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26 January 2006

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  • A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints

    Dir/scr: Dito Montiel. US.2006.103mins.Adapting his 2003 memoir of the same title, debut writer-directorDito Montiel reveals himselfas a promising new voice in American cinema with A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints, a featurethat summons the sting of memory, evoked in moments simultaneously fond, joyous,bitter, sad and tragic.Despite a problematic start -a superfluous framing device in which a contempo
  • Adelaide festival offers cash prize for new competition

    The biennial Adelaide Film Festival has introduced a feature film competition which will see the director of the winning film go home $19,400 (A$25,000) richer.Festival director Katrina Segwick says the move means Adelaide is now one of a small number of festivals throughout the world that offers substantial cash awards. Others include Berlin, Karlovy Vary, Pusan, Tribeca and Tokyo."We are looking for films that have a distinctive voice, bold storytelling and creative risk-taking," she sai
  • Alliance Atlantis sign Weinstein Company films till 2009

    The Weinstein Company and AllianceAtlantis Motion Picture Distribution (MPD) LP have signed an exclusive 80picture, multi-year distribution agreement anticipated to run through 2009. Under the deal, MPD willdistribute all films released by the Weinstein Company and Dimension Films. Thepact re-establishes the 12-year relationship of Alliance Atlantis and theWeinstein brothers during their Miramax tenure.In a statement, VictorLoewy, MPD CEO said "We have enjoyed a long and very su
  • Americans in Paris boost inward production

    Film production in the Ile De France, whichincludes Paris, was up last year, figures have revealed.Statistics released by the National Film Centre show that on any one dayin 2005, 10 film or TV productions were being shot on the region's boulevards,parks or studios, amounting to 3,363 shoot days.Feature films accounted for 40 shooting weeks in total - up from 29weeks in 2004.Eleven foreign productions, including four major studio shoots, visitedthe area last year.T
  • Annapolis

    Dir. Justin Lin. US. 2006. 103mins.Justin Lin's studio debut, Annapolis is a peculiarly engineered piece of Reagan-style swaggercouched in the form of popular entertainment. It ends with the sound ofmilitary drumbeat - and audiences are likely to feel bludgeoned by what hasgone before.It is capably ifdistractedly made, though it has no convincing dramatic shape or emotionallyrecognisable movement
  • Arista's Adept 3 goes to Cinemart

    Arista Development has announced that it has entered a new sponsorship and partnership agreement with Cinemart at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Participating writers and directors on Arista's Adept 3 scheme will attend a special series of screenings, workshops, and producers meetings during Cinemart, which runs January 29 through February 2. "This year's Adept intake is full of talent. We're looking forward to introducing them and their work to the international ind
  • Arrival picks up US rights to La Tragedia De Macario

    Arrival Pictures hasacquired domestic rights to Pablo Veliz' immigration drama La Tragedia De Macario, which premiered in the Spectrum programme atSundance last week.Negotiations between ArrivalPictures president Charles Acosta and Strategic Film Partners principals AlexBarder and Lawrence Silverstein closed early Monday morning.Veliz' directorial debutfollows a Mexican's bid to cross the US border in search of a better life.Rogelio Ramos, Millicent Figueroa and Tina Rodr
  • Art School Confidential

    Dir. Terry Zwigoff. US.2006. 102mins.TerryZwigoff's ArtSchool Confidential doesn't achieve the promise of its intriguing premise -how far will an aspiring artist go to achieve recognition' ScreenwriterDaniel Clowes' answer' Far.But his script doesn't work hard enough to merit this cynical if trueconclusion.Audiences will be left wondering what tothink about a movie that plays like a horny teen fi
  • Bergstein, Tutor buy Capitol as core of ambitious group

    The three owners ofLondon-based Capitol Films - Sharon Harel, Jane Barclay and Hannah Leader -have announced that their long-in-the-works sale of Capitol to LA-basedentrepreneurs David Bergstein and Ronald N Tutor has been completed. Bergstein and Tutor now haveambitious plans to form an international entertainment group which will becalled Capitol with interests in production, post-production, librarymanagement and sales. The two had previously bought the De Lane Leapost-production fa
  • Berlinale announces final sidebar entries

    Newfilms by Lukas Moodysson, Christian Vincent, AnnetteK. Olesen, and Romuald Karmakar are among the final titles to be confirmed for theline-up of the Berlinale's Panorama whose mainprogramme will be opened by Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe'sBrothers Of TheHead about young Siamese twins who appeared on the punk rock scene in the1970s.ThePanorama Special sidebar will be opened by the family drama Family Law (DerechoDe Familia) by Daniel Burmanwhose previous feature Lost E
  • Branagh's Magic Flute starts shooting at Shepperton

    Principal photography got underway on Jan 19 at Shepperton Studiosoutside London on Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Mozart's The Magic Flute.Conceived and directed byBranagh, the $27m production features a newly-adapted libretto by Stephen Fryand takes
  • Brazil to keep the same screen quota system from 2005

    The Brazilian National Cinema Agency(Ancine), an organ of the Ministry of Culture, will keep the screen quotasystem in place to protect local production against Hollywood hegemony in 2006.The system will ensure that a local film theatre with one single screen showsBrazilian movies for at least 35 days of the year - with the quota increasingaccording to the number of screens per complex.Even though Ancine kept the quota from lastyear, the decision has been criticized by the exhibitor se
  • C.R.A.Z.Y. leads pack with 12 Genie Award nominations

    Jean-Marc Vallee's C.R.A.Z.Y. picked up 12 nominations and Deepa Mehta's Water earned nine Canada's Genie Awards. Both films werenominated for Best Motion Picture and Best Achievement in Direction. Michael Dowse's It's AllGone Pete Tong had eight nominationswhile Luc Picard's debut feature L'Audition and Andre Turpin's Familia had seven. Five films earned five nominationsincluding Michael McGowan's Saint Ralph, Atom Egoyan's Where The Truth
  • Celluloid Dreams strengthens sales slate for Berlin

    French sales agentCelluloid Dreams is flexing its muscles pre-Berlin, boarding yet moreEnglish-language productions in advance of the European Film Market.New toCelluloid's roster is Bille August's Goodbye Bafana, based on the diaries of Nelson Mandela's formerprison guard. Co-produced by Banana Films with France's ARSAM, Goodbye Bafana traces Mandela's prison guard, James Gregory,over a 20
  • China's Huayi Brothers brings Banquet to Berlin

    Beijing-based productioncompany Huayi Brothers Film Investment will be making its debut as a seller atthe upcoming European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin.The company will be offeringits two latest productions - The Banquetand One Foot Off The Ground - whichrecently wrapped and are both in post-production. Period drama The Banquet, which Huayi co-producedwith Hong Kong's Media Asia, wrapped af
  • Da Vinci Code to open Cannes

    RonHoward's The Da Vinci Code has been selected to open the 59th Cannes Film Festivalthis May, where it will be presented out of competition. Organisersannounced the news on Saturday in Paris, where some of the film's crucialscenes were shot.StarringTom Hanks as a Harvard professor who gets em
  • Deal finalised for Usen-Daiwa content fund

    Gaga Communicationsannounced at its first board meeting of the year (Jan 25) that the $259m (Y30bn)content fund partnership between its parent company Usen Corp and DaiwaSecurities SMBC, tabled last December, is now a done deal. The two partners and their respectivegroup companies will each contribute 50% of the 10-year fund, with Usen puttingup the initial 10% on January 31. Contents underwritten by thefund will include films, music and other media, with an eye on both domestic
  • Disney buys Pixar in deal worth $7.4bn

    Following months of speculation The Walt Disney Company hasacquired Pixar in an all-stock transaction that is expected to be finalised by thesummer.
  • Downfall wins BBC international cinema award

    Oliver Hirschbiegel's Downfall won the BBC Four World Cinema Award last night.The ceremony was hosted by Jonathan Ross at London's National Film Theatre.
  • Fabio Ferzetti to replace Giorgio Gosetti at Venice Days

    Italian critic Fabio Ferzetti isto replace Giorgio Gosetti as head of Venice'sDirectors' Fortnight - known as Venice Days.Gosetti, who had been in charge ofthe independent Venice sidebarsince its creation in 2004, will now concentrate on his role as generaldirector of the new Rome Film Festival, officially called "Cinema Festa Internazionale di Roma." The first edition of thefestival, which some see
  • FACT battles DVD piracy in Glasgow, London

    FACT, the UK's Federation Against CopyrightTheft, announced that a police raid on a Glasgow flat has closed the largest illegal DVDdistribution facility discovered in Scotland to date. More than 25,000 DVDs were seized.Strathclyde Police arrested a
  • Film and TV shooting up 18% in London

    UK film production may have had a down year in 2005 - with overall film production spending down 31% -- but filming in London was up 18%, according to agency Film London. That figure, however, is not just based on film shoots but also includes TV and commercial shoots as well. Film London said the total number of shooting days in London's 33 boroughs was 12,655 compared to 10,683 in 2004 and 9,729 in 2003.That makes an average of 35 crews shooting per day in London during 2005.
  • Foreign shoots brought $243m to France in 2005

    Foreignfilm production in France for 2005 brought in $243m (Euros 200m) last year, accordingto Film France.
  • Fortissimo picks up international rights to Kirby Dick doc

    Fortissimo Films has pickedup worldwide rights excluding the US to Kirby Dick's film ratings documentary ThisFilm Is Not Yet Rated, whichreceives its world premiere at Sundance this week.The Independent Film Channel(IFC) production explores the MPAA's ratings system and asks whether it favoursaffiliated studios. The ratings system's wildly divergent attitudes over sexand violence also come under the microscope.IFC's general manager andexecutive vice president Evan Shapiro
  • French Critics' Syndicate selects the best films for 2005

    The French Critics' Syndicate has named Jacques Audiard's The BeatThat My Heart Skipped as best film of 2005. The lauded film, a remake ofJames Toback's 1978 Fingers, is currently up for a BAFTA award as best foreign film.Created in 1946, the Critics' prize is overseen by the samegroup that organizes Critics' Week in Cannes.Best foreign film went to David Cronenberg'sA History OfViolence which had a berth in the ma
  • Friends With Money

    Dir/scr: Nicole Holofcener. US. 2006. 88mins.Nicole Holofcener's thirdfemale-skewed ensemble piece confirms her as a distinctive, urbane commentatoron the life of (affluent) women in America today. An incisive snapshot ofcontemporary values as grappled with by four Los Angeles women, Friends With Money is only her thirdfilm, but stints on episodic television shows like Sex And The City and Six FeetUnder
  • Global growth cheers French cinema at Rendez-Vous

    Audiences for French films around the world grew 49% year-on-year in 2005, led by March Of The Penguins in the US, according to figures revealed at the 8th annual French FilmRendez-Vous in Paris.Themarket, which closed yesterday, heard that French films had been seen by 73.6 million internat
  • IFC launches 24 films for simultaneous theatrical/cable release

    As 2929 Entertainment prepares to launch its experimentalday-and-date release of Steven Soderbergh's hi-def picture Bubble this week, IFC has entered the fray witha similar initiative.
  • IFC takes North American rights to Hamer's Factotum

    IFC Films has picked up all North American rights to Bent Hamer'sCharles Bukowski adaptation Factotum, which had originally been bought after its Cannes worldpremiere by Picturehouse but which was returned to the market last week.
  • Israeli company United King to begin shooting two new features

    United King, the leading distributor of domestic films in Israel,is launching two new productions one by Josef Cedar and the other by Avi Nesher in February. The first, The Secret,an Israeli-French co-production, starts shooting next month with Avi Nesher inthe director's chair. Nesher, whose previous effort, Turn Left at the End of the World was the box-office hit of theprevious decade (450,000 admissions),
  • Israeli-Palestinian consortium joins forces to promote docs

    The Israelis and Palestinians are about to join forces in arare alliance, on a project entitled Greenhouse, whose purpose is to train andcoach promising documentary filmmakers in the Mediterranean region. Originally initiated by David Fisher at theNew Foundation for Cinema and Television (NFCT) in Tel Aviv, and Adam Zouabi, the head of the RamallahFilm Institute, Greenhouse partners also include the Association of DocumentaryFilmmakers in Turkey
  • Jet Li, Statham to star in martial arts thriller for Lionsgate

    Lionsgate has bought Lee Anthony Smith and Gregory J Bradley's screenplayRogue and will beginproduction on the thriller in spring with Jet Li and Jason Statham in theleads.
  • Kacandes joins Paramount specialty arm as head of physical production

    Producer Georgia Kacandeshas joined John Lesher's new-look Paramount specialty division as executivevice president of physical production.Kacandes, who is currentlyserving as executive producer on New Line's Jack Black comedy Tenacious D InThe Pick Of Destiny, will overseeall aspects physical production and report directly to Lesher."I have known Georgiafor many years and her experience, reputation and stature in the business madeher truly the ideal candidate for us to he
  • Korea set to cut screen quota in half

    South Korea's government is to cut its 146-day screen quota forlocal productions in half starting July 1. Deputy Prime Minister andFinance Minister Han Duck-soo announced in a weekly briefing today (Jan 26)that the government is planning to legislate the enforcement ordinance on Jan27. As Korea's second-largest trade partner, the
  • Korean conglomerate acquires LJ Film

    Korean conglomerate Prime Industrialhas acquired Seoul-based production company LJ Film in a move to expand intothe entertainment sector. LJ Film is reportedlyexchanging $18.1m in stocks with Innotz, a subsidiary of major Korean softwarefirm Haansoft, which in turn belongs to the Prime corporation. Prime - which has corebusinesses in development and construction, IT, finance and cultural industries- has plans to create a $50m fund through Innotz for production andinvestment/dist
  • Korean government unveils $400m film support fund

    Korea's Ministry of Culture and Tourism is establishing a $400m Korean FilmDevelopment Fund to run over five years.The plan was announced by Minister of Cultureand Tourism Jeong Dong-chae this morning (Jan 27) as a counter-measureto the halving of Korea's Screen Quota and strong industry protests.The support plan will createa $400m fund - with $200m com
  • Korean law firm to take action against online piracy

    Korean law firm Ilsong LawOffice and film portal site have announced an initiative to tackleillegal internet distribution which is estimated to cost the local film industry$300m a year. Ilsong will carry outcopyright infringement suits on behalf of film importers and producers, actingon information provided by, starting February 1. The web portal haspromised to reward people who report illegal distribution activity with twofree film tickets or a $10 culture
  • Lionsgate enters Sundance fray with global deal on Door

    As Sundance started to wind down, Lionsgate took worldwide rightsto Chris Gorak's dirty bomb thriller Right At Your Door, which gathered rapid momentum this weekfollowing its Monday world premiere.
  • Little Miss Sunshine

    Dirs: Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris. US. 2006. 100mins.The first big hit of the 2006 SundanceFilm Festival, sold the night after its first screening last Friday to FoxSearchlight for over $10m, Little MissSunshine is a genuinely delightful comedy about a family of misfits on a roadtrip to a beauty pageant.Playing like an independentversion of National Lampoon's Vacation,with the Hoover fami
  • Lucky Number Slevin

    Dir. Paul McGuigan. US.2006. 104mins.Anuncomfortable mixture of light banter and extreme violence, Lucky Number Slevinfalls somewhere between Guy Ritchie's Revolverand David Burke's still unreleased Edisonin its reliance on shock value over character development and narrativeheft. A likeable performance by Josh Hartnett carries the film for a long way,but a third act plot turn, while necessary
  • Lumet and Panahi complete Berlin Competition line-up

    World premieres from Sidney Lumet and Iranian director Jafar Panahi are the final Competition selections for this year's Berlinale.Lumet's Find Me Guilty, starring Vin Diesel, is based on the true story of the 1980s trial of Mafia boss Jack DiNorscio. The veteran director won the Golden Bear back in 1957 for 12 Angry Men.Panahi's Offside is a drama set in a football game at Azadi Stadium in Tehran. It depicts a true incident in which a young woman, barred by law
  • Luxembourg and Austria sign co-production treaty

    Collaborationbetween the Austrian and Luxembourg film and televisionindustries has been given amajor boost with the signing of aco-production treaty between the two countries.Theagreement will recognise films made under the auspices of the treaty asnational films and will allow Austrian and Luxembourg co-producers to benefitfrom all of the incentives available
  • Megabox finds new backer following Loews pullout

    Major Korean multiplex chainMegabox has secured investment from the private equity arm of StandardChartered Bank which has acquired a 45% stake in the company for $73m. The deal follows anagreement reached last month for former Megabox shareholder, US exhibitor Loews Cineplex, to sell its 50% stake inthe company for $79m in cash. Standard Chartered is now the second largestshareholder in Megabox after its parent company Me
  • Miike's Big Bang Love joins Panorama line-up

    Japan's Shochiku hasannounced that Big Bang Love, Juvenile A,the latest outing by prolific cult filmmaker Takashi Miike, has been selectedto compete in the Panorama section of the upcoming Berlin International FilmFestival. Starring Ryuhei Matsuda (Gohatto) and Masanobu Ando (Battle Royale), the film tells the storyof a young man who, while working at a gay bar, is sexually assaulted by acustomer, goes into a frenzy and kills the man. He then strikes up a closerela
  • Miramax seals third big deal of Sundance with Night Listener

    Miramax Films has made it first Sundance acquisition under theDaniel Battsek regime, paying in the region of $3m for North American rights toPatrick Stettner's Armistead Maupin adaptation The Night Listener.
  • MPA settles Singapore piracy case

    The Motion PictureAssociation (MPA) and Singapore home video licensee Alliance Entertainment havereached an out-of-court settlement with the TS Group which was sued forcopyright infringement. As part of the settlementterms, TS, a group of home video companies with over 20 retail outlets in Singapore, has admitted illegally infringing four copyrightedtitles (
  • Nagasaki Shunichi opens Rotterdam festival

    TheRotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR) opened last night with NagasakiShunichi's Heart, Beating in the Dark."TheNagasaki Shunichi's movie looks back, redefines, and finds new directions, just like the festival," said festival director Sandra den Hamer.
  • Narnia leads international box office for fifth weekend

    The Chronicles Of Narnia extended its international supremacy to a fifth consecutiveweekend as it added an estimated $13.3m through Buena Vista International (BVI)to raise the running total to $342.6m.
  • New Screenwriters Festival to launch in London

    The new international Screenwriters' Festivalwill hold a Londonlaunch on Monday (January 30) to announce details of its inaugural event, whichwill be held in Cheltenhamfrom June 27-30. Screen Internationalis one of the sponsors of the festival.Festival supporters who will appear at thelaunch include producer Gina Carter, BAFTA chairman Duncan Kenworthy,producer and Stoned director Stephen Woolley, and Nati
  • New Vancouver producer Irreverent begins first feature Gay Like Me

    Newly-formed Vancouver-based development and production company IrreverentMedia is preparing to begin shooting in spring on its first feature, the suburbanmockumentary Gay Like Me.THINKFilm has acquiredCanadian rights on the $3.4m project, which was developed with the supp
  • Noyce to be honoured by Australian Screen Directors

    Director Phillip Noyce is toreceive an outstanding achievement award on April 6, the top annual honourbestowed by the Australian Screen Directors Association (ASDA).Noyce was in the first classof students at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School and his first feature was Newsfrontin 1978, which won best film in the AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards. He ma
  • Paltrow, Wigmore sign deal with Moxie to direct commercials, music videos

    Gwyneth Paltrow and Mary Wigmore have signed an exclusive dealwith Moxie Pictures to co-direct commercials and music videos.
  • Peace Arch buys Canadian home entertainment outfit KaBOOM!

    Toronto-based Peace ArchEntertainment Group has acquired Canadian home entertainment outfit kaBOOM!Entertainment.The deal gives Peace Arch a DVDplatform for its burgeoning feature slate, which is being handledinternationally by executive vice president of international sales andmarketing Penny Wolf.Under a long-term employmentagreement, kaBOOM! president Berry Meyerowitz will continue to run the companyon a day-to-day basis as a Peace Arch division."The acquisition ofkaBO
  • Penguins director Jacquet announces Fox movie

    Luc Jacquet has announced in Sundance what his next film will beafter his worldwide documentary smash March Of The Penguins - a narrative-documentaryhybrid with the working title The Fox And The Child.
  • Picturehouse buys North America on Pan's Labyrinth

    Picturehouse has picked up allNorth American rights to Guillermo del Toro's dark fairytale Pan's Labyrinth.Set in 1944 rural Spainduring Franco's facist regime, the story centres on the young daughter of anofficer who concocts an imaginary world to deal with the realities of post-warrepression. Mirabel Verdu, Sergi Lopez, Ivana Baquero and Doug Jones star."This film has been thesingle most fulfilling creative experience of my career," del Toro said. "Hopefullyit represent
  • Pioneering film competition to encourage use of new technologies

    Screen International is holding a pioneeringfilmmaking competition at its Cinema Next conference on February 3rd.Three filmmaking teams will take part in The Cinema Next Mini-Movie Competitionwhere they will use mobile phone cameras to produce short films which will be shot,edited and screened at this London-based conference. The teams will be allowed to start making
  • Rialto picks up Science Of Sleep

    Rialto Distribution hasacquired writer/director Michel Gondry's TheScience Of Sleep for Australia and New Zealand, hot on the heels of its sale to Warner IndependentPictures for North America and the UK at Sundance. The inventive film starsGael Garcia Bernal (The M
  • Rome festival promises to serve both industry and public

    The new Rome Film Festival (13-21 Oct, 2006) is planning to become a major event for both the public and international industryprofessionals.At a packed press conference in Rome's town hall, city mayorWalter Veltroni said buyers, producers and executives will be able to meet fromOct 13-16 in a business area along Rome's celebrated Via Veneto, inhotels, terraces and cafes. Hotels will offer accredited guests seven 35mm screeningrooms, equipped with the latest digital technology.
  • Salvatores lines up big-budget international feature

    Oscar-winning Italian director Gabriele Salvatoresis lining up a big-budget international feature about a ship's last voyage,entitled Cargo.The film, which Salvatores iscurrently writing with Umberto Contarello, isinspired by the true story of an Indian beach where old ships lie abandoned.The picture will focus on one ship's last voyage, across the sea from Indiato Ireland
  • Screen Gems tops US with Underworld sequel

    The Sony stable enjoyed an excellent weekend at the North Americanbox office as Screen Gems' supernatural sequel Underworld: Evolution romped to the top of the charts andColumbia's Fun With Dick And Jane crossed $100m in its fifth weekend.
  • Shelton, Clarke join London's Capital FX

    London post-production company Capital FX has expanded its team, with Rod Shelton joining as head of digital intermediate and Liz Clarke joining as head of sales and marketing. Both formerly worked at the VTR Group. Shelton leads Capital's new digital intermediate division, which was created due to an increase in demand. "DI is currently a hugely competitive market -- everyone's aware of that but with our exclusive association with EFILM in Los Angeles and the knowledge and expe
  • Silverline takes rights to UK film Displaced

    Silverline Entertainment has takenon worldwide rights to the science fiction adventure film Displaced. The UKproject, currently in post-production, is directed by Martin Holland and producedby Mark Strange.Lancashire-based SkylandianPictures produced with Chee KeongCheung from Intense Productions as associate producer. The film is about a humanoid alien who works with a Britishsolider to find top-secret infor
  • Sony Classics swoops on Russian Oscar entry The Italian

    Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) has picked up North American rightsfrom Lenfilm to Andrei Kravchuk's feature directorial debut and Russian 2006 submissionfor the foreign language Oscar The Italian.
  • Spain claims 20-year production record

    Spainproduced more feature films in 2005 than in any year in the past two decades,according to new figures released by the Ministry of Culture.
  • Spanish government launches action plan for film

    Spain'sMinistry of Culture has unveiled an "action plan" for Spanish film, including increased subsidies and the creation of a new mutual guarantee fund.
  • Sundance deals heat up with a ray of Sunshine

    In the first big play ofSundance 2006 Fox Searchlight has taken worldwide rights to Little MissSunshine in a deal believed to be inthe region of $10.5m.The deal is also reported, by the New York Times, to have given the participants 10% of all gross revenues on the film, a total purchase package that hoists this fim into the premier league of Sundance acquisitions.Husband-and-wife music videodirectors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris made their directorial debut o
  • Sundance launches arthouse anniversary initiative

    The Sundance Institute has launched The Sundance Institute ArtHouse, a partnership with national arthouse theatres that will screen filmsfrom the festival past and present as part of the year-long celebration of theInstitute's 25th anniversary.
  • Sundance wakes up with Sleep, Tired deals

    In the second major acquisition at this year's Sundance, WarnerIndependent Pictures has paid $6m for North American and UK rights to Michel Gondry's surreal romance The Science Of Sleep.WiP chief Mark Gill and his team swooped after the French-producedpicture's world premiere here on Sunday night, which drew rapturousapplause for attending talent Gondry and Gael Garcia Bernal, who plays abesotted artist caught in limbo between the waking and sleeping worlds. Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • Sundance: Revolver buys UK rights to explicit portmanteau film Destricted

    London-based Revolver Entertainment has bought UK rights to theexplicit shorts compilation Destricted, featuring contributions from Matthew Barney, Larry Clark,Gaspar Noe, and Sam Taylor-Wood, among others.Neville Wakefield, MelAgace and Andrew Hale produced the compilatio
  • The Hawk Is Dying

    Dir: Julian Goldberger. US. 2006. 112mins.The second featurefrom Julian Goldberger after his 1999 work Trans,The Hawk Is Dying is an admirable thoughfailed effort to graft the film-maker's poetic aesthetic to the demands of narrativefilm-making.
  • The Illusionist

    Dir.Neil Burger. US. 2005. 110mins.Magic is the artof distraction. The Illusionistsucceeds because writer-director Neil Burger has his audience concentrate onEdward Norton's title character while Paul Giamatti'sfoil bustles around the picture providing the drama. The resulting periodromantic thriller is an attractive after-dinner treat which not only tastesdelicious but lingers on the palate.Smar
  • The Night Listener

    Dir: Patrick Stettner. US. 2006. 90mins.Robin Williams' great talent for mimicry,improvisation and change of pace has yielded some resourceful and inspired performancesin his comically inflected films. But in recent years his work has turned inward,with results that have been bluntly predictable and mannered: witness hisappearances in Insomnia, One Hour Photo and The Final Cut.It is something
  • The Science Of Sleep

    Dir: Michel Gondry. Fr. 2006. 105mins.For his third feature The Science Of Sleep, French directorMichel Gondry leaves behind Charlie Kaufman, whowrote his first two films, and finds a droll, eccentric voice all his own. Amadcap surreal comedy set in Paris and shot in English and French, it doesn'thave the emotional impact of his last film EternalSunshine Of The Spotless
  • The Works gets on board Winterbottom's new film

    London-based sales company The WorksInternational has acquired the international sales rights to Michael Winterbottom's TheRoad to Guantanamo, which will premiere incompetition at the Berlin Film Festival.The film is based on the true storyof four British men who travel from the UK to Pakistan to attend a wedding, just after 9/11. They are suspected as
  • THINKFilm strikes US marketing partnership with for Beastie Boys doc

    North American distributorTHINKFilm is partnering with the online lifestyle portal to promoteits upcoming Beastie Boys concert film Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That.The process began prior toSundance, when MySpace users were invited to make a music video for one of twoBeastie Boys songs - "Sabotage" and "Shake Your Rump". The winner attended thepicture's world premiere on Saturday at the festival.Beyond that there will be aweek-long promotion on the portal prior t
  • This Film Is Not Yet Rated

    Dir. Kirby Dick. US. 2005. 100minsAlight-hearted but ultimately serious exploration of the cultural chill imposedby the Motion Picture Association Of America's ratingsystem, Kirby Dick's new documentary exposes the process for the sham it is.Financed by US cable network IFC TV anddirect-to-home video distributor NetFlix, This Film Is Not Yet Rated has specialised theatrical potential in the US an
  • UIP signs exclusive licensing agreement in Pakistan

    UIP has become the first major theatrical distributor to sign anexclusive license agreement in Pakistan following the December launch of KingKong.UIP's new agent, BoxOffice Limited, is the distribution affiliate of Cinepax, the country's firstcineplex company that plans to
  • UK distributors start spending at Sundance

    UK deals dominated Sundancetoday [Tuesday] as the BBC announced it had bought Kirby Dick's documentary ThisFilm Is Not Yet Rated, Momentumpicked up Jody Hill's comedy The Foot Fist Way, and Pathe UK took Luc Jacquet's upcoming The Fox& The Child.The BBC will air ThisFilm Is Not Yet Rated to UKaudiences after IFC's broadcast world premiere in the US.Jason Emerton and Dawn Cleaverfrom the BBC's international documentary division BBC Storyville negotiate
  • Underworld: Evolution

    Dir: Len Wiseman. US. 2005.106mins.The mostly young male horror fans who turned 2003vampires-vs-werewolves saga Underworld into a surprise hit will probably find what they'reafter in this sequel: plenty of gory action, some cool effects and even a bit ofsex.Broader audiences won't havemuch patience with the tediously convoluted plot and unvarying pace, but thatisn't likely to stop the sequel - once again starring Kate Beck
  • Unfolding Florence

    Dir: Gillian Armstrong. 82mins.Aus. 2006.Feature director Gillian Armstrong (Charlotte Grey, Oscar And Lucinda) makes a successfulswitch to factual film-making with Unfolding Florence, her packed and perceptivedocumentary about the "many lives" of feisty high society proto-feminist,opportunist and self-reinventor Florence Broadhust.The project - originallyplanned as a one-hour TV documentary unti
  • Warner Bros goes west with Sichuan partnership

    Warner Bros InternationalCinemas (WBIC) is expanding into the mid-south and southwest corners of China through a strategic partnership with Sichuan PacificCinema Circuit, one of the leading circuits under China Film Group. The two partners will makejoint efforts to explore this region of China which is relatively undeveloped compared to thewealthier eastern se
  • WBITD signs output deal with Orbit for Middle East, North Africa

    Warner Bros International Television Distribution (WBITD) andOrbit Communications have signed a multi-year output deal giving Orbit the exclusivepay television rights for Warner product in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Weinstein Co takes English-speaking world on Factory Girl

    The Weinstein Company hasacquired North American, UK, Australian, New Zealand, and South African rightsfrom L.I.F.T. Productions to George Hickenlooper's Edie Sedgwik biopic FactoryGirl.The picture is currently inproduction in Shreveport, Louisiana, and is being financed by L.I.F.T. andproduced by Holly Wiersma and Aaron Richard Golub.J Malcolm Petal, Kimberly CAnderson and Morris Bart are serving as executive producers.Sienna Miller stars in thelead as the 1960s m