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8 October 2004

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  • 21 Grams producer strikes Swedish output deal

    Swedish major Svensk Filmindustri (SF) has concluded athree-year co-operation agreement with New York based film outfit This is That.Accordingto the agreement, SF gets the rights to distribute all This is That'sproductions on cinema, video and television throughout the Nordic region.This is That was founded in 2002 by Good Machine founder TedHope and produce
  • A Dirty Shame

    After the laboured comedyof Cecil B Demented, it's reassuring to find John Waters on morefamiliar terrain in A Dirty Shame, a dirty sex comedy which really isgood clean fun. Already slapped with an NC-17 rating in the US by the MPAA, thefilm's gleefully flagrant bad language and sexual situations will limit itsavailability to younger audiences around the world, and its dearth of genuinetitillation won't attract any sex-hungry teens.However Water
  • AFI FEST to screen 135 features during AFM

    24 world, 11 North Americanand 28 US premieres are among the line-up of 135 features, documentaries andshorts from 42 countries announced for the upcoming AFI FEST presented by Audi,which runs in Los Angeles from Nov 4-14.International featurecompetition, international documentary competition, Asian New Classics,European Showcase and the Latin Cinema Series are among the programmes onoffer, with pictures from filmmakers Ken Loach, Jean-Luc Godard, GurinderChadha, Andy Lau and Fenton Ba
  • Alien Vs Predator tops Australian box office for Fox

    Fuelled by a $2.2m numberone opening in Australia on 224 screens at the weekend, Fox International'shorror-thriller Alien Vs Predatorraised its international running total by $3.2m from 902 screens to $21.6m.A $1.7m second place openingin Germany on 501 screens was the prime mover in Dodgeball's weekend as it added $6.1m on 2,209 screens for$37.7m.Elsewhere the comedy openedtop in Austria on $235,000 on 53 and scored an exceptional $56,000 numbe
  • Anschutz Film Group hires Levine, Brown, Jones

    Anschutz FilmGroup (AFG), parent company to Walden Media and Bristol Bay Productions, isringing the changes, relocating to the former Turner Network Television officesin Century City and appointing several key hires.Jackie Levinehas been named vice president of production, Bill Brown becomes senior vicepresident of physical production and post production, and Douglas Jones isnamed vice president of physical production.In business andlegal affairs James Meenaghan joins as senior
  • Arcand's awards run continues with Directors Guild of Canada accolade

    Denys Arcand's The Barbarian Invasions continued its winning ways, earning Arcandthe Directors Guild of Canada Outstanding Achievement in Direction - FeatureFilm prize and earning the film the Outstanding Team Achievement prize.
  • Bacon, Winslet to receive honorary awards at Santa Barbara

    Kevin Bacon and Kate Winsletare to receive honourary awards at the upcoming 20th annual Santa BarbaraInternational Film Festival (SBIFF), which runs from Jan 28-Feb 6 2005.
  • Basil-Jones gets top international job at DreamWorks

    DreamWorks hasconfirmed that Stephen Basil-Jones has been named head of internationalmarketing and distribution, filling the interregnum created by JonathanChissick's departure earlier this year.Basil-Jones, whois currently based in Los Angeles as senior vice president of marketing atColumbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI), will relocate toLondon where he is expected to start work in his new post later this month.At CTFDIBasil-Jones reports to marketing chief Sc
  • BBC Films chief warns of UK cash flow crisis

    BBC Films chief David Thompson has warned that the UK film industry isfacing a cash flow crisis during pre-production.Thompson this week called for an emergency meeting with producers andfinanciers which would be open to the British industry to discuss the problem.He warned that the failure of financiers to underwrite the delicate run-up toproduction is already stopping films getting made."The British film industryis in a crisis
  • Berlinale launches World Cinema Fund

    After three years ofpreparation, the Berlinale's World Cinema Fund (WCF) has been launched with anannual budget of Euros 500,000. The funds are to be provided over the nextthree years by the German Federal Cultural Foundation to support the productionand distribution of films from Latin America, Africa, and the MiddleEast/Central Asia.According to WCF'sguidelines, the fund's aim is "the support of films from regions whosecinematography is endangered by political and/or economic crises
  • Bride And Prejudice

    Dir: Gurinder Chadha.UK-India-US. 2004 111mins.Bollywood spectacle andBritish comedy of manners collide head on in Gurinder Chadha's Bride AndPrejudice, an entertaining if wildly uneven updating of Jane Austen'snovel.Chadha throws Indian,English and American characters into the mix, cheerfully trading in allavailable national stereotypes as she goes. Much grates. The direction is oftensurprisingly heavy-handed and some of the central performances are mannere
  • Bryce Dallas Howard named Rising Star at Palm Springs

    Bryce Dallas Howard willreceive the Rising Star Award at the 16th Annual Palm Springs InternationalFilm Festival (PSIFF) awards gala in Palm Springs on Jan 8 2005.Howard is the first honoureeto be named and receives her award in recognition of her standout feature debutperformance in M Night Shyamalan's mystery The Village.She recently wrappedproduction on Lars von Trier's slavery drama Manderlay, which also stars Lauren Bacall, Chloe Sevigny,Da
  • BVI unveils South African and Chinese TV deals

    Buena Vista InternationalTelevision (BVITV) has announced a new accord with the South AfricanBroadcasting Corporation (SABC) for various series and features, as well asrenewing its features deal with China's CCTV. The deals were both announced atthe MIPCOM television market which is currently underway in Cannes.Films in the SABC package include 10Things I Hate About You, Stephen Frears'High Fidelity, Wes Anderson's Rushmore, Wayne Wang's The JoyLuck Club and
  • Cinematheque Ontario's Quandt wins prize from Japan Foundation

    James Quandt, the seniorprogrammer of Cinematheque Ontario, has been awarded the Special Prize for Artsand Culture from The Japan Foundation.The honour recognizesQuandt's extensive scholarly work in Japanese cinema, from monographs onJapanese film masters, such as Kenji Mizoguchi, Shohei Imamura and KonIchikawa, and numerous individual and overview retrospectives that have touredinternationally.In a statement, PiersHandling, director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Fes
  • Civilian Content celebrates Summer sales

    Pawel Pawlikowski's My Summer Of Love has racked up$2.3m worth of international sales, according to financing and sales outfitCivilian Content.Ina statement to the London Stock Exchange it said the sales significantlyexceeded management's expectations. The sales were handled by Civilian's salessubsidiary The Works.At last month's Toronto Film Festival, the Works sold
  • Collateral damages Village reign

    Thefive week reign of BVI's The Village over the international chart endedthis week as UIP's Tom Cruise starrer Collateral moved to the head ofthe pack.Aseries of new number one bows in Europe, including France, Belgium, TheNetherlands and Poland boosted Collateral into the lead. Collateral launchedinternationally the
  • Cork Festival kicks off with Dancing

    The CorkFilm Festival opens on Sunday night (Oct 10) with the Irish premiere of DamienO'Donnell's Edinburgh crowd pleaser Inside I'm Dancing.Now in its 49th year - and building to major 50thanniversary celebrations next year with an international symposium on the shortfilm during the city's tenure as European City of Culture - the Cork festivaloffers a growing local audience a diverse blend
  • Danish Film Institute names Ramskov as production chief

    The board of the Danish Film Institute has appointed JoergenRamskov as its new manager for production and development. He will beresponsible for the DFI department charged with spending Euros 16.5m on backingDanish film.Ramskov replaces Lars Feilberg who resigned earlier thisyear.Atrained journalist, the 47 year-old Ramskov has worked for the DanishBroadcast
  • De La Iglesia wraps The Child's Room

    Alex de la Iglesia will wrap shooting next week on the firstin a landmark series of six genre TV movies for Filmax and Telecinco dubbed "Filmsto Keep You Awake."Theseries is the first of its kind in Spain. Filmax is presenting thetitles to buyers this week at Mipcom. Other directors involved include JaumeBalaguero, Paco Plaza, Mateo Gil, Narciso Ibanez Serrador and Enrique Urbi
  • DENMARK 4 October

    The highly anticipated feature debut from Nikolaj Arcel, Kings' Game (Kongekabale), dealt awinning hand at the top of the Danish box-office chart this weekend with astrong DKK2,3m gross and DKK39,692 screen average on its 60 prints.The critically praised film has been a hot item in the mediafor the last month, in part because it is the first political thriller made inDenmark for some 20 years.As expected it pushed the
  • Dinard Festival of British Film unveils jury

    The Dinard Festival Of British Film has unveiled its juryfor this year's event (Oct 7-10).Actors Hugo Speer, Phil Davis and Kieran O'Brien make up theBritish contingent on this year's jury.Veteran French TV personality Jacques Chancel is this year'sJury President, presiding over an eight strong jury. His fellow FrenchJury includes actresses Cecile de France, Catherine Jacob, Laura Smet andPhilippine Leroy-Beaulieu, along with a representative from Oues
  • DreamWorks scores second animated megahit of '04 with Shark Tale

    DreamWorks' animated Shark Tale snapped up the biggest October openingof all time at the weekend, defying a broadly unenthused critical response togross an estimated $49.1m.
  • Erratum: Turtles Can Fly

    On September 15, reported that USrights to San Sebastian prize winner Turtles Can Fly had been sold toNew Yorker by Bac Films. This was then repeated in the weekly magazine editionof Screen International on September 24.Screenwould like to point out that this information was incorrect, and we would liketo apologise for our error.US rights to
  • EuropaCorp bankrolls Brazilian drugs thriller

    Two Brazilian brothers have secured $1m investment from LucBesson's studio EuropaCorp for the European company's firstco-production in Latin America. The deal was announced at the Rio InternationalFilm Festival.The deal with Erik and Christian de Castro is for adrugs-based thriller called Federal whichwas written by Erik, aged 33, and is being produced by Christian, aged 35. Itwill be directed by Erik, in his first attempt at feature-length fiction afterthe well-received documen
  • Euros 50m German fund lines up US indie projects

    US independent producers Inferno Distribution, Bob YariProductions and Internationalmedia are being lined up as possible sources ofprojects for a new Academy Film Fund launched by ABN Amro's private bankDelbrueck Bethmann Maffei (DBM).The Academy Film Fund aims to have a volume of at leastEuros 50m and would finance the production of three features for theinternational market.According to the Academy Film Fund prospectus, the fund hasalready concluded a framew
  • Filmax, Telecino present 'Films To Keep You Awake'

    Alex de la Iglesia (The Day Of The Beast, Perdita Durango, 800 Balas) will wrap shooting next week on the first in a landmark series of six horror TV movies for Filmax and Telecinco dubbed 'Films To Keep You Awake.'The series is the first of its kind in the genre in Spain. Filmax is presenting the titles to buyers this week at Mipcom. Other directors involved include Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza, Mateo Gil, Narciso Ibanez Serrador and Enrique Urbizu.De la Igl
  • Five Children And It

    Dir: John Stephenson. UK. 2004. 89mins.A well-produced children's film based on the novel by Railway Childrenwriter E Nesbit, Five Children And It feels out of sync with theentertainment tastes of today's family audiences. Relentlessly pleasant anddevoid of any tension in the plot, it deliberately flies in the face ofcontemporary culture - a choice that could work in its favour with some parentsbut one which will please only very young children.The film tell
  • Foreign hopefuls jockey for position in Oscar race

    The foreign language Oscar race kicks off in earnest thisweek after the deadline for submissions closed on Friday (Oct 1).The last few days before the deadline saw a flurry ofheavyweight films added to the long list of contenders (see list, below).They included Venice prize winner The Sea Inside by Spain's Alejandro Amenabar - whichcontroversially saw off rival Bad Education by Oscar winner Pedro Almodovar to secure theSpanish vote. Sea's USdistributor, Fine
  • Fortissimo grabs Jarmusch library

    Fortissimo Films is act as the internationaltheatrical, video, and television distributor for the entire Jim Jarmusch filmlibrary. The catalogue had previously been represented by diverse entities.Fortissimo's relationship with Jarmusch began lastyear with Coffee And Cigarettes.Included in the deal are Permanent Vacation (1980), StrangerThan Paradise (1983), Down By Law(1986), Mystery Train (1989), Night On
  • France outlines strategy to bring shoots back home

    The newlyinstalled chief of France's National Film Commission, Patrick Lamassoure,presented his strategy for the coming year at this week's MIPCOM, putting afocus on bringing film shoots back home.France has suffered from a spate of runaway production inthe past few years. But, thanks to the country's recently implemented taxcredit scheme, the tide is turning.So far in 20
  • GERMANY 5 October

    Constantin's The Downfall - Germany's entry for theForeign Language Oscar - held on to the top spot for a third week in a row andpassed the 2m admissions barrier with a total gross of over $18.3m.With Les Choristes slipping out of the Top10, another Constantin release - Franziska Buch's family film Bibi Blocksberg Und Das Geheimnis Der BlauenEulen
  • Germany's Downfall proves a hit with buyers

    Germany's EOS Distribution saidthat Germany's Oscar hopeful The Downfall by Oliver Hirschbiegel has nowbeen sold in more than 25 territories and demand from buyers is still strong.Thefilm, which puts a human face on tyrant Adolf Hitler, was last week sold toSandrew Metronome for Scandinavia and to Best Hollywood for Hungary. EOS alsoconfirmed
  • God's shadow hangs over Rio festival prizes

    The shadow of Brazil's Oscar-nominated City of God was strongly felt at the closing ceremony of the RioInternational Film Festival last night (Oct 7) - with two films abouturban violence picking up the lion's share of the Jury prizes.In the Premiere Brasil category, for domestic productions,the best film award went to Contra Todos- produced by City of God's director Fernando Meirelles. The film, a drama set in the periphery ofSao Paulo, was directed byfirst-timer R
  • Going Upriver: The Long War Of John Kerry

    Dir. George T. Butler.US. 2004. 130mins.The 2004 US presidential election is widely considered oneof the most divisive in memory, mostly the result of polarity between those whosupport the US-led invasion of Iraq and those who consider it an error equivalentto that nation's adventure in Vietnam a generation ago.A number of films, mostprominently Michael Moore's Fahrenheit9/11, have capitalised on that polarity and the election year fervour.
  • Head In The Clouds

    Dir/scr: John Duigan.Canada-UK. 2004. 132mins.Head In The Clouds aims to be asweeping romantic epic but it falls short, the victim of a fatal lack of energyand a scale that cannot live up to the film's ambitions. Set in Europe as itbuckles under Fascism, it's the story of an untenable love affair between afrivolous playgirl and an impoverished idealist.Despite an engrossing periodand events, the story is conventional and conventionally told - worse, therear
  • here! Films takes US rights to Horizon's Eternal

    Paul Colichman and Stephen P Jarchow's US distribution outfit here! Films has acquired domesticrights to Wilhelm Liebenberg and Federico Sanchez's thriller Eternal from Horizon Entertainment.
  • HONG KONG 4 October

    New Police Story, starring and produced by Jackie Chan, beatTom Hanks vehicle The Terminal to thetop spot at the Hong Kong box office, grossing US$1,263,166 from 58 screens inits first six days on release.Produced by JCEMovies, Chan's joint venture with local tycoon Albert Yeung, the film has beenlauded as a return to form for the Hong Kong superstar. Directed by Benny Chan(no relation), the film also stars Charlie Young as Chan's love interest and aho
  • Hopscotch leaps on four hot titles

    Australian distributor Hopscotch has acquired 3-Iron, which won the FIPRESCI award andthe best director award for Kim Ki-duk at the Venice Film Festival, as well as Downfall, Mysterious Skin and Bombon.Argentinian film Bombon,by director Carlos Sorin (Minimal Stories)is also a FIPRESCI winner, at San Sebastian.Downfall, byOliver Hirschbi
  • IFC Films, Focus team to co-acquire Bier's Brothers

    IFC Films and Focus Features have jointly acquired US rights fromTrust Film Sales to Susanne Bier's Danish language drama Brothers, the Toronto hit that earned top actinghonours for Connie Nielsen and Ulrich Thomsen at San Sebastien.
  • Innocent Voices (Voces Inocentes)

    Dir. Luis Mandoki. Mexico. 2004. 120mins.Luis Mandoki, the Mexican film-maker whohas built a comfortable career around middling Hollywood melodramas such as WhenA Man Loves A Woman and Message In A Bottle, returns to his LatinAmerican roots with a powerful true story about a young boy growing up in themidst of El Salvador's brutal 12-year civil war.Based on the experiences of co-screenwriter Osca

    Thefive week reign of BVI's The Village over the international chart endedthis week as UIP's Tom Cruise starrer Collateral moved to the head ofthe pack.Aseries of new number one bows in Europe, including France, Belgium, TheNetherlands and Poland boosted Collateral into the lead. Collateral launched
  • Joseph joins Udwin's Revolution

    Francesca Joseph (TomorrowLa Scala) has been confirmed as director of Mrs Ratcliffe's Revolution,the latest feature from East Is East producer Leslee Udwin.Scripted by Peter Straughan and Bridget O'Connor, the film is a bittersweetcomedy based on the true story of an ardent Marxist from the north of Englandwho takes his family to live in East Berlin in the mid-1960s.Frank Ratcliffesoon discovers that life in the communist bloc is not the idyll he hadimagined
  • Korea resolves foreign Oscar controversy

    Afterprotracted deliberation which has caused considerable controversy at home,South Korea has chosen Kang Je-gyu's Korean War film Tae Guk Gi torepresent the country in the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar competition.A special5-person jury appointed by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) decided on Sept 22to conditionally recommend Kim Ki-du
  • Korea's 'star directors' aim to shoot to thrill

    Korea's cinematic boom, that started in the late 1990s, hascreated a diverse group of star directors who, thanks to their reputation atthe box-office and at international festivals, now wield an enviable degree ofcreative control compared to their younger colleagues. The latter half of this year will see alarge number of these filmmakers start shooting new projects, promising anexciting line-up for the first half of 2005.Both Park Chan-wook and Hong Sang-soo - who competed atCannes 200
  • League Of Gentlemen starts Dublin, London shoot

    Principal photography has begun on the feature film The League of Gentlemen - Royston Vasey (working title).Directed by Steve Bendelack, The League of Gentlemen - Royston Vasey is from the team behind the award winning UK comedy TV series TheLeague of Gentlemen, created by and starring Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton,Reece Shearsmith and Jeremy Dyson.Shooting began on October 4 and is taking place on locationin Dublin and in London.The film sees the fict
  • Loncraine steps in to Warner/VRP thriller Wrong Element

    Richard Loncraine has stepped in to direct the thriller TheWrong Element starringHarrison Ford and Paul Bettany, which Warner Bros Pictures and Village Roadshow Picturesare co-financing.
  • London Film Festival to launch 'mini-market'

    The Times bfi London Film Festival (Oct 20-Nov 4) is set tostage its own, unofficial mini-market.Fortissimo,Celluloid Dreams, Wild Bunch, Bavaria Film and Trust are among theinternational sales agents already confirmed to attend the festival, which willbe organising industry screenings at London's Curzon Soho from Oct 25- 27. Thesales agents, all of which have titles in the LFF, will be in London as guestsof the festival.The move comes just months after the London Development Ag
  • Man On Fire spreads to UK, Spain & Brazil for Fox

    Fox International'skidnapping drama Man On Fire getsa major push this weekend with openings in the UK, Spain and Brazil that shouldboost its $19.4m overall international running total.The picture goes out on Oct8 in all three markets, opening on 310 prints in the UK, 300 in Spain and 127in Brazil. Decent debuts seem likely given Denzel Washington's recognition inthe UKThe distributor releases theaction picture Walking Tall,which has amassed $7.7m to date, in Mexico
  • Medienboard Berlin ups funding by Euros 3m

    TheBerlin-Brandenburg Medienboard announced an increase in regional film fundingfor 2004 at Mipcom on Monday.Petra Muller,managing director of the agency, said that Berlin would add another Euros 3mtowards film and TV productions in the area.It was noted thatwhile film funding at other German media locations is under threat, theBerlin-Brandenburg region will now benefit from a total Euros 18.5m for theyear.Muller added thatfurther funding is to come from states and invest
  • MGM wraps up Bond deal with France 2

    Frenchnational broadcaster France 2 has announced the acquisition of the JamesBond catalogue of films from MGM.Thecatalogue represents 20 films which will begin airing in 2006. The deal marks areturn to France 2 for the Bond series which aired on the channelroughly ten years ago.
  • MIFED exhibitor bookings fall as AFMA boycott hits hard

    Exhibitor bookings for thisyear's MIFED are significantly down as a result of the AFM decision to launch aNovember market, according to new figures released by the Milan marketorganisers.Fiera di Milano generaldirector Carlo Bassi said that the majority of worldexhibitors who traditionally attend MIFED will be there again this year - with the sole exception of British and American AFMAmembers.Fiera di Milanogeneral director Carlo Bassi said that 140 exhibitors have booked stands
  • Molfenter named as Babelsberg managing director

    Babelsberg's new owners have appointed Henning Molfenter asmanaging director of Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures (SBMP).It is the first major personnel decision made by CarlWoebcken and Christoph Fisser since they officially took over the German studiosfrom Vivendi Universal on September 1.Molfenter replaces Thierry Potok, who attempted anunsuccessful management buyout of the studio earlier year.Speaking at the weekend, Molfenter said he intended tocontinue to pursue the
  • Moody Street, IPW snare Delpy for Lucy Keyes

    Julie Delpy is in finaltalks to star in the psychological thriller The Legend Of Lucy Keyes, which writer/director John Stimpson will directwhen shooting begins in Massachusets on Nov 1.Inspired by a well-knownMassachusetts legend, the story chronicles the experiences of a damaged familythat relocates to a home in rural New England where 250 years earlier the Keyesfamily lost their daughter after she went missing in the woods.The film will shoot onWach
  • Motorcycle Diaries falls through foreign-language Oscar cracks

    Walter Salles'pan-Latin American co-production The Motorcycle Diaries - one of the year's most popularforeign-language films - has been ruled ineligible for the foreign-languagefilm Oscar category this year. It joins A Very Long Engagement, 2046 and Bad Education in the list of acclaimed internationalfilms which have been excluded from that race.TheMotorcycle Diaries is anArgentina/Peru/Chile/US co-production directed by the Brazilian Salles, and,since it fo
  • New Portugese indie festival celebrates success

    Portugal's newly-createdInternational Independent Film Festival, IndieLisboa (Sept 24-Oct 2), closedits first annual edition with resounding public success.Eugene Green's The LivingWorld (Le Monde Vivant) won the grand prize in the official competition offirst and second works by international directors.Sergio Trefaut's Lisboetaswon best Portuguese film, Miguel Gomes' A Cara Que Mereces the JornalPublic Critics' Award and Micha Wald's Alice Et Moi too
  • Noeltner's CMG picks up Brazilian comedy Manual...

    Edward Noeltner's LosAngeles-based sales company Cinema Management Group (CMG) has picked upinternational rights to Jose Roberto Torero's Brazilian comedy Manual ForLove Stories (Como Fazer Um FilmeDe Amor).The picture recentlyreceived its world premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival; CMG willrepresent it at next month's AFM in Santa Monica.Styled as a deconstructionof classic romantic comedies, Manual For Love Stories stars Denise Fraga, Cassio Gabus
  • Paramount Classics to launch Jay-Z documentary in US

    Paramount Classics willrelease Pat Paulson and Michael John Warren's hip-hop documentary Fade ToBlack on Nov 5 in North America. Thefilm features rapper Jay-Z's farewell solo concert in New York's Madison SquareGarden as well as live guest appearances by Beyonce, Mary J Blige, MissyElliott, and R Kelly. It also includes footage of Jay-Z recording the BlackAlbum.Fade To Black, is an and Marcy Projectsproduction. Bob Ezrin, Rich Kleiman and Justin Wilkes prod
  • Participant teams with THINKFilm on Arna's Children

    Los Angeles-based productioncompany Participant Productions has acquired all US rights to Juliano Mer Khamis'sactivism documentary and Tribeca winner Arna's Children, and will partner with ThinkFilm on the New Yorkrelease on Oct 8.The film chronicles Arna MerKhamis, the Jewish-born activist who married a Palestinian Arab and spent herlife campaigning for human rights in the occupied region, where among otherthings she set up a children's theatre group in the Jenin refugee camp.
  • PGA to take legal action against phoney producer credits

    The Producers Guild of America (PGA) said yesterday (6) that itwould immediately begin to seek court injunctions against studios anddistributors who engaged in the increasingly prevalent use of counterfeit"produced by" credits.
  • Pusan kicks off with massive outdoor 2046 screening

    The 9thPusan International Film Festival kicked off on Thursday night with the firstfestival screening of Wong Kar-wai's re-edited version of 2046.The film, which receives its commercial release in Koreaon October 15, was shown on a massive outdoor screen with Wong and lead actorTony Leung in attendance. The 5000+available seats reportedly sold out only four minutes after going on sale twow
  • Samurai, Hero take first MIPCOM DVD awards

    The first ever Mipcom DVDawards were announced in Cannes on Wednesday evening (Oct 6).The awards were created inJune in conjunction with the US-based DVD Association and the Belgium-basedInternational Video Federation. Prizes were given to reward creativity andinnovation in DVD content.Jean-Paul Commin of FranceTelevisions Distribution headed up the jury which screened 132 submissions from58 companies and 16 countries.Trophies were handed out innine categories. Winners in
  • Screen announces shortlist for world, European awards

    Mike Leigh'sVenice Golden Lion winner Vera Drake, Pedro Almodovar's Bad Education, Zhang Yimou's House Of FlyingDaggers and WalterSalles' The Motorcycle Diaries are among the shortlisted films for the Hollywood World andEuropean Awards presented by Screen International.The winners willbe chosen by a panel of judges and announced at the Hollywood Awards Galaceremony in Los Angeles on Oct 18.Screen teamed upwith the Hollywood Film Festival and its Holly
  • Shark Tale breaks October opening record for DreamWorks

    DreamWorks' animated Shark Tale snapped up the biggest October openingof all time at the weekend, defying a broadly unenthused critical response togross an estimated $49.1m.
  • South Africa, US address piracy threat

    The question oframpant DVD piracy was brought up in South Africa's parliament on Monday. TradeMinister Mandisi Mpahlwa reported that police and customs officials betweenJanuary and July this year seized over 286,000 pirated DVDs - double the numberseized throughout the whole of 2003.Mpahlwa said thataccording to research done by Ster Kinekor Home Entertainment on the consumerperspective of pirated DVDs and games, 77% said the high price was their reasonfor buying pirated DVDs. They ret
  • SOUTH KOREA Production Listings - October 6

    SOUTH KOREA October 6PRE-PRODUCTIONDAENSEO-UI SUNJEONG(Culture Cap Media) Backer/Dist:Show East. A famous overseas Korean dancer is invited to Korea for acompetition, but her sister ends up coming in her place by accident. Exec prod:Kim Dong-joo. Dir: Park Young-hoon. Main cast: Moon Geun-young. Shooting fromlate October.Contact: Show East, (82) 2 3446 9590GEUK-JANG-JEON(Jeonw
  • Spain's MediaPro, Globomedia negotiate merger

    MediaPro, one of Spain's largest media companies is about to grow significantly bigger if merger talks with local TV powerhouse Globomedia are successful.MediaPro confirmed that it had entered negotiations earlier this summer with Globomedia on a possible merger or, what may be more likely in the short term, a wide-ranging agreement to capitalise on synergies between the two heavyweight companies.MediaPro has interests in dozens of outfits spanning content creation, production s
  • Spider-man 2 continues to play in Italy, passes $400m

    A strong third weekend inItaly was the key driver for Columbia's Spider-Man 2 at the weekend as it added $2.5m from allterritories for a $403.2m international running total.The action sequel remainedtop in Italy for its third weekend in a row with a $2.3m haul through ColumbiaTriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI) that raised the total there to$21m.Spider-Man 2 passed $400m on Sept 28, although it still has someway to go to match the 20
  • SWEDEN 5 October

    Though As In Heaven, which is now Sweden'sofficial Oscar candidate, stayed securely at the top of the local chart havinggrossed $4.3m and retaining the best screen average of $5,347 from its 103prints, this week's most impressive performance was by another local film.Afteropening in the
  • Taxi

    Dir: Tim Story. US. 2004.97 mins.Luc Besson's French franchise-starter Taxi certainly seems like a goodcandidate for a US makeover: like its two hugely successful sequels, the hit1998 original was essentially, after all, a Hollywood action comedy with aGallic spin. Whatever potential there may have been, however, is squandered bythis bland and rarely funny remake, produced for 20th Century Fox by Bessonhimself and starring Queen Latifah and former Satu
  • Taylor appointed Warner Bros UK distribution chief

    Peter Taylor has been appointed managing director UK & Ireland ofWarner Bros. Pictures International UK.Taylor joins from Columbia Pictures where for the last five years he hasbeen director of distribution. Prior to that he was director of sales at Columbia,a position he held for nine years.
  • The Syndicate hires Rainin for feature after short wins award

    Filmmaker Michael Rainin has been hired by LA production companyThe Syndicate to shoot the $1m feature Learning To Fly after his short Waiting For Woody Allen won the Discovering New Artist Award atthe Los Angeles International Short Film Festival.
  • Toubon re-elected as Eurimages chief

    JacquesToubon, the former French minister of culture, has been re-elected as presidentof film support body Eurimages.The re-election took place thisweek in Istanbul at Eurimages' 91st management board meeting.Toubon, who was first appointed in November 2002, now has another two-yearterm. Normal Eurimages rules only allow a president to be re-elected
  • Trigger Street Independent launches TV arm

    Trigger Street Independent(TSI), the low budget production outfit announced in Toronto last month byKevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti's TriggerStreet Productions, has launched itstelevision arm.The new entity kicks offwith the production of two pilots, the scripted half-hour comedy Hell OnWheels written and executiveproduced by Laura Kightlinger for IFC, and the reality show CelebrityCharades with Hillary Swank, ChadLowe and Bob Balaban for AMC.Balaban will direct and
  • UGC denies international circuit sale

    UGC has officiallydenied a report in The Times newspaper that its entire European circuitis up for sale with a price tag of £400m ($715.8m).According to TheTimes, US buyout firm the Blackstone Group, as well as VUE Entertainment,the group formed last year by the merger of Warner Village and SBCInternational, will both submit bids for UGC's 92 international cinema sitesspanning France, the UK and Ireland, Spain, Belgium and Italy.The paper saidother bids for the cir
  • UK/IRELAND 5 October

    Entertainment Film Distriibutors won the battle of theopeners this week, which saw eight new titles enter the top 20 including threewide releases.Horror film Sawproved the best performer playing at just over 300 locations for an excellent$2.2m (£1.2m) weekend take despite its audience-limiting 18-certificate. Thesite average of $7,400 was the best of any film on release at the weekend.Saw still had tosettle for second place, however, as UIP's
  • Valladolid unveils festival line-up

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  • Warner strikes package deal with TV Channel Russia

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  • WBITD signs free-TV deal with TV Channel Russia

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  • Yesterday

    Dir. Darrell James Roodt.S Africa. 2004. 91mins.Yesterday, DarrellJames Roodt's touching and only too familiar African tragedy, which claims tobe the first Zulu-language feature, has more to offer than unfamiliar language,spectacular landscapes and a touch of exoticism.Without entering any of thepolitical minefields that many films about South Africa (Forgiveness, CountryOf My Skull) have stumbled on recently,