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3 June 2001

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  • Aline Perry poised to head Sales Co

    Aline Perry, former president of PolyGram Film International, has emerged as the front-runner to head UK-based international sales operation The Sales Co.Civilian Content, which in March agreed to acquire a majority stake in the sales outfit, is understood to be wooing the executive as part of plans to move the highly regarded boutique operation into more commercially-oriented films. A strong sales operation has been a key goal for Civilian ever since the UK media outfit agreed to take
  • Alliance Atlantis boards Girard's $25m Magician

    The vigorous drive into larger-scale film productions by Canadian entertainment giant Alliance Atlantis continued this week with the closure of a deal to finance Francois Girard's latest - the $25m historical drama The Magician's Wife in which Geoffrey Rush will star. Kate Winslet is negotiating to join him, although her status is not yet confirmed.Girard scored a huge specialised hit with his 1998 drama The Red Violin which grossed over $10m for Lions Gate Films. Rush a
  • Alliance sells Egoyan's Ararat to Miramax in US

    Miramax Films has acquired US distribution rights to Ararat, the latest film from Canada's Atom Egoyan, from Alliance Atlantis and Serendipity Point Films. The film is the first Egoyan picture to be released by Miramax in the US since Exotica in 1994; The Sweet Hereafter in 1997 was handled by Fine Line while Felicia's Journey in 1999 was distributed by Artisan.Written and directed by Egoyan and produced by Robert Lantos, Ararat is set against the pr
  • AMC says it will close 249 more US screens in 2001

    Publicly traded US exhibitor AMC Entertainment is to close 249 screens this year in addition to the 66 it has already said it will close. The closures come the day after AMC reported a $63.6m net loss for the fourth quarter ending March 29 on revenue of some $290m.Losses in the year ending March 29 totalled $105.9m, reflecting an industry-wide depression which results from dramatic overbuilding and a series of bankruptcies.AMC controls 2,766 screens in about 180 sites and had
  • Amores Perros sweeps Mexico's Ariel awards

    Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Love's A Bitch (Amores Perros) grabbed 11 awards from its 15 nominations at this week's 43rd Ariel Awards ceremony in Mexico City. The three-part urban drama made a sweep of all the major awards except for Best Actress which was shared between actresses Ximena Ayala (Perfume De Violetas) and Ana Bertha Espin (Su Alteza Serenisima) and for Best Screenplay which was nabbed by Jose Buil (Perfume De Violetas).
  • Artificial Eye buys two more Cannes titles for UK

    Closing a busy festival for the company, UK art-house distributor Artificial Eye Film Distribution has picked up Cannes competition titles Va Savoir! and I'm Going Home (Vou Para Casa).Feted in Screen International's review as "resplendent from first frame to last" Jacques Rivette's Va Savoir! centres on the drama created by an Italian theatre group on tour in Paris. The film was sold at Cannes by Celluloid Dreams.Manoel de Oliveira's I'm Going Home, sold on
  • Benjamin, Dubrow promoted to head Pacifica

    IMF-backed Pacifica Film Development, a wholly owned subsidiary of Internationalmedia and sister company to Intermedia, has promoted Linda Benjamin and Chris Dubrow to the positions of co-presidents. Dubrow will continue to oversee production and development, while Benjamin oversees business affairs and operations.Both will report to Internationalmedia co-chairmen Moritz Borman, Nigel Sinclair and Guy East.Both Benjamin and Dubrow have been associated with Pacifica, the LA-bas
  • Beyond Distribution bolsters sales team

    Beyond Distribution has strengthened its sales team by giving additional responsibilities to London-based Ellen Lovejoy and through the appointment of Veronique Verges.The moves follow the resignation of Marena Manzoufas, Beyond Distribution's general manager, who will leave in mid-July.Lovejoy will now manage all sales staff in the UK, US and Australia and cover the Sydney-based marketing division. Verges will report directly to her in the London office as vice president, sales
  • BFI to programme art films for UCI

    The British Film Institute (BFI) has partnered with UK exhibitor UCI Cinemas to programme classic films, world cinema and previews of new films. Dubbed "BFI@UCI" the partnership will cover 35 of UCI's UK multiplexes, giving the BFI wide access to multiplex cinemagoers. The institute currently has a smaller programming arrangement with UK exhibitor Odeon, which runs in eight UK towns. The collaboration's first slate gets underway this month and runs until the end of July, featuri
  • Bronfmann family cut Vivendi stake by a third

    Vivendi Universal this week bought in 16.9 million of its shares after the Bronfman family sold off approximately a third of its holding in the media giant. Edgar Bronfman Jr, who remains executive chairman of the group, said: "This sale reflects my family's desire to diversify our investment portfolio after the creation of Vivendi Universal last year. However, the substantial majority of our portfolio remains with Vivendi Universal." Following the deal, which was conducted at E
  • Brotherhood Of The Wolf opens Fantasy Filmfest

    Christophe Gans' Brotherhood Of The Wolf (Le Pacte Des Loups) will open this year's Fantasy Filmfest.The peripatetic event begins its tour of Germany in Munich on 18 July and then travels to Stuttgart (25 July - 1 August), Cologne and Frankfurt (1 - 8 August) and Hamburg and Berlin (8 - 15 August).Other films already confirmed for the 15th edition of the international festival for science fiction, horror and thriller films are Robert Rodriguez's blockbuster Spy
  • Digital costs push Wowow into loss

    Wowow, a leading satellite broadcaster on satellite and cable TV which dedicates half its schedule to films, swung from profit to loss in 2000.It announced a $27.6m Y3.34bn) group net loss and a $26.9 (Y3.26bn) consolidated pre-tax loss for fiscal 2000, which ended on March 31. Company officials blamed the massive losses on several factors: a cut in analogue service subscription fees and the cost of launching Wowow's new digital service.The analogue fees reduced sales by
  • DreamWorks announces theatrical Shrek sequel

    DreamWorks SKG has announced a theatrical sequel to Shrek, its blockbusting animated movie which has already grossed in excess of $110m after just two weeks on release in North America.Writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, who penned the film, have been hired to write the sequel, it was announced in a statement by DreamWorks principal Jeffrey Katzenberg.In addition to Shrek, Elliott and Rossio also co-wrote Disney's Aladdin, DreamWorks' The Road To El Dorado
  • EM.TV discusses Henson buyout with management

    Charles Rivkin, chief executive of the Jim Henson Company, creator of the Muppets, is planning a management buy-out from German media group, EM.TV, according to a report this week in the UK's Financial Times. The paper said that Rivkin and other Jim Henson managers were canvassing US private equity houses to meet the almost $200 m (£141 m) price tag for the company. An EM.TV spokesperson confirmed that a management buy-out was one of the options being considered by the media group, whi
  • Euro Kids Network dropped by Media Plus

    Financial support for Media Salles' Euro Kids Network (EKN) is being stopped as part of an overhaul of the cinema exhibition support initiatives of the MEDIA Plus Programme. The European Union-backed MEDIA Programme will instead concentrate its future support for the exhibition sector within the Europa Cinemas network.EKN was founded by Milan-based Media Salles in 1996 to support films for young audiences at over 300 screens in over 16 countries."Media Salles will continue worki
  • Filmax closes more Cannes slate deals

    Spanish mini-studio Filmax has announced a string of deals that it closed at Cannes, including three films to Japan's Gaga and a package of titles to all Latin American pay-TV platform LAPTV. Two titles included in both deals were Carlos Saura's forthcoming Bunuel And King Salomon's Table (Bunuel Y La Mesa Del Rey Salomon) and Paco Plaza's feature debut Second Name (Segundo Nombre). Gaga also took all Japanese rights to Jaume Balaguero's much anticipated English-language
  • First Look buys world on Griffin Dunne comedy

    First Look Media has acquired worldwide rights to Griffin Dunne's digital video film Lisa Picard Is Famous which first screened in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival 2000 with the title Famous. First Look's international sales division Overseas Filmgroup will handle international sales while domestic distributor First Look Pictures will release it theatrically in Aug this year.Strand Releasing had originally struck a deal to buy the film for the US at Cannes l
  • Friend becomes all-time Korean BO champion

    Kwak Kyung-taek's Friend continues to rewrite the Korean film industry record books. It notched seven million admissions on its 52nd day of release (May 21) making it the most popular- Korean film of all time. The film, is currently playing on 38 screens in Seoul and 128 nationwide. Based on director Kwak's own youth in the southern port city of Pusan, Friend tells the story of four childhood friends who go their separate ways as they approach adulthood, with two b
  • German tax funds give Paramount another $1.12bn

    Paramount Pictures is tapping into another two private German film funds to raise $1.25bn for more of its feature line-up. Germany's giant Deutsche Bank has finally jumped on the private film fund bandwagon with its own product called "Motion Picture Production GmbH & Co. Erste KG" (MPP). It has been prepared in collaboration with the HypoVereinsbank subsidiary Bayerische Immobilien-Leasing (BIL) to finance up to seven international productions by Paramount. The films have a tot
  • Hallmark grabs major terrs on mini-series pair

    The Hallmark Channel has bought exclusive pay-TV rights to two big budget min-series stuffed with theatrical talent from Alliance Atlantis Television.The series Life With Judy Garland: Me And My Shadows and Haven were both bought for Latin America, Spain, Portugal, Russia, the CIS, Middle East and Italy. Hallmark also took Judy Garland for Asia and Israel.Biopic, Judy Garland stars Judy Davis, Victor Garber and Hugh Laurie and was co-produced by Allia
  • Hedwig to open Outfest, All Over The Guy to close

    Hedwig And The Angry Inch, the New Line Cinema-backed rock opera musical which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, will open this year's Los Angeles Gay And Lesbian Film Festival aka Outfest on July 12.The film, which also screened at the Berlin Film Festival, will be released in the US by New Line's specialised division Fine Line Features on July 20. The film is directed and written by John Cameron Mitchell, who also stars as Hedwig.Celebrating its 19th anniversar
  • Human Nature

    Directed by Michel Gondry. US-France. 96 mins."Civilization and Its Discontents," Freud's well-known treatise about the eternal conflict between biology and sociology, could have served as the subtitle for the droll, often clever Human Nature, Charlie Kaufman's follow-up script to his celebrated Oscar-nominated film, Being John Malkovich. As staged by French music video and commercials director Michel Gondry, the new satire is consistently light and amusing, but not nearly as o
  • Intertainment results pounded by Franchise row

    Business at Neuer Markt-listed German rights trader Intertainment has been practically put on hold as a result of its bitter legal wrangle with Elie Samaha's Franchise Pictures.Announcing first quarter results for this year, Intertainment chief Ruediger "Barry" Baeres reported that his company had posted sales of only Euros4.88m - compared to Euros33.4m in the same period last year. These revenues had largely been generated by pay-TV sales for older titles.According to Baeres, s
  • Ireland drops 'Censor' and changes certificates

    Coinciding with the release today of Pearl Harbor, Irish Film Censor Sheamus Smith has issued two new audience classifications for films released in Ireland - PG12 and PG15. Pearl Harbor is the first film to be certified PG12, suitable for an audience of twelve years and older, and for those under that age provided they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Film Censor has also removed the words 'Film Censor' from beneath his signature on the certificate scr
  • Ireland enjoys unexpected production boom

    Feature production in Ireland is heading for an unexpected upturn. It comes after a hesitant start to the year prompted by the threatened Hollywood strikes and exacerbated by industry anxiety that the UK's foot and mouth disease outbreak might spread to Ireland.Spyglass Entertainment's epic fantasy Reign Of Fire with Matthew McConaughy and Christian Bale has been a constant presence in Ardmore Studios and on location in the Wicklow mountains since the beginning of the year and
  • Italian court greenlights Telemontecarlo take-over

    Paving the way for a third broadcasting force in Italy, the country's highest appeal's court has cleared Telecom Italia and multimedia group Seat Pagine Gialle to take over debt-ridden television station Telemontecarlo (TMC) from the troubled Cecchi Gori Group.The Council of State decided to reject a telecom watchdog's appeal against a decision by a lower court in favour of Seat's purchase of the station. Now a civil court must rule over an appeal made last month by Cecchi Gori against
  • Jackie Chan launches rival Art Of War project

    Hong Kong-superstar, Jackie Chan has set up a gladiatorial contest to produce an epic film based on classic Chinese tract The Art Of War. Chan announced yesterday (May 28) that he will star in a mega-budget adaptation of the philosophical works by Sun Tzu for Golden Harvest. Earlier this month director Gordon Chan, the acclaimed director who heads production for Emperor Multimedia Group (EMG), said that he is readying a project on the same Sun Tzu material. Speaking at a
  • Japan says The Bunker is Mi-Pic

    UK-based sales outfit The Film Company has sold UK psychological thriller The Bunker to Mi-Pic for Japan.Touted at this month's Cannes market, The Bunker tells the story of a group of German soldiers who get trapped into a disused bunker system on the French-Belgian border during World War 2. Starring rising British talent Jason Flemyng and Jack Davenport, the film is directed by Rob Green and produced by Millennium Pictures.During the festival Mi-Pic also picked u
  • Jove festival unveils youth line-up

    Spain's youth-oriented International Cinema Jove Film Festival of Valencia (June 16-23) has unveiled a list of 80 short films and 10 feature films which will compete this year in the two parallel official sections of its 16th annual edition.All of the films are made by directors under 35 years of age. Though many films have previously screened in other countries, and some have already won awards at festivals such as Berlin and Sundance, none have premiered in Spain.The ten featu
  • Kandahar (Safar E Ghandehar)

    Dir: Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Iran/ France. 2001. 85 mins. An astonishing journey through the archaic, rarely seen world of Afghanistan, Kandahar is a polished, sumptuously photographed indictment of conditions there. Aimed, with its part English-language soundtrack and scenes spelling out the political situation, squarely at an international audience it is, if anything, perhaps too smoothly packaged. One regrets the quirky, edgy quality which energises many of the smaller Iranian
  • Kinowelt shares slump as profit forecasts slashed

    Shares at Kinowelt Medien hit an all-time low this week after the German media concern halved profit expectations for this year.Shares fell 17% to 4.68 Euro on Monday, recovering slightly but then slipped another 2.04% on Tuesday. At the beginning of trading on Tuesday shares were at 4.80 Euro. The company issued a profit warning after recording a first quarter pre-tax loss of more than Euro 30m. Kinowelt's quarterly report stated that it was unlikely to hit its planned EBIT for
  • Lecce Euro festival unveils line-up

    Joaquin Cortes vehicle Gitano and Envy Of Gods by Russian director Vladimir Menshov are among the eight films in competition at the second edition of the European Cinema festival, which will be held in the southern Italian town of Lecce (June 2-9).Films to be viewed by Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi, the head of jury and fellow members including Edoardo Winspeare, are: Fading Light by Greece's Vassilis Douros, Slovenia's Porno Film by Damjan Kozole,
  • Mediastream, F.A.M.E. unveil new German funds

    The launch of two new film funds this week underlines the growing gulf in fortunes between Germany's high flying private media funds and the struggling Neuer Markt media outfits.Duesseldorf-based fund manager GVP has launched its second Mediastream fund to raise Euro 141.4m for the financing of two Universal Pictures productions - Jonathan Demme's thriller The Truth About Charlie, starring Mark Wahlberg and Thandie Newton, and Shawn Levy's children's comedy Pay For Play,
  • Moscow, St Petersburg festivals link up

    Russia's Moscow International Film Festival and St Petersburg International Festival of Festivals are tying up.The two events will now be held in overlapping slots and share films in their out-of-competition Panorama sections. The link up means Moscow will this year move from its traditional date in late July to June 21-30. St Petersburg will run June 23-29.Jury members at Moscow this year will include Sundance's Geoff Gilmore and former Berlin International Film Festival chief
  • MTV Awards: Sean Patrick Thomas, Zhang Ziyi shine

    Prizes were widely shared out at the MTV Movie Awards this weekend. Mission: Impossible 2, Charlie's Angels and Sean Patrick Thomas in Save The Last Dance each won two awards. Heavyweight, Gladiator came away with only one, the top prize as best film.The ceremony which took place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles - and will be screened on MTV on Thursday (June 7) was hosted by Kirsten Dunst and Jimmy Fallon and featured several parodies of the year's big movies.
  • Mummy still overseas king, but pretenders in sight

    The Mummy Returns dominated the international box office for a second week running, claiming the top position in yet another major territory, France.The action comedy secured with 756,465 admissions (equivalent to $4.5m) in the market. The film, which is distributed in most territories by United International Pictures (UIP) now reigns in every major European territory and has now reached an international tally of $72m. Adding in its four week take of $170.7m in North America, Th
  • New Line ties up Burger King for Lord Of The Rings

    New Line Cinema has signed a massive promotional agreement with Burger King to support the Dec 19 worldwide openings of The Fellowship Of The Ring, the first in its keenly awaited Lord Of The Rings trilogy.The deal is the single largest promotional arrangement New Line has ever reached with a strategic partner and will span more than 10,000 Burger King locations worldwide. Burger King has already placed a link to the new trailer for The Fellowship Of The Ring on i
  • New York's Snapper teams with Scandinavia's Smile

    New York-based production outfit Snapper Films has partnered with Scandinavia's Smile Entertainment to co-produce a slate of English-language features.The three-year arrangement includes Fidelity, written by Tom Griffin and to be directed by Juha Wuolijoki, and Arto Halonen's Guardian Angel. Both projects are drama thrillers that are expected to shoot in Copenhagen next year.Snapper recently announced that it had optioned the film rights to the play A Perfect Ga
  • PCG exits Loews Cineplex bailout as closures mount

    One of three buyers involved in the $850m Loews Cineplex Entertainment distress sale is backing out but the remaining two partners say the bailout plan will go ahead regardless for the exhibition giant.Pacific Capital Group revealed on Thursday that it has decided to withdraw from the bankruptcy reorganization plan proposed for North America's second largest theatre circuit. However, both its erstwhile partners, Toronto-based Onex Corp. and LA-based Oaktree Capital Management, say they
  • Pearl Harbor

    Dir: Michael Bay. US.2001. 182 mins.The best that can besaid about Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor, his colossal take on one of the most tumultuous events of Americanhistory, is that it's decidedly not a popcorn summer movie in the currentsense. Quite the opposite: Deviating from the recent spate of postmodern,intentionally anachronistic historical sagas (think: Knight's Tale or Moulin Rouge), Pearl Harbor is as square as they come: A straight, earnest,
  • Pearl Harbor pummels US with $75.1m opening

    With an estimated Memorial Day weekend gross of $75.1m, Touchstone Pictures' $140m Pearl Harbor enjoyed the second highestfour-day holiday tally ever at North American theatres. However, even this fell short of the box office blitz that many in the media had been preparing for.Pearl Harbor may have elbowed out Mission: Impossible 2 toclaim second spot in the four-day rankings behind only Steven Spielberg'sThe Lost World: Jurassic Park (which opened with $90.
  • Reitman to be honoured at Cinema Expo

    Ivan Reitman, director of Ghostbusters , Twins and Dave, is to receive the "award of excellence in filmmaking" at the forthcoming Cinema Expo convention (June 25-28)."Reitman has consistently been exciting, thrilling and entertaining moviegoers worldwide. He is remarkably talented and a tribute such as this is justly deserved," said Jimmy Sunshine, co-managing director of the convention. As a director and producer Reitman, has seen his films gross over $2.5
  • Ridley Scott heads Tout Ecran short film jury

    Ridley Scott will head the jury for an internet shorts competition being launched for the first time this year by Switzerland's Cinema Tout Ecran Film and Television Festival, the event has announced.The Geneva event, which runs October 22-28, will dedicate its annual showcase of TV work from leading film-makers to Canada's David Cronenberg. Along with an international competition for films produced by or for television, the festival is mounting a spotlight on Dutch broadcasting corpor
  • Shaw Bros expands Movie City studio plans

    Plans for a new film studio complex in Hong Kong have taken an expansive turn.Mona Fong, managing director of Shaw Brothers, which owns 35% of the planned "Movie City," will increase from 300,000 sq ft to 450,000 sq ft with a grant for extra land expected to come from the Hong Kong government. Fong said the expansion will bump the price up from $77m-$103m (HK$600m-800m) to between $109m (HK$850m) to $128m (HK$1bn).Located in Tseung Kwan O, the western part of Hong Kong, the stud
  • Spanish newcomer continues film buying binge

    Start-up Spanish distributor Alquimia Cinema, run by former Aurum Producciones head Francisco Ramos, has acquired all Spanish rights on four big-name films from Alliance Atlantis Pictures International and one from Pandora Cinema.From Alliance, Alquimia has picked up Lynne Ramsay's forthcoming Morvern Callar, Atom Egoyan's Ararat, Richard Kwietniowski's Owning Mahowny and Neil Jordan's Double Down. It bought one of the first films from Pandora's co-financing
  • Start-up Nighlight options Angel Of Zin

    Start-up UK production venture Nightlight Pictures has optioned the film rights to Clifford Irving's novel about a murder investigation in a WW2 concentration camp, The Angel Of Zin.Set in 1943 in Berlin and occupied Poland, the murder mystery tells the story an SS Captain named Paul Bach who is sent to investigate crimes committed by the so-called Angel Of Death. Irving's credits include The Hoax, Daddy's Girl: The Campbell Murder Case and La Ley Del Manantial.
  • Ster Kinekor backs out of Zimbabwe exhib sector

    South African exhibition giant Ster-Kinekor is to pull out of neighbouring Zimbabwe by the end of June.The move is reportedly due to shortages of foreign currency within the Zimbabwean operations making it difficult to acquire foreign films and to pay for company houses. Two complexes, said to be the best equipped in the country, will close on June 28. Another complex in Bulowayo closed in 1999 with the intention that a replacement be built in Eastgate, but this has not opened.T
  • Stockmarket mulls Kinowelt insider dealing probe

    The German securities regulator said on Friday it would decide next week whether to start a formal insider trading probe into film rights dealer Kinowelt Medien ."Our analysis has been positive. We have noted peculiarities in advance of the publication of Ad-Hoc-News", Sabine Reimer, a spokeswoman for the regulator, said. "One can expect, that there will be a formal probe." She said a formal decision would be taken on Tuesday."We are looking calmly at this probe, it is a rou
  • T Joy opens second e-cinema complex in Japan

    T Joy, a member of the Toei Group, is to open its second all digital multiplex cinema next month in Niigata, northern Japan.The eight-screen complex with a 1,600 seat capacity has cost $6.7m (Y800m) and will open on July 13 in. The company opened its first multiplex of this type, which projects digitised films downloaded from a communication satellite in Hiroshima in last December. Since its opening it has clocked in 135,000 admissions.T Joy has plans for similar multiplexes nat
  • TF1 set to board Kino Vision's Devil's Beauty

    France's TF1 International is in negotiations to co-produce and handle world rights on Spanish production The Devil's Beauty, an ambitious English-language project in development at Madrid-based Kino Vision.The $35m project has attracted international attention since it was announced last year. The script, which is being adapted by Enrique Urbizu, who will also direct, is based on the novel by French writer Laurent Haloche.Set at the turn of the 19th century, the story is
  • UK's Momentum picks up No Man's Land, Strangers

    Momentum Pictures, Alliance Atlantis' UK distribution-production arm, has acquired all UK rights to Danis Tanovic's Cannes competition film, No Man's Land.In a separate move Momentum announced that it had acquired all UK rights to The Business Of Strangers, a drama about corporate power games that is sold by Beyond Films and appeared At Sundance in dramatic competition earlier this year. Marking the directorial debut of Patrick Stettner, Strangers stars Stockard C
  • Under The Moonlight (Zir-E Nour-E Mah)

    Dir: Reza Mir-Karimi. Iran. 2001. 96mins. The accessible face of Iranian cinema, Reza Mir-Karimi's second feature Under The Moonlight (Zir-E Nour-E Mah) tells the involving story of a young seminary student's crisis of vocation. Less austere and forbidding than many of the most critically lauded Iranian features of late, it is therefore more likely to connect with a wider audience drawn in by its humanity, humour and uncharacteristically hopeful resolution. It still casts a
  • UPC loan gives Malone more control

    Beleaguered cable giant United pan-Europe Communications (UPC) has completed a series of transactions that gives it a Euros1bn loan and sees US entrepreneur John Malone take effective control of UPC's American parent UnitedGlobalCom.The loan from Malone's Liberty Mediareplaces a rights issue that was proposed in February, but to which stock markets reacted negatively. Credit rating agencies said yesterday that they were concerned by the new deal as it replaced an equity programme with
  • Visible Secret spooks HK railway, scares up big BO

    Hong Kong major Media Asia has been forced to cut a key scene from its new film Visible Secret. But the company looks like ending up with the last laugh.In a last minute move suburban rail operator MTR asked Media Asia to cut a scene in which a character dressed as a ghost sat among other passengers on an underground train. The character is dressed in traditional high collared Chinese clothing with a white face and blood red lips. That may not have been enough to scare away busi