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25 September 2005

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  • AFM trumpets record 410 registered exhibitors

    A record 410exhibitors have registered to attend the upcoming AFM in Santa Monica from Nov2-9 in what organisers say will be the largest event in the market's history.The 15% increaseon last year's exhibitor attendance is generated by a record pool of 33countries, including for the first time companies from Vietnam, Russia, Taiwan,Egypt, and Greece."Recordsare great, but what's truly exciting is the breadth of the increase,"Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) executive
  • April Snow (Wae Chul)

    Dir: Hur Jin-ho. S Kor.2005. 105mins.Coming after ChristmasIn August and One Fine Spring Day, April Snow shows HurJin-ho be as gentle and romantic as ever - and as likely to enjoy successfulbox office.Once again he concentrateson strong emotions, showing as slow, deliberate and sensitive a touch as he hasdone before, and well supported by two good looking leads.Formulaic to a fault, AprilSnow uses a common ploy
  • April Snow blankets Japanese box office

    Heo Jin-ho's romantic drama April Snowearned$2,8m on its opening weekend in Japan on 413 screens -- a new record for aKorean film in the Japanese market. Distributor UIP predicts a total take between $22.5m(Y2.5bn) and $27.0m, which would makeApril Snow the highest grossing Korean film ever released in Japan. April Snow star Bae Yong Jun, who is known simplyas "Yong-sama" (which roughly translates as"PrinceYong") by his millions of adoring Japanese female fans,is t
  • Arclight picks up Aussie war story

    Arclight Films has boarded anuntitled war story about Australian soldiers in Papua New Guinea during World War II, which gives former Film FinanceCorporation Australia (FFC) head Catriona Hughes her first credit as producer.The film, which startsshooting on September 30, also marks the feature debut of director AlisterGrierson, whose short film Bomb won the comedy and people's choiceawards, and shared the script awa
  • Ballroom, Enron, Murderball named on IDA shortlist

    Thirteen features will compete for the 21st Annual InternationalDocumentary Association Awards, including box office hit Mad Hot Ballroom, and hot theatrical titles Murderball, Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room and Why We Fight.
  • Beyond takes on sales for road movie Carmo

    Beyond Films has picked up international salesduties on new Latin America-set feature film Carmo from start-up BR-3Films & Music UK. The romantic-adventure road movie described asBonnie & Clyde meets Y Tu Mama Tambien marks short film andTV writer-director Murilo Pasta's feature debut. Mariana Loureiro (BehindThe Sun) and Jorge Ramon (Brainstorm) will co-star alongside anotheryet-to-cast actor in the film, shooting from early 2006
  • Canada gives Oscar nod to C.R.A.Z.Y.

    Jean-Marc Vallee's C.R.A.Z.Y. has been selected as Canada's submission for the foreignlanguage film Oscar category.A smash hit in the provinceof Quebec, where it has earned C$5.4m to date, the French-language title wonthe best Canadian feature prize at the recently wrapped Toronto InternationalFilm Festival.Marc-Andre Grodin stars asZac, the sexually confused and confusing fourth of five boys in a Montrealfamily. The TIFF jury described the film as "an ambitious and magic
  • Carmichael joins Goldcrest as director of acquisitions and development

    Seth Carmichael has joined production and sales company GoldcrestFilms as director of acquisitions and development, effective immediately.
  • Cramer joins Universal as production evp

    Peter Cramer (pictured)has left New Regency Productions and joined Universal Pictures as executivevice president of production.Based at thestudio lot in Burbank, Cramer begins work today (Monday) and reports topresident of production Donna Langley and incoming president of production JonGordon."Peter isan incredibly talented executive who has great taste and sharp instincts,"Langley said. "This, coupled with his extensive experience in development andproduction as well as his im
  • Cry Wolf

    Dir: Jeff Wadlow. US.2005. 90mins.There are more twiststhan jolts in Cry_Wolf, the teen thriller whose script helped debutantfeature director Jeff Wadlow take first prize - a $1m production grant - in theChrysler Million Dollar Film Festival.Wadlowproves himself a worthy winner of the competition (created by Doug Liman'sproduction outfit Hypnotic and co-sponsored by Universal), delivering a cleverand good-looking piece of high-school susp
  • Czech Happiness rules over San Sebastian

    Something Like Happiness (Stesti) has won top honoursat the San Sebastian International Film Festival, taking the Golden Shell forBest Picture and the Best Actress award for Ana Geislerova.The Czech Republic-German co-production was directed byBodhan Slama and is centred around a young girl in a working class Czech townwhose boyfriend has emigrated to the US; although she wants to join him, she istorn by an obligation to her friend's neglected young children.The Jury Spec
  • Economists weigh up impact of UK film industry

    The UK film industry is asubstantial contributor to the UK economy, directly contributing £960m to GDPand employing 31,000 people, according to a new report published today byOxford Economic Forecasting.Published at a sensitivetime for the film sector - the Treasury's consultation period on its tax creditproposals ends on October 21 - the report argues that the UK film industryplays a vital role in British economic and cultural life. The report wassupported by the UK Film Council and P
  • El Aura

    Dir/scr: Fabian Belinsky.Arg-Sp. 2005. 129mins.A successful debut filmis always a difficult act to follow. Argentine director Fabian Bielinsky dealswith the pressure by giving us what might be described as the anti Nine Queensin his follow-up feature, El Aura. That multi-territory hit, whichspawned the US remake Criminal, was as sharp as a flashy card trick,with bags of attitude and fast-paced who's-cheating-who action.El Aura takes the
  • El Aura cleans up at Argentina box office

    Fabian Bielinsky's El Aura (The Aura), his follow-up to local smash Nine Queens, has opened to record-breaking numbers in its hometerritory of Argentina.Producer Patagonik Filmsreported that the film was seen by a massive 120,000 spectators on its firstweekend out on 51 prints through Patagonik backer Buena Vista International(BVI).That figure is as much asthree times' the average weekend results for films of any nationality inArgentina, according to Patagonik's Pa
  • El Dorado picks up sales rights to Garci catalogue

    Mocha Aguilar'sstart-up Spanish sales house El Dorado Internacional has picked up rights on acatalogue of films from Academy Award winning director-producer Jose LuisGarci. The catalogue includes all ofGarci's films, including new feature Ninette, one of three currentfinalists pre-selected for Spain's nomination to this year's foreign-languageOscar.
  • Enlightened By Fire (Iluminados Por El Fuego)

    Dir:Tristan Bauer. Arg. 2005. 100mins.Sometimesa film has more value as a national pain relief than as a quality piece ofcinema. Such is certainly the case with Enlightened By Fire, the firstArgentine commercial film to take on the subject of the Falklands/Malvinas war,and to deal with the traumas of the young conscripts who were packed off tofight there.Cuttingrather unimaginatively between the attempted suicide of a Falklands vet inBuenos Aires during the
  • Falk's Collector gathers Polish Film Fest prizes

    Veteran filmmaker FeliksFalk was the big winner at this year's 30th Polish Film Festival (Sept 12-17)in the Baltic port of Gdynia with his first film for 10 years, The Collector(Komornik), which picked up five prizes at the weekend's closing galaceremony.Falk and his producer JanuszMorgenstern of Film Studio Perspektywa received the Golden Lions Grand Prix forBest Film from the competition jury headed by Andrzej Wajda and the film alsowon awards for best screenplay (Grzegorz Los
  • Festival do Rio lines up programme of over 300 films

    The Rio International FilmFestival, which takes place Sept 22 to Oct 6, has unveiled its programme ofover 300 features and documentaries from 60 countries.Sponsored by the City ofRio, the Secretary of Culture, Riofilme and Petrobras, the festival screens 28new Brazilian features and 21 shorts including ten new features in fictioncompetition (for list, see below).The festival will alsoscreen Latin premieres of high profile international titles such as JohnMadden's Proof, A
  • Filmanova unveils three film slate at San Sebastian

    Spanishproduction fund Filmanova Invest has unveiled three new films for 2006 withinternational names attached like Barry Gifford, Eva Green, Paul Auster andDaniel Schmid. Using theDonostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept 15-24) as a platform,Filmanova chief Anton Reixa presented the projects on Tuesday with many of thetalents on hand. Bertoluccidiscovery Eva Green (The Dreamers) has just signed on to star in PaulAuster novel adaptation In The Country O
  • Flightplan

    Dir:Robert Schwentke. US. 2005. 93mins.Germandirector makes a promising US debut with Flightplan, a taut suspensethriller that gets good use out of its transatlantic airliner setting and, fora while at least, produces some real emotional resonance too.Withthe very selective Jodie Foster starring, the Imagine/Touchstone productionshould be capable of strong box office runs in many territories around theworld - last time Foste
  • Focus has Dream for North America

    Focus Featureshas picked up North American rights to Peter Cattaneo's Opal Dream and plans a 2006 release for the familypicture, which was previously known as Pobby And Dingan. It will have itsworld premiere in the Dinard Festival Of British Film from Oct 6-9.Sapphire Boycestars in the film as a young girl whose unshakable faith in her two imaginaryfriends has profound implications for the residents of her small hometown inthe Australian Outback.Vince Colosi
  • Forbidden winner of San Seb's In Progress prize

    Brazil's EProibido Proibir (Forbidden To Forbid) has won the Films In Progress 8(Cine En Construccion) award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival,a prize which carries over Euros $400,000 in completion funding.Directed byJorge Duran, Forbidden was one of seven finalists selected out of 60entries to screen in front of industry professionals in an unfinished format onSeptember 20 and 21. Films In Progress is a joint initiative between SanSebastian and the Latin
  • France opts for Christmas as Oscar choice

    France haschosen Christian Carion's Merry Christmas as this year's entry for thebest foreign language film Oscar, controversially overlooking box office smash MarchOf The Penguins.A committee made up of industry professionals includingCannes festival artistic director Thierry Fremaux and Unifrance presidentMargaret Menegoz selected the film which is set to be released by UGC onSeptember 21.Criteria for theselection are that the film must be released between October 1, 200
  • French Oscar choice sparks Gallic rumblings

    The choice of Christian Carion's World War Idrama Merry Christmas as thecountry's submission to the foreign language category of the Oscars has sparkedintense debate in France. On September 19, support body the CNC announcedthat a seven member selection committee had chosen Merry Christmas. The film, however, had yet to sell a singleticket. The choice also raised eyebrows given that Luc Jacquet's smash
  • Germany names Sophie Scholl as Oscar choice

    Marc Rothemund's Silver Bear winner Sophie Scholl - TheFinal Days has been selected as Germany's entry to enter the race for theForeign Language Film Oscar.Announcing its decision, the jury responsible for selectingthe country's Oscar candidate described Sophie Scholl as "a film ofgreat emotional concentration, carried by outstanding acting achievements. Itssignificance lies in the timeless subject matter of selfless resistance andopposition against all forms of suppressi
  • Glickman names Pisano COO and president of MPAA

    Former SAG chief executiveofficer and top studio executive Robert Pisano has been named chief operatingofficer and president of the MPAA.From Oct 1 Pisano willassume daily operating responsibility for all domestic and international MPAAoperations other than Washington DC-based external and governmental affairs.Based in the MPAA's LosAngeles offices, he will report to MPAA chairman and chief executive officerDan Glickman."Having this uniquelyexperienced industry veteran on
  • Golden Horse to kickstart strong Chinese film awards season

    While film industries aroundthe globe are busy selecting their foreign-language Oscar entries, the Chinesefilm awards season got underway this week with submissions for Taiwan's GoldenHorse, which claims to be the leading awards ceremony for Chinese-language film.Reflecting what has been arelatively strong year for Chinese cinema, the submissions include severalhigh-profile titles from the region's top directors including Stephen Chow's KungFu Hustle, Stanley Kwan's Everlasti
  • Graham, Calderwood take key Pact roles

    Wall To Wall chief executiveAlex Graham is to become the next chair of UK producers body Pact, while SlateFilms managing director Andrea Calderwood has been named vice chair, film.Both stood unopposed for thekey positions, which will come into effect from January 2006. MalcolmBrinkworth, managing director, Touch Productions, was also named vice chair,television.Graham will replace outgoingchair Andrew Zein, managing director of Tiger Aspect Productions. Calderwoodreplaces Margar
  • Gregorian gets evp stripes at Warner Bros TV Group

    Lisa Gregorian (pictured), a Warner Bros veteran of 19years, has been appointed to the new role of executive vice president ofworldwide marketing at Warner Bros Television Group.Gregorian willwork with the studio's internal television marketing teams and televisionnetworks and stations worldwide to maximise promotional opportunities forstudio properties.Her marketingteam will support and supplement marketing activities for series from WarnerBros Television, Telepictures Producti
  • Gyllenhaal, McAdams, Haggis to get Hollywood Film Awards honours

    JakeGyllenhaal will receive the Hollywood Breakthrough Actor of the Year Award,Rachel McAdams will collect the Hollywood Breakthrough Actress of the YearAward, and Paul Haggis will be honoured with the Hollywood BreakthroughDirector of the Year Award at the upcoming Hollywood Awards G
  • Hanks joins Kimmel as senior vp of business & legal affairs

    Nicholas Hanks has joinedSidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE) in the new role of senior vice president ofbusiness and legal affairs.The former entertainmentlawyer will be based in Los Angeles and reports to Jim Tauber, who was namedSKE president in July.Hanks arrives from DavisWright Tremaine, where he served as an associate in the entertainmentdepartment since 2003 and advised on production matters including financialinstitutions, studios, and completion guarantors.Prior to
  • Hard Times (Malas Temporadas)

    Dir. Manuel MartinCuenca. Sp. 2005. 115mins.Three sets of outsidersin Madrid, characters on the fringe of the accepted norm whether by choice orcircumstance, approach a crisis in the nicely-modulated and finely-acted HardTimes, Manuel Martin Cuenca's follow-up to The Weakness Of The Bolshevik.Despite its defiantly sombretone, it should find a solid audience at home in Spain and may cross over totheatrical arthouse overseas, certainly propelled by Javi
  • Heirloom scares up strong opening weekend

    Horror picture TheHeirloom has racked up the biggest opening for a local film in Taiwan this year, grossing $105,500 (NT$3.49m) over thethree-day weekend (Sept 16-18) in Taipei.Directed by newcomer LesteChen, the film was released by Buena Vista on 12 screens in Taipei and 50 nationwide. It came second in t
  • Hollywood shoots trek to Czech Republic

    This autumn two major Hollywood productions, Omen 666 and Young Hannibal: Behind the Mask, will shoot in the Czech Republic,providing a welcome injection of cash after a slow summer and a dip in foreignorders in 2004. Insiders dismiss rumours that Warner Bros. is eyeing theCzech Republic for Harry Potter and theOrder of the Phoenix, but continue to hold their bre
  • IFP sets up training programme for independent film in New York City

    New York-based film collective IFP is teaming up with the New YorkCity Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting and NYC BusinessSolutions to set up a workforce training pilot programme.
  • In Her Shoes

    Dir: Curtis Hanson. US.2005. 130mins.Curtis Hanson'sgenre-spanning career has included The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, TheRiver Wild, LA Confidential and 8 Mile - so it should come asno surprise that he is able to craft a superior tearjerker in his latest film InHer Shoes.The contemporary equivalentof what used to be called a "women's picture" in the 1940s and 1950s, the movieis driven by female stars, aims for
  • Inferno pacts with WiP, Castle Rock for Chaos Theory

    Jim Seibel and BillJohnson's Inferno Distribution has closed a deal with Castle Rock Entertainmentand Warner Independent Pictures (WiP) to finance Chaos Theory, a comedy starring Ryan Reynolds which will bedirected by Marcos Siega (Pretty Persuasion, Underclassman).Reynolds plays a young manabout to run out on his wedding day, until he is stopped by the father of thebride, who tells him an outrageous true story that might change the young man'slife.WiP is handling
  • Italian veterans line-up ambitious new projects

    While the Italian filmindustry continues to grapple with a two-year financial crisis, the country'susual suspects are lining up ambitious new pictures. These include RenzoMartinelli, director of local special effects-heavy picture Vajont, whois currently shooting a film about terrorism entitled Il Mercante di Pietre(literally, The Precious Stones Merchant). The film is about a Christianwho uses his cover as a merchant of precious stones travelling between Turkeyand
  • Local films dominate San Sebastian opening weekend

    Local films dominated the opening weekend of the 53rdannual Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept 15-24). Half of thecompetition titles to screen over the opening weekend were Spanish orSpain-backed. One of the festival's most highly anticipated world premieres, NineQueens director FabianBielinsky's2 hour 14 minutethrillerTheAura (El Aura), earned praise for its stylish noir atmosphere and starRicardo Darin's performance but criticism for excessive leng
  • Lord Of War

    Dir/scr: Andrew Niccol.US. 2005. 121mins.Andrew Niccol has always been a fascinating writer,exploring decidedly catchy, low-fi concepts about the collision of humanity andmodernity, while also showing a consistent distrust of authority.His list of credits aswriter-director includes the under-heralded sci-fi drama of Gattaca, thebloated Hollywood-goes-digital satire Simone, and of course thescreenplay for Peter Weir's The Truman Show
  • Manslaughter (Drabet)

    Dir:Per Fly. Den. 2005. 105mins.Adark, controlled moral tragedy, Manslaughter is even more austere, evenmore relentless in its probings of the consequences of our wrong turns, thanPer Fly's previous film, Inheritance. Jesper Christensen, most recentlyseen in The Interpreter, delivers an outstanding performance as anacademic proponent of class resistance forced to live with the shit that hitsthe fan when his theories are put into practi
  • Miramax veteran Dickinson to head PMK/HBH London

    Influential publicity firmPMK/HBH has announced that James Dickinson will head its new London office.Dickinson had been Director of International Publicity at MiramaxInternational, a post he departs today.Dickinson will start his newjob as VP, Group Account Director at PMK/HBH's London office on October 3. Hewill be charged with establishing the London office as well developinginternational publicity opportunities for the clients of PMK/HBH and parentcompany Momentum Worldwide.T
  • Montreal FilmFest has Pride for closing night

    The Closing Night film atthe Festival International de Film de Montreal has been changed but the newfilm still stars Keira Knightley. The fledgling event suffered a major PRset-back this weekend when New Line pulled Tony Scott`s Domino, starring Knightley as the wild child of film actorLaurence Harvey, out of the Closing slot, citing a lack of talent to representthe film at the festival.Today, FIFM program directorMoritz de Hadeln announced that Focus Features' Pride And Prej
  • Mundra unveils Sonia Gandhi biopic

    An English-language biopicof Italian-born Indian Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi has been unveiled byLos Angeles-based film director Jag Mundra. The film, Sonia, willprofile her as a reluctant leader who entered politics only to fulfil thedreams of her assassinated husband. It's based on the book Sonia - ABiography, written by Indian journalist Rasheed Kidwai.Mundra has approached MonicaBellucci to play the lead role while Indian actress Periz
  • Narnia set for royal world premiere in London

    TheChronicles of Narnia: The Lion,The Witch and The Wardrobe is tohave its world premiere in London on December7 as the 2005 Royal Film Performance in aid of theCinema and Television Benevolent Fund.The film will screen in thepresence of HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchessof Cornwall at the Royal Albert Hall. For the fourBritish youngsters who play the Pevensie children - Anna Popplewell (17), Willilam Mosely (18),Skandar Keynes (14) and Georgie Henley (10) - w
  • Ninja title Shinobi set for US remake

    In a greeting to the audience on September 17, theopening day of his new film Shinobi, director Ten Shimoyama announcedthat a Hollywood company has offered to remake his ninja actioner - even beforeits release in Japan. Distributor and international sales company Shochiku hadscreened a 10-minute show reel of the film, a ninja actioner starring YukieNakama and Joe Odagiri, at this year's Cannes market. Off Road Pictures - thecorporate home of the Wachowski brothers - expressed in
  • Not Here To Be Loved (Je Ne Suis Pas La Pour Etre Aime)

    Dir: Stephane Brize. Fr.2005. 95mins.French director StephaneBrize's second feature after Hometown Blues (1999), Not Here To BeLoved is more a slow, intimate study of two repressed characters than astraightforward romantic comedy. The film's measured dosing of humour andpassion takes its cue from the tango music, which is central to the odd-couplestoryline.Visuallyrather drab - though this fits in with the central character's blocked andshabby provinc
  • Orr joins Independent Film Sales in charge of acquisitions

    Andrew Orr has joinedLondon-based Independent Film Sales as the executive in charge of acquisitionsand business affairs. Orr previously held asimilar position at The Works, where he worked on films including Bend ItLike Beckham, Whale Rider, and MySummer of Love. Luc Roeg and Ana Ayesta headIndependent Film Sales, which is affiliated with Roeg's production companyArtists Independent Films. IFS' current slate includes Raul Ruiz's Klimt and
  • Paradise reigns in Dutch market

    Multicultural comedy Schnitzel Paradise, a contemporary Romeo andJuliet style story, is riding high at the Dutch box office.The local picture has been at the top of the box office for the past twoweeks, beating international titles such as WeddingCrashers and Cinderella Man.In ten days, Schnitzel Paradise has grossed Euros 800,000 on morethan 110,0
  • Polychrome, Sundance pick up US rights to Love, Ludlow

    Polychrome Pictures has picked up North American home video andcable and Sundance Channel has acquired pay cable rights from Washington SquareFilms to Adrienne Weiss' comedy Love, Ludlow.
  • Pride & Prejudice enjoys $4.6m opening in UK for Universal/UIP

    Charlie And The Chocolate Factory remained the number oneinternational release after an estimated $12.8m haul raised the cumulativetotal to $176.3m through Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI).
  • Reese Witherspoon beats out Emily Rose at US box office

    DreamWorks' romantic comedy JustLike Heaven was the number onepicture of the weekend following an estimated $16.5m launch, while Lions Gate'saction title Lord Of War openedin third place on a so-so $9.2m. Meanwhile last weekend'schampion, Screen Gems' The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, slipped to second place on $15.3m for a commendable$52m after 10 days. The only other new releasewas Rogue Pictures' horror title Cry_Wolf which had a lacklustre launch throug
  • Revolver snags UK rights to 13, Ballets Russes

    UK distributor RevolverEntertainment has acquired all UK and Ireland rights to Gela Babluani's debutfeature 13 (Tzameti), as well as all UK and Ireland rights to DaynaGoldfine and Dan Geller's Ballets Russes,a US documentary about the 20th-century dance troupe.Revolver plans a December 2UK release for 13 and a February release for Ballets Russes.Revolver describes 13 as "a French impression
  • Richard Kline gets ASC lifetime achievement honour

    Richard H Klinebecame the latest cinematographer to be inducted into the American Society ofCinematographers' (ASC) lifetime achievement hall of fame at a luncheon inHollywood yesterday (20).Kline receivedtwo Academy Award nominations in 1968 and 1977 respectively for Camelot and King Kong, and his credits include Body Heat,The Andromeda Strain, Soylent Green, and Battle For The Planet Of The Apes.Russ Alsobrook,who chairs the ASC'
  • Sarandon, Howard to receive career awards at Chicago in Oct

    Susan Sarandon will collect the Gold Hugo Award at the 41stChicago International Film Festival's opening night screening of Cameron Crowe'sElizabethtown on Oct6.
  • Shadowboxer sold to Italy in San Sebastian

    Lee DanielsEntertainment closed a sale to Italy's Videa on Daniels' directorial debutShadowboxer at the San SebastianFilm Festival where it is in official selection. The film had its worldpremiere at Toronto.The company expects toannounce deals with the US and Spain in the days ahead.The film, which marks thedirectorial debut of producer Daniels (Monster's Ball, The Woodsman), is screening in the New Directors competition at SanSebastian.Shadowboxer s
  • Singapore exhibition market opens up

    Singapore's box office is set for a shake-up following an openingup of the exhibition market which allows films to be played on more screensthan ever before.Until recently, filmsacquired by local exhibitor-cum-distributor Cathay had been excluded from the cinema circuits operated by its rivals Shaw,Golden Village and
  • Spain's Alta snaps up Gravehopping

    Spain's Alta Films hasjumped in to take Gravehopping on the day of its world premiere incompetition at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.Gravehopping, produced bySlovenia's Staragara, was directed by Jan Cvitkovic, whose Bread And Milkwon Cvitkovic the Golden Lion Of The Future at Venice in 2001. Gravehopping isthe Slovenian director's second feature.A stylised, quirkily blackcomedy with a shock ending about a man who gives sermons at funerals,
  • Spirit Awards raise budget ceiling to $20m

    Nominations forthe 2006 Independent Spirit Awards will be unveiled on Nov 29 ahead of theawards show on Mar 4 2006.Film Independentexecutive director Dawn Hudson announced that nomination guidelines have beenmodified this year to raise the budget ceiling to $20m for all eligible titles,following controversy last year over the eligibility of Sideways which cost some $16.5m to produce andthe exclusion of Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind which cost around $20m."T
  • Summer In Berlin (Sommer Vorm Balkon)

    Dir: Andreas Dresen.Germany 2005. 112mins.Indie director AndreasDresen is the German counterpart of Robert Guediguian: a regional maverickwithin a national system, whose drama-tinged comedies, or comedy-tinged dramas,are all set in the milieu he knows best. Dresen's preferred location is theformer East Germany, his preferred subject those who are struggling in thedepressed part of this land of opportunity to make ends meet.SummerIn Berlin
  • Swiss select Hiver as Oscar candidate

    Greg Zglinski's featuredebut Tout Un Hiver Sans Feu hasbeen selected as Switzerland's entry for the race for the Foreign LanguageOscar.According toSwitzerland's Federal Office for Culture (BAK), Zglinski's film was chosen"for its broad cinematic staying power, its universally valid language,its sensitive mise-en-scene, its convincing screenplay and its cinematographywhich conveys a wonderful picture of our country."At the beginningof this year, Tout Un Hiver Sans Feu
  • The Proposition

    Dir. John Hillcoat.Aus-UK. 2005. 104mins.
  • The World's Fastest Indian

    Dir/scr: Roger Donaldson.NZ. 2005. 127mins.The latest RogerDonaldson is a natural born winner through and through. An inspiring real lifestory of a man who dared in his late sixties not only to dream but to go on andaccomplish his dreams against all odds, The World's Fastest Indian hasall the hallmarks of a popular formula played fully to the hilt.Easily one of the morelikeable road movies to come along in some time, Donaldson's picture f
  • Tokyo festival unveils Asian focused line-up

    With a sharper focus on Asian and Japanese films, theTokyo International Film Festival (Oct 10-30) has announced its line-up for its18th edition.The opening film will be Riding Alone for Thousands ofMiles, Zhang Yimou's new film about an elderly man embarking a researchtrip in China for his dying son. Star Ken Takakura is a long-time favorite ofZhang's, as well as a Japanese film industry icon with more than 100 entries inhis filmography. The two closing films will be Son
  • Twelve and selling: Cuesta drama logs first deals

    Hot Toronto title Twelve And Holding, directed byMichael Cuesta, has sold to several major territories, including the UK, Franceand Australia.Handled internationally by Fortissimo Films, the drama is aboutthree 12-year-olds on the cusp of becoming teenagers who cope in different wayswith the death of a companion.With a notable performance by young actor Zoe Weizenbaum,soon to appear in Memoirs Of A Geisha, and adult leads includingAnnabella Sciorra and Linus Roache
  • UK animator wins Cartoon D'or with Jo Jo

    UK animator MarcCraste has won this year's Cartoon D'or for his dark 12-minute short Jo JoIn The Stars at theCartoon Forum co-production market held in Denmark's Kolding from September21-24.Described as"a story of love, self-sacrifice and jealousy played out against ablack-and-white world that is both nightmarish and hauntingly beautiful", JoJo In The Stars hadpreviously won the 2004 BAFTA for Best Animated Short Film and first prize atsix other festivals as well as sever
  • UK MEDIA Desk organises co-production forum

    The UK MEDIA Desk, withsupport from the UK Film Council and the EU's MEDIA Programme, is organising aco-production forum to be held during the London Film Festival. The one-daysummit, entitled Co-production Express, will be held October 25.The programme will offercase studies of recent UK-European co-productions Dear Wendy, Only Human,Merry Christmas, The Best Man, and TheHeadsman. Organizers said they aimto show the differences in European co-producti
  • Vertigo gets Cock & Bull Story for Spain

    Vertigo Films has picked up Spanish rights from The Works toMichael Winterbottom's comedy A Cock & Bull Story starring Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon andGillian Anderson.
  • Vinterberg to return Home to Dogme roots

    Dear Wendy directorThomas Vinterberg is set to return to his Dogme roots with A Man Comes Home,a new project due to shoot in Denmark next spring.Vinterbergis billing the film, which will be made through production company Nimbus, as"a tragic love story but in an uplifting party will be inthe spirit of Dogma but not
  • Walk The Line to open AFI FEST in Nov

    AFI FEST 2005will open on Nov 3 with James Mangold's Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line, one of the early awards seasoncontenders that stars Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon.The line-up, announced earlier today, includes 16 worldpremieres and 17 North American premieres.Among the worldpremieres are Penelope Spheeris' comedy The Kid And I, which stars starring Joe Mantegna, TomArnold and Eric Gores in the story of an aspiring teenage actor with cerebralpalsy, and
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit

    Dirs: Nick Park, Steve Box.UK. 2005. 85mins.A delirious blend ofwhimsy and wit, the long-awaited Wallace & Gromit feature is sure tocharm all who encounter it. Having already opened in Australia - just ahead ofits Toronto appearance - to substantially better figures than those forAardman's previous feature, the buoyant Chicken Run, it is a featurethat will hoover up family audiences worldwide in the coming months.Good clean fun fro
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit

    Dirs: Nick Park, Steve Box.UK. 2005. 85mins.A delirious blend ofwhimsy and wit, the long-awaited Wallace & Gromit feature is sure tocharm all who encounter it. Having already opened in Australia - just ahead ofits Toronto appearance - to substantially better figures than those forAardman's previous feature, the buoyant Chicken Run, it is a featurethat will hoover up family audiences worldwide in the coming months.Good clean fun fro
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit

    Dirs: Nick Park, Steve Box.UK. 2005. 85mins.
  • Warner's Factory opens in Italy, closes in on $200m

    With no realistic contender in sight Charlie And The ChocolateFactory looks set tocontinue ruling international waters as it bears down on $200m.
  • Water

    Dir/scr.Deepa Mehta. Can. 2005. 114mins.As intelligent as it isravishing, Deepa Mehta's Water is amoving portrayal of impossible love and possible hope. Fronted by an equally ravishingcombination of Bollywood stars Lisa Ray and John Abraham and cloaked in ahistorical drama set within Indian's widow caste, it tells the story of a youngwidow who falls in love with a man so fa
  • White Masai takes top spot at German box office

    The White Masai,directed by Hermine Huntgeburth, has become the second local film this yearafter Til Schweiger's Barefoot to take the number one spot at the Germanbox-office.The love storybetween cultures between a Swiss businesswoman and a black Masai warrior hadbeen primarily targeted by distributor Constantin at female audiences, althoughthe Euros 7m production has also re