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6 December 2008

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  • As God Commands (Come Dio Commanda)

    Dir: Gabriele Salvatores. Italy. 2008. 103mins.
  • Carl Clifton takes up key roles at The Works

    Former HandMade COO and head of sales Carl Clifton has started work in his new role as executive director of UK-based international film company The Works Media Group. He is also managing director of the company's sales agency, The Works International, whose current slate includes James Marsh's Man On Wire and Shane Meadows' Somers Town. Joy Wong, Head of
  • China's box office up by 27% to $617m in 2008

    China's overall box office reached $617.13m (RMB4.22bn) in 2008, a 26.7% increase on the previous year, according to figures from the Film Bureau under the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). The figures mark the sixth year in a row that box office has grown at a rate of more than 20%. Local productions and official co-productions grossed a combined $375.26m (RMB2.56bn), an increase of 42% over 2007, and accounted for a 61% share of the tot
  • Dark Knight, Benjamin Button among seven effects Oscar finalists

    The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has announced the seven films shortlisted for the visual effects Oscar.They are: Australia, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Iron Man, Journey To The Center Of The Earth and The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor.On January 15 all members of the Academy's v
  • Departures finds US home with Regent Releasing

    Regent Releasing has picked up Yojiro Takita's Japanese foreign language Oscar submission Departures for North American distribution.Regent's West Coast general manager and executive vice president distribution and acquisitions Mark Reinhart negotiated the deal with Satoko Ishida of Shochiku. The company plans a limited release this summer.
  • Ed Catmull to receive Gordon E Sawyer Award from Academy

    Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios president and Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull will receive the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Gordon E Sawyer Award 'for his lifetime of technical contributions and leadership in the field of computer graphics for the motion picture industry.'An Oscar statuette will be presented to Catmull at the scientific and technical awards presentations in Los Angeles on February 7.'Ed is one of
  • Global Film Initiative signs deal with Virgin America

    The Global Film Initiative has signed a deal with Virgin America to show the Global Lens series on the North American domestic airline's RED in-flight entertainment system.Films from the series are now available on demand on all Virgin America flights. The current Global Lens series includes South African comedy Bunny Chow, Argentinean drama Kept And Dreamless and
  • Herwitz takes on world sales to Sundance competition entry Adam

    The Film Sales Company president Andrew Herwitz has signed on to represent worldwide rights toMax Mayer’s Sundance dramatic competition entry Adam.
  • Hong Kong box office up by 8% despite downturn

    Hong Kong's box office grew by around 8% to $140.26m (HK$1.09bn) in 2008 according to figures from local film industry body, the Motion Picture Industry Association (MPIA). The growth compares to anuptick of 11.5% in 2007 after several years of flat revenues in Hong Kong. MPIA chief executive Brian Chung said an increase in new multiplexes and a strong line-up of releases were the two main reasons for the overall growth. Also the global economic crisis did not see
  • Hong Kong's Celestial strikes pay-TV deal with Viasat

    Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures has sealed an exclusive pay-TV deal with Viasat to broadcast Shaw Brothers movies in 15 territories across Russia, the CIS and the Baltic states. Classic titles such as Come Drink With Me, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and Blood Brothers will be available on Viasat's TV1000 Action East Channel. The deal is a continuation of an existing partnership between Celestial and Viasat's TV3 Slovenia which broadcasts Shaw Broth
  • Hungarian Film Week announces main competition line up

    Eighteen new feature films will compete for the Golden Reel Award at the 40th Hungarian Film Week (January 27-February 3) Budapest. The competition titles were selected by a committee of Hungarian film professionals from among 26 features completed in the last 12 months. The competition features 13 world premieres, including I'm Not Your Friend, Gyorgi Palfi's highly-anticipated follow up to
  • Intervision Partners to make Spanish big budget epic

    Spanish/US production outfit Intervision Partners is in advanced negotiations with The Weinstein Company to put together a major project billed as the 'Spanish Joan Of Arc'. The film will tell the story of Agustina Raimunda Maria Saragossa Domenech, a famous Spanish heroine who defended her country's independence during the Peninsular Wars against Napoleon.British-born journalist Richard Thompsett, now based in the US, has written the script, which picked up bes
  • Isabelle Huppert to head Cannes jury

    Isabelle Huppert will preside over the jury for the 62nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival, organizers announced Friday.The Cannes veteran has previously been to the festival 25 times in and out of competition and also served as a mistress of ceremony and as a member of the jury.In 1978, she won the best actress prize for Claude Chabrol’s Violette Noziere and in 2001 for Michael Haneke’s La Pianiste.’I am very glad and very proud,’ Huppert said of the invitation to act as jury president. ‘I
  • Isabelle Huppert to head Cannes jury

    Isabelle Huppert will preside over the jury for the 62nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival.The Cannes veteran has previously been to the festival 25 times in and out of competition and has also served as a mistress of ceremony and as a member of the jury. In 1978, she won the best actress prize for Claude Chabrol’s Violette Noziere and in 2001 for Michael Haneke’s La Pianiste.‘I am very glad and very proud,’ Huppert said of the invitation to
  • Kawase, Taiwan's Wei among HAF line-up of 27 projects

    Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase and Wei Te-sheng, director of Taiwanese blockbuster Cape No. 7, are among the filmmakers who have had projects selected for the seventh edition of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF). Kawase, who was awarded the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2007 for Mourning Forest, will be presenting a project entitled And Protect, Protected at the three-day financing event, while Wei will be present with Seediq Bale
  • Lechner to steer production slate for Washington Square

    Producer and development executive Jack Lechner has struck a first-look deal with New York and Los Angeles-based based Washington Square Arts & Films (WSF) to expand the company's film slate.Lechner will be based at WSF's Manhattan office in charge of bringing in new projects and shepherding those already on WSF's roster. Both Lechner and WSF will also continue to pursue projects independently.The company, led by president Joshua Bl
  • Lorber's new label acquires Ferrara and Maysles' The Gates

    Richard Lorber's fledgling label Alive Mind has acquired all North American rights to Antonio Ferrera and Albert Maysles' documentary The Gates.Alive Mind will open The Gates theatrically in New York in spring before a limited nationwide roll-out. The film will also be immediately available to educational institutions.The Maysles beg
  • Madagascar 2 continues to lead international with $32.2m weekend

    DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa entered 2009 as the top international release and held on to the crown over the weekend courtesy of an estimated $32.2m haul through PPI that raised the tally to $340m.Active in 6,771 sites in 60 territories, the animated sequel has now overtaken the $338m international tally of its predecessor a
  • Marley & Me soars past $100m after second weekend on release

    With no major new releases in play the top seven titles stayed put as Fox's comedy Marley & Me started the year as top dog and tore past $100m in its second weekend. Overall box office gained 7.4% on the same weekend last year as the top 12 releases grossed $130.1m.Marley & Me added an estimated $24.1m for $106.5m, ahead of Buena Vista's family comedy Bedtime Stories
  • More than 90 first-time exhibitors as Berlin's EFM sells out

    The Berlinale's European Film Market (EFM) has sold out with 386 companies and organisations from 55 countries booking, including more than 50 first time exhibitors. To date EFM has announced that 309 companies will be in the Martin Gropius Bau building with 77 based in the EFM Marriot offices. Of the 153 stands confirmed, 79 will be in the Martin Gropius Bau buildingand 74 in the EFM Marriot offices. 92 of those stands are from companies new to the EFM.N
  • Mutant Chronicles finally scores US deal with Magnet Releasing

    Magnet Releasing has taken US rights to the sci-fi action release Mutant Chronicles starring Thomas Jane, Ron Perlman, Devon Aoki and John Malkovich.The Edward R Pressman production was directed by Simon Hunter from Philip Eisner's adapted screenplay based on Paradox Entertainment's role playing game.As part of the Wagner/Cuban Compan
  • Regent acquires domestic rights to The Little Traitor

    Regent Releasing has acquired North American rights to Panther Productions and Evanstone Films' historical drama The Little Traitor starring Alfred Molina.Lynn Roth wrote and directed the timely story set in Palestine in 1947 about a friendship between a Palestinian boy and a sergeant in the occupying British Army. Ido Port also stars and Roth produced the film with Eitan Evan.Regent has sche
  • Relativity Media completes acquisition of Rogue from Universal

    Relativity Media has completed its purchase of Rogue Pictures from Universal Pictures, Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh announced on Sunday [January 4].Relativity acquired Rogue's entire library, more than 30 projects in development and ownership of Rogue's producing deals, which encompasses relationships with Wes Craven and Intrepid.The first picture set for release under the new deal is David S Goyer's horror film

    In the first of a three-part review of the year. Screen looks at some of the key issues for the international film industry in 2008. Click to see full story.CRUNCH TIME: harsh economic condi
  • Slumdog Millionaire, Milk, Dark Knight among PGA nominees

    The Curious Case Of Benjamin, The Dark Knight, Frost/Nixon, Milk and Slumdog Millionaire will contest the Producers Guild Of America's The Darryl F Zanuck Producer Of The Year Award.Man On Wire, Standard Operating Procedure and
  • The Web Today January Archive - International film news on the web

    January 2 Hollywood starts '09 with little to celebrate - LA TimesFantasy films flicked off Hollywood list - New Zealand HeraldCould 200
  • Toho, Kadokawa join forces on digital delivery

    Japan's Toho and Kadokawa Holdings will partner with telecommunications giant NTT to implement digital distribution of feature films to their cinemas beginning this spring. Toho will upgrade 31 of its sites with servers and digital projectors while Kadokawa Cineplex will upgrade all 14 of its sites. After installations are complete, a total of 407 screens will be equipped for digital distribution and projection. NTT group companies, NTT East and NTT West, will emp
  • UK Blu-ray sales reach record levels

    The home entertainment market, including Blu-ray, remains healthy despite difficult trading conditions across the retail sector according to figures released by the British Video Association.The figures show that 1.5 million Blu-ray discs were sold in December alone, up almost 400% against the same period in 2007. In total 3.7 million Blu-ray discs were sold in 2008. Speaking to Richard Cooper, a video analyst at Screen Digest,
  • Visit Films takes worldwide rights to The Missing Person

    Ryan Kampe and Sylvain Tron's Visit Films has boarded worldwide rights to Noah Buschel's The Missing Person, set to premiere at Sundance and receive its market premiere in Berlin.Michael Shannon, red hot following his stand-out turn in Revolutionary Road, stars alongside Amy Ryan, and Tony Award winner Fra
  • Waltz With Bashir, Happy-Go-Lucky win with National Society

    Waltz With Bashir was named best picture of the year by the National Society of Film Critics with 26 votes, ahead of Happy-Go-Lucky and Wall-E tied in second place with 20 votes apiece.Sea
  • Wasting Away

    Dir: Matthew Kohnen. US. 2008. 96mins.