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27 March 2009

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  • 100 years of Hong Kong cinema

    Every great story involves a little mystery, and so it is with the story of Hong Kong cinema. Film-making is thought to have made its way to town as early as 1898, when the US-based Edison production house sent a camera crew through Asia, and returned home with footage of Hong Kong landmarks, including The Peak and Government House. There were also cinema houses in the Central district, where out-of-work actors were employed to supply live translations for foreign films.
  • Animax Asia unveils first original HD production LaMB

    Sony's Animax Asia channel has unveiled its first original HD animation production, LaMB, which is set to be released over multiple platforms including TV, internet and mobile phones. Backed by the $6m Singapore Economic Development Board and SPE Networks Asia Joint Production Fund, and executive produced by Animax Asia, the project encompasses a one-hour TV feature, music videos, web manga, mobile graphic novel, mobisodes and online and mobile games. Singapore's
  • Babelsberg boards Boxhagener Platz and Jerry Cotton

    Studio Babelsberg will co-produce two German feature productions Matti Geschonneck's Boxhagener Platz and Cyrill Boss and Phillip Stennert's Jerry Cotton. The announcement follows Studio Babelsberg's recent partnership on Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds and Roman Polanski's The Ghost. Tragicomedy Boxhagener Platz which has just started principal photography, is a $4.8m (Euros 3.5m) co-production between Munich-based Cl
  • Bananaz to be released online pre theatrical release

    Ceri Levy’s Bananaz will be available online via Babelgum before its theatrical release.The online premiere will take place on April 20, 2009 prior to the film’s subsequent UK theatrical release via EMI. EMI hold worldwide distribution rights for the documentary.Documentary film Bananaz gives an account of the creative process behind virtual cartoon band Gorillaz and the working relationship of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett.Valerio Zingarelli, CEO of Babelg
  • Beijing-based ACE lines up thriller, Japan co-production

    Beijing-based distributor-turned-producer ACE Film Studio has announced that it is lining up thriller Midnight Taxi and China-Japan co-production Dream Wall (working title). Adapted from Xu Zi's hit online novel of the same name, Midnight Taxi tells the true story of a Beijing-based taxi driver's encounter with a mysterious woman. Scriptwriter and film critic Zhang Jiangnan will direct. Jordon Chan (Initial D) and Chinese actress Deng Ziyi (
  • Broccoli Foundation donates $1.4 million to UK film charity

    The Albert R. Broccoli and Dana Broccoli Foundation is donating $1.4 million to The Cinema & Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF) to mark the centenary of the birth of Albert R. Broccoli. Barbara Broccoli said 'We are pleased to continue in Cubby and Dana's tradition. Cubby was a former Governor and big supporter of the CTBF and in recent years EON Productions' James Bond premieres of Die Another Day and Casino Royale have raised substantial funds for the ch
  • Broken Embraces (Los Abrazos Rotos)

    Dir/scr: Pedro Almodovar. Spain. 2009. 127mins.
  • Broken Embraces fails to scale same box-office heights as Volver

    Pedro Almodovar’s latest film Broken Embraces took $1.3m in its opening weekend at the Spanish box office, a full $1m less than his previous offering Volver, following a mixed response from critics.  The film was released nationwide in Spain by Warner Bros on March 18 and had taken $1.9m by end of play Sunday (March 22). It is in second place in the local box office chart behind Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino.
  • Can other festivals learn from Adelaide'sinnovative funding strategy'

    The world premieres of a selection of new Australian films put this year's Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) firmly on the international map. Six of these features were part-funded by the festival itself, and four of these in particular were responsible for much of the buzz.These were Sarah Watt's My Year Without Sex, which opened the festival, and Granaz Moussavi's Iranian-Australian collaboration My Tehran For Sale, which were both in competition. Warwick Th
  • Cannes: Critics' Week line-up

    Screen brings you the 2009 Critics’ Week.
  • Case study - Man On Wire's soaring success

    One morning in April 2005, Simon Chinn of London-based documentary production outfit Red Box Films had the good fortune to oversleep. He woke up to the sound of Philippe Petit's voice on the BBC's Radio 4.'I was incredibly struck by him, his impassioned and completely unique view of the world,' Chinn recalls. 'Here was a guy who was happier on a wire as big as your thumb, a quarter of a mile in the sky, than he was on the ground.'He bought Petit's book, To Re
  • Catherine Hardwicke returns to Summit for If I Stay

    Catherine Hardwicke may not be returning to direct the Twilight follow-up New Moon for Summit but director and studio will work together again on the drama If I Stay.
  • Cherien Dabis on Amreeka

    Cherien Dabis' feature debut Amreeka, a richly observed story of Arab-American immigrants in middle America, hits very close to home. 'I grew up in Ohio, going back to Jordan every summer,' Dabis says. 'I had a sort of identity crisis - I wasn't American enough for the Americans nor Arab enough for the Arabs. Film became my way of bridging the gap between these two different places.'In the film, Nisreen Faour stars as Muna, a divorced mother who moves with her teenage son from P
  • China Film Group to import Slumdog Millionaire

    China's state-own film importer China Film Group has confirmed that it will import Academy Award-winner and world-wide hit Slumdog Millionaire to the mainland China market. The release date is scheduled for March 26. The film's director Danny Boyle will be attending itsBeijing premiere next week, according to a source at China Film Group.
  • Cinema Popular unveils $23m historical epic Bodyguards & Assassins

    Start-up production and financing outfit Cinema Popular is unveiling its debut production today at Filmart - $23m historical epic Bodyguards And Assassins - to be directed by Teddy Chen.The film, which starts shooting in early April, features a host of Hong Kong and Chinese stars including Donnie Yen, Leon Lai, Nicholas Tse and Chinese actor Wang Xueqi (Forever Enthralle
  • Dayyan Eng enlists Daniel Wu, Gong Beibi for Inseparable

    Chinese American filmmaker Dayyan Eng (Waiting Alone) is to produce and direct a black-comedy from his own script titledInseparable. Hong Kong actor Daniel Wu (Shinjuku Incident) and Chinese actress Gong Beibi (
  • DDA launches US domestic publicity division under Dana Archer

    DDA Public Relations is expanding its Los Angeles offices by launching a domestic publicity division to be led by Dana Archer, recently arrived from Weber Shandwick.Archer is named as vice-president of corporate publicity and will pursue film, television, home entertainment and corporate clients and serve as a conduit for DDA's existing clients to expand their reach into North America.She reports to the DDA board and previously mana
  • Diaphana, Canal Plus take French rights to A Brand New Life

    South Korean sales company Finecut has announced the pre-sales of Korea-France co-productionA Brand New Life, directed by Ounie Lecomte. Canal Plus has taken French television rights while Diaphana has picked up other French-speaking rights.A PPP 2008 project, A Brand New Life, currently in post-production,
  • Disney 3-D animation Up to open Cannes Film Festival

    The world premiere of animation film Up from Disney/Pixar, will open the the 62nd Cannes Film Festival ceremony on Wednesday May 13, 2009.
  • Distribution Workshop adds Road, Curse to sales slate

    Distribution Workshop has added a further two projects to its fast-growing slate - Derek Chiu’s romantic dramaThe Road Less Travelledand Lo Chi-leung’s horrorCurse Of The Deserted- both of which started shooting at the end of last month.
  • Egoyan's Chloe will continue to shoot around Neeson's schedule

    Production on Atom Egoyan's Chloe will continue in the wake of the death of actress Natasha Richardson, the wife of the film's star, Liam Neeson.Richardson died Wednesday in New York following a ski accident in the Quebec resort of Mt. Tremblant. The New York City medical examiner's office said the actress died from a blunt impact to the head.In a series of statements, the film's production o
  • Examining Pathe UK's newpath

    Last week, Pathe UK announced its decision to focus on developing and producing its own films rather than acquiring third-party titles. Its move to create all of its own product supply and to team up with Warner Entertainment UK (WEUK) for the distribution of its films has met a mixed reaction in the UK.Some welcome the leverage a partnership with a studio will bring, particularly in terms of relationships with exhibitors and broadcasters. Others view it as a blow: wit
  • Film 4's Tessa Ross concerned for channel's future in face of cuts

    Tessa Ross, controller of film and drama at Film 4, which is currently riding high on the success of Slumdog Millionaire, has told a UK House of Lords select committee that the channel could be in danger in the face of Channel 4 cut-backs. 'We would be foolish not to be worried,' Ross told the House of Lords Communications Committee. Ross also sug
  • Film Agency For Wales awards $470,000 to three projects

    The Film Agency For Wales has awarded $217,000 to Hattie Dalton’s Barafundle Bay. Dalton’s credits include Stoned and Layer Cake.The film was produced by Margaret Matheson, Vaughan Sivell and Kelly Broad and was written by Welsh born writer/producer Vaughan Sivell of Western Edge. Independent is on board as sales agents.BarafundleBay is a comedy about a young man with terminal cancer and three friends who re-forge childhood bon
  • Filmart's hottest projects for international buyers

    This year's Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (Filmart) gets underway at a difficult time for the international film industry - a period when production finance is scarce and travel budgets are being trimmed. But while ripples from the global financial tsunami - as it is known in this region - are sure to be felt at the four-day market (March 23-26), visitors will also find that East Asian film industries are relatively buoyant.China's box office continues to climb and although
  • Fortissimo picks up rights outside Japan to Kore-eda's Air Doll

    Fortissimo Films has picked up all rights outside Japan to Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Air Doll. Japan’s Asmik Ace Entertainment negotiated the deal on behalf of its co-production partners on the film - Engine Film, Bandai Visual, TV Man Union and Eisei Gekijo.Kor-eda won the Asian Film Award for best director last night for his most recent film Still Walking which als
  • France bangs the drum for new tax incentive in Hong Kong

    The French consul general for Hong Kong and Macau declared on Monday that the future ‘belonged to co-production between Europe and Asia’ and urged Asian producers to look at shooting films in France. He made the comments at an information session outlining the new 20% tax rebate for international productions instituted last year by the Sarkozy government.Jean-Pierre Thebault said that producers should look at the fact that France has co-produ
  • France has record year for production and investment

    France had a record year for production and production investment in 2008, according to figures released by France's Centre National du Cinema which warned that the industry still needs to be prudent in the current financial climate and pointed to the growing importance of online distribution. Overall, big and small budget films saw increases in production and investment, but mid-budget movies stayed relatively flat. Local, foreign and TV channel investment were all up
  • Germany's M-Appeal picks up internationalto Yang Yang

    Germany’s M-Appeal has picked up international rights to Taiwanese director Cheng Yu-chieh’sYang Yang, which recently had its world premiere in the Panorama section at Berlin.The film, which follows a young Eurasian woman in Taiwan struggling with cultural identity issues, is also screening at the awards gala of the Hong Kong International Film F
  • Giuseppe Capotondi

    Commercials and video director Giuseppe Capotondi talks to Screen about his debut feature The Double Hour, recently released in the US.
  • Gran Torino leads international box office with $8.8m take

    Gran Torinoruled the roost of Hollywood releases overseas over a modest weekend as the drama grossed a further estimated $8.8m from more than 2,500 screens in 38 markets through Warner Bros Pictures International, raising the tally to $60m.The film launched in second place behind Slumdog Millionaire in Brazil on $409,000 from 104 screens, scoring the biggest opening weekend for a Clint Eastwood rele
  • HAF: high-profile directors and Philippines focus

    The seventh edition of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) will present 27 Asian projects over three days from March 23-25.High-profile directors in the line-up include China's Lu Chuan and Ning Hao, who participated in HAF 2005 with their now completed films Nanking! Nanking! and Crazy Racer respectively; Korea's Na Hong-jin, who shot to international acclaim last year with The Chaser, and Taiwan's Wei Te-sheng, who directed the record-breaking Cape N
  • Hit Singapore director Jack Neo plans ghost story triptych

    Record-breaking Singaporean hit director Jack Neo (I Not Stupid)has announced a new projectGot Ghost Meh(working title) in development.Neo plans to make a 90-minute feature film made up of three parts - each a 30-minute-long ghost story filled w
  • HKIFF to showcase changing local industry

    Both of the opening films of this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) - Derek Yee's Shinjuku Incident and Ann Hui's Night And Fog - are from Hong Kong film-makers, reflecting the creative strength of the local film industry despite the challenges it now faces.Produced by Emperor Motion Pictures subsidiary Dragon Emperor Movies, Shinjuku Incident stars Jackie Chan in what is being billed as his most dramatic role to date - playing an illegal Chinese
  • Hong Kong's 852 Films begins production on first feature Dream Home

    New Hong Kong production and financing outfit 852 Films has started production on award-winning director Pang Ho Cheung’s latest film,Dream Home, starring Josie Ho, Anthony Wong and Eason Chan.The film, in which Ho plays a woman who will stop of nothing to own her dream home, is Pang’s first foray into the slasher genre. His credits include we
  • iHQ picks up sales rights to Joo Ji-Hong's Rabbit And Lizard

    South Korea’s iHQ has picked up sales rights to sell Rabbit And Lizard, directed by Joo Ji-Hong, a Korean graduate of FEMIS who has spent some years in France making shorts.The award-winning director is now working with two pop idols-turned-actors - Jang Hyuk (Volcano High, Windstruck) and Sung Yuri (TV series Hong Gil-Dong
  • James Marsh reunites with UK production company Wall to Wall

    Director James Marsh and UK production company Wall to Wall are working on a documentary that focuses on the world of dreams. Dream Diaries (working title) is based on a Canadian man's dreams that were written down over the course of his lifetime. In conversation with Marsh said 'The project has its origin in a collection of dream diaries that are held in a university in Santa Cruz. I was recommended the diaries of an old man who ha
  • Japanese cinema triumphs at Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong

    Japanese cinema triumphed at the Asian Film Awards last night, with three Japanese dramas -Tokyo Sonata, Still WalkingandDepartures- clinching four of the top prizes.Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo
  • Keith Griffiths & Simon Field - nurturing creativity

    At the International Film Festival Rotterdam in January, the public could watch three films on permanent night-time loop, high above the city, broadcast on big screens attached to the side of tower blocks: these were a Carlos Reygadas film about a women's football match in the Andes, a Guy Maddin film featuring Isabella Rossellini in the electric chair and a Nanouk Leopold picture, filmed entirely in close-up. All were produced on behalf of the festival by UK outfit Illuminations.Illum
  • Kent Smith: Australia's newest mini-mogul

    Although he began producing features only three years ago, Kent Smith can bring more to a co-production deal than most Australian producers. He and his colleagues own the Adelaide-based Kojo Group, which includes post-production and other film services as well as a theatrical distribution division. Smith signed on as a producer on Murali K Thalluri's 2:37 after seeing potential in the early rushes. His instincts were right: it premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2006.He
  • Kill Daddy Good Night wins at Diagonale, My Magic in Fribourg

    Glawogger’s Kill Daddy GoodNight wins Austrian Diagonale Grand Prix, Eric Khoo’s My Magic top winner at Switzerland’s Fribourg. Michael Glawogger’s Kill Daddy Good Night (Das Vaterspiel) picked up the Grand Prix for best Austrian feature film at this year’s Diagonale showcase of Austrian filmmaking.The film, which is adapted from Josef Haslinger’s novel Das Vaterspiel, had its world premiere at the Berlinale’s Pan
  • Knowing

    Dir Alex Proyas. US. 2009. 121 minsNicolas Cage is a single-parent prophet of doom in Knowing, an ambitious but overwrought piece of apocalyptic sci-fi from I, Robot director Alex Proyas. Bringing his National Treasure: Book of Secrets audience to the mix, Cage should have the mainstream pulling power to make this effects-enhanced though apparently fairly modestly budgeted Summit Entertainment thriller a mid-level theatrical success and a good video
  • Korea's Barunson acquires majority stake in Sio

    Barunson, the investor/producer of Korean hit The Good, The Bad, The Weird, has acquired a majority stake in Sio Films, producer of hits such as Park Chan-wook's Old Boy. Barunson acquired 700,000 shares equalling a 51.8% stake, in Sio Films for $492,800. Head of Sio Films Syd Lim will now head production at Barunson. Lim previously produced films s
  • Leap Year jumps on Ireland's new tax deal

    The US feature Leap Year staring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode has been green lit for an Irish shoot at the end of this month.The news was confirmed after improvements to the Irish tax incentive, Section 481, were ratified by the European Commission this week. The amendments increase the cap per project to $64.9m (Euros 50m) from $45.4m (Euros 35m) and the individual investor cap for those wishing to invest in a film or TV production in Ireland will increas
  • Lionsgate acquires young adult franchise The Hunger Games

    Lionsgate has acquired worldwide rights to the film version of Suzanne Collins' bestselling futuristic young adult novel The Hunger Games.Collins will adapt the screenplay from her novel, which is conceived as the first in a trilogy, and Nina Jacobson is producing through her Color Force company.Lionsgate president of motion picture production Alli Shearmur will oversee production for the studi
  • Lionsgate takes North America on Paris With Love

    Lionsgate has taken North American rights to Luc Besson's EuropaCorp thriller From Paris With Love, starring John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers and directed by Pierre Morel. The deal reunites Lionsgate and Europa after Lionsgate released Olivier Megaton's Transporter 3 last year and Alexandre Aja's horror film High Tension in 2005.
  • Made In China, 35365 win top juried prizes at SXSW

    Judi Krant's drama Made In China won the South By Southwest Film's narrative feature juried prize while Bill Ross' portrait of MidWest life 45365 took corresponding documentary honours.In the audience awards, Scott Teems' Tennessee-set grudge story
  • Mark Tonderai

    Director Mark Tonderai talks to Screen about buzz horror House At The End Of The Street, starring Jennifer Lawrence.
  • Marley & Me shows bite for Fox

    Twentieth Century Fox's Marley & Me has doggedly climbed its way to the top of Screen's international box-office chart for the March 13-15 weekend, adding more than $14m from 2,559 screens in 29 markets, a 73% rise in week-on-week takings.The film opened in nine new territories, and the UK leads the pack with a very impressive $6.2m (£4.4m) debut from 467 screens, dethroning PPI's Watchmen from the top spot.Marley & Me also performed well in Russia, w
  • Matsumoto's Symbol to be completed in time for Cannes

    Director and famed comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto revealed some details of his second directorial effort at a press conference held on Friday evening at the inaugural edition of the Okinawa International Movie Festival (OIMF, March 19-22).Entitled Symbol (Shimboru), the film stars Matsumoto as a man plotting to escape some manner of entrapment. As with his directorial debut,
  • Matt Birch leaves Endgame and joins Montana Artists Agency

    LA-based production services outfit Montana Artists Agency has hired studio and production veteran Matt Birch as senior vice president of features.The move bolsters both the domestic and global reach of the company, which services the film, commercial, television, music video and multimedia industries worldwide.Through his experience and network of relationships, Birch is planning to help Montana service productions in the UK and Ea
  • Metrodome's deal with High Fliers comes to an end

    Metrodome's long standing relationship with High Fliers as their DVD rental partner in the UK has comes to an end with all rental activity to be handled in-house with immediate effect. Metrodome have stated that the decision is part of their growth strategy. Rental activity was the last operation that was handled externally by third parties. It will now be handled by Metrodome's in-house sales and marketing teams. CEO of Metrodome Peter Urie said 'This has been
  • Michael Algar to head High Point Media Group in Ireland

    Michael Algar has been appointed to the role of director of High Point Media Group's Irish outfit. 'I am delighted to be joining the High Point team' Algar said. 'They have demonstrated clear support and enthusiasm for Irish product over the years, and now from the advantage of a Dublin base, I look forward to taking that involvement further still.' The appointment comes as High Point looks to broker co-productions between Ireland and other European producers an
  • Middle East International Film Festival announces 2009 dates

    The third edition of the Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) will take place from October 8-17 and will be held at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.The call for entries for the 2009 edition will open in May at a press conference during the Cannes Film Festival. Popular initiatives introduced during the 2008 festival will be reprised in 2009 including Cinema Verite to raises awareness of socially conscious cinema and the Muslims on Screen and Televisi
  • Millennium trilogy goes theatrical after Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

    Following the recent success of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, all three films from Swedish author Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy will now be released theatrically. The decision was announced by the project's main financier, Swedish public broadcaster SVT. Danish director Niels Arden Oplev's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is based on the first book of the trilogy and is on track to become the most succesful Scandinavian film ever.
  • Monsters Vs Aliens

    Dir: Conrad Vernon & Rob Letterman. US. 2009. 97mins.
  • Natasha Richardson dies after skiing accident at age of 45

    Natasha Richardson, the Tony Award winning stage and screen star and scion of British performing arts royalty, has died following a skiing accident. She was 45.The daughter of Vanessa Redgrave and the late director Tony Richardson was flown to hospital close to her home in New York on Tuesday evening [March 17], the day after she injured her head during a skiing lesson at the Mont Tremblant resort in Quebec.Richardson's husband Li
  • National Geographic acquires US rights to Sundance hit Amreeka

    National Geographic Entertainment has acquired US rights to Cherien Dabis' hit Sundance drama Amreeka and will release in theatres this autumn.The picture will open the New Directors/New Films series at The Museum Of Modern Art and The Film Society Of Lincoln Center in New York on March 25.National Geographic Films president Adam Leipzig
  • New York Film Critics Circle backs programme at New Directors

    The New York Film Critics Circle has backed a Critics Choice programme to run from March 30-April 3 to mark the group's 75th anniversary.The programme falls within the New Directors/New Films series jointly presented by the Museum Of Modern Art and the Film Society Of Lincoln Center.The Critics Choice Program schedule includes Big Night, Frozen River, Metropolitan, In The Company Of Men and
  • Norwegian blockbuster Max Manus to open Norwegian Film Days

    Max Manus, from directors Espen Sandberg and Jachim Ronning, will open the 3rdedition of Norwegian Film Days in Stockholm, taking place on March 19-22. The war drama is now the second most popular Norwegian film of all time after Pinchcliffe Grand Prix. Other films included in the programme will be Erik Poppe's Troubled Water (De U
  • NTV sells suspense actioner MW to Sundream in Hong Kong

    Nippon Television Network (NTV) has sold action-suspense manga adaptation MW to Hong Kong’s Sundream Motion Pictures ahead of its market screening premiere.Based on a story by famed creator Osamu Tezuka first published in 1976, MW stars Hiroshi Tamaki as a high level banker leading a double life as a calculating serial killer.
  • Observe And Report

    Dir: Jody Hill. US. 2009. 86 mins.Watching Observe And Report is like babysitting a hyperactive boy - it's precocious, unpredictable and amusing in small stretches, but after a while you wish it would settle down and focus. Building off the small cult success of his 2008 indie comedy The Foot Fist Way, writer-director Jody Hill's big-studio debut is an ironic comedy about a mentally unstable mall cop (played by Seth Rogen) who might have a little Travis Bic
  • Opinion: the changing face of acquisitions

    International sellers and producers going into Cannes will encounter a severely depleted troupe of acquisitions executives from the US studios and their specialised divisions.
  • P.A.M. Korea Media enters sales with thriller Bloody Shake

    P.A.M. Korea Media has launched into international sales with the market debut of director Kim Jee-yong’s Bloody Shake, a psychological thriller with visceral and bloody imagery.The film follows seven characters - including a priest, a pickpocket and a lesbian butcher - in a relay of seven murderous stories, which all turn out to be the stress-fueled dreams of a salaryman under pressure at work.
  • Painted Skin, Ip Man, Pleasant Goat to get new instalments

    New instalments of three Chinese-language blockbusters in 2008 - Painted Skin, Ip Man and Pleasant Goat - will go into production later in 2009, according to backers of the three films.Two investors in 2008 hit Painted Skin will reteam to produce the second film adapted from the 18th century book series by Pu Songlin
  • PIFF receives public funding boost to offset downturn

    The Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) is set to receive an increase in government funding to offset the effects of the economic downturn anddiminishing corporate sponsorship.
  • Plans for franchise of $12.8m Benelux animation Luke and Lucy

    Plans have been revealed for the release and possible franchise of Luke and Lucy - The Texas Rangers one of the most ambitious animated features ever produced in Benelux.The $12.8m (Euros 9.5m) CGI film is set for a holiday release on July 21. In a first,the filmwill be released simultaneously throughout Benelux on over 200 prints with a Dutch, Flemish and French version being made available. The film is being released by Kinepolis in Belgium and Bridge Entertai
  • Producer Paul Mezey looks outward from NYC

    Paul Mezey does not have the insular New York mind-set of some independent producers based in the Big Apple. One of his next two productions, Joshua Marston's Blood Feud (working title), will shoot in Northern Albania while David Riker's The Girl will shoot in Texas and Mexico.He has also gone further afield with past films such as Marston's Maria Full Of Grace and Sophie Barthes' recent Sundance hit Cold Souls, which was a French co-production that shot par
  • Producer Terence Chang embarks on romantic comedy Dirt Rich

    Producer Terence Chang has packaged romantic comedy Dirt Rich In Shanghai with Hong Kong’s Mei Ah Entertainment, Sil-Metropol Organization and Taiwan’s Tosoa Entertainment for an April start date.Taipei-based filmmaker Peter Lee (The Candidate) will direct the $2m film, which tells about a nouveau riche man determined to transform his down-to-earth image to a g
  • Raintree, Wayne Wang prepare Singapore historical thriller

    MediaCorp Raintree Pictures has announced much-anticipated further details on its historical film 1965 - currently in development with Wayne Wang lined up to direct.Based on the turbulent title year that Singapore broke away from Malaysia to become independent, 1965 will be a mainstream political thriller with a projected budget of $15m. It will be pri
  • Richard Jobson's The Somnambulists to start UK shoot on May 8

    Richard Jobson drama focuses on 15 testimonies from British servicemen and women involved in the Iraq conflict.
  • Roger Ebert to receive career achievement award at ShoWest

    Pulitzer Prize winning film critic Roger Ebert will receive a special ShoWest Career Achievement In Film Journalism Award in Las Vegas on April 2.Ebert began his career as a film critic in 1967, writing for The Chicago Sun-Times. In 1976 he teamed with Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune to begin co-hosting a weekly film review television show that was ultimately known as Siskel & Ebert At The Movies and
  • Sakamoto starts production on Zatoichi The Last

    Japanese director Junji Sakamoto has started shooting Zatoichi The Last, starring SMAP member Shingo Katori in the lead role of the famed blind swordsman, for Japan's Sedic International and Toho Studios. Toho has announced a 2010 release for the film which has secured investment from Celluloid Dreams. The French sales agent also handled word sales for Takeshi Kitano's
  • Shively and Dix set up new LA outfit Tower Hill Entertainment

    The Butterfly Effect franchise producers William J Shively and AJ Dix have teamed up with former Collective packaging division head Shaun Redick to from the management, production and finance company Tower Hill Entertainment.Redick arrives with his Collective colleague Ray Mansfield while Channing Shively rounds out the core team.Tower Hill is lining up its maiden slate and a
  • SnagFilms adds deal with International Documentary Association

    Days after SnagFilms announced a documentary partnership with Hulu, the online cinema venture has struck another alliance with the International Documentary Association.The partnership will include the creation of an IDA Channel and the embedding of SnagFilms widgets on the IDA'swebsite.Branded content from IDA's Documentary Magazine and its website willalso be available on SnagFilms' properties and IDA will play a role on
  • SnagFilms strikes content deal with Hulu documentary channel

    Online distributor SnagFilms has announced it will provide portions of its video library to the new documentary channel on Hulu, the online video service that offers features, TV shows and clips for free.In addition to featuring documentaries from SnagFilms' library of 600 titles, the Hulu documentary channel will provide viewers with access to frequent bonus content.SnagFilms also released new performance metrics achieved since it
  • Sorority Row cast named Showest Female Stars Of Tomorrow

    The female ensemble cast of Summit Entertainment's upcoming horror remake Sorority Row will jointly receive the ShoWest 2009 Female Star Of Tomorrow Award.Briana Evigan, Leah Pipes, Rumer Willis, Jamie Chung, Audrina Partridge, and Margo Harshman will be presented with the award at ShoWest's final night banquet and award ceremony on April 2 in Las Vegas.ShoWest co-founder Mitch Neuhauser hail
  • SPHE appoints Meade to oversee China operations

    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) has appointed Tim Meade as vice president, SPHE China. He was previously vice president, Asia Emerging Markets for the studio. Based in Hong Kong, Meade will oversee the expansion of SPHE's operations in China wherethe studiohas recently begun the manufacture and distribution of Blu-ray discs. SPHE has distributed DVD and VCD content in China since 1999. Meade will also oversee sales and marketing in China working closely wi
  • Spike Lee's latest doc gets world premiere at Tribeca

    Spike Lee's Kobe Doin' Work will receive its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 25 as the gala premiere of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.Lee and his cinematographer Matthew Libatique spent a day with the LA Lakers' basketball star Kobe Bryant during last year's playoffs.The picture features the first score ev
  • Star appoints Yim as head of Chinese filmprogramming

    Regional broadcaster Star has appointed Cora Yim as vice president, programming for Star Chinese Movies and Star Chinese Movies 2. Yim was previously director of marketing & strategic planning for Hong Kong-based animation producer Imagi International Holdings. Prior to that, she was senior manager, acquisition & marketing at Hong Kong's Media Asia Group. In her new role she will oversee content strategies, acquisitions, marketing and scheduling for Star's two Chi
  • Summit has number one $24.8m domestic hit with Knowing

    Summit Entertainment proved there is more to the ambitious company than the Twilight franchise with a strong $24.8m number one launch of its sci-fi adventure Knowing, which stars Nicolas Cage as an astrophysicist who tries to avert global catastrophe.The debut comfortably beat off challenges from DreamWorks-Paramount’s gross-out comedy I Love You, Man and Julia Robert’s return as a leading lady in Universal’s crime caper
  • Sundance names Perlmutt, Rivera as winners of Sloan grants

    Sundance Institute has announced the recipients of the Alfred P Sloan Foundation Science-in-Film Initiative awards, including recipients of the Sloan Commissioning Grant and the Sloan Fellowship.Sundance Institute's Sloan Science-in-Film Initiative supports and celebrates films that explore issues of science and technology. The 2009 Commissioning Grant co-recipients are Bent-Jurgen Perlmutt for On The Left
  • Sundream takes Hong Kong rights to TWC's musical Nine

    Hong Kong’s Sundream Motion Pictures has acquired all Hong Kong rights to Rob Marshall’s musical Nine from The Weinstein Company (TWC).Sundream has an output deal with TWC but, according to Sundream vice president of buinsess development, Tom Cheung, the expensive film was acquired outside that arrangement.Currently in post-production for US release at the end of the year,
  • Thailand's Mono Entertainment returns to market after restructure

    Thailand’s Mono Entertainment returns to Filmart this year under the banner of motif+ after a major corporate restructuring. The company is now divided into production division motif+, headed by successful director and producer Pantham Thongsang, and home entertainment division Command N, headed by Jirun Ratthanaviriyachai, managing director of Mono Entertainment.The first film to carry the motif+ branding is Pongpat Wachirabunjong’s Happy Birthday, which has its mark
  • The Damned United

    Dir. Tom Hooper. UK. 2009. 97mins.
  • Tomorrow At Dawn (Demain Dès L'aube)

    Dir. Denis Dercourt. France. 2009. 100 mins.
  • Tough times at the Indian box office

    A reduction in multiplex ticket prices across India is an indicator of the delicate economic times in the territory.Prices have been reduced by 20%-50% at various multiplexes, with rates varying based on location, day and time of the screening. At PVR Cinemas' sites, tickets now cost $1.36-$4.86 (rup70-rup250), on average a $1.95 (rup100) fall. This is clearly an attempt by exhibitors to counter low occupancy figures, recessionary sentiment and mediocre programming.
  • Tribeca All Access selects 27 projects from US, UK, Australia, Canada

    The Tribeca Film Festival and Tribeca Film Institute have selected 27 projects for the 2009 Tribeca All Access programme, which encourages industry support of filmmakers from traditionally underrepresented communities.TAA, supported by Bloomberg, is now in its sixth year, and will run during April 20-25 during the TFF.Participating directors and screenwriters will participate in workshops and have one-on-one meetings with more than 100 potential investors, devel
  • Tyson, The Cove to close AFI Dallas festival on April 2

    James Toback's Tyson and Louie Psihoyos' The Cove will share the AFI Dallas International Film Festival's closing night gala presentation spotlight on April 2.The following day Peter Bogdanovich will receive the AFI Dalla
  • UK's High Fliers Films acquires Scanbox Entertainment UK

    London based distributor High Fliers Films has acquired DVD distributor Scanbox Entertainment UK Ltd from Denmark-based parent company Scanbox A/S.The move creates a sizeable catalogue and future release schedule that should benefit both companies,Jeremy Rothwell, the managing director of High Fliers Films said ‘Scanbox has a very strong slate of Hollywood studio and independent releases, whilst High Fliers have access to UK programming that has consistently performed well in th
  • UK's Momentum Pictures to offer films through iTunes

    Momentum Pictures has struck a deal with iTunes that will see its films made available for purchase and rent through the UK's iTunes Store. In a move to expand its online presence, Momentum Pictures has signed a deal with iTunes which will see its current and future releases available for purchase and rent through the iTunes Store. Titles to be made available to iTune users will include Amelie, Lost In Translation as well as forthcoming titles including
  • Universe puts Filmart buyers on Alert with Benny Chan actioner

    Hong Kong’s Universe Films Distribution is introducing the latest project from hot action director Benny Chan - $10m sci-fi action title City On Alert (working title) - to buyers at Filmart.Chan is producing and will direct the film, which is set to star Aaron Kwok, Wu Jing and Shu Qi. Currently in pre-production, it revolves around a troupe of circus performers who embark on a crime spree when they accidentally acquire superhuman skills.
  • UPI's Duplicity goes out day and date in UK, Australia, Spain

    Warner Bros Pictures International’sGran Torinoand PPI’sWatchmenwill continue to battle it out this weekend but they’ll face challenges from a trio of new arrivals. UPI launches the crime caperDuplicityin 11 territories, Sony rolls out its hit US comedyPaul Blart: Mall Copin several markets, and PPI unleashesMonsters Vs Aliensin two territories.Clint Eastwood’s redemption drama
  • US PR outfit Falco Ink launches division specialised in Hispanic media

    Falco Ink partners Janice Roland and Shannon Treusch announced they have launched a film and television division specialising in Hispanic media.Soldanela Rivera has been hired to oversee the division; she has worked extensively in production and marketing in film and the performing arts, with more than 15 years of experience handling national and international campaigns geared towards the Hispanic community.Her projects have include
  • USAID invites international film productions to Serbia

    A new website to promote Serbia as a location for international co-productions has been launched by Film In Serbia, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) project set up to promote Serbia to the international filmmaking community. Michael Harvey, chief of the USAID mission in Serbia told Screendaily that he was initially sceptical when his team identified the film sector as one of the key economic fie
  • Venice unveils new competitive section Controcampo Italiano

    The Venice Film Festival has announced a new, competitive section for the 66th edition of the festival,Controcampo Italiano, which will focus on the latest trends in Italian cinema.
  • Voltage takes on international to Call Of The Wild 3D

    Nicolas Chartier’s Voltage Pictures has acquired international rights toCall Of The Wild 3D,based on the classic Jack London adventure novel.Richard Gabai directed the film, which premiered in Singapore at 3DX and will open in North America later this year once an imminent domestic deal is finalized.
  • Welcome

    Dir: Philippe Lioret. France. 2009. 105 mins.
  • Zhang Yimou lines up black comedy with Zhao Bensan

    The Olympic Games now behind him, Zhang Yimou is preparing to shoot a black comedy with comedians Zhao Benshan and Xiao Shenyang.Zhang has just returned from visiting Zhao and his theater troupe in Shenyang City of Northeastern China. Chinese media reported that it was a casting trip for his new comedy. Catherine Pang from Zhang’s Beijing New Pictures said it would be one of Zhang’s next projects, but did not confi