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Screen
7 July 2006

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  • ...and takes powerful $20m international gross in just 11 markets

    Warner Bros PicturesInternational (WBPI)'s Superman Returns burst on to the international scene with an outstanding $20m weekend haul from just 1,750 prints in 11 markets that generated 5.06million admissions.Opening number one in allits markets, the epic took $5.2m and 795,741 admissions from 303 prints in SouthKorea, and $3.8m and 525,843 admissions from 409 in Australia.The Man of Steel flew highin a number of smaller Asian markets, where results were uniformly strong.
  • Academy invites 120 new voting members to join

    The Academy OfMotion Picture Arts & Sciences has issued its annual membership invitationstatement, naming the 120 artists and executives who will become new votingmembers in 2006.Candidates areconsidered by committees made up of representatives from each of the Academy's14 branches. Names are put forward by two current members of the branch andmust have achieved minimum qualifications laid out by their branch, althoughnone is necessarily invited to membership. In addition, individuals
  • Argentina enjoys big box office rise for first six months

    Nielsen EDI and Dis-Service reported a 16%year-on-year increase in admissions and 33.8% rise in box office takings forthe first half of 2006 in the Argentinian market.The period saw some 19.5 million admissions as opposedto 16.8 million for the first six months of 2005.
  • BBC Films to collaborate with TV's comedy arm

    As it aims to diversify its feature filmslate, BBC Films is working together with BBC Comedy's team of writers andproducer to develop comedic feature films. The announcement was made by DavidThompson, head of BBC Film and Kenton Allen, creative head of BBC Comedy Talentand Comedy North. BBC's head of comedy Jon Plowman is also on board for thecollaboration.In February, when the BBCannounced a likely increase in its film production and acquisition budget,Thompson said he wanted BBC Film
  • Beauty In Trouble (Kraska v Nesnazich)

    Dir: Jan Hrebejk. Czech Rep. 2006. 110mins.Film-maker Jan Hrebejkreturns with Beauty In Trouble,another chronicle about the morality of his Czech compatriots as they crossfrom the vestiges of their recent totalitarian past to the best of the West.Inspired by a Robert Graves poem about a beauty saved by an angelic presence, Hrebejk and his regular scriptwriter PetrJarchovsky relay their concerns through the story ofa modern Prince Charmi
  • Belgium's Kinepolis to digitise entire network

    Belgian exhibitor Kinepolis is planning the first full nationwide digital conversion of a theatre network in Europe. Its 130 cinemas will be fitted with digital Barco projectors through a new deal Kinepolis struck with Thomson's Technicolor Digital Cinema. Technicolor will install the Barco 2K projectors, with about half of the 130 screens - including a new eight-screen complex in Bruges - to be fitted by early 2007. The rest of the cinemas will follow by the end of 2007.Kinepol
  • Beyond Films promotes Stephen Kelliher

    Beyond Films haspromoted Stephen Kelliher to director of sales &marketing, effective immediately. Kelliher had mostrecently served as Sales Executive forterritories including Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.He will continueto report to Hilary Davis, Beyond's head of sales andacquisitions. "After nineyears with the company, we feel it only fitting that Stephen's considerableknowledg
  • Bouso promoted at Warner Bros distribution services

    Annette Bouso has beenpromoted to executive vice president of worldwide distribution services atWarner Bros Technical Operations.Bouso will continue to beresponsible for the physical delivery of more than 43,000 hours of programmingfrom the company's library to clients in the broadcast, cable, pay TV, and VODsectors, as well as new and emerging businesses.In addition to her duties inphysical distribution Bouso oversees foreign language dubbing, subtitling and
  • Crowe and Luna among members of Venice jury

    The Venice Film Festival(August 30-Sep 9) has announced its full competition jury, with membersincluding Cameron Crowe and Bigas Luna.As previously announced, themain competition jury of the 63rd edition will be presided over by Catherine Deneuve.Bigas Luna, whose new c
  • Czech film industry promised help by expected government coalition

    Leaders of the likely next Czech government have vowed to create a comprehensive film law to address the needs of film-makers in the Czech Republic, and are planning a provisional increase in subsidies to the industry.Mirek Topolanek, the leader of the centre-right Civic Democrats, which emerged the frontrunners in the recent Czech general elections, met with film-makers and his likely future governing partners at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Topolanek and his coalition pr
  • Czech film industry promised help by expected government coalition

    Leaders of the likely next Czech government have vowed to create a comprehensive film law to address the needs of film-makers in the Czech Republic, and are planning a provisional increase in subsidies to the industry.Mirek Topolanek, the leader of the centre-right Civic Democrats, which emerged the frontrunners in the recent Czech general elections, met with film-makers and his likely future governing partners at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Topolanek and his coalition pr
  • Czech film industry promised help by expected government coalition

    Leaders of the likely next Czech government have vowed to create a comprehensive film law to address the needs of film-makers in the Czech Republic, and are planning a provisional increase in subsidies to the industry.Mirek Topolanek, the leader of the centre-right Civic Democrats, which emerged the frontrunners in the recent Czech general elections, met with film-makers and his likely future governing partners at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Topolanek and his coalition pr
  • Eli Roth plans Czech shoot for Hostel 2

    Eli Roth will begin production on Hostel 2 in September in Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Karlovy Vary andother locations around the Czech Republic.The director told reporters at theKarlovy Vary International Film Festival the film financing was a negative pick-upby Columbia Screen Gems and Lionsgate. Lionsgate wi
  • Eurimages announces latest funding of $5.4m

    MIME-Version: 1.0Content-Location: file:///C:/34889F51/wendy1.htmContent-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printableContent-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii"The board of Eurimages has decided tosupport 12 features in its latest funding round, marking a total amount of =$5.4m(Euros 4.2m). The coproductoins supported are:35Rhums, dir. Claire Denis (Fran=ce,Germany, Belgium)
  • Eurimages announces latest funding of $5.4m

    The board of Eurimages has decided to support 12 features in its latest funding round, marking a total amount of $5.4m (Euros 4.2m). The coproductions supported are:35 Rhums, dir. Claire Denis (France, Germany, Belgium) Capri 1934, dir. Benoit Jacquot (France, Germany) Elsa, dir. Silvio Soldini (Italy, Switzerland) Fur einen Augenblick, Freiheit, dir. Arash T. Riahi (Austria, France, Turkey)Der Gekopfte Hahn, dirs. Radu Gabrea & Ma
  • Films Sans Frontieres to remake The Blue Angel

    Films Sans Frontieres has acquired thecinematographic estate of Robert Liebmann, whichincluding remake rights of The Blue Angeldirected by Josef von Sternberg.Films Sans Frontieres said it is currently amodern update of The Blue Angel. Theoriginal 1931 Weimar cinema classic starredMarlene Dietrich asa nightclub singer who tempts a repressed professor. Screenwriter Liebmann was credited in morethan 116
  • Fintage House to open Toronto office

    Entertainment companyFintage House has announced an expansion of NorthAmerican operations. Maarten Melchior will transfer from Fintage's Netherlands-based headquarters to open an officein Toronto that will coordinate Fintage'sfilm and TV activity in Toronto
  • First International Screenwriters Festival wins plaudits

    Theinaugural International Screenwriters Festival held last week in the UK town ofCheltenham has been hailed as a major success by industry figures and bodies.Thefestival, in association with Film Four, and backed by Screen International attracted big names from around theworld including Julian Fellowes, Nicolas Roeg and Alan Scott, WilliamNicholson, Olivia Hetreed, Tony Grisoni, StephenWoolley, Debbie Isitt and Guillermo del Toro (Pan).More than500 delegates came
  • Fish Dreams (Sonhos De Peixe)

    Dir/scr: Kirill Mikhanovsky. Braz-Russ-US.2006. 105mins.Russian-born Kirill Mikhanovsky makes a promising debut with Fish Dreams, which may be set in an impoverishedfishing village in Brazil but is heavily indebted to Italian neo-realism in itsreliance on non-professional actors and real locations. More specifically it recallsVisconti's masterpiece La Terra Trema (1948) in much of itsminimalist plot and bas
  • Five shorts up for Europe's Cartoon d'Or

    UK animator Joanna Quinn's short Dreams & Desires - Family Ties,which won prizes at the Annecy and Zagreb animation festivalslast month, is among five European shorts nominated for the Cartoon d'Or. The awards recognise the work of new talents in theEuropean animation industry.The fivenominated films, selected from a longlist of
  • Fox International teams with Croft & Co in New Zealand

    Fox International hasappointed Croft & Co as its theatrical distributor for New Zealandfollowing the retirement of the studio's longtime partner Royce Moodabe.The Moodabe family'sconnection with the studio began in 1936 when Fox first acquired a 50% share inits exhibition business in New Zealand, then owned by Royce's father MJMoodabe.Royce became involved in thebusiness in 1948 and over the past 57 years he has overseen such releases as TheSound Of Music, Titanic, Independen
  • Freedman joins Mandate in business and legal affairs dept

    Dan Freedman has joinedMandate Pictures as vice president of business and legal affairs.Freedman assumesresponsibility for negotiating rights and talent agreements in the developmentand production of features, overseeing production counsel, negotiating dealsfor Mandate's mobile content ventures, and handling key corporate matters.He will report to RobMcEntegart, executive vice president of business affairs, and will work closelywith Kelli Konop, vice presiden
  • German government agrees tax break

    The German government has agreed a tax rebate model for the film industry following on the lines of the new UK scheme to come into effect from January 1, 2007.In collaboration with a working group of experts from the film industry, State Minister for Culture Bernd Neumann had been considering options for a new financing incentive to replace the old style private media funds which had been abolished last November. A deadline of July 1 had been set for an announcement and Neumann was able to
  • German regional funds back new films from Ben Hopkins and Marc Rothemund

    Newprojects by UK film-maker Ben Hopkins,Serbia's Moma Mrdakovic andIsrael's DrorZahavi are among a raft of internationalco-productions backed by German regional film funds.Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB) and Leipzig-based MDM have both put productionsupport totalling $485,203 (Euros 380,000) into Hop
  • Germany's Senator to diversify business

    Therevamped German producer-distributor Senator Entertainment will be developedinto integrated media company, new CEO Helge Sasse said. Speakingat their first annual general meeting since he became a majority shareholder inthe company with fellow board member Marco Weber at the end of last year, Sasse stressed that Senator's core activity would continueto be in the production and distribution of theatrical feature films. He toldshareholders that their "professed goal" was "to av
  • Ira & Abby, Mario are LAFF audience favourites

    Robert Cary's Ira & Abby won the audience award for best narrative feature, JeffWerner and Susan Koch's Mario's Storytook corresponding documentary honours, and Tomer Heymann's Paper Dolls won the audience award for best international feature atthe Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) which finished last night (Sunday).The award for outstandingperformance in the narrative competition went to the ensemble cast of MikeAkel's Chalk, which includes principalcast mem
  • Korean admissions up by 29% in first half of the year

    Admissions in South Koreaincreased by 28.7% to 80.8 million from Jan-June 2006, compared to the sameperiod last year, according to local exhibitor CJ CGV, marking the biggestincrease since 2001. Hits were bigger and morenumerous during the first six months compared to last year, and admissions werealso boosted by an increase in public holidays - including three long weekendsin May for Labour Day, Children's Day and Teacher's Day - and a one-day holiday for regional elections at the en
  • Korean filmmakers protest as new quota becomes reality

    An estimated 10,000protestors rallied in Seoul todemonstrate against the reduction of Korea's Screen Quota and the US-Korea free tradenegotiations on Saturday (July 1), the day that the reduced quota wasintroduced. Top stars such as AhnSung-ki (Silmido) and Choi Min-shik (Old Boy) led filmmakers, academics andrepresentatives from financial, cultural and audio-visual
  • Krrish takes flight at Indian box office

    Rakesh Roshan's Krrish, billed as India's first real superhero movie, has blasted its wayinto Bollywood's blockbuster league by grossing an estimated $15m (Rs690m) inits opening week (June 23-29).The $10m film has alsobecome a hit in overseas markets, debuting at number nine at the UK box office in its opening weekend (June 23-25) with$382,962 from 46 s
  • Lapointe's Secret Life to close Montreal World Film Festival

    Quebec director StephaneLapointe's La Vie Secrete Des Gens Heureux (The Secret Life Of Happy People) will have its world premiere at the Closing Night presentation of theMontreal World Film Festival.Produced by Roger Frappierand Luc Vandal of Max Films, the film stars Gilbert Sicotte, Marc Paquet,Catherine de Lean, Marie Gignac, Gilles Renaud, Anne Dorval, Maxime Denommee,Gabriel Arcand and Marc Beland. The story follows a shy anddreamy young man, burdened by his f
  • Liman, Di Novi to produce Venice-set thriller Vaporetto 13

    Mr And MrsSmith director DougLiman and veteran producer Denise Di Novi are teaming up to produce the $8.5mVenice-set thriller called Vaporetto 13 directed by Liman's longtime friend Gregor Von Bismarck.Based on RobertGirardi's novel of the same name, Vaporetto 13 follows an industrial diver whosepremonitions about a mysterious underwater church and an elusive beauty cometrue on a trip to Venice. The film is due to shoot in Venice in Oct.Liman will alsobe in
  • Lynch's Empire, Labute's Wicker lined up for Sitges

    Guillermo del Toro's Cannespremiere Pan's Labyrinth will openthe 39th annual edition of the International Film Festival of Catalonia, betterknown as Sitges, which has unveiled the first details of its 2006 lineup. Thefestival takes place from Oct 6 to 15.Labyrinth (El Laberinto Del Fauno) will form part of a Special Focus on thefilmography of del Toro, a Sitges regular.The Spanish premiereof Inland Empire by fellow Sitgesregular David Lynch will also
  • Miami Vice to open Locarno festival

    Michael Mann's Miami Vice will kick off the Locarno International Film Festival on August 2 with a gala screening on the Piazza Grande.The screening of the all-star blockbuster, which stars Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx, will mark Frederic Maire's first year as artistic director of the festival, which celebrates its 59th edition between August 2 and 12.The full Locarno line-up will be announced next Wednesday, July 12.Miami Vice will be released in German-speaking Switzerla
  • Moscow gives top prize to Sweden's About Sara

    The 28th Moscow International Film Festival (June 23-July 2) wrapped onSunday with the festival awards ceremony and Pedro Almodovar'sVolver as the closing night film. Despite thefestival's new hub this year being relocated to the Soviet-era Oktyabr Cinema multiplex, complete with a 1500-seatpremiere hall, organisers chose to hold opening and closing ceremonies, as inprevious years, at the 1800-seat Pushkinsky Cinema.After the debacle of Austrian filmmaker Mic
  • New producers' alliance formed in Australia

    After a couple of years oftrying, the two organisations representing Australian producers officiallyformed an alliance this week, just in time for the upcoming review intogovernment film financing.The Screen Producers'Association of Australia (SPAA) and Independent Producers' Initiative (IPI)have joined together to form the Independent Feature Film Producers ofAustralia Alliance (IFPAA).The new body intends to holdan open meeting of producers in Melbourne
  • No records broken but Superman still flies high in US

    The Man of Steel soared overthe box office but not the record books as Warner Bros' Superman Returns added an estimated $52.2m over three days to raisethe five-day tally to $84.2m.While the result was nowherenear the five-day mark of $152.4m set by Sony's Spider-Man 2 exactly two years ago, it establishes an effectivefoothold as the country heads into Tuesday's July 4 national holiday.The extended weekend and thefact that Bryan Singer's 154-minute epic is drawing s
  • North American rights to 10th And Wolf sold to THINKFilm

    THINKFilm haspicked up all North American rights to Oscar-winning writer Bobby Moresco's 10th& Wolf.Moresco, whoco-wrote Crash, directed 10th And Wolf as well as co-writing it with ChazzPalminteri. The film stars James Marsden as a Marine who struggles to steerclear of his criminal past after he returns home to Philadelphia.Giovanni Ribisi,Brad Renfro, Piper Perado, Brian Dennehy, Lesley Ann Warren, Dennis Hopper,Tommy Lee and Val Kilmer round out the key cast.
  • NZFC appoints new chairman and board members

    The New Zealand FilmCommission, the country's principal investor in local films, has appointed anew chairman, David Cullwick, and four new people to the board. Cullwick, a business advisorwho was inaugural Professor of Marketing at Victoria University of Wellington, replacesBarrie Everard.Sydney lawyer Shane Simpson is one of the new faces on theboard, along with filmmaker Vanessa Alexander, who wrote and directed
  • Pirates lands in three major markets including UK

    Buena VistaInternational (BVI) has a big weekend lined up with six scheduled internationallaunches for Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.The adventuresequel sets sail in three major markets - Australia on Jul 6, the UK on Jul 7,and South Korea on Jul 8 - as well as New Zealand and Thailand on Jul 6, andTaiwan on Jul 8.The day-and-datelaunch with North America will doubtless generate a string of mighty results,even in the UK where interest in football is high and
  • Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

    Dir: Gore Verbinski. US. 2006. 151mins.Coming three years after the originalride-turned-movie dug up a hoard of summer box office gold, the second voyageof Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer's PiratesOf The Caribbean franchise is bigger, longer and more spectacular than itspredecessor but at the same time less breezily entertaining. The novelty value -of the swashbuckling adventure genre itself and of Johnny Depp'samusing star turn as the
  • Reprise

    Dir: Joachim Trier. Nor. 2006. 105mins.First-time director Joachim Trier makes a bright, frenetic and agile debut with Reprise, the story of two would-be Norwegiannovelists in their early twenties, trying to make it in the worlds of bothliterature and adulthood.The picture's main qualityis the immediacy of performances from a mostly non-professional cast, as wellas how the writer and director never put a foot wrong with their
  • Sarajevo festival to open with 12:08 East of Bucharest

    Romanian Corneliu Porumboiu's 12:08 East of Bucharest will openthe 12th Sarajevo Film Festival, the most important festival in the Balkan region.The film won the Camera D'Or at Cannes 2006. This year's Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award goes to renowned UK filmand theatre director Mike Leigh. The award is given in recognition of theoutstanding contribution to the art of cinema and the support to the developmentof the Sarajevo Film Festival. Leigh previously att
  • Screen partners with Denver festival on Kieslowski Award

    ScreenInternational is partnering with the Starz Denver Film Festival to present thethe Krzysztof Kieslowski Award for Best Feature Film, a juried award presentedannually at the festival to a feature-length fiction film that reflects theartistic sensibilities of the late Polish director.''The 29th StarzDenver Film Festival, produced by the Denver Film Society will this year takeplace Nov 9 -19.'The DenverInternational Film Festival, in its early years, gained a reputation within
  • Six South African writers win development competition

    The UK Film Council'sDevelopment Fund and South Africa's National Film and Video Foundation's "25Words Or Less" competition has named its first six recipients of funding.The four South Africanprojects will each receive $18,504 (£10,000) in funding to develop a first draftof their project. Each will be helped by a script editor appointed by the UKFilm Council or the NFVF. Each draft will then be jointly produced by a UK and
  • Swede's first feature wins top prize at Moscow Film Festival

    The 28th Moscow International Film Festival recovered from the debacle of Michael Haneke's eleventh-hour refusal to chair the main jury, finishing with a surprise best picture winner.The jury, including Julie Christie, Canadian actor Remy Girard and French film critic and producer Pierre-Henri Deleau, chose cult Polish filmmaker and existing jury member Andrzej Zulawski to be jury president. And at the closing awards night at the 1,800-seat Pushkinsky Cinema, they gave the Golden St. Geor
  • Tartan gets UK rights to Rankin and Cottam's Saints

    Distributor Tartan Films has acquired UKand Irelandrights to The Lives OfThe Saints, directed by photographer and publisher Rankin and Chris Cottam. The debut will have its world premiere in competitionat the 2006 Locarno Intern
  • Telema has to pay damages over Tanguy

    French production house Telema has been ordered to pay $63,657 (Euros 50,000) indamages to each of three screenwriters who claimed their script was highjacked in order to produce hit 2001 film Tanguy.Christophe Valee, Francois Villardand Philippe Barrassat contended they had shown ascript for Recherche Parents Desesperement to Telema,which then declined to make an offer. However, the court found that the scriptwas shown to director Etienne Chati
  • The Way I Spent The End Of The World (Cum mi-am petrecut sfarsitul lumii)

    Dir: Catalin Mitulescu. Rom-Fr. 2006. 106mins.More like a quick guide to recent history rather thana fully rounded first feature, Catalin Mitulescu's debut TheWay I Spent The End Of The Worldpaints a disturbing realistic, if often disorganised,portrait of Romanian life during 1989, the last year of the Ceausescu era.Blending childhood pranksand sexual awakening
  • The Way I Spent The End Of The World (Cum mi-am petrecut sfarsitul lumii)

    Dir: Catalin Mitulescu. Rom-Fr. 2006. 106mins.More like a quick guide to recent history rather thana fully rounded first feature, Catalin Mitulescu's debut TheWay I Spent The End Of The Worldpaints a disturbing realistic, if often disorganised,portrait of Romanian life during 1989, the last year of the Ceausescu era.Blending childhood pranksand sexual awakening
  • TIFF will play host to King's Men, Beethoven

    New films from StevenZallian, Bob Balaban and Agnieska Holland are among the first titles to beannounced as world premieres at this year's Toronto International Film FestivalBased on Robert PennWarren's novel - itself inspired by the life of notorious US politicianHuey P. Long - Zaillian's All The King's Men is his first feature as director since 1998's ACivil Action. It packs an all-starpunch with Sean Penn as the corrupt politician alongside Jude Law, KateWinslet, Patri
  • UK anti-piracy group adds theatrical investigator

    The UK's Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) is clamping down on camcorder use in UK cinemas by creating the new role of theatrical investigator. The theatrical investigator will liaise with the UK exhibition and distribution industry to help prevent camcorder use and other forms of digital recording. The post reports to Jim Angell, director of operations. The investigator, who was not named, is a police veteran who has also worked as an investigator for a major media comp
  • UK's digital network shows 50th film

    Digitalfilm services company Arts AllianceMedia has announced that Momentum Pictures' District13, opening in the UK today, is the 50th feature they have beendigitally encrypted and shown on the UK Film Council's Digital Screen Network. TheDSN is Europe
  • Uruguayan film-maker Rebella commits suicide at 32

    Juan Pablo Rebella,one of Latin America's most talented young screenwriters and directors, isreported to have committed suicide yesterday. His body was found at his housein Montevideo, Uruguay. He was only 32.Rebella and hislongtime collaborator Pablo Stoll co-directe
  • Uruguayan film-maker Rebella commits suicide at 32

    Juan Pablo Rebella, one ofLatin America's most talented young screenwriters and directors, is reported tohave committed suicide yesterday. His body was found at his house inMontevideo, Uruguay. He was only 32.Rebella and his longtimecollaborator Pablo Stoll co-directed two shorts and two acclaimed features.They made their debut with 25 Watts,a $26,000 film about a group of slackers shot in black and white which ended upwinning two prizes, included the VPRO Tiger Award, at the Ro
  • Veronique Tan gets on board with Wild Side

    Wild Bunch label Wild Side Films has hired formerCelestial Pictures executive Veronique Tan to acquire Asian films for thecompany.Wild Side is active in theatrical and videodistribution and is looking to grow its Asian acquisitions. Tan will evaluateprojects from China, Hong Kong, Korea,Taiwan,
  • Winter Journey (Winterreise)

    Dir: Hans Steinbichler.Ger. 2006. 95mins.Diving into the depths of manic-depressive gloom withFranz Schubert's heartbreaking song cycle Winterreise as company is a toughassignment - while Hans Steinbichler's Winter Journey falls short, it does atleast rate some recognition for its courage.Following a sixtysomething businessman driven to bankruptcy as he losescontrol over his life, Steinblicher draws a sterlingperfor

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