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Screen
26 January 2007

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  • $50,000 cash prize for Latin American films launched

    The 22nd Mar del Plata International Film Festival (March 8-18) is set to launch the Ernesto Che Guevara prize with a cash award of $50,000 for Best Film in a new section reserved for first and second Latin American features and documentaries, which will run parallel to the official competition. 'The cash prize will be distributed in the following way: $10,000 to the director, $10,000 to the producer and the remaining $30,000 to cover marketing expenses to launch the film in Argentina,'
  • A Very British Gangster

    Dir: Donal MacIntyre. UK. 2006. 97mins.Donal MacIntyre's first feature is a documentary portrait of DominicNoonan, a working-class British gangster who is the head of Manches
  • Analysis: International box-office - Weekend January 19-21 - Crowds still flocking to Museum

    Night At The Museum continues to dominate the international box office raking in $14.8m at the weekend across 4,391 screens, bringing its total to $173.8m. The family film could not be uprooted from the top spot despite a 26% decline after opening in an additional six territories. Sony's The Pursuit Of Happyness also fared well - in addition to Will Smith's Oscar nomination for best actor, the film was boosted by 3% after grossing $13.2m at the weekend as it opened in a further
  • Asian locations: China

    China is not the easiest country to shoot in - the language barrier and script approval are just two obstacles that foreign producers face - but many filmmakers are finding the upside is worth it.A vast country with a wide range of studios and natural locations, China has proved its versatility, standing in for the Philippines in John Dahl's The Great Raid and for Afghanistan in Marc Forster's The Kite Runner - a DreamWorks production that wrapped in December after a two-
  • Asian locations: Hong Kong

    Despite being one of the world's most expensive cities, Hong Kong has attracted several international film-makers. With its VAT-free tax system, highly professional crews, world-class infrastructure and unique cityscape, the territory has bagged several large-scale shoots including Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life, Rush Hour 2 and Spy Game. In 2004, Kurt Wimmer spent three months shooting 80% of his sci-fi Ultraviolet starring Milla Jovovich, in Hong Kong. Execu
  • Asian locations: sets appeal

    Asia has been attracting international productions for decades, but in recent years it has become a prime destination for footloose international producers in search of the cheapest and most exotic locations.In addition to low-cost labour, equipment and transport, the region offers stunning landscapes and architecture - but there are many complicating factors for international producers to consider.Asia offers few financial incentives - although Taiwan is attempting to introduce
  • Asian locations: Thailand

    The December 2004 tsunami may have swept away many shooting locations in Thailand, but the territory's film sector has made a swift recovery.In 2006, 23 international feature films were shot in Thailand, contributing a combined $25m (bht874m) to the Thai economy. This marks an increase of 40.5% from 2005, the year following the tsunami.A major contributor last year was the English-language remake of the Pang Brothers' Bangkok Dangerous, which brought in $5.7m (bht200m). A
  • Avalanche of pricey Sundance deals includes Clubland, Waitress, Joshua

    The trickle of deals quickened to a torrent in Park City on Monday as buyers announced a slew of expensive acquisitions.Warner Independent Pictures (WiP) paid in the region of $4m for North American, UK and German rights to the comedy Clubland late in the afternoon. Separately, UK-based Goalpost Film sold Italian rights to Lucky Red, French rights to Wild Bunch and Greek rights to Rosebud.Fox Searchlight paid $5m for worldwide right
  • BackUp bonanza

    French financing specialist BackUp Films is celebrating its fifth anniversary in style at Sundance, where its first English-language film, Zoe Cassavetes' Broken English, is playing in dramatic competition.A uniquely European outfit, BackUp structures projects and puts together financing packages for creative producers. While this approach to business is well known in the US, it is less common in Europe where national funding restrictions make trans-border work trickier. But the
  • Banderas to direct two new projects as Death's Other Kingdom stalls

    Antonio Banderas has two new projects in mind to direct in Spain following his Malaga-set drama Summer Rain, screening in both Sundance and Berlin. Banderas said he is moving forward on a long-gestating project about Boabdil, the last Caliph of the Kingdom of Granada, envisioned as a Spain-France-Morocco co-production through his Malaga-based production company Green Moon, run with Antonio Meliveo and Carlos Taillefer. The budget would run upwards of $26m (Euros 20m), almos
  • Bateman heads Rushes Soho Shorts festival

    Joe Bateman has joined Rushes Soho Shorts Festival as festival director, effective February 19.
  • Bavaria Film picks up Menzel's King

    Bavaria Film International has picked up worldwide rights to Jiri Menzel's I Served The King Of England, an adaptation from the novel of the same title by Czech author Bohumil Hrabal. The film will screen in the main competition at Berlin. 'We are delighted to work cooperate with Jiri Menzel,' Bavaria Film director for sales and acquisitions Thorsten Schaumann said a press release. 'Many of our German directors admire him as one of the most outstanding directors, and he is appre
  • Bavaria takes worldwide rights to Menzel's King Of England

    Bavaria Film International has picked up worldwide rights to Jiri Menzel's I Served The King Of England, an adaptation from the novel of the same title by Czech author Bohumil Hrabal. The film will screen in the main competition at Berlin.'We are delighted to work cooperate with Jiri Menzel,' Bavaria Film director for sales and acquisitions Thorsten Schaumann said a press release. 'Many of our German directors admire him as one of
  • BBC World Cinema prize goes to The Death Of Mr Lazarescu

    The fourth BBC World Cinema Award was handed out to Cristi Puiu's The Death Of Mr Lazarescu. The BBC Four award was given out Jan 25 at London 's National Film Theatre. Romanian director Cristi Puiu accepted the prize from actress Emily Watson and the awards host Jonathan Ross. Tartan Films handled the local distribution of the dark comedy about a terminally ill man. Other films that had been shortlisted were Michael Haneke's Hidden, Pedro Almodovar's Volve
  • Belgian film fund reports 18 film investment

    Belgian media fund Motion Investment Group (MIG) raised $21.4m (Euros $16.5m) for 18 films in 2006, making it the country's biggest source of film finance.The company's end-of-year report shows MIG backed 13 features, four television productions and a documentary.Added to its foundation year of 2005, the company has now raised a total of $28m through the Belgian tax shelter scheme, which was established in 2004.MIG was set up following the 2004 creation of tax
  • Berlin completes Panorama line-up of 50 titles

    The Berlinale's Panorama section has now finalised its line-up, with more than half of its 50 titles being world premieres. Seven are debut features. The latest additions include Paul Oremland's feature debut Surveillance set in a world of security cameras and the Canadian actress Sarah Polley's directorial debut Away From Her starring Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent. Kanako Hayashi, director of the Tokyo film festival FILMeX, visual artist-filmmaker Udi Aloni and
  • Berlinale completes Competition with additions including Ozon's Angel

    The line-up for the Berlinale's Competition has now been finalised with a total of 26 titles, including 19 world premieres, six international premieres and one European Premiere. Among the latest titles to be unveiled are the Argentine director Ariel Rotter's second feature The Other (El Otro) which deals with the existential uncertainty of a man who decides to change his identity, Israeli film-maker Joseph Cedar's Beaufort about the last military unit to be stationed in so
  • Berlinale's new short film programme names 16 competitors

    The Berlinale's new Short Film Competition has selected 16 films from 12 countries for this year's line-up. The new shorts programme intends to focus more attention on the short format following the merging of the Competition and Panorama short film programmes. A three-woman international jury of the producers Peace Anyiam-Fiberesima (Nigeria) and Riina Sildos (Estonia) and the Chinese director Ning Ying will be deciding on the winners of the Golden and Silver Bears, the Prix UIP and a t
  • Bon Cop, Kigali lead Jutra Award nominations in Quebec

    Bon Cop, Bad Cop and Un Dimanche A Kigali (A Sunday In Kigali) each received 12 nominations as Quebec's Jutra Awards announced the contenders for the 2007 edition. Philippe Falardeau's Congorama followed with six nominations, including Best Picture, while Stephane Lapointe's La Vie Secrete Des Gens Heureux (also a Best Picture nominee) an
  • Bouchareb, Ferran and Canettop Cesar nominations

    Three films tied for the most mentions at this year's Cesar nominations in Paris. Oscar nominee for best foreign film, Rachid Bouchareb's Days Of Glory has receivednine Cesar nominations, as has Pascale Ferran's Lady Chatterley and Guillaume Canet's Ne Le Dis A Personne . The three are allup for best French film, along with Philippe Lioret's Je Vais Bien, Ne T'En Fais Pas and Xavier Giannoli's Cannes competitor Quand J'Etais Chanteur .
  • Bruce McDonald, Jiri Menzel, Paulo Caldas films picked up pre-Berlin

    International distribution rights to films by Bruce McDonald, Jiri Menzel and Paulo Caldas are among the latest titles picked up by German sales agents ahead of this year's Berlinale and European Film Market (EFM). Bavaria Film International will handle international sales for McDonald's The Tracey Fragments, which will be the opening film of the Panorama's main programme, as well as for Menzel's adaptation of Bohumil Hrabal's novel I Served The King Of England. The Czech-S
  • Bruce McDonald's new film opens Berlinale's Panorama main programme

    Bruce McDonald's The Tracey Fragments, which explores a 15-year-old girl's fragmented emotional world, will be the opening film of the Berlinale Panorama's main programme, while the Panorama Special sub-section will open with Japanese master director Yoji Yamada's Love And Honor, the third and final instalment of his samurai trilogy.In addition, Panorama section head Wieland Speck has unveiled the final line-up of 17 titles for the Panorama Dokumente, opening with the world
  • Canet awarded prize for best French thriller

    The 2007 Jacques-Deray Prize for the best French thriller has beenawarded to Guillaume Canet's Ne Le Dis A Personne. The award is givenby the Lumiere Institute and was created in 2005 in memory of Deray whowas vice-president of the Lumiere Institute.Canet's second feature was adapted from the book by HarlanCoben and stars Francois Cluzet, Kristin Scott Thomas, Andre Dussolier,Jean Rochefort and Marie-Josee Croze.Canet will receive
  • Capturing the moment

    As a London-based photographer, Sean Ellis worked with some of the biggest names in showbusiness, including Elton John, Kylie Minogue and Takeshi Kitano. But his future became clearer when he collaborated with David Lynch on a series of fashion photos. "I was a fashion photographer who was a frustrated film director," Ellis says.He wrote and directed his first short Left Turn, about a disturbing hitchhiker, in 2001 under Ridley Scott's production label RSA, which brought him tog
  • Catch And Release

    Dir: Susannah Grant. US. 2007. 110mins.An ambitious romantic comedy-drama that tries to find love and humor amidst the tragedy of death, Catch And Release is a jumble of tones searching for a consistent rhythm. In her directorial debut, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Susannah Grant touches on sombre subject matter rarely addressed in Hollywood offerings, but because of her inexperience behind the camera - and a weak central performance from Jennifer Garner - the results
  • Celtic Media nominees include The Flying Scotsman

    The short list of nominees has been announced for the Celtic Media Festival 2007, which will be held in Skye from March 28-30. The event recognises work from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany. The festival has 17 categories across film, radio and TV. Among the film nominees are feature-length drama nominees Little White Lies from Red and Black Films, True North from Makar Productions, The Flying Scotsman from ContentFilm International and Stardust from RTE Television
  • Cervantes Vs Shakespeare

    Miguel & William, a period romantic comedy that pits literary giants Cervantes and Shakespeare against each other, represents many firsts for writer-director Ines Paris.After more than a decade writing and directing television sitcoms and two successful Spanish-language romantic comedies, co-directed with Daniela Fejerman, Miguel & William is Paris' first solo feature and her debut foray into a foreign language (about 7% of the film is in English, the rest in Spanish).
  • Cinemavault to introduce The Listening to buyers at Berlin

    Toronto-based Cinemavault Releasing International has acquired international sales rights to political thriller The Listening and will introduce to buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin next month.Giacomo Martelli's film exposes the dangers of Echelon, a real-life surveillance system used by the National Security Agency that has been described in a NASA report as a tool with the ability to impose 'total tyranny.'The film was
  • CJE to invest $85m in local productions in 2007

    Leading Korean distributor CJ Entertainment (CJE) has announced its 2007 business plan which includes investing $85m in more than 20 local productions this year, while at the same time expanding its global ties. 'While our local film industry was concentrating on sharing the pie instead of growing the market, domestic film exports hit a wall,' said CJE chief executive JS Kim. He added that the 2007 business plan is based on 'invigorating the Korean film industry' and 'battening Korean fi
  • Croatian box office sees substantial progress for 2006

    Healthy 2006 Croatian box office figures have gone some way to compensate for slumps in other regions of the former Yugoslavia. Serbia and Montenegro, its biggest territory and richest market, saw a disastrous 43% decline in admissions and 36% in box office revenues in 2006 from 2005, while Croation figures are on the rise. In the 4.5 million-populated territory, an estimated 2,678,000 admissions were reported, marking a 34% increase compared to 2005's 2,233,000. In revenues, the jump
  • Death Note 2 passes $40m at Japanese box office

    The second installment in Warner Bros Japan 's Death Note franchise, Death Note 2: The Last Name, has surpassed the Y5bn ($41.2m) mark at the Japanese box office from more than 4.15 million admissions. In a movie industry first, the sequel was released on Nov 4, following the first installment's airing on terrestrial TV less than six months after its theatrical opening. Other majors called the strategic move unfair. Combined with the first film's earnings of $24.1m,
  • Dedication

    Dir: Justin Theroux. US. 2007. 112mins.After playing a malevolent director in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, actor Justin Theroux takes the plunge down the rabbit hole with Dedication, bringing an electric charge and furious energy to the story of a misanthropic writer of children's books whose professional pairing with a beautiful designer makes him more recognisably human.Lynch appears to be the dominant visual and aural influence
  • Deliver Us From Evil to have international premiere in Dublin

    Lionsgate's Oscar-nominated documentary feature, Deliver Us From Evil, is to receive its international premiere at next month's Dublin International Film Festival. Directed, written and produced by Amy Berg, Deliver Us From Evil tells the story of an Irish priest, Oliver O'Grady, whose multiple and serial sexual assaults, primarily on children, were known over a 30-year period to the Catholic church in America where he was based. Incarcerated in the US and then deported, O'
  • Denmark's Trust Film Sales expands into distribution

    Zentropa's sister company Trust International Film Sales has set up Trust Film Distribution to handle releases for Zentropa projects as well as other titles.The new division is set up in time to release Anders Ronnow Klarlund's black social comedy How To Get Rid Of The Others nationwide today. In addition to Zentropa, Trust is in talks with other Danish producers including Clausen Film, Cosmo Film and Græsted Film and Television. Late last year, Zentropa parted
  • Diffusion gets all UK rights to Joachim Trier's Reprise

    New independent distributor Diffusion Pictures has acquired all UK and Ireland rights to Joachim Trier's Reprise. Reprise stars Espen Klouman Hoiner and Anders Danielsen Lie in the story of two twenty -something friends who are struggling to write novels. It picked up awards at festivals including Toronto and Karlovy Vary and is the Norwegian submission for foreign-language Oscar consideration. Nick Crossley of Diffusion said: 'We are thrilled by the acquisition of t
  • Doremi servers to power UK Digital Screen Network

    Arts Alliance Media (AAM) has bought new cinema server equipment from Doremi Cinema for use in the development of the UK Film Council's Digital Screen Network. The DCP-2000 digital servers will be installed in all new sites and will replace servers already within the Digital Screen Network. Fiona Dean, Arts Alliance Media's Director of Digital Cinema, said that Doremi Cinema was 'committed to evolving with the market and providing the best possible technology solutions.'
  • Dreamgirls leads Oscar nominees but shut out of Best Picture race

    Dreamgirls led the Oscar race with eight nominations this morning but the hit musical was shut out of the best picture and director categories. It also took three nominations in the best song category, meaning that it could only win five Oscars at most. Best picture nominees were Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Babel, Martin Scorsese's The Departed, Clint Eastwood's Japanese-language Letters From Iwo Jima, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' L
  • Dunn promotion at Tartan Video

    Tartan Video label manager Sam Dunn has been promoted to deputy managing director.
  • Editorial - Screen says Trend of an era

    By far the most enjoyable anomaly in the Oscars nominations is the one for adapted screenplay for the improvised Borat. Twentieth Century Fox's publicity for the film hailed "a new form of film-making for an age in which reality and entertainment have become increasingly intertwined".Perhaps here is the future of film-making, a bridge between user-generated content and yesterday's highfalutin formulaic, A-list Hollywood blockbuster. Indeed, everyone is equal in this lower-budget
  • EFP plans new Picture Europe! programme to kick off in April

    European Film Promotion is introducing a new European film event in the capitals of Berlin, Madrid and London. Picture Europe! The Best of European Cinema will begin in April, coming to London at the Curzon Cinema in Soho from June 8-14. A premiere party will take place to launch the one-week film festival in each city. The films, selected by the EFP on the basis of their success in their indigenous country and potential for popularity worldwide, will be presented by the directors and ac
  • Ex Drummer stirs controversy among Belgian exhibitors

    In advance of its world premiere in the Tiger Competition in Rotterdam this weekend, Koen Mortier's Ex Drummer is provoking controversy in Belgium. One leading arthouse exhibitor, Studio Skoop in Ghent, has refused to show the film, which features scenes of graphic violence, rape and self mutilation. Industry sources have even suggestions that exhibitors are nervous about the crude references in the film to former Belgian monarch, King Baudouin, who died in 1993. 'They (exhibitors
  • Expired

    Dir/scr: Cecilia Miniucchi. US. 2007. 110mins. 'I'm the most hated person in the world,' Samantha Morton's shy, emotionally withdrawn parking meter enforcer says at the opening of Expired, a title that proves unfortunately apt. The movie proves exhausting, obliterating patience, understanding or emotional conviction in its portrait of female desire, lo
  • Faye Dunaway starts shoot for Flick in Wales

    David Howard's Flick is now shooting in and around Cardiff and at the Barcud Derwen Studios through Feb 10. Howard wrote and is directing the project, which is produced by Rik Hall and executive produced by Cross, Linda James, Pauline Burt and Bryn Roberts. Financing is from Finance Wales' IP Fund, the Film Agency for Wales with the support of Arts Council of Wales lottery funds, Barcud Derwen and private equity. Faye Dunaway is one of the film's stars as well as a
  • Films Distribution picks up Lost In Beijing

    France's Films Distribution has acquired worldwide rights to Chinese female director Li Yu's Lost In Beijing (Pingguo), produced by Fang Li's Laurel Films, which has been selected for competition at this year's Berlin film festival. The film is currently in post-production and is scheduled to be submitted to Chinese censors next week. But it's understood that it faces a race against time to get approval in time for its Berlin appearance. Under Chinese government rule
  • Five world premieres confirmed forBerlinale Special section

    New films by the Taviani brothers, Doris Doerrie, Fernando Perez and Timur Bekmambetov are among nine titles now confirmed for the Berlinale Special section of the festival's official programme.This year, five world premieres have been selected for this section which presents recent works by contemporary filmmakers whose films the Berlinale wants to honour. They are: Paolo and Vittorio Taviani's The Lark Farm; Doris Doerrie's How To Cook Your Life; Richard Tran
  • Fortissimo promotes Driessen and Mackey

    Sales company Fortissimo Films has announced that Nelleke Driessen has been promoted to managing director, based at its head office in Amsterdam. She had been the co-managing director since 2004. Also, Nicole Mackey is promoted to executive vice-president international sales, and managing director of Fortissimo UK. She had been senior vice-president, international sales, since joining Fortissimo in 2004.
  • Fox's Museum remains top in international with $14.4m gross

    Night At The Museum continued to dominate the overseas arena as the family film added an estimated $14.4m from 3,400 screens in 35 markets through Fox International to raise the tally to $173.2m.The film scored the fifth biggest industry opening in Uruguay to take $38,000 from only 13 screens. It stayed top in its second weekend in Brazil as $1.7m from 477 raised the running total to $.1m. After four weekends
  • Free agent

    US president George W Bush may not seem to be furthering the cause of independent political cinema, but according to Philippe Diaz, the French producer and director who heads US production, post-production, distribution and international sales operation Cinema Libre Studio, his election in 2000 gave political film-making a shot in the arm."The Bush administration mobilised a lot of people to make movies," Diaz contends. "There was such a mobilisation against all the manipulation and li
  • French DVD sales saw 2006 slide

    France's video publishers union (SEV) says piracy played a big role in the fall in sales of DVDs last year. Although no dollar values were given in the initial report on last year, the SEV says 2006 saw a drop in sales in DVD sales in France of roughly 7% with a 4% drop in volume were noted. Most affected by the malaise were genre films, which were down 14% in terms of receipts. French film sales were up, while sales of non-feature DVDs - mostly TV series - also saw an 11% increase in
  • Furst, Kessel to head productions and acquisitions for Overture

    Sean Furst and Robert Kessel have been appointed executive vicepresidents of productions and acquisitions at Starz' new theatricaldivision Overture Films.Furst will be based at Overture's Los Angeles headquarters and Kesselwill operate out of New York. Furst's brother Bryan arrives as seniorvice president of productions and acquisitions and will also be basedin Los Angeles.All three executives will report to chief operating officer DannyRosett and take responsibility for
  • Gaumont co-CEO Franck Chorot steps down

    Gaumont co-CEO Franck Chorot will step down from his post as of February 1, the French major has announced.Chorot will continue to work with the world's oldest film company as an in-house producer as well as working on co-productions set up with other companies in France and abroad.Following a stint as the head of UIP France, Chorot returned to the Gaumont fold in 2000 to replace Pierre-Ange Le Pogam as deputy general manager of worldwide marketing and distribution and in
  • Grace Is Gone

    Dir/scr: James C Strouse. US. 2007. 92mins.The strengths and limitations of Grace Is Gone exist in conjunction with each other. Intimately conceive
  • Grave Decisions and Four Minutes top Bavarian awards

    Marcus H. Rosenmueller's Bavariancomedy Grave Decisions and Chris Kraus' prison drama Four Minutes werethe big winners at the weekend's Bavarian Film Awards in Munich.
  • Grbavica tops Bosnia and Herzegovina's 2006 box office

    Bosnia and Herzegovina is a particularly difficult market for analysis because until recently there have been no BO reports compiled exclusively for the region. Instead, the box office results were split between Serbia and Croatia.Since the end of the war in 1996, Serbian and Croatian distributors contracted to Hollywood majors had distributed their releases in Bosnia and Herzegovina through branches in parts of the territory where their nations had economic and political dominance. Therefore
  • In Focus - Academy awards and the nominees are..

    The nominations for the 79th Academy Awards see Dreamgirls leading the race. But the hit musical has been shut out of the best picture and director categories. It also received three nominations for best song, meaning that it can only win five Oscars at most.Best picture nominees were Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Babel, Martin Scorsese's The Departed, Clint Eastwood's Japanese-language Letters From Iwo Jima, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' Little Miss
  • In Focus - Quote, unquote: oscar REACTIONs

    'For the box office, the timing is just perfect. Paramount in the States is going to give the movie a second life, the movie has now jumped up from 100 to 800 or more theatres. Around the world the timing is great...'Jon Kilik, producer of best picture nominee Babel'When the idea of making The Queen was first mooted, we had no idea that the result would have quite the impact it has had.'Helen Mirren, best actress nominee for The Queen'I'm honou
  • In Focus - Reach out to audiences

    We produce more movies to play to audiences than ever before. The way we reach this audience may be changing, but we still need to have consumers for our films or the equation doesn't work."Richard Fox, vice-president, international, at Warner Bros, was articulating the obvious but all too often forgotten truth about the digitally powered transformation of today's entertainment businesses: new technologies may help find customers but they cannot make them like what they see.That
  • In Focus - The Oscar nominations in full

    Best PictureBabelThe DepartedLetters From Iwo JimaLittle Miss SunshineThe QueenBest DirectorAlejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, BabelClint Eastwood, Letters From Iwo Jima Paul Greengrass, United 93Stephen Frears, The QueenMartin Scorsese, The DepartedBest ActorLeonardo DiCaprio, Blood DiamondRyan Gosling, Half NelsonPeter O'Toole, Venus
  • Indonesian box office for US studios up 30%

    Indonesian box office for Motion Picture Association (MPA) member films soared to new heights in 2006, increasing 29.5% to $33.8m (Rp307.55bn) from 67 releases. The strong results were mainly driven by two record-breaking titles: Superman Returns took $2.68m (Rp24.43bn) and Casino Royale collected $2.37m (Rp21.56bn), to become the highest and second highest-grossing films of all time in Indonesia respectively. '2006 was a year of great products - a lot of broad appea
  • Intrepid explorers

    Intrepid Pictures makes "the kind of movies we grew up on and that we still go see," says co-founder Marc Evans. Examples include the company's thriller remake The Hitcher, which opened wide in the US last weekend, and Neil Marshall's sci-fi thriller Doomsday, currently shooting in the UK and South Africa.Yet it was not just personal preference that led Evans (formerly chief financial officer at Revolution Studios) and fellow co-founder Trevor Macy (previously an independ
  • Iran - Fajr film festival at 25

    Iran supports a plethora of film festivals, culminating in the Fajr International Film Festival, which is now in its 25th year and described by Farabi managing director Alireza Rezadad as "the most important cultural event in Iran". Local audiences pack screenings of international and local films included in a range of competitions and panoramas, while industry visitors attend screenings of selected new Iranian titles. Other films are shown in the market and at gatherings in film-makers' home
  • Iran - Growth market

    Cease Fire, a Mr & Mrs Smith-style domestic drama by Tahmineh Milani, became the highest-grossing Iranian film of all time last year, taking around $2m at the local box office.The 2006 top 10 included a mix of melodramas, war films and romantic comedies, including Hassan Fathi's My Big Fat Greek Wedding-inspired Marriage Iranian Style. Overall, say producers, admissions rose by 12.5% last year.Foreign films, released in a couple of Tehran cinemas, only accou
  • Iran - International development

    Iranian auteurs have been collaborating with French producers since the 1990s: Abbas Kiarostami with CiBy 2000 on 1994's Through The Olive Trees, for example, and Mohsen Makhmalbaf with MK2 on Gabbeh in 1996.Amir Esfandiari, head of international affairs for Farabi, notes that there has been a rise in co-productions over the past few years, especially with upcoming directors.International producers familiar with Iranian cinema say there is untapped potential. "We w
  • Iran - Need to know - Names in the frame

    Business playersAmir Esfandiari, market directorEsfandiari began his government career as head of Farabi's co-production department and by the mid-1990s was head of international affairs, setting up the Fajr International Film Festival market in 1997. The key government figure charged with taking Iranian cinema abroad.Contact: Farabi, fcf1@dpi.net.irMohammad Attebai, producer, distributorAttebai, who produced Jafar Panahi's The Circle among other inte
  • Iranian cinema: Staying power

    Iran's film industry is unusual internationally and unique in the Middle East. Production levels - 80 features plus 36 feature documentaries and children's films in 2006 - are the highest in the region. Around 60% of films are released theatrically, and homegrown product makes up 94% of local box office. The state-run Farabi Cinema Foundation heads a network of agencies that invest in production, provide loans, equipment and facilities for film-makers, and even pre-buy righ
  • Jeanada to star in Michael Radford's La Mula

    Up-and-coming Spanish actor Oscar Jaenada has been tapped for the lead in Michael Radford's new Spanish-language feature La Mula.Jaenada will star alongside Maria Valverde (Melissa P) in the Spanish Civil War-set bittersweet comedy about a soldier who discovers a mule in the middle of a battlefield and decides to keep the animal with him as long as the war lasts.Radford, fresh from editing his latest film
  • Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten

    Dir: Julien Temple. Ire-UK. 2007. 123minsJulien Temple is the film chronicler of British punk music, first with The Great Rock And Roll Swindle (1979) and twenty years later with the much more accomplished The Filth And The Fury (1999). Temple is still on the upswing with Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, an admiring yet thorough documentary homage to the founder of The Clash, who died in 2002 at the age of 50.This is the rare bio-
  • Kasell steps down as executive director of Hamptons Film Festival

    Denise Kasell is leaving her post as executive director of the Hamptons International Film Festival after nine years at the event.Board chairman Stuart Match Suna and the Hamptons board are searching for a replacement. Artistic director Rajendra Roy remains in place.'Denise's tenure has been a boon to the Hamptons Film Festival,' Suna said. 'Through her efforts, the festival has enhanced its standing in the international film community and has earned a solid footing as on
  • Kidz In Da Hood sweeps Sweden 's national film awards

    Kidz In Da Hood raided the Guldbagge awards - Sweden 's national film awards - which the Swedish Film Institute presented at a ceremony Monday (22 Jan) in Stockholm 's Circus, televised by Swedish public broadcaster SVT1. A 2006 update of Guttersnipes, filmed in 1944 and 1974, the contender for the Crystal Bear at the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival, took four statuettes from four nominations, including Best Feature (producers Peter Holthausen, Pontus Sjoman),
  • King Naresuan tops Thailand's box office

    Pegu's Hostage , the first part of the long-awaited Legend Of King Naresuan trilogy, raided Thailand 's box office over its four-day opening weekend, grossing $2.2m (80m baht) in Bangkok alone, according to distributor Sahamongkolfilm International. Although it was certainly the biggest opening weekend since 2005 action film Tom Yum Goong scored $2.7m (98m baht) after four days, it fell short of industry expectations. The picture, directed by Prince Chatrichalerm Yuk
  • Korea's Showbox signs up for Confession

    Hong Kong 's Media Asia Distribution has sold Korean rights to thriller Confession Of Pain to Showbox Mediaplex. Directed by the Infernal Affairs team, Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, the film has grossed $8.8m (RMB68.4m) in China and a further $2.6m in Hong Kong since its release at Christmas. 'Media Asia is a company we've always wanted to work with - very professional - and we're happy to have made this our first deal with them,' said Showbox head of acquisitions Chris H
  • La Vie En Rose to open French cinema Rendez-vous in New York

    Olivier Dahan's Edith Piaf biopic La Vie En Rose will launch the 12th Rendez-Vous With French Cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance's annual showcase of French cinema.La Vie En Rose, which will open Berlin on Feb 8, stars Marian Cotillard and Gerard Depardieu and chronicles the singer's meteoric rise from Paris street performer to a world renowned diva who became addicted to drugs and
  • Laura Mana to direct La Roldana

    Laura Mana has signed on to direct ambitious 17th century biopic La Roldana for Spain's Maestranza Films.Seville native Paz Vega (Spanglish, 10 Items Or Less) has expressed interest in taking the lead role of the talented sculptress in the vibrant 17th century setting of Seville who defied her family's wishes in marriage and craft.Maestranza chief Antonio Perez is presenting the $9m (Euros 7m) project to potential co-producers in t
  • Lebowitz to Liberation

    Mark Lebowitz has joined sales and distribution company Liberation Entertainment as chief financial officer. He has held senior executive posts at the television groups of Sony and Paramount.
  • Leva doc to premiere at San Francisco Film Festival on Apr 26

    The 50th San Francisco International Film Festival will host the world premiere of Gary Leva's documentary Fog City Mavericks.The eminently appropriate choice to play at the festival's 50th anniversary proceedings hails the work of George Lucas and other innovative Bay Area film-makers. Lucas and others profiled in the film will take part in a Q&A session after the screening.As previously announced, the
  • Lionsgate to open Aus/NZ distribution outfit

    After many rumours that it was seeking to buy an existing Australian distributor, US-based producer-distributor Lionsgate has confirmed that it is establishing its own operation to cover Australia and New Zealand. ' Australia is a key territory and to not be the person selling your own content is crazy,' said the new chair of Lionsgate Australia, Simon Franks, who has temporarily relocated to Sydney from London to set up the new operation. The first films will go out under the Lio
  • Little Miss Sunshine surprise win at PGA awards

    The producers of Little Miss Sunshine were the surprise winners of the Producers Guild of America (PGA) theatical motion picture award.The winner of the award has matched the best picture at the Oscars for 11 of the last 17 years.Marc Turtletaub, David T Friendly, Peter Saraf, Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa picked up their honour at Los Angeles' Century Plaza Hotel.The other nominees for the Darryl F Zanuck Producer of the
  • Little Miss Sunshine surprise winner of the PGA prize for best film

    Fox Searchlight's Little Miss Sunshine trumped heavyweights Babel, Dreamgirls, The Queen and The Departed at the Producers Guild of America (PGA) awards in Los Angeles on Saturday [Jan 20].The comedy won the night's big prize, the Darryl F Zanuck award, in a result that recognised producers Marc Turtletaub, David T Friendly, Peter Saraf, Albert Berger and Ron Yer
  • Love spreads

    It has been a busy few months since LoveFilm merged with rival Video Island in April 2006. Simon Calver, CEO of the combined company who previously led Video Island (known for its consumer brand Screen Select), can point to an impressive set of statistics: the company is the number one online DVD rental service in Europe (it operates in the UK, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and has recently launched in Germany) with about 500,000 active subscribers.Yet Calver does not sound content - he
  • Mar del Plata inaugurates $50,000 cash prize for new Latin films

    The 22nd Mar del Plata International Film Festival, which runs March 8-18, is launching the Ernesto Che Guevara prize with a cash award of $50,000 for the best film in a new section reserved for first and second Latin American features and documentaries to run parallel to the official competition. 'The new cash prize will be distributed in the following way: $10,000 to the director, $10,000 to the producer and the remaining $30,000 to cover the marketing expenses to launch the film i
  • Market focus - Numbers back up 007's story

    China this week becomes the last major territory to screen Casino Royale, closing a run that has already left all 007 predecessors in its wake. What has been forgotten in a record-breaking run is the inauspicious initial response to the plans for the 21st Bond film.Few were predicting a major revival of the brand when Daniel Craig was named as the new lead - 'James Blonde' as sceptical UK tabloids dubbed him. The decision led to orchestrated protests with a web campaign dedicate
  • Multi-million dollar boost for Irish film

    The Irish government has pledged $188m (Euros 145) to support the Irish Film Board's work until 2013.The investment forms part of the $238bn seven-year National Development Plan, details of which were revealed yesterday.It will be allocated to the Irish Film Board to support its work, and particularly to support international objectives, such as marketing Ireland as a film location through the recently-opened Los Angeles office. The arts, sports and cult
  • My Kid Could Paint That

    Dir. Amir Bar-Lev. US. 2007. 81mins.My Kid Could Paint That addresses the sceptical notion that has dogged painting ever since art ceased to depict a pure likeness of its subject - that abstract art often looks like it could have been painted by a child. Amir Bar-Lev's documentary then zooms in on abstract paintings that are said to be the work of Marla Olmstead, an adorable untaught four-year-old girl in Binghamton New York, whose huge canvases brought high pric
  • Nanni Moretti accepts Turin post for second time

    Palme d'Or winning Italian director Nanni Moretti is officially back on board as director of the Turin Film Festival, announcing his intention to maintain the festival's focus on new directors and experimental cinema for its 25th edition this year. Moretti's appointment, announced at a press conference Thursday in Turin, comes one month after his original engagement sparked a feud in the Turin film community over disagreements for a festival revamp. Moretti rejected the idea of being a
  • New chairman for Korea Film Producers' Association

    The Korea Film Producers' Association (KFPA) has voted in a new chairman - Tcha Seung-jai, head of leading production company Sidus FNH. He replaces Guardtec president Jonathan Kim, whose four years in the position have expired. Part of the first generation of Korean film renaissance producers, Tcha has shown increasing staying power. He was voted most powerful person in the industry in last year's Cine21 poll of industry players. He most recently executive produced hits like ca
  • Non-profit Shelley Foundation set up in honour of Waitress director

    Andy Ostroy has set up the Adrienne Shelly Foundation dedicated to the memory of his late wife, actor and director who was found dead in New York last November.The non-profit organisation will focus on women with the stated aim of helping to finance student films and independent projects, supplement film school scholarships and awards, and produce script readings.Ostroy, who was in Park City this week to announce the initiative and board members, will serve as executive d
  • Oscar nominees Dreamgirls, Blood Diamond hit major territories

    Dreamgirls, the recipient of eight Oscar nominations on Tuesday, gets its first major international push this weekend.Paramount/PPI executives will be looking to convert the recognition into healthy overseas returns when it opens the hit musical in Italy, Mexico and Spain on Jan 26.Meanwhile the family film Charlotte's Web opens in eight territories including Taiwan on Jan 27. It currently sta
  • Overture takes US rights to Theron-starrer Ferris Wheel

    Chris McGurk and Danny Rosett's Overture Films has made its firstacquisition, picking up all US rights to Charlize Theron's passion project Ferris Wheel.The Canadian shoot wrapped recently yet ICM's independent andinternational film division chief Hal Sadoff wasted little time,brokering the deal at Sundance after showing footage to buyers allweek. No release date has been set.Theron produced the drama with her Denver And Delilah Produ
  • Paramount signs first-look deal with MTV Films Europe

    Paramount Pictures International has signed a three-year first-look deal with London and Los Angeles-based Zilli Films, which operates MTV Films Europe. CEO and founder Jonathan Zilli and head of development and production Bobby Allen run Zilli Films, which has the license to develop MTV branded feature films in Europe. MTV Networks, like Paramount, is a Viacom company. MTV Films Europe develops, produces and acquire slow-budget, local-language feature films throughout Europe, Eas
  • Paris Hilton-starrer starts production for Purple Pictures in LA

    Hadeel Reda's financing and production company Purple Pictures has begun principal photography in Los Angeles on its debut feature The Hottie And The Nottie.Joel David Moore, Christine Lakin and Paris Hilton star in the comedy about a young man who learns he will only be able to get a date with Los Angeles's hottest woman when he sets up her less than attractive roommate.Tom Putman makes his directorial debut from a screenplay by H
  • Pathe Distribution acquires rights to UGC Films library

    Pathe Distribution has acquired the library of defunct UK distributor UGC FIlms, including Walter Becker's Good Bye Lenin! and Francois Ozon films, including 8 Women and Swimming Pool.UGC Films UK was launched by French company UGC in 2001 and was hailedat the time as a big boost for arthouse cinema, in what was thenconsidered a notoriously difficult market. It closed in 2005.'We have a longstanding relationship with UGC and we are delighted to strengt
  • Patrick Malone heads digital film services at Ascent Media

    Ascent Media Creative Services has named Patrick Malone as its director of digital film services, a newly created position.Malone has responsibility for all elements of digital feature film production across One Post, St Anne's Post, Soho Images and Todd AO.Malone joined Ascent in 1997 from Framestore CFC. He moved to St Anne's as head of production for its 2002 launch. Recent Ascent digital film services group projects include Black Book, Mr Bean 2, Hot Fuzz and
  • Pirates tops 2006 Slovenian box office

    Healthy box office figures reveal 10 percent growth in Slovenia Box office figures for 2006 show Slovenia is the most gratifying territory in the region in terms of revenues. With a population of two million, 96 active screens, low piracy levels and the fact that it is the only country of the former Yugoslavia that is a member of the EU, it is by far the best developed market. Average ticket price is $5.50, compared to $4 in Croatia, $3.50 in Serbia and $3 in Bosnia. In 2006, a to
  • Posner launches YaYa! Films in Spain

    Enrique Posner, former general manager of Warner Bros in Spain, has set up new production outfit YaYa! Films with three feature films in the works. Posner is currently executive producing 3D animated feature The Missing Lynx, with Manuel Cristobal of Perro Verde Films and Granada-based Kandor Graphics. The $10.4m (Euros 8m) CGI animation, which follows the adventures of a group of animals on the run from an unscrupulous hunter, hired by a benevolent millionaire to start a new No
  • Potsdam animation festival to present 41 films

    The Cartoon Movie 2007 business forum will present 500 participants with a selection of 41 features with an overall budget of almost $391m (Euros300m) in an attempt to boost finance and distribution for European animated films.In its ninth year, the festival convenes at Germany's Babelsberg Studio from March 7-9 and shows both completed films and works-in-progress. France is the most represented country, with a total of 14 projects. Germany has 13, Spain will show seven, Denmark five and
  • Rambow sells for $7.5m to Paramount Vantage at busy Sundance

    Paramount Vantage finally made a big play at its maiden Sundance, swooping on Garth Jennings' coming-of-age tale Son Of Rambow and Ian Iqbal Rashid's hip-hop drama How She Move for an estimated combined cost of $11.5m.In another intense day of deals in Park City, the Weinsteins announced two more joint acquisitions, taking Patricia Riggen's family drama La Misma Luna
  • Reactions in full to Oscar nominations

    Al Gore, star of documentary feature nominee An Inconvenient Truth'I am thrilled for our director Davis Guggenheim and producers Laurie David, Lawrence Bender, Scott Burns and co-producer Lesley Chilcott. The film they created has brought awareness of the climate crisis to people in the United States and all over the world. I am so grateful to the entire team and pleased that the Academy has recognized their work. This film proves that movies really
  • Rings producer Osborne signs up for Kiwi racing driver biopic

    Barrie M. Osborne has signed up as producer of the planned biopic of New Zealand Formula One racing driver Bruce McLaren.Osborne, whose credits include the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and The Matrix, will work alongside co-producer and motor racing fanatic Michael Garlick, for whom the project has been a long-standing ambition.The budget is expected to be around $100m, financed by a group of pri
  • Rotterdam director bemoans lack of local films in festival

    Where have the Dutch films gone' With 44 world premieres, the 36th International Film Festival Rotterdam is showcasing a wealth of new work, but the line-up is notably light on local movies. Speaking today to ScreenDaily.com, festival director Sandra Den Hamer has bemoaned the absence of strong Dutch features available to be programmed. 'We didn't have one feature film in competition,' Den Hamer observed. 'I would have loved to have a Dutch film in competition, but it wasn'
  • Rotterdam's Hubert Bals Fund refused funding

    'Stormy weather is expected,' Festival director Sandra Den Hamer warned yesterday at the opening of the International Film Festival of Rotterdam. The cause of the disquiet is the growing uncertainty that surrounds Rotterdam's Hubert Bals Fund, which supports filmmaking in developing countries. The Fund, named after festival founder Hubert Bals and acknowledged as one of the lynchpins of the festival, has had its application for funding turned down by the Dutch Ministry Of Foreign Affai
  • Sakuran to premiere in Berlinale Special section

    Mika Ninagawa's debut feature Sakuran will have its world premiere on Feb 9 as the opening film of the Berlinale Special section at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, distributor Asmik Ace has announced. It will be the only Japanese film to screen as an official selection at the festival. Based on a manga by popular female manga author Moyoco Anno, Sakuran depicts the high-class prostitutes of the Yoshiwara pleasure district during Tokyo 's Edo period.
  • Scalpel takes rights to Berlin-bound In Memory Of Myself

    Pierre Menahem's Paris-based sales label Scalpel Films has picked up worldwide rights to Berlin competition title In Memory Of Myself (In Memoria Di Me), by Italy's Saverio Costanzo.Scalpel will also handle German title Hotel Very Welcome, by Sonja Heiss, at Perspective Deutsches Kino and Panorama title The Bubble, by Israel's Eytan Fox, which bowed at Toronto.This marks the first time former Celluloid executive Menahem has handled a competition title at
  • Screen Index down 17% this week but Italy is booming

    Collective global box-office takings of nine major territories fell 17% this week compared to the same week last year, largely due to drops in North America, France and South Korea, according to the Screen International Screen Index. This week, North America saw a 19.3% dip in its top 30 films as it failed to cross the $100m mark at the weekend, grossing just $95.3m. The only opener was thriller The Hitcher, produced by Michael Bay, which took $7.8m, coming in at number 4. Last ye
  • Screen Yorkshire staff expands by four

    UK regional screen agency Screen Yorkshire has made four new appointments. Neil Preston has joined as finance director, Tony Parker as head of industry development, Andrew Craske as head of communications, and Joan Whale as project monitoring manager.
  • Selling Spanish main attraction

    The 2.2% year-on-year drop in Spanish box office for 2006 has split opinion about cinema's health. Admissions were down to 124 million, from 126 million, while ticket sales rose slightly to $839m (EUR648m) thanks to higher prices.According to Nielsen EDI, which compiled the figures, it was a reasonably strong year. "The reality is that it was a good year for Spain," says Arturo Guillen of the company's Madrid office. "This is a mature market and as long as the box office stays within t
  • Shochiku picks up Kadokawa's Genghis Khan

    Japanese major Shochiku has acquired international rights excluding Asia to legendary producer Haruki Kadokawa's $25m Genghis Khan - To The Ends Of The Earth And Sea. Shochiku will distribute the film in Japan and also handle all international sales, excluding Asia, which will be handled by co-producer Avex Entertainment. Domestic release is scheduled for March 3 on around 400 screens. Kadokawa brought large-scale filmmaking back to Japan with his 2005 comeback hit Yamat
  • Sky Anytime sees one million movie downloads in first year

    Europe's leading broadband video download service Sky Anytime showed phenomenal sales interest in its first 12 months with its one millionth movie, Flight Plan, downloaded on January 14.Sky Anytime offers its 250,000 registered customers on-demand access to product from Sky Movies, Sky One Entertainment, documentary series and events from Sky Sports. More than 500 different movie titles have been downloaded by Sky users to view on-demand on their home PCs since the company's incep
  • Slipstream

    Dir: Anthony Hopkins. US. 2007. 110mins.Anthony Hopkins' first film as a director since 1996's August is arambling, sporadically engaging experiment which attempts to illustratea man's descent into madness through stream-of-consciousness visualsand distorted, overlapping narra
  • Son Of Rambow

    Dir: Garth Jennings. UK-Fr. 2007. 94mins.An immensely satisfying comedy about childhood friendship, Son Of Rambow is one of those rare British films which is at once culturally specific but directed with such confidence and visual panache that it should enjoy worldwide distribution. The work of hot UK director/producer team Jennings and Goldsmith aka Hammer & Tongs, the film was, ironically, not financed with the assistance of the UK Film Council but principally from
  • Staying home

    There has always been a realm of movies where there is a tacit understanding that its inhabitants will not cross borders. Last weekend, local productions topped box-office charts in Italy, South Korea, France, China, Thailand, Denmark and Poland. The likelihood of any of these crossing oceans and finding welcoming cineastes is probably remote.Three of the films are straight-out sequels, two trade on prior successes and one is an adaptation of a classic novel that has already been made
  • Stephens heads K5 sales

    Bill Stephens will handle sales and marketing for new sales company K5 International, formed with K5 Film of Munich. Stephens will remain in the UK. In Munich, Oliver Simon will oversee production and Daniel Baur will head business affairs. Karin Binnberg will assist in sales and marketing.
  • Stomp has second weekend at top of North American box office

    Screen Gems' Stomp The Yard remained on top for the second consecutive while Fox's Night At The Museum held firm in second place and crossed $200m in its fifth weekend.Dance drama Stomp The Yard raised its tally by an estimated $13.3m to $41.6m while $13m eased Night At The Museum to a superb $205.8m running total.
  • Sundance and NHK announce four winners of filmmaker awards

    Sundance Institute and Japan Broadcasting Corporation NHK have announced the winners of the 2007 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards.The four winners will each receive a $10,000 award at the annual awards ceremony on Jan 27 and a guarantee from NHK to purchase the Japanese television broadcast rights upon completion of their project.The winning filmmakers and projects are: Lucia Cedron, for Agnus Dei (Latin America); Caran
  • Sundance deal-making starts slowly, but finally takes off

    After several days of toe-dipping, buyers in Park City finally took the plunge and closed a flurry of deals at the weekend.Corporate stablemates Picturehouse and New Line swooped on rights to Seth Gordon's Slamdance documentary The King Of Kong.The Weinstein Company paid in the region of $4m for worldwide rights to the tear-jerking Iraq widower drama Grace Is Gone and Magnolia Pictures announc
  • Sundance Film Festival 2007

    Reviews (A-Z)(Click to go to review)An American Crime (Tommy O'Haver, US)Although excruciating to watch, Tommy O'Haver's real-life crime drama is so well-crafted and well-acted that it resonates long after the credits, says Mike GoodridgeCatch And Release (Susannah Grant, US)Susannah Grant's ambitious romantic comedy-drama is a jumble
  • The Aerial (La Antena)

    Dir: Esteban Sapir. Arg. 2007. 90mins.Esteban Sapir's second feature is an intriguing and beautifully-made oddity - a largely silent, black-and-white fantasy that seems inspired in equal measure by Fritz Lang's Metropolis, FW Murnau's The Last Laugh
  • The Hitcher

    Dir: Dave Meyers. US. 2007. 84mins.The recent assembly-line remaking of recognisable horror titles continues with The Hitcher, a dreary updating of the 1986 Rutger Hauer serial-killer hitchhiker thriller, which disregards character empathy in the pursuit of perfunctory scares. Produced by (among others) Michael Bay, this new version of The Hitcher opened in the US this weekend, earning only an estimated $8m, despite being the frame's sole new wide r
  • The Lives Of Otherspicked for Berlinale's German Cinema showcase

    Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's Oscar-nominated Stasi drama The Lives Of Others is one of 17 titles selected by programmer Heinz Badewitz to screen in the European Film Market's German Cinema showcase.The 2007 line-up, which is targeted primarily at accredited distributors, buyers, journalists and programmers from festivals and cultural institutions, also includes Tom Tykwer's internationally successful big-budget literary adaptation Perfume - The Story Of A Murderer, Ch
  • The Savages

    Dir/scr: Tamara Jenkins. US. 2007. 113mins. The story of a brother and sister forced to care for their mentally diminished father, Tamara Jenkins's second feature The Savages examines with sensitivity, intelligence and jolting observation the vicissitudes of suffering, loss and human frailty. It's a serious work sharpened by prickly humour, strong writing, excellent direction and magnificent acting in the powerhouse central performances of Oscar-
  • Thykier to leave Freud's

    Kris Thykier will leave Freud Communications at the end of February to join Matthew Vaughn as a partner in production company Marv. Thykier, who joined Freud's in 1992 and served as vice-chairman, will continue to serve as a non-executive director.
  • Trade

    Dir: Marco Kreuzpaintner. US. 2007. 113mins.While unconvincing as a muck-raking look at how a network of foreign sex-slave traffickers can operate within the US, Trade often works as a gritty, sordid thriller due to the pulsating, viscerally kinetic direction by German director Marco Kreuzpaintner. Working in Mexico City and the US, in Spanish and English, Kreuzpaintner brings some
  • UK industry veteran Jim Sturgeon dies after illness

    Creative Partnership founder Jim Sturgeon died January 10 after a long illness. Well-known and respected among his peers, Sturgeon co-founded the UK's Creative Partnership with Chris Fowler in 1979 as a 'one-stop shop' to produce trailers, posters, radio and TV commercials for the film industry.Says Fowler, 'Under his direction, the company became the largest of its kind in Europe. We broke many independent films and new directors, tackling everything from the smallest foreign releases
  • UK's Network plans re-release of restored Things To Come

    UK distributor Network is planning a theatrical and DVD release of the newly digitally restored sci-fi classic Things To Come, the post-war apocalyptic HG Wells tale. The film will screen on May 2 and May 4 at the London Sci-Fi Film Festival (May 2-7). The DVD release, with bonus features including audio commentary, will follow on May 7. First screened in 1936, Things To Come has not been seen in the original form intended by director William Cameron Menzies until no
  • Until Doomsday: the Intrepid Pictures slate

    Balls Of Fury: Action comedy set in the world of clandestine ping-pong tournaments. Directed by Robert Ben Garant, starring Dan Fogler, George Lopez, Maggie Q and Christopher Walken. Completed. US release April 27.Strangers: Horror thriller about a young couple terrorised by unknown assailants. Directed by Bryan Bertino, starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman. Post-production. US release July 13.Doomsday: Futuristic action thriller about the attempt to prevent a disaster threaten
  • Vantage teams with Morgan Stanley for $150m financing fund

    Paramount Vantage has set up a $150m film financing fund with Morgan Stanley called Marathon Funding, which will invest in the production of at least 15 films.The arrangement covers Babel, as well as the 10 films scheduled to open through Vantage this year. Titles include Paul Thomas Anderson's oil prospector drama There Will Be Blood and Michael Winterbottom's A Mighty He
  • Vitus takes Best Film at 10th Swiss Film Awards

    Vitus was named Best Film at this year's Swiss Film Awards which were presented for the tenth time on Wednesday evening in a gala ceremony at the Solothurn Film Days.The drama about a child piano prodigy and his grandfather was praised by the jury as 'a film full of tenderness and humour'. The film posted almost 200,000 admissions since its release in German-speaking Switzerland last year and has been sold by Media Luna Entertainment to more than 30 countries. Vitus was also the
  • Waitress

    Dir/Scr: Adrienne Shelly. US. 2007. 104minsThe third and final feature by Adrienne Shelly, who was murdered last aUTUMN, Waitress is a bittersweet, pungent reminder of the formidably smart and gracious touch she possessed in front of and behind the camera. The story of a small town pregnant woman who charmingly befuddles a handsome young doctor, the movie is best appreciated and classically understood as a coloUrful, vibrant Southern fable.The to
  • Year of the Dog

    Dir/Scr: Mike White. US. 2007. 98mins. Mike White's outre wit and malicious satirical imagination is shown to sometimes spectacular effect in Year of the Dog. It is an alternately strange, puzzling and highly peculiar directing debut about a woman whose private trauma, coupled with her professional failure and romantic disappointment, violently unsettles her. In his scripts from Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl and School of Rock, W
  • Zoo

    Dir: Robinson Devor. US. 2007. 80mins.The much-awaited Zoo will draw enviable publicity (already evident at Sundance, where it premiered) because of the salacious nature of the story that inspired the film: the death from a perforated colon of a man who had sex with a horse in 2005 at a gathering of like-minded animal-lovers in Enumclaw, near Seattle. Audiences will find that Zoo is not a feature-length tabloid story, nor is it a chroni

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