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30 October 2006

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  • AFM unveils lineup of panel discussions

    Panel discussions on equity financing, writing and pitchingprojects are among the line-up of events at AFM, which kicks off in Santa Monicaon Nov 1.
  • Almodovar's Volver wins Hollywood World Award

    Pedro Almodovar's Volver won the Hollywood World Award sponsored by Screen International, at the Hollywood Film Festival's HollywoodAwards gala on Oct 23.
  • Asian Pacific VoD channel ANYTIME signs five-year deal with Indian Online Broadband

    Leading Asian-Pacific region VoD channel ANYTIME has signed afive-year distribution deal with India's largest broadband provider India OnLine Broadband Limited.
  • Axiom gets UK rights to Fleck's Half Nelson

    UK producer and distributor Axiom Films has acquired all UK distribution rights to US independent film HalfNelson, sold internationally and distributed in the US by THINKFilm. The movie, written anddirected
  • Bangkok festival proceeds despite coup

    The 2007 Bangkok International Film Festival (BKKIFF) is going ahead as scheduled on January 26 - February 5 despite doubts related to last month's military coup.Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, the new co-festival director said the event would proceed albeit on a reduced scale.There have been budget cuts of at least 25% and the number of films cut by 33% to around 100 but Chattan says more emphasis will be given to Asian films to better position BKKIFF as an effective forum and showcase of Asi
  • Canadian performers seek mediation in contract talks

    Canadian film and TVperformers guild ACTRA today applied for labour mediation following two days ofnegotiation toward a new independent production agreement with Canadianproducers. According to ACTRA, veteranactor and lead bargaining team member Gordon Pinsent walked out on the talkswhen representatives from the Canadian Film and Television ProductionAssociation (CFTPA) and the Association des Producteurs de Films et deTelevision du Quebec (APFTQ) proposed a 10% to 25% fee reduction fr
  • Children Of Glory (Szabadsag, Szerelem)

    Dir: Krisztina Goda. Hung-UK. 2006. 123mins.Produced to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the1956 Hungarian Revolution, the first time that the people of an Eastern Bloccountry took up arms against the Soviet Regime, Children Of Glory is a rousing and highly effective tribute to themen and women who fought in the battle.Highbrow film critics andforeign-language film snobs might scoff at the melodram
  • Denmark's Flame And Citron gains momentum

    Danish feature FlameAnd Citron has raised 75% of itsrelatively large $7.6m (45m Danish Kroner) and will head into production withdelivery set for 2008.Ole Christian Madsen willdirect the story of two colourful and important freedom fighters during WorldWar II. Lars K Andersen wrote the script.The director sees his newfilm as an indirect comment on current world politics: "The story of twoillegal rebels is an eternally useful story even if it is played out in1944," he said
  • Distributor SF Norge starts production division

    SF Norge - Norway's leading distributor, a subsidiary of Swedishmajor, Svensk Filmindustri - is establishing its own production department,with the ambition to produce two features annually, and co-produce another two.The first slate is topped by the $12.8m package of six films about Norwegian privatedetective Varg Veum, which has currently shooting.Before flying its ownbanner, SF Norge - which, with Fo
  • Documentary programme Greenhouse Project revived

    The Greenhouse Project is back in action. Thetraining program for the development of feature-length documentaries, whichlaid dormant for the best part of the last ten months, is now registeringcandidates for its first round of seminars, to take place in January 2007 in Istanbul. Targeting East Mediterranean territories, the programmeexpects candidates to come from Algeria
  • Dodona predicts half of US cinemas will be digital by 2011

    Half of US cinemascreens will be Digital Cinema Initiative-compliant by 2011, according to a newreport from industry analysts Dodona Research. "The publication ofthe DCI Digital Cinema Systems specification haskickstarted the transition to digital in the United States," Dodona said. "The cost of digital cinema systemsis falli
  • Dominican Republic Global Film Festival kicks off in Nov

    The Last King Of Scotland, Babel and Volver are among the line-up at the inauguralDominican Republic Global Film Festival, which runs from Nov 8-12.
  • EC says it will rule on UK film tax by end of year

    The European Commission has offered further clarification asto what has caused its delay in EC approval for the new UK film taxlegislation. The EC now says it is aiming to make a decision "by the endof the year."
  • Echo Bridge adds three new titles to AFM sales slate

    Massachusetts-based Echo Bridge Entertainment has added threetitles to its AFM slate of seven pictures -- the thriller Memory, horror story Hatchet, and the action comedy Fifty Pills.
  • EFP plans new film showcase in three cities

    Following such initiativesas Shooting Stars in Berlin and showcasing young European filmmakers in KarlovyVary, European Film Promotion is planning a new series of screenings under thebanner of Picture Europe! The Best of European Cinema to highlight nationalbox-office hits from across Europe.The new initiative willscreen European films in three European capitals in early 2007. EFP presidentClaudia Landsberger noted that 'not enough effort and investment is beingmade
  • EFP's Shooting Stars head to Seville

    European Film Promotion willbring its touring Shooting Stars programme to Spain's Sevilla Festival de Cine (Nov3-11) for the second year.A group of eight of the 21European Shooting Stars (first presented at the Berlinale) will come to Sevilleto present their film and meet local press and audiences. The participants are:Hungary's Gabriella Hamori with Stop Mom Teresa!, Estonia's Maarja Jakobson with Empty, Bulgaria's Vesela Kazakova with Mila
  • Eisenberg joins Nu Image/Millenium as producer, consultant

    Elyse Eisenberg has joined Nu Image/Millennium Films as a producerand consultant as Avi Lerner and Danny Dimbort's production and distributioncompany steps up its bigger budget projects.
  • European film agencies call for speedy action on digital cinema

    Many of Europe's filmagencies have released a joint statement to the European Commission inadvocating the growth of digital cinema in Europe. The national film agenciessaid: 'The directors of Europe's national film agencies (the EFADs) considerthat digital cinema represents a major challenge for the whole of the Europeanfilm industry, especially in relation to the development of online services(VOD) and the digitisation of theatrical distribution and exhibition.
  • Fall leads nominations for Singapore's AFFF

    The 2nd Asian Festival ofFirst Films (AFFF) has announced the nominations for this year's event in Singapore. Best film contenders areVietnamese-born American director Ham Tran's Journey From The Fall, which received themost nominations including best director, best producer and best actress;Chinese director Zhang Jiarui's The Road,Nishikanth Kamat's Dombivli Fast fromInd
  • Fortissimo takes on sales for Children Of Glory

    Fortissimo Films has pickedup worldwide rights to the Andy Vajna-produced Children Of Glory, an action-drama setagainst the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The film premiered in its home territorythis week during fraught celebrations of the uprising's 50th anniversary.Previously, Fortissimo'sco-managing director Michael Werner had signed on as sales and marketingconsultant on the film. Hungarian-born Vajna was Werner's former partner atSummit Entertainment.
  • French comedy OSS 117 wins top prize at Tokyo

    In a surprising result,Michel Hazanavicius' spy comedy OSS 117, Cairo Nest OfSpies was awarded the Tokyo SakuraGrand Prix at the 19th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF). The crystaltrophy was accompanied by a cash prize of $100,000. While there was no clearfavourite in the lead-up to the awards,
  • Germany braces for Seven Dwarfs 2 from Universal

    Now that Fox International's The Devil Wears Prada is officially part of the One HundredClub the name of the game is crossing $150m.
  • Half Moon (Niwemang)

    Dir/scr: Bahman Ghobadi. Ir-Aust-Fr.2006. 107mins.Bahman Ghobadi's Half Moon, one of seven features producedas part of the Mozart's Visionary Cinema: New Crowned Hope season, is moreambitious but not as tightly knit as some of the Iranian film-maker's bestwork. A road movie, whose real theme is the unifying spirit of the defiant Kurdishnation, it follows Mamo (Ghaffari),a
  • Hawaii festival awards top honours to Love For Share

    The 26th HawaiiInternational Film Festival (HIFF) held its awards ceremony Oct 26, with theHalekulani Golden Orchid for best feature film going to Indonesian film Love For Shareby Nia Dinata.The main jury wasmade up of New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell, programmer Matt Dentler fromSouth by Southwest, and actor Kal Penn.The jury chose Love For Share
  • Hirschfield to receive 2007 ASC Presidents Award

    Gerald Hirschfeld will receive the 2007 American Society of Cinematographers(ASC) Presidents Award in recognition of his exceptional contributions to thecraft.
  • Honor De Cavalleria takes Viennale Fipresci prize

    Albert Serra's Honor DeCavalleria was named the winner ofthe FIPRESCI Prize at the Viennale 'for its imaginative and challengingcinematic reinvention of the classic novel Don Quixote.' The Vienna International Film Festival closedlast night with a gala screening of Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion.The Vienna Film Prize forthe best Austrian feature film or documentary released in Austrian cinemassince last year's Viennale or shown during
  • Hyde Park teams with Capcom for new Street Fighter movie

    Ashok Amritraj's Hyde Park Entertainment and video gamesdeveloper and publisher Capcom have set up a joint venture to adapt anotherfilm version of the hit game Street Fighter.Thefeature will focus on Chun Li, the game's most popular character who embarks o
  • Inferno picks up international rights to Bella

    Los Angeles-based Inferno Distribution has picked up internationalrights to the romance Bella, which won the Peoples Choice Award following its world premiereat Toronto last month.
  • Japan still on outer edge of pan-Asian market

    Japan may be Asia's largest box office territory, and currently one ofthe region's most active producers, but it's still only a peripheral player inthe developing pan-Asian market, according to speakers at a TIFFCOM seminar onTuesday. Reliance on a huge domesticmarket, language barriers, cultural differences and historical antipathies haveall contributed to the Japanese film industry's isolation, loc
  • Kingsley, Mortimer, McGregor to star in Number Thirteen

    Ben Kingsley and Emily Mortimer have joined Dan Fogler and EwanMcGregor on Beverly Hills-based production and finance company Union SquareEntertainment's drama Number Thirteen.
  • Kinowelt acquires producer/distributor Pegasos

    After acquiring amajority stake in the license trader Intertainment earlier this year, theKinowelt Group has now continued its expansion by taking over the Cologne-baseddistributor-producer Pegasos Filmverleih und Produktion.In the deal signedin Leipzig on the eve of this year's Hof Film Days, Kinowelt has committed tocontinuing Pegasos' business exploiting rights to more than 80 feature filmsand documentaries and the co-production of international feature films. Th
  • Korean Ministry of Culture announces support plan

    In a follow-up to thesupport plan announced by South Korea's Ministry of Culture and Tourism in January, ministerKim Myong-gon announced the Film Industry Mid-to-Long-term Development Plan onMonday (Oct 23).Speaking at a joint pressconference between the Ministry and ruling Uri Party's Special Committee forKorean Film Development, Kim outlined the plan which calls for Korean films tohave a 3% market sha
  • Lightning picks up international rights to genocide doc Screamers

    Los Angeles based sales and distribution house LightningEntertainment has swooped on international rights prior to AFM to CarlaGarapedian's genocide documentary Screamers.
  • Lightning takes on psychological thriller Killing Floor

    Los Angeles-based Lightning Entertainment has picked upinternational sales on recently completed psychological thriller The KillingFloor.
  • London shoot starts for Leonti's Daylight Robbery

    Shooting has started in London on heist movie DaylightRobbery. Director Paris Leonti makes his feature film debut based on hisown screenplay. The film follows a group of England football fans who use the World Cup as a cover for abig bank robbery.The cast features GeoffBell, Leo Gregory, Vas Blackwood, Paul Nicholls, Justin Salinger, JohnnyHarris, Rober
  • Lowe promoted to vp, production, at Universal Pictures

    Kristin Lowe has been promoted to vice president of production atUniversal Pictures.Lo
  • MarVista moves into theatrical with Sasquatch Dumpling Gang

    Los Angeles-based TV programming production and distribution houseMarVista Entertainment is moving into the theatrical arena with the acquisitionof all international rights excluding the UK and Canada to The SasquatchDumpling Gang.MarVista will introduce the project to buy
  • Matt Williams launches film development fund Wind Dancer

    Matt Williams, who produced What Women Want and created the hit TV show Roseanne, has launched the feature developmentcompany Wind Dancer Films.
  • Mexican wrestler Misterio to star in horror movie Wrestlemaniac

    Los Angeles-based Lightning Entertainment has picked up international sales on the horror title Wrestlemaniac and will introduce the project to buyers at AFM next week.
  • Mudge's WWE gets Isolated for AFM

    BarbaraMudge's Worldwide Film Entertainment (WFE) has picked up worldwide rights toEric Nichols' thriller Isolated andwill commence sales at AFM next week.
  • Nalin signs to direct Buddha for Barnet Bain

    Pan Nalin has signed on to direct Buddha for Barnet Bain Films, which previouslyproduced The Celestine Prophecy and What Dreams May Come.
  • Nina's Heavenly Delights to close LA Fusion festival

    Ray Yeung's comedy Cut Sleeve Boys and Ashish Sawhny's documentary HappyHookers are among theline-up of the 4th Annual Fusion: the Los Angeles LGBT People of Color FilmFestival.
  • Odeon gets rights to Fitzek's Die Therapie

    Odeon Pictures hasacquired the film rights to adapt Sebastian Fitzek's bestselling psychothrillerDie Therapie, which was publishedthis July and immediately appeared in the bestseller lists.Berlin-based Fitzekwill be actively involved in the development of the screenplay and will serveas an advisor to the project from concept through to principal photography, which is scheduled to start in early 2008.Die Therapie centres on the famous psychiatris
  • Optimum in UK, Square One in Germany take Storm

    Darclight Films has closed a number of sales on the thriller StormWarning, which iscurrently in post-production and stars Nadia Fares, Robert Taylor and JohnBrumpton.
  • Playing The Victim (Izobprzhaya Zhertvu)

    Dir: Kiril Serebrennikov. Russ. 2006. 96mins.The surprise winner of the main Cinema2006 section of the Rome Film Fest, PlayingThe Victim is an intellectual, post- modern blackcomedy that has its engaging moments but ends up feeling gratingly pretentious.With a script adapted fromtheir own stage play by the prolific Brothers Presnyakov,this second feature by wunderkind Moscow theatre director KirilSerebrenn
  • Prada maintains international lead with $16.7m weekend

    The Devil Wears Prada remained the number one overseas picture this weekend, adding anestimated $16.7m through Fox International from 4,400 screens in 53 markets fora $130m tally.
  • Rhys Meyers, Mitchell, Chow join Yeoh in Children

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Radha Mitchell and Chow Yun Fat will joinMichelle Yeoh in the 1930s set romantic adventure The Children Of Huang Shi.
  • Rotterdam's Hubert Bals Fund backs 24 projects

    The Hubert Bals Fund of theInternational Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has granted a total of $444,180(Euros 353,000) to 24 film projects and initiatives from developing countries. Grants for script andproject development went to established film-makers including Paraguay's PazEncina and Romania's Cristian Mungiu. Post-production funding went tofilm-makers including Brazil's Paulo Caldas and Malaysia's Woo Ming Jin.As previously announced, theFund has established new grants up
  • Saw III

    Dir: Darren Lynn Bousman. US. 2006. 107mins.Staying mostly faithful to the successful blueprintof its two earlier installments, while deepening the audience's connection withthe franchise's main character, Saw IIIis an adequate sequel that works well enough on its own terms. Saw aficionados should be satisfied bythe results, although the less fanatic will have to endure some shakyperformances and the dimini
  • Saw III wreaks havoc at North American box office

    Saw IIItore into the competition with all the relish of an unleashed serial killer atthe weekend, dominating the North American box office with an estimated $34.3mthree-day haul that marked a record debut for the franchise.
  • Seville International picks up international on Quebecois smash Bon Cop

    Montreal-based SevilleInternational has picked up international sales rights on recording-breakingCanadian comedy Bon Cop, Bad Cop inadvance of the AFM. The film has earned over$10.6m (C$12m) at the local box office - eight of them at the top of the Quebecbox office - and is still in cinemas through Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm.Produced by Kevin Tierney ofPark Ex Pictures and directed by Erik Canuel, the buddy cop film about anEnglish-Canadian police detective teaming with
  • South Korea signs co-production agreement with France

    South Korea has signed its first international filmco-production agreement with France. The agreement letsco-produced films enjoy domestic film status in distribution and when applyingfor government support in both countries.Korea's Minister of Culture
  • Summit brings Pope Joan, Buck Howard to buyers

    Summit Entertainment hasboarded Constantin Film's latest English-language production Pope Joan which will be directed by Volker Schloendorff withFranka Potente in the title role.The film, based on Donna Cross'bestseller, is the story of Johanna von Ingehlheim who, according to legend,disguised herself as a man, and entered the highest ranks of the Roman clergybefore finally being elected Pope in 853.Summit has handledConstantin's English-language titles for many years and
  • Tam's Exile to open Toronto Reel Asian fest

    Celebrating its 10thanniversary, the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival will open withthe North American premiere of Hong Kong director Patrick Tam'sAfter This, Our Exile, which recentlyreceived its world premiere at Pusan and the inaugural Rome Film Festival.As Canada's longest-running showcase of contemporary Asiancinema and work from t
  • Tartan takes UK rights to Broomfield's Ghosts

    Tartan Films has taken UKdistribution rights to Nick Broomfield's Ghosts, which has its UK premiere tonight at the LondonFilm Festival after screening at San Sebastian. Ghosts is Broomfield's second fiction feature; he is alsoknown for his documentaries including Kurt And Courtney and Aileen: Life And Death Of A Serial Killer. The film is about Chineseillegal immigrants working in substandard conditions in the UK food industry. Broomfieldstarted plann
  • Ten Canoes, Jindabyne shine at Oz critics awards

    It was always going to be afilm that pleased the critics and TenCanoes did just that on the weekend, winning best film at the Film CriticsCircle of Australia awards, held in Melbourne. But the most awards went tothe drama Jindabyne, which won bestdirector for Ray Lawrence, supporting actor for Deborra-Lee Furness, andadapted screenplay for Beatrix Christian, whose s
  • The Optimists triumphs at Valladolid

    GoranPaskaljevic was the main winner of the 51st annual International Film Festivalof Valladolid, taking home the Golden Spike award and best actorprize forThe Optimists (Optimisti).
  • The Queen leads BIFAs nominations

    Stephen Frears' TheQueen leads thenominations for the ninth British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), nominated inseven categories including Best British Independent Film, Best Director andBest Actress for Helen Mirren. Kevin Macdonald'sThe Last King Of Scotland and Shane Meadows' This Is England each followed with six nominations.Other multiplenominees included Ken Loach's Cannes winner The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Andrea Arnold's Red Road
  • THINKFilm acquisition adds domestic arm to Bergstein group

    Los Angeles-based entrepreneur David Bergstein has slotted in the latestpiece in his vision for an international entertainment group with theacquisition of THINKFilm.
  • Tokyo market draws more buyers but mixed reviews

    The TokyoInternational Film Festival's contents market, TIFFCOM, concluded its thirdedition yesterday evening after a three-day run.Approximately 460registered buyers attended this year's market, a 30% increase over last year.They visited a combined total of 163 companies (versus 131 in 2005) throughoutthe 40th floor of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower. While domesticsellers outnumbered foreign in 2005, this year's booths were evenly divided aswell as being integrated throughout the ve
  • Turin award gives funds to Argentos and Tullio Giordana

    Marco Tullio Giordana and Darioand Asia Argento will be the first recipients of the $19,000 (Euros 15,000)prize Set Torino Piemonte - for actors, directors and producers working in Italy's Turin - Piedmont region.A $19,000 (Euros 15,000) prizewill be given to each of three recipients on behalf of the Film CommissionTorino Piemonte and the Casa di Risparmio di
  • TWC has No Mercy for North America

    Korean investment and salescompany The Core Studio has sold North American rights to No Mercy For The Rude to The Weinstein Company. The deal was initiated afterits market premiere screening at the inaugural Asian Film Market, during thePusan International Film Festival (PIFF) last week.The film features aprofessional killer with a speech impediment who is working to save up for anoperation to fix it. The killer abides by a personal rule to kill only the rudeand ugly.
  • TWC to place anti-smoking PSAs on DVD of Clerks II

    The Weinstein Company (TWC) has become the first company to insertanti-smoking public service announcements in DVDs in which smoking is depicted.
  • UK's HandMade relaunches with Sequence/IAC deal

    A team of UK veterans has come together to revive the HandMadeFilms banner as a production and sales company. The new executive team of chairman Patrick Meehan and managing director David Ravdenwill now run HandMade, which was started by George Harrison in the 1970s andcontrols rights to the Eloise franchise and has a library of classic filmsinclude Withnail & I. HandMade Plc will be dividedinto
  • Vertigo works with funding partner for Northern Star

    UK producer Vertigo Films has lined up the first two productions to comeout of its new relationship with Pacific Continental Fund Management's FilmOpportunities Fund. The first project to shootwill be Simon Ellis' Northern Star - A Love Story (workingtitle), a rites-of-passage love story that will shoot in Gateshead, Newcastle starting in November an
  • Vittorio Cecchi Gori's Finmavi declared bankrupt

    In yet another blow toItalian movie mogul Vittorio Cecchi Gori's long-avowed comeback - Finmavi -Cecchi Gori's financial holding company for his media group - has been declaredbankrupt by the Rome bankruptcy court, a press release issued by theCecchi Gori Group said late Monday.Cecchi Gori vowed to battlethe decision: 'I will fight with all my force to demonstrate theinjustices I have submitted to in these last years. I ca
  • Vue plans charity preview for Casino Royale

    UKexhibitor Vue Entertainment is organising a charity fundraiser tied to therelease of Casino Royale.Thenew James Bond film will play in previews at 36 Vue cinemas across the UK onNov 15, two days before its general release. More than 12,000 tickets will beavailable for the promotion, which will sell tickets at the premium price of $18.78(£10) outside of London and $28 (£15) i
  • Wang Xiaoshuai plans November shoot for Zuo You

    Chinese filmmakerWang Xiaoshuai will be shooting $1.25m drama Zuo You (literally Left And Right) as his 10th feature film, the Cannes-winningdirector announced at the Golden Rooster Baihua Film Festival in China's Hangzhou City today.Beijing-basedDebo Film, producer of Wang's previous film ShanghaiDream
  • Wenders and Tykwer to celebrate 40th Hof Film Days

    WimWenders, Tom Tykwer and Aki Kaurismaki will be among the film-makerscelebrating the 40th anniversary of the Hof Film Days, which opens today with MarcusH. Rosenmueller's comedy Schwere Jungs.WhileWenders and Tykwer will be coming to Hof for screenings of their films Paris, T
  • Zhang Side dominates top Chinese awards

    Yin Li's Zhang Side dominated the 15th Golden Rooster and Full Blossom Awards. The biopic about a celebrated Chinese soldier took the best picture, best director and best actor awards. For the first time the awards shortlists were decided by moviegoers across the country. According to China Film Association, some 1.16 million votes were sent by mobile phone text.Stephen Chow's 2005 film Kung Fu Hustle and Zhou Youchao's Sheng Si Niu Yu Ru(Between Life And D