By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

4 May 2002

View all stories from this issue.

  • About A Boy a smash in the UK with $5.4m opening

    Universal's comedy-drama About A Boy went straight to the top of the UK charts with a muscular $5.4m opening this weekend, the third biggest of the year in the UK after Monsters Inc and Ocean's Eleven. The Nick Hornby adaptation, which was co-produced by StudioCanal, Working Title and Robert De Niro's Tribeca Productions, nabbed one-third of the market share and is Universal's highest opener in the UK this year.Directed by Paul and Chris Weitz, who helmed Americ
  • American World gets foreign to Night At The Golden Eagle

    Mark L Lester's American World Pictures has acquired international distribution rights to Night At The Golden Eagle, a US independent feature which opened on a limited release in New York and Los Angeles last weekend.Produced by Steve Bing and Adam Rifkin through Shangri-La Entertainment, the film was written and directed by Rifkin (The Chase, Detroit Rock City) and stars Donnie Monemarano and Vinny Argiro alongside James Caan, Natasha Lyonne and Vinnie Jones.A dar
  • Angelina doesn't come close to The Scorpion King

    The Scorpion King held its sting and top place in the domestic charts with weekend takings of $17.6m, according to studio estimates released today. Universal's spin-off from The Mummy stars The Rock in his first action lead and has taken $60.8m in its first ten days.Total weekend grosses rose for the 11th week running to $69.8m for the top 12 titles, a 27% leap from the same period last year. So far this year domestic revenues are around 15% higher than last year, when Ho
  • Blue Butterfly wings its way to Alliance Atlantis

    Alliance Atlantis has made its first feature film acquisition since the reorganization of the company, taking all international rights including the US, but excluding Canada, to The Blue Butterfly starring William Hurt and directed by Lea Pool.The film, currently shooting in the rain forests of Costa Rica, was acquired by Charlotte Mickie in her new role as managing director, international motion picture sales, Alliance Atlantis Entertainment Group, and confirms that the company
  • Blue Butterfly wings its way to Alliance Atlantis

    Alliance Atlantis has made its first feature film acquisition since the reorganization of the company, taking all international rights including the US, but excluding Canada, to The Blue Butterfly starring William Hurt and directed by Lea Pool.The film, currently shooting in the rain forests of Costa Rica, was acquired by Charlotte Mickie in her new role as managing director, international motion picture sales, Alliance Atlantis Entertainment Group, and confirms that the company
  • Canada rules on reception of US satellite TV signals

    The reception of US satellite TV signals in Canada has been declared illegal by the Supreme Court of Canada, reversing previous lower court decisions and heralding a victory for the two licensed Canadian operators, Bell Expressvu and Star Choice Communications.The two local operators had complained that grey and black market sales of US satellite TV services and reception/decoding hardware were eroding their businesses. In the grey market, Canadian re-sellers market US services
  • Controversy boosts results for Baise-Moi down under

    The controversy, and subsequent awareness, surrounding French film Baise-Moi has led to its limited release performing about three times the business expected by its Australian distributor, Potential. The film's gross of $49,419 (A$91,426) from just three screens over its first four days to April 28, gave a screen average of $16,473 - more than three times any other film on release.Exhibitors report a very mixed audience but few complaints. Baise-Moi has an R18+ ra
  • Curb acquires international rights to Bug

    LA-based sales outfit Curb Entertainment has acquired international rights to Hayland/Margolis Productions' ensemble drama Bug which stars Jamie Kennedy, Brian Cox, Ed Begley Jr, Sarah Paulson, John Carroll Lynch and Michael Hitchcock.The film, which won the audience choice award at the 2002 Santa Barbara Film Festival, tells the interconnected stories of a group of strangers in LA and the unknown havoc they cause in each others' lives. Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay, who co-scripte
  • Delphi Film picks up The Russian Ark for Germany

    Delphi Film will handle the German theatrical distribution of Alexander Sokurov's The Russian Ark, which will have its world premiere in competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival.The Euros 2.4m German-Russian co-production between Egoli Tossell Film, Heritage Bridge Studio, Cappa Productions and Koppmedia had received backing from MDM Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung, Filmboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FilmFoerderung Hamburg, Filmbuero NW and the Federal Governme
  • Deuces Wild

    Dir: Scott Kalvert. US. 2002. 97minsDeuces Wild is a throwback. Not just because it is set in the world of gang wars in 1950s Brooklyn, but because it so happily recalls those dated rumble movies of the early 1980s like The Outsiders and Rumble Fish. Matt Dillon even shows up, albeit now having graduated to a Mafia gangster role, and a cast including Brad Renfro, Norman Reedus and James Franco represents the new crop of heartthrobs in the making which then numbe
  • Directors' Fortnight line-up complete

    The Directors' Fortnight (Quinzaine Des Realisateurs) wrapped up its 2002 line-up today (Monday Apr 29) when it announced the inclusion of Werner Schroeter's Franco-German production Deux and Romain Goupil's Une Pure Coincidence.In Deux, last year's Palme-winning actress Isabelle Huppert plays twin sisters deprived of love by a tyrannical mother. Sex and drama are their only outlet. For Une Pure Coincidence, politically activist Goupil assembled a large numb
  • Eurimages appoints new board member, awards co-production funds

    The European production fund Eurimages has for the first time appointed a Norwegian to its board - the 52-year-old Nils Klevjer Aas, who works for the new Norwegian Film Fund. Meanwhile, projects by Margarethe von Trotta, Alain Resnais, Gerardo Herrero and Mika Kaurismaki were among 11 European co-productions granted a total Euros 3.74m by the fund.Euros 763,000 went to Resnais' Or', a Franco-Swiss co-production between Arena Films and Vega Film; Euros 600,000 to von Trot
  • European production, admissions & BO market share unite in growth

    The European film industry "flourished" last year on a number of levels, including an average 9% hike in local market shares for European films, according to new research. The findings were published by the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO) in data that measured feature film output, box office and market share for European films. According to the EAO, last year saw some 625 films produced, an increase of 5% over 2000's total of 595. Growth was strongest in France (see Scree
  • Film supply for German free-TV stations is secure

    German newspaper speculation that the supply of Hollywood feature films to the free-TV channels of ProSiebenSAT.1 could become a victim of the KirchGroup crisis, has been refuted by ProSiebenSAT.1's board chairman.Ahead of planned talks on debt-for-equity deals between Hollywood studios and the beleaguered KirchGroup on Monday April 29, Welt am Sonntag observed that the bulk of the payments for film rights to the US majors was the responsibility of the KirchGroup's deficit-laden pay T
  • FilmFour posts deeper losses as UK's C4 reveals first deficit in decade

    The red ink deepened at the UK's FilmFour last year, with the film arm of broadcaster Channel 4 posting an operating loss nearly double that of 2000, while its parent company revealed its first loss for 10 years.FilmFour recorded an operating loss of $7.9m (£5.4m) for 2001, close to double that of 2000's $4.4m (£3m) loss. Announcing the results, the broadcaster noted that the division had not had a breakout film. Production and development costs amounted to $45.2m (£31m
  • First Look gets worldwide rights to golfing drama

    First Look Media has acquired worldwide rights to A Gentleman's Game, a drama set in the world of golf and featuring Gary Sinise, Philip Baker Hall, Dylan Baker and Mason Gamble. The film is directed by J Mills Goodloe, who co-wrote the screenplay with Tom Coyne, on whose novel it is based. Producer is Kimberly Braswell.The film is a coming-of-age story about a 13 year-old golfing prodigy struggling to understand himself, his family and his talent while coming to grips with what
  • First-time director to make Finland's first Kung-Fu movie

    Lars von Trier's Dancer In The Dark co-producer, Blind Spot Pictures, is to produce Finland's first-ever Kung-Fu movie, from first-time director Antti-Jussi Annila.Producer Tero Kaukomaa, who formed Blind Spot in 1997 and has since made films like Geography Of Fear and Cyclomania, was so impressed with Tampere Film & Media School graduate Antti-Jussi Annila's showreel, that he and his partner producer Petri Jokiranta decided to back the debutante. Iiro Küttner
  • Fox departs online distribution joint venture with Disney

    Fox Entertainment Group is exiting, its joint venture with The Walt Disney Company intended to provide movies and other entertainment content on demand to US consumers through digital cable systems or broadband internet. The partners have now chosen to pursue other strategies to distribute their films to the broadband audience.In a statement, Fox said that it had decided that the joint venture was "not appropriate at this time" after considering the potential regulatory proc
  • Frailty shows potential strength on international debut

    Actor Bill Paxton's directorial debut, Frailty, showed strength as it launched on the international circuit this week. Starting out in sparsely-populated Iceland, the thriller opened on just one screen for local distributor Myndform, grossing $3,869 (ISK 362,300). Its admissions of 645 outperformed Hollywood releases including John Q and Blade II, which both played more screens - John Q played two screens with admissions of 504 over the weekend; Blade II sol
  • Hollywood Ending

    Dir: Woody Allen. US.2002. 112 mins.Woody Allen's HollywoodEnding follows more in thevein of his recent run of pleasurable but throwaway comedies than it does thefar more emotionally affecting Purple Rose Of Cairo, his other film to deal specifically with cinema itself. With an emphasis on visual humour, both literal and figurative,and some well-aimed if obvious potshots at Hollywood's commercialcrassness, film
  • Industry vets start new US indie distributor MAC

    A new independent US distributor has been founded by industry veterans Mike Marcus, Andy Gruenberg and Craig Baumgarten. Named MAC Releasing, the company intends to capitalize on untapped commercial opportunities in the distribution of independent films and kicks off with the release of A Shot At Glory starring and produced by Robert Duvall and directed by Michael Corrente on May 3.The company has already sealed long-term output deals with Showtime for US pay-TV and Lions Gate H
  • Italy's Rai & Spain's KWA add to their Cannes' market slates

    Melanie Rodier in Rome and Jennifer Green in MadridItaly's Rai Trade and Spain's Kevin Williams Associates (KWA) have each picked up two hot titles to add to their respective Cannes' market slates.Rai Trade, the sales arm of Italian public broadcaster RAI, has acquired controversial documentary Bella Ciao, about last year's rioting during the G8 meeting in Genoa. The film, which was co-directed by the outgoing head of RAI 2, Carlo Freccero, Marco Giusti and Rober
  • Jason X

    Dir: Jim Isaac. US. 2002. 93mins.Putting hockey-masked slasher icon Jason into space sounds a desperate idea for reviving the Friday The 13th horror franchise. But while this 10th instalment in the 22-year-old series relies on the same crude, high-body-count schlock appeal as its predecessors, it still manages to have some silly fun with the new setting. Aiming its marketing primarily at the younger moviegoers among whom the Friday The 13th films have become kitschy vi
  • Legal dispute prompts Intertainment to increase write-offs by Euros 109m

    The continuing legal dispute with Franchise Pictures over allegedly inflated budgets has led German rights trader Intertainment to increase depreciations, allowances and provisions by Euros 109.3m to Euros 142.4m for the last financial year.Intertainment announced that its first hearing regarding the assets of Franchise Pictures had been held before a federal court in Los Angeles on April 29, but the court set November 19, 2002 as the start date for a trial on Intertainment's dispute w
  • Levine & Sella named co-chiefs of Fox domestic marketing

    Pamela Levine and Tony Sella have been named co-presidents of domestic theatrical marketing at 20th Century Fox, in light of the abrupt departure of Alan Cohen last week. They report to Fox vice chairman Robert Harper.Sella was previously executive vice president of marketing and creative director, heading the studio's domestic creative marketing team. He has been at Fox since 1991.Levine is currently senior vice president, marketing planning and research, overseeing and analyzi
  • Lightning gets international rights to Motown documentary

    Richard Guardian's new international sales outfit Lightning Entertainment has acquired international distribution rights in all media for the new music documentary Standing In The Shadows Of Motown to which Artisan Entertainment recently bought domestic distribution rights.Based upon the 1989 book of the same title by Allan Slutsky, the film chronicles the reunion of the Funk Brothers, a group of jazz and blues musicians recruited by Berry Gordy in the early years of Motown. The
  • Luc Besson creates two-way French-Japanese distribution joint venture

    Luc Besson's Europa Corp has launched a rights, marketing and distribution venture in Japan to grow the company's business in the territory and to 'assist' the distribution of a number of Japanese films in France.Europa Corp Japan, which launched on April 19, is a joint venture backed by Europa Corp, Asmik Ace Entertainment, Kadokawa Books, Sumitomo Corporation and Cinemagate. Europa Corp and Asmik Ace each invested 35%, with the other parties each contributing 10% of the compan
  • Movie Day offers industry advice at London's Production Show

    Tiger Aspect's Peter Bennett-Jones, PACT's Bertrand Moullier, the National Film and Television School's Stephen Bayly and Oscar-winning director-actor Peter Capaldi are among the panellists for the Movie Day at the Production Show on May 23 at Olympia in London.This year's Movie Day will address the ever-present problems newcomers face trying to make it in the film industry. It will include a session in which Moullier, Bayly and Skillset's Paula Smith will give practical advice on how
  • Naomi Watts joins Ned Kelly's Australian cast

    Naomi Watts will be returning to Australia in June to star alongside Geoffrey Rush, Rachel Griffith and Heath Ledger in director Gregor Jordan's Ned Kelly, which went into production today (April 29).The news highlights the benefits now flowing to Australian films as a result of the recent international attention focussed on a raft of local actors, including Watts' in Mullholland Drive.The Irish Catholic Ned Kelly, played by Ledger, was a bushranger, notorious for
  • Ortenberg, Pasoernek and Block sign onto multiyear deals at Lions Gate

    Lions Gate Entertainment has signed its senior managers to long-term contracts and appointed James Keegan to the new position of chief administrative officer.The company has re-signed Lions Gate Films Releasing President Tom Ortenberg, Lions Gate Films president of production Michael Paseornek and Lions Gate Home Entertainment and acquisitions president Peter Block to new multiyear deals, effective immediately. The four executives report directly to Lions Gate Chief Executive Officer J
  • Polish director adapts Vinterberg's Festen for the stage

    Thomas Vinterberg's powerful Dogme95 feature Festen/The Celebration has been adapted for the stage by hot young Polish director Grzegorz Jarzyna.Having achieved widespread acclaim in Europe, the production heads for London's Sadler's Wells in October.
  • Richard Eyre to direct Compleat Female Stage Beauty for Artisan & Tribeca

    Artisan Pictures and Tribeca Productions have hired British director Richard Eyre to direct the film of Jeffrey Hatcher's stage play Compleat Female Stage Beauty which the two companies are teaming to co-produce. Eyre, who last directed Iris for BBC Films and Intermedia, is currently directing the Broadway revival of The Crucible.The film, which was announced by Artisan Pictures president of development and production Richard Saperstein and Tribeca Productions pres
  • Rivett & Wilson get promotions at Alliance Atlantis

    Alliance Atlantis has promoted two executives to the top marketing-publicity positions in its Entertainment Group. Gail Rivett has been named senior vice president, marketing and publicity, and Pam Wilson has been named senior vice president, publicity. Rivett, based in Toronto, will oversee all functions of the Entertainment Group's marketing and publicity departments worldwide, including feature film and television projects produced and distributed by the group. Rivett will report to
  • SAG rule could 'devastate' Australian films & limit offshore opportunities

    Bob Carr, political leader of New South Wales, the Australian film industry's most significant state, today wrote to Screen Actors Guild (SAG) president Melissa Gilbert to urgently verify that Australian SAG members are able to work on Australian films without being paid SAG rates. Were this not the case, his letter said, the cultural implications of SAG's new global employment rule that took effect today were "alarming" and would "devastate" local productions.SAG rates were bey
  • Signpost appoints Bloye as vice president, sales

    Signpost Films has appointed Charlie Bloye as vice president, sales, the company announced on Monday.Bloye, previously at Renaissance Films, will reporting to president of sales Nicole Mackey and be based in London. He takes up the position with immediate effect, having been providing a consultancy service to the company."I am excited by this fantastic opportunity to be in at the start of something big,' said Bloye.Signpost's first two films are Bulletproof Monk, c
  • Simon Sutton promoted to evp at MGM Worldwide TV

    Simon Sutton has been promoted to executive vice president, international television, at MGM Worldwide Television Distribution, reporting to president of the MGM division Jim Griffiths.British-born Sutton will continue to oversee sales and distribution activities of all MGM and NBC programming to stations in the international free-TV, pay-TV and pay-per-view markets. Under Sutton, revenues for the company's international TV business have increased 39% in the last two years.Sutto
  • Sogecine's South Of Granada signals greater co-production push

    British actors Matthew Goode, James Fleet and Laurence Fox have signed on to star alongside Spaniards Veronica Sanchez and Guillermo Toledo in director Fernando Colomo's forthcoming Gerald Brenan biopic, South Of Granada (Al Sur De Granada).The story of writer Brenan's first encounter with Spain and his love affair with a Spanish woman in the 1920s, set to begin shooting this month, is a co-production between Colomo and mini-major Sogecine, producer of Spain's biggest-ever (co-p
  • Sony tipped to take 40% of UK's DNA

    Sony Pictures Entertainment is reportedly in talks to take a 40% stake in UK National Lottery franchise DNA.The deal would give Sony access to the $23.4m (£16m) in lottery cash that DNA has still not spent from its franchise of around $44m (£30m), as well as projects from Duncan Kenworthy and Andrew Macdonald, two of the UK's leading producers.The move would be a massive boost for DNA Films. The Film Council, the support body which administers lottery funding, is not e
  • South Africa launches Cannes campaign - as festival outsider

    South Africa will this year host its second-ever pavilion at Cannes, despite the fact that no South African films have been selected for the competition - or indeed any section of the festival.While the absence of South African movies from everywhere but independent market screenings is largely due to the dearth of local product, there are at least two titles that could have been contenders. Jason Xenopolous's feature debut Promised Land (right)receiv
  • Spain's Via Digital re-asserts commitment to (fewer) Spanish films

    Telefonica-backed digital satellite platform Via Digital publicly responded Thursday to growing concern in the Spanish film industry about the pay-TV sector's steep reduction in financing for both local productions and foreign acquisitions.At a press conference given at the Spanish Film Festival of Malaga to announce Via's and sister broadcaster Antena 3's renewal of their sponsorship of the festival for five more years, new Via director of contents and programming Carlos Taboada told
  • Spider-Man (Spider-Man)

    Dir: Sam Raimi. US. 2002. 121mins.Even in the face of new Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings movies, no film this year can have the want-to-see already generated by Columbia Pictures' Spider-Man, a lavish $150m live-action movie of the beloved comic strip, which has been in gestation for over a decade. And in the face of almighty expectations, director Sam Raimi delivers an efficient, entertaining film which promises to crush box office
  • Spider-Man: flash in the pan or franchise in the making'

    As the world waits for this weekend's release of Spider-Man, the question of whether it will outperform last year's $68.1m opening for The Mummy Returns, will soon turn into whether it will deliver a sustainable and lucrative franchise. looks at the legacy of comic-book adaptations.Internet movie box-office spread betting firm Cantor index's latest US opening weekend spread was $81m - $84m, indicating a strong conviction that the movie is at least going to
  • Sundance Film Festival changes HQ to Prospector Square

    The Sundance Film Festival has moved its official Park City headquarters for next year from the Shadow Ridge Hotel to the Park City Marriott in the Prospector Square area of the town.The recently renovated Marriott, formerly the Olympia Park Hotel, housed a screening room for the 2002 festival and is withing walking distance of four festival venues ' the Eccles theatre, Prospector Square, Yarrow Hotel and the newly completed Holiday Village Cinemas. The hotel features includes an onsit
  • 'The lights are on green' for EM.TV after Euros 240m write-offs

    Germany's EM.TV & Merchandising has reacted to 'the weak advertising market and current changes in the media landscape' by undertaking Euros 240m of extraordinary write-offs.As a result of these write-offs, the consolidated earnings before tax amounted to minus Euros 331m (compared to minus Euros 1.34bn the previous year) and the net profit to minus Euros 374m (2000: minus Euros 1.35 bn). At the same time, however, the consolidated turnover rose by 10.1% from Euros 656m to Euros
  • The Repentant (La Repentie)

    Dir: Laetitia Masson. France. 2002. 125minsLife is a lie. History is what you make it out to be. And so is this film. Seemingly created for and by Isabelle Adjani, La Repentie is either a triumphant return to the cinema for the enigmatic French screen goddess, after three years of absence - it is 14 since her Oscar-nominated performance in 1988's Camille Claudel - or a lush and expensive vanity project. Once tipped for Cannes, La Repentie is a melo
  • Troy Lum resigns as head of Australia's Dendy Films

    Troy Lum has resigned as head of Australia's Dendy Films, a move that may give Richard Payten and Andrew Mackie ultimate responsibility for acquiring films for all three of the distribution entities within the Becker Group. A final decision, however, is unlikely until after Cannes.Manager director Richard Becker said he was disappointed at losing the talented Lum and wishes him well in his new distribution venture (a subject Lum won't comment on) but added that the departure fits well
  • Turkish director gets second look in Un Certain Regard

    In a highly unusual move Cannes has decided to invite a second film by Turkish director Zeki Demirkurbuz to appear in Un Certain Regard alongside his previously announced Confession (Itiraf).The film Fate (Yazgy) and Confession were shot back to back as the first elements of a trilogy, loosely entitled Tales of Darkness. Both pictures appeared in the Istanbul festival that wrapped this week and scooped prizes including one FIPRESCI award each and earned Demirkurbuz
  • Two Hong Kong film companies plan Growth Enterprise Market floatations

    Two Hong Kong film companies - production house Milkyway Image and distributor Panorama International Holdings - plan to float on Hong Kong's Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) in the next few months.Milkyway - which is 50% owned by Hong Kong producer-director Johnnie To - is understood to be seeking a listing at the end of June. The company plans to raise up to $7.7m (HK$60m) to enable it to finance and retain rights to more of its films.To is one of Hong Kong's most successful pro
  • UK celebrates another home-grown success

    UIP celebrated another successful campaign at the weekend as About A Boy, starring Hugh Grant, opened to strong figures of $5.4m (£3.7m), including $938,688 of previews. Opening at a massive 446 sites, second only this year to Monsters, Inc.'s 503, the film recorded the third-highest opening of the year so far after Monsters, Inc. ($13.4m for BVI) and Warner Bros' Ocean's Eleven ($7.4m from 433 sites).However About A Boy was unable to measure up
  • UK to get Film Council's $20m arthouse 'virtual circuit'

    UK support body the Film Council is pressing ahead with plans to create a so-called virtual circuit of art house cinemas and will spend $20m (£14m) over the next four years on up to 150 screens around the country. Most screens are expected to leased from existing exhibitors, but new builds are also a possibility. A head office is to run programming, education and marketing.Although the council has consulted the industry on the move, it was slammed by existing arthouses. The
  • Universal buys Good Machine and merges it with USA Films

    The independent filmmakingworld has been shrunk yet again as Universal Studios announced it is acquiringGood Machine with immediate plans to elevate the sassy New York production and saleshothouse into an autonomous Miramax-style specialty film unit that will absorball the existing assets of USA Films. To be called Focus, theautonomous operation will be run in tandem by Good Machine's former principals DavidLinde and James Schamus. But there is no room in the new set-up for USA Films'
  • Vampires to travel most of the world with Columbia TriStar

    The Era Of Vampires, Fortissimo Films Sales' (FFS) first venture into Hong Kong film production has been sold to Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group for worldwide distribution, excluding Italy, Singapore, Malaysia and some smaller territories.The $3m actioner, (pictured) which was shot on locations throughout China, was produced by Hong Kong filmmaker Tsui Hark and directed by Wellson Chin and is the first in a series of films expected to be financed through Fortissimo's devel
  • Vivendi Universal calls extraordinary general meeting for June

    Troubled media giant, Vivendi Universal has set a slot in June as the date for an extraordinary shareholder meeting after the results of last week's annual general meeting were thrown into doubt by suspicious electronic voting. The company has not hesitated to allege interference and to describe it as fraudulent. "The malfunction is in all likelihood due to piracy of the voting system," it said in a statement. The piracy ,"could have been carried out by a small team armed with a transm
  • Warner France increases investment in local comedies

    Warner Bros. Pictures France has signed an exclusive distribution deal with French production house Les Films Christian Fechner for four upcoming comedies. 'We're excited to be in business with a film-maker of Christian's stature as we continue our in-country local-language production and distribution initiative,' said Francis Boespflug, managing director, Warner Bros. Pictures France. 'The talent associated with the films covered under this agreement is phenomenal, and we expect these
  • Wellspring buyer Marie Therese Guirgis gets promotion

    Marie Therese Guirgis has been named senior director of acquisitions at US distributor Wellspring Media, reporting to Krysanne Katsoolis, senior vice president of acquisitions, at the company which recently became independent of its former owner Winstar. Guirgis joined Wellspring (aka Winstar) in 1999 and was soon after named manager of acquisitions, responsible for bringing movies into the company including Francois Ozon's hit Under The Sand, Jafar Panahi's The Circle, O
  • Winning films narrowly avoid ban at Istanbul Film Festival

    Most talked about at the Istanbul Film Festival (April 13-28) was the one film that didn't show up - at least not in its official format, having been banned by the Ministry of Culture. Two other films, which both came away with awards, narrowly escaped similar bans.Hejar a melodrama about the relationship between a retired judge and a little orphan Kurdish girl whose family was shot dead by the police, had already been released on Turkish screens for several months, with admissions