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Screen
5 December 2003

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  • A world of premieres at Sundance

    The Sundance Film Festivalunveiled the remaining sections for its 2004 event (Jan 15 to 25) thisafternoon (see full list below) including the high profile world premieres ofnew films by Walter Salles, Brad Anderson, Marc Evans, Katja Von Garnier, ErnestDickerson and Vondie Curtis-Hall.Meanwhile the World Cinemasection reads like a checklist of 2003 festival favourites including Goodbye,Lenin!, The Return, Spring, Summer, Autumn, WinterAnd Spring, Last Life In TheUniverse and
  • A world of premieres at Sundance 2004

    The Sundance Film Festivalunveiled the remaining sections for its 2004 event (Jan 15 to 25) thisafternoon (see full list below) including the high profile world premieres ofnew films by Walter Salles, Brad Anderson, Marc Evans, Katja Von Garnier, ErnestDickerson and Vondie Curtis-Hall.Meanwhile the World Cinemasection reads like a checklist of 2003 festival favourites including Goodbye,Lenin!, The Return, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter - And Spring, Last Life In The Universe and
  • A world of premieres at Sundance 2004

    The Sundance Film Festivalunveiled the remaining sections for its 2004 event (Jan 15 to 25) thisafternoon (see full list below) including the high profile world premieres ofnew films by Walter Salles, Brad Anderson, Marc Evans, Katja Von Garnier, ErnestDickerson and Vondie Curtis-Hall.Meanwhile the World Cinemasection reads like a checklist of 2003 festival favourites including Goodbye,Lenin!, The Return, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter ...And Spring, Last Life In TheUniverse and
  • AFMA hires two PR agencies to up policy work in 2004

    AFMA, the tradebody that runs the AFM and represents 170 independent producers anddistributors worldwide, has hired public relations firms The Lippin Group andPodestaMattoon.The moveestablishes a bi-coastal entertainment and policy communications network forAFMA, which is preparing to go head-to-head with embattled MIFED organizerswhen it launches an AFM market in November 2004.Entertainment PRfirm Lippin Group is headquartered in Los Angeles and has wholly owned officesin New Y
  • Albanian capital hosts inaugural International festival

    Albania's capital city, Tirana, is currently hosting the first ever edition of the Tirana International Film Festival (Dec 1-7), with a short film competition in fiction, documentary, animation and experimental categories. The festival was initiated by its two directors, Agron Domi and Ilir Butka, and it is organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Albania. Eighty-two films from thirty countries have been selected for the competition and will b
  • Almodovar eyes Cannes launch for Bad Education

    Almost a year after his best original script Oscar coup for Talk To Her (Hable Con Ella), Spanish maestro Pedro Almodovar is putting the finishing touches on his next film, Bad Education (La Mala Educacion), and considering a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival."We are open to the possibility of going to Cannes," confirmed the director's producer-brother Agustin Almodovar, who says he will take up talks begun with Thierry Fremaux "when the film is closer to being complet
  • Apted to direct first three episodes of HBO/BBC epic Rome

    Michael Aptedwill direct the first three episodes of the upcoming HBO and BBC drama seriescollaboration Rome,which begins shooting in Bulgaria in March and is scheduled to air on HBO andBBC2 in 2005.The series,which marks the first series co-production between the networks, centres on thelives of two ordinary Roman soldiers in 51 BC as Julius Caesar prepares toreturn home after eight years at war.HBO's executivevice president of original programming Carolyn Strauss and se
  • AUSTRALIA

    Columbia TriStar's S.W.A.T has topped the Australian chart on its opening weekend with a A$2,741,337 gross from 246 screens. It managed to more than double the ticket sales of UIP's School Of Rock, and pushed the comedy down into second position for what was its second weekend on release. Putting aside The Matrix Revolutions and the IMAX film Titanic 3D, S.W.A.T's screen average of A$11,143 is the highest for a non-IMAX film for eight weeks. Roadshow
  • Balseros, Revolution win top honours at IDA Awards

    Carlos Bosch and Josep MDomenech's account of Cuban castaways in Balseros and Kim Bartley and Donnacha O'Briain's first-handchronicle of the 2002 Venezuelan coup in The Revolution Will Not BeTelevised have shared top featurecompetition honours in the International Documentary Association's 19th annualIDA Distinguished Documentary Achievement Awards.Both titles were presentedby HBO/Cinemax Documentary Films, while Balseros is distributed theatrically in the US throu
  • Beazoglou joins business and legal affairs at Warner Independent

    In the latest executive appointment to the fledglingspecialty division Warner Independent Pictures (WIP), Despina Beazoglou hasjoined as vice president of business and legal affairs.Effectiveimmediately, Beazoglou will report to executive vice president of businessaffairs and operations Andrew Kramer and will be involved in handling thebusiness and legal affairs for WIP and its development and productionactivities.The pairoriginally worked together at both Fran
  • BELGIUM

    While the Belgian chart was dominated by new openers Finding Nemo and Master And Commander another, less internationally well received, opener made an impression further down the chart.The now infamous Gigli, recently voted the second worst film of all time by members of the Yahoo! My Movies website, landed in 15th place with a good $30,047 (Euros 25,059) result from just eight screens. The comedy scored a strong screen average of $3,756 - the seventh best of the f
  • Berlinale unveils Competition five

    Romauld Karmakar, Ron Howard, Annette K. Olesen, Vinko Bresan and Manuel Gutierrez Aragon have seen their latest films chosen by The Berlinale to play in its official Competition - a full two months before the festival starts (5-15 Feb, 2004).The initial five films, which run the gamut from tragic love story amd intimate family saga, to political psychodrama and historical thriller, demonstrate that the 2004 line-up will be a "a versatile programme, both in theme and style," according
  • Big Fish

    Dir: Tim Burton. US. 2003. 125minsIn many ways the perfect vehicle for tall-storyteller Tim Burton, Big Fish is a gently whimsical tale of a man's reconciliation with his dying father and his acceptance of his lifelong penchant for fabulism. Filled with the quirky fables and magical fantasy with which Burton is associated, the film is also the director's most sentimental piece to date. Largely devoid of the hard edges and mordant strains which made Edward Scissorhan
  • Blockbuster goes on the block

    Blockbuster Inc, the world's number one video rentals chain, may be sold in a leveraged buyout or through a share swap as early as next week.On Monday this week (Dec 1, 2003) Sumner Redstone, chairman of Viacom, the media conglomerate that owns Paramount, CBS and Blockbuster, told a New York investment conference, "I don't believe Blockbuster is a core brand' essentially, we're not in the retail business."Today, The Wall Street Journal reported that Viacom, could reach a
  • BSkyB strikes MGM movie deal

    UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB has struck a movie and entertainment programming deal with MGM, which will supply Sky Movies with a slate of classic titles, including all five Rocky films and 40 other features such as Twelve Angry Men to Moonstruck. The deal also allows Artsworld - a niche channel specialising in arts programme that BSkyB bought into earlier this year - to share films with Sky Movies. The films include The French Lieutenant's Woman,1984 and
  • Cannibalism feature set to challenge German tastes

    Maverick German filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim has announced plans for a film about cannibalism.The move comes in the same week that the trial of a man accused of killing, dissecting and eating another man opened in Germany, causing a sensation in the German media.Von Praunheim - whose credits include It's Not The Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But The Situation In Which He Lives - said that he had been interested in the subject of cannibalism for some years. While the
  • Carl Schenkel dies suddenly in Los Angeles

    Swiss-born writer-director Carl Schenkel has died suddenly in Los Angeles at the age of 55 from heart failure.He made his feature debut with Cold As Ice (Kalt Wie Eis) set in the new wave music scene in 1981 and then became one of the hottest properties in the German film world with the 1984 thriller Out Of Order (Abwaerts), starring Goetz George, Renee Soutendijk and "new face" Hannes Jaenicke. After the critical and commercial success of Out Of Order Sch
  • Cat beats Mansion by a whisker

    Universal's The Cat InThe Hat stayed top by a whisker overthe holiday weekend, adding an estimated $25.6m for $77m in its second weekwhile Buena Vista's The Haunted Mansion opened second on $25.3m.Three other openers gracedthe top ten with varying degrees of success as the top 12 films combined forthe second best five-day Thanksgiving box office total ever on $209.5m.Despite poor reviews BuenaVista's The Haunted Mansionopened well for its star Eddie Murphy,
  • Celluloid seals deals for Bellocchio's Buongiorno

    French sales house Celluloid Dreams has notched up a raft of sales on Italian kidnap drama Buongiorno Notte by Marco Bellocchio.Celluloid only picked up the film after its premiere at the Venice festival but took it to Mifed where deals were completed with Les Films de l'Elysee (Belgium), Contact (The Netherlands), Vertigo (Spain), Bitters End (Japan), Atalanta Filmes (Portugal), United King (Israel), Constellation Pictures (Mexico), Folkets Bio (Sweden), Maywin Media (Russia)
  • Chadha lifts curtain on Beckham musical

    Having borrowed from Bollywood's all-singing, all-dancing spectaculars with her hugely-anticipated Jane Austen adaptation Bride And Prejudice, Gurinder Chadha has got the taste for musicals.The UK writer-director-producer has re-teamed with LA-based producer Deepak Nayar on a stage musical of Bend It Like Beckham, her hit comedy about a UK-Indian girl who wants to be a footballer. Having incorporated some seven Bollywood-style songs into Bride And Prejudice,
  • Checkpoint walks off with top IDFA prize

    Israeli director Yoav Shamir has won this year's $15,000 (Eu12,500) Joris Ivens Award at the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) for his documentary film Checkpoint.The competition jury, led by German film-maker Monika Treut, also awarded a special jury prize to Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott's The Corporation.Meanwhile, Erik Gandini's anti-consumerist piece Surplus - Terrorised Into Being Consumers won the Silver Wolf prize. Jonathan Kar
  • China decentralises film censorship process

    In a further sign that China is speeding up reform of its film industry, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has announced that its film censorship process has been decentralised. Under new rules, which came into effect December 1, filmmakers no longer need apply to the Beijing-based Film Bureau to have their scripts censored. Three pilot cities - Shanghai, Nanjing and Changchun - have been given "autonomous supervision rights" which means the local film bure
  • Cine International sells Belgian Children to the US

    German sales house Cine International has licensed Belgian first film Children Of Love (Les Enfants De L'Amour) to specialist exhibitor-distributor Film Forum for a US release.The film by Geoffrey Enthoven is a documentary-style drama about a family torn apart by disputes, disappointments and separation. It was produced by Flemish producer Mariano Vanhoof of Ghent-based Fobic Films.Children Of Love had its premiere at the Ghent festival in 2001 was awarded the priz
  • Cinema Service extends Evil Lake deals

    Korean major, Cinema Service has completed a slew of post-Mifed deals toplined by its big-budget martial arts-fantasy romance Legend Of The Evil Lake.Legend, a period tale of royalty and revenge directed by Lee Gwang-Hoon, was licensed to EMS for Germany, Soyuz Films for Russia and the former CIS, Three Line Pictures for Benelux, Des Films for France, Nontanund Entertainment for Thailand and PT Warna for Indonesia.College comedy, Please Teach Me English sold
  • CineMart unveils 'beautiful' 2004 line-up

    Projects by Catherine Breillat, Kim Ki-Duk and Dagur Kari are among the highlights of larger-than-ever CineMart co-production market (Jan 25-29, 2004).The market, which is organised in association with the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) (Jan 21-31, 2004), will showcase some 47 projects in various stages of development that are seeking international finance."It is a beautiful line-up. Our best ever," said CineMart chief Ido Abram. "It is a very Rotterdam list, a rea
  • CTFDI opens Bad Boys II top in Japan, SWAT top in Australia

    Entering the final stretch of an international campaign that beganin July, the action sequel Bad Boys 2 opened top in its final market of Japan at the weekend onan estimated $3.5m.Executives at ColumbiaTriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI) expect the film to pros
  • Danish Scratch heads for Berlin

    The Danish feature debut from Swedish-born Anders Gustafsson, Scratch (Bagland), has been selected as the first of six for the Berlin Film Festival's new youth film sidebar 14plus, an extension of the Kinderfilmfest. Though the film won't be released locally until December 25, it has already picked up a number of awards including best actress at the Copenhagen International Film Festival for newcomer Stephanie Leon. The film tells of the 17-year-old Mille (Leon), who has
  • David Hemmings dies on Romania shoot

    UK actor David Hemmings, best known as the fashion photographer in Michelangelo Antonioni’s classic portrait of Swinging London, Blow-up, has died aged 62.The actor, whose recent credits include Gangs Of New York, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Last Orders and Gladiator, in which he played the master of the games Cassius, had a heart attack while filming in Romania. He had apparently just finished his final shots of the day and was going back to his dressin
  • Davis named evp, physical production, at MGM Pictures

    Veteran producerAndy Davis has been named executive vice president of physical production atMGM Pictures.Davis willoversee physical production and post-production operations for all filmscreated by the company and immediately replaces Jeff Coleman, who resigned topursue other areas."I'm excitedabout the opportunity to work with multiple film-makers and to develop thoserelationships further," Davis said in a statement."My goal hasalways been to make excellent movies, which
  • Disney crosses $3bn barrier in 2003

    Poweredby the phenomenal success of Pixar's Finding Nemo and the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced The Pirates OfThe Caribbean, the Buena Vista FilmDistribution Group (BVFDG) has made history by becoming the first studio topass $3bn at the global box office in a single year.BVFDG comprises the domestic operation controlled byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution and its international counterpart at BuenaVista International.Bothdivisions are enjoying record years with a domest
  • Dublin fest to expand for second edition

    The Dublin International Film Festival has announced a significant expansion of its programme for its second edition which takes place from 12-22 February next year.Supplementing principal sponsorship from local distiller Jameson are home entertainment chain XtraVision, ice-cream manufacturer HB and media partner The Irish Times. The Arts Council, which provided a small but crucial start-up grant for the festival last year will announce its grant allocations for 2004 in coming weeks.
  • Ducard named vp at MGM Home Entertainment

    Malik Ducard hasbeen promoted to vice president of worldwide business development andacquisitions at MGM Home Entertainment.In his new roleDucard will spearhead the division's global acquisition projects, targetingdomestic and international features and domestic family-oriented programmingwith particular emphasis on the direct-to-video market.He will alsooversee library valuation and acquisition efforts as well as possible venturesinvolving MGM's entertainment holdings."M
  • EuropaCorp to produce Jodie Foster's Flora Plum

    Luc Besson and Pierre-Ange Le Pogam's EuropaCorp. will produce the next directorial project from Jodie Foster. The film, Flora Plum, was originally set up 3 years ago and Foster had begun production only to abandon it quickly due to an accident suffered by then-star Russell Crowe.Crowe will not be reprising the role he started, but will be replaced by Ewan McGregor who is joined by Claire Danes and Meryl Streep. The story revolves around an hirsute circus freak an
  • European Film Awards adopt English accent

    While no film looks likely to sweep the board at this weekend's European Film Awards (Dec 6), a winner has already emerged - the English language. Out of four non-UK nominees for best European film, three are English-language productions. The exception ' Wolfgang Becker's Good Bye, Lenin! ' partly makes up for the oversight with its English title. Lars von Trier, Francois Ozon and Isabel Coixet had their own reasons for shooting in English, not all of them related to prod
  • Ferch named EFA master of ceremonies

    German actor Heino Ferch (Wintersleepers, Comedian Harmonists), has been named as master of ceremonies at this weekend's European Film Awards (Dec 6).Meanwhile, directors Jeanne Moreau, Istvan Szabo and Pedro Almodovar will act as patrons for the nominated films. Twenty-four hours later, on Dec 7, the French-German cultural channel Arte will broadcast the ceremony within a special thematic evening on European cinema.
  • FFA backs seven features in latest funding round

    New features by Helmut Dietl, Marco Kreuzpaintner and Didi Danquart are among seven projects which received Euros 2.9m from the German Federal Film Board (FFA) in its latest round of funding.The largest sum - Euros 700,000 - was awarded to Dietl's melodramatic comedy update of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, Vom Suchen Und Finden Der Liebe, which is set to star Moritz Bleibtreu, Alexandra Maria Lara, Uwe Ochsenknecht and Anke Engelke. The co-production between Dietl's product
  • FINLAND

    Last week's previews week swept all competition from the top of the Finnish chart, as Finding Nemo and Master And Commander pushed Love Actually down 28% to third. However, no other films were released over the weekend, which was 40% lower than last year. Little else changed at the chart, where two local films Sibelius and Young Gods look like they are loosing ground after 12 and six weeks and no have an admission screen average of just 101 and 81.
  • First-time directors line up for autumn shoots

    For full current listings click here A host of projects by first-time directors went before the camera this autumn. For a start, Tatiana Brandrup has just returned from three weeks of shooting in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi for her feature debut Caucasian Business (Kaukasischer Coup) with Italian For Beginners lead actress Ann Eleonora Jorgensen and Nowhere In Africa's Mer
  • Former-Venice chiefs plan meeting to 'defend' event's autonomy

    Felice Laudadio, the former Venice Film Festival director who is now head of the Taormina film festival, has announced that all the ex-directors of the prestigious event on the Lido will hold a special meeting on Saturday to "defend the autonomy of the Biennale."Those expected to attend the conference will include Alberto Barbera, head of the festival between 1999 and 2001, and former Venice directors Gillo Pontecorvo (1992-95), Carlo Lizzani (1977-82) and Laudadio (1996-98).At
  • FRANCE

    After landing in 16th place last week - via its showing on only one screen - Finding Nemo jumps to the number one spot after going out wide. Discounting its single screen run, the fish tale now holds the record for best ever opening for an animated picture. A rather distant second, Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill lands in the number two position without breaking the one million tickets barrier. Nemo clearly parted the waters this week and left little room for
  • France's Cesars moves date to avoid Oscar clash

    France's equivalent to the Oscars, the Cesars, is to hold its ceremony a week early to avoid a clash with the Academy Awards on Feb 29.The Cesars will now be held on Feb 21. Nominations are due on Jan 23. The 29th edition will, as usual, be aired unencrypted on Canal Plus.Europe Cinema Evenements (ECE Production), which organises the Cesars, is currently fielding offers to sell the event either wholly or in part. ECE was run by the late Daniel Toscan du Plantier who died
  • France's Vladimir Perisic wins Festival of Film Schools' prize

    Vladimir Perisic of France's FEMIS won the VFF Young Talent Award for his 31-minute short Dremano Oko at this year's International Festival of the Film Schools in Munich (November 27-30).The other awards included: the Student Camera Award for Dutch DoP Martijn van Broekhuizen's cinematography on Jiska Rickels' Days Under (NFTA); the newly created Luggi Waldleitner Script Award for Israeli students Mihal Brezis and Oded Binnun's Sabbath Entertainment (Sam Spiegel Film & T
  • German industry unites to fight piracy

    With illegal copying and downloading of feature films becoming ever more prevalent (ScreenDaily.com, 27 November 2003), the German film and video industries have joined forces to launch a campaign entitled "Raubkopierer sind Verbrecher - eine Initiative zum Schutz des Originals" ("Pirates are criminals - an initiative to protect the original")."We can't be as lax and pedagogical as the music industry", said the campaign's organiser Dr. Elke Esser of Zukunft Kino Marketing (ZKM)
  • German media fund beefs up investment slate

    German media fund VIP 3, which has raised Euros 170m from private German investors to date this year, is to co-produce new features by Penny Marshall and Gregory Hoblit.The fund will serve as a production partner with Chris Sievernich's Armada Pictures International on Penny Marshall's comedy Family Of The Year which is scheduled to star Danny De Vito, Ray Liotta, Edie Flaco and Famke Janssen. The absurd comedy in the style of John Irving's novels will go into production at loc
  • GERMANY

    BVI's Finding Nemo may be available on pirate DVD, but it hasn't stopped cinema-goers rushing to see "the fish film", as some in the German industry have rather disparagingly called the blockbuster. Nemo's 1.3 m-plus admissions in the second weekend must seem like manna from heaven for the beleaguered exhibition sector, although it casts a shadow on the rest of the top 15. Fox's new release Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World garnered glowing reviews f
  • GERMANY, AUSTRIA, SWITZ Prod Lists - Dec 1 2003

    AUSTRIA - December 1IN PRE-PRODUCTIONCRASH TEST DUMMIES(Amour Fou Filmproduktion) Co-prod: Catpics Co-productions (Switz). Backers: OFI, ORF, Filmfonds Wien. A Romanian couple are stranded in Vienna without any money, drift apart and have both changed when they are finally reunited. Prods: Gabriele Kranzelbinder, Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu. Dir/scr: Joerg Kalt. DoP: Eva Testor. Ed: Monika Willi. Art dir: Christoph Kanter. Cast: Bogdan Domitrache, Maria Papi
  • Gibson's Passion finds a home in Catholic Italy

    Mel Gibson's controversial new film, The Passion Of Christ, has found a distributor in Catholic Italy, with powerful Rome distributor Eagle Pictures acquiring all local rights to the picture.Eagle is believed to have seen The Passion on the eve of the Venice film festival at a private screening that was held in Rome, for a selected group of leading European distributors. These included several from Italy, two or three from Germany, a couple from Benelux and one each from
  • GSC beefs up Malaysian multiplex presence

    Malaysia's film distributor and exhibitor GSC is adding a second cinema outlet on the island of Penang with the launch of a $4.7m (RM18m) 12-screen multiplex on 11 December. The new cinema is sited at Gurney Plaza shopping mall with more than 1,800 seats, making it the largest cinema in Penang as well as in northern Malaysia. Like GSC's Mid Valley flagship outlet - the largest multiplex in Asia with 18 screens and 2,899 seats, the Penang cineplex features THX-certified cinema ha
  • Holst named new head at Thura Film

    The founder and main producer of Zentropa's documentary arm Zentropa Real, Carsten Holst, will from Jan 1 shift over to become managing director and producer at Michael Obel's Copenhagen-based Thura Film. "I believe that he is a highly competent man, who has some interesting experiences behind him, a good mix of art and economy," Obel, who founded Thura Film back in 1990, told Screendaily.com. "He managed a well with his company inside the company at Zentropa Real, and his focus
  • HONG KONG

    Derek Yee's Lost In Time held onto the top spot at the box office in its second week, grossing US$608,816 from 42 screens. The romantic drama is already being tipped as a contender for next year's Hong Kong Film Awards, although it's more mainstream and commercial than Yee's previous films. Filmko Entertainment's Star Runner opened in second place grossing US$303,423 from 31 screens. Directed by Daniel Lee (Black Mask, A Fighter's Blues), the film combines action a
  • Hubert Bals Fund distributes Euros 467,000 to 28 projects

    Twenty-eight projects from non-Western filmmakers are to receive a total of Euros 467,000 in grants from the International Film Festival Rotterdam's (IFFR) Hubert Bals Fund (HBF), as was decided during the fund's autumn selection round. The HBF provides individual grants to support either script development, post-production or distribution in the country of origin. During the upcoming International Film Festival Rotterdam (Jan 21 - Feb 1, 2004) the Hubert Bals Fund sidebar is expected
  • IDT close to acquisition of DVD/video company Anchor Bay

    US-based animation and live-action producer-distributorIDT Entertainment is on the verge of acquiring the home video outfit Anchor BayEntertainment Group from Handleman Company after signing a definitiveagreement.Under the termsof the deal, which is expected to close by mid-December, IDT Entertainment willgain an international video and DVD distribution foothold through Anchor Bay'sdirect-to-consumer and retail channels, as well as its 3,500-title library.Ancho
  • In The City (En La Ciudad)

    Dir. Cesc Gay. Spain, 2003. 110mins.Pleasant, handsome, urbane but quite vacuous, Cesc Gay's second feature film resembles, to a certain extent, the choral dramas of French director Claude Sautet, minus the dynamics and the depth. Revising the thirtysomething formula of American television into an European version shot entirely in Barcelona, it follows six characters and their companions through romantic entanglements and disentanglements. As such it is decent and courteous a
  • Incense wins top Tokyo FILMeX prize

    Ning Hao's Incense has won the Grand Prize "Kodak Vision Award, at the fourth edition of the FILMeX festival in Tokyo. The award comes with a cash prize of $9,174 (Y1m).Set in a rural town in Shanxi Province, the comic drama about a young monk's attempt to raise money to restore a Buddha statue is the 25-year-old director's first feature film.The Special Jury Prize, with a cash award of $4,587, went to 15-year-old Hana Makhmalbaf's Joy Of Madness. The feature-lengt
  • Indie consolidation continues: ContentFilm merges with Winchester

    Ed Pressman and JohnSchimidt's three year-old ContentFilm has completed a reverse merger with theAIM-listed UK film outfit Winchester Entertainment which gives the US companymajority ownership and operational control of the UK production and distributionand international sales operation.Pressman and Schmidt will bejoint CEOs of the combined company, while Jamie Carmichael, who runsContentFilm's London-based sales operation Content International, will be incharge of the consolidated sal
  • Irish relief as Section 481 wins extension

    Irish Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy confirmed in his Budget Speech today (Nov 3) that the film Section 481 tax incentive will be extended to the end of 2008 and that the cap on total investment in any one film will be increased from Euros 10.48m to Euros15m from 2005. The news is a huge relief for the Irish industry, which credits the tax incentive with helping encourage films such as King Arthur, Tristan And Isolde, Asylum and Laws Of Attraction to shoot in the count
  • Italian senate approves controversial TV reform bill

    The Italian Senate has approved a controversial bill for the reform of Italy's TV system, which is set to consolidate Silvio Berlusconi's sprawling media empire.The Gasparri Law was approved in a 155-126 vote despite fierce opposition from the centre-left coalition and some opposition from within Berlusconi's own centre-right party.It must now receive the seal of approval of Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, who is expected to sign the bill within days.The new law,
  • ITALY

    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre opened at number one at the Italian box office, grossing a solid $1.4m for local powerhouse Eagle Pictures, scoring a strong screen average of $4,828.Another Hollywood movie, police action thriller S.W.A.T. also opened on a high, grossing $956,570 for Columbia Tristar from 245 screens. New opener Fanfan La Tulipe, starring Penelope Cruz and Vincent Perez, opened on a timid note in thirteenth place. Distributed by Rai Cinema label
  • Jackson feted as Return Of The King premieres in NZ

    Peter Jackson was asked whether he would consider running for Prime Minister of New Zealand during a press conference yesterday, just hours before the world premiere of The Return Of The King in his hometown of Wellington. For the record, he said he was "very happy" with his current job.The question was just one of countless demonstrations of Jackson's God-like status amongst his fellow New Zealanders following the worldwide success of his adaptations of the JRR Tolkein n
  • JAPAN

    There was little change in the Japanese box office top ten, with only one new film, Phone Booth, breaking in. Benefiting from heavy rotation of a 'making-of' promo on the local Fox channel, the film debuted at number three, with a screen average of $29,769. Meanwhile number one The Matrix Revolutions, now in its fourth week on release, and number two Kill Bill Vol. 1, in its fifth, are holding strong, with the former dropping 5.1% and the latter 7.2% from previous
  • Jenin Jenin doc banned again in Israel

    Mukhammad Bakkri's controversial documentary Jenin Jenin, about the Israeli military incursion into the Jenin refugee camp, has once again been banned in Israel.The Supreme Court had ruled on Nov.11 against a decision by the Censorship Board to outlaw the film and cleared it for screenings - but it has now temporarily reinstated the ban. The ruling on the film was appealed at the time by the Censors as well as by the families of the Israeli soldiers killed in the course o
  • Judge in screener ban suit will announce decision on Friday

    The New York federal judge presiding over the case brought by acoalition of independent film-makers to overturn the MPAA screener ban isexpected to deliver a ruling on Friday (Dec 3).
  • Kinowelt sales arm picks up Mondlandung

    Kinowelt's world sales arm Filmverlag der Autoren has picked up international distribution rights for film school graduate Till Endemann's debut feature Mondlandung, which received its world premiere at the International Hof Film Days at the end of October.Produced by the Baden-Wuerttemberg Film Academy with V-Max Media, Mondlandung (Moon Landing) follows the attempts by two brothers (played by Andrej Dronov and Anton Levit) to find their bearings in Germany after arrivi
  • Korean film wins main Mannheim-Heidelberg award

    Korean filmmaker Eo Il-seon's first full-length feature, the quietly poetic melodrama Plastic Tree won the Main Award of Mannheim-Heidelberg at this year's International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg (20-29 November)..The International Jury gave its Special Prize to Sweden's Daniel Lind Lagerloef for his bizarrely comic and moving love story Miffo, while the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Prize was awarded to young Chilean director Matias Bize's one-take film Saturday (S
  • Korea's CJ Entertainment names new CEO

    A reshuffle at South Korean conglomerate Cheil Jedang will see Park Dong-ho become the new CEO of local major CJ Entertainment.Park, who has served as head of Korea's biggest cinema circuit CJ CGV since August 2000, will retain his old position while also assuming responsibility for CJ Entertainment's investment, distribution, production, video and international sales operations. Meanwhile, former CJ Marketing Chief Noh Jae-myung will become the new head of CJ Media, which oper
  • Lanzarote wraps with flurry of deals

    The Spanish Film Screenings of Lanzarote (Nov 27-29) closed its fifth annual edition on Saturday with general consensus that the event has consolidated as an important concentrated showcase of Spanish cinema for buyers from Europe and Latin America.Despite the presence of almost a third fewer buyers this year, 60 in total, and few US and no Asian companies represented, participants largely praised Lanzarote's selection of buyers, the organisation and an informal atmosphere allowing for
  • Loving Glances

    Dir. Srdan Karanovic. UK/Serbia, 2003. 97mins.Film-maker Srdan Karanovic, a star of the golden age in Yugoslav cinema, makes a well-deserved comeback with this gentle, surreal romance. Absent from the screen for too long, he has left so much unsaid in the 12 years he has been absent that it almost seems as if the confines of one film are too narrow to accommodate him. Seven years in the making, with the script occasionally revamped every once in a while to reflect the volatil
  • Maqbool

    Dir: Vishal Bharadwaj. India. 2003. 134minsShakespeare meets Bollywood in the energetic Maqbool, a two-hour-plus extravaganza expressly modelled on Macbeth, the most blood-besotted play of the Bard's maturity. Ultimately more Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice, and Body Heat than Shakespearean, this rambunctious film borrows the playwright's characters while tarting them up in the most deliciously lurid melodramatic clothes. (W
  • Marchand tipped to head up UK's Momentum

    Xavier Marchand has emerged as the frontrunner to replace David Kosse as head of UK distributor Momentum Pictures.Marchand is still active at his production company Haystack Productions, but is tipped to take over from Kosse, who is taking up the post of president of international marketing and distribution at Universal Pictures, based in London.Marchand's CV includes studio experience as president of distribution and sales at Universal Pictures International (UPI), the same com
  • Master And Commander scores $15m maiden wide weekend for Fox

    FoxInternational's Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World stirred up the international waters overthe weekend as it grossed $15m haul from 2,944 screens in 31 territories.The naval epic's high spot was a $1.1m number one openingon 152 screens in Russia for Fox's fourth biggest bow of all time there.The film openedin second place in Germany on $2m from 616 screens and expanded from last weekend'splatform release in the UK to 415 screens to take $
  • Millimages casts eye over embattled Bac

    French animation and documentary producer Millimages has confirmed that is holding ongoing discussions with Jean Labadie's Bac Majestic to invest in the company.Several other outfits have been floated as possible buyers for the embattled company including Jacques Ouaniche of Noe Productions and sales outfit Exception (see ScreenDaily.com, Nov 19)The news comes as Bac confirmed the sale of its remaining cinemas to Jean Claude Tupin who owns the Ecrans Salamandre group.
  • Morgan Creek wins in lawsuit against Franchise

    Morgan Creek Productions haswon its lawsuit against Franchise Pictures and has been awarded close to $2m.Morgan Creek had loaned Franchise $2m and in return Franchise had guaranteedthat it would replay that amount out of revenue corridors of other films.The jury found thatFranchise had "breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing byfailing to take any meaningful steps to repay Morgan Creek out of the revenuecorridors of A Sound Of Thunder,a sci-fi adventure film
  • Mystic River wins National Board of Review

    The first blood in this highlycontentious awards season has gone to Clint Eastwood's Mystic River, which was named today best film by the usuallyidiosyncratic National Board of Review (NBR).Sean Penn was named best actorfor his performances in both Mystic River, released by Warner Bros, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's 21 Grams, released byFocus Features. Diane Keaton was named best actress for Sony Pictures' romanticcomedy Something's Gotta Give,directed b
  • Nemo submerges competition with $37m weekend

    Buena Vista International(BVI) executives are predicting Finding Nemo will pass $300m in international ticket sales bynext Monday (Dec 8) after a stunning $37m weekend haul raised the animated hit'srunning total to $230.8m.The acclaimed title andleading contender for next year's best animated picture Oscar has become Disney's11th animated title to pass $200m.Chief drivers in the film'sweekend box office were number one openings in France and Spain - where itgrossed $12.6m
  • Nemo, S.W.A.T, Master embark on major int'l launches

    Following a sensational European weekend Finding Nemo will still be the one to watch this upcoming weekend with major bows planned for Italy on Dec 3 and Japan on Dec 6.The animated hit has grossed $233.8m in international waters and should do well in Japan, bearing in mind that when Monsters, Inc opened there in March 2002 it grossed $4.5m in second place behind opener The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring.Buena Vista International (BVI) executi
  • NETHERLANDS

    Life at sea proved attractive in the Netherlands last weekend as hit animated film Finding Nemo and seafaring adventure Master And Commander all but drowned local family title Kees De Jongen.Washing up in eighth place for UIP, Andre van Duren's film about the life of a Dutch boy in the early 20th Century spanning his adventures from ages 12 to 23 grossed just $85,863 (Euros 62,437) from 59 screens for a weak average of $1,455.Nemo's box office boost
  • NEW ZEALAND

    UIP's Love Actually lived up to the promise shown in the previous weekend's previews and easily secured the top spot with a gross of NZ$415,176 from 51 screens. Despite the screen count being second only to The Matrix Revolutions in number, the film's screen average of NZ$8,141 was miles ahead of all the other films.The other four films in the top five are all from Roadshow, namely and in order, Matrix, Freddy vs Jason, which was in its opening weekend, E
  • NORWAY

    Unperturbed by the release of Master And Commander, Pixar's Finding Nemo easily stayed afloat at the top due to its massive (110) number of prints. And while Love Actually dropped just 21%, Matrix Revolutions and Once Upon A Time In Mexico slipped 58% and 46%. Matrix is now down to a low 98 admissions screen average, but is still on 60 prints. Local hit Mother's Elling just managed to stay in front of the new release of the Swedish box-o
  • Norwegian Film Fund backs nine production outfits

    The Norwegian Film Fund has pumped $1.6m (NOK11m) into nine local production companies to back their slates or to help develop their outfits. In the latter category Stavanger-based Sydvest Film and Oslo-based Fenris Film AS both recieved interest free loans of $75,000 a year for thee years, while Trondheim-based Klapp Media AS got $45,000.TV production companies were also eligible to apply this time. Funding recipients are also more geographically spread around the country this
  • Ong-Bak scores on Singapore debut

    Thai action title Ong-Bak - Muay Thai Warrior has become the highest-grossing Thai movie ever in Singapore, the first territory in which it's been released outside its home market. As of November 30, the film had grossed S$518,000 (US$300,500) at the Singapore box office placing it ahead of other Thai titles such as Iron Ladies (US$300,000), Iron Ladies II (US$274,400), Nang Nak (US$264,000) and Jan Dara (US$168,200).The film was released by Singapore
  • Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior

    Dir. Parchya Pinkaew. Thailand, 2003. 105 min.Hollywood producers would do well to note the names on the credits before they embark on their next multi-million dollar action franchise. Just as Hong Kong's Yuen Wo Ping brought a different kind of kinetic energy to The Matrix series (as well as advising on the recent Kill Bill films), so the talents in front and behind the camera of this Thai success offer new ideas on wreaking havoc without wires or CG work.
  • Pinto gets animation marketing job at WBITD

    Jessica Pinto has beenappointed to the new position of director of animation marketing at Warner BrosInternational Television Distribution (WBITD).Pinto will oversee allcreative aspects of the new international Kids WB! branded programming blocksbeing launched around the world and coordinate sales and marketingpresentations of all animation brands and WBITD titles distributed tointernational broadcasters.She will also act as aliaison between WBITD and other Warner Bros Entertain
  • Powell, Pons join European Pitch Point jury

    NFTS director Nik Powell and Spanish director Ventura Pons are among the five-person jury appointed for the next European Pitch Point (EPP) to be held during the Berlinale on 6 February, 2004.The other members of the jury are Berlin-based producer Judy Tossell of Egoli Tossell Film (Russian Ark), Swiss producer-director Samir (Forget Baghdad: Jews And Arabs - The Iraqi Connection) and Dutch producer Hetty Naaykeens-Retel Helmrich of Scarabee Films.They will pick
  • Rai Trade strikes Caterina sales

    Rome-based sales agent Rai Trade has closed a host of sales on current Italian box office hit Caterina Goes To Town (Caterina Va in Citta).Sales chief Sesto Cifola has sold the comedy to France's Pretty Pictures and Cinemien who picked up the film for Benelux. Additional sales have been sealed with Australia's Palace Films, with which Rai Trade has a long-standing relationship, and Speedwell who acquired all distribution rights for Argentina and pay-TV rights for Latin America.
  • Rebic's Donau, Duna... secures Sundance berth

    Goran Rebic's waterborne road movie Donau, Duna, Dunaj, Dunav, Dunarea has been invited to screen in the World Cinema section of next year's Sundance Film Festival (Jan 15-25).Starring Otto Sander and Robert Stadlober, the co-production by Austria's Lotus Film and Wega Film has previously been shown at San Sebastian and the Viennale and was the opening film of this year's Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival on November 20.Filmladen will release the film in A
  • Revolutions passes $250m in international for Warner

    The Matrix Revolutions continued to decelerate in its fourth weekend in theinternational arena as it added an estimated $11.9m from all territories toraise the running total to $253.5m.Figures released by WarnerBros reveal the final episode in the sci-fi trilogy drew 1.9m admissions from6,081 screens. Reloaded grossed$454m at the international theatrical box office earlier this year.Still in its early days, LooneyTunes: Back In Action took $1.4mwith 524,000
  • Russian Train rides off with Thessaloniki prizes

    Russian feature The Last Train (Posledniy Poezd) by Alexei German, Jr swept the floor at the 44th Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Nov 21-30).The son of the celebrated director of Twenty Days Without War and My Friend Ivan Lapschitz, German's film tells the story of a German military doctor stranded in the Russian countryside after the Soviets unexpectedly counterattack.It won the top award - the Golden Alexander - which is reserved to first and second fil
  • Saban embarks on ProSiebenSat.1 reshuffle

    Haim Saban has embarked on a management reshuffle at ProSiebenSat.1's, four months after taking over the German broadcasting group.SAT.1 managing director Martin Hoffmann, whose future had been subject of much speculation since the summer, has been replaced with immediate effect by Swiss media entrepreneur Roger Schawinski who founded the first national Swiss private TV channel Tele 24 in 1998.Meanwhile, at ProSiebenSat.1 Media's HQ in Munich, the executive board will be reduced
  • Sea Of Silence (Verder Dan De Maan)

    Dir: Stijn Coninx. Neth/Belg. 2003. 100 minsAn endearing, old-fashioned coming of age drama, Sea Of Silence travels a well worn road with care and craft. An episodic account of a family's joys and sorrows, it views the world through the eyes of a grave-faced, God-fearing little girl. A poised, mature performance from child actor Neeltje de Vree is the centrepiece of a film that may be too low-key and dour for many tastes, especially if audiences start making comparisons with
  • SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO

    As 2003 comes to an end, the domination of local product is starting to weaken, except for the current absolute favourite Small World, which remained in second position in its eighth weekend. Despite a 45% decline, the road comedy has now grossed a total of $422,083. Two releases by Tuck, Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World and Mystic River opened in the top 3. The Russell Crowe vehicle sold 8,960 tickets over the weekend, with total gross of $29,263, i
  • Sheridan's In America leads Indie Spirit nods

    Fox Searchlight's InAmerica dominated the 2004 IFPIndependent Spirit Awards nominations with six nominations in the US indieworld's equivalent of the Oscars.Jim Sheridan's film wasfollowed by HBO Films/Fine Line Features' American Splendor (this year's Grand Jury Prize winner at Sundance) andSamuel Goldwyn Films/ Fireworks' Raising Victor Vargas with five nominations each.All three are in the runningfor best feature along with Focus features' Lost In Tran
  • Showtime brands new theatrical unit for independent films

    Showtime Networks has launched Showtime Independent Films, itsfirst foray into financing films directly for the independent theatricalmarketplace.
  • Specialty division chiefs subpoenaed to appear in Indies V MPAA case

    Studiospecialty division chiefs Harvey Weinstein of Miramax Films, Michael Barker andTom Bernard of Sony Pictures Classics, David Linde and James Schamus of FocusFeatures and Bingham Ray of United Artists may get their say after all in thebattle over the screener ban, since all have been subpoenaed to ap
  • Stephen Fry awards£10,000 Oscar Moore screen-writing prize

    The £10,000 Oscar Moore Screen-writing prize for 2003 has been awarded to Ben Gooder and Philip Greenacre for: A Fine Line - the gripping true story of the rise and fall of Eric Hebborn and his career as an expert art forgerThe Oscar Moore Foundation was set up in 1996, in memory of Oscar Moore, former Editor In Chief of Screen International and Guardian Columnist.Its aim is to recognise, nurture and reward new and exciting screen-writing talent. In addition to the develo
  • Sundance reflects a new cinema of discomfort

    The Sundance Film Festival,the film calendar's official discovery venue for US independent films, todayunveiled the dramatic and documentary competition lineups for its 2004 event(Jan 15 to 25) today, as well as the titles in the American Spectrum section. Several film-makers who havefilms in dramatic competition are already well-known in Sundance folklore suchas Christopher Munch, whose new picture Harry And Max is his fourth feature to play in competition at thefestival, Grego
  • Swiss Film Prize unveils nominees, major overhaul

    In an extensive reorganisation in its seventh year, the 2004 Swiss Film Prize will include new prize categories, distribute Euros 32,000 (CHF 50,000) more in prize-money and award Euros 180,000 (CHF 280,000) in newly created nomination premiums.The existing categories of Best Feature Film, Best Documentary and Best Short Film will all see their prize-money bumped up and will now be joined by Best Lead Role and Best Supporting Role - replacing the previous categories of Best Actress an
  • The Floating Landscape

    Dir. Carol Lai Miu-suet. Hong Kong/France, 2003. 100mins.Not much happens in this quietly introspective tale of a young Hong Kong woman haunted by the untimely death of her lover. Unable to pick up the thread of her own life, she goes back to his home town to try and unravel the mystery of his last drawing, hoping that she will finally come to terms with his departure. Dealing with minute changes of moods and unfolding through the cold winter season that underlines the greyne
  • The Last Samurai

    Dir: Edward Zwick. US. 2003. 154minsTom Cruise rides into the East in Warner Bros' stirring, beautifully mounted dramatic release, directed by Ed Zwick (Glory, Legends Of The Fall), refreshingly set in 1870s Japan. Though its plot and structure, as well as it characters, sometimes perilously skirt cliche, the end result is a moving, gorgeously photographed opus with more than a little political and philosophical bite to it. The epic battle scenes are brilliantly st
  • The Last Train (Poslednyi Poezd)

    Dir. Alexei German Jr. Russia, 2003. 82 mins.Alexei German Jr.'s debut rounds up an impressive year of achievements for young Russian cinema. Winner of both Best Picture and International Film Critics' Awards at Thessaloniki, this fearsome, uncompromising humanistic anti-war statement is a choice item that shows German to be a formidably gifted visual artist. As such his personal style is more than a little indebted to his father, Alexei German Sr, one of the most original an
  • Tribeca Film Festival buys New York movie house

    Tribeca Film Festival co-founders Robert De Niro, JaneRosenthal and Craig Hatkoff have acquired rep theatre The Screening Room in NewYork, which they will use to enhance services at the festival and De Niro'snearby Tribeca Film Institute and hire out for commercial purposes.The partnersacquired a long lease renewable through to 2023 on the 14,000-sq ft venue,which comprises three screening rooms accommodating 130, 101 and 15 seats. Theywill operate the venue through a
  • UK Film Council revises producer deal terms

    The UK Film Council has revised the terms of its deals with producers when awarding its National Lottery funding after complaints that producers were not receiving a big enough share of profits.The change in funding guidelines will apply to all applications for lottery funding to the organisation's New Cinema Fund for risk-taking films and the Premiere Fund for mainstream films from April 1.The council will offer all UK producers the opportunity to receive 5% of the money recoup
  • UK on course for 2003 admissions slump

    The UK could see its first fall in admissions since 1998 this year, with latest figures suggesting that upcoming releases may be too little too late to claw the territory past last year's record box office results and 30-year admissions high.Two months ago the situation did not look so bad. At the end of the third quarter cinema advertising agency Pearl And Dean were predicting that admissions could reach 180m in 2003, ahead of last year's 176m. Mid-way through October box offic
  • UK secures largest share of MEDIA development funding

    UK filmmakers benefited from over Euros 2.8m (£1.9m) of MEDIA programme investment into their companies this year.The UK MEDIA desk recorded that 18.6% of the total Euros15m of development funding went to UK film projects.2003 is the first year that the UK has received the largest share of funding - ahead of France (Euros 2.6m) and Germany (Euros 2.0m). A total of 778 applications from the UK were received in Brussels in comparison with 574 in 2002 and 352 in 2001.
  • UK/IRELAND

    With two major wide releases following West End platforms and five new entries in the top 25 it was no great surprise that weekend takings jumped 13% week-on-week in the UK and Ireland last weekend. However, total box office was still 6% down on the same weekend last year when Die Another Day and Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets were riding high.Chart leader Love Actually remained on top slipping just 18% from its first weekend without previews. Entertainmen
  • UK's Battsek promoted again at Disney

    Industry veteran DanielBattsek has been promoted to executive vice president and managing director forBuena Vista International UK Ltd, Distribution/Production.Battsek will continue tolead BVI's theatrical distribution and marketing operations in the UK as wellas head up BVI UK Comedy Label, which was set up in 1999 and has producedseveral titles including Calendar Girls, which has grossed $40m at the international box office to date.During his tenure as seniorvice presid
  • Universal celebrates $15.4m gross for Love Actually

    Universal's Love Actually grossed an estimated $15.4m through UIP from 2,300sites in 18 countries over the weekend to raise its international cumulativetotal to $48.7m.The romantic comedy stayedtop in its second week in the UK, adding $8.4m from 477 sites and dropping 11%including previews (25% excluding) for a magnificent $25.9m running total.The 10-day total is tracking21% ahead of Bridget Jones's Diaryand 42% ahead of Notting Hill.In Germany in its
  • Urdang, Nozik form DV production team Serenade

    A group of industry veteransincluding former Robert Redford producing partners Leslie Urdang and MichaelNozik have launched the low budget video production house Serenade Films, based in Los Angeles.Urdang willspearhead the team along with Nozik, One Fine Day director Michael Hoffman and AfterHours producer AmyRobinson. Co-producer Nick Goodwin Self and production executive Ami Armstrongcomplete the line-up.The partnershave already secured funding from private inve
  • US VOD service Movielink signs with Sundance Channel

    Broadband video-on-demandservice Movielink has signed a deal with Sundance Channel whereby it will offertitles from the new theatrical releasing division Sundance Film Series and theSundance Channel Home Entertainment catalogue.Movielink will also create aSundance Channel branded area on its service, featuring titles from Movielink'slibrary of independent films that will be chosen by Sundance Channel each week.The first Sundance ChannelHome Entertainment titles to become availab
  • Vodafone casts eye over Vivendi Universal

    UK mobile phone company Vodafone has expressed an interest in buying Vivendi Universal. Vodafone chief executive Arun Sarin said that he would not rule out buying the whole of the French media group in order to get his hands on SFR, France's second largest mobile operator, which Vodafone owns jointly with Vivendi. Sarin told a Foreign Press Association meeting in London: "This (a takeover of Vivendi) is not our first preference, this is not our second preference ... (But) I can'
  • Von Trier close to finding Grace with Howard

    Newcomer Bryce Dallas Howard - the daughter of director Ron Howard - is close to taking on the role of Grace in Lars von Trier's Manderlay, the director's follow-up to this year's controversial Dogville."I can confirm that we are negotiating with her, and that we believe she would be a fantastic Grace," said producer Vibeke Windeloev about the young Howard. The part was originally written for Nicole Kidman. Up until last week, the producers were working on a schedu
  • Ward Anderson move prompts Dublin speculation

    There is considerable speculation in the Irish industry about the direction of the family owned Ward Anderson Group, the country's largest exhibitor.Last Friday, the staff associated with the Ward family's side of the business moved out of Ward Anderson Group headquarters, Filmhouse, on Dublin's Abbey Street.On Monday morning, the Ward staff were all re-housed in offices at the IMC cinema in the southern suburb of Dun Laoghaire and there was some uncertainty in the distribution
  • Wellspring teams with Gilula for US video distribution

    US-basedWellspring Media has moved to bolster its video distribution and originalprogramming operations through a deal with Mark Gilula's Stanford Media Group.Gilula will headup Wellspring's home video operation and work with the company's team toservice sales to current key accounts, open additional distribution channels,acquire new programming and arrange strategic marketing partnerships.Wellspring'shome video sales staff will report to Gilula, who in turn will report toWellsp

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