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29 July 2004

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  • Arahan dominates at Puchon Fantastic festival

    Local hit Arahan proved to be the big winner at SouthKorea's Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan), taking home theBest of Puchon grand prize as well as the Audience Award.The festival jury,led by U.S. director Stuart Gordon, also presented a Jury Award to Japanesedrama The Taste Of Teaand a Best Director Award to Argentinian director Leonardo Di Cesare for GoodLife Delivery.Korea's secondlargest festival, which has seen its international prof
  • AUSTRALIA 26 July

    In its second weekof previews, Fahrenheit 9/11 tookA$1,134,249 for Hopscotch from 89 screens to claim the third spot after I, Robot and King Arthur. This is an amazing result for a political documentaryand especially for one that is yet to officially open.I, Robot, in its opening weekend for 20th Century Fox, sold just over four timesas many tickets to nearly four times the number of screens, that is, it
  • Boorman to preside over Venice jury

    Director John Boorman will preside over the competition juryat the upcoming 61st Venice Film Festival, with other jury members set toinclude Spike Lee and Scarlett Johansson, the Biennale has announced.Boorman, Lee and Johansson will be joined on the festival's main Venice 61 jury by Italian Oscar-winning film editor Pietro Scalia (JFK,Black Hawk Down), German director WolfgangBecker (Goodbye Lenin!), Italian director Mimmo Calopresti, Serbian filmmaker Ducan Makavejev an
  • Boy Eats Girl on starter course in Dublin

    Production has begun on the first Irish feature to film inthe Republic of Ireland this year. Element Films', Boy Eats Girl, reunites producer Ed Guiney with director StephenBradley his former partner in Temple Films which developed and producedBradley's debut film, Sweety Barrett.A comedy horror tale of a date that goes badly wrong, Boy Eats Girl stars Irish singerSamantha Mumba (pictured) in the lead role, following her film debut
  • Catwoman

    Dir: Pitof. US. 2004. 105 mins.Warner Bros' push to develop new franchises from the characters in its DCComics stable gets off to a shaky start with Catwoman, a flashy butuninvolving Batman spin-off (of sorts) with Halle Berry starring andone-named French talent Pitof directing.Berry's popularity, as well as brand and character recognition, should resultin a sizeable and demographically varied audience when Warner opens the $100msuperhero action adventure in th
  • China features to colour Pusan festival

    Ten new films from mainland China will colour this autumn'sPusan International Film Festival (7-15 Oct), while its burgeoning projectmarket Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) will expand to 23 titles, from 18 last year."It looks set to be an exceptionally strong year forChinese films," PPP director and Pusan selector Jay Jeon told Jeon, who now has all but the Australian andCanadian entries to finalise, said that he also expects to show the new filmsfrom established art
  • Colosimo, McKenzie sign on for Australian-UK co-production

    Vince Colosimo (Lantana,Chopper) and Jacqueline McKenzie (RomperStomper, Angel Baby) are to star in director Peter Cattaneo's UK/Australianco-production Pobby And Dingan forsales agent Renaissance Films.The drama starts its eight-week shoot from August 19. Thesetting is the remote Australian opal town of Coober Pedy and filming will alsotake place in the city of Adelaide. The producers are Lizie Gower and NickMorris from the UK's Academy Films, and Emile Sherman fr
  • Copenhagen unveils competition line-up

    The second instalment of the Copenhagen International FilmFestival (Aug 19-29) has announced its competition programme - one that lookslike an improvement from last year and showcases more first time filmmakers.Two local films, newcomer Nikolaj Arcel's highly anticipatedpolitical thriller Kings Game, which has its world premiere in Locarno,and veteran Jytte Rex's experimental The Silk Road will compete against10 international features from all ends of Europe.The co
  • Courtney Valenti promoted to evp, production, at Warner Bros

    Courtenay Valenti (pictured) has been promoted to executive vice president ofproduction at Warner Bros.Val
  • DENMARK 27 July

    Despitean unimpressive DKK17,704 screen average in its third week on release, Spider-Man 2's 84 prints kept it infront of the new comic book hero, Hellboy.The latter scared up a DKK18,630 average for its 40 prints, considerably betterthan Raising Helen's DKK13,878, and Godsend's DKK18,298 but not
  • Docs on Kerry, gay marriage, Rwanda premiere at Toronto

    The Toronto InternationalFilm Festival will present 11 world premieres, including new works from GeorgeButler, Peter Raymont and Don Boyd, as TIFF announced the bulk of its Real ToReel documentary programme.Butler's Going Upriver The Long War Of John Kerrychronicles the career of the current US Democratic presidential nominee, whileRaymont's Shake Hands With The Devil: The Journey Of Romeo Dallaire follows the Canadian general back to Rwanda 10 yearsafter the genocid
  • Earth And Ashes, Missing feted at Cinefan

    Afghan-French co-production Earth And Ashes (pictured),directed by Atiq Rahimi, and The Missingfrom Taiwan's Lee Kang-sheng were jointly awarded best film at the sixthedition of Cinefan (July 16-25) which wrapped in Delhi on Sunday night.Earth And Ashes, amoving portrayal of the devastating impact of war on an old man and hisgrandson, also won the best actor award for non-professional actor Abdul Ghani.Best actress was awarded to Katherine Luna for her role in W
  • Euro producers lobby German finance minister

    The European Motion Picture Producers' Association (EMPA) iscalling for Germany's Minister of Finance Hans Eichel to change the MediaDecree's regulations governing international co-productions as a matter ofurgency.According to EMPA, the Media Decree, as it now stands, makesit impossible for foreign producers to co-produce with Germany.While German producers participating in internationalco-productions risk that their production expenses will be allocated for taxpurposes to a fo
  • Fahrenheit 9/11 DVD set for October launch in UK

    Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 is set for a UK DVDlaunch through Optimum Home Entertainment in October 2004 - just ahead of theUS Presidential Election in November.In its first ten days of release, the film had alreadyreached a total gross of £2.74m in the UK, surpassing the record set by Touchingthe Void which took £2.58m during its entire run.The DVD will retail at £19.99.Optimum Home Entertainment launched in March 2004 and is thehome
  • Fahrenheit makes history as first $100m documentary

    Fahrenheit 9/11 fulfilled its destiny and became the first documentary in historyto pass $100m at the US box office at the weekend, reaching the milestone onSaturday (24), its 32nd day of release.
  • Fandango flies with Vicari, Crialese features

    Domenico Procacci's Italian production and distributionoutfit Fandango is producing a new feature by Roman director Daniele Vicari,whose debut, V-Max (Velocita' Massima) won the prestigious Donatelloaward for best first film.The Euros 2m film, named L'Orizzonte Degli Eventi,began filming last week around the Gran Sasso mountainous area of central Italyand will shoot until early September.Backed by Medusa, the picture stars Valerio Mastrandrea (V-Max)as a you
  • Festival debut for Book Group director

    AnnieGriffin, the writer and director of award-winning UK TV show The Book Group,will make her feature debut with Festival, an ensemble comedy set duringthe annual Edinburgh Festival.Daniella Nardini, Clive Russell, Deirdre O'Kane, ChrisO'Dowd and Stephen Mangan head the cast of the £1.8m feature which is financedby the UK Film Council Premiere Fund, Film Four, Scottish Screen and th
  • FFC pledges backing to Jindabyne, Revelation

    Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) has pledged fundingon a conditional basis to Jindabyne, arelationship drama with mystery elements by Lantana director Ray Lawrence, and The Book OfRevelation, a follow-up to HeadOn for director Ana Kokkinos.Content International has world sales rights for The BookOf Revelation, which Kokkinos and AndrewBovell have adapted from Rupert Thomson's UK novel about an outstanding dancerwho disappears without a trace f
  • Fine Line takes English-speaking world on Out To Sea

    Fine Line Features has acquired North American and allEnglish-speaking territory rights from Spain's Sogepaq to Out To Sea (Mar Adentro), Alejandro Amenabar's eagerly awaitedfollow-up to The Othersthat stars Javier Bardem as real-life euthanasia campaigner Ramon Sampedro.
  • Former BVI chief Zapata takes over at DeAPlaneta

    Former BVI chief AlvaroZapata has been appointed executive president of Grupo DeAPlaneta, the giantproduction-distribution company established by Italy's DeAgostini and Spain'sGrupo Planeta in 2000.Taking over from GiorgioSbampato, Zapata, who spent the last 12 years with BVI as vice President forSpain and Portugal, will oversee all the group's activities in theatrical,video, DVD and television distribution alongside its fledgling film and TVproduction arm. DeAPlaneta also has a majori
  • GERMANY 27 July

    While it didn't top HarryPotter And The Philosopher's Stone's opening record of 2.59m admissions,Michael 'Bully' Herbig's sci-fi spoof (T)Raumschiff Surprise - Periode 1can claim to have the all-time best opening weekend for a summer releasewith 2,164,000 admissions from 899 prints. In comparison, Herbig's previousblockbuster Manitou's Shoe clocked up945,000 admissions in its first four days three years ago.Meanwhile, all of Austria's box office
  • Haneke's Hidden cranks up with Binoche, Auteuil

    Daniel Auteuiland Juliette Binoche, brought together as husband and wife in the romance film TheWidow of Saint-Pierre,will be once again reunited on the screen in Austrian director MichaelHaneke's Cache (Hidden), a thriller based on the theme of guilt andatonement, which started shooting this month between Paris and Austria.Thedirector's previous films include Funny Games, Code Inconnu (also starring Binoche) and The PianoPlayer, which won theGrand Prix du J
  • Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle

    Dir: Danny Leiner.USA 2004. 87 min.There's something sweet, almost childlike about a filmthat equates freedom and the American dream with a fast-food hamburger. But inthe puerile stoner buddy comedy Harold& Kumar Go To White Castle, a sort of melting-pot After Hours for the multiplex set that will likely divide audiencesin the U.S. with its scatological and sexual shenanigans while lending credenceto foreign viewers that American pop culture truly d
  • Harry adds $11m, flies past $450m for Warner Bros

    Warner Bros' Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban added an estimated $11m on approximately5,000 screens at the weekend to raise its international running total to$458.6m.
  • Holm, Broderick, Hoffman, Parker round out Candy cast

    A glitteringsupporting cast has been finalised for the currently-shooting big screenversion of US TV comedy hit Strangers With Candy. Called, not surprisingly, StrangersWith Candy: The Movie,the film is a prequel to the series about a 46 year-old former junkie andprostitute who returns to high school in a bid to start over.Amy Sedarisreturns as heroine Jerri Blank with other series regulars Paul Dinello andStephen Colbert, while joining them are Matthew Broderick and Sara
  • Hudson & Welland together again on rugby tale

    ScreenwriterColin Welland and director Hugh Hudson, the team behind 1981 Oscar winner ChariotsOf Fire, are gettingback together again to make rugby movie Harder They Fall with John Daly, former Hemdale boss andnow running another new company Typhoon Entertainment, producing.Former Welsh international rugby star Mark C Thomascreated the story and set up the project and will produce with Daly throughtheir respective companies Film and Music Entertainment a
  • Hyde Park sets flag in UK with Brass Hat partnership

    Ashok Amritraj's Hyde ParkEntertainment has cemented a five-year partnership with London-based investmentfirm The Brass Hat Group whereby Brass Hat will be Hyde Park's financing andproduction partner in the UK.Brass Hat, which is headedby Nick Hamson and Matthew Goldsmith, has agreed to raise production fundingexclusively for Hyde Park projects in the range of $400m over the next fiveyears.First title in the agreementis Shopgirl starring Steve Martinand Claire Danes which
  • I, Robot has powerful $3.3m opening in Australia

    Fox International's sci-fithriller I, Robot continued its100% number one opening record at the weekend as a major bow in Australia drove$5.5m in ticket sales from 916 screens in nine territories.I, Robot opened on $3.3m on 346 screens Down Under for thedistributor's seventh biggest ever opening there, while Singapore produced$538,000 on 59, the Philippines yielded $431,000 on 110 and New Zealandproduced $397,000 on 60.I, Robot has grossed
  • In The Battlefields (Maarek Hob)

    Dir/scr:Danielle Arbid. Fr-Bel-Leb. 2004. 90minsThe war thatengulfed Lebanon in the early 1980s, turning Beirut from the Paris of theMiddle East into a scarred wasteland of pockmarked and rusting buildings, isonly a metaphor for the chaos and turmoil that most interests the youngLebanese documentary and shorts film-maker Danielle Arbid in her feature debut.Althoughthe film deals with explosive emotions, the opaqueness of the central c

    Stellar openings in three territories saw interstellar spoofcomedy (T)Raumschiff Surprise - Periode 1gain second place on the international chart - the highest placing anon-Hollywood film has achieved since Screen International launched itsexclusive international chart at the end of March this year.Going out through Constantin Film in Germany and Austria thelatest hit from Michael "Bully" Herbig broke records for highest local filmopening in Germany and highe
  • ITALY 28 July

    Another slow mid-summer weekend at the Italian box officesaw just two new releases: Mediafilm's House Of The Dead and IstitutoLuce's A Good Lawyer's Wife.Dead opened on 99screens at number three but failed to toppleeither The StepfordWives or Timeline. The picturegrossed $231,601, scoring a solid average of $2,339 per screen.Istituto Luce released Korean film A Good Lawyer's Wife on just 9 screens. The film, ab
  • ITALY 23 July

    Columbia Tristar's street dancing movie You Got Served opened at number three in Italy last weekend,grossing $226,32 from 99 screens.The Chris Stokes film earned the box office's second highestscreen average, at $2,286, but still failed to dethrone either Eagle Pictures'sTimeline, which remained at number onewith a total gross of $1,512,661, or Nicole Kidman vehicle The Stepford Wives,which has earned $1,373,025 after two weeks for UIP.Fledgling
  • It's Mueller time: Venice overflows with US talent

    The Venice Film Festival (Sep 1-11) has unveiled an eclecticline-up which features a strong US contingent, celebrated European auteurs and,following in the footsteps of Cannes, the Lido's first animation in competitionin thirty years.In presenting the line-up on Thursday in Rome, thefestival's new artistic director, Marco Mueller, singled out the strength ofcurrent American filmmaking. "There are a lot of American films in theline-up. Several times, we [the selection team] saw a Europe
  • Kessler tipped to quit France's CNC in autumn

    The French press is awashwith rumours that David Kessler, president of film support body the CNC, is tostep down this autumn to be replaced by Catherine Colonna, the spokesperson forthe Elysee Palace - France's equivalent to the White House.Asked by ScreenDaily.comif the speculative reports in Le Film Francais, Le Monde and LeFigaro were true, the CNC refused to comment.Kessler has been CNC chiefsince 2001 and previously worked with former prime minister Lio
  • Kidd's PS to open Venice Critics' Week

    PS I Love You, Dylan Kidd's follow-up to Rodger Dodger, will open Critics' Week at the upcoming Venice Film Festival(Sep 1-11).The romantic comedy, written by Kidd and Helen Schulman,stars LauraLinney as a 38-year-old admissions director at New York's ColumbiaUniversity who believes that her former boyfriend has been reincarnated.Earlier this month, the film was named as one of three films to world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 9-
  • Lions Gate starts Diary Of A Mad Black Woman

    Principalphotography began in Atlanta, Georgia, this week (July 21) on Lions Gate'scomedy Diary Of A Mad Black Woman.Adapted by Tyler Perry from his hit play of the same name,the project is set in an affluent community and centres on a devoted wife of 20years who flips out when she discovers her husband wants to run off with herbest friend.Kimberly Elise,Steve Harris, Shemar Moore, Tamara Taylor, Tyler Perry and Cicely Tyson star inth
  • Look At Me to open, Sideways to close New York Film Festival

    Agnes Jaoui's Look At Me will open the 42nd New York Film Festival, whilePedro Almodovar's Bad Educationhas been named the Centerpiece screening and Alexander Payne's Sideways will close the event, which runs from Oct 1-17.Look At Me (Comme Une Image), Jaoui's second picture and follow-up to her 2000sex comedy The Taste Of Others, isa relationship drama set against the art scene in Paris.Marilou Berry stars withJean-Pierre Bacri, who co-
  • Marseille

    Dir:Angela Schanelec. Germany. 2004. 95minsAngelaSchanelec's Marseille starts badly and gets worse. Festival-goers - thefilm played in Un Certain Regard at Cannes - are all too familiar with the kindof movie in which someone unnamed wanders aimlessly and interminably, withoutbenefit of characterisation or plot, around a city. The sad thing about Marseilleis that this part of the film is by far the best.(Itshould be understood that
  • Master composer Jerry Goldsmith dies in LA at the age of 75

    Jerry Goldsmith,the avant-garde Hollywood composer who earned more than a dozen Academy Awardnominations and won the Oscar in 1976 for The Omen, died in his Beverly Hills homeyesterday aged 75 after a long battle against cancer.Among hisoriginal score credits were Chinatown, Planet Of The Apes, Papillon, Patton, Basic Instinct and LA Confidential, as well as five Star Trek pictures.Goldsmith was born in LosAngeles on Feb 10
  • Mercero's 4th Floor wins top Giffoni prize

    Spanish director Antonio Mercero's 4th Floor has scooped the top Golden Gryphon prize at theGiffoni Film Festival (17-24 July), the Italian youth-themed festival which isnow set to export its winning formula to Albania, Los Angeles and Australia.4th Floor tells thestory of a group of 15-year-olds who are all fighting for their lives inhospital where they are recovering from cancer. The film was competing in theFree-to-Fly section judged by several hundreds of 12-14 year-o
  • MGM staunches red ink, stays mum on 007

    Dropping no hints about sales talks or the identity of the nextJames Bond actor, MGM announced second quarter results that revealed adrastically reduced net loss and $33.6m in net cash from operating activities.Second quarter revenues fell from $487.7m for the sameperiod last year to $406.1m.Second quarter 2003 results were boosted by $140.1m in home entertainmentrevenues from Die Another Day, thecompany's most successful home entertainment release ever.
  • Montreal under fire from Telefilm Canada, SODEC

    Serge Losique, the mercurialand controversial director of the Montreal World Film Festival (MWFF), hasreceived an ultimatum. He and the organization he has lead for 28 years mustsubmit to the scrutiny and standards of Telefilm Canada and its Quebec counterpart,SODEC, or lose the C$1m of the agencies' joint subsidy to a competing festivalproposal in Canada's second largest city.In an exhaustive and, on theMWFF's part, damning report, "Analysis of Canada's Major Film Festivals",conducted
  • NEW ZEALAND 26 July

    I, Robot grossed NZ$619,601 from 60 screens for 20th Century Fox in its firstweekend, taking top honours in the box office chart and pushing Shrek 2 down into second place.The green ogre tookNZ$239,178 from 84 screens for UIP. It has lead the chart for four of the sixweeks it has been on release, Spider-Man2 having reigned briefly during its opening weekend.Rounding out thetop five is Fahrenheit 9/11,
  • Payne to receive Vision Award from Film-makers Alliance

    Academy award nominatedwriter/director Alexander Payne will receive the Film-makers Alliance's 5thAnnual Vision Award at the Directors Guild of America headquarters in LosAngeles on Aug 18."Alexander Payne is afilm-making humanist who allows us to experience his joyously idiosyncraticstories and characters from a compassionately humorous and distinctlyinsightful perspective," Jacques Thelemaque, co-founder of Film-makersAlliance, said in a statement.Payne's credits include El
  • Police question Taxi 2 director Krawczyk

    The director of Taxi2, GerardKrawczyk, was put under police examination last week for involuntarymanslaughter following the lethal accident causing the death of a cameraman onAugust 16, 1999 during the shooting of the film produced by Luc Besson, accordingto judiciary sources.Alain Dutartre,41, died from head injuries hours after a Peugeout 406 car fitted with specialair foils and intended to land in a pile of cardboard after flying over twotanks in an action scene missed its la
  • Producers of Sexual Dependency found Periscope

    David Guy Levyand Gregory Leonarczyk, who produced Rodrigo Bellott's Bolivian smash SexualDependency, have formedthe independent production company Periscope Entertainment in Los Angeles.Backed by private equity,the partners and financial investors plan to develop and produce three to fourpictures a year with budgets ranging from $2m-15m, and will also providecompletion funds.Levy will assumethe role of president and chief executive officer running day-to-dayoperations, w
  • Regas joins Premier Public Relations in Los Angeles

    Beve Regas hasjoined the Los Angeles offices of Premier Public Relations (PPR), where shewill oversee international theatrical marketing and publicity campaigns for thecompany's roster of clients.Regas willreport to PPR president Pamela Godwin-Austen, who said the new arrival'sexpertise in film and television across the independent and mainstream marketsmade her a "valuable asset" to the company.Regas most recently worked at Eddie Kalish's entertainmentmarketin
  • Sales agents pick up Locarno features

    Bavaria Film International (BFI) is to serve asthe world sales agent for Ayse Polat's En Garde which will screen incompetition at next week's Locarno International Film Festival (August 4-14) onAugust 6.Polat's second feature focuses on the friendshipbetween two girls in a Catholic reformatory, which veers dramatically out ofcontrol after one of the girls falls in love with a boy. The pick-up continuesa long-running collaboration between BFI and the film's producer X-Filmecreati
  • San Sebastian to open with Allen's Melinda

    The world premiere of Woody Allen's new film, Melindaand Melinda, is set to open Spain'sSan Sebastián Film Festival on September 17.Allen himself, currently filming in London, will attend thescreening.The premiere of Melinda and Melinda spearheads the festival's extensive tribute toAllen, showing all of his work as a director, actor and writer from 1966 to thepresent date.Speaking from London, Allen said: "Spanish people havealways supported my films an
  • Sarajevo festival confirms first competition contenders

    The world premiere of Zornitza Sophia's MilaFrom Mars (Bulgaria) and international premieres of Arsen Ostojic's AWonderful Night In Split (Croatia) and Ljubisa Samardzic's Goose Feather(Serbia & Montenegro) are among the first titles confirmed for the SarajevoFilm Festival's Regional Programme competitionOther films lined up include the Europeanpremiere of Silvije Petranovic's Society Of Jesus (Croatia) and regionalpremieres of Sinisa Dragin's Pharoah
  • Saved! team sets up next picture at Sobini Films

    Brian Dannelly is attachedto direct Sobini Films' romantic comedy The Guided Man, which is being fast-tracked for an early 2005start.Based on L. Sprague DeCamp's 1952 novel, the story centres on a timid social speaker who enlists theaid of a revolutionary service that allows another person to speak through him.Mark Amin will produce alongwith Sobini production chief Robin Schorr and company president Cami Winikoff.Curtis Burch, who originallydeveloped and brought t
  • Sci-fi spoof shakes up international rankings

    Stellar openings in three territories saw sci-fi spoof comedy (T)RaumschiffSurprise - Periode 1 gain second place on the international chart - thehighest placing a non-Hollywood film has achieved since Screen Internationallaunched its exclusive international chart at the end of March this year.Going out through Constantin Film in Germany and Austria the latest hitfrom Michael "Bully" Herbig broke records for highest local film opening inGermany and highest ever opening in Austri
  • Simonds signs first-look deal with Panther studio MGM

    The PinkPanther producer RobertSimonds, who began his career as a production trainee at MGM, has returned tothe studio with a first-look deal.First up will be a remake of the 1968 family comedy Yours,Mine & Ours, which originally starredLucille Ball and Henry Fonda.Simonds has justwrapped production on The Pink Panther, which stars Steve Martin and was directed by Shawn Levy.The trio previously collaborated on the hit comedy Cheaper By T
  • Skillset's Inside Pictures launches new training programme

    Skillset's Inside Pictures, the UKfilm business training programme now funded by the Skillset Film Skills Fund,is accepting applications for its next course.Comprising three intensive one-weekmodules, Skillset's Inside Pictures takes place in London and Los Angelesbetween November 20
  • Spelling sells ahead of Locarno world premiere

    Paris-based sales agent Funny Balloons hasclosed its first deals on Jean-Jacques Zilbermann's Bad Spelling (LesFautes D'Orthographe) ahead of its world premiere as Locarno InternationalFilm Festival's opening film on the Piazza Grande on August 4.The coming of age story set in the 1960s,starring Carole Bouquet, Olivier Gourmet and rising star Damien Jouillerot, hasbeen sold to Switzerland's Mont-Blanc Distribution, Belgium's Les Films deElysee, Romania's Independenta Film and Bolivia's
  • Spider-Man 2 has $31.6m weekend on 9,000 screens

    Sony's Spider-Man 2 continued its international dominance at the weekend as it addedan estimated $31.6m from 9,000 screens through Columbia Tri-Star FilmDistributors International (CTFDI) for a $267m international cumulative score.
  • Spurlock stands up before Congress with Super Size Me presentation

    Super Size Me writer-director Morgan Spurlock isteaming up with members of the US Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine(PCRM) in a special screening and anti-obesity presentation before Congresstoday (July 23).The film-makerplans to address lawmakers on Section 1428 of the Commonsense Consumption Act,more commonly known as the Cheeseburger Bill, which if passed would precludeobesity-related lawsuits against the food industry.PCRM was foundedin 1985 as a nonprofit
  • Spyglass to co-finance Geisha, Zorro with Sony

    SpyglassEntertainment, which has a first-look, non-exclusive production agreement withColumbia Pictures, will co-finance the eagerly awaited Memoirs Of A Geisha and action sequel The Legend Of Zorro.Spyglass holds all international rights to bothpictures and Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI) willdistribute
  • Star Trek spoof smashes German records

    (T)Raumschiff Surprise - Periode 1, Michael "Bully" Herbig's sequel to his2002 blockbuster Manitou's Shoe,has posted the best ever opening in Germany with over 625,000 admissions in thefirst 24 hours of release.The German produced film is asend up of the Star Trek series. Accordingto distributor Constantin Film, 164,000 cinema-goers had attended previewscreenings at 22.00 on Wednesday evening (July 21) in 700 cinemas, and another461,000 had gone to see the film in
  • Sundance Documentary Composers Lab kicks off next week

    The Sundance Institute hasnamed the five documentary film-makers and six composers who will take part inits second Documentary Composers Lab.Participants will spend fivedays from Aug 1-5 at the Lab, a convergence of the Institute's Documentary FilmProgramme and Film Music Programme in which composers and film-makerscollaborate under the guidance of industry veterans.The documentary composerfellows are Ra'ed Andoni, Mark Becker, Mercedes Moncada, Hank Rogerson, andJilann Spitzmil
  • SWEDEN 28 July

    The newrelease of Jerry Bruckheimer's KingArthur, which stars Hollywood's favorite Swede Stellan Skarsgaard as thevillain, easily cut into the top spot on the Swedish chart this weekend. With astrong $6,643 screen average on its 95 prints, Arthur dethroned Spider-Man 2 after three weeks at the top.
  • Tarantino, Dante to be Venice 'godfathers'

    Venice has announced that Quentin Tarantino and Joe Dantewill be on the Lido for the duration of the festival as "godfathers"of the festival's "Italian Kings of the B Movies" retrospective.The sidebar will screen 20-25 restored Italian genre movies,which will then be distributed after the festival both on DVD and in cinemasthat support HD technology.The retrospective is part of a wider 4-year film restorationproject which is being supported by the Venice Biennale and the Fondazi
  • Thunderbirds are so-so at UK box office

    Universal-Working Title's Thunderbirds remake opened third in the UK throughUIP at the weekend - its first launch anywhere in the world - on an estimated$2.4m (£1.3m) including previews on 433 screens.
  • Thunderbirds ready to go on 600 prints in UK

    Universal-Working Title'slive action version of the hit 1960s television series Thunderbirds gets its global launch in the UK this weekend,opening through UIP on 600 prints on Jul 23.Universal executives havehigh hopes for the family-friendly adaptation, and it will be intriguing to seehow diehard fans of the series receive this radically different interpretation.The rest of the world is set to follow in August.Buena Vista International(BVI) continues to roll out Buena Vi
  • Top Korean directors launch production outfit

    Nineof Korea's top directors including Park Chan-wook (Old Boy) and BongJoon-ho (Memories Of Murder) have established a new film companyto finance the cost of developing future projects.NineDirectors, Ltd. is being launched with individual contributions from eachdirector, and will provide filmmakers with the freedom to plan and write thescreenplay for new projects without seeking development funds from productionor investment companies."Althoughwe haven't yet decid
  • UK Film Council extends slate scheme deadline

    The UK Film Council has extended its deadline forapplications for "super slate" development funding by three weeks,from September 10 to September 30 2004.This shift is seen by many asa direct response to the criticisms voiced by UK producers' organisationPACT about how the slate funding scheme was set up. Earlier this month, PACTpredicted that the new slate scheme would "destabilise the market."The UK Film Council has nowsought to reassure disgruntled producers
  • UK Production Update - July 26

    UK Production Update - July 26 2004See also International Production ListingsIN PRODUCTION:THE DARK ((Impact Pictures, Constantin Film) Backers: Constantin Film, the UK Film Council. Int'l sales: Constantin Film, Summit Entertainment. A gripping supernatural chiller about a series of mysterious occurrences that befall a young family who move to a remote Welsh farm, only to discover the house has a dark and bloody past that is manifesting itself firmly in
  • UK/IRELAND 28 July

    The advertising may announce that Thunderbirds Are Go! butthe box office results suggest they aren't going very far.In need of its own international rescue, Jonathan Frakes'film grossed a so-so $2.5m (£1.35m) over its opening weekend includingpreviews. Without the previous weekend previews, which represented $0.5m(£0.29m) of the total takings, the actual opening weekend stood at $1.95m($1.07m).While a respectable sum, it was not the kind of start UIP,Working
  • Universal has Supremacy over Warner's Catwoman

    Universal's thriller sequel TheBourne Supremacy stormed to the topof the charts at the weekend on an estimated $53.5m, vying for attention with Fahrenheit9/11, which as expected became thefirst documentary in history to pass $100m.Paul Greengrass' $75mfollow-up to Doug Liman's 2002 hit The Bourne Identity almost doubled that picture's $27.1m bow, and givesUniversal its first bona fide hot of the summer after disappointments in VanHelsing and The Chronicle
  • Universal is supreme with $53.5m for Bourne sequel

    Universal's thriller sequel TheBourne Supremacy stormed to the topof the charts at the weekend on an estimated $53.5m, vying for attention with Fahrenheit9/11, which as expected became thefirst documentary in history to pass $100m.Paul Greengrass' $75mfollow-up to Doug Liman's 2002 hit The Bourne Identity almost doubled that picture's $27.1m bow, and givesUniversal its first bona fide hot of the summer after disappointments in VanHelsing and The Chronicle
  • Venice unveils 'pre-screenings' event

    As part of a new drive to boost market interest in theVenice Film Festival, around 30-40 international buyers are expected to beinvited to the Venice pre-Screenings, which will take place on the Lido fromAugust 30 to September 1.The pre-Screenings will be managed by AIP (AudiovisualIndustry Promotion), the new organisation formed by Cinecitta and Fiera diMilano, MIFED's parent company."The Venice pre-Screenings are a very intelligent move,as that way buyers can see the films bef
  • Zidi, Schatzberg, Robert among Montreal Film Festival jurors

    French filmmakerClaude Zidi will head the eight-person international jury at the 28thMontreal World Film Festival, August 26 to September 6. The director of suchfilms as Les Ripoux, LesSous-doues and their sequels as well as AsterixEt Obelix, Zidi hasworked with the pantheon of France's onscreen talent, including GerardDepardieu, Philippe Noiret, Daniel Auteuil, Thierry Lhermitte, ChristopherLambert, Josiane Balasko and Stephane Audran. He began his career as acinematogr