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9 October 2002

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  • Achterbahn files for insolvency

    Achterbahn AG, producer of the hugely successful animated Werner features, has become the latest in a long line of publicly listed German media companies to file for insolvency.In a statement the executive board said that it believed that there were possibilities to continue business activities after the insolvency proceedings.Founded in 1991 as a publishing house for books, music and films, Achterbahn is currently in production on the fourth Werner feature: Werner - Ein Volk
  • American World picks up Chopin, Anarchist Cookbook

  • American World picks up Chopin, Anarchist Cookbook

    Mark L Lester'sAmerican World Pictures (AWP) has acquired worldwide distribution rights toPolish biopic Chopin: Desire For Love and international rights to US ensemble The Anarchist Cookbook. The films will be screened for buyers at MIFED forthe first time.Chopin: Desire For Love stars Danuta Stenka and Piotr Adamczyk and featuresclassical performers on the soundtrack including Yo-Yo Ma, Yukiko Yokoyama andEmanuel Ax. It follows the doomed love
  • Aro Tolbukhin: In The Mind Of A Killer

    Dirs: Agusti Villaronga, Lydia Zimmermann, Isaac P Racine. Sp-Mex. 2002. 96mins.Aro Tolbukhin: In The Mind Of A Killer is a profoundly spooky, startlingly original contribution to the cinema's enduring fascination with serial murderers. This intricate, multi-layered false documentary based on a notorious real-life case is by no stretch of the imagination a genre film, and commercial prospects are circumscribed by its disturbing subject and semi-experimental form. Howev
  • Australian critics applaud films with strong indigenous themes

    The Australian Film Critics Circle has nominated Australian Rules, produced by Mark Lazarus, Rabbit-Proof Fence (Phillip Noyce, Christine Olsen), The Tracker (Rolf de Heer, Julie Ryan), and Walking On Water (Liz Watts) for best film in this year's awards.Noyce and de Heer have also been nominated for their role as directors as has Tony Ayres (Walking On Water) and Ivan Sen (Beneath Clouds). Walking On Water is the only one of the five fi
  • AWP picks up Chopin, Anarchist Cookbook

    Mark L Lester's American World Pictures (AWP) has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Polish biopic Chopin: Desire For Love and international rights to US ensemble The Anarchist Cookbook. The films will be screened for buyers at MIFED for the first time. Chopin: Desire For Love stars Danuta Stenka and Piotr Adamczyk and features classical performers on the soundtrack including Yo-Yo Ma, Yukiko Yokoyama and Emanuel Ax. It follows the doomed love affair between
  • Bangkok film festival postponed, second event launched

    The organisers of the Bangkok International Film Festival (BIFF) - English-language newspaper, The Nation, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) - have decided to postpone the event from November until January next year.Meanwhile, a second event is being organised by the festival's former director, Brian Bennett, and is set to run in the Thai capital from the end of this month.The five-year-old BIFF will now take place January 10-21 to coincide with a range of promotional
  • Belgian filmmaker Delvaux dies aged 76

    Veteran Belgian filmmaker Andre Delvaux died suddenly of a heart attack on Friday during a conference in Valencia, Spain. Spanish news sources report that Delvaux suffered a heart attack following a presentation given at the World Arts Gathering 2002 (Encuentro Mundial de las Artes 2002) in Valencia. The organisation said it would pay the filmmaker tribute in its closing sessions on Sunday. Delvaux, who was 76, made more than 15 films in a career which spanned nearly half
  • Beta Film takes 12 titles from Intertainment

    Beta Film, the German-based international rights and sales arm of the insolvent Kirch Media, has sealed a European distribution deal for twelve feature films from Neuer Markt-listed financier Intertainment.The deal will see Beta distributing titles such as The Art Of War, starring Wesley Snipes, across TV, video and some theatrical markets across Europe and certain Asian territories. Other titles include The Whole Nine Yards, Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her and
  • Bloody Sunday wins over Dinard jury

    Paul Greengrass's Bloody Sunday added to its tally of festival prizes over the weekend, winning the top award - the Hitchcock D'Or - at the Dinard British Film Festival (3-6 October).The Northern Ireland set drama has already received various international awards including the Golden Bear at Berlin and the Audience Award at Sundance. It opened in the United States over the weekend.In a festival whose competition line-up was dominated by gritty dramas, it perhaps came as l
  • BVI's Signs crosses $100m international mark

    Signs passed the $100m mark with plenty to spare over the weekend for Buena Vista International (BVI), while Lilo & Stitch scored a provisional third highest all-time industry opening for a traditionally animated picture in the UK. It was another strong performance from M Night Shyamalan's supernatural thriller Signs, which grossed $10.2m from all territories for a $111.2m cumulative score. In its third weekend in Japan, Signs dropped off a modest 25% for $2
  • Canadian-South African co-production Proteus starts shoot

    Canada's iconoclastic "queer' filmmaker John Greyson has teamed up with his South African equivalent Jack Lewis, a gay activist and filmmaker, on the $550,000 gay and historical feature film Proteus which has just begun its third week of shooting in and around Cape Town. The Canadian/South African co-production is produced by Cape Town-based Big World Cinema's Steven Markovitz and Platon Trakoshis and Toronto-based producer Anita Lee. Based on a court record from 1735 giving jud
  • Carlton America readies Giuliani biopic

    Carlton America, the Los Angeles-based TV arm of Carlton International, is to produce a feature-length TV biopic about former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani for US cable channel USA Networks.Rudy's Wars stars James Woods and will tell the story of the rise, fall and resurrection of Giuliani, lately feted as a hero in the US for his leadership following the September 11 attacks on New York City.The film, currently in pre-production, starts shooting later this autumn for
  • Carlton International announces MIPCOM deals

    Carlton International, the media rights distributor of the UK's Carlton group, has announced a number of film deals to various European channels and distributors during this week's MIPCOM TV programme market in Cannes.As part of its existing output deal with Carlton International, TF1 has acquired a range of TV movies such as Too Young To Be A Father and Code 1114, which tells the story of an FBI agent who puts his own family in danger on board a plane over the Pacific.
  • Chicago opens with Evelyn, closes with Frida

    Bruce Beresford's Evelyn will open the 38th Chicago InternationalFilm Festival which will screen 95 films from 35 countries in its 15 days fromOct 4-18..Star and producer of Evelyn Pierce Brosnan will attend the screening and receive the Gold Hugo onstage beforehand. Julie Taymor's Frida will close the festival on Oct 17.An international film juryconsisting of directors Ibolya Fekete, Amir Naderi, Sandra Nettlebeck andOrlando Rojas, Claudia M Landsberger of Europea
  • China buys into Bollywood

    The Indian Film Exporters association has announced the sale of 104 films to a Chinese delegation in New Delhi on a visit to the 33rd International Film Festival of India. The 104 films, including all the films made under the Yashraj Films banner, Karan Johar's Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Lagaan, Devdas and Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai, have been sold to the state-owned Chinese Television. Sushma Swaraj, Indian Minister for Information and Broa
  • Cinecitta backs Ferretti exhibition, screening series in Los Angeles

    Italy's Cinecitta Holding, the parent company of the famed Rome-based Cinecitta Studios, announced yesterday that it will be involved in an exhibition of the work of renowned production designer Dante Ferretti at the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences in Los Angeles as well as a film series featuring his work at the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art (LACMA). Both begin on Oct 25.The tributes are to the man who has earned six Oscar nominations in the art direction and costume de
  • Cinema Service boosts investment in Korean film industry

    South Korean major Cinema Service is to boost its investment in local film production amidst what appears to be an exodus of venture capital from the industry. With industry sources predicting leaner times ahead for production companies, the increased spending by Cinema Service is expected to give it even more clout in the local industry.Although exact levels of funding are not yet available, in 2003 the company will finance 16 films in full or in part, compared to ten for this
  • Colombia's 19th film festival of Bogota kicks off

    Colombia's 19th Festival De Cine de Bogota kicks off today (October 8) with a strong selection of recent films from Latin America and other parts of the world. This year showcases Chilean cinema with such acclaimed titles as Negocio Redondo directed by Ricardo Carrasco (pictured), Times Up by Cecilia Barriga, El Chacotero Sentimental by Cristian Galaz, Coronacion by Silvio Caiozzi, La Fiebre Del Loco by Andres Wood, Bastardo En El Paraiso by Lu
  • Corporate development vp Isaac Palmer promoted at Viacom

    Isaac Palmer has beenpromoted to senior vice president, corporate development, at ViacomEntertainment Group from vice president, corporate development. Palmer is a keyfigure at Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures in finding financing partners onmovies, and structuring, negotiating and administering the transactions.He also serves on the boardof director of international theatrical exhibitor UCI, Canadian exhibitorFamous Players, and WF Cinema Holdings which operates the
  • CTFDI continues to collect with Stuart, XXX

    Stuart Little 2 continued its steady international march over the weekend, amassing another $2.7m for Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International (CTFDI) to give a healthy $73.2m cumulative total.Currently showing on 2,270 screens, the family sequel is expected to reach $90m and has an outside chance of passing $100m. In its only new opening the picture took $170,000 from 70 screens in Denmark. Stuart held well in Australia, Germany and German-speaking territories du
  • Danish award-winner lands first lead role

    Danish actress Susanne Juhasz who won the prestigious Bodil Award as best supporting actress for her film debut One Hand Clapping, has landed her first leading role in newcomer Oliver Kanafani's feature directing debut Sten, Saks, Papir (working title). It is a comedy-drama about the relationship between two very different sisters (Juhasz and Mia Wanting) who are forced to share a flat. They are both looking for Mr. Right, but instead find each other. The film is produced
  • Danish quartet launches Fine & Mellow

    The team behind the Danish box-office success Shake It All About has set up a new production outfit, Fine & Mellow, to handle the future projects from talents Hella Joof, Jannik Johansen and Line Knutzon. "We basically wanted to be our own bosses," says Thomas Gammeltoft, who produced Joof's Shake It All About for Angel Films. "So we have a set-up where the four of us have an equal share, and we intend to avoid growing too big too quickly even though we have a lot of proj
  • Decision on new German Minister for Culture imminent

    Surprise top contender as Germany's new State Minister for Culture - former regional Culture Senator Christina Weiss (pictured), is to meet Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder today, Monday October 7.German press reports at the weekend revealed that Weiss - who is not a member of any political party - had already been in discussions with Schroeder and would base her final decision about whether to become State Minister on the results of Monday's talks. Weiss served as Hamburg's Cultur
  • Disney signs raft of output deals

    Declining advertising revenue and challenging times for pay-TV broadcasters have barely dented the sales prowess of Buena Vista International Television, the division responsible for selling feature films to TV and making and selling TV programming.The company used the MIPCOM programmes market in Cannes to unveil a raft of new output, package and channel deals with broadcasters around the world. "Things are more positive than they look," said David Hulbert, president of Walt Disney Tel
  • Dutch entry for foreign-language Oscar selected

    The feature Zus & Zo, directed by Paula van der Oest, has been chosen as the Dutch entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Award at the Oscars.The film is loosely based on the play Three Women by Checkov and depicts the relationship between three sisters and their younger brother. Van der Oest is planning to make an English version of her film.Zus & Zo was nominated this year at the Dutch Film Festival for three Golden Calves: best actress (Sylvia Poorta),
  • European cinema admissions see double-digit growth during 2002

    The international growth in cinema admissions during 2001 seems to be continuing this year, according to new research, with double digit growth rates in a number of major European markets.Latest figures from industry research publication, Screen Digest, show that cumulated admissions in eight major territories are up by 12.2% for the first half of 2002. But while some markets are performing particularly well, the growth is not shared by all territories.Best performing country su
  • Foreign films take top Danish children's awards

    At the 3rd Copenhagen International Children's Film Festival - BUSTER - which ended this weekend, Achero Manas' Spanish The Pellet (El Bola) and Nabil Ayouch's French-Maroccan Ali Zaoua took top honours. The festival's children's jury, made up of eight 12-13 year-olds awarded the 'best BUSTER film' prize of $6,600 (DKR50,000) to first time director Manas. The Pellet will be released in Denmark by new outfit Marco Film.The international adult jury of US scre
  • Garage Days

    Dir: Alex Proyas. Australia. 2002. 105mins.With the major backing of Fox Searchlight and a US$7m budget - hefty by Australian standards - Alex Proyas' eagerly anticipated first feature since his acclaimed, effects-laden dramas The Crow (1994) and Dark City (1998) is a surprisingly lightweight comedy about an underachieving Sydney band's lust for fame and the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Proyas has spent big on impressive graphics, startling drug-induced effects and
  • Germany's Constantin Film signs deal with Freestyle Pictures

    Germany's Constantin Film has signed a multi-year production, finance and distribution deal with US producer Adam Platnick's Freestyle Pictures Freestyle will produce films for Constantin as well as participate with Constantin in financing and distributing films to the international marketplace.Commenting on the deal concluded with Constantin Film's subsidiary Constantin Film Internatonal, Constantin's Martin Moszkowicz said: "We are very pleased to renew our longstanding and su
  • Germany's F.A.M.E. to be axed after shareholder vote

    Film & Music Entertainment (F.A.M.E. AG) is to be dissolved after shareholders accepted management proposals to close the company.F.A.M.E.'s executive board argued that negative market conditions and the remote prospects of recovery in the media sector made liquidation necessary. The board said there was "no possibility to profitably continue the company's business activities".The liquidation of the company was preceded by news that chief financial officer and board spokesman S
  • Germany's third-largest cinema chain files for insolvency

    UFA-Theater GmbH und Co. KG, Germany's third-largest cinema chain with 234 screens, has filed for insolvency.According to a press statement, UFA was been forced to take this step because of 'the national drastic fall in admissions in the past months and the concomitant worsening of the liquidity situation.' The company's 38 cinemas are expected to continue operations unimpeded despite the insolvency proceedings.The threat of insolvency became reality last April after the chain'
  • GMM Pictures boosts profile in burgeoning Thai film industry

    GMM Pictures, the new film arm of Thai multimedia giant GMM Grammy, is emerging as a major player in the rapidly-expanding Thai film industry with its first feature set to open on 100 screens this weekend and another four pictures in various stages of production.The outfit's debut film, Mekong Full Moon Party, (pictured) which premieres in Bangkok today (October 8), received its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival on October 2. Directed
  • Highlight increases stake in Constantin

    Swiss media concern Highlight Communications has increased its stake in German distributor-producer Constantin Film from 23% to 25% and announced an agreement for cooperation on theatrical distribution in Germany.Highlight increased its shareholding in Constantin on October 4 by acquiring shares on the stock market, which means that there has been no change in the interests held by Constantin's other major shareholders Bernd Eichinger (25%) and EM.TV & Merchandising AG (16.4%).A
  • Hong Kong's Celestial signs distribution deal with Intercontinental

    Hong Kong's Celestial Pictures has signed a distribution deal with Intercontinental Film Distributors for the video release of its 760-title Shaw Brothers library in Hong Kong and Macau. Celestial is spending about $14.7m (HK$115m) on restoring and digitally re-mastering the library which contains classics such as The One-Armed Swordsman and The Five Deadly Venoms. Most of the films have been unavailable to audiences since their initial theatrical release. The first title
  • Hungarian filmmakers shine at Szolnok film festival

    Hungarian filmmakers stole the show at The International Film Festival of Fine Arts in Szolnok in HungaryThe jury, led by film critic Gyorgy Baron awarded the festival's Grand Prize to Hungarian director Istvan Orosz' Black Hole-White Hole (pictured). The jury awarded the rest of the prizes in three categories, to animated films, experimental films and documentaries on art with the first prizes going to Hungarian director Eva M. Toth's Revelations
  • Indie veterans Manne, Tait create Duopoly

    Two veterans of the New Yorkindependent scene - Liz Manne andCatherine Tait - have teamed up to form Duopoly, a production andstrategy company which will executive produce "entertainment properties"as well as providing strategic services to production companies.Manne was most recentlyexecutive vice president, programming & marketing, for The Sundance Channelwhere she rebranded the channel and introduced original programming. She hadpreviously co-founded Fine Line Features with Ira Deut
  • International Emmy nominations announced

    Denmark, Slovak Republic and South Africa picked up their first ever nominations as the 2002 International Emmy Awards contenders were announced on Monday by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Aside from the traditional seven categories of arts programming, children and young people, documentary, drama series, TV movies/mini-series, news coverage and popular arts there will be two special achievement awards. Katsuji Ebisawa, president of NHK Japan Broadcasting, will rece
  • Jeunet to direct Very Long Engagement for Warner

    Warner Bros is extending its commitment to producing films in France with the agreement to make Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's next picture, A Very Long Engagement.The French-language period picture is based on a best-selling novel by Sebastien Japrisot about a woman's search for the truth behind her fiancee's mysterious disappearance.The deal signing Jeunet to write and direct the picture was announced by Alan Horn, Warner Bros president and chief operating
  • Koelmel investor group announces Kinowelt contract

    Responding to speculation in the German press, the investor group led by Michael and Rainer Koelmel has announced that contracts were signed on October 2 for the brothers to take over the core assets of the Kinowelt Medien Group.According to a statement, Leipzig-based Neue Spielfilm Vertriebs- und Marketing GmbH - to be known as Kinowelt Vertriebs- und Marketing GmbH - will concentrate on the core activities of license trading, theatrical distribution and home entertainment, acquiring
  • Koelmel's Kinowelt takeover plans threatened

    Michael and Rainer Koelmel's takeover of the core assets of their Kinowelt empire has been thrown into question, according to the German weekly news magazine Focus.In its latest edition, Focus reported that Leipzig's City Savings Bank has still not granted the Koelmel brothers a Euros 32m credit for their takeover bid because of 'numerous as yet unfulfilled conditions.'In addition, the takeover has been delayed by the launch of a special investigation into the question of wheth
  • Latin American sizzle heats up foreign markets

    In the fickle world of acquisitions, Latin America has a fair claim to being this week's hot new cinema. Boosted by Miramax's expected Oscar push for Brazilian sensation City Of God and a strong reception for Mexican Cannes title Japon, Wild Bunch director of acquisitions, Alain De La Mata was bullish at Tuesday's panel discussion on opening up international markets for Latin American cinema."Miramax is really behind City Of God," said De La Mata at the Rio
  • Lilo stitches top slot, but My Little Eye sparkles

    A wealth of new releases launched in the UK at the weekend, with five of the six films debuting in the territory's top 10.The adult-skewed films were led by Momentum Pictures' low budget horror title, My Little Eye. The film, which garnered a strong positive critical reception, grossed a good $1.3m (£840,633). Playing at 255 venues the film's site average of $5,167 bettered both of the third and fourth placed entries, Hollywood blockbusters Signs ($2.1m from 426) and
  • Magical cast lines up for Pathe's Roundabout

    A host of star names, including Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue are to provide the voices for Pathe Pictures' CGI animated feature The Magic Roundabout.The $20m movie, to be directed by Dave Borthwick of Bristol-based animation studio bolexbrothers, will also feature the voices of Jim Broadbent, Ray Winstone, Joanna Lumley, Richard O'Brien and Tom Baker. Williams and Minogue star as Dougal and Florence (pictured).Based on the classic cult TV series created in the late 6
  • Marlo Thomas options BBC thriller for US remake

    Famed US actress/producerMarlo Thomas and her New York-based production outfit Open Road Productions haveoptioned the US remake rights from the BBC to two-part TV thriller Deceit. Thomas will star and produce the remake which willbe broadcast in the US on popular women's network Lifetime Television.Based on a novel by ClaireFrancis, Deceit was screened bythe BBC in April 2001. Directed by Stuart Orme, it starred Francesca Annis,Peter O'Brien, Christopher Fulford and James
  • Meheut appointment signals Canal Plus floatation

    Canal Plus Group, the Vivendi Universal off-shoot spanning its French television interests and StudioCanal, moved a step closer towards a separate stockmarket flotation with the appointment of Bertrand Meheut.Meheut, a former chemical industry colleague of Vivendi Universal chief Jean-Rene Fourtou, was appointed president and chief operating officer of Canal Plus Group. He reports to Xavier Couture, who has the curiously similar sounding titles of chairman and chief executive officer.
  • Meistrich's Film Movement makes first three acquisitions

    Larry Meistrich's fledgling US distribution outfit Film Movement has acquired three award-winning films for select theatrical and limited DVD release. Yamina Benguigui's Inch'Allah Dimanche, Eric Eason's Manito and Giuseppe Piccioni's Light Of My Eye will be shown in select markets, with free admission for Film Movement members who will also be able to watch the films through the company's subscription DVD service while they are in theatres. 'Our mission is to broa
  • Menemsha gets rights to Same Love, Same Rain

    Neil Friedman'sLA-based sales and distribution outfit Menemsha Entertainment has picked upworldwide rights outside of Argentina and Spain to Same Love, Same Rain (El Mismo Amor, La Misma Illuvia), an Argentinian drama from the sameteam behind the enormously successful Son Of The Bride which won an Oscar nomination last yearfor Best Foreign Language Film.Same Love,Same Rain was madebefore Son Of The Brideand released in Argentina in 1999 by Warner Bros
  • Mexico's Televisa takes film package from Universal

    Hit films including The Scorpion King, The Mummy Returns and Gladiator headline a package of feature films and made-for-TV programming licensed by Universal to leading Mexican broadcaster Televisa.The deal, announced at MIPCOM, is a multi-year contract giving Televisa exclusive terrestrial free-TV rights in Mexico. It spans new and library product. The two groups have previously had similar accords and Universal Television Distribution's vice president Latin America, Chri
  • Minoes scores with two Golden Calf awards

    With two Golden Calves - for best film and best actress for Carice van Houten, Vincent Bal's Minoes, based on a classic children's book, was the big winner at the 22nd Dutch Film Festival in Utrecht. During the closing ceremony on Friday night, director George Sluizer (The Vanishing) received a special Jury Award for his career. His latest film, The Stone Raft (based on a novel by Portugese Nobel prize-winner Jose Saramago), was nominated twice but came away empty-
  • Minority Report sweeps Europe, top in five territories

    Fox's Minority Report continued a powerful international box office run with five number one openings across Europe, including a best ever bow for star Tom Cruise in Spain. The sci-fi thriller grossed $3.2m (Euros 3.3m) on 370 screens in Spain, where it overtook Cruise's previous best performers Mission: Impossible 2 ($3.09m, Euros 3.16m), Mission: Impossible ($1.68m, Euros 1.7m) and Vanilla Sky ($1m, Euros 1m). In Germany the picture grossed $6.7m (Euros 6.83m) fr
  • NBC ponders $1.2bn purchase of Bravo network

    US broadcastinggiant NBC is said to be pondering the takeover of Bravo, the arts andentertainment cable network that was a pioneer in showing US independent andsubtitled foreign films on American television.According to areport in the Wall Street Journal, NBC is seeking to swap its 21% stake in Bravo'scontrolling company Rainbow Media (a subsidiary of Cablevision) in exchange forfull ownership of Bravo, whose signature show is the Emmy-winning cinemainterview series Inside Th
  • New faces of Swedish cinema head for New York

    A week-long programme of Swedish films has been organised by the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York to run between November 1 - 7. The programme, called The New Faces of Swedish Cinema, includes seven feature films and a number of short films. The aim of the event, which was organised in collaboration with the Swedish Film Institute, is to pay attention to the new generation of Swedish filmmakers. Among the films screening will be Josef Fares's box office hit Jalla! J
  • New state minister for culture appointed in Germany

    Hamburg's former culture senator Christina Weiss has been appointed by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder as the new State Minister for Culture to succeed Julian Nida-Ruemelin who announced last week that he is to return to his professorship in philosophy at the University of Goettingen.Speaking at a press conference with Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer in Berlin on Monday evening (October 7) , Schroeder explained that the decision on Weiss' appointment had been brought forward because sh
  • No recovery in sight for German TV advertising

    Spending on TV advertising in Germany is forecast to decline by 8.2% this year, according to a study commissioned from market research institute Prognos AG by the ProSiebenSat.1 Group.Before publication of the study, the Group had anticipated that the maximum contraction would be 5%, but, based on Prognos' findings, ProSiebenSat.1 is now expecting to post an EBITDA of between Euros 140m-160m for the 2002 financial year.The broadcasting group reported that the ongoing crisis in
  • Nominees announced for Nordic council's new film prize

    The nominees for the inaugural $46,000 (DKR350,000) Nordic Council's Film Prize, which will be awarded at the council's 50th anniversary on October 29, include ten new films from Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. The films range from internationally acclaimed features like Aki Kaurismaki's The Man Without A Past, Susanne Bier's Open Hearts, Lukas Moodysson's Lilya 4-Ever, Unni Straume's Music For Weddings And Funerals and Baltasar Kormakur's T
  • NonStop extends deal with Sandrew Metronome

    Swedish distribution company NonStop Entertainment has extended its long-term distribution agreement for theatrical releases and video in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland with leading pan-Scandinavian distributor Sandrew Metronome International. The agreement is set for another three years from January 1st 2003."Sandrew Metronome is very pleased to continue the co-operation with NonStop Entertainment. It is a fruitful collaboration and very profitable for both companies", said Berti
  • One For The Road starts to roll

    One For The Road, the UK's Film Council and FilmFour Lab-backed feature debut of writer-director Chris Cooke, has started production on location in Nottingham. A black comedy set on a rehabilitation course for drink drivers, the DV-shot film received£240,000 from the Film Council's New Cinema Fund, and is also backed by East Midlands Media Investments.Kate Ogborn (Under The Skin, This Is Not A Love Song) produces. Helen Solomon and Alexander O'Neal co-produce.
  • Pauline & Paulette team re-unite for Jam

    The team behind last year's hit Belgian film Pauline & Paulette are to reunite for director Lieven Debrauwer's next feature project Jam (Konfituur) about the family intrigues following a couple's separation on their 50th wedding anniversary.Dutch producer Emjay Rechsteiner of Staccato Films will again serve as co-producer for Dominique Janne's Brussels-based production house K-Line, and the two lead actresses of Pauline & Paulette, Dora Van der Groen and Ann Peet
  • People I Know

    Dir: Daniel Algrant. USA. 2001. 100mins.Anyone who wants to see Al Pacino in his one of his most impressive roles since Scent Of A Woman is going to have to get on a plane to Rome, at least for the time being. A combination of commercial bad timing and self-regulatory censorship has meant that Miramax still has no US release scheduled for this tight, dark, compelling political drama, over a year after it was wrapped and ready. People I Know has emerged in Italy,
  • Pinocchio

    Dir: Roberto Benigni. Italy. 2002. 108mins.Pinocchio is Roberto Benigni's reward - from himself, Medusa and Miramax - for the success of La Vita E Bella. No small reward: its Euros40m budget makes this the most expensive Italian film ever, and its 860-screen release on 11 October is the biggest ever Italian opening. It's also the first Italian film for years to have been sold sight-unseen in scores of territories. Given the numbers and the hype, it's difficult not to a
  • Prague slashes location shooting fees

    Prague city council this week slashed location shooting fees in the Czech capital by 75%.The reduction effectively reverses a controversial location fee increase introduced in June, when shooting costs in the city's historic centre were raised fivefold from $0.32 to $1.62 per square metre - working out as an increase from $3,000 to $15,000 for a day's filming.However, according to the Prague Business Journal, the reversal of the price hike may have come too late to prevent Param
  • Production starts on The Sons Of Buena Vista

    Production started today (Mon, 7 Oct) on The Sons Of Buena Vista, a sequel to Wim Wenders'Cuban musical extravaganza Buena Vista Social Club, which was one of the most successful documentary features of all time.The new film is directed by Karl German, Wenders' regular assistant director and co-executive producer of the original 1999 picture. Production credits go to Detlef Engelhard and John Phelan with Guido and Maurizio De Angelis co-executive producers. Production c
  • Quirky kidnap comedy is Rio's surprise discovery

    TheRio International Film Festival scored an unlikely hit on Saturday with DurvalRecords (DurvalDiscos), ajet-black Brazilian comedy from a first-timer on a shoestring budget that stolethe show so far for many delegates.Directedby TV writer and film critic Anna Muylaert, the quirky film is inauspiciouslyset in a Sao Paulo record shop, where the owner Durval wiles away his dayswaiting for customers. Events become increasingly surreal when his mother, wholives with him abov
  • Rare Birds soars at first annual Directors Guild of Canada awards

    Sturla Gunnarrsson's Rare Birds took four prizes as the Directors Guild of Canada launched its first annual awards in Toronto. The film, a Newfoundland-set comedy starring William Hurt, received the prizes for Outstanding Achievement in a Feature Film and Outstanding Achievement in Direction as well as picture editing and production design. The prize for best television movies or mini-series went to After The Harvest, directed by Jeremy Podeswa. The guild, which re
  • Red Dragon

    Dir: Brett Ratner. US. 2002. 124 mins. The creepy appeal of 'Hannibal the Cannibal' Lecter is efficiently exploited once again in Red Dragon, an unadventurous yet slickly chilling successor to The Silence Of The Lambs and Hannibal whose commercial success was probably assured the day Anthony Hopkins signed on to play everybody's favourite gourmet serial killer for a third time. Over its first weekend on US release the new film gobbled up $36.5m, suggestin
  • Red Dragon breaks Oct opening record with $37.5m

    Universal's Hannibal Lecter horror thriller Red Dragon scored the highest ever October opening over the weekend as it scorched to the top of the charts with a redoubtable $37.5m, according to estimates released today (Sunday). Although this was considerably less than the $58m opening for MGM's Hannibal in February 2001 bow, studio executives will be heartened by a terrific start, underwritten by the public's insatiable appetite for Anthony Hopkins' hammy yet bewitching Le
  • Seattle absorbs Women In Cinema fest, expands focus on women

  • Soldier Of Orange 2 dispute settled out of court

    Producer Rob Houwer has finally resolved the legal battle surrounding the remake of Soldier Of Orange 2, the sequel to Paul Verhoeven's 1979 war drama. The film was supposed to have been shot this summer, but a conflict about the completion bond between Houwer and the financing company Arteco, ended in court.Houwer already won a legal case against Arteco in June, when he got the right to look for new investors for the Euros 12m Soldier Of Orange 2, one of the most
  • Spanish arthouse distributors form industry association

    Four of Spain's leading arthouse distributors have formed the Independent Film Distributors' Association (ADICINE) to provide a lobby for their interests in the exhibition of European films in Spain.Alta Films, Wanda Vision, Golem Distribucion and Vertigo Films are responsible for some 80% of European films exhibited in Spain, excluding local titles. Yet they say that between them they currently hold unsold TV rights, mostly free-to-air, to more than 250 European titles already p
  • Spanish studio to launch new genre label

    Spanish mini-studio Filmax is prepping the launch of new genre label Fantastic Family to create feature films targeted at the entire family. The new label will complement the company's existing Fantastic Factory, for fantasy and horror pictures, and Fantastic Discovery, for new directors. Producer-director Brian Yuzna, co-founder with Filmax president Julio Fernandez of the genre labels, said the objective was to "create films for more general audiences without diluting the Fant
  • Studio threeway Peter Pan starts shooting in Australia

    The big budget live actionfilm version of Peter Pan, forwhich Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures and Revolution Studios teamed in anunusual three-way studio co-venture, has begun principal photography inQueensland, Australia under local director PJ Hogan (Muriel's Wedding,My Best Friend's Wedding).Jeremy Sumpter, who playedone of Bill Paxton's sons in Frailty, is playing Peter, Jason Isaacs is playing Captain Hook, Lynn Redgraveis Aunt Millic
  • Sundance Channel buys doc package, announces weekly DOCday

    In a move that will cast doubt over the launch of its mooted documentary channel, Sundance Channel announced on Monday the creation of a weekly documentary night planned for March 2003. The so-called DOCday will premiere on Monday March 3 and continue every Monday thereafter from noon to midnight with a weekly feature premiere at 9pm. Sundance Channel president and chief executive officer Larry Aidem said that the company had completed its first acquisition of ten features from Canada's Films
  • Super RTL takes three from Buena Vista Int'l Television

    Buena Vista International Television has licensed three animated features to Super RTL - Movietoons, in a deal which shows that business is still being done in the troubled German TV sector.The features - The Tigger Movie, Recess and Doug's First Movie - fit into Super RTL's Disney Playhouse pre-school strategy, and the channels' primetime Friday Cartoon Special line-up."Movies are an essential part of SRTL's kids and family scheduling and the features which they
  • Swedish Film Institute greenlights three new features

    Three Swedish feature films have been greenlighted after receiving funding from the Swedish Film Institute (SFI).Children's film Misa Mi is by first-time director Linus Torell. The story, about a 10-year-old girl whose mother is dead, takes place in the forests of the north of Sweden. The film will be produced by Sweetwater's Maritha Norstedt, who produced local hit Sprangaren (The Bomber) last year, and FilmHaus Lagno's Peter Holthausen. It received $461,370 (SEK4.3m) fr
  • Take Care Of My Cat scoops Feminale prize

    Korean director Jeong Jae-Eun's Take Care Of My Cat has won this year's Euros2,500 Feature Debut Prize at the Feminale international women's film festival in Cologne.Take Care Of My Cat, a huge hit in its home country, follows five young girls as they make their first steps from school into adulthood and find their place in life. Meanwhile, the Feminale Audience Award went to Belgian director Marie France Collard for her film Levis - Women Workers Of This World
  • The Legend Of Suriyothai

    Dir. Chatri Chalerm Yukol. Thai 2001/US 2002. 154minsThis mammoth historical pageant, originally directed by a prince who is also one of his country's leading filmmakers, broke all home box office records in Thailand last summer, grossing over $14 million, about three times as much as Titanic did in that territory. Picked up since by Francis Ford Coppola, who re-cut it to suit the demands of the international market, it was unveiled anew in San Sebastian as the first s
  • The Pianist strikes a chord at the box office

    Last weekend saw both a host of new European openings and a return to the top in Poland for this year's Cannes' Palme D'Or winner The Pianist. The Roman Polanski film launched in France and Belgium on Sept 25 and Switzerland on Sept 26 to strong scores.In France the film achieved second place in the box office chart, behind Hollywood opener The Bourne Identity, in its first week on release, selling 379,804 admissions (equivalent to $1.97m) from 440 screens. The World War
  • Three Japanese titles to compete at Tokyo film festival

    The full lineup of the 15th edition of the Tokyo international film festival, (Oct 26 to Nov 4) includes three Japanese titles out of a total 15 competition films. The three Japanese films, which will compete for the $83,000 (Y10m) Grand Prix and the $16,000 (Y2m) Jury Prize, are Hajime Hashimoto's Another Battle / Conspiracy, Yuji Nakae's Hotel Hibiscus and Masahiko Nagasawa's The Graduation.Another Battle / Conspiracy, the story of yakuza battles l
  • To Be And To Have (Etre Et Avoir)

    Dir: Nicolas Philibert. France. 2002. 104mins.A film to play truant for, To Be And To Have is a warm, serene look at primary education in the French heartlands. This is the latest feature from leading French documentary filmmaker Nicolas Philibert, and it is a measure of his growing reputation that it was selected - albeit out of competition - for the last Cannes Film Festival. (It was up to Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine to show that documentaries had a
  • Tom Quinn gets vp stripes at Samuel Goldwyn Films

    Tom Quinn has been promotedto vice president, acquisitions, for Samuel Goldwyn Films. In his new role, hewill continue to oversee the acquisitions department at the company; his mostrecent acquisitions are Raising Victor Vargas, Peter Sollett's Cannes hit which was renamedfrom Long Way Home, CarlosCarrera's Mexican smash The Crime Of Father Amaro, French comedy He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not with Audrey Tautou and Tim Fywell's UK drama ICapture
  • UK film industry accounting methods criticised

    The way in which financial performance is measured in the UK film and television industry should be given a total overhaul, according to a new report from business and financial advisers, Grant Thornton.The report entitled "What happened next'", reviews the accounting policies of 177 UK film and TV companies and concludes that accounting by distributors and production companies is often poorly disclosed and not consistent across the industry. The report is a follow up to "What do we t
  • UK movie software hits Hollywood, first stop ICM

    US talent and literary agency ICM became the first licensed user on Monday of a new financial software application designed to facilitate contract negotiations. The application is called movie dealflow and was designed by clearcounsel, a digital solutions subsidiary set up and wholly owned by UK entertainment law firm Olswang. The software, which costs $25,000 for an annual licence based on a minimum take-up of five users, incorporates financial data from 7,000 films and enables industry prof
  • US DVD rental revenues top $2bn in 2002

    DVD rental revenues havealready surpassed $2bn in 2002, according to figures announced by the VideoSoftward Dealers Association (VSDA), eating into the home video rental marketwhich has so far amassed $4.12bn this year. 'DVDscontinue to contribute significantly to the video rental market and showunprecedented growth in an otherwise sluggish economy,' said VSDApresident Bo Andersen in a statement.The VSDA point-of-saletracking technology VidTrac has released data which puts DVD rental r
  • Valladolid film festival to open with 11-09-01

    Commemorative effort 11-09-01 will inaugurate the official section of Spain's 47th annual Valladolid International Film Festival (Oct 25-Nov 2).The compilation of short films from eleven renowned directors about the aftermath of last year's September 11 terrorist attacks will screen out of competition in the official section, which features another nineteen mostly European titles.Of those, fourteen will compete for the festival's top awards, the values of which have risen
  • Van Damme strikes two picture deal with London outfit

    London-based production outfit Lucky 7 has signed a two-picture deal with Belgian action star Jean-Claude Van Damme which will see the actor direct his first film since The Quest in 1996.Lucky 7 Productions was set up last year by Florida's Bauer Martinez Studios in conjunction with UK producer Alan Latham. Chairman Philippe Martinez says: "We are producing three pictures a year from Lucky 7 out of London, all of which are budgeted between $10m-$20m. Mainly they will be co-produ
  • Vive La Difference at Dinard

    The contrast between French and UK film-making has been highlighted via a short film experiment screened at the 13th Festival Of British Film in Dinard.The joint programme for making short films, known as The Short Channel/Manche Courte, was launched by the two nation's public support bodies, the UK's Film Council and France's CNC, at last year's festival.The project saw three UK and three French upcoming film directors pair off and each make a film from the same script. The sc
  • Wellspring buys US rights to Claire Denis' Friday Night

    US independent distributorWellspring Media has acquired domestic rights to Friday Night (Vendredi Soir), the latest film from Claire Denis, with plans to release ittheatrically in spring 2003. The movie, which had its world premiere screeningat Venice last month, also played at Toronto and screens Friday night this weekat the New York Film Festival.Acquired by Wellspring fromParis-based Pathe International, Friday Night is the fourth film the company i