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9 October 2007

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  • 881

    Dir. Royston Tan. Singapore / Japan, 2007. 105 min.Oozing sweet smiles and made-up grimaces, a myriad of glittering colours, low-brow humour and an endless string of easily hummed tunes, 881 is already a major hit in Singapore. Despite the lack of any plot to speak of, Royston Tan's film is likely to be cherished by gay (in every sense of the word) audiences all over Asia, and probably not only there. A stran
  • Aardman plans Wallace and Gromit short for BBC TV

    Aardman's famed Wallace and Gromit characters, last seen on the big screen in 2005 feature Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, are returning to a 30-minute format for TV. Trouble At' Mill will be shown on BBC 1. The short is in pre-production now and will start shooting in January 2008 to be finished by autumn/holiday season 2008. Aardman's Bristol headquarters will host all production. Progress for the film can be tracked at
  • Abu Dhabi festival to include talks with Weinstein and Haggis

    Harvey Weinstein and director Paul Haggis have joined the line-up of industry executives attending Abu Dhabi's inaugural Middle East International Film Festival (Oct 14-19).After several weeks of negotiation, Weinstein has agreed to open the festival's Film Financing Circle (FFC) with a speech on international co-productions, while Haggis will teach a masterclass for young filmmakers. The director's latest film, In the Valley of Elah, will screen at the festival's closing night
  • Ascot Elite picks up three new titles including The Reader

    Swiss independent distributor Ascot Elite has picked up three new titles including Stephen Daldry's Bernhard Schlink adaptation The Reader, which began shooting in Berlin and Goerlitz this week with Nicole Kidman, David Kross and Ralph Fiennes. Senator Entertainment will be releasing The Reader theatrically in Germany and Austria. The other two new Ascot titles are Frank Darabont's Stephen King adaptation The Mist, starring Thomas Jane, Marcia
  • Australia tries to ramp up Asian co-productions with new event

    A search has begun in China, India, Korea and Singapore for films and television programmes that would be suitable co-productions with Australia. The projects will form the heart of an event, announced today, which will run alongside the annual conference of the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA). The conference runs Nov 14-16 on Australia's Gold Coast. Titled the Australia/Asia Co-production Connection, the event will involve about 30 producers - half of whom will b
  • Bayona's The Orphanage opens Sitges Film Festival

    Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the International Film Festival of Catalonia will open in Sitges with a screening of Juan Antonio Bayona's The Orphanage.Competing in the Official Fantastic programme are Tom Shankland's WAZ starring Stellan Skarsgard, Inside from France, Mitchell Lichtenstein's vagina dentate story Teeth, Par
  • Beatty to receive 2008 AFI Life Achievement Award

    Warren Beatty will receive the 36th AFI Life Achievement Award at a gala tribute in Los Angeles on Jun 12, 2008.Beatty won the best director Oscar for Reds in 1982 and earned four acting nominations for Bonnie And Clyde, Reds, Heaven Can Wait, and Bugsy.'Warren Beatty has charmed movie-goers as a dynamic leading man from his first moment on screen and
  • Berney to be keynote speaker at LA Filmmaker Forum

    Picturehouse Films president Bob Berney will be the keynote speaker at the third-annual Filmmaker Forum in Los Angeles, which runs from Oct 19- 21.The Forum kicks off with an advance screening of Marc Forster's The Kite Runner and will include panel discussions covering such diverse topics as production, financing, distribution, and marketing.Panelists include UTA agent Rich Klubeck, Submarine partner Josh Braun, Linda Lichter of L
  • Big squeeze on the small screen

    Are the UK's leading broadcasters falling out of love with film' In the multichannel digital era, scheduling a popular movie in primetime can no longer guarantee a sizeable audience and there is an increasing sense that viewers do not want to consume movies on terrestrial TV.A case in point is the recent UK television premiere of The Queen on the commercial broadcaster ITV1 in early September. While the film attracted a strong 8 million viewers, that pales in comparison with the
  • Brazil - Rocha polishes family jewels

    As the daughter of Glauber Rocha, the leader of Brazil's Cinema Novo movement and one of the most influential Brazilian directors of all time, Paloma Rocha did not experience a conventional upbringing."When I was five-years-old, my father enrolled me in an American school and told me to learn the language of the coloniser," says Paloma, who has inherited her father's passion for film-making outside the Hollywood and European models.Besides running Rio de Janeiro's Tempo Glauber
  • Carney and Rotheroe take top Raindance honours

    John Carney's Once and Dom Rotheroe's Exhibit A were named best international and UK films respectively at this year's Raindance FilmFestival, celebrating its 15th year.There were also honours for Koen Mortier's debut feature Ex Drummer, while the G.J Echternkamp's Frank & Cindy was named best documentary.The aw
  • Cinecitta rebounds from fire, books in Spike Lee and U-900

    Cinecitta Studios is back in business after a blaze last August partly damaged an area of the studio's back lot, the studio announced today.The August 9th fire was extinguished without any residual damage to the studios buildings or archives - but not before the 'Roman suburbs' set from the BBC/HBO mega-mini series Rome was destroyed.At the time of the fire, Cinecitta's management team told Screen
  • Content remains king in digital age, says CBS chief

    'We are striking back against the view that network TV is doomed in thedigital age.' That was the message from CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves at this year's Mipcom in Cannes, where he was named personality of the year.He told an audience at a packed Salle Lumiere that content remains the critical issue in a digital age.CBS 'drives the global engine .Wireless is useless ifyou're hitless,' he said.CBS is responsible for hit shows such as
  • Crows: Episode 0 (Kurozu 0)

    Dir. Takashi Miike. Japan, 2007. 120 min. What is there left to say about Takashi Miike that hasn't been said yet, in ample detail and often in learned studies' He is, without any doubt, the most prolific filmmaker around, barely 47-years-old and credited with 85 feature films. Only this year he has brought out four new ones. The last one, Sukyiaki Western Django
  • Crusade In Jeans, Stages lead Golden Calf awards in Utrecht

    Ben Sombogaart's English-language family film Crusade In Jeans won the Golden Calf for best Dutch feature film at the end of the 27th annual Netherlands Film Festival on Saturday night. The film was produced by Dutch staple Kees Kasander of The Kasander Film Company.The Golden Calves jury, consisting of Andre van Duren, Pieter Fleury, Ronald Giphart, Brigit Hillenius, Jannie Langbroek, Reinier Selen and chairman Paula van der Oest gave awards
  • Czech Culture Ministry drops tax incentives from film law proposal

    Hopes for a comprehensive Czech film law which would benefit runaway productions as well as local films are fading, but there remains a chance that both foreign and local producers will see improved conditions in the middle distance. As reported in July, Czech filmmakers and politicians have long been discussing a comprehensive law which would help lure runaway productions to Prague and provide support for local film. Among the proposals was a 20% tax rebate like the one
  • De Laurentiis, Muti, Storaro, Muccini get LA honours

    Dino De Laurentiis, actress Ornella Muti, cinematographer Vittorio Storaro and Gabriele Muccino will each receive the Cinema Italian Style Award at the upcoming 4th Annual Cinema Italian Style Festival in Los Angeles, which runs from Oct 10-21.The 12-day event features the US premieres of festival opener Daniele Luchetti's My Brother Is An Only Child and Paolo Virzi's N (Napoleon And Me) starring Monica
  • Disney's Ratatouille could be the weekend's top earner with opening in Germany

    Ratatouille could become the weekend's top earner after Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International (WDSMPI) opened it in Germany and Austria on Oct 4.The Pixar hit has grossed $230.5m so far and is expected to cross $300m by the end of its run, buoyed by the German-speaking debuts and upcoming launches in the UK next weekend and Italy the weekend after that.German audiences will also be in line for Sony Pictures Releasing In
  • Dumeau takes VP post at Universal's Global Networks

    Laurent Dumeau has been appointed vice president, commercial & network development EMEA, Global Networks, an international division of NBC Universal. He takes the newly created post immediately and reports to Greg Matson, senior vice president, commercial & network development for Global Networks. Dumeau will be based in Paris. He has worked at the company since 1999, most recently as CFO and deputy managing director of the French-speaking channels.
  • Echo

    Denmark/Germany/Sweden 2007. 84 mins.An edgy, horror-tinged thriller about a divorced father's abduction of his young son is marred by a heavy-handed use of backstory in Anders Morgenthaler's Echo. But the second film of the versatile Danish director still has enough going for it as a twisted take on the Scandinavian summer-idyll genre to make a small splash outside of Danish territorial waters.Morgenthaler is a well-known newspaper cartoonist
  • Editorial - Screen says - Cracking the crunch

    There's something appealing about business terminology that reduces complex economic movements to physical actions. The prime example at the moment is the 'credit crunch' - which hopefully will not end up in a global crash. It gives the sense of a natural order which has reached a finite point of disruption. That's so much more comforting than getting your head around the idea that dodgy loans to known credit risks can be traded as assets.But the term to be considered here is 'squeeze'
  • EFA documentary nominees include Forever and The Monastery

    The European Film Academy has announced the 10 nominees for the Prix Arte award for best documentary. The documentary jury, comprised of Switzerland's Francine Brucher, Israel 's David Fisher and Germany's Philip Groning, will convene in Berlin to screen the nominees and select the winner. The award will be presented at the European Film Awards on Dec 1 in Berlin. The nominees are: To The Limit (Am Limit) by Pepe Danquart, Germany/Austria Belarusian Walt
  • Eros adds 146 English-language titles to library

    After announcing a slate of film deals and co-productions, Eros International, the integrated media company in the Indian entertainment sector, is now expanding its library of Hollywood films and added 146 English titles to its catalogue. This list includes titles like Rambo 4, Rush Hour 3, Lonely Hearts, The Accidental Husband, Incubus and others.Its catalogue already consists of Hollywood titles including the Kill Bill series, Aviator, Finding Neverland,
  • Eros signs string of new media deals in SE-Asia

    India 's Eros International, which has a library of around 1,300 films, has signed multiple content licensing deals with leading telcos and on-demand service providers in South-East Asia. Among the deals, Eros will be the exclusive Bollywood content provider to Mauritius Telecom's video-on-demand (VoD) service, carried on its IPTV platform, and will license 50 Bollywood films over a period of three years. In another deal, Eros will license content to SingNet's VoD services in Sing
  • Estomago

    Dir. Marcos Jorge. Brazil-Italy. 2007. 111 min.A melange of food, sex and power not seen since Peter Greenaway's The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover, Marcos Jorge's feature film debut is a sleeper mystery. Fashioned less as a 'whodunnit'' than a 'what-he-done'', like a delicious meal in a foreign clime, it tr
  • Feng to tackle China's nouveau riche in The Nobles

    Chinese director Feng Xiaogang, whose Assembly opens the Pusan International Film Festival tonight (Oct 4), is planning to shoot a $5m satirical comedy The Nobles about China's 'nouveau riche'. Beijing-based Huayi Brothers is producing the film, set to star Ge You, while state-owned China Film Group will also invest in the project. Jiang Wen is also being lined up to star.The story will focus ona rich man attempting to learn about culture and taste. Ge You will pla
  • Films and slates worth $500m to be pitched at new London market

    A formidable list of delegates and producers has been announced for the inaugural Production Finance Market (PFM) being held in London later this month (Oct 22-23). An estimated $500 million worth of projects are being presented, both individually and as part of slates. Confirmed attendees include many major distributors and vertically integrated players, among them Miramax, The Weinstein Company, Summit, Focus, Pathe, Studio Canal, Paramount, Sony Pictures Classics and Warner Bro
  • Financing - France

    There is significant overlap between the French broadcast and film worlds. Each major broadcaster - TF1, France 2, France 3, Canal Plus and M6 - is required to invest in local films via pre-buys and each also has a separate film production arm.Terrestrial channels TF1, France 2, France 3 and M6 must each invest 3.2% of their revenues into European productions with at least 2.5% of that into French films. This is handled via acquisitions and co-productions. The terrestrial networks must
  • Financing - Germany

    The involvement of broadcasters in feature film production has a long tradition in Germany and hardly any film is made these days without some TV participation. Indeed, many film-makers who are now international household names, such as Wim Wenders and Volker Schlondorff, have been supported by commissioning editors when the local film industry showed little interest in their projects.Most channels co-ordinate their co-production of feature films through divisions within their TV drama
  • Financing - Italy

    With the rise in popularity of TV drama - which accounted for 800 hours of programming in the 2006-07 season, up from 130 hours 10 years ago - it could be assumed features are feeling the squeeze in Italian TV schedules.But the country's two main broadcasters, state-run Rai and the private Mediaset, both say they remain committed to cinema and are among the most generous in Europe. "We are absolutely not decreasing investment," says Rai Cinema's COO Paolo Del Brocco. "In fact we are do
  • Finland - Global ambitions of Solar system

    Earlier this year Finnish producer Markus Selin sold a significant stake of his Solar Films production outfit to Danish major Nordisk Film. Selin describes the move as "the key to our future expansion - it will open doors worldwide"."So far we have not aimed at the international markets, but it's long been at the back of my mind. Why only make films for Finnish audiences'" he says. "Our films have done great domestic box office, now is the time to test our wings abroad."Solar Fi
  • Fog's The Art Of Crying takes Nordic Council Film Prize

    Danish director Peter Schonau Fog's feature debut, The Art of Crying (Kunsten at græde i kor), will be awarded the Nordic Council's Film Prize at a ceremony during the council's session in Oslo on Oct 31. Scandinavia 's largest film award - it comes with $65,000 (Euros 47,000) - will be equally divided between Fog, scriptwriter Bo hr. Hansen and producer Thomas Stenderup. They will be recognised at a press conference later today at the Danish Film Institute in Copenhagen.
  • Gavin Hood: New world order

    From the outset, Gavin Hood stresses that Rendition, his follow-up to 2006's best foreign-language Oscar winner Tsotsi, is not 'politically preachy'. While that may be so, the subject matter is inevitably political and makes for a harrowing two hours that raises fundamental ethical dilemmas about the times we live in.Rendition received its world premiere at Toronto and will open through New Line on October 19. Shot mostly in Morocco, it stars Omar Metwally as a US-based e
  • Godley brings on Alan Almond for Treetops Glisten

    Kevin Godley's thriller Where The Treetops Glisten has brought on board Alan Almond as director of photography. The $5m UK/South Africa co-production is now assembling its cast. Pre-production will start Jan 14, 2008 with a shoot ryunning Feb 18-March 21 in Cape Town. Post-production will be done in the UK, and a delivery of August 2008 is forecast. Andrew Thompson is producing for Bastion Pictures.
  • Golden Lola winner and Perfume actress join Daldry's The Reader

    Golden Lola winner Hannah Herzsprung and Perfume's Karoline Herfurth have joined the cast of Stephen Daldry's The Reader, which has been shooting in Berlin and Goerlitz since the end of September. Herzsprung, who is one of the Rising Stars at this month's Hamptons International Film Festival, was named Best Newcomer Actress at this year's Bavarian Film Awards for her role in Four Minutes and received a Golden Lola for her role in Alain Gsponer's Life Actually (Das
  • Gutwillig steps down at Outfest after eight years

    Stephen Gutwillig will step down as Outfest executive director after eight years in the role at the end of the year.Gutwillig was a prominent figure in the LGBT film community and a driving force at the festival who instigated, among other programmes, the Outfest Legacy Project, currently the only LGBT film preservation project in existence.Under his tenure the festival developed the Outfest Screenwriting Lab and Fusion, the nation's first LGBT people of colour film festi
  • Haggis' Elah to close inuagural Abu Dhabi festival

    Abu Dhabi's inaugural Middle East International Film Festival (Oct 14-19) has announced its line-up of Arab films, plus its closing night gala - Paul Haggis's In the Valley of Elah. The Venice critics' favourite adds to an international line-up of Iraq-themed, festival hits; other 'special presentations' (gala screenings) include Todd Haynes' I'm Not There, Brian de Palma's Redacte
  • Halcyon gets first-looks rights to Dick works

    Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek's The Halcyon Company has secured first-look rights to the works of science fiction and cyber-punk writer Philip K Dick.Halcyon will develop film, television and other media adaptations of Dick's works alongside Electric Shepherd Productions, the production arm of the late science fiction writer's estate run by his daughters Laura Leslie and Isa Dick Hackett.Dick's back catalogue has spawned films such as
  • Heartbreak Kid can't shake The Game Plan from domestic top spot

    DreamWorks-Paramount’s comedy remake The Heartbreak Kid with Ben Stiller failed to open as well as expected and had to make do with second place behind last weekend’s champion The Game Plan.Buena Vista’s family comedy stayed on top on an estimated $16.3m that raised the tally after two weekends to $42.8m.The Heartbreak Kid, which marks Stiller’s first film with The Farrelly Brothers since
  • Heartbreak Kid leads UK box office; Control opens strongly

    Ben Stiller comedy The Heartbreak Kid took the top slot in the UK chart this weekend as it opened to $2.5m (£1.2m) from 409 sites for a healthy $6,171 (£3,043) site average. Click her to see chart.The Farrelly Bros' ninth collaboration for the big screen managed to kick David Schwimmer's directorial debut Run, Fat Boy, Run out of the number one position after four weeks at the top. The rom
  • Hirsch, Blonsky to be honoured at Palm Springs

    Emile Hirsch and Nikki Blonsky will receive the 19th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival's (PSIFF) Rising Star Awards at the festival's annual awards gala on Jan 5, 2008.Hirsch stars in Paramount Vantage's drama Into The Wild and recently wrapped production on Warner Bros' Speed Racer for directors Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski.Hirsch was last seen in
  • Hong Kong's FDC unveils details of film fund

    Hong Kong's Film Development Council, established by the government earlier this year to support the ailing local film industry, has unveiled details of its Film Development Fund (FDF), which aims to provide financial support for small-to-medium budget film productions. The $38m (HK$300m) fund, which is now inviting applications, will fund films with budgets not exceeding $1.55m (HK$12m) and employing a certain proportion of Hong Kong talent. Funding support will be capped at 30% of the
  • Hong Kong's HAF projects market open for submissions

    The Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) has made its first call for project submissions, which it will accept until November 15. The sixth edition of the financing and co-production market is scheduled to take place March 17-19, 2008, concurrently with the four-day contents market Filmart. Organised by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, HAF works with international partners including Rotterdam's CineMart, Paris Cinema, Pusan Promotion Plan, Japan's J-Pitch, C
  • Huard takes top post at Universal Pictures in France

    Stephane Huard has been appointed Managing Director of Universal Pictures International's new operating company in France. David Kosse, president of Universal Pictures International, made the announcement today. Huard joins UPI from Stage Entertainment France, where he was MD since January 2006. From 2001 to 2006, he was also MD of Lumiere Publicite, where he worked with Universal films through UIP France. Huard, who will report to executive VP of international distributi
  • Hungary - Only human

    Benedek Fliegauf's Milky Way (Tejut) presents viewers with a puzzle. In each of the film's 10 segments, the stationary camera observes unnamed individuals interacting - mating, playing, helping one another - without additional context. As such, the scenes could pass for raw footage for an alien documentary about human life on Earth."Some people say that it's just a bluff, empty formalism, nothing more," says Fliegauf. "Others say it's a Zen masterpiece, with a very up-to-
  • Icon takes on sales of library titles from NZ Film Commission

    Icon Entertainment International has struck a deal with the New Zealand Film Commission to represent 24 library titles for world sales outside of the Asia Pacific region. The Commission expects that Icon will represent many other library titles after agreements have been struck with relevant producers. Titles covered under the initial deal include Jane Campion's An Angel At My Table, Brad McGann's
  • Icon's MIPCOM slates include GreeneStreet titles and Carrier

    Icon Entertainment International is presenting a number of GreeneStreet Films' projects at MIPCOM, after the companies announced a new strategic alliance. Titles include Unknown starring Jim Caviezel, Slow Burn starring Ray Liotta and 2001 Maniacs starring Robert Englund. Icon is also starting sales on the Mel Gibson-produced TV series Carrier and its companion feature-length special Another Day In Paradise. The 10-part factual drama Carri
  • IFC takes North American rights to Chabrol, Tedeschi films

    IFC has picked up two films screening at this month's New York Film Festival, taking North American rights to Claude Chabrol's thriller A Girl Cut In Two and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi's comedy Actresses.A Girl Cut In Two previously screened in Venice and Toronto and was ahit earlier this summer in France. Ludivine Sagnier stars as a
  • IMAX, Regal sign digital projection deal for five new IMAX systems

    IMAX Corp. and US exhibitor Regal Cinemas have signed the first North American order for the giant screen company's new digital projection technology. The joint-venture agreement will see five IMAX systems added to the Regal chain in the US, boosting Regal's IMAX circuit to 21 screens by the spring of 2009. Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will share the cost and profitability of the new cinemas. Two IMAX MPX systems are expected to be operational by the end of this ye
  • InFrame rebrands as Altadena; picks up two before AFM

    Hollywood Classics sister company InFrame has been rebranded as Altadena Films. The founders of Altadena are Ildi Toth Davy, Joe Dreier and Steven Mackler.The new sales outfit will officially launch at the forthcoming American Film Market with new acquisitions Bigga Than Ben and The Girl Next Door.Bigga Than Ben is a UK comedy directed by Suzie Halewood about two Russian immigrants who try to scam Londoners. Liz Holford and Melissa Simmonds produced.
  • International - Not the whole picture

    As the autumn festival scene draws to close, it is worth considering what exactly is the point of an event showcasing international cinema' Although the origins of most festivals lie in politics or tourism, most of the leading international events have evolved into conclaves with a desire to represent the potential for movies to communicate and engage emotionally and philosophically on the highest level.The thorny aspect is the degree to which the balance has shifted from discovery to
  • Iska's Journey takes top prize in Reykjavik

    Csaba Bollok's Iska's Journey from Hungary won the discovery of the year award at the Reykjavik International Film Festival. The film was awarded the festival's first Golden Puffin award. The jury that selected the winner was comprised of Hal Hartley, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson and Greta Olafsdottir. Iska's Journey follows a young girl from a troubled home who decides to run away with a new friend. The FIPRESCI prize and the Church Of Iceland award both we
  • Italy, Brazil sign co-production treaty in Rio

    Brazil and Italy have signed an agreement in principle on film co-production. Announced yesterday at the Rio International Film Festival, the deal between Istituto Luce and Cinecitta Holding from Italy and Ancine, the Brazilian National Cinema Agency, is designed to facilitate co-production of both features and documentaries. The final document will be signed at the Rome Film Festival (Oct 18-27) and is expected to take effect in 2008, when Italian backers will finance th
  • Kadin promoted to senior vice president at Columbia Pictures

    Jonathan Kadin has been promoted to senior vice president of production at Columbia Pictures.Kadin, who joined Columbia as a creative executive in 2000 and most recently worked on development and production on Superbad, will continue to report to production presidents Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach.Kadin was promoted to director of development in 2003 and vice president in 2005. Among notable films he has worked on are
  • Kormakur follows Jar City with Ivanov film and theatre project

    Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur plans to follow up his recent thriller Jar City, the country's Oscar submission and a local box-office hit, with an innovative cinema/theatre project based on Chekhov's classic Ivanov. Last summer, Kormakur shot a film based on the work (not a filmed play but a feature on location), which is being edited now. Simultaneous to that film's premiere, he will stage a theatri
  • Lambs, Cholera get North American premieres at AFI FEST

    1000 Journals, Cyrano Fernandez, It's Better If Gabriela Doesn't Die, Manuela Y Manuel; Pop Skull, Public Enemy - Welcome To The Terrordome; and Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story will receive their world premieres at the AFI FEST 2007, which runs in Los Angeles from Nov 1-11.Seventeen films will get their North American premieres, among them Mike Newell's Love In
  • Loose Change Final Cut to launch online Nov 11

    MercuryMedia is at Mipcom with Loose Change Final Cut, the followup to Loose Change 2, which was made famous by a Vanity Fair profile last year.Dylan Avery's film is an independent investigation of the events surrounding September 11. The Final Cut version includes new material since the first one was made. The two-hour feature will be launched online
  • Lust, Caution boasts highest screen average internationally

    French film 99 Francs was the highest new entry in this weekend's international chart as it generated $3.7m from 431 sites in three territories, putting it just within the top 10 in its opening weekend. (See Screen International's full international chart, compiled by Len Klady, here.) The French comedy,
  • Mackenzie's Hallam Foe wins Golden Hitchcock in Dinard

    Hallam Foe won the grand jury prize, the Golden Hitchcock, at the 18th Festival Du Film Britannique in Dinard, France.David Mackenzie's feature, based on the novel by Peter Jinks and starring Jamie Bell, has previously screened in Berlin, Cannes and Edinburgh. It was released in the UK on August 15. The Dinard prize comes with $4,400 (Euros 3,100) towards French distribution and a $2,100 (Euros 1,500) grant to the director.The film was also awarded the Kodak Limited Prize
  • Milic, Menzel's films share top prize at Bitola festival

    At the 28th International Cinematographers Film Festival in Bitola, Macedonia (Sept 25-30), cinematographers Dragan Markovic and Jaromir Sofr shared the Golden Camera 300 award for their work on Croatian Kristijan Milic's The Living And The Dead and Czech Jiri Menzel's I Served The King Of England, respectively. The jury presided by Hungarian director Karoly Makk and comprised of UK film critic Philip Bergson, Macedonian director Sergej Stanojkovski, German cinematographer
  • MIPCOM: Celestial expands reach into Slovenia, Israel

    Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures has signed exclusive TV distribution deals for its Shaw Brothers library with Slovenia's Viasat Broadcasting UK Limited (Viasat) and Israel's SAT-Interactive Limited (SAT). The Viasat deal marks the first time that the Shaw Brothers martial arts films will be available on TV3 Slovenia. Titles included in the deal include martial arts classics such as The Five Deadly Venoms, The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin and The One-Armed Swordsman.
  • Mutum wins top prize, but Estomago dominates at Rio

    Marcos Jorge's Estômago - A Gastronomic Story won four prizes at the Première Brazil awards ceremony at the 9th Rio International Film Festival tonight. The awards were handed out at the historic Odeon BR theatre, where a special Fipresci Lifetime Achievement award was presented to Brazilian actress Fernanda Montenegro, nominated for an Oscar in 1998 for Walter Salles' Central Station.
  • NatFilm and Copenhagen plan to merge for new festival

    Denmark 's two leading film festivals, NatFilm and the Copenhagen International Film Festival, are busy in negotiations about merging the two events. The fifth Copenhagen International Film Festival recently ended, and NatFilm will host its 19th edition in March 2008. After that, the events will merge into one festival, which has not yet been named. The leadership of that new Copenhagen-based festival is also up for discussion. Danish politicians had encouraged the move, in
  • Noodle to have US premiere opening Israel Film Festival

    The US premiere of Ayelet Menahemi's Noodle will open the 22nd Annual Israel Film Festival (IFF) in New York on Oct 23.This year's event run until Nov 8 and will feature 30 features, documentaries, and television dramas, as well as Q&A sessions.Ron Silver will receive the 2007 IFF Lifetime Achievement Award, Israel Film Fund executive director Katriel Schory will collect the 2007 IFF Cinematic Achievement Award for his role in rene
  • Nunnari options Father Christmas script by Posehn & Duggan

    Gianni Nunnari's Hollywood Gang Productions has optioned the rights to Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan's graphic novel The Last Christmas.The story finds a misanthropic Father Christmas who has shunned the annual seasonal holiday forced out of seclusion in a bid to save the holiday and the world.Nunnari will produced and Hollywood Gang Productions' Craig J Flores will serve as executive producer on the film, which is in the early sta
  • Once, Savages, Jesse James feature at 34th Flanders festival

    The 34th annual Flanders International Film Festival will run from oct 9-20 and screen more than 200 films, documentaries and shorts including Benelux premieres for Once, The Savages, and The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford.Among the special guests set to attend are Maurice Jarre, Walter Hill,Danny Glover, and Richard Attenborough, whose romance Closing The Ringwill op
  • Ottinger named EVP at MGM's worldwide TV group

    Christopher Ottinger has been named executive vice president of international television distribution at MGM Worldwide Television Group, effective immediately.The 14-year veteran of the global television industry will be based at MGM's headquarters in Los Angeles and reports to MGM Worldwide TV co-president Gary Marenzi.Ottinger will assume direct oversight of MGM's pay TV licensing and business development outside North America and will work closely with Marenzi on overa
  • Paddy Considine, Royston Tan set for Encounters screenings

    Singapore's controversial director Royston Tan will head up the Spotlight on Singapore event at this year's Encounters Short Film Festival in the UK.With a record number of entries from more countries than ever before in its 13 year run, the festival has selected shorts from as far as Belarus, Ecuador and Ghana for the Bristol-based five day event (Nov 21-25). Tan has combated censorship clashes with the Singaporean government over his depiction of local life. His short
  • Pinewood Media adds collection account management to offerings

    UK-based financial services company Pinewood Media, which provides global foreign exchange, currency transfer, international payments and risk management to the film, TV and new media industries, has recently launched a new collection account manangement (CAM) service. The service lets Pinewood Media (which is not tied to Pinewood Studios) to allocate international revenue streams to financiers, producers, sales agents and other parties. Pinewood's CAM services offers com
  • Piracy-ravaged Elite Squad still makes impact in Brazil

    Jose Padilha's controversial Elite Squad (Tropa de Elite) logged the biggest opening weekend for a Brazilian film this year.The portrait of police corruption sold around 178.000 tickets - 40% up on the next most seen local film of 2007, A Grande Familia. Elite Squad grossed about $970,000 (BRL 1.7m).The performance was particularly strong given that the film opened earlier than planned only in
  • Producers Guild honour Marshall & Kennedy

    The Producers Guild of America (PGA) has chosen to honour longtime producing partners Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy with its 2008 David O. Selznick Achievement Award.Marshall and Kennedy's current assignments include David Fincher's The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, and Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Diamond Skull.Their prev
  • PUSAN NEW SELLER: Movie Plus sets sights on Asian production

    Movie Plus Group, the international producer-distributor founded by French animation producer Jean Chalopin, is making its Asian market debut here in Pusan. Chalopin, who has credits including animation series Inspector Gadget, Heathcliff and Dennis The Menace, was one of the founders of animation studio DIC, which originated in France and later expanded to the US and Japan. His recently-created Movie Plus Group is located in the US, UK, France, Netherlands, H
  • PUSAN NEW SELLER: Taiwan's Joint moves into international sales

    Taiwan's Joint Entertainment, founded by James Liu, has expanded from distribution into international sales. Heading the company's slate are Singing Chen's God Man Dog, which is screening in PIFF's New Currents section, and The Most Distant Course, which picked up an award in Critics' Week at this year's Venice. A former filmmaker who grew frustrated with Taiwan 's heavily subsidised system, Liu entered distribution in 2003 after learning the business from Taiwanese
  • PUSAN: Asia Pacific Actors Network launches at PIFF

    The Asia Pacific Actors Network (APAN) saw its launch today (Oct 5) at the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF). Headed by veteran Korean actors Ahn Sung-ki, Kang Soo-yeon and Park Joong-hoon, APAN is creating a film development fund to provide pre-production costs to up-and-coming directors, with funds from producer/distributor M&FC, headed by music composer Cho Seung-woo. APAN also held a marathon of conferences with star-studded panels which included Daniel Dae Kim, Grace P
  • PUSAN: Asian Film Market has quiet but steady opening

    The second edition of the Asian Film Market kicked off in Pusan on Monday (Oct 8) with quiet corridors on the sales office floors, but a strong turn-out at concurrent seminars and projects markets. Around 1,100 participants had registered by the end of Monday, in addition to 400 guests at the BIFCOM locations market, which is roughly the same as the inaugural edition of the market last year. The number of sales companies and talent agencies taking part in the market was also about
  • PUSAN: Avex, SM Entertainment outline pan-Asian plans

    Japan 's Avex Group Holdings and Korea 's SM Entertainment laid out their joint plans for future pan-Asian co-productions at a seminar held at Pusan 's Grand Hotel as part of the Co-production PRO programme. The seminar was chaired by Avex senior executive director Takashi Araki and SM Entertainment CEO Kim Young Min. Both representatives outlined their concept of assembling 'Asian Dream Teams', whereby a pan-Asian group of producers, investors and talent would be assembled on a p
  • PUSAN: b.o.m. to handle sales on Hong's Night And Day

    Renowned Korean arthouse director Hong Sang-soo (Woman Is the Future Of Man) wrapped production on his eighth film Night And Day last week (Oct 2), with major Korean production company b.o.m. Film Productions repping the film internationally. 'Depending on what kind of sales deals we do - if for instance we sign with a distributor that can do a stronger job internationally - we are leaving that option open as negotiable,' says Ellen Kim, who is in charge of the film's inter
  • PUSAN: Busan City breaks ground on $35m post facility

    Marking the second day of the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF), Busan Metropolitan City has broken ground for the Busan Post-Production Facility - to be built in the Centum City complex in Haeundae. The facility will house a film lab and studios for digital intermediate, editing, computer graphics, sound recording and mixing facilities, in addition to other digital post-production facilities. The $35m facility will be partially financed by the Korean government and Busan C
  • PUSAN: Casting directors discuss cultural differences

    International casting directors, including Tokyo-based Yoko Narahashi and Susan Shopmaker from the US, talked about the differences in casting practices between their respective territories in a seminar at Pusan on Monday. Part of the Co-prod PRO and Star Summit Asia programmes, the panel also featured Sung-hye Park from Korean talent management agency SidusHQ and Korean-American actor John Cho, who stars in the Pusan selection West 32nd. The main topics they dis
  • PUSAN: CJ strikes four-film deal with Splendid

    In the midst of a subdued Asian Film Market, Seoul-based distributor CJ Entertainment has clinched a four-film deal with Splendid Film for German-speaking territories and the Benelux. The package showcases CJ's first US-Korea co-production West 32nd, which is playing in the Pusan film festival and made its market debut here. Directed by up-and-coming director Michael Kang, the film plays out in New York's Koreatown underworld. John Cho (Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle)
  • PUSAN: Everingham to star in first Laos film in three decades

    Thai rising star Ananda Everingham is set to star in Sabaidee, Luang Prabang, a Thailand-Laos co-production which marks the first feature film from Laos in over three decades. The $319,000 (10m baht) production is co-produced by Lao Art Media and Thailand 's Sparta Creative. Established in 2000, the Laotian company was a pioneer in the local music industry. Founder Anousone Sirisackda who studied film-directing in Ukraine in the 1980s before returning home to serve the Ministry of
  • PUSAN: Five film commissions join AFCNet ranks

    With Asian nations vying for the lucrative international location shooting business, five Asian film commissioners are making their debut as new members of AFCNet at BIFCOM, the locations showcase held concurrently with Pusan 's Asian Film Market. Australia 's Gold Coast City Council, Philippines Film Development Council, Thailand Film Office, Cheongpung Film Commission from Korea and Malaysia 's FINAS are new members of AFCNet from this year. The organisation, which aims to provi
  • PUSAN: France's Les Films du Preau acquires Mukhsin

    French children films specialist Les Films du Preau has acquired all rights to Yasmin Ahmad's Mukhsin, making it the first Malaysian film ever to be sold to France. The deal was concluded by the film's producer-distributor Grand Brilliance and Delphis Films from Canada. Korea 's Kim Media has also taken on TV rights to the film about the friendship and love of two young children. The film is currently playing at Pusan in the special programme 'Three Colours of New Malaysian
  • PUSAN: Huayi Brothers to produce $20m D-Project

    Chinese producer-distributor Huayi Brothers will be commencing sales on a $20m suspense thriller, to be directed by Hong Kong 's Tsui Hark, at Pusan 's Asian Film Market next week. The project, which has the working title D-Project, is based on the real-life Tang Dynasty magistrate Di Renjie (aka Judge Dee) who solved mysteries in the imperial court. Taiwanese filmmaker Chen Kuofu (Double Vision), who heads production at Huayi Brothers, is producing the project. Tsui
  • PUSAN: iHQ unveils Korea-Taiwan co-production Island

    Seoul-based sales agent iHQ has announced an English-language Korea-Taiwan co-production, Island, to be directed by Taiwan's Leste Chen (The Heirloom). The film tells the story of two families who go for a vacation on a deserted island that creates murderous doppelgangers of anyone who sets foot on it. Chen previously directed love triangle drama Eternal Summer, which screened at the Pusan, Tokyo and Karlovy Vary film festivals, and award-winning horror film
  • PUSAN: Irving, Baek to star in Fire Circle's Hanji Box

    US actress Amy Irving is to star in the first US-Korea co-production to shoot in Seoul with funding and support from the Seoul Film Commission (SFC). Fire Circle Films announced the project at Pusan, in preparation for a round of co-production meetings they are planning for the market. Based on a true story, the film will feature Irving 's character as the adopted mother of a Korean girl who travels to Korea to try to better understand her estranged daughter, and in the process fa
  • PUSAN: Japanese producers pitch trio of projects

    Three Japanese companies presented projects to potential investors via UniJapan's J-Pitch initiative, as part of the Pusan AFM's Co-production PRO programme. Presenters had ten minutes to explain their company track record, the talent involved, project outline and current status, and what they are looking for at Pusan. Gaga Films producer Hiromi Honoki outlined Run! Run! Run!, a tale of an ambitious marathon runner with a backdrop of genetic doping in sports, based on a nov
  • PUSAN: KOFIC, UK Film Council sign distribution agreement

    The UK Film Council (UKFC) and Korean Film Council (KOFIC) have signed a co-distribution agreement, under which they will provide p&a support to films from each other's territories. Under the terms of the agreement, which takes effect in November 2007 and lasts for two years, KOFIC will allocate $200,000 to support print and advertising costs of UK films distributed in Korea. In return, Korean films will receie the same level of support from the UK Film Council's Prints & Advertis
  • PUSAN: Motion 101 makes first strike with The Fist

    Showbox Mediaplex affiliate Motion 101 has announced its first production will be The Fist (working title) by Park Kwang-hyun, the director of 2005 hit Welcome To Dongmakgol. Taesung Jeong, former COO at the major distributor Showbox, moved to Mediaplex's production shingle as of Aug 1 to focus on the upstart business and is overseeing The Fist himself. Tentatively budgeted at 'over $10m', the film takes place in a futuristic city with robots and flying cars w
  • PUSAN: PIFF hasrain-soaked but star-studded opening

    The Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) kicked off its 12th edition last night with a rain-soaked but star-studded audience and Feng Xiaogang's Assembly as opening film. Rain spattered down on enthusiastic fans cordoned off by police from the red carpet, where guests such as veteran actors Shin Sung-il, Kang Soo-yeon and Park Joong-hoon stepped up with younger generation stars including Ha Jung-woo, Daniel Henney, Jang Hyuk, Kim Ji-soo, Daniel Dae Kim, Malaysia's Pete Teo and
  • PUSAN: TBS slate headed by two world premieres

    Japan's Tokyo Broadcast System (TBS) has unveiled its Pusan slate which is headed by two world premieres screening at the event - Natsuki Imai's Sky Of Love and Miike Takashi's Crows: Episode 0. Sky Of Love will premiere in Pusan's Asian Film Market on October 8 and 9 before it opens in Japan on November 3. The film stars Yui Aragaki and Star Summit Asia participant Haruma Miura. The high-school drama was adapted from a story first published for mobile phones that re
  • PUSAN: Thailand's Mono Film dials up Missed Calls

    After scoring a hit with romantic drama Me Myself which was subsequently bought for a Korean remake, up-and-coming Thai production house Mono Film is attending Pusan's Asian Film Market with new romantic drama Missed Calls. Directed by Piti Chaturaphat, the picture is about three young people who are compelled to resolve a love triangle when love becomes a reality and not just another game. The company is also unveiling Tharatorn Siriphunvaraporn's Ghost College O
  • Q&A with Assembly director Feng Xiaogang

    Renowned for his Beijing-style humour and satirical comedies, Feng Xiaogang has been a local box office champ with films such as Cell Phone (2003) and A World Without Thieves (2004). In 2005, Feng began to work with an international production team on $20m period drama The Banquet, starring Zhang Ziyi, which was his bid to reach an international audience. The film didn't quite live up to expectations in the West, but was a huge hit in China. This year, Feng is
  • Radha Mitchell joins cast of Mimi Leder's The Code

    Radha Mitchell has joined Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas on Nu Image/Millennium Films, Revelations Entertainment and Equity Pictures' drama The Code.Mimi Leder will begin filming in mid-October in New York and subsequently at Nu Image's Nu Boyana Film Centre in Sofia, Bulgaria.Boaz Davidson, Lori McCreary, Danny Lerner, Les Weldon and Randall Emmett are producing, with First Look Holdings principals Avi Lerner, Henry Winterste
  • Ratatouille posts $12.2m German opening and leads weekend

    Ratatouille scurried to the top of the international charts more than three months after its first overseas foray thanks to a $19.7m estimated weekend haul from 3,010 screens in 38 markets that towered over everything else.The result was powered by a $12.2m number one German debut on 700 screens and furthers vindicated Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International's (WDSMPI) measured release strategy that avoided head-on confrontation with the summer's juggernauts and allowed the
  • Richard Gere and Marc Forster to receive Hollywood honours

    Richard Gere will receive the Hollywood Actor Of The Year Award, Marc Forster the Hollywood Director Of The Year Award, Ellen Page the Hollywood Breakthrough Actress Of The Year Award, and Diablo Cody the Hollywood Breakthrough Screenwriter Of The Year Award at the Ho
  • Sigur Ros Heima

    Dir: Dean DeBois. Iceland 2007. 97 mins.The haunting music of Reykjavik-formed band Sigur Ros and the breathtaking beauty of the Icelandic landscape are showcased to impressive effect in the concert film Sigur Ros Heima. Taking its title from the Icelandic for 'At Home' or 'Homeland', the film follows the four-member group (whose number is occasionally swelled by the addition of string and other musicians) as they performed a series of free, mostly outdoor
  • Sony launches new production division Stage 6 Films

    Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) has officially moved into production with the formation of Stage 6 Films, a new division that will acquire and produce genre films with an eye for sequels and prequels of existing properties.Screen Gems vice presidents of production Peter Nelson and Nick Phillips will oversee production along with SPWAG's senior vice president of acquisitions and production Lara Thompson and executive director of acquisitions and production Scott Sho
  • Sony Pictures extends Lynton's contract to 2012

    Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has extended the contract of chairman and chief executive officer Michael Lynton to 2012.Lynton joined Sony Pictures in January 2004 and steered the studio to an industry record $1.7bn domestic gross and a record 13 number one debuts in 2006 alongside co-chairman Amy Pascal, whose contract was extended last year until 2011.SPE also enjoyed its best year ever in 2006 with more than $3.3bn in worldwide box office receipts.Lynton
  • Soul Carriage

    Dir: Conrad Clark. UK/China 2007. 82 mins.A surprise winner of the Altadis new directors' award at the San Sebastian film festival, Conrad Clark's Soul Carriage is original in two important ways. Firstly because the 28-year-old British director's debut film is entirely set in south-eastern China , with Chinese actors and dialogue. Secondly because Clark, an anthropology graduate, appears to have im
  • Squires receives IDA cinematography award

    Buddy Squires will receive the International Documentary Association's (IDA) Outstanding Documentary Cinematography Award at the 23rd Annual IDA Awards Gala Benefit in Los Angeles on Dec 7.Squires' credits number into the eighties and include The Statue Of Liberty, which earned him an Oscar nomination in 1986, as well as Civil War, Scottsboro: An American Tragedy
  • Stevens, Bizon promoted at Fox Home Entertainment

    Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has promoted David Stevens to vice president of international marketing, Europe. He had been director of UK sales and will take on the newly created role as of Dec 3. Stevens will continue to be based in Fox's London offices and will report to Los Angeles-based Vincent Marcais. Also, UK Senior Retail Controller Annika Bizon has been promoted to director of UK Sales - replacing Stevens. Bizon assumes her new responsibilities effective imme
  • Sundance, Time Warner establish writing 'advancement' fund

    Sundance Institute and Time Warner have established the Time Warner Storytelling Advancement Fund to support up to 20 Fellows each year with their writing projects.Selected Fellows will each receive a grant to further projects that embody timely and innovative narratives. The inaugural Fellows are film-maker Patricia Benoit for her project Haiti Cherie and playwright Tracey Scott Wilson for the project The Goo
  • Taiwan gears up for 5th Film & Television Expo

    Details have started to emerge about the 5th Taiwan International Film & Television Expo (TIFTE) which will take place from Nov 17 and culminates with the Golden Horse Awards on Dec 8. Five events will take place under the umbrella of the expo: 41st Golden Bell Television Awards (Nov 17) 29th Golden Horse Film Festival (Nov 23 - Dec 8) 5th Taipei International TV, Film and Digital Contents Exhibition (Nov 23-25) 3rd Taipei Film & TV Project Promotion (Dec 4-6)
  • Telefilm renews $2m theatrical documentary fund

    Telefilm Canada has announced the renewal of the Theatrical Documentary Pilot Program. Designed to assist the production and post-production of feature-length documentaries intended for Canadian theatrical release, the $1.875m initiative is co-financed by the National Film Board of Canada and the Rogers Group of Funds, a foundation underwritten by Canada's largest cable operator. One of the first projects greenlit under the program was the upcoming 27
  • Telepool adds seven new titles to line-up ahead of AFM

    Telepool has added seven new titles to its line-up ahead of this year's American Film Market. Four market premieres will be Maggie Peren's male escort agency comedy Special Escort (Stellungswechsel) which was released this week on more than 250 prints in Germany by 20th Century Fox; Marcus H. Rosenmueller's new Bavarian comedy Beste Zeit; Rudolf Schweiger's Kosovo-set Snipers Valley (Moerderischer Frieden) with Max Riemelt, Adrian Topol and Susanne
  • The Assembly (Ji Jie Hao)

    Dir. Feng Xiaogang. China, 2007. 125 min. Feng Xiaogang's fiercely patriotic war picture, is set to become a blockbuster at home, offering China its own Private Ryan. But while the film standards may be technically impeccable, it could do with more story and characters to carry its audience through
  • The Heartbreak Kid

    Dir: Peter and Bobby Farrelly. US. 2007. 116 mins.A story of awkwardly overlapping romances liberally seasoned with the over-the-top humour patented by the Farrelly brothers, The Heartbreak Kid reunites the behind-camera comedy specialists with star Ben Stiller in a careening showcase for serial outrageousness. The film is a loose update of director Elaine May and writer Neil Simon's 1972 film of the same name.Fresh off the top earner of his ca
  • The Queen screenwriter signs with UTA

    Oscar-nominated writer Peter Morgan, currently working on the third instalment in his Tony Blair trilogy about the former British Prime Minister, has signed with UTA. Morgan will continue to be represented UK agent Greg Hunt and attorney Alan Hergott. The screenwriter's latest exploration of Blair's leadership follows the Channel 4 film The Deal and last year's acclaimed theatrical release The Qu
  • The Seeker: The Dark is Rising

    Dir: David L Cunningham. US. 2007. 102 mins.Hollywood 's latest take on a cherished fantasy novel series has a modern American teen hero battling ancient evil forces in a Christmassy British setting. That mix of elements should lead to a respectable theatrical showing and a decent video performance for The Dark Is Rising (released as The Seeker in the US), adapted by Trainspotting screenwriter John Hodge from a book in Susan Cooper's
  • THINKFilm teams with Half Nelson producers on Blue Valentine

    THINKFilm is reuniting with its Half Nelson partners Silverwood Films and Hunting Lane Films on the drama Blue Valentine, which marks the first time THINKFilm will fully finance a feature.Filming is set to begin in February with Silverwood's Lynette Howell and Hunting Lane's Jamie Patricof and Alex Orlovsky serving as producers. Howell's partner, Doug Dey, will serve as executive producer. THINKFilm will finance, distribute and sell internatio
  • Tsi joins Soft-Trek as head of content production

    Former Hong Kong International Film Festival director Peter Tsi has joined Chinese production and artist management company, Soft-Trek Media, as general manager of content development and production. Tsi will be overseeing the production of TV and new media content at Soft-Trek, which is part-owned by Hong Kong-based media investment group Fireworks International. Soft-Trek will also be providing consultancy services to affiliate company Asia Television (ATV), which is Hong Kong '
  • UK film finance - In sickness or in health'

    'No news is good news' might be the motto of the UK film industry this year. The UK has been condemned to live in interesting times of late, with its entire financing system ripped up and replaced over the last few years.But since the beginning of the year, the territory has settled into a clear tax incentive system which, for all its faults, seems to be transparent and stable.There was a brief final charge of the tax loophole brigade in March when the treasury's firmness was te
  • UK government pledges more funding for culture and media

    The UK's Department of Culture Media & Sport fared well in today's Pre-Budget Report and Comprehensive Spending Review from Chancellor Alistair Darling today. The Chancellor did pledge an increase in the resource budget for DCMS from $3.25bn (£1.6bn) in 2007-2008 to $3.66bn (£1.8bn) by 2010-11. John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council responded to the increased funding to DCMS by saying: 'It's extremely good news that DCMS has secured a generous funding sett
  • UK's Cineworld plans to install 30 Real D 3D systems

    UK exhibitor Cineworld Group has signed a deal with Real D for 3D projection. Real D systems will initially be installed in 30 of Cineworld's 72 digital screns. The roll-out will coincide with the release of 3D project Beowulf in Nov 16. After that, Cineworld will work with the studios to discuss terms of digital deployment, and will likely add more Real D systems. Steve Wiener, CEO of Cineworld, said: 'This is a significant deal for Cineworld and one which will
  • United Kingdom - Leading the pack

    Oliver Milburn has acted for 15 years in film, theatre and TV projects. His credits include Driving Lessons, The Descent and the UK TV series Holby Blue. Yet he seems most proud of his first credit as a feature film producer, on Gary Love's recently released urban drama Sugarhouse.Milburn, with his long-time friend Ben Dixon, set up the London-based production company Wolf Committee in 2005. They are readying a new slate of films now that they have established them
  • United states - Short wars

    When it comes to short films, most festivals have traditionally relaxed their insistence on world or national premieres, happy to offer maximum exposure to new film-makers and not lay claim to them as they often do with feature directors.That open-door policy is fast changing. Perhaps responding to the deluge of short-film content available on the internet, the Venice film festival this year only accepted world premieres into its competition, leaving some of the festivals dedicated to
  • Universal picks up NA rights to Midnight Eagle

    Universal Pictures has acquired North American rights to Japanese thriller Midnight Eagle, which is produced by a production consortium headed by Universal Pictures Japan. Co-producer, distributor and world sales agent Shochiku made the announcement following the film's world premiere in Los Angeles on October 2 at Universal Studios. Teruki Matsumoto, managing director of Shochiku's Motion Picture Operations, commented on the acquisition: 'We're truly excited to be working
  • Wagner offers upbeat vision of mutimedia, multicultural future

    Film has a great multimedia, multicultural future, United Artists CEO Paula Wagner told Mipcom in Cannes.But success must be built on embracing international markets and other forms of media, she suggestedTom Cruise's UA partner contended: 'The international marketplace is vital. Hollywood has become just a territory - maybe still the most important territory - but international TV, new markets and new platforms are a very important source of revenue.' Wagner, whose UA pa
  • Warner Bros in Spain to develop and co-produce El Deseo films

    Pedro and Agustin Almodovar's El Deseo has further strengthened its partnership with Warner Bros International in Spain by agreeing to develop and co-produce film projects with the studio, including El Patio De Mi Carcel, currently shooting in Madrid.Warner Bros already distribute El Deseo's films in Spain.'Since we are particularly close to Simona Benzakein [Warner Bros' vice president of European productions] and Richard Fox [Warn