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5 December 2002

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  • Academy slays Warrior's Oscar ambitions

    The Warrior producer Bertrand Faivre has expressed his frustration at the American Academy's decision to bar the acclaimed production from competing as the UK entry for the foreign language Oscars.The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences said this week its committee members voted against The Warrior because Hindi was not a language indigenous to the UK and the film was not about the Hindu community in the UK.But such an explanation was dismissed by Faivre, who
  • Anomalies delay foreign language Oscar announcement

    The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has delayed naming its list of official entries for the 2003 foreign language Oscar category in order to clear up anomalies over submissions from Afghanistan, Palestine, Hong Kong and the UK. The list was expected to go up on the Academy's official site earlier this week but was held back while members of the foreign language committee debated crucial eligibility issues of language and nation status. The list is now likely to go up on Dec 2
  • Argentinian production levels leap 50% - despite economic crisis

    Argentina is producing an astonishing number of films, despite the country experiencing the worst economic crisis in its history. According to Bernardo Bergeret, marketing director of Argentinian film institute (INCAA), so far there have been 156 feature films in various phases of production this year, 50% more than in 2001. Ironically, the production glut can partly be explained by the country's severe economic downturn. Earlier this year Argentina's five year recession came to
  • Asian film libraries prepare to reveal hidden treasures

    Two years after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the jury is still out on whether the film created a huge, global market for Chinese-language film. However, several Asian companies are still working on the assumption that the film's international box office success managed to kick down numerous doors, and not just for new productions. On December 5, Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures will release the first batch of digitally re-mastered titles from the 760-title Shaw Broth
  • Bangkok Int'l film festival announces line-up and new competition

    The 2003 Bangkok International Film Festival (BKKIFF) has announced a line-up of more than 70 films from more than 35 countries and a new award, the Golden Kinnaree. In addition, event organisers said yesterday (Dec 2) that there would be five world premieres and 15 Asian premieres. Gangs of New York, Hero, Chicago and David Cronenberg's harrowing mental illness drama, Spider, have already been confirmed for the event, which runs from Jan 10 - 21, 2003 and opens wi
  • Bond regains control of the UK box office

  • Bond regains control of the UK box office

    Die Another Day, 20th Century Fox's James Bond film, triumphed at the UK box office this weekend dropping off just 22% from its launch weekend and stealing the top spot from Warner Bros' Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets. The Bond title claimed $8.3m (£5.4m) from 431 sites over the weekend, bringing its 12-day total gross to $28.1m (£18.1m).Dropping into second Chamber Of Secrets fell 36% from the previous week with $7.2m (£4.7m) at 524 locatio
  • Cannes discoveries head Delluc shortlist

    Shortlisted for the Prix Louis Delluc are three Cannes films L'Adversaire, La Chatte A Deux Tetes and documentary Etre Et Avoir. But there is no place for France's Oscar hopeful 8 Femmes.A jury of critics and film personalities announced their candidates for this year's Louis Delluc prize late last week. The award, which will be handed out on December 11 at Paris' Fouquet's restaurant, is one of France's highest honours for film.On this year's shortlist are: Cannes
  • Central Asian films to be focus of Trieste festival

    Films from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan will be showcased at this year's Trieste Film Festival - Alpe Adria Cinema (January 16-23, 2003) which has become an important meeting place for cinema from Central and Eastern Europe since its launch in 1988.The festival's 'Cinema of the Silk Road' showcase is part of a biennial project dedicated to cinema of the Central Asian republics and will be continued in 2004 with films from Turkmenistan and Tajikistan as well as a retrospective
  • CGI-heavy fantasy Sumuru wraps in South Africa

    Production has just wrapped on Sumuru, a fantasy boasting the highest use of CGI ever for a feature produced in South Africa, which has been shooting for the past six weeks in and around Johannesburg. The film is produced by Brigid Olen and Marlow De Mardt of DO Productions, Harry Alan Towers of Towers of London and Germany's Framewerk. Directed by Darrell James Roodt, Sumuru is loosely adapted from a character made famous by author Sax Rohmer, the creator of Fu Manchu
  • Cinema City complex opens in Israel, despite troubles

    A new state-of-the-art 21-screen multiplex, Cinema City, opens on the outskirts of Tel Aviv today, while plans are revealed for what could be the world's largest cinema, a 34-screen megaplex in Lisbon.Cinema City, which is the largest complex in the Middle East, boasts Sony's SDDS sound system in every screen, and it includes one CINEMAXX theatre, as well as one dynamix and one Imagic cinema, both built with the assistance of Israeli simulator specialists Ashrad.Constructed by
  • CineMart unveils 2003 projects

    The CineMart project market (Jan 26-30) held under the umbrella of the Rotterdam film festival, unveiled what its organisers claimed is one of its strongest ever line-ups. "We had a terribly difficult time making the final selection," said Ido Abram, Cinemart chief. "That was because we had more projects thatn ever submitted and more good ones. We had to lose a lot of our favourites."The selection presents a geographically varied line-up of film projects by acclaimed directors,
  • Das Werk jettisons Swiss, Spanish assets

    Just aweek after Das Werk's German post-production divisions filed forinsolvency (ScreenDaily, Nov 26), the group has now sold off interests inSpain and Switzerland as part of its programme of restructuring andstreamlining operations.DasWerk has sold its stake in the Barcelona-based film laboratory Image Fil
  • Deathwatch

    Dir: Michael J Bassett. UK. 2002. 95 mins.The old maxim that war is hell gets dusted down yet again for Deathwatch, a horror film set in the trenches of World War I which will attract attention as Jamie Bell's first role since his applauded and awarded performance in Billy Elliott two years ago. Technically polished but cursed with a thoroughly formulaic script and thinly drawn characters unworthy of a cast of this calibre, the film is likely to meet a cool rece
  • Deepa Mehta named CineAsia director of the year

    Indo-Canadian filmmakerDeepa Mehta will be named 'Director of the Year' at this year'sCineAsia exhibition convention. The presentation will made at the event'sopening night December 3 to be followed by a screening of her latest film, Bollywood/Hollywood, a comedic amalgam of Bollywood romance andHollywood musical.Set in Toronto, the filmfeatures Bollywood songs, Hollywood choreography, a Hollywood plot and aBollywood morality play and stars Indian actor Rahu
  • Denmark's Zentropa returns to quality porn

    Denmark's mavericks at Zentropa are about to revive their ambitions of making quality porn for women. The new $135,000 (DKK1m) film, All About Anna will, however, be produced through Innocent Pictures, which replaced Zentropa's Puzzy Power label in 2001. Now headed by CEO Claus Sorensen and creative producer Nicolas Barbano, Innocent Pictures has so far been in charge of selling Zentropa's first attempts into hardcore adult film production, Constance (1998), Pin
  • Dublin to get new international film festival

    With the slogan 'DIFF - it's different' the formation of Ireland's new Dublin International Film Festival (DIFF) has been announced. The first edition is set to take place from March 6 to 13 2003 at the Screen and Savoy cinemas in Dublin. According to festival Director Michael Dwyer the DIFF will be 'a non-competitive event, focused on the already sizeable and growing audience for cinema in Dublin and modelled on Toronto, where I loved 25 of the 28 films I saw there in a week!'I
  • Eight Crazy Nights

    Dir: Seth Kearsley. US 2002. 71 minutesAdam Sandler has been extending his acting range recently but Eight Crazy Nights, an animated film in which he voices most of the key characters, is not likely to be confused with Punch Drunk Love. Comedies are always a tough sell abroad and Sandler has never travelled well. This holiday-themed musical, which he also co-wrote and co-produced, isn't likely to reverse the trend. In fact, not even state-side boxoffice looks promi
  • Fantasporto film festival unveils competition titles

    Spike Jonze's Adaptation and Plots With A View by Nick Hurran are to be the opening and closing films of Portugal's Oporto film festivalThe 23rd edition of Fantasporto will be held between February 21 and March, 1 and will include a homage to Stephen King film adaptations and to the New Zealand cinema and the new Austrian cinemaThe Fantasy competitive section will include: Elysium - Jae Woong Kwon (Kor)Undead - Spierig Brothers (Australia)
  • Focus lures ex-Miramax marketing chief Brooks

    David Brooks,the former executive vice president and co-head of marketing at Miramax Films,has joined Focus Features as its president of marketing. Brooks will be based in New York, where he will be responsiblefor overseeing the company's worldwide marketing activities as Universal'sspecialty arm. His appointment is effective immediately.Announcing themove, Focus co-presidents David Linde and James Schamus said in a statement: 'Davidhas an e
  • Foreign Language Oscar submissions

    National submissions for Best Foreign Language OscarClick on the underlined titles to read the Screen International reviewAfghanistan FireDancer- Jawed WasselAlgeria Rachida - Yamina Bachir-Chouikh Argentina Kamchatka - Marcelo PineyroAustria Gebirtig (Gebuertig)- Lukas Stepanik and Robert SchindelBanglades
  • Fox takes $31.6m over weekend from 19 countries with Die Another Day

    Fox International's Die Another Day continued its record-breaking worldwide march over the weekend with a phenomenal $31.6m haul from 19 markets. After 13 days on release the twentieth James Bond instalment has grossed a powerful $65.4m internationally and $100.6m in the US for a $165.9m worldwide tally. In Germany it opened top of the charts with $8.9m from 871 theatres - beating 1995's GoldenEye for the best Bond bow ever in the territory and relegating Harry Potter And The
  • German Culture Minister hands out industry awards

    Two Munich-based distributors Prokino Filmverleih and Movienet Film and Berlin distribution outfit Piffl Medien have each received the 2002 Distributor Award worth Euros 100,000.The awards were presented to the three companies at a special ceremony on last week by Germany's new State Minister of Culture Christina Weiss in recognition of "special achievements in the circulation of artistically outstanding films'. The prize-money is to be spent on the release primarily of quality German
  • German pay-TV platform passes historic subscriber mark

    The number of subscribers at German pay-TV platform Premiere has passed the 2.5 million mark for the first time in the channel's 11-year history.At the end of November, the platform had 2.53 million subscribers on its books, 85,000 more than at the end of the third quarter on September 30. Premiere was particularly successful in attracting new subscriptions in November with a net increase of 50,000 subscribers, compared to only 7,000 in November 2001.'The November figures are pr
  • Germany named Europe's fastest-growing DVD market

    Germany is set to become the fastest growing DVD market in Europe, according to new data collected by the national DVD trade body.In the light of the current DVD boom, DVD-Arbeitsgemeinschaft (DVD-AG) has had to revise its forecast of the number of DVD players in German households at the end of 2002 for the second time this year: In April, the organisation raised the predicted total from 5 million to 5.2 million, but subsequent market developments and expectations from hardware
  • Germany's Senator reports massive net loss

    Senator Entertaiment has posted a net loss of Euros 59.5m for the first nine months of 2002 - a massive reversal compared with last year's Euros6.9m net profit The company also announced the reduction of its management board by one member as part of its cost-cutting and restructuring programme.The quarterly report explained that the net loss was largely a result of Euros 95m depreciation on intangible and other assets, including Euros 31m due to the disappointing US box-office
  • Germany's Tobis breaks away from StudioCanal

    The future for German distributor Tobis has become much clearer after a management buyout (MBO) by shareholders Kilian Rebentrost and Pathe.The MBO has seen the duo acquire StudioCanal's 60% majority holding in the Berlin-based company. They have also taken over the activities of its local production arm StudioCanal Produktion, which has been a partner on Paul Harather's Adam & Eva, Winfried Bonengel's Fuehrer Ex and is currently co-producing Jan Schuette's Supe
  • Harry and 007 clean up over Thanksgiving

    Several tried but ultimatelyno newcomer could topple the might of Harry Potter And The Chamber OfSecrets and Die Another Day, which combined for a one-two ranking over thethree-day portion of a solid Thanksgiving Weekend and switched positions overthe full five-day holiday. According to studio estimates released today, ChamberOf Secrets took $32.2m in its thirdweekend for a $200.2m total score. The Warner Bros picture became the sixth ofthe year to pas
  • Hero under the hammer

    In an unusual move, Chinese video rights to Zhang Yimou's widely-anticipated martial arts epic Hero were sold at an auction last week in Beijing, where they fetched a record-breaking $2.15m (RMB17.8m).Around 18 companies paid a deposit of $36,000 (RMB300,000) to join the bidding, which started at $965,000 (RMB8m). The film finally went to a consortium of three Guangdong distributors - TCL Culture Development Co, Guangdong Face Audio and Video Production Co and Guangdong Wei Kai
  • James Bond: international hit man

    Fox International's Die Another Day continued its record-breaking worldwide march over the weekend with a phenomenal $31.6m haul from 19 markets. After 13 days on release the twentieth James Bond instalment has grossed a powerful $65.4m internationally and $100.6m in the US for a $165.9m worldwide tally. In Germany it opened top of the charts with $8.9m from 871 theatres - beating 1995's GoldenEye for the best Bond bow ever in the territory and relegating Harry Potter And The
  • James Bond: International hit man

    International distributor 20th Century Fox enjoyed another massive weekend for Die Another Day in its second week, taking an estimated $29m. The film's international cumulative score now stands at over $63m.The James Bond title opened in multiple territories over the weekend, once again scoring the biggest opening for the franchise in every territory and suggesting it is well placed to become the highest grossing of the secret agent's adventures internationally.The major
  • Karlovy Vary festival shows interest in buying hotel venue

    The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is reportedly interested in buying the Czech festival's main venue, the Western Bohemian spa town's communist-era Hotel Thermal.Built in the 1970s as a retreat for Party elites, the imposing socialist edifice has hosted the festival's administrative centre, along with the largest film screenings, for years. Thirteen years after the fall of the Communist regime in Prague, the Czech government is finally considering selling it.Festival
  • Kirch manager Kogel to step down

    Ahead of the sale of the insolvent KirchMedia to German publishing empire Heinrich Bauer Verlag by mid-December, managing director Fred Kogel announced at the weekend that he will leave the company at the end of the year.Speaking to the news agency AP, Kogel explained that 'after I have completed the most important negotiations with all of the license partners by Christmas, I will dedicate myself to new activities in the coming year.'He indicated that he would serve in a advisor
  • Koelmels miss Kinowelt payment deadline, but get extension

    The Koelmel brothers' bid to take over their former company is set to drag on for yet another week after they missed the November 27 deadline for the transfer of the Euros 32m purchase price.On November 22, insolvency administrator Wolfgang Ott said that "if the confirmation by the Sparkasse Leipzig is not provided in the desired form and within the set deadline, I will make use of the agreed right of withdrawal. We owe it to our business partners and staff after the considerable turb
  • Lanzarote wraps busiest-ever film screenings event

    The Spanish Film Screenings of Lanzarote closed its busiest-ever, fourth annual edition on Saturday night after three full days attended by almost 90 buyers from around the world. Spanish participants said the invitation of Latin American buyers was the most significant new addition to the event this year, with fourteen companies from five different countries in the region attending. Certainly the biggest deals closed were to Latin America. Eastern European television stations were act
  • Lilja 4-Ever scoops Gijon top prize

    Lukas Moodysson's Lilja 4-Ever walked away the top winner from Spain's 40th annual edition of the Gijon International Film Festival (Nov 21-29).Lilja took home the best film and best actress (Oksana Akinshina) awards as well as the young jury prize for best film. Iain Dilthey took home a best director prize for Das Verlangen.Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love won prizes for best script and best actor (Adam Sandler). Daniel Bradford picked up a be
  • National Board Of Review chimes with The Hours

    In the first barometer of the North American awards season, the National Board of Review (NBR) announced its 2002 winners today (Dec 4), with Stephen Daldry's star-studded drama The Hours taking 2002 Best Film Of The Year. The results were a triumph for Miramax Films which co-financed The Hours and had five of the other top five films of the year.Other significant winners include Campbell Scott as best actor for Artisan Entertainment's comedy-drama Roger Dodger, Julianne
  • Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan board new Irish Directors' Guild

    Following a year's preparatory work and international research the formal setting up of the Screen Directors' Guild of Ireland (SDGI) has been announced. Following a Founder Members' meeting held at the end of November, an eight strong board - each the director of at least one feature film - was approved. The board comprises: Lance Daly, Martin Duffy, Margo Harkin, Neil Jordan, Mark Kilroy, Trish McAdam, Pat Murphy, and Jim Sheridan.SDGI is the first representative body for film
  • New chief appointed at Hamburg Film Festival

    Albert Wiederspiel has been appointed successor to Josef Wutz as head of Filmfest Hamburg and will take up his new post from January 1, 2003.With over 17 years experience in the international film industry for such companies as 20th Century Fox, PolyGram/Universal Pictures and most recently as head of distribution at Tobis StudioCanal, Wiederspiel has an extensive network of contacts to production companies, distributors and other festivals.The change at the top has been accompa
  • New Zealand promotes itself as giant film studio

    The Studio New Zealand brand partnership, which promotes the notion that the whole country can be a film studio, was launched today in Wellington. At the event, 11 of the country's local government authorities and regional film offices were presented with certificates confirming that they were meeting the terms of the new Local Government Filming Protocol.The gathering was another indication of how hard NZ is working to encourage offshore production on the back of the publicity
  • Phillip Noyce returns to Australia for Dirt Music

    Expatriate Australian Phillip Noyce is planning to do more filmmaking in his home country. Two years after returning from Hollywood to make Rabbit-Proof Fence, Noyce has put together a team to adapt the novel Dirt Music by Tim Winton, with a possible starring role for Nicole Kidman. According to local press reports, Noyce is quoted as saying "She loves the book; it's a perfect role for Nicole, and I'm developing it with that in mind."Noyce's Rumbalara Films,
  • Portugal's national film institute appoints new president

    Portugal's National Film Institute ICAM has appointed a new president in the midst of an industry-wide controversy concerning the funding body's outstanding debts.Elisio Cabral de Oliveira was appointed to replace long-time ICAM president Pedro Berhan da Costa, who resigned late last month amid multiple back-and-forth accusations of incompetence with the country's Ministry of Culture.But a lobbying group calling itself the "Platform for the Creation of an Audiovisual Industry" a
  • Potter and 007 clean up at Thanksgiving box office

    Several tried but ultimately no newcomer could topple the might of Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets and Die Another Day, which combined for a one-two ranking over the three-day portion of a solid Thanksgiving Weekend and switched positions over the full five-day holiday. According to studio estimates released today (Sunday), Chamber Of Secrets took $32.2m in its third weekend for a $200.2m cumulative score. The Warner Bros picture became the sixth of the year to pa
  • Reynolds, Suchet star in Foolproof for Alliance Atlantis

    Ryan Reynolds and David Suchet are to star in William Phillip's thriller Foolproof, which has started principal photography in Toronto for Alliance Atlantis and Atom Egoyan's EGO FILM ARTS. Reynolds, whose credits include National Lampoon's Van Wilder and upcoming The Wedding Party, will play a theoretical heist mastermind who is blackmailed and forced to carry out an actual bank robbery by a ruthless gangster, played by Suchet, the UK actor famous for playing Hercules Po
  • Signature Theatres' Harris named 2003 ShoWester

    Philip Harris III, the founder of Signature Theatres and current vice chair of the finance committee at the National Association Of Theatre Owners (NATO), is to be named ShoWester of the Year at next year's ShoWest convention in Las Vegas running March 3 to 6."Phil Harris has quickly emerged as one of the brightest and most respected exhibitors in the country," said Robert Sunshine, vice president of the VNU Expositions Film Group/Sunshine Group Worldwide, in a statement. "The rapid an
  • Sinisa Dragin wins top prize at Belgrade

    Bertrand Tavernier's Safe Conduct (Laissez-Passer) closed the ninth Belgrade International Festival of Auteur Films on Saturday night. The Rotterdam Tiger Award winner, Romanian Sinisa Dragin's Everyday God Kisses Us On The Mouth (In Fiecare Zi Dumnezeu Ne Saruta Pe Gura) won the main award, the 'Aleksandar Sasa Petrovic' plaque. The film's cinematographer Aleksandar Solomon also won the camera award. The festival opener Mike Leigh's All Or Nothing took the press a
  • Spain to introduce measures to protect local market

    The Spanish Film Institute (ICAA) plans to prohibit distributors from giving theatrical premieres to any non-EU film which has not previously premiered in its home country. This measure, intended to filter out mostly US made-for-TV and video product, could go into effect within the next month, according to ICAA director Jose Maria Otero. It forms part of a package of new measures to improve the performance of Spanish films in their domestic market. The ICAA also plans to
  • Spain's digital TV merger is finally approved

    The Spanish government has approved a merger between the country's two leading digital satellite TV operators Canal Satelite Digital (CSD) and Via Digital. The government regulator placed some 34 conditions on the merger. More than a dozen of these concern rights to cinema content and thematic channels. Ten further conditions concern rights to football coverage.According to the terms of the merger deal which was announced in principle in May, Via Digital-backer Telefonica will b
  • SPE notches up the biggest studio gross record

    Sony PicturesEntertainment (SPE) has broken the industry's all-time record forworldwide box office receipts in a calendar year with $2.75bn in sales, thestudio said today (Dec 2). The performance beats the previous mark of $2.68bnset by 20th Century Fox in 1998, when that studio distributed Titanic internationally.In a statementissued today SPE chairman John Calley praised the ìphenomenaleffortsî of studio staff and collaborative film-makers. Buoyed by theworldwide suc
  • Submissions from 54 countries named eligible for foreign Oscar

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has posted its list of submissions for the Foreign Language Film Award category after eligibility concerns forced committee members to delay publication by one week. While the 54-strong list - a record number of submissions that beats last year's mark by three - includes for the first time an entry from Afghanistan in the form of Jawed Wassel's FireDancer, it is also distinguished by its omissions.The UK's original Hindi-language e
  • Sundance announces 2003 Premieres, World Cinema titles

    Sundance 2003'sstar-studded festival programme will officially open in Salt Lake City on Jan16th with Levity, thedirectorial debut of Hollywood screenwriter Ed Solomon that headlines Billy BobThornton as a released murderer on the road to redemption. The festival endsten days later.Other highlights in thePremiere section, which was announced yesterday alongside the programme forboth the World Cinema and the newly-introduced World Documentary sections,include Ke
  • Sundance unveils 'challenging' 2003 selections

    Sundance Film Festivalprogramming director Geoffrey Gilmore promised next year's influentialevent would feature "among the most provocative and challenging films wehave ever seen at the festival" even in the face of all the commercial hardships that independent filmmakers are currently confrontingUnveiling the Dramatic andDocumentary Competitions, as well as the films that comprise the AmericanSpectrum and American Showcase sidebars, Gilmore acknowledged that the funding crisis affecti
  • Svensk Filmindustri gets first look on Early Bird output

    Nordic media major Svensk Filmindustri has signed a first look deal with the Danish-Swedish production outfit Early Bird Films. Svensk Filmindustri will have first look on distribution and possible co-production opportunities on every new Early Bird project aimed at the Nordic market. Early Bird Films operates out of Copenhagen and Stockholm and is made up of Denmark's Ole Sondberg and Lars Sund Duus as well as Sweden's Malte Forssell. Sondberg and Duus were executive producers
  • Swiss Film Prize nominations announced

    Local box-office hit Ernstfall In Havanna, Locarno competition entry Otre Il Confine and the documentary Forget Baghdad are among the films nominated in five categories for the Swiss Film Prize 2003 whose winners will be announced during the Solothurn Film Days on January 22, 2003.The Film Prizes will be decided by a jury headed by Swiss director Daniel Schmid and comprising Luis Bolliger, head of the TV channel SF DRS/3sat; Madeleine Fonjallaz, formerly responsibl
  • The world is wild about Harry: 11.2 million admissions over the weekend

    The records continued to tumble for Warner Bros as Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets passed $200m in international ticket sales over the weekend, amassing an estimated $56.8m from 11.2 million admissions on 8,201 screens in 32 territories. The sequel has an estimated $208m international and $408m worldwide total after 17 days.Opening in Australia, Chamber Of Secrets grossed $5.9m (A$10.641m), which was the biggest opening weekend ever in the territory for Warner Bro
  • TiVo, Replay uptake threatening broadcaster revenues

    Within a few years television viewers will have little problem avoiding advertising thanks to the combination of video-on demand (VoD) and the spread of personal video recorders (PVRs) like TiVo or Replay. That is clearly a threat to the traditional broadcast model and ultimately for the film and TV productions that are funded by broadcasters.Although PVRs have so far only reached 1.7 million homes in the US and fewer abroad, the killer combination could be available to half the US pop
  • Tokyo FILMex confirms its competitive status

    While the Tokyo International Film Festival struggles to regain ground lost to Asian competition, like the recent Pusan Film Festival, a new event has arisen right under its nose. Tokyo FILMeX celebrates its third edition this year with a line-up that definitely, almost defiantly, emphasises culture over commerce. Instead of TIFF's selection of Hollywood blockbusters and local mainstream fare, FILMeX, which runs from December 1 to 8, features films by some of the best and brightest you
  • Tracy Geraghty appointed director of Film Makers Ireland

    Film Makers Ireland (FMI) has announced the appointment of Tracy Geraghty as the new Director of the association.Until recently, Geraghty has been programme manager with North by Northwest, the Denmark-based script development programme supported by the MEDIA Programme. Prior to that she had worked with Eurimages and with the Irish Film Board.Commenting on her appointment Geraghty said, "I am delighted to take up the challenging role of director of Film Makers Ireland. I look fo
  • Two short film festivals wrap in Romania

    The end of November saw two important international short film festivals take place in Romania. The town of Tirgu Mures hosted the tenth edition of the Alter-Native International Short Film Festival between November 20 and 24. The festival screened fifty-seven productions in competition as well as a selection of popular Romanian and Hungarian feature films, including Gabor Herendi's A Kind Of America and Cristian Mungiu's Occident. The six-member jury, German film
  • UK set for close-run race for 2002 distributor crown

    The UK box office looks set for a thrilling end-of-year race to establish the biggest-grossing distributor of 2002.And while it is still too early to predict with any certainty, there is a real possibility that Entertainment Film Distributors could become the first independent distributor ever to finish on top of the chart.Box office tallies for the year to October 27 reveal that Entertainment trailed only Buena Vista International after ten months. Particularly impressive, is
  • UK shooting costs come under fire

    UK support body the Film Council is aiming to slash production costs under a code of practice for films budgeted at $3.1m - $6.2m (£2m-£4m). Producers body PACT and crews union BECTU are already negotiating an agreement based on the code, which, coupled with other proposals in the Council's report, aims to save up to $1.6m (£1m) per film. The code hinges on reducing crew numbers and changing traditional work patterns, along with the radical step of giving crews a share o
  • UPI to launch video distribution arm in Mexico

    Universal Pictures International (UPI), the London-based international video distribution arm of Universal Pictures, has announced its plans to launch a wholly-owned video distribution operation in Mexico. Universal Pictures Mexico will launch on 1st January 2003, following the expiration of the current four-year joint venture distribution deal with Paramount, operating under the CIC Videos banner.Universal Pictures Mexico, based in Mexico City, will be headed by managing dir
  • 'Valley-wood' takes a step closer to reality

    Maybe it's his infectious sense of enthusiasm; but when Lord Attenborough boards business projects, things seem to happen.As well as winning eight Oscars for Gandhi in 1982, Attenborough was the founding chairman of Capital Radio, London's most successful radio station in 1972 and founding deputy chairman of the UK's Channel 4 television station in 1982. Now, he has now become chairman of a project that he describes as his most important venture to date - the creation of
  • VIF Distribution launched as successor to German film fund

    The Babelsberg-based management company VIF Distribution has been created as a successor to VIF International Films to handle the administration of three German media funds VIF 1, VIF 2 and VIP which co-produced 12 international productions including Michael Moore's box-office success Bowling For Columbine, Renny Bartlett's Eisenstein and Peter Sehr's Love The Hard Way.The new company is headed up by Alfred Tolle, Executive Vice President, with ex-VIF International
  • Vivendi to choose between entertainment and telecoms

    Vivendi Universal chief executive Jean-Rene Fourtou yesterday announced that he had approval from the corporation's board for a Euros 4bn bid to take over mobile phones group Cegetel. He also revealed that he is not committed to the group staying in the entertainment business.Vivendi Universal currently owns entertainment properties including Universal Studios, Universal Music, Focus Features, Canal Plus, StudioCanal and a major chunk of UGC. But he said that "it would not be logical"
  • Walt Disney Japan faces potentially damaging lawsuit

    Japanese buyers of the DVD version of Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away have filed a potentially damaging suit against distributor Walt Disney Japan, claiming that the colour of the film is "totally different" from that of the theatrical release. The suit, filed by three consumers in Kyoto District Court, asks for $81 (Y10,000) in damages per claimant and a replacement copy. Their principal complaint is that the DVD version is darkened by a red tone that effectively spoils the film
  • Woo presents first US showing of Melville's uncut Le Cercle Rouge

    Director JohnWoo is to present the new restoration of Jean-Pierre Melville's LeCercle Rouge, theclassic 1970 heist thriller that will be seen in US theatres for the first timein its complete and original French-language version early next year.Rialto Pictures,which enjoyed considerable success in the US with the re-issue of Jean LucGodard's Contempt,has planned a nationwide run of special engagements for Le Cercle Rouge, starting at New York's Film Forumon Jan 10.