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28 October 2005

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  • deal with Crescent brings expansion

    Village Roadshow Pictures(VRP) is likely to finance and produce more films and possibly acquire relatedinterests under a recently finalised deal that gives US investor Crescent Entertainmentoptions to secure a 50% interest in VRP.Crescent partners Hal Gaba - co-owner with Norman Lear of mediainvestment firm and record company owner Act III - and Michael Lambert, ofbroadcasting and distribution group Lambert Entertainment, are now co-chairs with Graham Burke, chiefexecutive of Melbourne
  • A Woman In Winter

    Dir/scr: Richard Jobson.UK. 2005. 100mins.Once pitched as "Solarismeets Last Year At Marienbad",A Woman in Winter is a soulful,metaphysical love story that exhibits the same virtues and shortcomings aswriter/director Richard Jobson's critically admireddebut feature
  • AFC appoints Fitchett as acting development chief

    The Australian FilmCommission (AFC) has announced that it won't appoint anyone to the influentialposition of director of film development until early next year and hasappointed two people to fill the gap until then. Independent writer/producerChris Fitchett will act in the role from October 31, and Lori Flekser, aproject manager at the AFC, will be his deputy. Fitchett is a former chiefexecutive of the AFC's Commercial Television Production Fund; a former hea
  • Arclight picks up Brooks' Looking For Comedy

    Arclight Films has acquiredinternational rights to Albert Brooks' comedy Looking For Comedy In The Muslim World and will commence sales atthe AFM next week.Brooks stars as a comedianworking for the US government who travels to India and Pakistan to discove
  • Arclight takes international rights on Bobby

    Arclight Films has acquiredinternational sales rights to Emilio Estevez' Bobby Kennedy assassination dramaBobby, which boasts an all-starcast including Anthony Hopkins, Demi Moore, Elijah Wood, Sharon Stone, LindsayLohan, Nick Cannon and Freddy Rodriguez.Arclight's president of international sales Jonathan Deckter will commencesales at the AFM next week on the Bold Films production, which is beingproduced by Ed Bass and executive produced by Michel Litvak, Gary MichaelWalters a
  • Australia gets serious about the truth

    Australian documentarymakers who were encouraged to pitch full-length features are now seeing their projectsmove into pre-production or production.Films now underway thanks tothe initiative, introduced by the Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) lastyear, include Rampage, about a youngupcoming rap star, which is now being shot in Miami by director/writer/producerGeorge Gittoes. Moviehouseis handling sales: Gittoes came to attention with
  • Australia's Kojo Group moves into film production

    Leading Adelaide-basedpost-production and TV production company, Kojo Group, is moving into featurefilm production and has boarded writer/director Murali K. Thalluri's debutfeature 2:37."Our optimistic goal is tomake a couple of films per year," Kojo founding partner Kent Smith told Screendaily. "We have already had a bigrole on a number but not as producers. K
  • Austrian film-makers sign up for Mozart project

    Ulrich Seidl, Jessica Hausner, Michael Glawogger, Goran Rebic and Bady Minck are among 28 Austrian-based filmmakers participatingin The Mozart Minute film project for the Wiener Mozartjahr2006 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang AmadeusMozart.Speaking to at the Viennale this week, project coordinator Christine Dollhofer explained that the directors were approached by Mozartjahr artistic
  • Bavaria adds Heaven, Offside to AFM slate

    Bavaria Film International has added two new titles - Ed Herzog's Almost Heaven and BuketAlakus' Offside(Eine Andere Liga) - to its market slate for the upcoming AFM nextmonth.Herzog's feelgood movie about a wannabee German country singer mistaking Jamaica forNashville stars Heike Makatsch, WotanWilke Moehring and Ivan Shvedoff, and was released theatrically by Timebandits Films in Germany at the end of
  • Bleiberg bulks up with Champagne Spy, Love & Dance

    Ehud Bleiberg's fledglingBleiberg Entertainment is to co-produce and handle worldwide sales on theespionage documentary The Champagne Spy and the drama Love & Dance.The Champagne Spy, a BleibergEntertainment production in association with July August Productions, followsan Israeli agent who goes undercover to sabotage an Egyptian weapons programmeand becomes addicted to his alter ego as an ex-Nazi playboy.Nadav Schirman is directing the project, which is c
  • Brief Encounters unveils shorts festival line-up

    The 11th Brief Encountersfestival in Bristol has announced a line-up of more than 200 short filmsfor this year's event, which runs November 23-27 at the Watershed Media Centre.The programme includes filmsfrom 25 countries during the five-day event. More than £10,000 will be awardedin prizes. Film highlights include MartinMcDonagh's Six Shooter, Vaughan Pilikian's
  • Brokeback Mountain, Capote head up Gotham nominees

    Ang Lee'sVenice Golden Lion winner Brokeback Mountain will contest IFP's best featureGotham Awards in New York on Nov 30 with Bennett Miller's Capote, David Cronenberg's A History OfViolence, LodgeKerrigan's Keane,and Miranda July's Me And You And Everyone We Know.Miller and July are is two of five nominees in the breakthrough directorcategory, along with Phil Morrison for Junebug, Andrew Wagner for The TalentGiven Us, and AliceWu for
  • Celluloid adds Burman, To films to AFM slate

    Celluloid Dreams is preparing an impressive roster of films for theupcoming AFM and has released details of two additions to its burgeoning slate.Argentine director Daniel Burman's FamilyLaw will begin pre-sales at the AFM. The film is currently in post-production.Burman's 2004 film Lost Embrace was a double Silver Bear winner in Berlin takingthe best director and best actor prize for Daniel
  • Cock And Bull to open European Union Film Showcase

    The American FilmInstitute, working with the Cultural Counselors of the European Union Member States, will present the 18th editionof the European Union Film Showcase at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland, from November 8-22.UK films will open and close the festival:Michael Winter
  • ContentFilm International boosts AFM slate with The Moguls

    ContentFilmInternational has lined up a prestigious slate of titles for AFM including workby Peter Greenaway, Keith Gordon and Paul Verhoeven, as well as comedy pick-up TheMoguls from Michael Kuhn's QwertyFilms.Following parent company ContentFilm's decision to shift its focus towardslibra
  • Daldry, Dornford-May partner on South African pics

    Golden Bearwinner Mark Dornford-May (U-Carmen eKhayelitsha) and Oscar-nominated director StephenDaldry (The Hours, Billy Elliot) are to partner on a series of three new films in South Africa.The firstfeature, already in post-production, is tentatively titled Son of Man (aka Jezile). This is an extension of award winningglobal theatre success Yiimimangaliso - The Mysteries, in which Dornford-Yates reworks TheMedieval Mystery plays. SonOf Man
  • De Niro to star in Levinson's What Just Happened'

    Robert De Niro will star inBarry Levinson's comedy What JustHappened' for 2929 Productions which is based on Art Linson's book andscreenplay about his experiences in Hollywood.2929 will fully finance theproject and the company's sales chief Shebnem Askin will commence internationalsales at the AFM next week. No domestic distributor is attached as yet.De Niro will play adespairing film producer
  • Disney signs up to Cinea's anti-piracy plan

    Heralding a significantdevelopment on the awards season horizon, Disney has become the first US majorto adopt Cinea's anti-piracy technology.The studio will send out itsscreener DVDs for awards contenders Shopgirl and The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The WitchAnd The Wardrobe on discs encryptedby Cinea.The discs can only beplayed on Cinea's S-View DVD player, which the Dolby Laboratories subsidiaryplans to send out to approximately 12,000 voting members of the A
  • Drum is audience favourite at Mill Valley

    The Mill Valley FilmFestival's inaugural audience award for dramatic feature went to Zola Maseko'sApartheid drama Drum.The strong audience response to the picture has prompted producer ChrisSievernich to begin discussions with North American distributors for a platformrelease.Sievernich's Armada Pictures International holds worldwide rights to theproject starring Taye Diggs and Jason Flemyng.Lisa Gay Hamilton's Beah: A Black Woman Speaks received the Audi
  • Ex-Egoli Tossell exec Damian unveils 27 Films' debut slate

    Former Egoli TossellFilm executive Oliver Damian has set up his own production outfit 27 FilmsProduction to develop and produce international co-productions, with aparticular focus on projects from Eastern Europe and Asia. Among 27 Films' first projects are Oscar-nominated Georgian directorNana Djordjadze's fantasy comedy The Rainbow Maker; S
  • Film Sales Company heads for Middletown

    Andrew Herwitz' The FilmSales Company has bulked up its AFM slate after picking up worldwide rightsexcluding the UK to the sibling drama Middletown starring Matthew Macfayden.Macfayden, currently starring as Charles Darcy opposite Keira Knightley in PrideAnd Prejudice, will star in theIreland-set tale about the torrid relationship between two brothers.Brian Kirk will direct from a screenplay by Daragh Carville and Michael Caseywill produce. Daniel Mays, Eva Birth
  • Focus hires Timothy Collins as vp business affairs

    TimothyCollins has joined Focus Features as vice president of business affairs,effective immediately.Collins will be based in Los Angeles and his duties will include negotiatingtalent deals for Focus and Rogue titles. He reports to Focus' senior vice presidentof business affai
  • Focus taps into Mexico with Canana Films deal

    Focus Features has signed atwo-year term deal with Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and producer Pablo Cruz'fledging Mexico City-based Canana Films.The agreement, which includes an option for a third year, grants Focusworldwide rights to Canana's upcoming slate of mid-budget Spanish-languagefilms shot in Mexico and higher-budget English-language titles.Focus chiefs David Linde andJames Schamus and their team of executives will surely relish the chance to tapinto a rich vein of Me
  • Foreign producers take issue with UK tax proposals

    The UK is in danger of losing its status as a topco-production partner for international film-makers if the government pressesahead with its new tax proposals, foreign producers argued at a heated filmseminar this week.The Co-production Express,presented by the UK MEDIA Desk, the UK Film Council (UKFC), and the Times bfi London Film Festival, was clearly intended to fosterfuture UK co-productions with the rest of Europe, y
  • Forsaken Land wins top prize in Bangkok

    The Forsaken Land, from Sri Lankan director Vimukthi Jayasundara, picked up the bestpicture award at the 3rd World Film Festival of Bangkok on Sunday night (Oct 23).The best script award wentto Peruvian feature Days Of Santiago,directed by Josue Mendez, while best art direction went to Russian directorIlya Khrzhanovsky's 4. The jury prizewas awarded to
  • Fortissimo takes on world sales for House Of Sand

    Fortissimo Films is to handleworld sales outside of Brazil and North America for Conspiracao Filmes' The House Of Sand,directed by award winning Brazilian director AndruchaWaddington. Waddington's Me You Them won a Special Mention in theUn Certain Regard sidebar of the Cannes film festival in 2000 and the CrystalGlobe a
  • Frozen Days named as surprise Haifa winner

    FrozenDays, the story of a young woman roaming the streets of Tel Aviv and breakinginto empty flats to sleep at night took the 21st Haifa InternationalFilm Festival by surprise and won the competition for the Best Israeli Film. FrozenDays is the debut feature of Danny Lerner, a graduate of Tel Aviv University
  • Gaule takes High Point global sales role

    UK-based sales company HighPoint Films has appointed Tara Gaule as its newsenior sales executive. Gaule will be responsible forworld sales outside English-speaking territories. Gaule previously worked for Mercury Media International,Minotaur International and Nelvana.The company noted that Gaule would boost its presence in France; High Point recently took on sales forFrench-language films
  • Glawogger's Death takes London's Grierson prize

    The Times bfi London Film Festival has givenits inaugural Grierson Award to Michael Glawogger for Workingman'sDeath. The award is presented to the director of the best feature-lengthdocumentary shown at the LFF. Austrian film-maker Glawoggerwill accept the award at a special screening of the film on November 1. The festival's artistic director Sandra Hebron called Workingman's Death "a harrowing a
  • Haneke's Hidden rejected as Oscar entry

    Austria has become thesecond country after Italy to have its candidate for the Foreign Language FilmOscar category rejected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences(AMPAS).The Academy said thatAustria's submission, Michael Haneke's Frenchlanguage Hidden (Cache), had not been predominantly shot in the officiallanguage of the submitting country.Austrian film industry's'umbrella' organisation FAFO argued that the film's Austrian creativeoutput was repres
  • Hong Kong court convicts BitTorrent user

    A Hong Kong court has convicted a 38-year-old man for uploading films to theinternet using BitTorrent (BT) technology, in a case that is regarded locallyas the world's first criminal conviction of a BT user.Chan Nai-ming, who used thealias "Big Crook", was convicted by a Hong Kong magistrateof three charges of attempting to distribute three Hollywood films - Da
  • Horizon lines up vintage Daiei slate for AFM

    Rob Straight'sVancouver-based Horizon Entertainment is bringing a slate of vintage titlesfrom the Daiei library to the AFM through its partnership with Kadokawa HeraldPictures, including 1968 horror title YokaiDaisenso and its 1968 and 1969 sequels. In addition, Horizon willoffer Takashi Miike's $10m children's fantasy epic The Great Yokai War, a remake of Yokai Dai
  • Icon takes Oz, NZ rights to Frears' The Queen

    Icon has boughtAustralian and New Zealand rights from PathePictures International for director Stephen Frears' The Queen, which is in its third week offilming. The Queen tracks the UK aftermath of the dramatic death ofPrincess Diana in a car accident in Pari
  • India's Adlabs enters international distribution

    Adlabs-Reliance, a jointventure between India's largest film company Adlabs and Reliance Infocomm, has startedacquiring Hindi films for overseas distribution. The company announcedthat it has acquired international rights to Rajesh Roshan's Krrish, starring Hritik Roshan, and RaviChopra's Babul, starring AmitabhBachchan. It is reporte
  • India's Mukta Arts unveils five-picture slate

    Mukta Arts chairman andfilmmaker Subhash Ghai announced five new films during the company's 27thanniversary celebrations in Mumbai this week.Ashwini Chowdhary willdirect Good Boy Bad Boy, a collegecampus musical, with Emraan Hashmi, Tusshar Kapoor, Isha Sharvani and TanushreeDutta in the cast. Sangeeth Sivan will direct Money Money Money, set to star RiteshDeshmukh, Jackie Shro
  • Irish industry bolstered by flurry of winter shoots

    The Irish production sectorhas experienced its most difficult year since its resurgence in 1993 - but the hopenow is that a flurry of year-end shoots will help remove some of the tarnish.Several live-action featureprojects are set to go before the camera in the next couple of months, amongthem The Front Line, Speed Dating, 48Angels and Middletown
  • Jamie Foxx turns producer for MTV, Paramount

    Jamie Foxx and producing partners Jaime Rucker King and MarcusKing have signed a two-year first-look deal with MTV Films and Paramount Pictures.Foxx, Rucker King and King will offer their servicesin developing, supervising, producing and consulting a slate of projects, withFo
  • Jamie Foxx turns producer for MTV, Paramount

    Jamie Foxx and producing partners Jaime Rucker King and MarcusKing have signed a two-year first-look deal with MTV Films and Paramount Pictures.Foxx, Rucker King and King will offer their servicesin developing, supervising, producing and consulting a slate of projects, withFo
  • Jamie Foxx turns producer for MTV, Paramount

    Jamie Foxx and producing partners Jaime Rucker King and MarcusKing have signed a two-year first-look deal with MTV Films and Paramount Pictures.Foxx, Rucker King and King will offer their servicesin developing, supervising, producing and consulting a slate of projects, withFo
  • Jamie Foxx turns producer for MTV, Paramount

    Jamie Foxx and producing partners Jaime Rucker King and MarcusKing have signed a two-year first-look deal with MTV Films and Paramount Pictures.Foxx, Rucker King and King will offer their servicesin developing, supervising, producing and consulting a slate of projects, withFoxx set to appear in
  • Jarhead

    Dir. Sam Mendes. US. 2005. 120mins.Technically strong and well performed,the visually accomplished Jarhead isa complex, mournful meditation on war and its consequences that director SamMendes also manages to inject with a bracing emotional immediacy.For Mendes himself it alsoanswers some of the criticisms he drew wit
  • LGFI acquires international rights to First Descent

    Lions Gate FilmsInternational has picked up worldwide rights excluding the US to MD Films'snowboarding documentary First Descent and will give the title its market premiere at AFM next week.Universal Pictures holds domestic theatrical and home entertainment rights andwill release the picture on Dec 2.First Descent chronicles the riseof snowboarding seen through the eyes of its leading practitioners and weavestestimonies with footage from some of the biggest event
  • Lightning adds Junebug, Wal-Mart doc to AFM slate

    Lightning Entertainment hasbulked up its AFM slate by taking international rights to Phil Morrison'sfamily drama Junebug and RobertGreenwald's documentary Wal-Mart: TheHigh Cost Of Low Price.The Los Angeles-based salesand distribution outfit swooped on Junebugfollowing the demise of UK-based sales house Renaissance Films. The picture,which earned a Special Jury
  • Lightning strikes for Adam & Eve

    Lightning Entertainment haspicked up international sales on Jeff Kanew's romantic comedy Adam & Eve and is partnering up with National Lampoon for adomestic theatrical release.New Line Home Entertainment will release on DVD and video the story of a collegestudent who dates a virgin and battles to stay faithful until she decides torelinquish her virginity.Cameron Douglas and Emmanuelle Chriqui Kanew star in the picture, which Kanewdirected from an original screenplay by
  • Lions Gate checks into Hostel with Screen Gems

    Lions Gate has come on boardas domestic distributor on Screen Gems' upcoming horror picture Hostel from Eli Roth and will launch itwide on Dec 21.Quentin Tarantino served as executive producer on the picture, which stars JayHernandez as an American tourist who becomes ensnared in an underground torturering.Lions Gate, which distributed Roth's feature debut Cabin Fever in the
  • Lions Gate lines up stellar voice cast for Foodfight!

    Charlie Sheen, Eva Longoria,Wayne Brady, Chris Kattan and Christopher Lloyd have joined the voice cast ofThreshold Animation Studios and Lions Gate Family Entertainment's upcominganimated comedy Foodfight!As previously announced,Hillary and Haylie Duff have committed to the project set after hours in asupermarket populated by talking products.Lions Gate FamilyEntertainment has scheduled an autumn 2006 release on the p
  • Malaga brings forward festival dates

    The Spanish Film Festival of Malaga has moved its dates forward a monthto March and added several new awards for its 9th annual editionnext year.Organisers also announced that veteran Spanish scriptwriter Rafael Azcona, who has dozens of film credits to his nameincluding Oscar Award winner Belle Epoque, will receive this year's Ricardo Franco Prizefor career achievement.Festival director Salomon Castiel said thelatest date shift from Apr
  • Mayhem Project signs first two screenwriter deals

    The Mayhem Project, the independent production and financecompany launched in June 2005 by executive Anthony Mosawi, has signed its firsttwo screenwriter deals.Todd Farmer will write the screenplay to the feature version of the survivalhorror video game franchise Clock Towe
  • MPA fears UNESCO ruling may lead to film quotas

    The 15th annual Beaune Film Forum wrapped on Sunday after aweekend rife with discussion and debate surrounding Thursday's UNESCO vote onthe Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of CulturalExpressions.The UNESCO decision, opposed by only the United States and Israel, givesmember states the ability to promote and protect their cultural id
  • Mrs Henderson to kick off Marrakech festival

    The 5th annual Marrakech International Film Festival willkick off on November 11 with Stephen Frears MrsHenderson Presents opening the festivities.Organised by Le Public Systeme who also handlethe Deauville Festival of American film, the CognacThriller Festival and the Gerardmer Horror Festivalamong others, the Marrakech event has gained in notoriety in the past few yearsand stretched to add two days and double the number of films.Special events include tributes to Martin
  • Mrs Henderson, The Libertine lead BIFA nods

    Stephen Frears' Mrs Henderson Presents and Laurence Dunmore's The Libertine lead the 2005 British Film Award (BIFA) nominations,announced today in London. Each ofthose films scored eight nods, followed by seven for Fernando Mereilles' TheConstant Gardener.Other films leading the pack are Michael Winterbottom's
  • New bond company aims to shake up market

    The emergence of Media RiskManagement (MRM) is significant news for independent filmmakers, given only ahandful of companies offer completion bonds and the difficulty of securingreinsurance usually prevents new players from appearing.Melbourne-based GeorgeAdams, who was one of the executive producers on Wolf Creek, and Roger Brewitt have set up in association with SantamRisk Finance Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of South African insurance gian
  • Newcastle's Northern Lights fest plans industry summit

    Newcastle Upon Tyne'sthird-annual Northern Lights Film Festival is planning a two-day industrysummit to be held November 18-19. This year's keynote will be presented by JimStark, the producer of Factotum, Coffeeand Cigarettes and Mystery Train.The summit will also includepitching sessions, case studies, panels, and speed meetings. The expectedattendees include
  • Nina's Heavenly Delights cranks up in Glasgow

    ScionFilms and Priority Pictures have announced the start of production on Nina's Heavenly Delights. The filmstarted shooting October 3 in Glasgow. Nina's Heavenly Delights marks the feature filmdebut for director Pratibha Parmar,who also is producing the film. Andrea Gibb (Afterlife, Dear Frankie)wrote the script, about a Glaswegian
  • Oscar-winner Arnold sets off along Red Road

    Oscar-winningdirector, Andrea Arnold starts principal photography on her first feature, Red Road, in Glasgow thisweek.The film is being produced by Red Road Films, a subsidiary of Glasgow-based Sigma Films. It is a collaboration with Zentropa Films - part of Lars von Trier's experimental project, The Advance Party.Red Road is the tale of a woman confronting the man r
  • Platinum, Valhalla joins forces on Magdalena

    Los Angeles-based Platinum Studios is teaming up with Aeon Flux and The Terminator producer Gale Anne Hurd on Magdalena, the first religious-themed comic bookadaptation.Kevin Taft has been hired to write the screenplay about a young woman wholearns she is part of a lineage of
  • Question mark hangs over German media funds

    Germany's mediafunds have been thrown into disarray by speculation that the new governmentunder Chancellor Angela Merkel is intending to revive the previousadministration's tax reform plans in mid-November to put an end to theold-style media funds.Until now, it had been assumed within the film industry and fund sectorthat the new German government would not proceed with legislation to curb taxrelief schemes until the New Y
  • Saw II

    Dir: Darren Lynn Bousman. US. 2005. 97mins.A rushed-through-production sequel to the scream hitof last Halloween, Saw II has thejoint benefit and millstone of lowered expectation. It would be easy for thishorror sequel to be nothing more than a series of goosing, contrived deathsequences - which it is for the bulk of its first two-thirds.
  • Screen presents Mrs Henderson with Hollywood prize

    Stephen Frears' Mrs Henderson Presents won The Hollywood World Award, sponsored andpresented by Screen International, ata glitzy Hollywood Film Awards ceremony held at the Beverley Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles last night (Oct 24)Among the already announced winners was another UK
  • Sex, Order, Lackeen head Irish award hopefuls

    With theannouncement of a host, new venue and, for the first time, a live broadcast byRTE, the final elements of the programme for the Irish Film & TelevisionAwards have been put in place for November 5. Leadingthe pack with seven nominations is local low budget feature Trouble With Sexfollowed closely by
  • Shochiku to finance Kore-eda period drama

    Japanese director HirokazuKore-eda (After Life, Nobody Knows) is set to make his firstperiod drama, Hana Yori Mo Naho, withShochiku providing financing and distribution.Based on an original storyby Kore-eda, the film is scheduled for a spring 2006 release. Shochiku willalso be handling worldwide sales. The film will featureJunichi Okada (
  • SKE enters Breach with Universal

    Sidney Kimmel Entertainment(SKE) has come aboard as co-financer on Universal's spy thriller Breach, written and to be directed by Billy Ray in hisfirst feature since Shattered Glass.Kimmel International will commence sales at AFM on the project and Universalwill oversee production and retain all North American rights.Based on true events, Breachstars Ryan Phillippe as an aspiring FBI agent who is handpicked to work forveteran operative Robert Hanssen, play
  • Skouras picks up US rights to Swimmers

    Skouras Films has picked upUS rights to Doug Sadler's award winning drama Swimmers and plans an early 2006 release in the majormarkets.Since it launched at Sundance Swimmers has played at numerous festivals, winning the Seattle InternationalFilm Festival's grand jury prize award for best new American film.Cherry Jones, Shawn Hatosy, Robert Knott, Michael Mosley, Sarah Paulson, andfeature newcomer Tara Devon Gallagher star in the story of an ac
  • Stop motion animation rules international box office

    Fired by seven openings and a strong UK hold, DreamWorksInternational's Wallace & Gromit added an estimated $15.8m on 3,72 sites in 32 marketsthrough UIP over the weekend for a $63.7m international running total.Aardman's animated romp dropped a mere 31% in its secondweekend in the UK to st
  • Summit, Mandalay enter the Twilight Zone

    Summit Entertainment andMandalay Pictures have jointly acquired feature rights to Richard Matheson'sshort story and classic 1963 TwilightZone extended episode Deathship.Michael Brandt and Derek Haasare co-writing the project - renamed Countdown- based an original draft by Scott Burn and Stephen Gregg.The story centres on a groupof astronauts on a mysterio
  • The Legend Of Zorro

    Dir: Martin Campbell. US.2005. 126mins.Family matters take up as much time as swashbucklingin the belated sequel - reuniting Antonio Banderasand Catherine Zeta-Jones with director Martin Campbell, but missing co-starAnthony Hopkins - to 1998 adventure romp TheMask Of Zorro. The sequel recreates some of the enjoyable Saturday matineeaction that h
  • The Legend Of Zorro poised to take over the world

    All eyes will be on TheLegend Of Zorro this weekend as the adventure sequel launches on more than5,900 prints in 50 territories mostly through Sony Pictures ReleasingInternational (SPRI).The distributor opens the picture day-and-date with North America in France on685 prints on Oct 26, Germany and Russia a day later on more than 650 and 300respectively, and a slew of major markets on Oct 28.These include Spain on 550, the UK, Mexico and Italy on 500 apiece, Brazil on300
  • Top Korean exhibitors to digitise cinema chains

    Two of South Korea's top exhibition companies, Megabox Cineplex and CGV, have announced the completedigitalisation of their entire chain of cinemas. Market leader CGV, owned and operated by local distributor CJ Entertainment,has unveiled plans to install digital projectors for all 266 screens of its32-venue network by early January 2006. The screens will be connected toa central server located in Bundang, a suburb of
  • Two Sons breaks Brazilian box office records

    BrenoSilveira's Two Sons of Francisco has overtaken Carandiru tobecome the highest grossing Brazilian film in its home territory in the last 20years. Thebiopic about country music duo Zeze Di Camargo &Luciano has sold 4.8m admissions and grossed $10.6m (R$34m) since itsdebut on August 19, according to local distributor Columbia TriStar. HectorBabenco's prison drama Carandiru attracted 4.6m viewers in its hometerritory in 2002.Two Sons of Francisco,whi
  • UK's Trinity acquires Magician from Moviehouse

    New UK distributor Trinity Filmed Entertainment has madeits first acquisition, for Scott Ryan's TheMagician, in a deal struck with sales company MoviehouseEntertainment.The film is a darkly comic mockumentary about a professional hitmanbeing documented by an amateur film-maker. Ryan wrote, directed, and plays thelead character. Michelle Bennett (
  • Vaughn sprinkles Stardust on struggling UK industry

    The beleagured UKindustry has received a much-needed boost with news that British directorMatthew Vaughn is planning to shoot his next film primarily on home soil.Vaughn's £50 million fantasy film Stardust, basedon a Neil Gaiman book, will be based at PinewoodStudios.It will also shoot at locations elsewhere in Britain."The film is a magical fairly tale about two worlds -
  • Video Island extends rental deal with Tesco

    Online DVD rental service Video Island has extended its partnership with UK retailer for at least two more years. launched its DVDrental service, which is powered by Video Island, in March 2004. The extended partnershipalso cover
  • Village Roadshow takes on December Boys...

    Village Roadshow has takeninternational sales rights to DecemberBoys, the feature starring Daniel "Harry Potter" Radcliffe that goes intoproduction before the end of the year.Roadshow Film Distributors,as part of this new deal, will also co-distribute the coming-of-age dramalocally alongside Becker, which is the production company behind the film.Village Roadshow does notcommonly act as a sales agent these days, although it did on a batc
  • Virgins run wild at Spanish box office

    Seville-set teendrama 7 Virgins ousted runaway localhit Torrente 3: The Protectorin a surprise upset at the Spanish box office over the weekend.7 Virgins (7 Virgenes) earned Euros 746,039 from just under148,000 admissions on its second weekend, beating Torrente
  • Warner Bros restructures home entertainment divisions

    Adopting a streamlinedapproach to the global multi-media delivery of its properties, Warner Bros hasconsolidated its home video, online, wireless, games, anti-piracy and emergingtechnologies divisions under Warner Bros Home Entertainment Group (WBHEG).Kevin Tsujihara, a highlyregarded new media strategist at Warner Bros, will head up the division aspresident, reporting directly to studio chairman Barry Meyer and president AlanHorn.The studio is also launchingWarner Bros Digital
  • Weinsteins hustle for Kung Fu High School

    The Weinstein Company (TWC) haswon a fierce bidding war to develop and produce Kung Fu High School, based on RyanGattis' acclaimed novel about youth gang culture.Ernesto M Foronda will adapt the screenplay and Neal Edelstein and Mike Macariwill produce the Romeo And Juliet tale, which is setin a high school where each gang adopts its own version of an Asian martialart."We both read the script and immediately thought it had the potential to becomea great franchise," Harv
  • Weinsteins secure $490m equity backing

    Harvey and Bob Weinsteinhave slotted into place a major piece of the financing jigsaw behind theirfledgling company with today's announcement of a $490m private placement ofequity.Ever since the brothers unveiled plans for The Weinstein Company (TWC) earlierthis year ahead of their split from Miramax, speculation has centred on theprovenance of their financial backing.Today's announcement means approximately half of TWC's $1bn funding mandate, afigure frequently touted by indu
  • Wild Bunch unveils $145m pan-Euro joint venture

    French sales and financingoutfit Wild Bunch has unveiled a new $145m joint-venture dedicated to acquiringand co-producing feature films. The joint-venture will also release the films througha new pan-European distribution network that Wild Bunch is setting up. At the same time, Europeanmedia fund Iris Capital has increased its investment in Wild Bunch while theunnamed joint-venture partner - an American group not previously involved incinema - has also taken a stake in Wild Bunch. Howe