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27 February 2004

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  • AFM and AFI Fest lay out the foundations of coordinated events

    Aiming to fusethe benefits offered by the AFM and AFI Fest, organisers of both events saidyesterday they hoped the deliberate scheduling match in November would presentfilm-makers with a complete introduction to the global film community.While details stillneed to be firmed up, a picture is emerging of a co-ordinated agenda designedto generate market buzz around hot festival screenings, with film-makersencouraged to meet professionals from all corners of the industry under theaegis of
  • AFM: Amuse buys android fantasy

    Korean thriller Natural City has finally been sold to Japan by its producer-sales agent Tube Entertainment.The big budget android fantasy was sold to Amuse Entertainment for a 'first rate price' after negotiations which began in Mifed and wrapped post-Berlin.Ina rare deal, Tube also pre-sold Fighter In The Wind, a fictionalised biopic of Karate master Oyama Mastatsu, who was born in Korea, but became a national hero in Japan, to Optimum Releasing for the UK.
  • AFM: Back Alley & Buffalo Gal team on erotic thriller Arousal

    Arousal,a new project from wward-winning producers Janis Lundman and Adrienne Mitchellof Montreal/Toronto-based Back Alley Films, and Phyllis Laing of Winnipeg-basedBuffalo Gal Pictures, offers an eye-opening twist on the erotic thriller.
  • AFM: Bullock, Streep primed for comedic pairing

    Universal Pictures and its specialist arm Focus Features areteaming up to distribute Stratus Films' romantic comedy Prime, which is set to go into production inthe autumn and stars Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep.Universal will release Prime in the US, Focus is handling international sales, anarrangement mirroring that for the Weitz brothers' SynergyIn Prime,Bullock plays a thirtysomething professional who visits a therapist (Streep)after splitting up
  • AFM: Cineclick Asia strikes Old Boy, Samaritan Girl deals

    Korean sales house Cineclick Asia has sold Park Chan-Wook's Cannes-tipped thriller Old Boy and Kim Ki-Duk's Berlin competition film Samaritan Girl to Film House for Mexico.Old Boy was also sold to Gutek for Poland, while Samaritan was also sold to Golden Scene for Hong Kong.Despite previous press reports, Cineclick is still finalising terms for the sale of remake rights on Old Boy. In a deal being brokered by Vertigo Entertainment the remake is
  • AFM: deals in brief

    Bavaria FilmsBerlin Golden Bear-winner, Head On was sold to Golem for Spain, Alpha for Argentina, With Cinema for Korea, Blitz for Croatia and Cinecolumbia for Columbia. Veit Helmer's Gate To Heaven was sold to Videovision for South Africa..ArclightBeautiful Boxer was sold to Tartan films for the UK and Silver Hawk to Momentum for the UK.Kang Je Gyu FilmsTae Guk Gi was sold to Long Shong for Taiwan, Anc
  • AFM: E Pictures executive to run Korea Pictures' brand new sales outfit

    Korea Pictures, the indieproduction and distribution house behind many of Korea's most commerciallysuccessful pictures, is to strike out alone with its own sales venture.The new sales company, whichwill officially launch at Cannes, is to be headed by Cho Eun-jung, who mostrecently was a sales executive with E Pictures.The diversification intosales caps a year of upheaval for the company. Korea Pictures had previously seen its titles - including Friend,My Wife Is A Gangster, C
  • AFM: Echo Bridge, Showtime sign reciprocal pact

    Fledgling worldwide salesand distribution outfit Echo Bridge Entertainment has signed a reciprocal film dealwith US pay-network Showtime Networks.The agreement sees EchoBridge distributing select Showtime Independent Films titles internationallyand Showtime licensing titles from Echo Bridge's library.EchoBridge will acquire seven films for worldwide distribution, excluding NorthAmerica, all of which were produced under the Showtime Independent Filmsbanner.
  • AFM: Eurocine picks up Czech Poets

    French sales houseEurocine has picked up Czech picture The Poets Never Lose Hope, a comedy about middle age.Directed by DusanKlein, the film is the fifth in a series of bittersweet titles and stars PavelKriz, Michaela Badinkova, David Matasek. It is produced by Bio Illusion andPluto Film & Video.
  • AFM: First Look gets new overseas look

    FirstLook Media, one of the founding AFMA members, has changed the name of itsinternational sales division Overseas Filmgroup to First Look International toreflect a greater confluence of company operations.Atthe same time, First Look Pictures revealed that it is releasing three of its domestictitles through IDP, the US distribution partnership through which SamuelGoldwyn Films and Roadside Attractions already funnel their releases.Commentingon the name change, Liz Mackiewicz, s
  • AFM: Fortissimo backs rising art-house stars

    Fortissimo Films hasgreenlit investments in upcoming productions by rising art-house directorsPierre Paul Renders and Pen-Ek Ratanaruang.Belgium's Renders,who previously made Venice 2001 film Thomas In Love, is to direct Mr Average, a French-language satirical romantic comedy thatshoots later this year.The producers are innegotiation with a major French star for the role of a man whose taste isuncannily middle-of-the-road and is used as a market
  • AFM: France's Gemini does due Process

    France's Gemini Films has taken on international sales duties for Process, the experimental thriller by CS Leigh, which screened as a special event at this month's Berlin festival.Containing next to no dialogue, only 29 edits and the cinematography of Yorgos Arvanitis, the film is an unusual look at a woman's descent towards suicide. It stars Beatrice Dalle and Guillaume Depardieu. The film's music track is supplied by experimental musician John Cale. In Berlin, Cale performed i
  • AFM: Gaga buys Japan on PS I Love You from Fortissimo

    Fortissimo has reachedagreement with Gaga Communications for the sale to Japan of its Cannes-hopeful PSI Love You."We are thrilled that thisis a genuine AFM day one deal and shows that Japanese buyers are again feelingconfident enough to bid aggressively and close deals," said Fortissimo co-chiefWouter Barendrecht.The film, by Roger Dodger-director Dylan Kidd, is a romantic fable about awoman who appears to be reunited with a boyfriend who died years before. Itstar
  • AFM: Irvin sharpens Knife for Vine International Pictures

    Dogs Of War and Hamburger Hill director John Irvin is to direct Knife Edge, a psychological drama about control of a familyfortune.The $15m picture is writtenby Robin Squire and Fiona Combe and executive produced by Combe and TharsiVanhuysse. Marie Vine of Vine International Pictures produces and handles worldsales.Vine also comes to AFM withtwo new projects cop thriller A Headful Of Snakes and werewolf thriller Maneater. Headful- the ph
  • AFM: Latido enjoys Two Tough sellers

    New Spanish-basedsales house Latido has closed deals on its Berlin competition title YourNext Life (La Vida Que Te Espera) andwhat has proved to be surprise sales hit at AFM, Two Tough Guys (Dos TiposMuy Duros).La Vida was sold to Seville for Canada, Polyfilm forAustria, Denubius for the Czech Republic, TVR for Romania and Cine Video Y TV.Deals completed before Berlin include Shani for Israel, Solo for Germany,Cinemien for Benelux and Mont Blanc
  • AFM: Lightning strikes twice

    Los Angeles-based production and distribution outfit Lightning Entertainment has picked up international sales to the drama This Girl's Life starring James Woods and the romantic comedy Perfect Opposites with Piper Perabo and Martin Henderson.In This Girl's Life a porn star hides her profession from the man she loves and her ailing father. Woods (John Q) stars along with Rosario Dawson (The Rundown), Kip Pardue (Driven), Michael Rappaport (S
  • AFM: Media Luna sells Russian comedy to US

    Germany's Media Luna has wrapped a US deal for its Russian romantic comedy You I Love, which premiered in the Panorama section of last month's Berlin festival.Theatrical and video rights to the film, which was produced and directed by Olga Stolpovskaya and Dmitry Troitsky, were sold to Douglas Witkins' Picture This!.In addition, Media Luna closed a further deal on its Dutch picture Girl (Meisje) to Overseas Movies Distribution for Singapore.
  • AFM: Monster Man sold to Tartan in UK, Sharada in Italy for Dream

    Dream Entertainment has soldall rights on the tongue-in-cheek horror picture Monster Man to Tartan Films in the UK and Sharada in Italy.Both companies plan a summertheatrical release for Michael Davis' picture, which centres on a road tripthat goes horribly awry when two friends are pursued by a gigantic truck. EricJungmann, Justin Urich and Aimee Brooks star."Monster Man has continued to attract buyers, demonstrating itsbroad appeal as well as the popularity of th
  • AFM: New Select prays on Belgian sex fantasy

    Japan's New Select was an early buyer for Belgian sexual fantasy film Praying Mantis.Lou Broclain plays a woman involved in a love triangle, who despite her best intentions feels herself turning into a praying mantis, the female insect that kills its partners immediately after mating. Directed by veteran film-maker Marc Levie, who is making his feature debut.The film has already been invited to a series of festivals including Sao Paulo (2003), Madrid Imagen (2003), San Jo
  • AFM: Pickering spearheads EBG sales

    Veteran sales agentPamela Pickering has joined Entertainment Business Group (EBG) as managingdirector, international sales.EBG, based inCamarillo, north of Los Angeles, has recently set about making large-scale $20mto $80m studio-released movies in alliance with Story Island Entertainment andCanyonlight Entertainment.Pickering, who mostrecently was president of international sales and distribution for InitialEntertainment Group (IEG), will direct internationa
  • AFM: Renaissance sells Asmik Ace, Dendy, Bim and others on Curran drama

    Renaissance Films has sealeda handful of deals on its acclaimed ensemble drama We Don't Live HereAnymore following the sale of thefilm for North America and the UK to Warner Independent Pictures at Sundance inJan.Asmik Ace has bought it forJapan, Dendy for Australia and New Zealand, Bim for Italy, Scanbox forScandinavia, Vertigo for Spain, Central Partnership for CIS, LNK for Portugal,Shani Films for Israel, Odeon for Greece and A-Film for Benelux.Renaissance chief AngusF
  • AFM: Rohmer floats with Funny Balloons

    New French sales outfit Funny Balloons has picked up Latin American rights to Berlin competition film Triple Agent by Eric Rohmer and sold a raft of territories from its Berlin-AFM slate.Triple Agent - a period thriller shot almost entirely in interiors - is brought to market in other territories by Wild Bunch.Funny Balloons, headed by former TVOR executive Pape Boye and Peter Danner, is seeking to build a slate of 8-10 low-to-medium titles, building to 14-15 in it
  • AFM: RS Entertainment takes US for Unspeakable

    Pav Films has named Randy Slaughter's LA-based RS Entertainment as US theatrical distributor for its debut feature, the psycho-thriller Unspeakable starring Dennis Hopper as an unbalanced prison warden opposite Dina Meyer, Lance Henriksen, Jeff Fahey and newcomer Pavan Grover.MGM has domestic television and DVD/home video rights while 20th Century Fox International Television will handle foreign/worldwide pay TV rights and Artist View Entertainment is handling all other foreign
  • AFM: RS takes US theatrical rights to Hopper-starrer Unspeakable

    RS Entertainment, RandySlaughter's Los Angeles-based distributor that released Luther in the US, has taken domestic theatrical rights toPav Films' debut feature Unspeakable, a psycho-thriller starring Dennis Hopper.MGM has domestic televisionand DVD/home video rights while 20th Century Fox International Television willhandle foreign/worldwide pay TV rights and Artist View Entertainment ishandling all other foreign rights.The R-rated picture won aGold Medal at the 2
  • AFM: Rubin launches US independent distribution outfit First Independent

    Former Artisan Televisionexecutive vice president Gary Rubin has launched the domestic distributionoutfit First Independent Pictures and expects to announce an initial slateshortly.The Santa Monica-basedcompany is backed by private investors and Rubin is in discussions with DavidHutkin of The Lewis Horwitz Organization and Mercantile National Bank's ArtStribley for production financing and a credit facility.First Independent is also intalks for a video output deal with several e
  • AFM: Sales veterans bash US filmmaking costs

    Echoing many of the samegrievances that emerged from last year's AFMA financing conferences, apanel of sales veterans at this year's AFM bemoaned the high-risk natureof film funding and warned that production costs in the US need to drop sharplyif the industry is to thrive on diversit
  • AFM: Senator strikes pair of Harold And Kumar sales

    Senator International has sold two additional territories for its comedy Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle, which has just completed principal photography and is due to be released in the US in July through New Line.Constantin has picked up German rights and Metropolitan Films has acquired for France.John Cho (American Pie series) and Kal Penn (Malibu's Most Wanted) star in the picture, which was directed by Danny Leiner, whose credits include Dude, Whe
  • AFM: Shochiku unveils FX film Hinokio and three samurai flicks

    Shochiku, the fast movingJapanese major, has unveiled a forthcoming slate that includes a trio ofsamurai action flicks and a high-powered special effects film Hinokio."These films are all verydifferent in nature, but posses a common edginess that will continue to defineShochiku's slate," said Takeo Hisamatsu, managing director of production andtheatrical distribution.Takahiko Akiyama, specialeffects director from Final Fantasy,directs Hinokio, a drama about
  • AFM: Strange Crime pays for Vision International

    French seller VisionInternational has struck a number of deals on Strange Crime.The Roberto Andopicture was licensed to Gussi for Mexico, Soyuz for Russia, Victory forBenelux, Kinema Space for Korea, Camro for Scandinavia, PCV for Greece andEcuador, Bolivia and Peru to Venus.Vision sold LidiaBobrova's Baboussiato Starlight for Sweden, TVR for Romania, With Cinema for Korea, Shani forIsrael and K Films for Canada. Deals are now pending in East Eu
  • AFM: Strings ties up key pre-sales

    Danish film Strings, which is already being tipped as a contender for Official Selection at Cannes, has tied together a number of key pre-sales.The film, a dark fantasy adventure told with string puppets, was sold by Trust Film Sales to Ascot Elite for Switzerland, Russian Report for Russia, Haut Et Court for France, AG Market for ex-Yugoslavia and A-Film for Benelux. Trust is also in final contractual negotiations to close Germany.Strings features a city under mar
  • AFM: Sunflower takes root for Zhang

    Chinese director Zhang Yang starts production next week in Beijing on Sunflower, a family story set against the backdrop of China's 'Cultural Revolution' in the late 1970s. The film stars Joan Chen as a mother focusing on finding a larger apartment for her family.Fortissimo Film Sales is handling world sales and also serves as a co-producer alongside Peter Loehr's Ming Productions and The China Film Corporation. Award winning cinematographer Christopher Doyle is the film's visua
  • AFM: Tartan Films in horror double bill

    The UK's Tartan Films has picked up The Park, the 3D horror film by Hong Kong director AndrewLau, better known for co-directing the sensational Infernal Affairs police trio with Alan Mak.Tartan has also picked up TheLast Horror Movie, the third feature fromWelsh director Julia
  • AFM: TF1 picks up Penn and Bardem's Face

    TF1 International has picked up The Last Face, a romantic drama starring Oscar-nominee Sean Penn,Javier Bardem and Robin Wright Penn.The $20m film is to be directed by Erin Dignam, director of Loved, which also featured both the Penns, and Denial (aka Loon).It is being produced by Michael Humphrey.
  • AFM: TLA buys Bear Cub for North America from Media Luna

    TLA Releasing has acquiredUS and Canadian theatrical and home entertainment rights to Miguel Albaladejo'sSpanish gay parenting comedy-drama Bear Cub (Cachorro).TLA picked up the picturefrom Media Luna Entertainment on behalf of Star Line Productions and willrelease the film theatrically in late 2004.Bear Cub centres on a gay man who forms a strong bond with the11-year-old nephew in his charge only for the relationship to be tested by thearrival of the boy's
  • Agatha And The Storm (Agata e la Tempesta)

    Dir: Silvio Soldini. It-Switz-UK. 2004. 123 mins.With his 1999 comedy Bread And Tulips, Silvio Soldini pulled off the increasingly difficult act of combining auteurish pretensions (albeit gentle and soft-centred ones) with commercial success: the film racked up an impressive $5m-plus in its home market alone - around four times its budget.Soldini's 2002 follow-up, the sombre angst-trip Brucio Nel Vento, was given a fairly lukewarm reception, though it
  • Arclight drums up Lord Of War sales

    Arclight Films has had a busy time handling demand for its forthcoming espionage action film Lord Of War, starring Nicolas Cage.The $48m thriller is to be directed by Andrew Niccol from mid-July on location in South Africa. It co-stars Monica Bellucci and Ethan Hawke.The picture was licensed to Gaga Communications for Japan, Momentum for the UK, Dutch Film Works for The Netherlands, Scanbox for Scandinavia, A-Media for Russia, Spentzos for Greece, Castello Lopes for Portu
  • Arthouse legends set for Cannes contention

    A look down thelist of festival-friendly films likely to be ready for Cannes (12-23 May)suggests that Thierry Fremaux and his selection team have an embarrassment ofriches to pick from - and that Quentin Tarantino's jury will be weighingup the reputations of numerous art-house legends (see below for full list).At least three former Palme d'Or winners will be ready plus a host ofother Cannes and Venice prize-winners. In addition to Pedro Almodovar, whobecomes the first Spaniard to open
  • Arthouse legends set for Cannes contention

    A look down thelist of festival-friendly films likely to be ready for Cannes (12-23 May)suggests that Thierry Fremaux and his selection team have an embarrassment ofriches to pick from - and that Quentin Tarantino's jury will be weighingup the reputations of numerous art-house legends (see below for full list).At least threeformer Palme d'Or winners will be ready plus a host of other Cannes andVenice prize-winners. In addition to Pedro Almodovar, who becomes the fir

    Icon's The Passion Of The Christ grossed A$3,610,618 from 145 screens in its first five days in Australian cinemas, giving it a whopping screen average of A$20,504. It opened on Wednesday, instead of the usual Thursday, but without its opening day tally it still came in just short of an impressive A$3m. The figure was actually A$2,973,157.Only one other film has opened bigger this year, and that was The Last Samurai, which took A$3,401,421 over four days from 274 or nearl
  • Bay's Platinum Dunes signs international agreement with Focus

    Platinum Dunes, MichaelBay's production outfit designed to make modestly budgeted films fromfirst-time directors, has signed an exclusive sales arrangement with FocusFeatures. Focus had previously handled Platinum Dunes' debut project TheTexas Chainsaw Massacre, whichgrossed more than $100m worldwide.The new deal will encompassall upcoming Platinum Dunes projects for which Focus will sell all territoriesoutside North America.Headed by Bay, along withhis producing partners
  • Becker says G'Day to Oz idol

    Reiko Bradley from BeckerFilms International has picked up international rights on two unmade films,Australian mainstream teen comedy G'Day LA to be directed by veteran filmmaker Tom Jeffrey, and the edgy LoveJunkie by English-born US-basedindependent writer/director Ash.Australian Idol contestantRobert Mills has been cast in G'Day LA in what is believed to be the first time in the world that the realitytelevision franchise has shoehorned someone
  • Ben Ammar's Quinta takes French rights to The Passion...

    Quinta Communications, theParis-based holding company of international investor Tarak Ben Ammar, hasrevealed itself as the company which has bought rights in French-speakingterritories to Mel Gibson's blockbusting The Passion Of The Christ.Quinta plans to release thefilm before Easter, in early April, although details of how it will handle thefilm are not yet clear.The announcement comes afterrecent speculation that The Passionwould not be released in France. Ben A
  • Black Tiger wins First Light prize

    UK Film Council chair Alan Parker and actors Dougray Scott and Olivia Williams were amongst the attendees at the First Light awards, the Film Council's National Lottery-funded programme for seven to 18 year olds.Jury members including Pierce Brosnan, Kenneth Branagh, Ray Winstone, Christopher Eccleston and Samantha Morton awarded the prize for best live action drama/fiction to the Big State Theatre Company for Black Tiger.Bristol's Knowle West Media Centre picked up the a
  • Buyers sink teeth into Open Water

    Lions Gate Films Internationalhas sold key territories on Chris Kentis' low-budget shark thriller OpenWater, which it acquired from PlungePictures at Sundance and Lions Gate Releasing plans to release domesticallythis summer.
  • Catholics called on to denounce Gibson's Passion

    Following a viewing on Monday of Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ, the Chief Rabbi of Ireland, Dr Yaakov Pearlman, has asked the majority Catholic Church to denounce the film as anti-Semitic.He is reported in the Irish press today as urging the Catholic Church to clarify its official position, stated in the 1960s, that it absolved all Jews of any culpability for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.He is quoted as saying that Gibson's film depicted Jews "as blood-thirsty
  • Celluloid Dreams strikes US deals for Berlinale titles

    Top French sales house Celluloid Dreams managed two North American deals on its burgeoning art-house slate.Cedric Kahn's Red Lights (Feux Rouges) was sold to Wellspring Media for the US. That complemented earlier business with Bim for Italy, Films De L'Elysee for Belgium, Artificial Eye for the UK, Maywin for Russia, Austri for Stadtkino, Atalanta for Portugal, Nu Vision for Mexico, Alfa for Argentina, Fivia for Slovenia, Audiovisual for Greece.Samuel Goldwyn bought Wa
  • Cinelibre takes worldwide rights on Greenwald's War In Iraq doc

    Cinema Libre Studio willhandle worldwide rights on veteran director-producer Robert Greenwald's highlytopical documentary Uncovered: The War In Iraq.Greenwald, whose creditsinclude Unprecedented and StealThis Movie, partnered withMoveOn.Org and the Centre for American Progress to produce the picture, whichis due to get its world premiere at Cannes.Uncovered: The War InIraq is set for US release duringthe Republican National Convention in New York and
  • Cinema Service learns to speak Chinese

    Korean major Cinema Servicehas tied up a multi-picture deal with Thomas Leong's Hong Kong productionoutfit Lotus Entertainment.While details of theagreement have yet to be finalised, the deal is understood to involve CinemaService financing a slate of Chinese pictures that Lotus will source, developand produce."We want to make genuinelyChinese films that are primarily aimed at the Chinese market," said Josh Lee,head of international sales at Cinema Service. "We have seen how dif
  • Cold Light (Kaldaljos)

    Dir: Hilmar Oddsson. Ice-Ger-UK-Nor. 2004. 92mins.There must be a law in Iceland stipulating that local films should contain one or more of the following: a) a weird and lonely hero; b) an avalanche; c) cod fishermen vs the cruel sea; d) magical powers, especially the ability to predict the future. In the wake of the international arthouse success of Noi The Albino, this make-an-Icelandic-film starter kit has even started to look like a money spinner.But
  • Crimson Rivers 2: The Angels Of The Apocalypse (Rivieres Pourpres 2: Les Anges De L'Apocalypse)

    Dir: Olivier Dahan. Fr-UK-It. 2004. 100mins.No, he's not the real thing, courtesy of Mel Gibson, but France still has its own screen Jesus figure this week, courtesy of Crimson Rivers 2: The Angels Of The Apocalypse. Here, the apostles all get killed off while 'the Christ' himself (or rather a modern-day look-alike who heads a mini-sect of his own) ends up in hospital with a gunshot wound. Silly, derivative and strident as it all is, this follow-up to smash 2000 thrill
  • DEJ acquires domestic rights to Employee Of The Month

    DEJ Prods, the acquisitionand distribution arm of Blockbuster Entertainment, has bought domestic rightsto Employee Of The Month, Bull's Eye Entertainment's heist comedy starring MattDillon, Christina Applegate and Steve Zahn.Directed by Mitch Rouse andproduced by Cathy Schulman, Bob Yari and Tom Nunan of Bull's Eye, the filmworld premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival. It is sold here byYari's Syndicate Films.DEJ has ramped up its filminvestment activities, picking up s

    By clinging to its strong screen average and falling back just 3%, Something's Gotta Give moved into the top spot in its second week as Brother Bear dropped 25%.The new release of Cold Mountain just managed to edge in on fourth with its 25 prints, while 21 Grams' low eight prints had the same screen average but opened on 12th. Genre flicks The Butterfly Effect and Timeline opened 14th and 16th respectively.In its sixth week, Annette K. O
  • Diane Lane signs on as one of Lions Gate's Fierce People

    Lions Gate has greenlit thedrama Fierce People, which starsDiane Lane and is set to begin principal photography in March.Based on a screenplay byDirk Wittenborn and directed by Griffin Dunne (Practical Magic, Addicted ToLove), the story centres on aManhattan-based massage therapist who becomes entangled in the murky life of awealthy client.Lions Gate Films willdistribute the picture domestically and Lions Gate International will handleforeign sales."Fierc
  • Duguay signs on to direct The Runelords

    Christian Duguay, whosecredits include The Art Of Warand the mini-series Hitler: Rise Of Evil, has been signed to direct the $80m fantasy adventure The Runelords which is being co-produced by Franchise Pictures,Story Island Entertainment, Canyonlight Entertainment and EntertainmentBusiness Group (EBG).The Runelords is the first of three sword and sorcery tales basedon David Farland's bestselling novels The Runelords, Brotherhood Of The Wolf and Wiz
  • Entertainment laps up Lassie project for UK

    New York-based Classic Media has sold all UK rights to BAFTA-winning Charles Sturridge's live-action Lassie project to Nigel and Trevor Green's Entertainment Film Distributors.Francesca Barra and Selwyn Roberts, who co-founded Firstsight Films with Sturridge in 2001, will serve as producers while Classic's Schwalbe and chairman and chief executive officer Eric Ellenbogen will handle executive producer duties."Entertainment has done been an incredible job on the Lord Of
  • Eurimages bankrolls eleven features with Euros 3.3m

    New features by Pan Nalin (Valley Of Flowers), Radu Mihaileanu (Va, Vis Et Deviens) , Diane Bertrand (Der Ringfinger) and Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now) are among 11 European co-productions which received over Euros 3.3m support from the Strasbourg-based Eurimages in its latest round of funding.The largest amount - Euro 600,000 - was awarded by the pan-European production fund to Angel de la Cruz and Manolo Gomez's Spanish-Portuguese co-production El Suen
  • Fantasporto shares out top honours

    Korean title A Tale Of Two Sisters and Spain's Killing Words shared the top prizes of the official Fantasy Film competition at the 24th annual edition of Portugal's leading film festival, the Oporto International Film Festival (Feb 20-Mar 1), better known as Fantasporto.Kim Jee-Woon's Sisters took the best film, director and actress (Im Soo-Jung) prizes, as well as a special jury prize in the parallel Orient Express section.Laura Mana's Words (Palabras En
  • Filmax unveils Bloodline at AFM

    Filmax is prepping new English-language horror film Bloodline from award-winning short film director Nacho Cerda to be presented for the first time at the AFM.Bloodline tells the story of an American film producer who returns to her native Russia following her mother's death and is forced to face her own foreshadowed demise on her family's abandoned property. Cerda wrote the screenplay with Karim Hussain (Ascension).Also at the AFM, Filmax will present the f
  • Final February AFM says sayonara

    A handful of high value deals for Japan and a good flow into the US eased the pressure. But the curtain-closing February AFM is more likely to go down in history as one short on hot product or deals volume.Arguably the biggest deal of the week was the sale of Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist to Toshiba for Japan. Summit apparently asked for $10m on the $60m picture that shoots later this year.Other big Japanese deals included Shochiku's acquisition of Mandalay's The Jacke
  • Fox makes Passion play

    20th Century Fox, which has a first-look production deal with Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey’s Icon Productions, has quietly become far more involved in The Passion Of The Christ than originally thought.Fox is understood to have sealed the lucrative domestic home entertainment rights tithe film as well as theatrical rights in Asia-Pacific and Latin America excluding Puerto Rico.Fox had very publicly passed on the chance to distribute the film theatrically in North America last Augus

    In a strong week at the French box office Crimson Rivers 2 : Angels Of The Apocalypse opened to nearly one million admissions in its first week. The sequel to 2000's hit Crimson Rivers changed directors and one of its leads but that didn't hurt it any - with critics also giving it the thumbs up.Last week's number one film Podium dropped to the second position but was only off by 26% while Disney's Brother Bear clearly has its teeth firmly implanted in the lo
  • Full list of Oscar winners 2003

    Best picture The Lord OfThe Rings: The Return Of The KingBarrie M Osborne, Peter Jackson & Fran Walsh (producers)Best director Peter Jackson TheLord Of The Rings: The Return Of The KingBest actor Sean Penn MysticRiverBest actress Charlize TheronMonsterBest supporting actor TimRobbins Mystic RiverBestsupporting actress Renee Zellweger Cold MountainBest original screenplayS
  • Gaumont revamps senior management team

    French major Gaumont, which has seen its films struggle tomake a significant impact at the local box office over the past two years, hasannounced a re-organisation of its management structure.The changes involve managing director Patrice Ledouxstepping away from the helm to concentrate on production while chairman NicolasSeydoux will play a less hands-on role.From April 29, Seydoux, whose family is the company'smajor shareholder, will no longer hold the title of president of the

    BVI's release of Scary Movie 3 was the strongest opener of 2004 to date, grossing $7.3m from 630 screens with a screen average of $ 11,565.The only other new entry in the Top 15 was Constantin Film's 21 Grams - with $371,969 from 107 prints - which could follow the success of Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation which is still in the Top 10 after eight weeks in the box-office chart and will have now taken over $6m.Meanwhile, Constantin has now announced that
  • Gibson's Passion play opens top on $117.5m five-day weekend

    Newmarket's number oneopener The Passion Of The Christ intervened divinely in the course ofthe US box office this week, scoring a sensational five-day $117.5m estimatedgross by the close of Sunday.Mel Gibson's gritty accountof the final 12 hours of Christ's life scored the second biggest five-day (andtherefore Wednesday) opening of all time behind The Lord Of The Rings: TheReturn Of The King's $124.1m December haul.The picture, which stars JimCaviezel and Monica Be
  • Hanway enters Land Of Plenty

    Hanway Films has picked uprights outside North America and the UK to Wim Wenders' Land Of Plenty, the low-budget film he made for digital filmmakingcollective InDigEnt.The movie, which is currently inpost-production, stars Michelle Williams (Dawson's Creek, The StationA
  • Head-On release impacts German distributors

    Fledgling distributor Timebandits Films has been lambasted by fellow German arthouse distributors for bringing forward the release date of Fatih Akin's Golden Bear-winner Head-On (Gegen Die Wand) from April 22 to March 11.In an open letter from 12 distributors including Arsenal Film, Kinowelt, Kool Film, Senator Film, Solo Film and Ventura Film, Timebandits was criticised for "an unprecedented" move which would damage "not only the films of your competitors, but also your own a
  • Heavens Above - It's Cash Wednesday!

    Newmarket Films and Icon Entertainment announced their astonishingfinal numbers yesterday for the first day Wednesday gross of The Passion OfThe Christ - a divine$26,556,573.The figure, which is the third biggest Wednesday gross of all timeafter The Return Of The King ($34m) and Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace ($28.5m), comes from 3,006 theatres anda total of 4,643 prints.Newmarket's Bob Berney said that he had every indicationthat the figures woul
  • Highpoint adds Advanced Warriors

    UK sales house High Films& TV has picked up Advanced Warriors, a DVD movie directed by AndrewDymond of Bristol-based Lightworx Media.Inspired by the novels ofIan Livingstone, the picture adopts the tree format where every decision-makingopportunity is accompanied by a menu of options with different outcomes.Audiences are required to participate and can "win" or "lose" the film."Not only is AdvancedWarriors one of the first movies of its kind to

    Thai martial arts movie Ong-Bak, starring rising action hero Tony Jaa, tops the Hong Kong box office this week with US$732,775 from 30 screens which distributor Edko says is 'within expectations'. The film is already the second highest-grossing Thai movie ever in Hong Kong although it has a long way to go before overtaking Thai comedy The Iron Ladies which grossed HK$15.3m in 2000The only other opener, Cold Mountain, managed only fifth position with US$195,823 from
  • Hong Kong looks forward to Monkey business

    For full Hong Kong production listings click HEREEmperor Motion Picture Group's The Twins Effect II, the sequel to last year's blockbuster action comedy which is currently shooting in China, seems to encapsulate many things about the current mood in the Hong Kong film industry.Firstly, the film is crammed full of stars, hence its hefty US$10m budget, which reflects the growing confidence tha
  • HONG KONG Production Listings - March 1 2004

    HONG KONG March 1 2004PRE-PRODUCTIONABNORMAL BEAUTY(Magic Head Film Production) Backers: Universe Entertainment. Int'l sales: Universe Films Distribution. Thriller. Twin brothers taste the soul of love and the meaning of life after accidentally exchanging their identities. Exec prod: Daneil Lam. Prod: Oxide Pang. Dir: Oxide Pang. Cast: Gillian Chung, Joey Yung. Shooting in Hong Kong from April 2004.Contact: Koris Ha, Universe Films Distribution Co, (852) 24
  • Hopper to serve as chairman of advisory board for CineVegas

    Dennis Hopper will serve as chairman of the creative advisoryboard for the 2004 CineVegas Film Festival."W
  • Italian critics unveil early Nastri D'Argento nominations

    In a surprise move destined to boost Italian films at the box office, Italy's national critics union (SNCCI) has announced its full list of nominees for the country's second biggest awards - the Nastri D'Argento - two months earlier than in previous years.The Nastri D'Argento (literally, Silver Ribbons) awards ceremony will, as usual, take place during the Taormina Film Festival, and will be handed out this year on June 19.But the SNCCI said it had decided to anticipate the anno

    Silvio Soldini's latest film, Agatha And The Storm, opened in seventh place at the Italian box office, grossing $484,799 from 126 screens for a strong, if unspectacular, screen average of $3,848.The weekend's other local opener, Sotto Falso Nome (aka A Strange Crime) opened rather more disappointingly: the Medusa thriller, which stars Daniel Auteuil and Greta Scacchi, earned $193,940 from 89 screens, posting a timid screen average of $2,179.Elsewhere, Tim Burton's
  • Italy faces film industry 'labour dispute'

    Notwithstanding Italy's brand new cinema law, the Italian film industry is once again asking the government to urgently address a series of problems that are crippling the local film industry, including poorly distributed funds, and the lack of antitrust laws or financial incentives.During an emergency, self-described "labour dispute" held in Rome and attended by hundreds of members of the Italian entertainment industry, national entertainment body AGIS warned that the jobs of 200,000

    Master And Commander finished its first weekend at the Japanese box office, with Y187,552,450 ($1.7 million) on 136,257 admissions, for a Y718,591 ($6,592) average on 261 screens. The film, which opened on February 28, is expected to finish with a total of Y2 billion ($18.3 million). "Not a bad number for a film of this type and about what we were expecting," said a Buena Vista spokesman.Meanwhile, in its second week on release Lord Of Rings: Return Of The King continued
  • Japanese arthouse market consolidates

    Japanese productionand distribution group Artist House has acquired Cinema Parisien, themicro-distributor that has specialised in French and other foreign-languagefilms in Japan.Artist House, whichoperates the Artist Film distribution company, says the deal is a horizontalexpansion that will complement its video distribution strengths.Its 2004 video slateincludes art-house titles including 21 Grams, Lost In Translation, Dogville and L'Homme Du Train.Followin
  • Kick 'n' Rush (2 Ryk Og 1 Aflevering)

    Dir: Aage Rais-Nordentoft. Denmark. 2004. 95mins.Mixing football with the problems of adolescence has become something of a sub-genre in recent years. Purely Belter and Bend It Like Beckham opened the scoring for England; now the Scandinavians have begun to lob their own teen soccer tales into the area, with United, a Norwegian film which screened in the Kinderfilmfest 14plus sidebar in Berlin, and the Danish Kick 'n Rush, which featured both in 14
  • King of the world: 11 out of 11 Oscar sweep for Rings

    In an extraordinary cleansweep, New Line Cinema's The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King won 11 Academy Awards last night out of its 11nominations - matching the all-time record set by Ben-Hur in 1959 and Titanic in 1997.The film, which ironicallyis the second highest grossing film in history after Titanic, was a favourite going in to the evening, but fewcould have anticipated such total domination.It was a triumphant end tothe trilogy for New
  • Lost In Translation in healthy Spirits

    FocusFeatures' Lost In Translation emerged as the key winner at the IFP Independent Spirit Awardson Saturday, winning awards for best feature, best director, best male lead forBill Murray and best original screenplay.A jubilant SofiaCoppola accepted three of those awards.Oscar favouriteCharlize Theron took home the female lead prize for Monster and Monster itself also won the best first feature fordirector Patty Jenkins.The only bignon-Oscar-nominated
  • Madrid, Barcelona plan Spanish film studios

    New plans are underway to build studio and production centres in both Madrid and Barcelona.Spain is already gearing up for the opening this summer of sections of the massive City of Light (Ciudad de la Luz) studio complex in Alicante. Whereas City of Light will target international productions, the smaller initiatives in Madrid and Barcelona - the main hubs of the Spanish industry - are targeted more at local companies.The Madrid project, the brainchild of Tornasol Films chief G
  • Mar del Plata unveils competition jury

    Latin America's only 'A' category festival, Mar del Plata, has named its competition jury for its 19th edition, which runs from March 11-20.The jury is composed of veteran Argentine-French cinematographer Ricardo Aronovich, Portuguese actress Maria de Medeiros, Argentine actress Ana Maria Picchio, Brazilian director-writer-actor Domingos de Oliveira, whose film Breaking Up won the festival's Golden Ombu last year, Argentine-Italian film academic and journalist Ernesto Perez, Bri
  • Master looks to command Japanese market

    Buena Vista International (BVI) has two major openings thisweekend, with the adventure picture Master And Commander: The Far Side OfThe World going out wide in Japan on Feb 28and Scary Movie 3 opening wide aday earlier in Germany.Japan is a notoriously difficult market to predict. However,a strong bow seems assured given the film-going population's fondness forRussell Crowe.When A Beautiful Mindopened there in March 2002 it ranked third on $1.8m - a credible
  • Mifed date change sparks domino effect

    The shift in the MIFED dates is having repercussions for many other events in the international film calendar.Spanish sellers, for example, fear that with Mifed and AFM now as separate and competing events they are expected to pitch their sales tents at no less than five locations in nine weeks: MIPCOM, MIFED, AFM 2, the Spain-Miami Sales Expo and the Lanzarote Screenings.And that is not including either Toronto or San Sebastian. They report that Lanzarote may now feel obliged t
  • Miramax's Weinstein wins humanitarian award from amfAR

    Miramax co-chairman HarveyWeinstein will be recognized with the Arthur B Krim Award by amfAR, theAmerican Foundation for AIDS Research, at a special tribute event later thisyear.Weinstein becomes only thesecond recipient of the award following the late great MCA chairman LewWasserman. The award recognizes Weinstein's contributions to advancing AIDSresearch and his humanitarian efforts which echo those of Krim, the head ofUnited Artists from 1951 to 1978 and founder of Orion Pictures wh
  • Mirovision explores Antarctic

    Korean indieproduction and sales house Mirovision has put together a varied slate for2004-5, headed by a big-budget mountaineering chiller that will shot at PeterJackson's facilities in New Zealand.Described as TheShining meets VerticalLimit, Antarctic Journalfeatures an expedition to the polar ice-cap that comes across the ghostlyremains of previous explorers.The film is puttogether by leading production house Sidus and Mirovision on a budgetapproaching $10m. Dire
  • New Line makes Mexican pact with brand new distributor

    New Line International hasallied with Districine in Mexico for the distribution of all New Line's filmsin Mexico. New Line's films were previously handled by sister company WarnerBros Pictures International in all Latin America, but the studio is currentlyreassessing its distribution plans in the subcontinent.Districine is a newlyfounded company run by Eduardo Rossoff and Richard Ham; Rossoff is theaward-winning director of Ave Mariaand has produced the films Keys To Freedom
  • New Line sees upside from Anger

    New Line Cinema has acquired North American distribution rights tothe ensemble comedy The Upside Of Anger, which was co-financed and sold by Media 8 Entertainment.Written and directed by Mike Binder, the film stars Joan Allen asa single mother of four teenage daughters who starts to have a relationshipwith her neighbour played by Kevin Costner. Erika Christensen, Evan RachelWood, Keri Russell and Alicia Witt play the daughters.The deal, estimated at $3m, was brokered by G
  • Paltrow gets decade of achievement award at ShoWest

    Gwyneth Paltrow is to behonoured with the ShoWest 2004 Distinguished Decade of Achievement in FilmAward at the 30th anniversary film expo in Las Vegas later this month."For the past decade,Gwyneth Paltrow has delivered one sensational performance after another," MitchNeuhauser, co-managing director of the event, said in a statement."With such varied roles infilms such as Seven, Emma, Sliding Doors, A Perfect Murder, The Talented MrRipley, Shallow Hal, and of course,her Os
  • Paramount Classics tools up with Filmax's Machinist

    Paramount Classics has acquired multiple territory rightsto Brad Anderson's The Machinist starringChristian Bale from Filmax International.The studio specialized arm bought the psychologicalthriller for North America, UK, South Africa, Latin America, Australia and NewZealand. Paramount Classics, which previously handled Anderson's HappyAccidents, is planning an end of yearrelease for the film which world premiered at this year's Sundanc
  • Parker steps down as UK Film Council chair

    Alan Parker is leaving as chairman of the UK Film Council after five years, the film support body confirmed this week.Stewart Till, vice-chairman of the council and head of UIP, is seen as a potential replacement for the position, which is expected to be filled over the summer. Parker will have done two full two terms as chairman."During his tenure at the UK Film Council, and before that at the BFI, Alan has always given an immense amount of time and energy," said a council spok
  • Passion's domestic weekend tally tops out at heavenly $125.2m

    Confirmed figures releasedtoday (March 1) reveal The Passion Of The Christ grossed an astonishing $125.2m in its first five days, making it thebiggest Wednesday-to-Sunday five-day US opening of all time.Released through NewmarketFilms, Mel Gibson's self-financed crucifixion epic took $26.6m on its openingWednesday (25) and added $22.9m on Friday (27), $33.1m on Saturday (28) and$27.9m on Sunday (29) for a remarkable $83.8m three-day total.It exceeds the previousrecord-hol
  • Pearls And Pigs (Helmia Ja Sikoja)

    Dir: Perttu Leppa. Finland. 2003. 113 mins.Feelgood comedy Pearls And Pigs was seen by around 1 in 40 Finns in the weeks after its home release late last year, and while being big in Finland is no watertight guarantee of international success, this likeable teen comedy has some serious Hollywood remake potential.The premise is neat and fertile: four layabout brothers (mother dead, father in the clink) discover that they have a younger half-sister with a fine
  • Polly is top in UK and Brazil, scores $4.3m weekend

    Universal's AlongCame Polly opened top inthe UK through UIP at the weekend on an estimated $1.8m from 369 sites.The opening was15% bigger than that of Meet The Parents in 2000 and 21% bigger than American Pie in 1999.Polly held on to number one in its second weekin Brazil, adding $300,000 from 143 for $950,000.Overall theromantic comedy took $4.3m from all its markets to raise its internationalrunning total to $14m. There are 42 markets still t
  • Redbus takes on Sundance title from Warner Independent

    The UK's Redbus Film Distribution has picked up UK rights to Sundance title We Don't Live Here Anymore from Warner Independent Pictures.Redbus aims for the acquisition to be the first in an ongoing relationship with the classics division, whose stablemate Warner Home Video handles Redbus' video distribution.The UK distributor will open the film after Warner's US release in the second half of the year and is aiming for a break out success. Starring Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern
  • Renaissance strikes key Pobby And Dingan pre-sales

    On the strength of its screenplay and director, but as yet no cast attachments, Renaissance Films has struck pivotal pre-sales deals on Pobby And Dingan, a rites-of-passage story set in the Australian outback that is due to start shooting on location in July.Gaga Communications of Japan and A-Film/Cinelibre of Benelux both pre-bought the project, which will mark the third directorial outing for British filmmaker Peter Cattaneo, after The Full Monty and Lucky Break.
  • Ripley returns with Lions Gate Int'l

    Lions Gate International will handle foreign rights on Cinerenta'sthriller Mr Ripley's Return, the latest addition to the Ripley canon that features anall-star cast including Barry Pepper, Alan Cumming, Claire Forlani, WillemDafoe and Tom Wilkinson.Based on Patricia Highsmith's novel Ripley Underground, Roger Spottiswoode's picture is inpost-production and will be available for sales at AFM. Lions Gate is among apack of studios chasing domestic rights to the picture and C

    On a list heavily dominated by the releases of InterComFilm, The Last Samurai is still the name of the game, the Tom Cruise epic is nearing the impressive one hundred thousand admissions at the Romanian box office.Newcomers Paycheck and Big Fish opened decently on six and five screens, respectively. James Cox's Wonderland was the weekend's flop in Romanian cinemas, although starring Val Kilmer and Kate Bosworth the film couldn't even scrape together five hun
  • See Grace Fly wins Oporto festival audience prize

    Pete McCormack'sdrama See Grace Flyhas won the audience award at the Oporto International Film Festival(Fantasporto).The picture tells of a 38-year-old schizophrenic'sincreasingly erratic behaviour following her mother's death and stars GinaChiarelli, Paul McGillion and Benjamin Ratner.This is thethird prize for See Grace Fly following a Women in Film award for Chiarelli and a special jurycitation at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

    The Robbery Of The Third Reich, Serbian buddy-comedy about two petty thieves trying to make it in WW2 Berlin has practically robbed the market. Its 55,178 admissions for the three-day weekend is the biggest opening since Zamfir's Zona in November 2002, the highest-ever grossing film in the territory.The two local blockbusters share the same production company Dream Company, the same director Zdravko Sotra and most of the cast, as well as the distributor Mirius.Addi
  • Showtime greenlights Catholic Church scandal drama Our Fathers

    Showtime has greenlit the highly topical drama Our Fathers, based on Newsweek editor David France'sinvestigation into the paedophilia scandal that gripped the Roman Catholicchurch.
  • South Australia launches Screen Industry Council

    A screen industry council is to be formed in South Australia to bring under one roof all production sectors - from film and television to games and education - with the aim of sharing experiences and market intelligence."Our philosophy is that the industry needs to be more involved in policy making and more horizontally integrated," said director Mario Andreacchio, a member of the committee that is trying to drive the state's small but significant industry forward. "There is strength i
  • Spain's Manga sues Miramax over Kill Bill

    Spanish distributor Manga Films has filed a suit against Miramax in a Barcelona court claiming non-completion of a distribution agreement for Quentin Tarantino's two-volume Kill Bill.According to Manga president Luis de Val, the two companies signed an agreement last November for theatrical and video/DVD rights in Spain on both volumes of the film.Since then, Miramax is said to have contracted the same rights to Buena Vista International (BVI), which is expected to releas
  • Stars line-up for Oscar Moore script reading

    A Fine Line, the winning script from last year's Oscar Moore screenwriting prize, is to have a performed reading at London's Curzon Soho cinema next week.Writing duo Ben Gooder and Philip Greenacre's script is the gripping true story of the rise and fall of Eric Hebborn and his career as an expert art forger.The cast for the performed reading, which is organised by The Script Factory, includes Sam West, Olivia Williams and Tim McInnery.The event takes place on Mar
  • Stonelock secures credit line, retains AFMA chairman Ryan

    Beni Atoori's LosAngeles-based Stonelock Pictures has secured a $200m credit line through Dutchbank ABN AMRO to produce films and set up international sales companyStonelock Pictures International.AFMA chairman and IACpartner Michael Ryan will handle sales on the company's first two pictures: thebiopic Mata Hari and the epic Gilgamesh, which stars Omar Sharif and Peter O'Toole."We have been working for along time to put this together and we are now moving full-stea
  • Tai Seng sets Red Trousers as first US theatrical release

    Video giant Tai SengEntertainment, one of the leading US distributors of Hong Kong film andtelevision, is to theatrically distribute its first production in the US, theaction documentary Red Trousers - The Life Of The Hong Kong Stuntmen.Tai Seng will partner withLandmark Theaters and Regal Entertainment and will release the picture inSeattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles on Mar 5, expanding into more than 18markets after that.Marking the directorialdebut of Robin Shou,
  • Tartan, Arclight full of Grace with Killer

    Tartan Films and ArclightFilms have teamed up with New York-based Killer Films to co-produce andco-finance the $12m Savage Grace,the first film from director Tom Kalin since his 1992 indie classic Swoon, which will star Julianne Moore.The film is currently inpre-production, and is scheduled to start shooting in July in the UK beforemoving to Spain and France.Christine Vachon and PamKoffler are producing for Killer. Arclight is handling international sales atAFM; do
  • TF1 Int'l embarks on Leconte's Cambodian voyage

    TF1 International has pickedup the new film by in-form French director Patrice Leconte.While finishing his Berlincompetition film Intimate Strangers(Confidences Intimes), Leconteshot Dogora, a voyage throughCambodia. The intensely personal picture uses an imaginary language throughoutand boasts powerful music by Etienne Perruchon, a renowned composer in thetheatre.Warner Bros will release thefilm in France, following an arrangement by producers Epithete with
  • Top international buyers hold Grudge

    Senator International has soldout Ghost House Pictures' The Grudge,a remake of the hit Japanese horror thriller Ju-On, in all major territories following deals with UIPfor the UK, Constantin for Germany, Metropolitan for France and VillageRoadshow for Australia.
  • Touch Of Pink

    Dir: Ian Iqbal Rashid. UK-Canada. 2004. 91mins.The latest entry in the canon of colourful Indian-diaspora comedies after Bend It Like Beckham, The Guru and Bollywood/Hollywood, Touch Of Pink is a notable directorial debut from UK TV writer and poet Ian Iqbal Rashid. Oozing charm and a genuine joie de vivre which was lacking in those last two mentioned titles, it had audiences at Sundance (where it played in Premieres) cheering and closed a domestic
  • Treston promoted to director of marketing and distributor sales at York

    Arik Ben Treston has been promoted to director of marketing anddistributor sales at Burbank-based production and distribution outfit YorkEntertainment.
  • Twisted

    Dir: Philip Kaufman. US. 2003. 96 mins.Ashley Judd has made a profitable habit of playing strong, successful women at the centre of moody, otherwise male-dominated thrillers. Twisted (originally known on the international sales circuit as Blackout) is a serviceable addition to Judd's resume but one that lacks the charge necessary to attract audiences as efficiently as the star's 1999 hit Double Jeopardy or even her mid-level performers Kiss The Girls

    UIP's Along Came Polly saw a stunning launch in the UK and Ireland last weekend slipping easily into first place with a $4.2m gross.Along Came Polly is the latest comedy success in the UK following strong showing so far this year for Scary Movie 3 ($16.7m to date), School Of Rock ($16.2m), Something's Gotta Give ($10.6m), comedy drama Lost In Translation ($15.8m) and comedy fantasy Big Fish ($10.6m).The Ben Stiller-Jennifer Anisto
  • US channel opens up for Asian films

    The chances of Asian films getting North Americandistribution are set to increase with the launch later this year ofImaginasianTV, one of the US' first dedicated Asian entertainmentchannels.The company was set up last year at the initiative ofMichael Hong, a former Spelling Television and Paramount executive. Backed by aconsortium of asset managers and music impresarios, the channel will present afull-service mixture of Asian films, series, news, animation and studio showsin a free-to-