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23 March 2007

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  • 2008 Academy Awards will take place on Feb 24

    The 80th Annual Academy Awards will take place at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood on Sunday, Feb 24 2008 following a timetable announcement by the Academy today.Nomination ballots for the upcoming awards season need to be posted by Dec 26, 2007, and the nominations polls close on Jan 12, 2008, and will be announced on Jan 22, 2008.The Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards will be presented on Feb 9, and final polls for the key awards close on Feb 19.
  • 2008 BAFTAs set date

    Next year's British Academy Film Awards will take place on Sunday 10th February 2008. The event will take place two weeks before the Oscars.
  • 300 continues to carve up the international box office

    Collective takings of nine major territories saw a 10.8% increase year-on-year and generated $209m at the box office last weekend, according to Screen International's Screen Index. Japanese box office revenue saw the biggest increase - the territory was up a whopping 50.4% compared to the same weekend of 2006, after the top six films in the chart all passed the $1m mark over a two-day period. Night At The Museum continued its international success and opened across 575 screens i
  • 300 powers into the top spot at international box office

    Warner Bros Pictures International's violent epic 300 continues to indicate that it will be a worldwide phenomenon with a sensational $15.6m weekend in just 13 territories on 1,300 screens.It opened in Korea with a $6.3m five-day gross on 353 screens, it took $1.5m on 115 screens in Turkey, making it the second biggest Warner Bros ever behind The Matrix Revolutions, it took $0.917m in Thailand on 120 screens, it took $0.73m in Hong Kong from 33
  • 300 slaughters the competition

    Action epic 300 won the battle for international top spot, generating $14.1m in its second weekend. The film expanded into an additional five territories, including South Korea and Hong Kong, across a further 867 screens, giving it a 130% boost. Fox's Night At The Museum continues to attract international audiences as the family adventure grossed $6.8m in its 13th weekend after opening on a further 1,252 screens. Local films also fared well in home territories - Ho Voglia Di
  • Abigail Walsh joins Independent from Goldcrest Films

    Abigail replaces Ana Ayesta as head of sales at Independent, the international sales and production company established by Luc Roeg.Walsh, who was previously director of sales at Goldcrest Films, will work alongside managing director Andrew Orr and head of marketing Sarah Goodwin, heading the company's sales operations. The first round of films she will represent include David Mackenzie's Berlin Silver Bear winner Hallam Foe, documentary In Search of Diego, Marc Mund
  • Activers makes Friends with NCN

    New Korean sales agent Activers Entertainment is presenting a slate of New Cinema Network (NCN) HD films, led by the recently completed film The Friends.Directed by Lee Young-jae, whose hit Harmonium In My Memory starred Jeon Do-youn and Lee Byoung-hun, The Friends is based on a best-selling children's story of the same title.Written by Yumoto Kazumi, th
  • American Future - Simon Horsman sets up shop in LA

    Qualified in the UK and California, British media lawyer Simon Horsman has practised his profession on both sides of the Atlantic. And right now, suggests the head of the new Los Angeles office of London-based production and financing company Future Films, the US is the place to be.Though Future will stay fully active in the UK, 'we see the growth area for this company, at present and for the next few years, being in the US,' says Horsman, who was recruited as CEO of Future Films USA l
  • Argentinian location: San Luis

    Six years ago the government of San Luis - population 370,000 - took the bold step of launching financial incentives to attract local and overseas productions to the province.Since greenlighting film investment regulations in 2001, San Luis Cine, the province's film council, has invested $20m into more than 30 local and international productions including Tristan Bauer's Enlightened By Fire, a San Sebastian special jury prize winner, and Spanish director Anton Reixa's Hotel T
  • ARP takes all French rights to Eye In The Sky

    French distributor ARP Selection has acquired all rights to Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) opener Eye In The Sky from Fortissimo Films.Produced by Hong Kong's Milkyway Image for Sundream Motion Pictures, the film is the directorial debut of award-winning scriptwriter Yau Nai Hoi whose credits include Johnnie To's Election.The deal with ARP was concluded at Hong Kong Filmart by F
  • Asia needs education and government funding for mid-budget films

    Better education and more government funding for new Asian film-making talents could be the secrets to making more successful mid-budget Asian films, experts told Filmart attendees at a Tuesday panel.The region has already had some good news with the Hong Kong government's recent promise to create a $38.4m (HK$300m) fund to support local films and new talents - although much ambiguity still exists about details or structure of the funding.Lee Beasley, who runs the Medi
  • Astoria avoids bankruptcy

    Swedish cinema chain Astoria Cinemas was saved from bankruptcy Friday (16 Mar), as a Stockholm court accepted a majority decision by 260 creditors to write off 75% of the company's debts, totalling $8.9 million (Euros 6.7m). Only two voted against the accord, including the main creditor, the Swedish Film Institute, which had registered a $1.3 million (Euros 1m) claim for unpaid ticket fees, now missing from the budget for production support of new Swedish features. Working on the recon
  • Australia's Omnilab boards two FFC-backed projects

    Two of the four features that have just received funding from Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) see the Omnilab Media Group take local distribution and international sales rights, in partnership with others. Omnilab is Australia's largest privately-owned group of service companies and has been promising to enter Australian feature film production for some time. It is one of the financing partners in The Bank Job which Roger Donaldson has been directing in the UK. Amo
  • Barrandov in talks about Bond 22

    Barrandov Studios says it has met with representatives of MGM, Columbia Pictures and Eon Productions to discuss hosting the 22nd James Bond film in Prague.Barrandov Studio Tomas Zelazko told the Czech daily Hospodarske noviny that no decision on the shooting location had been made yet, but that the producers had been 'very satisfied' with their experience shooting Casino Royale in Prague. Since the filming of Casino Royale, Barrandov Studios has opened a new 4
  • Bianca Taal takes over Rotterdam's Hubert Bals Fund

    The International Film Festival Rotterdam has appointed Bianca Taal to lead the festival's Hubert Bals Fund, as current fund head Marianne Bhalotra steps down. Taal joined Rotterdam in 2000 working on both CineMart and the Hubert Bals Fund. She became a co-head of CineMart with Marit van den Elshout in 2005; van den Elshout will now become sole manager of CineMart. Van den Elshout, who has also been with CineMart since 2000, will now plan the 25th anniversary edition of the co-producti
  • Big Media Group unveils plans to produce 100 movies

    In defiant response to Hong Kong 's falling production levels, local producer BIG Media Group has unveiled a strategy to produce 100 movies in five years. The company, which has recently undergone a restructuring, is also setting up an investment fund with IDG China Media Fund, while talks with further partners in Taiwan and Singapore are underway. Following the restructuring, Hong Kong producer-distributor Mei Ah Entertainment is now BIG's largest single shareholder with a 44% sh
  • Box Office: Data - Market focus - Movies in the pipeline

    Studios have, until recently, been cautious about opening up their catalogues to video downloading, allowing consumers to access films only through current online subscription, download-to-rent and download-to-own models. Fears of piracy have prevented Hollywood from taking a share of the internet pie while user-generated content sites such as YouTube and MySpace continue to grow.But attitudes towards downloading films are changing as studios have seen the success of advertising-suppor
  • Bruno Ganz cast in adaptation of Swiss bestseller

    Veteran Swiss actor Bruno Ganz, who delighted international audiences with his performance as the grandfather in Fredi M Murer's Vitus, has been cast for the lead role in an adaptation of Thomas Huerlimann's 1998 bestselling novel Der Grosse Kater.The co-production between Benito Mueller's Barry Films and Claudia Wick's Abrakadabra Films is currently in the financing stage and will be directed by Markus Imboden from a screenplay written by Mueller and Urs Buehler.In
  • Cannes' Asian selections set to be strongest in years

    With the Cannes Film Festival pulling out all the stops for a glittering 60th edition, the Asian selection promises to be the strongest in years.New titles from Jiang Wen, Lee Chang-dong, Kim Ki-duk, Im Kwon-taek, Takeshi Kitano and Wang Xiaoshuai could line up next to Hou Hsiao-Hsien's first French-language film Le Ballon Rouge and Wong Kar-wai's first English-language effort My Blueberry Nights.
  • Cannes reveals Atelier programme

    The Cannes Film Festival has announced its selection for this year's Atelier de la Cinefondation. The programme, created in 2005, aims to help young film-makers bring their projects to fruition.This third edition of the Atelier has chosen 15 directorial projects from 15 different countries. During this year's Cannes Festival, the selected directors will endeavour to finalise the financing of their respective films via meetings with industry professionals set u
  • Chang's Butterfly reborn with CMC backing

    Taiwan's CMC Entertainment has boarded Chang Tso-chi's gangster drama Butterfly. The long-gestating film has been a regular participant at project markets since it was first announced in 2003. Chang is attending Filmart's HAF with his forthcoming feature, The Dream.Production of Butterfly halted one year ago when funds ran out. CMC's cash injection allows Chang t
  • Chiao signs 10-picture output deal with Meridian Pictures

    Taiwanese producer Peggy Chiao has signed an output deal with David Dong's Meridian Pictures, under which she will produce a slate of ten films for the Shanghai-based production and financing entity. The projects will be mostly from young, first-time directors from Hong Kong, China and Taiwan, which Chiao will recruit from areas such as advertising, television and the literary world. A few will be directed by more established filmmakers such as China's Li Shaohong (Baober In Lo
  • China's Megajoy kicks off production arm with gourmand drama

    Shanghai-based Megajoy Group, formerly known as Megadia Entertainment, has expanded its scope to film production and set up a production wing in Beijing.The first feature film in 2007 slate is suspense drama Shuang Shi Ji, which began shooting last week in Chongqing city of west China.Starring Hong Kong actor Francis Ng, Yu Nan (Tuya's Marriage) and Jiang Yiyan (
  • Cinematographer Freddie Francis dies

    One of Britain's leading cinematographers and Hammer horror directors Freddie Francis died in London on March 17, aged 90.Born in London on December 22, 1917, Francis' early career included working as a clapperboy for BIP and British & Dominions, and as a director-cameraman of training films for the Army's Kinematograph Unit. As camera assistant, he worked for some of the world's leading directors, including Michael Powell, Carol Reed and John Huston, before becoming DoP in his ow
  • Deauville Asian film fest line-up announced

    The Deauville Asian Film Festival has unveiled its line-up for the ninth edition, to be held March 2-April 1. Benoit Jacquot will head up the jury with Bruno Coulais, Marina De Van, Mylene Jampanoi, Laure Marsac, Dominique Pinon, Gilles Taurand and Gaspard Ulliel. The opening night film will be Tuya's Marriage from China's Wang Quan'an with closing duties handled by Tian Zhuangzhuang's The Go Master also from China. The feature competition has nine titles including the latest fr
  • Degeto gets TV rights to Getting Home from Fortissimo

    German broadcaster Degeto Film, making its first trip to Filmart, has closed its first deal with Fortissimo Films for the TV rights to Getting Home.Zhang Yang's Hong Kong/China co-production was selected for the 2006 Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum and recently won the ecumenical jury prize after its screening in Berlinale Panorama.Chinese comedian Zhao Benshan stars alongside Song Dandan, Hu Jun and Wu Ma in the comedy about a 1950s mi
  • Del Toro's 'Tres Amigos' question Mexican production incentives

    As Pan's Labyrinth took nine awards at last night's Ariel awards ceremony - the Mexican film industry's top awards - director Guillermo de Toro was already using his industry influence to petition the government with a proposal to amend the country's tax-shelter laws.Del Toro made the trip to Mexico City for the award ceremony from Budapest where he is in pre-production on Hellboy 2. He was accompanied by the two other members of what is known in Hollywood film circles as
  • Editorial - Screen says - Open season

    One of the more interesting means of assessing the health of an industry is to monitor the buzzwords. It is often far more informative than the tedious Powerpoint presentation in which such little gems are hidden. The right time to catch a piece of business terminology is when it retains a degree of currency before its inevitable slip into cliche. The word that is increasingly peppering speeches and analysis at the moment is 'transparency'. Now, it has a fine pedigree. Much of the rest of the
  • EFP unveils Picture Europe! Programme

    London's Curzon Cinemas has been selected as one of the venues along with Berlin's CineStar Original complex and Madrid's Princesa Cinemas for European Film Promotion's new promotional venture Picture Europe!, which will present national box-office hits from all over Europe in three week-long film programmes. The initiative will kick off in Madrid on April 13 with German filmmaker Sebastian Schipper presenting his latest feature A Friend Of Mine (Ein Freund Von Mir), followed by
  • Elijah Wood to lead voice cast for Focus Features' 9

    Elijah Wood will lead an all-star ensemble on Focus Features' upcominganimated epic 9 from Shane Acker, which is currently in production.Joining Wood on the voice cast are Jennifer Connelly, John C Reilly,Martin Landau, Christopher Plummer, and Crispin Glover.Tim Burton is producing with Timur Bekmambetov, the Russian creator ofthe Night Watch series, and Jim Lemley.
  • Elvis And Anabelle

    Dir/scr: Will Geiger. US. 2007. 98mins. A warm-hearted and always smoothly-functioning depiction of small-town Texas life, Elvis And Anabelle is sweet-natured but lacks enough grit to push it beyond the DVD shelf. It's an offbeat love story, with a hint of the otherworldly about it, and the script and the acting are decidedly above-par, but it's ultimately too flat and uninvolving to warrant serious theatrical interest. Nevertheless, it could be a solid performer on
  • Emily Blunt to play the queen in The Young Victoria

    Emily Blunt, who earned rave reviews for her role as Meryl Streep's uptight assistant in The Devil Wears Prada, has been cast in the lead of Initial Entertainment Group's (IEG) upcoming drama The Young Victoria.Blunt will play the young Victoria who became the Queen of England aged 18. The film, which is being produced by the Oscar winning duo of IEG chief Graham
  • Europeans dominate Mar del Plata prizes

    European films dominated the awards at the 22nd Mar del Plata Film Festival, which closed yesterday with a record attendance of 190,000 spectators.Catalan film-maker Cesc Gay received the Golden Astor prize for Fiction, a drama about a director trying to finish the script of his next movie at a friend's house in a small mountain village.The jury headed by American director Charles Burnett awarded the Special Jury Prize to
  • Film London and ITV hook up to profile local talent

    London 's regional broadband TV service ITV Local London has partnered with Film London to champion the city's up and coming film-making talent. ITV Local will be an official media partner of the next financial year's round of Film London's local support fund, the London Borough Film Fund Challenge. The challenge allows local film-makers the chance to have their films aired on ITV Local's website, The London Borough Film Fund incorporates five 'cluster' film funds which r
  • Filmart wraps with 20% increase in overseas visitors

    Hong Kong Filmart closed on Friday (March 23) with organisers reporting a 20% increase in overseas visitors to 1,900, while the number of exhibitors was up 11% to 453 from more than 30 territories. The number of overall visitors, including those from Hong Kong, had not been calculated by the closing day, although market organiser, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), said numbers were on a par with last year. Although few major deals were announced, sales companies repor
  • First Asia, then the world, says talent management panel

    Asian production and talent management companies should worktogether to create stars that have impact at a regional level beforeattempting to break into Hollywood, said panelists at aScreen-organised seminar here yesterday.'In Korea, we have good producers but lack good networking opportunities outside the country,' said Teddy Hoon-tack Jung, CEO of Korean entertainment giant iHQ.'We are trying to create some content for our actors to launch them into the US, but don't ha
  • First Look International will continue as normal, says Nu management

    First Look Studios (FLS) interim chief executive officer Trevor Short and First Look International (FLI) president Stuart Ford have moved quickly to confirm that FLI will continue to operate as normal heading into Cannes following Nu Image's acquisition of a controlling interest in FLS. Ford said last night [March 22] that while Nu Image will sell FLS' library of straight-to-video titles, he will continue to sell FLI titles and service existing relationships with producers and financ
  • Foreign distributors receive $80,000 for releasing Swiss films

    Distributors from Germany, Brazil and ex-Yugoslavia are the first beneficiaries of Switzerland's new promotional fund to support the distribution of Swiss films abroad with $80,000 (Euros 60,000) towards the release of four feature films and one documentary. The maximum funding possible - $33,300 (Euros 25,000) - was given to Germany's X Verleih for Bettina Oberli's comedy Late Bloomers (Die Herbstzeitlosen) which will open in German cinemas on March 29, while Euros 10,000
  • Fortissimo boards Pen-ek's Ploy as co-producer, sales agent

    Fortissimo Films has come onboard as co-producer on Pen-ek Ratanaruang's latest film Ploy, an erotic psychological drama about jealousy produced by the Thai writer-director's longtime producer Thailand's Five Star Production. Fortissimo is also selling the film, which is currently in post-production in Thailand.The story, written by Pen-ek, is an exploration of jealousy. Only one location and three characters are employed throughout. The cast
  • Free VOD set to grow in Asia, Sony predicts

    The hot distribution platform to watch in Asia will be ad-sponsored video-on-demand, says Ross Pollack, Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) senior VP distribution, Asia.'Free VOD has considerable traction,' Pollack tells Screen International. 'It's not replacing VOD but complementing it.' The concept offers consumers select free feature films on demand if they watch paid commercials.He added that the free VOD market was a 'win-win-win-win' because the consumer g
  • French cinema promotion boasts 2.6 million ticket sales

    France's eighth annual springtime cinema promotion, the Printemps du Cinema, this week boasted 2.6 million tickets sold over three days. The figures match those for 2006's event which was a record year. The scheme sees ticket prices slashed to $4.4 (Euros 3.50) from Sunday untol Tuesday for all films throughout the country. Sunday's sales were up 8% on last year and scored a record 1.2 million tickets. Monday and Tuesday, however, were down 5% on 2006. Organised by the National Cine
  • French Film starts shooting in London

    Digital studio Slingshot is set to start shooting romantic comedy French Film in locations around central London on March 26. The film is the directorial debut for award-winning commercials and short film-maker Jackie Oudney, with a cast including Hugh Bonneville (Tsunami: The Aftermath, Notting Hill); Anne-Marie Duff (The Virgin Queen, Shameless); Douglas Henshall (Primeval, Lawless Heart); Victoria Hamilton (Scoop, Mansfield Park) and ex-Manchester Un
  • Gen Art to open with Crashing, closes with Quiet Man

    The Gen Art Film Festival, set to run from Apr 11-17, will open with the New York premiere of Gary Walkow's drama Crashing starring Campbell Scott, Lizzy Caplan, Izabella Miko and Alex Kingston.Crashing follows a struggling writer who gets to live out the middle-aged man's fantasy when he moves in with two beautiful young women after being thrown out of his home.The festival will close on Apr
  • Golden Scene takes Hong Kong rights to Blood Brothers

    On the first day of Filmart, Taiwan's CMC Entertainment has sold gangster epic Blood Brothers to Hong Kong distributor Golden Scene. The debut film by Alexi Tan will open across Chinese-language territories in August.'Golden Scene is known for distributing high quality commercial pictures,' said producer Terence Chang. 'I look forward to working with Winnie [Tsang] to turn Blood Brothers into a big hit
  • Gordon, Podeswa named as Film Independent teaching fellows

    Film Independent has announced the fellows for its seventh-annual Directors Lab, which runs in Los Angeles until April 16.Keith Gordon, who directed the feature film version of The Singing Detective and also Waking The Dead, will teach the Lab along with The Five Senses director Jeremy Podeswa.Guests speakers include Bill Condon, Laura Dern, Billy Ray
  • Grand Brilliance buys two from GreeneStreet

    Malaysia's Grand Brilliance, which is making its Hong Kong Filmart market debut as a buyer, has picked up Gary the Tennis Coach starring Sean William Scott and Barry Munday starring Luke Wilson and Emily Mortimer from GreeneStreet Films International on the first day of the market. The company has also bought five titles from Capitol Films including Paddy Breathnach's horror film
  • Gurinder Chadha in pre-production on Full-Frontal Snogging

    The hunt is on for a teenage actress to star in Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging. Casting is getting underway in London this week on the $18 million adaptation of the first in UK author Louise Rennison's best-selling Confessions Of Georgia Nicolson series about adolescent angst. It has now been confirmed that Gurinder Chadha will be directing from the screenplay she co-wrote with Paul Mayeda Berges. Shooting is due to begin in the autumn at Ealing Studios and onloc
  • High Point takes on Australian teen story 48 Shades

    High Point Films has taken on world sales for Australian coming-of-age teen story 48 Shades. Actor Daniel Lapaine makes his directorial debut with the adaptation of Nick Earls' cult novel 48 Shades Of Brown. Fiona Crago and Rob Marsala produced for Prima Productions. Richard Wilson, who stars in The Proposition and Sundance hit
  • Hong Kong's Emperor makes Home Run with new production slate

    Hong Kong's Emperor Motion Pictures has unveiled a slate of new productions that have been developed by COO Philip Chan who joined the company last summer to ramp up its production activities.The slate includes in-house productions and projects to be co-produced with partners from other Chinese-speaking markets including mainland China, Singapore and Taiwan.First to start shooting is drama Home Run, to be directed Fang Gang-liang,
  • Hong Kong's Filmko unveils five to be financed

    Hong Kong's Filmko Entertainment will put aside up to HK$70 mn this year for five productions including Pang Ho Cheung's Exodus and Law Chi Leung's Kidnap, both currently in post-production, according to president Dominic Yip.Exodus, featuring Simon Yam and Annie Liu as husband and wife, revolves around how men stumble upon the secret plot of women to destroy the op
  • Hong Kong's Hippopotamus signs up Wang for Wushu

    Hong Kong production outfit Hippopotamus Films has signed China's Wang Wenjie to play the lead role in Antony Szeto's Wushu. Golden Network Asia is handling international sales on the $1.5m contemporary coming-of-age martial arts drama which is expected to shoot in China later this year. The story follows a teen trying to regain his skills in wushu while he mends a broken relationship with his father. The script has been described as a martial arts 'Billy Elliot'.
  • Hong Kong's Mei Ah Entertainment scales Red Cliff

    Mei Ah Entertainment has acquired all Hong Kong rights to John Woo's upcoming military epic Red Cliff. Hong Kong is the last major Asian territory to sign on for the $75m picture which is scheduled to start shooting on March 29 in and around Beijing. Woo and his producer partner Terence Chang previously announced sales and investment deals with China Film Group, Taiwan 's CMC Entertainment, South Korea 's Showbox Mediaplex and Japan 's Avex Entertainment, which is investing
  • Hot-zone Louisiana unveils its largest studio complex yet

    Construction work will begin later this year on the $500m River Studios and FilmPort film and television studio on the Mississippi River in West Baton Rouge, Louisiana.The 925,000 sq ft complex is the largest studio project in the state and will offer one-stop studio services, product development, and distribution and tax credit monetisation to qualified projects.The studio recently received approval from the Louisiana Bond Commission for $325m in Louisiana Go Zone and in
  • IFC First Take to release Resnais, Honore films in US

    IFC Entertainment has acquired US rights to the French dramas Private Fears In Public Places and Dans Paris.Both titles will go out through IFC's day-and-date distribution venture IFC First Take, with Private Fears set for Apr 13 and Dans Paris scheduled to open in late summer.'French cinema maintains a large follo
  • iHQ scores Singapore, Malaysia deals on Sword with India's Viswas

    Korean sales agent iHQ has sold martial arts fantasy Shadowless Sword to Indian distributor Viswas Film, Ltd. for the territories of Singapore and Malaysia.The period costume film is directed by Kim Young-jun and shot in China as was his first feature Bichunmoo, starring Shin Hyun-jun and Kim Hee-sun.Shin Hyun-jun, who is also well-known for his roles in gangster comedy franchise films
  • Industry moves

    Koh sees the futureFuture Films USA has hired former Fox Searchlight executive Charlotte Koh as its business development executive. Koh will report to Future USA's CEO Simon Horsman.Feeney moves from Animal Logic to ImagiComputer graphics expert Brett Feeney has joined Imagi International Holdings as vice-president of production based in Hong Kong.Picturehouse recruits Greenestreet's CherkasVicki Cherkas has left GreeneStreet Films after six years and joined
  • Industry restructure for Norwegian film

    The Norwegian Film Institute, the Norwegian Film Fund and the Norwegian Film Development will next year be merged to become a new film institute, with 100 staff on an estimated $16.4 million (Euros 12.3m) operating costs, and with a $37 million budget to support Norwegian cinema. 'The new structure will benefit from a synergy effect transferring finance from administration to film-making and other cinematic purposes,' explained culture minister Trond Giske in the government paper published to
  • Intercontinental's MCL plans second Shenzhen multiplex

    On the heels of its success with five-screen Cinema City in Shekou, Shenzhen, the Hong Kong-based Intercontinental Group, backed by Japan's Kadokawa Holdings, plans to build its second multiplex in Mainland China.Rigo Jesu, managing director of the Hong Kong-based Intercontinental Group, said here at Filmart that Intercontinental's exhibition subsidiary Multiplex Cinema Ltd (MCL), would open a new six-screen site at the end of 2008, also in the southern city of Shenzhen.Jesu said
  • Inward investment: coming to America

    It does not take long for the film world to turn on its head. A couple of years ago, discussion of the US industry tended to be couched in terms of crisis: runaway production, job losses, an over-ripe domestic market falling into the shadow of international.But suddenly it seems the US is the place to be. Where in recent years locations from Canada to Romania have been standing in for expensive US landscapes and cities, now states are seriously talking about winning overseas shoots. Th
  • Junior NASCAR doc revs up for Good

    Production has begun in New York on the NASCAR documentary Racing Dreams from US media company Good.Marshall Curry is directing the film, which follows three young drivers aged 11-13 who race extreme karts in the World Karting Association's National Pavement Series, regarded as a feeding pool for future NASCAR talent.'The motivation and talent these kids demonstrate is incredible, and this is an inspiring look at their passion and
  • Katherine Lee joins ARM as vp distribution

    ARM Distribution has appointed Katherine Lee as vice president of distribution effective April 2. ARM is handling sales on films jointly produced by Ruddy Morgan Organization and Applause Pictures' Peter Ho-sun Chan such as crime thriller Protege, directed by Derek Yee and starring Daniel Wu, and Chan's The Warlords, co-produced with China Film and Media Asia and starring Jet Li, Andy Lau and Takeshi Ka
  • Korea Telecom starts DVD room distribution initiative

    Korea Telecom (KT) has started distributing films in DVD Rooms across South Korea. A peculiarly Korean phenomenon, DVD Rooms are establishments easily compared to those with karaoke booths, where customers can choose a film to watch on a large screen in a private room with comfortable chairs or sofas.KT's new service is called Moviespot, supplying new releases to 85 DVD Rooms so far since the beginning of the month.KT is acquiring rights to films that have rec
  • Korean Film Council expands criteria for filmmakers lab applicants

    The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has announced that it is opening up its candidacy for the Filmmakers Development Lab (FDL) from Korean-Americans and Korean nationals to all ethnic Koreans who can work in the English language.Last year, the inaugural FDL, modeled on the Sundance labs, paired five emerging writer-directors like Mora Mi-ok Stephens with mentors from the US and Korea like hit producer Jonathan Kim (Silmido). They develo
  • Korean Film Council reorganises in wake of new ticket tax

    With a 3% ticket tax going into effect July 1, the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) is reorganizing its in-house structure to manage the new funds.Initially, concerns were voiced over who would shoulder the burden of the tax - filmgoers, exhibitors or producers - but 'the industry realizes that taking on the tax themselves will be better than passing it on to the film-goer,' says Kim. 'The industry will in return receive more benefits from broader government support.'As the mo
  • Korea's Cineclick Asia merges with Fantom Entertainment Group

    Major Korean sales agent Cineclick Asia has merged with the KOSDAQ-listed Fantom Entertainment Group.Originally a purveyor of golf equipment and clothing, Fantom in the past two years has expanded its businesses to include film, TV and music production and distribution. Its talent management stable includes actors like Lee Jung-jae (Typhoon) and Shin Ha-kyun (No Mercy for the Rude), and hit
  • Korea's Inmoa announces high-profile EFM deals

    New Korean importer/distributor Inmoa Entertainment has announced a slate of deals following their debut at the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin last month. Isaac Kwon, chief executive officer, and Thomas Kim, president of international business, hit the ground running and sealed four deals on the Academy Award-nominated mystery thriller The Black Dahlia, starring Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson, from Nu Image;
  • Kristen Stewart joins Yellow Handkerchief cast

    Kristen Stewart, whose credits include Panic Room, Fierce People and The Messengers, has joined the cast of producer Arthur Cohn's remake of the 1977 Japanese comedic drama Yellow Handkerchief. Udayan Prasad is directing.William Hurt, Maria Bello and Eddie Redmayne are set to star in the film, which is scheduled to begin shooting in Louisiana on Mar 27.
  • Latin American locations: Argentina

    Since the economic meltdown of 2002, Argentina has seen an upturn in foreign shoots as producers seek to take advantage of low costs while utilising the territory's stunning locations.Shooting in Buenos Aires can be 20% cheaper than Canada, South Africa or New Zealand, and 40% cheaper than Madrid, according to the Argentinian Film Industry Union (Sica). Before the devaluation of the peso, foreign shoots were worth about $100m per year - previous projects have included Jean-Jacques Anna
  • Latin American locations: Brazil

    Despite its beautiful scenery and cheap costs, Brazil's violent image has hampered it in attracting international productions. This is something the newly created Brazilian Film Commissions Association (Abrafic) hopes to rectify.Set up last November and made up of 13 regional commissions, the organisation has been developing a strategic plan to make Brazilian locations more competitive.'South Africa, where the number of crimes is higher, managed to surpass the problem by creatin
  • Latin American locations: Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay

    Chile is making every effort to compete with Argentina in attracting foreign production spend. In November last year a new commission, FilmChile, was set up with offices in Santiago and New York to assist film-makers. The territory can offer low costs, skilled bilingual production crews, post-production facilities and a fully developed communications infrastructure.Chile also has a number of respected directors and producers with international contacts and experience. Silvio Caiozzi (
  • Latin American locations: Colombia

    When producing a $50m film with a host of international stars, Colombia would not necessarily be on any producer's shortlist. But for Scott Steindorff of Stone Village Pictures, who recently wrapped Love In The Time Of Cholera in Cartagena, the experience was well worth the trouble.Colombia was not his first choice to shoot the adaptation of Nobel-prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel. In spring 2006, Steindorff was beginning pre-production in Brazil, where he prev
  • Latin American locations: Mexico

    With its low costs, diverse landscapes and proximity to Los Angeles, Mexico has long been a popular production destination. 'It has always been one of the favourite locations for Hollywood,' says production manager Anna Roth.One of the biggest names in the local industry, Roth has 30 years' experience, with credits including Titanic and Mel Gibson's Apocalypto. Since James Cameron shot Titanic at Fox Studios Baja, international production has been on the rise: M
  • Local Filipino films see 40% box-office surge

    After making its market debut at Hong Kong Filmart last year, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has announced that the box office for local films jumped by 40% to $29.7m (PHP1.44bn) in 2006. It was the first increase in box office revenues for seven years.The biggest hit was Star Cinema's horror movie Sukob which grossed more than $4m (PHP200m) to become the highest-grossing local film of all time. Other local films crossi
  • Local film Saturn Opposite to open Istanbul Film Festival

    The 26th Istanbul Film Festival opens on March 30 with the regional premiere of Ferzan Ozpetek's Turkish-Italian-French co-production Saturn Opposite, the first time a Turkish director has been honoured at the first-night ceremony. Something of a director's festival, international guests scheduled to attend include Gus van Sant, Paul Schrader, Park Chan Wook, Tsai Ming-Liang and Tom DiCillio. In another first, the international competition includes two Turkish films - Dervis Zaim'
  • Lotte Entertainment sells three to Thailand, Malaysia

    Korean sales agent Lotte Entertainment has sold three films to Thailand and Malaysia at Hong Kong Filmart. J Bics picked up Song Kang-ho-starring drama The Show Must Go On for Thailand, directly after the world premiere at Filmart. Song, who plays a father torn between his family and his job as a gangster, scooped the Best Actor prize for his performance in The Host at the inaugural Asian Film Awards on Tuesday night (March 20). J Bics also bought the drama My Fat
  • Lotte sells three films to Thailand and Malaysia

    Korean sales agent Lotte Entertainment has sold three films to Thailand and Malaysia at the HK Filmart. J Bics picked up Song Kang-ho starring drama The Show Must Go On for Thailand, directly after the world premiere at Filmart. Song, who plays a father torn between his family and his job as a gangster, scooped up the best actor prize for his performance in The Host at the inaugural Asian Film Awards on Tuesday (March 20). J Bics also bought the drama My Father Fo
  • Maddin's Brand to get US release in live and pre-recorded versions

    Guy Maddin's 2006 drama Brand Upon The Brain! will be presented as a live event in select cities featuring an 11-piece live orchestra, a five-person live foley team, and a live celebrity narrator.Maddin will appear in person to present the film at the live engagements in May in Chicago (The Music Box), New York (The Village East) and Los Angeles (The Egyptian Theatre).Following the stage presentations the film will play in each of t
  • Mandarin Films banks on Wong's Wonder Woman

    Hong Kong's Mandarin Films is commencing sales on Barbara Wong Chun-chun's upcoming comedy drama Wonder Woman here at Filmart.Gigi Leung and Fiona Sit will head the cast of the film which follows a local career woman during the period from the handover of Hong Kong until the present day.'Barbara will use a comical style to tell a story about the survival of career women in the past ten years,' says Mandarin distribution manager Vir
  • Mendes, Winslet and Di Caprio embark on Revolutionary Road

    Sam Mendes is set to direct his wife and five-time Oscar nominee Kate Winslet and three-time Oscar nominee Leonardo di Caprio on an adaptation of Richard Yates's respected 1961 novel Revolutionary Road.Mendes is teaming with BBC Films and DreamWorks on the film, which tracks the disillusionment and desperate search for fulfilment of a married couple in 1950s suburban America. It is the first time Winslet and Di Caprio have starred opposite each other since 1997's Oscar-winn
  • Messenger, Night-fragrant Flower among winners at HAF

    Hong Kong-born director Clara Law's The Messenger clinched the HAF award for a Hong Kong project at the awards ceremony of the Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum on Thursday (March 22). Part-love story and part-mystery drama, the project also won the Technicolor Thailand's post-production service award. Kore-eda Hirokazu's Night-fragrant Flower from Japan won the HAF award for a project from outside Hong Kong. The Rome Film Festival award for the most innovat
  • More tax concern for UK film

    The beleagured UK film industry has received yet another blow with limits announced to the Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) that had been seen as one of the brighter prospects for revival.Chancellor Gordon Brown announced in his Budget that there would be a limit of $3.9m (£2m) on qualifying investment eligible for EIS relief in a 12-month period.EIS was considered as a bright prospect for a number of companies in combination with the new UK tax credit, particularly to back slat
  • Nancy Collet leaves AFI FEST after ten years

    Nancy Collet has resigned as AFI FEST's director of programming after seven years in the position. No replacement has been announced yet.Collet, who often personally viewed as many as 1,000 films each year, joined AFI as festival coordinator in 1997. Shortly after that she was promoted to programme manager and rose to director in May 2000.'It's been an extraordinary experience,' Collet said. 'But I'm ready to move on and embrace new challenges. I'm excited about what the
  • Nordisk buys stake in Solar Films, first up Lordi horror

    Danish major Nordisk Film has purchased 'a significant stake' of leading Finnish production company Solar Films in a deal that Solar CoB and CEO Markus Selin described as 'an important step for Finnish film and television into the international market.' For the last four years, Selin has delivered the number-one local blockbuster on the Finnish charts. According to the agreement, Nordisk will take over distribution of Solar product in the Nordic countries, as well as handle international sale
  • North West Vision backs awards

    UK film, TV and media development agency North West Vision is sponsoring a category at the Big Chip Awards, in recognition of the northwest region's Best Innovation in digital technology. Chris Moll, Head of Funds for NWV, said: 'At North West Vision we are determined to expand and support the region's emerging and high growth digital companies. In particular, we are seeking to drive innovative collaboration between broadcast, film and digital content companies. By sponsoring the
  • Norton, Koppelman to be honoured at ninth Sarasota festival

    Edward Norton will receive the Humanitarian Award and writer-producerBrian Koppelman the Excellence in Screenwriting Award at the upcomingninth annual Sarasota Film Festival, set to run in Florida from Apr13-22.Executive director Jody Kielbasa, director of programming Tom Hall andtheir team have assembled 207 films for the event encompassingcompetition strands for best narrative, documentary and independentvision.Screenings include Ray Lawrence's
  • Norwegian Film Fund champions female film-makers

    The Norwegian Film Fund has granted $1.6 million (Euros 1.2 m) production support for Norwegian director Eva Isaksen's House Of The Mad, partly from Signature W, a new subsidising scheme aimed at improving the working situation of women film-makers. 'We share the concern expressed in a recent report that the Norwegian film industry does not fully exploit the potential of women in film,' said managing director Stein Slyngstad, of the Norwegian Film Fund. To benefit from the programme, a
  • Not a fare deal

    Back in 1998, Luc Besson concocted an idea for a movie that would be sheer mayhem. According to lore, he had in mind nothing more than creating a serviceable story thread on which to hang a lot of vehicular action and the excuse to wreck a lot of cars: he wanted to destroy more motor vehicles than any other film in movie history.These were the modest, or grandiose, origins of Taxi. He promoted it as the ultimate car-crash film and no-one disputed his claim. Besson took the writi
  • Nu Image acquires control of First Look Studios

    Nu Image has acquired effective control of First Look Studios in the wake of Henry Winterstern's recent departure as the latter company's co-chairman and chief executive officer.The companies had been linked for some time and it was originally rumoured that First Look would acquire Avi Lerner, Danny Dimbort and Trevor Short's Nu Image.As part of the transaction Nu Image has injected a substantial but undisclosed amount of capital into First Look through new holding compan
  • Palm picks up Erickson music doc You're Gonna Miss Me

    Palm Pictures has picked up North American rights to Keven McAlester's directorial debut documentary You're Gonna Miss Me.Recently nominated for a 2007 Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary, the film details the rise and fall of rock legend Roky Erickson, whose band The 13th Floor Elevators coined the 1960's term psychedelic rock.The acquisition of theatrical, home entertainment and ancillary rights from the producers and Re
  • Pang Ho Cheung's Now Showing is coming soon

    The Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) announced today at its award ceremony that Pang Ho Cheung's Now Showing has secured finance from Hong Kong 's Sundream Motion Pictures and Beijing-based Huayi Brothers. Huayi Brothers' Chen Kuo-fu, the Taiwanese director of Double Vision, is producing the film. Shooting is expected to start this summer in Hong Kong and partly in China. Now Showing was one of the 25 projects that participated at HAF. It also picked
  • Pathe, BBC, DJ Films plan Margaret Thatcher film

    Pathe International, at Filmart with the UK Film Council stand, is handling worldwide sales on a new biopic of Margaret Thatcher.Pathe Productions, the BBC and DJ Films are working with Brian Fillis to develop a screenplay about Thatcher as she tries to save her career in the 17 days preceeding the 1982 Falklands War. Fillis developed the concept with Damian Jones, who will also produce. Jones's credits include The History Boys, Kidulthoo
  • Pinewood Studios stage rebuilt and ready for Bond

    Less than a year after the fire last July that destroyed the celebrated 007 stage at Pinewood, the stage has been fully rebuilt and is back in action. The news comes as Pinewood makes its case to keep the next 007 film, Bond 22, in Britain. The studio is already in discussions with Bond producers about hosting the film, which is due to be released in November 2008. Pinewood sources have pointed out that, at 59,000 square feet, the Bond stage is the largest of its kind in Europe.
  • Provoked to open, Vanaja to close LA Indian Film Festival

    Jag Mundhra's drama Provoked starring Aishwarya Rai, Naveen Andrews, Miranda Richardson and Nandita Das will open the 5th Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) on Apr 17.The six-day festival will close on Apr 22 with Rajnesh Domalpalli's Vanaja, winner of the Best Debut Feature award at Berlin.The festival will also honour the acclaimed actress, poet, painter and writer Deepti Naval.
  • Regional fund MDM backs new features with over $6.1m

    New feature films by John Irvin, Michael Hoffman, Aktan Arym Kubat and Oskar Roehler are among projects backed with over $6.1 million (Euros 4.6m) by the Leipzig-based regional public fund Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung (MDM). The largest single amount - $1.2m (Euros 900,000) - was awarded to UK director John Irvin's planned biopic of humanist Albert Schweitzer for NFP neue film produktion (producer of the internationally successful Luther). Egoli Tossell Film's $17.3m (Eu
  • Robot romance is a walk in the Park

    From Park Chan-wook, the director of the brutal 'Vengeance' trilogy - Sympathy For Mr Vengeance, Old Boy and Sympathy For Lady Vengeance - comes a surprising twist: a light-hearted comedy romance.I'm A Cyborg But That's OK features up-and-coming starlet Im Soo-jung (Lump Sugar) as a girl who thinks she is a cyborg and cannot eat. Pan-Asian pop star Rain, also known as Jung Ji-hoon, makes his film debut as a mental patient who thinks he can steal other people
  • Ruzowitzky, Link and Gansel projects backed by FFA with $3.2m

    New feature films by Stefan Ruzowitzky, Caroline Link and Dennis Gansel are among seven projects with a total of $3.2 million (Euros 2.4m) production support by the Berlin-based German Federal Film Board (FFA).Two family entertainment films directed by Austrian film-makers each received $867,000 (Euros 650,000): Stefan Ruzowitzky's Lilly The Witch (Hexe Lilli) and Wolfgang Murnberger's Robbi, Tobbi Und Das Fliewatuut.The $12 million (Euros 9m) Lilly The Wit
  • Scandinavia invests in Spain 's Palma Pictures

    Mallorca-based production company Palma Pictures has recently been acquired by Scandinavian investors Joachim Odqvist and Ture Stendahl. Odqvist and Stendahl are entrepreneurs who have interests in many businesses, including the hotel sector. They recently sold Scandinavia's largest amusement park group, Parks and Resorts. A management team of Palma CEO Mike Day, executive producer Trent Walton, and CFO Ramon Caravaca have acquired an equity interest in the business, giving board
  • Set report: The City Of Your Final Destination

    It is January in Argentina's isolated Pampas region but El Destino, an authentic hacienda from 1890, is a hive of activity. The principal shooting location of James Ivory's The City Of Your Final Destination is 100 miles outside Buenos Aires, and while the 120-strong crew consists of people from a range of different countries, the sense of on-set cohesion and camaraderie is immediately clear.'When you see the cast and crew eating together on the set or working in peaceful harmon
  • Shamrock to invest $50m in digital 3-D company Real D

    Shamrock Capital Growth Fund, part of Roy Disney's investment vehicleShamrock Holdings, is investing $50m in Beverly Hills-based digital3-D system manufacturer Real D.The deal gives Shamrock Holdings a minority stake in Real D, which hasequipped more than 700 screens in 14 countries and is expected to bein more than 1,000 screens by the end of the year. However the partiesdid not disclose how much of a stake the agreement would bringShamrock, nor d
  • Shochiku picks up worldwide rights to Vexille

    Leading Japanese entertainment company Shochiku announced today that it has acquired worldwide rights to the CG animated feature Vexille. The $10m sci-fi film is directed by Fumihiko Sori, who previously worked on hit CG-animations Ping Pong as director and Appleseed as producer, from a script written by Appleseed writer Haruka Handa. The latter animation was released theatrically in more than 30 countries, sold over 150,000 DVD units in Japan, and over
  • Shooter

    Dir: Antoine Fuqua. US. 2007. 126 mins.Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg appears to be going more for box office gold than critical honours with Shooter, a handsome but seriously overblown action thriller from Training Day and King Arthur director Antoine Fuqua. Mashing up elements from the Rambo movies, TV action series 24 and conspiracy classics like The Parallax View, this Paramount production gets sillier with each passing scene an
  • Shooting begins on Formosa Films '80s period feature Clubbed

    Gritty rites-of-passage tale Clubbed is to begin shooting this week at east London's Three Mills Studio and on location in the West Midlands, with a scheduled release date of early 2008.The script was written by BAFTA-winning writer Geoff Thompson, adapted from his best-selling autobiography Watch My Back. It follows factory worker Danny, who becomes involved in the violent 'rude-boy' subculture of 1980's Coventry when he meets a group of doormen who work clubs playing Nort
  • Singapore/US financier Upside Down commits to Exodus

    New Singapore-US film financing venture Upside Down Entertainment (UDE) is to back Daniel Chan's $12.8m Exodus, the first installment of the Battle of Hong Kong trilogy, as its first project. The new entity, a joint venture between Singapore's production house Upside Down Concepts and Mark Byers' Quixotic Media Group of the US, aims to bring western film financing strategies to Asia. 'We'll pr
  • Singapore's I Not Stupid franchise goes to China

    Following the phenomenal success of I Not Stupid and I Not Stupid Too, which is nominated for best Asian film at this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival, MediaCorp Raintree Pictures is set to extend the franchise to the vast China market with a follow-up to be shot entirely in China.I Not Stupid - China was unveiled at Hong Kong Filmart by Raintree as a
  • Sixth annual East End Film Fest line-up announced

    The sixth annual East End Film Festival is being held in a variety of venues across East London, and features the world premiere of Julian Cole's With Gilbert And George. Tower Hamlets Council, Hackney Council and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority have partnered together with the support of 3 Mills Studios, Film London, LDA, Film London East, The ERDF and the Canary Wharf Group to present the festival, which also includes the UK premiere of John Pilger's documentary War On Dem
  • Spanish government promises 18% film tax write off

    Spain's vice president Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega announced on Monday that an 18% tax write off will be included in a new film law for producers, broadcasters and investors. Butthe industry remains cautiously optimistic awaiting clarification on how it will work.De la Vega told industry figures and the press that broadcasters and producers will be able to write off 18% of their investment in Spanish films, while private investors' write-offs have been raised from 5% to 18%. The qu
  • Spartans hold off domestic challengers

    Like the formidable band of Spartan warriors that holds off a massive invading army in the film, Warner Bros' 300 resisted the advances of a wave of new releases to stay top and cross $125m. The effects-heavy action epic added an estimated $31.2m following last weekend's record March launch and now stands at $127.5m. Buena Vista's comedy Wild Hogs remained in second place
  • SPC acquires North American rights to Coppola's new film

    Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) has acquired North American rights to Francis Ford Coppola's first film in 10 years, the mystery Youth Without Youth.Coppola directed, produced and adapted the screenplay from a novella by Romanian author Mircea Eliade about an elderly professor who undergoes a mysterious rejuvenation that makes him a Nazi target during the second world war.Tim Roth stars alongside Alexandra Maria Lara, Bruno Ganz, Andre M Hennicke, Marcel Lures, and newcome
  • SPC takes on Ruzowitzky's Lola-nominated The Counterfeiter

    Sony Pictures Classics has picked up North American rights from Beta Cinema to Stefan Ruzowitzky's Nazi drama The Counterfeiter, which is nominated for seven Lola awards including best film, actor and screenplay.
  • Spike Lee signs on as advisor to Ckrush Entertainment

    Spike Lee will serve as an advisor to entertainment group Ckrush Entertainment and will select projects and serve as executive producer on certain releases.The arrangement is for an initial period of two years. Ckrush had previously announced Lee 's involvement in the LiveMansion: The Movie director competition, in which he served as a judge.'To have Spike Lee serve as an advisor to the company is as good as it gets,' Ckrush presid
  • St Trinians gets UK Lottery backing

    Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson's St Trinians has received $2.3m (£1.3m) National Lottery funding through the UK Film Council's Premiere Fund.The film had faced an uncertain future having had its GAAP funding plans scuppered during last week's tax crackdown in the UK. It is one of very UK few films that had looked in significant difficulty after the move but now it can start shooting this weekend.The cast includes Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Stephen Fry,
  • Studio 2.0 pacts for eight titles with VOD outfit RealNetworks

    Korean investment and distribution company Studio2.0 has pacted with RealNetworks on multiple internet video-on-demand (VOD) deals for eight of its titles including recent horror film Cello.The deals see RealNetworks acquiring internet VOD rights to Studio2.0's films for Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and New Zealand.'By partnering with Real Networks, Studio2.0 rides on the fast moving
  • Sundance At BAM series includes Savages, Delirious

    The Sundance Institute and BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) have unveiled select programme highlights from the upcoming annual Sundance Institute At Bam series of arts event, set to run from May 31-Jun 10.The series presents 21 features and 27 shorts handpicked by Sundance Film Festival's director of programming John Cooper and BAMcinematek's curator Florence Almozini.The series opens on May 31 with a screening of Tamara Jenkins' The Savag
  • Swiss Television launches Audience Award for national films

    Swiss box-office hits Grounding - The Last Days Of Swissair, Mein Name Ist Eugen and Vitus are among 14 films nominated for a new Audience Award launched by Swiss Television SF and the internet portal Bluewin to coincide with their free-TV premieres during 2007.After each airing in Sunday evening prime-time slots, viewers will able to rate the film by phone, SMS or Internet. At the end of the year, the film with the best rating will receive an Audience Award
  • Swiss to begin talks to join MEDIA 2007

    Switzerland's Federal Council has given its Office for Culture (BAK) the mandate to begin negotiations with the European Commission (EC) in Brussels on official Swiss participation in the European Union's new MEDIA 2007 programme, which was launched during last month's Berlinale. According to a communique from Switzerland's Interior Ministry, it is expected that an extension of the bilateral agreement on MEDIA membership will be concluded by this summer. The Swiss filmmakers had
  • Talent Campus Abroad could be extended to Sarajevo and Marrakech

    The Berlinale Talent Campus's Talent Campus Abroad initiative could possibly be extended to film festivals in Sarajevo and Marrakech.Speaking to representatives of the Berlin-Brandenburg media scene at the monthly Medien-Dialog this week, Berlinale Talent Campus (BTC) director Dorothee Wenner revealed that talks were currently being held with the festival organisers in Sarajevo and Marrakech to initiate the Talent Campus model there as well. 'We receive an incredibly large number
  • Thai Rose buys Kadokawa's animated Keroro 2

    Japanese sales agent Kadokawa has sold the animated sequel Sergeant Keroro The Movie 2 to Thai distributor Rose Media & Entertainment.The theatrical frog animation movie is the latest in the franchise based on the hugely popular Sergeant Keroro manga series by Mine Yoshizaki with a television series directed by Junichi Sato.In Sergeant Keroro the Movie 2, the alien frog and his corps are fac
  • The Canton Chronicles - interview with 300 producer

    'It's the anti-epic,' Atmosphere Entertainment founder Mark Canton says of 300, which opened on March 9 to an astonishing $70.9m three-day gross, setting a new record for a March release.'I call it the 'new-fashioned' way of making an epic movie because it combines the artistry and the emotion you get in a story well told. We set out to do both, and thanks to (director) Zack Snyder's ingenuity and vision we think we've made a movie the likes of which nobody has ever seen.'
  • The City Of Your Final Destination: Anthony Hopkins

    How was the experience of shooting in Argentina'Great. This place is like paradise with its beautiful old haciendas, amazing gardens and gaucho traditions. I've spent New Year's Eve and my birthday here.Did you find any significant differences from working in other countries'Not in technical skills. The crew was competent and friendly. Everyone worked hard to keep on schedule. I also like the Latin American culture since I've been marr
  • The City Of Your Final Destination: James Ivory

    How do you feel working without Ismail Merchant for the first time'We miss his energy. He was in all the details without ever losing his sense of humour. He was laughing all the time. There is a sense of sadness, loss and emptiness, but Paul (Bradley), Richard (Hawley) and all the team are doing a wonderful job with a fantastic spirit. No one wants to fill his shoes because they are much too big. What Ismail had built survived him.Why did you choose
  • The Host wins the most at inaugural Asian Film Awards

    Bong Joon-ho's hit monster movie The Host was the big winner at the inaugural Asian Film Awards last night, scooping four out of ten prizes including best film and best actor for Song Kang-ho. The film, which is South Korea's biggest-grossing local production, also picked up best cinematographer for Kim Hyung-goo and best visual effects for US-based The Orphanage. Currently number one at the China box office,
  • Three Dots backs first-time directors on 2007 slate

    Continuing its support for developing new talent, Taiwan's Three Dots Entertainment is to back two feature films by young first-time directors in their twenties. Gavin Lin will start filming his feature debut Tears (working title) this June. The low budget production is a warm-hearted animal film about a young woman and a stray cat. Lin, who previously attended Pusan's Asian Film Academy, scooped the top prize at last year's Golden Reed Awards
  • Tim Burton to receive Golden Lion at Venice

    US director Tim Burton will receive the Golden Lion for Career Achievement at the 64th edition of the Venice Film Festival, the Biennale announced Wednesday. Burton will receive the award on September 5 during a special 'Tim Burton Day' in the Lido's Palazzo del Cinema. Burton - who has presented two animation films The Nightmare Before Christmas (1994) and Corpse Bride (2005) at the Venice Film Festival will receive the career honour just one year after another offbeat A

    Dir: Kevin Munroe. US. 2007. 87mins.Seventeen years after their cinematic debut, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles return with their sweetness and boyish tomfoolery intact. TMNT may substitute CG animation for the earlier films'
  • Toronto's Hot Docs unveils lineup with 26 world premieres

    The Hot Docs Canadian Documentary Film Festival has unveilled the line-up for its 14th edition with 129 films from 30 countries and more than 1,700 industry delegates from around the world. Among the 26 world premieres screening are Oscar-winner John Zaritsky's The Suicide Tourists, an exploration of a Swiss organization that legally assists suicide for anyone, regardless of nationality and UK filmmaker Oliver Hodge's
  • Tribeca All Access names 32 projects in 2007 programme

    Organisers at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival have announced the selected projects for Tribeca All Access (TAA), the programme designed to foster relations between industry executives and film-makers from traditionally underrepresented communities.Tribeca All Access will present 32 new projects at the five-day event, which runs from Apr 25-29 during this year's Tribeca Film Festival, held from Apr 25-May 6.Participating directors and screenwriters will get the opportunity
  • Tribeca shorts line-up includes films from Plympton, Stiles

    Entries featuring Bob Geldof, Mariel Hemingway and Zooey Deschanel are among 62 short films set to play during the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.Returning directors include Marie Losier, Bill Morrison, Bill Plympton and Jay Rosenblatt, with actor Julia Stiles also trying her hand.Among the progrmammes is the non-competitive section 'We Are Here', which comprises work by Lebanese film-makers and artists shot during the Israel-Lebanon conflict in summer 2006.The Tr
  • Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival to screen 12 world premieres

    Tribeca Film Festival parent company Tribeca Enterprises and ESPN yesterday announced the screenings for the inaugural Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, which will take place during the 12 days of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival from Apr 25-May 6.The Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will screen 14 feature-length films including 12 world premieres, a Tribeca Talks panel, and a free, outdoor day of interactive sports-related games and demonstrations entitled Sports Saturday.
  • Two Thai films to get Korean remake treatment

    Korea's production and distribution company K&Entertainment has bought the Korean remake rights to two Thai films: romantic drama Me Myself from Mono Film and RS Film's horror hit The Victim. This marks the first time that a Korean remake deal has been struck on Thai films.Pongpat Wachirabunjong's Me Myself features hot Thai actor Ananda Everingham as a gay man w
  • UK film industry warns kids about film piracy

    Schools across the UK have been provided with teaching packs compiled by industry-backed charity Film Education in a bid to raise awareness of film theft, which cost the UK film industry $1.4 billion (£719m) in 2005. The pack is aimed at 11 to 14-year-olds, a group that a Film Education study found not only lack understanding of copyright issues but who believe there is nothing wrong with piracy. The Film Theft teaching pack will be sent to every secondary school in the UK, and contras
  • United Kingdom - Musical Journey

    With the box-office success of films like Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster - which grossed $1.2m in the US in 2004 - rock documentaries are proving that they are not just the preserve of a niche market of nerdy music geeks. That, at least, was the thinking behind the recent theatrical release of Rewind, a feature-length film charting the rise of Welsh band Stereophonics.The film, which will be released on DVD in the UK in April, is produced by Document, the London-based te
  • United Kingdom - Soho story

    Sam Garbarski freely admits that his second feature, Irina Palm, is a cosmopolitan endeavour.He is a Pole, born in Germany and based in Brussels. His backers come from all over Europe. His initial plan was to shoot the film, which he describes as "a non-politically correct, romantic black comedy", in Belgium. But in the end British producer Christine Alderson of Ipso Facto Films came on board and the story was relocated to London.Irina Palm features Marianne Faithf
  • Virgin Snow leads sales charge for Korea 's CJ

    Leading Korean company CJ Entertainment has announced a raft of sales concluded at Hong Kong Filmart, led by CJ-Kadokawa co-production Virgin Snow. The teen romance, was pre-sold to Hwa Yea Multimedia for Malaysia, Box Office for Thailand and BHD for Vietnam. Set in Kyoto, Virgin Snow stars Lee Joon-ki (King And The Clown) as a Korean student who transfers to a new school and falls in love with a Japanese girl played by Miyazaki Aoi (Nana). Thail
  • Volland named head of WBPI publicity department

    Lance Volland has been promoted to senior vice president of publicity at Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI).Volland, who joined the studio in 1998 as a director and most recently served as vice president, will head up the studio's international publicity department.Based in Burbank and reporting to marketing president Sue Kroll, Volland will create and oversee all aspects of publicity campaigns for WBPI releases and is currently at work on
  • War Is Hell - interview with Mark Munden

    When Channel 4 broadcasts Marc Munden's The Mark Of Cain, British audiences are likely to be startled by the film's frank depiction of UK soldiers humiliating and bullying Iraqi prisoners. Audiences may also be surprised by the way British senior officers are shown trying to avoid responsibility for events that took place on their watch.That kind of authenticity, however unflattering, was important to Munden. 'In some ways you have more responsibility with a project like this. I
  • Warner's 300 goes to battle in nine new markets

    Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI) top brass are eyeing another successful overseas campaign as the Spartan warriors of 300 prepare to unleash hell in nine new territories.The military epic has amassed $32m from foreign revenues in less than three weekends and should prove too strong for its rivals yet again.Zack Snyder's take on the ancient Battle of Thermopylae has already won the hearts and minds of domestic audiences and
  • Williams to receive achievement award at San Francisco

    Robin Williams will receive the Peter J Owens Award at the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival on May 3.The Owens Award, named after the local cultural benefactor and longtime San Francisco Film Society (SFFS) board member, honours an actor whose work exemplifies brilliance, independence and integrity.Williams will also appear at a public presentation at the Castro Theatre on May 4 for a career retrospective, onstage interview, and a screening of Terry Gilliam'
  • Workpoint Entertainment opens new studios in Thailand

    Thailand's status as an international shooting hub was given a further boost with the opening of a new 500m baht ($15m) studio by Workpoint Entertainment. The purpose-built studio consists of five NC 30-approved soundstages, one of which is the largest in Asia with 1,760 sq in size. The fully air-conditioned studio has a combined area of 4,372 sq m with facilities for sound recording, editing, post-production and casting.Workpoint, a publicly listed TV production company,
  • Xian city launches film festival and fund

    The Xian City Cultural Bureau and Xian-based Qujiang Entertainment Group have announced the launch of the Xian Film Festival for New Talent, which will take place in the ancient Chinese capital in May. The two organisers also announced a film fund of $12.9m (RMB100m) to support young filmmakers, which will be launched during the festival. The film festival organisers are now calling for entries. Filmmakers under the age of 35 who have made no more than three films, and had a film
  • Yuen to wreak Vengeance for Celestial

    Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures has added a remake of Chang Cheh's Vengeance, to be directed by Corey Yuen, to its slate of productions inspired by titles in its Shaw Brothers library. Yuen is attached to direct the project from a script by Jeff Lau, the writer-director behind iconic Hong Kong movies such as A Chinese Odyssey. The film will be produced by Chui Po-chu who was associate producer on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and also produced Stephen Chow's K
  • Zachrison, Lundberg bag new roles at Swedish Film Institute

    As part of a top management reshuffle, the Swedish Film Institute has today (March 20) appointed Linda Zachrison - advisor of former culture minister Leif Pagrotsky - head of the Audience department, a new division comprising information, international, the Cinemathèque, Children, Youth & Film, and Domestic Cinema. Zachrison, a former chief of Stockholm's Park Theatre and marketing director of the Stockholm City Theatre's Backstage, will join the institute's top management group o