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Screen
24 June 2005

View all stories from this issue.

  • Academy tightens rules on Oscar producers

    The US Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)has further tightened the number of producers who can takehome an Oscar.In approving rules for the 78th Annual AcademyAwards this week, the AMPAS board decided that its Producers Branch ExecutiveCommittee will "designate the qualifying producer nominees for each of thenominated pictures."The decision means that the producers committee, rather thanthe producers of nominated films themselves, will decide who goes home with a.
  • Almodovar preps collector's editions of his own work

    The Almodovarbrothers' El Deseo has bought into Spanish DVDdistributor Cameo Media and will pump the bulk of its catalogue and newproductions through the company, including Pedro Almodovar'supcoming feature Volver.Funding a capital increase, El Deseo joins Alta Films, Wanda Vision, TornasolFilms, Continental Producciones, Golem and Cameomanaging director Juan Carlos Tous as an equalpartner in the two yea
  • AMC and Loews Cineplex set to merge

    US and international exhibitors AMC Entertainment and LoewsCineplex have agreed to merge, creating a cinema chain with 5,900 screens inthe US and 13 other territories, including the UK, France, Spain, Japan, SouthKorea and Mexico. The merged entity, to be known as AMC Entertainment, willown, manage or have an interest in 450 cinemas. AMC is currently the second biggest US chain and Loews Cineplex the third. The new entity will rank a much closer second to Regal Entertainment, which has
  • Amiel signed to give wings to Angels

    Jon Amiel has signed up to direct a new film forLondon-based production company, The Producers.Angel Makers tells the story of a Yorkshire farming communityafter the First World War where returning soldiers discover that German POWshave taken their jobs and wives.Amiel, whose previous work includes Entrapmentand Sommersby, has talked to
  • AOL launches virtual film festival online

    AOL Moviefone will launch its first "virtual short filmfestival" next week.It is the kind of deal that some in the film industrybelieve points to potentially lucrative future partnerships with new-media businesses. AOL's moviefone.com will ask readers to rate competitionfilms from new and up-and-coming directors as well as films that have played inUS festivals, including Sundance and Tribeca.The event has attracted sponsorhip from Ford's MercuryMilan, rumoured to be worth
  • Atonement opts for the Wright stuff after Eyre departure

    UK theatre director Sir Richard Eyre has stepped down from theadaptation of Ian McEwan's bestselling novel Atonement.Eyre reportedly wanted a delay while he worked on other theatreprojects but instead Working Title has decided to replace him.The new director is Joe Wright, who has just finished filmingPride And Prejudice. He was previously best known for a BBC TV drama aboutCharles II.A Working Title spokeswoman said he was the company's firstchoice o
  • Bafta to get its first woman chair

    Joint director of Tightrope Pictures Hilary Bevan Jones isto become the first woman to chair the British Academy of Film and TelevisionArts (Bafta) in 60 years.She was named deputy chairman today, which means she willchair the organisation next year.Bevan Jones is a well-known name in UK television with ahistory of high-quality drama. Her most recent w
  • Batman Begins hits $71.1m after five days in US

    Batman Begins swooped to the top of the NorthAmerican box office chart over the weekend with an estimated three-day gross of$46.9m, bringing its tally since opening last Wednesday to $71.1m. The impressive, if not spectacular totals were within therange expected by Warner Bros. But the weekend
  • Batman Begins hits $71.1m after five days in US

    Batman Begins swooped to the top of the NorthAmerican box office chart over the weekend with an estimated three-day gross of$46.9m, bringing its tally since opening last Wednesday to $71.1m. The impressive, if not spectacular totals were within therange expected by Warner Bros. But the weekend
  • Batman Begins hits $71.1m after five days in US

    Batman Begins swooped to the top of the NorthAmerican box office chart over the weekend with an estimated three-day gross of$46.9m, bringing its tally since opening last Wednesday to $71.1m. The impressive, if not spectacular totals were within therange expected by Warner Br
  • Batman takes $41.7m in tricky international marketplace

    Batman Begins grossed an estimated $41.7m over the weekend from 8,000 screens in 73territories, making it the latest in a series of wide day-and-date openers totop the international box office chart.The international take (achieved over five days insome territories) added to an impressive domestic gross -- $71.1m -- to givethe Warner Bros franch
  • Brad Pitt's Plan B moving from Warner to Paramount

    Brad Pitt's production company Plan B has ended its dealwith Warner Bros and signed a first-look production agreement with ParamountPictures, whose chairman and CEO Brad Grey was one of Plan B's originalfounders. Pitt and Grey are pictured together here.The production company already has several projects indevelopment at Paramount. True Story isthe real life tale, to be directed by Kevin MacDonald, of a New York Timesreporter whose identity was stolen by a murder suspect. And
  • Byrne premiere brings Fleadh to orderly close

    The 17th Galway Film Fleadh hasannounced its full programme, with the premiere of Anthony Byrne's debutfeature, Short Order, to close theJuly 15-11 event. An Ireland/UK/Germany co-production, Short Order joinsother previously-announced features including On A Clear Day, with Peter Mullan, Billy Boyd and Brenda Blethyn,which opens the event.
  • Casanova to woo the crowds at Venice

    The Venice Film Festival (Aug 31-Sept 10) will host the worldpremiere of Lasse Hallstrom's Casanova, which stars Heath Ledger andSienna Miller."After at least a 30-year interval, Casanovaa is thefirst film made by a US studio to have been entirely shot in Italy, and for themost part in Venice," said festival chief Marco Mueller.He explained that he had been "courting the film's producerssince last year" for the film to premiere on the Lido.The Casanova
  • Cayla to head up French film body

    Cannes FilmFestival administrative director Veronique Cayla has been named to head Frenchfilm body the CNC it was announced today. Theappointment is effective immediately and she will leave her festival roleat once. Cayla, whohas also been named interim president of France'sfilm school FEMIS, takes up her functions at the CNC following the departure ofCath
  • Cuaron film promises to 'remove hex' on Pinewood

    After a week of profitwarnings and falling share prices, Pinewood-Shepperton studios can finallyannounce some good news.Universal's adaptation ofthe PD James' novel Children Of Men, to be directed by Alfonso Cuaron,is setting up shop at Pinewood Studios - and looks certain to shoot there fromearly autumn."I've been able topersuade the powers that be that the film should be made in Britain,"producer Iain Smith said today."My basic technique wasto say this was a film
  • Curzon offers school for shorts

    London's Curzon Soho cinema is hosting a four-day short filmfestival, starting on July 6.The Short Film Summer School (SFSS) will screen some of thebest work from new and established directors.The Screen International-supported event also includes workshops,advice sessions and a chance to pitch ideas with the UK Film Council. One of the SFSS patrons is former short film maker AsifKapadia, who has since moved on to feature films, including The Warrior.He beli
  • Dardenne brothers top Nouveau Montreal festival

    Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne's Palme d'Or winning TheChild will be among the films screeningat the 34th Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montreal from October 13to 23. Programming Director Claude Chamberlan has alsoannounced three more films for theprogramme: Lars von Trier's Manderlay, Alain Cavalier's Le Filmeur andthe directorial debut of Iranian actress and filmmaker NikiKarimi Yek Shab.The Festival du Nouveau Cinema de Montreal is Canada'soldest inte
  • Darwin's Nightmare wins Silverdocs

    Silverdocs, AFI/DiscoveryChannel Documentary Festival, ended on Sunday night with its annual awardsceremony which gave Hubert Sauper's Darwin's Nightmare the top prize, the Sterling Award.The film shows the impact ofglobalization and the scourge of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa through themicrocosm of life on the shore of Lake Victoria in Tanzania.The festival, which takesplace in Silver Spring, Maryland, also gave prizes to David Nelson and ArieneDonnelly Nelson's Positi
  • Distributors flock to German Films' preview event

    Morethan 40 international film distributors and TV film buyers will attend the German Films' Munich Previews starting on Wednesday.NewLine Cinema, Focus Features, the UK's Soda Pictures, France's MK2, Hungary'sBudapest Film, and Russia's Most Media are among the visitors to the event atthe Munich Filmfest.Othercompanies confirmed include the UK's City Screen, Poland's Gutek Film, Mexico'sConstellation Pictures and Italy's Medusa Film. Thebuyers will see world premieres of
  • Distributors flock to German Films' previews

    Morethan 40 international film distributors and TV film buyers will attend German Films' Munich Previews starting on Wednesday.NewLine Cinema, Focus Features, the UK's Soda Pictures, France's MK2, Hungary'sBudapest Film, and Russia's Most Media are among the visitors to the event atthe Munich Filmfest.Othercompanies confirmed include the UK's City Screen, Poland's Gutek Film, Mexico'sConstellation Pictures and Italy's Medusa Film. Thebuyers will see world premieres of new
  • Emily Watson embarks on pan-European Crusade

    Oscar nominated Dutchdirector Ben Sombogaart (Twin Sisters) has started shooting the Euros 12m Crusade In Jeans, which stars Emily Watson and Belgian actor JanDecleir.An English language adaptationof the popular Dutch novel by Theo Beckman, Crusade in Jeans tells the story of a young boy, Dolf, who isaccidentally transported to the 13th century and is forced to join a crusade of8000 young children.Dutch producer KasanderFilms is co-producing with Belgian out
  • EuropaCorp to co-produce tasty Thai title

    Luc Besson's EuropaCorp will co-produce Thai director Wisit Sasanatieng's (Tears of the Black Tiger) next project withFive Star Production Company, marking the French mini-major's first foray intoAsian film production. Titled NamPrix (which translates as hot chilli sauce), Nam Prix will start shooting early next year in Thailand for alate-2006 d
  • EuropaCorp to co-produce tasty Thai title

    Luc Besson'sEuropaCorp will co-produce Thai director Wisit Sasanatieng's (Tears of the Black Tiger) next projectwith Five Star Production Company.The deal marks the French mini-major's first full-fleged forayinto Asian film production, having previously produced films such as the French/Japanese thriller Wasabi in the French language. Titled Nam Prix (which translates as hot chilli sauce),
  • Europe pays steep price for bargain DVDs - summit claim

    The plummeting cost of DVD threatens to cost distributorsand retailers billions in lost revenue over the next five years, delegates toScreen International's 2005 Home Cinema Summit were told yesterday.And independent distributors blamed the studios for backinga price-cut policy that was damaging to everyone in the business, including theHollywood majors themselves.If the price cuts on DVDs continue at the current rate, morethan $8bn could be taken out of the possible reve
  • Factotum

    Dir: Bent Hamer.Nor-US-Ger. 2005. 93mins.Following the modest butreal arthouse success of Kitchen Stories (which premiered, in 2003, inDirector's Fortnight at Cannes), Norwegian auteur Bent Hamer is back with Factotum,a small but droll and, in its own way, quietly powerful film based on a novelby America's poete maudit, Charles Bukowski.To this day little known tohis fellow countrymen, the hard-living Bukowski has always rated more
  • First Look acquires worldwide rights to Emmanuel's Gift

    Los Angeles-based First LookMedia has acquired worldwide rights to Emmanuel's Gift, a documentary produced and directed by Lisa Lax andNancy Stern about a young disabled man from Ghana, West Africa, who rode abicycle across Ghana on one leg to eradicate the country's negative perceptionof the disabled.FirstLook Pictures plans a domestic theatrical release in Sept 2005, while FirstLook International will handle international sales.The
  • Freud promises business as usual following takeover

    UK PR business Freud Communication will retain itsrelationship with its string of film industry clients following the takeover bythe Publicis Groupe.But the acquisition by the French advertising and marketinggiant could allow the international expansion clients increasingly demand."To be able to preserve and develop our business and culturebut have the resources of the most creative global network will provideopportunities for clients and staff alike," said F
  • Garner to star in Japanese drama remake

    Jennifer Garner has committed tostar in a remake of the 2004 Japanese hit drama Be With You, with WarnerBros agreeing to distribute, according to Kei Haruna, one of the film'sproducers. He says Garner attended aprivate screening of a subtitled print in Los Angeles in January. Moved by the film's story of awoman's incredible reunion with her husband and young son a year after herdeath, Garner brought a remake proposal to Warner, which agreed to distributethe film, with Gar
  • Gellar to inhabit Alice for Universal

    Sarah Michelle Gellar is attached tostar in Alice, a new film based on the video game AmericanMcGee's Alice, for Universal Pictures. Marcus Nispel is set todirect.AmericanMcGee's Alice is a popular Electronic Arts computer game createdby McGee, one of the lead designers on the Quake and Doom series. Usingcharacters and concepts in Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland stories, thegame focus
  • German media funds win reprieve

    Germany'smedia funds areback in business - at least, for the time being.The German government's proposed taxreforms, which would have seen the old-style media funds axed, have beenabandoned. But the reprieve could prove to be temporary for the funds,which, according to analysts, raised $16bn ($13bn Euros) between1997 and 2004, 80% of which was invested Stateside.At the end of April, German Minister of Finance Hans Eichelannounced
  • Greeks look to bed down tax financing initiative

    Launching a film financing initiative worth up to 30% ofa budget to attract foreign shoots is probably the best thing has ever happenedto the Greek film industry.Foreign productions, which used to be welcome source offoreign exchange, have dried up in recent years dueto the lack of studios and the emergence of cheaper and better equippedshooting destinations in central Europe and overseas.The initiative, which provokedgreat interest when announced at the recent Cannes film festi
  • Hastie advance at Magna Pacific

    Lauren Hastie has beenpromoted to theatrical acquisitions and marketing manager at Magna Pacific, oneof the few independent Australian distributors interested in releasingpredominantly mainstream fare into cinemas.Hastie has been with the company fortwo years and was involved in such recent Australian rights deals as theUS/Canadian romantic comedy Just Friends and the futuristic vampire thrillerPerfect Creature from New Zealand. She also had a hand in the most recentacquis
  • HBO closes London sales arm in US relocation plan

    HBO Films London is shutting down as part of a rationalizing move that will see overseas sales of HBO's films now handled out of the US.Theclosure follows the creation of Picturehouse, the New York-based joint venture US theatrical distribution company that unites HBO Films with New Line. That recent tie-up leaves opens up the possibility
  • HBO Films London relocates to the US

    HBO Films London is shutting up shop andrelocating to New York and Los Angeles.Themove follows the HBO Films partnership with New Line in the newly-formedindependent US theatrical distribution company, Picturehouse,"With greater focus from HBO Films onproducing theatrical films, we feel our new international theatricaldistribution activiti
  • Herbie motors into Australia, Batman lands in Korea

    Herbie: Fully Loaded is the sole US studio filmmaking its international debut this weekend - and that only in one territory -in the lull between the wide day-and-date global launches of last week's BatmanBegins and next week's War of the Worlds. With teen favourite Lindsay Lohan starring, Herbieopens in Australia on Thursday (June 23), the same day as its US release. Buena Vista International (BVI) is hoping that the firstoverseas launch for the favou
  • Herbie: Fully Loaded

    Dir: Angela Robinson. US.2005. 95mins.The latest in a gradualrecycling programme of Disney's back catalogue (after Flubber, The ParentTrap, Freaky Friday), Herbie: Fully Loaded is an effective familypicture which will be a big hit for the studio in the US - where it opens onJune 22 - and one likely to start a new series of pictures about the loveableVW Bug.The character spawned fouroriginal theatrical features, starting with The
  • Heroes wanted for Braveheart Challenge

    The UK Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF) isinviting the film industry to join its charity fundraising BraveheartChallenge.The three-day event of 19 gruelling physical challengestakes place in Scotland from September 30 to October 2.Those heroic enough to take on tasks including speedboating,abseiling and JCB driving will compete for the Braveheart Broadsword Trophy anda Spanish holiday.All money will go to the British trade charity 'providin
  • Hong Kong clears way for rental licence fees

    Video rental shops may be requiredto pay licence fees for the first time in Hong Kong under government plans to extend copyright laws.
  • Housewarming (Travaux, On Sait Quand Ca Commence')

    Dir: BrigitteRouan. Fr-UK. 2005. 95mins.Actor turneddirector Brigitte Rouan turns in the French cinematic equivalent of the'chick-lit' novel in Housewarming, a breezily disposable comedy about anindependent professional woman whose life goes into a chaotic spin. Builtaround an elegant but rather stiff central performance by Carole Bouquet, thefilm is an unexpectedly fluffy product from Rouan, who directed and starred inthe harrowing Post Coitum A
  • Icon wins Allen's Match Point for UK

    Icon Film Distribution has won the battle for UK rights toWoody Allen's Match Point.The highprofile deal with sales agent HanWay Films was sealed by new Icon UK presidentAlex Hamilton. Match Point has now sold to 46 territories around the world,including DreamWorks for North America. The UK was one of the last majorterritories to close. Several UK distributors have been circling the film- Allen's first to shoot in the UK - since its world premiere outof competition
  • IMAX soars in China

    IMAX Corporation has signed a deal to open its 25ththeatre in China, which willmake the country IMAX's largest territory outside the US.The IMAX theatre, set to open in December 2007, will beinstalled at the Suzhou Science and Cultural ArtCenter and is set to programme Hollywood event filmsand documentaries in both 2Dand IMAX 3D. Located just 45 minutes from Shanghai, Suzhou has apopulation of approximatelysix million people.Chi
  • In Memory Of My Father wins jury award at CineVegas

    The CineVegas Film Festival, which closed on Saturday night in LasVegas with the premiere of George A Romero's Land Of The Dead, gave its grand jury award to InMemory Of My Father.
  • Intermedia pushes into TV and lower-budget genre film

    Terminator 3 and Alexander producer Intermedia Films hasconcluded three separate international production deals as part of the group's streamlining of itsdevelopment and production activities and its expansion into televisionproduction.Intermedia, IMInternationalmedia's Los Angeles-based subsidiary, has come to agreement "in principle" with the Cologne-basedproduction house Action Concept on a feature film co-production andco-financing arrangement. A low-budget action fil
  • Italian cinema admissions crash

    Cinemaattendances plummeted in Italy by 18.05% in the first half of 2005 with a17.84% slump in box office, according to figures released by monitoring body,Cinetel. A grim-lookinggroup of Italian operators met in the centre of Rome to reflect on the firsthalf of the business year and promote their films for coming months at theGiornate Professionali di Cinema (Professional Cinema Days).Cultureminister, Rocco Buttiglione, summed up the collective gloom: "The figures arevery worry
  • Kadokawa ready for Hong Kong HQ launch

    Japan's leading media group, Kadokawa Holdings, is to open its newheadquarters in China in August.Hong Kong-based Kadokawa Holdings China will sell the group's mediacontents and handle rights deals across the whole of China. The operation is backed by a $1.29m (Y140m) capital investment fromKadokawa Holdings.The group owns Japanese original Ring series as well as more than 1,600 titlesproduced under the Daiei label, including the Zatoichi and Daimajin
  • Kodak and Barco team up in digital cinema alliance

    US film and imaging giant Eastman Kodak Company and Europeandigital projector supplier Barco have formed a strategic alliance to providedigital cinema systems to exhibitors around the world. The alliance is designed to both sell - and provide supportfor - digital cinema systems and services and to allow the two companies tocollaborate on the development of new digital solutions. Describing the alliance as "the first one-stop shop in theindustry," Nico Vernieuwe, vice president o
  • Korea braced for Puchon punch up

    South Korea's festival sceneis set to witness a major confrontation in mid-July, when the 9th PuchonInternational Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) faces off against a smaller rivalevent staged by PiFan's former organisers.On Tuesday the so-calledReal Fantastic Film Festival, to take place in Seoul over the same period asPiFan (July 14-23), unveile
  • Kosslick extends Berlinale contract by another five years

    Dieter Kosslick willcontinue to serve as festival director at the Berlin International FilmFestival for at least another five years.A spokesman for Germany'sState Minister of Culture Christina Weiss confirmed to ScreenDaily.com that thedecision to extend 57-year-old Kosslick's contract had been made at a sittingof the supervisory board of the Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin GmbH(KBB) which Weiss chairs.Kosslick took over fromMoritz de Hadeln as festival directo
  • La Petite Jerusalem

    Dir/scr: Karin Albou. Fr.2005. 96mins.Karin Albou's LaPetite Jerusalem purports to deal with the femininity of its two youngParisian sister protagonists, Laura (Valette) and Mathilde (Zylberstein), eachattempting to make peace between her respective beliefs and desires.But in truth this debutfeature amounts to little more than another impossible romance where true loveis defeated by family and ethnic circumstances.More conventional
  • Land Of The Dead

    Dir/scr: George A Romero.US. 2005. 94mins.Film-maker George ARomero did not invent the idea of the dead returning to life, but he did helppopularise it with his seminal genre films, starting with 1968's Night OfThe Living Dead and continuing with its two sequels, Dawn Of The Deadand Day Of The Dead. With recent horror box office receipts flowing red,he gets the chance to finally return to the director's chair with Land OfThe Dead
  • Lions Gate pounces on The Descent

    Lions Gate has snapped up NorthAmerican rights to Neil Marshall's British gorefest The Descent from PatheInternational.The film, which sold widely during Cannes,is to receive its world premiere at next week's London UK Film Focus.The Descent (Marshall'sfollow-up to 2002's Dog Soldiers) isa Celador Films production, executive produced byPaul Smith and produced by Ch
  • Magnolia, SPHE acquire domestic rights to Nine Lives

    MagnoliaPictures and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) have teamed up to acquireNorth American rights to Rodrigo Garcia's Nine Lives, which played as a premiere at Sundance this yearand screened this week at the Los Angeles Film Festival.Magnoliaplans to release the film theatrically in Sept with subsequent DVD and videodistribution to be handled by SPHE.Nine Lives follows the exper
  • Mandate restructures, adds new staff after mbo

    Joe Drake's Mandate Pictureshas restructured the company in the wake of the management buyout in Jan.Rob McEntegart (pictured) has beennamed executive vice president, business affairs, and will oversee rights andtalent deals for development and production, as well as select distributiondeals such as the company's multi-picture distribution deal with Sony.He joined Mandate fromIntermedia Films where his chief responsibility was negotiating the businessterms of agreements to acqui
  • Moreau plans programme for budding filmmakers

    Frenchacting legend Jeanne Moreau has outlined plans for the Ateliers d'Angers, aresidency programme for budding filmmakers.Thoughsmaller in scale, the project is similar to the Cannes Film Festival Residenceor the Sundance screenwriting workshop, bringing together 12 young Europeandirectors for 10 days beginning July 1. The workshopswill act as an intensive training and exchange session under the aegis of thePremiers Plans Festival of Angers and the direction of Moreau and Poli
  • Nantucket Film Festival gives top prize to Hustle & Flow

    The Nantucket Film Festival finished its tenth edition last night(Sunday) with its prize-giving closing ceremony which saw Craig Brewer win thebest writer/director award for Hustle & Flow.
  • New venture aims to break US digital cinema deadlock

    Yet another new business venture has been formed with the promise of breaking the digital cinema fundingdeadlock in the US.Access Integrated Technologies and projection equipment supplier ChristieDigital Systems have created a subsidiary offering to help pay for installationcosts of 2K resolution projectors in exchange for long-term support and equipment contracts.The agreement includes a two-year plan for a 2,500-screen rollout, with morethan 200 screens to be operational by t
  • Nouveau Montreal festival nabs four Cannes films

    The Dardenne brothers' Palmed'Or winner L'Enfant, Lars vonTrier's Manderlay, AlainCavalier's Le Filmeur and UneNuit (Yek Shab), the directorial debut of Iranian actress NikiKarimi, have all been confirmed as official screenings at Montreal's Festivaldu Nouveau Cinema (FNC), Oct 13 to 23.The four Cannes titles theformer two in Official Competition, the latter two in Un Certain Regard wereannounced as a pre-emptive strike in Montreal's loomi
  • Orlando Vargas

    Dir/scr:Juan Pittaluga. Uru-Fr. 2005. 80mins.JuanPittaluga was associate producer and sound man on Jonathan Nossiter's fortunatewine documentary Mondovino, and Nossiter has returned the favour byassociate producing the Uruguayan director's first feature, Orlando Vargas.But although it is has moments of visual poetry and a certain atmosphericforce, this wilfully obscure film, which screened in Critics Week at Cannes,hardly makes one want to ju
  • Overseas satellite operations still on HBO horizon

    The decision to close HBO Films London should be taken as a signof greater global ambition rather than retrenchment, claims HBO president ofinternational distribution, Charles Schreger.
  • Picture This takes Mirage for North America

    Picture This! Entertainment has acquired North Americanrights to Svetozar Ristovski's Mirage (Ilujiza), a Macedonian -language coming of age tale that hasbeen an official selection at festivals including Toronto, Tokyo and Rotterdam.Picture This! plans a November 2005 theatrical release forthe film, which was acquired from Small Moves Ltd. Ristovski, who previously made the documentary Joy ofLife, directed and produced the film, andco-wrote the script with G
  • Picture This takes Ristovski's Mirage for North America

    Picture This! Entertainment has acquired North Americanrights to Svetozar Ristovski's Mirage (Ilujiza), a Macedonian -language coming of age tale that hasbeen an official selection at festivals including Toronto, Tokyo and Rotterdam.Picture This! plans a November 2005 theatrical release forthe film, which was acquired from Small Moves Ltd. Ristovski, who previously made the documentary Joy ofLife, directed and produced the film, andco-wro
  • Picturehouse assembles distribution team

    Picturehouse, the USdistribution joint venture formed by New Line Cinema and HBO, has unveiled theNew York-based distribution team which will handle the release of the films intodomestic theatres.Rob Schwarz has been namedchief operating officer, Bill Thompson (pictured) is senior vice president andco-general sales manager, John Lange is senior vice president and co-generalsales manager, Crystal King is vice president, marketing operations, and TomHassell and Dan Lange are vice preside
  • Pinewood Shepperton shares drop after profit warning

    Shares in Pinewood Shepperton have dropped 20 per cent after the studio issued a profit warning.The UK institution has been expanding recently, acquiring TeddingtonStudios two months ago. But it has been struggling to tie down the bigblockbuster movies on which it has built its business and reputation.In April,the share price took a big tumble after Paramount's$120m superhero thriller Watchmen abandoned plans to shoot at Pinewood.And the latest Bond looks set to shift to P
  • Recall signs sountrack deal with EuropaCorp

    RecallMusic For Films is to handle soundtracks for films produced by Luc Besson andPierre-Ange Le Pogam's French mini-major EuropaCorp.Thecompany is a joint-venture between composer Eric Serra and France'sRecall music label. It will have an international licence to distribute musicfrom films produced by EuropaCorp. Thedeal kicks off with the release of Jeanne Biras' Au Sui
  • Sony Pictures set to board Woo's $50m Red Cliff

    John Woo and Terence Chang's Lion Rock Productions is inadvanced negotiations with Sony Pictures for worldwide rights outside Japanand Taiwan for Woo's China-set blockbuster The Battle Of Red Cliff.Japanese rights have already been sold to Rentrack, whichwill team up with a studio for theatrical, and CMC Entertainment Group inTaiwan. CMC will, according to Chang, "probably" partner with 20thCentury Fox for Taiwan.Pending the conclusion of talks, Sony willproduce the $50 m
  • Stargate, Magic Hour launch£30m 'protected' UK fund

    A new £30m "capital protected" film financing fundhas been launched in London. MagicGate is a joint venture between fund managerStargate Capital Management and UK production company Magic Hour Media whosecredits include MIke Barker's A Good Woman.MagicGate aims to invest in four films in the £5m to £10m range over the next18 months. It will cover around 30% of the budgets of the projects it backs,but is likely to board films only in advanced states of development."It is
  • Tan heads first Singapore-Japan co-production

    Singapore writer/director Royston Tan's script 0430 has been chosen byJapanese broadcaster NHK as one of the four projects for its 6th AsianFilm Festival, making it the first Singapore-Japan co-production.NHK executive producer Makoto Ueda who is inSingapore for the filming of 0430says, 'I have been hoping to co-produce a film with Singapore for the past10 years. The first NHK Asian Film Festival started
  • The Buried Forest (Umorgei)

    Dir: Kohei Oguri. Japan.2005. 94mins.Stuck seductively in itsown dreamtime, Japanese arthouse director Kohei Oguri's Directors Fortnightcontender The Buried Forest is a slow waltz of stories and images thatonly reluctantly offers itself up to rational analysis. Set in a rural Japanesevillage that has an a historical, magical realist feel, this demanding butresonant film begins, like Big Fish, as a fable about the way thestories we make up can
  • The Magician

    Dir/scr: Scott Ryan. Aust.2005. 88minsThis year's Sydney Film Festival was noticeably shorton new Australian movies. The UK feature My Summer Of Love played theopening night, usually reserved for a local premiere, and three Aussiemicro-budget independents seemed tucked away at the smallest festival venue.Surprisingly, The Magician, a gangster mockumentary chilling andhilarious in
  • The Magician

    Dir/scr: Scott Ryan. Aust.2005. 88minsThis year's Sydney Film Festival was noticeably shorton new Australian movies. The UK feature My Summer Of Love played theopening night, usually reserved for a local premiere, and three Aussiemicro-budget independents seemed tucked away at the smallest festival venue.Surprisingly, The Magician, a gangster mockumentary chilling andhilarious in
  • Toronto festival unveils Cannes, Berlinale bounty

    Films from the Dardennes brothers, Lars von Trier, MichaelHaneke, Alexander Sokurov and Hou Hsiao Hsien were among sixteen North Americanpremieres unveiled today by the Toronto International Film Festival, as thecontinent's leading festival launched the first salvo in its annual PRoffensive. In all, twenty titles were announced, one week before theopening TIFF press conference that signals the beginning of summer in the city.The Dardennes' Palme d'Or winner L'Enfant (The Chil
  • UIP reorganises Indian distribution

    ParamountFilms of India Ltd (PFI), distributor of UIP product on the sub-continent, hasoverhauled its set-up across Indiaand entered into agreements with four local distributors to release Paramount,Universal and DreamWorks films.PFI,which is one of the oldest motion picture distributo
  • UK anti-piracy trailers switch emphasis from studio losses

    A new anti-piracy campaign in the UK is shifting emphasisaway from crime and financial losses towards promoting a positive image ofcinema going.A new trailer, drawn up by major exhibitors anddistributors, contrasts the big-screen "cinema experience" with a scratchypirated DVD."There has been a strategic shift because research showsthat the industry's messages about how much piracy is costing them doesn't seemcredible to consumers," says Mark Batey, chief executive of the UK Film
  • Village Album picks up top prize at Shanghai fest

    The Village Album, from Japanese director Mitsuhiro Mihara, picked upbest film and best actor in the main competition of the Shanghai InternationalFilm Festival (SIFF) on Sunday night.Produced by Japan's WakoCompany, the film tells the story of a father and son who photograph theinhabitants of a village that is about to be swallowed by a dam. Tatsuya Fuji,who plays the father, was awarded best actor. Appropriately, in thecentennial year of Chinese cinema, the two Chinese
  • Warner Bros picks up Almodovar's Volver for Italy

    Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI) has acquired PedroAlmodovar's upcoming Volver fordistribution in Italy. The film stars Penelope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenasand Chus Lampreave. Volver becomes thethird Almodovar project to which WBPI has acquired select distribution rights.The company previously distributed the Spanish director's Hable conElla (Talk to Her) and La Mala Educacion (Bad Education) for certain international territories.
  • Wenders and Kiarostami to be honoured at Locarno

    Inan 'exceptional step' this year the Locarno Film Festival (August3-13) has decided to award two Leopards of Honour to filmmakers Wim Wenders andAbbas Kiarostami. Theyare hailed as 'illustrious representatives of diverse but nonethelesscomplementary ways of making films, both ambassadors of their cultures indifferent contexts around the globe.'WhileWenders - who will turn 60 on August 14 - is being honoured 'for th
  • Wenders and Kiarostami to be honoured at Locarno

    Inan "exceptional step" this year the Locarno Film Festival (August3-13) has decided to award two Leopards of Honour to filmmakers Wim Wenders andAbbas Kiarostami.Theyare hailed as "illustrious representatives of diverse but nonethelesscomplementary ways of making films, both ambassadors of their cultures indifferent contexts around the globe."WhileWenders - who will turn 60 on August 14 - is being honoured "for the blendof formal research and human passion in his films", the fest
  • Working Title reshuffles its senior executive pack

    Working Title has restructured its creative executive team. Natascha Wharton,head of low-budget arm WT2, will take over the development departments of bothWorking Title Films and WT2.Meanwhile, DebraHayward, head of film, is to leave her current post, but will continue to workwith Working Title as exec-producer on selected projects."Debra has a young family which is a large one and wants to spend moretime with them," Working Title boss Tim Bevan told Screen Daily. "This

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