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21 November 2008

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  • 2009 European Film Awards to be held in Essen

    The 22nd European Film Awards in December 2009 will be hosted by the North Rhine-Westphalian city of Essen and not Berlin as generally expected.This is a change in usual practice as the venue for the awards ceremony has alternated between Berlin and other European cities such as Warsaw, Barcelona, Rome, and Paris in recent years. The 2008 awards will be held in Copenhagen.The choice of venue was announced by North Rhine-Westphalia's
  • Alexandra Stone leaves Recorded to set up CMP Film

    Alexandra Stone, who has spent the last 14 years in senior production roles at Jeremy Thomas' Recorded Picture Company (RPC), has left Recorded to head up a new film division for Creative Management And Productions (CMP) called CMP Film Ltd.Based in London, she will be charged with developing and producing a slate of director- and writer-driven films. She joins CMP partners Nick Frankfort and Tobias Round, who were previously producers at the prestigious London theat
  • Asian Festival of 1st Films unveils nominations

    The Asian Festival of 1st Films, a Singapore-based film and documentary festival for first-time filmmakers, has unveiled the nominations for the festival's fourth edition to be held December 4-10. Among nominated films are Indian actress Nandita Das' Firaq, which traces the emotional journeys of ordinary people one month after the riots in Gujarat in 2002; Chinese director Dai Wei's Gang La Mei Duo, following the travels of a Tibetan singer, and Singapor
  • Australia

    Dir: Baz Luhrmann. Aus/US. 2008. 165 mins With Australia, Baz Luhrmann has fearlessly gone for the biggest, lushest goal he could imagine - a romantic, old-fashioned epic to stand beside Gone With The Wind. Though it fails to reach such Hollywood heyday heights, Australia's combination of high adventure, awesome landscapes and panting passions is sure to bring out romance-starved adult audiences - probably skewing female - when the film's internation
  • Australian government helps secure production of Happy Feet 2 in Sydney

    Tax assistance secures production of Happy Feet 2 in Sydney through Dr.D, director George Miller's joint venture with Omnilab media. Happy Feet 2 is in production in Sydney, Omnilab Media confirmed today following a statement from the New South Wales (NSW) Government to that effect.The NSW Minister for State Development, Ian Macdonald, said that the NSW Government has helped secure the sequel, and a new digital centre, through a 'payroll tax assistance package'.
  • Australian government secures production of Happy Feet 2 in Sydney

    Tax assistance secures production of Happy Feet 2 in Sydney through Dr.D, director George Miller's joint venture with Omnilab media. Happy Feet 2 is in production in Sydney, Omnilab Media confirmed today following a statement from the New South Wales (NSW) Government to that effect.The NSW Minister for State Development, Ian Macdonald, said that the NSW Government has helped secure the sequel, and a new digital centre, through a 'payroll tax assistance package'.
  • Awards Countdown - BAFTA preview

    The British Academy Of Film And Television Arts (BAFTA) could be forgiven for resting on its laurels. Its 2008film awards were largely judged to be a hit; a mixture of international celebrity and home-grown heroes ensured anight to remember, not least in the sight of Sylvester Stallone presenting the Alexander Korda Award for bestBritish film to a chuffed Shane Meadows forThis Is England.
  • Awards Countdown focus: Contenders yet to show hand

    By mid-November last year, the majority of awards contenders were already in the public domain. Only a handful of stragglers - There Will Be Blood, Sweeney Todd, The Great Debaters, Charlie Wilson's War, The Bucket List - remained to be seen by press and Oscar commentators. As it turned out, the season's heaviest hitters - No Country For Old Men, Juno, Michael Clayton and Atonement - were screened at fil
  • Awards Countdown: Animation Oscar preview

    Fourteen feature films were announced for the shortlist for this year's animated feature Oscar in early November. The range was wide. Of course there was the latest Pixar extravaganza, Wall-E, and the two annual DreamWorks Animation films Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. Blue Sky Studios' early-year hit for Fox Dr Seuss' Horton Hears A Who! made the list as did Disney's Bolt, which is the studio's first in-house pictu
  • Beyond Bollywood: Focus on Goa Film Bazaar

    In the wake of a string of deals between the US studios and Indian entertainment companies, India has become the subject of global scrutiny. But for the majority of Indian film-makers, particularly those working outside the Bollywood mainstream, there is still a huge disconnect between them and the international market.While a few 'independent' Indian films are selected each year for overseas film festivals, few are picked up by international sales agents or r
  • Black Nights Festival announces competition line up

    The 12th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (November 13-December 7) has announced its international competition programmes and the projects included in the Baltic Event Co-Production Market.In the festival's EurAsia competition, 18 films will compete for the Grand Prix and $12,600 (Euros 10,000).The EurAsia jury consists of actor Rain Tolk, director Brian Yuzna, actress Fernanda Silva, director Jos Stelling and director Nana Dzhordzhadze.Among the films in international
  • Bolt

    Dir: Byron Howard & Chris Williams. US. 2008. 96 mins.
  • Bruce Tuchman promoted to president of MGM Networks

    Bruce Tuchman has been promoted to president of MGM Networks and will continue to be based in New York City.Tuchman reports to MGM chairman and CEO Harry Sloan and will continue to oversee the division, which manages and develops the company's activities in MGM and non-MGM branded international television channels and services distributed via cable, satellite, IPTV, SVOD, mobile and other platforms.The executive also oversees MGM's ownership stake in the Casa Club home an
  • China - Boom times ahead

    With more than 16 heavyweight releases jamming the three-month period from November 20, Chinese exhibitors are estimating that box office during the year-end season will reach $146m (rmb1bn), up 10% on the same period last year.China's year-end season, which traditionally takes place from late November to late February, combines the Christmas and Chinese New Year holidays. In contrast to last year's total black-out of foreign releases from December to mid-February, this year will see a
  • Chinese exhibitors predict bumper year-end box office

    With more than 16 heavy-weight releases jamming thre three-month period starting Nov 20, Chinese cinema owners are estimating that box office during the year-end season will reach $146m (RMB1bn), which is10% higher than the same season last year. China'syear-end season, which traditionally takes place from late Nov to late Feb, combines Xmas and the Chinese New Year holidays. In contrast to last year's total black-out of foreign releases from December to mid-Feb, this year will see a more
  • Cinema retains popularity in 'on-demand' society in UK, says survey

    The UK is becoming a society in which choice and control are paramount, according to a consumer survey from law firm Olswang.But the cinema experience outweighs that choice as the place where most people want to watch film.The annual survey is conducted in conjunction with YouGov, and is based on interviews with 1,162 UK consumers and a series of in-depth online focus groups. The findings make good reading in a numbe
  • Claymation feature Mary And Max to open Sundance Film Festival 2009

    The 2009 Sundance Film Festival will launch on January 15 with the world premiere of Oscar winning animator Adam Elliot's claymation feature Mary And Max.Philip Seymour Hoffman and Toni Collette voice the lead characters, a lonely Australian girl and a middle-aged New Yorker with Asperger's Syndrome who become pen pals.The story is ba
  • Columbia acquires comedy pitch by Perez for Happy Madison

    Columbia Pictures has acquired a comedy pitch by Mark Perez that Happy Madison Productions will develop at the studio.The story centres on a man in a troubled marriage who discovers a new way to create the perfect wife.Doug Belgrad, who is president of Columbia Pictures along with Matt Tolmach, will oversee for Columbia Pictures along with Sam Dickerman. Heather Parry will oversee the project on behalf of Happy Madison.Perez previously wrote
  • Columbia signs Mullens to adapt Moore's novel The Swap

    Columbia Pictures has signed the writing team of Tim and Tom Mullen to adapt Antony Moore's comedy novel The Swap.The story centres on an out-of-shape comic book dealer who loses a priceless part of his collection and follows that up by getting involved in romance and murder at his high school reunion.Columbia vice president Rachel O'Connor will oversee for the studio and John Calley Productions' Calley, Diana Napper and Lisa Medwi
  • Curzon Artificial Eye announces senior management changes

    Curzon Artificial Eye has announced a number of senior management changes. The company has said the restructuring is to meet the challenges faced by the growing group.Richard Napper will move from his role as managing director of Curzon Cinemas to Chief Operating Officer of Curzon Artificial Eye. He will have direct responsibility for group theatrical sales and marketing.Deborah Rowland, who has moved from Icon, has been appointed group marketing director.
  • Danish dark comedy Terribly Happy to get English-language remake

    Stillking Films and Fine & Mellow are planning an English-language remake of the Danish film Terribly Happy, with Henrik Ruben Genz remaining in the director's chair.Speaking to from his Prague office, Stillking managing director Matthew Stillman said the film would be a scene-by-scene remake of the original, which won the Crystal Globe at Karlovy Vary last summer.Stillman and Thomas Gammeltoft of Fine & Mellow will produce.T
  • Directors UK announces additional board members at its first AGM

    Directors UK, which represents over 3,500 members, held its first AGM last Thursday at BAFTA. At the meeting, seven new board members were named.The seven members are: Anna Davies (Wife Swap, Extraordinary People), Piers Haggard (Quatermass, The Ruth Rendell Mysteries), Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Enduring Love), Stuart Orme (Merlin, Colditz), Tom Roberts (Inside the Mind of a Suicide Bomber, In Tranzit) ,
  • Dubai International Film Festival announces festival sidebars

    The Dubai International Film festival has announced the lineup for three of the 2008 festival segments; the Focus on Italy section, the Cultural Bridge, and the Gulf Voices section.Each of the three sections provides a perspective on different cultural and regional contributions to cinema or society.Focus on ItalyThe Focus on Italy segment recognises the longstanding and ongoing contribution of Italy to cinema.Sheila Whitaker, DIFF
  • Dutch Filmworks reports big buys for Benelux at AFM 2008

    Dutch Filmworks (DFW) reported brisk business at AFM despite the global economic crisis and acquired Benelux rights to a number of high profile titles including the Sylvester Stallone action saga The Expendables from Nu Image/Millenium.Stallone will direct The Expendables from his own screenplay about a te
  • Eastwood to receive Modern Master award at Santa Barbara

    Clint Eastwood will receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's highest honour The Modern Master Award on January 29.Eastwood has two films in contention this awards season with Changeling and the upcoming Gran Torino and has won the directing Oscar twice for Million Dollar Baby in 2005 and
  • Episode 3: Enjoy Poverty opens 21st International Documentary Festival

    The 21st International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) has opened with the world premiere of Renzo Martens' Episode 3: Enjoy Poverty. On the eve of IDFA, international sales rights to Enjoy Poverty were picked up by Vienna-based outfit, Autlook Film Sales.The provocative, Congo-set film explores the emotional and economic value of what Martens argues is one of Africa's most lucrative exports: poverty.An eclectic mix of guests is expected in Amsterdam over
  • European Film Promotion appoints jury for Berlinale's Shooting Stars.

    Five well known film industry figures have been appointed by European Film Promotion (EFP) to the jury for the Berlin Film Festival's Shooting Stars programme. The EFP, which is supported by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union, has appointed Belgian director Marion Hänsel, Spanish producer Antonio Saura, British film historian Peter Cowie, Portuguese casting director Patricia Vasconcelos and Macedonian actress Labina Mitevska who was one of the first Shootin
  • European Film Promotion secures three year partnership withEC

    European Film Promotion (EFP) has announced a partnership agreement with the European Commission MEDIA programme that will secure EFP's activities for the next three years.The agreement includes a budget of $1.57 m (Euros 1.25m) for 2009 alone.The partnership agreement is a first for EFP who until now have received project by project, or one year contractual support from the European Commission.The EFP works to improve market access for European film prof
  • Film treaty to boost relations between UK and Morocco

    UK and Moroccan Government officials have completed negotiations on a film co-production agreement that will enable UK and Moroccan film-makers to co-produce films eligible for national status in both countries. The treaty is due to come into effect in the first half of next year.Commenting on the agreement, Culture minister Barbara Follett said 'The United Kingdom and Morocco have a shared history of film-making, from Lawren
  • Focus: Kristian Levring is back with Fear Me Not

    Ten years on from the peak of the Dogme movement, Kristian Levring is back creating buzz with his latest feature, Fear Me Not. The Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde-inspired psychological drama was one of the stand-out hits at Toronto, where US rights were sold to IFC Films.Co-written and directed by Levring - whose contribution to the back-to-basics movement was 2000's The King is Alive starring Jennifer Jason Leigh - Fear Me Not is about a man who takes part in a clin
  • Forever The Moment wins bestfilm at Korea's Blue Dragons

    South Korean Director Yim Soon-rye's Forever The Moment walked away with the best picture award at the 29th Blue Dragon Awards in Seoul.Based on the true story of the Korean women's handball team for the 2004 Athens Olympics, the film made $26m at the box office and was the first big hit of the year.Accepting the award, producer Shim Jae-myung spoke of how many people had warned that women's films and sports films don't work.'But everyon
  • Fortissimo takes international rights to Schrader classic Mishima

    Fortissimo Films has acquired international rights from American Zoetrope to Paul Schrader's cult classic Mishima: A Life In Four Chapters.The 1985 film is a portrait of acclaimed Japanese author and playwright Yukio Mishima, played by Ken Ogata, who died last month. As well as Schrader's direction, John Bailey's cinematography, Eiko Ishioka's sets and cos
  • Gabriele Muccino and Domenico Procacci to follow up Italian hit

    Director Gabriele Muccino (Pursuit of Happyness) and Fandango producer Domenico Procacci (Gomorrah) are to produce an Italian language film together entitled Bacami Ancora
  • Germany and France plan $376,000 co-development fund

    Germany and France are planning to launch a $376,000 (Euros 300,000) co-development fund from next year as part of their existing bilateral mini co-production agreement.The news was announced at this year's Franco-German Film Rendez-Vous in Hamburg. 300 German and French producers, distributors and film funders attended the three-day annual event which alternates between France and Germany.Christine Berg of the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) explained that
  • HDNet's Mark Cuban charged by SEC with insider trading

    The Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged HDNet founder Mark Cuban with insider trading.The SEC alleges that the flamboyant billionaire and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team sold 60,000 shares of internet search engine after he received confidential information about an imminent stock offering.According to the official complaint Montreal-based approached Cuban in June 2004 to take part in a private placement stock offering af
  • Image Entertainment merges with Nyx Acquisitions in $100m deal

    Nyx Acquisitions and Image Entertainment have merged in a $100m deal whereby Image stockholders will receive $2.75 per share in cash.The parties said the acquisition price represented a 299% premium to Image's closing share price of $0.69 on November 20 and a 267% premium to the 30-day average closing price of $0.75 ended November 20.Stockholders owning a total of approximately 38% of Image's outstanding shares of common stock have agreed to vote their shares in favour of
  • IMAX signs five-film deal with Disney starting 2009

    IMAX and Disney will finally work together after signing a five-film deal that kicks off with Robert Zemeckis' 3D retelling of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey in November 2009.According to Disney sources close to the deal the roster may include films from Tim Burton and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, which would sugges
  • In focus - Distribution - Facing Europe's digital dilemma

    'We are in the business of culture, not the culture of business,' says Mark Cosgrove, head of programme at Bristol's Watershed cinema complex in the UK. It is a distinction that is relevant in Europe in a way that would seem extraordinary to much of the world and particularly the US.Europe's film industries walk a complicated line between art and commerce that can sometimes seem surreal. And that has never been truer than at this month's major conferences of
  • In focus - The Solutions - 'The funding is there - get organised'

    The growing recognition at European level of the danger digitisation poses to independent cinemas was clear at the Europa Cinemas annual conference in Paris. And that begged the question - could there be a case for European-level funding to support the switchover'The answer appears to be yes but with big provisos and it is clear the industry will have to take the initiative and rethink its approach in some areas.In Paris, a number of possible avenues were highlighted, including
  • International - A view to a killing

    Sony Pictures Releasing International's Quantum Of Solace continued its reign at the top of the international chart, in the same week the 22nd Bond film broke records with its North American debut (see news story, page 4).The November 14-16 weekend also saw an influx of new entries, with 11 films breaking into the chart. The highest new entry came from Yash Raj's Dostana, which debuted in third place internationally from 17 territories, with a take of $8.4m.Set in
  • James McAvoy joins Orange Rising Star jury

    James McAvoy has joined the jury of the Orange Rising Star Award. McAvoy, winner of the firstOrange Rising Star Award in 2006, joined his fellow jurors to cast their final votes for the five 2009nominees.
  • Japan claims top prizes at Mar Del Plata

    Japanese films dominated the awards at the 23rd Mar del Plata Film Festival. Hirokazu Kore-eda received the Golden Astor prize for Still Walking, while Kiyoshi Kurosawa was named best director for
  • Jeff Skoll to win Visionary Award at annual PGA Awards

    Jeff Skoll will receive the Producers Guild Of America's (PGA) 2009 Visionary Award at the 20th Annual PGA Awards on January 24 in Hollywood.Skoll is a philanthropist and the chairman and founder of Participant Media, which financed such films as The Visitor, Charlie Wilson's War, The Kite Runner, Darfur Now, An Inconvenient Truth and Good Night, Good Luck.'Jeff Skoll epitomises the meaning
  • LA-based Producer's Utopia launched as new production tool

    Los Angeles-based producer Andria Litto is one of the partnerslaunching Producer's Utopia, a new technology platform for the filmindustry.The secure Web-based programme ( is used for storing and sharing documents related to film development and production, including scripts, contracts, budgets, call sheets, correspondence, deal memos, budgets, schedules and distribution agreements. It creates a paperless, mobile office with customized access privileges for eac
  • LAFCA to announce winners on Dec 9, present awards on Jan 12

    The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) will announce this season's winners immediately after the voting meeting on December 9.The 34th annual film achievement awards ceremony will take place on January 12 at the InterContinental Los Angeles in Century City.LAFCA president Lael Loewenstein made the announcement earlier today [Nov 17]. The group was founded in 1975 and comprises Los Angeles-base professional film critics working in the Los Angeles print and electr
  • LAFF director Raddon donated to campaign to ban gay marriage

    Rich Raddon, the director of the Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF), has been the centre of a local firestorm in his hometown after it emerged last week that he had donated $1,500 to the campaign for Yes On 8, the statewide proposition which was narrowly passed on Nov 4, eliminating same-sex marriage rights in the state of California.Raddon, who is a Mormon, is one of the senior executives at Film Independent, the non-profit membership organization which according to its mission statem
  • Little Deaths wins Australian Spartan Award for digital features

    The romantic comedy Little Deaths has won the Spartan Award from a field of 22 feature entries in the annual digital feature initiative run by the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA). The award was accepted by Melbourne-based executive producer Jason Byrne on Friday, the last day of the SPAA conference. Byrne collaborated with writer Giula Sandler and director
  • LongTale International sells Milarepa to Axess TV in Sweden

    Los Angeles-based LongTale International has licensed Neten Chokling's Milarepa: Magician, Murderer, Saint to Sweden's Axess TV.The exclusive free and pay cable and broadcast rights deal closed at AFM.The Tibetan-language revenge and redemption saga tells of Milarepa, Tibet's greatest spiritual warrior.
  • Lord Puttnamto bepresident of UK Film Distributor's Association

    The Film Distributor's Association (FDA) has appointed Lord Puttnam CBE as its president.His remit is to champion the business of film distribution at a time when the industry is reshaping itself to embrace the challenges and opportunities of digital technology. He will start in the position on December 1.Lord Puttnam said: 'I believe passionately in the power of compelling stories, imaginatively told, as a force for social as well as economic good. As a rights
  • Mannheim top prize for Rain, FIPRESCI Prize to Borderline

    Argentinian director Paula Hernandez's Rain (Lluvia) received the top award at this year's Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival. The international jury headed by veteran German filmmaker Edgar Reitz gave the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Prize to Stephanie Duvivier for her film A Police Romance (Un Roman Policier).Its special award was presented to Hungary's Ferenc Moldoványi for Another Planet (Másik Boly
  • Manoel De Oliveira to make another film as he turns 100

    Veteran Portuguese film maker Manoel De Oliveira will celebrate his 100th birthday on December 12 by shooting a new film, Singularidades De Uma Rapariga Loira, in his home country.Based on a 19th century short story by Jose Maria Eca De Queiros, Singularidades will star Ri
  • Maya backs Robinson brothers thriller Preparation For A Murder

    Vertically integrated entertainment company Maya Entertainment has boarded the thriller Preparation For A Murder written and to be directed by Jonathan and R M Robinson.The Robinson brothers make their feature directorial debut on the story of two young men who embark on a hit without realising the repercussions that will ensue. Casting is underway and production is scheduled to begin in April.Luis Guerrero and Chris Lemos of Vital
  • Mila Kunis joins Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman in The Book Of Eli

    Mila Kunis has joined Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman on Alcon Entertainment and Silver Pictures’ $85m action thriller The Book Of Eli.Albert and Allen Hughes, whose last feature From Hell was released in 2001, will commence principal photography in New Mexico in February and Warner Bros has earmarked the North American release for January 15, 2010.Washington will play a lone warrior in
  • Morris, Marsh, Herzog down to shortlist for documentary Oscar

    The Academy has unveiled the shortlist of 15 documentaries that will advance to the next stage in 81st Academy Awards.The 15 films are:At the Death House DoorThe Betrayal (Nerakhoon)Blessed Is The Match: The Life And Death Of Hannah Senesh
  • Moszkowicz commits to Constantin for another five years

    Constantin Film's executive director for production Martin Moszkowicz has had his contract as a member of the German producer-distributor's management board extended to end 2013.Moszkowicz's commitment to stay at the helm of Constantin Film for production contradicts suggestions in recent months that the future of the producer-distributor could be in jeopardy. Those suggestions centred on alleged plans by main shareholder Highlight Communications to concentrate on mark
  • Myriad sells Dino Mom to Gussi, Imagem among others at AFM

    Kirk D'Amico's Myriad Pictures' closed key territories on the 3D English-language animated feature Dino Mom at AFM.Myriad holds worldwide rights to the film, currently in production in South Korea, about three children who travel back in time 65 million years.This is the first English-language 3D animated feature to come out of South Korea and is produced by Toiion Inc and Motif. Production i
  • NZ award-winning producers to partner with Bavaria Film

    New Zealand producers Rachel Gardner and Philip Smith of Great Southern Film and Television have been crowned New Zealand's Independent Producers of the Year. The duo are developing a slate of eight features with the most advanced being Scott Reynolds' Falling Angels and writer/director Anthony McCarten's Death Of A Superhero, which will be made as a German co-production with Bavaria Film Productions.Superhero is McCarten's third feature and is based on his own
  • Overture signs two-year, first-look deal with Cheadle's Crescendo

    Overture Films has signed a two-year first look deal with Crescendo Productions headed by Don Cheadle, Lenore Zerman and Kay Liberman.The arrangement gives Overture access to film product from Crescendo. Cheadle starred in the terrorism thriller Traitor that Overture released in August and went on to gross more than $23m.This is the latest in a string of recently announced production deals that includes agreements with Philip Seymou
  • Oz director Alston to expand Brisbane into a trilogy

    Australian director Louise Alston is set to make two more low-budget romantic comedies, following her debut film All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane, which is being released in Denmark through Sunrise Film Distribution. Cameras will roll on January 7 on Jucy, the second of the films, with Alston again directing a script by her husband, Stephen Vagg. This time, however, many of the actors from Brisbane worked first with Alston to devise their own characters using impro
  • Paulo Branco to work with Raoul Ruiz on Misterios De Lisboa

    Portugal's leading producer Paulo Branco is set to work with Chile 's leading director Raoul Ruiz on the dark, suspense drama Misterios De Lisboa. 'The film is based on the work of Camilo Castelo Branco, one of Portugal 's greatest writers,' Paulo Branco told ScreenDaily. 'It is a melodrama that exposes the light
  • Perez, Ferguson, Hall join Ricci in voice cast of Hero Of Color City

    Rosie Perez, Craig Ferguson and Arsenio Hall have joined Christina Ricci on the voice cast of Exodus Film Group's CG animated feature The Hero Of Color City.Exodus Film Group founder and CEO John D Eraklis and president Max Howard are producing the story of a pack of crayons who save their land from a tyrant.Ferguson will voice the king's sidekick Gnat, Perez will portray t
  • Pippa Cross joins the UK Film Council's Board of Directors

    Pippa Cross, the producer of Shooting Dogs and forthcoming Heartless, has joined the UK Film Council's Board of Directors.Her appointment will run for four years from today.Pippa Cross has been active in the UK film industry as a financier, executive producer and producer for nearly 20 years. Since 2002 she has been a Director of CrossDay Productions, an independent film and TV production company.Her credits with CrossDay include Rwandan gen
  • Portuguese chain Lusomundo signs D-cinema deal with XDC

    Portuguese theatre chain ZON Lusomundo has signed an agreement with XDC to roll out digital cinema systems for 180 screens.The deal is based on a virtual print fee in which costs of installing equipment are shared.It is a breakthrough for XDC, which announced its D-cinema proposals in May this year, after signing agreements with four studios for deployment of 8,000 digitalscreens.
  • Production - Australia-India collaborations - The empire strikes back

    Producers Jim McElroy (Picnic At Hanging Rock) and John Winter (Rabbit-Proof Fence) are among the Australians heading to Film Bazaar in Goa as part of a delegation organised by the Screen Producers Association of Australia (Spaa). Both have well-developed projects suited to joint venturing with India."There has always been a bit of interest in co-production with India and accessing Indian investment, and there is certainly interest in what Australia's producer offset can
  • Production - Box office - The India-pudding

    With Bollywood keen to expand internationally beyond the Indian diaspora, and global interest in India at an all-time high, there have been many attempts to make films that combine elements of Indian and Western culture. Not all have been successful.India-themed films directed by film-makers of Indian origin based overseas, such as Mira Nair's The Namesake and Gurinder Chadha's Bride And Prejudice, were successful internationally but not huge hits in India. The Namesak
  • Production - International Film Festival of India - India's window on the international scene

    The 39th edition of the International Film Festival of India (Iffi) runs November 22 -December 2 in the seaside town of Goa. Around 5,000 delegates from India and abroad are expected to attend. Some 15 films will compete for the Golden Peacock in the World Cinema section. All are titles from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region and include Marie Miyayama's The Red Spot, Sergei Dvortsevoy's Tulpan and Ekachai Uekrongtham's The Coffin.Peter Chan's
  • Profile: Martin Gaiss

    Martin Gaiss leads a double life. By day he is Los Angeles-based vice-president of creative content at Twentieth Century Fox International. But in whatever spare time his job leaves him, the widely travelled German native is a writer-director whose first completed short, a witty tale of urban neurosis called Jarred, screened this summer at Venice and continues to play on the international festival circuit (it is competing this week at the Stockholm and Gijon festivals).Gaiss say
  • Pullman, Jenkins, Majidi among Denver Film Festival honorees

    Bill Pullman will receive the 31st Starz Denver Film Festival's (SDFF) John Cassavetes Award while Richard Jenkins will be presented with the Excellence In Acting Award.SDFF, which opened on November 13 with a screening of Rian Johnson's The Brothers Bloom and runs until November 23, will also pay tribute to cinematographer Wally Pfister, Iranian film-maker Majid Majidi and Swiss film-maker Thomas Imbach for their 'longstanding impacts on cine
  • Quantum Of Solace makes 007 history with $70.4m domestic opening

    Sony/MGM's Quantum Of Solace scored the best launch in James Bond franchise history at the weekend with a thunderous $70.4m that far exceeded predictions and dwarfed the competition.The result beat the previous franchise record of $47.1m set by Die Another Day in 2002 and combined with 007's continued international domination to propel the global tally past $322m in just over two weeks.For t
  • Quantum passes $250m with ease for SPRI after $56.1m weekend

    Smashing its way past the competition with James Bond's trademark ruthless efficiency, Quantum Of Solace leapt past the $250m international and $300m global marks thanks to a further $56.1m overseas haul, according to estimates from Sony Pictures Releasing International.In its third consecutive weekend as the number one international title, the 007 action saga charged to $251.6m from 10,460 screens in 67 territories, fired up by mighty holds e
  • Red Cliff remains at highest altitude in Japan

    John Woo's Red Cliff has held the number one position for the third week in a row at the Japanese box office. The film has now earned a total of $25.87m (Y2.5bn) and surpassed two million admissions in the first sixteen days of its release. It held off Fuji TV-produced airline comedy Happy Flight, starring Haruka Ayase. The Toho-distributed title opened in second with earnings of $2.25m (Y216.9m) on 164,000 admissions.Another Fuji TV-Toho partnership, Suspect X
  • Revolutionary Road

    Dir:Sam Mendes. US. 2008. 119 mins.
  • Russia dominates awards at FilmFestival Cottbus

    Russian cinema was the big winner for the second year running at the FilmFestival Cottbus - Festival of East European Cinema (November 11-16) taking home six of the 12 awards presented at the weekend. The International Jury, which included the Israel Film Fund's Katriel Schory, Oscar-winning set designer Allan Starski, and Kosovo-born actress Arta Dobroshi, gave their Main Prize for Best Film to Alexey Uchitel's
  • Screen editorial: Invisibility is cinema's most dangerous foe

    A report this week from UK legal firm Olswang makes encouraging reading for the industry. Its annual consumer survey found that, for all the wider demand for choice and control, the theatre remained the place to see a movie.That's something to celebrate and even the pessimists would have to conclude there is life in the old girl yet. What audiences want is the cinema 'experience' - further improvements in digital cinema and particularly 3D should further convince them that, however fan
  • Screen International Critics' Choice 2008

    Screen International Critics' Choice 2008The Chaser (dir. Na Hong-jin)
  • Seattle Film Festival announces $780,000 in grants

    The Seattle International Film Festival has received $750,000 in grants from The Wallace Foundation and $30,000 from The Academy Foundation Of The Academy Of Motion Picture Art And Sciences.The Wallace Foundation award will be spread out over four years to develop ethnic, youth and family outreach.The $30,000 received from The Academy is allocated for 2009 and aimed at community outreach, specifically targeting free ticketing for under-served communities.
  • Shooting of Wide Open Spaces begins in Ireland

    Principal photography of coming of age comedy Wide Open Spaces has started in Ireland. The film was written by Arthur Mathews, co-writer of TV series Father Ted, is directed by Tom Hall and shot by Tim Fleming (Once).The film is a co-production between Irish company Grand Pictures (Spin the Bottle) and Scottish company Mead Ker
  • Sony Classics takes multiple territory rights on It Might Get Loud

    Sony Pictures Classics has confirmed the acquisition from The Little Film Company of Davis Guggenheim's music documentary It Might Get Loud.SPC has taken rights for North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa on the story of the evolution of the electric guitar featuring rock luminaries Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack Whit
  • Sony to release Blu-ray discs in mainland China

    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) is releasing 30 titles on high-definition Blu-ray discs in the mainland China market, making it the first studio to distribute the new format in the territory. The releases will coincide with Sony Electronic's introduction of the BDP-S350 model Blu-ray player to the Chinese market on Nov 21.Titles available at launch willinclude Hancock, Kung Fu Hustle and the Spider-Man trilogy, along with library titles such as Close
  • SPHE launches International Product Expansion Group

    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) has launched the International Product Expansion Group to coordinate the production and acquisition of overseas titles for global distribution by SPHE. Based in Culver City, Los Angeles, the group is headed by newly appointed International Product Expansion vice president Tony Ishizuka.As well as broad operational duties Ishizuka will be responsible for identifying projects for financing and distribution in conjunction with SPHE's i
  • Summit looks for Twilight to shine

    As any teenage vampire or US distribution executive will attest, the release of Twilight should be a watershed event for Summit Entertainment.With audience buzz having risen to a crescendo in the run-up to the film's November 21 opening in North America and international markets including Mexico, Italy and Russia, the supernatural teen romance, based on the best-selling novel by Stephanie Meyer and directed by Catherine Hardwicke, is o
  • Summit's Twilight arises in Russia, Italy, Mexico, Sweden

    Quantum Of Solace should cross $300m this weekend after racing to $267.4m through Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI).The latest James Bond saga opens in Australia on November 19 followed by Spain on November 21 and is expected to deliver strong holds in all its territories. Casino Royale amassed more than $425m overseas.SPRI o
  • Sundance Institute names eight projects for Middle Eastern Lab

    Sundance Institute has announced the eight participants in the recent fourth annual Middle East Screenwriters Lab run by the Royal Film Commission in Jordan in consultation with Sundance Institute.The five-day lab took place from October 14-19 and matched emerging film-makers with creative advisors.The projects and participants selected for the 2008 Middle East Screenwriters Lab were:Abu Shanab
  • The Cesars best film category to increase to seven nominations

    France 's Academie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema has announced modifications to this year's voting rules. In the category of best film, 7 films will vie for contention as opposed to the traditional five.In addition, in the best foreign film category, the total nominated films also moves up to seven from five. In that category, two of the films nominated will be foreign but also in the French language.The Academie announced the changes in a statement on Friday
  • The Secrets wins audience award at Israel Film Festival in NYC

    Avi Nesher's closing night film The Secrets won the 23rd Israel Film Festival's audience award as the event came to a close in New York on November 13.The winners receive a $60,000 package including a full month's use of a 35mm Panavision camera package to shoot their next film in Israel.Audience Awards were also presented to Ran Tal's documentary Children Of The Sun and Tel Aviv University'
  • Transporter 3

    Dir: Olivier Megaton. US/UK/France. 2008. 103 mins.A perfunctory action film which drives around in noisy circles but goes nowhere, Transporter 3 is neither compelling enough nor outlandishly goofy enough to leave much of an impression. Series star Jason Statham supplies ironic cool as the titular tough-guy courier, but first-time director Olivier Megaton shows little grasp for pacing or action-sequence construction. Transporter 3
  • Twilight

    Dir: Catherine Hardwicke. US. 2008. 121 mins.
  • UK 's Women in Film and Television honours Julie Walters

    Julie Walters to be honoured by Women in Film and Television with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Golden Globe and BAFTA award-winning actress Julie Walters CBE is the latest British star to be honoured by Women in Film and Television (WFTV).She will receive its highest accolade - the Lifetime Achievement Award 2008.Building on a successful TV career, Walters' break into film came with Educating Rita in 1983. Her performance alongside Michael Caine earned her a BAFTA an
  • UK short film-makers given boost with $1.1m from the UKFC

    The UKFC has awarded $59,600 each to three short film programmes.These are The Magic Hour, a new shorts scheme for disabled film-makers; The Digital Shorts scheme, a digital shorts programme in Scotland; and a scheme focusing on film-makers from a range of disciplines, including those from non-traditional routes into film, such as new media and moving image.Additional support from the UK Film Council's Diversity team will bring
  • United Kingdom - Indies find the Sky's the limit

    UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB has not enjoyed the same recognition for its influence on film as it has on sport, which has been revolutionised by its multi-channel offering.The film industry's television focus has been turned far more towards the BBC and Channel Four, both of whom have a production remit. Indeed, it is symptomatic of the industry's worldview that production has been a more dominant issue than non-theatrical distribution.For Ian Lewis, who for the last year has
  • US TV network Eurocinema signs carriage deal with DISH Networks

    Eurocinema, the US TV network that showcases world cinema, has signed a carriage deal with DISH Networks.'We're delighted to launch on DISH Network, which can now offer its customers access to the multitude of foreign film titles in our library,' Sebastien Perioche, chairman and CEO of Eurocinema's parent company EuroMedia Holdings Corp said. 'Thanks to mainstream industry and consumer recognition of their quality, as well as the tremendous surge in immigrant communities across the c
  • Waltz With Bashir, Dean Spanley to receive UK lottery funding

    Israeli film Waltz with Bashir is one of the latest films to benefit from the UK Film Council's Prints and Advertising Fund.Artificial Eye was awarded $ 371,195 to broaden the release of Ari Folman's film from 25 to 60 screens. The money will pay for national advertising and an online PR and marketing campaign in the lead-up to its UK release on 21 November.Icon Film Distribution was awarded $ 236,388 for Toa Fr
  • Warner Brothers UK appoints Polly Cochrane to oversee market

    Josh Berger, President and Managing Director of Warner Brothers UK, has named Polly Cochrane as WBUK's new Vice President and Group Marketing Director. Commenting on the appointment Josh Berger said: 'Polly is one of the most respected marketers of her generation with a proven track record of innovation and creativity that's second to none. I've no doubt she will inspire our talented UK marketing group to even greater heights, and be a superb addition to WBUK's senior
  • White Night Wedding is best feature at Icelandic awards

    Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur's White Night Wedding took best feature and six other awards at the Icelandic Film & Television Academy Awards in Reykjavik. The awards honour the local industry.White Night Wedding had been nominated for a record 14 awards. It is Iceland's official candidate for an Oscar nomination as best foreign feature and has been Iceland's biggest local success of 2008.Oskar Jona
  • Zvyagintsev's The Banishment wins best film at Lone Star

    Andrei Zvyagintsev's The Banishment was named best foreign language film as the Lone Star International Film Festival in Fort Worth, Texas, wrapped at the weekend.Igor Volshin's Nirvana won the grand jury prize for narrative feature competition and Eric Bricker's Visual Acoustics - The Modernism Of Julius Shulman took documentary honours.Clay Liford's