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Screen
27 August 2003

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  • Apollo wraps Russian-US feature

    Russian-American production company Apollo Films has just wrapped on its new feature Passenger From San Francisco after nearly a year of shooting in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cyprus, the Crimea, the Greek islands, Moscow and St Petersburg.Producer and director Anatoli Balchev hopes to break into the American market with the film that features both Russian and American actors.'A Russian film today has almost no chance to break out into international markets,' said Balche
  • Arclight to sell Fat Pizza worldwide

    Arclight has picked up all international sales rights except Australia, New Zealand, Greece and Singapore on Fat Pizza, the highest grossing local comedy in Australia this year.A politically incorrect comedy adaptation of a cult SBS television series, Fat Pizza took many observers by surprise when it opened in the second spot behind Johnny English back in Australia in April. It had the highest screen average of any film during its first week and since then h
  • Arthouse films benefit from Edinburgh exposure

    Speaking at last year's Edinburgh premiere of All Or Nothing, Mike Leigh declared that he could think of no better event in Britain to launch a new film. His words might yet come to be seen as the guiding ethos of this year's Festival where Jim Sheridan's warm-hearted family drama In America, Lone Scherfig's bittersweet romance Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself and David Mackenzie's dark literary adaptation Young Adam have all emerged as strong critical an
  • AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND Prod Lists - May 9 2003

    Copyright: Screen InternationalAustralia & New Zealand - May 9AustraliaPRE-PRODUCTIONDECK DOGZ(b:j Films) Backers: Australian Film Finance Corporation, The Movie Network. Int'l sales: Arclight. Dist: UIP (Aust/NZ), Universal International (UK, Japan, Lat Am). Teen. The one big aim of a trio of skateboard riders is to meet their hero. Exec prod: Richard Sheffield. Prods: Jennifer Bennett, Bill Bennett. Dir/scr: Steven Pasvolsky. Shooting in
  • Buddy emerges as Haugesund audience favourite

    Romantic comedy Buddy by newcomer Morten Tyldum has picked up the audience award at the Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund (Aug 17-24). The Norwegian film, which also was an audience prizewinner in Karlovy Vary, also received the 'feelgood' award (Gledessprederprisen) from Norwegian exhibitors. The exhibitor jury also gave a special mention to another well-received local comedy - Magnus Martens' United - as well as Nigel Cole's Calendar Girls
  • Buddy, Slim Susie set for pan-Nordic releases

    Morten Tyldum's romantic comedy Buddy and Ulf Malmros' Swedish black gangster comedy Slim Susie (Smala Sussi) are both to receive pan-Nordic releases via distribution major Sandrew Metronome.Very few Norwegian films get released in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland with 2001's box-office hit Elling an exception to the rule. Swedish films generally do well across the region. Denmark is a notoriously difficult market for films from neighbouring countries. Ev
  • Buddy, Slim Susie set for pan-Nordic releases

    Morten Tyldum's romantic comedy Buddy and Ulf Malmros' Swedish black gangster comedy Slim Susie (Smala Sussi) are both to receive pan-Nordic releases via distribution major Sandrew Metronome.Very few Norwegian films get released in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland with 2001's box-office hit Elling an exception to the rule. Swedish films generally do well across the region. Denmark is a notoriously difficult market for films from neighbouring countries. Ev
  • BVI's Pirates sails past $100m

    BVI'sPirates Of The Caribbeanenjoyed another dominant weekend in the international marketplace, where amighty Russian opening and strong holdovers accounted for a $20.5m weekendsession that raised the international running total to $106.2m.The adventurefilm scored the third biggest industry opening ever in Russia, where it openednumber one on $3m from 171 screens.In its secondweekend in France, Pirates slipped 30% but held on to top spot, adding $3.8m for a $10.9m
  • CANADA Production Listings - June 20 2003

    Copyright: Screen InternationalCanada - June 20PRE-PRODUCTIONCAMPING SAUVAGE(Lyla Film, Cine-Roman) Budget: $3.7m. Int'l sales/dist: Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm (Can). Backers: Telefilm, Sodec, Radio Canada. Comedy. Prods: Lyse Lafontaine, Tony Roman. Dir: Guy A Lepage. Scr: Luc Dery, Andre Ducharme, Luc Lapierre. Main cast: Sylvie Moreau, Lepage. Shooting from July 3 to Aug 19 in the Montreal area.Contact: Ixion Communications, (1) 514 495 628
  • Cantona travels to Montreal for Overeater fixture

    French footballer-turned-actor Eric Cantona will accompany the international premiere of his first starring role, The Overeater (L'Outremangeur) at the Montreal World Film Festival (Aug 27-Sept 7). Directed by Thierry Binisti, the film is a spin on the Beauty And The Beast fairytale in which the former Manchester United star plays a hugely obese policeman who forces a beautiful suspected murderer to dine with him for year if she wants to remain free. The film was r
  • Cecchi Gori cranks up comeback feature

    Popular Roman actor-director Carlo Verdone (It Can't Be All Our Fault) has announced that he is about to start shooting a new project for Cecchi Gori - marking the first concrete steps in the fallen giant's comeback.Entitled Love Is Eternal - For As Long As It Lasts (L'Amore E' Eterno - Finche' Dura), Verdone's new film stars Stefania Rocca (Casomai) and Laura Morante (The Son's Room). In an interview published in Rome daily Il Messaggero, the
  • Chokher Bali: A Passion Play

    Dir. Rituparno Ghosh. India. 2003. 167mins.This adaptation of the novel written by India's Nobel prize winner Rabindranath Tagore in 1902 tries to expand the story of "four young people trapped in a tangle of sensuality" (in Tagore's words) into a larger parable on the state of women in general and widows in particular, inside Indian society, as well as the political unrest and nationalist feelings generated by Britain's division of Bengal into two. Beautifully shot in dark,
  • CZECH REPUBLIC Production Listings - June 6 2003

    Copyright: Screen InternationalCzech Republic - June 6PRE-PRODUCTIONADVERSE WINDS (protipoly)(Simply Sirena) Co-prod: Non Stop (Russ). Budget: e3m-e3.5m. Int’l sales: Fortissimo. Melodrama. Exec prods: Mathieu Bonpoint, Blanche Neumann. Co-prod: Yelena Yantsura. Dir: Artemio Benki. Scr: Benki, Armelle Verenka, Gilles Taurant. DoP: Igor Luther. Shooting from January to April 2004.Contact: Blanche Neumann, Simp
  • Danish Film Institute takes on key staff

    The Danish Film Institute has hired three new film commissioners in charge of development and production support. Dola Bonfils and Morten Hartkorn, who both have a background in documentary filmmaking, will be handling short- and documentary films, while Nikolaj Scherfig joins the recently appointed Lene Hansson in the feature film department. Nikolaj Scherfig, who replaces Morten Grunwald on Nov 1, graduated as a screenwriter from the National Film School in 1995 and has since
  • David Thomson gets Bessy prize at Montreal

    The celebratedBritish film critic and biographer David Thomson will receive the Prix MauriceBessy at the 27th Montreal World Film Festival, which runs from Aug 27-Sept 7.Named after thelate French film writer and former Cannes Film Festival director, the awardcelebrates excellence in film writing and is handed out on an alternatingannual basis by the Cannes and Montreal festivals.Based in California, Thomsonhas been a regular contributor to British newspapers and is perhaps best
  • Deauville rounds out festival line-up

    Along with the list of competition films announced on August 19, France's Deauville Festival of American Film (Sept 5-14) has unveiled its premieres and special sections.American films which will have their French premieres out of competition include American Wedding with stars Alyson Hannigan and Jason Biggs set to attend; Woody Allen's Venice opener Anything Else; James Foley's Confidence supported by stars Rachel Weisz and Edward Burns; the latest Merchant-Ivory
  • Diamant to launch sales company with Lamping

    X-Men 2 screenwriter Dan Harris' directorial debut Imaginary Heroes will be the first film to be handled by new international sales outfit Signature Pictures International (SPI) - a subsidiary of Moshe Diamant's production outfit Signature Entertainment Inc. Diamant and Jan Fantl's Cologne-based Quality International are the investment partners in SPI, which has been set up to handle sales and marketing for all of the films made as part of the production partnership b
  • Dimension's Spy Kids 3 gets special family screening at Venice

    Director Robert Rodriguezand Salma Hayek will present a family screening of Dimension Films' Spy Kids3-D: Game Over at the Venice FilmFestival on Aug 28 that Miramax has offered to mark the event's 60thanniversary. Rodriguez and Hayek arealready scheduled to be in Venice for the world premiere of Once Upon A TimeIn Mexico.Miramax Films co-chairmenBob and Harvey Weinstein said the gift screening at the 1,700-seater Pala BNLTheatre was the first of its kind."N
  • Distant, Reconstruction win top Fipresci prizes

    Cannes prize-winners Distant (Uzak) and Reconstruction will take home the top FIPRESCI prizes from next month's Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept 18-27).Cannes grand jury and best actor prize-winner Distant, from Turkey's Nuri Bilge Ceylan, was selected best film, while Denmark's Christoffer Boe was chosen for the best director prize for Reconstruction, which took home the Camera d'Or and Youth awards from Cannes.Both directors
  • Domestic box office slides as summer ends

    New Line's Freddy VsJason stayed atop the charts at theweekend as the top four remained intact, as sure a sign as any that the fadingsummer season has little left to offer.The horror film dropped 63%and added an estimated $13.5m for a $61.5m running total in its second week. Itwas the first film since X2 inMay to stay top for two consecutive weeks.The highest new opener wasTriStar's martial arts romp The Medallion in fifth on $8.2m, followed by Dimension's r
  • Domestic box office slides, marking the end of summer

    New Line's Freddy VsJason stayed atop the charts at theweekend as the top four remained intact, as sure a sign as any that the fadingsummer season has little left to offer.The horror film dropped 63%and added an estimated $13.5m for a $61.5m running total in its second week. Itwas the first film since X2 inMay to stay top for two consecutive weeks.The highest new opener wasTriStar's martial arts romp The Medallion in fifth on $8.2m, followed by Dimension's r
  • Eagle scores with New Line pictures in Italy

    New Line'sFinal Destination 2remained in pole position in its second weekend in Italy, dropping a mere 16%and adding $453,317 from 278 screens for a $1.9m total after 11 days.Released through Eagle Pictures, the horror sequel will bechasing down its predecessor's finishing total of $3.2m following asix-week run in autumn 2000.Meanwhile thecomedy sequel Dumb and Dumber 2 opened third in Italy - also through Eagle Pictures - on $337,876from 199 scre
  • EASTERN EUROPE Production Listings - April 11 2003

    Copyright: Screen InternationalEASTERN EUROPE - April 11ESTONIAPRE-PRODUCTIONAND THERE IS HELL IN YOUR HAND (sinu kates on pogutuli)(F-Setse) Tragi-comedy. A man comes to Estonia, gets rich and loses in love. Prod: Reet Sokmann. Dir/scr: Valentin KuikContact: Reet Sokmann, F-Setse, (372) 601 5983DOMINOES (doomino)(Kairiin Studio) David Lynch-style thriller. A Western businessman who has bought a nuclear plant in Estonia is st
  • Edinburgh closes with Splendor

    It may have been a tough year for securing titles and attracting talent but the 57th Edinburgh International Film Festival closed in style on Sunday with the British premiere of Sundance prize-winner American Splendor. Earlier in the day star Paul Giamatti and cartoonist Harvey Pekar, the subject of the film, had accepted the Guardian New Directors Award on behalf of directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. Dagur Kari's debut feature Noi Albinoi and Li Y
  • Fortissimo hooked on Jarmusch's Coffee & Cigarettes

    Fortissimo Film Sales has acquired world rights to Jim Jarmusch's Coffee & Cigarettes. Written and directed by Jarmusch, Coffee & Cigarettes will screen in Official Selection out-of-competition in Venice and as a Special Presentation in Toronto next month. Sales have already been completed for France (BAC Films), Italy (BIM) and Japan (Asmik Ace), with Fortissimo handling all remaining world territories.Coffee & Cigarettes features characters who are,
  • Fortissimo takes on Jarmusch's Coffee & Cigarettes

    Fortissimo Film Sales has acquired world rights to Jim Jarmusch's Coffee & Cigarettes. Written and directed by Jarmusch, Coffee & Cigarettes will screen in Official Selection out-of-competition in Venice and as a Special Presentation in Toronto next month. Sales have already been completed for France (BAC Films), Italy (BIM) and Japan (Asmik Ace), with Fortissimo handling all remaining world territories.Coffee & Cigarettes features characters who are,
  • Fortissimo tests out Spellbound worldwide

    Fortissimo Film Sales has acquired world rights to documentary Spellbound, an account of eight ambitious young finalists in America's national spelling contest. Spellbound is currently on release in the U.S and Canada where it has taken over $5m at the box-office since its premiere earlier this year via Thinkfilm. The acquisition of the film was handled on behalf of the producers by Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment and Micah Green of Cinetic Media, and Winnie
  • Fox opens Lisbela at number one in Brazil

    FoxInternational opened local language romance Lisbela And The Prisoner at number one in Brazil over the weekendon $658,000 from 245 screens.The film, forwhich Fox has Latin American rights, wasthe second biggest Brazilian film opening ever in the territory.Meanwhile Fox'sThe League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LXG)followed last weekend's impressive Asian bows with two more number oneopenings that raised its international running total to $7.5m.
  • Fuse ignites Sarajevo

    Bosnian filmmaker Pjer Zalica's Fuse (Gori Vatra) has continued its winning streak after Locarno's Silver Leopard by picking up six awards at the Sarajevo Film Festival this weekend.The International Jury led by veteran director-screenwriter Dusan Makaveyev awarded the Euros 15,000 Agnes B. Award for the Best Feature Film in the festival's Regional Programme to Zalica's debut as well as the Public Radio and Television Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Award of Euros 15,000 wor
  • German veterans launch Living Pictures fund

    Veteran fund initiator Rudolf Wiesmeier and Gerhard Schmidt's Cologne-based production house Gemini Film have joined forces to launch a Euros 150m fund to back a portfolio of internationally marketable English-language feature films.According to Schmidt the fund, called Living Pictures, is in negotiations with Danny de Vito's Jersey Films and Jan de Bont's Blue Tulip on a number of projects as well as with other companies about projects with such stars as Johnny Depp, Reese Witherspoo
  • GERMANY, AUSTRIA, SWITZ Prod lists - July 4

    Copyright: Screen InternationalAUSTRIA/GERMANY & SWITZERLAND - July 4AUSTRIAPRE-PRODUCTIONIM JAHR DES PFERDES (Wildart Film) Backers: Filmfonds Wien, BKA, Land Upper Austria. Documentary. Story of the Asian community in Vienna and the Khmer in Helsinki and Cambodia. Prod: Vincent Lucassen. Dir/scr: Ebba Sinzinger. DoP: Wolfgang Thaler. Ed: Karina Ressler. Shooting from summer 2003 in Helsinki, Vienna, Linz and Pnom Penh. Contact:
  • Germany's Splendid posts improved figures

    German licence trader Splendid Medien has posted sales revenues of Euros 20.5m for the first half of 2003, slightly up on 2002's Euros 19.8m.The provosional consolidated earnings for the first six months amounted to Euros -1.7m, an improvement on last year's result of Euros -9.6m.According to provisional figures, the most important business unit was licence trading including cinema exploitation, which recorded revenues of Euros 15.5m (75.6% of overall revenues) primarily from th
  • Global, MOMA team for developing countries film programme

    US-based charitablefoundation The Global Film Initiative and New York's Museum of Modern Art(MoMA) have joined forces on an educational programme to showcase cinema fromdeveloping countries.Global Lens: New Cinema FromThe Developing World will run at MoMA Film at The Gramercy Theatre from Nov13-30 before expanding to a series of as yet unannounced national culturalinstitutions.All 10 of the Initiative'sinaugural film slate - including Mango Yellow, a newly acquired drama
  • Hammer, TriggerStreet contribute to New Orleans festival

    Hammer FilmProductions and Kevin Spacey's online film-makers' collectiveTriggerStreet.com are lending their support to The New Orleans MediaExperience, an inaugural arts festival set to run from Oct 26-Nov 1.Hammer willprovide prints for the Breakfast With Hammer Films series, a daily screening ofclassic horror from the company's vaults such as Dracula Prince OfDarkness, The DevilRides Out and QuatermassAnd The Pit.Trig
  • Hong Kong pair benefit from bank loan guarantees

    The Hong Kong government has approved the first two projects under its Film Guarantee Fund (FGF) initiative, designed to help local production companies secure bank loans for film production. The first project, Shaolin Vs Evil Dead (working title), produced by My Way Film Company, has secured a loan of US$320,000 (HK$2.5m) from HKCB Finance, a subsidiary of CITIC Ka Wah Bank. Under the terms of the scheme, the government will guarantee 50% of the loan, up to a maximum of
  • HONG KONG Production Listings - June 27 2003

    Copyright: Screen InternationalHong Kong - June 27 PRE-PRODUCTIONANNA AND SHAOLIN (working title)(People's Production) Budget: $3.2m. Backer: Universe Entertainment. Int'l sales: Universe Films Distribution. Action comedy. Prods: Chan Hing Kai, Jimmy Law. Dir: Raymond Yip. Scr: Chan. Main cast: Ekin Cheng, Miriam Yeung. Shooting from July 2003 in Zhengzhou, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.Contact: Koris Ha, Universe Films Distribution Co, (852) 2437 2
  • Intermission

    Dir: John Crowley. Ireland. 2003. 106minsAn abrasive, sour-tasting ensemble piece, Intermission is a giddy Irish attempt to muscle in on the kind of territory previously mined by the likes of Amores Perros and Happiness. Ambitious in its scope, it has a confident swagger to its execution but lacks the originality or bite to withstand such comparisons. The return home of international bad boy Colin Farrell and the film's crowd-pleasing premiere at the 15th
  • IRELAND Production Listings - May 30 2003

    Copyright: Screen InternationalIreland - May 30PRE-PRODUCTIONAURORA ISLAND(Magma Films [Ire], Art Oko Film [Ger]) Co-prods: Future Films Ltd [UK]. Budget: e5m. Backers: Buena Vista Germany (Ger), First Look Media (US). Dist: First look Media (RoW exc North Am, Canada); Buena Vista (Ger). Thriller. Exec prods: Ralph Christians, Stephen Margolis, Michele Berk. Prods: Karel Dirka, Clodagh Freeman. Dir: Peter Medak. Scr: Agatha Dominik, Robert Newton.
  • Ireland's Breathnach cranks up comedy caper

    Irish director Paddy Breathnach (Ailsa, I Went Down, Blow Dry) gets back behind the camera on 25 August on the caper comedy Man About Dog, set in the Irish greyhound racing milieu. The film will shoot for seven weeks on location in Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and Belfast.Written by Pearse Elliott, Man About Dog is backed by the Irish Film Board, Redbus Pictures and the Section 481 Irish tax break. The low budget film is produced by Breathnach's partner in Treas
  • Istituto Luce buys Good Lawyer's Wife

    Istituto Luce has become the latest Italian distributor to grab itself a Venice competition title before the festival has started.The specialist releaser has bought A Good Lawyer's Wife (Baram-Nan Gajok), a sexually-challenging drama from up and coming young Korean director Im Sang-Soo. The title was bought in tandem with Italian video company Monaco International from Korean sales agent E-Pictures.On the surface A Good Lawyer's Wife seems to be a light, risque, bl
  • Istituto Luce buys Korea's Good Lawyer's Wife

    Istituto Luce has become the latest Italian distributor to grab itself a Venice competition title before the festival has started.The specialist releaser has bought A Good Lawyer's Wife (Baram-Nan Gajok), a sexually-challenging drama from up and coming young Korean director Im Sang-Soo. The title was bought in tandem with Italian video company Monaco International from Korean sales agent E-Pictures.On the surface A Good Lawyer's Wife seems to be a light, risque, bl
  • Italian distributors binge on competition titles

    The race among Italian distributors to acquire local rights to Venice competition titles is fast reaching its peak as arthouse outfit Lucky Red announced that it will be the local distributor behind Noemie Lvovsky's Venice 60 title Les Sentiments, new Italian distribution label Esse & Bi acquired local rights to Amos Gitai's Alila, and Fandango bought Michael Winterbottom's Code 46.Sold by France's ARP Selection, Les Sentiments is about the love life and tra
  • Italian distributors binge on Venice titles

    The race among Italian distributors to acquire local rights to Venice competition titles is fast reaching its peak as arthouse outfit Lucky Red announced that it will be the local distributor behind Noemie Lvovsky's Venice 60 title Les Sentiments, new Italian distribution label Esse & Bi acquired local rights to Amos Gitai's Alila, and Fandango bought Michael Winterbottom's Code 46.Sold by France's ARP Selection, Les Sentiments is about the love life and tra
  • ITALY Production Listings - August 22 2003

    Copyright: Screen InternationalItaly - August 22PRE-PRODUCTIONALL'OMBRA DEL PADRE(Tea Nova) Prod/dir: Rean Mazzone. Scr: Denis Jacobs. Main cast: Jean-Pierre Cassel, Philippe Volter, Stefania Sandrelli.Contact: Tea Nova, (39) 06 625 9260ANNI RAPACI(Poetiche Cinematografiche) Budget: $3m. Backer: Telepiu. Dist: Sharada (It). Traces 20 years in the life of a major southern Italian organised crime family who live in Milan. Based
  • Japanese goverment lines up behind local film

    Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs has set aside $2.14m (Y250m) to back a series of measures aimed at supporting the Japanese film industry.The money will principally be spent on four initiatives: financing the first feature film of two young directors who have won prizes at film festivals and contests; financing five films aimed at promoting regional localities; supporting the screening of up to fifteen feature and five short films at public halls and other non-commercial facilities;
  • Kitchen Stories takes top prize at Norway's Amandas

    Bent Hamer's Kitchen Stories picked up the best film award at this weekend's 19th Norwegian film and TV awards, the Amandas.Hamer's Cannes title was the clear favourite for the prize, and was up against Jonny Vang (Jens Lien) and Dark Woods (Paal Oie).Swedish actress Lena Endre's won the best actress prize Unni Straume's Music For Weddings And Funerals. Aksel Hennie (Jonny Vang) won the best actor category. Amandas were also given to the
  • Kramer named executive vp, business affairs & operations, at Warner Independent

    Veteran entertainment lawyerand business affairs executive Andrew Kramer has been appointed executive vicepresident of business affairs and operations at the fledgling WarnerIndependent Pictures.Kramer will be responsiblefor handling all business and legal matters related to the specialty unit'sslate, as well as the company's internal operations and relationships withother Warner Bros Entertainment divisions.He will begin work on Sept 2and leaves his current post as executive vi
  • Leonard Schrader takes teacher residency at AFI

    LeonardSchrader, who wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Kiss Of The SpiderWoman, has been namedhead of the graduate screenwriting programme at the American Film Institute(AFI) Conservatory. In his newposition as senior film-maker-in-residence: screenwriting, Schrader willoversee the AFI Conservatory's screenwriting faculty and tuition of firstand second year fellows. "We are thrilled to have such an outstanding memberof the film-making and higher e
  • Limelight picks up rights to Gun, Professional

    Limelight Films, theLA-based fledgling production, financing and distribution company headed up byCharlie Chaplin's granddaughter Keira Chaplin, has picked up worldwide rightsto Vladimir Alenikov's The Gunand Dusan Kovacevic's Serbian comedy-drama The Professional.Both films will screen atthe Montreal Film Festival in the World Competition programme.The Gun was directed and written by Limelight's creativepartner Alenikov, whose credits include Time of Dar
  • Little Fiesta makes big noise in Spain

    A new Spanish release about a hard-partying group of college-aged kids, appropriately called La Fiesta, has taken the Spanish box office by surprise and could convert its directors into poster children for struggling filmmakers in Spain.Shot on a budget of less than Euros 6,000 with a crew of unpaid actors and technicians, La Fiesta almost never made it to screens. "It was a very long process and we had everything against us," says Carlos "Pocho" Villaverde, co-writer, di
  • Maya team ready Indian Opium tale

    The production outfit and director behind the acclaimed Indian film Maya have launched their next project, Opium Royale, which is budgeted at $3.5m. Set to start shooting in India on Jan 15, 2004, Opium Royale is produced by Dileep Singh Rathore and Emmanuel Pappas of Kundalini Pictures and directed by Digvijay Singh.Rathore told ScreenDaily.com that Opium Royale is set in India of 1947 and unfolds as a surrealistic, erotically charged comedy o
  • Menemsha acquires Mika Kaurismaki music doc

    Menemsha'sworld sales division has picked up Finnish director Mika Kaurismaki'smusic road movie The Sound Of Brasil (Moro No Brasil) for all North and South American territories.Menemsha'sEuropean sales representative Beatrix Wesle brought the film to the companyafter it premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2002."Kaurismakitakes the viewer on a 2,500 miles musical pilgrimage to Latin America where heintroduces us to the Brazilian roots of Samba," Menemsha presi
  • MEXICO Production Listings - May 2 2003

    Copyright: Screen InternationalMEXICO - May 2PRE-PRODUCTIONANIMA SOLITARIA (working title)(Media Pro) Budget: $1.5m. Backer: Melodrama. Drama. The 1913 Mexican revolution: a heroine fights against her destiny in search of her true love. Prod: Jorge Castillo. Dir: Ernesto Medina. Scr: Carmen Limon. Ed: Castillo, Medina.Contact: Media Pro, (52) 55 5662 1624AMAPOLA(Altavista Films) Co-prod: Ivania Films. Drama. A man takes his father's
  • Mumbai film production continues after bomb attacks

    This week's terrorist attack in Mumbai, the film capital of India, has so far had little direct impact on the Indian film industry.Two car bombs exploded in the heart of the city on Monday Aug 25, killing at least 50 people.Filmmakers said business was continuing as usual and actors have reported on sets for shoots as planned. Studios including Filmistan, Film City and Kamalistan reported that film units were busy shooting on schedule. A pre-release party for veter
  • New arthouse distributor launches in Mexico

    Daniel Birman, a co producer of Mexico's all time blockbuster The Crime Of Father Amaro and partner Fernando Alanis have founded a new arthouse distributor in Mexico. Called Film House, the new company will aim to acquire 10 to 12 titles a year. "We'll be on the lookout for arthouse fare with strong commercial potential, the elusive sleeper hits," said Birman. FilmHouse will kick off in Toronto which both partners will attend. The distribution of specialised fare has not
  • New arthouse distributor launches in Mexico

    Daniel Birman, a co producer of Mexico's all time blockbuster The Crime Of Father Amaro and partner Fernando Alanis have founded a new arthouse distributor in Mexico. Called Film House, the new company will aim to acquire 10 to 12 titles a year. "We'll be on the lookout for arthouse fare with strong commercial potential, the elusive sleeper hits," said Birman. FilmHouse will kick off in Toronto which both partners will attend. The distribution of specialised fare has not
  • New film studio launches in South Korea

    Art Service, a division of South Korean major Plenus Entertainment, has unveiled Korea's latest and most technologically advanced studio complex in Paju, a city outside of Seoul located close to the North Korean border. The Art Service Studios presently consists of three sound stages and various amenities, with post- production facilities currently under construction. The new complex is expected to become a major competitor for the Seoul Studio Complex, which opened in 1997 and which
  • Norway's BV Film International files for bankruptcy

    Norwegian industry veteran Bjorg Veland has filed a petition for bankruptcy for her distribution company Media West, formerly called BV Film International. A separate company from her sales outfit BV International Pictures, BV Film has had to close down after a disagreement over royalties on one unnamed film. Among the films released by BV Film were Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels and A Bronx Tale. The outfit is also believed to have a catalogue of some 70 titles.
  • OZ

    Bruce Almighty has scored the third largest opening ever in Argentina, after The Matrix Reloaded and Spider-Man. The comedy opened on Aug 14 for the long five-day weekend where Monday was a holiday to mark the day of Saint Martin, Argentina's liberator. The comedy broke BVI's own record set by Signs (254,000 admissions) during the same period last year. Buena Vista also enjoyed the unusual privilege of releasing the top four films of the week.Ranking
  • Palm/Arthouse kicks off new production drive

    ChrisBlackwell's Palm Pictures and its in-house label Arthouse Films haveacquired the remake rights to Jimmy Wang Yu's classic 1975 martial artsfilm, Master Of The Flying Guillotine.The acquisitionheralds a partial shift back into development and production for Palm Pictures,which made several films in 1998 and plans to unveil a 2004 slate of eight-10titles in October.David Koh, headof acquisitions and production for Palm Pictures and Arthouse Films, toldScreendaily he en
  • Perfect Creature takes shape for Arclight

    Arclight Films has picked up international rights on a vampire horror film being produced by Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring and Whale Rider producer Tim Sanders and directed by Glenn Standring (The Irrefutable Truth About Demons).Called Perfect Creature, the film will be sold by Arclight's genre label Darclight. It is produced by Sanders under Russel Fischer and Haneet Vaswani's Roc Media. Fischer and Vaswani previously executive produced B
  • Pie sequel top in Germany, UK

    Universal'sAmerican Pie: The Wedding enjoyed a strong weekend at the box office, grossing $12.3m from1,672 sites in five countries through UIP to raise its international runningtotal to $29.2m.In a mighty number one opening in Germany the gross-outcomedy sequel took $5.2m from 636 for 45% market share.It wasUniversal's ninth biggest ever bow in the territory, some 6% bigger than AmericanPie but 38% behind AmericanPie 2, which recordedUniver
  • Pusan unveils New Currents jury

    Romanian filmmaker Lucian Pintilie (The Oak) has been invited to serve as the chairman of the New Currents jury at the 8th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) in South Korea. A competitive category for first and second-time Asian filmmakers, the New Currents section has in past years recognised the work of Jia Zhangke, Zhang Ming, Park Kiyong, and others.Joining Pintilie on the jury will be Iranian director Jafar Panahi (The Circle), Miroljub Vackovic of the
  • Raggy Boy comes out top at Copenhagen

    Aisling Walsh's Song For A Raggy Boy won the Golden Swan prize for best film at the inaugral Copenhagen International Film Festival (Aug 13-20).Walsh's story about one man's struggle against a violent and fascistic regime in a boys' Irish Reformatory School has won widespread acclaim since it world premiered earlier this year at Sundance. It has since played at festivals including Karlovy Vary and has racked up numerous international sales.The first competitive festival i
  • Reloaded passes $450m international gross

    The Matrix Reloaded has passed $450m at the international box office, aformidable sum that combines with the $280m domestic take to make it thebiggest worldwide release of 2003 so far.The second instalment in theWachowski Brothers' sci-fi trilogy is also the highest grossing R-ratedfilm in both domestic and international marketplaces ever to be released.The Matrix Reloaded stormed onto the scene three months ago, when itbecame the first title ever to pass $100m in
  • San Sebastian unveils competition line-up

    The Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival has unveiled its official competition line-up for next month's 51st annual edition (Sept 18-27).The festival says the predominant theme of the selection is "living in a world replete with contradictions," and highlights the raft of "high-profile emerging directors" on display. More titles are expected to be added to the list before the festival opens its doors next month.Peter Webber's UK co-production Girl With a Pearl E
  • San Sebastian unveils New Directors contenders

    The 51st Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival has announced the first titles set to compete in its Zabaltegi sidebar for the New Directors prize.First or second works are eligible, and aside from the Zabaltegi titles announced today several more in the Official Section and Latin Horizons sidebar will also compete for the E120,000 New Directors prize and a newly created Arte award of Euros 92,000 for broadcasting rights."Cinema in all its genres tends to reflect rea
  • Scola's Gente Di Roma to premiere at Viareggio

    Renowned Italian writer-director Ettore Scola's new film, Gente Di Roma, is to have its world premiere at the 20th Europa Cinema festival in Viareggio (Sep 20 - 27). Co-produced and distributed by Istituto Luce, Gente Di Roma stars Stefania Sandrelli (The Last Kiss, Un Filme Falado) and Valerio Mastandrea (V-Max) in a picture that explores different aspects of Roman life, past and present.The Europa Cinema festival is headed by former Venice chief Fel
  • ScreenDaily.com to offer global box office service

    Regular readers of both the weekly magazine Screen International and the daily news service ScreenDaily.com will notice important changes this week.The weekly magazine will sport a brand new look and speak with a fresh new voice that will truly help bridge the different worlds of the global cinema business.From Thursday 28th August, ScreenDaily.com will also be re-launched to give you an even better, industry-leading package of film-dedicated content.
  • Senator still in red despite Good Bye, Lenin!

    German producer-distributor Senator Entertainment has posted an operating loss of Euros 6.9m for the first six months of 2003.Earlier this year, Senator posted a massive net loss of Euros 178.2m for the 2002 financial year Turnover in the first six months of 2003 stood at Euros 25.8m - down Euros 4.3m from last year. Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye, Lenin! - which is produced by Senator's 56.52% owned X-Filme Creative Pool, provided the bulk of Senator's turnover - Euros 12.5m
  • Sexual Dependency (Dependencia Sexual)

    Dir. Rodrigo Bellott. Bolivia/USA, 2003. 105 mins.What festival can resist the temptation of a film-making debut from a 25-year-old Bolivian director - especially when it is shown on a split screen and has a title like this to boot' Even if Rodrigo Bellott's debut does not deliver as much as its pedigree promises, these five disenchanted portraits of adolescence intersecting at strange angles with each other, will most probably travel far and wide across the festival map, an
  • Sky Italia pledges to invest in Italian film

    In a move that will boost the confidence of the Italian film industry, Sky Italia CEO Tom Mockridge has announced that Rupert Murdoch's new Italian pay-tv platform will invest Euros 50m each year into the Italian film industry. "Sky believes that Italian cinema is a key element of its programming and knows that there is strong demand for it from its subscribers," Mockridge said. "Sky will back features as well as short films and documentaries," he added. At the same time,
  • Sky Italia unsettles local players

    Pier Luigi Celli, the polemical former CEO of RAI, has warned that the arrival on the Italian market of Sky Italia is "certain" to cause more economic damage to the state broadcaster than to Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset network.In an interview published by Italian news weekly L'Espresso, Celli said: "Between Rai and Mediaset, the one who will have more problems because of the arrival of Sky will certainly be Rai. It is the broadcaster who suffers the most from [the downturn in the] adv
  • Solid Air

    Dir: May Miles Thomas. UK. 2003. 113minsA doleful examination of social injustice and family heartache, Solid Air is a remarkably polished and painfully personal second feature from BAFTA-winning Scots director May Miles Thomas. Dedicated to her father and others who have suffered from asbestos-related illnesses, the film's unrelenting intensity creates an earnest, claustrophobic drama. The downbeat tenor of the material and an awkward supernatural element to the story
  • SOUTH KOREA Production Listings - August 28 2003

    Copyright: Screen InternationalSOUTH KOREA - August 28PRE-PRODUCTIONBARAM-UI JEONSEOL(Film Mania) Budget: $2.3. Backer/int'l sales/dist: Cinema Service. Black comedy about a man who takes up ballroom dancing and falls in love. Scr/dir: Park Jeong-woo. Main cast: Lee Sung-jae, Park Seol-mi. Shooting from late September. Contact: Cinema Service, (82) 2192 8733CHEONG-YEON(Cineline II) Drama about Korea's first female aviator, who lived
  • SOUTH KOREA Production Listings - June 13 2003

    South Korea - June 13PRE-PRODUCTIONTHE GOD HAND(Dream Search Entertainment) Budget: $3m. Int'l sales/dist: Showbox. Drama. Based on the story of a legendary martial arts fighter who left Korea for Japan in the early 20th century. Exec prod: Victor Hwang. Prod: Jung Yong-il. Dir/scr: Yang Yun-ho. Ed: Park Soon-duk. Music: Park Jin-young. Main cast: Choi Bae-dal, Yoko. Contact: Dream Search, (82) 2545 3797HYOJADONG YIBALSA(Big Blue Film) Dis
  • SPAIN Production Listings - May 23 2003

    Copyright: Screen InternationalSpain - May 23PRE-PRODUCTIONBOHEMIAN SOUL (alma de bohemio)(Tesela Films) Drama. An Argentinian man living in Spain returns to Buenos Aires for his mother's funeral. Dir: Adolfo Aristarain. Scr: Aristarain, Kathy Saavedra. Main cast: Juan Diego Botto. Shooting from Aug 4 to Oct 10 in Spain and Argentina. Contact: Tesela Films, (34) 91 367 6776THE PROMISE (la promesa)(Tesela Films, Portico Produc
  • Spence leaves San Francisco, Blackaby steps up

    Linda Blackabyhas been named director of programming for the San Francisco Film Society andthe San Francisco International Film Festival.Blackaby willtake over from Carl Spence, who has left to pursue other interests.In her new roleBlackaby will work with executive director Roxanne Messina Captor overseeingprogramming duties both for the film society and the festival.They willcontinue to use industry consultants and the festival's internationaladvisory board, including Ro
  • Studio slates gear up for key Euro weekend

    An eclectic slate this upcoming weekend sees key European bows for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life and American Pie: The Wedding, both of which should do well based on previous form.Elsewhere two of the summer's more successful performers - 2 Fast 2 Furious and 28 Days Later - will open in Japan, while Pirates Of The Caribbean and T3 can expect strong holdovers to extend their mighty runs.Paramount's Lara Croft Tomb Raider:
  • T3 adds $10m for CTFDI in 52 markets

    With no openingsin major territories at the weekend the sci-fi sequel Terminator 3: Rise OfThe Machines added anestimated $10m from 52 markets to raise its international running total to$236.1m.The film, whichis being handled by Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International in allterritories except Japan and Korea, looks likely to pass $260m with Italy stillto open later in the year.T3 has the distinction of opening number onein every territory and, combined wit
  • Telepool to conduct sales for musical pair

    Telepool has picked up international sales on two theatrical music documentaries: Thomas Riedelsheimer's Heartbeat and Gandulf Hennig's Fallen Angel - Gram Parsons.Riedelsheimer, who received a Golden Lola at the German Film Awards this year for his internationally successful documentary Rivers And Tides, has been working since autumn 2002 on a portrait of the deaf Scottish percussionist virtuoso Evelyn Glennie. The film, which has shot in California, Japan
  • The Battle Of Shaker Heights

    Dirs: Efram Potelle, Kyle Rankin. US. 2003. 78mins.Dogged - and, of course, publicised - throughout its production by documentary TV cameras, the second low-budget feature to result from Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's Project Greenlight script competition is a sweet if uneven coming-of-age drama-comedy whose major asset is a winning performance by hot new teen star Shia LaBeouf. Miramax gives the film a limited opening in the US this weekend and will initially be able to count
  • The Human Stain to open Chicago Film Festival

    RobertBenton's eagerly awaited drama The Human Stain will open the 39th Chicago InternationalFilm Festival on Oct 2, after which there will be a tribute to the celebratedwriter-director.In addition someof this year's most acclaimed festival titles from around have beenunveiled as a selection of films that will screen at the event, which runs fromOct 2-16.Titles includePeter Hedges' family drama Pieces Of April, featuring a Sundance Special Juryprizewinning performa
  • The Medallion

    Dir: Gordon Chan. US/HK. 2003. 90mins.The Medallion is for die-hard Jackie Chan fans only. Thankfully, for Columbia TriStar, they number in the millions so this scatter-brained action comedy, known as The Highbinders in earlier incarnations, should do respectable international trade. But prospects are bleak for even a modest North American break-out on the order of Shanghai Knights, a product which is Shakespeare by comparison. An unhappy blend of screwba
  • The Miracle Of Bern (Das Wunder Von Bern)

    Dir. Sonke Wortmann. Germany, 2003. 117mins.Covering similar grounds to Fassbinder's celebrated The Marriage Of Maria Braun but in a vastly different fashion, Sonke Wortmann's new film goes back to portray a moment in history that has been for many analysts, the milestone marking the beginning of Germany's post-World War Two economic miracle, namely July 4, 1954, when Germany surprisingly won the World Cup in Bern. Combining two stories, that of a German prisoner retur
  • The Night We Called It A Day

    Dir: Paul Goldman. Australia. 2003. 95mins.Frank Sinatra's 1974 tour of Australia is the stuff of legends. During his first gig he quipped that local female journalists who had been writing racy copy about his sexlife were "buck-and-a-half hookers". Not keen on criticism from overseas guests - even from showbiz royalty - the journalists' association demanded an apology and, in quick time, thousands of unionists voted to stop the tour, ground his private jet and isolate his su
  • Twin Sisters selected as Dutch Oscar candidate

    Sleeper hit Twin Sisters (De Tweeling), directed by Ben Sombogaart, has been chosen as the Dutch contender in the best foreign language category at the Oscars.Twin Sisters is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by author Tessa de Loo, and deals with the relationship between twins Anna and Lotte who are separated at an early age and meet again during the Second World War. Miramax bought the film at Cannes this year and is planning to release it next yea
  • UA options the rights to Snake Hips

    United Artists has optionedthe rights to Anna Thomas Soffee's memoir Snake Hips and will develop the project with Hart SharpEntertainment.Published in 2002, SnakeHips is a comic account of the30-year-old authoris life as a relationship ends and she moves back homewith her parents in Virginia, where she reconnects with her Lebanese roots anddiscovers belly dancing."Snake Hips is anoriginal story that appealed to us instantly," UA president Bingham Raysaid in
  • UGC beefs up key Dublin multiplex

    The Euros 13m redevelopment by UGC of its nine-screen Parnell Centre site in Dublin city centre will conclude at the end of November, making it Ireland's biggest cinema according to the company.The Dublin site recorded more than one million paid admissions last year and, according to UGC, "is already set to increase these figures for 2003." UGC Dublin is widely believed in the trade to be the most profitable of the company's sites in the UK and Ireland.The first phase of the red
  • UNITED KINGDOM

    Francois Ozon's Swimming Pool made a splash in the UK this week. A strong average of over $5,000 per location saw the director give its distributor UGC Films another hit following last year's 8 Women. That film was the then-fledgling UGC's second release and grossed only slightly less then Swimming Pool taking $177,871 (£113,126) from 40 sites over its launch weekend (Nov 29-Dec 1, 2002). 8 Women ended up with a final UK take of $823,066 (£523,470).
  • Venice festival opens with tasty spread

    At a time when the usefulness of film festivals is becoming a topic of hot debate, Venice has a chance to blow everyone's socks off. The 60th running of the festival gets underway today with a screening of Woody Allen's Anything Else and continues with a line-up that is both starry and culturally refined - at least that is what it looks like on paper. The proof of course will be in the screening.Competition highlights include British director Michael Winterbottom's bid -w
  • Venice festival opens with tasty spread

    At a time when the usefulness of film festivals is becoming a topic of hot debate, Venice has a chance to blow everyone's socks off. The 60th running of the festival gets underway today with a screening of Woody Allen's Anything Else and continues with a line-up that is both starry and culturally refined - at least that is what it looks like on paper. The proof of course will be in the screening.Competition highlights include British director Michael Winterbottom's bid -w
  • Venice opens with tasty spread

    At a time when the usefulness of film festivals is becoming a topic of hot debate, Venice has a chance to blow everyone's socks off. The 60th running of the festival gets underway today with a screening of Woody Allen's Anything Else and continues with a line-up that is both starry and culturally refined - at least that is what it looks like on paper. The proof of course will be in the screening.Competition highlights include British director Michael Winterbottom's bid -w
  • Vivendi sale marathon moves into final lap

    Vivendi Universal's board meets this afternoon in Paris to review the final bids for the company's US entertainment assets.However, insiders at Vivendi are cautious when it comes to confirming a formal decision today. "The board will either say they want to go into deeper talks with all of the remaining bidders or into exclusive talks with one," offers one person close to the situation who adds, "I don't think we'll hear anything definitive today."Vivendi's three month auction p
  • VUE bidding down to two: NBC and Cablevision-Bronfman

    Following a hotlyanticipated board meeting on Tuesday, Vivendi Universal announced it wouldenter into further negotiations with the two primary bidders for its USentertainment assets.As previously reported, thetwo remaining bidders are General Electric's NBC which, should it prove thewinner, would form an association between NBC and Vivendi UniversalEntertainment (VUE) to become "one of the world's largest mediacompanies," according to a Vivendi Universal statement released Tuesdayeven

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