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25 April 2003

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  • 1975 Palme d'Or winner Lakhdar-Hamina to return to Cannes

    Chronicle Of The Years Of Fire (Chronique Des Annes De Braise), an account of the period between 1939 and the Algerian War of Independence that won the Palme d'Or in 1975, will screen in Cannes again this year.Directed by Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina, the film will be high point of an Algerian evening at Cannes, organised as part of Djazair, France's year-long celebrations of all things Algerian. Lakhdar-Hamina., who has not made a film since the appropriately named
  • A Mighty Wind

    Dir: Christopher Guest. US. 2003. 92mins.Like the two earlier pictures which writer/director/actor Christopher Guest co-wrote with Eugene Levy - 2000's Best In Show and 1996's Waiting for Guffman - A Mighty Wind is a film with a premise but no plot. The concepts themselves - a folk music reunion, the rarified world of dog shows and the backstage histrionics of community theatre - are the stories, which provide a forum for self-important, rather specious characte
  • Adriana Chiesa Enterprises picks up slew of new titles

    Rome sales agent Adriana Chiesa Enterprises (ACE) has picked up worldwide rights to several new films, including Berlin title Little More than A Year Ago - Diary of a Male Porn Star.The Italian drama, which explores the last year in the life of a famous gay porn star, Riki Kandinsky, 15 years after his mysterious death, stars Marco Filiberti, a successful Italian performance artist who also wrote and directed the picture. Produced by Italy's Campitella Productions and Corsaro Pr
  • Algerian 1975 Palme d'Or winner to return to Cannes

    Chronicle Of The Years Of Fire (Chronique Des Annes De Braise), an account of the period between 1939 and the Algerian War of Independence that won the Palme d'Or in 1975, will screen in Cannes again this year.Directed by Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina, the film will be high point of an Algerian evening at Cannes, organised as part of Djazair, France's year-long celebrations of all things Algerian. Lakhdar-Hamina., who has not made a film since the appropriately named
  • Bailey, Barbato named recipients of Frameline Award 2003

    Frameline,presenter of the San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival(SFILGFF), today (Apr 24) announced that this year's Frameline Award willgo to Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, the director-producers of numerousgay-themed TV and film projects through their World of Wonder Productions.The award willbe presented at the 27th SFILGFF on Jun 28 at a screening of Bailey andBarbato's new film Party Monster, which world premiered at Sundance this year and starsMacaulay
  • Bertelsmann raises $500m from US private placement

    German media concern Bertelsmann has raised $500m from US investors in a private placement to offset existing bank loans.The issue, which was more than three times oversubscribed and represents the biggest US private placement to date by a German group, is divided into three tranches: one of $100m with a maturity of seven years and two of $200m each with a maturity of 10 and 12 years respectively.Most of the placement's 17 investors are US insurance companies and pension funds.
  • Brazil's Moraes gets short film-maker award in Hollywood

    Gustavo Moraeswill receive this year's Fuji Filmmaker of the Year Award at the openingnight gala of the 2003 Short Shorts Film Festival in Hollywood on Apr 29. Thefestival runs from Apr 29-May 1.'Gustavo issuch a talented film-maker and we are so thrilled to be honoring him thisyear,' festival director Douglas Williams said in a statement. 'Withhis daring and original film-making he embodies the best that short film-makingcan be.'In addition tothe award, the
  • Bruno Ganz cast as Hitler in Eichinger drama

    Swiss actor Bruno Ganz, known internationally for his roles in such films as Wim Wenders' Wings Of Desire and The American Friend, will play the part of Hitler in Oliver Hirschbiegel's Euros 13.5m feature Der Untergang - Hitler Und Das Ende Des Dritten Reiches which will begin shooting in St Petersburg and Munich from August 12.Producer and screenwriter Bernd Eichinger and Hirschbiegel announced last week that Ganz will be joined by Juliane Koehler (Nowhere In A
  • Buenos Aires Lab announces subsidy award winners

    Buenos Aires Lab, the film workshop launched by the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival with the co-operation of the Fundacion Antorchas of Argentina and the Hubert Bals, Goteburg, Rockefeller and Ford foundations, announced the winners of subsidy awards at the festival (April 16 to 26).The Hubert Bals fund rewarded Brazil's Philippe Barcinski drama Not By Chance with Euros 10,000 while Goteburg extended the same amount to Mexico's Issa Maria Garcia Ascot for drama Me Vas
  • BVI's Jungle Book 2 crosses $60m mark

    Buena VistaInternational's The Jungle Book 2 raised its international running total to $60.4m after a$5.9m weekend session.Demonstrating several strong gains amid a sea of mostlymodest drops, the animated family sequel fell 8% on $1.4m in its second weekendin the UK for a $5.5m cumulative score.In Spain it rose14% to $1m for a $2.3m running total, while a fourth weekend $750,000 haul inGermany raised the total there to $8.7m.The
  • Cannes 2003 - competition line-up

    Chief selector Thierry Fremaux's selection is a robust and wide-ranging mixture of familiar art-house names and Cannes favourites (Blier, Sokurov, Techine, Eastwood, Van Sant and Von Trier) mixed with a few newcomers such as Japan's Naomi Kawase and Turkey's Nuri Bilge Ceylan in competition. The Un Certain Regard sidebar as usual takes on a slightly more experimental flavour. The line-up underlines the ongoing strength in depth of French cinema. An astonishing 85 French films were subm
  • Cannes 2003 - competition line-up

    Chief selector Thierry Fremaux's selection is a robust and wide-ranging mixture of familiar art-house names and Cannes favourites (Blier, Sokurov, Techine, Eastwood, Van Sant and Von Trier) mixed with a few newcomers such as Japan's Naomi Kawase and Turkey's Nuri Bilge Ceylan in competition. The Un Certain Regard sidebar as usual takes on a slightly more experimental flavour. The line-up underlines the ongoing strength in depth of French cinema. An astonishing 85 French films were subm
  • Cannes lines up series of tributes

    Two icons of French cinema passed away this year: director Maurice Pialat and producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier. In tribute, on Saturday May 17, the Cannes Film Festival will be showing 1987 Palme d'Or winner, Sous Le Soleil De Satan, the fruit of their collaboration.Then, on Sunday May 18, a special screening in Salle Bunuel will present a series of short films directed by Maurice Pialat, as well as new footage on his work.A tribute to Jeanne Moreau will take place on S
  • CineNova strikes MGM, Fox deals

    Amsterdam based movie channel CineNova has signed new film licensing agreements with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and 20th Century Fox. CineNova already sources movies from shareholders Sony Pictures Entertainment and Buena Vista International Television, as well as movies from outfits such as Indies Entertainment Group, RCV Entertainment Group, Three Lines Pictures, Les Films De L'Elysee, Paradiso Filmed Entertainment and Dreamworks SKG.
  • CNC Associates appointed to The Bridge Of San Luis Rey

    CNC Associates has been appointed by production company Pembridge Pictures to supervise worldwide marketing, media relations and publicity on the forthcoming adaptation of Thornton Wilder's novel - The Bridge Of San Luis Rey.Written and directed by Mary McGuckian, The Bridge Of San Luis Rey stars F Murray Abraham, Kathy Bates, Gabriel Bryne, Geraldine Chaplin, Robert De Niro, Emilie Dequenne, Harvey Keitel, Pilar Lopez de Ayala, John Lynch, Mark Polish, Michael Polish and
  • Competition line-up 2003

    Chief selector Thierry Fremaux's selection is a robust and wide-ranging mixture of familiar art-house names and Cannes favourites (Blier, Sokurov, Techine, Eastwood, Van Sant and Von Trier) mixed with a few newcomers such as Japan's Naomi Kawase and Turkey's Nuri Bilge Ceylan in competition. The Un Certain Regard sidebar as usual takes on a slightly more experimental flavour. The line-up underlines the ongoing strength in depth of French cinema. An astonishing 85 French films were subm
  • Critics' Week unveils Cannes line-up

    The organisers of Critics' Week have unveiled their line up for this year's Cannes Festival. Of the seven titles, six are first time efforts and therefore also eligible for a shot at the Camera d'Or which is given to a first film competing in any of the main selections. Cuba, Iran, Denmark, the US, France, Belgium and Canada are all represented in the nominees. (see list below)Critics Week will also be bookended by two films: Off The Map (pictured), from US director a
  • Czech comedy laughs all the way to the bank

    Pupendo, the new comedy from Czech director Jan Hrebejk is on course to challenge the country's local box-office crown.Czech distributor Falcon and production house Total HelpArt T.H.A. are celebrating the success of Pupendo, the latest effort from Jan Hrebejk (Cosy Dens, Divided We Fall), which appears ready to top Jan Sverak's Dark Blue World as the most lucrative Czech film of all time. As of April 16, Pupendo had registered 346,000 a
  • Denys Arcand's Barbarians to invade Cannes'

    Although the official line up is not announced until tomorrow, Montreal daily La Presse today reported that Denys Arcand's Les Invasions Barbares will be in official competition at Cannes this year.While the Cannes press office is keeping quiet until tomorrow, if the news is correct it would mark the first Quebecois film in competition since Jean-Claude Lauzon's Leolo in 1992. Arcand's film is a follow up to his 1986 film, The Decline Of The American Empi
  • Directors' Fortnight champions 'less equal' films

    Directors' Fortnight, under the new stewardship of Francois Da Silva, has unveiled a greatly expanded line-up for this year's Cannes Film Festival. Usually featuring some 15 films, this year's Directors' Fortnight showcases 25 films from 19 countries, while a further 9 countries are represented in the concurrent shorts competition. (See full list below)Travelling the globe since taking his post last autumn, Da Silva has been determined to imbue the Fortnight with films that spea
  • Dreamcatcher rakes in $9.5m, Two Weeks Notice crosses $100m for Warner

    The Warner Bros romantic comedy Two Weeks Notice passed $100m at the international boxoffice over the weekend, although complete figures are still unavailable due tothe ongoing Easter holidays in most of Europe.
  • El Bonaerense director unveils Argentinian slate

    Pablo Trapero, the Argentinian director of acclaimed police drama El Bonaerense, unveiled the new slate of his fledgling production house Matanza Films at the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival.Leading the slate is his third film Familia Rodante which he hopes to shoot in August and September. " This was actually the very first screenplay I ever wrote," said Trapero. The $1.5m road movie centres on a family whose adventure begins when their grandmother i
  • EM.TV sells stake in Constantin Film to Highlight Communications

    Germany's EM.TV has sold its stake in production company Constantin Film to Highlight Communications for Euros 7.5m.Swiss media concern Highlight Communications will increase its stake in Constantin Film's ordinary capital from 25% to 41.4% after signing a purchase agreement with EM.TV & Merchandising for 2,083,333 Constantin shares at a price of Euros 3.60 per share.According to statement, Highlight "will issue a public offer to the other shareholders of Constantin Film AG in a
  • First digital features announced for Scotland's New Found Films

    Peter Mullan, Shirley Henderson and Kevin McKidd are among the Scottish stars to appear in the first two digital features produced under the country's New Found Films scheme. Financed by Scottish Television, Grampian Television and Scottish Screen, the three year New Found Land scheme was previously responsible for producing six thirty-minute dramas each year, among them the award-winning Leonard and Solid Geometry, directed by Denis Lawson and starring Ewan McGregor.
  • Focus, Eskwad team up for French thriller Saint Ange

    Focus Features andStudioCanal subsidiary Eskwad have teamed up to finance the thriller SaintAnge, Focus co-presidents DavidLinde and James Schamus announced today (Apr 24).Principal photography is setto begin imminently in France, where the film will be shot simultaneously inEnglish-language and French-language versions.Focus has worldwide rightsto the film excluding France and other French-speaking territories and will begin international sales on the film atCannes next
  • Fortnight champions 'less equal' films

    Directors' Fortnight, under the new stewardship of Francois Da Silva, has unveiled a greatly expanded line-up for this year's Cannes Film Festival. Usually featuring some 15 films, this year's Directors' Fortnight showcases 25 films from 19 countries, while a further 9 countries are represented in the concurrent shorts competition. (See full list below)Travelling the globe since taking his post last autumn, Da Silva has been determined to imbue the Fortnight with films that spea
  • Four Asian Anger openings hit by SARS epidemic

    Anger Management raised its international total to an estimated $5.1m in a secondweekend that was marked by a decent Australian follow-up and two numberfinishes from four openings in SARS-hit Asia, where theatre attendances weredown.
  • Freedom To Speak project extends to Tribeca and Cannes

    The Freedom To Speak (f2s) forum, which gave filmmakers an opportunity to express their views during February's Berlinale, is also to be created at the forthcoming Tribeca (May 3-11) and Cannes (May 14-25) film festivals. "Our goal is to bridge the gap of communication between France, Germany and the US through an international community of filmmakers", say the f2s organisers.The project, whose production is being coordinated in Germany by Vulkan Film's Boris Keidies and StoryLu
  • Ghosts Of The Abyss

    Dir: James Cameron. US. 2003. 59mins.For his first film since 1997's Titanic, Oscar-winning director James Cameron has chosen to return to the vessel that made him king of the world, this time with the large format 3-D cameras of Imax. It probably sounded like a money-spinner when this film was in the planning stages but there has been a lot of water under the bridge since Titanic's release, including 9/11 and the conflict in Iraq. The legions who made the roman
  • Gilliam heads to Prague for Grimm shoot

    Terry Gilliam's Brothers Grimm has received the final go-ahead for a shoot in Prague, with the gothic fantasy set to start a 17-week schedule at the end of June and wrap in late October. Producers are currently in negotiation with Nicole Kidman for a small part in the film, sources in Prague told Screendaily. The film stars Matt Damon and Heath Ledger in comic turns as the brothers of fairy-tale fame, directed by ex-Monty Pythoner Gilliam (12 Monkeys, Brazil
  • GreeneStreet says Yes to Sally Potter

    New York-based GreeneStreet Films has acquired worldwide rights towriter-director Sally Potter's romantic drama Yes, which stars Joan Allen and will beavailable for pre-sales at Cannes next month. The film is already in productionin London.
  • Heavenly Grassland (Tian Shang Cao Yuan)

    Dirs: Mailisi, Saifu. China. 2002. 105 mins.Redolent of Nikita Mikhalkov's 1991 Urga (though more idealised) crossed with 2001's Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner (though much more conventional), Heavenly Grassland tells of a small Chinese boy adopted by a family in the remote steppes of Inner Mongolia. An intimate, very small-scale story with barely five characters, all wrapped up in a big, colourful, Cinemascope format, the film's strong spectacular and exoti
  • Highlight bid met with hostility from Constantin

    Highlight Communications' bid for additional Constantin shares has sparked 'controversial discussion' within the German distributor-producer's supervisory and management boards about the possibility of the Swiss media concern effecting a complete takeover.In a statement, Constantin announced that 'alternative scenarios and possible counter-measures in the sense of Constantin Film's shareholders' were presented by the management board and discussed during a meeting at the end of last we
  • Holes

    Dir: Andrew Davis. US. 2003. 118 mins. The second delivered film from Cary Granat's Anschutz-backed production outfit Walden Media (this time co-produced with Phoenix Pictures), Holes is that rare thing - a family film which treats its target young audience with respect and intelligence. Walden was formed in 2001 to make films "that educate, foster curiosity and an ongoing interest in learning" and Holes perfectly fits that remit. And what better partner for Wal
  • Hong Kong launches production guarantee fund

    In a bid to boost the flagging local film industry, the Hong Kong Government officially launched the Film Guarantee Fund yesterday. The new fund was created to help local companies secure bank loans for film production as well as to establish a solid film-financing infrastructure to facilitate the long-term development of the film industry in Hong Kong.Ten lending financial institutions currently participate in the scheme. Henry Tang, secretary for commerce, industry and technology, ex
  • Hong Kong warms to English, but gives Monk cool reception

    Johnny English lured SARS-wary Hong Kong audiences back into cinemas over the Easter holiday, grossing $579,000 from 31 sites over the four-day weekend. However, Golden Harvest was disappointed with the performance of its other Easter release -Bulletproof Monk - which grossed $229,500. According to Golden Harvest distribution chief, Teerachai Triwongwaranat, Bulletproof Monk was hurt by the day-and-date release of the official DVD and VCD on the mainland, which gav
  • Hukkle wins top prize at muted Hong Kong film fest

    The Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) continued with its inaugural prize-giving ceremony last week, although SARS kept away overseas jurors and award winners.Local replacements were found for absent jury members and HKIFF director Peter Tsi accepted awards on behalf of overseas directors.The festival featured three new international competition sections this year in addition to the annual FIPRESCI Award for new Asian directors. The "Firebird Awards for Young C
  • Identity finds itself top in North America with $17m

    Identity, Columbia's thriller about a mystery killer whopreys on a group of stranded travellers, opened top of the charts on $17maccording to studio estimates released today.The film stars John Cusack,Ray Liotta and Amanda Peet and drew decent reviews, averaging $6,220 from 2,733theatres. It was directed by James Mangold (Kate & Leopold) and should reach profitability soon bearing in mindits $28m price tag, which is less than half the cost of the average studio filmthese
  • Italy's Revolver to unveil international division at Cannes

    Just over a year old, Italian arthouse production and distribution company Revolver is set to debut its international distribution arm with a slate of seven Italian films at this year's Cannes Film Festival. The films include Il Resto Di Niente by Antonietta De Lillo, Premio Solinas winner Lontano In Fondo Agli Occhi by Giuseppe Rocca-Solinas, and the American film Marathon by Iranian director Amir Naderi, which Revolver co-produced.At home, Revolver will be
  • Johnny English continues international rampage, crosses $50m

    Universal's JohnnyEnglish remained the runaway numberone international hit for the second weekend in a row, according to studioestimates released today (Apr 21).The comedy, which stars theBritish comedian Rowan Atkinson as a highly maladroit spy, added a stunning$18.5m from 3,480 theatres in 38 markets for a $50m international running totalafter two weeks.In the UK thefilm held firmly on to number one, dropping only 26% and grossing another $4mfrom 442 theatres. Johnny
  • Kolodner & Melamede launch Salty Features

    Former Madstone Films production executives Eva Kolodnerand Yael Melamede have teamed up to launch New York-based production companySalty Features, which has already boarded four projects aiming to showcase"unique vision, strong storytelling and thought-provoking subject matter."The four titlesin development include Bam Bam And Celeste, the first fictional film vehicle for comedian MargaretCho that was written by Cho and will be produced in partnership withCho/
  • KWA takes international sales on Carmen

    Madrid-based sales house Kevin Williams Associates (KWA) has picked up Vicente Aranda's ambitious Carmen for international sales, and will give the film its market debut next month at Cannes.Billed as the biggest-budgeted European erotic production of the last ten years, Carmen is produced by Juan Alexander for Spain's Star Line Productions, in co-production with the UK's Parallel Pictures and Italy's Planet Pictures. Sale and leaseback was secured with Featurefilm in the
  • Matrix sequels get domestic IMAX releases

    Upcoming Warner Brosblockbuster Matrix Reloaded andNovember release The Matrix Revolutions, the second and third films in the Wachowski Brothers' trilogy,will be released in large-format Imax cinemas in North America and, potentially,internationally. An Imax version of Reloaded will open shortly after the May 15 release of the35mm version while an Imax version of Revolutions will open simultaneously with the 35mm release onNovember 5, making Revolutions
  • Menemsha takes world rights to Czech hit Pupendo

    Neil Friedman'sLA-based sales agency Menemsha Films has picked up Pupendo, the latest film from Jan Hrebejk who directedMenemsha's previous Oscar-nominated hit Divided We Fall. Pupendois a huge hit in the Czech Republic and is on course to surpass previouschampions Kolya and Dark BlueWorld from Jan Sverak.The film won the best filmaward at the 16th annual Pilsen Film Festival in the Czech Republicin March and has been selected for the competition sect
  • Mexican production company buys into arthouse cinema

    New Mexican film production company INDIFilms has bought a major stake in arthouse cinema Cinefrancia in Mexico City. INDIFilms, run by Juan Carlos Blanco and his wife Mitzuko Villanueva, currently has three films in pre-production, both written and to be directed by Blanco. Villanueva will take over the day to day operations of the Cinefrancia 'Maria Felix' theatre. Nicolas Piccato, who spearheaded the theatre's revival , will continue to help promote the theatre.Blanco
  • MGM announces reduced losses for first quarter of 2003

    MGM today (Apr 24) announcedreduced losses for the first quarter of 2003, driven chiefly by the successfultheatrical release of Agent Cody Banks, improved performance in the home entertainment division and the launchof MGM-branded channels in Europe.First quarter 2003 losseswere $55.8m or 22 cents per share compared to a net loss of $90.8m or 37 centsper share for the same period last year.Revenues rose by 25% in thefirst quarter to $395.2m, compared to $315.1m for the sa
  • Modern picks up three for Cannes including Piaf, Charlotte

    Modern Entertainment hasacquired worldwide distribution rights to three new films in time for theCannes Film Festival - concert film Piaf - Her Story HerSongs, US independent favourite CharlotteSometimes and Harry Shearer's TeddyBears' Picnic.'We decided about ayear ago to expand our core business in distribution to include new worldpremiere movies,' said president and CEO of Modern Michael Weiser in astatement.Piaf - HerStory Her Songs starscontempor
  • Monk strong in Taiwan day-and-date opening for Fox

    In the latest sign ofdistributors stepping up the war against piracy, Fox International rolled outthe martial arts action-thriller Bulletproof Monk in Taiwan on the same weekend it opened in the US.The Asian bow grossed$355,000 on 50 screens for a close second place finish behind Warner Bros'horror film Dreamcatcher.Elsewhere, Just Married opened on $438,000 on 102 screens in Russia for anunconfirmed number one finish.In its third week in Spainthe rom
  • New releases give UK box office a welcome boost

    Working Title/UIP hit Johnny English held strong, dropping off just 26% in its second weekend, to retain the top spot against powerful competition from 20th Century Fox's Phone Booth and UIP's own How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.The combined power of the holiday weekend releases (three made the top five) and last week's holdovers Johnny English and The Jungle Book 2 helped the box office to its first year-on-year rise (8%) for six weeks. The total box of
  • Norway puts cinema sell off plans on hold

    Plans by Norway's three largest cities - Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim - to sell large stakes in their municipally-owned local exhibitors have stalled. Oslo City Council has not managed to secure the price it wanted from any private cinema operator for a 66% of its stake in the municipally-owned Oslo Cinemas, which operates with 11 cinemas and 31 screens and attracted 3 million admissions last year. The planned sale of Norway's largest exhibitor, which controls 25% of the country's cinem
  • One to be most expensive Bollywood production ever

    Bollywood's Varma Corp is developing the most expensive Indian film ever made, EK (One), an international action adventure for the global market. EK will not have any songs or other Bollywood ingredients. The estimated budget of this feature is $20m making it the most expensive Indian film ever to be made. Apart from Indian superstar, Amitabh Bachchan , Sanjay Dutt , Nana Patekar and Sunil Shetty are confirmed for the cast. Aditya Basu Bhattacharya, Producer of EK,
  • On-line swap tech ruling angers studios

    Companies providing software that allows on-line swapping of film and music files were given permission to stay in business by a Los Angeles federal judge on Friday. The ruling is seen by studio groups as a greenlight to piracy.In a case brought by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America against Grokster and StreamCast Networks (whose software is called Morpheus), Judge Wilson said that there was a difference between providing
  • Pandora takes international Sayles rights from IFC

    Pandora, the internationalsales arm of Gaylord Films, has acquired international sales rights to JohnSayles' latest film Casa De Los Babys from IFC Productions.Pandora's executivevice president of worldwide sales Shebnem Askin will show footage of the filmto buyers at Cannes next month; the film is being positioned for theVenice/Toronto festival season.Casa De Los Babys is the story of six American women who travel toSouth America to adopt babies and are forced by
  • Paris to get new film festival this summer

    In conjunction with the municipal government, the city of Paris will inaugurate a new film festival this summer entitled Paris Cinema. The event will run from July 2 - 15 in cinemas throughout the French capital.Director Costa Gavras will serve as President of the organisational board while former Cannes Director's Fortnight programmer Marie-Pierre Macia will head up the artistic direction of the festival. Some 20 films will premiere during the festival which will incorpo
  • Pathe UK loses head of development

    Matt Gannon has decided to leave his position as head of development at Pathe's UK operation, managing director Francois Ivernel confirmed on Thursday.Although Gannon has developed some of the company's highest-profile productions - including The Magic Roundabout and Pride And Prejudice: The Bollywood Musical - Pathe is scaling back its longterm development activities.The operation aims to secure product more quickly for its sales and distribution pipelines and red
  • Protests hit theatrical releases in India

    The dispute surrounding the waiting time between a film's theatrical release and its TV screening in India has led all Bollywood producers to stop releasing any films from this week onwards. The first films to be affected by the dispute are Ishk Vishk and Pran Jaaye Par Shaan Na Jaaye, scheduled to be released next week. Film Distributors want a 10-year gap before television rights are granted, but producers say that's too long. At a meeting of the four main
  • Reese Witherspoon to play slain American activist

    Reese Witherspoon is attached to star in a South African film about slain American activist Amy Biehl for Anant Singh's Videovision. Durban-based producer Anant Singh said this week: "When the movie's ready to go, she will be the star playing Amy." Witherspoon's manager, Evelyn O'Neill, told South African press that she was "happy to confirm Reese's involvement". Singh said: "Reese has been attracted to the project for a long time. They both went to Stanford University. She knew
  • Russian Ark to get digital screenings in the UK

    Arthouse success Russian Ark is to receive a three-month digital outing in the UK.Bristol based independent exhibitor Watershed Media Centre will keep the Artificial Eye title for three months on digibeta tape following its strong two-week run on 35mm. The single-shot Russian film will screen every weekend next month, projected on the media centre's Digital Projection Highlite 5000gv projector with Texas Instruments chip.Russian Ark increased from eight to 13 scree
  • San Sebastian adds new competition strand

    Spain's leading film festival, the San Sebastian International Film Festival, has added a new competitive section devoted to Latin American cinema, further strengthening its position as a key showcase for Spanish and Latin American product and talent.Dubbed Horizontes Latinos, the new section will run alongside the festival's existing Official and Zabaltegi sections. Films entirely or partially produced in Latin America, directed by filmmakers of Latin origin or inspired by Latin cultu
  • Spain's Grupo PI adds two to its international slate

    Spanish sales house Grupo PI has added two new titles to its international slate, box office hit Moscow Gold and Danube Hotel, which premieres in competition at next week's Spanish Film Festival of Malaga (April 25-May 3).Both titles will make their market debut at the Spanish Film Screenings (May 1-3), a sidebar to the Malaga festival which kicks off this Friday with Pedro Olea's Tiempo De Tormenta from Lolafilms.Directed by Antonio Gimenez-Rico, drama D
  • STARZ! takes three TV premieres including DNA's Final Curtain

    Three movies -DNA's British comedy The Final Curtain, Nu-Image/Millenium Films' romantic comedy AllI Want aka Try 17 and StudioCanal's Gaughin biopic ParadiseFound - will go straight topay-TV on the US through Starz Encore Group's STARZ! Cinema multiplexchannel.In The FinalCurtain, which premiereson STARZ! Cinema in June, Peter O'Toole plays a leading game show host whosepopularity is threatened by a young rival (Aidan Gillen). Joh
  • Suddenly takes top award at Istanbul film festival

    Two feminist-themed pictures have grabbed the top prizes at the 22nd International Istanbul Film Festival. The jury, headed by Irish director Jim Sheridan, handed the top award, the Golden Tulip, to the Argentine Tan De Repente (Suddenly) (pictured) by Diego Lerman, while Rebecca Miller's Personal Velocity was given the Special Jury Prize. On the local front, Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Distant (Uzak), selected for competition at Cannes, towered
  • Teri Kane leaves Miramax after nine years, sets up PR firm

    Teri Kane,Miramax senior vice president of publicity, is leaving the company to set upher own firm, Teri Kane Public Relations.During hernine-years at Miramax, Kane has overseen individual publicity campaigns onnumerous acclaimed films, including Academy Award winners Shakespeare inLove and The EnglishPatient.'Teri hasmade great contributions to Miramax during her long tenure with the company,'Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said in a state
  • The Barbecue People

    Dir. David Ofek, Yossi Madmony. Israel. 2002. 102mins.The feature debut by two Israeli directors who have a strong body of TV work behind them at home, The Barbecue People is an ambitious jigsaw puzzle that profiles one specific community of immigrants in Israel, the Iraqi Jews. First launched at last year's Jerusalem Film Festival, where it was overshadowed by the success of Broken Wings, it was recognised last month when it won a Best Script Award at Mar Del P
  • Transylvania film fest announces competition line-up

    The Transylvania International Film Festival has announced its program for its second edition to take place May 23-31 in Cluj. Over sixty features will be screened in three venues, out of which thirteen will be in competition for the Transylvania Trophy and the $4,000 prize. The competition is limited to first or second time directors from all over the world. Confirmed jury members are Barry Gifford (novelist and scriptwriter of Lost Highway and Wild At Heart), Ali
  • Two Towers scales $910m worldwide box office

    New LineCinema's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers has become the fifth highest grossingworldwide film of all time with a cumulative box office to date of $910m.Making the announcementtoday (Apr 24) Rolf Mittweg, the company's president and chief operatingofficer of worldwide distribution and marketing, hailed the achievement as a"landmark moment for both our studio and this trilogy."The secondinstalment in Peter Jacksonis trilogy adaptation of J R RTolkien's fantasy
  • UIP to distribute Sony films in Poland

    United International Pictures (UIP) and Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI) have unveiled a long-term agreement that will see UIP release CFTDI pictures in Poland. UIP will distribute CFTDI films in Poland such as Maid In Manhattan (June 13), Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (July 4), Anger Management (July 25), and Terminator 3 in August. The UIP summer slate already includes Italian Job, 2 Fast and 2 Furious, The Hulk, America
  • UK Film Council's development fund backs range of genres

    Onegin director Martha Fiennes is to tackle terrorist-themed psychological thriller Revolving Door after securing development support from UK funding body the Film Council.The project, awarded £63,000 in National Lottery support, is set during a terrorist alert and follows a British intelligence operative and a high-class escort girl as they try to outwit each other. George Tiffin is to write the script, with Paul Arnott producing. Well-known UK producer Andrea Cal
  • UK's Artificial Eye acquires At Five In The Afternoon

    UK distributor Artificial Eye has picked up Samira Makhmalbaf's Cannes competition film At Five In The Afternoon.The distributor is waiting until January next year to release the film, understood to be the first foreign film made in Kabul since the toppling of the Taliban regime.The pick-up renews Artificial Eye's relationship with the young director after the distributor picked up her debut, The Apple, her second film, Blackboards and portmanteau film 11
  • Verhoeven eyes biopic of Dutch artist

    Paul Verhoeven is planning to shoot his first Dutch movie since1984's The Fourth Man.The filmmaker, who has lived for nearly 20 years in Los Angeles, has expressed interest in a biopic on the Dutch artist Jan Montyn.The movie will be based on the novel Montyn, written in 1982 by Dutch writer Dirk Ayelt Kooiman that was published in England and the US as A Lamb To The Slaughter. Verhoeven has already spoken to Montyn about the upcoming biopic. The scr
  • Vivendi begins US asset disposal process

    Vivendi Universal looks increasingly like selling its US media assets which includes Universal Studios, various cable channels and the Universal theme parks. According to the Financial Times, the group which also owns the Canal Plus pay-TV operations and film production and distribution outlet StudioCanal, has asked its US executives to draw up detailed financial information for bidders. This effectively marks the beginning of the official disposal programme.The company,
  • Warner, Pandora team to distribute A Home At The End Of The World

    Warner Bros Pictures willhandle domestic rights and Pandora will handle international sales on A HomeAt The End Of The World, the secondfilm to be made from a novel by Michael Cunningham (The Hours) which is currently in production in Toronto, NewYork and Arizona. The film, which stars ColinFarrell, Robin Wright Penn, Dallas Roberts and Sissy Spacek, is directed byMichael Mayer and produced by John Wells Productions, Killer Films, Hart SharpEntertainment and Oscar-nominat
  • Wild Bunch takes selected territories for Today And Tomorrow

    France's Wild Bunch has picked up international sales rights outside Spain and four Latin American territories on new Argentinean title Today And Tomorrow (Hoy Y Manana), set to premiere in Un Certain Regard at Cannes.Spanish rights will remain in the hands of Madrid-based sales and production house Bulbeck & Mas, co-producers of the film alongside Argentina's Cinema Digital, the film's director Alejandro Chomski and associate producer Altair Cinema. Buenos Aires-b
  • Wolfe Video to invest in US theatrical distribution

    Wolfe Video, theUS distributor dedicated to gay and lesbian videos, is embarking on a newstrategy of marketing support to independent theatrical distributors whosetitles it will eventually release on video.Making theannouncement today (Apr 24) company president Maria Lynn Wolfe said she waslaunching the initiative with a marketing outreach campaign in support ofRegent Entertainment's upcoming release of Friends And Family.Friends AndFamily, abou
  • WorldWide Pictures gears up for English-language productions

    Studio Hamburg WorldWide Pictures (WWP) is planning to produce and fully finance five to six English-language films in the $5m-$20m budget range this year after receiving a placement guarantee from its capital market partners. WWP, the international production arm of Studio Hamburg and the first German media fund to be run by a German film studio, now has the ability to negotiate and commit to its first pictures for this year, according to CEO Wolfgang Esenwein.The fund's invest
  • Zwart quits MGM's Cody Banks sequel

    Norwegian director Harald Zwart says he has left MGM's sequel to Agent Cody Banks, according to local paper Dagbladet.MGM had planned to begin production on Agent Cody Banks 2 in London in June, with teen heartthrob Frankie Muniz repeating his teen 007 role in the second instalment of the spy adventure from Bond studio MGM and German-owned independent Splendid Pictures. The first film has so far cashed in $44.6mm in US alone since its premiere five weeks ago.After

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