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Screen
6 August 2004

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  • ...as Gavin Film takes international sales on Yasmin

    SimonBeaufoy drama Yasmin has been pickedup for international sales by industry veteran Bill Gavin's Gavin Film ahead ofits screenings at the Locarno and Edinburgh festivals.Thestory of a westernised Asian woman in a white society was written by The Full Monty writer Beaufoy anddirected by Kenny Glenaan, who won the Michael Powell award in Edinburgh forhis first film, the controversial GasAttack. Yasmin, produced by Sally Hibbin's
  • AUSTRALIA 2 August

    Fahrenheit 9/11from Hopscotch outperformed UIP's TheChronicles Of Riddickon the weekend despite beingon 110 less screens. Theywere in thesecond and thirdspots in thechart respectively. Bothfilms were intheir first weekof official release,although 9/11 was buoyedby two weeks of previews-- and continuing debate onjust how closelyAustralia should alignitself with theUS.Fahrenheit 9/11took A$1,643,953 from116
  • Avelleneda's Moon tops one million admissions in Argentina

    La Luna De Avelleneda(Avelleneda's Moon), Juan JoseCampanella's latest drama starring Ricardo Darin, passed the 1m admissionsbarrier in Argentina this week, becoming his second smash hit after SonOf The Bride.The box office score is even more impressive bearing inmind the current economic crisis in the country, not to mention the fact thatits population is around 19m people meaning that some 5% have seen the film.By
  • Azkaban enjoys biggest '04 opening in Portugal

    Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban added an estimated $8.7m for Warner Broson more than 3,900 screens at the weekend to raise its international cumulativetotal to $477.2m.Key drivers included the biggest debut of the year so farin Portugal, where $932,300 on 115 screens surpassed Shrek 2 by 20% and Spider-Man 2 by 17%, according to the distributor.In its sixth week in Japan, strong school holiday business ensuredAzkaban remaine
  • Bavaria Film picks up Bombon

    Bavaria Film International (BFI) has picked up internationalrights for Argentinian director Carlos Sorin's latest film Bombon - El Perro (aka LeChien).Produced by Guacamole Films and OK! Films (Argentina) inco-production with Madrid-based Wanda Vision, Bombon - El Perro tells the moving story of how life perks up for asweet-natured car mechanic in Patagonia when he becomes the owner of a rareArgentinean Dogo dog in lieu of payment for a repair job. The film will be
  • Berlin funding agency dishes out Euros 3m

    New films by Andreas Dresen, Eoin Moore, Hans-Christian Schmid,John Stephenson and Sven Unterwaldt are among 12 projects backed with overEuros 3m by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg in its latest round of funding.The largest amount - over Euros 1m - went to Constantin Film'sdrama Siegfried, to be directed by Sven Unterwaldt from a screenplay byTom Gerhardt and producer Herman Weigel.Euros 450,000 was allocated to Martin Barry's romantic drama PreludeTo Parsifal and E
  • 'Bully' tactics prevent film piracy

    Constantin Film andHerbX, distributor andproducer of Michael"Bully" Herbig's currentbox-office hit (T)Raumschiff Surprise- Periode 1,have struck ablow against filmpiracy.Constantin hasreported that a special anti-piracystrategy - developed with HerbX - hasso far prevented any piratedcopies of (T)Raumschiff beingproduced from originalsource material. "Thisshows that throughthe massive reductionand checking ofcontacts in thearea of productionand transport aswell as thecompl
  • Cape Town film studio deal challenged

    South Africa's Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for ahalt to the Western Cape's film studio development, according to local mediareports.The DA has alleged that 'undue interference had been appliedin the process of awarding the tender for Cape Town's $58m (R400m) filmstudio'.The winning bidder for the project, announced in February,is Anant Singh's Dreamworld consortium, which is set to begin construction onthe Cape Flats site in early 2005. However, the DA claims it has a do
  • Chadha looks to cast $90m Jeannie

    Anglo-Asian director Gurinder Chadha is shortly to start casting on Jeannie, her first big-budget studio film. An Arabian Nights-style fantasy adventure which is also a prequel to the long-running TV series, I Dream Of Jeannie, the film is set in Persia in 200 BC and in the contemporary US.The central character is a fiery young Muslim woman who dresses up as a boy in order to become a soldier but is then imprisoned as a genie in a bottle. Chadha was reportedly drawn to th
  • Cleary promoted to general counsel at IFTA

    Susan Cleary has been promoted from vice president of legalaffairs to vice president and general counsel at the Independent Film &Television Alliance (formerly AFMA).Cleary will continue to oversee legal matters andarbitration activities for IFTA, and will now supervise IFTA Collections(formerly AFMA Collections), which manages worldwide claims for and collectionof audio-visual royalties and levies for more than 125 participating companies.
  • Collateral

    Dir: Michael Mann. US. 2004. 119 mins. An intriguing noir thriller with an arresting digitalvideo look, Collateral returns masterstylist Michael Mann to the crime genre in which he first made his reputationand earned his loyal cineaste following. If the finished product never achievesthe intensity of Mann's 1995 crime classic Heat- and turns altogether too generic in its action-oriented final act - itnevertheless stands out as one of t
  • Cox, Nesbitt, Goode join Allen cast

    Brian Cox, Matthew Goode and James Nesbitt have joined thecast of Woody Allen's upcoming UK film.The trio will appear alongside Scarlett Johansson, EmilyMortimer and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers when principal photography starts July 12thon location in and around London.Financial partners in the film include BBC Films, Magic HourMedia, Thema Production and Invicta Capital, with the Bank of Ireland asprincipal bank. The financing was structured by Wiley and Darwin, with KamiNaghdi of Bir
  • Deauville reveals 30th anniversary details

    Although its full official line up will not be announced until August 19, the Deauville Festival of American Film has provided some hints about the upcoming 30th anniversary event.The Prix Michel d'Ornano, which was created as an aid to writers and which rewards a debut feature length film, will go to Eleonore Faucher's Brodeuses.The film, which tied for the Grand Prize at this year's Critics' Week during the Cannes Film Festival, is a moving coming of age story set in co
  • Deauville to honour Zanuck with career producing award

    Veteran producer Richard D Zanuck will receive theLifetime Achievement Award for producing at the 30th Annual Deauville FilmFestival on Sept 7.Zanuck hasproduced more than 50 films in his career, earning three Academy Awardnominations and winning best picture in 1990 for Driving Miss Daisy, which heshared with his wife Lili Fini Zanuck.He received theIrving G Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy in 1991 in recognition of hiscontribution to cinema and
  • Deschanel named HFF's cinematographer of the year

    Caleb Deschanel, the director of photography behind Mel Gibson'sbox office smash The Passion Of The Christ, will receive the Hollywood Cinematographer of the YearAward at the upcoming Hollywood Film Festival (Oct 12-18).Deschanel earned back-to-back Academy Award nominations in1984 and 1985 for The Right Stuff and TheNatural, and received further nominationsfor Fly Away Home in 1997 and ThePatriot in 2001.
  • Fiennes signs on as Potter arch-villain

    Ralph Fiennes will play Harry Potter's arch-enemy Lord Voldemortin Warner Bros' upcoming Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, while Miranda Richardson joins the castas the muckraking reporter Rita Skeeter.The production, which is being directed by Mike Newell andproduced by David Heyman, has seen several other recent cast additions.Brendan Gleeson has come aboard as Mad-Eye Moody, the new defenceagainst the dark arts teacher, while Frances De La Tour wil
  • Film New Zealand elects new chairman

    David Madigan, former technicians guild president, is the new chair of Film New Zealand, which is responsible for marketing the country's filmmaking talents to the world.Elected deputy chair was Sue Thompson, ceo of Peter Jackson's Film Unit and Park Road Post and chair for four years up to when the organisation was recently reconstituted as a trust.The first meeting was also attended by Judith McCann, who took up her role as ceo this month. The former New Zealand Film Commissio
  • Filming suspended on Vincent Ward's River Queen

    In the face of rumours of trouble on the set, it has beenannounced that director Vincent Ward's RiverQueen has been delayed due to the illness of UK actress Samantha Morton,but that she remains committed to the project and the delays are covered byinsurance."She has been treated in hospital for severe influenzaand secondary bacterial complications and is now out of hospital, but thedoctor recommends a minimum two to four week period of recuperation,"according to a statement.
  • FINLAND 3 August

    Addingone print in its second week, the new hit from producer Markus Selin anddirector Aleksi Makela, private eye thriller Vares, actually grossed 35%more this weekend taking Euros 204,298 compared to last week's Euros 151,496,and improved its screen average from Euros 3,787 to Euros 4,983.In itsopening week last week i
  • French-German co-productions receive funding

    New features by Cedric Kahn, Bourlem Guerdjou, Pan Nalin andEmmanuelle Bercot have been awarded over Euros 1m by the Franco-German FundingCommittee as part of the "mini-treaty" co-production fund.The largest amount - Euros 300,000 - was granted by the GermanFederal Film Board (FFA) to Nalin's ValleyOf Flowers which is a German majority co-production between Pandora Filmand Paris-based Elzevir Films, with Euros 150,000 coming from France's CNC.The other three projects were
  • Generation to open new Hungarian festival

    Generation, theomnibus film currently in production by six Central and Eastern Europeanfilmmakers (ScreenDaily.com, April2004), will be the opening film at the new Alba Regia International FilmFestival (ARIFF) which is going to be launched in the Hungarian spa town ofSzekesfehervar from June 6-12 2005.The six shorts are being made by Stefan Arsenijevic (Serbia& Montenegro), Nadejda Koseva (Bulgaria), Mait Laas (Estonia), KornelMundruczo (Hungary), Cristian Mungiu (Romania
  • German cinema admissions set to rise

    Cinema attendancein Germany is set to increase between 5%-10%this year, over 2003's 149m, according to Johannes Klingsporn, managingdirector of the German distributors' association Verband der Filmverleiher (VdF).Speaking toScreendaily.com, Klingsporn said that he regarded this forecast as"realistic" in the light of recent blockbusters like Harry Potter 3, Shrek 2 and Spider-Man 2, and local hits
  • GERMANY 3 August

    Although its takings slipped by 45% the scifi spoof (T)Raumschiff Surprise - Periode 1 heldonto the top spot with over 1.1m admissions to reach a total gross of $31.9m(Euros 26.5m).After (T)Raumschiff'srecord-breaking opening, another record was broken this week, but this timewith the entry of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit9/11 at the No. 2 position with 124,157 admissions and almost $1m intakings from its 208 print
  • Glenaan readies football project

    Scottish director Kenny Glenaan (whose new feature Yasmin premieres in competition inLocarno today, prior to its screeningat the Edinburgh Film Festival) is shortly to go into pre-production on a filmabout the exploitative, cut-throat world of football agents.Ducain's Boys, asthe film is titled, will tell the story of agents who scour the sub-continentin search of new talent which they can sell on at vast profits to wealthyEuropean soccer
  • Grant wraps shoot on directorial debut

    Wah Wah, the directorialdebut of Richard E Grant, has wrapped principal photography after a seven-weekshoot in Swaziland.The semi-autobiographical film, which Grant also scripted, is acoming-of-age story set against the tail end of British Colonial rule in thelate 1960s. Told from a 14-year-old boy's point of view, Wah Wah focuseson a dysfunctional family whose gradual disintegration mirrors the dismantlingof Colonial rule.Nicholas Hoult, the young star of About
  • GREECE Production Listings - August 3 2004

    GREECE - August 4PRE-PRODUCTIONHERO IN ROME (ENAS IROASSTIN ROMI)(Greek Film Centre, Sound and Image Ltd) Co-prod: Bepe Toscies Film Production(Italy). Budget: Euros 850,000. Backer: ET1 Greek public TV. Int'l sales: theGreek Film Centre. Social comedy. A mid-aged Greek man, who has never traveledbefore and speaks no foreign language, wins a trip to Rome. While there he isrobbed and discovers that the European Union is f
  • Hollywood studios dismayed over TiVo ruling

    The MPAA expressed disappointment yesterday over the FederalCommunications Commission's decision to permit TiVo's new content sharingtechnology TiVOToGo.The FCC ruling will allow TiVo users to record programmingand send it via the internet to up to nine other TiVo devices or computers, allof which will be linked to the same customer account and granted access to thecontent by electronic key.MPAA officials said the ruling could lead to unauthorised newviewing ma
  • Hou Hsiao-hsien named Asian Filmmaker of the Year

    The PusanInternational Film Festival (PIFF) has announced that Taiwanese filmmaker HouHsiao-hsien (City Of Sadness, MillenniumMambo) will be presented with its Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award.This is the secondtime that the festival has bestowed this honour, following the inaugural awardgiven to Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf last year. It recognises a filmmaker who has done themost over the past year to further the development of Asian film industry andculture.
  • Hubble goes from Big Bang to big screen

    Fledgling Los Angeles-based finance and production company SyntaxEntertainment has licensed the movie rights to Gale E Christianson's book EdwinHubble: Mariner Of The Nebulae, based on the father of the Big Bang theory.The film version, which is being produced with Los Angelesbased production outfit Persistent Entertainment, will be called Hubble and chronicles the astronomer's controversial lifeand the woman who inspired him.Shawn Otto, who co-wr
  • I, Robot embarks on biggest international weekend yet

    Columbia's Spider-Man 2 should swing past $300m at the international box officethis weekend, while Fox International's I, Robot embarks on its biggest weekend yet,buoyed by an estimated $1.2m opening day on 770 prints in France this week.The sci-fi thriller, which headlines Will Smith, is expected to boost its $10.3minternational running total with July 30 debuts in Mexico on 550 prints, Spainon 450 and Korea on 250, as well as a 120-print release in Taiwan a day later.
  • I, Robot takes $21m; Day After Tomorrow crosses $350m

    Fox International's I, Robot stamped its authority over the overseas box office at theweekend, grossing $20.8m from 3,489 screens in 18 markets to become the topinternational picture of the weekend.The sci-fi thriller's distinction of opening number one inall its markets so far suffered setbacks in Argentina and the German-speakingpart of Switzerland, however there can be no denying that the picture's firstwave of major releases has been a success.
  • INTERNATIONAL 5 August

    As predicted by ScreenDaily.comlast week a new international chart champion was crowned this week.20th Century Fox's I,Robot opened in multiple territories in Latin America, Asia and Europe,including Mexico, South Korea, Hong Kong, France and Spain, to take the leadwith a $20.8m weekend.The film should be able to retain the lead next week given afurther set of European launches including such majors as Germany and the UK.Spider-Man 2
  • International box office has a new champion

    As predicted by ScreenDaily.comlast week a new international chart champion was crowned this week.20th Century Fox's I,Robot opened in multiple territories in Latin America, Asia and Europe,including Mexico, South Korea, Hong Kong, France and Spain, to take the leadwith a $20.8m weekend.The film should be able to retain the lead next week given afurther set of European launches including such majors as Germany and the UK.Spider-Man 2 mayhave been knoc
  • Italian producers denounce funding crisis

    Italian state funding for local films has stalled for oversix months, while the government has recently made new and drastic cuts to itsentertainment fund.Now, a group of top Italian producers, including Rai Cinemaand Fininvest-owned Medusa, have taken a full-page advertisement in a nationalnewspaper asking prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to take immediate action toresolve the crisis."We, Italian film producers, denounce the irreversiblecrisis that would hit the entire industry
  • ITALY 4 August

    On a devastatingly bad weekend at the Italian box office,Cinetel, which monitors around 80% of Italian screens, reported that earningsslumped a huge 48% compared to the previous week.There were no changes in the positions of the first ninefilms at the box office, and earnings for the top movies were meagre: UIP's The Stepford Wives registered just$149,109 from 120 screens for a screen average of $1,243. After four weeks, theN
  • Italy's Metacinema acquires three new titles

    Metacinema, Giovanni Tamberi's Italian production,distribution and communications outfit has picked up Italian rights to threenew films, including Venice Critics Week opener, P.S. I Love You.P.S. I Love You,which marks Dylan Kidd's follow-up to his award-winning debut Rodger Dodger, is a romantic comedyabout a 38-year-old New York woman who believes her former boyfriend has beenreincarnated.Gabriel Byrne, Laura Linney, Marci
  • Johnny To undertakes first production as financier

    Milkyway Image, prolific Hong Kong filmmaker Johnny To's production entity, is to make its first investment in a film, despite the company having produced about 30 films since the mid-1990s.Election (working title) tracks a democratic election held within the world of triads, a subject To confidently expects to have strong international legs. Milkyway's direct input will add more heart to the film's worldwide launch. No sales agents or distributors are attached as yet."I
  • Korea's Kim Jee-woon unveils 'action noir' feature

    Rising Koreandirector Kim Jee-woon (A Tale Of TwoSisters) has lifted the veil on his highly anticipated fourth feature, an"action noir" that is set to start shooting in mid-August.Dalkomhan Insaeng (English title to be decided) is produced by b.o.m.Film Productions, and tells the story of a gangster whose boss asks him to tailhis unfaithful new girlfriend.Main investor CJEntertainment plans to release the film in Korea during the Lunar New Yearholiday in February 2
  • Limelight buys worldwide rights to 21st Century library

    Kiera Chaplin'sLos Angeles-based production, financing and distribution company Limelight Films hasacquired all worldwide distribution rights to the 21st Century library from theMotion Picture Company of Australia.The 112-titleresource boasts such titles as Roger Vadim's Don Juan 73,George Lacombe's Female And The Flesh, and Peter Sykes' To The Devil ADaughter.Featured talent includes Brigitte Bardot, MauriceChevalier, Marcello Mastrioanni,
  • Locarno announces first Excellence Award

    Russian actor Oleg Menchikov (pictured) is to be the first recipient of the Locarno Excellence Award, created by the festival to celebrate the work of an actor or actress.Born in 1960, Menchikov has worked in television and film on such productions as Burnt By The Sun, The Barber of Siberia, and Est-Ouest.The festival organisers also announced that production designers will be at the centre of this year's In Progress sidebar, exploring the interaction betwee
  • London studio sold to Mayor's development agency

    The LondonDevelopment Agency is poised to acquire 3 Mills Studios, the East Londontelevision and film studios, as part of a drive to boost London's creativeindustries.Thestudios will be managed by the LDA with the advice of industry body FilmLondon, the new strategic body responsible for supporting filming in London andpromoting London as a filmi
  • Lucasfilm sets up Singapore animation studio

    Making its first foray intoAsia, US entertainment company Lucasfilm has set up Lucasfilm AnimationSingapore for the production of digital animated content including films.Through the Singapore outfitGeorge Lucas aims to combine Asian cinema with animation. 'We can create a newstyle of animation that will blend East and West and offer something not seenbefore,' he said.Lucasfilm AnimationSingapore is a joint venture 75% of which is owned by Lucasfilm while theremaining 25% is mai
  • Malaysia clears Passion - for Christians only

    Mel Gibson's The Passion OfThe Christ has been cleared by Malaysia's Film Censorship Board for anuncensored release for all ages, albeit with one condition that is restrictedfor Christian eyes only.The approval came after theNational Evangelical Christian Fellowship lobbied the prime minister's officefor the release of the film. Screening will start on September 1, with twoshows per day, at 17 cinemas in eight major cities. Cinema tickets areavailable only through churches to ma
  • Marcos documentary a hit in the Philippines

    The controversialdocumentary film on former First Lady Imelda Marcos is doing good business inthe Philippines, raking in US$300,000 at the local box office after just twoweeks. The figure was very respectable for a documentary according toPhilippine distributor Unitel Productions.The 103-minute film, simplycalled Imelda, traces her rise from abeauty queen to the extravagant wife of the late Philippines' PresidentFerdinand Marcos as well as her dramatic downfall when Marcos' regi
  • Matsutani launches UK-based production outfit

    German writer-director Rainer Matsutani has set up a newUK-based production house Red Sun Films.Speaking exclusively to Screendaily.com,Matsutani explained that the company's name was inspired by Terence Young's1971 East-meets-West western starring Charles Bronson, Alain Delon, UrsulaAndress and Toshiro Mifune.Matsutani's partners at the London-based outfit are UKproducer Tim Cranage (who worked at German private broadcaster ProSieben inMunich until last year), Jens-Peter
  • Momentum announces acquisitions, sales appointments

    UK distributor MomentumPictures has appointed Lara Thompson as head of acquisitions and Andy Leyshonas head of sales.Thompson has been with thecompany for four years, joining as PA to the MD and moving into acquisitionsunder Sally Caplan until her earlier departure this year."She has strongrelationships within the industry as well as a thorough knowledge of the UKmarket and I'm sure she will flourish in this crucial role," said XavierMarchand, managing director.Leyshon jo
  • Montreal first titles include premiere of Black documentary

    The MontrealWorld Film Festival will present the world premieres of German filmmakerAndreas Struck's Sugar Orange, Australian director Chris Kennedy's comedy A Man's Gotta Do, and Canadian documentarian DebbieMelnyk's Citizen Black,a film about newspaper baron Conrad Black. The feature-length documentaryfeatures interviews with Donald Trump, Henry Kissinger, Richard Perle andBlack's wife, journalist Barbara Amiel.Among theinternational premieres announced are Pupi
  • Montreal to present host of film premieres

    The Montreal World FilmFestival will present the world premieres of German filmmaker Andreas Struck's Sugar Orange, Australian director ChrisKennedy's comedy A Man's Gotta Do,and Canadian documentarian Debbie Melnyk's CitizenBlack, a film about newspaper baron Lord Black. The feature-lengthdocumentary features interviews with Donald Trump, Henry Kissinger, RichardPerle and Black's wife, journalist Barbara Amiel.
  • Motovun film fest maintains youth appeal

    The sixth editionof the Motovun Film Festival took place from July 26-30 in the town of Istria,Croatia. Unlike most world festivals that are more market-oriented, what setsthis festival apart is its focus on presenting films to film-lovers as well as toprofessionals, as well as featuring a large number of side events such asexhibitions, film schools, workshops, all kinds of presentations, concerts andparties that attract a lot of young people. Actually, some 70% of the audienceswere under 26
  • Murdoch-baiting documentary hits theatres this weekend

    Robert Greenwald's Fox-baiting documentary Outfoxed: RupertMurdoch's War On Journalism, will go on limited theatrical release this weekend through LosAngeles-based Cinema Libre Distribution - just two weeks after becoming aunderground DVD sensation.The picture, which is essentially a sustained broadside againstalleged political bias at Fox News Channel and its notorious "fair and balanced"slogan, will initially open in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco andWashington DC.
  • New Greek talent focuses on international market

    Veteran Greekdirector Theo Angelopoulos is probablythe only name internationallyrecognisable among his local peers. If the Greekfilm industry has any hope of making an impact in the internationalmarket this lies with a handful of new directors who have the means and thetalent required.Womanwriter/director Olga Malea is probably the most prominent among there - . withthree box office hits to her credit, Malea is currently putting the finaltouches to her latest film Sugar AndSpice
  • New production company launches in Finland

    Finland's biggest film and video distributor, FS Film Oy, has set up a newproduction outfit, Juonifilmi Oy, with 33-year old producer Jarkko Hentula (Pearls And Pigs).FS Film, which is fully owned by Nordic major AB Svensk Filmindustri, holdsthe majority stake in the company, while Hentula, who has been appointedmanaging director, will hold the minor. "We want to produce strong, compellingand surprising stories that give the audience positive ex
  • NEW ZEALAND 2 August

    The Chronicles OfRiddick opened in cinemas on the weekend and pushed I, Robot off the top spot, but there wasn't much between them. Riddick took NZ$385,766 from 47 screensfor UIP, while I, Robot tookNZ$354,212 from 60 screens in its second week on release.In third was Fahrenheit9/11 on its first official week on release. After one week of previews ittook NZ$276,318 from just 18 screens for Hopscotc
  • Northern Arts acquires Avati's Cannes hit Incantato

    Northern Arts Entertainment in association with Artistic LicenseFilms and marketing experts Palisades Pictures Entertainment has picked up PupiAvati's romantic comedy Incantato (Il Cuore Altrove).The Italian-language picture was a hit at Cannes 2003 and earnedAvati a best director di Donatello award the same year. It will open in NewYork on Sept 24 and Los Angeles on Oct 15, followed by nationwide expansion.Giancarlo Giannini, Neri Marcore and Vanessa Incontrada st
  • Oz production slumps as foreign investment soars

    New research confirms that service work on US films issoaring while Australian features remain in the doldrums in terms of numbersmade and budget levels, while co-productions have practically disappeared.Only 15 homegrown films worth A$134m were made in the 12months to June 30, according to the Australian Film Commission's latest annualsurvey, , compared to seven foreign films worth A$432 million.The amount spent in Australia was A$113m for local and $249mfor foreign films respe
  • Paton named deputy chairman at DDA

    Well-known film publicist, Chris Paton has joined DennisDavidson Associates (DDA) as its deputy chairman.Paton left Premiere PR, where he was co-managing director,after Cannes this year. He joined Premiere three years ago when Corbett &Keene and the UK arm of Falco Ink, where he was co-managing director, wereacquired by David Willing's creative industry conglomerate Miracle Media Group.Paton previously left DDA in 1999 to found New York-LondonPR outfit Falco. In his new role Pat
  • Polish art house festival breaks attendance record

    This year's fourth edition of Era New Horizons festival,eastern Europe's leading art house film festival, broke all previous recordsfor ticket sales with 93,602 tickets sold comparied to 56,179 last year.The festival held in Cieszyn, southern Poland, from 22 Julyto 1 August screened 166 features and 166 short films from 36 countries.Eleonore Faucher's Brodeuseswon the Grand Prix while other competition entries which received high scores,voted by the audience, were Jennife
  • Private equity fund invests in Russian exhibition

    Russian exhibitorand entertainment complex developer, Investkinoproyekt, has announced plans toexpand in the Russian regions after attracting the single largest equityinvestment in the Russian industry $40m from international private equity groupCube Private Equity Fund."Russia'sexhibition and entertainment industry is one of the few businesses where theopportunities to create nation-wide projects still abounds," saidAlexander Timofeyev, the CEO and co-founder of Investkinoproyekt.
  • Riddick opens second in Australia on $1.8m

    Universal's action sequelThe Chronicles Of Riddick grossed an estimated $1.8m on 700 screens in 13territories through UIP at the weekend, powered by a third place $1.1mAustralian bow on 226 screens.The picture opened top inNew Zealand on $225,000 from 46 and raised its UIP running total to $5.5m.Industry-wide it has taken $6.1m to date and there are 35 territories to open,including Japan on Aug 7 through Toshiba.The live-action Thunderbirdsadaptation took $1.2m on
  • Robot invasion spreads to UK, Germany, Brazil

    FoxInternational's I, Robot looks set to continue its international dominance this weekendthrough major debuts in Germany, the UK, Brazil and Russia.The sci-fi thriller, which has amassed $35.2m to date,opens in Germany and Russia on Aug 5 on 925 and 302 prints respectively, the UKon Aug 6 on 750, and Brazil the same day on 300.Fox executiveswill be looking to Will Smith's strong international appeal for strong debuts.By way ofcomparison, Men I
  • Roven taps Gartner as producing partner

    FormerMGM production chief Alex Gartner has joined Mosaic Media Group as a producingpartner with the LA production and distribution group's Atlas Entertainmentfilm division.Gartner,who produced Barbershop 2 and servedas executive producer on Out Of Time, will develop and produce with Mosaic partner and Atlas Entertainmentfounder Charles Roven."This is the first step of an exciting new venture that willallow us to produce movies, television, lock in financing and ex
  • Russian horror breaks box office records

    Russia's first realHollywood-style blockbuster NightWatch has broken the local recordfor the biggest grossingbox office hitof all time - taking justover $14.3m asof yesterday, accordingto the press service ofthe First Channelof Russian television.The previous recordwas held by LordOf The Rings 3 with$14.1m and 3.3madmissions. NightWatch beat Lord OfThe Rings on admissions as well,with 3.8m s
  • San Sebastian unveils main competition titles

    The Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival hasunveiled 15 of the titles set to compete for the official competition's GoldenShell prize at this year's 52nd edition (Sept 17-25) - showing off ahigh-profile and geographically balanced international line-up.Following the inauguration by Woody Allen'sout-of-competition comedy Melinda AndMelinda are new films from well-known international directors such as JohnSayles (Silver City), MichaelWinterbottom (Nine Song
  • Santa story gets bi-sexual twist

    Paul Colichman's pioneering gay and lesbian cable network here! TVhas begun production in Vancouver on separate gay and straight-themed versionsof the same Christmas family story.
  • Scottish producer Meek named head of drama at Australia's ABC

    Scottish producer Scott Meek is relocating to Australia totake up the role of head of drama at public broadcaster the ABC.Meek was involved in such features as Velvet Goldmine, Sid And Nancy and Prick Up Your Ears when chief executive at Zenith Productions. Hehas served on the British Film Institute and Scottish Screen, and was alsoinvolved in three Hal Hartley pictures.Meek is currently joint chief executive of Deep IndigoProductions. When he takes up his new role
  • Shoreline takes on sales for The Limb Salesman

    Shoreline Entertainment hassecured worldwide sales rights to The Limb Salesman from production outfits punk Films and Darius Filmsand will be representing the film in Toronto, where the film is playing in thefestival.pUNK Films andDarius Films have announced a deal making Shoreline Entertainment theirworldwide sales agent, beginning with The Limb Salesman in Toronto.Directed byAnais Granofsky, The Limb Salesman centres on a limb regeneration spe
  • Shyamalan is king as The Village opens top on $50.8m

    M Night Shyamalan's safehands delivered the promise of a late summer rally for beleaguered Disney atthe weekend, as the young director's latest mystery The Village opened top onan estimated $50.8m.This was Disney's best everJuly opening weekend, surpassing $46.6m by Pirates Of The Caribbean last year,and presents studio executives with their first cast-iron $100m domesticprospect of the year following high profile flops like King Arthur, The Alamo,Home On
  • Shyamalan is king as The Village opens top on $50.8m

    M Night Shyamalan's safehands delivered the promise of a late summer rally for beleaguered Disney atthe weekend, as the young director's latest mystery The Village opened top onan estimated $50.8m.This was Disney's best everJuly opening weekend, surpassing $46.6m by Pirates Of The Caribbean last year,and presents studio executives with their first cast-iron $100m domesticprospect of the year following high profile flops like King Arthur, The Alamo,Home On
  • Spider-Man 2 swings past $300m international gross

    Sony's Spider-Man 2 remaineda dominant international force at the weekend, swinging past $300m with a$17.5m estimated haul on 7,915 screens that raised the picture's running totalto $302m.The highlights were $3.6m on858 prints in its third weekend in France despite a decent 37% drop to ranksecond on $27m, and $3.1m for $39.1m after the same amount of time in the UK,where the picture was expected to finish top in a close race with new releaseKing Arthur.The UK is cu
  • Summit, Serendipity Point reteam on Egoyan's Truth

    Los Angeles-based sales, financingand production outfit Summit Entertainment has signed on as international salesagent for Atom Egoyan's latest picture Where The Truth Lies.The film is produced byRobert Lantos and his Serendipity Point Films which has already teamed withSummit on Norman Jewison's The Statement and Istvan Szabo's Being Julia.Based on the novel by RupertHolmes, Where The Truth Lies isscripted and directed by Egoyan and marks his first f
  • Sutherland, Harden, Reed shoot for IFC's American Gun

    Donald Sutherland, Marcia Gay Harden and Nikki Reed have joinedthe cast of Aric Avelino's ensemble drama American Gun, which began shooting in Los Angelesearlier this month and will open in the US through IFC Films.Sutherland plays the owner of a Virginian gun store whoselife becomes entangled with those of a top student, a single mother and aschool principal.
  • SWITZERLAND 6 August

    Hot weather had a detrimental effect on Swiss cinemas lastweekend as the overall market saw week-on-week figures down 35% despite thelaunch of Fox's I, Robot in theGerman and French-speaking regions.However, the country's open air cinemas benefitted from theweather. This resulted in films such as LesChoristes, The Last Samurai and TheReturn Of The King re-entering the chart and local comedy Sternenberg re
  • Tailor-Made teams with Plan B to co-produce The Apologist

    London-based Tailor-MadeFilms has teamed with Brad Pitt, Brad Grey and Jennifer Aniston's Plan B toco-produce the film of Jay Rayner's novel The Apologist.The book, which has alreadybeen published in the UK and will be published in the US in August by Simon& Schuster under the title Eating Crow, is the story of a man who becomes a full-time apologist for the UN."We are delighted to haveour co-producer Plan B in place and with the collective industry weight of BradP
  • Tartan USA to launch with Bush's Brain

    Nearly threemonths after announcing US distribution plans, Hamish McAlpine's Tartan Filmsis gearing up to make Joseph Mealey and Michael Shoob's Bush's Brain its first theatrical release later thismonth.McAlpine negotiated US rights to the picture with CassianElwes of the William Morris Agency and plans a home entertainment release onOct 12. Mealey and Shoob also produced.Based on JamesMoore and Wayne Slater's bestseller, the picture charts the rise to p
  • The Ninth Day (Der Neunte Tag)

    Dir. VolkerSchloendorff. Ger-Lux. 2004. 97mins.Despiteinitial appearances and a long prologue set inside Dachau concentration camp,Volker Schloendorff's The Ninth Day is no Holocaust film, but a neartheological dissertation on Catholicism and how it held up under the Nazi rule.The victims thistime are not Jews but the Catholic priests sent to concentration camps forresisting the Nazi regime, notwithstanding all the Vatican's manipulativeattempts to find a mo
  • The Village

    Dir/sc: M. NightShyamalan. US 2004. 107 minsOstensibly setin the late 19th Century (though the precise period is not specified until latein the final reel), The Village is anarch and eccentric affair. M. Night Shyamalan's craftsmanship and originalityare not in doubt, but his attempts to combine Blair Witch-like horror with ScarletLetter-style costume drama yield some deeply silly moments. Theperformances and any attempts at psychological com
  • Toronto revamps Canadian presence

    Don McKellar's second feature Childstar will make its world premiere at the TorontoInternational Film Festival as the event announced its local programming andunveiled its inaugural Canadian competition line-up, Canada First!Also making their world premiere are Bruce McDonald's TheLove Crimes Of Gillian Guess, JerryCiccoritti's Blood, ElidaSchogt's Zero The Inside Story,Andre Forcier's Acapulco Gold,Anais Granofsky's The Limb Salesman,David Wea
  • Turtle Crossing takes out Redford's Spin

    Spin,the prize-winning dramatic debut by Robert Redford's son James Redford, willembark on a limited domestic release beginning in Salt Lake City and Tucson onOct 15.The picture will be distributed through Mark Borde's SantaMonica-based Innovation Film Group, the theatrical releasing partner of SusanJackson's producers representative Turtles Crossing.The picture will receive its charity premiere at the SundanceResort in Salt Lake City on Oct 9 in aid of the James Redford
  • UK opening helps redeem King Arthur

    King Arthur raised its international running total by $11.3m to $31.9mthrough Buena Vista International (BVI) at the weekend, powered by a strongnumber one opening in the UK.Boasting three British leads in Clive Owen, KeiraKnightley and Ioan Gruffudd, the Arthurian legend grossed $3.5m from 400screens in the UK.
  • UK/IRELAND 3 August

    Local legend KingArthur was crowned UK box office champion over the weekend.A largely British cast, led by Clive Owen and KeiraKnightley, star in Antoine Fuqua's drama which dethroned Spider-Man 2. The film grossed $3.5m (£1.9m) including previews,which accounted for $603,466 (£331,864) of the gross.Marketing featured Knightley most prominently given herrising-star status and her allure to teenage audiences, but posters alsofeatured Owen and Ioa
  • Venice to host amfAR benefit on September 3

    The Venice festival will once again play host to a majoramfAR AIDS-research benefit evening, to be held on Sept 3.The event, at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini on the island ofSan Giorgio Maggiore, will be co-chaired by Jeremy Irons and ScarlettJohanssen.The evening is presented by upmarket jewellery firm Bulgari,and co-sponsored by concierge service Bluefish and Venice's Hotel BauerVenezia.Since they began in 1993, amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS galashave ra
  • Venice unveils inaugural Directors' Fortnight

    Venice Days, the Lido's first ever Directors Fortnight, willfeature 12 titles, including UK director Shane Meadows' Dead Man's Shoes and Danish director Anders Ronnow-Klarlund's Strings.The section, which is headed by Giorgio Gosetti, formerdirector of Italia Cinema, will also include two French films, three Italianfilms, and one Russian film.In all, seven of the 12 films are debut features. All thefilms are European, a decision wh

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