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24 June 2004

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  • 9/11 gets support from Cuomo, pledges from MoveOn

    MoveOn PAC, the politicalaction arm of online democracy advocates, is trumpeting an earlysuccess in its campaign to drum up support for Fahrenheit 9/11 ahead of this weekend's opening.The group claims it hassecured more than 107,000 pledges from the public saying they will see MichaelMoore's stirring Palme D'Or winner in its first three days of release.The picture will open inmore than 750 theatres nationwide through Lions Gate, IFC and Harv
  • Akin's Head-On dominates German Film Awards

    Fatih Akin's Golden Bear-winning Head-On (Gegen DieWand) was the big victor at this year's German Film Awardsin Berlin on Friday evening (June 18).The film bagged five Golden Lolas in total - for bestfilm, best direction, best lead actress (Sibel Kekilli), best lead actor (BirolUenel) and best cinema
  • Around The World In 80 Days

    Dir: Frank Coraci. US.2004. 119mins.Walden Media's costly self-financed family adventurefinally hits the screens with the Walt Disney Pictures stamp on it and provesworthy of the honour. Jules Verne purists and lovers of the three-hour 1956classic will do best to stay away, but family audiences will be guaranteed agood-natured summer entertainment which will please both kids and their parentsduring the holidays.The film opens in the USthis weekend
  • AUSTRALIA 21 June

    The first outing in cinemas by UIP's Shrek 2 got an amazing response from Australian families on itsfour-day opening weekend, taking A$13,156,604 from 437 screens. By way ofcomparison, Roadshow's Harry Potter Andthe Prisoner of Azkaban took A$14,799,003 a week earlier, but it was on 16more screens and had one more day to pull in patrons as it was the Queen'sbirthday holiday weekend in all but one state.The enthusiasm for the Shreksequel gave it
  • BAFTA names date for 2005 award ceremony

    BAFTA hasannounced the dates of its Orange British Academy Film Awards for 2005, whichwill be held on Saturday February 12.As inrecent years, the BAFTAs will take place two weeks before the Oscars, which arescheduled for Sunday, February 27, 2005.Thepre-Oscar date has h
  • CANADA Production Listings - June 22 2004

    CANADA PRODUCTION LISTINGS - June 22PRE-PRODUCTIONEVE& THE FIREHORSE(Golden Horse Productions) Budget: C$1.5m. Backers:Telefilm Canada, B.C. Film, Harold Greenberg Fund, CanWest Fund. Dist: MongrelMedia (Can). Family Drama. A young Chinese-Canadian girl struggles tounderstand the death of her grandmother and her ol
  • Cinecitta eyes Chinese multiplex deal

    Cinecitta Holding, the state-owned parent company of Rome'sfamous studios, is in talks with the Chinese government to manage what would beItaly's first multiplex in Beijing.The multiplex to be located in a shopping mall in the city'shistorical centre, will have 14 screens and is due to open at the end of 2005.Italian culture minister Giuliano Urbani hopes to sign thedeal with Chinese authorities during a trip to China in July. Under the deal,the multiplex will be managed by Medi
  • Cinema Expo celebrates international market

    The value of the international marketplace was hammered homeduring day two of exhibition trade show Cinema Expo in Amsterdam yesterday, asresearch company Nielsen EDI handed out its annual International Gold ReelAwards, for films that grossed over $100m internationally in the 12 monthssince the last edition of Cinema Expo.During a lunch held at the event, 21 Gold Reel awards werehanded out and a succession of grateful distribution chiefs hit the stage tothank exhibitors for their part
  • Cinema Expo goes medieval over BVI's King Arthur

    Buena Vista International's King Arthur was a last-minute addition to thescreening programme at the Cinema Expo exhibition conference in Amsterdam today(Wednesday).The studio only decided to screen the film in Amsterdam on Tuesdaynight, said BVI president Mark Zoradi, and digital files of the film werecarried overnight by hand from Los Angeles. The film, directed by Antoine Fuquaand set for release in the US on July 7, has only screened once before -- tointernational journalists
  • Cinerenta boss quits to launch own production outfit

    Marco Mehlitz is leaving his job as CEO andmanaging director of Munich-based production fund Cinerenta to set up his ownproduction outfit.Speaking exclusively to,Mehlitz explained that his Berlin/Babelsberg-based company would focus on internationalEnglish-language feature films to be financed via private placements and funds.The as-yet-unnamed company will develop projects for production in Europe andalso serve as a partner for foreign production companies wanti
  • Damon talks of Monster selling points at AFMA production conference

    The familiar themes ofchampioning passion projects and sourcing the varied international financingoptions available to independent film-makers dominated AFMA's sixth annualproduction conference in Los Angeles yesterday (17).Speaking on a panel entitledGetting It Done: Producing Against All The Odds, Media 8 Entertainment chairmanand chief executive officer Mark Damon stressed the importance of picking theright project and staying true to the film-maker's vision.
  • Danish film-makers win multi-million backing

    The Danish Film Institute has confirmed backing for sevennew Danish features, several of which are already in post-production.Among the films previously announced are Henrik Ruben Genzand Fine & Mellow's Chinaman, DagurKari and Nimbus Film's Grown Up People (Voksne Mennesker) and veteran Henning Carlsen's Fly BirdieFly (Springet), a co-production between Dagmar Film and SF Film.They received $1m, $925,000 and $845,000 respectively.Solkongen, To
  • Day After Tomorrow grosses swell after $19.7m weekend

    FoxInternationalC;s The Day After Tomorrow elevated its international running total to an estimated$274.7m weekend, after adding $19.7m from 7,731 screens.Third weekendhighlights were $3.7m from 590 in Japan, where the picture stayed top in itsthird consecutive week and fell 28% for a $27.3m running total. In Korea itadded $1.4m from 245 and fell 40% for second place and $11m.Fourth weekendhighlights were $2.8m from 461 screens in the UK, dropping
  • Dealer

    Dir/scr.Benedek Flieghauf. Hungary. 2004. 160mins.Dark, brooding and slow, Benedek Flieghauf's second film,recently awarded the Best Director prize in Mar del Plata, is God's gift tofestivals, a feast for film buffs and art houses and a test of endurance formisguided audiences seeking pure entertainment. Thoseaccustomed to Hollywood and others' over-stylised view on drugs culture,replete with flashing guns and/or flying punches, will find it like
  • Dodgeball wins the box office match against The Terminal

    Audiencespreferred the crazy antics of Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn to the subtlerhumour of Tom Hanks at the weekend as Fox's comedy Dodgeball: A TrueUnderdog Story opened top on an estimated $30m.Hanks anddirector Steven Spielberg had to settle for second place for The Terminal as it bowed on $18.7m, while WaldenMedia's Around The World In 80 Days, which was distributed by Buena Vista, opened ninth on a highlydisappointing $6.8m.In a relativelyquiet
  • Dodgeball wins the box office match with The Terminal

    Audiencespreferred the crazy antics of Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn to the subtlerhumour of Tom Hanks at the weekend as Fox's comedy Dodgeball: A TrueUnderdog Story opened top on an estimated $30m.Hanks anddirector Steven Spielberg had to settle for second place for The Terminal as it bowed on $18.7m, while WaldenMedia's Around The World In 80 Days, which was distributed by Buena Vista, opened ninth on a highlydisappointing $6.8m.In a relativelyquiet
  • Earth And Ashes

    Dir. Atiq Rahimi.France/Afghanistan, 2004. 105mins.Any future attempt tocompile a visual history of the destructive folly which took hold of the humanrace at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st,will surely allocate a place of honour to this emblematic debut by Paris-basedAfghan film maker Atiq Rahimi.Going back to his nativeland to record a story that could take place at any time within the last 20years, Rahimi, working fro
  • Edinburgh faces up to studio boycott threats

    Edinburgh Film Festival managingdirector Ginnie Atkinson reacted swiftly to weekend press reports thatthis year's event might be damaged by a boycott from three major Hollywoodstudios.Articles suggested thatDisney, Universal and 20th Century Fox would boycott the event in protest atthe city's poor record on combating piracy.
  • Edinburgh festival to stage Lindsay Anderson tribute

    Actor Malcolm McDowell is tolead a tribute to Scottish director Lindsay Anderson at August's EdinburghInternational Film Festival.McDowell, who made hisscreen debut with Anderson in 1968's If', will present on stage aone-man show of readings from thedirector's diaries, letters and critical writings. Commemorating the tenthanniversary of Anderson's death, the festival will also screen his features, OLucky Man and The Whales Of August, and host a
  • Edukators star signs for World War II feature

    Julia Jentsch, lead actress in HansWeingartner's Cannes competition film The Edukators, has been cast asthe German resistance figure Sophie Scholl in Marc Rothemund's World War IIdrama Sophie Scholl - Die Letzten Tage (Sophie Scholl - The Last Days)which began shooting in Munich on June 12.The screenplay for the World War II drama aboutthe White Rose resistance group was penned by Fred Breinersdoerfer and recallsthe events of February 17-22, 1943 from Sophie's perspective
  • European exhibition growth slows down

    Asexhibitors prepare for next week's Cinema Expo in Amsterdam, a new report fromleading UK-based researcher Dodona Research says that exhibition growth isslowing across Europe.Exhibitors in the seven Western European countries -including the five largest box office markets in continental Europe - profiledin the report have completed extensive multiplex building programmes and arenow c
  • Fahrenheit gets NYC opening early on June 23

    Fahrenheit9/11 will open in twoNew York City theatres on Jun 23, two days before Michael Moore's eagerlyanticipated Palme D'Or winner opens nationwide.Lincoln PlazaCinemas in the Upper West Side and Loews Cineplex Village in the East Villagewill screen the picture, which is being released in the US by Lions Gate, IFCFilms and Bob and Harvey Weinstein's Fellowship Adventure Group."The demandbecame so overwhelming that we felt it was necessary to bring t
  • Fares turns to Beruit for inspiration

    Jalla! Jalla! and Kops director Josef Faresis set to make Zozo, a drama inspired by his own life.TheSwedish, Lebanese-born director will be working with a $5.2m (SEK 40m) budget -twice that of Kops - to tell the story of an 11-year-old boy who moves fromBeirut to Sweden.Fares said: "It won't be autobiographical, but I will usea lot of what I re
  • FilMart News Hong Kong arthouse cinema goes digital

    Hong Kong is set to receive its first permanent digitalcinema installation following a deal between technology provider H2H Digitaland cinema owner Sil-Metropole Organisation.Thedigital screen will be installed in Sil-Metropole's CineArt House - one of HongKong's few cinemas dedicated to screening arthouse product. Under theagreement, H2H is supplying Sil-Metropole
  • FilMart News Shanghai Media Group, Jade Dynasty team for animated Monkey

    Hong Kong comic book publisher Jade Dynasty Publications isjoining forces with Shanghai Media Group (SMG) to co-produce an animatedfeature, Monkey King, based on one of its best-selling comics.The $2.4m (RMB20m) film will be produced by teams of animatorsin Hong Kong and China with completion scheduled for early 2006. SMG, one ofChina's most entrepreneurial film conglomerates, is putting up 70% of thebudget with Jade contributing the remaining 30%.
  • FilMart news: Arclight wraps up fresh Beautiful Boxer sales

    Beautiful Boxer, the Thai sex change film which plays at next week's Outfest Lesbian and Gay festival, has wrapped up a string of new sales for sales agent Arclight Films.Announced at Hong Kong's FilMart, new sales include a deal with Regent Entertainment's Regent Releasing for US and Canada, with Mikado for Italy and Lauren Films for Spain.Based on a true story, the film directed by Ekachai Uekrongtham sees a man enter the dangerous but lucrative sport of Muay Thai kick-
  • FilMart news: FilMart opens with optimistic bounce

    Hong Kong's FilMart (23-25June) got off to a brisk start yesterday with organisers claiming a rise invisitor numbers matched by local industry spirits similarly on the up.At an opening ceremony attended by Asian superstar Tony Leung, FilMart'sexecutive director Fred Lam said that there was a 10% rise in visitor numbers,with registered attendees hitting 2,500. He added that 325 companies had signedup as exhibitors, a 21% increase on 2003.The territory's sales and production compa
  • FilMart News: Three...Extremes unites top Asian talent

    Hong Kong's ApplausePictures unveiled its mouthwatering contribution to the second instalment ofhorror omnibus Three at Filmart on Thursday. Entitled Dumplings,the horror-thriller brings together some of the territory's top creative talentincluding director Fruit Chan, producer Peter Ho-sun Chan and award-winningcinematographer Christopher Doyle.Scripted by Lilian Lee (FarewellMy Concubine), the film is a cautionary tale about the lengths women go toin order to pre
  • Former Vivendi chief Messier taken into custody

    Former Vivendi Universalchief Jean-Marie Messier has been taken into custody by French police today(June 21) as part of a probe into stock manipulation.French magistrates are investigatinga massive share buyback in which Vivendi allegedly spent over Euros 1bn to propup its own share price in the weeks following the attacks of September 11,2001.
  • FRANCE 21 June

    In its second week out,Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban remains in the top spot withnearly $28m in takings so far. The Coen brothers Cannes competitor The Ladykillers opened strongly with a$6,105 per screen average despite generally poor reviews.Supposed blockbusters TheDay After Tomorrow and Troy arestill at the top of the chart but have been strongly overshadowed by the boywizard. Tom Jane starr
  • Galway unveils broad Irish film programme

    The GalwayFilm Fleadh (July 6-11) will premiere Lenny Abrahamson's day in the life of two junkies, Adam & Paul, and close with Paddy Breathnach's dog racing comedy Man About Dog in a broad programme of recently made Irish features, documentaries and shorts.Abrahamsonis one of three Irish directors debuting with new features at the F
  • Garden State tops Maui Film Festival honours

    The fifth Maui Film Festivalcame to a close at the weekend (20) as Zach Braff's Garden State was awarded the best feature film prize and BobSmeaton's rock'n'roll documentary Festival Express claimed non-narrative honours.The award for best shortfilm went to David Brown's Of Wind And Waves: The Life Of Woody Brown, which profiled the 92-year-old inventor of thecatamaran, while a special audience award went to Mark Vicente, Betsy Chasseand William Arntz's personal di
  • GERMANY 24 June

    Despite the Football Championship in Portugal Harry Potter held up for its thirdweekend with over 600,000 admissions and another $4.8m takings to gross $35.1mso far. With around 4.5m admissions, HarryPotter 3 is set to be the first release this year to pass 5m admissions.Olga Film's sequel to its Girls On Top (Maedchen Maedchen) teen comedy, Girls On Top 2 (Maedchen Maedchen 2) reunites the actresses of t
  • Greenwald's Uncovered acquired by Sundance Channel in US

    Robert Greenwald'sdocumentary, Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War has been acquired for US TV broadcast on TheSundance Channel on Sept 6.The picture examines theBush Administration's conduct in convincing the American public that SaddamHussein posed a threat to national security and is supported by the liberalgroups Centre for American Progress and presentsinterviews with more than 20 CIA, Pentagon and foreign service ex
  • Harry has third magical international weekend for Warner

    Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban continued as top of the internationalclass at the weekend as Warner Bros' family hit added an estimated $39m from 48territories to raise its total to $263.6m.
  • Hollywood Film Festival launches horror, fantasy and sci-fi side-fest

    Hollywood FilmFestival organisers have teamed up with underground website Film Threat to setup the Hollywood Horror, Sci-fi and Fantasy Festival, which will run alongsidethe main event.The festivalwithin a festival will screen work from emerging and established film-makersand present a range of special attractions."We are honouredto have Chris Gore and Film Threat joining us, so that we can recognise thegreat film contribution of genre film-makers to the past, present and future
  • HONG KONG 21 June

    Media Asiadetective thriller Breaking News,directed by Johnnie To, managed to dislodge TheDay After Tomorrow from the top of the Hong Kong box office, grossingUS$720,270 from 35 screens in its opening week.The film, whichrecently screened in an out of competition slot at the Cannes Film Festival,stars Kelly Chen as a female cop who attempts to boost the image of the policeby taking live TV cameras inside a besieged building.To is renownedinterna
  • Irish thriller Freeze Frame wins Taormina

    Irish thriller FreezeFrame has scooped the top prize at the 50th edition of the Taormina FilmFestival (June 13-20), which is headed by former Venice artistic directorFelice Laudadio.Written and directed by JohnSimpson, Freeze Frame stars Lee Evans as a paranoid murder suspect whofilms himself around the clock to provide an alibi in case he's ever accused ofan another crime.The film, which is distributed by Eclipse Pictures in Ireland and Verve inthe UK, is financed
  • ITALY 24 June

    Denzel Washington thriller Out Of Time opened at number three on what proved to be anothertepid weekend at the Italian box office.While the box office competed with soaring temperatures andthe appeal of the Euro 2004 football matches, the Medusa thriller opened on 239screens but in spite of a strong promotional campaign, grossed only $481,488for a weak screen average of $2,015.Columbia Tristar's 50 First Dates opened slightly better,earning $371,280 fr
  • Izo

    Dir: Takashi Miike. 2004.Jap. 128mins.The bad boy of Japanesefilm, with a growing international following, Takashi Miike likes violence wellenough, injecting everything from slow torture to mass slaughter into his50-plus films. But until his latest, Izo,he had never done samurai swordfighting. The traditionalist genre, until younger film-makerscame along like Nakano (Samurai Fiction), Kitano (Zatoichi)and Kitamura (Azumi), was
  • Jail threat key to defeating piracy

    The war against piracy hasto be fought on several fronts, and the need to educate consumers that theycould go to jail for downloading or copying films is paramount, delegates atthe annual Cinema Expo conference in Amsterdam heard today (June 23).A wide-ranging seminar heldhere on Wednesday morning highlighted the differences in methods of piracya
  • JAPAN 23 June

    Only one film entered the nine-major-cities chart for the week of June12 to 18 -- Eiichiro Hazumi's Sea Monkeys (Umizaru).Produced by Robot, the same company that delivered the two mega-hit BaysideShakedown films, Sea Monkeys depicts the trials and triumphs ofyoung Japan Coast Guardsmen training to be dive
  • Ladies In Lavender

    Dir/scr: Charles Dance.UK. 2004. 108minsCharles Dance's directorial debut is a stilted andold-fashioned romantic drama which would be heavy as suet were it not for thedeft and lively performances of its two Dames, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. Inrecreating 1930s Cornwall, Dance throws in all the elements associated withBritish heritage cinema - picture postcard imagery of the landscapes lovinglylensed by Peter Biziou, kind hearted yokels in tweed, barn dance
  • Leigh named as Sarajevo jury president

    UK director Mike Leigh is to serve as the president of theInternational Jury at this year's Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) (August 20-28).He will be joined in judging up to 10 films from eightcountries - ex-Yugoslavia, Albania, Romania and Bulgaria - in the RegionalProgramme by the Tribeca Film Festival's Peter Scarlet, the Romanian actressDiana Dumbrava (Maria) and local Bosnianwriter-director Pjer Zalica whose latest film Visiting Uncle Idriz will open the 10th edition of
  • Levinsohn is now president of digital media and worldwide pay TV at Fox

    Peter Levinsohn has beenpromoted to president of digital media and worldwide pay television at FoxFilmed Entertainment.Levinsohn will lead effortsto set up robust content protection measures and assumes responsibility foridentifying distribution opportunities, pursuing partnerships with technologymanufacturers and maximising opportunities in emerging digital platforms.He will work closely withthe company's strategic planning unit and top brass at the various FoxEntertainment Gro
  • Lidschin named marketing manager at

    Cory Lidschin has been named marketing manager for North Americaat, effective immediately.Based
  • Los Muertos

    Dir/prod/scr/ed:Lisandro Alonso. Argentina. 2004. 78minsBewareof promising beginnings bearing false hopes. That would seem to be the lessonto be drawn from Los Muertos, the second feature from Argentiniandirector Lisandro Alonso. Alonso's debut feature was the memorably stultifying LaLibertad (2001), which lovingly covered the working life of a ruralwoodcutter. Los Muertos signals some progress in terms ofcharacterisation and even the
  • Los Muertos

    Dir/prod/scr/ed:Lisandro Alonso. Argentina. 2004. 78minsBewareof promising beginnings bearing false hopes. That would seem to be the lessonto be drawn from Los Muertos, the second feature from Argentiniandirector Lisandro Alonso. Alonso's debut feature was the memorably stultifying LaLibertad (2001), which lovingly covered the working life of a ruralwoodcutter. Los Muertos signals some progress in terms ofcharacterisation and even the
  • Ma Mere

    Dir: Christophe Honore.France. 2004. 109 mins.It's not difficult to seewhy second-time director Christophe Honore was surprised when Ma Mere,his incest-laced study of sexual obsession was turned down by the Cannesselection committee: it is, after all, much more of a festival film than acommercial prospect. Striking in its stark cinematic language, with a jerkysyntax that reminds one of Godard or Antonioni, Honore's film at first builds acold grace a
  • Mattison to star with Maguire, Assante in The Third Wish

    Jenna Mattison is to star inand produce the romantic comedy The Third Wish, which is being directed by Shelley Jensen and hasbegun production in Los Angeles and San Francisco.Mattison wrote thescreenplay about a bookstore clerk whose life is transformed when she finds afirst edition copy of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.Sean Maguire, ArmandAssante, Betty White and James Avery also star and Scott Seligman of SkywayProductions will serve as
  • Millimages boss named as head of Bac Majestic

    Roch Lerner, CEO of animation studio Millimages, has beennamed chairman and managing director of French distributor Bac Majestic. Millimagesrecently took a majority stake in the embattled distributor founded by JeanLabadie.Millimages now owns a 51% stake in the company while Labadiehas decreased his interests to 25%. Labadie in turn now takes the post ofmanaging director of Bac Films, a subsidiary of the company.Moving back to form after a difficult spell, Bac acquired aseries o
  • Moland's Teacher set for November start

    Acclaimed Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland'sadaptation of Teacher Pedersen (Gymnaslaerer Pedersen) has set a Nov1 start date, following a substantial$1.5m (NOK10,1m) award from the Norwegian Film Fund.Moland is one of Norway's most acclaimed filmmakers,and his most recent feature The Beautiful Country screened in competition at Berlin this year.Produced by Orjan Karlsen for Motlys AS the new $2.5mproject is adapted by Hans Petter Blad from a well-known novel b
  • Moll plunges into Lemming shoot

    In his first foray back behind the camera since 2000'scritical and box office success Harry He's Here To Help, Dominik Mollwill begin shooting Lemming this summer.Producer Diaphana Films confirmed that Moll will startprincipal photography in Paris and Toulouse on the Euros 5.3 millionpsychological thriller in early July.Lemming stars Harryveter
  • More bad news for Samaha in Intertainment case

    Today in the Santa Ana,Calfornia courtroom where Elie Samaha and his Franchise Pictures lost itsbattle with Intertainment AG earlier this week, the jury came back with thepunitive damages verdict, and it's more bad news for Samaha.The Jury awarded BarrieBaeres and Intertainment $29m in punitive damages in addition to the $77.1m incompensatory damages which were awarded on Wednesday.Of that $29m, $4m is to comefrom Samaha himself, $1m from Franchise Pictures LLC and the remaining
  • Moscow Festival gets off to roaring start

    The Moscow International Film Festival got off to a roaringstart on Friday night (18 June) with guests Quentin Tarantino, David Carradine,Lawrence Bender and Harvey Weinstein taking to the stage at the Pushkin Theatreto rousing applause.Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol 2 was the opening film and Tarantino kidded the audience about Russianaudio visual piracy asking all those who saw Kill Bill Vol 1 to raise their hands, then asking all those who hadseen Kill Bill Vol 2 alr
  • MPAA upholds 'R' rating for 9/11

    The MPAA upheld its R ratingfor Fahrenheit 9/11 yesterday(22), despite an eleventh hour appeal led by Lions Gate Films president TomOrtenberg.Classification and ratingappeals board members stuck to their guns after watching a screening of MichaelMoore's Palme D'Or winner in Los Angeles and hearing argument from Ortenberg.The reason for the ratingcited by an MPAA spokesperson was "some violent and disturbing images and forlanguage". It is believed the "disturbing" images r
  • MPAA, NATO team up for anti-camcording rewards scheme

    The MPAA and US theatreowners group NATO have launched the Anti-Camcording Rewards Programme, a cashincentive scheme designed to thwart illegal recording activity.US theatre staff who catchindividuals recording pictures, notify the police and stop the recording willbe eligible for cash rewards of up to $500.According to the MPAA,pirates typically capture a picture on camcorder in its first few days ofrelease before distributing it worldwide via peer-to-peer file-sharing networks
  • New funding scheme for Welsh film-makers

    Welsh media agency,Sgrîn Cymru Wales, has launched a new funding scheme for Welsh filmmakers.The Welsh MicrosScheme - to be financed by The Arts Council of Wales, Film Four and S4C, inpartnership with Sgrîn - is designed to enable the production of two featurefilms with budgets of up to £400,000 each over the next year."Welsh Micros isaimed at Welsh production companies, writers and directors who are breakinginto film production, as well as those filmmakers who have ma
  • NEW ZEALAND 21 June

    UIP's Shrek 2 didconsiderably better in its opening weekend then Roadshow's Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban did during the weekendearlier. There was a difference of only three screens between them. Shrek 2 sold NZ$2,202,050 worth oftickets to 85 screens for a screen average of NZ$25,906 while Harry Potter grossed NZ$1,790,534 from82 screens for an average of NZ$21,836.
  • NORWAY 24 June

    In Harry Potter's second week ruling overthe Norwegian chart, it remained untouchable by any of the four new releases.JohnnyDepp-starrer Secret Window fared bestmaking it into fourth, but its just 16 prints, which averaged NOK27,666, wereno match for The Day After Tomorrow
  • Or

    Dir:Keren Yedaya. Israel-Fr. 2004. 100mins.This intimate, visually stylised but rather loose firstfictional film by Keren Yedaya paints a raw, grim and uncompromising portraitof the relationship between an adolescent girl and her prostitute mother, andthe daughter's effort to get her parent once and for all off the streets.Yedaya,a socially-conscious activist who has already explored the theme ofprostitution in earlier documentaries, shot this Fra
  • PiFan unveils 8th festival line-up

    Stuart Gordon's King Of The Ants and Ahn Byung-ki's Bunshinsaba have been selected tobookend the 8th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan), whichruns from July 15-24 in South Korea.The world premiereof Bunshinsaba marks the third time thata film by Ahn will close the festival, with previous works A Nightmare and Phonewrapping up the 4th and 6th PiFan festivals respectiv
  • Pilowsky, Leventhal team to form Priority Pictures

    Marion Pilowsky, former head of international production for Myriad Pictures, and Colin Leventhal, a consultant to tax-based financier Grosvenor Park, have teamed to form UK production company Priority Pictures.The company's first film will be Three Bad Men, based on a script by Peter Straughan and to be directed by Paul Weiland (City Slickers 2, Rosanna's Grave). Starting principal photography this autumn, the black comedy tells the story of three hit men on the run who
  • Potter magic still keeping Shrek 2 at bay

    While Shrek 2 hit araft of new territories last weekend, claiming records for best animatedopening ever in most (see, June 23) including Mexico,Brazil, Australia and New Zealand, it is not yet on enough screens or in enoughterritories to topple Harry Potter.The boy wizard's thirdcinematic adventure, The Prisoner Of Azkaban, retained the top spot internationallyafter adding eight new territories. These included a number one bow in Spainwhere t
  • Riddick has so-so openings in Singapore, Malaysia for UIP

    In its first international bows through UIP, Universal's TheChronicles Of Riddickopened fourth in Singapore on $210,000 from 26 screens and second in Malaysiaon $160,000 from 36 screens.
  • Roman Gutek awarded French cultural honour

    Veteran Polish distributor Roman Gutek, creator and owner ofPolish arthouse distribution outfit Gutek Film, is to be awarded with France'sChevalier des Arts et Lettres, one of the country's highest cultural honoursfor promoting French culture in Poland.Gutek establishedthe Warsaw Film Festival in 1985 and directed it until 1992. He was alsoone of the initiators and organisers of the French Film Festival in Warsaw aswell as many retrospectives of contemporary French cinema in Poland.
  • RTL's Zeiler named as MIPCOM personality of the year

    RTL Group's Chief Executive Officer, Gerhard Zeiler, hasbeen named as the MIPCOM Personality of the Year.GerhardZeiler will receive the award during a gala dinner for industry VIP executivesat MIPCOM.MIPCOM takes place in Cannes from October 4-8.
  • Russian mega-production moves to Rome

    Russian producer Sergey Gribkov is close to completing a bigbudget spy-action blockbuster called Countdown,set to be one of the most ambitious films ever made in Russia.Directed by Evgeniy Lavrentiev (Swindle, Dream On), the multi-million dollar picture has beenshooting for 26 weeks in and around Moscow, the Caucasus and Georgia. Theproduction moved to Italy earlier this month for a 3-day shoot in Rome.
  • Samaha, Franchise stung with $29m punitive damages in Intertainment case

    Make no mistake:Last week's jury verdict victoryfor Intertainment Licensing CEO Rudiger"Barry" Baeres over Franchise Pictures CEO Elie Samaha in their epic budgetpumping fraud lawsuit was a total annihilation of Franchise, and could suck upwhat's left of Samaha's personal war chest.On Wednesday ina Santa Ana, California federal courtroom, Intertainment was awarded $77.1million in compensatory damages against Franchise for fraud and breach ofcontract after the jury voted unanimously tha
  • Scottish Screen chief McIntyre quits

    Steve McIntyre has quit as chief executive of ScottishScreen, the funding body confirmed on Thursday.McIntyre has said he does not want his contract renewed whenit expires at the end of August. The body, which administers National Lotteryfunding, will start the search for his replacement next week, offeringcandidates a three-year contract.Scottish Screen receives £2.7 million in executive funding ayear and about £3 million in lottery cash to back the Scottish film industry.Most
  • Senator shareholders agree restructuring plan

    The restructuring plan for the insolvent SenatorEntertainment negotiated its first hurdle at an extraordinary AGM convened bythe court-appointed receiver Rolf Rattunde in Berlin on Thursday (June 17).At the meeting in Hotel Berlin, the shareholdersagreed to a capital reduction of 90% and a subsequent capital increase in orderto clear the way for a new investor to come onboard with fresh capital. Thenext steps are expected to be the successful conclusion of the talks withpotential inves
  • Shrek 2 has powerful B.O.

    Shrek 2 canalready proclaim itself the biggest film of the year and biggest animated filmof all time in North America ($379m). However, the original 2001 film performedbetter in North America than internationally, a rarity for animated hits - andsomething which may not be repeated by the sequel.As the sequel starts to gain momentum in its internationalroll-out distributor UIP (which handles all territories with the exception ofHong Kong and Korea) will be looking to make an even
  • Singapore, China players partner for Stupid sequel

    Singapore's MediaCorp Raintree Picturesis tapping into the huge China market following an agreement with the ShanghaiFilm Group to make a sequel to its 2002 box office hit I Not Stupid.Like the first movie, I Not Stupid 2 is a satirical comedy tobe directed and written by Jack Neo. Raintree CEO Daniel Yun, who sealed thedeal in Shanghai while attending the Shanghai International Film Festival,said, 'The Shanghai Film Group has agreed to c
  • Skoll launches Participant for socially relevant pictures

    Philanthropistand former eBay president Jeff Skoll has launched Participant Productions, aLos Angeles-based company to focus on socially relevant features highlightingsocial injustice and related themes.Financing is inplace for the company to produce four to six pictures a year ranging from lessthan $5m to up to $40m. It marks SkollC;s second foray into film: his othercompany Ovation Entertainment was also devised to make socially relevantstories and has so far produced House Of
  • Sorkin to script real life Afghan tale for Playtone, Universal

    The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin is to adapt George Crile's real-lifeMujahideen tale Charlie Wilson's War for Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman's Playtone and UniversalPictures.
  • Spider-Man 2

    Dir:Sam Raimi. US. 2004. 127mins.There'sas much soul searching as web spinning in the sequel to summer 2002 box officechampion Spider-Man. Revealing more (literally as well asmetaphorically) of its superhero's human face, Spider-Man 2 - againdirected by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire as the comic book New Yorkcrime fighter - is an expertly crafted mix of drama, romance, humour and actionthat outdoes its more conventionally generic prede
  • Steamboy

    Dir/scr: Katsuhiro Otomo.Jap. 2004. 126mins.In 1988, with his debut feature Akira,Katsuhiro Otomo introduced the world to the post-apocalyptic future,Japanese-style - and spurred a global boom for Japanese animation that has yetto subside. Sixteen years later, he is back with Steamboy, an animatedepic set in the London of 1866, when the Machine Age was well under way, JulesVerne was at the height of his powers - and the future looked like a grandadventure.
  • Studio Hamburg threatens to move to Berlin

    In a reaction to the Hamburg Senate's planned cut to itsfilm funding budget, Studio Hamburg - which is currently negotiating a takeoverof the Babelsberg studios - has threatened to move its production apparatus toBerlin.Speaking to of Die Welt, Studio Hamburg chief Martin Willichsaid that "on 23 July our supervisory board convenes and I will describethe repercussions the cuts will have on us."One of the key players in the local Hamburg film andtelevision industry, Willich called
  • Sundance prize-winner Brother goes to Wolfe

    Gay and lesbian USdistributor Wolfe has picked up North American theatrical and home video rightsto Rodney Evans' Sundance special jury prizewinner Brother To Brother.The story concerns a conflicted young black gay writer whoencounters a surviving poet from the Harlem Renaissance, and stars AnthonyMackie, Roger Robinson, Duane Boute, Larry Gilliard and Aunjanue Ells.The companyplans an October release with video to follow in summer 2005.Wolfe pres
  • SWEDEN 24 June

    Thenational football team didn't completely prevent Swedes from attending thethird Harry Potter film, which easilystayed on top of the chart with a $5,346 screen average on its massive 163prints.With theschool holidays beginning Scooby-Doo 2made a comeback to the top 10 after 13 weeks on release by moving into fi
  • Taegukgi (Taegukgi Hwinalrimyeo)

    Dir: Kang Je-gyu. Korea.2004. 148 minsIs Kang Je-Gyu becoming theMichael Bay of Korean cinema' The director made a persuasive claim to the titlewith the slick conspiracy thriller Shiri (Swiri) which grabbedthe Korean box-office crown in 1999. Now, he moves into Pearl Harborterritory with Taegu
  • Tartan stirs up revolution over Nine Songs

    British distributor TartanFilms announced yesterday that it intends to sue UK producer Revolution Films over Nine Songs, the sexually explicit relationship movie directed byMichael Winterbottom.Tartan said that it will suefor breach of contract and loss of profits amounting to some $3.6m (£2m) in theUK. Tartan said that it will also launch similarlawsui
  • Thai distributor Nontanund to double acquisitions

    Thailand's largestexhibitor Major Cineplex is moving into distribution with the acquisition ofindependent Thai distributor Nontanund Entertainment.Thelong-expected move, which Major Cineplex announced to the Thai stock exchangeon Wednesday, follows the recent announcement that the cinema chain is mergingwith Thailand
  • The Talent Given Us wins top jury prize at CineVegas

    Andrew Wagner's The Talent Given Us won the jury award at the CineVegas FilmFestival 2004 at the weekend, while Larry Golin's Cross Bronx took the audience award and JohnHarkrider's Mitchellville received an honourable mention from the jury.
  • Toronto Film Studios wins giant new Toronto studio bid

    After years of fits andstarts, Toronto is finally going to get the giant production facility itsindustry has been calling for. The Toronto Economic Development Corporation hassaid the Toronto Film Studios (TFS) is the winning applicant to develop andbuild the facility.The $118m (C$150m) projectcalls for a complex of up to 385,000 sq. ft on 30 acres of land in the city'sportlands area. An official announcement will be made later today.It's long been claimed thatToronto has been p
  • UIP steals show at Cinema Expo

    Cinema Expo, the annualtrade show and conference for the exhibition industry in Europe, kicked off onMonday (June 21) with a high profile presence from United InternationalPictures (UIP), and some tentative optimism about the rollout of digital cinema.Yesterday was dubbed"UIP day" by Cinema Expo and Jeffrey Katzenberg's attendancecertainly upped the executive quotient for the distributor - in lieu of anyacting superstars in Amsterdam. The DreamWorks co-founder, whose films are handled
  • Virgo's Lie is hot but Egoyan's Love is cooler

    Summer is always the busiest season forfilm production. In Canada, where the summer is as short as it is hot, thatmakes it busier than most. In terms of heat, the hottest production by far isClement Virgo's new film, Lie With Me,which started shooting in Toronto on June 16.Virgo co-wrote the screenplay with TamaraFaith Berger based on her "brazenly pornographic" novel. Mark Urman head of theatrical distribution forTHINKFilm, which picked up world rights for the project, is alrea
  • Warner signs massive free-TV deal with DMI in Middle East

    Warner BrosInternational Television Distribution (WBITD) has signed a multi-year,exclusive deal with Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI), marking the biggestdistribution deal the company has ever signed with a free-to-air MiddleEast-based broadcaster.The deal willbring Middle Eastern audiences of the newly launched Dubai TV around 90 ofWarner Bros' latest pictures, including the Matrix, Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings trilogies, and The Last Samurai