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5 December 2004

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  • French culture minister seeks to clarify support system

    Culture minister RenaudDonnedieu de Vabres has asked France's Film Office, the CNC, to open a dialoguewith film industry professionals in order to better define the rulessurrounding the local support system.The demand comes on theheels of a court ruling which last week cancelled the French status ofJean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement.In a statement, Donnedieu deVabres said he hoped the dialogue would "rapidly help to better defineregulations for the support of wor
  • Alexander disappoints for Warner Bros, Intermedia with $21.6m

    Buena Vista basked in a rare one-two over Thanksgiving holidayweekend as National Treasure retained top spot with an estimated $46.2m haul and TheIncredibles climbed oneplace to second to comfortably pass $200m in its fourth weekend.
  • Alexander rules with powerful international weekend

    Despite adisappointing US launch, Alexander performed well in a limited international run that grossed anestimated $7.4m on 848 screens in 10 territories at the weekend.The highlightwas a number one $3.7m debut on 345 screens in Russia through Paradise. Thepicture also opened top in Taiwan through Fox International on $1.1m on 110screens.Elsewhere, Alexander scored the third biggest opening of theyear in Croatia on $187,915 on 10 screens through Blitz, behind Th
  • AUSTRALIA 29 November

    The BVI opener NationalTreasure knocked Bridget Jones - TheEdge Of Reason off the top spot on the weekend box office chart. National Treasure grossed A$1,897,455from 277 screens compared to A$1,716,197 from 351 screens for Bridget Jones, but the UIP film has nowbeen in cinemas for over two weeks.Two other openers made it into the top ten. Coming fifth andsixth were Sony P
  • Bad year turns good: Buena Vista crosses $1bn domestic gross mark

    Buena Vista passed $1bn inannual domestic ticket sales on Nov 24, the ninth time it has reached themilestone in 11 years.Despite a shaky year thathas seen protracted talks with Pixar and Miramax and notable flops like TheAlamo, The Ladykillers, KingArthur and Around The World In 80Days, the studio has rallied well inthe past few months.National Treasure held on to top spot at the weekend with TheIncredibles in second place, markingthe first tim
  • Bahamas unveils inaugural festival lineup

    Mania Akbari'sIranian drama 20 Fingers, Rodney Evans's Harlem Renaissance feature Brother To Brother and Jacob Aaron Estes' youth drama MeanCreek will compete forthe International Competition's Grand Jury Prize at the first annual BahamasInternational Film Festival (BIFF), which runs from Dec 9 to 12.OtherInternational Competition titles include Joseph Cedar's Israeli settlementpicture Campfire, andMarcelo Pineyro's Argentina-Spain politi
  • Beautiful Boxer director readies martial arts epic

    Thai director Ekachai Uekrongtham, whose debut Beautiful Boxer won the Grand Prix 2004Award at the Brussels International Film Festival, is readying two new projects for Thai studio GMM Grammy.First up is Swords andSpirits, a martial arts adventure set in both Thailand and Japan in thelate 16th century as well as in the modern day. Written byUekrongtham, the film is about a Thai scholar and a Japanese novelist whoattempt to unravel the my
  • Bitter Dream wins at Thessaloniki film festival

    Social conflict-themed pictures dominated the awards at the45th Thessaloniki International Film Festival which wrapped yesterday.In the competition section - reserved to first and secondfilms, the Iranian entry Bitter Dream (Khab E Talkh) by Mohsen Amiryousefiwas awarded the Golden Alexander and Euros 37,000. The award comes at the endof a year during which Iranian films made a significant impact in theart-cinema world.The Silver Alexande
  • Blackstone acquires UGC exhibition circuit

    US buyout firm theBlackstone Group has acquired the UGC UK and Ireland cinema circuit.The deal is understood tohave been completed on December 1, with a reported price tag of around £200m. UGC is the third largest operator of cinemas in the UK, with 408 screens in 42 cinemas.Lawrence H. Guffey, a senior managing director of Blackstone, said: "This latest transaction re-affirms our commitment to the UK cinema market, which we continue to believe offers attractive growt
  • Blade: Trinity

    Dir:David S Goyer. US. 2004. 114mins.There'sas much joke cracking as blood sucking in the third episode of New Line'ssolidly successful Blade franchise, a young-skewing horror outing withWesley Snipes again starring as the titular Marvel Comics vampire slayer.Theraunchy humour, together with some boisterous action and a coven of newcharacters, gives the latest instalment a different feel from its twopredecessors and could serve to broaden
  • Bridget adds $14.6m in international weekend, passes $50m in UK

    Universal/Working Title's BridgetJones: The Edge Of Reason passed$50m in the UK at the weekend, grossing an estimated $14.6m overall on 1,887screens in 24 territories through UIP to raise its international cumulativetotal to $84m.The romantic comedy sequeladded $5.6m (£3m) on 484 in its third weekend in the UK to raise its tally to$50.3M (£27m), making it Universal's fourth biggest grossing title ever in theterritory in US$ and the fifth biggest in £ sterling.Bridget
  • Bridget to hit Germany, Incredibles to land in Japan

    Universal's BridgetJones: The Edge Of Reason and BuenaVista International's (BVI) The Incredibles should both pass $100m at the international boxoffice this weekend with a handful of major launches and strong holdoversexpected elsewhere.Bridget opened in Germany through UIP on Dec 2 on 765prints, and goes out in Brazil on Dec 3 on 150 and Taiwan a day later on 72.Its current international running total is $89.8m.A strong German bow is onthe cards bearing in
  • BVITV renews Star Group feature film deal

    BuenaVista International Television - Asia Pacific has renewed its existingmulti-year agreement with News Corp's Star Group for feature films. The dealwas announced during the three-day Asia Film Market/Asia Television Forum (AFM/ATM) inSingapore, which closes on Dec 3.The deal,announced by BVITV-AP vice president and general manager Steve Macallister andStar COO Steve Askew, covers international blockbusters from Walt DisneyPictures, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films. Princess
  • CAA signs South Korean director

    SouthKorean director Kang Je-gyu has signed on with Creative Artists Agency (CAA),making him one of the first Korean filmmakers to work through one of the majorHollywood talent agencies.Accordingto production/sales company MKB, Kang is also fielding multiple offers frommajor Hollywood studios regarding his as-yet unannounced next project.Kanghas become a box-office legend in his home country for the action film Shiri(1999) - a record-breaking hit credited with jump-starting the
  • Canal+, 20th Fox extend exclusivity contracts until 2012

    CANAL+ has signed anagreement with 20th Century Fox for the period 2007-2012 for first broadcastrights to all of the movies produced by the studio.20th Century Fox has been apartner of CANAL+ since the channel's inception. Covering the broadcast of firstand second-window Pay TV and PPV rights for roughly 20 feature films to beproduced by 20th Century Fox this year, the new agreement will enable theCANAL+ Group to continue offering subscribers a selection of movies on theCANAL+ premium
  • Cassavetes signs on to direct New Line's Iron Man

    Nick Cassaveteshas signed to direct the Marvel comic adaptation Iron Man for New Line.Marvel Studios'chief executive officer Avi Arad will produce with Angry Films' Don Murphy,based on a script by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar and David Hayter.Marvel and New Line willbegin casting immediately and the picture is due to open in US theatres in2006.The storycentres on Tony Stark, a brilliant inventor and heir to the Stark Enterprisesfortune, who dons a multi-million dolla
  • Cavu acquires worldwide rights to Lbs.

    New York-based productionand distribution company Cavu Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to MatthewBonifacio's comedy-drama Lbs.The picture concerns agrossly overweight 27-year-old man who leaves his parents' home and implementsa drastic dietary regime following a heart attack. Carmine Famiglietti starsand co-wrote the screenplay with Bonifacio.Cavu plans to release Lbs., which premiered at Sundance 2004, in early summer2005. This marks the
  • China creates international media advisory board

    The Chinese government has invited a group of domestic and foreign media companies to form a board to advise on how capital markets can help modernise the mainlands burgeoning media industry, according to the South China Morning Post.The board, which will include Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone and the heads of mainland and Hong Kong media companies, will work closely with the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), the Hong Kong paper reported."We want to al
  • Chinese Mountain Patrol rides off with Golden Horse

    Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, the second feature by Chinese director Lu Chuan, beat WongKar-wai's's 2046 to thebest film prize at Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards, which showcases filmsfrom Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.A bleak portrayal of life on a Tibetan plateau, it is thefirst entry from China to win the top prize in Taiwan. Kekexili is based on the true story of a journalist who joinsa Tibetan volunteer patrol chasing a ring of poachers trading in antelope wool.The fi
  • Court sentences Japanese film pirate

    AJapanese man has received a one year prison sentence for making Hollywoodfilms available over the internet.However, the sentence was suspended for three years, meaning that if he behaves himself during that time, he will not have to serve the one-year sentence.Ina case expect
  • Doc Hollywood Kidz signs first-look deal with Arclight

    Family-oriented film companyDoc Hollywood Kidz (DHYK) has signed a first-look deal with Gary Hamilton'sinternational sales outfit Arclight Films.Under the agreement Arclightwill provide consulting services and may finance some projects."Working with Arclight willallow Doc Hollywood Kidz to stay at the forefront of the industry in pickingthe right material to develop, produce and distribute," Steven Saxton, DHYKpresident and chief executive officer, said in a statement."We
  • Dubai festival unveils programme line-up

    Festival director NeilStephenson has unveiled the programme for this year's Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) (Dec 6-11).A total of 76 films, whichinclude 52 main features, will play at the festival, including current works byDanny Boyle, Walter Salles, Michael Winterbottom, Zhang Yimou and RobertZemeckis, hits from the international circuit including Les Choristes and Comme UneImage from France and a collection of debate based titles including
  • Eurimages celebrates Nocturna support

    Nocturna, byVictor Maldonado and Adrian Garcia, has become the thousandth co-production towin support from Eurimages, the Council of Europe fund for the co-production,distribution and exhibition of European films.Ananimated film for children, Nocturna is co-produced by Spain, France andGreat Britain."I am p
  • Filmax wraps up Shroud rights

    Spanish mini-studio Filmax has acquired the rights toSpanish novel The Brotherhood Of The Holy Shroud as part of a new push to adapt local best-sellers as English-languagefeature films for the international market.According to Filmax chief Julio Fernandez, the project willbe developed next year to follow in the vein of its other high-budget (bySpanish standards), English-language films featuring international talents suchas Brad Anderson's The Machinistor Jaume Balaguero'
  • First Look takes domestic on Sundance 04 title Chrystal

    First Look Media hasacquired all North American rights to Ray McKinnon's southern gothic tale Chrystal, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Lisa Blount, HarryDean Stanton and Ray McKinnon and plans an April 2005 theatrical release.Thornton stars as a man whoreturns home 16 years after an accident that resulted in his son's death andpermanently injured his wife, with the hope of attaining her forgiveness.Blount, Goggins, BruceHeller, McKinnon, Walton Goggins and David Koplan prod
  • FRANCE 3 December

    The Incredibles overwhelmingly grabbed first place in its debut week with 1,404,006admissions knocking Jean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement down tothird place behind Gerard Depardieu/Daniel Auteil cop drama 36, Quai DesOrfevres which brought in 652,148 moviegoers in its first week.Bertrand Tavernier's adoption themedHoly Lola came in at number four with a $5,528 average on 213 screens.With the top films eating up most of the pie, b
  • Freccero to leave Sundance Channel

    Paola Freccero, SundanceChannel's senior vice president of film programming, is leaving the network tobecome an independent consultant specialising in business development projectsin the entertainment industry.She will remain at SundanceChannel until the end of the year and following her departure Christian Vesper,vice president of acquisitions at Sundance Channel Entertainment, will fill intemporarily until a permanent replacement is announced.Through her new venture,Freccero w
  • French film-makers call for subsidy overhaul

    French film industryprofessionals responded favorably on Wednesday to a request made by cultureminister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres calling for a dialogue on rules surroundingthe country's film subsidy system.On Tuesday, Donnedieu de Vabresasked Catherine Colonna, president of French film body the CNC, to opendiscussions with industry groups with the aim of allowing non-Europeanfinanci
  • French industry proposes VOD rules

    Filmindustry professionals gathered last week to present proposals which would helpto regulate the local video on demand (VOD) market and keep piracy in check.Thememberships of the authors, directors, producers association (ARP), the writersguild (SACD), exhibition watchdog FNCF, and the video publishers union (SEV)along with internet service providers and terrestrial and cable broadcasterspresented a 'work in progress' document outlining five step
  • German funder calls for change in French co-prod rules

    At a time when co-productionregulations across Europe are coming under close scrutiny, it was suggestedthis weekend that France should loosen its requirements on shooting in theFrench language,The proposal, made only daysafter Jean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement was disbarred fromqualifying for French subsidies and French prizes, was made at the high-levelFranco-German Film Meeting in Lyon.Kirsten Niehuus,co-executive director of German regional public funder Medi
  • GERMANY 1 December

    After four weeks at the top,the German comedy 7 Dwarfs was knocked off its perch by BVI's NationalTreasure which opened with over $ 4.3m from 765 screens.Adding another $ 2.3m lastweekend to its overall gross of $ 44m, 7 Dwarfs is the second most successfullocal film after (T)Raumschiff Surprise - Periode 1.The weekend's top screenaverage - $6,472 - was posted by Delphi Filmverleih's release of the GermanCannes competition film
  • Germany, Austria, Switz Prod Lists - Dec 1

    NOVEMBER 2004AUSTRIAPREPRODUCTIONLAPISLAZULI(Dor Film) Backer: OFI. Children's film. Dir: Wolfgang Murnberger.Contact: Dor Film, (43) 1 427 10 11.VON PARIS NACH DAKAR(Nikolaus Geyrhalter Film) Backer: OFI. Documentary . Prod/dir:Nikolaus Geyrhalter.Contact: Nikolaus Geyrh
  • Giant screen bonanza for Polar Express

    ThePolar Express: An Imax 3D Experience, thelarge-format version of the Warner Bros/Castle Rock animated feature, hasbroken several records in its North American giant-screen outing.Itslatest three-day weekend gross was an estimated $2.75m, 30% more than itsopening weekend, breaking its own record. Playing on 61 screens, the filmscored an
  • Grupo Novo hatches South American release plan

    Brazilianproducer-distributor Grupo Novo de Cinema e TV has entered into a joint venturewith Argentina's Artikino Pictures to release Brazilian films throughout SouthAmerica.The joint venture, to benamed Group Novo Latinoamerica, will be based in Buenos Aires and plans todistribute between six and 10 Brazilian films in Argentina, Uruguay, Paragua
  • Happy Endings begins Sundance 2005

    Sundance Film Festivalorganisers unveiled the Premieres, American Spectrum, Park City At Midnight,Frontier and Special Screenings strands today (30), announcing that the worldpremiere of Don Roos' highly stylised take on life, love and family HappyEndings will be the opening nightfeature at Park City on Jan 20, while Gaby Dellal's drama On A Clear Day will be the opening night feature in Salt Lake Citythe following day.George C Wolfe's boardinghouse drama Lackawanna Bl
  • HUNGARY 1 December

    While worldwidesuccess The Incredibles easily grabbed the top spot at the Hungarian boxoffice with nearly 30,000 admissions on an impressive thirty-seven prints, lastweek's real success story belonged to the French title Les Gaous, thefeature debut of director Igor Sekulic.The comedy wasreleased on fourteen prints by distributor Best Hollywood and has alreadypassed the 5,000 admissions mark and with good word of mouth it could easilyoutdo the film's pe
  • Incredibles delivers record-breaking weekend for BVI

    Buena VistaInternational (BVI) recorded its biggest ever single weekend haul as Pixar hit TheIncredibles grossed $44.3min its first major weekend.Living up to itsname, The Incrediblesopened top everywhere, taking an astonishing $18.1m on 494 screens in the UK,$9.2m on 960 in France, $5.6m on 421 in Spain, and $5.4m on 755 in Italy, wherethe picture scored the industry's biggest ever animated opening.TheIncredibles took anexcellent $1.3m on 121 in Belgium for
  • Incredibles shoots to top of international chart

    The Incredibles shot to the top of the international table with astunning $44.3m gross last weekend on the back of openings in 10 territoriesincluding France, Italy and Spain, as well as a nationwide release in the UKfollowing a single-week London platform. The film took top positions in mostterritories for Buena Vista International (BVI).Overall it was a strongweekend for animated films at the top of the chart. In Japan Hayao Miyazaki's Howl'sMoving Castle held well in i
  • Innocence takes top Stockholm prize

    Innocence by French director LucileHadzihalilovic won the award for best film at the 15th edition of the StockholmInternational Film Festival, which wrapped on Sunday night.Hadzihalilovic's firstfull-length feature tells the story of six-year-old Iris who arrives at theboarding school inside of a coffin. She has no idea of how or why she h
  • INTERNATIONAL 1 December

    With openings in 10territories blanketing much of Europe including key territories France, Italyand Spain, as well as a nationwide release in the UK following a single-weekLondon platform, The Incredibles shot to the top of the internationaltable with a stunning $44.3m gross last weekend. The film took top positions inmost territories for Buena Vista International (BVI).Overall it was a strongweekend for animated films at the top of the chart. In Japan Hayao
  • ITALY 1 December

    BVI's The Incrediblesstormed into the Italian box office at number one last weekend, taking amassive $4,962,920 from 524 screens for an excellent average of $9,471 perscreen.Eagle Pictures's thriller Twistedcame in second, grossing $1,305,865 from 253 screens. However, hot on its heelswas 2001's Donnie Darko, which was released for the first time in Italyby young distributor Moviemax, and took a solid $776,299 from 159 screens.Eagle's
  • Italy's Delli Colli named international achievement award winner by ASC

    Tonino Delli Colli willreceive the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) InternationalAchievement Award, presented annually to an individual whose body of work hasmade "an enduring impact on the global art form".The award will be presentedto Delli Colli during the 19th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards on Feb20, 2005 in Los Angeles.Delli Colli was at thevanguard of a new generation of cinematographers who pioneered neo-realistcinema after the second world war, earni
  • Jecmen promoted to senior vp, legal finance, at MGM

    Judith A Jecmen has beenpromoted to senior vice president of legal finance at MGM.'Judith is an integralmember of the business affairs team," MGM's executive vice president ofbusiness affairs Jonathan Bader, to whom Jecmen will report, said in astatement.'She is incrediblyversatile. She has the unique ability to handle the most complicated financingtransactions, as well as an array of our other production and developmentdeals.'Jecmen joined the company
  • Kranks disappoints in German-speaking openings for Sony

    Sony's mystery The Forgotten grossed an estimated $3m on 1,525 screens in 27 marketsthrough Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) at the weekend, openingthird in the UK on $1.1m on 300 and fourth in Holland on $230,000 on 30.
  • LaMarre's urban western Click starts shooting for Sony

    Production began in LosAngeles this week on Jean Claude LaMarre's urban western Click, starring the rappers Wyclef and Kurupt and DavidCarradine.Set at the end of the CivilWar, Click follows the turbulent journey of a group of outlaws who bandtogether to rob the town bank, despite the best efforts of a bounty hunter, acattle baron and a female sheriff.Kurupt and Wyclef are bothcontributing original songs on the hip-hop soundtrack.Click is a Warning Fi
  • Les Soeurs Fachees

    Dir/scr. AlexandraLeclere. Fr. 2004. 93mins.A vehicle for theconsiderable thespian prowess of Isabelle Huppert, film-maker Alexandra Lecleremakes an effective debut with Les Soeurs Fachees, a family drama thatshould play well in mainstream Francophone markets.The traditional French feeland the cast attraction of Huppert (enjoying a higher profile of late through IHeart Huckabee's) should help introduce it in appropriate overseas ma
  • Liberia wins IDA's Courage Under Fire award

    Jonathan Stackand James Brabazon will receive the International Documentary Association's(IDA) Courage Under Fire Award for Liberia: An Uncivil War.The picture charts a crucial time in the political life ofthe West African nation in summer 2003 as a rebel army comprising indigenousLiberians attempts to overthrow the government of then-president CharlesTaylor.It recently wonthe Special Jury Award at the International Documentary Filmfe
  • Lions Gate, 2929 team on spelling bee heartwarmer

    Lions Gate Films and ToddWagner and Mark Cuban's 2929 Entertainment are teaming up to finance anddistribute the Spelling Bee drama Akeelah And The Bee.An early 2005 start has beenset for the project, which concerns a precocious 11-year-old girl from LosAngeles' South Central district whose journey to compete in the NationalSpelling Bee competition unites her community.The picture stars LaurenceFishburne and Keke Palmer, whose credits include Barbershop 2: Back InBusine
  • Machuca

    Dir: Andres Wood.Chile-Spain. 2004. 120mins.Originally screened inDirectors Fortnight at Cannes this year, Andres Wood's Machuca haspicked up steam throughout the year, is the official Chilean selection for theforeign language Academy Award and was recently picked up for US distributionby Menemsha Films.It's an unsettling piece seton the eve of the military coup in Chile in 1973, and seen through the eyes ofa privileged rich kid called Gonzalo. And unlike an
  • Mammoth doc excites Brazilian Film Market

    The second annual Brazilian Film Market has wrapped inthe country's capital of Brasilia, with 68 features, 81 documentaries and 154shorts being presented to 23 international TV and film buyers from 11countries.The marketran concurrently to Brazil's oldest film festival, the Brasilia Film Festival,now in its 37th year and wrapping on Tuesday.
  • Mannheim fetes Norwegian comedy Chlorox

    Norwegian filmmaker Mona J. Hoel's comedy Chlorox,Ammonia And Coffee (Salto, Salmiakk Og Kaffe!) won the Main Award ofMannheim-Heidelberg at this year's International Film FestivalMannheim-Heidelberg (18-27 November).The International Jury gave its Special Award to threefilms: David Lanzmann's Doo Wop, Annette Sjursen's My Jealous Barber(Min Misunnelige Frisor) and Nathaniel Geary's On The Corner, whilethe Rainer Werner Fassbinder Prize was presented to M
  • Moore to receive film-maker award at IFP Gotham Awards

    Michael Moorewill receive the Filmmaker Award at the 14th Annual Gothams on Dec 1 in NewYork City.Moore's awardmarks the last and final tribute of this year's show, which include theFilmmaker Award for Lifetime Achievement to Mike Leigh, Gotham Actor Award toDon Cheadle, Industry Lifetime Achievement Award to Dan Talbot, and theCelebrate New York salute to Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.Four competitiveawards - Best Feature, Best Documentary, Br
  • Neverland wins best film prize from NBR

    Marc Forster's JM Barriedrama Finding Neverland fromMiramax Films claimed the first major honour of the awards season today (Wed)when it was named film of the year by the National Board of Review (NBR).Alejandro Amenabar'seuthanasia drama The Sea Inside,which Fine Line is due to release on Dec 17, was declared top foreign filmwhile Zana Briski and Ross Kaufman's Calcutta-set Born Into Brothels is the NBR's top documentary of the year.Jamie Foxx fuelled his O
  • New York Critics swap chairs on the eve of annual awards

    Jonathan Foremanhas stepped down as chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle due to ajournalistic assignment in Asia and has been replaced by US Weekly criticThelma Adams."We would like to thank Jonathan Foreman for hiscontribution to the Circle to date," Adams said in a statement."I'm honoured tostep in and lead a group to which I'm so passionately committed - especially inthis strong year of intelligent and provocative films."Th
  • NonStop deals for Sayles' Silver

    Two months after acquiring the international distribution rights for USindie director John Sayles' latest feature Silver City,Scandinavian-based sales agent NonStop Sales has landed multiple deals on thefilm worldwide.In the past few weeks NonStop Sales has signed all rights agreementswith California Films for Brazil, Pacific Marketing and Entertainment forThailand, Bir Film in Turkey, Roma Movie for Italy and Tartan Films forUK/Ireland.The film was already licensed to No
  • Norwegian-Pakistani Goodfellas gets greenlight

    With a substantial $1.2m (NOK 7.5m) backing, the NorwegianFilm Fund has put the first Norwegian-Pakistani action movie on the fast trackfor veteran producer John M. Jacobsen's Filmkameratene.Izzat is the featuredebut of Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen, who wrote the script with Leon Bashir. The Goodfellas-like story follows Wasim and his youth gang years inthe 80s to his young adult years in the 90s."It is a kind of film which we haven't seen inNorway before," film commission
  • Odeon unveils Phantom Eurostar deal

    The UK's Odeon Cinemas, the territory's biggestexhibitor, is partnering with train operator Eurostar to offer audiences forthe film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom Of The Opera a chance toget two-for-one rail tickets to Paris where the musical is set.FromDec 10, when the film debuts across the UK, anyone purchasing two tickets forthe film at an Odeon cinema will receive a Eurostar vou
  • Paris film fest to get 20th edition makeover

    The Paris Film Festival willbe re-christened the Paris Ile de France Film Festival when its 20thedition runs next spring from March 28 to April 5.Organisers announced thechange on Monday and said that the festival would be broadened to include thesurrounding suburbs.Since its inception in 1986,the festival has been restricted to the capital itself but will now see theofficial selection films shown in outlying areas that make up the ensemble ofthe Paris region
  • Polar has $8.2m weekend for Warner Bros after major territory openings

    Fuelled by estimated $2m launch in Germany at the weekend, ThePolar Express grossed$8.2m through Warner Bros Pictures International at the weekend.
  • Reflections shine at Bucharest festival

    Young Swedishdirector Stina Bergman's Reflections of the Sun won the DaKINO Trophy(including a purse of $5000) at the first edition of the BucharestInternational Film Festival (BiFest).The Romaniancapital's first international film festival , launched under the presidency ofLucian Georgescu and Dan Chisu, also played host to the 14th edition of theDaKINO Short Film Festival.Threelifetime-achievement awards were also presented at the festival's closing
  • Senator picks up German rights to Rings parody

    Germany's Senator Film Verleih has picked up theGerman rights for the Swiss Lord Of The Rings parody, The Ring Thing,ahead of its world premiere in German-speaking Switzerland by the local outpostof Buena Vista International (BVI) on December 16.According to the film's producer Kristian Widmerof Condor Communications, which produced the film with the Elevator Group, BVIare planning to launch The Ring Thing 'on a similar scale' toits 2003 local r
  • SF Anytime seals longterm broadband VOD deal with Warner Bros

    Warner Bros InternationalTelevision Distribution (WBITD) and the Nordic Video-On-Demand service SFAnytime have signed a long-term broadband VOD deal.The agreement gives SFAnytime the right to offer current feature film releases no later than sixmonths after the DVD release, as well as a selection of library titles online.As with WBITD's deal withTelecom Italia announced yesterday, content will be geo-filtered to ensure itis available to broadband customers in Nordic countries on
  • Sideways leads Independent Spirits nominations

    Fox Searchlight's Sideways cast its shadow over the competition yesterday (30)when it was nominated for six 2005 IFP Independent Spirit Awards.Alexander Payne's film wasfollowed by Fine Line Features' Maria Full Of Grace on five and Wolfe Releasing's Brother To Brother, THINKFilm's Primer, Robbing Peter (no distributor) and Fox Searchlight's Kinsey on four apiece.Sideways will compete for Best Feature honours with Kinsey,
  • Sideways named best feature at Gothams

    Alexander Payne's Sideways won the best feature award at IFP/New York's 14thAnnual Gothams Awards last night (1) and The Agronomist, Jonathan Demme's documentary about the Haitiancivil rights leader Jean Dominique, took top documentary honours.Breakthrough actor honourswent to Catalina Sandino Moreno for her role in Maria Full Of Grace, while that picture's director Joshua Marston wasnamed breakthrough director.As previously announced, thenon-competitive awa
  • Silver City

    Dir/scr/ed: John Sayles.US. 2004. 128minsWith his political satireslash noir murder mystery Silver City, American maverick John Saylesmight just have made his most commercial movie to date. While much of the film'stopicality, especially in the US, might have rested on last month's USelection, the return of George W Bush to power means that it has a currencythat still resonates.
  • Six-way co-production for Austrian Headsman

    As so often in the Austrianfilm scene, the idea for the medieval adventure story Henker(provisionally known in English as The Headsman) was born in a Viennacoffee house when screenwriter Susanne Freund pitched the story idea toproducer Helmut Grasser of Allegro Film 4-5 years ago.Once a treatment had beenprepared, they started looking for a director and soon decided on Swiss-bornSimon Aeby who had come to Grasser's attention after he saw his Max OphuelsPrize-winning Engli
  • Slovenian filmmakers receive CineLink awards

    Slovenian filmmakers HannaSlak and Damjan Kozole have each been awarded one of the Euros 25,000 CineLinkAwards donated by the Sarajevo Film Festival, Kodak and Austrian film labSynchro.The international jury ofPhilippe Bober, Hashemian Behrooz and Cedomir Kolar chose Slak's Teabecause it "carries a distinct author's style and exudes freshness andcreative energy. Hanna Slak has a chance to make a film that combines the bestof regional identity with universal accessibility." The E
  • Sony sets Da Vinci Code for worldwide day-and-date on May 19 '06

    Tom Hanks has been confirmedas the lead in Columbia Pictures' upcoming adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, which has been set for a worldwide day-and-daterelease on May 19 2006.Hanks will play thesymbologist Robert Langdon, who is drawn into a world of intrigue and murdercentering on the possible whereabouts of the Holy Grail.Ron Howard will reunite withhis A Beautiful Mind screenwriterAkiva Goldsman and production is set to begin in the US and Europe next year.Brian
  • Spirit Awards voters will have screeners courtesy of Netflix

    IFP/Los Angelesis partnering with online DVD rental service Netflix to make all titlesnominated today (30) for next February's Independent Spirit Awards accessibleto voting members.Netflix andIFP/Los Angeles have created an official Members Viewing Site, inviting studiosto take part in a service that offers filmmakers - whose pictures are oftenwithout distributor - a valuable way of ensuring their pictures are seen byvoting IFP members."We have wantedfor year
  • Studios partner with Toshiba on HD DVD technology

    Paramount,Universal, Warner Bros, New Line, HBO and Toshiba have thrown their weightbehind the new generation HD DVD technology, endorsed by the DVD Forumcomprising studios, consumer electronics manufacturers and IT industry leaders.It is understoodthe new HD discs will be created by the studios while Toshiba will manufacturethe HD DVD players. HD DVDs offer enhanced picture quality, stronger contentprotection - one of the studios' chief concerns these days - and advancednavigation too
  • Sundance unveils four competition strands for 2005 festival

    42 world, nine NorthAmerican and nine US premieres are among the Independent Feature Film andinaugural World Cinema competitions announced yesterday (29) by organisers atthe Sundance Film festival, which is set to run in Park City, Utah, from Jan20-30 2005.Both the Independent andWorld Cinema banners carry dramatic and documentary strands. Internationaldramatic entries offer a colourful assortment of stories from Angola, Denmark,Ecuador and Japan, among others, and their independent US
  • SWEDEN 2 December

    The critics might have givenOliver Stone's Alexander as cool a reception as in the States, but theepic nevertheless laid siege to the box-office across the region and conqueredthe top of the charts in Denmark, Sweden and Finland (it is released in Norwayon Dec 3).In Sweden, where Stonegraced the premiere with a visit and picked up a lifetime achievement award atthe Stockholm Film Festival, Alexander grossed a healthy $474,567 andheld a strong $7,780 sc
  • The Alzheimer Case (De Zaak Alzheimer)

    Dir:Erik Van Looy. Belgium. 2003. 120minsEveryoneis looking for the fresh twist that can raise a thriller out of the ranks ofthe ordinary. Erik Van Looy appears to have found it in The Alzheimer Case.The twist here is a hired killer turned avenging angel struggling with theonset of Alzheimers. His faltering memory, wounded pride and bleak prognosisinevitably add echo
  • The Aviator

    Dir: Martin Scorsese. US.2004. 169 mins. He's perhaps best knownas a nutty old recluse, but it's the younger Howard Hughes, the ambitious movieproducer, industrialist and aviation pioneer, that interests Martin Scorseseand Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator, their epic period biopic forMiramax, Warner and Initial Entertainment Group. Director and star paint alively, beautifully crafted and richly detailed portrait of Hughes that isabsorbing enough to
  • The Moon shines at IDFA

    Despite the cloud cast over proceedings by the murder offilmmaker Theo Van Gogh earlier this month, the mood as the 17th InternationalAmsterdam Documentary Festival (IDFA) drew to an end at the weekend was upbeat.Audience figures were up to 120,000 (from 116,000 last year) and moreinternational visitors (2300) were in town than at any previous edition of thefestival.Some uncertainty remains over IDFA's main screeningbase. The City multiplex is being re-developed and the festival is lik
  • Top Korean director in talks to sign with CAA

    South Korean director Kang Je-gyu is inthe final stage of negotiations to sign on with Creative Artists Agency (CAA),which would make him the first Korean filmmaker to work through one of themajor Hollywood talent agencies.According to production/sales company MKB, Kang isalso fielding multiple offers from major Hollywood studios regarding his as-yetunannounced next proj
  • Treasure, Incredibles bring incredible treasure to Disney

    Buena Vista basked in a rare one-two over Thanksgiving holidayweekend as National Treasure retained top spot with an estimated $46.2m haul and TheIncredibles climbed oneplace to second to comfortably pass $200m in its fourth weekend.
  • Tropical Malady scoops Grand Prize at fifth FILMeX festival in Tokyo

    TropicalMalady - this year's Cannes special jury prize winner, has won the Grand Prizeat the fifth edition of the FILMeX festival in Tokyo.Director Apichatpong Weerasethakulwon a $9,000 cash prize (Y1m) for the second time, after winning the prize withBlissfully Yours in 2002.
  • Tropical Malady scoops Grand Prize at fifth FILMeX festival in Tokyo

    TropicalMalady - this year's Cannes special jury prize winner, has won the Grand Prizeat the fifth edition of the FILMeX festival in Tokyo.Director Apichatpong Weerasethakulwon a $9,000 cash prize (Y1m) for the second time, after winning the prize withBlissfully Yours in 2002.The Special Jury Prize"Kodak Vision Awa
  • UK industry on tenterhooks over tax D-Day

    The British productionsector is on tenterhooks ahead of a widely-anticipated clamp down on tax fundsin today's pre-budget report.Producers have been fearingthe worst since a dressing-down from the Inland Revenue last week in whichfilmmakers were attacked for abuses including so-called double dipping undertax support mechanism Section 48.Support body the UK FilmCouncil has been tight-lipped, no doubt in a bid to dampen government ire,while some maintain that t
  • UK Treasury tightens tax rules, unveils Section 42 review

    The UK Treasury has said it is closing 'avoidanceschemes' that exploit tax relief for British film production.Chancellor Gordon Brown's pre-budget report todayannounced an end to the practice of 'double dipping' on both Section 42 andSection 48 in which tax relief is claimed twice on the production andacquisition costs of a film.However, the government says that most films alreadyshooting will not be affected. There will be transitional arrangements forfilms which began principa
  • United Nations wins film documentary preservation award

    The UnitedNations Department of Public Information/News and Media Division will receivethe 2004 International Documentary Association's (IDA) Preservation &Scholarship Award.The award ispresented annually to an individual or organisation that has made unique andimportant contributions to preserving significant documentaries for futuregenerations, or for educating the public and industry about the rolenon-fiction filmmaking plays in society.Amhad Fawzi willacc
  • Vera Drake shines at British Independent Film Awards

    Venice Golden Lion-winner VeraDrake took four of the top awards and scooped a total of six prizes at lastnight's British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs).The story of a well-meaningback-street abortionist was named best independent film, Mike Leigh was namedbest director and lead actors Imelda Staunton and Phil Davis were named bestactors. The film also won prizes for Eddie Marsan as best supporting actor andbest achievement in production.Park Chan-wook's Oldboywas
  • Warner, Telecom Italia sign broadband film deal

    Warner Bros. InternationalTelevision Distribution (WBITD) and Telecom Italia have signed a two-year dealfor the distribution of more than 100 movies each year via the Rosso Alicebroadband portal.Starting from December 1, allADSL users will be able to purchase both new movies along with library titles.The movies will be availablein streaming mode for 24 hours following their purchase and will begeo-filtered to ensure that they are available only to Italian users. The dealalso com