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21 November 2007

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  • AAM strikes virtual print fee deal for entire CGR chain in France

    Arts Alliance Media has signed a digital cinema virtual print fee agreement for 400 screens in France. The deal with Circuit George Raymond (CGR), one of France's largest chains, is an exclusive deal for AAM to deploy digital distribution services on all of the chain's 400 screens throughout France. The rollout will start in early 2008, with 200 screens to be completed by the end of the first year. Under conditions of the pact, AAM will create a fully DCI -compliant digit
  • Academy names 15 documentary features on Oscar shortlist

    The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has announced its shortlist of 15 films that will contest the documentary feature category for the 80th Academy Awards.The 15 films in alphabetical order are: Autism: The Musical; Body Of War; For The Bible Tells Me So; Lake Of Fire; Nanking; No End In Sight; Operation Homecoming: Writing The Wartime Experience; Please Vote For Me; The Price Of Sugar; A Promise To The Dead: The Exile Journey Of Ariel Dor
  • After record 2007, Babelsberg eyes more European projects in 2008

    The looming threat of Hollywood actors and directors going on strike from mid-2008 has prompted Germany's Babelsberg Studios to concentrate more on enticing European and German feature film projects to shoot on its sound stages next year. Speaking on Berlin's InfoRadio on Thursday afternoon, Studio Babelsberg's President and CEO Carl Woebcken explained that many big international projects were having to shoot now so that they can have any chance of being finished by June 30, while o
  • After strike, Hellstedt's Land Under Water gets Finnish backing

    The Finnish Film Foundation has backed the first local feature film project after the producers' strike, chipping in $739,000 (Euros 500,000) production funding for Finnish director Lenka Hellstedt's Land Under Water (Maata meren alla). Current box-office figures suggest the importance of domestic product in the cinemas: last weekend, three Finnish films on the Top Ten - Juha Wuolijoki's Christmas Story, Petri Kotwica's Black Ice and JP Siili's Ganes - account
  • American Gangster goes international in UK, France, Germany

    Universal's crime saga American Gangster will make an aggressive foray into the international market this weekend, launching through UPI in 11 territories including France, Switzerland and French-speaking Switzerland on November 14.The film debuts a day later in Germany and German-speaking Switzerland, and opens in the UK on November 16.The US hit will be looking to keep up with two Indian smashes - Eros International's
  • Analysis: International box-office - Weekend November 9-11

    ANALYSIS: INTERNATIONAL BOX-OFFICE - WEEKEND NOVEMBER 9-11(Last3-dayweek)Film (origin)gross $ScrsCume $Terr1NewOm Shanti Om (Ind)$18,174,6371048$18,174,637172NewSaawariya (Ind
  • Andrew Marcus promoted to COO at Relativity Media

    Andrew Marcus has been named Relativity Media's COO following his appointment as executive vice president earlier this year.Marcus, who joined the company in summer 2005, will oversee operations and continue to manage the structured finance division. He will continue to report directly to Ryan Kavanaugh.'I believe that having Andrew on board to oversee our business growth and operations is critical to Relativity Media's continued success,' Kavanaugh said.'He h
  • Andrew Marcus promoted to COO at Relativity Media

    Andrew Marcus (pictured) has been named COO at Relativity Media following his appointment as executive vice president earlier this year.Marcus, who joined the company in summer 2005, will oversee operations and continue to manage the structured finance division. He will continue to report directly to Ryan Kavanaugh.'I believe that having Andrew on board to oversee our business growth and operations is critical to Relativity Media's continued success,' Kavanaugh said.
  • Angelopoulos dusts off first English film with Willem Dafoe

    Theo Angelopoulos starts shooting today in the northern Russian city of Nizni Novgorod his new film, The Dust of Time, the second part of the trilogy undertaken three years ago with The Weeping Meadow. The impressive international cast includes Irene Jacob taking the role as Eleni, played in The Weeping Meadow by newcomer Alexandra Aidini. Valeria Golino was originally earmarked for the role but had to drop out of the project because of other commitments and the de
  • Awards Countdown Golden Globes - Category profile: Foreign language - Second life

    The Golden Globes foreign-language category has become the subject of increased scrutiny of late. Take last year when US-made films Apocalypto and Letters From Iwo Jima were nominated alongside foreign-made foreign-language films. Letters, shot in California and backed by Warner Bros, went on to win the category over TheLives Of Others and Pan’s Labyrinth.
  • Awards Countdown Golden Globes - Category profile: Musical or comedy - Giving comedy a chance

    Providing an extra 10 acting slots, and a chance for musicals and comedies to step out of drama’s shadow, the Golden Globes’ musical/comedy category is generally seen as a good thing.
  • Awards Countdown People - Awards People

    STEVEN KNIGHTThe writer of David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises tells Edward Lawrenson about a 'painless' experience working with the Canadian masterAfter 2002's Dirty Pretty Things, which explored the twilight existence of London's illegal immigrants, and Eastern Promises, which portrays the Russian gangster underworld in the city, Steven Knight is well known for dark studies of the hidden side of London life.But this reputation for modern-day noir belies ea
  • Balkan Fund selects four projects for $59,000 funding

    The Balkan Fund, a script development initiative created in November 2002 by the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, has handed out its latest grants to four new projects. The projects that received $14,789 (Euros 10,000) each are: Mother from writer/director Juraj Lertic and producer Dana Budisavljevic (Croatia) Rio from writers Nicolas Panoutsopoulos and Argyris Germanidis and director/producer Nicolas Panoutsopoulos (Greece) First of All,
  • Beart and Lieifers to host 20th EFAs on Dec 1

    The 20th European Film Awards, to be held Dec 1 in Berlin, will be hosted by French actress Emmanuelle Beart and German actor Jan Josef Liefers. EFA president Wim Wenders will deliver opening remarks to the 1,400 guests at Berlin 's Arena. Other guests will include Jeanne Moreau and Liv Ullmann. As previously announced, Jean-Luc Godard and Michael Ballhaus will receive honorary awards. Other presenters include actresses Alicja Bachleda-Curus from Poland, Maria Grazia Cucinotta f
  • Berlin's WCF backs films from Armenia, Indonesia, Iran and Israel

    Four film projects from Armenia, Indonesia, Iran and Israel have been backed by the Berlinale's World Cinema Fund (WCF) with a total of $325,680 (Euros 220,000) at its latest funding session chaired by festival director Dieter Kosslick. The four were selected from 108 submissions from 40 countries.The selected projects include the first filmmakers from the Caucasus region and South East Asia which were allowed to apply for funding since August of this year.The fund gave $74,020
  • BFS moves into theatrical with US deal for Tom Collins' Kings

    North American distributor BFS Entertainment & Multimedia Limited will move into theatrical distribution with its acquisition of Tom Collins' Kings. The film, partly in the Irish language and the Irish submission for Foreign-Language Oscar consideration. The big-screen adaptation of Jimmy Murphy's play The Kings Of The Kilburn High Road stars Colm Meaney in the story of a group of Irish men who emigrated to London but return to their hometown after 25 years
  • Bill Grantham joins Greenberg Taurig practice in LA

    Attorney Bill Grantham has joined Greenberg Traurig's burgeoning corporate and securities practice in Los Angeles.Grantham has extensive experience representing international investors, studios, producers and distributors across a range of entertainment platforms.'Continuing changes in the global entertainment content financing marketplace demand creativity and skill,' Tom Loo, co-managing shareholder of Greenberg Traurig's Los Angeles office said.'Bill's expe
  • Brick Lane opens at number 10 as Gangster tops UK box office

    Ridley Scott's American Gangster beat CGI epic Beowulf to thetop slot in the UK this weekend, taking $5.3m (£2.6m) from 410 sites. See the full chart here.The 1970s crime story, which stars Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, boasted the highest site average over the three-day period at $12,818 (£6,249) per site. The film is released through Universal Pictur
  • Broadbent, McCrory join regulars in Harry Potter VI

    Jim Broadbent and Helen McCrory have joined the regular Harry Potter cast on the upcoming sixth episode Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince.Broadbent will play the potions professor Horace Slughorn, who gives Harry an old tome with a mysterious past. McCrory will play Draco Malfoy's mother Narcissa.Newcomers Jessie Cave, Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Frank Dillane will portray Lavender Brown, the
  • China's Enlight Media to merge with Hurray Holding

    Beijing-based film and TV producer Enlight Media is set to merge with NASDAQ-listed Chinese ring tone provider Hurray! Holding, to form a new company called Hurray Enlight Media Group. The merger is a share exchange deal, valued at around $160m, after which Enlight Media will hold 42% of the initial shares of the new company. Enlight Media CEO Wang Changtian will become chairman and CEO of the new company. Sean Wang, president and CFO of Hurray!, will be co-president and CFO. Enli
  • Clooney to come to Dubai for Michael Clayton festival opener

    The Dubai International Film Festival will open this year with Tony Gilroy's Michael Clayton starring George Clooney. Clooney will attend the gala opening, which marks the film's Middle East premiere. 'Mr. Clooney's return to the region means we have come full circle, from Dubai as a backdrop for the film 'Syriana' to DIFF as a platform to showcase his latest venture,' said DIFF chairman Adbulhamid Juma. 'We anticipate that future filmmakers who chose to work in this re
  • CMG closes multiple territories on No Man's Land: Reeker 2

    Edward Noeltner's Cinema Management Group (CMG) closed multiple territory sales at AFM on Dave Payne's horror sequel No Man's Land: Reeker 2.Rights went to Germany (Capelight Pictures), Brazil (Flashstar Films), Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines (Suraya Films), Indonesia (P T Rapi Films), and Central America (Passatiempo).Deals closed prior to the market in the CIS (JRC Group), the Benelux (Dutch Film Works), Greece (Hollywo
  • Concrete adds Genetic Engineering system, pacts with Axis

    London-based post-production company Concrete is becoming the first facility in Soho to install Quantel's new Genetic Engineering system. Genetic Engineering will be used for eQ systems at Concrete to access to shared projects, and for data transfer between other systems. Also, Axis Post has become the first European post facility to add Stereoscopic 3D software to its Quantel Pablo iQ system. Under a new alliance between Axis and Concrete, the 3D Pablo will be installed at Conc
  • Corsan starts Canadian shoot for Breuls' directorial debut

    Director Paul Breuls has started production on The Hessen Affair, a WWII-era thriller starring Billy Zane, Lyne Renee, Michael Bowen and Noah Segan.Corsan, the Belgian company Breuls runs, is producing with Phyllis Laing's Buffalo Gal Pictures co-producing. Corsan is also handling international sales.Nicholas Meyer and Ronald Roose wrote the screenplay, based on actual events, about Americans in 1945 Germany who make plans to steal the country's
  • Costa Gavras returns to Greece for 2008 shoot of Eden Is West

    Forty years after the Oscar-winning Z, the poignant account of the political turmoil in Greece during the 1960s, Costa Gavras is set to return to his native country to direct his next film structured as a French-Greek co-production. The project was announced today at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival where Gavras participates in a discussion on film preservation in his role as president of the prestigious French Cinematheque. The film, Eden is West, is set to sho
  • Critical Mass - Movie myths

    You have probably received one of those witty circular e-mails about the ridiculous things that happen only in movies. They do the rounds of the internet on a regular basis, morphing as recipients add their own candidates.The best cliches from the one that dropped into my inbox last week were:- The Eiffel tower can be seen from any window of any building in Paris.- You will survive any battle in any war unless you show someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
  • Digital distribution - a new world order'

    We are in the post-major studio and pre-internet era,' says Ira Deutchman, founder and CEO of New York-based Emerging Pictures. The supposed starting point and destination in his assertion are of course highly debatable. But there is now a clear consensus that this is an industry in transition. And as ever in a period of business change, it is much easier to see the holes in the ancient regime than the opportunities for the future.A great many businesses in all areas of film are acutel
  • Documentaries - IDFA - And nothing but the truth ..

    The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (Idfa) (November 22 to December 2) in the Netherlands will celebrate its 20th anniversary in some style with five world premieres in its feature competition line-up and what are bound to be some very heated debates.Among the special guests at this year's event, which has decamped to new screening and office facilities in the historic centre of Amsterdam, will be the flamboyant Hustler publisher, political activist and free sp
  • Editorial - A European Union'

    There are few places that seem quite as far removed from the realities of the film business as the European Parliament in Brussels. A conference last week, 'The way forward for the European film industry', had a pleasingly surreal edge after the down-and-dirty reality of a somewhat subdued AFM.Even the title puts a bloated Euro elephant in the room. If such an entity as the European film industry exists as a coherent whole, there is not the remotest chance of it heading in any single d
  • Enchanted

    Dir: Kevin Lima. US. 2007. 107mins
  • Eros strikes joint venture with Mukta/Red Carpet

    Indian media company Eros International has entered into a joint venture with Red Carpet Films to co-produce three to four films per year. Manish Goswami's Red Carpet Films is a Mukta Arts company. In a separate deal, Eros has taken global distribution rights to three Mukta Arts releases: Nagesh Kukunoor's Bombay 2 Bangkok starring Shreyas Talpade and Lena Christensen, Subhash Ghai's Yuvraaj starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, and Ghai's Black & White
  • Estonia's Black Nights unveils full competition line-up

    The Black Nights Film Festival has unveiled the program for its eleventh edition, to be held Nov 15-Dec 9 in Tallinn, Estonia.This year's event features 205 films from more than 60 countries. Among the 11 titles in the Estonian Feature Film Competition are 186 Kilometers, from Andres Maimik and Autumn Ball star Rain Tolk; Georg, Peeter Sims biopic about legendary
  • Focus Features International scores big in Japan at AFM

    Focus Features International chief Alison Thompson hailed a resurgent Japanese buying contingent at AFM as she announced key sales following the market earlier this month.'As far as we're concerned Japan is back in action,' Thompson said. 'We really did have an extremely good AFM. It was substantially better than last year for us.'Neil Marshall's Doomsday sold to Presidio in Japan, which also bought the
  • Focus, Groundswell team to finance Van Sant's Harvey Milk biopic

    Sean Penn will star in Gus Van Sant's biopic of the gay rights icon Harvey Milk for Focus Features and Groundswell Productions, which has been set for a January 2008 start date.American Beauty producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen will produce Milk through The Jinks/Cohen Company with Michael London, whose Groundswell Productions is co-financing with worldwide rights holder Focus Features.Grou
  • Gaumont eyes acquisition of animation house Alphanim

    French major Gaumont is currently negotiating to acquire French animation house Alphanim, the company said in a statement. Alphanim was founded by Christian Davin in 1997 and boasts more than 700 hours of programming. Its catalog notably includes series Galactik Football, Robot Boy and Delta State. In 2007, Alphanim expects to deliver 90 half-hours for revenues of $32m (Euros 22m). The move marks a return to television, and especially animation, for G
  • Goa fest to open with 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days

    Romanian director Christian Mungiu's Cannes Palmes d'Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days will be the opening film of this year's International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, with Mungiu himself expected to attend. Shah Rukh Khan will inaugurate the festival which takes place Nov 23 - Dec 3. The closing film is Carlos Saura's Portuguese musical Fados. Among the more high-profile local films making their Indian premiere at the festival are Mira Nair's collect
  • Golden Globes - Power of the press

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Hfpa) is the little engine that could. Founded 65 years ago by a small group of foreign correspondents, the not-for-profit has gone from strength to strength.
  • Greece - History in the making

    Two unprecedented things recently took place at the ancient Acropolis of Athens. One was the transfer of the marble friezes of the Parthenon to the new museum at the foot of the Acropolis hill. The other was the shooting of the US production My Life In Ruins inside the historic site. No film has ever shot on the site except a short scene of Francis Ford Coppola's Life Without Zoe (part of New York Stories) which shot in the entrance of the Acropolis hill back in 1989.
  • Hairspray to receive ensemble award from Palm Springs

    Hairspray will be honoured with the 19th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival's (PSIFF) ensemble performance award on January 5 2008.The New Line musical will also become the festival's first ever public screening at a special event presented by Netflix the day before when lyric subtitles will encourage the audience to take part in a sing-along.Cast members John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Allison Janney, Zac Efron and Nikk
  • Hannah to receive career achievement award at Bahamas

    Daryl Hannah will receive the Bahamas International Film Festival's (BIFF) Career Achievement Tribute Award on December 8.Nicolas Cage received the honours last year, which recognises an actor or actress whose work has had 'a major impact and has advanced the frontiers of cinematic artistry around the world'.Festival patron Sean Connery will present the award to Hannah, whose roles include Splash, Kill Bill Vols I and
  • Hansel's Sounds Of Sand takes top prize at Amazonas

    Marion Hansel's Belgium-France coproduction Sounds Of Sand won the grand prize at the fourth annual Amazonas Film Festival in Manaus, Brazil. The jury, headed by film-maker John Boorman, split its second prize between Micha Wald's Belgium-France-Canada coproduction Horse Thieves and Feng Xiaogang's The Assembly. The audience prize winner was Brazilian title The Sign Of The City, which premiered at the Rio festival in September. In the documentary comp
  • Happy Feet's George Miller creates joint venture with Omnilab

    A very significant deal was announced today that gives director George Miller access to significant finance and the digital technology and hardware, personnel, and management skills, enabling him to make more films of the scale of his most recent hit, Happy Feet.His company, Kennedy Miller Mitchell, has joined forces with Omnilab Media, which is owned by the wealthy Mapp family and is the largest supplier of facilities and services to Australia's film industry.'It is a
  • Indie India - A parallel reality

    Just as the US has film-makers working outside the studio system, India has a whole army of directors and producers attempting to carve a niche away from the vast and all-consuming Bollywood film industry.Theoretically, these film-makers have strong export potential as they are outward-looking, open to alternative financing methods, including international co-production, and work with a range of non-Bollywood (non-song-and-dance) formats.However, with India's export industry dom
  • Indie India - Get set, Goa!

    After struggling to find its feet in the past few years, the film market of the International Film Festival of India (Iffi) in Goa is undergoing a radical overhaul this year in partnership with government agency, the National Film Development Corporation (Nfdc). This year, Film Bazaar (November 24-26) will ditch the traditional sales booth format, which previously featured local film exporters and state film commissions, and replace it with a three-day co-production and projects market
  • Indie India - The faces of a new generation

    RAJNESH DOMALPALLIVanajaRajnesh Domalpalli's first film, Vanaja, won the best debut award at Berlin this year. It has been accepted into 92 film festivals in 38 countries and won 19 awards so far. With world sales picked up by Emerging Pictures, this arthouse film centring on South Indian folk and classical arts and rural landscapes, includes a cast made up of "people off the street, or from the vast Indian middle class," says Domalpalli. The film is yet to find a
  • Intandem books strong AFM sales on How To Lose Friends

    UK-based sales company Intandem Films has reported a strong level of sales done at the recent AFM. Robert B Weide's How To Lose Friends And Alienate People, starring Kirsten Dunst and Simon Pegg, was sold to Germany (Concorde/Telemunchen), Italy (Mikado), Portugal (Lusomundo), Turkey (Sanat Ozen), Korea (MFI), Poland (Hagi) and Benelux (RCV). Intandem also structured the finance for that project, now in post. Paramount Pictures International previously acquired rights f
  • International - Indian winter

    Indian films came up blazing in this weekend's international top 40 with two films - Om Shanti Om and Saawariya - together taking $31.5m and accounting for more than 20% of the chart's total revenue.Eros International's Om Shanti Om was the highest earner over the three-day period, taking $18.2m in its first weekend and stealing the number one from last week's biggest international film, Ratatouille, which had enjoyed a five-week run at the top. The Indian romance
  • Ireland facing majordrop in film production

    The annual Audiovisual Federation of the Irish Business & Employers Confederation annual report estimates a big drop in film production in Ireland this year.Irishfeature filmsproduction was worth $44m (Euros 29.8m) in 2006,well up on the lull of $26m (Euros 17.5m) in 2005. But the reviewestimates that the Irish spend will reduce further to $16m (Euros 11m) in 2007. Much of the blame is put on an improvement in the fortunes of UK shoots following the introduction of the UK
  • Italy's Mediaset launches new free cinema channel

    Italy's Mediaset, the nation's most powerful private network owned by Silvio Berlusconi, is launching Iris: a new, free, digital terrestrial channel to be devoted tofilms and cultural programming.The new channel will go on air November 30 will be under the direction of Miriam Pisani who acted previously as vice director of Mediaset's Channel 5.Throughout 2007, Mediaset has been making forward strides in content acquisition while simultaneously increasing its interests in the fil
  • Jude Law appears in Real Time Movie short

    Jude Law stars an inventive short film being launched in the UK. Starting Monday, UK cinemas will screen the short film directed by Jason Martin on behalf of Polish artist Pavel Althamer. It will show during trailer presentations, subverting the notion of trailers because the film it promotes doesn't exist. Instead, the short promotes an event at London 's Borough Market, Real Time Movie, which will kick off at 11:30 on Nov 30 and get the public involved in the street sce
  • Korea's Studio2.0 scores sales on Epitaph, Lovers

    Korean production and sales company Studio2.0 clinched a string of sales on new titles Epitaph and Lovers Of 6 Years at the recent AFM. Horror title Epitaph, directed by the Jung Brothers and starring Kim Tae-woo and Kim Bo-kyung, was sold to Taiwan 's Scholar Multimedia and Encore for Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Turkey 's B.I.R. Film also acquired the film which was released this summer in South Korea. Meanwhile, Thailand 's Rose Media s
  • Kounelias promoted in New Line marketing restructure

    Christina Kounelias has been promoted to executive vice president of marketing at New Line and will report to the studio's domestic marketing chief Chris Carlisle.In the newly created position Kounelias will work closely with Carlisle to oversee a newly created marketing department infrastructure and continue to oversee the studio's publicity, corporate communications and awards campaigns.The move follows the summer success of Hairspray
  • Kristen Stewart gets lead role in Hardwicke's Twilight for Summit

    Kristen Stewart will star as Bella Swan in Summit Entertainment's upcoming romantic thriller Twilight to be directed by Catherine Hardwicke.Production is set to begin in February 2008 on the story of a 17-year-old girl who moves to a small town in the state of Washington where she gets caught in a supernatural war after she falls for a vampire.Melissa Rosenberg adapted Stephenie Meyer's hit book. Karen Rosenfelt and Greg Mooradian
  • Labadie to kick start new distribution company with Le Cahier

    After being unexpectedly ousted last month from Bac Films, a company he founded 21 years ago, Jean Labadie is back with a new independent distribution company. Le Pacte will release its first film in February - Hana Makhmalbaf's Le Cahier - and carry on through the year with a total of sixfilms.Labadie tells that in 2009 he expects to double that figure to 12, which will be the annual average going forward. Le Pacte's $2.2m (Euros 1.5m) capital wa
  • Last King Of Scotland reigns at Scottish BAFTAs

    Kevin McDonald's Last King Of Scotland took three top honours at this year's TSB BAFTA Scotland Awards.The film set in Idi Amin's Uganda picked up prizes for best film, best screenplay (Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock) and best actor for James McAvoy.Sophie Myles was named best actress for her part in another multi-nominated film, David Mackenzie's Hallam Foe.Alison Forsyth, director of BAFTA Scotland said it had been one of the most successful awards evenings
  • Lionsgate picks up Tyler Perry's next two films

    Lionsgate has picked up rights to Tyler Perry's next two films, The Family That Preys Together and Madea Goes To Jail.These releases will mark the sixth and seventh titles in Lionsgate's Tyler Perry franchise, which scored its third number one box office hit with Why Did I Get Married, which to date has grossed $54.3m in North America.Perry will direc
  • Lionsgate UK to release horror thriller Babysitter Wanted

    Lionsgate UK will release Big Screen Entertainment Group's (BSEG) horror-thriller Babysitter Wanted in 2008.Jonas Barnes and Michael Manasseri directed the story of a girl who is terrorised one night while babysitting on a farm.'Lionsgate UK is one of the premiere marketing machines in the horror genre,' BSEG CEO Kimberley Kates said.'Their advertising campaigns are known to receive a great amount of attention. We are e
  • Magnolia takes Roxburgh's Romulus, My Father to US

    Magnolia Pictures has acquired all US rights from Arclight Films to the hit Australian drama Romulus, My Father starring Eric Bana and Franke Potente.Magnolia will offer the film on its new HDNet Ultra Video On Demand platform, which grants subscribers access to films up to three weeks before their theatrical release.Richard Roxburgh's feature directorial debut was adapted from Raimond Gaita's memoir about an immigrant couple's str
  • McDonagh's In Bruges to open Sundance Film Festival

    Martin McDonagh's feature directorial debut In Bruges will open the 2008 Sundance Film Festival on January 17.Focus Features holds worldwide rights to the film, which stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as London hitmen ordered by their boss Ralph Fiennes to go on an event-filled holiday in the Belgian city of Bruges.Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin produced and Jeff Abberley, Julia Blackman and Tessa Ross served as executive
  • MEDIA increases EFP funding to $1.73m for 2008

    The EU's MEDIA Programme has increased its funding for multi-country promotional group European Film Promotion (EFP). MEDIA will contribute $813,810 (Euros 550,000) for EFP activities in Europe and $924,304 (Euros 624,000) for activities outside of Europe. The total of $1.73m (Euros 1.17m) is greater than 2007's $1.6m (Euros 1.08m). The MEDIA backing covers up to 50% of the pan-European promotional group's expenses. EFP includes 27 member organisations who also contribute t
  • Medusa makes strides with Bahamas and Come Tu Mi Vuoi

    Italian distributor Medusa Film made a solid imprint on the international top 40 this weekend with two films - Matrimonio Alle Bahamas and Come Tu Mi Vuoi - generating more than $7m and accounting for 5.2% of the chart's total revenue. For the full international chart, compiled by Len Klady, click here.New entry Matrimonio Alle Bahamas opened to number eight on the c
  • Montreal's Delphis picks up sales rights to Christmas Story

    Montreal-based sales company Deplhis Films has picked up world rights on Juha Wuolijoki's recent Finnish hit Christmas Story. The film opened in Finland November 16 through Sandrew Metronome with nearly 22,000 admissions on 60 prints to knock Ratatouille from the top position at the local box office. Delphis will introduce the film at the EFM in Berlin next February.Delphis vice-president Xi
  • NonStop sells Gnomes and Trolls to Turkey and China

    NonStop Sales has sold further territories on its animated family feature Gnomes and Trolls. The project has gone to China (HGC Entertainment) and Turkey (A Arti). NonStop previously did a deal for CIS (Ukranian Rights Management). White Shark's 3D animated project is in production now, with executive producers Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow, writers of Toy Story. The film will be delivered in early 2008 and will world premire at Berlin 's European Film Market in
  • Paramount scores US number one with Beowulf on $28.1m

    Beowulf ruled the world at the weekend as Robert Zemeckis' animated adaptation of the epic English poem launched at number one in North America with an estimated $28.1m haul that complemented the table topping overseas tally of $17m.Well over one-third of the domestic gross came from 3D screens through Real D and IMAX. Read D accounted for $8m from 638 sites and IMAX claimed $3.6m from 84 screens.Ray Winstone plays a Danish warrior
  • Participant, State Street partner up for Bobby Martinez

    Participant Productions and State Street Pictures producers Bob Teitel and George Tillman are developing Bobby Martinez, a biopic about the first Mexican-American professional surfer on the world tour.Robert Munic, who wrote Summit Entertainment and Mandalay Pictures' upcoming teen fight club drama Get Some, has been hired to write the screenplay.The film charts the rapid rise of Martinez fr
  • Pathe's hot AFM sellers include The Duchess and Eden Lake

    In addition to the recently announced sales for Walter Salles' Linha De Passe, Pathe International has announced a slew of further sales done at the recent AFM. Saul Dibb's The Duchess, which Pathe launched in Toronto, sold to Benelux (Cineart), Poland (Best Film), Greece and the Balkans (Audiovisuals), Portugal (Lusomundo), Israel (Shani), Turkey (Tiglon), Czech Republic (AQS), Hungary (Budapest Films), Romania (Media Pro), the Baltics (ACME), Singapore (Golden Villa
  • Pinewood hopes to expand with new live-work media community

    Pinewood Shepperton plans to seek planning permission for an extension to Pinewood Studios, on land adjacent to the current Pinewood Studios site in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire.The proposed Project Pinewood will include a variety of locations for film and TV, including permanent working sets of streetscapes and location recreations such as an amphitheatre, castle, Ventitian canal, Italian lakeside, and street scenes from London, New York, Paris and Los Angeles.Pinewood sa
  • Portugal - 'Thirty years of contacts'

    When details were first announced of the inaugural European Film Festival Estoril (November 8-17) in Portugal, predictably some on the festival circuit were unenthusiastic about another autumn date. Nonetheless, under the direction of Portugal's best-known producer, Paulo Branco, the new event looks set to attract plenty of big-names.Branco was first sounded out about taking the reins of the festival in the spring. The Gemini Films and Alma Films boss is a busy man. As he puts it: "I p
  • Promotional Feature - Encounters - Taking the long view on shorts

    The 13-year-old Encounters Short Film Festival boasts an impressive range of past alumni. UK film-makers including Lynne Ramsay, Damien O'Donnell and Bille Eltringham all had their first shorts screened at Encounters. And the event remains a major talent discovery hotspot on the industry calendar.Held in Bristol, in the south west of England, Encounters focuses on both animation and live-action short films from UK and international film-makers alike. This year's festival will screen a
  • Promotional feature - Films and film-makers to watch

    DADDir: Daniel MulloyMulloy has impressed with his emotional shorts. His third film, Antonio's Breakfast, was selected for the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win a Bafta for best short film.Mulloy's latest film, Dad, is about a sexually active elderly couple and their disgusted son. Produced by Sister Films, the film premiered at Sundance earlier this year and is nominated for a European Film Award. It was backed by the UK Film Council's Completi
  • Rights options - Material world

    In an industry where only the select few can afford to snap up the rights to the latest bestseller-to-be at galley stage or bid for the hottest spec screenplay doing the rounds, producers need to be shrewder, quicker off the mark and more esoteric in their thinking when they are seeking out compelling stories that can be turned into marketable films. Life stories, documentaries, radio programmes, magazine and newspaper features, blogs, and even TV ads are all rich territory for canny producer
  • Robin Hardy plans March 2008 shoot for Cowboys For Christ

    Los Angeles-based Fantastic Films International has come on board for worldwide sales for Cowboys For Christ, written and directed by Robin Hardy. Hardy, known for directing 1973's The Wicker Man, also wrote the book of the same name. Cowboys For Christ will start shooting in March 2008 around Dumfries, Scotland. Christopher Lee, who starred in The Wicker Man, will play Lachlan Morrison, the leader of a small Scottish village. His community em
  • Rogen, Banks to star in Kevin Smith's next film for TWC, Dimension

    Seth Rogen, riding high on the success of this year's sleeper summer hit Knocked Up, will star for The Weinstein Company (TWC) and Dimension Films in Kevin Smith's Zack & Miri Make A Porno.Elizabeth Banks, who along with Rogen appeared in The 40 Year Old Virgin, stars in the story of two platonic lifelong friends deeply in debt who enlist the help of their friends t
  • Rotterdam reveals first competitors from Japan, Malaysia,Thailand

    The International Film Festival Rotterdam (Jan 23-Feb 3) has selected the first three films for its VPRO Tiger Awards Competition. They are genre-bending autobiographical family project Waltz In Starlight by Shingo Wakagi (Japan); Pusan award winner Flower In The Pocket by Liew Seng Tat (Malaysia) about two motherless brothers; and another Pusan winner, Wonderful Town by Aditya Assarat (Thailand) about a love affair in a tsunami-ravaged village. The latter ha
  • Sales of New Zealand films up 76% over last year

    Sales of New Zealand films have shot up 76% in the past year and have generated a gross income of $5.43m, according to the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC).In its annual report, NZFC found that local films made commissions of $1.12m, up from $207,698 in 2005/06. NZFC-financed films saw international success with films like The World's Fasted Indian, which was seen by nearly a quarter of a million people in the UK and Japan alone.
  • Santa Fe Film Festival bookended by Juno, Grace Is Gone

    The 8th Santa Fe Film Festival will open with Fox Searchlight's Juno on November 28 and close on December 2 with The Weinstein Company's (TWC) Grace Is Gone.Screenings include Paramount Vantage's Margot At The Wedding with Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh, TWC's Control starring Sam Riley, and SPC's Stefan Ruzowitzky
  • Schuermann steps down as CEO of Intermedia USA

    Martin Schuermann has now stepped from his post as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Los Angeles-based Intermedia Film Equities USA to return to 'hands-on' production. In July, Schuermann had cited 'personal reasons' for leaving his other post as CEO of the IM Internationalmedia Group which he had held since succeeding Moritz Borman in May 2005. In an official statement on Schuermann's latest move, Intermedia stressed that it wanted 'to set the record straight that Schuerm
  • Shearer, Braun to receive honours from IDA

    Jocelyn Shearer will receive the International Documentary Association's 2007 IDA Preservation and Scholarship Award on behalf of National Geographic Digital Motion and Darfur Now director Ted Braun will receive the Jacqueline Donnet Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award.Shearer and Braun will be feted during the 23rd Annual IDA Distinguished Documentary Achievement Award Gala Benefit on December 7 in Los Angeles.Shearer is a Nation
  • Sony Classics to distribute Menzel's King Of England in North America

    Sony Pictures Classics will distribute Jiri Menzel's I Served The King Of England in North America. The deal was signed at AFM, according to the film's Czech producer AQS. The film is the Czech Republic's submission for foreign-language Oscar consideration. 'We are very proud to have as our American distributors Sony Pictures, one of the largest and most prestigious companies in the American film industry,' said producer Andrea Metcalfe. Bavaria Films handles interna
  • Sounds Of Sand takes top prize at Amazonas Film Festival

    Marion Hansel's Belgium-France coproduction Sounds Of Sand won the Grand Prize at the fourth annual Amazonas Film Festival in Manaus, Brazil. The jury, headed by filmmaker John Boorman, split its second prize between Micha Wald's Belgium-France-Canada coproduction Horse Thieves and Feng Xiaogang's The Assembly. The Audience Prize winner was Brazilian title
  • Stockholm kicks off tonight with Josef Fares' Leo

    As the world première of Swedish director Josef Fares' Leo opens the 18th Stockholm International Film Festival tonight - the first time a Swedish feature launches the fest - local audiences are facing an 11-day programme of more than 170 features, adding seminars, lectures, Face2Face discussions and workshops, all dedicated to the late Ingmar Bergman.A native Stockholmer, already in place, Fares will during the festival be joined by an invasion of international filmma
  • Swedish Film Institute plans to double specific grants

    In a response to 'the rapid technological development, new audience patterns, and the concentration of power in the cinema market,' the Swedish Film Institute has devised a new plan of action to support the promotion and distribution of quality films in the newlandscape. The recent bankruptcies of quality film distributor, Triangelfilm, and the Astoria Cinemas theatre circuit, are among the events which have encouraged institute CEO Cissi Elwin to discuss the situation with the indu
  • Switzerland to lead European Audiovisual Observatory in 2008

    The European Audiovisual Observatory has announced that Switzerland will hold the group's presidency in 2008.The Strasbourg-based Observatory, which is part of the Council of Europe, elected Switzerland its president as the executive council on Nov 9.The country is represented on the executive council by Frederic Riehl, deputy director of the Swiss Federal Office of Communications. He said: 'Switzerland held the very first Presidency of the European Audiovisual Observator
  • Telepool takes on teamWorx's Mogadishu Welcome

    Germany-based sales company Telepool has added Mogadishu Welcome to its sales slate.The deal was done with teamWorx Television & Film before the project started principal photography in Casablanca.Roland Suso Richter will direct the Degeto Film/SWR 90-minute feature, intended for TV. Telepool will handle world sales excluding the co-production territories, France and Italy. Thomas Kretschmann, David Striesow, Christian Berkel, Jürgen Tarrach and Nadja Uhl star
  • The art of film-making

    When UK writer-director Penny Woolcock decided to retell a biblical story in Exodus, set in a near-future version of the English town of Margate, she approached UK artist Antony Gormley through Artangel, who co-produced the film with Channel 4. Woolcock wanted Gormley to create a plague of frogs for the film's climactic sequence. In the end, Woolcock and Gormley decided instead to create a 25-metre high sacrificial sculpture and burn it to the ground in front of the local commun
  • The Hat Factory to host digital workflow seminar

    The Hat Factory, Codex Digital, and Sohonet are hosting a digital event, Production 2.0, on Dec 6, to show producers technologies including digital links between Pinewood Studios and post-production companies in Soho. The free demonstrations will be held at 3 pm and 6 pm. The Production Guild is also supporting the event.The companies will show how digital workflow can be used on film productions for tapeless digital production from camera to post. For more information an
  • The Jammed named best film at Australia's Inside Film Awards

    The Home Song Stories, The Jammed and Happy Feet were the three films that went home with the most honours from the Inside Film (IF) Awards, held tonight on Queensland's Gold Coast.The self-financed film The Jammed won best film, and best script for writer-director Dee McLachlan, while The Home Song Stories won the most awards including best director for Tony Ayres, and best actor awards for Joel Lok and Joan Chen.The Jammed is a toug
  • There Will Be Blood

    Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson US, 2007. 158minsThere Will Be Blood is a vivid, sprawling parable about greed and moral corrosion. Set in the majestic American Southwest circa 1900, Paul Thomas Anderson's film will ride to the box-office largely on Daniel Day Lewis's volcanic performance as Daniel Plainview, the monstrous rags-to-riches oil-man. The film's title foretells a trail of bodies and damaged souls in the revaged landscape, quoting the Bible an
  • Tom Yoda named chairman of Tokyo International Film Festival

    Tatsumi (Tom) Yoda has been named chairman of the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF). The announcement was made at the monthly board of director's meeting of the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (Eiren). Yoda will chair the 21st edition for an unspecified term. Yoda holds many powerful public and private sector positions in the media industry. He is the CEO and largest shareholder of movie and media conglomerate GAGA Communications, CEO of Dreamusic and co-Founder of F
  • Tribeca teams with Gucci for documentary finishing fund

    The Tribeca Film Institute and Gucci announced today the launch of the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund for independent film-makers.The initiative will offer finishing funds and post-production guidance to independent film-makers whose films 'promote social change and illuminate issues in need of comprehensive coverage currently missing from mainstream media'.The Tribeca Film Institute will administer the Fund and offer grants totalling $80,000 to a minimum of three film-ma
  • Truly Indie takes US rights to Fighting For Life

    Truly Indie has picked up US rights to Terry Sanders' documentary Fighting For Life, which focuses on the work of military doctors in Iraq.Sanders tracks the careers of students at Uniformed Services University, the de facto West Point of military medicine, as well as a veteran who strives to deal with the loss of her leg in combat.Sanders produced the Sanders & Mock/American Film Foundation project, and Tammy Alvarez served as exe
  • UKFC backs development of Bruce Robinson's Peculiar Memories

    The UK Film Council has announced the first awards from its Development Fund since Tanya Seghatchian took over as head of the Fund on April 1. The UKFC has backed six films with $930,000 - with more than half of the funding, or $509,700 - going to Bruce Robinson to develop a film adaptation of his comic novel The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman. The Withnail & I director will tell the story of a 13-year-old boy who grows up in a family of eccentrics in post-war Broadstairs.
  • United Kingdom - Flying Free

    Jonathan Cavendish is in a position most independent producers would envy. In addition to running his own successful production company, Little Bird, with partner James Mitchell, he has served as producer-for-hire on some of Working Title's most illustrious projects.Aware of his track record for piloting the development process and for talent hand-holding on titles like Croupier and Gangster No. 1, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner sought him out to shepherd Bridget Jones's D
  • United kingdom - Going Ape

    Ceri Levy was smart enough to recognise he was in the right place at the right time. He was a long-time friend of Damon Albarn of the band Blur (for which Levy produced the 1994 Starshaped documentary), and Levy was present at the kitchen table when Albarn and Jamie Hewlett started talking about radical ideas for a band called Gorillaz, an act to incorporate multimedia presentations including animated alter-egos. Levy thought it was the kind of creative project that would do well on fi
  • United States - Machinima man

    "Machinima is a real threat to CGI animation," says Paul Marino, co-founder of the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences. "Within the next decade the majority of animation films produced will be machinima."It is a bold claim, considering that most people are still unfamiliar with the machinima concept. But it is a claim made more persuasive by the details recently emerging about James Cameron's new project Avatar.Machinima is the making of films using a 3D virtual world,
  • United States - Sayles talk

    In John Sayles' new film Honeydripper, Danny Glover stars as a huckster artist, a barnstorming pianist who conceives a wild and daring plan to revive the economic fortunes of his struggling juke joint in 1950 Alabama by importing a young guitar virtuoso to headline there.It is not a stretch to read the director's 16th film as an allegory about the struggles of the independent artist in any field, including movies.Sayles started as a scriptwriter for independent producer R
  • UTV's Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal lines up Reebok deal

    UTV Motion Pictures has struck a deal for Reebok to retail products related to its film Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal across 535 stores in India. The film is about a struggling Asian football team in England. UTV noted that it had already recouped the film's $4m production costs ahead of release due to syndication of satellite distribution rights, music rights, pre-sales, home video deals and in-film advertising from Reebok, Western Union and Gillette. Indiagames has licensed th
  • Vikram Bhatt shoots supernatural love story in Yorkshire

    Yorkshire, which hosted this summer's Indian International Film Academy awards (IIFAs), is now hosting a new shoot by Indian film-makers. Vikram Bhatt is directing 1920 with a 17-day shoot in Bolton Abbey, Allerton Castle, Bramham Park and Ripley Castle. The film is a supernatural love story about an Anglo Indian woman and Indian man, who move into a haunted house in the wilderness. Allerton Castle is a key location. Regional screen agency Screen Yorkshire worked
  • Warner Bros takes worldwide rights to Jeunet's Micmacs A Tire-Larigot

    Warner Bros France will distribute Tapioca Films and Epithete Films' Micmacs A Tire-Larigot to be directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.The film will take a satirical look at the world of arms dealers and will be co-written by Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant, with whom Jeunet collaborated on Amelie and A Very Long Engagment.Jamel Debbouze will star and producti
  • Warner launches global VOD channel service Warner TV

    Warner Bros International Television Distribution (WBITD) has launched the global video-on-demand channel service Warner TV.Warner TV will comprise features and TV shows and will be available in the UK via Virgin Media's digital cable service and on BT's IPTV platform and in Japan on USEN Corporation's broadband broadcasting service GyaO.The service soft launched in France in July on the Free IPTV and WBITD has struck a second deal with Orange.'We feel these n
  • Warner's Beowulf leads international box office with $17m

    Beowulf destroyed the competition as the animated epic saga grossed an estimated $17m through Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI).The film drew approximately 1.7million admissions from 2,500 prints in 13 markets led by a $4.4m (£2.2m) second place launch in the UK in 552 sites that included previewsBeowulf ranked top in virtually all its Asian markets, powered by an excellent $3.7m (KRW