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

25 February 2005

View all stories from this issue.

  • 3Geez acquires film rights to Cheese Monkeys

    Los Angeles andToronto-based 3Geez Productions has acquired the rights to veteran book-coverdesigner Chip Kidd's debut novel The Cheese Monkeys.Partcoming-of-age novel, part introduction to graphic design, The Cheese Monkeys follows a group of students throughtheir first two terms majoring in art in university.The project will be producedby Amy Green and Sarah Gibson and will be directed by Chris Grismer.ICM's RonBernstein represented Kid
  • A Year Without Love wins Berlin's Teddy Award

    Thewinner of the 19th Teddy Award for the best gay/transgender film at theBerlinale has been won by Argentina's A Year Without Love (Un Ano Sin Amor).Director Anahi Berneri will take home a cash prize of Euros 3,000 from theTeddy Award foundation and other donors in Berlin's gay and lesbian community.Winnerof the best documentary prize - a similar cash award - was won by FelineMasquerade (Katzenball ) by Switzerland's Veronika Minder. AndThe Interve
  • Angola's Hero to open New Directors/New Films in NYC

    Zeze Gamboa's Angola-Portugal-France civil war drama The Hero will open the upcoming 34th NewDirectors/New Films 2005 event, which is set to run in New York from Mar 23-Apr3.
  • Bavaria Film closes deals on Berlinale prize-winner Sophie Scholl

    Bavaria Film International(BFI) has closed further deals for Marc Rothemund's prize-winning Berlincompetition film Sophie Scholl - The Final Days. Deals were closed in Italywith Istituto Luce, Benelux with Cinemien, Hungary with Best Hollywood, Poland withKino Swiat, and Brazil with Imovision.Earlier, during the EFMitself Bavaria closed Japan (Kinetique), Spain (Lola Films), Scandinavia(Future Films), Mexico (Quality Films), Portugal (Ecofilmes), former Yugoslavia(Discove
  • Belfast cinemas reduce ticket prices

    Northern Ireland exhibitorMichael McAdam of the Movie House chain of cinemas has hit back at the localWarner Village cinema's 'Cheap Tuesday' promotion, alleging that it is thelatest episode in a long line of promotions that threaten the viability of theexhibition sector in Belfast.The promotion, currentlyavailable at several Warner Village sites, offers all tickets on Tuesdays toall films at Belfast's Odyssey Centre site at £3.80, £2 lower than the regulartop price
  • Berlin hit Paradise gets US & UK deals with WIP

    WarnerIndependent Pictures (WiP) has acquired all rights in North America and the UKto Hany Abu-Assad's Berlin Audience Award winning drama Paradise Now.The film, which was one of the most talked about at thefestival, follows two Palestinian childhood friends whose planned suicide bombstrike on Tel Aviv is thrown into chaos after they are separated from their handlersat the Israeli border.Abu-Assad wrotethe story with Bero Beyer of Augustus Film, who also served as produc
  • Berlin screening of Wilder satire reopens 60 year-old controversy

    BillyWilder's 1947 romantic comedy A Foreign Affair, which screened in Berlinas the closing night attraction in the Selling Democracy series, may seemcharming to many - but it re-appears in Berlin with a legacy of controversythat saw the film banned in Germany for years after the war.Thefilm was made by Wilder in response to an invitation by the US Office Of WarInformation in 1945 to "produce an anti-Nazi propaganda film aimedspecifically at German audiences." Wilder who, like h
  • Berlinale Golden Bear winner takes everyone but the jury by surprise

    Mark Dornford-May's U-Carmen eKhayelitsha has become the first African film in the history of the Berlinale to be awarded the top honours of the Golden Bear by the International Jury led by German director Roland Emmerich. The jury's choice of Dornford-May's version of Carmen's Bizet set in a South African township took film critics completely by surprise as other competition entries such as Raoul Peck's harrowing story of Rwandan genocide Sometimes In April, Hany
  • Berlinale trio seal German distribution deals

    HerbertKloiber's theatrical arm Concorde Filmverleih has acquired the French film TheBeat That My Heart Skipped, which screened in Official Competition at last week's Berlinale.JacquesAudiard's film, an homage to James Toback's 1970s' classic Fingers, went on to win the SilverBear for Best Film Music (by Alexandre Desplat).Inaddition, Concorde picked up directorial duo Joern Hintzer and Jakob Huefner's MeasuresTo Better The World (Weltverbesserungsmassnahmen),
  • Bielinski's Aura shines on Celluloid

    France'sCelluloid Dreams has picked up international sales rights to The Aura (ElAura), the latest film by Fabian Bielinsky, the Argentinian director ofbreakout hit Nine Queens. Nine Queens and Son Of The Bride star RicardoDarin plays a taxidermist whose fantasies about setting up the perfect crimecome unexpectedly to life. The film shot in Argentina's Patagonia region inOctober 2004 on a $2.8m budget.The film waspreviously handled by leading A
  • Bruehl, Mullan board Cargo for Wild Bunch

    TheUK's Peter Mullan, Germany's Daniel Bruehl and Spain's Luis Tosar will star in Cargo, a UK-Spanish thriller starting shooting next week for French salesand financing company Wild Bunch.Documentary film-maker CliveGordon will make his feature debut with a script by Ken Loach's longtimescreenwriter Paul Laverty. Set on a cargo ship travelling to Europe, theco-production from Slate Fi
  • China centennial takes Centre Stage at HK Fest

    Thisyear's Hong Kong International Film Festival (March 22 - April 6) plans tocelebrate the 100th anniversary of Chinese cinema by screening a digitallyremastered version of Stanley Kwan's 1992 period drama Centre Stage.Theaward-winning film, one of a series of special digital presentations at thefestival, stars Maggie Cheung as 1930s Chinese actress Ruan Lingyu. Kwan andCheung are both set to attend.The29th edition of the festival, one of eight events at the upcoming Hon
  • CNC creates public film archive at National Library

    France's NationalLibrary and the French Film Commission (CNC) have signed an agreement to createa film archive at the library.The archives, anoffshoot of the CNC's own French film archives, will be open to the public,providing access to "one of the largest collections of cinema in the world."Among the filmswill be catalogue works, documentaries, rare films and restored films that willbe screened in a theatre at the library according to a programme established bythe CNC. T
  • Constantine to wreak havoc in Italy, Spain

    Warner Bros PicturesInternational's supernatural thriller Constantine opens in Italy and Mexico today (Feb 25) on the backof a smattering of smaller European debuts earlier in the week.The picture has grossed$33.7m after two weekends and executives will look for solid debuts and strongholds in Asia as well as Spain, France and Germany to boost the alreadyimpressive international running total.A Very Long Engagement opens in Brazil today and has amassed $53.4m todat
  • Date doctor beats demon-killer in first round of Presidents Day weekend battle

    Sony's romantic comedy Hitch stayed top over the rain-sodden three-day portion ofPresidents Day as it closed in on $100m and shut out a trio of top 10 debutantsled by Warner Bros' supernatural action title Constantine.
  • De Laurentiis re-affirms Alexander project with DiCaprio and Kidman, to be directed by Luhrmann.

    Dino De Laurentiis has announced that he is pressing ahead with plans to shoot his Alexander the Great project, which is set to star Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman and will be directed by Baz Luhrmann. "We will shoot the film in one year's time, and it will be the Alexander that everyone has been waiting for," De Laurentiis told Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera, confirming the talent that was attached to the project when it was announced in 2003. De Laurentiis's
  • De Macedo gets top Sony production job in Europe

    Iona de Macedo has been promoted to senior vice-presidentof European production at Sony Pictures Entertainment, where she will overseeEuropean local production in France, Spain and the rest of continental Europe,while the UK will remain an independent entity.Sony currentlyhas stand-alone local production units in Spain and the UK, and operates ajoint venture in France with Gaumont.De Macedo willwork closely with Sony Pictures Releasing International's (SPRI) Europeangeneral mana
  • Dimension does The Business

    DimensionFilms has taken North American rights to The Business, British directorNick Love's story of a young man caught up in the expatriate crime scene onSpain's Costa del Sol in the 80s.TheCosta del Crime flick previously sold to Pathe Distribution in the UK, whereproduction company Vertigo fielded multiple offers. ContentFilmis selling international rights to the film, which stars Danny Dyer and iscurrently in post.
  • Ducastel & Martineau's Beach goes to Strand in US

    Strand Releasing hasannounced one of the first domestic deals from the Berlin Film Festival lastweek, acquiring US rights to Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau's comedy MariscosBeach (Crustaces Et Coquillages).The deal was closed byStrand's co-presidents Marcus Hu and Jon Gerrans with sales agent Sylvain Moreau of Bac Films International. Mariscos Beach played in Panorama at the Berlin festival. Set in a familybeach house one summer, it stars Valeria Bruni Tede
  • Duguay revs up Villeneuve racing biopic

    Gabriella Martinelli'sToronto-based Capri Films will produce a bio-pic of legendary Formula 1 racerGilles Villeneuve. Christian Duguay (The Art Of War) has signed to direct from a screenplay to bewritten by documentary filmmaker Malcolm Clarke (Prisoner Of Paradise). The announcement was made in Montreal Thursday atthe nightclub owned by Villeneuve's son and racing heir, Jacques Villeneuve,the 1997 F1 World Champion, who will appear in the film. Described as
  • Dutch wage two-pronged assault on Norwegian war satire

    Dutch producer 24fpsis working on a film version of Krig, the satirical Norwegian novel about a war betweenthe Netherlands and Norway that erupts after an incident during the Europeanskating championship.Producer AntonScholten is at the moment negotiating the project with some unnamed Norwegianproducers. Krig's estimated budget is Euros 3m. No director has been assignedyet.Scholten is thinkingabout two different versions of the film: one emphasizing the Dutch side
  • Eastern European Acquisition Pool adds Slovenian partner.

    Berlin-based Eastern European Acquisition Pool (EEAP) has expandedits influence in the Central and East European market with the Slovenian mediacompany Cinemania Group coming onboard as a new shareholder with a 26% stake.The agreement was signed by Cinemania's general manager SretenZivojinovic with EEAP's other shareholders, Berlin-based A Company Consulting& Licensing and Munich-based ProRom Media Trade and will open up themarkets of ex-Yugoslavia to EEAP's activities as a buyer of li
  • European Film Market closes at an all-time high

    Newsfrom the floor of the European Film Market as it wrapped for another year:busier than ever before. While there were no headline-grabbing North Americanor multi-territory deals forged by the classics divisions of Hollywood studios,serious business was done. One seller alone reported over 500 deals completedhere.Non-English-languagecommercial fare and art-house pictures were snapped up. And the big-ticketdeals on genre fare traded between Korea and Japan - one deal reportedly sailedc
  • Films Distribution lives well with Live And Become

    Radu Mihaileanu's LiveAnd Become (Vas Vis Et Deviens) which screened in Panorama was a bigseller for Films Distribution. The film, about Jews airlifted from Africa byIsrael, was sold to Golem for Spain, Seville for Canada, Cinestar for Austria,Telepool for Germany, Artfilm for Brazil, Cine TV Y Video for Mexico, Hopscotchfor Australia and New Zealand, Budapest Film for Hungary, Future Film forScandinavia, Prooptiki for Greece, Bulgaria and the Ex-Yugoslavia, Bir Film forT
  • Fockers maintains int'l box office lead

    DreamWorks International'scomedy sequel Meet The Fockers got the better of Warner Bros'supernatural thriller Constantine over the weekend to maintain itsstatus as the leading international picture, adding an estimated $27.5m throughUIP to raise the cumulative total to $152m.Opening highlights included$5.7m on 611 screens in Germany, $4.5m on 604 in France, $1.2m in Belgium, and$950,000 on 100 in Austria - all at number one.The picture stayed top inits fourth consec
  • Focus takes international rights on Benigni's latest.

    Focus Features has acquiredinternational sales rights excluding Italy on Roberto Benigni's The TigerAnd The Snow.The film, written anddirected by and starring two-time Academy Award-winner Benigni, is inpost-production and will be released first in Italy on Oct 14. Benigni plays a poet desperately wooing thewoman of his dreams until they suddenly find themselves suddenly in Iraq on theeve of war.Co-star and producerNicoletta Braschi re-teams with Benigni after 1997's runa
  • FRANCE 25 February

    French comedy Iznogoud is pretty good after all. Staying in the topspot in its second week, the film beat Meet The Fockers which debuted atnumber two with 751,304 admissions. Iznogoud has now taken a cumulative$13,649,422. Keanu Reeves supernatural thriller Constantine opened in third placewith just over half a million tickets sold. Former number 2, Espace Detentedrops down to number four with nearly $11m cumulative gross since its
  • Fullenbach returns to Canal Plus

    Former head of acquisitionsat the Canal Plus premium channel, Evi Fullenbach, will return to the foldafter a little over a year away. Fullenbach, who wasresponsible for many of the output deals signed by Canal with Hollywoodheavyweights over the years resurfaces as director of cinema for the Canal PlusGroup, a new post according to a company insider, which encompasses both thepremium channel and the myriad thematic channels owned by the group.Fullenbach originally leftthe compan
  • German home entertainment market doubles over five years

    Turnover in the German home entertainment market has more than doubled since 1999, when DVDs firstregistered significant business in Germany, according to figures compiled byGfK Panel Services Consumer Research for the video trade association BVV.Revenues from sell-throughand rental videos and DVDs increased by 103% from 1999’s Euros 860m to a recordresult in 2004 of Euros 1.747 bn (which was 96% more than last year’s highlysuccessful theatrical box-office of Euros 893m).GfK’s s
  • German-Turkish culture clash comedy makes Connection

    Hamburg-basedproduction house Wueste Film has signed the first deals with distributors fromAustria, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Turkey for Anno Saul's KebabConnectionTheculture clash comedy, starringDenis Moschitto and Norah Tschirner, had its internationalmarket premiere in the Berlinale's German Cinema section last week.Buyers includedSwitzerland's Cineworx and Turkey's R Films - both of whom released WuesteFilm's Golden Bear winner Head-On (Gegen Die Wand) last
  • GERMANY 22 February

    Last weekend Germany's boxoffice received a welcome shakeup with the arrival of three new releases MeetThe Fockers, Constantine and the local family film Die Wilden Kerle 2- at the top of the chart, toppling the local animation feature Felix - EinHase Auf Weltreise which had itself pushed The Aviator off the poleposition the previous week. The UIP comedy was the firstfilm to top 500,000 admissions in its opening weekend this year, while B
  • Germany, Brazil sign co-production treaty

    Germany and Brazil have signed a treaty to formalise theco-production of films between the two countries. Films co-produced by German and Brazilian companies under thetreaty will qualify as 'national films' and consequently have access toreciprocal benefits such as the German public funds as well as equivalentsources in Brazil.A co-production will require at least 20% involvement from boththe Brazilian and German parties in the financial, artistic, performing, andtechnical parti
  • Gitai's Free Zone proves hot seller for Bac

    Coming out of theEuropean Film Market, Bac International has announced fresh territorial saleson Amos Gitai's Free Zone, starring Oscar-nominee Natalie Portman.Free Zone was sold to Australia's Palace Films,Canada's Les Films Seville, Switzerland's Filmcoopi, Italy's Istituto Luce,Brazil's Imovision and Belgium's Cineart. The film,currently shooting in Israel and Jordan, caused an outcry in Jerusalem thisweek when dozens of Orthodox Jews witnessed a kissing scene i
  • Haggis to win inaugural screenwriting award at San Francisco

    Paul Haggis willreceive the inaugural Maurice Kanbar Award for excellence in screenwriting atthe 48th San Francisco International Film Festival, which runs from Apr 21-May5.Haggis, who isnominated for an adapted screenplay Oscar for Million Dollar Baby, will present a masterclass onscreenwriting accompanied by a screening of the drama Crash, which he wrote and directed and isscheduled to open through Lions Gate in May.The Kanbar Awardis named af
  • Half A Confession tops 28th Japanese Academy Awards.

    Half A Confession(Hanochi), Kiyoshi Sasabe'scourtroom drama about a man who confesses to murdering his wife, has been named2004 Best Picture at the 28th Japan Academy Awards. Based on a best-sellingnovel by Hideo Yokoyama, the film was also one of 2004's biggest domestic hits,grossing $18.1m (Y1.9 bn) for distributor Toei. Half A Confession's star, Akira Terao, won the Best Actor prize -- hissecond since winning for Takashi Koizumi's The Rain Lifts in 2001.
  • Hitch wedded to the top spot, Constantine a close second

    Sony's romantic comedy Hitch stayed top over the rain-sodden three-day portion ofPresidents Day as it closed in on $100m and shut out a trio of top 10 debutantsled by Warner Bros' supernatural action title Constantine.
  • HONG KONG 22 February

    Pixar animation TheIncredibles was the undisputed winner over the Chinese New Year holidayperiod racking up US$1.9m from 54 screens in it second week for a cumulativegross of US$3.5m.Warner Bros' Constantinetook second place in the chart with US$1.5m from 38 screens in the week to Feb16 for a nine-day cumulative gross of US$1.99m. The supernatural thriller,which opened one day before the five-day holiday on Feb 8, was supported by apromotional visit fr
  • Italian production start-up to shoot controversial erotic drama

    Cameras will start rollingon March 7 on the controversial adaptation of an erotic diary written by a17-year-old Sicilian schoolgirl, which is being produced by Italian actressFrancesca Neri.The literary sensation,entitled Cento Colpi Di Spazzola Prima Di Andare A Dormire (literally,one hundred brushes before bed time), was written by a student known only asMelissa P. and delves into her multiple erotic encounters and fantasies. Spanish actress MariaValverde (The Weakne
  • ITALY 24 February

    Meet The Fockers, FindingNeverland and The Merchant OfVenice held tightly on to the top three positions at the Italian box officefor the second week running, despite four new films opening nationwide.With a huge screen averageof $8,877 on its second week, Fockers shows no signs of running out ofsteam, and has now grossed a massive$12,405,969 for UIP.Istituto Luce's TheMerchant Of Venice posted a 6% rise, grossing a strong
  • Kekexili: Mountain Patrol (Kekexili)

    Dir: LuChuan. Chi-HK. 2004. 90mins.Chinesefilm-maker Lu Chuan, who made a lively debut with The Missing Gun in2001, confirms his promise and extends his range with Kekexili: MountainPatrol, which screened in Forum at Berlin after successful outings at Tokyoand Sundance (it also beat Wong Kar-wai's's 2046 to the best film prizeat Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards).An epic of sortsset in the sprawling animal reserve of Kekexili, it is, like The Mis
  • Korean film industry mourns Lee Eun-ju

    South Korean actress LeeEun-ju was found dead in her apartment on Tuesday morning. She is believed to have committed suicide.Born in 1980, Lee starred innine feature films since her debut in 1999, including Virgin Stripped BareBy Her Bachelors (2000) by Hong Sang-soo, Bungee Jumping Of Their Own(2001), Lovers Concerto (2002), and Korea's box-office record holder TaeGuk Gi by Kang Je-gyu.Most recently she starred inDaniel H. Byun's The Scarlet Lette
  • Korea's LJ Film aspires to international market

    LJ Film, the productionhouse behind Sundance and Forum title This Charming Girl, is positioningitself as the gateway between the Korean and international production sectors. Korean films have undergonea massive turnaround in the last five years, achieving a more than 50% share oftheir local market and seeing exports rise exponentially. But, with theexception of a handful of Asian co-productions, the production sector has beenhermetically separated from the outside world.L
  • Loach sounds off over Iraq, Tsunami relief

    Speakingin Berlin last week, Ken Loach (one of the three co-directors of portmanteaupicture Tickets) berated the double standards in western responses todeath and disaster. "Your country and mine have killed over 100,000 peoplein Iraq," Loach told a US journalist. "And we are encouraged to showno sympathy, to collect no money, to show no feelings or human sympathy andwarmth to those people we have killed."Loachcalled the invasion of Iraq "a terrible, terrible crime." Hecontraste
  • Mad Hot Ballroom

    Dir: Marilyn Agrelo. US.2005. 114mins.An upbeat, feelgooddocumentary about kids from three New York public elementary schools whocompete in a citywide ballroom dancing competition, Mad Hot Ballroom isthis year's Spellbound, if with a less an ironic take on its subjectsthan the spelling-bee documentary and gutsier motivational verve.One of the hot tickets atthis year's European Film Market, the documentary - which premiered atSlamda
  • Market gets animated about Euro-toons

    European-madeanimated feature films are at last beginning to crawl out from underHollywood's shadow and establish a foothold in the international market. Thatwas the message in Berlin earlier this week as details of Cartoon Movie 2005,the three-day co-production forum and market, were announced.Theevent will take place in the middle of next month in the Babelsberg Studios atPostdam, near Berlin. Some 450 visitors are expected to attend, among them asmall army of buyers and financiers.
  • McClure leaves First Look and joins 2929

    Former First Look Mediageneral counsel and senior vice president of business and legal affairs DougMcClure has joined 2929 Productions as senior vice president of legal andbusiness affairs. McClure will report to 2929president Marc Butan and help the company develop its slate and businessoperations. 2929 produces projects inthe $10m-$40m range and is currently preparing the McCarthy-era drama GoodNight And Good Luck, which will bedirected by and star G
  • Memoires Affectives shares Jutra riches with Cinemascope

    MemoiresAffectives won four awards, including best picture,and Ma Vie En Cinemascope won five asQuebecois filmmaking celebrated its own at the Prix Jutra in Montreal on Sundaynight. Memoiresproducer Barbara Shrier accepted the Best Filmprize while director Francis Leclerc took Best Director, lead Roy Dupuis BestActor and Glenn Berman earned Best Editing. Meantim
  • MGM fourth quarter figures hit by merger costs

    Merger costs, an$8.3m non-cash charge and falling revenue led to lower year-on-year fourthquarter income at MGM, which is in the process of being taken over by aconsortium of buyers led by Sony.The studioreported $38.5m net income or $0.16 per share for the fourth quarter of 2004,compared to $60.3m or $0.25 per share for the same period a year earlier.Net cash provided by operating activities was $67.4m forthe fourth quarter, bringing the full year 2004 total to $140.8m.
  • MPAA launches third wave of lawsuits at online pirates

    The MPAA haslaunched a third wave of lawsuits targeting online pirates of such currentOscar contenders as Spider-Man 2, Sideways and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.Officers havefiled an unspecified number of 'John Doe' civil suits with federal courtsacross the US in the latest round of legal action since November. It isunderstood that individual defendants face fines of up to $150,000 each.Among thosecited is a user of the online network
  • Night Watch (Nochnoy Dozor)

    Dir: Timur Bekmambetov.Russia. 2004. 114mins.One of the mostimpressive things about Night Watch is the fact that such a stylish andtechnically polished fantasy movie - which can teach Hollywood a trick or twoabout squeezing a great look out of a tight budget - is it is 100% made inRussia. But, as some studio executives might say, if you can't beat 'em, buy'em: this cinematic adaptation of part one of Sergei Lukyanenko's trilogy ofnovels about an epi
  • Nine titles to compete at Deauville Festival of Asian Film

    The jury for the DeauvilleFestival of Asian Film will be presided over by French director Regis Wargnier,organisers announced Wednesday. The seventh edition of theevent will run from March 9-13 in the seaside Normandy town where nine filmswill screen in the major competition and tributes will be paid to Indonesianactress-producer Christine Hakim and prolific Japanese directorr Takashi Miike.Along with Wargnier, Frenchactors Vahina Giocante and Christopher Thompson and French dir
  • NonStop makes host of acquisitions at Berlin

    NonStop Entertainment hasannounced the following acquisitions at the recently closed Berlin FilmFestival.From Celluloid Dreams:The Beat That My Heart Skipped, which was awarded the Silver Bear for BestMusic at the Berlinale 2005. NonStop will distribute The Beat in Sweden,Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Me And You And EveryoneWe Know, the US indie title, awardedwith the Special Jury Prize for originality at this years Sundance FilmFestival. NonStop wil
  • Oscar nominees benefit from pre-awards hype

    With a week to go before theOscar winners dominate the charts, the films nominated for best picture wereenjoying their status at the international box office.Leading the pack TheAviator, now on $76.6m internationally, added seven Asian and smaller Europeanterritories including South Korea, Hong Kong and Poland. Handled by KoreaPictures in South Korea the film finished fourth over the weekend but playedfewer screens than local titles, Running Boy (still at the top afterfou
  • Payne presides over Un Certain Regard jury

    Oscarcontender Alexander Payne will preside over the jury for the Un Certain Regardsection of the 58th Cannes Film Festival (May 11-22), organizers said Thursday.TheUS filmmaker, whose Sideways, isup for five Academy Awards this weekend including picture, director and adaptedscreenplay, has traveled to Cannes in an official capacity once before: In2002, his About Schmidt screenedin the main competition.UnCertain Regard is a complement to the official selection. The
  • Peacock (Kong Que)

    Dir: Gu Changwei China.2005. 161mins.If further proof wereneeded of the technical and emotional maturity of the New Chinese cinema, then Peacocksupplies it. The story of three siblings in a provincial Chinese town at thetail end of the Cultural Revolution, this sensitive, deceptively simple filmtakes a while to establish its authority, but patient audiences will warm tothe story and its three young protagonists.With Zhang Yimou's recentou
  • Producer Salvi kick-starts new Italian buyer

    Italian producerVeronica Salvi has launched a new film production and distribution company,named Dujass Film.Salvi and partnerMarco Ambrosini formed Dujass after acquiring Esse&Bi Cinematografica, thecompany formerly run by Salvi and Italian director Paolo Modugno.Dujass is alreadyactive on the acquisitions front. In Berlin, the outfit picked up OlivierDucastel and Jacques Martineau's title Crustaces Et Coquillages with Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi from BacFilms, as well as Lat
  • Rai Cinema, Ben Ammar to finance De Laurentiis's Decameron

    Italy's Rai Cinema isteaming up with Tarak Ben Ammar to finance Dino De Laurentiis's upcoming $38mproduction, Decameron.Written and directed byDavid Leland, the English-language movie will start shooting in Italy inmid-July with Hayden Christensen and Mischa Barton (The O.C) in the leadroles."One year ago, I wokeup in the morning and thought the time had come to re-do Boccaccio," DeLaurentiis told Screen International, referring to the 14th century Italiancollectio
  • Rank to exit British film industry

    Rank, the UK leisure groupand former pillar of the British film industry, will reportedly announce itsexit from the film business this week when it unveils plans to de-merge filmservices division Deluxe Films and sell Deluxe Media.The group, which backed astring of films such as the Carry On comedy series, will unveil itsplans this week as part of its annual results, the Sunday Telegraph reported. Deluxe Films will reportedlybecome a separately listed
  • REAL D buys StereoGraphics in a bid to set new projection standard

    LosAngeles-based visual technology company REAL D has acquired stereoscopichardware and software manufacturer StereoGraphics Corporation in a bid toestablish an industry standard for next generation projection.REAL Dexecutives plan to use StereoGraphics' 25-year history of working with thelikes of NASA and Boeing to service the entertainment industry and provide analternative to in-home theatres, cable and DVD.Unliketraditional 3D projection technology, which requires two projec
  • RSA, Black Dog sign Akerlund, Renck for commercials, music videos

    Film andcommercials production company RSA and Blackdog Films have signed Swedish directorsJonas Akerlund and Johan Renck for representation in the US and UK.RSA will handleall commercial work and Black Dog will represent the clients for music videos."The work ofJonas and Johan and their company RAF is groundbreaking and it is a big featherin our hat that they've chosen RSA to represent them for both commercials andmusic video interests," RSA president Jules
  • Sacred Heart (Cuore Sacro)

    Dir: Ferzan Ozpetek. Italy. 2005. 117 minsFerzan Ozpetek serves upa cringingly sentimental tale of managerial altruism for the multiplexgeneration: and yet another great white hope of Italian cinema falls by thewayside. The Turkish-born, Italian-trained Ozpetek is, alongside fellow Medusaregular Gabriele Muccino, the director who most ably occupies the middle-groundbetween commercial and arthouse in Italy. His previous outing, FacingWindows,
  • ShoWest awards watch: Jennifer Aniston

    Jennifer Aniston has been named ShoWest 2005 Female Star of the Year and will collect her award at the closing night ceremony on March 17.Aniston's upcoming roles include the romantic comedy Rumor Has It oppposite Kevin Costner, and the thriller Derailed opposite Clive Owen.Her previous credits include Bruce Almighty, Along Came Polly, and The Good Girl.As previously announced, Jessica Biel will be crowned ShoWest 2005 Female Star of Tomorro
  • Sideways, Sunshine take WGA film awards

    Sidewayswon best adapted screenplay for Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor while EternalSunshine Of The Spotless Mind took best original screenplay honours for Charlie Kaufman at theWriters Guild of America (WGA) awards at the weekend (19).
  • Sixth Lanzarote Screenings attracts buyers from 20 countries

    Fifty buyers from more than20 countries are expected to attend the sixth annual Spanish Film Screenings ofLanzarote (Feb 24-26).Newly dubbed the WinterScreenings - due to a move from lateNovember to February, Lanzarote offers buyers the opportunity to see more than30 new Spanish films from the last year.Three premieres will getgala screenings: Juanma Bajo Ulloa's romantic drama Fragil; policecomedy R2 And The Case Of The Headless Corpse (R2 Y El Cadaver Sin Cabeza)
  • Sokurov plans 'free fantasy' version of Faust

    Having tackled Hitler, Leninand Hirohito, Russian director Alexander Sokurov is to round off his four filmproject on "Men Of Power" with his own version of Faust. The new film, loosely basedon works by Goethe and Thomas Mann, promises to be in a very different registerto its dark and brooding predecessors, Moloch, Taurus and TheSun."It (Faust) willbe a very colourful, elegant picture with a lot of Strauss music and a smell of chocolate, " Sokurov told
  • SOUTH KOREA Production Listings - February 21

    SOUTHKOREAPRE-PRODUCTIONTHEBEAST(Popcorn Film) Budget: $8m. Int'lsales/dist: Showbox. Noirish drama about a detective, prosecutor and gangster,all equally vicious. Exec prod: Kim Woo-taek. Prod: Han Sung-gu. Dir/Scr: KimSung-soo. Main cast: Kwon Sang-woo, Yu Ji-tae, Yu Dong-geun. Sho
  • Spain's Filmanova to co-finance flamenco biopic Camaron.

    Galician investment fundFilmanova Invest has signed on to co-finance Spanish veteran Jaime Chavarri'slatest film, flamenco biopic Camaron.Camaron will star up-and-comer Oscar Jaenada (November)in the life story of well-known flamenco musician Jose Monge Cruz, better knownas "Camaron de la Isla.""We were attracted to thisproject because we believe it has huge international potential," said AntonReixa, co-founder of Filmanova, which will take executive co-prod
  • Spain's lazonafilms, Telespan back Serrano projects

    Two young Spanish productioncompanies, lazonafilms and Telespan 2000, have joined forces to back twofeature films from hot writer-director David Serrano.The mastermind behind theenormously successful comedies The Other Side Of The Bed, which hescripted, and Football Days, which he wrote and directed, Serrano iscurrently at work on scripts with an eye to shooting the first of the twoaccorded films in early 2006.Potential projects could bemusical romantic comedy W
  • Spanish box office hit gets sales lift at EFM

    Spanish salesconsortium Grupo Pi has announced a handful of deals concluded at the recentEuropean Film Market in Berlin.The outfit soldlocal box office hit 4th Floor (Planta 4a) to Movie Max in Italy, where the film is expectedto be released on around 50 prints, and to Jekino Films for Benelux.The BocaBocaproduction, which was seen by more than a million people and earned close toEuros 5.4m at the Spanish box office, is awaiting release in a slew ofterritories across Lati
  • Spring offers hope for Korean box office

    April is not considered tobe high season at the box-office in Korea, but in past years it has shown aknack for producing major box-office hits. My Little Bride (2004, $17m local gross), Memories Of Murder(2003, $27m), The Way Home (2002, $20m) and Friend (2001, $38m)have all got off to a roaring start in April. This year, several contenders arelining up to continue the tradition.Perhaps the twohighest-profile releases of the month will square off agai
  • Stranger (Ono)

    Dir:Malgosia Szumowska. Ger-Pol. 2005. 98mins.Thesecond full-length feature by Polish film-maker Malgosia Szumowska, Strangeris infused with the spirit of Kieslowski. But this slow, measured film about anunmarried girl who decides to go ahead with an unplanned pregnancy does notfeel derivative.Unsentimental,emotionally intelligent, it gets under the skin, adding up to more than the sumof its occasionally jarring parts. The film's subtle h
  • Summit closes Keeping Mum in major territories at busy Berlin

    Summit Entertainment has closed key Berlin sales on NiallJohnson's comedy Keeping Mum, which stars Rowan Atkinson and Kristin Scott Thomas in the storyof a diligent vicar who is totally oblivious to his wife's affair.
  • Techine, Angelopulous book-end Belgrade festival

    The 33rd BelgradeInternational Film Festival kicks off on Jan 25 with Andre Techine's LesTemps Qui Changent and will beopened by the film's star Catherine Deneuve. Running until Feb 6, thefestival will feature some 80 films across seven sections, in a programmemostly comprising fare from the biggest world festivals of the past year. The list includes FrancoisOzon's 5x2, Alex de le Iglesia's FerpectCrime, Volker Schloendorff's TheNinth
  • Techine, Angelopulous book-end Belgrade festival

    The 33rd BelgradeInternational Film Festival kicks off on Jan 25 with Andre Techine's LesTemps Qui Changent and will beopened by the film's star Catherine Deneuve. Running until Feb 6, thefestival in the Serbian capital will feature some 80 films across seven sections, in a programmemostly comprising fare from the biggest world festivals of the past year. The list includes: FrancoisOzon's 5x2, Alex de le Iglesia's FerpectCrime, Volker Schloendorff's TheNi
  • The Wayward Cloud (Tian Bian Yi Duo Hun)

    Dir/scr: Tsai Ming-Liang.Fr-Tai. 2005. 111mins.Taiwan auteur TsaiMing-Liang revisits all his favourite themes in The Wayward Cloud, hiseighth feature. There's his water obsession - here figured in a nationwidewater shortage, which leads to a run on mineral water and watermelons. There'shis exploration of lonely characters lost in a big but strangely empty city.There's the ironic homage to Chinese and Taiwanese culture, both historic(bamboo screens,
  • The Works ties up Berlin deals

    The Works licensed PawelPawlikowski's My Summer Of Love to Brazil's Europa. Tara Road was soldto Svensk for Scandinavia, Cinearts bought festival title Tickets forBenelux, while Dongsong bought it for Korea. Israel's Orlando Films boughtcompetition film The Sun for Israel. Off market title The AlzheimerCase was sold to Media Soso for Korea.
  • THINKFilm buys Eddie Izzard profile doc

    THINKFilm hasacquired all North American rights to the upcoming untitled documentary profileof the much-loved British comedian Eddie Izzard, and hopes to unveil thepicture at the Toronto Film Festival in September accompanied by a live Izzardshow.The project, firstannounced at Cannes 2004, combines performance footage and interviews anddocuments Izzard's life onstage and off. Sarah Townsend is directing andproducing with Joni Sighvatsson and Nick Hirschkorn serving as executiveproducer
  • THINKFilm launches kids DVD division

    Toronto and New York-basedNorth American distributor ThinkFilm is launching a child-oriented specialtydivision, ThinkFilm Kids, to tap what it calls the expanding "KidVid" DVDmarket children under nine years of age. The division will concentrate oneducational product and has two franchise series available at launch, Braincandy and My First Day. ThinkFilm president andchief executive officer Jeff Sackman told that there are noimmediate plans to distri
  • Trauma scares up North American deal via DEJ

    DEJ Productions has acquiredNorth America rights in all media from Myriad Pictures to Marc Evanspsychological thriller Trauma,which is scheduled for DVD release on Jun 14.The picture is the firstproject from Little Bird's specialist horror arm Ministry Of Fear and starsColin Firth and Mena Suvari in the tale of a man who awakes from a coma todiscover his wife has been killed in a car accident. When he visits aspiritualist he learns she may still be alive.The film had its
  • U-Carmen eKhayelitsha

    Dir. Mark Domford-May. SAfr. 2004. 120mins.Bizet's Carmen,arguably the most popular grand opera written and certainly the one mostfrequently adapted to the big screen, enjoys another outing, this time to SouthAfrica, for U-Carmen eKhayelitshaMark Domford-May's updatedversion is set in the present day, performed by local talents, sung in Xhosaand shot in a town (eKhayelitsha), near Capetown. A pleasant experience, itadds little to t
  • UK film pirate gets three-year prison sentence

    In a landmark case in thefight against film piracy, a UK court has given a Cambridge-based DVD pirate,a three-year prison sentence.Jayanti Amarishi Buhecha,who was estimated to make more than £25,000 per month from piracy, was found guilty of two offences under theTrade Marks Act 1994, at Harrow crown court, in north London, last month.Buhecha was uncoveredin an operation co-ordinated by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) - whichlasted for two years.Sentencing Judge
  • UK Production Listings - January 24

    UK - February 22 PRE-PRODUCTION ANASTEZSI(Sintra S.R.L. [It], Film & Music Entertainment, Mate Productions [Sp])Supernatural drama. Young violin prodigy Valerio is summoned to study at anexclusive musical academy. During his stay he learns that the academy'sworld-famous virtuoso, Baltzer, has sinister plans for him. Prods: Mike Downey,Sam Taylor, Rosanna Seregni, Mate Ca
  • UK/IRELAND 22 February

    With the top four titles unchanged, the half-term effect continued inthe UK at the weekend.The second weekend of the holiday saw Pathe's The Magic Roundaboutimprove 13% week-on-week (excluding previews) while new family release AreWe There Yet' did solid business in sixth place for Sony.Momentum Pictures' Racing Stripes, which opened a week ahead ofthe holiday, continued to play well, rising 8% week-on-week while Son Of TheMask and
  • Universal Japan leads buyer rush for April Snow

    Koreanproduction house Show East has licensed its now-in-production melodrama AprilSnow acrossAsia, including a key sale to Universal Pictures Japan. Theraft of deals should ensure that the Hur-Jin-ho-directed picture gets aday-and-date release across the Asian region.Inaddition to the sale to Universal, the film was licensed to Golden Scene for Hong Kong, Encore Film for Singapore andMalaysia, and Spring International for Taiwan. Head of sales Michelle Son said "w
  • UPI to set up operations in Russia

    Universal PicturesInternational (UPI) is taking its home entertainment operations into Russia, acountry widely seen as one of the major sources of video piracy.It has set up a wholly-ownedaffiliate covering Russia and the CIS that will handle all the titles that werepreviously distributed through licensees. The operation is headed bymanaging director Egor Borisov, withKrasilshikova as marketing director, Nelly Romanovskaya finance directorand Roman Sergeev joins as sales directo
  • Warner ventures into Chinese DVD distribution

    Warner Bros has becomethe first US studio to establish an in-country DVD/VCD distribution andmarketing operation in China.Warner Home Videoannounced yesterday the formation of CAV Warner Home Entertainment Co., a jointventure with China Audio Video that is based in Shanghai and is nowoperational.The announcement followsextensive analysis by Warner Home Video of the dynamic Chinese home videomarket and its potential for continued growth. The
  • Wendy finds US home at Wellspring

    Wellspring has picked up allUS rights to Thomas Vinterberg's jolting cautionary tale Dear Wendy, which was one of the most talked about pictures atSundance when it premiered in January.Based on a screenplay byLars Von Trier, Dear Wendy starsJamie Bell and Bill Pullman and centres on a group of young misfits in a UStown who develop an ill-fated fascination for guns. At Sundance, the film wastalked about as a risky buy for domestic distribution with its bold critique