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Screen
29 October 2002

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  • 13th Stockholm International film festival unveils line-up

    The Stockholm International Film Festival has unveiled the full line-up of its 13th edition, to be held November 14-24. During the course of 11 days - and nights - the festival will present more than 150 films, as well as seminars and festivities. This year's program includes 68 first-time filmmakers as well as Scandinavian premieres of more than 100 films. The festival competition for directors producing their first, second or third feature film includes productions, like the c
  • 28 Days Later

    Dir: Danny Boyle. UK. 2002. 113minsWhen daily newspaper headlines are more frightening than anything fiction can devise, 28 Days Later may find that audiences prefer the comfort of frivolous escapism over an ambitious slice of end-of-the-world mayhem. A serious-minded, sloppily plotted homage to such 1970s fantasy genre giants as George A Romero and David Cronenberg,it fails to add any significant new elements to the apocalyptic chiller territory staked out in countl
  • 61 projects selected for Mannheim coproduction market

    New feature film projects from Ireland's Orla Walsh (Love In Limbo), Poland's Robert Glinski (The Gorki Sanatorium), Brazil's Luiz Fernando Carvalho (The Passion According to G.H.), Slovenia's Igor Sterk (Red Horizons), Canada's John Hopkins (RoboSapiens) and the USA's RD Robb (Sex Crimes) are among 61 titles selected from 28 countries that are being lined up for pitching to potential financiers at this year's 'Mannheim Meetings' co-production market
  • A major setback for Australia's Film Finance Corp.

    Film Finance Corporation (FFC) chair Geoff Levy today released a three-paragraph media statement that must be one of the most ill-considered and misleading the organisation has ever issued. It announced that the search had resumed for a new chief executive, arguably, the most important job in Australia's film industry. But instead of making that fact the focus, he lead by saying the preferred candidate, Linda Tizard, had withdrawn her application. It is true that Tizard was the preferr
  • Asian reception boosts I Am Sam past $50m at Int'l box office

    New Line Cinema's I Am Sam has passed the $50m in international box office grosses after receiving a mighty launch in South Korea at the end of its run.The drama, which stars Sean Penn - Oscar nominated as best actor earlier in the year - and Michelle Pfeiffer, grossed $1.3m (won1.6bn) in South Korea from 243,776 admissions over its opening two day weekend Oct 19-20, taking the top chart position in the process.Distributed by BVI Korea, I Am Sam took $436,500 from
  • Austin opens in France, Germany, Austria

    New Line International's AustinPowers In Goldmember opened insecond place in Germany over the weekend with $1.6m from 695 screens for a$2,297 per-screen average. The third instalment of the Austin Powers franchise rolled out in Austria on Thursday with$298,392 from 74 screens and a per-screen average of $4,031. In France aWednesday opening grossed $1.5m from 567 screens, a per-screen average of$2,619. Opening in the French and German-speaking parts of Switzer
  • Bauer consortium selected as negotiating partner for KirchMedia

    The bidding consortium of German publisher Heinrich Bauer Verlag and the HypoVereinsbank has been selected by the creditors committee of the insolvent KirchMedia to enter into exclusive negotiations for the take over of the media concern which includes the private broadcasters ProSieben, SAT.1, Kabel 1 and the former KirchGroup's film library. According to KirchMedia managing director Hans-Joachim Ziems, Hollywood major Columbia TriStar may come onboard the Bauer/HypoVereinsbank consor
  • Beaune conference ends on muted note

    The 12th annual Rencontres Cinematographiques de Beaune, a congress of the association of writers, directors and producers (ARP) that takes place in Burgundy's famous wine town, ended Sunday under sunny skies and without much fanfare - though whispering was heard all around. Indeed, the normally fiery three-day round table event is usually marked by heated rows between ARP's members and invited guests all in the name of protecting France's beloved cultural exception. With fewer
  • Borau awarded Spain's national film prize

    Veteran director Jose Luis Borau is the recipient of Spain's prestigious National Film Prize, the Ministry of Culture's Institute for Cinema and Audiovisual Arts announced.Among the feature films on his lengthy filmography as writer-director are 2000's Leo, 1986's My Dear Nanny (Tata Mia) and 1975 San Sebastian Golden Shell winner Furtivos.Borau, who has his own production company in Madrid, El Iman, was previously president of the Spanish Cinema Academy.
  • Box office bells ring for Greek Wedding in Australia

    Australia has become the latest territory to be conquered by indie-sensation My Big Fat Greek Wedding, according to co-producer Gold Circle Films.The romantic comedy, directed by Joel Zwick and distributed in Australia by Roadshow, launched straight into number one at the Australian box office over the weekend, grossing $1.9m (A$3.4m) from 166 screens for a mighty per-screen average of $11,174. Including previews, the film has taken $3.1m in the territory.My Big Fat Gr
  • Cecchi Gori is placed under house arrest in Italy.

    Fallen media baron Vittorio Cecchi Gori has been placed under house arrest for alleged wrongdoings linked to the bankruptcy of his former Serie A football club, Fiorentina.Firemen entered Cecchi Gori's house early on Tuesday morning with a ladder after police failed to obtain a response from the entrepreneur who was inside, news agencies reported. The fire brigade then backed away after the door was allegedly opened from inside."This is a conspiracy against me," Cecchi Gori was
  • Cinerenta and Babelsberg sign co-operative agreement

    John Boorman's SFX-laden, family fantasy feature Knight's Castle may benefit from a cooperative agreement concluded this week between German private media fund Cinerenta and Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures for Cinerenta's Media Fund VI to be dedicated exclusively to projects produced in the Berlin-Brandenburg region. Introducing the joint initiative, Cinerenta's COO Marco Mehlitz explained that twelve projects have been shortlisted for consideration by the two partners to be b
  • Cooper promoted at Sundance

    John Cooper has beenappointed director of film festival programming at the Sundance Film Fesitval,Sundance Institute executive director Ken Brecher and Sundance Film Festivaldirector Geoffrey Gilmore announced today. Cooper will run the film festivalprogramming team, which includes senior programmer Trevor Groth and programmersShari Frilot and Caroline Libresco, who in addition to Cooper and Gilmoreselect most of the festival entries. Cooper joined the Sundance Institute i
  • Crunch year for both MIFED and London Screenings

    A boycott by AFMA-affiliated sales companies has reduced London's pre-MIFED Screenings to a shadow of their former selves and given MIFED a major boost. But there is now mounting talk of the AFM challenging MIFED to be the premiere autumn film market.Next week's London Premiere Screenings sees the number of films showing fall from some 400 to 40 this year. According to organiser JoJo Dye of Fusion events some 25 companies will screen 30 films, giving a total of 40 screenings. "Obviousl
  • Cuts at Signpost point to Till joining UIP

    Signpost Films is to make further staff cuts this week, while its founder Stewart Till has held talks to take over from Paul Oneile as head of United International Pictures (UIP).Coming hard on the heels of slashing its UK-based sales operation, the latest round of cuts appear to signal the end of Signpost's ambitions to become a major world-wide player. The cuts are expected to hit staff in London and Los Angeles across Signpost's various departments, which span production, business a
  • Danes choose Dogme hit Open Hearts for Oscar race

    As expected, Susanne Bier's acclaimed Dogme hit Open Hearts (Elsker Dig For Evigt) has been chosen as the Danish candidate for the Academy Awards' best foreign language film Oscar. The film received rave reviews on its domestic release and has scooped an impressive 450.000 admissions in eight weeks, never leaving the box-office chart's top three. Produced by Vibeke Windeloew (Dancer In The Dark) for prolific Zentropa and distributed by major Nordisk Film, the film'
  • Darkness

    Dir: Jaime Balaguero. Spain-US. 2002. 102 mins.Opening wide in Spain on Oct 11 following its world premiere at Sitges, Darkness has already broken local records for the year, with an opening weekend gross of $1.14m (E1.17m) from 275 copies. Pre-sales around the world - including to Miramax for English-language territories - assure the film wide exposure. Unfortunately, the talent Jaume Balaguero demonstrated in his award-winning debut feature, The Nameless (L
  • Dick Sano promoted to senior vp at BVI-Japan

    Dick Sano, vicepresident and general manager for Buena Vista International (BVI)-Japan, hasbeen promoted to senior vice president & general manager for the company.He will continue to report directly to Mark Zoradi, president of BVI and BVHEI.Sano willcontinue to lead BVI's theatrical distribution and marketing efforts inJapan following on from huge live action hits such as Signs, Armageddon and Pearl Harbor and animated pictures Tarzan,Dinosaur
  • Donnersmarck brothers win Hof's Eastman Support Award

    Brothers Sebastian and Florian von Donnersmarck have won the Eastman Support Award for newcomer talents at the Hof Film Days for their short Der Templer.The story of a Templar knight returning disillusioned from the Crusades was produced by Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion with broadcasters Bayerischer Rundfunk, Arte and 13th Street and the film schools in Munich and Potsdam-Babelsberg.Past winners of the Euros 3,750 prize of Kodak film stock since 1984 have included Carol
  • Dubin named Los Angeles rep for ARD, Degeto, Telepool

    Kristina Dubin of DubinMediahas been enlisted by three German networks as head of their US operations. Shewill represent ARD, Germany's largest broadcaster, Degeto, which is theARD-network contact for films, series and miniseries and Telepool, theall-rights distributor for German-speaking territories."The newconstellation of three companies under one head in the US, which started inSeptember, gives us the ability to negotiate a variety of acquisitions, rangingfrom all rights to free TV
  • Emperor's Wife prepares to shoot

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Max Beesley head the cast of The Emperor's Wife, an adult fairy tale directed by Julien Vrebos, which goes into production on Friday Nov 1. The cast also includes Spanish actresses Rosana Pastor, recently seen in Land And Freedom, and Leticia Dolera of The Other Side Of The Bed.The Emperor's Wife will shoot entirely in Luxembourg, on location and at the Delux studios. The Euros 5m picture is a Dutch-UK-Luxembourg co-productio
  • European Film Academy announces documentary prize nominees

    The European Film Academy has announced the nominations for European Documentary 2002 - Prix Arte, which will be presented, in association with Arte at the European Film Awards ceremony on Saturday 7th December in Rome.The Academy also announced the names of the jury, which will convene later this month in Berlin:Marina Goldovskaya, Russia, documentary filmmaker, based in the USLuc Martin-Gousset, France, producerSimone Stewens, Germany, director of IFS - Internationale
  • European Investment Bank funds three Italian features

    The European Investment Bank has made one of its first concrete investments in feature film, bankrolling three Italian pictures through the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro's Euros 100m credit line. The Italian films that benefited from the EIB loans are Piergiorgio Gay's La Forza Del Passato, which screened at this year's Venice Film Festival; Enzo D'Alo's upcoming animation feature, La Cantata Dei Pastori, and Profession Of Arms director Ermanno Olmi's next picture,
  • Evelyn

    Dir: Bruce Beresford. US-Ire. 2002. 94 mins. Evelyn might well benefit from a worldwide roll-out in the wake of unlikely box office blockbuster My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It has the same softness of touch, dearth of dramatic conflict and ethnic cutesiness which is obviously proving reassuring and heartwarming to millions in a world which is becoming increasingly unhinged. So while Evelyn is undistinguished and almost inane in its gentle desire to please, i
  • FilmFour's Motorcycle Diaries shoots across Latin America

    Walter Salles' The Motorcycle Diaries has started shooting in Argentina. The film stars Gael Garcia Bernal (Y Tu Mama Tambien, Amores Perros) as the young Che, rising young Argentinean actor Rodrigo de la Serna (Same Love, Same Rain) as Alberto and Mia Maestro (Frida, Hotel, Timecode) as Chichina Ferreyra. Shooting began on September 30th and will continue across Argentina, Chile and Peru until January 31st, 2003.The Motorcycle Diaries is based on Che
  • Fox takes Australian rights on Perfect Strangers

    Twentieth Century Fox Distributors Australia has acquired Australian theatrical rights to Perfect Strangers, its first New Zealand film, with a sale price believed to be the biggest ever paid to sales agent the New Zealand Film Commission for that territory.While a local distribution deal has yet to be signed, the film could well be one of the first to do substantial business in both countries due to its two leads. Sam Neill is New Zealand's most famous international star
  • Fuehrer Ex

    Dir: Winfried Bonengel. Germany. 2002. 106 mins.Winfried Bonengel has made neo-Nazis his speciality subject. The documentary Profession: Neo-Nazi (1993) was shown at 40 festivals around the world, while Fuehrer Ex , the book he wrote with former neo-Nazi militant Ingo Hasselbach, became a minor bestseller when it appeared in the US in 1995. The film of the same name is Bonengel's first fictional take on Hasselbach's life story. While buoyed up by strong performa
  • German police arrest Kinowelt's Michael Koelmel

    Kinowelt co-founder Michael Koelmel has been arrested by Munich police, just three days before his Euros 32m acquisition of the insolvent Kinowelt Medien Group is due to go through.According to a report in the German daily tabloid newspaper Bild Zeitung, Koelmel has been taken into custody because of an "insolvency offence" and the risk that he might make a sudden exit from the country. He was arrested on Monday, October 28 and was due to appear before magistrates on Tuesday.Kin
  • German/Polish collaboration at the core of Cottbus

    Roman Polanski's Golden Palm winner The Pianist will open the Festival of East European Cinema in Cottbus (October 30-November 3) which will be placing a particular focus this year on contemporary filmmaking from Poland and the potential for closer collaboration between German and Polish producers.Apart from the Filmfest Cottbus' official competition and other sidebars, the festival will have a showcase of current Polish cinema ranging from domestic box-office hits and lesser kn
  • Germany's Prokino prepares provocative release

    German distributor Prokino's marketing campaign for Buffalo Soldiers has selected both a provocative poster image as well as an arresting new title for the German market: Army Go Home The story of GIs stationed in West Germany during the 1980s uses an image of Joaquin Phoenix as a drug-dealing GI lounging against the Stars and Stripes, dollar bills fluttering around him. Prokino's release next week will mark Buffalo Soldiers' first foray into cinemas - more
  • Green, Knibbs join board of UK's Film Council

    Nigel Green, joint managing director of Entertainment Film Distributors, and Stephen Knibbs, senior vice president of UCI Cinemas, have joined the board of UK support body the Film Council.The council, which administers around£50 million a year in public money, was criticised for not having a distributor or an exhibitor on its board when it formed two years ago.Green and Knibbs have joined for an initial three year term. They replace two outgoing directors, Colin Leventhal and C
  • HanWay re-teams with Norbu for Travellers & Magicians

    UK-based sales concern HanWay has re-teamed with Buddhist monk-turned film director Khyentse Norbu after their collaboration on Norbu's acclaimed debut The Cup.Norbu started principal photography on Travellers & Magicians last month on location in his homeland of Bhutan. Also sold by HanWay, The Cup played in Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, was released in the US by Fine Line, and sold worldwide.Travellers & Magicians is thought to m
  • Hero gets the Chinese Oscar nod, opens today to qualify

    Zhang Yimou's highly-anticipated $31m martial arts epic, Hero, has been selected as China's candidate for the best foreign-language Oscar.The film is opening today (Oct 24) for a seven-day qualifying run on a single screen in Shenzhen, in southern China. In order to qualify for next year's Oscars, the picture must receive a commercial release for at least seven days before October 31. According to the film's Chinese producer, Zhang Wei Ping, the release was left as late as possi
  • Hero gets the Chinese Oscar nod, opens today to qualify

  • Hero gets the Chinese Oscar nod, opens today to qualify

    Zhang Yimou's highly-anticipated $31m martial arts epic, Hero, has been selected as China's candidate for the best foreign-language Oscar.The film is opening today (Oct 24) for a seven-day qualifying run on a single screen in southern China. In order to qualify for next year's Oscars, the picture must receive a commercial release for at least seven days before October 31. According to the film's Chinese producer, Zhang Wei Ping, the release was left as late as possible before th
  • Ice Age inches closer to $200m after Baltic openings

    Ice Age inched closer to $200m in international ticket salesover the weekend as it expanded into the Baltic States, where Fox registeredits best ever bow in Estonia, opening number one on $45,836 from four screens.This was also the industry's second highest opening of all time in Estonia. Theanimated feature also topped the charts in Latvia, recording Fox's thirdhighest ever opening with $16,328 from two screens. In Lithuania the pictureopened on $22,702 across five
  • Italian producers speak out in support of Eurimages

    Italian producers are distancing themselves from the inflammatory comments made by Gianni Massaro about Eurimages when he announced his shock resignation as president of the Fund last week.Massaro left his position two months before the end of his non-renewable 2-year term, blaming crippling bureaucracy as well as behind-the-scenes feuds between Eurimages and the Council of Europe, which runs the Fund. However, Amedeo Pagani, head of Rome's Classic Films, who recently received a
  • Jackass star Knoxville boards Grand Theft Parsons

    Fresh off his number one box office hit, Jackass - The Movie, Johnny Knoxville has signed to the comedy, Grand Theft Parsons. Inspired by a true story, the MTV comedy daredevil will play road manager Phil Kaufman, who steals the body of Gram Parsons and races down to the Joshua Tree to burn it as part of pact he made with the musician Gram. The film also stars Christina Applegate and is to be directed by David Caffrey.Frank Mannion of Swipe Films is producing, with UK distributo
  • James Harvey named director of distribution at Myriad

    James Harvey has beenappointed director of distribution at LA-based production and distributioncompany Myriad Pictures.Harvey will haveresponsibility for supporting all domestic and international sales made byMyriad and will oversee the administration of content and rights management,handle distributor loyalty reporting and manage the corporate database. He willbe based at the corporate headquarters in Los Angeles and report directly toEric Christenson, executive vi
  • Japanese film wins Grand Prix at Cinema Tout Ecran

    Japanese director Tetsuo Shinohara's The High-School Girl's Friend (Jogakusei no tomo) received the $6,715 (CHF 10,000) 'Grand Prix Cinema Tout Ecran' for Best Film at this year's Cinema Tout Ecran Festival in Geneva (October 21-27) which also featured a retrospective dedicated to Atom Egoyan.The International Competition jury, including Pierre-Henri Deleau, German producer-distributor Karl 'Baumi' Baumgartner and Canada actress-film director Carole Laure, additionally awarded
  • Jennifer Lopez signs on with Endeavor after ICM split

    Jennifer Lopez has signedwith Endeavor for all areas of representation following her recent departurefrom ICM. A statement released today by the Endeavor partners said: 'Weare thrilled to be working with Jennifer Lopez. Jennifer is recognised as oneof today's leading talents of film and music.' She will continue to bemanaged by Benny Medina at Handprint Entertainment and by her attorney BarryHirsch.The star of such pictures asThe Cell, Out Of Sight and
  • Kamchatka selected as Argentina's Oscar contender

    Argentina has submitted Marcelo Pineyro's Kamchatka to compete for a best foreign film Oscar. Kamchatka beat strong contenders led by Carlos Sorin's Historias Minimas, Adolfo Aristarain's Lugares Comunes and Pablo Trapero's El Bonaerense. Trapero's gritty police drama played successfully in Cannes' Un Certain Regard while Lugares Comunes and Historias Minimas took home major awards from San Sebastian in September. This is not Pine
  • Kino picks up US rights to Amen from Pathe

    New York-based distributorKino International has picked up US rights to Costa-Gavras' historical thrillerAmen for release in late Jan2003. The picture, sold to Kino by Pathe International (France), received its premiere at the 2002 Berlin FilmFestival and was the opening night film of the 2002 Human Rights Watch FilmFestival.The story is set during theSecond World War and focuses on the attempts by a real-life German chemist anda fictional Jesuit priest to expose the Nazis' use
  • Kuhn, Bazalgette join NFTS board of governors

    Former PolyGram Filmed Entertainment chief Michael Kuhn is to chair the board of governors at the UK's National Film and Television School (NFTS), the school announced this week.Peter Bazalgette, chairman of Endemol UK, will serve as Kuhn's deputy. The duo take over from former Channel 5 chief David Elstein, whose six-and-a-half year term expires this month. 'Michael and Peter are prolific initiators of both projects and companies', said Stephen Bayly, chief executive of the NFT
  • Lilja 4-Ever accepted as Sweden's foreign-language Oscar submission

    Lukas Moodysson's Lilja 4-Ever has been selected as Sweden's entry for the best foreign-language Oscar, despite the film being almost entirely in Russian. As reported on screendaily.com, Lilja 4-Ever faced the threat of being ineligible as a Swedish submission due to its dialogue being almost entirely in Russian. The Academy stipulates that a film's dialogue must be predominantly in a language of the country of origin. However, the academy makes an exception for "when the
  • Linda Seifert launches independent management company

    The UK's Linda Seifert of London-based agency Seifert Dench Associates is setting up her own independent management company, Linda Seifert Management.Joining Seifert in the new venture are former Seifert Dench Associates agents Edward Hughes and Craig Smith plus more than forty writers, directors and producers from Seifert's client roster.Linda Seifert started her own agency in 1972, and built up her business bringing in Elizabeth Dench and Michelle Arnold to evolve into Seifert
  • Lions Gate International brings Cabin Fever to market

    Lions Gate Films International, the international theatrical sales arm of Lions Gate Entertainment run by Nick Meyer and Sergei Yershov, has acquired international rights to Cabin Fever, the surprise horror hit of the Toronto International Film Festival which its domestic arm Lions Gate Films bought after its first midnight screening at Toronto.Meyer and Yershov bought rights from producers DownHome Entertainment, Tonic Films, Black Sky Entertainment and Deer Path Films and will
  • Loews Cineplex postpones IPO

    Back from the brink of bankruptcy, exhibitor Loews Cineplex has postponed its planned $300m initial public offering, citing unfavourable market conditions. One of North America's largest circuits, the company is under the control of Toronto-based Onex Corp., headed by leveraged buyout specialist Gerald Schwartz, and LA based investment firm Oaktree Capital Management. Onex Corp. said it is awaiting improved market conditions before approaching capital markets; investment dollars
  • LONDON SCREENINGS 2002

    LONDON SCREENINGSTUESDAY 29 OCTOBER9.00 AMChicken Poets(China) Beijing Guo Song Production. Drama, 94mins. Dir: Meng Jinghui. Scr: Liao Yimei.Key cast: Qin Hailu, Chen Jianbin, Liao Fan.Odeon Mezzanine 110.00 AMMc5 A True Testimonial (US) Cinetic Media. Documentary, 119mins. Dir: David C Thomas. Key cast: Michael Davis, Wayne Kramer, Fred 'Sonic' Smith.Other Cinema 1 (formerly Metro Cinema)
  • Man Without A Past wins new Nordic prize, joins Oscar race

    The Nordic Council's Film Prize 2002, which was awarded for the first time on Tuesday night, went to Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki for The Man Without A Past - which has also been selected as the Finnish candidate for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. With the Nordic Council's Film Prize, which was awarded at the Nordic Council's 50th anniversary gala at the Opera House in Helsinki, came a $46,270 (DKK 350,000) cash award to be shared by the film's director, scriptwriter and pr
  • Metro Tartan acquires Secretary

    UK independent Metro Tartan Distribution has acquired local rights to Sundance festival sensation Secretary (pictured) by Steven Shainberg.The film, which features Maggie Gyllenhaal as a woman who enters a sado-masochistic relationship with her demanding lawyer boss (James Spader), was originally sold by the UK's Alibi Films. Lion's Gate picked up North American rights following Sundance, where it picked up the special jury prize for originality, and has since taken over the int
  • MGM quits Cold Mountain, Miramax talks to new partners

    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)has withdrawn from the currently shooting Civil War epic Cold Mountain, leaving Miramax Films with the whole burden of the$80m-plus budget. Miramax is already in negotiations with other potentialpartners to co-finance the production which has now returned to Romania againafter a stint in North Carolina. Miramax confirmed that it was sole financier"for the moment" yesterday, while MGM did not return calls atpresstime.The two studios reportedlynever agreed
  • Michael Haneke wins Vienna city award

    Austria's filmmaker Michael Haneke (The Piano Player, Funny Games) was awarded the 'Golden Decoration" for services to the city of Vienna at a ceremony in the Austrian capital's City Hall on October 28 (Monday).'It is thanks to Michael Haneke that Austria today enjoys the reputation of being an exciting film nation,' said Vienna's executive city councillor for cultural affairs Paul Andreas Mailath-Pokorny. 'With his films he was able to garner much sought after and respected pri
  • Michael Koelmel released on bail

    Kinowelt co-founder Michael Koelmel is back on the streets after being released on bail early Wednesday afternoon after spending the past two nights in a prison cell.Despite the negative headlines, brothers Rainer and Michael are still sticking to their plans to take over the core assets of their bankrupt media empire from November 1 as the Leipzig-based Neue Spielfilm Vertriebs und Marketing GmbH. Their acquisition agreement will come into force once the Euros 32m acquisition p
  • Modern Entertainment expands into international sales

    Modern Entertainment hasannounced it is expanding into worldwide sales and will be offering two newindependent pictures at MIFED, the Australian action thriller The Pact and the US erotic action thriller Fear Of Speed. 'We have been exploringthe market for some time now and we believe that these films offer enormousopportunities. They skew perfectly towards a young audience, ' Michael Werner,president and CEO of Modern Entertainment, said in a statemen
  • Modern Entertainment expands into international sales

    Modern Entertainment hasannounced it is expanding into worldwide sales and will be offering two newindependent pictures at MIFED, the Australian action thriller The Pact and the US erotic action thriller Fear Of Speed. 'We have been exploringthe market for some time now and we believe that these films offer enormousopportunities. They skew perfectly towards a young audience, ' Michael Werner,president and CEO of Modern Entertainment, said in a statemen
  • Myriad takes international rights to Home Room

    MyriadPictures has acquired all international rights excluding the US and Canada inall media to the drama-thriller Home Room, starring Erika Christensen, the hot young actress whose creditsinclude Swimfan, The BangerSisters and Traffic, Busy Philipps and Vi
  • New Line signs Metropolitan to its first output deal

    New Line International (NLI) has completed extensions to 2005 on two major output deals - with Village Roadshow in Australia and Svensk Filmindustri in Scandinavia - and closed a third, also to 2005, with Metropolitan Filmexport in France. It is the first time NLI has struck an output deal with longtime partner Metropolitan, which has in the past paid minimum guarantees for slates of New Line movies.NLI president Camela Galano also says she is close to extending the studio's UK output
  • New Line signs Metropolitan to its first output deal

    New Line International (NLI) has completed extensions to 2005 on two major output deals - with Village Roadshow in Australia and Svensk Filmindustri in Scandinavia - and closed a third, also to 2005, with Metropolitan Filmexport in France. It is the first time NLI has struck an output deal with longtime partner Metropolitan, which has in the past paid minimum guarantees for slates of New Line movies.NLI president Camela Galano also says she is close to extending the studio's UK output
  • Nordisk Film Sales takes on Science Fiction

    Nordisk Film Sales has taken on international sales duties for Belgian director Danny Deprez children's film Science Fiction. The film about two kids who believe that aliens in disguise are plotting to take over the world, was written by Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem. Shot in Flemish, Science Fiction is released this week by Cinelibre in Belgium and is to be released in The Netherlands next month in a dubbed Dutch version by distributor A-Films. It was produced on a Euros 2m
  • Nordisk Film Sales takes on Science Fiction

    Nordisk Film Sales has taken on international sales duties for Belgian director Danny Deprez children's film Science Fiction. The film about two kids who believe that aliens in disguise are plotting to take over the world, was written by Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem. Shot in Flemish, Science Fiction is released this week by Cinelibre in Belgium and is to be released in The Netherlands next month in a dubbed Dutch version by distributor A-Films. It was produced on a Euros 2m
  • Overseas' Emperor's Wife prepares to shoot

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Max Beesley head the cast of The Emperor's Wife, an adult fairy tale directed by Julien Vrebos, which goes into production on Friday Nov 1. The cast also includes Spanish actresses Rosana Pastor, recently seen in Land And Freedom, and Leticia Dolera of The Other Side Of The Bed.The Emperor's Wife will shoot entirely in Luxembourg, on location and at the Delux studios. The Euros 5m picture is a Dutch-UK-Luxembourg co-productio
  • Pathe UK accesses Ingenious equity funding

    Underlining how far the UK's fast-growing production tax funds have moved into the mainstream, leading local financier Ingenious is to provide 35% of the budget on a slate of titles from Pathe UK.Ingenious is initially providing a fund for three pictures, but Cameron McCracken, deputy head of Pathe UK, expects to partner with the financier on a further and larger tranche of money."It is equity money," said McCracken, adding that Pathe has now brought in enough outside investment
  • Plural Entertainment, Televisa Cine seal wide-ranging pact

    A new joint production-distribution accord encompassing feature films, TV movies and miniseries, unites two giants from opposite sides of the Atlantic: Spain's Plural Entertainment, 100% owned by media conglom Grupo Prisa, and Mexico's Televisa Cine, the film arm of Televisa.The wide-ranging agreement extends an existing relationship between the two companies, co-producers alongside Mexico's Argos and Videocine of Walter Doehner's The Blue Room (La Habitacion Azul), which has it
  • Poland selects foreign-language Oscar contender

    Edi by Piotr Trzaskalski has been selected as Poland's entry for the best foreign-language Oscar, Polish minister of culture Waldemar Dabrowski announced yesterday.Winner of the first "New Films, New Directors" competition at the Warsaw International Film Festival, the film was also awarded a special jury prize at the annual Polish Feature Film festival in Gdynia.Edi joins the growing list of other Oscar-hopeful Eastern-European productions including Hungary's H
  • Portugal's national film institute in crisis

    The vice president of Portugal's national film institute ICAM abruptly resigned last weekend, launching accusations that ICAM could default on outstanding debt worth upwards of Euros 30m.In a three-page letter sent to the Ministry of Culture and cited in all of the country's major newspapers, the former vice president Jose Pedro Ribeiro said the institute was experiencing a "very serious" financial crisis which could lead it to default on monies owed to producers.Ribeiro's resig
  • Red Dragon scares up international box office revenues

    UIP's Red Dragon launched in 10 new territories over the weekend taking $7.1m - towards its total weekend gross of $8.9m from its current 17 markets.The weekend saw a slew of major territories receiving the picture. In Italy it opened with $2.3m (Euros 2.4m) from 326 screens for a mighty average of $7,183 - the highest of any film currently on release in Italy. However the thriller had to settle with second place in the chart behind local behemoth Pinocchio ($2.65m from 5
  • Richard Harris dies, aged 72

    The renowned Irish actor Richard Harris died on Friday night, aged 72. His passing was announced by his family, Harris was being treated for some months for Hodgkins Disease, a form of cancer, at University College Hospital, London where he died. He is survived by his sons, actors Jared and Jamie, and director Damian. Harris's career spanned six decades following his acclaimed first leading role as professional rugby player Frank Machin in This Sporting Life (1963). He received
  • Shooting starts on Cheeky black comedy

    Shooting started this week on Cheeky, a black comedy which marks the feature directorial debut of UK actor David Thewlis.Thewlis, best known for his role in Mike Leigh's Naked, has also scripted and will star in the film, produced by Trudie Styler's Xingu Films outfit. Luc Besson's Europa Corp is co-producing.The film tells the story on a toy shop owner, played by Thewlis, whose life is turned upside down after the sudden death of his wife. He then meets another wo
  • Solid Air starts shooting in Glasgow

    Shooting started in Glasgow today (Oct 30) on Solid Air, director May Miles Thomas' follow up to the Bafta-winning DV feature One Life Stand.A complex drama set in the twin worlds of litigation and high-stakes gambling, Solid Air tells the story of a compulsive gambler who comes home to his estranged father. Discovering his father's lapsed compensation claim for asbestosis, he pursues the case following a disastrous loss at the poker table. The film is writt
  • Sony to increase investment in China

    Sony is to invest over $100m in production of Chinese movies, according to group chief executive Idei Noboyuki.Idei announced the proposals, according to Reuters, during a visit to Beijing on Monday. "In the next three years, Sony will invest about $100m in the Chinese movie industry," he said. It will produce an average of five films a year.The corporation has a well developed programme of local productions and through its Hong Kong-based Columbia TriStar Film Production Asia (
  • South Korean cinema boosts local market share

    South Korean cinema has maintained a 44% market share in Seoul through the end of September, according to figures released this week by the Korean Film Commission (KOFIC). Overall admissions were up 16.4% on the same period last year, despite what was viewed as a disappointing summer season.Hollywood features accounted for a 49.1% market share to date, with Japanese cinema riding the success of Spirited Away - the most successful Japanese film ever released in Korea - to a 3.7%
  • South Korea's MP Entertainment launches ambitious film production fund

    South Korean production/talent management company MP Entertainment has announced the formation of an ambitious $41.7m (WON 50bn) film production fund, which is expected to greatly boost its profile in the rapidly-evolving Korean industry. With capital to be provided by parent company J&C Holdings, MP Entertainment intends to devote $16.7m to in-house productions and the remaining $25m to outside product, with a strong emphasis on movies featuring actors represented by the firm's talent
  • Story Of A Kiss (Historia De Un Beso)

    Dir: Jose Luis Garci. Spain. 2002. 105 mins.When a character, a novelist, in Jose Luis Garci's Story Of A Kiss (Historia De Un Beso) says of his art, 'I try to entertain and to move, never to persuade,' it could easily be Garci himself speaking. A romantic and meditative period melodrama, Story Of A Kiss is the creation of a mature film-maker working according to his own standards and tastes, seemingly without a care as to what the rest of the world is ma
  • Sundance Documentary Fund gives grants to 23 projects

    Documentaries exploring themurder of Iranian prostitutes, the rebirth of culture in post-Khmer RougeCambodia and the plight of illegal Mexican workers in the US are among 23recipients of grant funding announced today by the Sundance Documentary Fund (SDF).Formerly known as the Soros Documentary Fund and launched under the auspices ofthe Sundance Institute in 1996, the SDF awards development and work-in-progressgrants for feature-length projects that focus on current human
  • Teenage boys turn out in droves for MTV's Jackass: The Movie

    Paramount's high jinks showcase Jackass: The Movie opened top of the charts over the weekend on $22.7m, according to studio estimates released today (Oct 27). The unexpectedly high bow for the big screen adaptation of the MTV stunt series was the third highest October opening of all time and shunted DreamWorks SKG's The Ring into second place with a stupendous 25% rise on last week for $18.8m and a $39.7m cumulative score after ten days. In third was the week's only other top 10
  • Thailand's Mon-rak Transistor joins strong list of Asian foreign-language Oscar submissions

    Thailand has chosen Mon-rak Transistor, the third film from hot Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang, as the country's official submission for the best foreign-language Oscar.Produced by Cinemasia and Five Star Productions, the film is a genre-defying tale of an aspiring folk singer who is forced to abandon the love of his life in pursuit of stardom. The film screened in the Director's Fortnight section of this year's Cannes Film Festival and won the Asian Tradewinds Award at the Se
  • The Guys

    Dir: Jim Simpson. US. 2002. 98mins. The film version of Anne Nelson's stage play The Guys took less than a year to reach the screen, but it already feels dated. No more than a dialogue between a fire captain who has lost eight of his men in the attacks on the World Trade Centre on Sept 11, 2001, and a journalist who helps him write their eulogies, The Guys was an historic stage event put together by the Flea Theatre which is located seven blocks away from Ground
  • The Truth About Charlie

    Dir: Jonathan Demme. US. 2002. 104minsIf Steven Soderbergh can gross $400m worldwide with a remake of Ocean's Eleven, then why can not Jonathan Demme do the same with a remake of Charade' The reason is simple: the first Ocean's Eleven is a movie which never inspired much love and Soderbergh built a new construct of contemporary cool around the creaky plot. Stanley Donen's Charade, on the other hand, is one of the most beloved movies of the 1960s, a
  • Three film funding schemes launched at British independent film awards

    Fittingly for an industry experiencing a flood a new tax-based film funds, Wednesday night's British Independent Film Awards (Bifa's) saw the unveiling of the latest venture to hit the market with bold claims.Attended by actor Ewan McGregor, director Ken Loach and leading industry figures such as producer Jeremy Thomas and PFD agent Lindy King, the ceremony at London's Pacha nightclub acted as a springboard for Park Caledonia to launch three film partnerships. The Glasgow-based
  • Trio of high profile hopefuls submit Oscar contenders

    With the deadline for the best foreign language film Oscar category looming at the end of this week, another three countries have unveiled their official submissions for the Academy Awards.As widely anticipated, Brazil has chosen Fernando Meirelles' tour de force City Of God (Cidade De Deus), while Sanjay Leela Bhansali's blockbuster Devdas has been named as the Indian official entry. Sweden, meanwhile, has picked Lukas Moodysson's Lilja 4-Ever as its official entr
  • Two more Fox projects to be backed by German fund

    20th Century Fox's thriller The Clearing, starring Robert Redford, Helen Mirren and Willem Dafoe, and the family comedy Catch That Girl have been added to the projects to be financed by Ideenkapital's Mediastream III fund, due to investor demand.. Ideenkapital had originally planned to raise Euros 246.7m from private German individuals to invest in the production of three other Fox projects: the Sean Connery vehicle The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and the c
  • Two titles share China's top film honours

    Yang Yazhou's Pretty Big Feet and military drama Charging Out Amazon by Song Yeming, were jointly awarded best film at the 22nd Golden Rooster and One Hundred Flowers Awards - China's top film honours - which took place in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province on Tuesday night.The best director prize was also split - between Yang for Pretty Big Feet and Chen Kaige for Together. The best actress prize was shared by Tao Hong for Life Show - which won best film at this
  • UK BOX OFFICE

    Despite six out of seven new releases entering the top 15, the top four titles in the UK chart saw no change from the previous week.The table was led by Columbia TriStar's XXX for the second consecutive week, earning $3.2m (£2m), a 34% drop from its opening weekend, from 435 sites. The action title, which stars Vin Diesel and Samuel L Jackson has already claimed a strong 11-day total of $11.3m (£7.3m).BVI's Lilo & Stitch held second over the half-term wee
  • UK film production sector slumps by almost 40%

    Confirming the worst fears of anyone in the UK struggling to get a film off the ground, local production levels have collapsed this year by almost 40%.The crash exacerbates last year's 57% slump in inward investment from overseas productions shooting. However, as Screen International reveals in this week's UK Focus edition, the collapse this year centres on indigenous productions.In stark contrast to last year, when local production levels held their own, the overall number of
  • UK talent joins Supertex - An Hour In Paradise

    Maureen Lipman, Stephen Mangam and Elliot Levey are among the UK acting talent cast for Jan Schuette's adaptation of Leon de Winter's best-selling novel Supertex - An Hour In Paradise which has now gone into production.'I have always been amazed at the wealth of talent available in Britain. You can always find new faces and highly talented actors who can both play and enrich any character or role,' says Schuette.whose previous films included Bye Bye America and Fat Wor
  • US producers Kaplan, Daniel, Katz team to form Rainstorm

    US producers Steven G Kaplanand Gregg L Daniel have joined forces with entrepreneur Richard Katz to formRainstorm Entertainment, an LA-based independent film production company thataims to make cost-effective movies by original writers and directors. Rainstormis already in post-production on the black comedy, The Big Empty, which it produced with Echo Lake Productions andco-financer Aura Entertainment, which will handle international sales duringMIFED. The Big Em
  • Wenders launches new production outfit

    Wim Wenders has set up a new, Hamburg-based production outfit Reverse Angle Production which will produce his next feature project entitled Don't Come Knockin'.Originally developed at Road Movies Filmproduktion as In America, the project still has previous Wenders collaborator Sam Shepard onboard as screenwriter for the contemporary love story set in North America. Two years ago, Wenders declared that this project would be a return to the spirit of such Wenders classics
  • XXX opens at number one in Japan

    Columbia/Revolution's actionthriller XXX opened top of thecharts in Japan over the weekend, grossing $2.45m from 407 screens for aper-theatre average of $6,007. Studio executives expect the picture to play foreight weeks and will be aiming for a final cumulative score above $17m. Thepicture also opened at number one in Sweden on 60 screens with $363,000 for a$6,050 per-theatre average.Also opening in Holland, XXX took $681, 490 from 92 screens for a per-theatreaverage of

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