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7 November 2008

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  • 6 Sales enters Narrows, surfs Wave

    On the eve of the AFM, 6 Sales has taken international rights to The Narrows, directed by François A Velle and starring Kevin Zegers (Transamerica), VincentD'Onofrio, Sophia Bush and Eddie Cahill. Deals already closed after the film's Toronto world premiere include to Movie Bank in Benelux and Koba Films in France. The film tells the story of a young man (Zegers) from one of Brooklyn's tough
  • AFM Briefs Nov 5

    Diffusion Pictures has acquired all UK rights from Ryan Kampe and Sylvain Tron's Visit Films to the drama Momma's Man following its London Film Festival screenings.The film premiered at Sundance and tells of a man who visits his parents' loft apartment in Manhattan on a business trip and decides not to return to his wife and child. Matt Boren stars alongside director Azazel Jacobs' real parents Ken and Flo Jacobs.
  • AFM Briefs Nov 7

    Trellis Huahn has been appointed to the newly created post of executive vice president of business affairs at Bold Films.Huahn will report directly to Bold Films' president or worldwide distribution Stephanie Denton and will play a key role in production, finance and development negotiations and will oversee all worldwide distribution agreements.Huahn spent the previous decade at Summit Entertainment where she headed up international contracts and business affairs as seni
  • AFM buzz - Australia and New Zealand

    A slew of Australian genre projects will be on offer to buyers at the AFM. One of several market debuts from Arclight is Jamie Blanks' thriller Long Weekend, a remake of the highly regarded 1977 film of the same name. Jim Caviezel and Claudia Karvan will star as a couple whose disrespect for the natural environment during a camping trip provokes the ire of Mother Nature.Darclight's genre label is handling Jon Hewitt's stylish thriller Acolytes, starring Joel Edgerton, abo
  • AFM buzz - California Dreaming

    THE USWhat are the commercial English-language titles coming out of the US right now' Jeremy Kay has the lowdown.The US financial meltdown, coupled with ongoing logistical difficulties caused by punishing exchange rates and the possibility of an actors strike by the end of November have traumatised the US production sector.The threat of imminent industrial action has put a stranglehold on the US majors, although independent productions are largely protected by Screen Acto
  • AFM buzz - France

    There are a handful of big projects headed for the AFM from France - including one that could provoke a bidding war - but some sales agents are holding back on announcing new projects, for the moment at least.Yohann Comte of Roissy Films says: "The AFM is a market where we must limit the films we present and avoid the overly arthouse. It's best for genre films and those with a link to current events."Roissy is screening Marco Amenta's La Sicilienne, based on the true stor
  • AFM buzz - Germany

    German sales agents will be at the AFM presenting a diverse range of product from the territory. Bavaria Film International will have a promo-reel of Esther Gronenborn's mystery thriller Kaifeck Murder, starring Benno Furmann and Alexandra Maria Lara, which is inspired by one of Germany's most infamous crimes.Telepool will screen a promo-reel of Anno Saul's fantasy The Door (Die Tur), based on German-Turkish writer Akif Pirincci's novel of the same name, about a pa
  • AFM buzz - Hong Kong, China and Taiwan

    The Chinese-language production sectors, in both Hong Kong and Beijing, were hit badly this year by a slow-down in mainland China's censorship process in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. As a result, there will not be a huge amount of new Chinese product at this year's AFM.Indeed, one of the hottest new titles on offer from a Hong Kong-based sales company is actually a Japanese title - Max Mannix's $12m thriller Rain Fall, produced by Japan's Satoru Iseki and starring Kippei
  • AFM buzz - Italy

    This year, leading Italian sales agents Intramovies, Istituto Luce and the newer Fandango/Portobello Sales are not attending the AFM. Instead, they launched their new titles at the Rome International Film Festival's film market, The Business Street, in October."The AFM is a market concerned only with English-language commercial movies, with almost no interest in arthouse foreign-language movies," says Jeff Nuyts, sales agent for Intramovies. "For the new arthouse films we concentrate o
  • AFM buzz - Japan

    Despite successes at home, Japanese films continue to be a difficult sell to English-speaking territories.Even in Asia, where pre-sales were once commonplace, skittish buyers are demanding to see finished product. While Japanese companies introduce new titles at continental events such as Hong Kong's Filmart, Pusan's Asian Film Market and Tokyo's Tiffcom, they often reserve full premieres for AFM.Japan's TV networks continue to be a dominant force in film production, with Nippon
  • AFM buzz - South Korea

    The South Korean investment/production bubble has popped and the local industry is suffering from the after-effects of an injection of too much blind and eager money into the sector. But the few new films that have managed to struggle through are worth checking out.Period films are going strong. CJ Entertainment has Jeon Yoon-soo's sexy biopic of 18th-century artist Shin Yoon-bok, Portrait Of A Beauty. The film, which stars Kim Min-sun, hypothesises he was actually a woman masqu
  • AFM buzz - Thailand

    It has been a difficult year for the Thai film industry, coping with the double whammy of political unrest and inflation which have battered the economy and impacted on audience spending power. But although local studios have been cautious and there have been delays to production schedules, there are some big projects set to emerge over the coming year.One of the most highly touted projects, Ong Bak 2, suffered delays that had nothing to do with anti-government protests or the e
  • AFM buzz - The UK

    Following a quiet Cannes, the UK had a particularly strong Toronto with 22 features in the programme. The AFM will be the first official market for many of the Toronto premieres. They include the documentary Sounds Like Teen Spirit: A Popumentary for Intandem, The Secret Of Moonacre for Velvet Octopus, and The Other Man and Easy Virtue for Ealing Studios International.Pathe's new productions include Jon Wright's Tormented, a horror project in post-pro
  • AFM kicks off with record world premieres and solid footing in November

    Whatever the economic woes in the outside world, the American Film Market (AFM) remains in robust health. That was the message yesterday as the 29th edition of the market got underway.'There are 527 films are screening here in Santa Monica, among them 102 world premieres, the highest we've ever had,' said Jonathan Wolf, managing director of the AFM. Sales company attendance is marginally down (by about 2% according to Wolf), but the event is still at full capacity.
  • AFM sales

    Peter Block's A Bigger Boat kicks off with thriller FrozenSPWAG confirms multi-territory acquisition of The Book Of Elihere! takes on domestic rights to Lemhagen's Patrik, Age 1.5
  • AFM stories

    Peter Block's A Bigger Boat kicks off with thriller FrozenSPWAG confirms multi-territory acquisition of The Book Of EliParis Hilton, Charlotte Rampling join cast of new Solondz picturehere! takes on domestic rights to Lemhagen's
  • AFM: Artist View embraces Brothers War

    Artist View Entertainment has taken on international rights heading into AFM to the action thriller Brothers War from producer Tino Struckmann.Jerry Buteyn directed the story set in the closing days of the Second World War as a German and a British officer join forces to save Europe from a new war.Struckmann stars with Olivier Gruner, Michael Berryman and Hayley Carr. Struckmann and Warren Lewis co-wrote the screenplay.
  • AFM: Spanish sales companies look beyond horror

    The last few years have all been about horror films from Spain but 2009 promises a more diverse slate of projects. One of the few scary movies in the works is Filmax's [Rec 2] which will be offered to buyers for the first time at the AFM. Jamie Balauguero is back in the director's seat for the project which is now in pre-production. Filmax will also be presenting another sequel in the shape of the animated
  • AFM: Williams, Bonard launch ScreenOpus with US/French backing

    Fledgling international film and television sales agency ScreenOpus, a joint venture between US-based Severance Pictures and Paris-based MK2 SA, arrives at AFM with launch titles The Hide and The Golden Age.Former MGM vice president of international sales and marketing Courtney Williams and former MTV International vice president of sales and co-productions Nicolas Bonard head the company and will comme
  • Amazonas announces competition titles and jury, led by Alan Parker

    The 5th annual Amazonas Film Festival has announced its line up, with filmmaker Alan Parker presiding over the jury. The festival, which runs from November 7-13, focuses on films with a relationship to the environment. A competition comprising nine films runs during the festival.Other jury members include French actor Tcheky Caryo, Argentine filmmaker Santiago Amigorena, Canadian actress Neve Campbell and US actress Parker Posey.Films in compet
  • American Film Market: Asia-Pacific buzz films

    Screen looks at the Asia-Pacific buzz projects at this year's American Film Market (November 5-12).Click on a territory to see moreJapanSouth KoreaThailandHong Kong/China/Taiwan
  • American Film Market: latest news

    The latest news and reviews from Screen's team at the American Film Market in Santa Monica.UPDATED DAILY: AFM storiesUPDATED DAILY: AFM salesAFM buzz films and preview
  • American Film Market: News round-up

    The latest news and reviews from Screen's team at the American Film Market in Santa Monica.UPDATED DAILY: AFM storiesUPDATED DAILY: AFM salesAFM buzz films and preview
  • Anna Faris to receive rising star tribute at Bahamas festival

    Anna Faris will receive the Bahamas International Film Festival's (BIFF) Chopard Award rising star tribute on December 8.Faris recently starred in the hit Sony comedy The House Bunny and her credits include the Scary Movie series, Smiley Face and Lost In Translation.She will star next spring opposite Seth Rogen
  • Arthouse Films acquires worldwide to Herb & Dorothy

    Arthouse Films has acquired worldwide rights to Megumi Sasaki's documentary film Herb & Dorothy.The distributor plans a theatrical release in early 2009 followed by a DVD release on the Arthouse Films label.The film premiered at AFI SilverDocs Festival where it won the Audience Award and was recently awarded the Golden Starfish Award for best documentary and the audience award at this year's Hamptons Film Festival.
  • Axiom in UK, Star Sands in Japan take on Dornhelm's La Boheme

    UK distributor Axiom and Japan's Star Sands/Theaters have acquired Robert Dornhelm's film version of the Puccini opera La Boheme ahead of its market premiere at the AFM.According to sales agent Beta Cinema, the film featuring opera stars Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon has also been picked up by Palace for Australia and New Zealand and Hollywood Classics for Czech Republic and Slovakia.La Boheme is currently on release in Germany and Austria through NFP/Warner and Cons
  • Bankside strikes US Baker deal with Panorama

    UK-based Bankside Films has kicked off the AFM by announcing that Panorama Entertainment has taken all US rights to Gareth Lewis' The Baker.Gareth's brother Damian Lewis stars with Kate Ashfield and Michael Gambon. The comedy is about a hitman who hides out in a remote village where locals mistake him for the new baker.New York-based Panorama plans a theatrical release in spring 2009 after the film plays at US festivals.
  • Basner's back with FilmNation, deals with MRC, Samuels, Endgame

    Several months after leaving his post as head of international at The Weinstein Company, Glen Basner returns to the fray with his new sales and distribution company FilmNation Entertainment and will commence pre-sales at AFM on M Night Shyamalan's supernatural thriller Devil.Backed by equity investors including Steve Samuels, New York-based FilmNation will serve as the exclusive international sales agent for Media Rights Capital (MRC) and Samu
  • Berlin to showcase German film industry to Bollywood

    The German film industry will showcase its services and funding opportunities to Bollywood in a special presentation to the Indian film industry in Mumbai.The event will be organised by Berlin-Brandenburg Film Commission (BFFC) and inward investment agency Berlin Partner on November 2.India 's burgeoning film industry has recently been building strong links with Hollywood. Now, German industry representatives also hope to attract Bollywood, which has a huge fan
  • Berlinale expands eastwards with new venue for 2009

    The Berlinale will include Europe's largest revue theatre, the Friedrichstadtpalast, as one of its screening venues at the 2009 festival.The Berlinale plans to programme four to six screenings each day at the venue, from the Competition or Berlinale Special sections.The venue will be known as the FriedrichstadtFilmpalast during the festival and will host premieres for special Berlinale screenings. Premieres of Competition films will continue to take place at
  • Beta Cinema clinches US deal with MPI for Il Divo

    Beta Cinema has announced its first raft of sales at the AFM, including a US sale to MPI Media Group for Paolo Sorrentino's Cannes award-winner Il Divo. The drama about the controversial Italian politician Giulio Andreotti has also been sold to Germany (Delphi Film), Sweden (Folkets Bio), Denmark (Sunrise Film), Poland (Against Gravity, and HBO Poland for pay-TV), Czech Repub
  • Bond smashes UK opening record, takes $38.6m from three markets

    Sony Pictures Releasing International chiefs were toasting a weekend rich in rewards last night as the division crossed $1bn in receipts for the year-to-date and the new James Bond release Quantum Of Solace dominated the overseas chart with a whopping $38.6m estimated gross from 2,123 screens in the UK, France and Sweden.The British super-spy coaxed the biggest standard three-day weekend debut of all time in the UK with £15.4m ($25.3m) from 1,
  • Cameron's Avatar set for day-date IMAX release in December 2009

    James Cameron’s highly-anticipated 3D science fiction fantasy Avatar is scheduled for day-and-date release on IMAX and conventional screens on December 18, 2009. The date was announced jointly today by Twentieth Century Fox and IMAX - although the press release couched its terms by saying the two companies had ‘reached agreement on material terms’.Written and directed by the Academy Award-winning Titanic director, the film stars Sam Worthin
  • Cast lines up for Mario Van Peebles' thriller Kerosene Cowboys

    Cam Gigandet, Shane West, Rachael Leigh Cook and Troy Garity havejoined the cast of Svarog-Afterburner Films' upcoming action thrillerKerosene Cowboys.Offers are out to Richard Dreyfus and Val Kilmer to round out the full cast, which includes Jason Gray-Standford, Jacob Vargas and J C Chasez.Mario Van Peebles will direct from a screenplay by Adam Prince based on a story by Svarog-Afterburner
  • Cathay sells classics library to i-Cable for Hong Kong pay-TV, internet

    Cathay Organisation has sold its Cathay Classics Films library to i-Cable Hong Kong for Hong Kong and Macau pay-TV and internet. Separately, Cathay is issuing a DVD box set with musicals starring Grace Chan aka Ge Lan, one of the foremost actresses of her era - Wild Wild Rose, Mambo Girl and June Bride - in January 2009 when the stage remake of Wild Wild Rose wil
  • Cavina and Gossetti to leave theRome International Film Festival

    Teresa Cavina and Giorgio Gossetti, co-curators of theRome International Film Festival's Cinema 2008 section will not renew their mandate for next year's festival. Both have cited uncertainty about the direction of future editions following changes in the local government's political hierarchy, which may impact the festival.Their roles in developing the festival have been fundamental since its inception and first edition in 2006. Cavina also over-saw the New Cin
  • Celluloid Dreams sells Let's Make Money to Ad Vitam in France

    Early in the market, Paris-based Celluloid Dreams has closed a deal with Ad Vitam in France for Let's Make Money, its timely new feature-documentary about global finance and its woes. The film is directed by Erwin Wagenhofer and produced by Allegro's Helmut Grasser. Filmladen is handling its release in Austria while Delphi opened the film in Germany last month.With the world on the brink of a global financial crisis, Wagenhofer's film explores
  • Central Partnership launches new Russian spy franchise

    As the latest Bond movie Quantum Of Solace is launched worldwide, the Russiansare hatching their very own spy franchise.Here at the AFM,Moscow-based Central Partnership is introducing buyers to spy movie ManOf The East, starring Sergey Astakhov and Vladimir Epifantsev. Thefilm chronicles the adventures of Russian special intelligence agentYegor Kremnyov. It involves fugitive oligarchs, western crimesyndicates and top-secret papers.
  • China Film cuts Chung's scenes from Mei Lanfang biopic

    State-owned China Film Group Corporation has confirmed that it has removed all scenes featuring Hong Kong actress Gillian Chung from Chen Kaige's upcoming Mei Lanfang biopic, whose English title has recently been finalised as Forever Enthralled.The film, about legendary Beijing opera singer Mei Lanfang's private and public lives,is a co-production between China Film Group, CMC Entertainment and Emperor, and is currently in post-production at Tokyo Laboratory Ltd.Chen deci
  • Christopher Hampton returns to directing with White Chameleon

    Christopher Hampton is to return to directing. The Oscar-winningEnglish writer/filmmaker, who picked up a Special Jury prize in Cannesfor Carrington in 1995 and also won plaudits for his Atonementscreenplay, is now to write and direct White Chameleon.The new project is being put together by UK producer Chris Curling'sZephyr Films and by Hampton's Ashenden Films.
  • Cinemavault acquires international to The Hammer

    Cinemavault has acquired international rights to the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival comedy The Hammer starring Adam Carolla and will introduce to buyers at AFM.Charles Herman-Wurmfeld directed the story of a 40-year-old underachiever who works on a construction site and lands a chance to try out for the US Olympic team.Heather Juergensen and Constance Zimmer star alongside Carolla, a longtime TV comedian.The Weinstein Compa
  • Cinemavault takes on sales for Where God Left His Shoes

    Toronto-based Cinemavault has picked up from Paul Allen's Vulcan Productions the drama Where God Left His Shoes starring John Leguizamo.Salvatore Stabile directed the take of a down-and-out boxer who takes his young son on a journey around New York City to look for a home on Christmas Eve.The film premiered at Tribeca 2007 where it won the Humanitas screenwriting award for a film developed or shown at Sundance.IFC will
  • CJ sells Bong Joon Ho's Mother to Bitters End for Japan

    CJ Entertainment has sold The Host director Bong Joon Ho’s upcoming Mother to Bitters End for Japan.The $6m thriller is aiming for Cannes and a June 2009 release. Hot interest from Japanese buyers got the film a significant pre-sales price, according to CJ. The film stars young, popular actor Won Bin (Taegukgi) with TV veteran Kim Hye-ja who plays a mother on a desperate mission to prove
  • Cole, Headly and Hutton keep up with The Joneses

    Gary Cole, Glenne Headly and Lauren Hutton have joined David Duchovny, Demi Moore and Amber Heard on the cast of Echo Lake Productions' drama The Joneses.Moore and Duchovny play a seemingly perfect couple who are the envy of their neighbours and yet harbour a dark secret. Heard and up-and-coming Canadian actor Benjamin Hollingsworth play their teenage children.Derrick Borte is directing from his own screenplay. Echo Lake's Doug Man
  • Co-productions - Taking a world view

    SCREEN INTERNATIONAL: Just 11 official co-productions have gone into production in the last four years, eight with the UK. Why doesn't Australia make more co-productions and more with other countries'BALDERSTONE: Co-productions are a result of stories naturally relevant to two participating countries. Given our shared history and close relationship with Britain, many stories emerge that qualify for official co-production status. These deals can be extremely complicated and the fact tha
  • Co-productions - The next episode

    Significantly more Australian co-productions are set to be made as the producer offset's flexibility and generosity make the country a true international player."I see a massive wind of change coming," says producer Chris Brown, whose list of credits includes The Proposition. "Co-productions are the key to building a big-budget sector... and provide a unique opportunity to make films both mainstream and independent that can compete on the world stage. It's not the saviour of the
  • Critic'sfavourite Snow to have UK premiere at Bird's Eye View Festival

    The UK's Bird's Eye View Festival, devoted to women's film-making, will feature the UK premiere of Aida Begic's Snow, which won theCannes 2008 Critics' Week Grand Prize for Best Film.The event will run from March 5 to March 13 2009 at London film venues including the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and BFI Southbank.The 2009 festival programme will focus on the theme of female desire and will showcase a collection of films starring seductive women fr
  • DAY ONE: American Film Market news

    The latest news and reviews from Screen's team at the American Film Market in Santa Monica.UPDATED DAILY: AFM storiesUPDATED DAILY: AFM salesAFM buzz films and preview
  • Death At A Funeral to get a makeover at Screen Gems with Chris Rock

    Chris Rock will write and star in a re-imagined version of Death At A Funeral for Screen Gems and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE) barely a year after it was released through MGM.Aeysha Carr is co-writing the script with Rock inspired by Dean Craig's original story about a man who exposes the truth about a recently deceased patriarch of a dysfunctional British family.The producers are eyeing a spring start and are out to directors
  • Deepa Mehta teams with Salman Rushdie for Midnight's Children

    Deepa Mehta is lining up a feature version of Midnight's Children with author Salman Rushdie, whose masterpiece of magic realism about the birth of modern India has remained untouched by film-makers for nearly 30 years.The film-maker announced the film with Rushdie today, at the eighth annual Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival following last night's New York premiere of her latest film, Heaven O
  • Details of Japanese Sideways remake emerge

    Details regarding the Japanese remake of Oscar-winning 2004 film Sideways have been announced by co-producers 20th Century Fox Japan and Fuji TV. Popular character actor Fumiyo Kohinata will take on the lead role played by Paul Giamatti in the original film. He will be joined by Katsuhisa Namase, Oscar nominee Rinko Kikuchi and Kyoka Suzuki.The revised plot sees Kohinata travelling to the US to attend the wedding of his American-ba
  • Donald Sutherland to preside over Whistler jury

    Veteran actor Donald Sutherland will be the president of the jury at the eighth annual Whistler Film Festival, December 4 to 7. Joining Sutherland on the jury are Canadian directors Patricia Rozema and Sturla Gunnarsson.Held in the British Columbia ski resort, the festival will be presenting a number of world premieres including veteran counter-culture filmmaker Ron Mann's Know Your Mushrooms. Mann's latest film explores the world of fungi and
  • Doubt

    Dir: John Patrick Shanley. US. 2008. 104 mins.
  • Ealing goes gravedigging with John Landis comedy

    John Landis will direct black comedy Burke And Hare for Ealing Studios and Fragile Films.Based on a true story, Burke And Hare is about two 19th century graverobbers who find a lucrative business providing cadavers for an Edinburgh medical school. Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft, who previously wrote Ealing hit St Trinian's, wrote the script. Ealing/Fragile's Barnaby Thompson w
  • Echo Bridge boards Baltasar Kormakur-directed thriller Inhale

    Echo Bridge Entertainment has picked up international rights from 26 Films to Baltasar Kormakur's new Engish-language thriller Inhale and will commence pre-sales this week at AFM.Production just wrapped on the story starring Dermot Mulroney as a rising LA District Attorney who gets involved with a Mexican criminal medical ring in a desperate bid to save his daughter from a rare disease.Rounding out the cast are Diane Kruger, Rosann
  • Edko lines up stellar cast for Yuen Wo-ping's True Legend

    Renowned action choreographer Yuen Wo-ping (The Forbidden Kingdom, Kill Bill) is directing a martial arts biopic, True Legend, starring Chiu Man-cheuk, Taiwanese pop singer Jay Chou, Michelle Yeoh and Chinese actors Zhou Xun and Guo Xiaodong. Edko (Beijing) Management and Consulting Ltd, the Beijing-based subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Edko Films, has announced that it is co-producing the film with Shanghai Film Group and Beijing New Times Film Culture and Development.
  • Elle Driver goes zombie with Dead Snow pickup

    Fledgling French sales outfit Elle Driver has added a Norwegian Nazi zombie movie to its AFM slate. Tommy Wirkola's Dead Snow, now in post-production, is a comedy horror film about a group of eight medical students who are attacked in their cabin by a battalion of German zombie soldiers. All rights are available excluding Norway. Elle Driver will be screening a promo reel during the market.Dead Sno
  • Emily Atef's The Stranger In Me wins top prize at Sao Paulo

    Emily Atef's The Stranger in Me, a drama about a mother who suffers from post-natal depression and becomes a threat to her child, won the best film award at the 32nd Sao Paulo International Film Festival. The jury presided by UK director Hugh Hudson made an exception at the festival this year by announcing a best actress prize for Susanne Wolff, the film's star.'After our world premiere at Critics Week in Cannes this year, Sao Paul
  • Entertainment takes five pack for UK from The Weinstein Company

    The Weinstein Company (TWC) has sold a five-picture package to the UK's Entertainment Film Distributors, marking the first time that Nigel and Trevor Green have done business with Harvey and Bob Weinstein.The move follows the closure of former Entertainment supplier New Line International. The package contains Stephen Daldry's drama The Reader starring Ralph Fiennes and Kate Winslet that has been tentatively set for a UK release on January
  • Epic adds five including Deadline and The Jerk Theory

    Patrick Ewald's Epic Pictures is talking to buyers here about five newtitles, led by Enso Entertainment and KRU Studios' thriller Deadlinestarring Brittany Murphy and Thora Birch.The roster includes PolarStar Pictures' high school musical The JerkTheory starring Tom Arnold, Jenna Dewan and Josh Henderson and Steele
  • Estoril announces line-up, Catherine Deneuve to chair jury

    Portugal 's Estoril Film Festival has revealed its full line-up of films for 2008.Run by renowned Portuguese producer Paulo Branco, the festival will showcase 14 titles in competition from across Europe. Films screening include Claire Denis' 35 Rhums, Albert Serra's Birdsong and lesser known titles from Eastern Europe, such as Adrian Sitaru's Hooked and Mikheil Kalatozishvili's atmospheric Wild Field. This year's jury president will be Catherine Deneuve.
  • European Film Promotion and Studio Babelsberg back Shooting Stars

    European Film Promotion teams up with Studio Babelsberg to focus on the international promotion of young talent. European Film Promotion (EFP) will be working for the first time at the Berlin International Film Festival 2009 with Studio Babelsberg for the Shooting Stars programme.The organisations have agreed to a long-term collaboration with a focus on the international promotion of young talents.During the 2009 edition of the film festival in Berlin, EFP w
  • Expansion for Agora market at Thessaloniki

    The Agora film market at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival-TIFF (November 14-23) is expanding.The growth of the four-year-old market, run by Margarita Eliopoulou, follows a successful 2007 in which 36 films from South Eastern Europe obtained distribution in 18 different world territories.According to TIFF's director Despina Mouzaki '2007 saw an increase of 15% in the participation of foreign buyers. 283 films were granted backing towards distribution, 73 of whi
  • Filmax takes on sales for Agustin Diaz Yanes' Just Walking

    Filmax International has picked up the international sales rights to Agustin Diaz Yanes' Just Walking (Solo Quiero Caminar) and will commence sales at AFM.The Alatriste director's latest film about three brave women who take on a group of Mexican drug traffickers has an impressive cast list that includes Diego Luna, Ariadna Gil (Pan's Labyrinth), Pilar Lopez De A
  • Focus announces five film-makers selected for Africa First

    Focus Features announced the first five film-makers to benefit from the company's Africa First initiative announced earlier this year.The five film-makers of African nationality and residence arrived in New York last weekend to take part in workshops with the likes of Focus CEO James Schamus and production chief John Lyons.The winning film-makers are: Edouard Bamporiki from Rwanda with his drama Long Coat; Jenna Bass from South Afri
  • Fortissimo announces pre-market sales on Gigantic, Food Inc

    Fortissimo Films today announced a raft of pre-market sales to major territories, including Matt Aselton's Gigantic starring Paul Dano and Zooey Deschanel to BIM Distribuzione for Italy. Robert Kenner's food industry expose, Food, Inc. which saw its international premiere at Toronto, was picked up by Svensk Filmindustri for Scandinavia, United King Film Distribution for Israel, CMC Entertainment for Tai
  • Fortissimo picks up world-wide sales rights to Miao Miao

    Fortissimo Films picked up world-wide sales rights outside China, Taiwan and Hong Kong for Miao Miao, a Jet Tone Films Ltd and J.A. Movies (H.K.) production.Miao Miao is the feature debut from director Cheng Hsiao Tse. Warner Bros will release the film in November in Taiwan, while Golden Scene will distribute in Hong Kong in the same month.Produced by Jacky Pang Yee Wah, and Wong Kar Wai's Jet Tone Films Ltd, Miao Miao
  • French blockbuster Welcome To The Sticks triumphs in Germany, Italy

    Defying conventional wisdom that local comedies don't travel, Dany Boon's French mega blockbuster Welcome To The Sticks (Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis) is doing a roaring trade in both Germany and Italy. The comedy - released last weekend in Germany by Prokino under the title Wilkommen Bei Den Scht'is - has grossed $1,225,334 from 160 prints and 143,664 admissions. The film was perched at number two in the
  • Geoffrey Rush sings along with Bankside's Bran Nue Dae

    Geoffrey Rush has signed on to lead the cast of Bran Nue Dae, which Bankside Films is selling here. Fellow Australian actors Ernie Dingo, Missy Higgins and Dan Sultan will also star in the feature adaptation of the popular Australian stage musical. Rachel Perkins co-writes and directs.Principal photography started in Broome, Western Australia on October 31. A teen Aboriginal boy runs away from his religious boarding school, going o
  • Goalpost starts sales on Jean Charles de Menezes story Brazuca

    Brazuca, the Jean Charles de Menezes project formerly known as Leave To Remain or Jean Charles, has finished principal photography after shooting in both the UK and Brazil.UK-based Goalpost Film is launching international sales here at the AFM, and Imagem Group will handle Latin American sales. The film will be delivered in mid-2009.The new title is t
  • Goldwyn takes US rights to American Violet

    Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired US rights to Uncommon Productions'American Violet starring Alfre Woodard and newcomer Nicole Behariefollowing its world premiere at Telluride.Director and producer Tim Disney and his screenwriter and UncommonProductions partner Bill Haney are meeting with international buyersat AFM.Samuel Goldwyn plans a March release for the story of a 24-year-oldAfrican-American sing
  • Gomes receives FIPRESCI at Viennale for Aquele Querido Mes De Agosto

    Portuguese director Miguel Gomes received the FIPRESCI Critics Award at this year's Viennale for Aquele Querido Mes De Agosto. In a statement, the critics' jury said that Gomes' film 'brings to life a world of music, passion, romanticism and tragedy.' Miguel Gomes was also the subject of a special homage during the Viennale.In addition, the Der Standard Reader Award went to Azazel Jacobs' Momma's Son which the jury described as 'a pearl of American
  • Greek distribution sector sees shakeups at Audiovisual, Odeon

    The Greek distribution scene has undergone a shakeup going into AFMincluding the recent appointment of Vassilis Alexiou as general managerof theatrical distribution and acquisitions at Audiovisual, the topname in the business which handles Disney and Sony product as well asnumerous independent pickups.Alexiou, who formerly ran theatrical distribution, comes in the wake ofthe resignation of the company's general director Thanos Veremis whoreturned to run his own production, acquisitio
  • HanWay sees Afterlife with Gurinder Chadha

    HanWay Films is starting worldwide sales here at the AFM on Gurinder Chadha's next film, It's A Wonderful Afterlife. The family comedy will start shooting in February 2009.Chadha bills the project as My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Shaun Of The Dead. The film is set in multi-cultural London, where a mother's comic obsession to marry-off her daughter le
  • Hayden Christensen in talks for lead in HandMade's remake of Mona Lisa

    Hayden Christensen is in formal negotiations to take the lead in HandMade's remake of Mona Lisa. He will take on a younger version of George, the character made famous by Bob Hoskins in the original.Larry Clark will direct the project, budgeted at about $8m and set to shoot in New York from March 2009. Clark also wrote the script with David Reeves.Further cast will be announced in the next few weeks. The original 1986
  • HBO takes US TV rights to untitled Obama doc produced by Norton

    HBO has acquired US television rights to an untitled documentary about President-Elect Barak Obama from Edward Norton's Class 5 Films.The deal was believed to be in the low seven figures and was negotiated with Endeavor Independent chief Graham Taylor and attorney Andrew Hurwitz, who are handling worldwide rights.Directors Amy Rice and Alicia Sams and the producers were granted exclusive access to Obama since 2006 and will continue to film through his inauguration as Pres
  • Hemdale's John Daly dies at 71 after long battle with cancer

    The British-born producer John Daly who made 13 Oscar winning films including Platoon and The Last Emperor has died. He was 71.Daly, who was chairman of Film and Music Entertainment Inc, died on Friday morning [October 31] at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from cancer, said his daughter Jenny Daly.Over a career that spanned four decades, Daly's companies worked with A-list direct
  • High Point strikes North American deal with BFS for The Race

    High Point Films is kicking off AFM with a North American pre-sale for its new family feature The Race. BFS Entertainment has pre-bought all North American rights. Colm Meaney, Susan Lynch and Niamh McGirr star in the story of the young daughter of poor farmers who dreams of becoming a racing driver.Andre F Nebe, who has made a series of award-winning shorts, makes his feature directorial debut. Michael Garland is producing for Dub
  • High School Musical 3 leads lacklustre weekend at domestic box office

    High School Musical 3: Senior Year stayed top of the class for Buena Vista in its second weekend as an estimated $15m raised the running total to $61.8m.The family musical was one of the few highlights of a muted weekend that saw overall box office take $75.2m and drop approximately 38% against the same period last year.The other notable result came from Universal's mystery Changeling starri
  • HS Media launches sales arm Exclusive with Peter Weir film

    HS Media, the parent company of Spitfire Pictures and Hammer Films formed by Dutch investment group Cyrte Investments that was announced in Cannes, has unveiled Exclusive Film Distribution as its in-house sales and distribution arm.The London-based division led by head of sales Peter Naish will be tempting buyers at AFM with worldwide rights to Peter Weir's survival story The Way Back from Spitfire as well as a trio of titles from Hammer.
  • Hubert Bals Fund announces $464,400 for 25 projects in 19 countries

    Rotterdam's Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) has announced $464,400 (Euros 362,500) in support to 25 film projects across 19 countries.The fund brings feature films and feature-length creative documentaries by filmmakers from developing countries closer to completion.Selected projects in 2008 include new films by acclaimed independent filmmakers Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Pablo Larrain, Rodrigo Moreno, Raya Martin, Tariq Teguia and Sinisa Dragin as well as projects by fir
  • Hurd to receive first career award at new LA Women's Showcase

    Producer Gale Anne Hurd will receive the first career achievement award from the Women's International Film & Television Showcase (The WIFTS) which is holding its first event in Los Angeles from Dec 4-7.The award will be presented on the final night of the four-day showcase which will present ten films from eight countries and will present awards for best female director, best female cinematographer, best film, pre-eminent breakout role, audience favourite and other honorary awards.
  • Hyde Park works with Toonz, Gang Of 7 for Santa Claus

    Hyde Park Entertainment and Singapore based Toonz Entertainment andLA-based Gang Of 7 Animation are collaborating on the CGI animatedfeature The Life And Adventures Of Santa Claus.Based on The Wizard Of Oz creator Frank L Baum's novel of the samename, the story charts Father Christmas' life from infancy toadulthood, focusing on a heroic encounter with an evil force in anenc
  • Icon takes UK and Australian rights to Karl Golden's Pelican Blood

    Icon has acquired UK and Australian rights to Karl Golden's second feature film Pelican Blood. The Honeymooners (2003) was his first feature.The film is based on the cult novel by Cris Freddi with the screenplay by Cris Cole. The film is a collaboration between Magna Films, P&C Arcade Film Fund, EM Media, Icon Entertainment International, Molinare and Ecosse Films. Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae of Ecosse Films are producing.Pelican Blood is set in the wor
  • IFC Festival Direct moves into High Point's Left Bank

    High Point Films continues its AFM sales with IFC Festival Direct taking North American rights to chiller Left Bank.The deal was struck with High Point's director of sales Elisar Cabrera and IFC manager of acquisitions Jeff Deutchman.Left Bank is the feature debut of Belgian director Pieter van Hees, part of a planned loose trilogy. Eline Kuppens stars as an introverted young wom
  • Imagenation Abu Dhabi strikes $250m financing deal with Hyde Park

    Ambitious Middle Eastern producer Imagenation Abu Dhabi has closed a $250m financing deal with Ashok Amritraj's Hyde Park Entertainment to develop, produce and distribute up to 20 films over seven years.The deal will cover broad Hollywood entertainment and the parties expect to announce the first titles within the next several months. The wholly owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media Company will make additional funds available for the production of local language and cross-cultural fil
  • In Focus: Australia opens for film business (Part 1)

    Australian producers just had to sit on the ground at Cannes this year and a queue would form,' recalls leading Melbourne film lawyer Bruce Menzies.He is only half joking. Thanks to the introduction of one of the most generous financial incentives in the world, Australian film-makers now rank among the world's most desirable production partners. The producer offset allows film-makers to claim back 40% of their Australian expenditure, whatever the
  • In Focus: Take 12 bridges the digital gap

    Introduction: Nesta/UKFC Digital Innovation Programme - Take 12
  • In focus: The makings of a mega-hit

    Even Alan Horn, president/COO of Warner Bros, could not have predicted quite the mega box-office success of The Dark Knight, which is nearing the $1bn threshold. 'We knew the film was good. We didn't know if we're going to have a picture that does $300m or $900 million,' he says. 'This kind of business is extraordinary. It was all the factors that burst into full bloom here.'Even though no tentpole is a sure thing, there were a number of signals that p
  • Intandem rocks with Bendelack's Sweet Baby Jesus

    London-based Intandem Films has taken on worldwide rights for Steve Bendelack's new comedy Sweet Baby Jesus. The cast will include Lily Tomlin, Tom Green, Melanie Griffith, Michael McKean, Alison Pill (Milk), and Sean Brosnan (Laws Of Attraction).The ensemble comedy revisits the story of the Nativity set in 1970s Bethlehem, Maryland. Bende
  • Intandem signs on for $25m supernatural thriller Mortis Rex

    UK-based Intandem Films has taken on world rights for and will executive produce supernatural action thriller Mortis Rex.The film will mark the directorial debut of Peter Briggs, who was one of the writers on Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy and has been a writer-for-hire for studio films.The $25m project will shoot in the second quarter of 2009.Set in 122 AD, the story follows a dis
  • International - Quantum of profit

    Sony Pictures Releasing International's (Spri) Quantum Of Solace soared to the top of Screen's international box-office chart, with a substantial take of $40m from its initial release in just three territories: France, Sweden and the UK.The 22nd film in the Bond franchise broke records in the UK where the film had the best ever standard three-day debut of $25m (£15.4m) across the October 31-November 2 weekend, outperforming the previous record of $24.1m (£14.9m), held by
  • International - Saw V shows its teeth

    The big international story this weekend may have been Walt Disney Smpi's High School Musical 3: Senior Year (see review, p24, and box office, p31) but a number of diverse openers also managed to scare up big business at the box office. Mandate International's fifth instalment in the Saw franchise opened in nine international territories, ranking number five in the chart.Saw V sees serial killer Jigsaw, aided by his murderous assistants, continue his reign of terro
  • Interview: Joe Dante looks into 3D Hole

    'There is a different landscape making a studio film from when I got into the business,' Joe Dante says. 'There's a lot more writers involved and a need to satisfy more people and justify costs, which leads to a lot more cooks in the kitchen. The nice thing about independent film is you generally have fewer people looking over your shoulder, so creatively it's very appealing.'For these reasons Dante, one of modern American cinema's most renowned genre directors who has entertained audi
  • Ivan Fila to direct Bella Luna for Eyeworks

    Eyeworks Film and TV drama, the aggressive Dutch production outfit behind Oscar winner Antonia's Line, is to partner with Czech auteur Ivan Fila on new romantic comedy, Bella Luna. Fila has scripted and will direct the project, which follows twoelderly movie stars who had a torrid affair many years before and howthey re-ignite their relationship. The film will be produced by Hans DeWeer. Fil
  • Japan - A departure for Japan

    When local films do exceedingly well in Japan, celebrations follow. That was the case last week when Departures director Yojiro Takita, star Masahiro Motoki and the media gathered before a screening of the award-winning film at distributor Shochiku's flagship cinema in Yurakucho.The modestly budgeted drama has stayed in the top 10 for eight weeks, grossing over $26m on 2.2 million admissions. The event highlighted the film's international success to date; the grand prix at the M
  • Japan's Rumble Fish files for bankruptcy

    Japanese feature film and TV production company Rumble Fish Inc has filed for bankruptcy. The news was reported today by Tokyo Shoko Research Ltd (TSR) credit reporting agency, the oldest such agency in Japan.Rumble Fish was established in 2001 by producer Takenori Sento. The company was behind several of Shinji Aoyama's films including Lakeside Murder Case (co-produced with Fuji TV) and Eli Eli, Lema Sabachthani'
  • Jinga Films sells Everything to Ruscico for Russia/CIS

    UK-based sales company Jinga Films continues its AFM deals by selling all rights for Russia and CIS for Richard Hawkins' Everything to Ruscico.Ray Winstone stars in the thriller/drama.Jinga has also closed an eight-film package deal with Viswaas Films for India and Malaysia. Films in that package include Tom Tyrwhitt's youth thriller Hush Your Mouthstarring Jason Meza and K
  • Jinga strikes two-film deal with MIG

    UK-based sales company Jinga Films has signed a two-picture deal with MIG Film for all rights in German-speaking Europe for Summer Scars and Hell's Ground.Julian Richards' Summer Scars is a coming of age thriller and Omar Ali Khan's Hell's Ground (Zibahkhana) is a zombie comedy shot in Pakistan.Jinga's AFM slat
  • Kashyap, Nair among film-makers selected for Film Bazaar

    Camera d'Or winners Murali Nair and Shaji Karun and hot up-and-coming writer-director Anurap Kashyap are among the filmmakers who have had projects selected for the second edition of India's Film Bazaar co-production market (Nov 26-29). Nair, who picked up Cannes' Camera d'Or award in 1999 for Throne Of Death, will present Hindi-Chinese drama Simply Love to potential investors and partners later this month (see details below). Karun, who was awarded with a Camera d'Or - Spec
  • Katapult's Jourdan leaves to head up T&C Pictures International

    Former Katapult Films Sales chief David Jourdan has jumped ship and will be talking to buyers about three films in his new role as managing director of T&C Pictures International.The company is part of production and finance entity T&C Pictures, run by founding president Arata Matsushima, a former vice president at Sony International Television in LA, and partners Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush, the producers of blockbuster musical franchise High Sc
  • Korea's So to star opposite Zhang in Sophie's Revenge

    Koreanactor Ji-sub So (Rough Cut) will be the leading man opposite Zhang Ziyi in romantic comedy Sophie's Revenge, which is being co-produced by Korea's CJ Entertainment and China's Perfect World Culture. Zhang will play a cartoonist/writer Sophie who falls for a surgeon named Jeff (Ji-sub So). But an actress named Joanna (Fan Bingbing) shows up and lures the boyfriend away. Sophie has to take on a series of actions to get her man back.Fan is known to Korean audiences
  • Korea's Studio 2.0 sells film package to Rose Media in Thailand

    Korea's Studio 2.0 has sealed a raft of deals led by Rose Media picking up melodrama Heartbreak Library for Thailand. The film stars Lee Dong-wook, whose TV series My Girl has raised his popularity in that country. Rose also snapped up the post-Korean War boys drama Once Upon A Time In Seoul, starring two other pretty boys Song Chang-Ui and Lee Wan;
  • La Fabrique De Films launches NY sales outfit for low-budget films

    In a bold move underlining the growing market appetite for competitively priced genre fare, French independent distributor La Fabrique De Films is setting up its own sales outfit Overlook Entertainment, devoted to lower budget horror and cult comedies in English and foreign language.The aim is for Overlook, which will be based in New York, to partner with producers and distributors working in this field. Overlook will be open to cinema, TV and digital entertainment. The new outfit wi
  • Leipzig's top prize for Rene, FIPRESCI Award for Oblivion

    Czech filmmaker Helena Trestikova's Rene has received the International Jury's Golden Dove at the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film.The story of an outsider of society observed by Trestikova over the course of almost 20 years was also awarded the MDR Film Prize for an outstanding East European documentary.This is the latest major recognition for Rene which is being handled internationally by London-based Taskovski Fi
  • Lightning dives into Prodigy's The Reef

    Santa Monica-based Lightning Entertainment has acquired worldwiderights excluding Australia and New Zealand to Prodigy Movies' survivalthriller The Reef.Lightning co-presidents Rich Goldberg and Richard Guardian are takingtheir first executive producers on Andrew Traucki's tale of a group ofholidaymakers in Australia who are terrorised by a giant shark aftertheir boat capsizes. Principal photography is set to take place in andaround the Austra
  • Lightning takes international on Trailer Park Of Terror

    Santa Monica-based Lightning Entertainment has acquired international distribution rights to the comic book adaptation Trailer Park Of Terror heading into AFM this week.The Bogner Entertainment title is based on the Imperium Comics series about a group of students and their chaperone who are stranded in the mountains and left to the mercy of a maniacal redneck and her posse of undead trailer park trash. Summit Entertainment has licensed domest
  • Locarno's Finzi named director of Miami International Film Festival

    Tiziana Finzi, who has spent the last nine years at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, serving as deputy director for the last three years, has been named director of the Miami International Film Festival in Florida, US. She will officially begin at the festival, which is held under the aegis of Miami Dade College, on Dec 1, 2008.The Italian-born Finzi is a festival veteran with more than 20 years' experience in programming and coordinat
  • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

    Dirs Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath. US. 2008. 98 mins
  • Magnolia takes US rights to food industry doc Food Inc

    Magnolia Pictures has picked up US rights to Participant Media's and River Road Entertainment's feature documentary Food, Inc. The film world premiered at Toronto and is due to screen at the Berlinale, with a US release scheduled for the first half of 2009. Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment negotiated the deal on behalf of Participant and River Road, with Tom Quinn on behalf of Magnolia Pictures.Producer-director Ro
  • Market preview: American Film Market

    Across the US, the buzzwords in store windows and nightly newscasts are slashed prices, bargains andcost-cutting. Yet the rallying cry ahead of this year’s American Film Market (AFM), which runs November5-12, is ‘bigger is better’.
  • Marrakech Film Festival to show 15 films from 14 countries in competition

    The 8th annual Marrakech Film Festival will showcase 15 films in competition, with Barry Levinson presiding over the jury. The competition titles hail from 14 countries including Poland, China, Denmark and the U.S. The jury will comprise actors Sebastian Koch, Joaquim de Almeida, Caterina Murino and Natacha Regnier alongside filmmakers Hugh Hudson and Agusti Villaronga and authors Ghita El Khayat and Mariama Barry.The films in competition are:
  • Martinez's Cinepro takes on $20m thriller Tribes Of October

    Philippe Martinez returns to AFM with production and sales start-upCinepro Pictures and is introducing buyers to the $20m supernaturalthriller Tribes Of October.Martinez will direct and co-produce with screenwriters Nick Valelongaand Paul Sloane. The story is styled as a police thriller with adevilish twist and filming is set to begin in May in the US state ofGeorgia.Cinepro head of sales Ben Rizzo wil
  • Maximum takes on international sales for Michod's Animal Kingdom

    Maximum Films International has picked up international sales rights on writer-director David Michôd's crime thriller Animal Kingdom, starring Guy Pearce. Its allied releasing arm, Maximum Films Distribution, will handle the film in Canada. The film goes starts shooting in Melbourne early next year.The Australia-produced saga explores the Melbourne underworld, where the police are just as dangerous as the criminals. In the mid
  • Media 8 takes on international sales to A Film With Me In It

    Media 8 Entertainment has taken international rights to Ian FitzGibbon's comedy A Film With Me In It, which recently received its North American premiere at Toronto.Dylan Moran and Mark Doherty star in the tale of a man whose girlfriend leaves him before he is beset by a tragedy of absurd and darkly hysterical proportions.Alan Moloney and Susan Mullen of Ireland-based Parallel Films, whose credits include
  • MercuryMedia strikes BBC deal for debt doc IOUSA

    London-based MercuryMedia has struck a UK television deal with the BBC's current affairs strand This World for IOUSA.Patrick Creadon's Sundance-selected documentary feature has its UK premiere at this week's Sheffield Doc/Fest.IOUSA is about America's growing national debt and its consequences.Here at AFM, the film screens today and tomorrow for Cinema Vault.The film
  • Metrodome acquires UK & Irish rights to Three Miles North Of Molkom

    Metrodome has taken UK and Irish rights to International Audience Award winning, Edinburgh Film Festival hit and BIFA nominated documentary Three Miles North of Molkom. The documentary was written, produced and directed by Robert Cannan and Corinna Villari-McFarlane for Third Eye Film.Three Miles North Of Molkom follows a middle aged lothario, a Swedish Pop star, a Hawaiian hippy, an emotional Finnish grandmother and a back-packing Aussie rugby coach, all of whom meet a
  • Milk

    Dir: Gus Van Sant. US. 2008. 128 mins.
  • Milla Jovovich comes back with William H Macy

    Milla Jovovich has joined the cast of William H Macy's directorial debut Keep Coming Back. Macy and Steve Buscemi will also star in the coming-of-age story.ContentFilm has international rights and expects more cast to be announced soon.Jovovich plays a recovering alcoholic ex-stripper who meets a sheltered 18-year-old boy with a sensitive heart who pretends to be hard living to get her attention. Will Aldis wrote the script.
  • Miramax to take slew of rights on Knightley-starrer Last Night

    Miramax is believed to be closing a deal for North American, UK, Australian, New Zealand, South African and Latin American including Brazilian rights to the drama Last Night starring Keira Knightley.The story follows a married couple who are separated for one night while the husband goes on a business trip with a colleagues to whom he is attracted. While he is away, his wife runs into an old flame.Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes and Gu
  • Miranda Richardson to narrate Turtle's Incredible Journey

    Long-gestating wildlife feature documentary The Turtle's Song, on Sola Media's slate here, has been given a name change and has recruited Miranda Richardson as narrator.The film will now be known as The Turtle's Incredible Journey. It should finally be ready in time for the Berlinale in February.Just prior to the market, Sola Media closed further deals on animated feature
  • Mirovision, M to partner on Youth Is Reckless

    Korea's Mirovision is partnering with M Production to produce Youth IsReckless, by Lee Myung-se, the director of the visual extravaganza M,martial arts mystery Duelists, and crime action film Nowhere To Hide.Youth Is Reckless is based on the Book of
  • M-Line pre-sells Kitchen to Japan's Showgate

    New Korean sales outfit M-Line has pre-sold romantic drama Kitchen to Showgate for Japan.The $1.2m film is due for a February 2009 release in Korea. Starring Ju Ji-hun, from the pan-Asian TV series Princess Hour, the film follows members of a suicide club who end up in a gruesome survival game against a faceless murderer.Showgate also previously acquired Ju-starrer
  • Mr Nice adds Chloe Sevigny, sells for Canada and UK

    Independent has pre-sold Bernard Rose's Mr Nice to Canada's Entertainment One and its UK affiliate Contender.Chloe Sevigny, David Thewlis and Omid Djalili have now joined the cast, which is led by Rhys Ifans in the title role. Ifans plays Howard Marks, the UK's infamous Oxford-educated drug baron. Marks himself is supporting the project. Rose adapted the screenplay from Mark's autobiography of the same name.Sevigny play
  • MSNBC takes North American TV on documentary Witch Hunt

    MSNBC Films has acquired North American television rights from Submarine Entertainment to Dana Nachman and Don Hardy's documentary Witch Hunt, which gets its US premiere at AFI FEST on November 2.Witch Hunt chronicles the story of eight parents in Bakersfield, California, who were falsely accused and convicted of child molestation by an overzealous district attorney.The film received its world premiere at Toronto in September and m
  • NeoClassics takes on Captain Abu Raed from Fortissimo

    Canada and US-based NeoClassics Films has picked up North American, UK,Australian and South African rights from Fortissimo to Jordan's firstforeign language Oscar submission Captain Abu Raed.Amin Matalqa's film stars Nadim Sawalha as an airport janitor whoenchants children from his poor neighbourhood who believe he is anairline pilot with tall stories of far away lands. NeoClassics plans alimited 2009 release in the
  • Norwegian local admissions look set to be highest for 30 years.

    Admissions for local films in Norway look set to reach record levels in 2008.Norwegian theatres have already seen two million admissions for domestic titles, and at least one potential blockbuster, Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg's World War II epic, Max Manus, is still to launch.Putting the figures in context, Birgitte Langballe, of Norwegian cinema association, Film & Kino said:' By mid-October we had already passed 2007's total of 1.7 million, and w
  • Not By Chance to open Brazilian Film Festival Of Toronto

    Philippe Barcinski's first feature film Not By Chance a story of two control-obsessed men, opens the 2nd BRAFFT - Brazilian Film Festival of Toronto this week at the Bloor Cinema. Fifteen films will be screened during the four-day event (Nov 6-9), launched last year to increase the visibility of Brazilian cinema in Canada and to create 'networking' opportunities to encourage co-productions between both countries.This year's program
  • Oliver Hirschbiegel's back with Angel Face at Telepool

    Telepool has secured world rights, excluding German speaking territories, to Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel's new project Angel Face (working title).The adaptation of the best-selling book by Spiegel magazine author Andreas Ulrich unites Hirschbiegel with Moritz Bleibtreu, the lead actor in his 2001 psychodrama The Experiment. Principal photography on the German-Italian thriller by Munich-based F
  • Oliver Stone to attend 49th Thessaloniki film festival

    Oliver Stone has confirmed his presence at the 49th Thessaloniki film festival. The confirmation came as the festival unveiled its line up, which features more than 230 films from 55 countries. This year's festival will also be accompanied by a major push in f ilm m arket and co-production activities.Stone will present his new film, W, and conduct a Masterclass. He will also receive an honorary Golden Alexander in recognition of his career. He joins previously confirmed gues
  • Omega Entertainment gets two from Hillenbrands

    Omega Entertainment has signed a two-picture deal with Hill & Brand Entertainment to handle international sales for Transylmania and The Black Arrow.Both are projects produced and directed by the Hillenbrand brothers. Transylmania is a completed college comedy/vampire spoof that will open for sales here at the AFM, and it is slated for a US theatrical release in
  • Opium War and Resolution 819 win best film awards at Rome International Film Festival

    Siddiq Barmak's Afghanistan set Opium War has won The Golden Marco Aurelio Critics' award for Best Film, while Giacomo Battiato's Resolution 819 earned the festival's Golden Marco Aurelio Audience award for Best Film. Both of these prizes are accompanied by $96,400 (Euros 75,000) in prize money from BNL - Gruppo BNP Paribas.A world premiere in Rome,
  • Profile: Bernd Eichinger

    German producer Bernd Eichinger is one of the titans of European film production. With credits ranging from Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer to Downfall and Resident Evil, he is responsible for some very big movies.
  • Profile: Film Movement

    With many old-school distributors worrying how new technologies could eat into their theatrical models, it is safe to say a company like Film Movement has all its bases covered.The New York-based firm launched in early 2003 with the unique proposition of distributing one arthouse film per month on DVD to subscribers across the US - of genuine significance if you are a foreign-film lover in remote Wyoming, hundreds of miles from the nearest cinema. The DVD-of-the-month club is still goi
  • Profile: Nick Fraser, editor of BBC's Storyville

    The economy of docs is more fragile than it was five years ago,' says Nick Fraser, one of the world's key players in the field as the editor of the BBC's Storyville, the public broadcaster's renowned international documentary strand. 'The promise has been fulfilled in the quality of titles but not always in the box office. Also, all the broadcasters are under pressure.'Fraser has first-hand experience of fragile economics: in 2007, the BBC threatened to cut Storyville's a
  • Q & A:Richard Ellis, co-founder of MTM London/ Vanessa Arden-Wood, Director of operations at Illumina Digital

    Why did you get involved with Take 12'Richard:It is just such a great project. The UK film industry needs a bit of a pick me up - there is so much talent and it is not always utilised fully. The changes that have started to happen to the market are going to turn it upside down, just like has happened with the music market and it is great to be involved in this.It is also a great opportunity for us to work with smaller companies. Quite ofte
  • Q&A: Morgan Holt, Director, HUGE Entertainment

    Why did you get involved with Take 12'I'm attracted to the notion that strategy, particularly digital strategy, can help creative companies. There can be a slightly frustrating sense that being creative is all about instinct and is blind to planning for the future. But I believe creative people create their creative outlets, and strategy helps that become a reality.The other great thing about this project is that it gives smaller com
  • Red Cliff opens at peak of Japanese box office

    John Woo's Red Cliff Part 1 opened at the top of the Japanese box office the weekend of November 1st-3rd, dethroning Suspect X's four-week run in the number one position.Red Cliff opened November 1 on 549 screens, earning $9.64m (Y961.79m) on 825,000 admissions. The screen count represents the highest ever in the territory for a non-Hollywood film, with a strong per screen average of over $18,000 through the holiday weekend. Toho-Towa, co-distributing wi
  • Relativity Media lines up output deals in nine key territories

    Ryan Kavanaugh has slotted the latest pieces into Relativity Media's single-picture international distribution jigsaw after announcing its first tentative steps at Cannes.The company has signed multi-year output deals with nine key buyers as it attempts to fill the vacuum left by the demise of New Line International.Relativity has signed output deals with Momentum Pictures in the UK, Village Roadshow in Australia, New Zealand, Greece and Singapore, Alliance Films Inc in C
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera

    Dir: Darren Lynn Bousman . US. 2008. 97 mins.Kinky, sexy, gory and campy, Repo! The Genetic Opera may be an unwieldy mess, but it's a fun unwieldy mess. Based on a Los Angeles theatrical piece, this futuristic rock opera will annoy those unwilling to meet it halfway, as its shamelessly melodramatic story-songs leave the musical fluctuating between the inspired and the obnoxiously indulgent. Mainstream crowds will steer clear of Repo!'s determi
  • Review: Power To The Pixel

    Power To The Pixel, the UK-based outfit which helps independent film-makers make the most of the opportunities offered by the new-media world, last week hosted a digital distribution and film innovation forum as part of TheTimes BFI London Film Festival.
  • Rex Media kicks off sales on Russian Interceptor trilogy

    A Matrix-style trilogy is being planned around stories by cult Russian sci-fi writer Vasily Golovachev, led by the first film The Interceptor which is currently in post-production. The $10m film is being sold here by George Lascu's Rex Media. Lascu is also beginning pre-sales on the next two installments. The Interceptor (aka
  • Rome InternationalFilm Festival confirms future dates and market ambitions

    As the third edition of theRome International Film Festival wrapped, Rome's President Gian Luigi Rondi outlined some of his plans for future editions. Those plans included dates for Rome's next three editions: October 15-25 2009; October 25-November 4 2010; and 2011 is likely to be October 26-November 6. Citing Venice and Turin, Italy's more established festivals, Rondi said 'No one will step on each others toes.'Rondi also confirmed that Rome will continue with
  • Rotterdam International film festival unveils new forward looking logo

    The Rotterdam International film festival has unveiled a new logo to support its recently announced changes to programming. A reworking of the Rotterdam festival's famous tiger, the festival has introduced the logo to support the proactive and forward looking approach it wishes to promote.The logo comes a few months after the festival announced a more streamlined programme for the 2009 edition to allow a clear focus on three areas: works from upcoming filmmakers
  • Rousselet launches Vendome Pictures with $115m credit facility

    Longtime French producer Philippe Rousselet has formed Vendome Pictures to develop, produce and finance roughly 15 features over the next five years in the $10-40m range.Vendome is backed by a $115m revolving credit facility funded by a consortium of banks led by CIT and RBS Greenwich Capital, a mezzanine facility funded by Newbridge Film Capital, and a group of private equity investors from the US and Europe including StudioCanal and Vendome Investments, a jointly owned vehicle owne
  • Rutger Hauer, Michael York join The Hill And The Cross

    Rutger Hauer and Michael York have joined the cast of The Hill And The Cross, currently in production in Katowice, Poland.Director and visual artist Lech Majewski is approaching the film by creating a tableau vivant which recreates Peter Bruegel's painting of Jesus' crucifixion, The Way To Calvary.Hauer plays Bruegel in the English-language film. York is cast as Bruegel's art-collector friend, banker Nicholas Jonghelinck. As previously announced, Charlotte Rampling
  • Samuel Goldwyn acquires US rights to American Violet

    Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired US rights to Uncommon Productions' American Violet starring Alfre Woodard and newcomer Nicole Beharie following its world premiere at Telluride.Director and producer Tim Disney and his screenwriter and Uncommon Productions partner Bill Haney are meeting with international buyers at AFM.Samuel Goldwyn plans a March release on the story of a 24-year-old African-American single mother in Texas who fig
  • Sarah Polley to direct feature documentary The Stories We Tell

    Sarah Polley is setting up her feature documentary debut, The Stories We Tell, one of four projects backed under the inaugural Canadian Film Centre-National Film Board of Canada Feature Documentary Program. The program launches in January 2009. The other filmmakers are veteran Canadian documentary filmmaker John Walker, Shelley Saywell, and Yung Chang, whose 2007 feature documentary, Up The Yangtze won numerous accolades.The six-mo
  • Screen opinion: independent film must fight for audiences

    If you are looking for fresh perspective on independent film, try watching Laurent Cantet's Palme d'Or-winning The Class with a group of teachers and students. In a classroom, away from the reverence that often accompanies screenings, you get a different sense of how funny, engaging and moving the film is.The discussion after one such screening turned into a debate that went off in extraordinary directions: from the professional (smarter ways to control a room) to the political
  • Secrets of State (Secret Defense)

    Dir: Philippe Haim. France. 2008. 100 mins.If French political thriller Secrets of State were any more topical, it would be about what you ate for breakfast. This fast-paced and meticulously-researched tale shows the recruitment and training of a young female Secret Service operative alongside a parallel story about how an unlikely but deadly young male terrorist is created. Each is skilfully manipulated for a cause. This carefully layered, mostly-
  • Serafinowicz joins cast of Universal's Couples Retreat

    British actor-comedian Peter Serafinowicz has joined Jason Bateman,Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn on the cast of Universal Films' CouplesRetreat directed by Peter Billingsley.The story centres on a couple on the verge of separating who convincetheir friends to go with them on holiday at a couples resort on atropical island.Filming is underway
  • Shochiku sells Tadashi Mori's Panda Diary to Wild Bunch

    Japanese entertainment conglomerate Shochiku has sold documentary PandaDiary to Wild Bunch for France, Benelux, Germany and Italy.Directed by Tadashi Mori, the documentary follows the lives ofendangered pandas who have never lived in the wild forest. Shot in theChendu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China and AdventureWorld in Japan, the film also features first-time footage of a newbornpanda cuddling with its mother.Comme
  • Shooting starts on Stephen Poliakoff's Second World War thriller 1939

    Principal photography started today on Second World War thriller 1939 starring Romola Garai and Bill Nighy. 1939 is writer/director Stephen Poliakoff's return to the cinema after a ten year absence. Previous feature films included Close My Eyes starring Clive Owen, Saskia Reeves and Alan Rickman.The film will shoot on location in Norfolk and London for six and a half weeks and is a talkback THAMES production in association with Magic Light Pictures, funded by B
  • Shoreline takes on worldwide rights to Tom Cool

    Morris Ruskin's Shoreline Entertainment has acquired worldwide rights ahead of AFM to director Ron Carlson's comedy Tom Cool.Mila Kunis, Clifton Collins Jr, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Michael Rapaport, Jason Mewes and Tony Todd star in the story of a young man who lands his dream job as a driver for an escort service where he falls in love with an escort.Shoreline's director of acquisitions Brandon Paine and director of worldwide distribu
  • Shorts International to launch short film channel, ShortsTV

    Shorts International has announced that it will launch ShortsTV on the Sky platform from November 26,targeting 18-25 year old viewers who currently watch shorts online.The channel will show films of all genres, from comedy to thriller, each less than 30 minutes. ShortsTV launched on Numericable's cable systems in France, Belgium and Luxembourg in February 2007.Speaking to Screen International Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive of Shorts Inte
  • Showbox takes on Ski Jump, library, from KM Culture

    Korea's Showbox Mediaplex has picked up KM Culture's upcoming sports action film Ski Jump (tentative title) directed by Kim Yong-hwa, who previously directed the hit 200 Pounds Beauty. Showbox has also made a deal to handle all KM Culture's upcoming and library titles for international sales, which include 200 Pounds Beauty and C
  • Slumdog, Striped Pyjamas win Audience Choice Awards at Chicago

    Danny Boyle's UK-US adventure romance Slumdog Millionaire and Mark Herman's UK-US Holocaust tale The Boy In The Striped Pajamas were awarded the 44th Chicago International Film Festival's Audience Choice AwardsAudiences chose the winners after more than 170 films from more than 45 countries screened at the festival.The festival ran from October 16-29. The 45th Chicago International Film Fest
  • Sony Classics takes North and Latin America on Soul Power

    Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) has picked up North American and Latin American rights from Submarine Entertainment to Jeffrey Levy-Hinte's documentary Soul Power following its world premiere at Toronto.Soul Power chronicles the 12-hour Zaire '74 R&B concert in Kinshasa, Zaire, in 1974 that played concurrently with the infamous Rumble In The Jungle boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.Performers include James Brown, BB
  • Spain short life of a saint

    Spanish director Javier Fesser has sparked controversy and praise in equal measure for his third feature film, Camino, which delves into the curious world of Opus Dei as seen through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl. A favourite with both critics and audience alike at the San Sebastian film festival in September, where it had its world premiere, the film has gone on to perform well at the Spanish box office through Alta Films, taking just over $1m since its release on October 17.
  • SPRI expecting Quantum leap as Bond launches in 56 territories

    Quantum Of Solace will soar past $100m overseas this weekend as Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) unleashes James Bond in a further 56 territories following last weekend's record UK launch.The action saga has amassed more than $51.8m in less than a week and SPRI sources said it had already grossed more in each of the ten territories that opened on Wednesday than Casino Royale took in its firs
  • SPRI looking for big numbers from Quantum in three territories

    Bond is back. Sony Pictures Releasing International unleashes Quantum Of Solace in its first three territories this weekend in what is expected to be a boisterous launch for the fresh 007 adventure.The follow-up to the hugely successful 2006 release Casino Royale sees Daniel Craig reprise his role as the British super-spy and Sony will look to shake and stir the UK, France and Sweden on October 31.
  • SPWAG pacts with Senator US for US home entertainment, TV

    Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) has acquired domestic home entertainment and television distribution rights to Senator US's release slate.Among the initial titles in the multi-picture deal are the thriller Unthinkable that is currently in production and stars Samuel L Jackson, Carrie-Anne Moss and Michael Sheen and the supernatural thriller Clock Tower, set to begin shooting in Los An
  • Stallone reunites with Nu Image/Millennium for Expendables

    Following their successful collaboration on the global hit Rambo, Sylvester Stallone and Nu Image/Millennium Films are reuniting on action thriller The Expendables. Stallone wrote and will direct and star alongside Jason Statham with Jet Li in final negotiations to join the story of mercenaries who embark on a mission to overthrow a South American dictator. Statham redent
  • Stormare doubles up with Gnomes and Trolls

    Swedish actor Peter Stormare (Fargo, Bad Boys II) is to voice a schizophrenic hedgehog in NonStop Sales' Gnomes AndTrolls The Secret Chamber. The versatile Stormare is then to voice acompletely different role, that of Leif The Gnome King, in the sequel.'The hedgehog will be not be part of number two,' producer Carl JohanMerner of White Shark AB commented of Stormare's role switch.Svensk SF w
  • Strand acquires US rights to Pablo Trapero's Lion's Den

    Strand Releasing has acquired all US rights to Pablo Trapero's Brazil-Argentina-South Korea co-production Lion's Den, which played in competition at Cannes and has been selected as Argentina's foreign language Oscar submission.The drama follows a college student who is imprisoned after being convicted for murder and discovers she is pregnant while incarcerated. Strand will release the film next year.Matanza Cine, Cineclick Asia (Fa
  • StudioCanal takes on sales for Yorkshire Ripper trilogy

    StudioCanal has announced the acquisition of two new English-language projects which comprise four films in total. The first, The Red Riding Trilogy, is based on a series of cult British crime novels by David Peace inspired by the true story of the Yorkshire Ripper. The second, Cotton, is a faux-documentary suspense film from producers Strike Entertainment and Eli Roth.
  • Summit International takes on Tornatore's $30m Baaria

    Summit International has boarded worldwide rights excluding Italy ahead of AFM to Giuseppe Tornatore's $30m epic Italian drama Baaria.Italy's Medusa Film and Tarak Ben Ammar's France-based Quinta Communications produced the story and Quinta had previously handled sales.Medusa holds Italian rights to the Sicilian-set comdy spanning three generations from the 1930s to the 1970s. Monica Bellucci, Luigi Lo Cascio, Raoul Bova and Lina S
  • Sundance, NHK name 12 finalists for International Filmmakers Award

    The Sundance Institute and Japanese broadcaster NHK have announced the 12 finalists for the 2009 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award.One recipient each from Europe, Latin America, the US and Japan will be selected by members of an international jury to receive $10,000 and a guarantee from NHK to purchase Japanese TV rights upon completion.The finalists from Europe and are Latin America are: Celia Galan Julve from Spain with Rosita
  • Telstar (2007)

    Dir. Nick Moran. UK, 2008. 114 mins.There’s a lot in the Telstar credits to attract the viewer - or at least the UK viewer. Nick Moran’s directorial debut (an adaptation of his stage play with Hicks); Kevin Spacey in a small but substantial role; its setting of swinging London in the 60s; performances from UK TV favourites Pam Ferris, James Corden and Ralf Little, as well as acameo from Justin Hawkins. Plus the music: based on the life of little-known recording producer
  • TF1 International sells Gatlif, Veber, Jeunet at AFM

    TF1 International has boarded Tony Gatlif's latest Korkoro, the story of a gypsy family facing persecution in World War II France which stars Marc Lavoine and Marie-Jose Croze. The film, currently shooting, will be released by TFM Distribution in France.TF1 is here with the world premiere of Francis Veber's latest comedy A Pain In The Ass starring Richard Berry and Patrick Timsit as two men who become f
  • The Man Who Loved Yngve wins best feature at the Nordic Film Days

    Norwegian director Stian Kristiansen's debut, The Man Who Loved Yngve, won the NDR-Prize for best feature at the Nordic Film Days in Lübeck, Germany. The event is the festival circuit's largest showcase for Nordic and Baltic films.Kristiansen and his lead actors, Rolf Kristian Larsen and Ole Christoffer Ertvag, received the award and a $20,400 (Euros16,000) cheque at Lubeck's City Theatre.The Audience Prize also went to Norway, to Nils Gaup's
  • The Other End of The Line

    Dir James Dodson. US. 2008. 106 mins Indian-American joint venture The Other End Of The Line demonstrates the pitfalls of creative globalisation even as it makes globalisation a backdrop for its frothy romantic comedy. Produced by Ashok Amritraj's Hyde Park and Bollywood giant Adlabs, this piece of cross-cultural cuteness will seem pretty bland to most Western audiences. Whether it works in India, and for the Indian expatriate crowd, will depend largely on the pul
  • The Rainmakers

    High School Musical's (HSM) third instalment lived up to its billing as the right film for the right time: pure escapism in a global recession.High School Musical 3: Senior Year set a new opening record for a musical in the US with a three-day debut of $42m. Internationally, it opened number one in 22 countries with a new October opening weekend record of $40m, led by $13.5m in the UK, $6m in Germany, $5m in Spain, $4.3m in France and $3.7m across Scandinavia.
  • Thriller in Manila opens Sheffield Doc/Fest 2008

    Sheffield International Documentary Festival 2008 opened with the world premiere of Thriller In Manila, a documentary about boxing legend Joe Frazier. Director John Dower introduced his documentary and took part in a Q & A session after the screening.Over the next four days, the festival will host international documentary makers and screen over 140 documentary films from over 20 countries.Speaking to Screen International, festival director Heather Croall said the confere
  • TLA Releasing takes North America on Finding Me

    TLA Releasing has acquired North America and Caribbean basin rights to OmeProductions' drama Finding Me from first-time director Roger S Omeus Jr.The distributor plans a spring 2009 release on the story of a browbeaten gay man with a homophobic father who gets a chance to find true love.RayMartell Moore, Ronald DeSuze, Derrick L Briggs, Eugene Turner, J'Nara Corbin and Maurice Murrell star.TLA Releasing's acquisitions d
  • Transmission shifts into Nadda's Cairo Time from Maximum

    Australia's Transmission Films has acquired Australian and New Zealand rights to Ruba Nadda's romantic drama Cairo Time from E1's sales company Maximum International. Produced by Daniel Iron of Toronto's Foundry Films (Away From Her) and David Collins of Dublin's Samson Films (Once), the Canada-Ireland coproduction stars Patricia Clarkson as a diplomat's wife who
  • Trellis Huahn joins Bold Films as evp of business affairs

    Trellis Huahn has been appointed to the newly created post of executive vice president of business affairs at Bold Films.Huahnwill report directly to Bold Films' president or worldwide distribution Stephanie Denton and will play a key role in production, finance anddevelopment negotiations and will oversee all worldwide distributionagreements.Huahn spent the previous decade at SummitEntertainment where she headed up international contracts and businessaffairs as senior vi
  • Two of a Kind Productions signs on Frances Fisher and Dominique Swain

    Frances Fisher (Titanic, The Kingdom) and Dominique Swain (Lolita) have signed on to Two of a Kind Productions' paranormal thriller Dead Whisper, set to begin production in November in Louisiana. New Orleans native Oley Sassone will direct and John Kersey will produce. Showcase Entertainment will distribute Dead Whisper.Written by Jennifer Kersey, Dead Whisper tells the story of a young woman (Swain), haunted by nightmares and ghostly voices, w
  • UCLA's Formato takes Goldwyn Writing Awards top prize

    UCLA student Austin Formato has won the first prize of $15,000 in the53rd annual Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards for his project Self Help.Robyn Paris took the $7,500 second prize for Odd Man Out and J JNelson and Richard Rapoza tied for the $4,000 third prize for Out OfRoad and
  • UK Investment Fund for film industry reaches£6m

    The Skills Investment Fund has reached £6 million, thanks to contributions from UK films such as Quantum of Solace and The Duchess. The UK's Skills Investment Fund (SIF) has reached £6 million, thanks to contributions from films being produce
  • UK 's F&ME secures deals to exploit catalogue across all media

    Leading UK production house, Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME), has struck a series of alliances to ensure the future exploitation of its catalogue across all media. The move follows last month's announcement that their back catalogue would be handled for theatrical and DVD in the UK by indie distribution venture Maiden Voyage Pictures/HB Films.The catalogue includes Milcho Manchevski's Academy Award nominated Before the Rain, Gunter Grass adaptation Ca
  • United States - Access All Areas

    It sounds like any jaded Hollywood exec's worst nightmare: inviting Joe six-pack to pitch you a film idea. But that's exactly the proposition from Larry Meistrich's latest venture, Nehst Studios, a content financing, development, production, and distribution company.Nehst (pronounced "next") hosts bootcamps for aspiring film-makers and offers an online platform ( that allows anyone to pitch an idea at any stage from a basic treatment to a finished film. The basic cost to
  • Video: Power To The Pixel - The New Exhibitors

    New forms of digital distribution are asking questions about current business models.Most existing companies are wrestling to a greater or lesser extent with the challenges of finding how to move to a digital arena.But, as the Power To The Pixel conference, demonstrates, new players are entering the market with fresh ideas.In the first of a series of videos from the summit, we look at some of those trying to change the relationship between content and audience
  • Voltage enters The Bubble Factory's Tomb

    Nicolas Chartier's Voltage Pictures has boarded international rights to The Bubble Factory and Ringleader Studios' supernatural action title The Devil's Tomb starring Cuba Gooding Jr.Jason Connery directed the story of a team of mercenaries hired by a mysterious CIA operative to rescue a scientist from an archaeological site in the Middle East.Ron Perlman, Ray Winstone, Henry Rollins, Taryn Manning and Valerie Cruz round out the ke
  • Voltage Pictures takes international on Seagal-starrer The Keeper

    Voltage Pictures has boarded international rights to action title The Keeper starring Steven Seagal.Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment holds US video and VOD rights to the story about a Los Angeles police officer who flees South of the border after he is nearly killed by his greedy partner.He finds work as the bodyguard of a wealthy Mexican businessman's daughter and when the girl is kidnapped by gangsters he goes after them
  • Warner strikes innovative digital VOD plan in China

    Warner Bros announced that it will become the first Hollywood studio to release films digitally in China in a pioneering transactional VOD initiative that also marks the latest strike in the war on piracy.Studio titles such as I Am Legend, Fool's Gold and Speed Racer will be made available to PC owners on VOD via Further titles, some of which will not have been released theatrically in China, w
  • Wide's Ex-Drummer goes to Mongrel Media

    Koen Mortier's controversial Ex-Drummer, the Flemish film about an abrasiverock band formed by disabled musicians, has been snapped up by Mongrel Media for Canada. The film is sold by Loic Magneron's Paris-based Wide Management.Wide Management arrives in Santa Monica with a bulging slate headlined byVolker Schlondörff's Gigola, starring Asia Argento. Gi
  • Wild Bunch AFM slate mixes major buzz titles and new film-makers

    Wild Bunch is heading into the AFM with a series of new projects from young film-makers; the first images from Woody Allen's latest; and at least one film that could spark a bidding war among US distributors. The company will screen Largo Winch, its $35.6m (Euros 28m) comic book adaptation about the eponymous vagabond billionaire. Shot mostly in English, the Jerome Salle-directed film is generating a lot of buzz, with a sequel already in preparation. Both Salle and
  • Winther to direct Arclight's Speed Demon

    Peter Winther has signed to direct Arclight's creature feature Speed Demon, set to begin principal photography next spring and dedicated to the late Oscar-winning effects guru Stan Winston.Special effects creature designer Patrick Tatopoulos, whose credits include I Am Legend and 10,000 BC, will bring to life the last designs developed by Winston for the project.
  • Wolfe Video picks up North America on two before AFM

    Wolfe Video has announced it has acquired North American rights ahead of AFM to the gay titles Whirlwind and Mulligans.Whirlwind explores non-monogamy, commitment and friendship in New York.Richard Le May directed and Bryan West, Alexis Suarez, Desmond Dutcher, Brad Anderson and Mark Ford star. The film won the audience award for best feature at Atlan
  • Wysocki to receive 2008 Sundance screenwriting fellowship

    Sundance Institute Feature Film Programme has announced that Jonathan Wysocki will receive the 2008 Lynn Auerbach Screenwriting Fellowship with his project All Fall Down.Wysocki developed All Fall Down in June at Sundance Institute's 2008 Screenwriters Lab. The story takes a satirical look at the post-9/11 zeitgeist and explores the fallout when a boy innocently dresses up as Osama Bin Laden on Halloween 2001.Wysocki will receive a