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4 February 2006

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  • 2006 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards announced

    The Sundance Institute andJapan Broadcasting Corporation NHK have announced the winners of the 2006Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards.
  • 78th Academy Award nominations

    78th Academy Award Nominees: Best Picture Brokeback Mountain Capote Crash Good Night, And Good Luck Munich Best Director Ang Lee - Brokeback Mountain Bennett Miller -
  • Ang Lee wins DGA honours for Brokeback Mountain

    Ang Lee took a giant stride towards the Academy Award at theweekend after collecting top honours from the Directors Guild of America (DGA)on Saturday night for Brokeback Mountain.
  • Argentinian New Wave looks beyond home for financing

    During the 1990s, awave of young film-makers emerged in Argentina who gained comparison on thefestival circuit with similar movements in Iran, Hong Kong, Thailand, Finlandand South Korea.Now severaldirectors from the group known as New Argentine Cinema - such as LisandroAlonso (The Dead), Martin Rejtman (Silvia Prieto) and Lucrecia Martel (Holy Girl) - are developing newprojects.Others like DanielBurman and Rodrigo Moreno will unveil their latest features -
  • Ask The Dust, Man About Town to have world premieres at Santa Barbara

    The world premiere of Robert Towne's romance Ask The Dust starring Colin Farrell and Salma Hayekwill open the 21st Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), whichruns from Feb 2-12.
  • Atmosphere, Platinum team up on Killing Demons

    Atmosphere Entertainment's Mark Canton and Platinum Studios chiefScott Mitchell Rosenberg are teaming up to develop a film of Platinum's graphicnovel Killing Demons.
  • Battle In Heaven to open Film Comment series in NYC

    Carlos Reygadas' Mexican drama Battle In Heaven will launch the 6th Annual "FilmComment Selects" series at New York's Walter Reade Theatre in the LincolnCentre, which runs from Feb 15-28.
  • Big Momma's House 2 wins domestic weekend with $28m

    Fox's comedy sequel Big Momma's House 2 stole the show at the North American boxoffice over the weekend and opened top on an estimated $28m, almost double thegross of Universal's debutant Nanny McPhee in second place.
  • Bleiberg Entertainment acquires rights to Danny Lerner's Frozen Days.

    Los Angeles-based Bleiberg Entertainment has acquiredinternational rights to Danny Lerner's psycho-thriller Frozen Days.The picture won best film at the Haifa 2005 InternationalFilm Festival and centres on a woman who assumes the identity of her blind dateafter he falls into a coma following a bomb blast. AnatKlausner, Uli Sternberg andSandra Sade star and Lerner produced with Alan Lernerand Assaf Rav."Frozen Daysis a well crafted and distinctive film that will kee
  • Brokeback Mountain leads Oscar nominations

    Focus Features' Brokeback Mountain confirmed its reputation as the frontrunner for this year's 78th Annual Academy Awards with eight nominations, as Hollywood's specialty divisions dominated the major categories with a raft of provocative work.
  • Celluloid Dreams starts sales for The Elementary Particles

    French sales agent CelluloidDreams has kicked off sales on Berlin Competition entry The Elementary Particles, with Lucky Red picking up the Oskar Roehler-directed title forItaly, ABC/Cinemien taking Benelux, Ekaterinburg Art weighting in for Russia and HollywoodClassics coming on board for the Czech Republic and Slovakia.Based on Michael Houellebecq's worldwide bestseller Les Particules Elemetaires,the film was produced by Downfall's Bernd Eichingerand Oliver Berben and s
  • Chinese masters crank up new productions

    Two of mainland China's leading film-makers - Zhang Yimou and Jiang Wen -are currently working on new projects that look set to raise considerableinterest in international markets.Following his quietdrama Riding Alone ForThousands Of Miles, Zhang Yimou is returning to the big-budget arenawith a $45m costume drama, starring Chow Yun-fat and Gong Li, which is scheduledto start shooting at the end of February.The film, whichhas the Ch
  • Cillian Murphy launches Dublin Festival programme

    Cillian Murphy last night launchedthe programme for the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (JDIFF) whichkicks off on February 17 with the world premiere of Paul Mercier's debutfeature, Studs.Studs will be thefirst in a strong line up of new Irish films being shown at this year's event.They include Anthony Byrne's modern musical, Short Order; Patrick Jolley'sexperimental New York-set drama, Sugar;Tommy Collins's Donegal-set Dead LongEnough, win
  • Coixet's Secret Life takes Goyas for best film and director

    IsabelCoixet's The Secret Life Of Words wasthe big winner atthe 20thanniversary edition of the Spanish Film Academy's Goya Awards, taking home fourstatues including best film, director and script.
  • ContentFilm racks up sales on Book Of Revelation

    ContentFilm Internationalhas sold The Book Of Revelation,directed by Ana Kokkinos (Head On), to22 territories, one of the most robust sales performances by an unseenindependent Australian film in recent years.Distributors including TheWorks (UK), A Film (Netherlands and Belgium), Scanbox (Scandinavia) and Palace(Australia and New Zealand) signed on prior to the film going into productionin February last year. A teaser at Cannes
  • Curious George

    Dir: Matthew OCallaghan. US. 2005. 77mins.Curious George, the mischievous monkey known togenerations of kids from the classic picture books by Margretand H A Rey, finally makes it to the big screen inthis slight but sweet animated tale from Imagine and Universal.Aimed firmly at youngerchildren (probably in the three- to eight-year-old range), with few concessionsto a broader family audience, the traditionally animated George isn'
  • Czech box office at lowest level since 2001

    Czech distributors knew early in the year that 2005 wouldnot be a record-breaker, but that didn't make the year's bitter figures easierto swallow. Box office admissions and sales both fell in 2005 more than 20%below 2004 level dropping to their lowest levels since 2001.Box office for the territory slipped 22.7% year-on-year from $46.9m (CZK 1.1bn) in 2004 to $36.2m (CZK 854.5m). The admissions deficit was marginally smaller, down 21% from 91.8 million tickets sold in 2004 to 90.15 mill
  • Czech box office at lowest level since 2001

    Czech distributors knew early in the year that 2005 wouldnot be a record-breaker, but that didn't make the year's bitter figures easierto swallow. Box office admissions and sales both fell in 2005 more than 20%below 2004 level dropping to their lowest levels since 2001. December was theonly month that saw more than 1 million admissions. Ales Danielis, director oftheatrical distribution for Bontonfilm, agrees thatmuch of the drop resulted from weak product. "The decreasing is mostly int
  • Debut feature film wins the Grand Prix-Golden FIPA

    Wega-Film production Mein Morder (MyMurderer), the debut feature of Austrian former documentary director and journalistElisabeth Scharang received the Grand Prix-Golden Fipa in the Fiction section of the 19th Festival International des Programmes Audiovisuels (FIPA) in Biarritz January24-29. The five-memberjury headed by Polish film director Krzysztof Zanussi and including among others hisSpanish colleague Jaime Camino and Canadian actress ArsineeKhanjian awarded the Silv
  • Destricted

    Dirs: Marina Abramovic, Matthew Barney, Marco Brambilla,Larry Clark, Gaspar Noe,Richard Prince, Sam Taylor-Wood. US/UK. 2006. 116mins.A series of short adult films by someof the most outre artists and film-makers on theworld stage today, Destrictedis an unusual project which brings pornographic imagery somewhere into the veryo
  • Disney, Walden Media set to shoot Prince Caspian

    Confirming what has been anopen secret for several weeks, Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures issued ajoint statement announcing they have begun pre-production on the sequel totheir global smash The Chronicles OfNarnia: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe.Andrew Adamson reprises hisdirector's role on The Chronicles OfNarnia: Prince Caspian, which reunites most of the cast from last year'spicture and is set to begin shooting later this year in time for a Christmas2007
  • Dowling to write, O'Connor to direct Paramount/MTV Films project Born To Rock

    Paramount Pictures and MTV Films have hired Tim Dowling to adapt GordonKorman's novel Born To Rock, a coming-of-age story about a Republican student who enlists thesupport of his rock star father to get him into school.
  • Fearless storms across Asia over Chinese New Year

    Fearless,the latest martial arts epic from uber-producer Bill Kong, had a strong openingweekend (Jan 26-29) across Asia over the Chinese New Year holiday grossing $7.5mfrom six territories. The film, directed by RonnyYu and starring Jet Li, Nakamura Shidou and Collin Chou, racked up a mighty $3.7m(RMB30m) in China and $1m (HK$7.8m) in Hong Kong. It grossed a further $1.39m(NT$44m) from Taiwan
  • Fifth TIFF tour to set sail for UK, Eire

    The TorontoInternational Film Festival Group's Film Circuit will present seven Canadiantitles during a tour of Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and the Republic ofIreland from Feb 19-May 5.The fifth annual event, entitled Canadian Cinema Showcase: North Of Hollywood,features recent Canadian productions including Thom Fitzgerald's 3 Needles, Fran
  • Film London launches low-budget film scheme

    Screen agency Film London has announced a new low-budgetfilm scheme in the UK,Microwave, which will fund ten low-budget films in the next three years. Each project can get up to $133,000 (£75,000) cash funding through FilmLondon (including some BBC support), and film-makers can also raise additionalsupport up to a total budget of $178,000 (£100,000). Film London'sassistance wi
  • Film Sales Co takes on rights to Panorama title Dolls

    Andrew Herwitz's The FilmSales Company has bulked up its Berlin sales slate with Israeli Filmmaker TomerHeymann's Paper Dolls, whichreceives its world premiere in the Panorama section. Herwitz is handlingworldwide rights on the picture.Claudia Levin and StanleyBuchthal produced the picture, which chronicles the life of Filipinotransvestites who enter Israel illegally to work as carers for elderly Jewishmen.On their nights off, theillegal immigrants perform a drag act in a
  • Filmax to distribute Lauren Films' catalogue of titles

    Spain'sFilmax has signed a deal to distribute Lauren Films'catalogue of titles on DVD in Spain.Starting this month, Filmax willhandle all Lauren catalogue titles and new releases. Recent titles include Beautiful Boxer andThe Importance OfBeing Ernest, while among the cataloguetitles encompassed by the dealare
  • Firewall (Firewall)

    Dir: Richard Loncraine. US. 2005. 100mins.Though it boasts a rare star turn by Harrison Fordand a strong supporting cast, Firewallis a kidnap thriller that's driven more by its high tech gadgets than by itsunder-pressure characters. Ford's presence, the story's family theme and theappeal to digital age paranoia could help the film, steered by director RichardLoncraine, find an older-skewing yet still fairlybroad i
  • Five world premieres for Berlinale Special

    The selection of films for Berlinale Special has beenfinalised. This film series has a varied programme with two football filmsfeaturing among the five world premieres which are, Luis Llosa'sThe Feast of the Goat (La Fiesta Del Chivo), based on the best-selling novel of the samename by Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa andstaring Isabella Rossellini playing a lawyer who returns to her native country,the Dominican Republic, after 30 years.Neten Chokling'sworld premiere of his fi
  • God Grew Tired Of Us

    Dir. Christopher Quinn. US. 2006. 86minsAn emotionally absorbing documentary from ChristopherQuinn, God Grew Tired Of Us is apiece that demands another telling of the genocidalSudanese civil war and the horrifying emotional and physical conditions itinflicted on its thousands of battered survivors.It also stands as an ablecompanion piece to Megan Mylan and Jon Chenk's remarkable TheLost Boys O
  • Golden Globes to introduce animated feature in 2007

    Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) havevoted to add the category of best animated feature film to next year's 64thAnnual Golden Globes.
  • High hopes for Walk The Line as it begins its international run this weekend

    Buoyed by five Academy Award nominations, 20th Century Fox'sWalk The Line begins itsinternational run this weekend.The acclaimed Johnny Cash biopic launches in 23 territoriesincluding Germanyon February 2, followed a day later in the UK,Mexico and Spain
  • High-tech competition demonstrates digital potential

    ScreenDaily readers are today invited to take part in a unique digital cinema experiment.Three film-makers are creating short movies using digital footage, mobile phones and downloads from web sitesand are editing them live at the Screen International Cinema Next conference at Bafta in London using affordable commercial software and hardware.
  • Hoffman, Witherspoon, Crash cast take top SAG awards

    Philip Seymour Hoffman, Reese Witherspoon and the ensemble cast ofCrash were among thechief winners at the 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards in LosAngeles yesterday evening.
  • House Of Sand wins Sundance Alfred P Sloan prize

    AndruchaWaddington's The House Of Sandhas been awarded the Sundance 2006 Alfred P Sloan Prize.
  • Hungarian Film Week sticks by Istvan Szabo

    Istvan Szabo'sRelatives will open the 37thHungarian Film Week tonight as scheduled despite the director's admission thathe was an informant for Hungary's communist-era secret police while a filmstudent in the 1950s.Magyar Filmunio, the promotionagency of the Hungarian Motion Picture Public Foundation, would not comment onthe matter other than to say that the programme would not be changed.On Friday, Szabo told theHungarian daily Nepszabadsagthat he had become an in
  • Intrepid appoints Fischer, Brown to key roles

    Fledgling production andfinancing company Intrepid Pictures has named the two senior executives whowill take charge of finance and development of projects in the recent dealsigned with Universal and Rogue Pictures.Jonathan Fischer will serveas chief financial officer and Katherine Brown as vice president ofdevelopment, Intrepid founders Trevor Macy and Marc Evans announced yesterday(Feb 1).Fischer will be responsiblefor all finance, strategic planning, investor relations and man
  • Ireland revamps production tax breaks

    A vociferous chorus of approval has greeted the Irishfinance minister's radical overhaul of the Section 481 tax break for filmproduction. The maximum threshold for Irish spend has been raised from 55%-66%to 80% of budget, for all productions irrespective of size. And the cap on thetotal amount that may be raised for any one production has been lifted from $18m(Euros15m) to $42m (Euros35m).Screen Producers Ireland (SPI)strongly welcomed minister for fi
  • Istvan Szabo defends past involvement with communist police

    Friday morning at Budapest's Millenium Theatre, Istvan Szabo spoke with journalists in an attempt to shed morelight on his involvement with the state police in the 1950s.With classmates Judit Elek,Eva Singer Karmento, Zsolt Kezdi-Kovacs and Janos Rosza, Szabo related thecircumstances that led to his unwilling cooperation with the communistauthorities: Police apprehended Szabo and a number ofothers took them to a hotel that served as headquart
  • It's Klimt vs Klimt for Rotterdam screenings

    Two versions of Raul Ruiz's biopic were in circulation at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR) at the weekend. Saturdaymarked the world premiere of the 129 minute director's cut of the film aboutthe Austrian artist.
  • Japan's box office down by 6% according to Eiren

    Japan's box office generated $1.69bn (Y198bn) in 2005, a 6% decrease from2004, according to data released by the Motion Picture Producers Association ofJapan (Eiren). This was in line with a dropin admissions from 170 million in 2004 to just over 160 million last year. Figures were more positivefrom a domestic standpoint, with homegrown releases taking a larger cut of thebox office total at 41.3%, an almost 4% incre
  • Jeff Pryor appointed MGM's executive vice president of corporate communications

    Jeff Pryor has been appointed to the new post of MGM'sexecutive vice president of corporate communications.Pryor reports directly to MGMChairman Harry E Sloan and will direct communication and public relationsstrategies for all MGM's operating divisionsincluding United Artists and MGM TelevisionEntertainment.He will also be involved in the c
  • Julio Medem selects an international cast for his new film

    Spain'sSogecine has unveiled new details of Spanish auteurJulio Medem's next film, Caotica Ana, set to begin shooting on February 13.Literally "Chaotic Ana,"the $6m (Euros 5m), majority Spanish-language film will star an internationalcast headlined by newcomer Manuela Velles, in herfeature debut, as the title character and singer Bebe,a recent best new artist winner at the Latin Grammy Awards.Ch
  • Katapult Film Sales heads to Berlin with impressive slate

    Katapult Film Sales will arrive atnext week's European Film Market in Berlin with its most prestigious slate ever.Heading up the roster are Sundance acquisitions TV Junkie and Destricted,as well as the Brazilian smash hit TwoSons Of Franciscoand BalthasarKormakur's LittleTrip To Heaven.Katapult holds internationalrights to TV Junkie, Michael Cain and Matt Radecki's documentary thatreflects on the technology-infused cultu
  • Katz, Moldo resurrect UK genre label Amicus

    Gettysburgproducer Robert Katz is resurrecting UK genre company Amicus Entertainment withlongtime Amicus executive Julie Moldo following the acquisition of the companyfrom the estate of Amicus founder Max J Rosenberg.
  • Kelly Reichardt, Manuel Nieto Zas and Han Jie win Tigers

    Kelly Reichardt's Old Joy, Manuel Nieto Zas's The Dog Poundand Walking On The Wild Side, by Han Jie, have won the three VPRO Tiger Awards at this year'sRotterdam International Film Festival.A total of 14 films competed forthe awards, which are given annually to first or second-time film-makers. The 35th Rotterdam festival's Tiger Awards section was marked this year bythe return of US film-makers after an absence. O
  • Klimt

    Dir: Raúl Ruiz. Aust-Ger-UK-Fr.2006. 129mins (Director's Cut)/97 mins (short version).There are biopics- and then there are biopics in the style of Raúl Ruiz. Anyone hoping for an easily comprehensible,fact-based ride through the life of Viennese painter Gustav Klimt(1862-1918) will be baffled by the flamboyantly discontinuous approach taken bythe prolific Chilean-born director here. Framed as
  • Korea's CJ CGV to open cinema in Los Angeles

    Leading Korean multiplexchain CJ CGV plans to open a three-screen, 650-seat cinema in Los Angeles. The cinema, which isscheduled to open in June 2007, will provide a launch pad for Korean films intothe US market by playing them day-and-date with their Koreanrelease. Recently restructured fromits position of subsidiary to CJ Entertainment, CJ CGV is now an affiliate ofthe p
  • Korea's CJ sells its DreamWorks stake to Paramount

    Following the completion of Paramount's acquisition of DreamWorks, Korean conglomerate CJCorporation has sold its 4.95% stake in the studio to Paramount for $35.8m. CJ Corp gave public noticeof the Jan 31 sale of approximately 2.31 million shares yesterday (Feb 2). CJ Entertainment became amajor founding investor in DreamWorks in 1995 with equity and a deal todistribute DreamWorks films in
  • LA marketing firm BD Fox & Friends to launch film sales division at Berlin

    Hollywood-based entertainment advertising and marketing firm BDFox & Friends will launch a sales division at the European Film Market inBerlin next week.
  • Lightning picks up Conversations With God adaptation

    Lightning Entertainment haspicked up international sales rights to Stephen Simon's adaptation of thebestselling book series ConversationsWith God and will commence sales in Berlin next week.Lightning enjoyed strongbusiness with the spiritually themed WhatThe Bleep Do We Know, which grossed more than $11m from selectinternational markets in 2005, and will be looking for similar success here.The picture recounts thespirit
  • Little Red Flowers (Kan shang qu hen mei)

    Dir. Zhang Yuan. China.2006. 92mins.In the droll Little Red Flowers, eccentric Sixth Generation director Zhang Yuanshapes a comically alive, delicately observed adaptation of theautobiographical novel by Wang Shuo.It plays like a Chinese Zero For Conduct:a sharply etched, emotionally precise account of an incorrigiblefour-year-child's year spent at a kindergarten boarding school.If some of the director'sp
  • Luc Besson to attend Cinema and Literature Forum

    The fifth annual International Cinema and Literature Forumis set to welcome Luc Besson this year for a roundtable on adapting works for young adults. Besson iscurrently adapting his own children's book to the big screen in the big-budget Arthur And The Minimoys. The Forum runs from April 7-9 in Monte Carlo and runs a concurrent International LiteraryAdaptation Market. The yearly get together sees authors, screenwriters,filmmakers, pub
  • Lucy Liu thriller goes international via Lionsgate

    Hot on the heels of itsSundance acquisition of dirty bomb thriller Right At Your Door, Lionsgate has bought international rights to theheist thriller Devil To Paystarring Lucy Liu.Lionsgate Internationalpresident Nick Meyer will commence sales at Berlin next week on the Echo LakeProductions and Intellectual Properties Worldwide (IPW) project.Echo Lake's Doug Mankoff andAndrew Spaulding will produce with IPW's J Todd Harris. Harris' colleague MarcToberoff will serve
  • Lunacy (Sileni)

    Dir/scr: Jan Svankmajer. Czech Rep/Slovakia.2005. 118mins.The latest nightmare from veteran Czech surrealistJan Svankmajer is, as the director puts it, "aninfantile tribute to Edgar Allen Poe and the Marquis de Sade."But audiences will also see affinities with various cinematic specialists indream logic, notably Luis Buñuel and Walerian Borowczyk.An exploration of madness,sanity and taboo, Lunacy -
  • Marilyn Manson to direct, star in Lewis Carroll feature

    Rocker Marilyn Manson will attend Berlin'sEuropean Film Market to present his directorial debut to buyers - $4.2m ( 3.5m Euros) Phantasmagoria - The Visions Of Lewis Carroll,in which Manson will play the author of Alice In Wonderland.With French sales agent Wild Bunch on board - WB partnerAlain de la Mata is producing through his blueLightlabel - Manson is ready for a summer shoot for the film, which will tie thelife of Lewis
  • Mehta's Water makes a splash at Canadian box office

    DeepaMehta's Waterhas crossed the C$2m ($1.75m)threshold at the Canadian box office.Released on Nov 4, 2005, the film has played in more than 115 theatres andcontinues its run on 12 screens.Featuring Bollywood stars Lisa Ray and John Abraham and shot in Hindi, theperiod film was recently nominated for nine Genie Awards, including best filmfor producer David Ha
  • Minghella renews role as BFI chair

    Director Anthony Minghella hasbeen reappointed as chair of the British Film Institute.Minghella's second three-year termtakes effect immediately."I am very happy to be able to renew my commitment to the bfi," Minghella said."These past three years have been a time of scrutiny and transition. Theorganisation is emerging from that period with real evidence of progress,notably with the coming transformation and extension of the National FilmTheatre on the South Bank which, as a tes
  • Moore, McAvoy to star in Foresight's Twist Of Fate

    Mandy Moore and James McAvoyare in final talks to star in the thriller TwistOf Fate for Mark Damon's Foresight Unlimited. Jennifer Elster will directfrom a screenplay by Wendy Riss about a love triangle that develops between aworking class girl and an intense young man haunted by a car wreck they neverreported, and a socialite whose fiancee died in that crash. Foresight Unlimited isfinancing and producing the drama, with Damon serving as producer along withAlessandro Camo
  • Moviemax acquires all Italian rights to The Darwin Awards

    AmbitiousRome distributor Moviemaxhas acquired all Italian rights to Sundance title The Darwin Awards.Sold byIcon Entertainment International, TheDarwin Awards is a dark comedy starring Joseph Fiennes and Winona Ryder asinvestigators who check people's posthumous entitlement to awards celebratingludicrous accidental deaths. Thepicture, directed by Finn Taylor, was picked up for North America by Baue
  • MPAA names two key appointees

    Lisa M Pierozzi has joined the MPAA as chief financial officer andexecutive vice president of finance and administration and will begin work inthe Los Angeles office on Feb 6.In addition, Michael Robinson becomes the new director of US anti-piracy operationsand assumed his position early last week.He will report to executive vice-president and dire
  • Munich takes international crown with $15m weekend

    Opening in more than 3,000sites in 30 markets at the weekend, Universal's thriller Munich was the number one title as it took an estimated $15mthrough UIP.The UK generated $2.2m from350 sites, France opened on $2.5m from 437, Germany produced $1.7m from 394,and Italy generated $1.6m from 304.Australia produced $1.4mfrom 172, Spain generated $1.6m from 225, Mexico produced $750,000 from 275prints, the Netherlands opened on a strong $365,000 from 71 sites, and Israelopened
  • New president, Andrew Cripps, to start at Paramount International Theatrical January 2007

    Andrew Cripps' start date as president of ParamountInternational Theatrical has been confirmed as January 2007.UIP's president and chiefoperating officer will be responsible for the marketing, distribution andoperations of the company's new global structure.As Paramount'stake-over of DreamWorks officially closed this week, it emerged that former president of Paramount Home Entertainment Tom Lesinski will run the newly formed Paramount
  • New projects for NoDream Cinema and Mantarraya Producciones

    NoDream Cinema, headed up byMexico's Carlos Reygadas, and Jaime Romandia's Mantarraya Producciones are upping their collaboration to back fourupcoming projects, all budgeted around the $500,000 mark.New projects by Reygadas and Amat Escalante (Los Bastardos) are joined by A Mexican Story, by Russia's Artur Aristakisian, and a directorial debut by Spain's Pedro Aquilera called La Influencia (The Influence), set to start shooting inMadrid shortly.Two of the pr
  • New Spanish film festival to be held in June

    International buyers of Spanish featureshave a new event to mark on their calendars: the Spanish Film Screenings ofMadrid, to be held June 18-20.Dubbed "Madrid de Cine,"themini-market will fill the hole left by the cancellation of the Spanish FilmScreenings of Lanzarote.It will offer a more central and accessiblelocation for international travellers, and has the added advantage of being inthe capital city where many of the local industry's core businesses areheadquartered.
  • Nina's Journey wins Sweden's best film award

    The Swedish film awards served up a night of surprises in Gothenberg.Lena Einhorn's Nina's Journey,was the unexpected winner of Best Picture and Best Screenplay honours.Among the favourites, seven-times nominated Bjorn Runge's Mouth to Mouth received just one Guldbagge, while Swedish Oscar nominee Josef Fare's Zozo took two. Nina'sJourney, based on Einhorb's own award-winning book, isa deeply personal account of the filmmaker's mother's struggle for sur
  • No 2

    Dir: Toa Fraser. New Zealand. 2006. 93mins.A Fijian matriarch calls her family together for onebig party before she dies in Toa Fraser's agreeable directorial debut which hadits international premiere at the Sundance Film Festival recently before headinginto Berlin's Panorma section.No. 2,named after the house on the street where the film takes place, also won theaudience award in the Sundance World Dra
  • One Last Dance

    Dir: Max Makowski.Singapore. 2006. 100mins.Here's a puzzle: Brazil-born film-maker Makowski (The PigeonEgg Strategy, Taboo) makes hisfirst film in Cantonese - a Singapore-set crime thriller which is soaked in thevisual stylistics and artificial dialogue one has come to expect from homages to Hong Kong action films.But One Last Dance delivers an unexpected punch as its labyrinthineplot unfurls. Just as Makowsk
  • Open Window

    Dir/scr: Mia Goldman. US. 2006. 98mins.Debut film-maker Mia Goldman uses the intelligent andtroubling Open Window to explore the ramifications- physical, psychological and emotional - of a sexual assault upon a young woman.In the process, she denies the audience the visceral satisfaction of vengeance,opting instead for helplessness, defeat and inadequacy. It is also the more devastating,complicated and dramaticall
  • Oscar race heralds new breed of daring financier

    As befits the provocative subject-matter that characterises thisyear's Academy Awards race, the major Oscar categories are dominated by storiespartly bankrolled by a dynamic new breed of wealthy financier willing to takethe kind of production risks being increasingly outsourced by studioconglomerates.Of the five best picture nominees, Brokeback Mountain was made for Focus Features with thepartial backing of Bill Pohlad's River Road Entertainment.
  • Paramount hires Poku for international marketing post

    Former Focus Features director of publicity Dee Poku has joinedParamount's rebranded specialty division as vicepresident of international marketing.
  • Pathe, MTV, Vertigo Start Dirty Sanchez Film

    Pathe Pictures, MTV FilmsEurope and London-based Vertigo Films have teamed up to start production on Dirty Sanchez: TheMovie.Pathe will distribute the filmin the UK and PathePictures International wi
  • Peckinpah's Pat Garrett to close Berlin

    Thedirector's cut of Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett & Billy TheKid willclose this year's Berlinale on February 18.Announcingthe complete festival programme, festival directorDieter Kosslick revealed that Peckinpah'sfilm will be shown "out of competition" in a High Definition versionat the Berlinale Palast andUrania cinemas.Therewill also be other films shown in high definition projection such as Chen Kaige's The Promise,Aysun Bademsoy's On The Outskirts
  • Police seize $500,000 of pirate DVDs in UK raid

    A UK police force has seized more than £500,000 of pirate DVDs in a joint operation with FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft).More than 100,000 illegally-copied films, including Memoirs of a Geisha, The Chronicles Of Narnia and Munich, were found when Kent Police raided a makeshift factory in Burnt Oak, North-West London and a related facility in Peckham, South-East London.They also found computers and more than 200 DVD burners capable of manufacturing over 20,000 DVDs p
  • Police seize£500,000 of pirate DVDs in raid

    AUK police force has seized more than £500,000 of pirate DVDs in a jointoperation with FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft).
  • Police seize£500,000 of pirate DVDs in raid

    AUK police force has seized more than £500,000 of pirate DVDs in a jointoperation with FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft).
  • Police seize£500,000 of pirate DVDs in raid

    AUK police force has seized more than £500,000 of pirate DVDs in a jointoperation with FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft).
  • Police seize£500,000 of pirate DVDs in raid

    AUK police force has seized more than £500,000 of pirate DVDs in a jointoperation with FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft).
  • Quinceanera

    Dir/scr: Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland. US.2006. 90mins.Winner of both the jury and audience prizes indramatic competition at Sundance this weekend, Quinceanera is a warm-heartedportrait of a trio of outcasts in the conservative Latino community of EchoPark, East Los Angeles, who pull together as a family of sorts. Glatzer and Westmoreland's second collaboration after thegay porn drama The Flufferis a sensit
  • Quinceanera, God Grew Tired Of Us win Sundance

    In an unprecedented double coup, Quinceanera, a tender-hearted drama set amongst a Latino community of Los Angeles that is being encroached upon by yuppies, walked home with both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival.Co-directed by Wash Westmoreland, a British filmmaker, and his partner Richard Glatzer, the crowd-pleasing film was shot in their Echo Park neighbourhood where they live, using many of the local inhabitants in key supporti
  • Rick Sands joins MGM as chief operating officer

    Former DreamWorks president and chief operating officer Rick Sandshas switched studios and joined MGM as chief operating officer.
  • Rogue to release Fearless in North America

    Rogue Pictures will handlethe North American release of Fearless,which Jet Li has said will be his final martial arts picture, following itsmighty international launch in Asia last weekend.Ronny Yu directed theaccount of martial arts legend Huo Yuanjia's rise to fame and power inturn-of-the-century China. Veteran filmmaker Bill Kong produced.Li's credits include Hero, Once Upo
  • Rothman and Gianopulos sign new deals with Fox Filmed Entertainment

    Fox Filmed Entertainment (FFE)chairmen Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos have signed new five-year deals withthe company and been named joint chief executive officers.The pair assumed their posts in2000, in which time 20 of the studio's pictures have grossed more than $100m atthe domestic box office and 26 have reached the milestone internationally.Worldw
  • Rotterdam CineMart reports brisk business on 45 projects

    Rotterdam's international co-productionmarket CineMart wrapped its 23rd edition on a high note last night,with general praise for the overall quality of the 45 productions being pitchedto 800 producers, financiers and sales agents at the Dutch city port. Prizes were awarded to three of the projects: Lasya, by Anup Singh took the $18,000 (Euros15,000) Prince Klaus Fund grant, while A Mexican Story by Arturo Aristikasian,and Wang Bing's Hei Tie De Rizi both picked up an
  • Salvage

    Dirs/scr: Joshua and Jeffrey Crook. US. 2006. 79mins.The brothers Crook, Joshua and Jeffrey,previously made an urban thriller, SuckerPunch, and the title is dismayingly consistent with their new feature Salvage. In producing a structuralhorror movie, freely mixing the irrational and the incoherent, the brothers offer conflicted scenarios in relating the story
  • Sass named vp, publicity and promotion, theatrical catalogue, at Warner Home Video

    Ronnee Sass has been promoted to the newly-created position ofvice president of publicity and promotion, theatrical catalogue, at Warner HomeVideo (WHV).
  • Screenwriters Festival enjoys industry support at launch

    TheScreenwriters Festival was launched last night in London.A packedevent of big-name supporters were
  • Shochiku, Celluloid Dreams join forces for Hana

    Japan's Shochiku and France's Celluloid Dreams have partnered to handleinternational sales of Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's upcoming samuraidrama Hana (Hana Yori Mo Naho). Celluloid Dreams will handleEuropean sales for the film while Shochiku's international sales division handlesthe rest of the world. The deal marks the firstcolla
  • Singapore's I Not Stupid Too has strong opening

    Jack Neo's Chinese New Yearoffering I Not Stupid Too has rackedup the biggest six-day opening for a local film in Singapore with $865,611 (S$1.41m), narrowly beating theprevious record of $848,856 (S$1.39m) set by Neo's Liang Po Po The Movie in 1999.Released through UIP, thesocio-comedy opened on 37 prints on Jan 26, two days ahead of the Chinese NewYear holidays which ended yesterday. The MediaCorp Raintree
  • Sleeper hit becomes Korea's third biggest ever film

    Korean sleeper hit King And The Clown has clocked up morethan 8.2 million admissions, making it Korea's third biggest box office hit of all time after Taegukgi with 11.7 million admissionsand Silmido with 11 million. A month after the film'srelease, local distributor Cinema Service upped the number of screens from 459to 491 for the Lunar New Year holiday this past weekend, taking the film backup to num
  • Sola, Atrix take on worldwide rights to Swedish comedy Winners And Losers

    German sales companies SolaMedia and Atrix Films have picked up worldwide rights to Swedish family comedy WinnersAnd Losers (pictured) directed byKjell Sundvall.The deal was concluded betweenSola Media's Solveig Langeland with Anders Landstrom of FilmlanceInternational. Langeland and Atrix Films' Beatrix Wesle will present the filmto buyers for the first time at Berlin next week.The film stars FridaHallgren (As It Is In Heaven),Daniel Gustavsson, Mona Malm and Mart
  • Solo Dios Sabe

    Dir/scr: Carlos Bolado. Mex-Braz. 2006. 114mins.Former editor Carlos Bolado- best known for his work on Alfonso Arau's Like Water for Chocolate - makes an overlyambitious piece with Solo Dios Sabe which, premiered inthe world dramatic competition at Sundance.Despite a promising start, itultimately proves too overextended for its own good, despite a watchable performance from lead Alice Braga,with some wildly uneven
  • Something New

    Dir: Sanaa Hamri. US. 2006. 100mins.Enjoyable, without being especially deepor involving, the romantic comedy SomethingNew should appeal to fans of Waiting To Exhale and HowStella Got Her Groove Back. Like them, this latest picture features astrong, black female protagonist who finds it difficult to find a suitablepartner and, as such, is clearly targeted at a female audience.Box-office in th
  • Suburban Mayhem goes wild in France

    France's Wild Side Films has become the first distributor to jump aboard disturbingcomedy drama Suburban Mayhem outsideits home market of Australia.The film, which stars EmilyBarclay (In My Father's Den) andMichael Dorman as her character's besotted boyfriend, is due for delivery atEaster and will be released locally by Icon. Fortissimo Films is
  • Sundance closes with domestic and international deals

    TheSundance Film Festival 2006 ended with a flurry as deals were closed on Half Nelson, Stay, TV Junkie, The Darwin Awards and Man Push Cart.
  • Tony Grierson joins Sydney Film Festival as CEO

    Tony Grierson is to leave his roleas head of distribution and finance at the NSW Film & Television Office andjoin the Sydney Film Festival (SFF) as chiefexecutive from February 16.He was executive officer of Queer Screen for the four yearsup to 1999, has worked at Beyond Distribution, and has held a number ofconsultancy roles in film, technology and corporate finance. "I am keen to build on the festival's traditional strengthsin quality film an
  • Tornasol Films to back new prize at Guadalajara

    Spanish producer Tornasol Filmsis backing a new prize for the winning film at the two-day Ibero-American Co-Production Meeting of Mexico's Guadalajara International Film Festival (March 24-31).Tornasol will bring $302,812 (250,000Euros) to the winning film as co-producer, taking an agreed upon percentage ofthe production depending on the budget. The winner is chosen from 20 projects pitched over thecourse of the two-day market (March 25-26)toaninternationalgroup ofproducers, fin
  • Toronto Film Festival appoints three new Canadian programmers

    TheToronto International Film Festival has appointed three new Canadianprogrammers. Marguerite Pigott, a film and television consultant and formerdevelopment and production executive at Odeon Films, and Jesse Wente, a filmcritic and producer for CBC Radio, will join Canadian feature selectors StaceyDonen
  • Turney appointed European sales director Fox TV

    Steve Turney has beenappointed director of sales for Twentieth Century Fox Television Distributionin Europe, effective immediately.Turney will oversee sales offeatures and scripted television programming to free and basic broadcasterswithin European territories. Based in the company's London office, he will report to vice president of salesYoni Cohen."We are delighted to haveSteve join our int
  • UIP's Munich arrives in 27 countries this weekend

    Universal's thriller Munich is the main attraction this weekend as it launches in theinternational marketplace in 27 countries through UIP.
  • V For Vendetta to get simultaneous IMAX version release

    WarnerBros will release an IMAX version of action-adventure V For Vendetta simultaneous with the March 17 domestic release ofthe conventional version of the film.
  • Vertigo Films plans public funding for Nick Love's Outlaw

    UK production anddistribution company Vertigo Films has announced a unique financing structurefor its next feature, Nick Love's Outlaw. The budget for the film will be less than $5 million.The film's entire budgetwill be funded by the public, through a website withinvestment packages of £10, £50, and £100. In return for their contributions,investors will get incentives including executive producer credits on the DVD,film merchandise such as T-shirts, the chance to be a film e
  • Village Roadshow expands co-production war-chest

    The Village Roadshow Pictures Group (VRPG) has increased its film facilityfrom $900m to $1.4bn and extended the term of the deal until January 2011.
  • Voltage picks up international on Arquette's Tripper

    Los Angeles-based Voltage Pictures has picked up internationalrights to David Arquette's directorial debut, the slasher project TheTripper starring ThomasJane.
  • Voltage Pictures picks up international rights to Hector Lavoe biopic El Cantante

    Voltage Pictures has picked up international rights to MarcAnthony and Jennifer Lopez's Hector Lavoe biopic El Cantanteand will commence sales at Berlinnext week.Anthony will play the celebrated salsa singer and Lopez willplay his wife Puchi. Leon Ichasodirected the story set in New York'ssalsa scene during the 1960s and 1970s.Production is wrapping in San Juan
  • Warner Bros and Alcon Entertainment sign new agreement

    Warner Bros and AlconEntertainment have signed a new agreement continuing their eight-yearrelationship under which Warner Bros distributes features developed andfinanced by Alcon.The new deal will include a minimum of six pictures over thenext three years, starting with Richard Donner'sthriller 16 Blocks starring BruceWillis, and Neil LaBute's remake of The Wicker Man, which stars NicolasCage.Alcon acquired distribution rightsto both titles from Millennium Films an
  • Warner Bros promotes Rowe to svp of corp comms

    Twelve-year Warner Brosveteran Scott Rowe has been promoted to senior vice president of corporatecommunications.Rowe will assume greaterresponsibility for the company's internal and external positioning in thebusiness, trade and consumer press.Working with executive vicepresident of corporate communications Sue Fleishman, to whom he will continueto report, Rowe will also share responsibility for all communicationsactivities related to external and employee au
  • Warner Bros, Italia head appointed president of Anica

    PaoloFerrari, the head of Warner Bros. Italia, has been appointed president of Anica, Italy's national film body.Hereplaces Gianni Massaro, the Italian entertainmentlawyer and former head of European production fund Eurimages,who has lead Anica since 2001.Ferrariwill head the powerful Italian organization until the end of 2007."Ihave a specific task, which is to help Anica adapt tothe cha
  • Watson joins Zellweger, McGregor in Miss Potter

    Emily Watson has joinedRenee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor in the high-powered cast of Chris Noonan's MissPotter, the biopic of UK children'sauthor Beatrix Potter which is scheduled to start shooting in the UK and theIsle Of Man in March.Watson will play Millie, thesister of McGregor's character, Norman Warne, Potter's publisher and lover.The film, which marksNoonan's first feature since his Oscar-nominated work on Babe in 1995, is beingproduced by Phoenix Pictures alongsid
  • We Go Way Back takes top honours at Slamdance Film Festival

    Lynn Shelton's We Go Way Back has won the 2006 Grand Jury Award for best narrativefeature at the Slamdance Film Festival, while Philippe Diaz' Empire In Africa has taken corresponding documentaryhonours.
  • Weinstein Co acquire comedy pitch starring stand-up Cook

    The Weinstein Company hasacquired the rights to develop an untitled comedic pitch with comedian DaneCook.Cook will star in theproject and produce through his production company SUperFInger Entertainment.New Wave Entertainment’s Barry Katz will also produce and his colleagueBrian Volk-Weiss serves as executive producer.“I am thrilled to be collaborating with Dane Cook whois one of the most talented comedians out there today,” Harvey Weinstein said. “His progre
  • Weinstein Company reaches $1.2bn in financing

    The Weinstein Company (TWC) yesterday announced it had completedits financing jigsaw with a $500m film securitisation facility.
  • Wild Bunch finalises Berlin Slate

    At the upcoming EFM in Berlin,French sales and finance outfit Wild Bunch will commence sales on the latestfilm from director Emir Kusturica about the life of football legend DiegoMaradona.Maradona, a documentary that traces the player's rise to stardom, fall fromgrace and eventual redemption, travels from Argentinato Naples to
  • Wild Bunch finalises Berlin slate

    At the upcoming EFM in Berlin,French sales and finance outfit Wild Bunch will commence sales on the latestfilm from director Emir Kusturica about the life offootball legend Diego Maradona.Maradona,a documentary that traces the player's rise to stardom, fall from grace andeventual redemption, travels from Argentinato Naples to
  • Wristcutters: A Love Story

    Dir/scr GoranDukic. US. 2006.91mins.Croatian director Goran Dukic's endearingly oddball Wristcutters: A Love Story is a strange, somewhat unaccountable mess sharpenedby a brainy conceit and some wonderfully underplayed acting.It's an overstuffed roadmovie brimming with ideas and feeling about a lost world of disaffected souls. Steepedin a mordant black humour about suicide and emotional re