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23 March 2008

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  • 10,000 edges Horton at international box office

    Leading the international field for the third time in a row, Warner's holdover 10,000 BC grossed an estimated $28.2m from 7,400 prints in 62 territories over the Easter weekend, just beating the estimated $25.2m from 6,600 screens in 49 markets grossed by Fox's expanding Horton Hears A Who!With school breaks and national holidays extending the weekend in many territories,
  • 14 Kilometres (14 Kilometros)

    Dir: Gerardo Olivares. Spain , Bolivia , 2007. 93 mins.14 Kilometres, which documents the woeful journey of three immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa who leave home in search of an imaginary Europe 'where no one dies of hunger', is a well-intentioned effort but seems far more comfortable dealing with the spectacular landscapes its heroes have to cross than with the characters themselves. Reminiscent of Mi
  • 79 shorts selected for Tribeca Film Festival

    79 shorts have been selected to play at this year's Tribeca Film Festival (April 23 to May 4) out of a total of 2,497 submissions. The shorts will be presented in 11 thematic programmes as well as preceding features in the festival.Among the shorts are narratives featuring stars such as Mamie Gummer, Matthew Modine, Azura Skye, Rider Strong, a short written by Guillermo Arriaga and a special short film series created by returning filmmaker Isabella Rossellini. Directors also making r
  • Activers brings Korean classics to market

    South Korean sales agent Activers Entertainment is debuting a classics library of Korean films at Filmart.'It's a package of classic films that previously - for whatever reason - have not been sold internationally,' said Monica Han, Activers Global Business manager.'We have already had a lot of interest from buyers, even more than we anticipated.'The slate comprises 46 films from the 1954-2001 period.They range from much-lauded classics such as Lee Yong-min's 1962
  • AFCI launches new programmes for Locations Trade Show 2008

    The Association Of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) will launch Phase Two of its Global Initiatives programme at the 23rd annual ACFI Locations Trade Show in Santa Monica (April 10-12).Over 300 exhibitors from more than 30 countries will participate in the event this year and an estimated 4,000 professionals will attend to meet with AFCI member film commissions there to showcase global production services, resources and opportunities including the latest incentives available t
  • American Teen to open Sundance Institute at BAM

    Nanette Burstein's documentary American Teen will have its US premiere as the opening night film for Sundance Institute at BAM, the third annual programme of screenings, theatre and musical performances, panel discussions, screenplay readings, art installations and Q&A sessions held by Sundance at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music (BAM) in New York. The programme runs from May 29 through June 8.'We are excited to return to BAM this year with one o
  • Brisbane, 4, Bra Boys take audience prizes at London Aussie fest

    The London Australian Film Festival closed March 16 with a record 7,000 attendees in its 14th year.The audience awards went to Louise Alston's All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane for best feature; and a tie of Tim Slade's 4 and Sunny Abberton & Macario de Souza's Bra Boys as best documentary.The festival closed with Richard Roxburgh's Romulus, My Father.
  • CEC strikes financing deal for Osborne's Laundry Warrior

    Specialty finance and investment company Continental Entertainment Capital (CEC) has announced a single-picture financing deal for highly-anticipated, English-language action feature The Laundry Warrior. Total production capital for the project, which stars Geoffrey Rush, Kate Bosworth and Korean star Jang Dong-gun, comes from a combination of CEC's financing and third-party equity.Budgeted at $47m, The Laundry Warrior is produced by Lord Of The Rings producer
  • Chengtian/Golden Harvest plan Chinese cinema growth

    Following its acquisition of a major stake in Golden Harvest Group, Beijing-based Chengtian Entertainment is entering the multiplex business with expansion plans in mainland China.Apart from the existing Golden Harvest cinema in Shenzhen, three more theatres are planned in Beijing, Wuxi and Hangzhou.Wuxi's Mao Ye Mall 11-screen multiplex will open in June: a 16-screen complex in Changan Mall in central Beijing opens a month later; with Hangzhou's 12-screen cinema in Mix C shoppi
  • China's Wanda Group enters film production

    Exhibitor Wanda Group, owner of Wanda Cinema Circuit, is to enter the film production business in 2008.The group will invest $28m (RMB200m) in building a media and entertainment arm, including plans for a 4500-acre film studio in its home base of Dalian City.According to Wanda Group president Wang Jianlin, the new business is developing several projects with the first feature-length film expected to start by the end of this year.Wanda is also setting up a film school in D
  • Coming Attractions

    The CottagePathe Distribution (UK release date: March 14)Dir: Paul Andrew Williams. Producers: Steve Christian, Hugo Heppell, Martin Pope. Key cast: Andy Serkis, Jennifer Ellison, Dave Legeno.Plot: Dark comedy with horror overtones about a farmer who goes on a killing spree in the English countryside. Box office: $600,000 (£300,000) in its opening weekend.Son Of RambowOptimum Releasing (UK release date: April 4)Dir: Garth Jennings. Producers: Bris
  • Cool Hand picks up film rights to vampire thriller The Vines

    Cool Hand International, an LA- and London-based production outfit run by Matthew Wolf, Simon Kelton and Luke G-Jones, has acquired the option to Barbara Ankrum's novel The Vines, a vampire thriller set in the vineyards of northern California.Brian Austin Green, who is currently starring in US TV hit Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, is attached to direct the film. He previously directed indie co
  • Croatia joins EU's MEDIA Programme

    Croatia has become the first candidate country to join the European Union's (EU) MEDIA 2007 programme - the support programme for the region's audiovisual industry.European Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding, on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding that allows Croatia to participate in the programme with Ambassador Branko Baricevic, Head of the Croatian Mission to the EU.Currently, there are three officially recognised candidate countries for m
  • Croatia makes $9.2m awards to film

    Croatia's Ministry of Culture and Croation National Television have finally announced $9.2m in awards after seven months.The funding includes support for 10 features with between them take $6.4m of the $9.2m total.The features are:In The Wonderland (U Zemlji Cudesa)(director: Dejan Sorak, production companu: Interfilm.) $893,617 Children's Kingdom (Djecje Carstvo) (Branko Ivanda, Septima Trade)$893,617
  • De Niro, Garcia and Choi on Hyun Jin's street

    Korean production company Hyun Jin Cinema has announced a $40m Japan-Korea-US co-production, Street of Dreams, about legendary Asian-American gangster Montana Joe to star Robert DeNiro, Andy Garcia, and Choi Min-soo.Raymond De Felitta, whose Two Family House won the Audience Award at Sundance, is directing the film.The film's producer Fred Roos, who executive produced Lost In Translation and Marie Antoinette, is also credited as co-producer on
  • Dominic Cooper replaces Orlando Bloom in Scherfig's Education

    Orlando Bloom has pulled out of the cast of Lone Scherfig's new film An Education, which starts shooting today. Dominic Cooper now takes the role after Bloom had scheduling clashes. Cara Seymour has also joined the cast for An Education, shooting now in London, is based on a screenplay by Nick Hornby adapted from Lynn Barber's memoirs.Previously reported cast members are Peter Sarsgaard, Carey Mulligan, Alfred Molina, Rosamund Pike, Olivia Williams, Sally Hawkins
  • Drillbit Taylor

    Dir. Steven Brill. US. 2008. 102 mins.The Judd Apatow laugh factory turns out one of its younger-skewing - and less funny - products in Drillbit Taylor, a revenge-of-the-nerds comedy that teams Owen Wilson's hapless title character with a trio of bullied high school outcasts. In some ways resembling a junior and less raunchy version of Superbad, the new offering - which, like Superbad, is produced by Apatow and co-written by his frequent collaborator
  • Easternlight Films acquires Legendary Assassin

    Arclight Films' Asian label Easternlight Films has picked up worldwide rights to Wu Jing's action film Legendary Assassin at Filmart.The deal, which excludes Hong Kong and China, is the first between Easternlight and Paco Wong's production company Gold Label Pictures from Hong Kong.The $4m film marks the directorial debut of hot action actor Wu who is co-directing with Li Chung Chi. Wu also heads the cast along with Alex Fong and newcomer Celina Jade.Set in a rem
  • Editorial - Screen says Monte carlo and bust

    Wall Street's death spiral has claimed its biggest victim so far with the collapse of investment bank Bear Stearns. Like so many other financial institutions engulfed in the mortgage meltdown, Bear Stearns was also a film financer; as is its new owner, JP Morgan Chase. Now the question is, when will Hollywood's massive slate deals be sucked into the same titanic credit crunch'The dreaded answer is: sooner than you think. Already, hedge funds have all but retreated from the movie busine
  • EFP gives support to seven films at Hong Kong film festival

    The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) has, for the first time, been included in the list of non-European film festivals eligible for European Film Promotion's Film Sales Support (FSS) initiative.Four European sales agents and one production company are receiving FFS support for the marketing of seven films.These include Stefan Ruzowitzky's The Counterfeiters, which won the best foreign-language film Oscar this year, and is screening in the HKIFF's gala prese
  • EM Media backs four shorts through DV Shorts scheme

    UK regional screen agency EM Media has commissioned four films through its DV Shorts scheme, run with the UK Film Council.DV Shorts, now in its sixth year, has selected the following projects:Tandem from writer/directors John and Tom Turrell, with Rachel Dargavel producing for Perfume Films. A comical look at relationships between adult siblings.Tender from writer Roger Hadfield, with former Screen International Star of Tomorrow Deborah Haywood dire
  • Everyman acquires seven-cinema chain Screen Cinemas

    UK exhibitor Screen Cinemas has been sold to Everyman Media Group, the parent company of Everyman Cinema Club.Investment banking firm Livingston Partners advised the Screen Cinemas shareholders, including managind director Romaine Hart, during the deal negotiations. Terms were not disclosed.Screen Cinemas operates seven theatres across London and the Southeast of England - sites are in Baker Street, Belsize Park, Islington, Winchester, Reigate, Oxted and Walton-On-Thames.
  • Film finance: India INC extends its global reach

    It has been a busy year for the Indian film industry's corporate players, what with floating on stock markets and signing content deals with local producers, not to mention forging partnerships with Hollywood.India's film finance giantsFICCI Frames line-upSince last year's Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (
  • Film Movement picks up domestic on Barron's Choking Man

    US independent distributor Film Movement has picked up domestic rights to Steve Barron's Choking Man, a drama blending fantasy and reality in its depiction of one man's inner demons. The film was recently named Best Film Not Playing at a Theatre Near You at the Gotham Awards.The film stars Octavio Gomez Berrios as a shy Ecuadorian dishwasher working in a diner in Queens, NY; Mandy Patinkin co-stars.'Steve Barron's intimate drama is
  • Film-maker Anthony Minghella dies at age 54

    Film-maker Anthony Minghella has died at the age of 54.His spokespeople released this statement: ' Anthony Minghella died this morning at Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith, west London. He was operated on last week for a growth in his neck, and the operation seemed to have gone well. At 5am today he had a fatal haemorrhage.'Minghella, whose directing credits include Truly, Madly, Deeply, The Talented Mr Ripley, The English Patient and Cold Mountain, was chairma
  • Finnish Film Foundation backs seven features

    The Finnish Film Foundation has allocated $2.9m (Eu1.9m) production support for seven new features, including four local films, a co-production with Estonia and two Scandinavia ventures.Produced by Riina Hyytiä for Dionysos Films, Johanna Vuoksenmaa's One Foot Under (toinen jalka haudasta) is the story of a 35-year-old man told he has only six months to live - until it appears that he has been misdiagnosed. The Eu1.1m ($1.7m) production will shoot between May-September to
  • Forbidden Kingdom to have world premiere in Beijing

    US producer Casey Silver has confirmed that the world premiere of martial arts action adventure The Forbidden Kingdom will take place in Beijing on April 16. The film will open in the US two days later and in China on April 24. Silver was in Hong Kong to promote the $75m film, which features the first on-screen pairing of Jet Li and Jackie Chan, at a press conference at Filmart yesterday.Directed by Robert Minkoff, the kung-fu extravaganza was filmed at various locations in Chin
  • French hit Ch'tis to run at London's Cine Lumiere

    Pathe UK is releasing French hit Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis exclusively at London's Cine Lumiere from April 1-24.The comedy, which has clocked up a mammoth $103.5m after three weeks on release, proved a surprise hit at the French box office after taking more than 5m admissions in its first week alone. In its exclusive UK release, Ch'tis will screen more than 30 times in an English sub-titled version.The film follows the misadventures of a post
  • Frozen River

    Dir. Courtney Hunt, US, 2008, 97 minutes
  • Gibney's Gonzo to close San Francisco Film Festival

    Alex Gibney's Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr Hunter S Thompson has been selected as the closing night film of this year's San Francisco International Film Festival on May 8.The film, which will be released by Magnolia Pictures in North America in July, focuses on Thompson's life from 1965 to 1975, and is produced by Gibney and Graydon Carter.Gibney won the Oscar this year for best feature documentary for
  • Glickman says piracy concerns overshadow Internet neutrality

    Wedged somewhat gingerly in Motion Picture Association of American chairman Dan Glickman's address at the ShoWest convention last week was a discreet reference that opposed federal legislation intended to pave the way for 'net neutrality.'His terse comments included a belief that equitable access to the Internet would 'impair the ability of broadband providers to address the serious and rampant piracy problems occurring over the networks.'In a post-address press conference Glick
  • Goldby's The Waiting Room to open East End Film Festival

    London's East End Film Festival will open April 17 with the city premiere of Roger Goldby's The Waiting Room.The drama about the tangled love lives of a group of Londoners stars Anne-Marie Duff, Ralf Little and Rupert Graves. Sarah Sulick produced.The cast also features Frank Finlay, Zoe Telford, Phyllida Law, Christine Bottomley, Adrian Bower, Daisy Donovan, Lizzy McInnerny and Allan Corduner.'I am absolutely thrilled that we have been selected for the gala openin
  • Gunnarson's Air India 182 has world premiere at Hot Docs

    Sturla Gunnarson's Air India 182 will be one of several Canadian feature documentaries to make its world premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, April 17-27. The 15th edition unveiled its complete line-up at a press conference in Toronto this morning. Also announced were the 35 projects up for presentation at the allied Toronto Documentary Forum (TDF), April 23-24.Air In
  • HanWay takes on library sales for British Film Institute

    The British Film Institute has appointed HanWay films as its worldwide sales and marketing agent for its lucrative catalogue of more than 400 films.The BFI collection is comprised of BFI Production Board films, works from the BFI National Archive and a number of additional features, shorts and documentaries for which the BFI has acquired international rights.The BFI said it hoped HanWay could increase the international distribution of its catalogue. The BFI catalogue includes wo
  • HanWay to handle Jean Doumanian catalogue

    Jean Doumanian Productions has appointed HanWay Films to represent worldwide sales and distribution rights for its catalogue.Titles include David Mamet's The Spanish Prisoner, David Gordon Green's All The Real Girls, and Woody Allen's Don't Drink The Water. The library of titles also includes early roles from Cillian Murphy (Sunburn), Clare Forlani (Into My Heart), Helena Bonham Carter (Women Talking Dirty), and Seinfeld star Jas
  • High school Die Welle opens strong for Constantin with $3.5m

    Germany's Die Welle was the highest non-US entry into the international top 40 this weekend with a $3.5m take, falling just shy of the top 10.The top 40 films generated $188.2m across 46,679 screens for the period of March 14-16.For the full international chart, compiled by Len Klady, click here.Die Welle, distributed by Constantin Film, played on 317 screens for a mighty $
  • HONG KONG 2008: Festival and market round-up

    Screen International's team in Hong Kong offered the best coverage of key events at this year's festivals and market.Here we look back at some of the key stories and business.Click on section heading to see morenTHE BUSINESSKey deals and business news from Filmart
  • Hong Kong's Salon Films forms pan-Asian alliance

    Hong Kong's Salon Films has formed an affiliation of pan-Asian production and financing companies to help facilitate international productions in the region. In addition to Salon Films, the partners include China's Hengdian World Studios, leading Japanese talent agency and producer Yoshimoto Kogyo Co, Singapore's MediaCorp Raintree Pictures and Cayman Islands-based fund Access Asia.The partners have previously worked together on pan-Asian co-production Painted Skin, starri
  • Horton holds on in North America

    School kids on their Easter holiday helped keep Fox's Horton Hears A Who! on top at the North American box office this weekend, with the computer animated comedy dropping 44% from its debut weekend to gross an estimated $25.1m over three days. Horton's closest competitor was Tyler Perry's Meet The Browns, from Lionsgate. Grossing an estimated $20m for the weekend, t
  • Hyde Park's Street Fighter starts shooting in Thailand

    Ashok Amritraj's Hyde Park Entertainment and Capcom have begun principal photography in Thailand on action film Street Fighter - The Legend Of Chun-Li which is based on the popular Japanese video grame franchise.20th Century Fox has domestic distribution rights through its first look, co-production deal with Hyde Park; Hyde Park International is handling sales.Hyde Park chairman Amritraj and senior executive Patrick Aiello are prod
  • In Focus - Slate financing - Storm Warning

    By its nature, the film industry is predacious, but irresistible to investors. From its earliest days, the film industry has relied successfully on outsiders to spread its capital and mitigate the high risk of producing and distributing movies.Despite all the risks, and well-known stories of investor losses in the past, some $12bn in equity and debt has been committed to the film sector since 2004 - not a particularly large number in the overall capital markets, but a substantial incre
  • Indian film industry continues impressive growth

    The impressive growth in the Indian film industry shows no signs of slowing, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).The film industry grew 13% in 2007 to around $2.7bn. Overseas revenues and home video both showed even stronger growth, up 15% on 2006.The report, released before next week's FICCI Frames conference in Mumbai (March 25-27), suggests that new technology, corporate investment and a growing Indian studio system have contributed to the success.W
  • India's film finance giants

    Eros InternationalOne of the first Indian film companies to float on London's AIM when it raised $41m in June 2006, Eros has been expanding from its base of international distribution of Hindi films to become a vertically-integrated studio spanning production and distribution across theatrical, video, TV and new media platforms.It recently had a massive global hit with Shah Rukh Khan vehicle Om Shanti Om.Key to its stra
  • Industry objects to European Commission's online content plans

    Key elements of the European Commission's (EC) proposals to promote content online have come under fire from a host of industry representatives and associations across Europe.The strength of objections became clear as responses to a public consultation on the Commission's proposals were published.The UK Film Council criticised the Commission's overall approach, stating that it 'fails fundamentally to address some key challenges faced by the audiovisual industries in the upcoming
  • International - Making waves

    Germany's Die Welle was the highest non-US entry in the international top 40 this weekend with $3.5m, falling just shy of the top 10.The drama, distributed by Constantin Film, played on 317 screens for a $10,986 screen average, the second highest of the weekend. The film, based on Todd Strasser's novel The Wave, follows a high school teacher whose experiment on fascism spins out of control. It is directed by Dennis Gansel and stars Jurgen Vogel and Frederick Lau.Ou
  • JA Mediascores sales on Tsui Hark rom-com

    Beijing-based JA Media hassealed a number of deals for Tsui Hark's She Ain't Mean.The romantic comedy was picked up by Scorpio East in Singapore, GSC in Malaysia, Intercontinental Film Distributors in Hong Kong, Polybona in China, Serenity Entertainmentin Taiwan and Celestial Movies for pay-TV in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.JA Media has also announced plans for two projects with Hong Kong directors.Dante Lam is to shoot a period drama tentatively ti
  • Japan off blocks with Run! Run! Run!

    J-Pitch and UniJapan have represented five Japanese projectssupported by HAF, led by Run! Run! Run!, a Gaga Communications film to be directed by Hanawa Yukinari and produced by Hiromi Honoki.Based on Nozomi Katsura's novel of the same name, the $2m film deals with a top athlete and the question of genetic engineering.Dealing with a schoolchildren's tragedy and the power of song, Eternal Forest, to be directed by Sakaguchi Katsumi and produced by Ochiai Atsuko
  • Korea 's Activers sells Dream and Diary

    South Korean sales agent Activers has sold two Japanese films - You Are My Dream and 26 Years Diary to Ram Indo for Singapore and Malaysia.Directed by Hanado Junji, You Are My Dream stars Matsuyama Kenichi (Death Note, L: Change The World) as a delinquent boy whose life is changed by a teacher who encourages him to find a dream.Based on a true story of a good Samaritan, 26 Years Diary is about a young Korean rock n'roll band leader wh
  • Korean film school swaps shorts for features

    The pioneering Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA) is to produce four feature-length films instead of the usual shorts this year.The school believes hands-on practical experience of the full-length film-making process will better equip students for work in the industry.CJ Cultural Foundation and CJ CGV have backed the four films with $140,500 of their total $432,000 budget. They have a first-look option to distribute the films commercially.'KAFA has always been a school fo
  • Kung fu monks lead China deals

    China Film Promotion International announced eight dealsconcluded by Chinese companies on the second day of Filmart.Henan Film Studio is close to deals with with Five Star Productions from Thailand and Enter Mode Corp from Korea for the Shaolin Kungfu series which was just announced yesterday.Five Star is eyeing on DVD and TV rights while Entremode will handle theatrical rights in Korea.Xian Film Corporation sold theatrical rights of Mr. An to French Elephant Films and Te
  • Lovett, Stanton join stellar cast of Odd Lot's The Open Road

    Lyle Lovett and Harry Dean Stanton have joined the cast of Michael Meredith's The Open Road which is currently in production in Louisiana and other parts of the south.The film, produced by Odd Lott Entertainment, stars Jeff Bridges, Justin Timberlake, Kate Mara and Mary Steenburgen in the story of a young man trying to reconnect with his father as he struggles to get him home to his ailing mother's bedside.Odd Lot principals Debora
  • M&FC sells Someone Behind You to US

    South Korean sales agent M&FC has announced a slew of sales on its romantic comedy Hello, Schoolgirl and horror film Someone Behind You.The company sold US rights to Someone Behind You to 24 Frames, while Ta Lai bought Taiwanese rights.Meanwhile, TV rights to Hello, Schoolgirl, which stars Yoo Ji-tae (Oldboy), were pre-sold to Astro for Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia.South-East As
  • Mammoth Movie Man: Interview with Roland Emmerich

    'I don't know why I'm the only one who does it,' laughs Roland Emmerich about the speculative auction process whereby he sets up his movies at particular studios. 'It's a perfect system actually.'Emmerich's latest deal was with Sony Pictures, which stepped in to greenlight and finance 2012, a script Emmerich and his 10,000 BC co-writer Harald Kloser co-wrote dealing with the end of the world in four years' time. They finished the script on a working trip to Thailand in De
  • Mandarin brings Bruce Lee's kung-fu master to big screen

    Hong Kong's Mandarin Films is producing a biopic of Ip Man, the kung-fu master of global superstar Bruce Lee, which is set to star Donnie Yen and Simon Yam.Wilson Yip is directing the film which is currently in pre-production, with Sammo Hung as action director. Yip and Yen previously collaborated on martial arts action dramas Flash Point and Dragon Tiger Gate, which both scored substantial box office and overseas sales.Yen will play Ip Man and has been trainin
  • Maria Bello to receive award at San Francisco Film Festival

    Actress Maria Bello will receive the Peter J Owens Award during the 51st San Francisco International Film Festival which runs from April 24 to May 8.The Owens Award, named after local cultural benefactor and longtime Film Society board member Peter J Owens honours an actor whose work exemplifies 'brilliance, independence and integrity.' Bello will accept the award on Film Society Awards Night on May 1.One of Bello's latest films, The Yell
  • Melikyan's Mermaid wins Grand Prix at Sofia

    Anna Melikyan's quirky coming of age tale Mermaid (Rusalka), which was the opening film of the Berlinale's Panorama last month, was the winner of this year's Grand Prix at the Sofia International Film Festival, the second time in three years that the top prize went to a Russian filmmaker (Alexei German Jr.'s Garpastum won in 2006).The International Jury, composed solely of film directors and headed by veteran Dutch filmmaker Jos Stelling, gave its Special Jury Award t
  • Michael Elson leaves UK's Moving Picture Company

    Michael Elson has stepped down as head of film and COO at UK-based Moving Picture Company.He will now pursue other film production interests.Christian Roberton, who had been head of production for film at MPC, will take over as head of film.'Michael has played an enormous part in establishing MPC as a global player in the field of Feature Film VFX and has always prioritised creative excellence; this has had an enormously positive impact on both the Film and Commercials bu
  • Mono leads Filmartsales with The Follower

    Thailand 's Mono Films has pre-sold The Follower to Indonesia's Ram Indo for Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei.The film is a horror thriller about a student being haunted by a mysterious man after his girlfriend died in a caraccident when he takes her out on a used car.With production set to start this June, casting is currently underway. A December release is expected. Pleo Sirisuwan (Vengeance) is directing.The company also has a string of roma
  • Negativ wins record Czech government backing for Alois Nebel

    A new project from producer Pavel Strnad (Something Like Happiness, Year Of The Devil) has received a record $946,000 (CZK 15m) in financing from the Czech state film fund for a new project, comic book adaptation Alois Nebel.The move may signal a change in the way the state funding body supports local productions.In its most recent deliberations the State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography divided more than $3.3m (CZK 53m) among 14
  • NTV seeks pre-sales on manga story

    Nippon Television Network (NTV) is pre-selling Twentieth Century Boys, a three-part film based on Naoki Urasawa's popular manga, at Hong Kong's Filmart.The story concerns Kenji and his friends who have to combat the mysterious realisation of a 'world destruction plan' they had playfully made up as children.Buyers flew in to Filmart to check out an exclusive screening of clips today from the first episode which is due out August 31st.
  • Nu Boyana expands with new city streets sets

    Outside sets re-creating streets of London, Paris and Berlin are being planned next year to join the 2.5 kilometres of New York streets currently in construction at Sofia's Nu Boyana Film Studios.Speaking exclusively to on the studio lot at the weekend, Nu Boyana's CEO and Chairman David Varod said that more than $7.85m (Euros 5m) had been invested in the New York set, which will have fully dressed restaurants, shops and apartment interiors that can be used wit
  • On-demand market could hit $1.1bn in 2012

    On-demand media could generate revenues of $1.1bn by 2012 in the US and Europe, according to a new report from Screen Digest.That will include $665m of new revenue and the rest replacement for DVD spending.Screen Digest noted that the on-demand market 'has the potential not only to revolutionise how consumers buy DVDs but also to generate incremental revenue at a time when overall growth in DVD spending has slowed.'On-demand has the potential to help retailers avoid the s
  • Pang Ho-cheung, Ning Hao win top HAF awards

    Pang Ho Cheung's The Bus picked up the HAF Award for best Hong Kong project at the close of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF)today (March 19). Chinese director Ning Hao's 7 Dreams won the HAF Award for best project from outside of Hong Kong. Both awards, which are based on the creativity of the synopsis, came with a cash prize of $13,000 (HK$100,000).Meanwhile, Chinese female filmmaker Tang Xiru picked up the $15,000 Rome Film Fest Award for her project
  • Participant teams with Tapestry on comedy Minimum Wage

    Participant Media is teaming with Tapestry Films for the comedy Minimum Wage, the story of a crooked corporate executive convicted of fraud and sentenced to spend a year living on minimum wage in the town his company bankrupted.Tegan West and Scott Atkinson will write the screenplay for the project which will be produced by Tapestry partners Peter Abrams, Robert Levy and Andrew Panay.Jodi Zuckerman will oversee the project for Part
  • Paul Elliott's Aussie horror The Red Car gets Aurora go-ahead

    A brand new car brings only tragedy to its owners in the horror film The Red Car, one of four films chosen for Aurora, the flagship development and financing program of the New South Wales Film and Television Office.The Black Balloon, which won this year's Crystal Bear in the Generation 14 Plus section of Berlin, is a graduate of Aurora, as is actor Abbie Cornish's debut film Somersault and Little Fish, starring Cate Blanchett.For many years Australia
  • Persepolis, Hold Me Tight take honours at Bird's Eye View

    As the Birds Eye View Film Festival ended its fourth successful run on March 14, Persepolis was given the festival's Best Feature prize. The popular animated feature by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud has collected a slew of awards since its launch in Cannes.Kim Longinotto's Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go won Best Documentary and Birgitte Staermose's Sophie won Best Short.BEV also gave its Best Newcomer award to Sonja Heiss, director of closing night f
  • Quantum of Solace to have early UK launch Oct 31

    Sony Pictures Releasing (UK) has set an early Oct 31 opening date in the UK for the next James Bond film, Quantum Of Solace. On that Friday, the 22nd Bond film will open at the Odeon Leicester Square and at cinemas across the UK.The date is a week before the planned Nov 7 launch of Quantum Of Solace in the rest of the world.The film is still shooting now and will have a quick post-production compared to most projects of its scale. The last Bond film, 2006's Cas
  • Quiet Chaos dominates Donatello nominations

    Rome-Domenico Procacci's Fandango-produced Quite Chaos starring NanniMoretti and directed by Antonello Grimaldi leads the race for the David of Donatello awards, with eighteen nominations.Quiet Chaos, which was presented at Berlin and features a cameo with Roman Polanski has performed well at the local box office earning $8.8m (Euros 5.2m) in its first six weeks in Italian cinemas.Silvio Soldini's Days And Clouds, launched at Toronto and pr
  • Scene Play to open BA International Festival Of Independent Cinema

    The 10th Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI) announced its full line-up of 437 features and shorts, including 60 local films. The $1.2m event (April 8-18) will open with Scene Play (Jogo de Cena), the new work by Brazilian master Eduardo Coutinho, who will be presenting the film.A jury composed of Fred Kelemen (Germany), Luciano Monteagudo (Argentina), Caveh Zahedi (US), Jose Luis Cienfuegos (Spain) a
  • Scottish Screen sets up Slate Fund for development

    Scottish Screen has created a new $792,900 (£400,000) Slate Fund to provide financial backing for companies to develop marketable, high value projects over a two-year period.Up to four companies will benefit from investment awards designed to support the development of a range of projects including film, television and interactive digital media and across a range of genres from live action to documentary and animation.Carole Sheridan, head of talent and creativity at Scottish Sc
  • Screen Australia appoints first CEO

    Experienced public policy manager Lyn Maddock has been appointed interim chief executive of Australia's new film super-body, Screen Australia, for four months.Screen Australia replaces the Film Finance Corporation (FFC), Australian Film Commission (AFC) and Film Australia (FA), and will administer the 40% rebate now available for the production of Australian films.It opens its doors on July 1 with a budget of at least $100m.Maddock previously played a key role in the crea
  • Screen comment on US equity crisis: Monte Carlo And Bust'

    Wall Street's death spiral has claimed its biggest victim so far with the collapse of investment bank, Bear Stearns. Like so many other financial institutions engulfed in the mortgage meltdown, Bear Stearns was also a film financer; as is its new owner, JP Morgan Chase. Now the question is when will Hollywood's massive slate deals be sucked into the same titanic credit crunch.The dreaded answer is: sooner than you think. Already, hedge funds have all but retreated from the movie busine
  • Screen conference keynote: industry has to rethink release windows

    The film industry needs to embrace the challenges and opportunities offered by new distribution platforms or lose out as consumers go elsewhere for content.That is the view of Ian Lewis, Director of Sky Movies & Sky Box Office, at BSkyB.Lewis was the keynote speaker at today's Screen International-backed Maximising Digital Rights Values conference in London, where he kicked off the day of high-level industry discussion.The eventis focusingon the challenges and op
  • Secret Sunshine lights up Asian Film Awards

    Korea's Secret Sunshine was the big winner at the second edition of the Asian Film Awards (AFAs) last night, scooping best film, best director for Lee Chang-dong and best actress for Jeon Do-yeon's performance.The AFA prizes follow almost of a year of top honours for Secret Sunshine, which also won bestactress at last year's Cannes and best film and actress at Australia's Asia Pacific Screen Awards.Meanwhile, Hong Kong star Tony Leung Chiu-wai was awarded best
  • Shanghai film festival pays tribute to Minghella

    The Shanghai International Film Festival has issued the following statement regarding the death of Anthony Minghella who had been appointed president of the festival's competition jury this year: 'The Organising Committee of the Shanghai International Film Festival was greatly shocked upon hearing of the sudden death of Mr. Anthony Minghella.His sudden departure has left us in a state of mourning. His passionate appreciation of Chinese culture and collaborations with Chinese filmma
  • Sleepwalking

    Dir. William Maher, 2008, US, 101 minutes, colour.In Sleepwalking, an 11-year-old girl is abandoned by her mother and left with her undependable uncle, who shows the child just how dysfunctional their family can be. William Maher (not the talk show host) has made a dark film, shot in dark hues, and set against a wintry landscape. Too leaden for the critics or the audience, this is not a date movie, unless your family or your companion is in therapy
  • SPC to launch English-language Persepolis on April 11

    Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) will release the English-language version of Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Persepolis in 100 screens throughout North America on April 11.The English-language version features the voices of Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve in the same roles they voiced for the original - Marjane and Marjane's mother - along with Sean Penn as Marjane's father, Gena Rowlands as her grandmother, Iggy Pop as her uncle

    SCREEN SPECIAL REPORT CONTENTS (click to view)Hong Kong: Territory overview Hong Kong: Indie finance Hong Kong and China: Hot projects Hong Kong: Box office
  • Star picks up Painted Skin

    The Star Group has picked up pay-TV rights to Donnie Yen-starrer Painted Skin for Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.The deal was concluded by sales startup Eastern Mordor Film.Headed by Ningxia Film Studio's vice president Pang Hung who is also the film's main producer, the new Hong Kong-based company was formed by the production's eight investors from China, Hong Kong and Singapore to handle worldwide sales.A wide release with over 1,000 screens in China on Septemb
  • Swift to co-produce Cinema Impierno

    France 's Swift Distribution has boarded Brillante 'Dante' Mendoza 's Cinema Impierno (aka Service) as a co-producer - marking the sales company's first foray into production.The company will finance the $500,000 HAF project along with Mendoza's Center Stage Productions. Filming will begin this Friday (March 21)Swift founder Didier Costet said he found the story about rentboys providing sexual services in a theatre highly original.He is currently at Film
  • Thailand lures international shoots

    Thailand continues to be a hot Asian shooting destination with six international feature films scheduled to shoot there in the upcoming months, including Lee Jun-ik's Sunny, the Pang Brothers' Stormriders 2 and Street Fighter.Korean director Lee (King And The Clown) has just wrapped his latest film Sunny after a three-month shoot in Kanchanaburi province where Thailand doubles as Vietnam.Starring Jung Jin-young and S
  • THE AWARDS: Asian Film Awards and HAF winners

    Click on headline to see storySecret Sunshine lights up Asian Film Awards Korea's Secret Sunshine was the big winner at the second edition of the Asian Film Awards (AFAs) last night, scooping best film, best director for Lee Chang-dong and best actress for Jeon Do-yeon's performance.Pang Ho-cheung, Ning Hao win top HAF awards Pang Ho Cheung's The B
  • The Brit Pack beats box-office blues

    While most of Europe reported a downturn in ticket sales in 2007, the UK (along with Italy and the Czech Republic) bucked the trend. British cinema-goers generated nearly $1.8bn (£904.9m) in ticket sales last year, up 8% from 2006, while admissions rose 3.7% to 162.4 million.Case study: St Trinian'sEven though this number, the highest total since records began in the territory in the early 1980s, was largel
  • The Desert Within (Desierto Adentro)

    Dir: Rodrigo Pla.Mexico, 2008. 110 mins

    INTRODUCTION Distribution has perhaps always been something of the poor relation in European cinema. This is the continent of auteur theory where the vision of a director is paramount. Great cinema is the work of the genius - production is art, distribution is m

    The clearest failing of European film is its ability to reach audiences, particularly where that means crossing national borders. The dream of a single European market with a common cultural identity is nowhere further from reality than in the movement of film between countries. Whether the motivation is business or increasing cultural diversity, audie
  • The Film Department greenlights Zeta Jones, Freundlich comedy

    Mark Gill and Neil Sacker's The Film Department has greenlit an untitled romantic comedy starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and written and directed by Bart Freundlich which is set to start shooting on April 17.The project is a romantic comedy set in New York City about a 25 year-old man who becomes involved with his new neighbour - a sexy, older single mother.Tim Perell, Freundlich, Gill and Robert Katz are producing, with Sacker and Michael Goguen acting as executive produce
  • The Grand, Young@Heart bookend Palm Beach Film Festival

    Zak Penn's ensemble comedy The Grand will be the opening night film of the 13th annual Palm Beach International Film Festival in Florida on April 10. Stephen Walker's documentary Young@Heart will be closing night on April 17.A total of 141 films will screen at this year's event, while the Awards Gala will honour Mickey Rooney, Jason Reitman, Cheryl Hines and Josh Hutcherson.World premieres a
  • The International view - Indecent proposal

    There is a tendency at events of the nature of ShoWest - the largest congregation of family-rated film exhibitors - to offer advice. The agenda is rife with forums that allow one to wax philosophical, from panels with crystal ball premises, to homage and tributes that turn the spotlight on both the worthy and the conveniently available.For example, at last year's 2007 edition, attendees were told to brace themselves for an unprecedented onslaught of cinema-goers. The slate of summer bl
  • Theron plots return of Lady Vengeance

    Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron is to produce and star in a remake of Korean director Park Chan-wook's hit thriller Sympathy For Lady Vengeance. 'We are still in the very preliminary stages. We're working with Ms. Theron and her production company to make the remake happen,' said Chong Choe, director of international strategy at CJ Entertainment, the distributor of Sympathy For Lady Vengeance.Starring Lee Young-ae, the former Venice competitor is the last
  • T-Joy pulls Yasukuni doc from Tokyo theatre

    Japan-based Chinese-born director Li Ying's controversial documentary Yasukuni has had its theatrical release cancelled by exhibitor T-Joy. The film was set to begin its theatrical run on April 12 at Shinjuku's ultramodern Wald 9 multiplex through distributor Argo Pictures.The cancellation follows an increasing number of threats toward Li and his production company Dragon Films that began earlier this year when local publicity activities began. Death threats from right wing
  • Toby Emmerich to head newly downsized New Line Cinema

    As expected, Toby Emmerich has been named president and chief operating officer of New Line Cinema as it segues into its new incarnation as a production label of Warrner Bros Entertainment.The dramatically downsized New Line will continue to maintain its own development, creative and production teams but its marketing distribution, business and legal affairs and physical production operations, while reporting to Emmerich, will closely enmesh with Warner Bros counterparts.
  • Tribeca 2008 announces Spotlight, Showcase and Restored sections

    The 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, which takes place April 23 to May 4, has announced the films in its Spotlight, Showcase and Restored/Rediscovered sections.'Our Spotlight section presents a group of films already acquired for U.S. distribution but not yet released, including hotly-anticipated new titles by Jose Padilha, Julian Schnabel, Harmony Korine, Guy Maddin and Tom Kalin, and world premieres from Peter Tolin and Adam Yauch,' said Peter Scarlet, the festival's artistic director.
  • Tributes continue to pour in for Anthony Minghella

    Tributes are flooding in for film-maker Anthony Minghella who died suddenly yesterday at the age of 54.Harvey Weinstein, Minghella's longtime friend, backer and distributor on all his films since The English Patient, issued a statement saying: 'I am shocked and heart broken that we have lost Anthony. He was my mentor, my partner and, most of all, my brother. The grace, joy and tenderness he brought to his films were symbolic of his life and the many people he touched. There are many per
  • Truly Indie teams with horse racing venue operator on Saturday doc

    US horse-racing venue operator Churchill Downs is partnering with Wagner Cuban distribution division Truly Indie on the US theatrical release of Brad and John Hennegan's documentary The First Saturday In May which will open on April 18.The film chronicles the journey of a cast of six hard-working trainers as they jockey for a position on the 2006 Kentucky Derby trail.The deal was negotiated by Michael Overn with Truly Indie Executi
  • UK Film Council backs Edinburgh Film Fest with $3.8m over 3 years

    The Edinburgh International Film Festival has become the first beneficiary of the UK Film Council's Film Festival Strategy to support UK Festivals of national and international significance. Edinburgh will receive $3.8m (£1.88m) of funding over a three-year period until 2010.The announcement is a major boost for a Festival that is undergoing significant changes as it moves from an August slot in the calendar and seeks to re-establish itself as a Festival of discovery devoted primarily
  • UKFC commits almost $4m to Edinburgh festival over 3 years

    The UK Film Council has announced $3.78m (£1.88m)in funding over three years to the Edinburgh International Film Festival.The Lottery funding, coming via the UKFC's Film Festival Strategy, will run until 2010.The groups said the funding will support growth for public audiences as well as industry professionals from the UK and abroad.This year, EIFF moves from its traditional slot in August (during Edinburgh's busy festival season) to a quieter time in the Scottish capitol
  • Unifrance's Menegoz defends bodyagainst damning report

    A report commissioned by the foreign affairs ministry has sent shockwaves through the French film industry since it was first leaked to French daily Le Figaro last week.The report, commissioned in October 2007 and handled by theMedia Consulting Group, examined Unifrance's missions over the period of 2005-2007 and found that the group, which promotes the export of French film around the world, must improve its strategy and governance.Unifrance's major activities include
  • UniKorea picks up Majidi's Sparrows from Fortissimo

    Fortissimo Film Sales has sold Majid Majidi's Iranian film The Song Of Sparrows (Avaze Gonjeshk-ha) to UniKorea.Fortissimo's senior vice president of sales & acquisitions Winnie Lau brokered the deal with Unikorea acquisitions exec Yura Kwon.Fortissimo picked up worldwide rights to the film directly after this year's Berlinale where it won the Silver Bear for Best Actor for Reza Najie.
  • United Kingdom - For the very first time

    When Madonna unveiled Filth & Wisdom on February 13 in the Berlinale's Panorama programme, most critics were fairly harsh but the film's screenings were sold out and the project became one of the festival's talking points - not bad for a first-time director.Even as a household name, Madonna tried to make her directorial debut quietly. "I wanted to do it under the radar because I had to learn how to make a film," she told Screen International during Berlin. "I paid for it
  • United states - Profit Sharing

    Nestled in the bustling West Los Angeles neighbourhood of Westwood lies a company that may well become a friend to stars, directors and producers long after their careers have waned.That is not to say that Content Partners, the 2006 brainchild of accountant and former Brillstein-Grey CFO Steve Blume and longtime William Morris Agency COO Steve Kram, does not also cater to talent at the height of their success. Far from it.The company has pioneered a business plan that enables ta
  • Universe kicks up a storm of pre-sales for Pang Brothers

    Hong Kong's Universe Films Distribution has scored a string of pre-sales on the Pang Brothers' The Stormriders II, starring Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng, which was unveiled a press conference at Filmart yesterday. The $12m martial arts project has been snapped up by Chengtian/Golden Harvest, which has acquired rights for mainland China, Thailand's Mono Film, Indonesia's PT Teguh Bakti Mandiri and Scorpio East for Singapore.The all-rights deal for Thailand represents Mono's firs
  • Vail Film Festival set for April 3-6 with (RED) collaboration

    The fifth annual Vail Film Festival will take place April 3-6 in the popular US ski resort, and is continuing its collaboration with Bono and Bobby Shriver's (RED) initiative which aims to raise awareness and money for AIDS charity The Global Fund.(RED) and the festival will premiere the RED Vision Short Film Showcase at the festival, a screening of the winning films from the RED Vision Short Film Contest. 25% of the sale of each festival Avanti pas will be donated to the Global Fund
  • Vietnam Media brings Nguyen's award-winning Little Heart to market

    Vietnam Media is debuting Nguyen Thanh Van's Little Heart (Trai Tim Be Bong) at Hong Kong's Filmart.The film follows the plight of a village girl when she is sold to a brothel in the city.Nguyen, who was named best director for this film at the Golden Kite Awards, said the film was based on a story he had read in a newspaper.'I was really moved by the girl's misfortune. Regardless of the unforeseen difficulties and risks ahead, in Vietnam thousands leave the vill
  • Waisbren warns of impending calamity in US slate financing

    In a prescient speech more than a month ago in Berlin, financier Ben Waisbren talked of impending calamity for the US wave of slate financing - banks won't touch such mega-deals again until there is more transparency and a better alignment of investor and studio interests.Click here for comment fromScreen editor-in-chief Colin BrownClick here for profile of Ben WaisrenWaisbren is pr
  • 'Wait and see' attitude prevails in complex digital rights world

    If there was one thing that the delegates at Screen's Maximising Digital Revenue conference agreed on, it's that nobody really knows what will happen next with digital rights.The conference brought together key producers, distributors, sales agents and lawyers to discuss how the film industry could move forward to create revenue from the new distribution channels being opened up by digital platforms.The day's presentations and panels covered a broad range of relevant topics from
  • Yari Film Group drops Alliance for E1 as Canadian output partner

    Bob Yari's Yari Film Group has dropped Alliance Films as its Canadian partner in favour of fast-rising Canadian entertainment group Entertainment One (E1).YFG and E1 have signed an exclusive all-rights deal that will see YFG's films released through E1's Seville Pictures subsidiary through 2010.The pact, which begins with the August-scheduled release of Assassination Of A High School President, will increase Seville's Canadian distribution slate by an expected ten titles