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26 May 2007

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  • A Lost Man (Un Homme Perdu)

    Dir: Danielle Arbid. Fr. 2007. 97 mins. Somewhere, buried deep down this pseudo-road movie that moves round in circles, there is a burning issue begging to be explored. All the more pity that Danielle Arbid never actually comes to grips with it, though it is pretty obvious the relations between the two protagonists, one French (Melvil Poupaud) the other Lebanese (Alexander Siddig), are supposed to reflect in some manner the unbearable difficulty of the relations between t
  • A Mighty Heart

    Dir: Michael Winterbottom. US. 2007. 108 mins Michael Winterbottom has become a master at relating dramatic true stories in a documentary style. He brings a typical intelligence and urgency to A Mighty Heart, the 2002 case of the kidnap and execution of American journalist Daniel Pearl. The star casting of Angelina Jolie as Pearl's wife Mariane proves to be no stunt and is mutually beneficial to both film and performer. Jolie's presenc
  • Actresses (Actrices)

    Dir: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. Fr. 2007. 110mins Facing 40 becomes a wake-up call for a neurotic self-absorbed performer in Actresses, the second feature from Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. Previously entitled Dream Of The Night Before, the film mines autobiographical material to explore the eternal conflict between professional success and personal happiness. Modest insights and amusing incidents make for a minor but pleasing work. The
  • After Him (Apres Lui)

    Dir: Gael Morel. Fr. 2007. 90 mins A mother's grief warps into a suffocating obsession in Apres Lui, a sombre study of aching loss and broken hearts. The latest feature from Gael Morel (Le Clan, A Toute Vitesse etc) is a typically dour, unsentimental drama that refuses to sweeten the story of a woman desperate to retain a living sense of her dead son. The tough subject matter will alienate some audiences but the attractio
  • All Is Forgiven (Tout est pardonnee)

    Dir/scr: Mia Hansen-Love. France 2007. 105 mins.Debut director Mia Hansen-Love turns seemingly random slices from the life of a disintegrating family unit into a remarkably graceful, natural film about what it is to be human. Perhaps the most persuasive aspect of this hopeful parable of failure is the way casting, acting, script, and camerawork conspire to usher us into an immediately believable world which is observed with a painterly eye yet never seems staged.
  • Antonia Bird will produce Daradji's next Iraqi feature

    Mohammed Daradji has arrived in Cannes fresh from location scouting inIraq.The young Baghdad-born director, who had festival success with hisfirst feature Ahlaam (Dreams), 2005, has teamed up with Britishdirector-producer Antonia Bird to produce his second film, also to be shotin the war-torn country. Bird, who has a particular interest in the region following her 2004 filmThe Hamburg Cell, about the t
  • Arthouse strikes distribution deal with Australia's Madman

    New York-based Arthouse Films has signed an exclusive output and distribution deals with Melbourne-based Madman Entertainment for Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.Madman will distribute 10-15 Arthouse titles per year in the territories. The deal was negotiated by David Koh, Head of Acquisitions & Production for Arthouse Films along with Arthouse partner Lilly Bright and her Curiously Bright Entertainment outfit along with Paul Wiegard, Co-Managing Director of Madman Enterta
  • Arthouse takes North American DVD rights to Cartier-Bresson box

    Arthouse Films has acquired North American DVD rights to the Henri Cartier-Bresson double DVD box set, featuring five films by the master photographer and several documentaries on his life and work.The deal was struck with French sales company MK2's head of sales Mathilde Henrot by David Koh, head of acquisitions & production for Arthouse and partner Lilly Bright and her Curiously Bright Entertainment.The DVD set is due out in North America later in 2007.'It is an honor not
  • Arthouse takes on urban graffiti documentary Next

    Arthouse Films has taken all North American, Australian, New Zealand, and South African rights (without TV) to feature documentary Next: A Primer on Urban Painting.The film is director Pablo Aravena's first documentary feature and was co-produced by Aravena, Lovestreams & agnes b. and executive produced by Claude Girard and Nadja Romain. The deal was negotiated by David Koh, head of acquisitions and production fo
  • Artificial Eye picks up three Cannes Competition titles

    UK arthouse distributor Artificial Eye has acquired three Competition titles at Cannes.The company has picked up Cristian Mungiu's Romanian drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days from Wild Bunch, Catherine Breillat's Cannes Competition debut An Old Mistress from Pyramide International and Christophe Honore's Love Songs (Les Chansons d'Amour) from Alma Films. In another deal concluded at Cannes, Artif
  • Asia Pacific awards recruite Cheah and Hong-Joon

    The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, a collaboration with CNN International, UNESCO and the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), announced nine members of its nominations council yesterday (May 20).They included Philip Cheah, head of the Singapore International Film Festival, Azize Tan, director of the International Istanbul Film Festival, Anne Demy-Geroe, artistic director of the Brisbane International Film Festival, and Kim Hong-Joon, associate professor at t
  • Asia Pacific Screen Awards make Cannes bow

    The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, a collaboration with CNN International, UNESCO and the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), announced nine members of its nominations council yesterday (May 20).They included Philip Cheah, head of the Singapore International Film Festival, Azize Tan, director of the International Istanbul Film Festival, Anne Demy-Geroe, artistic director of the Brisbane International Film Festival, and Kim Hong-Joon, associate professor at t
  • Aspect takes rights to Bad Day - WWII

    New London-based sales company Aspect Film Limited, run by Hugh Edwards, have taken rights to Jerry G. Angelo and Jonathan Artemis Pierce's action drama feature Bad Day - WWII. Directed by Jerry G. Angelo and starring Christopher Showerman and Basil Hoffman, the film is about US and UK soldiers in occupied France during the winter of 1942. Producer Jonathan Artemis Pierce said,: 'Pierced Angels Productions is very happy to be working wit
  • Atlantic berth for Sundance director Toa Fraser

    Alan Harris, the ex-head of finance for Grosvenor Park, has several new projects in his slate at Atlantic Film Group, the UK-based company he runs with Nicole Dade.The first new film to shoot will be New Zealand director Toa Fraser following up his Sundance hit No. 2 with a project entitled My Talks With Dean Spanley, based on a 1936 novel. 'It's a period comedy about a reincarnated dog,' Da
  • AV Pictures' crocodile thriller Black Water sells widely

    Buyers are swarming round crocodile thriller Black Water, being sold by AV Pictures. Buyers snapping down on the film are The Works (UK), Brazil (PlayArte), Indonesia & Malaysia (Ram Indo), Middle East (Falcon Films), Philippines (Pioneer), Thailand (J-Bics) and Turkey (Horizon International) have also bitten on the film. Deals had previously been closed in Berlin for Japan (Presidio), Spain & Portugal (Notro Films) and Benelux (FEG). Other de
  • Back To Normandy (Retour A Normandie)

    Dir: Nicolas Philibert. Fr. 2006. 113 mins Any documentary is an act of remembrance. Back To Normandy has a special personal significance for director Nicolas Philibert because it allows him to return to the scene of his earliest filmmaking experiences and also to pay homage to his mentor Rene Allio. The film displays the curiosity and generosity of spirit that have come to characterise Philibert's work but the subject matter lacks the univer
  • Bavaria slides onto Finland's Black Ice

    Munich-based Bavaria Films International has picked up all rights outside of Finland and Norway to thriller Black Ice by Finnish director Petri Kotwica. Also in post-production on Bavaria's slate is Shadows (formerly titled Bones) by Macedonian auteur Milcho Manchevski (Before The Rain.)Bavaria is also taking the plunge
  • Belgian tax fund invests in two major co-productions

    Belgian tax fund Motion Investment Group (MIG) has raised finance for two co-productions - The Possibility of an Island and Disco.The first is a futuristic drama based on the potential for human cloning and marks the directorial debut of novelist Michel Houllebecq and starring Benoit Magimel,The film is produced by Mandarin films and co-produced by WAT Productions in
  • Belgian tax shelter looks shaky

    Is the Belgian tax shelter in danger' This week, the EU sent back proposals for the renewal of the shelter, the fiscal incentive that has provided a major boost to the local industry as well as supporting international production. It is understood that the EU had reservations about the lack of 'cultural' documentation in the renewal proposal.Producers in Cannes have expressed their alarm at the idea the tax shelter scheme (due for renewal at the end of June) may now be in jeopardy
  • BIG Media rides with Jingle Ma's Playboy Cops

    Hong Kong's BIG Media Group is joining forces with mainland Chinese digital cinema operator Time Antaeus to co-produce Jingle Ma's next project Playboy Cops.Chinese actor Chen Kun and Hong Kong's Shawn Yue are set to star in the $2.2m action comedy which is scheduled to start shooting at the end of June. Yue will play a Hong Kong cop with a rich but corrupt father working with a mainland cop who has inherited a fortune.Ma is also a
  • Big Sister dances with Johnny Clegg documentary

    South African musician Johnny Clegg is the subject of a major new feature documentary, The Last Dance Of A White Zulu. The film, due for release, is a French-South African co-production. It is being put together by French outfit Big Sister and Big World Cinema.The film will tell the story of how Clegg, a white kid growing up in the Apartheid era, became obsessed with the hidden world of Zulu migrant culture, formed the first non-racial band in
  • Black Book's Carice Van Houten to play South African writer

    Dutch actress Carice van Houten will play the lead role in the biopic Smoke and Ochre about revolutionary South-African writer Ingrid Jonker. Dutch company Riba Film is developing the project, which will shoot in 2008.Dutch director Paula van der Oest is directing the project, which will be her first English-language feature after previous films including Oscar nominated Zus & Zo.Riba is the lead pro
  • Blatant and Intandem partner on $100m comic book film fund

    LA producer Barry Levine and his film outfit Blatant Pictures have partnered with Gary Smith's UK company Intandem Films to raise a $100m film fund for big-screen adaptations of comic books from Blatant's sister company Radical Publishing.The first two projects are $35m action adventure Legends, to be directed by Patrick Tatopoulos of Tatopoulos Studios, and the $25m Medieval, from the graphic novel by Ian Edgington, described as an 11th century The Wild Bunch, which Til Schweiger will star in a
  • Bleiberg closes key sales on Kollrin title

    Bleiberg Entertainment has closed key sales here on Eran Kolirin's Un Certain Regard entry Band's Visit following a rapturous screening on Saturday night.The film's co-producer Sophie Dulac has taken French rights and plans to release on a minimum of 80 prints.Deals also closed in Italy (Mikado), Spain (Manga), Latin America (Swen Do Brazil), Australia and New Zealand (Madman), Greece (Audiovisual), and Switzerland (Xenix).
  • Blind Mountain (Mang Shan)

    Dir/scr/prod: Li Yang. Ch. 2007. 103 mins. Li Yang demonstrates once again that he is a master of cinematic tension with his second feature, Blind Mountain . Based on the widespread practice of bride trafficking in rural China, this harrowing but limpidly shot story of the abduction and sale of a young college student lacks the rich, character-driven plotting of Li's impressive debut, Blind
  • Brett Ratner and Quincy Jones team for Carnaval 3D

    Brett Ratner and Quincy Jones are teaming up on the US-Brazil co-production Carnaval 3D: The Magic And The Music.Jones will appear on camera profiling the high and low life surrounding the week-long Rio De Janeiro Carnaval. A portion of the film's profits will go improving the lives of impoverished Brazilian children and Hurricane Katrina victims.Ratner will begin filming this autumn in Brazil. Capitol Films is handling internation
  • Britdoc lines-up international funders for Pitching Forum

    July's Britdoc festival in Oxford has announced the line-up of documentary funders who have already committed to participate in Britdoc's Pitching Forum this year. They include Nancy Abraham from HBO, Christoph Jorg from ARTE, Cynthia Kane from ITVS, Orlando Bagwell from the Ford Foundation, Evan Shapiro from IFC, Andrea Meditch from Discovery Studio, Mark Atkin from SBS Australia, Yukari Hayashai from NHK Japan, Georgie Wheedon from Al Jazeera International, Cara Mertes from the Sundanc
  • Buena Onda works with Sardi and Max on Buena Onda Americas

    Miami-based producer Donald K. Ranvaud (Central Station, City Of God) is in Cannes with a slate of 10 films from the top young Latin-American talent. The new films are being packaged and produced through Ranvaud's new outfit Buena Onda Americas, which recently set up in association with Silvio Sardi Communications and Max Pictures.Films from Brazil, Bolivia, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Argentina and the US are being backed by the company. BOA h
  • Buyers fall for Arsenal's Timber

    Yarek Danielak's Arsenal Pictures has completed multiple territory sales on horror title Timber Falls, one of the first films in the four-picture deal with producer Arnold Rifkin.Rights have gone to Germany (Ascot), the UK and Scandinavia (Scanbox), Mexico (Gussi), Brazil (Playarte), and the Middle East (Phars).'We're very happy to be in business with Arsenal and we look forward to solidifying what we hope will become a long relati
  • Buyers take Control of Becker's hot Corbijn title

    Becker International has closed several deals for Anton Corbijn's hot Director's Fortnight opener Control. The new territories sold are Japan (Style Jam), Scandinavia (Atlanta), Brazil (Daylight), Poland (Gutek), Croatia (Continental Films), and Russia (Maywin Media). US negotiations are ongoing.The existing distributors already in place for the Ian Curtis biopic are the UK (Momentum), France (La Fabrique de Films), Benelux (Paradiso), Portugal (LNK), Greece (Art Free) an
  • California Dreamin' (Endless) wins Un Certain Regard

    The Un Certain Regard sidebar has awarded its top honour to Cristian Nemescu's California Dreamin' (Endless).The Romanian title stars Armand Assante and Jamie Elman and is handled by Mediapro Distribution. The Jury Prize went to Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi's second feature, Actresses, starring Mathieu Amalric, Jean-Hughes Anglade and the director. The film hails from the Wild Bunch stable. The Coup de Coeur awa
  • California Dreamin' (Nesfarsit)

    Dir. Cristian Nemescu. Romania, 2007. 155 min. Awarded the Un Certain Regard prize more for its intentions than the actual outcome, this unfinished picture by talented young Romanian director Nemescu, as shown in Cannes, is the rough cut of a film that might have looked entirely different once completed. But Nemescu, barely 27, was tragically killed in a car accident with his sound engineer, Andrei Toncu, and the mater
  • Charity amfAR comes on board for Dubai Film Festival

    The organisers of Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) have teamed up with amfAR, the American foundation for AIDS research.This year's festival, Dec 9-16, will host a version of the Cinema Against AIDS event, the star-studded fundraiser that's become an annual fixture at Cannes.DIFF chairman Abdulhamid Juma confirmed that Sharon Stone, amfAR's chairman of the campaign for AIDS research, will be hosting the event in the wealthy Gulf emirate, along with amfAR's chairma
  • Chase marks first Indian movie shot entirely in Italy

    India's Adlabs Films and production house ASP White are planning to shoot $5m action adventure Chase in Rome, marking the first time that an Indian feature has been entirely filmed in Italy. ASP White founder Anubhav Sinha will direct and is producing the film, which is scheduled to shoot in August/September, with Aditya Bhattacharya as executive producer. Most of the technical and artistic heads of department and crew will be Italian, along wi
  • China Film, Shougang Group set up digital cinema venture

    State-owned entertainment conglomerate China Film Group, Beijing-based state-owned engineering group Shougang Group and Hong Kong-based GDC Technology are setting up a joint venture to construct digital cinemas. The venture, China Film Shougang GDC Technology Digital Cinema Construction Ltd, plans to build 700 digital cinema screens in China by the end of the year. China Film will have a 51% stake in new company, while Shougang Group will hold a 49% share. Shougang Group is
  • Chop Shop

    Dir: Ramin Bahrani. US. 2007. 84 mins A flawlessly observed piece of street realism, and an unforgiving parable of American economic reality, Chop Shop is a compelling follow-up to Man Push Cart, Ramin Bahrani's 2005 debut. Using a non-professional cast to convincingly natural effect, the film follows in the tradition of Los Olvidados and Pixote as it recounts the turmoils of a 12-year-old boy fending for himself in the car repa
  • Chow's Star rises with Columbia collaboration

    Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia (CPFPA) has sealed a multi-picture production collaboration with Hong Kong filmmaker Stephen Chow's The Star Overseas. The two companies, which previously collaborated on Chow's hit action comedy Kung-fu Hustle, will work together on a series of niche films featuring emerging Asian talent both above and below the line. The first project under the new relationship will be
  • Cillian Murphy joins Bounty in hot 9 slate

    Cillian Murphy is poised to star in $9.4m dark comedy Perrier's Bounty, scripted by Mark O'Rowe and directed by Ian Fitzgibbon. A co-production between Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen's Number 9 Films and Alan Moloney's Parallel, the film will shoot in Spring 2008. Intandem is handling sales.Perrier's Bounty is one of a number of projects on Number 9's slate. In pre-production is Son of Eurovision, a feature docu
  • Cineclick's Eastern western conquers France

    Cineclick Asia has closed a flurry of deals headed by the sale of Kim Jee-woon's Oriental Western The Good, The Bad, and The Weird to ARP for French-speaking territories. After screening footage of the $11 million film, ARP pacted with Cineclick for a high-six-figure deal - relatively high for an Asian film in France.Three top Korean stars - Song Kang-ho (The Host), Lee Byung-hun (A Bittersweet Life), Jung Woo-sung (A Moment to Rem
  • Cinemavault closes deals for Outsourced

    Cinemavault has closed multiple territory sales here on John Jeffcoat's comedy Outsourced.Telemunchen has rights for German-speaking Europe to the story starring Josh Hamilton as a novelty product salesman who travels to India to train his replacement.Cinemavault also closed deals in: Australia (Starz), South Africa (Nu Metro), India (PVR Cinemas), Romania (ProTV), Israel (Nachshon), the former Yugoslavia (Discovery), the Middle East (ECS),
  • Cinexport starts sales for Algerian story Morituri

    Cinexport has taken on world sales for Morituri, and Cinexport president Anne-Marie Rombourg-Caraco is handling the project here in Cannes.Okacha Touita's thriller is based on the novel by Yasmina Khadra, set during Algeria's civil war in the 1990s.The cast features Miloud Khetib, Azzedine Bouraghda, Boualem Benani, Ahmed Benaissa, Rachid Fares, Malika Belbey, Sid Ali Kouiret, Sid Ahmed Agoumi and Ali Benmedjegraia.The story follows a police chief/novelist whose investigati
  • Companies sign up for London Finance Market

    Film London's new Production Finance Market (October 22-23), held in association with the Times BFI London Film Festival, has announced some major players who have confirmed their attendance, including Working Title, Focus Features, Paramount, Pathe, The Weinstein Company and StudioCanal.The market will address private film finance and new distribution avenues. Calls are now open for producers and financiers to apply. More than 100 international UK and interna
  • Control wins Europa Cinemas Label honour at Cannes

    Control, Anton Corbijn's biopic of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, was named the Europa Cinemas Label best European film in the Cannes' Directors' Fortnight section. Control will now receive the invaluable support of extended theatrical exposure and additional promotion from the Europa Cinemas network. The Directors' Fortnight Europa Cinemas Label jury consisted of Jean Chenu, Pekka Lanerva, Rola
  • Co-Production Office closes deals on Anderson film

    The Co-Production Office has closed multiple deals on new Roy Anderson You, The Living. Territories include Japan (Stylejam), France (Les Films Du Losange), Belgium (Lumiere), Germany (Neue Vision), Netherlands (Filmmuseum), Finland (Cinema Mondo), Poland (Gutek), Greece (Ama), and Korea (Sponge).Ulrich Seidl's Import/Export has gone to Belgium (Lumiere) Netherlands
  • Counterparts (Gegenueber)

    Dir: Jan Bonny. Ger. 2007. 96 mins. A study in midlife crisis verging on pathologic hysteria, Jan Bonny's debut may be of some interest to sympathetic psychoanalysts dealing in Freudian hang-ups but won't go far with audiences at large, who are bound to lose their patience with the two leading characters long before they do it themselves. Looking and feeling very much like a typical TV movie, it will not tarry long before reaching its destina
  • Craig to star in Flashbacks

    Daniel Craig has signed on to star in Baillie Walsh's Flashbacks Of A Fool, playing an ageing hedonistic Hollywood star who has to return to his roots in England. Craig will also executive produce. Arclight Films is handling international sales and Buena Vista International has acquired UK rights. The project will start shooting in South African and London from May 28.
  • Cronenberg swarms to executive produce Woodley's Drone

    David Cronenberg will executive-produce horror Drone, the next film by Aaron Woodley (being pre-sold in Cannes by Global Cinema Group.) The film is being produced by Joel B. Michaels and Garth H. Drabinsky.Drone, written by Jon Felson and Rusty Gorman, is based on a short story by TC Boyle. It is a psychological thriller about a young boy who has a disturbing obsession with bees. The film will shoot in Toro
  • Crook steals his way into Third World People

    Paris-based Chic Films has added Mackenzie Crook to the cast of its Kristin Scott Thomas romantic comedy Third World People.Antoine Desrosieres will direct the English-language French, South African and German co-production, about Europeans' views on third-world people.Other projects on Chic's line -up include the currently-shooting Black starring French rap artist MC Jean Gab'1 and Carole Karemera and Mika Kaurismaki's next feature, a Brazilian road movie written by Central Do Br
  • Cyclops and Little Mo forecast Hitler's Weatherman

    Pint-sized UK comedian Lee Evans (Mousehunt, There's Something About Mary) is to star as Adolf Hitler's personal meteorologist in $8m comedy, I Was Hitler's Weatherman, being produced by Cyclops Vision with Little Mo Films.The part of Hitler is under offer to Stanley Tucci.The film is scripted by Stuart Silver and by Evans. The director is Stuart Urban (Our
  • Dane Bornedal to deliver $5m thriller

    Prolific Danish film-maker Ole Bornedal (Deathwatch) is to direct Deliver Us From Evil, a $5m thriller due to shoot later in the year. Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) is poised to join the cast.Bornedal describes it as 'an extremely violent story' in which a family man is thrown together with a refugee who has survived torture and imprisonment in the Yugoslavian w
  • Days of Darkness shines for Studio Canal

    StudioCanal has sold Denys Arcand's closing night film Days Of Darkness to Bim in Italy, Golem in Spain and other territories including Greece, Portugal, Brazil, Israel, Iceland, Turkey, Belgium and Switzerland. Emir Kusturica's Promise Me This has gone to Badriti in Spain, Kinowelt in Germmany, Crystal in Canada, and about 10 other territories. Erick Zonca's J
  • De Lorenzo plans new June festival in Caserta, Italy

    Italian Organisers have announced plans for a new film festival to be held in Caserta at the Royal Palace Vanvitelliana and Royal Site Belvedere of St Leucio.Francesco De Lorenzo of Darkness Production has started the Drake International Film Festival, which will run June 23-30, with 'the aim of promoting the diffusion of digital and independent cinema.'The festival will also run an Italian Film Market for buyers and sellers. The DIFF will present 12 films in
  • Death Proof

    Dir/scr: Quentin Tarantino. USA 2007. 115 mins. Quentin Tarantino should go back to making films that matter. If the shorter, Grindhouse version of Death Proof, his hybrid slasher meets car chase homage to early 1970s B-movies, hinted that everyone's favourite cult director was running out of creative gas, the full-length Cannes edit leaves no shadow of a doubt. This 'director's cut' may run 27 minutes longer than the US-released version, but
  • Deficit

    Dir: Gael Garcia Bernal. Mex. 2007. 75 minutes. If sincere commitment and high spirits were enough, this first film by the supremely accomplished - even though still quite young - Mexican actor and heartthrob, Gael Garcia Bernal (Y Tu Mama Tambien, Motorcycle Diaries, Bad Education) would be a masterpiece. Alas, these ingredients, while surely desirable, aren't enough, and the film that results, despite its noble intentions, is never compelling and on
  • Deltamac snaps up Diving Bell, Lionsgate titles

    Hong Kong distributor Deltamac had a busy Cannes where it picked up competition film The Diving Bell And The Butterfly and two other titles. Julian Schnabel's French-language The Diving Bell And The Butterfly is produced by Pathe Renn and sold by Pathe Pictures International. Deltamac also pre-bought two titles from Lionsgate - Saw IV, the latest installment in the popular horror franchise, and Repo! The Genetic Opera, a sci-fi musical about attempts to
  • DiGiaimo and Mudge pact for three

    Barbara Mudge's Worldwide Film Entertainment has signed a three-picture deal with producer Lou DiGiaimo (Dinner Rush, Donnie Brasco). The titles are Piney Lake, Nebraska Fish & Game and Good Day Dying. Nick Stagliano (The Florentine) has signed to direct Piney Lake, which will start shooting
  • Distant Horizon takes North American rights to Flash Point

    Anant Singh's Distant Horizon has acquired North American rights to Hong Kong martial arts film Flash Point from Mandarin Films. This latest collaboration between director Wilson Yip Wai-shun and actor Donnie Yen, follows a cop and his undercover colleague trying to take down a ruthless gang of triads in 1997 Hong Kong. Yen also choreographed the action, which features a variety of martial arts styles. Louis Koo, Collin Chou, Shaol
  • Double Edge comes on board for King Of Fighters

    Taiwan's Double Edge Entertainment has boarded King Of Fighters: The Movie which it will jointly finance and produce with Japan's Micott & Basara and Arclight Films/Easternlight Films.Bobby Sheng, CEO of the Los Angeles and Taipei-based production and finance outfit, will produce alongside Axis Entertainment's Joseph Chou and Convergence Entertainment's Tim Kwok.The live-action adaptation of SNK Playmore's best-selling video game f
  • Dreamachine gets animated for three films

    Dreamachine has announced details of three animation projects Fear (s) Of The Dark is produced by Valerie Schermann and Christophe Jankovic of Prima Linea Productions with animators under the artistic directorship of Etienne Robial. Mia & Migoo, by Jacques-Remy Girerd. The film is produced by Folimage together with Jacques-Remy Girerd and Emmanuel Bernard. Meanwhile, Les Armateurs is currently in production on
  • Dubai's Frontrow makes strong start in Cannes market

    Dubai-based distributor Frontrow Films Entertainments has struck a number of deals here.Managing director Gianluca Chacra was the first distributor to pick up Rowan Woods’s LA-set drama Winged Creatures from Peace Arch (for the Middle East), currently in post-production. He’s also taken Meg Ryan/LL Cool J comedy The Deal from Peace Arch, and Poor Things
  • EFP names members of board, adding Simon Perry

    During the Cannes Film Festival, European Film Promotion members elected a new board of directors at its general assembly. The six-member board serves for two years.The board is now comprised of:Germany's Christian DorschSpain's Pilar Torre Germany's Renate Rose The Netherlands' Claudia Landsberger Switzerland's Francine Brücher Hungary's Éva Vezer Ireland's Simon PerryClaudia Landsberger was again elected President of EFP, Chris
  • Endgame to produce A Chorus Line documentary

    Jim Stern's Endgame Entertainment will produce and finance the documentary Every Little Step: The Journey Of A Chorus Line about the making and revival of the Broadway hit.Stern and Adam Del Deo will co-direct and produce and WMi is handling worldwide rights here on A Chorus Line's famously tumultuous career. The film-makers will cull behind-the-scenes footage of rehearsals and performances from the
  • English-language debut for Kiarostami

    Cannes veteran Abbas Kiarostami is to make his his 24th film and first English-language production.The $6m MK2 production Certified Copy is set in Italy, and stars Juliette Binoche. Producer Marin Karmitz told Screen International they were looking to cast an English actor to play the lead role, James, a 50-year-old writer in Italy to launch his latest book, about the relationship between or
  • Erik Lomis takes senior international role at MGM

    Erik Lomis has been appointed executive vice president ofinternational theatrical and home entertainment at MGM.Lomis, who has served in a consultant capacity to MGM, joins thestudio formally to oversee the marketing and distribution of theinternational theatrical and home entertainment releases, which arehandled by Fox.He will be the primary executive working closely with the worldwideteam at Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment as well
  • European film-makers debate digital future

    European policy-makers and film-makers will debate the future of film in a digital world at an event on Europe Day in Cannes (Saturday May 26).The event is a chance to consider the rapid changes that have been or will be brough about by new media developments.The challenges of a new digital age are at the forefront of European film policy making, according to EU commissioner For Information Society And Media Viviane Reding, who is one of the key figures for the event.
  • European MEDIA Programme plans investment in VOD and digital

    MEDIA 2007 is setting aside $5.4m(Euros 4m) this year to invest in Video On Demand and Digital Cinema Distribution. The money will be invested in six projects, with applications open until July 9 and services expected to be running by June 2008.'We think it is important that Europe gets off on the right foot and that we don't end as we did in DVD with an 80% US market share in DVD,' the Media Programme's Aviva Silver said. 'We want the European industry to wak
  • F&ME strikes with White Lightnin'

    Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) the London-based production and distribution outfit run by Mike Downey and Sam Taylor, has begun production on three feature films all shooting in the US and with a fourth slated to start in October in Canada.Headlining the slate is the debut feature from Dominic Murphy, White Lightnin': The Jesco White Murders, which has begun pre-production and is set to start shooting in North Carolina on July 30.Suppo
  • Fernandes makes Anxious follow-up to Magnus

    UK-based producer Donal Fernandes whose first production Magnus is playing in Un Certain Regard is currently in advanced stages of post-production on black comedy Anxious Dave.Fernandes who wrote and directed the $190,000 UK-production, describes Anxious Dave as 'a scary film about loneliness that evolves into a comedy'. The film, which is being made through Anxious Dave Productions, was shot before Fernandes became involved in the production of Magnus, is due for completion in August.UK-Estonia
  • Film London says London shooting up 42% in last three years

    Film London said that filming in the UK capital has grown 42% over the last three years. The figures represent shoots for film, TV and commercials in all of London's 33 boroughs. There were a record1 3,802 filming days in 2006, making London the third-busiest production city in the world. The borough of Westminster led the way with 2,310 days of filming.Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London said: 'London is enjoying an unprecedented boom for filming. The London Filming Partner
  • Film4 locks into Winterbottom's new five-year prison project

    Film4 is on board for a new project from Michael Winterbottom, entitled 7 Days. The film for Channel 4 TV is based on the fictionalised story of a UK prison inmate and his relationship with his wife and four children. John Simm, who Winterbottom worked with on 24 Hour Party People and Wonderland, will play the inmate and Shirley Henderson, who also appeared in Wonderland, will play his wife.The drama will combine documentary and fiction and will be shot over five years, to enable
  • First Star plans its Boer War Siege

    New York-based First Star Pictures is in Cannes unveiling Siege Of O'Kiepe, a $37m epic set during the Boer War of 1901. The project will shoot in 2008 in Australia and South Africa with producers Olivier French and Bruce Bisbey. Bisbey also wrote the screenplay.The movie is set in the South African mining town when the Dutch settlers battled for independence from the British Empire. Bisbey got the idea for the project while working on Flight Of t
  • Fortissimo fires up Wong Kar Wai's Ashes sales

    Wong Kar Wai's Ashes Of Time Redux is proving to be a hot seller at Cannes with Fortissimo Films closing deals with Germany's Splendid, Brazil's Imagem Filmes and Svensk Filmindustri for Scandinavia, among other territories. Poland's Monolith, Turkey's D Productions and Romania's Media Rights have also snapped up Wong's reworking of his 1994 martial arts classic, which Sony Pictures Classics acquired at the start of the market. For
  • France's new culture minister Albanel pays tribute to Cannes

    Although it was widely rumored that France's newly elected president, Nicolas Sarkozy, would make a red carpet appearance in Cannes, he instead sent a note along with the country's new culture minister, Christine Albanel. On Sunday night, the evening of Cannes' 60th anniversary celebration, the minister read a tribute addressed to festival president Gilles Jacob which began, 'In 60 years, you, which is to say, the festi252val that you embody, have given birth to legends.' The lett
  • Garage

    Dir: Lenny Abrahamson. Ir. 2007. 85 mins.Calling Garage a 'small' film would be true enough, but the Hope diamond, all things considered, is awfully small as well. Both, in any case, are gems. The second feature of director Lenny Abrahamson, following his well-received debut film Adam & Paul, which won a slew of awards in the UK in 2005, Garage is an ultra-minimalist drama about a sweet and gentle man named Josie (Shortt) who works in a gar
  • Germans woo Cannes producers with film fund

    The German film industry has been in Cannes bullishly promoting its 'lean, straightforward' new Federal Film Fund to an audience of international producers. The Fund, worth $240 (Euros 180m) from 2007 to 2009, is open to international co-productions. In the five months of its existence, it has already backed 24 projects, spending around $23.4m (Euros 17.4m). This has included a $12m (Euro 9m) grant to the Wachowski brothers' Speed Racer
  • Global Entertainment buys remake rights for Hungarian comedy

    Australian company Global Entertainment has purchased English-language remake rights of Hungarian romantic comedy S.O.S. Love! 'It is a great script and a great story,' said Scowcroft. 'It has universal appeal - everyone wants to be loved.' Global Entertainment's Stuart Scowcroft and Rezso Bodonyi said that they had purchased English-language remake rights from World Film Entertainment for 'a reasonable sum'. The Australian and Hungar
  • Go Go Tales

    Dir/scr: Abel Ferrara. It/US. 2007. 96 mins Abel Ferrara , king of New York low-life drama, slips into more benign mode than usual with Go Go Tales, a good-natured but somewhat half-baked evocation of life backstage at a lap dancing club. The ensemble comedy, with its decided stylistic debt to Robert Altman, might best be characterised as A Prairie Home Companion
  • Golden Harvest rings L's bells

    Hong Kong-based Golden Harvest Entertainment has pre-bought Hong Kong and Taiwanese rights to Nippon Television Network's upcoming Death Note spin-off which has the working title L. The original Death Note and its sequel grossed more then $67m in Japan. The spin-off, directed by Hideo Nakata and starring Kenichi Matsuyama, is scheduled to start shooti
  • Gonzalo Tobal takes top prize in Cannes Cinefondation

    The Cannes Cinefondation, which promotes the discovery of new filmmakers, has awarded prizes for this year's edition to Now Everybody Seems To Be Happy from Argentina's Gonzalo Tobal (first prize), Way Out from Chen Tao of China (second prize) and a joint third prize to A Reunion from South Korea's Hong Sung-Hoon and Pavle Vuckovic of Serbia for Minus . The Cinefondation was created in 1998 and yearly selects films from film schools the world over.
  • Graham King extends realm with GK Film

    Graham King, Oscar-winning producer of The Departed, Blood Diamond and The Aviator, has launched a new production company GK Films. At the same time, he has signed a three-year extension of his overall production deal with Warner Bros Pictures and extended his production deal with Johnny Depp's Infinitum Nihil.The new deal gives Warner Bros a first-look option on films produced under the GK
  • H20 closes Cannes sales on Poor Things and Opium

    H20 Motion Pictures has closed multiple territories on the dark comedy Poor Things and the psychological drama Opium. Poor Things has sold to South America (IDC), Portugal (Castello Lopes), Israel (Forum Films), Poland (Monolith), the Middle East (Front Row), Romania and Bulgaria (New Films), and Hungary and the Czech Republic (Revolutionary Films). Ashley Baron Cohen is directing and the project stars Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Lin
  • Halcyon Pictures branches out into UK distribution

    Halcyon Pictures, Chris Coen's production and financing company which most recently produced Michael Haneke's Funny Games, is to start its own UK distribution arm Halcyon Distribution. The company will start operations by releasing its own production Wristcutters: A Love Story and teaming with Tartan Films to release Funny Games. Coen has enlisted
  • Hyde Park make big hits with Streetfighter

    Hyde Park International (HPI) has closed major territory sales on Streetfighter headed by a UK deal with Entertainment. Rights have gone to Brazil (Swen), CIS and Baltics (MGN), Spanish speaking Latin America (Gussi), Portugal (Lusomundo), South Africa (Nu Metro), Eastern Europe (Modus Vivendi), Middle East (Phars), Philippines (Pioneer), Thailand (M Pics), and Turkey (Aqua Pinema).HPI sales chief Lisa Wilson confirmed that Metropol
  • IFC swoops on Cannes official selections

    IFC has swooped on Cristian Mungui's Romanian competition entry 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days and Hou Hsiao-Hsien's Un Certain Regard opener Flight Of The Red Balloon.Both films will be released in North America through IFC'ssimultaneous theatrical and VOD distribution platform IFC First Take.Abortion drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days takes place in the fina days of communism in Romania and stars Anamaria Marinca and Laura Va
  • IM Global celebrates 'exceptional' debut Cannes

    IM Global president Stuart Ford has reported an 'exceptional' market debut for the company on the back of roaring sales on Stopping Power and Untitled Larry Charles Project. A major US distributor has picked up North America and all English-speaking territories to Jan de Bont's upcoming action title in a deal that will be announced shortly. Ford said he was in advan
  • Import Export

    Dir: Ulrich Seidl. Aust. 2007. 135 mins.Very much in the vein of his best-known film, Dog Days (2001), Austrian auteur and documentarian Ulrich Seidl continues in this, his first fiction film in 6 years, to explore the darker aspects of human existence. His unremittingly depressing view of the human condition will not be appreciated by the many who prefer their reality with the rough edges smoothed off, but others will revel in the deep truth and im
  • Independent books more Hallam Foe deals for Korea and Portugal

    Independent has closed a slew of new deals on David Mackenzie's Hallam Foe starring Jamie Bell.Territories sold during Cannes include the US (Magnolia), Korea (Jin Jin Pictures), Portugal (LNK), Benelux (Indies) and Israel (Orlando Films).Buena Vista International will release in the UK in summer 2007, followed by other major territories including Germany (Prokino) and Scandinavia.Independent's Cannes slate also include
  • Inferno prepares dog story remake with Richard Gere

    Los Angeles-based Inferno Distribution is gearing up for a September shoot on the English language remake Hachiko: A Dog's Story with Richard Gere attached to star.Bill Johnson and Jim Seibel's financing, production and sales company acquired remake rights to the 1987 Japanese drama Hachiko Monogatari from Shochiku and is financing and pre-selling international rights here.The project will s
  • Inmoa kicks up Bright Star and Get Some

    Korean importer/distributor Inmoa Entertainment has picked up Bright Star from Pathe Pictures International and Get Some from Summit Entertainment.Thomas Kim, president of international business at Inmoa, said he picked up Bright Star because 'it's directed by Jane Campion, who does love stories well, and it stars Ben Whishaw from
  • Irish Film Board backs new Glawogger film

    The Irish Film Board has committed $404,785 (Euros 300,000) to Michael Glawogger's new feature, Das Vaterspiel, about a man developing a computer game in which players kill their fathers. The investment comes as the Irish Film Board (IFB) moves more aggressively into co-production. The idea is that the body will invest in films from other countries on a quid pro quo basis.Das Vaterspiel's German prod
  • Italy moves into CGI with Winx Club's Lost Kingdom

    Italy is moving en force into CGI animation with a Euros 25m feature based on the hugely successful original animated TV series Winx Club produced by Rainbow, RAI Cinema and RAI TV.Winx Club the Secret of the Lost Kingdom, present at the Cannes market has had multiple sales including Independent Film for Benelux, Turkey’s Filma, with deals in the final negotiation phases for France, Portugal, Greece, Eastern Europe and Russia, Brazil and Singapore, Rainbow’s CEO Iginio Straffi tol
  • JA Media unveils debut five-picture slate

    Start-up Chinese production outfit JA Media has unveiled plans to invest $200m in film and TV production over the next five years, along with details of its debut $30m five-picture slate. Hong Kong filmmakers Stanley Kwan, Tsui Hark, Ann Hui and Stephen Fung are lined up to direct projects for the company, along with Taiwan's Cheng Hsiao Zer. Kwan, who JA Media has hired as a consultant to oversee its production strategy, is lined up to direct a $12m biopic of Bruce Lee for the co
  • Japanese master filmmaker Kei Kumai dies aged 76

    Kei Kumai, one of Japan 's most respected directors, died of a brain hemorrhage in the morning of May 23 at the age of 76. Born on June 1, 1930, in Nagano Prefecture, Kumai attended Shinshu University. After graduation, he became an assistant director on independent films before joining Nikkatsu Studios in 1954 where he continued working as an AD and screenwriter. He made his directing debut in 1964 with The Long Death (Teigin Jiken: Shikeishu), based on the case of
  • Kadison moves to Fox Atomic from Gold Circle

    Former Gold Circle senior vice president of production Zak Kadison has joined Fox Atomic as vice president of production.Kadison will report to Fox Atomic president of production Debbie Liebling. One of his first projects will be Larry Doyle's I Love You, Beth Cooper, produced by 1492 Pictures.At Gold Circle Kadison oversaw projects including Joel Schumacher's upcoming supernatural thriller Town Cr
  • Kensani starts first institutionally backed South African fund

    Kensani Entertainment, a subsidiary of Kensani Capital has announced details of the first institutionally backed film fund in South Africa.The Kensani Film & Television Fund (KEF) will make available an initial sum of R200 million ($28.5m) for the production and acquisition of film and television projects to be made or part-made in South Africa, reflecting total aggregate production budgets of up to R 2/3 billion ($95m). The fund has entered into an exclusive relationship
  • Kimmel catches sales on Cannes slate

    Kimmel International has closed key deals on its new Cannes films, kicking off with Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut Synecdoche, New York which went to Asmik Ace in Japan and Bim in Italy.Meanwhile Kimmel sales chief Mark Lindsay reported that MovieEye in Japan and Senator in Germany bought Tarsem Singh's political thriller Unthinkable, and On Pictures in Spain picked up both Unthinkable and renaissa
  • Kimmel closes Japan and Italy on Kaufman's Synecdoche

    Kimmel International has closed key deals on its new Cannes films, kicking off with Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut Synecdoche, New York which went to Asmik Ace in Japan and Bim in Italy.Meanwhile Kimmel sales chief Mark Lindsay reported that MovieEye in Japan and Senator in Germany bought Tarsem Singh's political thriller Unthinkable, and On Pictures in Spain picked up both Unthinkable and renaissanc
  • Kiriyama makes directing debut on Yoroi

    Japanese scriptwriter Isao Kiriyama, a regular collaborator with cult director Ryuhei Kitamura, is set to make his directing debut on horror project Yoroi for Gaga Communications. Kitamura has developed the project which he will also produce alongside Ring producer Shinya Kawai. The story revolves around a hostage family on the run from samurai zombies. Kitamura shot to international recogniti
  • Korea's Sponge makes most expensive Cannes deal

    Korean arthouse specialist Sponge Entertainment has made its most expensive pick-up to date, with the $20m Death Note spin-off L from NTV. The film, which saw heated bidding, is due for release this coming February across Asia. Sponge has picked up three more Competition titles - Sokourov's Alexandra from Rezo, Kursturica's Promise M
  • Larry Charles' Borat follow-up bags sales

    Freshly minted sales agency IM Global has closed key territory sales on the Untitled Larry Charles Project following a packed buyers presentation on Friday evening.A torrent of North American acquisitions executives poured into the sales and distribution company's Riviera offices to watch 10 minutes from Charles' highly anticipated Borat follow-up.Within one hour of screening footage, IM Global president Stuart Ford had sold rights to Italy, Latin America, Russia, Scandin
  • Latido pre-sells The Horn Of Plenty to CNC

    Spanish sales outfit Latido has pre-sold The Horn Of Plenty, directed by Juan Carlos Tabio (Guantemara, Strawberry and Chocolate), to Belgium (CNC).Latido has also sold its Arnold Schwarzenegger documentary Running With Arnold to Madman (Australia) and Turkey (Barbar) and is in advanced negotiations with Italy, Switzerland and German. The Spanish comp
  • Lebanese films start to take the spotlight in Cannes

    Lebanon, unlike most other Arab nations this year, is having a good Cannes. Besides Danielle Arbid's A Lost Man and Nadine Labaki's hot Caramel in Directors' Fortnight, and a showcase of recent productions as part of Tous les Cinemas du Monde, the state-funded Fondation Liban Cinema is promoting a raft of titles in development and pre-production. The level of creative output is extraordinary given the country's rec
  • Lightning strikes on Bonneville deal

    Aimee Schoof and Isen Robbins have partnered with Los Angeles production and sales company New Films International (NFI) to build aslate of up to 10 films a year.The producing duo, formally of New York-based Intrinsic Value Films,teamed with NFI on the recent thriller The Alphabet Killer, which isin post-production and available to buyers here.NFI will finance and co-produce four films this year budgeted up to
  • Little Film sees future in Meyers partnership

    The Little Film Company is partnering with producer Lawrence Steven Meyers on Air And Fire and Serendipity Starlight.Ludivine Sagnier, Val Kilmer and Vincent Perez will star in the Rupert Thomson adaptation Air And Fire, about a clairvoyant woman who relocates with her husband to Mexico and falls for a Mexican General.Mexico's Alejandro Springall will direct from John Sayles and Alejandro Springall's adapted screenplay. Jay Cohen will produce with Meyers and Robbie Little is serving as executive
  • Lohan and Dawson join grandma gang

    Lindsay Lohan and Rosario Dawson have joined the cast of Poor Things, the upcoming dark comedy inspired by the wave of 'grandma gang' scams in the US.Olympia Dukakis and Shirley MacLaine - together for the first time since 1989's Steel Magnolias - star as elderly con artists in the debut feature from Robert Hickman's Still Rolling Productions. Channing Tatum, who starred in the global hit dance drama Step Up.Lohan will play the wom
  • Luke G-Jones goes green with Cool Hand

    Luke G-Jones, the former head of co-production and finance at New Films International, has launched an innovative 'carbon credit' scheme for film production via his LA-based Cool Hand International.Cool Hand, says G-Jones, is a carbon-neutral company and any film in which he gets involved will be a carbon-neutral production. The Cool Hand International Energy Fund will issue Cool Hand energy credits to productions which will be banked and monetized back to film-makers when they are sold
  • Lupovitz lines up Podeswa, Evans, Palmer projects

    LA-based producer Dan Lupovitz, executive producer on Death Defying Acts starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Guy Pearce and one of the producers on the currently-shooting Good with Viggo Mortenson, has lined out a slate of international projects here from film-makers including Jeremy Podeswa, Marc Evans and hot UK commercials directors Chris Palmer and Kevin Thomas.Lupovitz, whose previous credits include
  • Madman buys Imagi's animated Highlander

    Madman Entertainment has acquired rights for Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to Imagi International Holdings' Highlander: The Search For Vengeance.The first animated feature in the 20-year-old Highlander franchise, the film is directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri.Starz Media has US and UK rights while Tohokushinsha pre-bought Japanese rights. Hong Kong and LA-based Imagi also produced recen
  • Madman picks up six including Flight Of Red Balloon

    Distributor Madman Entertainment has picked a slew of titles in Cannes for Australia/New Zealand distribution.Madman has struck deals for Hou Hsiao-Hsien's Un Certain Regard opener Flight Of The Red Balloon along with Albert Lamorisse's classics Le Ballon Rouge and Crin-Blanc, all from Films Distribution.Also, Madman bought Bleiberg Entertainment's UCR title The Band's Visit.Also, the distributor has added two Sundance award winners: Manda Bala sold by Celsius and War Dance
  • Magicians

    Dir: Andrew O'Connor. UK-US. 2007. 90mins.These are boom times for British TV comedy. There is a wealth of talent working on the small screen. The continuing paradox is that so few of the best British comedians (Sasha Baron Cohen notwithstanding) make a successful transition to cinema. Magicians, made by the team behind the popular Channel 4 series Peep Show, is the latest in an increasingly long line of underwhelming British comedies featuring TV talent.
  • Magnus

    Dir/scr: Kadri Kousaar. Est/UK 2007. 86 mins Seamy low life, chic depression and off-the-wall humour make a heady if uneven mixture in the debut feature by Estonia's Kadri Kousaar. Magnus presents a morose, sometimes blackly witty view of life in contemporary Estonia from the point of view of a suicidal young man and his father. This intense, downbeat fiction proves to
  • Maths murders add up for Filmworks partners

    Odeon and Sky have announced The Oxford Murders, from cult director Alex de la Iglesia and starring Elijah Wood and John Hurt, as the second release under their new joint venture Odeon Sky Filmworks.Based on Guillermo Martinez's award winning novel, Oxford Murders sees Hurt and Wood star alongside each other as student and professor. The duo join forces to try and stop a number of murders, which are mysteriously linked by mathematical symbols.Odeon Sky Filmworks was set up in 2006 by broadcaster
  • Max crosses Borderline to Korea

    Roger Frappier's Montreal-based Max Films International has pre-sold Lynn Charlebois' Borderline to Lime Tree Entertainment for Korea. The film, now in post-production, is due to be delivered in October. A five-minute promo reeling has been screening in the market.Borderline, is a drama about a woman at three different stages in her life, based on the novel by Marie-Sissi Labreche, stars Isabelle Blais and Jean-Hugues Anglade. The
  • Medb Films strikes three-picture Target deal with Brenda Blethyn project

    Target Entertainment has signed a three-picture deal with Jan Dunn and Elaine Wickham's UK-based Medb Films. Target's Alison Rayson will executive produce the films, which Dunn will direct and Wickham will produce.The first under the deal is The Calling, Dunn's story about a university student who suddenly decides to become a Benedictine nun. Brenda Blethyn and Susannah York and Rita Tushingman have committed to the project and talks are ongoi
  • Melbourne festival starts networking event for producers

    The Melbourne International Festival (MIFF) has established an international film networking event which will take place at the beginning of this year's festival from July 26 to 28.Called 37 South: Bridging The Gap, the event is designed to bring together Australian film producers with a range of potential partners.Up to ten international sales agents, producers and financiers will be invited to Melbourne to meet established and new film-makers from Australia. The event i
  • Memento to produce Glatzer and Westmoreland's Sunland

    Quinceanara directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland will explore the dark side of the American dream in their next project, Sunland to be produced by France's Memento Films Production.The Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning duo will shoot the film in autumn 2007 in California. The film is slated to be ready for Cannes next year. The story surrounds a wealthy American man in his 40s who
  • Menahem Golan brings Festival to Cannes

    Cannes veteran Menahem Golan is to direct Holocaust comedy Le Grand Festival, starring Gerard Depardieu. The film, set up as an Austria/Italy/Hungary/Israel co-production begins shooting in Budapest in August. Producers are Norbert Blecha, Laura Susanne Ruedeberg, Jeno Hodi, and Doran Eran. The executive producer is Bernhard Wolschlager. In the film, Depardieu plays the director of a music festival in spa town, Badenheim, somewhere in Austria.Depardieu and Go
  • Miramax dives deep for Schnabel's competition title Diving Bell

    Miramax films has struck a deal for all North American rights to Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell And The Butterfly (Le Scaphandre Et Le Papillon), the well-received Cannes competitor sold by Pathe Pictures International.Sources put the value of the deal at about $3m. The film has been the subject of one of the hottest bidding battles of Cannes this year.Before the market has even begun, Pathe Pictures International had reported a
  • Mister Lonely

    Dir: Harmony Korine. UK/Fr/Ire/USA. 2006. 112 mins It's a playful, romantic Harmony Kormine who emerges for inspection with Mister Lonely, his first film as a director since Julien Donkey Boy in 1999. The story of a lonely Michael Jackson impersonator who finds a fleeting tenderness with a Marilyn Monroe impersonator seems to bring out the lighter side of the erstwhile enfant terrible and possesses reserves of offbeat, goofball charm.
  • Momentum takes UK and Spain for Zwick's Defiance

    In Cannes, Momentum Pictures has taken UK and Spanish rights to Defiance, the WWII action drama being planned by Ed Zwick.Bedford Falls and Grosvenor Park are producing and financing. As previously reported, Daniel Craig will star in the film, based on the true story of four brothers who built an armed resistance of Jewish fighters. Richard Napper, Momentum's managing director Europe, said: 'With such an epic script and strong talent attached we are very excited to be wor
  • Monsoon and IdtV make first co-production with Nadra

    Singapore production company Monsoon Pictures and Dutch filmmakers IdtV Film are joining forces to co-produce $6.5m drama Nadra.The project, which marks the first co-production between Singapore and the Netherlands, tells the true story of a 13-year-old Dutch girl at the centre of a fierce custody battle between her birth parents and Malay adoptive mother.The controversial case erupted into riots between Muslims and Christians in 1
  • Muhe and Tukur join cast of One Woman

    Ulrich Muhe and Ulrich Tukur, two of the stars of Oscar-winner The Lives Of Others, are to appear alongside Marie Bonnevie (The Banishment) in One Woman. The $3.5m drama written and directed by Mauricio Mendiola, will offer a fictionalised history of Monika Ertl, a heroine of the Bolivian revolution.Monika is a young German woman who moved to Bolivia after the Second World War with her family. Her father, a German filmmaker for the Third Reich, is friends with Klaus Altman (who turns
  • Murphy to star in $9.4m comedy Perrier's Bounty

    Cillian Murphy is poised to star in $9.4 million dark comedy Perrier's Bounty, scripted by Mark O'Rowe (Intermission) and directed by Ian Fitzgibbon. A co-production between Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen's Number 9 Films and Alan Moloney's Parallel, the film will shoot in Spring 2008. Intandem is handling sales.Perrier's Bounty is one of a number of new projects being pushed Number 9's slate.In pre-production is Son of
  • Myriad closes more deals on Death Defying Acts

    Myriad Pictures has sold the romantic adventure Death Defying Acts starring Guy Pearce and Catherine Zeta-Jones to Italy (Eagle), South Korea (Screen) and Brazil (Imagem).Rights also went to Mexico (Gussi), Scandinavia (Nordisk), Russia and The Baltics (Pyramid), Greece (Audiovisual), Israel (Shapira), Portugal (LNK), Eastern Europe (AQS), Indonesia (PT Camila), the Middle East (Prime Pictures), and Canada (Equinoxe).As previously a
  • Myriad previews Dario Argento's long awaited The Third Mother

    Journalists got the first glimpse of the graphic trailer of Italian horror master Dario Argento's long-awaited film The Third Mother, the final chapter of The Mother of Tears trilogy, in Cannes. The film has its market debut for international sales handled by Myriad Pictures.Italy's Medusa produced Mother (in post), and will distribute it in Italy on 300 screens. The
  • Nadine Labaki attracts buyer buzz with debut feature Caramel

    Nadine Labaki shot Caramel - now attracting buyer buzz in Cannes after its Directors Fortnight debut -- in Beirut in late spring 2006, when the troubled city was in buoyant mood following the departure of the Syrian army. 'The timing was so fortuitous, something of a miracle,' says producer Anne-Dominique Toussaint. A week after the wrap party, Israeli bombers were overhead. With the airport besieged, it was September before Labaki could begin post-production in Paris. Caramel, Labaki's
  • Nassiri launches peace film and initiatives in Cannes

    Singer/songwriter, philanthropist and world peace activist Nassiri is launching his global peace initiative in Cannes.The programme falls into five key initiatives: the world premiere tomorrow of a 12 minute short film Love Sees No Colour sung in 15 languages by children in 18 countries and filmed by 18 directors; World Peace Day at AmPav on Wednesday; the launch of the Want Peace' leisure wear and sports collection; the launch of the NASSIRI World
  • New German $242m fund already backs 24 projects

    The Germans were in bullish mood in Cannes yesterday, talking up their 'lean, straightforward' new Federal Film Fund to an audience of international producers. The Fund, worth $242m (180m) Euros from 2007 to 2009, is open to international co-productions. In the five months of its existence, it has already backed 24 projects, spending around $23.2m (17.4m Euros).This has included a 9m Euro grant to the Wachowski brothers' Speed Racer - 5m Euros more than the usual limit of
  • New Line maps Compass rollout on Rings blueprint

    New Line Cinema has set the release schedule for its epic $150m adventure movie The Golden Compass, almost exactly duplicating the rollout of The Fellowship Of The Ring in 2001. The film is having a major promotional launch today, just as Fellowship did at Cannes 2001, with a press conference and photo call as well as a screening of 20 minutes of footage. Director Chris Weitz and stars incl
  • Night Bus drives to UK and Korea

    Italy's Intramovies has sold Night Bus (Notturno Bus) to ACMEInternational Investments for the UK with theatrical release through Maiden Voyage Pictures and to K& Entertainment for South Korea.A debut film by Davide Marengo, Night Bus is an action comedy starring Giovanna Mezzogiorno and Valerio Mastrandrea. Producers are Maura Vespini and Sandro Silvestri for EMME.
  • Niki Caro uncorks Vintner's Luck

    Niki Caro (Whale Rider) will direct a screen adaptation of The Vintner's Luck. Caro scripted with Joan Scheckel from the New Zealand novel of the same name by Elizabeth Knox. The cast is led by Jeremie Renier (The Child), Gaspard Ulliel (Young Hannibal), Vera Farmiga (The Departed
  • Nordisk pre-buys three hot titles including Pompeii

    Nordisk Film has struck Cannes deals for a number of films, including Roman Polanski's forthcoming $130m Pompeii. Nordisk also bought Der Baader-Meinhof Komplex, based on the true story of German terrorists. Stefan Aust, author of the book of the same name, will write the script with producer Bernd Eichinger. Uli Edel will direct and Martina Gedeck will star.Nordisk also pre-bought
  • Nu Image to distribute Balkan Beats worldwide

    Nu Boyana is today signing a cooperation agreement with Bulgaria's National Film Center on Balkan Beats, a Bulgarian-English language comedy.Balkan Beats will be shot mainly in English with talent from Bulgaria and nearby Balkan countries. Director Zornitsa-Sophia previously wrote and directed the 2004 feature Milla From Mars, which wo
  • Palme d'Or winner Wajda plans September release for Katyn

    Polish director Andrej Wajda will premiere his new film Katyn Sept. 17 at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. 'It's a personal story for me because my father was killed in Katyn,' Wajda told Screen International.Katyn (Post-Mortem) examines the Katyn massacre of 1940, in which Soviet troops killed thousands of Polish POWs - members of intelligentsia drafted into the Polish army. 'It starts in '39 and e
  • Paranoid Park

    Dir/scr: Gus Van Sant. US-Fr. 2007. 85mins.Gus Van Sant is such a consummate filmmaker, so in love with the visual and aural texture of the medium, that it's difficult at first to pinpoint the niggling problem with Paranoid Park, his most experimental feature to date. It's not that Van Sant offers style over substance, because Van Sant more than anyone teaches us that, in the right hands, style is substance. But still, there's something over-tricksy
  • Pearce, Neill and Beresford on Reliant Pictures International roster

    Reliant Pictures International headed by London-based managing director Penny Wolf has been meeting with buyers at its inaugural Cannes to introduce a diverse slate featuring projects with Guy Pearce, Sam Neill and Bruce Beresford.Pearce and Neill are about to begin shooting alongside Miranda Otto on the Australian thriller How To Change In Nine Weeks.Simone North will direct from her own screenplay about an Australian teenager gri
  • Perlmutter appointed to top post at Canada's NFB

    Tom Perlmutter has been appointed to the top position at Canada's National Film Board (NFB). Perlmutter, who joined the NFB in 2001 as the director general of the English programme, was elevated to the position of government film commissioner and chairman of the NFB. The appointment was made by Canadian Heritage minister Beverly Oda on Thursday. He replaces outgoing supremo Jacques Bensimon, whose term ended in December.A veteran of the Canadian film scene before his NFB
  • Persepolis

    Dir: Mariane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud. Fr. 2007. 94 mins.
  • Persepolis to have English-language makeover from SPC

    Sony Pictures Classics is set to record an English-language version of Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's warmly received Cannes competition title Persepolis, an animated project based on Satrapi's bestselling graphic novels.Catherine Deneuve, who plays the role of the mother in the French version, is re-recording her part this summer, joined by Gena Rowlands as the feisty grandmother. Other cast members are yet to be announced.Satrapi
  • Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End

    Dir: Gore Verbinski. US. 2007. 167mins.Disney's Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy coasts to its conclusion with At World's End, a third instalment that adds nothing very exciting to the franchise's formula but spins out the familiar elements with just about enough energy and inventiveness to warrant an almost three-hour running time. With Johnny Depp and his co-stars all returning, the new effects-enhanced swashbuckling adventure should
  • Ploy

    Dir/scr: Pen-ek Ratanaruang. Thai. 2007. 105 mins. Thai auteur Pen-ek Ratanaruang's most mature, measured film to date, Ploy offers a darkly poetic variation on the theme of The Seven Year Itch. Though its slow pacing demands a certain patience, the slow waltz of story, editing and camerawork goes beyond the surreal, open-ended ditherings of the director's last film, Invisible Waves, to deliver a solid dramatic punch and an unforced moral message.
  • Pressman and Finch let loose Kubrick's Lunatic

    Edward R Pressman's Film Corp in New York and London-based Finch & Partners are teaming up on Lunatic At Large based on an original idea by the late Stanley Kubrick.Nicolas Chartier's Voltage Pictures is selling international rights to the story, set over the course of one night in 1956 as police scour the streets of New York for an escaped axe murderer.Pressman will produce with Charles Finch, Steve Lanning, and Philip Hobbs, who
  • Pusan announces Asian Cinema Fund

    The Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) has announced the Asian Cinema Fund, a new production support programme for emerging Asian filmmakers. In addition to $860,000 in funds for projects in all stages, the Asian Cinema Fund also offers support in the way of post-production services in Korea. 'PIFF has always focused on promoting Asian cinema and discovering new talent,' says programmer Hong Hyo-sook. 'The Asian Cinema Fund aims to further build a network of Asian f
  • Rebel State lines up rapper Kano for Black Market

    UK producers Rebel State Films, headed by Anthony Alleyne and Rachel McClelland, are in Cannes to discuss their slate of four films with potential co-producers.The first project set to shoot is Black Market, written and to be directed by Alleyne, with 28 Weeks Later star Idris Elba and rapper Kano (who will be touring with Justin Timberlake) set to star in the story about corruption in the world of footba
  • Revolver dances along with Vida Ballet documentary

    Revolver Entertainment has pre-bought the UK rights to feature documentary Vida Ballet from director Beadie Finzi, who previously co-directed and produced Unknown White Male.Giorgia Lo Savio produced the film, which is executive produced by Tigerlily's Nikki Parrott. Vida Ballet follows a year in the life of two teenagers, Irlan and Isabella, two black ballet dancers from the poverty of Rio who wil
  • Revolver pockets Loose Change for UK

    Controversial documentary Loose Change (Final Cut) has been picked up for UK release by Revolver to be shown to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11. The feature doc was financed by Alex Jones' The original versions of Loose Change are among the most downloaded films in internet history. The film is represented in Cannes by Tim Sparke of London-based Mercury Media.
  • Revolver takes rights to Luchetti's Brother

    Voracious UK distributor Revolver has taken rights to That My Brother is An Only Child, the Un Certain Regard title directed by Daniele Luchetti.The film was acquired from Think Film.Revolver has also picked up documentary Chavez, by actor Diego Luna, about the illustrious career and turbulent life of Mexican boxing champ, Julio Cesar Chavez. (The film, sold by Katapult, recently premiered i
  • Rezo Films sells Schlondorff's official selection title

    France's Rezo Films has sold Volker Schlondorff's official selection title Ulzhan, to Germany's X-Filme and South America's Arthouse Movies. Other territories to pick up the film include Portugal and Greece with several others circling after the film's first screening Saturday.
  • Rintaro's Japanese 3D penguins go Wild

    Wild Bunch has acquired worldwide rights, excluding Asia and North America, to 3D CG-animated feature Yona Yona Penguin, which is being directed by Japanese anime master Rintaro. Japanese animation studio Madhouse Inc and Paris-based Denis Friedman Productions are co-producing the film which is scheduled for release in Japan in December 2008. Shochiku will handle Japanese distribution and Hong Kong-based Golden Network Asia is handling Asian sa
  • Roberts to play lead in Working Title's Joan Root biopic

    Working Title is to produce a film with Julia Roberts based on the life of African wildlife conservationist, Joan Root. The film (as yet untitled) tells the story of wildlife conservationist Joan Root who was murdered in her Kenyan home in January of this year. Julia Roberts will play the role of Joan Root. Inspired by a Vanity Fair article by Mark Seal entitled A Flowering Evil, the film will follow Joan's earlier life with husban
  • Rotana's Arab production slate includes potential US co-production

    Ayman Halawani, head of film production for the Saudi Arabian media conglomerate Rotana, is in Cannes to promote a slate of Arab productions, including the company's first potential US co-production.'We're talking to various partners - it's a comedy about an Arab-American family, something like My Big Fat Greek Wedding,' Halawani told Screen International. 'At Cannes we can see some art movies from the Middle East, but there are few commercial film
  • Ruiz ramps up $36m epic Love And Virtue

    Raoul Ruiz has revealed further details of his $36.3m (Euros 27m) historical epic, Love And Virtue (on Echo Bridge Entertainment's slate). Damian Lewis, Saffron Burrows, John Malkovich, Virginie Ledoyen, Darryl Hannah, and Jonathan Rhys Meyer are all attached to appear in the film, scripted by Mia Sperber and Stefano Pratesi.The film, set at the time of Emperor Charlemagne and inspired by the The S
  • Russo to run Liverpool's Digital Departures

    Lisa Marie Russo has been named executive producer for Digital Departures, a North West Vision initiative to produce three feature-length films in the Northwest of England in the next 18 months.The scheme is also backed by Liverpool Culture Company, the UK Film Council and the BBC.Each film will get a cash budget of £250,000.There have been 155 submissions and a short list of 25 films will be selected. The three final films will be developed, shot and post-pro
  • Sales erupt on Polanski's Pompeii

    Summit International has closed pre-sales on Roman Polanski's upcoming epic Pompeii to IDC in Mexico and Brazil and Mars in South Korea.Entertainment is understood to be the frontrunner for UK rights, however Summit could not confirm the deal last night.Meanwhile Summit Entertainment top brass and the film's producer Robert Benmussa have sealed a co-production partnership on the Roman historical adventure with Germany's Constantin
  • Salvatores commands God with new RAI-Colorado alliance

    Italy's RAI Cinema has pacted with Maurizio Totti's Milan-basedColorado Films to produce four new films including Oscar-winning director Gabriele Salvatores' upcoming project As God Commands (Come Dio Commanda) based on best-selling novelist Niccolo Ammaniti's book of the same name.The film reunites Salvatore with Ammaniti, who authored their 2003 collaboration I'm Not Scared.Salvatore
  • Sam Neill joins Daybreakers cast

    Sam Neill has joined Ethan Hawke on the cast of Lionsgate's upcoming vampire thriller Daybreakers, which is set to begin filming in Australia in July. The story takes place in 2017 as of a clandestine group of vampires discovers the key to saving the human race from a
  • Scanbox co-produces three new Swedish features

    As it gets more involved in Swedish production, Scanbox Entertainment has announced details of three new Swedish features it is co-producing. The move into co-production includes the films Iskariot, directed by Miko Lazic and produced in cooperation with Ironwood Films, Tjuvarnas Marknad by Jan Guillou, which will start shooting in the winter 2007/2008 and produced in cooperation with Omega Film, and
  • Senator strikes deal with Dresen and Rommel

    Germany's Senator Film has established a long-term deal with director Andreas Dresen and producer Peter Rommel, the team behind Summer In Berlin and Grill Point. The first project under the deal will be Wolke Neun, a Rommel production which Senator will distribute.The film is the story of a woman who is married for 30 years and starts an affair with a 70-year-
  • Seoul Commission works with Landed on Anti Hero

    Seoul Film Commission has announced Canadian-based production company Landed Entertainments will be shooting a $7m feature in Seoul early next year. Casting is in progress for the Canadian-Korean co-production Anti Hero, to feature stars from Hollywood and Korea. Korean-Canadian director Junga Song is to make her feature debut with the project, written and produced by Ali Mashayekhi. Although the production company has
  • Sewell and Dreyfus join Beart in Vinyan

    Rufus Sewell and Julie Dreyfus have been signed to star in Vinyan, Fabrice du Welz's follow up to 2004 Critics Week entry, Calvaire. The duo join Emmanuelle Beart in the story of a couple searching for their child who disappeared after the 2004 tsunami. Michael Gentile's The Film is producing the $5.5m Vinyan in association with France's BackUp Films. The UK's Film4 co-developed the project to shoot in Thailand. Du Welz will re-team with award-winning cinematographer Beno
  • Shane Meadows gets shorts in shape with EM Media, Warp and Film4

    EM Media, the UK's East Midlands regional screen agency behind Anton Corbijn's Directors Fortnight hit Control, has joined forces with Warp Films and Film4 to create a new website that will offer downloads of Shane Meadows' large back catalogue of shorts.Meadows, who most recently made the award-winning This Is England (also with EM Media), will offer about 100 short films through his website. In the early
  • Shanghai film festival unveils competition line-up

    The Shanghai International Film Festival (June 16-24) has announced the competition line-up for this year's Jin Jue Awards. Tian Zhuangzhuang's The Go Master, Doghead from Spanish filmmaker Santi Amodeo and Yoji Yamada's Love And Honour are among 16 films competing for the Jin Jue Awards (see full line-up below). The nominated films will compete in eight categories and the winning films will be granted preferential status to be imported into the China market by state
  • Shrek The Third makes $122m domestic debut

    Shrek The Third had a fairy tale beginning at the North American box office this weekend, grossing an estimated $122m and beating Shrek 2's record for the biggest ever opening by an animated film. The DreamWorks Animation CG outing becomes the third biggest domestic opener of all time, behind only this month's Spider-Man 3 and last year's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Distributed by Paramount, the third installment in the massively suc
  • Sighvatsson plans Aftermath remake

    Scandinavian producer Joni Sighvatsson is packaging an English-language remake of the acclaimed 2004 Danish film Aftermath to be directed by Vadim Perelman.Perelman will begin adapting the screenplay after he completes post-production on In Bloom starring Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood for 2929 Productions.Aftermath (Lad De Sma Born) charts a young couple's emotional breakdown after their
  • Silent Light (Stellet Licht)

    Dir: Carlos Reygadas. Mex-Fr-Neth. 2007. 142 mins.Mexican auteurist Carlos Reygadas has lost nothing of the aesthetic austerity so magnificently, if exhaustingly, on display in his first two films, Japon (2002) and Battle In Heaven (2005). Both of those films proved exceptionally demanding on audiences, both narratively and psychologically, but for some, at least, the work they had to put in was worth the emotional and thematic payoffs. Unfor
  • Sleepless writer turns to the devil with Pacifica

    Christine Iso's LA-based Pacifica International is producing an action adventure that tells the story behind the devil's fall from grace, which is being scripted by Sleepless In Seattle writer David S. Ward. Ward is scripting from a story by first-time director Ray Griggs who has personally financed development of the project. Entitled Lucifer, the story describes how the devil was once an angel whose pride
  • Socially-conscious cinema to be promoted by Cinema Verite

    Cinema Verite, a major new initiative to promote socially-conscious cinema, was launched in Cannes yesterday at a press conference attended by Queen Noor Of Jordan and Bianca Jagger among others.The company, founded and managed by Paris-based documentary film-maker Joel Soler, will encompass a year-round foundation, a film fund and an October event in Paris and Monaco which will encourage, promote and assemble film-makers concerned with highlighting social and humanitarian issues in
  • Sony picks up North America on Long Good Friday remake

    Sony Pictures Entertainment has acquired rights to North America and several other significant territories to Handmade's US-based remake of British gangland classic The Long Good Friday.Screen International revealed last week that the Classic UK gangster film The Long Good Friday i
  • Sony Pictures promotes Staci Griesbach, Jason Allen

    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced a number of promotions in its worldwide publicity department.
  • Sony poised to pounce on The Band's Visit

    Sony Pictures Classics is reportedly poised to take North Americanrights excluding French-speaking Canada to Eran Kolirin's Un Certain Regard hit The Band's Visit. The Israeli-French film follows an Egyptian police band that gets stranded in Israel after they arrive for a ceremony and end up befriending the local villagers.Bleiberg Entertainment is handling sales.It has already closed
  • South West Screen backs Writers competition

    In addition to its work with the Screenwriters' Festival, South West Screen is also launching a new Screenwriter Development Competition. Oscar-nominated writer William Nicholson (Gladiator), will mentor the winner of the award, who will also receive about $6,000. The competition will be open to writers in the South West region of the UK.'Through the scheme, South West Screen is looking to develop a feature-length screenplay with mainstream
  • Spain's Gomez re-elected as FIAPF president

    Oscar-winner Andres Vicente Gomez from Spain has been re-elected as FIAPF's General Assembly as FIAPF President. Argentinean producer Luis Alberto Scalella was newly-elected as 1st Vice-President, alongside representatives of Asia and Australasia, Europe, North and South America. The International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), which gathers 26 producers' associations from 23 countries, celebrates its 75th Anniversary in 2008.First elected
  • Spain's S2 sings for The Turtle Song

    Stephane Sorlat's Madrid-based S2 International has rights in Spain and Portugal to Nick Stringer's documentary The Turtle Song from Sola Media.Produced by the UK's Film And Music Entertainment, the film tells the story of the little loggerhead turtle and her journey from a beach in Florida to the frozen north and Africa.Producers are Mike Downey, Sam Taylor and Zorana Piggott. The deal was negotiated by Beatrix Wesle and Solveig Langeland for Sola with Guy Amon and Sorla
  • Spidey stays strong in international markets

    Displaying strong international legs, Spider-Man 3 dominated the international box office again this weekend, falling a modest 41% to $49.6m. Shrek The Third, meanwhile, added to its huge domestic haul with an extremely promising international debut in Russia. Sony Pictures Releasing International's Spider-Man 3 took its $49.6m from 15,850 screens in 105 countries. Its international total to date reached $465.1m, already well ahead of the lifetime international tot
  • Storm rises for Santiago Parra's Guadalupe

    Storm Entertainment has acquired worldwide sales on Guadalupe, Santiago Parra's tale of two scientists who investigate the apparition of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe in Mexico.Pedro Armendariz stars alongside Ivana Mino and Aleix Albaredo. The Versatile Group of Hollywood is also representing the feature, which shot in Spain and Mexico.
  • Studio 2.0 takes two from Summit

    Korean distributor Studio 2.0 has picked up City of Amber and Step Up 2 from Summit Entertainment. 'We previously picked up the original at last Cannes and saw good box office with it, so we decided to pick up the sequel as well,' says Choi Eun-Young, head of international. The company has also sold the animation Aachi & Ssipak for German-speaking EU territories to Film Verleih Gruppe, and for
  • Style Jam finds Korean buyers for four titles including Drifting

    Japan's Style Jam has closed sales of four titles which are currently in post-production to South Korea.Shinji Aoyama's Sad Vacation, starring Tadanobu Asano, and Miki Satoshi's Drifting have been acquired by Korea's Sponge Entertainment.Meanwhile Korea's Cinema Valley also acquired two titles from Style Jam - Ryo Iwamatsu's Then Summer Came, starring
  • Sweden's Triangelfilm files for bankruptcy

    Swedish distributor-exhibitor Triangelfilm - co-owner of Swedish cinema circuit, Astoria Cinemas, which is currently under reconstruction - filed Monday (May 21) for bankruptcy in Stockholm.'Everything has an end, and the competition in the quality film market has become increasingly complicated,' explained Triangelfilm/Astoria Cinemas CEO, Mattias Nohrborg. 'Furthermore, a few years ago we have made some strategically wrong decisions, and a couple of of our major projects did not co
  • Target strikes six-film deal with Finch's Pink Sands

    UK-based Target Entertainment has struck a six-film deal with Charles Finch and Kate McCreery's production outfit Pink Sands.Target's slate will focus on UK films with a budget of about $2m, and the line-up includes Kfir Yefet's The Smell of Apples, based on the novel by Mark Behr and starring Gillian Anderson and Jordi Molla; Ten Percent from writer Richard Burman; Sta
  • Taviani Brothers' Lark Farm flies to RAI Trade

    Italian sales company RAI Trade has added the Taviani's latest film, The Lark Farm, to its Cannes slate.The film, which played in Berlin, is the latest effort from Paolo and Vittorio Taviana, who won the Palme d'Or in 1977 for My Father, My Master and a special jury prize in 1981 for The Night of the Shooting Stars.Th
  • Tehilim

    Dir: Raphael Nadjari. Fr / Is. 2007. 96 mins. Raphael Nadjari is back, digging again at the 'dialectical dimensions of Judaism' (as he calls it), a labour of love that he has persistently pursued in all his films to date. A quiet, subdued and remarkably controlled drama, fiercely introverted and secretive, it tells the story of an unexplained disappearance, but at no point does it try to solve the mystery. Instead Nadjari observes the family affected by this sudden absenc
  • The 11th Hour

    Dir: Leila Conners Petersen & Nadia Conners. USA . 2007. 91 mins.Leonardo DiCaprio discreetly lends his weight as star and environmental campaigner to The 11th Hour, an unashamedly polemical documentary cum call-to-arms about the current dire state of the ecology - and future prospects for change. The film makes a suitable companion piece to last year's high-profile Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth but its barrage of in
  • The Band's Visit (Bikur Hatizmoreth)

    Dir/scr: Eran Kolirin. Is/Fr. 2007. 85 mins.This melancholy deadpan comedy accepted in three out of Cannes' four official sections and finally running in Un Certain Regard, is a kind of prestidigitator's tightrope act, almost crashing down several times before triumphantly reaching its goal in one piece.Though nothing much is happening throughout as far as 'action' goes, its gentle but painstaking observation of characters and their natural habitat more th
  • The Diving Bell And The Butterfly (Le Scaphandre Et Le Papillon)

    Dir:Julian Schnabel. 2007.France 112 mins
  • The Edge Of Heaven (Auf Der Anderen Seite)

    Dir/scr: Fatih Akin. Ger/Tur. 2007. 122 mins. Though it's far below the level of his debut film, Head-On, which won the Golden Bear in Berlin in 2003, Fatih Akin's new film, once it comes together at the end and finally defeats the shagginess of his script, is a solid if uneven piece of work. Buoyed by attractive and timely themes of transnationality and globalisation, as well as more ancient themes of the relations between parents and children, int
  • The Man From London (A Londoni Ferfi)

    Dir: Bela Tarr Hung-Fr-Ger. 2007. 135 mins
  • The Milky Way (A Via Lacteal)

    Dir: Lina Chamie Brazil 2007. 88 mins. A cross-city drive turns into an existential odyssey in Lina Chamie's The Milky Way, which opened Cannes ' Critics Week sidebar. Part urban road movie, part stream-of-consciousness cinematic monologue, Milky Way layers flashbacks, bon mots about life and death, and variant versions of the same scene into what could have made an intriguing 30-minute short. This being perm
  • The Pope's Toilet (El Bano del Papa)

    Dir/scr: Enrique Fernandez, Cesar Charlone. Urug/Bra. 2007. 97 mins.Taking place in a poverty-stricken area between Brazil and Uruguay and shot on location with documentary-style grittiness, it is the kind of stuff that festivals concerned with social issues and the Third World should have a look at and Latin American minorities abroad will probably find much to appreciate in, but beyond that, niche arthouse programming is the best bet it can hope for. T
  • The Works works Buscemi's Interview

    The Works UK Distribution has taken all UK rights to Steve Buscemi's Interview, which stars Buscemi and Sienna Miller. Cinemavault is handling sales. The project is Buscemi's fourth as a director and it played in Sundance and Berlin.The drama follows a fading political journalist who has to interview a popular soap actress. Bruce Weiss and Gijs van de Westelaken produced. The Works Distribution managing director Mick Southwort
  • Third Pirates gets global launch

    Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End invades the global marketplace this weekend, opening in North America and 101 international markets in what will be Buena Vista's biggest day-and-date launch ever. The third installment of Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer's swashbuckling franchise - with regulars Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley being joined in the cast by Geoffrey Rush and Chow Yun-Fat - opened on Wednesday (May 23) in France, Italy and some smaller territories, and h
  • Three counterfeiters jailed after 2006 UK arrests

    Following on 2006 arrests, three people have been jailed in a counterfeiting case in Liverpool and the North West of England.The three ringleaders in the scam, Barry Powell, Mark Quincey and Sarah Haynes, were sent to jail. At Crown Court, all eight defendents pled guilty.The six-month pirate DVD and CD operation also involved extensive benefit fraud. The operation generated more than £40,000 in criminal funds.The counterfeit ring had been investigated under t
  • Tilda Swinton joins Connery as Edinburgh festival patron

    Tilda Swinton has been named a patron of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, joining Sean Connery, the festival has announced in Cannes.Swinton said: 'It is a sincere thrill for me to accept the honour the great Edinburgh International Film Festival does me by asking me to be a patron. Edinburgh - not only home to the most rocking arts festivals on the planet - is the nearest thing I have to a home town.' Swinton has a long history with the festival. This year's fe
  • To Each His Own Cinema (Chacun Son Cinema)

    Dir: 35 leading directors. Fr. 2007. 120minsConceived as a homage to the 60th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival, this improbable congeries and potentially incoherent work of cinema (35 different directors making three-minute shorts about the movie-going experience and their own introduction to the world of film) is surprisingly successful. Most critics roll their eyes, with good reason, at the mere mention of a 'comp
  • UK's Jowell kicks off South African treaty with news of Skin production

    UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Tessa Jowell was in Cannes to declare the new UK/South Africa film co-production treaty operational.The first film under the new treaty will Skin, produced by Anthony Fabian and Margaret Matheson, which will shortly go into production. Jowell also talked about plans for film to be included in the 'Cultural Olympiad' planned in London for the 2012 Olympics.'It is absolutely certain
  • Uwe Boll game for $7.5m horror sequel

    Uwe Boll is lining up a summer shoot in New York for the $7.5m horror sequel and video game adaptation Alone In The Dark 2.Boll, in Cannes to handle sales on the upcoming video game adaptations Far Cry starring Til Schweiger and Postal, among others, will announce the director and casting shortly.Alone In The Dark starred Christian Slater and sold 1.1
  • Vertigo plans to unleash Cage Rage

    Vertigo (the UK outfit behind Football Factory and Outlaw) is to partner with Cage Rage Championships to co-produce the new movie, Cage Rage, likely to have a budget of around $9 million. It is envisaged that this may be the start of a Rocky-like franchise.Brock Norman Brock is writing the screenplay, the central theme of which is a combat sport now globally established as the most popular of all the figh
  • Viacom forms joint venture with India's TV18 Group

    Viacom and India 's TV18 Group have announced a 50:50 joint venture, Viacom-18, spanning film, television and digital media content. Under the terms of the agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, Viacom-18 will launch a new Hindi-language general entertainment cable and satellite channel in India within the next year. MTV Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom, will contribute its successful local networks - MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon India - to the joint venture. The TV18 Gro
  • Warner Bros takes rights to Irish children's book series

    Warner Bros Pictures has acquired film rights to the children's book Skulduggery Pleasant by Irish author Derek Landy.The deal incorporates all future books in a potential nine-title series based on the contemporary Dublin-set tale about a skeleton detective who works tirelessly to thwart the return of the Faceless Ones.The first novel was published six weeks after it sparked a global bidding war before land
  • Water Lilies (Naissance des Pieuvres)

    Dir/scr: Celine Sciamma. France 2007. 85 mins Every Cannes festival brings at least one sexually delicate French coming-of-age drama, and while Water Lilies is hardly mould-breaking, it's certainly an affecting and more than competent addition to the genre. Set against the eccentric background of synchronised swimming, Celine Sciamma's debut is a sensitive, sometimes witty story of teenage girls coming to grips with
  • Wide Management sells Shelter to US

    Wide Management has announced sales at the just-wrapped Cannes Market on Shelter from director Marco Puccione and starring jury member Maria de Medeiros. The film went to Wolfe for the US and Canada, France's Epicentre, Pride Films in Spain and Portugal and ex-Yugoslavia's MGF. MGF also picked up catalog titles Gradiva by Alain Robbe-Grillet and Behind The Mirror by Rajkumar Bhan. Counterparts , by Jan Bonny, which won a special mention
  • Wide racks up Cannes sales for titles including Counterparts

    Wide Management has started strong at the Cannes Market. Wide has already completed sales on Fortnight title Counterparts by director Jan Bonny, A Casa De Alice by Chico Teixeira, Philippe Aractingi's Bosta, Ballerina from Bertrand Normand and two new Edith Piaf documentaries: Le Concert Ideal and
  • XXY

    Dir: Lucia Puenzo. Arg/Sp/Fr. 2007. 91 mins The familiar agonies of adolescence are given a fresh slant and a perceptive treatment in XXY, a quietly impressive first feature from novelist and documentary maker Lucia Puenzo, daughter of The Official Story (1985) director Luis Puenzo. Refusing to sensationalise the subject of a teenager with genital ambiguity, she creates a thoughtful, well-measured reflection on sexuality, identi
  • XXY takes Critics Week Grand Jury prize

    Lucia Puenzo's XXY has won the Grand Jury prize in Critics Week, the sidebar announced Friday. The film is an Argentine, Spanish, French co-production. The SACD award went to Les Meduses , a French-Israeli co-production from directors Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen. Both films, handled by Pyramide International, also won further prizes in Critics Week. The former took the Association of Independent Cinema Distribution award
  • Zhang Yimou to head Venice competition jury

    Beijing-based director Zhang Yimou will preside over the competition jury -comprised only of directors - of the 64th edition of the Venice Film Festival during the Biennale's Jubilee 75th anniversary.Zhang has won the most major awards at Venice including two Golden Lions in 1992 for The Story of Qui Ju and in 1999 for Not One Less.Zhang wrote a letter to Marco Mueller callled Venice 'a blessed land