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29 February 2008

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  • Advance Party trilogy continues with McKinnon's Donkeys shoot

    Sigma Films and Zentropa have begun principal photography on Rounding Up Donkeys.After Andrea Arnold's Red Road, this film is the second project in the Advance Party trilogy. Originally entitled Old Dogs, Rounding Up Donkeys marks the feature debut of television and short film director Morag McKinnon and is written by Colin McLaren, her collaborator on the BAFTA-winning short Home (1998).The cast includes James Cosmo, Brian Pettifer a
  • Arsenal takes on German rights to CSNY Deja Vu

    Stefan Paul and Egon Nieser of German distributor Arsenal Film has picked up the music documentary CSNY Deja Vu by Bernard Shakey a.k.a. Neil Young from Fortissimo Films.The documentary, which showed Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on their Freedom of Speech Tour in 2006, was presented at the Berlinale in the Berlinale Special section.In addition, Arsenal Film acquired the Panorama Special opening film, Eran Riklis's Israeli-German-French co-production Lemon Tree,
  • Arthouse Films signs US deal with iTunes

    Arthouse Films has a signed a deal to make its films available for purchase and download on iTunes.The deal was negotiated by David Koh and Lilly Bright on behalf of Arthouse Films and Curiously Bright Entertainment and Mark Kashden on behalf of New Video Group.Films will be available for $9.99 each in the US and music videos and short films are priced at $1.99 each in the US.Koh and Bright said the iTunes store was a 'great home for our films, film-makers and
  • As Hermeling departs A-Film, Wolfers said to be tipped as MD

    Following Pim Hermeling's departure from Dutch distributor A-Film (announced yesterday), Wilco Wolfers of Warner Bros Netherlands is being strongly tipped to be appointed managing director in his stead.Speaking to, Philipp Wolff of W2Media BV, the investment company which already owned the majority of the shares in A-Film and has now bought Hermeling's stake, would neither confirm nor deny the appointment of Wolfers. However, a well-placed source said it was an
  • Bac picks up four for France including Wackness, Wave

    French distributor Bac Films has announced the acquisition of four titles scheduled for release in 2008 and 2009. The company has bought Ma Mec A Moi by director Jean-Jacques Zilbermann starring Antoine de Caunes and produced by Agat Films et Cie. The film is the sequel to 1998's romantic comedy L'Homme Est Une Femme Come Les Autres and will shoot this summer.Next on the list is
  • Bavarian regional fund announces $10.6m in funding

    New productions by actor-director Til Schweiger, Christian Ditter and Mike Barker are among 35 film and TV projects allocated over $10.6m (Euros 7.2m) by the Bavarian regional fund FFF Bayern at its latest sitting.The largest amount - $1.25m (Euros 850,000) - went to Schweiger's next feature project, the medieval slapstick comedy Zwei Ritter Geben Vollgas, which he will direct for Lionheart Entertainment, his own company Barefoot Films and Neue
  • BBFC oversightlaw shot down in UK House of Commons

    Conservative MP Julian Brazier today had a second reading in the House Of Commons for his British Board of Film Classification (Accountability to Parliament and Appeals) Bill, and the proposal has now effectively been killed off after five hours of discussion.Brazier's proposed Bill points to violent and sexual material allowed by the BBFC into the market in recent years, such as DVD /video game Manhunt and the Oscar- and BAFTA-nominated film Eastern Promises.B
  • Bohm promoted at NBC Universal International TV Distribution

    Pauline Bohm has been promoted to senior vice president of marketing at NBC Universal International Television Distribution (NBC UITD).Rachel Mansson has been promoted to vice president of the marketing for the division's international new media unit. She is based in London and reports to Los Angeles-based Bohm.Bohm will continue to develop and implement marketing strategies for NBC UITD and will take charge of the division's international brand strategy and presence at a
  • Burn, hollywood, burn: Health campaigners and film

    Tobacco and obesity have raced towards the top of the global political agenda in recent years, but they may soon have an impact on the bottom line for the film industry. Wherever one stands on the social impact of cinema on children in particular, there is no doubt health campaigners have the film industry in their sights.And if initiatives succeed, producers may be left with a choice between changing the marketing and content of films or taking the financial hit that comes with a more
  • Chen, McLachlan to star in Beresford's Last Dancer

    Kyle McLachlan, Bruce Greenwood and Joan Chen have been cast in Bruce Beresford's adaptation of the best-selling book, Mao's Last Dancer, which starts shooting in China next month. Jack Thompson, Aden Young, Amanda Schull and Wang Shungbao (Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress) have also joined the multinational cast.Paris-based Celluloid Dreams is the international sales agent for the film with Hopscotch and Roadshow distributing in Australia.Adapted from
  • Chinese distribution- Unplugging the Pirates

    Five years ago, Guo Yuezhou, the CEO of Zoke Culture, China's leading video/DVD distributor, was inundated with requests from his friends for free DVDs of new films.But in the past few years, the requests have dried up. These days his friends are using the internet to watch movies, both illegally and legally, and Guo saw an opportunity.'My friends are not particularly technological or computer nerds,' he explains. 'I thought, 'If they are doing it, you can imagine how widespread
  • Chocolate becomes biggest film of the year in Thailand

    Thai action flick Chocolate has become the highest-grossing film of the year in Thailand (excluding holdovers from last year), grossing $2m in less than three weeks. Produced and distributed by Sahamongkolfilm International, Chocolate is also the only film across Asia that has managed to beat Stephen Chow's alien comedy CJ7, which opened at the top of the box office in five Chinese-speaking territories over Chinese New Year.Released on a much wider scale of 121
  • Dano and Deschanel star in Gigantic for Killer, Epoch

    Principal photography on the Killer Films and Epoch Films comedy Gigantic starring Paul Dano, Zooey Deschanel, John Goodman and Jane Alexander is set to commence in New York on Mar 3.Mindy Goldberg of Epoch and Christine Vachon of Killer Films are producing and first-timer Matt Aselton will direct from a screenplay he wrote with Adam Nagata.Harrison Kordestani and Marina Martins of Lexicon/Machine Made are financing and Cinetic Med
  • Distribution - Japan - Content on the move

    In Japan, cable TV and satellite are still small markets. Japanese audiences watch the big five networks en masse, rented more than 25 million DVDs last year (the preferred way to watch US TV shows such as 24) and go to the cinema - in that order. The VoD market, such as it is, is dominated by non-feature-film content such as music videos, trailers and promos, sports and adult content.Paying to view movies on computer has not caught on in the way it has in other territories. The
  • Distribution - Mobile distribution - Opening the cell door

    While ringtones, text, picture messages and music are the most widely used entertainment services among China's 500 million mobile-telephone users, visual and filmed content is catching up fast. By the end of 2007, 50.4 million mobile-phone owners had access to the internet via their mobile phones.China's two telecoms carriers, China Mobile and China Unicom, are eager to ramp up their online services and offer games and video-sharing, as well as films and TV programmes.In late 2
  • Editorial - Screen says - Rising from the ashes

    It's the small ironies that often give away the big picture. And this week we have the perfect example in the northern English town of Huddersfield.The ban on smoking in public spaces, which has been spreading across much of the world, has forced local players of the game of bingo out of their fuggy halls - and they are now being welcomed into the comfort of their neighbourhood multiplex.For those not brought up on the joys of the numbers game, a great many of the UK's cinemas w
  • Eros launches free online streaming service

    Indian media and entertainment company Eros International has launched an online video-on-demand (VOD) service supported by advertising. Consumers have access to free online content that includes exclusive content from the Eros library of more than 1,300 titles and 5,000 music videos, behind the scenes 'making of' footage, exclusive short form movie clips, and events.Available on, the video streaming is supported by periodic advertisements, so
  • Exhibition - Cinema advertising in the digital age - Point of sale

    The cinema advertising business is getting ready for prime time. A television term in reference to cinema' It may not seem apt but the market is heading in that direction. The roll-out of digital projection worldwide could create a single global living room, and with it opportunities for brands to target an international cohort.Imagine a simultaneous day-and-date release of a tentpole picture on 10,000 theatrical screens around the world. Imagine the ability to put a brand before all t
  • Exhibition - Putting the multi into multiplex

    Last month, in the Welsh town of Holyhead, the only cinema closed its doors after 80 years. People were still going to the movies but - thanks to the recent introduction of a UK smoking ban - not enough people were going to the cinema's bingo nights to keep the overall business solvent.Alternative content is a matter of perspective. Anywhere in the world, in a major urban multiplex on a Friday or Saturday night, movie screens will feature a feature.But increasingly, on Saturday
  • Feeling Bullish

    Nigel Thomas has a disarmingly straightforward explanation of Matador Pictures' guiding philosophy. "The core of the business is making quality feature films that we want to see ourselves," he claims. "If we wouldn't go see that film, we won't make it."It is a philosophy that has proved highly effective so far, with the company's involvement in an eclectic range of productions from Ken Loach's Palme d'Or winner The Wind That Shakes The Barley to Clive Barker's Book Of Blood, whi
  • Film Movement buys domestic rights to Puenzo's XXY

    Film Movement has picked up Lucia Puenzo's Argentinean coming-of-age drama XXY from Pyramide International.The Spanish-language film centres on a 15-year-old hermaphrodite living with her family in Uruguay whose life becomes endangered when her secret is exposed. Ines Efron and Martin Piroyansky star.The film won the Critics Week Grand Prize and Golden Rail Award at Cannes 2007 and has played in official selection in the Toronto, B
  • FilmIndustry Training Board: the next steps

    Thefilm Industry Training Boardwill administer the mandatory levy on behalf of the film industry.An Order to establish a board was submitted to Parliament in November 2007, and in line with parliamentary procedures a debate was not called for.This was required to 'sit' in Parliament for 40 days, and upon completion of these 40 days, an advertisement to recruit a Chair for the Film ITB was advertised in the National Press on 9th January.An appointment has not yet been made
  • First Cinema Eye Nonfiction Filmmaking Awards set for March 18

    The inaugural Cinema Eye Nonfiction Filmmaking Awards will take place in New York at the IFC Center on Mar 18.The event has been put together by online distributor, producer A J Schnack and Toronto International Film Festival documentary programmer Thom Powers to celebrate what they call the new wave of independent non-fiction.Twenty-five films have been nominated in nine categories including producing, editing and cinematography. Winners will be chosen
  • Flashback: The 2008 awards

    2008 reportsAcademy AwardsBAFTAGolden Globes
  • Fortissimo adds Konchalovsky's Gloss to line-up

    Fortissimo Films has acquired worldwide rights outside Russia and France to Andrei Konchalovsky's Gloss, which will receive a gala screening at next month's Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF). Produced by Konchalovsky's Production Center,Glosstakes a satirical look at the current wave of capitalism sweeping through Russia.Since making the film, the acclaimed Russian filmmaker has directed Nutcracker: TheReal Story, but has recently re-cutGl
  • Greek feature Pink takes top prize in new !f Istanbul competition

    Alexander Voulgaris' Pink (Roz) won the top prize at the!f Istanbul International Independent Film Festival.The festival's new!f Inspired Film Competition comes with a cash prize of $15,000 and showcases new directions in cinema and innovative story-telling.The Greek feature is about a twentysomething Greek man who is afraid of growing up, alienated from his family and forms an unusual friendship with an 11-year-old Ukranian girl.The jury, which included film-maker
  • Highmore signs to voice Astro Boy for Imagi Studios

    Freddie Highmore has signed to voice the title character in Hong Kong and Los Angeles-based Imagi Studios' CGI animated feature Astro Boy.Based on Osamu Tezuka's manga creation, which was serialised on television in the 1960s, 1980s and again in 2003, Astro Boy centres on a young robot's odyssey to gain acceptance in the eyes of his creator.Highmore currently stars in the top 10 North Americ
  • IM Internationalmedia appoints Prestel to management board

    Sascha R. Prestel is joining IM Internationalmedia's CEO Konstantin Thoeren as a new member of the management board as of March 1, 2008.Prestel, who will be responsible for the areas of finance, investor relations, corporate communications and administration, had previously worked for two years from 2005 to 2007 overseeing the administration, investor relations and communication affairs of a London-based film production company for the German market.He will continue to serve as
  • International - Turkey struts in

    Turkish film Recep Ivedik was the surprise big hitter in the international arena this weekend, generating $5.1m from just 230 screens in its home territory and catapulting it into the top 10.It boasted easily the highest screen average, at $23,170 per screen, and marks the biggest opening for a Turkish film this year. The comedy, distributed through Ozen Film, is directed by Togan Gokbakar and stars his older brother Sahan. The pair had moderate local success in 2006 with their
  • Jaap Brujnen takes over as head of Warner Home Video Benelux

    Jaap Bruijnen has been promoted to managing director of Warner Home Video Benelux following yesterday's announcement that Ruud Lamers will leave the company at the end of April.Bruijnen, who currently serves as deputy managing director of Benelux, will assume his new role effective May 1.'I take great pride in my years at Warner Home Video Benelux and I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with Philippe [Cardon, president of international at Warner Home Video] and his s
  • Japan's NTV unveils slate with Miyazaki's latest

    Japan's Nippon Television Network (NTV) has announced its nine-filmslate for the upcoming fiscal year, headlined by the return of animation giant Hayao Miyazaki with his latest, and possibly final, effort Ponyo On A Cliff. The film is slated for a July release through Toho. NTV has been producer Studio Ghibli's TV investor since 1997's Princess Mononoke, handling television promotion and holding exclusive broadcast rights to Ghibli films.The network, one of Japan's fi
  • Jason Isaacs joins Damon, Kinnear in Greengrass' Iraq thriller

    Jason Isaacs has joined the cast of Paul Greengrass' untitled Green Zone thriller for Working Title Films and Universal Pictures.Based on the non-fiction book Imperial Life In The Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, the film is set in and around the Green Zone, the base of operations for US troops in Iraq. Brian Helgeland has adapted the book for the screen; the cast also includes Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Amy Ryan and Khalid Abdalla.
  • Laguna buys domestic DVD rights to Chapa's thriller Fuego

    Los Angeles-based Laguna Productions has picked up exclusive North American DVD rights from Amadeus Pictures to Damian Chapa's English-language spy thriller Fuego.Chapa stars as an incarcerated special forces veteran who signs up for a suicide mission to save the Mexican President's daughter. David Carradine also stars.'We are thrilled to add Fuego to our DVD offerings, which also include su
  • London Australian Film Festival announces full programme

    The London Australian Film Festival returns to the Barbican March 6-16, opening with Unfinished Sky. Peter Duncan's film, about a reclusive farmer who takes in and gradually befriends a female Afghan refugee, saw its world premiere at Toronto last year.The festival will conclude with a gala screening of Richard Roxburgh's Romulus, My Father, which received the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award for b
  • London Australian Film Festival to open with Unfinished Sky

    This year's London Australian Film Festival will run March 6-16, opening with Peter Duncan's Unfinished Sky, about a reclusive farmer in rural Queensland who befriends an Afghan refugee. The festival will close with Richard Roxburgh's Romulus, My Father starring Eric Bana and Franka Potente.The festival, hosted at the Barbican, is now in its 14th year.Other programme highlights include Tony Ayres' popular family story The Home Song Stories
  • Magnolia buys worldwide rights to Bigger, Stronger, Faster*

    Magnolia Pictures has picked up worldwide rights to Christopher Bell's steroid abuse documentary Bigger, Stronger, Faster*. The film, which premiered at Sundance in January, explores the use of steroids among competitive sportsmen and women against the backdrop of America's win-at-all-costs culture.The film features interviews with athletes whose careers have been touched by the steroid stigma, including Olympic sprinters Carl Lewi
  • Magnolia's Magnet buys domestic on Sweden's Let The Right One In

    Magnolia Pictures' genre arm Magnet has acquired North American rights from Bavaria Film International to Thomas Alfredson's romantic horror film Let The Right One In.Negotiations commenced immediately after the film's first market screenings in Berlin earlier in the month on the story of a 12-year-old boy's friendship with a vampire girl. The story is based on Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist's bestseller.Magnolia's senior vic
  • Material takes on three Treasure Island pre-quels

    UK production company Material Entertainment has acquired the screen rights to John Drake's Flint & Silver as well as the book's two follow-ups.The author makes his debut with the adult adventure novel, a prequel to Treasure Island. The story is about the rivalry between Flint and Silver before their confrontation on the Island.Two other prequels, also covered in Material's deal, are also planned. Lucy Batcup negotiated for Material with Toby Moorcroft for Sayl
  • Meistrich's NEHST Studios to stage Aspiring Filmmakers Boot Camp

    Larry Meistrich's NEHST Studios will stage the Aspiring Filmmakers Boot Camp pitch session in New York from Mar 7-9.The three-day event will cover pitching, producing, financing, distribution and career opportunities and give participants an opportunity to pitch their projects and possibly sign a deal on the spot.'We are working hard to help break down the Hollywood barriers and make sure other talented aspiring film-makers can take part in the industry as well,' said Mei
  • Mike Leigh to receive Directing Award at San Francisco in May

    Mike Leigh, riding high following the enthusiastic critical response to Happy-Go-Lucky at the Berlinale, will receive the inaugural Founder's Directing Award at the 51st San Francisco International Film Festival, which runs from Apr 24-May 8.The Founder's Award will be presented to Leigh at the Film Society Awards Night benefit gala on May 1 and will be presented each year to a master film-maker in memory of festival founder Irving M Levin.
  • MPA and Microsoft launch anti-piracy video contest in China

    The Motion Picture Association (MPA), partnering with Microsoft China and in collaboration with, announced the launch of the 'Love Genuine, Protect IPR' online video contest promoting respect for intellectual property rights. Online users in China are being invited to direct and share short films illustrating either the risks of using pirated products or the value of using genuine ones.Popular local video-sharing site will be the operating site of the contest.
  • New Bond filmto shoot in Tuscany

    Marc Forster's new James Bond film will be heading to Tuscany as part of its locations shoot, the latest of a series of international productions to choose the region as set.Quantum of Solace will head to Italy for 15 days from the end of Aprilthrough May 12, picking up where Casino Royale left off at Lake Gardabefore traveling to the Tuscan towns of Siena, Talamone and Carrara,the Tuscan Film Commission said today.
  • Nicolas Winding Refn starts Bronson shoot with Vertigo

    Danish-born director Nicolas Winding Refn has started a six-week UK shoot for Bronson, his feature about notorious prisoner Charles Bronson.Vertigo Films is producing in association with 4DH Films, EM Media, Str8jacket Creations and Aramid Entertainment.Vertigo's Rupert Preston and 4DH Film's Danny Hansford will produce. Executive producers are Nick Love, Allan Niblo, and James Richardson for Vertigo, Paul Martin for Str8jacket, and Suzanne Alizart for EM Media.T
  • Noeltner's CMG picks up Mexican drug cartel doc Drug Wars

    Edward Noeltner's Cinema Management Group (CMG) has acquired worldwide sales rights to Renavatio Productions' Drug Wars.Gary A Fleming Jr's documentary explores the world of Mexican drug cartels and features first-hand accounts from victims, law enforcement officers, border patrol guards and former FBI agents.Noeltner brokered the deal with producer's rep Page Ostrow on behalf of Renavatio Productions.CMG's slate includ
  • Power takes TV, film rights to graphic novel Shooting War

    UK-based production company Power has optioned the film and TV rights to Anthony Lappe's graphic novel Shooting War, which is illustrated by Dan Goldman.The book, published by Grand Central in the US and Wiedenfeld & Nicolson in the UK, is a near-future political thriller/dark satire about a blogger trying to cover the war on terror.The deal was negotiated by Brendan Deneen of Objective Entertainment and Luke Speed of Marjacq on behalf of Ian Kleinert at Objective Enter
  • Rambo's UK box office down due to Odeon snub

    Feathers were ruffled at the UK box office this past weekend, in the aftermath of Odeon's decision to drop Rambo which significantly dented the film's takings. Sony's latest instalment of the gory Sylvester Stallone film generated just $2.5m (£1.2m) from 300 sites for a $8,166 (£4,157) site average, well below the opening weekend take that was expected had it shown on Odeon's 100-plus cinemas in the UK. The exhibitor said the decision to drop the fourth instalment of the franchise
  • Recep Ivedik leaps into top 10 with $5.1m take

    Turkish film Recep Ivedik was the surprise big-hitter in the international arena this weekend, generating $5.1m from just 230 screens in its home territory and catapulting it into the top 10. The top 40 films generated $166m from 48,087 screens from the period of February 22-24. For the full international chart, compiled by Len Klady, click here.
  • Romania's Gopo Awards set for Monday night

    The second annual Gopo Awards, celebrating the best of Romanian cinema, will take place in Bucharest on Monday night.The gala, presented with the support of the National Film Centre, is organized by Romanian Film Promotion, the organization behind the Transylvania International Film Festival. Cristian Mungiu's Cannes Palme d'Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days has eight nominations including best film and best director as does
  • Semi-Pro

    Dir: Kent Alterman. US. 2008. 91 mins.Characteristically anarchic, loosely structured and unabashedly blue, Will Ferrell's new comedy Semi-Pro ably skewers both second-tier professional basketball and the regrettable fashion of the early 1970s, ranking in the top half of the comedian's roster of sports parodies (a list which includes Kicking and Screaming, Talladega Nights and last year's Blades of Glory).The ensemble comedy
  • Shaye & Lynne quit as New Line is folded into Warner Bros

    New Line's run as an autonomous production, marketing and distribution entity came to an end today as Time Warner announced that going forward the studio would operate as a slimmed down unit of Warner Bros and that New Line's co-chairmen and co-CEOs Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne were leaving the company.The move follows months of speculation following the relatively poor performance of New Line's films since the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. New
  • Shooting begins on Salvage in Liverpool

    Shooting begins today in Liverpool on British horror film Salvage, one of the three features commissioned under the Digital Departures scheme set up to celebrate Liverpool's year as Capital of Culture. All three films will premiere in Liverpool later in the year.Salvage marks the feature directorial debut of Lawrence Gough. The film is scripted by Colin O'Donnell and is produced by Julie Lau with associat
  • SPRI opens Vantage Point in 12 markets including Germany, Italy

    Fox International's sci-fi romp Jumper will be looking to stay on top of the overseas charts but the film will face stiff competition this weekend.The film launches in Italy on 250 screens and currently stands at more than $61m internationally.The biggest threat to Jumper's reign will come from Sony Pictures Releasing International's assassination thriller Vant
  • SPWAG picks up international rights to Terminator 4

    Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) has picked up international rights excluding South Korea and select territories in the Middle East to The Halcyon Company's Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins.The first episode in the revived franchise will be directed by McG and produced by Moritz Borman and Halycon co-CEOs Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek.Production is set to begin in New Mexico in the spring in time for a 2
  • Sunshine Cleaning finally lands at Overture in US

    Overture Films acquired US rights to Big Beach and Back Lot Pictures' Sundance entry Sunshine Cleaning at the weekend, one month after the festival ended.The approximately $2m deal is Overture's second pick-up from Sundance following Henry Poole Is Here and ended more than a month of negotiations between sales agent Cinetic Media and a host of distributors.Amy Adams and Emily Blunt star in the
  • Telefilm Canada greenlights new films from Villeneuve, Scott

    New films from Denis Villeneuve, Sylvain Guy and Ken Scott have been approved through Telefilm Canada's French-language arm. In all seven pictures received a total of $7.13m (C$7m) out of 31 applications. Villeneuve, who has not made a feature since 2000's Maelstrom, returns to the screen with Incendies, his adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad's play. The story concerns a brother and sister who learn, upon thei
  • Terry Pratchett, Vadim Jean on board for Screenwriters Festival

    The International Screenwriters' Festival, hosting its third event in Cheltenham this July, has announced several more key attendees.Fantasy writer Terry Pratchett and director Vadim Jean will discuss their recent collaboration The Colour Of Magic (a Sky project), which brought them together after The Hogfather.Other speakers already lined up for the SWF include Julian Fellowes, Guillermo Del Toro, Deborah Moggach, Peter Kosminsky, ITV's Laura Mackie and BBC's
  • The Accidental Husband

    Dir: Griffin Dunne. US. 2008. 90minsUma Thurman's recent track record with romantic comedy is not auspicious - neither Prime (2005) nor My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006) turned out to be major box-office contenders. The Accidental Husband, however, should improve her standing in this genre. There is nothing unpredictable about this glossy, screwball-style saga of misunderstandings and home truths, but it is executed with suc
  • The critical view - Riding microtrends

    Mark J Penn is the polling analyst famous for helping Bill Clinton to re-election in 1996 by identifying 'soccer moms' - busy, smart suburban women - as a crucial, overlooked sector of the electorate.Dubbed 'the guru of small things' by The New York Times, Penn has built a career on his ability to spot the social ripples far out at sea that might one day become big waves. In his latest book, Microtrends, he contends that 'by the time a trend hits 1%, it's ready to spark a
  • The Investigator (A Nyomozo)

    Dir: Attila Gigor. Hungary / Sweden/Ireland 2007. 110 mins.This quirky little thriller brings to mind Patricia Highsmith's Ripley series, where the perverted morality of the ending requires the reader to take sides with the villain. Here, a gruff pathologist (Anger) takes on the role of a contract killer only to discover he's the patsy - and now he must try to save his own skin.As macabre as a film should be when its lead character is
  • Then She Found Me, American Teen bookend Cleveland

    Helen Hunt's feature directorial debut Then She Found Me and Nanette Burstein's hit Sundance documentary American Teen bookend the 32nd Cleveland International Film Festival, which runs from Mar 6-16.John Sayles, whose first film Return Of The Secaucus Seven screened at the fifth Cleveland International Film Festival in 1981, will receive the Director's Spotlight
  • Tiberius' EFM pick-ups include Girl In The Park, Arn

    QED International's Sigourney Weaver/Kate Bosworth thriller The Girl In The Park by David Auburn is among eight titles acquired by the Munich-based distributor Tiberius Film at the recent European Film Market in Berlin.The other acquisitions are:Michael and Peter Spierig's scifi drama Daybreakers, starring Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill, from MandatePeter Flinth's $33m Scandinavian medieval adventure film Arn: The Knight Templar from Telepool
  • Trust picks up Hungarian prize-winner The Investigator

    Trust Film Sales of Denmark has confirmed it is handling international sales for Hungarian film The Investigator.Trust CEO Rikke Ennis told that the company is aiming for a major festival release later this year.Attila Gigor's film won five awards at Hungarian Film Week in February, including Best Actor for Zsolt Anger, Best Editing and Best Screenplay.The film tells the story of a coroner who agrees to murder a man in order to pay for hi
  • UK mandatory training levy wins support despite concerns

    Senior UK industry figures are strongly supporting a new mandatory training levy on producers proposed by Skillset and government, despite criticism from some producers.The Government is in the process of creating an industry training board (ITB), which will be able to impose a compulsory training levy on film-making.UK plans for creative industries
  • UK regional audiences name Bourne Ultimatum as top film

    The Bourne Ultimatum has taken the public-voted Film of the Year at the Richard Attenborough Film Awards in the UK.The awards are for UK's regional film journalists and the audience winner was announced at trade event Cinema Days.Filmgoers across the country voted for the prize, which was coordinated through 25 UK regional newspapers, magazines and websites. Voters could choose from a shortlist of 30 films.Director Paul Green grass said: 'I am hu
  • UK's Peccadillo takes on 50+ films in Millivres catalogue

    UK-based Peccadillo Pictures has acquired the feature film back catalogue of Millivres Multimedia.The deal includes more than 50 titles, such as Francois Ozon's Criminal Lovers, Gregg Araki's Totally F***ed Up, Anna Kokkinos' Head On, Angelina Maccarone's Hounded and a selection of Bruce LaBruce films.The Millivres Multimedia titles will gradually be rebranded as Peccadillo releases.Peccadillo's other forthcoming releases include Chris
  • Unfinished Kurosawa film to be completed

    An unfinished 1983 documentary by famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa will be completed and released in time for the 100th anniversary of the filmmaker's birth in 2010.Kurosawa began work on documentary Gendai No Noh (Modern Noh) during a suspension of filming of prize-winning period epic Ran (1985) due to financing and other problems.The footage, shot in Iwate Prefecture, captures approximately 50 minutes of performance of the play Yashima, by Z
  • United Kingdom - Shot In The Dark

    Mark Tonderai says the biggest thing he learned when shooting his directorial feature debut Hush was to "never, ever shoot at night unless you absolutely have to".The psychological thriller, written and directed by the former BBC Radio 1 DJ, was shot entirely at night along the M1 motorway in northern England for five weeks, meaning the cast and crew hardly saw the light of day for more than a month."It was a really interesting ride because fatigue was the big enemy," he
  • United states - Financial Fusion

    The name Cold Fusion Media Group suggests that in the tricky business of film finance the seemingly impossible may sometimes be possible. The company's business plan, meanwhile, focuses on the practicalities of financing and facilitating lower-budget independent production.Launched last autumn by CEO Michael Roban, the two-man Los Angeles-based operation reflects Roban's experience as a partner in his own boutique entertainment law firm and then as a business affairs executive with the
  • United states - Taste of Freestyle

    With deep roots in the not-so-glamorous world of independent theatrical distribution - and headquarters in laid-back Malibu rather than swanky Beverly Hills - Freestyle Releasing has always had a relatively low profile.But over time, says president and co-founder Mark Borde, "we've put together a studio-style distribution company," whose team of veteran sales executives can handle 1,000 or even 2,000-print US releases on a 'service deal' basis for clients including independent producer
  • Universal strikes four year financing deal with Relativity Capital

    Relativity Capital, a brand new investment partnership between Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media and New York-based hedge fund Elliot Associates, has signed a deal with Universal Pictures to co-finance a significant portion of Universal's slate - approximately 45 films - through 2011.This will be the first deal in which Relativity acts as the principal and will retain the mezzanine and equity. Under the deal, Relativity will co-finance approximately 75% of Universal's releases during