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Screen
6 August 2008

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  • Adlabs commissions studyof Indian cinema audiences

    Mumbai-based Adlabs Cinemas has commissioned India's leading research agency, IMRB International, to carry out research that will probe the Indian cinema audience on parameters such as advertising exposure, cinema habits and exposure to media. Adlabs Cinemas is a part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, while IMRB International is part of the Kantar Group, WPP's information, insight and consultancy division,which operates out of 32 cities across 13 countries.To be conducte
  • Alex Cox on Repo Chick

    Alex Cox clearly relishes his reputation as UK cinema's 'oldest enfant terrible'. The now Oregon-based film-maker is plotting a sequel to his 1980s cult hit Repo Man. He has already completed the screenplay for Repo Chick, which comes billed as 'a 21st century look at the issues of Repo Man'. That's to say, it will unfold against the backcloth of the credit crunch and repossession boom, with a female protagonist.Cox was passing through London earlier this summer to
  • Anita Nelving named managing director of CineVegas

    Anita Nelving has been appointed managing director at the CineVegas Film Festival and will oversee all festival departments and its year-round schedule of events.Nelving begins work on September 2 and will also be responsible for approving budgetary decisions and overseeing the festival's relationships with other arts organisations and Las Vegas properties while managing the festival brand in Las Vegas.She previously served as director of public relations for the Cirque D
  • Arthouse acquires worldwide rights to documentary Milton Glaser

    Arthouse Films has acquired worldwide rights to Wendy Keys' documentary Milton Glaser: To Inform And Delight and plans a 2009 theatrical release.Arthouse Films will also distribute the portrait of the iconic American graphic designer through its output deals with Mongrel Media in Canada, Revolver Entertainment in the UK, Madman Entertainment in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, and on iTunes.Best known for co-founding New Y
  • Autumn (Sonbahar)

    Dir: Ozcan Alper. Turkey 2008. 100 mins.
  • Bank of Beijing grants loans to Polybona, Enlight

    China's Bank of Beijing has made loans of $14.64m (RMB100m) each to two mainland film companies - Polybona Film Distribution and Enlight Media Group - to fund their production and distribution operations in the coming year. The bank announced the loans yesterday as part of its 'cultural and creative industry financing products' initiative, which aims to support the capital city's cultural and creative industry. The loans were offered as credit loans for which no guarantee is required.
  • Barratier's Paris 36 to open Montreal World Film Festival

    Christophe Barratier's Paris 36 will make its world premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival on August 21. Written by Barratier from an original idea by Frank Thomas, Jean-Michel Derenne and Reinhardt Wagner, the film stars Gerard Jugnot, Clovis Cornillac, Kad Merad, Nora Arnezeder, Bernard-Pierre Donadieu and Maxence Perrin. Set in pre-war Paris, the story follows three unemployed music hall performers who decide to occupy the
  • Bavaria takes on Toronto world premiere Krabat

    Bavaria Film International has picked up international distribution rights for Marco Kreuzpaintner's $15.5m (Euros 10m) fantasy film Krabat which will have its world premiere in the official selection of the forthcoming Toronto International Film Festival.Set in the 17th century, the story of Krabat, an orphan boy who is apprenticed to an evil sorcerer, is based on the internationally bestselling and prizewinning novel by Otfried Preussler, and stars David Kross (who recently
  • Beta Cinema handling 1936 Olympics drama

    Beta Cinema will handle international distribution for Kaspar Heidelbach's drama Berlin 1936 (working title) which begins shooting in North Rhine-Westphalia on Wednesday (Aug 6), just two days before the opening of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.The production by Cologne-based Gemini Film, one of co-producers of the Dardenne brothers' Cannes competition film The Silence Of Lorna, centres on the leading German track and field athlete Gretel
  • BIG Music signs distribution deal with Warner Home Video

    India's BIG Music & Home Entertainment, part of Reliance BIG Entertainment, has announced that it has been appointed by Warner Home Video as the exclusive licensee for the release of its catalogue in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. BIG Music & Home Entertainment will market and distribute VCD, DVD and Blu Ray products from Warner Home Video, including library titles such as Gone With The Wind, Doctor Zhivago, Ben Hur, the Matrix trilogy and the Harry Potter
  • Break-Up Artist wraps for Legacy, Double Edge and Triumphant

    Production has wrapped on Legacy Filmworks, Double Edge Entertainment and Triumphant Pictures' romantic comedy The Break-Up Artist.Amanda Crew, who stars opposite James Marsden in Summit Entertainment's upcoming release Sex Drive, plays a businesswoman who runs a break-up service and falls in love with a client.Legacy Filmworks' Deboragh Gabler produced and is hoping to close a North America
  • Canada - Fantastic Forum

    It's sure not your Uncle Walt's Fantasia. Swedish vampires, contagious Spanish cannibals, feudal female Korean crime-solvers and general Japanese insanity have never been a big part of the Disney world, but they are the meat and potatoes (mostly meat) of Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival, the 12th edition of which was held July 3-21.In a world where the film festival itself seems increasingly irrelevant, the horror-fantasy genre event serves and fulfills a very def
  • Canadian newcomer NeoClassics buys The Black Balloon from Icon

    Canadian distributor NeoClassics Films has paid mid-six figures for North American rights from Icon Entertainment International to the Australian coming-of-age comedy The Black Balloon.Neoclassics, a start-up that has offices in Los Angeles, plans a limited release in October on Elissa Down's feature directorial debut about a teenage boy whose efforts to enjoy a normal adolescence are stymied by his autistic brother.Rhys Wakefield,
  • Cannes opener Blindness to open Atlantic Film Festival

    Fernando Meirelles' Cannes competitor Blindness will open the 28th Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax on September 11. Based on the novel by Jose Saramago and starring Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Danny Glover, Gael Garcia Bernal and Alice Braga, the Canada-Brazil-Japan coproduction was adapted for the screen by Don McKellar, who is also featured in the film. The film is distributed in Canada by Alliance Films.Brazil is one of thre
  • Celestial pacts with Netmovie for cyber cafe distribution

    Celestial Pictures has signed a deal with Beijing Netmovie Co which will see 662 Shaw Brothers films distributed through chains of internet cafes in mainland China. Netmovie has licensed internet, IPTV and mobile platform rights to the titles which include classics such as The Kingdom And The Beauty, The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin and Love In A Fallen City. The deal also includes 170 hours of original TV dramas from Celestial Pictures.For the online portion of its
  • Charles McDonald to leave Premier to run own PR business

    Film publicity legend Charles McDonald plans to step down as joint CEO of London-headquartered Premier PR at the end of October.He will leave Premier and handle a number of his own key clients independently, likely his most active Premier clientssuch as BBC Films, Optimum Releasing, European Film Awards and Europa Cinemas.McDonald will continue to collaborate with Premier on projects that require joint services, such as major festival work.'I will be sad to leave PPR but
  • Chew takes Singapore-based role for Global Networks

    Christopher Chew has been appointed Affiliate Sales Director Asia Pacific Global Networks, an international division of NBC Universal.He takes the newly created role effective immediately.The announcement was made by Raymund Miranda, Managing Director Asia Pacific Global Networks to whom Chew will report.Chew will be based in Singapore. He previously was Director, Television and New Media Asia Pacific for NBA based in Hong Kong.
  • China Film, Enlight team to produce new media shorts

    Chinese state-owned China Film Group Corporation and private media group Enlight Media are teaming up to produce short films for new media platforms. The two groups aim to produce 100 short films in the coming year. According to Wang Changtian, president of Enlight Media Group, the films will be three to five minutes long and are designed to be distributed on the internet and mobile phones. Shooting of the films has already started.The main purpose of the project, according to Wang
  • China opens up talent industry to foreign investment

    China's State Council has amended its regulations to allow investors from Hong Kong and Macau to launch their own artist management companies in mainland China. Hong Kong and Macau artist management companies are also allowed to set up mainland branches under the new policy.In addition, foreign investors not from Hong Kong or Macau are allowed to set up Sino-foreign joint venture artist management companies, so long as their share does not exceed 49%.The regulations also cov
  • Colin Brown steps down as Editor-in-Chief of Screen International

    Colin Brown is stepping down as the longstanding Editor-in-Chief of Screen International to pursue new entrepreneurial ambitions in the global media and entertainment sphere.Announcing the amicable departure, Natasha Christie-Miller, Managing Director, Retail & Media at Emap Inform, Screen's parent company, paid tribute to Brown's long and profitable association with the paper.'As Editor-in-Chief of Screen International, a paper he first joined 21 years ago,
  • Dadi, China Film to co-produce Confucius biopic

    Beijing-based Dadi Century Film and China Film Group plan to co-produce $22m (RMB150m) biopic Confucius, to be directed by Hu Mei who is known in China for directing historical TV dramas. Dadi and China Film will also co-finance, with Chui Po-chu (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Kung Fu Hustle) as producer and Khan Chan (Red Cliff) as scriptwriter.The film will be set against a period of war in China when small kingdoms suffered from long-lasting battles
  • Di Pierro, Cirillo team up for revenue sharing online distributor

    Former Warner Brothers executive Vince Di Pierro and marketing veteran Joe Cirillo have launched the revenue sharing online distributor Indie RoadThe founders will canvas a panel of experts to select material that visitors to the site will be able to download or stream for prices starting at less than a dollar.Indie Road will share 50% of net revenue from films with the film-makers as well as a portion of music and advertising sales revenues. The company will be a major s
  • Disney takes New Zealand rights to Under The Mountain

    Walt Disney has signed on with sales agent NZ Film to distribute Black Sheep director Jonathan King's scary teen adventure Under The Mountain in New Zealand. Sam Neill has been cast in the film, an adaptation of a 1979 Maurice Gee novel about teenage twins who battle the dark forces underneath the volcanoes of Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city. It goes into production in ten days.'The story will contrast a contemporary Auckland city setting with a fantastic subterr
  • Dragon Emperor reigns over international box office for UPI

    Launching across 3,559 sites in 28 territories, Universal's The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor was Hollywood's runaway champion of the international arena this weekend and grossed an estimated $59.5m for asuperb $16,700 per-screen average. Warner Bros Pictures International's (WBPI) The Dark Knight crossed $200m and remains a potent force with six of the ten major markets set to open this month.
  • Feature - Locarno's Latin passion

    Celebrating its sixth year, the Locarno International Film Festival's annual Open Doors Factory (August 9-13) has become established as an important co-production event.Backed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (SOC), each year Open Doors targets a key region and 2008 is the turn of the lesser-known Latin American countries. Organisers say the response from the region's film-makers has been astounding with more than 300 projects submitted, compared with 130 last year
  • Feature - The Open Doors Projects 2008

    Faith (Guatemala)Dir/co-scr: Alejo CrisostomoProds: Alejo Crisostomo, Elias JimenezSet in the seething, violent atmosphere of Guatemala City, this project tells the story of an evangelist pastor who is invited to conduct a service at the local prison. There he meets a young fisherman accused of raping and murdering a 13-year-old girl. The pastor believes in the fisherman's innocence and secures his release, before the fisherman moves into the pastor's own home. But when h
  • Fitzgerald, Arriaga expected to attend fifth Eurasia festival

    The fifth Eurasia International Film Festival hopes to welcome guests including Jack Nicholson, Antonio Banderas, Michael Fitzgerald, and Guillermo Arriaga to Astana, Kazakhstan from Sept 7-13.Other invitees include Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Armand Assante, Sean Penn, Fred Ross, Bruce Beresford, Lucrecia Martel, Nae Caranfil, Johnny To, Jia Zhangke, Fatih Akin, and Mikhail Porechenkov.This year's festival also marks the 10th anniversary of Astana being the new capital of K
  • Forward, Slingshot start shooting UK school horror Tormented

    Teen horror film Tormented has started shooting in Birmingham, UK.New UK production company Forward Films makes its feature debut with the film, being produced as the fourth feature from digital studio Slingshot.The project is also backed by BBC Films and Screen West Midlands. Pathe International will handle international sales and Pathe Distribution will release the film in the UK.Jon Wright, known for shorts such as The Librarian's Dream, will make his
  • French illegal downloads equal to box-office admissions

    Illegal downloading of films in France has reached 450,000 per day according to a report by anti-piracy association ALPA.The figure represents the same level as box-office entries, the report said. Speaking to wire service Agence France Presse, Frederic Delacroix, the director of ALPA, said, 'We are facing a major phenomenon that could endanger the film and television industry. We did not expect such figures.'The study was conducted during the period November 2007 to June
  • Genz is Terribly Happy working outside the biz

    'Don't ask me what genre Terribly Happy is, I wouldn't know,' says Henrik Ruben Genz cheerfully. It is a typical reaction from the Danish director of the Crystal Globe winner at last month's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. After all, this is a man who prides himself on his lack of industry smarts and once sat near Clint Eastwood at the Academy Awards and failed to recognise him.'I feel my way into each scene and my films end somewhere in the territory between melanchol
  • Ghent to honour Harold Lloyd with exibition, screenings

    The 35th Ghent International Film Festival will honour the late silent film star Harold Lloyd with an exhibition of personal photos and memorabilia and a screening of newly restored versions of Safety Last!, The Freshman, Speedy and Welcome Danger.The exhibition will feature photos, sheet music, scripts and costumes and has been curated in association with the Province of East Flanders and will take pla
  • Gone Fishing, Soft take prizes in Kodak's Short Film Competition

    Kodak has announced the two winners from its Short Film Competition 2008. Gone Fishing directed by Chris Jones and produced by Ivan Clements was named best short. And best cinematography went to Christopher Ross, for Soft directed by Simon Ellis and produced by Jane Hooks.This year the best short winner was voted on by the audience at the Rushes Soho Shorts Festival in London from a shortlist; in previo
  • Gore Verbinski signs three-year, first-look deal at Universal

    Universal Pictures has signed a three-year first-look deal with Gore Verbinski that will kick off with the adaptation of 2K's hit video game BioShock.John Logan, who earned Oscar nominations for The Aviator and Gladiator, adapted the screenplay. The game requires players to assume the role of a crash survivor who must navigate his way through a dystopian underwat
  • Grande ambitions: Locarno preview

    On the eve of this year's 61st Locarno International Film Festival (August 6-16), the organisers are in bullish mood. Festival director Frederic Maire is clearly delighted to secure Julian Jarrold's Evelyn Waugh adaptation Brideshead Revisited as the festival's opening film.'It's a very strong film, which looks really classical but is also very modern,' says Maire of the film, which will receive its international premiere in the city's vast, open-air Piazza Grande.Maire c
  • Happy-Go-Lucky, Stardust up for Conch soundtrack awards

    Industry group UK Screen has announced the shortlisted nominees for its sound prizes, The Conch Awards.The awards are now in their third year, honouring audio post-production in film, TV and commercials.The industry nominated the shortlisted candidates, and now those contenders will submkit material for judging. Winners will be announced at a Sept 25 ceremony. Further shortlisted nominees in four other categories will be announced in early September.Commercial of
  • Harrison starts Unstoppable shoot in Portugal and Spain

    UK writer/director Richard Harrison started shooting yesterday in Portugal for his debut feature Unstoppable.The film is now shooting in Praia da Bordeira in Portugal, and will move to Andalucia on Aug 10 and wrap on Aug 31.The Portuguese government and Andalucian Film Commission have helped with location scouting and filming permits.Harrison has previously worked in documentaries, music videos and shorts. A
  • Harry Potter bewitches for 2008 Royal Film Performance

    The 2008 Royal Film Performance will be a screening of Warner Bros' Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince on Monday, Nov 17.The film selection was today confirmed by organising charity Cinema & Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF).CTBF said it wouldn't be known until closer to November which members of the British royal family would attend.This announcement follows the Royal Film Performance's cancellation in 2007, marking the first such gap in 60 years. Organisers
  • HFPA gives $0.76m in grants to film schools and non-profits

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association presented $759,865 in financial grants to film schools and non-profit organizations at its annual installation luncheon in Los Angeles today (Wednesday).
  • Hong Sang-soo starts shooting low-budget HD film

    Korean auteur director Hong Sang-soo has commenced shooting his ninth film, which is a high-definition (HD) project with a budget of less than $100,000, according to his production house Jeonwonsa. The film stars Kim Tae-woo, who was previously in Hong's Woman Is The Future Of Man and Woman On The Beach, as well as Um Ji-won who was in his Tale Of Cinema and Go Hyun-jung who was in Woman On The Beach.The film is tentatively titled Jal Aljidoh Mot-ha
  • India's NFDC set to host second edition of Film Bazaar

    India's National Film Development Corp (NFDC) has unveiled details of the second edition of its co-production market, Film Bazaar, to be held November 26-29 at the Marriott Resort in Goa. A total of 15 feature film projects, which are Indian-centric and seeking to reach global audiences, will be selected to meet with potential Indian and international partners.For the first time this year, the market will also host a co-production market for documentary projects. Using the same sel
  • International - Sunny shines at home

    Showbox's big-budget war epic Sunny enjoyed a strong $3.8m opening weekend at home, to become the second highest opener in the international market last weekend after Twentieth Century Fox's The X-Files: I Want To Believe, which grossed $9m from 22 territories.Hot on the heels of local blockbuster The Good, The Bad, The Weird, which has grossed $24.3m to date, Sunny is helping South Korean films claw back market share in their home market after a disappointi
  • Italian executive Gianandrea Mutti dies after motorcycle accident

    Gianandrea Mutti, a ten-year employee of the marketing department for Italian distributor BIM has died while recovering from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.Bim's founder and President Valerio De Paolis told Screen Daily in an emotional conversation, 'I felt an affection for him that went beyond work.'The forty-one year old Bologna native's untimely passing has stunned the local industry, particularly as he was expected to pull through from the injuries caused
  • Jack White, Alicia Keys team for new Bond song

    The 22nd James Bond film, Quantum Of Solace, will feature a theme song duet for the first time in the franchise's history.Jack White (of the White Stripes and Raconteurs) and Alicia Keys will record Another Way To Die.As rumoured, troubled British chanteuse Amy Winehouse had been in talks to record a song that didn't progress.Producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON confirmed that White and Keys had already recorded the new song,
  • John Goodman, David Wenham confirmed for Pope Joan

    US actor John Goodman and Australian-born David Wenham have joined the cast of Soenke Wortmann's adaptation of Donna W. Cross' bestselling novel Pope Joan, which begins principal photography in Germany's Saxony-Anhalt next week.Goodman will play the part of Pope Sergius - the role he had also been expected to play when Volker Schloendorff was previously attached as director to the Constantin Film production - while the talented newcomer Wenham, who has just finished production
  • Joshua Michael Stern pushes political buttons

    Joshua Michael Stern's broad political satire Swing Vote, which opened through Disney's Touchstone label on Aug 1, is about as timely as it gets.With Barack Obama and John McCain both campaigning to take control of the White House in November, Stern's tale of a hapless single father who through a quirk of fate holds the key to the presidential election works as light entertainment, family drama and provocative speculative fiction.'The story came from a sense my writing pa
  • Journey to the Third Dimension

    In 1953, studio chief Jack Warner implored Alfred Hitchcock to work in the new format of 3D for his film Dial M For Murder. Hollywood had just introduced the colour stereoscopic photographic technology to fend off the pervasive reach of television. But by the time of the release, the 3D phenomenon had largely passed. Outside of a few major markets, Hitchcock's film was shown in the traditional two-dimension format.As time passed, few appeared to lament 3D - until now. Suddenly H
  • Juraj Jakubisko strikes back with empire story 200 Years Of Solitude

    Juraj Jakubisko is preparing a film from the time of Great Moravian Empire, which dominated Central Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries.The Slovak director said he might release 200 Years Of Solitude (working title) in two or three parts.Jakubisko describes the project as an epic look at the time when the Slavic people were abandoning their pagan roots and taking up Christianity.The director announced the project in Uherske Hradiste, Czech Republic, where his film
  • Kaltman named to vp corporate communications post at MPAA

    Elizabeth Kaltman has been named vice president of corporate communications at The Motion Picture Association Of America (MPAA) in the wake of Kori Bernards' departure to become senior vice president of media relations at Universal Pictures.Kaltman has served as director of corporate communications for more than two years and will continue to be based in the MPAA's Los Angeles office and report to executive vice president and chief communications officer Seth Oster.The ne
  • KOFIC awards p&a cash to Dutch, Hong Kong distributors

    The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has announced that its second P&A Fund for Korean Films Abroad will be awarded to Stichting Nederlands Filmmuseum and Hong Kong's Golden Scene to distribute five films in total, including Secret Sunshine and The Chaser. A committee of five jury members selected Stichting Nederlands Filmmuseum from the Netherlands to receive $18,570 (12,000 euros) for former Cannes competitor Secret Sunshine, to be released on Sept 11 this year.St
  • Korea's constitutional court rules against restricted rating

    South Korea's Constitutional Court has ruled against the Korea Media Rating Board's 'Restricted' classification, effectively compelling the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to create a revised law proposal for the legislative body. Local importer World Cinema filed suit in February of this year after its Cannes 2005 pick-up Battle In Heaven was given the Restricted rating twice - once in 2005 (when it was voluntarily withdrawn from ratings), and then again in Dec 2007.
  • KTH launches legal download service Fine Movie

    South Korean internet portal, gaming service and contents provider KTH has announced deals with several major webhard and P2P sites to launch a legal download service called Fine Movie (FM). KTH-owned films downloaded from these sites will incur a fee whether the source was uploaded by KTH or an illegal pirate.An affiliate of Korea Telecom (KT), the company has more than 1,000 titles to its name, but is starting a beta test version of FM with 100+ films. Recent releases Seven Da
  • Locarno to honour Chahine with Destiny screening

    The Locarno International Film Festival will pay tribute to the Egyptian director Youssef Chahine, who died last weekend at the age of 82,with a special screening of his film Destiny (Al Massir) on the Piazza Grande on August 7.This film had also been shown eleven years ago at the festival as part of the Piazza Grande nightly open-air programme in 1997. 'We were greatly saddened at the passing away of Locarno's dear friend, Youssef Chahine', the fes
  • Locarno's Buzz Films

    North Face (Nordwand) (Ger)Piazza GrandeDir: Philipp StolzlThe story: An all-star German cast of Benno Furmann, Florian Lukas and Ulrich Tukur play climbers attempting to scale the Eiger in the 1930s. The plot touches on love, political conflict during the Nazi era and the mountaineers' obsession.The buzz: Such an epic narrative sweep combined with awe-inspiring location cinematography may make North Face this year's breakout German hit
  • Lucasfilm wins copyright case against Shepperton Design Studios

    The High Court in London has ruled that Shepperton Design Studios and its principal Andrew Ainsworth violated Lucasfilm's US copyrights by manufacturing and selling Stormtrooper helmets and other costume replicas from the Star Wars franchise.The decision handed down from the High Court's Chancery Division today [July 31] affirmed that Lucasfilm is the sole owner of all rights to the costume designs. Damages will be announced in due course.
  • Luke Ryan joins MGM as vp of theatrical production

    Former vice president of MTV Films Luke Ryan has joined the MGM motion picture group as vice president of theatrical production.Ryan will oversee the production and development of new MGM projects and reports to chairman of the worldwide motion picture group Mary Parent.He will immediately get to work on priority projects including Darren Aronofsky's RoboCop reboot, as well as Cabin In The Woods, R
  • Madman Entertainment loves Bana's Beast

    Madman Entertainment has bought Australian rights to Love The Beast, the feature-length documentary that actor Eric Bana has been directing for the past two years. It is about his life and his beloved car. 'The car owner in me is completely devastated but the director in me is completely thrilled,' Bana told Screendaily last year when he crashed the red 1974 Ford XB GT Coupe during a motor sports event in Tasmania. At the time he also said that he decided to make the documen
  • Match Factory handles Venice competitors Jerichow, Teza

    Cologne-based The Match Factory will handle international sales on two Venice competition titles - Christian Petzold's Jerichow and Haile Gerima's Teza - screening as world premieres at the festival.Jerichow marks The Match Factory's second collaboration with Petzold after his Berlinale 2007 competition film Yella which won lead actress and Petzold regular Nina Hoss a Silver Bear.Based on an original screenplay by Petzold, the new film sees a
  • Midnight Meat Train

    Dir: Ryuhei Kitamura. US. 2008. 86 mins.
  • Montreal unveils competition titles, full line-up

    The Montreal World Film Festival announced its full line-up, including 20 films in its official competition alongside festival opener Christophe Barratier's period drama Paris 36 announced yesterday. In all, MWFF festival president Serge Losique and vice-president Danielle Cauchard unwrapped 234 feature films, 105 of which are world or international premieres.Competition entries include two films from Quebec, Stephan Gehami's
  • New Projects - Strength in depth

    AvatarUS dist: Twentieth Century FoxUS release date: December 18, 2009James Cameron's first narrative theatrical feature since Titanic stars Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, Sam Worthington and Giovanni Ribisi in a story about the conflicts between humans and the inhabitants of a distant planet.Cameron shot Avatar on the new 3D Fusion System cameras he designed with cinematographer Vince Pace. "If you have film-makers who are going to excite the
  • Palisades, Media Asia clash over Tartan library titles

    New York-based Palisades Media Corp has reasserted its ownership of the Tartan Films' library, after Hong Kong producer-distributor Media Asia announced last week that it was retrieving rights to seven films it had previously licensed to the UK distributor. Media Asia issued a notice last Friday (July 25) asserting that it had cancelled license agreements to seven titles that it had sold to Tartan, including the popular Infernal Affairs trilogy.However, Palisades CEO Vincent
  • Pinewood & Shepperton photo exhibit to open in New York City

    A photography exhibition showcasing behind-the-scenes images of great star at work at the UK's Pinewood and Shepperton Studios over the last 50 years will open at the Lincoln Center in New York City on Aug 14 and run through to Sept 5.Entitled 'Capturing Film History In The Making', the exhibit compiled by Pinewood and Getty Images includes photographs of Stanley Kubrick on the set of Dr Strangelove, David Lean watching Alec Guinness being mad
  • Postcard from Britdoc

    It is only in its third edition, but the UK's Britdoc festival (July 23-25) is a major draw for the international documentary community.Last week's instalment attracted more than 950 delegates, including film-makers Larry Charles, Nick Broomfield, and Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum, otherwise known as anti-capitalist activists The Yes Men, as well as a range of broadcasters, commissioning editors and financiers. These included representatives from Sundance, Participant Media, HBO, BBC
  • Postcard from Karlovy Vary

    Karlovy Vary is known as a relaxed setting, ideal for renewing contacts. A little business was done in the pine-fringed Czech spa town during the festival (July 4-12), four films picked up local distribution, and the Eastern European line-up went down well with enthusiastic audiences, many of whom were backpacking students from Prague and other Czech towns, curious to enjoy a rare view of international and independent films.The exposure will provide a huge boost to the handful of films
  • Projects by Fliegauf, Alvart, Sax receive backing from German funds

    New productions by Benedek Fliegauf, Christian Alvart, and Geoffrey Sax are among 35 projects receiving over $12m in support from the German Federal Film Board (FFA) and Leipzig-based Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung (MDM).At its latest sitting the Berlin-based FFA supported such projects as Hungarian director Fliegauf's first English language production, Womb, produced by Razor Film with Hungary's Inforg Studio, France's A.S.A.P. Films and the
  • Regent signs two-year deal with horror man De Coteau

    Regent Studios has signed a two-year deal with horror film-maker David DeCoteau's Rapid Heart Pictures that includes ten films and two TV series.DeCoteau is currently in development with Regent on Edgar Allan Poe's The Pit And The Pendulum as well as two further films in The Brotherhood vampire franchise that launched in 2001 and The Invisible Chronicles.
  • RGM Entertainment launches $400m production fund

    Singapore-based RGM Entertainment is launching a fund to back $400m worth of commercial English-language film and TV projects over a period of four years. The fund combines debt provided by Oceana Media Finance LLC, along with investment from RGM and institutional investors from Singapore.RGM previously financed Winged Creatures, starring Forest Whitaker and Kate Beckinsale, and is currently financing the sequel to Point Break, entitled Point Break 2, which Jan
  • Rome to honour Al Pacino with Gold Marco Aurelio

    Al Pacino will receive career honours at the International Film Festival of Rome when the third edition unspools this October.Career honourees at the festival's first two editions include Sean Connery and Sophia Loren.The Gold Marco Aurelio honorary award will be given to Pacino, who will be on hand to take part in a popular sidebar called L'altro cinema (previously called The Actors Craft), which each year features members of New York's famed Actors Studio and places the
  • Russian action star Nevsky announces Hercules project

    Russian action star Alexander Nevsky will star in Hercules: The Beginning and will produce through his Hollywood Storm production company.The $12m title is in pre-production and comes at a time when Universal Pictures and Nu Image/Millennium are also lining up projects based on the Greek deity.Hollywood Storm wrapped production recently on the thriller Magic Man starring Nevsky, Billy Zane,
  • Russian box-office sales boom in first half of 2008

    Cinemas in Russia and the CIS saw a 3.7% year-on-year increase in admissions in the first half of 2008 while sales in the first six months of the year ballooned 38.2% over the same period in 2007. According to Russian Film Business Today, more than 56m tickets were sold in cinemas and Russia and the CIS, bringing in $382.4m. Average ticket price has climbed from $5.60 in 2007 to $6.90 this year.The figures put the territory on track
  • San Sebastian adds The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas to Selection

    San Sebastian has announced that Buena Vista/Disney’s The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas will be presented as an international premiere in official selection at this year’s festival.
  • Scotland's Black Camel rides a full slate

    Black Camel Pictures has come a long way in a short time. Producers Arabella Page Croft and Kieran Parker formed the company in 2004 in Glasgow, and by Cannes 2007 their debut feature, Outpost, was sold across the world, with Sony Pictures taking all English-language territories - a unique achievement for a new Scottish company.Outpost was released for a small theatrical run in the UK in May (the DVD release will follow this autumn) leaving the Glasgow-based duo to focus
  • Screen opinion:A double take on piracy

    The UK government took its swig from the poisoned chalice of film and music piracy this week. The result, of course, was a fudge. Most attempts to take on counterfeiting have proved either incoherent or unworkable. Sometimes both.Like the 'war on drugs' the prospects for a knock-out blow are limited and each successful action leads to a technical escalation from the counterfeiters. But the new UK position is eminently workable. That's because for all the grand dressing, its initial amb
  • Send in the big guns

    The success of The Dark Knight has raised hopes of a Bat-powered box-office surge across the world.Some markets struggled in the first half of the year to match a strong 2007: Japan's box-office revenues, for example, fell 13.7% between January and the end of June, while Brazil dropped 8.8%. But many markets are now anticipating a very strong second half of the year.The extraordinary success of The Dark Knight has fuelled much of the early optimism. While hopes wer
  • Shoreline acquires worldwide rights to Asylum Seekers

    Shoreline Entertainment has acquired worldwide rights to Rania Ajami's comedy Asylum Seekers.The story centres on six bored people who attempt to get admitted into an insane asylum in a bid to spice up their lives. With only one bed available, the six men and women must compete against each other to prove which is the craziest.Shoreline's director of acquisitions Brandon Paine and director of worldwide distribution Sam Eigen negoti
  • Shorts from Hudson, Dunst, Biel among 317 at Palm Springs

    Films from Kate Hudson, Jessica Biel and Kirsten Dunst take their place in the line-up for the 2008 Palm Springs International ShortFest set to take place from August 21-27.The festival's 14th edition unveiled a roster of 317 films selected from a record 2,700 submissions and will showcase 53 world premieres, 47 North American premieres and 24 US premieres.Entries are organised into 51 themed programmes covering boy-meets-girl, sins, parenthood, culture clashes, the Jewis
  • Silent Light wins at Motovun

    Carlos Reygadas's Silent Light won the Motovun Propeller, the main prize of the 10th Motovun Film Festival, which wrapped Aug 1. The festival favourite and Cannes jury award winner was named Best Film by Slovenian actress Milena Zupancic, British director Pawel Pawlikowski and Pavle Levi, professor of film studies at the Stanford University. The A to A award for the best film from the region from Austria to Albania went to the winner of Austri
  • Sloan has contract extended for three years as head of MGM

    Harry E Sloan has extended his tenure as MGM chairman and CEO and said the next three years will be 'a testament to the power, passion and creative vision of our new management team.'Sloan joined MGM in October 2005 and has worked to revive the company's ambitions to return as a fully-fledged studio. In the last three years MGM has hired Mary Parent as chairman of the worldwide motion picture group and Bedi Singh as president of finance and administration and CFO and brought in Tom C
  • Studio Ghibli to train next generation of animators

    Japan's Studio Ghibli announced plans today to open a training facility to foster the next generation of animation talent. Dubbed 'Ghibli West', the facility will open next spring in the city of Toyota, Aichi Prefecture. Toyota is also famously known as the birthplace of Toyota Motors.Prospective trainees will join the facility as Studio Ghibli contract employees, following a multi-stage selection process taking place from this September to November. During the two-year course they
  • Sven Sturm to head new Paramount Pictures Germany

    Sven Sturm has been appointed general manager of Paramount Pictures Germany, the newly set up German operation from Paramount Pictures International.Sturm had been head of marketing at Sony Pictures Releasing (Germany) since 2000. Prior to that he worked at Universal Music in Germany. He takes the Munich-based post as of Sept 1. PPI will continue to distribute via Universal in Germany through December 2008.PPI president Andrew Cripps said: 'In making the annou
  • Swing Vote

    Dir. Joshua Michael Stern, US, 2008, 120 minutes.Swing Vote is a motivational effort whichlurches between homespun sentimentality and topical satire, with the moral that echoes the American mythology that one vote can make a difference, even if it is cast by a beer-drinking boob who has just been laid off from his job inspecting eggs. Yet this film packed with political cliches is unlikely to make a difference to American political
  • Swiss cinema continues decline in first half of 2008

    Swiss cinema's market share has continued its downward trend, according to provisional figures for the first half of 2008, with local films only clinching a 2.3% slice of the box-office compared to last year's 7% and 2006's record 11.6%.Statistics collated by the industry body Procinema showed that the ambitious animation film Max & Co., released by Walt Disney, attracted 29,498 cinema-goers -- way below the makers' expectations. Next was the
  • The Dark Knight nears $400m in North America, beats Mummy 3

    The Dark Knight stayed on top for the third consecutive weekend, edging out The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor as it bears down on $400m in record time. Warner Bros' champion added an estimated $43.8m for $394.9m in what was the second biggest third weekend in history behind Spider-Man's $45m set in 2002.The crime epic should cross $400m on Monday in a record 17
  • The Location Guide relaunches free locations website

    TheLocationGuide.com has relaunched its website feature free access and new functionalities. The online resource is geared to film producers seeking locations and services across 180 countries.Changes at the site include more types of companies listed and a new look for online discussion area Pre Production Forum.The Location Guide is a global resource for location film shoots, published since 1997 in annual print form and as a free website since 2001.
  • The lowdown - How does 3D work'

    The 3D projection formats introduced in the 1950s were cumbersome, labour-intensive and required two cameras projecting onto the same screen, making synchronisation difficult. Today, there are three far more sophisticated 3D digital projection technologies in the theatrical market: RealD, Dolby Digital Cinema and Imax 3D.All of them exploit the way the eye receives light, and the way the brain processes that information.By simultaneously selecting two viewpoints, or a left eye a
  • The Mummy goes up against Batman in 28 territories

    The Dark Knight would appear to be the one to beat yet again as the film enters its third weekend, although Warner Bros Pictures International can look for some spirited competition from Universal's The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor which opens in 28 territories.The crime epic has amassed $159m to date and has no new markets this weekend. The next major release will be in South Korea on August 7, foll
  • The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor

    Dir: Rob Cohen . US. 2008. 107 mins.Nine years have passed since The Mummy, a moderately-charming period action-adventure yarn starring Brendan Fraser, but it seems even longer after viewing Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor, a dispiritingly witless sequel with very little personality but a lot of frenetic comic banter and numbing set pieces. With producer Stephen Sommers, who wrote and directed the original as well as its 2001 sequel
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

    Dir: Sanaa Hamri. US. 2008. 118 mins.A sequel to the 2005 big-screen adaptation of Ann Brashares' novel about a quartet of young girls who discover a pair of jeans that mysteriously fits each of them perfectly, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is a painted-within-the-lines drama that skates by on its charisma, colour and solid casting. Even more so than the original which was about the girls' first, fretful summer apart, this movie plays out as a quarte
  • TIFF announces Asian and Spanish-language titles

    The Toronto International Film Festival has added a raft of Spanish-language and Asian titles to its September line-up, including the world premiere of South Korean filmmaker So Yong Kim's Treeless Mountain, the follow-up to her acclaimed 2006 debut In Between Days. Inspired by events in her own life, the new film follows two young sisters forced to spend their summer with their alcoholic aunt. It screens in Contempo
  • Tourism Australia to help market Luhrmann's new film

    Tourism Australia is to invest $47.4m (A$50m) to be part of and to help generate the marketing hype around Baz Luhrmann's sweeping period romance Australia, which is in cinemas from November 13. The government authority has signed a promotional partnership agreement with Twentieth Century Fox and will leap into the slipstream of the period film starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman.It has also hired Luhrmann and his production company Bazmark to produce at least two advert
  • Tran to adapt Norwegian Wood for Asmik Ace, Fuji TV

    Acclaimed French-Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung will direct an adaptation of Haruki Murakami's famed Japanese novel Norwegian Wood, to be co-produced by Asmik Ace and Fuji TV. Norwegian Wood tells the story of a businessman reminiscing about the intense romances of his university days, set against the turbulent student riots of the late 1960s.Tran became interested in directing the film in Japan with an all-Japanese cast after reading the French edition of the nove
  • Tribeca Film Festival sets 2009 dates as April 22 to May 3

    The Tribeca Film Festival's 2009 edition will take place in New York from April 22 to May 3, organisers announced today [July 31].The Tribeca Film Institute's Tribeca All Access (TAA) programme will run from April 20 to April 25.For further information about Tribeca visit the official website at www.tribecafilm.com.
  • UK Film Council launches $3m production fund

    The UK Film Council has launched the Production Company Vision Awards, whichwill offer up to $300,000 (£150,000) over two years to as many as10 production companiesdeveloping feature films.The initiative - part of the UKFC's Development Fund -is designed to help producers develop projects which will 'broaden the quality, range and ambition of films and talents being developed in the UK.'Applicants must have produced at least one feature film that has been distributed theatricall
  • UK Film Council launches new funding initiative for UK producers

    The UK Film Council has launched the Production Company Vision Awards, a new funding initiative designed to help producers develop projects that will broaden the quality, range and ambition of films and talent in the UK.The initiative, which is part of the UKFC's Development Fund, will offer up to £150,000 to as many as10 production companies over two years, to generate feature film projects.Applicants must have produced at least one feature film that has been distributed theatr
  • UKFC backs 56 independent cinemas with $940,000

    The UK Film Council's Capital and Access Fund for cinemas has awarded $939,400 (£475,000) to 56 independent cinemas across the UK. Grants ranged from $1,008 (£510) to $69,221 (£35,000) per cinema.Some of the largest awards went to Aberystwyth Arts Centre Cinema, Cardiff's Chapter Cinema, the Glasgow Film Theatre, the RBS Screen Machine in Inverness, and the Old Market Hall in Shrewsbury. In London, cinemas funded are the Everyman Cinema Club, Phoenix, Cine Lumiere and MediCinema at St
  • United Kingdom - Taking The Chair

    The UK film industry can breathe a sigh of relief - it is not losing one of its most experienced producers and financiers, but gaining a friend. As of July, David Parfitt, a producer at Trademark Films and co-founder of the Limelight Fund, has taken over as chairman of the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (Bafta) - perhaps the UK industry's most visible international figurehead. But he has no plans to give up his day job."I hope to make at least a couple of films during my two
  • Usen chief launches production and acquisitions outfit

    Yasuhide Uno, CEO of Japanesebroadband giant and Gaga Communications parent Usen Inc, has set up a new independent production and acquisitions company.Uno has personally invested 100% of the $2.31m (Y250m) start-up capital in the company, dubbed U's Films Inc. The new outfit is completely independent of the Usen group.Former Gaga CEO Nichiho Marumo will head U's Films, with an initial staff of eight employees transferred from Gaga.U's Films will begin operations immin
  • Venice Film Festival: Italian squad takes on rest of world

    The Italian flag will fly high over the Lido this year. Following a strong showing at Cannes, four local titles will screen in competition at the 65th Venice film festival, with the Italian industry out in force with 20 films.Artistic director Marco Mueller reportedly had to make an official request to bend the rules that limit Italian competition pictures to three. The four films are Pappi Corsicato's Il Seme Della Discordia, a comedy about fertility, Ferzan Ozpetek's Un Gio
  • Vladivostok festival to host new Coproduction & Financing Forum

    Vladivostok, Russia'sPacific Meridian International Film Festival of Asian-Pacific countries is staging a Coproduction & Film Financing Forum and the Generation Campus for young film-makers as part of its first Eurasia International Film Summit (Sept 14-17).[The name is not to be confused with Kazakhstan's Eurasia film festival also in September.]The financing forum will be aimed at Russian, European, and Asian investors, financiers, producers, distributors, representatives of state fu
  • Weber steps down as CEO of Senator parent to take LA head job

    As of Sept 1, Marco Weber will acquire all shares in Los Angeles-based Senator Entertainment Inc. and step down as chief creative officer of the German parent company Senator Entertainment AG.Weber, who is currently CEO and President of Senator Entertainment Inc., will then focus solely on production of English-language films and the establishment of a new US-based distribution entity.In an adhoc communique, the German media group stressed that 'close ties' would however continu
  • Xingu partners with comic kingpin Pat Millsfor American Reaper film

    Repeat Offenders, a new UK company developing graphic novels with cinema potential, is at work on its first two projects, both based on the work of lauded comics duo Pat Mills and Clint Langley.Trudie Styler's Xingu Films has acquired big-screen rights to upcoming graphic novel American Reaper created by writer Pat Mills and illustrator Clint Langley. Mills will adapt the screenplay himself.Also, Repeat Offenders co-founder Jeremy Davis says that another forthcoming tit

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