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28 November 2008

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  • Udita JhunjhunwalaThe global economic slowdown has begun to impact the Indian film business, but producers and filmmakers attending the Film Bazaar projects marke
  • 21st IDFAaward nominees announced

    The nominees for this year's International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), Joris Ivens Award and $16,000 (Euros 12,500) have been announced. Burma VJ - Reporting From a Closed Country by Anders Ostergaard; Necrobusiness by Fredrik von Krusenstjerna, Richard Solarz and Monika Sieradzka; and Yodok Stories
  • Aan Ja (Over There) receives the Golden Alexander at Thessaloniki

    Aan Ja (Over There) by Iranian director Abdolreza Kahani received the Golden Alexander and $47,000 (Euros 37,000) at the 49th Thessaloniki International Film Festival.Romanian production Pescuit Sportiv (Hooked) by Adrian Sitaru was awarded the Special Jury Prize, the Silver Alexander and $28,000 (Euros 22,000).Argentinian Celina Murga was named best director for Una Semana Solos (A Week Alone).Matthew Newton received the Best Screenp
  • Adolfo Aristarain to adapt La Muerte Lenta De Luciana B for the big screen

    Award-winning Argentinean director Adolfo Aristarain will shoot the thriller La Muerte Lenta De Luciana B in Argentina and Spain next March.Based on the novel by Guillermo Martinez (writer of The Oxford Murders), La Muerte Lenta De Luciana B tells the story of an assassin who methodically kills off everyone close to a young woman, Luciana (Celeste Cid).She suspects a famous writer, Kloster (Dario Grandinetti) to be behind the deaths, but the police
  • Alan Zhang opens US offices in LA for his Red Maiden Entertainment

    Alan Zhang, the film-maker and CEO and founder of Beijing-based Red Maiden Entertainment, has opened the company's Los Angeles offices in Beverly Hills.The move coincides with the theatrical release in China of Zhang's directorial debut Waiting In Beijing, a romance that will open in the US on December 12 through Rocky Mountain Pictures.Christine Antonovich will serve as Red Maiden Entertainment's CFO and Cathy Lee is managing dire
  • Awards countdown crafts - The art of the crafts

    CinematographyWally PfisterDirector of photography, The Dark KnightDoP Wally Pfister calls The Dark Knight the 'artistic and technical' highlight of his career. He started discussing the look for the film with longtime collaborators director Christopher Nolan and production designer Nathan Crowley when it was still at script stage.'With Batman Begins, the streets had a sort of warm orange sodium vapour, and that gave the film a lot of rust colours,' Pfister explain
  • Awards countdown foreign-language films - Strong language

    In June this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Ampas) announced it would be making yet another tweak to its foreign-language film category.In 2007 the process underwent a major revamp, seeing a shortlist of nine films drawn up by the foreign-language committee at large and then the final list of five nominees being decided by a second-phase group of 30 members. But in the first year of the new system, Cristian Mungiu's masterpiece 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days
  • Awards countdown Golden Globes - Back to business

    In a tumultuous year for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Hfpa), president Jorge Camara anticipates business as usual as the group prepares to announce its Golden Globe nominees on December 11.As the second oldest awards body in Hollywood, after the Academy Awards, the Hfpa has seen and done a lot since its inception in 1943. However, even Camara - serving his second consecutive term (and sixth overall) as president - and the 90-odd membership, were sent reeling by the events o
  • Board members at Japan's Picnic Pictures branch out

    Board members at Japan's Picnic Pictures Inc have formed partnerships with two established film companies to set up separate production entities. Picnic president Tadaatsu Shundo has partnered with Tokyo Theatres Inc to establish Parade Inc. Shundo will serve as CEO and Toshikazu Nishigaya will serve as board member and head producer.Established after World War II, Tokyo Theatres is primarily an exhibitor, operating cinemas in Shinjuku, Shibuya and Ginza.Tokyo Theatres also
  • Cadillac Records

    Dir Darnell Martin. US. 2008. 104 mins
  • Canada's Sook-Yin Lee starts shoot of Year Of The Carnivore

    Canadian actress Sook-Yin Lee has begun principal photography on her directorial debut Year Of The Carnivore. The film, which is shooting outside of Vancouver, is co-produced by Vancouver-based Screen Siren Pictures and Toronto-based The Film Farm, producers of Atom Egoyan's Adoration. Screen Siren's Trish
  • Co-production focus at Festival of German Films in London

    International co-production will bea focus of this year's Festival of German Film at London's Curzon Soho Cinema, which begins November 28 (Friday).The programme includes an industry event hosted by German Films and the UK Film Council on strategies and business models for structuring co-productions with Germany.More than 100 producers are expected to attend the event on Monday December 1, 90 of them are UK producers.While the event has generated interest
  • CP Global signs first-look deak with Japan's Formula Entertainment

    CP Global, the parent company of Michael Cerenzie and Christine Peters' Cerenzie-Peters Productions, has signed a first-look deal with Japan's Formula Entertainment.CP Global and Formula chief Daisuke 'Dais' Miyachi and CP are preparing to adapt John Woo's 1986 crime drama A Better Tomorrow and are in talks on developing two manga properties.Cerenzie will help Miyachi launch Formula's Los Angeles office and the partners are current
  • Croatian Audio-Visual Center awards $5m across 17 projects

    The Croatian Audio-Visual Center has selected 17 feature film projects for financing. In total, 71 film projects were submitted for consideration to the Croatian Audio-Visual Center (HAVC) which is Croatia's official film funding body.The HAVC was established in March this year and under Croatian law is completely independent from government bodies.Its objectives include stimulating finance for the preparation, development and distribution of audiovisual wor
  • Czech republic - Lighting up the radar

    Czech documentary film-makers Vit Klusak and Filip Remunda gained international attention and praise from Morgan Spurlock and Michael Moore for their 2004 debut feature Czech Dream.The documentary, in which the two student film-makers created an entire PR campaign for a non-existent supermarket, won several awards including best documentary at the San Francisco International Film Festival.Having now graduated from the Prague Film Academy, the duo are finishing production
  • du Toit named director of programming at Palm Springs

    Helen du Toit will serve as director of programming at the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF), set to run from January 8-19.Du Toit recently served as co-director with Carl Spence, who has segued into the role of lead programmer.She served in the festival's programming department in 1991 for three years and returned in 2004. Du Toit most recently served as programme director of the Vancouver Film and Television Forum and also programmed for various film
  • Dubai International Film Festival to feature 11 world premieres.

    The Dubai International film festival will feature eleven world premieres across its programme.The premieres comprise narrative and documentary films, feature length and shorts and works from established feature directors as well as feature debuts.The festival's mandate to present diverse and engaging cinema while highlighting film of Arab origin is strongly reflected in the choice of filmsThe Arabian nights section of the festival includes two very diffe
  • Europa Distribution highlights challenge of digital switchover

    European distributors called for a collective approach to the common challenges presented by digitisation at Europa Distribution's 2nd Annual Conference.70 European distributors, including 50 independents, met in Estoril Portugal, where the conference was held as a part of the Estoril film festival.Europa Distribution also held its General Assembly and elected its new board of administration.The director brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne took over the
  • Film Bazaar 2008: Feature Projects

    Animal's PeopleDir/prod: Michael AndersonProd co: Quadrapedal FilmsLanguage: EnglishSynopsis: Based on the Booker Prize-nominated novel by Indra Sinha about a boy living with the consequences of an explosion in a chemical factory.Bandra FairDir: Judith VarmaProd: Sudhir MishraProd co: Cineraas EntertainmentLanguage: EnglishSynopsis: A former Catholic priest returns home from to Mumbai to break the news t
  • Four Christmases

    Dir: Seth Gordon. US. 2008. 88 mins Four rounds of family festivities produce very little merriment for either its protagonists or audiences as holiday season romantic comedy Four Christmases slogs its way through a sub-90 minute running time. The pairing of Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon and the presence of an impressive supporting cast of veteran performers will probably get this Warner-distributed New Line/Spyglass production a sizeable and demographically
  • Fox launches Australia in Australia day-and-date with North America

    Sony/MGM's Quantum Of Solace remains the one to beat heading into the weekend although the James Bond saga can expect to get shaken and stirred by several new arrivals.The 007 tale has raced to $312m through Sony Pictures Releasing International and should finish the weekend close to $340m through strong holdover business and a New Zealand opening on November 27.Summit International's
  • Hallyday, Testud to star in To's HK-French Vengeance

    French actors Johnny Hallyday and Sylvie Testud have been cast in Johnnie To's upcoming thriller Vengeance which is being made as a co-production between France's ARP, To's Milkway Image and Hong Kong-based Media Asia Group. Scripted by regular To collaborator Wai Ka-fai, the story follows a former assassin, now a French chef, who comes to Hong Kong to avenge his daughter whose family was murdered.The cast also includes To favourites Anthony Wong, Lam Ka Tun
  • Highlight, Rosem team for Indo-French co-production

    India's Highlight Films is joining forces with France's Rosem Films to co-produce The Conqueror, written and to be directed by female Indian filmmaker Alka Raghuram. Highlight's Mahesh Mathai and Rosem's Sylvain Bursztejn are jointly producing the Hindi-language film which has secured backing from Fonds Sud Cinema and is currently looking for further co-producers.Scheduled to shoot in the mountainous Ladakh region of India in summer 2009, the film tells the
  • In Focus: Erik Van Looy's Flemish hit Loft

    With 500,000 admissions already posted and the Christmas holidays still to come, Erik Van Looy's Loft is the runaway local hit of the autumn in Belgium. Four weeks after its release on October 22, it had not only outperformed Quantum Of Solace and left Mamma Mia! The Movie gasping in its wake - it had entered the top-10 of all-time Flemish box-office hits.Non-Flemish audiences are unlikely to have heard of Loft. However, in Flanders, writer-director Van Looy
  • In focus: Marketing theatrical documentaries

    We don't do documentary,' was the response from Wouter Barendrecht, co-founder of Fortissimo Films, when John Sloss of Cinetic Media approached him to see if Fortissimo might be interested in handling a small-scale film about child abuse called Capturing The Friedmans in 2003.At that time, Fortissimo did not handle docs as a matter of policy. 'I always liked documentary but I had an initial corporate policy that if you see one documentary, you have to see them all,' Barendrecht
  • Indian producers sayslowdown could lead to healthier industry

    The global economic slowdown has begun to impact the Indian film business, but producers and filmmakers attending the Film Bazaar projects market in Goa (Nov 26-29), say they expect this to have positive as well as obvious negative effects. Panellists at a session entitled 'Financing and Distribution of Specialty Films in India', held in association with Screen International, seemed to agree that major dives in the London and Mumbai stock markets, and the stalling
  • International - Summit draws blood

    Quantum Of Solace held on to the top spot on Screen's international chart for a fourth week as it passed the $300m milestone, adding $40.4m to its tally over the November 21-23 weekend. Now in 67 territories, Sony Pictures Releasing International's film played on 10,373 screens, and yielded a $3,900 screen average.The highest new entry came from Summit Entertainment's vampire love story Twilight, which opened internationally in Italy, Mexico and Russia, and grossed
  • Interview: Splinter and Grudge 3 director Toby Wilkins

    'My sensibilities tend to be on the darker side,' says director Toby Wilkins. That sounds like an understatement considering that his feature directorial debut, Splinter, has a very memorable scene in which a severed hand comes to life. Yet Wilkins is not about gore for gore's sake. 'For me, the focus is on characters and situations, not just the whiz-bang,' he says.Magnet Releasing, the genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, launched Splinter in the US on Halloween and Wilkins
  • Italian distribution of Oliver Stone's W. secured by Dall'Angelo Pictures

    W., Oliver Stone's biopic of outgoing US president George W. Bush has been picked up by independent Italian distributor Dall'Angelo Pictures. The deal was agreed immediately following the film's Italian premiere on opening night of the 26th Turin Film Festival.It was brokered between QED International's executive vice-president of international distribution, Kimberly Fox and Dall'Angelo Pictures chief Barbara Dall'Angelo in Turin over the weekend.P
  • Japan's Fuji TV celebrates 50th year with film by Hiroshi Nishitani

    Japanese broadcaster Fuji Television is to mark its 50th anniversary with a special feature film production Amalfi: Megami No 50-Byou (Amalfi: 50 Seconds of a Goddess), starring Yuji Oda, which will be shot entirely on location in Italy.The film is directed by Hiroshi Nishitani and stars Yuji Oda, Yuki Amami, Koichi Sato and Erika Toda.Fuji TV motion picture department head Chihiro Kameyama will co-produce with Toru Ota. The film
  • Kalatozishvili's Wild Field takes top prize at Marrakech

    Mikhail Kalatozishvili's Wild Field won the top prize, l'Etoile d'Or, at the 8th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival. The Shaft , from China's Zhang Chi, earned the Jury Prize.Melissa Leo, the star of Courtney Hunt's Sundance grand jury prize winner Frozen River, took the Best Actress pri
  • Koreainvests $271m in manga, animation, character-merchandising

    South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism is planning to invest $271m (KW410bn) in the manga, animation and character-merchandisingindustries to develop 'one-source, multi-use (OSMU)killer content' by 2013. Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Yu In-chon today announced a plan to invest $33m in manga, $66m in animation, $39.6m in character-merchandising and $132m in human resources development -looking to createOSMUcontent that can be lucrative in several
  • La Graine Et Le Mulet wins European Film Academy Critics' Award 2008

    The European Film Academy Critics' Award 2008 - Prix Fipresci has been awarded to Abdellatif Kechiche for La Graine Et Le Mulet (The Secret of the Grain) The announcement was made by the European Film Academy, EFA Productions, and the International Federation of Film Critics, FIPRESCI.FIPRESCI's director of the department for African affairs, Hassouna Mansouri,
  • Latido Films sells Sex Party & The Night to Sony

    Latido Films has sold Alfonso Albacete and David Menkes' new film Sex Party & The Night (Mentiras Y Gordas) to Sony for distribution in Spain. The film takes a no-holds-barred look at the exploits of a group of young boys and girls experimenting with drugs, clubs and sex, starring Alejo Sauras (Sexykiller), Hugo Silva
  • Lea Pool begins shooting Une Belle Mort in Luxembourg

    Swiss-Canadian filmmaker Lea Pool has begun principal photography on Une Belle Mort for Montreal-based Equinoxe Pictures and Luxembourg's Iris Productions. At a budget of $4.3m (C$5.4m), it is the first-ever official Canada-Luxembourg coproduction.The screenplay is co-written by Pool and Quebecois novelist Gil Courtemanche, based on his 2005 novel of the same name; it was published in English in 2006 as A Good
  • Mamma Mia! - The Movie is fastest selling UK DVD ever

    Day one sales of Mamma Mia! - The Movie have beaten Titanic's record, to become the fastest selling DVD of all time in the UK.Sales reached 1.669 million units, following its launch on November 24.The previous record for day one DVD sales was held for 10 years by James Cameron's Titanic. It sold 1.1 million units on its first day of release in 1998 in the UK.Mamma Mia! - The Movie also holds the record for the highes
  • Marshallmade deputymdat Warner Brothers Pictures International UK

    Neil Marshall, previously sales director at Warner Brothers Pictures International UK (WB), has been promoted to the role of deputy managing director. He will report to Josh Berger, president & managing director of Warner Bros. UK.In his new role, Marshall will be increasingly involved in the day-to-day running of the division with Berger and the senior management team. He will maintain full leadership of the sales team and technical operations.Prior to j
  • Mikhail Kalatozishvili's Wild Field wins best film at Estoril film festival

    Russian director Mikhail Kalatozishvili's drama Wild Field has taken the best film award at the Estoril film festival in Portugal. The Studio Barmalei production Wild Field focuses on the life of a doctor struggling to care for a small farming community, which is trying to fight off some outlaws, set against the sweeping plains of Kazakhstan's steppes.'[Wild Field] caught the jury's eye for its intimate and expansive beauty, [balanced] between the
  • Mumbai cinemas remain closed asattackscontinue

    The Mumbai terrorist attacks, which had still not been completely contained as of Friday afternoon, are also having an impact on the Hindi film industry which is based in the city. Cinema halls in South Mumbai - including the Inox multiplex next to the Oberoi Trident hotel and single screens such as the Regal in Colaba - have remained closed since Wednesday night.After a day without operations on Thursday, cinema halls in North Mumbai re-opened on Friday how
  • Neil Marshall promoted to deputy managing director at Warner Brothers UK

    Neil Marshall, previously sales director at Warner Brothers Pictures International UK (WB), has been promoted to the role of deputy managing director at the company. He will report to Josh Berger, president & managing director of Warner Brothers International UK.In his new role, Marshall will be increasingly involved in the day-to-day running of the division with Berger and the senior management team. He will maintain full leadership of the sales team and techni
  • Norway opens first all-digital multiplex in the Nordic countries

    The first all-digital multiplex in the Nordic countries has been opened in Norway by Oslo Municipal Cinemas.The multiplex is called the Ringen, and is situated in the Grunerlokka borough of Oslo.'The new theatre is a milestone on the way into a new technological era, and a considerable addition to the capacity of the Oslo circuit,' said managing director Lene Loken, of Norwegian cinema association, Film & Kino.The Ringen houses six auditoria, with a total
  • Paul Gross in the saddle for William Phillips' Gunless

    Fresh from the success of his WWI epic Passchendaele, Canadian actor Paul Gross has signed for the lead in writer-director William Phillips' Gunless, a fish-out-of-water tale of a US gunslinger in the distinctly unwild Canadian West. The project will be coproduced by Toronto's Rhombus Media and Vancouver's Brightlight Pictures. Rhombus chief Niv Fichman will produce alongside Brightlight's principal Ste
  • Production - Attracting a partner

    Back in 2002 when Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas screened at Cannes, the Indian film industry was still regarded as an exotic item - fun to have at the party but the international industry did not really know how to talk to her. Fast forward through six years of a booming Indian economy and corporatisation of the local film industry and an array of suitors are lining up for her hand.In addition to deals between the US studios and Indian film companies, several c
  • Profile - Pim Hermeling

    At the AFM in Santa Monica, several Dutch distributors were heard to grumble about the prices being charged by international sales companies for Benelux rights.Nonetheless, there was little evidence the Dutch buyers were keeping their wallets in their pockets. A-Film and Dutch FilmWorks both made major acquisitions of high-profile titles (the former bought Five Killers from Mandate as well as a package of four titles from HanWay, while the
  • Quantum leads international pack, but Twilight draws blood in four markets

    Sony Pictures Releasing International's Quantum Of Solace remained the number one overseas title as an estimated $40.6m from 10,400 screens in 72 markets raised the running total to $309m.Combined with the $109m running total in North America the James Bond saga stands at $418m worldwide. Key international drivers were number one launches in Aust
  • Rich Raddon resigns as director of LA Film Festival

    Rich Raddon has resigned his post as director of the Los Angeles Film Festival in the wake of his much publicised $1,500 donation to the Yes On 8 campaign in support of the ban on same-sex marriages in California.Raddon, a devout Mormon who has served as director since 2000, issued a statement saying he was 'profoundly sorry' for the negative attention his support of Proposition 8 drew to festival producer Film Independent and for 'the hurt and
  • SAG call for strike authorisation even as economic crisis deepens

    The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) said on Saturday [Nov 22] that it will ask its 120,000 membership to authorise a strike after negotiations with the studios collapsed despite the assistance of a federal mediator.The vote would take more than a month and require more than 75% approval to pass. The move prompted an angry reaction from the studios, who said SAG remained the only major Hollywood union without a deal this year.Federal mediator Juan Carlos Gonzalez adjourned the t
  • Screen opinion: Time for a truce

    The threat of an actors' strike in Hollywood takes on a somewhat surreal aspect when the global economy is collapsing around our ears. Last year's writers' strike took place against the backdrop of a hedge-fund boom. The studios had fallen spectacularly on their feet after a difficult period. Back then, the billions looked as safe as, well, banks.The world has changed much but now, as then, the international business is having to play the role of interested bystander in the dispute - a
  • Shooting of Serge Gainsbourg (Vie Heroique) to start in France in January

    Principal photography of Serge Gainsbourg (Vie Heroique) is due to start on January 19, 2009 and will continue for 13 weeks on location in Paris. The film will be the directorial feature debut of Joann Sfar, the award-winning French graphic artist. Sfar also wrote the screenplay.Serge Gainbourg (Vie Heroique) is being produced by One World Films in conjunction with Universal Pictures International Studio (UPIS) and Studio 37.The film is
  • Spanish-German co-production The Anarchist's Wife to go to Sundance

    Marie Noelle and Peter Sehr's The Anarchist's Wife (Die Frau des Anarchisten) has been selected for Sundance Film Festival's World Cinema Competition in January.Speaking at a two-day co-production meeting between Catalan and German producers in Berlin, the film's Barcelona-based co-producer Jordi Rediu of Zip Films said that this would be the first film from Spain to be in the Sundance competition.The story of an undying love set against the backd
  • Studio Hamburg scales down feature film activities

    Germany 's Studio Hamburg has decided to scale down its feature film activities after the disappointing international performance of its English language projects.The step was taken after the stand alone companies specifically set up to provide the co-financing for by Studio Hamburg International Production's (SHIP) two English language family entertainment films were forced to file for bankruptcy this month.The companies had co-financed two English language fil
  • Summit exceeds expectations with $70.6m opening for Twilight

    Summit Entertainment's Twilight exceeded grand expectations to deliver the biggest pound-for-pound launch of the year with an estimated $70.6m three-day debut that will instill confidence in an independent sector rattled by the financial crisis and the renewed prospect of an actors strike.Tween power turned out en masse for Catherine Hardwicke's
  • Summit greenlights New Moon after spectacular Twilight opening

    Buoyed by spectacular opening day results for Twilight, Summit Entertainment has taken the widely anticipated step of greenlighting the sequel New Moon. The vampire romance is estimated to have grossed $35.7m on Friday, an astonishing amount driven by record pre-sales. Approximately $7m of that amount comes from Thursday midnight screenings. Heading into the weekend
  • Sundance Documentary Film Program banks on 20 projects

    The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program has announced the 20 projects awarded financial and creative support from the Sundance Documentary Fund.Nearly 800 film-makers working in more than 70 countries submitted projects in what amounted to twice as many entries as there were last year.The grant recipients include six first-time feature documentary film-makers. The programme supports worldwide projects that explore critical issues of our times in a
  • Taiwanese hit Cape No.7 tops Hong Kong box office

    Following its historical success at home, Taiwanese hit Cape No. 7 topped the Hong Kong box office last weekend, grossing $259,000 (HK$2.01m) in four days (Nov 20-23), with a mid-sized release of 23 screens. Besides Hong Kong, where the film was released by Lighten Distribution, Cape No. 7 is scheduled to enter other Asian territories starting from this week to December, according to Taipei-based Good Film Workshop, international sales compan
  • TFI International generates strong sales for Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Micmacs

    TFI International has generated strong sales on Jean-Pierre Jeunet's upcoming Micmacs following the recent American Film Market. Micmacs went to Entertainment One for the UK and Canada; Odeon for Greece, Cyprus and Romania; Scanbox in Scandinavia and Hollywood Classic in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.The film , which began shooting in Paris in August, will be released by Warner Bros in France in the autumn of 2009.Micmacs
  • The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

    Dir: David Fincher. US. 2008. 166 mins.
  • The Dust Of Time

    Dir: Theo Angelopoulos. Greece /Germany/ Italy/ Russia, 2008. 125 min.
  • The Media Festival: Digital key to reaching new audiences

    Digital technologies have the potential to bridge the gap between customer demand and what producers make, delegates to The Media Festival in Manchester heard.The event, backed by Screen International and ScreenDaily,focused on the challenges of ensuring a sufficiently broad and diverse range of content to satisfy audiences across today's multi media platforms.Speakers at the Media Festival included John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the
  • Tribeca Film Festival Doha to be launched November 2009

    Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) and New York's Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) are to launch a new international film festival, Tribeca Film Festival Doha. The first festival will take place November 10 - 14, 2009 and be presented at Doha's Museum of Islamic Art and in cinemas across Doha.The announcement was made at a special ceremony at the Museum, attended by: Tribeca Film Festival co-founders, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff; her Excellency Sheikh
  • Twilight's international numbers bigger than first thought

    Twilight grossed $9.6m from 1,275 venues in five international territories in a significant rise from initial estimates released by Summit International over the weekend.The vampire romance stormed to number one in Italy in the sixth biggest launch of the year on $5.8m from 601 prints and topped the charts in Mexico on $2.3m from 385 sites.A third place debut in Sweden saw
  • Tykwer's The International to open 59th Berlin Film Festival

    The world premiere of Tom Tykwer's The International, starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts has been named as the opening film of the 2009 Berlinale on February 5.The action thriller also stars Armin Mueller-Stahl, Brian F. O'Byrne, Ulrich Thomsen and Jack McGee.The International will be presented 'out of competition' in the festival's Official Competition programme.The film is a Mosaic Media Group production, co-produced by the UK's Rose Li
  • UK and Denmark claim top prizes at Encounters Short Film Festival

    The 14th Encounters Short Film Festival drew to a close last night as Danish film-maker Mads Matthiesen took the International Jury Award, for his short film Dennis, while Danish film Office Noise won the Children's Jury Award.UK and Danish short films dominated the awards at the festival, which took place in Bristol with six days of screenings of a total of 320 shorts from 63 countries.Three UKfilms won the Depict! Awards for best entry
  • UK -based Illuminated Films to produce Not The End Of The World

    The Illuminated Film Company (Illuminated Films) is to produce adventure story Not The End Of The World. Piet Kroon (Shrek 2, Christmas Carol - The Movie) will direct the film which he adapted from Geraldine McCaughrean's novel of the same name. Currently at the pre-production stage, the film is set on board Noah's Ark and follows Noah's youngest daughter Timna, as she fights for survival along with her family.
  • UK London mayor Boris Johnson puts focus on film

    Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has set out his plans to make film a key part of Londoners' experience of arts and culture in the capital. The publication of Cultural Metropolis yesterday highlights cultural initiatives to be taken and focuses on film amongst the creative industries.Planned initiatives include:- the London Film Day - a one day celebration dedicated to film, offering screenings and events throughout the city;
  • United States - Launching Plymouth Rock

    New England needs a vitamin injection," says David Kirkpatrick, founder of Plymouth Rock Studios, a new digital film and television studio complex to be built in Massachusetts, the most populous state in the north-eastern region of the US.And while the 25% Massachusetts tax credit for film-makers that was introduced in 2007 may be the prescription, Kirkpatrick is administering the medicine.Plymouth Rock Studios is slated to open in Plymouth - the historic town 40 miles south of
  • UPI Italy pulls out of the distributor's section of ANICA

    Universal Pictures International Italy has pulled out of the distributor's section of ANICA, the Italian motion pictures organization.The decision was taken by Richard Borg, Universal Studio's chief in Italy, after rules calculating the year's top distributor award were changed at the last moment moving Universal from first to second place.The award, called the Golden Ticket, will now go to Medusa which had been in second place.The two distributors have a
  • Valley Song wins Hubert Bals award at Film Bazaar

    Pushpendra Misra's Valley Song was presented with the Hubert Bals award for most promising feature film project at the Film Bazaar in Goa on Friday night. The award came with a cash prize of $6,400 (Euros5,000) towards the project's development. Produced by Misra and Alakananda Nag, the project is a Hindi adaptation of South African playwright Athol Fugard's play of the same name and follows the relationship between a grandfather who is afraid of change and his gra
  • Warner Brothers content to go on KTF mobiles in Korea

    Korean mobile internet provider KTF will be offering latest Warner Brothersmovies and TV series in a specialscreening section starting tomorrow (Nov 26). KTF's Warner Brothers special section will feature 150items including hit movies such as Speed Racer and the Harry Potter and Matrix series, as well as popular TV shows such as Friends, The West Wing and ER.The TV series will cost KW1,000 ($0.67) per episode, and movies wi
  • Weinstein Company lays off 24 employees, 11% of workforce

    The Weinstein Company has become the latest prominent Hollywood business to cut staff in the economic crisis, laying off 24 employees or approximately 11% of the workforce.Sources did not name individuals or specify which departments have been hit, although it is understood the redundancies affect all departments and go across the New York, Los Angeles, London and Hong Kong offices.No department at The Weinstein Company will close and no further lay-offs are expected in t
  • XME teams with US-Chinese talent on five-picture slate

    Xinhua Media Entertainment (XME), a subsidiary of Chinese media group XFMedia, has announced a slate of five China-US co-productions to be made over the next three years. The slate, which aims to showcase Chinese culture and top talents through collaboration with US directors, writers and producers, includes the previously announced live-action version of Chinese classic Mulan and four thrillers.All the projects will be made as official co-productions betwee