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Screen
6 April 2007

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  • 3-D screens account for 30% of Robinsons opening US gross

    Meet The Robinsons became the largest digital 3-D opening in domestic box office history at the weekend as the platform accounted for nearly 30% of the film's $25.1m overall three-day gross.The 581 screens - each of which was formatted by Los Angeles-based Real D - generated $7.1m for the weekend.Furthermore Disney executives said each 3-D screen grossed 2.6 times as much as traditional screens, a considerable feat considering that
  • AAM signs downloadable content deal with Revolver Entertainment

    UK-based digital distribution services company Arts Alliance Media (AAM) has struck a deal with distributor Revolver Entertainment for Revolver's content to be offered for download on AAM 's Vizumi Network. The deal covers an initial 30 titles for download-to-rent and download-to-own through AAM 's distribution partners including LoveFilm and Empire. The number of titles will grow to 60 by the end of 2007. Initial offerings include Beastie Boys concert film Awesome I F*****' S
  • Aardman signs exclusive three-year, first-look deal with Sony Pictures

    UK-based Aardman Features will enter a three-year, exclusive first-look deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) for all of Aardman's features in development. Aardman, known for Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run and Flushed Away, ended its increasingly tense partnership with DreamWorks in late January 2007. The new pact was struck with SPE's chairman/CEO Michael Lynton and co-chairman Amy Pascal.Sony will step in for production, marketing and distribution globally.
  • Alliance Atlantis sale hits legal roadblock after trust seeks consent

    CanWest Global's $1.95bn (C$2.3bn) purchase of Alliance Atlantis Communications hit a roadblock this morning. Unit holders of Movie Distribution Holding Trust filed court documents seeking a role in charting the destiny of Motion Picture Distribution (MPD), the releasing arm of AAC. MPD is an income fund: the trust controls 49% of MPD while Alliance controls the other 51%. Announced in January, the buyout anticipated a split that would see CanWest take control of Alliance's broadcast ass
  • Australia - Ward and peace

    The Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) last week announced its intention to throw its weight behind the directorial debut of a familiar name in the acting world.Rachel Ward was a 1980s icon, starring in films such as Against All Odds, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid and How To Get Ahead In Advertising. For much of the world, she is best known for the lead role in the 1980s TV mini-series The Thorn Birds.After several years spent writing and directing
  • Australia - Ward and peace

    The Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) last week announced its intention to throw its weight behind the directorial debut of a familiar name in the acting world.Rachel Ward was a 1980s icon, starring in films such as Against All Odds, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid and How To Get Ahead In Advertising. For much of the world, she is best known for the lead role in the 1980s TV mini-series The Thorn Birds.After several years spent writing and directing
  • Ben Whishaw set to join Campion's Keats story Bright Star

    UK actor Ben Whishaw is in final negotiations to star in Bright Star as 19th-century poet John Keats. Jane Campion will write and direct the period romance about the relationship between Keats and Fanny Brawne, who will be played by Abbie Cornish. The project is set to start shooting for Pathe International in late summer or early autumn. Whishaw was nominated for the BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award for his leading role in Perfume: The Story of A Murderer,
  • BFI scouts locations for new Film Centre to open by 2012

    The British Film Institute (BFI) is already looking at the third of four potential sites in London 's Southbank for its new 'British Film Centre' to be completed in time for the London Olympics in 2012. 'We are quite far down the line on the new site,' BFI president Amanda Nevill told ScreenDaily.com. 'The London Development Agency gave us over half a million pounds last year to do a feasibility study, and we have already identified four sites. We are down now to the third site, and buil
  • Blades gets top marks at top North American box office

    Will Ferrell enjoyed the second best opening of his career as Paramount's ice skating comedy Blades Of Glory launched at number one on an estimated $33m.Ferrell and co-star Jon Heder play banned rival skaters who learn the only way to get back into the sport is to compete as a pair. Amy Poehler and Will Arnett also star. Ferrell's best opening remains Talladega Nights, which opened on Aug 4 2006 on $47m
  • Buenos Aires to welcome 150 international guests to first Inter-Cine

    The 9th Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI) will kick off tomorrow with plans to show 470 features and shorts in 13 days. The Event will open with two films running out of competition: Mauritian Abderrahmane Sissako's Bamako and Argentinian Ariel Rotter's Berlinale double award-winning El Otro. The Festival will host the first edition of Inter-Cine, an international market for distributors, sales agents, buyers, festival programmers and
  • CR Land, Shanghai Film Group invest in Jia Zhangke's 24 City

    Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke has announced that he is set to direct a film project, tentatively titled 24 City, in the city of Chengdu in Sichuan province. The project, which includes a feature film and documentary, will be jointly financed by Shanghai Film Group, Jia's Xstream Pictures and real estate developer China Resources Land (CR Land).A co-production contract was signed in Chengdu City yesterday. The three investors will each contribute one third to the film's $2
  • Dutch FilmWorks co-founder Roelofs takes on freelance role

    Wiljan Roelofs, one of the founders of Dutch FilmWorks (DFW) has decided to take a step back from his role as commercial director and will take up a freelance role at the Netherlands distributor.Roelofs will now oversee the DVD rental arm of the company, but will continue to work closely with CEO Willem Pruijssers on new film acquisitions. He will not work with any rival companies in the business.Roelofs has also sold his shares in DFW to the other co-founders Pruijssers
  • Editorial - Screen says - Investing in the future

    Over the last three years, Screen International's annual tax guide has made for disturbingly fascinating reading. One might even call it, in newspaper parlance, sexy. What was originally intended as a useful and informative guide to the world's incentives, has in recent times dragged in widespread evasion, government finance ministers getting tough, even the odd imprisonment.The retreat from the position where German media funds and UK sale-and-leaseback schemes were keeping Hol
  • Editorial - Screen says - Investing in the future

    Over the last three years, Screen International's annual tax guide has made for disturbingly fascinating reading. One might even call it, in newspaper parlance, sexy. What was originally intended as a useful and informative guide to the world's incentives, has in recent times dragged in widespread evasion, government finance ministers getting tough, even the odd imprisonment.The retreat from the position where German media funds and UK sale-and-leaseback schemes were keeping Hol
  • Euphoria wins best film at goEast with The Trap taking best director

    Russian dramatist Ivan Vyrypaev's feature film debut Euphoria picked up the Golden Lily for Best Film at this year's goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film, which closed with an awards ceremony in Wiesbaden tonight. The international jury, headed by veteran Romanian director Lucian Pintilie, praised the film 'for its concise visual richness in dealing with an emotionally enclosed drama of passion and adultery.' Euphoria had its world premiere at Sochi's Kino
  • European film financing: a private phenomenon

    A $500m deal between Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Bob and Harvey Weinstein raise $490m in equity through Goldman Sachs. A $500m deal between Virtual Studios and Warner Bros. A $600m equity deal between Relativity Media and Sony and Universal. The figures from the equity funding boom among Hollywood studios are remarkable.In the last two years alone, the US film industry has been stuffed with institutional funding worth $9bn, and the money shows no sign of drying up. It is the fi
  • FESTIVAL DE CANNES: RELATED LINKS

  • Film Movement: pick of the bunch

    Since it was launched in 2002 by Larry Meistrich, New York-based Film Movement has released more than 100 foreign-language and independent features and shorts from 27 countries through its website, where members and non-members can buy a DVD of the month and peruse the ever-expanding catalogue.'We choose good titles that will enrich your experience of life,' says newly promoted company president Adley Gartenstein, a former mergers and acquisitions lawyer who joined the company in April
  • Germany - Enduring labour of love

    Philippe Bober's sales, financing and production outfit The Coproduction Office is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The company was set up in 1987 in Berlin with the aim of supporting maverick auteurs with strong personal visions. Over the last two decades, Bober has championed the work of (among others) Lou Ye, Carlos Reygadas, Ulrich Seidl, Jessica Hausner, Takashi Miike, Kornel Mundruczo, Cristi Puiu and Roy Andersson."The first film I had in sales was Epidemic by
  • Germany - Enduring labour of love

    Philippe Bober's sales, financing and production outfit The Coproduction Office is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The company was set up in 1987 in Berlin with the aim of supporting maverick auteurs with strong personal visions. Over the last two decades, Bober has championed the work of (among others) Lou Ye, Carlos Reygadas, Ulrich Seidl, Jessica Hausner, Takashi Miike, Kornel Mundruczo, Cristi Puiu and Roy Andersson."The first film I had in sales was Epidemic by
  • Golden Door, La Vie En Rose set for San Francisco

    Emanuele Crialese's Italian immigrant drama The Golden Door will open and Olivier Dahan's Edith Piaf biopic La Vie En Rose will close the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival, set to run from April 26-May 10.Festival organisers have culled 108 features and 92 shorts for the event, and the centerpiece screening will be Tom DiCillo's satirical comedy Delirious
  • Grindhouse

    Dirs: Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino. US. 2007. 192mins. Intended as an enthusiastically grimy, collagist tribute piece to low-budget, ultra-violent and offbeat exploitation flicks of yore, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse delivers an uneven mixture of patchwork, sugar-rush thrills.Consisting of two discrete features strung together by a series of fake trailers shot by Edgar Wright, Eli Roth and Rob Zombie, it benefits mostly
  • Gruffudd joins voice cast of animated Agent Crush

    Ioan Gruffudd has joined the voice cast of Agent Crush, a $20m animated adventure from LA-based Fantastic Films International and UK-based Crush Productions.Gruffudd, who won acclaim for portraying the abolitionist William Wilberforce in Amazing Grace and reprises his role as Reed Richards this summer in Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, joins Neve Campb
  • Guadalajara gives Ibero-American prize to Contrera's Blue Eyelids

    Mexican and Brazilian productions, most from first-time directors, swept the floor at the the 22nd Guadalajara International Film Festival during the awards ceremony on March 30. The ten different juries handed out a record-setting $1m in awards. Ernesto Contrera's debut Blue Eyelids (Parpados Azules) from Mexico was named best film in the Ibero-American competition section. The award, the Golden Mayahuel, comes with a $30,000 prize. The Special Jury Prize (Silver Mayahuel)
  • HanWay and Celluloid Dreams merge to create dreamachine

    In a move that will shake up the international sales world, Jeremy Thomas' UK-based HanWay Films and Hengameh Panahi's Paris-based Celluloid Dreams are planning to merge. The new sales, production and financing venture, dreamachine, will be based in London, Paris and Toronto. Financial terms have yet to be disclosed, but Panahi and Thomas are equal shareholders in the new privately funded venture.Panahi and Thomas will serve as joint chairmen, with Panahi specifically overseeing
  • Imagica Robot acquires majority share in animation company

    Japanese post-production giant Imagica Robot Holdings (IRH) has acquired a majority share in animation company Genco, which now becomes a subsidiary in the company's contents division. IRH announced the investment as part of its strategy to strengthen its animation production and licensing business. Genco will collaborate with IRH group company, Imagica Image Works, to develop and produce original animation contents. Established in 1997, Genco produces animated film and TV content
  • In Focus - European film financing - A private phenomenon

    A $500m deal between Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Bob and Harvey Weinstein raise $490m in equity through Goldman Sachs. A $500m deal between Virtual Studios and Warner Bros. A $600m equity deal between Relativity Media and Sony and Universal. The figures from the equity funding boom among Hollywood studios are remarkable.In the last two years alone, the US film industry has been stuffed with institutional funding worth $9bn, and the money shows no sign of drying up. It is the fi
  • Industry has mixed reactions to HanWay-Celluloid merger

    The announcement yesterday of the merger between HanWay Films and Celluloid Dreams to create a new combined company, dreamachine, has provoked a mixed response from the European film industry. Some have welcomed the consolidation of the two companies. For example, Tartan Films founder Hamish McAlpine applauded the move. 'Hanway and Celluloid have had very different cultures,' McAlpine said. 'Until very recently, Celluloid was a company that along with Fortissimo tended to dominate the
  • Industry moves

    Fox's Robert Harper to head RegencyFox Filmed Entertainment vice-chairman Robert Harper has been named chairman and chief executive officer of Regency Filmed Entertainment. He replaces David Matalon who left the company earlier this month to return to his own production company. Harper will oversee Fox-based Regency's film production unit, New Regency Productions, as well as Regency Television.Katherine Lee joins ARMHong Kong's ARM Distribution has appointed Katherine Lee
  • Industry moves

    Fox's Robert Harper to head RegencyFox Filmed Entertainment vice-chairman Robert Harper has been named chairman and chief executive officer of Regency Filmed Entertainment. He replaces David Matalon who left the company earlier this month to return to his own production company. Harper will oversee Fox-based Regency's film production unit, New Regency Productions, as well as Regency Television.Katherine Lee joins ARMHong Kong's ARM Distribution has appointed Katherine Lee
  • Jeonju fest to open with Offroad, close with Exiled

    The Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) today announced the line-up for its eighth edition, which will kick off with the world premiere of Offroad by Han Seung-ryong and close with Johnnie To's Exiled. Han was previously a co-editor on films such as E J-yong's Untold Scandal and Jang Sun-Woo's Resurrection Of The Little Match Girl. Offroad was coincidentally shot in Jeonju. JIFF, which runs April 26-May 4, also announced that it has turned
  • Ken Kwapis to direct He's Just Not That Into You

    New Line Cinema and Flower Films have hired Ken Kwapis to direct the comedy He's Just Not That Into You.Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo's bestselling novel of the same name serves as the inspiration for the project about cross-gender misunderstandings in love.Flower Films principals Nancy Juvonen and Drew Barrymore are producing based on an adapted screenplay by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein. New Line production executives Michele
  • Korean film companies join forces to fight piracy

    The Korean film industry has formed a coalition of 78 film companies which have banded together to fight piracy. The newly announced Filmmakers Council brings together member companies from the Korean Motion Picture Producers Association and the Association of Film Companies. The council blames piracy for the downfall of the local ancillaries market and for the fact that productions must rely on theatrical releases for more than 80% of revenue. 'We plan to cooperate with es
  • Korean film industry angered by free trade agreement

    Amidst heated protests, South Korea and the US yesterday completed talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) which will have significant effects on local film and media if ratified. The local Ministry of Culture and Tourism also quickly announced contingency plans. Foremost in local filmmakers' concerns, the new FTA would freeze the recently reduced Screen Quota at 73 days. Room for increase had been left in previous language, but nullified in the last version of the agreement. The Mi
  • Lakeshore sets cast for horror movie Pathology

    Lakeshore Entertainment has announced casting on the upcoming horror film Pathology, which will star Milo Ventimiglia, Lauren Lee Smith, Alyssa Milano, and Johnny Whitworth.Filming is set to begin in April on the story of medical students who devise a sinister game to see who among them can commit the perfect murder. Lakeshore will introduce the project to buyers at Cannes and MGM will release domestically later this year.German co
  • Locarno to launch new sidebar for 60th anniversary

    Ahead of its 60th anniversary, the Locarno International Film Festival is planning to introduce a new sidebar, 'Here and Elsewhere,' presenting a selection of documentaries and fictional features 'sharing an original vision of contemporary life, which touch on politics and history as much as they do society and the arts.' According to the festival organisers, this section will be presenting 'an ensemble of event films - powerful works that arouse debate, as well as snapshots of the curre
  • Love, Betelnut conquer Hong Kong film festival awards

    Malaysian director Tan Chui-mui and China's Yang Heng continued their awards sweep at the Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) yesterday where both picked up prizes in the Asian Digital Competition. Tan's Love Conquers All, about a young woman involved in an unconventional relationship in the big city, was presented with the Golden Digital Award, while Yang's Betelnut, about two teenaged lovers, took the Silver award. The two films were jointly awarded Best
  • Lucky You, The Gates set for Tribeca world premieres

    Tribeca Film Festival top brass have booked the world premieres of Curtis Hanson's romance Lucky You starring Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore and festival closer The Gates, an art installation documentary from Antonio Ferrera and Albert Maysles.Lucky You, which stars Bana as a poker player wrestling with personal issues while he tries to win a major cards tournament
  • Marc Klocker moves to Senator Film from X Verleih

    Marc Klocker has moved from X Verleih back to former employer Senator Film to take over the post of head of marketing since the beginning of this week. Klocker had worked at Senator from 1994 to 2000 before moving to X Verleih in 2001 to head up marketing and film acquisition at the distribution arm of the production house X-Filme creative pool. Klocker follows former X Verleih head of distribution Anatol Nitschke whose appointment as co-managing director with Peter Heinzemann of
  • Marchal starts shooting thriller MR 73 for Gaumont and LGM

    French director Olivier Marchal has begun shooting thriller MR 73 in Marseilles with Daniel Auteuil and Olivia Bonamy in the lead roles. Principal photography began in mid-February on the film, about the complex relationship between a loner cop and the young woman he protects when her parents' murderer is released from jail. Gaumont and LGM are producing the film on a $18.7m (Euros 14m) budget with the same crew used on Marchal's acclaimed 36 Quai Des Orfevres.
  • Market focus - Fighting fit

    UK box office could see its strongest year in four years in 2007 as first quarter reports show a 10% year-on-year increase. After 12 weeks, UK cinemas have generated $379.4m (£193.7m) from 166 films, compared to $346.1m (£176.7m) in the same period of 2006, according to Nielsen EDI.Recent years have seen the UK remain virtually static while other territories have seen more activity. In 2005, revenues of many territories decreased while the UK crept up by 1%. In 2006, the reverse happen
  • Martin Scorsese to give May 24 masterclass at Cannes

    Martin Scorsese, who just took home his first Oscar for The Departed, will be continuing his banner year as a guest of honor at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Festival organizers announced the news today saying that on May 24th, Scorsese will give a masterclass and will use the festival as a platform to announce the launch of his World Cinema Foundation devoted to the restoration and preservation of cinematic masterpieces. Other directors to have previously given masterclasses i
  • Meet The Robinsons

    Dir: Stephen Anderson. US. 2007. 94mins. Walt Disney Feature Animation's second computer-animated outing is a hyperactive mix of retro sci-fi, physical comedy and family drama. As zippy and colourful as it is, though, Meet The Robinsons is not as entertaining or endearing as the division's CG feature debut Chicken Little. So it will need to make the most of its pre-Easter holiday opening and relatively wide 3D release to have a chance of matching Chicken
  • Milos Forman joins festivities for Monaco cinema & literature forum

    The sixth edition of the International Cinema & Literature Forum will take place April 12-14 in Monaco. Presiding over the event will be author Patricia MacDonald and director Milos Forman. A forum structured around adapting literature to the screen, the event will include debates, readings, dedications and film premieres. This year's edition will see Czech Republic president Vaclav Havel dedicate his latest book, A Vrai Dire while a cinema lesson will be given by Forman wh
  • Moss, Zegers, Rennie star in Bessai's Normal

    Canadian writer-director Carl Bessai has begun prinicpal photography on his latest picture Normal with Carrie-Anne Moss, Kevin Zegers and Callum Keith Rennie in the lead roles. Travis McDonald conceived the story and co-wrote the screenplay with Bessai, who will also shoot the film. Produced by Bessai's Raven West films and Andrew Boutilier of Submission Films, the film will be sold internationally through London-based Bankside Films. Mongrel
  • Mr Bean goes into 23 new markets including Brazil, Italy, Mexico

    Universal/UPI's Mr Bean's Holiday has swept past $50m within the first seven days of release and will be the one to beat overseas as it heads into the second weekend.The comedy sequel opens in another 23 territories including French-speaking Switzerland on Apr 4, Hong Kong on Apr 5, and Brazil, Italy and Mexico on Apr 6.Warner Bros Pictures International's (WBPI) 300 will be snapping at Mr B
  • Mr Bean's Holiday basks in $33.3m international weekend

    Rowan Atkinson's bumbling Brit overthrew Warner Bros' Spartan army as Universal/UPI's Mr Bean's Holiday reaped the benefits of a wide launch and grossed an estimated $33.3m from 3,061 sites in 26 territories.Warner Bros Pictures International (WBPI) won't be unduly bothered however, as 300 crossed $100m overseas and has amassed more than $300m worldwide. By contrast, Buena Vista International's (BVI) an
  • NBC Universal plans 20 local channel launches in 2007/8

    NBC Universal will launch 20 additional local television channels in 23 new countries across Europe, Asia and Latin America during 2007 and 2008 in a drive to boost revenues from its Global Networks Division.Existing NBC Universal channels, including Sci-Fi, 13th Street and Universal Channel, will launch for the first time in new markets across Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia and India.These channels will also be extended in the existing Global Networks territories of Wester
  • Odeon and Sky Filmworks signs up Contender as DVD partner

    Odeon and Sky Filmworks, the joint distribution venture between the companies, has signed a deal with the UK 's Contender Entertainment Group for DVD distribution The deal covers an initial period of one year, for DVD releases of all titles that Filmworks acquires during the next 12 months. The first release under the pact will be Australian hit comedy Kenny, which Skyworks has slated for a September 7 theatrical release, followed by Contender's handling of the DVD releas
  • One Hundred Nails (Centochiodi)

    Dir/scr: Ermanno Olmi. It. 2007. 92mins. Veteran Italian filmmaker Ermanno Olmi is a devout Catholic, and his work has long had a spiritual agenda. But even in such obvious parables as The Legend Of The Holy Drinker (which won a Golden Lion in Venice in 1988), the message is generally masked behind a credible contemporary drama, a la Kieslowski. It's a shame that in One Hundred Nails, which the director has announced is to be his last feature,
  • Overture hires Davies as evp, theatrical distribution

    Kyle Davies has joined fledgling Los Angeles-based studio Overture Films in the new position of executive vice president of theatrical distribution.The 20-year distribution veteran arrives from Paramount, where he most recently served as vice president, Western division and before that as vice president, central division, at DreamWorks.At Overture, Davies will assume responsibility for all the studio's distribution strategies and execution, reporting to Overture president
  • Overture teams with Echo Lake on 105 Degrees And Rising

    Fledgling studio Overture Films is partnering with Echo Lake Productions on its first in-house title 105 Degrees And Rising, a drama about the fall of Saigon drama.Jon Amiel will direct the project, named after the code used by Armed Forces Radio in 1975 to alert citizens to evacuate the former South Vietnamese stronghold.William M Akers' screenplay focuses on several characters and their struggle to flee the country as victorious
  • Paradiso moves into Netherlands distribution with Amsterdam office

    Brussels-based Paradiso Filmed Entertainment has opened new offices in Amsterdam to handle theatrical distribution in the Netherlands. Patrick Terryn, COO theatrical, and Guy Bronselaer, marketing Manager, are currently supervising the Dutch team, assisted by consultants Heleen Rouw and Dirk de Lille. Paradiso's first release in the Netherlands will be Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth on April 26. Other releases will follow for The Number 23, Turistas, Irina Palm,
  • Paris Je T'Aime to open RiverRun festival in North Carolina

    The portmanteau feature Paris Je T'Aime and a Technicolor print of 1938's The Adventures Of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn bookend the 9th RiverRun International Film Festival.Mark Evan's drama Snow Cake is the centerpiece premiere at the festival, set to run from Apr 18-23 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.Overall 34 features and 61 shorts from 25 co
  • Park Circus joins UK trade group FDA

    Park Circus Films has joined the UK's Film Distributors' Association (FDA), the trade body of UK theatrical distributors. The Glasgow-based company is the UK's only commercial distributor specialising in classic films. It becomes the FDA's 18th member and one of 12 indies on the FDA Council. 'As the UK market develops and digital delivery becomes more widespread, we believe there's an important opportunity for young and old audiences alike to experience classic films restored to t
  • Pinewood launches website for rebuilt 007 Stage

    The Pinewood Studios Group has launched an official website for the rebuilt 007 Stage, located at www.007stage.com. Europe 's largest sound stage has been rebuilt and reopened following the July 2006 fire that made the stage unusable. Currently, the internal area of 59,000-square-feet makes it the biggest stage in Europe. The tank at the stage is capable of holding 5.25m litres and the stage has a capacity of 2,000 people. New features at the
  • Pinewood: studio tour

    No-one knows what caused the fire that burned down the famous 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios in July 2006, but its rapid rebuilding symbolises the upturn in fortunes at Pinewood Shepperton.The $15.7m (£8m) new stage was finished in March. Now, even before an official launch, the 007 stage is back in business, with facilities including a drive-in ramp and improved lighting infrastructure. The Abba-themed musical Mamma Mia!, co-starring ex-007 Pierce Brosnan, is slated to shoot a
  • Pinkerton gets senior finance, capital management role at Paramount

    Mark Pinkerton has been named senior vice president, finance, capital management at Paramount Pictures.In this newly created position, Pinkerton will take charge of strategic capital financing activities, including securing film financing and driving return on capital measurement for all Paramount business units. He will report to Paramount's chief financial officer Mark Badagliacca.Pinkerton arrives from biotechnology company Amgen where as assistant treasurer he was res
  • Provoked: A True Story

    Dir: Jag Muhndra. India-UK. 112mins. Provoked is based on the true story of Kiranjit Ahluwalia, a Punjabi woman living in London who, in 1989, killed her abusive husband and was imprisoned for murder. Her battle for freedom eventually ended in the British legal definition of 'provocation' being re-defined in the case of battered women.Given its theme, one might have expected an earnest docu-drama. But in director Jag Mundrha's hands
  • Rang De Basanti leads Idea IIFA Awards nominations

    The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) has announced nominations for the 2007 Idea IIFA Awards, which will be given out in Sheffield, UK, in June.In the main categories, hit Rang De Basanti led the nominations with 14 nods. Omkara scored 11 and Lage Raho Munnabhai and Dhoom 2 with 10 each.The nominees were announced in Mumbai by IIFA brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. Industry voting led to the nominees and now voting will be open to fan
  • Rice leaves Disney for top marketing job at UA

    Dennis Rice has left The Walt Disney Studios to join United Artists as president of worldwide marketing and publicity.Rice, who oversaw campaigns for The Incredibles, National Treasure and Pirates Of The Caribbean 2 and Wild Hogs, among others, will report to UA chief executive officer Paula Wagner.Rice will oversee all aspects of the studio's marketi
  • Roadside buys the world on Wong's musical Colma

    Roadside Attractions has picked up worldwide rights to Richard Wong's Colma: The Musical and plans a summer release in North America.The musical comedy centres on three high school graduates who rebel against their mundane existence in the Northern California cemetery town of Colma.Wong co-wrote the screenplay with HP Mendoza, who also stars alongside Jake Moreno and L A Renigen. Paul Kolsanoff, Angel Vasquez and Wong produced.
  • Rogers & Cowan divides London office into UK and international units

    PR company Rogers & Cowan's London branch has launched two separate business units: a UK division for film, video and TV promotion solely in the UK, and an internatioal division to handle worldwide publicity campaigns. The London office has been open for a year, and both divisions will continue to report to Los Angeles-based executive vice president Nikki Parker, who head Rogers & Cowan's international business units. Emma McCorkell oversees the day-to-day operations in London including
  • Script advice available to UKFCunsuccessful applicants

    Applicants to the UK Film Council's Development Fund will now be able to get free feedback on unaccepted scripts thanks to a deal with The Script Connection. Consultants Lisa Neeley and Richard Tindall of The Script Connection and their team will offer independent assessments of the scripts not taken on by the Fund. ' The Script Connection's range of services is exceptional in that they serve the needs of the UK industry as well as individual writers,' said Natalie Wreyford, Senio
  • Shut Up And Shoot Me, New Year Baby win AFI Dallas

    Steen Agro's Shut Up And Shoot Me won the AFI Dallas International Film Festival's Target narrative feature award while Socheata Poeuv's New Year Baby took corresponding documentary honours.The HDNet Award for the best feature shot in HD went to Rob Stewart's documentary Sharkwater.Additional Awards went to Eric Chaikin's
  • Singapore's Scorpio East to distribute Shaw Bros titles

    Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures has licensed Singapore video distribution rights to over 500 titles from its Shaw Brothers' film library to Singapore 's Scorpio East under a long-term agreement. Scorpio East will distribute titles ranging from comedies and martial arts to period dramas and action movies. Key titles include films starring Stephen Chow such as Justice, My Foot! and Out Of The Dark, and the Casino Tycoon series starring Andy Lau. Released over
  • Soda works with festival to launch Spanish film DVD label

    UK independent distributor Soda Pictures has joined forces with Viva Spanish and Latin American Film Festival to create a DVD distribution label specialising in Spanish and Latin American films.The label, dubbed the Soda Viva Collection, comes after the film festival's launch (March 15-25) and before its theatrical tour in the UK.The first four films to launch on the label are Benito Zambrano's Havana Blues, Francisco Vargas' political fable El Violin, Albert Serra's
  • Spartans still on the warpath

    The Spartan army conquered a further 12 territories at the weekend as 300 reeled in $30.8m, bringing its total international spoils to a ferocious $126.4m after four weeks. UK comedy Mr Bean's Holiday jumped up to number two and generated $29.2m in the three-day period after opening in a further 23 territories, grossing more than $12.6m in the UK alone. New entry Meet The Robinsons took $9.4m in its first weekend from 22 territories and Bridge To Terabithia was boo
  • Spendlove named president of music at Paramount

    Randy Spendlove has been promoted to president of music at Paramount and will manage all music-related matters for the studio including film scoring, music supervision, and soundtrack production.Spendlove, who joined Paramount in 2006 as executive vice president of music and creative affairs, replaces Burt Berman, who stepped down to head up the newly-formed Village Roadshow Music Group.'Randy's impressive track record and out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to melding
  • Stonelock, Cheyenne team up to produce, acquire, sell

    Stonelock Pictures president Beni Atoori and Cheyenne Studios president Al Jayez have formed the joint venture Tripod Pictures to produce, acquire and sell films.The Los Angeles-based company claims that it has secured a $200m credit line from a European bank to fund productions, although it refused to name which bank. The company also plans to open an international sales division.Tripod is already in post on two projects. Salomaybe
  • Sunshine

    Dir: Danny Boyle. UK-US. 2007. 107mins. The sun is dying. Eight astronauts, 55 millions miles from Earth, are on a mission to re-ignite it and thereby save humanity. Thus begins Danny Boyle's highly impressive sci-fi thriller Sunshine, a work that combines eye-popping visuals with an eco-conscious screenplay and several striking performances, thereby living up to its own considerable ambitions. Boyle and his colleagues eschew irony and cheap tricks:
  • Taiwanese drama Spider Lilies blossoms in home market

    Zero Chou's idol drama Spider Lilies had a strong opening this weekend in Taipei, securing $71,400 on four prints for independent distributor Atom Cinema, and clinching fifth position in the chart. The film's striking screen average of $17,850 is the third largest of the year, behind only 300 and Ghost Rider, and the highest for a local feature since the US-financed Double Vision opened through Buena Vista in 2002. The drama tells the story of a webcam
  • Telefilm Canada invests in 14 feature projects

    Telefilm Canada has announced investments in 14 English-language features including new feature documentaries from Deepa Mehta and Kevin McMahon.Mehta is co-directing Forgotten Women with brother Dilip Mehta, a renowned photographer, on this expose of the destitution, exploitation, and virtual slavery of millions of Hindu widows living in India today. David Hamilton and Noemi Weis produce for Hamilton-Mehta Productions.McMahon, who
  • Thai horror Alone opens at top of local box office

    Thai horror Alone, the hugely anticipated follow-up to smash hit Shutter, lived up to expectations with a strong opening weekend in Thailand, earning approximately $1m. The film beat Mr Bean's Holiday which debuted in second place and edged out last week's number one Ghost Rider which dropped to third place. The marketplace is also crowded with local films as at least one new domestic production opened every week last month. Currently still playing are
  • The fight to be seen

    ShoWest convention last month, National Association of Theater Owners president John Fithian characterised the digital future of cinema-going as the most radical change to the way we watch movies since the advent of sound. Whether that proves to be true or not, it is fair to say the transition is proving to be fractious. What ultimately will transpire is apt to both confirm what crystal ball-gazers are saying and surprise us with totally unexpected consequences.The arrival of this non-cellul
  • The Reaping

    Dir: Stephen Hopkins. US. 2007. 99mins. After a recent sojourn working in television and cable, action director Stephen Hopkins pulls out all the stops with The Reaping. The result is a frenzied and unrestrained supernatural horror thriller, starring two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank as a debunker of religious phenomena enlisted to explain the furious acts descending on an isolated Southern community.A religiously inflected thriller in the vein o
  • Tine Klint takes international sales post at Nordisk

    Tine Klint has taken over as the new head of international sales at Denmark-based Nordisk Film. Klint started her career at Trust Film/Zentropa Film in 1999 and worked as a sales executive and project manager. She leads the sales team that also consists of Susan Wendt, Sanne Arlo, Nicolai Korsgaard, Lise Harder, Dorte Madsen and Mark Cordsen. 'Nordisk Film has a clear strategy of focusing more on Nordic films and producers - as such the focus on international sales has incr
  • UK Film Council looks for certification manager for new tax test

    As of today, the certification unit for the new Cultural Test for British Film introduced as part of the UK 's new film tax relief will be based at the UK Film Council, moving from its previous home at the Department of Culture, Media & Sport. The UKFC is currently in the final stages of recruiting a certification manger, a role to be filled in the interim by Stephen Bristow. The department also includes Anna Mansi and Chantel Burrell, who moved from DCMS. The former head of certificatio
  • UK shows strongest first-quarter box office in four years

    The UK could see its strongest box-office performance in four years in 2007 as first-quarter reports show a 10% year-on-year increase. After 12 weeks, UK cinemas generated $379.4m (£193.7m) from 166 films, compared with $346.1 (£176.7m) in the same period of 2006, according to Nielsen EDI. That's the best first-quarter since 2003. Recent years have seen the UK remain virtually static while other international territories have been more buoyant. In 2005, revenues of many territorie
  • UK tax breaks:a cultural revolution

    As producers begin to grapple in earnest with the UK tax incentives, the local industry is eyeing the new system with a mix of anticipation and trepidation. Most acknowledge the credits will not compensate for the investment lost to the UK film industry following the scrapping of Section 48 and Section 42 tax relief but they also see new opportunities.'In some shape or form, there is approximately 20% of the budget of the movie that is there,' says James Richardson, of the UK's Vertigo
  • United Kingdom - Going to extremes

    Write what you know, is the classic advice given to feature film writers. So where does that leave a documentary-maker, still stunned by the horrors of civil war in Kosovo, who wants to make his first feature in the UK'Filming the award-winning documentary The Valley in Kosovo at the end of the 1990s had a big impact on producer-writer-director Dan Reed. "It exposed me to how a society looks when it's fallen apart and when the state no longer has a monopoly on violence," he says
  • United Kingdom - Going to extremes

    Write what you know, is the classic advice given to feature film writers. So where does that leave a documentary-maker, still stunned by the horrors of civil war in Kosovo, who wants to make his first feature in the UK'Filming the award-winning documentary The Valley in Kosovo at the end of the 1990s had a big impact on producer-writer-director Dan Reed. "It exposed me to how a society looks when it's fallen apart and when the state no longer has a monopoly on violence," he says
  • United Kingdom - Studio Tour

    No-one knows what caused the fire that burned down the famous 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios in July 2006, but its rapid rebuilding symbolises the upturn in fortunes at Pinewood Shepperton.The $15.7m (£8m) new stage was finished in March. Now, even before an official launch, the 007 stage is back in business, with facilities including a drive-in ramp and improved lighting infrastructure. The Abba-themed musical Mamma Mia!, co-starring ex-007 Pierce Brosnan, is slated to shoot
  • United States - Bridge To Smaller movies

    Of the films he produced in the decade after leaving his job as president of production at Universal Pictures in 1996, Hal Lieberman is most closely associated with two super-expensive, independently financed megapictures - Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines and Around The World In 80 Days. These days, however, Lieberman and his two-year-old The Hal Lieberman Company, are happier occupying a more modestly-budgeted niche."I enjoyed making those films but thought that makin
  • United States - Bridge To Smaller movies

    Of the films he produced in the decade after leaving his job as president of production at Universal Pictures in 1996, Hal Lieberman is most closely associated with two super-expensive, independently financed megapictures - Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines and Around The World In 80 Days. These days, however, Lieberman and his two-year-old The Hal Lieberman Company, are happier occupying a more modestly-budgeted niche."I enjoyed making those films but thought that makin
  • United States - Moving movies

    Since it was launched in 2002 by Larry Meistrich, New York-based Film Movement has released more than 100 foreign-language and independent features and shorts from 27 countries through its website, where members and non-members can buy a DVD of the month and peruse the ever-expanding catalogue."We choose good titles that will enrich your experience of life," says newly promoted company president Adley Gartenstein, a former mergers and acquisitions lawyer who joined the company in Ap
  • US music feature made available for download on Indie911

    Andrew Shapter and Joel Rasmussen's music industry documentary Before The Music Dies will become the first feature available for download through the online social network and music store Indie911.Viewers will be able to buy the film free of copyright protection for $9.99 on Apr 6, and can also download a smaller format file for $3.99 for use on an iPod or portable video player. Playback will operate through Indie911's new hoooka online music
  • US tax breaks: the laws of attraction

    As competition for production increases, more and more US states are launching incentive programmes and, in some cases, designing them in innovative ways.Introducing an incentive in the north-eastern border state of Michigan 'became imperative', says Janet Lockwood, director of the Michigan Film Office. 'We were losing business right and left, not only to Canada but to other (US) states.'Lockwood is playing up the simplicity of Michigan's new incentive, of which
  • Warner Music moves into theatrical with UK release of Blue Blood

    Varsity boxing documentary Blue Blood was acquired by Warner Music Entertainment in February 2007 and marks the company's first theatrical release. The film will open in selected UK cinemas May 11 with a DVD release planned for later in 2007. Warner Music Entertainment has acquired boxing documentary Blue Blood and a UK theatrical release (a company first) on May 11 followed by a DVD release. Stevan Riley's film is about five very different Oxford University stud
  • Yubari film festival to relaunch under original name

    The Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival (YIFFF) will reopen under its original name and mandate in late February 2008. The announcement was made by the non-profit organisation (NPO) Yubari Fanta which is the nickname of the festival. The NPO was set up by the citizens of the financially troubled city last November to revive the popular film event. YIFFF was forced to suspend operations last July due to the state of bankruptcy in the tiny Hokkaido town of the festival's namesake.

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