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9 October 2008

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  • A Perfect Day opens Antalya's Eurasia Film Festival

    The festival has programmed more than 60 Turkish premieres of international titles including The Wrestler, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Genova,
  • Abu Dhabi's Circle Conference kicks off with Gianopuolos, Banderas

    The second annual Circle Conference will take place this week in Abu Dhabi from Oct 6-8 at the Shangri-La Hotel.As previously announced the conference, designed as a forum for international producers, financiers, film-makers and local communities to create new filmmaking opportunities in the Middle East, will feature a keynote address from Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairman Jim Gianopulos.The conference takes place in advance of the opening of the Middle East Internatio
  • AFI FEST to include tributes to Danny Boyle, Tilda Swinton

    AFI FEST has announced its full programme which includes a tribute to Danny Boyle preceding a screening of Slumdog Millionaire and a tribute to Tilda Swinton including a clip retrospective of her career and a Q&A session with the actress.The 22nd annual festival, running from Oct 30 to Nov 9, will feature 100 features and 48 shorts from a total of 38 countries. As previously announced the opening night gala is Joe Wright's The Soloist with Ste
  • Ahmad, Lee Chang-dong take top PPP awards

    Malaysian director Yasmin Ahmad's Forget-Me-Not, which is being produced by Japan's Wa Entertainment, picked up the $20,000 Pusan Awardat the closing of the Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP) on Monday night. The project tells the story of a Malay girl who goes to visit her relatives in Japan after her Japanese grandmother dies. The cash award is granted every year by Busan Metropolitan City.Poetry, which is being directed by Korea's Lee Chang-dong (Secret Sunshine) wa
  • Asian Film Market wraps quiet but productive third edition

    Pusan's Asian Film Market (Oct 3-6) closed its third edition on Monday night, with most delegates agreeing it had felt like a quiet event, but many saying they had still found it productive. Certainly there wasn't much foot traffic at the market, held for the first time on three floors of the Seacloud Hotel, and few deals were announced or reported. Market organisers said 4,640 participants - or 128 companies from 28 countries - attended the market and accompanying locations showcase BIFC
  • Asian financiers urged to learn from mistakes in the West

    The Asian film biz should avoid over-supply and ensure that the interests of distributors and investors are aligned, said panellists at a seminar on Asian film funds at Pusan's Asian Film Market (Oct 3-6). The seminar, co-hosted by Screen International, also examined how film financing has become more difficult due to the credit crunch, and more specifically, the glut of product that has slowed business at recent markets such as Cannes and Toronto.Ben Waisbren, CEO of New Yo
  • Asian policy-makers to jointly examine incentives

    After two days of well-attended seminars and meetings, the first Asia PacificFilm Policy Forum closed yesterday at the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) with a joint declaration tocontinue holdingthe event,and to jointly promote the film and media industries within the region. Around 37 representatives from 14 countries agreed to make the forum a regular meeting place for Asia's government level policy-makers. 'We will make every effort to create a common ground to promote more col
  • Awaking From A Dream

    Dir/scr: Freddy Mas Franqueza. Sp-Pol. 2008. 100mins.
  • BAFTA rejects new best feature doc category

    BAFTA has ruled out a new Best Feature Documentary category at this year's Orange British Academy Film Awards.With the growth of interest in the theatrical documentary, some film-makers have been calling for their own award. That sense of missing out has been exacerbated by BAFTA's decision to introduce an 'animated feature' award in 2007. But Finola Dwyer, Chair of BAFTA's Film Committee, has defended BAFTA's decision: 'We have looked at it and we are not in a position t
  • Bell, Lucas join voice cast of Imagi Studios' Astro Boy

    Kristen Bell and Matt Lucas have joined the voice cast of Imagi Studios' CG-animated Astro Boy which has been set for a domestic release through Summit on Oct 23, 2009. Summit is also handling international sales except for Japan, Hong Kong and China.They join the previously announced cast of Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Nathan Lane, Bill Nighy and Eugene Levy with Freddie Highmore in the lead role.The film follows a young robo
  • Beta Cinema picks up world sales for German feature on Iraq War

    Beta Cinema has picked up world rights for Lancelot von Naso's feature debut Ceasefire (Waffenstillstand).Ceasefire is the first German-language feature film on the Iraq War and is a co-production between DRIFE Deyle&Richter Filmproduktion, DCM Mitte Productions, Erfttal Film, and broadcasters ZDF and arte.The film was inspired by the 2004 siege of the rebel stronghold Falluja, by American forces. It is also partly based on conversations von Naso and co-
  • Beta joins forces with Discovery's Hoerl to launch doc sales outfit

    International distributor Beta Film and former Discovery Germany CEO Patrick Hoerl have joined forces to launch the new sales company Autentic. The company will focus on the acquisition and sales of documentaries and to foster co-productions with German and foreign partners.Autentic's portfolio will consist of prime-time fare as well as special documentaries and individual programmes for smaller target groups, which are increasingly in demand from the growing video-on-demand (VOD)
  • Beverly Hills Chihuahua leads domestic box office pack

    Disney's Beverly Hills Chihuahua was leader of the pack over a fiercely competitive weekend at the North American box office.Grossing an estimated $29m, the talking-dog family comedy was one of three new wide releases to make it into the top ten. Three other wide openers, meanwhile, failed to live up to expectations. Overall, the weekend's top ten films grossed just over $91m, nearly 44% up on the corresponding weekend last year.
  • Bigfoot strides into US theatrical distribution

    US-Asian production and finance company Bigfoot Entertainment is entering US theatrical distribution with the release of its horror feature Midnight Movie on October 17. Produced by Bigfoot CEO Kacy Andrews, Liam Finn and Jacques Thelemaque, the film marks the directorial debut of Jack Messitt from a screenplay written by Mark Garbett along with Messitt. The film's executive producer is Michael Gleissner, chairman of the Bigfoot Group of companies.Starting with Midnight M
  • Body Of Lies

    Dir: Ridley Scott. US. 2008. 129 mins.Ridley Scott employs all his cinematic tricks to craft a heart-thumping action thriller in Body Of Lies, which blends thematic elements of Syriana, Rendition and The Kingdom and then churns them through a high octane Bourne blender. More gripping to watch in the moment than enjoyable to recall at its end, the film is bound to chalk up some heavweight box office numbers courtesy of stars Leonardo DiC
  • Boy A takes Hitchcock d'Or among four prizes at Dinard

    John Crowley's Boy A picked up the top Hitchcock d'Or prize among four awards at the 19th Festival du Film Britannique de Dinard.The film, which stars Peter Mullan and Andrew Garfield, won the Grand Prix Jury - The Hitchcock d'Or; the Grand Marnier trophy for best screenplay for Mark O'Rowe; the Prix Kodak for Rob Hardy's cinematography; and the Hitchcock d'Argent 'Le Prix Premier du Public', awarded to the public's favourite film of the festival.
  • Breathless

    Dir/prod/scr: Yang Ik-june. SK. 2008. 130mins.
  • Busan, Sapporo sign MoUfor film collaboration

    The Korean city of Busan and Japanese city Sapporo have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on film production, distribution and training programmes within the film industry in each city. The MoU was signed in Busan at the Asian Film Policy Forum during the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF).The signing marked the first time that the Busan Film Commission has collaborated with another Asian city. Previously, the city had signed collaboration agreements w
  • Canadian government reverses course on tax credit legislation

    Canada's Conservative minority government has promised to drop controversial tax credit legislation that chilled the film and television production industry earlier this year. The omnibus tax bill, C-10, would have allowed the government to withhold a producer's tax credit if that production were deemed contrary to 'public policy.' With Canadians going to the polls October 14, the Conservative Party announced that, if re-elected, the government would not reintroduce the unpopular bil
  • Che, The Wrestler named centrepiece screenings at AFI FEST

    The West Coast premieres of Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler and Steven Soderbergh's Che have been selected as the AFI FEST 2008's centrepiece screenings.Soderbergh's Che Guevara films starring Benicio Del Toro premiered at Cannes and will screen on November 1 while The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke will screen on November 6 following its Golden Lion triumph in
  • China's Golden Globe boards Qin Shi Huang Project

    China's Golden Globe Pictures, based in the city of Hangzhou, has signed an agreement with Korea's Odyssey Pictures to co-produce a $30m English-language feature, tentatively titled The Qin Shi Huang Project, which already has a French partner attached. In July this year, Odyssey had signed an agreement with Ariel Zeitoun from France's Ajoz Films (Yamakasi, Bandidas) to co-produce the film. Ajoz has a long film-making partnership with Luc Besson's EuropaCorp.Od
  • Cinetic Rights Management plans online premiere for Yeast

    Cinetic Rights Management (CRM) is planning a web premiere of Mary Bronstein's SXSW title Yeast on the online video site Dailymotion. Headed by former SXSW film festival director Matt Dentler, CRM was launched earlier this year with a mandate to exploit the online potential of its clients' work. Yeast, which stars Bronstein, Greta Gerwig, Amy Judd, Josh Safdie, and Benny Safdie, will be available over t
  • CJ scores further sales on The Good, The Bad, The Weird

    CJ Entertainment has announced a raft of sales from the Asian Film Market in Pusan.Kim Jee-woon's fast-paced Oriental Western The Good, The Bad, The Weird - the international version of which is making its Asian premiere in the Pusan festival - has sold to Celestial Films for Hong Kong and Nonstop for Scandinavia.Celestial also picked up the heart-throb action drama Fate, while Nonstop also signed on for a 15-film package including Ryoo Seung-wan's fantasy mart
  • Competitive 3D Film Festival launches this month in Florida

    The first ever 3-D Film & Interactive Festival (3DFF) will take place in Orlando, Florida, from Oct 10-12 and continue at nearby Cocoa Beach from Oct 17-19. The festival is hosted by AMC Entertainment and presented by RealD 3D, The Kerner Company, Domaine de Canton and Florida's Space Coast. The festival claims to be the first competitive film festival in the world to feature a programme composed entirely of digital 3-D stereoscopic content in all forms of entertainment media.
  • Da Da's Dance

    Dir: Zhang Yuan. China. 2008. 92mins.
  • Dennings joins Harrelson, Oh in Darius Films' Defendor

    Kat Dennings, starring alongside Michael Cera in this weekend's release Nick And Nora's Infinite Playlist, has signed on to play the role of Kat in Defendor opposite Woody Harrelson and Sandra Oh.Harrelson will playing Arthur, an ordinary man who believes he has asecret identity as the superhero Defendor. Oh plays his psychiatristand Dennings plays a teenager living on the streets whom Arthurbefriends.
  • Digital Cinema Media unveils new brand identity

    Digital Cinema Media has unveiled its new logo and brand identity, following its acquisition of advertising assets from ITV's Carlton Screen Advertising. Digital Cinema Media (DCM) a joint venture between cinema exhibitors Cineworld and Odeon, revealed its new logo which shows the company's name illuminated in a bright light projection. The logo is designed 'to reflect DCM's commitment to cinema advertising opportunities.'Debbie Chalet, DCM's acting CEO said: 'We are all passionate abo
  • Dim Sum Funeral

    Dir: Anna Chi. US-Can. 2008. 94mins.
  • Dvortsevoy's Tulpan takes Discovery of the Year award at Reykjavik

    Sergey Dvortsevoy's Tulpan has picked up the Golden Puffin award for Discovery of the Year at the Reykjavik International Film Festival (Sept 25-Oct 5).The film, which took the top prize in Un Certain Regard at Cannes earlier this year, tells the story of a man trying to build a new life after discharge from the Russian navy. The film screened in the festival's New Visions section.Bl
  • Eight films shortlisted for documentary short subject Oscar

    Eight films have been shortlisted for the documentary short subject Oscar by the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Three to five will make the final nominations shortlist announced on Jan 22 next year.Voters from the Academy's documentary branch viewed this year's 31 eligible contenders and submitted their ballots to PricewaterhouseCoopers for tabulation.The final eight are:The Conscience Of Nhem
  • Episode 3 by Renzo Martens opens 21st edition of IDFA in Amsterdam

    The 21st International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) is to open next month with the world premiere of Episode 3 by Renzo Martens.IDFA runs from 20 to 30 Nov.The film is the third in a series of three films in which Martens questions the role of filmmakers and photographers in chronicling poverty. The first film, Episode I, was shot in Chechnya. Instead of filming the war victims, Martens turned his camera back on himself, asking the Chechens what they thought
  • Flying the flag for 3D

    Only one in 10 digital screens is adequate for 3D screenings, pioneering 3D film-maker Ben Stassen has claimed.Stassen is CEO of Brussels-based nWave, which is behind a series of successful Imax projects and this year released 3D animation Fly Me To The Moon. But although he claimed 3D is the "second revolution in the history of the cinema after sound", he told delegates at the Screen International Digital Cinema conference in London the potential growth is now in danger.
  • Fox Star Studios seals two-picture deal with Shah

    Fox Star Studios, the pan-Asian joint venture between Twentieth Century Fox and regional broadcaster Star, has struck a two-picture deal with producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah whose credits include Namastey London and Singh is Kinng. The deal includes development and production of a visual effects-driven fantasy action movie and a contemporary romantic comedy. The VFX film will be supported by VFX directors from Hollywood and supervised by Fox's in-house visual effects team. Ther
  • Fox Walden restructure sees Godsick move back into Fox

    Fox Walden chief Jeffrey Godsick is rejoining Fox Filmed Entertainment as executive vice president of marketing and digital content as Fox and Walden Media streamline the joint venture to take greater advantage of Fox's marketing expertise.Both Walden and Fox will continue to develop family films separately with the option of co-financing and co-producing certain titles such as Tooth Fairy and Ramona. All family films will still be overseen by Fox Walden and distributed domestically
  • Frances Fisher, Dominique Swain to star in Dead Whisper

    Frances Fisher and Dominique Swain are to star in paranormal thriller Dead Whisper for Two Of A Kind Productions.The film is set to begin shooting in Louisiana on Nov 10 with Oley Sassone directing and John Kersey producing. The script was written by Jennifer Kersey and follows an emotionally scarred young woman (Swain) tortured by memory loss, taunting whispers and recurring nightmares. Fisher plays a psychiatrist trying to restore her sanity
  • Fuji TV, Production I.G to produce CG animated feature

    Japanese broadcast major Fuji TV and animation house Production I.G have announced plans to co-produce a wholly CG animated feature film. With a working title of Hottarake No Shima: Haruka To Maho No Kagami (Hottarake Island: Haruka And The Magic Mirror), the film will be directed by Shinsuke Sato.The fantasy follows a female high school student and a fox as they search for the titular mirror in a land created from humans' abandoned possessions.Producer Daisuke
  • German admissions take dip in third quarter 2008

    German cinema admissions have slipped by 7% in the third quarter of 2008 though box-office revenues remain stable, according to figures from EDI Nielsen.The data shows 29.6m tickets sold between July and the end of September 2008. This compares to 31.7m for the same period in 2007. Meanwhile, box-office takings increased, but only by $675,000 (Euros 500,000) to $263m (Euros 194.8m).The figures can be considered a major improvement on the second quarter of 2008 when exhibitors po
  • Ghent Festival honours Richard Jenkins

    Veteran actor Richard Jenkins will be honoured at the 35th Ghent International Film Festival with their Special Achievement Award.It will be presented after the Benelux premiere of The Visitor in Ghent, Belgium on Oct 7. Jenkins, along with co-stars Haaz Sleiman and Danai Gurira will attend the screening.In Overture's The Visitor, Jenkins stars as sixty-two
  • HanWay grows film slate and TV sales division

    HanWay Films has grown its film slate and expanded its TV sales division.The slate includes Belle Toujours and Magic Mirror, from director Manoel De Oliveria, Backroads from director Phillip Noyce, Blood & Wine from Oscar winning producer Jeremy Thomas and Alex Cox's fantasy Revengers' Tragedy.The line-up also includes two documentaries; Never Apologize: A Personal Visit with Lindsay Anderson starring Malcolm McDowell and Movi
  • HB Films teams up with F&ME in distribution venture

    London-based film distributor HB FILMS has teamed up with Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) to release a slate of co-productions as well as third-party acquisitions from F&ME's European and US production partners.The slate includes a re-release of Milcho Manchevski's Academy Award nominated and Venice winner Before the Rain, Danish thriller Murk written by Thomas Jensen and Montreal winner Christos Georgiu's Under the Stars. On the documentary front,
  • High Point Films acquires international rights to Mum & Dad

    High Point Films, the theatrical sales arm of High Point Media Group, has taken world rights, outside UK and North America, for British horror Mum & Dad.Produced by Lisa Trnovski of 2am Films, Mum & Dad is the first film to be completed through Film London's Microwave, a production scheme for emerging film makers from the capital. EM Media and BBC Films also provided backing.The first feature for writer, director, Steven Sheil Mum & Dad follows a Polish Heat
  • Himalaya, Where The Wind Dwells

    Dir/scr: Jeon Soo-il. SK. 2008. 95mins.
  • Iain Smith appointed new Chair of Edinburgh Film Festival

    Iain Smith will take up the role of Chair of the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) on Oct 10. He will replace John McCormick who has held the role for the past 12 years.Commenting on his appointment Smith said 'It is an honour and a privilege to be able to take over the Chair of the EIFF from John McCormick at such an exciting time in the festival's long and prestigious history. The EIFF, the oldest continuous running film festival in the world and an important benchmark for
  • IDA honours Werner Herzog's documentary career

    The International Documentary Association (IDA) will bestow its prestigious 2008 Career Achievement Award on legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog.The award is given to a filmmaker who has made a major impact on the documentary genre through a long and distinguished body of work.Although the German director is equally well known for his narrative works, his documentary credits include 'Grizzly Man,' 'White Diamond,' 'My Best Fiend,' 'Little Dieter Needs to Fly,' and 'Land of Silence
  • IFC Entertainment picks up the gothic horror film Sauna

    IFC Entertainment has acquired North American rights to AJ Annila’s gothic horror film Sauna.
  • IFC picks up Jaoui's Let It Rain, Annila's Sauna

    IFC Films has acquired Agnes Jaoui's latest film Let It Rain which has its North American premiere on Friday at the New York Film Festival.IFC has also picked up North American rights to AJ Annila's gothic horror film Sauna which had its world premiere at Toronto recently.Jaoui's social satire stars herself, Jean-Pierre Bacri and Jamel Debbouze. IFC will release it next year through its IFC
  • IMAX signs cinema pact with Austria's Cineplexx Kinobetriebe

    IMAX Corp. and Austrian exhibitor Cineplexx Kinobetriebe have signed a joint-venture agreement that will see three digital projection cinemas installed in the cities of Graz, Vienna and Hohenems. The pact marks the giant screen company's first joint-venture in Europe. Thus far, IMAX has deals for over 180 digital projection systems, with 18 operational and a further 45 to 50 screens set to open by the end of 2008. All three cinemas in the new deal will be operational by the end of 20
  • In Focus: Bill Plympton's 'Animation Lollapalooza'

    The older couple was muttering. 'This isn't funny!' the husband said, shifting in his seat as animator Patrick Smith's Puppet - about a masochist, handcuffed by self-punishing sock puppets - played out on the tiny theatre's screen. What the couple expected was Looney Tunes. What they got was something else.'Animation Lollapalooza' was veteran animator Bill Plympton's contribution to the recent Martha's Vineyard Film Festival (Mvff). It comprised a small survey of what is happeni
  • In Focus: Criterion puts classics on Blu-ray

    The first time Joseph Cotton's war correspondent Holly Martins discovers his presumed dead friend, Harry Lime (Orson Welles), in postwar Vienna, the moment packs a powerful punch.'Wait until you see the sequence in pristine high-definition video,' says Peter Becker.Carol Reed's 1949 classic The Third Man is one of five titles Becker's boutique New York-based arthouse DVD publisher Criterion is issuing on Blu-ray (November 18). The company is also releasing Wong Kar Wai's
  • In Focus: How To Lose Friends & Alienate People.

    Journalist Toby Young has a reputation for being an obnoxious cad with few likeable qualities - this is a man who brought a stripper to the office on Bring Your Daughter To Work Day. So reinventing Young for a big-screen version of his memoirs How To Lose Friends & Alienate People meant the star had to be innately funny and likeable. Enter one of the UK's hottest home-grown actors, Simon Pegg.'People who know Toby or have read the book, asked, 'How do you make this character sym
  • In focus: Small cinemas' digital cinema threat

    There are few certainties about the disruptive digital future for film, but at least there has been agreement in recent times that change is inevitable, permanent and will sweep the whole industry along with it.Business models would emerge, recalcitrant distributors and exhibitors would take the plunge and our attention would then be forced to focus on the mundanities of making money and finding audiences.But last week's Screen International Digital Cinema conference pick
  • In Focus: The UK's micro wave

    Just as the European Union apparently had its butter mountain and wine lake, since the early days of National Lottery funding for film in the mid-1990s, the UK has supposedly had its own surplus of unreleased movies, spurned by distributors and gathering dust on shelves. The production fever of the sale-and-leaseback years only added to this perception.A familiar criticism of the UK film industry is that there is too much money around to make too many poor films that are never released
  • International - Music to industry ears

    Mamma Mia! The Movie's phenomenal run has led to an Indian summer at the box office. Screen's international top 40 chart was up 12.1% year on year, with the Abba musical making another big contribution.Universal's hit musical notched up another milestone, passing $350m gross since its initial international release in June.The weekend saw the film achieve number-one launches in Russia, Ukraine and Malaysia. It took $15.6m from 4,152 screens for a cumulative figure o
  • Iris Prize Festival winners announced

    Till Kleinert's Cowboy has been named as the 2008 winner of the Iris Prize, Cardiff's international gay and lesbian short film prize, valued at £25,000. The winning film tells the story of a city dweller and a country lad who pay a terrible price for love.The filmmaker also received the £500 Goleudy Travel award for his film which he will use to return to the UK to make his next film.Festival organiser Berwyn Rowlands said: 'Cowboy is a fantastic film that captured the im
  • Irresistible Films outlines strategy, new management team

    New Hong Kong-based production company and filmfund, Irresistible Films, has announced its management team, including managing director Nansun Shi and general manager Lorna Tee. In addition, the company has appointed Jannie Wai as production co-ordinator. The appointments were announced by Irresistible Films director Buddy Marini, representing Japan's Avex Entertainment.The experienced team of producers will manage the operations, investment and supervise the productions of the com
  • Japan to launch film commission as part of policy shift

    Speaking at Pusan's Asia-Pacific Film Policy Forum (Oct 4-5), Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) outlined its major initiatives for the future role of the territory in what it has dubbed the 'Asia Content Community'. The presentation, by METI director general of Commerce and Information Policy Bureau Masahiro Yoshizaki, began with a recap of the Asia Content Initiative, launched this July. The tenets include developing films and other contents along with Asia's, and pa
  • Japanese actor Ken Ogata dies aged 71

    71-year-old Japanese actor Ken Ogata died on October 5, local news reported today. The exact cause of death is unknown, but Ogata had been battling liver cancer. A private funeral was held by close relatives at a temple in Tokyo on Tuesday morning. Born in Tokyo in 1937, Ogata began his acting career with the Shin-Kokugeki drama troupe in 1958. He made his feature film debut in 1960's Tooi Hitotsu No Michi, but it was his lead role in the year-long 1965 NHK period drama Taikoki
  • Japanese anime focus for 2009 Locarno

    The world of Japanese anime will be the subject of the retrospective for next year's Locarno Film Festival (August 5-15, 2009) which will also mark the last edition under artistic director Frederic Maire before he becomes head of the Swiss Cinematheque in Lausanne.The Manga Impact retrospective and exhibition will provide insights into the world of Manga and Anime to reveal their extraordinary range in social, cultural and aesthetic terms.The project is being prepared by the Loc
  • Japanese sellers premiere new titles at Asian Film Market

    Japanese majors and independent production companies are kicking off sales of their latest titles at Pusan's Asian Film Market, which launched today. While many Japanese companies reserve full market screenings for the likes of Cannes and the Santa Monica AFM, they believe that Pusan's AFM is an important place to introduce new titles to Asia.Producer-distributor Phantom Film unveils three market premieres, including the first footage from Koji Yakusho's directing debut Toad's O
  • KOFIC chairman declares Korean film industry in crisis

    At the Korean Film Industry: Status And Vision conference over the weekend in Pusan, Korean Film Council (KOFIC) chairman Kang Han-sup took fire as he proclaimed the local industry in a 'great depression' while refusing to speak upon any detailed plans for overcoming the crisis. Busan Metropolitan City, at the same event, announced it is putting together a $8m-$10m fund to ensure the Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF)'s annual budget, as part of a scheme to make Busan an Asian Cinem
  • Korea's ACTI set to launch pan-Asian film fund

    Korean venture capital firm Asia Culture Technology Investment (ACTI) is planning to launch a five-year $24m (30bn won) pan-Asian film fund, with the aim of boosting the region's output and competitiveness with Hollywood. Tentatively titled the Asia Joint Production Film Fund, the fund will invest in co-productions with a focus on Korea, China and Japan.ACTI will start fund-raising activities next March and envisages that $8m (10bn won) will come from Korean investors, while $16m (
  • LA Hungarian Festival opening on Oct 15 with Ezster's Inheritance

    The eighth Hungarian Film Festival Of Los Angeles will take place Oct 16-23 in West Hollywood presented by Laemmle Theatres and Bela Bunyik's Bunyik Entertainment.The event will screen numerous US premieres of Hungarian films as well as a compilation of US studio films produced, directed, written, shot or featuring music composed by Hungarians called Hungarians In Hollywood.The festival will open on Oct 15 with Eszter's Inheritance
  • Linha De Passe to open ninth Tokyo Filmex

    Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas' Linha De Passe will open the ninth edition of Tokyo Filmex (November 22-30). The closing film will be Cannes FIPRESCI prize winner Delta, directed by Hungary's Kornel Mundruczo. Ten competition films will vie for the Grand Prize of Y1m ($9,830), including Waltz With Bashir and Ryusuke Hamaguchi's Passion (see list below).The competition jury will be headed by Teruyo Nogami, author and former crew member on most of Akira
  • Mamma Mia! stays on top at international box office

    Universal's Mamma Mia! extended its reign as dancing queen of the international box office this weekend, opening top in Italy and grossing an estimated $14.1m from 4,406 dates in 47 territories overall.Among newer international entrants, Eagle Eye, the DreamWorks-Paramount thriller, opened in 18 markets and grossed an estimated $8.3m from 31 territories and Disney's family comedy
  • Mandalay, Liquid Comics team up for film of Ramayan 3392 AD

    Mandalay Pictures is teaming up with Liquid Comics (formerly Virgin Comics) on a film of Liquid's graphic novel Ramayan 3392 AD.Mark Canton and his Atmosphere Entertainment (300, The Spiderwick Chronicles) will produce the film alongside Mandalay Pictures. Gotham Chopra and Sharad Devarajan of Liquid Comics will executive produce the Mandalay Pictures/Atmosphere Entertainment production.As scr
  • Martesko-Fenster joins Babelgum as GM, publisher of film division

    Karol Martesko-Fenster has joined Babelgum, the free, independent web TV platform as general manager and publisher of the company's film division.He will oversee all aspects of the film offering on Babelgum, expanding programming acquisitions and partnerships and global film industry and festival activities. He also assumes the role of managing director of the annual Babelgum Online Film Festival working alongside creator Stefania Valenti and jury chairman Spike Lee.Marte
  • Martinsons' Loss selected as Lithuania's Oscar submission

    Maris Martinsons' debut feature Loss from ART&A Film Production has been selected as Lithuania's foreign language Oscar submission.Loss intertwines the stores of six people whose destinies overlap after a tragic accident that occurred more than 20 years earlier.Martinsons co-wrote the screenplay with Raimondas Paskevicius and produced with Linda Krukle and Zivile Gallego. Ramunas Skikas and Vi
  • Marvel pacts to shoot next four films in southern California

    Marvel Studios has made an agreement with LA-based Raleigh Studios to make its next four films at Raleigh's facility in Manhattan Beach just south of Los Angeles on the coast of California. The projects named in the agreement are Iron Man 2, Thor, The First Avenger: Captain America and The Avengers.In addition, Marvel will move its executive and production offices, formerly based in Beverly
  • Miao Miao

    Dir: Cheng Hsiao-tse. HK-Tai. 2008. 83mins.
  • Miramax signs Canadian output deal with Maple

    Miramax Films has signed an exclusive all-rights deal with Canadian distributor Maple Pictures that will see the Toronto-based company handling Miramax titles across the country.A new partnership was imminent once Miramax ended its 14-year relationship with Alliance Films and its antecedents in April of this year. Former Alliance executive Jim Sherry, who previously worked at Miramax, and had been consulting with Maple for the past year, was instrumental in landing the deal
  • Mirovision sells remake rights to Driving With My Wife's Lover

    South Korea's Mirovision has announced the sale of US remake rights for Kim Tai-sik's Driving With My Wife's Lover to Circle of Confusion at Pusan's Asian Film Market. The former Sundance and Rotterdam film is about a man who hires his wife's lover, a taxi driver, to take him on a long trip back home in the country.Mirovision's Jason Chae had initiated negotiations with other producers earlier on but finally locked a deal with Circle of Confusion's Rick Jacobs and David Alpe
  • MK2 picks up Patrice Chereau's Prosecution

    MK2 has announced the acquisition of Patrice Chereau's latest Prosecution.MK2 will handle international sales on the film which begins shooting in Paris next week.Romain Duris, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jean-Hughes Anglade star in a story of 'crazy love and emotional persecution,' according to MK2. The film is from an original script by Anne-Louise Trividic and Chereau.This is MK2's first time collaborating with Chereau whose last film, Gabrielle, was with St
  • Moment In June to open World Film Festival of Bangkok

    Thai drama A Moment In June, directed by Nattapong O Wongtrinetrakul, will open this year's World Film Festival of Bangkok (Oct 24-Nov 1), while Martin Scorsese's Shine A Light will close the event. A Moment In June focuses on a group of individuals in modern Thai society and is screening at the Pusan International Film Festival which wraps in Korea tomorrow.The film is a production from the 1st Produire au Sud Bangkok, a biennial workshop for new producers and
  • Nucingen House

    Dir/scr: Raoul Ruiz. Fr-Ch. 2008. 87mins.
  • Oishii Man

    Dir: Kim Jeong-jung. SK. 2008. 98mins.
  • Painted Skin heads record-breaking holiday week in China

    Box office during the seven-day National Day holiday period in mainland China reached a record $24.85m (RMB170m), according to figures released yesterday, which is a 220% increase on the same period last year. Gordon Chan's fantasy drama Painted Skin, Benny Chan's action thriller Connected and 3D movie Journey To The Centre Of The Earth stand out as the three top-grossing films during the week Sept 29-Oct 5.Painted Skin grossed $16m (RMB110m) during the
  • Power To The Pixel launches digital project forum

    The groundbreaking Power to the Pixel event at The Times BFI London Film Festival is to include a Project Forum to introduce cutting-edge digital projects to financiers, distributors and promoters.The forum aims to bring the business models and tools of cross-media film to the market and forms part of a two-day conference (October 22-23) that stresses the here-and-now potential of digital distribution.The four projects are:
  • President of Miramax Films to launch London Film Finance Market

    Daniel Battsek will launch the second Production Finance Market (PFM), where more than 50 producers will present projects totalling $1.16bn. A number of producers and financiers will meet at the Production Finance Market (PFM) in London from Oct 20-22, with a view to forging new financing relationships. The event will be launched by Daniel Battsek, President of Miramax Films.The PFM, which is in its second year, is being run by Film London in association with The Times BFI 52n
  • Prix Eurimagesaward to be made at European Film Awards

    Award highlighting European co-production to be made to Dogville and Manderlay co-producers Vibeke Windeløv and Bettina Brokemper. The Prix Eurimages will be presented for the second time at this year's European Film Awards.The prize acknowledges the importance of co-production within the European film industry. It is presented by Eurimages, the support fund for co-production, distribution, exhibition and digitisation of European cinematographic works.This
  • PT Jababeka, Multivision team on Indonesian studio

    Indonesian real estate company PT Jababeka and production house Multivision Plus are joining forces to build a major studio complex, Indonesia Movieland, in the suburbs of Jakarta. The complex, which will take five years to complete, will be spread across 36 hectares on the 5,600-hectare Kota Jababeka development. The partners are spending around $60m on phase one of the studios, although that may increase as other partners board the project.Initial plans include sound stages, outd
  • Pusan reviews

    Screen critics review key films at this year's Pusan International Film Festival in Korea.Click on the title to see review:Awaking From A Dream (Freddy Mas Franqueza)Breathless (Yang Ik-june)
  • Rembrandt's J'Accuse

    Dir/scr: Peter Greenaway. Neth. 2008. 86mins.
  • RGM set to tap Asian material for global distribution

    Singapore-based RGM Entertainment, which has recently completed raising a $400m production fund, is now actively seeking Asian material with the aim of producing big-budget features for global distribution, said CEO Devesh Chetty at Pusan's Asian Film Funds Forum (AFFF)on Sunday. Chetty outlined the company's goals for the fund, which will back around ten productions with budgets of $15m-$40m.'We're looking for Asian stories with global relevance,' said Chetty. He added that the pr
  • Rodrigo Prieto wins Golden Camera 300 in Macedonia for Lust, Caution

    Rodrigo Prieto won the Golden Camera 300, at the 29th International Cinematographers' Film Festival in Macedonia (Sept 27-Oct 4) for his work on Ang Lee's Lust, Caution.Jolanta Dylevska received the Silver Camera 300 for Sergey Dvortsevoy's Tulpan, and the Bronze Camera 300 was awarded to Yuri Klimenko for his work on Russian Alexey Uchitel's Captive. The competitio
  • Romanian CNC awards $7.2m for production and development

    The Romanian Film Board (CNC) has awarded nearly $7.2m (Euros 5.3m) in production and development funding, including grants, to new projects from Un Certain Regard winner Cristi Puiu, Camera d'Or laureate Corneliu Porumboiu, and actress Fanny Ardant on her directorial debut.The single largest award, $569,000 (Euros 417,000), went to Aurora, directed by Puiu (The Death O
  • Romero begins production on untitled zombie movie in Canada

    Production has begun on George A Romero's untitled latest zombie parable in Ontario, Canada.In keeping with all Romero's other films the project is not a sequel but a new adventure informed by the contemporary social and political climate.The action takes place on an isolated island off the North American coast where the community's undead rulers find themselves locked in a struggle over whether to eat surviving human inhabitants or keep them alive in the hope of finding
  • Sambo Do Maazouz wins $100,000 grant at Circle Conference

    The second annual Circle Conference ended on Wednesday with the $100,000 Shasha Grant being awarded to Moroccan film-maker Hicham Ayouch for his project Sambo Do Maazouz.The story is about a Moroccan who speaks and prays in Portugese and is infatuated with Brazilian culture and obsessed with the Brazilian TV soap heroine.Sambo Do Maazouz will be Ayouch's third feature after
  • Screen opinion: The D-cinema dilemma

    The word 'mutuality' comes across now as a rather dated concept. It's a term which, for those of a certain age, will conjure up images of bicycles on cobbled streets, ration books and powdered eggs. The self-help mutual funds and building societies it once described have often been gobbled up by big banking concerns.The notion that mutuality could have any role in a film industry entering a new digital age was a bit more laughable a couple of weeks ago before the free market states of
  • ScreenDaily interview: Sergey Selyanov

    In the first of a series of interviews with Russian film-makers, ScreenDaily reporter Olia Hercules talks to the President of the Russian Guild of Producers, Sergey Selyanov.As one of Russia's best-known producers, Selyanov has been responsible for the production of more than 50 films, as well as award-winning animation and documentaries. In 1992 he founded the CTB film company, which is now one of the largest in Russia.In recent years his reputation has spread to an in
  • Seven Arts begins shooting Night Of The Demons remake

    Principal photography has commenced in New Orleans on Seven Arts Pictures' horror remake Night Of The Demons.Adam Gierasch wrote the screenplay with his longtime partner Jace Anderson and is directing the story of a Halloween party that turns into a nightmare when a group of teenagers find themselves being stalked by demon spirits.Shannon Elizabeth, Monica Keena, Diora Baird and Edward Furlong star. Greg
  • Shoreline picks up worldwide rights to Spring 1941

    Morris Ruskin's Shoreline Entertainment has picked up worldwide rights to Spring 1941 the first ever Israeli-Polish co-production, which stars Joseph Fiennes and Clare Higgens. Directed by Uri Barbash (Beyond The Walls) and financed by the Israeli Rabinavitz Film Fud and the Polish Film Insititute, the film is the story of a successful doctor, his wife and two daughters who seek shelter from the Nazi i
  • Singapore Film Commission awards $1.6m to new directors

    Nine Singapore directors have each received $170,000 (S$250,000) to direct their first feature-length film under the Singapore Film Commission's New Feature Film Fund. Funding was granted on the basis that each project has the potential to carry a Singapore-made story to overseas markets.The projects include Japan-Singapore co-production Thunder Boys as well as two films to be produced by Eric Khoo's Zhao Wei Films - Sandcastle and The Innocents - A Time For Youth
  • Special feature - Dubai Film Market - Bridging the sales gap

    One of the most important additions to this year's Diff is the Dubai Film Market (DFM), an initiative set up to encourage regional and international film production and trade, as well as raising the profile of world cinema.Worthy aspirations, but does the world need another film market' Ziad Yaghi, director of the Dubai Film Market, believes so, having given up his role as an acquisitions executive with Arab satellite TV and radio network Orbit to head the project."To start with
  • Special feature - Dubai International Film Festival at five - The fifth element

    "Just look around you," urges Dubai International Film Festival (Diff) chairman Abdulhamid Juma, gesturing from the window of his office in the glass-and-steel business district known as Dubai Media City. "Dubai is hungry for new things."It is the middle of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Arguably, Dubai should be just plain hungry, yet all around there is the buzz of activity. Cranes lurch, TV executives shake hands in the street below and, here at the festival headquarter
  • Special feature - Making the connection

    In addition to the red-carpet appearances from George Clooney, Sharon Stone and co, one of the main attractions at last year's Diff was the establishment of the Dubai Film Connection (DFC), the first feature and documentary film co-production market in the UAE. It was the brainchild of Industry Office head Jane Williams, whose remit was to bring together professionals from the Arab and international industries to meet and exchange expertise."During the previous Diff we had already run
  • Special feature - Muhr winners

    "For me, success in the Middle East is as important as success anywhere else," says Franco-Lebanese director Philippe Aractingi, whose second feature Under The Bombs - a heartfelt road movie featuring jarring images of Israel's recent war in Lebanon - won the Gold award in Diff 2007's Muhr Awards. "For me, an award from Dubai is as important as a Golden Lion from Venice. Being selected to show at Diff is as exciting as being selected for Sundance." (Under The Bombs went on to sc
  • Special feature - The Muhr Awards - Middle Eastern promise

    For all the black-tie bacchanalia and glitzy galas, it is Diff's main competition which forms the central focus around which all other activities take place.The Muhr Awards for Excellence in Arab Cinema were introduced in 2006 as a way of drawing international attention to Arab film-makers (a 'muhr' is a young Arabian horse). "Arab cinema is programmed into the DNA of this festival," says chairman Abdulhamid Juma, "and will always strive to be the window for all quality Arab film. That
  • Stiller, Tomei join Hollywood Awards lineup on Oct 27

    Ben Stiller will be honoured with the Hollywood Comedy Of The Year Award, while Marisa Tomei will be named supporting actress of the year, the cast of The Secret Life Of Bees ensemble of the year and Robert Pattinson newcomer of the year at the Hollywood Awards ceremony on Oct 27 in Los Angeles.Stiller is being recognized for Tropic Thunder, Tomei for The Wrestler a
  • Swedish Film Institute announces $3.9m film support

    The Swedish Film Institute has contributed $3.9m (SEK 28.1m) production support for 13 new films. $1.4m (SEK 10m) of that sum is reserved for Swedish directors Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson's first feature, Sound Of Noise.Simonsson and Nilsson have also scripted their debut which will be a French-Swedish co-production by Olivier Guerpillon and Jim Birmant for France's Bliss, Sweden's Nordisk Film and Dfm Fiktion. Their previous shorts include Nowhere Man
  • The Weinstein Company's Asian Film Fund casts wide net

    The Weinstein Company's vice president, Asian acquisitions and co-production Bey Logan, explained the company's criteria for selecting projects for its $285m Asian Film Fund, at Pusan's Asian Film Funds Forum over the weekend(Oct 3-5). Launched just over one year ago, the fund aims to back around 30 Asian-themed films over the next six years.'Funds by nature have a narrow focus - it all comes down to the main priority which is how to make a return for investors,' said Logan. But he
  • TriStar to release Cadillac Records in the US in Dec

    TriStar Pictures will release Sony BMG's production Cadillac Records on Dec 5 in North America this year.The music-themed film chronicles the rise of Chess Records and its recording artists in Chicago in the 1950s. It stars Adrien Brody as Leonard Chess, Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters, Columbus Short as Little Walter, Mos Def as Chuck Berry and Beyonce Knowles as Etta James.Darnell Martin wrote and directed the film which also feat
  • Tulpan named Best Filmat Zurich film festival

    Documentary film-maker Sergei Dvortsevoy's feature debut Tulpan was awarded the Golden Eye for best feature film at the 4th Zurich Film Festival.The tragicomedy set in the steppes of Kazakhstan had its world premiere in the Un Certain Regard in Cannes and was now shown for the first time in the German speaking area.The International Jury under president Peter Fonda gave its Golden Eye award for best debut feature to Arash T. Riahi's refugee drama
  • UK industry gathers for Screen film finance conference

    Screen International will bring film-makers and financiers together to consider newly-emerging finance structures and how to maximise funding and commercial opportunities in an ever-tougher market at its annual UK Film Finance Summit. The conference on October 16 at London's Waldorf Hilton comes at a critical time for the independent industry in the UK and beyond.
  • UK shooting of Julian Fellowes' From Time To Time begins

    Principal photography has started on Julian Fellowes' second feature film From Time to Time.The Oscar winning screenwriter is directing the film from his own screenplay. The cast includes two-time Oscar winner Maggie Smith (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Gosford Park), four-times BAFTA-nominated Timothy Spall (Sweeney Todd, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
  • Visit Films picks up international on Baghead, Half-Life

    Visit Films has acquired international rights to the Duplass Brothers' horror comedy Baghead and sci-fi drama Half-Life from director Jennifer Phang. Both films had their world premieres at this year's Sundance Film Festival in January.Baghead is set to have its international premiere at the Rome International Film Festival later this month and
  • Vladimir Putin promises $164m in annual support for Russian cinema

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday announced $76m (RUB 2bn) in immediate support of the Russian film industry and promised to allocate at least $164m (RUB 4.3bn) annually.Putin made the announcement in St. Petersburg at a conference on cinematography hosted by Russian World Studios (RWS). Russian news agency Kommersant reported that Putin made the decision 'in light of the need to form values that correspond to the interests of society and the strategic interests of the co
  • Voltage acquires international rights to Seventh Moon

    Voltage Pictures has acquired all international rights to Haxan Films' Seventh Moon, a new thriller written and directed by The Blair Witch Project's Eduardo Sanchez.The film stars Amy Smart, Tim Chiou and Dennis Chan and had its world premiere recently at Fantastic Fest in Austin. It will next screen on Oct 11 at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain.Cinetic Media is representing domestic right
  • W.

    Dir: Oliver Stone. US. 2008. 129mins.Oliver Stone hasan uncanny knack of making movies which are better appreciated many years after they are made, and W feels like it will be one of them. A scrappy dip into the many lives of the infamous George W Bush, it could never live up to pre-release anticipation that it would deliciously eviscerate the Bush adminstration so vilified around the world in recent years. Instead, rather like in Nixon, Stone serves up a d
  • Waltz With Bashir to open Warsaw Film Festival

    Ari Folman will introduce his Cannes competition title Waltz With Bashir to Polish audiences at the opening ceremony of the 24th Warsaw Film Festival Oct 10. The festival concludes Oct 19 with Sergey Dvortsevov's Un Certain Regard winner Tulpan.The festival's international Warsaw Competition features 15 films. Dejan Zecevic's Serbian-Hungarian co-production The Fourth Man
  • Ymagis and Universal agree D-cinema deal

    Universal Pictures has signed a deal with European digital cinema services provider Ymagis to supply films to theatres equipped by Ymagis. Universal will also pay digital print fees under a long-term agreement.The arrangement mirrors earlier deals Ymagis has concluded with Paramount, Disney and Fox. To date Ymagis has signed contracts with exhibitors to include 29 French screens.Universal Pictures International executive vice-president Duncan Clark said in a statement, 'At Unive
  • Zhang Ziyi to star in China-Korea co-production

    Zhang Ziyi is set to star in a big-budget romantic comedy, Sophie's Revenge, which is being made as a China-South Korea co-production. The Chinese-language film will be shot entirely in China with a local director. Announced by CJ Entertainment in Pusan last night at the company's annual CJ Night bash, the project is still in the script-writing process, with director and other cast yet to be attached.However, CJ says it is aiming to announce these, with a finalised budget an