By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

24 December 2004

View all stories from this issue.

  • 2004: A taxing year in the UK

    It has been a taxing year. The Treasury's February'bombshell' outlawing tax partnerships such as Ingenious'Inside Track and Grosvenor Park's First Choice knocked a hole through thefinancing of many productions.In the wake of that decision, the emphasis was on damagelimitation. Though few could work out how the government's much-vaunted20% tax credits for producers were going to work in practice, it seemed by thesummer that the Treasury was prepared to cut the UK fil
  • 2004: All eyes on South Korean cinema

    In 2004, Korean cinema saw two films, Silmido and Taegukgi, pass the hitherounscaled 10 million admissions mark.The industry also made key strides in its most importantoverseas market - Japan. However, moves by Korea's major studiosled to fears of a 'monopolistic' accumulation of power.CJ Entertainment won a bitter struggle for exhibition chainPrimus Cinema, thereby gaining an undisputed power advantage over all itsrivals. Kang Woo-suk, CEO at Primus' former
  • 2004: Almodovar, Vega lead Spanish crusade

    In March, the Socialist party ousted the ruling PopularParty in a surprise upset in Spain's national elections. Thepredominantly left-leaning film industry was jubilant with the win, temperedonly by the fact that it was preceded three days earlier by a series of deadlyterrorist bombs set off on commuter trains in Madrid.The Socialists had promised to prioritise culture, inparticular cinema, and they made good with a fast 89% increase to the nationalCinema Protection
  • 2004: Barbarian leads the way for Canada

    2004 was the year of living on the edge, as the Canadiandollar's value soared against the US currency. And thegovernment-mandated push for box-office results only served to highlight thedisparity between the popularity of French-language films in Quebec versus lackof interest in non-English-language fare in the rest of Canada.The person of the year was Denys Arcand, whose TheBarbarian Invasions won Canada its firstOscar (not for a documentary) and won Cesars for best picture and
  • 2004: Clouds on horizon for Swedish film

    Two major wrangles defined the year for the Swedish filmindustry: the renewal of the Swedish film agreement, and the proposed sale ofSandrew Metronome's exhibition business to rival chain SF Bio.The renewal of the Swedish film agreement, which is designedto generate money for local production, has been delayed until 2005. The causeof the conflict is a disagreement between US distributors and Swedishexhibitors.The heavily criticised SF-Sandrew deal, which woul
  • 2004: Danes strike a serious tone

    The Danes struck a more serious tone in front of the camerain 2004, moving away from the tried-and-tested formula of contemporary familydrama with a touch of tragedy but plenty of heart and humour.Not every 'feel-bad' movie, including In YourHands and Aftermath, was embraced by local audiences. But Brothers, dealing with the effect of the Afghan war on aDanish family and King's Fame,about political power-play, struck a chord.They both became huge hits
  • 2004: Farce and Passion in France

    The year started brightly with the implementation of atax-credit scheme meant to bolster production at home - and ended bleaklywith the ruling that a film French to its Tricolore core, Jean-PierreJeunet's A Very Long Engagement,did not qualify for state subsidies.The pedigree of its production company, 2003 Productions,was considered American given Warner Bros' part ownership, thus strippingthe World War I saga of its French status. An appeal is likely.In between, local f
  • 2004: German film blasts off in Dreamship year

    Local comedies Dreamship Surprise - Period 1, DerWixxer and 7 Dwarfs drove soaring admissions in 2004. German audiencesalso responded well to the more idiosyncratic titles including OliverHirschbiegel's The Downfall,Fatih Akin's Golden Bear winner Head-On, and the family film Lauras Stern.In the first nine months of the year, German films'market share climbed year-on-year from 14% to 21%. Total admissions areexpected to return to the level of 2002. Th
  • 2004: Hong Kong film flattened by US competition

    There was cautious optimism among Hong Kong producers at thestart of the year as the box office appeared to be recovering and mainlandChina opened its doors through the much-vaunted Cepa trade agreement.But after a dispiriting summer - during which localsfilms were flattened by the US competition and production levels started tofall - talk turned once again to crisis measures and how to tackle onlinepiracy.As the year drew to a close, the industry was waiting
  • 2004: Indian film rides big budget wave

    The year was marked by the release of several high-budgetfilms such as the $9m Kisna, producedand directed by Subhash Ghai, and the $7m Indian-UK historical epic TheRising, directed by Ketan Mehta.The industry also endured controversies including the sackingof Anupam Kher as the head of the Indian censors for clearing two controversialfilms, a documentary on the Gujarat riots, Final Solution by Rakesh Sharma, and Michael Moore's Fahrenheit9/1
  • 2004: Italy racked by Venice, Mifed and funding troubles

    2004 began with a serious case of deja vu, as a questionmark once again hung in the air over who would head up the Venice filmfestival.In April, the Italian government ousted Venice artisticdirector Moritz de Hadeln, and picked the popular Marco Mueller. But despite arich selection and a glitzier line-up of stars than the Lido had seen indecades, Mueller's race against time to organise the 61st edition wouldalso be remembered for the event's lengthy delays and ticke
  • 2004: Japan toasts samurai, love and Miyazaki

    The three main themes of the Japanese box office in 2004were samurai, love and Miyazaki. Unlike most Hollywood films set in Japan, TheLast Samurai was embraced by localaudiences as one of their own. The film outpaced Harry Potter And ThePrisoner Of Azkaban, Finding Nemo and TheReturn Of The King at the box office, andfar surpassed its US take.In May, Isao Yukisada's romantic drama Crying OutFor Love In The Centre Of The World debuted at
  • 2004: New Zealand on a roll

    The country is on a roll. Producers are financing localfilms at unprecedented budget levels, footloose productions are arriving fromHollywood with great frequency and audiences are swarming into cinemas to watchthe pick of the local crop.Moreover, film-maker Peter Jackson is pumping money intoinfrastructure and skills development that can be accessed by all, ensuring thenation can continue making films.Overheard this year'In a lot
  • 2004: Oz despairs as production levels plummet

    Despair and hope characterised 2004. Local production levelsfell, only a few films found audiences, and everyone had a moan about the rest.But hopes are high that the relatively new and still freshFilm Finance Corporation Australia chief executive Brian Rosen - helpedby his new sidekicks - really will prove to be a white knight in shiningarmour.He has pushed the organisation towards making its owninvestment decisions, for example, rather than letting the mark
  • 2004: Russia comes in from the cold

    This year was dominated by the boom in Russian film-making.Some 120 features have been shot in 2004 and every week Moscow sees thepremiere of at least one or two new local titles.The big winner on both the production and distributionfronts was Timur Bekmambetov's Night Watch, which broke all box-office records in post-Soviet Russia with a $16mgross. The second instalment in the trilogy is due out in early 2005. FoxSearchlight has snapped up the rights to the
  • 2006 Oscars return to March

    The Oscars are moving back to theirtraditional March slot in 2006 to avoid a potential scheduling conflict with the winterOlympics.The 78th Academy Awards were originally set for Feb 26 but Academychiefs switched to Mar 5 after learning that NBC's US broadcast of the winterOlympics closing ceremony in Turin, Italy, would clash with ABC's Oscarcoverage.The awards ceremony moved toa Feb 29 slot earlier this year and next year's 77th Academy Awardswill take place on Feb 27.
  • Australia's Becker acquires Moonlight Projects

    The Becker Group, which owns Australia's Dendy brand, hasacquired the Moonlight Projects outdoor cinema and cinema advertising group.The cashand share deal is worth $6.3m (A$8.3m). Moonlight is best known for its summerscreenings of contemporary and classic films in parklands located close to thecentre of Australia's capital cities.
  • AVP approaches $80m for Fox International

    FoxInternational's action title Alien Vs Predator opened in its final major market of Japan at the weekend, rankingfourth on an estimated $2.9m on 380 screens.Thepicture's international running total now stands at $77.1m.Elsewhere,the distributor released the cartoon adaptation Garfield in China, where itgrossed $384,000 f
  • Bangkok festival unveils animation sidebar

    The forthcoming Bangkokfestival (Jan 13-24) will dedicate a new sidebar to animated film. It willinclude a special tribute to animator, producer, director, Gabor Csupo.The Csupo retrospective will becomplemented by a series of animation seminars conducted by Csupo andexecutives from his
  • BBC viewers vote for best films of 2004

    Viewers of the BBC's leading film review programme, Film 2004 with Jonathan Ross, have voted The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King astheir Film of the Year.Massappeal blockbusters such as Spider-Man 2 and The Incredibles lineup in the top 10 alongside the subtitled martial arts epic Hero and culthits such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotles
  • Beatwax founder launches kids brand campaign

    Beatwax and Firstmovies founder Chris Ward has launched anew venture called iKnow, a not for profit business aimed at making youngchildren more aware of how brands are created and work.iKnow says it is not an anti-brand initiative, but thatit wants to help counter the potential negative effects of brand marketing onchildren.The venture intends to help children gain a greaterunderstanding about the marketing process that go
  • Berlinale unveils first competition films

    The Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 10-20) has namedthe first films that will play in its Competition section as well as unveilingGerman director Roland Emmerich (The Day AfterTomorrow) as president of the International Jury.Including Régis Wargnier's opening film Man to Man, eleven films have been selected for the Competitionsection - and eight of them are world premieres. There is strong European showing amongstthe films selected so far, with three films fr
  • Bridget approaching $200m at international box office

    Universal/WorkingTitle's Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason is expected to pass $200m atthe worldwide box office this week after an estimated $8.6m weekend haul on3,100 screens in 31 territories raised the international running total to$154m.The romantic comedy sequel has grossed $145.5m through UIP and opens in Italyon Jan 7 2005. Added to its $38m-plus domestic tally, the picture has grossed more than $
  • Butler named as FilmFour development chief

    FilmFour have appointed Katherine Butler as head ofdevelopment.Butler was executive producer with the New Zealand FilmCommission until 2002 where she developed projects including the Academy Awardnominated Whale Rider. Most recently she has been working as head of developmentwith Alison Owen at Ruby Films and Gwyneth Paltrow at Go Go Pictures, managingslates which included projects with David Yates, Dominic Savage,
  • BVI full of good cheer as The Incredibles passes $200m

    Buena Vista International(BVI) executives were in fine fettle going into the holiday break after The Incredibles' passed $200m at the international box office on Dec 22.The Pixar hit has amassed $202m and BVI chiefs will look to a pair of strong openings in Russia on Dec 24 and Australiatwo days later to build on that total.BVI's adventure National Treasure hasalready amassed $44.4m despite a short international run and the picture's running gross will get a season
  • Canal Plus, France Telecom sell cable TV operations

    Canal Plus and France Telecom have agreed tosell their French cable TV operations to UK private equity firm Cinven andaggressive cable group Altice.The deal, which will be completed in the firsthalf of 2005, sees 60% of the cable company sold for a total of Euros528m. Itis subject to various EU and municipal approvals. Following the deal Cinvenwill own 50% of the new company, Altice 10% and Canal Plus and France Telecom20% each.The businesses being sold pass some 4.2 millionhome
  • China unveils tougher penalties for pirates

    China has strengthened its anti-piracy laws to make iteasier to prosecute copyright violations and to allow tougher sentences to behanded out to offenders.Thenew rules cover many kinds of copyright and patent violations but are specificabout film and other software. Starting from Dec 22, anyone found copying anddistributing more than 5,000 pirated copies of films, television programmi
  • Coixet's Life wraps on Belfast oil rig

    Production wrapped last week (Friday, Dec 17) in Belfast onIsabel Coixet's The Secret Life of Words, an El Deseo production starring Tim Robbins which shot for threeweeks in Madrid before coming to Northern Ireland.The El Deseo located in Northern Ireland because parts of the story areset on an oil rig and Belfast was the only place they found one they could use.The producers had scouted the North Sea, Miami and Dublinbefore finding a rig that was in the Harland & Wolff d
  • Cultural minorities split the Nordic markets

    While minorities have longbeen a part of the daily lives in the Nordic region, they have had a hard timemaking an impression on the big screen.It is hardly surprising thatSweden has been the most open to filmmakers with foreign background, but nowNorway is catching up leaving Denmark as the most monochrome industry.Until recently the onlyminority seen on screen in a Norwegian film was the rare Saami in films like Pathfinderand Bazo, but the next year will see no le
  • Dublin festival unveils early highlights

    The 3rd Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (JDIFF)has confirmed a number of high profile US films for the February 11-20 event,many of them tipped as winners in the forthcoming awards season.They include - Kinsey, with local star Liam Neeson, Wes Anderson's The LifeAquatic, Woody Allen's Melindaand Melinda, Nicole Kassel's TheWoodsman, Joshua Marston's MariaFull of Grace, and Mean Creek, written and directed by Jacob Aaron Estes.
  • Focus Partnership exits Warner Village Cinemas in Italy

    Warner Bros International Cinemas (WBIC) and VillageCinemas, who jointly owned 90% of Warner Village Cinemas in Italy, have boughtthe remaining 10% of the venture currently held by Focus Partnership.As of yesterday (22) WBIC and Village Cinemas each own 50% of the business."With Focus, we were able to build a thriving and robust Italian exhibitionbusiness," WBIC president president Millard Ochs said in a statement. "We'llcontinue to operate and expand our Italian cinema business
  • Germany's X-Verleih earns exhibitor wrath

    Germany's exhibitorassociations HDF and AG Kino have criticised distributor X Verleih for planningto release Dani Levy's comedy Alles Auf Zucker! on free-TV station WDRjust three months after its Jan 6 theatrical premiere.AG Kino said it feared that 'a precedent' wasbeing set to undermine release window dates. Earlier in the year, Fahrenheit9/11 ran on television in Germany b
  • HanWay takes on Kidulthood sales

    UK-based sales agency HanWayFilms has acquired international distribution rights to Kidulthood, aLondon teenage gang story that marks the debut of a promisingwriter-director-producer trio.The film, which combines alove story, rites of passage and a tale of retribution, wrapped this week underthe direction of Menhaj Huda, a former commercials and TV director.Produced by first-timerGeorge Isaac, Huda and the experienced Damian Jones, the film was written byNoel Clarke, winn
  • Hay appointed Scottish Screen chief executive

    ScottishScreen has confirmed the appointment of Edinburgh-born Ken Hay as their newChief Executive.Hay replaces Steve McIntyre who chose not to renew hiscontract when it ended in August.Thelengthy search for a successor had thrown a number of respected Scottish namesinto the ring, notably Edinburgh International Film Fes
  • HONG KONG 20 December

    FengXiaogang's A World Without Thieves knocked Bridget Jones off thetop spot but failed to lift the overall box office out of its recent downwardslide.The action drama, co-produced by Hong Kong's MediaAsia and Beijing-based Huayi Brothers, grossed US$342,335 from 48 screens.Itperformed m
  • IMAX signs deal with Russia's Suvar-Kazan

    IMAX Corporation has signed a deal with Suvar-Kazan Company, the leading exhibitor in Kazan, Russia, to install an IMAX MPX theatre system in a new multiplex in the city.The site is expected to open in November 2005 in Kazan, which is situated roughly 500 miles southeast of Moscow, as part of a four-screen multiplex in a large entertainment centre that will also include an aqua park and restaurants."The NESCAFE IMAX Theatre in Moscow has posted great results showing blockbuster
  • Irish censor introduces new ratings system

    Two changes to existing film certificate categories arebeing introduced by Ireland's Film Censor, John Kelleher.A new '16'certificate will restrict admission to persons aged sixteen and over, and theexisting '12PG' and '15PG' certificates will be re-designated '12A' and '15A',where the 'A' denotes adult. The changes will take effect from Jan 1, 2005.
  • Justice takes Taiwan doc festival top prize

    Dutch director Maria Ramos was awarded the grand prize atthe Taiwan International Documentary Festival (Dec 11-17) for herfeature-length film Justice about daily life in a Brazilian courtroom.The film, which follows four characters either working in orpassing through the Rio de Janeiro court, also picked up best documentary atthis year's Visions Du Reel festival in Nyon, Switzerland.The special jury prize went to German-French co-production ILove You All, directed
  • Kidman, Shore to receive Palm Springs honours

    Nicole Kidman will receivethe Chairman's Award and Oscar composer Howard Shore will be honoured with the FrederickLoewe Award for Film Composing at the 16th annual Palm SpringsInternational Film Festival (PSIFF).Alejandro Amenabar, who directed Kidman in The Others, will present thehonour at the awards gala on Jan 8. Shore will receive his honour at a laterdate.'The festival takes great pleasure in presenting Nicole Kidman with ourhighest honour, the
  • Kinderfilmfest reveals first competition titles

    The Berlinale'sKinderfilmfest has announced the first titles selected for its competition forthe Crystal Bear prize and for the 14plus section introduced at the festivallast February.Already lined up for theKinderfilmfest competition are Torun Lian's tale of first love in The ColorOf Milk (Ikke Naken, Norway); LiisaHelminen's Pelicanman (Pelikaanimies,Finland) about a music-mad pelican transposed into the body of a friendly youngman; Gholamreza Ramezani's intimate story o
  • Kino picks up The Rider Named Death, The Ninth Day

    KinoInternational has picked up US rights to Karen Shakhnazarov's The RiderNamed Death and Academy Awardwinning director Volker Schlondorff's The Ninth Day.
  • Meet The Fockers

    Dir: Jay Roach. US. 2004.114mins.Despite the welcomeaddition of Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand for this sequel to surpriseworldwide hit Meet The Parents, getting to know the Fockers turns out tobe less fun than meeting the original folks was four years ago.The sequel - which alsoreunites Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller and other members of the Meet TheParents cast - goes more consistently for broad laughs than its predecessordid and probably delivers
  • MGM shareholders approve Sony-led takeover

    MGM shareholders have approved of the proposed studio takeover bythe LOC Acquisition Company consortium.Th
  • Montreal set for three film festivals in 2006

    The Montreal World Film Festival officially has competition. Federal film subsidy agency Telefilm Canada and its provincial counterpart SODEC announced the winning bid to organize a new event in the city.But Montreal's ongoing film festival war got a little stranger when it was revealed the outcome resulted through a merger of interests between local event organizer Groupe Spectra, which mounts the city's highly regarded jazz festival, and the Montreal Festival of New Cinema, the city'
  • New Line pair win German funding

    Two New Line Cinema films - Craig Gillespie'scomedy-drama Mr. Woodcock and Liam Lynch's Tenacious D in The Pick OfDestiny - have won backing from a film fund run by Germany's ALCAS/KGAL.According to ALCAS/KGAL, the fund's investorsdecided at their assembly in Munich last week to invest in the LandscapePictures production of Mr. Woodcock. The film centres on a young man whoreturns to his hometown to prevent his mother from marrying his old highschoolgym teach
  • Oceans Twelve marches to top of int'l chart

    Ocean'sTwelve opened inanother 22 territories in its second week on international release, helping itsteal pole position from The Incredibles.StevenSoderbergh's film is now playing in 27 territories and claimed number ones inmost new territories for a $28.9m weekend. The original film grossed $267.3mfrom international markets, 59% of the worldwide total.Anexception to the Ocean's Twelve number one debu
  • Ontario boosts production tax credits

    Ontario-based producers andservice providers received an early Christmas gift as the province increasedthe labour-based production tax credits for foreign and domestic productions.Effective Jan 1 2005, the Ontario Production Services Tax Credit for foreignproductions will increase from 11% to 18% and the Ontario Film and TelevisionTax Credit for domestic productions will increase from 20% to 30% for five years,while maintaining the 10% regional production bonus for projects shootingout
  • Piracy problems to worsen in 2005

    Audiovisual piracy problemsare set to get worse in 2005, according to a new report by lobby body, theEuropean Association for the Protection of Encrypted Works and Services(AEPOC).The association says thattwo factors will contribute to the growing scale of the piracy problem. Itsays: "the growing ubiquity of audio-visual services creates new breedinggrounds for piracy". And at the same time it says that governments are notdoing enough to protect the industry. The Council of Europe's an
  • Polar Express passes $20m on IMAX 3D worldwide

    The Polar Express has grossed $22.3m on global IMAX 3D screens and is on the cusp of passing $20m at the North American box office, accounting for more than one-fifth of the WarnerBros picture's $123.4m domestic running total.The picture has amassed roughly $19.9m in North America since opening on Nov 10, recording aper-theatre average of more than $321,000 on 62 screens.Internationally The Polar Express has grossedapproximately $2.4m on 15 IMAX 3D screens after a
  • Popular UK shorts get second outing at London's Curzon Soho

    Ashowcase of popular UK shorts will get a second outing next month at Londonspecialist cinema Curzon Soho after a sell-out screening.Theten-title collection of naturalistic dramas, mathematicalpuzzles and a samurai film includes shorts by former WorkingTitle executive Amanda Boyle, British Independent Film Awards nominee
  • Record debut for Warner Bros Japan's Windstruck

    Warner Bros Japan hasreported that Kwak Jaeyong's Korean love story Windstruck scoredthe biggest ever opening for a Korean-language title in Japan when it opened on$2.3m on Dec 11."We are very proud of Windstruck'sphenomenal opening in Japan, which is a strong indication of the country'increasing appetite for both Chinese and Korean-language films," Richard Fox, executive vice president of international theatrical atWarner Bros, said in a statement."Bill Ireton h
  • Rois Et Reine wins France's Prix Louis Delluc

    France's prestigious Prix Louis Delluc has been awarded toArnaud Desplechin's Rois Et Reine.At a small ceremony at Paris' Fouquet's restaurant on theChamps Elysees on Friday, Desplechin accepted the prize from Cannes Festivalpresident Gilles Jacob who also heads the Delluc jury.The prize for best first film, a relatively new category,went to Yolande Moreau and Gilles Porte for their work Quand La Mer Monte.Rois Et Reine, the story of two ex-lovers, wi
  • Rotterdam festival names Dutch film premieres

    A raft of Dutch films will have their world premieresduring the upcoming International Film Festival Rotterdam (Jan 26-Feb 6)They are: Souls Of Naples (Zielen Van Napels) byVincent Monnikendam, Voorland by Eugenie Jansen, The Mystery Of TheSardine (Het Mysterie Van De Sardine) by Erik van Zuylen, CinemaInvisible: The Book (Cinema Invisible: Het Boek) by Kees Hin, Brossaby Digna Sinke and Colett
  • Saraband

    Dir/scr: Ingmar Bergman.Swe. 2003. 107mins.The valedictory work of one of the titans of the 20th century art is aminor, unsteady film that will disappoint those who expect a blazing testamentto an awe-inspiring career. But when your name is Ingmar Bergman, no matter. Saraband,upon which the Swedish filmmaker says he's bowing out, bears all the hallmarksof Bergman's art, if not his full genius, and will elicit passionate commentand commentary for long m

  • Shrek 2 rolls into Italy for box office top spot

    Shrek2 made itsinternational debut way back in May and this weekend saw the year's topgrossing film back on form as it opened in its final territory - Italy.DreamWorks Animation's smash hit sequel, handledinternationally by UIP except in Hong Kong and South Korea, grossed $4.1m (Euro3.1m) in Italy over the weekend (Dec 17-19) for the top spot.Theopening was not as strong as that of The Incredibles four weeks
  • Sogecable restructures production and distribution arms

    Spanish mini-studio Sogecable has restructured itsproduction and distribution houses, promoting two executives to oversee theareas run under the Sogecine and Sogepaq banners respectively.Formerdeputy director of distribution Simon de Santiago has been named new directorof production and international while former head of marketing FranciscoSanchez Ortiz has been named new director of distribution
  • SWEDEN 21 December

    A slew of new releases hit the Swedish chart thisweekend, where Ocean's Twelve's all-star lineup unsurprisingly stole offwith the top spot.Its impressive $9,475 screen average on high 95 printsdwarfed all competition, but local newcomer Maria Blum did reasonably on secondwith a $3,324 average from 89 prints with her feature debut Dalecalians(Masjavlar).Blum has won much praise for her stage plays and hascollaborated with hitmaker Lars Joensson's
  • Sweden blocks Sandrew Metronome cinema sale

    The planned sale of SandrewMetronome's cinema chain to rival SF Bio has been stopped by the state-runSwedish Competition Authority which has ruled that the deal would give SF Bio amonopoly on the Swedish market."Our opinion is that thedeal conflicts with the Swedish laws of competition and therefore we suggestthat it be cancelled," said Erik West
  • Taylor parts company with UGC Cinemas

    UGCCinemas UK and Ireland managing director Margaret Taylor has left the company,just weeks after the exhibitor was taken over by US buyout firm the BlackstoneGroup.Taylorwas in charge of the 42 UGC cinemas in the UK and Ireland. During her tenure,she was responsible for introducing the company's cinema loyalty card, theUnlimited Pass, and for the Euros 13m upgrade of the UGC Dublin site,one of the most important sites in the UGC circuit.
  • The Incredibles nears $200m for BVI

    TheIncredibles added an estimated $26.7m forBuena Vista International (BVI) at the weekend, raising the picture'sinternational cumulative total to $189.5m.Highlightswere first place debuts in Mexico and South Korea, where the picture took $3.5mon 680 screens and $1.8m on 221 respectively.Strongholds saw Japan add $3.2m in its thi
  • The Queen Of Sheba's Pearls

    Dir/scr: ColinNutley. Swe-UK. 2004. 130mins.Lush decor,swooping cinematography and stirring music. Director Colin Nutley makes hiscanvas clear from the opening frames of The Queen Of Sheba's Pearls, apassionate 1950s-set drama about growing up, love, loss and lingering memories.The film, Nutley's first for ages set in his nativeEngland, rather than his adopted Sweden, is dated as the big Christmas Dayrelease in Sweden and seems a possible contender fo
  • The Ritchie Boys

    Dir/scr. Christian Bauer.Ger-Can. 2004. 90mins.The Ritchie Boys is the documentary ideal: at once a broad canvas andan intense personal journey, as rich in historical detail as it is in humanistresonance. The film profiles the experiences of several emigre German Jews whofled their nation during Hitler's 1930s rise to power and made their way to theUS, only to return to their country in the service of the US Army as keymembers of its psychological operations unit. Who bet
  • Turkey in good spirits heading into Christmas

    Agreat year for local product in Turkey in 2004 was capped by comedy smash G.O.R.A.which now ranks as the highest grossing film of the last 20 years in theterritory having grossed $17.4m (TKL 24.5bn).Fiveof the year's top six releases were local productions with only Troy, inthird place, preventing a clean sweep. It proved a particu
  • Wargnier's Man To Man to open Berlinale

    The world premiere of French director RegisWargnier's anthropological epic Man To Man will be the opening film ofthe Berlin International Film Festival(Feb 10-20).Starring Joseph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas,Iain Glen, Hugh Bonneville and Flora Montgomery, the film is set in SouthAfrica in the 1870s and follows the search for the so-called "Missing Link" -the connection between man and ape much discussed by scientists in the 19thcentury.After the anthropologists encounte
  • WBITD signs free-TV deal with TVN in Norway

    Warner BrosInternational Television Distribution (WBITD) has signed a multi-year deal withNorway's TVN, granting the broadcaster free television rights in Norway to aslate of current and library feature films and television series.The deal meansTVN viewers will eventually get access to such titles as Ocean's Twelve, Troy and The Last Samurai, as well as library features like the DirtyHarry and PoliceAcademy series.TVN has alsopicked up subseque
  • WBITD signs Nordic deal with Viasat Broadcasting

    Warner BrosInternational Television Distribution (WBITD) has signed a three-year deal withNordic media and telecommunications giant Modern Times Group's ViasatBroadcasting for the shared rights to a range of theatrical and televisiontitles.Under the termsof the deal Viasat gains rights to broadcast free-to-air television premieresof first-run titles in Swedish, Norwegian and Danish territories on Viasat'sTV3, TV3+ and ZTV channels.Titles include HarryPotter And The Chamber Of
  • White Noise

    Dir:Vinta Nanda. India-UK. 2004. 108mins.A litmus test of how Indian cinema is changing in the MTV and satellite era,White Noise has all the New Bollywood ingredients: a feisty, sexuallyliberated, working heroine, a hip and sensitive male love interest who hasbroken away from his traditional family, satirical digs at contemporary IndianTV culture, and English-language dialogue.Itshould appeal to urban multiplex audiences at home - where it is released nextmonth -
  • William Morris Agency revamps senior management

    The William Morris Agency has revamped its management,promoting two executives to top jobs after three veterans left over differencesabout the company's direction.The agency, which represents top celebrities such asOscar winners Russell Crowe and Halle Berry, named Dave Wirtschafter presidentand Irv Weintraub chief operating officer.Norman Brokaw remains chairman, and Jim Wiatt retains hispost as chief executive.
  • ZDF steps into Berlinale sponsorship breach

    German public broadcaster ZDF has stepped into the breachleft by SAT.1 as the new media partner for the 2005 edition of the Berlinale.In addition to providing extensive coverage of the festival,ZDF and its partner channel 3sat will be responsible for organising and stagingthe opening gala, the award ceremony and other Berlinale events.ZDF plans coverage on its daily news programmes and suchmagazine programmes as ZDF-Morgenmagazin, hallo Deutschland, Leute heute, andZDF.reporter.