ScreenDaily takes a look at the local and independent openings in key markets this week.


Festive local production Nativity! opens in the UK nationwide through E1 Films UK. Debbie Isitt’s family comedy stars Martin Freeman as a primary school teacher charged with producing the school’s Nativity play.

Metrodome Distribution gives Martin Provost’s biopic Séraphine a limited release in the West End and key cities from Friday (November 27). The film follows that life of French painter Séraphine de Senlis, played by Yolande Moreau.

Paul King’s debut feature Bunny And The Bull debuts through Optimum Releasing. The film stars Edward Hogg as Stephen, a recluse who relives a European adventure from the comfort of his flat. Simon Farnaby also stars, as Bunny, Stephen antagonistic best friend.


The Villain was among the key local releases in France this week, opening on Wednesday (November 27) through StudioCanal. The comedy stars Albert Dupontel and Catherine Font, and follow a bank robber who takes refuge with his mother, only to find out that daring and cunning behaviour runs in the family.

Michael Moore’s documentary Capitalism: A Love Story also opens in the territory through Paramount Pictures International, while Australian production Samson and Delilah opens through Why Not Productions.


Warner Bros. has given a nationwide release to Egoli Tossell Film and Insight Film Studios’ production of Sandra Nettelbeck’s English-language debut Helen. The love story about a woman in a desperate battle for her life, love and sanity, stars Ashley Judd, Goran Visnjic and Lauren Lee Smith, and was premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Barnsteiner Film has launched Alexandra Westmeier’s documentary Alone In Four Walls at cinemas in Berlin and Frankfurt. The portrait of an approved school for young offenders in Russia was awarded the documentary prize at the Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival in Saarbrücken last year and a Golden Leopard from the Semaine de la Critique at the 60th Locarno International Film Festival.

Michael Glawogger’s adaptation of the Josef Haslinger complex novel Das Vaterspiel, Kill Daddy Goodnight, opened in 24 towns and cities throughout Germany for distributor Alamode. Starring Helmut Köpping, Sabine Timoteo and Ulrich Tukur, the film received its world premiere in the Panorama Special section of the Berlinale last February.


Oscar-winning Spanish director Fernando Trueba’s drama The Dancer And The Thief arrives in his home country through Notro Films this weekend. Dancer, which had its world premiere at this autumn’s San Sebastian, tells the story of  notorious safebreaker, Nicolas Vergara Grey, played by Argentinian superstar Ricardo Darin, who is released from prison and determined to re-united with his wife and child, but is instead forced to help a young, enthusiastic thief, Angel Santiago (Abel Ayala), steal money from one of General Pinochet’s henchmen.

Spanish directors Jorge Blanco and Javier Abad’s hotly anticipated feature debut Planet 51 has the potential to break box office records for a Spanish animation with a release of 509 copies through DeaPlaneta. Filmed entirely at the Illion studios in Madrid and backed by Spanish broadcaster Antena 3, Planet 51 is boosted by a script from Joe Stillman, writer of the first two Shrek films, and original voices supplied by the likes of Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Sean William Scott and Gary Oldman. The film tells the story of an American astronaut who lands on a planet populated by green people who fear being invaded by aliens. 

Ken Loach’s Cannes competition title Looking For Eric hits Spain on 98 screens through Alta Films this weekend, following a healthy run at the French box office where it took $3.7m and a respectable $2m in the UK. Loach’s drama revolves around the life of a depressed postman and football fanatic living in Manchester who received unexpected advice from football legend Eric Cantona. The film’s distinctly British style means it probably won’t match the French and UK figures, but should hit the $1m mark.