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22 July 2007

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  • AAM 's Thomas Hoegh joins UK Film Council board

    Arts Alliance Media founder and CEO Thomas Hoegh has been appointed to the board of the UK Film Council. He joins the board immediately for four years. Hoegh also sits on the boards of LoveFilm, City Screen, Inlive Interactive, the Metropolitan Film School and Slingshot Studios. He also produces and directs large-sale outdoor multimedia performances. Arts Alliance Media is Europe's top provider of digital film distribution services and works with the UK Film Council on the
  • Aardman works with Atom Films on animated shorts

    From Broadcast: Aardman has teamed up with film download website Atom Films to launch a series of exclusive animated shorts. The Oscar-winning UK production company behind Wallace and Gromit has delved into its archive and created a series of Pib and Pog shorts. The series, which features two kids TV characters who look cute but in reality are
  • Arts Alliance strikes three-year digital deal with Park Circus

    Arts Alliance Media has signed an exclusive agreement with UK distributor Park Circus to provide digital cinema content services for their theatrical releases for three years.The agreement covers services including digital mastering and creation and secure distribution of DCI-compliant digital prints.Park Circus specialises in distribution of classic titles for theatrical releases and has already been one of the leading distributors on the UK Film Council's Digital Screen Networ
  • Arts festival may pave way for cinemas in Saudi Arabia

    Speculation that Saudi Arabia is gradually moving towards opening cinemas will intensify following the second Festival of Visual Arts in Jeddah, which ends on Friday. The four-day festival, organized by local audio and visual productions company Ruwaad Media, includes 28 short films and documentaries from Saudi and other Gulf countries, and takes place in the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce. Jeddah's mayor, Adel al-Fagih, was cautious in his opening statement: 'We hope this will be the
  • Ascot Elite picks up five titles including Love In The Time Of Cholera

    Leading Swiss independent film distributor Ascot Elite Entertainment has announced the acquisition of the rights to five new titles for its 2007/08 slate. The five new titles acquired are: Mike Newell's Gabriel Garcia Marquez adaptation Love In The Time Of Cholera, with John Leguizamo and Hector Elizondo, acquired from Summit; Niki Caro's Elizabeth Knox adaptation The Vintner's Luck, with Jerome Menier and Keisha Castle-Hughes,from NZ Film;
  • Australia launches landmark website for film history

    A comprehensive website showcasing Australia's extensive filmmaking history is about to be launched today in Sydney.The Australian Film Commission (AFC) received A$2.4 million to create the site - - and executive producer Ron Saunders worked with a different curator for each genre. 'To the best of our knowledge this is the most comprehensive collection in the
  • Bangkok fest opening heavy on filmmakers, light on glitz

    Despite a six-month delay and constant doubts about the event's value, the Bangkok International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet last night for an opening gala, well-attended by local and international filmmakers, along with Thai politicians and the media. The opening event was elegant and tasteful, while avoiding the overwhelming glamour of previous editions. To highlight the event's main role as a film festival, rather than a mere vehicle for organisers Tourism Authority of Tha
  • Bangkok Film Market set to open for business next week

    The Bangkok Film Market (July 23-25) is all set to open its doors for business with about 60 confirmed exhibiting companies and 800 pre-registered buyers, according to Surasak Sunpituksaree, secretary-general of the Federation of National Film Association. The federation has been assigned by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) as organisers of this year's event, which takes place in Royal Paragon Hall at the Siam Paragon entertainment complex, in conjunction with the Bangkok Internat
  • Berlin Today short competition names three finalists

    The fifth year of the Berlin Today Award short film competition has selected three finalists: Pakistan's Maheen Zia with Match Factor, about a football player from Iraq who meets a policewoman when he visits Berlin; Finland's Ville Jankeri with The Last Wash, a black comedy about a laundry woman's suicide attempt; and Israel's Talya Lavie with A potential short love story, about a a German man trying to communicate with an Israeli waitress in Tel Aviv with the help of a pair of elderly Holocaust
  • Chengtian starts production on Wang's Dangerous Game

    Beijing-based Chengtian Entertainment has started shooting its first in-house production, Wang Guangli's The Dangerous Game, which cranked up yesterday (July 16) in the city of Hangzhou in South-East China. Co-financed by Hong Kong 's Mei Ah Entertainment, the contemporary black comedy follows a group of inter-connected Chinese yuppies who indulge themselves in games of power and desire. Hong Kong star Eric Tsang plays a rich businessman with a smart cartoonist girlfriend p
  • Chen's Mei Lanfang starts shooting in Beijing

    Chinese director Chen Kaige announced the start of production on his biopic of Peking opera singer Mei Lanfang in Beijing yesterday. The actual shooting started last Saturday (July 14) in Beijing Film Studio. Huayi Brothers Pictures came on board as one of the backers just last week, joining the original investors: China Film Group Corporation, Taiwan 's CMC Entertainment, Hong Kong 's Emperor Motion Pictures (EMP) and Chen's own production company. Shooting of the $15m Mei Lan
  • Cinefan opens with Iran-Azerbaijan co-production Raami

    Osian's Cinefan 9th Festival of Asian & Arab Cinema opened in Delhi on Friday night (July 20) with the international premiere of Iran-Azerbaijan co-production Raami. The feature debut of documentary filmmaker Babak Shirinsefat, the film follows a musician searching for his Armenian wife, who fled to Iran during the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In contrast to Shirinsefat's sombre and occasionally harrowing film, the festival's opening ceremony featured
  • City Lights takes US rights to The Year My Parents Went On Vacation

    New York-based City Lights Pictures has acquired US rights to Cao Hamburger's Brazilian film The Year My Parents Went On Vacation (O Ano Em Que Meus Pais Sairam De Ferias). The announcement comes just one month after the distributor picked up Jason Kohn's 2007 Sundance documentary Grand Jury Prize winner Manda Bala.
  • Croatia's Pula fesival starts Adriatic market programme

    The 54th Pula Film Festival (July 12-21), the national Croatian festival, is this year starting a regional programme to present work from the Adriatic region countries: Italy, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania.The programme, July 16-21, will have a pure market character and will be out of competition.In 2008. at the 55th edition of the festival, the Adriatic Film Market will become a larger special event. Eva Zaoralova, the artistic dir
  • Death At A Funeral

    Dir. Frank Oz. UK. 2007. 90mins.Death At A Funeral reprises the old formula of assembling a raucous ensemble comedy from the mourners at a respectable upper middle-class funeral that comes unwound. Dysfunction becomes delirium, fuelled here by hallucinogens and the dead man's gay lover, a dwarf. The bawdy farce then turns wholesome, offering some well-meaning lessons about tolerance. In the US this comedy is sure to be measured agai
  • Diffusion takes UK rights to Von Trier's The Boss Of It All

    UK distributor Diffusion Pictures has taken all UK rights to Lars Von Trier's comedy The Boss Of It All. The deal was struck with Trust Film Sales. The film is about an actor hired to play the boss of an IT firm to negotiate with business partners. Jono Stevens, one of Diffusion's founders, said: 'Lars Von Trier has always been on the Diffusion wish list. He is one of the most creative and exciting directors in the world and we feel privileged to be bringing his
  • EC approves Belgian Tax Shelter system

    There were sighs of relief in the Belgian production community withthe official announcement today (Thursday) that the EuropeanCommission has renewed its approval of the Belgian Tax Shelter system.Earlier this summer, the Commission had sent back proposals for therenewal, expressing concern about the lack of 'cultural' documentationin the proposals. Those concerns have apparently now beensatisfactorily addressed.Producers in Belgium were quick to express their h
  • Egoyan readies Adoration with Lantos

    Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan is set to shoot his next project Adoration in September with Robert Lantos of Serendipity Point Pictures as executive producer. The film will be produced by Egoyan's long-time assistant Simone Urdl and her partner Jennifer Weiss of Toronto-based Film Farm, producers of Sarah Polley's Away From Her. Sales will be through Lantos' fledgling (and as yet unnamed) distr
  • Elisabeth Perlier joins sales team at Bac Films

    Former Gemini Films international sales manager Elisabeth Perlier has joined the international sales team at Bac Films. Perlier, who was at Gemini for four years, will be in charge of international sales and French TV sales at Bac in collaboration with Camille Neel. Bac's Silvere Moreau, who has decided to progressively leave the company, will continue to consult for the next few months and attend the Toronto Film Festival. Bac recently handled Cannes Jury Prize
  • Endgame bolsters ranks with Norton, Schenz, Birch

    Jim Stern's Endgame Entertainment has bolstered the ranks with three hires, naming Robert Norton as chief financial officer, Greg Schenz as head of business and legal affairs, and Matt Birch as senior vice president of physical production. The company has moved to new offices in Beverly Hills as post-production continues on Rian Johnson's adventure The Brothers Bloom starring Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo and Rinko Kikuchi. 'We are very excited about the arrival
  • Film Frame unleashes Brave at Bangkok Film Market

    Thailand 's Film Frame Productions is launching action comedy drama Brave at the Bangkok Film Market, which kicks off today (July 23). The $1.2m picture - high by local standards - is a co-production with Aflin Shauki's Malaysian outfit Vision Works. The picture marks the first completed project of Thanapon Maliwan's Film Frame (formerly known as In Dream Productions). Thanapon is the son of veteran filmmaker Chokchai Pechpanna whose company Pechpanna Productions has made m
  • Film24 channel launches on UK's Sky platform

    A new independent channel has launched on Sky's platform. The Film24 (channel 158) launches as a channel about film, not airing films.The original programming covers large and small films and DVD releases, new talent, regional cinema, films in production and more behind-the-scenes programmes.Nicky Davis, CEO of Film24 says: ' Movies are all about intense excitement, amazing production values, talent and emotional stimulation and yet, to date, programming about film has been formul
  • Fox Home Entertainment targets emerging markets in re-shuffle

    Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (TCFHE) top brass have implemented a corporate restructure to accommodate emerging markets.Gary Ferguson will now focus on China, Russia and Brazil in his newly expanded role as senior vice president of emerging markets.He will also supervise Fox's worldwide licensee operation and play a key role in the division's anti-piracy agenda.Ferguson previously served as senior vice president of Europe, and joined Fox in 1995 as
  • Gill and Sacker take on Chloe King's script Lorelei

    Mark Gill and Neil Sacker's fledgling finance, production and international sales company The Film Department has unveiled its first acquisition since launching last month and will fast-track Chloe King's script Lorelei.The project centres on the story of a bitterly divorced New York City couple who are told they must conceive another child in order to save their sick daughter.Gill and King will produc
  • Goodman joins Media Rights Capital as digital media president

    Film financier Media Rights Capital (MRC) has appointed Dan Goodman aspresident of digital media.Goodman will be responsible for shaping and executing MRC's digitalstrategy across broadband, mobile, gaming, Video On Demand and otheremerging platforms.Formerly chief digital officer for Ogilvy, Goodman will focus on developing premium content for the entertainment arenas and building a network of distribution partners.'We are thrilled to welcom
  • Gotham Awards re-locate to Brooklyn

    The 17th Annual Gotham Awards will kick off the 2007-08 awards season on Nov 27 in their new Brooklyn digs at Steiner Studios.Gotham Awards Tributes will go to Javier Bardem, who stars in the upcoming No Country For Old Men and Love In The Time Of Cholera, Mira Nair, who most recently directed The Namesake and is preparing Shantaram, and IFC Entertainment preside
  • Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix dominates domestic

    North American audiences flocked to Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix as the film dominated the domestic charts - as it did overseas and globally - with an estimated $77.4m three-day and $140m five-day launch. This was the biggest launch in the franchise by virtue of the fact that it opened several days earlier than its four predecessors, and the biggest five-day debut for a non-holiday film in North American history, beating Shrek 2's $128.9m. The result w
  • Harry Potter weaves a magical international opening for Warner Bros

    Warner Bros weaved a magical opening for Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix at the weekend as the fifth episode in the fantasy saga conjured up an estimated $190.3m from 44 territories.Approximately 31m people overseas turned out to see the film, which amassed $330m around the world in what has become the studio and franchise's biggest ever international
  • Harry Potter's own book launch poses only real competition to ever-rising Phoenix

    Every fan of the franchise knows it's not in Harry Potter's nature to be a bully, but the film version of his exploits is a different beast entirely and has been swatting rivals like flies since it was released around the world last week.The fifth episode in the fantasy series, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, stands at $254m and will soar past $300m -- it might even cross $350m -- following last weekend's spellbinding launch. Weeken
  • here! Films loads up on Fat Girls

    here! Films has acquired North American rights to Ash Christian's comedy Fat Girls, which here's sister company Regent Releasing will release theatrically.Christian stars as Rodney Miller, a gay, theatre-obsessed high school senior who has his heart set on becoming a Broadway star. Ashley Fink and Jonathan Caouette, who made the critically acclaimed Tarnation in 2003, also star. Christian produced with Kim Fishman and Kelli Lerner.
  • Hong Kong's Sundream appoints Nan Wong as distribution chief

    Hong Kong distribution executive Nan Wong has joined local producer-distributor Sundream Motion Pictures as general manager of distribution. Wong was formerly deputy general manager of local distributor Intercontinental Film Distributors, which handles Buena Vista product in Hong Kong. In her new role she will be responsible for Sundream's international film sales, strategy and local distribution. She will also oversee Sundream's move into the acquisition of foreign movies for the
  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry

    Dir: Dennis Dugan. US. 2007. 115mins.Tiptoeing carefully around the touchy subject of gay marriage, Adam Sandler farce I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry turns out to be a pretty inoffensive but not terrifically funny buddy comedy that slips its vague pleas for lifestyle tolerance in between bursts of the kind of broad, un-PC humour for which its star is best known.The big question for distributor Universal is whether the movie will turn out to have
  • Ingenious invests in music marketing company Trinity

    Ingenious Media Active Capital has invested up to $10m (£5m) in Trinity Universal Holdings, a direct-to-consumer entertainment media, marketing and distribution business that mostly works with music-industry clients. This is Ingenious Media's eleventh investment since its IPO in April 2006. The funding wil be used to further technological development, expand resources and develop new services. Patrick McKenna, director of Ingenious Media, said: 'Trinity fits perfectly with IMAC'
  • Isaac Julien, Lucy Walker among pitchers at Britdoc Pitching Forum

    Next week's Britdoc festival has selected the 13 documentary projects to be presented at the 2007 Pitching Forum. More than 130 proposals were submitted, and the 13 finalists represent newcomers as well as established documentarians including Isaac Julien and Lucy Walker. The pitchers present their ideas on July 26 to a panel including Cynthia Kane of ITVS, Nancy Abraham of HBO, Christine Lubrano of IFC, Andrea Meditch of Discovery Docs, Mark Atkin of SBS Australia, Liesl Copland
  • Jon Fitzgerald to head new Abu Dhabi film festival

    The Middle East International Film Festival is set to announce its director today. Jon Fitzgerald, who co-founded Slamdance, was Director of Festivals at the American Film Institute (AFI) between 1997 and 1999, and later an executive director of Santa Barbara International Film Festival, will head up the inaugural festival, which takes place in the Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi, Oct 12-17. 'Jon is perfect for the position, given his previous experience and great connections,
  • Jonas Cuaron's Ano Una among Venice Critics Week selections

    Ano Una, the first film by Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron's son Jonas Cuaron, will close Critics Week at the upcoming Venice Film Festival (Aug 29-Sept 8).The film is the story of a summer romance between a Mexican teenager and an older American woman.The Critics Week will open with two films in homage to Ousmane Sembene, the father of African cinema who died earlier this year.For the occasion the sidebar will screen two titles Borom Sarret (1962) and
  • Konchalovsky starts shooting $65m Nutcracker in Budapest

    Principal photography starts today in Budapest on $65m fantasy film Nutcracker - The Untold Story. Russian director Andrei Konchalovksy (Runaway Train, Tango & Cash) co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Solimine, inspired by Tchaikovsky's classic ballet. Tim Rice will write lyrics to eight new original songs based on the Tchaikovsky scores. The songs will be diverse in style, from Russian polka to a jazzy Busby Berkeley tribute. Paul Lowin, who previously wo
  • LA's Danish Film Fest to include post-production expo

    Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1928 La Passion De Jeanne d'Arc - complete with a new score - will open the second-annual Danish Film Fest in Los Angeles, which runs from Oct 4-11. The event combines an appreciation of Danish cinema with a Danish film expo on post-production co-presented by the Danish Trade Commission, Oresund Film Commission, and The National Film School Of Denmark. Festival founders Lene Pels Jorgensen and Christian
  • Leslie Moonves to deliver opening keynote at MIPCOM 2007

    TV and digital content market MIPCOM 2007 has announced seven industry speakers who will give keynotes at this year's conference. They are CBS Corp's Leslie Moonves, Grupo Televisa's Emilio Azcarraga, UTV Group's Ronnie Screwvala, The Zee Network's Subhash Chandra, NBC/Universal's Ben Silverman, Joost's Mike Volpi, and United Artists' Paula Wagner.Moonves will deliver the opening keynote on October 8 at the Cannes-based market. He is also being recognized as MIPCOM's Pers
  • Lim Teck joins Singapore's Scorpio East

    Singapore 's publicly listed Scorpio East Group has appointed Lim Teck as general manager of its subsidiary Scorpio East Pictures, effective from August 1. In his new role, Lim will manage and further develop film production and acquisition projects as well as oversee the home video and artiste management business. This year, the company has already invested in Royston Tan's new musical 881, which opens next month, as well as Malaysia-Singapore co-production Ah Long Ltd
  • Macquarie consortium acquires Korea's Megabox circuit

    Major Korean studio Mediaplex has announced the $159m sale of the country's third most successful multiplex chain Megabox to a consortium, Korea Multiplex Investment Corporation (KMIC), led by Australian banking group Macquarie. Megabox comprises a total of 19 theatres and 155 screens nationwide, with scores that follow those of top exhibitors CJ CGV and Lotte Cinema. Earlier this month, the company also opened an eight-screen multiplex in Beijing, with plans for two more in the works.
  • Mansoor's In The Name Of God opens in Pakistan

    Pakistan's first local feature film to deal with the subject of fundamentalism and militancy, In The Name Of God (Khuda Key Liye), opens in Pakistan today (July 20) on 11 screens in ten cities. The Urdu-language film is financed by Unilever Pakistan which has sponsored many of the music videos made by its producer-director Shoaib Mansoor. Distribution is by Geo Films, part of the Jang Group, which is one of the largest media groups in Pakistan. Mansoor, a well-known
  • Marian Quinn's 32A takes debut prize at Galway Film Fleadh

    Marian Quinn's 32A picked up the first feature award at last night's closing ceremony at the Galway Film Fleadh. The Janey Pictures' coming of age story, an Irish/German co-production with Flying Moon Filmproduktion backed by the Irish Film Board and the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, looks at the consequences for a group of girls as they take tentative steps toward adulthood. The runner up was
  • Milic's war drama Living And The Dead sweeps prizes at Pula

    At the 54th Pula Film Festival in Istria, Croatia (July 12-21), Kristijan Milic's The Living And The Dead (Zivi I Mrtvi) won the Grand Golden Arena for the best film, as well as the best director prize. The brutal war drama set in Bosnia in two overlapping stories happening in 1943 and 1993 took another six awards, including best supporting actor for Borko Peric, best photography, music, special effects, sound and, posthumously, to Goran Guber
  • Monkey Magic leads Japan's quest for summer movie success

    Fuji TV's Monkey Magic (original title Saiyuki) has become the first local live-action success of the summer season, grabbing the number two position at Japan 's box office this past weekend. However, it was unable to beat the latest adventure in the ever-successful animated Pokemon franchise, Gekijoban Pocket Monsters: Diamond & Pearl Dialga Vs. Palkia Vs. Darkrai. Both films knocked reigning Hollywood titles Live Free Or Die Hard, Pirates Of
  • New Zealand boosts incentive for foreign producers

    Significant improvements have been made to the financial incentives available to foreign producers taking advantage of New Zealand's locations and filmmaking skills, the Government announced today. Films that spend over $11.9m (NZ$15m) in New Zealand on production can now claim back 15 percent, instead of the previous 12.5 percent, and the incentive has also been extended to cover post-production and digital visual effects, providing that local companies invoice the visitors for at
  • New Zealand makes production grants more attractive

    New Zealand's film industry got a boost today for both local andinternational film-makers as the country's economic developmentminister Trevor Mallard announced increased government incentives forfilms being made in New Zealand. The Large Budget Screen Production Grant has been increased from 12.5% to 15% for New Zealand spend. Also, large productions can now access t
  • Northwest screen agency starts lab for multi-platform content

    UK regional screen agency Northwest Vision + Media is starting a new multi-platform lab for content producers. The linked training and funding initiative Alchemy, set up with consultants Olsberg SPI, will include a residential strategy workshop, a product development period and a networking event. The lab is geared to TV, Internet, mobile and other digital media producers in the Northwest of England. Sixteen producers will be selected for the programme, and those who complete Al
  • Norwegian admissions slip in 2007, but local market share rises

    Admissions declined in Norway, but local market share went up during the first six months of 2007, according to statistics published by Norwegian cinema association, Film & Kino. Theatres sold 5.1m tickets during the period, down 13% on 2006, still 1.4% better than in 2005. Local fare accounted for 20.6% of attendance, against 18.4% last year. 'The theatrical market is increasingly depending on the big international blockbusters,' explained managing director Lene Løken, of Film & Kino. '
  • Odeon recruits insurance company to sponsor Senior Screen

    UK exhibitor Odeon Cinemas has partnered with specialist insurance company RIAS for its Senior Screen screenings. RIAS, which insures over 50s, will sponsor the reduced-price screenings for seniors across the UK. The Senior Screen programme started in June 2006 and offers reduced admission to over 50s at 94 cinemas on weekday mornings. Kate Macfarlane, Brand Manager from ODEON added: 'This is the first time we've worked with a sponsor for Senior Screen and we are looking
  • Park Circus gets UK theatrical rights to Buena Vista library

    UK distributor Park Circus, which is known for bringing classic titles to cinemas, has struck a deal for theatrical sub-distribution of the Buena Vista library of titles in the UK and Ireland.The Buena Vista catalogue includes about 300 films, which had been previously handled by Buena Vista itself. The deal does not cover DVD rights. Park Circus is the UK's top theatrical distributor and has content deals with Granada International and MGM/UA; the company also frequently
  • Phuket film festival pushed back by two weeks

    The inaugural Phuket Film Festival will change its dates to October 21-27, a delay of two weeks, as the screening venue will not be ready in time for its original play date. The event is scheduled to take place at the upscale Jungceylon shopping complex on Patong Beach in which SF Cinema City is building a new multiplex. An opening gala will be held at Jungceylon on October 21 with the newly restored Thai classic The King Of The White Elephant. The line-up includes the inte
  • Pia Film Festival awards grand prix to Bare-assed Japan

    Director Yuya Ishii's Bare-assed Japan (Mukidashi Nippon) won the Grand Prix at this year's Pia Film Festival (PFF), which ran July 14-20 in Tokyo 's Shibuya district. A total of 14 films, both feature-length and shorts, were selected to screen in competition from 780 submissions. Shot for a budget of $31,500 as a film school graduation project, Bare-assed Japan was the only entry in the line-up to have been shot on film (16mm). The quirky
  • Poland's Era New Horizons to open with 4 Months, 3 Days

    The seventh Era New Horizons film festival in Wroclaw, Poland will open July 19 with Palme d'Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. The festival's opening night will also include a concert by Marianne Faithfull, who will also be in Wroclaw to introduce her film Irina Palm. The festival closes July 29 with Anton Corbijn's Ian Curtis biopic Control. The event will host 231 feature films and 229 shorts and documentaries from 47 countries. Highligh
  • Potter shatters numerous IMAX records

    Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix: An IMAX 3D Experience broke several giant-format records this past week, including largest worldwide gross ($9.4m), largest domestic 5-day total ($7.3m), largest domestic per screen average ($80,500) and largest single day ($1.9m). It was also the widest-ever opening for IMAX, with 91 screeens in North America and 35 in the rest of the world. Another 17 international IMAX screens will be added in the
  • Premiere Picture gets private equity boost

    UK-based film financier and production company Premiere Picture said that it has received an investment (of an undisclosed amount) from an offshore private equity fund and plans to now extend its operations. Premiere plans to expand its sales and production staff and open a new London office on the back of the new investment. Premiere was founded in 2002 and its Sovereign schme backed a number of films including Deco Entertainment's Gospel Hill starring Samuel L Jackson
  • Robert Carlyle to star in Justin Kerrigan's new feature

    Robert Carlyle has signed on to star in Justin Kerrigan's new feature I Know You Know.The coming-of-age drama is about a boy who is fascinated by his father's espionage work until the world of spies becomes all too real.. Kerrigan,
  • Rocket Science

    Dir: Jeffrey Blitz. US. 2007. 98mins.After the success of his Oscar-nominated documentary Spellbound, writer-director Jeffrey Blitz takes a shaky first step into features with Rocket Science. A deadpan high-school comedy about a misfit trying fruitlessly to court the object of his affection, this indie-minded effort suggests a film-maker too enamored by his influences and struggling to establish a cogent vision of his own. O
  • Senator Film to release next Wenders' Palermo Shooting

    Senator Film will release Wim Wenders' next feature film The Palermo Shooting, which begins shooting in Dusseldorf from September 17 before moving to Sicily.This is the second time Wenders and Senator have worked together after the director's internationally feted documentary Buena Vista Social Club took more than $7.5m (Euros 5.4m) on its release in German cinemas in 1999/2000. The Palermo Shooting sees Wenders filming in his home town of Du
  • Senator to launch US distribution operation with Mandy Lane

    Senator Entertainment's first domestic release will be All The Boys Love Mandy Lane, the horror film that made waves at last year's Toronto film festival, after the company bought North American rights from TWC International.The fledgling distributor plans to release the film on more than 1,000 screens in early 2008 in an arrangement that will delight the film's producers Occupant Films following a long
  • Soderbergh gears up for Spanish shoot for two Che features

    Shooting starts Wednesday in Spain on Steven Soderbergh's two Spanish-language films about Ernesto 'Che' Guevera, El Argentino and Guerrilla. The much anticipated films will shoot consecutively for nine weeks in Spain on locations in Madrid, Castilla La Mancha and Andalusia before moving on to Puerto Rico. Benicio del Toro stars as the Argentinean-born revolutionary. Julia Ormond, Franka Potente, Jorge Perugorria and Catalina Sandino co-star. Spanish supporting cast
  • Stewart spearheads development at Hayek's Ventanazul

    Salma Hayek and MGM's recently launched joint venture Ventanazul has announced three key hires at the company.Producer Annie Stewart, whose credits include Leaving Las Vegas and Cold Creek Manor, has been named vice president of development, while Lumumba Mosquera will head the company's legal and business affairs, and Juan Davila joins as director of development.Stewart will be charged with b
  • Sweden's Film i Vast to host $96m level of international features

    Swedish regional film centre, Film i Vast in Trollhattan, will this year co-produce and facilitate local or international features at a total volume of $96m (Euros 70.5m), with Denmark's Zentropa Entertainments accounting for $13.3m (Euros 9.8m) of the business. Film i Vast's own investment reaches $8.3m (Euros 6m).'Zentropa has an extensive international network, and its expansion here, through its Trollhattan Film subsidiary, will further attract prestigious projects to the region,
  • Telefilm backs seven low-budget features

    Telefilm Canada will support the production of seven feature films, including new projects from Marc-Andre Forcier (Une Histoire Inventee, The Countess Of Baton Rouge) and filmmaker and actress Micheline Lanctot (Sonatine). The projects, six in French and one in English, will receive up to $191,000 (C$200,000) through the federal film agency's Low Budget Independ
  • Thai thriller 13 takes top prize at PiFan

    South Korea 's Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) held its closing ceremony yesterday (July 19), with the top award going to Thai film 13 by Chookiet Sakveerakul. A psychological thriller noted for its engaging script about a salesman who enters into a high-stakes adventure game, the film also picked up the best Asian film award from the European Fantastic Film Festival Federation. Sold by Sahamongkolfilm International, the film and remake rights were previously
  • Thailand's Kantana starts work on Khan Kluay sequel

    Thailand's Kantana Group has started production on a sequel to 3D animated feature Khan Kluay, about the adventures of a blue elephant, which was the top local hit at the Thai box office last year. The new animation, Khan Kluay 2, has an estimated budget of $5m. 'The bulk is financed by the Kantana Group, but we also welcome foreign investors to take a stake,' says Auchara Kijkanjanas, producer of the two Khan Kluay animations. Auchara heads up Kantana Animati
  • The Substitute (Vikaren)

    Dir: Ole Bornedal. Denmark. 2007. 89minsAll children know that teachers are weird, but what if some of them turned out to be really weird - extra-terrestrially weird' This serviceable premise has yielded entertaining dividends before - notably in Robert Rodriguez's 1998 teen chiller The Faculty - and Danish spoof scarer The Substitute hardly breaks radical new ground. Targeted at early teens and a couple of years below, Ole Bornedal's film sc
  • Thessaloniki lands European premiere of Sayles' Honeydripper

    The Thessaloniki International Film Festival will host the European premiere of John Sayles' new film Honeydripper.The film is currently in the final stages of post production. Starring Danny Glover and Lisa Gay Hamilton, Honeydripper is about the origins of rockand roll in America's deep South. The director himself appears in a small part.The November festival - the 48th Thessaloniki
  • Toronto shoots for Cronenberg premiere, closes with Emotional Arithmetic

    Paulo Barzman's Emotional Arithmetic will be the Closing Night Gala at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, sources told Screen Daily. David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises (pictured) will also have its world premiere at the event.Emotional Arithmetic, a $5.8m production, features Susan Sarandon, Gabriel Byr
  • Trust takes on sales of Szumowska's 33 Scenes Of Life

    Denmark's Trust Film Sales will handle international sales of Polish director Malgosia Szumowska's 33 Scenes of Life, currently shooting at Krakow, Poland. Denmark's Zentropa Entertainments is co-producing. 'I worked with Szumowska on Visions of Europe-25 Countries 1 Film, where she delivered the Polish entry, and we agreed we would continue our collaboration,' explained Zentropa's Mikael Olsen, associate producer of 33 Scenes. Szumowska, whose Stranger was s
  • Tykwer eyes Babelsberg Studios for thriller The International

    A day before shooting begins on the Tom Cruise World War II drama Valkyrie, local press reports have revealed that Babelsberg Studios is set to host its third Hollywood production this year with the shooting of Tom Tykwer's action thriller The International, starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts, from September.According to Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten, the Columbia Pictures production has rented the historically protected circular locomotive shed, the so-call
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    The UK's Film Distributors' Association (FDA) has started a new movie magazine to encourage regional cinemagoing.The new pocket-sized FOCUS magazine will have a circulation of 800,000 and will aim to engage regional consumers with upcoming releases up to three months in advance.The magazine is free and available in print and online at Print circulation, targeted to less active cinema goers in areas like the South West and East Anglia, will come wi
  • Universal's Wanted finishes Czech leg of shoot

    Timur Bekmambetov wrapped production on Universal's Wanted in the Czech Republic on Saturday. The crew now moves on to Chicago, where they will shoot Aug 7-17. Czech press reported Bekmambetov as saying the budget of the film was $50m. The film is the first in production and distribution deal between Bekmambetov's Bazelevs Productions and Universal Pictures International. Producer Iain Smith had negotiated to shoot the film, which is set in a US city, in the UK, but a lac
  • Walden Media set to ride with Moriarty surf project

    Walden Media has boarded an adventure project set against the renowned Mavericks surfing location in Northern California. Daniel Barnz and Ned Zeman will write the screenplay based on a treatment by Walden's executive vice president of business affairs Jim Meenaghan and writer-producer Brandon Hooper. Based on a true story, the project will follow teenager Jay Moriarty as he attempts to brave the world-famous surf breaks under the guidance of local legend Rick 'Frosty' Hesson.
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    The Weinstein Company has optioned film and TV rights to Tom Folsom's upcoming gangster book The Mad Ones: Crazy Joe And The Revolution At The Edge Of The Underworld.The tome chronicles the Brooklyn-based Gallo brothers and their ill-fated efforts to take on the Mafia.Weinstein Books president and chief executive officer Rob Weisbach acquired North American rights from Zoe Pagnamenta at PFD New York to the book, which will be publis
  • Yerevan gives awards to War And Peace and Import/Export

    Armenian documentary filmmaker Vardan Hovhannisyan was the big winner at this year's Golden Apricot International Film Festival in Yerevan, picking up four of the prizes for his film A Story Of People In War And Peace at the awards ceremony preceding the closing film The Banishment by Russia's Andrei Zviagintsev. The film, which combined footage he had taken as a front-line journalist during the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in 1994 with interviews held ten years later with sur