeted to young adults. The first, the animated comedy Clone High, imagines a universe where young clones of historical figures and dead celebrities are in attendance at the same high school. The second is a live action sports-oriented sitcom, Varsity Blues, based on the Paramount/MTV feature of the same name. Production began on Clone High at the
  • One Night The Moon

    Dir: Rachel Perkins. Australia. 2001. 54mins.A showing at the Berlinale continues the remarkable journey of this sub-one-hour, made-for-TV outback musical drama, a collaboration between the lively Sydney-based MusicArtsDance Films (which is now working on Paul Cox's drama-doc Nijinsky), ABCTV's Arts and Entertainment department and OzOpera (the experimental division of Opera Australia). The cross-discipline creative team originally developed this filmed 'opera for tele
  • Orange County

    Dir: Jake Kasdan. US. 2001. 81 mins. Teen comedy Orange County is as sweet and as insubstantial as its title suggests. Relatively subtle by today's gross-out standards, it won't be an easy sell either at home or, especially, abroad. However, the MTV imprimatur and some intriguing credits - star Colin Hanks is the son of Tom, director Jake Kasdan is the son of Lawrence and writer Mike White is best known for his edgy independent picture Chuck And Buck - have alre
  • Pandemonium to remake Japanese horror film

    Kadokawa Shoten, a leading Japanese publisher with extensive media interests, has reached a agreement with Pandemonium, former Fox president Bill Mechanic's production company, to remake Dark Water, the latest film by horror-meister Hideo Nakata, who was responsible for the hit Ring series. The rights fee is reported to be $400,000, though Kadokawa has not yet announced an amount. Also, Disney is negotiating with Kadokawa for worldwide distribution rights for Dark Wate
  • Panorama programme revealed for Berlinale

    Films by China's Feng Xiaogang (Big Shot's Funeral), Spain's Antonio Hernandez (The City Of No Limits), Hong Kong's Ann Hui (July Rhapsody) and documentaries by Lindsey Merrison (Friends In High Places), Bill Weber and David Weissman (The Cockettes) and Jaime Camino (The Children Of Russia) are among the last dozen titles now confirmed by the Panorama section for this year's Berlinale (February 6-17). The complete Panorama programme is as follo
  • PGA gives Vanguard honour to Pixar Animation

    The Producers Guild OfAmerica is to give its inaugural Vanguard Award to Pixar Animation Studios atthe annual PGA Awards on March 3 in Los Angeles.The award was established tohonour the "brilliant and creative contributions in entertainmentproduction in the fields of new media and technology." It will beaccepted by Ed Catmull (president of Pixar), John Lasseter and Steve Jobs atthe ceremony.15 year-old Pixar createdthe RenderMan software which enables compute
  • Quebec Jutra awards finalists announced

    Nominees for Quebec's Fourth Annual Jutra Awards were announced on Wednesday with Andre Turpin's Soft Shell Man (Un Crabe Dans La Tete) leading the pack with 10 nominations. Close behind are Pierre Falardeau's 15 February 1839 with nine nominations and Denis Chouinard's Berlin-bound Tar Angel (L'Ange De Goudron) with eight. Bermard Emond's The Woman Who Drinks (La Femme Qui Boit) has five nominations. All four films are tipped for Best Picture. Filmmakers Falardeau
  • Real Women Have Curves

    Dir: Patricia Cardoso. US. 2002. 90minsHow ironic that the biggest crowd-pleaser at last week's Sundance Film Festival and winner of its prestigious audience award is made for television. Delighted cinema audiences who cheered and clapped in theatres at Park City will be the only ones in the US to participate in that collective experience, a shame since so few films provoke such an enthusiastic reaction. It also serves as a telling sign that US pay-TV channel HBO - through i
  • Reisenbach joins Village Roadshow Pictures board

    Sanford Reisenbach, the formerWarner Bros marketing chief, has been appointed to the board of directors ofVillage Roadshow Pictures International, the holding company of VillageRoadshow Pictures (VRP), the LA-based production division of Australia'sVillage Roadshow Ltd.The announcement was made byVillage Roadshow Ltd chairman John Kirby. Reisenbach joined Warner in 1979 asexecutive vice president, advertising and publicity, and was promoted ten yearslater to executi
  • Rings strikes gold in multiple territories

  • Robert Redford to receive honorary Oscar

    Robert Redford, theOscar-nominated actor and Oscar-winning director, will receive an honoraryAcademy Award at this year's ceremony on March 24. He joins thepreviously announced Sidney Poitier, who will also receive an honorary Oscar,and Arthur Hiller, who has been voted recipient of the Jean HersholtHumanitarian Award.Redford's citationwill read: "Robert Redford - Actor, Director, Producer, Creator ofSundance, inspiration to independent and innovative film-makerseve
  • Rome's Dinocitta studios to be re-opened

    Paris-based Tarak Ben Ammar, head of the rights trading venture Quinta Communications, has teamed up with Italian entrepreneurs Riccardo Pisa and Raimondo Lagostena to re-open Dinocitta, the famous Rome studios built by producer Dino De Laurentiis in 1964. Pisa, a real estate developer, and Lagostena, a Milan television entrepreneur, acquired the studio for Euros 35m from French bank Credit Lyonnais. The deal was made possible after the bank resolved a lengthy legal dispute with disgra
  • Seattle Women's Fest kicks off tomorrow

    The 2002 Women In Cinemafestival will kick off tomorrow (Jan 24-31) in Seattle, a presentation ofCinema Seattle and the Seattle International Film Festival.Films screening in thefestival include Jill Sprecher's 13 Conversations About One Thing, Kasia Adamik's Bark, Clara Law's The Goddess Of 1967, Lone Scherfig's Italian For Beginners, Lucrecia Martel's La Cienega, Natasha Arthy's Miracle, Dana Rotberg's Otilia Rauda,
  • Sidney Poitier to receive honorary Oscar

    Sidney Poitier is to receivean honorary Academy Award at this year's Oscar ceremony on March 24,2002.The decision to give Poitierthe award was made by the board of governors of the Academy Of Motion PictureArts & Sciences "for his extraordinary performances and uniquepresence on the screen, and for representing the motion picture industry withdignity, style and intelligence throughout the world."Poitier won a Best ActorAcademy Award - he was the first black a
  • Spanish pay-TV merger talk resurfaces

    Spanish media and publishing giant Grupo Prisa has played down local reports that it is negotiating the sale of its 21.3% stake in media subsidiary Sogecable to Vivendi Universal. The move would double the French giant's stake to 42.54%.An article published in Spanish newspaper El Mundo suggested that Vivendi Universal aims to push through a merger between Canal Satellite Digital (CSD) and Telefonica-backed rival Via Digital that has been long been mooted. It aims to leave Sogec
  • Spanish production's 'endemic structural problems'

    Despite record production levels and a near-doubling of the domestic market share to 19%, a report on the Spanish film industry describes the production sector as suffering from "endemic structural problems" and an enormous gap between the haves and have-nots.In its annual report on the industry, the Spanish Film Academy concludes that 78.5% of local producers made just one film last year, while less than 8% were able to produce three or more features. This has created a small group of
  • SPC buys North American rights to Juana La Loca

    Sony Pictures Classics (SPC)has acquired North American rights to Vicente Aranda's Juana La Loca (Mad Love), the historic story of Queen Joan Of Castille and her love for thedecadent Archduke Of Austria Philip The Handsome. The film is the Spanishsubmission for the foreign language Academy Award and was recently nominatedfor 12 Goya nominations including Best picture and director.Juana La Loca stars Pilar Lopez, who is also Goya nominated andwon
  • SPC picks up Argentine smash Son Of The Bride

    Sony Pictures Classics (SPC)has announced its second acquisition of the week - Argentina'sofficial entry for the best foreign language film Son Of The Bride directed by Juan Jose Campanella. Produced byPatagonik Film Group, from which SPC bought Nine Queens last year, Son Of The Bride is the highest grossing film of all time inArgentina. The acquisition had been anticipated (Screendaily, Jan 23).SPC bought North Americanrights to the film which
  • Splendid creates new LA venture with Cutting Edge

    Cologne-based publiclytraded entertainment group Splendid Medien AG, which recently sold its 49%stake in Initial Entertainment Group (IEG), has concluded its next foray intoHollywood, forming Splendid Pictures Inc, a new production/distribution outfitwith David Glasser's Cutting Edge Entertainment (CEE). Splendid has 80% of the newventure while Glasser has 20%; CEE's entire existing infrastucture anddevelopment slate is incorporated into the new company. Glasser is CEO of thecompany bu
  • Tanguy

    Dir: Etienne Chatilliez. France. 2001. 108 mins.With more than 3.6 million admissions after eight weeks - and still going strong - Tanguy confirms director Etienne Chatiliez as one of France's surefire comedy bets, despite an unprolific output (four features in 12 years, beginning with the 1988 smash Life Is A Long Quiet River, followed by Tatie Danielle and Happiness Is In The Field). Unlike film-makers Francis Veber and Coline Serreau, who write their o
  • The Children Of God

    Dir: Hiroshi Shinomiya. Japan. 2001. 105mins.A documentary about children who scavenge for a living in a Philippine trash dump may sound like depressing fare, but Children Of God director Hiroshi Shinomiya has found strength and dignity in his subjects, as well as human dramas that make for compelling, if occasionally shocking, viewing. Opening in one Tokyo theatre in early November, Children Of God received a warm reception from local audiences and critics. Thi
  • The Dancer Upstairs

    Dir John Malkovich. US 2001. 134 mins.It's such a rarity nowadays to see an American film about explicitly political themes, and one set in a foreign country, that The Dancer Upstairs, John Malkovich's honourable feature directorial debut, deserves extra credit for its ambitious scope and for being made in the first place. Inspired by the political events and guerrilla wars in Peru, the story, based on Nicholas Shakespeare's well-received novel, centres on the efforts
  • The Laramie Project

    Dir Moises Kaufman. US 2001. 94 mins.Although well-intentioned and dealing with the socially relevant issues of hate crimes and gay-bashing, Moises Kaufman's The Laramie Project is a disappointing film from an artistic standpoint. Developed (at the Sundance Institute) and performed all over the US as a theatre piece, the screenplay (also developed at Sundance) is neither satisfying as a play-to-film transfer nor particularly rewarding as a uniquely filmic work. In
  • The Son Of The Bride (El Hijo De La Novia)

    Dir: Juan Jose Campanella. 2001. Arg-Sp. 123mins.Argentinian director Juan Jose Campanella's The Son Of The Bride (El Hijo De La Novia) is a tender, beautifully acted dramatic comedy that centres on a middle-aged man in crisis. Language may be a hindrance to the film's international aspirations, but the universality of the subject matter should translate fluidly across borders. The film has already done blockbuster business at home in Argentina - where it is th
  • The Son's Room to open Belgrade festival

    Nanni Moretti's The Son's Room will open the Belgrade International Film Festival, kicking off a 30th anniversary edition that encompasses such high profile international fare as David Lynch's Mullholland Drive, Steven Soderbergh's Traffic and Baz Lurhmann's Moulin Rouge.Moretti's Palme d'Or winner will also open the festival's gala section, which houses popular festival films such as the Coen brothers' The Man Who Wasn't There, Mira Nair's
  • TRP teams with IAC for The Mammoth Hunters

    TRP Prodcutions, the production venture set up last year by former CLT/Ufa sales chief Heinz Thym and writer-director Stewart Raffill, has partnered with UK-based sales agency IAC Film on its debut picture, the tentatively titled $17 million prehistoric adventure The Mammoth Hunters.The effects-laden family film, which is to recreate the mammoths, woolly rhinos and sabre toothed tigers of the Ice Age, is to start shooting in September in Canada and France. Raffill, whose credits
  • TRP teams with IAC for The Mammoth Hunters

    TRP Prodcutions, the production venture set up last year by former CLT/Ufa sales chief Heinz Thym and writer-director Stewart Raffill, has partnered with UK-based sales agency IAC Film on its debut picture, the tentatively titled $17 million prehistoric adventure The Mammoth Hunters.The effects-laden family film, which is to recreate the mammoths, woolly rhinos and sabre toothed tigers of the Ice Age, is to start shooting in September in Canada and France. Raffill, whose credits
  • TV Loonland boosts US presence

    German integrated media group TV-Loonland has intensified its presence in the US market by forming a production alliance with Artists Management Group's (AMG) Animation & Family Entertainment department to produce a minimum of four animated television series over the next three years.Co-founded by former Disney president Michael Ovitz, Rick Yorn and Julie Silverman-Yorn, AMG represents the largest roster of animation and family entertainment talent worldwide with such clients as dire
  • UK production continues despite actors' dispute

    The dispute over secondary payments for actors between UK performers' union Equity and UK producer's body PACT may be entering its eighth week, but as yet there is little sign of any ill-effects in the UK production sector.Equity has so far agreed 14 separate feature film strike waivers with producers, and as of Monday (Jan 21) at least eight of these features were shooting in the UK - including Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets at Leavesden and Bond 20 at Pinewood.
  • UK's Film Council development fund backs 20

    UK support body the Film Council has announced its latest round of single film project investments through its Development Fund, including new films from cult director Richard Stanley and Turner Prize-winning artist Steve McQueen.Twenty projects have received a combined total of£329,241, bringing the number of individual investments in single projects to more than 40 since the Development Fund went live over a year ago. The fund, headed by Jenny Borgars, is also funding the development
  • Yes TV Asia loses financial backer

    Yes Television Asia (YTA), the Hong Kong arm of UK video-on-demand operator Yes Television, has lost the backing of local utilities giant CLP Holdings, only weeks before launching commercial trials in Hong Kong.YTA was to have become a wholly owned subsidiary of a joint venture in which CLP held 75% and Yes the rest. However CLP has decided to withdraw from the pay-TV sector following a report which throws doubts on its profitability.Yes chairman and CEO, Thomas Kressner, said t