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4 May 2001

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  • Admissions climb in EU, but Europe's share tumbles

    Overall cinema admissions in Europe grew by 36 million or 4.4% last year. That contrasts with the trend in the US last year where admissions fell by 3%.But the market share achieved by European-made films dropped from 29.2% to 22.5%, a thumping fall of 46 million from 236 million to 190 million.The figures, assembled by the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO), show total audiences in the European Union (EU) back at the levels of the early 1980s and higher than 1998, when the
  • Alliance Atlantis takes world on Virginia's Run

    Alliance Atlantis haspicked up world rights on Virgina's Run from Knightscove Entertainment. Directed by Peter Markle, the family-oriented equestrian drama stars Gabriel Byrne and Joanne Whalley. The screenplay is by Valarie Trapp, David Henry Lucas and Markle. It is being produced by Knightscove Entertainment in association with Wardenclyffe Entertainment and Holedigger Films, with Knightscove's Leif Bristow and Robert Schwartz are producing. Currently shooting inNova Sc
  • Amores Perros barks loudest at Mexican awards

    Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's commercial and critical success Love's A Bitch (Amores Perros) has nabbed 15 nominations for the upcoming 43rd annual Ariel Awards, Mexico's Oscars. Nominations for the Altavista Films production include best picture, best director, best actor, best cinematography, best original screenplay and best directorial debut. Gonzalez Inarritu's three-story drama, a best foreign Oscar nominee this year, goes up against Marisa Sistach's Perfume De Violetas
  • Atkinson to become Scottish scout for Ecosse

    Ginnie Atkinson is to join Ecosse Films as a consultant producer with aremit to establish an active Scottish presence for the London-basedproduction company. Working from Edinburgh, she will serve as a talentscout for the company."Basically, I am their 'Man in Havana', " she said. "They want apresence in Scotland and it will be my job to identify individuals andprojects worth bringing to their attention, nurturing those and producingthem when
  • Aurum owner Asensio dies

    Francisco Matosas has been named president of publishing and media giant Grupo Zeta following the April death of Zeta founder and chief Antonio Asensio.Asensio's son, Antonio Asensio Mosbah, will take over Matosas' position as vice president of the Group. Asensio, 53, passed away in Madrid on April 20.Zeta publishes a varied portfolio of newspapers and magazines, and has interests in film, radio, internet and television. Asensio was one of the early shareholders in Antena 3 Tele
  • Berlin's Kosslick squares up to Cannes selectors

    New Berlinale chief Dieter Kosslick has warned the Cannes film festival that he will not stand idly by and see films enticed away from his programme. His stand comes hard on the heels of a line-up announcement by Cannes, which includes films by such directors as Michael Haneke, Abel Ferrara, Dannis Tanovic and Shoei Imamura which reportedly had firm invitations from the Venice Film Festival. Speaking to the German daily newspaper Die Welt, Kosslick said: "If Cannes grabs
  • Bob Levin joins Creative Domain with global plans

    Bob Levin, former president of worldwide marketing at Sony Pictures Entertainment, has joined LA-based marketing and advertising agency Creative Domain as president of newly formed Creative Domain Enterprises.He will focus on expanding the company's theatrical marketing activities beyond audiovisual, print and interactive marketing services into marketing consultations and planning, promotion, publicity, media services, product placement, merchandising and licensing consultation and i
  • Boyle unveils $15m sci-fi picture for DNA

    Director Danny Boyle is to re-team with Alex Garland, writer of the cult book which spawned The Beach, for British sci-fi film 28 Days Later.Boyle is to start shooting in August on the $15m project for DNA Films, the UK National Lottery franchise which his regular producer Andrew Macdonald heads with Duncan Kenworthy. The project will mark the first Boyle film to go through the franchise, which is backed by Universal Pictures.Set in London in the near future, 28
  • Cambridge festival relaunched by City Screen

    The Cambridge Film Festival, a stalwart of the European festival scene before its demise in 1996, is to be resurrected by London-based independent exhibition chain City Screen.This year's festival, which runs for 11 days (July 12-22) at City Screen's Cambridge Arts Picture House, kicks off with the UK premiere of Patrice Chereau's Intimacy.The festival, which has landed three years' funding from the East England Arts Board, will contain new features, short film, documenta
  • Cannes Market Comment

    Blurring the line between art and commerceIt was exactly forty years ago that the Cannes Film Festival finallyrecognised that cinematic art could not exist in an economic vacuum bydeciding to formalise a trading venue for buying and selling filmdistribution rights across the world.The Marche or Cannes Market, as this rather amorphous sideshow is known, only added to the schizophrenia of an event that has always teetered precariously between glamour an
  • Columbia buys Shiri for North and South America

    Shiri, the blockbuster Korean spy movie, has been bought by Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group (CTMPG) for North America and Latin America.The deal, which is expected to be confirmed today, is the first Korean picture to be handled by CTMPG.The film, which was top grossing film in Korea in 1999, was one of the first to profit from thawing relations between Japan and Korea and it enjoyed huge success throughout Asia. In total the film, which is handled by its producers
  • Competition and special screenings line-up

    2001 CANNES COMPETITIONFeature FilmsOpening film (in competition): Moulin Rouge Baz Luhrmann (Dist: 20th Fox)Desert Moon Shinji Aoyama (Int'l sales: Celluloid Dreams)Mulholland Drive David Lynch (Int'l sales: StudioCanal)The Man Who Wasn't There Joel Cohen (Int'l sales: Good Machine International)Shrek Andrew Adamson & Vicky Jenson (Dist: DreamWorks SKG)L'Eloge De L'Amour Jean-Lu
  • Critics Week line-up

    Critics Week Competitive sections line-upFeature filmsUnder The Moonlight (Zir - E Nour-E Mah) Dir: Reza Mir-Karimi (Iran) (Int; Sales: Farabi Cinema Foundation)La Femme Qui Boit Dir: Bernard Emond (Canada) (Int'l sales: Lions Gate)Le Pornographe Dir: Bertrand Bonello (France) (Int'l sales: Mercure)Unloved Dir: Kunitoshi Manda (Japan) (Producer: Suncent Cinema Works)Almost Blue Dir:Alex Infascelli
  • Crouching Tiger takes eight at HK Film Awards

    Hong Kong was in the mood for action as Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was the big winner at Sunday night's 20th Hong Kong Film Awards with eight statues, including best film and best director.Wong Kar-wai's 1960s love story In The Mood For Love took five awards, nabbing best actor (Tony Leung) and best actress (Maggie Cheung)."It is an honour and I do treasure this honour and the encouragement. I am so delighted that I can receive this award in Hong K
  • CTS creates global home entertainment mktg group

    Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment (CTHE) has created a worldwide marketing group under president Benjamin S Feingold reinforcing the global nature of the business and reflecting Sony Pictures' unified domestic and international theatrical organisation under Jeff Blake.Three senior executives have been promoted within CTHE. Robin Russell, formerly executive vice president, has been promoted to senior executive vice president and general manager. She will continue to oversee CTHE's wo
  • Directors and Critics comment

    Directors' Fortnight, Critics' Week Comment: Experimentation and discovery to the foreDirectors' FortnightMarie-Pierre Macia in her second year as chief selector of the Directors' Fortnight (La Quinzaine Des Realisateurs) has picked an eclectic mixture with very few well-known directors. The biggest names are Amos Kollek, in Cannes last year with Fast Food, Fast Women and Sandrine Veysset, who previously directed festival favourite Will It Snow At
  • Directors Fortnight line-up

    2001 Directors Fortnight Feature FilmsSlogans Gjergj Xhuvani (Albania/France) (Int'l sales: Celluloid Dreams)Pauline & Paulette Lieven Debrauwer (Belgium) (Int'l sales: TF1 International)The Orphan Of Anyang Wang Chao (China) Big Bad Love Arliss Howard (US) Chelsea Walls Ethan Hawke (US) (Int'l sales: Cinetic)The Deep End Scott McGehee and David Siegel (US) (Int'l sales: Cinetic)
  • Doing the Cannes-Cannes

    Everything from Moulin Rouge to the British philistines appear in this week's edition of Screen International (May 4-10), the leading authority on the international film business:ON THE GRAPEVINECANNES BUZZ Screen correspondents search from Pusan to Buenos Aires for the films that are tipped to be favourites in the art-houses around the globe in the year to come and a few that may even burst into the multiplexes. These are the titles generating good word of
  • Driven drives lacklustre US box office with $13.1m

    Franchise Pictures' bang-em-up car-racing actioner Driven opened at the number one spot in the North American box office last weekend with an okay $13.1m from 2,905 sites. Directed by Renny Harlin and starring and written by Sylvester Stallone, the movie was poorly received by critics and its opening hardly looks like it will hold up well when the studio summer mega-movies start hitting screens next weekend kicked off by The Mummy Returns.Featuring Kip Pardue as a rookie racer
  • Early Chabrol to be celebrated by Jove

    The 16th annual Cinema Jove International Film Festival (June 16-23) will dedicate a retrospective to the early films of French director Claude Chabrol.The retrospective, set to cover the director's films from the late 1950s and early 1960s, is dubbed "The young' Chabrol." It follows last year's debut of a section dedicated to films made by veteran directors before they turned 35. According to a festival statement, these are films which - had the festival then existed - could have comp
  • ESICMA boards Lopez vehicle

    Spanish production outfit ESICMA has boarded Sergi Lopez-starrer The Women Or The Children by director Manuel Poirier.Women is only the second project to get the greenlight at ESICMA under new head Pau Calpe. Calpe took over the reins from former head Juan Gordon in 1999. The company is backed by veteran producer Elias Querejeta, multimedia conglomerate Grupo Correo and Canal Plus France, among other minority shareholders. A co-production with France's Salome, the
  • Film Co adds pair to Cannes starting line-up

    On the eve of Cannes, UK sales outfit The Film Company has added titles from Rob Green and John Luessenhop to its slate.Green's The Bunker stars Jason Flemyng, Jack Davenport and Christopher Fairbank and is a drama about trapped German soldiers during WWII. It is produced by Daniel Figuero for Millennium Pictures Lockdown, from the Film CO's relationship with palm Pictures, is a story of brutality and injustice about three friends who are sent to jail for a crime they did not co
  • Fortissimo strike early sales for Taiwanese pair

    Indie distribution powerhouse Fortissimo yesterday scored a trio of sales on each of its two Cannes competition films from Taiwan, Millennium Mambo and What Time Is it There'Hou Hsiao-hsien's Mambo was sold to Les Films de l'Elysees for Benelux, Prooptiki for Creece and to Classic Films for Italy, the latter under a co-production licence agreement.Tsai Ming-liang's What Time Is It There' Was snapped up in Italy by Alia, By Cinelibre for Belgium and by
  • France's ARP first to sign up for Chelsea Walls

    Ethan Hawke's Chelsea Walls, a star-studded digital video production that receives its world premiere in the Directors' Fortnight section of this year's Cannes Film Festival this year, has been acquired for France by ARP Selection. It is the first territory to be sold on the film outside North America where Lions Gate Releasing will handle distribution.Based on Nicole Burdette's play of the same name, Chelsea Walls stars Kevin Corrigan, Vincent D'Onofrio, Kris Kristoffers
  • French exhibs raise cost of loyalty cards

    French exhibitors MK2 and Gaumont are to increase the price of their cinema loyalty card Le Pass from $13.48 (FF98) to $16.23 (FF118) as of June.The move is the latest development in the bitter battle being fought for market share by France's exhibition groups. Loyalty cards, introduced first by UGC, are credited with increasing cinema admissions last year, but have been vilified by exhibition minnows and communications minister Catherine Tasca. Announcing the increase, MK2 said
  • Germany's e-m-s adds East European rights

    German DVD company e-m-s new media has acquired East European rights to 73 feature films as another step in the internationalisation of its activities.The package covers all stages of the rights chain from theatrical release through TV to home entertainment. The package of mainly US titles, which was acquired by CEO Werner Wirsing and complements the West European rights e-m-s already holds, comprises mostly action films, 'not blockbusters, but films which can be marketed
  • Hart Sharp pacts with UK's FilmFour

    UK film giant FilmFour and New York-based production outfit Hart Sharp Entertainment have formed a co-production alliance to produce a slate of specialised US features, expanding FilmFour's US production ambitions and cementing the international reputation of Hart Sharp whose credits includeBoys Don't Cry and You Can Count On Me.Under the terms of the deal, Hart Sharp and FilmFour will jointly develop, produce and finance "several films" a year to be distributed in the UK
  • Intertainment opens Window to life after Franchise

    Intertainment, the rights trader which is locked in an ugly litigation tussle with Franchise Pictures, has set A Window To Atlantis as the first project to flow from its deal with Hollywood veteran Arnold Kopelson.The German group said on Friday (May 4) that it is now actively looking for new production partners to reduce its dependency on Franchise. The two companies have filed interlocking law suits over allegations of inflated production budgets. Intertainment CEO Barry Baere
  • Istanbul awards overseas, local titles

    Despite Turkey's financial crisis, this year's 20th International Istanbul Film Festival served up an impressive selection of films in its international competition and the strongest line-up of local films in a decade. The international competition was won by the German entry No Place To Go, directed by Oskar Roehler. The main prize in the local competition went to Serdar Akar's football tale Offside, while the prize for best director went to Semih Kaplanoglu for his firs
  • Kaaterskill, Jessica Stein win at LA Film Fest

    Kaaterskill Falls and Kissing Jessica Stein were the two key prizewinners at yesterdays awards ceremony closing this year's revamped Independent Feature Project/West Los Angeles Film Festival. The event, which kicked off with the world premiere of Ed Burns' Sidewalks Of New York on Friday April 20, screened 51 feature films and 48 short films.The Critics prize, voted on by Jami Bernard of New York Daily News, Stephanie Zacharek of and Screen Internationa
  • Lousberg to head Film Council's Euro strategy

    UK film body the Film Council has appointed Jan-Jacob Lousberg as European business executive to spearhead its European strategy.Lousberg, previously a story editor and acquisitions and development executive at Fine Line Features in the UK, will have a key role in meeting the council's stated aim of investing at least 20% of its production funds in European co-productions. The Film Council's remit spans funding activities which were previously operated by British Screen and its offshoo
  • Meyer & Yershov share top job at Lions Gate Int'l

    Following the departure of Joe Drake in March, Nick Meyer and Sergei Yershov have been named co-presidents of Lions Gate Films International as part of a restructuring. They will share responsibility for the international sales, distribution, marketing, finance and co-productions of Lions Gate strategy.The joint appointment scotches speculation about which of the two would assume Drake's position. Meyer had worked as a vice president, sales & distribution, at Lions Gate since 1999, wh
  • Millenium teams with Van Damme on The Monk

    Jean-Claude Van Damme is to star in The Monk, an actioner to be shot in China, Bulgaria and New York and directed by Ringo Lam (City On Fire). The film marks Van Damme's third venture with Avi Lerner's Millenium Films after The Order and Replicant; Lerner, Danny Dimbort and Danny Lerner are producing.The Monk will start shooting on Nov 1 this year with a budget of $25m. Van Damme plays a Shaolin monk who embarks on a journey to America in search of h
  • Neighbor's Dog, Made In France win Avignon/NY Fest

    How To Kill Your Neighbour's Dog starring Kenneth Branagh and Robin Wright Penn was named Best American Feature and Zakia and Ahmed Boucheala's Made In France was Best French Feature at the seventh annual Avignon/New York Film Festival last week.11 new French and seven new US features were screened at the event held in New York and Avignon. How To Kill Your Neighbour's Dog, which world premiered at Toronto last year, was directed by Michael Kalesniko. Made In F
  • News Corp talks with GM get serious

    News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch's talks to gain control of US satellite broadcast giant DirecTV moved up a gear this week when the board of General Motors gave its approval for merger talks between its Hughes Electronics division and News' nascent Sky Global Networks operation.Although talks have been ongoing for months, the announcement was the first official confirmation of serious interest from the GM side. GM is earlier understood to have rejected an outright sale of the business and
  • Nordisk pulls all the Strings

    Nordisk Film and director Anders Ronnow-Klarlund's Revival ApS have started production on Strings, an animated feature using marionettes.While, in the era of 3D digital effects and synthespians, puppets on strings may seem old-fashioned Klarlund argues that it is perfect for his story. "I'm fascinated by the idea that our lives are controlled and that we have all been given set parts to play in life," he said, comparing Strings more to Star Wars than Pinocchio
  • ONrequest signs pay-per-view deal with Buena Vista

    Digital pay-per-view service ONrequest has signed a film licensing agreement with Buena Vista International Television.The deal gives ONrequest - a joint venture between ONdigital and SDN - digital terrestrial television pay per view rights to a package of films including Scream 3, The Cider House Rules, High Fidelity, Gone In 60 Seconds and Scary Movie.The first title to air under the agreement is The Insider, starting today (May 4).ONrequest launche
  • Optimum, Mosaic team up for Ginger Snaps release

    UK distributor Optimum Releasing is to theatrically release dark comedy thriller Ginger Snaps as a joint venture with video outfit Mosaic Entertainment.Optimum and Mosaic aim for the June release to kick off an ongoing distribution partnership. The Toronto title, acquired by Mosaic Entertainment from the US' Lions Gate Films, tells the story of a teenage girl who undergoes an eerie transformation after being bitten by a savage wild animal.Separately, Optimum has picked up
  • Paltrow to produce her first film for Miramax

    Gwyneth Paltrow will take a producing credit for the first time on Me Times Three, a film of the novel by New York Times style reporter Alex Witchal, which was acquired this week by Miramax Films. Bobby Cohen, who produced Bounce and View From the Top both starring Paltrow, will produce the film with Paltrow attached as co-producer and star.Me Times Three, which will be published by Alfred A Knopf in Jan 2002, is the story of a young, suburban New York woma
  • Producers to be feted by EFP at Cannes

    Fu Works' San Fu Maltha, X-Filme creative pool's Maria Koepf and Renegade Films' Ildiko Kemeny are among 17 up-and-coming producers from 16 European countries who have been selected by members of the pan-European promotional initiative European Film Promotion (EFP) for "Producers On The Move" at the forthcoming Cannes Film Festival (May 9-20).Commenting on this latest EFP showcase, which is dedicated to producers who are relatively new to the business, EFP president Claudia Land
  • Pussy Power roars again after Zentropa rethink

    A new company Innocent Pictures is to lick Zentropa's porn for women label Pussy Power into commercial shape.Pussy Power will become a label under Innocent Pictures, which will be 50% owned by Zentropa. Innocent's Nicolas Barbano, a journalist and TV-show host, will act as distributor and creative producer, while local broadcaster TV2000's Claus Sorensen will be managing and financial head. "I will be looking for partners, develop projects and look for filmmakers with an open m
  • Screen contacts @ Cannes 2001

    OFFICE - CANNESHOTEL CARLTONGalerie du CarltonLa Croisette06400 CannesFRANCEAdvertisingEditorial(: 04 93 99 81 44
  • Seattle Film Fest to world premiere

    21 feature films will receive their world premieres at this year's Seattle International Film Festival including the controversial O recently sold by Miramax Films to Lions Gate Films because of its scenes of shooting in schools. Also unspooling in Seattle will be new films from Alan Rudolph (Investigating Sex), Terry Zwigoff (Ghost World), Campbell Scott (Final), Michael Polish (Jackpot) and Scotland's Peter Capaldi (Strictly Sinatra).The fes
  • Strike talks move into third post deadline meeting

    Hollywood writers and producers today (4 May) began another day of negotiating, amid persistent rumours that a deal may not be far off. The negotiations have already stretched two full days past the official expiry date of the writer's previous contract with producers. Reports say that the situation still remains extremely delicate, with some issues remaining to be resolved. "We're continuing to meet", Writers Guild of America spokeswoman Cheryl Rhoden told reporters. "We're not
  • UK actors next to threaten strike

    UK performers union Equity has given six months notice on its cinema film agreement with UK the Producers Alliance for Cinema & Television (PACT), in a move which could lead to a UK actors' strike. Like the potential US actors strike, the dispute centres on residual payments to actors. Equity spokesman Martin Brown said: "If someone does one days work at the minimum rate on a UK film, they get $31.2 (£22) for all video uses for all time regardless of the film's success. What we want is
  • UK's Optimum adds Grosso's Peaches

    Optimum Releasing has acquired UK theatrical rights to Peaches, a Stone Ridge Entertainment production written and directed by Nick Grosso.The acquisition follows Optimum's acquisition this week of three titles: comedy thriller Ginger Snaps; French-language film Le Secret and Suri Krishnamma's coming-of-age drama New Year's Day (, May 2).Peaches is billed as a lighthearted comedy centred on a group of jobless graduates in London.
  • Un Certain Regard line-up

    UN CERTAIN REGARDOpening film: R' Xmas Abel Ferrara (Int'l sales: Wild Bunch)The Chimp (Maimal) Aktan Abdykalykov (Int'l sales: Wild Bunch)La Libertad Lisandro Alonso (Int'l sales: TVOR)Domani Francesca Archibugi (Int'l sales: IntraMovies)Ganhar A Vida Joao Canigo (Int'l sales: Gemini Films)No Such Thing Hal Hartley (Int'l sales: Capitol)Lovely Rita Jessica Hauser (Int'l sales
  • Universal enters new Era in Hong Kong

    Era Home Entertainment has struck an exclusive deal with Universal Pictures to handle all the studio's home video distribution in Hong Kong.The two year agreement strengthens Era's position as the largest video distributor of foreign movies in Hong Kong, with a market share of one third in the territory. The deal gives Era rights to hits such as Billy Elliot, Cast Away and Hannibal. It will distribute Universal's VCDs and DreamWorks SKG's home entertainment's VCDs
  • Universal Studios launches short films initiative

    Three British film critics were today (May 3)given a taste of their own medicine. Kim Newman, Nick Bradshaw and Jessica Mellor were each given a producer, a film crew and just 24 hours to come up with a short film lasting not more than 100 seconds.The stunt marked the launch of Millimetraggi (100mm), a new short film strand being launched by Universal Studios Network (USN) in Europe. The network will set up local competitions with winners able to take their scripts to completion in a t
  • US writers talks continue past deadline

    Talks to avert the screenwriters strike in Hollywood are continuing beyond the contract deadline.The Writer's Guild of America's contract with producers had been due to expire at 12.01am Los Angeles Time (8am GMT)."The talks are continuing and we're working very hard to reach an agreement," said Cheryl Rhoden, spokeswoman for the WGA told reporters during a brief news conference shortly the contract deadline had passed.She revealed no other details about the talks. Many n
  • USA Films to unleash Pandaemonium in America

    Barry Diller's USA Films has picked up US rights to Julien Temple's Pandaemonium, a romantic drama about 19th Century English poets Coleridge and Wordsworth.The John Hannah, Linus Roache and Samantha Morton-starring picture was sold by Etchie Stroh's Moonstone Entertainment. It premiered at Toronto last year and is now on release in France through Deal. USA plans to give it a release this summer. A UK release will follow in September through Downtown Pictures.Budgeted at
  • Venice festival launches second competition

    In a ground-breaking restructuring of the oldest international film event, Venice film festival chief Alberto Barbera has announced that he will establish two official competition sections at the next edition of the festival. The two Lion awards will carry equal weight."The new structure is an attempt for the festival to adapt to the changes that the international film industry is undergoing, such as global releasing," Barbera said. "Having two competitions won't weaken the old competi
  • Vinterberg completes All About Love financing

    Months of controversy ended early this week Thomas Vinterberg's It's All About Love completed its financing. The Danish Film Institute (DFI) reversed an earlier decision and decided to back it with $600,000 (DKR5m) and Nordic Film & TV Fund raised its support by $110,000 (NKR1m) completing the $10.2m (DKR85m) budget. The DFI's film-consultant, Vinca Wiedemann, had earlier refused to back the project with more than DKR3m as it was an English-language production. The latest award
  • Weinstein considers directing Warsaw ghetto epic

    Harvey Weinstein,co-chairman of Miramax Films, says he is now considering himself as the director for Mila 18, an ambitious screen adaptation of Leon Uris' novel about the ghetto uprising in WWII Warsaw in which a small group of Jews held off Nazi forces for 42 days using only handmade weapons.Even before Miramax finally acquired the rights to the 1961 novel in 1999 and then hired screenwriter Hossein Amini last July to bring the book to the big screen, Mila 18 has been a
  • Writers and producers talks into second extra day

    Hollywood writers and producers continued talking throughout Wednesday (2 May), amid a news blackout from both negotiating teams.The Writer's Guild of America's contract with producers had been due to expire at 12.01am on 2 May Los Angeles Time (8.01am GMT). The continuation of the talks follows a marathon 17 hour negotiating session which finally ended in the small hours of 2 May. The WGA said at the end of that meeting that talks would continue past the contract deadline.