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3 June 2008

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  • 3D Journey to premiere at LA Film Festival

    Walden Media and New Line's Journey To The Centre Of The Earth 3D will receive its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival on Family Day on June 29.Eric Brevig directed the classic tale of adventure that stars Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, and Anita Briem.The occasion marks the first release of a film authored in 3D. Previously, 3D releases have involved converting a conventionally shot film in post-production.
  • Artificial Eye takes The Class, Il Divo and two other Cannes titles

    UK distributor Curzon Artificial Eye has picked up four films from Cannes, including Palme d'Or winner The Class (Entre Les Murs).The other acquisitions are Il Divo, O'Horten and Ashes Of Time Redux. Laurent Cantet's The Class, starring Francois Begaudeau, was sold by Memento. The French production is about a teacher's first year at a diverse school in inner-city Paris.Jury prize winner Il Divo by Paulo Sorrentino is an Italy/F
  • Astro Boy creator Tezuka's MW gets live action treatment

    Legendary manga artist and animator Osamu Tezuka's MW is being adapted into a live-action film starring Hiroshi Tamaki.Based on a manga serialised in Big Comic between 1976 and 1978, MW stars Tamaki as a high level banker leading a double life as a calculating serial killer. He takes revenge on the people responsible for accidentally leaking a military chemical weapon code-named MW while ultimately planning to use it himself to destroy the world. He confesses his sins to
  • Australia's Prodigy, UK's TFD rejoin for thriller Road Train

    Producers Michael Robertson of Australia's ProdigyMovies and Paul Cowan and Chris Wheeldon of the UK's TFD will again work together on Road Train.The supernatural thriller will mark the debut of director Dean Francis, working from a script by Clive Hopkins.Prodigy and TFD also worked together on crocodile horror hit Black Water. Road Trainwill start shooting in September in Australia.The story follows four young friends in the Australian
  • Bastion Pictures takes on Lovric's The Remedy

    Independent UK production company Bastion Pictures has optioned Michelle Lovric's novel The Remedy. The novel, a romance-thriller set in 1785, explores London's medical underworld, as two lovers search for truth amongst dangerous secrets and elaborate lies.Bastion Pictures, who are currently working with music video director Kevin Godley on Where the Treetops Glisten, plans to go into production for The Remedy for late 2009. Producers Andrew Thompson and Russell Ow
  • Bavaria takes on new Gronenborn, Haussmann films

    Bavaria Film International has picked up worldwide distribution rights to new films by Esther Gronenborn and Leander Haussmann.Gronenborn's Kaifeck Murder, which is headlined by Benno Fuermann and Cannes competition jury member Alexandra Maria Lara, is a fictional story based on a real murder case from the small Bavaria village of Kaifeck in the early 1920s.Six people living on a farm were killed with a pickaxe, but the crime has remained one of Germany's great unsolved
  • Beta Cinema closes about 40 deals at Cannes market

    Munich-based sales agent Beta Cinema has concluded around 40 deals at this year's Cannes market, including US pickups for the family entertainment film The Three Investigators And The Secret Of Skeleton Island, Veit Helmer's quirky comedy Absurdistan and Jo Baier's TV drama Stauffenberg. For more Cannes sales click hereFlorian Baxmeyer's first outing for The Three Investigators, which was released in
  • Boomtown Media seals sales on music doc

    Berlin-based sales company Boomtown Media International closed a number of distribution deals for major territories at last week's Cannes market for Thomas Grube's new theatrical documentary Trip To Asia / The Quest For Harmony. For more Cannes sales click hereThe 'fly on the wall' documentary on the Berlin Philharmonic's tour of Asia in 2005 has been sold to France (Films Sans Frontieres), Japan (Cetera International), the Un
  • Brandauer joins cast of Coppola's Tetro as Gallo's father

    Klaus Maria Brandauer is the latest addition to the cast of Francis Ford Coppola's Tetro which is in its ninth week of shooting in Buenos Aires.He plays Carlo Tetrocini, a symphony conductor and the father in the story. 'The father is a man of great complexity, arrogance and cruelty,' explained Coppola. 'He is both powerful and controlling. Klaus Maria Brandauer dominates the screen as his character dominates his family. With Vincent Gallo and now Klaus, I have two riveting ac
  • Breakthrough Brits showcased at Hollywood Black Film Festival

    The UK Film Council's Breakthrough Brits awards reception will take place in association with the Hollywood Black Film Festival in Los Angeles on June 5.British television director and producer Nigel Lythgoe will host the culmination of the Breakthrough Brits programme, which offers film-makers a networking, creative and business platform in the US.This year's honourees are: actor-playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah, actor-director-writer Noel Clarke, producer Esther Douglas, dir
  • Cannes buyers snatch up Michael Moore's latest polemic

    Michael Moore's follow-up to Fahrenheit 9/11 led a strong Cannes sales market for Paramount Vantage, solidifying its credentials as an emergent heavyweight supplier.Moore descended on the Croisette to personally introduce the project - which he is now understood to be filming at undisclosed locations - and described it as a wide-ranging polemic that addresses numerous issues blighting the US. Overture Films holds North American righ
  • Cannes hit Gomorrah crosses $8m in Italy

    While Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull clearly took the international crown this weekend, representing a whopping 65% of the top 40 revenue, a couple of Cannes competition films fared well in their home territories, each passing the $1m mark.The top 40 international films generated $225.5m across 41,367 screens for the period from May 23-25. For the full chart, compiled by Len Klady, click
  • Cannes market- Deals or no deals

    It is difficult to judge the success of the business done at the Cannes marketplace outside the context of the weight of hope, even expectation, that preceded it.After relatively flat markets at Toronto, AFM and Berlin, there was some hope Cannes would provide a necessary kick for business.Such hope was not entirely irrational. The numbers attending the market rose 2% with a strong presence from emerging - or re-emerging - territories such as Russia.The reordering of the
  • Cantet's The Class takes top honours from Screen's Critics Jury

    Laurent Cantet's The Class not only won the jury's Palme d'Or in Cannes, it also is the top-rated film from Screen International's Cannes critics jury. It scored an average of 3.3 out of a possible 4.0, making it the most popular of the 22 films in Competition.This year's jury votes were more polarised than ever, for example Clint Eastwood's The Exchange saw several 1 votes as well as several 4 votes.Other films faring well was Nuri Bilge Ceylan's
  • CBS Films hires Sullivan as CFO

    Reid Sullivan has been named CFO at CBS Films, the broadcasting giant's theatrical off-shoot that launched last year with the aim of making four to six films a year budgeted at up to $50m each.Sullivan arrives from First Look Studios where he also served as CFO.Prior to that he served as CFO for six years at Village Roadshow and spent eight years in the Sony fold in key executive positions.He will report to CBS Films executive vice president and COO Bruce Tobe
  • Cinecitta Board resigns after Berlusconi changes

    Cinecitta Holding's board of directors has said they will resign in a unanimous inside decision that exiting President Alessandro Battisti said was motivated by Italy's change in government after April's national elections put Silvio Berlusconi back in power.As part of his new government, Berlusconi appointed Sandro Bondi Culture Minister. While it is normal that a new Minister enacts changes over state run cultural entities (like Cinecitta Holding) Battisti and his board decided to cu
  • CineVegas honours career of Anjelica Huston

    The 10th CineVegas Film Festival will honour the career of Anjelica Huston with the Marquee Award and present Don Cheadle, Rosario Dawson, Viggo Mortsensen and Sam Rockwell with a Half-Life Award for their careers-to-date.James Caan will receive the festival's Vegas Icon Award, presented to an actor 'who embodies the spirit of Las Vegas and who has delivered memorable performances in films and shows set in the city.'The honourees will take part in on-stage interviews on J
  • CJ Entertainment wraps further Good Cannes deals

    South Korea's CJ Entertainment has announced a raft of further deals from a busyCannes, led by the UK deal for Kim Jee-woon's 'Oriental Western' The Good, The Bad, The Weird to Icon Film Distribution.(Theformerly announced UK deal with Tartanwhen Cineclick Asia was handling the titlehadpreviously beencancelled.)Kim's homage to Sergio Leone's The Good, The Bad And The Ugly screened in Cannes out of competition to enthusiastic audiences on the last Saturday of the fest.
  • Coproduction Office picks up Delta sales

    The Coproduction Office has announced further sales on its major titles coming out of the Cannes market.Competition feature Delta by Kornel Mundruczo - which won the FIPRESCI prize, sold to Lumiere and Filmmuseum in Benelux, France's Le Pacte, Look Know! in Switzerland, Silenzio in Spain, Seven Films in Greece, Bulgaria's Art Fest, India's Alliance Media Entertainment, Korea's Eureka and Mexico's Cinematograica.Meanwhile, Antonio Campos' debut feature Afterschool -
  • Cornish, Wasikowska honoured at Aussie Breakthrough Awards in LA

    Abbie Cornish and Mia Wasikowska will be the centre of attention at the Los Angeles-based Australians In Film's (AiF) fourth annual Breakthrough Awards on June 5.AiF president Susie Dobson announced she has established the Heath Ledger Scholarship Fund, which will be presented annually to a young Australia-based actor to help them pursue their career. The first recipient will be announced in 2009.Cornish stars in Kimberly Peirce's war film
  • Counterfeiters' Markovics to play Freud in new Adlon project

    Karl Markovics, the lead actor in Stefan Ruzowitzky's Oscar-winning The Counterfeiters, is to play the legendary psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud in the fictionalised docudrama Mahler On The Couch by the father and son team of Percy and Felix Adlon.The story, which is based on actual events, eyewitness accounts and journal entries, is set in the summer of 1910 and shows the famous composer Gustav Mahler (played by Johannes Silberschneider) in his marriage of nine years wit
  • Europe goes Sex mad, but Indy still on top overseas

    Knocked off its domestic perch, Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull stayed on top overseas despite hot weather across Germany and central Europe as a muscular $71.5m haul from 8,439 sites in 60 territories boosted the score to $266m.This weekend's domestic champion Sex And The City came in second on $39.
  • Europe joins Sex craze as Paramount pair cross $200m

    Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull will continue to dominate overseas this weekend and should soar past $200m.The adventure currently stands at more than $188.7m through Paramount Pictures International (PPI) and opens in India and several other key markets.Stablemate Iron Man will bring more good news for PPI as it builds on $196.7m to also cross $200m. The Marvel Comics ada
  • European Commission set to extend state aid rules until 2012

    The European Commission is set to extend the current rules for state aid for film support schemes until 2012.The move is designed to allow more breathing space while it considers the long-term future of the rules. The announcement came jointly from European Commissioners Viviane Reding and Neelie Kroes, who are responsible for Information Society and Media and Competition, respectively. The other director generals of the EC are now expected to approve the move.The decision to sh
  • European Commission softens stance on multi-territory licences

    The controversial debate on multi-territory licenses for distributing content online has taken a new turn as the European Commission tenders for a study into the possible economic and cultural impact of the scheme.The Commission's proposals for multi-territory licences have already met strong opposition from film industry bodies such as the UK Film Council, MPA Europe and the European Producers Associations Alliance.And this latest development could indicate a softening in the a
  • Films Distribution picks up Heisenberg's The Robber

    Paris-based sales agent Films Distribution will handle international sales on Benjamin Heisenberg's second feature The Robber (Der Räuber) which completed a first block of shooting last week in Lower Austria and Vienna, including scenes during the 25th Vienna City Marathon.The film is based on the novel of the same name by Martin Prinz about the true story, set at the end of the 1980s, of 'Pumpgun Ronnie' who combined a criminal career as a serial bank robber with his tal
  • FilmSharks International closes more deals on The Desert Within

    Buenos Aires based FilmSharks International has sold Rodrigo Pla's Cannes critic's title The Desert Within to seven more territories following its screening at Cannes.Pla's anti-religious parable has been picked up by Action Film for Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden, Pantheon Entertainment for Portugal, Seven Films in Greece and Alliance Lumiere for India.The film has already been sold to Distrimax for release in the US, and offers are on the table from companies in
  • Finnish industry starts sound awards to honour Jyrala

    Film director Mika Kaurismäki, singer/actor Samuli Edelmann, producer Pete Eklund, sound designer Joonas Jyrälä and Kari Jyrälä are working together to start a new foundation to honour late Finnish sound designer Paul 'Pappa' Jyrala, who died in 2007.The new association plans to launch the Pappa Awards for New Talents. Sony BMG Music Entertainment Finland is donating Euros 3,000 to the awards honouring new talents in film and music sound design.The inaug
  • Focus creams off Cannes sales for Milk, Mendes comedy

    Focus Features International has closed key UK deals at the tail end of a successful Cannes market for the sales operation.Sales chief Alison Thompson concluded business with Momentum on Gus Van Sant's Harvey Milk feature Milk, which is in post-production and stars Sean Penn as the slain gay rights activist.Contender has acquired rights to the Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart romantic comedy Trav
  • Fortissimo's racks up Cannes deals for Tokyo Sonata, Serbis

    Fortissimo Films has announced further sales from its Cannes slate.Wong Kar Wai's Ashes Of Time Redux, which screened out of competition, sold to Korea (Sponge) and the UK (Artificial Eye).Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Tokyo Sonata, in Un Certain Regard, sold to Korea (Sponge), France (ARP), Israel (United King), and Singapore (Cathay).Nathan Rissman's Malawi orphan documentary I Am Because We Are -produced by andfeaturingMadonna - sold to France (Fabrique
  • Grandsire takes Global Networks post in Paris

    Leonor Grandsire has been appointed to managing director, France for Global Networks, an international division of NBC Universal.The announcement was made by Francois Roux, managing director EMEA, to whom Grandsire reports. The appointment, based in Paris, is effective immediately.Since December 2007, Grandsire had been head of the Internet and media division of SACEM, the music authors, composers and publishers society in France. She previously worked at the TF1 Group.Re
  • Graphic novels get the Disney treatment through Kingdom Comics

    The Walt Disney Studios has signed a multi-year deal with Ahmet Zappa, Harris Katleman and Christian Beranek's graphic novel imprint Kingdom Comics to create stories with adaptation potential.Kingdom Comics, a new wholly owned Disney company, will develop original graphic novels and reinvent live-action brands from the Disney's film library. Disney Publishing Worldwide will have the first opportunity to distribute Kingdom Comics publications.Where appropriate Disney will
  • Greece's Odeon sues newspaper over 'defamation' in film review

    The divide between critics and the film industry took an unprecedented turn in Greece this week as Manos Krezias, the head of the local production/distribution/exhibition powerhouse Odeon, filed a lawsuit against Giannis Zoumboulakis, film critic of the Athens daily newspaper To Vima as well as against Christos Memis, editorial director of the newspaper.Claiming about $386,090 (Euros 250,000) in damages, Krezias accuses the defendants of defamatory slander and tarnishing of Odeon's rep
  • Hato set sail on Korea-Japan co-production Boat

    South Korea's Kraze Pictures has announced a co-production Boat with Japan's IMJ Entertainment to star Ha Jung-woo from recent Cannes thriller The Chaser and Satoshi Tsumabuki from arthouse favorite Josee, The Tiger And The Fish. Byun Bonghyun, producer at Kraze said, 'The Korean market has its limits, and the Japan market is doing well. IMJ and Kraze are both making a 50:50 equity investment, looking at the global market as one.'Directed by Kim Young-nam (D
  • Hellboy II to kick off Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House

    Film4 has announced the programme for its Summer Screen series at London's Somerset House.The people's premiere of Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II: The Golden Army kicks off this summer's programme on July 31.The series continues through Aug 9 with Pan's Labyrinth/The Exorcist/Peter And The Wolf (Aug 1); Brokeback Mountain (Aug 2); O Brother, Where Art Thou' (Aug 3), Leon (Aug 4), Fellini's 8 1/2 (Aug 5), Dr Strangelove (Aug
  • High Point continues Nothing To Lose sales, including US deal

    High Point Films has racked up more sales on Pieter Kuijper's thriller Nothing To Lose.In Cannes, High Point closed deals for North America (BFS Entertainment), Latin American pay TV (LAPTV), German-speaking Europe (Ascot Elite), French-speaking Europe (Sidonis Productions), FYROM (MCF), and Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia (Suraya Filem).'Nothing to Lose created a real stir in Cannes,' High Point head Carey Fitzgerald said. 'Its shocking subject combine
  • Hockman named non-executive chairman of Cutting Edge

    David Hockman, former chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Polygram Music Publishing, will serve as non-executive chairman for Cutting Edge.Cutting Edge's group of companies supplies music to the film, TV, advertising and gaming industries.The group companies include Liz Gallacher Music Supervision and Air-Edel Associates; services include music supervision, composer representation, recording studios, clearance & licencing and music publishing,The company has
  • Ibiza Festival starts new digital programme in second year

    The Ibiza International Film Festival kicked off its second edition May 23 and continues through May 31.The festival's new digital strand runs May 29-31, backed by the Balearic Islands government initiative SAITUR. Workshops will be on topics including finance in the digital era, a presentation, University of the Balearic Islands programmes, and Carlos Grangel talking about his latest project with DreamWorks.UK veteran Alan Parker has come on board as a patron to t
  • IFC makes another Cannes killing with Italian Mafia tale

    IFC Films has swooped on US rights to Gomorrah, Matteo Garrone's Cannes Grand Jury Prize winning Italian Mafia tale that drew wide acclaim following its competition screening.For more Cannes sales click hereThis is IFC's fifth acquisition of Cannes 2008 entry following last week's deal for Steve McQueen's Un Certain Regard entry Hunger, Na Hong-Jin's m
  • International - Cannes hits home

    While Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull clearly took the international crown this weekend, representing a whopping 65% of the top 40 revenue, a couple of Cannes competition films fared well in their home territories, each passing the $1m mark.Cannes Grand Jury Prize winner Gomorrah was the highest non-US film in the chart this weekend, taking $2.9m from 425 screens in Italy for a $6,868 screen average. The Italian mafia tale, directed by Matteo Garrone, r
  • Interview: Walter Salles

    Brazilians Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas have an agreement to co-direct films every few years which take a close look at life in Brazil.They have two films to their joint credit - Foreign Land in 1996 and Midnight in 1998 (as well as the Loin Du 16eme short from the Paris, Je T'Aime portmanteau in 2006).Their latest, Linha De Passe, which screened in Competition at Cannes, looks at four brothers al
  • Interview:Matteo Garrone, director of Gomorrah

    Matteo Garrone's coruscating portrait of life in two of Naples' Mafia-controlled suburbs was the talk of this year's Cannes, stirring critics into talk of a return to Italian cinema's neo-realism heyday.The director shot the film in Camorra territory such as Scampia, a neighbourhood where someone dies every three days at the hand of the Naples crime organisation.Despite this, and the fact Roberto Saviano, the author of the book on which Gomorrah is based, has received dea
  • Interview:Oliver Stone

    'America has defined itself in the early 21st century as a cowboy state. George W Bush has hyperbolically expressed all the cowboy mentality the world holds of America.'So says Oliver Stone from Louisiana, three days before he starts shooting W, his serio-comic look at the 43rd president of the USA and one of the most controversial figures of our time.Sold internationally by QED International, W looks at the president from the age of 20 to 58, after the start of th
  • Iron Man writing duo to adapt Ludlum thriller for Universal

    Universal has hired in-demand Iron Man writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway to adapt Robert Ludlum's thriller The Sigma Protocol.Paul Sandberg and Marc Abraham will produce with Strike Entertainment's Eric Newman.The Sigma Protocol was the last complete book that Ludlum, whose Jason Bourne novels Universal adapted
  • Kang to head KOFIC

    South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has appointed Kang Han-sup as the new chairman of the Korean Film Council (KOFIC). A well-known critic, Kang has been a professor of film at Seoul Institute of Arts since 1994. His experience also includes serving on the Media Ratings Board in the 90s.Kang, 49, has a DEA from the University of Paris II in media communications, an MA from Sogang University in mass communications, and a BA from Kyunghee University in French.
  • Kielbasa steps down from Sarasota Film Festival

    Jody Kielbasa is leaving his post as executive director of the Sarasota Film Festival after ten years in charge to pursue other artistic challenges.Mark Famiglio, executive board member and one of the founding members of the festival, has been unanimously elected president and succeeds Ian Black.Famiglio paid tribute to Kielbasa, adding: 'Through his efforts over the past ten years, we have become one of this country's premiere film events and have secured our standing in
  • Kinowelt's Cannes acquisitions include Toback and Aronofsky

    Germany's Kinowelt has announced its first raft of acquisitions from the Cannes official programme and market as well as projects picked up on the strength of their screenplays.James Toback's documentary Tyson, which screened in the Un Certain Regard sidebar and won the Knock Out Award, was bought from Wild Bunch as well as Darren Aronofsky's new project The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke as an ageing wrestler.In addition, the distributor acquired German right
  • Liberation takes UK rights to Daylight Robbery from AV

    UK distributor Liberation Entertainment has acquired UK rights to thriller Daylight Robbery from sales company AV Pictures.AV has also sold the film for Australasia (All Interactive), Benelux (European Film Partners), Brazil (PlayArte), CIS (Lizard), France (Swift Prods), Japan (New Select), Poland (Carisma), Thailand (J-Bics) and Turkey (Horizon International).Gavin Braxton, CEO of AV, said: 'We are delighted to have closed our first deal with Liberation, a young and d
  • Lionsgate delivers Transporter 3 to North America

    Lionsgate has picked up North American rights to Transporter 3 in which Jason Statham will reprise his action role as the tenacious former Special Forces operative turned delivery man Chev Chelios.The Transporter films, which launched in 2002, have to date grossed more than $130m worldwide and close to $75m in North America, where 20th Century Fox was the previous distributor.Lionsgate also
  • Locarno's Frederic Maire will move to head Swiss Film Archive

    The Locarno Film Festival will now have to start looking for a new artistic director after the news that the present incumbent Frederic Maire is to become the successor to Herve Dumont as head of the Swiss Film Archive from November 1, 2009.According to an agreement reached with the festival president Marco Solari, Maire will continue in charge as artistic director until the close of the 2009 edition of the Locarno festival.In an official statement, Maire regretted having t
  • Magnolia charmed by Great Buck Howard

    Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to Bristol Bay Productions and Playtone Pictures' The Great Buck Howard starring John Malkovich, Colin Hanks and Emily Blunt.The drama about a mentalist who tries to revive his career with the help of a novice road manager was one of the high profile premieres of Sundance that did not initially find a distributor in what turned out to be a muted market in Utah.Magnolia plans an a
  • Metrodome sees Mark Of An Angel with Celluloid Dreams

    UK distributor Metrodome has taken all UK rights to French psychological thriller Mark Of An Angel from Celluloid Dreams.The deal was struck between general manager - theatricaland broadcast Sara Frain, acquisitions & business affairs manager Kate Edwards and CEO Peter Urie for Metrodome, with Pierre Menahem for Celluloid Dreams.Safy Nebbou (Enfances) directs the thriller, which stars Catherine Frot and Sandrine Bonnaire. Michel Saint-Jean of Diaphana, who worked on
  • Mike Leigh joins speakers at the International Screenwriters Festival

    Mike Leigh joins some of the best-known names in the UK film industry for this year's International Screenwriters' Festival in Cheltenham.The event (July 1-3) has established itself in the last three years as one of the key events in the industry calendar, bringing together business and screenwriters.Leigh is enjoying another successful year with his Happy-Go-Lucky receiving both critical and box office success. The film's lea
  • Most read stories at Cannes 2008

    The most visited stories at ScreenDaily during this year's Cannes Film FestivalLaurent Cantet's The Class takes Palme D'OrRelativity Media looks to tie up international partners in Cannes Hopkins, Knightley and Paltrow in talks for King Lear India's Reliance Big Entertainment sets out $1bn
  • Narnia takes crown away from Partners in Japan

    Disney's The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian ascended to the throne at the box office this past weekend, earning $5.34m (Y551.84m) on 782 screens for a per screen average of $6,831.In an atypical release pattern, Caspian opened last Wednesday (May 21) without being tied in to a holiday or designated movie discount day. The resulting five-day total was $8.33m (Y864.9m).Caspian earned 53% of its take from subtitled versions and 47% from dubbed prints, in
  • New films by Popogrebsky and Voloshin to bepitched in Sochi

    New feature films by Alexei Popogrebsky, Igor Voloshin and Alexander Kott are among eight projects selected from more than 20 entries for the second edition of the Producers' Pitching to be held during the 'Kinotavr' Open Russian Film Festival in Sochi (June 7-15).Popogrebsky's new film The Last Day will be pitched by Roman Borisevich, who had also produced his second feature Simple Things which won the Grand Prix as well as prizes for Best Direction and Best Actor in
  • Nuri Bilge Ceylan to lead Sarajevo Competition jury

    The Sarajevo Film Festival has announced the feature film competition jury for its August event.Turkish writer/director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, fresh from his Best Director win in Cannes for Three Monkeys, will serve as president of the jury.The other jury members are UK director Hugh Hudson, Croatian actress Marija Skaricic, German sales veteran Michael Weber of The Match Factory, and Taormina artistic director Deborah Young.The Competition includes regional films fr
  • Odeon Sky Filmworks takes on The Stone Of Destiny

    Odeon Sky Filmworks has taken all UK rights to Charles Martin Smith's Stone Of Destiny from Arclight Films.Odeon Sky Filmworks head Tony Miller signed the deal with Arclight president Gary Hamilton.The comedy drama premieres at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on June 21.The cast features Charlie Cox, Kate Mara, Robert Carlyle, Billy Boyd, Peter Mullan and Brenda Fricker.The story is based on the true tale of how a group of Scottish nationalistsst
  • Oscilloscope gushes over FLOW documentary

    Beastie Boys founder Adam Yauch and ex-THINKFilm executive David Fenkel's Oscilloscope Pictures has picked up North American rights to Irena Salina's environmental documentary FLOW: For Love Of Water.The New York-based company, which was in Cannes scouting for titles for its inaugural slate and selling rights to Yauch's documentary Gunnin' For That # I Spot to Diffusion Partners in the UK and other dist
  • Pathe sees strong Cannes Market; including a dozen Cheri deals

    Pathe International has announced a slew of deals after a successful Cannes Market.Stephen Frears' Cheri, making its market premiere, sold to Italy (Rai), Latin America (California Filmes), CIS (Maywin Media), South Korea (Mars Film), Portugal (Castello Lopes), the Middle East (Teleview), Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia (Vizion), Greece (Audiovisual), Hungary (Budapest), Romania (Media Pro), Israel (Shapira) and South Africa (Sterkinekor).The film, set in 1920s Paris,sta
  • Pathe works with Sky for The Cottage simultaneous VOD/DVD

    Pathe Distribution are working with Sky to release Paul Andrew Williams' The Cottage simultaneously on DVD and Sky Box Office.The film will be available on DVD and to 8.8m Sky subscribers as pay-per-view both through TVs and new online VOD service Sky Player as of July 14. The film will be available for four months at standard cost of about $8 (£3.99).The comedy/horror stars Andy Serkis, Reece Shearsmith and Jennifer Ellison.Cameron McCracken, managing director o
  • Preview: International Screenwriters Festival

    In three years, the International Screenwriters Festival has claimed an important place in the industry calendar.Interview with festival head David Pearson The speakers Pitching events Sponsors O
  • Rapper programmes LA Film Festival sidebar

    The Los Angeles Film Festival has appointed the rapper Common as its Artist In Residence for the June 19-29 event.Common has programmed a sidebar of personally inspiring films that includes Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction and Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.The performer, who stars alongside Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy in the festival's opening night film
  • Regent to handle release of Pendergast's Kabluey

    Regent Releasing will partner with Whitewater Films to release first-timer Scott Prendergast's comedy Kabluey starring Lisa Kudrow, Teri Garr and Christine Taylor.Prendergast himself plays a man who helps his sister-in-law care for her unruly children while his brother is off fighting in Iraq.Rick Rosenthal, Gary Dean Simpson, Rhoades Rader, Jeff Balis and Doug Sutherland produced and Sarah Feinberg and Nancy Stephens served as exe
  • Revolver joins UK's Film Distributors' Association

    The UK's Film Distributors' Association (FDA) has added Revolver Entertainment as its newest member.The FDA now has 22 member companies.Revolver, which was founded in 1997, has released films including Kidulthood, Tell No One, andMy Brother Is An Only Child. Releases coming soon include Female Agents and The Wackness.Revolver chief executive Justin Marciano, said: 'We believe that, in this fluid, competitive market place, now is the rig
  • Screen opinion- What's the big picture'

    What's the headline for this year's Cannes'' a journalist from a European news agency asked Screen before the first screening had taken place.It's not a stupid question. Each year, there tends to be a trend that lends itself to neat and tidy summation. In recent times, we've had years that have leant towards the political, the grand auteurs, the genre pic.And one can normally rely on a particular part of the world to provide a 'wave' on which we can hang a story or two. L
  • Sex And The City beats Indy first-day average at UK box office

    Sex And The City had a stellar opening in the UK yesterday, taking $4.1m (£2.1m) across 453 sites on its first day.The film, which saw crowds of female fans waiting in long queues outside of London cinemas to get a first glimpse of the anticipated film, enjoyed a $9,004 (£4,563) screen average, beating out Indiana Jones' first day screen average last week of $8,114 (£4,119). Indy's first day takings took $4.4m (£2.2m) from 534 sites last Thursday (May 22).
  • Sex defies predictions with $56m US opening

    New Line's long awaited TV adaptation Sex And The City defied low-ball predictions and elbowed Indiana Jones off the top perch to launch at number one through Warner Bros on an estimated $55.7m.If the nay-sayers had been concerned about the breadth of the demographic that would turn out to support this film they needn't have been. While the field remained narrow
  • Sorrentino and Levy line up for Locarno jury duty

    Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, whose latest feature film Il Divo won the Jury Prize in Cannes' Official Competition, and Swiss actor-director Dani Levy (Mein Fuehrer) are among the first names to be confirmed as jury members for this year's International Competition at the Locarno International Film Festival (August 6-16).The other two confirmations so far are the Mexican producer Bertha Navarro (Pan's Labyrinth) and the Japanese filmmaker Mas
  • SPC confirms double acquisition from Match Factory

    Sony Pictures Classics has picked up US and Latin American rights to Ari Folman's Cannes competition entry Waltz With Bashir and North American rights to Bent Hamer's Un Certain Regard screener O'Horten.For more Cannes sales click hereSPC negotiated both deals with The Match Factory.In Waltz With Bashir
  • Starz lays out Table For Three starring Routh

    Filming began in mid-May in Los Angeles on the Starz Productions comedy Table For Three starring Brandon Routh, Sophia Bush, Jesse Bradford, Jennifer Morrison, Johnny Galecki and Liza Lapira.Michael Samonek is directing from his screenplay about a young man who invites a seemingly perfect couple to share his apartment. Nathan Reimann and Melissa Jones are producing and Karen Bailey serves as executive producer.The film is set to op
  • Sydney Pollack dies of cancer at age 73

    Film-maker Sydney Pollack died of cancer in Los Angeles on Monday, aged 73.He had been diagnosed with cancer about 10 months ago.The Oscar winner was a director, producer and actor; his best-known films include Out Of Africa, The Way We Were, Three Days Of The Condor, Tootsie and They Shoot Horses, Don't They.He was the founder, with the late Anthony Minghella, of production company Mirage Enterprises.Pollack's last films as a director were 200
  • The Critical View - Power corrupts

    Like many critics, I tend to mean something good when I describe a film as 'powerful'. But like many people, if you asked me if power was always a good thing, I'd answer that it all depends on how it's used.This semantic contradiction was brought home to me at the end of the Cannes screening of Clint Eastwood's undeniably 'powerful' new film, The Exchange (initially sold as The Changeling). There I was with a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat - and an angry resentmen
  • The Match Factory announces further sales for Cannes slate

    Cologne-based sales agent The Match Factory has unveiled another raft of deals for this year's Cannes slate in addition to the previously annonuced sales.By the end of the market, the animated documentary and competition film Waltz With Bashir by Ari Folman had been sold to over 40 territories, the latest including Australia (Sharmill Films) and Scandinavia (Future Film).Deals on Sergey Dvortsevoy's feature debut Tulpan, which won the Un Certain Regar
  • The Secrets to open Israel Film Festival in LA

    The US premiere of Avi Nesher's The Secrets will open the 23rd annual Israel Film Festival, which is set to run from June 12-26 in Los Angeles, before moving to New York and Miami at the end of the year.The event, which is the largest showcase of Israeli cinema in the US, will screen close to 60 Israeli films in this 60th anniversary year of the birth of Israel.The Spotlight premiere screening is Ayelet Menahemi's
  • The Strangers

    Dir: Bryan Bertino. US. 2008. 85 mins.Bryan Bertino's debut feature The Strangers is an effectively grim, exceedingly well-made horror thriller. Wringing atmospheric tension out of the familiar set-up of a besieged young couple, the movie mixes pulse-pounding scenes of explicit menace with stalking scenarios more rooted in sustained dread. Opening wide this week as modestly-budgeted counter-programming to Sex and the City, The Strangers
  • The Works plans September UK release for Jar City

    The Works UK Distribution is taking on the UK release of Baltasar Kormakur's Oscar submission and local box-office hit Jar City.The thriller is based on award-winning Icelandic novel Tainted Blood (Myrin). It stars Ingvar Eggert Sigurdsson as a police inspector who has to investigate a murder that might be tied to older crimes. He eventually has to follow the trail to answers that could be found in a controversial genetic database.The film will open in cinemas
  • Twelve titles competing at Transilvania International Film Festival

    The seventh Transilvania International Film Festival opens Friday in Cluj, Romania, with a screening of Michael Haneke's new US remake of his 1997 Austrian hit Funny Games.Catherine Deneuve will receive a lifetime achievement award at this year festival, which will close June 8 with a gala awards ceremony and a screening of Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream.The 12 titles in the feature competition include several films which have already established themselves inte
  • UK groups band together for new film education strategy

    The British Film Institute, FILMCLUB, First Light Movies, Film Education and UK Film Council are launching a new UK-wide film education strategy in partnership with the regional screen agencies and Skillset.The UK currently spends about $24m (£12m) on film education, and the UK Film Council is pledging a further $1.5m (£750,000) of National Lottery funding for the next three years, to help pilot regional partnerships.Film: 21st Century Literacy is designed to help young
  • Usen, NTT Docomo and KDDI heat up Japanese mobile movie market

    Japan's biggest contents and mobile serviceproviders Usen, NTT Docomo, and KDDI are heating up the mobile phone market for feature films with new services and upgrades this month. Usen's Mobile GyaO service launched a major upgrade yesterday for subscribers to NTT Docomo's i-mode internet service to watch GyaO movie, animation, TV and sports content streamed to phones through the Windows Media Video (WMV) format which provides higher quality sound and video and streaming for feature-lengt
  • Venice to show restored version of Celentano'sYuppi Du

    The 65th edition of the Venice Film Festival will host a special event dedicated to the newly restored and remixed version of Adriano Celentano's 1975 Cannes competition film Yuppi Du, which was set primarily in Venice.The film, considered a 1970s cult classic, will be shown in Venice's Sala Grande on Sept 4 with Celentano and actresses Claudia Mori and Charlotte Rampling in attendance.Celentano directed, co-wrote, acted in and composed the original soundtrack for Y
  • Venville's 44 Inch Chest starts seven-week UK shoot

    Malcolm Venville has started shooting his directorial debut feature, 44 Inch Chest. The film stars Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, Joanne Whalley, Stephen Dillane and Melvil Poupaud. The film is shooting for seven weeks on location in East London and at Elstree Studios.The film is about a man whose wife is unfaithful with a French waiter; he and his gang of friends go in search of revenge.Se
  • Veteran publicist Friedkin dies at 81

    John Friedkin, a veteran publicist and studio executive who started out as an adman and moved into publicity to represent Tony Bennett, died of respiratory failure on May 11 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 81.Friedkin was born in New York on December 9, 1926, and graduated from Horace Mann High School before going on to obtain his BA from Columbia University.Following a stint at the renowned Young & Rubicam advertising agency Friedkin moved into publ
  • X Verleih takes German-language rights to Egoyan's Adoration

    Germany distribution company X Verleih has picked up all German-language rights to Atom Egoyan's Cannes competitor Adoration. Written, produced and directed by Egoyan, the film won the Ecumenical Prize at the festival. It stars Arsinee Khanjian, Scott Sp