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26 November 2004

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  • 43 projects are presented at IDFA pitching market

    Legendary US documentary maker Albert Maysles (Gimme Shelter) is among the 43 filmmakers presenting new projects at the Forum, the "pitching market" which starts today at the Amsterdam Documentary Festival (IDFA).120 commissioning editors representing 63 broadcasters are in attendance at the event.Maysles' project Hand-Held and From The Heart is a self-portrait in his own words and images, celebrating his 50th anniversary in filmmaking.He will be making the
  • Actors to talk shop at EFA conference

    TheEuropean Film Academy is to hold a conference to debate the working conditionsof actors in Europe.CalledShop Talk: Actors Talk AboutTheir Work, it will take place onDec 11 in Barcelona. The European FilmAwards will be held later in the evening.The conference will beopened by Wim Wenders,president of the European Film Academy, and by the conference's patrons, theNorwegian actress and director LivUllmann and AssumptaSerna, Spanish actress and member of the EFA Board.
  • Alexander

    Dir: OliverStone. UK-Fr-Neth. 2004. 165mins.Alexander is a magnificent mess of a movie, a wildly ambitiousold-style epic filled with as many moments of greatness as creative mis-steps.The first feature film in five years from Oliver Stone, produced and financedindependently to the tune of $160m by Moritz Borman and Intermedia, Alexandercertainly won't be a unanimous critics' favourite and domestic mass audienceswill prefer the safety of National Treasu
  • Asia Film Market confirms growth trend

    The Asia Film Market (AFMC) and Asia TelevisionForum (ATF) (Dec 1-3) kicks off next week with a 30% increase in participantnumbers.Buena Vista International Television, CBS/ParamountInternational Television, Lions Gate Entertainment, NBC Universal, SonyPictures, CABLEready and BKN New Media are among the companies that haveregistered for the first time.
  • AUSTRALIA 23 November

    Bridget Jones - TheEdge Of Reason had no trouble staying ahead of the pack in its secondweekend in Australian cinemas, grossing A$3,245,873 for UIP. Being on 370screens made it readily accessible to patrons.The next most popular films at the cinema for the four daysending on Sunday were both openers from Roadshow. They were The Grudge, which took A$1,883,839 from184 screens, and The Polar Express,which grossed A
  • Berlinale film selection committee shapes up

    German producer Gloria Burkert (A Map Of The Heart) and Rajendra Roy, programme director of the Hamptons International Film Festival, and Berlin-based freelance journalist Ralf Schenk are three new members of this year's advisory film selection committee for the Berlinale's Official Competition.The twelve-person committee includes the various section heads - Wieland Speck (Panorama), Christoph Terhechte (International Forum), Alfred Holighaus (Perspektive Deutsches Kino, Beki P
  • Biggest UK electrical retailer Dixons dumps VCRs

    The UK'slargest electrical chain, Dixons, has said it is to stop selling video cassetterecorders, leading to predictions of the imminent demise of the VCR market inthe country.Dixonsis phasing out VCRs due to the boom in DVD players, which can now be bought foras little as £25.Theretailer expects to sell its remaining stock of VCRs by Christmas and saysdemand for VCRs has fallen dramatically since the 1
  • Blood And Bones (Chi To Hone)

    Dir: Yoichi Sai.Jap.2004. 144mins.Known in Japan as a TVcelebrity, actor and director of both commercial hits (Quill) and awardwinners (All Under The Moon), Yoichi Sai resembles friend and colleagueTakeshi 'Beat' Kitano in not only his resume but his earthy,quick-witted public persona.He is now building asimilarly high international profile with his new film Blood And Bones,a drama that is pegged to sweep awards at home this
  • Bridget continues reign as Castle dominates Japan

    Animation legend HayaoMiyazaki's latest film, Howl's Moving Castle, broke all records for aJapanese film in Japan last weekend selling 1.1m tickets and leapt straightinto second place on the international chart. Miyazaki's previous film, theOscar-winning Spirited Away, grossed $265m internationally and remainsthe highest grossing Japanese film of all time and the only film ever to grossover $200m from a single international territory.Bridget Jones: The Edge OfReason
  • Bridget continues to prosper with $20.9m weekend

    Universal/Working Title's BridgetJones: The Edge Of Reason continuedto dominate the international market for UIP at the weekend, fired up by astring of number one debuts in Europe and some strong holds as it added anestimated $20.9m on 1,800 screens in 18 territories for $59.3m.The romantic comedy stayedtop in the UK on $10m (£5.4m) after a 35% drop for a $39m (£21m) cumulativetotal and is tracking 82% ahead of 2001's Bridget Jones's Diary in US$ and 43% ahead in £ sterli
  • British films win extra airtime on UK television

    Thenumber of recent British films shown on UK television in the first six monthsof the year increased by 51%, according to new figures released by the UK FilmCouncil.However, the total number of UK films shown was stilllow. Just 52 films made within thelast eight years were aired on the UK's main five terrestrial channels,representing 4.5% of all films broadcast.The most popular UK originated film shown in the UK in thefirst half of the year was 1999 James Bond
  • British Independent Film Awards unveil starry guest list

    Bob Hoskins, Mike Leigh, Matthew Vaughn, Shane Meadows,Christian Slater and Naomie Harris are among the guests confirmed to attend theBritish Independent Film Awards on Nov 30.Held at the Hammersmith Palais and hosted by RichardJobson, BIFA sponsors this year include Bloomberg, Nokia, Chiltern, and LauraMercier.Expected nominees and guests on Tuesday also include:Gillian Anderson, Billy Zane, Kelly Broo
  • Cannes winning director celebrates End Of World

    Germany's Reverse Angle is to co-produce young Romanian filmmakerCatalin Mitulescu's The Way I Spent The End Of The World which waspitched at last year's Mannheim Meetings.Speaking to after being awarded the title of'Master of Cinema' on Wednesday evening, Wim Wenders confirmed thathis company will be a partner with Bucharest-based Strada Film on the projectby Mitulescu who won the Golden Palm in Cannes this year for his short Trafic.M
  • Caridi must pay $300,000 damages to Warner Bros

    Carmine Caridi, the Academyof Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member who violated the Academy's screenerban last awards season, has been ordered to pay $300,000 in damages in a civilsuit brought by Warner Bros Entertainment.Caridi received DVD screenersfor Mystic River and The LastSamurai and passed them on toRussell Sprague in Chicago. As a result of Sprague's involvement, both titleswere posted illegally on peer-to-peer websites.Forensics proved thatCaridi's scr
  • Childstar

    Dir:Don McKellar. Can. 2004. 98minsFollowingup on his auspicious directorial debut Last Night, Don McKellar plungesinto a movie about movies focusing on a 12-year-old star and his circle offamily, reps and general hangers-on. While the territory has considerablepotential both dramatically and in humorous insights, McKellar fails to plumbits depths. The film has its moments but skims the surface, emerging as asuperficial and somewhat aimless sketch b
  • Christmas With The Kranks

    Dir: Joe Roth. US. 2004.98minsThe holiday-themed comedyChristmas With The Kranks sees itself a big-hearted, slightly sappymovie about family and community, shared values, good cheer and the true spiritof the season. But the story's Stepford Wives-like emphasis ontraditional values and communal approval is enough to make one queasy.Considering the cultural climate in the post-election US, the movie'sinescapable message seems to be: 'Don't even
  • Closer

    Dir:Mike Nichols. US. 2004. 98mins. Adouble love story with a brutally forthright view of modern relationships, thescreen version of British writer Patrick Marber's acclaimed stage play Closer,incisively directed by stage-to-screen expert Mike Nichols, is not a film forthe faint hearted. And that may prove to be a mixed blessing at the box officeand in the film's push for awards recognition. Because while sophisticatedadult audiences will be drawn t
  • Columbia TriStar no more; Sony extends brand to international

    Columbia TriStar FilmDistributors International has changed its name to Sony Pictures ReleasingInternational (SPRI), effective immediately.The name change will beimplemented in most territories around the world immediately, but not in thoseterritories where Sony operates in joint ventures with other distributors."The Sony name is oneof the most recognised and respected brand names in the world," JeffBlake, vice-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and president of worldwidema
  • Content, Room 9 ready Smoking and Queen Lara

    ContentFilm has joined forces with Room 9 Entertainment, theNorth American production company launched by former PayPal chief operatingofficer David Sacks, to co-finance and co-produce two feature films that willbegin shooting in the coming months.The films are the first announced productions withContentFilm's financing partner, Entertainment Investor, LLP.The first film to go into production will be the big-screenadaptation of Thank You For Smoking,based on the novel by
  • Copenhagen Festival appoints new programming chief

    Screen International's Nordic correspondent, Jacob Neiiendamis to become head of programming at the Copenhagen International Film Festivalfrom Jan. 1, 2005.Neiiendam has worked exclusively in film journalism andcriticism since 1997, and has been the Screen International NordicCorrespondent since 1999. He has a BA in Film- and Media from the University ofCopenhagen, and has been a regular contributor to a number of nationalpublications and newspapers including Levende Billeder, Scope, P
  • CTFDI has strong weekend with Bad Santa, Forgotten

    Sony's mystery TheForgotten added an estimated $3mthrough all distributors at the weekend to raise its international runningtotal to $22.6m.The bulk of this came from27 Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI) markets, whichproduced $2.8m on 1,350 screens for a $22m CTFDI total.The picture has grossed$4.8m in Mexico after five weekends, $3.2m in Germany after two, $2.4m inAustralia after three, and just over $2m after three weekends in Brazil, whereit is s
  • DENMARK 23 November

    The Incredibles only had one weekat the top of the Danish box-office before BridgetJones: The Edge Of Reason came and out grossed it with its DKK 2.58mopening from 65 prints - Working Title's biggest and Universal's third biggestever opening behind Van Helsing and Jurassic Park: The Lost World.
  • Dog Years wins two short film prizes at Brief Encounters

    Short film Dog Years directed by Sam Hearn andRichard Penfold, picked up two of the top prizes at this year's BriefEncounters, the UK's leading short film festival.The short, made for just £50, won the ITV West Award aswell as the prestigious UK Film Council Audience Award.Meanwhile, the International Jury Award was awarded to Undertage(Days Under) directed by Jiska Rosa Rickels fro
  • Eyes Of Crystal (Occhi Di Cristallo)

    Dir: Eros Puglielli.It-Sp-UK. 2004. 110mins.The latestCattleya-Alchimia co-production (after Callas Forever, Don't Moveand I'm Not Scared), Eyes Of Crystal is a declared attempt torevive the horror-thriller genre that, in Italy, is virtually synonymous withDario Argento. Though uneven, second-time director Eros Puglielli's serialkiller yarn is a stylish and enjoyable essay in shock tactics. It's certainly alot more tense and edg
  • Fire destroys Japanese sound stage

    A fire has destroyed a sound stage at Kadokawa-Daieistudio in Chofu, a western Tokyo suburb. The blaze, which broke out in thestructure in the early morning hours of November 21, did not result in anyinjuries. The cause has not yet been determined and total damages have not yetbeen assessed.The 1,067 square metre sound stage, one of five in thestudio, was being used to shoot Yokai -- The Great Goblin War, a majorKadokawa Pictures release for
  • Fox takes another $6.3m with AVP

    Theaction-horror picture Alien Vs Predator added $6.3m on 2,343 screens through Fox International atthe weekend to raise its international running total to $67.5m.Key drivers wereItaly, where the picture opened top on $1.6m on 299 screens, and Spain, whereit opened in second place on $2.4m on 397.The comedy Dodgeball grossed $378,792 on 268 for $51.4m, whileGarfield is currentlyon $119.5m.Staying with comedies,
  • Fox wraps up Robots European Roadshow

    20th Century Fox has just concluded its 'EuropeanRobots Roadshow' to promote and showcase Chris Wedge's early 2005computer animated title Robots.In London's Leicester Square VUE cinema on Fridaymorning (Nov 19), 20th Century Fox UK's managing director Simon Hewlettintroduced director Chris Wedge and art director Steve Martino who took apacked audience through the designs and storylines for the film as well asscreening approximately 20 minutes of completed and in-progress animati
  • FRANCE 22 November

    Jean-PierreJeunet's A Very Long Engagementcontinued its first place run for the third consecutive week and has nowbrought in $23,778,320.EuropaCorp.'sBanlieue 13 took the second spot withan impressive 471,029 admissions in its debut week followed by new EtienneChatiliez comedy La Confiance Regnein third position for just over $2 million.Shark Tale swam down to fourth place in its fifth weekhaving taken less than the Jeunet film to
  • French court breaks off Engagement

    A Paris court yesterdayruled that the company 2003 Productions falls outside regulations that wouldhave qualified it as French. The decision means that the Jean-PierreJeunet-directed film A Very LongEngagement(Un Long Dimanche De Fiancailles) no longer qualifies underFrench nationality rules.The ruling came after nearlya year of wrangling and a courtroom challenge by a number of French producers'unions to the earlier decision by the French Cinema Office (CNC) that the filmwas Fr
  • German coproduction market looks East

    The organisers of theMannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival's annual 'CoproductionMeetings' are considering expanding the gathering to include projects from Asiain the future.Speaking at a workshop onthe development of the co-production market since its founding in 1996,co-ordinator Olaf Aichinger said that they were encouraged by the fact that aproject from China, Haolun Shu's DV-shot coming of age tale Run Away, had proven to be the p
  • GERMANY 23 November

    While the 7 Dwarfscontinued to reign supreme at the German box office - the comedy's gross topped$40m on its 4th weekend at the No. 1 spot -, Solo Film's release of the firstTurkish science fiction comedy G.O.R.A.came up trumps with a tremendous $ 8,737 screen average from 73 prints to bethe highest new entry in the Top 15.The launch by Solo Film is the biggest ever for a Turkishfilm in Germany and came in the week where the film had broken box officer
  • Germany, South Africa sign co-production treaty

    Collaboration between the German and South African film and televisionindustries has been given a major boost with the signing of a co-productiontreaty between the two countries.Structured along the same lines as other treaties with such countries asFrance, the agreement will recognise films made under the auspices of thetreaty as national films and will allow German and South African co-producersto benefit from all of the incentives available to the film industry in bothcountries.
  • Glasgow to launch World Film Festival

    Glasgow is to enter the crowded calendar of global eventswith the establishment of a World Film Festival. The first edition of theFestival will run from Feb 10-17, 2005, screening 90 features.The programme will comprise a mixture of advance screenings offorthcoming UK releases, films currently without UK distribution, foreignlanguage titles and screenings from the holdings of the Scottish ScreenArchive. Plans are also underway for a possible retrospective and a silentcinema event.
  • Guadalajara festival to focus on Latin cinema

    Mexico's Guadalajara FilmFestival is expanding its reach to all of Iberoamerican cinema, beyond itstraditional Mexican film focus, in time for next year's 20thanniversary edition (March 11-18, 2005).Under the new name theInternational Film Festival of Guadalajara, the event will add a competitivesection with a hefty US $50,000 award for best Iberoamerican fiction feature,on top of a list of other prizes.The festival will alsolaunch a new Iberoamerican Co-Production Encounter (Ma
  • HONG KONG 22 November

    Oxide Pang'sthriller Ab-normal Beauty held on tothe top spot in yet another sluggish week at the Hong Kong box office in whichthe top ten films grossed only US$1.16mLocal opener Beyond Our Ken, directed by hot upcomingdirector Edmond Pang Ho-cheung, came in second with US$267,164 from 35 screens.The Mei Ah Entertainment release, about a girl who takes revenge on herex-boyfriend after he posts nude pictures of her on th
  • HONG KONG 26 November

    Director Danny Pangtook over from his twin brother Oxide at the top of the Hong Kong chart thisweek with action drama Leave Me Alone.The UniverseEntertainment release, in which Ekin Cheng plays twins who exchange identities,grossed US$461,541 from 39 screens. Meanwhile Oxide Pang's Abnormal Beauty, which held the top spot for the past two weeks,dropped out of the chart.Among other newopeners, Thai horror Shutter,distributed by Panasia Fil
  • HUNGARY 24 November

    Veteran Hungarian director Istvan Szabo's Being Julia was the talk of the town inHungary last week when it managed over 16,000 admissions on twenty-threeprints, an incredibly strong performance for a costume drama.Last week's other new releases couldn't quite match thislevel of interest, Robert De Niro produced his biggest flop yet in Hungary withGodsend while the Anaconda's seq
  • IDFA debates free speech in wake of Van Gogh killing

    IDFA, the world's biggest documentary festival, began on Thursday with a rousing address from festival director Ally Derks addressing the recent murder of the filmmaker Theo Van Gogh."Here in the Netherlands, we have been overwhelmed with disbelief," Derks said. Van Gogh's killing has caused a ferocious debate about freedom of speech, one of the burning issues at this year's festival."Don't forget, the killing of an artist, no matter what you think of his art, is not only a Dutc
  • Imavision buys Lelouch library for North America

    Canadian distributor Imavision has picked up North Americanrights to a collection of 23 films by iconic French director Claude Lelouch.The films are represented by the director's ownproduction, distribution and sales outfit Les Films 13. In each case Imavisionhas acquired home video, TV and DVD rights.Titles include Men, Women: A Users Manual (Hommes, Femmes Mode D'emploi) Money,Money (L'Aventure C'est L'aventure ), Bolero (Les Un Et Les Autres ),
  • IMAX scores day-and-date release in US of Robots

    IMAX Corporationwill digitally remaster and release Twentieth Century Fox's upcoming animatedfamily feature Robotsin IMAX theatres day-and-date with the picture's conventional release on Mar 112005."The spectacular CGI effects in this movie are perfect forIMAX's immersive format and will look amazing in IMAX theatres," Bruce Snyder,president of domestic distribution at Twentieth Century Fox, said in astatement."IMAX offersmoviegoers a whole new way to ex
  • Intermedia launches merchandising line for Alexander

    Intermedia andDavis-Anderson Merchandising Corp have teamed up to launch The AlexanderCollection, a line of merchandise inspired by the forthcoming epic Alexander, which Warner Bros releases in the US today.Crafted by the Martoartisans in Toledo, Spain, the collection features items ranging from swordsand daggers to jewellery and fine collectibles."The Alexander brand matchesperfectly with our existing entertainment-based roster of licensed propertiesand in-house database
  • ITALY 24 November

    On a weekend which saw a huge seven films unleashed on theItalian market and a box office completely devoid of any homegrown films in thetop 20, Twentieth Century Fox's Alien VsPredator landed at number one, grossing $1,627,686.Starring local screen idol Raoul Bova, AvP was released on 284 screens and earned an average of $5,731 perscreen.Meanwhile, Exorcist:The Beginning, which shot in Rome, tumbled a huge 60% in its second week,but has
  • It's All Gone Pete Tong

    Dir/scr: Michael Dowse.Can-UK. 2004. 90minsCanadian writer-directorMichael Dowse first came to attention with the quirky heavy metal comedy Fubar(2002), but with It's All Gone Pete Tong (rhyming slang for "it's allgone wrong") he turns his sights on DJ producer-performers.The result is a tuneful,spirited rag tag of a movie with an obvious if limited niche appeal among hipcrowds. In the UK, production company Vertigo will partner wi
  • Korean Brother raises $1.8m from online investors

    Within a space of 25 hours, South Korean production houseMKB has raised the entire budget of its upcoming $1.8m project Hello AndGoodbye, Little Brother from online investors.A total of 430 participants purchased one or more $910 (WON1m) shares in the film, which tells the story of a young boy whose elderbrother contracts cancer. The film'sscreenplay has already been made available online.Should the film draw more than its agreed-upon break evenpoint of 1.2m admissions, i
  • Korean talent looks to international break-out

    2005 may end up being a breakout year forseveral Korean directors who are well-known at home, but yet to fully establishthemselves abroad. Festivals in anadventurous mood, not to mention foreign distributors, should have much tochoose from in the coming year.One of the biggest buzz projects to emergein recent months is a new drama by Hur Jin-ho titled Oechul (literally, "GoingOut"). Hur's tale of a womanwho meets another man while her husband is in a coma follows up on hi
  • Lawyer Alberstat to join William Morris

    UK-based Canadian lawyer Philip Alberstat is to join WilliamMorris Independent as a talent agent. He will move from London to Los Angelesin January.Alberstat has been based in the UK since 1986 and iscurrently a partner at leading law firm Osborne Clarke. He has also been aleading light in indie film-makers' organisation Raindance and recentlypublished The Insider's Guide To Film Finance, a how to book published by Focal Press.He will work closely with WMI co-chiefs Rena
  • Los Muertos takes Turin top prize

    Argentinian directorLisandro Alonso walked away with the Turin Film Festival's Euros 20,500 topprize for his drama Los Muertos.The powerful film, whichwas written, directed and edited by Alonso, tells the story of a man who hasjust been released from prison after serving a lengthy sentence, and undertakesa long voyage across the forest to
  • Media Luna unveils Bear Cub, Nomi deals

    German sales house Media Luna has unveiled a string ofdeals concluded during this month's AFM.Deals for Miguel Albaladejo'sSpanish gay parenting comedy-drama Bear Cub (Cachorro)included Partner Video Film taking theatrical and video rights for Russia andformer USSR Republics; Estação Cinema e Cultura buying all rightsfor Brazil; Accent Film Entertainment buying DVD/video rights for Australia anda pay TV deal for Israel.Andrew Horn's musi
  • Mexican Film Week tours US with seven new classics

    Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Amores Perros and Alfonso Cuaron's Y Tu Mama Tambien are among a line-up of seven Mexican pictures thatwill tour the US from now until September 2005 under the banner of the FirstContemporary Mexican Film Week.The tour arrivesin Los Angeles from Dec 7-13 and includes the above two titles as well asAlejandro Springall's drama Santitos, Antonio Serrano's hit comedy Sexo, Pudor Y Lagrimas and Maria Novaro's Sin
  • Miyazaki's Howl breaks Japanese box office record

    Howl's Moving Castle, the new animation by Hayao Miyazaki, earned $14.2m(Y1.48bn) on 1.1 million admissions in its first two days on release - a newrecord for a Japanese film.The previous record holderwas Bayside Shakedown 2, which was released in 2003. The figures alsorepresented a 40% gain over Spirited Away, Miyazaki's previous film,which went on to gross $292 million - an all-time record for a film released inJapan, foreign or Japanese.The film's distrib
  • Modigliani, Jack And Rose go to Miami

    Mick Davis' Modigliani, which stars Andy Garcia as the Italian Modernistpainter and chronicles his rivalry with Picasso, will open the MiamiInternational Film Festival, which runs from Feb 4-13 2005.Rebecca Miller's familydrama The Ballad Of Jack And Rose,starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Catherine Keener, will receive its US premiere aday later.Joaquin Oristrell's Spanishfarce Unconscious, set in 1913Barcelona and starring Luis Tosar and Leo
  • Noyce gets achievement award from Newport

    Phillip Noyce, whosedirecting credits include The Quiet American, Rabbit-Proof Fence and Patriot Games, will receive the Claiborne Pell Award for LifetimeAchievement In Filmmaking from Newport International Film Festival organizersin association with the Rhode Island Film and Television Office on Dec 11.Following the presentationceremony there will be a screening of Noyce's critically acclaimed 1978 featureNewsfront, followed by a Q&A session.The 8th Newport
  • Osama triumphs at Cape Town

    Afghan feature Osama, by director Siddiq Barmakhas won the best feature film award and the best director prize at theCape Town World Cinema Festival.The film beat off 19 features in competition, includingan impressive showing of eleven South African features, most by first-timedirectors.The story of a girl who has to dress like a boy to escapepersecution under Taliban rule, Osama was commended by jurors as a"
  • Pinchot launches equity-backed film financing outfit

    Documentary producer AriDaniel Pinchot has formed the production and financing company Crystal CityEntertainment (CCE), which will focus on developing and producing narrativefeatures.Funded by private equitypartners and a first-look deal with Robert Johnson and Joe Fab's The JohnsonGroup, CCE plans to fully finance live-action and animated features up to $10m.CCE will actively search fordomestic and international co-financing opportunities for bigger budget titles.Pinchot
  • Polar Express opens third in Australia and New Zealand

    The Polar Express opened in third place in Australia through WarnerBros Pictures International on an estimated $921,475 on 226 screens.The animated feature rankedbehind Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason and The Grudge.In New Zealand The PolarExpress opened third behind BridgetJones and Anacondas on $86,960.
  • Producers honour three New Zealanders

    Producer Trevor Haysom, casting agent Diana Rowan (pictured)and up-and-coming filmmaker Florian Habicht were all honoured at the close ofthe annual conference of the Screen Production and Development Association ofNew Zealand.Haysom had something else to celebrate - within two days ofbeing awarded the title of inaugural independent producer of the year: In My Father's Den, which he producedalongside the UK's Dixie Linder, hit the NZ$1m ($712,000
  • Relativity teams with Asgaard on The First Vampire

    Relativity Management hasteamed up with Jason Todd Ipson's Asgaard Entertainment to produce Ipson'sdirectorial debut The First Vampire.Asgaard associates JulioBove and Cari-Esta Albert will produce the project with Relativity's RyanKavanaugh serving as executive producer.The film is currently beingcast by Kate Dowd in London and the film is scheduled to begin filming in thefirst quarter of 2005 in Europe.Based on Ipson's NationalSloan Scholarship-winning USC short

    Localproduct has proven to be favourite of Serbian-Montenegrin audiences once again,with three local films occupying the top three places on this weekend's chart.Srdjan Koljevic's Red Coloured Gray Truck(Sivi kamion crvene boje), Audience Award winner at Montpellier, openedwith 14,029 admissions and cumulative gross of $60,231 for Metro.Aftera run of five weekends on top, the territory's Oscar submission Goose Feather
  • Seven Swords sells for Fortissimo

    Fortissimo Film Sales hasracked up a string of pre-sales on Tsui Hark's forthcoming martial arts epic SevenSwords.The film, which is now inproduction, has been sold to Village Roadshow for Australia, Pathe/DES forFrance, Sandrew Metronome for Scandinavia, Monopol Pathe for Switzerland,A-Film for Bene
  • Silver City

    Dir/scr/ed: John Sayles.US. 2004. 128minsWith his political satireslash noir murder mystery Silver City, American maverick John Saylesmight just have made his most commercial movie to date. While much of the film'stopicality, especially in the US, might have rested on last month's USelection, the return of George W Bush to power means that it has a currencythat still resonates.
  • SOUTH KOREA Production Lists - November 24

    SOUTH KOREA - November 24PRE-PRODUCTIONTHE BEAST(Popcorn Film) Int'l sales/dist: Showbox. Noirish dramaabout a detective, prosecutor and gangster, all equally vicious. Dir: KimSung-soo. Main cast: Kwon Sang-woo, Yu Dong-geun.Contact: Showbox, (82) 2 3218 5626BLOOD SISTERS(Angel Underground) Int'l sales: Cineclick Asia. Horroromnibus in three segments by Korean women direc
  • Stelios' easyGroup ploughs into UK DVD rental market

    Stelios Haji-Ioannou's easyGroup is entering the onlineDVD rental market with an easyCinema DVD service powered by rental platformVideo Island.Due to be launched in January, the service will operate apay-as-you-go model, charging easyCinema customers £1.99 per DVD rental andoffering a 21-day return policy.easyGroup joins existing Video Island partners, such asnational brands Tesco, MSN and ITV.Haj
  • Stone's Alexander to close India film festival

    Oliver Stone's epic Alexander is to close the International Film Festival of India(IFFI) in Goa (Nov 29-Dec 9)The festival is scheduled to open with Mira Nair's VanityFair and more than 250 films will screen intotal.The festival will feature seven major sections: AsianCompetition, Cinema of the World, Indian and Foreign Retrospectives, Tributesand Homage, Indian Panorama and Mainstream Indian Cinema.The Barbarian Invasionswill be part of a special Can
  • Summer Storm to get North American outing

    US distributor here! Films & Television has picked upMarco Kreuzpaintner's gay coming of age tale Summer Storm (Sommersturm) which won the audience award at thisyear's Filmfest Muenchen.Sales agent Bavaria Film International also reported saleson the film after presentations at the Toronto Film Fetival and the MIFED andAFM markets to ABC/Cinemien (Benelux), Civite Films (Spain), Swift Productions(France), Discovery Films(ex-Yugoslavia), Gil Productions (Israel) and Festive Films
  • Tartan picks up domestic rights to Milwaukee, Minnesota

    Tartan Films USA has pickedup North American rights to Allan Mindel's award winning directorial debut Milwaukee,Minnesota, starring Randy Quaid andBruce Dern.Tartan Films US plans a May2005 theatrical release and Tartan Films UK will open it in the UK next monthon Dec 3.Milwaukee, Minnesota received its world premiere at Slamdance 2003,followed by a slot in Critics Week at the Cannes Film Festival. It centres on apossibly mentally retarded man w
  • Tell Them Who You Are

    Dir/prod/cine:Mark SWexler. US. 2004. 95minsA son's search for hisfather, even a famous one, might appear to be too narrow a theme for atheatrical documentary were it not for the recent success of theOscar-nominated feature My Architect.Tell Them Who You Are, which has been shortlisted for Best DocumentaryFeature for this season, takes the gloves off, as Mark S Wexler proves willingto be the punching bag for his two-time Oscar winn
  • The Great Water (Golemata Voda)

    Dir: Ivo Trajkov.Macedonia 2004. 90minsSet in Yugoslavia duringthe immediate aftermath of World War II, when Stalin was extending his reachover Eastern Europe, The Great Water concerns an all too real subject:orphans who were rounded up and sent to labour camps to be indoctrinated withCommunist ideology.Containing elements of bothdrama and surrealism, this beautifully acted, directed and photographed filmproves alternately brutal and beautiful, bleak and alm
  • The Incredibles set to hit big in UK, Spain, Italy and France

    Pixar's TheIncredibles looks a safebet to break Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason's stranglehold on the international boxoffice this weekend when it launches in its first wave of major markets.Buena Vista International (BVI) was due to release theanimated title in France on Nov 24, followed by the UK, Spain and Italy on Nov26.BVI doesn'treveal screen counts prior to release, however the Pixar track record suggestssuper-wide platforms in each terri
  • The Incredibles UK previews add to $5.4m weekend take

    Pixar's TheIncredibles grossed anestimated $5.4m at the weekend through Buena Vista International (BVI), raisingits early international cumulative total to $12.3m.The picturescored all-time record animated openings in Singapore and Malaysia on $797,000on 40 screens and $549,000 on 39 respectively.In the UK, two-day paid previews generated $6.5m. Thepicture launches there next weekend, as well as in a host of territoriesincluding Italy
  • Times Of India Group moves into film production

    India's largest media company, The Times of India Group,has moved into film production, backing English language feature Being Cyrus.Directed and co-written by Homi Adajania, the film isbilled as a cross between a psychological drama and a comedy in which a dopesmoking retired sculptor, who lives in a secluded Indian hill station, openshis house to a stranger, Cyrus.The film stars Saif Ali Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Di
  • Tokyo Filmex programmes Italian B Movies

    The VeniceFilm Festival's recent Italian Kings of the B Movies retrospective willbe featured in the upcoming Tokyo Filmex Festival (Nov 26-30), which isorganised by Takeshi Kitano's production and distribution outfit, OfficeKitano.The Venicesidebar features 20-25 restored Italian genre movies, and is part of a wider4-ye
  • Treasure pips SpongeBob to US throne

    Giving a boost to thebeleagured motion picture group at Disney, Buena Vista's National Treasure opened top on an estimated $35.3m at the weekend, thebiggest ever opening of a Jerry Bruckheimer picture starring the Oscar winningactor.National Treasure, a family adventure about an archaeologist's searchfor a Revolution-era stash of cash, averaged $11,699 on 3,017 screens and drewso-so reviews. Diane Kruger, Sean Bean and Justin Bartha also star and JonTurteltaub directed.
  • Treasure, SpongeBob knock off The Incredibles

    Giving a boost to thebeleagured motion picture group at Disney, Buena Vista's National Treasure opened top on an estimated $35.3m at the weekend, thebiggest ever opening of a Jerry Bruckheimer picture starring the Oscar winningactor.National Treasure, a family adventure about an archaeologist's searchfor a Revolution-era stash of cash, averaged $11,699 on 3,017 screens and drewso-so reviews. Diane Kruger, Sean Bean and Justin Bartha also star and JonTurteltaub directed.
  • Treasury accuses UK film-makers of abusing aid

    The Inland Revenue has accused the British film industry ofabusing government aid, with every production of recent years deliberatelyover-claiming tax relief - according to a report in today's FinancialTimes.Revenue officials called in about 20 members of the filmindustry and warned them of severe consequences if the'exploitation' of tax-relief schemes did not immediately stop, saidthe paper.The Revenue said the industry was exploiting rules on taxrelief by 'double-dippin
  • UK Film Council launches sales support scheme

    The UK Film Council is launching a £70,000 InternationalFestival Sales Support (IFSS) scheme to help boost UK films invited to competeat next year's Sundance, Rotterdam and Berlin festivals.Open from now until 31 March 2005, the new funding isdesigned to raise the profile of UK talent, services and crews internationallyand to secure distribution of UK films abroad.The funding can be used support promotional opportunitiesin
  • UK/IRELAND 23 November

    Although three wide releases battled for supremacy in the UKlast weekend it was left to two limited releases to grab the glory further downthe chart.BVI's latest Pixar release, The Incredibles, launched at London's UCI Empire Leicester Squarecinema in digital format grossing a colossal $151,083 (£81,307).In addition, though not yet counted on the chart, the filmtook $6.4m (£3.5m) in nationwide two-day previews from 475 sites. This previewfigure is high
  • VideoVision snaps up Karoo Boy rights

    Leading South African production house Videovision Entertainment hasacquired film rights to Karoo Boy, a 1970s set novel written by TroyBlacklaws.The story of a young man's search for identity after the accidentaldeath of his twin brother is also a means of explaining the conflicts of theera and sexual awakenness in a repressed society.The rights were acquired after a bidding battle with other producers.London-based Julian Friedmann represented the book on behalf of Black
  • Wayne Clarkson gets top job at Telefilm Canada

    S Wayne Clarkson has beenappointed executive director of Telefilm Canada, the nation's leading source ofpublic subsidy for the film and television industry.The announcement, madeThursday by Heritage Minister Liza Frulla, is seen as good news for the beleagueredEnglish-language film production sector. Hotly tipped for the top post, hereplaces Richard Stursberg, who left the agency in July mid-way through afive-year mandate marked by acrimony over efforts to increase the box office ofind
  • WBITD signs VOD deal with Lyse Tele in Norway

    Warner Bros InternationalTelevision Distribution (WBITD) has signed a video-on-demand deal with LyseTele in Norway that will offer television broadband subscribers such titles as HarryPotter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, Mystic River, The Last Samurai and select library titles."We are delighted that LyseTele will now deliver Warner Bros' films conveniently and in a high-qualityformat to their customers," WBITD president Jeffrey R Schlesinger said in astatement
  • Wright's Macbeth to be set in Melbourne's underbelly

    A retelling of Shakespeare's Macbeth, set in the present-day violent underbelly of Melbourne,took a step closer to getting a green light with Romper Stomper director Geoffrey Wright at the helm.M, as it istitled, was the only feature to get production funding as part of a $787,000(A$1m) package of support handed out to filmmakers, productions and film eventsby state agency Film Victoria.Producer Martin Fabinyi of Mushroom Pictures now intends toapply for inv
  • Zentropa, Filmanova strike two picture deal

    Spain's Filmanova and Denmark's Zentropa Productions havesigned a two-picture co-production agreement starting with Filmanova co-founderAnton Reixa's Tivoli Hotel.The second film of the accord has not yet been agreed.The deal marks Zentropa's first such move with a Spanish company. It brings 10% of the film's estimated Euros 2.6m budget.A romantic comedy with no less than eleven love storiesrevolving around a cigare