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6 February 2009

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  • A Woman In Berlin, Skin win top prizes at Santa Barbara

    Max Farberbock's second world war survival tale A Woman In Berlin was named best international film at the 24th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which came to a close at the weekend [February 1].The Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema went to Poppy Shakespeare, Benjamin Ross' ac
  • AFI Dallas hosts three documentary world premieres

    Fifteen features will screen at the AFI DALLAS 2009 set to run from March 26-April 2, including three documentary world premieres of Justin Wilson’sOne Nationabout human rights, Libby Spears’ sex trafficking talePlaygroundand and John Chester’sRock Propheciesabout an obsessive concert photographer.The US premieres are Robert Keener’s documentary Food Inc, Matt Aselton’s comedy Gigantic with Paul Dano, Zooey Deschanel and John Goodman, and Lou
  • Amanda Seyfried takes the lead in A Woman Of No Importance

    Mamma Mia! star Amanda Seyfried has signed on for the leading role of Hester Worley in Myriad Pictures' Oscar Wilde adaptation A Woman Of No Importance.Bruce Beresford is directing and Donald Zuckerman producing, with Myriad president and CEO Kirk D'Amico serving as executive producer.
  • Analysis: Project Kangaroo from

    BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 have failed in their bid to launch a joint video-on-demand service after the Competition Commission blocked their joint Project Kangaroo proposal.Click to see coverage of Project Kangaroo from ScreenDaily's sisters site
  • Anchor Bay picks up US, UK and Australia to Not Forgotten

    Just days after Anchor Bay Films announced it had picked up North American rights to David Mackenzie's Sundance premiere Spread, the company has sealed another deal, this time picking up rights in the US, UK and Australia to Dror Soref's thriller Not Forgotten from M
  • Arthouse takes North America on Sundance doc William Kunstler

    Arthouse Films has acquired all North American rights to Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler's William Kunstler: Disturbing The Universe following its recent world premiere in the US Documentary Competition at Sundance.David Koh and Lilly Bright negotiated the deal on behalf of Arthouse Films and Curiously Bright Entertainment with Josh Braun of Subma
  • Australia's Transmission picks up New Zealand duo

    A year after launching itself in Australia as a distributor, Transmission Films is proving to be a good friend to New Zealand as well as Australian filmmakers. Principals Andrew Mackie and Richard Payten have acquired New Zealand rights to both The Volcano, local writer/director Taika Waititi's follow-up to Eagle vs Shark, and Tracker, a New Zealand/UK film set at the turn of the century and to star Ray Winstone and Temuera Morrison. The Vo
  • Awards Countdown - Oscar nominations - By the numbers

    MERYL STREEP'S OSCAR HISTORY1978 The Deer Hunter (supporting)1979 Kramer Vs Kramer* (supporting)1981 The French Lieutenant's Woman1982 Sophie's Choice*1983 Silkwood1985 Out Of Africa1987 Ironweed1988 A Cry In The Dark1990 Postcards From The Edge1995 The Bridges Of Madison County1998 One True Thing1999 Music Of The Heart2
  • Berlin buzz: Preview of this year's Berlinale

    Click on section to see moreBerlin buzz: the key filmsPreview of programmeEuropean Film Market project previewBerlinale competitionGerman films on the rise
  • Berlin Buzz: the key films

    It may be as much a question of lucky timing as one of programming genius, but at first glance the competition line-up of the 59th Berlinale, which was finalised this week, makes for an appetising buffet.The opening out-of-competition film, global finance thriller The International, stars Clive Owen and Naomi Watts. Festival director Dieter Kosslick quips that, in view of the ongoing economic crisis, 'This film has gone from being a movie to practically becoming
  • Boyle is DGA's top film winner as Slumdog races towards Oscar victory

    Danny Boyle won the Directors Guild Of America's top prize for Slumdog Millionaire at the weekend [Jan 31], further bolstering the film's prospects for top Oscars come February 22.Boyle in particular looks a strong bet to claim the best director Oscar at the 81st Annual Academy Awards - in the past 61 years only six winners of the DGA award have
  • Camino takes top honours at the Goyas

    Javier Fesser's Camino swept the board with six Goya awards out of seven nominations at last night's awards ceremony, including best picture and best director. Fesser was the toast of the evening as he also picked up best original script, and his lead cast all won awards, including Carme Elias (best actress), Jordi Dauder (best supporting actor) and Nerea Camacho, who picked up best new actress for her major role in the
  • Canadian co-production market spotlights Germany and Ireland

    Strategic Partners, Canada's co-production market and part of the 29th Atlantic Film Festival, will highlight the Irish and German film markets at the 2009 Strategic Partners event. Jan Miller, director of Strategic Partners explained the choice: 'Germany and Ireland were natural choices to spotlight for 2009. They are two markets that are continually investing in their own film industries and cultivating co-production on the world stage. 'In 2008, pr
  • Charles Dance to direct The Inn At The Edge Of The World

    Charles Dance ( Ladies In Lavender ) is to direct The Inn at the Edge of the World , from his screenplay based on the Alice Thomas-Ellis' novel of the same name. The Inn at the Edge of the World tells the story of a group of people who go to a remote Scottish island to escape Christmas. The film will be produced by Jane Spencer-Prior and Lamia Nayeb-St. Hilaire of Dancing Pictures Ltd. Principal photography is due to start in May 2009
  • Cheung, Tang Wei set to star in Crossing Hennessy

    Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung and Chinese actress Tang Wei have been lined up to star in Crossing Hennessy, the second film from Ivy Ho, which she is directing for Hong Kong-based Irresistible Films. Ho, formerly a scriptwriter with credits including Ann Hui's July Rhapsody, made her directing debut last year with Claustrophobia which screens in the Panorama section of this year's Berlin International Film Festival. Crossing Hennessy
  • Chevalier's French Connection takes France on Solet's Grace

    Lightning Entertainment has closed a deal for France with Yves Chevalier's French Connection for Leomax Entertainment's psychological horror movie Grace. The film had its world premiere at Sundance recently and this week played at the Gerardmer Festival du Film Fantastique in France.Directed by first-time film-maker Paul Solet, the film is the story of a young mother who goes to extreme lengths to protect her daughter Grace who is initially stillbo
  • China - The pain of war

    Raising the budget for a film is not easy for any film-maker. But few have had it as hard as Chinese director Lu Chuan. He made his name internationally with festival favourite Kekexili: Mountain Patrol in 2004, but his success did not help him back home in China when trying to finance his new war film, City Of Life And Death. "In China, young directors are not so lucky to have a producer handling fundraising. You have to do it yourself," he explains.Chinese custom requir
  • Chinese New Year box office up by 30% in mainland China

    The 2009 Chinese New Year holidays ended on Sunday (Feb 1) with outstanding box office results in mainland China. The one-week holiday took in around $29.2m (RMB200m) in box office receipts, which is a 30% increase on the same period in 2008. Around 15 films were on release during the week between Jan 25 to Feb 1, among which ten films were new releases. In 2008, only seven films were released during the same period. Andrew Lau's romantic comedy Look For A Star
  • Chris Paton joins Fortissimo in acquisitions and development role

    Well-known industry veteran Chris Paton has joined Amsterdam/Hong Kong-based Fortissimo Films as Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development with immediate effect.Paton, the former Vice Chairman of DDA Public Relations, will be based in London and work on centralising Fortissimo's international team to source new product, continue the development of current projects and look for new production opportunities.Fortissimo is a lon
  • Chris Pine named ShoWest Male Star Of Tomorrow

    Chris Pine, who plays the young Captain Kirk in JJ Abrams' summer release Star Trek, will be the ShoWest Male Star Of Tomorrow when the Las Vegas event runs from March 30-April 2.Pine has also lined up a starring role in the viral outbreak thriller Carriers. His credits include
  • Coraline

    Dir: Henry Selick. US. 2009. 100 mins.
  • Dogging: A Love Story

    Dir: Simon Ellis. UK. 2009. 103 mins
  • Dutch indie theatres embrace digital cinema withAAM deal

    Dutch independent chain the Amsterdam Booking Company (ABC)has signed a digital cinema rollout deal with Arts Alliance Media (AAM)to convert 68 screens in 20 theatres. It is the first virtual print fee (VPF) funded rollout in the Netherlands but the move may prove more significant for other reasons.AAM will hope it represents a significant breakthrough in a stalled D-cinema conversion programme in Europe.It offers a vote of confidence in the potentia
  • E1 picks up Lone Scherfig's An Education for the UK and Ireland

    E1 Films has taken UK and Irish rights for An Education, the Nick Hornby adaptation of British journalist Lynn Barber's memoir. An Education is directed by Lone Scherfig (Italian For Beginners). BAFTA nominated Finola Dwyer (Backbeat, Me Without You) of Finola Dwyer Productionsand Amanda Posey (Fever Pitch) produced the film which won the World Cinema Audience Award and the World Cinema Cinematography award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival
  • E1 picks up Sundance winner An Education for UK and Ireland

    E1 Films has taken UK and Irish rights for An Education, the Nick Hornby adaptation of British journalist Lynn Barber's memoir. The film is fresh from its success at this year's Sundance where it won the world cinema audience award, dramatic and the world cinema cinematography award, dramatic. The deal was negotiated by Alex Hamilton, director of E1 Films and Odyssey's CEO Ralph Kamp. Hamilton said 'We're delighted to have such an outstanding British Film
  • E1 picks up world rights to The Shock Doctrine

    E1 Entertainment has taken worldwide rights to Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross's The Shock Doctrine, a documentary based on Naomi Klein's 2007 bestseller of the same name.The Shock Doctrine will receive its world premiere at this year's Berlin Film Festival, screening as a work in progress in the Panorama Dokumente section on Monday 9 February. The team behind the documentary, including Winterbottom, Whitecross and producer Andrew Eaton, pr
  • EuropaCorp's Taken tops domestic box office through Fox

    Liam Neeson as a vengeful former CIA agent who goes after his daughter's kidnappers in Taken was the top film of the weekend after Fox launched the EuropaCorp thriller on $24.6m.Meanwhile Sony's highly successful Kevin James comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop slipped to second place in its third weekend on $14m f
  • European Commission prolongs film support state aid rules until end 2012

    The European Commission has officially prolonged current state aid assessment criteria for cinema in Europe until 31 December 2012. The Commission uses the criteria to approve Europe's national, regional and local film support schemes under the EU's state aid rules. Extending the current rules provides much needed certainty for the industry, particularly in the current economic climate. The Communication which officially prolongs the criteria also identifies tre
  • European Commission prolongs state aid rules for film until 2013

    Following a public consultation, the European Commission has officially prolonged current state aid assessment criteria for cinema in Europe until 31 December 2012 The Commission uses the criteria to approve Europe 's national, regional and local film support schemes under the EU's state aid rules. Extending the current rules provides much-needed certainty for the industry, particularly in the current economic climate. The Communication which officially p
  • Fanboys

    Dir: Kyle Newman. US. 2008. 90 mins.
  • Fassbender, West and Kurylenko to headline Neil Marshall's Centurion

    Pathe and Celador have confirmed casting on Neil Marshall's Roman era Centurion with Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, Hunger), Dominic West (300) and Olga Kurylenko (
  • Film Movement picks up Shane Meadows' Somers Town for US

    Film Movement has taken US rights from The Works to Shane Meadows' comedy Somers Town and will release in theatres in July.Thomas Turgoose, the breakout star of Meadow's 2006 drama This Is England,
  • Films from Turkey, Iran and Korea claim Rotterdam Tiger Awards

    Films from Turkey, Iran and South Korea took the Rotterdam VPRO Tiger Awards at the 38th International Film Festival Rotterdam.The winners were Iranian film-maker Ramtin Lavafipour's Be Calm And Count To Seven*, Yang Ik-June's Breathless from South Korea, and Turkey's Wrong Rosary.The $19,000 (Euros 15,000) prizes were handed out at a ceremony at the Rotterdamse Schouwburg.The competition ha
  • Finecut picks up new feature from Hong Sang-soo

    Seoul-based Finecut has picked up worldwide sales rights for Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo's upcoming feature Jal Aljido Mot Hamyeonsuh (original title). Currently in post-production, the film has yet to settle on an international title, although the original Korean title means 'as if you even know properly' or as Finecut puts it, 'like you know it all'. The story follows the journey and memories of a filmmaker named Ku Kyung-nam, and his perspectives on his
  • Fortissimo to represent world sales of Mexican thriller Daniel & Ana

    Fortissimo Films has bought international distribution rights (excluding Mexico and Spain) to the upcoming thriller Daniel & Ana from writer/director Michel Franco. The deal was brokered between Fortissimo's executive vice president, international sales Nicole Mackey and producer Daniel Birman. The Spanish language production will be available to buyers at this year's EFM through preview footage. On making the announcement Mackey commented 'Fortiss
  • Fortissimo to start pre-sales at EFM on Todd Solondz's Forgiveness

    Fortissimo Films has confirmed that it has acquired international rights from Werc Werk Works to Todd Solondz's Forgiveness and will commence pre-sales at EFM next month on the loose sequel to the director's 1998 dark comedy Happiness.Fortissimo ha
  • Four producers named in The Reader's best picture Oscar nomination

    The producers branch executive committee of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has ruled that the late Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack shall be credited with producing The Reader alongside Donna Gigliotti and Redmond Morris.The executive committee convened because four producers were listed on the credits form submitted for Oscar consideration while Academy rules allow for only three producers except in 'a rare and extraordinar
  • German films - Doors open for rush of local films

    The entire Berlin festival this year acknowledges the role played by German production houses in international projects. Tom Tykwer's The International, Stephen Frears' Cheri and Lukas Moodysson's Mammoth all benefited from the German Federal Film Fund's incentives, as did a slew of Panorama titles including Michael Glawogger's Kill Daddy Good Night and Julie Delpy's The Countess. Co-productions with Germany are also found in the Gene
  • He's Just Not That Into You

    Dir: Ken Kwapis. US. 2009. 129 mins.
  • Hungary and Ireland to sign co-production agreement

    Representatives of the Irish Film Board and the Hungarian Motion Picture Public Foundation will sign a co-production agreement in Berlin on Sunday, February 8, which is designed to foster co-productions between the two territories. The deal includes a reciprocal feature whereby producers from the two territories will in effect take turns acting as majority co-producers, Toth said. Hungarian Film Commissioner Erszebet Toth announced the agreement February 2 at Hu
  • Hurt Locker, Adventureland, Passing Strange join lineup at SXSW

    Kathryn Bigelow's bomb disposal thriller The Hurt Locker, Greg Mottola's comedy Adventureland and Spike Lee's Broadway musical adaptation Passing Strange have joined the line-up at the South By Southwest Film Conference And Festival, set to run in Austin, Texas, from March 13-21.The full roster of 108 features and 54 world
  • Icon closes international sales for Mary And Max

    Icon has closed deals on key territory sales for Academy Award winner Adam Elliot's Sundance opener, Mary And Max. Mary And Max, which is produced by Melanie Coombs, will compete in the Generation 14plus section of the 2009 Berlinale. Gaumont has picked up distribution rights to the clay animation feature for France, Benelux and Switzerland. François Clerc, head of theatrical distribution at Gaumont, sa
  • IFC Films acquires US rights to Rupert Wyatt's The Escapist

    IFC Films has acquired US rights to Rupert Wyatt's The Escapist which had its world premiere at Sundance 2008.The film, which stars Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper and Damian Lewis, had previously been picked up by the beleagured THINKFilm but was freshly available when that company hit financial troubles.It will be now rele
  • International - Killer opening

    Twentieth Century Fox International's Valkyrie is the new international number one after making its debut in 13 markets. Grossing $12.8m from 2,089 screens over the January 23-25 weekend, the film opened at number one in Germany ($3.6m from 689 screens), Australia ($1.3m from 232) and the Netherlands ($900,000 from 96).Directed by Bryan Singer and starring Tom Cruise, Valkyrie will open in an additional 10 European territories, including France, Russia, Italy and Spain, t
  • International box office - End of the affair

    International box-office revenues rose 5.1% in 2008 to $16.1bn in contrast to a flat US domestic performance. But the international picture is more mixed than it first appears. The fourth quarter of last year saw an international box office decline of 2.3% with only the first quarter of the year showing a sizeable revenue increase, around a 30% rise.Otherwise ticket sales were generally flat and in many major territories, including South Korea, Italy and Spain, annual
  • International Film Festival Rotterdam 2009 update

    More than midway through the 38th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), there is a clear feeling of relief among industry delegates. Some had feared that thanks to the global economic downturn, even an event as well-established as IFFR's coproduction market CineMart might have fallen completely flat. However, despite a cautious and muted start to the festival, it has become apparent that business is slowly being done. In one of the first firm deals to emerge from
  • Interview: EFM director Beki Probst

    As director of the Berlinale's European Film Market (EFM) for 20 years, Beki Probst has borne witness to seismic changes at both the festival and the international film business. One of the most striking changes she has observed is in the attitudes of people attending the market.'When they come to Berlin now, they are all programmed from morning to night,' she says. 'That's why they get so nervous ahead of the market asking when the screening dates are on the website.
  • Japanese box office down 1.8% in 2008

    According to annual data published today by The Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (Eiren), overall box office revenues for 2008 totalled $2.164bn (Y194.84bn), a 1.8% decrease from 2007's $2.204bn (Y198.44bn). The figure represents earnings on 160.49 million admissions, a 1.7% drop on the previous year's 163.19m cinemagoers. The average ticket price decreased slightly to $13.48 (Y1,214) from $13.51 (Y1,216) in 2007. While still the world's most expensive place
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan joins Swank in Hammer's The Resident

    Watchmen star Jeffrey Dean Morgan has joined Hilary Swank in Hammer Films' thriller The Resident, which will be available at next week's EFM in Berlin.Hammer will produce for parent company Exclusive Media Group, the global company that combines Hammer and Los Angeles-based Spitfire Pictures and is backed by strategic investment Group Cyrte Inves
  • John Carpenter to direct The Ward for Echo Lake, A Bigger Boat

    John Carpenter will direct the psychological thriller The Ward starring Amber Heard that Glen Basner's Film Nation will introduce to buyers at EFM this week.Echo Lake Productions and Peter Block's A Bigger Boat are collaborating on the story of a young woman in a mental institution who is plagued by a deadly ghost. Production is set to begin in M
  • John Irvin to direct Bosnian conflict action film The Filthy War

    New York-based Mozgofilms has hired Briton John Irvin to direct the Bosnian conflict action film The Filthy War.Filming is scheduled to begin in spring on location and studios in Hungary with a yet-to-be announced international star in the lead.The story centres on Eduardo, a footloose journalist who organises an international volunte
  • Kerasotes Showplace Theatres heads to be honoured at ShoWest

    Kerasotes Showplace Theatres chairman and CEO Tony Kerasotes and president and COO Dean Kerasotes will be honoured as 2009 ShoWesters Of The Year in Las Vegas on March 31.Tony Kerasotes has more than 40 years of experience in exhibition and sits on the executive committee of the National Association Of Theatre Owners. Dean Kerasotes has 25 years of experience with Kerasotes Theatres and is also active in the National Association Of Theatre Owne
  • Korean films boost exports but lose local market share

    The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) has reported that export figures for Korean films bounced up 40% year-on-year to total $20.54m, based on minimum guarantees, ending a freefall that started in 2004. Although, the sum still falls short of the $30.9m worth of exports in 2003, it is higher than the $14.9m in 2002. Asia, North America and Europe remain the biggest buyers of Korean films, making up 96.3% of sales, almost the same as 2007's 96.2%. Exports to Asia were $12
  • Kore-eda unveils details of Blow Up Doll project

    Award-winning Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda has revealed details of his most recent project, Kuuki Ningyo (literal translation: Blow Up Doll), which wrapped at the end of January. The film stars Korean actress Bae Doo-Na as an inflatable sex doll that comes to life and begins a relationship with its owner, an anti-social video store clerk. Bae previously starred in The Host and Nobuhiro Yamashita's Linda Linda Linda in 2004. Japan
  • Larry Levy to head theatrical distribution at Vivendi Entertainment

    Vivendi Entertainment has hired Larry Levy as vice president and head of theatrical distribution at Vivendi Entertainment ahead of its maiden release of New York, I Love You.Levy will oversee all aspects of theatrical distribution for Vivendi Entertainment and joins from New Line, where he served as for 15 years as senior vice president and key s
  • LA's Principal Communications Group allies with Abrams Research

    Paul Pflug and Melissa Zukerman's strategic corporate communications firm Principal Communications Group has struck an alliance with new consultancy Abrams Research Group.Principal will identify new clients in the media and entertainment fields for Abrams, which offers business leaders industry insight through its network of freelance media professionals.Abrams Research was founded by CEO Dan Abrams last November and its global netw
  • Local films boost Scandinavian box office

    Successful local films played a major part in a strong 2008 at the box office.Norwegian cinema admissions rose 10% in 2008 to reach 11.8 million, strongly helped by local fare which sold 2.7 million tickets - 50% more than in 2007.Local film's market share reached a record 22.5% of the market, according to early statistics published by Norwegian Cinema Association, Film & Kino. Gross box office receipts amounted to $130m (NOK 917m), up 15.9% Preliminary figures from the F
  • London Film Festival announces dates

    Festival artistic director Sandra Hebron has announced that The Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival will take place from Wednesday 14 October toThursday 29 October 2009.
  • Lost Times takes Golden Reel in Budapest

    The Golden Reel, the main prize of the 40th Hungarian Film Week, was awarded to Lost Times, the debut feature of director Aron Matyassy. The film is a moving portrayal of a small-time criminal's search for justice after his autistic sister is raped. The film stars Jozsef Kadas as the young crook and Matyassy's wife, Terez Vass, as the sister. Produc
  • Maple acquires Canadian rights to Private Lives Of Pippa Lee

    Toronto-based distributor Maple Pictures has acquired all Canadian rights to director Rebecca Miller's upcoming Berlin title The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee. The film's ensemble cast features Robin Wright Penn in the title role, along with Keanu Reeves, Blake Lively, Alan Arkin, Julianne Moore, Winona Ryder and Monica Bellucci.Adapted by Miller fr
  • M-Appeal picks up international sales for Simon Chung's End Of Love

    M-Appeal has picked up international distribution for Hong Kong filmmaker Simon Chung's drama End Of Love, which will have its world premiere in the Panorama Special at the Berlinale next month. End Of Love's cast includes Lee Chi Kin, Guthrie Yip and Clifton Kwan, Scripted by Chung, the film centres on an attractive young gay man with a passion for drugs and partying. When it all catches up with him he is transferred to a Christian rehab camp and comes clean
  • Medienboard backs films from Stölzl, Garbarski, Haussmann

    Just a week before the 59th Berlinale opens, local regional film fund Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB) has announced over $6.8m (Euros 5.3m) for 38 projects, including new films by director Philipp Stölzl, Sam Garbarski, and Leander Haussmann. In MBB's first funding session of 2009, a total of $ 5.8m (Euros 4.5m) production funding was awarded to 20 film projects; $ 963,000 (Euros 750,000) was paid out in support distribution for 15 titles; and $77,000 (Euros
  • Melissa Anderson joins New York Film Festival selection committee

    Film critic Melissa Anderson has joined The Film Society Of Lincoln Center's Richard Pena and Kent Jones and critics Scott Foundas and J Hoberman on the selection committee to choose the New York Film Festival's 2009 slate.Anderson has been a film critic in New York since 2000, when she began writing regularly for The Village Voice. She was film editor and a film critic at Time Out New York from November 2005 to January 2009 and is a member of
  • Memento closes pre-Berlin sales on Katalin Varga, Treeless Mountain

    Aggressive French sales outfit Memento has announced a raft of deals on films on its EFM slate.
  • Middle east - First of the storytellers

    Chadi Zeneddine is shouldering the expectations of many aspiring film-makers in the Arab world. The 30-year-old Lebanese film-maker has been tapped by Disney to write and direct The Last Of The Storytellers, the first Arabic-language feature backed by a US studio."It's about our stories now, we have our own fairy tales, our own heroes," says Zeneddine, who is repped by CAA's Stuart Manashil. "I'm happy Disney is seeing that potential. It's very exciting, but I also feel a lot of
  • Morphia

    Dir: Alexei Balabanov. Russia. 2009. 102min.
  • Myriad sets Puerto Rico shoot for comic book adaptation Hybrid

    Principal photography will commence in May in Puerto Rico on Los Angeles-based production, financing and sales company Myriad Pictures and Studio 407's live-action comic book adaptation Hybrid.The horror story falls under the first-look deal between Myriad and Studio 407 and is being directed by Ernie Barbarash. Myriad is handling worldwide sales
  • Myriad takes on international rights to McGehee/Siegel drama

    Kirk D'Amico's Los Angeles-based production, financing and sales company Myriad Pictures has acquired all international rights to the action drama Uncertainty starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Lynn Collins.Myriad will screen the film and commence sales at EFM next week after Myriad's Luiza Ricupero negotiated the deal with Christine Kim of Cineti
  • Neil Peplow appointed Skillset director of film

    Shooting Fish and Waking Ned producer Neil Peplow has been named as the new director of film of UK training organisation Skillset. Peplow will replace current director of film Janine Marmot, who has been in the post since November 2006, on March 2nd. He will take over responsibility for the body's five-year strategy for film, A Bigger Future, a joint initiative with the UK Film Council. The managing director of Meer
  • Network Releasing acquires all UK rights to I Know You Know

    Network Releasing has acquired UK rights to I Know You Know in a deal with The Little Film Company. The UK distributor and publisher has acquired the TV, theatrical and home entertainment rights to the British feature-length drama I Know You Know in a deal with The Little Film Company. I Know You Know is screeningin the Generation 14plus section at the Berlinale. Itwill be released at UK cinemas in autumn 2009. Itis the second film from director Jus
  • Number of buyers at EFM increases year-on-year by almost 40%

    The number of international buyers attending this year's European Film Market (EFM) at the Berlinale is set to increase by almost 40% year-on-year. While a total of 1,073 attended the EFM's 2008 edition, this year's market has 1,474 buyers from 60 countries accredited (as of Feb 2, 2009).Commenting exclusively for ScreenDaily, the EFM's deputy market director Catherine Buresi explained that the increase was 'due to two factors: more buyers coming
  • ODEON and UCI group to have 50 3D screens in UK by end March 2009

    The Odeon and UCI group has added 19 new screens in preparation for the opening of Bolt 3D on February 6. Another 11 will be added in March of this year in time for the release of Monsters Vs Aliens. The digital expansion will see the Odeon Group with 53 3D screens in 49 different UK locations. In 2006 and 2007 the group launched Europe's first 'digiplexes' as test sites at ODEON Hatfield and ODEON Surrey Quays. The ODEON UCI Cinema Group's digital
  • Oliveira out and Woolridge in at Fox's Australian office

    20th Century Fox Australia managing director Marcos Oliveira is to be replaced by his marketing director Marc Wooldridge. For Woolridge the promotion takes effect from February 9. He has been with the Sydney-based theatrical office for two years and fourth months, although he has had more than 17 years of sales and marketing experience in various divisions of Fox across the world. The announcement was made out of the international office in Los Angele
  • Oscilloscope takes Stephen Kijak's Scott Walker - 30 Century Man

    Oscilloscope has acquired North American rights to Stephen Kijak's music documentary Scott Walker- 30 Century Man, currently in release in US theatres. The company will take over the theatrical self-release orchestrated by the producers and expand the run. DVD, VOD and TV roll-outs will follow in the summer and autumn. The film explores Walker's career from the early says as a bassist-for-hire on the Sunset Strip to super-stardom in the UK pop scene of the 1960s
  • Profile: The International producer Chuck Roven

    With a career spanning more than 25 years, producer Charles 'Chuck' Roven is not letting a huge hit like The Dark Knight sidetrack him from the kinds of films he has always enjoyed making.'After a hit like that, maybe there are more opportunities to select what I'll be doing next,' says Los Angeles-based Roven.But, he adds, pointing to films ranging from Three Kings to The Bank Job to City Of Angels, 'it won't affect the kinds of movi
  • Push

    Dir: Paul McGuigan. US. 2009. 111 mins.
  • Ready for action: EFM preview

    It looks like rich pickings for international buyers at this year's European Film Market, with new projects from leading film-makers including Peter Weir, Julian Schnabel, Robert Redford, Pen-ek Ratanaruang and Bruce Robinson. PERIOD1939 (UK)Dir/scr: Stephen PoliakoffBBC Films' $6m thriller marks the return of writer-director Poliakoff (Close My Eyes) to film-making after a decade in TV.
  • Roadside Attractions takes North American rights to The September Issue

    Roadside Attractions has picked up North American theatrical and home video rights to R J Cutler's Anna Wintour documentary The September Issue, a popular title at Sundance following its world premiere last month. The A&E IndieFilms production offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Vogue's iconic editor-in-chief in the run-up to the magazine's influential September edition. A&E IndieFIlms is the documentary arm of A&E Network. Appropriately enough Roadside
  • Roar power: Competition preview

    Some of the titans of European film-making are presenting films in competition at the Berlinale this year. The UK's Sally Potter, Stephen Frears and Richard Loncraine, France's Bertrand Tavernier, and from Poland, Andrzej Wajda.They are joined by the latest title from China's Chen Kaige, as well as films from some of the most exciting new film-making talents working today including Lukas Moodysson, Annette K Olesen, Francois Ozon, Rachid Bouchareb and Hans-Christian Sc
  • Room And A Half

    Dir: Andrey Khrzhanovsky. Russia. 2008. 130min .
  • Rossi, Mori hired by Paramount in acquisitions group

    Paramount Worldwide Acquisitions Group (PWAG) has appointed Alexandra Rossi to vice president of the group in London and Mineko Mori to director of the group in Mexico City.The group was set up in July 2008 as Paramount's centralised acquisitions and local co-production division servicing Paramount Pictures International and its territories (the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Latin America) and the acquisitions ne
  • Rotterdam claims success despite slight drop in visitors

    The 38th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) ended this weekend on a more muted note than in previous years.For details of Rotterdam Tiger Awards click hereOn the final day,the KPN Audience Award went to Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle and co-director Loveleen Tandan.The festival's own official figures revealed that both attendance andinternational visitor numbers were down, albeit by
  • Russia and CIS box office up 46.9% year on year

    Russia and CIS box office grossed $830m in 2008, a 46.9% year on year rise from 2007's $565m, according to Russian Film Business Today. The main reasons behind the increase are a significant rise in admissions combined with a considerable hike in ticket prices. Admissions for 2008 totalled a record 123.9m, a 16.2% rise on 2007's 106.6m. This is only the second time admissions have exceeded the 100m mark in the post-Soviet era, the first being 2007's
  • Russian World Studios plans new partnership with New Cinema

    Leading Russian producer Russian World Studios today announced that it is in negotiations to form a strategic partnership with Sergei Chliyants' New Cinema Studio.Under the proposed deal, New Cinema Studio, which includes New Cinema Marketing and New Cinema Distribution, will become a division of Russian World Studios, responsible for production and distribution of feature films, including co-productions. Chliyants will head the new division.'Sergei Chliyants is
  • Samuel Goldwyn Films takes US rights to Cold Souls

    Samuel Goldwyn Films has picked up US rights to Cold Souls, Sophie Barthes feature debut which recently played in US dramatic competition at Sundance. The film stars Paul Giamatti alongside David Strathairn, Emily Watson and Lauren Ambrose.Goldwyn is planning a late summer release for the comedy in which Giamatti plays an actor called Paul Giamat
  • Samuel L. Jackson joins cast of Rodrigo Garcia's Mother And Child

    Samuel L. Jackson has joined the cast of Rodrigo Garcia 's Mother and Child,he joinsNaomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, and Jimmy Smits.Prinicpal photography has now started with writer and director Rodrigo Garcia directing from his own screenplay. Mother And Child tells the intersecting story of three women - a 50 year old woman, the daughter she gave up for adoption and a woman looking to adopt a child of her own. Li
  • San Francisco Film Society secures $3m in funding over next five years

    The San Francisco Film Society has secured $3m in funding over the next five years from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation to support narrative features made in the San Francisco Bay Area.The SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grants support films that through plot, character, theme or setting significantly explore human and civil rights, anti-discrimination, gender and sexual identity and 'other urgent social justice issues of our time.'The grants wil
  • Screen opinion:Film industry must dodge thesucker punch

    Don't worry,' a reassuring senior financier mentioned this time last year, 'the thing with film is that there will always be another sucker at the table.' The hedge funds might dry up and the dodgy tax loopholes close but in true Micawber fashion, he remained confident that 'something would turn up'.One hope was that somewhere in the emerging super-rich states, money would be found. And indeed, there has been new finance over the last year, particularly from India. But
  • Song From The Southern Seas

    Dir/scr. Marat Sarulu. Kazakhstan/Germany/France/Russia. 2008. 80mins.
  • Sony Pictures Classics acquires US rights to Whatever Works

    Sony Pictures Classics has acquired US rights from Wild Bunch to Woody Allen's Whatever Works, the director's first feature shot in New York since 2004's Melinda And Melinda. Ed Begley Jr stars in the romantic comedy alongside Patricia Clarkson, Larry David and Evan Rachel Wood. Sony Pictures Classics, which previously collaborated with Allen on 1999
  • Summit arrives at EFM with Furry Vengeance, Next Day Air

    Summit International arrives at EFM with the $50m family adventure Furry Vengeance starring Brendan Fraser and urban comedy caper Next Day Air starring Mos Def and Mike Epps.Summit Entertainment plans a 2010 North American release on
  • Sundance 2009 Roundup

    La Nana (The Maid) World Cinema Dramatic Competition Chile. 2008. 95 mins. Director: Sebastian Silva. Screenplay: Sebastian Silva, Pedro Peirano. International sales: Shoreline Entertainment (+ 1 310 550 2060). Main cast: Catalina Saavedra, Mariana Loyola, Andrew Garcia-Huidobro. The winner of the Sundance World Cinema dramatic competition grand jury prize as well as an acting award for Catalina Saavedra, The Maid
  • Sundance Channel buys packages of docs from Arthouse Films

    The Sundance Channel has acquired a package of arts documentaries for broadcast from Arthouse Films' current and upcoming slate.David Koh, Lilly Bright, and Stanley Buchthal negotiated the deal on behalf of Arthouse Films and Curiously Bright Entertainment with Sundance Channel's senior vice president of acquisitions and programming Christian Vesper and senior director of acquisitions Ian Bricke.The package includes
  • Sundance winner Push lands at Lionsgate

    Lionsgate has won the battle for North American distribution rights to Lee Daniels' Sundance winner Push: Based On The Novel By Sapphire and has tied up with Tyler Perry's 34th Street Films and Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films for the release.The company acquired the rights from Smokewood Entertainment Group in a deal brokered by Cinetic Media.
  • Suso D'Amico to receive first WGAW Jean Renoir Award for screenwriting

    Italian screenwriter Suso D'Amico will receive the inaugural Writers Guild Of America West's Jean Renoir Award for screenwriting achievement.D'Amico is credited with writing more than 100 films including The Bicycle Thief, Rocco And His Brothers and Big Deal On Madonna Street.The lifetime achievement award will be given on an occasional basis to honour
  • Terry Gilliam to be honoured at the BAFTAs

    The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) will present Terry Gilliam with the Academy Fellowship at the Orange British Academy Film Awards ceremony at London's Royal Opera House on February 8. Awarded annually the Fellowship is BAFTA's highest accolade given to an individual, in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film. Previously honoured Fellows include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor,
  • Thaddeus O'Sullivanto to direct Obsession

    BAFTA-nominated director Thaddeus O’Sullivan (Ordinary Decent Criminal, The Heart Of Me) will direct Obsession after completing his BBC Churchillbiopic, Into The Storm.
  • The Uninvited

    Dir: The Guard Brothers . US. 2009. 87 mins. A pedestrian horror enlivened by some better-than-expected performances, The Uninvited doles out its scares and twists in a rather predictable narrative template. Respected actors Elizabeth Banks and David Strathairn give it an added gravitas, but this umpteenth remake of an Asian horror film feels more rote than chilling . Opening January 30 in the US - Super Bowl weekend - it's also facin
  • The Visitor takes Nordic Film Prize at Gothenburg

    Finnish director Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää's The Visitor (Muukalainen) haswon the Nordic Film Prize - $12,800 (SEK 100,000) and a dragon statuette - at Sweden's Gothenburg International Film Festival. Valkeapää's cinematographer, Tuomo Hutri, received theNordic Vision Award.The 32nd edition of the festival - Scandinavia's largest film event - registered a record number of 124,500 admissions for the 700 screenings of 450 films from
  • The Web TodayFebruary Archive - International film news on the web

    February 1 Plummeting profitcould help Stringer turn Sony around- LA TimesImax chief bullish despite recession- The Associated PressFebruary 2
  • Tim Johnson to join UK's Field Fisher Waterhouse

    Media and communications partner Tim Johnson is to join Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP from SJ Berwin next month. He will head up the firm's cross-practice Media Group. Johnson's appointment follows the decision by SJ Berwin to close its four-partner UK media division, which was headed up by Johnson. He has been a partner with SJ Berwin since 1995. Johnson advises on all aspects of media and communications law, with a particular emphasis on film and television fina
  • Tourists (Turistas)

    Dir/scr: Alicia Scherson. Chile, 2009. 104min.
  • TV veteran Poul to direct CBS Films' romantic comedy Plan B

    Alan Poul is in final negotiations to direct the romantic comedy Plan B, the first planned release from CBS Films that will star Jennifer Lopez.Shooting is set to begin in May with a theatrical release set for January 2010. The story follows a woman who goes through the process of artificial insemination just as she meets the man of her dreams. C
  • Two new awards for Edinburgh international film festival in 2009

    The Edinburgh international film festival has announced the introduction of two new significant international awards; best new international feature award and best international short film at this year's festival. The film festival prides itself on its focus on the discovery and recognition of British film, and the Michael Powell award has recognised films such as
  • UK Film Council search engine for audiences in the digital age

    The UK Film Council (UKFC) has launched the film search engine in a response to audience needs in the digital age. The engine enables users to find out when, where and how a film is legally available anywhere in the UK, across all formats and platforms - cinema, TV, DVD & Blu Ray sale or rental, download and streaming.Working with digital agency Blue Barracuda, the UKFC has created a free to use site which indexes over 30,000 film records.
  • UK government move to legislate on piracy cautiously welcomed

    Industry reaction to the UK government's decision to tackle piracy resulting from peer to peer file sharing with legislation has been mainly positive although tempered with caution. The legislation would mean that where rights holders request it, internet service providers (ISPs) should notify alleged copyright infringers that they are breaking the law. Lavinia Carey of the British Video Association welcomed the proposals, explaining 'It is not clear to end user
  • UK government to legislate against piracy

    The UK government has announced that it will legislate to tackle piracy resulting from peer to peer file sharing. The government's plans are set out in the report Digital Britain issued today, January 29, by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. The report covers a raft of issues relating to the UK's place in a global digital economy but sets out two main proposals to tackle peer-to-pe
  • UK governments move to legislate on piracy cautiously welcomed

    Industry reaction to the UK government’s decision to tackle piracy resulting from peer to peer file sharing with legislation has been mainly positive although tempered with caution.The legislation would mean that where rights holders request it, internet service providers (ISPs) should notify alleged copyright infringers that they are breaking the law.Lavinia Carey of the British Video Association welcomed the proposals, explaining ‘It is not clear to end users
  • UK lottery funding for the Film Agency for Wales drops 21%

    The Film Agency for Wales is to receive $1.1 million (£750,000) of lottery money to invest in Welsh film production and development in 2009. The investment fund is significantly lower than the figure allocated for the previous year. Over the course of 2008 the agency invested almost $2.5 million (£1.7 million) of lottery funding in Welsh filmmaking. The reduction in funding is attributed to a number of factors. In 2008 the agency received roll-over fundin
  • UK 's Goalpost Film announces Berlin slate

    Goalpost Film’s has announced its Berlin slate, which includes Closed For Winter and Little Sister, thecompany has also acquired international sales and licensing rights for Dances With Wolves.
  • UK 's Intandem to handle worldwide sales for The Kid

    International sales and film finance house, Intandem Films, is to handle worldwide sales for The Kid , an adaptation of the novel by Kevin Lewis. Nick Moran (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) who made his directorial debut with Telstar, will direct and Tin House Films will produce. The film tells the true-life story of an abused child who endures abandonment, neglect and life in the criminal underworld but breaks free to create a
  • UK 's Jinga Films acquires Terry Marcel's Hawk The Hunter

    Jinga Films, the UK based sales company, has acquired Hawk The Hunter , director Terry Marcel's follow up to his 1980s cult hit, Hawk The Slayer. Tom Hardy (Bronson) is on board for the $10,000,000 sword and sorcery saga and is to play Hawk. Producer Andrew Growcock of Westwood Productions is to cast Hawks' nemesis, Voltan, originally played by Jack Palance. The action will be brought up to date with a $2,000,000 computer-ge
  • UK's Shine Pictures to produce 1066

    Shine Pictures, the newly created joint venture between Shine Group's Kudos Pictures and New Regency has hired William Nicholson (Gladiator, Elizabeth: The Golden Age) to write an epicscreen version of the battle between King Harold and William the Conqueror, for the throne of England. The project, 1066 is expected to go into production later this year and is the first
  • United States - South of the border

    Like many Canadians in Los Angeles, Marc Hamou left his native land because the opportunities in the US entertainment industry were too rich to ignore. But in this case, Hamou is a talent manager, and many of his clients are Canadians, including actors Jay Baruchel and Michael Cera - that is, Canadians whose success in Los Angeles made the move a compelling option for their manager. Baruchel, whose credits include Knocked Up and Tropic Thunder, has recently signed to star opposi
  • Universal Pictures appoints Paul Chesney as vp, international operations

    Paul Chesney has been appointed to the role of vice president, international operations at Universal Pictures International Entertainment (UPIE). He will start in his new role on March 2. Chesney, who is based in London, will report to Eddie Cunningham, president of UPIE. He will be responsible for the efficiency, systems and planning of all aspects of UPIE's international home entertainment operations in regard to manufacturing, distribution and supply chain. C
  • Valkyrie adds 13 new territories including Russia, Spain, Sweden

    Valkyrie infiltrates 13 further markets through Fox International this weekend including Belgium on January 28, Russia on January 29 and Spain and Sweden a day later.The second world war thriller has started to build up momentum overseas and to date has amassed more than $18.8m through Fox International and a handful of independent distributors.The comedy
  • Valkyrie tops international with $18.6m, while Button, Road are strong

    MGM/UA's Valkyrie held on to the mantle of top Hollywood film overseas thanks to an estimated $18.6m haul from approximately 3,900 screens in 26 markets that boosted the running total through Fox International to $38.9m.The three-day weekend was led by a quartet of number one launches that delivered $2.8m from 400 in Spain, $1.6m from 300 through
  • Warner Bros' Josh Berger joins UK Film Council board.

    Minister for Culture Barbara Follett has announced today that Josh Berger, President and MD of Warner Bros. Entertainment UK Ltd (WBEUK) has been appointed to the UK Film Council's board of directors. Berger, who has been with Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. since 1989, has been WBEUK's President and MD since 2002, having also have managed the Spanish and Portuguese territories for Warner Bros prior to that. He is now responsible for all of Warner Bros business a
  • Wuthrich promoted to lead international home video, digital at Warner

    Jim Wuthrich has been promoted to president of international home video and digital distribution at Warner Bros.In his newly created post Wuthrich will report to Warner Home Video president Ron Sanders and Warner Bros Digital Distribution president Thomas Gewecke and work closely with the international territories to grow the home entertainment division's footprint overseas.Marc Gareton, currently serving as executive vice president