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Screen
25 January 2008

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  • Adrien Brody to star in Sony BMG's Cadillac Records

    Adrien Brody and Jeffrey Wright will star in Sony BMG Film's 1950s-set music industry drama Cadillac Records.Brody will play Leonard Chess, founder of the hugely influential blues record label Chess Records, while Wright will portray the legendary musician Muddy Walters in Darnell Martin's story of the birth of the electric blues.Production is set to begin in early March on location in New Jersey and Mississippi with Andrew Lack an
  • All quiet on the Eastern front

    With the exception of Davis Films' comic-book adaptation Solomon Kane, which began filming on location in Prague in early January, the streets and sound stages of Eastern Europe are mostly silent right now. The US writers' strike is damaging the production business at all levels, from major facilities such as Barrandov, to the smaller operations."All American projects have been postponed," says Barrandov spokesperson Dusana Chrenekova. However, Mark Gill and Neil Sacker's The Fi
  • Amid rising industry concern, British Council defends restructuring

    Revelations that the British Council is reviewing its Arts Strategy and restructuring toward a 'multidisciplinary approach' in areas such as film, dance, and the visual arts, have caused uproar in the UK arts community.There is widespread concern that the Council will lose the sectoral expertise it has built up in areas such as film, and could dilute the support for international promotion activities.However, the Council's Director of Arts, Venu Dhupa, has made a stron
  • As Goteborg kicks off, 200 people expected at Nordic Film Market

    More than 200 international film professionals - producers, buyers, sellers and festival programmers - have registered for the Nordic Film Market, running between Jan 31-Feb 3 during Sweden's 31st Goteborg International Film Festival, which starts today.This year's programme includes 20 recent Nordic features and 12 works-in-progress, such as Danish director Nils Malmros' Heartaches (Kærestesorger), shortly to conclude a three-year production schedule for Nordisk Film, an
  • Ascot Elite takes Swiss rights to The Interrogation Of Harry Wind

    Ascot Elite Entertainment Group has picked up Swiss theatrical and DVD rights to Pascal Verdosci's political thriller The Interrogation Of Harry Wind which began shooting in Basle last week.The adaptation of a novel by Matthias Diggelmann, one of the leading post-war Swiss novelists with Max Frisch and Friedrich Dürrenmatt, stars Klaus-Maria Brandauer (The Red Baron) opposite Sebastian Koch (The Lives Of Others, Black Book).Set in Zurich in the 19
  • August

    Dir: Austin Chick. US. 2007. 88mins In August, directed by Austin Chick, it is August 2001, and Tom Sterling (Josh Hartnett) is a startup entrepreneur with an ego as big as the debt that he has taken on to found a firm that seems to produce market share, but not much else. The setting of the story, just before the 9/11 attacks, suggests that it all seems so trivial now.You can say that again. Stories about dot.com startups that begin with brav
  • Australian Directors Guild to wait before replacing Macrae

    The Australian Directors Guild (ADG) is now without an executive director following the surprise departure of Drew Macrae but the organisation will not invite applications for the role until after the next board meeting in early February. 'We have been rebuilding for 18 months and are still in the process of that We are still deciding what is most important in terms of the whole staffing structure,' said ADG president Ray Argall.It is unclear exactly why the former policy executi
  • Awards Countdown - BAFTA nominations - BAFTAs strike a serious tone

    The blizzard of nominations for Atonement, There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men suggests a year in which the Orange British Academy Film Awards were devoid of surprises.Atonement for one always seemed destined for BAFTA glory. It has the literary pedigree that BAFTA voters like in a best picture winner, an appealing team of past BAFTA nominees (including Joe Wright and James McAvoy) and was released in the late summer/early autumn period that has b
  • Awards Countdown - People - Awards people

    JAVIER BARDEMThe actor tells Mike Goodridge about the challenges of playing a man with a black heart in No Country For Old MenAs Anton Chigurh, a lethal assassin with no conscience or humour who kills his way through the south-east US in the Coen brothers' No Country For Old Men, Javier Bardem cuts one of the most menacing figures on screen this year. But Bardem is generous in attributing much of the performance's success - he has won numerous accolades in the awards seas
  • Award-winning We Are Together sells to Palm Pictures for North America

    Palm Pictures today has picked up North American rights to Paul Taylor's documentary We Are Together, which chronicles the lives of the Agape children in South Africa who use music to overcome loss.Palm's managing partner Jan Korbelin brokered the deal with Annie Roney, president of ro*co films international.Palm anticipates a May 2008 theatrical release on the film, which won the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award as well a
  • Away From Her

    Dir: Sarah Polley. Canada. 110 minsSarah Polley's Away From Her is a lovingly wrought and heartfelt exploration of the end of a complicated relationship. The young Canadian actress has a reputation as a nuanced stalwart of the international indie film scene. That reputation is set for a dramatic transformation. Polley's accomplishment is all the more impressive given the challenge she set herself in adapting Alice Munro's short story The Bear Came Over The
  • Ballast

    Dir-scr: Lance Hammer. US. 2008. 96mins.Ballast reminds us that you can find poetry in the un
  • Baumberger named president of Paramount Pictures Studio Group

    Paramount Pictures has named Randall Baumberger president of the Studio Group.Baumberger will report to Paramount COO Frederick Huntsberry and takes charge of the day-to-day management of Paramount's Studio Group, which includes environmental health and safety, facilities and plant operations, studio group finance, studio group legal, studio operations and technical services.Baumberger arrives from the Colorado-based consumer electronics retail chain Ultimate Electronics,
  • BBC Worldwide to offer clips on MySpace

    BBC Worldwide has come on board as the first major broadcasting partner for MySpace.The deal includes three-minute clips from popular BBC programmes such as Top Gear, The Catherine Tate Show, Doctor Who and talk show Parkinson being featured on MySpace. The companies will share advertising revenue.Initial offerings will include 150 clips.The BBC also has a different distribution deal with YouTube.MySpace is the social networking site owned by News
  • Be Kind Rewind

    Michel Gondry. US.2007. 101minsJean-Luc Godard's famous observation that the best film criticism is to remake the same film is given a deliciously inventive and stylistically daring treatment in virtuoso French director Michel Gondry's fourth feature Be Kind Rewind. It's a jaunty, outrageous and visually inventive fantasia that is wondrous, beguiling and dazzlingly executed.The conceit immediately conjures up Gondry's work with Charlie Kaufman
  • Bell Canada to launch new film download store

    Canadian telecom and internet service provider Bell Canada will launch a movie download service in April or May, ScreenDaily.com has learned.Similar in methodology to Apple's iTunes, the new service, called The Bell Video Store will offer Hollywood titles for rental or to own for use on up to three authorized media devices. Television programs and music videos will also be available. Users will access the online site through proprietary software not unlike iTunes and store the
  • Bogeydom picks up snowboard documentary Let It Ride

    Toronto-based Bogeydom Licensing has picked up international sales rights on Let It Ride, a documentary about pioneering snowboarder and counter-culture icon Craig Kelly. The film won the audience award at the recently wrapped Alpinist Film Festival in the US ski resort of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Kelly was the most recognised person in the fast-growing snow sport. He and six others were killed in a massive avalanche in British Columbia in 2003.
  • Bond 22 has a title: Quantum Of Solace

    Bond 22, which has been shooting since November, now has a title: Quantum Of Solace.Daniel Craig is reprising his role as James Bond after successfully taking on the part of 007 in 2006's hit Casino Royale.The new film's title is taken from the name of a 1960 short story by Bond creator Ian Fleming. The story itself is set in the Bahamas, but the new film is not meant to follow the same plot. It will pick-up where Casino Royale left off.As previ
  • British Council suspends arts restructuring

    The British Council has suspended the radical review of its arts strategy, which has brought and angry reaction from some film-makers and artists. ScreenDaily reported this week that there were serious concerns that the British Council restructuring, aimed at building a 'multidisciplinary approach', would mean a loss of expertise for specialist arts areas, including film.There is widespread concern that the Council will lose the sectoral expertise it has built up in areas such a
  • Brokeback Mountain star Heath Ledger found dead

    Brokeback Mountain star Heath Ledger has been found dead at a Manhattan apartment.Police are investigating the death of the 28-year-oldAustralian who was nominated for an Oscar in 2006for his role in Ang Lee's Western.Reportssuggests a possible drugs overdose.The Perth-born actor appeared in Todd Haynes' Bob Dylan film I'm Not There for which his fellow Australian Cate Blanchett was today nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar.He was due to f
  • Canada's NFB names Witten to top English language post

    The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has appointed Cindy Witten to the post of director general of NFB English Program. Witten was previously vice president of content at the Canadian specialty channel History Television. Before that she was vice president of original production at History as well as BBC Canada and National Geographic Channel Canada, all of which were recently acquired by CanWest in its takeover of the broadcast assets of Alliance Atlantis Communications.
  • Carl Clifton promoted to COO of HandMade Films International

    HandMade Films International has promoted Carl Clifton to chief operating officer, in addition to his existing duties as head of international sales.Clifton joined the revived HandMade in November 2006 and has worked on a slate of films including animated title Planet 51, thriller 50 Dead Men Walking, Eloise In Paris and the remake of The Long Good Friday.Before HandMade, Clifton worked at Polygram Films International, Universal Pictures International,
  • Chinese government lauches anti-porn campaign

    A group of 13 Chinese government departments are clamping down on pornographic content on the internet and mobile phones, in a nationwide campaign which will last until after the Beijing Olympicsare finished in September. The 13 departments, including the Ministry of Public Security, the Propaganda Department, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) and the Ministry of Culture, among others, held a national teleconference to announce the anti-porn campaign.It
  • Choke

    Dir: Clark Gregg. US. 2008. 89minsActor Clark Gregg's ambitious adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's 2001 cult novel Choke is stylistically rambunctious and tonally inconsistent. If the center never quite holds and it never quite reaches complete success artistically, the movie certainly commands interest through the superb lead performance of Sam Rockwell and the verve and headiness of the director's reach.Palahniuk gained instant hipster cachet with his Fight Cl
  • Cloverfield tears into January box office for Paramount

    Paramount's monster movie Cloverfield delivered the first domestic hit launch of 2008 as it smashed through the competition to open top on an estimated $41m.The film, a Blair Witch-style first-person POV account of a monster attack on New York that was produced by JJ Abrams and directed by Matt Reeves, took nearly twice as much as Fox's new romantic comedy 27 Dresses
  • Control Room director Noujaim heads Pangea Day film project

    Jehane Noujaim, director of acclaimed 2004 documentary Control Room, is heading a unique project offering a global day of film.Pangea Day, which is scheduled for May 10, 2008, will be held in eight different cities: Cairo, Dharamsala, Jerusalem, Kigali, London, New York, Ramallah and Rio de Janeiro. The venues will be linked to create a four-hour programme of films, speakers and music.The content will be broadcast live through TV, digital cinema, mobile devices, and the I
  • Czech box office rises 20% and sets new recordin 2007

    Sales as Czech cinemas were at $66.9m (CZK 1.2bn) in 2007, the highest-grossing year ever at Czech box offices. The sales represent a 20% increase on 2006. Admissions were at 12.8m, up 11% from 11.5m in 2006; the Czech Republic has a population of 10.2m. Average ticket price grew 3%.The 2007 results reflect a growth in sales which has been constant with the exception of a sharp downturn in 2005, when sales dropped 23% from the previous year.Local experts agree that much of the s
  • Daniel Battsek - talking pictures

    In the two-and-a-half years since Daniel Battsek took over the reins at Miramax Films, the British executive has established a corporate culture that is at once fresh and familiar.Gone are the outbursts, publicity stunts and grand plays of the brilliant, larger-than-life mogul Harvey Weinstein.In their place is an equally mesmerizing talent for picking commercial, quality films; but it is a talent that comes from an executive who is content to let his slate do the talking.
  • David Bradford joins Future Shorts as managing director

    UK-based short film label Future Shorts has hired David Bradford as its managing director.Bradford had been senior advisor at the BBC Trust, head of strategy and ventures at the MOBO Awards, business development consultant at Ministry of Sound and manager of corporate affairs at EMI Group.Fabien Riggall, Director of Future Shorts said: 'We are very happy to have David Bradford join us at Future Shorts as Managing Director. Joining us from the likes of Ministry of Sound, the MOBO Aw
  • Death In Love

    Dir: Boaz Yakin. 2008. US. 100min Boaz Yakin's dark drama is about the legacy of pain. We enter it through a smooth-talking scammer in Manhattan whose mother survived the Nazi camp
  • Digital distributor FilmCatcher.com launches with two deals

    Digital distributor and online magazine FilmCatcher.com has launched at Sundance [Jan 20] with the aim of spotlighting quality films that slip through the traditional distribution net.The Filmcatcher.com website contains editorial and community oriented content and was co-founded by Trumbo producer Alan Klingenstein and Talking Pictures Company co-founders Alan Hruska and Petina Cole.The team includes The Film Sales Company's Alan Herwitz, acquisitions and editorial consu
  • EFM German showcase includes market premiere of Love Life

    Fatih Akin's The Edge Of Heaven and Hans Weingartner's Reclaim Your Brain are among 17 titles selected by programmer Heinz Badewitz to screen in the European Film Market's German Cinema showcase.The 2008 lineup, which is targeted primarily at accredited distributors, buyers, journalists, and programmers from festivals and cultural institutions, also includes market premieres of films by German actresses Maria Schrader (Love Life) and Nicolette Kre
  • Film Sales Company takes on sales to Derek Jarman doc Derek

    Andrew Herwitz's The Film Sales Company has acquired worldwide sales rights excluding the UK and US distribution rights to Isaac Julien's documentary Derek.The film received its world premiere here last Saturday and explores the life and work of the late UK artist and film-maker Derek Jarman. Tilda Swinton narrates the film which will have its European premiere in Berlin.Funded by Film London, Channel 4, MoMA and the Sundance Docum
  • Films shot in Wisconsin to get theatrical runs in home state

    Milwaukee-based Marcus Theatres has struck a deal with Film Wisconsin in which the chain will provide theatrical runs for films shot in the State.Marcus Theatres president Bruce J Olson said his company will provide 'foundation bookings' based on the quality and appeal of films receiving a G, PG, PG-13 or R rating.Marcus Theatres, the seventh largest circuit in the US and the operator of 600 screens in six Midwest States, retains the right to refuse to screen a film.
  • French producers arrange rendezvous with India

    A high-powered delegation of French producers will be visiting India later this week for the 'Rendezvous With French Cinema' which aims to expand the audience for French film in a market that is dominated by local product. The French film festival opens in Mumbai on Jan 27 before travelling to Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.French Ambassador Jerome Bonnafont will officially open the event, which is supported by the French Embassy in association with Unifrance. Expectations
  • Funny Games

    Dir: Michael Haneke. US.111minsMichael Haneke's American remake of his 1997 Austrian acclaimed arthouse hit Funny Games, Funny Games US retains the emotional intensity, visceral impact and gripping hold of the original. Thefiercely-intelligent thriller about a family of three held hostage and tortured in their vacation home by two young psychopathsismasterfully-controlled, provoking unsettling questions about the audience's relationship to screen violence.
  • Gilliam's Dr Parnassus put on hold following Ledger's death

    The death of Heath Ledger has brought a halt to production on Terry Gilliam's $30m The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus.The Australian actor, who was found dead in a New York apartment on Tuesday, had a lead role in the Canada-UK coproduction. It was on hiatus after recently wrapping the first third of the film in the UK. Production was gearing up for another 40 days of shooting in Vancouver. Co-written by Gilliam and Charles McKeown, the
  • Glasgow to open with UK premiere of Cassandra's Dream

    The Glasgow Film Festival has announced its 2008 programme, with a number of high-profile UK premieres including Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream (the opening night film), Craig Gillespie's Lars And The Real Girl (closing night), Roger Donaldson's The Bank Job, Paul Andrew Williams' The Cottage, Guiseppe Tornatore's The Unknown, Alain Corneau's The Second Wind, and documentaries such as Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro's Body Of War an
  • Good Dick

    Dir: Marianna Palka. US. 2008. 85mins. Good Dick opens as an angry young woman rents pornographic films from a local video store, setting the clerk who serves her on a love-struck pursuit. The comedy takes us once again down a familiar Sundance road of neurotic losers in love, complete with a motivational payoff.Marianne Palka's comedy, which she wrote and stars in, lacks the script, acting and the laughs to rise in the marketplace above similar
  • Grbavica director on Berlinale Best First Feature Jury

    Bosnian filmmaker Jasmila Zbanic, whose feature debut Grbavica won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale in 2006, is one of the three members of this year's international jury for the Best First Feature Award.The other two members are veteran US producer-distributor Ben Barenholtz and French director Dominique Cabrera whose A Wonderful Spell screened in the Forum in 2004.They will decide on the best debut from those films screening in the Competition, Panorama,
  • Hamlet 2

    Dir: Andrew Fleming. US. 2008. 92mins.Britain's Steve Coogan finally finds a US vehicle which effectively showcases his comedic talents in Hamlet 2, a more-hit-than-miss gagfest in which he plays a talentless high school drama teacher called Dana Marszh. Often wildly funny, this puerile romp was a welcome oasis of frivolity in an otherwise lugubrious Sundance film festival where it was sold within hours of its world premiere for $10m to Focus Features.
  • Henry Poole Is Here

    Dir: Mark Pellington. US. 2008. 100minsThe skeptical notion that ‘believing is seeing’ is put to rest in Henry Poole Is Here, a new twist on magic realism directed by Mark Pellington. Backyard miracles transform the life of a man who retreats from the world into a dull California suburb after a grim medical prognosis.The story of redemption in Henry Poole, while a Luke Wilson vehicle, may not be the kind of film that the actor’s young male fa
  • Hewison to exit Australian Film Institute before 50th awards

    In the lead up to its 50th anniversary awards and in the wake of James Hewison's resignation, the Australian Film Institute has begun searching for a new chief executive.AFI chair Morry Schwartz told The Age newspaper that he hoped the organisation would be able to get someone of the same calibre as Hewison, a former executive director of the Melbourne International Film Festival.Hewison will leave the organisation on February 29, less than 18 months after taking the top job, bu
  • High Point takes on sales for Kuijpers'Nothing To Lose

    High Point Films has continued its long-time relationship with Dutch film-maker Pieter Kuijpers by taking on world sales (outside Benelux) for his latest film Nothing To Lose.The project, which will have a gala premiere at this week's International Film Festival Rotterdam, will later screen at Berlin's European Film Market. Independent will release in The Netherlands on Jan 31.Popular stand-up comedian Theo Maassen takes on a darker role as a man on the run from a psych
  • Holroyd starts UK shoot for political thriller WMD

    David Holroyd's UK micro-budget political thriller WMD started a four-week shoot on Jan 21.Simon Lenagan, Jo-Anne Knowles, Glenn Conroy, Robert Cambrinus and Burnell Tucker star.The film, inspired in part by reality, is about an MI-6 desk officer who uncovers inaccuracies in evidence about the Iraq invasion.Holroyd makes his feature film directorial debut and also wrote the script.WMD will shoot in London, Rome, Berlin, Washington DC and Morocco.Christine Ha
  • IMAX signs to build two cinemas in Philippines

    IMAX Corp. and SM Prime Holdings, the largest mall operator in the Philippines, have signed a deal that will see two IMAX digital projection systems installed at shopping malls in the cities of Manila and Cebu. Both cinemas are expected to open by late 2009. SM already operates an IMAX cinema in Manila - installed in 2006 - that is the highest grossing screen in the country. Patrons pay as much as a 100 per cent premium for certain shows. In a statement, IMAX co-chairmen
  • In focus - Digital rights in Europe - 'It's an absolute minefield'

    The US has been the leader in digital technologies - from downloads to digital cinema - because it has a large homogenous market where cultural, technical and legal differences are minimal.Contrast that to Europe, which is a complex jumble of states, each with their own laws and traditions. Apple will be required, for example, to secure individual copyright licences in each of the 27 European Union (EU) member states.Europe's so-called 'internal market' is largely illusory in th
  • In focus - Video-on-demand - Big films on a moving screen

    It is called the halo effect. Last year when Apple unveiled its iPhone, the technology and business press fell to its knees in supplication. If Apple does it, it has to be good. Last week, the company announced a deal with all the Hollywood studios that will, from February, see movies offered for rental over the iTunes download service and available for viewing on television through its Apple TV set-top boxes or on portable video devices in North America. There was initial excitement but when
  • Incendiary (2007)

    Dir: Sharon Maguire. UK. 2008. 96mins
  • Indian Censor Board derails Darjeeling Limited

    Wes Anderson's India-set Darjeeling Limited was derailed in the country where it was filmed last week, when the Indian Censor Board denied the film a certification. The board claimed that the film, which was scheduled for release on Jan 18, did not have adequate permissions to shoot animal life. While the shots of animals in the wild passed the board's scrutiny, there were objections to scenes involving a snake in a cage.The film's release in India has been delayed pending a
  • International - A Slice of the action

    While Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street was the highest entrant in this week's international box-office chart, there were a number of new European entries that catch the eye.The Warner Bros film, directed by Tim Burton, took $8,111,368 over the weekend, playing on 1,092 screens in five territories. It will now be looking for a further bounce from this week's Oscar nominations.Best picture nomination Juno finally made it into the international chart, af
  • Jameson Dublin International Film Festival confirm In Bruges as opener

    The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival has announced that In Bruges the feature film debut from award-winning playwright Martin McDonagh will open the 2008 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival on February 15.In Bruges is a blackly comic drama of Irish hit men (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) told to lie low by their boss (Ralph Fiennes) in the Belgian city. The film, which world premieredas the opening-night film at Sundance,is a Focus Features presen
  • Japan - Bringing home the horror

    Nikkatsu's legendary film studios in Chofu City, a suburb of Tokyo: a set of a weatherbeaten beach house stands in the centre of the studio as gaffers and set dressers work away. Artificial moonlight bleeds through slats in the structure's opaque roof, illuminating decrepit furniture and marine equipment inside.Once adjustments are complete, director Kiyoshi Kurosawa quietly surveys the conditions for an upcoming scene with actors Koji Yakusho and Kyoko Koizumi. It is an unusual sight,
  • Japan's Usen dissolves $283m content fund

    Japanese media and communications conglomerate Usen Inc has announced the dissolution of its $283m (Y30bn) contents fund only two years into its ten-year lifespan. Dubbed 'UD No. 1', the fund was launched on January 31, 2006 through 50:50 investment by Usen and Daiwa Securities and their respective group companies.The fund was established to underwrite visual and music contents, including feature films and other contents streamed through Usen's free online broadband contents servic
  • Japan's Usen dissolves $283m contents fund

    Japanese media and communications conglomerate Usen Inc has announced the dissolution of its $283m (Y30bn) contents fund only two years into its ten-year lifespan. Dubbed 'UD No. 1', the fund was launched on January 31, 2006 through 50:50 investment by Usen and Daiwa Securities and their respective group companies.The fund was established to underwrite visual and music contents, including feature films and other contents streamed through Usen's free online broadband contents servic
  • Karynn Austin leaves TVA for Equinoxe Films

    Canadian distribution veteran Karynn Austin has left TVA Films to join Equinoxe Films as director of distribution and marketing. Based in the company's Toronto office, she will oversee all aspects of marketing Equinoxe's theatrical and home entertainment releases in English Canada. Austin has 20 years experience in the business including stints in production, distribution and marketing of theatrical and home entertainment at C/FP Distribution, Malofilm and most recently at TVA.'I'm exc
  • Keke Palmer joins Ice Cube in Dimension's Fred Durst project

    Keke Palmer has joined Ice Cube as a lead in Dimension Films' Untitled Ice Cube Project based on a true story that Fred Durst will direct from a script by Doug Atchison.Tasha Smith, Jill Marie Jones, Dash Mihok, Matt Craven, Garrett Morris and comedians Earthquake and Michael Colyar have also joined the project about a female quarterback who leads a local Illinois team to victory.Atchison re-wrote the original screenplay by Nick Sa
  • Keke Palmer joins Ice Cube in Dimension's Fred Durst project

    Keke Palmer has joined Ice Cube as a lead in Dimension Films' Untitled Ice Cube Project based on a true story that Fred Durst will direct from a script by Doug Atchison.Tasha Smith, Jill Marie Jones, Dash Mihok, Matt Craven, Garrett Morris and comedians Earthquake and Michael Colyar have also joined the project about a female quarterback who leads a local Illinois team to victory.Atchison re-wrote the original screenplay by Nick Sa
  • King Naresuan films boost Thai 2007 box office by 20%

    Boosted by two local mega-blockbusters King Naresuan Part 1 and 2, Thailand's box office scaled new heights in 2007 to reach $122.35m (THB3.8bn), representing a huge surge of 20.63% year-on-year. Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol's two historical epics topped the overall box office chart with each raking in over 200m baht, making Thailand one of the few Asian countries with local films as top earners.However, without the two Naresuan films, the market growth would onl
  • La Vie En Rose leads Cesars with 11 nominations

    Olivier Dahan's La Vie En Rose has secured 11 Cesar nominations including Best Picture and Best Actress for Marion Cotillard's portrayal of French icon Edith Piaf.Other Best Picture contenders for France's highest film honor include Abdellatif Kechiche's La Graine Et Le Mulet, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Parronaud's Persepolis (also up for an Oscar for Animated Feature), Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell And The Butterfly and Claude Miller's Un Secret
  • Lamb Of God (Cordero de Dios)

    Dir: Lucia Cedron. Argentina/France/Chile. 2008. 91minsFirst-time feature director Lucia Cedron makes an assured debut with Lamb Of God, a skillfully told and affecting tale which straddles the line between political thriller and family melodrama. The elaborate flashback structure - the film is set in Argentina in 1978, when the country was still under the control of the military Junta, and in 2002, during the economic crisis - is initially dis
  • Locarno's Open Doors turns attention to Latin America

    Latin American cinema will be the focus of this year's Open Doors project platform at the Locarno International Film Festival (August 6-16).Particular attention will be paid to projects from countries with emerging film production such as Peru, Colombia, Uruguay and Costa Rica, although projects from other Latin American countries where production is more developed will also be considered.Twelve projects will be selected from the submissions coming from all of Latin America. The
  • Maja Zimmermann joins acquisitions team at Altadena

    Maja Zimmermann has joined the acquisitions team for UK-based sales company Altadena Films. She is currently attending Sundance.Zimmerman previously worked in development for Miramax TV and Strictly Films, and has also produced indepdent films and directed 12x12.'We are delighted to have someone with Maja's experience join the Altadena team. Maja speaks the language of filmmakers and has a proven track record of identifying non-mainstream films from innovative filmmaker
  • mdc presents two market premieres at EFM

    Berlin-based sales outfit mdc international will have two market premieres at the forthcoming European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin.mdc will be presenting Slovenian film-maker Damjan Kozole's latest feature Forever (Za Vedno), produced by Vertigo/Emotion Film, which is having its world premiere in the Sturm und Drang sidebar at Rotterdam.The film's story is developed almost in real time focussing on a night-time quarrel between a couple about their marriage.Kozole
  • Melbourne Film Festival fund blesses Kokkinos

    Blessed, the third feature from Ana Kokkinos (Head On, The Book Of Revelations), has taken a big step closer to going into production with a cash offer from the Melbourne International Film Festival's (MIFF) production fund. MIFF's Premiere Fund provides small amounts of strategic investment and has just announced four new recipients (listed below), which will get $330,000 (A$380,000) between them.Blessed is a multi-narrative drama about mothers and chil
  • Metrodome plans re-release of Oscar nominated Away From Her

    On the back of the two Oscar nominations for Away From Her, the film's UK distributor, Metrodome, has announced plans to revive the film in a limited theatrical re-release in select UK cinemas from Feb 15.Metrodome originally released the film, nominated for best actress (Julie Christie) and best adapted screenplay (Sarah Polley), in April 2007.Another Metrodome UK release, The Counterfeiters, was nominated in the bes
  • Micha Lewinsky's Der Freund is tops at Swiss Film Awards

    Micha Lewinsky's Der Freund was named Best Film at this year's Swiss Film Awards which were presented for the 11th timelast night at the Solothurn Film Days.The drama about a shy outsider who poses as the boyfriend of a woman after her sudden death and is welcomed into her family beat off competition for the new Quartz trophy from such films as the animation feature Max & Co and the Locarno 2007 competition film Fuori Dalle Corde.In addition, the newly
  • MPA to hold the second anti-piracy contest in China

    The Motion Picture Association (MPA) has teamed up with the 15th Beijing Student Film Festival (BSFF) and the China Film Copyright Protection Association (CFCPA) to launch the second annual China-wide anti-piracy video contest. The theme of this year's competition is 'Respect Copyrights, Uphold Fair Competition, Protect Originality, Stay Away from Piracy'.The contest is open to China 's 20 million university students and will challenge them to take a fresh look at the value of inte
  • Mulroney, Davis to star in Driving Lessons

    Dermot Mulroney and Hope Davis have signed on to star in the independent feature Driving Lessons that is scheduled to shoot in Los Angeles in March.Finland's Vivi Friedman will direct from a screenplay by Mark Lisson about an unhappy wife and mother who gets a second chance to save her marriage after an accident leaves her without any memory of the previous 15 years.J Todd Harris and Allan Jones, who previously produced
  • Mumbai film fest launches short film competition

    The International Film Festival of Mumbai (IFFM) is launching a short film competition as part of the celebrations for its ten-year anniversary this year. Organised by the Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image (MAMI), the 10th IFFM will be held March 6-13. While the festival line-up will be announced next month, the trustees and MAMI chairman Shyam Benegal unveiled the short film contest, Dimensions Mumbai, for filmmakers below the age of 25.Mooted by trustee Jaya Bachchan,
  • My Marlon And Brando (Gitmek)

    Dir: Hüseyin Karabey. Turkey/Netherlands/UK. 2008. 92minsA Turkish woman embarks on a romantic journey as war breaks out in Iraq , in the tough, engaging road movie My Marlon And Brando. Billed as being 'based on a true story', the film derives its distinctive immediacy from the fact that its lead characters - star/co-writer Ayça Damgaci and Kurdish actor Hama Ali Kahn - are effectively playing themselves. The emotionally involving lo
  • NDTV, Shetty, Doshilaunch platform for world cinema in India

    NDTV Imagine, the entertainment channel recently launched by Indian broadcaster NDTV, has formed a joint venture with Adlabs founder Manmohan Shetty and Alliance Entertainment chief Sunil Doshi to release worldcinema titles in India. The newlabel, NDTV Lumiere,aims to release the best of contemporary world cinema titles in Indian theatres immediately following their worldwide release. Meanwhile catalogue titles will be distributed across home video, a 24-hour TV channel, satellite pay-per
  • Oscars analysis: Surprises include Tommy Lee Jones, Laura Linney

    Dark dramas There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men led the pack in the nominations for the 80th annual Academy Awards with eight apiece. Michael Clayton and Atonement followed with seven each.Those four films together with Juno were nominated for best picture, although Atonement director Joe Wright was omitted from the best director category, with Julian Schnabel taking his spot for The Diving Bell And The Buttterfly. Joel &
  • Oxford Murders and Enfin Veuve make international impact

    While Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street was the highest entrant in this week's international box-office chart from Screen International, there were a number of new European entrants catching the eye.The Warner Bros' film took $8,111,368 over the weekend, playing on 1,092 screens in five territories.The film will now be looking for a bounce from this week's Oscar nominations.Click here to see nominations.
  • PACT restructuring is case of adapt or die, says CEO

    The chief executive of UK producers body PACT John McVay says the stark choice facing the body has been to adapt or die.The organisation is currently planning a major reorganisation which will mean laying off more than half of its staff, including its specialist executive for film.The move has attracted criticism from film members, who fear that film will be sidelined in the change.Given the level of concern, ScreenDaily gave McVay a chance toexplain the thinking
  • Pact says remaining staffers will concentrate on policy, biz affairs

    The UK's producers group Pact has clarified some plans as part of its recently announced restructuring.The group poined out that its overall numbers of staff will be reduced by more than half in the restructuring. The remaining Pact employees will shift their emphasis to work on two revised core propositions: policy and business affairs.Pact now says that other services, including training and large events, will be reallocated or outsourced. Pact is in discussions with The Indep
  • Panorama adds documentaries including Isaac Julien's Derek

    The Berlinale's Panorama section has completed its 2008 lineup by announcing the 18 new films selected for the documentary strand Panorama Dokumente. This last slew of films includes Isaac Julien's portrait of the late film-makerDerek Jarman in Derek; director-producer Dror Moreh's documentary Sharon on the former Israeli prime-minister Ariel Sharon, which will be handled internationally by Telepool; and Samson Vicent's portrait of one of the Berlinale's 'living
  • Paramount Vantage seals worldwide rights to American Teen

    The documentary form reclaimed pole position today [Jan 23] as Paramount Vantage paid approximately $1m for worldwide rights excluding the UK to Nanette Burstein's high school tale American Teen following days of intense interest.Paramount Vantage emerged top of the pack after the film's world premiere last Saturday also attracted attention from Sony Pictures Classics and Fox Searchlight, among others. Vantage president Nick Meyer said America
  • Production - Germany - Deutsche courage

    The German film industry may never have looked so good. Last year, Germany hosted a record number of international and US productions and boasted a stunning array of local talent, including Oscar-winner Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives Of Others), Fatih Akin (The Edge Of Heaven) and Marc Rothemund (Sophie Scholl - The Final Days). Add to that an enticing film fund launched in January 2007 by the German government, and you have an amazing success story.Th
  • Production - Hungary - Feast or Famine'

    Before the new facilities at Budapest's Korda Studios opened for business in 2007, Hungary was attracting more international footloose productions than the country's crews could handle. Thanks largely to its lauded 20% tax rebate on productions shooting in the country, the annual spend by film productions in Hungary has multiplied more than tenfold from $33.4m (huf5.8bn) in 2004 to $340m (huf59bn) in 2007."The last two years we've been busy as hell," says Adam Goodman, whose Budapest-b
  • Profile: Benjamin Waisbren

    Benjamin Waisbren doesn't mince words when he weighs up the film business from a financier's point of view (and using financiers' parlance).'Film is a wonderful, iconic art form; it's not a great asset class,' says the president and CEO of new film financing operation Continental Entertainment Group (CEG).'Because it's not liquid, it's not transparent, it's really not predictable. It's a difficult, very challenging asset class.'So why does he want to be in such a tricky b
  • Rambo

    Dir: Sylvester Stallone. US. 2008. 91mins.Cynically using the decades-long Burmese civil war as a backdrop for grisly and unremitting violence, muscle-headed action flick Rambo comes off as a sad and empty attempt to be politically relevant. Coming almost two decades after the last series entry, and on the heels of the successful commercial and critical reception of 2006's Rocky Balboa, which located fresh narrative terrain and provided
  • Reactions from 2008 Academy Award nominees

    Labour unrest may have taken some of the sparkle out of this year's awards season but it did little to dampen the spirits of Oscar nominees around the world as they reacted to the Academy Awards nominations announcement. In Los Angeles, producer JoAnne Sellar said she and her partner (and husband) Daniel Lupi were 'thrilled' at the eight nominations garnered by There Will Be Blood, which tied with No Country F
  • Robert Yu joins Porchlight as vice president of acquisitions

    PorchLight Entertainment has named former Cinemavault Releasing International West Coast operations chief Robert Yu vice president of acquisitions.Yu is in Sundance to scout for rights for Porchlight and its non-family division Condor Releasing with president of worldwide distribution Ken DuBow.He will report to DuBow and senior vice president of home entertainment Gary Jones.Prior to CinemaVault, Yu's appointments included vice president of the entertainment
  • Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired

    Dir: Marina Zenovich. US. 2008. 99 mins
  • Romanian Film Center awards $4.5m for new films

    The Romanian Film Center (CNC) has approved just over Euros 3.1m($4.5m) in support for 11 new feature films, including projects from Radu Mihaileanu, Titus Munteanu and Razvan Radulescu. The largest sum - $626,000 (Euros 432,000) - went to Mihaileanu's film The Concert, about a Bolshoi Theater manager who loses his job when he refuses to stop working with his Jewish musicians.A co-production between Romania's Castel Film and France's Les Productions du Tresor, The Concert
  • Rome Film Fest moves dates back to October 22-31

    The Rome Film Fest has moved its dates for 2008 to Oct 22-31. The festival had been scheduled for Oct 2-12, which was just three weeks after Italy's other big festival, Venice, scheduled to run Aug 27-Sept 6.The 2007 festival ran Oct 18-27.Rome, now in its third year, will now be held closer to the Turin Film Festival, now in its 26th year. The 2007 Turin event ran Nov 23-Dec 1.
  • Rotterdam opens with Lamb of God, speculation about future head

    The 37th IFFR (International Film Festival Rotterdam) opened last night with the world premiere of Argentinian director Lucia Cedron's Lamb Of God. At a packed screening in concert hall, the Doelen, the festival's new director Rutger Wolfson spoke of his vision for the festival.Click here for Screen's full Rotterdam preview'Perhaps the most important quality of this festival is that it has followed filmmakers who have waywardl
  • San Sebastian adds new coordinators in France, Latin America

    The San Sebastian Festival has added two new international delegates to its network.
  • Schlessel gets new role at Sony as president of worldwide affairs

    Peter Schlessel has been appointed president of worldwide affairs at Sony Pictures Entertainment and will step down from his role as president of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG).A replacement president for SPWAG will be announced in due course although Schlessel will retain oversight of the Group.In his new role he will oversee key corporate-wide initiatives and identify strategic opportunities for the company. He reports to CEO and chairman Michael Lyn
  • Screen Opinion- Time is of the essence for digital change

    If the recent flurry of digital download plans does nothing more than force a rethink of the 'wait and see' policy towards digital change in international markets, it will have performed a considerable service. In Europe, in particular, it's time to stop talking the talk and start walking the walk.A few years ago, there was a lot of excited talk on the Continent about new technologies levelling the distribution playing field with Hollywood. Much of it was, of course, ill-informed and b
  • ScreenWest's low-budget initiative gets Wasted

    Teen thriller Wasted will be the third feature supported under West Coast Visions, the low-budget initiative run by Western Australia 's film agency ScreenWest. A high school party goes dangerously off the rails in what will be the debut film of writer/director Ben C. Lucas, but one teenager finds that revenge is just a computer click away.'The YouTube generation meets Saw in Wasted, a voyeuristic teen, tech thriller with global appeal,' said Dendy Films genera
  • Shochiku adds Sakamoto, Oikawa titles to EFM line-up

    Japanese major Shochiku has unveiled its line-up for the upcoming European Film Market (EFM) which includes new titles from Ataru Oikawa and Junji Sakamoto. Oikawa's recently completed rural horror film Shrill Cries Of Summer is based on a successful franchise extending from video games to manga and TV animation. Oikawa directed several entries in the Tomie horror series.Also debuting at EFM is director Junji Sakamoto's latest feature Children Of The Dark, star
  • Shoreline picks up international on Ozzie comedy On Broadway

    Shoreline Entertainment has acquired international rights to Dave McLaughlin's Australian comedy On Broadway.The story centres on a Boston playwright who stages a production of his work in the back of an Irish pub.Eliza Dushku, Will Arnet, Amy Poehler and Robert Wahlberg play supporting roles. Kris Meyer, Lance Green, Henry Bertolon and Donna Bertolon produced.Shoreline negotiated the deal with Henry Bertolon. Cinetic M
  • Singapore box office posts double-digit increase in 2007

    Singapore posted its biggest box office year ever in 2007, with total receipts up 16.7% to $107.54m (S$153m), marking the first double-digit growth in recent years. The surge was led by Hollywood blockbusters, Spider-Man 3 and Transformers, which smashed the 10-year-record held by Titanic to become the top two all-time highest-grossing films.These two pictures set a record of three films breaking into the all-time top 10 chart all within one year. The third fil
  • Smart People

    Dir: Noam Murro. US. 2007. 93min.Noam Murro's debut feature Smart People is somewhat deceptive work in which the primary story of a tentative love affair between a difficult and intellectually arrogant university professor and his former student is constantly usurped by the more interesting dynamics of the man's brilliantly acid tongued daughter and professionally undistinguished adopted brother.The secondary roles are played by terrific Canadian I
  • Sony Classics takes Sundance competition entry Frozen River

    Sony Pictures Classics has paid high six figures for domestic rights to Courtney Hunt's Dramatic Competition entry Frozen River.SPC had been in talks with William Morris Independent for two days and finally closed the deal at around 8pm on Wednesday night [Jan 23]. The upstate New York-set tale follows two desperate women who team up to smuggle illegal aliens into the US.Melissa Leo, Misty Upham and Charlie McDermott star while Hea
  • Star launches second Chinese Movies channel

    Regional broadcaster Star has launched Star Chinese Movies 2, a new channel that will screen Chinese-language films produced from the 1970s to the 1990s. The channel will draw on Star's library of more than 600 Chinese-language movies produced by Golden Harvest and D&B, among other legendary production houses, and starring idols such as Jet Li, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.It will debut in Singapore on StarHub Digital Cable on January 25 and will be available for audiences in North Am
  • Sugar

    Dir/scr: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. US. 2008. 117minsIn a word, Sugar is extraordinary. The second feature of Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden deepens the promise and talent they exhibited on their debut Half Nelson. A singular examination of sports, class and the American social fabric refracted through the perspective of a gifted young Dominican baseball player, Sugar has a novelistic density and formal precision that immediately marks these very talented directo
  • Sundance 2008: full list of reviews

    Click on a film title to see Screen's review Assassination of a High School PresidentAugustBagheadBallastBe Kind RewindBlind Date
  • Sundance deal-making speeds up midway through festival

    Four days of dark pronouncements about the dearth of commercial narrative films at Sundance vanished on Tuesday [Jan 22] as business exploded with a flurry of activity headed by Focus Features' $10m deal for worldwide rights to Andrew Fleming's comedy Hamlet 2.In two other prominent deals, Fox Searchlight reportedly paid $5m for domestic and the majority of international territories on Choke, Clark Greg
  • Sundance: Documentaries overshadow dramatic entries

    Documentaries continued to overshadow early Sundance business as HBO Documentary Films took all US rights to Marina Zenovich's Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired. Click here to see review.The high six-figure deal closed on Sunday a little over a day after The Weinstein Company pounced on international rights to the film, which argues that the exiled director was the victim of a miscarriage of justice an
  • Sunshine Cleaning

    Dir: Christine Jeffs. US. 2008. 102minsChristine Jeffs' third feature has a great premise and knockout cast but proves disappointingly soft-centred. Long touted as a follow-up of sorts to Little Miss Sunshine - it shares the same
  • Sweden's Svensk names Tobias Lenner as CEO

    Swedish major, Svensk Filmindustrihas appointed Tobias Lenner as CEO of the company's Swedish branch - a position also held by concern chief Rasmus Ramstad, who continues as head of the enterprise, and to whom Lenner will report.According to SF, the expansion during the last 10 years from being a local producer-distributor to becoming a Nordic concern has emphasised the need of a managing director to handle the Swedish side of the business.'While strengthening both production an
  • Sweeney Todd slays competition to lead international box office

    DreamWorks' blood soaked musical adaptation Sweeney Todd grossed knocked I Am Legend off its perch and grossed approximately $18.7m through Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI) from 1,760 screens in 11 markets for an early $30m running total.Weekend business was boosted by a suitably red-blooded number one UK launch that generated $8.7m (£4.5m) from 436 venues, including previews.The demo
  • Telepool unveiling four market premieres for Berlin's EFM

    Munich-based sales company Telepool is lining up four market premieres at the forthcoming European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin next month. The titles having their international market premieres are:* Peter Kahane's family film Red Zora, starring Mario Adorf, Ben Becker und Dominique Horwitz and newcomer Lina Reusse, which will be released by Universal Pictures in Germany this week on 300 prints;* Martin Duffy's The Summer of the Flying Saucer, with
  • The international view - Going for Oscar gold

    Predicting the Oscar nominations is not an exact science, not least because the arcane voting system tends to throw up left-field candidates.The window of opportunity for distributors to cash in on a nomination is also very limited. But over the years, it has been possible to see a big picture. What it suggests is that the only category that is truly bankable at the box office in the longer term is the Oscars' top prize - best picture.A study I carried out in 1991, when Kevin Co
  • The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh

    Dir: Rawson Marshall Thurber. US. 2008. 95minsPittsburgh in 1983 is the setting of this coming of age based on Michael Chabon's novel about a young man, entangled in affairs, breaks free from the rule of his mafia-boss father in the first summer of his adult life. A genre that's as common as snow at Sundance, The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh may draw Chabon's many readers to the box office but the smothering adaptation is likely to disappoint them.
  • The Works takes on sales for Shane Meadows' Somers Town

    The Works International has come on board for international sales (excluding the UK)of Shane Meadows' Somers Town, which has its world premiere in Berlin's Generation programme onFeb 9.The film, shich started out as a short and grew into a feature, reteams the director with Thomas Turgoose, his acclaimed young star of This Is England.Other cast members include Piotr Jagiello, Ireneusz Copz, Kate Dickie, Perry Benson and Elisa Lasowski.Somers Town is ab
  • The Yellow Handkerchief

    Dir. Udayan Prasad. US. 2008. 103mins. The American debut of Udayan Prasad (My Son the Fanatic), The Yellow Handkerchief is a visually confident, emotionally bruising road movie about a trinity of lost souls haunted by their past and break free of their restricted lives. The writing never quite matches the extraordinary imagery of Chris Menges. Fortunately, the top-notch cast imbues the work with a precision and sharpness that helps elide over the rough o
  • There Will Be Blood, NoCountry For Old Menlead Oscar nominations

    Joel & Ethan Coen's No Country For Old Men and Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood lead the Oscar race with eight nods each; Tony Gilroy's Michael Clayton and Joe Wright's Atonement follow with seven each.All are in the Best Picture race, along with Jason Reitman's Juno. Wright is the only Best Picture nominee not in the Best Director race, with that slot going to Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell And The Butterfly.After the
  • Times BFI London Film Festival sets 2008 dates Oct 15-30

    The Times BFI London Film Festival has set its 2008 dates for Oct 15-30. The festival's 2007 edition ran Oct 17-Nov 1. The dates overlap directly with the third Rome Film Fest, which has been rescheduled for Oct 22-31.Sandra Hebron, who continues as the LFF's artistic director, expects to programme 180 features and 130 shorts. Hebron said: 'We are very much looking forward to presenting the 52nd edition of the Festival, and have already begun selec
  • UK gets third Culture Secretary in seven months

    Andy Burnham has been named as the new UK Culture Secretary - the third holder of the post in seven months.The 38-year-old Cambridge graduate from Leigh in Manchester follows James Purnell, who was yesterday appointed Work And Pensions Minister.Purnellhad onlybeen in the post since July last year, taking over from Tessa Jowell. He was promoted to his new role yesterday when Peter Hain resigned as police began an investigation into the funding ofhis campaign to be Prime Minister
  • UK producers group PACT defends cuts to worried film industry

    UK producers group PACT is defending its restructuring moves to streamline the organisation in the midst of funding woes.Some film producers are more wary of the restruturing and say their interests could be pushed aside as TV takes more attention at PACT.In December,the elected PACT Council approveda strategic plan, unanimously recommending thereplacement of long-standing committees (including TV Policy and Film) with project-specific experts groups.PACT has used such gr
  • UK producers group PACT defends restructuring to worried industry

    UK producers group PACT is defending plans to streamline the organisation in the midst of funding woes.But some film producersfear their interests could be pushed aside in a leaner organisation which theybelievecould concentrate attention on television.The elected Pact Council approved a new strategic plan at its final meeting in December 2007, which includes an overhaul and re-evaluation ofspecialist standing committees (including TV Policy and Film) and likelycreation of m
  • United Kingdom - Moxie Mania

    Since she founded Newcastle-based production company Ipso Facto Films 15 years ago, Christine Alderson has had a successful track record producing 11 independent features and more than 50 shorts and documentaries, including recent European Film Award nominee Irina Palm and Sue Heel's School For Seduction. Now, Alderson is creating a scheme to support low-budget films and new talent in the UK.She has led the launch of new studio Moxie Makers, which joins Ipso Facto Films w
  • United Kingdom - Planet Holywood

    It is no coincidence producer Jo Gilbert is sitting in a new, swish Belfast hotel as she speaks to Screen - the setting is just one part of the radical redevelopment of the city centre."People don't know what to think about Belfast but it's incredibly stylish since the Good Friday agreement," she says of the 1998 accord that marked the beginning of the peace process. "New bars and clubs have sprung up. It's an incredibly chic place." The redevelopment also includes Belfast's Tit
  • United States - Animal attraction

    It's day six on the set of Green Porno and star Isabella Rossellini is having sex with a snail. Which is OK, because she is a snail too. After all, this whole bizarre set-up was her idea.Commissioned by Christopher Barry, vice-president, digital media and business strategy for US cable network the Sundance Channel, Green Porno is a series of one-minute films conceived and written by Rossellini for the so-called '3rd screen' - hand-held video players such as mobile phones
  • Universal, Working Title seal two-picture deal with Joe Wright

    Universal Pictures and Working Title Films have signed a two-picture deal with Joe Wright, whose latest film Atonement was nominated for seven Oscars this week and is in the running for 14 BAFTA awards including best director.Separate from that two-picture agreement, Universal is partnering with Dreamworks and Working Title on Wright's next film, Soloist, which stars Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr and
  • US Humane Society announces increase in annual doc grant

    The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced at Sundance [Jan 20] that it will increase its annual ACE/SilverDocs documentary grant to $25,000.The grant, which is part of The HSUS's Animal Content in Entertainment (ACE) programme, is designed to encourage the inclusion of animal issues in documentary film-making.The grant recipient will be selected in June at the 2008 SilverDocs: AFI Discovery Channel Documentary Festival.'From
  • Vertigo to produce Rupert Wyatt's Escapist follow-up The Trail

    The UK's Vertigo Films has come on board for Rupert Wyatt's next feature The Trail, after already taking the rights to his debut feature The Escapist, which is world premiering in Sundance today.Vertigo will produce and take all UK rights to Wyatt's new project, and Vertigo's new partner sales company Protagonist Pictures will handle international sales for The Trail as its first announced project.The Trail will shoot in New Mexico in spring 2
  • VTR adds Machine Effects to Prime Focus Group

    Post-production powerhouse VTR has acquired visual effects company Machine Effects Ltd, in a deal worth just over $4m (£2m).John Lockwood and Steve Street founded UK-based Machine Effects, which as worked on films including Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Hot Fuzz and several Harry Potter films. Services provided include pre-production, pre-visualisation and design, VFX supervision, 3D animation, matte paintings, digital grading and title design.VTR is the holding c
  • Waltz In Starlight (Hoshikageno Waltz)

    Dir: Shingo Wakagi. Japan. 2007. 97mins.Japanese photographer turned director Shingo Wakagi makes a tender homage to his grandfather in an affecting DV miniature that mixes fictionalized reminiscence with documentary touches. Borderline-experimental, the very personal Waltz In Starlight is essentially gentle portraiture with just a hint of narrative content, the film's intelligent, detached plea for inter-generational understanding offering an idiosyncratic update on th
  • Warner continues to lead international box office with Legend

    I Am Legend stayed on top of the international rankings for the fourth consecutive weekend and the fifth overall in its six-week run as an estimated $28.7m from 6,200 prints in 54 territories propelled the running total to $262.4m.The highlight of the new launches was a $4.1m (Ps 44.2m) number one launch in Mexico on 506 prints that took 70% of the top five market share and ranked as Warner Bros Pictures International's (WBPI) sixth biggest lau
  • WGA signs interim agreements with Lionsgate, Marvel Studios

    As expected the Writers Guild Of America (WGA) has signed an interim agreement with Lionsgate and with Marvel Studios.The agreement is similar to the deals the WGA struck recently announced with United Artists, Worldwide Pants, Spyglass Entertainment, MRC, Jackson Bites, Mandate Pictures and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.'We are pleased Lionsgate has joined the growing number of companies that have signed interim agreements with the Writers Guild,' WGA West president Pat
  • What Just Happened?

    Dir. Barry Levinson. US.2008.112mins.
  • Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden'

    Dir: Morgan Spurlock. US. 2008. 93minsIn Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden', Morgan Spurlock super-sizes the scope of the one-man quest for truth and goes global, searching around the Middle East for the Al Qaeda leader with a $25 million price on his head. After sitting down with lots of friendly people everywhere he goes, and a few nasty extremists, Spurlock is optimistic. He finds friendship and some real laughs, but the mastermind of the 9/11
  • Wild Bunch's EFM offerings include James Gray's Two Lovers

    Wild Bunch has addednew films from James Gray, Darren Aronofsky, Marco Tullio Giordana and Rintaro, among others, to its slate ahead of Berlin's European Film Market.Gray's Two Lovers reunites the director with Joaquin Phoenix and also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Vanessa Shaw and Isabella Rossellini. The romantic drama is produced by 2929 Entertainment and co-financed by 2929 and Wild Bunch. The companies have split territories with Wild Bunch handling Latin America, German speaking
  • Woolliscroft joins post-production company Concrete

    London-based post-production company Concrete has appointed Peter Woolliscroft as audio designer.He will run and operate Concrete's audio suite.'I am delighted to be working at Concrete and with such a professional and highly creative company - it is very exciting indeed.' Peter adds.In addition, Concrete is working with HD camera rental company Axis Films to shoot and post-produce the first Red One camera project, a music video for Jonathan Ansell.'This new allian
  • World premiere of Golzow finale selected for Berlinale Forum

    The 19th and final part of Winfried and Barbara Junge's monumental Children Of Golzow chronicle, ...they're living happily ever after. The Children of Golzow, is one of four world premieres being shown as Special Screenings in this year's Forum programme of the Berlinale.The Junges' longest-lasting observation in film history - with an entry in the Guinness Book of Records - was launched in 1961 shortly after the construction of the Berlin Wall and has documented changes in the
  • You, the Living wins big at Sweden's Guldbagge awards

    Swedish director Roy Andersson's You, the Living (Du levande) won three Guldbagge awards - the Swedish national film prizes - as the Swedish Film Institute last night celebrated the 2007 film crop at a ceremony in Stockholm's Cirkus.Andersson's film - Sweden's official Oscar candidate, which didn't make it to the shortlist, though - was awarded for Best Film (producer Pernilla Sandström), Best Director and Best Original Screenplay (Andersson), cashing in on three out of f

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