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Screen
21 November 2000

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  • 46 films set to vie for Foreign-language Oscar

    A record 46 countries have submitted films to the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for consideration for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar to be presented during the Academy Award ceremony on March 25.The Academy unveiled the full list which exceeds the previous record of 45 set in 1994 and repeated last year. Among some of the films not yet announced are Hey! Ram from India and 6ixty Nin9 from Thailand.Of the 46 films, only nine have US distribution
  • AFC to test development scheme with Bennelong

    Development agency the Australian Film Commission (AFC) will finally be able to test its "matched" development scheme on Bennelong, an epic tale to be directed by Bill Bennett and set soon after the arrival of Europeans in Australia. The scheme aims to find extra sources of much-needed development cash by matching AFC money with private sector finance on a dollar-for-dollar basis. It has been in existence, in various forms, for some years but has never been utilised. In this cas
  • Al Pacino named HFPA Cecil B DeMille Award winner

    Al Pacino will receive the 2001 Cecil B DeMille Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) for his "outstanding contribution to the entertainment field". The award, voted on by the board of directors of the HFPA will be presented to Pacino at the 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony to be held in Los Angeles on Jan 21, 2001.Pacino has been nominated for 13 Golden Globe awards and won twice in 1973 for Serpico (best actor, drama) and in 1992 for Scent Of A W
  • Alcon buys Untitled First Daughter project

    Alcon Entertainment, the LA-based independent production outfit with a five-year, 10-picture distribution agreement with Warner Bros Pictures, has purchased the romantic comedy Untitled First Daughter Project and signed Andy Cadiff to direct. Cadiff's credits include TV series The Geena Davis Show, Spin City and Home Improvement as well as 1997 movie Leave It To Beaver.The film was written by first-time screenwriters Derek Guiley and David Schneiderma
  • Ali Zaoua scores at Stockholm and Mannheim

    Morocco's Foreign-language Oscar entry, Ali Zaoua, was awarded the Bronze Horse for best film at the 11th Stockholm International Film Festival which wrapped Sunday. Directed by Nabil Ayouch, the film is about a street urchin and his orphan friends, and was acted by real-life street kids in Casablanca.The festival's other big winner was Stephen Daldry's crowd-pleaser Billy Elliot, which won the prize for best first feature, The E! Audience Award and the FIPRESCI award for
  • Argentine film ups admissions on home turf

    Argentine films have had a banner year so far in 2000 according to local film institute INCAA, accounting for 19.8% of the domestic box office and racking up admissions of 6.2 million, up 700,000 on the previous year.Of the 41 homegrown films released since January 2000, five titles attracted an average of 600,000 admissions: Papa Es Un Idolo, directed by Juan Jose Jusid; Corazon, Las Alegrias De Pantriste, from Manuel Garcia Ferre; Fabian Bielinsky's Nueve Reinas;
  • Australia's Nine Network to invest in film

    On the eve of Australia's annual producers conference, Kerry Packer's Nine Network has announced that it intends to commission a slate of feature films and is currently seeking both developed proposals and new strategic relationships to facilitate the plan.The enterprise is to be headed by Nine drama director Kris Noble and Hugh Marks, director of Nine Films & Television, the content and rights management arm of Nine. "This initiative is part of our ongoing commitment to invest
  • Bavaria, Rai strike co-production pact

    Munich-based Bavaria Media and Italy's Rai Cinema have formed a long-term alliance under which they will develop and co-produce television projects, and eventually theatrical features.The agreement, which runs until 2003, calls for the two companies to co-produce three television films or mini-series a year, with development costs shared equally by both partners. Bavaria and Rai will market the projects in their respective territories, but international distribution will be deci
  • Billy Elliot provokes outcry with Strasbourg win

    UK hit Billy Elliot sparked controversy at the European Film Forum of Strasbourg after it won the pan-European distribution support prize despite already being guaranteed a wide European release by powerhouse distributor UIP.The UK entry's triumph was met with anger and surprise from rivals. One pointed out that, according to French minister of culture Catherine Tasca, the award is to "give the winning film a rare opportunity to enjoy distribution throughout the 15 member states
  • Caine to star in Beresford's Boswell

    Michael Caine has boarded 18th century legal drama Boswell For The Defence, which Bruce Beresford is to direct from a script by Patrick Edgeworth. The $13m project is being set up by German fund MBP, Australian-based sales house Beyond Films and the UK's Scala Productions. Set in 18th century London, Boswell tells the story of a failed lawyer who defends an impossible case. Pre-production is slated for December 1 and shooting for May 1 next year.Scala's Nik
  • De Hadeln answers critics at Strasbourg Forum

    Moritz de Hadeln, outgoing Berlin International Film Festival chief, rebuffed criticism that Germany's leading film event has become dominated by US films as he picked up a tribute award for services to European cinema at the European Film Forum of Strasbourg (November 9-14). In his acceptance speech, de Hadeln argued against a division between European and US cinema, maintaining that the two were often the same. His remarks came despite the fact that many international and US industry
  • Deckter named vp, int'l sales at Morgan Creek

    Jonathan Deckter has been named vice president of international sales at Morgan Creek International, reporting directly to Howard Kaplan, president of Morgan Creek International.Deckter was formerly an account manager in the advertising department of LA-based trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter and prior to that served as a consultant to companies including PSO, Avenue Entertainment and Screen Media Ventures. He was also director of international sales and business affairs fo
  • Dentsu, partners land Tanaka for internet movie

    Japan's Dentsu, Ten Carat and Scale have produced a ground-breaking internet movie starring Rena Tanaka, a supermodel who swept domestic newcomer prizes for her screen debut in the 1998 drama Give It Your All. Titled Suki, the three-part omnibus will premiere on the click-cinema web-site (http://www.click-cinema.net), whose backers include NTT Communications. To access the film visitors must first download Windows Media Player, QuickTime Player or Real Player and p
  • DIC Animation enlists Bain for management buyout

    DIC Entertainment chairman and CEO Andy Heyward has partnered with Bain Capital Inc in a management buyout of DIC from The Walt Disney Co. Heyward will continue as chairman and CEO of the animation studio which has more than 2,500 half-hours of programming in its library.DIC became a unit of the Disney Filmed Entertainment division followingDisney's buyout of Capital Cities/ABC in 1995 since DIC had previously formed alimited partnership with ABC. But Heyward has long desired
  • Dr Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas

    Dir: Ron Howard. US. 2000.Prod co: Imagine Entertainment. US dist: Universal Pictures. Int'l dist: UIP. Executive producer: Todd Hallowell. Prod: Brian Grazer. Scr: Jeffrey Price, Peter S Seaman, from the book by Dr Seuss. DoP: Don Peterman. Prod des: Michael Corenblith. Eds: Daniel P Hanley, Michael J. Hill, Mike Hill. Mus: James Horner. Main cast: Jim Carrey, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Molly Shannon, Taylor Momsen, Anthony Hopkins (narrator).Director Ron Howard
  • Dutch drama All Stars shines at Int'l Emmys

    Dutch TV series All Stars was the surprise winner in the drama category at this year's International Emmys in New York on Monday night (Nov 20), beating hotly tipped UK mini-series Warriors, which has already clinched several major awards so far this year.All Stars, a spin-off of Jean van de Velde's hit Dutch feature about a group of amateur soccer players, is produced by the Netherlands' NOS/VARA Broadcasting. It beat both Warriors - a BBC TV production whi
  • EIB set to unveil audiovisual fund

    Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture and Audiovisual Policy, has announced that the EU's European Investment Bank (EIB) will unveil details of a venture capital fund for film and TV production within the next two weeks.The fund, which was anticipated (ScreenDaily, October 6), will be used to leverage financing from private banks throughout Europe. Reding, who was speaking at this year's Forum of European Cinema in Strasbourg, stressed that it is a ris
  • Europa Cinemas plays to youth audience

    Taking a leaf out of the well thumbed book written by Hollywood Stock Exchange, European exhibition support organisation Europa Cinemas has launched an on-line film game.The Great Game (Le Grand Jeu) went live on Monday (Nov 20) - at www.europa-cinemas.org - as part of the organisation's annual Netd@ys initiative, which allows young surfers to discover European film theatres and films. Players take on the role of a journalist who must
  • FilmFour to give Croupier second UK outing

    Despite being barred from competing for the Academy Awards, FilmFour's 1997 title Croupier is to get a UK re-release following its success in North America this year.Mike Hodges' revitalised tale of an aspiring writer drawn into London's gambling world will go out early next year. FilmFour originally offloaded Croupier through UK cultural body the British Film Institute, which gave the film a limited theatrical outing after its re-release of Hodges' Get Carter.
  • Gladiator to be re-released on Imax screens

    DreamWorks Pictures and Universal Pictures will be re-releasing Gladiator on North American Imax screens on November 22, as promotional support for the release of the film in the DVD sell-through and VHS rental windows. The 35mm prints will be screened in Imax venues in LA, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco and Toronto among major cities. In the UK, where the film was available for rental October 23, it has become the top rental title of the year and one of the al
  • IFC gets North American rights to McKay's Our Song

    IFC Films, the US distributor recently formed by the New York-based Independent Film Channel (IFC), has acquired all North American distribution rights to Jim McKay's Our Song - a film produced by IFC's production arm IFC Productions.IFC Films, run by senior vice president of marketing and distribution Bob Berney, is planning to release Our Song in May 2001. The film, McKay's second after Girls Town, is a coming-of-age drama set in the inner city and stars Kerry W
  • Indian film star Rajkumar released by bandit

    Indian film star Rajkumar has finally been released by bandit king Veerappan after 108 days in captivity in the jungles of the southern state of Karnataka.The 72-year-old actor's fans let off fireworks and handed out sweets in the streets of Bangalore when they heard of his release. The news of his capture had prompted widespread rioting in the Karnataka capital.Officials said they had no information as to why Rajkumar had been released as the bandit's demands had not been met.
  • Intermedia in talks to board Salles' Virgin

    In what is turning out to be a busy week for the London, LA and Munich-based company, indie powerhouse Intermedia is finalising a deal to board Walter Salles' $20m-$30m period drama The Assumption Of The Virgin, which is set to star Oscar-winner Juliette Binoche.The project is expected to be the first UK production to come through Mirage Enterprises in London since Anthony Minghella became a partner in the company in May. Intermedia, which has a longterm partnership with Mirage,
  • Intermedia shifts operations to LA

    Intermedia is stepping up its drive to build a US presence by shifting business and legal affairs from London to Los Angeles.The move is expected to mean about 15 redundancies or re-locations at Intermedia's London office, although the Los Angeles arm will be expanded commensurately. It is understood that Intermedia's distribution department will be managed from Los Angeles, dividing activities bewteen London and the US. The marketing team to remain in London.The company recentl
  • Intermedia turns on Box for TV entry

    Indie film giant Intermedia is launching into TV with the acquisition of a 24.9% stake in Box TV, the start-up production house run by former Channel 4 executive Gub Neal.Intermedia will provide Box with working capital and development funds and has an option to increase its shareholding. The sales, financing and production house will also handle worldwide distribution on the bulk of Box's projects.Since launching last month, Box TV has lined up three projects for Channel 4:
  • Into The Arms Of Strangers

    Dir: Mark Jonathan Harris. US. 2000. 122 mins.Prod co: Sabine Films, with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Domestic dist: Warner Bros. Prod: Deborah Oppenheimer. Scr: Harris. DoP: Don Lenzer. Ed: Kate Amend. Music: Lee Holdridge. Narrator: Judi Dench.Into the Arms Of Strangers tells the remarkable story of the 10,000 children, mainly Jewish, who were evacuated from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia in the nine months leading up to World War II. Harri
  • Italy doubles co-production spend

    Confirming the renewed vitality of the Italian film industry, national film body Anica has reported that Italy almost doubled its spend on international co-productions in 1999 to $31m (L71bn) compared to $15.9m (L36bn) the previous year.Total co-production costs, including foreign capital, rose to $96.9m (L219bn) from $41.7m (L94bn) in 1998. The amount spent on 100% Italian-funded films was down slightly to $138.9m (L313bn) against $139m (315bn) in 1998, although this was still a large
  • Jarmus, Schuman named heads of Universal Int'l TV

    Steven Jarmus and Philip Schuman have been named co-presidents of Universal International Television, overseeing the distribution of all Universal feature films globally in all forms of television (pay-TV, pay-per-view, video-on-demand, non-theatrical, broadcast, satellite-to-home, basic cable) as well as Universal's TV programming internationally.They are also responsible for the international distribution of original programming from USA Networks, Studios USA, USA Cable Entertainmen
  • Jetzt Oder Nie bags Luenen audience award

    Lars Buechel's Jetzt Oder Nie won the audience award at this year's Kinofest Luenen (November 16-19). The comedy, about three elderly ladies who decide to rob a bank in order to finance a cruise, received DM10,000 in cash from sponsors and DM5,000 in subtitling costs from the German Federal Film Board. It will be presented at San Francisco's Berlin and Beyond festival, which takes place January 18-25, 2001.The award for best editing, given out by German film magazine D
  • Jupiter Telecom postpones Mothers listing

    Japan's largest cable operator, Jupiter Telecommunications, has postponed its scheduled December 8 initial public offering (IPO) on the Mothers market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.Company management decided that, given the beatings that IPOs have recently taken on Mothers, it would be difficult to raise funds at their asking price. Jupiter has also delayed its scheduled December 7 listing of American Depository Shares (ADS) on the Nasdaq market, citing instability in global markets.
  • Khan-Din revs up adaptation for DNA

    East Is East writer Ayub Khan-Din is writing an adaptation of Harland Miller's acclaimed novel Slow Down Arthur, Stick To Thirty for Andrew Macdonald and Duncan Kenworthy's UK National Lottery studio franchise DNA Films.The novel, hailed by anyone from national newspapers to pop star Jarvis Cocker as a masterful debut, is an unconventional rites-of-passage story about a young man obsessed with a David Bowie impersonator. Khan-Din, who is also writing Belmondo Ji fo
  • Kinowelt enters Bulgaria with Duga, Solaris

    Germany's Kinowelt is continuing to build up its Eastern European presence by setting up two distribution outfits in Bulgaria, one in partnership with local theatrical distributor Duga Entertainment and the other with video company Solaris.The German mini-major has taken a 51% stake in Kinowelt Bulgaria, a joint venture with Solaris which will handle local video and TV distribution of Kinowelt's slate. The new outfit has, in turn, taken a 71% stake in Kinowelt Duga, a joint venture wit
  • Kinowelt provides NBC Europe with prime-time fare

    Germany's Kinowelt has sold another tranche of titles to German TV, this time to cable station NBC Europe which plans to run them in prime-time slots, replacing its Tonight Show and Late Night With Conan O'Brian.Lead-in for the feature package which includes titles such as Sphere, Executive Decision, A Hard Day's Night and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, will be NBC Europe's popular teenage internet show GIGA, which runs for five hours
  • Kodak, Shanghai Film & TV build Shanghai multiplex

    The Shanghai Film & TV Group and Kodak (China) Ltd are teaming up to open a multiplex - named Kodak CinemaWorld - in Shanghai, China, early next year. The four-screen complex will be located in the Xujiahui Metro Entertainment Centre in the city's commercial district.The multiplex sits alongside a shopping centre, disco, restaurants and health club in a five-storey mall at the base of the 26-storey Metro Tower. Both Kodak and Shanghai Film & TV Group claim it is the first of its kind i
  • Kushner-Locke strikes longterm deal with ALWAYSi

    The Kushner-Locke Co has established a longterm partnership with San Francisco-based internet entertainment outfit ALWAYSi whereby it will distribute films represented by ALWAYSi in traditional offline channels.Kushner-Locke will license the brand ALWAYSi True American Independent Cinema in international markets, creating a path from online film exhibition at ALWAYSi's website (alwaysi.com) to traditional distribution channels such as cable, satellite, broadband cable, DVD and other i
  • Last Resort takes top honours at Thessaloniki

    BBC production Last Resort, directed by Polish-born UK resident Pavel Pawlikowski, picked up the top three awards at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival on Sunday, including the Golden Alexander for best picture, backed by a $31,000 (DR12.5m) purse.The film, acquired for distribution in Greece by Rosebud, also walked away with the best actor and actress awards for Paddy Considine and Dina Korzun's performances. It also took the FIPRESCI award for best film in the 15-tit
  • Looking For Alibrandi finds five AFI Awards

    Australia's third biggest local hit of 2000, teen flick Looking For Alibrandi, scooped five awards including best film at the AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards on Saturday night (Nov 18). The other four awards went to school teacher Melina Marchetta's adapted script, lead actress Pia Miranda, supporting actress Greta Scacchi and Martin Connor for editing. Producer Robyn Kershaw accepted the best film honour. As widely expected, Eric Bana won best actor for his title
  • Media Most, Gazprom sign new debt relief deal

    Russia's embattled Media Most group has finally signed a debt relief settlement with its major creditor, the state-controlled gas giant Gazprom. The agreement is essentially the same as the one reached a week earlier, which was scotched at the eleventh hour when Gazprom Media chief Alfred Kokh withdrew his offer (ScreenDaily, November 14). Under the terms of the agreement, Gazprom Media receives 25% plus one share of the Media Most group, which is a blocking stake under R
  • Mediaset posts 26% jump in nine-month profits

    Mediaset's gross profits increased by 25.9% to Euros481m in the first nine months of 2000, on net turnover up 16.4% to Euros1.68bn. Advertising revenue was up 14.1%.The Silvio Berlusconi-owned broadcaster also said its three broadcasting channels, Rete 4, Canale 5 and Italia 1, registered a 42.5% audience share for the first nine months of the year. In the third quarter, Mediaset recorded a 46% audience share, up 1.6% compared to figures for the same period in 1999, and up 2% on expect
  • Moulin Rouge boosts Oz production

    The total value of features made in Australia in the 12 months to June 30, 2000 rose 7% to $66m (A$127m), compared to $62m (A$119m) the previous year, according to the Australian Film Commission (AFC). The rise was mostly due to the impact of Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge which is costing more than $26m (A$50m). However Moulin Rouge's large budget masks a decline in the number of films made in Australia which dropped to 31 in the year to June 30, compared to 41 the previous
  • North America loves The Grinch

    Universal Pictures and exhibitors across North America breathed a sigh of relief over the weekend as Imagine Entertainment's Dr Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas broke records with a $55.1m gross at a staggering 3,127 theatres (and on over 4,200 screens).The movie, a lavish live action retelling of the children's classic directed by Ron Howard and starring Jim Carrey as The Grinch, was Universal's great hope for the holiday season and its success is the perfect seal to a ba
  • Omega, Latin partners to launch virtual market

    Japanese production outfit Omega Pictures is teaming up with three Latin American media companies to launch an on-line film sales outfit, based in Puerto Rico, where they have been lured by significant tax and funding initiatives.Omega will take a 40% stake in the joint venture, entitled Intermedia Contenido, with the three partners - content producers Clarkson Integrative Group and Media Wire Communication and distribution outfit United Film - taking 20% each. The venture, capi
  • Ontario upholds ban on Baise-moi

    Censors in the Canadian province of Ontario have upheld a ban on the theatrical release of French title Baise-moi, directed by Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trinh Thi.According to the film's Canadian distributor, Quebec-based Remstar Distribution, which planned to open the film in Canada's three main markets, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, the film was approved in Quebec and British Columbia. Citing the film's "brutally violent and explicit rape scene" among other issu
  • Pathos

    Dir: Jayaraaj. India. 2000. 77mins.Prod co/Int'l sales: Harvest Films, (tel: 0091 44 600034). Prod: Jayaraaj. Scr: Madambu. DoP: M.J.Radhakrishan. Ed: Sreekar Prasad. Music: Sunny Stephen. Leading players: Vavchan, Eliyamma, Biju Menon.Emigrants from the underdeveloped world invariably try to send money home to their less fortunate families. That is specially true of those in the beautiful Southern state of Kerala, where many work in the Gulf and where the director of
  • Platform

    Dir: Jia Zhang-ke. Hong Kong-Japan-France. 2000. 192mins.Prod co: Hu Tong Communications (HK). Int'l sales: Flach Pyramide International, tel: (33) 1 42 96 02 20. Prods: Li Kit-ming, Shozo Ichiyama. Scr: Jia Zhang-ke. DoP: Yu Lik-wai. Ed: Kong jing-lei. Prod des: Qui Sheng. Music: Joshihiro Hanno. Main cast: Wang Hong-wei, Zhao Tao, Liang Jing-Dong, Yang Tiang-yi, Wang Bo.How do you make a film that is 192 minutes long and set mostly in a dreary town in provincial Shanxi
  • Prop & Berta to open Copenhagen children's fest

    Per Fly's animated feature Prop & Berta has been named as the opening film at the first Copenhagen International Children's Film Festival, which runs November 27 - December 2. The Danish film, which is receiving its world premiere at the event, is also entered for the international competition along with seven other features including Sweden's The Best Summer and Tsatiki as well as Denmark's Help I'm A Fish and Miracle.The festival will screen
  • Saudi prince in talks for Sky Global stake

    Saudi financier Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal is in talks to invest in Rupert Murdoch's global satellite business, Sky Global Networks, according to the UK's Financial Times.The prince already holds a 3% stake in Murdoch's News Corp, and is also an investor, along with Murdoch, in German media group Kirch. Microsoft is also thought to be in talks to invest in Sky Global, but an attempt to bring on board France' Vivendi failed earlier this week (ScreenDaily, November 15
  • SBS appoints Tellenbach as COO

    Markus Tellenbach, whose departure from KirchPayTV was announced only two weeks ago, has been appointed chief operating officer of SBS Broadcasting.Tellenbach will start his new job from March 1. He succeeds Howard "Woody" Knight, who will remain SBS' vice chairman and focus on strategy, financing and acquisitions. "Markus is a hands on operator [who] understands the intricacies of managing regional television stations in a variety of markets, with different audiences, regulator
  • ScreenCorp, Unity set sail with Batavia

    Sydney-based Screen Corporation Ltd (ScreenCorp) is partnering with Michael Cerenzie's LA-based company Unity Productions for its first project, titled Batavia. The bloodthirsty epic adventure is based on the real events that occurred after the sinking of the Dutch United East India Company ship of the same name off the coast of Western Australia in 1629. ScreenCorp CEO James Michael Vernon is confident that the project will go into production in 2001 and has signed CAA t
  • Second Generation gets UK digital release

    With One Life Stand impressing festival-goers at Edinburgh this year, independent digital film-making is making further inroads into the UK with a London theatrical release for Second Generation using digital projection. Made by newcomer Shane O'Sullivan, the £20,000 digital feature follows a Chinese girl who escapes an arranged marriage and comes to London searching for her rock idol, Bobby Gillespie. The film will be projected digitally with a 12K Barco DLP projector wh
  • Selwyn readies Maori Merchant Of Venice

    Veteran executive producer-director Don Selwyn has accessed $0.96m (NZ$2.4m) in public funding for a Maori-language adaptation of Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice (Te Tangata Whai Rawa O Weneti).Films are rarely made in a language other than English in New Zealand and it took Selwyn three attempts in 10 years to convince Te Mangai Paho, the Maori-language division of television and radio subsidy body NZ On Air, to give him the funding. Although Selwyn chose Shakespeare over a local
  • Sinapi's Uneasy Riders wins two London fest prizes

    The 44th Regus London Film Festival, which closed last night with the screening of David Kane's highly-anticipated Born Romantic, has announced this year's prize-winners.Uneasy Riders (Nationale 7), a French film by Jean Pierre Sinapi that was screened during MIFED by Vincent Maraval's Paris-based Wild Bunch, was honoured by the FIPRESCI jury for its take on sex, religion and disability. The same film also won the Satyajit Ray Foundation prize.FIPRESCI also
  • Smithies confirmed as Cinemedia CEO

    Victoria's state government agency Cinemedia, based in Melbourne, has finally confirmed that John Smithies has signed a 12-month contract as CEO. The former deputy director had been acting in this crucial role since Jenifer Hooks left the post in February this year. Smithies has the twin challenges of responding to issues raised in a comprehensive government task force, the report of which was delivered a month ago, and overseeing the opening of Federation Square, an ambitious showcase
  • Spanish film loses ground at domestic box office

    Spanish films' share of the domestic box office dipped below 10% in the ten months between January and October 2000 according to the Spanish Institute for Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA). This compares to a 14% market share for domestic product at the end of 1999.The ICAA found that local product grossed $35m (PTS6,506m) during Jan-Oct, which means it has a long way to go to catch up with last year's tally. During 1999 as a whole, Spanish films took $72.1m (PTS11,537m) on home turf.
  • Splendid signs distribution deal with Fox

    German video distributor and licence trader Splendid Medien has struck a distribution deal with 20th Century Fox which will market Splendid's burgeoning slate in the German theatrical and pay-TV sectors for the next two years.The widely anticipated deal (Screen International, Oct 17), which also covers Austria and German-speaking Switzerland, includes titles such as Robert Altman's Dr T And The Women, Steven Soderbergh's Traffic and Martin Scorsese's Gangs Of Ne
  • StudioCanal, Classic board Angelopoulos trilogy

    France's StudioCanal and Italian production outfit Classic Films will co-produce Theo Angelopoulos' $20m epic trilogy about Greek exiles, the first of which, The Weeping Field, is set to star Harvey Keitel.The Weeping Field, which is based on a short story by Italian scriptwriter Tonino Guerra, is scheduled to shoot in Greece from September 2001. It will be followed by The Third Wing, which is to be shot in Russia, Italy and the Austrian-Hungarian border, and Th
  • Taiwan's Eastern, Pacific team for digital TV

    A potent pay-TV rights buying force emerged in Taiwan this week after two of the country's most powerful communications groups announced they would combine to launch a $200m digital TV joint venture.The new company is to launch by the end of the year or early 2001 with equal investment from Taiwanese cable operator Eastern Multimedia and wire maker and communications investor Pacific Electric Wire & Cable. Along with tiered pay-TV services, the joint venture is to offer TV commerce and
  • Telefonica restructures Media, delays float

    After months of uncertainty following the forced resignation of former Telefonica chairman Juan Villalonga, a new blueprint unveiled this week for the future of subsidiary Telefonica Media (TM) confirms the conglomerate's intent to remain at the forefront of the international media business.That said, however, TM executive president Juan Jose Nieto's proposed focus on growth and consolidation in Spanish-speaking markets diverges from Villalonga's more global ambitions. Telefonica chair
  • Terrorist drama sweeps board at Israeli Oscars

    Josef Cedar's Time Of Favour (Hahesder), a topical drama about a paramilitary Jewish organisation that attempts to blow up the El Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, won six prizes at the Israeli Film and TV Academy Awards on Tuesday night, including best film and best script.The Cinema Factory production now automatically becomes Israel's entry for the Best Foreign-language Oscar. It also walked away with the best actor and actress prizes for Aki Avni and Tinker Bell and also won awards
  • The 6th Day

    Dir: Roger Spottiswoode. US. 2000. 124 mins.Prod co: Phoenix Pictures. US dist: Columbia Pictures. Int'l dist: Columbia TriStar. Exec prods: Daniel Petrie Jr, David Coatsworth. Prods: Mike Medavoy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jon Davison. Scr: Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley. DoP: Pierre Mignot. Prod des: James Bissell, John Willett. Eds: Mark Conte, Dominique Fortin, Michel Arcand. Mus: Trevor Rabin. Main cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robert Duvall, Tony Goldwyn, Michael Rapaport, M
  • The Mechanism (Mehanizam)

    Dir: Djordje Milosavljevic. Serbia. 95 mins.Prod co: Horizont 2000. Backer: The Ministry of Culture of Serbia. Serbian Dist: Metro Film. Int'l Sales: Horizont 2000, (+381 11 637 555). Prod: Ivana Mihic. Scr: Gordan Mihic. DoP: Zoran Petrovic. Prod des: Goran Joksimovic. Ed: Marko Glusac. Make-up: Marinela Spasenovic. Main Cast: Nikola Kojo, Ivana Mihic, Andrej Sepetkovski, Gordan Kicic.Imagine a group of Tarantino-esque characters teleported to a whistle-stop railway stat
  • The Secret

    Dir: Virginie Wagon. France. 2000. 107mins.Prod cos: Productions Bagheera, France 3 Cinema, Diaphana Films. Int'l sales: Mercure Distribution, tel: (33) 1 44 108 844. Exec prod: Francois Marquis. Scr: Wagon, Erick Zonca. DoP: Jean-Marc Fabre. Ed: Yannick Kergoat. Prod des: Brigitte Brassart. Sound: Ludovic Henault, Stephane Thiebaut. Cost des: Brigitte Slama. Main cast: Anne Coesens, Michel Bompoil, Tonny Todd, Jacqueline Jehanneuf.With a prize-winning short to her direct
  • Vivendi Communication rings up 70% growth

    Ahead of its merger with Seagram and Canal Plus, French media and utilities giant Vivendi has reported a 70% hike in sales at its media and phone unit - Vivendi Communication - to Euros9.4bn, in the first nine months of 2000.The figure includes, for the first time, Canal Plus' contribution (Euros2.9bn), which was not consolidated at September 30 last year.Canal Plus now counts 14.2 million subscribers, of which 4.5 million are digital subscribers. Turnover from international pay
  • Vivendi to break links with News Corp

    Vivendi has called off its attempt to establish a long-term alliance with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.Vivendi chief executive Jean-Marie Messier, in an interview with the UK's Financial Times, said that severing the difficult relationship with News Corp would be of benefit to the complicated merger that Vivendi is engineering with France's Canal Plus and Universal Studios' owner Seagram."Being an active partner of Murdoch is not easy. If you add the EU issue, it is just to
  • What Lies Beneath won't lie down

    Spookily, 20th Century Fox's What Lies Beneath resurfaced at the top of the UK box office chart for the second time in its five-week run this weekend, clawing back the lead it lost last weekend to another Fox release, Bedazzled. The Harrison Ford-Michelle Pfeiffer picture took $1,156,243 (£811,997) from 365 sites for a screen average of $3,168 (£2,225). It previously lost pole position to Dinosaur before bobbing up a week later.Opposition was admittedly weak, with
  • Winchester plots Millennium gem heist

    The UK's Winchester Films is readying a feature about this month's audacious diamond raid on the Millennium Dome in London - only this time the robbers get away with it.Producer Mark Thomas, Winchester's point person for UK films, has copyrighted a six-page treatment he wrote on the day of the bungled heist. Thomas, whose credits include Up N' Under, Rancid Aluminium and Dreaming Of Joseph Lees, is already negotiating for a writer to come on board.Winchester

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