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Screen
29 July 2008

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  • A&E veteran Ryan Harrington joints online distributor IndiePix

    Ryan Harrington, formerly of A&E IndieFilms, has been hired as the new head of New York-based Internet distributor IndiePix.The recently launched IndiePix allows indie film-makers to submit their films for distribution via the virtual stuiod and monitor sales online.At IndiePix, Harrington will be responsible for overseeing all film-making relations and also managing (as executive producer) the productions IndiePix in which is involved.He will also coordinate DVD and digi
  • Alicia Keys and Jack White record duet on new 007 theme song

    Alicia Keys and Jack White of The White Stripes have recorded the theme song for the upcoming James Bond thriller Quantum Of Solace, marking the first duet in 007 history.White wrote, produced and plays drums on the track, 'Another Way To Die', which will be released on the soundtrack on October 28.The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Columbia Pictures release of EON Productions' 22nd is scheduled to launch in November.
  • Andrea Arnold starts UK shoot for Fish Tank

    Andrea Arnold has started shooting her follow-up to Cannes prize winner Red Road. The new feature Fish Tank stars Hunger lead Michael Fassbender with Kate Jarvis, Kierston Wareing, Rebecca Griffiths, and Harry Treadaway.Artificial Eye has already acquired the UK theatrical rights; ContentFilm International is handling worldwide sales. The film is backed by the Limelight Fund,BBC Films and the UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund.Peter Greenaway's longtime producer Kees Kas
  • Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging

    Dir. Gurinder Chadha. 2008. UK . 100 mins.Relighting Sixteen Candles in the UK for a new generation, Gurinder Chadha's Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging is an amiable if fairly anodyne teen outing which will face a tough challenge breaking out from its girlie demographic. This target audience, however, will be unfamiliar with Angus's antecedents, which also include Gregory's Girl and Chadha's own Bend It Like
  • Apice promoted in creative services at Universal Pictures

    Universal Pictures' worldwide creative services group has promoted Matt Apice to vice president of digital production.Apice continues to report to the group's executive vice president Dan Wolfe and assumes a brief that includes co-ordination of post-production operations with other departments and identifying emerging technologies.'As a former editor, Matt has become an excellent liaison between our team's creative and technical personnel,' Wolfe said.'He was
  • Arranged wins best picture at Japan's Skip City fest

    US-based directors Stephan Schaefer and Diane Crespo's Arranged has won best picture at the 5th annual Skip City International Digital Cinema Festival (July 19-27). The accolade also carried a $92,700 (Y10m) cash prize by fest sponsor Sony. Arranged tells the story of two female teachers in Brooklyn, one Jewish and one Muslim, who bond over the issue of their upcoming arranged marriages. The film had extensive festival dates in the US, picking up awards at the Brooklyn Inter
  • Arts Alliance to release digitally remastered ABBA tour film

    Jumping on the success of Mamma Mia!, Arts Alliance Media will distribute Universal Music's 1977 film ABBA - The Movie in UK cinemas on Aug 13.The one-day-only release will be at selected sites in the UK's Digital Screen Network, including 63 Cineworld cinemas. Other dates and screenings will be added.AAM is also planning to show the film on 24 digital screens in Germany, Austria, The Netherlands and Norway.The original tour film, directed by Lasse Halls
  • As Britdoc kicks off, survey finds TV docs are more popular in UK

    UK audiences regularly watch documentaries on television, but are much less consistent consumers of the format on DVD or in the cinema.A survey commissioned to tie in with the UK's third annual BRITDOC festival - which launched yesterday and continues until Friday -- found that 48% of UK adults regularly watch documentaries on TV. That compares with 10% who watch documentaries on DVD regularly and just 4% who say they go to the cinema to watch documentaries regularly. The research was
  • Asselin's Sentimental Capitalism to open FNC in Montreal

    Olivier Asselin's A Sentimental Capitalism (Un Capitalisme Sentimental) will make its world premiere as the opening film of the 37th annual Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montreal. Starring Lucille Fluet, Paul Ahmarani and Sylvie Moreau, the period drama lays bear the saga of a young woman at the centre of a sinister wager between three businessmen. Asselin's previous works include
  • Borman, Graves license movie rights to The Seven Sins

    Producers Moritz Borman and Peter Graves will produce a film based on The Seven Sins: The Tyrant Ascending, a book by Jon Land which is inspired by the life of Fabrizio Boccardi.Borman will produce and Graves will executive produce the film and have acquired rights to two sequels (subject to certain box office results) based around the character of Michael Tiranno, a daredevil business magnate aka The Tyrant. Boccardi will also be a producer o
  • Brazilian, Polish producers team for Ziembinski documentary

    Brazil and Poland will be co-production partners on Ziembinski, a documentary about the Polish director and actor regarded as one of the founders of the modern Brazilian theatre in the 1940s. The Warsaw-based production company Kalejdoskop will team up with Plateau Producoes and Urszula Groska Producoes, both from Sao Paulo, to recreate the life of Zimba, as Zbigniew Marian Ziembinski was called in Brazil. If he were alive today, 2008 would mark the 100th anniversary of his birth.
  • Chaser takes top awards at Korea's PiFan fest

    The 11th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan) awarded Na Hong-jin's serial murderer thriller The Chaser with its top Best of Puchon prize and the European Federation of Fantastic Films (EFFF) Asian Award. The film also took best actress for Seo Young-hee. 'We had great rains over the weekend and had to cancel all our outdoor events, but the success of NAFF raised our spirits,' said festival director Han Sang-joon, commenting on the Network of Asian Fantastic Films (
  • Cinelan strikes deals with Telegraph, Channel 4

    Cinelan, the company devoted to short documentary films, has struck an online syndication deal with Telegraph Media Group and telegraph.co.uk.Cinelan, which launched in February, said the move kicked off its UK syndication drive for its library three-minute non-fiction films.The company's collection includes the likes of Steve James' Paradise Regained, Jessica Yu's Kinda Sutra, Grant Gee's Haikus Of The Heart and Ross Kauffmann's Wait For Me.
  • Council of Europe sponsors Sarajevo's main award

    The Council of Europe has become the partner of the Sarajevo Film Festival and sponsor of the 'Heart of Sarajevo' award for the best feature film.Since 1988, the European Support Fund for the Co-production and Distribution of Creative Cinematographic and Audiovisual Works, or Eurimages, has worked within the Council of Europe to promote the European film industry by encouraging the production and distribution of films and fostering co-operation between professionals. As of 2005, Bosnia
  • Czech box office slumps heavily in first half of 2008

    Czech admissions in the first half of 2008 are down 21% year on year, with sales down nearly 20%, despite a 4.5% increase in the number of screenings and a whopping 35% market share for local films.According to new figures released by the Czech Film Distributors Union, admissions in the first six months of 2008 dropped 1.4m from the same period in 2007. Ticket sales dipped 124.7m.Last year was record breaker for Czech cinemas. The Czech Republic bucked European trends last year
  • Dark Knight is now fastest film to $200m in box office history

    The Dark Knight has become the fastest release in history to cross $200m after it reached the milestone in five days, smashing the previous mark of eight days set by Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest in 2006.The comic book sequel stands at $203.8m and would have overtaken Batman Begins' $205.3m cumulative total today [July 23] as it heads towards a second weekend. Wednesday's grosses wer
  • Dark Knight's international weekend even bigger than estimates

    The Dark Knight grossed $2m more at the weekend in international markets than initially thought as $67.7m and more than 8.7m admissions from 7,135 screens in 51 markets raised the running total to $128.3m.Click here to see full international weekend reportWarner Bros Pictures International (WBPI) executives announced the actual results on Monday morning. The current tally represents 112% of
  • Darren Aronofsky on board to remake Robocop for MGM

    MGM has confirmed the rumour circulating Hollywood last week that Darren Aronofsky will direct and David Self will write its RoboCop remake, which is being fast-tracked for a 2010 release.Phoenix Pictures' Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Brad Fischer and David Thwaites will produce and MGM's executive vice president of production Cale Boyter will oversee for the studio. Self's credits include Road To Perdition
  • Film Movement acquires Under The Bombs, The Trap

    Film Movement has acquired Philippe Aractingi's Lebanese drama Under The Bombs and Srdan Golubovic's Serbian film noir The Trap.Aractingi shot Under The Bombs during the Lebanon-Israel conflict in 2006 and the story centres on the understanding that develops between a Christian taxi driver and his fare, a Shiite woman from Beirut searching for her son.
  • Filmax to launch new movie channel in Catalonia

    Filmax has signed an agreement with Barcelona based publishing company Grupo Godo to launch a movie channel in the Catalonia region on digital terrestrial television.The new channel is set to be trialled in November with Filmax planning to show its catalogue of more than 4,000 films, including recent hit REC. It will also supply electronic programme guides and information about each film.Furthermore, Filmax will shortly be launching a film, music and television website
  • First Light gets kids' shorts on Virgin Atlantic planes

    First Light Movies, the initative to get UK youngsters making films, has struck a deal for five of its shorts to be shown on Virgin Atlantic planes.First Light-funded films made by six- to 18-year-olds will be shown on Virgin Atlantic's inflight entertainment system from July to November.The selected films are: The Princess And The Pendant, Which Witch', Munchatreeaforest, Two Men And Their Ponies, Lights Out!Faye Spiller, media acquisitions executive for Virgin Atlantic
  • First Light gets kids' shorts on Virgin Atlantic planes

    First Light Movies, the initative to get UK youngsters making films, has struck a deal for five of its shorts to be shown on Virgin Atlantic planes.First Light-funded films made by six- to 18-year-olds will be shown on Virgin Atlantic's inflight entertainment system from July to November.The selected films are: The Princess And The Pendant, Which Witch', Munchatreeaforest, Two Men And Their Ponies, Lights Out!Faye Spiller, media acquisitions executive for Virgin Atlantic
  • Gael Garcia Bernal plans doc project on resistance

    Gael Garcia Bernal is teaming up with director Marc Silver and the UK's Pulse Films on Resist, an ambitious feature documentary and web project.Described as Bernal's personal journey through the landscape of resistance, the film is in pre-production with shooting scheduled to take place in spring next year.Bernal will also co-produce and was at the UK's BritDoc festival last week along with Silver, producer Thomas Benski and associate producer Lucas Ochoa to pitch the p
  • Hand of the Headless Man (Ou est la main de l'homme sans tete')

    Dirs. Guillaume and Stephane Malandrin. Belgium-France-Holland. 2007. 103 minsWhen an Olympic-level Belgian diver played by Cecile De France emerges from a coma, elements from several film genres - all of them interesting - seem out to get her in Hand of the Headless Man. De France's sober, nuanced performance anchors a story whose potent tone of apprehension stems from harsh emotional violence, potential imaginary elements and a cinematic knack for drawing the ee
  • here! acquires North American rights to Yen Tan's Ciao

    here! Films has acquired North American distribution rights to Ciao, a gay-themed drama directed by Yen Tan which won the jury prize for best feature at the recent Philadelphia International Gay And Lesbian Film Festival.here! sister company Regent Releasing will distribute the film in theatres later in 2008.The film follows the incidental friendship that develops between two strangers in different parts of the world connected by t
  • Home Entertainment: A bolt from the Blu'

    When Toshiba announced in February it would stop developing high-definition DVD players, it marked the end of a format battle that looked like it might rival the VHS vs Betamax videotape war of the 1970s and 1980s.Toshiba's announcement cleared the way for Sony's Blu-ray to take the next generation of video to the waiting world but, with the advance of internet downloads, many in the US are asking whether it is already too late.According to one view, the format war may have had
  • Hong Kong's Media Asia takes back Infernal rights

    Hong Kong's Media Asia has announced that it has retrieved rights to seven films it had previously licensed to UK-US distributor Tartan Group, including its hugely successful Infernal Affairs trilogy. In a legal notice, the Hong Kong company said that, as of July 4, it has terminated all licence agreements with Tartan Films Distribution in the UK, Tartan Films USA and related entities.Other titles to have reverted back to Media Asia include Johnnie To's Breaking News,
  • Hugh Welchman's BreakThru to work with ITV

    BreakThru Films, the UK independent production company that won an Oscar for its short Peter And The Wolf, has struck a collaboration with ITV Productions.The deal will let BreakThru and ITV collaborate creatively and commercially when 'it is mutually beneficial for both parties.'BreakThru, founded by Hugh Welchman, hopes to devleop multi-platform content both animated and non-animated.Welchman said: 'The beauty of this new relationship is that it enables us to r
  • Impact Film Festival to launch in US during political conventions

    Fair trade, the national debt, stem cell research and Hurricane Katrina are among the topics covered in the upcoming Impact Film Festival, a four-day event that will take place during each of the Democratic and Republican Conventions in Denver and Minneapolis.Screenings include the world premiere of Jessica Gerstle's stem cell research film Accidental Advocate, Irena Salinas' FLOW: For Love Of Water and
  • In Focus:A hero's welcome

    Modern Hollywood has had a thing for spandex tights and alter egos ever since Christopher Reeve launched into the Manhattan skyline in Warner Bros' 1978 hit Superman.While subsequent superhero adventures have met with varying degrees of success, there is a level of accomplishment and ambition in recent years that suggests the beginning of a new golden age.Spider-Man's thunderous $114.8m three-day debut in 2002 for Sony proved a superhero picture can be a thing of b
  • In The Animation Vanguard: John H Williams on Space Chimps

    Space Chimps, which opened in the US through Twentieth Century Fox last weekend, taking $7.4m, is the second CG-animated film financed independently by Vanguard Animation.An initiative of Shrek producer John H Williams and his Vanguard Films, the unit was founded to make a modestly budgeted ($40m), high-quality CG film every two years, backed by a network of international distributors.The idea is that the profits generated on a lower-budget animated film will be co
  • India's UTV crosses $5m in US market in first six months

    UTV Motion Pictures has announced that it has entered the list of top 20 film distributors in North America in the first half of 2008, by becoming the first Indian film studio to cross the $5m revenue mark.The ranking is based on US box office figures for the first six months of the year compiled by AC Nielsen.According tothe Mumbai-based studio, UTV releases including Race, Jodha Akbar and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, grossed $5.48m in the first 28 weeks of the ye
  • International - Cliff scales the heights

    Nine new entries wrestled their way into Screen's international chart this week, with Japan, South Korea, India, Germany, China and France providing new films alongside the big Hollywood blockbusters.Japanese films continue to make their mark with two further entries opening in their home territory this week.Ponyo On The Cliff - Hayao Miyazaki's animated feature about a young boy's relationship with a goldfish princess who longs to be human - jostled its way to nin
  • ISPs back UK government plan on piracy

    Internet service providers (ISPs) in the UK are backing a government anti-piracy plan that follows months of discussion with the film and music industries.The six biggest ISPs are supporting the initiative which will begin with letters being sent to customers whose accounts have been used for illegal downloading and file-sharing.The letters will concentrate on informing customers about the law and the dangers of file-sharing rather than making specific warnings. It will also poi
  • Italy/United Kingdom - It takes three to fandango

    New Italy-UK sales outfit Fandango Portobello Sales made a splash in Cannes this year with Matteo Garrone's Naples-set Mafia drama Gomorrah. The title won the Grand Prix, was one of the most coveted films in the Marche, and one of the few Italian films in recent years to sell worldwide.Overseeing the many deals closed on Gomorrah was Janine Gold, Fandango Portobello's London-based head of international sales and distribution. "As a young company still in its infancy, this
  • iTunes partners with Vue to bring McFly concert to cinemas

    Apple's iTunes Live Festival, a month-long music event in London, is now moving into cinemas.iTunes is working with Vue Cinemas in the UK to do a live link to tonight's one-off performance from McFly at Koko. The concert, 'Larger Than Live,' will be broadcast around the UK to 42 Vue cinemas.The link will use the High Definition technology and 5:1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound.The Koko concert is only for 1,000 competition-winning fans, so a further 10,000 fans will b
  • Japanese box office plummets 13.7% in first half of 2008

    Japanese box office earnings for the first half of 2008 totaled $743.54m (Y79.83bn), a 13.7% drop from the same period last year, according to figures reported by media trade publication Bunka Tsushin.The total comprises grosses of the the top 13 foreign and local distributors in the territory, representing approximately 95% of the market as a whole.The decrease was mainly due to a lack of tentpole pictures from Hollywood. Both Sony Pictures and Walt Disney had surpasse
  • JCVD to kick off Midnight Madness at Toronto

    Jean-Claude Van Damme's comeback contender JCVD will make its international premiere as the opening night film of the Midnight Madness programme at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Muscles from Brussels plays a down-and-out version of himself suddenly thrust into one of his own action films. The late-night cult sidebar features three world premieres, including JT Petty's The Burrowers (US), a
  • Knight clubs the competition with $65.6m international weekend

    The bat ruled the waves as Warner Bros Pictures International's (WBPI) The Dark Knight clobbered the opposition thanks to an estimated $65.6m weekend gross from 43 markets for $126.3m after two weekends.The action epic has grossed 156% of the box office its 2005 prequel Batman Begins generated in the same markets after the same amount of time and 110% of the lifetime total for the same territories.
  • Korean film exportsup by37% in first half of 2008

    The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) hasreported local box office and export figures for the first half of the year, which show that film exports bounced up by 37% to $10.2m, after steep declines since 2005. Sales to North America shot up by 1,740% from $154,500 to $2.84m, mostly due to an increase in the salesof home video rights,and the sales of remake rights to The Chaser and Seven Days to Warner Bros and Summit Entertainment respectively.Asia is still Korea's biggest
  • Korean government to introduce completion bond scheme

    The South Korean government has announced plans for an inaugural completion bond system in order to back the development of local cultural content. In a forum between the ruling Grand National party leaders and officials from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, it was decided that the government would create a system toinsure that selected film productions,backed by banks and other financiers,would be completed and delivered on schedule and within budget.The initial plan f
  • Kori Bernards named media strategist at Universal Pictures

    Universal Pictures has officially confirmed that it has appointed former Motion Picture Association Of America media communications chief Kori Bernards to serve as the studio's media strategist and trade and business press contact.Bernards will start in her new role as senior vice president of media relations on August 4 and reports to executive vice president of publicity Michael Moses. She fills the void left by Stacy Ivers, who is understood to be setting up her own PR business.
  • Lionsgate secures five-year $340m revolving credit facility

    Lionsgate has secured a five-year $340m revolving credit facility with JPMorgan and Wachovia Bank that replaces the previous $215m facility with JPMorgan.'This new facility is another component of Lionsgate's strong balance sheet, a key driver of our growth in the future,' Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns said.'With $371m in cash and cash equivalents at the end of fiscal 2008, no corporate bank debt, long-term sub debt locked in at approximately 3.31% and this new fa
  • Lionsgate signs three-year first-look deal with Tyler Perry

    Lionsgate has signed a three-year first-look deal with Tyler Perry, whose warm-hearted family comedies launched with Diary Of A Mad Black Woman in 2005 and fuelled one of the studio's biggest success stories in recent years.Perry will provide at least three additional films to Lionsgate following the fiscal 2009 release of Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys on September 12 2008 and
  • Locarno adds new films from Francois Rotger, Sean Baker

    New films by Francois Rotger and Sean Baker have been added to Locarno's official selection a week before the festival opens on Aug 6 with Brideshead Revisited on the Piazza Grande.Rotger's French-Canadian co-production StoryOfJen, starring Laurence Leboeuf, Marina Hands and Tony Ward, will screen as a world premiere in the International Competition on Aug 14, bringing the number of Competition films up to 18.The lineup of films in the Filmmakers of the Present
  • Man On Wire takes British feature prize at third BritDoc

    The UK's third BritDoc documentary festival wrapped on Friday (July 25) with James Marsh's Man On Wire continuing its festival awards spree by winning the British Feature Film Documentary Prize.Jerry Rothwell's Heavy Load - a film about a punk band with learning difficulties that was pitched at BritDoc in 2006 - picked up the audience prize.
  • Melbourne fest's financing market and fund to continue

    The government of the Australian state of Victoria brought a smile to the faces of filmmakers attending the opening of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) tonight, by pledging $2.3m (A$2.4m) to extend the life of the festival's investment fund and financing market. 'We were not certain that funding would be renewed,' said Mark Woods, manager of both initiatives, 'and that it was for two years was most definitely happy and surprising news.'The four-day market is run und
  • Morgan Spurlock signs with CAA for representation

    Morgan Spurlock has signed with CAA for representation in all areas.Spurlock's second feature Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden opened in limited release earlier in the year and follows his 2004 Oscar nominated Super Size Me.He is managed by The Arlook Group and attorney John Sloss of Sloss, Eckhouse, Brennan LLP.
  • Mueller digs deep withVenice's worldly offerings

    Venice is aiming widefor its 65th edition,with artistic director Marco Mueller following up 2007's heavily English-language programme with a more geographically diverse, less star-drivenline-up of films from 18 countries. Notably lighter onUS features (and with none solely from the UK), this year's Lido line-up features two Japanese animation masters and four Italian features in the competition section alone.For the full line-up, click here.
  • Naked Of Defenses picks up top prize at Japan's Pia fest

    Japanese director Masahide Ichii's Naked Of Defenses won the Grand Prix at the 30th edition of the Pia Film Festival (PFF), which ran from July 19 to 25 in Tokyo's Shibuya district. A total of 15 films, both feature-length and shorts, were selected to screen in competition from 601 submissions (down from 780 last year).Naked Of Defenses is Ichii's sophomore effort after winning the runner-up prize at 2006's PFF for Dog Days Dream. Ichii was profiled in Scree
  • Netflix closes down Red Envelope Entertainment

    Netflix has closed down its all-rights acquisitions venture Red Envelope Entertainment (REE) and feature production activities, citing a desire to focus on its core business of online distribution.REE's key staff of four including acquisitions and distribution chief Liesl Copland will be moving on.The division bought more than 120 films during its short life, among them the 2007 Palme d'Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days on whi
  • New Projects - Graphic encounters

    Iron Man 2Marvel Studios and Paramount return in 2010 with Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Jon Favreau once again at the helm. Downey Jr has also signed to play Sherlock Holmes, in a project based on a graphic novel, for Warner Bros.The AvengersNo relation to the 1998 film, this is the Marvel superhero tag team which will open through Paramount in 2011. Expect to see Thor and Captain America, who get their own films in 2010 and 2011, teaming up with Iron Man a
  • New York DocuWeek announces first annual lineup of films

    The Betrayal (Nerakhoon), War Child and Flow are among a 14-film lineup that will screen at the International Documentary Association's (IDA) inaugural New York showcase DocuWeek.The event is inspired by DocuWeek's successful and ongoing run in Los Angeles and will give documentaries a chance to qualify for the Oscars. Academy rules stipulate that to be eligible for Oscar consideration, a documentary mu
  • Nigel Osner to start The Tale Of Reverend Jones Aug 11

    Nigel Osner plans an Aug 11 start of shoot in Swansea and Gower for his film The Tale Of The Reverend Jones. Osner also wrote the screenplay, about a Welsh vicar who takes on the Church of England over its views on homosexuality.Jakob Esposito of Welsh Dragon Pictures will executive produce. The low-budget production is privately funded by Welsh Dragon Pictures and Scarlet Cherub Productions.Osner said: 'Owing to the film subject matter it had been simultaneously in dem
  • No One's Son sweeps Croatian national awards

    Arsen Anton Ostojic's No One's Son picked up six of the 16 Golden Arena awards at the 55th Pula Film Festival, including best film, best director and best actor.The crime drama - Ostojic's second feature - about a crippled Croatian soldier in search of his identity also won the Croatian critics' award.The second big winner was Vinko Bresan's Will Not End There which picked up four awards and the audience award.Goran Rusinovic's Buick Riviera
  • North American VOD service Eurocinema lands on DIRECTV

    Eurocinema, the VOD service that offers international features and shorts to the North American market, has signed a carriage deal with DIRECTV.Under the agreement Eurocinema will make its debut on the DIRECTV-on-Demand platform on August 1.Eurocinema's stable of films includes work from Pedro Almodovar, Roman Polanski, Ari Kaurismaki, and Jean Luc Godard.New titles set to debut this summer include Seyyed Reza Mir-Karimi's Iranian Cannes Critics Week winner
  • Not Quite Hollywood

    Dir/Scr: Mark Hartley. Aust. 2008. 98 mins
  • One-To-One with Elizabeth Karlsen

    One-To-One: UK Star Of Tomorrow producer Laura Rees talks to indie producer Elizabeth Karlsen, of Number 9 Films, whose work includes And When Did You Last See Your Father', Ladies In Lavender and How To Lose Friends & Alienate People.Laura Rees: How did you get into the industry'Elizabeth Karlsen: I graduated in a film studies which was more on the academic side of things and then went to New York where I got a jo
  • Online Distribution - The trouble with downloads

    Opinion may be split on whether online downloads are the future of home entertainment but everyone agrees on the key limiting factor to the expansion of downloads: bandwidth."What we're waiting for is broader, more reliable, more ubiquitous bandwidth," says US analyst Roger Kay. "Video as a data type is as much as three orders of magnitude larger than, say, audio files. So a model that works really well in the audio business, like iTunes, so far isn't feasible for video, because to get
  • Online video viewing in Europe doubles since 2006

    The number of Europeans regularly watching online video has doubled since 2006, according to new data from JupiterResearch.The new report finds that 28% of Europeans now regularly watch online video, making it the most popular online media activity.Even with time spent on online video up 50%, TV is not being dramatically impacted. European internet users said they still spend more time watching TV than going online. Jupiter did acknowledge that the TV sector is likely to be chal
  • Oz filmmakers urged to seek different subject matter

    Scripts must reflect big ideas that are unique and engaging, local distributors and potential overseas partners told the Australian and New Zealand filmmakers pitching projects as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival's financing market 37South. While hardly a new or surprising message, it is a crucial one at a time when the support mechanisms and financing structures of both countries are in transition - and it is also a good reminder for independents worldwide in an increasi
  • Palador lines up October release for Tokyo Sonata

    India's Palador Pictures is planning to release Tokyo Sonata by Japanese filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa in October this year. Palador picked up theaward-winning titlefrom Fortissimo Films at this year's Cannes. The Best Film Award in the Asian & Arab category bagged by Tokyo Sonata at the recently concluded Osian's-Cinefan film festival in Delhi has encouraged Palador to go ahead with its release plans.'We are delighted that Tokyo Sonata has won the top honours a
  • PiFan's genre projects market has successful first edition

    The Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF)'s inaugural projects marketwrapped today (July 23), with participants agreeing that it had been an 'energy cluster' of an event. Running concurrently to the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan), the four-day 'It Project'event isAsia's first projects marketto focus specifically on genre films.US director Frank Lin's hip-hop sci-fi project Ø DB took the leading Bucheon Award of KW10m ($9,840). Three more prizes o
  • Production - Armenia - The apricot revolution

    For more than a century, Armenia's main export has been its people: men like MGM investor Kirk Kerkorian, who fled oppression and settled in Russia, France and North America. The country of 3.2 million people began post-Soviet independence in the early 1990s in the throes of a devastating earthquake and at war with its neighbours. Local cinema was no match for the evening news.Now, with the ambitious Golden Apricot International Film Festival (Gaiff) in Yerevan (which took place July 1
  • Profile:UK director Tom Hooper

    In terms of scale, Tom Hooper may never top his recent feat of directing the nine-hour HBO mini-series John Adams.The historical epic shot for 110 days on a budget of $110m, with more than 200 speaking parts. 'It's like my Lord Of The Rings, except I don't have to do CGI armies of orks,' laughs Hooper.The seven-part series has received a whopping 23 Emmy nominations, including one for Hooper as best director for a mini-series, movie or dramatic special. Starring Pa
  • Relativity Media acquires rights to fantasy novel Acacia

    Relativity Media has acquired the rights to David Anthony Durham's fantasy novel Acacia: The War With The Mein.Andrew Grant will adapt the first title of a planned trilogy in the vein of The Lord Of The Rings about children of an ousted king who return to save their land from an evil race.Relativity principal and CEO Ryan Kavanaugh is producing with Michael De Luca. De Luca Productions' Zach
  • Revolver, Warp, Metrodome selected for $1m digital scheme

    The National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts (NESTA) and the UK Film Council have selected the 12 UK businesses to participate in the new Digital Innovation in Film initiative.The $1m programme, announced in March, is jointly run by NESTA and the UKFC and will help small film companies (production, distribution and sales) embrace growth via digital distribution opportunities.The companies selected are:B3 Media (Marc Boothe's digital culture company with
  • Ron Gell's The G-Machine reunites with New Films International

    Ron Gell and his production and sales company G-Machine have reunited with Nesim Hason's financing New Films International (NFI).Gell will handle worldwide acquisitions for NFI and The G-Machine and the companies will collaborate on acquisitions and sales.G-Machine, which launched in January and built up a roster including Spiros Stathoulopoulas' Cannes 2007 Directors Fortnight entry PVC-1 and the thriller
  • Samantha Morton to direct drama for UK's Channel 4

    Actress Samantha Morton will make her directorial debut on a Channel 4 television drama, The Unloved.The drama is a Channel 4 production with co-finance from regional screen agency EM Media through the European Regional Development Fund.The story is about a young girl growing up in a children's home.Morton plans to shoot The Unloved in her home town of Nottingham in autumn 2008 with casting ongoing. Channel 4 is planning a 2004 airing.Morton worke
  • San Sebastian announces more Official Selection titles

    San Sebastian has announced that international directors Javier Fesser, Hirkazu Kore-eda, Samira Makhmalbaf, Michael Winterbottom, Belen Macias and Yesim Ustaoglu will be showing their latest films in Official Selection at this year's festival.They will join an already impressive list of film makers, including Christophe Honore, Kim Ki-Duk, Daniel Burman and local favourite Jaime Rosales.British director Michael Winterbottom returns to competition at the festival for the third t
  • Sarajevo competition to include Blaz Kutin world premiere

    The 14th Sarajevo Film Festival (Aug 15-23) has announced its feature and short films competition. The 10 features competing include one world premiere - Slovenian Blaz Kutin's We've Never Been To Venice -plus seven international premieres.The Focus programme will feature the most awarded films from the region: Romanian Radu Muntean's Boogie, Greek Thanos Anasthopulos's Correction, Austrian Gotz Spielmann's Revanche, Turkish Seyfi Teoman's Summer Book
  • Schmid stirs up Storm with Berlin shoot starting today

    Shooting begins in Berlin today for German filmmaker Hans-Christian Schmid's first major international English-language project Storm (Sturm) [working title] with a cast including Kerry Fox, Anamaria Marinca, Stephen Dillane, Rolf Lassgard and Alexander Fehling.Fox plays a prosecutor at the war tribunal for ex-Yugoslavia in The Hague who is trying to persuade a witness, a Bosnian woman living in Berlin (4 Months star Marinca), to come to the court to give evi
  • Screen opinion: The future is unwritten

    A journalist on one of those pretentious radio programmes that podcasts have brought back into the mainstream was this week interviewing a pointy-headed intellectual about the nature of inevitability.The intrepid hack, clearly out of his depth, threw in what he imagined would be a trump card - that old maxim about death and taxes being the only certainties - to which he received a wearily dismissive reply: 'Oh, I'm sure we'll have dealt with both of those in the next 50 years.'T
  • Seoul's CinDi fest increases prize money, unveils line-up

    The 2nd Cinema Digital Seoul Film Festival (CinDi 2008) has announced its full line-up which will include competition films from last year's top award-winners Yu Guangyi and Woo Ming Jin - each bringing their second and third films Survival Song and Days Of The Turquoise Sky, respectively. The Invitation Section for more established directors includes 11 films such as Tonino De Bernardi's Venice entry Medea Miracle, the world premiere of Zhang Lu's Chongqing, a
  • Shine Group, New Regency team for new UK-based Shine Pictures

    UK-based Shine Group and US producer-distributor New Regency have formed Shine Pictures, a UK-based company that will develop and produce broad commercial films for the global marketplace.Shine Group CEO and chairman Elisabeth Murdoch and New Regency's co-chairmen Bob Harper and Hutch Parker will head the jointly owned venture while Shine's wholly owned subsidiary Kudos Pictures led by Paul Webster and Stephen Garrett, will run the venture for Shine in London.Shine Pictur
  • Sierk promoted to deputy role in acquisitions/sales at Telepool

    Thomas Sierk has been named deputy head of acquisitions & sales for German-speaking territories at Telepool.He reports to the division's new head Yoko Higuchi-Zitzmann, who takes her post as of January 2009.Sierk is a law graduate who has worked at Telepool since 2003.Higuchi-Zitzmann said: 'In Thomas Sierk I have found the ideal candidate to serve as my deputy. He brings to the position wide experience in film licensing, has an excellent network and is familiar with the
  • SK Telecom, Hanaro invest in new production fund

    South Korean mobile telecommunications operator SK Telecom, and its recently acquired subsidiary Hanaro Telecom, are investing $10m in the Benex Culture Contents Investment Fund. The new fund will invest a total of $25.1m in local films and TV drama series over seven years, starting this August.SK and Hanaro are putting in $5m each, while Korea Fund of Funds is investing $7.5m, Benex Investment $5.1m, and Asia Star is adding $2.5m.The fund was created for investment and dist
  • Step Brothers

    Dir: Adam McKay . US. 2008. 95 mins.Playing like an overlong DVD version of one of his earlier, funnier, PG-13 films, the R-rated Step Brothers finds Will Ferrell diving into raunchier, coarser terrain, resulting in a movie that feels helplessly in thrall to its own foul language and sex jokes. Sporadically hilarious but as dim-witted and juvenile as its knuckle-headed title characters, Step Brothers seems to indicate that Ferrell and writer-d
  • Studio Babelsberg hopes 2008 will be as strong as last year

    Studio Babelsberg is optimistic that this year's operations will generate comparable results to 2007 which was the most successful financial year since the production complex's privatisation in 1992.Last year, the group's consolidated turnover had jumped from $25.6m (Euros 16.4m) in 2006 to $135.9m (Euros 87.1m) last year with a positive result of $9.3m (Euros 6m).Speaking to the German press agency dpa this week, Studio Babelsberg's President and CEO Carl Woebcken said that he
  • Studio Ghibli's Ponyo claims Japanese summer box office crown

    As expected, director Hayao Miyazaki's latest animated feature Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea claimed the number one spot atJapan's box office over the three-day holiday weekend (July 19-21), earning $14.84m (Y1.58bn) on 1.25 million (1,251,207) admissions Distributor Toho opened the Studio Ghibli film on 481 screens, the widest ever releasefor a local film, for a $30,867 (Y3.28m) per screen average over the three days.In comparison to Miyazaki's all-time Japan box office cha
  • Studios parade 2008 and 09 blockbusters at Comic-Con

    Sam Raimi will commence exploratory work this week on a new instalment in his iconic Evil Dead series, the director told Comic-Con attendees.Speaking after he unveiled footage from his upcoming horror release Drag Me To Hell, a back-to-roots exercise following the grand scale of the Spider-Man franchise, Raimi said he and his brother Ivan would start to flesh out a
  • Sundance Institute names 2008 Annenberg Film Fellows

    The Sundance Institute has selected seven film-makers as its 2008 Annenberg Film Fellows, each of whom will receive a living stipend or grant to nurture their projects.The Fellows and their projects are: Fellipe Barbosa with Casa Grande; Frank Budgen with Shockheaded Peter; Daniel Casey with Poletown; John Magary with Blood Abund
  • Sundance names documentary film-makers for Aug lab

    The Sundance Documentary Composers and Story Lab has named the seven film-makers and six composers invited to the lab Aug 3-8 at the Sundance Resort in Utah.The lab, which will explore the creative process in sound and story and the role of film music in nonfiction storytelling, is a collaboration between the Sundance Institute's documentary film programme and its film music programmeThe documentary film fesllows are:Natalia Almada (director/editor) and Daniel
  • Thai star Tony Jaa goes missing from Ong Bak sequel

    Thai film studio Sahamongkol held a press conference in Bangkok on Friday (July 25) to confirm that Ong Bak star Tony Jaa has been missing for the past two months. The martial arts star was directing and starring in the sequel to 2003 hit Ong Bak when he disappeared. However, Sahamongkol president Somsak Techaratanapraset told local reporters that the film would still be finished in time for its December release in Thailand.Although Jaa's exact whereabouts are unknown
  • The American stream - Leading download sites in the US

    Amazon UnboxThe big beast of internet shopping stepped into the movie downloading business when it set up Unbox in late 2006. It now boasts more than 5,000 movies for US users to rent or buy, though customers need to download its video-playing software. Rentals are mostly $3.99 and most purchases are priced at $14.99. Amazon has also teamed with Sony to launch a VoD service through Sony Bravia Internet Video Link.Apple iTunesFresh from transforming the global music indust
  • The Bat lands in major markets including UK, Italy

    The Dark Knight will have to contend with the first wave of launches for Fox International's The X-Files: I Want To Believe this weekend but should have the muscle to come out on top.The comic book adaptation could sweep past $100m this weekend through Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI) as it touches down in several major markets.Already a record holder in North America, where it reache
  • The Critical View - War of words

    The argument about possessory credits and the creative heft of the screenwriter is almost as old as the film industry itself.It predates the squabble between Herman Mankiewicz and Orson Welles over the writing credit on Citizen Kane - which the director wanted all for himself; it underpinned the on-set shouting matches between Frances Marion (the highest paid writer of the 1920s) and MGM honcho Irving Thalberg; it was already bubbling under in the 1910s, when writers' contracts
  • The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life (Le premier jour du reste de ta vie)

    Dir. Remi Bezancon. Fr, 2008. 114 min
  • The X-Files: I Want To Believe

    Dir. Chris Carter US. 2008. 104 mins. Six years after the end of the long-running TV series - and ten after the first movie spin-off -- writer-director Chris Carter and stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson re-open the X Files with a nicely dark and dense supernatural thriller which Fox hopes can tap into a new audience for the much-loved sci-fi/mystery/horror franchise. The X Files: I Want To Believe should satisfy fans of the original se
  • Theo Angelopoulos pulls Dust of Time from Venice

    Just one day before theVenice Film Festival announces its line-up (Tuesday), one of the most eagerly-awaited world premieres, Theo Angelopoulos' Dust of Time has been pulled from the selection.The decision by the Greek auteur and his producers came after screenings slots could not be found that would have allowed leading actorsin the film to be present at the premiere. The film stars Willem Dafoe, Irene Jacob and Bruno Ganz.
  • Three And Out gets simultaneous DVD/VOD launch

    Sky Television and Worldwide Bonus Entertainment have struck a deal to release UK feature Three And Out simultaneously on DVD and Sky Box Office.Three And Out will be offered on Sky Box Office and Sky's online VOD service for a four-month window priced around $8 per viewing.The DVD retail and rental release will be offered on the same day, Sept 15.With its UK theatrical release in April, Three And Out caused controversy (but not huge box-office
  • TIFF unveils 20 world premiere documentaries

    The Toronto International Film Festival has announced 25 world premieres in its line-up of documentaries screening across various programmes. Among the debuts screening in the Real To Reel programme are An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim's It Might Get Loud, a celebration of the electric guitar featuring three virtuosos, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, U2's The Edge and Jack White of The White Stripes; Robert Kenner's
  • Tropic Thunder

    Dir. Ben Stiller. US. 2008. 106 mins
  • UK post company Concrete adds another Dean Street location

    London-based post-production house Concrete is adding a new outpost, formerly known as The Facility, located at 62 Dean Street.Concrete has expanded to encompass the new space as well as its existing premises at 34-35 Dean Street. Both operations will now be known as Concrete.The expansion will allow Concrete to work with clients of both companies giving them more facilities and technology (such as another 5.1 Pro-tools audio suite.The Facility directors Alex Goodes, Jaso
  • United Kingdom - Mother Care

    Shane Meadows' Somers Town, after much praise at the Berlinale and awards at Tribeca and Edinburgh, has had an unusual path to screen. The genesis of the project was not with a seasoned writer or director, but from famed advertising agency Mother.Ad legend Robert Saville, one of the founders of the agency known for its campaigns for Orange, Pimm's, Pot Noodle and Coca-Cola, says the company had considered a move into film and other types of content for several years. "(Rail comp
  • United States - Docs Under The Microscope

    Cara Mertes, director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program (DFP), is an award-winning former executive producer of PBS's documentary showcase P.O.V. who knows only too well how unforgiving the non-fiction arena can be. For every Michael Moore, Morgan Spurlock and Alex Gibney there are thousands of film-makers whose stories will struggle to see the light of day.Mertes recently presided over the Documentary Edit and Story Lab (a part of DFP's year-round support initi
  • Universal to partner with TWC on Inglorious Bastards

    The Weinstein Company and Universal are nearing a deal to partner on the release of Quentin Tarantino's World War II drama Inglorious Bastards.Sources stressed the deal points had not been concluded at time of writing, however it is understood TWC would handle the North American release and Universal would oversee the international roll-out through UPI.Tarantino and Harvey Weinstein met with five US majors last week on the director'
  • US distribution - Seismic shift in specialty landscape

    Some independent players see it as a 'healthy correction', others as a 'turning point'. One company chief recently suggested, in a Los Angeles Film Festival speech whose words have ricocheted around the indie community, 'the sky really is falling'.However you describe it, what has happened to the US independent industry in the last few months has raised big questions about its future, and the future of the specialised distribution sector that over the past decade has pushed the profile
  • US PGA signs cooperation agreement with Spanish Producers Group

    The Producers Guild Of America's (PGA) international committee has signed a deal with the Spanish Producers Association (FAPAE) following months of talks.The semi-formal arrangement will allow PGA and FAPAE members to exchange information and ideas and seek assistance on projects.The international committee recently signed similar agreements with Jordan, Denmark, Singapore and The Philippines, in addition to New Zealand, India and the Czech Republic.The PGA is
  • US-Korean co-production The Wedding Palace to shoot in Oct

    Arclight Films has acquired international sales rights to the US-South Korea family comedy The Wedding Palace, which is set to begin filming in Koreatown, Los Angeles, and Seoul, South Korea, in October.USC Cinema School alumnus Christine Yoo makes her directorial debut on the project, which is backed by official sponsorship from Hyundai Motor America, Jinro, Tous Les Jours, the Korea Tourism Organisation and the Koreatown Youth And Community C
  • Venice competition includes Aronofsky, Arriaga, Kitano, Ozpetek

    The 65th Venice Film Festival has unveiled its programme this morning.CompetitionThe Wrestler, dir. Darren Aronofsky (US)The Burning Plain, dir. Guillermo Arriaga (US)Il papa di Giovanna, dir. Pupi Avati (Italy)BirdWatchers, dir. Marco Bechis (Italy)L'Autre, dirs. Patrick Mario Bernard & Pierre Trividic (France)The Hurt Locker, dir. Kathryn Bigelow (US)Il seme della disc
  • Venice Critics' Week to screen debut of Gomorrah co-writer

    The 23rd edition of Critics' Week, at the 65th edition of the Venice Film Festival, will include seven world premieres in competition.The programme, unveiled today by the Italian FIlm Critic's Union, spans the globe from Turkey, Bosnia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, France, Italy and China. All are first films.Highlights include the debut feature directed by Gianni Di Gregorio, who co-wrote Cannes hit Gomorrah. Di Gregorio's Pranzo di Ferragosto (literal translation: M
  • Venice Days premieres include Aprahamian's Broken Lines

    Czech director Bohdan Slama's A Country Teacher (VenkovskyUcitel) will have its international premiere at this year's Venice Dayssidebar, which is heavy on European and Eastern European films in thisyear's edition.A Country Teacher, sold by Wild Bunch, tells the story of a brilliantprofessor who moves to the Bohemian countryside in order to escapepainful memories of a badly ended love affair as well as hide from hisown homosexuality
  • Virtual world VizWoz scores major studio film content

    UK virtual community VizWoz, popular with kids and teens, has signed on some key film content partners.The VizWoz virtual cinema includes content from Paramount, Walt Disney, Universal and Twentieth Century Fox.The studios will promote their summer blockbusters with previews, film clips, trailers and interviews.Films promoted in the community include Wild Child, Wall-E, Meet Dave and Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.The Viz Cinem
  • Ward's Rain Of The Children wins at Era New Horizons

    Poland's Era New Horizons Film Festival in Wroclaw has given its Grand Prix to Rain Of The Children.New Zealand director Vincent Ward's film is described as 'an intimate docufiction,' telling the story of the film-maker's own interest in the turbulent life story of an old Maori woman. Other films in the competition included My Winnipeg, Delta and Jesus Christ Saviour.Tomasz Wolski's The Goldfish took the international jury's award for best film
  • Warner's Knight crosses $300m in record time in North America

    The Dark Knight demolition derby continued apace as Warner Bros' world-beating action epic grossed an estimated $75.6m to set a new second weekend record and crossed $300m in another new mark of 10 days.Christopher Nolan's phenomenon currently stands at $314.2m and trails Iron Man by a whisker as the second biggest domestic release of the year. Warner Bros distribution chief Dan Fellman said the film may
  • Young people's charity launches competition for six shorts

    Get Connected, a UK charity to provide help for young people, is launching Nobody's Perfect, a new website for young writers, actors and film directors.Aspiring film-makers aged 16-25 can submit films, scripts or music to be shown to professionals in the industry. The site will have a contest to produce six short films to address issues including self-harm and bullying.Judges for entries will include producer Nick O'Hagan (Fever Pitch, Tideland).'I'm always on th

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