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24 June 2007

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  • 1408

    Dir: Mikael Hafstrom. US. 2007. 94mins.Pitched as summer counter-programming but arriving in the midst of a glut of underperforming horror releases, 1408 is a spooky Stephen King adaptation given an extra touch of class by leads John Cusack and Samuel L Jackson and Swedish director Mikael Hafstrom.The Dimension Films chiller could make a small mark at the box office by catering to older trad horror fans, but in the era of torture porn like Hostel
  • 3D begins big push into global cinemas

    The number of digital 3D cinema screens has nearly tripled during the first six months of 2007, suggesting exhibitors are stepping up to meet Hollywood studio's increasing investment in exclusive 3D movies.According to a report from Screen Digest - 'The Business Case For Digital Cinema Exhibition' - there were 258 digital 3D screens worldwide at the end of 2006 and now there are 750 with 85% in the US and high activity in South Korea and Australia. Germany has 22 screen
  • 95 countries receive entry forms for 2007 foreign language film Oscar

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has posted foreign language film award entry forms to 95 countries in advance of next February's 80th Academy Awards.Academy rules stipulate that to qualify, a film must be released in the submitting country between Oct 1, 2006 and Sept 30, 2007, and be publicly screened in 35mm or 70mm film or in a qualifying digital cinema format for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial cinema.The dialogue track must be predomin
  • Academy ranks swell with 115 new invited members

    The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has invited 115 artists and executives to swell its membership ranks as voting members in 2007.Membership policies adopted by the Academy in 2003 to limit the number of new members would have allowed 150 new members this year but various branch committees endorsed fewer candidates than were proposed to them. Voting membership has now held steady at just under 6,0000 for the past four years.'Some interesting changes are occurri
  • Akamas wins best feature prize at LA Greek Film Festival

    Panikos Chrysanthou's Akamas won the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival's Orpheus Award for best narrative feature and Valerie Kontakos's Who's On First won corresponding documentary honours as the festival closed on Jun 17.A Special Jury Award went to Dimitris Koutsiabasakos for The Guardian's Son. Alexander Voulgaris was named best director for
  • Alvarado-Brown joins Overture as svp, business and legal affairs

    Justin Alvarado-Brown has joined Overture Films as senior vice president of business and legal affairs.Alvarado-Brown will oversee deal-making for Overture's productions and acquisitions and run day-to-day business affairs. He will report directly to Overture chief operating officer Danny Rosett.Alvarado-Brown most recently served as senior counsel for HBO, and began his career in entertainment as vice president in the business and legal affairs department at MGM Studios.
  • ARRI picks up world sales for Sanders-Brahms' new feature Clara

    ARRI Media Worldsales has picked up international distribution rights for Helma Sanders-Brahms' drama Clara which begins the German part of its shoot in North Rhine-Westphalia from tomorrow. The German-French-Hungarian co-production between Integral Film/Helma Sanders-Brahms Filmproduktion, B.A. Produktion, France's MACT Productions and Budapest-based Objektiv Filmstudio had been shooting at locations in Hungary since June 1. Sanders-Brahms' own screenplay focuses on the lo
  • Australian distributor Kojo to launch with 4 Months, 3 Weeks

    Kojo Pictures is launching itself into Australian theatrical distribution with a very high-profile title: Palme d'Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. The abortion-themed story from director Cristian Mungui is likely to go into cinemas by October and will first screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival next month. The Adelaide-based company has also picked up another Wild Bunch title, the screwball comedy Go Go Tales, as well as the Irish drama Garage fr
  • Bangkok film festival to open with Persepolis

    Cannes joint jury prize winner Persepolis will open the Bangkok International Film Festival on July 19. The animated feature is also competing in the international section. A feature debut for co-directors Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Parronaud, the picture is based on Satrapi's graphic novel of her own life and set during the Islamic Revolution in Iran and her subsequent exile in Europe. The closing night on July 29 will feature the world premiere of Muay Thai Chaiya
  • Bangkok finalises international competition line-up

    The Bangkok International Film Festival (July 19-29) has unveiled its full international competition lineup, including three prize winners from Cannes: Lucia Penzo's XXY (which won Critics Week), Edge Of Heaven by Fatih Akin (which took the screenwriting Palme d'Or) and MarjaneSatrapi and
  • Bernstein promoted to senior vp, production, at Universal

    Scott Bernstein has been promoted to senior vice president of production at Universal Pictures, effective immediately.Since Bernstein joined the studio in 2004 he has overseen such projects as last summer's hit The Break-Up and Accepted. He is currently supervising Hellboy 2, which recently began production in HungaryBergstein previously served at Rev
  • Bertolucci to receive Venice's special Golden Lion

    Bernardo Bertolucci will receive the 'Golden Lion of the 75th,' a special prize in celebration of the Biennale's Jubilee anniversary, organisers have said. Bertolucci will receive the prize at Venice's closing night ceremony on Sept 8, just before the announcement of the Golden Lion winner. At this year's edition, Bertolucci's 1966 oil-business themed documentary La via del petrolio and his 1970 Venice entry The Spider's Stratagem (Strategia del ragno) will be shown in ve
  • Box office: the global perspective

    With 2007 on course to break box-office records, Leonard Klady explores how developments in the international market hold the key to the future of the film industry. Widespread predictions that 2007 would break recent box-office records look to be well founded. The international box office generated $4.5bn in the first four months of 2007. Combined with revenues from the domestic North American marketplace, the global gross for the period was $7.2bn. International thea
  • Box-office: undiscovered territory

    Current measures of the international market fail to include more than a sixth of the world's population, says Len KladyThere was an odd popular culture annotation to the story of British seamen held captive in Iran, which was this week the subject of a major inquiry in the UK. One of the sailors bristled when he recalled that an Iranian soldier guarding him commented that he looked like Mr Bean.The media enjoyed the self-deprecating anecdote but there was anoth
  • Brillstein-Grey rebrands as Brillstein Entertainment Partners

    Brillstein-Grey Entertainment has rebranded itself Brillstein Entertainment Partners, chief executive officer Jon Liebman and partner Cynthia Pett-Dante, who together acquired the company from Brad Grey in July 2005, announced today [June 20].Grey's co-founding partners Bernie Brillstein, Marc Gurvitz and Sandy Wernick will continue to help Liebman and Pett-Dante lead the management, television and theatrical film businesses. Grey left the company in Jan 2005 to head Paramount Motion
  • Byrne named to head GE/NBC Universal equity fund

    Thomas M Byrne has been hired as managing director to lead GE Commercial Finance - Media, Communications & Entertainment business and NBC Universal's $250m joint venture Peacock Equity Fund.Megumi Ikeda has also been named executive director, will be based in London and reports to Byrne.Byrne will lead an international team investing equity capital in media companies that have a strong strategic fit with NBC Universal.Byrne's has previously held senior executi
  • Byrne to head GE and NBC's $250m Peacock Equity Fund

    GE Commercial Finance's Media, Communications & Entertainment business and NBC Universal have appointed Thomas M. Byrne, 40, as managing director of the $250m Peacock Equity Fund. Megumi Ikeda, 37, has been named as London-based executive director, reporting to Byrne. Peacock Equity, a joint venture between GE and NBC Universal, invests in international media and technology companies. Its first investment, for online advertisement services company Adify, was announced in April 200
  • Cannes prizewinner Jellyfish finds sales

    Pyramide International has completed a sale of its Cannes Camera d'Or winner Jellyfish to Nanni Moretti's Sacher in Italy. The film was also recently acquired in the US by Zeitgeist. Moretti is known for buying very few films but had a soft spot for Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret's drama, according to Pyramide chief Eric Lagesse. The film, which won the SACD prize in Critics' Week this year, has also been acquired by Shani in Israel where the film opens this month. Other terr
  • Captivity

    Dir: Roland Joffe. US. 2007. 84 minsThe controversy surrounding the marketing of Captivity proves to be more interesting than the film itself. Banned American billboard images considered too intense for public display earned Captivity the kind of notoriety that publicity budgets cannot buy. Anyone seduced by the whiff of scandal is likely to leave underwhelmed by a perfunctory rehash of familiar genre cliches from the likes of Saw, My Little Eye and
  • CFCC, Ironpond launch China co-production web-site

    Los Angeles and Beijing-based production entity Ironpond has set up a web-site for China Film Co-production Corp (CFCC) that aims to help overseas producers access information about co-producing films with China. The site,, is managed by Ironpond with CFCC overseeing the content. It has both English and Chinese-language versions and contains information about local production companies, updates on current co-produc
  • CFCC, UniJapan sign co-production agreement

    China Film Co-production Corp (CFCC) and Japanese film promotion body UniJapan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on film collaboration at the Shanghai International Film Festival on Friday (June 22) The two sides also announced the shooting of a Sino-Japanese period drama entitled Zen. The seven-point MoU is seen as the first step towards a film co-production agreement between the two countries at a government level. It covers initiatives such as hosting workshops
  • Charlotte Mickie leaving Dreamachine to reunite with Robert Lantos

    Canadian producer Robert Lantos is stepping back into the distribution business, according to industry sources in Toronto. While it's unclear whether the new operation will be part of Lantos' production company Serendipity Point Films, it is certain that veteran sales executive Charlotte Mickie has left her post as a director at Dreamachine to run international sales at the start-up. Tony Cianciotta, the veteran Canadian distribution and exhibition executive, is understoo
  • China Film boards Lu Chuan's Nanking! Nanking!

    Chinese state-owned China Film Group Corporation (CFGC) announced five separate deals and joint ventures at the Shanghai International Film Festival on Saturday (June 23). CFGC and Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation have officially boarded Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan's historical drama Nanking ! Nanking ! as co-financiers alongside Beijing-based Stellar Megamedia. Hong Kong 's Media Asia is also co-financing the $12m film which is scheduled to start shooting in N
  • Chou's Secret directorial debut set for summer release

    Hong Kong's Edko Films officially unveiled Taiwanese star Jay Chou's directorial debut Secret in Shanghai today. The shooting of the film, budgeted at $2.5m, was as tight-lipped as the film's title.Edko announced that the film will be released almost simultaneously in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong in late July or early August after a seven-city star tour. Wayne Jiang, general manager of Edko's Beijing office, intends to distribute the film across mainland China on more than 1,00
  • Cine Expo talking point: alternative means

    Exhibitors struggle to find alternative revenue streams, reports Richard Brass.For exhibitors it is the holy grail: how to maximise the use of all that expensive real estate by getting paying customers through the doors at off-peak times.However, despite regular announcements of its imminent expansion, using cinemas for anything other than film screenings remains a fledgling ambition, and examples stand out more for their scarcity than for being part of a trend.
  • Cologne's MMC Studios to launch in-house strand

    MMC Independent, the production arm of Cologne's MMC Studios, will start developing feature films in-house in addition to serving as a co-producer on third-party projects. Speaking exclusively to during this week's Medienforum NRW, MMC Independent production executive Basti Griese explained that MMC Independent's recently expanded team 'intends to become more involved in the development of projects at all stages: from the idea through treatment and screenplay to re
  • Critical opinion: the people's choice

    When critics bemoan the state of Hollywood movies, they are also implicitly - and unfairly - criticising the film-going public who flock to see them, says Lee MarshallThe back-to-back releases of Spider-Man 3, Shrek The Third and Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End have generated a spate of op-eds and blog rants, most of them lamenting the paucity of ideas, playsafe conservatism and corporate cynicism that is seen to reign supreme in Hollywood
  • Digital cinema growth dominated by US

    Digital cinema is growing fast but the US is dominating screen building, a London conference heard.Nancy Fares, businesss manager at DLP, claimed that of the 3,015 commercial screens currently installed, 1,988 are concentrated in the States.The RAAM Conference was told that there were 585 in Europe, 406 in Asia and 26 in South America.It's a trend that analyst Screen Digest has observed for some time.'Commercial d-cinema standard screens grew globa
  • Dolmen strikes deal for 50 Cristaldi classics including Cinema Paradiso

    Dolmen Home Library has acquired DVD distribution rights for 50 films from the Cristaldi Film Library, including several Oscar-winning titles produced by the legendary Italian producer Franco Cristaldi. The deal was signed by Cristaldi library heirs Zeuda Araya and Massimo Cristaldo with Dolmen chief Alessandro Usai. Titles in the package include Pietro Germi's 1962 classic and Best Screenplay Oscar winner Divorce Italian Style and the director's cut of Giuseppe Tornatore's
  • Edinburgh Film Festival to open with Mackenzie's Hallam Foe

    The 61st Edinburgh International Film Festival will open with David Mackenzie's Hallam Foe, which is largely set in the Scottish city. Jamie Bell stars alongside Sophia Myles, Ciaran Hinds and Claire Forlani in the story of a voyeuristic teenage boy who struggles with the aftermath of his mother's suicide and escapes from his sheltered existence when he gets a job at an Edinburgh hotel. David Mackenzie, the Scottish-born director who previously directed on films including
  • Editorial opinion: international affairs

    The international markets are beginning to exert pressure on how business is done in a way that was once the sole preserve of the US domestic market - but there's still room for growth, says Michael GubbinsThere's a bitter joke among the residents of Brittany in France about the oil tanker crashes that pollute their coast every few years. 'We'd be a major oil nation if only we knew how to pick it up.'The Breton conundrum springs to mind when looking at the rapid
  • EM Media to offer producers tour of Nottingham

    UK regional screen agency EM Media is hosting a tour of Nottingham for film and TV producers. The familiarisation tour on June 27 will include visits to the Galleries of Justic, post-production house Spool Films, and former Carlton TV studios. Similar tours have already been held in Derbyshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Rutland. Nottinghamshire recently hosted shoots including Anton Corbijn's Control and Shane Meadows' This Is England.
  • Etgar Keret and Shira Geffe: the nextbig sting

    Husband-and-wife film-making team Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen won the Camera d'Or at Cannes last month for Jellyfish, a surreal drama inspired by US indie films. Edna Fainaru reports. Etgar Keret is a celebrity at home in Israel. A prolific writer of short stories and graphic novels that have been translated into 24 languages, his TV sketches redefined Hebrew satire. One of his short stories, Kneller's Happy Campers, was adapted as a US indie film call
  • Evan Almighty

    Dir: Tom Shadyac. US. 2007. 96mins.Borrowing liberally from Field Of Dreams in addition to its previous swipes from Oh, God!, Evan Almighty is an ungainly melding of religious paean, big-budget studio comedy, and summer-blockbuster spectacle. Taking over for Bruce Almighty star Jim Carrey, Steve Carell proves to be a difficult fit for this sequel's broad slapstick and feel-good family niceties. Without megastar Carrey's in
  • Evan leads, 1408 strong at North American box office

    Effects-heavy family comedy Evan Almighty topped the North American box office chart for the weekend, opening with an estimated gross of $32.1m. But it was Stephen King horror adaptation 1408 that impressed most, with its $20.2m debut.The weekend's other wide release, fact-based drama A Mighty Heart, opened slightly below expectations with an estimated $4m. Michael Moore's documentary Sicko, meanwhile, grabbed an estimated $70,000 from a single screen in a ha
  • Evening

    Dir. Lajos Koltai. US. 2007. 117mins.In Evening, director Lajos Koltai makes his English-language feature debut with an earnest adaptation of Susan Minot's successful novel about a dying woman looking back at the love of her youth. With a dream-team cast of actresses - Vanessa Redgrave, Clare Danes, Meryl Streep, Natascha Richardson, Toni Collette, Mamie Gummer, and Glenn Close - Evening will draw on the always-underserved women's audience in the US and the
  • Exhibition: clean windows

    Calm is restored after the furore over release windows, but the issue remains a live one. Richard Brass reports. Tensions have been running high between exhibitors and distributors over narrowing theatrical and DVD release windows, but for now the storm has abated.Earlier this year, Twentieth Century Fox attempted to release the DVD of Night At The Museum after it had been in cinemas for just 13 weeks, triggering a stiff response from exhibitors.
  • Fatih Akin: stairway to heaven

    Expectations were high for German director Fatih Akin's follow-up to arthouse hit Head-On. So were they met' Martin Blaney reports. Fatih Akin is a relieved man. He has got the difficult follow-up film out of the way. Head-On won the Golden Bear at Berlin in 2003 and was an arthouse hit around the world. Anticipation was rife for his next film. 'These expectations didn't just come from outside, there was also an inner pressure,' Akin admits. 'I wanted t
  • Former ICM CFO Murphy joins Participant Productions

    Former ICM chief financial officer Robert Murphy has joined Participant Productions as chief financial officer and executive vice-president.Murphy will report directly to chief executive officer Jim Berk and will oversee the company's financial activities and operations, and act as a key member of the management team responsible for long-term strategic planning.'Robert's extensive financial and analytical experience in the entertainment business provides the additional ca
  • Fox Licensing & Merchandising pacts with Walden Media

    Walden Media has appointed 20th Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising as its worldwide licensing agent for its future films.The deal will cover upcoming releases such as The Dark Is Rising, Nim's Island, City Of Ember, and The Tortoise & The Hippo.The abovementioned titles will be distributed by Twentieth Century Fox and marketed by Fox Walden, the joint venture co-owned by Fox and Walden.
  • France's Rosem Films sets up Hong Kong beachhead

    French producer Rosem Films has established a Hong Kong production office, which will produce the next projects from award-winning Chinese directors Wang Chao and Guo Xiaolu. Headed by Anais Martane, the Hong Kong entity will develop and co-produce projects with mainland China, beginning with Wang's upcoming drama Starting Over, a co-production with Hangzhou-based Golden Globe Pictures. Martane will also oversee a Beijing representative office. According to Rosem Films'
  • Franco to direct two William Faulkner adaptations

    Actor-director James Franco has acquired film rights for William Faulkner stories Red Leaves and Light In August. Franco plans to direct both projects. The rights for Red Leaves (a short story) and Light In August (a novel) were acquired from the Faulkner Estate, Franco told ScreenDaily.The estate will act as exe
  • French exhibition: Hollywood makes a play

    France's dominance of the local market looks set to be replaced by Hollywood this summer. Nancy Tartaglione-Vialatte reports. While the box office for the first five months of 2007 shows a 12.6% decrease compared to last year, exhibitors are nonetheless optimistic. Last year's early numbers were blurred by the mega-hit Les Bronzes 3: Amis Pour La Vie which was released in February 2006 and went on to be the year's top earner with 10.4 million admissions.
  • Future Cinema to host Chinese themed tent at Glastonbury

    Future Cinema will host the Chinese Cinema Palace at this weekend's Glastonbury music festival, in the Lost Vagueness field. The tent is inspired by Wong Kar Wai's In The Mood For Love. The programme includes international shorts films and music videos presented by Future Shorts. Live theatre will also be rpesented. Future Cinema also hosted programmes at Glastonbury in 2004 and 2005. Future Cinema have set up a MySpace page for the Glastonbury events:
  • Garcia, Quinn, Washington serve as LAFF honorary chairs

    Andy Garcia, Aidan Quinn and Kerry Washington will serve as honorary festival chairs for the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival, which kicks off on Jun 21.Garcia will host the opening night event and screening of Kasi Lemmons' Talk To Me.Washington and Quinn will announce the winners of the Target Filmmaker Awards for best narrative feature and best documentary feature at the Spirit of Independence event on Jun 28. Each award carries a
  • Garelik named senior vp, theatrical distribution, at Overture

    Former Nielsen EDI vice president of client services Matt Garelik has joined Overture Films as senior vice president of theatrical distribution.Based in Overture's Beverly Hills offices, Garelik will handle Overture's western distribution, and will work alongside senior vice president of theatrical distribution Greg Forston who handles eastern distribution. Garelik reports to executive vice president of theatrical distribution Kyle Davies.'With his years of experience in
  • German exhibition: uneasy riders

    Germany's rocky ride continues as the 2007 box office looks set to stall, writes Martin Blaney. Germany's cinema fortunes were revived in 2006 after a poor 2005, with a year-on-year increase in box-office takings of 9.6%, and admissions rising by 7.9%. But exhibitors have had little to cheer in the first five months of 2007. A lack of strong titles, plus the warm April weather, saw cinema attendances falter.Despite the early May arrival of Spider-Man 3, t
  • Global entertainment industry to be worth $2 trillion by 2011

    The global entertainment & media market will see sustained growth and a 6.4% compound annual growth rate to hit $2 trillion in 2011, according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers report. In particular, convergent platforms will rise at double-digit rates and will represent more than 50% of global entertainment spending by 2011. The report says that internet, TV distribution and video games will be the fastest-growing areas. According to
  • Global Universal Film Group signs production deal with Hands Free

    LA-based Global Universal Film Group, a subsidiary of LitFunding Corp, has signed a deal with Hands Free Entertainment's production team of James Paul and Cory Hudson.Global is scheduled to become a publicly traded company once it has been spun off from LitFunding.Paul and Hudson will assist Global in producing a slate of eight films for which Global has signed an outside-financing deal memo. Projects will be funded through state tax incentives, credit, and private equity
  • Glover, Basset, Stiles line up to climb Gospel Hill

    Danny Glover, Angela Basset, Julia Stiles, Simon Baker, Adam Baldwin and The RZA have singed on to the political drama Gospel Hill from newly launched Deco Entertainment.The Los Angeles-based company is fully financing the project, which began shooting in South Carolina last week.Giancarlo Esposito makes his directorial debut based on a screenplay he co-wrote with Jeff Stacy and Jeffrey Pratt Gordon. Spain's 6 Sales is handling sal
  • Hamed to direct Chicago from Yacoubian author Alaa-Al-Aswani

    Egyptian director Marwan Hamed is in talks to direct a film based on Chicago, the follow up book by Yacoubian Building author Alaa-Al-Aswani with Dar El Shorouck, the book's Egyptian publisher as producing partner.The director made the announcement from the Taormina Film Festival where he is serving on the Mediterranean competition jury.Set in Chicago the book tells the story of Egyptian gr
  • Hjerdt takes audience prize at Toronto 's Worldwide Short Film Festival

    Swedish filmmaker Jorgen Hjerdt won the $5000 Telus Audience Choice Award as the 13th Canadian Film Centre Worldwide Short Film Festival (WSFF) wrapped on Sunday. In all 10 awards and over $116,000 (C$125,000) in cash and prizes were presented. The C$10,000 Bravo! FACT Award for Best Canadian Short Film went to Alexis Fortier of Quebec for the dramatic short After All (Apres Tout). Fortier also shared the Kodak Award for Best Cinematography in a Canadian Short with cinemato
  • Huayi Brothers set to shoot Zhou Xun romantic drama

    Chinese producer-distributor Huayi Brothers Films is lining up a new project from up-and-coming film-maker Cao Baoping, Something About Limi, which is set to star Zhou Xun and Taiwanese TV drama idol Vic Chou. The $1.3m (RMB10m) romantic drama with suspense elements is scheduled to start shooting in July. It tells the story of a female taxi driver (Zhou) who sets out to look for her boyfriend when he mysteriously disappears. She finds herself being followed and under surveillance,
  • IFC First Take to release Last Winter in North America

    IFC Entertainment has acquired all North American rights to Larry Fessenden's supernatural thriller The Last Winter and will release through its multi-platform IFC First Take label.The film premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival and screens this week at the Los Angeles Film Festival.Larry Fessenden wrote and directed the story of oil workers in Alaska who are terrorised by an unseen force. Jeffrey Levy-Hinte prod
  • Indian Film Company makes trading debut on London's AIM

    The new Guernsey-registered Indian Film Company (IFC) has started trading on London 's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) today, after raising $109m by going public. Shares rose 20% on their trading debut. IFC, a Bollywood film production and film asset management fund started by Mumbai-based giant Network 18 Group, plans to deploy 40% of those funds immediately by acquiring and producing a slate of 14 films, some of which had been housed at Network 18's Studio 18 division. IFC's
  • India's CCL, Deepak Nayar launch talent search

    India 's Century Communications Ltd (CCL) and producer Deepak Nayar have launched an internet-based film competition portal,, designed by established filmmakers to discover emerging talent in India. The site has been launched following the success of The huge number of films submitted by Indian filmmakers to the global site encouraged this India-specific extension. It aims to discov
  • Irons, Schlondorff, George to give Galway masterclasses

    The Galway Film Fleadh (July 10 - 15) will host masterclasses in acting, directing and screenwriting given respectively by Jeremy Irons, Volker Schlondorff, and Terry George. Events confirmed so far for the 19th edition of the Fleadh include the Real Deal day-long finance and distribution seminar and a New Media session. The seminar will look at the way in which Irish low budget title Once was successfully launched in the North American market having been spotted by a Sundance sco
  • Italian exhibition: hot shots

    With distributors now braving the Italian mid-summer, Italy's box-office prospects are heating up. Sheri Jennings reports. The Italian exhibition sector is looking strong, with a 23% year-on-year increase in box-office revenue for the first quarter, and an impressive slate of summer blockbusters still to come.May ushered in Spider-Man 3 and Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End, which have taken $24m (EUR17.8m) and $20.7m (EUR14.6m) respectively
  • Jamie Morgan: the explorer

    Wendy Mitchell meets Jamie Morgan, a first-time documentary film-maker who created a stir in Tribeca with his provocative and personal documentary, The Workshop. Documentary film-maker Jamie Morgan set out on a personal spiritual quest and ended up with a legal battle hours before the world premiere of his film at the Tribeca Film Festival.Morgan and producer Peter Martin convinced the festival to go ahead with the premiere, despite the threat of legal
  • Japan's Movie-Eye lines up Nightmare Detective sequel

    Japanese producer-distributor Movie-Eye Entertainment unveiled its production and distribution slate at a press conference in Tokyo yesterday, which includes a sequel to Nightmare Detective, to be again directed by Shinya Tsukamoto. Tsukamoto and star Ryuhei Matsuda were on hand to answer questions about the second instalment in the series, which goes into production next month for a 2008 release. With an increase in budget from the first film, which was released on Jan 13,
  • Jim Broadbent joins cast of Indiana Jones 4

    Jim Broadbent has joined the cast of Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones 4, which has begun principal photography and will be released by Paramount on May 22, 2008.It is understood Broadbent will play a mentor figure to Harrison Ford's titular character, along the lines of Dr Marcus Brody played by the late Denholm Elliot in the first and third films.Recently announced cast members for the fourth instalment include Cate Blanchett, Ray
  • Kate Hudson joins Dane Cook in Lionsgate comedy Bachelor No 2

    Kate Hudson will star opposite Dane Cook in Lionsgate's comedy Bachelor No. 2, which is set to begin filming in Boston in August.Cook plays a man who specialises in reuniting women with their ex-boyfriends and ends up falling for his best friend's girlfriend, played by Hudson. Lionsgate has earmarked a third quarter 2008 release.Howard Deutch is in final talks to direct from Jordan B Cahan's screenplay. Cook, who starred in Lionsga
  • Korea's CJ, China Film sign MoU for co-production

    Korea's CJ Entertainment and state-owned China Film Group Corp signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Shanghai Film Festival today to become strategic partners on film co-productions. According to CJ Entertainment president Kim Joo-sung, the partnership involves the production of both Chinese and Korean-language films to be set in both Korea and China. So far, two unnamed projects have been identified for the partnership. One is at the pre-production stage and the oth
  • Locarno to honour actresses in Italian cinema

    The 60th Locarno International Film Festival is planning a special programme, Signore & Signore, of 19 films that highlight great actresses in Italian Cinema. The programme is supported by Cinecitta Holding and curated by Piera Detassis.The films stretch from 1941 to today, and all will be shown in Locarno on new prints. The actresses and films are:Alida Valli in Piccolo mondo antico, 1941Anna Magnani in Bellissima, 1951Gina Lollobrigida in Bread
  • London UK Film Focus to screen 40 films to about 150 buyers

    The London UK Film Focus (LUFF), which runs from June 25-28 at the revamped BFI Southbank, is expected to attract around 150 buyers to London. Around 40 films will be screening. The event, a showcase for British films, is now in its fourth year. LUFF's organisers claim that approximately $2m worth of business was generated directly by last year's event. This more or less matched the figures for 2005. Among the likely buzz titles this year is Peter Howitt's Dangerous Parking
  • Mamoru Oshii set to direct adaptation of Sky Crawlers

    Japanese animation director Mamoru Oshii is gearing up to start work on a big-budget adaptation of Hiroshi Mori's five-part novel series The Sky Crawlers. The film will be produced by Oshii's long-time backer Production IG in collaboration with Nippon Television Network (NTV). Warner Brothers Japan will distribute the film as part of its 2008 slate, continuing its involvement with locally produced films. 'It's an honour for Warner Brothers Japan and our Burbank headquarte
  • Man Of Glass (Uomo Di Vetro)

    Dir: Stefano Incerti. It. 2007. 96mins.A worthy addition to the modern canon of Italian mafia films, Man Of Glass tells the true story of Leonardo Vitale, the first Sicilian mafioso to turn state's evidence and reveal the inner workings of the powerful Palermo branch of Cosa Nostra. Like The Hundred Steps, it's a film about one man's courage in denouncing an entire corrupt system that is kept alive by a mixture of appeals to family honou
  • Marc Forster set to direct Bond 22 for Eon, Sony, MGM

    Marc Forster will direct the 22nd James Bond film, producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced today with Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and MGM.Forster, who directed the 2006 release Stranger Than Fiction for Sony and the upcoming adaptation The Kite Runner for Paramount Vantage and Participant Productions, will start work imminently on the screenplay with Paul Haggis from a draft by N
  • Marcel Grant starts shooting third feature Just Ines

    Shipwreck Film is currently shooting its third feature, Just Ines, from director Marcel Grant. The production is shooting next week in the South of France before returning to the UK to shoot in London July 14-Aug 3. Daniel Weyman and Caroline Ducey star in the story of a London businessman who tries to redeem himself with the help of a beautiful French neighbour. Grant and producer Emma Meaden raised the funding indepently and have had backing from Panavision, Molinare, She
  • Marjane Satrapi: drawing on the past

    Marjane Satrapi, the Iranian-born film-maker of Persepolis, tells Antonia Carver why she hopes it will be seen as a film that just happens to be animated. Following the success of her graphic novels, Marjane Satrapi received enquiries from several US studios. 'One wanted to make a kind of Beverly Hills 90210 in Tehran,' she laughs. Instead, the novelist turned to friends in Paris to take her vivacious story of growing up in revolutionary 1970s Iran on
  • Matt Brown promoted to evp, international, at SPHE

    Matt Brown has been promoted to executive vice president - international at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE).Former Coca-Cola Company senior manager Simon McDowell has joined as senior vice president and general manager, Europe, and will report to Brown.Brown will be based in Los Angeles and manage SPHE's international business including strategic planning and divisional growth.He most recently served as the company's executive vice president - Europe,
  • MGM signs Goldsmith-Thomas to production deal

    MGM has signed producer Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas to an overall production agreement through her Goldsmith-Thomas Productions.Goldsmith-Thomas was a partner at Revolution Studios for seven years and her credits include the recent release Perfect Stranger, Mona Lisa Smile, and Maid In Manhattan.Headquartered in New York, Goldsmith-Thomas and current vice president of development Marisa Yeres wi
  • Michael Apted will direct third Narnia picture in 2008

    Michael Apted will direct Walt Disney Pictures/Walden Media's The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader.The third instalment in the children's fantasy franchise is scheduled to begin filming in January 2008 in time for release on May 1, 2009.The second episode, The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian, will open in 2008 following the global success of 2005's T
  • Michael Kang and Teddy Zee: Wild West 32nd

    Wendy Mitchell meets director Michael Kang and producer Teddy Zee, whose gangland drama West 32nd marks the first US production for Korean powerhouse CJ Entertainment.It was a memorable meeting of minds at Sundance 2005, where director Michael Kang was premiering his coming-of-age story The Motel, and producer Teddy Zee was showcasing Saving Face. They met at a party, where Kang passed out from exhaustion and hit the floor.Luckily, the
  • Mitulescu's Romanian Way finds US home in Film Movement

    Film Movement has picked up domestic rights to Catalin Mitulescu's Romanian drama The Way I Spent The End Of The World, on which Martin Scorsese and Wim Wenders served as executive producers.The film takes place in 1989 in the last year of Ceausesu's regime as a seven-year-old boy who vows to kill the dictator after his older sister is sent to reformatory school for a minor infraction.The film won the Un Certain Regard (Best Actres
  • Moscow to host Emir Kusturica for opening night film Promise Me This

    The 29th Moscow International Film Festival (June 21-30) will open with Promise Me This (Zavet), directed by Emir Kusturica, and will close with Claude Lelouch's Roman de gare. Kusturica will travel to Moscow for the opening night as well as a retrospective of his early work. The festival will show more than 170 films, 20 of which are in the main competition. Three of the competition films are Russian productions: Larisa Sadilova's Nothing Personal (
  • MPD sale met by low-ball offers, says owner Fund

    The proposed sale of Canadian film distributor Motion Picture Distribution LP (MPD) is mired by low-ball offers, according to Movie Distribution Income Fund, the publicly-traded entity which owns 49 per cent of MPD's limited partnership.Alliance Atlantis (AAC) owns the controlling 51 per cent. AAC is in the process of being sold to media company CanWest and US bank Goldman Sachs for US$2.3bn. While CanWest plans to take control of AAC's broadcast assets, Goldman Sachs, wh
  • Munich's Collina to make dramatic remake of The Champagne Spy

    Munich-based Collina Films has hired Israeli writer-director Nadav Schirman to make an English-language adaptation of his documentary The Champagne Spy.The real-life story centres on Jewish Mossad agent Wolfgang Lotz who became addicted to his covert identity as an ex-Nazi playboy and millionaire horse breeder in Cairo in the 1960s.Collina's general manager Ulrich Limmer, who will produce the film, has owned the rights to
  • National Board Of Review to announce annual awards on Dec 5

    The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures (NBR) will hold its annual awards gala on Jan 15, 2008 in New York.NBR members will screen more than 250 films for awards consideration this year and will announced the honourees on Dec 5.The NBR recently awarded $55,000 in student grants to nine universities in the New York area including Brooklyn College, City College, Columbia University, and New York University.Each participating school received a total of $6
  • National Lampoon acquires worldwide on Rifkin's Homo Erectus

    National Lampoon has acquired worldwide rights to Homo Erectus by Adam Rifkin, whose feature Look just won the Grand Jury Prize at the CineVegas Film Festival.The National Lampoon, Burnt Orange Productions and University Of Texas Film Institute co-production premiered at Slamdance this year and will be released in September as National Lampoon's Homo Erectus.Rifkin wrote, directed and stars
  • New Anglo-Jamaican co-production treaty unveiled

    From Broadcast:The British and Jamaican governments are joining forces to encourage filmmakers from the two countries to work on co-productions. Broadcasting minister Shaun Woodward and Del Crooks, Jamaica's film commissioner, joined together at a specially organised press conference at the BroadcastLive trade show in London today to publicise the deal, in which they will encourage UK film makers to participate in joint a
  • Nouri Bouzid wins best film prize at Taormina

    Tunisian director Nouri Bouzid's Making Of took the Golden Tauro for best film at the Taormina Film Festival. The Film is part of the Mediterranean competition line up which is the principal competition section at the festival, which, in its 53rd edition has a new format focusing on cinema of the Mediterranean world. The jury was presided over by Argentinian screenwriter and director Luis Puenzo, who was flanked by Tribeca director Pete
  • Paramount plans Japanese theatrical unit after UIP office shuts

    Following the news that United International Pictures (UIP) Japan will close at the end of 2007, Paramount Pictures International (PPI) has announced that it will start its theatrical distribution buisiness in Japan at the start of 2008. PPI Japan will be combined with the existing Paramount Home Entertainment Japan. Andrew Cripps, president of PPI said: 'This is a truly important development for Paramount. The Japanese market is challenging and exciting with real potential for gr
  • Paramount's Fragen moves to head domestic TV distribution at Summit

    Alex Fragen has been hired as Summit Entertainment's president of domestic television distribution and will oversee the company's free and pay television, video-on-demand, pay-per-view, and hotel and airline sales.Fragen will also be involved in developing the new media distribution strategy for Summit's Home Entertainment division.He arrives from Paramount, where he previously served as senior vice president of Domestic Television Distribution, and will now report to Sum
  • Paris Cinema event announces premieres

    The fifth annual Paris Cinema event will take place from July 3-14.Less a festival than a happening which is open to the public, the event does include an international competition and has upped its profile over the past several years. For the 2007 edition, 13 feature films will vie in the main section (see list below) while 17 shorts will also compete. Each night of Paris Cinema will see a film premiere in any of various movie houses around the city. Th
  • Parvez Sharma: love & faith

    Parvez Sharma'sIslam, My Love could be the most controversial documentary of the year. Jeremy Kay finds out why.A film arrives this autumn with the potential to blow through institutionalised thinking in a manner that will make Michael Moore's polemics seem breezy by comparison.Responses will inevitably be polarised, but 33-year-old film-maker Parvez Sharma says his aim in making Islam, My Love - the first documentary on Islam and homosexu
  • PiFan to open with For Eternal Hearts and close with Kala

    Korea 's Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) announced the line-up for its 11th edition today. The festival will open with the world premiere of Korean director Hwang Qu-dok's For Eternal Hearts - a love story that travels through time, and close with the international premiere of Indonesian director Joko Anwar's Kala, a mystery thriller. PiFan will have 20 world premieres, including Kim Min-sook and Lee Jung-gook's Resurrection of the Butterfly in c
  • Pirates' ship gets Shrek'd

    Good things come in threes, as Shrek The Third knocked Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End off the top spot this weekend. The royal ogre grossed $46.6m over the three-day period - an 86% increase after expanding to an additional 11 territories.Pirates held on strongly to second place, generating $35.3m from 104 territories and Ocean's Thirteen was not far behind, taking $25.4m in its second weekend. Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer
  • Please Vote For Me wins top feature award at Silverdocs

    The Silverdocs AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival came to a close at the weekend following a programme of 100 films from 42 countries.The Silverdocs Sterling Award for a feature film was awarded to Weijun Chen's Please Vote For Me. The director receives $10,000 cash and $10,000 in-kind services from Video Labs and $5,000 in film stock from Kodak. An honorable mention went to Eva Mulvad's Enemies Of Hap
  • Pony Canyon acquires Korean romance Hwang Jin Yi

    Seoul-based CJ Entertainment (CJE) has sold period romance Hwang Jin Yi to Pony Canyon for Japan. Directed by Chang Yoon-hyun (Some, Tell Me Something), the film deals with the life of Korea's most famous gisaeng (aka geisha) and poetess Hwang Jin Yi and her love affair with a lowly manservant. Song Hye-kyo (My Girl And I) plays Hwang, with Yoo Ji-tae (Old Boy) as her lover. The $7.2m film is currently in the top three at the local box office,
  • PPI's Shrek The Third hits Germany, Spain

    Paramount/PPI's Shrek The Third is riding a wave and should stay on top of the international arena this weekend.The animated feature has grossed $123.1m to date and will add considerably to its haul through expected strong holds and launches in Germany on Jun 21 and Spain on Jun 22.The distributor is also releasing the comedy Blades Of Glory - currently on $17.5m - in three territories inclu
  • Prime finally acquires control of Becker and Dendy

    Australian regional broadcaster, Prime Television, has taken control of the Becker Group, which includes Dendy Cinemas, Dendy Distribution, and sales agent Becker International, as well as significant television production and outside broadcast interests.Prime acquired the 42.6% of the company owned by father-and-son directors Russell and Richard Becker late last week for 47 cents per share. Prime is controlled by Paul Ramsay, and Ramsay and Prime already had a stake in the pubic compa
  • Ratatouille

    Dir: Brad Bird. US. 2007. 110mins.
  • Rocksavage starts Norfolk shoot for drama The Wreck

    Principal photography has started near in north Norfolk, UK, for David Rocksavage's 1960s-set family drama The Wreck. Jean Simmons, James Wilby, Jamie Dornan, Ophelia Lovibond and Toby Marlow head the cast. The screenplay, by Rocksavage and Margaret Glover, is about a widow living on the East Anglian coast who befriends a mysterious loner, to the dismay of her children. Nick O'Hagan is producing and Ivan Mactaggart is executive producing the Giant Films/Seashell pr
  • Sarah Smith promoted as Aardman unveils new feature slate

    UK-based animation powerhouse Aardman Features has announced a slate of six films in development, including a Christmas project written by Borat co-writer Peter Baynham, new non-Wallace and Gromit film from Nick Park and company founder Peter Lord's return to directing. These are the first new projects to be announced since April, when Aardman unveiled its exclusive three-year, first-look deal with Sony. The slate of six have been championed by Sarah Smith, who joine
  • Shanghai film festhands top prize to Meletzky's Plan

    German feature According To The Plan, directed by Franziska Meletzky, was awarded best film at the Jin Jue Awards - the top honours of the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) on Sunday night. The seven-person jury, headed by Chen Kaige and Fernando Trueba, said that 'the truth of life has been expressed with laughs and tears in the film'. The film also won best actress for its ensemble female cast including Corinna Harfouch, Dagmar Manzel, Kirsten Block and Christin
  • Shanghai Film Forum delegates talk finance, festivals

    Marketing is no longer a dirty word in the new China and indeed a whole day was devoted to the topic on the second day of the Jin Jue International Film Forum at this year's Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF). In a session entitled 'Increasing Film Market Value - Revolution of Marketing and Distribution', speakers discussed movie marketing in North America, where TV advertising still dominates, and China, where film marketers have whole-heartedly embraced the internet. An
  • Shanghai film market has slow first edition

    Shanghai International Film Festival's (SIFF) film market wrapped yesterday with only a few sales concluded. And although it could have potential, most buyers at the three-day event felt there was a lot to be improved. By the time that festival workers began to dismantle the booths, there were only two sales deals confirmed, according to Zhou Tiedong, president of China Film Promotion International (CFPI). Sound Of Tibet, a China Film Group production, is in the final stage
  • Shotgun Stories, Out Of Time take prizes at Seattle

    The 33rd Annual Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) closed at the weekend [June 17] with the presentation of the Golden Space Needle Awards and the North American premiere of Laurent Tirard's Moliere.All in all 405 films screened during the 25-day event, which festival organisers hailed as a record-breaker as they projected a 6% year-on-year rise in overall box office sales.The New American Cinema Award Grand Jury Prize went
  • Shrek The Third reigns on in international marketplace

    Shrek The Third continued to rule the international marketplace this weekend, opening well in Germany, Spain and half a dozen smaller countries and grossing an estimated $48.6m from 5,737 locations across 45 territories. Among possible heirs to the throne, Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer debuted at number one in Mexico and Australia and Ocean's Thirteen opened second in France and Brazil. Paramount/DreamWorks' Shrek The Third, distributed by
  • SIFF awards new Asian talents in two ceremonies

    Sheng Zhimin's Bliss won best film at the Shanghai International Film Festival's Asian New Talent Awards on Saturday night (June 23). The family drama, set on the banks of the Yangtze in Chongqing, premiered at the Locarno film festival last year, where it picked up a NETPAC award. Meanwhile, best director went to On The Wings Of Dreams from Bangladeshi director Golam Rabbaby Biplob. The film tells the story of a man and his wife in a small village whose lives are tr
  • Slyngstad to leave Norwegian Film Fund at end of July

    Managing director Stein Slyngstad of the Norwegian Film Fund will not extend his fixed-term contact and will leave his position as it expires by the end of July. A former CEO of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra-the Stavanger Concert Hall and chief of Oslo's Henie Onstad Arts Centre, Slyngstad became the first head of the fund, which was established in 2001 and has been acknowledged as one of the reasons for the current success of Norwegian cinema. After last week's decision by the Norw
  • Spanish cinemas shut in protest against proposed film law

    Nearly all of Spain 's cinemas closed last night in protest against a proposed film law, which includes a 25% screen quota of Spanish and European films. As many as 93% of country's 4,053 movie screens remained dark, according to the Federation of Spanish Cinemas, FECE, which organized the strike and represents 90% of country's exhibitors. It is the first strike in the sector since 1993, when a royal decree would have obliged them
  • Spanish exhibition: negative impact

    Claire Wallerstein reports on the country's drop in admissions and negative impact of the new film law. Spain has the most screens per capita worldwide outside the US, and yet admissions reached only 121 million for 2006 - the lowest since 1998.Revenue increased just 0.2% year on year, to $856.6m (EUR641.5m) in 2006, despite a 5.2% ticket price rise. And the view for exhibitors looks even bleaker for 2007-08 with a new film law, currently progressing through par
  • Stockholm plans film centre to co-finance 10 features per year

    Regional authorities in the Swedish Stockholm-Malardalen area will set up a new film centre, 'Stollywood', which - when in full operation - will co-finance up to 10 feature films annually. 'Today 90% of all Swedish actors and film companies are based in this region, yet only 10% of of domestic films are shot here. We want to change that,' said chairman of the board, Anders Ekegren, of Filmpool Stockholm-Mälardalen. The new film centre will be the fourth in Sweden, after Film i V&#
  • Strong Fox finds comfort in Grass

    Fox's Christian Grass, distributor of the year at the upcoming Cinema Expo, says a solid partnership between distributors and exhibitors is essential for the future. Michael Gubbins reportsThere is a certain irony in this year's choice of distributor of the year at European exhibitor conference Cinema Expo. Christian Grass, executive vice-president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, at Twentieth Century Fox, has been involved in high-profile battles with cinema owners ov
  • Talk To Me

    Dir: Kasi Lemons. US. 2007. 115mins.A tasty performance by Don Cheadle and a nice evocation of late-sixties black America are the heart and soul of Talk To Me, director Kasi Lemmons' enjoyable period drama about real-life Washington DC deejay-activist Petey Greene Jr. The Sidney Kimmel Entertainment production could prove a profitable crowd-pleaser among black US audiences and might also do some mainstream business as summer season counter-programming. Internationa
  • TEA joins forces with trailer company Wonderland

    Design and advertising agency TEA - The Entertainment Agency, has joined forces with trailer company Wonderland, and the companies are now known as TEA: Wonderland. TEA has more than 20 years experience in print film marketing, and Wonderland is a year-old company started by Rob Darvell and Joe Pisano that has worked on trailers for Stardust and Hot Fuzz. Also, writer Paul Noble will leave The Creative Partnership to join TEA: Wonderland in September. He has work
  • Telefilm Canada greenlights six French-language projects

    Telefilm Canada has greenlit six French-language feature film projects, including France-Canada coproduction Instinct De Mort, directed by Jean-Francois Richet and starring Vincent Cassel, Gerard Depardieu and Roy Dupuis; and Belgium-France-Canada coproduction Un Ange A La Mer. Instinct De Mort (Mesrine) partners French producer Thomas Langmann of Paris productio
  • Terence Davies among finalists in Northwest's Digital Departures

    Northwest Vision + Media has named the 12 finalists in its Digital Departures micro-budget film-making initiative. Three teams will be selected to each make a $500,000 (£250,000) feature film in the next 14 months. Other partners on board for Digital Departures include Liverpool Culture Company, the UK Film Council and the BBC. The finalists include known talents such as writer Frank Cottrell Boyce and Distant Voices Still Lives director Terence Davies. Six project
  • Terence Davies joins screenwriters festival

    Terence Davies, director of House Of Mirth, Distant Voices, Still Lives, and The Long Day Closes, has joined a packed line-up of speakers for the second International Screenwriters Festival.Liverpool-born Davies is one of the UK's most influential directors. The British Film Institute has restored Distant Voices StillLives, which has
  • Thai resort Phuket to host international film festival

    Thai holiday resort Phuket will host its first ever international film festival this autumn, which will showcase around 30 films, including the international premieres of Oscar Aibar's Dance Machine and Panos Angelopoulos' A Hero in Rome. The seven-day event (September 30 - October 6) is scheduled to be held at SF Cinemas' yet-to-open multiplex in the new upscale Jungceylon shopping complex on Patong Beach. With a 'sanook' (Thai for fun) theme, a series of classic
  • The big cinema squeeze

    European exhibition has seen an influx of private equity in recent years. But can more profits be squeezed out of Europe's saturated cinema market, asks Richard Brass. Navigate links (right) to see the state of play in leading territories. When Cineworld floated on the London Stock Exchange at the end of April, the rest of the cinema exhibition industry was watching very closely.Some observers were no doubt curious to see whether the floatation, originally plann
  • Toronto to gets its Golden Age

    Shekhar Kapur's The Golden Age will make its world premiere at September's Toronto International Film Festival, according to news reports in Toronto. Other films confirmed are Francois Girard's Silk, starring Kiera Knightley and Michael Pitt and backed by Picture House and New Line International, and Cannes titles No Country For Old Men from the Coen Brothers and
  • Transformers

    Dir: Michael Bay. US. 2007. 142mins.Director Michael Bay delivers another stylishly shot, escapist movie gumball with Transformers, an orgiastic action extravaganza based on Hasbro's line of convertible kids' action toys. Some likeable characters and early, intriguingly seeded plot strands of clandestine overlap are sacrificed at the altar of expediency and clash, and in its third act the movie suffers a tonal blowout, and becomes a furious assault on the senses.
  • UCI Italia buys 10 cinemas from Cinestar Italia

    UCI Italia, a division of the Odeon & UCI Cinema Group, has signed a pact to acquire 10 cinemas from Cinestar Italia. The sites include 104 screens. The deal means that UCI Italia adds cinemas in Mestre, Pordenone, Ferrara, Reggio Emilia, Andria, Molfetta, Messina, Piacenza, Como & Alessandria. Odeon and UCI Cinema Group will now operate a total of around 200 cinemas in the UK, Spain, Germany, Austria, Ireland and Portugal.
  • UK exhibition: rule Britannia

    UK exhibitors anticipate a record-breaking performance this year, but still await digital rollout, writes Diana Lodderhose. The UK box office has seen a healthy start to the year, with takings up 7% in the first five months compared to the same period in 2006, generating $661.9m (£332.1m).February and March were the strongest months, up 14% and 28% respectively year-on-year, carried by the success of Hot Fuzz, Mr Bean's Holiday and 300.
  • When LUFF comes to town

    Cementing its place in the international calendar, the London UK Film Focus (June 25-28) is attracting influential buyers and a growing number of premieres. Geoffrey Macnab reports. Four years after its inception, the London UK Film Focus (Luff) is now an established part of the calendar. UK sales agents are understandably enthusiastic about a three-day event (June 25-28) that delivers a captive audience of around 150 leading buyers and costs them relatively little.
  • Wotling named cinema director of CNC

    Olivier Wotling has been named cinema director of France's national film organisation, the CNC. Wotling replaces outgoing cinema director Francois Hurard who has left to join the cabinet of newly-appointed culture minister, Christine Albanel. Hurard will act as spokesman for the government under the heading of Film Counsellor. Wotling began as audiovisual advisor at the French Embassy in Sofia in 1992 before heading to Budapest from 1993-1996 and Rome from 1996-1999.