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5 May 2008

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  • 13 projects line up for Sundance Directors & Screenwriters Labs

    The Sundance Institute has selected 13 projects for its annual June Directors and Screenwriters Labs, which will take place at the Sundance Resort in Utah from May 26- June 26.Under the leadership of Michelle Satter and the artistic direction of Gyula Gazdag, the projects selected for this year's residency include emerging film-makers from the US, South Africa, China, Costa Rica, Brazil, and the UK.The Labs are the core of the Feature Film Programme and provide an opportu

  • 2008 Q1: FILM GROSSES



  • An Empress And The Warriors

    Dir. Tony Ching. Hong Kong/China. 2008. 93 mins.Celebrated action choreographer Tony Ching's latest and most ambitious directorial outing is a case study in the dangers of setting out deliberately to make a martial arts epic with wide territorial outreach and broad audience appeal. A light yarn about a female ruler's attempts to reconcile affairs of state and affairs of the heart, An Empress is certainly a good-looking package, its lavish costumes, flashy sets and
  • Ann Dubinet takes full-time position at Unified Pictures

    Ann Dubinet has joined Keith Kjarval's Los Angeles-based production, distribution and sales company Unified Pictures as head of strategic planning, acquisitions and distribution after spending a period consulting for the company.Dubinet will report to Kjarval and will oversee the company's international sales and distribution operations as well as domestic distribution and the marketing of all Unified titles. She will also evaluate projects for production and acquisition.
  • Babelsberg posts most successful financial year since privatisation

    Studio Babelsberg has posted its most successful financial year since the privatisation of the production complex in 1992 thanks, in particular, to such international co-productions as the Wachowski brothers' Speed Racer, Bryan Singer's Valkyrie and Tom Tykwer's The International.On the publication of its annual report for 2007 on Tuesday morning in Frankfurt, th
  • Beijing government establishes copyright trade centre

    Beijing's municipal government has established a unit called the Beijing International Copyright Trade Centre, which is China's first cross governmental unit focusing on copyright trade and protection services. Established as Beijing's first ever one-stop shop for full copyright-related services, the centre will provide copyright registration, legal services on intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, copyright management and copyright infringement reports.According to Jonary
  • Bekkie Sunley named brand manager for LoveFilm

    Bekkie Sunley has joined LoveFilm as brand manager.She joins LoveFilm from Universal Music Group, where she had product manager and marketing coordination roles across Universal Classics & Jazz, and Universal Music TV.Sunley will report to head of brand marketing Fliss White, who said: 'Bekkie is a welcome addition to the team during what is one of the most exciting times for LoveFilm. As the pace quickens for the company, we're constantly upping our game and consequently making a
  • Bill Lawrence named creative director at Showroom, Workstation

    Bill Lawrence has been named to the new post of creative director at Sheffield, UK-based Showroom and Workstation.He will will be responsible for all of the company's creative programming including films, seasons, retrospectives, cross artform exhibitions and projects and entertainment.Bill was most recently Head of Film at the National Media Museum in Bradford and is a director on the Boards of Screen Yorkshire, Bradford - City of Film and the York Film Trust. He set up the Bra
  • Bitter & Twisted

    Dir. Christopher Weekes. 2008. Australia . 88 mins.It's a miracle when an untracked English-language film arrives on the scene - and a special joy when said movie is smashing. The 28-year-old Weekes and some of his friends made Bitter & Twisted themselves for around $200,000. With no institutional support, they planned lighting and editing on a computer at home. The result is an ensemble piece about a family's reaction to son Liam's untimely death th
  • Black & Blue starts shooting UK comedy Mixed Up

    Black & Blue Films has started shooting UK comedy Mixed Up. The story, set in a record shop, stars Billy Murray, Adele Silva, Terry Stone, Zara Dawson, Lee Otwayterry Stone, Anna Brecon, Faye Tozer, Lisa McAllister, Giles Alderson, Sylvester McCoy and Abi Titmuss.The privately financed project is shooting on location at a Croydon record store. Phillip Barron wrote the script.Jonathan Sothcott, who runs Black & Blue with actor Martin Kemp, is producing. No sales agent is
  • Blindness to open Cannes Film Festival

    Fernando Meirelles' Blindness is to open the Cannes Film Festival and will join the Competition line-up, it has been confirmed.The film, about a city hit with a plague causing most of the population to go blind, was adapted by Don McKellar from the novel by Jose Saramago.The cast is led by Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Danny Glover and Gael Garcia Bernal.Last week, when the official line-up was announced, many industry observers questioned why Blindness had
  • Box office gap between international and domestic widens in Q1

    Screen International's first-quarter box office survey indicates a widening gap between international and domestic performance.Click here to see international market share by distributor
  • Britdoc opens applications for Big Pitch forum

    Britdoc, now in its third year, has opened applications for The Big Pitch, it's Dragon's Den-style international pitching forum.Investors and comissioning editors from the US, Europe and Asia will participate. Last year's panel included experts from HBO, IFC, ARTE, Sundance Institute, ITVS, NHK Japan, Netflix, Discovery Films and SBS Australia.More than $2m (£1m) in funding has been raised in each of the Big Pitch's past two editions.'The results speak fo
  • Canadian finance minister wades into C-10 fray

    Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty has entered the ongoing film tax credit fray, saying the proposed tax law should not be amended and suggesting the issue will be a confidence vote of the Conservative minority government he represents.The minister's comments followed an appearance before the Senate banking committee studying the proposed amendments to Bill C-10. As currently written, Bill C-10 would give the minister of Canadian Heritage the right to withhold the fed
  • Cerenzie-Peters acquires remake rights to Thai Devil

    Paramount Pictures-based production and finance company Cerenzie-Peters Productions has acquired English-language remake rights to Thai horror hit Art Of The Devil 2 from Thailand's Five Star Production. The picture is part of a successful franchise that has spawned three films. The other two films are also included in the deal as first options for CP Productions.According to Five Star's executive director Aphiradee Iamphungphorn, the third film, Art Of The Devil 3, h
  • Chinese video site Tudou receives $57m in financing

    Chinese video-sharing web-site has secured $57m in its fourth round of financing from investors including previous backers IDG, Granite Global Ventures and General Catalyst. The company also has financing from two new investors from the US and Singapore, according to Tudou press representative Lily Gong in a statement.Tudou previously completed three rounds of financing from 2005 to 2007, receiving $500,000, $8.5m and $19m. With the fourth round it has raised finance of $
  • Coach 14 and Orly join forces on films from Resnais, Huster and Miller

    French sales companies Coach 14 and Orly Films are teaming upto handle three films from producer Jean-Louis Livi going into the Cannes Market.The association is a one-off but is designed to bring together the two outfits' know-how and to provide buyers with a double interlocutor on these particular projects which Orly's Alain Vannier refers to as 'ambitious French prestige films.'The indefatigable AlainResnais is currently shooting the ensemble dramatic comedy, Les Herbes Fol
  • Coach 14 Cannes slate includes Critics Week entry La Sangre Brota

    French sales company Coach 14 has announced its line-up heading into the Cannes Film Festival.The company boasts Critics Week title La Sangre Brota, a second film from Pablo Fendrik. Fendrik's first film, El Asaltante, ran in Critics Week last year.Coach's Pape Boye says the director is a 'sure thing, an immense talent.' As with Fendrik's last film, the action in Sangre Brota takes place in the space of a day and focuses on the violent struggles inside one f
  • Critics Week adds special screening of Swiss Home

    Paris-based Memento Films has confirmed that its Swiss black comedy, Home, has been added as a special screening in Critics Week.Directed by Ursula Meier and starring Isabelle Huppert and Olivier Gourmet, the film has been scheduled into the prestigious Sunday night slot which was reserved for Juan Antonio Bayona's The Orphanage last year.Home tells t
  • Filmax takes international rights to Colombian hit Paraiso Travel

    Filmax has acquired international sales rights and Spanish theatrical rights to Simon Brand's Colombian smash Paraiso Travel, which had its US premiere at Tribeca at the weekend.The Paraiso Pictures and Grand Illusions Entertainment production was adapted from Jorge Franco's novel of the same name and centres on a lovelorn teen as he follows his girlfriend from Colombia to Queens, New York. Aldemar Correa and Angelica Blandon star along with Jo
  • Final names of Un Certain Regard jury announced

    The Cannes Film Festival has announced the completion of the jury for the Un Certain Regard sidebar.As previously announced, director Fatih Akin will preside over the jury.Joining him are journalists Anupama Chopra and Catherine Mtsitouridze from India and Russia, respectively; film critic Yasser Moheb from Egypt and director of Spain's Filmoteca, Jose Maria Prado.Additions remain to be made to the main competition jury.
  • Finding Amanda

    Dir/scr. Peter Tolan, US, 2008, 100 minutesIn Finding Amanda , a compulsive gambler who is also a recovering drunk sets out for Las Vegas to find his hooker niece and take her to rehab in Malibu . It's a comedy suicide mission, a Saving Prostitute Ryan which offers up some zinger lines in the trenches of Sin City but fails to live up to its ingenious concept.
  • Five finalists named in Foreign category of student Academy Awards

    Five finalists selected from 45 entries representing 29 countries will compete for the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences' 2008 Honorary Foreign Film award in the 35th Annual Student Academy Awards.The winning student film-maker will be brought to Los Angeles, along with US-based Student Academy Award winners, to participate in a week of industry-related activities and social events culminating in the awards ceremony on June 7 in Beverly Hills.The finalists are (
  • Focus: the changing face of Japanese distribution

    As the world's third largest box-office territory behind the US and UK, Japan is a hugely influential player in the international sales business. And until a few years ago, Japanese distributors would regularly stump up 10%-12% of the budget of heavyweight independent films.So it is not surprising Usen Corp's recent announcement that its subsidiary Gaga Communications is withdrawing from acquisitions and production has created a ripple of anxiety throughout the industry.A pionee
  • Forbidden Kingdom kicks into top international spot on Screen's chart

    Martial arts adventure The Forbidden Kingdom came up trumps this weekend with a $16.8m take from 10 territories, making it this weekend's number one international film. The top 40 international films generated $104.2m across 36,933 screens from the period of April 25-27.For the full chart, compiled by Len Klady, click here.The Chinese-US co-production expanded in
  • Fox picks up Australian rights for Children Of Huang Shi

    Australia producer Jonathan Shteinman has extricated The Children Of Huang Shi from Icon's take-over of Dendy Films and done a deal that will see 20th Century Fox Film Distributors release the film in Australia.The film premiered in China in early April and Fox will release the film in Australia in July under the name Children Of The Silk Road. It tells the true story of two westerners, a young British journalist and a courageous Australian nurse, who help save 60 orphans
  • From Within

    Dir. Phedon Papamichael. 2008. USA . 90mins.Although he is a well-regarded cinematographer (Sideways, I Walk The Line), Phedon Papamichael's third foray into directing is little more than another hackneyed horror film. The visuals are assured, but Keene 's screenplay relentlessly piles on the cliches. Without recognizable stars and indistinguishable from most offerings on late-night cable, From Within will hav
  • HAF's Esther Yeung joins Fortissimo Hong Kongoffice

    Fortissimo Films has announced a restructuring of its Hong Kong executive team.Esther Yeung has been hired as director of marketing & special projects, replacing Raymond Phathanavirangoon, who is leaving the company.Yeung was previously one of the managers ofthe Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.From 2004 to 2007she was festival director & programme curator for The Hong Kong Asian Film Festival while at the same time se
  • Hollingsworth named MD of Warner Home Video Mexico

    Schuyler Hollingsworth III has been promoted to managing director of Warner Home Video Mexico.Hollingsworth will manage all operations including DVD, video games and digital revenue streams and will work closely with senior management in the US and Canada to streamline the business.Schuyler previously served as vice president of sales, theatrical new release, and played a key role in Warner Home Video's Global Business Transformation, a project launched to redesign the bu
  • Holly Weston follows Madonna film with UK horror Splintered

    Simeon Halligan is making his feature directorial debut with psychological horror/thriller Splintered.Holly Weston, who recently appeared in Madonna's Filth & Wisdom, plays the lead as troubled teen Sophie, who leads a group of friends into trouble in the countryside before she is captured. The cast also features Stephen Martin Walters, Sasha Dhawan, Sadie Pickering, Johnathan Redwin, Sol Heras, and Colin Tierney. Steve Trimingham wrote the script.Rachel Richar
  • Hot Fuzz wins BAFTA/LA Comedy prize

    Edgar Wright's Hot Fuzz won Best British Comedy Film Award at the inaugural BAFTA/LA British Comedy Award in Los Angeles last night and star Simon Pegg took home Best British Comedy Performer In Film.Billy Connolly received the BAFTA/LA Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy and Extras won Best British Comedy Television Programme.'BAFTA/LA is delighted to have honored some of Britain's most beloved comedic luminaries at the first British Comedy Awards Presented b
  • Hunger to open Cannes Un Certain Regard

    Steve McQueen's Hunger about IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands is to open the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes. The film was a surprise ommission when the festival line-up was announced last week but its presence was confirmed today.British artist McQueen co-wrote the screenplay with award-winning playwright Enda Walsh (Disco Pigs).The film stars Michael Fassbender, seen in 300 and Francois Ozon's Angel.The film has been co-financed by Ch
  • iDream bolsters Cannes slate with Ocean Of Pearls

    London-based sales agent iDream Independent Pictures has added Ocean Of Pearls, directed by Dr Sarab Singh Neelam, to its Cannes line-up. Shot in Los Angeles, the film tells the story of a young US-born Sikh surgeon who finds that his religious beliefs of wearing a turban and beard make him the victim of racial profiling in the US. The cast is headed by Omid Abtahi and Navi Rawat, who feature in the CBS TV series Numb3ers, Ron Canada (Ugly Betty) and Hea
  • In focus - Talking points - 'We just have to be more targeted'

    IM Global chief Stuart Ford was in Tokyo visiting buyers when the news about Gaga broke. "I think the announcement's been interpreted as a more drastic change of strategy than may actually be the case," he says. "The Gaga brand is an important one in Japanese cinema and I think its parent company will keep it very active releasing both locally produced films as well as US acquisitions."The structuring of how those acquisitions are financed may take a more risk-averse form than before b
  • International - Kingdom leaps to top

    Martial-arts adventure The Forbidden Kingdom came up trumps this weekend with a $16.8m take from 10 territories, making it this weekend's number one international film.The Chinese-US co-production expanded in five territories including Russia and South Korea, for a mammoth second weekend rise of 416%.The film, starring Jet Li and Jackie Chan, played across 2,336 screens for a $7,201 screen average, the second highest of the weekend. It is distributed by Lionsgate and Huay
  • Irish courts approve $96,540award to children shown in doc

    Five young school children whose images were used without permission in the Oscar-nominated documentary, Deliver Us From Evil, about American paedophile priest Oliver O'Grady, have had settlements totalling more than $96,540 (Eu62,500) approved by the Dublin Circuit Civil Court.The children's parents had sued director Amy Berg and Disarming Films, both represented by Beverly Hill-basd Endeavor; Lionsgate Entertainment, Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, California and Warrenmount
  • Irish Film Board appoints O'Neill and Notley to business roles

    The Irish Film Board (IFB) has appointed Patrick O'Neill to the new position of industry affairs executive and Laura Notley to the role of business affairs co-ordinator.O'Neill will work closely with IFB head of business affairs and deputy CEO, Teresa McGrane, on IFB policy and will manage one-off IFB projects to further strategic development. The role will encompass co-production certification, the development of new Irish co-production treaties, and the collation and analysis of stat
  • Irish Film Board proposes new Irish and world cinema TV channel

    The Irish Film Board (IFB) has announced a proposal for a new Irish TV channel, using new digital infrastructure, which will be dedicated to broadcasting the best of Irish, European and world cinema.The proposal has been made to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources for inclusion in Ireland's new Broadcasting Bill which will be launched by Minister Eammon Ryan next month.The new channel will be a non-commercial, free to air service, available to a
  • Iron Man boosts global box office with superheroic $200m opening

    Iron Man smashed its way to the top of the charts with a mighty $100.8m three-day launch that kicked off the summer season in fine style.The Marvel Studios film, which Paramount is releasing around the world, registered the eight biggest three-day debut of all time and easily scored the biggest opening for director Jon Favreau and star Robert Downey Jr.Iron Man also
  • Iron Man grosses include $10.3m in UK, $9.6m in Mexico for PPI

    Iron Man stamped his mark all over the world as Marvel's latest superhero sensation launched through Paramount Pictures International (PPI) on an estimated $96.8m in 57 territories.The storming debut combines with the $100.8m domestic launch to put the film on $197.6m after three days. The film opened day-and-date with North America virtually everywhere except Japan, where it opens later in the year through Sony Pictures Releasing International
  • James, Machin, Davies join Film Agency For Wales board

    The Film Agency For Wales has added three new board members. They are journalist/producer Alison James, THINKFilm International's Will Machin and Welsh media studies lecturer Cath Davies.The appointments were announced by Agency chairman Peter Edwards.Edwards said: 'The first 18 months of the life of the Film Agency has been an incredibly successful and intense period with more than seven feature films in production. We are incredibly fortunate to benefit from a Board who are co
  • Katapult picks up international to Madonna's Filth And Wisdom

    Katapult Film Sales has acquired international rights before Cannes to Madonna's feature directorial debut Filth And Wisdom, Richard Ledes' whistle-blowing drama The Caller that premiered at Tribeca last week and Boaz Yakin's drama Death In Love.Filth And Wisdom received its world premiere at Berlin and charts the everyday lives of three distinctive personalities wh
  • Kinowelt International unveils 'long-lost' Lubitsch

    Kinowelt International will be unveiling a 'long-lost' film by Ernst Lubitsch and the 'Director's Cut' of Percy Adlon's 1987 international hit Bagdad Cafe as market premieres at the forthcoming Marche du Film in Cannes.Made in 1921, Lubitsch's The Loves Of Pharaoh (Das Weib Des Pharao) was his last large-scale production in Germany before the director left Europe to seek his fortune in Hollywood.Shot on lavish sets in the south of Berlin with thousands of extra
  • L: Change The World

    Dir: Hideo Nakata. Japan . 2008. 130 mins.A strong whiff of the well-milked cash cow hangs around this pedestrian follow-up to the hugely popular Death Note films - live-action versions of Takeshi Obata's bestselling manga. Though Goths the world over will rejoice at the top billing given here to cool, stooped, sweet-guzzling, kohl-rimmed detective L, played by teen idol Mayuko Fukuda - who was the highlight of Death Note and its sequel Dea
  • Lake City

    Dirs. Perry Moore/Hunter Hill, 2008, US, 92 minutes .Lake City sets its earnest prodigal son story in a small southern town. When black sheep Billy (Garity) comes home with a young boy to his mother, Maggie (Spacek), a violent drug war follows him. Southern novelist Thomas Wolfe may have written 'You can't go home again', but in this story Billy is certainly back in his family's spacious house, hiding with a knapsack full o
  • Latin America - Argentina

    Buenos Aires alone hosted 18 feature films last year, of which three were international productions, including James Ivory's The City Of Your Final Destination. And productivity looks to be continuing into 2008 with Francis Ford Coppola in town this month to shoot immigration drama Tetro.The city's attractions are multiple: experienced local crews, European-style architecture and cheap costs thanks to the devaluation of the peso. According to the Argentinian Film Industry Union, shooti
  • Latin America - Lure of the Latin beat

    BRAZILThe country's cities and the mighty Amazon are providing the backdrop to a growing number of US productions. Elaine Guerini reports.Brazil is gradually shedding its image as a violent and volatile place for film-making by welcoming a host of international footloose productions to the territory. Not content with stunning and varied locations, Brazil also offers international producers low shooting costs, sophisticated facilities and first-rate local crews. Visiting producti
  • Latin America - Mexico

    Steven Soderbergh is the latest in a long line of major US film-makers to be lured across the border, shooting his Che Guevara film The Argentine in Mexico. With its low costs, diverse landscapes, professional crews and proximity to Los Angeles, the country has long been a popular production destination for Hollywood.And now Mexico's leading financial incentive - article 266 of the Film Law, which was previously only available to local directors - can also be accessed by US and
  • Latin America - Q&A - Francis Ford Coppola

    Name: Francis Ford Coppola, director and producerProduction: TetroA co-production between Zoetrope Argentina, Zoetrope (US), Tornasol (Spain), Castafiore Films and BIM (Italy), Tetro follows the rivalries within an artistic Italian family living in Argentina. Shooting in Buenos Aires, Calafate, Bariloche in Argentina and Alicante in Spain from April until June with an international cast that includes Maribel Verdu and Vincent Gallo- Why did you decide to shoot in Buenos A
  • Latin America - Q&A - Gale Anne Hurd

    Name: Gale Anne Hurd, producerProduction: The Incredible HulkThis loose follow-up to 2003's Hulk shot in Rio de Janeiro in November (10 days in Tavares Bastos, three days in Bhering, one day in Lapa and one day in the Tijuca Forest) after 14 weeks in Canada- Why did you shoot in Brazil'The story takes place partly in Brazil. Rather than try to use Toronto, where we filmed the rest of the picture - which would have significantly reduced the scope of the Brazil seque
  • Latin America - Q&A - Laura Bickford

    Name: Laura Bickford, producerProduction: The ArgentineA US-Spanish co-production between Focus Features, Estudios Picasso, Laura Bickford Productions, Morena Films, Section 8 and Telecinco about Che Guevara's involvement in the Cuban revolution. The majority (12 weeks) of the shoot was done in the state of Campeche, Mexico from May to July, the rest in Spain, Puerto Rico and Bolivia- Why did you shoot in Mexico'We were doubling a location in Cuba - the city of San
  • Latin America - Q&A - Niv Fichman

    Name: Niv Fichman, producer, Rhombus MediaProduction: BlindnessFernando Meirelles' Blindness is set in an unnamed modern city. Last year, it shot in Sao Paulo for four weeks in October, in Montevideo, Uruguay for one week in September and in Canada for five weeks in August and September- Why did you shoot in Brazil'Obviously Meirelles was the main reason, but it turned out that Sao Paulo was the perfect choice because the audience does not identify where it is. Whe
  • Let The Right One In takes top narrative award at Tribeca

    Tomas Alfredson's Let The Right One In from Sweden took the Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature as the Tribeca Film Festival announced its winners [May 1].The awards were unveiled several days before the festival closes on May 3. At time of writing no major deals had closed, although there was interest on Trucker, Kassim The Dream, Tennessee, From Within, Bart Got A Room, Lioness and
  • Lightning adds Forever Strong to Cannes sales slate

    Santa Monica-based sales agency Lightning Entertainment has added Ryan Little's sports drama Forever Strong to its Cannes slate.Sean Faris stars as a brash rugby talent who winds up in detention centre following a DUI and joins a rival team under the guidance of a counsellor. Sean Astin and Neal McDonough also star.David Pliler wrote the screenplay and Little produced with Adam Abel. Crane Movie Company holds domestic rights and wil
  • Lightning picks up Aussie horror Gates Of Hell

    US sales agent Lightning Entertainment has picked up world rights to horror film The Gates Of Hell just in time for Cannes. Australian writer/director Kelly Dolen met all but one of the private investors that put up the $1.1m (A$1.2m) to make the film while installing theatre systems in their homes. He went into production early last year with a cast that included Michael Piccirilli, Samantha Noble, Christian Clark, Amy Beckwith and Bradley Tomlinson.A group of filmmakers de
  • Lionsgate UK launches local production initiative with three projects

    Lionsgate UK has confirmed plans to increase investment in UK films, intending to develop, co-produce and co-finance at least two British features per year.The initiative kicks off with three UK features set to shoot in 2009: Stiff by Dan Mazer, Emily-Jane Secret Mum as a co-production with Elton John and David Furnish's Rocket Pictures; and Debbie Issit's The Choir. Lionsgate UK's head of development Emma Berkofsky and head of production Nick Manzi wi
  • Liz Friedlander to direct film of Wolfe's I Am Charlotte Simmons

    Liz Friedlander, a veteran music video director who made her feature debut last year with Take The Lead, will direct a film of Tom Wolfe's best-selling novel I Am Charlotte Simmons, marking the first time Wolfe has allowed one of his novels to be optioned since The Bonfire Of The Vanities in 1987.Jere Hausfater's Esssential Entertainment is executive producing th
  • LongTale International picks up world rights to Palladin

    LongTale International has acquired worldwide rights to Pine Hill/Tousi's comedy Looking For Palladin starring Ben Gazzara, Talia Shire and David Moscow.Andrzej Krakowski wrote and directed the story of a brash Hollywood talent agent who travels to Guatemala to track down a retired Oscar-winning actor.LongTale International will screen the film to buyers at the Cannes market on May 16.The company's Cannes slate includes
  • Lorraine Lydon joins UK post house Evolutions

    London-based post-production company Evolutions has appointed Lorraine Lydon as operations manager.Lydon joins from a similar position at Envy Post and she previously worked at TMR and Blue.Lorraine will be based in Evolutions Soho Square facility and will manage the library, edit and media support team plus be responsible for maintaining and developing the company's operations.
  • Made Of Honour

    Dir: Paul Weiland . US. 2008. 101 mins.Just as its charming main character's plan to ruin his female best friend's wedding only succeeds in bringing himself down as well,sodoes Made Of Honor start off with a breezy likeability before sabotaging itself with generic, unsatisfying plotting. Despite appealing performances from Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan, this romantic comedy is maniacally conventional, stifling its leads' obvious spark along t
  • Martin Kelley promoted to svp of publicity at Paramount Vantage

    Paramount Vantage has promoted Katie Martin Kelley to senior vice president of publicity.She will report to executive vice president of marketing Megan Colligan and executive vice president of marketing and creative advertising Guy Endore-Kaiser.Martin Kelley joined the company in 2006 as vice president of publicity and will continue to work on all domestic campaigns for Paramount Vantage and Paramount Classics titles and will now oversee the day-to-day operations of the
  • Media Luna picks up Family Rules, three market debuts for Cannes

    Cologne-based sales company Media Luna Entertainment has picked up international distribution for Marc Meyer's ironic comedy Family Rules (Wir Sagen Du! Schatz) and is lining up another three market premieres for Cannes.Meyer's feature debut, starring Samuel Finzi, Nina Kronjaeger, and Anna Maria Muehe, was the closing film at last year's FilmFestival Cottbus, in competition at the Sofia International Film Festival in March, and won the Audience Jury's EuropaCinema Award for b
  • Miramax partners with Vaughn's MARV for The Debt

    Miramax Films is partnering with Matthew Vaughn and Kris Thykier's London-based MARV Films on The Debt. Miramax has acquired world rights to the screenplay, which reunites Vaughn with his Stardust co-writer Jane Goldman.The film is a re-make of the Israeli film The Debt (Ha-Hov), a spy thriller about three Mossad agents who hunt down a Nazi war criminal over 30 years. Vaughn and Thykier will produce for MARV.'The Debt is a compelling story and is exact
  • New Zealand - A-list Shines with Kiwi polish

    It may be small but New Zealand is one of the world's most popular filming locations. James Cameron has finished shooting the action sci-fi Avatar for Twentieth Century Fox in the territory, while Guillermo Del Toro is set to spend the next four years in New Zealand shooting two Hobbit films back-to-back for New Line and MGM. He will be working with executive producer Peter Jackson and his Wingnut and Weta production teams.Indeed from the seeds of the old government-owned
  • New Zealand - Facilities - Delivering post

    "Everybody thinks we went to New Zealand for its exotic locales," says Jon Landau, producer of James Cameron's 3D sci-fi epic Avatar. "We never left the studio. We did rent a warehouse off-site because we needed more space, but all our filming was studio-based."Landau wanted New Zealand's talent rather than its scenery. The country is a hot-bed of creativity and many artists have adapted their skills to film-making. They can be found, in particular, at Weta Workshop, which is he
  • New Zealand - Q&A - Jon Landau

    Name: Jon Landau, producerProduction: Avatar, directed by James Cameron, spent five months in Stone Street Studios, Wellington. The project also shot on location in Hawaii.- Why did you decide to shoot in New Zealand'First and foremost it had the calibre of artisans we were looking for to get the quality of sets, set dressing and craftsmanship up on screen. Using local crews and Weta Workshop, we were able to create what Jim (Cameron) describes as the best set he has ever
  • New Zealand - Q&A - Ralph Winter

    Name: Ralph Winter, producerProduction: The main unit of Twentieth Century Fox's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, directed by Gavin Hood, filmed for two-and-a-half weeks and the second unit for six weeks in New Zealand, principally in Queenstown and environs, Dunedin and Milford Sound, a fjord. All are in the lower half of the South Island. Most of the film is being made in Australia.- Why did you decide to shoot in New Zealand'The landscape and terrain had the same feel as the
  • New Zealand - Q&A - Richard Wright

    Name: Richard Wright, producerProduction: Underworld 3: Rise Of The Lycans shot in and around Auckland for 11 weeks earlier this year.- Why did you decide to shoot in New Zealand'We had to shoot January through March because of actors' availability. The film takes place almost completely at night and mainly outdoors, and we did not want to be shooting in a northern hemisphere winter. Plus you get a 15% rebate.- Where else did you consider and reject, and why
  • Nine get funding from London Artists' Film and Video Awards

    Nine London-based film and video artists will receive funding to produce new work through the 2008 London Artists' Film and Video Awards (LAFVA), supported by Film London in partnership with Arts Council England.This year's award recipients, each receiving up to $40,000 for proposed projects, are: Luciano Zubillaga; Stephen Connolly; Sarah Turner; Sara Preibsch; Samuel Stevens; Shezad Dawood; Anjalika Sagar & Kodwo Eshun; Sutapa Biswas; and Redmond Entwistle.The awards are now i
  • Odin's Eye sets up sales office in New York

    Dave Pederson, a producer on the Oscar-nominated documentary Super Size Me, is to represent Australian sales agent Odin's Eye Entertainment (OEE) in New York. His title will be vice president of international sales, but as head of the new office he will also be sourcing product for the fledgling Sydney-based operation.'This is an exciting time for OEE as we continue to expand,' chief executive Michael Favelle told Screendaily. 'I'm thrilled to welcome Dave aboard. He
  • Oh quits CJ Entertainment to join Fox Korea

    Fox Korea has appointed Tom Oh as managing director, replacing Jay Shim, effective from May 9. He will report to Fox vice president, Asia Pacific, Sunder Kimatrai. Oh was formerly senior vice president at CJ Entertainment, where he managed the international sales & distribution and festival activities for CJ and Cinema Service films.Between 2001 and 2005, he served as director of Asia Regional Distribution at Warner Bros, and prior to that worked at Warner Bros International Distri
  • Pagliuca leaves Nu Image/Millenium for The Film Department

    Inc Pagliuca has joined The Film Department from Nu Image/Millennium as vice president of international business affairs and will report to international president Steve Bickel.Pagliuca will assume responsibility for the company's foreign distribution agreements and related documents and will work closely with international clients as well as finance, business and legal affairs teams.Pagliuca has 16 years of experience in the international distribution sector. Apart from
  • Phathanavirangoon appointed TIFF South-East Asian programmer

    Former Fortissimo Films executive Raymond Phathanavirangoon has been appointed South-East Asian programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival. His selection remit includes Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. His co-programmer, TIFF veteran Giovanna Fulvi, will continue to programme titles from mainland China, Japan and South Korea. Fluent in many languages including English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Tha
  • PPI's Iron Man takes off worldwide and kicks off summer

    It's all about Iron Man this weekend as Paramount Pictures International (PPI) kicks off the 2008 summer blockbuster season with a huge day-and-date rollout.Paramount will release the Marvel Studios film in North America on May 2 and the top-line cast of Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeff Bridges allied to the inbuilt fanbase and rave reviews means Iron Man is expected to dominate everywhere.
  • Profile: The Latin Amercian Film Company

    Eduardo Costantini Jr first met Harvey Weinstein at a dinner during the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.Costantini is the son of an Argentinian tycoon who made his fortune in asset management and commercial real estate. At the time of the Weinstein meeting, Costantini Jr was running the Museum of Latin American Art, a $100m non-profit institution founded by his father in Buenos Aires, dedicated to the promotion of Latin American art, cinema and literature.He also regularly attended fi
  • Protagonist takeson sales forBBC Films' In The Loop

    New UK sales company Protagonist Pictures has taken on its first third-party project, Armando Iannucci's In The Loop.Principal photography has now started on the BBC Films, UK Film Council and Aramid Entertainment project.Optimum Releasing has pre-bought UK theatrical rights to the political comedy.Tom Hollander, James Gandolfini, Chris Addison, Peter Capaldi, Gina McKee and Steve Coogan star.Iannucci co-wrote the original screenplay with Jesse Armstrong,
  • Pyramide's Cannes line-up calls for Snow

    Pyramide International has announced the addition of Critics Week title Snow to its line-up for the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. The film is directed by Aida Bejic and focuses on residents of a small village whose lives are disrupted by visiting businessmen just before a storm hits. Also on the slate of films in selection are Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Three Monkeys in official competition and
  • Red-Carpet Reality: the prospects for theatrical docs

    It is a big year for documentaries at Cannes. Three are in official selection: Marina Zenovich's Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired, which premiered at Sundance and is screening at the Croisette out of competition, Israeli director Ari Folman's animated film Waltz With Bashir in the Competition, and James Toback's film about boxer Mike Tyson, Tyson, which is in Un Certain Regard.But the factors that give the above films 'Cannes appeal' say more about the scores of
  • Roth's The Little Traitor to open third LA Jewish Film Festival

    The third annual Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival will take place May 8-15 with special honours being presented to Theodore Bikel and Joan Rivers and screenings of over 30 features, documentaries and shorts.Opening the festival is Lynn Roth's The Little Traitor, a drama set in 1947 Israel starring Alfred Molina, Ido Port and Bikel himself who will be honoured that night.Closing the festival on May 15 is
  • Samuel Goldwyn Films, SPWAG team for Lakeshore's Elegy

    Samuel Goldwyn Films and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) have picked up rights from Lakeshore Entertainment to the drama Elegy starring Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz.Samuel Goldwyn Films will release the film theatrically in the US in August and SPWAG will handle home entertainment. SPWAG, which had been tracking the project from the early stages, also acquired rights in France and select French-speaking territories. Red Env
  • Schloendorff's Gigola on Wide Management Cannes slate

    Wide Management will handle international sales on the newest project from director Volker Schloendorff, Gigola.Based on the book by Laure Charpentier, the film follows the life of George, an adventurous young woman - one of the last of the era's 'garconnes' - as she navigates the depths of the Parisian Pigalle nightlife in the early 60s and becomes a sort of gigolo for women.Asia Argento stars in the title role alongside Philippe Torreton, Marisa Paredes, Ute Lemper, M
  • Screen opinion- The Games people play

    Reading the coverage of the launch of videogame Grand Theft Auto IV this week, one might be forgiven for thinking the main crime was against the poor old film industry.For those uninitiated in the gaming world, the latest instalment of the role-playing phenomena is set to be the biggest entertainment launch in history. And for understandable reasons, everyone is drawing comparisons with cinema.That's partly, and accurately, because while the teens are locked away all nigh
  • Seattle announces lineup including 16 world premieres

    World Premieres of Dan Ireland's Jolene, Russell Brown's The Bluetooth Virgin, Cornelia Durye Moore's The Dark Horse and Julia Sweeney's Letting Go Of God are among the expected highlights at the 34th Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF).Randall Miller's Bottle Shock will clos
  • Senator to bring horror video game Clock Tower to big screen

    Senator Entertainment will bring the Capcom survival horror video game Clock Tower to the big screen under the direction of Martin Weisz (The Hills Have Eyes 2) from a screenplay by Eric Poppen (Borderland).Principal photography is set to begin in July on the psychological thriller which will be produced by Senator board member Marco Weber and Head of Production Vanessa Coifman, with Capcom's Haruhiro Tsujimoto and Anthony Mosawi and Brad Luff of The Mayhem P
  • Senator's slate includes new features from Bornhak, Gansel

    Senator Film has unveiled plans for two in-house productions and two co-productions this year, including new feature films by Achim Bornhak and Dennis Gansel, and an adaptation of Nick Greger's true story about his metamorphosis from one of Germany's leading right-wing extremists to an anti-Fascist.In its financial report for 2007 published this week, the German producer-distributor announced that shooting is set for this autumn at locations in Germany and South Africa on an adaptation
  • Skin to roll out though Shanghai Film Group in September

    Hong Kong-based Eastern Mordor has announced that Shanghai Film Group will handle distribution of Gordon Chan's fantasy epic Painted Skin, which is scheduled for release on September 28. One of the main investors in the film, SFG will release it through China 's top ten cinema circuits - including Shanghai United, Beijing New Film Association, Stella Megamedia and Wanda Cinema - which have jointly endorsed a nationwide release with more than 1,100 screens.The top ten circuit
  • Sky works on new simultaneous deal for Lionsgate titles

    Sky Movies and Lionsgate UK are offering two Lionsgate titles, 3:10 To Yuma and War, free to Sky Movies subscribers on Sky Box Office the same time they are available for all other Sky Box Office viewers at a cost of about $8 (£3.99).The move is unusual because of the free deal for Sky Movies subscribers and its simultaneous date offering (May 3 for 3:10 To Yuma and May 17 for War).Both titles will have special early screenings on Sky Movies Premi
  • Speed Racer

    Dirs: Andy & Larry Wachowski. US. 2008. 130 mins.Tatsuo Yoshida's beloved 1960s anime TV series finally gets the big-screen treatment, after many false starts, from the Wachowski Brothers who deliver a large-scale assault on the senses which is as exhausting as it is entertaining. Pitched tonally to young kids, but way too long for a family movie, Speed Racer shares many of the problems of the bloated Matrix sequels. The brothers swamp the fragile story and
  • Strand picks Cherry Blossoms for US from Bavaria

    Strand Releasing has acquired US rights to Doris Dorrie's Cherry Blossoms - Hanami which had its world premiere in competition at the Berlin Film Festival this year.Bavaria Film International, which is handling sales on the film, also sold it to Sunrise Film Distribution in Denmark and Edko Films in Hong Kong.The film, which won three German Film Awards including best actor for Elmar Wepper, has been a considerable local hit with o
  • Swipe to handle Cannes market title Vanechka

    Frank Mannion's UK-based Swipe Films will be handling international sales at Cannes on the Russian film Vanechka, which will have its international premiere in the Cannes market on May 17.The film is set during 1998, against the backdrop of Russia in an economic crisis and centres on an aspiring actress who comes to Moscow to pursue her dream. Her life takes an unexpected and dramatic turn when her only friends in Moscow die in a car accident and leave their infant son orphaned
  • Sydney Film Festival to open with Happy-Go-Lucky

    Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky is one of 12 films chosen by the Sydney Film Festival (SFF) to be in its inaugural official competition and will also be the opening night film on June 4. The competition also features three world premieres including Vincent Ward's New Zealand documentary Rain Of The Children, in which he revisits a subject he made a film about more than 25 years ago, and two Australian films - Matthew Newton's Three Blind Mice and Nash Edgerton's debut dra
  • Tennessee

    Dir: Aaron Woodley. USA . 2008. 95mins.Those expecting Tennessee to be a Mariah Carey vanity vehicle are in for a letdown. What is most impressive about the film is Carey's brave, understated, deglamorised performance as an ensemble player rather than star. Yes, the film does come on the heels of her smash new album (Carey replaced Janet Jackson here), but the character is far from the laughable protagonist of Glitter. However, while hardcore
  • The Caller

    Dir. Richard Ledes, 2008, US, minutes.The Caller is an unusual hybrid, a thriller about corporate corruption that is also a Holocaust memoir. A man facing the certainty of murder looks back sixty years to his survival of the Nazi occupation of France. But the result is also a hybrid, a tender evocation of youth that turns ponderous as it crawls towards a company's revenge on one of its executives.
  • The Descent 2 starts shooting this weekend for Celador

    Celador Films and Pathe will start principal photography on May 4 (Sunday) for The Descent 2.The film will reunite the team from the original horror hit. Neil Marshall, who directed the original, will this time produce alongside Christian Colson of Celador. Jon Harris, who edited The Descent, will make his directorial debut.James Watkins wrote the script, picking up when Sarah emerges from the Appalachian Mountains cavealone but is later forced to return to the
  • The Guard Post

    Dir. Kong Su-chang. South Korea . 2008. 122 mins.Like Park Chan-wook's Joint Security Area (2000), The Guard Post is set on the edge of the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas. Also like JSA, it uses an investigation into an incident involving a group of army recruits as an excuse to probe a geopolitical divide which is also a national trauma. But whereas JSA was a serious drama,
  • The Hospital Club starts list for emerging UK talents

    UK members club The Hospital is launching a new initiative, The Hospital club 100, to search for the most powerful movers and shakers in London's media and creative industries, including film.Voting is open to anyone in the publishing industry and The Hospital seeks to uncover unsung heroes and emerging talents.Nominations can be made at from May 5. A longlist will be announce in June and the final shortlist w
  • The international view - Bringing it all back home

    Screen's first-quarter box-office survey indicates a widening gap between international and domestic performance. While US and Canadian revenues ran around 3% off the 2007 pace, the international tally was 30% up year on year. In financial terms that means the international market was responsible for $4.28bn (71%) of the $6.5bn generated worldwide in Q1.The figure is 93% higher than the $2.2bn domestic takings - an astonishing number given the recent industry rule of thumb is th
  • The Works International takes on sales for Palka's Good Dick

    UK-based sales company The Works International has taken on rights for Good Dick, which premiered at Sundance.Glasgow-born Marianna Palka directed, produced and stars in the Los Angeles-set film, about an awkward romance between a porn-addicted loner and a video-store clerk. The cast also features Jason Ritter, Eric Edelstein, Mark Webber, Martin Starr, Tom Arnold and Charles Durning. It will screen in Cannes Market as a European and market premiere.Palka previously mad
  • THINKFilm takes US theatrical, home video rights to Polanski doc

    THINKFilm has acquired US theatrical and home video rights from HBO to Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired, arguably the most admired film to emerge from a lacklustre Sundance earlier in the year.THINKFilm will launch the film in New York on July 11 following HBO's initial broadcast on June 9. The Weinstein Company holds international rights excluding UK television.Marina Zenovich's documentary about the public scandal and private tr
  • Three newcomers claim UK Film Council Development Fund awards

    The first awards from theUK Film Council's new Development Fund for first features include three complete newcomers to the industry.The trioare all screenwriters working on features: Neil Knowles for slacker comedyThe Bailey Method; Elena Fuller fordramaGreener about ayoung woman coming to terms with the death of her mother; and Richard Fordyce for his screenGuardian of the Shoreretelling of the story of the Battle Of Hastings. Each receives
  • TLA signs deal with Jinga for Richards' Summer Scars

    Jinga Films has signed an all-rights North American deal with TLA Releasing for Julian Richards' Summer Scars.TLA will release through its TLA Presents and Danger After Dark labels.The coming-of-age thriller recently won two Welsh BAFTA Awards.'This success is all about the newcomers,' said Julian Richards at the BAFTA Cymru Awards ceremony. 'There is an enormous wealth of untapped talent in Wales and I am so pleased that Summer Scars has provided the op
  • Tribeca Film Institute names winners of annual fellowships

    The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) has announced the recipients of its 2008 Media Arts Fellowships founded and supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.This year TFI awarded $715,000 to 22 film-makers and media artists. The Fellowships offer financial support for artists working in the narrative, documentary, experimental, installation and computer-generated media genres.The Media Arts Fellowships recognise the artistic excellence of 20 film, video and new media artists in t
  • Trucker

    Dir/scr. James Mottern, US, 2008, 90 minutesThe trucker in Trucker is a woman: Diane Ford (Monaghan). forced to take in her young son when her ex-husband Len (Bratt) is stricken with cancer. The 11-year-old whom she hasn't seen since he was a baby proves harder to handle than the 18-wheeler she drives to pay the bills. But even with some fine acting, this film can be a long tiring ride. Truckers haven't been cool or chic in movies since the 1970's,
  • Universal, Focus bolster relationship with Almodovars' El Deseo

    Universal Pictures' International Studio and Focus Features International have announced strengthened ties with Spain-based production company El Deseo, run by Pedro and Agustin Almodovar.Universal has signed on to co-finance Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces (Los Abrazos Rotaos) and also Focus Features International is selling worldwide rights, excluding Spain (retained by El Deseo), France, the UK, Benelux and Switzerland.Penelope Cruz stars, and the project is set to
  • Venice adds US reps D'Agnolo Vallan and Di Paola

    The Biennale has announced Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan and Margherita Di Paola will be the new US programmer and correspondent, respectively,for the 65th Venice Film Festival.Both D'Agnolo Vallan and Di Paola are charged with assisting Venice Film Festival artistic director Marco Mueller in the selection and searching process of American films for the next edition of the festival (August 27-Sept 6).The Turin-born and New York-based D'Agnolo Vallan has written extensively on film for
  • War Child wins the audience award at Tribeca Film Festival

    C Karim Chrobog's documentary War Child won the 7th annual Tribeca Film Festival's audience Cadillac Award as the event came to a close last night [May 4].Chrobog will receive a cash prize of $25,000 and an art award for his film, which chronicles the life of hip-hop artist and former Sudanese child soldier Emmanuel Jal.'The entire War Child team is immensely grateful to the Tribeca Film Fes
  • Warner Bros planning Hindi remake of Wedding Crashers

    Warner Bros has enlisted Mukesh Talreja and Nikhil Advani's Orion Pictures to produce a Hindi-language remake of its 2005 hit Wedding Crashers. The production house is currently in discussions with two leading Indian actors to reprise the roles played by Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. The director is also yet to be confirmed.Orion Pictures is currently shooting Warner Bros' first Hindi film Chandni Chowk To China in association with Ramesh Sippy Entertainment.
  • Warner launches remastered Movies That Matter series in UK

    Warner Bros. is planning a Movies that Matter Film to bring 15 of its classics to the big screen, remastered and restored.The initiative is being created with the British Film Institute, The Times (of London), Vue Cinemas, Arts Alliance Media and distributor Park Circus.The films, all rematstered to 2K digital cinema standard, will include Casablanca, Singing In The Rain, Rebel Without A Cause, North By Northwest and The Wizard Of Oz.The season starts Ma
  • Wendy And Lucy added to Memento slate

    Memento Films International has added Un Certain Regard title Wendy And Lucy to its sales slate.The film, by Kelly Reichardt, stars Michelle Williams and Will Patton and is especially particular in that Cannes Festival chief Thierry Fremaux cited it as the one film that made its way into the official selection after being received, unsolicited, by post.Wendy And Lucy will have its world premiere in Cannes. The film tells the tale of Wendy who, along with her dog Lu
  • What Happens In Vegas

    Dir. Tom Vaughan. US. 2008. 98 mins.A bit like Las Vegas itself, frenetic romantic comedy What Happens In Vegas offers some diversions that are mildly entertaining but really just postpone an inevitable outcome (in Vegas the house always wins and in rom-coms the bickering stars always get together in the end). Though the sexy pairing of Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher should get the Regency Enterprises production off to a good start, the odds seem long that this b