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9 June 2000

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  • A Belly Full (Le Conte Du Ventre Plein)

    Dir: Melvin van Peebles. France. 2000. 102 mins.Prod co: Euripide Productions. Int'l Sales: Films Distribution (00 33 1 53 10 33 99). Exec prods: Daniel Toscan du Plantier, Frederic Sichler, Van Peebles. Prod: Jean-Pierre Saire. Scr: Van Peebles, based on his own novel. DoP: Philippe Pavans de Ceccaty. Prod des: Karim Nezzar-Kebaili. Ed: Catherine D'Hoir. Music: Van Peebles. Main cast: Meiji U Tum'Si, Andrea Ferreol, Jacques Boudet, Herman Van Veen, Claude Perron.Shot in
  • American Psycho to open Fantasy Filmfest

    Mary Harron's American Psycho, starring Christian Bale, will be the opening film at this year's Fantasy Filmfest in Germany.The peripatetic festival for genre and thriller titles, held from July 26 to August 23, will tour through Munich, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin. James Wong's darkly comic Final Destination closes proceedings in Berlin.Films confirmed for the event so far include Mike Mendez's The Convent and Frederic Schoendoerffer's
  • Arndt takes producer prize at Cologne

    Stefan Arndt has been awarded the Producer Prize at this year's Cologne Conference. The Casting Award went to Anja Dihrberg.Arndt is one of four partners, along with Tom Tykwer, Wolfgang Becker and Dani Levy, in hot Berlin production outfit X-Filme creative pool which has credits including Run Lola Run, Life Is All You Get and Stille Nacht.Dihrberg was responsible for casting productions such as Roland Suso Richter's After The Truth, Lars Becker's
  • Arte, GMT team up for gender series

    Franco-German broadcaster Arte is partnering with French drama producer GMT to produce 10 TV movies under the strand name Masculin/Feminin (Male/Female), which will examine issues of equality between men and women around the world.As with previous Arte drama series, Petites Cameras, Masculin/Feminin is to be shot using DV cameras.Two of the films in the Petites Cameras collection - Claude Chabrol's La Chambre Des Magiciennes and Jean-Pierre Sin
  • Babelsberg production chief slams German tax laws

    Studio Babelsberg's managing director for production, Rainer Schaper, called for changes to German tax legislation during a speech at this week's Media Forum NRW in Cologne.Schaper criticised current laws under which non-German talent is taxed when shooting in the country. Earlier this year, Schaper successfully beat off rival bids to bring Jean-Jacques Annaud's $90m Enemy At The Gates to Babelsberg, but warned that prohibitive tax laws could discourage other big-budget producti
  • Bhaman Naraghi joins Miramax as executive vp

    Bahman Naraghi has joined Miramax Films as executive vice president of finance and operations. Naraghi will oversee all aspects of the company's finance, accounting, reporting and human resources as well as supervising certain business development efforts and arranging new financial arrangements for film projects. He will report directly to co-chairmen Harvey and Bob Weinstein.Naraghi was previously at Universal Studios where he was executive vice president of Universal Pictures respon
  • BKN swallows France's Studio Arles

    German animation producer and distributor BKN International (BKNI) has acquired specialist French cartoon house Studio Arles Animation. Arles' boss Daniel Schwall is to join BKNI as its head of production.Stockmarket-traded BKNI said the deal: "is the first step of BKNI's expansion strategy in the production side of the business' and enhances BKNI's position in the European marketplace." Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a statement noted that it covered all assets and producti
  • Bony to replace Lupfer at TPS Cinema

    Philippe Bony has been named general manager of TPS Cinema, replacing Didier Lupfer, who has moved over to rival pay-TV operator Canal Plus (Screendaily, June 2).In his new role, Bony will head digital satellite operator TPS' four film-themed channels, which include Cinestar 1 and 2, Cinefaz and classic movie channel Cinetoile. Bony, currently general manager of TPS pay-per-view service Multivision - a position he will keep - previously also headed TPS' sport and film acq
  • BSkyB shares hit by Vivendi, Kirch sales

    Shares in BSkyB remained highly volatile today after two of its key shareholders yesterday sold stakes.At 14:00 BST the shares were trading at £12.07, having closed 6% down at £12.85 overnight. In earlier trading today they had dipped as low as £11.48. The shares were hit when investment bank Lehman Bros sold 20 million shares at a price of £12.50 on behalf of Kirch. Kirch had a total of 78 million shares granted when BSkyB took an equity interest in the new KirchPayTV unit earl
  • Canada's Nelvana, Keystone hit IPO hurdles

    Two Canadian entertainment companies have cut back or withdrawn public offerings as market volatility continues to unbalance North American stock exchanges. Toronto-based animation house Nelvana Ltd has trimmed back the number of shares in a US public offering from a proposed 3.75 million shares to 2.5 million. The shares, priced at $15.40 each, will realise $33.3m, less than $19.2m of the original amount sought.Meanwhile, Vancouver-based children and youth entertainment company Inter
  • Canal Plus loses appeal against fine

    Canal Plus has lost its appeal against a $1.5m (FFr10m) fine imposed by the highest French court for unfair competition practices against rival Television Par Satellite (TPS) with regard to pay-per-view rights.The judgement followed a complaint filed by TPS last year that Canal Plus was preventing French film producers from selling pay-per-view rights to titles it backs to any other broadcaster. Canal Plus wields power as the French film sector's main financier - in 1999 it inve
  • Canal Plus to sponsor Deauville fest

    Canal Plus is to become the principal sponsor of the Deauville Festival of American Film.The value of the endorsement by the pay-TV giant was not disclosed, but the contract is understood to cover three years from 2000 to 2002. The move appears to underscore the revival of Deauville, which is the only major festival in France not to receive any funding from the Centre National de la Cinematographie (CNC). In other attempts to recapture its position as a key event on the European
  • Canal Satelite racks up 900,000 subscribers

    Spain's Grupo Prisa-backed digital satellite TV platform Canal Satelite Digital (CSD) has reported that it has reached the 900,000 mark in subscribers. The platform has reported a steady growth of about 100,000 new subscribers every six months since June of 1998.CSD launched a little over three years ago in January 1997. It was the first multi-channel digital pay operator in Spain but was followed nine months later by rival Via Digital. Backed by heavyweight Telefonica Media, Via Digit
  • Channel 4 International expands sales staff

    Channel 4 International, the distribution arm of the UK's Channel 4, has made two new appointments. Sabine Broening has been hired as senior sales executive. She was previously senior sales executive for German-speaking territories at Carlton International. At the same time, Sarah Tonkiss has been promoted to programme sales executive. She will be responsible for C4I's programme sales in the Middle East, Far East, Canada, Greece, Israel and French-speaking Switzerland and Belgiu
  • Chello puts back flotation for second time

    Mark Schneider, chairman and chief executive of Dutch cable network giant UPC, said on Wednesday (June 7) that the flotation of its Chello Broadband division would not go ahead as planned on Friday, June 9. The float had already been postponed for at least a week, last Wednesday (May 31).The reason for delay was given as the ongoing strategic discussions - widely presumed to be with the UK's Telewest - that the company is engaged in. But an imminent decision on third-party netwo
  • Cineart lines up Cowards adaptation

    Prague-based production company Cineart is developing an adaptation of acclaimed novel The Cowards by Czech writer Josef Skvorecky.Vladimir Michalek, who was awarded 10 Czech Lions for his 1998 Sekal Has To Die, is writing and will direct the project which is scheduled to start shooting in May 2001. Czech Television is co-producing and tipping in a third of the project's $900,000 (CzK34m) budget.Skvorecky, an emigre living in Toronto, founded Publishers 68 which published
  • Cinemex extends Mexican reach with GCM acquisition

    Mexico City's leading exhibitor, Grupo Cinemex, has expanded beyond the capital's borders by acquiring 100% of General Cinema Mexico (GCM), an alliance between General Cinema International and Fondo Optima. By pouncing on GCM's five cinemas and 62 screens - located in Mexico City, Cuernavaca, Guadalajara, Leon and Aguascalientes - the five-year old exhibitor has boosted its screen count to 324 screens at 29 sites. "This acquisition further solidifies our position in the Mexico C
  • Constantin grabs Hyde Park slate

    German distributor Constantin Film has struck an output deal that gives it theatrical and video/DVD rights to a slate of films flowing from US producer Hyde Park Entertainment.The five-year deal, which gives Constantin rights in Germany and Austria, was concluded with KirchMedia, which as part of the Epsilon pact with Italy's Mediaset has all European rights to the Hyde Park slate (Screendaily April 12).Hyde Park, founded by Ashok Amritraj and David Hoberman, has put toge
  • Das Werk expands overseas with En Efecto merger

    German facilities group Das Werk is to merge with En Efecto, a Barcelona-based post-production and animation group. En Efecto groups together four companies: post-production companies Video Efecto and Cinefecto, laboratory Image Film and Film & Tape, which distributes materials. The group recently joined the Max European Post-Production Alliance. Financial details of the merger, which are unlikely to be completed until the autumn, will be unveiled at Das Werk's annual shareholde
  • Davenport joins Wiest in cast of Not Afraid

    Jack Davenport, Elsa Zylberstein, Miriam Margolyes and Michael Weir have joined double Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest in the cast of Not Afraid, Not Afraid.The story of the burgeoning relationship between a handicapped boy and his hostile grandmother has just started shooting in Dublin. Annette Carducci is directing from a script by herself and Barry Devlin.Ireland's Fearless Films is producing the project, which is scheduled to wrap July 28. Prolific German producer a
  • DreamWorks to release Shrek in Imax 3D

    DreamWorks' animated film Shrek is set to be released in Imax 3D, the first full-length animated feature to be released in the format as Walt Disney's Fantasia 2000, which opened in January, was shown on 2D. The Shrek 3D release is set for December 2001 to coincide with DreamWorks' home video release of the film. The releases will be cross-marketed for maximum impact. The conventional 35mm theatrical version is set for release on May 18, 2001.Shrek, t
  • Eagle unwraps theatrical slate; $60m drama

    In a bid to stamp its mark on Italy's turbulent distribution scene, recapitalised distributor Eagle Pictures has unveiled its first full theatrical slate and also announced development of $60m medical drama, The Lazarus Child.Eagle secured a $300m war chest to invest in film and TV productions and acquisitions last year when private equity financier B&S took a 20% stake in the company. At the same time former SACIS chief Giampaolo Sodano was appointed as president.Eagle h
  • EC extends deadline on AOL/Time Warner probe

    The European Commission (EC) has ruled that it needs more time to adjudicate on the competition issues raised by America On-Line (AOL)'s proposed takeover of Time Warner (TW). But it kept quiet on whether it would link its investigations into Time Warner's takeover of music group EMI.The EC, which has been investigating the merger for the last four months, said that the firms had offered concessions to alleviate anti-competitive fears and that it now needs another week to consider them
  • EC probe could help Vivendi's up-Stream battle

    Today's decision by the European Commission (EC) to investigate the takeover of Italian digital TV platform Stream may help French facilities group Vivendi negotiate the terms on which it would cease hostilities with News Corp and join Platco.While expressing growing enthusiasm for Platco, a new holding company that would harness News Corp's satellite broadcast interests, Vivendi boss Jean-Marie Messier said this week that he wouldn't join the network unless Stream was left out.
  • EC to investigate Pearson, CLT-Ufa merger

    The European Commission (EC)'s competition regulators have decided to probe the proposed merger of Pearson Television and CLT-Ufa. The EC has used its merger regulation powers to open a preliminary, one-month review of the $19bn deal that was announced in April (Screendaily, Apr 07) . The companies were notified on May 24 and the Commission will deliver a view by June 29. This may decide that there is no anti-trust case to answer, call for a full investigation or ask for further
  • Ecosse makes US move with Kerr, Chaplin projects

    Ecosse Films, the production outfit behind Mrs Brown and FilmFour and Warner Bros' upcoming $20m Charlotte Gray, is heading for the US.Launching full-scale into developing large-budget projects, the UK company is funding development on two US-set projects: $30m-plus Stick Shaker and $25m Helen's Boy.Ecosse has commissioned popular thriller novelist Philip Kerr to write Stick Shaker. The story follows a young FBI investigator and an older aircra
  • Elliott becomes on-line chief at Alliance

    Canada's Alliance Atlantis Communications has appointed Jeffrey Elliott to the new position of senior vice president, in which he will be responsible for developing the company's on-line and Internet strategies. Elliott joins Alliance Atlantis from Canadian cable channel operator Nestar Communications, where he was managing director of its Interactive division. In his new job, Elliott will work closely with Michael MacMillan, chairman and chief executive officer of Alliance Atlantis.
  • Ex-Searchlight publicist Robertson opens PR shop

    Michele Robertson, former executive director of national publicity at Fox Searchlight Pictures, has launched her own boutique PR agency in Los Angeles called MRC. Kicking off with two film accounts - Fine Line Features' Saving Grace and Trimark Pictures' Skipped Parts - Robertson plans to work with both studios and independents in creating "postioning-forward" publicity and marketing campaigns.While at Fox Searchlight, Robertson was responsible for the national pub
  • FilmFour strikes first-look deal with Calderwood

    The UK's FilmFour has struck a first-look deal with Andrea Calderwood, formerly head of production at National Lottery franchise Pathe Pictures.The deal was announced Wednesday by Paul Webster, FilmFour's chief executive. Calderwood steps down at the end of July from her current position to form her own production company."I have long been a huge fan of Andrea," said Webster. "She combines consummate good taste with large-scale ambitions and a crucial commercial understanding of
  • Filmgroup cancels flotation plans

    UK video-on-demand operation filmgroup, the parent of theatrical distributor Redbus Film Distribution, has cancelled its float, the company confirmed on Wednesday.CEO Simon Franks cited market conditions for pulling the planned flotation on the London Stock Exchange on June 14.Filmgroup had already slashed how much it aimed to raise from the float. The company, backed by Internet guru Cliff Stanford, was to raise about £75m, valuing the operation at about £260m. The compa
  • Gangster No. 1

    Dir: Paul McGuigan. UK. 2000. 105 mins.Prod Co: Pagoda Films. Int'l Sales: FilmFour. Prod: Norma Heyman, Jonathan Cavendish. Co-prods: Ulrich Felsberg, Nicky Kentish-Barnes. Exec prod: Peter Bowles. Scr: Johnny Ferguson. DoP: Peter Sova. Ed: Andrew Hulme. Prod des: Richard Bridgland. Mus: John Dankworth. Main cast: Malcolm McDowell, David Thewlis, Paul Bettany, Saffron Burrows.Flashy, eyecatching direction and an arresting performance from Paul Bettany are the outstanding
  • Gil to sing with Hamilton in Lolafilms' Off Key

    Spanish actress Ariadna Gil and Italy's Anna Galiena and Claudia Gerini have joined the cast of English-language comedy Off Key from Spanish production house Lolafilms.The film stars Joe Mantegna, George Hamilton and Danny Aiello as three opera stars whose love-hate relationship comes to a head during an explosive weekend together in a French chateau. Although the film, which is billed as a slapstick comedy, is loosely based on the lives and careers of the three tenors, director
  • Hamburg fest launches debut feature competition

    The founder of Myriad Pictures tells Patrick Frater why bigger is better in the changing film sales sector.Your company prides itself on selling films from a myriad of genres. What are you looking for when you pick up a title'Although I hate to make comparisons with other companies, we are looking for a broad mix similar to Miramax and Dimension. On the one hand we are looking for quality, artistic, talent-driven films that make unique, compelling viewing. On the o
  • Happy End

    Dir: Ji-Woo Jung. South Korea, 2000. 93 mins.Prod co: Myung Film Co. Co-prod: Seoul Movie. Int'l sales: CJ Entertainment (+82 2 726 8488). Prod: Eun Lee. Scr: Ji-Woo Jung. DoP: Woo-Hyung Kim. Prod des: Sang-Mahn Kim. Editor: Hyung Kim, Yong-Soo Kim. Music: Young-Wook Cho, Kyu-Yang Kim. Main cast: Min-Shik Choi (Min-Ki), Boh-Yeon Jun (Bo-Ra), Jim-Mo Joo (Il-Beom).This South Korean noir - though it's actually on the grey side of noir - was one of the more eagerly awaited fi
  • India, Hungary line up two co-productions

    Indian film-maker Ramesh Sharma is set to produce and direct a biopic of Hungarian scientist Sandor Korosi Csoma, one of two Indian-Hungarian co-productions set to shoot early next year. Transylvanian writer Laszlo Csiki and Geza Bethlenfalvy, an expert on Korosi Csoma's work, are scripting the project which will follow the scientist until his death in India. Sharma hopes to attract a US co-producing partner.Meanwhile Sandor Sara, president of Hungarian TV channel Duna TV, is se
  • Italy's 'plex operators form breakaway trade body

    Italy's largest multiplex operators, including Warner Village Cinemas, De Laurentiis Cineplex and United Cinemas International, have split from exhibitor trade association, ANEC, to form their own organisation, ANEM.ANEM spokesman Carlo Bernaschi said that Italy's single-screen exhibitors want to obstruct the rights and interests of multiplex operators, but claimed that the growing presence of multiplexes in Italy is responsible not only for economic growth in the sector, but also for
  • Japan registers 60% increase in Internet users

    The number of Internet users in Japan rose 59.7% to 27.6 million in 1999 according to a report by Japan's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT). The report also found that Internet penetration in Japan now stands at 21.4%, which ranks it 13th worldwide, and that subscribers to i-Mode and other mobile Internet services passed the 10 million mark this May.The MPT also estimated that the number of Internet users will rise to 76.7 million by 2005, with growth being driven b
  • Kopelson shifts slate from Fox to Intertainment

    Germany's Intertainment has stepped up to fully finance a $1bn slate of films being prepared by Oscar-winning producer Arnold Kopelson, who is poised to quit his production deal at 20th Century Fox.Kopelson and his wife and producing partner Anne enjoyed huge commercial success with a prolific stream of pictures for Warner Bros including The Fugitive, Eraser, Outbreak, US Marshals, A Perfect Murder, The Devil's Advocate and Falling Down.
  • Landscape enlists Cronenberg for Internet start-up

    Indie film giant Intermedia is launching into TV with the acquisition of a 24.9% stake in Box TV, the start-up production house run by former Channel 4 executive Gub Neal.Intermedia will handle worldwide distribution on the bulk of Box TV's projects. Since launching last month, the new outfit has lined up three projects for Channel 4 and is in talks regarding production deals with broadcasters including the BBC, ITV and BSkyB.Neal runs Box with two other former Channel 4 executi
  • Love's A Bitch (Amores Perros)

    Dir: Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu. Mexico. 2000. 151 mins.Prod co: Altavista Films. Co-prod: Zeta Films. Int'l sales: Lions Gate Films (+1 323 692 7300). Prods: Martina Sosa, Francisco Gonzalez Complean. Scr: Guillermo Arriaga. DoP: Rodrigo Prieto. Eds: Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, Luis Carballar, Fernando Perez Unda. Music: Gustavo Santaolella. Main cast: Emilio Echevarria (El Chivo), Gael Garcia Bernal (Octavio), Goya Toledo (Valeria), Alvaro Guerrero (Daniel), Vanessa Bauche (Susa
  • M:I2 gives UIP biggest Oz weekend

    Mission: Impossible 2's opening in Australia on June 1, one week after its blockbusting North American debut, grossed $3,675,654 (A$6,395,638) from 366 screens over the four-day weekend. This gives distributor UIP its biggest ever weekend and ranks third-highest in Australian history. This compares to the $3.4m (A$5.9m) brought in by Gladiator starring Russell Crowe on its opening weekend just four weeks earlier, although it was on nearly 80 less screens. "Our strategy w
  • Mana scores at emerging Malaga fest

    Actress Laura Mana was the big winner at the increasingly high-profile Spanish Film Festival of Malaga on Saturday night, walking away with the best film award for her directorial debut Sexo Por Compasion.The film is a magic surrealist tale, also written by Mana, about a woman whose sexual favours transform a sleepy Mexican town. The film's triumph at the three-year-old festival should help make it a more attractive platform for producers to launch risky films and garner attenti
  • Martin Lawrence nearly dethrones M: I 2

    20th Century Fox's Martin Lawrence-starrer Big Momma's House opened with a surprisingly strong $25.6m (estimated) over the weekend at the North American box office, giving Paramount's Mission: Impossible 2 a run for its money. However, the Tom Cruise action adventure clung to the top spot with $27m in its second weekend on release. M: I 2, as it has come to be known, has now taken $130.7m after 12 days in the marketplace and looks set to outgross its predecessor which aft
  • Media Luna launches joint venture sales company

    Cologne-based sales agent Media Luna International Film Sales has joined forces with four German production houses to launch an expanded theatrical sales outfit Media Luna Entertainment (MLE).This week's Media Forum NRW in Cologne provided the backdrop for the launch of the new company which will be managed by Ida Martins, who founded Media Luna International Film Sales in 1993. The other partners in the joint venture, all based in North Rhine-Westphalia, are: D&D Film u
  • Netherlands launches Internet film festival

    The Netherlands Film Festival (September 20-29) is launching a virtual event - the Netherlands Internet Film Festival - which is designed to give greater exposure to Dutch film-makers.Starting from June 29, up to 21 short to medium-length films will be webcast each week on the festival's web-site (, seven in each of three categories - fiction, documentary and animation. Viewers will have a chance to vote for their favourites, and the least popular film in each categ
  • New Waterford Girl beats MI:2 on screen average

    For one of the first times in Canadian box office history, a small indigenous film beat out the Hollywood heavyweights on a per screen average basis last weekend (June 2-4).New Waterford Girl, a C$4m title produced by Sienna Films and Imagex and distributed by Odeon Films, opened on June 2 at one theatre in Vancouver and one in Toronto. It scored a per screen average of C$11,007 - the best in Canada or the US for the weekend - beating out films such as Mission: Impossible 2
  • NTV wraps Japan's first 3D CGI feature

    Japanese television network Nippon Televison (NTV) has completed production on Japan's first all 3D, all computer generated feature film, The Aurora. Based on an original script by Michiru Shimada and made over a period of nearly three years under director Yoshinori Kanno, The Aurora is an undersea adventure featuring a Star Trek-like team of international researchers who battle deadly deep-ocean bacteria that threaten to spread around the world.The film is
  • Oz exhibition giants partner for joint Sydney site

    Australia's three largest exhibitors - Village Roadshow, Hoyts and Greater Union - are planning to replace their separate cinemas on George Street, Sydney with a site that will feature single management of both the ticket booth and the concessions area. The development will have over 15 screens and be the first such arrangement in Australia.The proposal is awaiting a greenlight from the Sydney City Council and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).A spokesper
  • Peppermint Candy

    Dir: Lee Chang-Dong, South Korea 1999. 125 mins.Prod co: East Film. Int'l sales: Cineclick (+82 2 577 6694). Prod: Myung Kaynam. Scr: Lee Chang-Dong. DoP: Kim Hyung-Gu. Prod des: Park Il-Hyun. Ed: Kim Hyun. Music: Lee Jae-Jin. Main cast: Sol Kyung-Gu, Moon So-Ri, Kim Yeo-Jin.South Korean cinema is in fine form, if its recent Cannes presence is anything to go by. Of the three South Korean films at the festival, the Directors' Fortnight selection, Peppermint Candy, w
  • Per Holst appointed chair of European Film College

    Per Holst, Danish veteran producer and creative director of Scandinavian major Nordisk Film, has been appointed chairman of the European Film College in Ebeltoft, Denmark. "We have to give our young film-making talent more and better opportunities if we are sustain the positive flow we're experiencing now," said Holst.Holst, who replaces Henning Carlsen, added that he aims to increase the students' understanding of the business behind film-making. About 750 students from 36 coun
  • Roth lines up $3bn for Revolution Studios launch

    Joe Roth's eagerly-awaited film and internet production outfit, to be henceforth known as Revolution Studios, has finally hit the ground with an initial $3bn in financing and distribution commitments from three key investment partners who will collectively control own around a quarter of the company.Roth's Revolution - not to be confused with the London-based Revolution Films spearheaded by Michael Winterbottom and Andrew Eaton - is being backed by Sony Pictures Entertainment, Starz En
  • Shadow Of The Vampire

    Dir: E. Elias Merhige. UK-US. 2000. 93 mins.Prod co: Long Shot Films. Int'l Sales: Lions Gate Films. Prods; Nicolas Cage, Jeff Levine. Exec Prod: Paul Brooks. Co-prods: Jimmy De Brabant, Richard Johns. Scr: Steven Katz. DoP: Lou Bogue. Prod Des: Assheton Gorton. Ed: Chris Wyatt. Mus: Dan Jones. Main cast: John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, Udo Kier, Cary Elwes, Catherine McCormack, Eddie Izzard.The making of F.W. Murnau's seminal vampire classic Nosferatu is the solid s
  • Some Voices

    Dir: Simon Cellan Jones . UK. 2000. 101 mins.Prod Co: Dragon Pictures. Int'l sales: FilmFour. Prod: Damian Jones, Graham Broadbent. Co-prod: Fiona Morham. Scr: Joe Penhall. DoP: David Odd. Prod des: Zoe Macleod. Ed: Elen Pierce Lewis. Mus: Adrian Johnston. Main cast: Daniel Craig, David Morrissey, Kelly Macdonald, Julie Graham.A first cinema feature from director Simon Cellan Jones after extensive experience on acclaimed British television dramas like Cracker and
  • Spanish gov't extends broadcast licence deadline

    Spain's government has extended the application period for new radio and TV licences until July 3, reportedly in an attempt to motivate competitors to form joint consortia.The original filing period for the new five-year licences, due to be awarded by November 30, ended Friday, June 2. The entry of two new free-to-air digital terrestrial television (DTT) operators will greatly expand Spain's television offer and increase already stiff competition for content and advertising. Two
  • Such Is Life (Asi Es La Vida)

    Dir: Arturo Ripstein. Mexico-France-Spain. 2000. 98mins.Prod Co: Filmania, Gardenia, Foprocine, Wanda Vision, DMVB Films, Seceuncia 13. Int'l Sales: World Sales. Prods: Laura Imperiale, Jorge Sanchez, Alvaro Garnica. Assoc prods: Jose Maria Morales, Thierry Forte. Scr: Paz Alicia Garciadiego inspired by Seneca's Medea. DoP: Guillermo Granillo. Prod des: Claudio Contreras. Ed: Carlos Puente. Mus: David Mansfield. Main cast: Arcelia Ramirez, Luis Felipe Tovar, Patricia Reyes Spindola,
  • Suitors circle filmgroup following cancelled IPO

    Filmgroup, the parent of UK theatrical distributor Redbus Film Distribution, is expected to spark interest from several companies in the cable and telecommunications sector following the cancellation of the video-on-demand company's flotation this week.Acquisitive UK cable company NTL is seen as a potential suitor for filmgroup but other companies may also seek to make an opportunistic purchase now that its price has fallen.Filmgroup's decision not to float follows that of Yes T
  • Telefonica buys 25% of producer Media Park

    Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica has acquired a 25% stake in Barcelona-based content producer and broker Media Park in a transaction worth a reported $60m (pts10,500m). The shares will be managed by Telefonica subsidiary Telefonica Media. Local reports suggest that Telefonica paid as much as five times what Media Park shares were valued just weeks earlier. As a possible explanation analysts point to political motives for Telefonica's entrance into Media Park, a move which comes on th
  • Telefonica to acquire Bertelsmann's mediaWays

    Telefonica added another acquisition to its growing European portfolio this week with the planned 100% buy-out of mediaWays, an Internet subsidiary of German media group Bertelsmann. MediaWays will be managed by Telefonica subsidiary Telefonica Data.The acquisition, valued at $1.6bn (PTS282,000m), forms part of a strategic relationship arising between two of Europe's top media companies. In May, Telefonica Internet subsidiary Terra announced it would carry out a $12.5bn acquisition of
  • Telefonica, Prisa reportedly in 'net merger talks

    Putting a new spin on old rumours of merger talks between Telefonica-backed digital satellite TV platform Via Digital and Grupo Prisa's Canal Satelite Digital (CSD), Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported that the two groups are negotiating the creation of a joint Internet and TV venture which could result in the fusion of CSD and Via Digital.The El Mundo report is based on access the paper says it had to a Telefonica memorandum dated February 6 which describes the creation
  • Terra shareholders approve capital increase

    Shareholders of Telefonica Internet subsidiary Terra approved a Euros761m amplification of capital on Thursday (June 8) which will allow the company to complete its proposed 100% buy-out of US portal Lycos. The new company, Terra Lycos, will have corporate centres in Barcelona, Boston and Miami."With Lycos, we are creating a new platform not just to enter the North American market but to aspire towards world leadership," Telefonica president Juan Villalonga said at the shareholders' me
  • Texas Instruments licenses DLP technology to Imax

    Imax Corporation and electronics giant Texas Instruments (TI) have entered an agreement which will see the large-format entertainment company develop, manufacture and market projectors based on TI's (Digital Light Processing) DLP Cinema projection technology for large-format IMAX theatres.Texas previously licensed the technology to Imax-owned Digital Projection (UK) for standard (35mm) format cinema. Christie Systems and Barco have also been licensed to use DLP. Imax will be the exclus
  • TF1 forms holding company for digital operations

    French free TV broadcaster TF1 is to create a holding company, TF1 Digital, which will group all of its digital TV operations.The move is seen as evidence of the broadcaster's intention to step up its involvement in the pay-TV sector and prepare for the future launch of digital terrestrial broadcasting franchises in France."TF1 must remain France's leading broadcaster, but an erosion of the free-TV audience in favour of pay television has to be anticipated within seven to ten ye
  • The Yards

    Dir: James Gray. US. 2000. 108 mins.Prod cos: Paul Webster, Industry Entertainment. Co-prods: Matt Reeves, Christopher Goode. Int'l Sales: Miramax International (+1 212 219 4100). Exec prods: Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Jonathan Gordon. Prods: Nick Wechsler, Paul Webster, Kerry Orent. Scr: Gray, Reeves. DoP: Harris Savides. Prod des: Kevin Thompson. Ed: Jeffrey Ford. Music: Edward Shearmur, Howard Shore. Main cast: Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Joaquin Phoenix, James Caan, El
  • Tom Quinn promoted at Samuel Goldwyn Films

    Tom Quinn has been named director of acquisitions for Samuel Goldwyn Films and will relocate to the company's New York office immediately. Quinn joined Goldwyn in 1997 as manager of production and acquisitions; prior to that he was executive assistant to Samuel Goldwyn Jr and worked in publicity for the company under Nancy Willen. He will report to Samuel Goldwyn Films president Meyer Gottlieb.Goldwyn has been building a release slate for 2000 which includes Liv Ullmann's criti
  • UIP's Pilowsky seals pact with Axiom

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    French media and utilities giant Vivendi has started talks with America On-Line (AOL) about selling its stake in AOL France. Vivendi managing director Philippe Germond made it clear last week that: "our wish is to get out of AOL France and not to have a shareholding link with it." While Germond said that AOL France was beginning to find limits to its growth due to its market position as a premium service, it was apparent that all of AOL's European partners were uncomfortable wit