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23 January 2009

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  • 500 Days Of Summer

    Dir:Marc Webb. US. 2009. 95 mins.
  • 800 delegates for Rotterdam's CineMart

    Rotterdam 's CineMart looks set for a busy 26th edition with the festival reporting that close to 800 international film professionals confirming their presence. Companies attending include: The Works Media Group; Bavaria Film International; Films Distribution; Fortissimo; Wild Bunch; The Match Factory; Celluloid Dreams; Visit Films; Trust Nordisk; Le Pacte; MK2; Kinowelt; Image Forum; Fine Cut Co.; Pathe Pictures International; and Protagon
  • Adam

    Dir: Max Mayer. US. 2009. 95 mins.
  • Admissions down by just 1% in Argentina in 2008

    Cinema attendance figures in Argentina dropped by an estimated 1% in 2008. The period saw 34.2 million admissions as opposed to 34.5 million in 2007.However, total box office gross was 18% up from last year because of a 20% rise in the average ticket price, according to provisional figures from Nielsen EDI Argentina and Ultracine.Hollywood blockbusters took a 79.9 % share of the market (82.1 % in the same period of 2007), local prod
  • Against The Current

    Dir:Peter Callahan. US. 2008. 98 mins.
  • An Education

    Dir. Lone Scherfig, UK, 2009, 100 minutes
  • Andre Des Rochers named partner at Gray Krauss LLP

    New York-based law firm Gray Krauss LLP has promoted Andre Des Rochers to partner as several of the firm's attorneys attend Sundance as production counsel and counsel to 12 films in the festival.Leading the firm's Sundance team are named partners Jonathan Gray and Evan Krauss. Gray, who founded the firm in 1998 and is attending Sundance for the 17th consecutive year. Krauss, who concentrates in film, music and television, joined forces with Gra
  • Arlen Faber

    Dir/scr: John Hindman. US. 2009. 95mins.
  • Asia-Pacific Box-Office Round-Up - China in the black as many see red

    China continued its box-office surge in 2008, with a 26.7% rise on the previous year. Box-office receipts in China finished at $617.1m (rmb4.2bn) according to figures from the Film Bureau under the State Administration of Radio, Film And Television (Sarft) - the sixth year in a row the territory has published a growth rate of more than 20%.It was also a good year for Chinese production, with 400 local films produced (slightly down from 402 films in 2007). Box office for local and offic
  • Awards Countdown - Golden Globes - Slumdog has its day

    Kate Winslet scored a stunning double triumph at the 66th Golden Globes last Sunday, while Slumdog Millionaire upset the form guide to shut out pre-show favourites The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and Frost/Nixon.Winslet made herself an Oscar front runner after taking home the first two Globes of her career for best actress in a drama for DreamWorks/Paramount's Revolutionary Road and supporting actress for The Weinstein Company's The Reader. She ha
  • Awards countdown music - Perfect harmony

    THOMAS NEWMANWALL-E AND REVOLUTIONARY ROADEight-times Oscar-nominated composer Thomas Newman has two scores in contention this year, both very different compositions for very different films: Andrew Stanton's animated futurist fable Wall-E and Sam Mendes' period drama Revolutionary Road.There is a chasm between the pictures in terms of tone. Wall-E is set in the future while Revolutionary Road is fixed at a moment in post-war America recognisab
  • Awards People: Kristin Scott Thomas

    Kristin Scott Thomas talks to Mike Goodridge about her latest film I’ve Loved You So Long.
  • Awards People: Rosemarie DeWitt

    DeWitt tells Wendy Mitchell why she and Anne Hathaway decided not to spend a lot of time together during the Rachel Getting Married shoot
  • Awards People: Viola Davis

    Viola Davis talks to Wendy Mitchell on her role in Doubt.
  • Axiom Films and Journeyman Pictures to co-produce The Girl.

    The London-based independent production/distribution company Axiom Films will team up with New York-based Journeyman Pictures to produce The Girl. The Girl was written and will be directed by David Riker, whose award-winning film La Ciudad was also produced by Paul Mezey's Journeyman Pictures. The project, which is a finalist for the 2009 Sundance/NHK Filmmakers Award, is expected to shoot on location in Mexico and Texas later this year.
  • Baader Meinhof and John Rabe share top Bavarian prize

    Uli Edel's Oscar shortlisted The Baader Meinhof Complex and Florian Gallenberger's John Rabe shared the top honour of the Producer Prize at the 30th Bavarian Film Awards held in Munich at the weekend. Gallenberger's film, which will have its world premiere at the Berlinale next month in the Berlinale Special sidebar, also picked up the Best Actor award for Ulrich Tukur in the title role. At the same time, prizes in two categories went to Caroline L
  • Berlinale announces members of International Jury

    The Berlinale has announced the members of the International Jury, joining jury president Tilda Swinton. The jury will decide on the winners of the Golden Bear, Silver Bears and the Alfred Bauer Award in the festival's official competition. The jury members are: Spanish writer-director Isabel Coixet, who has had films at the Berlinale on four occasions, most recently
  • Berlinale's 70mm Restropective supported by opening director Twyker

    Berlinale's 70mm Restropective will spotlight the heritage of wide-gauge with a series of classic films shot in 65mm and 70mm, expert panel discussions and the support of major US studios. In today's digital age, the programme proved a challenge with only a few film laboratories worldwide able to print material onto 70mm film stock. However, investment by major studios and archives in their 70mm stock has meant that Twentieth Century Fox, MGM and Sony/Columbia w
  • Beyond takes Australia and New Zealand on Little Dizzle

    Beyond has taken all Australian and New Zealand rights from Visit Films to David Russo's The Immaculate Conception Of Little Dizzle following its world premiere in Spectrum on Monday (January 19).Ryan Kampe of New York-based Visit Films brokered the deal with Beyond's Simone Ubaldi.
  • Big River Man

    Dir: John Maringouin. US-UK.2008. 94mins.
  • Brendan Fraser joins Harrison Ford in CBS Films' true life drama

    Brendan Fraser will star opposite Harrison Ford in drama The Untitled Crowley Project for CBS Films, the first production to go for the new division when shooting commences in April.Fraser will play John Crowley, the father who recruited the services of a maverick scientist to solve a mystery that could save his family. Ford plays the reluctant s
  • Brief Interviews With Hideous Men

    Dir:John Krasinski. US. 2008. 80 mins.
  • Brooklyn's Finest

    Dir:Antoine Fuqua. US. 2008. 125mins.
  • Cape No.7 gets green light in mainland China

    Previously suspended Taiwanese hit Cape No. 7 has finally received a screening permit in mainland China. The film is now scheduled to be released on February 14, according to distributor China Film Group. Weng Li, spokesperson for the China Film Group today confirmed the release date and said the film would be shown to mainland Chinese audience in its original language with subtitles. However some of what have been described as the 'vulgar dialogue
  • Chabrol and Gallenberger world premieresin Berlinale Special

    World premieres of new films by Hermine Huntgeburth, Claude Chabrol, Florian Gallenberger are among the 13 titles confirmed so far for the Berlinale Special sidebar which presents extraordinary new productions and topical works by contemporary filmmakers whose films the Berlinale wants to honour. The Berlinale's new screening venue at the Friedrichstadtpalast musical theatre will be used to stage Berlinale Special gala screenings of three new German productions.
  • Chandni Chowk takes $6.8m in India in first weekend for Warner

    Warner Bros Pictures International's Bollywood release Chandni Chowk To China opened day-and-date in 30 markets at the weekend in the studio's widest release for a Bollywood film in India and North America.The film grossed $6.8m including previews in India from 1,319 screens and drew approximately 4.9million admissions. In North America the film
  • China's SARFT sends draft film promotion law to State Council

    Hopes that China will implement a film rating system have been raised as drafting of the Film Promotion Law has been finalized and submitted to China's State Council for approval. The draft was drawn up by the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). According to Zheng Dongtian, a member of SARFT's film censorship committee, and a professor at the Beijing Film Academy, the new Film Promotion Law will include a film rating system based
  • Chris Nuttall joins NDreams board

    Chris Nuttall has joined nDreams Ltd, the production company and game development studio in the role of business development director. Chris has been with NDreams since early 2008 where he has been responsible for both business development in their games division and audio across the company. He played a key role in the Oscar-winning short film Six Shooter and has worked on over 50 major games, films and TV shows to date. Chris has joined the board
  • Cinetic Rights Management signs content deal with iTunes

    Cinetic Media's digital aggregator for independent producers Cinetic Rights Management has signed a deal to make its film and TV content available on iTunes store.Among the feature film programming is Rob Epstein's Oscar-winning documentary The Times Of Harvey Milk, Dave McLaughlin's comedy On Broadway and Randall Sharp's period drama
  • CMG takes on martial arts action feature Blood & Bone

    Ed Noeltner's Cinema Management Group has taken on international rights to Remarkable Films' just completed martial arts feature Blood & Bone and will introduce the film to buyers at EFM next month.Martial artist Michael Jai White, starring in the Sundance premiere Black Dynamite, leads the key cast along
  • Consortium gets together to launch new east coast film studio

    A consortium of business partners led by real estate billionaire Arthur G Cohen, Adi Cohen and Joseph Grinkorn of Killer Films owners GC Venture Capital Fund's, Baldwin Entertainment's Howard and Karen Baldwin and City Lights Media are launching the East Coast studio United Studios Of America.The group is expected to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the venture and the partners are scouting for a 500-acre lot in New York, Connecticut,
  • Dead Snow

    Dir:Tommy Wirkola. Norway. 2008. 91mins.
  • Denmark 's Zentropa moves into Norway

    Danish production company Zentropa is to set up Norwegian based Zentropa Norge to focus on the production of Norwegian films. The company will also co-produce films in collaboration other Norwegian and foreign film companies. Zentropa Norge has cited animation as a priority, but it is understood that live-action feature films are already in development. Producer Valerie Saunders will head up the Norwegian outfit with a focus on new talent and an eye on the international market.
  • Departures, Revanche take top prizes at Palm Springs Film Festival

    Gotz Spielmann's Austrian foreign language Oscar submission Revanche was awarded the FIPRESCI prize for best foreign language film of the year as the The 20th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival came to a close on January 19.Natar Ungalaaq received the FIPRESCI Award for best actor for his performance in Canada's best foreign language
  • Dion, Oakes promoted in development roles at Bold Films

    Garrick Dion has been promoted to senior vice president of development at Bold Films while Jon Oakes is promoted to vice president of development at Gary Michael Walters and David Lancaster's Los Angeles-based company.Rounding out the development team is creative executive Naia Cucukov. The promotions reflect the continued growth of the company's production slate.Dion previously served as vice president of development and prior to jo
  • Distribution - Paris Match

    For French films at the local box office, 2008 will be a hard act to follow. Pathe's juggernaut Welcome To The Sticks saw more than 20 million film-goers pack France's cinemas to help bring admissions for 2008's top 10 local films to more than 41 million, approximately double the admissions for the top 10 local films in 2007.Internationally, according to Unifrance figures, the US was the biggest market for French films in 2008, followed by Russia, Germany, Spain, Italy and the U
  • E1 Films Canada picks up Sundance competitor Cold Souls

    Canadian distributor E1 Films has acquired writer-director Sophie Barthes' Sundance US dramatic competitor Cold Souls. Although the film is represented at Sundance by E1's head of international sales Charlotte Mickie, the Canadian rights were acquired from Cinetic Media. John Hamilton and Richard Rapkowski negotiated on behalf of E1. The film sta
  • Elevenworld premieres in 14 latest titles for Berlinale Competition

    Some eleven of the 14 latest films announced for the Berlinale's Competition programme are world premieres, including new films by Stephen Frears (Cheri), Bertrand Tavernier (In the Electric Mist), Francois Ozon (Ricky) and Andrzej Wajda (Sweet Rush). 25 of the 26 films screening in the Competition programme have now been confirmed. There will also be 'out of competition' presentations of Eden Is West by veteran Greek-born dire
  • Elle Driver takes international rights to Wintour doc at Sundance

    Elle Driver takes international rights to The September Issue.
  • Eric Kops lands at ID as svp overseeing agency's entertainment team

    ID has hired Eric Kops as senior vice president overseeing the agency's entertainment team.Kops will expand ID's film department with additional film release and award campaigns, festival support and production companies. He will also represent a slate of film-makers.The veteran executive has previously served as executive vice president of MGM and worked in the film marketing and publicity divisions for Columbia/TriStar and Paramou
  • European studios shoot to thrill

    This time last year, $1 bought £0.51. Now $1 translates into £0.68. Suddenly the UK is looking to Hollywood the most cost-effective it has for years. And US productions are booking in fast to UK facilities. Twentieth Century Fox has started shooting Gulliver's Travels at Pinewood studios. Directed by Shark Tale's Rob Letterman, the live-action comedy adaptation of Jonathan Swift's classic story stars Jack Black as the eponymous writer stranded on the island of Lilliput with its
  • Eye on the tiger: Rotterdam International Film Festival preview

    When Rutger Wolfson was named director of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) in autumn 2007, his appointment was on an interim basis. His contract was for only one edition and many expected him to return to his job as director of De Vleeshal, a Dutch centre for contemporary art, after the 2008 edition.But Wolfson decided to stay. And having been given a four-year contract as general director, he has overseen a radical overhaul of the festival. The 38th ed
  • Festival talk: Rutger Wolfson

    Ahead of this year's festival, what are you looking forward to most'I'm very much looking forward to the films we've commissioned from Guy Maddin, Nanouk Leopold and Carlos Reygadas. We've asked them to make films for very large outdoor projections. Film-makers are used to making films for a very generic space, the screen in the cinema. There are so many screens nowadays in public spaces but they all contain either information or commercials. I thought it would be very interesting to s
  • Film and music worlds unite for digital release of Iron Maiden: Flight 666

    Arts Alliance Media, Universal (USA), Iron Maiden and EMI Records will team up to distribute Iron Maiden: Flight 666 in digital cinemas worldwide on April 21, 2009. Arts Alliance Media (AAM) will join with EMI Records, Universal (USA) and rock group Iron Maiden to distribute Iron Maiden: Flight 666 in digital cinemas worldwide on April 21, 2009. Iron Maiden: Flight 666 is a feature length documentary film following the first leg of the band's Somewhere Back
  • Film Sharks takes on international sales to Tear This Heart Out

    Guido Rud's Argentina-based Film Sharks International has picked up sales rights outside Latin America to Roberto Sneider's Tear This Heart Out (Arrancame La Vida) which is on the shortlist of nine films for this year's best foreign language film Oscar.The film, which has drawn over two million admissions in Mexico through Fox, is a romantic epic
  • Focus teams up with Universal's production arm to create global entity

    Focus Features has joined forces with the international production arm of Universal Pictures to create a global financing, production and distribution entity on the heels of a successful 2008 in which both divisions’ films grossed more than $350m worldwide.Styled as a one-stop shop for the world’s film-makers, the venture will allow the corporate siblings to share global resources, partnerships and expertise on local and global projects from
  • Fortissimo complete French distribution deal for Marley

    Fortissimo Films has finalised a deal for Wild Side Films to handle French rights to the Jonathan Demme documentary feature Marley. Wild Side, the specialised distribution company owned by Wild Bunch, will co-distribute on all media platforms in France with La Pacte Films. The film will be produced and directed by Jonathan Demme (Silence Of The Lambs, Stop Making Sense, Rachel Getting Married). The authorised documentary has the support of Marley's family wh
  • Fox Searchlight takes worldwide rights to Sundance premiere Adam

    Fox Searchlight confirmed late on Monday night (January 19) that it had picked up worldwide rights to Max Mayer's romance Adam following its world premiere screening.Fox Searchlight plans a 2009 release. Executive vice president of worldwide acquisitions Tony Safford, vice president of acquisitions Ray Strache and vice president of business affai
  • Government to consider UK co-production report early in 2009

    The UK's Departmentfor Culture, Media and Sport is analysing a report on the effect of the country's tax credit on co-production activity with recommendations to ministers expected in the next few months.The report from Oxford Economics, whichhas been seen by Screen,warns that theUK film tax credit has created adverse effects for co-productions andoffshore activity.It points to a loss of around $105m (£70m) in co-production activity and
  • HBO buys US TV rights to Magic Hour's Sundance doc Burma VJ

    As Sundance 2009 prepared to roll into action tonight (January 15) Submarine Entertainment and First Hand Films announced they had closed a deal with HBO for US television rights to Magic Hour Films’ documentaryBurma VJ.Submarine’s Josh Braun and Esther van Messel of First Hand Films brokered the deal with HBO Documentary Films ahead of Saturday’s North American premiere in Park Cit
  • Helen

    Dir/scr: Sandra Nettelbeck. US. 2009. 119 mins.
  • Hot Docs to spotlight South Korea, National Film Board

    To that end, the festival's 'Spotlight On' program will commission guest programmers to select their favourite NFB documentaries. 'The National Film Board of Canada is the reason I am a documentary programmer,' said Hot Docs director of programming Sean Farnel in a statement. 'I eagerly await the selections from our guest programmers, which I am sure will bear some exciting and memorable discoveries for Hot Docs audiences.' As for South Korea, focus of th
  • I Love You Phillip Morris

    Dirs: John Requa & Glenn Ficarra. US. 2009. 100 mins.
  • IFC broadens VOD initiative with South By Southwest

    IFC has broadened its video on demand initiative in a partnership with the South By Southwest Film Festival that will broadcast five films from March's festival simultaneously on the IFC Festival Direct platform.The line-up includes Joe Swanberg's latest drama Alexander The Last, which will receive its world premiere at the festival and on IFC Festival Direct on March 14 and stars Jess Weixler, Justin Ri
  • IFC Films acquires supernatural thriller The Objective

    IFC Films has confirmed its US acquisition of The Blair Witch Project co-creator Daniel Myrick's supernatural thriller The Objective, which premiered at Tribeca 2008.The Objective will open on February 4 thr
  • IFC picks up US rights to I'm Gonna Explode

    IFC Films has picked up US rights to Canana Films' madcap Mexican drama I'm Gonna Explode (Voy A Explotar) and will push the film out later this year through its Festival On Demand VOD platform.Gerardo Naranjo's film will screen in Berlin next month and charts the exploits of two mischoevous schoolboys who make off in one of their father's Volkswagen with a gun.Juan Pablo de Santiago, Maria Deschamps and Daniel Gimenez Cacho star and Pablo Cruz produced
  • IMAX signs digital cinema deal with Russia's Rising Star

    IMAX Corp. and Moscow-based Rising Star Media have signed a deal that will see the installation of Russia's first IMAX digital cinema. Rising Star is a joint venture between US exhibitor National Amusements and Soquel Ventures, the leisure investment group run by Paul Heth, credited with revitalizing the Russian cinema sector.The new cinema will be in the KinoStar City multiplex at Mega Belyadacha, a shopping centre in the Russian capital. Nati
  • In Focus: Production's French correction

    An oft-heard lament in the French film industry has been the lack of incentives for foreign productions considering a shoot in the territory. Since 1998, when Steven Spielberg told a crowd at the Deauville film festival he had chosen not to shoot Saving Private Ryan in France because it was ‘too expensive’ (he shot in the UK), France has scrambled to spruce up its image as a locations destination.But, in 2005, after considering a four-week shoot of Munich
  • In Focus: the 2009 Hollywood blockbusters

    Some of the world's biggest film-makers, including James Cameron, Peter Jackson and Martin Scorsese, have new films this year, while the latest in the Harry Potter, Terminator, X-Men and Twilight franchises will hope to build on their existing fanbases.Some - Knowing, Surrogates and The Box, for example - are new ideas with intriguing concepts and directors that could be surprise hits. Others - Jonas Brothers:
  • In The Loop

    Dir. Armando Iannucci, UK, 2008, 109 minutes.
  • International - The only way is up

    The second instalment of John Woo's war epic Red Cliff Part II stormed to the top of Screen's international chart for the January 9-11 weekend, after opening in China and Singapore. The film took $15.7m from 1,445 screens, giving the week's second-highest screen average of $10,900.Distributor China Film Group will hope Part II outperforms the record-breaking run of the first film, which became the highest-grossing Chinese-language film of all time in its home terri
  • Jaman launches UK film site

    Jaman, the company behind the eponymous US website featuring independent and world cinema, is expanding into the UK film distribution film market with the launch of its first localized site in the UK. The website has a collection of 1,000 titles, which include international dramas, documentaries, shorts, Japanese animated titles and Bollywood films, can be downloaded via a number of platforms including mobile devices. The Silicon-Valley based company, which was
  • to launch first localised site in the UK

    Entertainment website has begun its international expansion plan by launching its first localised site in the UK.Former executive vice president and managing director of MySpace and Fox Interactive Media David Fischer, is named managing director of Jaman's UK and international operations.Based in London, Fischer will be responsible for international business operations. The UK site is launching with more than 1000 titles,
  • Khlebnikov, Schipper, Ottinger and Lom premieres at Berlinale Forum

    World premieres of new films by Boris Khlebnikov, Sebastian Schipper, Ulrike Ottinger and Petr Lom have been confirmed as the Berlinale's Forum section finalises its 2009 line-up of 48 films from 31 countries. Russian filmmaker Khlebnikov's Help Gone Mad about the adventures of a Byelorussian migrant coming to Moscow to make his living is his third feature after Koktebel and Free Floating, while Schipper has been inspired by Goethe's Elective Affin
  • Latin film market to launch backed by INCAA, Cannes Marche

    Liliana Mazure, president of the Argentinian Film Institute (INCAA), and Jerôme Paillard, head of Cannes' Marche du Film, announced this Tuesday in Buenos Aires that the city will host a new film market for Latin American productions. The three-day event will be right after the Mar del Plata Film Festival (Nov. 5-15) and the idea is to attract 200 buyers and producers from Europe, Asia and the US.'The Buenos Aires market will be
  • Lightning closes multiple deals on La Linea, Trailer Park Of Terror

    Santa Monica-based sales and distribution company Lightning Entertainment has closed key sales on a slew of titles including the crime drama La Linea and horror tale Trailer Park Of Terror.Rights to La Linea have sold to All-Interactive (Australia
  • Marc Erlbaum launches Jewish production company Nationlight

    Film-maker and social activist Marc Erlbaum has announced the launch of Jewish production company Nationlight Productions with the mission of producing positive content for mainstream audiences.Nationlight is supported by a team of experienced Jewish entertainment professionals and the company's advisory board includes Michael Helfant, who served as executive producer on Iron Man, and
  • Mary And Max

    Dir: Adam Elliot.Australia. 2008. 92mins .
  • Moon

    Dir: Duncan Jones. UK. 2008. 97mins.
  • Oscilloscope buys So Yong Kim's Treeless Mountain for North America

    Oscilloscope Laboratories has picked up North American rights to So Yong Kim's South Korean drama Treeless Mountain, which premiered in Toronto and will screen in the Forum section at next month's Berlinale.The new York-based company plans an April 22 theatrical release at the Film Forum in New York City followed by a national theatrical expansion and DVD release in the summer.The story revol
  • Palestinian territories - bearing fruit

    Najwa Najjar has first-hand experience of the Middle Eastern conflicts that inspired her debut narrativefeature, Pomegranates And Myrrh.
  • Pandemic topples Wall-E's run at top of Japanese box office

    Japanese disease thriller Pandemic (Kansen Retto) ended Wall-E's three week run in the number one spot at the local box office this past weekend. Produced by TBS and distributed by Toho on 324 screens, Pandemic earned $3.64m (Y330m) on 225,000 admissions. Toho predicts a final gross of over $22m (Y2b) as its first hit of 2009. Directed by Takahisa Zeze, Pandemic follows a young doctor (Satoshi Tsumabuki) and his colleague (Rei Dan) as they
  • Panorama world premieres include Breillat, Winterbottom, Glawogger

    World premieres of new films by Catherine Breillat, Micheal Winterbottom and Michael Glawogger will screen in Berlinale's Panorama section. Catherine Breillat will present her latest work La Barbe Bleue, an exploration of the famous Bluebeard story, Directing team Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross will show a work in progress, The Shock Doctrine. Based on Naomi Klein's book of the same name, the documentary looks at the systematic tren
  • Paper Heart

    Dir:Nicholas Jasenovec. US. 2008. 88mins.
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop

    Dir: Steve Carr . US. 2009. 87mins. A depressingly strained comedic riff on Die Hard, Paul Blart: Mall Cop mixes fat jokes, a sappy romantic subplot and hostages-in-a-mall action elements without much verve or wit. As his first starring vehicle after playing second-fiddle to bigger box-office names in recent films, Kevin James only rarely gets to display the sweet, lovable oafishness that's been the key to his past success. Neither funny nor e
  • Profile: David U Lee's The Beijing connection

    China-US co-productions have become popular over recent years - a trend that is likely to continue given the success of action adventure The Forbidden Kingdom. But, as many producers have discovered, navigating China's political landscape and vastly different production culture can be as daunting as one-on-one armed combat with the Monkey King.In an attempt to bridge this gap, one of the producers on The Forbidden Kingdom, David U Lee, has launched Los An
  • Profile:RandallMiller's Consolidated Picture Group

    Randall Miller, who directed the 2008 Sundance entry Bottle Shock, returns to Park City in a different guise as president of acquisitions and film development at the new distributor Consolidated Pictures Group.Backed by equity investors, the company was set up after Miller and his producing partner Jody Savin were approached by Timothy Patrick Cavan
  • Reality check needed on film finance procedures and projections

    It is not meaningful or helpful to assert that Canada or a particular US state is more attractive than South Africa, the UK, or any other popular location, that’s according to two Australians whose business it is to assist producers to secure financial incentives across the world.‘Circumstances, including financing plans, are never identical, particularly in the case of independent films,’ said Brett Thornquest, who owns Contrarian Vision with Timothy Driver. ‘There is
  • Record year for French film exports

    Today, Friday, Unifrance announced a record year for export with preliminary figures for 2008 at 78 million tickets sold worldwide. The admissions represent a 16% increase over 2007. The US remains the premier consumer of French films with 17.8 million admissions. Russia is in second place with 7.2 million followed by Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK. It is expected that Unifrance's final figures will show that exports passed 80 million admissions. The fi
  • Red Cliff II dominates Asian territories

    John Woo's Red Cliff II dominated cinemas in Chinese-language territories for the weekend January 15-18. By Sunday, January 18, the film had taken over $30.54m in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and mainland China. The film opened in both Hong Kong and Taiwan on January 15. Its Hong Kong release saw the film on 70 screens, about 10 screens more than Red Cliff I in July, 2008. Red Cliff II's first day Hong Kong gross was $220,000 (HK$1.7m) and in fou
  • Revolver takes UK rights to Slamdance premiere City Rats

    Revolver Entertainment has snapped up UK rights from Facefilms and Scanner Rhodes Productions to City Rats ahead of its world premiere in competition at Slamdance.Steve M Kelly directed from Simon Fantauzzo's script about eight individuals who seek to help each other improve their lives. Danny Dyer, Tamer Hassan, MyAnna Buring and Ray Panthaki ar
  • Richard Matson joins Anywhere Road as vice president

    Marketing executive Richard Matson has joined San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York-based distributor Anywhere Road as vice president and head of distribution and marketing.Anywhere Road's 2009 release slate includes the drama Sinner starring Nick Chinlund as priest who faces a crisis of faith when a fundamentalist junior colleague clashes with a prostitute, and the documentary
  • Rotterdam Tiger Competition

    World premieresThe Hungry Ghosts (US) opening filmDir: Michael ImperioliThe directing debut of actor Michael Imperioli, best known for his role in The Sopranos, is an ensemble piece set in New York and stars another Sopranos alumnus, Steve Schirripa. Produced by Cicala Filmworks, the New York-based outfit run by Stefan Schaefer and Diane Crespo.Int'l sales: Cicala Filmworks, (1) 917 364 7240, stefan@cicalafilmworks.comDogging: A Love Story (UK)
  • Rudo y Cursi

    Dir: Carlos Cuaron. Mexico. 2008. 103 mins.
  • Samuel Goldwyn Films takes US rights to Brothers At War

    Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired US rights from to Jake Rademacher's documentary and festival winner Brothers At War.Rademacher produced the film with Norman S Powell about his two brothers who are US Army soldiers and have collectively served seven tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gary Sinise and Dave Scantling served as executive producers.
  • Screen opinion: film must marry magic and business

    As befits these recessionary times, there has been a noticeable shift of tone at the business end of the industry recently. New emphasis has been placed on the search for scientific, transparent, bona fide facts and figures that might impress an investor or bank manager. With risk-aversion now set in firmly, the spreadsheet seems to be taking prominence alongside the storyboard.Yet the launch of the International Screenwriters' Festival in London - one of the best rece
  • ScreenDaily trailer park

  • Senator takes Brooklyn's Finest in first Sundance domestic deal

    In the first North American deal of Sundance 2009 Senator Distribution swooped on Antoine Fuqua's New York crime drama Brooklyn's Finest, paying more than $3m plus a substantial P&A commitment.Senator president Mark Urman made an initial offer after the film's world premiere here on Friday night and finally sealed the deal with CAA and William Morri
  • Seven Pounds claims international crown with $19.8m take

    Will Smith was the number one Hollywood attraction overseas at the weekend as Seven Pounds grossed an estimated $19.8m from 3,502 screens in 25 markets through Sony Pictures Releasing International and has now reached $40.8m.Warner Bros Pictures International had not reported estimates on its wide launch of Bollywood title
  • Shoreline picks up worldwide rights to Dada's Dance

    Shoreline Entertainment has swooped on another Sundance title as the festival got ready to kick off last night [January 15], taking worldwide rights to Zhang Yuan's Chinese drama Dada's Dance.Shoreline's director of acquisitions Brandon Paine and director of worldwide distribution Sam Eigen signed the deal with Yuan, adding to the company's previously announced pair of Sundance titles The Maid and
  • Slumdog Millionaire and Benjamin Button top BAFTA nominations

    Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire looks favourite to add BAFTA honours to its huge Golden Globe success.The film - which picked up four Globes this week including best picture - is nominated in 11 categories including best film, best director (Boyle), best actor (Dev Patel), best supporting actresss (Freida Pinto), best adapted screenplay and Outstanding British Film.It is also nominated in the cinematography, e
  • Sony stumps up $2m for domestic rights to Black Dynamite

    Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquistions Group has paid what is believed to be in the region of $2m for all North American rights to Scott Sanders' blaxploitation homage Black Dynamite.The division and Black Dynamite's sales agent Endeavor Independent finally closed the festival's first all-night negotiation at about 6am today [January 19] following yest
  • Sony's Paul Blart a smash at powerful domestic holiday weekend

    Sony's comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop starring Kevin James in his first solo lead role shunted Warner Bros' Gran Torino into second place as it stormed to the top on an impressive $33.8m estimated launch.The PG-rated comedy is expected to reach $40m b
  • SPC takes on North America to Mexican smash Rudo Y Cursi

    Sony Pictures Classics has confirmed it has taken North American rights to Carlos Cuaron's Mexican blockbuster Rudo Y Cursi, which gets its North American premiere at Sundance on January 16.Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna reunite for the first time since Y Tu Mama Tambien opened in 2001 and are riding hi
  • Spread

    Dir: David Mackenzie. US. 2009. 91 mins.
  • Sundance 2009 news and reviewsround-up

    All the main stories, sales and reviews from Screen's team in Park CityClick section for moreSundance newsSundance reviewsSundance hope fornew indie dawn
  • Sundance favourite Humpday scores worldwide deal with Magnolia

    Magnolia Pictures has paid above mid-six figures for worldwide rights to Lynn Shelton's crowd-pleaser Humpday, which attracted intense interest and drew offers from at least five bidders following its world premiere on Friday (January 16).Josh Braun and Kevin Iwashina of Submarine concluded the deal with Magnolia's Tom Quinn and Eamonn Bowles at

    Sundance sensation Push wins both jury and audience prizes David Mackenzie's Spread sold to Anchor Bay in $3.5m deal Arthouse Films picks up worldwide on Doug Pray's Art & Copy IFC Films

    Adam (Max Mayer)Adventureland (Greg Mottola)Against The Current (Peter Callahan)Amreeka (Cherien Dabis)Arlen Faber (John Hindman)Big River Man (John
  • Taking Chance

    Dir: Ross Katz. US. 2009. 80mins.A heartfelt and sorrowful memorial to the war dead of Iraq marked by a typically restrained and concentrated performance by Kevin Bacon, Ross Katz’s Taking Chance is a quietly observational study of memory and loss. The fact-based story of a career military officer accompanying the remains of a fallen soldier repatriated to his hometown in the American West has moments of heartbreaking beauty and emotional power. Unfortunately as a
  • The co-production market - 'We had to Kill a lot of our darlings'

    "We want to maintain the exclusivity of being in CineMart and to give more space and attention to the projects," says CineMart manager Marit Van Den Elshout, of the 36 projects being showcased at this year's event.She talks regretfully about having to "kill a lot of our darlings" and to exclude projects that may well have been included in past editions. "With the current situation in the film industry, with the many co-production markets and projects around, we wanted to select in a sh
  • The Glass House

    Dir: Hamid Rahmanian.US-Iran. 2008. 92min. The Glass House, Hamid Rahmanian's documentary about young women who have fallen through the massive cracks in Iran's Islamic society, is a sampling of stories from Iran's underclass, a portrait of life in Tehran today that is anything but flattering. The rare unofficial glimpse into private lives under a regime regimented by Islamic law should find a berth on public television or cable in the US and Europe. It is als
  • The Greatest

    Dir: Shana Feste. US. 2008. 98mins.The Greatest charts the uneasy journey people must undertake in the face of grief, but first-time filmmaker Shana Feste can’t quite fully bring this emotionally delicate drama to fruition. A tearjerker about a middle-aged couple coping with the loss of their 18-year-old son - not to mention the imminent and unexpected birth of his child - The Greatest combines the tragedy of Ordinary People with the teen-pregnancy p
  • The Home of Dark Butterflies frontrunner for Jussi awards.

    Finnish director Dome Karukoski's The Home of Dark Butterflies (Tummien perhosten koti) took a total of 10 nominations for the Jussi awards, Finland's national film prize. The film tells the story of Juhani, who ends up at a boys' institution, the Island, after six years of wandering between foster homes. Producer Markus Selin will compete for best film while Karukoski is also a contender for best director. Among others the film is also up for best
  • The Killing Room

    Dir:Jonathan Liebesman. US. 2008. 93mins.Unremittingly gripping and unnerving, The Killing Room transforms a simple premise into a almost unbearably tense experience. As a departure from his gory 2006 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, director Jonathan Liebesman squeezes every little ounce of mind-game intrigue from the story of four strangers who sign up for a science experiment that turns out to be much more horrifying and deadly than they cou
  • The September Issue

    Dir: RJ Cutler. US. 2009. 90mins.
  • The Winning Season

    Dir/scr: James C. Strouse. US. 2009. 98 mins.Transporting The Bad News Bears into the world of high school girls basketball, The Winning Season is no slam dunk, but stars Sam Rockwell and Margo Martindale score enough points to make the game somewhat interesting. In a dramatic change of pace after his Iraq War film Grace Is Gone, writer-director James C. Strouse has put together an old-fashioned underdog sports comedy with a potty-mouthed, alcoholic
  • TLA Releasing hires Derek Curl as head of production and development

    TLA Releasing has named Derek Curl as head of production and development in association with Curl's New York-based company Caveat Films.The North American and UK-based distributor will produce six original gay films for 2009 across all genres. TLA Releasing and Caveat Films will also produce two gay short film compilations scheduled for release in late 2009.'TLA Releasing's mission to continue developing original productions is a na
  • UFA Cinema slate to include Robert Harris's Vaterland.

    German producer-distributor UFA Cinema has added eight projects to its ambitious production slate, including a new screen adaptation of Robert Harris's international bestseller Vaterland. Vaterland was previously filmed by Chris Menaul in 1994 with Rutger Hauer in the lead. The company's executive managers Wolf Bauer, Thomas Peter Friedl, Nico Hofmann and Jürgen Schuster have now selected a total of 19 projects to be produced between 2009 and 2011 fr
  • UK 's Revolver on board for Freestyle project

    Revolver Entertainment has got on board for Freestyle , an urban feature film set to shoot early this year. Set in the competitive world of 'freestyle basketball' the film looks at those who combine street dance with shooting hoops. In addition, Revolver is setting up a competition - 'Search for a Star' - to find the lead roles through social networking site Bebo and the National Basketball Association of America (NBA).Explaining t
  • UK tops local fare down underbut Aussie releases less discriminate

    UK films earned more than twice as much as Australian films in Australian cinemas in 2008 according to figures released today. The 40 Australian films contributing to the overall 2008 local share sold US$23.3 million (A$35.5m) worth of tickets and represented 3.8 per cent of the total annual box office gross. The 29 UK films on release earned US$49.4 million (A$75.3m) or eight percent, down on 2007's 13.9 per cent. In terms of per film averages, Australia
  • Unified signs two-picture US distribution deal with Cinema Epoch

    Keith Kjarval's Los Angeles-based production, finance and international distribution company Unified Pictures has signed a two-film US distribution deal with Cinema Epoch.The deal covers mystery noir The Perfect Sleep directed by Jeremy Alter and starring Roselyn Sanchez, and Craig Carlisle's romance Bob Funk starring Rachael Leigh Cook. Both films are scheduled t
  • United States - Prohibition's era

    Ten years after Twin Falls Idaho premiered at Sundance and established Michael and Mark Polish as darlings of independent cinema, the brothers return to Park City this month with Manure, one of two films they shot back-to-back last summer.A satirical riff on the US salesman archetype, Manure, which screens in the festival's non-competitive Premieres section, takes place in 1960s Nebraska and stars Billy Bob Thornton (lead in the brothers' 2006 studio release The
  • United States - Welcome visitors

    New York-based Visit Films has established itself as a growing boutique sales company for the kind of smaller-budget festival hits that can become lost in the international marketplace."In the environment we started the company in, we quickly filled a niche," says co-founder Ryan Kampe.That niche, however, can be "hard to put a stamp on", says Visit's other partner, Sylvain Tron. "It's festival films, arthouse films. We're very film-maker driven, we work on films with a clear vo
  • Universaland Focus Features Internationalstrike dealwith Cattleya

    Universal Pictures will acquire a minority stake in leading Italian film production company Cattleya, and in a separate agreement, Focus Features International and Cattleya will partner to develop, co-produce and distribute Cattleya films the companies announced today. The deal with Cattleya is the first time a major U.S. studio has invested directly in a local production company in Italy. Rome-based Cattleya was founded and is co-owned by Riccardo Tozzi (presid
  • Unmade Beds

    Dir: Alexis Dos Santos. UK. 2009. 92 mins.
  • Vietnamese American film-makers launch new US distribution company

    Timothy Linh Bui, Stephane Gauger, Ham Tran and Wyn Tran's newly launched distributor Wave Releasing targeting Vietnamese-American and discerning independent audiences and will roll out its maiden title Owl And The Sparrow on January 16.The Vietnamese-American partners have worked in various capacities on each other's projects and were inspired t
  • Visit Films buys worldwide rights to Kimjongilia, Little Drizzle

    New York-based sales company Visit Films has bulked up its already busy Sundance slate by acquiring worldwide rights to NC Heikin's World Cinema Documentary Competition entry Kimjongilia and David Russo's Spectrum screener The Immaculate Conception Of Little Drizzle.
  • WBPI exports Indian actioner Chandni Chowk to 35 markets

    Warner Bros Pictures International opens the Bollywood kung-fu comedy Chandni Chowk To China day-and-date with North America in more than 35 markets on January 16 as part of a 40-territory release.Chandni Chowk To China will open on more than 125 screens in the US and Canada, ma
  • When You're Strange

    Dir.Tom DiCillo. US, 2009, 90 minutes.
  • Yubari fest to premiere new films from Takashi Miike and Yojiro Takita

    Takashi Miike's Crows Zero 2 and Departures director Yojiro Takita's Tsurikichi Sanpei (Sanpei The Fisherman) will be among the world premieres at this year's edition of the resurrected Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival (YIFFF), which runs February 26 to March 2. YIFFF organizers announced that Takashi Miike's Crows Zero 2 will open the festival's main section. As reported on last May, Crows Zero 2 is