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12 December 2006

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  • $30m epic to become most expensive Scandianavian film

    Svensk Filmindustri's The Knight Templar is to set to become Scandinavia's most expensive feature with a budget of $30.3 million (Euro 22.8 million).The film is an adaptation of Swedish writer Jan Guillou's bestselling trilogy of Arn Magnusson to be shot in two parts by the Swedish major.Danish director Peter Flinth (The Eye of the Eagle, The Fakire, Mastermind) will direct the epic which will start principal photography in Marocco next Month (Jan).The screenplay is by Swe
  • AFI names its ten best of 2006 including Borat, Prada

    The top 10 films of 2006 as voted by the American Film Institute(AFI) are: Babel, Borat, The Devil Wears Prada, Dreamgirls, Half Nelson,Happy Feet, Inside Man, Letters From Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, and United 93.AFI will honour the creative ensembles behind each film at a lunchin Los Angeles on Jan 12, 2007. Sponsor Hewlett-Packard has created 20scholarships to the AFI Conservatory, one for each of the AFI honorees in themotion p
  • Apocalypto beats out Holiday in North America

    Hollywood's love for a second act and filmgoers' capacity for forgivenessrendered Mel Gibson's arrest for drunk driving and subsequent anti-semitictirade four months ago a distant memory as Apocalypto opened top at the North American box office this weekend.
  • Arthur And The Invisibles (Arthur Et Les Minimoys)

    Dir: Luc Besson, Pierre Buffin. Fr. 2006. 102mins.French producer-director Luc Bessonhits most of the right buttons with ArthurAnd The Invisibles (Arthur Et Les Minimoys as it is known inFrance), an engagingly imaginative computer animation and live-actionchildren's saga about a young boy's search for treasure in a kingdom ofLilliputian creatures.Five years in the making, andwith a final price ta
  • Babylon, Caspian booked into new Barrandov stage

    StudioCanal'ssci-fi thriller Babylon A.D. willbe the first feature film to shoot at a new 4,000-square-meter soundstage atBarrandov Studios in Prague. Mathieu Kassovitz will direct the film, which willstar Vin Diesel and Vincent Cassel.
  • Beefed-up Cairo gives top prize to The Road

    The CairoInternational Film Festival (CIFF) closed on Friday with a beefed-up awardsceremony that featured new competitions for Arab feature films and digitalfilmmaking, aimed at promoting emerging talent. The $10,000 first prize in thedigital competition went to Italian director Carlo Luglio'sSotto la StessaLuna (Beneath The Same Moon). As expected, theinternational jury, led by Argentinian director Luis Puenzo, awarded the Golden
  • Benton to receive Screen Laurel Award from Writers Guild Of America

    Robert Benton will receive the Writers Guild of America, West's(WGAW) Screen Laurel Award at the 2007 Writers Guild Awards ceremony on Feb 11,2007.
  • Berger promoted to president at Warner Bros UK

    Joshua A. Berger has been promoted to President & Managing Director, Warner Bros. Entertainment United Kingdom and Ireland.Berger has been with Warner for 17 years, most recently serving as Executive Vice President & Managing Director, WBEUK.He will continue to oversee all of the company's business in the UK, including theatrical production and distribution, television production and distribution, home video, digital distribution, new and emerging media, interactive games and co
  • Berger promoted to Warner Bros UK director

    Joshua A. Berger has been promoted to president and managing director of Warner Bros Entertainment UK and Ireland (WBEUK) after 17 years at the studio.Berger previously served as executive vice president and managing director and will continue to report to Barry Meyer, chairman and chief executive officer, Alan Horn, president and chief operating officer and Richard Fox, executive vice president, international, Warner Bros. He will oversee all aspects of WBEUK and explore any new busin
  • Best in show: best actor contenders

    Ifthe winner of the best actor Oscar was hardly a surprise last year whenPhilip Seymour Hoffman won for Capote or 2004 when Jamie Foxx won forRay, 2006 is anything but a one-horse race. No single performance hasleapt out so far, a far cry from the best actress category which is,unusually, bristling with top-notch contenders. Yes, there are greatperformances by male actors this year, just none which has so far wonoverwhelming approval.At time of going to press, three leadperformances
  • Cage and Connery pledge support for Bahamas festival

    The third BahamasInternational Film Festival (BIFF) wrapped on Dec 10 with local residentsNicolas Cage and Sean Connery lending very vocal support to expanding theevent. Cage, who recently joined Connery as a Bahamian homeowner, was thesubject of the festival's Chopard career achievement award. "I want to bring in people I know in the industry to hopefullystimulate conversations between the older, seasoned talent with the young,hungry talent that's displayed here," Cage said. He pledge
  • Casino to open in Australia, Mexico, strides past $200m

    Casino Royale will sweep past $200m this weekend with four releases plannedthrough Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI).007 ventures out into Australia and Argentina on Dec 7followed in Mexico a day later. It currently stands at $195.6m.SPRI executives adjusted the cumulative gross from the higher one reportedat the weekend following exchange rate fluctuations.Meanwhile the company wi
  • Casino wins the weekend again for SPRI with $36.2m

    Nothing could prise James Bond's kung-fu grip off the number oneberth for a fourth consecutive weekend as Casino Royale swept towards $250m.
  • Charlotte's Web

    Dir: Gary Winick. 2006.97mins.While no live-action/CGI-hybrid about talking animalsis ever likely to match or surpass Chris Noonan's Babe (1995), the film adaptation of Charlotte's Web proves itself a pleasant and engaging addition tothe genre.Since its publication in1952, EB White's classic tale of friendship has been translated into 23languages and has sold 45m-plus copies, creating a potential
  • Chesneau appointed Rezo's head of world sales

    Sebastien Chesneau has joined Rezo Films International, the sales arm of Paris-based producer/distributor Rezo Films as head of world sales. Chesneau, who took up his functions on December 1, replaces outgoing sales head Cecile Gaget.Previously at Celluloid Dreams (2004-2006), Chesneau was also a sales executive at France Televisions Distribution from 2000-2003.A Rezo spokesman said: "We are thrilled that Sebastien is bringing us his experience and enthusiasm to further develop our interna
  • China halts foreign investment in production companies

    A senior Chinese governmentofficial has confirmed that China has halted new foreign investment in film and TVproduction companies. The move overturns aregulation introduced in 2003 which allowed foreign companies to take stakes ofup to 49% in local production houses or Sino-foreign joint ventures.'Our policy is totemporarily not approve the creation of new joint
  • China's digital loop stymied by lack of US product

    Chinese cinema proprietorsspoke of the difficulty of securing enough product to make the expansion ofdigital cinema a profitable business, on the first day of the CineAsia conventionand trade show in Beijing. China's State Administrationof Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has recently reiterated its goal to rollout a nationwide network of digital cinemas and the country currently has around200 digital scr
  • China's production volume up by 27% in 2006

    Tong Gang, director of China's Film Bureau, has announced that China produced 330 films in 2006, an increase of 27% fromthe 260 produced the previous year. Speaking at the opening ofthe CineAsia conference which is being held for the second time in Beijing, Tong added that two thirds of these films were international
  • China's The Road scoops top prizes at AFFF

    China's The Road was the biggestwinner at the 2nd Asian Festival of 1st Films (AFFF), which wrapped Wednesdaynight in Singapore. The Zhang Jiarui-directeddrama walked away with best film, best script and a new Foreign Press Choice'sPurple Orchid award. US production Journey From T
  • CineAsia wraps with confirmation of move to Macau

    After two years in Beijing, exhibition trade show and conference CineAsia willmove to Macau, a Special Administrative Region in South China, in 2007. Robert Sunshine, vice president of VNUFilm Exposition Group, announced the move at the closing ceremony of thisyear's conference on Thursday in Beijing.Sunshine added that the new venue would be thehotel an
  • Cinemart to present 46 projects to 800 partners

    The world's largestco-production market, Rotterdam'sCinemart, has announced its line-up for the 24th edition, which will run fromJan 28 to Feb 1, 2007.A total of 46 projects - upone from last year's tally of 45 - have been selected to present to an internationalaudience of up to 800 buyers, sales agents, distributors and fundrepresentatives. A record 520 projects were submitted for selection
  • Cinemavault takes international rights to Puffy Chair

    Cinemavault Releasing International has acquired all internationalrights to Jay Duplass' 2005 Sundance Audience Award winning romantic comedy ThePuffy Chair.The film tells of a man who embarks on a road trip todeliver an outsized birthday gift to his fa
  • Clickstar signs distribution deals with Sony, Universal, Warner

    ClickStar, the US broadband entertainment company founded byMorgan Freeman and Lori McCreary's Revelations Entertainment along with IntelCorporation, has announced digital distribution agreements with several leadingstudios.Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Studios HomeEntertainment and Warner Bros Home Entertainment have agredd to provide contentahead of ClickStar's launch this week as a purveyor of full-length broadbanddebuts and exclus
  • CMG seals French, Scandinavia deals on Darryl Hunt

    Ed Noeltner's Cinema Management Group has closed deals onthe Oscar shortlisted wrongful imprisonment documentary The Trials Of DarrylHunt.Rights have gone to France (Free Dolphin), Scandinavia (NobleFilms), Portugal (Filmes Unimundos) and Iceland (Sena Films).
  • DarkBlueAlmostBlack takes top prize at Tallinn

    The top prizes at this year's Black Nights Film Festival in Tallinn, Estonia went to Spanish and Turkish film-makers. Spanish director Daniel Sanchez Arevalo won the Grand Prix for Best Eurasian Film and $13,000 (Euros 10,000) for his tragi-comedy DarkBlueAlmostBlack.Best Director went to Nuri Bilge Ceylan for his Turkish-French co-production Climates. In the Estonian feature film competition, the Scottish Leader Estonian Film Award went to director Veiko Ounpuu's film Emp
  • Dimension picks up multiple rights to Storm Warning

    Dimension Films has pickedup all North American, Australian and New Zealand rights from Darclight Filmsto the horror-thriller Storm Warning.Jamie Blanks directed from ascreenplay by Everett De Roche. Darclight general manager Gary Hamilton andPeter Ford produced and Martin Fabinyi, Michael Gudinski, Greg Sitch and MarkPennell served as executive producers.Nadia Feres, Robert Taylor,John Brumpton, David Lyons, and Mathew Wilkinson star in the Australian-shot taleabout a co
  • Dubai opens with increased industry ambitions

    The thirdDubai International Film Festival has opened with a premiere of Bobby and evident grand plans to becomean industry centrepoint of the Middle East. As Cairo's festival wrappedwith honours going to Zhang Jiarui'sThe Road and Marrakech saw its top prize going to DominikGraf's The Red Cockatoo - heavyweight Dubai
  • Emperor Motion Pictures boards Jiang Wen's Sun

    Hong Kong's Emperor Motion Pictures has boarded Jiang Wen'supcoming The Sun Also Rises as salesagent and equity investor. Under an agreement reached with Jiang's production company Buyilehu Films, EMP is contributing almosthalf of the film's budget, which has risen from $6.8m at the start ofproduction to $10m, and will also handle international sales in allterritories. The highly-anticipated film,Jiang's third as director following the critically ac
  • Estonian films boost local market share

    Estonian films are expectedto double their market share of the local box office to 10%, with over 120,000tickets being sold for national productions this year.Speaking to at this year's Baltic Event, the Estonian FilmFoundation's information manager Eda Koppel explained that the Estonian-Latvianco-production Lotte From Gadgetville is the top local release with more than 53,000 admissions posted todate. This makes it more successful than
  • Eurimages gives $5.7m backing to 14 features

    The Council of Europe Eurimages Fund Board of Management has agreed to invest $5.7m (Euros 4.3m)in 12 films.They are:* Dusan Rapos' Cinka Panna (Slovakia/Hungary) * Amos Gitai'sDesengagement (France/Italy/Israel) * Carlos Saura's Fados (Portugal/Spain) * Ole Christian Madsen's Flammen & Citronen (Denmark/Germany) * Dagur Kari's The Good Heart (Iceland/ Denmark/France) * Dolores Payas' Le Gusta el Chile (Spain/Italy/France/Mexico
  • Ferrara halfway through Cinecitta shoot for Go Go Tales

    Two dozen principal castmembers including Willem Dafoe, Matthew Modine, Bob Hoskins, Roy Dotrice andSylvia Miles are at Cinecitta's Studio 14 now half way through four weeks ofthe principal shooting of Go Go Tales, director Abel Ferrara's first foray into comedy which began shootingNov 27. The set - a three-floor NewYork nightclub designed by Frank De Curtis - is the re-creation of a real barin Manhattan's midtown district. In the screwball comedy, Dafoe plays a stripclub owner,
  • German film fund invests $9.3m in co-productions

    New feature films by Michael Glawogger, Ludi Boeken, Benoit Jacquot, Samuel Maoz and Tom Schreiber are among a raft of international co-productions supported in the latest round of funding by the German regional public fund Filmstiftung NRW, which distributed over $9.3m (Euros 7m) to 29 projects.The largest single sum - $1.3m (Euros 1m) - went to Austrian film-maker Michael Glawogger's adaptation of the Josef Haslinger novel Das Vaterspiel which will be produced by Cologne-based Tatfil
  • Goteborg Fund backs five new features

    The Goteborg InternationalFilm Festival (GIFF) in association with the Swedish International DevelopmentCooperation Agency (SIDA) has granted another $586,200 (SEK 4m) to films madein countries of transition. The five latest projects toget development support are: The First Rainy Day by Nguyen Phan Quang Binh (Vietnam) (which earlierreceive Goteborg funding at Pusan), A Thousand Houses of Dreams and Terror by Atiq Rahimi (Afghanistan), La Cite de Pl
  • Home Of The Brave

    Dir: Irwin Winkler. US.2006. 107mins.The first Hollywood film to directly address theemotional and political repercussions of the USoccupation of Iraq,Irwin Winkler's Home Of The Brave isa particularly blunt instrument that never satisfies as entertainment,effective storytelling or
  • Horror thriller Amusement starts shooting in Budapest

    Production began this week in Budapest, Hungary, onMacari/Edelstein Productions' horror-thriller Amusement, which Picturehouse will release inNorth America.
  • Index Corp restructures to focus on contents business

    Japanese conglomerate Index Corpis streamlining its approximately 70 consolidated subsidiaries to focus on itsoriginal core business of mobile contents.Non-core interests such asclothing accessories and electronic product manufacturers will be sold off orconsolidated into other group companies. The group aims to reduce the number ofsubsidiaries by around 30% by summer 2007. The company is alsolaunching a $69.6m (Y8bn) fund which is designed to finance new fil
  • Irish companies get slate development funding

    The Irish Film Board hasannounced ten successful applicants for its Multiple Project Development (MPD)funding, a multi-project development initiative drawn up in September. Following on from the IFB'sCompany Development Initiative (CDI) which went through two three-year cycles,MPD funding provides support for producers who have an attractive slate ofprojects to develop. It is intended that the scheme will foster a sense ofpurpose combined with a sense of responsibility in producers.
  • Iwo Jima takes top spot at Japanese box office

    Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima beat strongcompetition to become the number one film at the local box office over theweekend, earning $4.28m (Y500m) on 400 screens for a screen average of $10,700.Distributor Warner BrothersJapan estimates a final gross of $42.8m (Y5bn), far surpassing companion film Flags Of Our Fathers. Flags stands at approximately $12.5m inthe seventh week of release and was denied a number one spot on its openingweekend by local baseball
  • Iwo Jima voted best picture of 2006 by LA Critics

    Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima, already named best picture of the year by the National Board Of Review on Wednesday, was names best picture of 2006 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) yesterday (Sunday). The runner-up was The Queen. The 32nd annual LAFCA achievement awards ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on Jan 14. Other winners included Paul Greengrass, named best director for United 93, Helen Mirren named best actress for The Queen
  • Iwo Jima voted best picture of 2006 by LA Critics

    Clint Eastwood's LettersFrom Iwo Jima, already named bestpicture of the year by the National Board Of Review on Wednesday, was namesbest picture of 2006 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA)yesterday (Sunday). The runner-up was The Queen.The 32nd annualLAFCA achievement awards ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on Jan 14.Other winners included PaulGreengrass, named best director for United 93, Helen Mirren named best actress for The Queen
  • Klein promoted in domestic distribution department at TWC

    Spencer Klein has been promoted to senior vice president andgeneral sales manager of domestic distribution at The Weinstein Company (TWC).
  • Lars von Trier unveils Lookey concept

    Aftergiving the film world Dogme and Automavision, Lars von Trier has unleashed hislatest concept: Lookey.TheDanish director describes Lookey as a "basic mind game, played with movies asgame boards."VonTrier explains that a Lookey is an out-of-context visual element added to afilm, with five to seven to be found in each feature. "For the casual observerit's just a glitch or mistake but for the initiated it's a riddle to besolved," he explained. "All Lookeys i
  • Letters From Iwo Jima

    Dir: Clint Eastwood. US.2006. 141mins.Clint Eastwood's twilight career renaissancecontinues and only further deepens with LettersFrom Iwo Jima,his second film in two months about the best known Pacific battle duringWorld War Two. Shot back-to-back with its companion piece Flags Of Our Fathers, it focuses more explicitly on the conflictand its human toll, telling events leading up to the central siege from theJapanese perspecti
  • Lionsgate strikes deal for Filmax's The Backwoods

    Lionsgate has acquired NorthAmerican rights to Gary Oldman-starring thriller The Backwoods from Spanish mini-studio Filmax Entertainment. First-time feature directorKoldo Serra premiered the film at the Donostia-San Sebastian International FilmFestival in September. The mostly English-language film stars Oldman, VirginieLedoyen, Paddy Considine, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon and Lluis Homar in the story oftwo vacationing couples hunted by local villagers after they discover adeformed gir
  • Love And Honor beats Bond at Japanese box office

    Yoji Yamada's Love And Honor, the final film in hissamurai trilogy, ranked number one at Japan's box office on its opening weekend, beating Bondpicture Casino Royale which it openedhead-to-head against. Love And Honor earned $3.8m (Y437m) over the three-day weekend from 354 screens for a$10,734 screen average, while Sony Pictures' Casino Royale took in $3.27m (Y375m) from 453 screens for a $7,21
  • Lucas to receive one-time honour from San Francisco Film Festival

    George Lucas will receive the San Francisco Film Society's Irving'Bud' Levin Award, a one-time only honour that will be presented during the50th San Francisco International Film Festival on May 3 2007.
  • Marblestone joins Picturehouse as sevp marketing and distribution

    Arthur Marblestonehas joined Picturehouse as senior executive vice president of marketing anddistribution.Marblestone will be based in New York and reports directly to Picturehousepresident Bob Berney.He arrives with more than 25 years of experience in both the distribution andmarketing arenas. He began his career managing a theatre in Long Islandand moved on to seve
  • Micosoft's Broes hired at Paramount Digital Entertainment

    Derek Broes has been hired as senior vice president of worldwidebusiness development at Paramount Digital Entertainment. In the newly created position Broes will be responsible foridentifying new business opportunities across broadband and mobile platforms.He reports directly to Paramount Digital Entertainment presidentThomas Lesinski.Broes arrives from Microsoft Corporation where he served as seniord
  • NBR honours Letters From Iwo Jima, Whitaker and Mirren

    Naming the first winners of the 2006/07 awards season, The National Board of Review has voted Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima the best film of 2006, while Forest Whitaker and Helen Mirren earned respective acting honours for The Last King Of Scotland and The Queen.Martin Scorsese got his awards season campaign going by winning best director for The Departed, while supporting actor honours went to Djimon Hounsou for Blood Diamond and Catherine O'Hara for For Your Consideration.
  • NBR honours Letters From Iwo Jima, Whitaker, Mirren

    Naming the firstwinners of the 2006/07 awards season, The National Board of Review has votedClint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima the best film of 2006, while Forest Whitaker and Helen Mirren earnedrespective acting honours for The Last King Of Scotland and The Queen.Martin Scorsese got his awards season campaign going by winning best directorfor The
  • New Barrandov facilities open with Babylon

    Canal+ sci-fi thriller Babylon A.D. will be the first feature film to shoot at a new 4,000-square-meter soundstage at Barrandov Studios in Prague. Mathieu Kassovitz will direct the film, which will star Vin Diesel and Vincent Cassel.A Peugeot automobile commercial will inaugurate the new soundstage before year's end. Kassovitz's crew are scheduled to begin work on New Year's Day. In spring, the new facilities will host the filming of The Chronicles of Narnia: Princ
  • New York critics opt for United 93 as year's best

    The New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) has named United 93 the best film of 2006, while Martin Scorsese’s best director award for The Departed kept his long-running Oscar quest on track.Forest Whitaker and Helen Mirren won respective acting honours for The Last King of Scotland and The Queen, the latest evidence of a growing consensus in these two top categories.Within the last week Whitaker and Mirren have been honoured by the National Board of Review and critics groups from
  • Nordisk on board for White Night

    Nordisk has taken on salesfor drama White Night by JannikJohansen.The project is shooting nowwith a cast including Lars Brygmann, Nicolas Bro, Anne Sophie Byder, RikkeLouise Andersson, and Morten Grunwald.Birgitte Skov and Morten Kaufmann are producing for NimbusFilm in collaboration with Fine & Mellow. Backers for the $3.2m (Euros 2.4m)film include by The Danish Film institute, Danmarks Radio, Filmfolket, Angel Scandinavia,Jens Maasbol, FilmGEAR, Nordisk Film Shortcut, B
  • Notes On A Scandal

    Dir: Richard Eyre. UK-US.2006. 91mins.Judi Dench's superbperformance galvanises Notes On A Scandal, Richard Eyre's impressive and acutelyobserved adaptation of the Booker-nominated novel. Probing away relentlessly atsuch uncomfortable issues as paedophilia, class envy, sexual jealousy andblackmail, it is a film that has the same queasy, claustrophobic feel as such 1960sBritish films as The Servant or The Killing Of Sister G
  • Overnight's Montana to tackle Israel youth movement in next doc

    Tony Montana will begin filming the Israel-set documentary The Epicenter in January 2007.
  • Owner of film piracy site given four year jail term

    The head of a web forum known as PIR8 has been sentenced to four years in jail, the longest term for a film piracy case in the UK to date. A further five men who worked for the site were also sentenced to imprisonment on Friday (8th December) at Birmingham Crown Court.PIR8 facilitated the selling of pirate material, including CDs and DVDs, to over 13,000 users in the UK.The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) prosecuted the case following a three year investigation into th
  • Pakistan's Kara Film Festival introduces cash prizes

    Pakistan's Kara Film Festival is introducing cash prizes forthe first time this year, including a $3,500 prize for best feature. The sixth edition of thefestival, which takes place in Karachi December 7-17, will screen 170 films from 37countries, including 40 features, 34 documentaries and 100 short films. A cashprize of $2,000 will be awarded to the best documentary while the be
  • Penguins DP seeks shared director's credit

    Controversy is brewing overdirector credit on 2005 French blockbuster March Of The Penguins. Director of photography Laurent Chalet has filed acomplaint in a Paris court demanding shared director's credit on the Oscar-winningnature documentary. Along with Jerome Maison, asecond DP on the film, Chalet spent 13 months shooting the film in theAntarctic and given the hardship and effort expended, now wishes to be creditedwith the film's listed director, Luc Jacquet, as well as shari
  • PLATFORM to launch as North American animation hub

    The PLATFORM International Animation Festival will launch in June2007 seeking to make its mark as the first major North American festivaldedicated to the genre.
  • Production begins for Second World War spoof

    Alan Cumming is to star asHitler and Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill in Jackboots OnWhitehall, a comedy set during the Second World War, London-basedproduction company Swipe announced today (Dec 7).Based on the idea that theGermans won the Battle Of Britain but were defeated bythe Scots, the film also includes well-known UK talent RosamundPike, Richard E Grant and Tom Wilkinson. It marks the directorial debut forEdward McHenry, whose script (co-written with his brother Rory)
  • Rickman joins Depp, Bonham Carter in Sweeney Todd

    Alan Rickman has been cast as the nefarious Judge Turpin in Dreamworks/WarnerBros' film of Stephen Sondheim's classic musical Sweeney Todd.Judge Turpin is a sinister creature who frames Todd andsteals his wife before meeting his untimely demise in Todd's barber's chair. Ti
  • Rome and Turin festivals to move back slightly

    Italian culture ministerFrancesco Rutelli held a round table meeting in Rome that has settled the 2007dates for Italy's three fall film festivals in Venice, Rome and Turin. Themeeting was announced last summer in reaction to the controversial appearanceof first edition of the Rome Film Fest and its placement on the fall filmfestival schedule. In a statement madeavailable Wednesday, Minister Rutelli underlined 'the challenge to give the public three months ofItalian
  • Slamdance unveils lineups for 13th festival in Jan

    The Slamdance Film Festival hasexpanded the 2007 documentary programme and for the first time is presenting anequal number of narrative and documentaries in competition with ten apiece.The festival, whose 13thedition runs from Jan 18-27, received more than 3,600 submissions andwill open with Allan Moyle's screwball comedy Weirdsville starring Scott Speedman and Wes Bentley."Taking into account thisyear's festival film submissions, it's clear to see independent filmmaking
  • Sony passes $3bn in worldwide grosses for the first time ever

    Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) will cross $3bn in worldwideticket sales on Friday Dec 8, marking the first time the company will haveachieved the feat.
  • Stickmen Pictures to self-distribute ice hockey documentary In The Crease

    Matt Gannon and Michael Sarner's Los Angeles-based StickmenPictures will release the ice hockey documentary In The Crease in the US and Canada on Dec 7.
  • Sunshine to receive Vanguard award at Palm Springs

    Little Miss Sunshine will receive the Chairman's Vanguard Award at the 18th Annual PalmSprings International Film Festival (PSIFF) awards gala on Jan 6, 2007.Cast members will attend along with screenwriter MichaelArndt and directors Jonathan Dayton and
  • Ten Canoes sweeps the board at AFI Awards

    Auteur director Rolf deHeer's Ten Canoes, which he producedwith Julie Ryan, was crowned best film at the Australian Film Institute Awardson Thursday night (Dec 7) in Melbourne.While its untrainedindigenous cast failed to take home any acting awards, it won six of the 10categories for behind-the-camera roles including best screenplay for de Heerand best direction for de Heer and Peter Djiggir.De Heer also won theprestigious Byron
  • The Good Shepherd

    Dir: Robert De Niro. US. 2006. 165mins.Robert De Niro's secondfeature The Good Shepherd is afrequently absorbing, fascinating work that achieves its power through itsdeliberate sense of contradiction. Traversing 20th-century American foreignpolicy and Cold War politics, it refracts historical tensions through a singleperspective; the complex, emotionally harsh life of spymaster Edward Wilson,played with rigorous precision and eerie i
  • The Pursuit of Happyness

    Dir: Gabriele Muccino. US. 2006. 117mins.Playing against type, Will Smith finds a role wellsuited to his talents in the true-life drama The Pursuit Of Happyness.Though a conventional "inspirational" tale of a saintly underdog findinghard-earned success through sheer will, it stays afloat thanks largely toSmith's effortless charm.In a crowded holidayfilm season, The Pursuit Of Happyness will rely on Smith's marketabi
  • Tribeca to launch sports film festival in conjunction with ESPN

    Tribeca Enterprises and ESPN Inc will launch The Tribeca/ESPNSports Film Festival during the 2007 Tribeca Film festival, which is set to runfrom Apr 25-May 5.
  • TWC has Nightmare for North America, UK, Australia

    TheWeinstein Company has acquired North American, UK and Australian/New Zealand rights to Japanesedirector Shinya Tsukamoto's Nightmare Detective, which recently premiered at the Pusan and Rome filmfestivals.
  • TWC, Genius Products enter alliance with RHI Entertainment

    The Weinstein Company (TWC) and home entertainment distributorGenius Products have entered into a strategic alliance with RHI Entertainment(formerly Hallmark Entertainment).
  • UK producers elect 2007 Pact Council

    UK producers group Pact hasannounced the independent production executives who have been elected to PactCouncil, effective January 2007.Alex Graham will hair withvice chairs Nick Rosen (TV), Andrea Calderwood (feature film), Mike Watts(children's & animation) and Andrew Chitty (interactive). The other council membersare Jane Bevan, Malcolm Brinkworth, Andrew Critchley, Christine Corner, HuwDavies, David Frank, Eileen Gallagher, Stephen Garrett, Alison Grade,
  • UK tax law confirmed to start January 1

    The UK's new film tax breaks will indeed start Jan 1, 2007, as expected. The Chancellor of theExchequer Gordon Brown confirmed the date during his annual Pre-Budget Report.The government also confirmed that it will extend the former Section 42 reliefuntil the end of the year. The new rules givesmaller-budget films a credit of up to 20% and larger-
  • Universal Studios to open theme park in Singapore

    Universal Studios is set toopen its largest theme park in Asia after Infinity@The Bay, a joint venture betweenGenting International and Star Cruises, clinched the bid for the project todevelop an integrated resort on Sentosa island in Singapore. To be located on the eastside of the site, the Universal Studios Sing
  • Venice sets 2007 dates Aug 29-Sept 8

    The 64th Venice FilmFestival will take place Aug 29-Sept 8, 2007 the board of directors of theBiennale announced on Wednesday; the dates were released along with guidelinesto govern the fest's next edition which takes place 75 years after itsinception. Main competition films willbe limited to 20 titles - the 2006 edition had 21 official entries and onesurprise addition added mid-festival. Out of Competition titles will be limitedto 8 (9 were presented in 2006) and 5
  • Vitus, Grounding and Fraulein up for Swiss awards

    Two of this year's localbox-office hits, Michael Steiner and Tobias Fueter's Grounding - The LastDays Of Swissair and Fredi M. Murer'sVitus, and Andrea Staka's GoldenLeopard-winning Das Fraulein areamong the films nominated for the 2007 Swiss Film Prize. A nine-person nominationcommission including Federal Office of Culture's Film Section head NicolasBideau, Locarno festival director Frederic Maire, and distributor Walter Ruggleof trigon film, s
  • Warner UK signs digital download deal with AAM

    Warner Bros Entertainment UKhas signed an electronic sell-through deal for Arts Alliance Media to offer digitaldownloads of Warner Bros movies and TV series.The first DVD title underthe new service is Superman Returns,which was available as of Dec 4 in the UK. The pact will cover Warnernew and catalogue products, including Batman Begins, Charlie And The ChocolateFactory, The Shining and hit TV seriesto come. Dow