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27 August 2004

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  • Acclaimed directors lead Australia's upcoming slate

    The directors of three of the most highly acclaimedAustralian films of recent years, Ana Kokkinos, Rowan Woods and Ray Lawrence,are named within the country's upcoming slate of financed but still-to-be-madefilms.The Book OfRevelation, Ana Kokkinos's second film after Head On, and Little Fish,Rowan Woods' second film after The Boys,are being represented internationally by Content International and Myriadrespectively.Production company April Films has h
  • Apollo plans luxury 'club class' cinemas in UK

    UK independent exhibitor Apollo Cinemas has unveiled a £50mthree-year development programme to bring luxury cinemas to UK town centres.At a time when the major cinema players are undergoingconsolidation, the move underscores the long-term confidence in the market -and especially for premium rate 'event destinations'.This week the company launched its new flagship cinema, theApollo West End in central London - a five screen £3m refurbishment of theformer Plaza cinema.In a
  • AUSTRALIA 23 August

    Besides Hellboyand The Ladykillers, three otheropeners registered in the chart. Roadshow's BeforeSunset (11th ) grossed A$166,871 from 24 screens, and Rialto's Coffee & Cigarettes (16th) grossedA$88,634 from just 11 screens. At A$6,952 and A$8,057 respectively, the screenaverages on both these films were the two highest in the chart apart from theA$14,260 clocked up by the director's cut of Donnie Darko.
  • AUSTRALIA/ NEW ZEALAND Production Listings - August 25

    AUSTRALIA August 24IN PRE-PRODUCTIONTHE BOOK OF REVELATION(Wildheart Zizani) Backers: FilmFinance Corporation Australia, New South Wales Film and Television Office, FilmVictoria, ContentFilm. Int'l sales: Content International. Dist: Palace Films(Aust/NZ). Drama. A dancer disappears without a trace for 12 days, then returnsjust as mysteriously. Prod: Al Clark. Dir: Ana Kokkinos. Scr: Andrew Bovell,Kokkinos, from the novel by Rupert Thomson.
  • Bavaria takes on Midwinter sales

    Bavaria FilmInternational (BFI) is to handle world sales on Serbian director GoranPaskaljevic's latest feature MidwinterNight's Dream which will be in competition at the forthcoming San SebastianFilm Festival.The disturbingand moving film about a man returninghome after ten years of absence to start a new life in today's Serbia starsLazar Ristovski who also appeared in Paskaljevic's Venice award-winner Powder Keg and Emir Kusturica's
  • Bourne Supremacy holds well in UK, raises total to $11.2m

    Universal'sthriller sequel The Bourne Supremacy added an estimated $5.2m on 698screens in five territories through UIP at the weekend for a $13.6minternational running total.The result was fuelled by a strong second weekend hold in the UK, where thepicture added $2.8m on 414 and dropped 35% for $11.2m. It remained secondbehind BVI's The Village and is expected to pass The Bourne Identity's$12.4
  • BVI masterminds King Arthur comeback

    Itwas a great week for Buena Vista International (BVI) at the international boxoffice last weekend as King Arthur and The Village claimed thetop two positions.Sixweeks after its international debut King Arthur took the international boxoffice crown boosted by a handful of new openings - led by a number one debutin Germany with $3.1m (Euro 2.5m).
  • Catwoman raises int'l total to $15.5m for Warner Bros

    Catwoman grossed an estimated $3.6m on more than2,300 screens at the weekend, raising the international cumulative total forWarner Bros to $15.5m.Key markets wereGermany, where the picture opened on $1.1m including previews on 510 prints,and Holland, where it opened third on $249,700 on 50.Harry PotterAnd The Prisoner of Azkaban added $3m on 1,800 screens in 44 territories for a staggering $514.4mrunning total. In Japan alone the family sequel h
  • Celebrated cinematographer joins Verhoeven's Book

    Celebrated cinematographer Theo van de Sande has been set asdirector of photography on the forthcoming BlackBook, the new period drama by Dutch master Paul Verhoeven.Van de Sande is a Dutch national who has worked extensivelyon both sides of the Atlantic. His Hollywood credits include Wayne's World, Blade, Big Daddy and Cruel Intentions. His Dutch and Europeanefforts include The Pointsman (DeWis
  • Chiocchi earns creative advertising stripes at Universal

    Veteran Hollywood marketing executive Frank Chiocchi has beenpromoted to executive vice president of creative advertising at UniversalPictures.Chiocchi will report to Universal's marketing president AdamFogelson and will oversee all aspects of creative advertising for upcomingUniversal releases including Friday Night Lights, Cinderella Manand American Gangster.Previously serving as senior vice president of creativeadvertising, Chiocchi de
  • Content boards Love's Business

    ContentFilm has boarded hot "Costa delCrime" picture The Business, the company announced on Thursday.Directed by Nick Love, the picture is setduring the 80s amongst British ex-pats and criminals in the south of Spain andis being billed as similar in style to Pulp Fiction.Love, who recently shot football hooliganfilm The Football Factory for production company Vertigo, is currentlyprepping in Spain with producer James Richardson, who co-founded Vertigo with
  • Danish veteran returns to Judge

    Danish film veteranGert Fredholm, who returned to feature filmmaking after a 20 year hiatus with One Hand Clapping in 2001, is to shoothis new film Dommeren (literally TheJudge).Like Fredholm'scomeback movie it is written and produced by Mikael Olsen and will star PeterGantzler and Jens Okking. It follows a dynamic and career conscious judge andchairman of the Refugee Board, who is thrown into both a personal andprofessional whirlwind, wh
  • DENMARK 25 August

    The Danish box-office, which has been hungry for new strongreleases, saw I, Robot easily takeover the top spot from Garfield witha strong DKK43,196 screen average on its 67 prints. The film, which was thefirst ever also to be screened digitally by major Nordisk Film, met nochallenge from this week's other new releases, but Fahrenheit 9/11 almost matched its screen average (DKK40,014) andmoved up to third place in its third week.
  • DreamWorks COO Hahn's exit fuels succession rumours

    Veteran Hollywood executive Helene Hahn is to retire from her jobas DreamWorks' chief operating officer, fuelling speculation that Miramax chiefoperating officer Rick Sands will step in to replace her.While no replacement announcement seems to be imminent, DreamWorksis believed to be negotiating with Sands.Hahn's decision to leave the company she has worked with since itslaunch - she also worked alongside DreamWorks partner Jeffrey Katzenberg atParamount and Disney - comes as Dr
  • Eleven filmmakers receive Sundance doc grants

    TheSundance Institute Documentary Fund has announced its second round of grantsfor 2004, with 11 feature-length documentaries from more than 400 submissionsset to receive a total of $435,000.Thefund was established at the Sundance Institute in 2002 by a grant from the OpenSociety Institute, principally to support US and international pictures thatfocus on human rights and civil liberties issues.'Theseprojects were selected from among the strongest field of su
  • Euro DocuZone to go live in November

    The dream of a pan-European distribution network fordocumentary films is set to become a reality this November as the NetherlandsFilm Fund DocuZone initiative expands to cover two hundred cinemas in nineEuropean countries.Backed by the European Union's Media Plus programme, localfunders and private partnerships, the European Docuzone (EDZ) will use thelatest digital cinema technology to create the world's largest digital network.Going live across the weekend of November 12th and
  • Evans to receive Leadership Award

    Legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans is to be presented withthe Leadership Award at a gala evening for charity Best Buddies during thisyear's Toronto International Film Festival.The Sept 13 event will see Evans, producer of The Godfatherand Chinatown among other classics, join a list of previous awardwinners that includes Muhammad Ali, Maria Shriver and Herb Ritts.In a statement, festival board member and gala co-chair BarryAvrich said: "Robert Evans embodies
  • Evans to receive Leadership Award at Toronto

    Legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans is to be presented withthe Leadership Award at a gala evening for charity Best Buddies during thisyear's Toronto International Film Festival.The Sept 13 event will see Evans, producer of The Godfatherand Chinatown among other classics, join a list of previous awardwinners that includes Muhammad Ali, Maria Shriver and Herb Ritts.In a statement, festival board member and gala co-chair BarryAvrich said: "Ro
  • Exhibition deal to boost arthouse films in South Korea

    Koreanfilm import company Sponge and venture capital firm KTB Network are teaming upin a new venture known as 'Cinehue' to give quality non-Hollywoodproduct an enhanced presence on South Korean screens.Thenew distribution line matches the experience of Sponge - which has purchasedKorean rights to over 50 foreign titles including Dogville,
  • Exorcist rides horror train to the top

    Warner Bros' ill-fatedhorror prequel Exorcist: The Beginning opened top at the weekend on anestimated $18.2m, exceeding expectations at the studio, which was so afraid ofa critical mauling it refused to schedule previews.The picture, whose chequeredproduction history entailed a re-shoot and three directors, stars StellanSkarsgard as a young Father Lankester Merrin - played by Max Von Sydow inWilliam Friedkin's 1973 original - in his first encounter with the D
  • Exorcist turns heads with so-so $18.2m debut

    Warner Bros' ill-fatedhorror prequel Exorcist: The Beginning opened top at the weekend on anestimated $18.2m, exceeding expectations at the studio, which was so afraid ofa critical mauling it refused to schedule previews.The picture, whose chequeredproduction history entailed a re-shoot and three directors, stars StellanSkarsgard as a young Father Lankester Merrin - played by Max Von Sydow inWilliam Friedkin's 1973 original - in his first encounter with the Devil inpost-second w
  • Exorcist: The Beginning

    Dir: RennyHarlin. 2004. USA. 114mins.A thunderousassault of visual and aural effects, including digitally rendered hyenas androiling sandstorms straight out of The Mummy, the long-gestating Exorcist:The Beginning is a colossal studio misfire that is less unprecedented forits erratic production history than for its capacity to rival notorious fiasco ExorcistII: The Heretic (1977) in sheer jaw-dropping idiocy.Thismuch-troubled
  • Faivre embarks on double shoot

    Shootinghas begun on a new project from producer Bertrand Faivre. Sauf Le Respect Que Je Vous Dois, whose English title is Burn Out, began principal photographylast month in Paris and will carry on for another four weeks in Paris and theprovinces.Directed byFabienne Godet, Burn Out stars 2002Cannes best actor prize winner Olivier Gourmet as a man who goes on the runfollowing nasty doings at his place of work. The high-profile cast
  • Final bids tabled for Odeon cinema chain

    The three final bidders for Odeon couldlearn as early as today who has succeeded in buying the UK cinema chain formore than £380m ($683m), according to wire and newspaper reports.U.S. buyout giant Blackstone, Britishfinancier Guy Hand's Terra Firma Capital Partners and Iranian property investorRobert Tchenguiz were all set to submit final offers for the cinema chain onThursday or early today, said Reuters."They're getting the bids in tonightor early tomorrow morning and hoping t
  • First Look, Content Film call off merger

    First LookMedia and ContentFilm have "mutuallyagreed" to end the merger discussions that had been underway since thecompanies signed a non-binding letter of intent in June. In a statement, thetwo parties said they were "unable to resolve certain businessissues." "Both companies determined that itwas not in the best interests of either First Look Media or ContentFilm,and their respective stockholders, to proceed with the merger," said FirstLook CEO and co-chairman Chris Cooney and Conte
  • Fox embarks on Dodgeball roll-out

    SurpriseUS hit Dodgeball opens in its first major international territories thisweekend and distributor 20th Century Fox will be hoping that star Ben Stiller -whose Starsky And Hutch is now coming to the end of its better thanexpected international run - can drive the film to a strong internationaltotal.Dodgeball'sbroad comed
  • Fox International embarks on Dodgeball roll-out

    Surprise US hit Dodgeball launches in its first majorinternational territories this weekend and Fox International will be hopingthat star Ben Stiller - whose Starsky & Hutch is now coming to theend of its better-than-expected international run - can drive the film to astrong international total.Dodgeball's broad comedy resulted in a $113m US gross,making the film Stiller's biggest hit since 2000's Meet The Parents. AndParents almost matched its $166.2
  • Fox strikes 'visionary' deal with Russia's Channel One

    TwentiethCentury Fox has picked up worldwide rights excluding Russia and the Balticstates to Channel One's Russian-language horror sensation Night Watch and its sequel Day Watch.FoxSearchlight Pictures will release both titles and the studio's main divisionwill co-develop, co-finance and release a third, English-language instalmentwith Channel One, Russia's leading film and television studio.Releasedrecently,
  • Fox, UGC to end French distribution partnership

    Twentieth Century Fox and UGC are ending their French theatricaljoint distribution venture UGC Fox Distribution (UFD) and will launch separatedistribution operations in the territory at the start of 2005.In a joint statement, the companies attributed the end to volumeand shifting conditions in the French marketplace."With the number of titles UGC and Fox are producing and theFrench market undergoing considerable changes over the past 10 years, we feltit was the logical step to s
  • Full Toronto line-up 2004

    Features are marked with an (F) after the film title.GALA PRESENTATIONS
  • Full Toronto line-up 2004

    Features are marked with an (F) after the film title.GALA PRESENTATIONS
  • Full Toronto line-up 2004

    Features are marked with an (F) after the film title.GALA PRESENTATIONS
  • Garfield, I, Robot do the business for Fox Int'l

    Fox International'slive action comedy Garfieldcontinued to perform well at the box office at the weekend, adding $10.7m on3,151 screens for a $49.7m international running total.Key drivers were a$2.5mnumber three debut in Germany on 604 screens, a strong $622,000 first placeopening in Austria on 75, and a $186,000 table-topping launch in Venezuela on64 for the distributor's fourth biggest ever opening there.The sci-f
  • HatcH festival to launch with Dahl's The Great Raid

    Theinaugural HatcH Audiovisual Arts Festival in Bozeman, Montana, will featureadvance previews of John Dahl's The Great Raid and RickSchroder's directorial debut Black Cloud when it runs from Sept9-12.Miramaxis scheduled to release The Great Raid, a second world war POW drama starringBenjamin Bratt and James Franco, on Dec 2. Black Cloud is a Native AmericanOlympic boxing saga and stars Nathaniel Arcand.Both pictures will playout of
  • Hong Kong pins hopes on history, horror

    The summer boxoffice period has been disappointing for Hong Kong productions. Although localfilms were starting to claw back market share earlier in the year, they've lostout whenever they've squared off against Hollywood's tentpole summer releases.But Hong Kong producers remain bullish in the long-term and several big-budgetprojects - aimed at the pan-regional market but with the potential to travelmuch further - are currently in production.The most expensiveof these is The Myth
  • Inside I'm Dancing

    DirDamien O'Donnell. Ireland-UK. 2004.104minsThebrief, liberating alliance between two disabled men is the basis ofheart-warming drama in Inside I'm Dancing. Cynics might argue thatdisability is a convenient short cut to emotional engagement and awardsattention but Damien O'Donnell's third feature largely skirts easysentimentality to create a film that could melt the hardest opposition.
  • International buyers clamour for Lord Of War

    Lord Of War,billed as one of the biggest independent features currently in production inthe world, has relocated to South Africa after two weeks of shooting in NewYork.Executive producer and Arclight Films managing director GaryHamilton says he has already sold the US$50m action thriller starring NicolasCage and Ethan Hawke into "virtually every territory in the world."Buyers include Momentum (UK), Gaga (Japan), M6 (France),MGM-UA (Germany), Columbia TriStar (Spain), Ital
  • Japanese horror hit to get sequel

    Kadokawa Pictures has announced the production of One Missed Call 2, a sequel to theTakashi Miike horror hit that grossed $13.6m in Japan earlier this year and hassince been screened in nearly 30 countries around the world.The new film, however, will have a new director, TV veteranRenpei Tsukamoto, and a new lead actress, Mimura, a twenty-year-old newcomer inher first starring role.In the previous film Ko Shibasaki starred as a collegestu
  • Japanese studio, broadcaster team for film acquisition

    In the first deal of its kind in Japan, Fuji TelevisionNetwork and Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan (SPEJ) are joining forces toacquire Japanese rights for Kung FuHustle, the latest action comedy by Hong Kong actor-director Stephen Chow.The partners will buy theatrical, broadcast and home entertainment rights tothe film - the first-ever such pairing between a Japanese network and majorstudio.Set for a January 2005 release in Hong Kong, the filmfollows on Chow's Shaolin Socce
  • King Arthur is top international weekend release

    King Arthurwas the number oneinternational picture at the weekend, grossing $12.6m through Buena VistaInternational (BVI) to raise its cumulative total to $92.4m.Thehighlight was a first place $3.7m debut in Germany on 752 screens.Elsewhere BVI's MNight Shyamalan mystery The Village added $11.7m for an early $14.4minternational running total, driven by number one debuts in the UK on $5.4m on432 and France on $5.7m on 572.Comedyremake The Ladykillers g
  • Kontroll named as Hungarian Oscar contender

    NimrodAntal's debut feature Kontroll has been named as the official Hungarianentry for the 77th Academy Awards in the best foreign language film category.Antal's featurefilm was premiered in Un Certain Regard in Cannes where it won the Prix de la Jeunesse.Since Cannes, Kontroll has been invited to numerous film festivals
  • Leigh's Vera Drake to open London Film Festival

    Mike Leigh's Vera Drake has been named as the opening night film for The Times bfi 48th London Film Festival on October 20.David O. Russell's I Heart Huckabees will close the festival on November 4.The Opening Night Gala will be the UK premiere ofLeigh's Vera Drake, which starsImelda Staunton and Phil Davis and will be released in the UK by MomentumPictures early in the New Year. Vera Drake has its world premiere next month at the Venice film f
  • Lord Of The Rings parody starts Swiss shoot

    Shooting has begun this week in Switzerland on The Ring Thing, a Swiss parody of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, which will bereleased theatrically at Christmas in Switzerland by the local outpost of BuenaVista International (BVI).Speaking exclusively to,Kristian Widmer of Condor Communications, which is producing the film with theElevator Group, explained that the project had been i
  • Malaysian exhibitor launches digital cinemas

    Malaysia's Golden ScreenCinemas (GSC) is launching the territory's first digital cinemas in conjunctionwith the release of Visits: Hungry GhostAnthology, the country's first local Chinese ghost feature in which GSC isa co-investor.GSC, a distributor and thelargest exhibitor in Malaysia, has installed two RM200,000 high-end LCD/DLPprojectors, one in GSC Mid Valley in Kuala Lumpur and one in GSC Gurney Plaza,the new 12-screen multiplex in Penang.The electronic cinemas givea
  • Martial arts stars align for Yip action drama

    Three generations of martial artists have joined forces forWilson Yip's upcoming action drama SPL (working title), which is nearingthe end of a four-month shoot in Hong Kong.Produced by Carl Chang with backing from Abba Chan's AbbaMovies, the US$3.8m (HK$30m) film stars martial arts veteran Sammo Hung alongwith Donnie Yen and upcoming star and wushu champion Wu Jing. Simon Yam, whosecredits include Tomb Raider II and Johnnie To's PTU, also has alead role in the fil
  • McDonald's adds heat to Super Size Me in UK

    Super Size Me directorMorgan Spurlock says a series of national newspaper adverts taken out in the UK by fast food chain McDonald's in response to his filmare both "fantastic" and "laughable"McDonald's has taken out full pageads in The Times, The Guardian, TheIndependent, The Scotsman and TheHerald. The ads, said one executive working on Super Size Me, will help ramp up the profile of the film i
  • Media Asia IPO application investigated

    Media Asia Group's proposed listing on theSingapore stock exchange has reportedly been put on hold as the MonetaryAuthority of Singapore (MAS) has requested further information about somemembers of the company's management team.One of Hong Kong's leading production anddistribution companies, Media Asia is planning to raise around US$10m from theIPO which would be used to increase output and co-production activity withChinese partners.The company expected to list in July and held
  • My Summer Of Love

    Dir: PawelPawlikowski. UK. 2004. 83mins
  • New film sales company opens in Germany

    Germany's film sales community has a new player with thelaunch of Sola Media.Managed by Norwegian-born Solveig Langeland (pictured),Sola Media's initial sales line-upincludes Dito Tsintsadze's San Sebastian-winner Gun Shy (Schussangst), Pepe Danquart's latest feature film C(r)ook, Bernd Sahling's German FilmAward-winning children's film Blindflyers(Blindgaenger), the live-action/animation children's film
  • New Romanian film festival seeks direction

    The new Romanian Film Festival, Anonimul (the Anonymous) iscurious in more than name. A great potential, looking for great content, theevent is located in a brand new village built specifically for art events ofthis kind, in the heart of the Danube Delta wildlife sanctuary.To get there, you fly to Bucharest, then get transported bybus, boat and finally horse-drawn carriage, for a 10 hour journey to the finaldestination.Once there, in the midst of a glorious natural park, one isi
  • New York Film Critics Circle sets awards date

    TheNew York Films Critics Circle (NYFCC), which celebrates its 70th anniversarythis year, will unveil its winners on Dec 13 at the Muse Hotel in New York. Theawards dinner takes place on Jan 9.'Thoughit has not been an especially good year for film so far - with someobvious exceptions like Eternal Sunshine' - I have high hopes formany of the fall releases,' group chairman Jonathan Foreman said in astatement.TheNYFCC announcement is a decent awards season bellweather. New Line's
  • New York Film Festival reveals line-up

    Lodge Kerrigan's psychological drama Keane, about aschizophrenic father searching for his kidnapped girl, Zhang Yimou's epic HouseOf The Flying Daggers and David Gordon Green's thriller Undertow areamong the line-up at the 42nd New York Film Festival, which runsfrom Oct 1-17.As previously announced (Screendaily, Jul 16), Agnes Jaoui'srelationship drama Look At Me and Alexander Payne's road movie Sidewaysbookend the event and Pedro Almodovar's Bad Educ
  • NEW ZEALAND 23 August

    The top 20 films in New Zealand together sold less ticketson the weekend than any other top 20 group of films this year. Despite thislack-lustre result, the five most popular films grossed within NZ$10,000 ofeach other, intimating that it was a hard-fought race at the top.Two openers, JerseyGirl from BVI/Miramax and The GirlNext Door from 20th Century Fox, were the first and second place-getters,but another Fox title, Walking Tall,which was in i
  • Philadelphia Film Society sets festival dates

    ThePhiladelphia Film Society has set the 14th Philadelphia Film Festival (PFF) for April 7-20 and the 11th Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian FilmFestival (PIGLFF) for Jul 7-18 2005.The2004 Philadelphia Film Festival featured 295 screenings of 133 features and 114short films from 43 countries. Mary-Louise Parker received the ArtisticAchievement Award and Tobe Hooper received the TLA Phantasmagoria Award.The2004 PIGLFF featured 134 screenings of 73 fea
  • Pinewood Shepperton profits surge

    Pinewood Shepperton hasposted strong figures for its first interim results since floating in May.The film studio combineposted pro-forma profits of £3.8m for the six months to June, up 31.6% on thesame period last year. Studio facilities' sales rose more than 10%, hitting£11.3 m, on the back of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Batmanfilm Intimidation Game and the fourth Harry Potter production.Operating profits oncontinuing operations, excluding exc
  • Politics takes centre stage at Edinburgh

    Politics - and specifically theimpact of September 11 - has emerged as one of the strong themes among theBritish films showing at this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival (August 18-29).Kenny Glenaan's well received Yasmin, which tracks how the attack onthe World Trade Centre alters the world of a non-devout Muslim woman in theNorth Of England, had a charged UK premiere. At
  • Pony Canyon takes rights to Spanish Sea

    Japan's Pony Canyon has picked up rights to AlejandroAmenabar's much-anticipated The Othersfollow-up, The Sea Within (Mar Adentro).Starring Javier Bardem in the true story-based tale of aparalyzed man who fought for decades for the right to die, The Sea Within (formerly OutTo Sea) competes at next week's Venice Film Festival.Venice is also the first official market where sales handlerSogepaq, sister company of producer Sogecine, wi
  • Private

    Dir. Saverio Costanzo.Italy. 2004. 92mins.Raw, gritty and uncompromising, Saverio Costanzo'saward-winning Locarno debut is a thought provoking and painfully realisticimage of living under occupation. As such, it is likely to become a favouriteon the festival circuit (it already has a berth in Toronto's Discovery sectionnext month) and a leading exponent of the Middle East tragedy as perceivedthrough European eyes. At the same time, however, it is sure to rub
  • Resfest readies global film tour

    Resfest, the global touring festival dedicated to profilinginnovative film, music, art, design and technology launches in New York on Sept9, before travelling to over 30 cities worldwide.Now in its 8th year, the Resfest Digital Film Festival was establishedto provide a forum to showcase the changing language and style of storytellingin film - driven by new digital tools like DV cameras and desktop editingsystems.Highlights exclusive to the UK festival programme include: aretrosp
  • ROMANIA 23 August

    Two new releases hit the Romanian cinemas last weekend bothperforming strongly despite summer sunshine and the Olympic games.Starsky And Hutchdebuted at the top of the pack with just over 4,500 admissions on six screens.But the real audience favourite was RaisingHelen with a screen average of over 1,000 admissions.
  • San Sebastian lines up political documentaries

    Six political themeddocumentaries - including Oliver Stone's Looking For Fidel and BasqueCountry-set Persecuted - have been invited to screenat nextmonth's San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept 17-25) as part of itsOpen Zone (Zabaltegi) sectionThe festival also has addedfive new films, four of them documentaries, to its Latin Horizons sidebar, allout of competition, inc
  • San Sebastian unveils 2nd Latin Horizons competition

    New films from talents across Latin America will beshowcased in the San Sebastian International Film Festival's (Sept 17-25)second annual Latin Horizons competition.The section carries a jury-awarded prize worth Euros 18,000.Films entirely or partially produced in Latin America, directed by filmmakersof Latin origin or inspired by Latin culture are eligible. The sectionsolidifies San Sebastian as a place to discover Latin talents.Ten films from six countries comprise this year's
  • Slovenia has new box office champion

    Slovenian comedy CheeseAnd Jam has become the most successful local film of all time in theterritory.The film was directed by Branko Djuric, star of the AcademyAward winning No Man's Land.Cheese And Jam wasreleased on 13 November 2003 and as of 4 August 2004 it has been seen by 153,163 viewers. In comparison, TheFellowship Of The Ring sold 145,423 tickets.Acclaimed as a Slovenian EyesWide Shut, this film chronicles the lengths a man will go to
  • Soda snaps up Untold Scandal for UK

    UK distributor Soda Pictureshas closed a deal with CJ Entertainment to pick up UK and Ireland rights tosumptuous Korean drama Untold Scandal. The film had previously been selected for the ongoing Edinburghfestival, but was recently upgraded to become the closing film. It will closethe festival on Sunday (29 Aug).Directed by E J Yong, thefilm is a 17th century Korean set adaptation of Choderlos DeLaclos' Liaisons Dangereusesnovel about courtly deceit and sexual intrigue. I
  • Spider-Man 2 passes $360m for CTFDI

    Spider-Man 2 passed $360m at the international box officefollowing a $5.8m weekend haul on 3,620 screens through Columbia TriStar FilmDistributors International (CTFDI).The action sequel has openedtop in all its 69 markets to date and has amassed a $361.7m internationalrunning total.Elsewhere the live actioncomic book adaptation Hellboy added$2.8m on 1,061 for $16m.Key markets were Australia,where it opened top on $1.1m on 223, and Korea, where it opened fif
  • SWEDEN 25 August

    A slew of new films hit the Swedish box-office this week,where the high 79 print roll out of the animated Garfield took over the top spot from I, Robot. Despite a solid $4,967 screen average, more than doubleup compared to both I, Robot's $2,316and King Arthur's $1,692, the newrelease of Eternal Sunshine Of TheSpotless Mind proved a much bigger draw on its 10 prints with an impressive$7,618 screen average.
  • The Hamburg Cell

    Dir: Antonia Bird. UK.2004.100minsIs the world ready for a dispassionate account of theterrorist cell behind the 9/11 atrocities' Is it possible to understand thehuman impulses behind such unconscionable actions'Those are just two of thequestions prompted by The Hamburg Cell, a fastidious, open-mindeddrama-documentary recreating the events that led to the attack on the TwinTowers in 2001. A brave film for anyone to make, it becomes as tens
  • The Machinist, Brother To Brother bookend IFP market

    Brad Anderson's The Machinist and Rodney Evans' BrotherTo Brother will bookend the 26th annual IFP Market & Conference, whichruns from Sept 19-24 in New York.The Machinist, which stars Batman-to-beChristian Bale and is set to be released in the US through Paramount Classicson Oct 22, will get the Sept 20 opening night slot at the event, organised byIFP/New York.Brother To Brother, with rising star Anthony Mackie in thelead a
  • The Purifiers

    Dir/scr: Richard Jobson.UK. 2004. 85minsThere are some areas of the international market in whichBritish cinema cannot reasonably expect to compete. A meaty, martial artsthriller might be one of them. That hasn't stopped ambitious writer-directordirector Richard Jobson making a plucky attempt to create his own pulpyScottish version of a Hong Kong action movie.
  • The Taste Of Tea (Cha No Aji)

    Dir/scr/ed: IshiiKatsuhito. Japan. 2004. 143minsA little eccentricitygoes a long way in The Taste Of Tea, the third feature from IshiiKatsuhito that bills itself as a fusion of the classical humanist dramas of Ozuand the manga-shaped sensibility of a director who worked on the animationsequence in Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol 1.In truth, it is more of akitchen sink film that throws in everything from an anime sequence to a musicalnumb
  • THINKFilm draws new equity investment

    Toronto-basedreleasing company THINKFilm has attracted new equity investment from twoCanadian investment firms, Covington Capital Corporation and Dynamic VentureOpportunities Fund.This is thefirst new infusion of equity capital in the privately-held company since RobertLantos of Serendipity Point Films joined as a partner and chairman in January2003.In a statement,THINKFilm president and chief executive officer Jeff Sackman said the new moneywould allow the c
  • Toronto announces complete line-up

    Films from KevinSpacey, Mike Barker, Oliver Hirschbiegel, Jean Paul Salome and CarloMazzacurati will make their world premiere at the 29th TorontoInternational Film Festival. TIFF took the wraps off its complete line-up at apublic press conference today. Of the 253 feature-length films announced, 100are world premieres, 26 are international premieres and 81 are North Americanpremieres.Several worldpremieres were announced as gala presentations. Spacey's Beyond The Sea, his secon
  • UK Film Council celebrates p&a fund success

    The UK Film Council isclaiming a success for the first year and a half of its p&a fund forspecialised films, unveiling figures showing that titles backed by the £1m fundhave grossed £15m at the box-office.The fund, which underwroterelease costs on such films as WhaleRider, Goodbye Lenin! and The StationAgent, has helped generate two million admissions across its slate. Thefund is aimed at giving UK cinema-goers a broader diversity of films and thecouncil argues that the i
  • UK film magazine moves into TV documentaries

    EMPIRE - the UK's biggest film magazine - and independentproduction company Monkey have been commissioned by Five to co-produce adocumentary on Steven Spielberg, to coincide with the 3rd September release of The Terminal.The hour-long programme features a rare, in-depth interviewwith Spielberg at his Amblin studio, highlighted with clips from his career.'Steven Spielberg: the Man and his Movies', will bebroadcast in the week of release of
  • UK/IRELAND 24 August

    M Night Shyamalan made it four in a row when his latestfilm, The Village, took the lead atthe UK box office when it was released wide across the territory last weekend.Claiming the top spot from last week's leader The Bourne Supremacy - which saw a 34% dropoff from the previous weekend discounting previews - The Village was still a long way off the director's best UKperformances.The Village beatShy
  • Video Island, ScreenSelect join forces

    UKmail-order DVD rental firms Video Island and ScreenSelect are to merge,creating what they claim will be the clear leader in the emerging marketsector.Thecompany will be headed by Saul Klein, currently CEO of Video Island, whileWilliam Reeve and Alex Chesterman, founders of ScreenSelect, will take on theroles of Chief Operating Officer and Chief
  • Working Title snaps up prize winning Population

    Working Title has acquired Nick Ostler and MarkHuckerby's draft sci-fi script Population, one of the winners of the UKFilm Council's 25 Words Or Less development competition.The $30m-plus conspiracy thriller titled Populationenvisages, according to Ostler, "a Britain where the problem of over populationhasn't been solved. It's quite dark."The pair's pitch for the film to the UK Film Councilwas: "2128:Everyone wants a ticket off a chronically overcrowded Earth to th