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22 July 2002

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  • 20th Century Fox announces first Bollywood production

    20th Century Fox is to produce its first Bollywood film: a Hindi feature titled Ek Haseena Thee (There Was A Beautiful Girl) to be directed by Ram Gopal Verma. Fox India is likely to release the film in January 2003 with production set to begin in the next few weeks.The film will star Bollywood actress Urmila Matondkar (pictured) as the female lead alongside Saif Ali Khan, fresh from his success in Dil Chata Hai. The $2-$3m film will be s
  • Anant Singh's Videovision to build South African film studio

    Leading South African production company Videovision Entertainment is to build a $5m (R50m)international film studio in Durban over the next 18 months, local producer Anant Singh said yesterday.The studio will be one of two in the country with all the facilities necessary for international film makers. Singh, who sits on the South African Tourism Board, said the self-funded project would be a big boost for tourism in KwaZulu-Natal. Singh said his company was holding discussions with th
  • Australian actors are getting behind the camera

    Russell Crowe's mooted directorial debut, The Long Green Shore, is just one example of a host of Australian actors currently getting behind the camera with projects to direct or produce.Toni Collette is in the process of producing an adaptation of Luke Davis's novel Isabelle The Navigator alongside Icon Shanahan Productions' principal Sally Chesher - and with writer/director Rowan Woods attached to direct. Meanwhile, Rachel Griffiths has already directed two highly
  • BAFTA moves UK awards in line with Oscars shift

    The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is holding its film awards ceremony in 2004 two weeks early, the body announced this week.The move, which means the ceremony will be held Sunday 8th February, keeps the awards a month ahead of the Oscars, which have also moved two weeks.Next year's event takes place on Sunday 23rd February
  • Bewkes named entertainment overlord at AOL Time Warner

    HBO's top executive JeffBewkes has been put in charge of AOL Time Warner's entire entertainmentportfolio, including both Warner Bros and New Line Cinema, as part of amanagement re-shuffle that sees the back of the troubled media empire'schief operating officer Bob Pittman.Pittman, who becameincreasingly frustrated at being made the media scapegoat for AOL TimeWarner's precipitous decline in fortunes, is finally stepping down aftermonths in the hot seat. "After serving for the pa
  • Brother wins top prizes at PiFan

    Clearly there was no World Cup animosity. German film Getting My Brother Laid (aka Mein Bruder Der Vampir) was the big winner at the 6th edition of the Pucheon International Festival of Fantastic Film (PiFan) in South Korea. The film, which won Sven Taddicken the best new director prize at the Hof Film Days and which took a FIPRESCI award at Rotterdam, is the story of a 14 year old girl and her handicapped brother and the girlfriend of their older brother. In the s
  • ContentFilm, Rapid Film cement Irish production partnership

    ContentFilm USA and Rapid Film Ireland have announced their partnership to produce 12 low budget feature films from Ireland over the next three years. The deal, similar to those established by ContentFilm in other countries, will source and produce local film scripts for international distribution.As part of the ContentFilm/Rapid Film agreement, ContentFilm will provide 50% of each film's budget in the form of a sales advance once a script is agreed between both companies. Rapid Film w
  • Devdas expected to gross $10m in first week on release in India

    Devdas has been declared a hit in India, with industry sources telling Screendaily that the film is expected to pass $10m at the box office by the end of its first week in the country. The film opened to capacity screenings at 300 cinemas across the territory, grossing nearly $50,000 on its first day of release in Mumbai alone. In comparison, last December Karan Johar's Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham (K3G) grossed around $22,000 on its opening day in Mumbai and wen
  • Devdas falls short of UK Bollywood opening record

    Distributor Eros International enjoyed its biggest success in the UK at the weekend with the much anticipated release of Devdas.The Bollywood film grossed a massive $723,054 (£466,370) from 54 sites (on 74 screens) from Friday to Sunday (July 12-14) for a mighty site average of $13,390 - the highest of any film on release over the three-day weekend - and landed fifth position in the chart.However Devdas, which stars Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai, just missed
  • Devdas falls short of UK Bollywood opening record

  • Diamonds, Darwin among UK Film Council's development awards

    New films from director Mike Newell and Gosford Park screenwriter Julian Fellowes are among the latest projects to receive development investment from UK support body the Film Council.The council's development fund is investing $25,800 (£16,433) in The Eustace Diamonds, written by Gosford Park Oscar-winner Julian Fellowes and based on the novel of the same name by Anthony Trollope. The project is produced by Simon Bosanquet and Ileen Maisel for Babyscope Enter
  • Dirty Deeds

    Dir: David Caesar. Australia. 2002. 98 mins.Hot on the heels of the last Australian gangster caper, The Hard Word, comes David Caesar's equally macho, amoral and raucous Dirty Deeds, with the distinct advantages of a decent budget, a smart script and a vibrantly realised late-1960s setting. In addition, a top ranking local cast headed by Bryan Brown, Toni Collette and Sam Neill is boosted by the expansive John Goodman as a visiting Mafia man. Backed by a wide Ro
  • DVD piracy crackdown goes global

    Asia, and in particular Hong Kong, has been targeted by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) as the main source of pirated DVDS and VCDS, costing the American film industry up to $3bn annually.With the recent discovery in Hong Kong of over 80 underground facilities replicating copies a new 'reward program' has been introduced offering money in exchange for information on known pirates. Meanwhile, India is proposing to enforce much stricter laws, including penalties and even jai
  • Episode II sets new all-time opening record in Japan

    Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones has set a new opening record in Japan, taking a gross box office of $13.8m over the two-day weekend.The sci-fi adventure attracted a massive 1,075,287 admissions to reach $13.8m (Y1.6bn) from a record high number of screens - 630, over the Saturday/Sunday weekend .Episode II beat out Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone ($13.4m from 1,390,525 admissions) to become the biggest ever opener in Japan. Other films
  • Euro Pudding (L'Auberge Espagnole)

    Dir. Cedric Klapisch. France-Spain. 115mins.The latest ensemble piece by French director Cedric Klapisch possesses as much promise as his 1996 breakthrough number, When The Cat's Away. Warmly received in France, where it is playing on 398 screens and has registered 1.2m admissions ($6.24m) after three weeks, this featherweight comedy explores, as its English title bluntly states pretty bluntly, the new face of Europe and the future in store for its next generation. Kla
  • European local hits fight back against US blockbusters

    In a reversal of fortunes for Spanish films, a musical comedy has become the third-highest grossing local title of this year after just 10 days on release. Meanwhile, continuing a robust trend, a Danish film has kicked Spider-Man off the top spot at the box office, with the fourth-best opening of any film this year in the territory.The success of Spanish musical comedy The Other Side Of The Bed (El Otro Lado De La Cama) (pictured) is significant considerin
  • Focus takes the world on Inarritu's 21 Grams

    Focus Features, the newly formed specialised arm of Universal Pictures, has acquired worldwide rights to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's long-awaited English-language debut 21 Grams. The hotly contested deal, closed today (Monday), marks the first time that Focus has acquired worldwide rights to a film since it was founded earlier this year from the merger of USA Films and Good Machine. Other companies bidding for the rights to the films included Miramax Films and New Regency Productions
  • France's TF1, M6 jointly acquire 25% of TPS

    French private broadcasting groups TF1 and M6 have jointly acquired the 25% stake held by French utilities group Suez Lyonnaise in digital satellite platform Television Par Satellite (TPS).TF1, which previously held a controlling 50% stake in TPS, following the acquisition in December last year of the 25% stake jointly held by France Telecom and public broadcaster France Televisions, ends up holding 66% of the French digital satellite operator. M6, which previously held 25% of T
  • Germany's Advanced Medien files suit for damages of Euros 4m

    The increasingly acrimonious mood within the publicly -listed German media companies has been further stoked with the news of Advanced Medien's filing of a suit for damages of Euros 4m against former members of the company's management board.Former executives Christophe Montague, Hanns-Arndt Jovy and Veronika Morawetz were named in the suit filed at Munich's Regional Court which claims "that the defendants entered into and approved film purchasing agreements for which the company did n
  • Germany's Splendid Film package sold for $17.4m

    The romantic comedy Kate & Leopold and police thriller NARC are among a 16-title, Euros 17.3m package of films sold by Splendid Film to the German private broadcasting group ProSiebenSat1 Media.Among the other titles in the package, which will begin generating income for Splendid in the second half of 2002, are the comedy The Devil And Daniel Webster, starring Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Anthony Hopkins, and the Kiefer Sutherland-starrer Desert Saints
  • Halloween: Resurrection

    Dir: Rick Rosenthal. US. 2002. 89minsNumber eight in the series of Halloween horror movies is so bad it could be Scary Movie 3. It's so bad, in fact, that there might be a big enough teen audience looking for cheap thrills and unintentional laughs as to make it a hit. North American kids certainly lapped it up last weekend, its $12.3m gross from 1,954 sites almost making up its budget and guaranteeing a number nine - a prospect set up, of course, at the end of this
  • Hong Kong films performing 30% below 2001 levels

    While Hong Kong has high hopes for the international success of big budget summer films like The Touch, Highbinders and Hero, many feel that mainland China will prove a bigger market for Hong Kong movies than the West. The first half of 2002 has been disappointing for Hong Kong film, despite the optimistic mood back in January. Bolstered by strong results at the local box office in 2001, several production houses announced their intention to ramp up production at the star
  • Hong Kong supernatural comedy conjures $1m in five days

    China Star's supernatural comedy, My Left Eye Sees Ghosts, (pictured) possessed the top spot at the Hong Kong box office this week, grossing HK$7.79m ($1m) from 46 screens in the five days to July 17.The film features the lucrative combination of star Sammi Cheng and director-producers Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai, who together struck gold in summer 2000 with Needing You and last summer with Love On A Diet. It also combines two of the most popular genres in Hon
  • Hunter tracks down Harper for Prey

    UK director Simon Hunter, whose debut film Lighthouse opens in London this week as an unusual double bill with horror classic Evil Dead, has teamed with producer Sara Harper on his next project, heist movie Prey.Prey, which Hunter also wrote, follows a group of criminals who kidnap a murderer by mistake. Harper, formerly a production and acquisitions executive at the Film Council's Premiere Fund, is producing through her company Babydoll Productions, which h
  • India's Censor Board chairman resigns over porn proposal

    Vijay Anand chairman of India's Censor Board of Film Certification is understood to have offered to resign after his proposal to legalise the exhibition of X-rated films in selected approved cinemas in the country was rejected by the Indian Government. The Government of India is yet to respond to Anand's offer. Veteran filmmaker Anand suggested changes in the Indian Cinematograph Act, in particular the proposal to exhibit soft porn/porn films in designated theatres. The Governm
  • Italy's Giffoni festival announces line-up to 1,000 school children

    The Giffoni Film Festival, Italy's international youth-orientated event, has unveiled its full three-tiered competition line-up, which includes Ken Loach's Cannes prize-winner Sweet Sixteen, Chinese director Li Jixian's A High Sky Summer and Kirsten Sheridan's Irish hit Disco Pigs.Other hot titles to be judged by the 1,000 international school children who will act as jurors, include Emanuele Crialese's Cannes critics week winner, Respiro - Grazia's Island, Cat
  • K-19: The Widowmaker

    Dir: Kathryn Bigelow. US. 2002. 138minsThe independently-financed submarine epic K-19: the Widowmaker is one of those rare breed of potential summer blockbusters that demands an investment of thought from its audience before the pay-offs kick in. It's set against the backdrop of Soviet Russia in 1961, features all-Russian characters, tells a fact-based story about a radiation leak on a nuclear submarine and blurs the line between hero and villain in a post-Sept 11 worl
  • Kismet announces Dog Soldiers sequel, boards two with Seven Arts

    Kismet Entertainment Group, the LA-based production outfit behind British horror hit Dog Soldiers, has announced that it will produce Dog Soldiers 2 as well as two new pictures in alliance with Peter Hoffman's Seven Arts Pictures.Kismet, headed by entrepreneur David E Allen, first connected with Hoffman on the recently completed No Good Deed starring Samuel L Jackson and Milla Jovovich. The company has now boarded true life gangster saga Stander and horror f
  • Korean films keep up record pace set in first half of 2002

    With the country in a buoyant mood after last week's news that Korean films leapt 7.8% to take a 46.1% share of the Seoul market in the first half of this year, the signs are promising that a string of new Korean films will also score at the local box office. The Spring season opened with the unexpected and encouraging box-office success of The Way Home, a modestly-packaged feature about a young boy who goes to live with his grandmother in an isolated country village. Directed
  • Legendary costumier Monty Berman dies aged 90

    Monty Berman, the legendary British costumier, died in Monte Carlo on Monday after a short illness. Berman was head of the London-based costume house Berman's, which later became Berman's And Nathan's.His list of clients encompassed some of the biggest names in movies including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Katharine Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Richard Harris, John Mills, Sean Connery and Roger Moore. 'He belongs to that group of industry figures who care about the industry and who alwa
  • Locarno announces full competition line-up

    "Quality is the all-embracing element" says festival director Irene Bignardi about this year's International Competition lineup for the 55th Locarno International Film Festival (Aug 1-11) which kicks off on the stroke of midnight on Aug 1 with an open-air screening of Oliver Parker's The Importance Of Being Earnest.More than half of the 22 selected titles are world premieres, including Aparna Sen's Mr And Mrs Iyer (India) and Alex Cox's Revengers Tragedy (UK), and
  • Macquarie Film Corp. - from Dirty Deeds to Wannabes

    At the same time as Australia's Macquarie Film Corp. was celebrating the successful weekend opening of its first backed film Dirty Deeds; it was also announcing the eighth and final film to be backed under its current scheme: The Wannabes.Dirty Deeds, the first film to benefit from Macquarie's interest in feature film investment and the first local film to be distributed by Hoyts since it returned to distribution, recorded the ninth biggest opening weekend for an A
  • Mad Love opens 6th LA Latino int'l film festival

    The 6th Annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) presented by co-founder/actor Edward James Olmos kicks off today (Friday July 19th) with Vicente Aranda's Juana La Loca (Mad Love) from Spain. To be held at its traditional venue, the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, from July 19th to July 28th, 2002, the festival will showcase over 100 recent and classic films from Latin America and Spain. LALIFF will be paying a special tribute to films from Brazil this year,
  • Mexico's widest-ever release threatened with ban

    El Crimen Del Padre Amaro - due to get the widest release ever for a Mexican film, on 300 prints - is provoking controversy ahead of its scheduled local release on August 16th. A Catholic group has launched a website inviting people to petition for the ban of Carlos Carrera's film Adapted from the 1875 novel by Portuguese author Jose Maria Eca de Queiroz, the story labelled as 'anticlerical' by the catholic group centres on a scandal about a priest, played by Gael Garcia Bernal
  • MGM Home Entertainment goes solo in France, Germany

    MGM Home Entertainment Group, the DVD and home video arm of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, is to set up its own sales and marketing operations in France and Germany. The deal sees MGM exercise an option in its international distribution services agreement with Fox Filmed Entertainment to reclaim those territories. Fox, which previously managed the territories on MGM's behalf, will continue to provide physical distribution services for MGM product in those territories.Robert Wittenberg, executive
  • MIIB storms Germany with $11.2m, scores $26m weekend

    Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI)'s Men In Black II (MIIB) continued its impressive international run with an $11.2m opening weekend in Germany on 1,166 prints, according to studio estimates released today. When figures are confirmed this week it should establish MIIB as the sixth highest opener of all time in the territory, behind Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone (Warner Bros), The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring (Warner Bros/New Lin
  • Mirovision opens arty theatre in Seoul

    Film sales and distribution company Mirovision this week became the latest outfit to move into the expanding Korean exhibition market. This week it opened its first cinema, the Insa Arts Theatre.Acquired on a long-term lease and located in the middle of the Insadong entertainment and tourist area, the theatre is a mixed-use venue with stageplays and musicals also likely to vie for its facilities. In addition to commercial screenings, Mirovision may also use it for premieres and test sc
  • New chief financial officer for Vivendi Universal

    Jacques Espinasse, previously CEO of the TF1-controlled digital satellite platform Television Par Satellite (TPS), has been named chief financial officer of beleaguered media and entertainment giant Vivendi Universal.Espinasse, who has held top positions at several French publishing groups (including Vivendi Universal subsidiary Havas) before joining TPS in 1999, replaces Guillaume Hannezo.Hannezo, who earlier this week denied that he had resigned, will act as a consultant to Vi
  • Norton promoted to head of production at Mill Film

    UK-based effects house Mill Film has named Emma Norton as head of production.Norton, who takes up the position with immediate effect, worked her way up at the Mill from a production assistant to shoot coordinator and then on to a producing role. She reports directly to Mill Film's managing director, Antony Hunt."We are delighted that Emma has accepted this role," Hunt said. "Her immediate task will be to oversee Mill Film's role in the completion of Harry Potter And The Chamb
  • Packer nets $130m from sale of Cinemex exhibition stake

    Australian entrepreneur Kerry Packer has sold his stake in Mexican exhibition company Cinemex to Canadian investment firm Onex and Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital Management, netting a profit of $130m, according to local newspaper The Australian.Packer acquired the 35% stake in Cinemex in 1999 when his Consolidated Press Holdings bought Australian cinema chain Hoyts for $600m.The newspaper reported that over the past two months Packer has cashed in some $260m worth of assets
  • Puchon's porno challenge to censorship laws

    The line between erotic art and simple pornography has often troubled programmers of film festivals. But for the selectors at this week's Puchon International Festival of Fantastic Film (PiFan) (July 11-20) the idea was to pretend that they were having a serious discussion about censorship while in fact showing a collection of eight porno shorts from the 1920s - 1960s.Without that cloak of intellectual debate there was a serious risk that festival head Kim Hong Joon or programmers Elle
  • Reign Of Fire

    Dir: Rob Bowman. US/UK/Ireland. 2002. 101mins.Despite the obvious expense lavished on the CGI-created dragons, the enjoyment of Reign Of Fire comes from its cheesy heroic values and cheerfully hammy performances by super-muscly actors Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey. More reminiscent of old-style Ray Harryhausen movies than the post-apocalyptic epics like Terminator or Mad Max which it clearly emulates, the film is strictly for teenage boys who wil
  • Scorsese, Kiarostami to preside over Cannes' Cinefondation

    Directors Martin Scorsese and Abbas Kiarostami have agreed to be honorary presidents of the Cannes Festival's Cinefondation. As such they will preside over the twice yearly "Residence" internship, which helps young film-makers prepare for their first or second feature film.The festival said: "they wished to show their attachment to the initiative taken by the festival in 1998 to open the Cannes selection to young filmmakers and to reward their best films each year."The latest cr
  • Serbian local productions unable to repeat 2001's success

    While Serbia's local productions regularly outperform Hollywood releases, this year home-grown titles are suffering - despite overall admissions rising 21% year-on-year for the first six months of 2002, from 1,665,245 in 2001 to 2,021,843 tickets sold this year. Unlike most emerging and mature markets, summer is a slow season for Serbian cinemas as there are only four or five open-air theatres in the territory and no air-conditioning to speak of.In summer 2001, local production
  • Shanghai Disneyland sparks fears of Hong Kong rival

    Plans have been initiated for a Shanghai Disney theme park. It was reported in the Hong Kong Economic Times that Shanghai's government signed a letter of intent with Walt Disney Co. The news has prompted concerns that the park would rival Hong Kong Disneyland, currently under construction and hoped to be finished by 2005. Disney's Hong Kong spokeswoman could not confirm or deny the report, but she commented: 'Right now our priority is to successfully open Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005/2
  • Sitges to open with Darkness

    Darkness, Jaume Balaguero's highly-anticipated follow-up feature to his award-winning debut The Nameless (Los Sin Nombre), is set to inaugurate the 35th edition of the International Film Festival of Catalunya, better known as Sitges (October 3-13).A co-production between Filmax's Fantastic Factory and Miramax, the English-language thriller stars Anna Paquin, Lena Olin and Giancarlo Giannini and was shot entirely in and around Barcelona.Other titles confirmed for Si
  • Stuart Little 2

    Dir: Rob Minkoff. US. 2002. 78mins. A summer sequel to a surprise Christmas smash, Stuart Little 2 takes its computer animated mouse hero and his idyllic human family out into the world with a story that touches on such contemporary issues as child empowerment. However, it comes off as a lightweight adventure romp. With less of the warm and fuzzy dramatic appeal offered by the first film, which was based on EB White's classic 1945 children's book, the sequel, based on
  • Stuart Little 2 is big, but still disappointing, in lacklustre movie weekend

    Columbia's latest box office victory was a small one. Family sequel Stuart Little 2 opened at the top of the charts over the weekend with a so-so $15.6m take, according to studio estimates released yesterday. That beat DreamWorks' adult drama Road To Perdition by a mere $0.3m.It was an uncharacteristically slow three days in theatres across the country, with the $104.4m combined revenue from the top 12 pictures representing a 23% fall from the same period last year. The s
  • Sun Gateway fund opens up for English-language productions

    Features by Michael Radford, Sandy Johnson and Amy Lyndon have been lined up as possible projects for backing by the new Sun Gateway Entertainment (SGE) private media fund.The German fund, which aims to raise Euros 50m this year for up to seven English-language feature film and TV productions, is managed by German media consultant Wolfgang Fischer and producer-writer-director Joshua Sinclair, with former Studio Babelsberg executive Mario Windisch responsible for marketing and finances.
  • Telefilm Canada backs eleven new features

    Telefilm Canada is to back eleven new feature films, including the latest from Quebecois auteur Denys Arcand. With a combined budget of more than $16m, the projects include six French-language titles and five in English, including co-productions with the UK and Israel.Arcand's Les Invasions Barbares (Barbarian Invasion), his first film since 2000's Stardom, sees him revisit the milieu of his greatest success, 1986's The Decline Of The American Empire, which was nom
  • Toronto to introduce Ponti's Strangers

    Edoardo Ponti's Canada-Italy co-production Between Strangers will make its world premiere at the 27th Toronto International Film Festival, Sept. 5-14. The film, which will be screened as a Special Presentation, features an ensemble cast including Sophia Loren, Gerard Depardieu, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Mira Sorvino, Pete Postlethwaite, Malcolm McDowell and Debra Kara Unger. Ponti, Sophia Loren's son, makes his feature debut. The film is distributed in Canada by Equinox Film
  • Two Australian production companies established

    Two Australian companies, leading TV commercials producer Film Graphics and top visual effects outfit Animal Logic have simultaneously, but separately, launched into feature film and television programme production.And while each company's methods are different - Australian Rules producer Mark Lazarus has been appointed executive producer and head of development for Film Graphics Entertainment, while Animal Logic is utilising existing in-house staff - the idea behind both moves
  • Two Eastern European countries boost national film funds

    The newly-appointed Hungarian ministry of culture has awarded $3.3m (HUF 800m) in immediate cash for its struggling local film industry, while in neighbouring Slovakia a new law has been passed requiring broadcasters and exhibitors to contribute to the country's production funds.In Hungary, cultural minister Gabor Gorgey and minister of financial affairs Csaba Laszlo, announced that the funding award, which goes to the Motion Picture Public Foundation of Hungary, will be divided betwee
  • UK's Momentum boosts home video market share

    UK independent Momentum boosted its video distribution market share to 6.88% for the second quarter of this year, compared to its entire year average in 2001 of 2.13%, according to the MRIB rental distribution tracker. The driving force behind this success was the Samuel L. Jackson's hit action comedy The 51st State, which was placed second highest renter behind Buena Vista's The Others. Strength however, comes in depth, with three further Momentum films (Amelie, Soul Survivors and Ge
  • UK's Momentum boosts home video market share

  • US productions running away to Australia, says new research

    Australia is the first choice when shooting abroad for 60% of Los Angeles-based film and television producers that have worked there, according to a new survey released this week. "Australia is seen as more competitive than Canada because of the exchange rate and the climate," the survey states, "and more favourable than New Zealand because of crew depth, lower wage costs and better production infrastructure." Canada, however, boasts proximity to the US as its strong point. Run
  • Vivendi Universal sued, Canal Plus Group to be broken up

    Against the background of French newspaper reports suggesting that its Canal Plus division will now be broken up, Vivendi Universal and former chairman Jean-Marie Messier are to be sued by a group of US investors. The investors, operating under the banner Rosenbaum Partners, bought shares between February and July of this year and allege that the company attempted to hide the true state of its financial crisis. "Messier orchestrated a scheme to conceal the severity of Vivendi's liquidi
  • Warner Lusomundo Sogecable expands Spanish multiplex circuit

    Warner Lusomundo Sogecable, the three-way Spanish exhibition venture, is to invest Euros 65m-70m in expanding its cinema estate, building six new multiplexes with a total 62 screens before the summer of 2004. The company currently owns and operates ten multiplexes with 104 screens in Spain. The most recent, a nine-screen state-of-the-art complex in Las Palmas, opened on June 21 to coincide with the local release of Spider-Man. WLS general manager Tomas Naranjo told Screen
  • Wellspring buys US rights to Cannes player Carnage

    Wellspring Media has acquired US rights to the dark French comedy Carnage which played in Directors Fortnight at Cannes this year. The film is the feature directorial debut of Delphine Gleize and stars Chiara Mastroianni and Angela Maline in the story of the aftermath of a tragic bullfight.Gleize is renowned for her short films including Sale Battars which won the Cesar for best short in 2000.The deal to buy the film was made between Krysanne Katsoolis, the senior