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4 September 2008

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  • 35 Shots Of Rum (35 Rhums)

    Dir: Claire Denis. France-Germany. 2008. 100mins.
  • 3D film-maker warns of difficulty in cracking US market

    Producer-director Ben Stassen has warned that the US remains a tough market to crack for independent 3D films.'It's a David and Goliath battle,' Stassen commented in the wake of thebelow par US performance of his film, kids' animated tale Fly Me To The Moon. Click here for review.The 3D film has made around $4.5m since its release in mid-August. Ithas been showing on around 430 screens - far fewer than the 900-plus
  • 6.5 Minutes In Tel Aviv wins best of festival award at Palm Springs

    Mirey Brantz' Israeli entry 6.5 Minutes In Tel Aviv won the 2008 Palm Springs International ShortFest's Best Of Festival Award as the seven-day event came to a close on August 27.As Best of Festival winner, Brantz becomess eligible to submit his film for Oscar consideration.Marcal Fores' UK submission Friends Forever won the Future Filmmaker Award and Bogdan Mustata's Romanian entry
  • A Country Teacher

    Dir: Bohdan Slama. Czech-Ger-Fr. 2008. 113mins.A bittersweet comedy about a gay teacher hiding out in a country school, Bohdan Slama’s follow-up to his award-winning Something Like Happiness feels slightly old-fashioned, going over ground that has already been dealt with in other films. The kind of gay film that will play better to straight audiences, it may be more likely to draw attention in East European territories rather than the Western markets.
  • A Perfect Day (Un Giorno Perfetto)

    Dir: Ferzan Ozpetek. Italy. 2008. 101mins.Obsessive love, corrupt politicians, coming-of-age crisis and teenage rebellion are just some of the ingredients in Ferzan Ozpetek’s Competition entry A Perfect Day. Adapted from a novel by Melania Mazzucco, this tragic melodrama spreads itself rather thin trying to pack it all in around the main plot about a policeman and his passionate love and insane jealousy for the woman who has left him. Their doomed relationship may
  • Abu Dhabi Media Company announces $1bn film investment

    The Abu Dhabi Media Company has launched a $1bn investment in feature film and digital content.It has formed a subsidiary - imagenation Abu Dhabi - to develop, finance and produce content for both regional and international markets. Its intial aim is to make eight films a year.The company will look for deals with US and other international producers and aims to become a worldwide powerhouse.'We are bringing Hollywood and the international pro
  • Achilles And The Tortoise

    Dir: Takeshi Kitano. Japan. 2008. 119mins.Takeshi Kitano’s trilogy looking at his own career, his relations to the industry and cinema itself takes yet another turn in its final part which at first appears to be less self-obsessed than his two previous efforts but soon follows the same repetitious pattern that restricted both Takeshis and Glory To The Filmmaker to a small coterie of ardent admirers. Although festivals and art house will not pass on a Kitano
  • Arthouse strikes multi-territory deal for Rem Koolhaas documentary

    New York-based distributor Arthouse Films has acquired all English-speaking territories and French rights to documentary Rem Koolhaas - A Kind Of Architect.Markus Heidingsfelder and Min Tesch direct the feature-length film about the famed architect.The deal was negotiated by David Koh and Lilly Bright on behalf of Arthouse Films and Curiously Bright Entertainment along with John Flahive of UK-based Wavelength Pictures on behalf of
  • As industry leaves Venice for Toronto, Italian titles still strong

    As a week of screenings at the Venice Film Festival winds up and the industry moves to Toronto, Italian titles are likely to be a focal point of year’s traditional festival migration.That is because seven Italian films will be on this year’s Toronto roster compared to three last year, across sections.Ferzan Ozpetek’s Rome-set family drama Perfect Day has opened here to warm critical reception before its North Ameri
  • Börje Hansson named head of production with Svensk Filmindustri

    Swedish producer Börje Hansson has been named head of production with Swedish major Svensk Filmindustri.Since 2005 Hansson has been drama chief with Metronome Film & TV. He has more than 40 features and numerous television series to his credit, including The Beck Crime Series, which has been very successful in the German market.Hansson was previously co-founder, CEO and producer with Filmlance International, backing such box-o
  • Bangkok Dangerous

    Dir: Danny Pang and Oxide Pang. US-Thailand. 2008. 100mins.The remake by Danny and Oxide Pang of their own imaginative 1999 directorial debut sacrifices the grit and inventiveness of the original in favour of a Hollywood-style loner-assassin drama with a Hollywood star in an exotic location. This version of Bangkok Dangerous is a respectable genre movie, but not much more. Still, filmgoers could pile in to Bangkok Dangerous as fast as the bodies pile up on
  • Bettany, Connelly take voyage with Darwin film Creation

    Husband and wife actors Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly will play Charles Darwin and his wife Emma Darwin in the upcoming feature Creation for Oscar-winning UK producer Jeremy Thomas.Jon Amiel will direct, and the cast will also feature Jeremy Northam, Toby Jones and Benedict Cumberbatch.The film is not described as a traditional biopic, instead as 'part ghost story, part psychological thriller, part heart-wrenching love story.'
  • BIFCOM's Film Policy Plus to discuss Asian incentives

    The Busan Film Commission (BFC) has announced the inaugural Film Policy Plus (FPP), an Asia Pacific film policy forum for high-level policymakers and industry professionals to be held Oct 4-5 during the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) and concurrent Asian Film Market's BIFCOM. Originally a locations and post-production exhibition and conference, BIFCOM also plays host to the Asian Film Commissions Network (AFCNet) council meetings.The AFCNet and BFC are upping the ante now
  • Birdwatchers

    Dir: Marco Bechis. Italy-Brazil. 2008. 103mins.
  • Broken Lines (2007)

    Dir: Sallie Aprahamian. UK. 2008. 113mins.Immersed in the gritty multicultural realities and historical short-circuits of life in the northern suburb of Finsbury Park, Broken Lines is one of the rare films that nails the odd flavour of contemporary London. Like Shane Meadows’ recent Somers Town, it illuminates the paradox of the British capital’s village/metropolis identity crisis. However, the first feature outing from theatre and TV direc
  • Buzz Films - Toronto 2008: the lowdown

    GALA PRESENTATIONSDean Spanley (UK-NZ)Dir: Toa FraserThe story: Based on Lord Dunsany's novel My Talks With Dean Spanley, this charts the relationship between a stiff Englishman and his son.The cast: Peter O'Toole plays opposite Jeremy Northam as his son and Sam Neill as an eccentric dean.The buzz: A co-production between New Zealand's General Film Corp and Atlantic Film Productions after horror The Ferryman. Fraser, who won the Sundance audien
  • Canada's Alliance gets New Line reprieve into 2009

    Alliance Films and New Line Cinema have extended their output deal into 2009. The extension, rumoured over past weeks, will add at least eight titles to Alliance's Canadian releasing schedule, including the much-anticipated The Time Traveller's Wife from director Robert Schwentke and starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana as well as Seventeen Again, Burr Steers' comic pairing of Zac Efron and Matthew Perry.
  • Children's Orchestra, Enemigos Intimos among LALIF official lineup

    The North American premieres of Paulo Thiago's Brazilian drama The Children's Orchestra and Fernando Sarinana's Mexican drama Enemigos Intimos are among the line-up at the 12th annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF), set to run from September 12-19.The roster includes the US premieres of Issa Lopez' Mexican comedy Casi Divas and Celia Fox'
  • CMG takes on 3D CGI animated feature Zambezia

    Cinema Management Group (CMG) president Edward Noeltner has picked up international rights ahead of Toronto to the 3D CGI animated feature Zambezia.South African-based animation house Triggerfish Animation's family tale takes place on the edge of a spectacular waterfall in the Zambezi River Valley where the eponymous bird comes under attack from vicious forces.'This an exciting and visually exhilarating story with wonderful moral v
  • Cold Lunch (Lonsj)

    Dir: Eva Sorhaug. Norway. 2008. 86mins.A few good scenes, some quirky characters and a striking visual style don’t quite add up to a hot meal in Eva Sorhaug’s bite-sized Cold Lunch. Screening as an out of competition title in this year’s Critics’ Week, the Norwegian interlinked choral drama fails to make much of its promising set-up, and represents a mis-hit for screenwriter Per Schreiner after his intriguing 2006 surreal fable The Bothersome Man. But until a
  • Council Of Europe plans Film Policy summit in Krakow

    The Council of Europe will gather film policy experts, film industry insiders and government officials at its film policy forum, Shaping Policies For The Cinema Of Tomorrow, scheduled for Sept 11-13 in Krakow, Poland.Topics to be addressed include the challenges of globalization, changing digital technologies, and the impact of film policy on diversity of cultural identities.The Forum is being hosted by the Polish Film Institute in association with the Polish Ministry of
  • Critical comment: Literary adaptations

    Cinema is the most confident and insecure of art forms. When it's on home ground, it's a strutting gang leader, but as soon as it meets one of the old bosses - literature, say, or theatre - it lies down and plays the doormat. And literature and theatre, for their part, seem quite happy with this show of servility.Literary adaptations (Vanity Fair, Atonement, Brideshead Revisited) still account for a healthy slice of the quality commercial sector - but how often doe
  • Dark Knight leads international box office with $19m from 62 territories

    The Dark Knight maintained its number one status overseas as the Warner Bros Pictures International release added $19m from 6,580 screens in 62 territories to raise the tally to $416.7m.The superhero adaptation stayed top in its second weekend in Germany as $4.4m from 955 screens boosted the running score to $17.5m and also stayed top in France for the third straight weekend as $3.3m from 820 pushed the total to $21.3m.The film has
  • David Glasser joins Weinsteins as president of international

    David Glasser has left Syndicate Films International to join The Weinstein Company (TWC) as president of international, filling the slot vacated by Glen Basner who departed the company recently after a three-year stint.Glasser joins and will oversee the recently promoted duo of Michael Rothstein, executive vice president of international sales and distribution, and Jonathan Kier, senior vice president of international sales and distribution.He will remain in Los Angeles a
  • Der Baader Meinhof Complex and The Wave among German Oscar picks

    Uli Edel's Der Baader Meinhof Komplex and Dennis Gansel's school drama The Wave are among five films submitted for consideration as Germany's entry for the Best Foreign Language Feature Film Oscar.The Constantin Film production of Edel's chronicle of the Red Army Faction terrorist group, starring Moritz Bleibtreu, Martina Gedeck and Johanna Wokalek, will be released by Constantin Filmverleih in German cinemas on September 25 and will be screened in Rome.Meanwhi
  • Disaster Movie

    Dirs: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer. US. 2008. 87mins.Spoof film-makers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer hit rock bottom in the creatively bankrupt Disaster Movie, a poorly staged, entirely laugh-free big screen exercise that, despite its name, is not really a genre spoof at all, but rather merely an excuse to poke fun at Hollywood movies from this calendar year. Even by the most forgiving standards of clamorous adolescent distraction, this film fails hugely. No
  • Dunya & Desie is selected as Oscar entry from The Netherlands

    Dunya & Desie, directed by Dana Nechushtan, has been selected as this year's Dutch entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.Dunya & Desie tells about Dutch motormouth Desie and her best friend from a Moroccan-Dutch family, Dunya. The two inseparable friends are forced to make some important choices during a journey through Morocco. Principle cast included Eva van de Wijdeven and Emmy Award winning actress Maryam Hassouni (Sacrifices).Dunya & Desie
  • EFA announces 2008 nominees for People's Choice Award

    The European Film Academy has announced the nominees for this year's People's Choice Award. Among the 12 films are Joe Wright's Atonement, David Yates's Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, and Nic Balthazar's Ben X. From Sept 1 to Oct 31, film fans across the continent can vote for their favourite European film on line at
  • EFP and San Sebastian launch European distribution initiative

    Hamburg-based European Film Promotion (EFP) and the San Sebastian International Film Festival have joined forces to launch a new initiative entitled European Distributors: Up Next! to promote the wider distribution of non-domestic European films.The first outing for this initiative will focus on 10 up-and-coming distributors from Central and Eastern Europe who will be invited to San Sebastian to discuss further possibilities of theatrical distribution on a European level.The dis
  • EFP's Film Sales Support promotes 42 European films in Toronto

    European Film Promotion is working with the Toronto International Film Festival for the 12th year.The MEDIA-backed Film Sales Support initiative is now in its fourth year supporting European sales agents and producers with films in Toronto's official market.This year, Toronto's programme includes about 120 European films -- of which 42 are in the Film Sales Support programme.'Apart from supporting films from the big production countries Germany, France, Italy
  • Elfman, Walker, Greenwood among Hollywood Awards recipients

    Danny Elfman will receive the 12th Annual Hollywood Film Festival's (HFF) Hollywood Composer Of The Year Award, along with similar honours for cinematographer Mandy Walker, editors Daniel P Hanley and Mike Hill, production designer Sarah Greenwood and costume designer Deborah Hopper.Elfman most recently composed scores for Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Wanted and Gus Van Sant's upcoming
  • Erik Van Looy signs deal with Woestijnvis

    Erik Van Looy, the Belgian TV personality and director of hit TheAlzheimer Case (also knownasThe Memory Of A Killer), has signed an exclusive seven-year deal with production outfit Woestijnvis.This is the company behind both his new feature Loft (being sold internationally by London-based The Works) and his highly successful TV show, The Smartest Guy In The World (which Van Looy presents.)The idea is that Van Looy will develop new featur
  • Feedback: readers' views

    Juliusz Kossakowski, Executive Producer, of Wind Fish Motion Pictures comments on Screen Opinion (see right for full article). Email to add your view.Yeah, but there is an infinite combination of notes to music and therefore the angle of attack should not be on creation but on the aesthetics of hearing and seeing.Yeah, technology has democratized music making and is no
  • Festival talk - 'The audience was in for a special moment'

    Which festivals do you rate highly and enjoy visiting' On that basis, what makes a strong festival'Of the big festivals, I love going to Cannes and Berlin. You know you are going to see a wide range of new films, and reconnect with many friends in the international film industry.Cannes really stresses the art of cinema and is very important for us, as we invite films from it. Berlin is a good place to see more esoteric work, and it's where we set up the coming festival. We meet
  • Fiennes to direct River Road's Coriolanus in Serbia

    River Road Entertainment will film a modern-day version of Shakespeare's Coriolanus in Serbia. Ralph Fiennes will direct and play the lead in the film and was part of a USAID group that evaluated Serbia as a location for shooting this film in July.The film is a tragedy based on the life of the legendary Roman leader, Gaius Martius Coriolanus in modern times. Filming will start in March 2009. 'What this means for Serbia is about $10
  • Film Focus: The Descent 2

    Getting to the set of The Descent 2 somewhat surprisingly does not require a trip underground. Like the 2005 original, the sequel shot mostly in caves recreated on studio sets - this time for a 40-day shoot at London's Ealing Studios with some location work in England and Scotland (the shoot wrapped in late June).The sequel reunites many of the team from The Descent, including producer Christian Colson of Celador, which is 100% financing the film, a production with Pathe.
  • Filminute targets 10m viewers benchmark in third edition

    Filminute, the worldwide multiplatform film festival devoted to one-minute films, is aiming to reach 10m viewers for its third edition. The festival, which begins September 1 and runs throughout the month, will feature a short-list of 25 films from 16 countries. A jury, including Academy Award-winning writer-director Paul Haggis, will select the best 'filminute' while a worldwide audience will determine the 'People's Choice'. Awards will be announced on October 12.Founded
  • Fine Cut picks up Lee Chang-dong's Poetry

    South Korea's Fine Cut has picked up worldwide sales rights for Lee Chang-dong's upcoming film, tentatively titled Poetry. Lee's last film, Secret Sunshine,wonthe best actress award for Jeon Do-hyun in Cannes last year.Poetry will be about a woman in her mid-sixties who lives with her 15-year-old grandson in poverty and loneliness. She endeavors to compose a poem for the very first time in her life to protect her grandson, who is her only love and consolation,
  • Flashback to 2007

    My WinnipegGuy Maddin's My Winnipeg is a personal portrait of the Canadian maverick's home town and was originally produced by the Documentary Channel. It had its world premiere at Toronto last year, where it won the Toronto City award for best Canadian feature. In the wake of the festival it was sold to IFC Entertainment in the US, Soda Pictures in the UK and Maximum Films Distribution in Canada. It was released in the US in June this year, grossing $200,000.Eastern Prom
  • Focus promotes Kujawski, Stewart as Spencer steps down

    Focus Features has promoted Peter Kujawski (pictured) to senior vice president of international sales and Gabrielle Stewart to manager of international sales.Kujawski steps up from vice president to replace Tim Spencer - who is leaving the film business to pursue other opportunities - and has been with the company since its inception in 2002. He will remain in the company's Manhattan offices.Stewart will remain in the company's London offices and joined in 2005 to work di
  • Fox moves Australia forward in US to Thanksgiving weekend

    Twentieth Century Fox has moved Baz Luhrmann's Australia into the lucrative Thanksgiving weekend slot, announcing that it will release the adventure saga in North America on November 26.The film was originally scheduled to open on November 14 however studio chiefs took the decision to move it after Warner Bros switched the release of Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince from November 21 to July 2009.
  • Freestyle Releasing acquires domestic rights to Delgo

    Freestyle Releasing has acquired North American rights to Fathom Studios' CG animated film Delgo and will release in theatres on December 12.Delgo takes place in a fantasy world where an adventurous teenager and his friends rally to save their planet from internecine warfare. Fathom Studios president Marc F Adler co-directed with and Jason Maurer and the all-star voice cast includes Freddie Prinze Jr, J
  • Germany - Partner in climb

    German writer-director Philipp Stolzl is famous for music videos for such talents as Madonna, Mick Jagger and German metal band Rammstein, and he directed the video for James Bond theme song The World Is Not Enough.Yes, he acknowledges, he has worked with difficult and temperamental performers but none was as challenging as the star of his new movie, North Face (Nordwand): "The Eiger is a far bigger diva than all these superstars put together," he jokes.Base
  • Germany's UFA Cinema unveils 11-film production slate

    Germany's UFA Cinema has unveiled an 11-picture production slate encompassing bestseller adaptations, family entertainment and political cinema, with the first project going before the camera in spring 2009.The company's executive managers Wolf Bauer, Thomas Peter Friedl, Nico Hofmann and Jürgen Schuster have selected 11 projects from more than 60 in active development:- Bad Karma (Mieses Karm
  • Goldwyn acquires US rights to Rachel Samuels' Dark Streets

    Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired US rights to Rachel Samuels' stage adaptation Dark Streets, which won a special jury prize at CineVegas earlier this year.Gabriel Mann, Bijou Phillips, Izabella Miko, Elias Koteas and Toledo star in the tale of a 1930s playboy and nightclub owner caught in a love triangle whose life begins to spiral out of control.Glenn M Stewart, Claus Clausen, Andrea Balen and Corina Danckwerts produced the film,
  • Goodbye Solo

    Dir: Ramin Bahrani. US. 2008. 91mins.An odd-couple relationship fuels a slow-burning but ultimately moving emotional and spiritual journey in Ramin Bahrani’s third feature. As in the well-received festival faves Man Push Cart and Chop Shop, the US director of Iranian origins unspools a story set among America’s immigrant underclass - represented in this instance by Solo, a Senegalese taxi driver in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. But this time round Bahrani’
  • Grbavica director Zbanic starts shoot for On The Path

    Bosnian filmmaker Jasmila Zbanic, winner of Berlin's Golden Bear in 2006 for her feature debut Grbavica, began shooting her second feature film On The Path in Bosnia-Herzegovina today.Featuring a cast including Leon Lucev, Zrinka Cvitesic, Sebastian Cavazza and Grbavica's lead actress Mi
  • Hancock hits Japan on 400 screens for SPRI

    Warner Bros Pictures International's The Dark Knight should cross $400m by Friday [Aug 29] to consolidate its ranking as the second biggest overseas release of the year-to-date behind Indiana Jones 4.The action crime spectacular has opened in all its major markets and looks good to finish in the $415-$420m range.Meanwhile Star Wars: The Clone Wars was
  • Hancock, 20th Century Boys knock Ponyo from perch

    Sony Pictures Entertainment's Hancock and local broadcaster NTV's 20th Century Boys have knocked Studio Ghibli's Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea down to third place after six weeks in the number one spot at the Japanese box office. Hancock earned $7.67m (Y830m) on 328 screens, including grosses from previews last weekend.The opening eclipses Will Smith's previous release, I Am Legend, which took in $5.35m on 422 screens last December. SPE is aiming
  • Hidden Fortress kicks off Korea's Chungmuro fest

    The 2nd Chungmuro International Film Festival in Seoul opened last night with some of South Korea's biggest stars in attendance and the screening of Japanese director Shinji Higuchi's Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess. Local stars that climbed the red carpet included Jang Dong-gun, Ha Ji-won and Kim Jung-eun. Asian stars in attendance with films in the festival included Japan's Chizuru Ikewaki and Hong Kong's Lau Ching-wan. Sean Penn was a last-minute cancellation after he changed
  • Hyde Park restructures, Steinbauer comes in to replace Wilson

    Ashok Amritraj has unveiled Hyde Park Entertainment Group's global expansion plans and confirmed that the Hyde Park Asia head office will open in Singapore in November while another hub will launch in the Middle East later in the year.Seeking to create 'the first global independent', Amritraj, who previously opened an office in India, announced several key hires and said he aimed to fully finance four to five features a year and partner on additional studio projects.Mimi
  • IFC picks up US rights to Danish smash Flame & Citron

    IFC Films has acquired US rights to Ole Christian Madsen's Danish box office hit Flame & Citron ahead of its screening at the Telluride Film Festival and the official international premiere at Toronto.The company will release the tale of second world war resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Denmark day-and-date in theatres and on VOD in 2009.Mads Mikkelsen and Thure Lindhardt star in the story based on the real exploits of the Holge
  • I'm Gonna Explode (Voy A Explotar)

    Dir-scr: Gerardo Naranjo. Mexico. 2008. 106mins
  • In focus - Small pond, big ripple

    The stacks of recycled business cards are piling up after nearly two years of seismic shifts in the Canadian distribution business. The faces have remained the same - almost all the key executive are still in positions of power - but the dynamics have changed.First came last year's $2.3bn sale of Alliance Atlantis Communications (AAC) to CanWest Global Communications and New York-based banking giant Goldman Sachs' investment fund, GS Capital Partners. Then came the launch of Entertainm
  • In Focus: Australia's New Holland Pictures

    New Holland Pictures launched in 2004 with the ambitious - for Australia - aim of producing three films a year.Four years on, and the company that was set up as a joint venture between leading Dutch film company Idtv Film and Australian producers Mark and Cathy Overett is proving that was no empty promise.The company's debut film, Peter Duncan's Unfinished Sky, a remake of Golden Globe-nominated Dutch film The Polish Bride, was released in Australia in June and has
  • In focus: Canadian distribution

    On the eve of the Toronto International Film Festival, Canadian distributors Alliance Films and Entertainment One (E1) are circling each other like prize fighters - but they do so on top of a shifting canvas.The unpredictable nature of the international film market and the US marketplace's tendency to lob spanners around - for example, last February's decision by Time Warner to take control of New Line Cinema's product flow - means any sudden shifts can send shockwaves through a compan
  • In Focus: D-cinema divide hangs over the digital switch

    Every period of radical change goes through an initial 'what if'' stage where enthusiasts and sceptics try to predict the future.Digital cinema has been rather longer than most in the 'what if'' foothills, partly because of lack of engagement with the issues but mainly because the technology has been out of sync with the business models.Early exponents talked of a democratisation of the industry, with digital as the long-awaited bringer of choice that would break Hollywood's str
  • In Focus: Shoreline Entertainment

    Morris Ruskin, chief of the Los Angeles-based financing, sales and production outfit Shoreline Entertainment, is expanding the business by returning to his roots.The sales agent launched the company years ago primarily as a production entity and recently he has concluded that greater focus on production will build momentum for Shoreline's two labels: the arthouse-oriented Watermark and the genre-led Riptide.'I want to increase the budgets on the Riptide titles (generally in the
  • Inju, The Beast In The Shadow

    Dir: Barbet Schroeder. France. 2008. 105mins.Oral, written and visual storytelling traditions converge in Inju, The Beast In The Shadow, a duel of wits between two successful novelists - one a media staple, the other a recluse - and the geisha girl with a connection to both men. Along with Roman Polanski’s Frantic, Barbet Schroeder’s tale of obsession and manipulation fits snugly into the niche of jetlag thrillers in which a nice foreigner gets swept up in
  • Inland (Gabbla)

    Dir: Tariq Teguia. Algeria-France. 2008. 145mins.For anyone with the strength to sit through the whole 145 minutes of this sadistically-paced cinematic reflection on the state of contemporary Algeria, there are a few small compensations: some moments of visual poetry, particularly in the final desert scenes, and a sense of disorientation and uncertainty that many Algerians are feeling in the uneasy peace that has followed the end of the 1992-2002 civil war.
  • Insurer Fireman's Fund opens new London office

    Feature film insurance company Fireman's Fund is expanding by opening a London office. The office will offer film underwriting to European production companies.Ian Mercer, an insurance executive with 20 years of experience in the UK and US, will head the new office, located on Leadenhall Street.Fireman's Fund will work with one of its parent company subsidiaries, Allianz Insurance in the UK, to provide comprehensive services to production companies and vendors
  • International - Metal crashes top 40

    The $34.3m take for The Dark Knight in 62 territories was the biggest story of the week for the international box office. Despite a prohibitive 16-rating, major successes include the $9.8m German debut on 754 screens. The Batman film now has a total of $377.6m.But Toho's Detroit Metal City was the highest new entry after a strong opening in its home territory of Japan. Toshio Lee directs the live-action comedy, based on Kiminori Wakasugi's popular manga series of the same
  • Interview: British Film Institute chairman Greg Dyke

    When Greg Dyke was appointed chairman of the British Film Institute (BFI) earlier this year, he was asked why he wanted the job. Why would the former director-general of the BBC and one of the most powerful figures of the UK media industry want to throw in his lot with the BFI'The BFI is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, but there is considerable uncertainty about its future - its annual funding of $30m (£16m) of grant-in-aid, administered by the UK Film Council (UKFC), has b
  • Interview: Kathryn Bigelow

    The Hurt Locker, which has its world premiere at Venice followed by the North American premiere in Toronto, is Kathryn Bigelow's first feature in six years and yet the director remains as relevant and absorbing as ever.Despite a bombardment of contemporary war films over the past year or so, the California-born film-maker's account of a US bomb-disposal unit in Iraq is one of the most mesmerising military stories to reach the screen in years.It is a typically visceral, in
  • Intrusions

    Dir: Emmanuel Bourdieu. 2008. Fr. 96mins.A moody psychological thriller deftly spun around blackmail and humiliation, Intrusions is taut and slyly entertaining for almost its entire running time. Co-screenwriter/director Emmanuel Bourdieu's follow-up to his delectable Poison Friends skewers the petty annoyances of maintaining appearances among the rich and powerful while exploring sexual infidelity's power to unseat reason in favour of revenge.
  • Jamie Babbit to direct Breaking The Girl for Myriad

    Principal photography is set to commence in Vancouver in November on Myriad Pictures' erotic thriller Breaking The Girl with Brittany Snow in talks to star.Jamie Babbit will direct from a story by Mark Distefano and Guinevere Turner about a young college woman's disastrous plot to kill a rival student.Myriad is representing worldwide sales and is also presenting the world premiere of Bruno Barreto's
  • Japan's TBS to stream first-run films through VoD service

    Major Japanese broadcaster Tokyo Broadcast System (TBS) will stream newly released feature films through its existing VoD service, the network announced yesterday. The service will launch on September 1 under the TBS On Demand banner. Established in November 2005, TBS' VoD service was one of the first in the territory. It offers contents both through PCs with broadband connections and 'TBS BooBo Box' set top box (STB) hardware.The first theatrical release to be streamed through the
  • Jerichow

    Dir: Christian Petzold. Germany. 2008. 93mins.
  • Joey Monteiro joins Bold Films as svp worldwide marketing

    Joey Monteiro has joined Bold Films in the newly created position of senior vice president of worldwide marketing.Monteiro will report directly to president of worldwide distribution Stephanie Denton, with whom he previously worked at Lionsgate.The new hire will oversee tomorrow’s [Sept 6] world premiere of John Stockwell’s Middle Of Nowhere starring Anton Yelchin, Eva Amurri, Willa Holland and Susan Sarandon and gets to work on
  • Jordan enters Oscars for first time with Captain Abu Raed

    The list of submissions for the Foreign Language Oscar keeps growing as Jordan officially submits Captain Abu Raed by Amin Matalqa.Jordan's independent submission committee selected the festival hit, which marks Jordan's first entry for the Oscars.H.E. Mr. Munir Nassar, chairman of the Oscar Submission Committee for Jordan, said: 'These are exciting times. The mere fact that a Jordanian film will be submitted for the first time is
  • Kabuli Kid

    Dir: Barmak Akram. France-Afghanistan. 2008. 95mins.What makes this small French-backed Afghan charmer, which premiered in Critics’ Week at Venice, more than just a heartwarming quest comedy is its grounding in the everyday chaos and strict social and religious codes of war-ravaged Kabul. Though honed by script consultant Jean-Claude Carriere, the film does not Westernise its protagonists, and the device of the baby abandoned by a woman in full burka allows it to explore
  • Karina to head Pusan's New Currents Award jury

    The 13th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) has announced its juries for the New Currents Award and Wide Angle awards. French actress Anna Karina, star of Nouvelle Vague films such as Bande à Part and Alphaville, will head the New Currents jury for Asian feature films.Other members of the jury are Italian producer Karl Baumgartner (Pola X, Monsoon Wedding), veteran Korean actress Lee Hwa-si (Ioedo, A Woman Who Chases Killer Butterfly
  • Kerala film festival announces dates, makes call for entries

    The organisers of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) have announced that this year's edition will be held December 12-19 in Trivandrum, Kerala. The festival is also calling for entries for sections including the Competition Section, which will screen films produced and co-produced in Asia, Africa and Latin America during the period September 2007-2008.Other sections include World Cinema, India Cinema Today, New Malayalam Cinema, Documentaries and Short Fiction (the la
  • Kramer promoted to president of business and legal affairs at TWC

    Andrew Kramer has been promoted to president of business and legal affairs for The Weinstein Company (TWC) and Dimension Films.Kramer will remain in the Los Angeles office and will be charged with overseeing all of TWC and Dimension Films' business and legal affairs and negotiating deals covering all aspects of the film and television businesses.He will report to Bob and Harvey Weinstein and TWC COO Lee Solomon.Prior to joining Dimension Films in 2006, Kramer
  • LA Latino Film Festival hosts Days Of Wrath, Hotel California

    Celia Fox's gang drama Days Of Wrath starring Wilmer Valderrama and Laurence Fishburne will screen in the Opera Prima Competition of the 12th Annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF), which runs from September 12-19.LALIFF co-founders Edward James Olmos and Marlene Dermer will also present the West Coast premiere of Geo Santini's revenge tale Hotel California and Rene Villareal's Mexican crime drama Cumbia Callera, while
  • L'Autre

    Dirs: Patrick Mario Bernard, Pierre Trividic. France. 2008. 97mins.This rather frosty but nevertheless intriguing study of one woman’s descent into jealousy, which premiered in competition at Venice, is one of those well-crafted exercises that plays better in the viewing than in the recall. That’s because it’s not the story - based on Annie Ernaux’s novel L’Occupation - but the telling of it that is directing duo Patrick Mario Bernard and Pierre Trividic’s real fo
  • Lee Brazier to head distribution and acquisitions at Cinescope

    Former FilmFour Creative Executive Lee Brazier has been appointed Head of Distribution and Acquisitions at new UK distribution outfit Cinescope Entertainment.He launches his wide-ranging plans with Chris Bell steroids documentary Bigger, Stronger, Faster, picked up from Laird Adamson at Magnolia Pictures.Cinescope Entertainment will also release Auteur Giuseppe Tornatore's Donatello-winning The Unknown Woman (La Sconosciuta).'I am incredibly excited to b
  • Les Plages D'Agnes

    Dir: Agnes Varda. France. 2008. 110mins.
  • Lionsgate UK:Ready to roar

    It's a fascinating opportunity,' Zygi Kamasa says of his job as head of Lionsgate UK. He has the power (and financial backing) of a major US player while also having the autonomy to run the UK operation as a separate business. No wonder Kamasa has just signed a new three-year contract with the company.'We are 100% owned by Lionsgate but they want to inspire us to be a standalone business. They want to incentivise us, within the parameters of our budgets, to be as ambitious and autonomo
  • Lisa Wilson moves from Hyde Park to Graham King's GK Films

    Lisa Wilson has segued from Hyde Park International to a new role as president of international distribution at Graham King's GK Films.Wilson will commence work spearheading the company's worldwide sales operations on September 22 and will begin talking to international buyers about the Emily Blunt costume drama The Young Victoria, among other titles. She reports directly to King. GK Films is currently in production on
  • London Film Festival to close with Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire

    The Times BFI London Film Festival will close its 52ndedition with the European premiere of London-based director Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire.The closing night gala film, which Boyle shot in Indi
  • Machan

    Dir: Uberto Pasolini. UK-Italy-Germany-Sri Lanka. 2008. 114mins.
  • Maximum takes international on Fleck and Boden's Sugar

    Maximum Films International (MFI) has picked up international sales rights on Sundance US dramatic competitor Sugar, the follow-up film from the production team behind Half Nelson. The HBO Films production screens in Toronto in Contemporary World Cinema.Written and directed by Ryan Fleck and Anne Boden and produced by Paul Mezey, Jamie Patricof and Jeremy Kipp Walker, the film stars Miguel Santos as a D
  • Maya takes US theatrical and DVD for Talento De Barrio

    Maya Entertainment has acquired the US theatrical and DVD rights to Jose Ivan Santiago's gangster drama Talento De Barrio starring reggaeton superstar Daddy Yankee.The film opens in select markets on September 19 and tells of a young man from the Puerto Rican barrios whose past catches up with him after he falls for a rich girl. Daddy Yankee recorded and produced the soundtrack.Maya's head of new business development Kevin Benson a
  • Mazur, Mitchell Kaplan option Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Society

    Nim's Island writer-producer Paula Mazur (pictured) and Miami-based bookseller Mitchell Kaplan have launched The Mazur/Kaplan Company by optioning feature rights to Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows' drama The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Society.The story takes place in the island of Guernsey in 1946 after liberation from the Nazis and recounts one woman's resistance against occupying forces.
  • MercuryMedia takes on Toronto doc Sea Point Days

    UK-based documentary film sales company Mercury Media has acquired world rights (excluding North America) to Sea Point Days.The film is set to premiere at the forthcoming Toronto International Film Festival.The feature-length documentary is directed by South African film-maker Francois Verster. The film is about a seaside public pool area in segregated Cape Town.Lucinda Englehart and Neil Brandt produced.
  • Metrodome takes on Caine, Moore thriller Flawless

    Metrodome Distribution has acquired full UK rights to Michael Radford's Flawless, starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore. The deal was negotiated by Stephen Margolis of Future Films andMark WilliamsatPierce/Williams Entertainment, and for Metrodome by CEO Peter Urie, General Manager Distribution Sara Frain and Business Affairs Manager Kate Edwards.Metrodome plans a November 2008 release.Moore plays a diamond executive who
  • Metrodome takes UK rights to Winterbottom's Genova

    Ahead of its premieres in Toronto and San Sebastian, the UK and Irish rights to Michael Winterbottom's latest film Genova have been snapped up by Metrodome Distribution.The deal was done directly with production company Revolution Films, founded by Winterbottom and his producer Andrew Eaton.The deal was negotiated between Metrodome CEO Peter Urie and General Manager Distribution Sara Frain with Revolution's Eaton.Metrodome plans an early 2009 release. THINKFilm a
  • Metrodome, Rialto team for McKellan's King Lear

    Metrodome Distribution has taken UK, Ireland and Australia/New Zealand rights to Trevor Nunn and Chris Hunt's new adaptation of King Lear, starring Ian McKellen.The stage-to-screen Royal Shakespeare Company production was recorded in high definition at Pinewood Studios.The deal was negotiated between Metrodome CEO Peter Urie, general manager distribution Sara Frain and business affairs manager Kate Edwards for Me
  • Miami Latin Gay Film Festival to launch in April 2009

    Indie PR chief Jim Dobson said today [Sept 1] the First Annual Miami Latin Gay Film Festival will run from April 16-19 2009 in Miami Beach.Dobson is festival organiser and executive director and said the competitive four-day event will coincide with Miami Gay Pride Weekend and serve as a springboard for gay Latin talent in film and music.During his six-year tenure at the Miami Gay And Lesbian Film Festival, Dobson said he has noticed 'a huge demand for Latin gay films and
  • Milk (Sut)

    Dir: Semih Kaplanoglu. Turkey-France-Germany. 2008. 111mins.Painfully slow but at the same time a resonant, elegiac coming of age story, the second installment in Turkish arthouse director Semih Kaplanoglu’s Yusuf trilogy shows him to be something of a magic-realist Terence Davies. But with its overlong shots in which almost nothing happens, this Venice competition entry represents a tough ride for audiences and, like his last film Egg (Yumurta), is likely
  • Momentum takes UK rights to Let The Right One In

    Momentum Pictures has secured all rights for the UK and Ireland to Tomas Alfredson's Swedish vampire romance Let The Right One In from sales agent Bavaria Film International.Based on the bestselling novel by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist, the crossover hit has been sold to all major territories including France (Chrysalis), Italy (Bolero Film), Spain
  • Moore leaves Aardman for Abbey Home Media

    Stephen Moore is departing Aardman Animations to become a partner and shareholder of children's programming company Abbey Home Media.UK-based Abbey Home Media works on franchises including Horrid Henry, Sesame Street, Paddington Bear and The Magic Roundabout.Moore is also a veteran of 20th Century Fox.He said: 'Since coming back to London from Los Angeles I have had a real desire to become a stakeholder in a business with the pedigree and track record of
  • New Wave takes UK rights to Denis' 35 Shot Of Rum

    New UK distributor New Wave Films has acquired Claire Denis' 35 Shots Of Rum (35 Rhums).The deal was struck with sales company Elle Driver.The film is in competition in Venice and will also screen here in Toronto.Bruno Pesery produced for Soudaine Compagnie.Denis wrote the screenplay with Jean-Pol Fargeau.Alex Descas, Mati Diop, Gregoire Colin, and Nicole Dogue star in the story of a father-dau
  • Nordic Prize nominees include Andersson, Kormakur

    Swedish director Roy Andersson's You the Living, which won Sweden's national film prize, the Guldbagga, for Best Film, Best Director and Best Script, is among the five nominees for the $70,000 Nordic Council Film Prize 2008, the largest film trophy in Scandinavia.Launched last year in Un Certain Regard at Cannes, You the Living has screened at more than 60 international film festivals and scored a dozen awards, including the Silver Hugo for Best Director in Chicago.
  • Norrie leaves Capitol to become head of international at Salt

    The Salt Company has appointed James Norrie as head of international.Norrie was previously head of sales at Capitol Films and previously worked at Icon International.Salt, recently relaunched from the previous sales incarnation Lumina Films, is part of the International Film Collective.The company's directors and founders are Samantha Horley, Robert Bevan and Cyril Megret.Salt's slate includes Rebecca Miller's The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee, starring Robin
  • North American premieres of Lake Tahoe, Desert Within at AFI FEST

    The world premiere of Danny Ledonne's Playing Columbine and the North American premieres of Margarita Jimeno's Gogol Bordello Non-Stop, Rodrigo Pla's The Desert Within and Fernando Eimbcke's Lake Tahoe are among the first 15 titles announced for the AFI FEST 2008, set to run in Los Angeles from October 30-November 9.
  • Norwegian government affirms commitment to film

    Speaking in Venice this weekend, Norwegian Minister of Culture Trond Giske has outlined the country's long-term plans to boost film production and to attract foreign movies.At a time when other Western European Governments are feeling the financial squeeze, Norway is continuing to strike a bullish note about its film policy. The oil-rich Norwegians are committed to boosting further their public investment in film.The Government has already shaken up Norwegian public film bodies,
  • Nowhere Man

    Dir: Patrice Toye. Belgium. 2008. 96mins.A middle-aged bureaucrat drops out and goes to live on an exotic island in Patrice Toye’s flawed update of Michelangelo Antonioni’s The Passenger. Marred by a script which has little interest in its characters and an unrealistic bent where things happen just because, this allegory about the existential crisis of white collar workers in the West is too slim for commercial appeal and too bland to attract arthouse distributo
  • Papamichael's From Within joins After Dark Horrorfest in Jan 2009

    After Dark Films' CEO Courtney Solomon has unveiled the fifth entry in next year's third annual After Dark Horrorfest and said the event will run from January 2-9, 2009.Phedon Papamichael's horror tale From Within joins the preliminary 8 Films To Die For line-up following its world premiere at Tribeca last April. The story centres on a bizarre series of suicides that afflicts a small town and stars Elizabeth Rice, Thomas Dekker and Adam Goldbe
  • Paper Soldier

    Dir: Alexey German Jr. Russia. 2008. 118mins.
  • Paramount Vantage picks up sales rights to Jordan's Ondine

    Paramount Vantage has boarded international sales on Neil Jordan's fantasy romance Ondine starring Colin Farrell, Stephen Rea and Alicja Bachleda and will commence pre-sales here.The film is currently shooting in Ireland and stars Farrell as a fisherman who catches a woman from the sea whom his daughter believes is a mermaid. However, as with all fairytales, enchantment and darkness often go hand-in-hand.Bachleda plays the mysterio
  • Pasolini's Redwave plans films with Taylor, Donnellan & Ormerod

    Uberto Pasolini, who unveiled Machan, his first film as director, in Venice earlier this week, has revealed further details of projects he is developing through his company Redwave Films.The Full Monty producer is riding ahead with director Alan Taylor, withwhom he worked on Palookaville and The Emperor's New Clothes
  • Paul Allen's Vulcan to make film on life of George Washington

    Paul G Allen's Vulcan Productions has signed Nicholas Meyer to write a screenplay about the life of George Washington.Nick Wechsler is attached to produce with Richard Hutton and Michael Caldwell on behalf of Vulcan.'Washington was the indispensible man, the physical embodiment of America's revolutionary ideals and identity,' Allen said. 'As we consider America's role in today's ever-changing world, understanding the man who had a pivotal role during the birth of our nati
  • Piedmont finalises $20.5m film fund

    Italy's Piedmont region, the Turin Piedmont Film Commission and LA based Endgame Entertainment have finalised terms for a$20.5m (Euros 14m) film fund.The plans were announced by Turin Piedmont Film Commission president Steve Della Casa at the Venice Film Festival.Annually, the fund will support productions by providing closing costs for qualifying commercially-viable English language projects that have 75% of their funding in place.The fund will provide 25% of a film's bu
  • Pinewood Shepperton boasts big jump in half-year profits

    The UK's Pinewood Shepperton studios has recorded a 31% year-on-year increase in half-year pre-tax profitsto $6.7m ($3.8m).Revenues rose 19% to $39.9m (£21.7m) with revenues from film up 20% to $23.8m (£13m).The studios have hosted the 007 film Quantum Of Solace and other major shoots, including Richard Curtis's The Boat That Rocked.Last year was a difficult year with the writers' strike le
  • Plastic City (Dangkou)

    Dir: Yu Lik-wai. Brazil-China-Japan. 2008. 118mins.An underdeveloped yakuza-in-Brazil storyline and a hip- hop VJ sound-and-image assault do not add up to a rounded arthouse film in Yu Lik-wai’s PlasticCity. Despite some moments of visual brilliance, this third directorial outing by Jia Zhangke’s regular cinematographer betrays the same dominance of pop-existential style over dramatic substance that marred his 2003 sci-fi trudge All Tomorrow’s Parties. Even
  • Ploning selected as Philippines entry to foreign-language Oscar

    An indie film by a first time director beat out other titles as the Philippines' entry to the best foreign-language category of the Academy Awards. Ploning emerged as the final choice by a selection committee of the Film Academy of the Philippines. The modestly budgeted pic is the initial production of Panoramanila and stars popular Filipino star Judy Ann Santos in her first major venture in an indie vehicle.Set in 1982, Santos plays the town's local beauty in the idyllic is
  • Ponyo on the Cliff By The Sea (Gake No Ue No Ponyo)

    Dir-scr: Hayao Miyazaki. Jap. 2008. 101minsVisually, it’s extraordinary; imaginatively, it’s daring. Once again Hayao Miyasaki is playing in a league of his own with Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea, a sweet, gentle, moving, and always delightful Japanese take on the classic Little Mermaid fable. Commercially, it has the power to achieve everything Miyazaki’s last feature Howl’s Moving Castle garnered in 2004 (it is already matching those figures in Jap
  • Preview: Toronto International Film Festival

    This is the strongest year we've had since I started programming Canadian films,' says Steve Gravestock, head of Canadian programming at the Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff).To see buzz films click hereTo visit Toronto special site click hereThat was five years ago. 'Not only is there a wider range of films but we're seeing devel
  • Production begins on The Butterfly Effect: Revelation

    Production has begun in Detroit on BenderSpink, FilmEngine and After Dark Films' sci-fi thriller The Butterfly Effect: Revelation.Chris Carmack stars as a young man who travels back in time to track down the killer of an old love and winds up unleashing a serial killer on an unsuspecting world. Rachel Miner also stars.Film Bridge International is handling international pre-sales and After Dark will release in US theatres in January
  • Profile: Online company mediapeers

    'We do not want to replace the Mipcoms and AFMs of this world,' says Moritz Viehweger, co-managing director of mediapeers, the new Berlin-based virtual film and TV market.'Our goal is to complement the traditional rights business with a new form of promoting and licensing film and TV programming,' he explains.Crucially, he hopes it will provide a more transparent way of doing business and will drastically lower transaction costs. 'At a market you often hear, 'Let me get back to
  • Quay Brothers shoot film about Jan Potocki

    Stephen and Timothy Quay have concluded a two-week shoot in Poland on film about Jan Potocki, a Polish aristocrat, soldier and scholar whose wide-ranging interests included ethnology, the occult and hot-air ballooning.Polish press reports the production cost $88,000 (200,000 PLN) and described the project as a 'modest, intimate production' of the Quay brothers and score composer Krzysztof Penderecki (Children Of Men, The Shining, The Exorcist).The Quays decl
  • Rachel Getting Married

    Dir: Jonathan Demme. US. 2008. 116mins.
  • Raindance to open with Choke, close with Hush

    The 16thRaindance Film Festival (Oct 1-12) in London will kick off with Clark Gregg's Choke starring Sam Rockwell and will close with the world premiere of Mark Tonderai's directorial debut, Warp X horror film Hush. Choke, adapted from Chuck Palahniuk's novel, also stars Anjelica Huston
  • Regent buys Mendoza's Serbis for US from Fortissimo

    Regent Releasing has acquired North American rights from Fortissimo Films to Filipino film-maker Brillante Mendoza's drama Serbis, which will get its North American premiere here.Serbis follows the exploits of a Filipino family that runs a dilapidated porn theatre and was the first Filipino film to play in competition in Cannes for 24 years. Regent plans to release in select cities this winter following
  • Revolver and Metrodome sign deals for Film London micro-budget features

    Film London has announced that the first two completed features produced through its Microwave micro-budget film-making scheme have secured theatrical distribution. Metrodome has acquired Eran Creevy's Shifty for the UK, Ireland and Eastern Europe (Romania, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Croatia, Slovak Republic and Slovenia). The urban thriller charts 24 hours in the life of an inner-city drug dealer.Revolver Entertainment has pi
  • Richard Eyre's The Other Man to open San Sebastian

    San Sebastian has announced that British director Richard Eyre's romantic drama The Other Man will open the festival in official selection, out of competition, and US director Rian Johnson's The Brothers Bloom will be the closing film.The Other Man is a romantic tale involving a love triangle between Antonio Banderas, Liam Neeson and Laura Linney, based on the novel Flights Of Love by German author Bernard Schlink. Eyre has already built a reputation for comp
  • Sam Taylor-Wood to direct feature about John Lennon's early years

    Sam Taylor-Wood will direct Ecosse Films' Nowhere Boy recounting the story of John Lennon's early years and his first steps towards superstardom.Taylor-Wood, riding high after the Cannes screening of her debut short Love You More, plans a March 2009 shoot on location in Liverpool. Worldwide sales agent HanWay Films will introduce the project to buyers at Toronto.The story charts the influenc
  • San Sebastian announces Films In Progress projects

    San Sebastian has announced the six titles from Chile, Mexico, Argentina and Nicaragua that will make up this year's Films In Progress section of the festival.The projects are:Carlos Serrano Azcona's Mexican drama El Arbol about a man who has to turn his life around after being prevented from seeing his wife and child and then losing his jobSantiago Loza's Artico, an Argentinian drama about a man travelling through treacherous landscapes to pay hi
  • San Sebastian selects projects for Cinema in Motion

    The San Sebastian International Film Festival has revealed the four films that will compete in the fourth edition of Cinema In Motion, which highlights key projects from the Maghreb region and developing Arabian countries.This year's selected projects are Lebanese director De Gaulle Eid's Chou Sar' (Lebanon-France-Palestine); Najwa Najjar's Pomegranates And Myrrh (Palestine); Mohamed Chrif Tribak's
  • Screen Opinion: Refining the business

    There was a bitter Breton joke back in the days when oil spillages from supertankers off the Brittany coast were a regular occurrence: 'We'd be rich if we could work out how to pick it up.' It's a thought that springs to mind during what are now unequivocally tough times for the film industry.Our equivalent of Breton oil is customer demand for entertainment. There is a seemingly insatiable appetite for amusement, at least in the developed world.Actually it's more than an appetit
  • Searchlight steps into US release of Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire

    Fox Searchlight is teaming up with Warner Bros on the upcoming Danny Boyle release Slumdog Millionaire after scheduling issues made it 'impossible' for Warner Bros to handle the release this calendar year. The film was originally acquired by the now defunct Warner Independent Pictures (WiP).Searchlight will handle marketing and distribution of the film, which is set to receive its world premiere in Toronto and will open in North America on Nov
  • Shirin

    Dir: Abbas Kiarostami. Iran. 2008. 92mins.
  • Slumdog Millionaire to closeLondon Film Festival

    Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire is to close this year's London Film Festival.It will be the European premiere of the film, which had its world premiere at Telluride, and is also due to be screened at the Toronto Film Festival.Based on the novel Q and A by Vikas Swarup, and adapted for the screen by Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty), the film is about an 18-year-old orphan from Mumbai who appears on the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
  • Sony Classics takes on Almodovar's latest Broken Embraces

    Sony Pictures Classics has picked up North American rights from El Deseo to Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces, which is in production in Madrid and the Canary Islands.Almodovar shot the four-way tale of amour-fou in the style of 1950s American film noir. Penelope Cruz stars in the story of fate and filial love alongside Lluis Homar, Angela Molina and Almodovar regulars Rossy De Palma, Kiti Manver, Chus Lampreave and Lola Duenas.Son
  • Sony rebrands French home entertainment operation

    Sony has renamed its French home entertainment operation Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, France (SPHEF), effective September 1.The division was previously called Gaumont Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment.'Our business strategy was to take advantage of the marketing clout associated with the Sony name by including it in our corporate identity,' SPHEF's managing director Pascal Faveau said.
  • Stockholm festival to close with Luhrmann's Australia

    Stockholm International Film Festival (Nov 20-30) has announced that Baz Luhrmann's epic Australia will close its 19thfestival.The romantic drama stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman in the WWII-era s
  • Strand takes US rights to Terence Davies' Of Time And The City

    Strand Releasing has picked up US rights from Hanway Films to Terence Davies' Of Time And The City.The Hurricane Films production premiered at Cannes and receives its North American premiere here on Sunday [Sept 7]. Davies narrates a deeply personal tribute to his home town and uses archival footage and poetry.Strand co-president Jon Gerrans negotiated the deal with Hanway's Thorsten Schumacher. Liverpool-based Sol Papadopoulos and
  • Taiwan selects Cape No. 7 as foreign-language Oscar entry

    Wei Te-sheng's Cape No. 7 has received official notice that it is Taiwan's submission in the category of best foreign-language film at the upcoming Academy Awards. The character comedy and love story, set on Taiwan's southern coast, revolves around the forming of a local warm-up band to support a touring Japanese musician. It opened the Taipei Film Festival in June where it took the jury's top prize and audience award.Cape No. 7 has a stron
  • Takita's Okurbito wins top competition prize at Montreal

    The Montreal World Film Festival wrapped on Monday with Japanese filmmaker Yojiro Takita's Okurbito (Departures) winning the top competition prize, the Grand Prix of The Americas. Canadian documentary filmmaker Benoit Pilon won three prizes for his dramatic debut, The Necessitites Of Life, earning a Special Grand Prix of the Jury as well as two major audience prizes
  • Teza

    Dir-scr: Haile Gerima. Ethiopia-Germany-France. 2008. 140mins.Haile Gerima ambitiously attempts to put his native country’s tragic recent history into context in the sprawling Teza, which follows an Ethiopian intellectual through exile in Germany and return to his home village during the turbulent early years of the Marxist regime. Taking place over three decades, this may be modestly-budgeted but it is also handsome, intelligent and watchable. Teza is an o
  • The Burning Plain

    Dir: Guillermo Arriaga. USA. 2008. 105 mins.His much-publicised falling out with director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu seems to have done Guillermo Arriaga the world of good. The Burning Plain, which the Mexican writer directed from his own script, is a powerful contemporary melodrama, more restrained but also much cleaner, in dramatic focus and emotional thrust, than the three films Arriaga penned for Inarritu (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel). Sure, h
  • The Duchess

    Dir: Saul Dibb. UK. 2008. 110mins.
  • The Film Source acquires horror movie Dark Night

    The Film Source has boarded worldwide rights to British film-maker Daniel Grant's Dark Night for its Horror Films Collection.Grant's Spiffing Films produced the story about a group of hedonistic partygoers who encounter monsters and other evil forces during a night of partying. Newcomers Belinda Fenty, Chris Grezo and Adriana Maestranzi star.'Dark Night is the third new horror film we have acq
  • The Sky Crawlers

    Dir: Mamoru Oshii. Japan. 2008. 122mins.Mamoru Oshii’s most meditative feature-length animation to date tells the story of a group of genetically modified eternally-young fighter aces in a world where war has become a company-sponsored reality game. Like the Peter-Pan ‘Kildren’ that it depicts, The Sky Crawlers acts more grown up than it really is, dragging out what is essentially a barracks love story with endless meaningful glances, cigarette pauses and sudden g
  • There Will Be Blood takes Fipresci Grand Prix

    US director Paul Thomas Anderson has been awarded the Fipresci Grand Prix for his film There Will Be Blood.The award for best film of the year, which is given by the international federation of film critics, will be collected by Anderson in person at the San Sebastian Film Festival's opening gala in the Kursaal Auditorium on Sept 18.'The choice was extremely clear for the 242 members of the International Federation of Film Critics who voted, considering Paul Thom
  • Thessaloniki International Film Festival to honour Youssef Chahine

    An homage to a legendary figure of Arab cinema, Youssef Chahine, will be the centerpiece of a tribute to the cinema of Middle East organised by the Thessaloniki International Film Festival in November.The festival will screen the Egyptian master's classic film Alexandria Why' (Iskanderija ... lih') along with other recent films from directors from Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Yemen and Cyprus.Chahine, who passed away last July, was born in Alex
  • Three Australians give their blessing to Ana Kokkinos film

    Blessed, the new film by Australian director Ana Kokkinos (Head On), has secured a trio of fine Australian actresses in Frances O'Connor (Artificial Intelligence: AI, Mansfield Park), Miranda Otto (Lord Of The Rings) and Deborra-Lee Furness (Jindabyne), as well as Russian-born Victoria Haralabidou (Brides).The multi-narrative drama is about mothers and children but its first half focuses on the misadventures of the young characters as th
  • Tokyo Project Gathering unveils line-up of 34 projects

    The organisers of the fourth Tokyo Project Gathering (TPG) have unveiled the 34 projects that will take part in this year's edition (Oct 21-24). Organised by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Japan Institute of Development and Promotion for Picture, and UniJapan, the financing and co-production market will take place at Tokyo's Roppongi Hills complex at the same time as the TIFFCOM contents market (Oct 22-24) and the Tokyo International Film Festival (Oct 18-26).
  • Top hits: Today's most read articles on ScreenDaily

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  • Toronto International Film Festival news and reviews

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    Gala PresentationsBurn After Reading (Joel and Ethan Coen)Dean Spanley (Toa Fraser)The Duchess (Saul Dibb)Fifty Dead Men Walking
  • Toronto: The Buzz Films

    THE BUZZ FILMSGALA PRESENTATIONSDean Spanley (UK-NZ)Dir: Toa FraserThe story: Based on Lord Dunsany's novel My Talks With Dean Spanley, this charts the relationship between a stiff Englishman and his son.The cast: Peter O'Toole plays opposite Jeremy Northam as his son and Sam Neill as an eccentric dean.The buzz: A co-production between New Zealand's Gene
  • UK directors group signs agreement with trade union

    Therecently-formed Directors UKhave signed an agreement with 27,000 strong media workers trade union BECTU.The deal acknowledges each others rights to represent their members interests in negotiations with employers and agrees to areas of mutual support.Directors UK, formed in June, has 3,500 members in broadcasting and film.Chair of the group Charles Sturridge said: 'It is a matter of great personal satisfaction that at this moment of both challenge and opportunity in ou
  • UK Film Council awards distribution support to 13 films

    The UK Film Council's Prints and Advertising Fund has announced funding to support the distribution of 13 films. The P&A funding is aimed at promoting art-house, foreign and classic films to give audiences more choice.Revolver Films received $312,314 (£170,000) for The Wackness, Jonathan Levine's offbeat drama starring Ben Kingsley.The funding has doubled screen numbers from 50 to 100, with additional 35mm prints and digital copies, a
  • UK leads the pack for European Film Awards shortlist

    The European Film Academy has announced the 44 titles on this year's selection list for the European Film Awards. Nominations, after votes from 1,800 members, will be announced Nov 8 at the Seville European Film Festival and the 21st EFAs will be presented Dec 6 in Copenhagen.The list represents 27 countries; the 20 countries with the most EFA members each voted one national film directly onto the list and a selection committee added further films. UK films fared well this year wi
  • UK's Metrodome continues restructure after Media Pro takeover

    UK distributor Metrodome continues to restructure staff following Media Pro's acquisition of a 61.4% share in the company.James Brown takes on the newly created role of head of acquisitions, where he will work alongside Kate Edwards, who has been promoted and will be running the business affairs department. Brown formerly headed up acquisitions for Tartan Films, following previous positions with The Works and Celsius.Heike Wolkerstorfer, also formerly of Tartan Films, joi
  • UPI France cranks up, hires Lorenzi, Rethore and Peyre

    Universal Pictures International France has named several key hires as it expands the studio's presence in the territory. Stephane Huard, managing director Universal Pictures International France made the announcement Thursday.Jean-Michel Lorenzi will be UPI France's sales director while Stephane Rethore has joined as marketing director and Myriam Peyre is moving over from UPI in London to work as technical director.In a press release, Huard said, 'These appointments repr
  • UPI opens Mamma Mia! in South Korea as gross nears $275m

    A trio of high profile Universal films are shaping up for another strong weekend as Mamma Mia! opens in six territories through UPI including South Korea on September 4.The musical adaptation has amassed $263.5m so far and should surge towards the $275m mark over the next week.The action adventure Wanted on $139.8m opens in four including Germany and German-speaking Switzerland on September
  • Urman leaves troubled THINKFilm to head up Senator in US

    Mark Urman is leaving beleaguered THINKFilm to start work as president of Marco Weber's Senator Entertainment on October 1.The development follows Weber's recent acquisition of all shares in US-based company Senator Entertainment and his severing of ties with former German-based parent company Senator Entertainment AG.Meanwhile Urman's departure from THINKFilm casts serious doubt over the future of the East Coast arthouse distributor and sales company he co-founded in 200
  • US Che sale expected alongside Venice deals for upbeat Wild Bunch

    During a torpid start to this year's Mostra, some industry figures have been questioning the expense and inconvenience of Venice, but French powerhouse Wild Bunch has given the festival a ringing endorsement. The company is in the process of closing a deal with Italian distributor Lucky Red for its new Hayao Miyazaki film, Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea (a premiere in Venice this year.)And a long-awaitedUS deal for the Steven Soderberg
  • Vadim Perelman to direct MGM's relaunch of Poltergeist

    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) has signed Vadim Perelman to direct its forthcoming relaunch of the Poltergeist franchise.Perelman previously directed House Of Sand And Fog and The Life Before Her Eyes and is currently working on AMC drama pilot Ice.Cale Boyter, Executive Vice President, Production and Luke Ryan, Vic
  • Valentino: The Last Emperor

    Dir: Matt Tyrnauer. US. 2008. 97mins.
  • Vegas: Based On A True Story

    Dir: Amir Naderi. US. 2008. 102mins.Vegas: Based on a True Story feels like Vegas: A Shooting Experiment. Iranian director Amir Naderi - living in the US for the last 20 years - has wrapped an interesting story in a drab,DV format, framed mostly in long and medium-shots. He does his actors no favours, although there are good performances here. Once - and if - the viewer gets past the film’s deliberately ugly feel, there’s a pretty powerful story in Vegas
  • Venice eyes slightly later start for 2009 festival

    The Venice film festival may start slightly later for its 2009edition. While not officially announced, Biennale president Paolo Baratta and artistic directorMarco Mueller told foreign journalists over lunch that next year's schedule might shift slightly.Venice could potentially kick off Weds., Sept 2, 2009.Venice traditionally opens the Wednesday after the last Tuesday in
  • Venice Film Festival reviews

    Click to see full reviewCompetitionAchilles And The Tortoise (Takeshi Kitano)L'Autre (Patrick Mario Bernard, Pierre Trividic)Birdwatchers(Marco Bechis)The Burning Plain
  • Venice off to a strong start

    The 65th Venice Film Festival kicked off Wednesday night with a warm reception for the Coen Brothers' dark comedy Burn After Reading.To see day one report click hereTo see buzz films click hereThe out-of-competition film assured a star-studded opening night for Venice with principal cast George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton and
  • Vinyan

    Dir: Fabrice Du Welz. 2007. France-UK-Belgium. 97mins.
  • Warner's The Dark Knight crosses $500m at domestic box office

    Summer fizzled out as the Labor Day weekend saw Warner Bros' The Dark Knight finally cross $500m at the domestic box office in its seventh weekend in release.DreamWorks-Paramount's comedy Tropic Thunder stayed atop the charts despite a concerted challenge from the sci-fi adventure Babylon AD.Tropic Thunder adde
  • Warp X, Birds Eye View team for women's comedy features

    Warp X and Birds Eye View are working together on a new feature film development initiative, Last Laugh: Women Create Comedy.The programme will champion female comedy talent working in the UK and bring female-led comedy features to the big screen.
  • Wild Bunch Holland plans take shape

    Former-A Film boss Pim Hermeling has revealed details of the distribution operation he is setting up in the Netherlands with Wild Bunch.Speaking in Venice, he said the new venture marked the latest step in Wild Bunch's long march toward setting up a pan-European distribution network and follows on from alliances already struck include Bim inItaly and Senator in Germany.The company - which is yet to be named officially but is likely to be called 'Wild Bunch Holland' - has a
  • Z32

    Dir: Avi Mograbi. Israel-France. 2008. 81mins.Avi Mograbi’s documentary essay takes the themes of Cannes hitWaltz With Bashir one step further and explores the guilt that many Israelis face every day of their lives. Mograbi films a young soldier who takes full responsibility for the war crimes he has committed but expects to be forgiven. Less visually spectacular than Bashir but just as powerful and painful, this unconventional picture is perfect fest
  • Zurich Film Festival to honour Costa-Gavras

    The Zurich Film Festival will presents it Golden Eye Award to film-maker Constantin Costa-Gavras in recognition of his career as a director, writer and producer.ZFF director Karl Spoerri announce the tribute. Paris-based, Greek-born Costa-Gavras will attend the award ceremony on Oct 4 and the festival will also host a retrospective on Oct 5.He will also participate in a festival masterclass to discuss past works including Z,

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