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30 January 2009

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  • 211: Anna

    Dirs. Paolo Serbandini and Giovanna Massimetti, Italy, 2008, 89 minutes.
  • 38th edition of Rotterdam opens with plea for Hubert Bals Fund

    Rutger Wolfson, director of the International Film Festival Rotterdam made an impassioned defence of the work of Rotterdam's Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) at the opening of the 38th edition of the festival last night. The fund, devoted to supporting filmmaking in developing countries, has just received a qualified vote of confidence from its principal backer, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Aid. Wolfson expressed his relief that after a period of uncertainty, the Ministr
  • 38th International Rotterdam Film Festival opens

    The 38th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) will open tonight(January 21) with outdoor screenings of three specially commissioned films by Carlos Reygadas, Guy Maddin and Nanouk Leopold. The films will be projected high on the sides of buildings in the city's centre. In Maddin's Send Me to the 'lectric Chair, which screens on a permanent 7 minute loop from 6pm until 1am, audiences will see Maddin's regular muse Isabella Rossellini being slowly f
  • A Quiet Little Marriage wins narrative jury award at Slamdance

    Mo Perkins' A Quiet Little Marriage won the grand jury award for best narrative feature and the grand jury award for best documentary feature went to Strongman by Zachary Levy as the 15th annual Slamdance Film Festival came to a close at the weekend.Bes
  • Adventureland

    Dir/scr:Greg Mottola. US. 2008. 107 mins.
  • Afghan Star

    Dir. Havana Marking. UK/Afghanistan. 2008. 88mins.
  • Amreeka

    Dir. Cherien Dabis, US/Canada/Kuwait, 2009, 97mins.
  • Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre named president of Unifrance.

    Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre has been named president of French export body, Unifrance. He will replace outgoing president Margaret Menegoz whose departure was previously announced. A producer, de Clermont-Tonnerre worked as an adviser Prime Minister Raymond Barre before taking over the role of president of the Societe Francaise de Production (SFP) in 1979. In 1984, he created Revcom, a company that worked in both TV and film and which acquired Les Films Ariane in 1986.
  • Arthouse Films picks up worldwide on Doug Pray's Art & Copy

    Arthouse Films announced last night [January 24] that it had picked up worldwide rights to Doug Pray's Sundance documentary Art & Copy as the festival came to a close.David Koh and Lilly Bright negotiated the deal on behalf of Arthouse Films and Curiously Bright Entertainment with Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment on behalf of the film-makers
  • Bavaria Film International adds six Berlinale world premieres to EFM sales slate

    Bavaria Film International has added six of the forthcoming Berlinale's world premieres to its sales slate for the upcoming European Film Market (EFM). The six titles are: Maren Ade's competition film Everyone Else (Alle Anderen) about a couple during a holiday on Sardinia and their futile attempt to be as happy-go-lucky as 'everyone else'. Marcus Mittermeier and Jan Henrik Stahlberg's Short Cut To Hollywood. D
  • Benjamin Button tops Oscar nominations

    Paramount/Warner Bros co-venture The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button led the pack at the 81st annual Academy Award nominations announcement in Los Angeles with 13 nominations including best picture, best director and best actor for Brad Pitt. Only two films in Oscar history - All About Eve in 1950 and Titanic in 1997 - have been nominated 14 times.
  • Berlinale Official Selection 2009

    The 59th edition of the Berlin International film festival has confirmed the complete lineup for its 2009 official selection.Please click highlighted titles to see Screen review.BERLINALE OFFICIAL SELECTIONIN COMPETITION All The Others (Ger) - Dir: Maren Ade Cheri
  • Berlinale's 2009 Panorama programme finalised

    The section's main programme will open on February 5 with Danish actress-director Rie Rasmussen's debut feature Human Zoo while the Panorama Special strand will kick off with another debut, North (Nord) by Norway's Rune Denstad Langlo. The final raft of titles to be confirmed include world premieres of new films from German directors Andreas Struck (Sleeping Songs), Jochen Hick (The Good American) and Marco Wilms (Comrade Couture
  • Box office review 2008

    Box office reviews from around the world for 2008 with information on revenues and admissions by territory.Please click on territory to see box office results for 2008.International round-upNorth America domestic round-upAsia-Pacific round-up
  • CBS Films names senior marketing team

    CBS Films has announced key marketing posts and appointed Teri Boggess, Cherie Crane and Maggie Schmidt to senior positions.The three executives start work in February and will be responsible for designing and implementing all CBS Films' creative advertising, media and publicity campaign outreach and report directly to executive vice president of worldwide marketing Debbie Miller.Boggess is named senior vice president of creative ad
  • Chou and Lin to co-star in adventure film Ci Ling

    Chou will reunite with Kung Fu Dunk director Chu Yen-ping in the $14.6m (RMB100m) production. Chinese state-owned China Film Group Corporation, Beijing-based TV production company Joy Media and Taipei-based Chang Hong Entertainment, backer of Kung Fu Dunk, will jointly finance and produce the film. The story of the film tells of a couple who accidentally embark on a time-traveling journey to the tomb of Genghis Khan, and find themselves hunted by
  • CJ picks up two KAFA films debuting in the Berlinale

    Leading Korean distributor CJ Entertainment has picked up worldwide rights to two Berlinale Forum films - Members Of The Funeral and The Day After - both from the Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA)'s inaugural cycle of feature-length graduation films. Set for its international premiere in Berlin, Baek Seung-bin's debut feature Members Of The Funeral previously attracted attention on its world premiere in the Pusan festival's New Currents competition
  • Cold Souls

    Dir/scr. Sophie Barthes, US, 2009, 101 minutes.
  • Dare

    Dir:Adam Salky. US. 2009. 90 mins.
  • David Mackenzie's Spread sold to Anchor Bay in $3.5m deal

    Anchor Bay has paid in the region of $3.5m for US and Australian rights to Spread, David Mackenzie's LA hustler tale starring Ashton Kutcher.The distributor, which is ramping up its theatrical operations, closed the deal with CAA and Endeavor Independent late on Friday afternoon [January 23] following several days of bidding. TVA acquired Canadia
  • David Moscato appointed Managing Director of Universal Pictures Italy

    Universal Pictures International Entertainment (UPIE) has announced the appointment of David Moscato as Managing Director of Universal Pictures Italy. Moscato, who previously worked with Ingram Micro Inc, and Microsoft, was Logitech Europe's Regional Director from November 2007, managing teams in Italy, Malta and North Africa. He will now be responsible for Universal's home entertainment operations in Italy, looking after Universal Pictures Italy's base in Rome
  • Death Ray Films, Maya team for comic book adaptation El Zombo Fantasma

    Death Ray Films and Maya Entertainment are to adapt the Dark Horse comic book El Zombo Fantasma for the big screen.El Zombo Fantasma was created by David Wilkins and Kevin Munroe and will be produced under the Death Ray Films label recently formed by Chris Patton, Munroe and Robert Sanchez, who are current
  • E1 Entertainment to distribute Christal Films titles worldwide

    E1 Entertainment (formerly Entertainment One) has signed an exclusive long-term Canadian distribution and international sales agreement with Christal Films Productions for all the Montreal company's feature films worldwide. The deal covers all films produced by Christal founder Christian Larouche. Larouche's distribution company, Christal Films Distribution, declared bankruptcy in May of last year, sending several productions into distribution
  • Elle Driver swipes international rights to Arlen Faber

    Paris-based sales agency Elle Driver has picked up international rights here to John Hindman's romantic comedy Arlen Faber starring Jeff Daniels and Lauren Graham.The US Dramatic Competition entry received its world premiere here on January 18 and stars Daniels as the remote author of an iconic book about spirituality who falls for a chiropractor
  • Elle Driver to take London River and Samson & Delilah to EFM

    After a successful Sundance, French sales house Elle Driver is revving up for the European Film Market with new titles from Rachid Bouchareb and Warwick Thornton. Bouchareb's latest, London River, has its world premiere in competition at Berlin. It is his first film since the Oscar-nominated Days Of Glory which took the ensemble acting prize at Cannes in 2006. The drama, in English, stars Brenda Blethyn and Sotigui Kouyate. Set in London, the story
  • Endgame

    Dir: Peter Travis. 2009. UK. 109 mins. A fascinating subject - the behind-the-scenes negotiations between the ANC and South African government to end apartheid in 1985 - gets an intelligent if unremarkable screen treatment in Endgame, a made-for-TV thriller which had its world premiere at Sundance. Encompassing too many plot strands and characters in its 109 minutes, Endgame is ultimately bogged down in plot, leaving it unable to capture the story's emotion
  • Entertainment One rebrands as E1 Entertainment

    Canadian media company Entertainment One is rebranding its expanding operations under one global banner, E1 Entertainment. The new name comes with a new logo and the integration of its operations in Canada, the US, the UK and Benelux into four main units: E1 Television, E1 Films, E1 Music and E1 Distribution. On the film front, Canadian distributors Seville Pictures and Maximum Films have combined to form E1 Entertainment Canada under co-presidents David Reckzie
  • Film Europe picks up five films for EFM

    SPI International’s new sales arm, Film Europe, has picked up five completed films premiering atBerlin next month.
  • Film Movement picks up US rights to Sorin's The Window

    Film Movement has picked up all US rights to Carlos Sorin's Argentine drama The Window (LA Ventana) and will release the drama theatrically in May.The Spanish-language film won the FIPRESCI Award at the Valladolid International Film Festival and was an official selection in Toronto last year.Antonio Larreta stars as a bed-ridden 80-ye
  • Films by Loncraine, Scherfig and Guggenheim complete Berlinale programme

    Richard Loncraine's 1950s-set My One And Only, starring Renee Zellweger, Kevin Bacon, and Logan Lerman, will screen as a world premiere in Competition, while Scherfig's An Education, with Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard and Dominic Cooper, will be coming direct from Sundance for a gala presentation at the Friedrichstadtpalast in the Berlinale Special sidebar. A Berlinale Special gala presentation will also be given to Davis Guggenheim's music documentary
  • Financing - Box office - Stars fell to earth

    After a disappointing 2008, Indian distributors and exhibitors have high hopes for 2009. Last year began weakly, went on to have a few upswings thanks to some unexpected small-budget successes, and finished with two December hits. Take into account the cost of producing, marketing and releasing the films, however, and it appears the industry ended the year in the red."I estimate the Hindi film industry posted a net loss of about $20m (rup1bn) in 2008 as compared to a net profit of arou
  • Financing - China - Soft landing or china crisis'

    The credit crunch may be inflicting damage on China's export and real-estate industry but major players in the country's nascent film business are optimistic they can escape with just flesh wounds.September 2008 is known around the world as the start of the global meltdown; in China it was also the month when the film market peaked. Queues formed at cinemas in major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai to see films including Gordon Chan's Painted Skin, Benny Chan's Con
  • Five Minutes Of Heaven

    Dir: Oliver Hirschbiegl. UK/Ireland. 2009. 90 mins
  • France well represented in Adelaide's 13 competition titles

    The Adelaide Film Festival has chosen 13 films for its competition section including two that will have their world premieres at the festival, Granaz Moussavi's My Tehran For Sale, and Australian director Sarah Watt's My Year Without Sex. France has the most contenders in the line-up with Sylvie Verheyde's a vivid study of childhood, Stella; Arnaud Desplechins' (Kings and Queens) portrait of a family, A Christmas Tale; and two co-prod
  • French Cesar nominations announced

    Nominations for France's equivalent to the Oscars were announced Friday morning in Paris with Public Enemy Number One(Mesrine)at the top of the heap, and Arnaud Desplechin's A Christmas Tale (Un Conte De Noel)and Remi Bezancon's Le Premier Jour Du Reste De Ta Vie tying with nine nods each. Cannes Palme d'Or winner The Class (Entre Les Mur)also scored five Cesar nominations while Philippe Claudel's I've Loved You So Long took si
  • GK Films sets Knightley, Farrell for London Boulevard

    Keira Knightley and Colin Farrell have boarded GK Films' crime drama London Boulevard, set to begin shooting in and around London in early summer.William Monahan, who won the 2007 adapted screenwriting Oscar for The Departed that also earned GK Films chief Graham King the best picture award, wrote the scre
  • Glasgow Festival to open with UK premiere of In The Loop

    The fifth Glasgow Film Festival will run from February 12-22, opening with the UK premiere of Armando Iannucci's political satire In The Loop starring Tom Hollander, James Gandolfini and Peter Capaldi. Closing the festival is the romantic comedy Last Chance Harvey co-starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. Other selections include Cannes Palme D'Or winner Th
  • Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement for Lasseter and Disney-Pixar .

    The 66th Venice International Film Festival is to award the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to American director and producer, John Lasseter and to the directors of Disney*Pixar. For the first time in the history of the Venice Film Festival, the Golden Lion will celebrate the contribution of the directors of a studio alongside the achievements of a single filmmaker. The board of directors of the Venice Biennale assigns the award following a proposal from festival
  • Happy New Year bags four Swiss Film Prize nominations

    Christoph Schaub's Happy New Year garnered four nominations for the 2009 Swiss Film Prize QUARTZ in the categories of best fiction film, best screenplay, best actor and best film score. The five episodes intertwine the fates of people of a disparate group of people during Zurich's New Year's Eve celebrations. The film features Berlinale Shooting Stars Johanna Bantzer, Nils Althaus (nominated for best actor), Joel Basman, Bruno Cathomas and Den
  • Hardwicke, Hunt, Levine among Film Independent Directors panelists

    Directors Catherine Hardwicke, Courtney Hunt and Jonathan Levine will be among the panelists at Film Independent's ninth annual Directors Close-Up: Conversations On The Art Of Filmmaking series, set to run at The Landmark - West Los Angeles from February 4- March 11.Subjects under discussion will include music and sound design, the director's relationship with the creative team, writing and directing, and casting and directing actors.
  • High Point Films picks up Dutch hit Winter In Wartime for EFM

    Winter In Wartime, the biggest Dutch box-office hit of recent months, has been picked up for international sales by London-based High Point Films. The first market screenings of the film are planned for Berlin next month. The film is proving a minor box-office phenomenon in the Netherlands and attracted over 50,000 spectators on its opening weekend. Produced by Els Vandervorst's Isabella Films and San Fu Maltha's Fu Works, and directed by Martin Koolhoven
  • Holland and Italy threaten to withdraw from Eurimages fund

    A potentially serious rift is building at the heart of Eurimages, the Council of Europe fund for the co-production, distribution and exhibition of European cinematographic works. It has emerged that both Holland and Italy are threatening to withdraw from the fund, which currently has 33 members. 'They are unhappy with the way things are going and they are considering withdrawal,' a well-placed Dutch source has confirmed. Other members are understood to be concerned that i
  • Hungary - The week shall inherit

    International festival programmers are some of the strongest supporters of Hungarian Film Week. Cristiana Giaccardi, head of programming for Locarno, where Hungarian films have enjoyed a strong presence in recent years, will attend this year's in the expectation of finding at least one title for Locarno's next edition. "We really believe Hungarian cinema is very strong, and Hungarian Film Week gives you the opportunity to find out what's going on in Hungarian cinema," says Giaccardi.Jo
  • Icon scores foreign film nods for Australia's FCCA Awards

    Icon distributed three of the eight films nominated in the two best foreign film categories of the 25th annual Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA) Awards, it was announced today. The films are In Bruges and Slumdog Millionaire in the English language category and The Diving Bell And The Butterfly in the foreign language category. Scoring two nominations each are Disney (There Will Be Blood and Wall.E) and Sharmill
  • IFC Films takes UK comedy In The Loop for US distribution

    IFC Films has bought US distribution rights to Armando Iannucci's comedy farce In The Loop, set to get its world premiere here tonight [January 22], and will release on its IFC In Theaters platform later this year.The film will also get channelled through IFC Entertainment's exclusive deal with Blockbuster. IFC's Arianna Bocco and Betsy Rodgers brokered the deal with Cassian Elwes of William Morris Indep
  • In Focus - European film finance unveiling this season's model

    A year ago, Screen's European Film Summit in Berlin was already focused on the dark clouds on the horizon - the terms 'credit crunch' and 'sub-prime' permeated almost all the discussions. Few, however, were predicting the abrupt ending of a credit boom would lead to the kind of downturn we are now seeing in economies.The extent to which the wider global economic trends will impact European film will underpin much of this year's event on February 9 at the Canadian Embassy in Berl
  • India - Alone in the dark

    Indian writer-director Anurag Kashyap prefers the dark and dysfunctional to the frothy effervescence of Bollywood. “I try to show an India not seen before in a Bollywood film, its underbelly. The story should be rooted in India because that’s where I’m from,” he says.As a result, the non-conformist film-maker has attracted his share of controversy. His first feature, Paanch in 2003, was caught up in censorship battles and never released, and his next feature, Black Friday, about invest
  • International - Pounds and dollars

    Spri's Seven Pounds weighed in at number one in the international box-office chart for the January 16-18 weekend, with a 58% rise in three-day takings after expanding to 27 territories. The film debuted in several key markets, including Spain, where it placed top (with $4.2m from 322 screens), and France and the UK, taking second place in both (for $3m and $2.3m respectively). Over the weekend the film grossed $20.6m from 3,505 screens, doubling its total gross to $41.6m.The hig
  • Interview: Oliver Hirschbiegel

    The Northern Ireland 'Troubles' of the 1970s are a long way from Oliver Hirschbiegel's hugely successful drama Downfall about the last days of Adolf Hitler, but the German director sees many similarities.'I've always been interested in the human condition and how this brings forth extreme confrontation,' he explains.Hirschbiegel came to the Belfast-set drama Five Minutes Of Heaven, which has its world premiere in Sundance's World Cinema Dramati
  • Japan's NTV acquires 34% stake in Nikkatsu film studios

    Major Japanese broadcast network Nippon Television Network Corp (NTV) has acquired a 34% stake in Nikkatsu film studios. NTV cited the value of Nikkatsu's complete production cycle and its distribution-exhibition businesses as the main reason for its acquisition. Established in 1912, Nikkatsu also previously served as a production partner on NTV's hit Death Note franchise while NTV co-produced Nikkatsu's up-coming live action anime adaptation Yatterman
  • Jim Amos promoted to president of Sony Pictures Releasing

    Jim Amos has been promoted to president of Sony Pictures Releasing to fill the slot vacated by Rory Bruer, who was recently promoted to president of worldwide distribution for Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing & Distribution.Amos previously served as Sony Pictures' division manager and senior vice president of distribution for the Eastern division.He inherits a 2009 slate that includes Angels & Demo
  • Katharine Kim appointed CEO ofCJ Entertainment

    Katharine Kim has been appointed CEO of leading Korean investor/distributor CJ Entertainment. She replaces Kim Joo-sung, who was appointed to head cable company CJ Media in a slew of executive movements announced by conglomerate parentCJ Group yesterday. Having joined CJ Entertainment in 2005, Katharine Kim has become the first woman CEO in CJ Group. She was promoted from executive vice president of CJ Entertainment's International Business where she oversa
  • Lerman, Hadzihalilovic among Sundance/NHK award winners

    Sundance Institute and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have announced the four winners of the 2009 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards.The winners were selected from 12 finalists chosen from the regions of Europe, Latin America, the US and Japan by members of an international jury.Winners will be honoured at the Sundance awards ceremony on January 24. Each will receive a $10,000 award and a guarantee from NHK to purcha
  • Manure

    Dir:Michael Polish. US. 2008. 105 mins.The visual richness of director Michael Polish’s Manure is so striking that many moviegoers may simply forgive the film’s lack of an equally sumptuous story. After dipping their toes into the Hollywood studio-system with their last effort, The Astronaut Farmer (2007), Michael Polish and his writing-partner brother Mark have returned to their distinctive portraits of forgotten corners of American culture -
  • MarVista attends first EFM with new films including Hutton thriller

    Los Angeles-based MarVista Entertainment has unveiled the first EFM slate in its five-year history, led by the action thriller Reflections starring Timothy Hutton and thriller The Watch with Clea DuVall.Reflections
  • Max Mayer's Adam wins Alfred P Sloan Prize at Sundance

    Max Mayer's Sundance romance Adam is the recipient of this year's Alfred P Sloan Prize and $20,000 cash award honouring 'an outstanding feature film focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a scientist, engineer or mathematician as a major character.'Fox Searchlight acquired worldwide rights earlier in the week to the story of a
  • M-Line Distribution picks up Scandal Makers and A Frozen Flower

    Sales agent M-Line Distribution has picked up international sales rights to top Korean box office hits Scandal Makers (a.k.a. Overspeed Scandal) and A Frozen Flower. Scandal Makers has been an unexpected hit comedy starring Cha Tae-hyun (My Sassy Girl) as a former pop star confronted by not one, but two generations claiming to be his progeny. It has grossed $30.5m since its release on December 4. A Frozen Flower, directe
  • Motherhood

    Dir/scr: Katherine Dieckmann. US. 2009. 90mins.
  • New distributor enters Russian film market despite credit crunch

    Eugene Beginin, UIP Russia's former general director, has set up the new distribution company, Profit Cinema International, a title he might find hard to live up to in today's economic climate. Beginin's initial plan was to create a holding with the classic structure of a troika, combining a production company (Profit), a cinema chain (Cinema Invest) and a distributor (Profit Cinema International). However the economic crisis intervened, 'Unfortunately, as we we
  • New In Town

    Dir Jonas Elmer. US. 2009. 96 mins New In Town sees Renee Zellweger returning to the genre which, in the Bridget Jones films, has given her two of her biggest worldwide hits. But there's nothing in this run of the mill romantic-comedy - co-starring Harry Connick Jr and marking the English-language debut of Danish director Jonas Elmer - to suggest another big box office haul. A more likely fate for the Gold Circle/Lionsgate project (originally know
  • Nominees react to their Oscar nods from Mumbai to Hollywood

    Nominees were celebrating from Los Angeles to Mumbai to London on Thursday as news of the Academy Awards nominations flashed around the world. Speaking from the Indian premiere of Slumdog Millionaire in Mumbai, producer Christian Colson said local celebrations over the ten nominations earned by the film - which was also shot in Mumbai - were 'intense. It was crazy enough anyway and now it's gone bonkers.''We came with five Europeans and worked with a cast and crew of 400 people fr
  • Nordic Film Market lines up 200 delegates as Gothenburg film festival kicks off

    200 international film professionals have registered for the 10th Nordic Film Market - the business arm of Sweden's Gothenburg International Film Festival. Project manager Cia Edström has prepared a showcase of 19 fresh Nordic productions open to foreign distributors, sales agents and festival programmers. Among the most recent are Nils Malmros' Aching Hearts (Kærestesorger), which has been shot over three years; Dome Karukoski's Forbi
  • Nu Image, Pony Canyonstrike multi-title distribution deal in Japan

    Los Angeles-based Nu Image has struck a multi-title distribution with Japan's Pony Canyon kicking off with Sylvester Stallone's upcoming action film The Expendables starring Stallone, Jason Statham and Jet Li with Forest Whitaker and Mickey Rourke in talks to join the cast.The story centres on a mercenary suicide mission to overthrow a Latin America
  • Ortenberg leaves Lionsgate to run theatrical arm of TWC

    The Weinstein Company has issued a bold statement of intent about the strength of its upcoming slate and commitment to theatrical releasing by hiring Lionsgate veteran Tom Ortenberg as president of theatrical films.Ortenberg served more than 12 years at Lionsgate, most recently as president of theatrical films, and will commence work next week in the newly created position at The Weinstein Company's Los Angeles offices. He reports to Bob and Ha
  • Paramount unveils direct-to-cinema digital support plan

    As Hollywood continues to thrash out industry-wide digital cinema strategy and requirements, Paramount Pictures has gone ahead and unveiled a direct-to-cinema support plan.The initiative works in tandem with previously announced agreements with Digital Cinema Implementation Partners, Cinedigm (formerly Access IT), Kodak and Sony, but allows theatre owners to seek financing for d-cinema systems locally rather than wait for the more capital-inten
  • Peter And Vandy

    Dir/scr: Jay DiPietro. US. 2009. 80mins.Working from his2002 play, Jay DiPietro takes on the pitfalls of the modern relationship through an attractive - if combustible and highly tentative - young couple, played by Jess Weixler and Jason Ritter. While he works strenuously to open up the material, using jump cuts, nonlinear storytelling and recovered memories, the cumulative effect is distancing and DiPietro’s elliptical storytelling leaves the characters at a constant re
  • Peter Morris re-elected as chairman of BAFTA/LA

    BAFTA/LA has re-elected Peter Morris as chairman and announced its board of directors for the newyear.
  • Precious

    Dir: Lee Daniels. US. 2009. 109 mins.
  • Red Cliff II scales Korea's Lunar New Year box office

    The second part of John Woo's action epic Red Cliff topped South Korea's Lunar New Year holiday charts, with the film grossing $2.7m since its release on Jan 22. Distributed locally by co-financier Showbox Mediaplex, the film took in 588,683 admissions, according to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC)'s integrated box office data system. Released on the same day, Tom Cruise-starring Valkyrie grossed a total of $1.9m for 20th Century Fox Korea, while loca
  • Revanche (2008)

    Dir: Goetz Spielmann. Austria, 2008. 122 mins. Goetz Spielman's thrilling film noir moves from the sleazy slums of Vienna to the rolling green pastures of the Austrian countryside, but neither turns out as expected in this jaundiced view of human relations (which the director has already explored in his early films, most notably Antares). As his motley crew of characters shift - slowly - from crime to tragedy and a burning desire for revenge, the intricate plottin
  • Rosen, McManus named interim co-directors of LAFF

  • Rosen, McManus named interim co-directors of LAFF

    Film Independent senior director Sean McManus and director of programming Rachel Rosen will serve as interim co-directors for the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival, filling the gap left by Rich Raddon following his ignominious departure last November.Raddon resigned his post in the wake of a $1,500 donation to the Yes On 8 campaign in support of the ban on same-sex marriages in California. In an ironic scheduling twist, the Los Angeles Film Festiv
  • Screen opinion:Time to get real

    Could 2009 be the year we all get real' The thought springs to mind in contemplating the Alice In Wonderland aspects of the last few months. There has, of course, always been a surreal aspect to the industry but rarely has so much of the business seemed to be out of kilter with day-to-day realities.A couple of examples: everyone has been talking up 3D as the move that could take cinema into a new era this year. A Deloitte report this week puts it down as one of
  • Serbia - Saving grace

    "Serbia is currently the most competitive filming location in Europe," says Spanish-born producer Antoni Sole. "Crews are skilled and experienced, with an excellent knowledge of English and are much cheaper than those in Bulgaria or Romania. The facilities are also of high quality."Sole is an experienced producer who has set up an office of his production company ABS Producciones in the Serbian capital of Belgrade. He now divides his time between Serbia and Barcelona, where ABS is base
  • Shrink

    Dir: Jonas Pate. US. 2009. 105mins.A splintered look at the Hollywood dream factory through the perspective of Kevin Spacey’s quickly-unraveling Los Angeles therapist, Jonas Pate’s Shrink is more forgiving and humanistic than acid-tongued, more Entourage than The Player.Thomas Moffett’s script deals with familiar material - social ambition, personal destruction and the quest for redemption - and while it is sometimes less than convinc
  • Sin Nombre

    Dir/scr: Cary Joji Fukunaga. 2009. Mexico. 96 mins.
  • Slamdance competition entry The Ante sold to Panorama

    Panorama Entertainment has acquired all North American rights to the Slamdance Narrative Feature Competition entry The Ante.Max Perrier directed and Peter Proffit produced the dark comedy about an innocent encounter that escalates into a nightmare game of cat-and-mouse.A festival run is planned, followed by a platform theatrical release in late s
  • Slumdog marches on but BAFTA nominations did have surprises

    Danny Boyle must be savouring the 11 Bafta nominations for Slumdog Millionaire but Mike Leigh is nodoubt wondering why his Happy-Go-Lucky was so resoundingly ignored.
  • Slumdog takes ensemble cast honours at the SAG Awards

    Fox Searchlight's Slumdog Millionaire cemented its status as the Oscar favourite as it won the 15th annual SAG Awards' ensemble cast prize on Sunday night [January 25], while Sean Penn, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet and Heath Ledger took the top individual acting honours.Penn's acclaimed performance in Focus Features' M
  • Slumdog takes PGA Award, inches closer to Oscar glory

    Slumdog Millionaire produced by Christian Colson maintained its remarkable awards season momentum by taking the Darryl F Zanuck Producer of the Year Award for a theatrical feature in the 2009 Producers Guild Of America awards on Saturday night [January 24].Wall-E won the award for animated feature of the year and Simon Chinn took top honours in the
  • Sony Classics seals North American deal on Lone Scherfig's An Education

    Sony Pictures Classics has picked up North and Latin American rights from CAA to Lone Scherfig's well-liked rights of passage drama An Education as business started to heat up in Sundance. Also yesterday IFC Films took US rights from Paris-based sales agency Elle Driver to Tommy Wirkola's Nazi zombie horror film
  • Sony launches Blu-ray manufacturing in China

    Sony's Shanghai-based subsidiary company Shanghai Epic Music Entertainment has launched China's first Blu-ray disc manufacturing plant in the city's Song Jiang Industrial Development Zone. According to Wu Xiao, CEO of Shanghai Epic, the Blu-ray discs manufactured at the Shanghai plant will be mainly used for the domestic market. The facility has a capacity of 500,000 discs per month. If fully utilized, the output will account for 70% of global Blu-ray disc replica
  • Sony leads domestic box office weekend with Paul Blart, Underworld 3

    Kevin James, the star of TV's King Of Queens and a familiar supporting player in comedy features, confirmed his place in the big league as his first lead role in Sony's Paul Blart: Mall Cop stayed top in its second weekend, grossing an estimated $21.5m for an impress
  • Summit, Participant partner for multi-year distribution deal

    Summit Entertainment and Participant Media have entered into a multi-title, multi-year non-exclusive distribution deal through 2013.The agreement covers co-financing, international sales and a rent-a-system deal encompassing domestic and international theatrical, home entertainment and pay TV. The companies will combine their marketing prowess on releases.Plans call for as many as four films per year to be distributed through Summit
  • Sundance sensation Push wins both jury and audience prizes

    Push: Based On The Novel By Sapphire, Lee Daniels' universally acclaimed redemptive tale starring Gabourey Sidibe as a troubled young girl in Harlem, has won the 2009 Sundance US Dramatic Competition Grand Jury Prize and the audience award. Heading into Saturday night's awards ceremony [January 24] a number of buyers were in pursuit and a North American deal was understood to be imminent.
  • Sweden's TV 4 takes first steps into theatrical distribution

    Sweden's leading commercial broadcaster, TV4, will enter theatrical distribution with its production of Karin Svärd's drama-documentary, The Way Home-A Film About The Sin, The Guilt And The Shots In Knutby (Vägen Hem - En Film Om Synden, Skulden Och SkottenI Knutby). The film will be premièred on 35 digital screens on January 30. It is the first time a Swedish television station has domestically released a production which it has 100
  • Tesela Producciones reveals new slate of projects

    Spanish outfit Tesela Producciones will produce local director Achero Manas new family drama Franny & Joe (working title) and Argentinian director Adolfo Aristarain's political project Timote.Both projects are currently at the script stage. Manas is currently on the third version of his script for Franny & Joe about a father and daughter who try to improve their relationship after the mother's death. Tesela is searching for the cast and hope
  • The Good, The Bad, The Weird tops nominations for Asian Film Awards

    The Good, The Bad, The Weird - Kim Jee-woon's rollicking Oriental Western -has racked upeight nominations for this year's Asian Film Awards, including those for best film, director and cinematographer. Song Kang-ho picked up a nod for best actor, while Jung Woo-sung and Lee Byung-hun both got nominated in the best supporting actor category. Other nominees in the best film category are Chen Kaige's Mei Lanfang biopic Forever Enthralled, Hayao Miyaza
  • The Hungry Ghosts

    Dir/scr: Michael Imperioli. US. 2009. 105mins.
  • The Informers

    Dir. Gregor Jordan, US, 2008, 98 minutes.More atmospheric than following a strict narrative, The Informers, set in LA in 1983, follows the intersecting paths of several numbingly-indolent, over-priveliged Angelenos. True to its origins in a collection of stories by Bret Easton Ellis, the film is a fragmentary observation of hedonism, emptiness and loss.Stars in the cast (Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Mickey Rourke) should help promote this gr
  • The Match Factory to present five world premieres at EFM

    Cologne-based sales agent The Match Factory will handle international sales on four new films invited to screen in Berlinale's Competition. The films are: Uruguayan filmmaker Adrian Biniez's comedy Gigante, starring Horacio Camandulle, Leonor Svarcas; The Milk Of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada), from Barcelona-based Peruvian director Claudia Llosa; Veteran Greek director Theo Angelopoulos's drama The Dust Of Time
  • The Messenger

    Dir: Oren Moverman. US. 2009. 105 mins.
  • The Reckoning

    Dir. Pamela Yates, USA, 2009, 100 minutes The Reckoning looks inside the International Criminal Court and its efforts to prosecute those who commit crimes against humanity, showing the challenges of uniting the world community to act, even on mass murder. Pamela Yates's probing film should have a strong run on the festival circuit and then play on public television or cable channels in Europe and the US (which is not a member of the court). School and university m
  • The Strength Of Water

    Dir: Armagan Ballantyne. New Zealand-Germany. 2009. 86mins.
  • TheIndian film industry and the global economic crisis

    How well is the Indian film industry positioned to ride out the global economic crisis' Screen takes a look at the impact of the crunch on production and multiplex expansion as well as the country's high-profile international financing deals. The Indian film industry may have made headlines last year with the DreamWorks-Reliance deal and other attention-grabbing tie-ups, but it did not escape the financial chills sweeping across the globe.Box office appears to b
  • Top 20 European law firm SJ Berwin to close UK media division

    Top 20 European law firm SJ Berwin is to close its four-partner UK media division. The teamspecialises in media asset finance work. The closure of the media division will affect ten staff comprising four-partners, three associates and three secretaries. The partners are Tim Johnson who heads up the team, Sarah Bing, Charlotte McMillan and Nigel Palmer. A spokesperson for SJ Berwin told ScreenDaily that the firm decided to close the media team, which speci
  • UK box office revenues jumped 5% in 2008

    UK box-office revenues for 2008 saw a 5% increase on the previous year, according to figures released by the UK Film Council (UKFC). The figures, collated for the UKFC by Nielsen EDI, show that takings at the box office in the UK & Ireland totalled £949.5m in 2008, compared with £907m in 2007, making it the highest year on record.Several of the year's top films made significant contributions to the total box office, most notably the number one movie Universal's
  • UK cinema admissions grow 1.1% following bumper summer

    The latest figures from the Cinema Advertising Association show that UK cinema is bucking the media downturn, with 2008 marking a bumper year for admissions. UK cinema admissions have grown 1.1% year-on-year. They stand at 164.2 million for the year, up from 162.4 million in 2007. 2008 also marked the highest summer cinema admissions for 40 years, with the UK's cinema venues drawing in over 50 million visitors between June and August last year, an increase of 5.
  • UK 's Cineworld self-finances digital deal

    Cineworld, the UK cinema chain which is set to increase its number of digital screens by 100%, from 74 to 148, will self-finance the $5.57m (£4m) investment in order to capitalise on the growing 3D market. The chain would not be drawn on the details of the self-financing but the move is a bold step in a market where European exhibitors have been slow to take up the main alternative on offer - the virtual print- fee model. David
  • UK 's Cineworld self-finances digital deal

    Cineworld, the UK cinema chain which is set to increase its number of digital screens by 100%, from 74 to 148, will self-finance the $5.57m (£4m) investment in order to capitalise on the growing 3D market. The chain would not be drawn on the details of the self-financing but the move is a bold step in a market where European exhibitors have been slow to take up the main alternative on offer - the virtual print- fee model. David
  • UK 's Cineworld to install additional 74 digital projectors

    Cineworld, the UK cinema chain has joined with technology outfit NEC to double its number of digital screens. The investment in digital amounts to $5.57m (£4m) and sets the cinema chain up for forthcoming major 3-D films due out later this year, including James Cameron's Avatar. Under the deal, Cineworld, which operates 775 screens at 75 sites in the UK and Ireland, is adding 74 digital projectors. The company intends to have a total of 148 digital screen
  • Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans

    Dir Patrick Tatopoulos. US. 2009. 92 mins With Kate Beckinsale absent and her ex-partner Michael Sheen as its unlikely star, it's no surprise that the third instalment of the werewolves-vs-vampires Underworld franchise is more of a traditional creature feature than its hip'n'sexy predecessors. The shift might attract a few new, slightly older moviegoers to the R-rated Lakeshore Entertainment horror series. But, even with Doomsday's Rhona Mitra as a replacem
  • United Kingdom - Fresh blood

    Is Hammer really "rising from the dead" again' The UK company that made Dracula, Prince Of Darkness, the Quatermass movies and The Devil Rides Out has often seemed on the verge of resurrection. As 2009 begins, it is clear the long-predicted revamp is happening for real. And in its new incarnation, Hammer promises to be even more powerful than in its Christopher Lee prime.Hammer is now part of Exclusive Media Group (EMG), a highly ambitious new outfit backed by Dutc
  • United Kingdom - Mamma Mia! The numbers!

    UK box-office revenues for 2008 saw a 5% increase on the previous year, according to figures released by the UK Film Council (Ukfc). The figures, collated by Nielsen EDI, show box-office takings in the UK and Ireland totalled $1.3bn (£949.5m) in 2008, compared with $1.2bn (£907m) in 2007, making it the highest year on record.Several of the year's top films made significant contributions to the total box office, most notably the number-one film, Universal's Mamma Mia! The Movie.
  • United States - Atlantic crossing

    Overlook, as any self-respecting horror fan should know, is the name of the hotel in The Shining. It is also now the name of the sales outfit set up by Verane Frediani and Franck Ribiere.The company aims to have a presence on both sides of the Atlantic, and is an offshoot of La Fabrique De Films, the Paris-based company launched by Frediani and Ribiere in the summer of 2003. Overlook's head of sales Mathieu Robinet is to be based in New York."It's a good way to have one f
  • United States - New York giant

    Mark Lipsky, the former Miramax, New Yorker Films and Lot 47 executive, had been happily self-exiled in Arizona for five years working with technology companies when his old friend Brian Devine of Gigantic Pictures called."I was thrilled to be away from both New York and the film business. But I knew that if I came back there would be an opportunity to do some interesting, creative things here," Lipsky says of his return to New York to start Gigantic Releasing, the film distribution ar
  • Valkyrie gets big international launch through Fox in eight territories

    Seven Pounds ruled the roost last weekend as the Sony Pictures Releasing International drama edged past $40m with a $19m haul.Providing strong competition to the Will Smith movie this weekend will be Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International's Bedtime Stories, which has reached $70m. The family release launches this weekend in Brazil, South
  • Valkyrie leads international box office with $13.2m in 13 markets

    20th Century Fox continues to dominate the International box office in 2009 with another strong showing this weekend, lead by the much anticipated opening ofValkyrie.Tom Cruise sits atop the Hollywood overseas releases after the MGM/UA release Valkyrieplundered an estimated $13.2m through Fox International from 2,283 screens in 13 markets.The wartime thriller opened strongly in all its markets, ranking number one in Germany on $3.4m from 689,
  • White Lightnin'

    Dir: Dominic Murphy. UK. 2008. 90mins.
  • Wild Side Films takes French rights to Schrader classic Mishima

    Fortissimo Films has sold French distribution rights for Paul Schrader's cult classic Mishima: A Life In Four Chapters to Wild Side Films. The 1985 film portrayed the acclaimed Japanese author and playwright Yukio Mishima. It was d irected by Paul Schrader, who co-wrote with brother Leonard and sister-in-law Chieko. Zoetrope produced. The deal, for all rights within France, was brokered by Fortissimo senior vice president, sales and acquisitions Winn
  • Williams, Cattrall, Wilkinson, Belushi join Polanski's The Ghost

    Roman Polanski will commence shooting his French-German-UK contemporary thriller The Ghost starring Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan and new cast members Olivia Williams, Kim Cattrall, Tom Wilkinson and Jim Belushi in Berlin on February 4.Filming will take place mainly in Studio Babelsberg as well as additional locations in Berlin. Summit International
  • World's Greatest Dad

    Dir/scr: Bobcat Goldthwait. US. 2009. 98 mins.An Oedipal tale about a man who earns personal satisfaction at the expense of his spectacularly mediocre son, Bobcat Goldthwait’s outrageously-entertaining World’s Greatest Dad is the most fully-sustained and effective of the standup comedian’s three feature films. It sharply merges the director’s toxic and hilarious concepts with the brittle sentimentality of star Robin Williams in producing a movie filled with disqui