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22 July 2008

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  • Admissions tumble in Brazil by 11.3% in first six months 2008

    In the first six months of 2008 Brazil recorded a 11.3% fall in admissions and a 8.8% drop in box office revenues over the same period last year. According to figures released by Filme B, a local company that reviews theatrical market data, the country's sales amounted R$352m ($221.3m), as a result of 42.5m tickets sold. Only the average ticket price increased, reaching R$8.27 ($5.2), up 2.8% from the same period last year.The fall in sales and attendance is attributed to
  • Alexander named co-head of business and legal affairs at New Line

    Craig Alexander has been promoted to co-head of business and legal affairs at New Line and will share duties with Judd Funk.Alexander and Funk will be jointly responsible for establishing New Line's business policies, negotiating talent and rights deals, and will oversee the legal affairs division.Alexander has been at the company for ten years and will retain his senior vice president of business and legal affairs title as well.In the past two years he has ov
  • Amy Israel out, Guy Stodel in as Vantage changes direction

    Paramount Vantage has undergone a further sea change this week with the announcement yesterday that Amy Israel is leaving the company and Guy Stodel has been appointed in her stead as executive vice president of production and acquisitions.The move appears to confirm speculation that Vantage is moving away from the prestige films on which it was founded in 2005 and further towards a genre label like Sony's Screen Gems or Universal's Rogue Pictures. Stodel, who was formerl
  • Bals Fund Plus gives $317,000 to bring on Dutch co-producers

    The Hubert Bals Fund Plus initiative, from the International Film Festival Rotterdam and the Netherlands Film Fund, is granting a total of $317,470 (Euros 200,000) for Dutch co-producers on new films.Dutch companies Isabella Films, IDTV Motel Films, Waterland Film and Volya Films will each receive $79,360 (Euros 50,000) to each co-produce a specific film from Costa Rica, China, Mexico and Kyrgyzstan.The Hubert Bals Fund Plus programme was started in 2006 to get Dutch produc
  • Brideshead Revisited (2007)

    Dir: Julian Jarrold. UK . 2008. 120 mins.Evelyn Waugh's greatest novel gets a respectable new film treatment from a team of Britain 's biggest names, although it will inevitably remain in the shadow of the 1981 TV series which to this day is a global symbol of the lost glamour and decadence of the British aristocracy. Media will pester the film with comparisons to the book and the series. While the mini-series followed the details of Waugh's
  • Canada's Cineplex plans massive 3D expansion

    Canadian exhibitor Cineplex Entertainment has signed a long-term agreement to install a minimum of 175 3D systems from LA-based technology company RealD.Cineplex currently has 41 such systems in operation; however, the expansion is contingent on Cineplex's entering a digital deployment agreement with Digital Cinema Implementation Partners (DCIP), the technology acquisition joint venture set-up by US cinema circuits Regal, AMC, and Cinemark. Earlier this month, Cinemark si
  • Carlton Screen Advertising promotes Atkinson to sales director

    Carlton Screen Advertising has promoted Gemma Atkinson to sales director.Atkinson joined the company in 1996 and served recently as sales controller.Atkinson will be responsible for continuing to attract advertisers to cinema advertising, working with both agencies and clients.She said: 'I fully believe in the ever-increasing power of the cinema space and I'm delighted that my new role gives me even further responsibility to communicate this to brands and media agencies a
  • CineTel acquires international to Lundgren-directed Icarus

    Production and distribution company CineTel Films has acquired international rights to the upcoming action title Icarus that Dolph Lundgren will direct and star in.Production is scheduled to begin this autumn in Vancouver on the story of a former Soviet hitman whose past catches up with him as he lives with his family in the US.Raul Inglis wrote the screenplay. Insight film Studios president Kirk Shaw will produce and CineTel Films
  • Dark Knight's domestic opening was bigger than expected

    The Dark Knight grossed considerably more than Warner Bros distribution chiefs originally thought at the weekend as actual results confirmed today [July 21] reveal the film set a three-day opening weekend record of $158.4m.The Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures superhero sequel also broke records for Thursday midnight screenings ($18.5m), opening day Friday ($67.2m) and Sunday ($43.6m).The film also set a new mark for a North Ame
  • Deauville competition includes Snow Angels, Towelhead

    The line up for the 34th Deauville Festival of American Film includes the first directorial effort from American Beauty writer Alan Ball, Towelhead. Also on deck for the competition are David Gordon Green's Snow Angels and Tom McCarthy's critically acclaimed The Visitor. In total, the competition includes 11 films, five of which are first features. (See below for full list.)French actress Carole Bouquet will preside over a prestigious jury with Edouard Baer,
  • Disney acquires home video rights to Hindi hit

    Walt Disney Co has acquired home video rights for North America, the UK and Australia to hit Hindi movie, Taare Zameen Par, directed by and starring Aamir Khan. Mumbai-based UTV Motion Pictures holdsinternational rights to the film which was a big hit when it was released in December last year, grossing around $23m (Rs1bn) worldwide.It follows the relationship between a teacher, played by Khan, and one of his pupils who is locked in an imaginary world. The film is the direct
  • Doc The Elephant In The Room to get online release

    Film-makers are planning a Sept 1 online release for a new UK documentary, The Elephant In The Room.The film follows UK film-maker Dean Puckett as he looks into the global movement of conspiracy theorists offering alternative explanations of September 11.The full film will be released on the website on Sept 1.As they explore the 9/11 Truth Movement, the film-makers travel across Engla
  • Dorothy

    Dir. Agnes Merlet. 2008. France. 102 min. An isolated Irish island whose wary residents don't like outsiders - or any developments in interior decorating since 1920 or so - is the creepy setting for supernatural thriller Dorothy, Agnes Merlet's first film in 11 years. Placing a female psychiatrist from the mainland in a close-knit, religion-addled community of the sinister, this well-cast and evocatively-filmed English-language production gamely toys with genre st
  • EC approves new film tax schemes in Latvia and Sardinia

    The European Commission has approved two film support schemes that address the specific problems faced by film communities in rural or smaller European areas -- specifically in Latvia and Sardinia.In Latvia, the aim is that a new $68m (Euros 43m), six-year support scheme will help audiences across rural Latvia access European and Latvian films. The funding will cover all of Latvia's film support measures, including film development, production and distribution of Latvian and European f
  • Ecosse teams with Control writer for John Lennon project

    BAFTA-winning Control screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh is now developing Nowhere Boy, about John Lennon's relationship with his mother and aunt. Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae of Ecosse Films (Brideshead Revisited, The Water Horse) will produce. The script has been co-developed with distributor 2 Entertain.Greenhalgh is basing the script on John's sister Julia Baird's book Imagine This: Growing Up With My Brother John Lennon. The young future Beatle wa
  • Era New Horizons hosts 650 screenings at eighth festival

    Poland 's Era New Horizons festival kicked off July 17 with Jerry Skolimowski's Four Nights With Anna and Paolo Sorrentino's Il Divo, and will continue until July 27 in Wroclaw, Poland.The festival, in its eighth edition, will close with the Dardennes' Lorna's Silence. The festival will host 650 screenings of 230 features plus 340 shorts and documentaries. Last year's event sold more than 123,000 tickets.The international competition is comprised of: S
  • Europe, Latin America take centre stage in Locarno programme

    European and Latin America cinema will have a high profile at this year's Locarno Film Festival which will open on August 6 with the European premiere of UK director Julian Jarrold's Brideshead Revisited and close August 16 with the world premiere of Solveig Anspach's Icelandic-French co-production Back Soon on the Piazza Grande. 'We had difficulties in the past to show European films, but this year we were spoilt for choice,' said Locarno's Frederic Maire in an interview wi
  • European Commission OKs revised Hungarian film scheme

    The European Commission has approved changes to the Hungarian support scheme for film, which now requires projects pass a broad test for European cultureFrom 2008, every production must achieve at least 16 points on a 32-point cultural test in order to qualify for the 20% tax rebate. The majority of the emphasis of the test is on industrial criteria, such as using Hungarian or European department heads, cast and crew and doing production and post-production in Hungary.Production
  • European Commission urges film preservation in digital age

    Most films will be distributed in digital format within the next five years, which might be good news for cinemas, but it also has serious implications for Europe's film heritage.That is one of the key conclusions of a new European Commission (EC) report measuring European Union (EU) progress in preserving cinema heritage for future generations.The report urges European Member States to prioritise the challenges presented to film heritage by the digital era. These include potent
  • Film Export UK works with Skillset for new sales training scheme

    As film sales company trade assocation Film Export UK celebrates its first birthday, there are a number of initiatives to celebrate.Chairman Ralph Kamp notes: 'We have just had the go-ahead from Skillset for a placement scheme for new entrants which will deliver £100,000 worth of training directly to the sales sector.' That scheme was developed jointly with Film London and will match aspiring workers in the sales sector with companies wanting to develop new talent.Film Export UK
  • Film London in pre-production on three more Microwave features

    Film London's low-budget Microwave scheme has three new films in pre-production: Suki Singh's psychological thriller Analogue; Jes Benstock's Alternative Miss World documentary, The British Guide to Showing Off (working title); and Kolton Lee's Freestyle, a teen romance set in the world of freestyle basketball.This year's applications are now open and due by Sept 26. Applications and info are available at www.filml
  • Film Movement buys Berlin prize-winner In Love We Trust

    Film Movement has acquired Wang Xiaoshuai's Silver Bear winning Chinese family drama In Love We Trust and plans a limited theatrical run.The story centres on a divorced couple that learns the only way to save their ailing daughter is to have another child.The film won the Silver Bear for best screenplay at this year's Berlinale as well as a special mention from the Ecumenical Jury Prize jury.Film Movement president Adley
  • Film Society Of Lincoln Center gets new executive director

    Mara Manus has been appointed executive director of the Film Society Of Lincoln Center, effective September 15.Manus becomes the third person to hold the title and succeeds Claudia Bonn, who served the organisation for 15 years and took over as executive director from Joanne Koch in 2003.Manus joins the organisation after six years as executive director of The Public Theater in New York, where she instigated many initiatives to increase revenues. Before that she worked as
  • Fortissimo takes on Omarova's Native Dancer

    Fortissimo Films has acquired world rights (excluding CIS) to writer-director Guka Omarova'sNative Dancer, about a spiritual healer from Kazakhstan. (The film debuted in Sochi under the title Baksy.)The film was co-written and produced by Sergei Bodrov. Native Dancer was co-produced and financed by The CTB Film Company, The National Studio Kazakhfilm, Kinofabrika and Les Petites Lumieres.The deal was negotiated between Fortissimo co-chai
  • Garcia, Margulies, Mortimer, Arkin journey to City Island

    Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies, Steven Strait, Emily Mortimer and Alan Arkin will star in Raymond De Felitta's dysfunctional family comedy, City Island.Dominik Garcia-Lorido and Ezra Miller round out the key cast on the production, which began shooting this week in City Island, a fishing village in the Bronx where the story takes place.De Felitta's original screenplay stars Garcia as a Bronx prison deputy who recognises a prisoner
  • Georgian drama Washington takes $10,000 Bals prize in Yerevan

    At the second DAB Co-Production Forum in Yerevan, the Hubert Bals Fund Award has been given to Washington by Andro Sakvarelidze & Giga Chkheidze of Georgia.Washington was named best out of the 12 projects presented and will get the prize money of $9,970 (Euros 5,000) to support development.Washington is seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old Georgian boy who fantasises about an imaginary trip inspired by the portrait of George Washington on a one-dollar US bill. T
  • Hancock leads international but Dark Knight arrives with a bang

    Sony Pictures Releasing International's Hancock returned to the top of the international arena thanks to an estimated $44.8m haul from 8,286 screens in 71 markets, however the superhero that will capture the headlines is Batman.The Dark Knight stormed out of the gates day-and-date with North America and in far fewer territories amassed $40m from 4,500 screens in 20 markets.Paramount/PPI's
  • here! buys domestic rights to Sarif's The World Unseen

    here! Films has acquired North American rights from Enlightenment Films to Shamim Sarif's The World Unseen, which plays in official selection at Outfest 2008: The 26th Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.Sister company Regent Releasing will launch the film in autumn. The World Unseen takes place in Apartheid-era South Africa and centres on a rebellious cafe owner who finds herself attracted to a y
  • Houellebecq to present premiere of feature debut in Locarno

    Bestselling French writer Michel Houellebecq's feature film directorial debut The Impossibility Of An Island, adapted from his 2005 novel of the same name, will have its world premiere in Locarno's Play Forward sidebar which is dedicated to all contemporary forms of audio-visual experimentation and creation.The $10.3m (Euros 6.5m) futuristic drama, starring Benoit Magimel, Patrick Bauchau and Ramata Koite, was produced by Mandarin Cinema with Morena Films, Black Forest Films,
  • IFC acquires Lynn Shelton's My Effortless Brilliance

    IFC Entertainment has acquired worldwide rights to Lynn Shelton's My Effortless Brilliance, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival earlier in the year.The film will go out through IFC's VOD platform Festival Direct in August and will screen as part of Rooftop Films in New York on August 1.'Films like My Effortless Brilliance are why Festival Direct was created,' IFC president Jonathan Seh
  • IFC Films brings Ping Pong Playa to US theatres on Sept 5

    IFC Films has acquired US rights to Jessica Yu's drama Ping Pong Playa, which will screen on closing night of the Asian-American Film Festival in New York on July 19.IFC Films plans to release Ping Pong Playa in theatres on September 5.Yu co-wrote the screenplay with Jimmy Tsai, who also plays the lead role as the scion of a sporting dynasty who takes the reigns of his mother's ping-pong cla
  • IFC Films picks up US rights toThe Good, The Bad, The Weird

    Major Korean distributor CJ Entertainment has sold Kim Jee-woon's self-described 'Oriental Western' The Good, The Bad, The Weird to IFC Films for the US. The two companies are looking at a release in the first half of 2009 starting in five major cities including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago with a possible wide release throughout the US. IFC Films is to take on all p&a costs.A homage to Sergio Leone's The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, the rollicking period piece i
  • IMAX signs deal for four new theatres in Japan

    IMAX Corporation has signed a deal with Japanese exhibitor Tokyu Recreation to install four IMAX theatres in Japan.The announcement follows a record setting event in Japan recently in which 25,000 people watched the Japanese premiere of Speed Racer: The IMAX Experience at the Tokyo Dome. The venue was converted into a huge IMAX theatre and marks the biggest IMAX audience ever for a single event.IMAX and Tokyu Recreation will share
  • Intramovies takes on Bondi's Locarno premiere Black Sea

    A day after the official announcement of this year's Locarno Festival programme, Italian sales outfit Intramovies has swooped on competition title Black Sea (Mar Nero) from new director Federico Bondi.A world premiere in Locarno,Black Seawas produced by Film Kairos.'It's an arthouse film, a quality picture with a social theme,' Intramovies' Jeff Nuyts said of the film, about an elderly Florentine widow and her young Romanian caretaker.The film picks up o
  • Irish production heats up with Happy Ever Afters, Ondine

    Principal photography has commenced in Ireland on writer/director Stephen Burke's debut feature film Happy Ever Afters. Leading cast includes Sally Hawkins, Tom Riley, Deirdre Molloy and Simon Delaney.Happy Ever Afters is a screwball wedding comedy in which two couples, marrying for the wrong reasons, share the same hotel for their wedding receptions.The film is a Newgrange Pictures production in co-production with the German company Tatfilm, financed by the Ir
  • Ivin starts Australian shoot for Last Ride starring Hugo Weaving

    Glendyn Ivin starts shooting Last Ride today in South Australia's Flinders Ranges.The film stars Matrix and Lord Of The Rings veteran Hugo Weaving as a dad on the run with his son (played by Tom Russell) as they venture 'deeper into the outback and deeper into trouble.' The cast also features Anita Hegh and John Brumpton.Nick Cole and Antonia Barnard produce and have been one of the first film-making teams to finance their film through Australia's new
  • Japan sees increase in digital and Imax screens

    Exhibition technology is accelerating in Japan with announcements of four new large-scale Imax screens and Japan's first all-digital multiplex. Major studio Shochiku has announced tech specifications of its new 10-screen multiplex, the Shinjuku Piccadilly, set to open tomorrow (July 19).In partnership with DLP market leader Christie Digital Systems (in Japan a wholly owned subsidiary of Ushio Denki), all ten screens will be equipped with CP2000 projectors. One screen is also capabl
  • Jeff Maynard joins TWC as svp of post-production

    Jeff Maynard has joined The Weinstein Company (TWC) as senior vice president of post-production.Maynard, who previously worked on various projects as a producer, technical consultant and post-production supervisor, will oversee post on all original productions and acquisitions for TWC and Dimension Films.He will be based in TWC's Los Angeles office and will report directly to TWC's executive vice president of physical and post production Tim Clawson.Maynard mo
  • Jenna Dewan, Luke Goss to star in Magdalena

    Gale Anne Hurd's Valhalla Motion Pictures, Platinum Studios and Top Cow Productions have hired Jenna Dewan and Luke Goss to star in Magdalena.The project is based on Top Cow's comic book about a young woman who learns she belongs to a line of female warriors descended from Mary Magdalene and must harness the power to thwart a supernatural force that threatens the world.Dewan, who will appear later this year opposite Tim Allen in com
  • Karlovy Vary: Film reviews

    Terribly Happy - Hanrik Ruben Ganz's remarkably confident but misanthropic essay on shared culpability and small town mentality features an emotionally disturbed cop sent as punishment to a remote location, surrendering whatever shreds of decency he thought he still had for the murky double-standards of his new locale. Unpleasantly sinister characters and grim black humor offer a jaundiced view of the world as a corrupt, deceitful place, with no redeeming feature. Winner of t
  • Kinowelt's distribution chief Miros leaves company

    Georg Miros, head of marketing and sales at Leipzig-based Kinowelt Filmverleih since 2003, has left the company as of today to pursue new professional challenges.Miros had been responsible for the successful release of such films as Deep Blue, Million Dollar Baby, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The March of the Penguins, and Soenke Wortmann's World Cup 2006 football documentary Deutschland. Ein Sommermaerchen during his time at Kinowelt.Until a new distribution chief is app
  • Kismat scores second highest opening of the year in India

    UTV Motion Pictures release Kismat Konnection grossed $6.3m (Rs270m) worldwide on its opening weekend (July 18-20), including $4.9m (Rs208m) in India, which makes it the second biggest opener of the year in its home territory. Directed by Aziz Mirza and produced by Tips Production, the Hindi-language film was shot in Toronto and stars Shahid Kapoor and Vidya Balan. It was released on more than 900 screens worldwide, including the US, UK, Australia, Pakistan and Middle East.S
  • Korea's Jecheon fest launches competition, support programme

    South Korea 's 4th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival (JIMFF) has announced the line-up for its inaugural competition section and a new pre-production support programme for music films. The fest will open with senior citizens' rock n' roll chorus documentary Young@Heart - Stephen Walker's UK film which also screened in Sundance; and close with actor/director Tom McCarthy's film The Visitor, which film screened in Toronto and went from a four-screen releas
  • Lance Daly's Kisses wins Best Irish Feature at Galway

    Lance Daly's Kisses took the laurels for Best Irish Feature at the Galway Film Fleadh in a year when the category was hotly contested by an unprecedented 14 Irish dramatic features, contenders among them being Ivan Kavanagh's Our Wonderful Home, Ian Fitzgibbon's A Film With Me in It and Rick Larkin's Satellites & Meteorites.The Galway Film Fleadh culminated in a day marked by standing ovations for veteran actor Peter O'Toole and a hard-fought pitchin
  • Landis, Martel, To recruited for Venice jury duty

    The International Competition Jury for the 65th Venice Film Festival has recruited Russian screenwriter Juriy Arabov, Italian actress Valeria Golino, British visual artist Douglas Gordon, US film-maker John Landis; New Argentine Cinema pioneer Lucrecia Martel, and Hong Kong director Johnnie To.As previously reported, Wim Wenders is the International Jury president at the festival (Aug 27-Sept 6). At the festival's closing, the Jury will honour features in competition with prizes the Go
  • Ledger to be honoured by Brisbane Film Festival

    The late actor, Heath Ledger, was this morning named as the latest recipient of the Chauvel Award, given each year as part of the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) to celebrate someone who has made a distinguished contribution to Australian cinema. Ledger was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in Brokeback Mountain and is sure to be in Oscar consideration again next year given the impact that his disturbing and compelling performance in The Dark
  • Leonsis launches online doc distributor SnagFilms

    Ted Leonsis, the AOL vice chairman, self-styled 'filmanthropist' and producer of Nanking and Kicking It has launched the online destination and documentary distributor SnagFilms.The site enables film-makers to sidestep the perilous arena of traditional distribution by offering an alternative platform that allows viewers to stream films or share them on social networking and other websites for free. Leon
  • Local hits drive German box-office boom

    Thanks to such local hits as Til Schweiger's romantic comedy Rabbit Without Ears and Dennis Gansel's school drama The Wave, box-office takings for German films increased year-on-year by almost 50% in the first half of 2008.While German films posted $ 103m (Euros 64.4m) in the first six months of 2007, this total climbed 49.1% to $ 153.6m (Euros 96m) for this year.In comparison, ticket sales for US films slipped 8.5% to $ 367.4m (Euros 229.6m) from last year's $
  • Locarno adds Paskaljevic, Brakni to international jury

    The members for Locarno's International Competition jury are now complete with the addition of French actress Rachida Brakni (The Over-Eater) and Serbian filmmaker Goran Paskaljevic to the previously announced line-up of directors Masahiro Kobayashi (Japan), Dani Levy (Switzerland), and Paolo Sorrentino (Italy), and Mexican producer Bertha Navarro.Meanwhile, Argentina's Albertina Carri and Italian filmmaker Corso Salani have exchanged their positions on the Filmmakers of the P
  • Locarno Critics Week world premieres include Mr December

    Locarno's Critics Week sidebar will present four world premieres and three international premieres in this year's programme of creative documentaries.The complete lineup of seven titles is:Apology Of An Economic Hitman, dir: Stelios Koul (Greece), international premiereBill - Das Absolute Augenmass, dir: Eric Schmid (Switzerland), world premiereFour Wives - One Man, dir: Nahid Persson (Iran/Sweden), international premiereKites
  • Maire's replacement search to start after Locarno festival ends

    The search for a successor to Frederic Maire as Locarno Film Festival's artistic director will be launched once this year's edition has ended on August 16.In response to rumours circulating within the Swiss press about possible candidates for Maire's post, festival president Marco Solari stressed: 'Everything is still open. We are simply looking for the best person. It can be that we strike lucky in China or in Ticino.'The question of a new artistic director came onto the agenda
  • Maizel leaves Sarasota to take over at Newport festival

    Jennifer Maizel has left her post as managing director of the Sarasota Film Festival and joined the Newport International Film Festival (NIFF) as executive director.Maizel had a prior stint with NIFF in 2006 as director of guest services and becomes the fifth director in the festival's 11-year history.Co-founder Christine Schomer served from 1998 to 2002, followed by Greg DiStefano in 2003. Laurie B Kirby headed the festival from 2004 to 2007 and was succeeded by Louisa M
  • MegaStar Media opens fifth multiplex in Vietnam

    Vietnamese exhibitor MegaStar Media has opened its fifth multiplex in Vietnam, in the central coastal city of Danang.Situated in the new shopping mall, Vinh Trung Plaza, the cinema has six screens and 854 seats, which brings MegaStar's total screen count to 36.The exhibitor, which is a joint venture between Envoy Media Partners and Vietnam's Phuong Nam Corporation, plans to open two more complexes in Ho Chi Minh City by the end of this year.This will give the company 51 s
  • MGM to remake Valley Girl as musical with 80s hits

    Mary Parent has green lit her first musical since arriving as chairman of the worldwide motion picture group at MGM and announced that the studio will revisit its 1983 comedy Valley Girl.The inspiration comes from an idea by Idealogy Inc's Sean Bailey and Matt Smith that will update the storyline and set it to reimagined classic songs from the Eighties.Gone Baby Gone producer Bailey will pro
  • New films from Demme, Eyre get gala screenings at Toronto

    Programmers at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) have boosted the line-up with gala presentations of Jonathan Demme's Rachel Getting Married and Richard Eyre's The Other Man.Rachel Getting Married gets its North American premiere and stars Anne Hathaway as a sharp-witted drama queen who returns to the family homestead for her sister's wedding. Rosemarie
  • New Wave continues buying with Christmas Tale, Sleep Furiously

    Robert Beeson and Pam Engel's new UK distribution company New Wave Films has acquired two more films.They are Arnaud Desplechin's Cannes Competitor A Christmas Tale (Un Conte de Noel) and Gideon Koppel's documentary Sleep Furiously.A Christmas Tale, already a box-office success in France, stars Catherine Deneuve and Mathieu Amalric. In the carefully observed story of a dysfunctoinal family coming together for the holidays. Wild Bunch handles sales.Sl
  • North Korean refugee drama crosses into Japan

    South Korean distributor/investor Big House Vantage Holdings has announced the sale of North Korean refugee film Crossing to Cinequanon for Japan. Sales agent Fine Cut handled the deal for the film.Crossing is based on the true stories of people oppressed by the politics and poverty in North Korea, who risk their lives to cross into China and then again on different routes to South Korea.Directed by Kim Tae-kyun (Volcano High), the film tells the story o
  • Nowak promoted to COO at New Wave Entertainment

    Rick Nowak has been promoted to COO at New Wave Entertainment, while Alan Duke has been promoted to executive vice president and general counsel and Greg Woertz has moved up to executive vice president and CFO.The executive trio will oversee operations for all New Wave services and brands, which include TV & film production, talent management and home entertainment.New Wave previously announced that Alan Baral left his position as co-CEO as of July 3 but will continue as
  • One-To-One with John Maybury

    One-To-One: UK Star Of Tomorrow director China Moo-Young talks to John Maybury, whose work includes Edinburgh opener The Edge Of Love, 2005 hit The Jacket.China Moo-Young: What's the difference between working with Hollywood and British producers'John Maybury: To be honest, none. Now in this country, as soon as you're above $2m (£1m) you're answering to some sort of American requirement.
  • Oscilloscope buys domestic rights to Wendy And Lucy

    New York-based Oscilloscope Pictures has picked up North American rights to Kelly Reichardt's road movie Wendy And Lucy, which premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes.Oscilloscope plans a December 10 release at Film Forum in New York City followed by a national expansion in early 2009.The film is based on Jonathan Raymond's short story Train Choir and stars Michelle Williams as a woman who
  • Paramount sets up Acquisitions Group for International, Vantage

    Paramount Pictures has created the new Paramount Worldwide Acquisitions Group (PWAG), a centralised acquisitions and local productions arm that will service Paramount Pictures International and its worldwide territories as well as US-based Paramount Vantage.PPI president Andrew Cripps and Paramount Vantage president Nick Meyer jointly announced the plans today.Matt Brodlie, Paramount Vantage's senior vice president of production and acquisitions, will lead PWAG, reporting to Cri
  • Pathe UK adds Tisne, Cowen to production team

    Pathe UK is expanding its production team by hiring Louis Tisne as Director of International Production and Michael Cowen as Director of Development.Tisne, who previously worked with Momentum, will report directly to Cameron McCracken, Managing Director of Pathe UK.Cowen will identify emerging talent in the UK as well as working on Pathe's expanding development slate. He previously worked for The Weinstein Company and will now report to Colleen Woodcock, Pathe's Head of Creative
  • Pineapple Express

    Dir. David Gordon Green. US. 2008. 112 mins.
  • Polson's Tropfest NY separates from Tribeca Film Festival

    Short film festival Tropfest NY has cut free from the Tribeca Film Festival family and will run as a stand-alone outdoor event in Manhattan on September 26.The event previously operated as Tropfest@Tribeca in association with Tribeca and will now be presented independently by Tropfest and its founder John Polson.Approximately 15,000 film lovers are expected to descend on the World Financial Center Plaza by the Hudson River to watch 16 shorts that will be judged on-site fo
  • Producers Guild Of America Awards to take place on Jan 24, 2009

    The Producers Guild of America will hold its 20th Annual PGA Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on January 24, 2009.'Our event is all about providing an entertaining show for our guests and the newly remodeled Palladium is the ideal location for the type of event we are planning,' awards co-chair David Friendly said.'This 20th anniversary awards show is a milestone for the PGA, and we intend for the event to celebrate this appropriately and innovatively in an exciting new
  • finds initial funding, sets board chaired by Chris Auty, a new online platform for independent film, has said that it has successfully completed its initial fund raising, backed by a dozen private investors.The business was started 10 months ago to aggregate and distribute independent films to third parties. The plc was incorporated in January 2008 and fund-raising for the EIS company started in April.'Between existing shareholder commitment and the new fundraising, we're just a bit shy of £500,000 (about $1m) of committ
  • Reviews

    Terribly Happy - Hanrik Ruben Ganz’s remarkably confident but misanthropic essay on shared culpability and small town mentality features an emotionally disturbed cop sent as punishment to a remote location, surrendering whatever shreds of decency he thought he still had for the murky double-standards of his new locale. Unpleasantly sinister characters and grim black humor offer a jaundiced view of the world as a corrupt, deceitful place, with no redeeming feature. Winner of t
  • Sarajevo documentary competition includes five world premieres

    The Sarajevo Film Festival's documentary competition is to include five world and three internationalpremieres.The programme opens with Slovenian film Sky Too High, Soil Too Hard by Rudi Uran, which looks at the lives of young people in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, scene of the brutal massacre of 8,000 men and boys in 1995.The mass murder also provides the background for Haris Prolic's Srebrenica Cenotaph.The films and the festival
  • Sarajevo Talent Campus lecturers include Ceylan, Leigh, Lustig

    Sarajevo Film Festival has announced the participants for the Second Sarajevo Talent Campus, running Aug 17-23, during the 14th Sarajevo Film Festival.After reading the application forms, and viewing the 3-minute films submitted by more than 250 applicants from all 13 countries of the region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey), the Selection Committee has selected 17 scriptwriters, 28
  • Secret Of Kells takes Ireland's Directors Finders Series Award

    Tomm Moore's Irish animation feature The Secret of Kells will be given a showcase screening on Sept 19 at the DGA Theatre, Los Angeles, to an audience of American distributors and industry personnel with the aim of securing a US distribution deal for the film.Selected by an international panel, The Directors Finders Series award from the Irish Screen Directors Guild (SDGI) is supported by the Irish Film Board, the DGA, the Arts Council, Culture Ireland and Screen Training Irel
  • Seven Days (Shiva) is tops at 25th Jerusalem Film Festival

    Seven Days (Shiva) by Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz, which opened this year's Cannes Critics Week, was the big winner competition vying for the Wolgin awards for the Best Israeli films at the 25th Jerusalem Film Festival. There were only three other competitors.Having pared down their picture by some 12 minutes, the Elkabetz siblings walked away with the Best Picture award (accompanied by a $40,000 check), and a Best Actress award (and $3,000) for Hana Azoulay-
  • Shoreline starts 3-D animated feature The Living Corpse

    Sales and production company Shoreline Entertainment has commenced production in Los Angeles on its first 3-D animated feature The Living Corpse.The film is financed by Shoreline and independent investors and based on Buz Hasson and Ken Haeser's cult comic book of the same name about a zombie who embarks on a search for his long lost son. Justin Ritter directs.Ryan Plato adapted the screenplay and Shoreline chief Morris Ruskin is p
  • Six-stage Russian World Studios to open in September

    The elephant doors will soon open on a new film-making facility in St. Petersburg. Russian World Studios, after three years of construction delays, plans to open its new studios in September.The facility will feature six sound stages - four of them 750-square meters - plus support and post-production facilities. Russian director and studio general director Dmitry Meskhiev said the facility would be able to handle as many as seven features a year as well as smaller projects.The p
  • Space Chimps

    Dir: Kirk De Micco. US. 2008. 81 mins.An amiable animated tale in which a group of chimpanzees is sent to a faraway planet to test its viability for life but ends up freeing an enslaved alien populace, Space Chimps is, in terms of plotting, a throwback to the animation of two decades ago, when lapses in storytelling could be colourfully papered over and excused as merely part of the medium.While it will open in the US against no fresh family film competition, it is
  • Stewart Wade's Tru Loved gets North American home with here!

    here! Films has acquired North American rights to Stewart Wade's gay-themed drama Tru Loved that sister company Regent Releasing will distribute this autumn.Tru Loved follows a 16-year-old girl who is moved by her lesbian mothers from their tolerant San Francisco community into a conservative environment in Southern California where she befriends a closeted football player.'
  • Stillking hopes to lure Tarantino's Bastards to Czech Republic

    Prague-based Stillking Films is in talks with Lawrence Bender and Quentin Tarantino to bring Tarantino's upcoming project Inglorious Bastards to the Czech Republic.Stillking marketing director Romana Paskova told local press that the company had offered the producers various locations but that the project was under a strict embargo.Earlier reports mentioned the film would shoot this autumn on location in France and in Germany. The Czech Republic, long a favorite for cos
  • Summit acquires rights to Virgin Comics' graphic novel The Leaves

    Summit Entertainment has acquired the film rights to Virgin Comics' graphic novel The Leaves and hired the property's author Kevin J Walsh to adapt the screenplay.Virgin Comics founder, chief creative officer and editor-in-chief Gotham Chopra will produce with company CEO Sharad Devarajan.The Leaves is an action thriller about a New York doctor who travels to a friend's funeral in Bombay whe
  • Swinton's Ballerina Ballroom Fest to open with Henry Hathaway

    The Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams, the eccentric new filmfestival in Nairn, Scotland, being organised by Tilda Swinton and Mark Cousins, has announced details of its first programme.The festival kicks off the afternoon of Aug 15 with Peter Ibbetson's Henry Hathaway (1935), an amour fou drama described as one of Swinton's favourite films;the eventwill close Aug 23 with Fellini's 8 ½. The programme is revealed in full today at
  • The Dark Knight conquers all-time domestic opening record

    Cinema's perfect storm rolled across North America and lived up months of hype as The Dark Knight tore up the record books with an all-time high $155.3m North American three-day opening weekend that consigned Spider-Man 3's $151.1m May 2007 mark to history.Warner Bros' hugely anticipated $185m sequel to the 2005 release Batman Begins burst on to the scene with relis
  • The Dark Knight descends on 4,400 screens in 20 territories

    Months of hype and anticipation give way to actuality this weekend as Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI) launches The Dark Knight on 4,400 screens in 20 territories day-and-date with North America.The first results are in and if they are anything to go by the sequel to Batman Begins will eclipse everything in its path. WBPI took advantage of the final week of school winter holidays in Australia to launch the film on Wednesday [July 16] a
  • The Good, The Bad sprints past two million admissions

    Leading Korean distributor CJ Entertainment has announced that Kim Jee-woon's Oriental Western The Good, The Bad, The Weird has had a smash opening with 2,186,000 admissions on 821 screens as of this morning (July 21). The film has grossed $14m since it opened Thursday (July 17) on 710 screens with 481,020 admissions according to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC)'s integrated ticketing system.It tied with Bong Joon-ho's 2006 mutant thriller The Host for the fastest leap
  • The Mummy 3 cleared for mainland China release

    The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor has been cleared for release by Chinese film censors and will be released in mainland China after the Beijing Olympics, according to local distributor Edko Films. Edko Films' chief Bill Kong, who helped to set the film up as a full US-China co-production, said that the film has been approved and that 'we are assessing the best time to release it'.He added that this would probably be after the Olympics which take place August 8-24. 'We do
  • Tokyo Sonata wins best film at Osian's Cinefan

    Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Tokyo Sonata was awarded best film at the Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema on Saturday night (July 19). Best director went to Turkey's Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Three Monkeys, echoing his best director win at Cannes earlier this year. Tokyo Sonata also screened at this year's Cannes, where it picked up the jury prize in the Un Certain Regard section.Salt Of The Sea, from Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Ja
  • Torsten Koch and Oliver Koppert to head Constantin's distribution arm

    Torsten Koch and Oliver Koppert have been appointed as managing directors of Constantin Film's theatrical distribution arm Constantin Film Verleih with effect from Oct 1.Koch, who has been Marketing & Publicity Director for Constantin Film since 1999, will serve as Marketing/Distribution Managing Director for Constantin Film Verleih, while Koppert will take over the position of Sales Managing Director. He had been sales director at the Munich-based outfit since April 2007 a
  • TWC strikes exclusive pay-TV deal with Sky Italia

    The Weinstein Company (TWC) has signed an exclusive deal with digital pay-TV operator Sky Italia to distribute its films in Italy.The deal is the latest piece in TWC's international free and pay-TV jigsaw that already includes Star TV in Asia, Canal+ in France, ARD in Germany, Village Roadshow in Australia and Rai in Italy. TWC's Michal Podell brokered the deal with Luisa Borella from Sky Italia.Earlier this week TWC signed a seven-year domestic pay TV deal with Showtime
  • UK Film Council says box office could rebound for 'strong year'

    The second half of 2008 looks set to be a success for the UK box office, despite the rise of home entertainment and new media alternatives, and the impact of the credit crunch, according to a report fromthe UK Film Council. In the UK, the number of tickets sold in the first four months of 2008 fell 3.2%, from 50m in the first quarter of 2007 to 48m this year.But with the releases of The Dark Knight, Quantum of Solace and the latest Harry Potter still to come, 2
  • UK, Israel pledge to develop film co-production treaty

    UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, this week visiting Israel, has announced plans for a UK-Israel film co-production treaty. Brown and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said they would work together to develop the treaty to encourage closer ties between the UK and Israeli film industries.Negotiations will start in the coming months. A treaty would help UK and Israeli film-makers to share talent and resources - and more crucially, it would allow Israeli film-makers to more easily make fil
  • UTV releases Kismat day-and-date in Pakistan

    India's UTV Motion Pictures released its fourth Hindi film of the year today (July 18), Kismat Konnection, across 720 screens in India and 200 in overseas markets. The overseas territories include the UK, US, Middle East, Australia and Pakistan, which will also have a day-and-date release.Directed by Aziz Mirza and produced by Tips, the film is a romantic comedy starring Shahid Kapoor and Vidya Balan. It premiered at the Grand Cineplex, Dubai on Wednesday.UTV released
  • Verhoeven attached to direct The Forgotten Soldier

    Paul Verhoeven, whose last film Black Book was one of his most acclaimed in years, has become attached to another World War II story The Forgotten Soldier based on the memoir by Guy Sajer.The story follows Sajer's harrowing experiences as a teenager as a French recruit in the German army on the eastern front during the war.Michael Frost Beckner, whose writing credits include
  • Veteran entertainment attorney Suddleson joins Wildman Harrold

    M Kenneth Suddleson has joined Wildman Harrold to head its new Los Angeles Office, effective July 18.Suddleson will focus on building a leading media and entertainment practice for the firm. The 30-year entertainment law veteran arrives from Foley & Lardner, where he served as chair of the media and entertainment practice. His employment history includes a four-year stint in the office of the chairman of Paramount Pictures.'Ken is known as a powerhouse lawyer and recognis
  • VIZ Productions launched to film Japanese graphic novels

    San Francisco-based publishing, animation and licensing company VIZ Media has launched the wholly owned Hollywood-based film and television company VIZ Productions to adapt Japanese graphic novel properties.The new company will specialise in manga and will draw on a large library of manga properties owned by its Japanese parent companies Shogakukan Inc and Shueisha Inc, as well as publishing giant Hakusensha, all of which are among the largest publishing houses in Japan.V