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27 August 2007

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  • AFI executive vice president Estrin steps down

    The American Film Institute's executive vice president Jonathan Estrin will depart his post after three years on Sept 28 to pursue other opportunities.Estrin will continue as a consultant for AFI on a variety of projects. During his tenure he was instrumental in designing the AFI Dallas International Film Festival and initiated and oversaw the evolution of the AFI K-12 Screen Education Centre into an online nationwide resource.He led the AFI response to Hurricane Katrina
  • AFI to name annual award winners on Dec 16

    The eighth annual AFI Awards, which records each year's most outstanding achievements in film and television, will be announced on Dec 16.Ten AFI Movies Of The Year, 10 AFI Television Programs Of The Year and up to 10 AFI Moments Of Significance will be determined by AFI juries. The two 13-member juries for film and television will each select up to five respective Moments Of Significance.Honourees will be feted at a luncheon in Los Angeles on Jan 11, 2008.The
  • Analysis: International box-office - Weekend August 17-19

    The Simpsons Movie barely keeps hold of the top spot for a fourth weekend, taking $22.3m from 49 territories, just beating The Bourne Ultimatum's $22.2m weekend take. The third instalment of the Bourne franchise shot up 423% this weekend after expanding in a further seven territories. The increase was catapulted by an impressive $13m opening in the UK in addition to a six-day $5.1m opening in Spain. Rush Hour 3 was up 18% after expanding in an additional 10 territories while Surf's Up and Sta
  • And When Did You Last See Your Father'

    Dir: Anand Tucker. UK. 2007. 92mins.Anand Tucker's gentle touch and lush tone proved the perfect fit for the wistful romantic comedy Shopgirl but the same approach tends to dull the pain and deaden the impact of writer Blake Morrison's bestselling memoir And When Did You Last See Your Father' Morriso
  • Ang Lee's Lust, Caution gets NC-17 rating in US

    Focus Features said today [Aug 23] that it will not contest a ruling by the Motion Picture Association Of America (MPAA) to award Ang Lee's Lust, Caution an NC-17 rating.MPAA officers had not returned calls at time of writing, however the ruling is believed to be in response to the highly erotic nature of Lee's follow-up to 2005's Brokeback Mountain.The MPAA screened the film, a tale of espi
  • Asian trio join Hartnett in I Come With The Rain cast

    Korean star Lee Byung-hun, Japan 's Takuya Kimura and Hong Kong 's Shawn Yue have joined Josh Harnett in the cast of Tran Anh Hung's I Come With The Rain. The $18m film, which marks the Vietnamese director's English-language debut, has been shooting in Hong Kong for the past two weeks and will move to Los Angeles at the beginning of October. The production also filmed in the Philippines for one week. Harnett plays an LA cop turned private detective who travels to Hong Kong
  • Ausfilm appoints Pitcher as chief executive

    Ausfilm, the organisation that markets Australia 's filmmaking talents to the world, has appointed Caroline Pitcher as its new chief executive. She is no stranger to the requirements of a locations role or to Ausfilm: she has spent the last four years as general manager of the Melbourne Film Office, which is part of the state agency Film Victoria, and has also done her time on the Ausfilm board. Where The Wild Things Are , Charlotte's Web and Ghost Rider are a
  • Bavaria acquires international rights to Toronto title Encarnacion

    Bavaria Film International (BFI) has picked up international rights for Argentinean filmmaker Anahi Berneri's latest film Encarnacion which will be having its world premiere in the Visions sidebar of the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. The co-production between Argentina's BD Cine and Spain's Wanda Filmes about an aging actress trying to cope with her role and her life is described as 'a strong and touching statement about standing up for the choices you made, for who y
  • Bavaria picks up Argentinian title

    Bavaria Film International (BFI) has picked up international rights for Argentinian filmmaker Anahi Berneri's latest film Encarnacion which will be having its world premiere in the Visions sidebar of the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.The co-production between Argentina's BD Cine and Spain's Wanda Filmes about an ageing actress trying to cope with her role and her life is described as 'a strong and touching statement about standi
  • Bavaria picks up international rights to $20m Mann adaptation

    Bavaria Film International has picked up international distribution rights for Heinrich Breloer's lavish adaptation of Thomas Mann's Nobel Prize-winning novel Buddenbrooks which is currently shooting on location in the historical Hanseatic city of Luebeck. The $20m (Euros 15m) production by Bavaria Film and Colonia Media Filmproduktion of Die Buddenbrooks - Ein Geschaeft Von Einiger Groesse is being co
  • Bong Joon-ho begins shoot on his part of Tokyo omnibus

    The Host director Bong Joon-ho this week started shooting Shaking Tokyo, starring Japanese actress Aoi Yu as his segment of the multinational Tokyo omnibus. Following in the steps of Paris Je T'aime, the Tokyo project has three directors - Bong, Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and Leos Carax (Pola X) - each directing a short film set in the Japanese capital. The film in its entirety is co-produced by Korea's Sponge
  • Bring on the class action

    After a summer in which most of the films had the number three after them, the Hollywood studios and their specialised divisions are preparing for the deluge of prestige movies that comprise the so-called awards season - high-profile, director-led features which are being carefully groomed for prime positions in the Oscar race.As always, the season begins with a slew of world premieres at the Venice and Toronto film festivals. Although some of these films have yet to find distribution
  • Carl Perkins life story comes to screen via Fastlane Entertainment

    Santa Monica-based Fastlane Entertainment has acquired exclusive film rights to the life story of one of the founding fathers of rock and roll, Carl Perkins.The story will be based on a screenplay by Perkins' daughter and former songwriting partner Debbie 'DJ' Perkins. Fastlane founder Frank Miniaci will produce with Chesley Heymsfield.'I wrote a screenplay with Rick Korn and Randy Moore, called The Thinkin' Place, based on what my
  • China - Felling tales in the digital age

    In the winter of 2004, Yu Guangyi entered the snowy forests of Black Bear Valley to record the lives of some of China's last lumberjacks. He spent four months, shooting with a single Sony PD150, a documentary that captures the dangerous and arduous nature of their work as well as their traditions and camaraderie.The documentary was Yu's first venture into film-making. Originally entitled The Last Lumberjacks, it has since opted for a more literal translation, Timber Gang,
  • China 2007 box office expected to reach $400m

    As the number of cinemas and admissions continues to grow, China's 2007 boxoffice is expected to break the $400m (RMB3bn) milestone, industry players have estimated. According to monthly statistics from the Film Bureau of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), total box office for the first half of the year reached $138.8m (RMB1.05bn). Meanwhile, total box office up until the end of July stands at $187.67m (RMB1.42bn). As the Jan-June figure represents a 3
  • Cineclick Asia picks up Pang Ho-cheung's Exodus

    Korea-based sales agent Cineclick Asia is repping Hong Kong director Pang Ho-cheung's new thriller Exodus - recently announced in the Toronto and San Sebastian film festival line-ups. Licensor Filmko Entertainment reserves rights to Chinese-speaking territories (mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore), along with Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. Pang, whose Isabella was in the Berlinale competition in 2006, in his latest film tells the story of a police off
  • Corbijn takes major honours at Edinburgh

    Anton Corbijn's Control emerged as one of the major winners at the 61st Edinburgh International Film Festival. Corbijn's stunning monochrome biopic of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis was one of the discoveries at Cannes this year and has continued to build critical acclaim and industry buzz. In Edinburgh it won the Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature and also the inaugural Best Performance In A British Feature award which went to lead actor Sam
  • Critical Mass: Opportunity knocks

    It's curious how little effect the advent of digital recording technologies have had on film style and structure - compared to, say, the introduction of synchronised sound in the late 1920s.Back then, films underwent a seismic shift. I'm not just referring to the thing most people know about the changeover: the fact silent divas such as Norma Talmadge were discovered to have voices like cheese graters and soon found themselves out of a job.I'm talking about the consequences of h
  • Dotzert to oversee Senator's German-language projects

    Senator Entertainment has appointed Dirk Dotzert tooversee the coordination of German language projects being offered tothe group's theatrical distribution and production arms.Dotzert, who had previously worked as a freelance consultant, will workclosely with Anatol Nitschke of Senator Film Verleih and ChristophMueller of Senator Film Produktion on the initial assessment andmonitoring of projects submitted to the Berlin-basedproducer-distributor.So far this
  • Duska selected as Dutch foreign language film Oscar submission

    Jos Stelling’s dark comedy Duska has been selected as the Netherlands’ best foreign language submission for the 2008 Academy Awards.The film is the first Eyeworks Egmond Film and Television production since the merger with the Eyeworks Group and centres on a lost film critic, a beautiful cinema cashier, and a Russian scrounger.Gene Bervoets, Sergei Makovetsky and nwecomer Sylvia Hoeks star. Stelling and Hans Heesen co-wrote the screenplay.Stell
  • Elite Squad to open Rio International Film Festival

    Rio International Film Festival (Sept 20 - Oct 4) will open with the highly anticipated Jose Padilha's Elite Squad (Tropa de Elite).It will give an explosive start to an event which will screen more than 300 films from 70 countries over 35 venues, including outdoor screenings on he famous Copacabana beach.Elite Squad is the true story of two childhood
  • Eva Mendes boards The Spirit for Odd Lot, Lionsgate

    Eva Mendes has joined Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L Jackson and Gabriel Macht in Odd Lot Entertainment and Lionsgate's live-action comic book adaptation The Spirit.Production is set to begin in October in New Mexico and will take place entirely at Albuquerque Studios.The fantasy thriller tells the tale of a rookie cop who returns from the dead to fight crime as a vigilante in Central City. Mendes will play Sand Saref, a femme fatale
  • First Independent, Magnolia team on Moving McAllister

    First Independent Pictures (FIP) and Magnolia Home Entertainment have co-acquired North American rights to Ben Gourley's road movie Moving McAllister.The picture stars Utah-born Gourley as a Miami law firm intern who agrees to escort the senior partner's attractive niece across the States. Rutger Hauer, Jon Heder and Mila Kunis also star.Andrew Black directed and Gourley wrote the screenplay, put together the financing and produced
  • Fortissimo takes international rights to Israeli doc Children Of The Sun

    Fortissimo Films hasacquiredinternational sales rights outside Israel and North America to Lama Films'documentary Children Of The Sun, directed by Ran Tal.Thefilm follows the lives of people brought up in the Kibbutzim in 1920s and 30s Israel.The film premiered to critical acclaim at the Jerusalem Film Festival, where it won a number of awards including best documentary.Fortissimo's Senior Vice President, TV and Ancillary Sales Catherine Le Clef concluded the dea
  • Fremaux gets new general manager title at Cannes

    Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux has been named general manager of the festival, organizers announced Monday. The appointment was made by the Cannes board of directors on July 19 based on a proposal by Cannes president Gilles Jacob.Fremaux officially took up his new functions on August 9, while continuing to oversee selection of films for the festival.In a statement, Jacob said, 'In its sixty year history, the Cannes festival has only had three general managers: R
  • German fund managment group buys sales company Atlas

    Further changes are afoot in the German world sales scene after the decision by the film financing and fund management group Entertainment Value Associates (EVA) to acquire a majority interest in the Munich-based family-run sales company Atlas International Film through its subsidiary EVA Finance. The sales outfit with a catalogue of more than 500 titles will now be managed by the two sons of the company founder Dieter Menz, Stefan and Philipp Menz, together with EVA managing dir
  • Gross starts shooting $20m WWI epic Passchendaele

    Actor-director-screenwriter Paul Gross has begun shooting his WWI drama Passchendaele in Calgary, Alberta. Produced by Niv Fichman of Rhombus Media, Frank Siracusa of Whizbang Films and Francis Damberger of the Damberger Film and Cattle Company, the $20m, 45-day production will follow the exploits of Canadian soldiers leading up to one of the principal battles of the conflict - fought over nearly four months in 1917, it cost each side one mill
  • Higginson, Huntley promoted at Fox International in Europe

    Paul Higginson has been promoted to senior vice president of Europe Theatrical at Fox International, filling the post that will be left by the Universal-bound Christian Grass.Todd Huntley has been promoted to vice president of Europe Theatrical. Both promotions take effect immediately.Higginson will remain in London at Fox's European regional office, overseeing the theatrical distribution, sales and marketing operations for all films in Europe.Upcoming release
  • Hitting the books

    It used to be common to see ads that heralded a $100m gross but now that figure seems rather puny. Still, it's not that common to see a double truck for a picture that's done $500m. Certainly when you toss in ancillary revenues from cable, merchandising, soundtracks, and DVD sales and rentals, there have to be instances where someone can cite billion-dollar bragging rights. Could the reason for the recent silence be modesty' Certainly it could not possibly be restraint.Of course, we al
  • inDplay, b-side pact to bring festival films to buyers

    Online marketplace for film and television content inDplay has struck a deal with data services company b-side to ensure that a broader range of festival films with commercial potential are seen by buyers.The alliance combines inDplay's global network of distributors with b-side's analysis of festival audience feedback to offer buyers a lead on commercially viable material that lacks the prestige branding of bigger titles and gets lost in the mix.Over the past two years b
  • Industry moves

    Boltho takes on Paramount roleAlexei Boltho, former business development manager for BBC Films, has taken on a newly created acquisitions post at Paramount Pictures International (PPI). As of August 20, he will be PPI's director, co-productions and acquisitions, working out of Paramount's London headquarters and reporting to Los Angeles-based Ellen Pittleman.Shaevitz and Schaefer reach SummitSummit Entertainment has hired production executives Geoff Shaevitz and Michael S
  • It's Hard To Be Nice (Tesko Je Biti Fin)

    Dir/scr: Srdan Vuletic. Bosnia Herzegovina-Slovenia-Serbia-Germany-UK. 2007. 102mins.Local Balkan audiences will respond cheerfully to the familiar characters and scenes in Srdan Vuletic's lively sophomore effort, but international sales agents Fortissimo Films will have a tou
  • Kinowelt unveils production slate

    Neue Kinowelt Filmproduktion (NKF), the recently founded production arm of Germany's Kinowelt Group, has unveiled an ambitious slate of projects.They include new German language features by Esther Gronenborn, Til Schweiger, Michael Schorr and Hendrik Handloegten spanning all genres from arthouse to the mainstream.According to Kinowelt's Bertil le Claire, NKF aims to become involved in betweenthree-to-five co-productions a year andtwo-to-thre
  • Kitano to receive newly-created director prize in Venice

    The Venice International Film Festival has announced that director Takeshi Kitano will be the inaugural recipient of the newly-created 'Glory To The Filmmaker Prize'. The prize is named after Kitano's latest feature Glory To The Filmmaker! (Kantoku Banzai!) and will be awarded for recognition of directorial talent. Kitano is set to accept the prize in person on August 30 before the international premiere of the film in the Out Of Competition category. Kitano has a st
  • Korea's nTorino scores $2m pre-sale to Japan

    Korean investor nTorino Corp has announced the $2m pre-sale of the film Sookmyung (original title) to Japan's Formula Entertainment. The film features pan-Asian stars Kwon Sang-woo (Once Upon A Time In High School), Song Seung-hun (Make It Big) and Ji Sung (Blood Rain) in a story of four friends who grow up together and their friendship, loyalty and betrayals. The title translates as destiny, fate or karma. Sookmyung is directed by actor, writer
  • Lucky Red acquires Italian rights to TWC titles 1408 and Halloween.

    Italian distributor Lucky Red has announced the acquisition of two high-profile genre titles from The Weinstein Company. Those titles are 1408 by Mikael Hafstrom starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson as well as Halloween by Rob Zombie. The deals constitute the first between Lucky Red and The Weinsteins, Stefano Massenzi, chief of Acquisitions at Lucky Red confirmed to
  • Medem, Babenco films confirmed for Rome competition

    The Rome Film Festival has announced several titles confirmed for its second edition, which takes place October 18-27 in the Italian capital.Argentinian film-maker Hector Babenco's The Past (El Pasado) starring Gael Garcia Bernal as well as Spanish director Julio Medem's Chaotic Ana (Caotica Ana) are both confirmed for Rome's main competition.Dario Argento's Third Mother (Terza Madre) will close the Premiere section dedicated to gala films in anti
  • Montreal festival's Cauchard lambasts Telefilm's Clarkson

    The Montreal World Film Festival opened with a bang on Thursday with the festival's second-in-command calling for the government of Canada to intervene on behalf of the beleagured event.In her welcoming address, festival vice-president Danielle Cauchard called on Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper to give Telefilm Canada executive director Wayne Clarkson a 'kick in the ass.' The audience applauded enthusiastically.In September 2004, the MWFF was stripped of its fundin
  • Nazarian closes down Element Films International

    Element Films International (EFI) has folded, as owner Sam Nazarian restructures the domestic division of his film business, Element Films.The foreign sales arm headed by Jim Harvey closed on Jul 31. Harvey, who took over the reigns after John Fremes left to join Jere Hausfater at Essential Entertainment earlier this year, was informed of the move a week before the company closed.No official reason has been given, however it is understood that EFI's demise was triggered b
  • Opinion -getting in the grown-ups

    Getting the grown-ups in is becoming a healthy obsession for distributors and theatres. Venice film festival head Marco Mueller celebrates the change in Screen this week (See Venice buzz, p16-20): 'Just four years ago, to think that Universal would put an opening film in competition (Atonement) ... or that Warner Bros would put a Brad Pitt-produced starrer in competition (The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford) would seem unthinkable.'There's no
  • Pal lines up live-action version of Studio Ghibli's Fireflies

    Tokyo 's Pal Entertainment is set to produce a live-action version of Akiyuki Nosaka's semi-autobiographical novella Grave Of The Fireflies (Hotaru No Haka), to be directed by Taro Hyugaji. The story was famously adapted into an animated feature directed by Isao Takahata in 1988 and released on a double bill with Studio Ghibli's My Neighbour Totoro when the studio was still part of Tokuma Shoten. The film is known as Tombstone For Fireflies in the US. T
  • Palm picks up US rights to Canadian hit The Rocket

    Palm Pictures has acquired US rights to the biographical ice hockey film The Rocket: The Legend Of Rocket Richard.The film won nine awards at the 2007 Genie Awards including best director for Charles Biname and best actor for Roy Dupuis.Palm Pictures plans for a late autumn theatrical release followed by a winter DVD release for the story of Maurice 'The Rocket' Richard, who overcame his working class roots to play for the Montreal Canadiens and became the first player to
  • Pusan unveils slate of 27 projects to receive ACF backing

    The Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) has announced the 27 projects that will receive backing from its recently-established Asian Cinema Fund (ACF). The fund provides support for Asian documentaries and independent feature films in all stages of production to the total amount of $840,000, with matching funds and/or services provided by sponsors. 'Asian Cinema Fund was created with a mission to broaden and deepen PIFF's support for Asian Cinema, and to develop a network betw
  • Red's army on the march

    It is a scorching summer day of around 36C at a tank base three hours outside Beijing. More than 1,000 actors and extras wearing ancient armour are in the midst of battle. As flags fly and war drums pound, Hong Kong star Tony Leung Chiu-wai dashes among the crowds, waving his swords. Meanwhile John Woo sits in a tent, contemplating four monitors. He frowns, calls "Cut!", and whispers to his assistant director, "Wrong! Wrong!" The AD calls out on a loudspeaker: "The man standing on the right t
  • Ryan, Bening et al start shooting Jagged/Inferno's The Women

    Principal photography has begun in Boston, Massachusetts, on Jagged Films and Inferno Distribution's comedy The Women.The film will shoot on location in and around Boston and New York City through mid-October and is being distributed in North America by Picturehouse.The story centres on two well-appointed New York women whose friendship is tested by an affair. Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing and Jada Pinkett-Smith star.Diane English adapted
  • San Sebastian announces Films In Progress line-up

    San Sebastian's Films In Progress sidebar will see six Latin American film projects from promising film makers compete for nearly $40,000 worth of completion funding and technical support. The line-up includes A Festa Da Menina Morta, a Brazil-Argentina-Portugal co-production from first time director Matheus Nachtergaele, star of such films as City Of God and Central Station; Federico Veiroj's Acne (Uruguay-Argentina-Spain-Mexico) about an awkward teenage boy
  • Saxon

    Dir/scr/ed: Greg Loftin
  • Schoettle moves sideways from Sprockets to TIFF

    Jane Schoettle, the founding director of Sprockets International Film Festival for Children, is stepping down from her position after 10 years to expand her programming activities at the Toronto International Film Festival. TIFFG will soon post an international talent search for Schoettle's replacement. A candidate is expected to be announced in October or November.TIFFG director and CEO Piers Handling and TIFF co-director Noah Cowan lavished praise on Schoettle, creditin
  • Scott Bailey gets lead role in Jabor's Copacabana

    Scott Bailey has been cast as the lead in Roberto Jabor's English-speaking, US-Brazil co-production Copacabana, Of Love And Shadows.Bailey, whose credits include The Guiding Guide, the upcoming Seducing Spirits, and TV series Saints & Sinners, joins Peter Paige, Gabriel Canella, Emily Holmes and Maite Proenca in the key ca
  • Sony's Superbad is still baddest at North American box office

    Superbad was too good for the competition in its second weekend as the Sony comedy held on to top spot following a modest 46% drop and added an estimated $18m for $68.6m.Despite a wave of new films the top three was familiar, as Universal's spy thriller The Bourne Ultimatum and New Line's buddy movie Rush Hour 3 swapped places from last weekend in a neck-and-neck
  • Special People

    Dir/scr: Justin Edgar.
  • Sundance renews programming arrangement with US arthouses

    The Sundance Institute announced yesterday [Aug 22] it had renewed its affiliation with art house cinemas across the US to create specialised screening programmes of Sundance films for local audiences.The Sundance Institute Art House Project pairs the Institute with arthouse theatres in 12 cities ranging from Orlando, Florida, to Nashville, Tennessee.Each of the twelve theatres will be designated as a Sundance Institute Art House Project theatre and will design a customse
  • Taiwan - Eros as a labour of love

    Lee Kang-sheng has walked the Venice red carpet three times as the leading man of Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang's Vive L'Amour (1994), Goodbye Dragon Inn (2003) and most recently, I Don't Want To Sleep Alone (2006). This year, however, will see him there as not just an actor but as the writer-director of competition title Help Me Eros.The darkly comic love story follows a young man, played by Lee, who wants to kill himself when he faces financial ruin a
  • Thailand selects Naresuan Part 2 as Oscar entry

    Thailand has selected The Legend Of King Naresuan Part 2 as its official entry for the best foreign-language film category of the 2008 Academy Awards. The selection was made by a committee of 22 members from Thailand 's Federation of National Film Association, including president Chaiwat Taveewongsangthong. The lavish historical epic is directed by Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol as the second installment of a trilogy about the life of 16th century warrior King Naresuan.
  • The Living and the Dead (Zivi I Mirtvi)

    Dir: Kristijan Milic. Bosnia-Herzegovina/Croatia, 2007. 90 mins.The winner of theGrand Prixat The 54th Pula Film Festival,garnering seven awards in total (including best picture and director), The Living and the Dead is a striking examination of war-fever, unadulterated and Balkan-style. Kristijan Milic's debut film will strike a familiar chordwith its own home-territories and native audiences. It will also, most probably, rub salt into national wou
  • The Nanny Diaries

    Dir. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, US, 105 minutes, colour, 35 mm.In The Nanny Diaries, adapted from the best-selling picaresque roman a clef about tending to the offspring of New York's elite, Scarlett Johansson plays a would-be anthropology student immersed in a foreign culture as a nanny to a Fifth Avenue
  • The Waiting Room

    Dir/scr: Roger Goldby. UK. 2007. 96mins.A chance encounter changes lives and re-defines relationships in The Waiting Room, a mawkish, low-key ensemble piece that marks the debut feature of writer/director Roger Goldby. Stray moments of touching emotion and accomplished lead performances are some compensation for a central premise that is hard to swallow and a succession of characters who seem to be wallowing in dreary, miserable lives. Downbeat nature of the material and the
  • Tomassini, Mooij launch publicity firm Silversalt PR

    Claudia Tomassini and Thessa Mooij have launched the Berlin and New York-based publicity firm Silversalt PR.The company will specialise in international publicity for major festivals and represents three films at Venice including Andrea Porporati's competition entry Il Dolce E L'Amaro.The other Venice titles are Barbara Cupisti's Madri and Albert Maysles and Kristin Nutile's
  • Toronto announces full festival line-up

    World premieres from Lord Richard Attenborough, Renny Harlin, Gillian Armstrong, Alain Comeau, Wayne Wang and Michael Moore are among the highlights as the Toronto International Film Festival unveiled its complete line-up in advance of its September 6 opening. Also announced were new films from Kenneth Branagh, Paul Schrader, Sidney Lumet, Brian De Palma, Anand Tucker, Julian Schnabel, Jonathan Demme, Jason Reitman and Thomas McCarthy. Among the world premiere Gala titles are Ha
  • Transformers to hit IMAX screens eight weeks after release

    Michael Bay's summer hit Transformers is to be distributed in IMAX cinemas, according to the giant-screen company and DreamWorks/Paramount. Having already grossed more than $300m domestically and $350m internationally since its release, the film will be digitally remastered for release on more than 80 IMAX screens worldwide September 21. Asked why the IMAX version is following eight weeks after its conventional release, IMAX Filmed Entertainme
  • Ultimatum tops international box office with $14.4m take

    Universal/UPI's The Bourne Ultimatum was the number one overseas film at the weekend as it generated a steady $14.4m from 2,100 sites in 25 territories for an early international running total of $55m.The result was fired up by a $2.8m number one launch in Russia from 392 sites, which was as big as the combined final tallies of the first two films. The Bourne Identity finished on $1.1m and
  • United Kingdom - British promises

    Like most, if not all, successful UK producers, Paul Webster is not afraid of the US. "We're trying to work on projects with scale, so that means we need American partners," says Webster, the former Miramax head of production and Film4 chief executive who now oversees the film division of TV powerhouse Kudos. "If you're making commercial films you've got to be able to compete with what's commercial, and that's dictated by Hollywood."Webster's latest productions are on a scale to compet
  • United States - Planting Marigold

    Since setting up its US distribution operation last year, Indian entertainment giant Adlabs has released a swathe of Bollywood pictures to US-based Indian audiences, including sci-fi box-office hit Krrish, which took $2.2m across North America.Now, the company is gearing up for its first ever release to US mainstream theatres, with Hollywood-Bollywood romantic comedy Marigold, which rolls out in English on 80 screens across North America on August 17 - the same day it hit
  • United States - Tales: Take two

    I feel like the pilot of a 747 that's been flying through a hurricane and is finally coming in to land," Richard Kelly says of his most recent film, Southland Tales.It has been two years since Kelly began production on his labyrinthine black comedy-cum-thriller, about the Apocalypse, set in Southern California. Back then, the young Virginian was a rare hybrid: a cult hero whose acclaimed debut Donnie Darko whetted the appetites of the intelligentsia and earned his follow-
  • Universal buys rights to Lone Survivor for Berg to direct

    Universal Pictures has bought the rights to Lone Survivor, true story of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell's wartime experiences in Afghanistan.The studio is understood to have beaten out several bidders for rights to the book, which is currently in the top five on the New York Times' non-fiction bestseller list.Peter Berg, who directed Universal's upcoming terrorism thriller The Kingdom with Jamie
  • UTV strikes DVD on-demand deal with TitleMatch

    Indian producer-distributor UTV Motion Pictures has signed a DVD on-demand deal with US-based TitleMatch Entertainment Group for distribution of its library titles via retailers and e-tailers in North America. TitleMatch is a subsidiary of Protocall Technologies Inc, developer of the world's first CSS enabled DVD on-demand service. Titles covered by the deal include Rang De Basanti, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Taxi 9211, Life In A...Metro and Parineeta.
  • Venice International Film Festival - Venice spans the generations

    Marco Mueller, artistic director of the Venice international film festival, has been carving a personal stamp that becomes more defined each year.For his fourth line-up, Mueller has constructed a competition with a strong bedrock of English-language pictures from directors including Paul Haggis, Wes Anderson, Brian De Palma, Andrew Dominik, Tony Gilroy and Todd Haynes. They will compete against international names such as Eric Rohmer, Youssef Chahine and Jiang Wen."This edition
  • Warner Bros enters Hindi-language film production

    Warner Bros has announced its long-anticipated move into local production in India by boarding action comedy Made In China, to be directed by Nikhil Advani and star action hero Akshay Kumar. Indian production houses Ramesh Sippy Productions and Orion Pictures, founded by Advani and Mukesh Talreja, will produce the film with Warner Bros holding worldwide rights. The film is scheduled to start shooting in January on location in China with the producers claiming it as t
  • Waz

    Dir: Tom Shankland . UK. 2007. 103mins. Blend together elements of Seven, Saw and the CSI television franchise and sprinkle liberally with torture porn nastiness and you have the recipe for WAZ, a grimy, unremarkable serial killer thriller that looks like the kind of derivative material destined for an early visit to the dvd shelves. The first feature from director Tom Shankland is a mildly ambitious attempt to invest a tired genre with a few smart twists but diehard g
  • Wet weather contributes to sunny UK box office

    One of the wettest ever summers in the UK contributed to a record-breaking number of ticket sales last month.The Film Distributors Association says 21.8 million cinema visits were made in July, the equivalent of one in three of the population.The previous highest monthly total in recent years was 19.0 million in February 2002.So far this summer, five releases - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Shrek the Third,
  • Yablans' Promenade launches with The Ten Commandments

    Former Paramount president Frank Yablans' Promenade Pictures will enter the US theatrical distribution arena with the 3-D CGI feature The Ten Commandments on Oct 26.The film is the first in the 12-title Epic Stories Of The Bible series to be launched by the family-oriented production and distribution outfit.Each film will be produced by Promenade along with New Zealand-based Huhu Studios and Singapore-based iVL Animation. Promenade
  • Yang named as PIFF Asian Filmmaker of the Year

    The Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) has named the recently deceased Taiwanese director Edward Yang as Asian Filmmaker of the Year. The festival also announced that the Korean Cinema Award will go to Sabrina Baracetti of the Udine Far East Film Festival and Jean Francois Rauger of the Cinematheque Francaise. PIFF stated that Yang 'was one of Asia 's most prominent filmmakers. He pioneered the Taiwanese New Wave and his intricate cinematic aesthetics elevated the status of