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Screen
7 November 2002

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  • 8 Mile

    Dir: Curtis Hanson. US. 2002. 110 mins.Flashdance gets an electrifying sex change and upgrade courtesy of director Curtis Hanson and rap icon Eminem in 8 Mile. A loose retelling of Eminem's own troubled youth in the run-down 8 Mile district of Detroit, the film is a downbeat, but not depressing, rags-to-riches saga which is musically thrilling and dramatically satisfying. Although its content is strictly adult, teenage Eminem fans will break all the rules
  • Age of Realism kicks in for MIFED

    There's a joke among US sellers that "even the buyers that don't pay aren't buying" at the moment. These sellers certainly lean towards gloom and doom in their conversations; indeed it's unlikely that a movie the size of Gangs Of New York could generate the eye-popping sales numbers today which it did at MIFED three years ago. Independent buyers have been too hurt by a string of large-scale investments in underperforming films like We Were Soldiers, K:19 - The Widowmaker
  • Age of Realism kicks in for MIFED

    There's a joke among US sellers that "even the buyers that don't pay aren't buying" at the moment. These sellers certainly lean towards gloom and doom in their conversations; indeed it's unlikely that a movie the size of Gangs Of New York could generate the eye-popping sales numbers today which it did at MIFED three years ago. Independent buyers have been too hurt by a string of large-scale investments in underperforming films like We Were Soldiers, K:19 - The Widowmaker
  • Alcas launches Euros 93.4m German film fund for Hallmark Entertainment

    While debate is currently raging in Germany about ways of keeping more private film fund equity at home, fund initiator Alcas has launched a Euros 93.4m fund to produce a raft of international film and TV projects for Hallmark Entertainment.Private German individuals are being invited to invest a minimum of Euros 25,000 each in the latest Alcas placement entitled "MAT Movies & Television Productions GmbH & Co. Project IV KG" for a wide-ranging portfolio of 14 TV movies, three TV two-pa
  • Argentinian entrepreneur launches Madrid film empire

    Armed with seed capital of $20m-$25m, Madrid-based Argentine entrepreneur Pablo Larguia is launching a new vertically integrated entertainment empire, Innova Networks.The former founder and chief executive of Human Resources software technology company Bumeran.com has immediate ambitions to build multiplexes across Spain. To launch in January 2003, Innova Networks's intended scope covers nearly all fields of entertainment including film and television production, documentaries, stage t
  • Atlas' Red Phone rings up international sales

    The Red Phone, handled by Germany's Atlas International, has already garnered sales to Nippon Herald for Japan, Lusomundo for Portugal and Showal for Israel. The $12.5m two-part, spy action vehicle boasts a theatrical-level cast including Arnold Vosloo, Ben Cross, Michael Ironside and Michael Wincott and a particularly contemporary theme.Written by former MI5 (British secret service) member, Terry Thompson and Steven Whitney, the picture was conceived at a time before terrorism
  • Bim has snapped up Italian rights to Haneke's Wolfszeit

    Rome arthouse distributor Bim has snapped up Italian distribution rights to Michael Haneke's Wolfszeit, which stars Isabelle Huppert, Patrice Chereau and Beatrice Dalle.Translated literally as Time Of The Wolf, Wolfszeit is now in post-production and involves Haneke's "regular" Austrian production company Wega-Film in co-production with France's Les Films du Losange and Les Films Alain Sarde, and Germany's Bavaria Film. According to the film's synopsis, W
  • Bim has snapped up Italian rights to Haneke's Wolfszeit

    Rome arthouse distributor Bim has snapped up Italian distribution rights to Michael Haneke's Wolfszeit, which stars Isabelle Huppert, Patrice Chereau and Beatrice Dalle.Translated literally as Time Of The Wolf, Wolfszeit is now in post-production and involves Haneke's "regular" Austrian production company Wega-Film in co-production with France's Les Films du Losange and Les Films Alain Sarde, and Germany's Bavaria Film. According to the film's synopsis, W
  • Blue Star widens Anglo-Italian financing net

    As the Italian film industry continues to struggle to make commercially viable pictures that can travel outside its own borders, local producers have started to recognise the benefits of joining forces with European - and, in particular, UK allies.A pioneering model has been set by a reciprocal financing arrangement that unites Italy's Blue Star Movies and UK outfit Spice Factory with Milanese art-house producer Albachiara. Together they will become involved in as many as a dozen movie
  • Blue Star widens Anglo-Italian financing net

    As the Italian film industry continues to struggle to make commercially viable pictures that can travel outside its own borders, local producers have started to recognise the benefits of joining forces with European - and, in particular, UK allies.A pioneering model has been set by a reciprocal financing arrangement that unites Italy's Blue Star Movies and UK outfit Spice Factory with Milanese art-house producer Albachiara. Together they will become involved in as many as a dozen movie
  • Blue Star widens Anglo-Italian financing net

    As the Italian film industry continues to struggle to make commercially viable pictures that can travel outside its own borders, local producers have started to recognise the benefits of joining forces with European - and, in particular, UK allies.A pioneering model has been set by a reciprocal financing arrangement that unites Italy's Blue Star Movies and UK outfit Spice Factory with Milanese art-house producer Albachiara. Together they will become involved in as many as a dozen movie
  • Boorman taps Jackson, Binoche for Country Of The Skulls

    John Boorman is to direct Samuel L Jackson and Juliette Binoche in South African-set drama Country Of My Skull. UK-based sales company The Works is representing the production worldwide, with shooting scheduled for February.Jackson plays an angry American journalist and Binoche is a troubled young Afrikaaner who encounter a sinister security agent who is blackmailing his former masters during South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Drawn from the diaries of Antjie Kr
  • Boorman taps Jackson, Binoche for Country Of The Skulls

    John Boorman is to direct Samuel L Jackson and Juliette Binoche in South African-set drama Country Of My Skull. UK-based sales company The Works is representing the production worldwide, with shooting scheduled for February.Jackson plays an angry American journalist and Binoche is a troubled young Afrikaaner who encounter a sinister security agent who is blackmailing his former masters during South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Drawn from the diaries of Antjie Kr
  • Boorman taps jackson, Binoche for Country Of The Skulls

  • Bornedal writes Just Another Love Story

    Danish filmmaker Ole Bornedal is putting the final touches on a new feature script, Just Another Love Story, set to go before the cameras in spring-summer 2003. The thriller sees an ordinary family man, who gets a chance to change his identity in a split second and does - only he shouldn't have and his life turns into a nightmare. It will be produced by Bornedal's long-time collaborator Michael Obel of Thura Film, and it follows in the steps of their 1994 breakthrough chi
  • Boyle-ing hot: Fox's 28 Days Later triumphs in the UK

    British director Danny Boyle's latest film, horror title 28 Days Later, swept to the top of the UK box office with the speed of the film's fictitious virus. The film grossed a mighty $2.35m (£1.5m) from its 318 sites for a powerful average of $7,382 per location. These figures include preview figures on Thursday (Halloween) of $281,379 (£179,801) from 265 sites.28 Days Later, distributed by 20th Century Fox, defeated all comers in the country including Hollywood
  • Broken Wings flies at Tokyo Int'l film festival

    Israeli title Broken Wings (pictured) by Nir Bergman won the Grand Prix at the 15th edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival which ended on Monday (November 4)The Grand Prix (accompanied by a $83,000 (Y10m) cash prize) was the highlight of the event, which also featured a sneak preview of Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets. The special jury prize ($16,000/Y2m) went to Japanese title Hotel Hibiscus, directed by Yuji Nakae, a com
  • Buena Vista Int'l enjoys the weekend

    Signs grossed $6.3m over the weekend for Buena Vista International (BVI) to bring its international running total to $162m. The supernatural thriller produced BVI's biggest ever opening in Greece, where it scored $650,000 from 53 screens and was roughly 60% higher than the opening for director M Night Shyamalan's previous offering, Unbreakable. In its third week in Italy Signs took $1.9m for a $10.2m running total, while a $1.7m third weekend in France raised the territor
  • BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE UK FILM INDUSTRY

    The full keynote speech by the Chairman of the Film CouncilToday I want to set out some new thinking from the Film Council about the kind of film industry we'd like to see in this country. I want to set out a vision of an industry that is a strong and confident player in an increasingly competitive world. An industry that evolves, and reflects, the new realities of today's global market. We can never be the biggest film industry in the world, but we should be right up ne
  • Building a sustainable UK film industry

  • Bum's Rush adds cast

    Jamie Sives, who is Wilbur in Lone Scherfig's Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself, and Kevin McKidd are joining Dougray Scott in the cast of Myriad Pictures' The Bum's Rush, a black comedy set in Scotland. The film will be produced by Anne Batz of Hero Films, the UK production outfit which teams Batz, director Mike Barker (To Kill A King) and actor Scott. It is the directorial debut of Stewart Svaasand who also wrote the script, and marks the first of a two-picture deal b
  • Buskin starts production on Carpi's Intermittenze Del Cuore

    Buskin Film starts production this week on veteran Italian arthouse director Fabio Carpi's Le Intermittenze Del Cuore ; marking the young Rome sales outfit's second foray into high-profile Italian feature film production.Carpi's Euros 4m semi-autobiographical picture revolves around the memories of a man who is preparing a film about Marcel Proust. The movie stars veteran Argentinian actor Hector Alterio (Son Of The Bride, Passionate People) and will shoot in Rome,
  • Buskin starts production on Carpi's Intermittenze Del Cuore

    Buskin Film starts production this week on veteran Italian arthouse director Fabio Carpi's Le Intermittenze Del Cuore ; marking the young Rome sales outfit's second foray into high-profile Italian feature film production.Carpi's Euros 4m semi-autobiographical picture revolves around the memories of a man who is preparing a film about Marcel Proust. The movie stars veteran Argentinian actor Hector Alterio (Son Of The Bride, Passionate People) and will shoot in Rome,
  • BV Int'l has busy start with Minotaur and Thunderstruck

    Norwegian sales outfit BV International has had a busy start to the market and even struck one deal while it was unpacking its boxes on Saturday.It sold Minotaur, its Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Derek Jacobi teen horror, to New World for Thailand. On the eve of the market it also sold the picture to Legend for Germany and to Artfree for Greece.Icon Entertainment pre-bought Australian and New Zealand rights to Thunderstruck, a musical story of AC/DC-obsessed misfits pr
  • BV Int'l has busy start with Minotaur and Thunderstruck

    Norwegian sales outfit BV International has had a busy start to the market and even struck one deal while it was unpacking its boxes on Saturday.It sold Minotaur, its Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Derek Jacobi teen horror, to New World for Thailand. On the eve of the market it also sold the picture to Legend for Germany and to Artfree for Greece.Icon Entertainment pre-bought Australian and New Zealand rights to Thunderstruck, a musical story of AC/DC-obsessed misfits pr
  • Cecchi Gori arrest fuels monopoly fears in Italy

    The arrest of former Italian movie mogul Vittorio Cecchi Gori throws one big question into sharp relief: what will happen to his film interests if - as is looking increasingly inevitable - his once-formidable empire disintegrates' To many, the answer could rock the landscape of the Italian film industry - and tilt the scales even further in favour of Cecchi Gori's former business partner-turned-arch rival: Silvio Berlusconi and his sprawling Fininvest empire.'We're now facing th
  • Cecchi Gori arrest fuels monopoly fears in Italy

    The arrest of former Italian movie mogul Vittorio Cecchi Gori throws one big question into sharp relief: what will happen to his film interests if ' as is looking increasingly inevitable - his once-formidable empire disintegrates' To many, the answer could rock the landscape of the Italian film industry ' and tilt the scales even further in favour of Cecchi Gori's former business partner-turned-arch rival: Silvio Berlusconi and his sprawling Fininvest empire."We're now facing th
  • Celestial signs huge video deals across Asia

    Celestial Pictures, the Hong Kong upstart which owns the Shaw Bros library of Chinese classic movies, has put in place a raft of key distribution partnerships across Asia. The move represents the group's first substantial revenues streams after the start-up phase and enable it to boost the catalogue's visibility ahead of its TV channel launch.Celestial boss William Pfeiffer and Gordon Cheung, executive vice president of distribution, has signed multi-year home entertainment lice
  • Chan balloon adventure makes Malaysian pitstop

    Leading Malaysian exhibitor-distributor Golden Screen Cinemas has pre-bought Summit Entertainment's Around The World In 80 Days.The action adventure based on the Jules Verne classic tale is directed by Frank Coraci, but importantly stars Jackie Chan, who continues to be a huge draw in the territory. The film is currently in pre-productionThe company is an enthusiastic pre-buyer of international movies which are vehicles for top Asian stars. Earlier this year, Golden Scree
  • Christmas comes early as Santa Clause 2 flies atop the box office

    Disney's The Santa Clause 2 brought some advance Yuletide magic to the North American box office over the weekend with a number one $29m opening, according to studio estimates released today (Nov 3). The debut was more than double that grossed by Columbia's action-comedy opener I Spy, which disappointed with a $14m third place opening. Overall the top 12 pictures combined for $103.1m, down 22% on the same period last year when Disney's Monsters Inc opened on $62.6m.
  • Christmas comes early as Santa Clause 2 flies atop the box office

    Disney's The Santa Clause 2 brought some advance Yuletide magic to the North American box office over the weekend with a number one $29m opening, according to studio estimates released today (Nov 3). The debut was more than double that grossed by Columbia's action-comedy opener I Spy, which disappointed with a $14m third place opening. Overall the top 12 pictures combined for $103.1m, down 22% on the same period last year when Disney's Monsters Inc opened on $62.6m.
  • CJ steps up production, sales drive

    With no less than seven new pictures on its MIFED slate, Korean giant CJ Entertainment is dramatically stepping up production volume.The stock-market traded film subsidiary of the Cheil Jedang chaebol, or conglomerate, CJ Entertainment is planning to produce as many as 15-18 films a year.'Korean films have large and growing appeal in the domestic Korean market and we have an expanding need for product,' said sales chief Mark Yoon. 'Nearly all will have appeal to Asian buy
  • CJ steps up production, sales drive

    With no less than seven new pictures on its MIFED slate, Korean giant CJ Entertainment is dramatically stepping up production volume.The stock-market traded film subsidiary of the Cheil Jedang chaebol, or conglomerate, CJ Entertainment is planning to produce as many as 15-18 films a year.'Korean films have large and growing appeal in the domestic Korean market and we have an expanding need for product,' said sales chief Mark Yoon. 'Nearly all will have appeal to Asian buy
  • Constantin grabs big three from Focus

    Flying in the face of a depressed market in general and a sluggish German market in particular, Focus Features has concluded a bumper three-picture deal with Constantin Film for its three new titles 21 Grams, Lost In Translation and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. The deal for the titles, some of the hottest in MIFED, is easily the biggest clinched here so far. Focus is asking for some hefty sums for 21 Grams alone - including over $4m in the UK, according t
  • Constantin latest to dive into Celluloid's Swimming Pool

    Constantin Film of Germany has become the latest high profile buyer to sign on for Celluloid Dreams' Swimming Pool.The film by 8 Femmes director Francois Ozon, which is currently in post production, is a Chabrolian thriller starring Charlotte Rampling as a disillusioned British publisher who travels to France and is bewitched by a younger woman, played by Ludivine Sagnier. Celluloid, which is screening a showreel of the picture, expects to close a US deal by the end of MI
  • Constantin latest to dive into Celluloid's Swimming Pool

    Constantin Film of Germany has become the latest high profile buyer to sign on for Celluloid Dreams' Swimming Pool.The film by 8 Femmes director Francois Ozon, which is currently in post production, is a Chabrolian thriller starring Charlotte Rampling as a disillusioned British publisher who travels to France and is bewitched by a younger woman, played by Ludivine Sagnier. Celluloid, which is screening a showreel of the picture, expects to close a US deal by the end of MI
  • Crabe Dans La Tete joins Oscar race for Canada

    Andre Turpin's Un Crabe Dans La Tete has been selected as Canada's entry for the Best Foreign Language film at next year's Academy Awards.Produced by Montreal-based Qu4tre par Quatre Films, the film premiered last year at the Toronto International Film Festival and also screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival under the title Soft Shell Man. The film is distributed in Canada and sold internationally by Montreal-based Film Tonic.Turpin, who wrote and directed the
  • Das Werk's holding company files to start insolvency

    Following Helkon International Production and peppermint from the Helkon Media Group, the German postproduction group Das Werk has become the latest former Neuer Markt stock to file an application to start insolvency proceedings. And while peppermint was still operating at MIFED as a sales entity with an ongoing business - to the surprise and concern of some German players - a rescue package may still be on the cards for the company, despite prolonged delays.Meanwhile, a stateme
  • Divided Asia may hold key to MIFED future

    Although London's pre-MIFED Screenings was undone by the power of a handful of US sellers, dislodging MIFED could depend on persuading one group which has traditionally found the Milan event a hit, Asian buyers and sellers.However, there appears to be no consensus among the Asians who were at MIFED and indeed many of the biggest Japanese buyers were in Los Angeles on a targeted buying trip just prior to the market."Cannes and AFM work best for the A-list American titles. MIFED
  • Dragonflies takes off with Nordic Film Days award

    Marius Holst has walked off with the main award - the NDR Promotion Prize - for Norwegian drama Dragonflies, at the 44th edition of the Nordic Film Days in the German city of Lübeck.The NDR Promotion Prize of 12,500 Euro has been awarded annually since 1990 for a feature film of special artistic quality, and the winner is also purchased for NDR television. Last year's winner Åke Sandgren (Truly Human) was head of the jury this year, and singled out Holst'
  • Dutch tax credit system grinds to bureaucratic halt

    Bureaucracy may have killed off The Netherlands' attractions for foreign producers and potential film investors alike.The famously lucrative tax credit system which allowed production investors to shelter their income and avoid capital taxes was put on temporary hold this July when the tax authorities decided to review the system yet again. The fiscal authorities have now reopened the doors. But it is not the tighter new regulations that are turning producers off. Instead, it is
  • Eagle and Elysee first buyers for Summit's Blackout

    Eagle Pictures in Italy and Les Films de L'Elysee in Benelux are the first major independents to buy territories on Summit Entertainment's thriller Blackout starring Ashley Judd, Samuel L Jackson and Andy Garcia.Directed by Phil Kaufman (The Right Stuff, Rising Sun), the film is produced by Kopelson Entertainment and Intertainment AG and stars Judd as a hotshot police detective on the trail of a serial killer whose victims all have some connection to her.
  • Eagle and Elysee first buyers for Summit's Blackout

    Eagle Pictures in Italy and Les Films de L'Elysee in Benelux are the first major independents to buy territories on Summit Entertainment's thriller Blackout starring Ashley Judd, Samuel L Jackson and Andy Garcia.Directed by Phil Kaufman (The Right Stuff, Rising Sun), the film is produced by Kopelson Entertainment and Intertainment AG and stars Judd as a hotshot police detective on the trail of a serial killer whose victims all have some connection to her.
  • Eros International reclaims sales on Devdas

    First-time MIFED exhibitor Eros International will be offering distributors the chance to buy Devdas, the Indian foreign-language Oscar contender, that was previously represented by Focus Features.'The transaction is done at last,' said Eros chief executive Kishore Lulla, who produced the film and has been negotiating to retrieve the sales rights from Focus for several months. 'We had been holding back on sales until MIFED, when we had secured the Indian nomination and can unvei
  • Eros International reclaims sales on Devdas

    First-time MIFED exhibitor Eros International will be offering distributors the chance to buy Devdas, the Indian foreign-language Oscar contender, that was previously represented by Focus Features."The transaction is done at last," said Eros chief executive Kishore Lulla, who produced the film and has been negotiating to retrieve the sales rights from Focus for several months. "We had been holding back on sales until MIFED, when we had secured the Indian nomination and can unvei
  • Euro delegation heads for New Zealand

    A nine-person delegation of European producers is heading for New Zealand this month with the aim of developing co-productions. More may join them.The delegation is being financed through Investment New Zealand and is one of several new government-funded initiatives aimed at strengthening the country's screen industries on the back of the worldwide success of The Lord Of The Rings.Delegates include British Film Council board member Chris Auty, Isabel Begg, head of busines
  • Europa acquires Chen Kaige's Together

    Europa Corp, the mini-studio headed by Luc Besson and Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, has become the latest distributor to acquire Chen Kaige's father and son drama Together. The film was one of the biggest hits of the Toronto film festival and was picked up there for North America by United Artists after a bidding flurry.Europa has picked up all French rights and is likely to release the picture in early 2003. The film is handled by Etchie Stroh's Moonstone Entertainment. Together
  • European distributors form six way buying alliance

    Six European distributors have teamed up to form a buying alliance, that is the re-working of a similar deal announced this time last year. The companies involved include pure distributors Switzerland's Frenetic, Spain's Alta Films and Cinelibre-Cineart and producer-distributors Haut Et Court from France, Fu Works-A-Films from The Netherlands and EyeScreen-Lucky Red of Italy.The idea is to acquire multi-territory rights in a more efficient manner, either by buying European terri
  • European distributors form six way buying alliance

    Six European distributors have teamed up to form a buying alliance, that is the re-working of a similar deal announced this time last year. The companies involved include pure distributors Switzerland's Frenetic, Spain's Alta Films and Cinelibre-Cineart and producer-distributors Haut Et Court from France, Fu Works-A-Films from The Netherlands and EyeScreen-Lucky Red of Italy.The idea is to acquire multi-territory rights in a more efficient manner, either by buying European terri
  • Ewan McGregor quits Natural Nylon

    Ewan McGregor has left Natural Nylon, the UK production company founded by the cream of the country's acting talent in a bid to create a British United Artists.News of the UK star's departure comes only weeks after the production company lost founder member and producer Damon Bryant, who left to set up his own outfit, Sonnet Pictures. McGregor, who founded the company with actors including Jonny Lee Miller and Sean Pertwee, was the driving force behind the company's first produc
  • Ex-Helkon trio goes Solo

    The management of Helkon International Pictures (HIP) - Christian Halsey Solomon, Lee Solomon and Clifford Werber - has formally bought itself out from Helkon Media and relaunched as Solo Entertainment Group (SEG). The company's name affirms its connection to Solo Film Verleiht, the nascent German distribution outfit co-founded by former Kinowelt executive Peter Heinzemann and Halsey Solomon.Planning to operate on four levels - distribution, production, licensing and consulting
  • Ex-Helkon trio goes Solo

    The management of Helkon International Pictures (HIP) - Christian Halsey Solomon, Lee Solomon and Clifford Werber - has formally bought itself out from Helkon Media and relaunched as Solo Entertainment Group (SEG). The company's name affirms its connection to Solo Film Verleiht, the nascent German distribution outfit co-founded by former Kinowelt executive Peter Heinzemann and Halsey Solomon.Planning to operate on four levels - distribution, production, licensing and consulting
  • Female lead cast for Dirty Dancing 2

    Romola Garai has signed as the female lead in Artisan Entertainment and Miramax Films' Havana Nights: Dirty Dancing 2. Garai, whose credits include Nicholas Nickleby and the BBC's I Capture The Castle, will star opposite Diego Luna. Directed by Guy Ferland and produced by Lawrence Bender, the story is set in 1959 Cuba and centres on a girl's forbidden love for a young Cuban dancer.Production on the picture is due to begin in February 2003 with a release date earmar
  • First Look takes My Kingdom to North America

    Specialist US distributor First Look Pictures has picked up My Kingdom, a modernistic re-telling of the King Lear story, that was the last leading role for acting legend Richard Harris who died last week.The picture, bought from sister company Overseas Filmgroup, will be given a US release on Dec 6, in time to qualify for an Oscar run. It had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. The deal was announced by First Look Pictures pr
  • Flying Scotsman shooting time-table derailed

    The future of The Flying Scotsman was placed in jeopardy yesterday (October 31) with the news that the£3.3 million production has lost one of its main investors. The sudden death of one of the partners in Americana Films has resulted in the withdrawal of their 27% share of the budget. Principal photography was due to commence on location in Ayrshire on November 11 and has now been put back a week to allow Bronco Films Peter Broughan a desperate chance to seek replacement finance
  • Focus knows how to deal

    Focus Features co-president David Linde has unveiled major territory deals on How To Deal, the latest production from Ted Field and Scott Kroopf's Radar, a coming-of-age romance starring Mandy Moore. Roadshow Film Distributors has taken the film for Australia and Paradiso for Benelux alongside Radar partners Lauren Film in Spain, TeleMunchen in Germany and Sandrew Metronome in Scandinavia. The film, directed by Claire Kilner, will be released by New Line in North America.
  • Four Nordic sales companies form Viking Export

    Four Nordic film sales companies have joined together to create an informal lobbying group, Viking Export.Members include Svensk Filmindustri (SF) and NonStop Film Sales from Sweden and Nordisk International and Trust Film Sales from Denmark. Ann-Kristin Westerberg of SF has been asked to chair the group.Viking's agenda is to improve contact and co-ordination with similar European organisations such as Unifrance Film International of France and Germany's Export Union, and to ens
  • Fox sees international releases reap rewards

    In addition to Fox Searchlight's apocalyptic thriller 28 Days Later taking the UK box office by storm, the company enjoyed a number of other successes over the weekendFox scored the highest ever debut for a Pedro Almodovar picture in Brazil, opening Talk To Her (Hable Con Ella) on 65 screens for $159,000. The action picture The Transporter enjoyed a solid bow in Australia, its third market worldwide, registering $285,000 from 131 screens. The picture, which stars J
  • Fresh buyers emerge in UK

    Arguably the only sellers' market left in Europe, the competitive UK distribution sector is heating up further as fresh companies emerge, fuelled by UK tax funding.First amongst the new entrants is ex-Metrodome distribution chief Rupert Preston, who this week confirmed a deal for Nicolas Winding Refn's English-language debut Fear X with Moviehouse Entertainment, the UK-based international sales agent run by Mark Vennis and Gary Phillips.Preston, who is also producing the
  • Gaga picks up Bellucci

    Japan's Gaga has acquired local distribution rights to Unruly, yet another new film starring real-life hot couple Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel.Sold by Rome-based outfit Surf Film, Unruly sees Cassel play the role of a man who returns to Marseilles, after a stint in jail, only to find that life in his home town has radically changed.The newly-completed film was written and directed by Philippe Berenger, and produced by Ultramarine, Cinex Films, Roc Films and C
  • Ganis acquires feature film rights to Bush docu

    Sid Ganis' Out of the Blue... Entertainment has optioned the feature film remake rights to Journeys With George, Alexandra Pelosi's acclaimed video diary of George W Bush's 2000 presidential campaign that will air on HBO on US Election Night, Nov 5. Ganis and Nancy Hult Ganis will produce the feature adaptation, which will focus on the travails of a dynamic young reporter who is assigned to trail a presidential candidate whose politics she opposes.The picture mirrors reality in
  • Gareth Jones to spearhead Winchester production

    Winchester Films has appointed Gareth Jones to head UK production activities. The ex-Alibi Films International chief joins the UK company as head of UK film production and finance, effective from next week.Jones, who was formerly head of HandMade Films, will act as the contact point for producers outside the US and will source projects. He will continue his consultant role with MR Film Sales on Mystics."Producers will be able to come directly to Gareth who will offer and coordin
  • German cinema admissions fall 8% in third quarter

    German cinema admissions have fallen 8% year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2002, but industry observers expect the new Harry Potter, James Bond and The Lord Of The Rings to effect a turnaround in the fourth quarter.According to figures released by the Berlin-based German Federal Film Board (FFA) for the first nine months to September 30, a combination of fine weather in August and September, the floods in East Germany and fewer film releases resulted in 10.6m tickets b
  • German funds in Polish development talks

    The German regional funds Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung (MDM) and Filmboard Berlin-Brandenburg are in talks with the Polish Culture Ministry to establish a development fund dedicated to joint projects by German and Polish producers.MDM chief executive Manfred Schmidt is confident that a decision could be reached before the end of this year, with an announcement about the structure of the development possibly during next year's Berlinale in February. He explained at the CoCo Spezial G
  • Grosvenor Park to open Paris, Dublin offshoots

    Toronto- and London-based film financier Grosvenor Park will open offices in Paris and Dublin, cementing its expansion into European film financing - and reflecting its increasing involvement in projects that have no financial ties with Canada.The company, which has been involved in such films as David Cronenberg's Spider and Robert Altman's Gosford Park, will maintain its role as a Canadian production entity but it is no longer involved in structuring limited partnership
  • Hard sell, soft money

    For many market players MIFED this year has been as much about putting together next year's films through international financing partnerships as it has been about selling the ones on their current slates.Former Das Werk boss Stefan Jonas was in town with his new company Playground. Nothing very striking in that except that his outfit is not strictly a production and sales entity like so many doing business in MIFED, but a Munich-based post-production and effects company able to put up
  • Hard Word finds its new Alibi in Beyond

    Sydney-based Beyond Films will begin selling the Australian crime thrillerThe Hard Word at MIFED, replacing London-based Alibi Films as its international sales agent.Alibi originally signed on to represent the film internationally in mid-2000, over a year before shooting began, largely because of the interest of its then sales chief Hilary Davis. The film, which stars Guy Pearce and Rachel Griffiths, was launched at Cannes this year and did some significant sales, includi
  • Herwitz reps Romania's Oscar entry

    Andrew Herwitz, the former Miramax executive who has set up his own New York-based producer's rep The Film Sales Company, has signed on to represent North and Latin America on Philanthropy, the Romanian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award this year.Written and directed by Nae Caranfil and produced by Cristian Comeage and Antoine de Clermont Tonnerre, the film is a romantic comedy revolving around a con scheme to fleece the patrons of Bucharest's many new
  • Hong Kong submits English-language film for best foreign-language Oscar

    Hong Kong has presented the Academy Awards with an interesting test case, by submitting Peter Pau's The Touch as its official entry for the best foreign-language Oscar, despite the fact the film is predominantly English-language.The body responsible for the nomination process - the Federation of Motion Film Producers of Hong Kong (FMFP) - has yet to hear if the Academy will accept its selection. However, FMFP chairman Crucindo Hung argued that the film is "the best showcase of t
  • Hukkle

    Dir: Gyorgy Palfi.. Hungary. 2002. 75mins.An authentic one-off - think Microcosmos meets Twin Peaks - Hukkle starts out as a serene, naturalistic portrait of rural life. But it slowly morphs into something much more sinister, as apparently disconnected scenes gel into a murder investigation whose key events unfold in the background and on the margins of every shot. Entirely without dialogue, the result is an oddball mix of deadpan comedy, documentary and
  • I Spy

    Dir: Betty Thomas. US. 2002. 96 mins.At the end of a year of box office disappointment, Eddie Murphy could certainly do with the kind of boost promised by a big screen version of a popular TV show and a teaming with an up-and-coming younger star. Sporadically effective action comedy I Spy, loosely based on the mid-1960s US TV series of the same name, won't return Murphy to his Beverly Hills Cop glory days, or finally push co-star Owen Wilson onto the action A-li
  • Ichino promoted to VP business affairs at Universal

    Masako Ichino has been promoted to vice president of business affairs at Universal Pictures. Ichino will continue to negotiate deals for books, screenplays and other source material as well as above-the-line talent agreements for writers, producers, directors and actors. She will also continue to report to Jimmy Horowitz, Universal's executive vice president of business affairs and legal affairs. Ichino, whom Horowitz described as a "rising star" in the field, joined the studio
  • I-Dream takes a slice of Bollywood Hollywood

    I-Dream Productions has picked up a slice of the US rights to Deepha Mehta's Indo-Canadian comedy Bollywood-Hollywood from Fortissimo Films Sales. The unique deal limits I-Dream's area of operation to specialist Indian cinemas, video outlets and TV channels. Fortissimo is days away from striking a second all-media US deal with another distributor which will release into mainstream outlets."We expect this approach to maximise the release, revenue and exposure," said Fortissimo co
  • Imax, Regal sign five screen deal, settle Edwards suit

    Toronto-based Imax Corp. has signed an agreement with US exhibitor Regal Entertainment Group to install giant screen systems at Regal's recently-acquired subsidiary circuits, four in its Edwards Theatres facilities and one in an United Artists facility. The deal gives Imax certain exclusivity rights as Regal's large-format provider - the company's giant-screen inventory will increase to eleven - and resolves the legal dispute between the companies concerning Edwards bankruptcy.
  • Indian studio strikes US first-look deal with Lions Gate

    A multi-picture deal with Lions Gate Entertainment is first evidence of the ambitions of India's Ramoji Studios to become a world scale player.The multi-year, first-look arrangement with Lions Gate enables Ramoji to offer US distribution to a number of films that shoot at its Hyderabad facilities, or are co-produced with Ramoji. Under a deal agreed late last week, the first film to use this route is set as Sex And The Teenage Mind, a Donald Gold-directed teen comedy now in post
  • Industry jury still out on MIFED's future

    If anything concrete could be learned from this year's MIFED it was that the jury is still out on whether the Milan event should be replaced as the pre-eminent movie market of the autumn.And there was even less consensus among buyers and sellers over whether their business calendar should be concentrated around three, or simply two, evenly-spaced convention-style screening events.This year's MIFED was something of a curate's egg - soft in parts, slightly firmer in others. Some h
  • Industry jury still out on MIFED's future

    If anything concrete could be learned from this year's MIFED it was that the jury is still out on whether the Milan event should be replaced as the pre-eminent movie market of the autumn.And there was even less consensus among buyers and sellers over whether their business calendar should be concentrated around three, or simply two, evenly-spaced convention-style screening events.This year's MIFED was something of a curate's egg - soft in parts, slightly firmer in others. Some h
  • Intermedia takes world sales rights on Suriyothai

    Los Angeles-based sales house Intermedia has picked up world sales rights on Suriyothai, the historical epic, which is the largest film ever to come out of Thailand.Directed by Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol and originally presented in a three hour version at the Pusan festival in November 2001, the film was subsequently re-cut by Francis Ford Coppola, a film-school friend of the prince."It is a fabulously crafted piece of work with the look of a very large budget film," said
  • Italy's Sintra boards Spanish gothic thriller

    Italian independent producer Rosanna Seregni of Sintra Film has boarded a new Spanish film from Euro Pudding producer Mate Cantero, to be directed by Impules' Miguel Alcantud.The picture, whose working title is Mozarteum, is a "gothic thriller " revolving around a training course for musicians.The film, which is written by Fiorenzo Senese, together with Salvatore Demolo and Martin Casariego, is set to shoot in the southern Italian region of Puglia in 2003, on a bud
  • Jackie Chan suits up for hit in Korea

    Jackie Chan-vehicleThe Tuxedo landed top of the South Korean box office last weekend with an impressive $1.96m nationwide opening. Sporting a strong screen average of $11,140, the film is another hit for Chan, who has a long history of box-office success in Korea, and easily bested the $1.4m opening for Rush Hour 2 last year.Distributed locally by CJ Entertainment, the film was seen to have been particularly well-placed in the fall line-up, given the lack of new action-co
  • Kaurismaki, Almodovar lead European Film Award nominations

    Local box office hits line up against several of this year's festival prize-winners as the eight nominees for the 2002 European Film Award, to be handed out by the European Film Academy in Rome on Dec 7.Leading the way in nominations for Europe's own answer to the Oscars is Aki Kaurismaki's The Man Without A Past, which is in the running in all six categories for which the award-winning co-production was eligible. Not far behind Kaurismaki is Pedro Almodovar, whose Talk To He
  • Killer pitches Camp at Fortissimo

    Fortissimo Film Sales has extended its relationship with Killer Films by picking up sales rights to musical comedy Camp.Camp follows the trials and tribulations of a group of young performers practising for their public debut under the summer camp tutelage of a burnt-out Broadway songwriter. Currently in post-production it is the directorial debut of Todd Graff.The cast is headed by Don Dixon and Anna Kendrick. Music director is Tim Weill, while Jerry Mitchell, w
  • Kim Ki-duk title springs to Bavaria

    Sales outfit Bavaria Film International has a growing number of reasons to be positive as it expands its slate of non-German titles.It kicked off MIFED with two strong sessions at Saturday's Milan Screenings, where it showed Peter Bay's Swedish comedy The Man Who Couldn't Say No and Boran, the debut feature by Resident Evil editor Alexander Berner."It was very good that there were only screenings and no other market distractions," said sales executive Thorst
  • Korean titles are champion sellers for Cineclick

    Cineclick Asia has had an electric start to MIFED inking several prominent deals on its slate of top Korean pictures in the first days of the market.Korean Oscar contender Oasis was sold to Cinequanon of Japan for a mid six-figures dollar sum. The Lee Chang-dong-directed film about the unusual relationship between two misfits was also sold to Russia's Pan Terra, a regular buyer of Korean pictures, as well as Italy's Revolver. And a deal is pending with Edko, the powerhouse distr
  • Last call for 2003 festival calendar

    On January 10 Screen International publishes its 2003 festival calendar. This will include more film and TV events than any other film and TV industry calendar. If you have not already sent us details of your event, then you only have two weeks to do so. The deadline for entries is November 15. There is no charge for inclusion. Simply fill in the following form and email it to: screenfests2003@hotmail.comEvent or Festival T
  • Latin American scripts win through at MPA Development Workshop

    Screenplays from Mexico, Chile and Uruguay beat 16 other contenders at the Feature Film Project Development Workshop and Competition 2002 organized by the Motion Pictures Association (MPA) in Miami. The winning scripts were Enemigos Intimos (Intimate Enemies) by Ana Carolina Rivera Gonzalez (Mexico), El Bano Del Papa (Daddy's Bath) by Enrique Fernandez ( Uruguay) and Tren Al Purgatorio (Train To Purgatory) by Sergio Gomez (Chile). Each received $1,000 in c
  • London screenings funk primes MIFED pump

    Any international film acquisitions executive who by-passed what's left of the London Screenings last week missed one key world premiere: Hanway's To Kill A King. The large-scale period piece starring Dougray Scott and Tim Roth screened to cast, crew and a strong turn-out of buyers ' although no US deal has yet been closed.Otherwise, there was precious little to do other than see Beyond's low-budget Australian film Crackerjack and take meetings. Los Angeles-based sales ou
  • London screenings funk primes MIFED pump

    Any international film acquisitions executive who by-passed what's left of the London Screenings last week missed one key world premiere: Hanway's To Kill A King. The large-scale period piece starring Dougray Scott and Tim Roth screened to cast, crew and a strong turn-out of buyers - although no US deal has yet been closed.Otherwise, there was precious little to do other than see Beyond's low-budget Australian film Crackerjack and take meetings. Los Angeles-based sales ou
  • Marketing campaign raises awareness of 28 Days Later

    A savvy marketing campaign came up trumps in the UK this week as 20th Century Fox launched British director Danny Boyle's latest film 28 Days Later. The horror title defeated all comers in the country including Hollywood heavyweights XXX and Lilo & Stitch and fellow wide openers Changing Lanes and Mr Deeds.The company began a£600,000 television campaign five weeks ahead of the film's release, placing TV spots mostly in male-skewed programming such as
  • Mason in the frame to head Channel 4's new film unit

    Graeme Mason, Universal Pictures' former president of acquisitions, has emerged as a candidate to head Channel 4's new film unit if he and the channel agree on a structure for the operation.Mason has until now been seen as an unlikely candidate to head Channel 4's scaled-back film unit, which was considered too parochial and arthouse-oriented for the ex-US studio executive. But London-based Mason is already advising Channel 4 on dismantling its stand-alone division in Soho, signalling
  • Media Asia's Mifed slate gets boost from Tong, Chan

    Hong Kong's Media Asia has unveiled three new projects, to start shooting in the first half of next year, and confirmed that Stanley Tong will direct its big-budget Jackie Chan action vehicle, Titanium Rain. Tong previously directed Chan in his first three stateside hits - Supercop, Rumble In The Bronx and First Strike. Now based in Shanghai, Tong also produced US TV series Martial Law and directed Hong Kong-China co-production, China Strike Force.
  • Mexico targets European buyers

    In a bid to boost the profile of Mexican films in Europe, national Mexican film institute IMCINE is organising with Unifrance a week of screenings in Paris of new Mexican titles. Between November 12 and 19 in various cinemas across Paris, five films will be screened for the industry, including Jose Luis Garcia's Agraz's Al Rescate del Trinidad and Alejandro Gamboa's El Tigre De Santa Julia. Nine films will also screened for the public. This is the first year IMCINE
  • MGM takes over own Canadian video distribution

    MGM Home Entertainment Group is to assume all Canadian self-distribution responsibilities for video and DVD, taking over from Warner Home Video, president and chief operating officer David Bishop announced yesterday. The extension of operations will begin in April 2003 and will be headed up in Toronto by Martin Wragg, the former director of East Coast sales who has been promoted to vice president of sales for Canada. Distribution will be handled through Toronto-based Cinram, fr
  • MIFED deals

    Korea's CJ Entertainment struck its first ever Mexican sale when it sold drama The Way Home to Cine Video Y TV. Paramount Classics opens the film in neighbouring US on Nov 15. CJ, which had amassed over $1m of sales revenue by day four of the MIFED market, had another Latin success selling period action adventure Musa (aka The Warrior) to Beverly Hills Entertainment for all of South America.The company sold sci-fi fantasy Resurrection Of The Little Match
  • MIFED hit by crime spree

    Burglars struck in Pavilion 8 at MIFED over the weekend, stealing laptop computers, wallets and a Palm Pilot from at least two companies. The losses will be covered by the market's insurance policy, says the MIFED organisation.As misfortune would have it, however, the robberies occurred just days before members of AFMA are due to gather here for showdown talks on whether Milan is the ideal venue for autumn film sales markets in the future.At Moonstone Entertainment, thieves brok
  • MIFED hit by crime spree

    Burglars struck in Pavilion 8 at MIFED over the weekend, stealing laptop computers, wallets and a Palm Pilot from at least two companies. The losses will be covered by the market's insurance policy, says the MIFED organisation.As misfortune would have it, however, the robberies occurred just days before members of AFMA are due to gather here for showdown talks on whether Milan is the ideal venue for autumn film sales markets in the future.At Moonstone Entertainment, thieves brok
  • MIFED poised for ownership shift

    Mifed is poised to change owners yet again, although no announcement is planned until after this year's market has finished trading. The event's current owners - Fiera di Milano and Rassegne - are understood to be merging to create an new parent operation in which Mipcom and Mip-TV organiser Reed Midem will also have a small stake.Mifed product manager Elena Lloyd refused to confirm the impending management changeover. However, with competition for the autumn market slot heating
  • MIFED poised for ownership shift

    Mifed is poised to change owners yet again, although no announcement is planned until after this year's market has finished trading. The event's current owners - Fiera di Milano and Rassegne - are understood to be merging to create an new parent operation in which Mipcom and Mip-TV organiser Reed Midem will also have a small stake.Mifed product manager Elena Lloyd refused to confirm the impending management changeover. However, with competition for the autumn market slot heating
  • Mikado boards new Panahi, Sokurov projects

    Italy's Mikado, fresh from a hefty cash boost by new multimedia shareholder De Agostini, continues to raise its international profile by boarding as a co-producer two new films from world-renown filmmakers: Aleksander Sokurov's Father And Son and Jafar Panahi's Gold, which was co-written with another festival favourite, Abbas Kiarostami. Both films are being sold internationally by Paris-based Celluloid Dreams.Sokurov's immediate follow-up to his recent technical tour de
  • Mikado boards new Panahi, Sokurov projects

    Italy's Mikado, fresh from a hefty cash boost by new multimedia shareholder De Agostini, continues to raise its international profile by boarding as a co-producer two new films from world-renown filmmakers: Aleksander Sokurov's Father And Son and Jafar Panahi's Gold, which was co-written with another festival favourite, Abbas Kiarostami. Both films are being sold internationally by Paris-based Celluloid Dreams.Sokurov's immediate follow-up to his recent technical tour de
  • Miramax goes BVI route in Germany

    Miramax Films' newly-promoted chief operating officer Rick Sands (pictured) has confirmed that Miramax Films will no longer be selling its films to independents in Germany, but will instead set up its own marketing operation and partner with sister company Buena Vista International (BVI) to handle physical distribution. Miramax already has alliances with BVI in Italy and Australia, sells many of its titles to BVI in the UK and has a distribution partnership in France with TV giant TF1.
  • Miramax goes BVI route in Germany

    Miramax Films' newly-promoted chief operating officer Rick Sands (pictured) has confirmed that Miramax Films will no longer be selling its films to independents in Germany, but will instead set up its own marketing operation and partner with sister company Buena Vista International (BVI) to handle physical distribution. Miramax already has alliances with BVI in Italy and Australia, sells many of its titles to BVI in the UK and has a distribution partnership in France with TV giant TF1.
  • Miramax shakes up its Euro gang

    Ending months of speculation, Miramax Films has confirmed a major shake-up of the London-based team responsible for implementing its production and acquisitions activities across Europe.New York-based development chief Colin Vaines will head the London-based operation as executive vice-president of European production and development. Former UK-based chief Allon Reich is joining UK National Lottery franchise DNA Films.Acquisitions are now spearheaded out of London by Maeva Gatin
  • Mirovision brims with top Asian talents

    Korea's Mirovision is enjoying a renaissance as an internationally-minded sales and production group, having spent much of the last year focussing on building its local distribution activities and its first theatre.After last year backing Cannes Directors' Fortnight film Cry Woman, which was the first Korean-Chinese-French co-production, international production is again set to grow. Mirovision is readying its first English-language picture, Campus Ghost Story, which is c
  • Moviehouse Entertainment takes Long Lunch

    Moviehouse Entertainment, the one-year-old UK sales company, has picked up worldwide rights to Australian action-comedy The Long Lunch.The low-budget caper is directed by commercials director Antony Redman, who was named as one of the world's hottest new directors by London advertising magazine Campaign. Starring Jeanette Cronin, Ian Bliss and Vince Gil, the story revolves around five crooks who hold up a Chinese restaurant in downtown Melbourne only for the staff to hijack the
  • Moviehouse Entertainment takes Long Lunch

    Moviehouse Entertainment, the one-year-old UK sales company, has picked up worldwide rights to Australian action-comedy The Long Lunch.The low-budget caper is directed by commercials director Antony Redman, who was named as one of the world's hottest new directors by London advertising magazine Campaign. Starring Jeanette Cronin, Ian Bliss and Vince Gil, the story revolves around five crooks who hold up a Chinese restaurant in downtown Melbourne only for the staff to hijack the
  • Multiple sales for Saura's Salome

    Spanish director Carlos Saura's musical Salome has sold to Japan, Benelux and much of South America.After winning a prize for best artistic contribution at the recent Montreal World Film Festival, Salome screened last week in the official section out of competition at Spain's Valladolid International Film Week.Florence Stern of international sales rep MK2 confirmed that talks are underway with other territories including the US (to an independent), Germany and Ital
  • My Little Eye director returns to horror genre

    Fresh from the success of his low-budget horror hit My Little Eye, director Marc Evans is returning to the psychological chiller genre with Trauma.The project marks the first from Ministry of Fear, the horror label set up by former Edinburgh International Film Festival chief Lizzie Francke at UK-Irish production outfit Little Bird. Ex-FilmFour International sales chief Sue Bruce-Smith is in Mifed raising finance on the buzz title.Currently doing the financing round
  • My Little Eye director returns to horror genre

    Fresh from the success of his low-budget horror hit My Little Eye, director Marc Evans is returning to the psychological chiller genre with Trauma.The project marks the first from Ministry of Fear, the horror label set up by former Edinburgh International Film Festival chief Lizzie Francke at UK-Irish production outfit Little Bird. Ex-FilmFour International sales chief Sue Bruce-Smith is in Mifed raising finance on the buzz title.Currently doing the financing round
  • Myriad weaves again with Tapestry

    Myriad Pictures has optioned Nina Coleman's script I'll Be You for Jennifer Gibgot of Tapestry Films who will produce the film. I'll Be You is a romantic comedy about a top-ranking female executive who trades places with her wildly social assistant and embarks on a quest to find love. Myriad has also committed to finance and executive produce Breaking The Girl, a college campus thriller by Coleman which will also be produced by Tapestry. Company president Kirk D'Am
  • NBC buys Bravo for $1.25 billion

    US television network NBC has acquired US cable channel Bravo for $1.25bn in stock and cash, ending months of speculation. The arts and entertainment cable network, a pioneer in programming US independent and subtitled foreign films on American television, will deliver its new owner an affluent urban audience of some 53 million viewers.Under the terms of the deal, the network will swap its 21% stake in Bravo's controlling company Rainbow Media (a subsidiary of Cablevision), valu
  • New Rome distributor unveiled with Canadian partner

    Canada's Equinox Films and Italy's Video Lucky Cinematografica are forming a joint film and TV production and distribution outfit in Italy, to be called Equinox Films Italia.Among the feature titles on their joint production slate are Vincent Spano's Orchids In The Moonlight, about two young Italian actors who hope to make it big in Hollywood but end up in Toronto; Elide Cortesi's Envy (L'invidia), a women-driven story; and Emile Grandeault's Mambo Italiano. featur
  • Norway, Austria, Colombia, Chile submit Oscar contenders

    Four more countries have unveiled their candidates for the foreign language film category at next year's Academy Awards.Norway has selected Trygve Allister Diesen's Hold My Heart (Tyven, Tyven); Colombia has put forward Lisandro Duque's Los Ninos Invisible (The Invisible Children); Chile is sending animated film Ogu Y Mampato En Rapa Nui by Alejandro Rojas; while Austria has submitted Lukas Stepanik and Robert Schindel's Gebirtig (Gebuertig).Norway's
  • Odeon Film switches from Neuer Markt

    Odeon Film, co-producer of Gregor Jordan's Buffalo Soldiers, has received the greenlight from the German Stock Exchange to switch his company listing from the Neuer Markt and start trading on the Regulated Market (Geregelter Markt) from December 2.An official statement explained the move 'as a reaction to the present situation in the capital markets' and quoted. Hans Joachim Mendig, board spokesman and responsible for Odeon's TV production activities, as saying that 'the extensi
  • Pac Man eats up big screen via Crystal Sky and Gaga

    Pac Man is coming to the big screen courtesy of Steven Paul's Crystal Sky which is teaming with Gaga Communications and the game's developer Namco to make live-action fantasy Pac Man: The Movie.The movie follows a previous agreement between Crystal Sky, Gaga and Namco to co-finance a movie based on video game Tekken. Mike Werb and Michael Coleary, whose credits include Face/Off and The Mask, are writing the screenplay for Tekken. Both Pac Man a
  • Pandora picks up international rights to Polish Brothers' latest

    LA-based sales and financing outfit Pandora has acquired international rights, excluding English-speaking territories, to Northfork, the latest film from the eccentric film-making duo of Mark and Michael Polish (Twin Falls Idaho, Jackpot).Paramount Classics has all English-speaking rights to the film which was directed by Michael Polish from a script by both Mark and Michael Polish who also produced. Mark Polish also stars in the ensemble cast of the film alongside
  • Parker delivers UK cinema 'reality check'

    Alan Parker, the UK director who chairs British film support body the Film Council, has called for a radical overhaul of public support to finally cure British cinema of its "little England" disease.In his most far reaching speech since taking up the council reigns, Parker said the UK's influential tax breaks should focus support on distribution instead of production. Despite falling production levels and many in the British industry turning to low-budget films, saying that they
  • Partnerships are Keys to Italian films

    Charlotte Rampling is set to heighten the buzz surrounding Oscar nominated director Gianni Amelio's already widely-anticipated new picture, The Keys To The House (Le Chiavi di Casa), after agreeing to star in the picture alongside local actor Kim Rossi Stuart. But, just as important as the cast, is the fact that this Euros5m family drama, like so many other Italian filmmakers coping with Italy's financing crisis, is being established as a major international co-production.
  • Pathe seeks public listing

    Despite current market instability, Pathe's Jerome Seydoux is looking to the future. In an interview with yesterday's Financial Times, the Pathe chariman said he was eager that his company go public in the next 18 months. Pathe is an entertainment giant in France with interests in film production, distribution, exhibition, video and television. The cinema circuit, which merged two years ago with the Gaumont chain of theatres owned by Seydoux's brother Nicolas, is the most successful in
  • Poland's Sobocinski to receive top cinematography prize

    The veteran cinematographer Witold Sobocinski is to receive the American Society Of Cinematographer's (ASC) International Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to international cinema. Sobocinski, who was born in Poland in 1929 and has made more than 30 features mostly seen in Poland and Eastern Europe, is the first recipient of an ASC award whose main body of work comes from outside the US. His credits include Andrzej Wajda's The Promised Land, which was nominated
  • RAI sees new life in Pinocchio classic

    Riding on the current wave of excitement over Roberto Benigni's Pinocchio, Rome sales company Rai Trade has bought international rights to Luigi Comencini's critically-acclaimed 1972 version of the Italian classic - and the newly-relaunched picture has already proved a fast seller.Rai Trade bought all international rights to the restored Comencini film from Milanese company San Paolo Media. The classic movie exists in two versions: as 6 hour-long episodes and a two-hour movie v
  • Real Thing joins Irish low-budget craze

    A six-week location shoot will begin today in Limerick city on The Real Thing, a 1.5m Euro feature that marks the fifth low-budget feature to go into production in Ireland this year.Being made as an Irish/German/UK co-production by Wide Eye Films in association with Peter Stockhaus Filmproduktion, Grosvenor Park Productions and Octagon Films, The Real Thing marks the feature debut of Limerick born writer/director David GleesonIt is also the first feature film ever
  • Rezo Films to produce Rohmer's Triple Agent

    French distribution outfit Rezo Films is to produce Eric Rohmer's next film, Triple Agent. The Euros 4m film, which teams Rezo with Rohmer's own production outfit, C.E.R, will also mark the distribution outfit's first foray into the foreign sales sector.Rezo Film used to focus on the distribution (and sometimes the production) of auteurish French titles such as Claire Denis' controversial 2001 Cannes title Trouble Every Day and Pascal Bonitzer's Petites Coupures, s
  • Rezo Films to produce Rohmer's Triple Agent

    French distribution outfit Rezo Films is to produce Eric Rohmer's next film, Triple Agent. The Euros 4m film, which teams Rezo with Rohmer's own production outfit, C.E.R, will also mark the distribution outfit's first foray into the foreign sales sector.Rezo Film used to focus on the distribution (and sometimes the production) of auteurish French titles such as Claire Denis' controversial 2001 Cannes title Trouble Every Day and Pascal Bonitzer's Petites Coupures, s
  • Rialto Film is first in line for Dear Wendy

    Switzerland's Rialto Film has been the first to pick up distribution rights to Dear Wendy, the highly-anticipated collaboration between Denmark's award-winning filmmakers, Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg. The two previously fathered the influential Dogme95 movement, and this time Vinterberg will direct the English-language film based on Trier's script. Wendy is set in a small mining village in the US and tells about a group of young outsiders, who form a pacifistic g
  • Rick Sands gets COO stripes at Miramax

    Rick Sands, the chairman of worldwide distribution at Miramax Films, has been promoted again, this time to chief operating officer. Sands, a familiar face on the international festival and market circuit who oversees all international deals for the company, will continue to oversee domestic and international sales and distribution and will be responsible for overseeing the company's activities relating to production finance, marketing finance and overhead finance.He will continue to re
  • Scacchi and Prochnow headline Baltic Storm

    Greta Scacchi and Juergen Prochnow are the leads in US director Reuben Leder's poltical thriller Baltic Storm which began shooting on location in Berlin on November 5.The co-production between Babelsberg-based Top Story Filmproductio, Denmark's Smile Entertainment and the UK sales agent IAC centres on the sinking of the Baltic ferry 'Estonia' in September 1994 and the subsequent investigations by a German woman journalist and Swedish lawyer to discover the truth behind the trage
  • Schoendorffer shoots Spybound for TF1

    Irreversible pair and real life couple Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel are to star in Spy Bound (Agents Secrets), a big-budget thriller to be directed by Frederic Schoendorffer.The Euros15m French-language film is produced by Doberman-producer Eric Neve through his company La Chauve Souris and makes its market splash as the newest addition to the slate of TF1 International. Details of the financing have yet to be confirmed by new TF1 films supremo Patrick Binet.
  • Serial killer on the loose for Dream

    Dream Entertainment has concluded a slew of deals on David Jacobson's crime drama Dahmer, the true story of the controversial serial killer which has grossed more than $6m in the US.Dream co-founder Ehud Bleiberg sold the film to Les Films de L'Elysee for France and all French-speaking territories including Belgium, Manga for Spain and Portugal, Scanbox for Scandinavia, Art Free for Greece and Right Beyond for Thailand.International rights for Dahmer were acquired
  • Sidecar Films shoots Winspeare's Miracle

    Hot young Italian director Edoardo Winspeare has started shooting The Miracle, his next picture after Live Blood, the quirky southern Italian drama which screened at Sundance in 2001.Produced, like his first two pictures, by Maurizio Tini's Rome outfit, Sidecar Films and TV, Winspeare's new film revolves around an 11-year-old boy who convinces himself he has supernatural powers. The film focuses on the boy's relationship with his father and a 17-year-old girl he saves fro
  • Spain mourns death of veteran director Juan Antonio Bardem

    Spain awoke Thursday morning to the news that veteran director and scriptwriter Juan Antonio Bardem had died on Wednesday in Madrid at the age of 80.After getting his start as co-scripter on Luis Garcia Berlanga's Welcome Mr Marshall (Bienvenido Mr Marshall), celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, he directed such classics as Calle Mayor (1956) and Death Of A Cyclist (Muerte De Un Ciclista) (1955).Bardem was highly regarded as one of the fathers of
  • Spanish broadcaster TVE to invest Euros 25m in film rights

    Responding to local producers' calls for broadcasters to make public their investment in Spanish films, public broadcaster Television Espanola (TVE) announced that it expects to pump as much as Euros 25m into free-to-air film rights in 2002.TVE provided a list of 40 feature films, 15 documentaries and one animated film to which it has committed a global sum of Euros 22.4m this year. Almost half of the feature films listed are still in development or pre-production, meaning the anticipa
  • Spice Girl gets Scary again

    Former Spice Girl Melanie Brown is living up to her Scary nickname by starring in LD 50, a psychological thriller form UK producer-financier Random Harvest. The story of a group of animal rights activists trapped in a disused lab where they become the subjects of the experiments, is being directed by theatre director Simon De Selva from a script by newcomer Matthew McGuchan.Also starring are Katharine Towne and Tom Hardy. Shooting has just started on the Isle of Man and P
  • Spider-Man VHS & DVD sales spin $190m record revenues

    Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment is celebrating today after scoring the biggest ever video and DVD release of all time over the weekend with Spider-Man. The release broke first day sales records on Friday with seven million units (combined VHS and DVD) sold and more than 11 million units are estimated to have been sold in the three-day period Friday to Sunday.Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) estimates a staggering retail revenue total of $190m over the weekend - probably the
  • Splendid lifts Veil on Stratus debut film

    Splendid Pictures has signed on to represent international sales on The Painted Veil, the first film from Stratus Film Co, the independent production outfit unveiled recently by Hollywood super-producer Mark Gordon, former Miramax LA president Mark Gill and financier Bob Yari. Edward Norton and Naomi Watts are to star in the film, which is currently out to directors.Norton is also producing Painted Veil alongside Sara Colleton (executive producer of HBO's forthcomi
  • Splendid lifts Veil on Stratus debut film

    Splendid Pictures has signed on to represent international sales on The Painted Veil, the first film from Stratus Film Co, the independent production outfit unveiled recently by Hollywood super-producer Mark Gordon, former Miramax LA president Mark Gill and financier Bob Yari. Edward Norton and Naomi Watts are to star in the film, which is currently out to directors.Norton is also producing Painted Veil alongside Sara Colleton (executive producer of HBO's forthcomi
  • Stanley Tong, Gordon Chan join Media Asia slate

    Hong Kong's Media Asia has unveiled three new projects, to start shooting in the first half of next year, and confirmed that Stanley Tong will direct its big-budget Jackie Chan action vehicle, Titanium Rain. Tong previously directed Chan in his first three stateside hits - Supercop, Rumble In The Bronx and First Strike. Now based in Shanghai, Tong also produced US TV series Martial Law and directed Hong Kong-China co-production, China Strike Force.
  • Star Wars: Episode II gets IMAX boost

    Fox's Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones reaped the rewards of a limited IMAX roll-out in North America over the weekend, grossing $1.4m from 58 screens for a $24,746 per-screen average. Fox president of domestic distribution Bruce Snyder said in a statement that he was thrilled with the results, adding: "When you consider that this release is the extended run of the movie's initial release in May, it's even more amazing."Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The
  • Stephen Fry starts shooting Bright Young Things

    Dan Aykroyd, Jim Broadbent, Simon Callow, Richard E Grant, Sir John Mills and Peter O'Toole are all set to play cameo roles in Stephen Fry's directorial debut Bright Young Things, which started shooting this week in and around London and at Pinewood Studios.An adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies, the film tells the story of a group of wild young London party people in the late 1920s. "Bright Young Things is a period film shot with modern pace and cinematograph
  • Stone, Everett defect to Arclight

    Gary Hamilton and Victor Syrmis' newly-launched Arclight Films has boarded A Different Loyalty, starring Sharon Stone and Rupert Everett.Everett plays British super spy Kim Philby, who defected to Moscow in 1963, and Stone plays his wife. Directed by Marek Kanievska, who also directed Everett in Another Country, another film set against the British spy scandals of that era, the film is produced by Samaha Productions.The picture joins a clutch of recent additions to
  • Sundance unveils new grant for science themed films

    The Sundance Institute has announced a new grant and a $20,000 prize from the Alfred P Sloan Foundation to develop and reward films that explore science and technology. Each year a selected project from the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program will receive support from development to pre-production with year-round resources. Submissions for 2003 are currently being taken and interested film-makers and screenwriters can apply by Nov 6 to the January Screenwriters Lab by sendin
  • Sweet Sixteen takes Golden Spike at Valladolid

    Ken Loach's Sweet Sixteen went home Saturday night with the top Golden Spike award from Spain's 47th annual Valladolid International Film Week.The film also won best photography for Barry Ackroyd. Loach was unable to attend the festival for health reasons. Paul Laverty, who won a best script prize for Sixteen at Cannes, came in his place.Zhang Yimou's Happy Times (Xingfu Shiguang) won the Silver Spike award. Rolf de Heer won a special jury prize for Australi
  • The Magdalene Sisters make an impact in Ireland

    Peter Mullan's critically acclaimed feature The Magdalene Sisters saw a mighty opening in the country where it is set, Ireland, last week for distributor Momentum Pictures.The drama, which won the Golden Lion at this year's Venice Film Festival, has taken $252,100 (£162,100) from 31 screens as of Wednesday Oct 30, after opening on Friday Oct 25. This gives the film an impressive average of $8,132 per screen.Taking full advantage of the Irish bank holiday weekend the
  • The Santa Clause 2

    Dir: Michael Lembeck. US. 2002. 98 mins.Eight years after the original family comedy became, in the US at least, a surprise Christmas smash, The Santa Clause 2 finds star Tim Allen back in the red and white suit for a pleasantly warm 'n' fuzzy - if typically overstuffed - holiday season sequel designed to appeal to kids of all ages. In the US, Buena Vista is launching the film, the season's only explicitly Christmassy offering, this weekend (Nov 1), well in advance of
  • The Sea (Hafid)

    Dir: Baltasar Kormakur. Iceland/France/Norway. 2002. 109minsThe wicked sense of humour that helped make his sprightly debut feature, Reykjavik 101, an off-the-wall delight is all but submerged in Baltasar Kormakur's follow-up, which offers an even bleaker portrait of Icelandic desperation and dysfunction. As a roiling family psychodrama, The Sea brings to mind much more the tormented agonising of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen than it does the eccentric new w
  • The Tracker wins Australian critics prize

    The Tracker has won best film prize at Australia's Film Critics Circle awards. Julie Ryan accepted the award, saying that Rolf de Heer, her co-producer on the film, was not just an inspiration to her but to the whole film community.Rolf de Heer had already been on stage to collect the award for music score he shared with Graham Tardif and David Gulpilil's leading man award. A delighted Ian Jones also personally accepted his cinematography gong for Tracker. The othe
  • Thessaloniki festival unveils 160 strong film line-up

    The Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Nov 8-17) has unveiled its full line-up for its 43rd edition, and will present over 160 films as well as workshops and exhibitions.Sixteen films have been shortlisted for the main international competition, which is reserved for first or second time directors. The line-up includes Dylan Kidd's Rodger Dodger, Pablo Trapero's El Bonaerense, Hany Abu-Assad's Rana's Wedding, Carlos Reygada's Japon, Ulrich Kohler's
  • Tongue-twisting challenge faces Oscar foreign language selectors

    Some two dozen countries have now unveiled their entries for next year's best foreign-language Oscar, a race that has already thrown up some intriguing choices including an English-language film, The Touch, as Hong Kong's preference, and a Hungarian entry that is entirely dialogue free. The UK, meanwhile, has submitted a film - The Warrior - which is shot in Hindi. (see separate story on Screendaily.com today), while Sweden's choice Lilja 4-Ever is almost entirely
  • Tucker to direct November 5 terrorist attack movie

    Hilary And Jackie director Anand Tucker is to direct Guy Fawkes story November 5 for Charles Finch and Luc Roeg's UK production-management company Artists' Independent Network.Tucker is aiming to start shooting late next year from a script by his regular collaborator Frank Cottrell Boyce. AIN, which has credits including Spider and Mike Bassett: England Manager, is developing and to produce the project in-house."They have come up with a really origina
  • Turin festival unveils cutting edge line-up

    The Turin Film Festival (Nov 7-15), Italy's leading cutting-edge event, has unveiled a brimming 20th edition line-up, which includes David Cronenberg's Spider, Toy Love by New Zealand director Harry Sinclair, and John Frankenheimer's last film, Path to War.The festivalwill open with competition title Pumpkin, Anthony Abrams and Adam Larson Broder's feature debut starring Christina Ricci as an ambitious member of a college sorority club. Other titles i
  • UK submits The Warrior as Academy Award contender

    The UK has submitted Asif Kapadia's Hindi language film The Warrior as its official entry in the best foreign language film category at the Academy Awards.It is the first time the UK has submitted a film to the Oscars whose language is not indigenous to the UK. In 2000, Welsh language film Solomon and Gaenor went forward as the UK entry for the foreign language category, while Hedd Wyn competed in 1993.Written and directed by Kapadia (and co-written by Tim M
  • Universal, Gaga form Japanese joint venture

    Universal Pictures Japan and Gaga Communications have teamed up to form a two-picture joint venture which will see Gaga handle theatrical distribution rights on Universal's Blue Crush and Universal handle video rights on Gaga's Kill Bill. The ground-breaking joint venture was initiated by Gaga which approached Universal about Imagine Entertainment's female surfing picture Blue Crush. Meanwhile Universal's Japanese ten month-old video operation saw an opportunity in
  • US buyers kill for Wilbur premiere in Copenhagen

    Several leading US buyers will be leaving the halls of MIFED this week for a flying visit to Copenhagen where the attraction will be the first ever screening of Lone Scherfig's highly anticipated Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself, the follow-up to her Berlin Silver-Bear winning Italian For Beginners. Though sales agent Trust Film Sales won't reveal who these buyers are, the acquisitions posse is expected to include United Artists chief Bingham Ray and Newmarket's Bob Berney as
  • Veggie empire goes on global Odyssey

    Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato are talking vegetables that have spawned a $500m kids entertainment franchise that has been nipping at Walt Disney's heels in the market for direct-to-video children's series. Now the Christian-themed US animation phenomenon VeggieTales is recruiting distributors to expand into the international market for the first time.Big Idea Productions, the Chicago-based company which has shipped around 30m VeggieTales videos in North America, h
  • Veggie empire goes on global Odyssey

    Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato are talking vegetables that have spawned a $500m kids entertainment franchise that has been nipping at Walt Disney's heels in the market for direct-to-video children's series. Now the Christian-themed US animation phenomenon VeggieTales is recruiting distributors to expand into the international market for the first time.Big Idea Productions, the Chicago-based company which has shipped around 30m VeggieTales videos in North America, h
  • Vienna to subsidise key arthouse cinemas

    The city of Vienna has agreed to subsidise the operation of two historic art house cinemas that were threatened with closure after they ran into financial difficulties. The Vienna International Film Festival has been asked to take over the running of the 736 seat central Vienna Gartenbau cinema, while the Austrian Film Archive has taken over the running of the historic and architecturally important Metro Cinema. It is the first time that the city has agreed to subsidise film exhibitio
  • Vivendi faces two new US investigations

    One week after becoming the subject of a criminal probe in France, Vivendi Universal has now officially fallen under US scrutiny. The company will be examined by the US Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York and the Security and Exchange Commission's Miami office. The ailing media giant is already the object of investigations by French stockmarket regulator COB and French justice officials, which are looking at results for 2000 and 2001 to determine whether or n
  • Von Trier eyes Kidman for USA trilogy

    Danish maverick Lars von Trier has been so pleased with the results of his highly anticipated new film Dogville, that he has started to write a sequel called Manderlay - in what will be the second part of his planned new ``U.S.A. Trilogy - especially for Nicole Kidman. Producer Vibeke Windeloev was recently in Los Angeles where she showed an early cut of Dogville to Kidman, who has yet to sign up for the next project, but is very enthusiastic about the idea.
  • Warner marries into Korean Mafia family

    Continuing Hollywood's recent infatuation with Korean remakes, Warner Bros has bought English-language remake rights to Cinema Service's romantic comedy Marrying The Mafia.The deal sees Warner pay Cinema Service a 'mid six figures' dollar sum and a share of the profits from the remake. US rights to the original film are not currently part of the deal. The deal, brokered by Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment, was signed by Cinema Service's Jennifer Muhn and Josh Lee. Warner
  • Wes Anderson clan gathers round HanWay comedy

    UK-based sales agent HanWay has boarded The Squid And The Whale, the quirky New York comedy being produced by Wes Anderson, the director behind Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums.Bill Murray, Laura Linney and John Turturro are in advanced talks to star in the $8.5m story of an eccentric family, which is now in pre-production. Noah Baumbach, who first made his mark with 1995's Kicking And Screaming, is directing from his own script and Anderson is producing wi
  • Wild Bees, Hukkle win Cottbus prizes

    Wild Bees and Hukkle - the Czech Republic and Hungary's candidates for the Foreign Language Film Oscar - were among the prize-winners at this year's FilmFestival Cottbus which closed on Sunday evening with an overall 15% increase in attendances over 2001.Bohdan Slama's Wild Bees (Divoke Vcely) received the Euros12,000 main prize in the feature film competition, while a Euros5,000 Special Prize for best direction went to Russia's Alexei Muradov for The Kite (Smej
  • XXX thrills Italy, battles 28 Days Later in UK

    XXX is expected to pass the international $100m mark by the end of the week after a $12.4m weekend haul that gives the Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI) action thriller a $96m running total. The picture opened in Italy with $2m from 330 screens, comparing favourably to previous openings by Planet Of The Apes ($1.9m) and Tomb Raider ($1.8m). It averaged more than $6,000 per screen. In Belgium XXX opened number one with a strong $725,000 gross

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