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Screen
7 November 2003

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  • Aardman embarks on lengthy Curse shoot

    The UK's Aardman Animation (Chicken Run) has started production on its latest clay-animation feature project, The Curse Of The Wererabbit.Rumoured to cost $50m, the Dreamworks SKG financed feature will take 18 months to shoot and is set for a September 2005 release. 180 people are currently working on the film at Aardman's Bristol headquarters; this is expected to rise to 220 over the course of the shoot.The Curse Of The Wererabbit is co-directed by Nick Par
  • Animation veteran Hirsh buys Cinar in $144m deal

    Canadian animation veteranMichael Hirsh is buying Cinar, the troubled Montreal-based animation house. TheUS$144m sale puts Hirsh, co-founder and former CEO of Toronto-based Nelvana Limited,back in the centre of the Canadian animation scene he helped establish. Backed by a Canadian equitycapital fund, TD Capital Canadian Private Equity Partners, Hirsh and partnerToper Taylor plan to transform the company into a market leader in edutainment.Taylor, formerly presidentof internation
  • Arau wraps Mexican Zapata epic

    Director Alfonso Arau has just wrapped an ambitious $10m biopic of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata - the most expensive Mexican film ever shot.It's been a long and tortuous effort for Arau to get the film off the ground. Arau - whose magic realism drama Like Water For Chocolate was a global box office hit - first made the headlines with the Zapata film back in 1997 when Universal Pictures acquired all Latin American rights to the film. Originally set to be shot in E
  • Arclight takes on hot ensemble pic for MIFED

    Sydney- andLA-based Arclight Films has acquired international rights to ensemble crimedrama Crash featuringHeath Ledger, Brendan Fraser, Eva Mendes, DonCheadle, Forest Whitaker and Thandie Newton.The film isbeing produced by Cathy Schulman and Bob Yari's Bull's Eye Entertainment andfinanced by Yari's Stratus Film Company. Shooting is set to start on Dec 9 onthe picture which is written and will be directed by Paul Haggis, who createdhit TV series including Walker Texas Ranger
  • Arclight takes on hot ensemble pic from Bull's Eye

    Sydney- andLA-based Arclight Films has acquired international rights to ensemble crimedrama Crash featuringHeath Ledger, Brendan Fraser, Eva Mendes, DonCheadle, Forest Whitaker and Thandie Newton.The film isbeing produced by Cathy Schulman and Bob Yari's Bull's Eye Entertainment andfinanced by Yari's Stratus Film Company. Shooting is set to start on Dec 9 onthe picture which is written and will be directed by Paul Haggis, who createdhit TV series including Walker Texas Ranger
  • AUSTRALIA

    UIP's Intolerable Cruelty held on to the top spot in its second weekend and BVI's Kill Bill Volume 1, which has been on screens for three weekends, clawed its way back up to second position. That meant displacing Roadshow's Freddy vs Jason, which actually dropped two places to fourth position after failing to also stand up to 20th Century Fox's opener Runaway Jury. Rounding out the weekend's leading five films was BVI's feel-good Calendar Girls. Anoth
  • Australia singles out Japanese Story, Gettin' Square

    Un Certain Regard film Japanese Story dominated the prizes at the 2003 Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards, held in Sydney on Friday night (Oct 31).Japanese Story won best film for producer Sue Maslin, best director for Sue Brooks, best actress for Toni Collette, best cinematography for Ian Baker, and best music score for Elizabeth Drake.The best actor award went to David Wenham for Gettin' Square and the screenplay awards to Rolf de Heer for Alexandr
  • Australia's Ocean splits in two

    After three and a half years together as partners, Jonathan Shteinman and Emile Sherman are dissolving their Sydney-based sales agency and distribution/production outfit Ocean Pictures. Both of them are now setting up their own seperate distribution/production entities.The first film under the Sherman Pictures banner is likely to be theatre director Neil Armfield's adaptation of the book Candy, jointly produced with Margaret Fink Films. Fink made My Brilliant Career
  • Austria's Diagonale fest agrees to producer demands

    The fate of Graz's Diagonale Festival of Austrian Cinema took another turn last week, with the festival's new management agreeing to accept a series of demands made by the Association of Austrian Film Producers (AAFP).The Diagonale is at the centre of a major row within the Austrian industry about moves to reposition it with a CineMart-style co-production market for films from South East Europe and Austria.Artistic director Miroljub Vuckovic and business affairs director Tillma
  • Bad Boys 2 steals another $6m for CTFDI over weekend

    Bad Boys 2 grossed $6m over the weekend to raiseits international running total to $109.8m.The actionsequel, which was released by Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International(CTFDI), added $1.9m from 646 screens in its third weekend in France, dropping33% for $10.1m and second place.In Germany inits fourth weekend it added $1.2m from 732, dropping 25% for a $14.3m total andnumber four ranking there.In Austria in its fourth week, it dropped 29
  • Beatty, De Laurentiis, Cameron get honours at 2003 PGA Awards

    Warren Beatty will receive the Milestone Award, Dino De Laurentiisthe David O Selznick Achievement Award Theatrical Motion Pictures and JamesCameron the Vanguard Award at the upcoming 15th Annual Producers Guild ofAmerica (PGA) Awards in Los Angeles on Jan 15 2004.
  • Berlinale lines up New Hollywood 1967-1976 retrospective

    The Berlinale has lined up a Retrospective called "New Hollywood 1967 - 1976. Trouble in Wonderland" for its 2004 edition. The Retrospective will screen 66 films: from Arthur Penn's gangster ballad Bonnie and Clyde (1967) to Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976) and Robert Kramer's study of a generation Milestones (1976).D. A. Pennebaker's Dylan portrait Don't Look Back (1967) will also play, as will Emile de Antonio's and Haskell Wexler's Underground
  • Beta Cinema takes Mifed sales duties for X-Filme trio

    Ahead of this year's MIFED film market, Germany's Beta Cinema has picked up the international rights to three films from Berlin production powerhouse X-Filme creative pool.The films are: Hendrik Handloegten's Learning To Lie (Liegen Lernen), Achim von Borries' Love In Thoughts (Was Nuetzt Die Liebe In Gedanken) and Mennan Yapo's Soundless (Lautlos).These titles join other local productions on Beta Cinema's sales lineup such as Leander Haussmann's Berlin
  • Beta Cinema takes on sales for X-Filme trio

    Ahead of this year's MIFED film market, Germany's Beta Cinema has picked up the international rights to three films from Berlin production powerhouse X-Filme creative pool.The films are: Hendrik Handloegten's Learning To Lie (Liegen Lernen), Achim von Borries' Love In Thoughts (Was Nuetzt Die Liebe In Gedanken) and Mennan Yapo's Soundless (Lautlos).These titles join other local productions on Beta Cinema's sales lineup such as Leander Haussmann's Berlin
  • Blethyn, Bonneville join cast of Myriad's Piccadilly Jim

    BrendaBlethyn and Hugh Bonneville have been cast in the comedy Piccadilly Jim, joining Sam Rockwell and TomWilkinson in the adaptation of the P.G. Wodehouse classic novel scripted byOscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes.Set tobegin shooting this month in the UK under director John McKay (Crush), Piccadilly Jim is set in 1930's England, andfollows the romantic misadventures of a dashing American ne'er-do-well, JamesCrocker (Rockwell), despera
  • Boll buys film rights to Dungeon Siege game

    Germanproduction company Boll KG has acquired theatrical and related merchandiserights to the fantasy video game Dungeon Siege from Gas Powered Games.Executiveproducer and director Uwe Boll expects to begin filming toward the end of 2004and said the budget will be in the $50m range. Dan Sales' Interactive FilmSales International owns foreign rights and will be offering the film at MIFED.The game wasreleased in the US in April 2002 and features an ongoing battle between go
  • Borruel departs as BocaBoca appoints Lekhal

    Spanish production house BocaBoca has appointed Waheb Lekhal its new general manager to work alongside president Cesar Benitez.Also as part of the company's restructuring, former international sales chief Mercedes Borruel will leave her post while BocaBoca product, with exceptions, will now be pumped through sales consortium Grupo PI. That includes recent titles Planta Cuarta, the best director winner at Montreal, and X, Nos Miran and El Palo.Replacing Manue
  • Bradley is appointed FFC chair

    The Australian Government has named Graham Bradley as the new chair of the Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) board, effective from January 1 next year.For the eight years to September last year he was chief executive of Perpetual Trustees Australia Ltd, a publicly listed funds management and financial services group, and in 2002 he was named Business Leader of the Year by the Institute of Chartered Accountants/Zurich Financial.Bradley's financial expertise and business ac
  • Cage, Arclight go to War

    Nicolas Cage is being lined up to star in Lords Of War, an international gunrunning thriller which overseas sales agent Arclight Films is handling.Directing the international co-production is Andrew Niccol, whose directing credits include S1mOne and Gattaca, and who was nominated for an Oscar for his screenplay for The Truman Show. Shooting is expected to start early next year in South Africa.The picture is being bankrolled through the second UK tax f
  • Camara Oscura to open Sitges

    Catalan newcomer Pau Freixas' Camara Oscura is set to open the Sitges International Film Festival, which this year has pushed its dates back to run Nov 27 - Dec 7.Greg Marcks' US-Canadian co-production 11:14, starring Hilary Swank, Rachel Leigh Cook and Patrick Swayze, will close a high-profile line-up unveiled on Tuesday (Nov 4) by festival director Angel Sala.The packed Official Fantastic genre competitive section, which runs parallel to a more all-encompassing G
  • Camel to open Munich Film School Festival

    Munich Television & Film School students Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni's critically feted documentary The Story Of The Weeping Camel will open the International Festival of the Film Schools in Munich (Nov 27-30).The festival is returning to its traditional November dates after being held as a parallel event of June's Munich Film Festival for the past five years.The international competition will present 77 student features, documentaries and animation films from 43
  • Cheeky

    Dir: David Thewlis. UK/France. 2003. 94 minsTen years ago, Mike Leigh's Naked confirmed David Thewlis as one of the most electrifying actors of his generation. His tour de force earned him a Best Actor prize at Cannes and a far from satisfactory international career that includes the disastrous remake of The Island Of Dr Moreau and Seven Years In Tibet. Now, it almost feels as if he is starting over with his directorial debut Cheeky, a sweet, soft
  • Cruelty is kind for Universal, takes another $10.8m

    IntolerableCruelty grossed $10.8mthrough UIP from 2,457 sites in 24 countries at the weekend to raise itsinternational running total to $35.6m.Chief highlightswere a strong $550,000 opening in Korea in 75 venues and number one holds insecond weeks in Australia, Italy and Spain.The black comedyenjoyed 22% market share in Australia and added just over $1m, dropping 20% fora $3.2m cumulative score.Italy dropped24% and raised its total to $5.9m, whi
  • DENMARK

    Kill Bill Vol.1 stayed on top for another week despite its 34% drop from its opening weekend, and it kept newcomer Oliver Ussing's low-budget romantic comedy Rule Nr.1 from the top spot. The new local film didn't quite perform as distributor Sandrew Metronome had hoped based on their high 52 print release, though it received some favorable reviews. However, the new US releases Down With Love and The Lizzie McGuire Movie faired a lot worse. Intolerable Cru
  • Dirty Pretty Things dominates BIFA prizes

    Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things was the big winner at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) this evening (Nov 4, 2003).The unconventional drama about illegal immigrants working in the UK hotel trade was named as best film, earned Frears the best director prize and gave leading man Chiwetel Ejiofor another best actor award. Steve Knight, Dirty Pretty Things scriptwriter and co-creator of hit quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' was also named as
  • Disney signs Brother Bear film-makers to their next film

    The threefilm-makers behind Buena Vista's animated feature Brother Bear, which grossed $18.5m at the weekend(Oct 31-Nov 2), have signed a deal to make their next feature for Walt DisneyFeature Animation.Directors AaronBlaise and Robert Walker and producer Chuck Williams will reprise their roleson an unspecified project for the studio. All three have been key contributorsto Walt Disney feature Animation Florida, which led the development on BrotherBear."Chuck, Aaron
  • Duffy's Man wins London's TCM Classic Shorts prize

    The MostBeautiful Man in the World, directed by British film director Alicia Duffy and funded by theUK Film Council's New Cinema Fund, has won the TCM Classic Shorts best shortfilm of 2003 as part of the Times bfi 47th London Film Festival. Winning£10,000 in prize money, the best short film was judged by a panelincluding Jude Law, Ralph Fiennes, Bernardo Bertolucci, Richard Eyre, StephenFrears, Mark Herman, Wendy Ide, Nick James, Richard Jobson, Colin Ke
  • Dutch DVD market on track for record year

    DVD sales in The Netherlands' are expected to hit record of Euros 495m in 2003, surpassing revenues from music CD sales for the first time. The CD market will be worth Euros 340 million. The video-market, however, is collapsing, falling 59% in 2003 to 40 million Euro. The figures are based on a survey by market-investigating-agency GFK on behalf of Warner Home Video in the Netherlands.The boom in DVD-sales follows on from a huge growth in DVD-players sold in the Netherlan
  • European Film Award nominations announced

    The European Film Academy has announced the nominations for the European Film Awards 2003. The winners will be announced during the Awards Ceremony in Berlin on Saturday, December 6. European Film 2003Dirty Pretty Things, UK, Dir: Stephen FrearsDogville, Denmark/Netherlands/Sweden/France/UK/Germany Dir: Lars von TrierGood Bye, Lenin!, Germany, Dir: Wolfgang BeckerIn This World, UK, Dir: Michael WinterbottomMi Vida Sin Mi (My Lif
  • Exhibitors set for alternative content bonanza

    Exhibitors are set to reap major financial benefits from alternative content screenings such as sports events, according to a new report.The report - Alternative Content: The New Cinema Profit Engine by Screen Digest - says exhibitors should take advantage of new opportunities created by digital technology and that there is real audience enthusiasm for out of home entertainment events. The report states that alternative content screenings are currently worth less than $1m in add
  • FACT appoints UK operations director

    UK anti-piracy body FACT has appointed of Jim Angell as director of operations.Angell has been acting director of operations since the departure of Spencer Mott in August 2003. He joined FACT in 2001 after a long career in the Metropolitan Police.A Director General post will be filled in early 2004.
  • FAME takes over Miracle Productions

    Film and Music Entertainment, Inc is to acquire Miracle Productions, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Miracle Entertainment, Inc. The acquisition is valued at $4,000,000 and includes script options, rights to production fees, U.S. and foreign distribution rights on various films in development, as well as other assets. Miracle will receive 20 million restricted common shares of FAME as well as participation points in future revenues from the films. FAME also announced that 13
  • Film financiers zero in on Belgium

    International productions are zeroing in on Belgium, the latest European hotspot for tax-driven production finance.Movision, the UK tax fund, is thought to be the first overseas operation to set up a fund in Belgium since it launched tax shelter regulations that can provide up to 50% of a budget. Movision, which has backed large-scale films such as The Bridge Of San Luis Rey, with Robert De Niro, and Head In The Clouds, with Penelope Cruz and Charlize Theron, initi
  • FINLAND

    While Kill Bill Vol.1 stayed on top, last week's strong local performer Young Gods already fell back 33%, which was still enough for a second place due to its high 42 prints. However, it was another local film, which moved up the chart this week. Sibelius' high 50 prints moved it up 11% to third in front of Coen-brothers' Intolerable Cruelty. Sibelius has so far scooped a solid 203,223 admissions making it the second biggest local film this year after the ph
  • Fortune Star opens doors with Leaving Me pickup

    Hong Kong-based Fortune Star has picked up the first third-party feature on which it will handle international sales.The micro-studio, which is attached to News Corp's Star TV division, is to kick off sales at Mifed on China-set romantic drama Leaving Me Loving You (formerly Big City Trivia). The film, which boasts an above average budget of $3m, also marks the first picture on which Hong Kong star Leon Lai (Fallen Angels, Bullets Of Love) takes a production
  • Fortune Star takes on Leaving Me sales

    Hong Kong-based Fortune Star has picked up the first third-party feature on which it will handle international sales.The micro-studio, which is attached to News Corp's Star TV division, is to kick off sales at Mifed on China-set romantic drama Leaving Me Loving You (formerly Big City Trivia). The film, which boasts an above average budget of $3m, also marks the first picture on which Hong Kong star Leon Lai (Fallen Angels, Bullets Of Love) takes a production
  • Fox strikes Mexican animation deal

    20th Century Fox Mexico has struck a two-pic distribution deal with Anima Studios, an animation company founded by Fernando Perez Gavilan and Fernando de Fuentes. On Nov 19, Fox will release Anima Studio's Magicians And Giants (Magos Y Gigantes), the first-ever animated movie entirely made in Mexico. The 2D traditional feature revolves around three friends who set out to rescue a princess in a magical world inhabited by giants and magicians. Fox will release it on 250 scr
  • FRANCE

    In one of the biggest openings this year, Francis Veber's latest comedy Tais Toi managed to almost break the cherished 1 million admissions mark in its first week. In January, Taxi 3 claimed an impressive 65% of the market over its five-day launch with 2,036,368 admissions ($10.6m) taken from 969 screens. The French record for a five-day opening is 2002's Asterix And Obelix: Mission Cleopatra (2.96 million admissions), which replaced 2000's Taxi 2 (2.95 mill
  • France Boutique

    Dir: Tonie Marshall, France. 2003, 95 min.After beauty parlours comes tele-marketing programmes. Tonie Marshall pursues the comic vision of French consumer society she deployed with wit and zest in her 1999 breakthrough hit, Venus Beauty Institute. But France Boutique, an inside look at a French tele-marketing and those who produce it, is only a partial return to form after the critical and commercial failure of last year's Au Plus Pres Du Paradis, a misg
  • France, Germany mull closer co-operation

    Closer co-operation between Germany and France in the fields of film financing, production and distribution will be on the agenda of the first German-French Film Rendezvous to be held in France's Lyons from November 3-4.Among key players from the two countries set to speak in a series of roundtable discussions are: the directors Jean-Jacques Beineix and Jan Schuette; producers Eberhard Junkersdorf (Neue Bioskop Film); Margaret Menegoz (Les Films du Losange); Peter Herrmann (MTM Medien
  • France's CNC awards screenwriting prize to Mihaileanu

    France's national cinema centre, the CNC, has awarded its prize for best screenwriter of 2003 to Radu Mihaileanu. The award went to the Romanian writer for his film Va, Vis Et Deviens which was written in collaboration with Alain-Michel Blanc.Va, Vis Et Deviens is about an Ethiopian child adopted by a Jewish family in Tel Aviv during the height of the food shortage in 1984 and 1985, when the United States and Israel led a special operation to extradite all Jewish c
  • France's Louis Delluc prize names nominees

    Five films have been nominated for the 61st Prix Louis Delluc, one of France's top honours for film.The five candidates are: Jacques Rivette's Histoire De Marie Et Julien; Jacques Doillon's Raja which screened at both Venice and Marrakesh; Noemie Lvovsky's Les Sentiments - also a Venice competitor; Cannes entry Tiresia from Bertrand Bonello and Lucas Belvaux's trilogy Un Couple Epatant, Apres la Vie and Cavale.A prize for best first film
  • GERMANY

    Soenke Wortmann's Miracle Of Bern - now showing on 634 screens - held on to the top spot for the third week running and is now the second most successful German film this year after Good Bye, Lenin! The highlight of this weekend's Top 15 is the new entry at No. 3 of Eric Till's $20m Luther which scored a $ 8,837 screen average from its 200 print release. Distributed by the local office of UIP on behalf of the film's German producer NFP teleart and in cooperation wi
  • Germany and France in industry Rendez-Vous

    The first ever German-French Film Rendez-Vous was held at Lyon's Institut Lumiere on Nov 3 and 4.The two day event, an initiative of the German-French Film Academy and organised by French export body Unifrance, was an opportunity for directors, producers, politicians and executives to discuss issues currently facing the two industries and ways to increase cooperation. Culture ministers Christina Weiss (Germany) and Jean-Jacques Aillagon (France) used a round table event to decla
  • Gijon festival unveils 200 film line-up

    Spain's indie-oriented Gijon International Film Festival (Nov 20-28) has unveiled the line-up for its upcoming 41st edition, featuring some of the year's top festival prize-winners and talked-about international titles.More than 200 films will air over nine days at the popular event, which has seen a 50% increase in public attendance over the last four years. Actor Olivier Assayas and directors Hal Hartley and Ulrich Seidl will receive retrospectives this year.Among the p
  • Golden Harvest, China Film launch joint venture

    Hong Kong's Golden Harvest is setting up a joint venture with mainland entertainment conglomerate, China Film Group Corporation, to co-finance and distribute Chinese-language films.The new venture, which is expected to be operational early next year, intends to finance films produced by mainland production companies and distribute them both in China and overseas. Golden Harvest currently owns distribution operations and cinemas in three Chinese-speaking markets - Hong Kong, Mala
  • Hands off our subsidies, say Euro film agencies

    Europe's national film funding agencies have called on the European Commission to call off a major re-examination of the cobweb of national film support schemes that is scheduled to take place next year.In a letter addressed to culture and education commissioner Viviane Reding, the 16 state funding bodies called for the "maintenance of the current system, without a profound examination of the systems across Europe in 2004." The letter acknowledges that the EU treaties set out a
  • here! gets domestic rights to Dutch camp classic Yes Nurse, No Nurse!

    here! Films hasacquired North American rights to Peter Kramer's Dutch musical comedy Yes,Nurse No Nurse!Executive vice president of distribution and acquisitionsMark Reinhart acquired the rights from Fortissimo Films.Based on a Dutch1960s television show, the story centres on a group of eccentric residents atan Amsterdam rest home and the miserly landlord who wants to evict them.Loes Luca, PaulKooij and Waldemar Torenstra star in the film, which w
  • here! gets US rights to Fortissimo's Yes Nurse, No Nurse!

    here! Films hasacquired North American rights to Peter Kramer's Dutch musical comedy Yes,Nurse No Nurse!Executive vice president of distribution and acquisitionsMark Reinhart acquired the rights from Fortissimo Films.Based on a Dutch1960s television show, the story centres on a group of eccentric residents atan Amsterdam rest home and the miserly landlord who wants to evict them.Loes Luca, PaulKooij and Waldemar Torenstra star in the film, which w
  • Hero rules the Rooster at China's top film awards

    Zhang Yimou's Hero scooped four prizes at this year's Golden Rooster Awards - mainland China's top film honours - including best director, best co-production, best sound recording and best production design. The martial arts blockbuster was excluded from competing for best picture as it's a co-production - between Beijing New Picture Film Co and Hong Kong's Elite Group Enterprises - and not a completely mainland Chinese production. Instead it competed in a newly created best co-
  • Homerun is a non-starter in Malaysia

    Raintree Pictures' Homerun - which has picked up two nominations from Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards this year - has been banned in Malaysia.The Chinese-language drama was nominated for best new performer for Megan Zheng as well as best original song - the lyrics of which are penned by director Jack Neo (I Not Stupid). Daniel Yun, chief executive officer of Singapore based Raintree Pictures, says, 'The success of Homerun means a lot because the heritage
  • HONG KONG

    The second lacklustre week in a row at the Hong Kong box office suggests that audiences spent their hard-earned cash on local event films Running On Karma and Infernal Affairs II earlier in the month and need strong persuasion to visit the cinema again. Of this week's five new openers, local comedy The Spy Dad, starring Tony Leung Ka-Fai and Gillian Chung, topped the box office with $471,468 and a screen average of $14,733. Produced and directed Wong Jing - a proli
  • Horror films look for Halloween box office bump

    Several distributors are launching horror titles in major territories this weekend to coincide with Halloween.The UK and Ireland will see the Director's Cut reissue of Ridley Scott's Alien go head to head with New Line's remake of Tobe Hooper's 1974 cult favourite The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.The UK is the first major international territory to receive the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which is released by Entertainment Film Distributors at 327 sites across th
  • ICELAND

    Scary Movie 3 enjoyed virtually complete domination at the box office - racking up a screen average more than three times its closest competitors, and pushing Kill Bill, Intolerable Cruelty, The Rundown and Spy Kids 3D down the chart. Though Calendar Girls opened on 6th, little else changed in the top 10, as last week's disappointments, Kevin Reynold's Tristan And Isolde and Kevin Costner's Open Range, moved to 8th and 12th respectively.
  • Increased film funding ahead for Slovenia, Bulgaria

    Filmmakers in Slovenia and Bulgaria could benefit from increased funding for film and television production in the future according to new audiovisual legislation in preparation.Speaking at this year's Connecting Cottbus co-development market at the Cottbus Film Festival, Tanika Sajatovic, Head of Promotion and Sales at the Slovenian Film Fund, said that a new Audiovisual Law was currently under discussion in Slovenia. This would see the Film Fund also receiving contributions from di
  • India Rising to big budget challenge

    Ketan Mehta's The Rising starts production in Mumbai next week, with Britain's Prince Charles lined up to snap the clapperboard to mark the start of principal photography. Prince Charles is currently on a nine-day visit to India.Costing $20m, The Rising is set to be the most expensive film ever to be produced in India. The India/UK production is based on the life of Mangal Pandey, India's first known revolutionary freedom fighter, who was hanged by the British in 1
  • Infernal Affairs leads Golden Horse race

    Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's Infernal Affairs leads the race for this year's Golden Horse Awards - Taiwan's equivalent of the Oscars - with 12 nominations, while another Hong Kong cop thriller, Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai's PTU, is hot on its heels with 11 nods. Both films picked up nominations for best picture, best director, best actor and best cinematography. Infernal Affairs scored two best actor nods for Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Andy Lau while Simon Yam was nominate
  • Inheritance has windfall in Lubeck

    Per Fly's Danish drama Inheritance was awarded the main NDR Promotion Prize of Euro12,500 at the 45th Nordic Film Days in Lubeck, the world's largest showcase of Nordic and Baltic cinema.Norwegian films dominated all other categories. The audience award from Lubecker Nachrichten went to Gunnar Vikene's feature debut Falling Sky, while Peder Norlund's Wolf Summer was singled out by the Children's Jury. Elsa Kvamme's newly released family film Fia! took
  • International rights to Prey go to Dream

    LosAngeles-based production and international sales company Dream Entertainmenthas acquired all international rights to Alex Steyermark's directorial debut PreyFor Rock N Roll and willpremiere the drama at MIFED.Nadine de Barros, Dream's vice president of sales andacquisitions, negotiated the rights deal with Cinetic Media's Matt Littinrepresenting the film's producers Donovan Mannato, Gina Resnick and GinaGershon."This filmdelivers a punch that will sel
  • International rights to Prey go to Dream Entertainment

    LosAngeles-based production and international sales company Dream Entertainmenthas acquired all international rights to Alex Steyermark's directorial debut PreyFor Rock N Roll and willpremiere the drama at MIFED.Nadine de Barros, Dream's vice president of sales andacquisitions, negotiated the rights deal with Cinetic Media's Matt Littinrepresenting the film's producers Donovan Mannato, Gina Resnick and GinaGershon."This filmdelivers a punch that will sel
  • Internationalmedia posts record revenues

    Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines has helped Internationalmedia (IM) - parent company of Intermedia - generate third quarter revenues of between Euros 151-156m - a quarterly record for the company. The quarterly sales largely resulted from minimum guarantees for Terminator 3, which has already topped $427m at the worldwide box-office. Overages on the film will be posted in future quarters.As expected, the company's third quarter EBITA will come out at between
  • Irish tax authorities to chase Euros 17m

    The Irish tax collection service, the Revenue Commissioners, has told a parliamentary committee that 6.4% of Section 481 tax relief over ten years had gone into non-compliant productions.The Irish Joint Parliamentary Committee on Finance spent nine hours yesterday (Nov 6) hearing presentations on the future of Section 481 tax relief for film from the Irish industry. The Committee will issue its findings in about a fortnight's time, shortly before the Irish exchequer budget for 2
  • Italian producers protest at Venice shake-up plan

    Italy's association of independent producers (API) has officially voiced its concern over the threat of political interference on the Lido, which is already casting doubt over Moritz de Hadeln's position as artistic director of the Venice Film Festival. A new polemic erupted this week when the government's plan for a major overhaul of the Biennale, the organisation that manages the Venice Film Festival, was leaked to the local media. According to the leaked plans for the Biennal
  • ITALY

    Venice Golden Lion winner The Return opened with a bang at the Italian box office, where it earned $161,313 from just 30 screens. Particularly impressively, newcomer Andrei Zvygatinsev's study of rebellion against parental authority - which is Russia's Oscar candidate - scored a massive screen average of $5,002 for Andrea Occhipinti's arthouse label Lucky Red.Meanwhile, Italian comic Massimo Ceccherini's La Mia Vita A Stelle E Strisce (My Life with Stars And Stripes) also
  • JAPAN

    The strategy of releasing a made-for-Japan version of Kill Bill Vol. 1 is paying off big time in the world's second largest film market. The film scored a rousing $1,960,630 on 20 major city screens for a $79,564 screen average. This compares with Y74,370,200 ($670,002) on the same number of screens for Tears Of The Sun, which also opened on October 25. The Japanese version of Kill Bill Vol. 1, which is also scheduled for release in other Asian territories, has bee
  • Kim Ki-duk starts Samaria shoot

    South Korean director Kim Ki-duk has started shooting on his 10th film, a low-budget revenge story titled Samaria. Produced by Kim Ki-duk Films and financed by local distributor Show East, the film tells the story of a man who discovers that his teenage daughter is selling sexual favours to middle-aged men. He then sets out to take revenge on those who have taken advantage of his daughter.The film appears to be a return to Kim's signature style - which focuses on controve
  • Lolafilms names international sales chiefs

    Spanish production, distribution and sales house Lolafilms has named Tania Pinto Da Cunha and Eva Sklar its new co-directors of international sales.Sklar has been with Lolafilms for eight years, most recently as head of press. Pinto Da Cunha comes to Lola from London's HanWay, the sales arm of Jeremy Thomas' Recorded Picture Company, where she worked with Thierry Wase-Bailey.The appointments, made official on Monday, mark the replacement of former co-presidents of international
  • Lolafilms names new sales chiefs ahead of Mifed

    Spanish production, distribution and sales house Lolafilms has named Tania Pinto Da Cunha and Eva Sklar its new co-directors of international sales.Sklar has been with Lolafilms for eight years, most recently as head of press. Pinto Da Cunha comes to Lola from London's HanWay, the sales arm of Jeremy Thomas' Recorded Picture Company, where she worked with Thierry Wase-Bailey.The appointments, made official on Monday, mark the replacement of former co-presidents of international
  • LXG passes $100m for Fox International

    FoxInternational's The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LXG) elevated its international runningtotal to $105.4m with a $4.6m weekend haul from 2,457 screens in 23 marketsthat saw decent holdovers in the UK, Germany and Japan.Thefantasy-adventure added $1.4m from 362 screens in its third week in the UK,dropping 31% for a $9.8m running total there. It raised its four-week total inJapan by $816,000 to $9.1m and grossed $479,000 for $11.7m in its fifth week inGermany.
  • Mambo Italiano becomes 2nd best Canadian performer

    Canadian comedy Mambo Italiano has moved into second place among all-time Canadian box office performers, having earned $3.8m (C$5.1m) on release through Equinoxe Films. Its gross surpasses The Art Of War, which earned C$4.5m in 2000 but remains well short of top-placed Porkies, a 1981 release which earned C$11m. Produced by Montreal-based Cinemaginaire, the gay-themed farce is also enjoying good business in the US, where it has earned $1m on 50 screens thro
  • Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World

    Dir: Peter Weir. US. 2003. 129 mins. One of the season's biggest productions is also one of its most intimate. For all the effort and expense that went into recreating an English battleship in the Napoleonic Wars, Peter Weir's thrilling film of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin characters plays out mostly in the cramped quarters of the HMS Surprise with only a brief rest for both characters and audience on the Galapagos Islands. There are no farewells from Portsmouth or arriva
  • Matrix Revolutions gets off to storming start

    The global day-and-date release of The Matrix Revolutions got off to a storming start yesterday (Nov 5), according to unofficial early estimates compiled by ScreenDaily.com.UK and Ireland estimates show the final instalment in the Wachowski Brothers' trilogy performing well ahead of the previous film The Matrix Reloaded, which opened in May also on a Wednesday.While some cinemas have yet to supply figures, early tallies from 453 sites show Revolutions
  • MDC takes on Schultze sales

    Berlin-based sales agent MDC International has picked up international distribution for Michael Schorr's feature debut Schultze Gets The Blues, which won the Special Director's Award at this year's Venice Film Festival.The tragicomedy produced by Filmkombinat Nordost has already secured theatrical distribution in the USA (Paramount Classics), UK (Paramount), Germany and Austria (UIP), Switzerland (Look Now), Italy (Lady Film), Netherlands (Cinemien) and Belgium/Luxembourg (ABC
  • Mel Stuart named recipient of IDA's Pioneer Award

    Veteran directorand producer Mel Stuart will receive the International Documentary Association'sPioneer Award at the 19th Annual IDA Distinguished Documentary AchievementAward ceremony in Los Angeles on Dec 12."Mel Stuart richly deserves this recognition," IDApresident Michael Donaldson said in a statement. "His films have enlightenedpast and current audiences about some of the important stories of our times.They will endure for future generations."Stuart's cre
  • MGM, Cogeco Cable sign Canadian VOD deal

    MGM Home Entertainment andCarleton, Ontario-based Cogeco Cable have signed a video-on-demand supplyagreement that will see MGM library titles carried by Canada's fourth-largestcable provider. The non-exclusive agreementwill include new product including Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, Agent Cody Banks and Jeepers Creepers 2 along with past hits such as Get Shorty and The Terminator. MGM agreed a similar arrangement with market leaderRogers Cabl
  • More US critics protest MPAA screener ban

    The Chicago Film CriticsAssociation have joined their Los Angeles counterparts is suspending theirend-of-year critics awards in protest over the decision by the Motion PictureAssociation of American to prevent screener tapes from being seen at home by anyoneexcept Oscar voters.A statement from the Chicagocritics explained that their association was "disturbed by the unfairness andinequities caused by the current MPAA screener ban - and also by the fact thatmany affected film companies
  • Moviehouse takes on ivans xtc sales

    London-based sales company Moviehouse Entertainment has picked up international rights to ivans xtc, the edgy tale of a fast-rising Hollywood agent from Candyman director Bernard Rose.Moviehouse will launch the film at MIFED, where it will also screen recently completed Blind Flight following its world premiere at the London Film Festival. Other Moviehouse titles at the Fiera include Australian comedy The Illustrated Family Doctor, currently in
  • Moviehouse takes on ivans xtc sales ahead of Mifed

    London-based sales company Moviehouse Entertainment has picked up international rights to ivans xtc, the edgy tale of a fast-rising Hollywood agent from Candyman director Bernard Rose.Moviehouse will launch the film at MIFED, where it will also screen recently completed Blind Flight following its world premiere at the London Film Festival. Other Moviehouse titles at the Fiera include Australian comedy The Illustrated Family Doctor, currently in
  • Nemo crosses $50m mark in UK alone

    Buena VistaInternational (BVI)'s Finding Nemo stayed top of the UK charts for the fourth consecutive week witha $5.8m haul that raised its territory total to an extraordinary $52m.Overall the animated hit has grossed around $150m at theinternational box office and BVI will be eying its upcoming continental Europerollout with glee.Elsewhere KillBill Vol 1 grossed $5.1min all BVI territories at the weekend to raise its international running totalto
  • NEW ZEALAND

    Calendar Girls showed amazing resilience in its fourth weekend by reclaiming the top spot from S.W.A.T, which is on 13 more screens and only in its second week. The gap between them only amounted to NZ$5,000 but Calendar Girls' highest-in-the-chart screen average indicates there is a lot more life in the old girls.Three new films hit the chart. They are 20th Century Fox's Runaway Jury, which took nearly NZ$133,000 from 35 screens to take fourth position, BVI
  • Nicotina

    Dir: Hugo Rodriguez. Mex-Arg-Sp. 2003. 90minsNicotina, the latest candidate for admission into the School of Tarantino, is an always perfectly watchable caper-movie-cum-romantic-comedy that is spasmodically entertaining. Filled with the fast wipes and purposely nonsensical discussions about ersatz philosophical issues like smoking and coincidence that mark the Tarantinesque genre, this film from Mexico, directed by Argentinian filmmaker Hugo Rodriguez, can, at times, b
  • Nielsen boards Bier's Brothers

    Connie Nielsen has boarded Susanne Bier's highly anticipated Brothers, which starts shooting on Monday Nov 10. The 38-year-old Danish actress, who has recently enjoyed a successful Hollywood career, had her breakthrough in Gladiator, and has appeared in One Hour Photo and The Hunted.Nielsen will play alongside Danish actors Ulrich Thomsen (Festen, Inheritance) and Nikolaj Lie Kaas (Open Hearts, The Green Butchers). Veterans
  • Non English-language buzz films at Mifed 2003

    Against The Wall(Germany)Word on the street: Fatih Akin's best yetThe word is good on the latest film from writer-director-actor FatihAkin, whose credits include Short Sharp Shock, In July and Solino.Against The Wall (Gegen Die Wand), now in post-production, is a tragiclove story starring Birol Uenel and Sibel Kekilli as a couple who marry forconvenience but fall in love. Int'l sales: Bavaria FilmInternational, (49) 89
  • Non-English buzz films at Mifed 2003

    In the first of a two part series we look at the hot non-English-language films and projects debuting at Mifed.Against The Wall(Germany)Word on the street: Fatih Akin's best yetThe word is good on the latest film from writer-director-actor FatihAkin, whose credits include Short Sharp Shock, In July and Solino.Against The Wall (Gegen Die Wand), now in post-production, is a tragiclove story starring Birol Uenel and Sibel Kekilli as a coup
  • NORWAY

    Mother's Elling is back on top of the Norwegian chart, as Kill Bill Vol.1 dropped no less than 48% to second but kept a higher screen average. However, this weekend's best performer didn't even make it into the top 10, as the re-release of Ridley Scott's Alien scared up an impressive 727 admissions screen average on it just 5 prints. The other new releases didn't make it into the admissions top 10 either, as Clint Eastwood's acclaimed drama Mystic River and
  • Osama wins London's Sutherland prize

    Days after illegal immigrant dramas Dirty Pretty Things and In This World won at London's British Independent Film Awards, a film directed by an exile from Afghanistan has triumphed at the London film festival.Osama, billed as the first film from post-Taliban Afghanistan, won this year's prestigious Sutherland Trophy, which is awarded by festival parent the British Film Institute to the most original and imaginative feature at the event.Directed by Afghan-bo
  • Osama, Crimson Gold take top Valladolid honours

    Siddiq Barmak's Afghan tragedy Osama and Iranian Jafar Panahi's Crimson Gold (Talaye Sorgh) shared the top Golden Spike award at the 48th annual edition of the Valladolid International Film Week (Oct 24-Nov 1).Bent Hamer's Norway's foreign-language Oscar contender Kitchen Stories went home with the Silver Spike prize and best photography, while Sofia Coppola picked up best new director and the FIPRESCI prize for Lost In Translation.Helen Buday won bes
  • Oz cinemagoing habits revealed by new research

    New research indicates that 70% of all Australians aged 18 years and over, or about 12.8m people, go to the cinema at least once a year. Over a half (56%) go more than five times and almost a quarter (23%) go more than 10 times.The research is part of a door-to-door survey conducted from March to April 2002 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on what it terms "cultural" attendance. It shows that people in the main capital cities, where cinemas are most accessible, go m
  • Palm packs Wolf, Butterfly domestic rights

    ChrisBlackwell's Palm Pictures has acquired US and Caribbean rights to MichaelHaneke's Time Of The Wolf and North American rights to Lou Ye's Purple Butterfly. Both films played in official selectionat this year's Cannes Film Festival.The distributorplans limited theatrical releases followed by DVD/video roll-out for bothtitles in 2004, with Time Of The Wolf opening under the Palm Pictures label and PurpleButterfly going outunder the Arthouse Films banner.
  • Palm picks up US rights to Wolf, Butterfly

    ChrisBlackwell's Palm Pictures has acquired US and Caribbean rights to MichaelHaneke's Time Of The Wolf and North American rights to Lou Ye's Purple Butterfly. Both films played in official selectionat this year's Cannes Film Festival.The distributorplans limited theatrical releases followed by DVD/video roll-out for bothtitles in 2004, with Time Of The Wolf opening under the Palm Pictures label and PurpleButterfly going outunder the Arthouse Films banner.
  • Paramount renews German fund ties

    US studio Paramount Pictures is once again set to tap into German private equity to bankroll its films.German fund specialist Alcas has launched the MMDP Munich Movie Development & Production fund - which is expected to raise at least Euros 75m - to back two Paramount films.Alcas has worked with Paramount several times in the past, launching funds to raise money for films such as Mission: Impossible 2, Shaft, Rules Of Engagement and The General's Daughter.In
  • Paris looks to lure film shoots

    A new film commission has been created in the north of Paris, with the aim of luring productions to the area. The Pole Nord-Parisien has brought together 8 municipalities which will participate in the new organisation in order to attract producers to shoot in what is a particularly urban zone. Benoit Caron, head of France's National Film Commission (CNF) explained that Pole Nord-Parisien "will act as an extra office for us." The Ile de France region - which encompasses Pa
  • Pressure piles up on Korean quota system

    South Korea's embattled Screen Quota System is facing its gravest challenge to date after president Roh Moo-hyun and other members of the executive branch have spoken out in favour of weakening the system.In a meeting with reporters on October 30, the Chief Presidential Secretary for National Policy spoke of finding a "middle ground" between the quota's current level and the 50% reduction demanded by U.S. trade negotiators. "The screen quota is an issue that must be resolved to
  • Preview: markets go head-to-head

    If the organisers of theAmerican Film Market (AFM) and their many powerful supporters have their way,2003 will prove to be Mifed's swansong, great pasta and wonderful shoppingnotwithstanding. By scheduling a rival AFMnext November, AFMA is forcing film buyers into a cruel choice. Do they allsuccumb to the gravitational pull of the major US sales companies in SantaMonica and kill off Mifed' Or do some keep faith with a devoted core ofEuropean suppliers who would like to stay put in Mila
  • Raggy Boy to find new home in Winchester

    The UK's Winchester Entertainment will be handling sales at Mifed on Aisling Walsh's Irish-set period drama, Song For A Raggy Boy, having taken over the sales mandate from Spain's Lolafilms.At press time, Winchester was poised to sign the deal that sees it take over the sales role from Lolafilms, which was one of the film's co-producers alongside Ireland's Subotica Entertainment, Denmark's Moviefan and the UK's Zoma Films.The film, which stars Aidan Quinn and Iain Glen, i
  • Russian director cranks up The American

    Production got underway this week on acclaimed Russian director Alexei Balabanov's new film The American (Amerikanets).A week of filming in New York started on Monday (3 Nov, 2003) before the production uproots and moves to Siberia for a further month. The thriller is a co-production between Russia's CTB Film Company and the UK's Tartan Films and is produced by Sergey Selyanov and Hamish McAlpine. Balabanov has a track record of alternating art-house films a
  • Scary Movie 3 takes crown for second weekend

    Dimension's ScaryMovie 3 used theHalloween weekend to shore up some more good business as it added an estimated$21.1m in its second weekend to raise its running total to $78.6m.The horror spoofwas too much for the competition, although Buena Vista's Brother Bear came close on $18.5m after expandingfrom two to 3,030 sites and climbing from 22nd to second. It only played wideon Saturday and Sunday, since Disney chose to avoid going wide on Halloween(Friday).Thetradit
  • Scherfig double bill hits MIFED

    Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig is to follow on from her successful Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself with another two English language features.What Wayne Didn't Know and Waltzing Griselda will be shot simultaneously next summer in Scotland, and buyers attending MIFED will be the first to have a chance to read scripts, presented by Trust Film Sales.Sisse Graum Olsen (Wilbur, Dear Wendy) produces both films for Zentropa with Sigma Film's Gillian Berrie (
  • SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO

    Milos Radovic's Small World has crossed the 100,000 admissions mark after enjoying the fourth weekend in a row on the top of the chart. The local road comedy has now grossed $259,261. Otherwise, there have not been many changes at the chart - the other local favourite Almost Totally Ordinary Story is still second with 4,313 tickets sold for the weekend and total gross of $35,829. Legally Blonde 2 opened at the fourth for distributor Tuck, with 2,604 admissio
  • SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO

    Milos Petricic's Almost Totally Ordinary Story opened last weekend at the third position in its home territory. The urban comedy, featuring a cast of newcomers sold 3,448 tickets to earn $9,020 for distributor Pro Vision. The two top positions are held by Small World and Pirates Of The Caribbean for the third weekend in a row. The local crowd-pleaser gained 10%, after last weekend's 17% rise and grossed another $41,354 from 15,165 admissions for a total of $193,529
  • Sheridan's In America scores in Ireland

    Jim Sheridan's In America's launched in Ireland over the weekend, helping to boost a phenomenal year for home-grown films at the local box office. Its UK gross, however, was disappointing - suggesting that the film will have to work hard to generate significant international returns.In America opened for 20th Century Fox in the Republic of Ireland on 43 screens for a gross of Euros 328,219, giving a screen average of Euros 7,633.This is the second highest op
  • Shoreline sells Mexican Real Time to France

    Shoreline Entertainment has sold Fabrizio Prada's Mexican drama Real Time to France's Pretty Pictures, which plansto release the film theatrically in early 2004.One of 25 titlesShoreline will be taking to MIFED, Real Time was shot in one continuous take andtells the story of five thieves whose greed drives them to turn on each other.Jorge Castillo,Raul Santa Maria and Laticia Valenzuela star.The grittyMexican title made the Guinness Book of World Records for
  • Showtime rescues controversial Reagans miniseries from CBS

    US pay-TV network Showtime has jumped in to acquire the television rights to The Reagans after its Viacom stablemate CBS bowed to Republican pary pressure and opted against airing the four-hour mini-series on Nov 16.James Brolin andJudy Davis star as the former president Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy in the Sony Pictures Television project, which CBS head LeslieMoonves passed on after deciding it did not offer a balanced portrayal. Showtime says it is now liaising with
  • Skagerrak

    Dir: Soren Kragh-Jacobsen. Denmark-UK. 2003. 104minsA modern fairytale about friendship, second chances and the unpredictable nature of happiness, Skagerrak is an unwieldy romantic charmer from writer-director Soren Kragh-Jacobsen. Lacking the focus and obvious commercial appeal of Berlin prize-winner Mifune, his English-language debut is the kind of slow burner that worms its way into your affections. Heavily reliant on improbable plot developments and unlikely
  • Soda takes Reconstruction for the UK

    Hot newcomer Christoffer Boe's Reconstruction, which has picked up a slew of awards since winning the Camera D'Or and Label Regards Jeunes in Cannes, has been picked up for the UK by equally young outfit Soda Pictures. Reconstruction is the Danish candidate for the Academy Awards and recently secured the writer-director the FIPRESCI's Grand Prix for Best Director of the Year. After Cannes Chris Blackwell's Palm Pictures acquired US and the Caribbean rights to Re
  • Song For A Raggy Boy to find new home in Winchester

    The UK's Winchester Entertainment will be handling sales at Mifed on Aisling Walsh's Irish-set period drama, Song For A Raggy Boy, having taken over the sales mandate from Spain's Lolafilms.At press time, Winchester was poised to sign the deal that sees it take over the sales role from Lolafilms, which was one of the film's co-producers alongside Ireland's Subotica Entertainment, Denmark's Moviefan and the UK's Zoma Films.The film, which stars Aidan Quinn and Iain Glen, i
  • Sony passes $1bn mark in domestic grosses for second year in a row

    Sony Pictures Entertainmentpassed $1bn in North American ticket sales yesterday (Oct 30), marking thefirst time in the studio's 79-year history that it has reached the milestone intwo consecutive years. Powered by eight number onefilms this year and five that have grossed more than $100m, executives will behoping to make it three in a row with an 80th anniversary 2004 slate thatincludes Spider-Man 2, the romanticcomedy 50 First Dates and horrorthriller Secret Window
  • SOUTH KOREA Production Listings - November 3 2003

    SOUTH KOREA - November 3PRE-PRODUCTIONCHEONG-YEON(Cineline II) Backer/Dist: Korea Pictures. Drama about Korea's first female aviator, who lived in the 1920s. Prod: Seok Myung-hong. Dir: Yoon Jong-chan. Scr: Lee In-hwa, Yoon Jong-chan. Main cast: Jang Jin-young, Kim Ju-hyuk. Shooting in China, Korea, and U.S.A from late October. Contact: Korea Pictures, (82) 2 3445 4192THE GOD HAND(Dreamsearch Entertainment) Budget: $3.0m. Dist/Int
  • South Korean censors kill Bill's roll out plans

    South Korea's Media Ratings Board has slapped an effective ban on Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Volume 1, causing uproar among the film community and throwing local distributor CJ Entertainment's plans for a November 21 release into doubt.Cited by the board for its excessive violence and gore, the film was given a "resticted" rating which limits screenings to specially designated adult-only theatres. However, with no legislation in place to make such venues legal, none current
  • South Korean production update

    For the latest South Korean production details - see International Production ListingsThe South Korean production sector's push towards dramas and romantic comedies appears to be intensifying, following the box-office failure of big-budget genre pictures in recent years. This trend peaked in September with the box-office crash of Natural City, the last in a string of expensive science fiction features which were greenlighted in 1999 and 2000. These days, Korean
  • SPAIN

    Fresh from its best director and public's prize wins at the Montreal Film Festival, new Spanish release Planta 4a took in Euros 541,643 on its opening weekend from just 100 prints through Buena Vista International. The receipts represent a screen average of Euros 5,416 - the second highest of the weekend, and placed it in seventh position.Antonio Mercero's bittersweet tale of a group of teenage boys in a cancer ward, Planta 4a represents yet another success with a local t
  • Spain's BocaBoca restructures with Lekhal appointment

    Spanish production house BocaBoca has appointed Waheb Lekhal its new general manager to work alongside president Cesar Benitez.Also as part of the company's restructuring, former international sales chief Mercedes Borruel will leave her post while BocaBoca product, with exceptions, will now be pumped through sales consortium Grupo PI. That includes recent titles Planta Cuarta, the best director winner at Montreal, and X, Nos Miran and El Palo.Replacing Manue
  • Summit boards Polanski's Oliver Twist

    Summit Entertainment has picked up international rights to RomanPolanski's next film, Oliver Twist, a faithful adaptation of the Dickens classic which has a budgetin the $60m range.
  • Summit reteams with Polanski on Oliver Twist

    Summit Entertainment has picked up international rights to RomanPolanski's next film, Oliver Twist, a faithful adaptation of the Dickens classic which has a budgetin the $60m range.
  • SWEDEN

    As the top of the Swedish chart remained all but unchanged for another weekend with the two local hits Evil and The Third Wave in front, the new release of Kjell-Aake Andersson's drama comedy Let's Play House (MammaPappaBarn) confirmed how difficult it has been a many of the new local films to make it in the top 10. Starring such popular talents as Torkel Petersson (Kops), Maria Bonnevie (I Am Dina) and Sven Nordin (Elling), it tells the story
  • SWITZERLAND

    Landing at fifth place in the chart for the German-speaking region of Switzerland, German title The Miracle Of Bern saw a strong launch in the territory.The film, which continues to reign in Germany, took $112,282 (SFR 149,896) from 25 screens in the region for a $4,491 average for Filmcoopi Zurich AG. The comic drama was directed by Sonke Wortmann.Meanwhile, also only on release in the German-speaking region local comedy smash Ready, Steady, Charlie! continues to
  • SWITZERLAND

    Landing at fifth place in the chart for the German-speaking region of Switzerland, German title The Miracle Of Bern saw a strong launch in the territory.The film, which continues to reign in Germany, took $112,282 (SFR 149,896) from 25 screens in the region for a $4,491 average for Filmcoopi Zurich AG. The comic drama was directed by Sonke Wortmann.Meanwhile, also only on release in the German-speaking region local comedy smash Ready, Steady, Charlie! continues to
  • Swords drawn for EFA's Prix Screen International

    Eightfilms will compete for the 2003 Prix Screen International, the European Film Academy's award for bestnon-European film.TheEFA award, whose selection and nomination procedure is made in co-operationwith Screen International, seessamurai sword epics from two continents take on a diverse field that includes ablockbusting animation and some of the most acclaimed films to have emergedfrom this year's international festival circuit. Nominateddirectors range from old
  • The Matrix Revolutions

    Dir: Andy & Larry Wachowski. US. 2003.After their failed attempt to craft a compelling mythology out of The Matrix with The Matrix Reloaded, the brothers Wachowski resort to a straight action formula in their series finale Revolutions. And as a spectacular action movie, there are few films that could rival this one, a relentless assault on the senses composed of consecutive combat sequences and non-stop visual effects.Since the phony dialogue a
  • The Matrix Revolutions - Day 2

    With official first day figures in and second day figures starting to be reported The Matrix Revolutions looks set to follow previous instalment Reloaded with international earnings out performing domestic revenues.Indeed, a $24.3m first day gross in North America, where it launched at 06:00 in Los Angeles and 09:00 in New York, indicates that the day-and-date global launch strategy has paid off for the distributor.Warner Bros has reported a $43.1m first day take w
  • The Return Of Cagliostro

    Dir: Daniele Cipri and Franco Maresco. Italy. 2003. 100 mins.The films of Sicilian directing duo Daniele Cipri and Franco Maresco are an acquired taste. If you find physical deformities, speech defects and farting priests funny, you'll love them. The present reviewer was therefore doubled up in fits of laughter through most of their latest effort, The Return Of Cagliostro. Others came out of the Venice press screening muttering about schoolboy sickos with the mother of
  • The Works strikes Japanese deal for Loach's Kiss

    UK-based sales concern The Works has pre-sold Ken's Loach Ae Fond Kiss to Cine Qua Non in Japan.Loach, who last month traveled to Japan to receive national honour the Praemium Imperiale, is currently in post on the £3m film.The production, the third in Loach's Glasgow trilogy after Sweet Sixteen and My Name Is Joe, pre-sold to Icon Film Distribution for all UK rights along with Loach's regular network of European distributors. Further financing came from UK
  • The Works strikes Japanese deal for Loach's Kiss

    UK-based sales concern The Works has pre-sold Ken's Loach Ae Fond Kiss to Cine Qua Non in Japan.Loach, who last month traveled to Japan to receive national honour the Praemium Imperiale, is currently in post on the £3m film.The production, the third in Loach's Glasgow trilogy after Sweet Sixteen and My Name Is Joe, pre-sold to Icon Film Distribution for all UK rights along with Loach's regular network of European distributors. Further financing came from UK
  • Thunderbirds creator goes for extra UK tax funding

    Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson is raising a second wave funding of UK tax-driven financing for a new series of his cult TV series Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons.Anderson previously raised £8m through the Enterprise Investment Scheme to start production on the £20m series, becoming the fastest and biggest ever example of the 10 year-old scheme.The second EIS fundraising scheme, handled once again by investment house Margetts, will run until April next year a
  • TV chief quits Germany's ProSiebenSat.1

    Dr. Ludwig Bauer, ProSiebenSat.1 Media's board member with responsibility for television, has left the company "due to differing views on the future strategic direction of the company".Bauer, who had worked at the ProSiebenSat.1 Group since 1992 in various posts including head of programmes and managing director at Kabel 1, was appointed board member for television of the ProSieben Group in 1999. A year later, he was named board member with responsibility for television at Pro
  • UK film industry exports slip back

    UK film product's net surplus fell 23% last year to £187m, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics.Exports fell from £700 million in 2001 to £657 million, while imports rose slightly from £456 million in 2001 to £470 million.But the figures still left the film industry with a positive balance, unlike the TV sector, which showed a net deficit of £553m. The US was the biggest market for film exports, accounting for 49%, up 1%. Europe represented almo
  • UK launches review of co-production treaties

    The UK government today launched a review of its international co-production treaties in a bid to crack down on filmmakers accessing tax relief while only spending a small proportion of the budget in the country.The culture department, which will carry out the review with support body the UK Film Council, also confirmed that it is doubling the minimum UK spend on co-productions with Canada to 40% after widespread abuse. The review kicks off with guidelines which were issued today updat
  • UK/IRELAND

    The Halloween weekend was ably represented in the UK last weekend when the remake of 1974 horror classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre launched into second position with $2.3m (£1.4m).Including preview figures of $118,908 (£70,037) the film, which stars Jessica Biel as a young woman who, with a group of friends, accidentally catches the homicidal attention of iconic horror character Leatherface, played to a strong $7,048 location average - bettered only by chart leader Finding
  • US showcase of Italian cinema opens with Avati, closes with Cervi

    The 13th N.I.C.E. FestivalUSA will open in San Francisco on Nov 16 with a screening of Pupi Avati's Enchanted and closes on Nov 23 with the late Tonino Cervi's Antonia'sRecipes. The Italian cinema showcasewas organised in association with the Italian Institute of Culture and RAIInternational, among others, and takes place in San Francisco and New York. Seven new directors will beamong the competitors hoping to get their hands on the City of Flor
  • Willing to direct Burns in River King for Myriad

    Edward Burnswill star in an adaptation of Alice Hoffman's supernatural thriller TheRiver King that is beingput together by Myriad Pictures' London arm, Canadian production company imXcommunications and UK-based Grosvenor Park's First Choice Films.Principalphotography in Canada is due to begin in spring 2004 with Nick Willing set todirect based on a screenplay by Born Romantic screenwriter David Kane. Willing's crimethriller Hypnotic,starring Goran Visnjic and Paddy
  • Willing to direct Burns in River King for Myriad Pictures

    Edward Burnswill star in an adaptation of Alice Hoffman's supernatural thriller TheRiver King that is beingput together by Myriad Pictures' London arm, Canadian production company imXcommunications and UK-based Grosvenor Park's First Choice Films.Principalphotography in Canada is due to begin in spring 2004 with Nick Willing set todirect based on a screenplay by Born Romantic screenwriter David Kane. Willing's crimethriller Hypnotic,starring Goran Visnjic and Paddy
  • Winkler to get ASC's Board Of Governors Award

    Irwin Winkler, theOscar-winning producer and director whose credits include Rocky, Raging Bull and Goodfellas, will receive the 2004 American Society of Cinematographers Board ofGovernors Award at the 18th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards in LosAngeles on Feb 8 2004.The annual honour is theonly ASC award for non-cinematographers and goes to "an individual who has madesignificant and memorable contributions to advancing the art of film-making."In a statemen

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