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Screen
8 July 2008

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  • Abdellatif Kechiche to lead debut film jury in Venice

    Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche will preside over the International Jury for the Luigi De Laurentiis Prize for a debut film at the 65th edition of the Venice Film Festival, the Biennale said.Kechiche himself won the first feature prize at Venice in 2000 for his film Blame it on Voltaire. In 2007 his film The Secret of the Grain (La Graine et le mullet) took Venice's Special Jury Prize, the Fipresci award and the Marcello Mastroianni Prize for Best New Young Actr
  • Admisions down 8% in Argentina for first six months 2008

    Cinema attendance figures in Argentina dropped by an estimated 8% for the first half of 2008. The period saw 16.7 million admissions as opposed to 18.2 million in 2007.However, total box office gross was 11% up from last year because of a 23% rise in the average ticket price. Hollywood blockbusters took a 80.8% share of the market (84.8% in the same period of 2007), local productions logged 6% (from last year's 4.4%), while European, Asian and other Latin American films r
  • Alex Cox plans Repo Man sequel Repo Chick

    Maverick British writer-director Alex Cox (Sid & Nancy, Walker) is plotting a follow-up to his 1984 cult hit, Repo Man.Cox has already completed the screenplay for the project, Repo Chick, and is looking for studio backing. The original Repo Man was distributed domestically by Universal.The new film comes billed as 'a 21st-century look at the issues of Repo Man.' The film will feature some of the same cast as appeared in Repo Man
  • Alki David's FilmOn.com launches competition for new film-makers

    UK online film portal FilmOn.com, founded by philanthropist and producer Alki David, is launching competitions for new film-makers.The site will host competitions for best film feature, best film short, best film and best animation short showcased on the VOD platform.Selected entrants will have their work seen on FilmOn.com alongside films such as The Shawshank Redemption or Moulin Rouge, and the winners will work with David to develop a feature to premiere on the site
  • Alliance Films reverses Globe and Mail screening ban

    Distributor Alliance Films has reversed its decision to ban critics from the Globe and Mail newspaper at its preview screenings.The Toronto-based distributor had told the paper its reviewers were no longer welcome following a negative review and a negative column of Sex And The City as well as a front-page banner reflecting the views.The ban was to be enforced at a July 2 screening of Patricia Rozema's Kit Kittridge: An American Girl but the Toronto direct
  • Annette Bening joins Academy board of governors for actors branch

    Eight governors have been re-elected to the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences' board along with six film-makers who return after a period of absence.The sole first-time governor is Annette Bening representing the actors branch. All governors will serve three-year terms.Returning to the board after a hiatus are Jeffrey Kurland representing art directors; Martha Coolidge, directors; Arthur Hamilton, music; Don Hall, sound; and Phil Robinson, writers. Don Hall retu
  • Armand Assante, Christina Vidal join Nevsky in Magic Man

    Armand Assante and Christina Vidal have joined Russian star Alexander Nevsky, Billy Zane and Bai Ling on the US-Russian mystery Magic Man that started filming in Las Vegas last week.The story revolves around a famous magician played by Zane who is suspected of being a serial killer. Nevsky plays the Las Vegas police officer on the case and Assante will portray a police lieutenant.Vidal will play an unsuspecting tourist who strays i
  • Asia House launches new UK festival at London's Renoir

    Asia House will launch the first Asia House Festival of Asian Film this August in London.The series will screen films from Singapore, South Korea, Iran, Indonesia and China.Asia House is partnering with Curzon Cinemas for the showcase of festival favourites.The event runs Aug 22-28 at London's Renoir Cinema. The opening night film will be Royston Tan's Singapore hit musical 881.Other selections, programmed by Heng Khoo, include Korean thriller Seven Days
  • BAFTA calls for UK foreign-language Oscar submissions

    The British Academy of Film and Television Arts will again be the organisation appointed by AMPAS to select the UK's submission for consideration for the Foreign Language Oscar in 2009.Producers and distributors must declare their intention to submit UK foreign-language films by July 22 to deenam@bafta.org.Eligible films must have been released in the UK for at least seven consecutive days to a public, paying audience beginning no earlier th
  • Bathory

    Dir: Juraj Jakubisko. Czech Rep, Hungary, Slovakia, UK. 2008. 138 mins.
  • Beeban Kidron joins UK Film Council board

    Director Beeban Kidron has joined the UK Film Council's Board of Directors.The appointment was made by Margaret Hodge MP, Minister for Culture, today. Kidron will serve on the board for four years until 1 July 2012.Kidron is currently in post-production on her next film, Hippie Hippie Shake, for Working Title. Her past features include Used People and Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason.She is also the co-founder, with Lindsay Mackie, of Filmclub,
  • Berk promoted to svp of Universal's creative services division

    Universal's vice president of creative services Julie Berk has been promoted to senior vice president of the division.Berk formed the creative services department when she joined the studio in 1995 as director of creative advertising. She was promoted to vice president in 2000.Over the last 12 years she has streamlined theatrical print advertising production and broadened the department's scope to encompass newspaper, magazine, corporate and trade advertising, promotional
  • Berlinale WCF backsfive new projects with $315,770

    Five new feature film projects from Lebanon, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey and Columbia have been selected by the Berlinale's World Cinema Fund (WCF) from 110 projects submitted from a total of 36 countries for production funding totalling $315,770 (Euros 200,000).The projects supported including co-productions with the Berlin-based production house Niko Film, which had Emily Atef's The Stranger In Me in Cannes this year, and Cologne-based Pandora Film Produktion, producer of
  • Bigga Than Ben

    Dir/scr. Suzie Halewood.UK. 2008. 85mins
  • Bristol's Encounters to host Oliver Postgate tribute

    Encounters, the Bristol, UK-based festival of short film and animations, will pay tribute to Oliver Postgate on July 27.Comedian Phill Jupitus will host the event at Watershed cinema in Bristol.The Phill, Bagpuss & Friends programme (3:30-4:45 pm) will celebrate the 50-year career or animator Postgate and his characters including Bagpuss, The Clangers, The Pogles, Noggin The Nog and Ivor The Engine.The afternoon marks the 50th anniversary of Pos
  • BritDoc UK competition includes Man On Wire, Starstruck

    BritDoc, the Oxford-based documentary festival now hosting its third-annual event, has announced this year's competition films.The British Competition will include:Blood Trail - dir. Richard Parry A young war photographer ventures to Sarajevo in 1993 and tries to make a name for himself. Chosen - dir. Brian Woods Middle class men reflect on their sexual abuse in British schools 30 years ago. Day After Peace - dir. Jer
  • Brizzi to shoot third feature Ex later this month

    Director Fausto Brizzi will begin shooting his third feature, Ex, on July 15, his producer Federica Lucisano of Italian International Film (IIF) confirmed.A successful screenwriter-turned director, Brizzi became a local phenomenon when his debut feature Night Before Finals (Notte prima degli esami) earned $16m and became the top-grossing Italian debut feature of all time.Brizzi's 2007 follow up Night Before Finals - Today (Notte prima degli esami - oggi)
  • Buzz Films - Sneak preview

    Night Owls (Czech Rep)Dir: Michaela PavlatovaPavlatova is one of the Czech Republic's best-known animation directors, winning an Oscar nomination and prizes at Berlin, Cottbus and Montreal for her short films. Night Owls - her second live-action feature - is a drama about a young girl working in a 24-hour convenience store, struggling with life and love.Int'l sales: Negativ, (420) 224 933 755, katerina@negativ.czThe Shaft (China)Dir: Zhang ChiI
  • Canada's Alliance Atlantis bans Globe and Mail critics

    Canadian distributor Alliance Atlantis has banned critics from the Globe and Mail newspaper from its advance previews.According to a source at the newspaper, Globe reviewers stopped receiving invitations to screenings during the past week. When they made inquiries, they were told the paper was banned for the foreseeable future. The source said Alliance was unhappy with the paper's review of Sex And The City by critic Rick Groen and a negative column about the f
  • China box office up 55% in first half of 2008

    The first half of 2008 saw impressive growth at the China box office, with total receipts reaching $237.32m (RMB1.63bn), a 55% increase compared to the first half of 2007, according to government figures. Industry players estimate that the total box office for 2008 will reach $583.09m (RMB4bn). Despite several natural disasters that hit China in the first six months, such as the snow storm in February and the Sichuan earthquake in May, which delayed the delivery of film prints and damaged
  • Chow teams with Cathay United Bank group on Taiwan fund

    Hong Kong superstar Stephen Chow is advising Taiwan's Cathay Securities Investment Truston an investment fund which aims to pump $65m into listed film companies.The Cathay Global Entertainment Fund was announced at a seminar in Taipei on Friday (July 4) attended by Chow who is a senior advisor in the entertainment division of American Pegasus, the investment advisor of the fund. His most recent film CJ7 is the biggest hit at the Taipei box office so far this year.The fund ma
  • Cinema Expo - 3D cinema in depth

    The big topic at this year's Cinema Expo was 3D cinema. As studios have started to throw their weight behind three-dimensional films, European exhibitors were encouraged to pick up the pace of 3D installation in cinemas in order to "save" the cinematic world.Around a dozen 3D films are scheduled for release in the US in 2009 and exhibitors were given a sneak peak at a few of the titles, led by DreamWorks Animation's Monsters Vs Aliens. At the Paramount Pictures International pro
  • Cracks sells to StudioCanal for France, UK, Benelux

    StudioCanal has taken all rights for the UK, France and Benelux for Jordan Scott's debut feature Cracks. (StudioCanal's Optimum Releasing will handle the UK release.)Also, Alain Goldman's Legende Enterprises (La Vie En Rose) has joined the project, which is backed by Scott Free, Future Films and HandMade Films International.The Irish Film Board is also backing Cracks, which is shooting now in Ireland before moving to Pinewood Studios, where it will wra
  • Czuchry, Bradford lead cast of I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell

    Matt Czuchry, Jesse Bradford and Geoff Stults will star in Darko Entertainment's I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell based on Tucker Max's bestseller.Czuchry will play Max, a real-life American hedonist and blogger who gets banned from his friend's wedding after he persuades the hapless man to accompany him on a riotous bachelor party celebration. Keri Lynn Pratt and Denise Quinones round out the key cast.Production is set to begin in Sh
  • Dardennes, Salles plan trips to November Thessaloniki festival

    Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Terence Davies, Walter Salles, Gustavo Santaolalla, Lita Stantic are among the top names set to be present at the upcoming Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Nov 14-23).The principal tribute of the 49th edition of the Greekfestival, headed by Despina Mouzaki, will be dedicated to two-time Cannes Golden Palm winners Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. The homage includes a Masterclass, the publication of a monograph on their work and the award of an honora
  • Eldorado

    Dir/scr. Bouli Lanners. Belgium/France. 2008. 86 mins.A dysfunctional Belgian pair of Laurel and Hardy loners bond affectingly in Eldorado, Bouli Lanners' second directorial outing which picked up the Europa Cinemas Label and the FIPRESCI Quinzaine award at this year's Cannes festival. Visually striking and musically inventive, Eldorado doses out its deadpan comedy without suffocating the poignant rapport between choleric vintage car dealer
  • European Commission firms up plans for global film cooperation

    The details of how a global film cooperation programme might work have become clearer following a recent public hearing on the international film industry in Brussels.The hearing is the latest step in a series of public consultations and studies that will help define the new MEDIA MUNDUS programme and offered some insights into the European Commission's plans to strengthen commercial and cultural relations between Europe's film industry and filmmakers elsewhere in the world.It i
  • Festival preview: Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian & Arab Cinema

    Now the Indian film industry is making more noise on the world stage, its film festivals are also starting to attract a more international crowd. One of the best known outside India is Mumbai-based Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian & Arab Cinema, which this year takes place July 10-20 in Delhi.It is now the only major film festival to take place in the Indian capital since the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) moved to Goa. A two-day taster held in Mumbai in June has helped w
  • Films chosen for Melbourne fest's first market screenings

    Paul Cox's latest film, Salvation, is one of 10 finished films that will be shown to buyers later this month as part of 37South, the market attached to the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).The films were chosen from a field of 20 and only one has a sales company attached already. Most are either the first films to emerge with finance from MIFF's Premiere Film Fund, all of which happen to be documentaries, or they are low-budget pictures made independently of Australi
  • France - The film Fan-ancier

    In April 2008, Yann Le Quellec was named managing director of Continental Entertainment Capital's (CEC) European operation based in Paris. A former banker with JP Morgan, Le Quellec is no stranger to the film industry, nor to CEC.As head of EWB Finance, an affiliate of Wild Bunch, Le Quellec was instrumental in the 2007 deal that saw CEC, a Citi affiliate, invest in the French sales, distribution and finance outfit (EWB advised on the deal).A self-confessed film fanatic, Le Quel
  • Generator, Green Park, Octagon start shoot for Cherrybomb

    Glen Leyburn and Lisa Barros D'Sa start shooting their joint feature debut, Cherrybomb, today in Belfast.The coming-of-age drama stars Rupert Grint, Kimberley Nixon and Robert Sheehan. Producers are Generator Entertainment, Green Park Films and Octagon Films.The story is about two teenage boys whose friendship is tested when a troubled beauty comes to town and puts them in danger.Daragh Carville (Middletown) wrote the screenplay. Belfast-based Leyburn is
  • German box office slips 50% from first quarter to second quarter

    Admissions to German cinemas fell by 50% in the second quarter compared to the first three months of 2008, according to figures prepared by EDI Nielsen.Exhibitors posted $188.4m (Euros 119.3m) box-office revenues from 19m admissions between April and the end of June. The half-year total is $565.8m (Euros 358.1m) - slightly up on 2007's $564.2m (Euros 357.1m), but more than 4% below 2006's six-month total of $590.1m (Euros 373.5m).The first quarter of 2008 had seen box office tak
  • Germany fails to keep up Q1 momentum

    Admissions to German cinemas fell by 50% in the second quarter compared to the first three months of 2008, according to figures prepared by EDI Nielsen.Exhibitors posted $ 188.4m (Euros 119.3m) box-office revenues from 19m admissions between April and the end of June.The half-year total is $ 565.8m (Euros 358.1m) - slightly up on 2007's $ 564.2m (Euros 357.1m), but more than 4% below 2006's six-month total of $ 590.1m (Euros 373.5m).The first quarter of 2008 had seen box-
  • Germany's DFFF extended from 2010 to 2012

    The German Government has agreed to extend the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) for another three years from 2010 to 2012 with an annual budget of $94.2m (Euros 60m).The DFFF's incentive scheme was launched at the beginning of last year with an annual budget of $ 94.2m (Euros 60m) for 2007-2009 to reimburse $.20 ($0.31) of every Euro of 'German spend' up to a maximum of 80% of a film's total production costs.According to the State Minister for Culture and Media Bernd Neumann, the
  • Greece - In search of Eden

    It was the subject matter of Eden Is West that lured Costa Gavras back to Greece. A drama about the impact of illegal immigration on Western Europe, the film is a road movie of sorts, starring Italian actor Riccardo Scamarcio."Shooting in Greece seemed appropriate," says Gavras from his set in the port town of Lavrion, some 50km from Athens. "Politically and economically motivated illegal immigration influence our Western societies. The Greeks were economic immigrants during the
  • Hancock scores exceptional $78.3m international opening for SPRI

    Seven letters dominated the box office over the weekend as Hancock, pushed out by Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) across half the world, demolished its rivals thanks to an estimated $78.3m gross from 5,444 screens in 50 markets.The exceptional result is borne out by the comparisons. Based on grosses in the same territories, blockbusters like The Simpsons took $73.4m,
  • here! Films take domestic on gay comedy Breakfast With Scot

    here! Films has acquired North American rights to Laurie Lynd's family comedy Breakfast With Scot, the opening night screening of Outfest 2008: The 26th Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.Based on Michael Downing's novel of the same name, the picture charts the lives of a gay couple who take temporary custody of an 11-year-old budding queen. Tom Cavanagh, Ben Shenkman and Noah Bernett star.Miracle Pictures' Paul Brown produc
  • Hollyshorts opens with Josh Brolin's directorial debut

    The 4th annual HollyShorts Film Festival (HSFF) will kick off on August 7 with a marquee opening night celebration showcasing a number of projects including Josh Brolin's short directorial debut X and Hole In The Paper starring Jessica Biel.Festival organisers will stage the inaugural HollyShorts Music Video celebration, as well as industry panels and a host of films from around the world.'W
  • In Focus: Fox Filmed Entertainment

    When New Regency's adventure movie Jumper opened through Fox in Korea in February, Fox co-chairman and co-CEO Jim Gianopulos called New Regency president of filmed entertainment Sanford Panitch to deliver the good news.The film had grossed $4.8m to score Fox's seventh biggest ever opening in the territory.But, Panitch recalls, that was not good enough to take the number one spot which was instead filled by local crime thriller The Chaser.For Panitch, the Kor
  • In Focus: World cinema arrives in India

    Despite its huge population, India is still classed as a tiny territory by international sales agents, one where even the US studios have failed to make much of a dent in the Bollywood juggernaut.But whereas Indian buyers used to pick up occasional genre films to squeeze in around local product and US tentpole releases, they are now looking for a much wider range of films. They are also better funded and entering into more complex payment terms than ever before.Over the past few
  • Independent launches digital unit

    UK sales and production outfit Independent has launched a digital distribution and marketing arm - Independent Digital.The new venture will run alongside CEO Luc Roeg's existing business to explore new-media opportunities.Eric Stevens will lead the unit, which is financed by the Living Capital Group.The initial aim is to exploit the value of the company's library, which includes titles such as London To Brighton and The Mark Of Cain, through digital releases
  • International - Japanese romcom flies

    Japanese romantic comedy Boys Over Flowers: Final was the highest non-US entry in this weekend's chart, generating $9.5m in its home territory.Toho released the film, based on characters from the original shojo manga (girl's comic), on 400 screens in Japan, and it earned a very strong $23,686 screen average - the highest of the weekend. The film, voiced by Jun Matsumoto and Shun Oguri, boasted more than 800,000 admissions, putting it at the top of the Japanese chart.Toho'
  • Ireland's first fully digital cinema to open July 4

    Omniplex Cinemas, part of the Ward & Anderson cinema group, will open Ireland's first fully digital cinema on Friday. The Wexford Omniplex is a $14.2m (Euros 9m), eight-screen development with a total seating capacity of 1,577.Projection in each auditorium will utilise service provider Digital Cinema Ltd's Barco 2K digital projectors with Doremi digital servers. The site is also fully equipped with the latest 3-D digital equipment and has a 3-D digital screening programme planned into
  • Ischia unveils heavy hitters for co-production roundtable

    Italy's Ischia Global Film and Music Festival will host a Global Production Summit in the sixth edition of the event, which runs July 13-20 on the island of Ischia near the Southern city of Naples.The summit will take place on July 18 with Producer Mark Canton (Spiderwick Chronicles, 300) to give the opening address, Pascal Vicedomeni, the event's producer confirmed.The summit will have a round table discussion format that focuses on initiatives aimed at increasing glob
  • Israel Film Festival launches annual scholarship for film students

    The Israel Film Festival has established an annual scholarship fund to donate money from its yearly gala awards dinner for scholarships for Israeli film students at six major film schools in Israel.Students who benefit from this year's $15,000 allocation can either use the scholarship in their third year to pay for their fourth year tuition or put the money towards the production of their final film with the commitment that it will be shown at next year's 24th Israel Film Festival.
  • Jan-Pelgrom de Haas takes CEO post at Kinowelt Group

    Jan-Pelgrom de Haas has been appointed as CEO of the Kinowelt Group with immediate effect as the successor to Bertil Le Claire who stepped down from this post at the end of May.Commenting on the choice of de Haas, Kinowelt's founders Michael and Rainer Koelmel said that the 45-year-old media manager 'will further advance the integration of Kinowelt into the StudioCanal Group. Under his management, Kinowelt will retain its strong identity in order to develop successfully in the future a
  • Japan's Boys Over Flowers is highest non-US opener

    Japanese romantic comedy Boys Over Flowers was the highest non-US entry in this weekend's international chart, generating $9.5m in its home territory. The top 40 international films generated $188.8m from 49,945 screens for the period of June 27-29.For the full chart, compiled by Len Klady, click here.The film, based on the characters from the original shojo manga (gir
  • Karlovy Vary - Bohemian Rhapsodies

    This month's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (July 4-12) in the Czech Republic boasts a diverse line-up of more than 200 local and international films.The diversity is most evident in the main competition where titles battling for the Crystal Globe include the world premieres of Michaela Pavlatova's Czech drama Night Owls and Zrinko Ogresta's Croatian romance Behind The Glass, along with Zhang Chi's The Shaft, Tom Schreiber's Dr Aleman and Henrik Ru
  • Karlovy Vary and Locarno premieres unveiled at Previews in Cologne

    World premieres at this week's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and Locarno's forthcoming Piazza Grande open-air programme are among 23 films being presented at the German Films Previews in Cologne from July 10-13.Tom Schreiber's Dr Aleman, which has been invited to Karlovy Vary's international competition, will have its market premiere screening in Cologne for sales company Telepool which also has slots for The Wild Soccer Bunch 5 and the current box-office h
  • Karlovy Vary kicks off with De Niro lined up for Crystal Globe

    Robert De Niro will this evening receive a Crystal Globe forOutstanding Contribution to World Cinema at the 43rd Karlovy Vary InternationalFilm Festival, which opens today.The actor will be on hand for the opening screening of his latest film, What Just Happened'Before the festival, De Niro told the local daily Hospodarske noviny that he was planninganother project with Martin Scorsese in the next year or two.More than 220 films will screen over the nin
  • Kloster named MD of Fox Home Entertainment UK

    Anders Kloster has been appointed managing director of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (TCFHE) UK.Kloster was most recently managing director for Leapfrog Toys-Europe. Prior to joining Leapfrog, he was managing director of LEGO Toys UK and vice president of sales, LEGO Northern Europe.At Fox, he will be responsible for creating and executing business plans targeted to maintaining category leadership and growth.TCFHE UK recently won the Distributor of the Year hon
  • Korean film market share slides to 38% in first half

    Leading South Korean exhibitor CJ CGV has reported first half statistics that bring local film market share to 37.6% - the lowest since 28.4% in 2000 and down 9.7% from last year. Nationwide admissions dropped to 70.4 million, down 2.1% year-on-year and the lowest in the last three years.The top hit of the first half of 2008 was Showbox release The Chaser with 5.13 million admissions. The local thriller which screened in Cannes also picked up six awards at the recent Grand B
  • Korea's Marine Boy splashes down in Cebu

    Korean production Marine Boy has wrapped a five-day shoot at Bigfoot Studios' recently completed underwater shooting tank in Cebu, the Philippines. The film about drug trafficking on the open seas, is directed by Yoon Jong-suk and stars Kim Gang-woo (Le Grand Chef) and Park Shi-yeon. It is also shooting in Seoul and Busan.The five-day shoot in the Philippines involved underwater sequences at Bigfoot's 640 cubic metre tank, as well as sequences in the seas and beaches around
  • Kung Fu Panda breaks China record for animated features

    Paramount Pictures International's Kung Fu Panda has become the highest-grossing animation ever in mainland China, raking in $14.6m (RMB100m) in ten days. The film is also the first animated feature film that has grossed over RMB100m, which is generally seen as a benchmark for blockbuster films in China.Previously, the best-selling animation film in China was Garfield 2 in 2006, which grossed $7.25m (RMB58m). And the second biggest was The Lion King in 1
  • Lionsgate, CJ Entertainment join forces for Korean Wedding

    South Korea's CJ Entertainment has partnered with Lionsgate and Vertigo Entertainment, best known for re-making Asian films, on original cross-cultural comedy Korean Wedding. The project is based on the real-life experiences of scriptwriter Jason Filardi's cousin who married into a Korean family. The story, which will be predominantly shot in South Korea, follows an American groom and his family who travel to Korea to meet their prospective in-laws before the wedding.Filardi
  • Metrodome plans multi-platform UK release of CSNY Deja Vu

    Metrodome Distribution has announced plans for a simultaneous multi-platform release for Neil Young's CSNY Dejà Vu.Metrodome will release the concert documentary in cinemas and on video-on-demand platfomrs FilmFlex (Virgin Media) and 4oD (Channel 4) on July 18.Peter Urie, CEO of Metrodome, said: 'We are very excited to be offering consumers the extra choice of how they wish to view CSNY Dejà Vu on the 18th July. As a company we are very keen to embrac
  • Metrodome promotes Sara Frain to General Manager of Distribution

    Metrodome Group has promoted Sara Frain is to be promoted from General Manager - Theatrical & Broadcast to the newly created position of General Manager of Distribution.This move follows the departure of the current General Manager of Home Entertainment Tom Stewart who will be leaving the company at the end of July.Metrodome has re-structured in line with their recent announcement on selling 61.4% of their shares to Media Pro where instead of two separate General Managers for Th
  • Mikado puts increased attention on 'original' commerical films

    Italy's Mikado Film goes into the 2008 and early 2009 distribution season with a series of titles that reflect the company's auteur tradition - but which includes an increased investment in what CEO Alessandro Usai calls 'original' commercial films, as well as select Italian films aimed at un-tested markets here.Mikado's first title of the fall season will be Full Monty producer Uberto Pasolini's directorial debut, theunusual comedyMachan, which is expected to screen
  • Motovun festival focuses on Russia

    The 10th Motovun Film Festival (Jul 28-Aug 1) has announced competition programme, juries and this year's partner country- Russia, honouring 100 years of Russian film.The anniversary will be include a week of Russian Film in the Croation capital Zagreb, from Jul 5-11, presenting 10contemporary works, including films fromAlexei Balabanov, Sergei Bodrov, Nikita Mihalkov and Alexander Rogozhkin.In Motovun the programme will range from the first ever Russian film, Vladimi
  • My Friends, My Loves (Mes amis, mes amours)

    Dir. Lorraine Levy. Fr, 2008. 98 minAn idea that probably sounded good on paper - starting with the best-seller status of Marc Levy's source novel - proves inconsequential on screen in My Friends, My Loves, a London-set romantic comedy about two divorced French fathers who chafe at strict ground rules while sharing a house in the UK capital. Benignly watchable, but contrived, My Friends benefits from a game cast who all do their best to flesh
  • New Polish partners board Agnieszka Holland's 15.7m War My Love!

    Polish Television and Polish Telecommunications have boarded SPI Film Studio's upcoming production War My Love!, directed by Agnieszka Holland.The project was pitched at last year's Mannheim Meetings as Christine, a drama based on the life of Krystyna Skarbek, a woman Winston Churchill described as the most outstanding British spy of the Second World War.Holland plans to shoot the film in English in Europe and Africa. The project has a reported budget of $15.7m (Euros 1
  • New US, Spanish buyers line up for Locarno

    Four weeks ahead of the opening of this year's Locarno filmfestival on August 6, its Industry Office has reported that buyers from the US, Spain and South Korea are among 10 companies coming to the Swiss festival for the first time this year.LA-based distributor-producer-sales outfit Eleven Arts will be represented by its president Ko Mori, while Spanish buyers' presence at the festival will be boosted by the attendance of four companies: Baditri, Notro Films, Sorolla Films and Isaan E
  • New York-based Palisades buys Tartan Films' UK film library

    New York-based P&A financier Palisades Media Corp has bought the majority of Tartan Films UK's film library of more than 400 titles several weeks after the company went into administration.The move follows Palisades' acquisition of Tartan's US film library in May. The catalogue includes Super Size Me, La Haine, Secretary, Etre Et Avoir and In The Mood For Love. Palisades will continue to acquire titles fo
  • New Zealand adjusts its 40% grant for local films

    The New Zealand Government has dropped the expenditure threshold by $760,000 (NZ$1m) to $3m (NZ$4m) for New Zealand films and New Zealand co-productions wanting to claim back 40% of this expenditure under the new Screen Production Incentive Fund (SPIF). The initiative was announced in May and, since then, the government has also revised how much can be paid out via the offset: it will be $52.1m (NZ$68.5m) over five years, made up of new money and existing New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC
  • Oz producers Culley, Macgowan team on slate of local pics

    Australian producer Marian Macgowan (Death Defying Acts) has taken on a new producing partner in Miranda Culley, who has been director Phillip Noyce's Sydney partner for the past seven years. The move enables Macgowan to both produce and develop features simultaneously, which is difficult as a lone producer.'The business model I have used for the last three or four years is not sustainable because the space between productions is just too great,' she told Screendaily.com
  • Production - Czech Republic - Prague gets a reality Czech

    What Prague needs, as everyone knows, is a tax incentive," says Mark Johnson of Gran Via Productions, the US producer of the first two Chronicles Of Narnia films. "Outside of London, it's one of the only places in Europe that could handle a movie like Narnia. But now it is losing work to places with less of everything, because of tax incentives."Walt Disney and Walden Media's The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe and Prince Caspian both used Czech facilities
  • Profile: Chris Coen's Halcyon Pictures

    If producers look for the quickest way to expand their businesses, the usual first step is to move into sales.But Chris Coen, who has produced Wristcutters: A Love Story, Deepwater and Michael Haneke's recent US remake of Funny Games, has taken a different sideways step, into distribution.His London-based Halcyon Pictures has now formed Halcyon Releasing, which moves into its first major solo release on July 4 with Tom McCarthy's The Visitor.'I
  • Sarajevo Panorama Documentaries include Waltz With Bashir

    The 14th Sarajevo Film Festival (Aug 15-23) has announced the documentary Panorama programme. 'Provocation, access, aesthetics, and the success of their synthesis are the chief selection criteria,' says programmer Howard Feinstein. The selection includes a double feature of 'Experimental American Leftie Films' and Cannes Palme D'Or nominee Waltz With Bashir.Panorama Documentaries 2008Stranded (Gonzalo Arijon, Uruguay) Trouble The W
  • Sarajevo Panorama section to open Aug 15 with 24 City

    The Sarajevo Film Festival (Aug 15-23) has unveiled this year's Panorama section, which 'strives to bridge avant-garde and mainstream films with exceptional narrative films.'Panorama will open Aug 15 with Jia Zhang-ke's 24 City and will close with Arnaud Desplechin's A Christmas Tale. Both were well received in Cannes Competition.The other Panorama selections are:Travelling With Pets by Vera Storozheva (Russia)The Secret Of The
  • Screen Media Films buys worldwide on Lake City

    Screen Media Films has taken worldwide rights to Hunter Hill and Perry Moore's Southern drama Lake City starring Sissy Spacek, Troy Garity and Rebecca Romijn.Dave Matthews, Keith Carradine, Drea De Matteo, Allison Sarofim and newcomer Colin Ford star in the story of an estranged mother and son who reunite years after a tragedy.The distributor plans a November 7 release in New York, Los Angeles and five additional markets. The pictu
  • Screen Opinion: Feel the fear and do it anyway

    A word that has recurred with increasing frequency over the last few weeks is 'scary'.It is not an unknown word, of course: film is a scary business. It is, at heart, about betting the house on predictions of future audiences' tastes, and showing blind faith in a limited distribution infrastructure.Showing a blissful unawareness of the state of the world economy, a seasoned producer told a young hopeful at Edinburgh last week that 'if you want stability, go and run a bank'. But
  • Screenwriter Hazeldine to make directorial debut with Exam

    Stuart Hazeldine, a UK-based screenwriter who has worked on studio films including Knowing and The Day The Earth Stood Still, is making his feature directorial debut on a project titled Exam.The low-budget UK feature, also written by Hazeldine, is a psychological thriller set in one room. Hazeldine describes it as a cross between 'Cube, 12 Angry Men and The Apprentice.'Because the entire actoin of the film takes place in one room, it wil
  • Second Run DVD plans UK release of Tropical Malady

    UK Distributor Second Run DVD plans a July 28 DVD release of Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Tropical Malady (Sud pralad). The award-winning Thai film was made in 2004, a fractured love story and mysterious drama set in a Thai jungle.The UK DVD will include his 1997 short film Thirdworld, a new interview with the director, a new digital transfer, and more.
  • Sharman MacDonald to adapt Vincenzi's Windfall for PiVotal

    Playwright and The Edge Of Love screenwriter Sharman MacDonald will adapt Penny Vincenzi's novel Windfall for a feature filmto be produced by PiVotal Pictures.Windfall is the first in PiVotal's planned series of films based on Vincenzi's works. The story is about a woman who trains as a doctor in the 1920s but then gets an inheritance that gives her freedom and puts her marriage in danger.Composer manager/agent Carolynne Wyper, former BAFTA chairman/producer Ri
  • Short made by children added to Azur & Asmar DVD

    Soda Pictures will include a short made by UK children on its DVD release for Azur & Asmar: The Princes' Quest. As part of the First Light Movies scheme, a group of five-year-olds from Hartside Primary School in Crook, County Durham, made the short digital animation last year with £2,700 of National Lottery funding.The short, The Princess And The Pendant, will be an extra on the DVD for Michel Ocelot's Azur & Asmar: The Princes' Quest, out from July 28
  • SPRI unleashes Hancock on 5,500 prints across the world

    Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) unleashes Will Smith in half the world's multiplexes this weekend to tie in with the action picture's Independence Day holiday launch in North America.The story of an alcoholic superhero who makes good will touch down on approximately 5,500 prints in 50 territories.Despite a mostly lukewarm critical reaction the presence of Smith, the Western world's biggest star, results are expected to be impressive led by the UK, Australia a
  • Sriraman, Macias get senior vp stripes at Vivendi Entertainment

    Soumya Sriraman (pictured) has been promoted to senior vice president of theatrical marketing at Universal Music Group's theatrical arm Vivendi Entertainment and Yolanda Macias has been promoted to senior vice president of business development and acquisitions.One of their first projects is the portmanteau New York, I Love You, featuring segments directed by Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson and starring Orlando Bloom, James Caan, Julie C
  • Taipei fest ups glamour but suffers from falling ticket sales

    The tenth anniversary edition of the Taipei Film Festival (June 20 - July 6) ended Sunday with an attempt to reinvent itself as a competitive event for local films amid plummeting ticket sales. The festival, which has recruited several former staff of the Golden Horse Film Awards, upped the glamour of its own Taipei Film Award, which was televised for the first time with performances from singers Shino Lin and Fish Leong. Its nine-member jury included actress Rene Liu, director Martin Duf
  • Thai government plans tax incentives for foreign shoots

    Thailand's Ministry of Tourism and Sports is planning to introduce tax incentives for foreign film productions, in a bid to increase the country's appeal as an international shooting location. According to local media, the cabinet has approved a proposal for the ministry to work with the Investment and Finance Ministry to study tax incentives and other privileges for foreign films shooting in Thailand.'The privileges to be offered would be competitive and on par with those currentl
  • Tilda Swinton launches unusual film festival in Scotland

    Actress Tilda Swinton has unveiled plans for the newest, most unusual film festival in the UK. The Ballerina Ballroom Cinema Of Dreams, as the event is currently called, will take place over 8 1/2 days in a Ballroom in Nairn, in the north-east of Scotland, next month (Aug 15-23).The festival is the brainchild of Swinton, who will be running it with producer (and ex-Edinburgh International Film Festival boss) Mark Cousins. The programmers include film-maker Joel Coen.The films wi
  • Toronto adds world premieres including Disgrace, Miracle Of St Anna

    The Toronto International Film Festival has added six films to its Special Presentations line-up for 2008.The films include four world premieres: Steve Jacobs' Disgrace, Vicente Amorim's Good, Spike Lee's Miracle At St Anna, and Peter Sollett's Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist.North American premieres are Paolo Sorrentino's Cannes jury prize-winner Il Divo and Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker.Disgrace (Australia/
  • Trust takes on Zapas' Minor Freedoms from Greece

    Trust Film Sales has taken on world sales for Minor Freedoms, by up-and-coming Greek director and writer Costas Zapas.Minor Freedoms is an unorthodox, cutting edge tale on family relations dominated by violence and sexual exploitation where, according to the director, 'the abolishment of any moral law leads to tragedy'.Produced by Athens-based Minus Pictures and Zapas regular collaborator Grigoris Athanasiou, the picture is a Zentropa and Minus Pictures presentation. Mi
  • UK film-makers should spread co-production wings, conference told

    Co-productions may open up opportunities to UK film-makers that are restricted by thelimitationsinlocal film finance, the third International Screenwriters Festival in Cheltehnam was told.Producer Mike Downey of Film and Music Entertainmentsaid international deals were an opportunity for UK film-makers to sidestep the usual cornerstone funders of British film: Channel 4, the BBC and the UK Film Council.'By being able to reach out to other countries, you can build projects withou
  • UKFC gives $200,000 to Icon for release of Man On Wire

    UK Film Council's Prints and Advertising (P&A) Fund has announced the latest round of films it has supported.The fund is set up to give wider distribution to specialised films, giving UK audiences more choices.The awards are to:$206,507 (£104,567) for Man On Wire, Icon Distribution$9,874 (£5,000) for Couscous, Artificial Eye$9,874 (£5,000) for My Winnipeg, Soda Pictures$9,874 (£5,000) for Savage Grace, Revolver Ente
  • UKFC, Skillset launch 25 new participants in Guiding Lights

    Guiding Lights, the mentoring programme backed by Skillset and the UK Film Council and run by Lighthouse, has kicked off its 2008/2009 edition.Optimum Releasing also sponsors the initiative; Working Title's Tim Bevan chairs the steering committee.Each mentor and mentee will have one-on-one meetings and also attend networking events, masterclasses and film festival seminars.Bevan said: 'Guiding Lights is a great mechanism for bringing new blood into British film as well as
  • Will Smith takes July 4th weekend - again - with Hancock

    Will Smith, an Independence Day weekend winner four times over the past 12 years, maintained his champion's form as Hancock savaged the competition with an estimated $66m haul over three days rising to $107.3m over five following Tuesday night's launch.The tale of a reluctant, boozy superhero who has to change his ways also stars Jason Bateman and Charlize Theron and had been expected to finished in the $105m-plus range.
  • Zbanic, Belvaux, Radford films backed by Eurimages

    At its 111th meeting (June 29-July 1), the Board of Management of the Council of Europe's Eurimages Fund has announced its latest funding round of $6.7m (Euros 4.275m) to 12 feature co-productions.The backed films are:The Flowers of Kirkuk - Fariborz Kamkari (Italy, France, Switzerland) Na Putu - Jasmila Zbanic (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Austria, Croatia) Rapt - Lucas Belvaux (France, Belgium) Puha Tonu Kiusamine - Vei

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