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3 June 2005

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  • Asian buyers dive for Sogepaq's Real movie

    Spain'sSogepaq has unveiled the first sales concluded on its highly anticipatedfootball feature Real, The Movie to a slew of Asian territories.Pony Canyon and Phantom Film picked up rights in Japan,while other distributors include Unikorea (Korea), Prime Pictures (Middle East)and Jiant Pictures (Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia).
  • Berk voted new Hollywood Foreign Press Assoc president

    Philip Berk has been electedpresident of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) for the 2005-06 cycle,following the group's annual election meeting.Berk, who writes for FilmInkin Australia and Galaxie in Malaysia, has belonged to the HFPA for 28 years andwill serve his fifth term as president.Mahfouz Doss was electedvice president, with Jorge Camara and Meher Tatna elected treasurer andexecutive secretary respectively.The new board of directors
  • Boyle, Crowley sign for Director's Cut of '25 Words'

    The UK Film Council's Development Fund has launched afresh version of its "25 Words or Less" initiative, partnering withdirectors Danny Boyle and John Crowley to bring new film ideas to the bigscreen. Backed by film companies Pathe UK and Intermedia, thenew "25 Words or Less: Director's Cut" project gets bothdirectors and financiers involved from the beginning of the script developmentprocess. Boyle (28 Days Laterand Trainspotting) and Crowley (Intermission)
  • Brave few shine behind Star Wars shadow

    Thisweek's international chart saw the battle of the also rans against the second(or in Korea's case opening) week of Star Wars: Episode III.WarnerBros' horror House Of Wax saw solid numbers with second place launchesin the UK, France and Belgium and other European debuts including Italy,Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands.
  • Buena Vista Germany picks up Three Investigators

    Buena Vista International Germany (BVIG) has picked up thechildren's adventure film The Three Investigators: The Mystery Of SkeletonIsland which will begin shooting in SouthAfrica this August.BVIG reportedly paid a seven-figure sum for the German rightsin a transaction which also includes the option for further films of thefranchise to be developed from the popular Three Investigators series of books.Florian Baxmeyer, whose short film Die Rote Jacke was nomi
  • Buyers take plunge for Pathe's Descent

    Buyers have been lapping up Neil Marshall's gorefest TheDescent, one of many new British horror films being touted at last month'sCannes market. After screening footage to buyers early in the festival,Pathe Pictures International (PPI) clinched deals with Avex in Japan, SquareOne Entertainment in Germany, Vertigo in Spain, CDE Videa in Italy, Svensk forScandinavia, ABLO/Quality Films for Latin America, Luxor for CIS, Korea Screenin Korea, Prooptiki for Greece, ex-Yugoslavia, Rom
  • BVI hopes Sin will beat Sith in UK, Italy

    This weekend'sinternational schedule offers a mixed bag of product, with Star Wars:Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith expected to dominate through strong holdovers as it bears down on$300m.Released throughFox International, the sci-fi saga currently stands at $268.7m and shouldperform strongly in its third weekend. A robust domestic haul may be enough topropel Sith past the$600m worldwide mark this weekend.Fox Internationalalso opens Elektra inJapan on 150 pr
  • Chiller Films to remake horror hit Piranha

    Atmosphere Entertainment and Relativity Media have announced thatthe first picture to go into production for their joint venture genre labelChiller Films will be a remake of Joe Dante's 1978 horror hit Piranha.
  • Chinaman set to travel to Karlovy Vary

    Nordisk Film has announcedthat Danish director Henrik RubenGenz's feature Chinaman has beenselected for main competition at the 40th Karlovy Vary International FilmFestival (July 1-9). Also in the OfficialSelection but not in competition will be The Merchant of Venice, directed by KV jury president MichaelRadford. The closing film of the festival wil
  • Chromophobia

    Dir/scr:Martha Fiennes. UK-Fr. 2005. 138mins.The second film by Martha Fiennes, sister of Ralph andJoseph, is a multi-linear choral drama that aims to tell contemporary Britainlike it is. But although there is some sophisticated writing here, and some enjoyableperformances from the mostly British ensemble cast, Fiennes' attempt to do akind of London Magnolia is over-ambitious and over-long.Onlyin the central storyline - in which Damian Lewis plays a laddish lawyer from aw
  • Cinderella Man

    Dir:Ron Howard. US. 2005. 144mins.Beautifullycrafted and emotionally uplifting, Cinderella Man reunites ABeautiful Mind star Russell Crowe and director Ron Howard to tell the trueDepression-era story of underdog American boxing champ Jim Braddock. It's aprime example of the kind of rousing melodrama that Hollywood, when it's nottrying to lure teens with special effects extravaganzas, can still do supremelywell. And it steps into the ring of t
  • Cinelibre stacks up with Cannes titles

    Celebrating its 30thanniversary, voracious Belgian indie distributor Cinelibre-Cineart has beenstacking up on new titles. Together with Dutchdistributor A-Film, Cinelibre-Cineart has taken Benelux rights to WongKar-Wai's The Lady From Shanghai, Golden Bear-winner U-Carmen,Tsui Hark's Seven Swords (tipped for a prestigious early slot in Venice)and Park Chan-Wook's Sympathy With Lady Vengeance.During Cannes, the company acquired competition entry Ba
  • Cinema, Aspirins And Vultures (Cinema, Aspirinas E Urubus)

    Dir:Marcelo Gomes. Braz. 2005. 99mins.Odd, really, that up to now, nobody has ever thought ofmaking a film about a travelling aspirin salesman in north-eastern Brazil inthe early 1940s. First-time director Marcelo Gomes has not only come up withthe definitive movie on the subject - he also provided us with one of the morepleasant surprises in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at Cannes.Anoffbeat, slow-paced buddy road movie, Cinema, Aspirins And Vulture
  • Cold Showers (Douches Froides)

    Dir: Antony Cordier. Fr.2005. 100mins.The debut fiction feature from young French directorAntony Cordier, Cold Showers may not score heavily in terms of novelty:it is, after all, a small-town coming-of-age story trimmed with edgy teenagesex. Nevertheless, his rites-of-passage feature, which screened in Directors'Fortnight at Cannes, brings an unshowy, observation intelligence to anostensibly familiar story of adolescent blues.Cordier previously
  • Colonna leaves CNC post after nine months

    After a nine month stint, CNCpresident Catherine Colonna has been named deputy minister of European Affairsby president Jacques Chirac's government.
  • Constantin readies slate of international projects

    While thesteady flow of German private equity into Stateside projects may now be a thingof the past, the German film industry's growing presence as a serious player onthe international stage will nevertheless be given a boost this summer byConstantin Film's busy production schedule.Constantinsaw shooting crank up in China at the beginning of May on Hong Kong actionexpert Cory Yuen's Dead Of Alive (aka DOA) based on Tecmo's bestselling videogamefranchise of the same name a
  • Cote, Gaul bookend 23rd annual Outfest in LA

    Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau's comedy Cote D'Azur (aka Crustaces Et Coquillages) and Craig Lucas' psychological thrillerThe Dying Gaul bookendthe 23rd Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Outfest, which runs fromJul 7-18.
  • Doeren to deliver keynote at IFTA Production Conference

    Kodak Digital Cinema general manager William Doeren will deliverthe keynote address at the upcoming Independent Film & Television Alliance's(IFTA) annual Production Conference on Jun 16.
  • Down In The Valley

    Dir/scr: David Jacobson.US. 2005. 125mins.Hailed as the De Niro ofhis generation, Edward Norton finally has a chance to remind us why in DownIn The Valley. After a string of supporting roles and odd career choices (TheItalian Job, The Score, Kingdom Of Heaven etc), he once againtakes centre stage with a charismatic performance as a delusional lost soulwhose innocent demeanour conceals a whole world of trouble.His work
  • DreamWorks wins Match Point as UK buyers circle

    After a ferocious bidding war, DreamWorks has picked upNorth American rights to Woody Allen's Match Point for a reported $4m.The deal comes as UK buyers continue to circle what is considered one ofAllen's strongest commercial prospects in several years. The film, his first tobe made in England, is being sold internationally by London-based Hanway Films.A co-production with BBC Films, it is produced by Letty Aronson, LucyDarwin and Gareth Wiley."We received multiple offe
  • Dutch FilmWorks unveils big budget Cannes haul

    Netherlandsdistributor Dutch FilmWorks has unveiled a string of big budget acquisitionsfrom this year's Cannes film festival. Buys include Peter Hyams' $60m The Chaser fromSignature Pictures. An action film filled with special effects, it is about a bankrobbery which takes place in Key Largo during a tornado.It also bought Renny Harlin's Run, a high conceptthriller sold by Arclight, which is centred on a huge car chase in Rome, andaction picture The Life And Dea
  • Electric Cannes for Voltage Pictures

    Voltage Pictures has reported strong business at its maidenCannes, headed up by multi-territory sales on the Moscow-set horror picture After.Rightswent to Optimum in the UK, Amuse in Japan, Alpha Filmes in Brazil, CentralPartnership in Russia, Belga in Benelux, Village Roadshow in Greece, LNK inPortugal, and Gulf Films in the Middle East.John Stimpson's ghost story The Legend Of LucyKeyes starring Julie Delpy went to Falcomin Germany, Flashstar
  • Force stays strong as Sith approaches $300m

    Revenge Of The Sith swept past $200m at the international and $500m atthe global box office over the weekend as it remained the runaway number onetitle across the world.Playing on 10,554 international screens through Fox International, the sci-fisaga added an estimated $64.1m for a $248.7m international running total aftertwo weekends.Added to the current North American cumulative total, which according to Foxsources swelled by $55.3m over the three-
  • Force stays strong as Sith nears $300m

    RevengeOf The Sith fought off two strongdebuts to stay atop the charts over a four-day Memorial Day Weekend, whichdespite an impressive aggregate gross saw overall box office fall against theprevious year for the 14th consecutive weekend.Released through 20th Century Fox, Sith added
  • Former Alliance Atlantis executive Wilson launches LA publicity firm

    Former Alliance Atlantis Entertainment Group senior vice presidentof publicity Pam Wilson has launched publicity firm Ink Media Corporation inLos Angeles.
  • French court upholds Engagement ruling

    The Paris court of appeals Wednesday upheld its decision to blockJean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement from benefiting from French subsidies.
  • French court upholds Engagement ruling

    The Paris court of appealshas upheld the decision to block Jean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagementfrom benefiting from French subsidies.The film was stripped of its Frenchstatus in an original decision dating back to November last year. At issue
  • German DVD market soars to new record

    Turnover from sell-through and rental videos and DVDsreached a new record high in the first three months of this year, according tofigures compiled by GfK Panel Services Consumer Research for the video tradeassociation BVV.GfK's statistics showed revenues in the German homeentertainment market increasing by 12.8% from the previous record result ofEuros 361.5m in 2004 to Euros 407.8m in the first three months of 2005.Turnover in sell-throughDVDs helped drive the overall market. D
  • Gillies takes lead role opposite Cuthbert in Joffe's Captivity

    Daniel Gillies has been cast asthe male lead opposite Elisha Cuthbert in Roland Joffe's kidnap thriller Captivity, which began filming yesterday [Jun 1] in Moscow'sMosfilm Studios.
  • Harry Potter ponders UK future

    Hard onthe heels of's exclusive report that the next JamesBond film looks set to shoot in Prague comes more troubling news for thebeleaguered British production sector.HarryPotter producerDavid Heyman has confirmed to that it is not certainthat the fifth installment of the franchise - Harry Potter And TheOrder Of The Phoenix - willbe based in the UK."We areexploring all options to determine the best place in the world t
  • Hoffman confirmed to star in Tykwer's Perfume

    Ending weeks of speculation, Germany'sConstantin Film Produktion has now officially confirmed that US star DustinHoffman will play one of the leads in Tom Tykwer's forthcoming adaptation ofPatrick Sueskind's international bestseller Perfume.Hoffman has been cast as the perfumer GiuseppeBaldini, with the young UK actor Ben Whishaw (Enduring Love) taking onthe part of the main figure Grenouille and Alan Rickman cast as Grenouille'sopponent Antoine Richis.Shooting on
  • IFC Centre in New York to open on June 17 with Me You...

    New York's IFCCentre opens its doors on Jun 17 with Miranda July's award winning Me AndYou And Everyone We Know,which recently picked up a string of Cannes honours including the Critics WeekGrand Prize and the Camera d'Or.The IFC Centre is based on the former Waverly Theatre siteand features three theatres equipped to screen 35mm and high-definition digitalvideo, as well as digital editing suites, a restaurant, and a meeting area."The film embodies eve
  • India bans smoking scenes in films

    The Indian government has banned all scenes showing smokingor cigarette packs in films and TV programmes. The new law will apply to bothIndian films and to foreign films released in India.The move, part of a anti-tobaccoclampdown, also bans film-makers showing cigarette packs, billboards or usingany item with a cigarette brand name on it in their movies. Films that have already been shotand include scenes of people smok
  • Irish producers ask: where's the money'

    "If Neil Jordan needs more than a million Euro from the FilmBoard to get a film made then what hope is there for the rest of us'" So wentthe comment made by one Irish film-maker as word got around that Jordan'slatest film, Breakfast On Pluto, had received the biggest ever fundinginjection made by the Irish Film Board.It is a neat rhetorical point that shows a sense ofperspective lacking among those Irish industry grouches who believe anestablished film-maker like Jordan hardly n
  • KanZaman boards Basic Instinct 2

    Spanishproducer KanZaman has entered a new phase of growth with the announcement ofits participation in the estimated $80m Sharon Stone-starrer Risk Addiction:Basic Instinct 2.KanZaman co-founders Denise O'Dell and Mark Albela willtake executive producer credits on the film, to which they have a licence onall rights in Spain for an unspecified period. Antena 3 has already picked upfree-to-air rights from them
  • Korean Film Council names new chairperson

    The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has named AhnJeeng-sook, a former editor of weekly film magazine Cine21, to a threeyear term as Chairperson to replace the outgoing Lee Choong-jik. Ahn will join eight other commissioners newlyappointed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to oversee the operation of thefilm support body and to draft and implement film policy.
  • Lords Of Dogtown

    Dir: Catherine Hardwicke.US. 2005. 105mins.Based on the same true story that spawned the effortlesslycharismatic 2002 documentary Dogtown And Z-Boys, director CatherineHardwicke's Lords Of Dogtown offers forth an entertaining but relativelyimpressionistic look at the sweaty, counter-cultural explosion of streetskateboarding that took place in the late 1970s on the crookedly tapered, blackasphalt waves of Southern California's run-down beach towns.
  • Mandate reports hot sales activity on Grudge 2

    LosAngeles-based production and distribution company Mandate Pictures hasannounced a raft of Cannes sales on Gold Circle's romantic comedy Because ISaid So and Ghost HousePictures' horror sequel The Grudge 2.Announcing the sales yesterday [2], Mandate's senior vicepresident, head of international sales and distribution Mali Kinberg said eachsold to more than 25 territories.Because ISaid So went to Telepoolin Germany, Eagle Pictures in Italy, Aurum in Spain,
  • Merry Christmas (Joyeux Noel)

    Dir/scr: Christian Carion.France. 2005. 115minsThe miracle of aChristmas truce in the trenches of World War One is transformed into apolished, pan-European heartwarmer in Merry Christmas. Refreshinglytraditional in comparison with many competition titles, it places its faith inthe virtues of straightforward storytelling, handsome production values and atouching real life incident. It may seem very old-fashioned to some criticaltastes but there is genuine p
  • Oz distributors return from Cannes shopping spree

    All Australia's independent distributors, includingfirst-time attendee Jump Street Films and free-spending Dendy Films, cameback from Cannes with films in their suitcases. AccentAccent bought a pair of films from Wild Bunch: Sex AndPhilosophy and Sheitan. Sex And Philosophy isKandahar director MohsenMakhmalbaf's take on passion and possession through the eyes of a man whoarranges to meet all four of his lovers on the afternoon of his 40t
  • Producer and sales agent Dan Sales dies at 46

    Daniel Sales,the independent film producer and sales agent who launched Cinequanon Pictures,has died in Los Angeles. He was 46.Sales grew up inWest Palm Beach, Florida, and graduated from Brown University before moving toNew York City to pursue his lifelong love of cinema.He got his firstproducing credit on The Way It Is, Eric Mitchell's Manhattan drama starring Steve Buscemi andVincent Gallo, and moved to Los Angeles two years later in 1986.There he formeddevelopm
  • Quo Vadis, Baby'

    Dir: Gabriele Salvatores.It. 2005. 98mins.Gabriele Salvatores has taken a step back from thedramatic intensity of I'm Not Scared with Quo Vadis, Baby', arambling contemporary noir set in Bologna.Based on the same-name novelby Grazia Verasani, the film is worth a look chiefly for its atmospheric HDcinematography and for its original private eye protagonist - an unglamorous,unkempt, anti-social woman on the cusp of forty, played by Italian
  • Raintree revs up Stupid sequel

    Singapore's MediaCorpRaintree is cranking up production with two new projects set to shoot.Principal photography willbegin this month for I Not Stupid Too, sequel to 2002's smash hit INot Stupid.'I Not Stupid is a break-out hit and the most successful Singaporefilm. In Hong Kong alone, it was showing in theatres for more than five months,grossing $640,000 (HK$5m),' said Raintree CEO Daniel Yun. The original was alsoreleased in China, Malaysia and Taiw
  • Rudnitsky takes distribution job at Weinstein Company

    Longtime Miramax veteran Mike Rudnitsky has been namedsenior executive vice president of domestic distribution at The WeinsteinCompany.The New York-based Rudnitsky has served eight years atMiramax and will continue to report directly to Bob and Harvey Weinstein.He will continue his duties at Miramax on a non-exclusivebasis until the brothers' contract with the Walt Disney Company expireson Sept 30.Rudnitsky joined Miramax in 1997 as senior vice preside
  • Sith closing in on $300m after Memorial Day weekend haul

    RevengeOf The Sith fought off two strongdebuts to stay atop the charts over a four-day Memorial Day Weekend, whichdespite an impressive aggregate gross saw overall box office fall against theprevious year for the 14th consecutive weekend.Released through 20th Century Fox, Sith added
  • Sith passes $200m international and $500m worldwide

    Revenge Of The Sith swept past $200m at the international and $500m atthe global box office over the weekend as it remained the runaway number onetitle across the world.Playing on 10,554 international screens through Fox International, the sci-fisaga added an estimated $64.1m for a $248.7m international running total aftertwo weekends.Added to the current North American cumulative total, which according to Foxsources swelled by $55.3m over the three-day weekend, the wor
  • Sony Classics grabs Palme winner, targets Dylan biopic

    Cannes Palme d'Or winner TheChild (L'Enfant) has been picked up by Sony Pictures Classics (SPC)for US distribution, French sales house Celluloid Dreams announced today.SPC was arguably the busiestUS buyer for French films in Cannes with Michael Haneke's Cache andChristian Carion's Merry Christmas both going to the label. SPC is also negotiating for North American, Spanish and Latin American rights with Cinetic Media and Celluloid Dreams for rights to
  • Spain's Vertigo stocks up with Cannes goodies

    Spanish distributor Vertigo Films has acquired rights to theDardenne brothers' Palme d'Or winner The Child and Francois Ozon's UnCertain Regard screener Le Temps Qui Reste.Together with previous acquisitions made by Vertigo chiefAndres Martin earlier this year, the distributor now boasts a strong slate ofCannes titles including Jim Jarmusch's Grand Jury Prize-winner BrokenFlowers, Dominik Moll's inaugural film Lemming, Gus Van Sant's LastDays and Cris
  • The Death Of Mr Lazarescu (Moartea Domnului Lazarescu)

    Dir: Cristi Puiu. Rom.2005. 154mins.It's got to be one of the hardest sells there is: atwo-and-a-half-hour film about an incontinent old man in Bucharest who is takenill one evening, calls an ambulance, and is shuttled from hospital to hospitalin search of a diagnosis, a scan, and a free bed.But The Death Of MrLazarescu, a remarkable fly-on-the-wall drama which screened in Cannes' UnCertain Regard sidebar, is oddly compelling, and those who caught the film atthe fe
  • The League Of Gentlemen's Apocalypse

    Dir: Steve Bendelack. UK2005. 90mins.The League Of Gentlemen, rubber-faced Britishexponents of grotesque TV comedy, make a bravely eccentric cinema debut with TheLeague of Gentlemen's Apocalypse, a macabre farce that mixes theirdistinctive character playing with Hammer ghoulishness, movie-buff in-jokes andlashings of existential paradox in a Charlie Kaufman vein.The team - protean playersGatiss, Pemberton and Shearsmith, plus off-screen w
  • The Moustache (La Moustache)

    Dir:Emmanuel Carrere. Fr. 2005. 86mins.What seems like a merewhisker of a premise yields surprising results in The Moustache, aneconomical but impressive fiction debut by French director-writer EmmanuelCarrere.Originally known as ajournalist and novelist - his works were adapted by Claude Miller and NicoleGarcia as Class Trip and L'Adversaire respectively - Carrere tookto dire
  • TLA takes Centimetres, Profile at Cannes

    TLA Releasing has picked upNorth American rights to two pictures at Cannes, Ramon Salazar's Spanishmusical 20 Centimetres andChristoph Hochhausler's German thriller Low Profile.The New York-based companyalso picked up UK home entertainment rights to Eyton Fox's Israeli army romanceYossi & Jagger, and willrelease through its upcoming TLA Releasing UK division that is set to launch inSeptember.20 Centimetres follows a narcoleptic transvestite who craves
  • Yaffe awarded CEO stripes at Canada's Alliance Atlantis

    Alliance Atlantis Communications is changing its managementstructure, with chairman and CEO Michael MacMillan assuming the title ofexecutive chairman while Phyllis Yaffe, currently chief operating officer, willassume the CEO title. In a statement,the company said the changes in the management structure were "designed tofurther align it with the company's focus on maintaining exceptionalperformance and continuing our strategic growth within the broadcast industry."As executivecha