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7 April 2005

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  • 2004 French Soficas hit maximum allowable sum

    France's Sofica tax sheltersraised Euros 46 million in 2004, the country's central film body CNC announced yesterday.The figure is the maximum allowable and outdid 2003's total of Euros 41million.Soficasare tax shelters werecreated to help diversify the financing of film and television productions andoffer a tax break to individual investors. The outfits have anobligation to invest 90% of their annual collected total in cinema andtelevision for the coming year. For 2005, that fi
  • Angelopoulos replaced as Thessaloniki president

    Thessaloniki International Film Festival president TheoAngelopoulos and artistic director Michel Demopoulos have been removed fromtheir posts. The move follows a series of sweeping changes to state subsidisedfilm institutions announced today by The Greek Ministry of Culture. Withinfilm circles, the move is regarded as political one that comes just over a year after the election of a new Conservative government.At a press conference today, the Greek deputy Culture Minister said t
  • Apted signs on for Walden's Wilberforce pic Amazing Grace

    Michael Aptedhas signed on to direct the political thriller Amazing Grace, a Walden Media, Sunflower Productionsand FourBoys Films co-production about 18th century British politician WilliamWilberforce's campaign to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire. Dirty PrettyThings screenwriterSteven Knight will write the script, while Terrence Malick and Ed Pressman willproduce for Sunflower Productions along with Patricia Heaton and David Hunt forFourBoys Films, and Ken
  • Australia's Palace goes on shopping spree

    Australian distributor Palace Films has acquiredseven new pictures, including Greek blockbuster Brides by directorPantelis Voulgaris.Brides,acquired from Britol Media International, is part of the first significant batch ofpurchases since Palace founder and managing director Antonio Zeccola - and hisson Benjamin - resumed responsibility for acquisitions. Buying was previouslyhandled by Tait Brady, who left to join Film Finance Corporation Australia. Palace has also
  • Barrymore and Juvonen move Flower Films to Warner

    Warner Bros hassigned a two-year first-look deal with Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen'sFlower Films. Flower has spent the last four years in two first-look deals at Sony Pictures and before that were based at 20th Century Fox.The partners'producing credits include Fever Pitch, which is set to open in North America this weekend, FiftyFirst Dates, the Charlie'sAngels franchise, Duplex, Donnie Darko and Never Been Kissed."We are proud and
  • Bond watch: The Sun tips Daniel Craig

    The new James Bond film, CasinoRoyale, is scheduled to shoot at the end of 2005. To date, one of the fewfacts confirmed about the film is that it is to be directed by Martin Campbell(GoldenEye) With ongoing rumourscirculating throughout the media world, it can be difficult to keep tabs on thelatest information. Here, ScreenDaily.comalleviates some of the confusion by offering an up-to-date look at 007's statusin the press.April 6The Sun newspaper says
  • Brogliatti to leave Warner Bros after 18 years

    Warner Bros executive vicepresident and chief corporate communications officer Barbara Brogliatti isretiring from the company after 18 years to focus on teaching, philanthropy andwine-making in the Napa Valley.Brogliatti's full-timeduties as official spokesperson and chief press officer and strategist for thestudio will end on May 31, however she will continue as an industry and PRconsultant for Warner Bros and help in the selection and transition of herreplacement."It's simply
  • Cannes contenders limber up for festival competition

    Which film will open the 58thedition of the Cannes festival on May 11' Could the festival take acommercial turn and opt for Star Wars Episode III: The Return Of The Sith- out of competition - or Woody Allen's UK-set Matchpoint with ScarlettJohansson' While the word is that StarWars is going - George Lucas took Episode II to the Croisette - andWoody Allen is talking, the festival's announcement of its official line-up, totake place around April 20, is
  • Carver leaves Sony to head up Steven Paul's Crystal Sky

    Former SonyScreen Gems senior vice president of acquisitions and co-productions BenedictCarver has been named president of Steven Paul's Crystal Sky Productions.Reporting to Paul, Carver will oversee Crystal Sky's slatethat includes the Marvel Comic adaptation Ghost Rider at Columbia Pictures starring Nicolas Cage and EvaMendes, which Paul is producing with Avi Arad, Michael De Luca and Gary Foster.Other titles onthe Crystal Sky slate include the video game adaptation
  • Comic book hero The Spirit gets movie treatment through Odd Lot, Batfilms

    Odd LotEntertainment and Batfilm Productions are gearing up on their live-actionadaptation of 1940s superhero property The Spirit, and have signed the renowned comic bookwriter Jeph Loeb to adapt the series.Based on thelate Will Eisner's series, The Spirit centres on a masked detective who fights crime in CentralCity and is believed to be dead and operating from his grave.Odd Lot's Gigi Pritzker and Deborah Del Prete will producealong with Batfi
  • De Palma's Black Dahlia starts Bulgarian shoot

    Brian de Palma's long gestating adaptation of James Ellroy'snovel The Black Dahlia, starring JoshHartnett and Scarlet Johannsen, has begun shooting at studios in Sofia for AviLerner's Millenium Film with the German media fund Equity Pictures KG III.The $60m crime drama had originally planned to recreate setsfor 1940s Los Angeles at Germany's Babelsberg Studios or Italy's Cinecitta, butBulgaria was chosen by the project's producers because of the lower setconstruction costs.
  • Denzel and Spike reteam for Universal's Inside Man

    DenzelWashington has singed on to star in Imagine Entertainment's robbery thriller InsideMan for Universal, whichSpike Lee will direct and Brian Grazer will produce.The film marksWashington's fourth collaboration with Lee after Mo Better Blues (1990), MalcolmX (1992) and He GotGame (1998).British Golden Globe winner Clive Owen is in talks to jointhe project, which centres on a battle of wits between a police officer and abank robber planning the perfect heis
  • Dimension and Rodriguez score another number one with Sin City

    Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's film adaptation of Miller'sgraphic novel Sin Cityopened top of the North American charts at the weekend, grossing an estimated$28.1m for Dimension Films.
  • Disney shares climb following Weinsteins split

    Shares in Walt Disney Coclosed higher on Wednesday, the day after the media conglomerate announced thatit had finalised its negotiations to sever ties with Miramax co-chiefs Harveyand Bob Weinstein.Disney shares on the NewYork Stock Exchange were up 45 cents, or 1.61%, at $28.35.The long expected move waswelcomed by analysts who said that the split would help Disney's bottom line."Wefind it encouraging that this significant and lingering issue has beenfinalized quickly af
  • Downfall gains Momentum in UK

    Germanhit Downfall (Der Untergang) continued its strong international run overthe weekend, claiming the highest opening ever for a German-language film inthe UK through Momentum Pictures.Thecritically-acclaimed drama, about the last days of Hitler, took $308,495(£163,336) from 49 locations over its opening weekend in the UK. This put itahead of 2003's Good Bye, Lenin! which grossed $255,564 (£135,311) from26 screens for UGC Films. Lenin! went on to gross $2.3m (£1.
  • Dream takes international on horror doc about HH Holmes

    Los Angeles-based productionand international sales outfit Dream Entertainment has acquired internationalrights to Waterfront Productions' horror documentary HH Holmes: America'sFirst Serial Killer from filmmakerJohn Borowski.The first feature-lengthdocumentary about Herman Mudgett, also known as HH Holmes or the TortureDoctor, chronicles the serial killer's life and the torture chambers he set upin the surreal castle where he rented rooms to unsuspecting vis
  • Epstein promoted to sales executive, Asia, at First Look International

    Clay Epstein has beenpromoted to sales executive, Asia, at First Look International (FLI), where hewill be responsible for licensing Los Angeles-based FLI titles to all Asianterritories excluding Japan.Epstein's new duties beganthis week and he reports to joint FLI co-heads, Liz Mackiewicz, the senior vicepresident of worldwide sales and distribution, and Dina Vangelisti, the seniorvice president of television sales.Epstein joined the worldwidesales and distr
  • EU approval paves the way for imminent closure of Sony/MGM deal

    The European Commission (EU)has unconditionally approved the MGM acquisition by the Sony-led LOCAcquisition Company.EU officers declared theproposed acquisition to be compatible with Common Market guidelines, followingrecent US antitrust regulatory approval.The deal is expected toclose before mid-April, subject to the completion of the acquisition's complexfinancing jigsaw.
  • Euro producers link up for Carreras' Wind

    New Spanish company Ficcion Producciones has signed on fourEuropean co-producers to its debut feature, 18th century drama Talking WithThe Wind starring Luis Tosar.Italy'sD'Ursi, Germany's Pictorion Pictures and Portugal's EPC Lisboa will each bring12% of the Euros 2.8m budget to the film, shooting next autumn for directorDavid Carreras (Hipnos).Spain's Intuition F
  • European Producers Club unveils Cannes plans

    The European Producers Clubhas announced its program for the upcoming Cannes Film Festival (May 11-22).A new screenplay market willbe launched on May 14 during which European screenwriters will present projectsto potential producers. 20 screenwriters, who have all had at least one filmreleased theatrically, will be on board to present their work to producers whohave had at least two projects come to fruition.The third annualco-production forum will be held on May 13. A selection
  • Fever Pitch

    Dirs: Peter Farrelly,Bobby Farrelly. US. 2005. 103mins.Predictably, and not toopainfully, the Hollywood version of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitchsubstitutes baseball for football and a cutesy comic tone for the wistful moodof the British author's classic memoir about having 'measured out my lifein Arsenal fixtures.' The result is a slight but sweet romantic comedydirected (almost tastefully) by the Farrelly brothers, with Drew Barrymoreupfront in the cas
  • Field, Chaplin finish shooting drama 2 Weeks

    Custom Productions haswrapped filming in Nashville, Tennessee, on Steve Stockman's featuredirectorial debut 2 Weeks,starring Sally Field, Ben Chaplin and Clea Duvall.The bittersweet comedy tellsof four estranged siblings who return to their childhood home in North Carolinato care for their ailing mother, played by Field, who won Academy Awards forbest actress for Norma Rae and PlacesIn The Heart.Tom Cavanagh and JulianneNicholson also star in the picture, wh
  • Filmax options Iraq war Invader

    Spain's Filmax has optioned the rights to Fernando Marias'novel Invader (Invasor).The novel blends reality and horror fantasy in the tale of aSpanish doctor who returns from a peace mission in the Iraq War, where he wasunwittingly involved in a double murder, to find his home and family lifemysteriously afflicted.Filmax is best known internationally for its fantasy andhorror titles such as Jaume Balaguero's Darkness and Brad Anderson's The Machinist.L
  • Fortissimo launches TV sales division

    Fortissimo Films has established a new sales division tohandle television, video/DVD and ancillary sales on its feature library.Long-time Fortissimo sales executive Esther Bannenberghas been put in charge of the new division and has been promoted to theposition of Senior Vice-President Television and Ancillary Sales.Fortissimo's library consists of more than 220 films,documenta
  • France's Bac continues to rebuild with new video label

    Reactivated Frenchdistributor Bac Films has announced the creation of a video label, Bac Video.The new structure will release DVDs of Bac's films as well as those fromproducers Gedeon and Millimages. Bac is 51% owned by Millimages.Jerry Bellamy will head upthe department and has signed a distribution agreement with Paramount HomeEntertainment International. The move is indicative of Bac's renaissancefollowing a period of rough years. The company also launched an internationalsales divi
  • France's Freshline revs up Forestier's Show

    Paris-basedFreshline Production has announced a slate of films set for production laterthis year including the next feature from Dead Weight director FredericForestier. Forestier hassigned to direct One Man Show, a black comedy set in the media world.Forestier is currently in post-production on comedy Les Parrainsstarring Gerard Lanvin, Gerard Darmon and the late Jacques Villeret. One Man Show is currently in development with a scriptset to be ready a
  • Freeman jumps from Galaxy to indie British comedy

    The All Together, an independently financed British comedy starringMartin Freeman (The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, The Office),finished shooting on March 21. Freeman plays a TV presenterdesperately seeking a new start. Hislife soon takes a turn for the worse when he is taken hostage by an Americangangster (Corey Johnson, Hellboy, Saving Private Ryan) in his ownhome. The film, written anddirected by Gavin Claxton and produced by Annabel Raftery, was fil
  • Gail Berman named president of Paramount Studios

    GailBerman was officially named as president of Paramount Studios yesterday, makinga move to movies from television which has stunned the Hollywood industry.
  • German box office plunges in first quarter of 2005

    German box office and admissions plunged by 11% in thefirst three months of 2005 compared to the same period last year.German cinemas took Euros 181.5m in box office, while thenumber of cinema-goers slipped from 34.8m to 31.1m in the first quarter.The sobering statistics have dispelled any optimism feltby German exhibitors about last year's upswing in cinemas' fortunes.The generally negative economic situation in Germany,consumer spending reticence and the lack of any maj
  • Germany's FFA doles out Euros 25m of funding

    The German Federal Film Board (FFA) has paid out a total ofEuros 24.9m in retroactive "reference" funding to local producersand distributors.The FFA pays out the money each year to producers anddistributors whose films have racked up significant box office admissions. Themoney must then be invested in the production of new German features or thedistribution of films.Munich's production powerhouse Constantin Film Produktionand distributor Constantin Film Verleih took the greatest
  • Glickman to address convention in Mumbai today

    MPAA chief Dan Glickman willgive the keynote address at the Frames Convention in Mumbai, India, today [Apr4], as he continues to develop his profile as an international bridge-builderstrong on anti-piracy.Since succeeding JackValenti as Hollywood's top bureaucrat last year, Glickman has been quick totake the anti-piracy agenda beyond North American borders, and recentlyreturned from a series of meetings with Mexican leader Vicente Fox.At ShoWest last monthGli
  • Goal! wraps in Los Angeles

    Milkshake Films and IconEntertainment finished filming the first part of the $100m football trilogy Goal!on April 4 in Los Angeles. The film, directed by DannyCannon, follows the life of a young Latino footballer from East Los Angeles.who fulfils his lifelong dream as he moves to the UK to play football for topPremiership team Newcastle United.Kuno Becker plays the leadrole of Santiago in the film with Stephen Dillane, Alessandro Nivola, and AnnaFriel
  • Goldman honoured at Monaco Cinema and Literature Forum

    The fourth edition of theInternational Cinema and Literature Forum wrapped up Sunday night in Monacowith producer Alain Goldman picking up his second producing award in twostraight years at the event. Last year,Goldman was named producer of the year and this year took home a statue for hishand in L'Enquete Corse which starred Christian Clavier and Jean Reno.
  • Graham King signs first-look production deal with Warner Bros

    Graham King has signed afirst-look deal with Warner Bros that will bring him in as producer on twoprojects for the studio and shifts Initial Entertainment Group's deals withLeonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way and Johnny Depp's Infinitum Nihil to Warner Bros.Initial Entertainment willremain an international sales entity for projects that King does not produce.He and partner Colin Cotter will continue ownership of Initial, with Kingserving as president and chief executive officer and Cotter a
  • Heysel stadium doc gets its world premiere at Hot Docs in Toronto

    Lode Desmet's Heysel'85 - Requiem For A Cup Final willclose the 12th annual Hot Docs Canadian Documentary Film Festival inToronto. The Belgian production, which chronicles the Heysel Stadium disasterof 1985, is among 100 films screening at the festival, billed as the largestevent of its kind in North America. The festival begins April 22with the international premiere of Sundance Audience Award-winner Murderball, a film about the full-contact sport known as quadrugby.
  • Hong Kong Festival wraps on ticket sales high

    This year's Hong Kong International Film Festival (March 22- April 6) achieved an impressive 30% increase in ticket sales as a result ofnew marketing policies and programming strands. Thefestival, which wrapped yesterday with screenings of Jia Zhang-ke's TheWorld and Alain Corneau's Words In Blue, sold around 85,000 ticketsand about one quarter of screenings were sold ou
  • Irish Film Board unveils pre-production funding scheme

    The Irish Film Board (IFB) has established apre-production funding scheme for fully financed productions experiencingcashflow difficulties during the completion of legal and financialarrangements. TheRevolving Pre-Production Fund (RPF) will offer a short term cash-flow facilityup to a maximum of Euros 150,000 to productions backed by the IFB.
  • Israel experiences festival outbreak

    A stringof international film festivals are set to play in Israel over the next fewmonths, triggering calls for a re-evaluation of the country's festival scene.Threeinternational film festivals, all of them competitive, are scheduled in Israelduring April, with a fourth announced for late May. That's before Israel's veteranJerusalem International Film Festival takes place in early July. Threemore festi
  • Italian box office slumps in wake of Pope's death

    The Italian box officeslumped 37% over the weekend as Italians and the world mourned the passing ofPope John Paul II. The government has decreedthree days of national mourning starting from Monday April 4 and a day ofmourning on Friday April 8, when the Pope's funeral will be held in St. Peter'sSquare. Thousands of Italians and other pilgrims have already startedtravelling to Rome to pay their last respects to the Pope, who will lie instate in St Peter's until his funeral.Accord
  • Italy pledges to introduce film tax shelter

    Italian culture minister Giuliano Urbani has announced thatSilvio Berlusconi's government will introduce a tax shelter to help fund theentertainment industry before the end of its term in 2006. While the local industryhas long supported a tax shelter, a succession of post-war governments havefailed to stand by their promises to see such legislation ratified. Shortly after Silvio Berlusconi came to power in 2001, thecurrent government itself announced that it would imminently int
  • Katzenberg to address UK's Animated Encounters festival

    Jeffrey Katzenberg,co-founder of DreamWorks SKG, has been lined-up to speak at this year'sAnimated Encounters Festival in Bristol (April 21-24). Katzenberg, who has producedfilms such as Shrek, is delivering the Industry Summit keynote speech onApril 22. He will outline his view onanimation and its future and then open the floor for general questionsKatzenburg's DreamWorks hasa five film deal with Bristol-based animation company Aardman Features.
  • LA-based FilmMates adds 39 titles to library after three company buys

    LosAngeles-based finance, production and distribution company FilmMatesEntertainment has bolstered its library with 39 new titles after completing itsacquisition of the Cayman Islands-based company Camden Equities, World WideMulti-Media, and the Beverly Hills-based Hollywood International Finance.Among the newtitles are James Toback's thriller Harvard Man starring Sarah Michelle Gellar andAdrien Grenier, and Matthew Bright's thriller Freeway 2 starring
  • LA's New Wave Films buys management/production co E-Squared

    LosAngeles-based entertainment marketing and production house New WaveEntertainment has acquired management/production company E-Squared and hiredE-Squared's literary manager and producer Chris Emerson.The deal allowsNew Wave to expand its roster of filmmakers, writers and actors and work withEmerson and E-Squared on its existing production commitments.Emerson bringsto New Wave's talent division a client pool that includes writer-director SamSchreiber (Raise Your Voice),
  • Lions Gate mulls $1bn bid for HIT Entertainment

    Independent film and television studio Lions GateEntertainment is considering a roughly $1bn bid for children's media companyHIT Entertainment, according to reports over the weekend.Lions Gate, which is based in Vancouver Canada, but has mostof its staff in Santa Monica, California, would gain London-based HIT's popularcharacters, including Barney the purpledinosaur, Bob the Builder and Thomasthe Tank Engine. Last month HIT agreed to a 300 pence per share ca
  • Local films flourish in international box office chart

    Local films continued to make an impact on theinternational chart this week with 13 films in the top 30 produced outside theUS.Fourof these came from the powerhouse territory for local product, South Korea. Thetop four films in the territory all made the international chart including newlaunches Crying Fist (Show East) and A Bittersweet Life (CJEntertainment). Both titles saw slightly disappointing ope
  • Miami Film Festival sets 2006 dates as March 3 to 12

    The 2006 MiamiInternational Film Festival will run from Mar 3-12 throughout the greater Miamiarea.15 worldpremieres and 118 features distinguished the 2005 event, which opened on Feb 4with Mick Davis' Modigliani and closed on Feb 13 with Joaquin Oristrell's Spanish farce Unconscious (Inconscientes). Organisers claimed attendance figuresof approximately 60,000.For moreinformation visit the official site at
  • MPAA, JIMCA win Japanese online piracy suit

    A 23-year-old Japanese manhas been ordered to stop selling pirate tapes on the Yahoo! Auctions site andagreed to pay $6,400 in damages following a civil action by the MPAA and theJapan International Motion Picture Copyright Association (JIMCA).Toshihiko Hiura from Fukuokawill also provide the MPAA and JIMCA with all materials infringing MPAA membercompany copyrights, in what is the MPAA's first success in Japan for itsnascent Tactics Against Auction Piracy programme
  • MPD takes Fast Runner follow-up for Canada

    Alliance Atlantis' MotionPicture Distribution has acquired Canadian rights to The Journals Of KnudRasmussen, Zacharias Kunuk andNorman Kohn's follow-up to Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. The film, which beginsprincipal photography on April 4 in the high Arctic, is an epic tragedy ofInuit culture lost in the tide of European civilization. The context is the1920s-era trans-polar expedition of Danish ethnographer Knud Rasmussen.A presentation of Kunuk CohnProductions, Ig
  • Multiplex boom set to boost Irish admissions

    Six new multiplexes will open in Ireland this year, in aconstruction boom that is tipped to boost Irish cinema admissions by 20% thisyear.The Ward/Anderson Group, Ireland's biggest cinemaoperator with over 32 sites, last week opened the 13 screen Omniplex at theMahon Point retail centre in Cork city. Omniplexis also opening a six-screen site at Oranmore on the outskirts of Galway city.
  • Myriad Pictures to be acquired by TAG Entertainment

    BeverlyHills-based production and distribution house TAG Entertainment Corp has signeda letter of intent to acquire Myriad Pictures, the parties announced yesterday[4].Subject toapproval, the proposed merger would combine the financing capability of TAGEntertainment with Santa Monica-based Myriad's distribution infrastructure andproduction drive for bigger theatrical features.The new companywill focus on greenlighting independent productions for the worldwide market,with the aim
  • National Amusements seals deal for first IMAX screen in Argentina

    Imax Corp. and US exhibitorNational Amusement have signed a deal that will see the first IMAX screeninstalled in Argentina. The new facility will be part of an existing multiplex,the Showcenter Norte in Buenos Aires and is expected to open in October 2005;it will be capable of playing standard and 3D IMAX pictures as well asdigitally re-mastered Hollywood titles. The proposal is subject to Argentinegovernment approvals.The deal expands on a pactbetween the two companies signed in Augus
  • New Line buys rights to Japanese comic Monster

    US mini-major New Line has acquired rights to make alive-action version of Naoki Urasawa's hit comic Monster, Japanesepublisher Shogakukan has announced. Running in Big Comic magazine from 1994 to 2001, Monsterhas sold 20 million copies in paperback editions in Japan. It has also beenmade into an animation series broadcast on the NTV network. The story begins in 1986 in Dusseldorf, Germany, when aJapanese doctor saves the life of a genetically altered German boy -
  • New York's Steiner Studios to host Arbus biopic Fur

    Brooklyn-basedSteiner Studios has struck a deal with River Road Productions to host the shootof Steven Shainberg's Fur, an imagined chronicle of the life of New York photographer DianeArbus starring Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr.Set constructionwill begin immediately on the 16,000 sq ft sound stage, one of two that will beused once filming begins in May.Erin CressidaWilson adapted the screenplay from Patricia Bosworth's Diane Arbus: ABiography.River Roa
  • Olmi cranks up One Hundred Nails

    Italian writer-directorErmanno Olmi is currently lining up a new film, entitled Cento Chiodi(literally, One Hundred Nails).Rai Cinema is believed to bein advanced negotiations to co-produce the film, which is produced by Olmi'sMilan-based company, Cinemaundici.Olmi, one of Italy's mostacclaimed directors, is currently writing the film whose budget is said to beset at Euros 4m. While Olmi has not revealed the film's subject-matter, he hassaid that the film is a cont
  • Pan-Europeenne snaps up Sin City for France

    French sales and financing house, Wild Bunch, has acquiredFrench rights to Dimension's Sin Cityfor its new distribution arm, Pan-Europeenne Edition. The deal was concluded with Miramax International inDecember. Although Miramax has its own distribution joint-venture, TFM, withTF1 in France, Miramax has the option to sell to the highest local bidder. TFMreportedly did not match the acquisition offer from Pan-Europeenne. Sin City is directedby Roberto Rodriguez in co
  • Pathe acquires UK rights to Arclight's Bad Men

    Pathe has acquired UK rights to Three Bad Men fromArclight Films, which has also confirmed that Simon Pegg (Shaun Of The Dead)will be in the cast alongside Woody Harrelson and Brendan Fraser. Falcom Media has already snapped up German rights to thecomedy thriller, which is being produced under the banners of Priority Picturesand Mirage Enterprises, both based in the UK, and Canada's Remstar. Paul Wieland (City Slickers II, Mr Bean) will directthe film from a
  • Pinewood share price hit by Watchmen wavering

    The share price of UK studios Pinewood Shepperton has fallenover 20% this week to £1.43 on news of the likely loss of The Watchmenshoot. Pinewood Shepperton has confirmed'sreport on Monday that Paramount Pictures are re-evaluating plans to shoot the$120m superhero thriller in the UK. PinewoodShepperton said it has a contract for film stage hire wit
  • Pinewood Shepperton acquires Teddington Studios

    The UK's largest studio player, Pinewood SheppertonPLC, has acquired Teddington Studios, it was announced to the London stockmarket today (April 1.) Pinewood Shepperton has bought Teddington Studios Limited,which is currently in administration, and the entire share capital of TheStudio Broadcasting Company Limited (SBC) for £2.7m. Teddington, which is based in south west London, has a longhistory of film production stretching back to the silent era. It was WarnerBros' UK base in
  • Plum picks up movie rights to life of mathematical genius

    New York-based Plum Pictures has picked up rights to the lifestory of Andrew Wiles, the mathematical genius who solved Fermat's LastTheorem, the world's most bafflingmathematical mystery that remained unsolved for more than 300 years.
  • Polley, McKellar call for Canadian content quotas in theatres

    Canadian filmmakers SarahPolley and Don McKellar are calling on the federal government to take strongmeasures to improve the fortunes of local television and film, includingintroducing local content rules in cinemas. The two, both actors,writers and directors, made a presentation on behalf of the Canadian actors'guild ACTRA before the House of Commons Heritage Committee reviewing Canada'sfeature film policy.Polley said the governmentshould make the financing, promotion and broad
  • Redford joins all-star voice cast of 2006 family tentpole Charlotte's Web

    Robert Redfordhas joined the voice cast on Gary Winick's upcoming adaptation of EB White'sfamily fantasy global bestseller Charlotte's Web.Redford will play anarachnophobic horse and joins a talent roster that includes Julia Roberts (asCharlotte), Dakota Fanning, Steve Buscemi, Oprah Winfrey, Cedric The Entertainerand Thomas Haden Church.The storycentres on a young farm girl named Fern, voiced by Fanning, who teams up withCharlotte the spider to save a pig from the butche
  • Reno, Franco star in Electric's World War I actioner Flyboys

    Jean Reno andJames Franco will star in the epic wartime adventure Flyboys, which is being directed by Tony Billand will be produced by Electric Entertainment principal Dean Devlin and MarcFrydman.Lions Gate Films International will handle worldwiderights excluding the US and Canada, which are being represented by ICM.Principalphotography is due to begin in the UK on Apr 18 on the story of the firstAmerican fighter pilots known as the Lafayette Escadrille, who volunteered
  • Ring Two circles the globe for UIP

    With no majormarket debuts scheduled this weekend for either Fox International's Robots or Sony Pictures ReleasingInternational's (SPRI)'s Hitch, the time looks right for The Ring Two.DreamWorksInternational's horror sequel gets its biggest splash to date with openingsthrough UIP scheduled for France on Mar 30, Germany on Mar 31, the UK and Spainon Apr 1, and Taiwan on Apr 2.The picture hasamassed $15.9m through UIP so far, and is expected to perform well th
  • Ring Two opens top in UK

    TheRing Two won over UK audiences on another hot weekend taking$3.9m (£2.1m) from 419 sites including $558,783 (£295,853) of previews.UIP'shorror sequel finished top ahead of 20th Century Fox's Be Cool which expandedinto wide release (336 sites) after a single-week single-site platform releaseat the UCI Empire Le
  • Robots, Hitch continue to dominate international markets

    Fox International's Robots grossed an estimated $10.8m over the weekend on 5,900screens, raising the animated family title's international running total to$69.2m.
  • Saint Ralph takes top honours at Paris Film Festival

    MichaelMcGowan's Saint Ralphwon the L'Arc D'or (The Grand Arc Award) at the Festival ParisIsland-of-France, formerly the Paris Film Festival, at the weekend.The special jury prize wentto Fernando Eimbcke's Mexican comedy Temporada Of Patos, while Gol Gothai won the best female acting prizefor Marzieh Meshkini's post-Taliban drama Stray Dogs, and Alexandre Brasseur won the corresponding maleaward for Chrystel Amsalem's romantic comedy When The Angels Pass.
  • Sales veteran Aguilar leaves Spain's Aurum

    Salesveteran Mocha Aguilar has left her position as director of international salesat Spanish distibutor Aurum Producciones to launch her own El DoradoInternational.Aguilar, who was with Aurum from its launch in 1995, willcontinue to represent Aurum's catalogue of Spanish films and is also looking toindependently pick up third-party titles in advance of upcoming markets inMalaga and C
  • Silentium

    Dir.Wolfgang Mumberger. Austria. 2004. 117mins.Unsubtle,blunt and brutal, Wolfgang Murberger's comedy thriller assaults Austria'sfavorite sacred cows one after the other with a relish whose rough charms willbe difficult to appreciate beyond German-language territories.Basedon the novel by Wolfgang Haas, Silentium i
  • Sin City is the leading destination at North American box office

    Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's film adaptation of Miller'sgraphic novel Sin Cityopened top of the North American charts at the weekend, grossing an estimated$28.1m for Dimension Films.
  • Sin City is top destination at North American box office

    Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's film adaptation of Miller'sgraphic novels Sin Cityopened top of the North American charts at the weekend, grossing an estimated$28.1m for Dimension Films.
  • Sometimes In April

    Dir/scr: Raoul Peck.US-Rwa. 2005. 140mins.The biggest obstacle to SometimesIn April, Raoul Peck's worthy, emotionally-stirring and thought-provokingaccount of 1994's Rwandan massacre of the Tutsi minority lies, paradoxically,in the success of rival feature Hotel Rwanda.Sometimes In April is superior to Hotel Rwanda on severalfronts, including the fact that it has less of a Hollywood-style storyline thanTerry Ge
  • Spain's Filmanova boards mystery tale Portovero

    Spain'sFilmanova Invest has signed on to co-produce T&C Film's Portovero fromSwiss director Daniel Schmid and writer Barry Gifford.The mystery-laden tale set in a fictitious port city, wherea married woman invents a second identity in order to embark on an affair, willshoot partially in Spain's Galicia region next autumn.Schmid, director of 1999 Cannes Un Certain Regard
  • Storitel launches $1m fund to back UK talent

    Manchester-based producer Storitel Films, the company set upby software tycoon Paul Sherwood, has established a $1m development fund toback new British talent. "We're looking for exciting projects from people whoare not able to get access to production money through the normal channels.We're looking at talent rather than experience," Sherwood said of the newfund.In 2000, Sherwood and his partners sold their softwarecompany to Swedish group Teleca for £36m. Sherwood used some of
  • Studio Babelsberg plans initial stock market float

    Germany's Studio Babelsberg plans to go public and begintrading on Frankfurt's Stock Exchange on April 29.The company said it will offer 10% of a total of 15million shares. The remaining shares will be held by Carl Woebcken and co-proprietorChristoph Fisser as well as financial investors and employees. Studio Babelsberg is also planning to issue a further 7.5million shares in a capital increase. In total Studio Babelsberg is seeking to raise betweenEur
  • The Interpreter

    Dir Sydney Pollack.UK-US. 2005. 128mins.Like the United Nationsitself, The Interpreter has an ambitious remit. It's a politicalthriller set in the halls of the UN's previously-unfilmed East Manhattanedifice. It's firing star power with Nicole Kidman as a mysterious African-bornUN interpreter opposite Sean Penn as a recently bereaved federal agent,complete with romantic sparks. There's bloody African politics. Terrorism.Genocide. The role of the UN.
  • The Interpreter

    Dir Sydney Pollack.UK-US. 2005. 128mins.Like the United Nationsitself, The Interpreter has an ambitious remit. It's a politicalthriller set in the halls of the UN's previously-unfilmed East Manhattanedifice. It's firing star power with Nicole Kidman as a mysterious African-bornUN interpreter opposite Sean Penn as a recently bereaved federal agent,complete with romantic sparks. There's bloody African politics. Terrorism.Genocide. The role of the UN.
  • The Ring Two leads international box office

    DreamWorks' TheRing 2 grossed anestimated $17.4m in 36 territories in 3,079 venues through UIP over theweekend, distinguished by four number one debuts in major markets.The horrorsequel opened top in the UK on an estimated $3.3m ($3.9m including previews)from 419 sites, roughly 15% ahead of 2002's The Ring.In Spain TheRing Two opened top on$2.9m from 320 venues, approximately 103% ahead of the original, while a numberone debut in Germany produced $2.9m from
  • THINKFilm picks up Canadian rights to Coupland's Green

    THINKFilm has picked upCanadian rights on Everything's Gone Green, the screenwriting debut of Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland to bedirected by Paul Fox for Toronto-based Radke Films and Vancouver-based TrueWest Films.True West's Elizabeth Yakeproduced Canada-UK coproduction It's All Gone Pete Tong. Chris Nanos will produce for Radke. The $1.47m(C$1.8m) production goes before camera this summer in Vancouver. Internationalsales agreements are pending.Coupland, who
  • TLA gets North America, UK and Ireland video rights to Ethan

    TLA Releasing has acquiredhome entertainment rights in North America, UK and Ireland to Quentin Lee'ssatirical thriller Ethan Mao, andplans a DVD/VHS release on Sept 21.The story centres on an18-year-old boy who is thrown out of his parents' house for being gay andreturns on Thanksgiving night to take them hostage. Newcomer Jun Hee Lee starsalongside Jerry Hernandez, Julia Nickson and Raymond Ma.Ethan Mao premiered at the 2004 AFI Los Angeles In
  • Toronto's Temple Street hire Quarrington to adapt book Galveston

    Canadian novelist andscreenwriter Paul Quarrington will pen the screen adaptation of his book, Galveston, for Toronto-based Temple Street Entertainment.Temple Street's Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier will produce, with TempleStreet Productions' Patrick Whitley acting as executive producer. The book, to be published inthe US in July under the title "Storm Chasers", takes place on a Caribbeanisland in the days leading up to a hurricane - "aharrowing tale of love and loss, guilt
  • Trijbits, Bregman among new members of IFP/New York board

    In a busy weekfor IFP/New York the organisation has elected Ira Deutchman as new boardchairman, added four new board members, and announced the first formal meetingof a new producers coalition formed under the aegis of IFP/New York.Deutchman, afounding father of Cinecom and Fine Line Features and currently president andchief executive officer of New York-based digital production and exhibitioncompany Emerging Pictures, replaces outgoing chairman and Rainbow Entertai
  • UIP shuffles summer release schedule in UK

    UIP has shuffled its early July summer schedule in theUK, bringing forward Steven Spielberg's tentpole release War Of The Worldsby a week to July 1. UKexhibitors have also been informed that DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar willrelease on July 15 instead of July 1.Therelease of Spielberg's sci-fi drama, which stars Tom Cruise, will now be inline with 90% of the world. The film is released on Wednesday June 29 in NorthAmerica and was previously scheduled to release
  • UK box office soars 13% in first quarter of 2005

    The UKbox office rose by 13% to £191.5m in the first three months of 2005 compared tothe same period last year, according to figures compiled by Nielsen EDI.Themassive success of UIP sequel Meet The Fockers and a wealth of solidsupport largely account for the impressive rise. The figures put the UK on course to surpass 2004 record boxoffice of £838.7m.Manyanalysts predicted that the year's first quarter figures might struggle tomatch those of 2004, largely because of the
  • UK parties set out film policies as General Election called

    Prime Minister Tony Blair has announced that the UK generalelection will take place on May 5, kick starting a month of politicalcampaigning that will see the main political parties set out their policiestowards the film industry.ChancellorGordon Brown spelt out the key plank of the ruling Labour Party's policytowards film in his budget last month when he announced plans to introduce n
  • UK set to lose Paramount's $120m Watchmen

    In a move underlining justhow tough it is to keep big budget Hollywood movies in the UK, theproducers of Paramount's superhero thriller Watchmen are on the verge of taking the film away fromPinewood Studios. The $120m sci-fi epic isalready in pre-production at Pinewood, but last week, several crew members -some of whom thought they had 18 month contracts - were put on a week'snotice."The issue isbudget," producer Lloyd Levin told on Friday. Levin sa
  • UK's Warp Films moves into distribution

    WarpFilms, the film division of music label Warp Records, has launched adistribution arm.The distribution label will be DVD driven, although it aims for mostfilms to have a theatrical life. Mixing in-house films and acquisitions, itwill sub-distribute to companies in other European markets as its sistercompany does
  • Vaughn to star in Russell's next at Universal

    Vince Vaughnwill star in The Untitled David O Russell Project at Universal, playing a know-all radiotalk show host whose life is turned on its head when he starts to become hiscallers.MandalayPictures, which has a term deal with the studio, will produce with Russell andGregory Goodman, who produced the director's 2004 release I Heart Huckabees and served as executive producer on ThreeKings.Russell, who wrote the current draft of the picture basedon a screenp
  • Zimbron to oversee local production at Warner Mexico

    Warner Bros Pictures Mexicohas appointed Leonardo Zimbron director of local production to spearhead thecompany's expanding operations in the Latin American territory.Zimbron, the former generalmanager of Traziende Producciones, has extensive experience in Mexicanproduction, having collaborated with the likes of Argos and Buena Vista, aswell as government agencies such as Fedicine, Imicine and Cuec."Warner Bros PicturesMexico's excellent performance produced the highest combined