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30 June 2006

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  • Academy revamps foreign language Oscar category

    The foreign languagecategory of the Academy Awards has finally been revamped after years ofcontroversy.The governors of the AcademyOf Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) this week endorsed a series ofchanges including one in which entries for the Oscar can be in any language orcombination of languages so long as the dominant language is not English.The move comes after lastyear the Academy rejected Saverio Costanzo's Private as the Italian Oscar entry because it was no
  • Allen promoted to evp, creative advertising and new media, at Searchlight

    Stephanie Allen has been promoted to executive vice president ofcreative advertising and new media at Fox Searchlight.
  • Balcony picks up US rights to Al Franken doc

    Balcony Releasing has pickedup US rights to Nick Doob and Chris Hegedus' cinema verite picture AlFranken: God Spoke To Us.Balcony plans an autumnrelease on the picture, which shot over two years and tracks the former SaturdayNight Live comedian and Liberalpolitical commentator as he tackles everyone from right-wing broadcaster BillO'Reilly to the Bush Administration.The Pennebaker Hegedus Filmsand Nick Doob Productions co-production was produced
  • Berlin's World Cinema Fund backs five new projects

    New feature projects by Mexico's Carlos Reygadas and Kyrgyzstan's Aktan Arym Kubat are among five filmprojects recommended for a total of $363,935(Euros 290,000) production funding in the fourth selection round ofthe Berlin-based World Cinema Fund (WCF). The WCF jury, comprising theFrench independent distributor Isabelle Dubar,UK-bas
  • Blaine Lourd sets up investment consultancy in LA

    Investment advisor Blaine Lourd has left AG Edwards to launch hisown investment consultancy Lourd Capital Management (LCM) in Beverly Hills.
  • Blockbusters edge out of the gate, as World Cup fever heats up

    The international box office is expected to take another heavyknock this weekend as the World Cup enters the crucial quarter-final stages withEngland, Germany, Italy, France and Brazil all in action.
  • Bloom to join Bosworth in Seasons Of Dust

    Orlando Bloom will join hisreal-life girlfriend Kate Bosworth in the independent drama Seasons Of Dust which has been written and will be directed byactor/film-maker Tim Blake Nelson (O, The Grey Zone) and is due to shoot this summer.Set in 1935 in Depressionera Oklahoma, the film is about a young farm woman forced to go on the run. "Anincident happens and she is has to go on the run and the film is about theevents that follow," explained Bosworth in LA recently. "It's a
  • Cambridge Festival to open with UK premiere of Volver

    The Cambridge Film Festivalwill host more than two dozen UK premieres at its 26th event, running July 6-16.The festival, headquarteredat the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse under festivaldirector Tony Jones, will open with the UK premiere of Pedro Almodovar'sCannes award winner Volver. Tidel
  • CineExpo told of great threat from closing release windows

    Theproblem of closing release windows is 'the only issue that can end cinemaas we know it,' John Fithian of the National Association of Theatre Owners(Nato) in the US told Cinema Expo Internationaldelegates in Amsterdam yesterday on the thornyissue.'Thepreservation of theatrical release windows is the most important issue weface,' he said, calling on distribut
  • Click tops US box office for Sandler, Sony with $40m

    Sony's latest Adam Sandler comedy Click took control of the box office as itdethroned Cars toopen on an impressive $40m estimated three-day haul.
  • Cowboys, Cuba screen at Rewind/Fast Forward in Miami

    Billy Corben's Cocaine Cowboys, Jay Rosenblatt's I Want To BeSomebody and MeganWilliams' Tell Me Cuba areamong documentaries at the upcoming 5th Annual Rewind/Fast Forward Film &Video Festival in Miami Beach.
  • Days Of Glory (Indigenes)

    Dir: Rachid Bouchareb. Fr-Mor-Alg-Bel. 2006. 125mins.Best intentions are commendably delivered in Days Of Glory (Indigenes), an earnest, well-produced and thoroughly researched epic saga about those North African soldiers who served with the French Army during World War Two.Following a quartet of Algerian recruits and their sergeant through campaigns in Sicily, the south of France and their final battle on the Alsatian front, the clear purpose of Rachid Bouchareb's
  • Deauville festival to welcome Lumet and Pollack

    The 32nd annual Deauville Festival of American Film will run September 1 to 10 in the Normandy seaside town.Actress/director Nicole Garcia is set to head the jury with the rest of themembers to be announced in late July.The festival, which showcasesAmerican independent film and acts as an autumn European launch pad for themajors, will this year pay homage to the 25th anniversary of theSundance Institute via a retrospective of films which have
  • Domestic rights to Snoop's Hood land with Xenon at LAFF

    Xenon Pictures has acquiredNorth American rights to Snoop Dogg's Hood Of Horror and has tentatively scheduled an autumn theatricalrelease followed by DVD.The project, which premieredat the Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) on Jun 27, comprises three creepy talesinvolving the residents of an inner city neighborhood whose actions determinetheir fate in the afterlife.Dogg, Danny Trejo, MethodMan, Jason Alexander, and Ernie Hudson feature in the ensemble ca
  • Edinburgh picks Reed's Odd Man Out for closing night

    The Edinburgh International FilmFestival (EIFF) announced that Carol Reed's 1947 film noir Odd Man Out will be the closing-night film at this year's 60thanniversary festival. The film opened the same year that the festival waslaunched, and a digitally restored version will be shown in Edinburgh (as well being shown in September in UK theatres through Park Circus).Also, the
  • Fabian Bielinsky dies of heart attack at the age of 47

    Argentinian screenwriter anddirector Fabian Bielinsky died yesterday in Brazil at 47 of a heart attack. Hewas in Sao Paulo to attend a casting session for a new commercial he was aboutto shoot.Only last Monday, Bielinskywas named best director of 2005 for his second feature The Aura by the Argentinian Film Critics Association, whichgave the film six Silver Condor awards in total including best film.Five years before TheAura, Bielinsky made his featuredebut with his
  • FBI claim to have smashed global camcorder piracy ring

    FBI agents claim to have smashed a global piracy ring followingthe arrest of 13 members of an organised network in the New York area.
  • Filmax raises $25m through bond issue

    Spain's Filmax has raised$25m through US investment groups subscribing to bonds it has issued. Filmax announced thetransaction, a coup for a 100%-owned Spanish company dedicated to cinema, onThursday afternoon. It was brokered by Barclays Capital for a period of up toseven years.Filmax, which isheadquartered in Barcelona and whose activities span production, distributionand exhibition, said the transaction would support its strategy of following an "international film studiomode
  • First Love (Hatsu-Koi)

    Dir: Yukinari Hanawa. Jap. 2006. 114mins.Teenage rebellion, social history andtrue crime merge together in tenderly anaemic fashion in First Love,based on a quasi-autobiographical novel by MisuzuNakahara. The first feature in 10 years by Tokyo Skin director Yukinari Hanawa, First Lovehas struck a slight chord with audiences in Japan - where it was released thismonth- for its reference to a notorious the
  • First ThinkTank draws 170 international delegates

    The inaugural Copenhagen ThinkTank, which took place last week, has been pronounceda success by organisers. "I think it wasextraordinary. We had 170 people there, representing 34 countries including Australia and Canada," the Danish Film Institute's chief executiveHenning Camre said. During the conference, delegatesbrainstormed strategies f
  • Fortissimo gets four Hal Hartley features

    Sales company Fortissimo Films has struck a dealwith director Hal Hartley and his Possible Films to add four of his films tothe Fortissimo library.Marking the first time Hartley has worked withFortissimo, the company is taking rights to 1990's Trust, 1995's Flirt, 1997'sHenry Fool and 2005's The Girl From Monday. Hartley neg
  • Four Minutes takes top prize at Shanghai festival

    German drama Four Minutes, directed by Chris Kraus,won the Jin Jue best film award at the 9th Shanghai International Film Festival(SIFF) on Sunday night, while Chinese director Qi Jian's The Forest Ranger was awarded the Jury Grand Prix.The nine-day festival had astar-studded closing night with Ed Norton, Catherine Deneuve and Spanishactress Carmen Maura appearing on the red carpet. However most of the awardwinners were absent from the closing ceremony.French direc
  • Four Oz features to receive FFC funding

    An adaptation of the SouthAfrican novel Disgrace, to star JohnMalkovich, and Mary & Max, ananimated feature by the team who made Oscar-winning short Harvie Krumpet, have been given the thumbs up by Film FinanceCorporation Australia (FFC).Both have the backing of localdistributor Dendy Films while sales agent Fortissimo Films has also thrown itsweight behind Disgrace, adding to thelikelihood that all deals will be locked in.Strictly Ballroom pro
  • Fox draws Cine Expo cheers for Night At The Museum

    Day two of the 15thanniversary Cinema Expo International saw strong response to the presentationfrom Twentieth Century Fox. Paul Hanneman, Tomas Jegeus, Fox Searchlight's Rebecca Keareyand a mix of on-screen and off-screen talent provided introductions to thecompany's product reel and evening screenings.A key scene from The Last King OfScotland, starring Forest Whitaker, James McAvoyand Gillian Anderson, elicited a particularly good response from the assembledaudience to the ini
  • Future Films' Australian plans derailed by tax office

    FutureFilms Australia today blamed the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for ditching, at least in theshort term, its plans to raise up to $182m (A$250m ) for new Australian filmsthis financial year. FutureFilms won't say how much it expected to raise by theJune 30 deadline but hinted that it was significant. It is now contactinginvestors to tell them their money will not be accepted because of the ATO's slow rulings about
  • Gaumont to shoot thriller Avatar in September

    Frenchstudio Gaumont has announced that it is inpreparation on Avatar, a first film by Julien Leclercq. The film is scheduled to begin shooting onSeptember 12 for ten weeks in Paris.Avataris a $10.9m (Euros 8.7m) production starring Albert Dupontel,Marie Guillard, Melanie Thierry, MartheKeller, Estelle Lefebure and Francis R
  • Geertsen says European industry should pay its share for digital revolution

    As the 15th CinemaExpo International got underway in Amsterdam today Anders Geertsen,director of distribution at the Danish Film Institute and director of the commercialmodule at the European Digital Cinema Forum, delivered a call to arms to theEuropean industry.Delivering the convention's firstkeynote address on the subject of digital cinema - a topic which will dominate theevent this year - in a session titled 'Tackling
  • German industry fights piracy with innovative campaign

    Attendees at Cinema Expo in Amsterdam heard how real progress is being made in getting themessage to consumers about copyright theft.Jan Oesterlin,managing director of Zukunft KinoMarketing,explained that the problem in Germany was that previous education-oriented campaigns didnot show results, so a decision was made in September 2003 to become more aggressive.Faced with t
  • German-French funders back films by Jacquot and de Chalonge

    Newfeature films by Benoit Jacquot and Christian de Chalonge are among four projects backed with a total of $1.4m(Euros 1.1m) by the German-French Funding Commission which is administered bythe German Federal Film Board (FFA) and France's CNC to promoteco-production between the two countries.Thelargest sum - $339,754 (Euros 270,000) - went to de Chalonge'sLa Chambre d'Ami, the only German majority co-productio
  • Germany's Splendid Film revives theatrical business

    Cologne-basedlicense trader Splendid Film is to revive the theatrical arm Splendid Filmverleih to handle the releases of its own films inGerman cinemas.Responsibilityfor Splendid's theatrical releases will be assumed bydistribution veteran Veronika Morawetzwho will continue managing her own independent distribution outfit Stardust Filmverleih at the same time.Splendid's first new release will be the Calista Flockhart horror thrillerFragile on November
  • Glickman stresses importance of international markets

    Day two of the15th anniversary Cinema Expo International got underway with a typicallyrousing speech from MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman.Glickman praised the international and European marketsquoting figures that the international market had grown 89% in the past fiveyears, that 19 of 2005's top 20 films made more money internationally thandomestically and that stressed that the impact of local films could not beignored.
  • Gold Reel awards go to 18 films crossing $100m

    Yesterdayat Cinema Expo, Nielsen EDI International handed out its annual Gold ReelAwards.The awardsare given to distributors whose films have crossed $100m at the internationalbox office in the 12 months since the last Cinema Expo.This year18 films achieved the mark, but while this did not match the record number toreceive the prize in at the 2005 exposition it did highlight some strengths ofthe international marketplace and also inspired creation of a new aw
  • Gretchen, Evil take top prizes at LAFF

    Steve Collins' high school comedy Gretchen won Film Independent's Target FilmmakerAward for best feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival's Spirit ofIndependence event tonight.
  • Grosch leaves beleaguered German fund VIP

    The beleaguered German private media fund VIP Medienfondshas been dealt another blow with the news of the sudden exit of managingdirector Andy Grosch. VIP's operations will now be managed solely by Dirk Spechtwho had been brought in this March to take over responsibility for the
  • Happy Feet draws strong response at Cine Expo

    Followingthe UIP and Fox presentations, Warner Bros was next in line to present itsproduct reel to exhibitors at Cinema Expo in Amsterdam. WarnerBros Pictures International's Monique Esclavissatrevealed that in the last five years 60-62% of Warner Bros theatrical revenuehad come from international box office. She also stressed the importance oflocal productions and Warner's commitment to them, reminding delegates thatsince
  • Inside Paris (Dans Paris)

    Dir/scr: Christophe Honore. Fr. 2005. 92mins.Up-and-coming French auteur Christophe Honore shows a surprisingly light touch with Inside Paris, the follow-up to hissombre, sexually challenging Georges Batailleadaptation Ma Mere. A thoughtful butlightly-executed, often ebullient, family drama with distinct stylistic nods toearly 1960s nouvelle vague, Inside Parisboasts engaging performances all around, es
  • Irish Film Board outlines new policies

    TheIrish Film Board (IFB) will encourage funding applicants to submit projectsearlier in the development process, its executives announced at a presentationyesterday evening. IFBchairman James Morris and CEO Simon Perry introduced a range of new policiesand procedures that will come into effect July 1. Inaddition to setting out some core principles to be used in decision making, thegroup has overhauled its method of assessing and processing applications for p
  • Italian minister ousts Cinecitta's board

    Italy's new culture ministerFrancesco Rutelli has dismissed state-owned Cinecitta Holding's entire board of directors.Cinecitta Holding owns distributor IstitutoLuce, which is also involved in production and exhibition, and promotional bodyFilm Italia. Cinecitta Holding is also a shareholderin the Italian capital's Cinecitta Studios.Inparticular, Cinecitta Holding is directly involved infilm restoration and worldwid
  • James Cameron to shoot Avatar next

    Director James Cameron hasbeen in pre-production on his next two features, Avatar and Battle Angel,but Avatar has won the race and willbe the first to shoot.Cameron told Cine Expoattendees in Amsterdam that he plans to continue to work in the 3D digitalformat for both projects. Cameron hopes to have Avatar, being made with Fox, finished for 2008 release.Avatar, ascience fiction project which Ca
  • Justus von Dohnanyi makes directorial debut with Hartz 4.2

    LeadingGerman actor Justus von Dohnanyi, who has appeared in such films as Oscar-nominatedDownfall, WWII drama Napola andthriller The Experiment, is makinghis directorial debut with the road movie-black comedy Hartz 4.2 (working title) which is shooting on location in Germany andSwitzerland until July 15.The$878,955 (Euros 700,000) production by Lars Buecheland Bernd T. Hoefflin's Hamburg-based element e filmproduktion also feature
  • Karlovy Vary kicks off with Garcia, Kim Ki-duk

    Andy Garcia received aCrystal Globe award for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema at the openingceremonies of the 41st Karlovy Vary International Film.The festival will see theEuropean premiere of Garcia's directorial debut, The Lost City, about a family torn apart by the communistrevolution in Cuba. Garcia's own family fled the island when he was five.With a nod to his host's ownexperiences living under communism, Garcia told the ceremony audience, "I can't think of
  • Locarno to show Veronica Chen's Aguas Argentinas

    Withless than six weeks to go before the launch of his first Locarno as artistic director onAugust 2, Frederic Maire has spoken about the preparations for the 59th edition of the festival ashis programme shapes up."Thematically,there are large number of films with teenagers and children at the centre andthey are the most interesting figures," Mairesaid. "The adult world seems to be falling apart, and hope comes from theyoung
  • London UK Film Focus to host 12 premieres

    The London UK Film Focus(LUFF), the annual showcase of British films for invited UK and international buyers, is looking to set up aco-production market along the lines of Rotterdam's CineMart. "It may be at the beginningor end of LUFF in 2007," said Adrian Wootton, chiefexecutive of organiser Film London. "Initial feelings from the companies and UK
  • Los Angeles Film Critics set awards dinner for Jan 14, 2007

    TheLos Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) will hold its 32ndannual film achievement awards ceremony the day before the Golden Globes on Jan14 2007 in Los Angeles.
  • Moviemax gets rights to Mr Magorium and King Of California

    Italian distributor Moviemax has acquired rights totwo upcoming US films: Mr Magorium'sWonder Emporium and King OfCalifornia.Sold by Freeway Entertainment, Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium stars Natalie Portman as the awkward clerk of a fantastical toy store. But whenthe 243 year-old eccentric store owner (Dustin Hoffman) leaves it to her, shemust decide whether she wants to run the emporium.The film, which is the directorial debut ofscreenwriter Zach Helm, is
  • Mueller tapped to head production at Senator

    Christoph Mueller, producer of Marc Rothemund'sOscar-nominated Sophie Scholl - The Final Days and managing director with Sven Burgemeister of Munich-based GoldkindFilm, has been appointed as the new head of Senator Entertainment's productionarm Senator Film Produktion as of July 1.Accordingto Senator Entertainment's Marco Weber, Mueller was 'from the outset ourabsolute ideal candidate for the post of the Managing Director Production; hehas an outstanding feel
  • Munich Previews to draw 50 international buyers

    TheEuropean representatives of such US distributors as New Line Cinema, TheWeinstein Company, Paramount Vantage, Miramax and Liaison Films will be amongthe 50 international film buyers attending the German Films' Munich Previewsshowcase.Theshowcase, being held in cooperation with the Munich Film Festival for the thirdtime, will run July 13-16. Othercompanies confirmed are the UK's Soda Pictures,
  • New Line sets $150m Compass for Sept 4 UK start

    New Line has greenlit production on its ambitious children'sfantasy project The Golden Compass following the casting of British newcomer 12-year-old Dakota BlueRichards in the lead role as Lyra Belacqua.
  • New Rome festival to honour Sean Connery

    SeanConnery will receive the new Rome Film Festival (Oct 13-21)'s first Acting Award,which pays tribute to a major living actor.Connerywill be the subject of a retrospective of 14 films, from his James Bond movie From Russia WithLove (1963) to Finding Forrester (2000).'Iam greatly honoured to be the first actor to receive the RomeFilmFest'sAward,' Connery said. 'Given by the City of Rome makes it all t
  • New US independent Outsider Pictures launches in Los Angeles

    Former studio marketing and distribution executives Paul Hudsonand Peter Peterson have announced the launch of Outsider Pictures, a SantaMonica-based distributor of independent features and documentaries in North andLatin America.
  • Offutt promoted to creative executive at Participant

    AmberOffutt has been promoted to creative executive at Participant Productions,freeing her up to work on development and production at the Los Angeles-basedcompany.
  • Olguin signs to direct Mayhem Project's Clock Tower

    One year-old LA-basedproduction and financing outfit The Mayhem Project has signed Chile's JorgeOlguin to direct horror film Clock Tower, based on the bestselling video game franchise from Japan's Capcom.The film, which is scheduledto go into production later this year, has been written by Jake Wade Wall (WhenA Stranger Calls, The Hitcher) andTodd Farmer (Jason X). The storyinvolves a young woman who receives a disturbing phone call from her estrangedmother warning
  • Paramount on board for feature based on Olympic short

    Paramount and Nickelodeon have signed on to turn Moongate Films's three-minutepromotional short Inspiration into afull-length feature tentatively titled LegendOf The Rings. UK-based Moongatecreated Inspiration for London's 2012 Olympic Bid, and the promo was shown to theInternational Olympic Committee meeting in
  • Poseidon, Code lead international box office

    The start of the World Cup elimination rounds, hot weather acrossmuch of Europe and a lack of new wide releases contributed to a lacklusterweekend at the international box office.
  • Pressman to bring Robert Maxwell story to the screen

    Ed Pressman is preparing to make a film of the London stage play LiesHave Been Told aboutRobert Maxwell, the British media tycoon and pension fund swindler who vanishedin mysterious circumstances 15 years ago.
  • Private investors fund new $22.6m The Red Baron

    Germany's most expensive new production in 2006, Niki Muellerschoen's $22.6m (Euros 18m) English-language production The Red Baron (Der Rote Baron), begins principal photography on July 3 in Prague as a 100% privately financed project. The financing for the film about the legendary First World War fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen has come exclusively from well-to-do private individuals living in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and was raised by the Stuttgart-based film finan
  • Q&A with Shanghai jury president Luc Besson

    In the same year that Canneshad its first Chinese jury president in Wong Kar-wai, China's leading filmfestival returned the honour by appointing a French jury president - filmmakerand EuropaCorp co-founder Luc Besson. In addition to his juryduties, Besson had a packed schedule of meetings with filmmakers, film studentsand government officials in both Shanghai and Beijing. His films are well known in
  • Quinn joins Streep, Liu in Dark Matter

    Aidan Quinn has joined Meryl Streep, Blair Brown and Chinese starLiu Ye on American Sterling Productions (ASP) and Saltmill Productions' drama DarkMatter.
  • Schwartz joins IFC Entertainment to develop day-and-date programme

    IFC Entertainment has appointed Lisa Schwartz as senior vicepresident of sales and business development and charged her with the task ofdeveloping the company's IFC In Theatres day-and-date releasing model.
  • Serotonin, Hope & Glory and Spice Factory partner for Bhopal

    TheUK's Serotonin Films isworking with partners Hope & Glory Pictures and Spice Factory to producethe drama Bhopal.Ravi Kumar is writing and directing his feature-lengthdebut, with Serotonin's Dominic Norris producing.Thestory follows a young rickshaw puller who gets a menial job at a chemical plantamidst the 1984 Union Carbide industrial disaste
  • Shochiku enlists Centro for live-action Kitaro movie

    Japanese major Shochiku andHong Kong-based special effects house Centro Digital Pictures are collaboratingon live-action creature feature Gegege NoKitaro. The film, directed byKatsuhide Motoki, is the first live-action feature based on Shigeru Mizuki'sfamous character, created in 1954, and popularised in the Gegege No Kitaro manga series from 1966-1970.Centro, established in 1987,is well-known for its effects work on KillBill 1&2, Kung-Fu Hustle and
  • Sojitz, DBJ team for animation sales venture

    Japanese conglomerate SojitzCorp, its affiliate Klockworx and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) haveinvested $12m (Y1.4bn) in a limited partnership to buy animation contents andlicense them to the global market. Sojitz is contributing 64%,DBJ 28% and Klockworx 8% of the investment in the partnership. Internationalsales of the contents will be handled through newly established company ARM. Simultaneously, 20% of theinitial investment in the partnership has been used to purchase
  • Spain's Cinema Jove gives top prize to Ryna

    Tough coming-of-age Romaniandrama Rynawon top honours at the 21st edition of Spain's youth-oriented Cinema Jove International FilmFestival (June 17-24).The jury selected director Ruxandra Zenide's featurefor the Golden Valencian Moon and its $22,612 (Euros18,000) prize for its risk-taking and emotional toughness. The story turnson a young woman looking to escape her tiny village and violent,abusi
  • Spain's Telespan 2000 to merge with Telson

    Leading Spanish producer Telespan 2000 is merging with Telson,the audiovisual arm of telecommunications giant Avanzit.The idea is to create anintegratedmedia holding incorporating companies from all sectors, withthe Telespan team heading content creation. The deal marks a first moveinto content creation for Telson, a specialist inpost-production services and thematic channel packaging, and forms part of anambitious plan to expand Avanzit's media division tocapitalize on the grow
  • Steckler, Greenfield join Searchlight in production roles

    JeremySteckler and Matthew Greenfield have been appointed senior vice presidents ofproduction at Fox Searchlight Pictures. They will report to production chiefClaudia Lewis.
  • Summer 'O4 (Sommer 04 An Der Schlei)

    Dir: Stefan Krohmer. Ger. 2006. 97mins.The certainties of life are shattered bythe presence of a disturbingly mature adolescent girl in Summer 04, aconstantly engrossing tale of shifting relationships and challengedperceptions. A smartly observed screenplay places well-developed charactersinto a series of situations that never unfold entirely as the audience mighthave predicted.There'sa hint of Michael Han
  • Superman Returns soars to $21m domestic opening day

    Superman Returns took approximately $21m from 3,915 North American locations onits opening day on Wednesday, according to Warner Bros.The studio rolled Tuesday night previews into the result,which includes unspecified figures from 76 IMAX screens to produce a $5,373average
  • Thailand gears up for Bangkok Dangerous shoot

    Thailand is set to host its biggest foreign shoot to date -Initial Entertainment Group's remake of the Pang Brothers gangster thriller Bangkok Dangerous - which is scheduledto start shooting for three months from this August. According to the Thailand FilmOffice, the remake, starring Nicolas Cage, will bring in $5.8m (220m baht) tothe Thai economy - outstripping Oliver Stone's Alexander which contributed more
  • The Holiday gets strong response for UIP at CineExpo

    Anyregular attendee of Cinema Expo International knows that Monday has becomeknown as UIP day. This year was no different, although CineExpo'sBob Sunshine introduced the beginning of the UIP presentation yesterday as'the end of an era' as chairman and CEO Stewart Till and presidentand COO Andrew Cripps prepared to deliver the last UIPproduct reel the exposition will enjoy prior to the company's restructuring atthe end of the year.U
  • Time (Shi Gan)

    Dir/scr: Kim Ki-duk. S Kor. 2006. 96minsA Kim Ki-duk film is never less than intriguing, and Time, his new feature, is no exception. His treatment of an increasingly fashionable theme, the popular use of plastic surgery to outsmart nature and relieve emotional insecurities, is in itself enough to draw attention. But as might be expected from such a film-maker, Time has more to it than its one-sentence plotline, and Kim Ki-duk uses it to tell an obsessive love story which, even
  • Toronto names 25 North American premieres

    The Toronto International Film Festival has announced 25 NorthAmerican premieres for its 31st outing this September, a line-updescribed as the best picks fromthe 2005-2006 international festival calendar. The selection includes Cannes highlights such as Ken Loach's Palmed'Or winner The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Grand Prize winner Bruno Dumont's Flandres, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's
  • Toronto names 25 North American premieres

    The Toronto InternationalFilm Festival has announced 25 North American premieres for its 31stouting this September, a line-up described as the best picks from the 2005-2006 internationalfestival calendar. The selection includesCannes highlights such as Ken Loach's Palme d'Or winner The Wind That ShakesThe Barley, Grand Prize winner BrunoDumont's Flandres, AlejandroGonzalez Inarritu's Best Director winner Babel and Corneliu Porumboiu's Camera d'Or winner 12:08Eas
  • Transe

    Dir/scr: Teresa Villaverde. Port-Fr-It. 2006. 126mins.There are the seeds of a coherently harrowing drama about European sex traffic in Teresa Villaverde's Transe, but you have to dig deep to find them. Part road movie, part abstract essay and - as the title suggests - part free-floating hallucination, the latest film by the Portuguese writer-director will mystify most audiences, and bore even those with a yen for ultra- rarefied European art cinema. Sales potential is min
  • TWC hires new general counsel from BMO Merchant Bank

    Attorney Peter Hurwitz has been hired as general counsel at TheWeinstein Company (TWC).
  • Universal brings downloads to own to France

    Following similar deals inthe UK and Scandinavia, Universal Pictures has struck a deal to offerdownload-to-own movies in France.Universal Pictures VideoFrance is partnerning with TF1 Vision to offer a"three-copy" download service. For a price of $12.54 to $25.08 (Euros 9.99 toEuros 19.99) consumers will get one digita
  • Uro

    Dir: Stefan Faldbakken. Nor. 2006. 104mins.A rogue undercover cop pursues a muddle-head path towards redemption in URO, a solidly commercial first feature from Stefan Faldbakken. Familiarity hasn't blunted the appeal of a character type that has been a fixture of police thrillers from the glory days of Sidney Lumet through to the more recent Infernal Affairs trilogy.Faldbakken's Norwegian variation on the theme is a more humble affair but the handling is sufficiently dynam
  • Venice Orizzonti to open with McGrath's Infamous

    The63rd Venice Film Festival has announced that new Truman Capote drama Infamous will open the Orizzonti competition section.Infamous stars Toby Jones asCapote alongside Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig, Peter Bogdanovich,Jeff Daniels and Gwyneth Paltrow. It is directed byactor-writer-director Douglas McGrath, whose credits as a director include Emma (1996) and Nicholas Nickleby (2002) and as ascreenwriter, Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway.Warne
  • Warner Bros opens Death Note at the top in Japan

    Warner Bros became the first non-Japanese distributor to launch aJapanese picture number one at the local box office with the release of DeathNote.
  • Weinsteins hatch unusual MySpace campaign for Clerks II

    Harvey and Bob Weinstein have unveiled their latest marketing gem,offering the first 10,000 MySpace members who add the Mooby's Presents: ClerksII page to their friendslist a permanent credit on Kevin Smith's upcoming sequel.
  • Withoutabox hires three international festival liaisons

    Withoutabox, the worldwide online network whose services include afilm festival submission system that connects filmmakers to more than 2,000events including AFI FEST, the Edinburgh International Film Festival and theDubrovnik International Film Festival, is expanding its reach with t
  • World Cup fans get documentary treatment from Visser

    Rosenbloom Entertainment andFlashpoint Entertainment are in production on Fan-Demanium, a timely feature-length documentary chronicling the2006 World Cup as seen through the eyes of ten sets of national fans.Matthias Visser is directingthe project, which among others focuses on an Australian fan following his teamin their first finals, and Uzbek uncles who cycled 4,000 miles to Germany toget autographs of their nephews' favourite football stars.Michelle Sy, Beth EliseHawk
  • Wurtz moves to Film Movement as vp, business development

    US distribution venture Film Movement has bulked up its executivesuite with the appointment of Meghan Wurtz as vice president of businessdevelopment.
  • Zhang's Curse lands at Sony Pictures Classics

    SonyPictures Classics has picked up North American and Latin American rights toZhang Yimou's period epic Curse Of The Golden Flower.