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Screen
28 April 2005

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  • ...and remains international number one with $11.9m weekend

    Universal's The Interpreter remained the top international picture at the weekend,grossing an estimated $11.9m through UIP on 2,340 screens in 31 territories toraise its international running total to $25m.
  • 3L Filmverleih drafts in senior management team

    Ahead of this year's Cannes Film Festival,leading German DVD distributor e-m-s new media has made two high-profileappointments to the management team of its theatrical distribution arm 3LFilmverleih. PeterHeinzemann, previously managing director of the now insolvent Solo-Film Verleih[ScreenDaily.com, March 2005], has been named head of distribution anddeputy to 3L Filmverleih managing director Werner Wirsing. Meanwhile,Solo-Film's head of market
  • A Lot Like Love

    Dir: NigelCole. US. 2005. 104 mins.The coupling challenges faced by ambitious andgeographically mobile twentysomethings drive the plot in A Lot Like Love, a romantic comedy that casts Ashton Kutcher in hisstraightest romantic role to date and gives British director Nigel Cole, hotoff the success of Calendar Girls,his first shot at a US feature. Star and director acquit themselves reasonablywell, but the movie, with Amanda Peet as female lead, is a lightweight af
  • Acclaimed Danish director prepares for Sleeps

    AcclaimedDanish director Annette K. Olesen is about to start shooting her next film, anensemble piece called Den Der Sover which has the English working titleof The One Who Sleeps.Olesen'slast two films Minor Mishaps and In Your Hands both played in competitionat the Berlin International Film Festival.TheOne Who Sleeps is the story of a 19-year-old Per who is brutally attacked on the wayhome from a party. He falls into a coma, leaving the polic
  • Almodovar ready to roll with Volver

    Pedro Almodovar and producer Agustin Almodovar haveconfirmed that Penelope Cruz and Carmen Maura will star in the director's newfilm, Volver, shooting from July in Spain."Volver is Michael Curtiz's Mildred Piercemeets Frank Capra's Arsenic And Old Lace, mixed with the surrealistnaturalism of my fourth film What Have I Done To Deserve This!!,"Almodovar said.
  • Anthony Zimmer

    Dir. Jerome Salle. Fr.2005. 90mins.From the opening BernardHermann-esque chords over shots of a mysterious woman entering a train stationcarrying a bright red sack, it's clear that we are settling into a thrillerharkening back to vintage Hitchcock - with a helping of James Bond Euro-luxurythrown in for good measure. Less cliche-ridden than simply an amalgamation ofHollywood thriller staples, Anthony Zimmer is a handsome, well-executedthrill-ride wit
  • Bac Majestic posts Euros 5.3m loss for 2004

    French distribution group BacMajestic has announced a loss of Euros 5.3m for 2004 on revenues of Euros33.8m. This is compares with a net loss of Euros 11.5m in 2003 on revenues ofEuros 53.2m.The revenues were higher thanexpected - projected revenues had been in the Euros 28 to 31m range. Thecompany also registered a profit for the second half of 2004 of Euros 2.1mfollowing its take ov
  • Bardem, Hayek, Woo join Kusturica on Cannes jury

    After an extended wait, theCannes Film Festival has announced the composition of the juries overseeing themain competition as well as various sidebars. As previouslyannounced, the official competition jury will be presided over by director EmirKusturica. Joining him will be actors Javier Bardem, Salma Hayek and NanditaDas, directors Agnes Varda, John Woo, Benoit Jacquot and Fatih Akin as well asAmerican novelist Toni Morrison. Akin's Crossing The Bridge has a special out-of-comp
  • Berlusconi drafts in controversial culture minister

    Italian culturalMinister Giuliani Urbani has been replaced by Rocco Buttiglione, theprospective EU commissioner who was rejected last year by MEPs because of hishomophobic remarks. Urbani was responsible for introducing the country's newfilm law, as well as for hand-picking the last two presidents of the VeniceBiennale, Franco Bernabe' and Davide Croff, and the Venice festival's board ofdirectors.Buttiglione'sappointment was part of a cabinet reshuffle, after Silvio Berlusconi's
  • Bigas Luna looks to build Juani franchise

    Media Films, the fledgling production division of Spanishdistributor Manga Films, is developing a franchise around popular directorBigas Luna's latest feature, I Am Juani.The initial feature (Yo Soy La Juani), a 50/50 co-production with Luna's own El VirgiliFilms budgeted at between Euros 4-4.5m, will shoot in late 2005 and is likelyto be spun off into a sequel. "If that goes well we'll consider athird part," adds Media Films head Luis del Val.Juani is a spunky wor
  • Black Friday wins top jury prize at Indian LA fest

    Anurag Kashyap'sBlack Friday won thedramatic feature competition grand jury prize and Theresa Thanjan's WhoseChildren Are These'claimed documentary honours at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, whichclosed on Apr 24.In the audienceawards, Bhartbala's Hari Om won best feature, Carl Byker and Mitch Wilson's The NewHeroes: India won forbest documentary, and Gayatri Rao's Raju And I won best short film. Richie Mehta's Amal
  • Bond Watch: Dame Judi Dench hints at Brosnan return

    The new James Bond film, CasinoRoyale, is scheduled to shoot at the end of 2005 - although it is stilluncertain who will play 007 in the film.With ongoing rumourscirculating throughout the media world, it can be difficult to keep tabs on thelatest information. Here, ScreenDaily.com alleviates some of theconfusion by offering an up-to-date look at 007's status in the press.April 26Dame Judi Dench has let itslip that Pierce Brosnan will be returning to the Bond r
  • Boxer promoted to vp, sales and distribution, at IFC Films

    Mark Boxer has been promotedto vice president of sales and distribution at IFC Films, where he will alsooversee home video and the non-theatrical markets for all IFC releases.Reporting to IFCEntertainment president Jonathan Sehring, Boxer's in-tray includes AricAvelino's American Gun, MichaelShowalter's The Baxter, andMiranda July's Me And You And Everyone We Know.Boxer joined the company in2003 as director of national sales and oversaw t
  • Brad Weston confirmed at Paramount

    In a widelypredicted move, Brad Weston is leaving his post as co-president of DimensionFilms and joining Paramount Pictures as co-president of production.Reporting toincoming Paramount president Gail Berman, Weston will oversee the day-to-daydevelopment and production of the studio's annual slate of films and literaryacquisitions along with fellow co-president Alli Shearmur, who was appointed onApril 14."I ampleased to bring an executive of Brad's calibre to the studio, and to h
  • Branagh cranks up As You Like It

    Principalphotography begins today on the feature film adaptation of WilliamShakespeare's As You Like It, directed by Kenneth Branagh.As You Like It, which isBranagh's fifth Shakespearean screen adaptation, features a cast that includesKevin Kline, Bryce Dallas Howard, Adrian Lester, David Oyelowo, Alfred Molina,Janet McTeer and Romola Garai. With a setting inspired by 19th CenturyJapan, As You Like It will shoot on location near L
  • Canada's Equinoxe begins production on Rwandan genocide pic

    Montreal-based EquinoxeProductions begins principal photography May 27 on A Sunday In Kigali, a romantic drama set against the backdrop of theRwandan genocide. Directed by Robert Favreau and produced by Lyse Lafontaineand Michael Mosca, the $5.6m (C$7m) film shoots in Kigali and in surroundinglocations for 37 days. Equinoxe Films will handle foreign sales and distributein Canada.Based on the novel "A Sundayat the Pool in Kigali" by Quebec journalist Gil Courtemanche, who collabo
  • Canadian government pledges $20m to Toronto festival centre

    The Canadian government haspledged to invest up to $20m (C$25m) in the Toronto International Film FestivalGroup's proposed Festival Centre. The much-neededcontribution, which was anticipated, takes TIFFG another large step towardreaching its goal of raising $160m. the projected cost of not only completingthe centre but of establishing an endowment fund and ongoing operating costs. The federal money lifts thefunds committed to date to $76m. In March, the Government of Ontario ann
  • Cannes Market registration numbers on the rise

    The number ofparticipants registered for the Cannes Film Market (May 11- 22) hasrisen to 6790, up 8% from last year's6260.Professionalsfrom some 73 countries will attend, a rise from 67 in 2003. For the first timeJordan, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Vietnam, Senegal and Nigeria will all berepresented. The number of Americans and British executives is also up with an18% increase for the former and 14% for the latter.Buyers will also bepresent in higher numbers with 1350 so far register
  • Cannes set for Nightmares

    When the Cannes film festival unveiled itsofficial selection this week, media coverage focused on the many big nameauteurs who made the cut - and the move away from political documentaries likelast year's Palme d'Or winner Fahrenheit 9/11.But one of the most intriguing titles to make it throughto official selection is a passionately argued, highly political documentary bya Cannes newcomer - BBC television producer Adam Curtis.
  • Cannes unveils Directors' Fortnight line-up

    Twenty-onefilms will screen in the Directors' Fortnight sidebar of the Cannes FilmFestival, it was announced today (April 26).In hissecond year at the helm, Fortnight director Olivier Pere has pulled together aselection that includes several films from Europe with a smattering from Asia,the US, Iran and Australia. SixFrench productions or co-productions are in the line up including Cache Cachefrom Yves Caumon whose Amour D'Enfance took a prize in Un Certain
  • Celluloid Dreams picks up Directors Fortnight entry Room

    Paris-based international sales house Celluloid Dreams has pickedup all international rights on Kyle Henry's US drama Room, which was announced earlier this weekin the Directors' Fortnight line-up at Cannes.
  • China claims world's third largest film industry

    China hasbecome the third largest film producer in the world following the United Statesand India, one of China's top film industry officials claimed onSaturday. China shot a record number 212 films in 2004, and cinemasnationwide reported a total box office income of $180m (Y1.5bn) said ZhangPimin, vice director of the film bureau of State Administration of Radio, Filmand Television. His comments were reported by the Xinhua news agency."But problems still exist in China's filmin
  • Clive Owen, Cuaron team up for Children Of Men

    Clive Owen will star in Universal Pictures and StrikeEntertainment's Children Of Men, which is being directed by Alfonso Cuaron and is based on PDJames' sci-fi novel of the same name.
  • Connelly to join Winslet in Little Children

    Jennifer Connelly is in final negotiations to star opposite KateWinslet in the New Line Cinema drama Little Children, which Todd Field will direct. The story centres on a dull suburban world where parentsgroom their children for Ivy League colleges and alleviate their boredomthrough affairs
  • ContentFilm picks up Transamerica for international

    ContentFilm International has picked up all international rightsto Duncan Tucker's road movie Transamerica, which had its North American premiere at Tribeca FilmFestival over the weekend.
  • Councillor emerges as latest Russian box office champ

    TheRussian film industry has another hit film on its hands.TheState Councillor (Statsky Sovetnik) opened at the top of the Russian box officeover the weekend, grossing $2.5m in Russia and the CIS for distributor KaroPremier. It also opened top in Ukraine with $238,400 for Kinomania.Thesuccess follows recent Russian successes this year including The Escape,Shadowboxing and Russian box office record holder Turkish Gambit -all of which continue to feature on th
  • Disney looking to renew Pixar relationship

    The chairmanof the Walt Disney Studios, Dick Cook, has said that Disney wants to renew thestudio's deal with animation powerhouse Pixar.Just over a year after thetwo film studios announced an end to their partnership, which has produced sixconsecutive global blockbusters and box office receipts of $2.7 billion (£1.4billion), a new deal could be on the table. Dick Cook, the head ofDisney's film studios, told The Times newspaper that it was "definitelyour desire" to strike
  • Donald De Line headed to Warner Bros

    Donald De Line, the formerParamount president whose position was recently filled by outgoing FoxEntertainment chief Gail Berman, is rumoured to be signing a production dealwith Warner Bros.De Line resurfaces following weeks of speculation over his next move afterParamount chairman Brad Grey selected Berman to be his number two at therapidly evolving studio.De Line, a veteran production executive whose credits include The ItalianJob remake and Without A Paddle, wa
  • Dutch duo to launch new UK distribution outfit

    The managing partners ofDutch distributor Bright Angel have sold their share of the business and areplanning to launch a new London-based distribution and production outfit calledYume Pictures.Chris Oosterom and PatriziaRaeli will launch Yume on July 1 and aim to acquire all rights to up to six toeight titles a year.Oosterom and Raeli have soldtheir share in Bright Angel to A-film Distribution. Bright Angel released aboutforty arthouse titles in its two-year existence, including
  • European 'Producers on the Move' named

    Nineteen Europeanproducers have been selected to be presented at the forthcoming Cannes FilmFestival as "Producers on the Move" by the member organisations ofthe pan-European promotional body European Film Promotion (EFP).The producers will be able to discuss theirprojects at a Co-Production Lunch with 100 producers from all over Europe andat a pitching session moderated by The Film Firm's
  • Film Council, Pact take 'Next Steps' towards breaking down barriers

    Senior figures from theworlds of film and television are set to gather in London on 10 May for a 'NextSteps' brainstorm to look at action needed to tackle the barriers currentlyfaced by Minority Ethnic Led (MEL) independent companies.This follows up a recentreport carried out on behalf of the UK Film Council and PACT by the Instituteof Employment Studies entitled Researchingthe Independent Production Sector: A Focus on Minority
  • Films Distribution readies director driven Cannes slate

    When he's not busy fielding a barrage of calls from distributorshoning in on Christian Carion's Merry Christmas - which is screening outof competition at Cannes - Films Distribution's Francois Yon and his team areputting together a mighty line up heading into the Cannes market. The French sales outfits slate includes the next filmfrom Etre Et Avoir director Nicolas Philib
  • Fortissimo takes rights to Cannes pair

    FortissimoFilms has acquired worldwide rights to Wang Xiaoshuai's Cannes competition filmShanghai Dreams andinternational rights to Tony Krawitz' Jewboy, screening in Un Certain Regard.Shanghai Dreams is a story of first love set inthe early 1980's against the backdrop of China's reform and opening. It stars Gao Yuanyuan, Li Bin, Yao Anlianand Wang Xueyang. Fortissimo hasalready presold the film to France (ARP), Benelux (A Films) and Israel (ShaniFilms).
  • France's Memento launches sales arm with Cannes title

    France's Memento Films haslaunched a new sales and acquisitions arm which will debut with Hiner Saleem'sCannes competition title Kilometre Zero.Memento Films International (MFI) joins production companies Memento Films Production and La Cinefacture along with Memento Films Distribution (MFD) in a group of companies founded by former Pan Europeenne employees Emilie Georges and Alexandre Mallet-Guy. International sales will be headed up by Marie Foulon who previously worked
  • Fricke's Buddha movie to shoot in Cambodia, Thailand, India

    Ron Fricke hassigned on to direct Becoming Buddha, a dramatic narrative account of Buddha's spiritual journey thatis set to begin shooting later this year in Cambodia, Thailand and parts ofIndia.Tinker Lindsay and Peter Russell, are assembling theproject through their Pippala Productions banner, with the VisioneeringGroup/Awakened Media serving as co-producers.Lindsay andRussell co-wrote the screenplay, which Lindsay told screendaily.com was auniversal
  • Funny Balloons acquires world rights to Cannes trio

    French sales outfit FunnyBalloons has acquired world rights to three titles selected in Un CertainRegard at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival: Amat Escalante's Sangre,Marcelo Gomes' Cinema, Aspirinas E Urubus and Delwende by S.Pierre Yameogo.Sangre is a first film by the 26 year old Mexican directormaking it eligible for the Camera D'Or award. The film will be released by AdVitam in France.Cinema, Aspirinas E Urubus is also a fi
  • German DVD distributor e-m-s launches production arm

    Leading German DVD distributor e-m-s new mediahas set up its own in-house production arm 3L Filmproduktion to serve as aco-producer on German feature film projects.The new division will be managed by Berlin-basedUlf Israel who previously worked for X-Filme creative pool for three years andthen as an independent producer on such projects as Veit Helmer's Gate ToHeaven. Speaking to ScreenDaily.com, Israel saidthat 3L Filmproduktion has already ide
  • Halifax, Montreal bury the hatchet over schedule clash

    Film festivals in Montrealand Halifax have buried the hatchet over a scheduling conflict. The new FestivalInternational de Films de Montreal (FIFM) raised the hackles of theHalifax-based Atlantic Film Festival (AFF) by unilaterally switching the datesof its inaugural event to overlap with those of the AFF, which this yearcelebrates its 25th anniversary. AFF executive directorGregor Ash was further exercised by the fact that Telefilm Canada, which is thekey public sector sponsor
  • Herrero readies Los Aires Dificiles

    DirectorGerardo Herrero, competing this week in the Spanish Film Festival of Malaga(April 22-30) with Heroine, is set to begin shooting on his nextfeature, Los Aires Dificiles, on June 6.The Euros 3m film is a co-production between Herrero'sown Tornasol Films, Heroine partner Continental Films and Seville-basedMaestranza Films, producer of this year's Cannes Un Certain Regard closingtitle, Ha
  • Heyn, Gleasure get promotions in publicity dept at BVI

    Buena VistaInternational (BVI) has promoted two of its international publicity executives,with Nina Heyn rising from executive director to vice president, and AlisonGleasure becoming director of European publicity. Heyn, who isbased in Burbank, will continue to supervise campaigns on key titles on BVI'sfilm slate, dividing her duties with vice president of international publicityMaggie Todd and director Jennifer DuBois. She continues to report to seniorvice president of international p
  • Hong Kong raises stakes in online piracy battle

    Illegaldownloaders in Hong Kong are facing a two-pronged attack as both the Hong KongCustoms and Excise Department and the local film industry have taken the firstconcrete steps towards curbing online piracy. Customs announced this week that it has laid charges againsta man arrested in January on suspicion of distributing three movies on theinternet via BitTorrent (BT) technology. In
  • Hong Kong veteran steps in as new Barber director

    Veteran Hong Kong filmmaker Ng See Yuen has stepped in todirect mainland Chinese production The Barber following the death ofShanghai-based director Chen Yifei.Thefilm, which is backed by Century Hero Film Investment Co and the China FilmGroup, has had a troubled production history. It started shooting in 2002 withChen at the helm and Jiang Wen in a lead role but was shut down
  • Imagine, Universal to produce Will Arnett comedy

    Universal Pictures has acquired an untitled comedy pitch fromChuck Martin that his Arrested Development collaborator Brian Grazer will producethrough Imagine Entertainment.
  • Interpreter assassinates the competition at US box office

    A strong rally by theover-35 crowd powered Universal's The Interpreter to the top of the North American charts at theweekend on an estimated $22.8m, while Touchstone's A Lot Like Love opened fourth on a disappointing $7.7m.Meanwhile Sony PicturesClassics' martial arts romp Kung Fu Hustle demonstrated its box office chops in its first wide weekend, climbing16 places to fifth on $7.3m for an $8m running total. New Line's caper movie King'sRansom flopped in 10t
  • Interpreter rules international, North American charts

    For the first timethis year the international and North American tables aligned to produce asingle champion: The Interpreter.This feat islikely to be the first in a string of such occurrences as the approachingsummer season brings with it a plethora of day-and-date global releasesstarting with Sony's xXx2: State Of The Union (retitled xXx2
  • Italy pins hopes on Festa for box office revival

    Italy is to launch its firstever promotional Festa del Cinema today, in the hope of boosting admissionswhich have been sliding rapidly since January.The Festa del Cinema willenable spectators who buy one full-priced ticket between April 25, a national bankholiday, and April 28, to buy subsequent tickets for the price of Euro 1.50.Tickets in Italy normally cost between Euros 6.50-7.50.Walter Vacchino, head ofnational exhibitors union ANEC said he hopes the initiative, which wasin
  • Karlovy Vary shines spotlight on Central Europe

    The Karlovy VaryInternational Film Festival has unveiled the first films to play in its 2005competition line up, with a strong focus on films from Central Europe.Poland will be representedby the international premiere of director Krzysztof Krauze's biography MyNikifor, in which actress Krystyna Feldman plays the male protagonist,artist Nikifor Krynicki. A Hungarian-Polish-Slovakco-production, Marta Meszaros' The Unburied Man focuses on the Hungarianuprising of 1956
  • Kids TV classic Land Of The Lost gets Will Ferrell treatment

    Will Ferrell is attached to star for Universal in comedyadaptation of the hit 1970s sci-fi television series Land Of The Lost to be directed by Adam McKay.
  • Lions Gate brings Lord Of War to North America

    Lions Gate Films has pickedup all North American rights to Andrew Niccol's action thriller Lord Of War, which stars Nic Cage, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahanand Ethan Hawke.The picture, currently in post-production, centres on an arms dealer whoreevaluates his purpose in life while on the run from an Interpol agent.Philippe Rousselet and Andrew Niccol's company Entertainment ManufacturingCompany financed the project with Germany's VIP fund. Arclight Films is handinginterna
  • London Film Festival announces 2005 dates

    The Times bfi 49th London Film Festival has announcedits dates for 2005.Festival director Sandra Hebron said the event will takeplace from October 19 through to November 3. Currently scouting for films for this year's programme,Hebron said "Our autumn dates make us ideally positioned to premiere highprofile quality titles due for winter and spring release, and to showcase someof the most hotly anticipated award contenders. This year will also see usbu
  • Lonesome Jim heads to Cannes market with Dream

    Los Angeles-based production and international sales company DreamEntertainment has acquired international rights to Steve Buscemi's comedy LonesomeJim, and will introducethe picture to buyers at the Cannes market next month.
  • Malaga festival kicks off with Ants

    Beginningtoday, the Mediterranean city of Malaga transforms itself into the capital ofSpanish cinema for the nine days of the Spanish Film Festival of Malaga (April22-30).The event kicks off its eighth annual edition Friday withinaugural film Ants In The Mouth by Mariano Barroso. There are fewertitles in this year's official competition but more sidebars and two newindustry-ori
  • Mandate boards Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium

    Los Angeles-based productionand distribution outfit Mandate Pictures has greenlit Mr Magorium's WonderEmporium, its second project bywriter Zach Helm following Stranger Than Fiction, with Natalie Portman in talks to star.Mandate will fully finance and handle worldwide sales on the picture, whichmarks Helm's directorial debut and centres on a magical toy shop, believing inthe unbelievable, and carrot-infused home decor.Richard Gladstein will produce through his Fi
  • Mandoki's Mexican Voices wins at RiverRun

    Luis Mandoki's InnocentVoices picked up bestnarrative feature, best foreign feature and best screenplay awards at the 7thannual RiverRun International Film Festival in North Carolina, which ran fromApr 21-24.Nina Davenport's ParallelLines won best documentary feature,while audience awards went to Georgina Garcia Riedel's How The Garcia GirlsSpent Their Summer for best featureand Hawes Bostic and Austin McKenna's Barbecue Is A Noun for bes
  • Manne's Bristol Media picks up international rights to Z Channel

    Tony Manne's New York-based sales and distribution company BristolMedia has bulked up its Cannes sales slate after picking up internationalrights to Xan Cassavetes' Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession.
  • McCormack, Cochrane star in Thousand Words thriller Forearm Shiver

    Production began earlier this week in Los Angeles on ThousandWords' thriller Forearm Shiver, which marks the directorial debut of production designer and artdirector Chris Gorak (Minority Report, Blade: Trinity).
  • MDC takes on sales for Puipa's Forest Of The Gods

    Berlin-based MDC International has taken oninternational sales for veteran Lithuanian director Algimantas Puipa's latestfeature Forest Of The Gods.The film has beenincluded in MDC's Cannes Market line-up and is set for delivery this autumn .A co-production between Lithuania's Baltic FilmGroup and the UK's IMS G LLP and starring Valentinas Masalskis, Steven
  • New film options on the books

    This month the BBC began itsattempt to compete with Channel 4's UK book club dynamos Richard & Judy,whose book show has become the British equivalent of Oprah Winfrey. PageTurners, a new flagship BBC1 series, aims to generate buzz about books andcreate an Oprah-style sales surge.In all, 24 titles have beenselected for the show. Along with literary giants such as Kazuo Ishiguro andHaruki Murakami, some compelling new novels with standout potential for screenadaptation have been p
  • New Yorker buys US rights to Sundance doc Innocence

    New Yorker Films has picked up theatrical and home video/DVDrights from Showtime Networks to Jessica Sanders' miscarriage of justicedocumentary After Innocence.
  • Oguri's Forest uproots to Directors' Fortnight

    Japanese film-maker Kohei Oguri, whose The ForgottenForest (Umoregi)was originally announced to run in the Un Certain Regard section of the CannesFilm Festival, has chosen to move the film to the Directors' Fortnightsidebar. The festival's Marie-Pierre Hauville confirmed thechange telling ScreenDaily.com,'This is the precise nature of things. Information is constantlyexchanged - and sometimes films - amongst the different sections.The entire organisation has the sa
  • Oz Dollars cashes in at local box office

    Local drama Three Dollarsmade a big impact at the Australian box office over the weekend.Three Dollars grossed $177,000 (A$227,747) fromjust 15 screens over the five-day holiday weekend. The Dendy/Footprint releasewas fourteenth in the chart but it was its screen average of $11,800 thatreally impressed - and has paved the way for more screens to be added in comingweeks.
  • Pipeline wins top prize at Nyon documentary fest

    Nino Kirtadze's The Pipeline Next Doorwas the winner of this year's Grand Prix Visions du Reel at this year'sinternational documentary festival in Switzerland's Nyon (April 18-24).Kirtadze's drama of asmall Georgian village facing the dragon of globalisation in a BP oil pipelinepassing over the villagers' land also received the John Templeton FoundationAward and has been picked up f
  • Platinum Studios plots second Dylan Dog spinoff

    LA-basedPlatinum Studios is preparing a second feature film spinoff from Italian comicbook series Dylan Dogcalled Dead Of Night and it has hired Joshua Oppenheimer and Tom Donnelly to write the film.RelativityManagement is co-financing and arranging the international financing componentsfor the film which is being planned as a $35m production and described byPlatinum as “Men In Black with zombies.”Oppenheimer andDonnelly most recently adapted Clive Cus
  • Platinum Studios, The Shop team for CG horror feature Bonesaw

    Alan McElroy, thescreenwriter whose credits include Spawn, Halloween 4: The Return Of MichaelMyers, Wrong Turn and Ballistic:Ecks Vs Sever, has been hired towrite Bonesaw, an $18mcomputer-generated horror movie to be produced by LA-based Platinum Studios andVancouver-based computer animation specialists The Shop Productions.The film is based on theupcoming graphic novel by Scottish writer Rob Moran which is part of theextensive library of comic book characters and
  • Production services outfit launches in movie boom state Louisiana

    One-stopproduction services company Hollywood South Productions (HSP) launches inLouisiana today [April 27], aiming to boost in-state production with a range ofadvisory and training services including tax credit management.Headed up bychief executive officer Lonny Kaufman, president and filmmaker Chris Fink, andchief financial officer Ralph L Fletcher, HSP has partnered with LosAngeles-based lighting and grip equipment rental company Hollywood Rentals.Both co
  • Scaturro is key note speaker at Large Screen Format conference in LA

    AdventurerPasquale Scaturro will be the keynote speaker at this year's 9th Annual LargeFormat Cinema Association Conference, which kicks off in Los Angeles today[Tuesday] and runs until Apr 29.
  • Silent Hill embarks on Canada shoot

    Shooting started this week on Silent Hill,the Samuel Hadida-produced adaptation of the hit horror video game.SeanBean, Laurie Holden, Deborah Kara Unger, Kim Coates and Jodelle Ferland, the young star of Terry Gilliam's Tideland, havejoined Radha Mitchell in the cast of the Canada-France co-production.Principalphotography started on Monday in Canada, with Christophe Gans directing from ascreenplay by Roger Avary. Hadida, who is producing with Don Carmody, developed
  • Smith's Intandem debuts on London stock-market

    Gary Smith's UK-basedsales company Intandem raised £1.15m on Friday (April 22) when it floated onLondon's AIM stock-market.Smith said that the listingwould provide working capital for the group and development funds. His formercompany, Winchester Entertainment, was one of the first UK film companies tofloat on AIM. It was taken over in 2003 by US-based ContentFilm."Furthermore, AIM isan ideal platform from which to issue shares for potential acquisitions withinthe sector in the
  • Snuff

    Dir: Bernard Rose. 2005.UK/Romania. 93 mins.After ivansxtcproved such a cult favourite in certain territories, British director BernardRose now delivers in Snuff adeliciously Machievellian horror movie which has cult hit written all over it.Strictly for adults of a robust constitution, as opposed to the sanitized PG-13horror movies
  • Sony sets release date for Bond's Casino Royale

    The search for a new 007 continues to drag on, but adate has already been set for the release of the next Bond film.Bond's new distributor Sony (which has just completedits acquisition of former Bond studio MGM) has earmarked November 17, 2006, forthe release Casino Royale in North America and the UK.The now traditional end of year release date is anexact mirror of that taken when a new actor last took on the role.
  • South Korea's The Road gets best feature prize at Philadelphia

    Bae Chang-ho's South Korean picture The Road won best feature and Peter Raymont'sRwandan story Shake Hands With The Devil won best documentary honours at the 2005 Philadelphia FilmFestival, which closed on Apr 20.
  • Spanish producers unveil projects at Malaga Forum

    Spanish distributor Notro Films introduced its debutco-production over the weekend, one of seven new feature films unveiled in aProjects Forum organised by the Spanish Film Festival of Malaga (April 22-30).The Notro co-production is Albert Serra's ultra-low-budget,Catalan- language Quixotic (Honor De Cavalleria). "We placed emphasis on the poetry, the atmosphere -precisely those elements not typically seen in literary adaptations,"Serra said of his own quixotic, privately- finan
  • Spanish producers will lobby to block US from subsidies

    The Spanish Producers'Federation (FAPAE) said this week it would lobby the government to block themajor studios from accessing state subsidies for local film productions.Speaking at the Spanish FilmFestival of Malaga (April 22-30), where he laid out the production sector's toppriorities from the Socialist government, FAPAE president Pedro Perez said: "Wewill do all we can to prevent Spanish production from being overtaken byforeign companies."He reiterated the statementlater the
  • Star-studded World Cup doc kicks off for Film Sales Co

    Production has begun on Bob Potter And Paul Doyle's footballdocumentary World Cup 2006: Dreams Of Glory, which Andrew Herwitz 's New York-basedFilm Sales Company will be representing for worldwide sales at the Cannesmarket.
  • Summit lines up peak slate for Cannes

    SummitEntertainment has lined up a potent slate of new pictures for Cannes this yearled by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's red-hot Babel, the Adam Sandler-produced comedy Nana's Boy and Beacon's upcoming coastguard actioner TheGuardian which has Kevin Costner andAshton Kutcher attached
  • Sundance finalises programme for June filmmaker & screenwriter labs

    Latino teens in a post 9/11 world, 1970s Los Angeles socialhistory, and sex and the Roman Catholic church inform the upcoming slate ofprojects at the Sundance Institute's June Filmmakers and Screenwriters Labs.
  • Swipe Films takes on sales for Figgis' COMA

    London-based Swipe Filmswill handle world sales on Mike Figgis' feature documentary COMA.The film follows Figgis anda group of aspiring film-makers - the COMA group - as they attempt to make afeature film from scratch in seven days with some unexpected consequences. Thefilm will have its market premiere at Cannes on May 12. 'It was a realchallenge to try and make a film in a week with 20 extremely talentedfilm-makers from all over Europe - none of whom knew each ot
  • Swiss launch film fund to support world cinema

    Films from Asia, Africa,Latin America and Eastern Europe are set to receive support for theirproduction and international promotion through the creation of the newSwiss-based Visions Sud Est (VSE) fund.The fund,
  • The Game Of Their Lives

    Dir:David Anspaugh. US. 2005. 101 mins. This stunningly pedestrian sports movie tells the story ofthe rank outsider US football team and its surprise victory over England at the1950 World Cup in Brazil. Directed by sports movie veteran David Anspaugh (Hoosiers,Rudy) and boasting an impre
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

    Dir: Garth Jennings. US.2005. 108mins.Douglas Adams fans don't need to panic and neither,probably, do producers Spyglass and Disney: the long-awaited movie version ofAdams' classic British sci-fi comedy - made with US money and a transatlanticcast but directed with a definite English accent by UK pop video whiz GarthJennings - preserves the eccentric spirit of the original radio/book/TV series,even as it smartly streamlines the story and updates the tone.
  • The Interpreter debuts at number one in North America

    A strong rally by theover-35 crowd powered Universal's The Interpreter to the top of the North American charts at theweekend on an estimated $22.8m, while Touchstone's A Lot Like Love opened fourth on a disappointing $7.7m.Meanwhile Sony PicturesClassics' martial arts romp Kung Fu Hustle demonstrated its box office chops in its first wide weekend, climbing16 places to fifth on $7.3m for an $8m running total. New Line's caper movie King'sRansom flopped in 10t
  • The Manual Of Love (Manuale D'Amore)

    Dir: Giovanni Veronesi.It. 2005. 91mins.The big Italian successstory of 2005 so far, The Manual Of Love has taken over $15m in its fourweeks on release (almost double the total haul of Hitch). An episodic rom-comin the style of Love, Actually, the film is a cleverly populist littlenumber.Its all-star cast seems tohave been chosen with a view to catching the widest audience, pairing veterancomic actor (and director) Carlo Verdone wi
  • TIFFG launches year-round support programme for Canadian film-makers

    The Toronto InternationalFilm Festival Group has launched a year-round industry-oriented supportprogramme for Canadian filmmakers and their films. Designed to further themission of the festival's OMDC Sales Office, the new department, dubbed theIndustry Initiatives Office and headed by long-time Sales Office directorKelley Alexander, will provide programmes and services in marketing, artisticdevelopment and international networking. Foremost in the plans is theMarketing Assistan
  • Two Malaga festival films get sales agents

    Two films competing in theofficial section of the Spanish Film Festival of Malaga (April 22-30) havefound international sales agents on the eve of the event: Sogepaq has picked upRamon Salazar's 20 Centimeterswhile Grupo Pi will handle romantic comedy Semen, A Love Sample.International buyers willget a first look at Semen duringMalaga's three-day Market Screenings (April 24-26). 20 Centimeters will not screen in the Market; Sogepaq willpresent it as part of
  • UIP's The Interpreter hits 15 new territories this weekend

    Universal's The Interpreter opens in 15 markets through UIP this weekend as executivesexpect to build on last weekend's strong launch that earned the bulk of the$12.5m international running total.
  • Universal signs production deal with Berg, partners

    UniversalPictures has signed a first-look production deal with writer-director PeterBerg and his partners John Cameron and Sarah Aubrey through their fledglingproduction company Film 44.Berg recentlydirected and co-wrote Friday Night Lights for Universal and is currently in development with thestudio on the Middle East thriller Kingdom, which Michael Mann is producing."Pete - as an actor, writer and director - has a greatinstinct about the business," Universal Pict

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