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7 November 2005

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  • ...but Zorro cuts a swathe in international launch with $27m

    The Legend Of Zorro cut a swath through the international marketplaceover the weekend as it launched on an estimated $27m on 6,140 prints in 50countries.Handled in most territoriesthrough Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI), which licensed rightsfrom the picture's co-financier Spyglass Entertainment, the adventure sequelopened top in 40 markets and enjoyed a clean sweep in Latin America.The highlights were numberone launches in France on $5.8m on 696 screens that
  • 2929 sells Soderbergh's six to France, Japan, Italy

    Celebrating its firstanniversary at AFM, 2929 International is reporting brisk sales on its slate ofsix Steven Soderbergh features commissioned earlier this year by 2929Entertainment chiefs Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban.Headed up by the small townmystery Bubble, the package ofotherwise as yet untitled pictures that Soderbergh will make over the next fiveyears has gone to Tohokushinsha for Japan, Metropolitan Films for France,Mediafilm for Italy, Manga Films for Spain, Becker for Au
  • 2929's Magnolia launches US home entertainment division

    Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban have slotted in the home entertainmentpiece of their 2929 Entertainment distribution jigsaw with the launch ofMagnolia Home Entertainment (MHE).
  • Aardman Licenses Mobile Content In Global Deals

    Aardman Animations, theUK-based company behind Wallace and Gromit, has signed a numberof deals licensing its content for mobile phone platforms. Tied to the release of Wallaceand Gromit: The Curse of
  • Adept screenwriters join UK programme

    Aristahas announced the eight screenwriters selected for its Adept 3 screenwritingprogramme, funded by Skillset (and the UK Film Council), the MEDIA Programmeand Arista's Writer Scholarship Fund.Thenine-month programme supports MA screenwriting graduates who haven't yet made afeature film.Thechosen writers are AndrewBernhardt, Fiona Birkbeck, Lucy Floyd, Helen Jacey, Phil Nodding, BerylRichards, Neil Wagstaff and Cas Willing.The writersinclude BAFTA and Emmy nominees and
  • Aja signs on to Gold Circle, Craven, Rogue horror

    HotFrench horror director Alex Aja has signed to direct The Waiting, a supernatural horror thriller that is being puttogether by Gold Circle and Wes Craven and set to open in North America throughRogue Pictures in March.
  • Andreas Klein joins BMD board of directors

    Splendid Medien managementboard chairman Andreas Klein has joined the board of directors of BauerMartinez Distribution.“Philippe Martinez is putting together one of the mostexciting entertainment companies in the business and I’m thrilled to be part of it,” Klein, who served as executive producer on Traffic and the Agent Cody Banks franchise, said.“I have the utmost respect for Philippe and lookforward to helping him fulfill
  • Asterix conquers AFM ahead of world premiere

    Inadvance of its world premiere at the AFM on Friday, M6's Euros22m animatedfeature Asterix And The Vikingshas been selling widely.
  • Attenborough closes the ring with ContentFilm

    ContentFilm Internationalhas taken worldwide rights to Richard Attenborough's forthcoming epic, ClosingThe Ring. ContentFilm isco-financing the film with the Bank of Ireland.Oscar-winning directorAttenborough will co-produce with Jo Gilbert. Shirley MacLaine is attached tostar, and discussions are ongoing with other actors. Closing The Ring is a UK-Canadian co-production to be shot onlocation in Belfast and Canada, with the production based out of Belfast's newTita
  • Avant-garde focus for Rotterdam programme

    A retrospective of the workof two of the world's most challenging film-makers, Stephen Dwoskinand Nagasaki Shunichi, will be among the highlights of the 35th edition of theInternational Film Festival Rotterdam.The focus on London-based Dwoskin coincides with the launch of a 14-film DVD boxset of his work, while Shunichi is hoping his latestwork
  • Bac picks up French rights to Shortbus from Fortissimo

    Bac Films has acquired JohnCameron Mitchell's Shortbus forFrench distribution. The deal was announced this week by Fortissimo Films. Shortbus is the long-awaited follow up to Mitchell'scritically acclaimed 2001 hit Hedwig And The Angry Inch. The film revolves around the lives of threesexually diverse characters, each facing different challenges, who meet upevery week in a Brooklyn salon known as Shortbus. The cast includes Sook-YinLee, Paul Dawson, Lindsay B
  • Baldwin named CEO of UK production outfit Storitel

    Bob Baldwin (pictured) has been named CEO of UK-basedproduction company Storitel, which also announced that it has established afeature film development fund to provide initial capital for UK and foreignprojects. Storitel is now in pre-production on twothrillers: Fragile Edge and Leona's Revenge.Fragile Edge, written by mountaineering expert Matt Dickinson, is about aglobal terror campaign unfolding on an icy mountain range.Spanish-set Leona's Reve
  • Baldwin to star opposite Gellar in Odd Lot/Media 8's Guide

    Alec Baldwin has been cast opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar in OddLot Entertainment's upcoming adaptation of international bestseller TheGirls' Guide To Hunting And Fishing.
  • Bam Bam And Celeste

    Dir. Lorene Machado. US. 2005. 85mins.Film-maker Lorene Machado and screenwriter Margaret Cho misfire with Bam Bam And Celeste, a featurefound wanting in too many departments, and potentially too offensive to many,to succeed.US theatrical prospects mightsee it pick up play at midnight theatres,
  • Bauer Martinez lines up McTiernan for Crash Bandits

    Bauer Martinezchief Philippe Martinez has revealed that John McTiernan is preparing to shootthe action adventure Crash Bandits for the company with Hayden Christensen set to star.Martinezconfirmed that production is set to begin on Feb 15 in Thailand on the story oftreasure seekers who target wrecked airplanes containing riches.The title makesit market debut here and has sold everywhere except the UK and Japan.Christensen's Forest Park Films signed a first-look deal with
  • Becker Films takes Control

    Becker Films International (BFI) has picked up worldwide rights toControl, AntonCorbijn's project about the life of the late Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis.
  • Bedford, Geronimo form production joint venture

    New York-based BedfordEntertainment and Belfast-based Geronimo Productions have formed a jointventure, Mick 'n' Mack Productions, to produce a slate of feature films to beshot in Northern Ireland and the UK.The slate of eight films, tobe shot over the next two years, will have individual budgets of $1 million to$20 million. Bedford president StevenMackler told Screendaily that budgets are being raised from private investorsand from US and foreign distributors. Geronimo's Michael
  • Bedside manner earns Bize the Golden Spike

    Chilean-Germanco-production In Bed scooped the Golden Spikeaward at the 50thanniversary edition of Spain's Valladolid International Film Festival.DirectorMatias Bize's film (En La Cama) turns on two strangerswho meet, decide to rent a hotel room for a tryst, then unexpectedly spend th
  • Berger Dagan gets senior vp publicity job at The Weinstein Co

    Former Miramax publicist Liz Berger Dagan has reunited with theWeinsteins and joined The Weinstein Company (TWC) as senior vice president ofpublicity.
  • Betafilm sells Genghis Khan project to Hopscotch, LNK, Lumiere

    Early on in the AFM, Germansales outfit Beta is doing a roaring trade with Mongol - Part One, Sergei Bodrov's new feature about the hirsute andbloodthirsty warrior leader Genghiz Khan. The film, which has juststarted shooting with Tadanobu Asano in the central role, has now gone to Hopscotch in Australia/NewZealand, Lumiere in Benelux, LNK in Portugal, Bonton in Czech Republic andEuropa Filmes in Brazil. European key territories are in final negotiation. Ashas already been annou
  • Blue Star CEO Maggi steps back to set up financing outfit

    European production andsales company Blue Star Movies has announced that Pietro Dioni and IreneMasiello have taken over as managing directors, overseeing day-to-dayoperations of the business, while former CEO Pete Maggi will assume the titleof Chairman and kick start his new financing company, Movie Finance.Movie Finance, an equityfund to be launched at the beginning of 2006, will offer up to 60% funding forEuropean co-productions (of budgets up to $15 million) geared to theinternation
  • Blue Star takes on sales of three Cameo FJ titles

    Blue Star Movies has come onboard for international sales of three films from LA-based production companyCameo FJ Entertainment: Erik MacArthur's Bottoms Up and Josef Rusnak's Victims, which are both in final post-production, and DerekCianfrance's Blue Valentine, inpre-production.Bottoms Up is a $4 million comedy starring Paris Hilton andJason Mewes in the story of an ambitious bartender who falls in love for thefirst time. Cameo FJ's Freddy Braidy and Franc
  • Branagh ready to shoot Mozart magic

    Kenneth Branaghbegins principal photography on his $27m version of Mozart's The Magic Flute on23 January at Shepperton Studios.For the first time for a British film, theproduction will occupy six of the major soundstages at the studio. The film features a newly-adapted libretto byStephen Fry with musical director James Conlon conducting the Chamber Orchestraof Europe. The cast includes young opera stars including Joseph Kaiser, AmyCarson and Ben Davis.Pierre-Olivie
  • BV, Shoreline meet at The Halfway House

    Morris Ruskin's ShorelineEntertainment has picked up BV Entertainment's horror comedy The HalfwayHouse for representation at AFM.The picture is the first to beproduced under BV's Fright Film Factory label and was released on DVD in NorthAmerica earlier this year."Taking this film to the AFMand other worldwide markets is the beginning of what I hope to be a long-termrelationship," BV chief Kenneth J Hall said."
  • Campfires Burning at Celluloid Dreams

    Underlining its growing appetite for upscale English-language fare,Paris-based Celluloid Dreams is taking up sales duties on US road movie CampfiresBurning, the debut feature from Mary Sweeney. The $5 million feature, shootingnext summer for delivery in 2007, will be shot by Diego Vignatti Martinez (BattleIn Heaven) and cast by Johanna Ray (The Black Dahlia).Campfires Burning follows a father and daughter on an epic journey in avintage convertible through th
  • Canada's Atopia sells A Silent Love to Desert Mountain in US

    Pascal Maeder's Canadianproduction and sales company Atopia is finalising a US DVD deal with DesertMountain Media for Federico Hidalgo's comedy drama A Silent Love. Vanessa Bauche and NoelBurton star in the story of a Montreal professor and a Mexican woman who meetthrough an online dating service and learn that the road to marriage is not asstraightforward as they imagined. Los Angeles-based DesertMountain Media plans a February 20006 DVD release. Form
  • Canada's Cianciotta leaves Capri Releasing

    Tony Cianciotta has leftToronto-based Capri Releasing, the 18-month old distribution company of whichhe was founding president. A spokesperson confirmed Cianciotta resigned threeweeks ago but the company has issued no announcement. His name has been removedfrom the company website while Robin Smith, who was operations manager, is nowlisted as general manager. Capri Releasing is the distribution arm of GabriellaMartinelli's Capri Films. Neither Cianciotta nor Martinelli were available forcomme
  • Casablanca picks up Brazilian rights to Shadow Of The Sword

    In the run up to the AFM, German sales outfit Sola Media/AtrixFilms has sold Simon Aeby's historical epic Shadow Of The Sword to Brazilian distributor Casablanca Films. Benelux rights have been taken by F.E.G. and AQS acquired allrights for Czech Republic and Slovakia. Shadow Of The Swordcomes billed as "a tale about love, courage and faith put to the test by theruthless arm of the Church Inquisitionin its drive to stamp ou
  • Celestial, Image pact on Shaw Brothers titles

    Hong Kong's CelestialPictures has signed a long-term deal with Image Entertainment for US andCanadian video distribution of 30 titles from its Shaw Brothers library. Titles covered by the dealinclude martial arts classics such as The Shadow Boxer, Heaven And Hell and The Magic Blade, along with a range of other genres including horrortitles and period dramas."There is a high demand forthese hard-to-find titles of unsurpassed quality and we will be working wi
  • Celluloid boards Oz mockumentary Razzle Dazzle

    A newmockumentary Razzle Dazzle promises to lift the lid on the spangle-clad world of children'sdance troupes. The project, just added to Celluloid Dreams' AFM slate, is beingscripted by Carolyn Wilson and longtime Ricky Gervais collaborator Robin Ince.from an original story by Daren Ashton and Carolyn Wilson.The $1.5 millionfeature will shoot shortly on location in Sydney, Australia, and will be readyfor delivery by next year's Cannes Festival. Razzle Dazzle is produced
  • Celluloid Dreams handles international sales on Atomised

    CelluloidDreams is to handle international sales for Oskar Roehler's adaptation ofcontroversial French author Michel Houellebecq's best-selling novel Atomised(Elementarteilchen) which is currently in post-productionand may premiere at next year's Berlinale.Theco-production between Constantin
  • Celluloid to sell Eltringham's east Berlin 60s comedy

    Celluloid Dreams' everexpanding English-language slate continues to swell. Yesterday at the AFM,Celluloid confirmed it is to handle international sales on Mrs Ratcliffe'sRevolution, the bittersweet newBritish comedy from Leslee Udwin's Assassin Films.Bille Eltringham (This IsNot A Love Song, The Long Firm) willdirect from a screenplay by Peter Straughan and Bridget O'Connor. Paul Abbottis executive producer. Shooting on the $9.5 million project begins in early2006, with d
  • Chang boards Korean war epic Christmas Cargo

    Terence Chang is teaming upwith Korean production company Blue Storm and sales agent Cineclick Asia toproduce $20m Korean war epic Christmas Cargo. Chang, who is John Woo'spartner in Lion Rock Productions, will executive produce the project. BlueStorm president Bae Yong-kook will produce in association with Cineclick Asiamanaging director Suh Young-joo. Based on a true story, thefilm will follow events on Christmas Eve in 1950 when the US army was trappedin a northern cit
  • Chicken Little

    Dir: Mark Dindal. US. 2005. 80mins.For its first fully computer-animated feature, WaltDisney has turned the fable of ChickenLittle into a warm and funny comedy-adventure with an appealing energy, atouching thread of family drama and a surprising dose of War Of The Worlds-style sci-fi. After thedisappointment of some of Disn
  • Chicken Little goes big in Mexico, Russia & South Africa

    Impressive holds during the All Saints Day holiday in manyterritories this week means that The Legend Of Zorro stands at more than $41m going into theweekend.
  • Chicken Little opens mighty with $40.1m weekend

    Buena Vista's CG-animated romp Chicken Little soared to an estimated $40.1m number onedebut over the three-day weekend, ahead of Universal's Gulf War drama Jarheadon $28.8m.
  • Chris Davis adds Infection, Shock'n'Awe to slate

    Chris Davis International (CDI) has added five new titles forbuyers at AFM, headed up by Filmwerks' bio-terror picture Infection from director Albert Pyun, which isclose to a domestic deal.
  • Cineclick generates market buzz with Korean duo

    Korean sales agent CineclickAsia is introducing two new productions to international buyers at the AFM- Blue Swallow, based onthe true story of Korea's first female aviator, and Bong Joon-ho's $10m monstermovie The Host. Both films were stirring upbuyer interest at the recent market Pusan film market, held alongside the PusanInternational Film Festival. First footage from both will be screened on thesecond day of the AFM.Directed by Yoon Jong-chanand produced by Ko
  • Cineclick, Happinet board Barmak's Opium War

    Korean sales agent CineclickAsia has picked up worldwide sales rights to Opium War, the second film from Afghan director Siddiq Barmakfollowing Osama which won aGolden Globe for best foreign-language film in 2004. The deal marks the firsttime that Cineclick has handled a non-Korean feature. The Seoul-based company willalso co-finance and co-produce the film along with Japan's Happinet Corp. The project recentlyparticipated in the PPP co-production market at the Pus
  • Cinemavault spins into SJP's butter

    Toronto-based Cinemavault Releasing International is bringing a line-upof 10 titles to AFM including Sarah Jessica Parker's first feature producercredit in Spinning Into Butter and the high school sports drama 30 Days starring Ellen Burstyn and Taye Diggs.
  • City Screen co-founder steps down after 16 years

    Tony Jonesis leaving the City Screen arthouse chain he co-founded 16 years ago.He wants toconcentrate
  • Concorde, Notro, Gussi among buyers for Myriad's Beethoven

    Myriad Pictures has closed a raft of sales at the AFM on AgnieszkaHolland's romance Copying Beethoven starring Ed Harris and Diane Kruger.
  • Content sells Mee Shee to VCL/Warner and others

    Content Film has closed adeal with VCL/Warner for German rights to its new family adventure, $25 millionMee-Shee The Water Giant. Thedeal was the first major territory closed on the film, which features specialeffects from Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Deals with Senafor Iceland, Lusomundo for Portugal, WEG India for India, Intersonic for Czechand Slovak Republics and Hungary, Programs4Media for Romania, Pyramid forRussia, Europa Filmes in Brazil, Cinematografica Blancica in Venez
  • ContentFilm chairman talks up restructured company at AGM

    ContentFilm chairman Alton Irbysaid that the company has seen at "encouraging results" after its acquisitionof the Fireworks International library and restructuring. Since the Fireworksdeal closed in July, that TV and film library has generated $10 million in cashflow and $4.5 in new contractual sales. Speaking at the company's annualgeneral meeting, Irby noted that ContentFilm International had shifted itsfocus from selling its self-produced films to acquir
  • Core Studio unveils Yoichi Sai gangster thriller

    Start-up South Koreanproduction and sales outfit Core Studio has unveiled its slate for 2006, whichincludes the first Korean production from Japanese-Korean director Yoichi Sai (Quill, Blood And Bones).The project, which has theworking title Double Casting, isbased on a popular manga about a gang boss who poses as his dead twin to findout who killed him. Production is scheduled to start in February. "Up until now, Korean filmshave focused on casting to appea
  • Cruz, DeVito join the cast of Paltrow's The Good Night

    Penelope Cruz and Danny DeVito have joined the cast of InfernoDistribution's $15m New York-set romantic comedy The Good Night.
  • Damon's Foresight Unlimited deals in Captivity

    Mark Damon'sproduction and distribution company Foresight Unlimited has closedmulti-territory sales on its first feature Captivity starring Elisha Cuthbert.
  • Derailed

    Dir: Mikael Hafstrom. US. 2005. 108mins.Representing a fairly low profile debut for a highprofile operation, The Weinstein Company's Derailedis a sharp, nicely cast neo-noir thriller that loses some of its edge over thecourse of its twisting and turning plot.Swedish director Mikael Hafstrom - whose
  • Dimension picks up 2929 remake Black Christmas

    Dimension Films has swoopedon US rights to 2929 Productions' remake of the 1974 horror thriller BlackChristmas, which will be made byJames Wong and Glen Morgan, the filmmaking team behind Final Destination and The One. 2929 International will becommence pre-sales at AFM on the project, which is scheduled to beginproduction in January for a Christmas 2006 North American release. Morgan will direct based ona screenplay by Wong about a sorority house terrorised
  • Dream picks up international on Sorry, Haters

    Dream Entertainment has picked up international rights fromCinetic Media to Jeff Stanzler's psychological thriller Sorry, Haters starring Robin Wright Penn.
  • Echo Bridge takes domestic rights to The Big White

    Echo Bridge Entertainment has picked up all North American rightsfrom Capitol Films to Mark Mylod's black comedy The Big White starring Robin Williams, Holly Hunterand Woody Harrelson.
  • European Film Awards announced in Seville

    The European Film Academy (EFA) announced the nominations for theEuropean Film Awards 2005 at the Seville Film Festival last night.The 1,600 EFA Members will now vote for the winnerswhich will be presented during the Awards Ceremony in Berlin on December 3.
  • European Film Awards to be announced at Seville

    The nominations for thisyear's European Film Awards will be announced at the Seville Film Festival onSunday.The event (November 4-12)will also host the presentation of the European actors selected for ShootingStars 2005.Seville's festival is decicatedtedentirely to European cinema, with 160 films and $290,000in prizes for the Spanish distributors of winning titles. French director Patrice Chereau,
  • Festival heads Scottish Bafta contenders

    AnnieGriffin's ensemble comedy Festivalheadsthe contenders for this year's BAFTA Scotland Awards with six nominations including best film. Writer/directorGriffin's feature debut took its inspiration from Robert Altman'sNashville and casts a jaundiced eye over the agonyand the ecstasy of theannual arts Festival in Edinburgh.GabyDellal's On A Clear Day starringPeter Mullan has received three nominations including best film. Mullan himself is a surprise omission i
  • Festival heads Scottish Bafta contenders

    Annie Griffin's ensemble comedy Festivalheadsthe contenders for this year'sBAFTA Scotland Awards with six nominations including best film. Writer/directorGriffin's feature debut took its inspiration from Robert Altman'sNashville and casts a jaundiced eye over the agonyand the ecstasy of theannual arts Festival in Edinburgh.GabyDellal's On A Clear Day starringPeter Mullan has received three nominations including best film. Mullan himself is a surprise omission in the be
  • Film Council increases UK sales support at AFM

    The UKFilm Council US is doubling its support for start-up and smaller independentsales companies at this year's AFM.The movewill allow many companies to exhibit there for the first time and others tocontinue their push to international buyers.Underthe single banner of the UKFCUS export office: Carnaby International, CentreFilm Sales, Cross Day Productions, Framework Entertainment, High Point Films,Hollywood Classics, Independent Film Sales (IFS), Lumina Films and VisualFactory and will br
  • Film Messenger beams Pusan winner to Lighthouse

    Singapore's LighthousePictures has acquired its first Korean film by snapping up Pusan winner TheUnforgiven from Korea's FilmMessenger.The debut feature of YoonJong-bin who also has a role in the film, The Unforgiven examines the dehumanising effect of Korea'smandatory two-year military service. The independent productionpicked up three major awards at the Pusan International Film Festival inOctober - the FIPRESCI Award for best new Asian film, the NETPAC Awardfor
  • Ford takes Ingenious finance role

    Media investment group Ingenioushas appointed Sue Ford as group finance director. Ford previously held thesame position at Channel 4 Television Corporation and 4 Ventures Ltd. Sue will be responsible forthe financial management and governance of the
  • Foreign sales begin to dominate thinking for Korean producers

    A seriesof hits have helped home-grown titles to a 58% share of the South Korea this year but Screendaily's latest production listings shows the growing importance of the international market.Squeezedprofits are forcing producers to rely on foreign sales in a way that is beginning to have a clear effect.The most widely-publicised change has been
  • Fortissimo adds The Bridge to AFM slate

    Fortissimo Films has pickedup worldwide rights outside North America to documentary The Bridge, which marks the directing debut of former studioproduction executive Eric Steel. Filmed at the Golden GateBridge in San Francisco, the documentary examines the stories of the people whochose to commit suicide by jumping from the bridge in 2004. Inspired by a NewYorker article entitled "The Fatal Grandeur of the Golden Gate Bridge", Steelfilmed on the bridge for the whole year.W
  • Fortissimo sells new territories on UK drama Snow Cake

    Fortissimo Filmshas sold UK feature Snow Cake to several more territories. The new dealsare with DCA in Argentina, A Film in Benelux, United King in Israel, Media FilmInternational in Korea and Thailand, Monolith in Poland, and Lusomundo inPortugal.Marc Evans'dramatic feature, written by Angela Pell, stars Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaverand Carrie-Anne Moss in a story about an autistic mother who loses herdaughter. Gina Carter and Andrew Eaton produced for Revolution Films
  • Fortissimo's Sunflower blooms in Spain

    Fortissimo Films has soldZhang Yang's San Sebastian winner Sunflower to Spain's Diorama. Starring Joan Chen andco-produced by Fortissimo, China Film and Being-based Ming Productions, thefilm portrays a Chinese family over three decades following the CulturalRevolution. It picked up awards for best director and best photography (JongLin) at this year's San Sebastian film festival. 'We're delighted to start arelationship with Diorama and we are already i
  • Fortissimo's Sunflower blooms in Spain

    Fortissimo Films has soldZhang Yang's San Sebastian winner Sunflower to Spain's Diorama. Starring Joan Chen andco-produced by Fortissimo, China Film and Being-based Ming Productions, thefilm portrays a Chinese family over three decades following the CulturalRevolution. It picked up awards for best director and best photography (JongLin) at this year's San Sebastian film festival. 'We're delighted to start arelationship with Diorama and we are already i
  • Fortissimo's Sunflower set to bloom in Spain

    Fortissimo Films has soldZhang Yang's San Sebastian winner Sunflower to Spain's Diorama. Starring Joan Chen andco-produced by Fortissimo, China Film and Being-based Ming Productions, thefilm portrays a Chinese family over three decades following the CulturalRevolution. It picked up awards for best director and best photography (JongLin) at this year's San Sebastian film festival. "We're delighted to start arelationship with Diorama and we are already in discussions for fu
  • Four films picked for WCF funding

    Inits third round of funding, the Berlin-based World Cinema Fund (WCF) hasselected four projects for production support and one project to back forGerman theatrical distribution.Theproduction funding went to Faro, La Reine Des Eaux, dir: Salif Traore (Mali), German co-producer: Bärbel Mauch Film (funding: $72,400 [Euros 60,000])
  • Goalpost hopes to score on debut with Clubland

    Fledgling UK sales agent Goalpost Filmis backing Australian drama Clublandas its first project.The film, starring BrendaBlethyn, and directed by Cherie Nowlan starts shooting in Sydney at the beginn
  • Gold Circle to remake Breaking News

    Gold Circle Films hasacquired remake rights to Johnnie To action movie Breaking News from Hong Kong's Media Asia. The film, about a policestakeout that turns into a live televised event, screened in anout-of-competition slot at the Cannes film festival in 2004. Gold Circle president PaulBrooks will produce the project. Executive producing are Gold Circle's NormWaitt and Scott Niemeyer along with Peter Anshin. Gold Circle's vice presidentof production, Zak Kadison, brought
  • Gold Circle, Vertigo to bring Angel back to the screen

    Gold Circle Films and Vertigo Entertainment are teaming up toadapt William Hjortsberg's 1978 novel Falling Angel, which Alan Parker famously turned intothe 1987 mystery Angel Heart.
  • Goldview sells Camus to North America

    Japan's Gold View has soldNorth American rights to Who's Camus Anyway', directed by Mitsuo Yanagimachi, to LarryMeistrich's Film Movement. The film, which screened inthe Director's Fortnight section at Cannes this year, follows a group ofstudents in Tokyo making their first movie. The director's first film in morethan a decade, it recently picked up the best picture award in the JapaneseEyes section of the Tokyo International Film Festival which wrapped last week.Meanwhil
  • GreeneStreet kicks off sales on comedy Pleasure

    GreeneStreetFilms International (GSFI) has reported steady business on the Jason Biggs comedy The Pleasure Of Your Company, which begins production tomorrow in New York.Territories have gone to Video Filmes in Brazil, RCV in Benelux, Nordisk in Scandinavia, Castelo Lopes in Portugal, and Forum in Israel. Deals with the UK, Germany and Australia are close.Isla Fisher fromthis year's North American smash Wedding Crashers also stars in the story of adisillusioned man
  • Hanway takes on Polley, Jarrold projects to sell

    HanWay Films hasacquired international sales rights to two projects in pre-production: BecomingJane from Kinky Boots director Julian Jarrold starring AnneHathaway, and Away From Her, actress Sarah Polley's feature directorial debut starringVanessa Redgrave.Becoming Jane stars Hathaway (Brokeback Mountain,The Princess Diaries) asyoung future novelist Jane Austen, who is embroiled in a passionate love affairat age 20. The film-makers are in talks with J
  • Henderson, Indian bookend High Falls Film Festival

    The fifth annual High FallsFilm Festival in Rochester, New York, opens on Nov 9 with Stephen Frears' MrsHenderson Presents and closes on Nov13 with Roger Donaldson's The World's Fastest Indian. All in all more than 50narrative, documentary and short films will screen, among them Scott McGeheeand David Siegel's US drama Bee Season, Cate Shortland's Australian award-winner Somersault, and Jessica Saunders' miscarriage of justicedocumentary After Innocence
  • Hof hits new heights

    This year's International Hof Film Days attracted a record 28,000 admissions in five days.Amongthe highlights at this year's annual gathering of the German film communitywere Andreas Dresen's Summer In Berlin (Sommer VormBalkon), EoinMoore's Im
  • Hof hits new heights

    TheInternational Hof Film Days posted record attendancewith 28,000 admissions in five days.Amongthe highlights at this year's annual gathering of the German film communitywere Andreas Dresen's Summer In Berlin (Sommer VormBalkon), EoinMoore's Im
  • Home-grown hits give UK box office a holiday hike

    The once unthinkable prospectof the UK matching last year's record box office is now farmore likely after an astonishing half-term holiday run.At the end of the thirdquarter, the territory was 4% down with little likelihood of finding the $460m(£261.5m) in the final three months to equal 2004.Early disappointments like Kinky Boots in early October didn't helpoptimism.
  • Hong Kong man jailed for film piracy

    AHong Kong man has become the first person to be jailed for passing on film contentover the controversial BitTorrent (BT) online file-sharingservice.Chan Nai-ming, 38, who used thealias "Big Crook", was sentenced to three months in jail by a Hong Kong magistrate after conviction on three charges of attempting todistribute Hollywood films -
  • Hong Kong's Focus sells First Cuts, Love to Japan

    Hong Kong star Andy Lau'sFocus Films has sold its entire FOCUS: First Cuts series of Chinese-languagefeatures to Japanese distributor and talent management company IMX. In addition, the company hassold romantic drama All About Love,starring Lau, Charlie Young (Seven Swords) and Charlene Choi (Twins Effect) to Japan's Movie Eye Entertainment and ShowTime in Korea. Movie Eyewill release the film in Japan in summer 2006 while ShowTime has scheduled theKorean release f
  • Hopkins, Gosling star in Fracture for New Line

    Anthony Hopkins and RyanGosling have signed to star in Castle Rock's crime drama Fracture that New Line is handling worldwide.Gregory Hoblit will directthe story of an assistant District Attorney who takes justice into his ownhands after an assailant tries to murder his wife and leaves her in a coma.New Line International willsell the picture outside of North America and production is expected to beginearly next year.Castle Rock is producing andNew Line executives
  • Horizon sources new supplier in Stadium

    Rob Straight's Vancouver-based Horizon Entertainment has signed a dealwith Randy Purcell's Stadium Entertainment under which the partners will bringfour to six new pictures to world markets in 2006.
  • Hyde Park to sell Warner Independent's Astronaut Farmer

    Warner Independent Pictures has appointed Hyde Park Internationalexclusive sales agent on the Polish brothers' drama Astronaut Farmer starring Billy Bob Thornton, VirginiaMadsen and Bruce Dern.
  • IAC, Sequence Film pick up worldwide sales on Teresa

    UK-based sales company IAC Films and its sisterproduction company Sequence Film have taken on worldwide sales and distribution(outside Spain) for Ray Loriga's Teresa.The Lolafilms production, produced by Andres VicenteGomez, stars Paz Vega, Geraldine Chaplin and Leonor Watling in the story of St.Teresa of Avila.IAC is also selling Lolafilm's The Feast of theGoat.
  • IFTA overhauls licensing agreements

    Embracingsweeping changes in the international marketplace, the Independent Film &Television Alliance (IFTA) has modified all its standard licensing agreementsand included a stand-alone internet rider.
  • IMAX, Epic to build three giant screen theatres in Israel

    IMAX Corp. and US-based EpicEntertainment have signed an agreement to install three giant-screen cinemas atmultiplexes throughout Israel. The new facilities willprogramme digitally re-mastered Hollywood films. Specific locationannouncements are pending. In a statement, Epic's Bennett Kaplan and PeterIsraelson said the company hopes to build on the success of its originalinvestment, a single IMAX screen it operates in the resort town of Haifa. That facility so
  • Independent distributor to make new year debut

    A newindependent distributor will begin operations in the Netherlands and Belgium fromJanuary.Dutchcompanies Filmworks and Inspire Pictures and the Belgium distributor Lumierehave joined forces to form Benelux Film Distributors. The companyis aiming for a wide range of independent film productions, from mainstream toarthouse. Amongstthe titles to be released in 2006
  • Indie thriller shoots in Oxford and London

    UK-based Cat's Paw Productions hasstarted pro
  • Indie thriller shoots in Oxford and London

    UK-based Cat's Paw Productions hasstarted production on low-budget independent film Framed on location in Oxfordand around London. Shooting started on September 28 and will continue throughNovember 6. Jon Kirby (Jack of Diamonds,Requiem)is directing, with Crispin Manson and Matthew Stradling producing and Stephan Evans(Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, The Mother) executive producing.Stradling also wrote the screenplay.
  • Initial boards Revolution sci-fi thriller Next

    Graham King's Initial Entertainment Group has fulfilled itspromise to bring buyers product outside the company's new deal with Warner Brosand boarded Revolution Studios' sci-fi action thriller Next.
  • Intandem, Spice Factory set up FearFactory

    UK-based financing, salesand distribution company Intandem Films, production company Spice Factory UK,and producers Colin Pons of Studio of the North and Mark Thomas of BallparkProductions have set up a new venture, FearFactory, to produce horror films andpsychological thrillers.Intandem CEO Gary Smith toldScreen that FearFactory, whichwill be set up under the Enterprise Investment Scheme in the UK, initially aimsto raise $10 million from private investors in the UK. The genre l
  • Italian film industry pledges support for second Oscar choice

    Italian film organisation Anica says Italy fully supports theselection of Cristina Comencini's Don't Tell as the country's candidatefor the best foreign language film Oscar, despite reports of fiery argumentswithin the local movie i
  • Italian home entertainment company buys into theatre distribution

    Italy's Mondo Home Entertainment has acquired a 51% stake in ambitious local theatrical distributor Moviemax.MondoHE is Italy's leading company in the home entertainment and video-on-demand sector. Itsparent company, Mondo TV, is Italy's premier animation outfit was only thesecond entertainment company after Mediaset to be listed on the Milan StockExchange.The$3m (Euros 2.5m) deal marks Mondo HE's entry in the theatrical distribution sector.Moviemax'sRudolph Gentile and M
  • Japan's Nikkatsu snaps up Welcome To Dongmakgol

    Korean major Showbox hassold drama Welcome To Dongmakgolto Japan's Nikkatsu for a sum ofaround $2m. The $5.5m film has racked upmore than 8 million admissions since its local release in August and is nowKorea's fourth biggest ever film. It was also selected asSouth Korea's entry for the foreign-language category of next year's AcademyAwards. Set in a remote villageduring the Korean War, the film tells the story of two South Korean soldiers,three North Korean soldie
  • John Lesher to head up Paramount Classics

    Endeavor partner John Lesherhas been hired to head up Paramount Classics in a move that Paramount isexpected to officially announce this week.Lesher has been one of several contenders linked with the job in recent monthsas the tenure of former co-chiefs David Dinerstein and Ruth Vitale lookedincreasingly shaky.The appointment of the high powered agent appeared to be set in stone yesterdayafter it emerged that he was telling clients about the move.A
  • Kilmer joins Silverstone, Gallo in Luna's Moscow Zero

    Val Kilmer has beenconfirmed as the third major lead in Moscow Zero, the psychological horror picture from cult directorLuna. Appearing alongside Vincent Gallo and Alicia Silverstone, he will play anunderground dweller fighting demons in the Moscow subway. Shooting begins nextmonth in Russia and Spain.The project, sold byValentia at the AFM, has now gone to Spain (Notro), Russia &CIS (Phars),Brazil (Paris Filmes), Eastern Europe (Blue Sky) Indonesia (Rapi Films)Malaysia/Singapor
  • Kimmel International takes on South African Drum

    Kimmel International has picked up international rights to ZProductions' South Africa-set drama Beat The Drum and is offering to buyers at AFM.
  • Kissed By Winter (Vinterkyss)

    Dir: Sara Johnsen. Nor. 2005. 84mins.A bereaved mother tries to come to terms with heranguish by seeking refuge in a snowbound northern village. There, she discoversunsuspected affinities with the local population, as well as finding romanceand becoming embroiled in a troubling mystery.As the above synopsissuggests, this year's official Norwegian submission for the best forei
  • Kiwi festival favourite finally makes it to the States

    Sales agentNZ Film has sold US rights to the psychological drama In My Father's Den to Tartan Films, which is looking to release thefilm theatrically in May 2006.It's beenslow progress for the UK/New Zealand co-production that was one of the darlingsof the international festival circuit in 2004, but it was caught up in thedemise of UK sales agent Element X, whic
  • Korine's Mr Lonely features Pallenberg, Morton, Luna

    Colourful details have emerged of Mister Lonely, the latest feature from Tennessee and London-basedmaverick Harmony Korine (Gummo, Julien Donkey Boy). 60s icon Anita Pallenberg is to play the Queen OfEngland, Denis Lavant will portray Charlie Chaplin, Samantha Morton is MarilynMonroe and Diego Luna will play a Michael Jackson impersonat
  • Lesher to head up Paramount Classics

    Endeavor partner John Lesherhas been hired to head up Paramount Classics in a move that Paramount isexpected to officially announce this week.Lesher has been one of several contenders linked with the job in recent monthsas the tenure of former co-chiefs David Dinerstein and Ruth Vitale lookedincreasingly shaky.The appointment of the high powered agent appeared to be set in stone yesterdayafter it emerged that he was telling clients about the move.A Paramount spokespers
  • LGI secures raft of sales on Fierce People

    Lions Gate FilmsInternational has completed a raft of sales on Griffin Dunne's drama Fierce People, which makes its premiere market screening at AFMand stars Diane Lane, Donald Sutherland and Elizabeth Perkins.Lions Gate International president Nick Meyer announced sales to Filmax forSpain, Video Film for Italy, Showbox/Milestone for South Korea, Applause forTaiwan, Imagem/Freeway for Brazil, Scanbox for Scandinavia, LNK for Portugal,and Ster-Kinekor for South Africa.Th
  • Lions Gate international sales soar before AFM

    Riding high on Saw II's one-two punch following record North American and UK weekendlaunches that generated $31.7m and $3.8m respectively, Lions Gate FilmsInternational has announced a slew of major territory sales on three otherhorror pictures heading into AFM.
  • Lumina launches thriller label Panic Attack

    UK-based production andsales company Lumina Films is launching its thriller label Panic Attack withDan Reed's Straightheads,starring Gillian Anderson, Danny Dyer and Anthony Calf.Damian Jones (The HistoryBoys, Millions) and Kevin Loader (TheHistory Boys, Enduring Love) areproducing. The film is funded by FilmFour, the UK Film Council's New CinemaFund (which has invested £590,000), Screen West Midlands and UK distributorVerve Pictures. Verve will release theatricall
  • Media Luna adds dance doc to AFM slate

    Onthe eve of the AFM, Cologne-based sales company Media Luna has added ArneBirkenstock's documentary 12 Tangos -Adios Buenos Aires to its market line-up.Producedby Fruitmarket - Kultur undMedien and TradewindPictures, 12 Tangos follows the livesof several tango dancers in crisis-ridden Buenos Aires
  • Mexican star hits out at Hollywood stereotyping

    Leading Mexicanactor Gael Garcia Bernal has attacked what he says is Hollywood stereotyping of Latin America.Speaking atThe Times London Film Festival in London, the star of The Motorcycle Diaries, said there seemed to be two roles forHispanic people: "the bad guy" and "the good Latino from the slums."The26-year-old, who came to
  • Middle East companies unite to acquire, finance films

    Anew strategic alliance has been created in the Middle East between Dubai'sFront Row Entertainment, Lebanon's Shooting Stars and the Kuwait NationalCinema Company (KNCC).
  • Minghella hails best ever London Film Festival

    "The best festival ever," was Anthony Minghellas description of the 49th The Times London Film Festival, which closed last night withGeorge Clooney's Good Night, And GoodLuck.Theevent broke all previous records, boasting 161 sold-out performancesin a festival of 180 feature films and 130 shorts.Theend of festival awards went to:The Sutherland Trophy (Best first feature
  • MK2, Rialto take Tsotsi from Little Film Company

    Robbie Little's Little Film Company has closed more sales on GavinHood's Toronto Film Festival's People's Choice Award winner Tsotsi.
  • Momentum, Aurum buy The Hoax for UK and Spain

    UK distributor MomentumPictures and its Spanish sister company Aurum Producciones have acquired threefilms for release in 2006: Lasse Hallstrom's The Hoax for the UK and Spain, Mark Neveldine and BrianTaylor's Crank for Spain, andGavin Hood's Tsotsi for the UK.Momentum's vice president of acquisition Lara Thompson spearheaded all threedeals.The Hoax, currently in post-production, follows a bogusbiographer of Howard Hughes and stars Richard Gere, Hope Davis a
  • Moviehouse boards UK mockumentary Exhibit A

    UK-based salescompany Moviehouse Entertainment has come on board for Dom Rotheroe's ExhibitA, a psychologicalmockumentary that recently wrapped shooting in the UK.Bent Films'Darren Bender, a former commissioning editor at Channel 4, is producing ExhibitA. Mark Herbert, HugoHeppell and Sheryl Crown are executive producing alongside Moviehouse's GaryPhillips and Mark Vennis.Exhibit A, about an ordinary family going througha downward spiral as seen through the
  • Myriad boards Edie Sedgwick biopic Factory Girl

    Myriad Pictures has picked up all international rights to GeorgeHickenlooper's Edie Sedgwick drama Factory Girl with Sienna Miller attached to play thelead and Guy Pearce in talks to star as Andy Warhol.
  • Negishi takes top honours at Tokyo festival

    Kichitaro Negishi's drama What the Snow Brings became the first Japanese film to win the Tokyo International Film Festival's top prize, the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix, since the fest's first edition in 1985. Jury chairman Zhang Yimou said the judges had reached the decision quickly and unanimously - "a first in my experience with film juries," he added.Negishi also took the Best Director award, while star Koichi Sato scooped the Best Actor prize. To further ice the cake, the film wo
  • New Benelux distributor BFD hoovers up Hannibal, Bobby Z

    In the run-up to the AFM,voracious new Dutch and Belgian-based outfit Benelux Film Distributors (BFD),is hoovering up product. Along with titles already announced, the company hasconfirmed it will be releasing Young Hannibal: Behind The Mask, The LastMogul, Hurricane Chasers, The Life And Death Of Bobby Z, Running Scared and The Last Hangman.A joint venture betweenDutch FilmWorks, Inspire Pictures and Belgian company Lumiere, BFD was createdin late October and opens for b
  • New Films International takes Folks overseas

    NewFilms International has picked up international rights to Raymond de Felitta'sroad movie The Thing About My Folks,which stars Reiser, Peter Falk, Olympia Dukakis and Elizabeth Perkins.
  • New Films strikes three-picture deal with Highland Myst

    Continuing its thrust into filmmaking, Los Angeles-based New FilmsInternational will co-produce three projects from writer-director Jon Keeyesand his producing partner Brandon Baker through Keeyes' Highland MystEntertainment.
  • New teams with Woo, Chang for Bloody Numbers

    BeverlyHills-based New Films International will co-produce the supernatural thriller BloodyNumbers with John Wooand Terence Chang's Lion Rock Productions.The productionis set to be one of the first to return to the French Quarter in New Orleans inthe wake of Hurricane Katrina and will get underway in the first half of 2006.Woo's protegeArthur Anderson (the two are pictured) will direct the New Orleans-set tale ofa young woman who uses supernatural gifts to track down the
  • New Zealand's Rialto sells shares in companies to Reading

    Kelly Rogers and David Rosshave sold their half share in New Zealand's biggest arthouse circuit, RialtoCinemas, to mainstream exhibitor Reading and cashed up their distributioncompany in the process.This means that thecountry's two biggest cinema operators, the other being existing half ownerVillage Skycity, now own most of the 19-screen specialist chain that Rogersestablished. Rogers will still have an executive role, however, and he and Ross have held onto two cinemas.The deal
  • Newman named executive director of National Board Of Review

    Eileen Newman has been namedexecutive director of the National Board of Review, which traditionally kicksoff the awards season and will announce its winners on Dec 6. Newman most recently servedas senior director of programming at IFP/New York and will work closely withthe board of directors in all matter, specifically in broadening membership,and creating more programming and scholarship opportunities. Prior to IFP, Newman servedas executive director of Film
  • Ogden on top for Irish Film And Television Awards

    Perry Ogden and Terry George took two awards each at the annual Irish Film and Television Awards ceremony held in Dublin. Perry Ogden took the best film award and the breakthrough award for Pavee Lackeen, while Terry George picked up both best director and best script for Hotel Rwanda.The awards also honoured Irish actors an
  • Optimimum and Madman join forces on the home front

    Independentdistributors Optimum Releasing and Madman Entertainment have announced theformation of a home entertainment joint venture.OptimumMadman will distribute titles in the UK and Australian markets. First on the Optimum Madman slate is Bill Melendez' 1979Emmy award-winning animated feature The Lion, The Witch and
  • Optimum takes UK rights to Tommy Lee Jones debut

    Optimum Releasing has acquired all UK rights toTommy Lee Jones' directorial debut The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estradafrom EuropaCorp. The western was a critical hit at Cannes whereit won best actor for Tommy Lee Jones and best screenplay for GuillermoArriaga.
  • Optimum, Madman join forces on home video front

    UK distributor OptimumReleasing is teaming with Aussie distributor Madman Entertainment for a jointventure home entertainment business, Optimum Madman. Optimum Madman will acquirehome video products to be distributed both in the UK and Australia. Optimum Madman's firstrelease will be Bill Melendez'1979 animated film The Lion,The Witch and The Wardrobe. (Disney'snew live-action version of The Chronicles Of Narnia will hit theatres December 9.)Th
  • Pan-Europeenne buys Outlander, Labyrinth

    Off to a running start atthe AFM, France's Pan Europeenne has acquired French rights to Howard McCain's Outlander and Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth.The distribution company'sdeputy managing director Jean-Philippe Tirel told Screen that Pan Europeennepaid $3m for Outlander in a dealwith LA-based producer Ascendant Pictures and $600,000 for Pan's Labyrinth in a deal with Spain's Telecinco. Both films arebeing sold internationally by Pan Europeenne paren
  • Paramount Classics goes North with nature doc

    Paramount Classics has picked up US, UK and Latin American rightsto Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson's hot documentary Call Of The North, which follows a polar bear and a walrusover the course of five years as they battle for survival on a disappearingcontinent.
  • Pathe, Reason team on Apted's football documentary

    Pathe Pictures and LA-based ReasonPictures are teaming up for Michael Apted's new feature documentary aboutfootball around the world. The film will feature sixintertwining stories in what Pathe calls a "moving examination of the socialimpact of the game across the world."It is currently inproduction, with footage already shot in South Africa, Iran, Holland, and theUS. Apted will shoot in the next several months in the UK, Argentina, Senegal,China, Iran, and in Germany during the
  • Peace Arch shoots five for genre arm

    Toronto-basedPeace Arch Entertainment Group has launched genre division Archetype Films andis introducing five titles already in production.The slate isheaded by Warrior Of Terra starring Edward Furlong, Ellen Fury and Andrew Lui, in the storyof a team of animal rights activists who discover a bio-engineered monster.Archetype isalso in production on The Last Sect starring David Carradine as a descendant of Van Helsing who huntsdown a coven of vampires and The Ve
  • Perry appointed chief executive of Irish Film Board

    In a widely-rumoured move, theIrish Film Board has confirmed the appointment of Simon Perry as CEO, effectiveJanuary 9 of next year.Perry, a former producer andhead of British Screen Finance between 1991 and 2000, is currently President ofAteliers du Cinema Europeen (ACE), the Paris based advanced profe
  • Picturehouse buys North America on Prairie Home Companion

    Picturehouse has acquiredall North American rights to Robert Altman's ensemble A Prairie HomeCompanion based on GarrisonKeillor's radio variety show and starring Keillor, Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline,Tommy Lee Jones, Lily Tomlin and John C Reilly.Woody Harrelson, VirginiaMadsen, Maya Rudolph and Lindsay Lohan also star in thefictionalised account of Keillor's show chronicling the life of the imaginaryMidwestern town Lake Wobegon as the show's participants prepare for theirfateful f
  • Pressman horror duo goes to Voltage

    Voltage Pictures has picked up worldwide sales on two horrorpictures to be produced by Ed Pressman, a remake of Brian De Palma's 1973 Sisters and The Hill.
  • Push Worldwide moves into production with Cold Cream

    Mike Elliott, Rob Kerchnerand Joe Genier's fledgling international distributor Push Worldwide is movinginto production with the aim of releasing three to four features a year,kicking off with Richard Halpern's horror thriller Cold Cream. Elliott and Genier willproduce the story, set to begin production in autumn 2006, about an overweightwoman whose body and mind begin to rot after she is lured into using a radicalbeauty product. Push's acquisitionexecutives Pam Eisen and
  • Rezo scores Europa, Avex sales for Russian Countdown

    Headinginto the AFM, French outfit Rezo Films has drummed up an impressive list ofsales on its Russian action picture Countdown.
  • Rezo takes on sales for Finnish martial arts movie Jade Warrior

    Paris-based Rezo FilmsInternational is to handle sales on AJ Annila's Jade Warrior, the Scandinavian-Chinese co-production billed asFinland's first ever martial arts movie.Blind Spot Pictures, theFinnish co-producer of Lars Von Trier's Dancer In The Dark, is producing in association with San Fu Maltha's FuWorks in the Netherlands (Maltha's A-Films will release the film in theNetherlands) and Peter Loehr's Ming Productions.Other partners attached areSandrew Metronom
  • Riding Alone For Thousands Of Miles (Qian Li Zou Dan Ji)

    Dir: Zhang Yimou. HK-Chi-Jap. 2005. 108mins.The opening film at the Tokyo International Film Festival,Riding Alone For Thousands Of Miles isa departure for director Zhang Yimou from the big-budgetperiod spectacles he has been making of late and a return to the themes and ruralsettings some of his most-acclaimed earlier work.But instea
  • Rizvi, Merrill Lynch finance recapitalisation of ICM

    US talent agency ICM has recapitalized as part of its expansionstrategy in a deal financed by Connecticut investor Suhail Rizvi's RizviTraverse Management and Merrill Lynch's Asset Based Finance Group.
  • Rotterdam to host a record 30 Bals-supported titles

    The upcoming Rotterdam Film Festival has selected 36 filmprojects to receive funding from the Hubert Bals Fund - as a record thirtycompleted fund-supported titles are set to screen at the festival itself (January25-Feb 5).The 36 projects, which include new works from Babak Payami,Josue Mendez, He Jianjun and Lisandro Alonso, will receive a total of almosthalf a million euros from the fund, which has supported over 530 titles sinceits launch in 1988 (with an annual purse of Euros 1.2 mi
  • Rotunda starts crime shoot in UK second city

    UK production company Rotunda Films will start shooting this weekfor Lycanthropy, a feature film set in Birmingham.Kevin McDonagh (Open Window, Idol of Evil) iswriting, directing, and producing, with David Beaumont executive producing andserving as cinematographer. ITN Distribution are handling pre-sales and arelaunching the project during this week's AFM.The producers announced several a
  • Rubin's First Independent signs US DVD distribution deal with Visual

    Gary Rubin's FirstIndependent Pictures has signed a multi-year distribution agreement with VisualEntertainment, a Universal Music Group division set up to distributeindependent features on DVD and video in the US.The slate kicks off withHuck Botko and Andre Gurland's comedy Mail Order Wife, Gary Sinyor's comedy Bob The Butler starring Tom Green, and Greg Whiteley's New YorkDolls documentary New York Doll."Gary is one the mostastute acquisition executives in
  • Ryna is runaway winner at Geneva festival

    RuxandraZenide's Ryna triumphed at the 11thannual Cinema Tout Ecran in Geneva.TheSwiss/Romanian co-production picked up the best film and Fipresci prizes.
  • Sales sizzle for Nordisk on hot Scando festival titles

    In the run-up toAFM, Nordisk has closed deals on several titles that screened on the autumnfestival circuit.Finnish foreignlanguage Oscar contender (and Toronto official selection) Mother Of Mine has sold to Eurocine for Spain andPortugal and Cine Video y Television for Mexico, with France in negotiations. Market premiere Murk, a psychological thriller that showed atthe Edinburgh festival in August, has been sold to MFA for Germany and Austria.Venice Dayscon
  • Saskatchewan boosts tax credit to 45%

    The Canadian province ofSaskatchewan has announced it will boost its labour-based production tax creditto 45% from 35% of total eligible costs for film and television productionsshooting in the region. The Saskatchewan FilmEmployment Tax Credit (SFETC) can increase to 55% if certain criteria are met,including a new 5% bonus tax credit for mid-sized and large productions thatuse Saskatchewan residents in key positions as well as the established 5% ruralbonus for productions filming 40 k
  • Saw II hacks down Zorro at domestic box office

    Lions Gate's horrorsequel sliced up the competition and shunted Sony's adventure sequel TheLegend Of Zorro into second placewith an estimated $30.5m opening that offered a hint of optimism for the autumnbox office.Despite mediocre reviews thepicture scored a superb debut that far exceeded the $18.3m launch of its 2004predecessor. Saw II averaged asolid $10,342 on 2,949 screens. It stars Tobin Bell and Emmanuelle Vaugier aspawns in the continued sadistic exploits of the ar
  • Scorsese, Kiarostami to teach workshops in Morocco

    Martin Scorsese and Abbas Kiarostami will teach filmmakingworkshops in Morocco as part of an educational initiative between the TribecaFilm Institute and the Marrakech International Film Festival Foundation.
  • Screen Gems, Summit share the world on Apocalypse

    Screen Gems hastaken the majority of worldwide rights to Constantin Film and Davis Films'horror sequel Resident Evil: Afterlife. Summit Entertainment is selling the rest of the world atAFM.ProducerConstantin is handling the film in Germany and Davis Film sister companyMetropolitan Filmexport is handling France. Screen Gems hastaken North America, Latin America, the UK, Japan, Australia/New Zealand,Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Portugal, South Africa, India an
  • Seidelman to embark on black comedy That Loving Feeling

    Susan Seidelman, whose latestdrama Boynton Beach Bereavement Club recently had its world premiere at the Hamptons International FilmFestival, is to direct the black comedy That Loving Feeling. Seidelman with reunite withher Boynton Beach Bereavement Club screenwriterJonathan Brett on the story of a mild-mannered Manhattan dentist whose plan tokill his wife goes horribly wrong. Principal photography is setto begin on Mar 1 2006 in New York. Jeff Mazzola's New
  • Sevigny joins Malone, Sobieski in cast of Lying

    Chloe Sevigny has joined the ensemble cast of Lying for PCHFilm/Catfish Productions and Periscope Entertainment's psychodrama Lying.
  • Seville picks up second Metal pic

    Montreal-based sales anddistribution outfit Seville International has picked up worldwide rights for GlobalMetal, the follow-up to hot Torontodocumentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey. Directed by the same team ofSam Dunn, Scot McFadyen and Jessica Joy Wise, the new film will pick up thetheme that heavy metal music is an alternative view-point with globalimplications. Seville and productioncompany Go Films have also sold remake rights to Ricardo Trogi's HorlogeB
  • Silverstone, Gallo sign on for Luna's Moscow Zero

    Alicia Silverstone andVincent Gallo have been confirmed as leads in $12 million psychological horrorpicture Moscow Zero, the new feature from Luna (Whore, Stranded). The film, due to shoot next month, is the firstproject from aggressive new Spanish production and sales outfit ValentiaPictures.On the first morning of theAFM, Valentia pre-sold several territories on the project (including EasternEurope, Singapore and the Philippines) The project is a Spanish-UKco-production with B
  • Siritzky introduces Chinese Emmanuelle to AFM buyers

    Veteran producer and salesagent Alain Siritzky is hatching a new $5 million Emmanuelle-style erotic drama to shoot in Beijing and Shanghai.The Mandarin-language drama,billed as "sex in the forbidden city," is based on the hugely popular blogs by26-year-old Chinese writer Mu Zimei. These blogs have now been published inbook form. "I have a job that keeps me busy, and in my spare time I have a veryhumanistic hobby - making love," Zimei writes in a diary which hasgenerated immense
  • Stockholm promising 160 films in vintage year

    The 16th StockholmFilm Festival (November 17-27) is boasting 160 films from 40 countries.The festival is the only one in the Nordic region with membership of theFIAPF, and an international jury of film critics from the FIPRESCI.
  • Sundance Cinemas names first US arthouse multiplex site

    Sundance Cinemas, the specialized theatre chain concept which wasfirst abandoned by Robert Redford's Sundance Group in 2001, then revivedearlier this year, has set its first Sundance Cinema Centre multiplex forMadison, Wisconsin in autumn 2006.
  • Sundance commits to Park City until 2018, moves HQ from Salt Lake City

    The Sundance Institute's year-round administrative headquartersare relocating from Salt Lake City to Park City in a deal between the SundanceInstitute and Park City Municipal Corporation that ensures the festival willstay in Park City through 2018.
  • Taiwan announces selections for new film and TV event

    Taiwan'sGovernment Information Office (GIO) has announced the 21 film and televisionseries selected for the inaugural 2005 Taiwan Film and TV Project Promotion(TFTPP). Theevent runs from 13-14 November in Taipei as part of the newly-announced TaiwanInternational Film & TV Expo (TIFTE).Modelledon the Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP), held in South Korea during October's PusanInternational Film Festival, TFTPP includes three former PPP projects, NonzeeNimibutr's historical epic The Quee
  • Taiwanese-Kiwi venture plans $69m film of Chinese myth

    Taiwaneseand a New Zealand companies haveset up a joint venture to produce a $69m English-language feature based on aChinese myth and set for release during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.Lady White Snake has been written by Chinese musician Hou Dejian, owner of Taipei-basedEquinox Film. He is working with
  • Taiwan's CMC rolls out Silk for market debut

    Taiwanese distributor CMCEntertainment Group is attending AFM for the first time as a seller followingits recent move into production with big-budget sci-fi horror Silk. The $5m film is written anddirected by Taiwan's leading screenwriter Su Chao-pin, whose credits includethriller Double Vision and PeterChan's Three: Going Home. Su'ssecond film as director following the award-winning Better Than Sex, Silkfollows a group of scientists who accidentally
  • Tartan buys US rights to Father's Den

    Salesagent NZ Film has sold US rights to psychological drama In My Father's Den to Tartan Films, which is looking to release thefilm theatrically in May 2006.
  • The Ice Harvest

    Dir. Harold Ramis. US. 2005. 88mins.After the fairly impersonal work he delivered on hisrecent studio assignments (Analyze That, the Bedazzledremake), Harold Ramis returns to the offbeat,anti-social observational humour his talent thrives on with
  • The Myth (Sen Hua)

    Dir. Stanley Tong. HK-China.2005. 118mins.The Myth is a misfire from three stalwarts of the martial arts genre: JackieChan, his long-time collaborator, director/screenwriterStanley Tong, and co-scenarist Wang Hui-ling,screenwriter of Crouching Tiger, HiddenDragon
  • The War Within

    Dir. Joseph Castelo. US.2005. 100mins.The War Within is amilestone in many ways. It's the first dramatic film production from a businessmodel hatched by 2929 Entertainment that may shape the way movies are exploitedin the future. Shot entirely in high-definition, it was released in the USsimultaneously in
  • The Whispering Of The Gods (Germania No Yoru)

    Dir: Tatsushi Omori. Jap. 2005. 107mins.An unblinking plunge into depravity, blasphemy andviolence, set in the idyllic confines of a Catholic monastery, Tatsushi Omori's debut feature The Whispering Of The Gods falls squarelyinto the love-it-or-loathe-it category.Screened in competition atthe Tokyo International Film Festival, it evok
  • THINKFilm picks up worldwide rights to Beastie Boys doc

    THINKFilm has picked up worldwide rights to the Beastie Boysconcert documentary Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That and plans a spring 2006 theatricalrelease.
  • THINKFilm plans Easter release for Passion Of The Christ doc

    THINKFilm has picked upNorth American rights from The Film Sales Company to Francesco Cabras andAlberto Molinari's documentary The Big Question and plans an Easter 2006 release. Shot in English and Italianduring the filming of Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ, the picture explores beliefs about the nature ofdivinity through interviews with the cast and crew of The Passion including Gibson, Monica Bellucci, and Jim Caviezel. "The film is somewhatsurreal
  • THINKFilm takes on worldwide rights to Penguins spoof

    THINKFilm is selling international rights to Bob Saget's spoofdocumentary Farce Of The Penguins, featuring comedic voice-overs and an R-rated theme andsoundtrack set to wildlife photography.
  • Three shortlisted for Sutherland Trophy

    Three films have been shortlisted for the British Film Institute's Sutherland Trophy, awarded to the director of the most original first feature film screened at The Times bfi London Film Festival.The three are Kari Paljakka's For The Living And The Dead, Giorgio Diritti's The Wind Blows Round, and Ali Mosaffa's Portrait of a Lady Far Away. The Trophy will be presented at the Festival's closing night gala on 3 November.
  • TLA picks up US rights to James Franco's The Ape

    US independent TLA Releasing has picked up James Franco'sfilmmaking debut The Ape and will release the title on DVD in spring 2006.
  • Toronto says $44m in sales achieved at 2005 film festival

    The Toronto International Film Festival says an estimated $44m(C$52m) changed hands as a result of buying and selling at this year's event,including $24.5m in North American deals and $19.5m in international deals fromterritories such as the UK, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, and Spain. The record sum, based on estimates from a survey of accreditedbuyers and sellers attending this year's event, eclipses the previous estimatedhigh of $18.7m (C$22.2m) in 2
  • Trio of German stars joins cast of Amiel's Angel Makers

    Germanstars Daniel Bruhl and Benno Furmann - who both appear in ChristianCarion's French foreign language Oscar entry Merry Christmas - and Moritz Bleibtreu (Run Lola Run, DasExperiment) have joined the cast ofJon Amiel's Angel Makers.
  • TriStar takes English-speaking world on Wedding Daze

    TriStar Pictures has picked up worldwide rights inEnglish-speaking territories to the romantic comedy Wedding Daze.
  • UK Film Focus sets dates for June 2006

    The London UKFilm Focus has announced the dates for its third sales showcase, to be heldJune 26-29.The three-dayevent promotes British films to 150 international buyers. About 40 UK titlesare expected to screen at this year's showcase. Networking events will also beorganized.In changes for2006, Film Focus will start earlier on Monday afternoon and run throughThursday lunchtime. Also, the event will host a special screening section forfilms that don't yet have sales companies att
  • Unitel acquires international rights to kidnapping thriller Cavite

    Philippine-owned Unitel Pictures International has acquiredworldwide rights excluding North America to Ian Gamazon and Neill De La Llana'skidnapping thriller Cavite for representation at this week's AFM in Santa Monca.
  • Universal endorses Christie/AIX digital projector

    Following similar recent moves by Walt Disney Studios andTwentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures has agreed to supply features to theDCI-compliant digital projection systems deployed by Christie/AIX.Under the non-exclusive agreement Universal will provide titlesfrom its slate and will pay virtual print fees to Christie/AIX for each titleprojected on deployed systems as a way of offsetting the cost to theatres ofswitching to the digital format.Universal top brass said pictures produced by
  • Vindelow, Muasya team on Sunshine And A Funeral

    Lars Von Trier's regularproducer Vibeke Vindelow has revealed details of an intriguing new project sheis hatching with Danish director Vibeke Muasya. Together, the two Vibekes areputting together A Bit Of Sunshine And A Funeral. Trust will be handling saleson the low-budget drama. It's inspired by the true story of an African clanchief who came to Denmark as a child. He grows up "completely Danish," forgetshow to speak Swahili, but is then called back home to Africa after his fa
  • Von Trier plans documentary about Dreyer's Gertrud

    Lars Von Trieris hatching a documentary about one of his favourite films - legendary movie auteur Carl TheodorDreyer's 1964 feature Gertrud.Von Trier'sproducer Vibeke Vindelow said here that Von Trier will write, direct andconduct all the interviews for the documentary which will feature the cast andcrew from the film who are still alive. "Lars will do it all by himself," shesaid.Von Trier's new project MyMan The President has been sellingbriskly at the market thro
  • Warner Japan buys Korean weepie My Girl And I

    Warner Bros Japan hasacquired Korean romantic drama My Girl And I from start-up Korean sales company iHQ. The film, which is a remakeof Japanese hit Crying Out Love In The Centre Of The World, stars Cha Tae-hyun (My Sassy Girl) and Song Hye-gyo. It was also sold to Hong Kong'sCelestial Pictures, Singapore's Festival Films, Thailand's Box Office Entertainmentand Indonesia's PT. Box Office also acquiredmelodrama Sad Movie, directed byKwon Jong-kwan. Vie
  • Weinstein Co creates multi-year marketing alliance with L'Oreal

    The Weinstein Company hasentered into a multi-year marketing alliance with L'Oreal Paris that paves theway for a raft of product placement and promotional opportunities. L'Oreal's makeup and hairteams will support all promotion of titles on The Weinstein Company slate, andthe cosmetic brand will be the official exclusive beauty sponsor of all of TheWeinstein Company and Dimension Films' US theatrical premieres over the nexttwo years, beginning in January 2006. The deal launched
  • Weinstein Co snatches SPL

    The Weinstein Company hasacquired rights for North America, the UK and Ireland to Hong Kong actionthriller SPL.Arclight Films is sellingthe film which stars action veterans Sammo Hung, Donnie Yen and Simon Yam alongwith up-and-coming wushu star Wu Jing. Directed by Wilson Yip (Bullets OverSummer), the film premiered at thisyear's Toronto International Film Festival to strong reviews and distributorinterest. Written by Szeto Kam-yuenand Ng Wai-lun, the film tells th
  • Wild Bunch continues roaring trade on Arctic doc

    Paramount Pictures has addedFrance to its collection of territories acquired on National Geographic'sArctic documentary Call Of The North, while Shochiku has won a ferocious bidding war for Japanese rights,according to sales company Wild Bunch."I don't know if it'sbecause of the penguins," Wild Bunch's Vincent Maraval says of the hugeinterest the documentary has been stirring up in buyers.Paramount Classics hasdomestic rights as well as UK and Latin America. Other deals c
  • Wild Bunch: From Penguins To Polar Bears

    Hot off announcing a $145mnjoint-venture devoted to co-producing and acquiring big budget films, France'sWild Bunch enters the AFM with a new $7m nature documentary that echoes its USmega-success The March Of The Penguins.The company has signed withNational Geographic Feature Films to handle Call Of The North, a five-year odyssey in the lives of a polar bearand a walrus who must learn to survive on a continent that is constantlydisappearing.Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertso
  • Winter Passing

    Dir: Adam Rapp. US. 2005. 98mins.A well-written and literate, if not very original,drama, Winter Passing would have themakings of an auspicious debut feature from director-writer Adam Rapp, were itnot for the over-conventional cinema language that it employs.Rapp shows himself to be astrong writer with his piece about a young New York
  • Wolf Creek finally gets teeth into Australian market

    Greg McLean's horror title WolfCreek has finally opened in its Australian home territory, scoring a numberone opening on Thursday on an estimated $142,639 (AU$193,045).The film had been delayed because of its similarities with a murder trial still in progress. It is still barred from ope
  • Wolf Creek proves weekend winner in Australia

    Wolf Creek hasbecome the first Australian film to open at number one in its first weekendsince Ned Kelly in 2003. And it hasbecome only the second Australian film with an R+1
  • Woody Allen's second UK film gets a title: Scoop

    Woody Allen'snext film finally has a title: Scoop.The film, knownfor months as the Woody Allen Summer Project, or WASP, shot in London this summer and iscurrently in post-production. Delivery is expected in summer 2006. ScarlettJohansson, who also stars in Allen's London-set Match Point, plays an American journalism studentvisiting London who investigates a series of murders and falls in love with adashing Englishman (Hugh Jackman). Ian McShane plays
  • Zorro continues lead of international market

    The Legend Of Zorro maintained its number one international status as an estimated$17.5m weekend haul on 6,150 screens in 60 markets raised the running total to$60.1m after two weekends.