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30 March 2008

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  • 11 features lined up for VCU French Film Festival

    The 16th annual VCU French Film Festival will take place in Richmond, Virginia, from March 28-30.The event, an initiative of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), is sponsored by the French Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Unifrance, l'ARP and SACD.11 features will screen at this year's festival. They are Laurent Boutonnat's Jacquou Le Croquant, Sam Karmann's La Verite Ou Presque, Volker Schlo
  • 21 wins the weekend hand at US box office

    Sony's card-counting drama 21 came up trumps at the North American box office this weekend, opening at the top of the domestic chart with an estimated three-day gross of $23.7m. Last week's leader Horton Hears A Who! held up well in its third weekend, but three other new releases had disappointing debuts, with Dimension/MGM's Superhero Movie and Picturehouse's
  • Abuse and accountability: Errol Morris on Iraq doc

    Errol Morris had a simple starting point for his latest documentary Standard Operating Procedure. Intrigued by the infamous snapshots taken by American soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison depicting Iraqi detainees who had been forced to form naked pyramids and adopt other sexually degrading poses, the acclaimed US director of The Thin Blue Line and The Fog Of War wanted to dig deeper.Setting out to examine in forensic detail the context in which each of the notorious pho
  • Adlabs cinema chain set for global, digital expansion

    India's largest exhibitor Adlabs, owned by Reliance Entertainment, has unveiled plans for global expansion, as well as the roll-out of a D-cinema circuit in the domestic Indian market. The company has acquired 240 screens across the US, some from players such as Landmark and Regal, and has also partnered with Knoxville, Tennessee-based exhibitor Phoenix Theatres.The new circuit will be branded Big Cinemas in keeping with Reliance Entertainment's rebranding of its entertainment asse
  • Ah Long becomes biggest Singapore release in Malaysia

    Jack Neo's Ah Long Pte Ltd has become the biggest Singapore release in Malaysia after raking in $0.7 m (RM2.22m) in 12 days. The comedy drama, revolving around a woman gangster boss played by Fann Wong, broke the $0.34 m (RM1.07m) record set by I Not Stupid Too, also directed by Neo, in 2006.Although it took the fourth place when it opened on Mar 13 on 31 prints, it defied the usual downwards box office trend and shot to the top spot in its second weekend.'No S
  • Alex Ben Block to programme The American Pavilion at Cannes

    Historian and journalist Alex Ben Block has been named director of programming for The American Pavilion at this year's Cannes Film Festival.He will develop and oversee all programming for the Pavilion, while also moderating panels, conducting interviews and leading discussions with critics. He reports to Julie Sisk who is founder and director of the Pavilion, which is now in its 20th year as a base for American attendees at Cannes.Block is a former editor of The Hollywoo
  • Argentina's Campanella ramps up for The Question Of His Eyes

    Acclaimed Argentinian director Juan Jose Campanella will begin shooting his sixth feature film La Pregunta De Sus Ojos (The Question of His Eyes) this September in Buenos Aires.Campanella's own outfit 100 Bares will co-produce the film with local producer Jorge Estrada Mora and Gerardo Herrero's Tornasol Films of Spain. The director of international hits such as Son of the Bride, which was n
  • Aria, Full Circle, Axis 3D team for UK thriller The Mortician

    London-based production outfits Aria Films and Full Circle films are partnering with Axis3D to shoot a new UK thriller using new 3D technology.The Mortician will combine genres of urban noir, contemporary fairytale and psychological thriller to tell the story of one alienated man in a decaying metropolis who is forced to form emotional links when he finds a scared child leaving his morgue.Gareth Maxwell Roberts of Full Circle wrote the script and will direct. Aria's Car
  • Arts Alliance America picks up US rights to Chops

    US distribution outfit Arts Alliance America, formerly Hart Sharp Video, has acquired US rights to Chops, the documentary which follows high school jazz students from around America who compete in the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival at New York's Lincoln Center.Arts Alliance plans to release the film theatrically and then on DVD in the third quarter of this year.
  • Ascot Elite adds to slate with Swiss sci-fi thriller Cargo

    Zurich-based Ascot Elite Entertainment has unveiled a raft of new acquisitions, including the first ever Swiss science-fiction thriller Cargo by feature debutants Ralph Etter and Ivan Engler.The acquisition of rights to all German speaking territories are for: the action thriller The Tournament, starring Robert Carlyle, Ving Rhames, Kelly Hu and Ian Somerhalder, from AV Pictures;UK director Julian Gilbey's thriller Rise Of the Footsoldier, the true
  • Becky Sloviter rejoins Parent in MGM's production group

    Mary Parent's aggressive recruitment drive to build a production team at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) continued yesterday with the news that she had hired Becky Sloviter as vice president of production at MGM Pictures.Parent, who is chairperson of MGM's Worldwide Motion Picture Group, yesterday named former New Line executive Cale Boyter as executive vice president, production.Sloviter has worked with Parent for some years, most recently as an executive at Stuber/Parent Prod
  • Blank, Schamus to be honoured by Museum Of The Moving Image

    Showtime Networks chairman and CEO Matthew C Blank and Focus Features CEO James Schamus have been selected as this year's honourees at the Museum Of The Moving Image's annual black tie benefit.The event, which takes place on April 30 in New York City, is designed to honour two leaders in the entertainment industry 'whose vision and innovations have dramatically influenced the moving image.'Dinner co-chairs are Ron Meyer, president and chief operating officer of Universal
  • Borgerding named CEO of Abu Dhabi Media Company

    Edward Borgerding has been named chief executive officer of The Abu Dhabi Media Company, the media and entertainment conglomerate based in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).The announcement was made by company chairman Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei.Borgerding most recently had his own private equity firm in London and recently concluded the production of a 26-episode TV series with Marvel Entertainment.Prior to that he was executive vice president of Walt D
  • Cale Boyter joins MGM in senior production role from New Line

    Cale Boyter has been named executive vice president, production, at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM), marking the first hire in the worldwide motion picture group by its new chair Mary Parent who joined the company a week ago.Boyter arrives at MGM from New Line Cinema where he has spent ten years, most recently as executive vice president of development. During his tenure at New Line, he executive produced films including Elf, Wedding Crashers
  • CASE STUDY: St Trinian's

    Ealing Studios' resurrection of the popular 1950s and 1960s St Trinian's film franchise is proving to be one of the shining lights at the UK box office.The schoolgirl comedy, based on the cartoons by Ronald Searle, had a budget of $13m (£6.5m) and has taken $24.8m (£12.3m) at the UK box office alone. It has also sold to a number of territories where it has yet to open, including Italy, Germany, France and Scandinavia.Barnaby Thompson, head of Ealing Studios, who produce
  • Cast assembled for Ti West's The House Of The Devil

    Jocelin Donahue, Greta Gerwig, Tom Noonan, Mary Waronov, AJ Bowen and Dee Wallace head the cast of Ti West's horror thriller The House Of The Devil which has started shooting in northern Connecticut.In the film, which West also wrote, Donahue plays a broke college student who answers an ad seeking a babysitter and ends up trapped in a big scary house fighting for her life. Noonan and Waronov play the satanist couple who lure her into the house
  • CNC reports that investment in French films crosses $1.89bn

    France's national film board, the CNC, has concluded that 2007 was a globally healthy year for French cinema. In total 228 films were produced with the CNC's stamp of approval. The figure does not match 2005's historic 240 but is higher than the average 213 over the past six years. Of those films, 185 were initiated by the French.Investment in French films reached $1.89bn (Euros 1.2bn) - the first time it has ever passed the Euros 1 billion mark. The median investment was $8.55m (Euros
  • Correction (Diorthosi)

    Dir/prod:Thanos Anastopoulos. Greece , 2007. 83 mins.Hailed as the best Greek film of last year, Thanos Anastopoulos' second feature is a purposely-mystifying affair which leads its audience in a hide 'n seek game from the beginning and refuses to reveal itself until the final frame (a gambit which also makes it difficult to review). Minimalist, with sparse dialogue, and without the relief of a musical soundtrack or much change in the hero's facial expressi
  • Critical opinion: The industry should take a fresh look at film theory

    To many ordinary film-goers, film critics are like sexologists: they spoil an enjoyable activity by talking about it too much. Film critics and sexologists argue their job is to help people enjoy that activity more - by realising what they're doing wrong and avoiding the positions that don't work or might annoy your partner.But if working critics are slightly suspect (what kind of person goes to see a film at 9am'), film theorists - those who practise the discipline known as 'film stud
  • Dark Prince: Luis Cook directs Aardman film

    Macabre is not generally a word used to describe Aardman Animations projects, but Luis Cook's blackly comic The Pearce Sisters is certainly dark by the standards of the Bristol-based animation powerhouse.The 10-minute short tells the story of a pair of elderly spinsters who resort to extreme methods in their search for companionship. With only one line of dialogue, the film takes place on a bleak, rain-whipped strip of fishy coast. As director Cook points out: 'It's hardly Cr
  • de Abreu launches Hollywood NetAwards for entertainment on internet

    Carlos de Abreu, founder of the Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Awards, is launching Hollywood NetAwards, a competition targeting excellence in the entertainment field on the internet.The NetAwards, which will take place on Oct 22 in Los Angeles, will feature 22 categories including best actor and actress sites, celebrity site, entertainment blog site, entertainment news site as well as best net actor and actress, net director and web series.'Our vision provides for
  • Doerrie's Cherry Blossoms leads German Lola nominations

    Doris Doerrie's Berlinale competition film Cherry Blossoms - Hanami has attracted six nominations for this year's German Film Awards - the Golden and Silver Lolas - which will be presented in a gala ceremony in Berlin on April 25.German Film Academy president Senta Berger and State Minister for Culture and Media Bernd Neumann announced this year's nominations during ZDF's breakfast news programme Morgenmagazin on Friday morning.While Doerrie's film picked up nominations
  • E1 acquires THINKFilm's Canadian assets

    Entertainment One (E1) and THINKFilm have signed a three-year all-rights output deal that will see E1 distributing THINKFilm's motion pictures in Canada through 2010. E1 has also acquired Canadian rights to THINKFilm's 235-title library for the remainder of the term that THINKFilm holds license to the properties. The content will be distributed in Canada by E1 subsidiary Seville Pictures.The deal will increase Seville's theatrical distribution slate past 50 titles per yea
  • Ealing plans sequel to box-office hit St Trinian's

    Ealing Studios is planning a sequel to its hit St Trinian's film. Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft, who worked on the 2007 project, are writing the sequel script now.Click here for more on first film successThe ensemble cast of last year's film featured Colin Firth, Rupert Everett, Stephen Fry, Lena Headey, Russell Brand, Gemma Arterton, Mischa Barton, Jodie Whittaker,and Lily Cole. There is no wo
  • Editorial - A World-class film-maker

    If there was ever a director who could be described as international, it was Anthony Minghella. His career, tragically cut short by his death last week at the age of just 54, was one unhampered by restrictive national borders - a worldview Screen has always sought to serve.Yes, he was a Brit whose films such as Truly, Madly, Deeply and Breaking And Entering showed his affection for London and, yes, his work as chairman of the British Film Institute (BFI) showed his
  • Ellis promoted to president of MPA Asia Pacific

    The Motion Picture Association (MPA) has announced the promotion of Michael Ellis to president and managing director of its Asia Pacific operations. Ellis is a former litigator and law enforcement veteran and has served as an MPA executive in the region since 1999.'With so many Asian countries emerging as pivotal markets for our companies, we want a senior industry ambassador of stature in the region to effectively advocate for open markets and for respect for intellectual property
  • European Commissionfights on for broadband despite setbacks

    The European Commission (EC) is confident that it will achieve its targets for broadband uptake across the European Union (EU), despite the disappointing figures published and what would appear to be a waning commitment from Member States.EU-wide access to high speed internet services is widely regarded as essential if digital distribution of film is to become a reality in Europe.However, the latest progress report on EU Telecoms indicates that broadband uptake across the EU wil
  • FICCI Frames: The 2008 line-up

    The eighth edition of India's biggest convention on the entertainment business, Ficci Frames, will take place March 25-27 in Mumbai.Around 2,500 delegates from almost 20 countries are expected to attend some 30 seminars and panel discussions covering aspects of the media and entertainment industries - including films, television, digital entertainment, animation and visual effects.Organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (Ficci), Frames also hosts a market area
  • Fliegauf, Puiu and Carrito serve onLocarno juries

    Film directors Benedek Fliegauf (Hungary), Cristi Puiu (Romania) and Albertina Carri (Argentina) are have been recruited as members of two official juries at this year's Locarno International Film Festival (August 6-16).Fliegauf, who won the Filmmakers of the Present competition Leopard last year for Milky Way and will be the subject of a dedicated Portrait at next month's goEast festival in Wiesbaden, will be in the jury for the 2008 Filmmakers of the Present competition with French f
  • Frames kicks off with calls for globalisation

    The ninth edition of the FICCI-Frames conference got underway in Mumbai this morning with tub-thumping talk of India's rapid growth and a challenge to the local entertainment industry to go global. India's film industry grew by 13% in 2007 to around $2.7bn, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) unveiled at Frames today, while the overall media and entertainment sector grew by 17% to $12.6bn.Rajeev Chandrasekhar, president of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of C
  • Frames: Indian industry leaders sound note of caution

    India's entertainment industry may be booming, and Mumbai-based film companies eyeing global expansion, but local industry leaders rang several alarm bells at the FICCI-Frames conference this week. A recurring theme was the lack of management expertise and a lack of talent, with only a handful of stars able to guarantee box office. At a session on India's talent crunch, Whistling Woods International's Meghna Ghai Puri pointed out that India still only hasa handful ofmedia courses while th
  • German box office makes strong start to 2008

    Box-office takings and cinema admissions in Germany are up 30% year-on-year for the first quarter of 2008, according to figures collated by Nielsen EDI.In the period from January 3 to March 23 2008, German cinemas have been experiencing an unexpected, but welcome revival in popularity after the disappointing results of last year.They posted takings of $345.5m (Euros 218.7m) and admissions of 35.4m, a vast improvement on 2007's weak first three months which saw only 27.4m admissi
  • Going into battle: Interview with Vertigo's Rupert Preston

    Vertigo may be best known for its lad-friendly hit productions by Nick Love, including The Football Factory, The Business and Outlaw, but that is only one part of the story.The financing, production and distribution company, founded in 2002 by producers Allan Niblo and James Richardson, distribution veteran Rupert Preston (formerly of Metrodome) and Love - has had successful theatrical releases for period drama A Good Woman starring Scarlett Johansson, space
  • Grandmother's Flower

    Dir: Mun Jeong-hyun. South Korea. 2007. 90mins.The political is transformed into the intensely personal in South Korean documentary Grandmother's Flower, a powerful first-person family essay by Mun Jeong-hyun. Mun's technique is sometimes shoddy and his aesthetic decisions questionable, but the content proves so absorbing and miraculous that it overrides the stylistic limitations.The director's fourth documentary feature sees him go about excavatin
  • Heart, Yasukuni take top prizes at Hong Kong fest

    Takahashi Izumi's What the Heart Craves has won the Golden Digital Award in the Asian Digital Competition section of this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF). Peng Tao's Little Moth won the Silver Digital Award in the same section.Meanwhile, the Humanitarian Award for Best Documentary went to Li Ying for Yasukuni while Feng Yan took the Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Documentary for Bingai.The Monk by Chan Siu-hei, whic
  • Horton chases down $100m at international box office

    With only scattered new openings scheduled in the wake of the Easter holiday, marketplace leaders Horton Hears A Who! and 10,000 BC are set to dominate the international box office again this weekend. Fox International's Horton opens in three smaller territories - Taiwan, South Africa and Croatia - before entering France, its seventh top-ten market, next weekend.
  • Horton takes over international lead

    Fox's Horton Hears A Who! edged into the lead at the international box office over the weekend, grossing an estimated $13.2m from 52 markets while Warner's 10,000 BC, leader for the last three weekends, took $12m from 62. The weekend's biggest new opening, meanwhile, came from Fox's 27 Dresses, which went straight to the top in the UK with an estimated $3.7m.
  • Huayi Brothers to float on Shenzhen Stock Exchange

    Beijing-based Huayi Brothers Media, the holding company of Huayi Brothers Pictures, is planning to launch an IPO on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SSE) by the end of the year, according to president Wang Zhongjun speaking to the Shanghai Security Journal. If successfully listed on SSE, Huayi will become the third Chinese private entertainment group to be listed, after Asian Union Film and Media and Chengtian Entertainment Group.Earlier this year, two of China 's state-owned fi
  • IFC Films plants Eran Riklis' Lemon Tree in the US

    IFC Films has picked up US rights to Eran Riklis' latest film Lemon Tree which premiered in the Panorama section of February's Berlin Film Festival where it won the Audience Award.The Israeli drama features Riklis' Syrian Bride stars Hiam Abbass and Ali Suliman in the true story of a Palestinian widow forced to stand up against her new neighbour, the Israeli defence minister, when Israeli security force
  • IMAX, Northstar Media pact on 21-title library sales package

    IMAX Corp. and US television sales outfit Northstar Media have signed a multi-media distribution agreement that will see Northstar handling worldwide rights on a 21-title package of HD IMAX titles for television, VOD, mobile, and broadband. Compiled under the moniker, the IMAX XXI Film Package, the library slate features such films as Walking On The Moon 3D, Space Station, Into The Deep, T-Rex: Back To The Cretaceous and reaches back to the fo
  • In focus - Closing the deal

    Although box office is still booming in many parts of the region, the Asian film market presents unique challenges to Western sales companies. Local product has a market share of at least 40% in the major territories, and as US studio product is also strong, there is little room for independent English or foreign-language movies. Although China and India both have an expanding middle class and are witnessing rapid multiplex development, both markets are problematic. Local product has a 96% sh
  • Infotainment's Robbers starts shooting with Hu Jun

    Beijing-based Infotainment China has announced the shooting of $1.7m (RMB12m) martial arts drama The Robbers. The film is directed by up-and-coming filmmaker Yang Shupeng (The Cold Flame). Shanghai Film Group, Stella Megamedia and Infotainment are co-investing in the project.Hu Jun (Red Cliff), Jiang Wu (Shower), Taiwanese actor Li Liqun and TV actress Yu Xiaolei are starring in the film, which began principal photography on March 16 in a village near Ha
  • International - India joins the race

    The highest new entry, and only newcomer in Screen International's top 10, was India's Race, which opened across 16 territories.Akshaye Khanna and Saif Ali Khan play brothers in the slick thriller involving a life-insurance policy worth millions that pays out to one brother in the event of the death of the other.The film, which took $9,895,283 over 1,212 screens in its first week, is co-directed by Abbas and Mastan Alibhai Burmawalla (better known as the amalgamate
  • Jeonju fest launches work in progress section

    Korea's Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) is launching a one-day showcase called 'Work In Progress' for independent films currently in production. Best known for its commissioning and screening of annual digital short film troikas, JIFF has for nine years endeavored to discover and promote newcomers' innovative filmmaking.With the Work In Progress section this year, the fest will support eight of its alumni directors by showing their films in production on May 4 during the
  • Jodie Whittaker goes to South Africa for Turner's White Wedding

    Jann Turner has started a South African shoot for White Wedding, her feature film debut.The romantic road movie is shooting across South Africa from Johannesburg and Durban to the Eastern Cape and Cape Town.Jodie Whittaker, who starred in Venus and St Trinian's, takes the lead opposite South African veterans Kenneth Nkosi and Rapulana Seiphemo, who both appeared in Oscar winner Tsotsi.The is about groom-to-be Elvisand his best man Tumi
  • Lionsgate acquires film rights to Einstein thriller The Last Equation

    Lionsgate has acquired film rights to The Last Equation, the debut novel by screenwriter Stuart Gibbs.The novel is about the mystery surrounding Albert Einstein's last equation which he named Pandora. The Pandora equation had the potential to solve the world's energy problems but Einstein either hid or destroyed the equation before his death. The story, set in the present day, follows a fugitive criminal and mathematical genius enlisted by the
  • London Lesbian & Gay fest kicks off 15-day event

    The BFI's successful London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (LLGFF) kicked off its 22nd year last night with a gala screening of Alek Keshishian's romantic comedy Love and Other Disasters.The film follows an American intern (Brittany Murphy) as she tries to find a boyfriend for her gay flatmate (Matthew Rhys).More than 200 films and shorts will be shown across the 15 days of the festival with screenings and events at the BFI cinemas, the Odeon West End and Film Wotever.
  • Malaysia's Golden Screen Cinemaspicks up Filmart trio

    Malaysia's Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) has acquired three films from Hong Kong's Universe Films Distribution at Hong Kong Filmart.They are the Pang Brothers' The Storm Riders II, Oxide Pang's So What and On The Edge 2 by Herman Yau.It also acquired Ip Man which features Donnie Yen and Simon Yam from Hong Kong's Mandarin Films at the market while deals for Sam Raimi's Drag Me To Hell from Mandate Pictures and Nicholas Cage-starring Knowing
  • Marcich promoted to president, MD for MPA's EMEA branch

    The Motion Pictures Association (MPA) has promoted Christopher Marcich to president and managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).Marcich is a 13-year-veteran of MPA's EMEA arm, most recently serving as senior vice president and managing director.He assumes the new title immediately and reports directly to MPA president and COO Bob Pisano.'Now more than ever the global marketplace is a primary source of business for our companies, and we need empower
  • Martin Price joins UK post-production house Concrete

    Martin Price has joined post-production house Concrete.Price will be responsible for the research and development of new markets and will also help to further build the Concrete brand to grow and expand the business.Price is co-founder of non-linear editing facility P3 Post, and also served as head of post production at Princess Post Productions. He was recently at Evolutions, where he was senior post production producer.'Concrete brings new technology to clients, allowin
  • Michael Apted launches UK directors' guild

    TV and film director Michael Apted has initiated the launch of a UK directors' guild to address what he views as 'the cynical disregard for the film-maker'.Directors UK (D-UK) will officially launch in May with director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum) as president, and writer/director Charles Sturridge (Brideshead Revisited) as the chair of its board.Its vice-chairmen are Simon Berthon and Tim Sullivan, and board members include Peter Kosminsky, Brian Hill a
  • Miller named evp, worldwide marketing, at nascent CBS Films

    Debbie Miller has been named executive vice president, worldwide marketing, for CBS Films which was established in 2007 to develop and produce four to six films a year with budgets up to $50m a film. The films will be released domestically through a new US theatrical distribution unit to be established within CBS Films, international distribution plans are not yet set.Miller will report to Amy Baer who is president and chief executive officer of the company. She will be responsible f
  • Montreal to throw spotlight on Bavarian Cinema for 32nd event

    The Montreal World Film Festival will spotlight filmmaking from Bavaria at its upcoming 32nd edition. Festival president Serge Losique told Screendaily it was too early to announce any titles. A major delegation of Bavaria-based producers and filmmakers along with representatives of regional funding agency FFF Bayern will attend the event, headed by the German state's media minister Eberhard Sinner. The festival runs from August 21 to September 1, 2008.FFF Bayern managing
  • Mos Def, Gabrielle Union join the cast of Cadillac Records

    Mos Def has been cast as Chuck Berry and Gabrielle Union will play Geneva Wade in Sony BMG Film's Cadillac Records, a music drama set in 1950s Chicago and following the turbulent lives of legends like Muddy Waters, Leonard Chess and Elvis Presley.Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, Beyonce Knowles, Columbus Short, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Cedric The Entertainer and Tammy Blanchard are also starring in the film which is currently shooting under the direction of Darnell Martin.Andrew
  • Paramount partners Omnilab Media for The Bank Job

    Omnilab Media has teamed with Paramount Pictures for the Australian and New Zealand distribution of The Bank Job, which will be in cinemas from July 31. The thriller opened at the top of the UK charts after it was released there on February 28 and has since taken more than $7m across 350 screens. A week later it debuted in third position in North America, where it has grossed more than $20m from 1,600 screens.Based on an unsolved 1971 robbery in London that involved the Roya
  • Quacor offers legal movie services to 70 Chinesewebsites

    Digital movie distributor Quacor is to offer content to 70 websites in China, including portal sites such as,, and news sites such as Xinhua.Each will set up Quacor movie channel and share the legitimate movies and short video contents among each other.'Through setting up Quacor movie channels on these partner websites, we will expand the traffic of streaming. And we hope to attract more advertisers, especially video advertisements that can be
  • Reaction - Brother, poet and 'realistic romantic'

    The news of Anthony Minghella's death, on March 18, aged 54, the result of a haemorrhage following surgery, brought a flood of tributes.HARVEY WEINSTEIN, THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY"I am shocked and heartbroken that we have lost Anthony. He was my mentor, my partner and, most of all, my brother. The grace, joy and tenderness he brought to his films were symbolic of his life and the many people he touched."SYDNEY POLLACK, BUSINESS PARTNER IN MIRAGE ENTERPRISES"Anthony was
  • Rebranded Instinctive boards 13 Semesters, The Disposables

    The Berlin-based international film production and finance company Instinctive Film - previously known as Invicta Entertainment - is boarding its first local German-language film, Frieder Wittich's coming-of-age student comedy 13 Semesters. The film begins shooting in Darmstadt next Monday (March 31).Instinctive Film will co-produce the debut feature with Munich-based Claussen-Woebke+Putz Filmproduktion and broadcasters Hessischer Rundfunk and Arte with backing from Hessen Inv
  • Ricky Ghai joins Abu Dhabi Media Company overseeing digital media

    UAE-based media conglomerate Abu Dhabi Media Company has hired Ricky Ghai as executive director of digital media.Ghai has 20 years' experience in pay and free TV platforms in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. His career highlights include channel development for Universal in Scandinavia, a compliance and regulatory advisor to BT Entertainment, director of programming for TV3 Sweden, CEO of MBC subsidiary ARA Programming & Distribution and held various positions in BT Vision,
  • RiverRun Film Festival opens with Phoebe In Wonderland

    The RiverRun International Film Festival, which takes place in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has announced its lineup of films for its 10th anniversary edition which takes place April 23-28.The festival will open with Daniel Barnz's Phoebe In Wonderland while Helen Hunt's Then She Found Me will be the centerpiece premiere on April 26. Closing night will be a screening of the silent classic
  • Rome may replace public jury with industry jury at next fest

    One of the Rome Film Fest's most defining elements - its popular jury - may be set to change if comments made by Leandro Pesci, the regional president of ANEC, Italy's national exhibitor organisation hold true. Leandro Pesci made comments at a Rome cinema promotional forum yesterday called Cin Cin cinema that focuses on promotional endeavors in the Lazio region aimed at increasing cinema attendance, including the reduction of ticket prices to a single Euro during 'culture week' in A
  • Scott Shooman promoted to vice president at SPWAG

    Scott Shooman has been promoted to vice president, acquisitions and productions, for Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG). He will continue to report to both Steven Bersch, president of SPWAG, and Lara Thompson, senior vice president of acquisitions for the division.He will continue to acquire both finished films and projects at script stage for SPWAG as well as overseeing productions. He was part of the team which acquired various rights for films such as
  • Screen South, Skillset launch co-production producer scheme

    Screen South and Skillset, in partnership with Cine Regio and sales association Film Export UK, are launching the new Cine-Euro Co-Production Training Programme.The nine-month programme will help 8 UK producers develop, market, finance and seek partners for European co-productions. The 12 events, including one-to-one consultations and training seminars start in June 2008. Producers will attend the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Sarajevo's CineLink, the London Film Festival, the
  • Seven Arts strikes investment deal with UK's Zeus Partners

    Los Angeles-based Seven Arts Pictures has struck a deal with Manchester, UK-based financial services company Zeus Partners to raise investment capital for Seven Arts' production and distribution activities.The first part of the investment closed March 19 and the rest is expected to close by the end of June.The investment covers current projects as well as future acquisitions.If investment bank Zeus raises the maximum investment, Seven Arts said it would reduce its current
  • Shutter

    Dir: Masayuki Ochiai. US/HKG/Jap. 2008. 84 mins.A remake of 2004's Thai horror film of the same name, Shutter tells the story of a young American couple vacationing in Japan who cope with a vengeful ghost while trying to unravel the mystery of a woman they may or may not have hit with their car. Listless performances, overly familiar visual iconography and unimaginative set-ups render the movie worthy of nothing more than a shrug - even from the less demanding und
  • Silent Light takes five Ariels in Mexico including film, director

    Silent Light, directed by Carlos Reygadas was the big winner at the 50th annual Ariel Awards, the Mexican equivalent of the Oscars which took place on Tuesday night.The third feature from Reygadas took prizes for best film, director supporting actress (first time actress Maria Pankratz), cinematography (Alexis Zabe) and original screenplay. The film, set in a US Menonite community, was produced by Mantarraya Producciones which self
  • Six win places in 16th Cannes Residence

    The 16th edition of the Cannes Residence is set to welcome six new candidates.During the four-month session, they will meet with experienced film-makersand industry professionals to help them develop either their first or second feature.The successful candidates are: Rebecca Daly (Ireland), Nikias Chryssos (Germany), Adrian Sitaru (Romania), Manuel Nieto Zas (Uruguay), Yang Heng (China), and Francisco Vargas Quevedo (Mexico).Since it was founded in 2000, the Re
  • Spain - Box office - Biting back at the bootlegs

    Whether the problem lies with piracy or mediocre product, Spanish admissions and DVD revenue took a tumble last year as audiences found other ways to fill their leisure time. Although the territory's annual per capita cinema admissions remain higher than in the UK, Italy or Germany, they plunged by 18% in 2007, while revenue dropped 15.8% to $797m (EUR535m). DVD rentals also fell 18% from 2006 to 2007, while video-game sales and internet usage soared.The market share for local films fe
  • Spain - On Location - Studio could be breakthrough

    Spanish locations earned the attention of Woody Allen (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) and Steven Soderbergh (The Argentine and Guerrilla) in 2007. This year Universal and Working Title's Iraq-set The Green Zone, directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Matt Damon, is shooting on location around the country.Now the Spanish capital of Madrid is set to have its own fully functioning film studio, La Ciudad del Audiovisual, by 2011. Spanish real estate company Gestesa
  • Spanish piracy- gearing up for a fight

    Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Belarus ... and Spain. Spain' How does a western European country with such a long-established tradition of cinema-going and a rich history of film-making find itself on a watch list of the worst offenders for intellectual property theft, alongside states with virtually no film industries of their own and precious few cinemas'According to Jose Manuel Tourne, director general of the Spanish anti-piracy association FAP, the blame lies with 'improper legislation, a
  • Studio 2.0 seals deals on Epitaph, Highway Star

    Korean sales agent Studio 2.0 has announced a slew of deals from Filmart led by Hong Kong 's Celestial Movies Channel picking up four titles including recent horror hit Epitaph and romantic comedy Highway Star. Epitaph also sold to TLA Releasing for North American rights and CCRE for Japan.Highway Star also sold to H.G.C. for China, and Diamond Cinema for Vietnam. The latter also picked up romantic comedy Lovers Of 6 Years, starring Kim Ha-Neul (
  • Summit options screenplay The Tomb for Jeff Wadlow to direct

    Summit Entertainment has optioned the action screenplay The Tomb by Miles Chapman which is currently in development.Jeff Wadlow will direct the project and Jason Keller has been hired to rewrite. The Tomb marks Summit's second collaboration with Wadlow after Never Back Down. He also directed Cry_Wolf for Rogue Pictures.
  • Tarantino named Filmmaker On The Edge by Provincetown

    The Provincetown International Film Festival, celebrating its tenth year at this year's event (June 18-22), has announced that Quentin Tarantino will be the recipient of this year's Filmmaker On The Edge Award.The announcement was made by film festival executive director Gabby Hanna, artistic director Connie White and director of programming Andrew Peterson.The event, which takes place in the Massachusetts coastal town, will also highlight the nine previous honourees thro
  • Ten Korean cultural orgs launch federation

    Led by the Korean Film Producers' Association (KFPA), ten cultural content-related organisations gathered to launch the Korea Federation of Culture Industries in Seoul today, for the strategic development of their industries. Aside from the KFPA, the inaugural members are the Seoul Theater Association, Korea Association of Film Art & Industry (KAFAI), Korea Association of Game Industry (KAOGI), Korean Modeling & Talent Association (KMTA), Corea Drama Production Association (CODA), Korea M

    Of all the problems of fragmentation, it is the legal, rights and licensing issues that are perhaps most pressing. This chapter looks at some of the macro issues for aEurope that issplit at a deep level on issues such as the moral rights of authors and copyright.We look particularly at the European Commission's approach.

    It is more than possible to be blinded by science - or business jargon - when discussing new media trends. Everyone will remember the hype that surrounded the rise of the dot coms and perhaps share some of the schadenfreude that accompanied their collapse.Let's not forget that digital distr

    It is impossible to separate the issues of digital distribution from marketing; the two have a symbiotic relationship. In fact there is a strong argument that marketing will pave the way for distribution rather than the other way around as one might imagine.That is largely because marketing

    If the new technical opportunities are now clear, how to make money out of them is anything but. The term 'business model' has been haunting the film industry for some years. It has been a given in any conference presentation and a must at market and festival discussions. It's not difficult to see why. For all the recognit

    Film piracy exercises a profound psychological as well as financial effect on the development of digital platforms. It is the elephant in the room in all discussions. A frequently quoted MPAA study of the 2005 market, suggests US studios are losing about $6.1bn to piracy - and $2.3bn from online piracy.Film piracy exercises a profound psychological as

    If there is one area where there the European dam is inevitably going to break it is digital cinema. If there is not unanimityabout the benefits - although few are yet seeing its potential to change the relationship between cinema and audience - there is at least recognition of inevitability.And even given the very real fear that small theatres may be

    Europe cannot help but compare its performance to the US. Creating a level playing field with Hollywood is an essential driving force for film policy. But there is an essential difference that cannot be underestimated in discussing the advance of digital change: Europe, for all the rhetoric, is a group of countries that are culturally, legally, technically and polit

  • Three Chinese films withdrawn from Hong Kong festival

    Three Chinese films have been pulled out of the Hong Kong International Film Festival (Mar 17 - Apr 6) amid increasing fears that Chinais tightening censorship following the recent Lust, Caution controversy.Han Yan's Winds of September - The Chinese Mainland Chapter, Zhang Yibai's Chongqing-set Lost, Indulgence and A Decade of Love, a compilation often shorts byten Hong Kong directors, were set to be world premieres at the festival.No official
  • Three Chinese films withdrawn from Hong Kong festival

    Three Chinese films have been pulled out of the Hong Kong International Film Festival (Mar 17 - Apr 6) increasing fears that Chinais tightening censorship following the recent Lust, Caution controversy.Han Yan's Winds of September - The Chinese Mainland Chapter, Zhang Yibai's Chongqing-set Lost, Indulgence and A Decade of Love, a compilation of 10 shorts by 10 Hong Kong directors were set to be world premieres at the festival.No official reaso
  • Titles screening at IFFLA 2008 include Frozen, The Pool, Shot In Bombay

    The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) has announced the full schedule of films for the sixth edition of the festival which runs April 22-27 in Hollywood.As previously announced, Richie Mehta's Amal will open the festival and the world premiere of portmanteau film Mumbai Cutting A City Unfolds will close it.Among the highlights of the lineup are Shivajee Chandrabhushan's acclaimed d
  • TLA Releasing takes domestic rights to Jung Brothers' horror Epitaph

    US independent distributor TLA Releasing has acquired North American rights to Epitaph, the directorial debut of the Jung Brothers from South Korea. The deal was closed at Filmart in Hong Kong last week.The psychological horror film is scheduled to play in New Directors/New Films in New York and the Philadelphia Film Festival next month with a release scheduled later in the year through TLA's Danger After Dark label.TLA acquired th
  • Tom Stern teams up with Russian director Pavel Lungin

    Director Pavel Lungin is in the midst of filming on Ivan The Terrible And The Metropolitan Philip (working title) about Russia's first czar, Ivan IV.Russian Film Business Today reports that American cinematographer Tom Stern is DOP of the film. Stern is known for his work on American Beauty, Mystic River and his frequent collaboration with Clint Eastwood on such films a Million Dollar Baby and Letters From Iwo Jima.Lungin
  • Torresblanco to speak at US-Mexico Border States conference

    Frida Torresblanco, the New York-based producer of Pan's Labyrinth, will be the keynote speaker at a conference entitled US-Mexico Border States Conference: Film-making, Economic Development and Intellectual Property Rights to be held in Tucson, Arizona, March 27 and 28.The event is being sponsored by the University Of Arizona's Hanson Film Institute with the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and The National Law Center For Inter-American Free
  • Transsiberian co-producer Universum boards Lippel's Dream

    Universum Film, co-producer/distrubutor of Brad Anderson's thriller Transsiberian, has boarded its first German-language project, Lars Buechel's Lippel's Dream (Lippels Traum) which begins shooting in Morocco's Ouarzazate today.The co-production between Ulrich Limmer's Collina Film, Universum Film, Bayerischer Rundfunk, B.A. Produktion, and Buechel's own production outfit element e, is based on Paul Maar's 1984 children's book classic of the same name and follows the
  • Tribeca All Access announces 2008 programme, expansion

    The Tribeca Film Institute has announced the 37 projects selected for Tribeca All Access, a programme designed to help foster relationships between film industry executives and filmmakers from traditionally under-represented communities.The programme takes place April 21-26 during the Tribeca Film Festival, which takes place April 23 to May 4. Participating directors and screenwriters will provided with workshops and one-on-one meetings with more than 100 potential investors, develop
  • TWC to release two different versions of Fanboys

    The Weinstein Company (TWC) has announced the home video release of two separat versions of its comedy Fanboys - about a bunch of Star Wars fans who travel cross country in 1998 to raid George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch and watch the then unreleased Episode I. The company also says it is exploring options for a theatrical release.The announcement comes af
  • United Kingdom - Making his beds

    In 2005, "a bit exhausted" by the script development on his new feature, Unmade Beds, writer-director Alexis Dos Santos travelled to his native Argentina to shoot an experimental project.A 17-page storyline and improvised performances from teenage actors turned into the $314,000 (EUR200,000) feature Glue, a Spanish-language naturalistic tale of small-town adolescents that has been touring festivals ever since. It has won awards including the MovieZone youth prize at Rotte
  • Upcoming Projects - In the works

    PLANET 51With a budget of $60.7m (EUR41m), Ilion Studios' alien invasion animation is billed as the most expensive Spanish project of all time. It is the feature debut of director Jorge Blanco and is scripted by the Oscar-nominated Shrek writer Joe Stillman. "(Stillman) loved the project," says Ilion founder Ignacio Perez Dolset. "(Especially) the artistic freedom we can offer compared with Hollywood, where animation has become a standardised machine." The project is a co-produc
  • US exhibitor Regal adds 30 IMAX digital screens

    Regal Entertainment Group and IMAX Corp. have signed a joint venture agreement that will see an addition 30 digital projection systems to the Regal Cinemas circuit.The deal, which covers 20 major US markets, greatly expands a previously announced joint venture of eight screens and will raise Regal's IMAX screen count to 52 by 2010.Under the terms of the agreement the companies will share the risk and reward of the new cinemas, the first of which are expected to open in ti
  • UTV lines up two films for Pakistan release

    After securing a Pakistan release for Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal in November 2007, Indian production house UTV Motion Pictures has managed to get Race a Pakistan censor certificate.Aamir Khan's directorial venture Taare Zameen Par has also got censorship clearance 'on exceptional grounds' in Pakistan and is scheduled for a March-end release.Distributed by Karachi-based Eveready Pictures, Race will have a 15-print release across nine cities including Lahore,
  • Voltage takes on Eric Valette's creature car movie Hybrid

    Voltage Pictures has acquired international rights to Stallion Media's horror action film Hybrid which will be directed by Eric Valette (One Missed Call, Malefique).Oded Fehr and newcomer Shannon Beckner (pictured) are starring in the film about a female mechanic in a Chicago police garage who spends a night of terror with a hybrid car unlike any other.
  • Welcome To The Sticks (Bienvenue chez les ch'tis)

    Dir Dany Boon. Fr. 2008. 106mins.A last-minute English title change for Dany Boon's soaraway French box office success (it was to be called Welcome To The Land Of The Ch'tis) should help this broad-based, amiable comedy attract audiences looking to find out what le tout France is talking about.Butthat is as far as it will probably go, as what is hysterically funny to French audiences - and understandably s
  • World premiere of Mamet's Redbelt set for April 25 at Tribeca

    David Mamet's martial arts drama Redbelt will have its world premiere at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival and also serve as the gala premiere of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival on April 25. Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) is releasing the film in North America.Chiwetel Ejiofor stars in the film as a Ju-jitsu instructor who refuses to compete in professional bouts but who is forced to conspire in a prize fight after becoming involved in the fil
  • Yellow Bird flies for 13 more Mankell thrillers

    While in production with the $16.8m (Eu10.7m) Millennium Trilogy from the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson's novels, Swedish production outfit Yellow Bird has financed a package of 13 Henning Mankell thrillers, which will begin shooting at Ystad in southern Sweden during the summer.Swedish actor Krister Henriksson will star as detective inspector Kurt Wallander in the $33.5m (Eu21.3m) production. He also played the role of the lonely and slightly overweight, but excellent, cr
  • Yubari makes strong return to Japanese festival scene

    The resurrected Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival (YIFFF) ended its first successful run yesterday since the cancellation of the event in 2006 due to financial problems.The festival said 8,868 customers attended 58 films over the five-day event (March 19-23).Director Toki Inoue's 21-minute The Woman Who Is Beating The Earth (Daichi Wo Tataku Onna) was awarded the top prize in the 14-film Off Theatre Competition, which spotlights young independent film-ma