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Sandy George

Sandy George covers Australia for Screen.

  • Four debuts, two local films in Adelaide competition line-up


    The Adelaide Film Festival has announced its competition line-up for 2015.
  • 'Putuparri And The Rainmakers' wins CinefestOZ Film Prize


    The feature-length documentary with no sales agent has won Australia’s richest film award, the $71,000 (A$100,000) CinefestOZ Film Prize for homegrown films.
  • Screen Australia backs 'A Few Best Men' sequel


    Backing also allocated to China-Australia co-production The Nest.
  • 'Rabbit', starring 'Fury Road’s' Abbey Lee, to be pitched at PFM


    Abduction thriller voted to UK market by Melbourne’s 37º South Market.
  • Arabian Nights wins Sydney Film Prize


    Miguel Gomes’ three-volume epic wins eight on the closing night of the Sydney Film Festival.
  • World of Locations: New Zealand


    James Cameron’s substantial use of New Zealand for Avatar and intention to settle there permanently speaks volumes for the territory’s film-making capability and the allure of its lifestyle.
  • World of Locations: Australia


    The territory’s laidback lifestyle and advanced film infrastructure are big attractions for film-makers and talent spending six months or more Down Under.
  • Sydney Film Festival unveils 2015 competition titles


    The 12 titles include Jafar Panahi’s Berlinale winner, Roy Andersson’s Venice victor and Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s Sundance prize-winner.
  • 'Lord of the Rings' cinematographer Andrew Lesnie dies aged 59


    Oscar-winner, who worked with Peter Jackson on the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, most recently collaborated with Russell Crowe on The Water Diviner.
  • Rose Byrne helps launch all female production company


    Three features in advanced development at new all female company.
  • Beijing Film Market popular with Australian producers  


    Australia’s biggest ever delegation to the Beijing Film Festival includes producer Alan Lindsay, who is seeking Chinese partners for the animated family film Piccolo The Dolphin Prince, written and directed by Greg Mclean, whose gory breakout film was Wolf Creek.
  • Filmart 2015: HAF profiles


    Profiles of projects from the 13th Hong Kong - Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF).
  • Bondi Hipsters among Screen Australia awardees


    Funding for three distribution projects, animation company Bogan and several creators of the very-popular-online Bondi Hipsters brand are among the recipients of US$2.73m ($3.5m) from Screen Australia.
  • Babadook, Water Diviner share AACTA best film


    Double win marks the first time two films have shared Australia’s top film prize.
  • Australia box office drops 2.3% in 2014


    Australia’s gross box office revenue dropped by 2.28% in 2014 compared to 2013, about the same as the fall from 2012 to 2013.
  • Sapphires director wins Screen Australia funding


    Wayne Blair, Rachel Perkins, Greg McLean, Cameron and Colin Cairnes get green lights for new Australian films, including a new feature starring Kevin Bacon.
  • Australia’s VOD habits revealed


    New research shows that the strong preference for Hollywood films in Australian cinemas is not so overwhelming online.
  • Nearly $260m spent on Australian features


    Figure marks second highest spend in five years.
  • Australia: Advancing Australian fare


    With its depth of talent, financial incentives and appeal as a co-production partner, the growth of Australia’s film industry continues unabated. By Sandy George.
  • Australia: Wet and wild


    Australia boasts diverse locations - from rain forests to deserts - and established studios that attract a string of international productions. Sandy George reports.
  • Australia: The festive spirit


    Australian festivals are increasingly high-profile launch pads, and their funding streams are taking local projects to the next level. By Sandy George.
  • Australia: Bright stars


    Australia has a diverse set of producers working across the territory. Sandy George profiles some of the key names and previews a selection of the year’s hottest projects.
  • Australia: A perfect partner


    With new guidelines due to come into force, Australia could see a boost to its already healthy co-production sector. Sandy George reports.
  • Rosemary Blight, Goalpost Pictures


    Goalpost Pictures’ Rosemary Blight talks to Sandy George about the company’s ambitious upcoming projects and its increasingly international outlook.
  • Felony director's new film secures funding


    A week after his film Felony launched into Australian cinemas, Screen Australia has revealed that it is investing production funding in director Matt Saville’s third feature.
  • Goalpost finds lovers for Holding The Man


    Anthony LaPaglia, Guy Pearce and Kerry Fox are to star alongside upcoming Australian pair Ryan Corr and Craig Stott when Candy director Neil Armfield begins filming Holding The Man in Melbourne next week.
  • Paper Planes wins CinefestOZ award


    Robert Connolly writes and directs; the festival also awards Joel Edgerton with screen legend prize.
  • Madman founders complete buyout


    A small consortium that includes co-managing directors Paul Wiegard and Tim Anderson have paid $20m (A$21.5m) for Australian independent distributor Madman Entertainment.
  • NZ's Emma Slade set for UK PFM


    Emma Slade, Steve Kearney, Briget Callow-Wright heading for the UK’s Production Finance Market.
  • Screen Australia reflects on cuts


    Around $20m in direct annual investment in film production has escaped the knife in a package of changes that will reduce Screen Australia’s current annual budget by $US5.18m (A$5.5m).
  • Screen Australia backs 18 features


    UK producer Kevin Loader joins comedy drama B Model, to be directed by actor Rachel Griffiths.
  • Brisbane film festival and APSAs embrace


    Inaugural Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival will, in part, serve as the judging platform for the eighth APSAs.
  • Two Days, One Night wins in Sydney


    The Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night, starring Marion Cotillard, wins Sydney Film Prize.
  • Sydney title Fell tries innovative launch


    Kasimir Burgess’ drama gets VOD launch across most of Australia after its Sydney Film Festival premiere.
  • Screen Australia backs Blue Dog, Downriver


    Sequel to local box office hit Red Dog wins Screen Australia backing alongside a thriller starring Kerry Fox.
  • China's Kylin ploughs $20.5m into Brosnan film


    EXCLUSIVE: Investors say their contribution to period drama The Moon And The Sun is China’s biggest financial contribution to a non-studio movie produced outside mainland China. [Exclusive first image]
  • Ginnane preps two more remakes


    EXCLUSIVE: Producer is planning remakes of Thirst and The Survivor.
  • Rachel Gardner joins See-Saw


    EXCLUSIVE: New Zealand producer, who worked with See-Saw on Slow West [pictured], to “supercharge” Australian office.
  • Sydney reveals competition line-up


    Nick Cave documentary 20,000 Days on Earth and titles set for Cannes among Sydney Film Festival competiton contenders.
  • Screen Australia backs Armfield, Davis


    Candy director Neil Armfield will adapt gay memoir Holding The Man, one of five projects backed in Screen Australia’s latest funding round.
  • Worldview Ent backs Strangerland


    Outback Australian film stars Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving.
  • Odin's Eye picks up two thrillers


    EXCLUSIVE: Sales agent takes worldwide rights on Lemon Tree Passage [pictured] and 2nd Reign of Night.
  • Great Gatsby sweeps AACTAs


    Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation wins every film category but two at the annual Australian awards ceremony.
  • Australian box office down in 2013


    Australia’s box office gross tumbled 2.3% on the previous year.
  • CinefestOZ launches $100,000 prize


    Australian films and co-productions are eligible, if they have not had a theatrical release locally.
  • Avatar trio confirmed for New Zealand


    New Zealand increasing financial incentives for international films.
  • Australian firms strike China film deal


    Agreements set to produce seven family features worth $78m.
  • Omar wins best film at APSAs


    Omar, set in the occupied West Bank, has won best film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSAs).
  • Screen Australia backs 15 features


    Two music-themed films and a love story from The Rocket director Kim Mordaunt are among the 15 features to secure new development money from Screen Australia.
  • Australia India fund to offer $4.5m+


    Sydney-based Anupam Sharma has been appointed head of film for the Australia India Film Fund (AIFF) and expects to be able to name the first film to be financed by the new fund by the end of February.
  • Screen Australia backs Kenny followup


    Anton Corbijn’s Life also set to get direct government investment from Screen Australia.
  • Sally Caplan to join Screen Australia as head of production


    Sally Caplan is to relocate to Australia from the UK to take up the new role of head of production at government film agency Screen Australia.
  • Dave Gibson to head NZFC


    Dave Gibson, one of the country’s most high profile producers, has been appointed chief executive of the New Zealand Film Commission.
  • Gatsby, Rocket lead AACTA noms


    Other best film nominations include Dead Europe, Mystery Road, Satellite Boy and The Turning.
  • Omar, Television among APSA nominees


    Palestine’s Omar and Bangladesh’s Television among best feature nominees in the upcoming Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
  • Joel Edgerton, Felony


    Sandy George talks to Joel Edgerton about his new film, Felony, which premieres at Toronto.
  • Edgerton to shoot debut in California


    EXCLUSIVE: Weirdo to be produced by Australia-born, US-based Rebecca Yeldham.
  • Martha Coleman joins Australia's Goalpost


    Outgoing Screen Australia exec to join producers of The Sapphires.
  • Adelaide reveals competition titles


    Kevin Macdonald, Jim Jarmush and Asghar Farhadi all have films in competition in the Adelaide Film Festival.
  • Libertine Pictures wins NZFC support


    The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) has introduced a three-year $2.4m (NZ$3m) business development scheme aimed at creating more substantial companies and has made the new company Libertine Pictures the first recipient.
  • Davis joins Winslet on The Dressmaker


    Judy Davis has joined Kate Winslet on The Dressmaker, which has received backing from Screen Australia and is Jocelyn Moorhouse’s first film since 1997.
  • Bankside MD backs Australian finance outfit


    Phil Hunt, a managing director at UK sales company Bankside Films, is backing a new Australian financing entity dedicated to low budget features.
  • Melbourne’s 37º South selects best pitches


    A new project from the producer of Whale Rider, an adaptation of a US book and a Chinese-Australian co-production are to be pitched in the UK after being selected by Melbourne’s 37º South Market.
  • Mason to head Screen Australia


    Australia is abuzz with long-awaited news: Graeme Mason is the new chief executive of government agency Screen Australia.
  • Tracks to open Adelaide FF


    John Curran’s Tracks, from The King’s Speech producer See-Saw Films, will have its world premiere as the opening night film of the Adelaide Film Festival on October 10.
  • Melbourne boosts world premiere tally


    Six of the 10 homegrown feature-length films that will have their world premieres at the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) have been supported by the MIFF Premiere Fund, including anthology drama The Turning and Anna Broinowski’s documentary Aim High In Creation!.
  • Screen Australia investments include overseas shoots


    Three features promised production investment from Screen Australia are to be partly filmed outside of the country.
  • Only God Forgives wins in Sydney


    Nicolas Winding Refn’s violent thriller, starring Ryan Gosling, wins top prize at the Sydney Film Festival.
  • Hugo Weaving agrees to ride Mule


    One of Australia’s most internationally recognised character actors, Hugo Weaving (The Lord Of The Rings, The Matrix), is to star in comedy The Mule, which recently went into production in Melbourne.
  • Screen Australia backs dozen


    Kriv Stenders, director of Red Dog, the eighth biggest Australian hit of all time in its home market, is attached to two of the 12 projects that have just received development money from Screen Australia.
  • Sydney unveils competition line-up


    Cannes titles Grigris and Borgman are among the 12 titles selected for the 60th Sydney Film Festival’s competition line-up.
  • Filmart: Film adaptations help integrate cultures


    Indian investment banker-turned-novelist Chetan Bhagat said the Indian film industry is only recently becoming more active in adapting books for screen, but that shoudl grow as India’s independent film production sector grows.
  • Sydney Film Festival opens archive


    Memories and films from past 60 years
  • Fear spreads for StudioCanal


    EXCLUSIVE: StudioCanal has sold Sundance Film Festival title In Fear to Umbrella for Australia and New Zealand at Filmart.
  • Australia’s movie convention moves to October


    Move will highlight Christmas line-up and is hoped to attract new international delegates.
  • Dutch thriller Taped sells to Japan


    EXCLUSIVE: New Select has acquired Japanese rights to the Dutch thriller Taped from Australian sales agent Odin’s Eye Entertainment at Filmart.
  • A new animal kingdom


    One family-friendly title at Filmart features Gregory Popovich sharing the spotlight with dozens of rescued cats and dogs.
  • Knight Rusty charges for Sola Media


    3D family film already a hit in Germany and sells widely.
  • Jim Gillespie to direct Take Down


    Radiant Films International has signed on to represent the teen thriller Take Down, to be directed in the UK later in the year by I Know What You Did Last Summer director Jim Gillespie, from a script by Ransom writer Alexander Ignon.
  • Just Like A Woman selling well for Doc & Film


    EXCLUSIVE: Company also strikes deals for Berthe Morisot, Tenderness, Violette.
  • Chinese hits may have trouble travelling


    Filmart panel explores selling and branding of Chinese-language films.
  • Ten Asian projects in Filmart’s ACE line-up


    Ten producers and feature films from the region are among the 16 currently attending the third Hong Kong co-production lab held by Ateliers du Cinéma Européen (ACE) during Filmart.
  • Australian delegation returns to China


    An official delegation of Australian film producers, bureaucrats and film service company representatives are heading to China for the third round of formal meetings in four years.
  • Films Boutique makes Haneke doc sales


    EXCLUSIVE: Michael H Profession: Director sells to Australia, Taiwan, Canada and beyond.
  • Australia earmarks $21m for incentives


    The Australian government this week put aside $21m (A$20m) to attract high-budget international film production, but exactly how it is going to be used will not be known until the industry has been consulted, which may be a few weeks.
  • Cambodia's Sotho lines up Om-Tuk, Last Reel


    Filming wraps in a few days in Cambodia on the international co-production Om-Tuk which Australian writer/directors Amiel Courtin-Wilson and Michael Cody are producing alongside Phnom Penh-based Kulikar Sotho.
  • King's Speech producers grab autobiography


    The true story of how a poor five-year-old Indian boy was separated from his mother, adopted by an Australian family, then found her 25 years later, is to be made into a film by See-Saw Films producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning.
  • Sapphires sweeps Australia's AACTA Awards


    Comedy drama The Sapphires dominated the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards, hosted Wednesday night [Jan 30] in Sydney by actor Russell Crowe.
  • Australian box office up on 2011; down on 2010


    The people of Australia spent $1,173.2m (A$1,125.5m) on cinema tickets in 2012, a 2.8% increase on the previous year but about $7.6m (A$7.3m) less than they spent in a record-breaking 2010.
  • Screen Australia backs Thornton, Ayres projects


    Screen Australia is to invest in five new feature films, three of which are from the proven directors Warwick Thornton (Samson And Delilah), Tony Ayres (The Home Song Stories) and Kriv Stenders (Red Dog).
  • Screen Australia backs comedies in latest funding round


    Australian writer/directors Cameron and Colin Cairnes and producer Julie Ryan have scored development money from Screen Australia for their next picture, crime comedy They Shoot Hostages, Don’t They?
  • Boehm moves to Icon Australia


    Susan Boehm will take up a new Sydney-based role as head of acquisitions and development at Icon Film Distribution in January.
  • Foxtel tightens grasp on Australia's pay TV movie market


    Australia’s Movie Network Channels (MNC) has lost its battle to survive and, while there is a lot of uncertainty around the impact, it is going to mean lower prices being paid in Australia for both studio and independent films.
  • Al Clark lines up trio including Stephan Elliott comedy


    Producer Al Clark is working on an untitled comedy with director Stephan Elliott, a pairing that previously created The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, one of the best-known Australian films ever made.
  • Sapphires heads nominations for AACTA awards


    This year’s standout box office hit The Sapphires, is up against Burning Man, Lore and Wish You Were Here for the crown of best film in the AACTA (Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts) Awards, to be presented at the end of January in Sydney.
  • Beyond The Hill wins best feature at APSA Awards


    The Turkish film industry was honoured at the sixth annual Asia Pacific Film Awards (APSAs), with three films among the winning line-up including Beyond the Hill, which was judged best feature.
  • Asia Pacific heights


    The Asia Pacific Screen Awards (Nov 23) shines the spotlight on a vast region that organisers say does not always receive the attention it deserves. Sandy George reports
  • Shopping trip


    Lucrative, stable and sophisticated - it’s no surprise the Australia and New Zealand market is drawing foreign investors. Sandy George reports
  • Australian games industry promised $20m at SPAA closing


    Australia’s Arts Minister Simon Crean has promised $20.7m (A$20m) over three years for an Australian interactive games fund, urging the industry to help set up the fund so that it will be of most assistance.
  • Essential Media to finance Joffe’s Violet Town


    Mark Joffe’s Violet Town is one of several films being financed at Essential Media and Entertainment, the production company last night awarded the Independent Producer of the Year Award by the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA).
  • Australian producers slam government at SPAA opening


    Producer Brian Rosen slammed the Australian government in his opening address to the annual conference of the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) in Melbourne today.
  • Screen Australia invests in Avery, Lance debuts


    Screen Australia has invested in two debut features - Julius Avery’s Son Of A Gun and Stephen Lance’s My Mistress - and provided two years of working capital to four producers: Jessica Brentnall, Angie Fielder, Nicole O’Donohue and Nelson Woss.
  • Oz filmmakers spend $66m on filming overseas


    New research shows that Australian filmmakers are being much more outward looking than in the past: nearly half of the 28 Australian features that went into production during the 12 months up to June 30, and were made for more than $519,000 (A$500,000), were wholly or partly filmed abroad.
  • Workshop of the world


    Renowned for its facilities, locations and film-making skill, New Zealand is a major international draw. And its inward investment success is benefiting local production. Sandy George reports
  • Taking the bait


    Studio shoots may have slowed but Australia’s hot film-making talent and incentives are ensuring the territory is a sought-after international partner. By Sandy George
  • Balinale aims to attract production as well as patrons


    Indonesian feature Lovely Man [pictured], directed by Teddy Soeriaatmadja, has been voted the most popular film overall by audiences at the 6th Balinale International Film Festival.
  • 7 Boxes wins best feature at inaugural Cockatoo fest


    A fast-moving action film from Paraguay, 7 Boxes, directed by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tania Chembori, has won the Golden Feather Award for best dramatic feature at Sydney’s inaugural Cockatoo Island Film Festival.
  • Balinese industry talks about government support


    Two seminars on the subject held as part of Balinale Film Festival.
  • On the horizon


    The latest project from the producers of The King’s Speech and a sequel to Wolf Creek are among the enticing new films from Australia and New Zealand. By Sandy George
  • Jaws dropped at budget of Bali opening night film


    Indonesian producer Lavesh M Samtani [pictured] reveals budget of Jakarti Hati as it opened Balinale Film Festival.
  • Guttentag to shoot French Concession in China


    Film is billed as being the first entirely financed out of China and shot by a Hollywood director.
  • Australia’s SPAAMart unveils line-up of seven projects


    The Diary Of Jimmy Porterfrom veteran director Nadia Tass, Hard Option from Paul Goldman and supernatural thriller The Fear Of Darkness, which sees Chris Fitchett back in the directors’ chair after several decades, are among the seven features to be presented at SPAAMart.
  • Ai Weiwei, Henkel world premieres to screen at BIFFDOCS


    Ai Weiwei’s Ping’an Yueqing and Show Me The Magic [pictured], Cathy Henkel’s homegrown film about cinematographer Don McAlpine, are the two world premiere’s among the 15 films in the running to win BIFFDOCS, Australia’s richest documentary prize.
  • Beyond the Hill leads the pack at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards


    Five pictures have a chance of winning best film at the sixth Asia Pacific Film Awards (APSAs): Beyond The Hill (Turkey/Greece), with three nominations, and Bear (Iran) The Horde (Russia), Nameless Gangster: Rules Of The Time (Republic of Korea) and Wu Xia (China),with two each.
  • Million Dollar Crocodile to take a bite of North America


    Sales company Odin’s Eye has sold North American rights to the Chinese film Million Dollar Crocodile to Screen Media Films, which will now begin planning for a release in the first quarter of next year.
  • Fifteen countries in inaugural Cockatoo Island film competition


    Ten of the 15 feature films in competition at Sydney’s Cockatoo Island Film Festival are debut films, which fits the competition aim of giving attention to emerging directors.
  • Oz crowd-funding platform starts to see results


    Pozible, Australia’s first and largest crowd-funding platform, has helped filmmakers raise $1.37m (A$1.3m) since its May 2010 launch, while total pledges have quadrupled in the past year.
  • The Sapphires stays strong at Oz box office


    After six weeks in cinemas, home-grown musical The Sapphires is about $1m away from becoming one of Australia’s top 15 local films of all time.
  • Rolf de Heer to direct fourteenth feature


    de Heer’s Charlie’s Country is one of a number of projects to receive Screen Australia backing, also including Wolf Creek 2 and Predestination.
  • Deaner appointed executive director of SPAA


    Australia’s independent film and television producers have a new chief advocate in the form of Matthew Deaner, who is currently manager of strategy and research at government agency Screen Australia.
  • Sydney-based Fuel VFX in financial strife


    One of Australia’s few world-class visual effects and animation companies, Sydney-based Fuel VFX, has placed itself into voluntary administration due to financial difficulties.
  • Paul Kelly: Stories of Me


    Dir: Ian Darling. Australia. 2012. 96mins
  • Hilton, Stephens and Van Mil heading for the UK’s PFM


    Sydney-based Jamie Hilton was voted the Australian producer most worth watching at the close of the MIFF 37º South Market, the four-day financing event that wrapped last night during the Melbourne International Film Festival.
  • Lowe to head Screen Queensland; ScreenWest backs crowd funding


    Bryan Lowe takes up his new role as chief executive of Screen Queensland on August 20.
  • Kath & Kimderella


    Two of Australia’s most loved and idiosyncratic TV comic characters, Kath & Kim, have been taken out of their usual suburban setting and dropped into Italy for their big screen debut, which will be unleashed on Australian cinemas in September.
  • Arclight, Wrenn launch distribution outfit Greenlight


    Arclight Films owners Gary Hamilton and Victor Syrmis and Arclight’s local managing director Michael Wrenn are launching an Australian distribution outfit, Greenlight Releasing, which will begin ushering films into cinemas early next year.
  • Screen Australia to back The Rover starring Robert Pattinson


    Screen Australia has agreed to invest in four features including The Rover, which will star Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce and be directed by David Michôd who made the much admired Animal Kingdom.
  • Schölermann attached to Tour de France action drama


    Australian producer/lawyer Rob Gibson has secured German director Marc Schölermann for The Domestique, an action/drama about a veteran pro cyclist who fights his way back onto a struggling team in the Tour de France after he has been banned for doping.
  • The Children wins investment from ScreenWest


    The Children, from The Waiting City writer/director Claire McCarthy, has become the latest film to get $767,000 (A$750,000) in production investment funding from Western Australia’s West Coast Visions feature film initiative.
  • Melbourne Film Festival platforms several new local releases


    61st edition runs August 2-19.
  • Grisly happenings in Oz cinema

    28 June 2012

    A man accused of beheading his neighbour successfully auditioned for work on Ivan Sen’s Mystery Road, while paramedics were called to a screening of Oz horror Redd Inc.
  • Sen’s Mystery Road starts shooting in Queensland


    Aaron Pedersen, Hugo Weaving, Ryan Kwanten and veteran Jack Thompson are among the ensemble cast in Ivan Sen’s Mystery Road, which is in its first week of filming at Winton in Central Queensland.
  • Rosen, Armstrong take a walk Around The Block


    Husband and wife producing team, former Film Finance Corporation chief Brian Rosen and Su Armstrong, are in their first week of filming Around The Block, starring Christina Ricci.
  • Garry Charny back in business with Wake Up Dead


    Australian producer and businessman Garry Charny (Jindabyne) has returned to film with new Australian production company Spotted Turquoise Films. Cinetic Media is attached to what is likely to be the first film under that banner.
  • Alps wins top prize at Sydney Film Festival


    Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos has won the fifth Sydney Film Prize with Alps, an offbeat film starring Aggeliki Papoulia, Aris Servetalis and Johnny Vekis.
  • Hopscotch Features: John Collee, Frank Cox, Troy Lum and Andrew Mason


    Fledgling production company Hopscotch Features is quickly fulfilling its mission to make films in Australia with international reach. Sandy George talks to the four partners.
  • Shoreline picks up Winter’s Sex


    Shoreline Entertainment has acquired all international rights to John Winter’s self-financed Black & White & Sex, in which eight actors play one sex worker being interviewed by a filmmaker.
  • Ausfilm appoints UK-based McMullan as chairman


    Ausfilm, the organisation that helps to sell Australia as a filmmaking partner, a location and a service provider, has appointed London-based former politician Bob McMullan as its chair.
  • Beresford, Leigh among Screen Australia recipients


    Sleeping Beauty director Julia Leigh, veteran Bruce Beresford and Kriv Stenders, who made last year’s local box office hit Red Dog, have all scored development dollars from Screen Australia for new films.
  • Odin’s Eye seals North America VoD deal with Warner Bros


    Australian sales agent Odin’s Eye Entertainment (OEE) has signed an agreement with Warner Bros Digital Distribution for electronic sell-through and video-on-demand (VoD) distribution of its films via cable, satellite and broadband platforms in North America.
  • Dead Europe to premiere at Sydney Film Festival


    Next month’s Sydney Film Festival, the first under new festival director Nashen Moodley, will feature the world premiere of Tony Krawitz’s Dead Europe, one of 12 films in official competition.
  • Australia’s AMPCO continues to build ties with China


    Mario Andreacchio, the producer of the first official Australia-China co-production The Dragon Pearl, says he is involved in the development of $60m worth of features with China and is expecting cameras to roll on two projects before the end of the year.
  • Darclight takes on Aussie sci-fi Crawlspace


    Just in time for Cannes, sales agent Arclight Films has picked up world rights, excluding North America, to Australian science fiction action thriller Crawlspace for its Darclight label.
  • Screen Australia taps specialists for funding decisions


    Producers Tristram Miall (Strictly Ballroom) and Jan Chapman (Bright Star, The Piano) and director Chris Noonan (Miss Potter, Babe) are three of the seven-person pool of people that Screen Australia will regularly call on to help make decisions on the agency’s feature film investments.
  • The Wolverine to be filmed in Australia


    Sydney has beaten Vancouver to James Mangold’s The Wolverine, the sixth film in the X-Men franchise, principally because the Australian Government is providing a one-off cash incentive of $13.2m (A$12.8m).
  • Snowtown takes top prizes at Australia’s critics awards


    Australia’s critics last night (April 10) gave Snowtown a resounding thumbs up, presenting it with three key awards: best film, best director for Justin Kurzel and best actor for Daniel Henshall.
  • Screen Australia backs four new features including Curran's Tracks


    Screen Australia also puts money into an omnibus title that has 17 directors including Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska.
  • Whale Rider producer and novelist reteam for Medicine Woman


    Film starts shooting on Monday.
  • Screen Australia’s letters of interest to be more useful as a financing tool


    If proposed changes to Screen Australia’s guidelines go ahead, there will be fewer hoops to jump through in order to be eligible for a letter of interest.
  • Matt Bate starts documentary starring Sam Klemke


    Rebecca Summerton is producing Sam Klemke’s Time Machine.
  • James Cameron praises filmmakers killed in Australian helicopter crash


    Andrew Wight [pictured], the producer of Sanctum and many adventure documentaries, and Mike deGruy, a specialist underwater cinematographer, died in a helicopter crash in Australia on Saturday.
  • RedDog, Snowtown honoured at Australian Academy awards


    AACTA gives best film honours to box-office hit Red Dog.
  • Odin’s Eye to take Forbidden Ground, One Mile Above to Berlin


    Sales agent Odin’s Eye Entertainment will be at the European Film Market with Australian war film Forbidden Ground and Chinese adventure drama One Mile Above.
  • Australia’s 2011 box office gross down 3% in 2011; Red Dog cracks top 10


    Gross box office in Australia in 2011 was $1,147.5 million (A$1,093.7m), three per cent down on the previous year, while cinema admissions were down 7.7 per cent to 85 million.
  • Maureen Barron to replace Tania Chambers at Screen NSW


    Maureen Barron has been appointed chief executive of Screen NSW and will return to her hometown of Sydney from Brisbane to take up the role on Feb 27.
  • Cinedigm to help Aussie indie cinemas move to digital


    A virtual print fee (VPF) agreement appears close to becoming a reality for Australia’s independent exhibitors with the news that US-based Cinedigm Digital Cinema has agreed to act as the intermediary between them and the major Hollywood studios.
  • The Iron Lady hits big in Australia


    The success of The Iron Lady in Australia means it will be rolled out onto another 30 screens in the next few weeks, starting from today.
  • Amanda Duthie to head Adelaide Film Festival


    Amanda Duthie, currently head of arts and entertainment content at public broadcaster ABC TV, is to replace Katrina Sedgwick as director and chief executive of the Adelaide Film Festival.
  • Screen Australia backs projects including drugs comedy The Mule; thriller These Final Hours


    Screen Australia also backs The Grandmothers, 2:22, Patrick and skateboarding documentary.
  • The Hunter earns 14 nominations in AACTA film awards


    Daniel Nettheim’s The Hunter has earned 14 nominations in the newly established Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards, with period drama The Eye Of The Storm following closely behind with 12.
  • Asia Pacific Screen Awards give best film honour to A Separation


    Once Upon a Time in Anatolia wins three prizes including Screen International Jury Grand Prize.
  • Concerns arise on Australian stories and voices surviving


    At annual Screen Producers Association of Australia conference, producers want to make sure local content delivery gets support.
  • Red Dog snaps up top honours at Australia’s IF Awards


    Red Dog was the big winner at the annual IF Awards, held on Wednesday (16) at Luna Park in damp Sydney.
  • Arirang wins inaugural Brisbane documentary prize


    South Korea’s Kim Ki-duk has won Australia’s richest documentary award with Arirang, six months after taking the top prize in Un Certain Regard at Cannes.
  • Writer/director Paul Cox turns liver transplant into film idea


    Writer/director Paul Cox is planning to make a new film, Force of Destiny, about an artist who survives a liver transplant and falls in love.
  • Nashen Moodley named as new director of Sydney Film Festival


    The head of programming at the Durban International Film Festival is to replace Clare Stewart who has taken on the role of head of exhibition at the BFI, which includes running the London Film Festival.
  • Look Both Ways writer/director Sarah Watt dies of cancer


    Sarah Watt, best known in international film circles for writing and directing Look Both Ways, died at her Melbourne home on Friday.
  • Two new Australian features stir early transmedia buzz


    Jennifer Kent plans psychological horror The Babadook and Zak HIlditch plans sci-fi thriller These Final Hours.
  • Asia Pacific hits the heights


    How the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (Nov 24) are helping to raise the global recognition of films from the region.
  • Australian industry mourns Mark Sarfaty


    Friends and colleagues are reeling from the news that Mark Sarfaty, chief executive of the Independent Cinemas Association of Australia (ICAA), has died.
  • Australian productions down, but foreign investment healthy


    Screen Australia notes that only 17 Australian films completed principal photography in the 12 months to June 30.
  • Adelaide debuts new film production centre, housing SAFC


    Wolf Creek 2 to use the new facility.
  • Australia's Madman ramps up production division


    Projects on the slate include a restaging of Shane Warne The Musical which will be filmed and shown in cinemas.
  • New Zealand lowers spend threshold for film fund


    The threshold has been lowered from $3.13m to $1.96m for New Zealand films wanting to make a claim under the Screen Production Expenditure Fund.
  • A Separation, Anatolia lead Asia Pacific Screen Awards nominations


    Best film nominees are Let The Bullets Fly, Once Upon a Time In Anatolia, Wedding Planners, A Separation and Goodbye.
  • SPAAmart reveals seven projects to be pitched


    A film that could become Australian special effects house Fuel’s first in-house feature, and a comedy of manners about four middle-class 40-something men in a self-help group, are two of the seven films chosen for SPAAmart, an annual feature film market this year being held in November in Sydney.
  • Adelaide to lose founding director Katrina Sedgwick


    Katrina Sedgwick is stepping down after almost a decade in the job
  • Tania Chambers to leave Screen NSW


    After five years, Chambers will leave her job as chief executive of the active government agency.
  • Hopscotch plans features from Stuart Beattie, Robert Luketic


    At a packed AIMC, Troy Lum says Hopscoth’s new production arm could have four films shooting within the next year.
  • Red Dog: Anatomy of an Australian hit


    How Roadshow has cultivated a big home-grown hit with the story of a kelpie and a bus driver.
  • Chris O'Dowd joins cast of Goalpost's The Sapphires


    Aboriginal girl-group story begins shooting this month in Australia.
  • Screen Australia backs films inspired by Bon Scott, Michael Hutchence


    Agency also gives development financing to new films by Adam Elliot and Bruce Beresford.
  • Luke and Meek to return to the UK


    Industry veterans Ashley Luke and Scott Meek are leaving Australia to return to the UK.
  • Three producers to head to UK's PFM after Melbourne's 37º South pitches


    Producer Marian Macgowan pitches Gillian Armstrong’s The Great, with Mia Wasikowska and Annette Bening attached.
  • Screen Australia backs Wolf Creek sequel, 3D surfing documentary, debut features


    A sequel to Wolf Creek, a high-budget action adventure directed by brothers Michael and Peter Spierig, and a 3D surfing documentary are among the features that have just secured Screen Australia investment.
  • Mark Patterson joins Rising Sun Entertainment


    Rising Sun Pictures has announced it has appointed Mark Patterson as head of production and development for its new production division Rising Sun Entertainment.
  • Alex Proyas to shoot Paradise Lost in Sydney this autumn


    Bradley Cooper to star as Lucifer.
  • Melbourne International Film Festival to open with The Fairy


    World premieres include dramas from Schepisi, Hewitt, Do and Lahiff; closing film will be Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive.
  • Iran's A Separation wins Sydney Film Prize, Cairo 678 gets special mention


    Other awards go to 33 Postcards, Life In Movement, The Palace, Tethered, and Nullabor.
  • Australian distributors strike 50+ deals in Cannes


    Among Competition titles, Madman gets Kid,
  • Veteran Robin James kicks off new Australian production company


    Ploughed Field Productions started by PFTC ex-head James with Tony Gilby.
  • PJ Hogan, Toni Collette reunite on comedy Mental


    Universal has signed on for Australian and UK rights to director PJ Hogan’s comedy Mental which, like his 1994 debut film Muriel’s Wedding, has Toni Collette in the lead role.
  • Four world premieres at Dungog Film Festival


    Four-day event opens with UK/Australian co-production Oranges And Sunshine
  • Clare Stewart to step down as director of Sydney Film Festival


    She will leave after five years; this year’s festival opens June 8.
  • Julia Leigh


    Cannes Meet The Debutants: Acclaimed Australian novelist Julia Leigh makes her debut with Competition title Sleeping Beauty.
  • Sydney reveals competition lineup


    Four films now in the running for awards at Cannes, including two homegrown titles, and two Berlin award winners are among the 12 films in competition at the Sydney Film Festival (SFF).
  • Australia boosts its effects/post incentive to 30%


    Producers who hire Australian companies to do visual effects or other post-production work will be able to claim 30% back from the government.
  • Brisbane Film Festival announces new $27,000 doc prize


    The winner of the Brisbane International Film Festival’s (BIFF) new global documentary competition will walk away with US$27,000.
  • Australia devises a new comprehensive way to measure film watching


    Australian features were viewed 101m times locally in 2007-2009, but only 9% of the viewing was in cinemas.
  • Rachel Griffiths' feature debut among new projects backed by Screen Australia


    13 projects receiving development funding, including films from Bruce Beresford, John Curran and Gregor Jordan.
  • Odin's Eye to Go For It with US dance movie


    Sales agent Odin’s Eye Entertainment has acquired all rights outside the US to hip hop dance drama GO FOR IT! and will introduce it to buyers at Cannes.
  • Entertainment One buys Hopscotch in Australia for $21m


    Hopscotch MD Troy Lum talks to Screen about the deal.
  • NZFC invites 12 teams for low-budget Escalator initiative


    Also, one of last year’s Escalator projects, Existence, goes into production next week for director Juliet Bergh.
  • Second films from Miranda July and Athina Rachel Tsangari in competition in Sydney


    The Sydney Film Festival (SFF) today named three of its 12 competition titles: Tran Anh Hung’s Norwegian Wood, Miranda July’s The Future and Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Attenberg.
  • Hopscotch on board for controversial story The Tall Man


    Hopscotch has signed on to distribute The Tall Man, from writer/director Tony Krawitz, two weeks after the feature-length documentary earned a standing ovation at ...
  • Sam Worthington to star in one of two new Screen Australia films


    New Australian action surf drama Drift is to be filmed in south-west Western Australia and is a passion project for actor Sam Worthington (Avatar) and producers Tim Duffy and Myles Pollard, all of whom are originally from there.
  • Peplow to leave UK's Skillset to join Sydney-based AFTRS


    UK producer Neil Peplow is to leave Skillset to relocate to Australia and become director of screen content at the Film, Television & Radio School (AFTRS) from May 2.
  • Screen Australia backs projects including Kath and Kim film


    Screen Australia has promised investment to the producers of four feature-length films, three of which are comedies, including a big screen version of the television cult hit Kath And Kim.
  • Paramount and Transmission renew pact in Australia


    Paramount Pictures International and Transmission have re-signed the distribution pact that has seen them jointly acquire, market and release 14 commercial crossover films in Australia and New Zealand in the past three years.
  • Incendies wins top prize at Adelaide; fest eyes new timeslot for 2013


    Local films having world premieres include Mrs Carey’s Concert, Snowtown, The Tall Man, Hail and Here I Am.
  • A Few Best Men


    Priscilla Queen Of The Desert director Stephan Elliott is currently shooting his latest film, a comedy about a group of English friends attending a wedding in Australia, which has already secured an impressive number of pre-sales.
  • Luhrmann readies Sydney shoot for The Great Gatsby


    Cameras are expected to roll at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney in August on Baz Luhrmann’s big screen adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s American literary classic The Great Gatsby for Warner Bros.
  • Australian report discusses boosting foreign producer rebates


    A major government report released today, says two solutions are favoured by industry to best address the serious contraction in international work being experienced in Australia: increase the value of the rebates to offshore producers or peg them to the Australian/US exchange rate.
  • Odin's Eye to sell Inseparable starring Kevin Spacey


    Dayyan Eng’s black comedy is about a brash American who befriends a Chinese neighbour.
  • Screen Australia engages YouTube's help to connect with audiences


    Australians are encouraged to make short videos and share them online.
  • Adelaide competitors include Aboriginal drama Here I Am


    Beck Cole’s drama Here I Am [pictured], about a young Aboriginal woman who has to find her feet after leaving prison, is the one world premiere that will be competing for the top prize at the Adelaide Film Festival (AFF), which opens on Feb 24.
  • Lightning pins down more buyers for Needle


    Shochiku has bought all Japanese rights to the horror mystery Needle from sales company Lightning Entertainment, and North American rights have gone to the Grindstone Entertainment Group, which will release the film through Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
  • New CEO Richards to help Ausfilm lobby for better incentives


    Debra Richards has experience as a government regulator.
  • Australia's box office sets new record for third consecutive year


    A gross box office of $1.126bn (A$1.13bn) in 2010 has delivered Australian exhibitors and distributors their third consecutive record year.
  • Jacki Weaver – Supporting Actress, Animal Kingdom


    Sandy George meets an Australian veteran in the process of being ‘discovered’ for her performance as an evil matriarch in crime thriller Animal Kingdom
  • Animal Kingdom leads Australian Film Institute Awards


    The much loved crime drama Animal Kingdom has won 10 Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards including best film for producer Liz Watts, AFI Members’ Choice, and best direction and original script for David Michôd.
  • Public access


    The Sydney Film Festival’s innovative attempts to make its programme easier to navigate is, the event says, having a real effect on attendance. Sandy George reports
  • China and Australia step up film talks


    A delegation of two dozen Australians head to Beijing this week in time for a four-day Australia-China film industry forum starting on December 8.
  • China's Aftershock wins APSA for best feature


    Other winners include Poetry and Lebanon.
  • Screen Australia backs four new films, including new Rolf de Heer film


    Rolf de Heer will be putting his directing boots back on and three directors, Tony Krawitz, Wayne Blair and Miro Bilbrough, will be making their debut features in 2011 thanks to investment decisions made this week by Screen Australia.
  • A bigger stage


    The Asia Pacific Screen Awards (Dec 2), now in their fourth year, aim to boost the profile and earning potential of films from the region — on awards night and beyond. Sandy George reports
  • Transmission takes on Mad Bastards


    Transmission has signed up to distribute Brendan Fletcher’s visceral feature debut Mad Bastards in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Australian features in good shape, according to conference


    More films of scale are emerging, thanks to the 40% producer offset, and they are making an impact locally and abroad, delegates were told at the SPAA conference, although the jury is still out on their profitability.
  • Christine Hakim to get FIAPF award at ASPAs


    The prestigious annual award from the International Federation of Film Producers Associations is for outstanding achievement in film.
  • New partnership to give US distribution finance for Australian films


    Australia’s Media Funds Management (MFM) and US company OutSource Media Group (OMG) have formed a partnership to offer Australian and New Zealand films budgeted at A$15-50 million with distribution finance to support a studio style North American release.
  • Tomorrow, Animal Kingdom dominate Australia's IF Awards


    Tomorrow, When The War Began won best film at the annual IF (Inside Film) Awards in Sydney at the weekend [14], reversing the recent trend of tough low-budget films taking the top prize.
  • Australia attracts more foreign shoots in 2010


    Publication of annual production survey shows improvement in the number of foreign films shooting in Australia, although no US films have gone into production this year.
  • First four films chosen under New Zealand low-budget initiative


    Guy Pigden, one-time employee of the UK’s Scala Productions, is one of four directors who will make the first ultra low-budget films under the New Zealand Film Commission’s (NZFC) “escalator” initiative.
  • Entertainment One picks up Summer Coda


    The film is the latest Australian feature, following South Solitary, Animal Kingdom and Mad Basterds, to be acquired by the distribution company.
  • Animal Kingdom leads nominations for AFI Awards


    David Michod’s film has received a record 18 nominations for the Australian Film Institute Awards, including best film.
  • Chinese blockbuster Aftershock leads Asia Pacific Screen Awards nominations


    Aftershock from China, Honey from Turkey, Monga from Taiwan, and Paju and Poetry, both from Korea, have been nominated for best feature in the fourth-annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSAs).
  • Melbourne festival backs five films including a Patrick remake


    MIFF Premiere Fund backs five new projects.
  • Mao's Last Dancer and Animal Kingdom lead pack for IF Awards


    Mao’s Last Dancer, Tomorrow, When The War Began, Animal Kingdom and Beneath Hill 60 are competing for the title of best feature in the 2010 Inside Film (IF) Awards.
  • New Zealand Film Commission backs new feature from Samoa


    Writer/director Tauti Tusi Tamasese’s The Orator, billed as a story about a small man with a big heart who must find the strength to speak up for those that he loves, starts six weeks of principal photography on Oct 27.
  • Asian projects take the lead for Australia financing market


    Two of the seven Australian projects chosen for the financing market held in mid-November during the annual conference of the Screen Producers Association of Australia are substantially or wholly set outside Australia.
  • Stuart Beattie


    Australian writer turned director Stuart Beattie talks about the challenges of directing his first feature, the teen action drama Tomorrow When The War Began.
  • Mao's Last Dancer producer to take legal action against Australian distributors


    On the eve of Samuel Goldwyn Films releasing Mao’s Last Dancer in the US, producer Jane Scott has said she is going to take legal action against the Australian distributors of the biggest local box office hit of 2009.
  • Michelle Carey to head Melbourne's film festival


    Michelle Carey, the new artistic director of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), is an internal promotion rather than new blood.
  • Richard Sheffield's new distribution outfit Pinnacle picks up Snow Flower, Bang Bang Club


    Veteran distributor Richard Sheffield was buying with a new hat on at Cannes but is only now willing to talk up Pinnacle Films, Australia’s newest name in distribution.
  • Willem Dafoe to star in Australian thriller The Hunter


    The Hunter goes into production in October on the island state of Tasmania and will be the debut feature of director Daniel Nettheim.
  • The Wedding Party


    Dir: Amanda Jane. Aust. 2010. 114mins
  • Adaptations can outperform originals, Australian report finds


    New research based on 10 years worth of Australian films shows that a typical adaptation has a good chance of outperforming a typical original in its home market.
  • Cate Shortland's second film set up as Germany-Australia co-production


    Cate Shortland’s Lore is backed by Screen Australia, along with new projects from Kieran Darcy-Smith and Fred Schepisi.
  • Wasted on the Young to go out through Paramount in Australia


    Paramount Pictures has finally announced that it will be releasing Sydney Film Festival competition title Wasted On The Young, directed by Ben C Lucas, in its home market of Australia.
  • Fulcrum secures $16.7m loan, looks to UK for expansion


    The Australian film finance company has secured additional funding and now hopes planning to provide cash flow support to UK productions.
  • Jackson report critical of New Zealand Film Commission


    New Zealand’s leading director and David Court, director of AFTRS Centre for Screen Business, lay out a blueprint for the future of the country’s film industry.
  • Screen Australia injects some flexibility into its co-production rules


    Screen Australia has proposed several changes aimed at getting more films through the gate as official co-productions but by chief executive Ruth Harley’s own admission, she doesn’t expect it to “change the world”.
  • The Eye Of The Storm


    Shooting is drawing to a close on Fred Schepisi’s $13m (A$15m) family drama, which stars Charlotte Rampling, Judy Davis and Geoffrey Rush.
  • Heartbeats takes Australia's richest film prize


    This year’s $52,000 (A$60,000) Sydney Film Prize has been awarded to love triangle story Heartbeats, from Canadian writer/director Xavier Dolan.
  • Melbourne to open with The Wedding Party


    The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is to open on July 22 with the Australian film The WeddingParty.
  • New South Wales pledges $16m per year for film production


    State government sets aside A$20m per year to help entice international films and local productions from other parts of Australia to NSW.
  • Australia relaxes rules for producer offset tax rebates


    More offshore films will be eligible to claim the 15% location rebate available for using Australia as a production destination from July 1.
  • Ivan Sen starts production on Aboriginal story Toomelah


    The low-budget film is financed by Screen Australia and Screen NSW. Visit Films in New York is the sales agent.
  • Australia's Michael and Peter Spierig to direct Dark Crystal sequel


    Power Of The Dark Crystal — sequel to Jim Henson/Frank Oz 1982 project — will be made in stereoscopic 3D.
  • Sydney Film Festival to open with the world premiere of South Solitary


    Selections include Solondz’s Life During Wartime, Winterbottom’s The Killer Inside Me, and Lucas’ Wasted on the Young.
  • Josh Lucas joins Australian shoot for Red Dog


    Rachael Taylor, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Noah Taylor and Luke Ford are also among the cast.
  • Clive Owen, Jason Statham set to shoot The Killer Elite starting May 13


    Omnilab Media has released details of Irish director Gary McKendry’s The Killer Elite, the next chapter in the company’s plan to produce studio-style movies in Australia.
  • Melbourne festival's Premiere Fund backs three new films


    Projects selected for production investment are The Curse Of The Gothic Symphony, The 24 Hour Window and Dead Cool.
  • A few dollars more


    Australia may have scenic locations and world-class studios, infrastructure and facilities, but the exchange rate is deterring overseas shoots. Sandy George looks at what the industry is doing to end the drought.
  • Happy together


    Australian producers are looking to team up with foreign partners to exploit the benefits of the country’s co-production incentives. Sandy George reports.
  • Producing results in Australia


    Australia’s generous producer offset incentive is giving local film-makers a major boost, with a range of ambitious projects in the pipeline. But films with foreign elements are at the mercy of a shadowy discretionary system which is causing controversy, reports Sandy George.
  • Stephan Elliott to direct Arclight sales title A Few Best Men


    Stephan Elliott (Easy Virtue, The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert) is getting ready to direct the comedy A Few Best Men back home in Australia, working with the producing and writing team behind Death At A Funeral.
  • Schepisi heading into the Eye Of The Storm


    Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis to star in veteran director’s first Australian film since 1988
  • Revamped Screen Queensland wants more projects developed in the region


    Maureen Barron has executed a makeover encompassing the organisational structure and staff, funding programs, and stakeholder relationships.
  • Australia


    Australia’s annual gross box office exceeded A$1bn - around $891m - for the first time, propelled by the increase in 3D screens and rising ticket prices.
  • Hoyts launches new loyalty scheme to encourage more visits, gather customer data


    Major Australian exhibitor Hoyts has launched a points-based rewards system notable for its flexibility and its capacity to gather information about customer habits.
  • Waititi's Boy grows into New Zealand's second biggest local hit


    The New Zealand film-maker scores a local hit with his second feature after Eagle Vs Shark.
  • Warp Films Australia utilises barrel murders for first feature


    Warp Films and Madman plan to make Australia’s notorious “Bodies In The Barrels” case into a feature; Australian arts minister launches review of production industry.
  • Blue Valentine woos Palace Films


    The distributor has picked up Derek Cianfrance’s Sundance title for Australia and New Zealand.
  • Ausfilm approves London co-production forum


    Australian and UK film bodies ro encourage co-productions through two-day event in London.
  • Screen Australia's Sally Riley quits for TV


    Head of indigenous Sally Riley leaves the film body to join broadcaster ABC Television.
  • Australian film companies ramp up piracy battle


    The court battle between the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) and internet service provider iiNet is set to continue.
  • Carr to drive Film New Zealand forward


    Gisella Carr has been appointed chief executive of Film New Zealand (FNZ), which is responsible for promoting the region as a location for filming and production.
  • Richard Moore to leave Melbourne Film Festival


    Executive director Moore has decided not to renew his contract after four years with the event.
  • Director Proyas calls for clarification on Australian producer offset


    Director speaks out on the need for a “more specific and clearer” criteria.
  • Lightning Entertainment adds Soto's Needle to EFM slate


    Lightning Entertainment has added supernatural revenge thriller Needle to its European Film Market (EFM) slate.
  • Australian box office rises 15% in best year on record


    Australia’s gross box office hit $988m (A$1.09bn) in 2009, up 15% on the previous year, and its best year on record. It is also the first time annual ticket sales have exceeded $907m (A$1bn).
  • David Michôd, writer/director, Animal Kingdom


    Australian writer/director David Michôd talks to Sandy George about his first feature Animal Kingdom, which will screen in the world cinema competition at Sundance.
  • NZFC promotes James Thompson to marketing chief


    James Thompson has been promoted to head of sales and marketing at New Zealand Film, the sales division of the NZ Film Commission, effective immediately. He was previously business affairs executive in the same division.
  • Screen Australia supports first 3D title


    Bait 3D, Burning Man and Blame have all received an early Christmas present of production cash from Screen Australia and a fourth feature has scored post-production investment.
  • Samson & Delilah continues winning streak at AFI Awards


    Warwick Thornton’s Samson & Delilah has proved its critical prowess once again, this time at Australia’s most prestigious awards ceremony, the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards, held Dec 12 in Melbourne.
  • Samson & Delilah wins best film at Asia Pacific Screen Awards


    Samson & Delilah, produced by Kath Shelper and from the host country of Australia, has won the best feature category at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), held Nov 26 on the Gold Coast.
  • Oz tax rebate delivers $83m but picture remains murky


    Screen Australia chief executive Ruth Harley released new figures at the close of the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) conference which showed that the 40% producer offset has injected $83m (A$91m) into the budgets of 19 films in the past two years.
  • Samson & Delilah sweeps Australia’s IF Awards


    Samson & Delilah, which dramatically illustrates what it can be like to be black, Australian, and living in the desert, took home six of the ten Inside Film Awards given out tonight to features.
  • SPAA to ask Oz government for $84m cash injection


    The Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) is to formally ask the federal government for a one-off $84m (A$90m) injection of cash for the production of feature films.
  • The Little Film Company picks up Aussie genre pic


    US sales company The Little Film Company has picked up sales rights to The Clinic, a low-budget privately-financed debut thriller from Australian director James Rabbitts.
  • Oz production spend reaches record $325m


    Two big-budget foreign-financed animated films, Guardians of Ga’Hoole and Happy Feet 2, both involving Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Pictures, boosted the total spend on Australian films in the financial year ending June 30 to a record $325m (A$358m).
  • Australia and New Zealand at AFM


    Catching the sales wave.
  • AFI Awards expands best picture category


    Six films have been nominated for best film at this year’s Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards, rather than the usual four, in acknowledgement of the large number of high-quality films in circulation.
  • Roxburgh, O’Connor star in UK-New Zealand co-production Ice


    The UK’s Power and New Zealand’s Screentime, both predominantly television companies, have teamed to produce the disaster epic Ice, set in 2020.
  • Green Lantern no longer shining on Sydney


    Warner Bros has confirmed that it will not be filming Green Lantern in Sydney as originally planned, because of the increasing cost of locating footloose productions in Australia due to the rising Australian dollar.
  • About Elly, City Of Life And Death head nominations for APSAs


    Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s About Elly and Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan’s City Of Life And Death scored the most nominations for the 2009 Asia Pacific Film Awards (APSAs), with four and three nods respectively.
  • Huang to head jury for Asia Pacific Screen Awards


    Chinese filmmaker Huang Jianxin is to head the international jury that will decide who will be going home with Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSAs) after the presentation on Australia’s Gold Coast on November 26.
  • Beresford’s Mao dances into the record books


    Bruce Beresford’s Mao’s Last Dancer has grossed $2.93m (A$3.32m) in its first five days on release in Australia, making it the biggest local hit of 2009.
  • Oz producers head to LA for pitching session


    Screen Australia is taking a delegation of ten producers to Los Angeles in 10 days to tout films that might attract US investors and claim the 40% producer offset for Australian production.
  • Australia selects Samson for foreign-language Oscar


    Warwick Thornton’s Samson & Delilah is Australia’s official entry in the best foreign-language film category of the 82nd Academy Awards.
  • Screen Australia announces funding for 12 companies


    Hopscotch Features and Jan Chapman’s Waking Dream Productions are among the 12 production companies that will receive a combined $7.8m (A$9m) under Screen Australia’s much touted Enterprise Program.
  • Singapore-Oz financing facility launched to cashflow offset


    Encouraging more co-production between Australia, China and Singapore is one of the underlying aims behind the launch of SAPO Media Finance, which will cashflow films using Australia’s 40% producer offset along with distribution guarantees and gap financing.
  • Melbourne fest announces support for two films


    The Melbourne International Film Festival’s production fund has announced support for two projects – Michael Henry’s revenge-gone-wrong thriller Blame and Mark Hartley’s feature documentary Machete Maidens Unleashed.
  • Odin’s Eye sells Crush into North America


    Australian sales agent Odin’s Eye has sold North American rights for Australian thriller Crush to Phase 4 (formerly Peace Arch Home Entertainment).
  • Adam Elliot wins best feature at Australian Directors Guild Awards


    Film-maker Adam Elliot has won the Australian Directors Guild Award for best feature Mary And Max.
  • Australian actor Ray Barrett dies aged 82


    One of Australia’s best-known veteran actors, Ray Barrett, who most recently starred in Baz Luhrman’s Australia, died this morning as a result of a brain haemorrhage at the age of 82.
  • Oz board to review rating of pot-smoking comedy


    The filmmakers behind Australia’s first indigenous comedy, Stone Bros, which was classified MA15+ due to its depiction of drug use, have succeeded in persuading a government minister to order a review of the rating.
  • Samson And Delilah wins top AWGIE award


    Samson And Delilah, written and directed by Warwick Thornton, won the major AWGIE (Australian Writers Guild) Award and the category for original features on Friday night (Aug 28) in Sydney.
  • Film New Zealand takes on promotional role


    New Zealand’s locations office, Film New Zealand (FNZ), is taking over the marketing and promotional activities that were previously delivered by Investment New Zealand, which is part of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.
  • Australia sees more action as producer offset kicks in


    Two action films, the sci-fi disaster thriller Arctic Blast and 3D underwater drama Sanctum, are shooting in Australia, providing further evidence that the 40% producer offset for Australian films has begun to kick in.
  • Oz jury sends movie pirate to jail for three months


    An Australian man, Yong Hong Lin, has gone to jail for three months for music and movie piracy in what is a landmark case for Australia because it marks the first time that someone has been jailed for piracy as a result of a jury conviction.
  • Bertuccelli, Gainsbourg plant The Tree in Queensland


    French director Julie Bertuccelli has started filming her second feature, The Tree, in Queensland in Australia, with Charlotte Gainsbourg heading the cast.
  • Wog Boy sequel set to start shooting in Melbourne


    A sequel to highly successful Australian comedy The Wog Boy goes into production next week in Melbourne. It will be distributed by the Transmission/Paramount joint venture with Arclight Films handling international sales.
  • Australia's Red Dog legend to hit the big screen


    The true story of a dog that roamed Australia making friends is to be made into a film after securing funding from a group of Australian investors and regional film bodies.
  • Andrew Adamson to direct adaptation of Mister Pip


    Andrew Adamson, director of the first two Shrek and Chronicles Of Narnia films, has written and will direct an adaptation of Lloyd Jones’ novel, Mister Pip.
  • Screen Australia's development plans include internship at Film 4


    The UK’s Film 4 figures in Screen Australia’s new plans to help early-career filmmakers to make outstanding Australian content.
  • Three Chinese films pulled from Melbourne film festival


    Chinese politics has played a big hand in the withdrawal of two features and a short from the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) just days before it opens.
  • Awareness campaigns are working


    Sandy George brings you a report on Australian piracy campaigns.
  • O’Sullivan to relocate from the UK to head Ausfilm


    Jackie O’Sullivan, who has divided her time between the Australian and UK film industries for many years, will take up the role of chief executive of marketing body Ausfilm from August 10.
  • Bronson takes top prize at Sydney Film Festival


    Nicolas Winding Refn’s violent biopic Bronson was awarded the $48,000 (A$60,000) Sydney Film Prize at the close of the Sydney Film Festival last night (June 14).
  • Spreading the foreign word


    Festivals showcasing films from particular territories are injecting life into Australia’s foreign-language box office.
  • Scherfig, Otto join Sydney competition jury


    Danish director Lone Scherfig and Australian actress Miranda Otto have joined the judging panel for the official competition of this year’s Sydney Film Festival (June 3-14).
  • Dungog promotes Australian film with eight world premieres


    The Dungog Film Festival opens this Thursday with the world premiere of Stone Bros. It is one of eight film that will debut at the events.
  • Balibo and Bran Nue Dae to bookend Melbourne Film Festival


    The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) will open and close with world premieres of new Australian films. Political thriller Balibo will open this year’s edition on July 24 while music comedy Bran Nue Dae will close it on August 8.
  • SAFC picks eight first timers for low budget picture scheme


    The South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) today announced the first four teams to be part of FilmLab, an initiative that aims to produce eight low-budget features within four years.
  • Strong European presence at Sydney Film Festival


    The Sydney Film Festival this morning (May 14) announced the 12 films chosen for competition including Ken Loach’s Looking For Eric, which is the festival’s opening film.
  • James Nesbitt in new Nadia Tass picture


    Northern Irish actor James Nesbitt has been cast in an untitled feature that started shooting in Melbourne yesterday (May 11) with Nadia Tass directing for ContentFilm International.
  • Screen Australia relaxes investment requirements


    Screen Australia is to make a substantial change to its rulebook on feature film investment in response to current worldwide financing difficulties.
  • Village Roadshow Pictures refinances loan facility


    Village Roadshow Pictures (VRP) has completed a restructure of its $900m film financing production facility, in a deal that makes it available through until September 30, 2010.
  • Miramax Films to shoot horror film in Melbourne


    The government of the Australian state of Victoria has announced that Miramax Films is to make the horror/thriller Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark in Melbourne.
  • Palace Films picks up Welcome, Missing Person


    Australian distributor Palace Films has acquired French director Philippe Lioret’s Welcome and US director Noah Buschel’s The Missing Person.
  • Screen Australia agrees to finance Reef, Swerve


    Screen Australia has agreed to finance Andrew Traucki’s thriller The Reef, about four friends being stalked by a Great White shark, and Swerve from writer-director Craig Lahiff.
  • Princess Pictures makes feature debut with I Love You Too


    Australian TV production company Princess Pictures is making its first foray into features with romantic comedy I Love You Too, set to star US actorPeter Dinklage (Death At A Funeral) and Australia’s Brendan Cowell (Noise).
  • Green Lantern among productions set to light up Australia


    The Green Lantern has confirmed that it will go into pre-production at Fox Studios in Sydney in July and will begin filming in November. It comes as rumours grow that two other major films are planning to film in Australia.
  • 'We're a unique market'


    How has theatrical film marketing changed in the past few years?
  • Market Report - Australia and New Zealand


    When it comes to English-language films, audiences in Australia and New Zealand have their preferences: they do not particularly like horror films but are seduced by all things British, particularly sumptuous period dramas, comedies and everything produced by Working Title. From 2008, this translated into big figures for Atonement, The Duchess, The Other Boleyn Girl and The Bank Job.
  • Oz distributor to target foreign-language films


    Australian sales agent Antony Ginnane and exhibitor Robert Ward have formed a theatricaldistribution joint venture, IFM/Filmways, which will focus on acquiring foreign-language pictures.
  • Australia's Footprint Films expands local distribution


    Australian producer John Maynard of Arenafilm has long distributed his own films, first in New Zealand and then in Australia. Now, Maynard and business partner Robert Connolly are expanding their distribution outfit Footprint Films to acquire and release third-party titles.
  • Screen Australia to back war movie Beneath Hill 60


    Screen Australia today announced it would back $5.7m (A$8m) war movie Beneath Hill 60, the only feature to secure the federal government agency’s backing this month.
  • Wolverine producer applies for Screen Australia funding


    As the X-Men Origins: Wolverine publicity machine kicked into gear today, one ofthe producers on the film, Seed Productions, confirmed that it has applied for taxpayer fundingthrough Screen Australia.
  • Australian governmentinitiative to boost online film distribution


    Australian companies wanting to download film and television direct to homes stand to gain enormously from the Australian government’s decision to take over the project to build a major national broadband fibre network.
  • Australian film andacting schools unite for One More Day


    The two best-known institutions in Australia for preparing people for a career in film and television are gearing up to shoot a feature film together, One More Day, in June/July.
  • Rising Sun insists it had nothing to do with Wolverine leak


    One of Australia’s leading visual effects companies, Rising Sun Pictures (RSP), has published a statement saying it had nothing to do with a copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine appearing on several file-sharing websites.
  • Australia's Aurora programme selects seven projects


    Aurora, the Australian script programme that has been integral to the development of critical successes such as The Black Balloon and Somersault, has announced the sevenprojects it has accepted for this year.
  • James quits Pacific Film and Television Commission


    As expected for several weeks, Robin James has parted company with Queensland’s state film agency, the Pacific Film and Television Commission (PFTC), where he has been chief executive for many years.
  • Can other festivals learn from Adelaide'sinnovative funding strategy'


    The world premieres of a selection of new Australian films put this year's Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) firmly on the international map. Six of these features were part-funded by the festival itself, and four of these in particular were responsible for much of the buzz.
  • Kent Smith: Australia's newest mini-mogul


    Although he began producing features only three years ago, Kent Smith can bring more to a co-production deal than most Australian producers. He and his colleagues own the Adelaide-based Kojo Group, which includes post-production and other film services as well as a theatrical distribution division. Smith signed on as a producer on Murali K Thalluri's 2:37 after seeing potential in the early rushes. His instincts were right: it premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2006.
  • Mason appointed chief executive of NZ Film Commission


    Former PolyGram, Universal Pictures and Channel 4 executive Graeme Mason has been appointed chief executive of the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), replacing Ruth Harley who moved to head new Australian super agency Screen Australia last year.
  • The Combination returns to screens after violent incidents


    One of Australia's three biggest exhibitors, Greater Union Cinemas, last night reversed an earlier decision to withdraw Australian film The Combination from four of its Sydney screens after blaming the film for inciting violence.
  • Samson and Delilah and Treeless Mountain toast ofAdelaide


    The Adelaide Film Festival may only be in its fourth year but the event has developed a reputation far beyond its age by being the first Australian film festival to seriously launch an international feature film competition and the first to invest in films.
  • Minority report: training in Australia


    Minority training in Australia
  • Australia's ABC TV considers investing in film


    Australian broadcaster, the ABC, is hoping to invest in 15 feature films over the next three years.
  • South Australian Film Corp launches producer equity scheme


    South Australian Premier Mike Rann has announced the introduction of a producer equity scheme that will give producers of films with investment from the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) cash up front and a bigger share of the rewards from successful films.
  • Film Critics honour The Black Balloon as best Australian film


    The Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA) tonight in Sydney presented its annual best Australian film award to The Black Balloon and voted the film's director, Elissa Down, the best in her category.
  • Working Title closes its Australian doors - again


  • Jan Chapman honoured by Adelaide Festival


    Ten days before the Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) opens, the board has announced that celebrated producer Jan Chapman is to receive the 2009 Don Dunstan Award, which recognizes outstanding contribution to the Australian film industry.
  • Australia's Transmission picks up New Zealand duo


    A year after launching itself in Australia as a distributor, Transmission Films is proving to be a good friend to New Zealand as well as Australian filmmakers.
  • Oliveira out and Woolridge in at Fox's Australian office


    20th Century Fox Australia managing director Marcos Oliveira is to be replaced by his marketing director Marc Wooldridge.
  • Icon scores foreign film nods for Australia's FCCA Awards


    Icon distributed three of the eight films nominated in the two best foreign film categories of the 25th annual Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA) Awards, it was announced today.
  • France well represented in Adelaide's 13 competition titles


    The Adelaide Film Festival has chosen 13 films for its competition section including two that will have their world premieres at the festival, Granaz Moussavi's My Tehran For Sale, and Australian director Sarah Watt's My Year Without Sex.
  • Reality check needed on film finance procedures and projections


    It is not meaningful or helpful to assert that Canada or a particular US state is more attractive than South Africa, the UK, or any other popular location, that’s according to two Australians whose business it is to assist producers to secure financial incentives across the world.
  • UK tops local fare down underbut Aussie releases less discriminate


    UK films earned more than twice as much as Australian films in Australian cinemas in 2008 according to figures released today.
  • In Focus: Sundance opener Mary And Max


    Sundance opener Mary And Max’s director Adam Elliot : debut feature, yet he is far from a novice
  • 2008 a record breaking year for Australian box-office


    Australians spent $672m (A$946m) on going to the movies in 2008, making it the second best year on record in revenue terms.
  • Ausfilm to promote Oz technical talent at US event


    Marketing body Ausfilm is going against tradition and promoting Australians who work behind the scenes in filmmaking as part of G’Day USA, the annual promotion that officially starts next week in Los Angeles and involves a range of industries.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Adelaide film festival unveils jury and local premieres


    Laurence Kardish, a senior film curator at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), will preside over the jury at the Adelaide Film Festival (AFF), which opens in South Australia on February 19.
  • Australia records a boom in numbers of productions


    A record-breaking 41 films went into production in Australia in the 12 months up to June 30, according to statistics released today by Screen Australia.
  • First Australia-Iran film My Tehran For Sale will premiere in Adelaide


    With the participation of Bahman Ghobadi (A Time For Drunken Horses), the first collaboration between Australia and Iran My Tehran For Sale will make its world premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) in February.
  • Production - Australia-India collaborations - The empire strikes back


    Producers Jim McElroy (Picnic At Hanging Rock) and John Winter (Rabbit-Proof Fence) are among the Australians heading to Film Bazaar in Goa as part of a delegation organised by the Screen Producers Association of Australia (Spaa). Both have well-developed projects suited to joint venturing with India.
  • NZ award-winning producers to partner with Bavaria Film


    New Zealand producers Rachel Gardner and Philip Smith of Great Southern Film and Television have been crowned New Zealand's Independent Producers of the Year.
  • Oz director Alston to expand Brisbane into a trilogy


    Australian director Louise Alston is set to make two more low-budget romantic comedies, following her debut film All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane, which is being released in Denmark through Sunrise Film Distribution.
  • Australian government helps secure production of Happy Feet 2 in Sydney


    Tax assistance secures production of Happy Feet 2 in Sydney through Dr.D, director George Miller's joint venture with Omnilab media.
  • Australian government secures production of Happy Feet 2 in Sydney


    Tax assistance secures production of Happy Feet 2 in Sydney through Dr.D, director George Miller's joint venture with Omnilab media.
  • In Focus: Australia opens for film business (Part 2)


    For the last few years the best Australian films have been personal and dark, limiting audience appeal, while those that have aspired to hit the mainstream have tended to miss the mark at the box office.
  • Production - Buzz projects - In from the outback


  • Production - The names to watch


    Many of Australia's most promising directors do not get enough opportunity to practise their craft on the big screen unless they head for Hollywood, as Andrew Dominik (Chopper, The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford) and Rowan Woods (The Boys, Little Fish, Winged Creatures) have both recently done. There is high demand for the limited money available for feature production and Australia has had ...
  • Men's Group takes best feature at Australia's Inside Film Awards


    Men's Group , a little-seen drama about a group of troubled men who meet regularly to talk through their problems, has won best feature at Australia's annual IF (Inside Film) Awards.
  • Screen Australia to review what constitutes an experienced producer


    Screen Australia has been forced to revisit its plans to strongly favour experienced producers when it hands out development finance.
  • SPAA's Ginnane points to opportunities for Australian industry


    Antony Ginnane, president of the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) delivered an up-beat welcome address at SPAA's annual conference in Queensland, Australia.
  • Tulpan wins highest accolade at Asia Pacific Screen Awards


    Kazakhstan director Sergei Dvortsevoy's debut drama Tulpan continued its run of worldwide accolades by winning the best feature film award at the second Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) onQueensland'sGold Coast in Australia.
  • Indian shoot for $1.9m Australian drama The Waiting City


    Shooting begins in Calcutta this week on he Waiting City, a $1.9m drama directed by Claire McCarthy and produced by Jamie Hilton.Radha Mitchell (Melinda And Melinda), Joel Edgerton (Kinky Boots) and newcomer Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen) are the Australian cast who begin filming on Tuesday.
  • Co-productions - Taking a world view


    SCREEN INTERNATIONAL: Just 11 official co-productions have gone into production in the last four years, eight with the UK. Why doesn't Australia make more co-productions and more with other countries'
  • Co-productions - The next episode


    Significantly more Australian co-productions are set to be made as the producer offset's flexibility and generosity make the country a true international player.
  • In Focus: Australia opens for film business (Part 1)


    Australian producers just had to sit on the ground at Cannes this year and a queue would form,' recalls leading Melbourne film lawyer Bruce Menzies.
  • AFM buzz - Australia and New Zealand


    A slew of Australian genre projects will be on offer to buyers at the AFM. One of several market debuts from Arclight is Jamie Blanks' thriller Long Weekend, a remake of the highly regarded 1977 film of the same name. Jim Caviezel and Claudia Karvan will star as a couple whose disrespect for the natural environment during a camping trip provokes the ire of Mother Nature.
  • De Heer to head jury in Sydney, which sticks to mid-year spot


    Australian auteur director Rolf de Heer has agreed to be president of the competition jury for the 2009 Sydney Film Festival (SFF).
  • Oz genre filmmakers check into The Clinic


    Distributor Richard Sheffield and producer Jonathan Shteinman are the executive producers on thriller The Clinic, which goes into production on November 10 in the isolated regional town of Deniliquin in Australia.
  • Whatson to head acquisitions at Australia's Palace Films


    Nicolas Whatson has been promoted to the role of general manager at Palace Films, one of Australia's leading arthouse distributors, giving him ultimate responsibility for what is released in both Australia and New Zealand.
  • Black Balloon, Unfinished Sky lead Aussie awards pack


    The Black Balloon, Unfinished Sky, The Square and The Jammed all have a chance of winning best film and also the best direction category at this year's 50th Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards.
  • Screen Australia issues its inaugural guidelines


    The four-month-old government film agency Screen Australia today issued guidelines on how it is going to spend its $60.5m (A$100m) per year.
  • Asia Pacific Screen Awards unveil jury members


    Filmmakers from India, China and Korea have joined jury president Bruce Beresford for the judging of next month's Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSAs).
  • Pearce joins cast of Oz drama Animal Kingdom


    Guy Pearce (Memento) will play a troubled police officer in Animal Kingdom, written and to be directed by short filmmaker and former Australian film magazine editor David Michod.
  • AFI Awards to celebrate 50th edition with audience vote


    The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, The Castle, Gallipoli, Lantana and Muriel's Wedding have been voted Australia's favourite films in an online poll conducted to celebrate 50 years of Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards.
  • Icon buys UK rights to Fraser's Dean Spanley


    Icon Films has signed for the highly imaginative and whimsical period film after seeing it last month at the world premiere in Toronto.
  • Men's Group, Son Of A Lion and The Black Balloon vie for Australian awards


    The Black Balloon is the stand-out nominee in Australia's 10th Inside Film Awards with 10 nominations including best film, director and script. Director Elissa Down's story, based on her own family, was produced by Tristram Miall.
  • Sparrow, Monkeys lead nominees for Asia Pacific Screen Awards


    Five films - two co-productions and one each from Hong Kong, India and China - are in the running to be crowned best feature at the second Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSAs), being held in early November in Australia.The films are Tulpan (Kazakhstan/Russia/Switzerland/Poland/Germany), Uc maymun (Three Monkeys, Turkey/France/Italy), Men Jeuk (Sparrow, Hong ...
  • Ayres' Scratch The Surface one of ten at SPAAmart


    Tony Ayres is attached to direct Scratch The Surface, which is inspired by the murder of two-year-old James Bulger, who was brutally murdered by the two youngsters that calmly lead him away from a UK shopping centre 15 years ago.
  • Hicks starts production on Boys Are Back In Town


    Scott Hicks has started shooting UK-Australia co-production The Boys Are Back In Town, which is billed as a love story between a single parent, played by Clive Owen, and his two sons.
  • Adams relocates to Australia to produce studio-financed films


    Former Participant Productions executive Chris Adams is planning to relocate from Los Angeles to Brisbane, Australia, and expand his business interests to encompass financing features developed by Melbourne-based actor, writer and filmmaker Steve Kearney.
  • Elissa Down wins Australian Directors award for The Black Balloon


    The director of The Black Balloon, Elissa Down, has won the highest feature film accolade for 2008 from her peers at the Australian Directors Guild (AWG). Click here for review.
  • Ashley Luke leaves Fortissimo for New South Wales FTO


    Ashley Luke joins the New South Wales Film and Television Office (FTO) as director of market development on September 29 after seven years with sales agent Fortissimo.'I have been in Australia for four years and now know it pretty well and this move means I can solely concentrate on Australian film,' said Sydney-based Luke.He will use his international knowledge to stimulate growth and help filmmakers forge new partnerships with the wider marketplace and reach bigger ...
  • Roadshow scoops most awards at Australia's Movie Convention


    Roadshow, the only Australian-owned distributor with a direct supply line from the US studios, was the big winner last night (Thurs), the final evening of the Australian International Movie Convention (AIMC), which has been running on Queensland 's Gold Coast for the past five days.
  • Australia - Logic's animal cracker


    When director Zack Snyder's animated fantasy adventure Guardians Of Ga'hoole opens worldwide in 2010, it will be Zareh Nalbandian's first credit as a feature producer - and Australia's first 3D feature.
  • Three Australians give their blessing to Ana Kokkinos film


    Blessed, the new film by Australian director Ana Kokkinos (Head On), has secured a trio of fine Australian actresses in Frances O'Connor (Artificial Intelligence: AI, Mansfield Park), Miranda Otto (Lord Of The Rings) and Deborra-Lee Furness (Jindabyne), as well as Russian-born Victoria Haralabidou (Brides).
  • In Focus: Australia's New Holland Pictures


    New Holland Pictures launched in 2004 with the ambitious - for Australia - aim of producing three films a year.
  • Ginnane appointed president of Oz producers association


    Distributor and producer Antony Ginnane has been voted president of the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) in what is believed to be the first three-way contest in the organisation's history.
  • Screen Australia hands out funding to four projects


    Australian director Simon Wincer, who made the iconic US miniseries Lonesome Dove, is saddling up for a new feature that will carry his trademark: plenty of horses.
  • Paul Hogan keen to make Charlie & Boots for Instinct


    Two of Australia's leading film comics, Paul Hogan from the 1986 worldwide hit Crocodile Dundee fame, and Shane Jacobson from the 2006 local Kenny are the likely leads in Charlie & Boots, which secured a promise of investment today from Screen Australia.
  • Disgrace adaptation takes Australian Writers Guild Award


    Anna-Maria Monticelli has won an Australian Writers Guild Award for the script of her feature film adaptation of JM Coetzee's novel Disgrace, which will have its world premiere next month in a special presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • NZ's Ruth Harley appointed as head of Screen Australia


    Ruth Harley has stepped down after a decade as chief executive of the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) to take the same role at the new super agency in neighbouring Australia.
  • NZ's Ruth Harley appointed ashead of Screen Australia


    Ruth Harley has stepped down as chief executive of the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) to take the same role at the new super agency in the neighbouring and much bigger country of Australia.
  • Melbourne's Emerging award goes to Jonathan auf der Heide


    The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) tonight presents the Emerging Australian Filmmaker Award to director Jonathan auf der Heide for his short film Hell's Gate, one week before he goes into production on a feature-length version.
  • Madman Entertainment loves Bana's Beast


    Madman Entertainment has bought Australian rights to Love The Beast, the feature-length documentary that actor Eric Bana has been directing for the past two years. It is about his life and his beloved car.
  • Disney takes New Zealand rights to Under The Mountain


    Walt Disney has signed on with sales agent NZ Film to distribute Black Sheep director Jonathan King's scary teen adventure Under The Mountain in New Zealand.
  • Tourism Australia to help market Luhrmann's new film


    Tourism Australia is to invest $47.4m (A$50m) to be part of and to help generate the marketing hype around Baz Luhrmann's sweeping period romance Australia, which is in cinemas from November 13.
  • Oz filmmakers urged to seek different subject matter


    Scripts must reflect big ideas that are unique and engaging, local distributors and potential overseas partners told the Australian and New Zealand filmmakers pitching projects as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival's financing market 37South.
  • Melbourne fest's financing market and fund to continue


    The government of the Australian state of Victoria brought a smile to the faces of filmmakers attending the opening of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) tonight, by pledging $2.3m (A$2.4m) to extend the life of the festival's investment fund and financing market.
  • Ledger to be honoured by Brisbane Film Festival


    The late actor, Heath Ledger, was this morning named as the latest recipient of the Chauvel Award, given each year as part of the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) to celebrate someone who has made a distinguished contribution to Australian cinema.
  • Richard Becker leaps back into Australian distribution


    After selling off his family name last year, Richard Becker has re-emerged as an Australian distributor using the same name and with Female Agents as his first film.
  • Screenrights urges rights holders to claim Oz royalties


    More than $1m has been earned in retransmission royalties from movies shown by Australian broadcasters up to the end of last month, but not all of the money has been paid to rights holders because they have not registered their titles.
  • Films chosen for Melbourne fest's first market screenings


    Paul Cox's latest film, Salvation, is one of 10 finished films that will be shown to buyers later this month as part of 37South, the market attached to the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).
  • Oz producers Culley, Macgowan team on slate of local pics


    Australian producer Marian Macgowan (Death Defying Acts) has taken on a new producing partner in Miranda Culley, who has been director Phillip Noyce's Sydney partner for the past seven years.
  • New Zealand adjusts its 40% grant for local films


    The New Zealand Government has dropped the expenditure threshold by $760,000 (NZ$1m) to $3m (NZ$4m) for New Zealand films and New Zealand co-productions wanting to claim back 40% of this expenditure under the new Screen Production Incentive Fund (SPIF).
  • Screen Australia announces seven board appointments


    Chief executive of IBM Australia and New Zealand, Glen Boreham, is the first chair of the new super agency Screen Australia,while entertainment lawyer Ian Robertson is his deputy.
  • Melbourne film festival to open with Not Quite Hollywood


    The 57th Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) will open on July 25 with the world premiere of Not Quite Hollywood, writer-director Mark Hartley's long-awaited tribute to the Australian films of the 1970s and 80s that were high on horror, nudity and car chases.
  • Hunger wins Sydney Film Festival's inaugural competition


    Hunger, UK artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen's portrait of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands in his dying days, has won the inaugural A$60,000 Sydney Film Prize.
  • Screen Australia appoints Fitchett, Brady to interim roles


    Chris Fitchett has been put in charge of production support and investment on an interim basis at the new super agency Screen Australia, while Tait Brady is temporarily in charge of marketing.
  • New Zealand introduces 40 per cent grant for its own films


    Feature films with significant New Zealand content got a big boost in the country's 2008 budget today with the government pledging to give back 40 per cent of what is spent in NZ on production from July 1 this year.
  • South Australian Film Corporation upgrades to new home


    South Australian Premier Mike Rann formally announced today in Los Angeles that the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) will move to a site in Adelaide, best known for housing psychiatric patients.
  • Odin's Eye appoints Victoria Treole as head of acquisitions


    Victoria Treole, one-time Miramax representative in Australia, has been appointed head of acquisitions for Michael Favelle's start-up sales outfit Odin's Eye Entertainment, based in Sydney.
  • Dorman, Barclayjoin cast of Caesar's Prime Mover


    Australian writer/director David Caesar (Dirty Deeds) has started production on Prime Mover, starring Michael Dorman and New Zealand's Emily Barclay.
  • Clubland producers form Goalpost Pictures Australia


    The Australian producers behind Clubland and the upcoming Elise, starring songstress Natalie Imbruglia, have formed a production company Goalpost Pictures Australia.
  • Asia Pacific Screen Awards establishes an academy


    Encouraging dialogue, collaboration and business relationships between filmmakers is the underlying aim of the establishment of The Academy of the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSAs).
  • Odin's Eye sets up sales office in New York


    Dave Pederson, a producer on the Oscar-nominated documentary Super Size Me, is to represent Australian sales agent Odin's Eye Entertainment (OEE) in New York.
  • New Zealand - A-list Shines with Kiwi polish


    It may be small but New Zealand is one of the world's most popular filming locations. James Cameron has finished shooting the action sci-fi Avatar for Twentieth Century Fox in the territory, while Guillermo Del Toro is set to spend the next four years in New Zealand shooting two Hobbit films back-to-back for New Line and MGM. He will be working with executive producer Peter Jackson and his Wingnut and Weta production teams.
  • New Zealand - Facilities - Delivering post


    "Everybody thinks we went to New Zealand for its exotic locales," says Jon Landau, producer of James Cameron's 3D sci-fi epic Avatar. "We never left the studio. We did rent a warehouse off-site because we needed more space, but all our filming was studio-based."
  • Sydney Film Festival to open with Happy-Go-Lucky


    Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky is one of 12 films chosen by the Sydney Film Festival (SFF) to be in its inaugural official competition and will also be the opening night film on June 4.
  • Fox picks up Australian rights for Children Of Huang Shi


    Australia producer Jonathan Shteinman has extricated The Children Of Huang Shi from Icon's take-over of Dendy Films and done a deal that will see 20th Century Fox Film Distributors release the film in Australia.
  • Lightning picks up Aussie horror Gates Of Hell


    US sales agent Lightning Entertainment has picked up world rights to horror film The Gates Of Hell just in time for Cannes.
  • Australia - Hopscotch jumps to next level


    Independent Australian distributor Hopscotch is reinventing itself. The company's ambitious managing director Troy Lum wants to transform Hopscotch from a theatrically-focused distributor to a vertically integrated, content-driven entity.
  • Queensland signs MoU with Korea's Gyeonggi province


    A 10-year-old sister state relationship between the Australian state of Queensland and the Gyeonggi Province of South Korea has been extended into the film arena with this week's signing of a memorandum of understanding.
  • Mason, Collee partner with Hopscotch in production venture


    Australian distributor Hopscotch has enticed two of Sydney's most successful international filmmakers, producer Andrew Mason (the Matrix trilogy) and screenwriter John Collee (Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World) to help attract investment and talent to pump into its new production division.
  • UK's Warp, Australia's Madman pact for at least two low-budget films


    Mark Herbert, managing director of Warp Films in the UK, said he wanted to get involved with Australian filmmakers when he visited in October last year; he has turned out to be a man of his word.
  • Australian Writers Guild quits Australian Screen Council in protest


    The dream of the Australian film and television production industry talking to government with one powerful voice on key issues is in tatters tonight with one of the four member organisations of the Australian Screen Council (ASC) resigning over what it says is financial mismanagement.The executive director of the Australian Writers Guild (AWG), Jacqueline Woodman, today told all AWG members by email that the AWG had resigned from the ASC. The AWG has been the ASC's public ...
  • Row erupts in Australia over production offset


    Two Australian film agencies are trading insults over the financing arrangements behind comedy drama Subdivision, which Japanese Story director Sue Brooks starts filming April 14. Both are investors.Once completed, Subdivision will be applying for 40% of its costs back under the new producer offset. It has always been assumed that state government film agencies would cash-flow the offset at competitive ...
  • Australia's FFC to clamp down on US studios taking tax rebate


    US studios and other international players who plan to take films they have developed to Australia to shoot, then claim the new 40% producers rebate for Australian films rather than the 15% location offset designed for foreign films, are very unlikely to be successful under yet-to-be-released new guidelines.
  • Vilcek offers funding for immigrant film-makers in US


    The Vilcek Foundation has invited filmmakers who have had an impact in the US but were born outside that country, to apply for the $25,000 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise.
  • FFC backs 10 new Aussie films as it prepares to shut its doors


    After more than 20 years as the Australian Government's key film investor, the Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) board yesterday agreed to invest in 10 new Australian features worth $56.7m (A$62m), the last batch of films before it closes its doors on June 30.
  • James Hewison tipped as new head of Madman theatrical


    James Hewison, former long-term executive director of the Melbourne International Film Festival, is understood to be the new head of the theatrical division of the prominent independent distributor Madman Entertainment.
  • Paramount partners Omnilab Media for The Bank Job


    Omnilab Media has teamed with Paramount Pictures for the Australian and New Zealand distribution of The Bank Job, which will be in cinemas from July 31.
  • Paul Elliott's Aussie horror The Red Car gets Aurora go-ahead


    A brand new car brings only tragedy to its owners in the horror film The Red Car, one of four films chosen for Aurora, the flagship development and financing program of the New South Wales Film and Television Office.
  • Screen Australia appoints first CEO


    Experienced public policy manager Lyn Maddock has been appointed interim chief executive of Australia's new film super-body, Screen Australia, for four months.
  • Sydney fest appoints Cameron; Liebmann joins Hoyts


    Two significant but unrelated film appointments were announced in Sydney today: Fiona Cameron is the new general manager of the Sydney Film Festival and Matthew Liebmann is leaving SKYCITY Cinemas in New Zealand to be the commercial and new business director at Hoyts.
  • Sydney aims to win back film shoots


    In an effort to turn around the perception that Sydney is unfriendly to film-makers, the New South Wales (NSW) Premier has promised to make it easier to shoot on location by putting the pressure on local councils and government agencies.
  • Three leads line up for Bruce Beresford's Mao's Last Dancer


    Director Bruce Beresford (Breaker Morant, Driving Miss Daisy) has chosen three actors from three different countries to play Li Cunxin in Mao's Last Dancer.
  • NZ Film Commission boards Second Hand Wedding


    The New Zealand Film Commission has taken international sales rights and invested in the post-production of the feel-good drama Second Hand Wedding.
  • Icon Film Distribution buys Australian arthouse brand Dendy


    Icon has acquired the 35 cinema screens in Australia and the distribution interests that underpin one of Australia's key arthouse film brands, Dendy.Becker Group Limited announced the sale today and said it was worth a 'cash consideration' of $19.4m (A$21m). The sale is expected to be completed by Mar 31. A competitive bid process was used and Becker managing director Warwick Syphers said Icon was selected based on various parameters including value, timing and ...
  • Greenaway scouting Australia for science-fiction feature


    Legendary filmmaker Peter Greenaway will fly over Western Australia on Feb 23 scouting locations for a science-fiction feature film based on his most recent book The Historians Book 39: The Rise and Fall of Gestures Drama.'The book is really a history of cinema rewritten as fiction,' he told It is the first of 100 slim volumes that will together act as a compendium of history. ...
  • Ozparliament tables legislation forunified film agency


    Australia's Federal Parliament today tabled legislation to establish a new single film agency, Screen Australia. It is expected to be debated in early March and then passed.
  • May start for Chinese-Australian co-prod The Last Dragon


    The Chinese-Australian co-production The Last Dragon is to be the first feature for AMPCO Films, the company set up last year by Adelaide producer/director Mario Andreacchio with the aim of making quality family films for the international marketplace.
  • Australia-UK - See-saw on the rise


    When London-based acquisitions executive Iain Canning and Sydney producer Emile Sherman vie for the best projects under their new See-Saw production banner, the ace up their sleeve will be a first-look deal with Paramount Pictures International (PPI) to invest equity.
  • Warner Bros taps Oz tax break for next Harry Potter


    Warner Bros is set to be the first company to trigger the 15% post-production, digital and visual effects (PDV) offset introduced by the Australian government in May last year.
  • New Zealand box office up in 2007 but no records fall


    The $118.93m (NZ$151.74m) worth of tickets sold at New Zealand cinemas in 2007 exceeded the previous year by 3.6%, but fell short of 2003, the country's stand-out year in terms of gross box office.
  • Canning, Sherman launch Aus/UK production outfit See-Saw


    UK-based acquisitions executive Iain Canning and Australian producer Emile Sherman have launched Australia/UK-based production outfit See-Saw Films.
  • Paramount Australia pacts with start-up Transmission


    Dendy Films' executives Andrew Mackie and Richard Payten are leaving the company to establish a new Australian/New Zealand distributor, Transmission, that will conduct most of its business through a joint venture with Paramount's local theatrical and home entertainment divisions.
  • Edgerton debut to feature in AFC's IndiVision Lab


    The Australian Film Commission (AFC) has unveiled the eight low-budget projects that will take part its IndiVision Project Lab, one of which will be the directorial debut of Kinky Boots star Joel Edgerton.
  • Hewison to exit Australian Film Institute before 50th awards


    In the lead up to its 50th anniversary awards and in the wake of James Hewison's resignation, the Australian Film Institute has begun searching for a new chief executive.
  • ScreenWest's low-budget initiative gets Wasted


    Teen thriller Wasted will be the third feature supported under West Coast Visions, the low-budget initiative run by Western Australia 's film agency ScreenWest.
  • Melbourne Film Festival fund blesses Kokkinos


    Blessed, the third feature from Ana Kokkinos (Head On, The Book Of Revelations), has taken a big step closer to going into production with a cash offer from the Melbourne International Film Festival's (MIFF) production fund.
  • Australian Directors Guild to wait before replacing Macrae


    The Australian Directors Guild (ADG) is now without an executive director following the surprise departure of Drew Macrae but the organisation will not invite applications for the role until after the next board meeting in early February.
  • Phillip Noyce honoured as Australia charmsHollywood


    Director Phillip Noyce was honoured on Saturday night in Hollywood for his significant contribution to the Australian film industry and for excellence in promoting Australia in the US.
  • Oz box office up 3% for second biggest year on record


    Australians spent $801.7m (A$895m) on going to the movies in 2007, making it the second best year on record in terms of annual gross box office.
  • Indian production Victory drawn into test cricket controversy


    There are conflicting reports on whether Victory, an Indian film shooting all this month in Australia, has been affected by a controversy that has greatly intensified in the last 24 hours around the current test cricket series being played between India and Australia.
  • Western Australian mining boom helps funding for thriller Crush


    Few feature films are made in Western Australia but producer Deidre Kitcher said that profits from the area's mining boom lead to the thriller Crush going into production yesterday.
  • Botswana - Production Number One


    It is fitting that when he started filming, Anthony Minghella did not know if The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency would end up as a feature or a TV film. After all, this is a director who made his international name as an Oscar winner for such sweeping cinematic epics as The English Patient. But he got his break as a director for UK television.
  • Luhrmann's Australia helps double Oz production to $232m


    On first glance, figures released today indicate that more money is being poured into Australian features, which are traditionally made for very low budgets, but the improvement is illusionary.
  • Indigenous film-makers line up To Hell And Back, Samson and Delilah


    Australia 's indigenous film-makers are telling their own stories with two features being prepared.
  • Australia's Abacus Fund backs Geena Davis project Accidents Happen


    A film fund aimed at raising $26.4m (A$30m) for the production of Australian films has been formed, with the first beneficiary being Andrew Lancaster's debut film Accidents Happen, starring American actress Geena Davis (Thelma & Louise).
  • 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.
  • Australian Film Institute achievement award goes to editor Bilcock


    Editor Jill Bilcock received the Australian Film Institute (AFI)'s award recognising achievement on the world filmmaking stage. She thanked two people when she picked up the honours: producer Verity Lambert, who died of cancer in the UK in late November, and director Fred Schepisi.
  • Certification opens for new Australian tax rebate


    Film Finance Corporation Australia flings opens its doors tomorrow for applications from producers wanting to get an indication that their films will be certified Australianonce completed.
  • Happy Feet's George Miller creates joint venture with Omnilab


    A very significant deal was announced today that gives director George Miller access to significant finance and the digital technology and hardware, personnel, and management skills, enabling him to make more films of the scale of his most recent hit, Happy Feet.
  • The Jammed named best film at Australia's Inside Film Awards


    The Home Song Stories, The Jammed and Happy Feet were the three films that went home with the most honours from the Inside Film (IF) Awards, held tonight on Queensland's Gold Coast.
  • Secret Sunshine wins best film at Asia Pacific Screen Awards


    Korean director Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine (Miryang) tonight won the award for best feature at the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards, and also best actress for Jeon Do-Yeon, but otherwise the awards were evenly spread.
  • Melbourne Premiere Fund awards docs, Bran Nue Dae


    The big-screen adaptation of successful musical Bran Nue Dae and four feature-length documentaries have received the first $324,800 (A$350,000) from the Melbourne International Film Festival's $1.3m (A$1.4m) Premiere Fund.
  • Australia - ASIA pacific awards - Pacific celebration


    Held on the sandy shores of the Queensland Gold Coast in Australia, the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards (Apsas) aims to celebrate and promote some of the region's leading films and film-makers to the international industry.
  • Oz start-up Cyan Films set to produce Auction with Ghobadi


    Julie Ryan, who has produced director Rolf de Heer's films for the past decade, and new media producer Kate Croser have set up Cyan Films, a new Adelaide-based production company.
  • Millerplanning to tap Australia tax offset for Justice League


    George Miller (Happy Feet) has confirmed that he hopes to get Australian film status for his next project, a comic book adaptation for Warner Bros starring Batman, Superman and a host of other comic book superheroes.
  • Favelle launches Sydney-based sales agency


    Former Arclight Films executive Michael Favelle has been quietly establishing his own sales agency, Odin's Eye Entertainment (OEE), based at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney.
  • Australia's documentary film-makers could get $18m boost


    Australian documentary makers are hoping to eventually get $18m (A$20m) per year for production and marketing from philanthropists and corporate donors thanks to the creation of the Australian Documentary Foundation.
  • Roxburgh's Romulus leads Australian Film Institute nominees


    Actor Richard Roxburgh's debut film as a director, Romulus, My Father, leads the nominees for the Dec 6 Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards.
  • Saville's Noise takes top prize at Australian Directors Guild Awards


    Matt Saville's drama Noise, about a highly unmotivated police officer, and Kriv Stenders' ultra low-budget project Boxing Day, about a man struggling to stay clear of drugs and crime, won the two major feature film prizes at the Australian Directors Guild (ADG) Awards on Saturday in Sydney.
  • Kojo's Smith breaks ground with new Sony HD camera on Beautiful


    A group of Australian filmmakers, some of whom were involved on the very successful digital feature Wolf Creek , are making their new project Beautiful as one of the first features to be shot with the new Sony F23 CineAlta HD camera.
  • Oz awards season kicks off with Home Song Stories in the lead


    The Home Song Stories was the stand-out film when the Inside Film Awards announced their nominees yesterday (Oct 10). Only in the editing category did it miss out.
  • Australia tries to ramp up Asian co-productions with new event


    A search has begun in China, India, Korea and Singapore for films and television programmes that would be suitable co-productions with Australia.
  • Films from 19 countries nominated for Asia Pacific awards


    Lebanon's Caramel , South Korea's Secret Sunshine, Turkey's Takva: A Man's Fear Of God and Iran's Night Bus are the most nominated films competing for the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
  • Ausfilm appoints Pitcher as chief executive


    Ausfilm, the organisation that markets Australia 's filmmaking talents to the world, has appointed Caroline Pitcher as its new chief executive.
  • Shabana Azmi to head jury of new Asia Pacific awards


    The Indian actress and humanitarian Shabana Azmi has been named president of the international jury at the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA), to be held on Australia's Gold Coast on Nov 13.
  • Australian Film Institute Awards shortlists 15 films


    Fifteen films are in the running for the Australian Film Institute Awards, which will be held in Melbourne on December 5 and 6, with Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush hosting.
  • Schepisi and Sardi on board for adaptation of The Secret River


    Director Fred Schepisi is working with Jan Sardi on the adaptation of Kate Grenville's novel The Secret River. While a script has yet to be written, the Australian producers have announced they have acquired the three-year option.
  • FFC greenlights new films from Campion, Blanks, Brooks


    Five new Australian films have received a production greenlight from Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC), including projects from world-renowned directors Jane Campion (The Piano), Jamie Blanks (Urban Legend) and Sue Brooks (Japanese Story).
  • Australia launches landmark website for film history


    A comprehensive website showcasing Australia's extensive filmmaking history is about to be launched today in Sydney.
  • New Zealand boosts incentive for foreign producers


    Significant improvements have been made to the financial incentives available to foreign producers taking advantage of New Zealand's locations and filmmaking skills, the Government announced today.
  • Melbourne festival unveils participants for financing forum


    John Maynard (Romulus , My Father), Liz Watts (Little Fish) and Bridget Ikin (Look Both Ways) are among the 41 Australian producers pitching feature film projects at the Melbourne International Film Festival's (MIFF) inaugural film financing forum.
  • FFC to determine which films are classed as Australian


    The points-based cultural test that was being developed by Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) has been scrapped, and the local industry has reverted back to the less prescriptive method that has been in place for more than 20 years.
  • Mark Woods to leave Ausfilm when contract expires in August


    Ausfilm chief executive Mark Woods today said that he will not seek an extension of his two-year contract when it expires in August.
  • Prime finally acquires control of Becker and Dendy


    Australian regional broadcaster, Prime Television, has taken control of the Becker Group, which includes Dendy Cinemas, Dendy Distribution, and sales agent Becker International, as well as significant television production and outside broadcast interests.
  • Australian distributor Kojo to launch with 4 Months, 3 Weeks


    Kojo Pictures is launching itself into Australian theatrical distribution with a very high-profile title: Palme d'Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. The abortion-themed story from director Cristian Mungui is likely to go into cinemas by October and will first screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival next month.
  • Paramount Australia picks up its first local project, The Final Winter


    Paramount Pictures Australia has acquired Australian rights to the low-budget drama The Final Winter, its first local pick-up since UIP split into Paramount and Universal at the beginning of the year.
  • Australia distributor to kick off theatrical runs with You Kill Me


    Australia 's newest theatrical distributor, All Interactive Distribution, has picked up five titles and will make its first theatrical release, John Dahl's You Kill Me, in September.
  • South Australian Film Corp appoints Richard Harris as head


    Richard Harris, who is currently executive director of the Australian Directors Guild (ADG), has been appointed head of the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC).
  • Producers close in on Miramax deal for Boys Are Back In Town


    The producers of the Australian/UK co-production The Boys are Back in Town are in negotiations to pre-sell US rightsto Miramax on the project, which is Australian director Scott Hicks' first film shot in Australia since hit Shine.
  • Australian government radically overhauls film sector


    The Australian government has announced the most fundamental structural and financing shake-up of Australian film for nearly 20 years.
  • Digital Rights - Territory report - Australia


    The agreements covering film production in Australia are in place until 2009, so all is calm between the unions right now. Digital and new media is not an issue - yet - because the agreements in place already capture the small amount of money flowing from new technologies.
  • Distribution - Making a splash


    Expectations are high for the Australia and New Zealand box office this year - and not just because of the number of high-profile studio sequels scheduled to open over the summer months.
  • Luhrmann's Australia starts production in Sydney


    Filming started today in Sydney on the long-planned romantic action adventure Australia , Baz Luhrmann's fourth film and his third with 20th Century Fox.
  • New Asia Pacific Screen Awards land backing from CNN, UNESCO


    The Queensland Government today launched the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, which will get global coverage from CNN, giving filmmakers from 70 countries an opportunity to showcase their work.
  • Australia - Ward and peace


    The Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) last week announced its intention to throw its weight behind the directorial debut of a familiar name in the acting world.
  • Australia - Ward and peace


    The Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) last week announced its intention to throw its weight behind the directorial debut of a familiar name in the acting world.
  • Australia: inward production


    Australia regularly hosts major studio shoots, but the production services industry is vulnerable to big fluctuations. While 2004/05 saw $196.2m in inward investment, the following 12 months saw a drop of to $18.6m.
  • First co-production between Israel and Australia gets underway


    Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn and Claudia Karvan have joined Geoffrey Rush and Anthony LaPaglia as the voice cast for the animated film $9.99, the first co-production between Israel and Australia. The project has just started shooting in Sydney.
  • Omnilab moves into distribution and sales for Australian features


    Two of the four features that have just received funding from Film Finance Corporation Australia now see the Omnilab Media Group take local distribution and international sales rights, in partnership with others.
  • Australia's Omnilab boards two FFC-backed projects


    Two of the four features that have just received funding from Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) see the Omnilab Media Group take local distribution and international sales rights, in partnership with others.
  • Still Life takes first Adelaide best film award


    Still Life, by Chinese director Jia Zhang Ke, has won $25,000 for best film at the Adelaide Film Festival's inaugural competition.
  • Lionsgate Australia makes a takeover bid for Magna Pacific


    The newly launched Lionsgate Australia has finally confirmed that it is hoping to get a quick leg-up into the Australian market by taking over Magna Pacific, the biggest independent DVD distributor in the country.
  • AFC selects eight projects for low-budget development lab


    Chopper producer Michele Bennett and Robyn Kershaw, whose credits include Looking For Alibrandi, are among the eight teams that have projects selected by the Australian Film Commission's (AFC) development laboratory for low-budget films.
  • Lionsgate to open Aus/NZ distribution outfit


    After many rumours that it was seeking to buy an existing Australian distributor, US-based producer-distributor Lionsgate has confirmed that it is establishing its own operation to cover Australia and New Zealand.
  • Cowan to head Adelaide Film Festival jury


    Adelaide Film Festival director Katrina Sedgwick today named the 12 films in its inaugural competition and announced that Toronto International Film Festival director Noah Cowan is president of the jury.
  • Adelaide festival to open with Rowland's Lucky Miles


    Michael James Rowland's almost completed debut film Lucky Miles is to open the Adelaide Film Festival on Feb 22 while Rolf de Heer's Dr Plonk is to close the event on March 4.
  • Arclight sets up Australian production office with US to follow


    Sales agent Arclight Films has appointed former Instinct Entertainment producer Nigel Odell to set up a Melbourne-based office to produce and co-finance Australian films.
  • Australia 's 2006 box-office grosses second highest on record


    Australia's gross box office was $675.5m (A$866.609m) last year, a rise of 6% over 2005 and the second-highest year on record according to the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA).
  • Happy Feet breaks Aussie opening record for local film


    Most cinemagoers probablydon't know Happy Feet is Australian,but the animated musical set in Antarctica hasbroken the record for the biggest opening week by an Australian film.Distributor Roadshowreported that the film has entered the history books with a gross of $9.66m(A$12.128m) between and including Boxing Day (Dec 26) and New Year's Day. Incoming weeks it will start challenging some of the films that ...
  • AFC continues support for low-budget pictures


    Two low-budget thrillers, Cactus and Cedar Boys, have received production funding from the AustralianFilm Commission (AFC), while a third film, TheBullet Boy, was promised money for post-production.Writer/director JasmineYuen-Carrucan, producer Paul Sullivan and executive producer Bryan Brown, whois best known internationally as an actor, are behind Cactus. The film tells the story ofa man ...
  • Chambers takes CEO role with Australian state film agency


    Tania Chambers is to become the chief executive of the News South Wales Film and Television Office (FTO), the government film agency in the Australian state that hosts the most production.
  • AFC outlines plans for digital cinema network


    The Australian FilmCommission (AFC), which has been planning a digital cinema network in regional Australia for quite some time, has at last gone public withits plans. Eight independently-ownedregional cinemas - one in each state and two in New South Wales - will receivedigital equipment on loan and in exchange will be required to screen a range ofAustralian content, old and new, ...
  • FFC greenlights Scott Hicks' The Boys Are Back In Town


    Film Finance CorporationAustralia (FFC) has given three features a green light, including director ScottHicks' comic drama The Boys Are Back InTown, his first film back in Australia since he made Shine over 10 years ago.
  • Ten Canoes sweeps the board at AFI Awards


    Auteur director Rolf deHeer's Ten Canoes, which he producedwith Julie Ryan, was crowned best film at the Australian Film Institute Awardson Thursday night (Dec 7) in Melbourne.
  • Kenny takes top film prize at IF Awards


    Hit comedy Kenny took home four Inside Film Awards, including best film and best script, while Ten Canoes and Suburban Mayhem took home three each.
  • Ten Canoes and Jindabyne shine at critics awards


    It was always going to be a film that pleased the critics and Ten Canoes did just that, winning best film at the Film Critics Circle of Australia awards.
  • Kenny takes top film prize at IF Awards


    The hit comedy Kenny tonight took home four Inside Film Awards, includingbest film and best script, while Ten Canoes and Suburban Mayhem took home three each.
  • RGM starts shoots for first two productions


  • Lightning takes international sales rights for Kenny


    Lightning Entertainment has secured international sales rights for the local hit comedy Kenny, which has earned A$7 million and is still in Australian cinemas after 13 weeks.
  • Australia reviews tax as foreign shoots plummet


    The number of big foreign productions shooting in Australia has crashed over the last year.
  • Watts and Weaving among Australian Film Institute awards noms


    TheAustralian Film Institute (AFI) has announced the nominees for itsinternational awards categories.Theyinclude ...
  • Ten Canoes, Jindabyne shine at Oz critics awards


    It was always going to be afilm that pleased the critics and TenCanoes did just that on the weekend, winning best film at the Film CriticsCircle of Australia awards, held in Melbourne.
  • Becker on board for animated Mary & Max


  • Suburban Mayhem leads Australian nominations


    Suburban Mayhem led the Australian Film Institute Award nominations with nods in 12categories, but was passed over for a best film nomination.
  • Look Both Ways actor to direct Ten Empty


    It has been on the verge ofgoing ahead several times but now cameras are definitely going to roll on Ten Empty, the feature film directorialdebut of actor Anthony Hayes, who played the estranged father of two childrenin Look Both Ways.
  • Dendy has Consideration for Aus/NZ


    Dendy Films has securedAustralian and New Zealand rights to the comedy For Your Consideration from sales agent Fortissimo Films.
  • Australia's award season kicks off


    Australia's award season kicked off this week withnominations announced for both the Inside Film Awards and the Film CriticsCircle of Australia Awards. The people's choice IF Awards revealedtheir nominations on Oct 4. The three films up for best film are: Kenny, ...
  • Icon and Lionsgate projects backed in latest FFC round


    A vampire filmbacked by Lionsgate, a drama marking Icon's biggest commitment to an Australianfilm, and the first co-production with China are among five Australian films that havesecured financing in the latest round from Film Finance Corporation Australia.
  • Meek to replace Ikin at Film Finance Corp


    Producer Scott Meek, whorelocated from the UK to Australia in 2004 to join ABC TV, is to replace Bridget Ikinat Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC).
  • Revolver takes UK rights to Wright's contemporary Macbeth


  • Australia mulls 40% tax rebate for producers


    The Australian government ismulling a 40% tax rebate for producers, as a means to boost local production, aproposal which has secured the backing of the Film Finance CorporationAustralia (FFC).
  • King Of The Mountain to go ahead despite Brock's death


    The filmmakers behind King Of The Mountain, which was set tobe the acting debut of Australia's best-known racing car driver Peter Brock, who diedin an accident on the track last Friday, have said that the project willcontinue.
  • Australian Film Commission's script lab chooses eight projects


  • Melbourne audiences praise Thank You For Smoking


  • Potter holds off Pirates to win Australian award


    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has been presented with the Gold Award for the biggest revenue earner of the last 12 months at the Australian International Movie Convention.
  • Australia debates merits of digital cinema


  • Australians on board for mockumentaries


    Australia is not known forfeature-length mockumentaries but Palace has justsigned on for Razzle Dazzle - A Journey Into Dance, while Madman next week releases Kenny, which is getting rave reviewsfrom some critics for its humour and loveable nature.
  • Jindabyne gets off to strong start on home turf


    Ray Lawrence's Jindabyne hashad the biggest opening week for any Australian film so far this year grossing$928,000 (A$1.2m) from 65 screens.
  • Melbourne film festival opens with Thalluri's 2:37


    The mystery film that openedJames Hewison's sixth and final Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF)tonight turned out to be writer/director Murali K Thalluri's 2:37, which screened in Un Certain Regard at Cannes.
  • Unfinished Sky secures FFC backing


    Peter Duncan's romanticthriller Unfinished Sky, about afarmer and an Afghani illegal immigrant who fall in love, is one of threefeatures to receive production finance from Film Finance Corporation Australia this week.
  • Moore replaces Hewison at Melbourne film festival


    Richard Moore will be thenext programmer of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), replacingJames Hewison as executive director from September.
  • New producers' alliance formed in Australia


    After a couple of years oftrying, the two organisations representing Australian producers officiallyformed an alliance this week, just in time for the upcoming review intogovernment film financing.
  • NZFC appoints new chairman and board members


  • Four Oz features to receive FFC funding


    An adaptation of the SouthAfrican novel Disgrace, to star JohnMalkovich, and Mary & Max, ananimated feature by the team who made Oscar-winning short Harvie Krumpet, have been given the thumbs up by Film FinanceCorporation Australia (FFC).
  • Future Films' Australian plans derailed by tax office


    FutureFilms Australia today blamed the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for ditching, at least in theshort term, its plans to raise up to $182m (A$250m ) for new Australian filmsthis financial year.
  • Melbourne keeps opening film under wraps


    James Hewison has taken anunusual approach to the opening night of his last Melbourne International FilmFestival (MIFF): in order to give the audience a "virginal cinema experience"he will not tell them what they will be seeing on July 26.
  • Australia sets box-office record in first five months of 2006


    Australian cinemas have recorded their biggest ever result for the firstfive months of a year, taking $275m (A$373m) in ticket sales through May 31.
  • AFC low-budget scheme backs four features


  • Production wraps on Aussie thriller The Tumbler


    Shooting has just wrapped onAustralian thriller The Tumbler whichgives Stacey Testro, executive producer on the Saw horror franchise, her first credit as a producer.
  • Ledger, Weisz set to make Dirt Music with Noyce


    Heath Ledger and RachelWeisz have agreed to play the star-crossed lovers in an adaptation of the TimWinton novel Dirt Music, to bedirected by Phillip Noyce on home soil from March 2007.
  • Magna Pacific snaps up Prairie Home Companion


    Magna Pacific has acquiredAustralian and New Zealand rights to Oscar-winning director Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion from CapitolFilms.
  • FACB founder Rob Fisher dies in Sydney


    Today was a black day forthe Australian film industry with the death last night of Rob Fisher, thefounding chief executive of one of only two long-standing completion bondcompanies in the country.
  • Becker picks up world rights to Workman's Bronte


    Becker International haspicked up worldwide rights to Angela Workman's Bronte, which is set to star Oscar-nominated actress MichelleWilliams (Brokeback Mountain).
  • Australian government to review film funding


    The Australian governmenthas announced, at the same time as handing down the annual budget, that it willreview the effectiveness of the various ways in which it supports films in Australia.
  • Collette, Castle-Hughes to star in Esther Blueburger


    Oscar-nominatedAustralian-born actresses, Toni Collette and Keisha Castle-Hughes, have agreedto board teen coming-of-age drama Hey,Hey It's Esther Blueburger.
  • Buena Vista picks up Oz rights to Samoan Wedding


    Buena Vista Internationalhas picked up Australian rights to feel-good New Zealand comedy SamoanWedding (aka Sione's Wedding) andwill release it in mid-July.
  • FFC Australia backs diverse slate of new projects


    Film Finance Corporation Australia has provisionallypromised funding to three features, including writer-director Christina Andreef's adaptation of the novel Shiver, one of 18 projects in Cannes' scriptdevelopment program L'Atelier.
  • Ten Canoes to open Sydney Film Festival


    Un Certain Regard Cannes entrant Rolf de Heer's TenCanoes is to open the 53rd Sydney Film Festival (SFF) on June 9.
  • Melbourne film festival to close with Mayhem


    Black comedy Suburban Mayhem, starring Emily Barclay,will close the 55th Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) on August 13.
  • Arclight, Roadshow board Gray debut


    International sales agentArclight Films and Australian distributor Roadshow have signed on to When She Gets There, the debut featurefrom writer-director Richard Gray.
  • Becker appoints Keen as CEO; Bradley to relocate to LA


    Tim Keen has beenappointed as the new CEO of Becker Group Limited, the film exhibition,distribution, production and sales company. In an unrelated move, thehead of sales company Becker Films International, Reiko Bradley, will soonrelocate from Sydney to Los Angeles. ...
  • Chris Graham's horror film The Ferryman goes into production


    Horror film, The Ferryman, a United Kingdom/New Zealand co-production to star the Emmy-nominated John Rhys Davies and Silver Bear winner Kerry Fox, goes into production March 31.
  • Film Finance Corporation Australia to fund two new features


    Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) today gavefinal approval on its investments in the animated feature $9.99 and a feature-length documentary investigating discreditedauthor Norma Khouri.
  • FFC to keep funding requirements intact


    Film Finance CorporationAustralia (FFC) chief executive Brian Rosen has confirmed that the funding bodyhas backed off from a proposal to ask for more money from its feature filminvestment partners.
  • Fraser's No. 2 benefits from festival exposure


    New Zealand Film has signedoff on several sales on Toa Fraser's No.2 which won the audience award for drama in the World Cinema section atSundance and later screened in Berlin.
  • Feature debut for Unjoo Moon with adaptation of children's book


    Unjoo Moon is to direct an adaptation of children's book The Wicked, Wicked Ladies In The HauntedHouse. She directed short film, Sorrow'sChild in 1998 and this will be her feature debut.
  • Director Samantha Lang's project accepted into Aurora


    Director Samantha Lang'sfourth feature may well be The RosevilleStory, following its acceptance into Aurora, a high-profile script hothouse run by the NewSouth Wales Film and Television Office (FTO). Lang made Cannes competition title The Well and the Monkey's Mask in Australia, and The ...
  • James Hewison to head up the Australian Film Institute


    James Hewison will move on to be chiefexecutive of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) in August once he wraps hisfifth Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).
  • Flood of Australian film shoot without FFC funds


    Film-maker Alkinos Tsilimidos is soon tolock on his fourth feature, the crime thriller Em 4 Jay. In keeping with his focus on social realist cinema - andhis disinterest in "safe, middle-class" stories - it follows two people whoturn to armed robbery to sustain their smack habit.
  • New Zealand to keep production rebates in place


    New Zealand's economic development minister Trevor Mallard hasannounced that a review of the "Large Budget Screen Production Grant"initiative has been concluded and the scheme will remain in place.
  • Tropfest feature programme singles out September


    September,from writer/director Peter Carstairs, will be the first project to emerge from Tropfestand the Movie Network's new feature programme, which each year gives $743,000(A$1m) to the creator of a short film to make a feature.
  • Karl Urban to star in Robert Sarkies' untitled feature


    Karl Urban, who played Eomer in The Lord Of TheRings and Matt Damon's nemesis in TheBourne Supremacy, takes one of the lead roles in director Robert Sarkies' untitled feature now in production.
  • Fierberg lines up stellar cast for Cassavetes debut


    Parker Posey, Gena Rowlandsand Jeanne Moreau are attached to star in actress Zoe Cassavetes' firstfeature as director, Broken English, which isexpected to go into production in the next few months.
  • World's Fastest Indian races to Kiwi record


    TheWorld's Fastest Indian has become the mostsuccessful New Zealand story at local cinemas and it may inch into the top 10hits of any nationality.
  • Eight films selected for Australia's IndiVision Project Lab


    Moving South, aroad movie from director Kate Woods and producer Robyn Kershaw, who last teamedup on the local hit Looking For Alibrandi, is one of eightfilms to be developed through the second IndiVisionProject Lab.
  • Australian producers conference to include major awards


    The biggest annual gathering of producers, the SPAA (ScreenProducers Association of Australia) conference, will this year move back to itstraditional November time slot but stay on the Queensland Gold Coast for thenext three years.
  • Rolf de Heer set to shoot his next project, Dr Plonk


    Prolific film-makerRolf de Heer (BadBoy Bubby, Dance Me To My Song) today got a green light from Film FinanceCorporation Australia (FFC) to shoot his next project Dr Plonk.
  • Sam Riley cast as lead singer in Anton Corbijn's Control


    Sam Riley has been cast as leadsinger Ian Curtis and Alexandra Maria Lara as his lover Annikon music video director Anton Corbijn's Control, his fact-based debut feature onUK post-punk band Joy Division.It is a first big role ...
  • NZ distributor Arkles steps up Australian presence


    NewZealand distributor Arkles Entertainment is increasing its activity in theAustralian market where it is planning sizeable releases for both Junebug and Danish film Brothers in the next few months.
  • Shooting yet to start on Luhrmann's Australian epic


    Actor Russell Crowe is talking about it on red carpets, manyare hoping that principal photography will start in July or August, but thereis still no green light from 20th Century Fox for a fourth feature by Baz Luhrmann.
  • Tony Grierson joins Sydney Film Festival as CEO


    Tony Grierson is to leave his roleas head of distribution and finance at the NSW Film & Television Office andjoin the Sydney Film Festival (SFF) as chiefexecutive from February 16.
  • ContentFilm racks up sales on Book Of Revelation


    ContentFilm Internationalhas sold The Book Of Revelation,directed by Ana Kokkinos (Head On), to22 territories, one of the most robust sales performances by an unseenindependent Australian film in recent years.
  • Rialto picks up Science Of Sleep


    Rialto Distribution hasacquired writer/director Michel Gondry's TheScience Of Sleep for Australia and New Zealand, hot on the heels of its sale to Warner IndependentPictures for North America and the UK at Sundance.
  • Adelaide festival offers cash prize for new competition


    The biennial Adelaide Film Festival has introduced a feature film competition which will see the director of the winning film go home $19,400 (A$25,000) richer.
  • Noyce to be honoured by Australian Screen Directors


  • AFI manager quits despite successful awards show


    The general manager of theAustralian Film Institute (AFI), Geoffrey Williams, has resigned two monthsafter successfully overseeing a revitalised awards ceremony compered by actorRussell Crowe.
  • Dalton leaves Australian Film Commission for ABC


    The Australian governmentagency with responsibility for developing features has to go in search of a newchief executive now that Kim Dalton has been made director of television atpublic broadcaster the ABC.
  • Australia's box office takings down by 10%


    Preliminary figures indicate that Australia'sgross box office for 2005 was 10% less than the previous year.
  • Mullis, Oz producers win licence to launch FLIC


    An eclectic team of peopledriven by executive producer Barrie M. Osborne (The Lord Of The Rings), producer Richard Keddie and Bangkok-basedfinancier Robert Mullis have won a licence to raise money in Australia for film production.
  • Fitchett appointed to leading Australian film role


    The AustralianFilm Commission (AFC) has appointed Chris Fitchett as director of filmdevelopment.Fitchett- ...
  • Becker Films sells Control to four territories


    Becker Films International(BFI) has signed off on four deals for Control,the upcoming biopic about Joy Division front man Ian Curtis. Paradiso has thefilm in Benelux, La Fabrique de Film in France, Momentum Pictures in the UK and sister companyDendy in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Preserving Australia's film heritage


    Fifty classicAustralian films made from 1955 through to 1992 have benefited from a preservationproject begun five years ago. Theproject combines the expertise and resources of film stock supplier Kodak (Australasia), laboratory AtlabAustralia and the National Film and Sound Archive(NFSA). The films selected included: Jedda, Breaker ...
  • Future Films Australia opens for business


    A productruling from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) was made public yesterday,signalling that the new financing outfit Future Films Australia is officiallyopen for business in a market not previously renowned for attracting privateinvestment into film.
  • FFC backs production on two Australian films


    Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) today agreed to fund the thriller Storm Warning and the coming-of-age teencomedy Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger.
  • Worried Australian exhibitors form national association


    Concern about falling attendances, piracy, release windows and new classification rules have led to the formation of the firstnational organisation of Australian exhibitors."Forthe first time in what is a notoriously aggressive industry, the issues thatdraw us together are greater than the ...
  • Look Both Ways dominates Aussie awards


    Compere Russell Crowe andthe film Look Both Ways were thestars of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards at the Melbourne CentralCity Studios.
  • The Proposition scoops best film at IF Awards


    Australian/UK co-production The Proposition, an often brutal 1880stale of conflict between brothers, was awarded best feature film at the IF(Inside Film) Awards in Sydneytonight (Nov 23).
  • Trio feted at NZ producers' conference


    New filmmaker RoseanneLiang, independent producer Elizabeth Mitchell and industry champion DaveGibson were all honoured at New Zealand's annual producers' conference on Friday evening(Nov 18) in Wellington.
  • BoyTown, December Boys crank up in Australia


    Cameras started rolling onMonday on two high-profile Australian productions - BoyTown, the Molloy Boy Productions follow-up to Crackerjack, and December Boys, starring Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame.
  • Look Both Ways scores with Australian critics


    Look Both Ways won the behind-the-camera trifecta of best film, best director and bestoriginal script at the Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA) awards at theweekend.
  • Madman grabs Three Burials for Oz/NZ


    Madman Cinema has acquiredall Australian and New Zealand rights to TheThree Burials Of Melquiades Estrada from French sales agent EuropaCorp.
  • Wolf Creek proves weekend winner in Australia


    Wolf Creek hasbecome the first Australian film to open at number one in its first weekendsince Ned Kelly in 2003.
  • New Zealand's Rialto sells shares in companies to Reading


    Kelly Rogers and David Rosshave sold their half share in New Zealand's biggest arthouse circuit, RialtoCinemas, to mainstream exhibitor Reading and cashed up their distributioncompany in the process.
  • Taiwanese-Kiwi venture plans $69m film of Chinese myth


    Taiwaneseand a New Zealand companies haveset up a joint venture to produce a $69m English-language feature based on aChinese myth and set for release during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
  • Kiwi festival favourite finally makes it to the States


  • Tartan buys US rights to Father's Den


    Salesagent NZ Film has sold US rights to psychological drama In My Father's Den to Tartan Films, which is looking to release thefilm theatrically in May 2006.
  • New bond company aims to shake up market


    The emergence of Media RiskManagement (MRM) is significant news for independent filmmakers, given only ahandful of companies offer completion bonds and the difficulty of securingreinsurance usually prevents new players from appearing.
  • Australia gets serious about the truth


    Australian documentarymakers who were encouraged to pitch full-length features are now seeing their projectsmove into pre-production or production.
  • Australia's Kojo Group moves into film production


    Leading Adelaide-basedpost-production and TV production company, Kojo Group, is moving into featurefilm production and has boarded writer/director Murali K. Thalluri's debutfeature 2:37.
  • deal with Crescent brings expansion


    Village Roadshow Pictures(VRP) is likely to finance and produce more films and possibly acquire relatedinterests under a recently finalised deal that gives US investor Crescent Entertainmentoptions to secure a 50% interest in VRP.
  • Icon takes Oz, NZ rights to Frears' The Queen


    Icon has boughtAustralian and New Zealand rights from PathePictures International for director Stephen Frears' The Queen, which is in its third week offilming.
  • Village Roadshow takes on December Boys...


    Village Roadshow has takeninternational sales rights to DecemberBoys, the feature starring Daniel "Harry Potter" Radcliffe that goes intoproduction before the end of the year.
  • AFC appoints Fitchett as acting development chief


  • Fastest Indian shines at home and keeps selling


    NZ Film has just signed overSpanish and French rights to The World'sFastest Indian to Alta and Rezo respectively, as the film has topped theNew Zealand chart in its first week of release with $542,000 (NZ$775,375), fivetimes more than nearest rival Dark Water.
  • Village Skycity takes control of the Embassy


    New Zealand's largest cinema circuit, Village Skycity Cinemas,has taken over management of the country's grandest picture palace, TheEmbassy, in a first step towards giving the chain a mainstream presence in Wellington.
  • Little Fish swims into lead for AFI Awards


    Rowan Woods' Little Fish has received the largestnumber of nominations for this year's AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards,announced today in Melbourne, with 13 nods including best film.
  • AFI Awards to get makeover for TV debut


    Organisers of the AFI(Australian Film Institute) Awards have revealed a major revamp on the heels ofthe recent announcement that the event is being hosted by Russell Crowe.
  • IndiVision project West set to crank up in Sydney


  • Wolf Creek release hit by Oz murder trial


    A murder trialthat starts on Monday (Oct 17) has led to Australian distributor Roadshowwithdrawing home-grown horror flick Wolf Creek from some cinema screens at the requestof the Director of Public Prosecutions.
  • Becker picks up world rights to Cattaneo's Dream


    Becker Films Internationalhas snapped up world sales rights to the finished film Opal Dream, setin outback Australia and helmed by Full Monty director PeterCattaneo.
  • Crowe to host Australian Film Institute Awards


    One of the biggest names inshow business anywhere in the world, actor Russell Crowe, is to host the 2005Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards in November in Melbourne.In a statement announcing thenews, Crowe said the ceremony will be "irreverent and respectful in equalmeasures". He continued: "Interesting TV, that's the aim. Fast-paced, ...
  • Australia's FFC announces funding for seven features


    Film Finance CorporationAustralia (FFC) has agreed to invest in seven features, two of which will behandled internationally by Celluloid Dreams and two by Arclight Films.
  • Rialto picks up rights to Tsotsi, C.R.A.Z.Y.


    Rialto Distribution has picked up C.R.A.Z.Y. and Tsotsi,two of the major prize winners at the Toronto International Film Festival, fordistribution in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Arclight picks up Aussie war story


    Arclight Films has boarded anuntitled war story about Australian soldiers in Papua New Guinea during World War II, which gives former Film FinanceCorporation Australia (FFC) head Catriona Hughes her first credit as producer.
  • Fiji makes Oscar bid with The Land Has Eyes


    Fiji has made its first ever attempt to win an Academy Award by submitting TheLand Has Eyes for the best foreign-language film category.
  • Little Fish hooks Oz audiences


    Little Fish has had the biggest opening for an Australian filmthis year in its home territory.
  • Exhibitors team up for Australia's biggest arthouse cinema


    Australia is to get its biggest purpose-built arthouse cinemain late 2006, a nine-screen complex in the national capital of Canberra that will link the Dendy and Electric Shadowsbrands.
  • Roadshow loses appeal against Wolf Creek rating


    Distributor Roadshow haslost its appeal against the R18+ rating handed down three weeks ago to localhorror picture Wolf Creek, which it releases in cinemas on November 3.
  • Sklan moves from AFC to SBS Independent


  • Wrenn lights up Firesign but keeps Celluloid gig


    Michael Wrenn, who heads Celluloid Dreams' Pacific office, has launcheda production outfit, Firesign, and won New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC)development money for the feature Electric.
  • McLean, Weinsteins reteam for crocodile horror


    The creative team behind red hot Australian horror movie Wolf Creek, including writer/director Greg McLean, is preparing to shoot Rogue, a film about a giant crocodile stalking tourists in the Australian outback that will be majority financed by The Weinstein Co.
  • Movie Network, Tropfest launch Oz low-budget film push


    The push to turn Australia'sfilm industry into a low-budget Mecca continues with the news that the giantoutdoor short film competition Tropfest and pay TV channel the Movie Networkwill fund a $770,000 (A$1m) feature for each of the next three years.
  • Oscar nominated director cranks up Eagle vs Shark


    Eaglevs Sharkfrom Academy Award nominated writer/director Taika Waititi is to be the firstfeature for Whenua Films, set up in 2004 by producer Ainsley Gardiner and CliffCurtis, one of New Zealand's best-known actors.
  • Wallace And Gromit enjoy upbeat Oz world premiere


    Aardman/DreamWorks animation WallaceAnd Gromit: TheCurse Of The Were-Rabbit world premiered in Sydney on Sunday (Sep 4) - three weeks before the US and four weeks ahead of theUK. The film goes wide in Australia on Sep 15.The positive reaction of the severalhundred strong audience - the majority of them young kids - at the premieresuggests that the film will perform ...
  • Australian hit ready for international breakout


    TheAustralian drama Look Both Ways may become the country's long-awaited international breakout after taking $230,000(A$300,000) on home soil in its first week from only 17 screens.The film, which has its international premiere at Toronto, has beenthe number one film in every cinema ...
  • Foreign films dominate Australian production spending


    Spending on foreign films made in Australia over the last year was more than double thatspent on local films and Australian/international co-productions for the thirdconsecutive year.
  • Oz censor sparks spat with exhibitors, distributors


  • Producers urged to focus on older cinemagoers


    Prompted by new research,Nielsen EDI has suggested putting more of a focus on cinemagoers aged 55 yearsand over as a way of addressing Australia's current box office demise. General manager Simon Burton toldthe Australian International Movie Convention today that a key finding from thesurvey of 1,428 moviegoers was that the drop off in attendance was particularlyobvious among ...
  • UIP, Fox take Oz Movie Convention prizes


    UIP and Fox were the most high profile distributors at last night'sAustralian International Movie Convention's box achievement awards.UIP won six of the 18 awards which are given to films that grossed morethan $7.5m (A$10m) in the previous 12 months.Top of the list for UIP was Meet The Fockers but it just missedout on being declared ...
  • FFC Australia revamps board


    The Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) has revamped its board,appointing investment banker Alastair Walton and the high-profile entertainmententrepreneur Paul Dainty.The terms of four of the eight-member board have expired in the past sixweeks and a further two people are likely to be appointed soon by theAustralian Government, although it may choose only one other person.
  • Roadshow takes on Oz distribution for Wolf Creek


    Roadshow has acquireddirector Greg McLean's horror film Wolf Creek for an October 27 localrelease.
  • Turtles takes Melbourne audience prize


    Iranian drama Turtles CanFly was the most popular featurefilm at the 54th Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), organisersannounced today.
  • Circle Work scores at Oz pitching contest


    Afeature called Circle Work by Edwina Exton, a Melbourne-basedactor-turned-screenwriter, has won the high-profile pitching competition heldas part of the annual Australian producers conference.
  • Queensland unveils post-production incentive


    TheQueensland Government has added a post-production incentive scheme to the raftof temptations it already offers local and overseas film and televisionproducers who decide to shoot in the North-East corner of Australia.Themove makes Queensland a one-stop production shop, said the Minister for ArtsRod Welford, who announced the scheme when he officially opened ...
  • Wine guru to advise Australian film industry


    IanSutton, founding chief executive of The Winemakers Federation of Australia, hasbeen hired as a consultant to the working party advising on the creation of anAustralian Screen Council (ASC).
  • Oz opens applications for $15.5m tax fund


    The Australian government has called for applications fromlocal companies interested in winning a licence giving them the right to raise$15.5m (A$20m) over the next two years for investment in the film andtelevision industry.
  • Sydney festival poised for major overhaul


    The SydneyFilm Festival (SFF) is to hold a major review of its activities, including areassessment of it dates and venues.The movefollows news that both president Cathy Robinson and general manager JenniferNaughton have stepped down.
  • Oz producers navigate funding Puzzle


    Writer/director Mark Forstmann and producers MiriamStein and Tamara Popper go into production on October 31 on Monkey Puzzleafter extensive workshops with a cast of young emerging actors.
  • Watt's Ways takes Fipresci prize at Brisbane


    Australian film Look BothWays, US coming-of-age tale Mysterious Skin, and South Koreanpicture Spying Cam (Frakchi) have each won major awards at the BrisbaneInternational Film Festival.
  • Ex-Renaissance exec Canning joins Becker Films


    Former Renaissance executive Iain Canning has joinedBecker Films International (BFI) as head of worldwide acquisitions, and willalso act as a consultant on acquiring Australian rights for sister companyDendy Films. He will continue to be based in London.
  • Barclay signs on for Suburban Mayhem


    Emily Barclay, who came toattention via the critically acclaimed New Zealand film In My Father's Den,has been cast in the lead role of a conniving single mother with murder on hermind in the Australian black comedy Suburban Mayhem.
  • Armstrong's Houdini feature wins crucial FFC backing


    A UK/Australian co-production from director GillianArmstrong (Little Women, Charlotte Gray), a new film by the team behind2002 local comedy hit Crackerjack, and two documentary features, will gointo production as a result of decisions made today by Film Finance CorporationAustralia (FFC).
  • Oz financing market SPAAmart unveils 12 projects


    A mix of experienced directors and producers and unknownsare attached to the 12 projects selected for next month's financing marketSPAAmart.
  • Solo Project Greenlight winner rounds out cast


    Veteran Australian actor Colin Friels is to star in Solo,the winner of Australia's Project Greenlight film-making competition.Friels,who has been in about 30 films, is taking the starring role of Barrett, anenforcer who wants to get out of working for a group of Sydney underworldbusinessmen known as The Gentlemen.
  • Working Title hops on board Australian thriller


    Working Title is to come inon British commercials director Ringan Ledwidge's directorial debut, MiddleOf Nowhere. Co-produced by Sydney-based Deborah Balderstone WBP outfit and London-based Nira Park, it will start shooting in September in Australia.
  • Hastie advance at Magna Pacific


    Lauren Hastie has beenpromoted to theatrical acquisitions and marketing manager at Magna Pacific, oneof the few independent Australian distributors interested in releasingpredominantly mainstream fare into cinemas.
  • Potter's Radcliffe signs for Becker's Boys


    Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is to playa lead role in Australian film December Boys, a signing which shouldhelp drive Australian investors into the long-standing Becker Group's firstfilm fund before the fund's June 30 cut off.
  • Blanchett's Little Fish to open Melbourne festival


    The Melbourne International Film Festival will announcetomorrow (June 15) that the eagerly anticipated Australian film Little Fishwill open the event on July 20 as a world premiere.
  • Digital cinema dominates Oz indie exhibitor conference


    Digital cinema dominated this week's IndependentCinemas Association of Australia (ICCA) conference and, with digital advocateDenis Parkes as new president, the topic will stay on the table.
  • Oz's Roadshow, Becker unveil Cannes deals


  • Oz distributors return from Cannes shopping spree


    All Australia's independent distributors, includingfirst-time attendee Jump Street Films and free-spending Dendy Films, cameback from Cannes with films in their suitcases.
  • Oz winner of Project Greenlight flies Solo


    Writer-director Morgan O'Neill faced a barrage of mediainterviews today after it was revealed that his script had won $760,000 (A$1m)in production finance ahead of 1,200 others as part of Australia's ProjectGreenlight.
  • Hopscotch jumps on Scott's Dancer


  • Australian film industry wins extra government funding


    The Australian Government hasdelivered on an election promise to boost its backing for the local filmindustry.Film ...
  • Summer Of Love to open Sydney festival


    PawelPawlikowski's My Summer Of Love will kick off the 52nd Sydney Film Festival on June10. TheBAFTA-winning film is the first of more than 170 films from around 40 countrieslined up by festival director Lynden Barber. The Sydney festwraps on June 25.
  • Palace leaps for Lemming


    Palace Films has alreadysnapped up Australian rights for three Competition titles including the openingnight film Lemming.The ...
  • New Australian Film Institute chief confirms awards focus


    Thefocus of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) will remain its annual awards,says new general manager Geoffrey Williams, but he envisages taking on more ofan advocacy role for industry in future.
  • Black Sheep leaps into Icon's arms


    NZ Film has pre-sold six territories including the UK to BlackSheep, a first film from New Zealand aboutkiller sheep, ensuring the film will go into production this year.
  • Oz Dollars cashes in at local box office


    Local drama Three Dollarsmade a big impact at the Australian box office over the weekend.Three Dollars grossed $177,000 (A$227,747) fromjust 15 screens over the five-day holiday weekend. The Dendy/Footprint releasewas fourteenth in the chart but it was its screen average of $11,800 thatreally impressed - and has paved the way for more screens to be added in comingweeks. ...
  • Revelation delayed as lead actor breaks ankle


    The shooting schedule of Ana Kokkinos' TheBook of Revelation has had to be rapidly re-arranged after lead actor TomLong broke his ankle on Friday (April 15) while filming in Melbourne. The filmwas one week away from wrapping.
  • Woods quits as Irish Film Board chief


    MarkWoods has resigned as chief executive of the Irish Film Board after 18 monthsin the job. Woodsis moving back to Sydney, Australia, to head a significantly smallerorganisation, the national locations office Ausfilm.
  • Pathe acquires UK rights to Arclight's Bad Men


    Pathe has acquired UK rights to Three Bad Men fromArclight Films, which has also confirmed that Simon Pegg (Shaun Of The Dead)will be in the cast alongside Woody Harrelson and Brendan Fraser.
  • Australia's Palace goes on shopping spree


    Australian distributor Palace Films has acquiredseven new pictures, including Greek blockbuster Brides by directorPantelis Voulgaris.
  • Australia's FFC gets involved in Hell


    Australia's Film Finance Corporation (FFC) isto invest in Richard Frankland's To Hell And Bourke, only the thirdfeature ever to be made by an indigenous Australian writer/director.
  • AUSTRALIA 22 March


    The Australian teen picture Hating Alison Ashleygrossed A$531,144 from 180 screens in its first four days in cinemas, enablingit to claim the fourth spot in the chart. The Hoyts film, which is adapted fromthe well-known book of the same name, attracted additional publicity because ofthe first-time film presence of pop star Delta Goodrem, although the biggerrole belongs to young actor Saskia ...
  • NEW ZEALAND 22 March


    The Ring Two scaredits UIP stablemate, Meet The Fockers, off the top of the chart on theweekend. In its opening weekend The Ring Two grossed NZ$298,535 from 43screens. This equated to a screen average of NZ$6,943, the biggest in thechart. The other strongopener on the weekend was Be Cool, ...
  • AUSTRALIA 16 March


    The nearly A$7.5 million taken at the Australian box office for thefour-day weekend to 16 March was the smallest of the year, despite Victorianshaving a holiday weekend. Contributing factors would have been Australia's glorious autumn weatherand the start of the National Rugby League season.Five ...
  • NEW ZEALAND 16 March


    UIP's Meet The Fockers remains on top of the NewZealand box office in its third week. The in-law comedy grossed NZ$345,778 from55 screens. Roadshow's Constantine and Sony's Closer,both in their second weekend in cinemas, and Roadshow's The Aviator, in itsfifth week, again ran second, third and fourth. ...
  • AUSTRALIA 9 March


    Sony Pictures' Hitch opened on the weekend andshot straight to the top of the box office chart, grossing nearly three timesmore than the next most popular film. Hitch took A$3,507,820 from 370screens to clock up a screen average of A$9,481, the biggest in the chart.The rest of the top five was made up of ...
  • NEW ZEALAND 9 March


    Roadshow's opening film Constantine was sent inon the weekend to challenge the box office supremacy of UIP's Meet TheFockers, which is only on its second weekend on release. But it failed: Fockergrossed NZ$500,991 from 60 screens compared to the NZ$421,541 taken by Constantinefrom 65 screens
  • Ruby Dee takes lead in New Zealand's Number 2


    Filming began yesterday (Thursday March 3) on New Zealandcomedy/drama Number 2 after last month's false start due to the death ofOssie Davis, husband of the film's lead Ruby Dee.
  • Australian newcomer buys Shortbus, Dumplings


    Australiantheatrical newcomer Accent Film Entertainment has acquired both Shortbus,which is still in pre-production, and Dumplings, from Fortissimo FilmSales.
  • South Australia offers production incentive


    South Australia is soon to offer producers a new incentiveto shoot in the state - a 10% rebate on the cost of local cast and crew,including post-production personnel.
  • AUSTRALIA 1 March


  • AUSTRALIA 15 February


  • Fox's Eucalyptus wilts under script rewrite


    Fox Searchlight Pictures has announced that production onJocelyn Moorhouse’s Eucalyptus,which stars Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, will not go ahead as scheduled”to allow time for further work on the script”.
  • South Africa, Australia co-production treaty mooted


    The governing council of theScreen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) is expected next week toendorse a report arguing the case for a co-production arrangement to be put inplace with South Africa.
  • FFC Australia bankrolls four new features


    Four new Australian features - Two Fists One Heart,Razzle Dazzle - A Journey Into Dance, Footy Legends and Macbeth -are all are going into production thanks to investment decisions madetoday by Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC).
  • NEW ZEALAND 9 February


  • Runaway business helps Australian production


    Becker Film Internationalhas taken world sales rights on Feed, a psychological thriller thatBrett Leonard is now shooting in Australia.
  • NEW ZEALAND 3 February


  • Foreign films struggle at Oz box office


    The numberof foreign films released in Australia in 2004 from countries other than the USand the UK nearly doubled compared to 2003.
  • AUSTRALIA 31 January


  • Australian box office hits record heights in 2004


    Australians spent $693m (A$907m) going to the cinema lastyear, the highest annual result ever, according to new Motion PictureDistributors Association of Australia (MPDAA) figures.
  • AUSTRALIA 24 January


  • NEW ZEALAND 24 January


  • Adelaide festival sets Watt's Ways as opener


    The Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) is to open with the worldpremiere of new Australian film Look Both Ways by director Sarah Watt.
  • AUSTRALIA 17 January


  • NEW ZEALAND 17 January


  • Australia celebrates record BO revenues


    AustraliaHs annual boxoffice gross looks certain to exceed A$900 million in 2004 for the first timeever although the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (MPDAA)has not released the final figure, nor admission numbers, and may not until laterthis month.
  • Fiennes to star in Coetzee adaptation Disgrace


    Australian productioncompany Wild Strawberries has secured Ralph Fiennes to play the lead in itsfeature adaptation of 1999 Booker Prize winning novel Disgrace, writtenby J M Coetzee.
  • AUSTRALIA 11 January


  • 2004: New Zealand on a roll


  • 2004: Oz despairs as production levels plummet


  • Australia's Becker acquires Moonlight Projects


    The Becker Group, which owns Australia's Dendy brand, hasacquired the Moonlight Projects outdoor cinema and cinema advertising group.The cashand share deal is worth $6.3m (A$8.3m). Moonlight is best known for its summerscreenings of contemporary and classic films in parklands located close to thecentre of Australia's capital cities.Thebusiness ...
  • Rothkrans to step down as AusFilm chief


    Trisha Rothkrans has today announced her intention to stepdown as chief executive of AusFILM, the organisation that promotesAustralia's locations and its film-making skills and facilities abroad.
  • Packer sells - and jointly buys - Hoyts


    Australian media mogul Kerry Packer's private company Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH) is selling Hoyts, but the Australian and New Zealand cinema chain is staying in the family.
  • Australia's FFC bankrolls Elephant, Power


    Elephant Tales, a French/Australian co-productionwritten and directed by Mario Andreacchio, and the psychological thriller PowerSurge, the first feature from high-profile commercials director DavidDenneen, will go into production after receiving backing from Australia's Film Finance Corporation (FFC).
  • AUSTRALIA 13 December


  • NEW ZEALAND 13 December


  • Australian distributors go Christmas shopping


    Australian independentdistributors, including Hopscotch, sister companies Dendy and Becker, and MagnaPacific, have been acquiring ever more product lately for their own territoryand New Zealand.
  • Top Dutch production outfit launches Oz joint venture


    Leading Dutch film company IdtV Film (Twin Sisters)and co-owner Anton Smit are moving into English language film-making via ajoint venture with Australian TV producers Mark and Cathy Overett.Called New Holland Pictures, the Queensland-based jointventure is readying an Australian remake of a Dutch film called Afghan Bride(working title). The project is about 70% financed and is adapted from the 1998Dutch film Polish Bride ...
  • AUSTRALIA 6 December


  • NEW ZEALAND 6 December


  • AUSTRALIA 29 November


  • Producers honour three New Zealanders


    Producer Trevor Haysom, casting agent Diana Rowan (pictured)and up-and-coming filmmaker Florian Habicht were all honoured at the close ofthe annual conference of the Screen Production and Development Association ofNew Zealand.
  • Wright's Macbeth to be set in Melbourne's underbelly


    A retelling of Shakespeare's Macbeth, set in the present-day violent underbelly of Melbourne,took a step closer to getting a green light with Romper Stomper director Geoffrey Wright at the helm.
  • AUSTRALIA 23 November


  • Rialto takes Australasian rights to foursome


    Rialto Entertainment has acquired Australian and NewZealand rights to The Machinist, Mean Creek, The Queen Of Sheba's Pearlsand Last Days.Chief executive Kelly Rogers describes Gus Van Sant's LastDays as a visual requiem, not just to Kurt Cobain but to an entiregeneration of rock 'n' roll, and says its acquisition continues a relationshipforged with HBO through such films as American Splendor, Real Women HaveCurves, ...
  • Consortium develops tool to predict financing models


    Some of the millions of dollars spent developing films thatnever go into production could be saved if a group of researchers succeed indesigning a tool that can reliably assess the value of what have previouslybeen regarded as intangible assets.
  • AUSTRALIA 16 November


  • NEW ZEALAND 16 November


  • Project Greenlight comes to Australia


    The Movie Network pay TV channel yesterday launched anAustralian version of Project Greenlight, which will result in a 12-partdocumentary series chronicling the making of a A$1m (US$762,000) feature by afirst-time filmmaker.The movie channel's production partner for both theseries and the feature is Screentime, one of Australia's most successfultelevision production companies.Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and American ...
  • Somersault continues winning streak


    Cate Shortland's Somersaulthas continued its winning streak, picking up the Australian film of theyear at the IF Awards on Wednesday (Nov 10) and the Film Critics Circle ofAustralia Awards on Sunday (Nov 7).
  • AUSTRALIA 9 November


  • NEW ZEALAND 9 November


  • Magnolia takes US rights to Somersault


    Magnolia Pictures has secured North American rights towriter/director Cate Shortland's Somersault, which late last week broke all records with its clean sweep of theAFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards in Melbourne.
  • River Queen's DoP takes over directing duties


    River Queen directorof photography Alun Bollinger has stepped up to replace director Vincent Wardon the UK/New Zealand co-production, which is on track to complete principalphotography in late November.
  • Blethyn vehicle wins Oz funding


    Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) is to backdirector Cherie Nowlan's comedy drama Clubland, starring Brenda Blethyn.Blethynplays a raunchy Sydney club performer whose shy 20-year-old son is forced to make a decision between her and his feisty new girlfriend.The RB Films project has the backing of MovieHouseEntertainment in the UK and Palace Films in ...
  • NZ arthouse player plans expansion into UK and US


    New Zealand's dominant arthouse player, Rialto, isplanning to establish distribution operations in the US and the UK, as well assetting up a cinema chain in Australia, where it has been distributing filmsfor nearly three years.The ambitious global expansion, to be funded through cashreserves, is unprecedented for a specialist distributor from either New Zealandor Australia."Rialto stands for arthouse films and we ...
  • NEW ZEALAND 2 November


  • AUSTRALIA 1 November


  • Somersault wins every single AFI prize


    Cate Shortland'sSomersault managed a remarkable cleansweep of prizes at the star-studded AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards inMelbourne (Oct 29), winning in all 13 categories.
  • AUSTRALIA 25 October


  • Trouble continues for River Queen


    Director Vincent Ward is off the New Zealand shoot of River Queen and, unlike Samantha Mortonwho earlier took time out because of illness, isn't coming back.
  • Becker takes on Love Reigns sales


    Becker Films International is to handle worldwide sales on WhereLove Reigns, which is being set up as an official tri-partite productionbetween the UK, Canada and South Africa and has Martin Scorsese on board asexecutive producer.Thefilm is based on the true story of the torrid love affair in the early 1900sbetween one of the founding fathers of modern psychology, Carl ...
  • Australia, New Zealand generate star power


    Films of all shapesand sizes are now underway in New Zealand and, after a considerable productiondrought, in Australia - and both countries are awash with internationallyrenowned acting talent.
  • New Zealand lobbies for second film sound stage


    New Zealand film agency Film Auckland is bidding forUS$1.8m (NZ$1.7m) from the New Zealand Government to help construct a secondpurpose-built film sound stage in the country.New Zealand's only other purpose-built film stage is downsouth in Wellington and is now being used for Peter Jackson's King Kong.It was built earlier this year, also with assistance from government.The application was submitted last week ...
  • Hopkins in the saddle for World's Fastest Indian


    Anthony Hopkins plays a motorcycling legend in TheWorld's Fastest Indian, whichwriter/director Roger Donaldson has been shooting for three weeks on the Utahsalt flats and moves shortly to New Zealand for a further 11 weeks.
  • AUSTRALIA 18 October


  • AUSTRALIA 12 October


  • NEW ZEALAND 12 October


  • Lack of leading lady puts Eucalyptus, Crowe on hold


    The producers behind Jocelyn Moorhouse's Eucalyptus, which was to have gone into production this year,are gearing down because they have not been able to find an Australian leadinglady to star alongside Russell Crowe and Geoffrey Rush.
  • Watson, Hurt attracted by The Proposition


    Emily Watson, John Hurt, Ray Winstone, David Wenham andDanny Huston star in the big-budget UK/Australian co-production TheProposition, which goes into production inthe tiny outback town of Winton on Monday (October 11) amid temperatures likelyto be well over 30 degrees Celsius.
  • Hopscotch leaps on four hot titles


    Australian distributor Hopscotch has acquired 3-Iron, which won the FIPRESCI award andthe best director award for Kim Ki-duk at the Venice Film Festival, as well as Downfall, Mysterious Skin and Bombon.
  • Somersault smashes AFI nominations record


    Somersault hassmashed the record for the number of nominations received in the AFI(Australian Film Institute) Awards, winning the thumbs up 15 times across all13 categories for which it qualified.
  • China, Australia head for co-production treaty


    It is highly likely a co-production treaty will be signedbetween Australia and China following an eight-day visit by a Chinesedelegation that ended on Saturday (Sept 25)
  • Village Roadshow admits to Catwoman loss


    The lacklustre performance of Catwoman at the worldwide box office has hit its co-producerVillage Roadshow (VRL) hard.
  • AUSTRALIA 28 September


  • Dendy's Sarfaty new head of indie cinema group


  • Dendy's Sarfaty new head of indie cinema group


    The organisation that helped make Australia's majordistributors more accountable for how they deal with small exhibitors has a newpresident and a new name.
  • NEW ZEALAND 28 September


    There were two opening films in the top three on theweekend. A Shark Tale took NZ$587,383from 52 screens to claim the top spot on behalf of UIP and A Cinderella Story grossed NZ$184,805 from 35 screens for Roadshowto grab third place honours.The third film that opened over the weekend and made it intothe top 20 was the BVI/Miramax title I'mNot Scared, which grossed A$13,781 from just five screens to land in 18thposition.
  • Crooner Connick Jr takes lead in Oz Boomerang


    US crooner Harry Connick Jr has signed to play a disgracedcorporate cowboy who pays a street kid to help him commit suicide in BoomerangDeal, to be directed by Phillip Marzella from his own script.
  • AUSTRALIA 20 September


  • Cameras to roll again on River Queen


    Director Vincent Ward's River Queen is going backinto production in New Zealand after a two-month hiatus.
  • Australian Labor Party pledges industry funds


    The Australian Labor Party today pledged that if it wins theOctober 9 election it will provide one-off cash injections of $35m (A$50m) for theFilm Finance Corporation (FFC) and $14m for the Australian Film Commission(AFC), half of which will be for a low budget feature fund.
  • Ghost Rider heads for Australia


    The attractiveness of runaway production to local economieswas made clear in Australia today with the Victorian Government announcing thatColumbia Pictures Entertainment is to film $40m GhostRider in Melbourne.
  • AUSTRALIA 13 September


  • NEW ZEALAND 13 September


  • Ledger, Collette starring pics win Oz funding


    The Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) has cleared theway for cameras to roll on two new films, investing in Candy starringHeath Ledger and Like Minds starring Toni Collette.
  • AusFILM recruits Fox Studio Australia chief


    Fox Studios Australia chief executive Michael Harvey hasbeen named deputy chair of AusFILM, the organisation responsible for attractinginternational production to Australia.
  • AUSTRALIA 6 September


  • King Kong goes before the cameras


    Director Peter Jackson and actors Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody,and Jack Black faced the media yesterday at Jackson's Wellington studio complexto mark the beginning of principal photography on King Kong.Camerasofficially roll on Monday on the remake of the 1933 classic, which is beingfinanced by Universal Pictures and will be released on December 14 2005.
  • Spooked scores NZ distribution


    Arkles Entertainment has acquired New Zealand distributionrights for director Geoff Murphy's local conspiracy thriller Spooked.
  • NEW ZEALAND 31 August


  • Acclaimed directors lead Australia's upcoming slate


    The directors of three of the most highly acclaimedAustralian films of recent years, Ana Kokkinos, Rowan Woods and Ray Lawrence,are named within the country's upcoming slate of financed but still-to-be-madefilms.
  • International buyers clamour for Lord Of War


    Lord Of War,billed as one of the biggest independent features currently in production inthe world, has relocated to South Africa after two weeks of shooting in NewYork.
  • AUSTRALIA 23 August


  • NEW ZEALAND 23 August


  • Australia has mixed feelings about digital cinema


    Hoyts executive chair Paul Johnson believes all Australiancinemas will be delivering pictures digitally within five years but UIP'smanaging director in Australia, Mike Selwyn, will be surprised if more thanhalf have converted to digital within a decade.
  • AUSTRALIA 16 August


  • Miracle works for audiences at Melbourne


  • NEW ZEALAND 16 August


  • Australian producers mull alternative distribution models


    Amending traditional distribution deals so that producersget more control and a greater share of returns was the dominant theme at Australia's annual conference ofproducers. Splitting rights was proposed, for example, as was adoptingwebsite-based sales systems, forfeiting high sales prices in exchange for boxoffice bonuses and under-reporting sales figures to avoid raising expectationstoo high for a film to live up to.
  • Impact of DVD boom on Cinema measured


    The DVD boom is having a major impact on cinema-going -but it is a positive one and probably more pronounced in Australia than in anyother territory.
  • SPAA plans private development fund


    Australia is to utilise its existing framework for pooleddevelopment funds (PDFs) to get more development money into the film industryand help provide producers with earnings between projects.
  • Brown, Lake named producers of the year


    Chris Brown was named independent producer of the year,while Trish Lake was named feature film producer of the year at the annualconference of the Screen Producers Association of Australia.
  • Oz production slumps as foreign investment soars


    New research confirms that service work on US films issoaring while Australian features remain in the doldrums in terms of numbersmade and budget levels, while co-productions have practically disappeared.
  • Filming suspended on Vincent Ward's River Queen


    In the face of rumours of trouble on the set, it has beenannounced that director Vincent Ward's RiverQueen has been delayed due to the illness of UK actress Samantha Morton,but that she remains committed to the project and the delays are covered byinsurance.
  • Film New Zealand elects new chairman


    David Madigan, former technicians guild president, is the new chair of Film New Zealand, which is responsible for marketing the country's filmmaking talents to the world.
  • Johnny To undertakes first production as financier


    Milkyway Image, prolific Hong Kong filmmaker Johnny To's production entity, is to make its first investment in a film, despite the company having produced about 30 films since the mid-1990s.
  • AUSTRALIA 2 August


  • NEW ZEALAND 2 August


  • Scottish producer Meek named head of drama at Australia's ABC


    Scottish producer Scott Meek is relocating to Australia totake up the role of head of drama at public broadcaster the ABC.
  • Colosimo, McKenzie sign on for Australian-UK co-production


    Vince Colosimo (Lantana,Chopper) and Jacqueline McKenzie (RomperStomper, Angel Baby) are to star in director Peter Cattaneo's UK/Australianco-production Pobby And Dingan forsales agent Renaissance Films.
  • FFC pledges backing to Jindabyne, Revelation


    Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) has pledged fundingon a conditional basis to Jindabyne, arelationship drama with mystery elements by Lantana director Ray Lawrence, and The Book OfRevelation, a follow-up to HeadOn for director Ana Kokkinos.
  • AUSTRALIA 26 July


  • NEW ZEALAND 26 July


  • Oz funding body gets proactive about scripts


    In a challenge to Australia's filmmaker-is-kingculture, state agency the Pacific Film and Television Commission (PFTC) istesting a couple of US people for the job of in-house development executive.
  • Veteran producers to pitch at SPAAMart


    The 14 Australian and six New Zealand projects in thepre-financing market SPAAMart in Queensland next month include second featuresfrom the directors Ana Kokkinos (Head On),Ivan Sen (Beneath Clouds), andChristina Andreef (Soft Fruit).
  • AUSTRALIA 5 July


  • NEW ZEALAND 5 July


  • Hopscotch takes Oz rights to 2046


    Distributor Hopscotch has taken all Australian rights toWong Kar Wai's 2046 fromFortissimo Film Sales.
  • Restored classic, period piece are toast of Sydney


    The 85-year-old Australian silent film The SentimentalBloke, directed by prolific pioneer filmmaker Raymond Longford, anddirector Ondrej Trojan's Czech Republic/Austria/Slovakia period film Zelarywere the audience favourites at the Sydney Film Festival's two key venues.
  • NEW ZEALAND 28 June


  • Wax fire destroys Oz soundstage


    A so-called controlled fire sequence on the set of HouseOf Wax went badly wrong on Saturday evening (June 27), sparking a blazethat destroyed one of the eight soundstages at Queensland's Warner RoadshowStudios.Aspokesperson for the film's publicist, Denis Davidson Associates, said thatthree sets and all the camera and sound equipment were destroyed but luckilyno-one was ...
  • AUSTRALIA 21 June


  • NEW ZEALAND 21 June


  • Somersault to open Melbourne festival


    Executive director James Hewison announced that newAustralian film Somersault will open the 53rd Melbourne InternationalFilm Festival (MIFF) on July 21 and Thai film Ong Bak from director PrachyaPinkaew will close it 18 days later.
  • Distributor welcomes McDonald's attack


    McDonald's Australia has launched a two-week cinema andtelevision campaign labelling Super SizeMe filmmaker Morgan Spurlock as 'irresponsible' but which will, accordingto the film's distributor, merely boost the film's takings.
  • AUSTRALIA 16 June


  • Oz arts minister slow clapped off stage at Sydney fest


  • NEW ZEALAND 15 June


  • AusFilm names new Los Angeles-based commissioner


    Marketeer Tracey Montgomeryhas been named as the new AusFILMcommissioner based in LA - the executive charged with leadingAustralia's efforts to attract international production to its shores.
  • Oz production awaits fresh cash injection


    Mark Eder mortgaged his house in order to direct his debutfeature Twists Of Fate, which he alsoco-wrote and is now editing, after being unable to secure any other sort offinancing or to find distributors that would take him or his film seriously.
  • Global anti-piracy trailer debuts in Australia


    An anti-piracy trailer that likens illegally downloadingmovies from the Internet with othercrimes such as stealing cars and television sets and snatching handbags, waslaunched today in Australia by Attorney-General Philip Ruddock.
  • AUSTRALIA 7 June


  • Yari takes on sales for big budget Oz feature


  • AUSTRALIA 1 June


  • NEW ZEALAND 1 June


  • Rialto announces five Cannes pick-ups


    Cannes Grand Jury winner OldBoy, the thriller by director Park Chan-Wook, is one of five films pickedup for distribution in Australian and New Zealand by Rialto Entertainment.
  • Distributors leap for Somersault


    Sales agent Fortissimo Films has signed off withdistributors from a range of territories on Cannes Un Certain Regard title Somersault,including Metrodome for the UK, Prokino for Germany and Austria, and Vision forFrance.
  • Oz exhibition player mulls German cinemas stake


    Australia's Amalgamated Holdings Limited (AHL), owner of Kieft& Kieft, has signalled that it is reviewing the 50% holding that the Germanexhibitor has in joint venture company Neue Filmpalast GmbH & Co KG.
  • Dendy takes three for Australia


    Dendy chiefs Andrew Mackie and Richard Payten areparticularly pleased that Mike Leigh's VeraDrake is among the three films they have just picked up for Australia andNew Zealand.
  • AUSTRALIA 24 May


  • NEW ZEALAND 24 May


  • Saddle Club set for big screen


    Australia's CrawfordProductions and Canada's Protocol Entertainment are preparing to shoot afeature that is based on the hit TV series TheSaddle Club, which is currently screening on Discovery Kids in the US and,when last screened in Sydney, attracted an astounding 95% of all five to12-year-olds at its peak.
  • NEW ZEALAND 17 May


  • Becker boards Islamic omnibus


  • NEW ZEALAND 11 May


  • AUSTRALIA 10 May




    Kill Bill: Volume 2opened on the weekend and claimed the top spot from another BVI/Miramax film, Starsky& Hutch, just as it did in Australia on the previous weekend. KillBill took NZ$364,251 from 32 screens while Starsky & Hutch, inits second weekend ...
  • Moneypenny expands into SA, NZ


    Financial services company Moneypenny, which has been anintegral part of Australia's film industry for 25 years, is expanding intoSouth Africa and New Zealand within the next few months.
  • Arclight, Instinct capitalise on Strange Bedfellows


    On the eve of the film'sinternational premiere in the Cannes market, Arclight Films has signed on as'subagent' for the Australian comedy Strange Bedfellows, which openedstrongly enough to claim third place in the local weekend box office charts.
  • AUSTRALIA 27 April


  • NEW ZEALAND 26 April


  • NEW ZEALAND 19 April


    After Columbia TriStar warmed up audiences on previews starting a week ago, 50 First Dates confidently claimed the top spot in the box office charts with a gross of NZ$505,506 from 56 screens. It also had the highest screen average of the weekend at NZ$9,027.
  • Oz film set for radical funding overhaul


    In an attempt to drag Australian films out of the doldrums, Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) has unveiled a plan to radically overhaul its funding procedures.
  • Sydney to get two more sound stages by July


    Two additional sound stages, each with a floor area of 1,000 square metres, are to be open for business in Sydney by July.




  • AusFILM's Pratt to step down as LA-based film commissioner


    AusFILM's LA-based film commissioner David Pratt is to leave his job after six years in the post.


    Two high-profile family-friendly openers, UIP's The Cat In The Hat and Roadshow's Scooby-Doo 2, failed to make a dent in the popularity of 50 First Dates, despite the latest Adam Sandler romantic comedy being on fewer screens and in its second week.
  • Shoots attracted to new studios, locations and low costs


    For full Australia and New Zealand production listings, click HERE
  • Wincer readies Pasternak epic, seeks investors for Clancy


    Australian director Simon Wincer is scheduled to start shooting the epic love triangle The Loneliness Of Always from September 13 in Moscow.


    After two weekends at the top of the charts, The Butterfly Effect has been pushed down to fourth position, not just by two openers but also by The Passion Of The Christ, the film it displaced three weeks ago.


    At its first official opening weekend at the box office - audiences were first warmed up on previews - Columbia TriStar's Mona Lisa Smile has pushed The Passion Of The Christ off the top spot with a gross of NZ$309,933 from 53 screens.
  • Oz's FFC bankrolls December Boys, Wolf Creek


    The Film Finance Corporation (FFC) has agreed to invest in two new Australian films, the 1960s drama December Boys to be directed by LA-based Rod Hardy, and the low-budget digital horror film Wolf Creek, by first-time writer/director Greg McLean.
  • Film journalist named new director of Sydney film fest


    Film journalist for The Australian newspaper, Lynden Barber, is the new director of the 2005 and 2006 Sydney Film Festival, taking over from Gayle Lake on July 1 after the completion of this year's event.


    Three new films failed to dislodge two Icon films, The Butterfly Effect and The Passion Of The Christ, from the top two spots in the charts and had to settle for third, fourth and fifth in the popularity stakes.
  • Irreversible faces second Oz ratings review


    Australia's Classification Review Board is to re-examine the "R18+" rating given to director Gaspar Noe's Irreversible next Monday despite the film having been on release for six weeks.


    New Zealanders are proving to be god-fearing types. That is one explanation, anyway, for The Passion Of The Christ being the most popular film for the fifth consecutive weekend. The film's NZ$234,685 gross for the four days to March 21 was higher than each of the two previous weekends but this was helped by screen numbers being boosted from 29 to 39.
  • Oz's Rialto aquires arthouse trio


    Rialto Entertainment has picked up three arthouse titles for distribution in Australia and New Zealand as a result of negotiations at the AFM.
  • Oz's Aurora script programme selects Caesar's Prime Mover


    Writer/director David Caesar's Prime Mover is one of four projects chosen for Australia's third Aurora intensive scriptwriting programme.


    In its third weekend in cinemas The Passion Of The Christ had to suffer being pushed down into second place by another Icon film, The Butterfly Effect, but not much separated them.


    For the fourth consecutive weekend The Passion Of The Christ has held its position as the most popular film in NZ cinemas. It grossed NZ$192,008 for Hoyts/Icon from 29 screens. UIP's challenger was Paycheck but the NZ$164,695 worth of ticket sales for 38 screens was only enough for it to claim second place.
  • Foxtel launches Oz pay per view movie service


  • King set to surpass Crocodile Dundee in Oz


    The Australian film industry should prepare to go into mourning within the next week when The Return Of The King displaces Crocodile Dundee to become the second biggest box office hit of all time in the territory.
  • Roadshow pounces on Libertine, Dahlia


    Roadshow Film Distributionhas signed up to handle the release of three high-profile films for Australiaand New Zealand: The Black Dahlia, The Libertine and Havoc.


  • Darclight readies Beowulf, Possession


    Arclight genre label Darclight has announced that two films are about to go into pre-production.


    Icon's The Passion Of The Christ grossed A$3,610,618 from 145 screens in its first five days in Australian cinemas, giving it a whopping screen average of A$20,504. It opened on Wednesday, instead of the usual Thursday, but without its opening day tally it still came in just short of an impressive A$3m. The figure was actually A$2,973,157.
  • South Australia launches Screen Industry Council


    A screen industry council is to be formed in South Australia to bring under one roof all production sectors - from film and television to games and education - with the aim of sharing experiences and market intelligence.
  • Becker says G'Day to Oz idol


    Reiko Bradley from BeckerFilms International has picked up international rights on two unmade films,Australian mainstream teen comedy G'Day LA to be directed by veteran filmmaker Tom Jeffrey, and the edgy LoveJunkie by English-born US-basedindependent writer/director Ash.Australian Idol contestantRobert Mills has been cast in G'Day LA in what is believed to be the first time in the world that the realitytelevision franchise has shoehorned ...


    Roadshow's ambitious release of Australian dance party film One Perfect Day - 152 screens is a big number for a local film - earned it the seventh spot in the box office chart with a gross of A$437,248 from 152 screens.
  • Oz popstar signs for lead role in Hating Alison Ashley


    Australian pop princess and former Neighbours star Delta Goodrem has made a move into movies by accepting the title role of Hating Alison Ashley, which goes into production in the first half of this year in Melbourne.
  • Oz's Accent takes My Flesh from Films Transit


    Fledgling Australian distributor Accent Film Entertainment has struck a deal with Films Transit International for Australian rights to Jonathan Karsh's My Flesh And Blood.
  • New awards event planned for Asia-Pacific


    The Queensland Government and the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) have announced that they are to create a new film and television awards event to be broadcast across the world.


    The top film in the charts, Stuck On You from 20th Century Fox, took A$1,606,200 from 192 screens in its first weekend. That was over $400,000 more in ticket sales than second placed, Under The Tuscan Sun, but being on 110 screens it was not so accessible to audiences. The BVI film had the most impressive screen average of the weekend at A$10,849.


    There was considerable jostling for the top spot over the weekend and at the final count there was just NZ$560 separating the two top films, both of which were officially on release for the first time.


  • OZ producers' conference moves date, location


    The Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) plans to stage its annual conference three months earlier than usual and relocate it to Queensland's Surfers Paradise, so that it overlaps with the Australian International Movie Convention.


  • Hopscotch pounces on documentaries


    Hopscotch has picked up all Australian and New Zealand rights to 2004 Academy Award documentary nominee My Architect from the Film Sales Company, hoping that again loading the slate with non-fiction will prolong last year's winning streak.


  • Crombie resigns from South Australian Film Corp


    The South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) is without both a contracted chief executive and a chair following the resignation of chief executive Judith Crombie during Friday's board meeting, effective immediately. The State Government had earlier decided not to reappoint David Minear as chair.


    UIP's Peter Pan was the most popular film in its opening weekend at the Australian box office, although its gross was a slightly underwhelming A$1,507,592 from 269 screens. This result was surprising given the extra publicity generated by it being shot in Australia by Australian expatriate director P J Hogan.


    New Zealanders' overwhelming sense of pride in and ownership of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy was good news for the opening of the final instalment, The Return Of The King, which did an extraordinary NZ$2.6m last weekend.
  • Brennan joins Oz Film Commission as project manager


    Veteran producer Richard Brennan, whose extensive credits across several decades include Cosi, Spotswood, Blood Oath, Grievous Bodily Harm, Starstruck, Stir and Newsfront, has joined the Australian Film Commission (AFC) as a project manager.


    BVI's Scary Movie 3 was the hit film at the box office in its opening weekend, taking A$3,011,921 from 305 screens to achieve a screen average of A$9,875. The result fell about A$70,000 short of last weekend's opening performance by 20th Century Fox's Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World, which was on about 20 more screens. The Russell Crowe vehicle got pushed down to second spot this time around and Roadshow's Elf held on to third position.
  • Australia's Southern Star subject of takeover bid


    The Southern Star Group, one of Australia's biggest television production and distribution companies, is the subject of a takeover bid from Southern Cross Broadcasting, which operates television stations in most regional areas of Australia, as well as in Adelaide and the national capital of Canberra.


    BVI's Scary Movie 3 was easily the hit film of the weekend, earning NZ$403,565 from 31 screens upon appearing at cinemas for the first time. It's screen average was a quite extraordinary NZ$13,018 - the Kiwi's love their horror films - bettered only by the re-release of The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (special edition).




    Columbia TriStar's Underworld just managed to push UIP's Love Actually off the top spot in the weekend popularity stakes. It sold NZ$331,282 worth of tickets from 40 screens, admittedly a dozen less than the 52 screens from which Love Actually earned it's NZ$310,788. It was Underworld's first weekend, just as it was for BVI's Freaky Friday, which was third in the charts with a gross of NZ$138,278 from 50 screens.
  • Whale Rider makes splash at NZ awards


    As expected, Whale Rider won nearly all the relevant categories at the New Zealand Film Awards tonight (Dec 8) in Auckland, including best film for producers Tim Sanders and John Barnett, best director and best writer for Niki Caro, and best actress for Keisha Castle-Hughes.With Caro currently in the US, Witi Ihimaera, author of the book on which the film is based, accepted the script award on her behalf, and Hone Taumaunu, a significant ...


    Columbia TriStar's S.W.A.T has topped the Australian chart on its opening weekend with a A$2,741,337 gross from 246 screens. It managed to more than double the ticket sales of UIP's School Of Rock, and pushed the comedy down into second position for what was its second weekend on release. Putting aside The Matrix Revolutions and the IMAX film Titanic 3D, S.W.A.T's screen average of A$11,143 is the highest for a non-IMAX film for eight weeks.


    UIP's Love Actually lived up to the promise shown in the previous weekend's previews and easily secured the top spot with a gross of NZ$415,176 from 51 screens. Despite the screen count being second only to The Matrix Revolutions in number, the film's screen average of NZ$8,141 was miles ahead of all the other films.
  • Jackson feted as Return Of The King premieres in NZ


    Peter Jackson was asked whether he would consider running for Prime Minister of New Zealand during a press conference yesterday, just hours before the world premiere of The Return Of The King in his hometown of Wellington.
  • Mushroom, Rialto tie up production joint venture


    Australian production outfit Mushroom Pictures (Chopper, Gettin' Square) and Auckland based distributor Rialto Entertainment have formed a joint venture to produce thrillers and contemporary horror movies along the lines of 28 Days Later.
  • Busy new year ahead for Oz production


    For full current production listings click here
  • Australian Film Commission slams AFMA


    The Australian Film Commission has slammed the American Film Marketing Association (AFMA) for its lack of support in the free trade agreement currently being negotiated with the U.S.
  • Australia's FFC unveils studio model financing plan


    Australian funding body the Film Finance Corporation (FFC) is to adopt a studio model when funding local films as part of a radical overhaul of its investment procedures.


    Roadshow's The Matrix Revolutions comfortably beat the competition to retain the top spot in its third weekend on release, showing more resilience than in some other markets. UIP's Love Actually put in a strong performance to secure second place, despite only being on previews. It grossed NZ$212,718 from 45 screens compared to the NZ$340,095 from 77 screens accumulated by The Matrix. Both films have the highest screen averages in the chart.
  • Japanese Story sweeps AFI awards


  • Oz producer of the year unveils The Wish


    Steve Luby and Mark Ruse of Melbourne's Ruby Entertainment and UK producer Deb Balderstone from Haystack have started casting and financing the romantic comedy The Wish.
  • April strikes major Oz film financing deal


    Sydney outfit April Films has struck an deal with investment bank Babcock & Brown to finance around two films a year for the next five to seven years. The films are likely to be in the US$5.7m-21.4m (A$8m-30m) budget range.
  • Oz financing forum aims to usher in a new era


    An Australian Film Financing Forum is to be held in Sydney on November 27. The forum is designed to arm potential film financiers with the knowledge they need to make more informed decisions - and to hook them up with key film industry players.


    Three films that could not be more different from each other, Roadshow's star performer The Matrix Revolutions on 453 screens, Columbia TriStar's In The Cut on 56 screens, and Hopscotch's Spellbound on just 13 screens, were the stand-outs in terms of their screen average on the weekend. Each notched up more than A$6,000 per screen.


    It is unusual to see as many as three openers among the top five films but that was the case on the weekend. The Matrix Revolutions was convincingly ahead of everything, grossing NZ$553,478 despite the 56% drop on the previous week.
  • Oz production levels fall dramatically


    Kim Dalton, chief executive of the Australian Film Commission (AFC), has expressed 'great concern' at new figures released today that indicate a dramatic fall in Australian production levels.
  • Hating Alison Ashley rises again


    Scriptwriter Christine Madafferi's adaptation of Robin Klein's coming-of-age book Hating Alison Ashley is back on track, albeit with a new director, following yesterday's decision by Film Finance Corporation Australia to again back the project.
  • Japanese Story sweeps Australia's IF Awards


    Australia's key IF Awards announced last night (November 12) were like a re-run of the Film Critics Circle Awards of two weeks earlier with Gettin' Square earning David Wenham best actor and Japanese Story winning best film for Sue Maslin, best director for Sue Brooks, best actress for Toni Collette and best cinematography for Ian Baker.
  • Whale Rider dominates NZ nominations


    There are no prizes for guessing which film has dominated the nominations in this year's New Zealand Film Awards. Whale Rider, which has grossed NZ$6.4m in New Zealand and NZ$60m around the world, is a finalist in 14 of the 15 categories.
  • Osborne prepares Magic Fingers in NZ


    Producer Barrie M Osborne, who relocated from the US to New Zealand to work with director Peter Jackson on The Lord Of The Rings, is set to continue his relationship with the country - and to keep putting myth and fantasy up on the big screen.


  • Good Woman starts shooting


    Mike Barker's A Good Woman, billed as a scandalous but comic tale set in New York and Italy's Amalfi Coast during the 1930s, has begun principal photography on location in Sorrento.
  • Major boost for NZ film industry


    An additional $6.2m (NZ$10m) is going to the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) for 2004, all government agencies are to be reviewed, and NZ$900,000 over two years has been provided for the establishment of an independent Screen Council and NZ$960,000 over two years for marketing body Film NZ.


  • Bradley is appointed FFC chair


    The Australian Government has named Graham Bradley as the new chair of the Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) board, effective from January 1 next year.


    UIP's Intolerable Cruelty held on to the top spot in its second weekend and BVI's Kill Bill Volume 1, which has been on screens for three weekends, clawed its way back up to second position. That meant displacing Roadshow's Freddy vs Jason, which actually dropped two places to fourth position after failing to also stand up to 20th Century Fox's opener Runaway Jury. Rounding out the weekend's leading five films was BVI's feel-good Calendar Girls.
  • Australia's Ocean splits in two


    After three and a half years together as partners, Jonathan Shteinman and Emile Sherman are dissolving their Sydney-based sales agency and distribution/production outfit Ocean Pictures.


  • Oz cinemagoing habits revealed by new research


    New research indicates that 70% of all Australians aged 18 years and over, or about 12.8m people, go to the cinema at least once a year.
  • Australia singles out Japanese Story, Gettin' Square


    Un Certain Regard film Japanese Story dominated the prizes at the 2003 Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards, held in Sydney on Friday night (Oct 31).
  • Australia's Animal Logic gears up for CGI Feet


    Visual effects veteran Hael Kobayashi has relocated from LA to Sydney in the new role of digital artists manager at Australian effects house Animal Logic.


    New openers had a boost in New Zealand last weekend as Monday (Oct 27) was a public holiday providing an extra day for films to tally figures (the chart covers the normal four-day Thurs-Sun period).
  • Working Title readies New Zealand Number


    Writer/director Toa Fraser's Number 2 looks like being the first New Zealand film to secure the involvement of Working Title Australia (WTA) - and the third feature since Tim White opened the company's Sydney office in November 2000.


  • New Zealand to host Women In Film International summit


    About 350 delegates will converge on Auckland from April 21-24 next year for the biennial conference of Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI), immediately following a two-day board meeting that will set the agenda for the next 12 months.




  • Australia seeks support in free trade negotiations


    With support from international writers' guilds, the Australian industry is now hoping to get actors to back their quest to get a cultural exemption in the free trade agreement currently being negotiated between Australia and the US.
  • Japanese Story, Gettin' Square lead Australian awards race


    The stand-out films from yesterday's announcement of the nominations for the annual IF Awards are Japanese Story and Gettin' Square, each of which have eight chances to take home an award from the November 12 presentation. Both have been nominated for best feature and direction.
  • SpaaMART names its hottest scripts


    Nadia Tass, director of the popular comedies Malcolm and The Big Steal, John Curran of cult hit Praise fame, and Tony Ayres, whose recent debut feature Walking On Water drew wide critical acclaim, are at the helm of three of the 23 films to be presented at this year's inaugural SpaaMART, the film financing market to be held in Melbourne next month.
  • Becker looks to profit from Three Dollars


    Reiko Bradley has signed on for all sales rights outside of Italy and Australasia to director Robert Connolly's Three Dollars - her first wholly Australian film since relocating there to head the joint venture company Becker Films International.


    The slick local gangster pic Gettin' Square has not lived up to the high hopes some had for it in its first weekend. It opened in eleventh position, taking A$359,197 from 132 screens for Hoyts. But it is still early days.


    Older women definitely got their own back against the starlets in New Zealand when Calendar Girls opened in top position in its first official weekend in the charts. The film took NZ$332,452 from 38 screens for BVI, which was double the gross of the other major opener, 20th Century Fox's 28 Days Later, which was on nearly as many screens.
  • Australian critics single out four films


    The same four films - Alexandra's Project, Gettin' Square, Japanese Story and Swimming Upstream - have been nominated in the best film, best director and best editing categories of the annual awards of the Film Critics Circle of Australia.
  • Feature producers to benefit from Enterprise Australia


    Several feature film producers are among the 16 selected to participate in the inaugural Enterprise Australia, the Australian version of the workshop which UK management consultants Olsberg SPI have already conducted in Europe.


    Australia's weekend chart was based on five days instead of the usual four because half of the country was treated to a holiday Monday. Cinema attendance was also high because of welcome wet weather and continuing school holidays.


    Local film The Locals grossed NZ$62,060 from 22 screens, giving it a screen average of NZ$2,821, in its opening four days in its home market of New Zealand.




    The very strong screen average of A$11,206 for the opening weekend of Columbia TriStar's Bad Boys II wasn't quite enough to push BVI's Pirates Of The Caribbean off the top of the mast. The Boys grossed A$3,059,117 and the Pirates grossed A$3,476,680, but it was only Pirates' second weekend and it is on 100 more screens


    Sequels rule OK. Or maybe not. Someone must have decided to nominate the weekend as a haven for sequels because UIP's Lara Croft Tomb Raider - The Cradle Of Life, Fox's Legally Blonde 2 and UIP's Rugrats Go Wild all opened.
  • Spooked draws Murphy back to New Zealand


    Geoff Murphy is back on home soil to direct the thriller Spooked, his first New Zealand film since leaving for LA 15 years ago. Don Reynolds and Merata Mita, both of whom he worked with on Kiwi films during the 1980s, are two of the film's producers.




  • UK Film Council boards New Zealand's Father's Den


    Writer/director Brad McGann's debut film In My Father's Den has become the first New Zealand film to receive funding from the UK Film Council, which is financing the mystery alongside the New Zealand Film Commission and the UK's Visionview.
  • Swimfan director's next gets Australian FCC approval


    Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) has approved investment in four new features. They are Mozart Maulers, the third film by director John Polson (Swimfan), Three Dollars, Robert Connolly's second film as a director after The Bank, debut writer/director Anna Reeves' The Oyster Farmer, and You And Your Stupid Mate, which is principally financed through the Macquarie Nine Film & Television Fund.
  • New Zealand set for arthouse exhibition boost


    US exhibitor Reading Cinemas is to open a local version of its Angelica Film Center in New Zealand's capital Wellington.
  • Arclight to sell Fat Pizza worldwide


    Arclight has picked up all international sales rights except Australia, New Zealand, Greece and Singapore on Fat Pizza, the highest grossing local comedy in Australia this year.
  • Perfect Creature takes shape for Arclight


    Arclight Films has picked up international rights on a vampire horror film being produced by Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring and Whale Rider producer Tim Sanders and directed by Glenn Standring (The Irrefutable Truth About Demons).
  • Placid Lake makes ripples in Oz


    Tony McNamara's The Rage In Placid Lake is gathering critical plaudits in Australia.
  • Oz exhibitors rally round Gibson's Passion


    Australian exhibitors appear to be rallying behind Mel Gibson's controversial film The Passion.
  • Another Oz studio planned


    A major new studio facility is set to be built in Australia - the fourth in the country.
  • Zombie debut earns Melbourne festival praise


    A self-financed debut film about zombies has been awarded the 2003 FIPRESCI Award for Emerging Filmmakers at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
  • Oz cheaper than Canada for runaway shoots says report


    A Hollywood producer would save significant amounts of money shooting a big budget film in Australia compared to Canada, according to a report published this week.
  • Oz producers bemoan lack of homegrown hits


    An air of despondency is beginning to settle over Australian producers as, one by one, 2003's crop of local films fail to take off at the box office.
  • Arclight, Spice Factory launch Oz film fund


    Sydney-based sales agent Arclight Films International and prolific UK production company Spice Factory are to launch an Australian film fund.
  • Zipser takes investment role at Australia's FFC


    Deborah Zipser is returning to Australia from LA to become an investment manager in the Sydney headquarters of the Film Finance Corporation (FFC).
  • Arkles buys Nemesis Game for NZ


    New Zealand distributor Arkles Entertainment has acquired local rights to the UK/NZ/Canadian co-production Nemesis Game and plans to release it in October.
  • Dimsey steps down from Film Victoria after seven weeks


    Ross Dimsey, the general manager of industry development and investment at State Government agency Film Victoria, has stepped down after a mere seven weeks in the job.
  • Ghost House scares up New Zealand business


    Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi, producers of the New Zealand shot Xena: Warrior Princess, have returned to the country to shoot the horror pic Boogeyman.
  • Dendy adds two titles to Australian release slate


    Dendy Films has acquired Australian and New Zealand rights to writer/director Tod Williams' Door In The Floor and to Capturing The Friedmans, the Grand Jury Prize winner in documentary at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
  • Hard Word director commits to Quiet Man


    Writer/director Scott Roberts has joined the team behind The Quiet Man, a vehicle for Australian comedian Alexander Gutman, better known under his stage name Austen Tayshus.
  • Paul Oneile joins Australia's Film Finance Corporation


    Paul Oneile, former chair and chief executive of UIP, has been appointed to the board of Australia's principal feature film investment company, the Film Finance Corporation (FFC), and Geoff Levy been re-appointed chair for a further six months.
  • Australian strike action threatens film production


    A breakdown in negotiations between Australian performers and producers over the new film and television agreements could lead to strike action - but only a long-running dispute is likely to affect Australian films because of how few are heading into production.
  • Asia Pacific Film Festival postponed until 2004


    The 4th Sydney Asia Pacific Film Festival, scheduled for August, has been postponed until next year because SARS and other international uncertainties prevented organisers from travelling widely and accessing films.
  • New Zealand producers seek new chief executive


    Jane Wrightson has resigned from her post as chief executive of New Zealand's Screen Production and Development Association to take up the role of chief executive of the Broadcasting Standards Authority from mid-August.
  • Sydney screening of Ken Park raided by police


    Australian police stepped in to prevent a much-publicised Sydney screening of the banned US film Ken Park. The film hardly got past the opening credits before the it was confiscated in front of the capacity crowd gathered at an inner city town hall.
  • Enterprise Australia promotes sustainable film business


    A number of Australian government agencies have joined forces and recruited media management consultant Jonathan Olsberg from the UK-based Olsberg SPI to help Australian producers stop living a hand-to-mouth existence between productions and start developing sustainable businesses.
  • Macquarie, Nine raise $13.6m for second production fund


    Australians had reached into their pockets for $13.6m (A$20m) by the time the clock struck midnight on June 30, the deadline for investment in Macquarie Bank and the Nine Network's second film and television production fund.
  • New Zealand introduces incentive for big budget films


    The New Zealand Government has announced that producers who choose New Zealand as a location for their big budget projects will be handed back 12.5% of their production expenditure.
  • Melbourne Film Office appoints Pitcher


    Caroline Pitcher has been appointed general manager of the Melbourne Film Office, a role that gives her responsibility for enticing local and overseas producers to base their productions in the state of Victoria and for keeping them happy while they are there.
  • Melbourne film festival flies patriotic colours


    The opening night of the 52nd Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) will feature the work of two hometown talents, Sue Brooks' Cannes competition feature Japanese Story and Adam Elliot's 22-minute claymation Harvie Krumpet.
  • The Spanish Apartment is the toast of Sydney


    The French/Spanish film The Spanish Apartment, (aka L'auberge Espagnole/ Europudding) directed by Cedric Klapisch and produced by Bruno Levy for Ce Qui Me Meut, won both the PRIX UIP award for Best European Film and the audience award for best feature at the 50th Sydney Film Festival, which closed on Friday.
  • Australian film-makers fight for 'culture'


    High-profile filmmaking couple Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward, and Australian Film Commission (AFC) chief executive Kim Dalton, met with 45 government backbenchers to argue that 'culture' should be excluded from a free trade agreement with the US.
  • Australian producers body to launch script market


    The Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) is to launch SPAAMart, an initiative aimed at presenting Australia's best scripts to potential production partners.
  • New Zealand still examining tax incentives


    Despite New Zealand's Economic Development Minister, Jim Anderton, stating that tax incentives are being seriously considered for the film industry, mixed messages are coming from the Government.
  • Nine films compete for Melbourne's FIPRESCI award


    Three films from South Korea, three from Australia, two from Japan and one from China, all by debut directors, are competing for the 52nd Melbourne International Film Festival's FIPRESCI Award, director James Hewison announced today.
  • Hopscotch jumps on Fahrenheit 911


    Hopscotch has acquired all Australian and New Zealand rights for Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911, making it one of the first English language distributors to officially board the new documentary.
  • Sydney fights to screen banned Ken Park


    The Sydney Film Festival has approached both the State and Federal Government in the hope that Ken Park can be shown twice next week as scheduled, despite the Classification Review Board upholding the Office of Film and Literature Classification's refusal to classify the film.
  • Dendy, Rialto empty their wallets at Cannes


    Australia's Dendy Films picked up six titles while at Cannes including two from Renaissance, director John Curran's We Don't Live Here Anymore, starring the homegrown Naomi Watts alongside Laura Dern, and The Mother, another collaboration between Notting Hill director Roger Michell and controversial writer Hanif Kureshi. Curran's first film, Praise, was made in Australia.
  • Veteran producer appointed to stimulate Oz industry


    Producer Ross Dimsey has been appointed general manager of industry development and investment at Film Victoria, one of Australia's biggest State Government film assistance agencies.
  • Trish Lake getting busy in Australia


    With buzz building back home on her first credit, the unfinished Gettin' Square, Queensland-based producer Trish Lake is at Cannes with three projects.
  • Australia's development agency and archives to merge


    The film industry is generally perplexed by last night's surprise news that the Australian Government has decided to merge the Australian FilmCommission (AFC), which has the principal role of developing Australian films and film-makers, and Screensound, the organisation which collects and preserves the country's audiovisual heritage.
  • Australia's Rialto swoops on Broken Wings


    On the eve of the Cannes Film Festival, Rialto Entertainment has bought Australian and New Zealand rights for Broken Wings from Pathe. The film was Israel's best foreign film contender at this year's Academy Awards.
  • Australia's FFC chief outlines new funding model


    Six weeks into his new role as chief executive of Australia's Film Finance Corporation (FFC), Brian Rosen has called on local producers to make better use of his organisation's funds and to vary the ways they finance films.
  • Australia's Imagine to release Undead


    Australia's distribution newcomer Imagine Entertainment has picked up local rights to Undead, the horror film produced, directed and written by Queensland-based brothers Peter and Michael Spierig.
  • Dark Lady Of DNA could be follow-up film to Whale Rider


    New Zealand's South Pacific Pictures (SPP) is developing a feature based on the book by Brenda Maddox about the life of Rosalind Franklin, whose work was essential to the discovery of DNA.
  • Palace backs next film by Japanese Story trio


    Palace Films has committed to the Australian release of comedy/drama Driving Back To Dubbo from the Melbourne-based team behind this year's Un Certain Regard entrant Japanese Story.
  • Hating Alison Ashley gets greenlight


    Australia's Film Finance Corporation board yesterday agreed to finance the feature Hating Alison Ashley to be directed by Rod Hardy from a script by Christine Madafferi.
  • Local comedy to open 50th Sydney Film Festival


  • Icon grabs worldwide rights to Jindabyne


    Icon Entertainment International has jumped aboard Jindabyne, the next film by director Ray Lawrence, who gave Australia its biggest commercial and critical hit of 2001 with Lantana.
  • Mushroom options NZ gang tale Stonedogs


    Sydney-based Mushroom Pictures has announced that it has optioned Craig Marriner's debut novel Stonedogs, which deals with gang and drug culture in a city resembling the author's home town of Rotorua in New Zealand.
  • Underwater facility set to launch in Sydney


    A major underwater filming facility is to be built in Sydney, which is being billed as one of the biggest and best in the world by the company behind the project.
  • Impressive opening for gross-out Australian comedy


    The politically incorrect Australian comedy Fat Pizza grossed $702,000 from 101 screens over its opening weekend, putting it in second place in the national chart and giving it the best screen average of the top 20.
  • Maynard, Kelly team for Australian/UK co-production


    Film producer John Maynard, who has just been presented with an honorary degree from the Australian Film, Television & Radio School, is working with UK producer David Kelly on the financing of an adaptation of Randolph Stow's novel The Merry-Go-Round In The Sea.
  • Schepisi lined up for Australian project after 15-year absence


    Two expatriate Australian directors, Fred Schepisi (Last Orders) and John Polson (Swimfan), may be among those to benefit from the second fundraising by Australian partners the Nine Network and Macquarie bank, it was revealed last night.
  • Australia's Film Finance Corp backs Deck Dogz, Scarlett


    Writer/director Steve Pasvolsky's short film Inja failed to win an Oscar in the live action category for which it was nominated, but yesterday he got a very significant consolation prize: the Film Finance Corporation (FFC) agreed to invest in his debut feature Deck Dogz. Pay-TV outfit The Movie Network is the other equity investor.
  • Forsyth, Beaufoy to help finesse four Aurora projects


    A second film from Soft Fruit creative team Christina Andreef and Helen Bowden, and yet another from one of the country's most experienced producers, Matt Carroll, are two of the four projects chosen for the second intensive Aurora script development workshop.
  • Ned Kelly has third best local opening in Australia


  • Silverscreen Films launches in New Zealand


    Sydney-based producer Don Reynolds, who made a raft of New Zealand films in the 1980s, has created Silverscreen Films, a feature film and television production company with Geoff Dixon, a giant of the New Zealand commercials production scene.
  • Two novel adaptations to launch Arclight's Australian production slate


    A literary adaptation looks certain to kick off Sydney-based sales agent Arclight Films' career as a producer of Australian films but which one is the question.
  • UIP wins Australian Ned Kelly appeal


    Those under 15 years of age will now be able to see Ned Kelly without being accompanied by an adult following a decision by Australia's five-member Classification Review Board to classify the film M15+ rather than the tougher MA15+ originally imposed after a split vote.
  • UIP appeals against Ned Kelly classification


    UIP has lodged an appeal against the MA 15+ rating given to Ned Kelly by Australia's Office of Film and Literature Classification.
  • Entertainers launch Oz film outfit


  • New Zealand film industry calls for tax breaks


    Key members of the New Zealand film industry have called on the country's government to introduce tax incentives to encourage private investment in the local industry.
  • Arclight commits to two new thrillers


    Arclight Films has committed to handling international sales on writer/director Glenn Standring's second film, the vampire thriller Perfect Creature, and director Anne Turner's Australian/UK co-production Irresistible.
  • Myriad attracted by Murders


    Myriad has picked up all worldwide sales rights to the low-budget film You Can't Stop The Murders, which is being released in Australia on March 13 by BVI and Miramax.
  • Macquarie and Nine launch second production fund


    Australia's Nine Network and Macquarie Bank have launched a new production investment fund with the aim of raising at least $12.3m - after the partnership's inaugural fund last year raised $13.3m out of a hoped-for $35m.
  • Brian Rosen to head Australia's Film Finance Corp.


    It is believed that the Federal Cabinet today approved the appointment of producer Brian Rosen as chief executive of Australia's biggest film investor, the Film Finance Corporation (FFC). He will return to Australia from Los Angeles to take up the highly influential job.
  • Australia's Film Finance Corp greenlights two new films


    Writer/director Chris Kennedy and his co-producer John Winter, the Sydney-based duo behind Doing Time For Patsy Cline, are to get a second outing together on A Man's Gotta Do.
  • Aurora provides a ray of hope in Australia


    Every cinema-producing country is always abuzz about which up-and-coming writers and filmmakers are worth watching. Cate Shortland is one of Australia's. Her script, More Than Scarlet, was one of four chosen from a field of 40 for last year's inaugural Aurora intensive scriptwriting workshop.
  • New box office high for New Zealand


    New Zealand exhibitors had their best ever year at the box office in 2002 with 17.8 million ticket sales generating $142.7m
  • Exception takes on Alexandra's Project


    Exception, formerly Wild Bunch, has been appointed the international sales agent for Berlin Competition entry Alexandra's Project, written and directed by Rolf de Heer.
  • Pathe plays Hopscotch with the Australians


    Australian distributor Hopscotch has teamed up with London-based production, distribution and sales outfit Pathe to co-develop Australian films.
  • Local market share slips (again) for Australian films


    Australian films took only 4.9% or $24.7m (A$41.8m) of the total $498.9m (A$844.8) gross box office for 2002, compared to 7.8% in 2001 and 8% in 2000.
  • Brown extends tenure at SPAA


    Geoff Brown has been signed to a long-term contact as executive director of the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA).
  • Australia's Palace lines up bumper year of releases


    Australian distributor Palace Films has acquired three new foreign titles to add to its 2003 schedule and says the year is shaping up to be its biggest yet with as many as 16 theatrical releases planned, including a raft of local films.
  • Records fall as Australia celebrates bumper box office


    Box office revenues in Australia rose 4% in 2002 to hit US$495.4m (A$844.8 million) and achieve another record-breaking year. Given that annual falls have only been registered once in the past 15 years, the positive result was not a surprise.While the country's nearly 19m people are visiting cinemas more than ever, there is nothing particularly Australian about what films they most want to see. In fact, it was a poor year for Australian films with not one exceeding US$5.9m.High ...
  • Soft Money - Australia


  • Three films break box office records in Australia


    Several box office records have been broken over the Christmas/New Year holiday period in Australia. The Two Towers notched up the biggest ever opening week and Bowling For Columbine the biggest opening week for a documentary. And, as the year closed, Crackerjack became the highest grossing Australian film for 2002.
  • ContentFilm takes world rights on low budget Oz pair


    Ed Pressman and John Schmidt's ContentFilm has put up a substantial advance against world rights for the first two low-budget digifeatures being developed by new filmmakers under producers Andrew Mason and Lizzie Bryant of Sydney-based City Productions.Local support has come from the Ten Network via a television presale and, in what is a major break from tradition given that the projects will be shot on DVCpro and have no local theatrical distributor attached, the Film Finance ...
  • Andrew Mason appointed to FTO board


    Producer Andrew Mason has been appointed to the board of the New South Wales Film and Television Office (FTO) for three years.
  • Australian Competition Commission protects indie exhibitors


    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has stepped in to protect cinema owners not part of the country's exhibition troika,
  • Hughes departure from Australia's FFC confirmed as Dec 31


    Two senior investment managers at the Film Finance Corporation (FFC), Terry Jennings and Chris Oliver, will be the "caretaker" chief executives once Catriona Hughes departs on December 31 as planned.
  • Australia set to attract more international productions


    Sydney is set to get another major film and TV studio, including the country's biggest single soundstage.
  • Spice Factory buys into Arclight


    Sydney-based sales agent Arclight Films has confirmed that the UK-based production company Spice Factory has taken an equity stake in the six-month-old company which, until now, has been owned by Gary Hamilton and Victor Syrmis. This expands on the first-look deal Arclight already had for all Spice Factory's output.
  • Rabbit-Proof Fence triumphs at last Down Under


  • New Zealand promotes itself as giant film studio


    The Studio New Zealand brand partnership, which promotes the notion that the whole country can be a film studio, was launched today in Wellington.
  • Phillip Noyce returns to Australia for Dirt Music


    Expatriate Australian Phillip Noyce is planning to do more filmmaking in his home country.
  • New Zealand film commission eager to promote co-productions


    The New Zealand Film Commission is trying to capitalise on the country's high profile due to Lord Of The Rings, by helping to develop international co-productions.
  • Fremaux makes fact-finding trip to Australia


    Thierry Fremaux is currently on his first ever visit to Australia - and the first by a Cannes Film Festival artistic director - but instead of selecting films, he is spending his time learning about Australian cinema.
  • Roadshow snaps up Oz rights to Perfect film


    Roadshow Films has acquired all Australian and New Zealand rights to the unfinished homegrown drama One Perfect Day, about a young musical prodigy torn from the pursuit of his classical music career after his sister dies from a drug overdose at a dance party.
  • Australia's Hopscotch signs for first local film


    Fledgling Australian distributor Hopscotch has picked up Australian and New Zealand rights for its first local film.
  • Australia's indie producer incentive looks like getting through


    Despite strong opposition from the commercial free-to-air television networks, it looks like programs produced by the independent sector will earn extra points towards the local content quota for the first time in Australian television history.
  • Australian production numbers move Upstream


    Some US$74m (A$131m) was spent on Australian feature film production in the 12 months up to June 30 - a sixty percent year on year increase. 30 films were produced in the same period - four more than in the previous year.
  • Tracker adds to Aussie awards haul


  • Euro delegation heads for New Zealand


    A nine-person delegation of European producers is heading for New Zealand this month with the aim of developing co-productions. More may join them.
  • Hard Word finds its new Alibi in Beyond


    Sydney-based Beyond Films will begin selling the Australian crime thriller
  • The Tracker wins Australian critics prize


  • A major setback for Australia's Film Finance Corp.


    Film Finance Corporation (FFC) chair Geoff Levy today released a three-paragraph media statement that must be one of the most ill-considered and misleading the organisation has ever issued. It announced that the search had resumed for a new chief executive, arguably, the most important job in Australia's film industry. But instead of making that fact the focus, he lead by saying the preferred candidate, Linda Tizard, had withdrawn her application.
  • Fox takes Australian rights on Perfect Strangers


    Twentieth Century Fox Distributors Australia has acquired Australian theatrical rights to Perfect Strangers, its first New Zealand film, with a sale price believed to be the biggest ever paid to sales agent the New Zealand Film Commission for that territory.
  • Rabbit-Proof Fence scoops 10 AFI nominations


    Period drama Rabbit-Proof Fence, directed by Phillip Noyce (pictured), has dominated the AFI (Australian Film Institute) Award nominations with ten nods,.
  • Heather Rose dies, aged 36


    Heather Rose, who got a standing ovation at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival for her performance as Julia in director Rolf de Heer's competition title Dance Me To My Song, died suddenly last week in South Australia a day after her 36th birthday.
  • Hoyts has a go at Swimming Upstream


    Hoyts Distribution has acquired Australian rights to Swimming Upstream from Summit Entertainment. Although principally produced out of the US, the film was shot in Queensland last year and directed by expatriate Russell Mulcahy, and stars two of the country's most internationally acclaimed actors, Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis.
  • Australian critics applaud films with strong indigenous themes


    The Australian Film Critics Circle has nominated Australian Rules, produced by Mark Lazarus, Rabbit-Proof Fence (Phillip Noyce, Christine Olsen), The Tracker (Rolf de Heer, Julie Ryan), and Walking On Water (Liz Watts) for best film in this year's awards.
  • Norwegian sales agent backs two southern hemisphere projects


    Norwegian sales agent BV International Pictures has penetrated yet another corner of the globe by signing for a film in Australia and another in New Zealand.
  • Rialto and Arclight team for Roger Dodger


    Rialto Entertainment, the only New Zealand company that distributes films in Australia, and Australia's newest sales agent, Arclight Films, have co-acquired what they describe as one of the few buzz films from the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals, namely the New York comedy Roger Dodger.
  • Beyond, MBP relationship sours


    The partnership between German investor MBP (Medienbeteiligungs-und-Produktions Gesellschaft MBH & Co KG of Munich) and Australia's Beyond International, parent company of sales agent Beyond Films, seems to have soured.
  • Hopper, Griffith will do it their way in Sinatra Down Under tale


    Screen legend Dennis Hopper will play Frank Sinatra, Melanie Griffith his girlfriend and David Hemmings his lawyer in new film The Night We Called It A Day, which goes into production in Sydney on Oct 21 directed by Paul Goldman.
  • Melbourne film studio gets government go-ahead


    A major new film studio complex in the Australian state of Victoria got the greenlight this week, after the state's government agreed to commit US$22m (A$40m) of public funding to the US$60m ($A110m) project.To be built in the state capital of Melbourne, Central City Studios (CCS) will have five new production studios totalling nearly 7,000 square metres by early 2004. A sixth studio and a cluster development of related businesses will follow on the six hectare site.The ...
  • Australia's Beyond blames losses on revaluation of film catalogue


    Beyond International managing director Mikael Borglund has played down the company's US$12m (A$22m) loss for the year ending June 30, saying it was principally due to a $10.7m revaluation of non-performing films and television programs from the catalogue. Total writedowns were actually $12.6m with the addition of online investments and foreign exchange losses.The board agreed on this "conservative approach" because of continuing poor worldwide sales, uncertain world economic ...
  • Northbeach launches into Australian distribution market


    Yet another player has joined the growing band of small Australian distributors specialising in independent and foreign films. Northbeach Film Distributors, owned by journalist and publisher David Pearce, is planning a limited release of Spanish director Ventura Pons' first English language film Food Of Love, a comedy drama starring five British actors including Juliet Stevenson and Paul Rhys."I had always thought about starting a distribution company because of going ...
  • Michael Thornhill wins Australia's Cecil Homes Award


    Filmmaker Michael Thornhill has won this year's Cecil Homes Award in a unanimous vote by the board of the Australian Screen Directors Association.
  • Global Rule One relaxed in Australia for the first time


    After months of negotiation, an agreement has been reached that relaxes the effect of Global Rule One on Australian productions, particularly where budgets are low, and where the cast on these productions are Australian, New Zealand or other non-US members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).
  • Village Roadshow buoyed by exhibition turnaround


    Village Roadshow has achieved a remarkable turnaround in its exhibition division, with the ongoing policy of selling off certain territories clearly paying off and a string of popular films and new screens adding to the bottom line. Village Roadshow's exhibition arm posted a profit of A$28.6m for the 12 months to June 30, before tax and significant items. It follows last year's A$15.3m loss."As predicted, exhibition has rebounded strongly and has returned to its position ...
  • Linda Tizard tipped to become FFC boss


    The close-knit Australian film industry is awash with talk that Linda Tizard is to become the new chief executive of the Film Finance Corporation (FFC), arguably the most influential film job in the land. But the FFC says that no selection has yet been made and no ministerial stamp given, necessary for such a senior government post.
  • The Illustrated Family Doctor gets the greenlight


    Acclaimed commercials, short film and documentary director Kriv Stenders has finally got his dark and irreverent debut feature The Illustrated Family Doctor over the financing line. He wrote the script in conjunction with David Snell, author of the novel on which it is based.
  • The Illustrated Family Doctor gets the greenlight


    Acclaimed commercials, short film and documentary director Kriv Stenders has finally got his dark and irreverent debut feature The Illustrated Family Doctor over the financing line. He wrote the script in conjunction with David Snell, author of the novel on which it is based.
  • Epic Matrix shoot wraps in Oz as runaway production levels rise


    The 12-month Sydney shoot of The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions has just wrapped, leaving the legacy of a $110.6m contribution to the state economy and a host of titles lining up to shoot in production-friendly Australia.
  • Sex and religion prove winning formula in Melbourne


    Writer/director Pan Malin's debut feature Samsara proved the most fashionable film of the 51st Melbourne International Film Festival when it won the Stella Artois Award for most popular feature. The India/Germany/Italy/France production is about the sexual awakening of a young Buddhist monk in the Himalayas.
  • Roadshow triumphs at annual Australian box office awards


    Australian distributor Roadshow trounced the opposition at the annual Australian box office awards taking the gold prize for Lord Of The Rings, which attracted A$47m in ticket sales, as well as the honours for the most number of films to gross over A$10m.
  • The Deserted Valley takes Melbourne first


    Vietnamese director Pham Nhue Giang's The Deserted Valley (Thung Lung Hoang Vang) from Vietnam has won the 51st Melbourne International Film Festival's first FIPRESCI (Federation Internationale de la Presse Cinematographique) and FCCA (Film Critics Circle of Australia) Prize.
  • Rosenthal joins Australia's Beyond Films


    Isabel Rosenthal has been appointed acquisitions and development manager for sales agent Beyond Films and will be based in the Sydney head office. She has previously worked in similar roles in the US for Visual Media, 20th Century Fox and New Line Cinemas.
  • Seven titles selected for this year's Australian Movie Convention


    Australian teen comedy Blurred, which is being released by Becker locally in October, and 8 Femmes, which Dendy is releasing during the peak December period, are among seven films to be screened to hundreds of exhibitors at the annual Australian International Movie Convention, to be held from August 13-17 on Queensland's Gold Coast.
  • Emmy winner from last year to direct first feature


    As bets start being placed on which of the finalists will win Emmy Awards this year, one of last year's winners, the acclaimed theatre director Gale Edwards, has signed up to direct her first feature, The Dressmaker.
  • Seijun Suzuki's comeback film is honoured in Brisbane


  • Macquarie Film Corp. - from Dirty Deeds to Wannabes


    At the same time as Australia's Macquarie Film Corp. was celebrating the successful weekend opening of its first backed film Dirty Deeds; it was also announcing the eighth and final film to be backed under its current scheme: The Wannabes.
  • Two Australian production companies established


    Two Australian companies, leading TV commercials producer Film Graphics and top visual effects outfit Animal Logic have simultaneously, but separately, launched into feature film and television programme production.
  • US productions running away to Australia, says new research


    Australia is the first choice when shooting abroad for 60% of Los Angeles-based film and television producers that have worked there, according to a new survey released this week.
  • Further claims emerge from collapse of Australia's HIH


    The extent of the damage caused by its involvement in the film financing business is emerging as further evidence is given to the on-going Royal Commission into the 2001 collapse of Australia's HIH Insurance Group.
  • Box-office still going up Down Under


    Australian cinemas have sold $240m (A$423m) worth of cinema tickets in the six months to June 30, a 6.7% rise on the same period last year and an indication that a growth pattern spanning more than a decade is not yet over.
  • The Next Big Thing to be April's first production


    A production deal signed this week signals that The Next Big Thing, a feature written by and to star Magda Szubanski, is likely to be Australia's April Films' first production.
  • Australian film investment fund falls short of target


    The ambitious joint bid by Australia's Macquarie Bank and the Nine Network to raise $35.1m (A$62.5m) from private investors has fallen considerably short of the target with the result that only two features will be produced rather than the hoped-for eight.
  • Cockram gets top job at Australian Film Institute


    Felicity Cockram is leaving her job as senior business manager with the Montecito Picture Company in Los Angeles and returning home to take up the role of general manager of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) from July 29.
  • Beckham scores in Sydney


  • Australia's Southern Star predicts debt eradication


    Australia's Southern Star Group this week announced that it will be debt free with $12.5m (A$22m) in cash when net proceeds of $35.9m (A$63m) from last year's sale of duplication subsidiary Duplitek to Technicolor are received next month.
  • Chapman honoured for contribution to OZ film


    Australian producer Jan Chapman will be awarded this year's prestigious Chauvel Award for her outstanding contribution to local filmmaking. The award will be presented as part of the Brisbane International Film Festival, which begins on July 9.
  • Three Oz talent management companies merge


    Three of Australia's talent management companies: Morrissey Management, WildCat Personal Management and the Artist & Entertainment Group, have merged to create new entity, Encompass Management..
  • Sam Neill's next role is acting as investor


    Actor Sam Neill will be putting more effort than usual into his next film role - as well as starring in Gaylene Preston's romantic thriller Perfect Strangers, Neill is also an investor through his Huntaway Productions
  • Australia's film industry to overhaul trailer policy


    The Australian film industry is to get together to try and overhaul the rules that govern the screening of trailers in the territory. The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) gets more complaints about trailers than about any other subject, while the industry wants to be able to show trailers for more yet-to-be classified films than is currently allowed.
  • Beyond International adds second London executive


    Sydney-based Beyond International has named Liliana Lombardero as general manager of television arm Beyond Distribution. With the news leaking out at Cannes that Hilary Davis from Alibi Films International was replacing Gary Hamilton as head of sales at Beyond Films, this is the second London-based divisional head to be appointed by Beyond in the past three weeks.
  • New Zealand film awards cancelled due to lack of films


    While New Zealand's filmmaking profile is at an all-time high because of the worldwide success of The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring, The New Zealand Herald reports that the local film awards will not be going ahead this year because of a shortage of films.
  • Melbourne's St Kilda fest becomes premiere short film event


    Melbourne's St Kilda Film Festival will next year quadruple the cash prize for Best Australian Short Film to $5,650 (A$10,000), making it the most lucrative award for short films in the country. This is in addition to the $11,300 (A$20,000) already awarded at the festival.
  • Balding gets top spot at Australia's ABC


    Russell Balding has been appointed to the most important role in Australian public broadcasting: that of managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. An accountant by training, he joined the ABC in 1996 and is currently deputy managing director. The board's decision was unanimous.
  • Everard named chairman of New Zealand Film Commission


    Exhibitor Barrie Everard has been appointed chair of the New Zealand Film Commission, the government agency which plays a crucial role in the development and production of most NZ films.
  • Oz exhibitors and distributors forge amicable relationship


    Just four years ago it would have been absolutely unimaginable but the first day of the Cinema Owners Association of Australia's (COAA) annual conference closed in Sydney yesterday with something resembling a love-in between independent exhibitors and the major distributors.
  • Australia's Seven takes everything from Icon


    Australia's Seven Network has signed for television and pay television rights to all the films that are released theatrically by the Australian arm of Icon Film Distribution, which opened for business early this year.
  • Niche acquires Cannes titles over the phone


    Niche Pictures principal Lyn McCarthy has closed deals for Australian and New Zealand rights on two high-profile Cannes film - on the phone from the northern New South Wales coast resort Byron Bay, where she lives. They are director Ken Loach's Sweet Sixteen, which was in Competition at Cannes, and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's Intacto, the opening film in Critics Week,
  • Sedgwick named director of new Adelaide film festival


    Katrina Sedgwick has been appointed director of the inaugural 2003 and the 2005 Adelaide International Film Festival. The first edition will be held in late February or early March 2003 and will celebrate the 30th year of the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC).
  • Australia's Rialto acquires Mystic Masseur


    Rialto Entertainment has acquired rights for Australia and New Zealand to director Ishmail Merchant's The Mystic Masseur.
  • Cash crisis threatens Australian Film Awards


    The future of the high-profile Australian Film Institute Awards has come under serious threat as cuts in funding continue to undermine confidence.
  • Controversial French film is banned four weeks after release


    Four weeks after its theatrical release, Australia's Classification Review Board has withdrawn Baise-Moi's R18+ certificate, making it illegal to screen the film in the country.
  • First Australian pick-up for France's Flach Pyramide


    French sales house Flach Pyramide International has made its first major investment in Australian filmmaking, taking international rights to writer/ director Kathryn Millard's debut feature Travelling Light
  • Hamilton and Syrmis greenlight Arclight


    After spending weeks meeting with practically every producer in the country, Gary Hamilton and Victor Syrmis have at last announced what must be the worst kept secret in the Australian film industry: the pair are establishing a new Sydney-based sales agency and production company called Arclight Films.
  • NZ film body pulls plug on four films at Larry Parr's Kahukura Productions


    The New Zealand Film Commission's (NZFC) Alan Sorrell has confirmed that it was "reluctantly concluded" today that the government agency is unable to find a way to complete four films caught in a financial melt-down at producer Larry Parr's Kahukura Productions.
  • Asian films are focus of two out of three new Oz FIPRESCI awards


    Australia's three major east coast festivals - Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne - will each present a prize under the FIPRESCI banner from this year. The Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA) instigated the move and has begun recruiting the local component of the three three-person international juries.
  • Ian McShane joins in with Paper, Scissors, Stone


    Ian McShane, last seen in Sexy Beast, has taken a lead role in the psychological thriller Paper, Scissors, Stone, which went into production today (May 6) in Canada.
  • Jack Matthews named CEO at Premium Movie Partnership


    Jack Matthews has been named new chief executive at the Premium Movie Partnership (PMP), owner and operator of movie channel Showtime, Australia's most popular pay-TV channel and the biggest supporter of Australian features in the sector.
  • Lum, Cox team for Australian Hopscotch


    The reason behind Troy Lum's sudden departure from Dendy Films last week has become clear: he is starting his own Australian distribution and marketing company in partnership with veteran distributor Frank Cox. Cox will wind down his existing entity, NewVision, and transfer management of its library of 150 films to newly-formed Hopscotch.
  • SAG rule could 'devastate' Australian films & limit offshore opportunities


    Bob Carr, political leader of New South Wales, the Australian film industry's most significant state, today wrote to Screen Actors Guild (SAG) president Melissa Gilbert to urgently verify that Australian SAG members are able to work on Australian films without being paid SAG rates.
  • Controversy boosts results for Baise-Moi down under


    The controversy, and subsequent awareness, surrounding French film Baise-Moi has led to its limited release performing about three times the business expected by its Australian distributor, Potential.
  • Naomi Watts joins Ned Kelly's Australian cast


    Naomi Watts will be returning to Australia in June to star alongside Geoffrey Rush, Rachel Griffith and Heath Ledger in director Gregor Jordan's Ned Kelly, which went into production today (April 29).
  • Troy Lum resigns as head of Australia's Dendy Films


    Troy Lum has resigned as head of Australia's Dendy Films, a move that may give Richard Payten and Andrew Mackie ultimate responsibility for acquiring films for all three of the distribution entities within the Becker Group. A final decision, however, is unlikely until after Cannes.
  • Australia's Palace boards De Heer's Project


    Palace Films has picked up all Australasian rights to Rolf de Heer's tenth feature Alexandra's Project and, in what is the largest ever financial commitment to an Australian film by the long-standing distributor, has also signed on as a major investor. Palace founder and manager director Antonio Zeccola will get an executive producer credit as a result.
  • The Water Giant re-locates from Canada to New Zealand


    Eight weeks of principal photography has just begun at Lake Wakatipu near Queenstown in New Zealand on the $20m family adventure The Water Giant, formerly called Ogopogo. The original plan was to shoot on Canada's Lake Okanagan, but it was too developed to offer the wilderness backdrop required. A relocation to Winnipeg was then abandoned because of the threatened SAG strike.
  • Australia to re-asses Baise-Moi classification


    French film Baise-Moi, which is due to be released in Australia by distributor Potential this Thursday (April 25), is being re-examined by the Classification Review Board at the request of the Federal Attorney-General Daryl Williams. The original certification restricted the film to viewers over 18 years of age (R18).
  • Beyond, Chaos team for Australian home entertainment


    A range of Australian cinema classics will be among at least 30 titles released on DVD and video in the next 12 months under a new deal between Beyond International and information technology group and home entertainment distributor Chaos. Upcoming titles licensed by Beyond will also be manufactured, marketed and distributed by Chaos, which has its own specialist outlets.
  • Queensland launches Gold Coast film festival


    The Gold Coast City Council is one of the main drivers behind the launch this year of a film festival that it hopes will draw attention to the filmmaking capabilities of the region, and boost economic development. Over $54,000 (A$100,000) has already been raised from government sources.
  • Australia to get its first competitive film festival


    Sydney Film Festival director Gayle Lake has confirmed that the festival will become a competitive event from 2003, the year it celebrates its 50th birthday, with filmmakers' first or second feature films being eligible. Australia does not currently have a competitive festival.
  • Brown steps into vacated SPAA exec director job


    Geoff Brown has been appointed executive director of the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) following the sudden resignation of Joanne Yates who joined only six months ago.
  • Icon adds Bend It Like Beckham to Oz release line-up


    Icon Film Distribution Australia has acquired the rights to UK soccer hit Bend It Like Beckham, directed by Gurinder Chadha. The tentative release date is July in Australia and August in New Zealand.
  • Cinemas face cost of Disability Discrimination Act


    While the international exhibition industry has always aspired to keep ahead of government regulations, especially those regarding access and facilities for the disabled, the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 has given rise to a new and challenging set of issues that could prove costly to resolve.
  • Beautiful Mind puts Crowe at top of Oz actors' earnings list


    Actor Russell Crowe's estimated 2001 earnings of $15.4m (A$29m), including from A Beautiful Mind, were not enough to put him at the head of the annual top 50 entertainers list published in the current issue of Australia's Business Review Weekly. Coming third, Crowe, however, easily led the fifteen actors on the list, most of whose earnings came from working abroad.
  • Beautiful Mind puts Crowe at top of Oz actors' earnings list


    Actor Russell Crowe's estimated 2001 earnings of $15.4m (A$29m), including his take from A Beautiful Mind, were not enough to put him at the head of the annual top 50 entertainers list published in the current issue of Australia's Business Review Weekly. Coming third, Crowe, however, easily led the fifteen actors on the list, most of whose earnings came from working abroad.
  • Bad Eggs smell good to Village Roadshow


    While the comedy thriller Bad Eggs does not have a particularly large budget in terms of the norm in Australia, it has attracted the single biggest financial commitment to an independent feature in entertainment conglomerate Village Roadshow's long history.
  • Technicolor buys Southern Star's Duplitek


    The Southern Star Group is expected to net about $26.4m (A$50m) from US-based video, CD, DVD and film print manufacturer Technicolor's acquisition of its duplication subsidiary Duplitek.
  • Aurora beams for Australian script development


    Australia has created its own version of development "hothousing" on the back of four feature scripts and their creative teams. The New South Wales Film and Television Office (NSWFTO) examined overseas models including Sundance, Moondance and Equinoxe before putting together its own A$500,000 Aurora programme, which has filmmaker Jane Campion as its patron.
  • Macquarie, Nine Net launch major production fund


    Macquarie Bank and the Nine Network's production subsidiary today (March 21) formally announced a bold plan to entice investors to provide up to $33.2m (A$62.5m) for the production of eight feature films, two TV series and two telemovies. The third partner in the equation is Hoyts Distribution, which will distribute all the features in Australia.
  • Icon picks up first Oz film for distribution


    The Australian office of Icon Film Distribution has picked up local rights on its first Australian film. Paul Goldman is to direct the UK/Australian co-production The Night We Called It A Day which draws on singer Frank Sinatra's notorious 1974 tour of Australia, during which he became very unpopular with the unions.
  • Queensland funds Warner Roadshow Studio expansion


    Australia's appeal as a location for runaway productions is set to get another boost with Queensland Premier Peter Beattie's decision to grant a $4.3m (A$8m) loan to the Warner Roadshow MovieWorld Studios in order to increase its size by 50%. Once completed, the Gold Coast facility will be one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The Tracker


    Dir: Rolf de Heer. Australia. 2002. 98mins
  • Rings tops NZ box office, nears $500m int'l gross


  • Amalgamated confirms Oz exhibition revival


    Australia's Amalgamated Holdings was the latest company with exhibition interests to confirm that the cinema business has recovered from the doldrums of 18 months ago.
  • Gary Hamilton to leave Oz's Beyond Films


    Two names that have been synonymous for 12 years, Beyond Films and Gary Hamilton, are to separate. The founder and general manager of Australia's only consistently active film sales agent will step down from his post at the end of the month.
  • Village Roadshow's cinema sell-off boosts profit


    Village Roadshow's exhibition arm has been given substantial credit for VRL's net profit after tax of $23.5m (A$45.3m) for the half-year to December 31, up 100% on the previous corresponding period.
  • AusFILM boosts location marketing activity


    AusFILM is dramatically stepping up its marketing of Australia to the film world. The conglomerate of private companies and government agencies moves into Fox Studios Australia from March 11 and will triple staff thanks to a near fourfold increase in government funds.
  • Lantana, Moulin Rouge bag Oz critics awards


    Producer Jan Chapman won the best film award for Lantana at the Film Critics Circle Awards on Feb 22, while Baz Luhrmann took home the best director trophy for Moulin Rouge, making it less of a one-horse race than the Australian Film Institute Awards in November had been.
  • Oz pay-TV players call for Hollywood price sanity


    Kim Williams, the new chief executive of Australia's dominant pay-TV player Foxtel, has called on the Hollywood studios that supply his industry to stop "pricing us into oblivion."
  • NZ's Rialto to enter Australian distribution


    New Zealand distributor Rialto Entertainment is to directly distribute into Australia for the first time with the release of the Academy Award nominee for best foreign language film, Danis Tanovic's No Man's Land on April 25, followed mid-year by NZ director Christine Jeff's Rain.
  • Oz tax smallprint reveals gov't 'runaway' hopes


    With its recent introduction of a new scheme regulating the "refundable tax offset", the Australian government now anticipates that the level of runaway films shooting in Australia will increase to 10 per year within five years and have a total value of $440.3m (A$850m), with $253.8m (A$490m) of this spent in Australia.
  • New Zealand mourns actor Kevin Smith


    New Zealand is mourning the untimely death of local actor Kevin Smith, who died in a Beijing Hospital as the result of a fall. At the time of the accident he had been preparing to return home and begin preparation for Man Of War with Bruce Willis, a role many believed would be his entree into Hollywood.
  • Byrne and Colosimo go for Take Away


    In front of the cameras, when they start to roll this week on the new Australian comedy Take Away, will be a very strong cast including Rose Byrne, who won best actress at the Venice Film Festival in 2000 for her role in The Goddess Of '67.
  • Oz govt set to restore confidence in tax scheme


    Australia's competitive appeal as a location for offshore productions, threatened last year when tax breaks were denied to investors in Red Planet and Moulin Rouge, is set to be restored following the Government's establishment of a new scheme regulating the "refundable tax offset".
  • CCS wins Oz's Melbourne studio contract


    Central City Studios (CCS) have been declared "preferred tenderer" for the job of building and operating a studio and post-production complex in Melbourne. The move is a big step forward towards establishing Australia's third substantial studio complex in its second biggest city.
  • Film Critics of Australia announce nominations


  • China's Yon Fan honoured at Mardi Gras fest


    Chinese director Yon Fan will be the guest of the 2002 Australian Mardi Gras Film Festival, (Sydney, Feb 13-24) as part of a special focus on contemporary gay Asian cinema that will see the screening of features from South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong.
  • Alan Finney awarded Order of Australia medal


    Alan Finney, vice president and managing director of Buena Vista International (Australia and New Zealand), was among the Australians honoured as part of the weekend's Australia Day celebrations. His Order of Australia Medal (OAM) is a signal of his status as the most experienced distributor in the country and one of the most passionate supporters of Australian films.
  • Oz FFC denies outgoing CEO was 'pushed'


    The Australian Film Finance Corporation (FFC) has been forced into releasing a statement confirming that it is Catriona Hughes' own decision to leave her job when her second contract as chief executive expires this year. The move was prompted by the publication of several articles implying she is being forced out.
  • Becker snaps up Australia's Globe Group


    Australian film distributor Becker Entertainment has acquired Richard Payten and Andrew Mackie's highly regarded distribution, marketing and audience research entity, The Globe Group.
  • Top Oz TV executive in surprise departure


    David Leckie, widely considered to be the most powerful television executive in Australia, was replaced as chief executive of the Nine Network late yesterday (Jan 8).
  • New Zealand moves against parallel imports


    The New Zealand Government yesterday announced it will introduce legislation to ban parallel import of video.
  • Icon buys Australian rights for Swimfan


    Icon Film Distribution is believed to have bought Australian rights for the teen thriller Swimfan, from sales agent Cobalt. It is the second film and first offshore outing from local director John Polson, working under the umbrella of GreeneStreet Films and Michael Douglas's Furthur Films.
  • Ocean's Wally Norman gets FFC funding


    The Film Finance Corporation (FFC) is to invest in The Honourable Wally Norman, allowing Ocean Pictures to fulfil its sales agent ambitions. The comedy will be represented internationally by both Ocean and the UK's Alibi Film Sales, under an agreement struck when the Australian company launched nearly two years ago.
  • Oz producers lobby for film promotion funds


    Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) president Nick Murray has called for the introduction of a scheme to inject up to $260,000 (A$500,000) into the p&a budgets of local films.
  • Lantana makes history at AFI awards


    It was a one-horse race at the annual AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards on November 16. Lantana made history by being the only film to win the seven top awards: best film for Jan Chapman, best director for Ray Lawrence, best actor and actress for Anthony LaPaglia and Kerry Armstrong, best supports for Vince Colosimo and Rachael Blake, and best adapted screenplay for Andrew Bovell.
  • Oz features take a dive in number and value


    Government sources provided 53% of the $42.7m (A$82m) spent on the 26 Australian films that went into production in the 12 months to June 30, 2001, according to the Australian Film Commission's (AFC) production survey released Nov 13. This is the lowest number of local features, the lowest amount spent, and the highest contribution from Government for the past five years.
  • Oz election result assures film funding boost


    The re-election of a Coalition Government in Australia on Saturday, Nov 10 means that the $48m (A$92.7m) in new assistance for the film industry, promised in September and spread over four years starting from June 2002, is assured. The extra funding encompasses nearly all the federal government agencies and was partly prompted by controversy surrounding, and assistance to, offshore production.
  • New Zealand joint venture produces winners


  • New South Wales launches Aurora workshops


    The New South Wales Film and Television Office (FTO) is calling for "compelling and distinctive" feature film scripts to be the first beneficiaries of the inaugural Aurora feature film script development workshops. Applicants must intend making the film in the state of NSW and the scripts must have a writer, director and producer attached.
  • Rush & Davis team for Swimming Upstream


    Two of Australia's most internationally acclaimed actors, Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis, will be acting alongside each other as husband and wife when shooting starts next week in Queensland on the family drama Swimming Upstream.
  • Lantana scores big at Australian IF awards


  • New Zealand film sales increase


    The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) grossed more than $1.7m (NZ$4m) in sales in the 12 months to June 30, 2001, according to its annual report, which was tabled in Parliament today. Sales in the previous year were $465,000 (NZ$1.1m). The biggest contributor was director Glenn Standring's $887,000 (NZ$2.1m) horror flick The Irrefutable Truth About Demons. The first film produced under First Sun, the feature division of the television producers The Gibson Group, recorded ...
  • Spice Factory/Beyond to Cut Deeper


    The UK's Spice Factory and Australia's Beyond Films are co-developing writer/director Michael Hurst's science fiction horror film Cut Deeper, a sequel to the 1999 Australian film Cut (pictured). Shooting is scheduled to start early next year.
  • BVI's Man Who Sued God rides high


    Australia scored another local hit last weekend as boisterous comedy The Man Who Sued God chalked up one of the biggest openings of the year in the market.
  • Fox Studios Australia to close the Backlot


    Fox Studios Australia is to shut down its loss-making public entertainment site, the Backlot to expand the professional component of its otherwise hugely successful central Sydney site.
  • Lantana lights up Australian audiences


    The enthusiasm shown by local audiences for new Australian film Lantana has buoyed the already high expectations by Palace Films, which is distributing the psychological drama in association with Beyond Films. The film opened on October 4 and took $215,348 (A$430,696) in four days from 15 screens, giving it an extraordinary $14,357 (A$28,713) screen average. Not since the release of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon back in January has a film on limited release opened so ...
  • Shine pair re-teams for Oz-UK Love's Brother


    Jane Scott and Jan Sardi, the producer and writer of Australian hit film Shine, are teaming up again for the romantic comedy Love's Brother, except that this time it will also be Sardi's directorial debut. Great Scott Productions' producing partner in the official Australian/UK co-production is Sarah Radclyffe Productions.
  • Lantana opens Brooklyn's New Wave Down Under fest


    The film component of the Brooklyn Academy of Music's (BAM) New Wave Down Under Festival opens with new Australian film Lantana this Thursday (Oct 4). BAM decided that the month-long celebration of Australian arts and culture should go ahead despite the tragic events in New York and Washington of September 11, and it is now being pitched as Australia's contribution to the recovery.
  • Beyond Films improves but still suffers loss


    Australia's Beyond International made a profit of $1.1m (A$2.25m) for the 12 months to June 30, a reversal of fortunes given the $1.6m (A$3.2m) net loss recorded for the previous financial year. Total revenues grew by 10% to $48.5m (A$96.98m), about 85% of which came from television production and international television sales.
  • Ledger may be in Our Sunshine


    Heath Ledger is in negotiations to star in Our Sunshine, based on Robert Drew's 1991 book about the infamous Australian bush ranger Ned Kelly. Working Title is attached to the project, which is being produced by LA-based Australian Nelson Woss.
  • One Night The Moon tops Oz AWGIES


  • Oz AFI awards return to commercial TV


    The Seven Network will both produce and broadcast live the Emirates Australian Film & Television Awards at a date yet to be set but timed to take place alongside the annual conference of the Screen Producers Association of Australia, being held in Melbourne from November 14 to 17.
  • Political advocate to head Oz producers' body


    Joanne Yates' appointment as executive director of the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) suggests that the organisation wants to increase its political influence in Canberra, where many regulatory and funding decisions are made.
  • New Oz tax rebates and local funding announced


    The Australian government has revealed a new refundable tax incentive that gives certainty and flexibility to those wanting to shoot sizeable features, mini-series and tele-movies in the territory. It has also increased local funding to the tune of $48m for the next four years.
  • FCC greenlights three new Oz films


    The Australian Film Finance Corporation (FCC) has greenlighted the desert drama Japanese Story from the creative team that made local sleeper Road To Nhill, and starring Toni Collette. The other two projects getting FCC approval are Blurred, the first in a series of low-budget films supported by UK sales agent Portman Film, and Take Away a comedy about rival fish and chip shops that will see the producer of local hit The Craic turn his hand to directing.
  • Australia's April reveals strong slate


    Australia's April Films has announced a slate of seven films, two and a half years after it launched on the back of a first look deal with Universal Pictures. The most developed project is The Campaign, a contemporary screwball comedy written by Tony McNamara and with Praise director John Curran and Two Hands producer Marion Macgowan attached.
  • REP's Sheffield to join Hoyts' Oz distribution arm


    Richard Sheffield, of Australia's REP Film Distribution, is believed to be joining the newly-formed Hoyts Distribution, with responsibility for international acquisitions, although neither party would confirm the move.
  • Lantana lights up Melbourne Film Festival


    Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) audiences stuck by their homegrown talent and gave the crown of most popular film to Ray Lawrence's Lantana, which closes the Toronto International Film Festival in a couple of weeks.
  • Australia's Movieline to be online by December


    Movieline is to add Internet movie ticket sales to its existing telephone ticketing and information lines in December, just in time for the peak Christmas and school holiday period. Up to 250,000 tickets are expected to be sold in the first year of what will be Australia's first nation-wide online ticketing service.
  • Oz's PBL suffers from One.Tel collapse


    Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd (PBL), one of Australia's big three entertainment and media companies, has revealed its first annual loss in over 10 years for the year ending June 30.
  • New Zealand suffering from parallel imports


    The 1998 removal of parallel importation restrictions and the failure of the DVD zoning system are being substantially blamed for a box office battering in New Zealand. If the decline matches that experienced in Singapore, the only other OECD country where the theatrical window has effectively disappeared with the removal of the laws, provincial cinema closures are likely.
  • Oz exhibs and distribs improve communications


    Australia's major distributors have been warned that there is no justification for charging first week terms to regional cinemas that do not get films until several weeks after their national release, just because it is new to that district.
  • Jacqui Feeney promoted to CEO of World Movies


    Jacqui Feeney has been promoted to chief executive officer of Australian pay-TV channel World Movies and Irene Anast has left her role of research and planning manager at pay TV platform Austar to take Feeney's old position of channel manager. Feeney replaces Hugh Watt, who retired from the business some time ago.
  • Oz movie convention boasts stellar line-up


    Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush will accept the international star of the year award during Australia On Show, the first night of the 56th Australian International Movie Convention, being held at Queensland's Gold Coast from Aug 14 to 18.
  • Hoyts Cinemas returns to Oz distribution


    Major Australian exhibitor Hoyts has acknowledged that it will be re-entering the distribution business and announced that the head of the new division will be Robert Slaviero, who recently stepped down from his role of managing director at 20th Century Fox Film Distributors in Australia. It will acquire both international and local film product.
  • Scarfies producer Lisa Chatfield joins NZFC board


    Wellington-based producer Lisa Chatfield is one of three new members appointed to the board of the New Zealand Film Commission. Chatfield produced the 1997 film Scarfies, the fourth biggest local hit in the last decade.
  • Becker Entertainment tempted by Bennett's thriller


    Becker Entertainment has acquired Australasian rights to local writer/director Bill Bennett's US film Tempted from TF1 and will release it early next year.
  • Oz tax confusion hurts location shooting prospects


    Australia's Government has been publicly lambasted for prolonging confusion about whether tax laws actually allow Australian investors to get relief when they support offshore productions such as Moulin Rouge that shoot in the country.
  • Beyond adds Ron Saunders to production stable


    Beyond International has added Ron Saunders to its stable of joint venture production companies.
  • Australian exhibitors appoint industry negotiator


    The Cinema Owners Association of Australia (COAA) has appointed exhibitor Andrew Halkett as a negotiator, a role that positions him between members and film distributors when disagreements occur over film policy or terms.
  • Brisbane fest launches feature competition


    The Brisbane International Film Festival's tenth anniversay edition is mounting a retrospective on the work of Roman Polanski and a spotlight on the new UK directors such as Jonathan Glazer.
  • AFC increases producers' development fund


    The Australian Film Commission (AFC) has put aside $596,000 (A$1.16m) in public money for this financial year for producers -- and writer/directors in exceptional circumstances - to develop a slate of projects. This is nearly double last year's allocation although the cap on individual awards remains $35,975 (A$70,000).
  • Four films break Australian drought


    Australian government agency: the Film Finance Corporation (FFC) has approved investment in features for the first time since March, when funds for the 2000/2001 year ran dry.
  • Seven Network partners with magazine group


    Australia's Seven Network has announced it is to spend $33m (A$65m) to take a 50% interest in PMP Limited's many magazine businesses, which include the titles New Idea, TV Week, That's Life and Home Beautiful. The deal also includes the magazine distribution company Gordon and Gotch and an option for PMP to sell its interest in the joint venture to Seven for $38m (A$75m) within 12 months.
  • Moulin Rouge outdances Strictly Ballroom in Oz


    Baz Luhrmann's compatriots have voted Moulin Rouge the best of his films - with their wallets. In its seventh week on release in Australia it has overtaken his debut Strictly Ballroom to become the fourth biggest local film ever, with a domestic gross of $11.3m (A$22.4m).
  • Divided We Fall wins UIP prize at Sydney festival


    Czech Director Jan Hrebejk's Divided We Fall was voted the inaugural winner of the UIP-sponsored Prix UIP for best European film at the Sydney Film Festival.
  • Alibrandi producer takes ABC role


    Robyn Kershaw, the producer of last year's award-winning film Looking For Alibrandi, will take up the role of head of drama at Australian national broadcaster ABC from July 2.
  • Australia moves towards film-friendly tax rules


    Taking a leaf out of film-friendly tax laws in countries such as Canada, Ireland and the UK, Australia has taken a first step towards film-specific legislation providing a clear-cut pathway for local taxpayers to invest in offshore films shooting in Australia.
  • Australia's Southern Star posts 35% rise in sales


    Australia's Southern Star Group registered sales revenues of $101m (A$193m) in the 12 months to March 31, a 35% rise over the previous year. The company's operating profit before tax and abnormals was $4.4m, double the previous result.
  • Kimatrai to take over Fox office in Australia


    Korean cinemas were besieged by a raft of new releases, but it was not the predicted winner that took the spot. Beating Blade II, was CJ Entertainment's unlikely blockbuster The Way Home. It also had a mighty impressive two-day screen average of $13,700.
  • Oz industry reacts bitterly to tight Govt budget


    "We are fighting for survival," said Catriona Hughes, chief executive of Australia's Film Finance Corporation (FFC), in reaction to the very small increases for film announced in this week's budget.
  • Australia unveils $16m funding boost


    Australian film-makers and Australia-based productions have secured a funding boost worth $16.6m (A$31.6m) for the next four years from the state government of Victoria.
  • Village makes new retreat from Euro exhibition


    Village Roadshow has sold its sold 13-screen cinema site in Switzerland to Pathe, and its 45 Hungarian screens at six sites to Intercom, its joint
  • Crocodile Dundee in LA in Australia


  • Thinking outside the Fox: Slaviero quits Oz branch


    Robert Slaviero, Australian managing director of Twentieth Century Fox Film Distributors, created a shock wave when he officially resigned on Tuesday (Apr 17).
  • Australia rings the changes to awards rules


    Starting this year, films will only qualify for Australia's principal awards system if they have had a theatrical release in the previous year.
  • Sydney prepares to welcome Matrix marathon


    Warner Bros in Los Angeles and the Premier of New South Wales Bob Carr in Sydney simultaneously announced today that Australia will host production of two sequels to the action thriller The Matrix, Warner Bros' biggest hit to date with a worldwide gross of US$450m. Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving all having committed.
  • One small step for The Dish; a leap for Premiere


    Sydney-based Richard Sheffield and Wellington-based Larry Parr will launch New Zealand distribution entity Premiere Filmed Entertainment with the Australian hit film The Dish. The film, which had revenues of $16.8m from Australian cinemas alone will be released mid-year as a joint venture with its producers, Melbourne-based Working Dog.
  • SingTel set to buy Cable & Wireless Optus.


    After months of speculation Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) looks sure to buy Cable & Wireless Optus, Australia's second biggest telecommunications company and parent company of pay TV platform Optus Television.
  • Chopper star Eric Bana returns to comedy roots


    Having burst onto cinema screens as violent Australian criminal Mark "Chopper" Read, Eric Bana is to return to comedy, the genre in which he made his name as a stand-up and TV comedian.
  • Dirty Deeds is Australia's model for future growth


    If Australia's filmmaking ambitions can be encapsulated in a single film, it is writer/director David Caesar's $5m gangster movie Dirty Deeds, which has pulled off a number of investment firsts.
  • Australia's cinema wars move into the courtroom


    Reading Entertainment Australia is heading for the courts over the issue of access to first-release films according to The Age newspaper. Using its Market City cinema site in the heart of Sydney as its latest battle arena, it is claiming in the Federal Court that Roadshow Film Distributors is in breach of the Trade Practices Act and is behaving in a discriminatory and unfair manner.
  • Seven Network pulls out of Asia TV service


    The Seven Network has dumped the Asian satellite service Australia Television (ATV), which it took over from public broadcaster the ABC in 1997. It made the move despite being chosen in favour of five other tenderers to revamp the service with Federal Government money.
  • Village Roadshow, Network Ten see venture fail


    The ambitious internet leisure site SCAPE has gone into voluntary administration only 18 months after Village Roadshow and Network Ten negotiated the joint venture. The news was announced in a joint statement to the Australian Stock Exchange today.
  • Australian independent exhibitors push for change


    Australia's independent cinema owners are planning to push through a number of changes in the code of practices between distributors and exhibitors. The code generated considerable controversy when it was introduced three years ago, but despite increasing transparency in the industry it has failed to satisfy many independents.
  • Village Roadshow A$3.8m short after financial scam


    Village Roadshow managing director Graham Burke has told the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) that Village Roadshow Ltd's (VRL) net loss is A$3.8m from a financial scam that saw nearly A$30m wrongly removed from company accounts in 1998 and 1999.
  • Icon teams with Australia's top management


    The production arm of Icon Entertainment's new Australian distribution operation will be a joint venture with Shanahan Management, the highly-regarded actors agency headed by Ann Churchill-Brown. The new company, called Icon Shanahan Productions is to be run by Sally Chesher.
  • Fortissimo picks up Ayres' debut film


    Co-chair Wouter Barendrecht has confirmed that Fortissimo Film Sales is taking all international rights for Walking On Water, one of three Australian features which go into production in the next few months in time to premiere in March 2002 as The Adelaide Festival of Arts' first ever film content.
  • Two new theatrical distributors emerge in NZ


    The next two New Zealand films to release locally signal the arrival of two "new" theatrical distributors - or, more accurately, players who have principally been active in video distribution.
  • Icon launches Australian distribution company


    Icon Entertainment, Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey's production outfit which successfully launched UK distribution outfit Icon Film Distribution in 1999, is doing the same in Australia - creating a local distribution company
  • Sheffield to replace Gooder at REP


    Veteran distribution executive Richard Sheffield is to return to Australia's Becker Entertainment to take charge of its mainstream distribution operation, until recently called REP, replacing Mark Gooder who has resigned to move to another as-yet-unnamed distributor.
  • Australia's GUET fit-out company splits in two


    Australia's biggest cinema fit-out company, Greater Union Entertainment Technology (GUET), will begin operating as two businesses - one dealing only with film technology and the other handling the installation of sound, video and lighting systems in other markets - from February 1. The company is active abroad as well as in Australia.
  • Ad chief moves to South Australian Film Corp


    David Minear, chairman of the Young & Rubicam Adelaide advertising agency, has been appointed chairman of the board of the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC), which recently announced a new strategy aimed at making the state a centre for independent film-making.
  • Village Roadshow to cut debt via Austereo float


    Australian entertainment conglomerate Village Roadshow Ltd (VRL) is expected to raise more than $222.5m (A$400m) from the partial float of its Austereo radio division, part of which will be used to reduce its $406m (A$730m) on and off balance sheet debt.
  • Davis, Connolly join cast of Man Who Sued God


    Judy Davis and Billy Connolly will star alongside Colin Friels, Wendy Hughes, John Howard and Billie Brown in Australian romantic comedy The Man Who Sued God, which begins its nine-week shoot on January 29.
  • Palace Films picks up a Silent Partner


    Australian distributor Palace Films has acquired all local rights to the low-budget recently-completed Australian slice-of-life comedy Silent Partner. Director-producer Alkinos Tsilimidos is in negotiations with an unnamed international sales agent interested in taking international rights.
  • Wilkins expands portfolio with NSW arts role


    The director general of the New South Wales Cabinet Office, Roger Wilkins, is set to be given the additional role of director general, Ministry for the Arts.
  • Oz government picks up $109m from TV sector


    The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has collected $109m (A$196.9m) in commercial broadcasting licence fees from Australia's 48 commercial television services. The sum is calculated as a percentage of a licensees' gross earnings for 1999-2000.
  • Gibson hears what Australians want


  • Australian films smash local cash records


    Hit films led by The Dish, The Wog Boy and Looking For Alibrandi drove Australian films' share of last year's local box-office to more than double 1999's overall cash take, according to research released by the Australian Film Commission (AFC).
  • Australian critics nominate Chopper, The Dish


  • Australia goes to Meet The Parents at Christmas


    UIP's Meet The Parents has become one of the biggest Christmas hits of the year in Australia after its powerful performance on December 26.
  • Palace Films makes Deadly investment


    Highlighting the shortage of sales agents in Australia, local distributor Palace Films has put up an international distribution guarantee for Aussie rules football drama Deadly, Unna', despite the fact that Beyond Films is handling sales on the film.
  • Lot 47 to hold New Zealand film fest


    US distributor Lot 47 Films, in association with the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), is staging New York's first ever festival of NZ films for seven days from February 7.
  • Adelaide festival commissions series of features


    The Adelaide Festival Corporation has commissioned three features and a 50-minute film which will start shooting in Australia early next year, in time to premiere at the Adelaide Festival of Arts in March 2002.
  • Collette options Isabelle to produce, perhaps star


    Actress Toni Collette has optioned rights to Isabelle The Navigator, the latest novel from fellow Australian Luke Davies, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. She is expected to produce the film with a friend, short film-maker Sally Chesher. It is not yet known whether she will take the role of the title character.
  • Australia introduces moral rights legislation


    Legislation giving moral rights to the principal director, producer and screenwriter of Australian features, television programmes, documentaries and commercials has now passed through both houses of parliament. The new legislation also gives the creators of works reproduced or recorded in these productions, such as music, moral rights over that aspect of the production.
  • AFC launches Oz overseas film fest initiative


    The Australian Film Commission (AFC) has developed a do-it-yourself film festival package for the use of diplomatic missions spread across the world.
  • Pearce signs on for Blood And Guts


    Guy Pearce has signed to star in Australian production Blood And Guts, the directing debut of Scott Roberts, which is set to start shooting in Melbourne on July 30, 2001.
  • Portman, REP commit to Australian trio


    UK-based sales agent Portman Entertainment and Australia's REP Film Distribution have boarded three low-budget features to be shot in Queensland with Chris Brown and Chris Fitchett producing.
  • Oz post sector to apply for infrastructure funding


    Australia's post-production industry is applying for some of the $22m (A$40m) put aside by the federal government for the development of an advanced communications infrastructure. The sector hopes to improve performance by securing increased broadband access at better prices.
  • FFC warns film-makers of funding shortage


    The Australian Film Finance Corporation (FFC) has warned film-makers that it will only support projects with high levels of finance from other sources over the next six months.
  • ABC journalists protest against Shier


    Some of Australia's most respected current affairs journalists and commentators declared war this week on Jonathan Shier, who took up the post of managing director of Australian public broadcaster, the ABC, in March.
  • Australia's Showtime bags rights to Star Wars pics


    All four Star Wars movies will be shown on Australian pay-TV channel Showtime next year, following a deal between Showtime parent company Premium Movie Partnership (PMP) and 20th Century Fox.
  • Village blames weak results on exhibition arm


    Village Roadshow Ltd (VRL) chairman John Kirby has told shareholders that the company's unsatisfactory profits in the last two to three years are entirely due to the exhibition arm of the business, most recently because of a downturn in film quality.
  • De Heer's Tracker secures FFC investment


    The Australian Film Finance Corporation (FFC) has approved investment in The Tracker, described as "an Australian western with attitude", according to writer-director Rolf de Heer, who is also producing the film alongside Julie Ryan.
  • Australia's WIN Television set to go public


    One of Australia's largest privately-owned media companies, WIN Television, owned by former Paramount TV International president Bruce Gordon, is planning to float on the Australian Stock Exchange early next year.The regional network was sold to Gordon by Rupert Murdoch about 20 years ago and was a public company for about five years during the 1980s. Australian daily, The Sydney Morning Herald, reports that analysts are valuing the company at up to $314.8m (A$600m).
  • Murdoch, Packer tipped to back investment bank


    Australia's two biggest media moguls, Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch, are to bankroll a new investment bank that also has backing from Swiss insurer Zurich Financial Services, according to Australia's Sydney Morning Herald.
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • TelstraSaturn partners with TVNZ on digital TV


    New Zealand telco and pay-TV operator TelstraSaturn is to partner with public broadcaster Television New Zealand (TVNZ) on the delivery of satellite-based digital television to local audiences.
  • Rothwell wins New Zealand film-makers' vote


    Director Hamish Rothwell was made young film-maker of the year by the Screen Producers and Directors Association of New Zealand (SPADA), on the first evening of their annual conference (November 9).
  • Anderson moves to UIP Australia


    Expatriate Australian Jon Anderson is returning home to take up the role of marketing manager of UIP Australia from November 20.
  • Fox Studios Australia slashes entry prices


    Fox Studios Australia has reduced admission prices to its Backlot entertainment area in an effort to increase visitor numbers. The move represents a partial merger of the Backlot with the adjacent Bent Street cinema and restaurant precinct.
  • Joint Security Area a hit for South Korea


    South Korea's current local box office hit, Joint Security Area (JSA), has attracted 1.875 million admissions in Seoul and over 4.1 million admissions across the country since its release on September 9.
  • Macquarie strikes distribution pact with UIP


    Australian private investment vehicle Macquarie Film Corp (MFC) has signed a two-year distribution pact with UIP.
  • Local film dishes up Australian record


    Rob Sitch-directed The Dish has crashed through the record barrier with the highest weekend opening gross for an Australian film at the local box office. The Roadshow release grossed $1.56m (A$2.985m) from 281 prints on its four-day opening weekend - more than any other Australian film in history. Including its three days of pre-opening previews prior to its Oct 19 release, the film has pulled in a total gross of $2.25m (A$4.3m).
  • Media Vision takes Oz comedy quartet


    LA-based sales outfit Media Vision has picked up four "edgy mainstream comedies" which are being produced by Australia's Lance Peters and US producer Marina Martins under the joint production banner Cop-Outs Production.
  • Oz's Pinefilm in line for cash boost


    Australian distributor Pinefilm Entertainment is in the final stages of negotiations to merge with an unnamed public company, in a move that will provide it with considerable new cash resources for film acquisitions.
  • Alston issues warning to Oz post sector


    Australian communications, IT and arts minister, Richard Alston, has warned the local post sector that it has only about 18 months left to exploit its current competitive advantages, because bandwidth, which connects it to the rest of the world, is "virtually unaffordable".
  • Chopper leads race for AFI Awards


    Andrew Dominik's Chopper, about one of Australia's best-known living criminals, topped the nominations for the AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards with 10 nods including best film, best director and best screenplay.
  • REP, Dendy go on pre-MIFED buying spree


    Australian distributor REP Films has picked up US comedy Human Nature, while sister company Dendy Films has acquired Swedish hit Together and Thai film The Iron Ladies.
  • Iran's Meshkini wins Pusan's New Currents prize


    Iranian title The Day I Became A Woman, directed by Marziyeh Meshkini of Iran's Makhmalbaf family, won the jury prize in the Pusan film festival's New Currents section, dedicated to Asian film-makers' first or second features.
  • Palace, Pusan Story share top prize at PPP


    The staff cutbacks sweeping through AOL Time Warner following its recent merger approval have now reached as far as the New York and London offices of Fine Line Features, the specialised offshoot of New Line Cinema.
  • South Korea keeps up screen quotas fight


    South Korea's Coalition for Cultural Diversity in Moving Images (CDMI) is an organising a symposium involving government ministers on November 8 due to continued fears that the country's screen quota system could be abolished.
  • Virgin takes top honours at Pusan


    Korean writer-director Hong Sang-Soo's third film, Virgin Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, was awarded best film and best script by Pusan Film Critics on Sunday night in a ceremony that coincides with Korea's 5th Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF).
  • Hewison to head Melbourne Film Festival


    The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has appointed James Hewison as executive director. He was formerly marketing manager (Victoria) for public broadcaster the ABC.
  • First Look acquires US rights to Chopper


    Beyond Films has confirmed that US rights to writer-director Andrew Dominik's Chopper have been sold to First Look Pictures, which plans to stage a theatrical release in March 2001.
  • Telstra set to revise Pacific Century deal


    Australian telecommunications giant Telstra is set to consider a second revision of its $2.7bn (A$5bn) alliance with Richard Li's Hong Kong-based Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW) this week.
  • Olympic fever impacts Australia's box office


    One week into the Olympics and most Australian cinemas are reporting revenues down by 25-50%, with games venue Sydney being the worst affected. Unseasonably fine spring weather is further exaggerating the fall in business, particularly as it's helping to draw non-sport lovers out of doors.
  • Nine Network strikes Paramount supply deal


    Australia's Nine Network has struck a supply deal with Paramount Pictures, securing the rights to half of the studio's theatrical output from 2000/01 and all of it from the following year.
  • ABC appoints Virgo as drama chief


    Italy has chosen Marco Tullio Giordana's The Hundred Steps (I Cento Passi) as its official entry for the foreign-language Oscar, over both Silvio Soldini's Bread And Tulips and Giuseppe Tornatore's Malena, which had both been widely tipped.
  • Reynolds to head Screen Tasmania board


    Launceston-based Margaret Reynolds, currently president of the United Nations Association of Australia and a former Federal Minister, is to head up the new board of Screen Tasmania.
  • New Zealand exhibitors scrap merger proposal


    New Zealand's biggest exhibitors - Village Force Cinemas and Hoyts Cinemas - have admitted publicly that they have abandoned plans to merge because of the New Zealand Commerce Commission's continued opposition to the deal.
  • FFC boards Aboriginal drama Beneath Clouds


    The Australian Film Finance Corporation (FFC) and local broadcaster SBS are backing the first feature from Aboriginal film-maker Ivan Sen, Beneath Clouds, with commitments from UK sales agent Axiom Films and Australian distributor Dendy Films.
  • Oz in over development drive, warns AFC


    Australia is developing too many feature projects according to Australian Film Commission (AFC) chief executive Kim Dalton.
  • Branagh joins Noyce's Rabbit-Proof Fence


    Kenneth Branagh has been cast as AO Neville - the controversial chief protector of aborigines in Western Australia in the 1930s - in Phillip Noyce's Rabbit-Proof Fence.
  • Southern Star expands TV production slate


    Australia's Southern Star is stepping up television production with five new projects, worth a combined $17m (A$30m), including The Rubicon, a co-production with the UK's Warner Sisters.
  • Harrison to step down from NSW film office


    Michelle Harrison resigned today (August 29) from her key role as manager of development and finance at the New South Wales Film and Television Office (NSWFTO) in order to raise money for her own project.
  • ABS finds one third of Oz households on-line


    The number of Australian households with internet access grew to 2.3 million or 33% in the 12 months to May 2000 according to research conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The figure compares to 22% in May 1999.
  • Oz exhibs slash ticket prices to counter Olympics


    Australia's three major exhibitors are dropping their ticket prices by more than 60% during September in anticipation of a downturn in business as a result of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
  • AFC confirms Zeccola, Barron appointments


    Australia's arts minister Peter McGauran has announced that Antonio Zeccola, who founded and owns local distributor Palace Films and co-owns Palace Cinemas with Village Roadshow, has been appointed to the board of the Australian Film Commission (AFC).
  • Mushroom, Screen Artists team up for Horseplay


    Australia's Mushroom Pictures is working with Stavros Kazantzidis and Allanah Zitserman's production company Screen Artists on Horseplay, a darkly comic tale about a madcap plan to rig Australia's most famous annual horse race, the Melbourne Cup.
  • Channel 4 boards Southern Star's Secret Life


    The UK's Channel 4 has boarded Australian production outfit Southern Star Entertainment's The Secret Life Of Us, marking its first pre-production commitment to a long-running Australian series.
  • Seven wins access to Telstra network


    Australia's Federal Court has dismissed appeals from telecommunications giant Telstra and pay-TV provider Foxtel against a decision to give Seven Network access to Telstra's broadband cable network.
  • My Mother Frank wins Melbourne vote


    Audiences favoured home-grown films at this year's Melbourne Film Festival (July 19-August 6). My Mother Frank, directed by Sydney-based Mark Lamprell, scooped the Stella Artois Award for most popular film, while Melbourne director Paul Cox scored second and third spot with Innocence and Molokai: The Story Of Father Damien.
  • Oz producers, directors claim copyright victory


    Australia's parliament has passed the Copyright Digital Agenda Bill prompting both directors and producers to issue media statements claiming they have won the long-running battle over directors' copyright.
  • Oz ratings chief speaks out on screen violence


    Des Clark, director of Australia's Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC), has claimed that Australians are concerned about rising levels of screen violence, and plans to take this into account in a review of the film classification system to take place next year.
  • Verhoeven to replace Jones as head of AFI


    Australian broadcaster and critic Deb Verhoeven will replace Ruth Jones as chief executive of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) which is currently under-going a period of uncertainty following a reduction in funding.
  • Sydney Film Festival plans to get competitive


    The Sydney Film Festival will become a competitive event for new directors, probably starting with its 50th edition in 2003, if it raises enough funding.
  • Village Ten Online rebrands as SCAPE


    Australia's Network Ten and Village Roadshow have rebranded their joint internet portal, previously known as Village Ten Online, as SCAPE. Exhibitor-distributor Village and broadcaster Ten signed the joint venture late last year and plan to launch the leisure-oriented portal later this year. Among the services on offer will be on-line radio stations, a matchmaking service and movie information.
  • Shunji, Zhang join line-up at third Pusan market


    Several established Asian directors, including Japan's Iwai Shunji, Korea's Jang Sun-Woo and China's Zhang Yuan, will present projects at the third Pusan Promotion Plan (PPP), which runs alongside this year's Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea.
  • UIP crowned king at Oz box office awards


    UIP's Australian release of Gladiator took the top prize at the Australian Box Office Achievement Awards due to it's hefty A$30m gross. UIP and rival distributor Buena Vista International (BVI) each released seven of the 22 films that reached the all-important A$10m mark during the 12 months to June 30.
  • Technicolor invests in Southern Star Duplitek


    US-based video, CD, DVD and film print manufacturer Technicolor is investing $19m (A$33m) in Australia's Southern Star Duplitek, which will use $16m (A$28m) of the cash to acquire rival optical disc manufacturer Pacific Mirror Image (PMI).
  • My Mother Frank wins audience vote at Brisbane


    Australian writer-director Mark Lamprell's debut film My Mother Frank was voted best film by audiences at the 9th Brisbane International Film Festival (July 26-August 6).
  • Australia's Chopper tops local box office


    Australian title Chopper has grossed an impressive $0.7m (A$1.2m) from 132 screens in its opening four days in its home territory, giving Australia its third resounding local hit this year.
  • Oz distribs choose weapons for exhibitor show


    UIP has chosen to screen Billy Elliot for the hundreds of exhibitors who have booked to go to the annual Australian International Movie Convention, scheduled for August 8-12 in Queensland. Columbia TriStar will be showing off Hollow Man and 20th Century Fox has chosen What Lies Beneath.
  • Australia's Ten in talks for New Zealand buy


    Australia's Ten Network is reportedly in talks with Canadian parent company CanWest Global Communications about buying CanWest's two New Zealand television stations TV3 and TV4, and its NZ radio assets.
  • Cubbyhouse clocks up sales; adds Leonard to cast


    Beyond Films has sold Murray Fahey's Australian thriller Cubbyhouse, which goes into production on August 7, to a raft of Asian distributors including Mongkol Cinema in Thailand and Global Film Distributors in India.
  • Austar expands offering with Two Way TV


    Australian pay-TV operator Austar is adding a local version of popular interactive UK TV channel Two Way TV to its line-up starting from October.
  • Australian Film Finance Corp shuffles board


    Roger Amos, Australian head of KPMG's Information, Communications and Entertainment Group, has been made deputy chair of the Australian Film Finance Corporation, 15 months after being first appointed to the board. Muriel's Wedding producer Lynda House has been reappointed for a further term while Robyn Kershaw, producer of this year's box office hit Looking For Alibrandi, has been appointed for the first time.
  • Hanway Films boards Noyce's Rabbit-Proof Fence


    HanWay Films, the sales arm of UK producer Jeremy Thomas' Recorded Picture Company, has boarded Phillip Noyce's Rabbit-Proof Fence, the Australian-born director's first project in his home country after 12 years in the US.
  • Patriot ends event movie roll-out in Oz


    One of the last event blockbusters on release in Australia this winter, The Patriot, took $1.6m (A$2.8m) from 325 screens on its opening four-day weekend (July 20-23). This gave the Australian office of Columbia TriStar its third biggest opening weekend ever and knocked last weekend's opener X-Men off the top spot. But it failed to beat Col TriStar's top openers Stuart Little with $2.8m and Erin Brockovich with $2.5m in April this year.
  • Oz distribs warn against day and date releases


    Although simultaneous global release dates are being encouraged by some US distribution executives, their Australian counterparts have cautioned against not carefully weighing up all factors when dating blockbusters, including the competition and timing of the school holidays.
  • Australia's Paper Bark develops White adaptation


    Paper Bark Films producer Antony Waddington and the husband-and-wife team of director Jon Hewitt (Redball) and actor Belinda McClory (The Matrix) are co-writing an adaptation of Australian writer Patrick White's novel The Eye Of The Storm.
  • X-Men disappoints in Oz


    Despite claiming Australia's eighth biggest ever opening day gross on July 13, Fox's X-Men has taken only $2.8m (A$4.76m) from 245 screens after its first week on release. This figure places it at 29 in the chart of the territory's top weekly openings.
  • La Paglia joins Wenham in Connolly's Bank


    Australian actor Anthony La Paglia will join David Wenham in the cast of producer Robert Connolly's writing and directing debut The Bank, which is in production in Melbourne throughout August and September.
  • Inside Story triumphs at AWGIES


    Robert Sutherland's script for The Inside Story won the prize for best original feature film at the Australian Writers Guild Awards (AWGIES) on July 15. Sutherland also produced and directed the low-budget privately-financed film.
  • Morphett takes up financial role at Austar


    Jonathan Morphett has been appointed chief financial officer of Austar United Communications, parent company of Australia's third largest pay-TV service, Austar.
  • Oz pay-TV falls short on local drama spend


    Only two of Australia's 17 pay-TV drama channels complied with voluntary requirements to spend 10% of their annual programming budget on local drama in 1998-99, according to the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA).
  • Paramount signs two-pic deal with M:I2 star Polson


    Paramount Pictures has signed a two-picture deal with Australian actor-director John Polson, who stars alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 2.
  • Lend Lease takes hit on Fox Studios investment


    Lend Lease Corporation, which half-owns Sydney's Fox Studios Australia, has made a provision of $47m (A$80m) after tax to cover its losses from the failure of the 19-month-old Backlot, one of three distinct parts of the studio and entertainment development. It will also make an appropriate write-down of the value of the investment.
  • AFI Awards get record number of entries


    Twenty-five films have been submitted for the 2000 AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards, the biggest number of entries for nearly 10 years.
  • Australia's Palace buys private Dope


    Australian distributor Palace Films has picked up local rights to Australian title Dope, a privately-financed project from first-time writer-director J Harkness which is currently in pre-production.
  • Passover Fever to open Oz's first Israeli fest


    Shemi Zarhin's epic comedy-drama Passover Fever (1995) has been chosen to open Australia's first Israeli Film Festival, to take place in Canberra from August 4-10.
  • Scarfies sweeps New Zealand film awards


  • AFC overhauls funding guidelines


    As part of its on-going revamp, Australia's major development agency, the Australian Film Commission (AFC), has issued new funding guidelines under which film-makers with a proven track record will be given the most support.
  • Major territories in place for Crocodile Dundee 3


    CLT-Ufa has acquired French and German rights to Crocodile Dundee In LA, the third film in the Crocodile Dundee franchise. UIP will release the film in the UK, Scandinavia and the local Australian market. Paramount Pictures has North American rights and plans to release the picture in April 2001.
  • Collins replaces Rhys-Jones at Roadshow


    David Collins has been chosen to replace Libby Rhys-Jones as New South Wales general manager of Roadshow Film Distributors, based in Sydney and reporting directly to managing director Joel Pearlman in Melbourne. He starts on July 10.
  • Australia's FLICs get luke-warm response


    Australia's two Film Licensed Investment Companies (FLICs) have convinced investors to tip in only about half of the tax deductible total of $23.9 (A$40m) that they were allowed to raise before the June 30 deadline.
  • Australia's Energee to create TV Magic Pudding


    Australian animation house Energee Entertainment is planning to spin its not-yet-released first feature, The Magic Pudding, into a television series.
  • Australia passes digital legislation


    Australia has finalised controversial legislation restricting the number of TV channels in the digital era.
  • Oz investors won't let filmmakers wiggle out of it


    Investors in Australian title The Wiggles Movie are considering taking legal action against production company Gladusaurus Productions, manager Movieco Australia, the promoter, and perhaps the distributor 20th Century Fox, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
  • Little Crumb director to adapt Pete, The Rascal


    Dutch writer-director Maria Peters, whose credits include the Netherlands' biggest local hit last year, Little Crumb (Kruimeltje), based on the novel by Chris van Abkoude, is developing another adaptation of the late writer's works.
  • Australian film-makers win tax battle


    Screen writers, actors, up-and-coming producers and others at the low salary end of the Australian film industry are breathing a sigh of relief following the Federal Government's decision to give them the same tax exemption that they recently gave to farmers.
  • LA Confidential's Hanson hits Melbourne festival


  • Cosy Dens wins audience vote at Sydney fest


    Czech director Jan Hrebejk's black comedy Cosy Dens won the popularity vote among audiences at the Sydney Film Festival's traditional home, The State Theatre, while patrons of the new Dendy Opera Quays cinema voted for Dutch family film Little Crumb, directed by Maria Peters.
  • News Corp, PBL reportedly to quit Foxtel


    Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and Kerry Packer's Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd (PBL), which together own 50% of Australian pay-TV platform Foxtel, reportedly plan to switch allegiances and sign a significant programming deal with competitor Cable & Wireless Optus (C&W Optus).
  • Oz giants get greenlight for joint Sydney cinema


    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has greenlit a proposal from Australia's three largest exhibitors - Village Roadshow, Hoyts and Greater Union - to replace their separate cinemas on George Street, Sydney with a site in which they will share the same building, staff, box office and candy bar.
  • Pinefilm taps Sorby to head up acquisitions


    Australian distributor Pinefilm Entertainment has appointed Nicole Sorby as head of acquisitions replacing Peter Downer who left the company last week following a breakdown in relations with owner and managing director Sean Rothsey.
  • Blockbusters bunch up in Oz


    While the European box office fights soccer-mania and pre-summer seasonal box office lows, Australia's chart is riding high with help from the southern hemisphere winter and two hits carrying a high level of Australian content.
  • Australia's Niche Pictures picks up Mr Death


    Australian distributor Niche Pictures, which was recently acquired by Lyn McCarthy, has acquired local rights to Errol Morris's Mr Death: The Rise And Fall Of Fred A. Leuchter Jr. The 90-minute documentary was well received when it screened this week on the third day of the Sydney Film Festival.
  • M:I2 gives UIP biggest Oz weekend


  • Oz exhibition giants partner for joint Sydney site


    Australia's three largest exhibitors - Village Roadshow, Hoyts and Greater Union - are planning to replace their separate cinemas on George Street, Sydney with a site that will feature single management of both the ticket booth and the concessions area. The development will have over 15 screens and be the first such arrangement in Australia.
  • IMAX Oz franchise enters administration


    Cinema Plus, the public company which holds the IMAX franchise for Australia and New Zealand, has been put in the hands of Sydney administrators Ferrier Hodgson, three-and-a-half years after listing on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).
  • South Australian government ups investment in film


    South Australia's government has put aside an additional A$1m ($577,000) a year over three years to invest in Australian and international films that either shoot or undertake post-production in the state. The figure represents more than double the government's current commitment.
  • FFC gets Skase in latest funding round


    Australia's Film Finance Corporation (FFC) is backing comedy Let's Get Skase, which draws on events surrounding Australian media mogul Christopher Skase who is currently sheltering from legal action in Majorca, Spain.
  • New Zealand boosts production with $10m fund


    New Zealand's prime minister Helen Clark has put aside $10.8m (NZ$22m) for a feature film production fund, a huge commitment for a country with a population of less than four million people.
  • China Star inks Star TV output deal


    Hong Kong-based China Star Entertainment Group has finalised a US$30m three-year output deal with pay-TV provider Star TV for 100 films to be produced under its One Hundred Years Of Films production banner.
  • Alliance's Wrenn to fly to New Zealand


    Miramax has acquired Lone Scherfig's dogme title Italian For Beginners, one of the hottest titles in the main competition at the Berlin Film Festival since its screening on Friday, for release in the US, Mexico and English-speaking Canada.
  • Mallboy team set to produce Melbourne-set Orange


    The team behind Directors' Fortnight film Mallboy is now developing Orange, a love story set amid feuding families in a bustling wholesale fruit and vegetable market in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Daybreak signs up Laing for House Guest


    John Laing has signed to directThe House Guest, the second film to go into production this year under the Daybreak Pictures production banner, and the second from the New Zealand company to be handled by UK sales outfit 2 Match. The film is being financed by presales, local private investors and funding from the Commercial Bank.
  • Dear moves to SBS from Film Four Australia


    Channel Four and Film Four have lost Australian representative Miranda Dear to SBS Independent, the production arm of multicultural broadcaster SBS, where she takes up the role of commissioning editor of drama from early July. She replaces Barbara Masel who signified her intention to leave several months ago.
  • Gladiator marches into Australia, Mexico


    Ridley Scott's highly anticipated film Gladiator thrashed Australian competition when it reported its opening four-day gross May 4-7. The Roman epic became the fourth highest opening film ever in the territory marginally beating The Lost World: Jurassic Park distributed in May 1997. Playing on 287 screens, the UIP release scooped a four-day gross of $3.4m (A$5,927,458) which also made it the biggest success story to-date for the distributor's Australian office.
  • McLean tipped to direct Haysom's Golden Delicious


    Sydney director Alison McLean, whose most recent film was Jesus' Son, is tipped to helm Golden Delicious, a black comedy about four women who kidnap a male prostitute.
  • Stuart Little gets bigger in Australia


    Fuelled by school holidays and the Easter weekend, Columbia TriStar's Stuart Little has brought in a phenomenal $8.7m (A$14.9m) after 20 days.The film clocked up $3.5m from 323 screens in its second week (April 12-19) - a rise of 24% from its opening seven days - giving it the biggest weekly gross so far this year at the Australian box office.
  • Location: Fiji


    Fiji is launching a series of initiatives aimed at attracting film-makers including 100-150% tax deductions and a film studio.
  • New Zealand's First Sun makes film push with Lies


    New Zealand production outfit First Sun has unveiled its debut feature development slate which includes an adaptation of Michelanne Forster's play Castle Of Lies.
  • Oz talent lobbies Howard for film funding boost


    A high-powered group of signatories has sent a letter to Australian Prime Minister John Howard urging him to increase film industry funding when he hands down the 2000-2001 budget in early May.
  • DND converts to Instinct; cranks up Voices


    Melbourne-based DND Productions has changed its name to Instinct Entertainment as it gears up to start production on Till Human Voices Wake Us, set to star Helena Bonham Carter and Guy Pearce.
  • Telstra, Pacific form Internet alliance


    Australian telecommunications giant Telstra has formed a strategic alliance with Hong Kong-based Pacific Century Cyber Works (PCCW), the largest Internet group in Asia outside Japan.
  • Australia's RGM agency forms packaging venture


    Sydney-based talent agency RGM Associates, which boasts clients including Cate Blanchett and Anthony La Paglia, has formed a joint venture that will work with producers to package and raise finance for film and TV projects.
  • Chapman, Lawrence team for FFC-backed thriller


    Leading Australian producer Jan Chapman (Holy Smoke, The Piano) has teamed with award-winning director Ray Lawrence (Bliss) to make Lantana, one of four films which have just received backing from the Australian Film Finance Corporation (FFC).
  • Oz commission attacks broadcasting legislation


    One of the Australian government's advisory bodies, the Productivity Commission, has warned that Australia's digital conversion plan faces "serious risk of failure".
  • Rothkrans becomes Australia's offshore ambassador


    Trisha Rothkrans has been appointed chief executive of AusFILM, the national marketing alliance that aims to attract offshore productions to Australia.
  • The Wog Boy sails past A$10m mark


  • Australia's REP buys New Zealand's Scarfies


    Australia's REP Film Distributors has bought New Zealand's second biggest local hit from last year, Robert Sarkies' comedy thriller Scarfies, about a group of students who quickly discover that crime should be left to professionals.
  • Becker Group signs on for Rowe comedy


    Australia's Becker Group has signed on as international sales agent for producer David Rowe's A$3m contemporary comedy Tempe Tip, scheduled to start shooting in October.
  • Beyond, Seven support on-line Evolution


    Two of Australia's biggest content suppliers - Beyond International and the Seven Network - have thrown their weight behind a new high-speed network that plans to pump entertainment and services into Australian homes.
  • Foxtel loses grip on Telstra network


    Australia's Seven Network has won its battle to gain access to Telstra's cable network, in a move that loosens cable operator Foxtel's existing dominance of the country's pay-TV market.
  • Kodak, Atlab restore Australian cinema classics


    Miramax Films, Miramax Television, HBO and Good Will Hunting writers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are teaming up to launch a US contest in which a total unknown writer will have his or her screenplay greenlit.Starting in the summer, anyone in the US can submit a screenplay electronically to The winner will be paid by Miramax to direct the feature film; Damon, Affleck and Chris Moore (co-producer of Good Will Hunting) will executive produce ...
  • SPAA calls for higher funding levels


    The Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) is calling on the Australian government to lift production and development funding in film and television to "more realistic investment levels" in the 2000/2001 budget, which will be released in early May.
  • Macquarie launches fresh bid to lure investors


    Macquarie Film Corporation (MFC) launched its second prospectus this week in a bid to entice Australian investors to tip A$18.4m into film and TV production before the deadline of June 21. MFC is one of two Film Licensed Investment Companies (FLICS) awarded licences by the Australian government to raise up to A$20m in concessional capital to boost local film and TV.
  • Internet and mobile services boost Telstra profit


    Australian telco Telstra has reported a record after-tax profit of $1.27bn (A$2.1bn) for the six months to December 31, an increase of 15.6% on the corresponding period last year. The result was on turnover of $2bn (A$3.3bn) before tax and interest.
  • Producer takes legal action against Southern Star


    Australian producer Hal McElroy's family-owned company Eden Productions has commenced legal proceedings against Southern Star Entertainment and the Southern Star Group, claiming it is owed more than $6.4m (A$10.5m). But McElroy's former employer has moved quickly to say it is Eden which owes money to Southern Star.
  • Australian critics give Two Hands best film award


  • Blomfield replaces Mockridge at Foxtel


    Veteran television executive Jim Blomfield has been named CEO of dominant Australian pay-TV outfit Foxtel replacing Tom Mockridge who is to head up the joint venture between News Corp's Star TV and Cable & Wireless HKT in Hong Kong.
  • PMP announces Meers, O'Halloran double act


    The Premium Movie Partnership (PMP) has confirmed that Sam Meers and Nuala O'Halloran - the two people who worked most closely with former acquisitions and production head Marion Pilowsky - will be covering for her.
  • Former PolyGram exec to be general manager of REP


    Former PolyGram Filmed Entertainment/Universal Pictures International executive David Collins will take up the newly created role of general manager of REP Distribution from March 6.
  • Ripley performs but Wog Boy claims top spot


  • Germany's RTV buys Australian Energee


    German animation production-distribution entity Ravensburger Film & TV (RTV) has purchased a 69% stake in one of Australia's most significant animation companies, Energee Entertainment, in a move that will spur production activity at the company's new studios opened late last year in Sydney.
  • Softbank invests in Content Capital


    Japanese venture capitalist Softbank has taken a strategic stake in Australia's Content Capital, one of two government-sanctioned Film Licence Investment Companies (FLICs) aimed at coaxing private investment into Australian production.
  • Record-breaking previews for Australia's Wog Boy


    Australian comedy The Wog Boy has grossed a highly impressive A$1.2m from just three days of preview screenings (Feb 18-20), which would have placed it at number three in the chart had it been included. Previews are traditionally excluded from box office charts.
  • ABC's theatrical arm acquires Tank Engine movie


    ABC Films has confirmed it has acquired all Australian and New Zealand rights to the US$20m family film Thomas And The Magic Railroad which director Britt Allcroft has adapted from the Thomas The Tank Engine hit television series she also created.
  • Globe buys Human Voices for Australia, New Zealand


    Despite withdrawing from international acquisitions, The Globe Film Co has signed on to handle Australian and New Zealand distribution on Til Human Voices Wake Us, one of two features which have just secured investment from the Australian Film Finance Corporation (FFC).
  • Australia's Pennell moves into big-budget arena


    Australian production outfit Pennell Motion Pictures is set to produce A$15-20m ($9.5-12.6m) romantic comedy Amorous Intrigue, displaying further evidence that the Australian production community is intent on moving into bigger-budget projects.
  • House to produce Armstrong comedy, Broken Hill


    Australian producer Lynda House has unveiled a slate of new projects including a comedy-drama to be directed by Gillian Armstrong and a $7.5m (A$12m) futuristic fairy-tale The Broken Hill, which has a pack of wild dogs as one of the cast members.
  • Village beefs up London office in exec reshuffle


    Following Village Cinemas International's revelation that it is launching a chain of own brand cinemas in the UK, the company has announced several management changes, including the relocation of two Australian executives to its London office.
  • AFC revamp takes shape with Warner


    French production and distribution giant Le Studio Canal Plus has picked up international sales rights to The Princess And The Warrior (Der Krieger Und Die Kaiserin), the latest proejct from Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer.
  • Oz studio plans fail to attract cash


    The ambitious plan to build a third major film studio in Australia - with the backing of US giant Viacom - is floundering because of a complete lack of interest from institutional investors.
  • Mason and Coote join Macquarie board


    Producers Andrew Mason and Greg Coote have been appointed to the board of the Macquarie Film Corporation as the company gears up to release its second prospectus in March.
  • Granada ties TV production knot with Seven Network


    The UK's Granada Media Group has become one of the top five shareholders in Australia's Seven Network, as part of a deal which sees the two entities form an as-yet-unnamed Australian-based production company.
  • Beyond to sing with Other Voices


    Beyond Films has acquired worldwide rights, excluding North America, to Dan McCormack's debut feature Other Voices, which featured in competition at the Sundance Film Festival.
  • FFC grants producers better terms of trade


    The Australian Film Finance Corporation (FFC) has unveiled plans to guarantee producers overhead payments and give them greater access to the revenue streams generated by their projects.
  • Australia embraces DVD


    DVD appears to have gained a foothold in the Australian market according to recent statistics that show that 63% of video stores were carrying DVDs at the end of 1999 compared to only 35% at the end of the previous year.
  • Noosa Film Festival unlikely to return


    Despite the success of last year's Noosa Film Festival in terms of profile and programming, director Luke Davis has admitted that unpaid debts and lack of sponsorship means there is unlikely to be a sequel.
  • Oz bank Content Capital boards Monkey's Mask


    Content Capital has announced it is to become a financial partner in the Australian and New Zealand release of Samantha Lang's A$4.5m lesbian detective thriller The Monkey's Mask. The move fits the company's strategy of establishing itself as a bank for the use of film-makers.
  • Australia lifts ban on Romance


    Australia's Film Board of Review has overturned the recent decision by the Office of Film and Literature Classification not to classify Catherine Breillat's French film Romance, a judgement that meant the film could not be released in Australia.
  • Australia gains financier for genre pics


    Australia has gained a new breed of financier - Kirkham Management Limited - which aims to coax private investors to plough funds into genre pictures.
  • Sharmill, Champion continue French-language vein


    Australia's Sharmill Films and Champion Pictures have bought Australian rights to writer-director Radu Mihaileanu's World War II story Train Of Life from Menemsha Entertainment.
  • Mendel's sixth sense makes him partner Noonan


    Barry Mendel, one of the producers on The Sixth Sense, is working with writer/director Chris Noonan on an adaptation of the novel Rule Of The Bone by Russell Banks, who also wrote the book on which The Sweet Hereafter was based.
  • Romance not welcome in Australia


  • Australia confirms a dozen years of ticket growth


    As expected, Australian exhibitors broke through the A$700m barrier in 1999 giving the territory an extraordinary twelfth consecutive year of box office growth.