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Screen
19 December 2008

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  • 2008 Review of the Year - 2008: The headlines

    JANUARYHeath Ledger is found dead in New York; UK co-productions crash in the first year of the tax incentive; Golden Globes ceremony cancelled as writers' strike bites - Atonement and Sweeney Todd win best film honours; SPC buys The Wackness and Frozen River as Sundance ends; Trouble The Water and Frozen River win at Sundance.FEBRUARYNo Country For Old Men dominates Academy Awards; Jos
  • 2008 Review of the Year - Crunch time

    This has been the year of the reality check. Over the last few years, there has been reason for confidence about strong growth. Globalisation was opening or reopening territories, with vast populations seemingly all demanding to be entertained. New technologies were promising to crash through the limitations of the physical world and create new routes to market as well as breathe new life into theatres.And at the beginning of 2007, there was excited talk of the hedge-f
  • 2008 Review of the Year - North America box office and international charts

    The headline story of the 2008 box office can be summed up in three words - The Dark Knight. Warner Bros' triumphant follow-up to Batman Begins made history when it became only the second film to cross the half-billion dollar mark in North America and ended up as the second biggest unadjusted theatrical release of all time behind Titanic.A four-quadrant hit is the goal of any distributor, and The Dark Knight, driven by huge anticipation, glo
  • 2008 Review of the Year - Selected Festival prize-winners

    Frozen RiverSUNDANCEGrand jury prize: dramatic awardFrozen River Dir: Courtney Hunt (w'wide gross: $2.3m)Grand Jury Prize documentary awardTrouble The Water
  • 2008 Review of the Year - Specialty crunch: Reality bites

    The talk in the specialty and independent sector right now is all about the importance of discipline and modest scales of economy. The inflated budgets of previous high-profile awards contenders such as Cold Mountain and last year's There Will Be Blood may have raised eyebrows, but now the industry has been rocked by the global downturn, the cost of lower budget film-making - and indeed lower budget film-making in general - has become a matter of survival.
  • 2008 Review of the Year - What they said in 2008 - Quotes of the Year

    'Visual effects and animation dominate the movie-going experience like at no time in history.'Yair Landau, former president of Sony Pictures Digital, on the drive towards the cinema of spectacle (January)'A fundamental problem with film, from an investor's point of view, is the lack of visibility of both past and future performance ... the market has no way of knowing how existing slate deals are really performing.'Continental Entertainment Ca
  • 2008 Review of the Year - What they said in 2008 - Quotes of the Year

    'We are facing a major phenomenon that could endanger the film and television industry.'Frederic Delacroix, the director of Alpa, on rising levels of online piracy (August)'They will be out of the film-finance business for a long time.'Stephen Prough, founder of Los Angeles-based investment bank Salem Partners, on the banks (August)'In film we have buckets of creative talent but scarcely any business capacity.'Pa
  • 49 songs cleared for contention at 81st Academy Awards

    Forty-nine songs will vie for the best original song at the 81st Academy Awards on February 22.The original songs and the film in which they appear are listed belowin alphabetical order by song title:Another Way To Die Quantum Of SolaceBarking At The Moon BoltThe Boys Are Back High School Musical 3: Senior Year
  • Academy names 15 films in running for visual effects Oscar

    The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has announced the 15 films selected as semi-finalists for the visual effects Oscar that will be handed out at the 81st Academy Awards on February 22.The films in alphabetical order are: Australia, The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Cloverfield, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Hancock, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, The Incredible Hulk, Indiana Jo
  • Adoration, Fifty Dead Men, Before Tomorrow among Canada's Top Ten

    Atom Egoyan's Adoration, Kari Skogland's Fifty Dead Men Walking and Marie-Helène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu's Sundance 2009 World Cinema competitor Before Tomorrow were among the features selected as Canada's Top Ten for 2008. Organized by the Toronto International Film Festival Group, the eighth annual presentation celebrates the year in film, both
  • AFI's annual top ten includes Button, Dark Knight, Frost/Nixon

    The American Film Institute (AFI) announced its top ten films of the year at the weekend, ahead of the awards ceremony in Los Angeles on January 9.The AFI movie of the year in alphabetical order are: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Frost/Nixon, Frozen River, Gran Torino, Iron Man, Milk, Wall-E, Wendy And Lucy and The Wrestler.The AFI awards 2008 selections are made t
  • Alexandra Maria Lara to star in groundbreaking Dubai-set drama

    An international cast including Control and The Baader Meinhof Complex actress Alexandra Maria Lara, Bollywood rising star Sonu Sood, US-based, Egyptian-born comedian Ahmed Ahmed, The Tudors' Natalie Dormer and hip-hop starThe Narcicyst are lining up for City Of Life, a new feature film to shoot in Dubai.UAE national Saoud Al Ka'abi will also star. London-based Debbie McWilliams, veteran of the Bond films, helped to assemble the cast
  • Allan Hansen is new CEO at Nordisk Film

    Allan Hansen is the new CEO of Denmark's Nordisk Film.Hansen has worked in several departments at Nordisk Film since 1989 most recently as director of Nordisk's distribution wing.Hansen takes over from Michael Ritto who has been with the company for nearly three years and is credited with the company's successes during that period.Commenting on his appointment Allan Hansen said: 'It's a daunting task to be the head of the country's largest film company, but I feel we have
  • Australian theatre director Gale Edwards to make her first feature

    Accomplished theatre director Gale Edwards, winner of an International Emmy for her filmed version of the Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, is to direct her first feature film. The film, A Heartbeat Away, was one of four financed by Screen Australia. The others are: Being Dead, Lantana director Ray Lawrence's fourth film; th
  • Awards Countdown - Best Director

    1. DANNY BOYLE - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIREBoyle’s dazzling command of his medium was never more apparent than in Slumdog, as it is now simply known. In applying his trademark visceral style famous from Trainspotting and 28 Days Later to a cheerfully preposterous Mumbai romantic saga, he is thrilling audiences everywhere th
  • Awards Countdown - Best Screenplay

    ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY1. TOM McCARTHY - THE VISITOROne of the most admired screenplays of the year from McCarthy (who won the Bafta for his script for The Station Agent), The Visitor could be the one to beat for its sensitive combination of social and political issues and
  • Awards Countdown - People

    Frank: Langella: The Frost/Nixon star tells Wendy Mitchell why his on-screen portrayal of Richard Nixon had to be deeper and quieter than his stage performances
  • Bob Yari's US distribution division files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

    Bob Yari has announced that Yari Film Group's releasing division has been compelled by court order to go into involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy, effective immediately.It is understood the move followed legal action by four creditors. Yari called the events a 'perfect storm' of tightening credit markets and the Axium bankruptcy, which he said swept millions of dollars from Yari Film Group's payroll accounts.On Friday [December 12] Yari Film Group laid off
  • Bruer, Zucker promoted in Sony's global distribution operation

    Sony Pictures has consolidated its worldwide theatrical distribution activities and promoted Rory Bruer (pictured) to president of worldwide distribution and named Mark Zucker president of Sony Pictures Releasing International.The move is related to a similar development last year to bring the studio's marketing operations under one roof that was overseen by Sony's chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution Jeff Blake.Bruer has been with Sony for mo
  • Canadian producer Stephen J Roth dies at the age of 67

    Stephen J. Roth, a Toronto-based film and television producer, died on Friday, December 12. He was 67.Roth, a lawyer by training, was a founder along with Robert Lantos and Victor Loewy of RSL Productions, the company that launched Lantos’ career in the Canadian film industry. Roth’s name was behind a number of Lantos’ early success stories, including 1978’s In Praise Of Older Women and 1985’s Joshua Then And
  • China Film, Enlight launch new media shorts programme

    China Film Group Corporation and private entertainment group Enlight Media launched the 'China Film New Media Production Project' today with 20 short films to be distributed across 12 digital platforms, starting from Saturday (Dec 20). The two groups plan to spend more than $7.3m (RMB50m) to produce 1,000 short films over five years in the initiative which was announced last year.Each film is budgeted at $7,300 (RMB50,000) and will be shot in HD with professional c
  • Chris Weitz takes on directing reins for Twilight sequel New Moon

    Summit Entertainment has confirmed rumours that Chris Weitz will direct Twilight sequel New Moon after the smash vampire romance's original director Catherine Hardwicke pulled out.Weitz previously directed the drama About A Boy and the fantasy adventure The Golden Compass, a project he initially departed i
  • Christopher Nolan to receive ASC Board Of Governors Award

    The Dark Knight director, producer and co-writer Christopher Nolan will receive the American Society Of Cinematographers' Board Of Governors Award during the 23rd Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards celebration in Los Angeles on February 15.Nolan's credits include Batman Begins, Memento, The Prestige and
  • Clint Eastwood - Changeling

    Best Director, Clint Eastwood.
  • Coleman and Matthews get top jobs at Screen Australia

    Martha Coleman, who recently returned to Australia after seven years working in the UK film industry, has been appointed head of development at Screen Australia and will work from the Sydney headquarters. A second senior appointment was also announced today: Melbourne-based Ross Matthews, an eight-year veteran of the now defunct Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC), is staying on in the similar role of senior investment manager for features, television and animation.
  • Czech box-office admissions down 10%

    Czech admissions have dropped nearly 10% year-on-year, according to new data from the Czech Union of Film Distributors, but local distributors have reason to hope that year-end results will rebound. The first 10 months of this year saw 10.1m admissions at the Czech box office, compared to 11m for Jan-Oct 2007. Sales for the period dropped almost 8% to $54.4m (CZK 972m).But the current state of the market is an improvement since June, when year-on-year sales were
  • Day The Earth Stood Still also reigns in North America with $31m

    Twentieth Century Fox's sci-fi remake The Day The Earth Stood Still stormed to the top of the charts on an estimated $31m at the weekend to give Keanu Reeves his first number one launch since The Matrix Revolutions five years ago.Reeves stars as an alien who comes to Earth to trigger a plan that could wipe out the human race.New Line's comedy F
  • DreamWorks' I Love You, Man to open SXSW on March 13

    The world premiere of DreamWorks' comedy I Love You, Man starring Jason Segel and Paul Rudd will open the 2009 South By SouthWest Film Festival on March 13.Rudd plays a friendless real estate agent who embarks on a series of 'man dates' to find a best man for his upcoming nuptials. John Hamburg directed and DreamWorks plans to release the film on March 20.'The film is the perfect representation of the kind of smart and unconventional humor that SXSW audiences flock to,' f
  • Dubai Film Market announces first deals

    As the Dubai International Film Festival crossed its midway point, the inaugural Dubai Film Market (DFM) reported its first deals. The first sale of the market was Alchemy Films taking on Middle East rights to South African comedy Mr Bones 2, already a box-office hit at home. Gray Hofmeyr directs the Videovision Entertainment project starring Leon Schuster.And DFM director Ziad Yaghi has revealed to ScreenDaily.com that Iranian state TV is now bidding on
  • Europe - breaking the deadlock

    Given the slow pace of change in European digital cinema, there is a danger in over-hyping any kind of movement. But a $56m investment in leading UK and France-based D-cinema business Arts Alliance Media (AAM) may prove significant.The money from European services company Econocom and various private investors will allow the completion of a 400-screen conversion of French chain Circuit George Raymond (CGR). It is also a vote of confidence in AAM's expansion plans. The completion of the
  • European Film Market launches documentary initiative

    The European Documentary Network (EDN) is collaborating with the Berlinale's European Film Market (EFM) to provide a new initiative for documentary sellers entitled Meet The Docs.Meet The Docs will serve as a connecting platform for all documentary sellers, buyers, and directors offering a meeting place and a general information service dedicated to documentaries. It will be located on the first floor of the EFM's second market venue in the Marriott Hotel.'Overa
  • Fox rules planet with $39m launch for Day The Earth Stood Still

    Keanu Reeves returned with his first number one hit in five years as Fox International's The Day The Earth Stood Still dominated the overseas box office with a $39m estimated haul.Playing in approximately 7,700 screens in 90 day-and-date date markets, the sci-fi remake opened top in 53 markets including the UK, Russia, Spain, Italy, Taiwan, Belgium, Holland and Sweden. Combined with the $31m number one North American launch the
  • France creates new tax rebate system for foreign films

    After four years of strategic planning and lobbying, Film France has announced the creation of a new tax rebate system aimed at foreign films shooting in the country. Adopted by the French parliament, the measure will give qualifying foreign productions a 20% rebate on their local spend with a cap of $5.7m (Euros 4m.)Films will be eligible for the rebate providing they meet a list of criteria. Some of the criteria are yet-to-be determined, but Patrick Lamassoure, man
  • France 's annual IFCIC production prize goes to Les Films du Poisson.

    Film financing institute's $14,600 purse for most promising young independent production company goes to Les Films du Poisson. IFCIC, France's film financing institute, has given its annual prize to Les Films du Poisson. The award comes with a $14,600 (Euros 10,000) purse and is given for the most promising young independent production company.Les Films du Poisson was created by Yael Fogiel and Laetitia Gonzalez.In 1999, it produced Emmanuel Finkiel's Voyages and has
  • Göthenberg Film Festival to open and close with local documentaries

    Sweden 's Göthenberg International Film Festival will bookend its 32nd edition with two local documentaries: Nahid Persson Sarvestani's The Queen And I and Jesper Ganslandt-Martin Degrell's The Film I Am No Longer Talking About. Göthenberg International Film Festival is the Nordic countries' largest film festival, screening around 450 films to audiences of 125,000. It is also Sweden's most comprehensive showcase for documentarie
  • Gary Yates' High Life from Shoreline gets Panorama slot in Berlin

    Gary Yates' heist caper High Life starring Timothy Olyphant and Joe Anderson will get its world premiere in Panorama at the 59th Berlinale, set to run from February 5-15.Robert Cass is producing along with Yates through his Triptych Media. Triptych partner Anna Stratton serves as executive producer with Shoreline Entertainment's CEO Morris Ruskin. Buffalo Gal Pictures' Liz Jarvis is co-producing with Avi Federgreen.Lee MacDougall a
  • Graham King's GK Films acquires rights to life story of John Martorano

    Graham King's GK Films has acquired feature rights to the true-life story of former mobster John Martorano, who was released from prison in 2007 after serving 14 years for murder.King, who recently completed shooting the thriller Edge Of Darkness starring Mel Gibson on location in Massachusetts, will produce the feature. He was introduced to Martorano by former Massachusetts police detective Thomas B Duffy, a 30-year veteran of
  • Gumpert promoted to president of department at Columbia Pictures

    Andrew Gumpert has been promoted to president of business affairs and administration for Columbia Pictures.Gumpert will work closely with Columbia presidents Matt Tolmach and Doug Belgrad and will not only oversee deal negotiations and administration for the studio but will be integrally involved in the budgeting and financing aspects of all of Columbia's theatrical releases.In this position, Gumpert will also work closely with Peter Schlessel, president of worldwide affa
  • here! acquires worldwide rights to Eleven Minutes documentary

    here! Films has acquired worldwide rights to Michael Selditch and Rob Tate's documentary Eleven Minutes about fashion designer Jay McCarroll, winner of Season One of the reality TV show Project Runway.here!'s sister company Regent Releasing and here! Networks will distribute the film day-and-date in theatres and on the cable network on February 20.
  • Hugh Jackman named as host for Academy Awards show

    Hugh Jackman will host the 81st Academy Awards on February 22 in what will be the Australian entertainer's first time in the role.'Hugh Jackman is a consummate entertainer and an internationally renowned movie star,' Oscar telecast producer Laurence Mark and executive producer Bill Condon in a joint statement. 'He also has style, elegance and a sense of occasion. Hugh is the ideal choice to host a celebration of the year's movies - and to have
  • International - World domination

    The Day The Earth Stood Still took the top spot on the international box-office chart for the December 12-14 weekend, giving Fox International its first number-one debut in five years. Opening day-and-date in 90 territories in addition to North America, the sci-fi remake took $39.2m from 7,715 screens, giving it a screen average of $5,000.The film beat all competition in 53 of the territories it played, including the UK where, including previews, it grossed $4.2m from 465 screen
  • ITVS International Call 2008 backs five documentaries

    Independent Television Service (ITVS) has boarded five projects from its recently completed ITVS International Call 2008 that drew 385 submissions from 74 countries.Since 2005, nearly 100 international programmes including Ari Folman's acclaimed Waltz With Bashir have been supported through ITVS International's Global Perspectives Project and its International Media Development Fund.The 2008 International Call documentary projects
  • Jamie Brewer promoted to head of sales at Metrodome

    Metrodome has promoted Jamie Brewer to the role of Head of Sales where he will oversee home entertainment rental and retail, VOD, New Media and TV sales. Brewer joined Metrodome three months ago to oversee the sales for their budget DVD label In2Film. He joined the distribution company from Fremantle Home Entertainment and prior to joining there he worked at Warner Home Video.Brewer said 'I'm very honoured to be part of a fantastic team at Metrodome. As we roll
  • Korea's Lotte Cinema opens third multiplex in Vietnam

    South Korea's Lotte Cinema has today opened its third multiplex in Vietnam. The six-screen, 1,400-seat cinema is located in the Phu My Hung (a.k.a. Saigon South) area of Ho Chi Minh city. The cinema has been opened inside a Lottemart shopping mall. Phu My Hung is a newly developed, affluent neighborhood favoured by expat residents.Lotte Cinema stated the new multiplex has the newest audio-visual equipment and plenty of legroom between seats. It will be operated wit
  • Lars Bredo Rahbek leaves Denmark's Nimbus

    In a surprise move, producer Lars Bredo Rahbek (the man behind Denmark's biggest box-office hit of the year Flame & Citron) is to leave Nimbus after 11 years to take up a new position as Chief of Fiction at state broadcaster DR TV.The move comes as Nimbus appears to have made a strong recovery from its problems earlier this year when the company cut its staff by a third in the autumn.Last year, Nimbus saw four films in succession underperform:Thomas Vinterbe
  • Last Chance Harvey will open Palm Springs festival on Jan 6

    Joel Hopkins' romance Last Chance Harvey and Guillermo Arriaga's drama The Burning Plain bookend the 20th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, set to run from January 6-19.The line-up of 210 films culled from 73 countries includes the US premiere of Nigel Cole's road movie $5 A Day and the world premiere of R W Goodwin's comedy
  • Lau lines up internet backer for Kungfu Cyborg

    Beijing-based online distribution and video-sharing website Letv.com is joining hands with Hong Kong 's Mei Ah Entertainment to co-produce Jeffrey Lau's sci-fi comedy Kungfu Cyborg Attraction. Shooting of the film started in Ningbo city in China's Zhejiang province on Monday, December 15.Letv.com is the first internet company among China's burgeoning online movie sites to invest in film production. According to the film's producer, Zhuo Shunguo, Letv.com is the larger invest
  • Luhrmann, Jackson to receive legend awards at Capri

    Baz Luhrmann and Samuel L Jackson will join Quentin Tarantino to receive the Capri Legend Award at the 13th Capri, Hollywood - Honda International Film Festival.Festival chairman and producer Mark Canton and festival director Pascal Vicedomini made the announcement today [December 18].Luhrmann and Jackson will attend screenings of their latest projects - Australia and The Spirit
  • Lyes Salem's Masquerades takes top prize in Dubai

    The Dubai International Film Festival closed its fifth edition tonight with Lyes Salem's comedy Masquerades taking the top prize for best film in the Muhr Awards for Excellence In Arab Cinema. The French-Algerian production also won the festival's first FIPRESCI prize. Director Salem also stars in the tale of an Algerian man who wants to marry off his narcoleptic sister.Another big winner in the Arabic competition w
  • Madagascar 2 continues rollout in Italy andAustralia

    A subdued pre-Christmas weekend will should carry DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa over $200m and push Fox International's The Day The Earth Stood Still towards $60m in its second weekend.Madagascar: Es
  • Mamma Mia!overtakes Titanic as UK's highest grossing movie

    Universal Picture's romantic musical comedy Mamma Mia! The Moviehas become the highest grossing movie ever to be released in the UK. It has beaten Titanic which held the record since 1998. To date Mamma Mia! The Moviehas grossed £69, 066, 035 ($132,174,741)as compared with Titanic 's £69,025,646 ($114,375,495*).The record was broken a few days after the film picked up two Golden Globe nomina
  • New Talent - A Star is Born

    Benjamin Gilmour, Writer-directorAustralian film-maker Gilmour clearly relishes a challenge - he shot his debut feature, Son Of A Lion, in the radical north-west frontier of Pakistan, with non professionals and entirely undercover (foreigners are not allowed in the province). The result is a gritty drama about an Islamic boy in search of an education, which won the best feature award at the Inside Film Awards in Australia in November.
  • Nigel Clark returns to Sony after stints at UIP, Eon

    Nigel Clark has returned to Sony as senior executive vice president of international marketing following his role as executive vice president of international marketing at UIP and a recent consultancy stint for Eon Productions on Quantum Of Solace, which Sony released worldwide.Clark first joined Sony in London as European marketing supervisor in 1990 and was promoted in 1994 to vice president of marketing for Europe, the Middl
  • Oliver Berben new managing director of Constantin Film Produktion

    Oliver Berben has been appointed as the managing director of Constantin Film's production arm Constantin Film Produktion from January 1, 2009.Berben has been brought in to take over the management of the production arm under former managing director Martin Moszkowicz, who will now head up this division.Both moves are the result of a management restructuring due to the planned departure of CEO Fred Kogel, who will step down at the end of this year.Berben has worked closely
  • Paramount and Sony take film marketing to virtual communities to new level

    Paramount Pictures International (PPI) and Sony Computing Entertainment Europe (SCEE) have teamed up to take film marketing within virtual communities to the next level on director Zack Snyder's forthcoming Watchmen.Watchmen, set for March 6 release in the UK next year, will be the first movie to be marketed within PlayStation Home, the new 3D social gaming community.The newly launched PlayStation Home allows users to meet and play computer games t
  • Production fund to double for German film funder MFG

    Christmas has come early for film producers in Germany's Baden-Württemberg region as Prime-Minister Günter H. Hettinger and Media Minister Wolfgang Reinhart have agreed to more than double regional film fund MFG Baden-Württemberg's production budget.Mug's $6.3m (Euros 4.3m) production fund budget will be increased by $4.4 (Euros 3m) in 2009 and will rise to $13.6m (Euros 9.3m) in 2010 to encourage more and bigger film productions to be made in Baden-
  • Profile: Arts Alliance Media eyesD-cinema breakthrough

    The conversion of the world's cinemas to digitalequipment wasalways much more thana simple upgrade of theatre equipment. The industryhad been built ona single standard - 35mm film- and, for all its glaring inefficiencies, it worked in its own way.What digital cinema proposes is far more challenging as well as considerablymore exciting. For the first time in history, there is the potential to make film programming fast and responsive to customer demand. There are new fo
  • Profile: Ray Burdis' Britflick Productions

    This time last year, UK producer-writer-actor-director Ray Burdis was happily retired and making wine in the south of France. But his passion for film-making, and encouragement from his friends in the industry, brought him back to the UK where he has set up a new production company, Britflick Productions.'I had been writing scripts while I was away, so it seemed like a good idea. Plus (wine-making) was getting a bit boring,' Burdis laughs.Launched in September,
  • Profile: Shorts International

    It might seem like a challenge to fill a rolling 24-hour schedule with short films but Carter Pilcher, head of Shorts International, the London-based company behind the new UK channel Shorts TV, is unfazed.'We developed a huge catalogue, building video-on-demand relationships,' he explains. 'We have an enormous library and thousands of hours of films.'Shorts International distributes more than 3,000 films across every platform. Founded in 2000 by US-born Pilcher
  • Profile:The VFX genius behind The Spirit

    His title at San Francisco and Los Angeles-based visual effects and production company The Orphanage is chief technology officer. But Stu Maschwitz is no gadget-obsessed geek.'There are a lot of people who get off on the technical challenges; I'm not one of them,' asserts Maschwitz, who co-founded The Orphanage in 1999 after five years with George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic.'Solving technical problems is very much a distraction from the film-making process.
  • Promotions at BBC Films for Jane Wright and Isabel Begg

    Jane Wright, commercial affairs and general manager for BBC Films, is to take a fully editorial role and become general manager and executive producer of BBC Films with immediate effect. Wright, will continue to chair the BBC Films editorial board and oversee the marketing activity within BBC Films, but will now develop and drive her own slate of projects.Welcoming her new role Wright said: 'I've been at BBC Films for 11 years now, I worked in the
  • Public funding for Rome Film Festival cut by $2.5m for 2009 edition

    The International Rome Film Festival has announced that public funding for its budget will be cut from $8.1 (Euros 5.8 mil) to $5.6 (Euros 4 mil) for the 2009 edition. The cuts come from the festival's founding committee, which has cited the global economic crisis as the reason.Earlier the committee had announced that the festival's budget would be capped at $14 million (Euros 10 m) for 2009.Rome 's Mayor Gianni Alemanno later backtracked on that figure,
  • Record number of applicants for 2009 Berlinale Talent Campus

    A record number of entries have registered for the seventh edition of the Berlinale Talent Campus (BTC) which will be held over six days from February 7-12 during the 2009 Berlin Film Festival.3,834 emerging talents, 500 more than last year, from 128 countries applied for one of the 350 places at Berlin's winter academy.Speaking exclusively to Screendaily, Berlinale Talent Campus's new programme manager, Dutch-born Matthijs Wouter Knol acknowledged that
  • Roger Morris to take up role of md at UK's Elstree Studios

    Roger Morris is due to take up the role of managing director at Elstree Studios in January 2009. Morris previously worked as managing director of Visions Studios, Teddington Studios and Television for Pinewood and Shepperton.Commenting on his appointment Roger Morris told ScreenDaily 'I'm lookingforward to making Elstree a studio for today. I want to embrace new technologies in the film industry and to clawback a lot of the work that has been lost to Central Eur
  • Rotterdam festival announces jury and competition selections

    The Rotterdam film festival has announced jury members jury and competition selections for the VPRO Tiger Awards. Three winners will be chosen from fifteen features by a jury that comprises: the artist Marlene Dumas; the Turkish film maker Yesim Ustaoglu; the Hungarian film maker Kornel Mundruczo; and Park Ki-Yong, filmmaker and director of the Film Academy in Seoul.In the short-film competitio
  • SAG Award nominations include Penn, Winslet, Streep, Langella

    As Hollywood actors pitch their tents on either side of the strike authorisation vote, the Screen Actors Guild announced its nominees today [December 18] for the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 25.Richard Jenkins, Frank Langella, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and Mickey Rourke will contest the lead actor race while Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, Melissa Leo, Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet are in the running for best actress.Heath Ledger is nominat
  • SCREEN REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2008: PART ONE

    In the first of a three-part review of the year. Screen looks at some of the key issues for the international filmindustry in 2008. Click to see full story.CRUNCH TIME:harsh economic conditio
  • Screenopinion:Film must look to reinvention

    In the middle of the fake souk in the hotel complex where the Dubai International Film Festival is based, there is a Santa's grotto blaring out Frosty The Snowman.Given the temperature is up to 28 degrees centigrade even in December, it is a surreal setting - perfect, in fact, for discussions about the state of the film market.Dubai fits the bill in other ways for the now obligatory economic chit-chat. The days when one flew to the state hoping for bags o
  • Seven Pounds

    Dir Gabriele Muccino. US. 2008. 118 mins
  • Sicily $6.2m funding initiative set to become annual

    The region of Sicily in Italy has now closed applications on what looks to be a successful first edition of a $6.2m (Euros 4.25m) film fund. The Sicily Film Commission says it intends the fund to be annual, although it will be subject to approval in the annual regional budget.Project proposals for the second round of funding should be accepted in Spring 2009, Alessandro Rais of the Sicily Film Commission told Screen Daily.The $6.2m fund is entirely financ
  • Sieben's Distance to open Berlinale's Perspektive Deutsches Kino

    Writer-director Thomas Sieben's feature debut Distance (Distanz) will open the Berlinale's Perspektive Deutsches Kino - the sidebar dedicated to German films on February 6.Sieben describes the film as 'An existential story of violence and love which simultaneously disturbs and touches through its unconditional nature.'Distance was produced by Berlin-based GrandHotelPictures with the private film investment company Vinzent Filmbeteiligungsgesellschaft.
  • Six world premieres selected for Berlinale's Generation section

    World premieres of new films by Sweden's Fredrik Edfeldt and Germany's Lars Büchel are among the first 13 titles selected for Generation, the Berlinale's section for children and young people. The section is in its first edition under the direction of Maryanne Redpath who succeeded Thomas Hailer earlier this year.The films confirmed so far for the Generation Kplus competition include the selection of a documentary, The Inheritors, fo
  • Slumdog Millionaire leads London critics' nominations

    Slumdog Millionaire heads the list of nominees for the 29th London Critics' Circle Film Awardswith six nominations, including Best British Film.In a strong UK line-up, there are five nominations for Hunger, Frost/Nixon and Happy-Go-Lucky.The highlight of the night will be the Critics' Circle's presentation of the Dilys Powell Award for outstanding contribution to cinema to British icon Dame Judi Dench.Nominees for the
  • Slumdog Millionaire named best film by Florida Film Critics Circle

    Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler's Mickey Rourke and Frozen River's Melissa Leo are the big winners in the Florida Film Critics Circle's annual poll. Slumdog Millionaire won best picture and also earned the best director award for Danny Boyle and best screenplay for Simon Beaufoy.Marisa Tomei's supporting role in Darren Aronofsky's
  • Spain 's Iciar Bollain to shoot Agua in Bolivia

    Multi award winning Spanish actress and director Iciar Bollain is in pre-production on a new drama Agua about theforced privatisation ofBolivia's leading public water companies in 2000.The $10mfilmis based on a script written by Paul Laverty (The Wind That Shakes The Barley) and is set to shoot in Mexico and Bolivianext summer.Casting is yet to be finalised.'The film is set in Bolivia so we will make it a co-production with some Latin American com
  • Stelios Ziannis to leave Germany's Kinowelt International

    Stelios Ziannis, head of world sales at Germany's Kinowelt International for the past eight years, is leaving the company of his own accord at the end of December.Ziannis will be succeeded by Barbara Knabe, Kinowelt's head of TV sales.Kanbe will have responsibility for cooperation with the world sales and distribution unit of Studio Canal, who took over the German group in January 2008.Ziannis has worked at Kinowelt for almost 20 years, starting at Filmve
  • Sundance Institute selects 12 projects for annual Screenwriters Lab

    Sundance Institute has selected 12 projects for the annual January Screenwriters Lab to be held from January 9-14.The five-day writer's workshop is designed to give independent screenwriters the chance to work intensively on their feature scripts with the support of established writers.The projects selected for the 2009 January Screenwriters Lab are:Beasts Of The Southern Wild (USA) Benh Zeit
  • Tengri - Blue Heavens wins best film, director at The WIFTS

    Marie-Jaoui de Poncheville's Kyrgyzstan-set drama Tengri - Blue Heavens was named best film and Poncheville was named best director at the inaugural Women's International Film & Television Showcase (The WIFTS) in Los Angeles.The event was created to bring together woman from all walks of life through the art of film. The first jury, chaired by veteran actress Nancy Kwan, also gave the best actress award to Aissa Maiga for Italian film
  • The Film Department to remake Italy's Perfect Man with Chelsom

    The Film Department has hired Peter Chelsom to direct The Perfect Man, a remake of Luca Lucini's 2005 comedy L'Uomo Perfetto.Colleen McGuinness is adapting the screenplay about a jealous young woman who hires a male model to lure a woman away from her best friend.Di Novi Pictures is producing the English-language version and Denise Di Novi, Alison Greenspan, Mark Gill and Robe
  • The Headless Woman and Aniceto triumph at Argentinian Film Awards

    The Argentinian Academy of Film Arts and Science has awarded Lucrecia Martel's The Headless Woman with three Sur prizes (out of 11 nominations); including best film, best director and best original script in Buenos Aires on Monday.Veteran Leonardo Favio's musical Aniceto won all eight categories in which it was nominated. The renowned filmmaker self-excluded
  • The Spirit

    Dir: Frank Miller. US. 2008. 108 mins. Using the same green screen technology which created stylised films of his comic books Sin City and 300, Frank Miller's first solo effort as a director is an entertaining, if forgettable, cinematic imagining of Will Eisner's classic superhero The Spirit. Strictly two-dimensional, despite a colourful cast of three-dimensional actors, the film is a teen-friendly ride which is diverting enough to deliver some solid number
  • The Tale of Despereaux

    Dir: Sam Fell & Rob Stevenhagen. US. 2008. 93 mins.
  • Toronto critics pick Wendy And Lucy as Best Film

    Kelly Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy was Best Picture and the film’s star Michelle Williams earned the Best Actress nod as the Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA) announced its 2008 honours.
  • United States - Documentary evidence

    The launch last summer of Msnbc Films brought not just a new player but a new type of player onto the US documentary scene.The initiative is an off-shoot of Msnbc, the basic cable news channel (owned by Microsoft and NBC Universal) that reaches 91.6 million US TV households. And among US news networks, "it's almost the rule that you don't acquire anything from outside", notes Michael Rubin, the channel's vice-president of longform programming and production. "We're the first US cable n
  • US IndiePix forms alliance with UK's Dogwoof

    Indiepix, the Internet-based independent film distributor and Dogwoof, the film distributor specialising in Independent Films and world cinema, have formed a distribution alliance. The partnership will enable Indiepix to extend its film distribution to the UK and will provide Dogwoof with a means to distribute its film titles in America.As part of the agreement, Dogwoof will promote IndiePix's titles across the UK through a variety of distribution formats including the
  • White Lightnin' earns Berlinale Panorama spot

    Dominic Murphy's Sundance-bound directorial debut White Lightnin' is among the first titles to win a place in the 2009 Panorama section at Berlin.The story of Appalachian mountain dancer Jesco White, starring Carrie Fisher, newcomer Edward Hogg and Muse Watson earned its place following the Berlinale's December screenings.Mike Downey, who produced the film with London-based Film And Music Entertainment colleague Sam Taylo
  • Yes Man

    Dir:Peyton Reed. US. 2008. 104 mins.

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