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29 May 2006

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  • 24th Outfest to open with Puccini on July 6

    Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian FilmFestival, will kick off its 24th edition on July 6 with MariaMaggenti's comedy Puccini For Beginners and close on July 17 with Spanish musical 20 Centimeters directed by Ramon Salazar.Among the other gala screenings are Q Allan Brocka's BoyCulture which will play on AwardsNight, Ju
  • Artificial Eye nabs four more from Cannes

    UK distributor Artificial Eye has announced a number of acquisitions from Cannes. The company has the UK rights to Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Climates (Iklimler) and Paulo Sorrentino'sThe Friend OfThe Family (L'Amico Di Famiglia), which both played in competition. Climateswon the FIP
  • Artificial Eye nabs four more from Cannes

    UK distributor Artificial Eye has announced a number of acquisitions from Cannes. The company has the UK rights to Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Climates (Iklimler) and Paulo Sorrentino'sThe Friend OfThe Family (L'Amico Di Famiglia), which both played in competition. Climateswon the FIPRESCI prize.
  • Babel

    Asingle gun shot reverberates around the world in Babel, unexpectedly uniting disparate lives in Morocco, Mexico and Japan.
  • Beta does brisk sales for The Lives Of Others

    Beta Cinema had itsbest-ever Cannes Market this year with Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's Stasi thriller TheLives Of Others (Das Leben Der Anderen) now sold to 30countries.Apart from selling NorthAmerican rights to Sony Picture Classics, Beta concluded deals on the film withsuch distributors as Japan (New Select), France (Ocean Films), Spain (AltaFilm), Scandinavia (Sandrew Metronome), Benelux (ABC/Cinemien) and Australia (Hopscotch), with negotiations int
  • Brian Robertson named chair of FACT

    The Federation Again Copyright Theft (FACT) in the UK has appointed Brian Robertson as its chairman, effective immediately.He replaces Marek Antoniak of Sony Pictures, who recently resigned from the post after serving for 11 years. Robertson has held senior UK and European finance positions at Sony Pictures Entertainment and is current chair of the FACT finance committee. He was voted in unanimously at the FACT board meeting on May 24. "I would personally like to t
  • Cannes Market attendance up 6% over 2005

    The Cannes Film Market hasannounced final figures for this year's edition with a strong increase in Asianpresence.In total, 91 came to themarket with 10,061 professionals registered for a global rise of 6% over 2005. Asian participation was at a high with notable increases from China (82 participants vs.41 last year), India (131 part
  • Cannes selections top BFI festival sales

    BavariaFilm International (BFI) finished this year's Cannes by announcing numeroussales for Stefan Krohmer's Directors' Fortnight film Summer '04and Norwegian Jens Lien's International Critics' Week title The BothersomeMan.
  • Chapman to head UK Film Council's LA office

    The UK Film Council has appointed Claire Chapman as executivedirector of the UKFC's Los Angeles office.She takes over for Susan Finlayson-Sitch, who is leaving the post after six years to return tothe UK.Chapman is a producer whohad recently served as head of production and development for Scottish Screen,working on films including
  • Cinema Expo award goes to Francis Veber

    CinemaExpo International will present this year's lifetime achievement award toFrench director, producer and writer Francis Veber. Veber will be presented with his award at theconference's awards ceremony on June 29. Gaumontchairman Nicolas Seydoux will present him with theaward."CinemaExpo is honoured to pay tribute to such a well-known figure of both French andinternational cinema," said Mitch Neuhauser,co-managing director of the annual convention. "Veberhas crafted stories w
  • Da Vinci beats X-Men in international arena

    The Da Vinci Code fought off competition from newwide release X-Men: The Last Stand to stay dominant in the internationalmarketplace this weekend. The Sony thriller held up impressively with anestimated gross of $92.8m, while the Fox comic book sequel opened with a strong but not quite strong enough $76.1m. In its second weekend, Da Vinci, from Sony PicturesReleasing International (SPRI), was down a modest 40% from its record-breakinginternational opening haul of $
  • Da Vinci holds well in international arena

    The Da Vinci Code maintained much of its allure inthe international marketplace this weekend, in spite of competition from newultra-wide release X-Men: The Last Stand. The X-Men sequel -- which had a record-breaking $107mNorth American debut and opened day-and-date in 95 other territories - couldstill emerge as the international marketplace's biggest performer: distributorFox International delayed issuing international figures until Monday,apparently because of the
  • EEAP signs licensing deal with The Weinstein Company

    Berlin-based licensing and distribution company EasternEuropean Acquisition Pool (EEAP) has struck a licensing agreement with TheWeinstein Company for exclusive rights to distribute a group of 15 WeinsteinCompany films in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary
  • EEAP's Cannes buys include Saw III and My Blueberry Nights

    Berlin-based EasternEuropean Acquisition Pool (EEAP) went on a shopping spree at last week's CannesFilm Market, picking up titles from Lionsgate, 2929Entertainment, Studio Canaland Darclight for East European territories.After having a huge successreleasing Saw II earlier this year inPoland, the Baltic states,
  • Flandres

    War isgrim; so is life in rural Flanders. That'sthe message most audiences are going to take from Brun
  • Gold Circle grabs remake rights to Russian horror picture

    Gold Circle Films has optioned English-language remake rights fromCentral Partnership to Dead Daughters based on Pavel Ruminov's upcoming Russian horror picture.
  • Huayi Brothers' Matrimony wraps in Shanghai

    Teng Hua-tao's The Matrimony (working title), producedby Beijing-based Huayi Brothers Film Investment, has wrapped after a two-monthshoot in Shanghai.Starring Leon Lai (Seven Swords) and Rene Liu (A World Without Thieves), the $2.5m filmis a supernatural thriller set in 1930s Shanghai. The story follows a recently-wed couple whosemarriage is in trouble because the groom is obses
  • IFP Market adds cash documentary prizes

    IFP has announced the first cash prizes for the IFP Market.IFP and The Fledgling Fund are presenting $20,000 in new cash awards to documentaryfilmmakers during the 28th annual IFP Market in New York from September17-21. The two juried awards of $10,000 will go to film
  • IFTA conference to discuss new platforms & formats

    The introduction of newdistribution technologies and content formats will be subject of the 8thannual Production Conference to be hosted by The Independent Film &Television Alliance (IFTA) on June 16 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.Opening with a keynote from ByronAllen, the chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios, the event will revolvearound two core panel discussions: "Is Filmed Entertainment Entering a NewGolden Age' The Perspective of the New Players", followed by "How WillProducers
  • IMG to buy UK production company Tiger Aspect

    IMG Media has struck a deal to acquire London-based production company TigerAspect Group, including its subsidiaries Tigress, US-based TTP and film division TigerAspect Pictures. Termsof the deal weren't released, but IMG Media will finance theacquisition with capital from its US-based parent company IMG. Thisdeal follows IM
  • Italian distributors close Cannes deals

    Domenico Procacci'sFandango is ramping up its upcoming distribution slate with several newacquisitions, including two Cannes competition titles.Rome-basedFandango has snapped up Italian distribution rights to Cannes jury prize winner, Red Road. Sold by Trust Film Sales, Andrea Arnold'sdrama is the first of
  • Keaton to star in Kalvert's Reaper for Media 8

    Michael Keaton has joined the cast of Media 8 Entertainment's supernaturalthriller Reaper.
  • Ken Loach shakes the favourites to win the Palme D'Or

    In aceremony full of surprises, Ken Loach's TheWind That Shakes The Barley won the Palme d'Or 2006. The film had been very warmly received but seemedout of the running after the screening of the Spanish-language crowd pleasers Volver and Babel.But the jury was unanimous in i
  • LAFF to open with The Devil Wears Prada

    A line-up of more than 250 features and shorts - including 19 world premieres andseven US premieres - has been announced for Film Independent's 2006 Los AngelesFilm Festival (June 22 to July 2).David Frankel's comedy The Devil Wears Prada (set for US releaseby 20th Century Fox on June 30) will be the festival's opening night film onJune 22. Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland'sfamily drama Quinceanera(Sony
  • Ledger, Weisz set to make Dirt Music with Noyce

    Heath Ledger and RachelWeisz have agreed to play the star-crossed lovers in an adaptation of the TimWinton novel Dirt Music, to bedirected by Phillip Noyce on home soil from March 2007.Weisz won the Academy Award forbest actress this year for The ConstantGardener - and had her first childyesterday - while the homegrown Ledger was nominated for Brokeback Mountain."We have an agreement thatHanway will sell the film as they did so successfully with Rabbit Pr
  • Magnolia strikes US deal for Severance

    Magnolia Pictures has takenUS rights for Severance, sold by HanWay Films during the Cannes Market. The horror-comedy isdirected by Creep's Christopher Smithand stars Danny Dyer and Laura Harris.The plot follows an armscompany that sends its sales division to a weekend retreat in Eastern Europe, where they are attacked by war-crazed soldiers. "Severance had me alternately laughing my ass off and gripping theseat handles in suspen
  • Maverick marks debut Cannes with sales surge

    US-based MaverickEntertainment Group concluded a successful Cannes with deals in Eastern andWestern Europe and Latin America through international arm Maverick Global onseven key titles.Mafia story This Thing Of Oursstarring James Caan sold to Romania, Brazil, Chile, Turkey, and Benelux.Action thriller Carlita's Secretstarring Eva Longoria went to Mexico and all of Latin America, as well as theCzech Republic, former Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Slovenia.Comed
  • MGM adds Weinstein trio to release slate

    Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studioshas added three new titles to its 2006-2007 North American theatrical releaseslate, all of them supplied by The Weinstein Company, which will oversee theirmarketing.The first of these MGMreleases will be Bobby, EmilioEstevez' account of the night that Robert F. Kennedy was gunned down at theAmbassador Hotel in 1968. It is slated for release on Nov 22, for theThanksgiving holiday.Written, directed andstarring Estevez, the ensemble drama also feat
  • MGM splits with Sony for home video business

    Aspart of ongoing business changes, MGM is severing some of itsties with Sony. MGM will no longer split itshome entertainment business between Sony Pictures Entertainment and 20th CenturyFox and will instead only work with Fox. The move is especially notable because Sony led the consortium that acquired MGM in 2005.It'snot a total split with Sony, however. The change won't impact Sony's distribution of thefort
  • Miramax acquires Waititi's Eagle vs. Shark

    MiramaxFilms has acquired the North American rights to comedy Eagle vs. Shark, the debut feature from TaikaWaititi, previously nominated for an Oscar for his shortTwo Cars One Night.Eagle vs. Shark stars New Zealand actors LorenHorsley and Jemaine Clement in the story of two misfitssearching for acceptance. It was shot on location in and around Wellington and is in post-productionnow. Waititi developed the project
  • MySpace teams with Bside, Right Angle to launch touring US film and music fest

    Hugely successful lifestyleportal MySpace is teaming with specialized independent film distributor BsideEntertainment and festival consultant Right Angle Studios to launch the BsideRoadshow, a touring US film and music festival which will begin on June 4 inAustin, Texas.The festival will travel tocollege towns like Ann Arbor, Minneapolis, Madison, Philadelphia, Boulder,Portland and Boston, presenting a short and feature film at each venue as wellas a series of regional MySpace bands.
  • Nic Roeg to present masterclass at Screenwriters Festival

    The first InternationalScreenwriters Festival, scheduled for June 27-30 in Cheltenham, has added a masterclass with Nicolas Roeg and Allan Scott, director and screenwriter of classic Don't Look Now. The pair will screen theirfilm Cold Heaven and discuss their collaborativerelationship. Other speakers confirmed forthe inaugural event include producer Kevin Loader and writer Olivia Hetreed on the art of adapting; screenwriter Jimmy McGov
  • Outfest to open with Puccini For Beginners

    Outfest 2006, which runs in nine venues in Los Angeles from July 6-17, will screen 207 shortsand features from 25 countries during its 24th event. The opening nightgala film is Puccini ForBeginners and the Spanish musical 20Centimeters (20 Centimetros) will close thefestival. The awards nightfilm is Allan Brocka's Boy Culture. Centerpiece films are Julian Hernandez's Broken Sky (El CieloDivid
  • Palm Pictures acquires Cannes hit Ten Canoes

    PalmPictures has acquired the North American rights to Rolf de Heer'sTen Canoes. Thefilm, co-directed by Peter Djigirr, won the specialjury prize after premiering in Un Certain Regard in Cannes. Ten Canoes, billed as the first moviein the Aboriginal language, was made in collaboration with the People of Ramingining. Richard Birrinbirrin,David Gulpilil and Jamie Gulpililstar in the story of a young warrior living in mythic
  • Pan's Labyrinth (El Laberinto Del Fauno)

    Dir: Guillermo del Toro. Spain / Mexico.2006. 112 mins
  • Picturehouse wins US rights to La Vie En Rose

    New Line/HBO joint venturePicturehouse has acquired US rights to the hotly sought after Cannes markettitle La Vie En Rose, the biopicof Edith Piaf which stars Marion Cotillard as Piaf and Gerard Depardieu as LouisLeplee. The film follows Piaf's risefrom the slums of Paris to the limelight of New York all the while strugglingwith relationships with some of the time's most famous names.The deal was concluded atCannes with TF1 International. Acting for Picturehouse were Sara
  • Poseidon starts major-market international cruise

    Poseidon, United 93 and RV all maketheir major-market international debuts this weekend in the relative quietafter the successive worldwide launches of The Da Vinci Code and X-Men:The Last Stand. Unlike the two blockbusters that have dominated theinternational marketplace since mid-May, the new entrants - each with somethingto prove outside North America - are beginning in just a handful ofterritories, though there will be head-to-head contests in the
  • Projects set to shoot from strong Cannes Atelier

    The Cannes Film Festival's filmmakers' workshop known as the Atelier hasannounced great success from its second edition. Aspiring filmmakers met with industry professionals from 19 countrieswho helped to set projects up with financing.More than 450 meetings were held this year with eight films set to nowshoot between July and October 2006. Nine others will go before the cameras in spring2007. Each of the films has now reached a level of financing which willfa
  • Sales rack up for 12 :08 East Of Bucharest

    Sales agent The CoproductionOffice has announced strong sales on its Camera d'Orwinner 12:08 East Of Bucharest by Romanian director Corneliu Porumbiou.The film, which was also awarded the Europa Cinemas Label in Cannes,stars Mircea Andreescu, Teo Corban and Ion Sapdaru.Sales were made to IstitutoLuce in
  • Santa Barbara festival starts Kirk Douglas award

    TheSanta Barbara International Film Festival has announced plans to inaugurate itsnew Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film with a presentation to Douglasthis summer.Thefestival will present Douglaswith the new award at a black-tie gala on July 30. The award is expected to begi
  • Selon Charlie

    Tomake another Short Cuts without the spirit of Raymond Carver and the touch of Robert Altman isjust too much of a challenge for this darkly handsome but overlong,melodramatic and ultimately tedious Cannes competition effort, which pretendsto discuss the mystery of human nature, using an
  • Soda acquires Bier's After The Wedding

    UK distributor Soda Pictures has acquired three new titles from Cannes2006: Susanne Bier's After TheWedding, Brice Cauvin's Hotel Harabati,and Kelly Reichardt's Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt). Trust Film sold After The Wedding, Bier's follow-up to Brothers, which Soda released in 2005. Films Distribution sold Hotel Harabati,which premiered at the Berlinale.
  • Sono's Circus scores Cannes US deal with TLA

    Philadelphia-based TLAReleasing has acquired North American theatrical and home entertainment rightsto Sion Sono's Japanese shocker Strange Circus. It is the seond Sono film in TLA's library after SuicideClub which is featured in thecompany's upcoming "Danger After Dark" box set.TLA bought the film fromJapan's Sedic International; the deal was negotiated at Cannes by TLA partnerand director of acquisitions Richard A Wolff and Richard Jeffery on behalf ofSedic. It will be
  • Sullivan plans modern take on The Magic Flute

    FollowingKenneth Branagh's UK adaptation of The Magic Flute, which is inpost-production now, Canadian producers Sullivan Entertainment are planningtheir own feature based on the classic opera. Thisversion is set during Mozart's 250th birthday celebrations in contemporary Salzburg, where a young singer is castin the lead of a production of The MagicFlute and becomes
  • Sweden shuts down file swappers The Pirate Bay

    Swedish authorities haveshut down The Pirate Bay, a file-swapping site that had been used for onlinepiracy of films, music, software and games. The Pirate Bayhas more than one million users as a BitTorrent "tracker"site. The film industry had filed a criminal complaint in Sweden against the site in November 2004. Theshut-down involv
  • Tartan takes US rights to Election and Election 2

    TartanUSA has acquired all US rights to Jonnie To's Election and Election 2from Celluloid Dreams. Bothfilms played in official selection in Cannes, the first in 2005 andthe sequel this year. Thedeal was brokered by Charlotte Mickie for CelluloidDreams and Tartan USA acquisitio
  • The Singer (Quand J'Etais Chanteur)

    Sadsongs say so much in The Singer, an unashamedlysentimental love story that features one of Gerard Depardieu's most fully-realisedand endearing performances in recent years.
  • The Singer (Quand J'Etais Chanteur)

    Sadsongs say so much in The Singer, an unashamedlysentimental love story that features one of Gerard Depardieu's most fully-realisedand endearing performances in recent years.
  • The Singer (Quand J'Etais Chanteur)

    Sadsongs say so much in Quand j'Etais Chanteur, an unashamedlysentimental love story that features one of Gerard Depardieu's most fully-realisedand endearing performances in recent years.
  • Toei reports record-breaking Cannes sales figures

    Japanese major Toei hasreported that it closed around $650,000 (Y73.4m) in sales during Cannes, marking the highest sales figures from a singlemarket in the company's 55-year history.The company, which had astrong slate featuring talent such as Ken Watanabe and director Kenta Fukasaku,expects to close a further $440,000 (Y50m) in sales following negotiations at Cannes. Among the deals closed
  • UIP signs with Intercontinental for Hong Kong and Macau

    Hong Kong's Intercontinental Film Distributorshas signed an agreement with United International Pictures (UIP) for theatricaldistribution of its slate in Hong Kong and Macau. UIP previously worked with distribution and exhibition group GoldenHarvest to releas
  • UKFC, Pathe and BBC start new development fund

    Pathe and BBC Films areworking with the UK Film Council's Development Fund to launch a new fund todevelop film projects. The parties have committed aminimum of $560,000 (£300,000) for the fund's first 12 months - $280,000 (£150,000)from the UK Film Council and $140,000 (£75,000) each from BBC Films and Pathe. The fund is tied to butseparate from the UKFC's previously announced superslate funding.The new fund,
  • UK's Aquarius adds international partners

    Aquarius Film is goingglobal. The London-based financing and production outfit is setting up AquariusWorld Wide, a new venture with partners from Australia, South Africa, Italy, Austria, Bel
  • Universal plans new VeggieTales film

    UniversalPictures is planning an early 2008 worldwide launch for the next VeggieTales film. CG animated feature The Pirates Who Don'tDo Anything - A VeggieTales Movie is being developedwith family media company Big Idea and the franchise's creative team of Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki. Nawrocki will direct based on a script by Vischer, who will serve as executive producer through hiscompany Jellyfish Labs. Big Idea's David Pitts will produce. The2002 project Jonah-A VeggieTale
  • Volver tops Screen's Cannes critics poll

    Ken Loach'sThe Wind That Shakes TheBarley may have captured the Palme d'Or, but by a notable margin Screen International's juryof critics voted Pedro Almodovar's Volver as thebest film in Cannes competition. Volver lead the pack of 20 competition titles with a 3.4 average (out of amaximum 4), followed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu'sBabel with 2.9, NuriBilge Ceylan's Iklimler with 2.8, Guillermo DelToro's
  • Wedding Night success tops Rai Trade Cannes sales

    RaiTrade, the Rome-based international sales outfit has sealed a host ofsales on its Cannes slate.Pupi
  • X-Men makes mighty stand with $107m US debut

    X-Men: The Last Stand grossed an estimated$107m at the North American box office over the weekend, becoming the fourthbiggest US opener in history and the biggest ever over the Memorial Day holidayweekend.
  • X-Men makes mighty stand with $107m US debut

    X-Men: The Last Stand grossed an estimated$107m at the North American box office over the weekend, becoming the fourthbiggest US opener in history and the biggest ever over the Memorial Day holidayweekend.