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Screen
12 December 2007

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  • 12 Sundance/NHK finalists announced include Zbanic

    Sundance Institute and Japan Broadcasting Corporation NHK have announced the 12 finalists for the 2008 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award.The annual award supports new artists in international cinema and is presented to emerging film directors from four global regions to support them with their next projects.One winner each from Europe, Latin America, the US and Japan will be feted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2008 and will receive $10,000 and a guara
  • 3D dominates discussions at biggest ever CineAsia

    3D and digital cinema have been the major talking points of this year's CineAsia conference (Dec 4-6), which is being held for the first time in the gambling mecca of Macau. The move from Beijing, where the December event ran into freezing cold weather and red tape, has boosted attendance to more than 500 delegates, making this the biggest CineAsia in 14 years. On the first day, Dolby gave a demonstration of its 3D digital cinema technology, and was followed yesterday by Kodak and
  • A closer Look: Brad Wyman and Adam Rifkin

    Look, the latest in a series of collaborations between Los Angeles-based Brad Wyman and Adam Rifkin, has opened up new creative and business vistas for the prolific indie producer and the genre-hopping writer-director.The film mixes raunchy comedy with serious drama to tell five overlapping stories that unfold over a week in a random US city. The attention grabber, though, is that the action is shot to look as though it was captured by the sort of surveillance cameras that are
  • A Walk To Beautiful wins IDA's top award for 2007 documentaries

    Mary Olive Smith's A Walk To Beautiful took top honours in the feature competition at the 2007 International Documentary Association's (IDA) Distinguished Documentary Achievement Awards Gala in Los Angeles at the weekend.The film chronicles the challenges of five women in Ethiopia as they try to rebuild their lives after suffering devastating injuries during childbirth.Yoni Brook's A Son's Sacrifice
  • AAM adds Sony as digital cinema partner in Europe

    Arts Alliance Media has recruited another studio for its digital cinema plans: Sony Pictures Releasing International has signed a non-exclusive long-term agreement with the company for digital cinema deployment. This follows on June 2007 AAM pacts with Fox and Universal and an October 2007 deal with Paramount. Sony will supply its films in digital format to AAM-deployed, DCI-compliant digital screens and will also make financial contributions to promote digital cinema, in other
  • Academy unveils 56 songs eligible for original song Oscar

    Fifty-nine songs from eligible features are in the running for the 80th Academy Awards' original song category.On January 15 the Academy will screen clips featuring each song, in random order, for voting members of the music branch in both Beverly Hills and New York City. Following the screenings, members will vote to determine three, four or five nominees.To be eligible, a song must consist of original words and music written specifically for the film. A clearly audible,
  • AMC to install 100 IMAX digital projection systems in 33 major US cities

    Giant-screen pioneer IMAX Corp. and US exhibitor AMC Entertainment have signed a joint-venture agreement to install 100 IMAX digital projection systems at AMC locations in 33 major US markets. The agreement promises to double IMAX's installed base by 2010. The US Nasdaq exchange responded to the news by boosting IMAX's share price by nearly 35% before opening this morning.The rollout of the first 50 systems will begin in July 2008, followed by 25 in 2009 and a further 25
  • Arcand, Cronenberg, Maddin among TIFF's Canada Top Ten selection

    Denys Arcand's Days Of Darkness, David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises and Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg were among the finalists as the Toronto International Film Festival Group (TIFFG) announced its 2007 Canada's Top Ten lists of the country's best feature and short films. The presentations were made in Toronto at an event hosted by actors Wendy Crewson and Luke Kirby.
  • Awards countdown - People - Awards people

    NICOLE KIDMANThe star of both Margot At The Wedding and The Golden Compass tells Mike Goodridge how she tackled such dark roles.We may see her on red carpets looking every inch the style queen, but Nicole Kidman says her natural instincts are not to embrace the glamour. "I seek out characters like Margot," she says, referring to her latest bold performance in Noah Baumbach's unforgiving portrait of family life, Margot At The Wedding. Margot is a successful writer whose st
  • Awards countdown - Women of substance

    Unlike 2006, when Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Kate Winslet and Penelope Cruz all gave showstopping performances, 2007 is not a bumper year for actresses.
  • Bavaria takes on world sales for Doerrie's Cherry Blossoms - Hanami

    Bavaria Film International will handle world sales for Doris Doerrie's Cherry Blossoms - Hanami, which will have its world premiere in Berlinale Competition. Munich-based Olga Film produces, reteaming after working with Doerrie more than two decades ago on Men. Co-producers are Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), ARD/Degeto and arte and other backers are Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, the German Federal Film Board (FFA) and the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF).
  • Belgium - Extra dimension

    Earlier this autumn, Summit Entertainment acquired North American distribution rights to 3D animated feature Fly Me To The Moon. Following three stowaway flies inside the helmets of lunar astronauts, the film was directed and produced by Ben Stassen, also co-founder of Belgium-based nWave Pictures. "It makes it easier to control things," he says of his multiple roles.For more than a decade, nWave has been known as a producer of "ride films for the motion simulator market" and fo
  • Berlinale announces five world premieres

    World premieres of new films by Damian Harris, Doris Doerrie, Wang Xiaoshuai and Errol Morris are among the first eight titles confirmed so far for the Competition programme of next February's Berlinale (February 7-17). The five world premieres selected by festival director Dieter Kosslick are: Damian Harris's UK-US production Gardens Of The Night, starring Gillian Jacobs, Evan Ross, Tom Arnold and John Malkovich, about two children who are forced to fend for
  • Berlinale expects 5,000+ submissions for 2008 festival

    Organisers are expecting that the 2008 edition of the Berlin International Film Festival will again be a record-breaking one when it opens its doors on Feb 7, 2008. Speaking to ScreenDaily.com during this week's Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia's Tallinn, Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick said that he expects more than 5,000 films to be submitted for consideration for selection to one of the festival's sections. A total of 4,921 titles were entered for t
  • Beta Cinema to handle Helmer's third feature Absurdistan

    Beta Cinema will handle world sales for German film-maker Veit Helmer's third feature Absurdistan which will have its world premiere in January in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Absurdistan's screenplay, which was co-written by Helmer with Gordan Mihic and Zaza Buadze, was selected as one of the three finalists for the Sundance/NHK Award 2006 and was developed with support from the Mediterranean Film Institute and Sources 2.
  • Box Office Focus: Fred Claus stays strong in UK against mighty Compass

    Holdover titles in the UK generally suffered steep drops at the box office this weekend as The Golden Compass accounted for nearly 60% of the top 20 revenue this weekend.The fantasy adventure, released through Entertainment Film Distributors, enjoyed an $11.6m (£5.7m) three-day take from 507 sites for a whopping $22,937 (£11,251) site average. The film has generated $14.8m since opening on Wednesday (Dec 5) and marks the seventh highest opening of 2007 in the UK, including pre
  • Brussels Fund starts $1.17m lab for maverick film-makers

    In a move designed to ensure that maverick filmmakers do not slip through the net, Brussels-based VAF (The Flanders AudioVisual Fund) is setting up a new fund targeting new talent. The Filmlab, as the new scheme is called, will invest $1.17m (Euros 800,000) in supporting adventurous new film projects. This will include seed money for expensive projects as well as funding for lower-budget films. March 2008 is the first deadline for submissions to the Filmlab. 'No guts, no glory' is
  • Caramel

    Dir: Nadine Labaki. Lebanon-France. 2007. 96mins. Nadine Labaki's debut feature is an assured and wonderfully engaging romantic comedy. At time
  • Charlie Mitchell takes development post at MARV Films

    Matthew Vaughn and Kris Thykier's UK-based production company MARV Films has added Charlie Mitchell as head of development.Mitchell had been development executive at Robert Jones' Material Entertainment, and prior to that worked in development at Pathe Pictures.At MARV, he will work on a slate including WWI drama The Truce written by Stuart Beattie, action thriller Target 18 written by Paul
  • China - Stone's man on a roll

    In mid September in China's south-east coastal city Xiamen, Ning Hao was shooting his fourth feature, Silver Medalist. More than 50 Chinese reporters visited the set for interviews - just a year ago the 30-year-old film-maker could not have imagined his new film would attract so much attention.The reason for the huge interest is the success of Ning's previous film, Crazy Stone, in China. A black comedy starring the virtually unknown Huang Bo, Crazy Stone is a miles
  • China expected to extend Christmas black-out period

    Chinese authorities are understood to be extending the ban on new Hollywood films being released over the Christmas period until the end of the Chinese New Year holidays, according to local sources. China's year-end box office season, which is traditionally reserved for local movies, officially gets underway tonight with the grand premiere ceremony of Peter Ho-sun Chan's The Warlords in the Beijing Olympics Sports Centre. However this year, according to cinema owners in Bei
  • Clare Morrow to join Screen Yorkshire in Industry Development

    Regional screen agency Screen Yorkshire has announced that Clare Morrow will head its Industry Development team. Morrow takes her post in January. Until April she was controller of programmes north for ITV, and currently works as a freelance executive producer and manager of the Broadcasting and Creative Industries Disability Network. 'I am delighted to be joining Screen Yorkshire at an exciting time for the industry with the BBC's plans to move significant production north,' sh
  • Colin McCabe demands end of 'tragic decade' for British Film Institute

    Distinguished British academic and producer Colin MacCabe has today (Monday) publicly announced his candidature for the post of Chair of the British Film Institute (BFI).The current chairman Anthony Minghella is due to step down at the end of the year. Whether or not MacCabe’s application is successful, it is bound to provoke debate about the future direction of the BFI.In a strongly-worded letter to James Purnell, Secretary of State Department of Culture, Media and Sport, MacCa
  • Compass disappoints domestically with $26.1m gross

    The Golden Compass secured the number one spot with ease at the weekend however New Line executives will be disappointed with the estimated $26.1m estimated three-day gross.By contrast New Line's The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring opened in December 2001 on $47.2m, The Two Towers launched a year later on $62m and The R
  • Czech film-makers see boosts in government and private funding

    Three recent developments in the Czech Republic -- one private, two public -- will make an additional $12.8m available to Czech productions next year. The government decided in November to increase the budget of the Culture Ministry this year by $5.7m (CZK 100m) earmarked for Czech cinematography. The money would be reserved from this year's funds and made accessible to film-makers in 2008. The government says the move is a stop-gap measure for next year while the government conti
  • Del Toro and Morgan among guests at Screenwriters Festival

    The annual International Screenwriters' Festival has announced early details of its third edition, which will take place in Cheltenham on July 1-3. Speakers will include Guillermo Del Toro (The Orphanage, Pan's Labyrinth), who was a speaker at the first event in 2006.Other guests include Peter Morgan (Frost/ Nixon, The Queen, Last King Of Scotland) and Deborah Moggach (Pride & Prejudice).The event comes at a critical time for the business with H
  • Dream, Nanking share top prize at Taipei projects market

    Clara Law and Yim Ho shared the top award at the 3rd Taipei Film & TV Project Promotion (TFTPP) held Dec 4-6, dividing the cash prize of $15,500. Ironically, runner-up Sherwood Hu walked away with $9,300. Law's $2m Like A Dream follows an American-born Chinese who travels from New York to Shanghai where he falls in love with a local girl and her lookalike. Yim's $35m Nanking Xmas 1937 , about the Nanjing Massacre, tells its story through the eyes of an American famil
  • Elah, White Girlstake top prizes at Bahamas festival

    The fourth-annual Bahamas International Film Festival awarded its top prize, the Spirit of Freedom, to Paul Haggis' In The Valley Of Elah, while the New Vision Award went to director Jennifer Sharp's Los Angeles-set romantic comedy I'm Through With White Girls, starring Anthony Montgomery and Bahamian-born actress-producer Lia Johnson.Actor Anthony Mackie, one of the stars of Half Nelson (which won the New Vision Award last year) handed out the prizes, keepin
  • Escape joins Sohonet for PODS programme with MPC

    Escape Studios has joined the entertainment industry network Sohonet. London-based Escape is a CGI training and consultation facility and the company will use Sohonet for its new Escape PODS graduate programme. Graduate students of the Escape CGI programme will wok on actual TV and film projects from partner Moving Picture Company (MPC). Sohonet will allow data to be transferred from MPC to Escape, where graduates will work as fully paid freelancers. Other studios are expected t
  • European digital cinemaclose to breaking deadlock - report

    Digital cinema deals signed by studios and exhibitors with integrator Arts Alliance Media (AAM)is close to breaking the D-cinema deadlock in Europe, according to analyst Screen Digest.While rollout has continued apace in the US, there has been an impasse in Europe with a few exceptions such as the UK's digital screen network. Disagreements over a fair business model for distributors and exhibitors have been the main stumbling block.But AAM's virtual print fee-funded plan
  • Fenady named co-president of physical production at Universal

    Universal Pictures has promoted Andrew Fenady to the newly created position of co-president of physical production.Fenady will continue to report to president of physical production James Brubaker. The pair will play a greater role in overseeing all aspects of physical production including production planning, budgeting, scheduling, crew hiring and managing day-to-day film-making operations.Brubaker called Fenady 'an exceptionally talented and committed executive', adding
  • France makes headway in international chart with L'Auberge, Luke

    While The Golden Compass was largely accountable for the 14.5% week-on-week increase in the international top 40, two new entries from France made their presence known taking a collective $4.3m.For the full international chart, compiled by Len Klady, click here.Roissy Films' comedy L'Auberge Rouge was the second highest new entry, coming in at number nine with a $3.1m take. The fi
  • Free Roaming: UK producer Kevin Loader

    Kevin Loader has an increasingly international outlook. The prolific UK producer (whose forthcoming credits include Good and Brideshead Revisited) is in post-production on The Oxford Murders, a co-production with Spain's Tornasol Films.Loader's Free Range Film is the UK partner on Alex de la Iglesia's $10m Spain-France-UK project. 'We had an extremely valuable creative role to play because it was an English-language film although it was based on an Argentinian nove
  • Future Shorts launches new Secret Cinema series in 6 cities

    Future Shorts and Future Cinema are launching a new events series, Secret Cinema. The monthly screenings will surprise guests with unannounced films shown at themed locations with surprise scores, special guests and live installations. The series starts Dec 16 in London, and will continue in Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast from February. The website with further information is www.secretcinema.org -
  • Garage

    Dir: Leonard Abrahamson. Ireland-UK. 85minsThe remarkably assured second film from Lenny Abrahamson, Garage offers a portrait of village life in rural Ireland far removed from welcoming tourist-board cliches. Boasting a superb central performance by Pat Shortt, the film revolves around garage attendant Josie, a slow-witted, almost childlike individual whose marginal position in a close-knit, fiercely judgemental community in central Ireland falls apart when his fri
  • GEM works for DVD, theatrical launch of Peterson films

    GEM Entertainment has taken UK and US rights to seven features from UK-based Global Films, EdgeImageBank, Norwood Pictures, and Mnemonics Pictures. Nick Peterson, also known as a musician under the name Virtual Alien, directed all of the films. Five that will be released on DVD are: Writing On The Wall, about a young man's life depicted through graffiti, Nigerian documentary Burning From The Inside, Paul Gambaccini documentary Digital Broadcast, brothe
  • George Clooney opens Dubai International Film Festival

    The fourth edition of the Dubai International Film Festival, which showcases 141 films from 52 countries, kicked off with a glamorous gala presentation of legal thriller Michael Clayton. Speaking at the opening press conference, the film's star George Clooney highlighted the role of the lavishly-funded festival in acting as a bridge betwen the Arab world and the West: 'We have to get to the point where we understand each other a bit more, and art is a great way of doing that'.
  • Global Film Initiative awards completion funds to seven films

    The Global Film Initiative (GFI) has awarded completion funds to seven film-makers during it autumn granting cycle.The projects are: Ahmed Rashwan's Egpytian second world war romance 100% Alive; Hassan Yektapanah's Iranian ID card drama Bibi; Oscar Ruiz Navia's Colombian landowner saga Crab Trap; and Ubaka Joseph Ugochukwu's Nigeria/Senegal road movie
  • Glory days for Middle East

    One of the unexpected consequences of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 has been the resurgence of Middle Eastern and North African cinema. Alongside the established players - Egypt, still living off its Bollywood-on-the-Nile reputation, and arthouse darling Iran - countries with little cinematic infrastructure have begun to emerge. In 2003, Siddiq Barmak led Afghanistan out of the club of nations that have never produced a feature film with Osama. Two years lat
  • Golden Compass rules international box office with $55m opening

    As expected The Golden Compass ruled the waves at the weekend following an estimated $55m overseas haul through New Line International from approximately 5,000 screens in 25 territories. Click here for review.Chris Weitz's adaptation of Philip Pullman's acclaimed fantasy adventure soared to the top of the charts in every country, led by the UK where it took $18m over five days.Elsewhere th
  • Golden Compass takes nearly $2m on UK Wednesday opening

    Fantasy adventure The Golden Compass was off to a mighty start at the UK box office as it took nearly $2m (£1m) in its first day on release.The film, released through Entertainment Film Distributors, generated a robust $1.86m (£920,479) from 502 cinemas in the UK and Ireland on its opening day (Weds, Dec 5).This marks the third highest Wednesday opener in the territory for 2007 after Hot Fuzz, which opened Feb 14 with a $1.9m (£946,843) take from 347
  • Goldwyn, Red Envelope team to buy domestic rights to Trumbo

    Samuel Goldwyn Films and Red Envelope Entertainment have jointly acquired Peter Askin's documentary Trumbo about the life of blacklisted Oscar winning screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.The partners plan a late spring 2008 release on the film, which recounts Trumbo's eventful life through his letters and is based on his son Christopher's stage play.Trumbo earned his first Oscar nomination in 1941 for Kitty
  • Gosling to receive Santa Barbara's first Independent Award

    Ryan Gosling will receive the first Independent Award at the 23rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), which runs from January 24-February 3 2008.The Independent Award was established to recognise an actor who has made 'a significant and unique contribution to independent film' and will be presented to Gosling on January 29.Gosling currently stars in the drama Lars And The Real Girl and earned an Oscar nomination earli
  • Guy Maddin and Isabella Rossellini open 2008 Berlinale Forum

    For the third year in a row, Guy Maddin and Isabella Rossellini will have films shown at the forthcoming Berlinale.My Winnipeg, Maddin's autobiographical fairytale about his Canadian native city, and Rossellini's three one-minute Green Porno shorts made for mobile phones and mobile video players will have their international premieres as the opening presentation of the Berlinale's Forum on February 8.Maddin's silent movie Brand Upon Th
  • Halle Berry to receive Achievement Award at Palm Springs in Jan

    Halle Berry will collect the 19th Annual Palm Springs InternationalFilm Festival's (PSIFF) Desert Palm Achievement Award on January 5 2008.Berry stars opposite Benicio Del Toro in Susanne Bier's debutEnglish-language drama Things We lost In The Fire and earned praisefrom festival chairman Earl Greenburg for her 'dramatic acting andpowerful emotion'.Berry won the Oscar in 2002 for Monster's Ball
  • Harry Potter star Pattinson takes lead male role in Summit's Twilight

    Robert Pattinson has joined Kristen Stewart on Summit Entertainment's romantic thriller Twilight that Catherine Hardwicke is set to begin filming in North American in February 2008.Pattinson, best known for his role as the gallant Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter series, will play the vampire Edward who falls dangerously in love with a young woman who arrives in town. Stewart plays the young woman Bel
  • Hong Kong's Pang Brothers to direct Storm Riders sequel

    Hong Kong-based Universe Entertainment is lining up a sequel to 1998 martial arts fantasy The Storm Riders, to be directed by the Pang Brothers (Bangkok Dangerous, Re-cycle). The Storm Riders II (working title) is budgeted at $12m and scheduled to start shooting in March 2008 for tentative delivery in October 2009. The lengthy post-production period is necessary due to the extensive CGI that the film requires. Special effects will be handled by Fat Face
  • I Am Legend

    Dir: Francis Lawrence US. 2007. 100mins.Will Smith makes up what is essentially the one-man cast of I Am Legend, a darkly intense sci-fi/horror drama based on the classic Richard Matheson novella and directed, with the same kind of flair he brought to 2005's Constantine, by Francis Lawrence. Genre afficionados should be easily won over, in spite of the liberties taken with Matheson's tale. And Smith's star power could help producer-distributors Warner Bros and Village Roa
  • In Focus - The Shorts shift

    The short film reflects the way society is changing,' Berlinale chairman Dieter Kosslick said last week, announcing the festival's increased interest in the form. 'It is radical without constrictions.'It is a strong claim for a form that has often been little more than a calling card for wannabe feature makers. Is there any reason to believe the short film is growing up as a commercially artistic and viable medium in its own right'In terms of numbers, the answer is a resounding
  • Indonesian filmmakers call for new film rating system

    A revised proposal of a new film rating system was submitted to Indonesia 's Constitutional Court in Jakarta today, with the intention of replacing the dated censorship laws made during former President Suharto's regime in 1992. The proposal was submitted by Masyaraka Film Indonesia, the Indonesian Film Society set up last December by local filmmakers against censorship and for the betterment of the Indonesian film industry. The society, represented by filmmakers Nia Dinata, Riri
  • In-flight movies - Eyes In The Skies

    Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal, Warner: along one aisle of September's World Airline Entertainment Association (Waea) convention in Toronto, the majors were looking to sell their movies to the world's most captive audience.Extreme long-haul flights (Los Angeles to Singapore, for instance, takes 18-and-a-half hours) are increasingly the norm. Strapped in with nowhere else to look, passengers are watching three or more films in one flight. That is often more than many see in a y
  • International - Nessun dorma

    Italy's box office may typically be dormant during summer months but it is making up for it now as three titles generated nearly $7m this weekend, accounting for 5.5% of the international top 40's revenue.New entry Winx Club: Il Segreto Del Regno Perduto catapulted to number eight in the chart, with a $3.2m take after opening only in its home territory. The CGI animation played across 532 screens for a $6,081 screen average. It is based on the hit TV series Winx Club, cre
  • Into The Wild, Juno lead Broadcast Film Critics nominations

    Into the Wild led the field in the 2007 Broadcast Film Critics Awards with seven nominations including best picture, director for Sean Penn, actor for Emile Hirsch and supporting actor for Hal Holbrook.Fox Searchlight's Juno was close behind with six for best picture, comedy movie, actress for Ellen Page, writer for Diablo Cody, young actor for Michael Cera and acting ensemble.
  • Japan's Avex establishes arthouse subsidiary

    Avex Group film subisidary, Avex Entertainment, has launched an arthouse label PiX Inc, the company announced yesterday. PiX will handle arthouse and other specialty titles that fall outside of Avex Entertainment's more mainstream contents. Avex Entertainment formed the company with a capital outlay of Y60m ($536,000). Avex Entertainment COO Mio Sato will head PiX as CEO. Avex stated that while the art house boom has passed in Japan, there's a well-established core audience
  • Japan's Shinobu Yaguchi returns to director's chair

    After a three year absence from feature films, director Shinobu Yaguchi is set to direct a new comedy set in the world of air travel entitled Happy Flight (working title). Based on research conducted by Yaguchi last year, Happy Flight's story is set on a flight bound for Honolulu, Hawaii. With elements of comedy and suspense, the story will focus on young co-pilot training to become a pilot, his hard-nosed trainer, a ditzy flight attendant on her first international flight,
  • Jason Lee to star in dark comedy Thicker for Feverpitch

    Jeffrey D Erb and Joe Nicolo's Feverpitch Pictures has lined up the dark comedy Thicker to star Jason Lee and Christopher Lloyd.Erb and Nicolo will produce with Leslie Zemeckis and Terry Nemeroff will direct Thicker, which the producers describe as a tale of 'lethal greed and even deadlier desire.'Production is set to begin in May 2008 and the cast includes Leslie Zemeckis, Peter Facinelli a
  • Josh Lucas signs on for Morahan's $15m God's Spy

    Josh Lucas with lead the cast in God's Spy, alongside Jordi Molla, Giancarlo Giannini, and Peter O'Toole. Andy Morahan will direct the $15m UK-Canada co-production. Cardinal Pictures' Lovett Bickford will produce in association with Local Films' executive producer Kim Leggatt. Brian Phelan wrote the script, based on true events that led to an Italian banker's death in London in 1982. The story starts with a priest working undercover on Wall Street in the 1970s and veers
  • Kill Them All (Matar a Todos)

    Dir: Esteban Schroeder. Uruguay, Argentina, Chile. 2007. 97mins. In Kill Them All, Esteban Schroeder plumbs the unstable political landscape of fledgling democracies in the South America of the early '90s. His confident, dynamic investigation of the complicity of governments that succeeded the juntas in countries like his native Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile recalls the best of Costa-Gavras; that it focuses on the aftermath of the so-called dirty wars rather th
  • Koch Lorber picks up US rights to Chop Shop

    Koch Lorber Films has acquired US rights from Big Beach to Ramin Bahrani's Chop Shop.The company has set a theatrical release at New York's Film Forum for February 2008 followed by DVD roll-out. Earlier this year Koch Lorber released Bahrani's previous film Man Push Cart on DVD this year.Chop Shop played at Cannes, Toronto,
  • KOFIC and KEIC move toward new film insurance plan

    The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) and the Korea Export Insurance Corporation (KEIC) today signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) towards the creation of a Cultural Export Insurance specifically for films. The MOU was 'an agreement to work together to support the local film industry' - to explore ways to steadily expand Cultural Export Insurance for Films and to give favorable status to films and film funds that KOFIC evaluates and recommends to KEIC. In addition, KOFICwill provide K
  • La Graine Et Le Mulet wins France's Louis Delluc prize

    The 2007 Louis Delluc prize has been given to Abdellatif Kechiche's La Graine Et Le Mulet. Cannes Festival president Gilles Jacob, who also heads the Louis Delluc jury, presented the award to Kechiche in a ceremony in Paris on Wednesday - the same day that the film opens in French theatres.The film, handled internationally by Pathe,
  • Legend still waiting for China release greenlight

    Warner Bros' post-apocalyptic thriller I Am Legend, starring Will Smith, will be released in most Asian territories this weekend except for mainland China. The mainland China release date of the film will likely be later than mid-February, due to the prolonged black-out period of foreign films. 'We struggled very, very hard to try to get it to work out, but there are only a certain amount of foreign films that are allowed in,' Smith told reporters in Hong Kong on Friday.
  • Louis Gossett Jr leads cast of The Least Among You

    Principal photography has commenced in Los Angeles on the inspirational drama The Least Among You starring Louis Gossett Jr and newcomer Cedric Sanders.Mark Young wrote and is directing the story of a promising African-American student whose early dreams of escaping ghetto life are dashed only for him to discover a mentor while on parole at a seminary.Julia Verdin is producing the Witenuckle Films and Rough Diamond Productions proj
  • Lust, Caution sweeps Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards

    Ang Lee's Lust, Caution dominated the 44th Golden Horse Awards in Taipei with seven wins including best feature, best director, best actor and best adapted screenplay. The film had received eleven nominations. Tony Ayres' The Home Song Stories took best actress for Joan Chen's performance and best original screenplay. The Australia-Singapore co-production had been nominated in seven categories. Teng Huatao's The Matrimony and Jay Chou's The Secret also
  • Maia Morgenstern to chair Hungarian Film Week jury

    For the 39th Hungarian Film Week (Jan 29-Feb 5, 2008), Romanian actress Maia Morgenstern will chair the jury. The jury is also comprised of FIPRESCI general secretary Klaus Eder, director Krisztina Goda, cinematographer Janos Kende and theatre director Istvan Marta. The Budapest-based event will for the second year let the international jury select feature film prizes. Local film-makers have entered 30 features in competition and 12 out of competition, and a pr
  • Mark Gooder takes over from Davey as CEO of Icon Group

    Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey have appointed Mark Gooder CEO of the Icon Group of companies as Davey prepares to step down as CEO of Icon Productions on January 1, 2008 while continuing as chairman of the board.Gooder will step up from his current role as president of acquisitions and development to oversee Icon Productions, Icon Entertainment International and the UK and Australian distribution companies. He also joins the Icon board along with COO and CFO Vicki Christianson.
  • Meadows, Wright and Corbijn vie for South Bank Show Awards

    The UK's South Bank Show has announced its nominees for its 2008 awards. The ITV show is presented by Melvyn Bragg and recognises several areas of the arts. In the film category, the three nominees are Shane Meadows' This Is England, Joe Wright's Atonement and Anton Corbijn's Control. Edgar Wright's hit film Hot Fuzz is also up for the comedy award, alongside BBC Three TV series Gavin and Stacey and Alan Carr: Tooth Fairy
  • MGM signs multi-year VOD deal with France Telecom/Orange

    MGM has signed a multi-year deal with France Telecom's Orange offering subscribers to Orange's 24/24 Video service a range of recent releases and titles from the distributor's 3,000-strong library via VOD.MGM's films will be offered to Orange customers in France, Spain and Poland who subscribe to either the broadband digital television package or high speed internet package. The service will soon extend to UK customers.Films include recent releases like
  • New jury selects nine actors for Shooting Stars at 2008 Berlinale

    Romania's Anamaria Marinca, Germany's Hannah Herzsprung and the UK's Andrew Garfield are among nine of the best young actors in Europe who have been named by European Film Promotion (EFP) as the Shooting Stars of 2008 to be showcased at the forthcoming Berlinale. They were selected by a jury of prominent industry figures including the German cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, UK actress Lucy Russell, Danish producer Vibeke Windeløv, LA-based personal manager/producer Derek Power, a
  • New Line is hoping Compass will be golden in 27 territories

    The Golden Compass should direct New Line International (NLI) toward sparkling returns this weekend as the fantasy adventure launches in 27 territories.Early results indicate a mighty gross as the film took $4.3m from nine advance launches on Dec 5 that produced eight number one opening days. The UK led the way on $1.9m, while France generated $792,423 and Spain grossed $731,529.The film, the first adaptation of Philip Pullman's
  • New Line takes film rights to Capella's Chemistry For Beginners

    New Line has optioned the rights to Anthony Capella's forthcoming novel Chemistry For Beginners, in what is described as a 'high five-figure deal.'The book is described as a zany romantic comedy in a much different vein than Capella's usual work.Ileen Maisel, senior VP of European production, brought the project to New Line. AP Watt agent Rob Kraitt negotiated for the author. New Line also worked with AP Watt for Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass.New L
  • New York critics opt for No Country For Old Men

    The Coen Brothers dominated the New York Film Critics Circle awards announced this morning, taking best picture, director, screenplay and supporting actor for Javier Bardem. Paul Thomas Anderson's oil saga There Will Be Blood, which was the clear favourite with the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's at the weekend, earned two awards as Daniel Day-Lewis was named best actor and Robert Elswit took best cinematography honours. Sar
  • New York online critics pile awards on There Will Be Blood

    There Will Be Blood dominated the major categories in the New York Film Critics Online's 2007 poll, tying for best film with The Diving Bell And The Butterfly and earning director and actor honours for Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis as well as the cinematography prize for Robert Elswit and best music/score for Jonny Greenwood.Julie Christie was named best actress for
  • Northern Lights, Moxie launch new $500,000 production prize

    This year's Northern Lights Film Festival (NLFF) in Newcastle will serve as a platform for launching a new feature film production prize in the UK worth up to $500,000 (£250,000).The programme, dubbed The Big Pitch, is a new venture from micro studio Moxie Makers and will provide training and development for six producer/writer/director teams as they compete for the production finance prize. It is supported by Skillset.The winner will receive guaranteed production finance
  • Ozer Kiziltan's Takva wins top prize at Estonian Black Nights festival

    Ozer Kiziltan's Takva - A Man's Fear Of God was named best film at the 11th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.The Turkish film about a man's struggle to balance religious devotion withsuccess in asecular world won the$15,000 EurAsia competition.The most honours went to Estonian homegrown favourite, Veiko Ounpuu's Autumn Ball, which has beenpicking up awards around the festival circuit.Its six awards includedbest actress for Maaraja Jakobson, Ital
  • Painted Skin starts shooting with Chan as director

    Gordon Chan has replaced Wilson Yip and Andy Chin as director on the $15m mythical thriller Painted Skin, which has started shooting in Beijing. Donnie Yen, Zhou Xun and Vicky Zhao Wei head the cast of the film which also stars Chen Kun, Sun Li and Singapore star Qi Yuwu (The Home Song Stories). As announced at the Shanghai International Film Festival in June, the film is jointly financed by a group of companies headed by China's Ningxia Film Studio, Singapore's Medi
  • Paramount signs French home entertainment deal with Gaumont

    Paramount Home Entertainment France and Gaumont Video have signed an accord which will see the former release the French major's films in the French DVD sector.Paramount's Luigi-Theo Calabrese said the partnership should allow the duo to 'pass the 10% market share bar for France.' No specific duration was indicated for the deal. 'In a more and more sensitive market, Gaumont Video needed a distributor who shares the same vision and who more than ever supports its quality editoria
  • Parkinson named senior vice president at Content Partners

    Krista Parkinson has joined Los Angeles-based Content Partners as senior vice president and will leverage her business relationships in Hollywood to further Content's plan of purchasing clients' backend profit participation in film, television and music.Parkinson will remain a consultant with Tony Hawk's 900 Films; she previously served as president of graduate services company First Step Media. Prior to that she worked in William Morris Agency's television department.'I
  • Paul Hills starts post-production on Do Elephants Pray'

    Post-production has started on the $1m romantic drama Do Elephants Pray'Paul
  • Pfeiffer/Kutcher romance begins shooting in Vancouver

    Insight Film Studios has begun principal photography in Vancouver on the romance Personal Effects starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Ashton Kutcher.Voltage Pictures introduced the project to foreign buyers at AFM and has completed pre-sales in more than 25 territories.The story centres on a man who arrives in a small town seeking to avenge his sister's death and falls for an older woman. Kathy Bates also stars.Gil Netter, I
  • Production - Coming attractions - Drawing on history

    Dhulm - Years Of Torment (Lib)Director: Najdat AnzourStatus: pre-productionBased on a treatment by Libyan president Muammar al-Gaddafi, who is also financing the $50m project, this historical epic was launched provocatively at a Rome press conference in October. The multi-linear drama, due to start shooting at the beginning of next year, is set against the backdrop of Italy's harsh occupation of Libya (1911-43), when tens of thousands of locals were gassed, deported or in
  • Production - Festival focus - Dubai fest bids for star status

    Now in its fourth year, the Dubai International Film Festival (Diff) has become a focal point for the Persian Gulf's growing interest in the film industry as an economic, cultural and PR platform.Festival chairman Abdulhamid Juma points out that until recently, the territory was known in the film world chiefly "as a backdrop for Syriana" - but now, with that film's star George Clooney flying in for the opening gala screening of his latest title, Michael Clayton, "we've co
  • Production designer Boyle to receive honorary Oscar

    Production designer Robert Boyle will receive an honourary Oscar at the 80th Annual Academy Awards on February 24 2008.The board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to present Boyle with the honour 'in recognition of one of cinema's great careers in art direction.'Boyle earned four Oscar nominations in art direction for his work on North By Northwest, Gaily, Gaily, Fiddler On The Roof and
  • Romulus, My Fathernamed best film byAustralian Film Insitute

    Romulus, My Father last night won the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award for best film for producers Robert Connolly and John Maynard. 'Some people think awards are a bit frivolous but I think they are of real value,' said Connolly just hours before the award was announced in Melbourne. He then explained that Magnolia Pictures saw Romulus in Toronto but only struck a deal for US rights from Arclight after the film had scored 16 nominations, more than any other film
  • Rotterdam increases Tiger Awards prizes; festival honours Kobayashi

    Rotterdam has upped the ante for its 2008 festival, asking main sponsor, Dutch broadcaster VPRO, to raise the total prize money for the Tiger Awards to $65,800 (Euros 45,000), or $21,932 (Euros 15,000) to each of the three winners. That's up from $14,620 (Euros 10,000) each last year, or a total of $43,683 (Euros 30,000).The festival said 'it is important for the IFFR to strengthen its position by offering more money.' The Tiger Awards are only open to first or second films, and an inter
  • Sarajevo Festival launches fund for Talent Campus shorts

    The Sarajevo Film Festival is launching a new project, Sarajevo City Of Film, in partnership with the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Government. The initiative will see the festival create a fund that will give participants of the Sarajevo Talent Campus the chance to create low-budget short films inspired by the city. Shorts will be fiction, documentaries or animation projects. The Sarajevo Talent Campus recently finished its first successful edition. The programme, in coo
  • Screen opinion - Marketing aloud

    At Cannes this year, an enterprising producer came up with the wheeze of advertising his film on the underside of toilet seats in leading hotels. It's a ploy that carries with it an in-built joke about the quality of the product but it expresses a truth that's become increasingly evident this year.If there is one fact of life with which we all wrestle, it's what marketing people call 'noise'. When the most basic of bodily functions becomes an opportunity to sell, you know it's tough to
  • Sky gets UK broadcast rights to Oscars and Golden Globes

    UK TV company Sky has announced that it will broadcast the Golden Globe Awards live on Sky Movies Premiere for the first time. Live red carpet coverage and awards highlights will be shown on Jan 13 and Jan 14 on Sky One, in Sky's exclusive UK broadcast deal. For the fourth consecutive year, Sky will also broadcast the Academy Awards. Those will be shown on Sky Movies Premiere live on Feb 24, with a highlights show on Sky One Feb 25. Claudia Winkleman will host live covera
  • Sorrenti's Wednesday takes top prize at Cologne Short Cuts

    Rob Sorrenti's short film Wednesday (UK) won the first jury prize at the Short Cuts International Short Film Festival in Cologne, Germany. The jury praised the film's 'sensitive script, clear direction and convincing cinematography used to convey the moving story of an apparently coincidental love affair.' Wednesday has some high profile backers, including Working Title Films and executive producer Stephen Daldry. Wednesday is the story of a gir
  • Swedish government gives $3m for Bergman's legacy

    The Swedish government has allocated $3.1m (Euros 2.1m) to secure the artistic legacy of Ingmar Bergman, equally sharing the grant between his work in cinema and on stage.The Ingmar Bergman Foundation will receive $900,000 (Euros 600,000) to preserve and digitise the Bergman archives - starting with the 45 packing cases of memorabilia he originally donated to the Swedish Film Institute.'It is really good news that the government has decided to contribute this way. However, the d
  • The Bucket List

    Dir: Rob Reiner. US. 2007. 93 mins.It's never less than entertaining to watch Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman spar with each other even if the vehicle they have chosen to do it in is a soft-centred Hollywood life lesson about old fellas battling cancer. As directed by Rob Reiner, whose once stellar career has languished of late (Alex & Emma, The Story Of Us, Rumor Has It), The Bucket List feels incongruously sugar-coated in an era of stripped-down movies a
  • The Kite Runner to close Dubai festival on Dec 16

    Marc Forster's The Kite Runner is the surprise closing film for the Dubai International Film Festival.The Dec 16 closing night event will welcome the book's author Khaled Hosseini and the film's cast including Khalid Abdalla, Homayoun Ershadi, Zekiria Ebrahami, Ali Danesh Bakhtyari, Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada and Sayed Jafar Massihullah, along with executive producer Laurie MacDonald and producers William Horberg, Walter F. Parkes, Rebecca Yeldham and E. Bennett Walsh. Mega
  • The Weinstein Company picks up rights to Telepool 3D animation

    The Weinstein Company has acquired rights from Munich-based Telepool for all English-language and Latin-American territories for the European 3D animated film Niko & The Way To The Stars by Michael Hegner and Kari Juusonen.Described as 'a modern-day fairytale for the whole family', the CGI-animated film about the adventures of the little reindeer Niko will have its European premiere on October 10, 2008 in Scandinavia where it is being released by Nordisk Film.
  • The Works to handle international sales on high-wire doc

    The Works International is to handle international sales for James Marsh's documentary Man On Wire.The film tells the story of daredevil Philippe Petit's attempt to walk across a high wire between New York's Twin Towers in 1974.Currently in post-production, the film will premiere in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008. Marsh won international won a BAFTA for his last filmWisconsin Death Trip. His first dramatic fe
  • Then She Found Me to open Palm Springs Film Festival in Jan

    The US premiere of Helen Hunt's feature directorial debut Then She Found Me will open the 19th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 3 2008.Festival organisers have lined up international gala screenings of Fatih Akin's The Edge Of Heaven from Germany, Danielle Luchetti's My Brother Is An Only Child from Italy and Jonah Markowitz' US film
  • There Will Be Blood dominates Los Angeles Film Critics awards

    There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson's epic saga set against the backdrop of America's burgeoning oil industry, was the big winner at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) end of year voting yesterday, taking four prizes including best picture, best director and best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis.The movie also won an award for Jack Fisk's production design and was runner-up in screenplay (Anderson), cinematography (Robert Elswit)
  • Thomas Peter Friedl to leave Constantin Film after January

    After over 18 years working in the field of distribution and for Constantin Film, Thomas Peter Friedl has announced that he will not be extending his contract as Distribution, Marketing & Central Services Director at Constantin Film after January 31, 2008.The management of the distribution arm Constantin Filmverleih will be taken over from February by Fred Kogel, Constantin Film's CEO and board member responsible for licence trading.While Friedl h
  • Under The Bombs (Sous Les Bombes)

    Dir: Philippe Aractingi. France-Lebanon-UK. 2007. 98mins.
  • United Kingdom - Outfoxing the Competition

    "Sometimes I feel like a conductor in an orchestra," says Elizabeth Kesses, UK marketing director at Twentieth Century Fox. While she is not holding a baton, Kesses does have the constant challenge of creating standout marketing initiatives for Fox titles in what she calls "the most cynical" market for film in the world."The number of films out there at the moment is crazy," she says. "And the UK is a very advanced market with very cynical consumers. At the moment, marketing films is a
  • United States - Syvan's secret

    New York-based producer Lemore Syvan is gearing up for The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee, the next feature from director Rebecca Miller, which starts shooting in Connecticut in April.The movie, which stars Robin Wright Penn, Julianne Moore and Winona Ryder, marks Syvan's fourth collaboration with Miller, following the director's critically acclaimed debut Angela (1995), Personal Velocity (2002) and The Ballad Of Jack And Rose (2005).Based on Miller's own
  • Universal moves Wanted into prime summer 2008 release slot

    Universal Pictures has moved its graphic novel adaptation Wanted starring Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy into a prime summer 2008 slot.The film was scheduled to open on March 28 but will now go out on June 27 2008.'After an early look at Wanted, we are certain that it fulfils its promise as a stunning, committed, thrilling, eye-popping vision that introduces a bold new narrative,' Universal
  • Warner Bros' Dan Lin founds Lin Pictures, segues into production deal

    Warner Bros creative executive and senior vice president of production Dan Lin has founded Lin Pictures and will segue from his position at the studio into an exclusive long-term production deal effective January 1 2008.Lin Pictures will produce all genres of film with the primary focus being on director-driven event pictures. The company has already identified a roster of upcoming projects on which Lin will serve as producer or executive producer.Details of the initial s
  • Women In Film & TV honour Alison Owen, BBC's Jane Wright

    The UK's Women in Film and Television (WFTV) has hosted its 17th annual awards at a ceremony at London's Hilton Park Lane. Honorees include film producer Alison Owen, BBC Films head Jane Wright, and Harry Potter author JK Rowling. The ceremony was opened by Sophie Balhetchet, cair of WFTV, and hosted by Jenny Eclair with Heather Rabbatts as guest speaker. The winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, producer Verity Lambert, died recently after battling cancer. 'She w

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