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7 November 2007

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  • 2929 seals big AFM deals on Arriaga's The Burning Plain

    Tohokushinsha in Japan, Wild Bunch in France, Medusa in Italy and Dendy in Australia are among the buyers of Guillermo Arriaga's The Burning Plain starring Charlize Theron which is being sold at AFM by 2929 International.The Weinstein Company (TWC) and Costantini Films have also teamed to take Latin American rights on the film. 2929's Shebnem Askin negotiated the deal with Costantini and Matias Reynal for the deal.The film, which is
  • 30 Days Of Night chomps into number two slot at UK box office

    Vampire film 30 Days Of Nightwas the highest new entry in the UK chart this weekend, coming in atnumber two for Icon with a $3.2m (£1.5m) take, including $818,269 (£391,852) ofpreviews. For the full UK chart click here. The horror film, released through Icon Film Distribution, played across385 sit
  • A strong rat run

    Analysis: International box-office - Weekend October 26-28(Last3-dayweek)Film (origin)gross $ScrsCume $Terr1(1)Ratatouille (US)$22,611,0004,271$348,162,311292NewSaw IV (US)
  • ACI picks up worldwide rights to Bill Duke's thriller Covered

    Los Angeles-based sales company American Cinema International (ACI) has picked up worldwide rights excluding North America to the thriller Covered starring Vivica A Fox and Louis Gossett Jr.Bill Duke directed the story of a woman who relies on her faith to hold her family together after she is accused of murder.ACI has sold a raft of territories on the CGI animated Biblical tale The Ten Commandment
  • Alki David's 111 strikes three-film deal with Red Ridinghood

    UK-based 111 Pictures has signed a three-picture production & distribution deal with US-based Red Ridinghood Productions.Alki David's 111 Pictures will co-finance and distribute three films with Jerry Wolff's Red Ridinghood. Basem Zakariya of Structured Capital Group will executive produce the three films. David himself will direct the first film, The Contract, which will shoot in New Mexico in January. Casting is underway.
  • And The Spring Comes (Li Chun)

    Dir: Gu Changwei. China. 2007. 105mins.Former cinematographer Gu Changwei's follow-up to the well-received
  • Anja Uecker to join Telepool in January

    German outfit Telepool has appointed a new coordinator, Anja Uecker. Uecker, who will start in January 2008, succeeds Justyna Musch.She has 10 years of experience ininternational licence trading.Uecker comes to Telepool after stints at EM.TV Merchandising AG and more recently at Kinowelt.
  • Anonyma, Effi lead Beta's AFM sales push

    Following on from its success with Downfall and The Lives Of Others, German sales outfit Beta Cinema is scoring global heat on two new German epics.Max Faerberboeck's $17.5m Anonyma - A Woman In Berlin is a Second World War drama produced by Constantin Film and starring Nina Hoss and August Diehl. It has now gone to A-Film (Benelux), Shapira (Israel), Monolith (Pola
  • Arthouse buys domestic DVD rights to The Cats Of Mirikitani

    Arthouse Films has acquired North American DVD rights to Linda Hattendorf's documentary The Cats Of Mirikitani.David Koh and Lilly Bright did the deal on behalf of Arthouse Films and Curiously Bright Entertainment along with Hattendorf and producer Masa Yoshihkawa.Arthouse plans a DVD release in early 2008 on the Arthouse Films label distributed through Arts Alliance America and Mongrel Media in Canada.The award winning
  • Arthouse Films takes worldwide rights to documentary Obscene

    Arthouse Films has acquired worldwide rights to Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O'Connor's documentary Obscene following its world premiere at Toronto.Obscene chronicles the life of American publisher Barney Rosset who fought censorship and worked with writers such as Henry Miller, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Che Guevera, among others.David Koh and Lilly Bright negotiated on behalf of Arthouse Films and Curiously Bright Entertai
  • Arthouse strikes exclusive UK/Ireland output deal with Revolver

    Arthouse Films has struck an exclusive output and distribution deal for the UK & Ireland with Revolver Entertainment.Revolver will handle all rights to Arthouse titles in those territories and also launch the label in the UK and Ireland.The multi-year deal covers more than 10 titles per year. The initial slate includes Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robbert Mapplethorpe; A Walk Into The Sea: Danny Williams & The Andy W
  • Ascot Elite steps in for Shoreline horror Senseless

    Shoreline Entertainment has sold German-speaking European rights here to Ascot Elite on Simon Hynd's horror thriller Senseless.Based on Stona Fitch's novel, Senseless chronicles the kidnapping and torture of a US businessman whose ordeal is streamed online as part of a reality TV show. Jason Behr stars. The sale cements Shoreline and Ascot Elite's relationship following a deal at Sundance on
  • Asian buyers eat up Show East's Le Grand Chef

    Korean seller Show East has closed a raft of Asian deals on foodie drama Le Grand Chef. Among sales concluded so far at AFM, Festive Films has acquired the film for Singapore and Taiwan, Sundream Motion Pictures for Hong Kong, M-Pictures for Thailand and AOE for Malaysia. Show East is also in advanced negotiations to sell the film Korean producer Chungeorahm's mainland China distribution outfit. Directed by Jeon Yun-su, Le Grand Chef stars Kim Gang-woo, Lim Wo
  • Asian Content Center launched with NHK support

    Former Amuse executives Hisashi Yamamoto and Takaomi Deguchi have launched a film and TV production outfit, Asia Content Center (ACC), with an innovative financing model backed by its ties to Japanese public broadcaster NHK. NHK has first option to pre-buy ACC productions for up to 80% of each project's budget in return for Japanese TV rights. Meanwhile ACC's international team will handle sales of all other rights. 'The first window is likely to be NHK's BS platform, but some of
  • Atrix takes on world rights to Hof title Beautiful Bitch

    Beatrix Wesle's Atrix Films has taken on worldwide rights for Martin Theo Krieger's A Beautiful Bitch, starring Katharina Derr, from Hamburg Riva Film. The deal was negotiated between Wesle, CEO of Atrix Films, and Michael Eckelt CEO of Riva Filmproduktion GmbH, Hamburg. A Beautiful Bitch, which screened recently at the Hof International Film Festival, is about Bica (Katharina Derr), a young woman livin
  • AV Pictures kills with deals for The Tournament

    UK-based sales company AV Pictures has knocked out a slew of deals for action thriller The Tournament based on a 10-minute promo shown here.Pre-sales have been done for the Philippines (Pioneer), Thailand (J-Bics), Brazil (Focus), Czech Republic (AQS), Poland (Charisma), the Middle East (Falcon), and Turkey (Horizon). Previously announced deals were done with the UK (Entertainment Film Distributors), Scandinavia (Scanbox), Benelux (Indies) and CIS (Lizard). Active negotiations are
  • Awards Count Down BAFTA - A night at the opera

    Bafta has become a master of reinvention. In just a few years, it has elevated the UK's prime awards show into a global attraction. Anyone looking for evidence of its importance as a bellwether for the Oscars should note that eight of this year's major winners went on to repeat their victory at the Oscars - and that includes all the acting prizes.It is hardly surprising the campaigning seems more intense than ever for the awards on February 10, 2008. Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass part
  • Awards Countdown - Best Animated Feature - Year of the Rat

    He made the beloved hand-drawn Iron Giant in 1999, he won the Academy Award for The Incredibles in 2004 and this year he delivered one of the best reviewed animated films in the last two decades with Ratatouille. He is probably the most exciting animation director at work today. But talking to Brad Bird, it is obvious that he is as dedicated to fundamentals of character and story as any live-action film-maker.'Sometimes when I'm writing, I find that I go for the ki
  • Awards Countdown - High class of 2007

    A glut of English-language movies, probably caused by the flood of equity into the production market over the last two years, will make for an unusually competitive awards season this year.
  • Awards Countdown BAFTA - BAFTA/LA - Star quality

    'Evolution not revolution' is how Bafta/LA chairman Peter Morris describes the climate at Bafta's sister organisation in Los Angeles.Morris, a board member for four years, is presiding over his second term as chairman. Nobody acquainted with the personable Scotsman would deny that under his tenure Bafta/LA has further cemented its standing in Hollywood.'Outside the US the Baftas are probably the best known awards apart from the major festival honours,' Morris says. 'There are a
  • Barbados to host film finance conference

    The inaugural Barbados Film Market and Finance Conference is scheduled for December 6-7 at the Barbados International Film Festival. Confirmed panelists already lined up include Mark Damon of Foresight Unlimited, Adrian Ward of IDB, Warren Fergus of Magnolia Lane, investment banker Peter Dale, Stephen Roberts of Film Production Capital, Warren Nimchuk of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and Judy Gladstone of Bravo!Fact.Topics will include finance plans, accessing soft money, co-production
  • Bee Movie

    Dir: Simon J. Smith & Steve Hickner. US. 2007. 90mins.Misguided narrative choices prevent Bee Movie, small screen king Jerry Seinfeld's sociable freshman entry into the animated fray, from fully taking flight. Spinning the story of a young bee who discovers life outside of his hive and sues humankind over their co-option of honey, the movie establishes an identifiable personality but doesn't carve out a deep and complicated enough setting or provide enough 'wow' mo
  • Belgium's MMG plans Alzheimer Case sequel The K File

    Belgian production outfit MMG is hatching a follow-up to its smash hit The Alzheimer Case aka The Memory Of A Killer. The new film, titled The K File, will again be directed by Erik Van Looy. MMG's Erwin Provoost has confirmed that The K File, based on the novel by Jef Geeraerts, will feature the same actors from the first
  • Bleiberg picks up international sales on Israeli hit Noodle

    Los Angeles-based Bleiberg Entertainment has picked up Ayelet Menahemi's Israeli drama Noodle and is commencing sales at AFM.Mili Avital, Anat Waxman and Baoqi Chen star in the tale of a flight attendant who looks after an abandoned Chinese boy whose immigrant mother has been deported. Waxman won best supporting actress in Israel's Film Academy Awards last September.Bleiberg is also selling Danny Lerner's $4m action thriller
  • Box office: data - The Critical view - Malick magic

    It was the major coup of the second Rome Film Festival: Terrence Malick, the great recluse of US cinema, would be appearing on stage for one of the high-calibre 'conversations' about film. Malick is the JD Salinger of the film world: he's famous for not giving interviews (the last was in 1975), for not allowing people to take photographs of him, and for having made only four films in the past 35 years.The atmosphere in the Sala Petrassi concert hall, where the talk was taking place, wa
  • Brazil - Amazon green

    Lionel Chouchan has launched many film festivals in his native France, including the Deauville Festival of American Cinema, the Festival International du Film Fantastique d'Avoriaz (now based in Gerardmer) and the Festival du Film Policier de Cognac. But for the director of Paris-based communications agency Le Public Systeme none of those ventures matches his latest undertaking for exoticism.On November 9, Chouchan presides over the opening night of the fourth annual Amazonas Internati
  • Brittany Murphy Wakes Up For 3:30am with Future

    Brittany Murphy has come on board to play the lead in psychological horror film 3:30am, which will be written and directed by Mick Davis (Modigliani). Future Films is backing the project. Ellen Wander at Film Bridge International is handling world sales. Costa Theo and Joy Mellins at Milcoz Films are producing with Peter La Terriere, who now works in-house at Future Films.The sto
  • Canada - Community service

    Contemplating the conclusion of another successful edition of the Vancouver International Film Festival (Viff), Alan Franey, the festival's director since 1988, is a happy man.Once again, paid admissions to the 300-plus films screened - among them She's A Boy I Knew, winner of the Vancity People's Choice Award for Most Popular Canadian Film, and Up The Yangtze, which took the NFB Best Canadian Documentary award - will push past the 150,000 mark. The more than 300 guests w
  • Celluloid sells North America, Germany on Miike's Django

    Celluloid Dreams has announced the sale of Takashi Miike's western Sukiyaki Western Django in North American and German speaking territories. The North American deal was signed with Gary Hirsch of First Look Studios and brokered by Celluloid president Hengameh Panahi. Walter Rehm's Universum picked up the German speaking territory rights. The initial acquistion was brokered between Christina Iso of Pacifica International and Cellulo
  • Chengtian acquires 25% stake in Golden Harvest

    Beijing-based Chengtian Entertainment Group has reached a deal with Raymond Chow, chairman of Hong Kong 's Golden Harvest Entertainment, to buy his shareholding in the company. Chengtian will pay $26m (HK$202m) in cash for a 24.78% stake and $2.6m (HK$20m) in convertible notes in Golden Harvest from Chow and related parties. Upon completion of the transaction, Chengtian will become the largest single shareholder in the company, which is listed in Hong Kong. At a board meeting on O
  • Cinema Epoch closes multi-film deal with 8 Star

    Cinema Epoch has signed a multi-picture distribution deal with 8 Star Entertainment.LA-based 8 Star has North American DVD rights to Tolga Ornek's threedocumentaries Gallipoli, The Hitites and Mount Nemrud. Gallipoli isnarrated by Sam Neill and Jeremy Irons.The other films in the deal are Ochir Mashbat's My Beautiful
  • Cinemavault sells Australia on Canvas to All Interactive

    Cinemavault Releasing International has sold key territories on the drama Canvas with Marcia Gay Harden and Joe Pantoliano and horror film Scar 3D.Rights to Canvas have gone to Australia (All Interactive), Greece (Seven Films), the Middle East (Front Row), and Portugal (Lusomundo).Joseph Greco's film won the Alice In The City children's sidebar K12 Prize for best film at Rome. It recounts a
  • CJ pre-sells Park Chan-wook's new project to France, Russia

    Korea's CJ Entertainment has pre-sold Park Chan-wook's Untitled Project, set to star Song Kang-ho, to France's Wild Side Films and Russia's Maywin Media. Currently in pre-production, the film is about a small-town priest who volunteers for a medical experiment which fails and turns him into a vampire. It was previously known as Bat. Maywin Media also acquired Russian rights to Lee Chang-dong's Secr
  • Coach 14 strikes deals for Proyecto Dos and Lazo Rotos

    At the AFM, Paris-based sales company Coach 14 has sold new titles Proyecto Dos by Guillermo Groizard and Lazo Rotos from Miguel Garcia-Borda to Germany's Telepool. Dos and another new title, Galantuomini from director Edoardo Winspeare, have stirred interest from the US and the UK while the former is also hot with France and Spain.Meanwhile,
  • Connecting Cottbus market to present 13 new features

    New films from Romania, Georgia, Serbia and Sweden are among 13 projects which will be pitched to potential production partners at this year's Connecting Cottbus East-West co-production market which begins on Thursday.According to Connecting Cottbus's artistic director Gabriele Brunnenmeyer, the 2007 lineup was selected from over 50 entries from 23 countries and, as an innovation this year, the projects will all be in the running for the Coco Best Pitch Award, sponsored by EastWest F
  • Constantin takes German rights to Winged Creatures

    Peace Arch has sold key territories here on the ensemble drama Winged Creatures, drama The Babysitters, and football story Goal 3!Constantin took German rights to Rowan Woods' Winged Creatures, which stars Kate Beckinsale, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson, and Guy Pearce. Sony will release in the US in 2008.Dav
  • Cronenberg takes The Talking Cure with Jeremy Thomas

    David Cronenberg's next film will be an adaptation of Christopher Hampton's play The Talking Cure, re-teaming him with Crash producer Jeremy Thomas.Cronenberg will shoot the project in Germany in mid-2008, after he finishes work on his opera version of The Fly.The Talking Cure follows the founding fathers of psychoanalysis,
  • Cry Of The Owl starts in Toronto with Considine, Stiles

    Principal photography has begun in Toronto on Jamie Thraves' Cry Of The Owl with Paddy Considine, Julia Stiles and Caroline Dhavernas in the lead roles. Adapted by Thraves from the novel by Patricia Highsmith, the Canada-Germany co-production follows the tortured path of a voyeur who become entangled with the object of his desire - an entanglement that turns deadly.The film is produced by Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre, Julia Sereny,
  • Cumming and Romijn reteam go mad for AV's Hatter

    Alan Cumming and Rebecca Romijn will reunite after X2 to star in Hatter.James Killough wrote the script and will make his feature film directorial debut.Killough will also produce with Angad Paul; Paul's UK-based company AV Pictures is handling sales. Cumming and Romijn will play Matt Hatter and Alice Allyson in Hatter, an updated take on the Mad Tea Pa
  • Curzon Artificial Eye expands product scope with Hunt buy

    Signaling its increasing appetite for mainstream fare, UK distributorCurzon Artificial Eye has taken UK rights to Helen Hunt's Then She Found Me, starring Hunt, Colin Firth, Bette Midler and Matthew Broderick.Then She Found Me is one of five new titles that Curzon Artificial Eye has picked up on the autumn festival circuit. An adaptation of Elinor Lipman's 1991 novel, Hunt's directorial
  • Da Silva launches boutique consultancy Novo Films

    EuropaCorp artistic advisor Francois Da Silva has left the company to establish his own boutique consultancy, Novo Films. The Paris-based outfit will advise on international co-production projects and acquisitions, with a focus on emerging territories, for a range of clients including EuropaCorp. Among the projects that Da Silva is advising on is Hong Kong filmmaker Yu Lik Wai's upcoming Plastic City, about the Japanese community in Sao Paolo, which is being set up a
  • Damon Bryant heads new Arclight Films UK office

    Los Angeles-based Arclight Films has launched a UK office and put former ICM agent and Natural Nylon founding partner Damon Bryant in charge.Bryant will head UK production and acquisitions for the company and its two divisions, Darclight and Easternlight.'It is important for Arclight's development to have a European base since we are expanding both our production and sales operations,' Gary Hamilton said.'Our relationship with Damon has been very rewarding and
  • Danielak sells key territories on Rifkin-Eberts/A-Mark titles

    Yarek Danielak's Arsenal Pictures has closed key territories on the Rifkin-Eberts and A-Mark Entertainment titles Stag starring Kip Pardue and Night Train starring Danny Glover.Rights to both films have sold in Germany (Koch Media), Mexico (Gussi), Brazil (Playarte), Greece (Audiovisual), the Middle East (Phars), and Turkey (Umut).Los Angeles-based Danielak said he was expecting to close dea
  • David O Russell returns with Gyllenhaal, Biel, IM Global

    David O Russell is set to direct his first film in three years with the $29m comedy Nailed starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Biel.Russell and former vice president Al Gore's daughter Kristin co-wrote the screenplay, which laces bawdy comedy with the film-maker's trademark political satire.It is understood the project is set to go into pre-production within the next several weeks in time for a January or February 2008 pre-strike
  • Daybreak signs exclusive output deal with Peter Kosminsky

    Daybreak Pictures has signed an exclusive output deal with BAFTA-winning writer/director Peter Kosminsky. All projects written and/or directed by Kosminsky will now be made under the Daybreak banner.Kosminsky has previously worked with Daybreak co-executive producer David Aukin and Hal Vogel on projects including The Government Inspector and Channel 4's two-part drama Britz.Daybreak, an offshoot of Mentor
  • Days and Clouds (Giorni e Nuvole)

    Dir: Silvio Soldini Italy/Switzerland 2007. 115 mins.The strongest of the five Italian films that received their national premieres at the Rome Film Fest, Days and Clouds (which also played in Toronto and London) is a fine piece of emotional eye-on-the-object filmmaking from homegrown auteur Silvio Soldini and regular screenplay sidekick Doriana Leondeff, supported on the writing side by Francesco Piccolo and Federica Pontremoli. Coming on as a
  • Duelling pre-strike Pablo Escobar projects race to production

    Bob Yari and Oliver Stone are locked in a race to bring their rival Pablo Escobar projects about the infamous Colombian drug lord to the screen.Both projects are being sold at AFM in Santa Monica and reportedly registering strong interest ahead of their potential pre-strike shoots in early 2008.In one lane is Yari Film Group's $40-50m Killing Pablo, a five-year labour of love for Yari and Joe Carnahan based on Mark Bowden's book
  • Ealing takes on sales for The Damned United, now with Hooper

    Ealing Studios International is handling international sales on The Damned United, which will now be directed by TV veteran Tom Hooper after Stephen Frears has left the project.The $10m film reunites The Queen's screenwriter Peter Morgan, actor Michael Sheen and producers Andy Harries and Christine Langan. Harries and Langan, who were at Granada to make The Queen, ar
  • Easternlight takes on Japanese project Sasori

    Easternlight has acquired worldwide rights excluding Japan and several other Asian territories to the Japanese martial arts film Sasori.The saga about a vengeful sword-wielding woman is based on the 1970s comic books and cult film series and was the inspiration for Kill Bill.Easternlight managing director Ying Ye acquired the film, which is in post-production, at the recent Pusan Film Festival
  • Editorial - It's a booty call

    "It will never be harder than it is today to pirate a movie," a blogger told a film conference last year. It's one of those phrases that sticks in the mind. It was certainly intended as a warning but for him it was also a statement of the bleeding obvious.It's not just that broadband connections have proliferated, though that is playing its part. It's not even that knowledge of how to steal a film has expanded rapidly, though that's also certainly true.The reality is that a gene
  • Edwards kicks off sales outfit Aspect with Akerman's Utopian Society

    Hugh Edwards, who previously worked at Blue Star Movies, Eagle Rock and MercuryMedia, has launched new sales and production outfit Aspect Film Limited with Aneta Kianekova.Aspect is at AFM selling completed projects US comedy The Utopian Society, starring The Heartbreak Kid actress Malin Akerman; thriller The Dreamless; Lee Hutcheon's Scottish gangster story
  • EFP creates jury to select Shooting Stars for Berlin

    European Film Promotion has changed its Shooting Stars programme by adding a jury to select the actors to be touted.Cinematographer Michael Ballhaus will serve as president of the new jury, who will vote for nine up-and-coming European actors to be presented as Shooting Stars at the 2008 Berlinale.Twenty two EFP member countries have each nominated an actor, and the jury will vote on the finalists at the beginning of December.The other jurors will be UK actress Lucy Russell
  • EFP to present foreign Oscar submissions in New York

    In a new departure for the organisation, European Film Promotion is to present five foreign language film Oscar submissions to buyers as part of its sixth New York 'Industry Screenings,' which take place in New York on November 12th and 13th.The Oscar candidates from Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark will all be showcased. The films screening are: from Belgium, Nic Balthazar's Ben X on Films Distribution's AF
  • Ewald's Epic kicks off The Good Life with busy AFM slate

    Patrick Ewald's newly launched Epic Pictures Group makes it market debut at AFM with a slate of nine films that includes the Sundance selection The Good Life with Zooey Deschanel and horror tale Blood River from The Devil's Chair director Adam Mason.Former Renegade Worldwide president Ewald set up the finance, production and distribution company with backing fro
  • Film Library picks up Chinese dramaBefore The Sunrise

    Hong Kong-based sales outfit The Film Library has picked up international rights to Derek Chiu's historical drama Before The Sunrise (previously known as Road To Dawn). The film follows the story of the 'founder of modern China' Sun Yat-sen - whose Republican revolution overthrew the Qing Dynasty - during his years of exile in Malaysia. The cast is headed by Winston Chao (The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman) and Angelica Lee (The Eye, Rec
  • Film Movement launches US VOD channel Film Festival channel

    North American distributor Film Movement has launched nationwide VOD channel Film Festival Channel.The service launches with a roster of more than 100 films that previously screened at Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin, Sundance, SXSW and Tribeca.Every month the channel will present four features and four shorts, with early titles including Alexandra's Project, Hawaii, Oslo, and The Middle Of The Wor
  • Film Solutions launches Web photo approval system

    Film Solutions LLC is launching PhotoKill Online, a talent photo-approval platform.The web-based photo approval system is specifically designed for talent approval and photo management for production companies. PhotoKill Online provides provides secure access to a photo library online, also representing a more environmentally friendly system than using printed photos and physical delivery.Film and TV industry technology service provider Film Solutions plans to roll out a nu
  • FilmExport launches co-production initiative with Dudu

    Rome-based sales and production group FilmExport recently embarked on its first co-production The Thirteen Roses, with Spanish companies Enrique Cerezo PC and Pedro Costa PC, and is now planning further co-productions. Upcoming titles include Dudu - A Friend To Save, a $10 million English-language family drama about a panda which will shoot in China and Italy. It is beingset up as a French-
  • First Look takes US rights to Blood Brothers

    First Look Studios has acquired US rights to John Woo and Terence Chang-produced Blood Brothers, which is being sold by Fortissimo Films. The $10m gangster noir closed this year's Venice Film Festival and features a top Asian cast including Daniel Wu, Chang Chen, Liu Ye and Shu Qi. Directed by Woo protege and first-time director Alexi Tan, the Chinese-language production also screened in official selection at this year's Toronto and Pusan. The US deal was negotiated by Fort
  • First Run takes US rights to German documentary To The Limit

    First Run Features has acquired North American rights from Germany's Telepool to Pepe Danquart's documentary To The Limit.The film follows the renowned Bavarian brothers Alexander and Thomas Huber as they bid to break the world speed climbing record on the infamous 3,000-ft El Capitan vertical rock formation in California's Yosemite National Park.'Working on Pepe Danquart's previous film Hell On Wh
  • Fissures sold to Lifesize in US by Wide Management

    Midway through the AFM, Loic Magneron's Paris-based Wide Management has closed a raft of deals on its market line-up, including an all rights US sale on Atlante Kavaite's Fissures starring Emilie Dequenne to Lifesize Entertainment. Fissures, produced by Antoine Simkine of Les Films D'Antoine, is a psychological drama about a young sound engineer investigating the murder of her mother deep in the country
  • Focus reteams with Jim Jarmusch for The Limits Of Control

    Focus Features has picked up worldwide rights to Jim Jarmusch's tentatively titled The Limits Of Control, which has been set for a pre-strike shoot in Spain early next year.Focus Features International commences sales hereon the story of a loner who operates outside the law and works on a mysterious assignment. Isaach De Bankole will star.The deal reunites Jarmusch with studio following Broken Flower
  • Fortissimo dives in with Callahan's Against The Current

    Fortissimo Films has acquired worldwide rights to US drama Against The Current, directed by Peter Callahan and starring Joseph Fiennes. Callahan previously directed 2001 award-winning indie title Last Ball. His new project stars Fiennes as a man coping with grief who sets out to swim the 150 mile-long Lower Hudson River. The cast also includes Elizabeth Reaser (The Fami
  • Fortissimo duo to receive excellence award at CineAsia

    Fortissimo Films co-chairmen Michael J. Werner and Wouter Barendrecht have been selected to be the recipients of a special CineAsia 'Award of Excellence' for their achievements in promoting Asian cinema worldwide. Barendrecht founded Fortissimo in 1991 after working as a programmer for the Rotterdam Film Festival and press officer for Berlin 's International Forum. At Fortissimo he has guided titles ranging from Wong Kar-wai's Chungking Express and In The Mood For Love to T
  • Fred Claus

    Dir: David Dobkin. US. 2007. 114mins.A full-on Vince Vaughn charm offensive gives loose-limbed holiday tale Fred Claus its own succe
  • Fresh heir: Director Jean-Marc Vallee and producer Graham King on the set of The Young Victoria

    It is an unseasonably warm mid-October day at Blenheim Palace and under a cloudless blue sky in one of the courtyards of the Oxfordshire stately home, French-Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallee prepares for his next shot. He is in the final week of the 10-week shoot of The Young Victoria, a portrait of the first few years of Queen Victoria's reign, and the set seems to be running with practised efficiency.Dressed in a green bonnet and a voluminous black skirt, Emily Blunt, as Vic
  • Future boosts development slate with Nursery, Quiver

    Future Films has gotten $216,550 (Euros 150,000) in development funding from the MEDIA Programme. Future is using the cash boost to develop six projects in-house: Michael Radford's Nursery based on a screenplay by Chris Wooding about a couple expecting a baby who move to an eerie house; Steve Barron's comedy Quiver with First Foot Films, based on Liam Gavin's story of an alcoholic who gets a last chance
  • Gangster reboots North American box office with $46.3m take

    Universal's prestige crime drama American Gangster beat out Paramount-DreamWorks animated family hit Bee Movie as it opened top on an estimated $46.3m.Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe star in the 1970s saga about a detective on the tail of a Manhattan-based heroin kingpin.Bee Movie, voiced by Jerry Seinfeld and Renee Zellweger among others, opened in
  • Gaumont sells Natali's Splice to Senator, Seville

    Gaumont has sealed deals early at AFM on its horror movie Splice with Senator in Germany and Seville/Entertainment in Canada.Directed by Vincenzo Natali, Splice stars Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley. The producer is Steven Hoban (Black Christmas, Ginger Snaps). The executive producers are Guillermo del Toro and Don MurphyThe $26 million yarn, billed as the
  • Gerald McMorrow takes on parallel worlds in Franklyn

    Franklyn proves to be a tricky film set to visit. The project, which wraps principal photography in mid-November, is not only hard to describe, it is hard to observe without learning so much that the plot twists are spoiled.Early reports had pegged Franklyn as a 'futuristic thriller' but first-time feature writer-director Gerald McMorrow says it is more of a drama/fantasy that exists in parallel worlds. Ryan Phillippe, Eva Green, Bernard Hill and Sam Riley play lost souls
  • German animation is highest entry to Screen's international chart

    Germany's animated adventure Lissi Und Der Wilde Kaiser was the highest non-US entry into the international top 40 this weekend, taking $6.9m from 905 screens across three territories. For the full chart, click hereThe comedy, released through Constantin Film, opened to number four in the chart and enjoyed a $7,609 screen average - the fourth highest in the chart. It generated mor
  • Ghost House inks North American deal for The Tattooist

    Ghost House Pictures has acquired North American rights to The Tattooist, the supernatural thriller starring Jason Behr and Mia Blake.Sony, who has a longstanding relationship with Ghost House, will handle the North American theatrical release. Ghost House Pictures is owned by Robert Tapert and Spiderman's Sam Raimi, who recently visited New Zealand to talk with the film's director Peter Burger and producer Robin Scholes about the f
  • Gilliam reunites with Ledger for Doctor Parnassus

    Terry Gilliam will reunite with his Brothers Grimm star Heath Ledger on fantasy adventure The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus. Mandate International is commencing sales here on the project, which has been lined up for a pre-strike December shoot in London and Vancouver. Christopher Plummer plays a travelling magician who owes the devil his teenage daughter in exchange for a life of extraordinary powers. Parnassu
  • Gold Circle strikes multi-year output deal with Canada's Maple

    US production and financing company Gold Circle Films and Canada's second-largest distributor, Maple Pictures, have signed a multi-picture, multi-year output deal. The pact kicks off with Chilled In Miami starring Renee Zellwegger and Harry Connick Jr, and The New Daughter starring Kevin Costner.The deal was announced by Maple co-presidents Laurie May and Brad Pelman and Gold Circle Films partners Pa
  • Goldcrest Independent seals AFM deals on Schneider's The Chosen One

    Goldcrest Independent has announced deals on the two titles it has been selling at AFM - The Chosen One, a comedy starring Rob Schneider and Steve Buscemi and Cass, the UK hooligan drama starring Nonso Anozie and Nathalie Press.Sales chief Pierre Weisbein said that Seville Pictures bought The Chosen One for Canada, Euro TV for France, Contender for the UK, Quality F
  • Golden Network pacts with Dadi Century for three

    Hong Kong-based sales agent Golden Network Asia has picked up three titles from China 's Dadi Century Film, including martial arts drama Wushu, which now has Jackie Chan on board as executive producer. Directed by Antony Szeto, the $6m drama follows a group of children under-going a gruelling training programme at a Chinese martial arts school, and promises to feature eye-popping action sequences, including a new spin on yamakasi (urban chase scenes). Sammo Hung is set to s
  • Grindstone checks into Nordisk's Room 205

    Grindstone Entertainment Group has acquired all North American rights for Nordisk's ghostly thriller Room 205.Grindstone will be working in partnership with Ghost House Pictures on the release.Neel Ronholt and Mikkel Arndt star in Martin Barnewitz's chiller about a woman's frightening journey into the occult. The film will be dubbed into English for the release.The sale was brokered by Tine Klint for Nordisk Film International Sa
  • Grindstone takes North America on Left For Dead

    Grindstone Entertainment Group has picked up North American rights to Sofia Films' gothic spaghetti Western Left For Dead starring Victoria Maurette.Albert Pyun's centres on a woman's vengeful quest to find her lost husband in turn-of-the-century Mexico. Michael Najjar produced and the film was fully financed by Sofia Films.Sofia's Michael Najjar and Chris Davis negotiated the deal for the producers with Stan Wertlieb of Grindstone
  • H2O sees flood of deals for French action title Nitro

    H2O Motion Pictures has closed key sales here on its latest acquisition, the French-language action film Nitro. Deals have closed in the UK (Revolver), Japan (Movie-Eye), Brazil (Alphaville), and Thailand (IPA).H2O's Mark Horowitz also announced the company has picked up Peter McNamee's thriller Let Him Be, about a film-maker who stumbles upon explosive footage about the assassination of a world leader.
  • Hallam Foe tops BAFTA Scotland nominations

    Hallam Foe leads the nominations for the 2007 BAFTA Scotland Awards which will be presented in Glasgow on November 18. David Mackenzie's tale of a disturbed teenager coming to terms with the death of his mother has been nominated for Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor for Jamie Bell and Best Actress for Sophia Myles. Myles is certain to win on the night as she is the sole nomination in her category, a damning reflection of the continuing paucity of roles for women i
  • Hallam Foe tops BAFTA Scotland nominations

    Hallam Foe leads the nominations for the 2007 BAFTA Scotland Awards which will be presented in Glasgow on November 18. David Mackenzie's tale of a disturbed teenager coming to terms with the death of his mother has been nominated for Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor for Jamie Bell and Best Actress for Sophia Myles. Myles is certain to win on the night as she is the sole nomination in her category, a damning reflection of the continuing paucity of roles for women i
  • HanWay takes on sales for Gorillaz feature Bananaz

    HanWay Films has come on board for sales of Ceri Levy's new feature-length film about Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett's band Gorillaz. Levy started work on Bananaz when the band was formed in 2000, documenting the creation of the band's animated alter-egos, sales of more than 15m albums, and nominations for six Grammy awards, as well as unusual live gigs where musicians played behind a curtain. Levy shot more than 260 hours of footage over the
  • Harrelson joins cast of Kimmel's Management

    Woody Harrelson has joined Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn on the romantic comedy Management, which Kimmel International is selling here.Principal photography is underway in Oregon on the Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE) and Temple Hill Productions film.MGM has North American rights.Harrelson plays a yoghurt mogul whose travelling saleswoman girlfriend falls for the son of the owners of a motel she stays at during a trip.Stephen Belber is directin
  • Harrelson joins Michaels' The Other Side with Myriad

    Woody Harrelson has joined Myriad Pictures' ghost story The Other Side, which has been scheduled for a pre-strike shoot in January 2008 in Nova Scotia. Giovanni Ribisi and Jason Lee have already signed and Myriad is expected to announce the female lead and more casting shortly. David Michaels will direct from a screenplay he wrote with Phil Reeves about a graduate student who spends a summer on a remote island whose residents harb
  • High Point sells Extraordinary Rendition to North America and Latin America

    High Point Media Group has kicked off AFM with two new sales for Jim Threapleton's Extraordinary Rendition. The film was sold to North America (BFS Entertainment) and Latin America (LAPTV). Extraordinary Rendition, starring Andy Serkis and Omar Berdouni, is about an innocent man abducted from London and interrogated abroad.'We are in the late stage of negotiations in a number of major territor
  • Hollywood writers' strike begins

    Members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA)are now on strike after the failure of last-minute negotiations.The union met for 10 hours with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP)on Sunday but there were still major sticking points, particularly onpayments forDVD releases.The current contract between the WGA's 12,000 writers and producers expired on Wednesday.Members of theEast Coast division of the union were told they would be on strike from mid
  • Hollywood writers talks break down

    The prospect of a Hollywood writers strike was heightened after talks between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers failed to reach agreement on a new contract.Talks ended last night with the sticking point appearing to be over payments to writers on the release oftheDVD of a film. The existing contract between writers and producers ended last night.The WGA had authorised its leaders to call a strike if a deal could
  • Hot Docs in April 2008 to spotlight Iran and Mexico

    Contemporary documentary cinema from Iran will be the focus of National Spotlight programme of the 15th annual Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, it was announced yesterday. Mexico has been selected for the festival's other national-themed sidebar, the Made In programme. The festival runs from April 17 to 27, 2008. 'Having visited both Mexico and Iran this fall, it's clear they have thriving documentary scenes with a plentitude of work from both established and e
  • HungariCom hits the ground running at AFM

    Budapest-based sales outfit HungariCom has announced sales on its animated feature, Egon & Dönci, at its first AFM. The film, about an eccentric rocket scientist and an overfed, cat-like creature, has gone to Focus in Brazil, Amazonia in Venezuela, Provision for ex-Yugoslavia and Best Hollywood in Eastern Europe excluding ex-Yugoslavia.The new outfit has arrived in Santa Monica with a bulging slate of Hungarian films in every genre. Hunga
  • Hyde Park's heart beats with Questa's Tell-Tale

    Hyde Park International (HPI) will commence sales here on Scott Free's Tell-Tale, a horror tale inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's classic short story The Tell-Tale Heart.Scott Free has hired Michael Cuesta to direct Poe's story of a murderer who believes his dismembered victim's heart continues to beat beneath his floorboards.Shooting is set for early 2008 and the feature version will be set against the world of cutting-edge science.Dave
  • Icon, Telepool, Showbox among buyers for Gold Circle's Chilled

    Mandate International president Helen Lee-Kim has announced major pre-sales on Gold Circle's romantic comedy Chilled In Miami starring Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr.Deals have closed in Australia (Icon), Germany (Telepool), South Korea (Showbox), Taiwan (CMC), Greece (Audiovisual), Poland-Czech-Hungary (SPI), Turkey (Fida), Philippines (Viva), Romania-Bulgaria (Mediapro), Middle East (Gulf), and to Entertainment in the UK through Gold C
  • iDream sells Shelley to South Africa, Australia

    India's iDream Independent Pictures has sold Lorraine Senna's Americanizing Shelly, starring Beau Bridges and Namrata Singh Gujral, to several territories including South Africa 's Ster Kinekor and Rialto for Australia and New Zealand. The film has also gone to RRS Entertainment (Germany), Falcon Films (Middle East) and DD Dream International (China). Ster Kinekor also acquired all South Africa rights to Kaushik Roy 's drama My Own Sky, starring Irrfan Khan (A Mig
  • iDream takes on Santosh Sivan's Boy With Grenade

    Mumbai and London-based iDream Independent Pictures has boarded Boy With Grenade, the latest project from Indian filmmaker Santosh Sivan whose Before The Rains screened at Toronto this year. iDream will fully finance and handle international sales on Boy With Grenade which was one of the selected projects at this year's Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) in South Korea. Set in Kashmir, the film tell
  • Image strikes US home video deal for Lumet's Devil

    Image Entertainment has taken US home video, broadcast and digital rights to Sidney Lumet's Before The Devil Knows You're Dead.Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, Ethan Hawke and Albert Finney star in the story of two brothers who hatch an ill-fated plan to rob their own parents.The deal was struck with Capitol Films US, which like Image is affiliated with financier David Bergstein. Sister company THINKFilm is handling the US theatrical
  • Image takes US home video rights to Numb with Matthew Perry

    Image Entertainment has taken US home video, pay-per-view, VOD and digital rights to Numb starring Matthew Perry.Harris Goldberg directed the feature, which also stars Lynn Collins, Kevin Pollak, Bob Gunton, Mary Steenburgen, Helen Shaver and William B Davis.The deal with Numb Productions Inc, Lantern Lane Entertainment and Fries Film Group was done here at the AFM.Perry plays a struggling writer who suffers from a rang
  • Import/Export wins best film at Bangkok World fest

    Austrian director Ulrich Seidl's Import/Export was named best film at the 5th World Film Festival of Bangkok on Saturday night. Best director was awarded to Semih Kaplanoglu for Egg, which recently swept the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival in Turkey. Nina Menkes' Phantom Love bagged best artistic achievement with US producer Kevin Ragsdale onstage to receive the award. Also on hand was Taiwanese director-actor Lee Kang-sheng whose Help Me Eros
  • In focus - Will war films win in the gulf'

    The Middle East is having its 'Vietnam moment', in celluloid terms at least: the slew of Iraq- and terrorism-themed films coming out of Hollywood is drawing comparisons with the rash of war pictures in the late 1970s.'In The Valley Of Elah, and others like it, are a reaction to 9/11 and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq,' says director Paul Haggis, who attended the recent Middle East International Film Festival (Meiff) in Abu Dhabi, which Elah closed. 'We have a respo
  • Inaugural Brit List highlights most liked unproduced screenplays

    A list of the most liked and recommended unproduced screenplays in the UK and Ireland has got tongues wagging across the local film community. Compiled from a survey of 40 producers, acquisitions executives, agents, sales agents and public funders, the list has been circulating widely. It is intended to echo the success of the US Black List in drawing attention and perhaps finance to these projects.Dubbed the 'Brit List', the table is topped by Peter Straughan's
  • Intandem to finance and sell $25m thriller Tatua

    Intandem Films has taken on rights to action thriller Tatua and will raise and structure the financing of the $25m project.The sci-fi action thriller is written by comic book veterans Rob Prior and Paul Jenkins. Todd Breau and Kari Hollend will produce.Gary Smith, chief executive of Intandem Films, said: 'This is a project that fits our slate of films very well, a commercial product for which we will be negotiating a leading cast w
  • International - Lissi animates the tills

    Germany's animated adventure Lissi Und Der Wilde Kaiser was the highest non-US entry into the international top 40 this weekend, taking $6.9m from 905 screens across three territories.The comedy, released through Constantin Film, opened to number four in the chart and enjoyed a $7,609 screen average - the fourth highest on the list, generating more than $5m in Germany alone. The film, directed by Michael Herbig (who also lends his voice to the film's characters) is based on Germ
  • Interview: Julie Taymor

    Julie Taymor seems fated to direct a musical based on Beatle's songs - when an approach for a Broadway version fell through, the opportunity quickly re-established itself through Revolution Studios, who specifically wanted Taymor for the job. The services of British screenwriters, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, had already been secured for the project, who were working on the premise of a transatlantic love story set in the 1960s with a class dimension incorporated for added dramatic
  • Interview: Julie Taymor

    Julie Taymor seems fated to direct a musical based on Beatles songs - when an approach for a Broadway version fell through, the opportunity quickly re-established itself through Revolution Studios, who specifically wanted Taymor for the job. The services of British screenwriters, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, had already been secured for the project, who were working on the premise of a transatlantic love story set in the 1960s with a class dimension incorporated for added dramatic
  • J.A. Media picks up Lin's Somersault Punk

    Beijing-based J.A. Media has picked up worldwide rights to Taiwanese filmmaker Lin Yu-hsien's upcoming sports drama Somersault Punk. Based on a true story, the film tells the story of a talented but disabled gymnast who becomes a street fighter when his mother prohibits him from practising the sport. Produced by Taiwan 's Jumpboys Films and YTLHB International, the film is currently completing financing and is aiming for release to tie in with the Beijing Olympics next year
  • Jaman seals strategic partnership with

    Online film community has signed a multi-year strategic partnership with leading Latino internet portal The deal see Jaman become a featured provider of Spanish-language and Latino-themed movies for's community of 6.6 million unique users. In addition, Jaman will showcase to its users, the four short films that Terra has commissioned especially for the internet, featuring prominent Latino writers, directors and actors. Set in Mexico, Argentina
  • Jang to direct Korean remake of A Better Tomorrow

    Veteran Korean filmmaker Jang Hyun-soo is attached to direct the Korean remake of John Woo's classic 1980s Hong Kong action film A Better Tomorrow. Jang's most recent film, Everybody Has Secrets (2004) starring Lee Byung-hun and Choo Sang-mee, was a sexy romantic comedy, but he is best remembered for noirish action films such as Scent Of A Man, The Rules Of The Game
  • Japanese films take 9% of international box office

    A slew of Japanese films made a powerful dent in the international top 40 this weekend, collectively taking more than $13m and accounting for 8.9% of the chart's total revenue. For the full chart, compiled by Len Klady, click here.Ensemble drama Always - Sunset On Third Street 2 was the highest new entry over the weekend, taking $4.7m f
  • Japan's Gaga Films arrives at AFM with co-production ambitions

    Gaga's production and sales arm, Gaga Films, is attending the AFM with a slate of co-productions, underscoring the Japanese outfit's strategy to become active in pan-Asian as well as international co-productions.Cyborg She, financed by a Japanese production consortium and Korea's Centurion Movie & Knowledge 3rd Investment Fund, is being directed by Korean filmmaker Kwak Jae-young, whose credits include pan-Asian hits
  • Japan's Madhouse sells Ninja Scroll remake rights

    Japanese animation studio Madhouse has sold live-action remake rights to cult anime title Ninja Scroll to Warner Bros Pictures. Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, the film sold more than 1 million DVD copies in the US and had a successful theatrical run in its home market. The remake deal with Warner Bros was brokered by CAA's John Levin. The two companies previously worked together on The Matrix animated direct-to-video spin-off The Animatrix. Madhouse is
  • Jinga Films takes on Welsford's thriller Jetsam

    UK-based Jinga Films has acquired worldwide rights to thriller Jetsam.Simon Welsford wrote and directed the conspiracy thriller starring Alex Reid, Shauna Macdonald, Jamie Draven and Cal Macanich.Rosana Coutinho, Jinga's head of sales, compared the project to Chris Nolan's Following and Memento. The film had its world premiere at the Times BFI London Fi
  • Jinga swims along Pretty Piranhas

    UK-based sales and production company Jinga Films has come on board for Pretty Piranhas. The project is an edgy urban thriller about a gang of teenage girls who are recruited to steal heroin from Filipino drug traffickers.The project will be Jinga's first production, as the company has previously picked up completed projects. The script is written by Susannah Macmillon and Neil Norman. Richards, who previously made
  • Josh Lucas takes lead role in Scott Free's Tell-Tale

    Josh Lucas has joined Scott Free's upcoming horror film Tell-Tale, which Hyde Park International has been pre-selling at AFM.Meanwhile sales chief Lisa Wilson announced that deals have closed in: South Korea (KD Media), Brazil (Playarte), Mexico and Latin America (Quality Films), Eastern Europe (Pa-dora), Benelux (Dutch Filmworks), Portugal (Lusomundo), Greece (Odeon), Singapore (Cathay), South Africa (Ster Kinekor), Turkey (Fida), Middle East
  • K5 International picks up sales on McCarthy's The Visitor

    Germany- and UK-based K5 International has taken on world sales rights to The Visitor.Groundswell Productions and Participant Productions backed the Tom McCarthy drama, his follow-up to The Station Agent.The Visitor had its world premiere in Toronto to solid reviews. Overture Films picked up North American rights in September and plan to release in spring 2008.
  • Kampe & Tron's Visit Films sells Severed Ways to Madman

    Ryan Kampe and Sylvain Tron's New York-based production and sales company Visit Films has sold Tony Stone's adventure Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery Of America to Madman in Australia and New Zealand.Stone produced the account of two stranded Vikings who try to return home from North America after a bout of marauding in 1007 AD.'We are very excited to be able to partner with Madman on this release as they understand the film and
  • Katapult takes sales for Paul Morrison's Little Ashes

    Los Angeles-based Katapult Film Sales has boarded Paul Morrison's Spanish-English co-production Little Ashes and will commence sales here.The co-production between Factotum Barcelona, Aria Films, APT Films & Met Film just wrapped in Barcelona and stars Javier Beltran, Robert Pattinson and Matthew McNulty.The story takes place in Madrid in 1922 and centres on the friendship between the artist Salvador Dali, film-maker Luis Bunuel an
  • Kiarostami's first non-Iranian feature to be shot in French

    MK2 has announced a shift in its Abbas Kiarostami project which was initially announced in Cannes. The film, entitled Certified Copy, was originally scheduled to be shot in English but with the final casting has been switched into French. The film will star Sami Frey and Juliette Binoche in what will be the Iranian director's first feature shot outside Iran. Copy will shoot in French in Tuscany beginning March 5, 2008. MK2 is also handling Death Floor
  • Korea's M&FC makes market debut with Sword Of Zen

    Korean film and music company M&FC is making its debut as a seller at the AFM with a varied slate including Park Heung-sik's action epic A Sword Of Zen. Set during the Goryeo Dynasty, the film follows a female contract killer who is wracked with guilt after accidentally killing the parents of a six-year-old girl. M&FC is producing the project which is currently in pre-production and scheduled to start shooting next summer Also whipping up buyer interest are fantasy romantic
  • Korea's Megabox snaps up Penelope, Ramen Girl

    Continuing the Korean buying spree at the AFM, Seoul-based exhibitor Megabox has snapped up two titles - romantic comedy Penelope, starring Reese Witherspoon, from Hyde Park International, and The Ramen Girl, starring Brittany Murphy, from Media 8 Entertainment. Megabox entered acquisitionsat this year's European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin andwas acquired by a consortium headed by Australian banking group Macquarie this summer. Former owner Mediaplex, which also owns inves
  • Korea's Mirovision startscreating Tomorrow News

    Korea's Mirovision has unveiled two new productions - disaster thriller Tomorrow News and epic romantic comedy Once Upon A Time. Tomorrow News is based on the cult manga of the same name for which Mirovision has acquired rights for both big screen and TV formats. The project is currently in pre-production and scheduled to start shooting in spring 2008. Presented by IM Pictures, Once Upon A Time is set in 1940s Seoul and is currently in production. The
  • KWA takes on Carlos Saura's latest music project Caribe

    Madrid-based Kevin Williams Associates is handling international sales on Caribe (Caribbean), the latest music project from revered Spanish director Carlos Saura.The film marks a reunion between Saura and Seville-based producer JuanLebron, with whom he collaborated on Sevillanas and Flamenco.Saura has long
  • Lars von Trier's Antichrist pre-sells widely for Trust

    Lars Von Trier, the ageing enfant terrible of European cinema, clearly hasn't lost his allure for the international buyers. His new project Antichrist isn't cast yet.It hasn't been decided where the horror picture will shoot and the financing has still to be put together but that hasn't stopped distributors from pouncing. Producer Meta Foldager has confirmed that the film will shoot in English. A new version of the script has been
  • Lau to produce Water Margin trilogy for Media Asia

    Hong Kong filmmaker Andrew Lau, who was behind the three Infernal Affairs films, is lining up a second trilogy, this time based on the Chinese classic novel, Water Margin. Hong Kong-based Media Asia Films is backing and will sell the films, each budgeted at around $25m, with the first expected to go before the cameras at the end of next year. Lau will produce the trilogy and direct the first installment. Fellow leading Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To will direct the s
  • Lionsgate UK banks on British films from Donaldson, Ozon

    Following the company's acquisition of John Maybury's The Edge of Love at Cannes this year,Lionsgate UKhas underlined its continuing commitment to British Film by snapping up two further Brit titles, Roger Donaldson's The Bank Job and Francois Ozon's Angel.The Bank Job was acquired from investment group Omnilab and Arclight Fi
  • Little Film books sales for Stone's War and Satanas

    The Little Film Company has closed key territories on Lithuania Film Studios' supernatural action thriller Stone's War and Dynamo & Rionegro Producciones' Colombia's foreign language Oscar submission Satanas. Deals on Stone's War closed in Italy (Media One), Mexico (Quality Films), Scandinavia (Scanbox), Canada (Equinoxe), and Greece (Spentzos). Marko
  • Little Film company gets to Know Kerrigan's latest

    The Little Film Company has acquired worldwide rights to Justin Kerrigan's upcoming drama I Know You Know to star Robert Carlyle, David Bradley and Aaron Fuller.Sally Hibbin is producing the film, which is set to begin principal photography in Cardiff, Wales, on Nov 12.Kerrigan's follow up to his 1999 clubbing drama Human Traffic is being financed by Finance Wales' IP Fund, the Film Agency For
  • Lock And Roll up and running

    T & C Pictures and Sony Music Entertainment Japan has begun shooting in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Japan the comedy Lock And Roll Forever.Chris Grismer is directing the story of an all-girl teenage band from a working class industrial city in Japan that travels to America in search of fame and fortune.Lucas Grabeel, Ike Barinholtz, Taylor Negron, Brad Dourif and Naoko Nozawa star. Peter Barsocchini wrote the screenplay.Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush, whose
  • Lumina strikes North American deal for Lovesickness with Maya

    UK-based sales company Lumina Films has sold North American rights to Puerto Rican comedy Lovesickness (Maldeamores) to Maya Releasing.Maya is the new distribution and acquisitions company that is part of vertically integrated Latino entertainment company founded by Moctesuma Esparza. Maya Releasing will distribute 8-10 films per year theatrically.Lovesickness interweaves three cross-generational stories about the search for love.
  • Lumina swims with Maringouin's Big River Man

    Lumina Films has taken on worldwide rights (excluding the UK) for John Maringouin's documentary Big River Man.The film is now in post-production, and Lumina is helping with finishing funds. A Sundance launch is possible.Big River Man follows eccentric Slovenian endurance swimmer Martin Strel as he attempts to swim the Amazon.'It's a film with a strong environmental message, but it's framed in
  • Lust, Caution has record-breaking opening in China

    Ang Lee's Lust, Caution grossed more than $5.36m (RMB40m) in its first four days (Nov 1-4) in mainland China, marking the biggest opening for a Chinese-language film so far this year. The film's total gross up until today of $6.7m (RMB50m) also makes it the biggest Chinese-language film so far in 2007. Cinema owners in Beijing and Shanghai are predicting that the total gross will easily reach the $13m (RMB100m) benchmark. Lust, Caution was released last Thursday (Nov
  • Magnolia's Magnet buys domestic on Vestiel's French Eden Log

    Magnolia Pictures' genre label Magnet has acquired North America rights including French Canada to Franck Vestiel's sci-fi horror epic Eden Log and will release in 2008.Currently in post-production, the film is about a man who finds himself at the bottom of an underground maze and must navigate his way out.Magnolia's senior vice president Tom Quinn and head of business affairs Jason Janego negotiated the deal with Elisabeth Perlie
  • Magnolia's Magnet takes on Toby Wilkins' Splinter

    Magnolia Pictures' new genre label Magnet has swooped on its second acquisition in the last couple of days and taken North American rights to Toby Wilkins' directorial debut Splinter. The film is nearing completion and centres on a young couple on the run that finds themselves besieged in a patrol station by a parasite with a taste for human flesh. Wilkins is a longtime effects artist and was recently hired to direct the third epi
  • Majid Majidi to make India-set film for UTV subsidiary Spotboy

    Iranian director Majid Majidi will shoot his next film extensively in India for UTV Motion Pictures subsidiary SpotBoy.Majidi previously directed the 2005 Iranian box office smash The Willow Tree and his drama Children Of Heaven was nominated for a foreign language Oscar in 1999. Details of the upcoming film were unavailable.'I had always wanted to make a film in the East, especially in Indi
  • Martha Fiennes works with Intandem for Blown

    UK-based Intandem Films has acquired worldwide rights to the espionage thriller Blown, which Martha Fiennes will direct.The story delves into the world of espionage, terrorism and big business through the eyes of a ruthless MI5 agent.The $15m film's cast will include Thandie Newton, who will play a high-class call girl. The rest of the cast is being negotiated now for a shoot in the second quarter of 2008.Shani Hinton,
  • Media Luna seals AFM deals on Vitus, Bog Of Beasts

    Ida Martins' Media Luna Entertainment has closed an all rights Scandinavian deal for Fredi Murer's Vitus with Sunrise.Meanwhile, early in the AFM, the German sales outfit has also confirmed a sale of Rotterdam Festival Tiger award winner Claudio Assis' Bog Of Beasts to Deusfilm for Italy.Just prior to the market, Media Luna came on board to handle world sales on
  • Michael Moore receives IDA tribute

    Michael Moore will receive the 2007 International Documentary Association's (IDA) Career Achievement Award in Los Angeles on Dec 7.'Michael Moore still has many more extraordinary films ahead of him,'IDA president Diane Estelle Vicari said.'Our members are thankful for his fearless commitment to tellcompelling stories. He is a role model for young documentary film-makers everywhere in the world.'Moore has produced, written and directed 15 documentaries for cinemaand
  • Mirovision leads Korean buying charge at AFM

    South Korea is re-emerging as a buying force at this market with several Korean distributors making multiple acquisitions of hot US and international product. Mirovision has been the most aggressive on the buying front, acquiring nine titles, including Ed Zwick's Defiance from Essential Entertainment, The Women from Inferno Distribution and Juno from Mandate Interna
  • Mischa Barton has a Homecoming with Voltage

    Mischa Barton has signed to star in the thriller Homecoming, which Voltage Pictures is introducing to buyers here.Barton will play an obsessive small town woman who tries to get back with her former high school sweetheart when he returns with his new girlfriend for homecoming football weekend.Morgan J Freeman will direct the Animus Films and Paper Street Films project and producers Jim Young, Bi
  • Morrissette joins cast of Philip K Dick adaptation Radio Free Albemuth

    Principal photography has begun on John Alan Simon's Philip K Dick adaptation Radio Free Albemuth starring Alanis Morissette.Jonathan Scarfe, Shea Whigham, Katheryn Winnick and Hanna Hall also star in the Discovery Productions and Open Pictures story about an extra-terrestrial plot to bring down a corrupt regime through the power of music. Morissette plays Sylvia, a singer with prophetic powers.Simon is producing through his Discov
  • Moviehouse takes on sales for Lopez and Antony's El Cantante

    UK-based Moviehouse Entertainment is now handling international sales for El Cantante starring Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony.The film is about Puerto Rican salsa pioneer Hector Lavoe (and wife Puchi) following his tumultuous life from the 1960s to the 1980s.Producers are Julio Caro, Lopez and Simon Fields, who did the deal with Moviehouse. Picturehouse released the film theatrically in the US this summer and is workin
  • Moviehouse, Ipso Facto and Soda team for new UK micro-studio

    UK producer Christine Alderson (who co-produced Berlinale hit Irina Palm) has spearheaded the launch of a new UK micro-studio. Moxie Makers joins together Alderson's production company Ipso Facto Films with sales company Moviehouse Entertainment and UK distributor Soda Pictures to work on a slate of up to four low-budget features per year.Moviehouse is starting sales here at AFM on Moxie's first two projects: Avie Luthra's
  • Muay Thai Chaiya kicks its way to France, Germany

    Thailand 's Five Star Entertainment has sold action title Muay Thai Chaiya to France 's Wild Side Films, Germany 's EMS and Brazil 's Global Media Holdings, among other territories. Five Star has now sold the film to more than 30 territories since it had its world premiere at the closing film of this year's Bangkok International Film Festival in July. The film was released last week in Malaysia by Grand Brilliance and Cathay will open it next week in Singapore. Direc
  • Nanni Moretti kicks off his first Turin programme with The Savages

    The 25th edition of the Turin Film Festival has unveiled its complete line up under new artistic director Nanni Moretti.Traditionally known as the Italian film event dedicated to cutting edge and auteur driven fare sees only minor changes to its long-standing format.'I've always been passionate about the Turin Festival and the characteristics of the festival as it was . and for the attention to films that is sometimes distributed and sometimes not but that is a bit less c
  • National Geographic Entertainment taps Beal as president

    National Geographic Global Media (NGGM) has launched National Geographic Entertainment, an umbrella company that combines the group's film, home video, music and radio divisions. David Beal has been named president of National Geographic Entertainment, hot on the heels of Tim Kelly's appointment as NGGM president last week. Beal previously served as president of National Geographic Music & Radio and was instrumental in the success of the recently launched Nat Geo Music
  • National Lampoon deals two films to Beta Film

    National Lampoon has struck a two-film deal with Germany's Beta Film to distribute its original productions in Germany, Italy and Eastern Europe.The deal will kick off with be the company's first in-house production National Lampoon's Bag Boy.'I am delighted to be forging this relationship with Beta,' president of worldwide distribution Tom Daniels said.'There is strong demand from European audiences for the irreverent
  • National Lampoon seals three international output deals

    National Lampoon has struck output deals with Force Entertainment in Australia, Front Row in the Middle East, and Equinoxe in Canada for its original productions.President of worldwide distribution Tom Daniels said he was close to signing deals in the UK, Russia, Latin America, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, and Benelux.National Lampoon is pre-selling its original production 301, a spoof of the action hit
  • NBA star Robertson develops basketball feature

    Figaro Films is working with NBA star Oscar Robertson to develop a feature based on Betsy Blankenbaker's documentary Something To Cheer About.The story follows Indiana's 1955 Crispus Attucks High School Tigers, the first all-black high school basketball team to win a state championship. Robertson himself played for the team. Aaron Courseault will write the screenplay.Robertson, who is known as the Big O,
  • New buyers have a taste for Roissy's Caramel

    Early in the AFM, Paris-based Roissy Films has confirmed new deals on its Cannes hit Caramel.Deals signed include Argentina & Chile (Alfa Films), Mexico (Cine Video Y TV) and India (Alliance). A deal is pending with South Korea. and Roissy is also in advanced negotiations with Japan & Taiwan.Directed by Nadine Labaki, Caramel premiered in the Cannes Quinzaine. Itstitle comes from a method of removing bodily hair by using heat
  • New Line takes domestic rights to two Gold Circle films

    New Line Cinema has picked up North American rights to Gold Circle's romantic comedy Over Her Dead Body starring Eva Longoria Parker and upcoming thriller The New Daughter with Kevin Costner.Mandate International is selling foreign rights to both titles. The studio has set a February 1 2008 release date for Jeff Lowell's directorial debut Over Her Dead Body, whic
  • Nimbus plans modern version of Miss Julie with Staermose

    Danish production outfit Nimbus is plotting a new film version of August Strindberg's Miss Julie with plans to shoot in late 2008.Here at the AFM, the film's producer Jesper Morthorst has revealed details of the project, about the destructive relationship between an aristocratic woman and her valet. The idea is to rework Strindberg's original story in a modern-day context. The film will be directed by Birgitta Stærmose, whose short
  • NonStop deals CG-animated Gnomes & Trolls to CIS

    Scandinavia's NonStop Sales has sold Gnomes And Trolls, the 3D-animated comedy fairy tale executive produced by Toy Story writers Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolo, to Ukranian Rights Management in Kiev for the CIS and is in advanced negotiations with China and Turkey.As soon as Gnomes And Trolls is delivered in early 2008, Swedish production outfit White Shark will immedi
  • Nordisk sells Bornedal's The Substitute to Grindstone in the US

    In its second US sale of AFM, Nordisk has sold Thura Films' thriller The Substitute to Grindstone Entertainment.The deal follows on from the announcement earlier this week that Grindstone had also bought ghostly thriller Room 205 from Nordisk.Grindstone will be working in partnership with producer Ghost House Pictures on the release. Ghost House Pictures' recent releases include
  • Nordisk ties up Summit product until 2010

    Summit International and Nordisk Film have signed a three-year output deal in Scandinavia until 2010.The deal begins with Get Some, Push, Step Up 2 The Streets, Twilight and Sex Drive and will also include films that are produced, co-produced and/or acquired by Summit during the output term. The deal excludes pictures on which Summit is acting as sales agent.Nordisk has previously released Sum
  • Norwegian director wins Nordic Film Prize

    Norwegian director Bard Breien's feature debut The Art of Negative Thinking (Kunsten A Tenke Negativt) received the $18,000 NDR Film Prize at the 49th Nordic Film Days in the German city of Lubeck.The film, about a man coming to terms with disability, previously won Breien the best director Crysal Globe at Karlovy Vary.The award could support a German release,' said Norwegian producer Dag Alveberg, of Maipo Film & TV-produksjon, adding that the film has just been
  • Ondamax picks up world rights to English-language Coyote

    In its first English-language pick-up, Miami-based Latin American specialist Ondamax has taken world rights to Brian Petersen's Coyote. The film, a Grand Jury Award winner at the Big Bear Lake Film Festival and an Audience Award Winner at the San Diego Film Festival, is about two young Americans who try to help smuggle a deported friend back across the border from Mexico to the US. Prior to the AFM, Ondamax sold
  • Ondamax takes on sales for prison doc White Bear

    Ambitious new Latin American outfit Ondamax has taken on sales for documentary White Bear chronicles the story of one of the world's most notorious jails, the 'White Bear' in Puerto Rico. The film, now in post-production, was co-financed by Buena Onda Americas and the Puerto Rican Film Commission. Directed by Christian Suau and Ramiro Millan, the film features two key characters - a prisoner who has been behind bars for 45 years an
  • Onoma guns for Depardieu gangster pic Kalach

    Pascale Diot's Paris-based sales outfit Onoma announced yesterday that it has taken world rights to new $15 million gangster film Kalach, starring GerardDepardieu, Gerard Lanvin, Francois Berleand and Mathilde Seigner. The film, which will shoot in France and Thailand, is directed by Yves Renier, an actor, writer and filmmaker who has appeared in such films as Roman Polanski's Frantic and Bertrand B
  • O'Toole and Northam gear up for Dean Spanley's UK shoot

    Peter O'Toole, Jeremy Northam, Sam Neill and Bryan Brown have lined up to start shooting Dean Spanley on Nov 10 in eastern England.Kathleen Drumm at NZ Film is handling sales for the Atlantic Film Group and General Film Corporation project.New Zealand film-maker Toa Fraser, who won the world cinema audience prize at Sundance 2006 with his debut feature No. 2, will direct.Alan Sharp, who worked on Rob R
  • Oz start-up Cyan Films set to produce Auction with Ghobadi

    Julie Ryan, who has produced director Rolf de Heer's films for the past decade, and new media producer Kate Croser have set up Cyan Films, a new Adelaide-based production company. One of their films, Auction, could be the first co-production between Australia and Iran. The directorial debut of Granaz Moussavi is in development with the third producer being Bahman Ghobadi, who wrote and directed Turtles Can Fly. A supernatural thriller titled Touched and a magi
  • Paramount on board for local distribution of Fraser's Dean Spanley

    Paramount Pictures will distribute Toa Fraser's Dean Spanley in Australia and New Zealand.As previously reported, Toa Fraser will direct the whimsical father and son tale to star Peter O'Toole and Jeremy Northam.The film will start shooting Nov 12 on location in the east of England. Delivery is set for mid-2008.The New Zealand-UK co-production is backed by Aramid, The NZ Film Production Fund, the NZ Film Commission, Lip
  • Paramount Vantage kicks off sales slate with new Ferrell, Kentis projects

    Paramount Vantage arrives at its first market as a fully operational sales entity with six fresh projects for buyers including new work from Will Ferrell and Open Water director Chris Kentis.Kentis' untitled follow-up to his 2003 worldwide hit Open Water is being lined up for a February 2008 shoot and charts the gradual unravelling of a woman who is interrogated as a homicide suspect.Vant
  • Peace Arch and Genius score Goal II for North America

    Peace Arch Entertainment Group and Genius Products have jointly struck a deal for all North American rights to Goal II: Living The Dream.Peace Arch plans a spring 2008 theatrical run in the US and Canada on 250 screens. Genius will handle the DVD release.In a separate deal, Genius has also licensed US DVD rights to Peace Arch's Chapter 27 starring Jared Leto and Lindsay Lohan,
  • Peace Arch handles sales on Goal 3

    Peace Arch Entertainment Group is to handle international sales on the football drama Goal 3 starring Kuno Becker, Alessandro Nivola and Anna Friel.The final episode in the rags-to-riches sporting trilogy follows two English players as they travel with the team to the World Cup in Germany. Director is Andrew Morahan.Peace Arch is also selling David Ross' dark comedy The Babysitters starring
  • Perrier promoted to vice president at Odd Lot International

    Delphine Perrier has been promoted to vice president of worldwide distribution of Odd Lot International.Perrier previously served as director of legal affairs and will work on sales and help executive vice president of worldwide distribution Brian O'Shea, to whom she will report, expand the foreign sales business.Odd Lot International's AFM slate include Frank Miller's The Spirit, Good with
  • Persepolis, Unrelated take prizes at London Film Festival

    The Times BFI London Film Festival closed last night with its Sutherland Trophy going to Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Persepolis.The Sutherland is for the most original and imaginative first feature at the festival.The Sutherland jury said the film was 'an astonishing and courageous film which captures a universal story with real style.'Joanna Hogg's Unrelated won the Fipresci inter
  • Pfeiffer, Kutcher get together for romance Personal Effects

    Michelle Pfeiffer and Ashton Kutcher will star opposite each other in the romance Personal Effects, which is set to begin filming in Vancouver on Nov 26.Los Angeles-based Voltage Pictures will commence sales at AFM after company chief Nicolas Chartier acquired rights from Vancouver-based Insight Film Studios.Kutcher will play a young man who arrives in a small town seeking vengeance for the murder of his sister and falls for a stunning older woman who bears similar psycho
  • Phat Phishteams up with Morgan for international push

    Start-up Indian production company Phat Phish has brought on board veteran sales agent Kathy Morgan as a consultant in its aim to secure international distribution for a slate of independent Indian features. Morgan will be helping the company pre-sell some of its upcoming projects and will advise on finding a sales agent for completed productions such as Toronto title Frozen. Originally a commercials production and music company, Phat Phish moved into film production earlie
  • Piracy - Awards Piracy - Screeners: a calculated risk

    When it comes to screeners, distributors are having to square the potential piracy risk with the benefits of getting their film in voters’ DVD players.
  • Piracy - Deep Impact

    When Los Angeles-based independent film sales agent Barbara Mudge was in Russia recently trying to sell a film, she ran into a barrier that was starkly different from the usual distributors' objections about weak plots, lack of stars or price.'The man said: 'I can't buy your movie because it hasn't been pirated yet',' explains Mudge, president of Worldwide Film Entertainment. 'I said: 'Excuse me'' and he said: 'Well, if it's pirated, that means the market wants it. So until it's pirate
  • Piracy - 'Internet piracy is far and away our biggest threat'

    The rise of internet file-sharing has opened a whole new front for piracy of all films - not least independents. The availability of films for download on the internet even before their initial theatrical release makes the prospect of profitable licensed distribution of independent films in some territories even more remote, according to many in the industry."Piracy is accelerating way too fast because of the internet," says Nicolas Chartier of Voltage Pictures. His case in point is El
  • PorchLight closes deals on family drama The Ultimate Gift

    US-based production and sales company PorchLight has closed deals here on Michael O Sajbel's drama The Ultimate Gift.Rights have gone to Germany (RRS), Spain (Telecinco), Australia/New Zealand (Village Roadshow), Mexico (Pentella), Italy (Mediaset), pan Latin America (LapTV), Turkey (D Productions), the Middle East (Falcon), and South Africa (Ster Kinekor).The Ultimate Gift stars Drew Fuller
  • Pretty Pictures stares into Jiang Wen's Sun

    France 's Pretty Pictures has acquired Jiang Wen's Venice competition entry The Sun Also Rises from Hong Kong 's Emperor Motion Pictures (EMP). The deal was negotiated by EMP's Alan Ng and James Velaise of Pretty Pictures. Produced by Jiang's Buyilehu Films and backed by EMP, the $10m drama comprises four separate stories on themes such as madness and desire. Jiang also stars in the film along with Anthony Wong, Jaycee Chan, Joan Chen and Zhou Yun. Pretty Pictures pl
  • Purple Violets bloom for Showcase at AFM

    Showcase Entertainment has closed a slew of deals at AFM on Edward Burns' romantic comedy Purple Violets starring Selma Blair, Debra Messing, Burns and Patrick Wilson.Rights closed in Russia (Vox Film), Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic/Slovakia and Hungary (Pasatiempo), the Middle East (Teleview) and former Yugoslavia (Programs4Media).Offers from the UK, Italy, Australia, Greece, South Africa, Brazil and France are in the mix.
  • Pyramide sells Fontaine's Monaco to Seville in Canada

    Paris-based Pyramide Films has closed a deal with Canada's Seville Picturesfor Anne Fontaine's latest feature, Monaco.The film, starring Fabrice Lucchini and Roschdy Zem, is shooting and should be ready by next summer.Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Pyramide is also handling Daydreams, the latest feature from revered Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
  • Radio Free Albemuth starts shoot

    Principal photography has begun on John Alan Simon's Philip K Dick adaptation Radio Free Albemuth starring Alanis Morissette.Jonathan Scarfe, Shea Whigham, Katheryn Winnick and Hanna Hall also star in the Discovery Productions and Open Pictures story about an extra-terrestrial plot to bring down a corrupt regime through the power of music. Morissette plays Sylvia, a singer with prophetic powers.Simon is producing through his Discovery Productions alongside Dale Rosenblo
  • Ratatouille still gnaws biggest chunk of international box office

    Ratatouille stayed atop the international marketplace for the fifth consecutive weekend and raised its running total by an estimated $14.5m from 4,381 theatres in 29 countries for $371.8m.Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International's (WDSMPI) animated hit is now the second biggest international Pixar release behind Finding Nemo's $524.9m. Ratatouille has grossed $577m worldwide.In German
  • Regent takes North America for Paris Hilton's Hottie

    Regent Releasing has picked up North American rights to the romantic comedy The Hottie And The Nottie starring Paris Hilton.The company has also acquired Central American, Caribbean and Greenland rights from Purple Pictures and will commence sales at AFM.Regent has set a Feb 14 2008 North American release on the film about a man who can only date the woman of his dreams if he finds a date for her best friend.Joel David M
  • Rezo seals Sayles on Honeydripper for UK, Spain, Brazil

    Paris-based Rezo Films has sealed some major territorial deals on John Sayles' latest feature Honeydripper to Axiom in the UK, Seville/Entertainment One in Canada, Golem in Spain, Immovision in Brazil and Orlando Films in Israel.Meanwhile Alcine Terran in Japan bought two films from Rezo - veteran auteur Eric Rohmer's The Romance Of Astrea And Celadon and Manoel De Oliveira's
  • Rhys Meyers to play comic book hero Mandrake for Omega/Baldwin

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers will star as the eponymous hero of Omega Entertainment/Baldwin Entertainment Group's (BEG) adventure film Mandrake, which Chuck Russell will direct.The film is the first from Omega and BEG's first-look deal to go into production and will shoot in China and the US in early 2008. Omega is financing and distributing worldwide, and producing with BEG and Hyde Park Entertainment.Man
  • Rob Scheidlnger joins TWC as evp of business affairs and production

    Producer and former CAA agent Rob Scheidlinger has joined The Weinstein Company (TWC) as executive vice president of business affairs and production.Scheidlinger will work closely with executive vice president and co-head of business affairs Eric Roth and co-president of production Michael Cole.He will be based in TWC's Los Angeles offices and report to Harvey Weinstein and Cole.'We are very excited that Rob is joining our team and think that his diverse backg
  • Rome's Business Street hopes to move further away from AFM

    The Rome Film Fest's Business Street is not aspiring to become the new Mifed. That was the message at the AFM this week by Sylvain Auzou, The Business Street Manager. Some have been suggesting that Rome could eventually become a replacement for the old Mifed (which ended in 2004) but Auzou insisted that this was not the intention.'People don't need it,' Auzou stated. 'There are three or four big markets in the year: Toronto, AFM, Berlin and Cannes and one more would be too much.'
  • Sales expert Steinman joins CAA

    Film sales expert and former Sloss Law Office partner Dan Steinman has joined CAA as a film finance expert and sales agent.Based in CAA's New York office, Steinman will support the agency's growth in the film sales arena and its independent film financing business.Over the past three years, CAA has orchestrated film sales on titles such as last week's eight-figure blind sale of Rian Johnson's The Brothers Bloom to Summit Entertainment, and THINKFilm's approximately $3m acquisi
  • San Fu Maltha lays out Fu Works production slate

    San Fu Maltha, the Dutch producer of Black Book, has unveiled his upcoming production slate through his Amsterdam-based production outfit Fu Works.In post-production and likely to be ready for Cannes is The Real Life, the latest film from Robert Jan Westdijk (Siberia, Little Sister) which stars Loes Haverkort and Ramsey Nasr in the story about a young director ma
  • Scheckel joins Christie in new international business post

    George D Scheckel Jr has been appointed to the new position of director of international business development of digital projection pioneer Christie's entertainment solutions business division. Scheckel will spearhead business development, identify new market oppo
  • School break and London Film Festival boost UK box office

    The UK's top 20 films were collectively up 15% compared to last weekend largely due to school half-term holidays and added awareness from the London Film Festival. Over the weekend, the top 20 generated $20.3m from 4,450 screens despite only four new entrants. For the full UK chart click here.Horror flick Saw IV came in at number two with a $5.1m (£2.3m) take from 393 screens for a $13,016 (£6,318) site average. Lionsgate's fourth instalment of the franchise manage
  • Schori withdraws candidacy for top Israeli film role

    After 18 long months of fruitless talks, Katriel Schori has officially withdrawn his candidacy for the top executive job at the Jerusalem Cinematheque.Had he taken the role, hewould havebecome not only head of the Cinematheque but also of the Jerusalem Film Festival and the Israeli Film Archive. Approached in the spring of 2006 to take over from founder and all-round chief of the institution, Lia Van Leer - whowas to move to an honorary position at
  • Screen East contributes $1.58m to three new features

    UK regional screen agency Screen East has announced more than $1.58m in investment in three new feature films to shoot in the East of England. Screen East's new Content Investment Fund is backed by the European Regional Development Fund.The three films backed are Toa Fraser's Dean Spanley starring Peter O'Toole, Avie Luthra's Mad, Bad and Sad starring Meera Syal, and Justin Kerrigan's
  • Seven Days

    Dir: Won Shin-Yeon. South Korea. 2007. 124mins.Female-centric Korean thriller Seven Days pres
  • Shadows and Tracey Fragments lead Bavaria's AFM deals

    Macedonian filmmaker Milcho Manchevski's mystery love story Shadows and maverick Canadian director Bruce McDonald's The Tracey Fragments lead a raft of deals signed by Bavaria Film International at the AFM.The Tracey Fragments was sold to Atlantik in an all-rights deal for Scandinavia, following a deal with the UK's Soda Pictures that was struck during the Toront
  • Showbox snaps up Konchalovsky's Nutcracker

    Major Korean distributor Showbox Mediaplex has bought Andrei Konchalovsky's Nutcracker: The True Story from Odyssey Entertainment. The deal follows Showbox's acquisition of Chilled In Miami from Mandate International, which was announced yesterday.Nutcracker is based on the story that inspired the well-known ballet and stars John Turturro, Nathan Lane and Dakota Fanning sibling Elle Fanning. Vice president of acquisitions Chris H. Lee signed the dea
  • Singapore's digital TV service signs studio deals

    SingTel's new digital pay-TV service, mio TV, has formed strategic partnerships with four major movie studios.The agreements with NBC Universal,Twentieth Century Fox, Disney-ABC International Television and Eros International will 'bring almost 80% of all major Hollywood output into Singapore homes', said Low Ka Hoe, director of mio TV and Content. 'The on-demand movie channels - the first in Singapore and perhaps the region - offer fantastic value with each movie costing an ave
  • Six win places on Cannes Cinefondation Residence programme

    The Cannes Cinefondation Residence programme has announced its participants for the upcoming 15th session. Director Sebastien Lifshitz and his jury chose six film-makers to take part in the Resdience out of more than 140 candidates, Cannes festival organisers announced Wednesday. Four female directors and two men will work on honing either their first or second feature film while living in the Paris. The directors are: Emily Atef from Iran with her second proj
  • Sobini launches international sales arm under Todd Olsson

    Mark Amin's Sobini Films has launched a sales division and installed recent hire Todd Olsson to run it.Olsson, who previously handled sales with Mark Damon at Behaviour Films and worked at American World Pictures, among others, is at AFM to meet buyers.Sobini Films International's first projects is Damien Harris' kidnapping drama Gardens Of The Night, which stars newcomer Gillian Jacobs as a 17-year-old girl who reunites with her pa
  • Sony expected to take District 9 rights from QED

    Sony was poised last night [Sunday] to strike the biggest deal of AFM and take North America and other territories to Peter Jackson's upcoming sci-fi action film District 9.QED Intl is fully financing District 9 and handles worldwide sales on the project, which Jackson will produce through his Wingnut Films.Neill Blomkamp, who collaborated with Jackson on their suspended Halo adaptation, wil
  • Southland Tales

    Dir: Richard Kelly, USA, 2007, 144minsSouthland Tales, re-cut since its world premiere at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, is apocalyptic vaudeville, as politicians, cops, Iraq veterans porn stars and an amnesiac actor scramble to fulfil or forestall conspiracies in Los Angeles, culminating in a world-ending Fourth of July. It's an incoherent cataclysmic comedy, and often a wildly funny one. Critical response to the film won't be much more positive th
  • Spare

    Dir: Lee Seong Han. S Korea. 2007. 105min.Intermittently funny but always energetic, this spoof action film displays the kind of flair and atti
  • Spiderwick Chronicles set for simultaneous IMAX release

    Paramount Pictures will release The Spiderwick Chronicles simultaneously in IMAX and conventional cinemas, the companies announced today. The fantasy adventure will be released in the US and Canada on February 15, 2008. The agreement is the fourth between Paramount and IMAX in the past five months. Paramount releases an IMAX version of Robert Zemeckis' Beowulf on November 16.'The grand scale
  • Spottiswoode's Devil crosses C$1m at Canadian box office

    Powered by strong audiences in Quebec, Roger Spottiswoode's Shake Hands With The Devil has passed the C$1m ($1.07m) at the Canadian box office, according to distributor Seville Pictures. Starring Roy Dupuis as the Canadian general rendered powerless to prevent the Rwandan genocide, the C$15m production opened on September 28 on nearly 100 screens, of which 47 showed the French-dubbed version. Dupuis, star of top-grossing French-language titles
  • SPWAG takes multiple rights to Crank 2, Punisher 2

    Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) has acquired international rights from Lakeshore Entertainment to Crank 2: High Voltage in Latin America, Japan, Australia and France, among others, and taken all international rights to The Punisher 2: War Zone from Lionsgate.Crank 2: High Voltage sees Jason Statham reprise his role as an assassin who goes after
  • Stone, Peet find Five Dollars with THINKFilm

    Sharon Stone and Amanda Peet have joined the cast of Nigel Cole's Five Dollars A Day, also starring Christopher Walken and Alessandra Nivola.The film is financed by Capitol Films and is being sold by sister company THINKFilm International.The comedy is about a father and son road trip. Stone plays the former babysitter of the son, while Peet plays his girlfriend. Neal and Tippi Dobrofsky wrote the script.Carol Baum, Jane Goldenring a
  • Strike nerves unsettle AFM business

    Business at the AFM has painted a picture of a divided market. Tangible top tier product was in demand, as always, but most buyers and sellers were bemoaning one of the slowest markets in years.Pre-strike jitters left their mark as buyers anxious to fill pipelines for 2009 and early 2010 were reportedly wary of committing to fragile projects with uncertain cast and start dates. Talent prices are at a premium, with actors committing to too many films and projects racing to get complet
  • Summit signs three-year output deal with Concorde/Tele-Muenchen

    Summit International has slotted into place the German piece of its output deal jigsaw with a three-year deal with Tele-Muenchen Group (TMG).The agreement will kick off with Twilight and Sex Drive and covers all rights in Germany and Austria as well as television rights in German-speaking Switzerland through 2010.Going forward Summit will supply films produced, co-produced and/or acquired by Summit during the output term
  • Sun Distribution swoops on Latin American rights for Mammoth

    In the first major deal on Lukas Moodysson's $17 million English language debut Mammoth, Sun Distribution has swooped to take all Latin American rights. The deal was signed at the weekend by Thomas Mai for Trust Films Sales and Diego Halabi for Sun Distribution.Mammoth begins shooting in Thailand today (Monday). The film stars Latin superstar Gael Garcia Bernal and Michelle Williams. It is produced by L
  • T&C, Sony Music Japan team for Japanese girl band comedy

    T&C Pictures and Sony Music Entertainment Japan has begun shooting the comedy Lock And Roll Forever in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Japan.Chris Grismer is directing the story of an all-girl teenage band from a working class industrial city in Japan that travels to America in search of fame and fortune.Lucas Grabeel, Ike Barinholtz, Taylor Negron, Brad Dourif and Naoko Nozawa star. Peter Barsocchini wrote the screenplay.
  • Target and Pink Sands stop and smell the Apples

    Target Entertainment and Pink Sands are kicking off their new partnership with Kfir Yefet's The Smell Of Apples, which will start shooting in early 2008 starring Gillian Anderson and Julian McMahon.Producers are Kate McCreery and Charles Finch of Pink Sands.The Smell of Apples is a coming-of-age story set in 1970s Cape Town, adapted from the novel by Mark Behr.Yefet, a theatre veteran, is also
  • Tartan buys US rights to Silent Light from Bac International

    Bac Films International has sold Carlos Reygadas' Cannes prizewinner Silent Light to the newly revitalized Tartan Films for the US. Tartan had previously handled the US on Reygadas' Battle In Heaven.Bac has also sold the film to Canada (Seville), Spain (Golem), Benelux (Lumiere), Switzerland (Look Now), Greece (Strada), Denmark (Ost For Paradise), Russia (Intercinema), Poland (Gutek) and Norway (Arthouse)
  • The Red Awn (Hongse Kangbaiyin)

    Dir.Cai Shangjun. China. 2007. 108minsAlready established as a highly successful screenwriter whose work wit
  • The Works gets investment boost from Milcoz; takes UK rights to Mongol

    The Works Media Group has also announced that Milcoz Films has made an equity investment of $1.6m (£763,097), bringing its stake to 29.9%.Also, The Works UK Distribution continues its AFM deals by picking up UK rights to Mongol. Production and finance company Milcoz is run by Costa Theo, who has been a non-executive director of The Works since first investing in the company in June. The company said the new funding would be used to boost both film acquisitions for UK
  • The Works takes UK rights to Joy Division

    The Works UK Distribution has taken UK rights from Katapult Films to Grant Gee's Toronto hit documentary Joy Division. The deal was negotiated between Mark Ankner of Endeavor, David Jourdan of Katapult and Laurence Gornall from The Works. The Works plans a UK theatrical release in 2008.The film has already sold to The Weinstein Company for North America, Madman for Australia, Pretty Pictures for France and Benelux, and CCV for Scandi
  • Thessaloniki reveals 230 film line-up

    The Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Nov 16-25)programmeis to feature230 plus films representing 40 nations accompanied by a major push in Film Market and co-production activities. Among the 14 titles in competition - reserved to first and second films - is the world premiere ofGerman production Elli Makra by Athanasios Karanikolas.Two competition titles gettheir international premiere:Vasermil by Mushon Salmona (Israel) and Wednesday, Thursday Mor
  • THINKFilm, Image take US rights to Stuart Gordon's Stuck

    THINKFilm has taken US rights at AFM to Stuart Gordon's drama Stuck starring Mena Suvari and Stephen Rea.The distributor is planning a spring 2008 release in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco among other top markets.Image Entertainment, an equity partner on the film, will release on DVD. Rigel Entertainment is handling international sales.Suvari plays a hit-and-run driver who flees the scene with her victim stuck
  • Three local films ready to shoot in Ireland

    Shoots are starting in Ireland on three locally-developed features - A Film With Me In It, Daisy Chain, and Our Wonderful Home. Irish comedian Dylan Moran (Run Fat Boy Run, Shaun of the Dead) stars in A Film With Me In It, a comedy thriller written by actor/comedian Mark Doherty and directed by Ian Fitzgibbon (Spin the Bottle).Doherty and Amy Huberman co-star in the low-budget production which is shooting for four weeks in Dublin and is produced
  • Three-way battle in $16.68m Japanese box office weekend

    Resident Evil: Extinction, distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment, triumphed in a threeway battle at the Japanese box office at the weekend.The horror action-fest earned $5.21m, shooting down Toho-distributed nostalgic drama Always: Sunset On Third Street 2, which earned $4.77m. Released on 331 and 330 screens respectively, per screen averages were strong at $16,027 and $14,463. The third contender was new release teen drama Sky Of Love (KoiZor
  • Tigerlily starts shooting Jeanie Finlay's Goth Cruise

    UK-based Tigerlily Films has started production on Goth Cruise, its feature length documentary backed by the Independent Film Channel and EM Media (via European Regional Development Funds).Jeanie Finlay, a Screen International 2007 Star of Tomorrow, is directing. Natasha Dack and Nikki Parrott of Tigerlily are producing, with New York-based Cactus 3 executive producing.The documentary follows 300 UK and US goths on holiday aboard a
  • TLA picks up Living And The Dead, Socket at AFM

    TLA Releasing has picked up US non-theatrical and home video rights to Simon Rumley's UK thriller The Living And The Dead and North American and UK non-theatrical, home video and VOD rights to Sean Abley's US genre film Socket.TLA plans a March 25 2008 release through sister company Danger After Dark for The Living And The Dead, which charts the consequences when
  • TLA romances US, UK rights to Bangkok Love Story

    TLA Releasing has acquired all North American and UK theatrical, home video, television and VOD rights to Poj Arnon's Thai film Bangkok Love Story.The company plans a summer 2008 release on the story of an assassin who falls in love with the man he is sent to execute.Rattanaballang Tohssawat, Chaiwat Tongsaeng and Suchao Pongwilai star in the film, which opened in Thailand in September.TLA's vice president of acquisitions Jennifer Arn
  • TLA takes US, UK rights for Filmax's comedy Boystown (Chuecatown)

    TLA Releasing has acquired all North American and UK rights from Filmax to Juan Flahn's Spanish comedy Boystown (Chuecatown) and plans a late 2008 release in North America.The madcap story centres on an estate agent who murders elderly women and offers their apartments to upwardly mobile gay couples in a madcap scheme to transform the area into a 'gaybourhood'. Pablo Puyol, Carlos Fuentes, Pepon Nieto, and Concha Velasco s
  • TLA takes US, UK, English-speaking Canada on Hormoz-directed drama

    TLA Releasing has taken all US, UK and English-speaking Canadian rights to Hormoz' French drama I Dreamt Under Water (J'Ai Reve Sous L'Eau).TLA is co-producing the film with Wide Management and Triskel Film and acquired rights from Wide to line up a 2008 theatrical release.Hormoz makes his feature directorial debut based on his short film about a man's carnal adventures through the northern suburbs of Paris. Hubert Benhamdine and C
  • Tom Strudwick to head acquisitions at The Works

    Tom Strudwick has joined UK-based The Works Media Group as head of acquisitions.Strudwick is the former VP, acquisitions and production, at United Artist. He started his career in 1991 at Manifesto Film Sales before moving to Ciby Sales.Norman Humphrey, chief executive of The Works Media Group said: 'Tom is an extremely experienced acquisitions executive. We firmly believe that his background and taste will be a tremendous asset to us and match our ambition for the company both in
  • Tribeca promotes David Kwok, adds La'Bassiere and Terranova

    The Tribeca Film Festival has promoted David Kwok to director of programming and added Genna Terranova as senior programmer.The festival is creating a year-round industry department, with Julie La'Bassiere coming on board as director of industry relations.Terranova and Kwok will both concentrate on core festival programming (with artistic director Peter Scarlet) and also working on year-round programming for the festival and Tribeca Enterprises. Kwok will also work with Scarlet on
  • Trust dances for Fischer Christensen's A Soap follow-up

    Trust Film Sales has taken on Pernille Fischer Christensen's Everybody's Dancing, now in post and being readied for in time for potential premiere in Berlin (Christensen won the 2006 Berlinale's Silver Bear and best debut prizes with her debut A Soap.)Here at the AFM, Trust Film Sales will be screening part of the comedy/drama set at a dancing school. All territories are available excluding Scan
  • Tuya's Marriage pulls out of Golden Horse race

    Berlin Golden Bear winner Tuya's Marriage has withdrawn from Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards race. Executive producer Wang Le made the official request to the Golden Horse organisers on Wednesday, just four days after nominations were announced. The Mongolian-set drama was one of the highest profile entries set to compete at December's awards ceremony with nominations for best picture, best director, best leading actress and best original screenplay. The film is sold internati
  • TWC closes major AFM pre-sales on Richard Kelly's The Box

    The Weinstein Company (TWC) has closed major pre-sales on Richard Kelly's $30m horror project The Box with Cameron Diaz, which is set to begin shooting in Boston at the end of November.Deals closed for the UK, Australia and New Zealand (Icon), South Korea (Eureka), Eastern Europe (EEAP), Greece (Odeon), the Middle East (Italia), and Switzerland (Ascot Elite).'It's exciting to see the marketplace respond so quickly and strongly to a
  • UCLA student wins top prize at Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards

    UCLA student Jennifer O'Kieffe's dark coming-of-age story Sex And Sylvia Plath has won the 52nd Annual Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards' $15,000 first prize. Second place and $7,500 went to UCLA's Michael Vukadinovich's comedy Buckabee and third place and a $4,000 prize was awarded to UCLA's Mark C Humphrey's satirical comedy Coup. Competition judges included producer Cathy Schulman and film-maker Joel Schumacher. The Samuel Goldw
  • UFO beams up Empress And The Warriors

    Hong Kong production house United Filmmakers Organization (UFO) is attending the AFM to directly sell romantic action picture An Empress And The Warriors, directed by Tony Siu-Tung Ching. The $15m production, which recently wrapped in mainland China, features a top Asian cast including Donnie Yen, Leon Lai and Kelly Chen. Release is tentatively scheduled for March 2008. UFO has brought on board Andrew Loo, who heads up Hong Kong-based Initial A Entertainment with filmmaker
  • UK cinema chain Odeonto hostevent with The Who

    UK cinema chain Odeon, Universal Pictures and Arts Alliance Media ('AAM') are to host the premiere of Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who including a live link-up with band members.Thefilm will be screened exclusively at selected Odeoncinemas on Monday 5th November at 6.30pm. Band members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltreyintroduce the film and participate in a live Q&A alongside the film's creators.Thelive link will be scr
  • UK films lead EFA nominations

    The Queen leads the nominees for the 20th European Film Awards with six nominations, and The Last King of Scotland follows with five.Nominees for best European Film 2007 are Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Fatih Akin's The Edge Of Heaven; Kevin Macdonald's The Last King Of Scotl
  • UK government pledges $9.3m support for film festivals

    The UK government has announced a $9.3m (£4.5m) three-year package of support for British film festivals.Culture Secretary James Purnell said the money was intended to raise the profile of British film and to broaden the interest in cinema.The money will come from the National Lottery. The UK Film will make the $3.1m (£1.5m) a year support available.Over the three years, $2.6m (£1.25m) will be allocated each year to help fund one or two festivals of international importan
  • UK short festival Encounters partners with Babelgum

    After striking partnerships with the Soho Shorts Film Festival and the Giffoni Film Festival, Internet TV platform Babelgum has now struck a deal with the Encounters Short Film Festival.Encounters, which will host its 13th edition this month in Bristol, UK, will now offer festival participants the chance to broadcast their short films on Babelgum.Directors and rights owners can upload Encounters content from today through Nov 20.Encounters entrants will also b
  • UK's Boulevard signs exclusive Fox deal for UMD format for PSP

    Boulevard Entertainment, the UK DVD distributor, has branched out into the Universal Media Disc (UMD) format, used for PlayStation Portable, and signed an exclusive three-year UK deal for UMD releases for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. The deal covers new and library titles from Fox, Pathe and MGM. New releases can be offered on UMD 12 weeks after their DVD launch.Boulevard will offer 40 films under the new deal by the end of November, including the
  • UK's Magnet Films starts shoot for James Abadi's UK comedy

    Principal photography has started on UK comedy The Story of ____. Finlay Robertson, Lee Boardman, Tamsin Egerton, Peter Bowles and Rik Mayall star.The film is about the record industry travails of a band named FUCK, which is played by Andrew Thomas Jones, Joe Absolom, AMeet Chana and Desire Dubunet. James Abadi makes his feature directorial debut from a script he co-wrote with Adam Abadi.Abadi Films is co-pr
  • United Kingdom - Shoot The Moon

    David Sington has landed, so to speak. The 20-year veteran of the TV documentary world has generated great interest (not to mention high-profile deals) with his first theatrical documentary, In The Shadow Of The Moon.The film, about the Apollo space programme, won the World Cinema audience award at Sundance in January, is on release via ThinkFilm in North America, and opens in the UK via Vertigo Films on November 2. US-based Discovery Film and the UK's Film4 are also on board.
  • UPI's Kingdom, Golden Age challenge Ratatouille at the box office

    Several overseas releases are in the mix this weekend that could dethrone Ratatouille from the number one international film after four consecutive weekends.Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International's (WDSMPI) animated hit crossed $350m on October 30 and currently stands at $353.2m.The animated hit currently ranks as the company's seventh biggest international release of all time.WDSMPI's family title
  • Velvet Octopus gets tangled with 3-D animated Spyro

    Velvet Octopus will handle sales for a new 3-D CGI animated feature based on Vivendi Games' Spyro franchise.Ash Shah's The Animation Picture Company has optioned the rights to Spyro from Vivendi's Sierra Entertainment division.John Davis (I, Robot, Eragon) will produce The Legend Of Spyro, which has just started production.
  • Voltage to start pre-sales on Romero's Diary sequel

    Artfire Films and Romero-Grunwald Productions have greenlit a sequel to George A Romero's Dairy Of The Dead hot on the heels of the film's successful premiere in Toronto.Voltage Pictures will commence international pre-sales at AFM. Cinetic Media will handle domestic rights, as it did on Diary. The Weinstein Company snapped up Diary in Toronto and the
  • Wang Xiaoshuai's latest lands at Films Distribution

    Paris-based Films Distribution has closed a deal during AFM to represent In Love We Trust, the latest film from Wang Xiaoshuai, one of the leading figures in China's sixth generation of filmmakers. The new film is now in post-production and will be ready in time for Berlin. Given Xiaoshuai's glittering festival record - a Silver Bear at Berlin for Beijing Bicycle in 2001 and a Jury Prize in Cannes for
  • Weed leads nominations for Asian Festival of 1st Films

    Chinese director Wang Liren's feature debut Weed is the frontrunner at the 3rd Asian Festival of 1st Films (AFFF) with five nominations, including best film and best director. The picture which premiered at Rotterdam this year is about a day-wage worker in Beijing who falls for a prostitute which leads to tragic consequences. Wang is also nominated at AFFF for best producer and best screenplay while Mai Zi is up for best actor. Two Taiwanese films and one from India receive
  • Weinstein Co takes US rights to three from Wild Bunch

    The Weinstein Company (TWC) swooped last night [Nov 3] on US rights to three films from Wild Bunch in the first major domestic deal of AFM to be announced.In the evening of Saturday, several hours after Harvey Weinstein had been observed at the Loews deep in conversation with key lieutenant Michelle Krumm, the company acquired US rights to Dorothy Mills and Martyrs, and took North America, Australia and
  • Weinsteins closes Attenborough's Ring with Content

    The Weinstein Company has taken US rights to Richard Attenborough's Closing The Ring from ContentFilm International.The film had its world premiere in Toronto. The epic love story, set in the present day and World War II, is about an American woman who looks back on a wartime promise. Shirley MacLaine, Brenda Fricker, Christopher Plummer, Mischa Barton, Neve Campbell and Pete Postlethwaite star.Financiers are Bank of Ireland, the UKFC, SCION, NFTC and ContentFilm.Att
  • Whistler unveils competition line-up including Continental and Amal

    Stephane Lafleur's Continental: A Film Without Guns and Richie Mehta's Amal are among the six titles competing at the upcoming Whistler Film Festival. Continental premiered at Venice and won the Best First Canadian Feature Film prize at Toronto. Amal debuted at Toronto. Other titles in the Whistler competition are Mark Wihak's
  • Wide scores UK deals on Youssou N'Dour, Subsitute docs

    French outfit Wide Management has closed UK deals on two titles on its AFM slate. Festival favourite Youssou N'Dour: Return To Goree has been sold to Axiom. Meanwhile, Substitute, about a football player who is a substitute in the World Cup Final, has been snapped up by new UK distributor Fantasia Advertising. The French company has also added three new titles to its AFM slate. The new batch of
  • Wild Bunch takes on Tokyo! triptych, Ferrara doc

    French powerhouse Wild Bunch is handling sales at AFM on Asian portmanteau picture Tokyo!, featuring three films set in the Japanese capital by auteurs Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Bong Joon-Ho. The film, currently shooting, is available in all territories excluding France, Japan and South Korea.Wild Bunch is also resuming its relationship with Abel Ferarra (Go Go Tales) on his feature docu
  • Wolfe takes rights to Spider Lilies, Surveillance 24/7

    Wolfe Video has acquired North American rights to a slew of titles here headed by Zero Chou's Taiwanese drama Spider Lilies.The film stars Rainie Yang and Isabella Leong in the story of a webcam exhibitionist who falls for a tattoo parlour employee when she requests a special tattoo.Conspiracy thriller Surveillance 24/7 centres on a gay teacher who finds