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4 February 2000

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  • About Adam

    Dir: Gerard Stembridge. UK. 1999. 105 mins.Prod Co: Venus, HAL Films, Miramax Films. Int'l sales: Miramax International. Prods: Anna Devlin, Marina Hughes. Exec prods: Harvey Weinstein, David M Thompson, David Aukin, Trea Leventhal. Scr: Gerard Stembridge. DoP: Bruno De Keyser. Prod des: Fiona Daly. Ed: Mary Finlay. Mus: Adrian Johnston. Main cast: Stuart Townsend, Frances O'Connor, Charlotte Bradley, Kate Hudson, Rosaleen Linehan, Alan Maher.An eager-to-please rom
  • AFM Premiere Screenings unveils line-up

    This year's AFM Premiere Screenings will include the world premieres of two high profile Kushner-Locke Co movies: Alfonso Arau's Picking Up The Pieces, starring Woody Allen with a cameo from Sharon Stone, and Burt Reynolds' directorial debut The Last Producer.Sponsored by internet downloading outfit, the Santa Monica screening programme is made open to the public in order to help American Film Market buyers and sellers gauge audience responses. Admission ba
  • Alchymie cools on BBC's Romantic

    Alchymie, the European production and distribution operation for which British financier Flashpoint has pledged $250m, has pulled out of financing what was expected to be its debut project, Born Romantic.But a spokesperson for Flashpoint, which launched Alchymie in October under UK producer Simon Channing-Williams, dismissed rumours that Flashpoint is beset by financial problems as "complete nonsense".BBC Films, which developed Born Romantic, and production outfit Kismet Films h
  • Alliance Atlantis taps Telefilm executive

    Three weeks after moving its motion picture operation from Los Angeles to Toronto, Alliance Atlantis is hiring Bill House, one of Canada's most prominent public sector film executives, to boost its feature production profile at home. In his 15 years as a production and development executive, first at the Ontario Film Development Corporation and currently at Telefilm Canada, where he oversees the Feature Film Fund, House has had a hand in building the careers of a generation of Canadian
  • Alliance, Canal Plus set for UK distribution pact

    Alliance Atlantis and Canal Plus are close to finalising a deal for Alliance to handle UK distribution on a slate of high-profile English-language titles from Canal Plus's production operation, Le Studio Canal Plus.The anticipated deal is understood to cover six pictures, and is likely to include Kathryn Bigelow's The Weight Of Water, John Waters' Cecil B Demented and George A Romero's Bruiser. The move would create Alliance's second major product line since partne
  • Alone scores double Iris in Brussels

    Benito Zambrano's directorial debut Alone (Solas) was awarded both the Iris d'Or for best European film and Iris d'Argent for best actress (Ana Fernandez) at the 27th International Film Festival in Brussels.The Spanish film was produced by Antonio Perez-Perez' Maestranza Films and shot entirely in Seville on a modest budget of $750,000. The prize includes euro80,000 worth of funds towards the film's promotion and distribution. Meanwhile the UK's Human Traffic, dire
  • Animation rules the school during Brazilian summer

    The local children's film Xuxa Wiggles (Xuxa Requebra) is stealing the show at the Brazilian box office despite intense competition from big-budget animations Toy Story 2 and Pokemon (pictured). Xuxa, known as 'Queen Of The Littlies', opened six weeks ago in time for the Christmas and school summer holidays and has now attracted 1.8 million cinema-goers. This is more than either the Disney/Pixar sequel to Toy Story or the Japanese animation Pokemon: The
  • Artificial Eye unveils debut productions

    UK specialist distributor Artificial Eye Film Company is kickstarting its long-planned move into production with Working Up To Winter, a contemporary road movie written and to be directed by Sarah Turner. The project, set to go into production this summer, was developed with support from FilmFour Lab, the experimental wing of UK film operation FilmFour. It will be produced by Artificial Eye Productions chief Ben Gibson and documentary film producer Lisa Marie RussoThe fle
  • Artisan ups Jones to key marketing role

    Artisan Entertainment has promoted marketing executive Amorette Jones to the newly created position of executive vice president, worldwide marketing, Artisan Pictures.Jones will continue to report to Artisan's president of worldwide marketing John Hegeman, but she will assume more of his duties while he takes a more active role in developing internet opportunities for the company.Jones will manage the day-to-day operations of the theatrical marketing department, formulate releas
  • Asian films dominate Japan's box office

    In a rare box office coup, Asian films occupy three of the top five spots in the Japanese chart this week.The South Korean spy actioner Shuri (also known as Shiri and Swiri) debuted at number one with a huge screen average of $65,069 from a seven-day gross of $1,041,107 (from Japan's key nine cities only). Distributors Cine Quanon and Amuse plan to roll it out from its current 36 screens to nearly 100 later this month. 'We're taking it to provincial towns that have
  • Australia embraces DVD

    DVD appears to have gained a foothold in the Australian market according to recent statistics that show that 63% of video stores were carrying DVDs at the end of 1999 compared to only 35% at the end of the previous year.In addition, a total of 529 titles were released during 1999 compared to 117 in 1998. Warner Home Video was the most active DVD distributor with 87 releases, although it was tenth on the video rental release list, which was topped by Roadshow.CIC had Australia's
  • Australia lifts ban on Romance

    Australia's Film Board of Review has overturned the recent decision by the Office of Film and Literature Classification not to classify Catherine Breillat's French film Romance, a judgement that meant the film could not be released in Australia. The decision will be a great relief to local film critics and concerned filmgoers who have been leading a lively media debate on the issue. Some observers have called for urgent reforms and greater transparency in the process of r
  • Beauty scores with limited UK release

    UK cinema-goers gave a hero's welcome to the release of the Sam Mendes-directed American Beauty when it opened on 23 prints over the weekend. The limited London release pulled in £425,558 ($687,700), registering a blistering £18,503 ($29,900) screen average. The three times Golden Globe winner widens to over 300 sites across the country this Friday, in competition with only Warner Bros' new release House On Haunted Hill after substantial shifts in release dates from other major
  • Bernstein named ShoWest 2000 Producer of the Year

    Armyan Bernstein, the producer-writer of The Hurricane and chairman of Beacon Communications, will receive the ShoWest 2000 Producer of the Year award at the US exhibition convention in Las Vegas on March 9.Bernstein has become one of the most prolific producers in Hollywood over the last decade, with a production deal at Universal Pictures and credits including End Of Days, For Love Of The Game, Air Force One, A Thousand Acres, The Commitments
  • Besson scores at Lumieres

    Luc Besson's The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc was awarded the top two prizes - best film and best director - at the 2000 Lumieres du Cinema Français. The awards, which are the French equivalent of the US' Golden Globes, are considered as a dress rehearsal for the Cesar Awards, which will take place on February 19. The Messenger has reconciled Besson - who was not on hand to receive the awards - with the most highbrow of the French critics, but had less public
  • Bloody Angels - 1732 Hotten Marerittet Har Et Post

    Dir: Karin Julsrud. Norway. 1999. 100 mins.Prod Co: Norske Film. US dist: USA Films. Prod: Tom Remlov. Co-prod: Finn Gjerdrum. Scr: Kjetil Indegaard. DoP: Philip Ogaard. Prod des: Billy Johanson. Ed: Sophie Hesselberg. Mus: Kjetil Bjerkestrand, Magne Furuholmen. Main cast: Reidar Sorenson, Gaute Skjegstad, Trond Hovik, Laila Goody, Stig Henrik Hoff.A darkly compelling study of crime and retribution, Bloody Angels brings a fresh perspective to the well-worn s
  • Canal Plus Nordic reports subscriptions increase

    Canal Plus' Nordic pay-TV subsidiary has reported a 37% increase in subscriptions during 1999.The French pay-TV giant's Scandinavian service had 472,000 subscribers in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland at the end of 1999, about 100,000 more than at the end of the previous year. About 30% of the new subscribers signed for the platform's digital channels. Canal Plus joined forces with the Norwegian telecom TeleNor in 1998 to establish Scandinavia's first digital platform. Accord
  • Christmas Carol, High Times join MBP slate

    Hot German finance house MBP has revealed further projects on its extensive development slate, being financed in a two-step process that involves an initial private placement followed by an IPO (Screendaily Feb 3).The aggressive financier is set to be German co-producer on Bruce Beresford's $7.6m (A$12m) Boswell, which has Richard Dreyfuss and Geoffrey Rush attached to star. The project is a co-production with Australian producer Sue Milliken. Production is scheduled to s
  • Clooney, Wenders in frame for Golden Cameras

    Actor George Clooney and German director Wim Wenders are among the names who will be honoured at the 25th Golden Camera Awards (Feb 8), on the eve of the Berlin Film Festival (Feb 9-20).Wenders' film The Million Dollar Hotel is opening the 50th Berlin Film Festival, and also featuring in competition. Other recipients of this year's Golden Cameras include French actress Sophie Marceau, German actor Armin Rohde and literary critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki. Meanwhile several lea
  • Cologne Conference to host programming market

    North Rhine Westphalia (NRW), the region which likes to think of itself as the electronic capital of Germany, yesterday unveiled details of plans for the Cologne Screenings (June 4-7), a new programming market to be held during the Cologne Conference.The Cologne Screenings confirmed international participation from Pearson, Granada and the BBC and said it expected several of the US studios to commit within the coming weeks as well as major players from France and The Netherlands. In a
  • Copenhagen to host Nordic film financing forum

    London-based media consultancy MediaXchange is organising a forum, dedicated to Nordic entertainment law and finance, in Copenhagen on February 7-9.The Nordic Entertainment Law & Finance forum is aimed at entertainment lawyers, business affairs executives and producers working in film and television. Among the issues that will be covered are packaging, film financing, talent deals, first-look and output deals, TV financing and international co-production. Speakers at the three-d
  • Deutsche Telekom, Kirch plan Internet alliance

    Deutsche Telekom and the KirchGroup are planning an alliance for cable television and the Internet, according to a report in Sueddeutsche Zeitung. The newspaper stated that Deutsche Telekom was considering an investment of more than DM500m ($253m) for a 51% majority stake in Kirch's research and software subsidiary Beta Research, which developed the d-box decoder for Kirch's digital pay-TV services. The collaboration would work together on the introduction of Internet access via
  • Distant Horizon joins party at Shore's Wedding

    South African production, financing and sales operation Distant Horizon is backing Cassandra At The Wedding, UK director Simon Shore's follow-up to his widely-acquired feature debut, Get Real.The $8.9m comedy drama, which has already secured $1.6m in national lottery funding, is the story of a woman looking to scupper her identical twin's marriage. The UK's Mass Productions is producing, with casting to be announced. Pre-production is to start in mid-March for a summer sh
  • Euroficcion, TeleCinco team up for English comedy

    Fledgling Spanish production house, Euroficcion, part of the Europroducciones group, is co-producing an English-language romantic comedy Latidos with Spanish broadcaster TeleCinco. A UK co-producer is also likely to board the PTS400m ($2.6m) project which is scheduled to crank up in London this summer. Angel Garcia Roldan and Valentin Fernandez Tubao wrote the script which is currently being translated into English. Director and cast are unconfirmed.Euroficcion has three
  • Fantasia 2000 conjures up $20m worldwide

    Walt Disney's animated Fantasia 2000: The Imax Experience has taken over $20m after its first month of exclusive screenings in Imax theatres. Distributed by Buena Vista around the world, Fantasia 2000 has been updated from the original masterpiece over a period of 10 years and at a cost of about $85m. The exclusive large-format film - which is ten times larger than the traditional 35mm frame - is available until April 30 when the animation will be released on conventional screen
  • FilmFour seals output deal with Senator

    UK mini-studio FilmFour and leading German producer-distributor Senator Film have struck a co-production and distribution output deal for at least 14 titles over two years.Senator will take German-language rights in all media to a string of projects from FilmFour's development slate with a total estimated budget of $400m. Senator will also receive a share of worldwide distribution profits.One of the first projects to go through the deal is expected to be Our Lucky Break,
  • Genies favour Felicia's Journey

    Atom Egoyan's Felicia's Journey won four Genie Awards, including the best actor accolade for Bob Hoskins and best adapted screenplay for Egoyan, at the 20th edition of the Canadian film awards ceremony in Toronto on Sunday night. Alliance Atlantis' Sunshine, which had 14 nominations, many of them multiple nods in single categories, came away with three prizes including best picture, but director Istvan Szabo was passed over. Indeed, while there was no runaway winner among
  • HAL, Miramax confirm split

    Miramax Films and HAL Films, the production venture headed by David Aukin, Colin Leventhal and Trea Hoving, have disbanded their London-based partnership, Miramax announced today (Feb 1).Aukin and Leventhal are to pursue interests in the entertainment industry through HAL, the company they founded two years ago with Miramax backing. Hoving is to devote her time to family.Miramax confirmed that it will continue a presence in the UK, which has yielded successful titles for the com
  • Herod's Law

    Dir: Luis Estrada. Mexico. 1999. 120 mins.Prod Co: Bandidos Films, Imcine. Prod: Luis Estrada. Exec prod: Sandra Solares. Scr: Luis Estrada, Jaime Sampietro, Fernando Leon, Vicente Lenero. DoP: Norman Christianson. Prod des: Ana Solares, Salvador Parra. Ed: Luis Estrada. Mus: Santiago Ojeda. Main cast: Damian Alcazar, Pedro Armendariz, Leticia Huijara, Isela Vega, Alex Cox.Ripe with irony, Herod's Law is a gleeful satire on Mexico's reputation as the land wh
  • Hollywood to host second South African Exchange

    Top Hollywood film executives will meet face-to-face with South African film and television professionals during a five-day production conference to take place in Los Angeles from February 28. Organised under the US/South Africa Exchange umbrella by Johannesburg-based film promotion company Timbull Rorich Neville (TRN), the talks are designed to build relations between the two markets, exploit the production interest generated by last year's Exchange, and allow professionals from both

    GOLDBACHER COMMITS TO POND LIFE'S CORDOVALONDON The Governess director Sandra Goldbacher has committed to direct period piece Cordova from a script by Wonderland writer Laurence Coriat. The project, based at UK production outfit Pond Life Filmed Entertainment, is an adaptation of a novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield. The story, set in 1890s America and 1920s Italy, starts with a woman found dead with stigmata and then tracks back t
  • Israel's Yes threatens to return digital franchise

    Israel's digital satellite franchise holder, Yes, has told the government that it will return the franchise to the ministry of communications unless the country's cable operators are forced to share their programming with the new outfit.Yes has also told its programming suppliers that all deals are off until the issue is resolved. Yes chairman David Brodet claims the company's credit lines have been cut off due to the ministry of communications' delays in mediating between the two part
  • Kinowelt, IAC join expanding Berlin Film Market

    Several established sales agents have confirmed their participation in the European Film Market (EFM) - to take place during the Berlin Film Festival (Feb 9-20) - for the first time this year.Among companies setting out stalls for the first time at Berlin are the UK's IAC Films and Television, Iran's Farabi Film Foundation, Japan's Asmik Ace and Kadokawa and Germany's Kinowelt International.The rapidly expanding market is set to screen more than 300 films at the CinemaxX and Cin
  • Koepp wins top prize at Gerardmer Fantasy Fest

    Stir of Echoes, the second film from director David Koepp following The Trigger Effect, has won the Grand Jury Prize at the 7th Gerardmer Fantasy Film Festival (Jan 26-30).The public prize went to Spanish film The Nameless (Los Sin Nombre), directed by Jaume Balaguero.Michael York chaired the jury, replacing William Friedkin, who could not make the event due to weather conditions in New York. Jury members included US actress Gina Gershon, French actors Bruno
  • Kusama, Lonergan films share Sundance jury prize

    Girlfight - the story of a teenage girl boxer - and You Can Count On Me - about a brother and sister whose parents died when they were kids - tied for the Grand Jury Prize in the dramatic competition section of the Sundance Film Festival this year.Girlfight, directed by Karyn Kusama, was one of the festival's most popular titles and was acquired for distribution earlier in the week by Screen Gems (for the US and UK) and United Artists Films (for all other territori
  • Leconte lines up two more for Pathe with Cineb

    Prolific French film-maker Patrice Leconte - who has been shooting films back to back lately - is currently working on two new and still untitled projects. Both are still at script stage - one with The Hairdresser's Husband screenwriter Claude Klotz and the other by La Fille Sur Le Pont's Serge Frydman - but both could happen this year.Both titles are with Philippe Carcassonne's Cineb, which has a partnership with French major Pathe. Carcassonne produced four of Leconte's
  • Lehmann Brothers to acquire stake in Kirch PayTV

    New York-based investment bank Lehman Brothers is planning to acquire a 3% stake in Leo Kirch's pay-TV holding Kirch PayTV. The holding controls the digital platform Premiere World and Swiss pay channel Teleclub, among others.According to a report in the German daily newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau, the investment would cost Lehman Brothers about DM360m ($179m). This transaction would follow the bank's acquisition last May of a 3.19% stake in Kirch's other holding Kirch Media, w
  • Love And Sex

    Dir: Valerie Breiman. USA. 2000. 82 mins.Prod Co: Bogart/Barab/Wyman. Int'l sales: Behaviour Worldwide. Prod: Timothy Scott Bogart, Brad Wyman, Martin J Barab. Exec prod: Mark Damon. Scr: Valerie Breiman. DoP: Adam Kane. Prod des: Sarah Sprawls. Ed: Martin Apelbaum. Mus: Billy White Acre, Pierpalo Tiane. Main cast: Famke Janssen, Jon Favreau, Noah Emmerich, Ann Magnuson, Cheri Oteri.A romantic comedy with added zest, Love And Sex marks a winning debut from w
  • Lucas adds Sega to games franchise

    George Lucas' games company LucasArts Entertainment is to produce a series of games for the Sega Dreamcast platform. First off will be Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer, a game derived from the pod race sequence in The Phantom Menace, which is already available for PC and Nintendo. The Sega version will be released this spring.LucasArts is committed to delivering further games to Sega, but has not revealed how many, nor whether its next one will make it into stores before the ke
  • MBP to go public with top-flight slate

    MBP, one of Germany's hottest film finance houses, is set to offer the public a slice of films by directors including Bruce Beresford, Iain Softley, Bob Rafelson and Andre Bonzel. The outfit, which controls a spread of tax efficient funds, plans a flotation within the next 18 months.In the initial stage of a two-step process, MBP will invite on board Australian sales agent Beyond Films, UK production outfits jonescompany and Indigo Film, and Datty Ruth's German independent video compan
  • Merger mania ignites again in Hollywood

    Sony's chief executive officer Nobuyuki Idei has denied any intention to sell either his music operations or his movie studios, insisting last night that they are "a cornerstone in our overall strategy.""We want to be very clear in stating that our entertainment businesses, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment, are not for sale. Sony intends to be a broadband entertainment company in the 21st Century and, in that regard, it is more important than ever that Sony main
  • MGM roars back to financial health, reveals slate

    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has announced its strongest quarterly operating results in 12 years, signalling a financial turnaround at the company under its new management structure of Alex Yemenidjian and his second-in-command Chris McGurk EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation), the cashflow measure by which Wall Street evaluates the performance of all media and entertainment companies, finished at $47.7m for the three months ending Dec 31, 1999. That compares

    NATPE organisers said that despite bad weather delays, attendance at the New Orleans programme market exceeded last year - 17,520 had checked in after two days. But it was unclear whether record amounts of sales were being conducted.NATPE chairman Bruce Johansen said that the number of programme acquisition executives from the US's regional channels was probably down, but that more marketing and technical staff were swelling the numbers. So was an international contingent, which NATPE
  • New Latin American combo goes on shopping spree

    A pan-Latin American buying consortium of independent distributors is gearing up for the American Film Market, having quietly launched late last year in reaction to the increasing appetite amongst Hollywood studios to buy all rights in the region.The consortium - named Entertainment Consortium Ltd - is composed of Gussi in Mexico, Lider Film in Argentina, Paris Film in Brazil, Cine Colombia in Colombia, Delta Films in Peru and Cines Unidos in Venezuela.At the Sundance Film Festi
  • Noosa Film Festival unlikely to return

    Despite the success of last year's Noosa Film Festival in terms of profile and programming, director Luke Davis has admitted that unpaid debts and lack of sponsorship means there is unlikely to be a sequel. Davis confirmed the event has about A$300,000 in outstanding bills due to a sponsor withdrawing at short notice. And although Davis is meeting with potential new sponsors about a rescue package, creditors are already threatening to start liquidation proceedings.Davis also not
  • Nora premiere to open Dublin Film Festival

    This year's Dublin Film Festival (April 6-16) will open with the world premiere of Nora, directed by Pat Murphy, about the early relationship between Nora Barnacle and novelist James Joyce.The screening will take place at UGC's city centre Virgin Cinema and the lead cast of Ewan McGregor, Susan Lynch and Peter MacDonald are expected to attend. Nora is the first completed production from Natural Nylon, the company set up by McGregor and fellow actors Jude Law, Sadie Frost,
  • Onda increases capital; rebrands as Quiero

    Shareholders for fledgling Spanish digital terrestrial television network Onda Digital last night approved an extraordinary increase in share capital worth pts11,000m ($68.75m) and the contracting of an external auditing for fiscal year 1999. In addition, the network has announced it will change its name to Quiero Television SA.Only the second digital terrestrial network in Europe, after the UK's ONdigital, Quiero TV aims to launch on-air services of at least 14 channels by the second
  • Online Film Fest premieres Figgis' DV feature

    Mike Figgis' experimental Time Code, the first digital video production to be fully financed and released by a Hollywood studio, will have its world premiere at the Yahoo! Internet Life Online Film Festival on March 22 in Los Angeles.A dark comedy thriller about Hollywood filmmaking, Time Code was backed by Sony Pictures Entertainment through its Screen Gems label and features improvised performances from Holly Hunter, Salma Hayek, Kyle MacLachlan, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ste
  • Oz bank Content Capital boards Monkey's Mask

    Content Capital has announced it is to become a financial partner in the Australian and New Zealand release of Samantha Lang's A$4.5m lesbian detective thriller The Monkey's Mask. The move fits the company's strategy of establishing itself as a bank for the use of film-makers. The Monkey's Mask, which stars Kelly McGillis and Susie Porter, is currently in post-production. The film is produced by Arenafilm's Robert Connolly and John Maynard while Arenafilm's sister company
  • Paradise secures sales in Latin America, Europe

    Cuban-Spanish co-production A Paradise Under The Stars (pictured) has secured two major sales in the wake of its successful screenings in the World Cinema section of this year's Sundance Film Festival.The deals, concluded in Park City, were for all Scandinavia to Angel Scandinavia AS and for all Latin America to Entertainment Consortium, the new buying alliance encompassing Argentina's Lider Film, Mexico's Gussi and Brazil's Paris Films.The Spanish-language movie premiere
  • Paramount, SPC continue Sundance buying frenzy

    Happy Accidents and Shadow Magic were the last two pictures to secure domestic distribution deals at this year's Sundance Film Festival, although offers are on the table for at least four more, making it one of the busiest, if most conservative, buyer frenzies in years.Paramount Classics is in the final stages of acquiring rights in the English-speaking world (North America, UK, Australia & New Zealand, South Africa) to Brad Anderson's Happy Accidents for a reporte
  • Pasolini's The Closer You Get opens US Comedy Fest

    The Closer You Get, the eagerly anticipated Irish comedy produced by Full Monty producer Uberto Pasolini, will have its world premiere next Wednesday (Feb 9) as the opening night film of the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado.The festival, which is sponsored by Cinemax, the sister pay-movie channel to HBO in the US, was launched last year as a discovery programme for independent comedy features, documentaries and shorts.The Closer You Get, directed b
  • Primedia restructure separates content, delivery

    South African media group Primedia has announced the completion of a major 18-month restructuring programme that included the creation of two new divisions to separate content and delivery.Ferdi Gazendam, a former director of South African television hire company Teljoy, will head Primedia's newly created Media division, which includes the Ster-Kinekor Theatres chain. Peter Matlare heads the Broadcasting and Entertainment division.While the Primedia group owns several commercial
  • Punks

    Dir: Patrik-Ian Polk. USA. 2000. 103 mins.Prod Co: Tall Skinny Black Guy, Edmonds Entertainment. Int'l sales: contact Edmonds Entertainment. Prods: Tracey Edmonds, Michael McQuarn, Patrik-Ian Polk. Exec prod: Kenneth Edmonds. Scr: Patrik-Ian Polk. DoP: Rory King. Ed: Anne Misawa. Mus: Whole 9, Patrik-Ian Polk. Main cast: Seth Gilliam, Dwight Ewell, Renoly Santiago, Rockmond Dunbar, Jazzmun, Vanessa Williams.Ignored or, at best, marginalised by the rise of New Queer
  • Redbus, Grosvenor line up multi-territory deal

    Aggressively-expanding UK film-to-Internet outfit Redbus Film Group and Canadian-UK financier Grosvenor Park are in advanced talks to strike a long-term, multi-territory pact on a slate of large-scale titles.The expected deal would feed about five projects a year to Redbus' UK distribution arm, which has just appointed a wave of executives from Universal Pictures International (UPI) including theatrical distribution chief Chris Bailey.The deal comes as Grosvenor is increasing UK
  • Salvadoran cinemas ignore Stigmata ban

    Cinema chains in El Salvador have ignored a government order forbidding them to screen supernatural thriller Stigmata, arguing that the ban violated their freedom of expression.The Salvadoran Public Entertainment Directorate had previously approved the film for audiences over 18, but decided to ban its exhibition after it became a local box office hit. The MGM release has grossed about $40,000 in five days - a strong performance for a film in the small Central American nation.
  • Sega speeds up Dreamcast with cable partners

    In a move that threatens to bring UK production to a virtual standstill, powerful local performers' union Equity has told its members not to agree to any contracts for feature films that involve working on or after December 1.The call marks a serious turn in Equity's talks with UK producers' body PACT to secure some form of profit participation for its members like the residuals US actors enjoy through SAG contracts.Equity said on Tuesday that it had told its members to say no t
  • Showcase builds AFM slate with Falling, Eastside

    Showcase Entertainment has acquired two new pictures for its AFM slate - The Sky Is Falling and Eastside.The LA-based company headed by David Jackson has bought international rights to The Sky Is Falling, a comic drama about a 28-year-old having a mid-life crisis, which stars Dedee Pfeiffer, Teri Garr, Howard Hessman and Laura Leighton. Directed by Florrie Laurence, the film is produced by Brad Hall and David Parks. Meanwhile Showcase has also snared worldwi
  • Skin Of A Man wins at Tromso festival

    French production Peau D'Homme, Coeur De Bete (Skin Of A Man, Heart Of A Beast), directed by Helene Angel, picked up the Don Quixote Award at this year's Tromso International Film Festival (Jan 18-23).The award was founded by the international union of film clubs (FICC).Hungarian feature Simon Magus (Simon The Magician), directed by Ildiko Enyedi, picked up the Aurora Award, presented by the Norwegian Film Institute. The award consists of a cheque of NKr100,000 ($15,000)
  • Sky Box Office, FilmFour move to digital platform

    Satellite broadcaster BSkyB's Sky Box Office pay-per-view movie service and UK broadcaster Channel 4's subscription service FilmFour are going digital.Sky Box Office and the FilmFour service will move exclusively to Sky's digital satellite platform in April. In a statement, the companies cited 'the rapid rate of digital take-up by former analogue subscribers' as the reason for the move. The companies added that most Sky Box Office customers and FilmFour satellite subscribers had alread
  • Sony Pictures Classics promotes Leiner

    Dylan Leiner has been promoted to senior vice president of acquisitions and production at Sony Pictures Classics (SPC), reporting to company co-presidents Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcie Bloom.Leiner was instrumental in the New York-based company's acquisition last weekend of worldwide rights to rave movie Groove at the Sundance Film Festival. He has also been integrally involved in many SPC acquisitions such as last year's hits Run Lola Run and All About My Mot
  • Sony takes domestic rights to Kitano's Brother

    Sony Pictures Classics has acquired Takeshi Kitano's gangster picture Brother for distribution in the US and Canada, producer Jeremy Thomas has confirmed.The $10m production is seen as the cult Japanese auteur's potentially most commercial outing to date and marks his first film to be shot in America. The story, which is told principally in the English-language with some Japanese, continues Kitano's hallmark investigations into the criminal life that he explored to award-winning
  • Sony, Starz Encore unveil multimedia tie-up

    In a wide ranging tie-up with Starz Encore Media, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has made one of the most dramatic moves by any studio to push its content into new on-line media.The deal which begins in 2005 spans more than 200 current feature films from the Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics stables and includes over 1,000 library titles. The deal is also seen as a major boost for subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), a pay-per-view format providing unlimited
  • Summit scores foreign sales on Chuck & Buck

    Summit Entertainment has lost little time concluding the first international sales on Miguel Arteta's Chuck & Buck, striking deals with theatrical distributors from Germany, France and South Africa within days of securing the international sales rights to the digital video feature at last week's Sundance Film Festival.Highlight Communications will now release the micro-budget film in Germany, while in South Africa it will go out through Anant Singh's Distant Horizon. In France,
  • Sundance to get 10-screen cinema complex

    Resort Theaters Of America (RTA) - the recently established cinema circuit which has to date bought, built or identified over 100 screens in US resorts - has teamed with The Sundance Film Festival to build the RTA Theater in Park City, Utah, home to the festival.The $7m, 10-screen site will have a significant impact on the festival when it opens in spring 2001 in time for Sundance 2002 and the Winter Olympics, which are taking place in Feb 2002. Located in the Redstone Retail Center mi
  • Tele Images to back Gaumont Television buyout

    French production and TV sales operation Tele Images International is to back the buyout of GTV from integrated French major Gaumont.Tele Images founder Simone Halberstadt Harari and Christian Charret, chief executive of GTV (formerly known as Gaumont Television), have jointly bought out Gaumont's remaining equity interest in GTV. The two companies will now be run as a confederation of producers, with output spanning feature film, drama and series. All forthcoming and library product w
  • Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her

    Dir: Rodrigo Garcia. US. 2000. 110 mins.Prod cos: Franchise Pictures. US dist: United Artists. Int'l sales: Franchise Pictures. Exec prods: Elie Samaha, Andrew Stevens. Prods: Jon Avnet, Lisa Lindstrom, Marsha Oglesby. Scr: Rodrigo Garcia. DoP: Emmanuel Lubezki. Mus: Edward Shearmur. Ed: Amy E Duddleston. Main cast: Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, Cameron Diaz, Calista Flockhart, Amy Brenneman, Kathy Baker, Gregory Hines, Valeria Golino, Matt Craven, Roma Maffia, Elpidia Carrillo, Noah F
  • Trixie

    Dir: Alan Rudolph. USA. 2000. 117 mins.Prod Co: Sandcastle 5. Int'l sales: Pandora Cinema. Prod: Robert Altman. Exec prod: James McLindon. Scr: Alan Rudolph from a story by Rudolph and John Binder. DoP: Jan Kiesser. Prod des: Richard Paris, Linda Del Rosario. Ed: Michael Ruscio. Main cast: Emily Watson, Dermot Mulroney, Nick Nolte, Nathan Lane, Brittany Murphy, Lesley Ann Warren.This may be Alan Rudolph's idea of a comedy but there will be precious few who share th
  • UK's Adler scoops Sundance/NHK award

    UK film-maker Carine Adler, who won critical raves for her first film Under The Skin, was the European winner of this year's Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award - presented at the Sundance Film Festival Awards Night on Saturday.The prize, which includes $10,000 in cash and a licensing fee for Japanese broadcast rights from NHK, is given to four upcoming projects - one each from the US, Europe, Latin America and Japan. Started in 1996, it has kick-started projects such as
  • Universal signs deals with BBC, Canal Plus

    Universal Studios Networks UK has acquired extensive packages of movies from the BBC and Canal Plus.Universal declined to comment on speculation that it will launch a second European pay movie channel, based on 13th Street, in the UK other than to point out that "there are other brands". Universal has an existing UK cable and satellite channel, Sci-Fi UK.Titles in the deals include Medicine Man and Clockwise from the BBC and Apocalypse Now and LA Story
  • Universal Video restructures following UPI closure

    The UK arm of Universal Pictures Video (UPV) has restructured its management team as a result of the closure of theatrical operation United Pictures International (UPI).Eddie Cunningham, previously UPV managing director, will become chairman of UPV, reporting directly to Peter Smith, president of Universal Pictures International. Cunningham replaces David Kosse, who has left the company.Meanwhile UPV marketing director Melanie Nicholas has been promoted to replace Cunningham as
  • USA Films takes Romeo Brass

    USA Films has finally completed its US acquisition this week of Shane Meadows' critically acclaimed drama A Room For Romeo Brass, according to reports at the Sundance Film Festival. The deal was made between USA and the film's backer/producer Alliance Atlantis Communications.USA has been eyeing the film since its world premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival last August. It also played at the Toronto Film Festival in September and screened in the World Cinema section of the Sund
  • Village launches own brand UK cinema chain

    Village Roadshow Cinemas International has officially launched its own branded cinema chain in the UK with a market identity distinct from its existing joint venture with Warner Bros International Theatres (WBIT) - Warner Village Cinemas.The new Village sites will be designed and fitted out according to the Village corporate image already in place on theatres in Germany, France (the recently opened Nice site), Greece, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria. The first
  • Village Roadshow extends Warner co-financing pact

    Australia's Village Roadshow Pictures Entertainment (VRPE) and Warner Bros have expanded their two year-old co-financing and co-production agreement which called for 20 pictures between 1998 and 2002, by adding 20 more films over the next five years (2000-2005). The deal extension means that VRPE will have invested more than $1 billion into 40 films by 2005.Warner Bros will continue to handle distribution of the films worldwide apart from those territories in which Roadshow has
  • Waking The Dead

    Dir: Keith Gordon. USA. 1999. 105 mins.Prod Co: Egg Pictures. Int'l sales: Universal. US dist: USA Films. Prods: Keith Gordon, Stuart Kleinman, Linda Reisman. Exec prod: Jodie Foster. Scr: Robert Dillon from the novel by Scott Spencer. DoP: Tom Richmond. Prod des: Zoe Sakellaropoulo. Ed: Jeff Wishengrad. Mus: tomandandy. Main cast: Billy Crudup, Jennifer Connelly, Molly Parker, Janet McTeer, Hal Halbrook.Director Keith Gordon has a reputation for making distinctive
  • William Morris closes UK theatrical activities

    Charles Finch, head of motion pictures Europe, is amongst a string of departures at William Morris Agency (WMA)'s London office as the company closes UK theatrical activities.Finch is expected to set up a London-based production management company with several WMA staff including former producer Luc Roeg. Finch's start-up operation is expected to share many clients with WMA - including John Malkovich and Cate Blanchett. WMA's London arm, which will be headed by Stephanie Cabot,
  • Winter Films launches with $25m investment

    A new New York-based production outfit - Winter Films - was launched at Sundance last week backed by a recently completed $25m equity investment. Formerly known as Ikahn Productions, the company is headed by Michael Kahn with a management team including British production veteran Steve Hodges and Erick Feitshans, who has held senior business affairs positions at Morgan Creek and Cinergi.Winter is looking to produce three to four theatrical films per year and is currently talking to bot