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Screen
30 March 2001

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  • Amuse, Toshiba link for Japanese film distribution

    Amuse Pictures and Toshiba plan to launch a new joint business for managing contents rights in the Japanese market, from theatrical distribution to TV program and package sales, including DVD and video.The partners aim to combine Amuse's strength in distribution with Toshiba's in DVD and Internet technologies to better exploit opportunities across a range of businesses and respond to the challenge of rapid digitalization and network growth.Amuse Pictures owns theatrical and othe
  • Beacon to remake Not Of This World

    Beacon Communications has acquired US remake rights to Giuseppe Piccioni's multi-award winning Italian film, Fuori Dal Mondo (Not Of This World).The film, about a nun's search for an abandoned child's father, was Italy's foreign Oscar candidate in 1999. Produced by Lumiere & Co and sold by Rome-based Intra Films, Piccioni's title has sold widely in Latin America and Europe, including Spain, Denmark and Belgium. Intra is currently in talks to close deals in Germany and Fra
  • Blow

    Dir: Ted Demme. US. 2001. 120mins.Using Boogie Nights, Paul Thomas Anderson's sprawling masterpiece about the porn industry as a model, Ted Demme's Blow is a solid but unexciting epic about the rise of the US cocaine subculture, told through real-life figure George Jung (now in jail). Johnny Depp gives a dominant performance as the first American to mass import the drug, who for two decades pursued the American Dream using charisma and entrepreneurial skills.
  • Cable giants UPC and PrimaCom merge in Germany

    UPC, Europe's troubled cable giant is to combine its German operations with those of PrimaCom, creating the third largest cable player in the country.At the end of 2000, PrimaCom had 1.01 million German cable subscribers chiefly in the Berlin Brandenburg and Saxony Anhalt areas, and a further 297,000 in the Netherlands. UPC, which already owns 25% of PrimaCom, separately has 530,000 subscribers in Germany. Mark Schneider, Chairman and CEO of UPC said: "We are delighted to form t
  • French politico tipped to succeed Hoss as CNC boss

    The well-connected political aide David Kessler is tipped to replace Jean-Pierre Hoss at the head of the Centre National de la Cinematographie (CNC), France's national film centre. His appointment is expected to be confirmed by the end of the week. Hoss was appointed to the CNC as recently as July 1999, but in his two year tenure he repeatedly clashed with communications minister Catherine Tasca. Most notably, he was criticised for his handling of the controversy arising from exhibitor
  • Full List Of Oscar Winners 2000

    Gladiator won Best Picture, as expected, but Steven Soderbergh surprised the room by taking the Best Director Oscar at tonight's Academy Award ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Soderbergh won for Traffic, one of two films for which he was nominated (the other was Erin Brockovich), and had been widely expected to split his own vote. Visibly surprised at the win, Soderbergh said backstage that "all of you must know that I wasn't expecting to win this.
  • Germany's Das Werk exceeds earnings expectations

    German digital postproduction and production house Das Werk brought some welcome cheer to an otherwise depressed Neuer Markt exchange in Frankfurt by posting a 157% increase in sales for the financial year 2000 to Euro 88.8m, 72% higher than the forecast Das Werk had made on its flotation in August 1999. In addition, the rapidly expanding media group recorded an EBITDA of Euro 34.5m, 292% up from 1999's Euro 8.8m and earnings per share (EPS) up 261% to Euro 0.65.Looking to the f
  • Gladiator, Traffic, Tiger share Oscar honours

    Gladiator won Best Picture, as expected, but Steven Soderbergh surprised the room by taking the Best Director Oscar at tonight's Academy Award ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Soderbergh won for Traffic, one of two films for which he was nominated (the other was Erin Brockovich), and had been widely expected to split his own vote. Visibly surprised at the win, Soderbergh said backstage that "all of you must know that I wasn't expecting to win this.
  • Hallstrom's confection pleases his local audience

    Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom might not have received his Oscar yet, despite two consecutive best picture nominations, but in his home territory he has once again confirmed his box office appeal and status as more than just 'flavour of the month' with the release of Chocolat.Hallstrom, who is based in Los Angeles with his Swedish wife, Chocolat actress Lena Olin, is regarded throughout Scandinavia as the region's foremost director; particularly after several internatio
  • Heartbreakers

    Dir: David Mirkin. US. 2001. 123mins.The only contribution, and it's a dubious one, that David Mirkin makes in his mildly amusing comedy, Heartbreakers, is to feminise con artists, a perennially male profession in American movies. The regal Sigourney Weaver and the sexy Jennifer Love Hewitt play a consummate mother-daughter team of grifters who make an art out of the bamboozle. A terrifically diverting Gene Hackman lends considerable support as their latest intended victim, a
  • Highlights from this week's SCREEN INTERNATIONAL

    STUDIOS POSITION PRE-STRIKE FILMS AS OSCAR 2002 CAMPAIGN BEGINSStudios are already talking up their powerful line-ups of pictures being readied for Oscar gold in 2002. The number of prestige pictures jostling for release slots in November and December is already formidable. The names in these films are pretty familiar to Oscar voters - Gwyneth Paltrow, Meryl Streep, Michael Mann, Stephen Daldry, Cate Blanchett, Lasse Hallstrom, Judi Dench, Steven Soderbergh and Russell Crowe, not t
  • Hungary's most expensive film ever set to roll

    Bridgeman, at $5m, the biggest-budget Hungarian film of all time, is due to start shooting in the last week of May or the first week of June. The movie tells the life story of István Szechenyi, the 19th century Hungarian revolutionary.The film had a planned budget of $6m (1.8 billion HUF), which was eventually reduced to $5m (1.5 billion HUF). The biggest part of the budget is provided by the Hungarian Cultural Ministry, but the project is also backed by the Hungarian Film
  • Indian superstar tops Forbes list.

    A year after being voted 'Superstar Of The Millenium' for an online BBC poll ahead of such luminaries as Laurence Olivier, Marlon Brando and Charlie Chaplin, Hindi cinema actor Amitabh Bachchan, has been ranked at the top of India's most powerful film stars by the Forbes.com web site. Bachchan whose popularity soared in the Hindi cinema in 1970s today rules over the TV business as the host of the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' The Forbes rankings are based on a propri
  • Istanbul honours Bertolucci, Tavernier, Corman

    Bernardo Bertolucci, Bertrand Tavernier and Roger Corman are amongst the film-makers receiving tributes at the 20th edition of the International Istanbul Film Festival. (April 14-29)Other directors being feted at the region's leading film event include Takashi Miike, the Japanese film-maker who made an international impression with the ultra-violent Audition. Spain's Ventura Pons, Austria's Michael Haneke and the US' Errol Morris also get spotlights, while German-Turkish directo
  • Italy's Donatello Awards follow box office lead

    After awarding a slew of prizes last year to sleeper hit Bread And Tulips, Italy's film industry nominations again matched local box office success. Nanni Moretti's La Stanza del Figlio, Marco Tullio Giordana's The Hundred Steps and Gabriele Muccino's The Last Kiss led the nominations for Italy's Oscar equivalents, the David di Donatello awards, each receiving nominations for best film, best director, best script, best actor, best editor, and best producer.M
  • Italy's German film festival line-up announced

    The second edition of Italy's German Film Festival is set to feature Germany's foreign Oscar candidate, No Place To Go by Oscar Roehler and Volker Schlondorff's The Legends Of Rita.The festival will also showcase Filippos Tsitos's Berlin competition title My Sweet Home, Turkish-German director Fathim Akim's Im July, a romantic comedy and road movie which follows a journey from Hamburg to Istanbul, and Lost Killers by Dito Tsintsadze, which appeared in
  • Japan's Cine Canon prepares kidnap

    Japanese production house Cine Canon is to make a film chronicling the 1973 kidnapping of South Korean president Kim Dae-jung in Tokyo. The picture is to be directed by Junji Sakamoto, who previously directed Face. The incident, was alleged to have been organised by then president Park Chung-hee, in an attempt to keep Kim from taking office.The film shoots on location in Korea and Japan and is set to be delivered for Japanese release in March 2002. The action will kick off with
  • Kinowelt aims international arm at Eastern Europe

    Kinowelt International (KI), the in-house world sales arm of Kinowelt, is to re-focus its activities exclusively on Eastern Europe, exploiting films acquired through New Line, Beacon Communications and Alliance Atlantis.Having already recognised the rapid growth in the Eastern European market - a five-year growth rate of 46% compared to 11% in Western Europe, KI has expanded aggressively over the past year through joint ventures and licensing deals in Poland, Russia, Hungary, Bulgaria,
  • LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER OF SCREEN INTERNATIONAL

    Due to circumstances beyond Screen's control, it is with great regret that I must inform you that Screendaily.com will cease to operate as a free international news and reviews website with immediate effect.The weekly print edition of Screen International remains unaffected. With almost 10,000 registered users, it is quite clear that Screendaily.com is addressing a distinct need in the market for daily news, reviews and box office comment on the complex inte
  • Letter From The Publisher Of Screen International

    Due to circumstances beyond Screen's control, it is with great regret that I must inform you that Screendaily.com will cease to operate as a free international news and reviews website with immediate effect.The weekly print edition of Screen International remains unaffected. With almost 10,000 registered users, it is quite clear that Screendaily.com is addressing a distinct need in the market for daily news, reviews and box office comment on the complex inte
  • Lions Gate gets All Over The Guy for North America

    Lions Gate Entertainment has acquired all North American rights to Julie Davis' All Over the Guy. The romantic comedy stars Dan Bucatinsky, who wrote the original screenplay based on his stage play. Davis directed I Love You Don't Touch Me and Amy's Orgasm.The new film, which is slated for an August release, also stars Richard Ruccolos, Sasha Alexander and Adam Goldberg and features Lisa Kudrow, Christina Ricci and and Doris Roberts.Executive produced by Don Roos and Susan B. La
  • MGM hits with Heartbreakers; comedy takes $12.3m

    MGM had its second hit of the year with Heartbreakers, a mother-daughter con team comedy which grossed $12.3m over Oscar weekend to take the top spot at the North American box office.Co-financed with upcoming UK independent Winchester Films, Heartbreakers had previewed over the last two Saturdays and generated strong word of mouth. Reviews were generally favourable for the film directed by David Mirkin and starring Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ray Liotta, Jason
  • Music publishers sing from the same sheet

    German publishing houses Eichborn and Achterbahn have joined forces to launch a company specialising in the devising and marketing of music for national and international feature films, TV productions and commercials.Double Fun will be managed by co-shareholders music consultant Andreas Kirnberger (Conception and Production) and media lawyer Steven A. Reich (Legal and Business Affairs, Publishing) as well as Achterbahn's Lutz W Bienek (Organisation, Finances).The company will in
  • New Indian outlet formed for Miramax-style films

    Mumbai-based film production company Numero Uno has teamed up with both leading Indian film distributor Shringar Films and New York-based Rossellini Associates in a venture to distribute specialist foreign titles across the Indian sub-continent.The first film tto be released in India through the venture is Life Is Beautiful, a Miramax title that Rossellini Associates hopes will be joined eventually by further Miramax art-house product in India.Numero Uno is owned by India
  • One small step for The Dish; a leap for Premiere

    Sydney-based Richard Sheffield and Wellington-based Larry Parr will launch New Zealand distribution entity Premiere Filmed Entertainment with the Australian hit film The Dish. The film, which had revenues of $16.8m from Australian cinemas alone will be released mid-year as a joint venture with its producers, Melbourne-based Working Dog. The film, about Australia's role in broadcasting the Apollo 11 moon landing to the world, has already earned $168,000 from a limited six screens
  • Renaissance reviews sales as Stephens, Bloye exit

    Sales veteran Bill Stephens is stepping down as head of sales at the UK's Renaissance Films along with the company's senior sales executive Charlie Bloye.In the wake of the departures, Renaissance co-chief Angus Finney, who did not return calls, is expected to oversee foreign sales strategy for the relatively well-heeled British production and financing outfit.The move comes after attempts by Renaissance to mount its most ambitious production yet - Bryan Singer's Confessions
  • SingTel set to buy Cable & Wireless Optus.

    After months of speculation Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) looks sure to buy Cable & Wireless Optus, Australia's second biggest telecommunications company and parent company of pay TV platform Optus Television.Optus has welcomed SingTel's offer of $2.3 (A$4.57) per share, which values Optus's equity at over $8.5 billion (A$17 billion), but it is yet to get the approval of shareholders and regulatory authorities. The company revealed the bid after alternative buyer Vodafone with
  • Spanish Las Palmas festival celebrates Europe

    Spanish and European films will have a strong presence at this year's second edition of the International Film Festival of Las Palmas, Grand Canary Island (March 24-31).Among the 13 feature films competing in the official section are Michael Hanneke's Code Inconnu (Fr), Cecilia Barriga's Time's Up (Sp-US-Chile), Kieron Walsh's When Brendan Met Trudy (Ire), and Rolf de Heer's The Old Man Who Read Love Stories (Sp-Fr). The US is repped by Christopher Guest's
  • Ster Century opens cinemas while awaiting sale

    Despite its stated intention of divesting itself of its exhibition interests, South African-owned multiplex operator Ster Century is forging ahead into the bustling Spanish cinema market with two new multiplexes planned for a spring opening.The company's new complexes in Madrid and Basque Country capital Vitoria will open in April and May, respectively. The Spanish sites will bring the number of Ster Century venues operative in Europe to 15.The company, which launched its first
  • Sydney prepares to welcome Matrix marathon

    Warner Bros in Los Angeles and the Premier of New South Wales Bob Carr in Sydney simultaneously announced today that Australia will host production of two sequels to the action thriller The Matrix, Warner Bros' biggest hit to date with a worldwide gross of US$450m. Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving all having committed.There will be some preliminary shooting in LA but US producer Joel Silver, Australian producer Andrew Mason, and directors Larry
  • Til Schweiger enters the ring as Max Schmeling

    Germany's leading film export Til Schweiger (Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Der Bewegte Mann) is to play the role of German boxing legend Max Schmeling in the $9m (DM 20m) Joe and Max which will begin shooting in Berlin under the direction of US filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams) from this May.The story, about the rivalry and friendship between the heavyweight boxers Max Schmeling and Joe Louis during the 1930s and 40s is being produced by the German media fund IWP In
  • UK cinema supply outstrips demand

    Despite a 7% increase of 200 new cinema screens last year, the UK's exhibition sector continued to struggle with sluggish market growth of just 3%, according to industry analysts Dodona Research. This is just the latest confirmation of a trend of industry supply growing faster than demand, that is afflicting many exhibition markets, notably in the US, but increasingly evident in continental Europe.Meanwhile, the Republic of Ireland saw an admissions increase of nearly 20%, agai
  • Viacom relents over Blockbuster business

    In the week when Disney slashed 4,000 jobs or 3% of its workforce, Viacom has ditched plans to sell video rental giant Blockbuster, after reporting improved business and a boost from DVD.Blockbuster has struggled for several years and Viacom, which is also the parent of Paramount Pictures, MTV and the CBS television network, among others, had been considering selling off its 82% holding. But plans to sell off the business, which has its own stockmarket quote, had been hampered by marke

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