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Screen
30 March 2005

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  • 2nd annual Syracuse fest in US has international flavour

    A total of 126 independent features from 23 countries areset to screen at the second annual Syracuse International Film and VideoFestival (SIFVF), which runs from Apr 28-May 1 in New York.Features include Rainbow, Gao Xiasong's Chinese drama exploring the repercussions of theJapanese invasion, Teco Benson's Nigerian feature Six Demons, and Haim Bouzaglo's Israel-set drama Distortion.For moreinformation on the festival, visit www.syrfilmfest.com.
  • 300 features, tributes to Buscemi, McDowell at Philadelphia

    More than 300 features andshorts from 42 countries will screen at the 2005 Philadelphia Film Festivalwhen it runs from Apr 7-20, including eight world premieres, 10 North Americanpremieres and 13 US premieres.Titles include Gregg Araki'sMysterious Skin, Todd Solondz's Palindromes, and the late Theo Van Gogh's final picture, Cool!Festival strands includeWorld Focus, Spanish and Latin Cinema Now, New Korean Cinema, Cinema of theMuslim World
  • Avica unveils plans for Irish digital cinema network

    US digital cinema outfit Avica has unveiled plans tobuild a digital exhibition network on 515 screens across Ireland, both Northand South.Avica has launched a new subsidiary, Digital Cinema Ltd(Ireland) (DCL), backed by Euros 40m in venture capital, to install thenetwork.Avica claims that "Ireland will be the world's firstdigital nation" as a result of its investment.The announcement comes one month after the UK FilmCouncil revealed plans to install a UK digital circuit o
  • Barbieri to direct Em for LA-based Freedom Films

    Actor turnedproducer Brian Presley's LA-based production company Freedom Films hasannounced its first two projects, the dramas Em and El Camino, which are both scheduled to startfilming this summer.The tragicromance Em will bedirected by Tony Barbieri, and produced by Presley, Johnny Martin of MartiniFilms, and Ted Melfi of Goldenlight Films, with Susan Jackson of TurtlesCrossing serving as executive producer. The project is currently out tocasting.Presley,
  • Boudu

    Dir. Gerard Jugnot. Fr.2005. 104mins.Ridinghigh on a personal popularity consecrated by the runaway success of TheChorus, Gerard Jugnot now delivers his ninth feature film aswriter-director-actor. But his remake of the 1932 classic Boudu Saved FromDrowning is as ill advised as Down And Out In Beverly Hills, PaulMazursky's 1986 Hollywood makeover.Jugnot's film, at least, hasenjoyed st
  • Celador promotes Colson to joint managing director

    Celador Films, the film armof the UK TV company behind Who Wants To Be A Millionaire', has promotedChristian Colson to joint managing director.Colson, previously directorof production and development, will share the role with chairman and Celadorfounder Paul Smith. Since joining Celador fromMiramax Films in 2002, Colson has completed Separate Lives, written anddirected by Oscar winner Julian Fellowes, and is in the final stages ofpost-production on The Descent
  • Congeniality 2, Robots lead family prospects for Easter

    Family and lighthearted faredominate the international weekend as Hollywood's international distributiondivisions try to maximise the global opportunity presented by Easter weekend.Warner Bros PicturesInternational opens the comedy sequel Miss Congeniality 2: Armed AndFabulous day-and-date inapproximately 13 markets this weekend, including Germany on Mar 24, and the UKand Spain a day later.Strong debuts would seemassured given Sandra Bullock's high international stock and
  • Disney and Weinsteins reach agreement on divorce

    After months of publicnegotiations and anguish, Disney and Miramax topbrass announced yesterday [29] that Harvey and Bob Weinstein will leave theDisney fold when their contracts expire on Sept 30 to set up an integrated media company, tentatively titled TheWeinstein Company.In a conference call with reporters that revealed littleby way of new developments on the outcome of the highly publicised talks, itwas declared that Disney will keep Miramax as a wholly owned company, as wellas the
  • Disney, Miramax announce divorce

    Following protractednegotiations, Disney and Miramax top brass announced yesterday [29] that Harveyand Bob Weinstein will leave the Disney fold when their contracts expire onSept 30 to set up a fully integrated media company, tentatively titled The WeinsteinCompany.In a conference call with reporters that revealed little by way of newdevelopments, Disney will keep Miramax as a wholly owned company, as well asthe Miramax name a contentious point because it incorporates the names
  • Duck Season flies off with Mexican Oscars

    FernandoEimbcke's Duck Season (Temporada de Patos) has won 11 Ariel awards atMexico's Oscar-equivalent ceremony. Eimbcke, who made his directorial debut with the work, wentinto the night with 12 nominations and took home best film, director, actor andactress along with best screenplay (for Eimbcke himself), cinematography,music, sound, art design, best first film and mise-en-sc
  • European indie players move into profit

    Three European independentfilm outfits - Germany's Constantin and the UK's Civilian Content and Metrodome- unveiled positive financial results for 2004 this morning (March 30).Leading German producer anddistributor Constantin Film announced 2004 net profits of $9.1m (Euros 7m) onrevenues of $319.8m (Euros 246.9m). This compared with a net loss of $12.8m(Euros 9.9m) in 2003 on revenues of $148.04m (Euros 114.3m).Constantin's results were boosted by the exceptional box office perf
  • Family titles win international audiences over Easter

    Family titles enjoyed strongturnouts internationally over the Easter weekend, led by 20th CenturyFox's Robots, which opened in 12 new territories to hold onto secondplace.Robots enjoyed new number one launches in Australia, taking$1.9m (A$2.5m), and Argentina, where over 140,000 bought tickets over theweekend for a $0.33m (pesos 0.95m) gross. It also boasted strong holdovers inSpain (+20%), the UK (-5%), Denmark (-1%) and Sweden (-6%). In both of theseScandinavian territo
  • FilMart wraps on a high

    Moving to a pre-Cannes slot has proved successful for HongKong's FilMart as this year's market, which wrapped Thursday (March 24), was byfar the biggest and busiest yet.Combining the market with Hong Kong's other film-relatedevents also gave it more of a buzz. FilMart organiser, the Hong Kong TradeDevelopment Council (TDC), reported that visitor numbers had increased by 15%to 2,600 and that overseas visitors were up by 41%. Although few major deals were announced at the market,
  • Fonda to star in Leduc's El Cobrador

    A string of internationalproduction outfits have come together to finance the next film by Mexicandirector Paul Leduc (Frida, Naturaleza Viva)ElCobrador - In God We Trust, which stars Peter Fonda, isproduced by veteran Mexican producer Berta Navarro (Cronos, The Devil'sBackbone, Cronicas) through her Salamandra Productions outfit.
  • Fortissimo takes on sales for Berlin winner U-Carmen

    Fortissimo Films has acquired worldwide distribution rights (outsideof South Africa) to U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, Mark Dornford-May's adaptation of the Carmen opera, which won the Golden Bear at this year's Berlin International Film Festival.Nelleke Driessen, Fortissimo co-managing director, and NicoleMackey, senior vice president international sales, saw the film in Berlin.
  • Fox names Glotzer vp of digital media

    Matthew Glotzer has beenappointed to the new post of vice president of digital media at Fox FilmedEntertainment (FFE).Glotzer, who most recentlyserved as vice president of VOD and business development, will be responsiblefor developing content distribution channels across new and emerging technologyplatforms, and will also pursue long-term initiatives with major IT, consumerelectronics and telecommunications companies.He will report to digitalmedia president
  • Goldwyn buys domestic rights to Charm School

    Samuel GoldwynFilms has acquired North American rights to Randall Miller's romantic comedy MarilynHotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School, which screened in the Premieres strand at Sundance thisyear.Samuel Goldwyn Films plans a late summer 2005 release forthe star-laden ensemble, which tells the story of a widower's promise to find adying man's childhood sweetheart.Robert Carlyle,Marisa Tomei, John Goodman, Mary Steenburgen, Sean Astin, Donnie Wahlberg, andDanny DeVito
  • Gong Li lands leading role in Mann's Miami Vice

    Gong Li hasjoined Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx in the cast of Michael Mann's upcoming MiamiVice project forUniversal Pictures.The Chinesestar, whose credits include a handful of Zhang Yimou classics, Farewell My Concubine, 2046 and the upcoming Memoirs Of A Geisha, will play Isabella, the Chinese-Cubanwife of an international crime syndicate boss.As previouslyannounced, Farrell will play Detective James "Sonny" Crockett while Foxx starsas Detective Ri
  • Guess Who beat Bullock to the top of the box office

    The broad appeal of Sony'scomedy Guess Who packed too muchof a punch for Warner Bros' poorly received comedy sequel Miss Congeniality2: Armed And Fabulous at the Easter weekend,opening top of the North American charts on an estimated $21m.Ashton Kutcher and BernieMac's banter in the loose remake of 1967's epochal Guess Who's Coming ToDinner opened to mixed reviews butaveraged a strong $6,673 on 3,147 screens.Meanwhile audiences andcritics were unsure about S
  • Guess Who wins US Easter box office battle

    The broad appeal of Sony'scomedy Guess Who packed too muchof a punch for Warner Bros' poorly received comedy sequel Miss Congeniality2: Armed And Fabulous at the Easter weekend,opening top of the North American charts on an estimated $21m.Ashton Kutcher and BernieMac's banter in the loose remake of 1967's epochal Guess Who's Coming ToDinner opened to mixed reviews butaveraged a strong $6,673 on 3,147 screens.Meanwhile audiences andcritics were unsure about S
  • Hustle, 2046 tie at Hong Kong Film Awards

    This year's Hong KongFilm Awards was a straight tie between Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle and WongKar Wai's 2046, with eachwinning six prizes. Kung Fu Hustle took home the top honour of best film and the bestsupporting actor award for Yuen Wah. It also swept the awards for best actionchoreography, best visual effects, best film editing and best sound design. 2046's Tony Leung Chiu Wai was declared best actor -a title he has now won five times -
  • Jordan readies Our Lady for FilmFour

    FilmFour,the film division of broadcaster Channel 4, and production company Wild Child Films haveacquired the rights to the novel Our LadyOf The Forest, with Neil Jordan to direct.ConorMcPherson, best known for the acclaimed play The Weir, wrote the screenplay, based on David Guterson's novelabout a troubled teenage girl who claims tohave seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary. Aimee Peyronnet wil
  • Live And Become (Va, Vis Et Deviens)

    Dir.Radu Mihaileanu. Fr-Is-It-Bel. 2005. 153mins.Highlyemotional but massively overlong, director Radu Mihaileanu's Live And Becometackles a burning issue of our time, the search for identity. Here he follows ablack Ethiopian Christian over the course of 20 years, from when, aged nine, heescapes amid a convoy of Falasha Jews being flown to Israel.
  • Mariscos Beach (Crustaces Et Coquillages)

    Dir: Olivier Ducastel& Jacques Martineau. Fr. 2005. 90mins.A world premiere in thePanorama section of the Berlin Film Festival this year, Crustaces EtCoqillages has a couple of English titles in play, Mariscos Beachbeing the one used at Berlin and Cote d'Azur the newly coined title forthe US release in the autumn. Neither can match the sexy alliterativesuggestion of the French title, and indeed this pleasurable comedy of love andsexual
  • Mariscos Beach (Crustaces Et Coquillages)

    Dir: Olivier Ducastel& Jacques Martineau. Fr. 2005. 90mins.A world premiere in thePanorama section of the Berlin Film Festival this year, Crustaces EtCoqillages has a couple of English titles in play, Mariscos Beachbeing the one used at Berlin and Cote d'Azur the newly coined title forthe US release in the autumn. Neither can match the sexy alliterativesuggestion of the French title, and indeed this pleasurable comedy of love andsexual
  • Mariscos Beach (Crustaces Et Coquillages)

    Dir: Olivier Ducastel& Jacques Martineau. Fr. 2005. 90mins.A world premiere in thePanorama section of the Berlin Film Festival this year, Crustaces EtCoqillages has a couple of English titles in play, Mariscos Beachbeing the one used at Berlin and Cote d'Azur the newly coined title forthe US release in the autumn. Neither can match the sexy alliterativesuggestion of the French title, and indeed this pleasurable comedy of love andsexual
  • Maysles to get lifetime award at Chicago doc festival

    Veteran documentarian AlbertMaysles will collect the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at the ChicagoInternational Documentary Film Festival (CIDF), which runs from Apr 1-10.More than 100 documentariesincluding 15 world premieres, will screen at the event, including JoeBerlinger's profile of Nazi doctor Heinrich Gross in Gray Matter, and Mark Wexler's portrait of his cinematographerfather Haskell Wexler in Tell Them Who You Are.For more infor
  • Me And You And Everyone We Know

    Dir/scr: Miranda July.US. 2005. 95mins.Performance/video artistMiranda July takes a captivating jump into the almost-mainstream with Me AndYou And Everyone We Know, a neighbourhood character study set in LosAngeles. Her sparse approach to drama puts the film squarely in theexperimental category, but she follows a traditional linear narrative withconverging storylines which gives audiences something to hang onto as they giveher debut feature a chance
  • Meditation expert sets up LA production company Pippala

    Productionexecutive Tinker Lindsay and meditation expert Peter Russell are kicking offtheir new Los Angeles-based development and production company PippalaProductions with the spiritually themed Becoming Buddha.The partnershave completed the screenplay and secured initial development funding on theproject, which is currently out to directors, investors, and other key players."The projectrequires a special kind of directorial vision as much of the film
  • Monster movie scores $4.7m pre-sale to Japan

    The Host, a big-budget monster movie to be shot by one ofKorea's most respected directors, clinched a massive $4.7m pre-sale to Japan'sHappinet .Pictures at the recent Hong Kong FilMart.The deal, which includes a $1.5m investment stake plusdistribution rights for Japan, is unusually high for a film which is still twomonths away from entering production. Directed by rising star Bong Joon-ho - whose Memories OfMurder won multiple awards at San Sebastian in 2003 -
  • MTV, A Film strike Asian film deal

    MTV and leading Dutchdistributor A Film have struck a wide-ranging licensing and co-branding dealcovering Asian films.The deal sees MTV in theNetherlands and Flanders buy rights to a slate of some 50 Asian genre titlesfrom A Films and has the music channel adopt Asia Mania, a home entertainmentlabel spanning the catalogues of A Films and art-house distributor BrightAngel. The music channel will programme the films in a year-long guaranteedstrand at 10pm every Friday, with repeats on Sa
  • Nair begins The Namesake for Searchlight

    Principal photography hasbegun in New York and Calcutta on Fox Searchlight's drama The Namesake, which Mira Nair is directing from the novel of thesame name by the Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri.The story follows the trialsand tribulations of a boy and his parents as they relocate from Calcutta to NewYork and try to assimilate into their new culture while also holding onto theirtreasured Eastern heritage.Kal Penn, who starred in HaroldA
  • New Line, HBO team to buy Newmarket Films

    Seeking a strong handle onthe specialty films sector, Time Warner sister companies New Line Cinemaand HBO have jointly acquired Newmarket Theatrical Distribution for anundisclosed sum and formed a new jointly owned theatrical distributor of independentfilms headed up by former Newmarket Films chief Bob Berney.Company name, staffingdetails and the initial slate will be announced in the coming days. Thestand-alone entity will release pictures produced by both HBO and New Line,acquisition
  • Robots tops international box office with $17.1m haul

    Fox International's animatedfeature Robots pipped Hitch to the post as the number one international title of the weekend as it grossed an estimated $17.1m on 5,179 screens in 41 territories to raise its early international running total to $44.2m.The picture opened top in Australia on $1.9m on 387 screens (the figure may have included paid previews however this was not confirmed at time of writing), and third in Italy on $1.1m on 508.Elsewhere, Robots opened
  • Showtime lines up first six films in Masters Of Horror series

    ShowtimeNetworks, IDT Entertainment's New Arc Entertainment, Industry Entertainment andNice Guy Productions have announced the first six titles in their Masters OfHorror series by acclaimedgenre filmmakers, set to begin production in Vancouver in April.John Landis (AnAmerican Werewolf In London) will direct Deer Woman starring BrianBenben, which Landis co-wrote with his son Max Landis; Dario Argento (Suspiria) will direct Jennifer based on the book by
  • Sin City

    Dirs: Robert Rodriguez,Frank Miller. US. 2005. 124mins.In translating FrankMiller's Sin City series of graphic novels from one artistic medium toanother, co-director Robert Rodriguez - who felt so strongly about sharingcredit with the author that he resigned from the Directors' Guild of Americawhen they balked at dual acknowledgment - delivers what may be one of the mostunremittingly bleak-hearted slices of noir pulp drama ever committed to film.It's also
  • Spike Lee readies Brazilian music documentary

    Spike Lee is to turn documentarian for his next venture behind the camera. Lee is to direct Fusion, a music picture being billed as the director's answer to Buena Vista Social Club.The picture, which will go before the cameras in late May and early June, is a highly polished coverage of the preparations for and delivery of three concerts, being put on in aid of children from Brazil's notorious favellas (slums).The fil
  • Spring sun dents France's Printemps cinema promotion

    France's annual reducedticket-price scheme, Printemps Du Cinema, drew 12% fewer moviegoers than lastyear, according to the National Cinema Federation (FNCF).The scheme, which ran from Sundaythrough to Tuesday, brought in 2.2 million admissions at 5,300 participatingtheaters across the country. That is double the number of admissions in thesame period during the previous week."T
  • Strand announces US pick-ups of Berneri, Marconi films

    Strand Releasing hasacquired US rights to Anahi Berneri's Argentina-set drama A Year WithoutLove (Un Ano Sin Amor) and Rodolphe Marconi's French romance The LastDay (Le Dernier Jour).A Year Without Love premiered in the Berlinale's Panorama Section, where it won the Teddy Award for best feature for its chronicle of a young man'ssexual exploits in Buenos Aires.Mimi Ardu and CarlosEchevarria star and Daniel Burman produced the picture, which was
  • Turtles are back in CGI animated feature film

    Imagi Serviceshas signed animation veteran Kevin Munroe to write and direct a newCGI-animated feature-length version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.This is thefirst feature project to revisit the global Turtles brand since 1993, when NewLine released Stuart Gillard's live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III in the US.Munroe is currently inpre-production on the project and Imagi is aiming to complete in time for aspring 2007 US release.Imagi presidentand
  • Valiant

    Dir: Gary Chapman. US-UK.2005. 76 mins.
  • Valiant

    Dir: Gary Chapman. US-UK.2005. 76mins.A charminglyold-fashioned tale of heroic Second World War carrier pigeons, Valiantis aiming for Chicken Run legs - but whether it truly has the wings tosoar internationally flies under a large question mark.Valiant is a promising effort from a largely British team(it was made on a purpose-built lot at Ealing Studios); unlike its recentdigitally-animated predecessor, the Anglo-French co-p
  • Valiant effort for UK animation at Easter box office

    UK animation hopeful Valiant had to settle forfifth place in the UK box office charts over the Easter holiday weekend.The first CGI feature to be made in the UK put in acreditable performance - considering the warm weather and stiff competition -taking $2m (£1.1m) including $253,788 (£136,020) of previews.With schools on holiday this week and next, Valiantshould have plenty of time to build on the figures.
  • Warner Bros restructures global brand management division

    Warner Bros Entertainment'sGlobal Brand Management has announced its line-up of senior executivesresponsible for promoting properties throughout the company's divisions.Joining executive vicepresident of global brand management Diane Nelson are new vice presidents Irika Slavin, Sandy Yi, Lisa St Amandand Amber Fredman. The quartet will support Warner Bros Global BrandManagement's directive to workwith the company's marketing teams on maximising a property's revenue potential across
  • Weinstein Co reveals debut slate

    As Harvey andBob Weinstein ride out their contractual term as Miramax co-chairmen under the Disney umbrella, their main focus must now surely lie with the inauguralslate for their new venture, temporarily called The Weinstein Company.While the brothers are obliged to oversee all the unreleased Miramax titles inthe pipeline until their departure on Sept 30, they have wasted little time inassembling the first titles on a roster thatwill number between approximately 15 and 20 each year.
  • Weinstein Company names first 13 movies on domestic distribution slate

    As Harvey and Bob Weinsteinride out their contractual term as Miramax co-chairmen under the Disneyumbrella, they have already finalised at least 13 films to be released undertheir new venture The Weinstein Company.While the brothers areobliged to oversee all the unreleased Miramax titles in the pipeline untiltheir departure on Sept 30, they have wasted little time in assembling thefirst titles on an autonomous roster that will number between approximately 15and 20 each year.Spea
  • Weinsteins announce departure

    Bob and Harvey Weinstein are to leave Miramax, the company they founded 25 years ago.In a statement today, Disney and the Weinstein's confirmed the long-awaited decision. The Weinsteins will stay at Miramax on a non-exclusive basis until September 30 but will begin work immediately on a new as yet unnamed venture.Detail of their successors will be announced in July.The settlement confirms DIsney's right to keep the Miramax name, while the Weinstein's will take the DImension label.But
  • Wild Bunch pair win Serbian funding

    The SerbianMinistry of Culture has announced the winners of this year's film fundingcompetition, with two films backed by France's Wild Bunch receiving state aid.In total, fourprojects were awarded funding. They are:Mamarosh, by writer/director Momcilo Mrdakovic and a co-production with Cinears(Serbia), Yalla Productions and Wild Bunch (France);Charleston And Vendetta (Carlston Za Ognjenku)

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