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Screen
29 August 2003

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  • Afterlife

    Dir: Alison Peebles. UK. 2003. 104 minsMaterial that might seem hackneyed or maudlin in less skilful hands emerges as a moving, emotion-charged drama in Afterlife. The story of a journalist torn between professional ambition and family responsibilities is distinguished by intelligent writing, sensitive direction and stand-out performances from Kevin McKidd and Down's Syndrome actress Paula Sage. A popular winner of the Standard Life Audience Award at Edinburgh, its gro
  • Agata and The CardPlayer lead rare Italian pre-sales

    In what stands as one of the rare times Italian films are pre-sold to international distributors, Rome sales agent Adriana Chiesa Enterprises (ACE) has already found a host of buyers for Bread And Tulips director Silvio Soldini's new comedy, Agata And The Storm, and Dario Argento's upcoming thriller, The CardPlayer. Agata And The Storm which is currently in production, has already been sold to Germany (Tobis), Brazil (Circuito Cinearte), Greece (PVC), Israel
  • Alliance Atlantis spins off distribution businesses

    Toronto-based Alliance Atlantis Communications has announced itsintention to spin-off its Canadian and UK distribution businesses into a so-calledincome fund.
  • Alliance Atlantis takes on international rights to Moon

    Alliance Atlantis hasacquired international rights to writer-director Robert Lepage's Far Side ofthe Moon. Adapted from Lepage'seponymous stage play, and starring Lepage in two roles, as competitive twinbrothers, the film explores the notion of duality against the backdrop of theUS-Soviet space race. The film makes its world premiere at the TorontoInternational Film Festival.The film, acquired by Charlotte Mickie, managing director, International MotionPicture Sale
  • Alliance takes international rights to festival-bound Moon

    Alliance Atlantis hasacquired international rights to writer-director Robert Lepage's Far Side ofthe Moon. Adapted from Lepage'seponymous stage play, and starring Lepage in two roles, as competitive twinbrothers, the film explores the notion of duality against the backdrop of theUS-Soviet space race. The film makes its world premiere at the TorontoInternational Film Festival.The film, acquired by Charlotte Mickie, managing director, International MotionPicture Sale
  • Altman confirms he will be Toronto Maverick

    Robert Altman has confirmedhis participation in the Maverick programme, part of the events taking place atthe Toronto International Film Festival's Rogers Industry Centre (RIC). Among the array ofindustry-focused events are panel discussions on current issues facing theindustry, personality interviews with innovators such as Altman and seminars onissues ranging from how to cast stars in lower budget films to How To GetThe Man's Foot Outta Your Ass! The latter is the title
  • Altman confirms he will be Toronto Maverick

    Robert Altman has confirmedhis participation in the Maverick programme, part of the events taking place atthe Toronto International Film Festival's Rogers Industry Centre (RIC). Among the array ofindustry-focused events are panel discussions on current issues facing theindustry, personality interviews with innovators such as Altman and seminars onissues ranging from how to cast stars in lower budget films to How To GetThe Man's Foot Outta Your Ass! The latter is the title
  • Amenabar's Out To Sea gets ship shape

    The cast and crew for Out To Sea (Mar Adentro), Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar's much-anticipated follow-up to international hit The Others, is taking shape prior to its October shoot in Spain.The film stars Javier Bardem in a tale based on the real life story of a paralysed man's struggle for his right to die. Local TV regular Belen Rueda will co-star, marking her first feature film, alongside Lola Duenas, Mabel Rivera, Clara Segura, Celso Bugallo, Jose Maria Pou, F
  • Amma Asante starts debut

    Shooting started in Wales this week on A Way Of Life, the directorial debut of writer Amma Asante, whose credits include the cult TV drama Brothers And Sisters. The film, which stars Brenda Blethyn, Oliver Haden, Stephanie James, Gary Sheppeard, Dean Wong and Sara Gregory, centres on a teenage mother and her three friends, who become involved in a racist murder.Production company is Awol Films, and financiers include the UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund, the Arts
  • Anything Else

    Dir. Woody Allen. US, 2003. 108 min.The prevalent notion that a Woody Allen comedy is just what the doctor ordered for the opening night of a major festival, may take another inauspicious turn after this year's Venice curtain raiser. Not only is the smart wit frayed at the edges and spread thin over a longer film than it can sustain, but ultimately this may well be Allen's saddest picture in years, a personal re-evaluation of his work seen in the light of the present, reachin
  • ARGENTINA

    Two local films reign among the top five in Argentina. Romantic road comedy Cleopatra slipped off its perch to third place by the entry of Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life. Nonetheless, Cleopatra attracted just 2,464 admissions less on 58 screens compared to the adventure sequel which opened on 70 screens. A new homegrown film, El Fondo Del Mar, opened fifth after rave reviews. Released on just 25 screens, the thriller boasted the second largest p
  • ARGENTINA - box office 29/08/2003

    Buena Vista International continues to dominate the top three spots in Argentina's box office ratings this week. With kids back in school after the winter break, animated Disney juggernaut Finding Nemo has been displaced by Vin Diesel vehicle A Man Apart, a new release from local indie, DC and by Woody Allen's Hollywood Ending, now in its third week. Bruce Almighty saw a 50% drop off but has yet to fall off its perch. Pirates Of The Caribbean
  • Argentina and Brazil sign co-distribution pact

    Argentina and Brazil have signed a historic cross-distribution andpromotional pact that will pave the way for more releases of their product ineach other's markets.
  • Artificial Eye adds to Venice tally

    The UK's Artificial Eye has added to its stock of Venice titles by adding Last Life In The Universe, which appears in Venice's Controcorrente or Upstream section.The film, directed by Thai Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, played early in the festival and has remained a favourite with critics throughout. It is sold by Fortissimo Film Sales which also invested in the project and produced through its Bohemians Films joint venture.Earlier Artificial Eye bought Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi
  • Artificial Eye adds to Venice tally

    The UK's Artificial Eye has added to its stock of Venice titles by adding Last Life In The Universe, which appears in Venice's Controcorrente or Upstream section.The film, directed by Thai Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, played early in the festival and has remained a favourite with critics throughout. It is sold by Fortissimo Film Sales which also invested in the project and produced through its Bohemians Films joint venture.Earlier Artificial Eye bought Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi
  • AUSTRALIA box office 01/09/2003

    Finding Nemo's extraordinary Australian opening is believed to be the ninth biggest opening weekend ever, although this has yet to be confirmed by distributor BVI. Over the four-day weekend to August 31 it took A$8,038,861 and, despite being on a massive 399 screens, its screen average was A$20,148. Besides the outstanding reviews and very positive word of mouth, two other key factors really helped it in Australia. BVI took a foot-on-the-accelerator bells-and-whistles publicity
  • BELGIUM

    With Pirates Of The Caribbean retaining the lead for a third consecutive weekend the new releases were left to fight it out further down the Belgian chart. Bruce Willis title Tears Of The Sun led the way taking second place and an impressive $8,135 average for Columbia TriStar.Meanwhile true-life drama City By The Sea, starring Robert De Niro, Frances McDormand and James Franco bowed in tenth for Elysee with a powerful $7,240 average from its ten screens. The film
  • Benelux distributor falls for Kitano's style

    Start-up Dutch distributor Bright Angel achieved something of a coup by snatching Benelux rights to hot Venice competition title Zatoichi. The film is possibly director Takeshi Kitano's most commercial and accessible to western audiences for several years. Bright Angel, which only launched in May, also bought Italian title Ora O Mai Piu by director Lucio Pelligrini, which recently appeared in Locarno. The sale was handled by Intramovies.The Kitano film about a blin
  • Berlin festival sets first titles for 2004

    Mexican docu-fiction Digna Oaxa is the first film to have been selected for inclusion in next year's Berlin festival (5-15 February 2004). Festival director Dieter Kosslick said that he will include the film in the official line-up, though precise placement remains currently undetermined. Kosslick said that he has also already made firm offers to three European independent films for inclusion in the main competition section. Competition usually includes approximately 20 titles.
  • Berney teams up with P&F in New York to form new outfit

    Publicity veteran JeanneBerney, most recently executive vice president at Rogers & Cowan, isteaming up with P&F Communications to form P&F Communications/TheBerney Group, a PR, promotions and marketing agency headquartered in New YorkCity.The one-stop full-serviceagency is now run by Berney with P&F's Barbara Pflughaupt and Raymond LForsythe who co-founded promotions business P&F in 1989.While at Rogers & Cowan,Berney worked on the publicity campaign for indie megahit My Big
  • Berri's San Antonio restarts after summer hiatus

    After a rocky start, Asterix producer Claude Berri is pressing ahead with shooting on his next big budget film. San Antonio, an adaptation of the cult book series by Frederic Dard, has gone through a series of changes both behind and in front of the camera.Shooting originally began on the Pathe/Renn Productions project on June 23 after a switch in cast when French actor Jean Yanne passed away in late May. However, the production took a prolonged break this s
  • Björk joins voices on Icelandic animation

    The UK's ex-Monty Python Terry Jones and unusual Icelandic songbird Björk have joined the cast of the 3D animated film Anna And The Moods, which is currently being developed by Iceland's CAOZ Ltd. in Reykjavik. Directed and created by Gunnar Karlsson, Anna And The Moods will feature music composed by Julian Nott (Wallace And Gromit) and performed by the Brodsky Quartet. The half-hour film is scripted by Sjon, who collaborated with Lars von Trier on Dancer I
  • Block's Decibel takes a shine to Danish Midsummer

    US remake rights to Danish newcomer Carsten Myllerup's thriller Midsummer have been picked by Bill Block's DecibelEntertainment, which plans to move its story from the Swedish woods to warmerclimates on Hawaii.
  • Casa De Los Babys

    Dir: John Sayles. US. 2003. 95 mins. John Sayles' latest ensemble is a frustratingly undernourished work which takes a potentially fascinating milieu and merely offers a glimpse at it. Never shy in the past of running his movies to 130 or 140 minutes, Sayles stops short here at 95 while puzzlingly introducing more characters than the film can handle. The result is a taste of life in an unspecified Latin American town which is no more than a taste; audiences accustomed to narr
  • Celador puts faith in porn and poker

    Celador Films, the film arm of the UK TV outfit behind Who Wants To Be A Millionaire', has added two non-fiction books to its bustling development slate - porn trade story Once More With Feeling and professional poker player book Big Deal.Once More With Feeling is Victoria Coren and Charlie Skelton's true account of their adventures in the porn trade. Screenwriter Erin Cramer is working on the adaptation, which is billed as "a romantic comedy with extra sauc
  • China shatters Tomb Raider 2 release hopes

    Paramount's action sequel Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life has been banned from playing in cinemas in China.Chinese government censors are said to have rejected the film because they felt it inaccurately portrayed the country.A number of scenes from the Tomb Raider sequel are thought to have upset censors, including one where Lara Croft secretly crosses into China by hang-glider without being picked up by the Chinese military. Other controve
  • Competition films fuel buyer action

    Two films in the Venice competition have been logging strong buyer interest and notching up sales even before their world premieres later this week. Russian first film The Return, directed by Andrey Zvyagantsev, has added deals with France's Ocean Films and The Netherlands' Contact Films to previous licence agreements signed with Switzerland's Frenetic and Italy's Lucky Red.Sales agent Raissa Fomina of Intercinema Art Agency said that she was fending off serious interest
  • Cool reception for Italian film law

    A new Italian law, which the government hopes will revolutionise the public funding of local film, has met with a lukewarm reception from local filmmakers.The legislation, unveiled by cultural affairs minister Giuliano Urbani at the weekend, proposes to limit the public funding of local films in a bid to ensure more quality films get made. Under the new rules public funding subsidies will be cut from 75% to 50% of the budget. Producers meanwhile will have to satisfy a government
  • Cool reception for Italian film law

    A new Italian law, which the government hopes will revolutionise the public funding of local film, has met with a lukewarm reception from regional filmmakers.The legislation, unveiled by cultural affairs minister Giuliano at the weekend, proposes to limit the public funding of local films in a bid to ensure more quality films get made. Under the new rules public funding subsidies will be cut from 75% to 50% of the budget. Producers meanwhile will have to satisfy a government fun
  • Demme doc goes to THINKFilm

    THINKFilm has acquired all North American rights to JonathanDemme's The Agronomist,a documentary profile of the assassinated Haitian journalist and national heroJean Dominique that receives its world premiere in Venice and North Americanpremiere in Toronto.
  • Demonlover opens LA's Silverlake Film Festival

    The Silver Lake Film Festival will kick off its fourth annualfestival on Sept 10 with the West Coast premiere of Olivier Assayas' internetthriller Demonlover.Connie Nielsen stars as acorporate mole who uncovers an online torture club. Chloe Sevigny, Gina Gershonand Charles
  • Den Hamer named as Rotterdam festival director

    Sandraden Hamer (pictured) is to succeed Simon Field as the sole director of the InternationalFilmfestival of Rotterdam (IFFR). den Hamer has been co-director with Field forthe last three years, and the two will be jointly responsible for the nextfestival (Jan 21-Feb 1, 2004) before she takes charge on M
  • DENMARK

    Not much changed at the Danish box-office this week where Tomb Raider 2 managed to stay on top with Bruce Almighty, and new releases Hollywood Homicide and Buffalo Soldiers failed to attract Danish audiences. Overall the weekend saw a massive 46.9% drop in box office gross from last year. Only the German comedy Good Bye, Lenin! managed to kick up a decent screen average of $2,753 on 11 prints, but it still was only enough for 7th place on the chart.
  • DENMARK

    The American blockbusters stayed on top of the Danish box-office this weekend where Tomb Raider 2 had a solid if unspectacular opening. Tears Of The Sun's Bruce Willis, always a good performer in Denmark, was pushed to third after Bruce Almighty but ahead of T3 - both of which have performed very well despite this summer's heat wave. Overall the weekend's admissions were 21.7% below last year. Never quite finding its place among the top spots, Jesper W. Niel
  • EU acts to protect national film aid schemes

    Europe's film many national subsidy and support schemes for local film-making this week were given new protection following a joint initiative by the European Union's Culture and Monopolies Commissions. Speaking at the Venice film festival on 29 Aug, culture and education commissioner Viviane Reding said that she and anti-monopolies chief Mario Monti have issued a communique that guarantees there will be no anti-trust actions taken against national production subsidy schemes. These can
  • EU acts to protect national film support schemes

    Europe's film many national subsidy and support schemes for local film-making this week were given new protection following a joint initiative by the European Union's Culture and Monopolies Commissions. Speaking at the Venice film festival on 29 Aug, culture and education commissioner Viviane Reding said that she and anti-monopolies chief Mario Monti have issued a communique that guarantees there will be no anti-trust actions taken against national production subsidy schemes. These can
  • EU calls for co-ordination not cash

    Better co-ordination of the public money available to European film, rather than a need for more cash, was one of the main conclusions to emerge from a four-day meeting that concluded in Venice this weekend.The other major policy proposal was for Europe's television broadcasters to make air-time available for promotion of the region's home grown feature film content.The event involved specialist workshops consisting of film executives and Europe's national and regional film agen
  • European Film Awards announces shortlist

    Lars Von Trier's for Dogville, Francois Ozon for Swimming Pool and Dagur Kari for Noi Albinoi are among the directors shortlisted for this year's European Film Awards announced today.The annual poll to find European cinemagoers favourite director and male and female star, also includes Patrice Leconte for L'Homme Du Train, Fernando Leon de Arananda for Mondays In The Sun as well as best actor nods for Rowan Atkinson in Johny English and Johnny
  • Everett, Watson dive into The Woods with Fellowes

    Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson and Rupert Everett will lead the cast in Julian Fellowes' directorial debut, A Way Through The Woods.Watson, who starred in Lars Von Triers Breaking The Waves, takes the role of Anne, happily married to James( Wilkinson,) until the arrival of Bill (Everett) turns their idyllic village life upside down.The Oscar- winning writer who won a coveted statuette for his screen play for Robert Altman's Gosford Park last year, will start sh
  • FINLAND

    The three films which had been previewed at the Finnish box-office the week before sat squarely on the top of the chart, with Buena Vista's Pirates Of The Caribbean leading in front of Piglet's Big Movie and Perttu Leppaa's local comedy Pearls And Pigs (Helmia Ja Sikoja). All three had solid screen averages placing them ahead of both Bruce Almighty and T3 which dominated the chart last week. Pearls And Pigs sees four no-good brothers liv
  • France's Vincent Cassel joins Ocean's Twelve

    Continuing his foray into Hollywood, French actor Vincent Cassel has taken a role in Stephen Soderbergh's upcoming sequel to Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve. Cassel's Paris-based agent, Laurent Gregoire of Intertalent confirmed the news to Screendaily on Wednesday.Ocean's Twelve will reunite the all-star cast of the 2001 hit which included George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and Andy Garcia. The film is set to begin rolling in early 200
  • Gaumont lines up Reno for big-budget Empire

    France's Jean Reno is to star in The Empire Of The Wolves (L'Empire Des Loups), a big budget crime thriller in the vein of Crimson Rivers that should be one of the standout French pictures of next year. The story, which focuses on issues of identity and lost memories, involves a pair of cops applying dubious methods to track down a serial killer who disfigures his victims. There is also an unscrupulous plastic surgeon and the Turkish Mafia and a criss-cross chase t
  • German DVD market booms

    Germany's DVD boom continued unabated during the first six months of 2003, spurred on by the lure of new releases such as Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, James Bond;Die Another Day and The Matrix.According to statistics from the country's home entertainment industry body Bundesverband audiovisuelle Medien (BVV), the DVD rental market grew by a massive 70% in the first six months of the year. German DVD fans rented 32.83m DVD's in the first half of 2
  • German exhibitors step up UIP boycott

    A group of German exhibitors are continuing their boycott of UIP releases because of the introduction of a new rentals system by the distributor.Members of the interest group Interessengemeinschaft 47.7 (IG 47.7) - which represents medium sized German exhibitors - boycotted UIP's release of American Pie: The Wedding over the weekend of August 21-24.The group's boycott meant that the film could not be shown on 504 screens at 144 sites owned by members of IG 47.7.
  • GERMANY

    The latest episode in the Werner comic book franchise, Werner - Gekotzt Wird Spaeter!, slipped out of the top ten this week after just barely making the 1m admissions mark while another Constantin Film release Wrong Turn bowed at No. 6 with almost Euros 500,000. Speaking at last week's annual shareholders assembly Constantin's CFO Daniel Wiest noted that the $15m taken by Wrong Turn at the US box office and the new Werner film's performance were "belo
  • Green light for Red Light Runners

    Shooting has started in London on Red Light Runners, a heist film starring Michael Madsen, Harvey Keitel, Cillian Murphy, Crispin Glover, Rich Hall, Kate Ashfield, Peter O'Toole and Roy Scheider.Directed by Nick Egan, the film tells the story of a rogue CIA operative in London on a covert mission to acquire a sacred work of art for an unknown 'collector'. As he recruits a gang of London lowlifes to help him, two ageing CIA agents are sent to track him down and uncover his missio
  • Hamburg to give Huppert top award

    French actress Isabelle Huppert is to become the latest recipient of the Douglas Sirk Prize during this year's Filmfest Hamburg (Sept 19-26).The Prize, which goes to a personality who has made a special contribution to film culture through their work, will be presented to Huppert by Hamburg's Culture Senator Dana Horakova at an official luncheon on September 25.Commenting on this year's recipient, Filmfest director Albert Wiederspiel expressed satisfaction in being able to "to h
  • Hayek, Sundance among PGA diversity honorees

    Salma Hayek, writer-director John Singleton, Hawaiian film-makerChristine Walker and the Sundance Institute's Native American InitiativesProgramme are to be honoured for their diverse producing work by the ProducersGuild of America (PGA).
  • HONG KONG

    Hong Kong comedy Dragon Loaded 2003 has had one of the strongest openings of the year for a locally-produced film, grossing $1.09m in seven days from 38 screens. The film beat the openings of both Pirates Of The Caribbean, which came in second with $714,583 from 35 screens, and Korean horror picture A Tale Of Two Sisters, which came in fourth with $157,454 from 17 screens. Directed by Vincent Kok, who last directed Golden Harvest's Chinese New Year hit My
  • HONG KONG Production Listings - August 29 2003

    HONG KONG - August 29 PRE-PRODUCTIONTHE EYE II(Applause Pictures) Budget: US$4m. Int'l sales: Fortissimo Film Sales. Genre: Horror. Prods: Peter Ho Sun Chan, Lawrence Cheng. Dirs: Danny and Oxide Pang. Scr: Jojo Hui. Shooting in Hong Kong and Thailand from September 2003. Release date: Spring 2004.Contact: Fortissimo Film Sales (852) 2311 8081GOLDEN CHICKEN II(Applause Pictures) Budget: US$2m. Int'l sales: Fortissimo Film Sales. Genre: Com
  • Hong Kong's JCE Movies unveils first project

    Jackie Chan is set to star in an untitled police action film which will be the first fruit of a joint venture production company established by the Hong Kong star and local tycoon Albert Yeung.The film, which is scheduled to start shooting at the end of this month, will be directed by Benny Chan who recently directed Universe Entertainment's Heroic Duo. Hong Kong stars Nicholas Tse, Terence Yin and Daniel Wu have also joined the cast. The new production venture, JCE Movie
  • Hulk looks to cross international milestone

    After a summer-long campaign Universal's The Hulk will be looking to break through the $100m barrier this weekend when it opens through UIP in its final major territory of Italy.The comic book adaptation has amassed $96.3m at the international box office to date and Aug 29's Italian job is a crucial late test.Going out on 453 prints, The Hulk is expected to do good business in a territory that can reward large action genre openings.By way of comparison, S
  • HUNGARY

    Following its success in its opening weekend with the year's third strongest opening performance, T3 is still holding strong across Hungary, in the capital as well as in all of the country's larger cities. In its shadow following the relative success of Monsoon Wedding, SPI International, the country's youngest distributor, has scored another hit with its release of Danish-German-Irish co-production animated film, Michael Hegner and Stefan Fjeldmark's Help! I'm A Fish
  • ICA takes The Five Obstructions

    Trust Film Sales, the Danish sales operation behind The Five Obstructions (De Fem Benspaend), directed by Lars von Trier and Joergen Leth, has sold the docu-fiction title to ICA Projects for the UK.Obstructions charts five attempts by von Trier and his mentor Leth to remake satire The Perfect Human that Leth made in 1967. The result, which plays in Venice's Controcorrente or Upstream section, is both instructive and entertaining.The film was produ
  • ICELAND

    It was the teenagers' weekend at the box-office in Iceland, where they managed to sink Disney's Pirates Of The Caribbean from the number one spot with the third instalment of the American Pie-franchise American Pie: The Wedding. With an impressive 1,604 admissions screen average on its four prints, Samfilm's release was only matched by Myndform's two print release of Freddy Vs. Jason, which managed 1,013, only enough for a fourth spot after Pirates an
  • IFC Films steps into the Void

    IFC Films has acquired all North American rights to TouchingThe Void, Oscar-winningdirector Kevin MacDonald's true-life mountaineering drama that will screen atthe Telluride and Toronto festivals.
  • Imagining Argentina

    Dir. Christopher Hampton. UK/Spain, 2002. 107 min.If there is anything disturbing in this misconceived project by celebrated scriptwriter and occasional director Christopher Hampton, it is not its contents, though it should have been, but the simple fact that an experienced person like him, who only last year was highly praised for his adaptation of The Quiet American, could take such a fall. Adapted from an award-winning novel by Lawrence Thornton, this picture miracu
  • Imagining Argentina

    Dir. Christopher Hampton. UK/Spain, 2002. 107 min.If there is anything disturbing in this misconceived project by celebrated scriptwriter and occasional director Christopher Hampton, it is not its contents, though it should have been, but the simple fact that an experienced person like him, who only last year was highly praised for his adaptation of The Quiet American, could take such a fall. Adapted from an award-winning novel by Lawrence Thornton, this picture miracu
  • In The Forest heads for the trees

    In surprise turn of events, Venice artistic director Moritz de Hadlen has withdrawn Indian film In The Forest...Again (Abar Arannye) from the Upstream competition two days before the end of the festival - because the title has just screened at the rival Montreal Film Festival.According to Venice's regulations, any film that screens in one of the Lido's two competitions can not have premiered in another festival prior to its Venice screening.However, Goutam Ghose's
  • India's In The Forest heads for the trees

    In surprise turn of events, Venice artistic director Moritz de Hadlen has withdrawn Indian film In The Forest...Again (Abar Arannye) from the Upstream competition two days before the end of the festival - because the title has just screened at the rival Montreal Film Festival.According to Venice's regulations, any film that screens in one of the Lido's two competitions can not have premiered in another festival prior to its Venice screening.However, Goutam Ghose's
  • Intolerable Cruelty

    Dir: Joel Coen. 2003. 100 mins.The Coen brothers paradox is simply stated: why have critical plaudits and a substantial international fanbase never translated into big box-office results' Fargo was praised to the skies but performed disappointingly; while O Brother Where Art Thou, the Coens' best earner to date, did what it did thanks largely to the casting of George Clooney and the infectious bluegrass soundtrack. Clooney is back, paired with Catherine Zeta-Jon
  • Italian job for Spain's Family

    In what is set to become the second Spanish film to get an Italian make-over, Lucky Red's Andrea Occhipinti has acquired Italian remake rights to Fernando Leon's comedy Family (Familia).The Mondays In The Sun director's 1996 movie, Family, tells the story of a lonely man who hires professional actors to stand in as his family and help celebrate his birthday.Entitled Pity That I Miss You, the remake will be directed by Luca Miniero and Paolo Gen
  • ITALY

    Thrillers continue to be hot property at the Italian box office - at least until distributors start unleashing their autumn titles over the next couple of weeks to coincide with some of these films' premiere at the Venice Film Festival (Aug 27- Sep 6).Final Destination 2 grossed a further Euros 322,646 in its second week, bringing distributor Eagle Pictures' running total for the film to an impressive Euros 1.32m. Eagle also continued its solid summer run with US comedy Dumb
  • ITALY

    The Hulk grossed a huge Euros 2.8m for UIP on its opening weekend in Italy, taking an impressive screen average of Euros 6,345 from 441 screens.The second highest new entry last weekend was Monsieur Ibrahim Et Les Fleurs Du Coran, whose release distributor Lucky Red timed to coincide with the film's screening at the Venice Film Festival. The picture, which stars Omar Sharif, earned Euros 261,715 from 123 screens, for a strong screen average of Euros 2,128. Meanwhil
  • Italy's Istituto Luce takes Payami's Silence

    Italy's state-owned ditribution outfit, Istituto Luce, has bought local distribution rights to Babak Payami's hard-laboured Upstream title, Silence Between Two Thoughts, which the director managed to smuggle out of Iran after local authorities had confiscated his 35mm film."My film's negative was confiscated by Iranian authorities, and it was a hard and stressful to prepare a new special version," said Payami, whose film screened in Venice on a digital beta tape.Silenc
  • Italy's Lady Pictures picks up Matrubhoomi

    Indian film Matrubhoomi - A Nation Without Women has been picked up for distribution in Italy by independent player Lady Films. In Scandinavia it has been acquired by local major Svensk Filmindustri. Sales are handled by France's Mercure International and Films Distribution, which reports discussions for other European territories and says that it expects to close further deals next week at Toronto. The film, which appeared in the Critics' Week section of the Venice festi
  • 'I've stolen from all the great Italian masters,' jokes Allen

    The 60th Venice International Film Festival kicked off in hot and humid weather on Wednesday night with a black tie opening ceremony attended by a sprinkling of stars, followed by the world premiere of Woody Allen's latest comedy, Anything Else.Stars who sashayed up the giant wooden runway in the shape of a wave included Jason Biggs and Christina Ricci, the protagonists of Anything Else, hot Italian actor Stefano Accorsi - a member of the Venice 60 jury - and Salma Hayek,
  • 'I've stolen from all the Italian masters,' jokes Allen

    The 60th Venice International Film Festival kicked off in hot and humid weather on Wednesday night with a black tie opening ceremony attended by a sprinkling of stars, followed by the world premiere of Woody Allen's latest comedy, Anything Else.Stars who sashayed up the giant wooden runway in the shape of a wave included Jason Biggs and Christina Ricci, the protagonists of Anything Else, hot Italian actor Stefano Accorsi - a member of the Venice 60 jury - and Salma Hayek,
  • JAPAN

    To the surprise of absolutely no one, The Grudge 2 opened strongly on August 23, with a screen average of $99,892 in its first week on release in Japan. A follow-up to the 2002 hit shocker The Grudge, the film features the same director, Takashi Shimizu, the same ghosts and the even the same haunted house, though the victims, of course, are all new. The film benefited from, not only fan familiarity with The Grudge, but the lack of competition in what is trad
  • Jeepers Creepers 2

    Dir: Victor Salva. US. 2003. 106 mins.Writer-director Victor Salva's sequel to his modest summer 2001 horror hit Jeepers Creepers is as efficiently jolting as the original but not as refreshingly spare or classically creepy. Opening wide in the US (through MGM) and UK (through Pathe) this weekend in the middle of a run of horror releases - from the surprisingly successful Freddy vs Jason to the forthcoming The Order, Cabin Fever and Underworld - Jeeper
  • Jeepers Creepers 2 ends summer with a bang

    United Artists' JeepersCreepers 2 ruled over the long LaborDay weekend, opening number one on an estimated $18.5m as the summer seasonofficially ended with a flourish and four titles passed $100m.The top 12 films grossed anestimated $101.2m, up 11% on the same period last year and the third successiveweekend rise.Overall the industry grossedan estimated $3.87bn summer total from early May to Labor Day, trumping 2002'srecord gross by around 2%. However higher tickets price
  • Joggers Park director dies just ahead of film's release

    Anant Balani, the director of Hindi film Joggers Park, died of a cardiac arrest in Mumbai on Aug 28 - 17 days ahead of the film's release. Balani made his directorial debut with Gawahi (1989). His latest films Joggers' Park and Mumbai Matinee are to be released in September. He had recently been working on Ek Din (Bose, Nandita Das) which was due for release by the end of the year.Mukta Arts' Joggers Park - a light-hearted romantic musi
  • Kitano edges into lead at quality festival

    Six days in and there has been no buying frenzy this year at the Venice festival. But both buyers and critics appearsatisfied with the quality and range of films on offer across the festival's different sections. After the disappointing reception for Woody Allen's opening night film Anything Else, the best received films have come from the Controcorrente or Upstream section which is competitive, but parallel to the main Venezia 60 competition. Controcorrente has produced the del
  • Kitano edges into lead at quality Venice

    Six days in and there has been no buying frenzy this year at the Venice festival. But both buyers and critics appear satisfied with the quality and range of films on offer across the festival's different sections. After the disappointing reception for Woody Allen's opening night film Anything Else, the best received films have come from the Controcorrente or Upstream section which is competitive, but parallel to the main Venezia 60 competition. Controcorrente has produced the
  • Kurosawa's Doppelganger to open Pusan

    The Pusan International Film Festival has released the lineup for its 8th edition (October 2-10) featuring 244 films in all, with a strong focus on Asian cinema.Opening the South Korean festival will be the international premiere of Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Doppelganger, a philosophical thriller about a man who meets his alternate self. Another arthouse-skewed genre film, horror title Acacia by Korean director Park Ki-hyung, will receive its world premiere as
  • Last Life In The Universe

    Dir: Penek Rattanaruang. Thailand/US/Netherlands. 2003. 110 mins.There is a lot to be said for the theory that a territory only really comes of age when it develops a credible arthouse cinema. If this is true, then Thailand can finally join the big boys. Last Life In The Universe is the first Thai film to have made it into competition at a major festival. It is in the parallel Controcorrente section at Venice, rather than the main Venezia 60 selection - but in this bum
  • Last Life In The Universe

    Dir: Penek Rattanaruang. Thailand/US/Netherlands. 2003. 110 mins.There is a lot to be said for the theory that a territory only really comes of age when it develops a credible arthouse cinema. If this is true, then Thailand can finally join the big boys. Last Life In The Universe is the first Thai film to have made it into competition at a major festival. It is in the parallel Controcorrente section at Venice, rather than the main Venezia 60 selection - but in this bum
  • Last Life joins Oscar contenders

    Thailand has selected Venice title Last Life In The Universe as its official foreign-language Oscar contender. The film, which is directed by Pen-Et Ratanaruang, is currently represented in the Controcorrente or Upsteam competition section of the Venice festival.It has drawn plaudits for its cool storytelling and visual intelligence and marked Ratanaruang's coming of age as an art-house film-maker of international repute. It has already been picked up in the UK by Artific
  • Lawson, Libby promoted, Lewis rehired at US PR firm MPRM

    Publicity veteran Michael Lawson has been promoted to senior vicepresident at mPRm Public Relations and Chris Libby to director as part of arestructuring of the company's film practice.
  • Lipshy leaves Intermedia to become financial controller at Myriad

    Former Intermedia Films' financial executive Amy Lipshy has beenhired for the newly created position of financial controller at financing,production and worldwide sales house Myriad Pictures.
  • Lost In Translation

    Dir: Sofia Coppola. US. 2003. 105 mins. Sofia Coppola proves defiantly that she really is a chip off the old block with her second feature, Lost In Translation. An enormously accomplished, highly affecting story of loneliness and human connection, the film possesses an originality, style and generosity which will assure it a big fan base among audiences and critics, not to mention two superior performances from Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson which are likely to ear
  • Matchstick Men

    Dir. Ridley Scott. US, 2003. Paper Moon meets House Of Games in this lightweight crime caper coming from one of Hollywood's heavyweight directors, obviously on a break between his major projects. The tale of a con artist suffering from a severe case of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) who is surpassed by his disciples, this is the kind of comedy programmed to do well on any family entertainment front, with Oscar-winner Cage offering a finely tuned performance
  • Matchstick Men

    Dir. Ridley Scott. US, 2003. Paper Moon meets House Of Games in this lightweight crime caper coming from one of Hollywood's heavyweight directors, obviously on a break between his major projects. The tale of a con artist suffering from a severe case of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) who is surpassed by his disciples, this is the kind of comedy programmed to do well on any family entertainment front, with Oscar-winner Cage offering a finely tuned performance
  • MIFED announces market premieres

    MIFED has announced that its 70th edition, which runs from November 9 - 13, will screen the market premieres of a host of highly-anticipated films, including Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, Infernal Affairs 2, and Robert Altman's The Company. Also receiving a market screening in MIFED are Venice and Toronto titles A Good Lawyer's Wife, Twenty-Nine Palms, Woody Allen's Anything Else and Michael Winterbottom's sci-fi tale, Code 46. Among new and r
  • Miramax is top priority says new Lauren chief

    Spanish distributor-exhibitor Lauren Films has appointed Francesc Guardans as its new CEO to run the day-to-day operations of the company, whose financial difficulties have led to takeover talks in recent months.Guardans' most pressing task will be to ask for time and support from creditors, banks and suppliers - including Miramax, whose longterm relationship with Lauren is understood to be on the rocks, but not yet officially terminated - to review the accounts and the organisation, a
  • Miramax plots new Spanish distribution strategy

    Miramax Films has terminatedits relationship with Spain's Lauren Films and is moving ahead with a newstrategy for releasing its films in the territory, the company's COO Rick Sandstold ScreenDaily yesterday.Sands was responding tostatements made by Lauren's new COO Francesc Guardans which claimed that Lauren is stilllooking to salvage its relationship with Miramax from which it has bought anddistributed several packages of movies over the years."We never had an output dea
  • MPAA brings first UK lawsuit

    The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) widened its fight against movie pirates yesterday by mounting its first legal action in the English High Court against DVD copying firm 321 Studios.The MPAA, which has been involved in a series of legal claims and couter claims against 321 Studios in the US, is seeking an injunction to prevent the firm selling its software which enables users to back up and copy DVDs."Companies that stand to profit from the violation of copyright
  • MPAA piracy chief meets Thailand prime minister

    Continuing itsefforts to stamp out intellectual property violation, the Motion PictureAssociation of America's (MPAA) chief anti-piracy officer held talks with theprime minister of Thailand last week. Ken Jacobsen,the MPAA's senior vice president and director of worldwide anti-piracyoperations, told Thaksin Shinawatra that while the number of pirate copiesavailable on the street was down the country still needed a vibrant legitimatevideo marketplace. Jacobsen said aneffective op
  • MPAA seeks to stop UK DVD software outfit 321 Studios

    The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is seeking aninjunction from the High Court in London preventing the sale and distributionof 321 Studios' DVD-pirating software.
  • NBC to merge with Vivendi Universal Entertainment

    Vivendi Universal has announced NBC as the victor in its long-gestating auction of the company's US entertainment assets that include Universal Studios, television interests and theme parks.In the announcement, made soon after the Paris bourse closed, Vivendi and NBC parent General Electric said it had signed a letter of intent with Vivendi to merge Vivendi Universal Entertainment (VUE) and NBC into a new structure, likely to be called NBC Universal. Vivendi will retain 20% of t
  • NETHERLANDS

    Lars Von Trier's Dogville impressed in The Netherlands over the weekend claiming the second highest screen average, behind chart leader Pirates Of The Caribbean. The drama played on just 15 prints for A-Film Distribution, the country's biggest independent distributor.Elsewhere in the chart, children's films saw a boost with local favourite The Skippers Of The Kameleon and US animated titles Piglet's Big Movie and Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas all s
  • New Benelux distributor falls for Kitano's style

    Start-up Dutch distributor Bright Angel achieved something of a coup by snatching Benelux rights to hot Venice competition title Zatoichi. The film is possibly director Takeshi Kitano's most commercial and accessible to western audiences for several years. Bright Angel, which only launched in May, also bought Italian title Ora O Mai Piu by director Lucio Pelligrini, which recently appeared in Locarno. The sale was handled by Intramovies.The Kitano film about a blin
  • New York shoots up by a third

    Despite the recent city blackout and the legacy on 9/11 the number of feature film shooting days has leapt by over a third since the start of the year, according to the Mayor's Office of Film Theatre and Broadcasting.Although the city has yet to compile its full shooting figues for last year, the city's film commissioner Katherine Oliver said the Big Apple was managing to contain the threat of 'runaway production' that has hit west coast cities such as LA.Last year 180 films sho
  • New Zealand set for arthouse exhibition boost

    US exhibitor Reading Cinemas is to open a local version of its Angelica Film Center in New Zealand's capital Wellington.The Angelika Film Center is an iconic six screen arthouse multiplex in downtown New York.The news comes as Reading's Australian and New Zealand subsidiary prepares to open a new cinema complex in Christchurch and starts construction on further screens in Auckland.The new Angelika Film Centre in Wellington will exclusively showcase art and foreign films a
  • NORTH AMERICA

    The 2003 summer season ended in grand style over the long Labor Day weekend as Jeepers Creepers 2 set a record for the holiday weekend and four films passed $100m to raise to a record 14 the number of titles that have reached the milestone this season.The new arrivals at the $100m club were Sony's S.W.A.T. and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Universal's Seabiscuit and Paramount's The Italian Job, which re-expanded this weekend and jumped 28 places up
  • NORWAY

    While everyone's money was on local low-budget digital feature Buddy, Buena Vista's blockbuster Pirates Of The Caribbean raced past Morten Tyldum's romantic feature over the weekend at the Norwegian box-office. Buddy received rave reviews when it had its premiere at the Norwegian International Film Festival and local media have hyped the film so much it might have backfired. However, the film still performed very well with a 639 admissions screen average on
  • Once Upon A Time In Mexico

    Dir: Roberto Rodriguez. US 2003. 101 mins.You have to give Roberto Rodriguez his due: he's nothing if not ambitious. Take the title of his new film. With a dose of homage and a dose of parody and a slug of bare-faced presumption, Once Upon A Time In Mexico declares its desire to occupy the same place in Roberto Rodriguez' oeuvre as Once Upon A Time In The West did in Sergio Leone's. That masterpiece was a compendium of all the tricks known to the godfather of th
  • Partington joins UK's Tartan Video

    Alan Partington has been appointed as the new managing director of the UK's Tartan Video. Previously managing director of Metrodome Distribution and head of theatrical and video sales for Pathe, he will take up his position from Sept 1.Hamish McAlpine, owner of the Tartan Group, commented: "I am absolutely thrilled to welcome someone of Alan Partington's calibre and experience in the Tartan Group. It is not just a reflection on how much Tartan Video has grown in the last two yea
  • Phone Booth opens third in France for Fox

    Fox International's thriller Phone Booth opened in third place in France at theweekend, grossing $1.8m from 276 screens.
  • Pirates aims to haul more international gold

    Pirates Of The Caribbean looks set to continue its international dominance this upcoming weekend with releases in the key territories of Germany, Italy and Korea.Buena Vista International's family adventure has been a late summer arrival outside the US and has wasted little time in making waves.Pirates boosted its international running total to $146.1m after last weekend's $21.8m haul and should have little trouble passing $200m in the coming weeks as it is still a
  • POLAND

    Polish directors Andrei Saramonowicz and Tomasz Konecki scored a hit at the Polish box office this week with their new film Cialo (The Body). The film is distributed by SPI and was released on August 22 on 57 prints - a huge number for Poland. Cialo weighed in with a gross of $318,668 in its first weekend on release. The success of Cialo proves that, despite the funding cuts that have caused a lack of Polish blockbusters this year, there is still a strong
  • Postponed Filmart attracts increased interest

    The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) has unveiled details of this year's Filmart (September 24-26), which looks set to be the biggest yet, despite being postponed for three months due to the SARS outbreak.According to the TDC, the number of exhibitors registered to attend has increased by 26% to 240 companies from 25 countries, while the number of buyers is set to outstrip last year's 1,612. The TDC has doubled the market's floor space at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibitio
  • Pusan evolves into full Asian film market

    The Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP), a rapidly-expanding project market held concurrent to the Pusan International Film Festival, has unveiled 28 official projects for its upcoming edition including works by Wong Kar Wai, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Murali Nair. The event will also be following up on its plan announced last year to expand into a full Asian market, with sales companies from territories throughout Asia scheduled to be in attendance.Held from October 5-7, the PPP has evolved
  • RAI bags hot US trio

    Italy's Rai Cinema has pre-bought Italian distribution rights to a trio of hotly anticipated US pictures: Martin Scorsese's The Aviator, Lakeshore's upcoming Philip Roth adaptation, American Pastoral, and Miramax's major new Jennifer Lopez vehicle, Shall We Dance.Sold by Initial Entertainment Group (IEG) and written by John Logan, The Aviator follows the life of Howard Hughes from his first film Hell's Angels in 1930 to 1946. The $100m picture stars
  • Rai Trade takes on sales for competition pair

    Rome-based sales agent Rai Trade has taken world-wide distribution rights to two highly anticipated Italian Venice competition titles, and has also sold North American rights to Pupi Avati's Heart Elsewhere to Northern Art Entertainment.The sales offshoot of state broadcaster Rai has picked up international rights to The Miracle, Edoardo Winspeare's much-awaited follow-up to Sangue Vivo, which made a splash on the international festival circuit, including Sundance,
  • Rai Trade takes on sales for Venice pair

    Rome-based sales agent Rai Trade has taken world-wide distribution rights to two highly anticipated Italian Venice competition titles, and has also sold North American rights to Pupi Avati's Heart Elsewhere to Northern Art Entertainment.The sales offshoot of state broadcaster Rai has picked up international rights to The Miracle, Edoardo Winspeare's much-awaited follow-up to Sangue Vivo, which made a splash on the international festival circuit, including Sundance,
  • Russia bankrolls Moscow Heat

    Russian body builder and actor Alexander Nevsky begins shooting a landmark production in Moscow this week.His new film, Moscow Heat, marks the first time a Russian production, backed by Russian money, has hired a predominantly American cast and crew and brought them to Moscow to make a film.Nevsky who has made his home in Los Angeles since 1999 is executive producer as well as an actor in the $10m Russian backed crime drama which stars Michael York, Adrian Paul, Richard D
  • Sales slide at Germany's Intertainment

    Sales revenues at Germany's Intertainment slid by more than 80% in the first six months of 2003 compared to the same period last year, but were "in line with expectations", according to an adhoc statement.The Munich-based company reported sales of Euros 2m for the period to June 30, 2003, compared to Euros 11.5m in the first half of 2002, and blamed the still unresolved lawsuit against Franchise Pictures for the poor business performance. The group's EBIT stood at Euros -4.1m
  • Samurai drama has the edge at Venice festival

    Six days in and there has been no buying frenzy this year at the Venice festival. But both buyers and critics appear satisfied with the quality and range of films on offer across the festival's different sections. After the disappointing reception for Woody Allen's opening night film Anything Else, the best received films have come from the Controcorrente or Upstream section which is competitive, but parallel to the main Venezia 60 competition. Controcorrente has produced the
  • San Sebastian lifts its Latin Horizons

    The 51st Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival has unveiled the plethora of Latin American and Spanish films that make up its Latin Horizons, Made In Spain and Films In Progress sections.The newly-created Latin Horizons (Horizontes Latinos) section separates out Latin American films from the former, all-encompassing Made In Spanish section, newly condensed to Made In Spain. The revised system gives greater prominence to both cinematographies, part of San Sebastian's
  • San Sebastian to showcase controversial docs

    Spanish director Julio Medem (Sex And Lucia) will present his new documentary about life in Basque country as one of five charged "special screenings" lined up for the Zabaltegi section of the 51st Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept 18-27).La Pelota Vasca, La Piel Contra La Piedra mixes hours of interviews with Basque citizens and archive footage in a consideration of the volatile region's past, present and future that organisers of San Sebastian, wh
  • SARS-effect still disrupting production

    Two big-budget Hong Kong projects - Time Breaker, which is set to star Jackie Chan, and Hua Mulan, starring Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh - have been delayed, partly due to the impact that SARS has had on production in mainland China.Media Asia's US$40m Time Breaker, which was scheduled to start shooting in September, has been put back until early next year, with the producers citing scheduling conflicts during the pre-production process as the major reason.
  • Schuster teams with Ster-Kinekor for Shucks

    Leon Schuster, South Africa's highest grossing local star, has signed a deal with leading South African distributor/exhibitor Ster-Kinekor for his latest outing Oh, Shucks, I'm Gatvol. The exclusive theatrical/non-theatrical and broadcast deal marks a return for Schuster to Ster-Kinekor, the local distributor who was responsible for a number of his previous hits. Schuster's 2001 blockbuster, Mr. Bones, the most successful local film of all time at the SA box office grossi
  • SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO

    Already the most successful local film ever, Zamfir's Zona took another huge step forward this week with an incredible 76% rise, putting it in second place by admissions (9,722) after Daddy Day Care's 12,025. Apparently, Serbs and Montenegrins are still only interested in this particular product. However, due to significantly lower ticket price, it came in fourth in terms of revenues. Eddie Murphy remains unbeatable in Serbia And Montenegro for three weeks in a row, with
  • SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO

    This week marks the return of the greatest local hit ever, last year's Zamfir's Zona which has already attracted over 1.5 million admissions. The film's re-release achieved fifth place with 5,281 admissions, of which some 3,000 came from its second premiere at the newly-launched open-air cinema at the Tashmaidan swimming pool in Belgrade. Zona is now on release on 19 prints (the widest release ever in the territory) increasing its incredible $2m-plus box office for
  • Shorts from Wong Kar-Wai, Apted, Linklater at Palm Springs festival

    Films from Wong Kar-Wai, Richard Linklater and Michael Apted areamong 265 titles that will screen at this year's 2003 Palm SpringsInternational Festival of Short Films, which runs in its new late slot of Sept16-22.
  • Slamdance winner Living bought for US by Cowboy

    New York-based distributor Cowboy Pictures has acquired ElliotGreenebaum's comedy Assisted Living, this year's grand jury prizewinner at the Slamdance FilmFestival that also won the jury prize and audience award for best film at the2003 GenArt Film Festival.Greenebaum's de
  • Son Of The Bride director launches own company

    Argentinian director Juan Jose Campanella whose Son Of The Bride (El Hijo De La Novia) garnered a Best Foreign Oscar nomination last year, has launched a new film and television production company. Called 100 Bares, the company's first project is a mini series about the cross migration of people between Spain and Argentina, to be shot in 2004.Campanella is also developing the screenplay for what he hopes will be his next feature, fantasy comedy/drama The Falls At The E
  • SPAIN

    Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 2 opened strong in Spain with nearly Euros 2m from 322 prints, but it was not strong enough to overtake third-weekend number one in a row Pirates Of The Caribbean, which has grossed a cumulative Euros 13.8m. Of the top ten non-new releases, Phone Booth was the only film not to drop in admissions, though its 2% rise only led it to a gross of Euros 4.48m after its fourth weekend. Also of note, Japanese animated film Doraemon And The
  • Spain's Sogepaq scores Football Days, Torremolinos 73

    Spain's Sogepaq has acquired international rights to two high-profile third-party films: much-anticipated new release Football Days (Dias De Futbol) and four-time Malaga winner Torremolinos 73.The deal links the Sogecable group's Sogepaq to successful indie producer Telespan 2000, the co-producer with broadcaster Telecinco's film arm Estudios Picasso of both films as well as last year's biggest-grossing local hit The Other Side Of The Bed (El Otro Lado De
  • Stars come out to play at festival

    Johnny Depp yesterday did what so many visiting stars at the Venice festival simply don't do - he worked the crowds.Getting maximum value from Venice's short catwalk, he signed autographs, waved and accepted kisses from adoring female fans. He was in town for Once Upon A time In Mexico, Robert Rodriguez new picture which plays out of competition and was accompanied by Rodriguez and co-star Salma Hayek. Another of the film's stars Sylvester Stallone was also in town though
  • Stars come out to play at Venice

    Johnny Depp yesterday did what so many visiting stars at the Venice festival simply don't do - he worked the crowds.Getting maximum value from Venice's short catwalk, he signed autographs, waved and accepted kisses from adoring female fans. He was in town for Once Upon A time In Mexico, Robert Rodriguez new picture which plays out of competition and was accompanied by Rodriguez and co-star Salma Hayek.Earlier in the day Hayek and Sylvester Stallone had taken time t
  • Strong Irish opening for Intermission

    Colin Farrell, universally good reviews, and a campaign that included radio play for Farrell's soundtrack cover of The Clash's I Fought The Law combined to generate a strong opening weekend in Ireland for BVI's Intermission.The Company of Wolves' production, from debut director John Crowley, has taken over Euros 215,000 from 30 prints at 28 sites for a site average of Euros 7,679. Speaking to ScreenDaily.com the head of BVI Ireland, Brendan McCaul, said he was very
  • SWEDEN

    The successful run of Daniel Lind Lagerloef's romantic comedy Miffo was halted after two weeks in the top spot by Buena Vista's Pirates Of The Caribbean, which blasted its way to the top with an impressive screen average of $12,162 from its high 87 prints. However, Reza Bagher's Capricciosa proved much less of a competitor to Miffo than expected. The Swedish drama performed unimpressively, opening at 11th behind the release of two Danish films, Inheritanc
  • Swimfan director's next gets Australian FCC approval

    Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) has approved investment in four new features. They are Mozart Maulers, the third film by director John Polson (Swimfan), Three Dollars, Robert Connolly's second film as a director after The Bank, debut writer/director Anna Reeves' The Oyster Farmer, and You And Your Stupid Mate, which is principally financed through the Macquarie Nine Film & Television Fund. While this is excellent news for the creative
  • SWITZERLAND

    Devdas received a strong opening in the German-speaking region of Switzerland last weekend (Aug 21-24) playing at just four screens for an average of just under $4,900 per screen. This was only bettered over the weekend by wide-released blockbuster Pirates Of The Caribbean. Devdas was released in the French-speaking region in April this year.Distributor Monopole Pathe, which handles Devdas, enjoyed a strong weekend. French film Taxi 3 also launched in
  • SWITZERLAND

    With cold, wet weather arriving at the weekend in Switzerland box office was up 61.7% in the territory, thanks to a massive 99% week-on-week rise in the German-speaking region of the country.Playing especially well in its second weekend in the German-region was Gabriele Muccino's drama Ricordati Di Me. The Italian film rose over 200% to take sixth place in the region (and seventh in the country), earning over three times its previous weekend's gross. It launches in the French-re
  • T3 opens well in China, crosses $250m milestone

    Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines passed $250m at the international boxoffice at the weekend when it scored the second biggest opening of the year inChina behind The Matrix Reloaded.Columbia TriStar FilmDistributors International (CTFDI) opened the sci-fi sequel at
  • Taiwan producer targets Golden Horse awards

    Taiwan's Central Motion Picture Corporation (CMPC) is wrapping up three films at a total budget of $6.6m (NT$225m)In recent years Taiwan's film output has dwindled dramatically to around 10 films a year, compared to around 80 films a year in Hong Kong.The three films from CMPC are Alex Yang's Taipei 21, Stan Yin's Black Dog Go Go (working title) and an animated feature titled The Dream of Butterfly - Leon and Joel. The three films are being spe
  • Taormina's 50th anniversary dates announced

    Taormina Festival Chief Felice Laudadio has announced that the 50th edition of the international event will take place from June 11th to 19th 2004. "The earlier dates worked very well this year, and films such as Phone Booth and Identity, which received their Italian premiere in Taormina, went on to do very well at the Italian box office this summer," Laudadio told ScreenDaily.com. Although neither film benefited from huge star appeal in Italy, Phone Boot
  • Telluride unveils lineup for this weekend's festival

    Sofia Coppola's Tokyo-based drama Lost In Translation, Oscar-winning British film-maker KevinMacDonald's true-life mountaineering drama Touching The Void and Billy Ray's Shattered Glass, based on the life of the disgracedformer journalist Stephen Glass, are among the line-up of North
  • The Dreamers

    Dir: Bernardo Bertolucci. UK. 2003. mins.The Dreamers is not the masterpiece that some were expecting. But neither does it betray the return to form that was announced by Bernardo Bertolucci's 1998 chamber drama, Besieged. This is an infinitely more intelligent, edgy and intriguing film than, say, Little Buddha. Its main flaw is its inability to reconcile its two big themes, each embedded in two separate locations: the political ferment of the Paris Sprin
  • The Human Stain

    Dir: Robert Benton. US. 2003. 104 mins.Or The Human Blot, depending on your point of view. It's not that Miramax' early autumn Oscar rollout is a bad film: it's just that it doesn't quite work up the energy to be a good one. True, the pairing of Kidman and Hopkins is one of those once-in-a-lifetime astral collisions that will put bums on seats whatever the critics say. After all, millions of people watched Ali versus Foreman, even if they didn't like boxing. But there is an o
  • The Human Stain

    Dir: Robert Benton. US. 2003. 104 mins.Or The Human Blot, depending on your point of view. It's not that Miramax' early autumn Oscar rollout is a bad film: it's just that it doesn't quite work up the energy to be a good one. True, the pairing of Kidman and Hopkins is one of those once-in-a-lifetime astral collisions that will put bums on seats whatever the critics say. After all, millions of people watched Ali versus Foreman, even if they didn't like boxing. But there is an o
  • The Return (Vozvrashcheniye)

    Dir. Andrei Zvygatinsev. Russia, 2003. 105 min.This intimate, almost metaphysical study of rebellion against parental authority does everything a Hollywood picture doesn't. Not only because it is refreshing to see, for a change, that adolescence does not relate only to sexual glands, but also because it takes a considerable risk leaving, on purpose, much of what would be taken as essential information unsaid - and if that isn't enough, refusing to deliver a complaisant ending
  • The Return and Zatoichi light-up Venice

    Two films in the Venice competition have been logging strong buyer interest and notching sales even before their world premieres later this week. Russian first film The Return by directed by Andrey Zvyagantsev, has added deals with France's Ocean Films and The Netherlands' Contact Films to previous licence agreeements signed with Switzerland's Frenetic and Italy's Lucky Red (see ScreenDaily). Sales agent Raissa Fomina of Intercinema Art Agency said that she was fending of
  • The Return, Zatoichi score Venice sales on eve of premieres

    Two films in the Venice competitionhave been logging strong buyer interest and notching sales evenbefore their world premieres later this week. Russian first film The Returnby directed by Andrey Zvyagantsev, has added deals with France'sOcean Films and The Netherlands' Contact Films to previous licenceagreeements signed with Switzerland's Frenetic and Italy's Lucky Red.Sales agent Raissa Fo
  • UK production on course for bumper year

    This year's overall volume of UK production could smash the previous record of over $1.1 billion.This year's tally looks certain to hit 2000's record level if all the productions in the offing end up shooting. Even if it comes up short, 2003 is set for a remarkable recovery for a sector that in 2001 crashed to $660million and last year limped to $696million.The biggest budget studio productions include Warner Bros' Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, Working Title's
  • UK production update - Sept 3

    UK - September 3PRE-PRODUCTIONA WAY THROUGH THE WOODS(Celador Films) Backer: Complete Communications. Anne shares a seemingly perfect marriage to James, until the arrival of Bill, and a tragic accident in their idyllic country village looks set to unravel their lives forever. Exec prod: Paul Smith. Prod: Christian Colson, Steve Clark-Hall. Dir/scr: Julian Fellowes. DoP: Tony Pierce-Roberts. Sound: Chris Munro. Costume des: Michele Clapton. Prod des: Alison Riva
  • UK/IRELAND

    Limited releases were the toast of the UK/Ireland box office this week with releases in London's West End and the Republic Of Ireland scoring the best averages of the weekend.Pathe's Cypher, a sci-fi thriller from Vincenco Natali (director of 1997 cult-film Cube), opened at just seven screens in London's West End and grossed $53,930 (£34,084) for a $7,704 average. The film landed just off the chart at 22 but following strong positive reviews could well enter the chart nex
  • Universal's The Hulk breaks $100m barrier

    Universal's The Hulk became the 15th film to pass $100m at the international boxoffice this year with a $3.1m weekend gross powered by a mighty number oneItalian bow.
  • Venice competition films fuel buyer action

    Two films in the Venice competition have been logging strong buyer interest and notching up sales even before their world premieres later this week. Russian first film The Return, directed by Andrey Zvyagantsev, has added deals with France's Ocean Films and The Netherlands' Contact Films to previous licence agreements signed with Switzerland's Frenetic and Italy's Lucky Red.Sales agent Raissa Fomina of Intercinema Art Agency said that she was fending off serious interest
  • Weiss responds to Germany Film Academy critics

    Germany's State Minister for Culture Christina Weiss has responded to growing criticism of her support for the setting up of an AMPAS-style German Film Academy by stressing the independence of the annual German Film Awards.Earlier this year Weiss voiced her support for a German Academy after a group of key industry players led by producer Bernd Eichinger suggested that a body modelled on Hollywood's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences be established to decide on the winners for
  • Woods confirmed as Irish Film Board chief

    The Irish Film Board has confirmed the appointment of Mark Woods as its new CEO, as predicted on ScreenDaily.com (July 25). According to a statement from the agency, Woods will take up the position at the beginning of October, succeeding Rod Stoneman who departs today after ten years at the helm.In the interim executive responsibility will be shared by Film Board chair Ossie Kilkenny and deputy chair Ann O'Connell. Announcing the appointment Kilkenny said, "We are delight
  • Zatoichi

    Dir. Takeshi Kitano. Japan, 2003. 116 min.A rousing, energetic take-off on a 19th century samurai tale which has become part of Japanese folklore, this black comedy, spurting fountains of digital blood and moving forward relentlessly at a fiery tempo, is a surprisingly entertaining departure for Takeshi Kitano from his dark combination of poetry and mayhem in modern yakuza dress. Though there is plenty of violence in his new film, it's impossible to take it seriously, so perf
  • Zatoichi

    Dir. Takeshi Kitano. Japan, 2003. 116 min.A rousing, energetic take-off on a 19th century samurai tale which has become part of Japanese folklore, this black comedy, spurting fountains of digital blood and moving forward relentlessly at a fiery tempo, is a surprisingly entertaining departure for Takeshi Kitano from his dark combination of poetry and mayhem in modern yakuza dress. Though there is plenty of violence in his new film, it's impossible to take it seriously, so perf

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