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Screen
4 September 2002

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  • Alliance Atlantis records dip in first quarter profit

    Alliance Atlantis Communications recorded a lower first quarter profit due to weaker results in its broadcast division. In a statement the company said that while its first fiscal quarter is historically its most modest, this was compounded by severance payments for the 37 full-time positions cut earlier in the year, as well as a $1.9m (C$3m) production financing non-fulfilment payment to Robert Lantos's Serendipity Point Pictures. The company said the maximum remaining non-fulfilment
  • Artistic director, Moritz de Hadeln in his own words

    "When I was growing up in Florence, we did not have any air-conditioning, so two or three evenings a week we used to go to an outdoor cinema with our mother. As an act of rebellion, I told my parents I wanted to become a film-maker. I started out as a freelance photographer and founded a group of photographers. Then I started making documentaries and eventually we started the documentary film festival of Nyon, Switzerland." I was very lucky to be called to Locarno, because in those yea
  • Battle of the delegations

    The Bear's Kiss, a Russian fantasy in competition at Venice, is accompanied by a massive official delegation of no less than 45 people. Given the high prices for hotels and restaurants in Venice, the hospitality bill could end up equalling a significant chunk of the $7m budget.The film by veteran Russian director Sergei Bodrov about a man who can change into a bear is accompanied by eight members of the cast as well as its screenwriter, sales agents, and Italian and internationa
  • Bernabe adds voice to Venice modernisation calls

    Franco Bernabe, the new head of the Biennale, which operates all theVenice arts festival, yesterday added his voice to the calls for modernisationof the film event. Bernabe, one on Italy's most senior business leaders,having run petrochemical giant ENI and Telecom Italia, likened the Venice FilmFestival to the World Economic Summit in Davos. "The Venice Lido is extremelysafe from a security point of view, we can control access and within thatcreatre an informal environment with not too
  • Bernabe adds voice to Venice modernisation calls

    Franco Bernabe, the new head of the Biennale, which operates all theVenice arts festival, yesterday added his voice to the calls for modernisationof the film event. Bernabe, one on Italy's most senior business leaders,having run petrochemical giant ENI and Telecom Italia, likened the Venice FilmFestival to the World Economic Summit in Davos. "The Venice Lido is extremelysafe from a security point of view, we can control access and within thatcreatre an informal environment with not too
  • Beta Cinema adds Baader, Scherbentanz to sales slate

    Beta Cinema, the feature film division of Beta Film, has picked upinternational rights to Christoph Roth's controversial biopic Baaderwhich won the Alfred Bauer Prize at this year's Berlinale and received a stormyinternational premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in a 15-minute shorter version last month. "The new version of Baaderis much more straightforward at the beginning than the original version. Itgets rights to the point," said Dirk Schuerhoff, he
  • Beta Cinema adds Baader, Scherbentanz to sales slate

  • Brazil's Globo secures Universal output

    Universal has struck a multi-year output deal giving Brazilian giant TV Globo free TV rights to Universal's current film output, library titles and made-for-television content.The exclusive deal gives Globo titles including Jurassic Park III, The Mummy Returns and Gladiator. TV shows covered by the deal include classic The Woody Woodpecker Show."TV Globo provides an exceptional platform for our product in one of our most important markets," said Chris Philip
  • Bright Young Things finds new home at Civilian Content, Icon

    Stephen Fry's EvelynWaugh adaptation Bright Young Things is expected to be one of the first projects to re-surface after theclosure of the UK's FilmFour.The 1930s-set satire with JudiDench and Peter O'Toole is finalising a deal with Civilian Content, parent ofUK National Lottery franchise The Film Consortium, and the UK arm of Mel Gibsonand Bruce Davey's Icon Entertainment. Tax financier Vision View is also on board. The deal is understood to be still pendingapproval from the Fi
  • BV International to work magic on Box

    Norway's BV International has picked up world sales rights to RidhaBehi's drama The Magic Box (La Boite Magique), which appears out of competition in Venice and is one of the fewto have won consistently widespread praise on the Lido.Magic Box is avoyage of self discovery by a film-director commissioned to deliver a pictureabout his own life. The $2.5m title is a Franco-Tunisian picture, producedby Alya Films and first-time Frenchproduction house Atlas Entertainment. It is
  • BV International to work magic on Box

    Norway's BV International has picked up world sales rights to RidhaBehi's drama The Magic Box (La Boite Magique), which appears out of competition in Venice and is one of the fewto have won consistently widespread praise on the Lido.Magic Box is avoyage of self discovery by a film-director commissioned to deliver a pictureabout his own life. The $2.5m title is a Franco-Tunisian picture, producedby Alya Films and first-time Frenchprod
  • BVI's Insomnia wakes up UK box office

    Buena Vista International (BVI) scored a hit this weekend with its Alaskan-set thriller Insomnia. Opening with an impressive $1.8m (£1.16m) over the three-day weekend, the film saw off all comers to claim the number one slot in the chart. The latest film from British director Christopher Nolan (whose previous title Memento grossed $2.4m for Pathe in 2000 and went on to build a strong following on video), Insomnia played 264 sites scoring a powerful average of
  • Chaos strikes twice at Haugesund

    French director Coline Serreau's (pictured) melodrama Chaos starring Vincent Lindon and Catherine Frot received both the main award and the audience award the 30th edition of the Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund which closed on Sunday. Sigve Endresen's personal documentary Weightless about folk singer Kari Iveland's struggle with anorexia received the ecumenical Andreas award. Gurinder Chadha's Bend It Like Beckham received the theatre exhibitors'
  • Columbia TriStar rolls out with XXX, dominates Europe with MIIB

    Columbia TriStar FilmDistributors International (CTFDI) embarked on its second wave of internationalroll-outs for XXX over theweekend, scoring $1.2m in total with openings in Taiwan, Estonia and CentralAmerica. The Vin Diesel action movie grossed $388,000 from 18 screens inTaipei, faring slightly better than studio stablemate Vertical Limit managed in that territory two years ago. XXX took $150,000 from 88 screens in Central America andscored a terrifi
  • Deltamac is newest distributor to enter Hong Kong market

    Hong Kong's increasingly competitive distribution sector has a new player Deltamac (HK) Ltd, which will handle the Hong Kong theatrical release of The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers in January next year.The decade-old video distributor, owned by Taiwanese disc manufacturer CMC Magnetics Corp, has quietly put together a theatrical department and plans to acquire eight - 12 big ticket independent movies a year. Its first theatrical title, Blade 2, rolls out in Hong Kong
  • Dinard festival unveils Hitchcock contenders

    Paul Greengrass's Bloody Sunday, Gurinder Chadha's Bend It Like Beckham and Jim Groom's Room 36 are the first three films to be given confirmed competition slots at the forthcoming Dinard Festival Of British Film (3-6 Oct).These and three more yet to be announced films will compete for the Hitchcock d'Or at Northern French seaside resort. The festival, which has become a key meeting point for the British and French industries thanks to an annual round table
  • Epic Matrix shoot wraps in Oz as runaway production levels rise

    The 12-month Sydney shoot of The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions has just wrapped, leaving the legacy of a $110.6m contribution to the state economy and a host of titles lining up to shoot in production-friendly Australia. Brothers Larry and Andy Wachowski shot the futuristic films simultaneously and will now finish as they started, directing additional scenes back home in San Francisco. "The 200-plus days of filming The Matrix sequels created 800 full-t
  • Far From Heaven

    Dir: Todd Haynes. US. 2002. 107 mins.In painstakingly recreating the style and mood of a Douglas Sirk melodrama, Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven attempts to show that prejudice is as rampant in the complacent America of the new millenium as it was behind the twitching net curtains of Sirk's affluent 1950s suburbs. Unfortunately, for all the magnificent elements Haynes allows us here, his new film pales beside his classics Poison and Safe as a portrait of a c
  • Festival gets going: Hot deals, hot air, hot under the collar

    In a late deal sealed just on the eve of the Venice Film Festival's opening ceremony, Rome sales outfit Adriana Chiesa Enterprises picked up international distribution rights to two Italian films: Piergiorgio Gay's competition title La Forza Del Passato and Spiro Scimone and Francesco Sframeli's Due Amici, Italy's contender in Critics Week. But as the festival kicks off with the eagerly-awaited world premiere of Frida, Miramax's drama about the passionate relations
  • Few films can equal mosquitos' buzz

    If a festival is only as good as the films it screens,Venice has cause to be more than a little worried. It's day five on the Lido,and so far only the mosquitos, out in record numbers this year, have beenconsistently successful in getting under the skin.Thestart was respectable enough. Frida, the opening Venezia 59 competitionfilm, may have disappointed those who were looking for more than a standardmid-budget Hollywood biopic with
  • Film Office expands roles becomes Hachette Filipacchi Films

    Film Office, a subsidiary of Frenchmedia and publishing giant Hachette Filipacchi, which has been increasinglyboarding foreign feature film projects at an early stage in order to build upits library of theatrical rights, is now to develop its own titles.Theveteran French home video company, which has been a pioneer of all-rightsacquisitions for the French market since Basic Instinct, is to underlinethe move by changing its name to Hache
  • First Look launches Rolling Rez tour of Skins

    US independent First LookPictures will take Native American Chris Eyre's drama Skins on a nationwide trip around Indian Reservations andcommunities ahead of the picture's theatrical release on September 27.The Rolling Rez Tour 2002 will present free screenings and take place in theCinetransformer, a trailer-like exhibition platform that expands laterally onsite into a 100-seat indoor venue boasting digital projection, surround sound,concession stand, restrooms and air conditioning. The
  • Frida

    Dir: Julie Taymor. USA. 2002. 121mins.First the bad news: Julie Taymor's cinematic life of painter Frida Kahlo, which US-based Mexican actress Salma Hayek fought for most of a decade to bring to the screen, is not the masterpiece some had anticipated. The good news, at least for distributor Miramax, is that it's a decent biopic that should perform well at the box office. Certainly Kahlo's current bankability as an artist and cultural icon, combined with the eye-catching cast,
  • Frida

    Dir: Julie Taymor. USA. 2002. 121mins.First the bad news: Julie Taymor's cinematic life of painter Frida Kahlo, which US-based Mexican actress Salma Hayek fought for most of a decade to bring to the screen, is not the masterpiece some had anticipated. The good news, at least for distributor Miramax, is that it's a decent biopic that should perform well at the box office. Certainly Kahlo's current bankability as an artist and cultural icon, combined with the eye-catching cast,
  • Friday Night (Vendredi Soir)

    Dir: Claire Denis. France. 2002. 88mins.A man and a woman, complete strangers, meet by chance in Paris and, after the briefest of verbal exchanges, end up having long, passionate sex. But don't be fooled: Friday Night (Vendredi Soir) is as much about traffic jams and unfamiliar neighbourhoods as it is about sex. Claire Denis' latest is a challenging exercise that relies totally on its attractive, original visual style and soundtrack, smart editing and the electr
  • Government offers Swedish industry surprise lifeline

    With only two weeks to go beforeparliamentary elections, Sweden's minister of culture Marita Ulvskog unveiled asurprise $8.7m (SEK80m) financial support package for the Swedish filmindustry.Ulvskogpresented her package to mixed reactions at a meeting between trade bodies andpolitical parties held at the Swedish Film Institute yesterday (Monday)evening.Themove comes after some 18 months of stiff criticism of the government by thelocal industry, which had argued that it needed a f
  • Helkon sells TV prod unit and distributor Solo Film

    Helkon Media has now offloaded its interests in the TV productionsubsidiary Sonne, Mond + Sterne Film- und Fernsehproduktions and distributorSolo Film Verleih.The 75.6% stake in Sonne, Mond + Sterne has been acquired by itsmanaging director Erwin Kraus, while Solo Film's managing director PeterHeinzemann has taken over all of the shares in the company which he set up withHelkon in May of this year.Helkon said that its theatrical distribution arrangement with Solo Filmwould not b
  • Hong Kong exhibitors slash ticket prices

    Hong Kong cinemas are slashing ticket prices for the second time this year after a disappointing summer in which box office takings slumped by 36%The Hong Kong Theatres Association announced that 51 of HongKong's 60 cinemas will cut admission prices to $3.20 (HK$25) every Tuesday and Wednesday for the next eight weeks. Tickets usually cost$6-$9 (HK$50-HK$70). US-owned AMC is the only major exhibitor not participatingin the scheme.Two of Hong Kong largest circuits - UA and Broad
  • Hungary celebrates new box-office champion

    Hungarian director Gabor Herendi's A Kind Of America, the story of a young film director longing to make his feature debut, has become the most successful Hungarian film ever. In addition, it is now also the film that has spent the most weeks in the box office top ten, pushing James Cameron's Titanic off the top spot. Twenty-nine weeks after its release A Kind Of America has spent twenty-seven weeks in the top ten - compared to Titanic's twenty-six.
  • Insomnia wakes up UK box office

    BuenaVista International (BVI) scored a hit this weekend with itsAlaskan-setthriller Insomnia. Opening with an impressive $1.8m (£1.16m)over the three-day weekend, the film saw off all comers to claim the numberone slot in the chart. Thelatest film from British director Christopher Nolan (whose previoustitleMemento grossed $2.4m for P
  • IT International Theatres reports first-half loss for 2002

    Half year results for multinational exhibition group IT International Theatres were hit by weak results in its home Israeli market and the strengthening of the US dollar against the currencies of its developing Central European operations.While revenues increased a fraction to $33.8m (compared with $32.8m), the first half showed losses of $533,000 compared with profits last time of $2.16m.The company - which should not be confused with ITI Holdings, a conglomerate which operate
  • Japan's Sony Pictures turns cinemagoers into film bookers

    Japan's Sony Pictures is to overturn the established practice of film programming by inviting audiences to chose which movies to screen - and at which venues, as well as at what times.Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan) will launch a new service offering special screenings of Sony films, based on Internet polls. Called Dream Theatre, the service will allow visitors to Sony's fee-based MovieEater website to propose not only titles, but venues and schedules for screenings.
  • K-19 forces Intermedia into new profits slump

    Intermedia has issued its second profit warning this year following disappointing US box office results for K-19: The Widowmaker, the Harrison Ford picture on which the company raised its direct distribution risk.In January the company announced that it would miss its 2001 forecast, a profit warning that clouded its tie-up with Spyglass Entertainment (Screendaily.com, Jan 14).IM Internationalmedia, Intermedia's Neuer Markt-listed parent, originally forecasted reven
  • Ken Park scores with Venice buyers

    Ahead of tomorrow (Wednesday)'s debut screening in the Upstream sectionof the Venice festival, inflammatory teen drama Ken Park is settingbuyers alight.Norway's Oro Film has pickedup all Scandinavian rights, while VideoVision bought it for South Africa, Eco Filmes for Portugal, Audiovisual forGreece and Mongkol for Thailand. International rights are handled by FortissimoFilm sales, which reports being in the final stages of deals fo
  • Korean films surprise again but studio titles hold their own at BO

    Thesummer season has produced some unexpected heavyweights at the South Koreanbox-office. Following a year in whichlocal titles My Sassy Girl ($24m) and Kick The Moon ($21)dominated theatres, the strongest performer has been Steven Spielberg's MinorityReport, remaining atop thebox-office for five weeks after its July 26 release and earning over $17m. BuenaVista, despite lower-than-expected earnings from Lilo & Stitch($1.2m) and Signs ($2.9m), has stru
  • Kuhn & Co.'s UK debut production begins shoot

    Wondrous Oblivion, former PolyGram chief Michael Kuhn's debut UK production through his Soho production company Kuhn & Co, has started shooting with a cast including Delroy Lindo, Emily Woof and newcomer Sam Smith as the star.Smith, whose credits include BBC TV's Oliver, plays eleven-year-old David Wiseman, a Jewish boy in 1960's England who is mad about cricket. He has to choose between fitting in or standing up for his new friends - a family from Jamaica who move in nex
  • Latin American films compete for San Sebastian prize

    Thirteen Latin American films will compete for the Made in Spanish award at next month's 50th anniversary edition of the San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept 19-28).Among the films competing for the prize, which has tripled in value to Euros 18,000 after its introduction last year, are:Bolivar Soy Yo, Jorge Ali Triana (Col-Fr)Caja Negra, Luis Ortega (Arg)Ciudades Oscuras, Fernando Sariñana (Mex)Un Dia De Suerte, Sandra Gu
  • Latin films honoured at Films From South festival

    Denmark'sFilms From The South Festival is this to focus onLatin American cinema and will open in Copenhagen on Sep 5 with Walter Salles Brazilian drama Behind The Sun (Abril Despedacado). Theperipatetic festival is the second largest international film festival inDenmark and has always focused on films from outside Europe and North America.It travels from Copenhagen to Arhus, Odense and Aalborg from Sep 6-12.Finland'sMika Kaurismaki's popular Brazilian music documentary
  • Lilja 4-Ever

    Dir: Lukas Moodysson. Sweden. 2002. 109 mins.After a promising debut with Show Me Love (known in some territories as Fucking Amal), Swedish wunderkind Lukas Moodysson entered the major league with his last film, Together, a study of a dysfunctional 1970s commune that combined wry humour with emotional torture. Moodysson seemed faintly annoyed that so many people found Together more comic than tragic. His latest offering, Lilja 4-Ever (which
  • Lilja 4-Ever

    Dir: Lukas Moodysson. Sweden. 2002. 109 mins.After a promising debut with Show Me Love (known in some territories as Fucking Amal), Swedish wunderkind Lukas Moodysson entered the major league with his last film, Together, a study of a dysfunctional 1970s commune that combined wry humour with emotional torture. Moodysson seemed faintly annoyed that so many people found Together more comic than tragic. His latest offering, Lilja 4-Ever (which
  • Linda Tizard tipped to become FFC boss

    The close-knit Australian film industry is awash with talk that Linda Tizard is to become the new chief executive of the Film Finance Corporation (FFC), arguably the most influential film job in the land. But the FFC says that no selection has yet been made and no ministerial stamp given, necessary for such a senior government post. The rumours began last week, when Tizard was spotted dining with most of the FFC board. Since then one by one, others have been admitting to acquaintances
  • Lions Gate takes North America on Loach's Sweet Sixteen

    Lions Gate Films has boughtall North American rights to Ken Loach's Sweet Sixteen from London-based The Works. The film will bereleased theatrically in spring 2003 and continues a relationship between LionsGate and Loach which began with Bread And Roses in 2001. The film was in competitionat Cannes this year where it won the best screenplay award for longtime Loachcollaborator Paul Laverty. Martin Compston stars as a Scottish teenager from atough background who sets out t
  • Lorenzo di Bonaventura steps down at Warner Bros

    Lorenzo diBonaventura has stepped down from his corporate position as executive vicepresident, worldwide motion pictures, at Warner Bros to become an independentproducer for Warner Bros Pictures. He has been co-president or president ofproduction at the studio since 1996 and is one of the best-known productionexecutives in Hollywood."I lovefilmmaking, but the more corporate the job became the less creative it became,and the less creative it became the less joyful it became," said diBon
  • Man Without A Past, Ramsay get new FIPRESCI prizes

    The Man Without A Past (Miles Vailla Menneisyytta) will receive the Best Film of the Year and UKdirector Lynne Ramsay the newly-created New Director of the Year awards fromthe International Film Critics Federation (FIPRESCI) at the opening ceremonyof this month's San Sebastian International Film Festival.The prizes are selected by international critics from amongall films released between August 2001 and July 2002. This year, 200 FIPRESCImembers from 41 count
  • Montreal to get yet another major film studio

    Montreal is set to be home to another major film studio development, a $25.6m (C$40m) full-service facility backed by Los Angeles-based WonderWorks Entertainment Group, Avondale Pictures and Quebec architectural firm Smith & Koenka. The new 210,000 sq. ft. studio, to be called WonderWorks Montreal will be situated on a 4-million square-foot plot of land fifteen minutes from the city centre and 25 minutes from the US border and close to major airports. Construction is set to begin in Oc
  • Mueller goes Downtown with RAI

    Former Locarno festival boss, Marco Mueller has signed a ground-breaking deal between a new outfit heis launching, Downtown Pictures, and Rome's Rai Cinema. The deal, which was announced by Mueller, Rai Cinema CEO Giancarlo Leone and president GiulianoMontaldo, is a 2-year first look, non-exclusive production agreement which willsee the Rome mini-major invest in Italian and European pictures as well aspictures produced in other parts of the wo
  • Mueller goes Downtown with RAI

    Former Locarno festival boss, Marco Mueller has signed a ground-breaking deal between a new outfit heis launching, Downtown Pictures, and Rome's Rai Cinema. The deal, which was announced by Mueller, Rai Cinema CEO Giancarlo Leone and president GiulianoMontaldo, is a 2-year first look, non-exclusive production agreement which willsee the Rome mini-major invest in Italian and European pictures as well aspictures produced in other parts of the wo
  • Norway goes crazy for documentaries

    Following the runaway success of Knut Erik Jensen's 2001 musical documentary Cool And Crazy, a slate of new Norwegian documentaries are enjoying both critical and commercial success at home.The Norwegian Film Fund has just awarded $371,000 to local production outfit Barentsfilm for director Knut Erik Jensen's (pictured) new theatrical documentary Show Traditions At Mageroya. Jensen's $942,000 film will focus on an amateur ensemble from a remote arctic
  • Not much to get buzzed up about in Venice

    If a festival is only as good as the films it screens,Venice has cause to be more than a little worried. It's day five on the Lido,and so far only the mosquitoes, out in record numbers this year, have beenconsistently successful in getting under the skin.Thestart was respectable enough. Frida, the opening Venezia 59 competitionfilm, may have disappointed those who were looking for more than a standardmid-budget Hollywood biopic with
  • One Hour Photo develops snappy int'l debut

    An impressive debut in Spain last weekend bodes well for the international box office potential of Mark Romanek's One Hour Photo.Released in Spain simultaneously with the US, 20th Century Fox launched the title on a conservative 180 Spanish screens on Aug 23, achieving a strong three-day opening gross of $1.02m (Euro 1.05m). Clocking up a powerful average of $5,670 - one of the top ten opening weekend averages of any film released wide in Spain so far this year ( and six
  • Phenomenal Greek Wedding is now number two

    Disney's Signs held off IFC Films's sprightly My Big Fat GreekWedding to retain top spot with anestimated $16.5m haul over Labour Day weekend as the summer season officiallycame to a close. M Night Shyamalan's crop circle chronicle averaged $4,805 from3,437 theatres and has a cumulative total after five weeks of $195m, making itthe highest grossing movie for star Mel Gibson. The four-day holiday weekendlived up to its reputation as one of the calendar's grave
  • RAI Cinema unwraps powerhouse autumn slate

    Jeremy Irons hasjoined the cast of Mathilde, a thriller set during the Bosnian War whichis one of a host of new titles on Rome mini-major Rai Cinema's upcomingproduction slate. The Euros7m film,which marks the feature debut of Yugoslav-born director Nina Mimica, seesJeremy Irons play the part of a British army commander who finds himself inBosnia as part of the UN peacekeeping force.The thriller, which started shooting in Montene
  • RAI Cinema unwraps powerhouse autumn slate

    Jeremy Irons hasjoined the cast of Mathilde, a thriller set during the Bosnian War whichis one of a host of new titles on Rome mini-major Rai Cinema's upcomingproduction slate. The Euros7m film,which marks the feature debut of Yugoslav-born director Nina Mimica, seesJeremy Irons play the part of a British army commander who finds himself inBosnia as part of the UN peacekeeping force.The thriller, which started shooting in Montene
  • Roger Dodger

    Roger DodgerReviewed by Lee Marshall in VeniceDir: Dylan Kidd. USA. 2002. 106 mins.This dark-veined New York comedy by first-time director Dylan Kidd came as oneof the few pleasant surprises in the opening few days at Venice, where itplayed in critics' week. Roger Dodger is thethinking man's American Pie: thestory of a schoolboy's attempt to lose his virginity in the Big Apple with thehelp of a fast-talking but emotionally
  • Roger Dodger

    Roger DodgerReviewed by Lee Marshall in VeniceDir: Dylan Kidd. USA. 2002. 106 mins.This dark-veined New York comedy by first-time director Dylan Kidd came as oneof the few pleasant surprises in the opening few days at Venice, where itplayed in critics' week. Roger Dodger is thethinking man's American Pie: thestory of a schoolboy's attempt to lose his virginity in the Big Apple with thehelp of a fast-talking but emotionally
  • Saturday wins Agnes B award at Sarajevo film festival

    Argentine director Juan Villegas'(pictured) Saturday (Sabado) won the Euros 12,000 'J'aime le cinema' Best First Feature Film Award which was donated by French designer Agnes B. at this year's Sarajevo Film Festival (16-24 August).In addition, one of the festival's opening films, 10 Minutes by local director Ahmed Imamovic, received the UIP Award for Best European Short Film and will now go forward as the first film from Bosnia and Herzegovina to compete in the European
  • Scottish Screen appoints new Chair

    Ray McFarlane has been appointed as the new Chair of Scottish Screen.Currently senior director of business banking at the Bank Of Scotland, she replaces James Lee whose four year term of office ended in May. McFarlane has been a member of the Scottish Screen Board since its inception in 1997 and has a background in economic development, marketing and sponsorship. She has previously held senior posts in the Scottish Development Agency and Scottish Enterprise. Her three year appoi
  • Sogepaq takes int'l rights on Mondays In The Sun

    Spanish distribution house Sogepaq will handle international sales on San Sebastian International Film Festival competition entry Mondays In The Sun (Los Lunes Al Sol).Directed by Fernando Leon (Barrio), the film stars Spanish actor Javier Bardem (Before Night Falls, The Dancer Upstairs) as an unemployed man struggling alongside his peers to make ends meet. Sun is a co-production of Elias Querejeta and Jaume Roures (MediaPro) with France's Quo Vadis C
  • Spanish regulator raises concerns over pay-TV merger

    The merger of pay-TV platforms Via Digital and Canal Satelite Digital (CSD) could result in a "monopoly on rights to feature films" according to an investigation by Spain's industry regulator.A Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT) report states among its conclusions that the 'two platforms already have a very clear dominant position in the pay TV market; the merger would accentuate this position, which could allow the resulting platform to force the packaging of rights by conte
  • SPC clings tight to Michell's Mother

    Sony Pictures Classics haspicked up Free Range Films' The Mother for North American distribution. The film which reunites Buddha Of Suburbia team -director Roger Michell, writer Hanif Kureishi and producer Kevin Loader - iscurrently in post-production following a six-week shoot on location in London.The story of a recently bereaved woman who embarks on a passionate affair witha man half her age who is sleeping with her daughter, The Mother starsAnne Reid, Daniel Cr
  • Star Line, Parallel, Planet team for Aranda's Carmen

    Madrid-based producer Star Line has signed up the UK's Parallel Pictures and Italy's Planet Pictures to co-produce the long-planned ambitious new feature film version of Carmen.The Euros 7m-plus film, from director Vicente Aranda (Juana La Loca), will begin principal photography in Andalusia on September 16 with actors Paz Vega (Sex And Lucia) and Leonardo Sbaraglia (Intacto) starring. Vega and Sbaraglia both won best new actor nods last year at Spain's Osca
  • Telluride world premieres Schrader, Clark, Reggio movies

    The TellurideFilm Festival, one of the worlds most secretive festivals whichdoesnt announce its lineup until the event itself begins, kicked off its29th festival today (Friday) in the Colorado mountain-top resort andwill screen four world premieres in its four-day schedule including new filmsfrom Paul Schrader and Larry Clark.The festival,run by Bill Pence and Tom Luddy, with this years guest director AlbertoBarbera, is paying tribute to Schrader who is attending with his new picture
  • The Idol (L'Idol)

    Dir: Samantha Lang. France. 2002. 110mins.A great leap of faith is required to adore The Idol, an overwrought chamber piece about the ambiguous, erotically charged relationship between two expatriates living in Paris. Premiered at Locarno's vast Piazza Grande but much better suited to an intimate art-house setting, this French-language drama might attract admirers in France itself when Mars Film releases it this autumn. There, its chief selling points will be the stren
  • The Illustrated Family Doctor gets the greenlight

    Acclaimed commercials, short film and documentary director Kriv Stenders has finally got his dark and irreverent debut feature The Illustrated Family Doctor over the financing line. He wrote the script in conjunction with David Snell, author of the novel on which it is based.The commitment of UK-based sales agent Moviehouse enabled producer Catherine Kerr to access public subsidy from the Film Finance Corporation (FFC). But while securing an international sales agent is
  • The Illustrated Family Doctor gets the greenlight

    Acclaimed commercials, short film and documentary director Kriv Stenders has finally got his dark and irreverent debut feature The Illustrated Family Doctor over the financing line. He wrote the script in conjunction with David Snell, author of the novel on which it is based.The commitment of UK-based sales agent Moviehouse enabled producer Catherine Kerr to access public subsidy from the Film Finance Corporation (FFC). But while securing an international sales agent is
  • The Last Great Wilderness

    Dir: David Mackenzie. UK. 2002. 90minsAn idiosyncratic combination of stalled road movie and psychological drama, The Last Great Wilderness marks a promising feature debut from director David Mackenzie. The dry, dark wit and unpredictable nature of the narrative reveal it to have more in common with the sensibility of early Dogme features like Festen and Mifune (the film is part funded by Zentropa) than anything currently emerging from British cinema. The
  • The Magdalene Sisters

    Dir: Peter Mullan. UK-Ireland. 2002. 118minsShocking true events are transformed into a powerful and moving human drama in The Magdalene Sisters. The second feature from writer-director Peter Mullan, the film is an angry cry from the heart rendered all the more effective by its restraint and burning sense of injustice at the evils perpetrated in the name of God. The combination of controversial subject matter, excellent performances and Mullan's growing international r
  • The Nearest To Heaven (Au Plus Pres Du Paradis)

    Dir: Tonie Marshall. Fr-Can-Sp. 2002. 97mins.Tonie Marshall's latest outing proves again that no amount of screenplay physics can make up for a lack of chemistry between leading man and leading lady. And the pairing of Catherine Deneuve-William Hurt, however intriguing it looks on paper, fizzles and dies in this flat melodrama. Possibly the actors' minds were elsewhere: shooting on the US scenes began on Sept 12 last year - not the best timing for a romance, especially not on
  • The Red Siren

    Dir: Olivier Megaton. France. 2002. 108 mins.A blandly conventional English-language actioner featuring good and bad mercenaries battling it out across Europe to retrieve a 12-year-old runaway, The Red Siren seems more like a spin-off of a Luc Besson formula thriller than a screen adaptation of a cult French suspense novel, praised by critics for its stylish, densely textured thematics. Perhaps the only surprise here is that the film was developed by French indie Haut
  • Trust enjoys Lilja sales success, buys Wilderness

    Trust Film Sales,the world sales offshoot of Denmark's Zentropa Entertainment has had a busystart to Venice, acquiring David Mackenzie's The Last Wilderness andstriking a number of sales deals on Venice competition picture Lilja 4-Ever.Trust bought Wilderness, adebut feature by noted British shorts director Mackenzie,
  • Trust enjoys Lilja sales success, buys Wilderness

    Trust Film Sales,the world sales offshoot of Denmark's Zentropa Entertainment has had a busystart to Venice, acquiring David Mackenzie's The Last Wilderness andstriking a number of sales deals on Venice competition picture Lilja 4-Ever.Trust bought Wilderness, adebut feature by noted British shorts director Mackenzie,
  • UK documentary scheme emerges from Edinburgh

    A proposed pilot scheme to boost UK theatrical audiences for documentaries was unveiled at Edinburgh during the closing weekend of the Film Festival.Inspired by the Docuzone initiative in the Nederlands and growing figures for the Sheffield Touring Festival, the scheme, titled Docuspace, is ultimately intended to devise a dedicated exhibition strategy for documentaries in the UK. The pilot, likely to take place in the autumn of 2003, would see around seven venues participating i
  • UK Film Council invests in four new local projects

    The UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund has announced four new investments, including new projects from Under The Skin director Carine Adler and One Day In September producer John Battsek.Carine Adler will write and direct Finding Out, a love story set in a small English seaside town about a lonely adolescent girl and an older man with a past he is trying to hide. Producers are Kate Ogborn and Bertrand Faivre (Ratcatcher, The Warrior).The New Cinema Fun
  • UK gets new film classification category

    UK censor the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is to relax its 12 certificate, introducing a new advisory 12A label from tomorrow (30 August), bringing the territory into line with the rest of Europe and the US.The new rating will enable children under 12 to watch 12A certificate films at the cinema if accompanied by parents. Previously, younger children could not see films carrying a mandatory 12 certificate at the cinema, with or without parental supervision. As a result,
  • UK's Home Entertainment Corp. reports increased profits

    Home Entertainment Corporation, the UK company that operates the Choices Video retail chain, reported half year pre-tax profits up 9% at $8.24m (£5.37m) on turnover that increased 24% to $158m (£103m).The company, which floated on the AIM tier of the UK stockmarket last October, said that the transition from VHS to DVD is changing the mix of business. "Video rental activities suffered from a comparatively poor release schedule but benefited from the growth in DVDs. Video sel
  • Vancouver film festival launches screenwriting prize

    The 21st Vancouver International Film Festival is to introduce a new local screenwriter's cash award.The $7,700 Citytv Western Canada Screenwriters Award will be presented annually to a film from western Canada, with this year's winner, selected by the Canadian Images jury, to be announced at the Closing Gala Awards Ceremony on Friday, October 11.In all, 44 features and shorts from the provinces west of Ontario will compete for a total of $13,400 in prize money, including two es
  • Venice gets going: Hot deals, hot air, hot under the collar

    In a late deal sealed just on the eve of the Venice Film Festival's opening ceremony, Rome sales outfit Adriana Chiesa Enterprises picked up international distribution rights to two Italian films: Piergiorgio Gay's competition title La Forza Del Passato and Spiro Scimone and Francesco Sframeli's Due Amici, Italy's contender in Critics Week. But as the festival kicks off with the eagerly-awaited world premiere of Frida, Miramax's drama about the passionate relations
  • Venice sales: Bim, Distribution 01 active for Italy

    Italy's BimDistribuzione has picked up all Italian rights to Blue Moon, Austriandirector Andrea Maria Dusi's feature debut which follows the odyssey of threecharacters from Vienna to the Black Sea port of Odessa. BlueMoon, which received its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival lastmonth, has been sold by First Hand Films to Switzerland (Monopole Pathe),Austria (Filmladen) and Germany (Ventura Film).
  • Venice sales: Bim, Distribution 01 active for Italy

    Italy's BimDistribuzione has picked up all Italian rights to Blue Moon, Austriandirector Andrea Maria Dusi's feature debut which follows the odyssey of threecharacters from Vienna to the Black Sea port of Odessa. BlueMoon, which received its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival lastmonth, has been sold by First Hand Films to Switzerland (Monopole Pathe),Austria (Filmladen) and Germany (Ventura Film).
  • Veteran Tamberi launches Metacinema group

    Italian industry veteran Giovanni Tamberi is launching an ambitiouscompany that will focus on film production, distribution, communication andmultimedia education in Italy.Under a new umbrella companyMetacinema, Tamberi will oversee three separate outfits each named afterRoberto Rossellini films. Voyage In Italy (Viaggio in Italia) will focus eachyear on the production of two market-orientated, culturally stimulating moviesby first or second-time Italian directors. Paisa will op
  • Vinterberg to direct von Trier's Dear Wendy

    Two of Denmark's most acclaimed filmmakers, Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg - who together fathered the influential Dogme95 movement - are once again joining forces. Vinterberg is to direct the von Trier scripted Dear Wendy, a contemporary English-language film set in the US about a group of youngsters obsessed with guns.Von Trier started writing Dear Wendy - described by observers as one of his most commercial scripts to date - before he began shooting his f
  • Vivendi sells off Vizzavi - is Hollywood studio next'

    The possibility of a sale of Universal appeared to grow more real this week as Vivendi Universal confirmed a series of meetings between new chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou and senior US management.Vivendi Universal has so far maintained that the US studio does not figure in the disposal plans, which call for $9.98bn (Euros10bn) of asset sales over the next two years. But executives within Vivendi Universal Entertainment (VUE), the unit that contains the studio and theme parks, have indicate
  • Volcano High (Whasango)

    Dir: Kim Tae-gyun. Korea. 2001. 99minsA manic, manga-style mixture of frenzied fight sequences and hysterical comedy, Volcano High makes Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon seem like a sedate stroll in the park by comparison. Downplaying narrative cohesion in favour of spectacular martial arts moves, it should find an eager audience among hardcore action fans, especially on video or DVD. Too extreme and exhausting for more mainstream tastes, it still possesses substa
  • Wedding makes big fat impact at Canadian box-office

    My Big Fat Greek Wedding has earned $1.9m (C$3m) at the Canadian box office in its first ten days on release through Montreal-based Equinox Films, making it one of the top non-studio box office releases of the year to date. The romantic comedy, which was written by and stars Canadian comedienne Nia Vardalos, opened August 16 on 104 screens, scoring $970,000 for a per screen average of approximately $9,500.Equinox plans to platform the release to 25 additional screens on A
  • Working Title's WT2 begins to shoot The Calcium Kid

    Working Title Films' low budget division WT2 is set to start principal photography on The Calcium Kid, starring Orlando Bloom, who plays Legolas in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.The off-beat comedy is a mockumentary about a young milkman who is also amateur boxer and ends up fighting the world champion in his home town. Newcomer Alex De Rakoff, whose previous credits include music promos for Ice T, Space, and N-Trance, is directing from a script by himself, Raymond Friel

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